6159/It's the Naval Way

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It's the Naval Way
Date of Scene: 01 December 2018
Location: Great Ocean
Synopsis: Foiled by a clash of personalities and powers beyond her understanding, and sated of her need for oil by the magic of Aoko Aozaki, the Raider Demon now turns her sights on more resource acquisition. The ore refinery down the coast from Cape Town is her target. Her goal: Steel.
Cast of Characters: Midway, 591, Shigure, 571, 6730, 6384, 6381

Midway has posed:
    'There's more to life than that. It's proof that you're alive. That is important. Whatever and however you want to live, that's your choice.'

    Amidst the waves, a humanoid shape rises. Trailing surf, water sloughing from her armor and weapons, the Raider Demon draws her clawed gauntlet up. Her fingers flex.

    'There is still. Work to do. And. A war to fight.'

    Ashore, Dynamic Steel's foundary is already alight with alarms. Vehicles depart, a line of headlights filling the roads along the coastline. The facility itself is already mostly empty. A helicopter passes overhead, drawing the Raider Demon's attention-- and when her single crimson eye fixates on it, the pilot thinks better of it and draws back to a safer distance.

    'Can't you just...stop it?'

    Around the Raider Demon, multiple smaller, dog-sized black Abyssal Destroyers surface. Some breach like dolphins while others coast beside and behind her. The Demon herself draws up her right hand, the three-gun turrets aligning with her forearm and leveling their barrels.

    'Not yet.'

    She is the Raider Demon.

    It's time to raid.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Luck had it that Aoko was in the area. Well, luck... she'd been in the area the day before, it wasn't that much of a stretch. She'd never really wandered Africa, so after Foreigner dropped her off, she just took to looking around. Might as well cross a place off the list, right?

    Lucky for her that the future is on her side.

    Of course, she makes no effort to hide her presence. That mane of crimson hair would be hard to miss, especially sitting on the fence of the foundry. She's eating an ice cream cone right now, and that fence happened to be the nicest vantage point over the coast that didn't involve breaking and entering to get on a rooftop.

    Not that she'd have minded.
    But some days you just feel like being lazy.

    "Oh? Now that's a coincidence."
    Or is it, really.

Shigure has posed:
    Patrolling south along the coast, having left Cape Town earlier that week, Shigure, Yuudachi and Kuma stand on Yamashiro's foredeck as the report comes in. After putting out orders to any Paladin units nearby to assist in evacuation, the Fifth Strike leap overboard, and spread formation, shifting to their Ocean Fitouts to strike a more intimidating and threatening posture. They keep their weapons safe for now. Better to try and draw attention, than open fire and potentially cause civilians to get caught in the crossfire.

    Shigure kicks up her speed to pull ahead, signalling with lights to the others to hang back as she closes the distance on the Abyssal unit.

    She's got a good idea it's the Raider Demon again, and this time, she's looking to get some words in without a certain Foreigner muddying the waters.

Alexis Maaka (571) has posed:
    Maaka -loathes- this costume, but it's time to stop sitting around on her ass while all this goes on.

    Mounted with a machine gun and a torpedo launcher on her arms, the cyborg is currently skating across the water at high enough speeds she's opted to wear a full face mask to keep from getting stuff in her eyes. She's moving quickly, and notices she's rather close to Cape Town's coast.

    It's been forever since she's visited Africa. Jeez. Feels weird seeing an early turn of the century version of it.

    She's also got some artillery on her back and is clutching an M249 SAW in her hands. Maaka spies Shigrue and the others, and climbs aboard Yamashiro. "Hope I'm not too late. I'm rolling-Errr, sailing with you I guess." She says, nodding tersely to the Shipgirls.

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    Yesterday, "Hey Aoko, you know of any good resturants?"

    Probably not, because as she just said she never been here. Seventeen decided to stick in the area a bit longer...a roamer by nature, but when he gets invested in a cause, well...

    After eating a nice dinner, a scrumptious breakfast, and then a long walk along the really nice beaches of this place, he had managed to be around the South side of the cove when warnings started going out. Looking out over the water would reveal why.

    A bit later, as people started deploying, a touristy dressed 17 lands by the dangerous Red head, taking a lean near the ice cream eating woman.

    "So what do you think about the whole situation?"

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     Between an early warning and prompt Paladin response, it looks like the entire area around the factory is going to be cleared very soon. Orchid is one of those currently sweeping the area, both personally and with her drones, to do two things: make sure the stragglers get moves out, and to get an eye on the incoming raiders. The first is done by herself and the drones, the second by the Osprey Drones she's been developing, rising above the facility and moving out over the sea, transmitting what they see.

     And of course Orchid finds someone. Two someones. "Hey! You need to .. hang on, I recognize you two. From the raid on the tanker," She says to Aoko and Android 17. "Any chance you could tell me what you intend to do about this?"

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    An Abyssal is attacking a metal refinery. That's never a good thing.

    Also what the hell is an Abyssal?

    Having been deployed by her stealth ship, Nova makes her way into the foundary under cover of her cloak. No need to draw unwanted attention from evacuation personnel, or reveal her presence to the attackers just yet. Her mission here is information gathering. Of course if she happens to save the local civilian infrastructure in the process, all the better.

    Nova makes the rather arduous climb up the ladder before finally pulling herself up onto the top platform of one of the foundary's chimneys. An excellent spot with which to view the forming battlefield. She reaches to take her rifle from her back, before moving up to the edge of the platform and crouching. Through her visor she zooms in on the approaching Abyssal force. Admittedly some of their features do look familiar.

    Glancing around, Nova spots a few more interested parties, some coming by sea, others already here. Probably here to help defend the refinery. Though for the moment, Nova doesn't make her presence known, intending to just wait to see how the situation progresses.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "No idea!" Aoko tells 17 with a smile, and then with a grin, repeats the fact to Orchid with almost no shame. "No idea!"

    That ice cream is really good, though.

    "I'm thinking wait and see. Miss Demon hasn't opened fire yet. There's hope~"

    And hope is invaluable, she feels.

    "But just so we're clear, I'm not going to protect a private company's stock. Their workers, probably, but this foundry doesn't benefit the locals, it benefits big wigs across the ocean, so I couldn't care less if the Abyssals take their things because they need food."

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    Seventeen laughs at Aoko. "Fair enough, fair enough." He says, before the seriousness sat in. "She did say she was uninterested in the people...but not that she would stop raiding.." Seventeen frowns. When Orchid shows up, Seventeen crossed his arms in a defiant position.

    "Unlike your ally from last week, the people are important. Beyond that, my reasons are my own and I have no interest in answering to you or your corporate masters. If you wana make a deal with it, I will introduce you to the ground..." he leans in, "And your relationship will be intimate."

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     "Does that go the other way?" Orchid asks Aoko. "Will you intervene if someone decides putting locals out of a job is a bad thing? Oh, and may I ask your name? My name is Orchid."
     At 17's fierce statement, Orchid takes a step back. "Dude? Chill. I'm here to get people out of the line of fire. I don't do the fighting. I'm asking to make sure that YOU aren't planning on killing people. It's called taking saving lives seriously. I don't want a fight with you."

Midway has posed:
    A trio of dark shapes coasts over the sea as the situation develops. Round, white, and laden with teeth. Abyssal aircraft. Like before, these appear to have just wandered in from another zone. And, like before, these three scout planes begin circling while keeping their distance.

    Thanks to Orchid's help and the early warning, the foundry's workers have already at least made it to a safer location than 'exactly what is in danger'. This lack of personnel in the facility also makes Nova's infiltration easier than it otherwise would have been, just because there's next to nobody actually present to avoid in the first place.

    Out at sea, the Demon and her entourage are plenty visible. A ghastly white woman in a tattered black uniform, overlaid with protruding metal bits and plates, her arms clad in gauntlets containing her weapons. Long, jointed claws on the left, a pair of three-gun heavy turrets on the right.

    With nothing shooting at her, she has no reason to shoot back, though her weapons are all primed and ready.

    The arrival of the Fifth Fleet pulls her attention, though. That glowing crimson eye swivels across her helmet faceplate, staring down the approaching ships. One of her destroyer escorts makes a noise, and she thrusts her arm out towards the factory. And then she stops.

    The destroyers continue, passing the Demon, who stands defiantly in opposition to the approaching Fifth Fleet's ship forms. Seems she intends to handle the naval fighting herself and buy time for her minions to take what they came for.

    The Demon draws her arms up, flexing her talons. Her right arm's cannons adjust their elevations, briefly spreading out before leveling off.

Shigure has posed:
    Yamashiro gives a soft little grunt from within her shipform as Maaka lands on her aft-deck. "Hello." is all she offers, before starting to turn, bringing her broadside to bear against the Demon, but apart from elevating into position and tracking around to bear, they do not otherwise engage. Yuudachi and Kuma similarly come about, weapons leveling, but not firing just yet.

    It's mostly because Shigure has told them to hold fire until she is either attacked or gives the order.

    Shigure herself shifts from Ocean Fitout to Land Fitout, and skates up to a respectful distance from the Demon. "We finally meet, face to face." she offers, keeping her backpack rig in place, the cannon barrels peeking over her shoulders and pointing skywards. Her blue eyes shift and shimmer lightly, looking up at the scout aircraft before returning to the Demon. "Need repair materials?" she asks, making a gesture at the destroyers. "You should have brought a couple of transports... unless they're still submerged." she adds conversationally. "Could I ask you to call off those destroyers for a few more minutes? The facility isn't fully evacuated yet and I'd rather not have a repeat of the tanker incident."

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    "Uh huh, I'm not enthused by you guys after the last time we crossed paths. Hearing you say that is rich, because of how it went down." Seventeen says, a bit testily. To be fair, the person who caused the loss of life wasn't a Paladin, nor did they help the situation at all. THAT one had to answer for it, but right now he's gota relax. Think with a clear head and not dismiss potential allies because of stubbornness.

    Walking out towards the edge of the sea, Seventeen uses his extrodinary hearing to listen in.

    "Tell your friend," he says towards Orchid, "To ask why she is raiding."

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Dunno! Don't like making promises. We'll see what happens and what I do! But it looks like your friend's trying to talk things out right now, so that's nice," Aoko responds, shoving the rest of her cone into her mouth.

    "Touko Aozaki," she says, with her mouth full. "You make sure everyone knows I support the Abyssals in their every raid!"

    Yes, do please tell everyone that.

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     "You weren't on the ship as torpedoes went into it," Orchid says, evenly and levelly to Android 17. "I'll pass that along. Touko Aozaki? Thank you. Either way, nearly all of the locals have been evacuated. The three of us may be the only ones still at risk."

     Up in the air, some of Orchid's drones are moving towards the Abyssal aircraft. If they can get close enough, they'll try and put small tracking devices on the aircraft, and will certainly try to get closer looks.

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    "I was in the water trying to shoot them down, your point?" he says towards Orchid.

Alexis Maaka (571) has posed:
    Maaka...waits. She looks confused, but goes with it. Hopping off the ship, she follows Shigure and the others, her machine gun in hands but kept in an alert carry for the time being. Shigure can handle the talking, the cyborg thinks. For now.

Midway has posed:
    When Shigure reveals her human form, Raider Demon does not back down. She does, at the very least, not point her weapons at the soft-spoken destroyer girl. She also doesn't seem very conversational, at least until her destroyers are brought up. That red eye swings towards the departing flotilla. That eye swings back towards Shigure, and only then does her posture relax from 'immediate violence' to something less prepared to pounce.

    The lead destroyer dives, then pops up vertically in acknowledgement. The others in the flotilla turn and begin circling, just milling around. Not advancing, but not willing to stop moving either.

    "Face. To Face." the Demon repeats in her roboticized voice, "Transports. Are waiting. But." Her clawed hand raises, talons spread, "Have. No need. For screaming meat. Take it. And go." The hand lowers, "Metal. Will be taken. By force. If needed."

    Her eye swivels towards Maaka and the distant Yamashiro, presenting broadside. After a moment, it's back on Shigure, the Demon's tail shifting in the water behind her.

Shigure has posed:
    "It should only take a few more minutes to clear the foundry... but I have a question." says Shigure, her voice never once raising above the soft, even tone she's always used. She scoots a little bit closer, keeping her hands in view and away from her weapons... just a little closer.

    "Why do you raid? What purpose does it serve?" she asks, a signal fairy on her rigging running light-signals back towards Yamashiro and the others, keeping them informed as she slowly closes on the Demon. It's not aggressive, and it's a gradual thing that she'll stop as soon as Raider shows signs of hostility.

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    From her perch, Nova is able to keep track of the situation fairly easily as it plays out. Her visor shows her a close look at what she assumes in the leader of this raid. Some interesting equipment, if designed to look a little creepy. Though the way the figure is floating suggests similar function to the shipgirls that have moved in to face her, along with others Nova has seen in the past. Nova does recall a mission against a giant moving sea fortress. Ah right, there was the girl inside too. The same force?

    Turning her head to look more locally at the refinery, Nova glances over that group. Her HUD identifies all three, though Nova doesn't recognise two of them. And yet apparently they are allies. Well, help is good.

    Nova's HUD also alerts her to the flying scout drones, but Nova chooses to ignore them for the moment. She returns her focus to the raid's leader, raising her rifle and sighting in on the Abyssal. It seems one of the shipgirls is talking to her, which is fine to Nova, who waits to see how it progresses.

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     Orchid shrugs at 17. "That we both mean it when we say we're here to save lives? And from what I can see, the Raider doesn't seemed bothered by letting them escape. Still, I will say that is a very good question."

Midway has posed:
    "They. Asked that too," Raider Demon states in response to Shigure's question.

    "You know." Those cannons come up, but it's because the girl is gesturing, "To take. What is theirs." She turns, then, and accellerates. But it's more of a pacing motion than an attempt to leave. After a few yards, she turns and proceeds the other way, gesturing as she does so.

    "They take. What they want. Use. What they want. Discard. When no longer. Useful." Turning back to Shigure, the Demon hisses, "Taking. Back. Punishment." The Demon's posture changes, becoming more aggressive, "Others hunt. Stalk. Fight. Kill. It is. War. After all. But Raider. Only raids." And then she relaxes once more.

    "Feels right. This way."

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    "Hm, is that so?" Android Seventeen says, she isn't wrong, but it's not exactly the reason for his being here. It was important to it, however. He listens, waiting for Raider's response. He knows the answer, but sometimes you just need to hear things for yourself.

    He listens again, to what she says, and simply says nothing more, watching how this works out. She's not entirely wrong to feel this way...he did too, in another life. He just doesn't want this to be how it ends for her...because when he needed it, someone reached out to him.

Shigure has posed:
    "What if you got another purpose. Another reason to fight?" Asks Shigure. "I don't mean becoming who you were before. Graf Spee..." she lets the name linger in the air for a moment, watching the pacing and gesturing. "It is war.. yes, but can there not be a truce?"

    Shigure closes a little bit more, well within the blast radius of any shell fired from her support fleet. "You raid, to punish? Punish who? The surface dwellers? Why? Because you were abandoned?" She reaches out a hand, palm open and facing upwards. "There is no Kanmusu who does not know that pain, that hatred... We chose to master it, and not let it consume us like a fire in a powder magazine. You could do the same."

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     "Punishment, huh?" Orchid says, contemplatively. "A better reason than some, and given her lack of interest in killing..." She shrugs. "There's possibility here for reconciliation. Failing that, the talking got everyone else out." Orchid takes a moment, looking around, to make SURE the three of them aren't between the foundry and the sea.

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     Orchid hums to herself. "Hate to do this, but if the Raider comes in, I've got orders to try and keep you two out of the way," she says. "Shigure won't defend the empty facility."

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    "I think I made my stance clear," Seventeen says, calmly.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Honestly I'm just here because I'm bored, and because I want to see how this goes. Miss Demon has all the cards she needs in her hand to turn things around, she just doesn't know how to play them yet. Be a shame to sink her when we could teach her to play instead!" She's not sure that analogy really hit home, but it was the best she could think of on the spot.

    "Ah, punishment, it's something like that. I think it's more like... the only feelings she has right now are confusion, anger and sadness, and putting names and faces on that is easier than trying to work through the pain. But I don't know for sure. These Abyssals seem like really complex beings, you know?"

    Aoko gets up, and almost falls down, balancing awkwardly on the fence with her feet. "Well, not that I, Touko Aozaki, would care about all that. I, Touko Aozaki, only care for things like this!"

    Aoko snaps her fingers, and a volley of bright blue bolts fires towards the side of the foundry. The light bullets are hot enough to melt through the walls.

    "So it's fine by me if you want to pick a fight!"

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     Orchid dives to the side to be further away from Aoko's line of fire. "Have at it, I'm not going to stop you."

Midway has posed:
    "They said. That. Too." Raider Demon remarks. About a new purpose, specifically.

    'Graf Spee'.

    Immediately, Raider Demon lurches forward, leading with her clawed gauntlet. Those talons are used to press the destroyer down against the water-- though the properties of shipgirls and abyssals makes it pretty similar to being pushed down on solid ground, for the moment.

    Leaning over Shigure, Raider Demon wrenches her tail out of the water behind her. Its tip is flanked with two mangled looking torpedo launchers, which swivel on their mounts until they're aimed at the destroyer's face.

    "Do not." The Demon's robotic voice modulation cannot conceal the rage she's experiencing. Even the eye mark on her faceplate is losing cohesion, the outline rippling as she speaks, "Call me. That."

    But does she hate that name, or does mentioning it cause some kind of emotional anguish she doesn't understand? Either one would explain the explosive response and the distinct lack of awareness to her situation. Her eye swivels up towards Maaka, then further to Yamashiro and Kuma, and all their guns already aimed. That eye returns to Shigure's face, gauging the girl's reaction.

    When something explodes near the foundry, though, the flotilla of destroyers cease their lazy circles and begin approaching it again. Perhaps they think someone else is robbing the place and don't want to miss out on the things they came here for.

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    "Well...this is turning into a mess," Seventeen sighs...looking back at Aoko. Then looking back at Orchid who...kinda folds after that. "Well, I didn't expect that."

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     "Far as I'm concerned, I did my job," Orchid says to Android 17. "People were evacuated safely, and I don't want to risk my life for a building. It's the only life I have, after all. Besides," she gestures out to the water. "That's where the interesting stuff is."

Shigure has posed:
    Shigure's eyes widen in shock, the talon grabbing and slamming her down. Her hands come up and grip at the metal pinning her down, and her blue eyes gleam a little in the face of those torpedo launchers. She sets her face in a defiant look, but her eyes hold a deeper seat of compassion as they look back into that glowing eye. "You're confused, scared and angry... I know. Your old name brings up a lot of memories, a confused jumble of images... Right?" she asks. "I understand. I've been in your position before... certain of /a/ purpose, but not of what I should do other than that."

    Shigure is frantically transmitting to the others to not engage, though they are certainly hesitant to open fire with their flagship within range of getting damaged too. "The facility is empty, we do not need to fight over an empty building."

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    Nova focuses through her scope as she watches the conversation play out between the Abyssal leader and Shigure. As the Raider Demon proceeds to grab Shigure and press her down, Nova moves her finger to the trigger...

    Something explodes!

    Nova looks around briefly in confusion, seeing the Abyssal destroyers beginning to move on the refinery. She swears under her breath before moving her sight back to the scope. She finalizes her aim before pulling the trigger.

    Nova's cloak shimmers as her rifle fires, the large 25mm bullet streaking across the considerable distance towards the Abyssal's center mass.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    Aoko was just trying to be funny! And get someone she doesn't like in trouble. Instead, she seems to have agitated the Demon. Well, that's par for the course.

    "Ahaha... well, I don't have any use for what's in that building, so I'm not going to pursue that. You're right! Miss Demon is the VIP here. We should probably go meet her, actually, there's no sense staying this far from the acti--" That sure is a GUNSHOT.

    A really big, hefty gunshot.
    And it didn't come from the Abyssals. Or Shigure!

    "Aww bugger."

Alexis Maaka (571) has posed:
    Maaka jumps to action, leveling the SAW right at Raider Demon's face. "Let her go!" She roars loudly at the Abyssal, "Let her go before I blow whatever passes for brains in your head. RIGHT N-" SHe's cut off by the round skidding right toward Raider Demon, swearing loudly as she levels the machine gun alertly toward where she heard it come from. "Where the hell did that come from?" Maaka calls out.

Midway has posed:
    Keeping Shigure pinned, Raider Demon's shoulders move as if panting, though no sound comes from within her helmet to indicate such. She stares into that surprised, then defiant face. The torpedo launchers are jerked forward, presented as more of a threat, but she does seem to listen to the destroyer's words.

    Because it makes sense.

    "Make. A point." she says at last. Though it's unsure if she's telling Maaka that she 'was making a point' or telling Shigure that she 'made a point' with her words just now.

    As the Raider begins to rise, her tail receding and her claws releasing the Kanmusu destroyer, an oversized gunshot rings out from the refinery...

Shigure has posed:
    Shigure's Radar spikes, and as the talon moves away, she rolls aside, grabbing one of her cannon tonfa from her back and brings it around, using the armoured turret cap to intercept the Canister bolt. It pierces and detonates inside the turret, but the fairy team inside keep the magazine from cooking off, though it causes smoke to filter out of the rangefinder, barrel and the penetration point. "Think it over... we'll be here to make sure the civilians get away when you come back." she says, half-threat half-invitation. "You don't have to be alone in your pain." she winces, her arm going limp, but her posture lifting and taking a strong stance... putting herself in between the Raider and the facility, in case another shot comes out from the sniper. "Fifth Strike. SDF Maaka... Stand down, we're leaving." she says, transmitting to the others, but speaking aloud for the Raider to hear it.

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    The moment Alexis starts pointing a gun, and a shot goes off, as 17's head snaps up....where did that fire from!?

    And then there was Shigure to save the day on this one. Taking a breath, he shakes his head. Well alls well that ends well. Seventeen relaxes...

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    Nova had not expected the one pinned to intentionally get in the way of the shot. She lifts her head from her scope, lowering her rifle as she sees the results, "The hell...?" Nova is confused.

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     "What's the emotional equivalent of the Marshal Plan?" Orchid muses, watching what's going on. Of course, she's got drones all over the place. So she's got a very good idea of where the shot came from. "YO! SNIPER ON THE ROOF!" she shouts. "THE PALADINS ARE WITHDRAWING, SO IF YOU WANT TO PROTECT THE PLACE, YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN!"

Alexis Maaka (571) has posed:
    Maaka grits her teeth as she slings her SAW, clearly unhappy but otherwise forced to go along with this for now. "Fine."

Midway has posed:
    Raider Demon lurches when Shigure lunges, jerking aside. It's the cannon tonfa that takes the hit she hadn't realized was coming, and she recoils with a sweeping motion that carves a circle with one leg. Her cannon-laden right arm is brought up, directed at the facility itself. That much is certain, where the gunshot came from. Her three-barreled guns elevate, and Nova gets a pretty good look at the rifling inside those barrels, through her scope.

    "It will. Be in mind," This is the second person in as many days who seems more interested in employing the Raider Demon than in fighting her. But the lack of damage suits her fine. However, that sniper is not with this shipgirl. A rogue agent. Her rangefinders aren't seeing anyone-- so they must be concealed somehow.

    Well. There's one good way to find a concealed agent.

    "...It is. Not yours." The connection is made between Shigure and the unknown sniper-- that there is no connection. For the first time since the Hikari Defense Alliance began investigating the Raider Demon, her guns open fire in a sharp staccato of reports, slinging heavy artillery shells at the distant foundry.

    Much closer, her attending destroyers take the hint. Cannons are disgorged from their mouths as they surface, hurling fire at the foundry's upper levels as well.

    That squadron of Abyssal scout planes, meanwhile, bank into a flight course that will take them out of the area in short order.

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     As the Raider Squadron starts firing, Orchid books it. "I'd suggest getting away!"

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    That went better then expected, until it very clearly doesn't. Orchid flees. Aoko considers that to be the GOOD DECISION in that particular scenario.

    "Welp, I agree! Women and children first, abandon ship!" It's not a ship but it's thematic, so shut up.

    Aoko hops down from the fence and puts as much distance as she can between herself and the foundry. Luckily for her, the Abyssals are probably pretty accurate and not too liable to bombard the entire area so much as the building they're intending to. Probably. Hopefully.

    On the other hand it's still a naval siege.
    And a lot of artillery.

    A few blue streaks of light might have to make an effort to gun down incoming shells, but Aoko'd rather not make any moves that could be seen as hostile by the Demon.

Android 17 (6730) has posed:
    "Good idea...time to hit the trail." Seventeen says, and starts flying away. Poor Nova, he knew her well...no he didn't.

Shigure has posed:
    Shigure nods to the Raider, leaning over and turning sharply to return to her squadron. She's holding her arm as it continues to trail smoke behind her, the cannon tonfa remaining strapped to her arm. She uses her free arm for a moment to make a gesture. Twirling her finger in the air, then pointing in the direction away from the area. 'Come about, disengage from Area of Operation'. She sidles up to Kuma's port side, grabbing onto a rope ladder that's tossed overboard by a fairy team, and climbing up carefully as the group turns and begins moving off... "The factory can be rebuilt... and maybe, some trust can be formed." she says to herself, looking over the aft railing at the Demon as the view recedes.

Orchid (6384) has posed:
     There will be three of Orchid's drones following the Abyssal scout planes, trackers deployed or not. They want to at least get an idea of where they came from.

Nova Terra (6381) has posed:
    Damnit! Nova had let her confusion distract her. And now the chimney she's perched on is being shelled. Nova stands to move, but then stumbles as one of the shells scores a direct hit on the chimney not far below her. The stone is smashed apart and the tip of the chimney begins to tilt as it loses integrity.

    Nova grabs hold of the railing of the platform she's on, vaulting over the side as she begins to tilt with the tower. Gaining footing on the now angled tower, she begins to run along it as it begins to plummet. She quickly reaches the broken edge and jumps, reaching out to grab hold of the new top of the broken chimney, crashing into the side and then dangling there.

    Nova looks down, watching the chimney top smash into the ground below... "Screw this." If no one else wants to help defend the place, Nova's not going to stick around. She lets go of the edge, sliding down the side of the chimney until she's near the bottom. She then kicks off from it, hiting the ground in a roll.

    Standing once more, Nova turns her head to watch as the Abyssal force begins to raid the refinery. Shaking her head, before sneaking away to get a pickup and get the hell out of here.

Midway has posed:
    The Fifth Fleet departs. Aoko and Seventeen depart. After being shot back at, Nova departs. The Raider Demon and her entourage, satisfied that the going is safe, set into the foundry's storage of processed steel. Out at sea, those same three transports surface. It's the same trio that Aoko had seen during the meeting with Foreigner, now geared up to carry metal spoils rather than captured oil.

    The scout squadron seems to be aware it's being tailed. Heading due east, they ascend and accelerate, eventually disappearing into the cloud cover. The direction they're coming from is at least clear, but who keeps sending these things?

    In the twilight depths, gold points flicker to red. A dim silhouette shifts, lifting a hand to rest thoughtfully against one cheek. A smaller shape, its eyes glowing a bright pink, leans forward from its seat some distance away.

    "Anything cool?"

    "No," the red-eyed figure remarks, "Merely... Disappointing."