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|Shigure|| 3 Days Ago.
Location: Malacca Strait, Open Water.
"They're going inland! We won't be able to follow them through that forest..."
"We need to tell Taskforce Flagship... she's not going to be happy."
"Right. Sword-lead to Spear-lead... we lost them. The Abyssals headed on-shore and moved into a heavily forested area. We cannot persue... orders?"
Shigure's brow knits. "All units, return to base, repeat, RTBASAP. Central, you have groundpounders heading your way. Initiate Aegis Protocol. Secure W.A.R.D.E.N. Assets, protect at all costs, engage Promenance Cascade Protocol if necessary."
An alert klaxon echos across the FoB, Ops Base WI, on the large landmass forming the southern part of the Strait. A small uninhabited area north of Sagoe, and east of Banda Aceh. It sits in a cleared section of forest.
Fleet Girls rush about, launching with rigging then wheeling about to bring guns to bare on the mainland, as makeshift fortifications are still being reinforced, cannon emplacements fitted onto hastily constructed mountings to be used against incoming land threats.
<Base Command to all personnel. Code Red. Repeat, Code Red. Incoming radar contacts approaching at high speed. Confirming 6 contacts in tight formation, and one contact separated from the main group. All available crew to the gunports. All non-essential personnel, all wounded personnel and all medical staff report to the emergency bunker immediately.> the loudspeaker system squawks, an Operations Liason barking orders as a Comm-Tech repeats the broadcast.
An explosion rocks the base, followed by the reports of several of the defensive turrets returning fire, setting part of the forest ablaze with the explosions. "Gunport 12, we've got visual on the ene--"
"Gunport 11, 12 just took a direct hit, it's burning!"
Shigure stands atop the Launch Dock, wearing her rigging. Hairflaps crackle with energy as her radar pulses. "Who is that other contact...?" she wonders, as the base prepares for the battle that's just beginning. "Flagship Shigure to all available units. Engage and destroy the Abyssals. This is /our/ base. Let's show them how we deal with unwelcome guests."
|X||A streak of blue light dashes down from the sky, forming into a vaguely humanoid shape just before impacting the surface of the platform. The blue energy coalesces further, fully forming X as he gives his arms and legs a testing flex before he began moving. "They're already almost here ... !"
His hand collapsed, being sucked inside his armored forearm as it transitioned into his trusty X-Buster. "I'm on my way to Gunport 11!"
Engaging his dash jets, X takes off, intent on confirming the enemy's prescence before opening fire. It wasn't too difficult to find where he needed to go, given the burning flame shooting across the local fauna. " . . . !"
A high pitched whine begins to ring as X charges his buster.
"The Hikari fleet's forward base has issued an alert. You are requested to divert flight paths and assist in the defense."
"Mm. Understood. New course set."
"That unit's not armed, though. You'll have to disembark and fight on foot. We'll remote it in a holding pattern for pickup."
"And if it's not too much trouble, since you're in one of those tropical places, could you bring me an undocumented flower?"
"You're the best!"
An unusual aircraft dives in from the inland region, from high altitude. Parts of its underside fuselage unfold, depositing a humanoid figure as it pulls out of the dive and ascends, rolling as it goes. The figure, a white-haired woman in black, throws her arms and legs out spread-eagle as she descends, only rolling herself into an upright position within the last thirty meters or so. Like a spear from the heavens, Striker Six impacts the concrete-reinforced breakwater protecting the harbor.
Rising from the impact point, surrounded by the dust thrown up by cracked stonework, the FANTOM android tips her head towards the drone that floats down beside her, "POD, tactical scan."
While her POD extends its antenna, the woman kicks off into a high speed run, trailing golden sparks from the appearance of the paired swords floating just behind her shoulders.
|Reina Kinney||Neo-Osprey has been actively taking part in training exercises when necessary. When it's not being active, it's being well maintained and kept in pristine shape in the event that the need for naval combat arises. It can happen anywhere at any time. The crew onboard is always ready as well, thanks to the onboard facilities for sleeping and resting for those who are off-duty. And then there's the fact that it's commanded by Reina Kinney, a tough woman with a no-nonsense attitude about things. Because when things get out of hand, they need to be ready to move at a moment's notice.
In the present moment, the Neo-Osprey is currently docked but ready to deploy at a moment's notice. The active crew is sitting in their respective spots, keeping an eye on things as necessary. Reina herself is in the base taking care of a few 'administrative' things regarding her craft, when the klaxons go off, bringing her to immediate attention. As soon as she hears the code red part of the broadcast, she looks to the person who was handling her documents. "I'll have to handle this later. Sorry, but you know how things are."
With that, the red-headed woman dashes out of the base onboard the Neo-Osprey. She quickly enters the bridge and holds up her hand as if to say, "Forget the formalities," Before rushing to her command chair and activating the intercom. "Attention all crew, we are at code red. All active crewmembers report to your stations and await further instructions. If you are not currently active, then stand by and be ready for further instructions."
With that, she looks to her weapons officer and says, "How are the weapons systems?"
"Ready to deploy at your command, ma'am," The weapons officer replies.
"Ready when you are, ma'am."With that, Reina gives a nod then looks ahead via the viewscreen with her eyes narrowing a little. "This is what we train for and why we're always ready to move at a moment's notice." She cracks her knuckles. "Let's show them why you don't mess with us!"
|Kotone Yamakawa||Well she'd been working with the Fleet a good deal these days, more so any other group within the Paladins. Kotone if anyone was paying attention had been turning inward to her world more and more. She looks to X as he arrives. Seeing there's someone here she can cover her? She'll dash off heading for what looks like a spaceship. Kotone's spaceship had been docked here as well but it's not a combat craft at all, but what Kotone can do is hit up its armoury.
She will return shortly later down the ramp now clad in power armour with an extra set of arms and it's a towering one at over three meters in height. IT's also carrying some sort of heavy railgun or autocannon from the looks of it.
"Yamawa here I'm ready to go."
|Shigure|| As responders arrive, the local defense force moves up to the perimeter. The crew from the destroyed gun turret manage to get clear before the internal ammo store catches. The four men get thrown a good thirty feet by the concussion wave, but are thankfully still alive, for now.
As X, S6 and Kotone move up to the front, they'll see the outlines of a Ri-class Heavy Cruiser, being followed by the more animalistic silhouettes of a pair of I-class, and a trio of Ro-class, making good speed on their stubby little legs. The Ri-class holds one arm out stretched, the horror-maw gauntlet unhinging to disgorge a ... a missile! The jabbering rocket lances out and aims for one of the internal buildings! <CIWS, Take out that missile!> commands the loudspeaker, causing the tearing-of-paper sound of multiple gattling guns to track the missile, shredding it.
This, however lets the I-Class lob shells and disable some of the AA towers now they have a location. <Shit... they're targetting our Anit-missile defenses!>
Shigure hops off the launch hangar, and starts running to catch up with the others.
|S6|| Mid-sprint, S6 changes her orientation, slamming one heel into the ground and bracing with the other in order to brake herself. The POD's findings fill the HUD hidden behind her eye-obscuring visor, eyes darting across contacts before shunting the information to one side of her display. First a missile, and then artillery shells. She tracks these projectiles, though the VRCS only manages to lock on one of the shells.
S6 reaches out, closing her hand; in response, a golden ring of runes wraps around one of those explosive shells. Its partners sail on, while the ensnared munition loses its momentum.
When a twist of her wrist, S6 swivels the artillery shell about, and then hurls it back from whence it came.
And hot on its heels is the android herself, the smaller of her paired swords flipping from its resting position and right into her waiting hand.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa is making ready to deal with the incoming Abyssal which are moving to attack. Kotone doesn't have much that would be a very good shot for taking out the missiles. What she can do however is level the massive canon. What she can do however is us start moving for the Abyssal who are firing the missiles the Ri-Class would find Kotone soon is attempting to lock on to her. Once Kotone thinks she has a lock she'll open fire with her high calibre auto canon her Armed suit has hoping even if she can't hit her? She can force them to stop firing on the base. Either having to focus on her or on evading the attack..
<<S6? X? Reina? Do any of you have something that can fill in for AA defence?>>
|X||X's expression tightens -- those Heavy Cruisers with their humanoid appearances, it really did bear an uncanny and uncomfortable resemblance to Reploids. Some things, he supposed, were commonalities between similar kinds of 'worlds'.
As had become his practice for many years, now, X silenced the dull ache of guilt in his chest as he unleashes his fully charged Buster shot at one of them, having maintained his position to charge up the attack while S6 and Kotone handled the initial response to the battlalion of Abyssals.
The blue shell of energy that leaves his buster shines bright, barreling dead ahead in an attempt to smash into the Elite Ri-class' center of mass and break their formation.
"I might be able to use my Variable Weapon System to gain an anti-air attack, I think." X replies.
|Reina Kinney||As the enemies become visible, the Neo-Osprey is moving out at the command of Reina. She sits in her command chair with a scowl on her face, indicating that she is not happy about these foes attempting to cause trouble. "Be ready to attack on my command!" She barks with a hint of impatience in her voice.
"Understood, ma'am!" The weapons officer replies.
With the cruisers approaching fast, Reina is already starting to feel her adrenaline pumping. "Be ready for evasive maneuvers!" She yells without waiting for a response. "They're getting closer, be ready to attack!"
Then she gets a message from Kotone and she can only sigh with frustration. She's about to respond gruffly when she remembers that they're both in the same faction, and she takes a moment to compose herself before responding.
<<I'll do what I can, but I've got other targets to focus on as well.>>
With that, Reina turns to the weapons officer. "Fire off some AA rounds to protect our base," She calls out. "But then be ready to switch targets.
With a response of confirmation, a blast of anti-aircraft fire shoots from the Neo-Osprey.
|Shigure|| S6 saves one of the Air Defense towers, the shell being lobbed back at it's source. The shell sails in, and slams into the hard plate gauntlet of the Ri-class, burning red eyes glaring with unbridled fury at the FANTOM android.
Kotone's autocannon shatters tree trunks as the Abyssals continue to manouvre, some lucky shells striking the destroyers, but only causing minimal damage. The strikes do earn the Cyborg a few shjots of 5-inch cannon fire in return, the barrel extending out of the destroyer's mouths and them taking an awkward looking side-waddle as they strafe and fire.
X's attack lashes out, the Charged Buster baring down on the Ri-class. Just before impact, one of the Ro-class leaps in front of the shot, taking it for its Flagship. The Buster shot half evaporates the destroyer, but gets stopped from hitting its intended target.
The Neo Osprey, meanwhile, preemptively fires AA munitions, which intercepts a second missile the Ri-class launches as the smoke clears from its escort being shot.
Radar picks up the other contact getting closer, and those that look, would see a woman, who looks like someone took a Ta-class, and perform a half-and-half fusion with a regular woman. She's wearing broken-looking kanmusu rigging, and a white hood that seems to be matched into the tattered miko-style outfit she's wearing. One eye is a glowing, baleful golden void, the other an angry looking steel blue, her gaze locked not upon the base or defenderes, but on the Ri-class.
|S6|| S6's role has been changed to backline support. As a Striker, focusing on melee combat, that's not exactly ideal. However, she recognizes that the nature of her VRCS and its defensive applications are more useful right now. But that doesn't mean she can't contribute. The followup dash from her earlier projectile redirection is cancelled out and she swaps the smaller sword for the larger, flipping the enormous curved blade forward into her waiting hands.
No incoming projectiles are tracked; the missile being dealt with by the Neo-Osprey's flak bubble and the enemy's escorts tied up in defensive maneuvers. This gives S6 a chance to pitch in on the offense even from back here.
Hauling the enormous sword upright, she pours power into the blade, exposing a series of golden runes embedded in the metal. These turn from gold to blue, right when she sweeps it forward into a low, horizontal slash.
The accumulated power sheds off the edge, forming an arc-shaped slash wave skimming across the forest floor at knee-height. Due to the length of the sword, the arc is some five meters across, following the entire reach of the weapon from one side to the other.
Naturally she issues a warning to her reploid comrade, considering he's in the line of fire.
|Reina Kinney||"Change focus to the naval targets!" Reina yells at her crew.
"Aye aye, ma'am!"
Checking the viewscreen, Reina points at the targets onscreen. "We've got targets up ahead! Let's take them out!" The woman's adrenaline is still flowing through her like a waterfall, while her eyes remain narrowed. "There!" She yells as she points at one of the Ro-Class destroyers. "Target them!"
"Targeting now!" After a moment, the weapons officer says, "Target confirmed!"
Slamming her left hand on the arm of her command chair, Reina calls out, "Fire cannons!"
"Firing cannons!" And with a loud kaboom, a blast of cannonfire heads towards the Ro-Class destroyers, hoping to take at least one down.
|X||Weighing his options, X is glad to know that the anti-air defenses won't be falling primarily on himself. His Variable Weapon System was useful, but picky, he could only use it to gain attacks based on the capabilities of his enemies -- all of whom had powerful bombardment attacks, by his estimation.
One of the more beastial Abyssals leap outwards and protect its humanoid counterpart, getting blasted apart for its trouble; X's eyes widened in shock.
"It protected her! Why -- "
W A R N I N G
There was no time to follow that train of thought. A far more powerful one had appeared.
Grateful for the warning, X follows S6's advice and pushes himself into a high jump that hangs briefly in the air before he propels himself further with thrust from the subtle ports built into the back of his legs, allowing him to avoid being de-limbed from friendly fire.
And with his newfound vantage, X releases a flurry of dull yellow energy bullets from his buster, peppering the beastly I-Class' that remained with suppressive fire on his way back down to the ground. "That new one looks dangerous .. do we have any info on it?!"
Hunter Command, being in relatively unknown territory, was hard at work in collecting data on what was happening, but that unfortunately didn't provide him with much tactical feedback in the present.
|Kotone Yamakawa||The battle is fully underway, X has an idea to deal with it but then S6 is already on it. That leaves Kotone able ot keep focusing on the fight at hand and she'll keep trying to gun down the enemy units. Well between her and X? They still got an enemy destroyer off the field that's one less foe to worry about. Kotone stalks onward after the Ei-Class even as round impact into her armour it takes a good deal of the shots here and there but there is damage being done.
She will break into a run trying to close the distance to the RI-Class as she fires more shots still not intending it let upon them. Then another Abyssal shows up and she wonders who this one was? She's already lost at least one ship spirit she knows to become some kind of Princess did she miss someone else falling?
|Shigure|| <Confirming sighting of new contact... She's well withing bombardment range. All units, do not engage unless fired upon.> comes the base commander's order. The turret gunners seem twitchy, but they've got more pressing concerns right now.
Striker Unit 6's blade attack cuts a swath of trees down, and bisects one of the Ro-class, the wreckage emitting a smokey black substance before it detonates in a gulf of flame. The Ri-class, and remaining destroyers manage to leap over the slash wave, the I-class returning fire at S6 with a barrage of 5-inch shells.
The Neo Osprey fires on the remaining Ro-class, and manages to score a direct hit, punching a hole clean through the animalistic destroyer. It detonates a moment later, showering debris across the area.
X's response to Flagship Protection almost sees him hit by friendly fire, but thankfully he's more on the ball than that. Leaping into the air, he can fire down on the weaker topside of the Abyssals, his buster shots punching through the I-class's upper carapace and scoring a hit on something explosive. The destroyer bulges as something detonates within, and pops like a black slimey balloon.
Kotone moves in closer to engage the Ri-class, but is intercepted by the remaining I-class, it's maw opened wide, as it leaps and pounces onto the ARMED suit, latching on with its massive, horrific maw.
The new Abyssal bellows a challenge, and kicks off in a sprint. She seems to blur momentarily, before slamming a fist into the Ri-class' face, sending the Cruiser sprawling. The two tentacles snarl and gnash their teeth, the two normal turret arms angling down at the Ri-class. "WHERE IS SHE!? SPEAK OR I'LL RIP THE INFORMATION FROM YOUR CORPSE!"
|S6|| Immediately after throwing out her slash wave, S6 releases the grip of her greatsword. It flips back and up, slotting into position behind her shoulders. Incoming artillery finds itself wrapped in golden runic rings, though only a handful of them are fully captured. Munitions explode around the FANTOM android, her hands held outstretched. When the smoke is blown away by the seaside breeze, her uniform is torn, its edges ragged. Parts of her visible skin are missing, showing the complex mechanism underneath.
But with the new battleship's sudden proximity with the enemy formation, and the order to not fire on her-- and her clear aggression on the enemy as well-- S6 simply casts the captured shells aside, discarding them into the distant ocean using the VRCS as a slingshot.
As S6 approaches the altercation with slow, measured steps, both swords flip out and forward, floating to either side of her yet not interacting with her hands at all.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa has no idea about the new abyssal but does seem to intend to leave her be unless she proves to be hostile. She also has a face full of abyssal as the things jaws lockdown on eh faceplate it's not instantly wrecked but it is starting to cave from the superhuman force. This leaves Kotone trying to grab it with three of her arms. She's hell pend to get the thing off if she can pull it free she will throw it and then try to shoot it with her autocannon.
<Anyone know who our new arrival is?>
|X||Successfully taking a portion of the enemy force out, X lands with a hard thud back onto the platform, his knees bending to absorb the shock. Despite his grievances with her unhinged attitude, X trusted the judgement of those in charge of the operation and instead opted to back S6 up, in case the other android wound up aggrivating the unknown into a frenzy.
"You're looking for someone? So long as you're not here to attack us, we'll stay out of your way."
|Reina Kinney||"Cease fire!" Reina yells before ordering the Neo-Osprey to turn in the direction of the new arrival. "Hold fire until I say otherwise!"
Reina gazes at the mysterious newcomer, her scowl replaced with one eyebrow raised slightly higher than the other. "I wonder who's decided to show up now? Are they friend or foe?"
|Shigure|| The Ri-class gets clocked, falls clean on her back, looking up at the Battleship with... is that /fear/?
In a halting voice, the cruiser says. "... who... want...?" clearly only just gaining some more cognitive functions than simple animalistic rage.
Shigure steps forward as the Battleship grimaces, stooping and hoisting the cruiser up by her neck. "Davao. Where is she?"
Shigure says. "Second of the Kongou-class Fast Battleships, Hiei. She was lost in a pitched battle several years ago, the Ninth Assault Fleet was wiped out completely, save for a single Recon plane launched from Hiei herself... we lost Hiei, Teruzuki, Hamakaze, Kinugasa, Jintsuu and Naka in that battle." the destroyer says.
The Ri-class grunts, squirming weakly. "... Rangsang..." is the only word the Ri-class manages, before something audibly cracks, and the Abyssal goes limp, the life draining out of her eyes, and the red flames guttering and going out.
"Worthless..." 'Hiei' says, tossing the broken corpse aside and turning to leave. "Don't get in my way... if you do, I can't promise you'll survive."
|X||X's face contorts into a grimace as he soaks up the information. The newly identified 'Hiei' retained something resembling her past self, but while he didn't know her before now, there was certainly something off about her that wasn't just emotional damage.
Maybe it was the way she murdered her own 'ally' that unsettled him so. "Rangsang, huh ... is that a place?"
X shakes his head, "Whatever you're planning, would you stand down? I'd prefer we not come to blows. You don't seem entirely gone, so there's still a chance that you might be able to recover from .. this."
Her mindset would only continue deteriorating from here. If they let her go, the next time they crossed paths, the chances of it turning into a deathmatch grew. X, more than anything else, hoped to avoid that when he could.
|S6|| Proper Nouns that sound important are quickly catalogued and tucked away. S6's POD records the interaction on video as well, her approach only stopping when the cruiser is thrown aside. Though her eyes are hidden, it's clear she's looking at the downed woman, a gaze that lingers for several moments.
"POD, cross-reference local geography. Locate 'Rangsang'. Identify coordinates of all known military and paramilitary operations."
- SEARCH IN PROGRESS -
At last, her gaze turns to the hybrid battleship.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa is able to dispatch the destroyer that's on her and when that is done it looks like the rest of the Abyssal forces are dead save for the one that attacked the other. She'll take a moment to look at them she doesn't move to raise her weapon and she'll speak.
"So what are you looking for then?
|Shigure|| Hiei stops as X speaks to her. She looks over her shoulder, the blue eye locking onto the Android. "Gone? Boy, I'm just coming back... I must find Davao... my little sister... she's lost in shadow and needs a light to bring her home." The gruff aggression has already melted away, and there's genuine heartache in the woman's voice... "Little Teruzuki's alone in the dark."
Shigure speaks up again. "Rangsang is the name of one of the islands in the southern part of the strait. Deep behind Abyssal lines... it's suspected that it is either a forward outpost, or their main base. Either way it is codenamed 'Shadow Pier' as it is shrouded in deep shadowy darkness regardless of the time of day." Indeed, even from here, in full sunlight, there's a looming shadow on the southern horizon... like a giant pall laid across the sea.
|X||X's brow furrows, " 'Just coming back' .. ?"
New, and useful information is brought to their attention, though. Rangsang .. or, the Shadow Pier, as it were. "Alia, did you get that?"
X's forefinger was placed up against one of the red units over his ears, as his operator spoke back to him, "We did. We're still compiling the local geography ... we can't perform an accurate teleportation there right now. Sorry, X."
"It's alright, that's what I thought. When we do head over there, I guess it'll have to be the old fashioned way." he said. Signas interjects a moment later, "If it really is their headquarters in this area, it'll undoubtably be suicide to attack it head on. Moreover, since this isn't our world, we'll follow the lead of the local government, for now."
"Roger that." X says before taking his hand away from his communicator to give Hiei a hard look. "If the person you're trying to save is being held there, then .."
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa would dock her weapon at this point ther eis no reason ot keep fighting. As the remaining Abyssal brings up her sisters.
"So they are worse off than you? IS there something we can do to help you find them?" She knows some times Abyssals can be talked down or even restored to who they were before. So she's not going to be hostile about it. "Do we have a way to contact you in the event we find her before you do?"
|S6|| - LOCATION CONFIRMED -
- DATA UPLOAD IN PROGRESS -
The POD's information matches up with what Shigure describes, with a world map overlaying current 'safe shipping' both highlighting the island's location as well as its danger to local ocean travel. The highest risk is, naturally, located around the highlighted island of Rangsang. S6 nods once, tucking the data into a corner of her HUD.
"Received," is all the android says in response to her support drone. Her gaze lifts to Hiei once more, puzzling over the warship's words. After a moment, she nods once. Despite everything suggesting this is an enemy, or some sort of corrupted unit in a fashion distressingly similar to the creatures she herself contends with, the FANTOM android's words are clear.
"I will help you."
|Shigure||'Hiei' turns more fully, scanning across those before her with those mismatched eyes. "You'd help an Abyssal... well, of course you would, I came to ask for help when she went missing and they were willing to hear my out." the Battleship whacks one of her gun-tentacles as it snarls, having just 'spotted' the others since it can't squirm around as the main support beam is re-establishing itself. "If you'll have me... I would be willing to assist you in an assault on Shadow Pier."|
|X||X would be lying if he said he weren't apprehensive about working with what was, for all intents and purposes, a maverick. Despite that and how harped her perspective seemed, there was still someone shining out from under it all. X, despite his age, could never outgrow his own heart. Not completely.
His X-Buster disengages, his hand sliding out of the barrel and taking its proper place as he extends it, holding his palm out for a handshake. "In that case, let's all try our best."
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa has he weapons off line at this point. "I have no objection to your help with this. It would give us all better odds of pulling this off." She looks over to S6 and X. "It seems you don't have issues either. I think it just falls to the Fleet now, doesn't it?"|
|S6||S6 nods once, more it seems in response to some internal dialogue than in response to the hybridized battleship or the comrades around her. When she responds, the surprise is quickly shifted out of her voice, "If it is an enemy fortification, an attack must be carefully planned. I will pass all data to my Inspector, I17. From there, perhaps a plan of attack can be devised."|
|Shigure|| "If you wish to return to the Fleet, even temporarily, I see no reason to deny you." Comments Shigure.
Hiei looks down at the extended hand from X, then bows instead. "Then, I am in your care." A little bit of the white 'skin' seems to crack and flake away, falling to the ground like a glittering powder.
Shigure touches her ear, as if listening to an old headset radio. <Central, this is expedition Flagship. Stand down and resume normal operations. Cancel Aegis Protocol, cancel Prominance Cascade Protocol. Good work, everyone.>