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|Hibiki Tachibana|| Japan, 2044. The sun has set, with the first stars and a full moon peeking out.
Alongside a request to keep their arrival quiet, the coordinates given out point to a part of town close to the coast. At the top of a flat hill overlooking the river below, a sprawling complex made of multiple buildings rests - more windows than walls, sweeping and gently curved architecture with several of the structures interconnected by skybridges or greenery-covered rooftop arches.
It doesn't particularly give off the impression of a military facility. Especially not with the quaint front courtyard. Or the running track off on the side field. Or the fact the sign on the way in very clearly said Lydian Private Music Academy.
Outside the more traditional looking central building, the only two individuals that seem to be around are waiting. One is a young man in an immaculate suit you would expect from a government agent, with short brown hair and an overall plain appearance that lends to easily blending into the background. A bit unnaturally so.
The other is a blue-haired girl only slightly shorter, in a black-and-gray uniform that likely belongs to the school. Those present around the end of the last battle will recognize her as Tsubasa Kazanari, the other Symphogear user besides Hibiki. The former of the two is who greets everyone incoming first.
"You have our apologies for the...somewhat unconventional meeting. That'll have to be explained, won't it?" He's professionally polite, with a genuine smile as he pockets a pad he had been referencing. "Shinji Ogawa. We'll be escorting you the rest of the way. Please, come with us." He pushes open the front doors and gestures through them, preparing to take point.
The halls visible inside are dimly lit, and the immediate impression is that there's not actually anybody inside. "Normally, this is where we'd ask you to sign an NDA ahead of time...but I'm afraid we don't have one written up to multiversal standards just yet," Ogawa mentions with a chuckle, in the air of a good-natured joke, which Tsubasa follows up on.
"Though even beyond the help we recieved before...Tachibana has already personally vouched for each and every one of you, so I doubt that would be necessary in the first place. She and the others will be waiting for us ahead. We can talk as we go."
|Ioanna Langstrom|| There's a certain irony to the whole affair.
A few nights ago, Ioanna Langstrom had told Persephone Kore that that her childhood self would be disappointed that she wasn't a magical girl. She had said that, as a little kid, she'd watched those shows and dreamed about waving a wand and saving the world from evil. As she'd grown up, she'd never *really* forgotten those dreams - but now she'd accepted that she wasn't going to get a wand any time soon, and that she wasn't the type to make those Love-And-Heart-And-Peace-And-Friendship speeches anyhow.
So when she emerges from the Warp Gate to find the Alter Gear already in the form of...let's generously call it a magical girl outfit...she's more than a little put off.
A blonde woman with an eyepatch and very generous curves does not belong in this kind of outfit. She doesn't belong in something that's just about half leotard, half armor, with a somewhat uncomfortable amount of skin showing. It's a testament to her professionalism that her face doesn't break her stoic look as she walks into the schoolyard with the top of her breasts bare and the rest in what could perhaps distantly be called armor if one was completely blind. A blue...skirt?...of some sort?...hangs somehow around, but not at, her waist. Tucked under her arm is a long staff. On her shoulder is a mechanical animal of some indistinguishable type.
Well, the Alter Gear is meant to adopt a design that fits the world's standard Elite threat combat gear.
So it's adopted a Symphogear outfit.
Still, with a straight face and a practiced military stride well-at-odds with the Magical Girl (Woman?) outfit, she walks calmly through the schoolyard. She stops near Ogawa and nods. ^
"Second Lieutenant Ioanna Langstrom," she says, her voice as curt and professional as can be, holding out a gauntleted hand to both Ogawa and Tsubasa.
|Cantio||"Lydian Private... Music Academy?" Cantio mouths quietly as she reads the sign in the front of the 'school', letting out an intrigued noise while she adjusts the backpack slung over her shoulder. She's wearing her usual white and purple one-piece dress with the high stockings, and chunky boots. "How comforting... It's not unconventional at all, don't worry." She laughs briefly before returning Shinji's greeting with a quick bow to him and Tsubasa in return. "Cantio. Thank you for inviting us."
It doesn't take long for her to bring out a tablet to start taking notes and asking questions once the go ahead to talk is given. "She'll be here, too? That's great! I was wondering, actually... How expensive is it to produce gear like hers, Miss Tsubasa's, and..." She pauses to stare at Ioanna's outfit, shrinking back a bit for no explained reason. "... O-or anyone else for security use? Or even civ... No, just security use."
She scolds her self for jumping ahead. "I remember last time that the.. Um. The military's weapons weren't having much effect, so I imagine there's something in development to take care of that...?"
|Muramasa||So this is it, huh. It's a front for Master's organization - hiding itself as a private institute for gifted musicians.
Muramasa, dressed in a silky, koi-print button up and black dress pants with shiny and slim boots, adjusts his white jacket. The lining was lined with a colorful flower print.
This was his first time meeting Tsubasa face to face, but he could suss out her identity right away, for the same reason he'd felt drawn to her enough before to bug Hibiki about it; her Symphogear was something he especially resonated with. Purportedly, it was some kind of sword, so he supposed that made sense. He offers a kindly grin and a wave, cheerfully winking in his greeting.
Of course, he wouldn't really have the opportunity to introduce himself or speak in depth about anything with anyone standing outside with the rest of the Elites, so it was only natural they'd begin following the secret agent further inside the complex.
"Well, you can probably rest assured that most of us understand the importance of keeping up appearances." he says, simply, playing along with the joking tone that Shinji had adopted.
Master's waiting up ahead, then. I guess this is why she insisted she go first and that I come with the rest of the Elites later, so that she could vouch for all of us in one sitting and make things easier on herself.
"As for me -- for now, to keep it simple, you can call me Muramasa, or Saber. I'm not picky."
Turning to Cantio, he answers, "Even besides whatever expenses go into production, the 'core' of a Symphogear unit is something rather unique and in very limited quantity. Though, I guess that would be telling in this instance, so maybe I should keep my mouth shut? I'm not even sure Master understands quite what it is she and Tsubasa over there are carting around."
|Staren|| Quiet arrival? Okay, Staren can do that. She comes through the gate in regular clothes -- no labcoat or scarf, and a hat covering her ears. The tail's not hidden, but... she could just be a quirky furry, right? It's 2044, they probably have pretty good props! She walks into an alley, a cat walks out and walks to another alley that doesn't have a lot of windows, and, clad in a long black coat, Staren flies up from between the two buildings on her broom, wearing a long dark coat. Hopefully blending well enough into the night sky to not be seen as she makes her way to the rendezvous.
After landing, she puts away the broom and coat away in her bag (it's clearly bigger on the inside...) and pulls out and puts on her labcoat. It looks sciencey, dammit! And she doesn't have a better outfit yet.
Although, when she sees Ioanna and Cantio, she stops briefly and looks down at her outfit, then back at them. "Did I miss a memo...?"
Still, she nods in greeting to Hibiki, and extends a hand towards Tsubasa and Ogari to shake in turn. "Nice to meet you. Staren Wiremu, Partner in the Concord."
She shrugs at the mention of the missing NDA, unsure what to say about it.
|I4||I4 is here with the Paladin's group. To those who never met him, he's a small-looking young man with white hair, a black military outfit, and a blindfold over his eyes. Or, rather, what looks like a blindfold. Near him is a tiny box with arms that floats near him, and occasionally beeps or speaks with a robotic voice with obvious advice and situation awareness.
I4 waves to the two that greet them, keeping it professional. He listens to the explanation before chipping in, "And hard to enforce," he points out, "Multiversal laws tend to be only enforceable in alliances that agree to do so."
"Yeah...a music military academy is pretty strange! Does this have to do with the enemies you face here? Or is it how the magic in the suits work?" He asks, he's extremely curious, and he hasn't decided to just scan everything yet.
"Though it does also beg the question about the men used to hold the line where they were. They were, unfortunately, unable to keep up with the situation. I don't even know if they would have been effective as slowing down the monsters!"
"Oh, well...nice of her to do that..." I4 says in consideration of Hibiki's vouching, given they are from different organizations that butt heads with the force of falling space stations. I4 does also look at Ioanna's outfit, noting that it's...similar? "Did...you become a magical girl?"
|Ioanna Langstrom||"That's classified," Ioanna says stiffly to both Staren and I4.|
|I4||"Did you make a deal with a small fluffy animal with small red beady eyes? There is something in the handbook against doing that."|
|Ioanna Langstrom||Ioanna points wordlessly at the mechanical animal perched on her shoulder, which leans around her to look at I4. It does not appear to have beady eyes. It appears to just be some kind of robot bird or something.|
|I4||"Oh," I4 says, trying to figure out until he gets it. "Oh!"|
|Chase|| Chase does not dress to impress for Hibiki's sake. A purple jacket covered in metal studs and chains, an equally purple snood scarf, vivid blue denim pants, and extremely practical black combat boots is what he arrives in. So, essentially, how he always dresses. If anyone expected anything different, they're definitely a fool.
The Grim Reaper stares uncomfortably at Shinji as he introduces himself, not once blinking as he maintains eye contact the entire time. Only once does the man finish talking, does he blink and let out a grunt of affirmation, obediently following along with the rest of the group.
"What are the Noise?" Shinji offers to talk along the way to their destination, and Chase decides to finally speak up. He never did get a satisfying answer from last time, just a lot of postulating and babbling on the radio. Perhaps here, he can possibly get something more definitive.
|Candy|| Candy can keep quiet. The issue is that he's also going to be checking the place out--and calling in a few favors with local Watch sympathizers to see what the local impression of the 'Private Music Academy' and, as a whole, the military forces that assisted him in his last outing.
It always pays to do your research.
By the time he's met back up with Tsubasa and gotten in contact with Ogawa, Candy aims to have a clear picture of the effectiveness and public opinion of the defense forces here. The uniforms. Even the Symphogear users--just because Hibiki seems cool doesn't mean there can't be stinkers, right? Especially in the rank and file.
In other words, he's late, because he can't trust that any of this is above board.
He's dressed normally. Humble clothes like a farmer might wear, made for comfort and ease of use, in the style of the early twentieth century. Suspenders, a button up shirt unbuttoned a little too far to be a mistake, and slacks that hug his figure snugly enough that the suspenders probably aren't necessary.
"The fuck is an NDA, ah? Nevermind--don't tell me," he says, brushing a lock of dark hair from his face. "I'm sure it would just make my head heart, with all the bullshit." He smiles at familiar faces--Hibiki, Muramasa, I4, Cantio, Chase--not Ioanna (not once 'Lieutenant' is uttered, though he's not openly hostile despite his unimpressed expression)--but Staren is just a familiar /voice/. That means...
"EY! Staren! It's candy!" He's not tall by any stretch--but Candy's presence when he meets someone in person at last is nothing is not magnanimous. "Put 'er there." He extends a hand. "IF there was a memo, I missed it too, ah? Hah."
|Hibiki Tachibana|| Ioanna gets a simple and clean nod back from Ogawa. There's not a single break in his smile as he shakes her hand, though Tsubasa is looking like she's actually working to stop herself from asking some very obvious questions and only succeeding off of sheer mental fortitude. Compared to that, Staren and the others are much, much easier to exchange pleasantries with.
"Lord Muramasa has the right of it," Ogawa replies back to Cantio, looking rather amused at her note-taking. "To keep it short for the moment, creating a Symphogear is something only possible because we have the full backing of the government. And more than price...well, there are only a handful of individuals who can actually use them. Finding those individuals is part of why this academy exists," he adds on towards towards I4, now with a frown.
"...Unfortunately, for all our current research, they're one of the only things we know of that have any real effect. The JSDF were a last resort in that case," he nods towards the white-haired boy. "Any other time, they and our First Division are only meant to evacuate civilians and manage damage until we get there. It's been a long time since an attack ever had to come to...that."
Candy's cursory research on that front has similar turnups - the Academy is truly an academy, not only a front. Actually, an /extremely/ good and affordable one. It's the organization below the decks that's certainly secret: neither of the Symphogear users are known to the populace, nor anyone else in their division. The 'public face' of the Special Disaster Response Team are those who make sure nobody is around for attacks, and they're considered as good as their job as anyone running damage control on perceptibly unstoppable disasters can be.
Speaking of Muramasa, Tsubasa is giving him a curious side-eye as they walk, with a vague sense of her also being drawn to him in some fashion. Hibiki hasn't mentioned anything to him about his request just yet - so it's impossible to tell if it's something involving that or something else. There's a question on her tongue she's not asking.
But soon enough, the procession is being led to a corner of the building where an elevator sits, despite the building only being maybe three stories tall. A keycard is swiped, and everyone is ushered in to a golden-gilded space with wide open windows--and bars to hold onto. "Hold on tightly," Ogawa warns.
It plummets like a rock. 'Below the decks' was very literal. The darkness only lasts a few seconds before the view suddenly shifts - to an utterly massive space. The inside of a cylinder easily big enough to fit beneath the entirety of the complex above, colored in gold and every other color of the rainbow, and circled with unreadable runes and symbols. The place looks like a cross between ancient ruins and a manmade construct, and they're heading to the bottom.
Despite that, the man very simply addresses Chase's question on the way down. "...That's a difficult question. In what sense?"
|Ioanna Langstrom|| When Candy appears, the atmosphere around Ioanna noticably gets colder. Not...magically. She just seems colder, more distant. She's already very professional but now she's downright frosty. They've met, though he doesn't seem to recognize her. That's fine by her. Lilian already told her Candy was Watch - and Ioanna, no matter how professional she is, is determined not to ever forgive the Watch. Lilian's own distrust of Candy means that Ioanna's not about to trust him either.
Her face remains utterly impassive as they go down the elevator. As it drops, she's gripping the bar hard enough to leave an impression of her hand in it. She's not scared of heights, but sudden drops are, uh, not pleasant for a soldier who survived Multiversal War, a lot.
"This was restored, I'm guessing."
Ioanna taps her finger against her lip as she relaxes her grip. "Is this Babylonian?"
|I4||On another frequency, I4 is asked a question. He spends a few moments in complete silence thinking of how to answer and then gives a preamble. It crashes and burns. I4 sighs, looking dejected for a few moments before his mind is back on task. "I see...we should probably organize with other multiversal forces then. That way people who can't contribute aren't put in the way."
He pauses, "I am sorry to have to say it like that, but as an Android, I feel I am more disposable than a human is. It wasn't a great situation, even though I learned a lot about the enemy...though I didn't get everything."
When the elevator goes down, he watches. It's pretty neat, given what the rest of the world is like. He whistles, "Black Budgets sure don't hold back," he quips. "So the...Noise, do you know what they are? They seem to exist in our reality and another, and break the laws of physics by just existing."
"I mean, I suppose they could be sentient strange matter, but that is an entirely different ball of marbles...so I am assuming some sort of magic that is poorly understood?"
|Cantio||"That rules out mass-production, then. It's not too surprising, I guess." Cantio nods slowly at Muramasa's explanation and Ogawa's clarification, furrowing her brow after a while. "So if that's the case, then maybe some kind of distraction-oriented gear might be worthwhile? Like jetpacks! Or something to help the soldiers maneuver quickly and over rooftops and uneven terrain! Or..."
Tapping the tablet idly, she looks over at Staren as she arrives, noticing that look at Ioanna (but not the one at herself) and giggling lightly at Candy's response. "Right, I don't think there was. I can transform if that'll make anyone feel better, but I. doubt it would right now."
With that offer given, she turns her attention to I4. "They bought us some time, so I'm hoping to help get them equipped for next time." She raises her backpack briefly as though there's something in there relevant to the matter despite not taking anything out yet.
After heading into the elevator, though, she notices the windows first and peers out of them curiously while gripping a bar as directed. She promptly yelps at the sudden descent, but her brief fright is replaced by wide-eyed wonder at the massive thing surrounding the group as they head downwards.
"What... Is all of this? Is this your base of operations? How much..." Cantio's clearly having some trouble trying to decide on what to prioritize asking, and it takes several more moments for her to finally calm herself before speaking up again. "Have you made any headway in figuring out who would qualify to use a Symphogear?"
|Chase|| "Your feelings on that matter are wrong."
Chase interjects on I4's Android comment by raising his voice so that he is clearly heard. Perhaps a bit too loud, given that they're currently on an elevator. He does not, however, elaborate further on why I4 is wrong, instead turning his attention back to Shinji.
"In what sense? In every sense. I want to know everything you know about the Noise."
|Staren|| Staren double-takes at the bird on Ioanna's shoulder, then realizes it's a robotic prop. She... dressed up as a magical girl? Huh.
Staren smiles and shakes Candy's hand. "Good to meet you, Candy."
Questions are asked. "I am given to understand that the Noise are from another... layer of reality, one more 'magical' than this one. And that the creation of symphgogears requires finding 'divine relics' that are also magical, but are rare on this layer of reality."
Staren looks at the locals. "Although... I'm not sure how correct that is. If it is, though, I was wondering if perhaps there might be a way to travel to these other layers. Whether to find magic things to bring back... or to kill the Noise in their home."
She looks to Cantio. "Magic weapons are somewhat effective, but... while I can design weapons and armor capable of *storing* some magic so anyone can use it, the magic has to come from somewhere if it's to constantly be used. On the bright side, it seems the Noise have difficulty damaging inorganic material, so I've been sending robots for local forces to sue to buy time..." Staren taps her chin. "I wonder if it might be helpful to try and keep a few people supplied with magitech gear... alternatively, I've been looking into using cybernetic implants to awaken psychic power. That could power magitech weapons that could hurt the Noise..."
And then... they come into view of... it's clearly a giant magic ruin. "Woah... what is this place?! Does it have power you can use in some way?"
|Muramasa|| " ... ?"
She's giving me an odd eye. I wonder if she's got something on her mind?
The elevator begins to descend, and Muramasa makes sure to zip his lips on the topic of the Noise. After all, while he's had his own thoughts on these matters, it'd be more informative for everyone -- including himself -- to see what the government here had in mind. Given what the Symphogear System really is, he has no doubt that they knew more than they, on the surface, seemed to let on concerning the Noise.
What a dangerous elevator, he thinks, but expediency would likely be key in sending people to and fro with how deep underground this has to be. "If it is, I wonder what a Babylonian geofront is doing in Japan?"
Then, to Cantio again; though it's really more that he's voicing his own opinion on the matter, having held back in the previous topic, "It most likely comes down to personal compatability between the Symphogear's core and whoever happens to be best suited to it. For example, I don't think her --" he motions to Tsubasa, "and my Master could swap units and still use them with the same efficiency, if they could use the other units at all. You could say it's just the result of what the Symphogear is, though, as I've mentioned before I do think it's genuinely amazing that the Symphogear units can allow even modern day humans to .. ah, I'm saying too much again. Don't worry about it. Just think of it like this; every Symphogear is a unique power suited to only a certain handful of people per Symphogear. The traits that allow them to do so are not necessarily biological, and are something more difficult to pin down."
Or, magic non-sense, some might say.
Glancing back to Tsubasa, he considers how to word what he wants to say -- but it seems like he needs another minute to compose himself for that. It'll probably be easier to settle in once we reach the actual meeting spot.
|Candy|| Candy idly shuffles a deck of playing cards one-handed on the way down. "That's a -good- question," admits Candy to Chase, nodding towards Hibiki. He's taken up a position on the opposite side of the elevator from Ioanna.
"What I wanna know is why everybody's breaking their asses to keep it a secret. That, to me, is closing the well after the child has drowned. You know?" He tilts his head at Ogawa.
"And don't tell me it's to quiet down the panic. I'm not that stupid, ah?" Candy chuckles good-naturedly--but there is definitely interest behind his joking. Perhaps it's even suspicion, but his easy-going demeanor might make that hard to spot. "The army comes and tells people they have to get the fuck out, of course there is going to be panic, whether it's Noise or whatever other bullshit. Plus, you gotta think about what Cantio's saying, too..."
"Lotta work's going into this. Gathering up all the divine whatevers," he says, gesturing first to Cantio, then to Staren. "Keeping it all a secret." With a gesture of his free hand towards the approaching view, "What's down here you don't want them knowing about?"
|Hibiki Tachibana|| "...You certainly do know your stuff," Ogawa mentions to Muramasa's deduction, visibly impressed. "Most relics only attune to one--" He stops, and then as if correcting himself while looking between him and Cantio, "--in most cases, only one individual, and their song. Every student attending Lydian has, at some level, the ability to potentially become Symphogear users. Finding what they resonate with, and keeping track of their compatibility quotents is part of our job."
"But at the moment...Hibiki and Tsubasa are our only two. I'd also appreciate if we had to rely less on those two, as much work as we put them through, so I hope we can work something out." Cantio, I4, and Staren all get a grin.
"And you." He's equally impressed on the subject of Ioanna. "Yes, you're exactly right. This was here well before the construction of Lydian or our base. It's the framework we built around, added onto, and are still in the process of studying--including the question of how and why it's here in the first place," again with a nod to Muramasa, and also Staren. "It's contributed greatly to our research on multiple fronts, and I don't think we'd have made half as much progress as we would have without it. A treasure trove of knowledge, to be sure."
Perhaps to momentarily distract herself, Tsubasa is the one who takes over the questions involving the Noise. "They're monsters," she says plainly. "They don't obey our laws because they're not of this dimension in the first place, but you already knew that. It was a decade and a half ago that they were officially recognized as a threat, but they've been active throughout all of mankind's past. Monsters, spirits, evil beings--many of their appearances can be attributed to the Noise, as far back as recorded history goes. But their source...is something we still don't know," she adds on, with a grimace.
"What moves them, and drives them to kill humans...yes, I suppose 'magic' is the simplest way to think of it." Candy gets her glance next, and it's a fairly sharp one. She takes a breath in, and exhales. "...Because the Symphogear system and our research on relics needs to be a secret to our world right now. Were it not for the current circumstances, things would be different.
"The political situation here and especially our relationship with the American government is--stressed, at best. Suffice to say, things would get chaotic if everything involving ancient relics of great power became public knowledge, and the Symphogear would be used as more than just an anti-Noise weapon. The multiversal unification has already thrown things into enough turmoil. If you'd like to see what's down here...well, you may see for yourself."
The elevator finally falls out of that massive space and back into complete darkness for a brief period near the bottom, nothing visible outside. It stops, and there's a pause before the door opens.
What looks like would be any other day a sterile gray lobby has been transformed into something more like a massive break room. There's actually a water cooler set up off to the side. This is on top of tables set down, various foods and drink placed about, and blue-suited staff talking and chatting amongst themselves. Hibiki is visible off in a seat, busily chatting away with a black-haired girl her age that some will recognize.
But more immediately, a woman in a long labcoat, gaudy orange-tinted glasses, and brown hair done up into a gravity-defying bun rolls right in front of the open elevator doors in a repurposed office chair. She spins a few times before neatly stopping with her arms spread wide.
"Welcome!" Despite multiversal translation, it sounds like intentionally, cripplingly gaudy Engrish. "To Second Division HQ, guests from another world!"
|Ioanna Langstrom|| Ioanna actually does smile at the praise. It's a very pretty smile. She's a very pretty woman. She sort of needed that, after all the missions she's had where she just felt like an unnecessary accessory, a pretty thing you bring to fill space. Or that Disruptive Day Off that *someone* happened to inflict upon her. Definitely not anyone in this group. No sir.
He's handsome. He's professional. And he might be able to tell her more about the place.
And it is definitely not an excuse to drag him off.
So she grabs Ogawa's hand. "Can you show me around the ruins a bit? We don't have to go into any classified areas. But I want to look more at these Babylonian structures. I might even be able to help you out." Her smile broadens. "I study xenoanthropology, you know. Magic structures under abnormal locations aren't exactly unique to your world. There's several cases of..."
And she basically starts dragging him off, more or less by force if he doesn't come along, because she is *really* damn curious.
And nothing else.
Well, not what you're thinking, anyway...
|Muramasa|| I thought so..
Turning to Candy, Muramasa addends Shinji's explanation, "If I'm right on the money, it's because of the core of the Symphogear units. I'll save all the .. how do people put it now? Mumbo jumbo? And cut to the chase -- they'll lose potency the more aware people are of it, which will also make it less effective at combating Noise. Alternatively, it could hurt the compatability of of its wielder, and make it difficult to synchronize."
Though, the part was just his own personal suppositions. The elevator comes to a stop, and the group departs for deeper inside, eventually coming to some form of break room. Seeing Hibiki chatting away happily with Miku brings a small smile to his face; Agent Ogawa was dead correct that getting help was important. Putting everything on Hibiki and Tsubasa ... that wasn't a fair burden for them at all.
Casually, he returns the scientist's greeting with a small wave, and a modern "Yo .. is how it is, right?"
"By the way."
Addressing the slight awkwardness between them, Muramasa approaches Tsubasa, secretly thankful that the whole 'Lord' thing hadn't come up again. People sure did start holding me in high regard. It just doesn't feel quite right.
" ... hm. Ah, man, being subtle just isn't something I'm good at, no matter how hard I try. But I also didn't want to put you on the spot in front of everyone earlier; you've been looking like I've made you real uncomfortable. Did I offend you? I'm sorry, if so ... but, by all means, feel free to clear the air if you've got something to say. Don't worry about anything like formalities, I'm no one that special."
|I4||There might be something going on under the eyes of I4, he listens to the explanations, and then as they reach the bottom and the new person is revealed things are just open for all of them. To Hibiki and Tsubasa he moves to talk to the two almost immediately. Well...talk to...
You see he has prepared questions.
So many questions. He clears his throat, as he speaks again. "Excuse me, I do have a bunch of questions about the Symphogear part of this entire situation..."
"So is the Symphogear specifically designed or created to handle the Noise? Where did the Symphogear come from? It's magic, correct do we know how it interacts with other magic? If the Noise are from another universe and has been the cause of supernatural incidents in your world up to this point, then why is there any known reason for their uptick in activity?"
Before these questions are done, more come out: "You said other powers are interested in using these powers for more than battling the noise, correct? What would the entire political situation be right now? Is this something to do with the source of the symphogears? Are there potential other means for the other powers to fight back against the noise? As you wanted to join with multiversal forces is there a possibility that other nations might seek other methods of power outside of the current universe?"
He keeps going, the questions start to get rapid-fired and become more complex. For the reader's peace of mind the player is stopping them here.
|Staren|| Staren sighs when /politics/ is brought up. "I hate that people find such nonsense to squabble over. Maybe that egregore guy could suggest a way to fix that. But, it's not anything *you* are personally in control of, so... no point discussing it now."
Staren is surprised there's such a normal, if large, break room at the bottom of the elevator. And then...
Staren *grins*. She looks at Ioanna and gestures to the woman in the *long labcoat*. And then at herself. And then back at the newcomer.
Spirits lifted somewhat, she turns to the new person and steps forward, "It's great to be here! I'm Staren Wiremu, Partner in the Concord, I..." how to put this, she hesitates a moment, "...I work in the field solving problems with technology and magic but I *also* work with our R&D department. I'm sending those robots to help delay the noise." She extends a hand to shake. "Pleased to meet you, Miss... err, Doctor...?"
Once a handshake is exchanged, or not, she adds, "Are you the local expert on the Noise? I would love to learn more about them and share knowledge from the Multiverse!"
|Cantio||"Or some kind of... Flying high-capacity emergency vehicle that can be deployed to rescue people from and evade the Noise quickly, even." Cantio's mind keeps going, apparently getting ideas from Candy's description and especially when Ogawa gives that encouragement for outside assistance. "If they can't fight, then being a decoy and rescue vehicle all in one would be... Not ideal, but it'd be a stopgap."
When the actual Noise's inter dimensional qualities are brought up, though, her eyes light up. "If they're not even from this dimension, then that means... Oh, that would open so many possibilities for advancing society once research can be done on them. What they're made of, how they jump between dimensions, if communication is even possible, what they know if it is..."
She's going to be a little distracted herself for a while. Thankfully, the elevator going into pitch blackness has her squeaking and holding her breath, only breathing a sigh of relief once it stops and the door opens up.
Familiar faces! Hibiki and Miku get eager waves from Cantio in greeting, likely from being two of the only local faces that are actually familiar here. Raising an eyebrow curiously as she passes by Muramasa and Tsubasa during the former's apology, she stops when the woman with the big hair speaks in a tone she's only vaguely familiar with.
".. Oh! Um." Cantio clears her throat, holding a finger to her ear as she uses the power of ROBOTIC BULLSHIT SCIENCE to figure something out, then curtseys lightly. "[Hello there, me-lady! I come-in peace!]" She belts out in just as stilted English, trying to mimic her tone despite clearly lacking familiarity with however it is she's pronouncing things.
"My name is Cantio, Drive Core Candidate of Cadenza. Do you have any equipment besides Symphogear weaponry that works against the Noise?" She asks, going back to her usual (something) translated language. "I know ours worked earlier, so I was thinking maybe your R&D departments could collaborate with mine to figure out something that works for both of our nations."
|Hibiki Tachibana|| Ogawa gets grabbed, and for the first time, he actually expresses some visible surprise. Then, with his other hand, he scratches at his cheek with a finger and gives a chuckle. "Are you sure you wouldn't rather ask the science division about that, Miss Langstrom...? After all, I'm just an ordinary--woah!"
He gets pulled off, but actually goes with it after a few moments. Perhaps because he decided it'd be less chaotic for their resident head researcher if he did, or maybe because he doesn't want to cut off her speech, but he does. Tsubasa is left watching him rather dumbfounded. "Ogawa-san!?" She looks like she's going to give chase until Muramasa approaches, and she has to address the elephant in the room between them. Her expression is pulled back together, her back is straightened, and she stands up tall.
"...It's quite alright. On the contrary, I'm just unsure on how to carry myself around you." She sounds like she's trying to find the right words for what she wants to say, before she forces it out, closing her eyes and breathing in. "Tachibana has explained the bare details to me. Is it true that you are.../the/ Muramasa!?" That is not the composed voice she's had up until now. That's the sound of someone trying too hard to not let themselves get excited. "Lord Sengo Muramasa!? The first--no, perhaps the second to bear the name...?"
Cantio gets a wave from both Hibiki and Miku! Hibiki in particular goes from happy to see everyone around to slightly confused when more questions start being popped off than her brain can possibly comprehend. You can see her eyes slowly gloss over as comprehension struggles to be attained. Miku gives her a tiny shake.
Leading to Resident Science Lady rightfully intercepting all of I4's questions, on top of Staren and Cantio's directed straight to her. "No Doctor necessary! Ryoko! Ryoko Sakurai, at your service! I!" She claps her hands together, back to speaking properly translated Japanese minus the cringe. "--Am indeed the leading authority on Noise and the Symphogear system! I'm the one who built it, after all." Her hands part to push up on her glasses. This is apparently something she's very smug about.
"I have to say, we were aware of the existence of parallel worlds before all of this, but a proper multiverse is a new thing! Please, keep the questions down to one at a time, there's probably more to get through here than any of us can imagine! But as for at least one of them..."
|Candy||*I get it now. If people knew, so would 'America'--shit.*
That draws a little smile to his face. "You know, you're the third person I've spoken to with an America problem," admits Candy conversationally to Hibiki. "Before, I never heard of no America. Now they're like the flies, the Americas." Thinking of something else seems to amuse him further.
When the elevator stops, and he's greeted with suits and a labcoat, Candy stuffs the playing cards into his pocket and scans the room. The more experienced can tell he's looking for exit points and cover. Does he really trust these people so little?
As Ogawa is dragged off by Ioanna, Candy easily shoots Hibiki a silent but decidedly amused 'get a load of that' look, before turning and wiggling his fingers at Shinji in a coy little goodbye. It's as if he hadn't just subtly communicated that he expects to be ambushed, if only with a brief sweeping of his eyes.
He holds up a hand in an informal wave to the woman in the orange glasses. "Yeah, sure," he says of her over-the-top greeting dismissively. "Listen, I kinda like Mr. Blacksmith here. And he tells me you're keeping a secret from those people up there for a good reason. Maybe a couple of good reasons. I gotta admit, I'm impressed I ain't heard nothing bad about how them two get deployed," he offers, nodding backwards to Tsubasa and Hibiki. "That they're fighting Noise, and that's it."
"Try and keep it that way--Four Eyes, Four Eyes, you're like a bad record player!" Candy claps him on the back, breaking the tension he'd built up with that domineering approach. "You talk that fast, no one's gonna understand you. Unless maybe that's what you want. You making rude jokes all sped-up? Ah?" Candy lightly elbows him, and chuckles.
"Ah. What was that last thing you were--politics, that's right. Trust me, Staren, if that shit comes up, I'll fill in for the spaceman. Maybe my boots aren't as big as his, but they know their way around an ass, that's for sure, ah? Hahaha."
"Candelario Maria Estevez de la Fuente," says the revolutionary to the woman in the gaudy glasses. "But you can call me Candy. I'm here cause I like Ms. Battering Ram over there and I think her head's on right. I'm warning you, though, Ms. Glasses--I smell pig shit, I clean it up. Now," he says, rubbing his hands together and taking the nearest seat, straddling it so that he rests his arms on the back of the chair. "Let's talk about how I can help you, so you and your people play nice, ah? I bet you a biplane I could make you something to punch up, but I don't trust anybody with as many secrets as you people, good reasons or no. You find me a handful of people that -I- can trust, maybe I have some, ehhhh..."
He laughs, shifting excitedly in his seat as he tests the word out, "Candy-Gears for you, ah? Hahahah. I've got the magic too, see." A card--the two of hearts--finds its way between his index and middle fingers. Tossing it in the air, he doesn't bother watching as it is consumed in flame appearing from nowhere. He suddenly sobers--for a certain sense of the word.
"Course, I could always just find the Noise and wail on 'em, too, if you don't got the head for the long games..."
|Ioanna Langstrom|| "It'll be less chaotic for your head researcher, sir, if she only has to deal with questions from unqualified professionals," Ioanna says in her usual tone, "And I can't ask her to move around and show me these ruins while she's answering questions for others. You're mobile, and you're presumably able to keep an eye on me, and I imagine you wouldn't be assigned as a greeter for a group of Multiversals if you weren't capable of at least putting up a fight. You can show me what I need to see and guide me away from areas I shouldn't be poking around in."
She's actually being earnest, too, at least as far as he can tell.
"Would you tell me a bit more about how it was discovered? What led to this place being unearthed, and when did the Noise appear alongside it?" She's dragging him around the corridor now, too.
|I4||All of I4's questions are answered. He will record those for later prosperity.
I4 says that he should properly introduce himself...and he does. "My FULL name, is Inspector 4, Model 31C. I am an android, and as an Inspector my job is battlefield research, specifically on my own world's type of monsters named Nullborn, fortunately, that crosses the world wall for your own monsters."
I4 waves a hand and makes holographic screens appear thanks to his POD, the box with arms and data points start coming up. He brings up everything that he got that day and produces it on the screens, as well as anything anyone else tells him so he can coordinate all of the data together.
"The important thing is that whatever they touch, they can change. They are immune to damage from normal weapons because they can simply stay out of harm's way, but in that 'other' dimension they are unable to move."
I4 makes a data version of the noise that appeared at the fight appear. He makes it perform the attacks it did in battle but is obviously fake...also far smaller. "The basics of winning any battle is knowing your enemy...I would also like to run scans on the Symphogears and run that with the data we have...though I would like to be there with a normal fight with Symphogears fielded...it will allow us to get a fuller picture..."
"Though I am also having ideas of my own, especially with what was said about them always appear, and of course, that the symphogears are made from relics."
|Muramasa||Muramasa slowly scratches his cheek, "Unsure, huh .. I can relate, after all .. "
He pauses to try and piece together an appropriate way to handle this, before ultimately deciding that being himself is probably the best way to go. After all, it's not like he's trying to deceive anyone. "I'm not a Lord of any kind, y'know? I'm just a blacksmith. Also, there was only ever one person who bore the name Muramasa, and that'd be me; for reasons I'm not sure, history tends to insist there were several people who took on the position, but it wasn't anything so complicated. ... well, I guess it's possible that someone else decided to take things up after I did, or that in this world, there really were several people who fulfilled the role of Muramasa."
In other words, as far as he was aware, Muramasa I through Muramasa III were in fact, the same man rather than three different ones. His lips twinging upwards in amusement, Muramasa's golden eyes crinkle slightly. "Could you perhaps be a fan, though? Well, I'm real flattered. To tell you the truth, I've felt a connection to you the moment you appeared on the battlefield; ever since, I've felt the need to come meet you."
Like a phantom pain that lingered on him, he'd always felt that 'sense' at the back of his brain, ever since that day. "Almost like the planet pulls everything in, my soul felt pulled towards you, for some reason."
The way he says it is with a completely straight-laced expression, " .. so after coming face to face with you, I also felt pretty awkward, and didn't know how to start the conversation. In the end, I've just dived in feet first. I hope we get along, Tsubasa." dropping the honorific in favor of just using her name.
|Staren|| Ryoko doesn't like titles either? Staren smiles. "Yes, I'd love to hear everything!"
As a brief aside to Candy, she mentions, "If it's any consolation, in my world America ended with the apocalypse over three centuries ago. Although there are some real assholes who see themselves as heir to the legacy..." She frowns as she remembers something. "Maybe two sets of assholes..." She smiles and nods when he assers he knows how to deal with politics.
She glances at Cantio. "A relic we could inspect... that's an interesting idea. Maybe there's something out in the multiverse that might have a similar 'signature'?" She doesn't add more questions to the queue while waiting for answers just yet, though.
|Chase||Chase has been silent, listening to everyone hypothesize. A lot of it goes in one ear and out the other, but he gets the gist. A lot of people are trying to solve the problem in the long run, but not the immediate problem.
He's been thinking about it for a while now, and by a while, a few minutes at best, finally coming up with an answer that he feels will work. Suddenly speaking up after remaining silent for so long, his voice carrying extremely well.
"The JSDF. How do I join them?"
|Cantio||With the influx of new information, Cantio's perspective on developing anti-Noise equipment shifts. "If we can't mass-produce things for the soldiers to use, then the focus should be on finding more of these relics, duplicating their power, or..."
She doesn't answer right away. Instead, she looks over Doctor Ryoko, circling around her a few times and occasionally tapping something into her tablet. "Something to stabilize the body, amplify jumping ability, absorb shock, handheld debris clearing gear..." More tapping, more circling, and then she looks up at Ryoko (assuming she's taller than five nothing, anyway).
"If we can't mass produce weaponry, then rescue and escape gear could work. If the Noise are chasing soldiers instead of civilians, it might even be easier to corral them into designated areas until the Symphogear wielders can get to the scene. Does that sound more workable, Doctor Ryoko?" Unlike before on the elevator, Cantio actually sounds focused and alert! Confident, even.
|Hibiki Tachibana|| Ogawa is gone, and it's likely nobody will be seeing him for a bit. A few of the staff rib each other and give each other looks, very close to Candy's own joking around.
"I'm Miss Battering Ram," Hibiki admits with a raised hand, standing up from where she's sitting and stepping a little closer to where the Science Congregation is happening despite her inability to understand approximately 80% of what transpires in it. "And I promise you don't have anything to worry about. Everyone is here is good people. And I know you guys are too, so--"
She's cut off by Ryoko lifting an arm and tugging at her cheek, letting out a teasing chuckle. "You really are way too earnest, Hibiki-chan. Now." The scientist turns in her seat, folding one leg over the other as she addresses Candy. "It's not as if we can just trust each other from day one, now can we? There's an entire multiverse out there, and we're taking quite a big risk by divulging any of our secrets, you know? I think Tsubasa-chan has already informed you about things here being quite precarious."
She sighs. "Aah, if only we /could/ find them, but digging up wherever they pop out from is just another thing on the ever growing to-do list." There's a shrug of her shoulders, but behind her glasses, her eyes light up at what I4 is doing. "Well, well...a proper information exchange? I think you and I will need to have a chat between ourselves sometime later for exactly that. There's plenty of things I'd need a bit more space to go deep into."
There's a fingergun to Staren. "There might be! 'Mr. Blacksmith's' theories are a bit too on the nose for that to be untrue. Perhaps something from his world would be a fitting place to start, hm? From what we could see of the battle, he ended up being rather effective, didn't he?"
Fingergun to Cantio, while she's circling around. "That's an amazing idea, actually!" The scientist even sits straight up in her chair. "I believe you might've been informed already, but our First Division are the ones who work in conjunction with the JSDF to run interference and handle all the prep work before we get those two there. Our non-relic based technology sounds a fair bit less advanced than what you all enjoy out there in the multiverse, so I think that's more than doable! This just might be the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship." She chuckles, adjusting her glasses.
|Staren|| Staren hmms. "If his theories are on the nose... what about Gilgamesh's?"
Staren repeats what she discussed in the elevator, about different reality levels and the possibility of going to a more 'magical' one to take out the noise on their home turf or bring magical objects back to base symphogears around. "He seemed to think that attempting to go to such places would be a very bad idea, but... perhaps even investigating the possibility might lead to more findings?"
Staren nods. "Well... as far as trust, I already *am* sending resources, and I'm happy to send more. Help you tech up."
Staren blinks as a thought comes to her. "Hey, um. This /is/ Japan, right? Just checking, but do you by any chance have any abandoned mecha or power armor projects that already have test pilots or training programs, which we could retrofit magitech weaponry onto...?"
|I4||I4 nods to Ryoko, "I am of course willing to share information. This happens to be a threat to the larger multiverse now, but anything beyond what I got would need to go through the Grandmaster, beyond that..." He says, thinking about it, "You are right, you are taking a risk, and to a degree so are we. 'Ms. Battering Ram' is too, by voicing for us."
"Though..." he rubs the side of his head. "You have a problem from what I am getting the feel of. You have other countries and their interests. If they feel you have taken too much power, they could attempt to secure their own relics and develop their own projects. Without guidance from an organization that has the experience it could lead to regrettable situations."
"Such a world is experiencing a situation like this. This time, Magical Girls, their version of your Symphogears here, are being used in sort of a proxy war. I would consider trying to open negotiations with those you could feel would make good allies, and hold a balance to prevent global conflict..."
He brings up another projection, "Based on what I understood of the noise combat data, a global conflict would be disastrous. Not only would you be suffering war exhaustion from each other, but the noise will likely show up and already weaken your states farther..."
"I wouldn't imagine the world surviving past a year if that were to happen...that's the worst situation. The best-case situation in a global conflict outbreak would be neighboring worlds declaring peace-keeping operations. Attempts to keep the noise contained here, but maybe even some taking opportunities to take land here...hm..." he reconfigures some numbers.
"No, the worst-case scenario would be this becoming the place of a multiversal conflict over resources, and suppression of the noise."
|Candy||"You're taking a measured risk," says Candy, idly dancing the Three of Clubs across the backs of his fingers, bouncing it across to the other hand, where it disappears. "However big it is, it's that, too."
"That's okay though, because I don't need to know your secrets to do good work here." A bottled soda appears in his hand, the shape and labeling far too archaic to be from this world. He uses the back of the chair as an improvised bottle opener, sending the cap flying onto the nearby table.
With a glance over his shoulder at Hibiki and a smile pointed her way, he lifts his soda to her. After a swig, he turns back to Ryoko:
"Not simple, no. But I can do really, really, complex shit to get people what they need. You want a relic to power a suit, I make you the relic and you make the suit. I just get to pick the driver, that's all." Another swig. "That's my... insurance, you know? I can make something special enough to power one of those things. Shit," he says with a laugh, "It wouldn't be like anything you've ever seen, but I could even make my own spin on one of those suits, ah?" He shakes his head.
"But whether I make the suit or just the relic, I wanna know I can trust the -person- in it. -That's- the obstacle. That's always the obstacle. You understand, Glasses?"
|Cantio||"It's appreciated, Hibiki." Cantio laughs softly at Hibiki's reassurance, nodding at Ryoko a moment later. "But I understand where the doctor is coming from. It's a sensitive political situation, from the sounds of it, and we're just sort of barging in to..."
She pauses, glancing around briefly and murmuring a few numbers to herself. "... Um. To just bombard everyone here with questions. Sorry about that." Ryoko gets a more awkward chuckle at that, and then Cantio taps on her tablet again to add a few more notes. "First Division... Yeah, that would work wonderfully, I think!"
Once again, Cantio's face cracks into a confident, if slightly mad scientist-esque grin. "Even if the JSDF can't fight the Noise head on, your knowledge and our technology could save so many more lives of both civilians and soldiers alike. More people surviving means... Well, more people surviving, and that means more eyes and believers in our efforts..."
"It'd be almost perfect. I mean, not as perfect as being able to do that with weapons built to work against the Noise, but it's probably the best we can manage on such a large scale. Which is.. Um. Still pretty good, I think!"
|Hibiki Tachibana|| Tsubasa hangs on to each and every word Muramasa says, in a slightly anxious and expectant way. Though he may be a 'Muramasa' from another world, the differences between them and the reality of the potential three of them compared to one is apparently of great interest to her, as much as the man himself.
"Ah--" She looks as if she doesn't know how to take what he says next. Perhaps, it's because of a historical figure she knows of addressing her so casually. Perhaps it's because of his raw straightforwardness that rivals Tachibana Hibiki's. Or perhaps it's the reverence he addresses her with and a choice of words that any woman in this room would likely stomp on his foot and then march off for delivering so plainly.
Kazanari Tsubasa, however, matches his slight smile with one of her own. "Lord Muramasa...no, Muramasa-san. I felt the same as you. Though you may say you are merely an ordinary blacksmith, your presence is truly even more awe-inspiring in person. It could be that as a blade honed on the battlefield, I cannot help being naturally drawn towards the forger of so many unmatchable weapons."
Her eyes close, serenely. "...To say this meeting is one I never could have imagined would be doing it disservice. Yes. Let us get along." She nods, opening her eyes again and offering a hand out to him.
From the back, a Second Divison staffmember is just watching the two of them with his mouth sort of stuck open. "Oh, God. There's two of them now." He keeps that quiet and to himself, before clearing his mouth to address Chase's earlier question. "Well, you can't do that here. We work with the JSDF, but we're not them. You'd have to hit up the actual military proper, but if you really wanted to, I'm sure the commander could send word in..."
|Muramasa||"From what I've been able to discern, our worlds share many fundamental similarities. This isn't all that uncommon in the Multiverse, I don't believe." he agrees with her. "Though, I'll be honest; anything actually useful you could learn is going to be like pulling teeth from the people who know and specialize in it. Even more so than it was arranging for us to meet you." he responds to Ryoko.
With his full attention concentrated back on Tsubasa, he smiles meaningfully -- more than something as trivial as the kinds of armaments or burdens they carry, he comes to the understanding that they must be similar in nature as well. This is someone who can truly understand me, and who I can understand as well, I think. ... Archer, also is like that, but, this is different. Rather than a confrontation, it's ... I don't have a good word for it, but, it's not bad.
Reaching his own hand out, he gently clasps hers with an affirmingly resolute look in his eyes, "I look forward to it, then. Especially since your expectations for me seem so high, I'll be sure to give it a hundred and twenty percent."
After they hang like that, comfortably, for several moments he seems to remember something as an invisible light bulb goes off over his head, "Oh, by the way, Tsubasa -- there were a few things I was curious about. Is it alright if I look around? Of course, a guide would also be helpful, but I wouldn't want to impose."
And if it's not okay, I can just use the good old fashioned bathroom excuse. It hasn't failed me yet.
|Chase|| "Is that so? If that is the case, put in a word for me. It will be easier to protect the people here if I am deployed on the front lines while the science types fight amongst themselves."
Chase tells them to sign them up with absolutely zero hesitation , looking them dead in the eyes as he does so. It is the simplest and quickest way to ensure that people are safe after all.
Reaching into his jacket, he pulls out an index card with neatly written Japanese on it, walking over to hand it to the staff member. It's his contact info, which just consists of a phone number...
Unfortunately, Heart moves every other week so he can't put a residence. He was honestly hoping that they'd make the aquarium their permanent housing. It was nice. Sadly, it wasn't meant to be.
|Hibiki Tachibana|| "Aren't you quite the magician?" Candy gets definite interest in his trick, with a surprisingly - or perhaps not so surprisingly - discerning eye gauging both his creation and then him. "...To do that kind of thing in this world would be quite unthinkable, you know." Ryoko visibly mulls things over a bit before springing up and nodding happily. "Well, that's quite a fair kind of insurance to want, I think. Trust is a hard thing to come by. So if you'd like to choose your own user...well, why not? This might change everything, after all!"
Cantio gets a second fingergun. That's right, two of them. She likes that mad scientist look on her face. "Then let's also get a proper knowledge exchange going on sometime, hm? I'll help you handle things on that front myself! Genjur--ah, the commander and I also handle many of First Division's affairs, after all. You're not just as cute as Hibiki-chan, you're smart too, hm?" Cantio gets the same cheek pull, totally shamelessly. "And you might just be saving a whole lot of lives because of it, too."
Staren gets a curious look. "That's the idea, isn't it? The possibility. As of now, we simply know the Noise must be coming from /somewhere/. Where that somewhere is...or what kind of place it is...well, who knows? It might be a bad idea, but we just might not end up having any other options.
I4's doom theories actually get repeated nods out of the woman. Clearly, she respects him having done his homework, and probably didn't come to much different conclusions herself. "That's about the right of it. You're seeing where all the catches are. Smart boy," she repeats a compliment from earlier, finally hopping out of her seat to pat him right on the head. Personal space, much?
"Why don't we all have a get-together sometime and talk about all the particulars? I have a lab that's much more fitting for this type of thing you're all welcome in, anytime--now that Ogawa-kun has gone and brought you all here, we'll make sure you can get back anytime you like. Pay a visit anytime, you hear? There's still too much and more to go through. Even that data you took from that battle alone is going to be worth its weight in gold." Ryoko lets out an airy sigh. "Ah...if only we had the chance to work together with people like you all all those years ago..."
|I4||I4 blinks, though it's impossible to see it through his blindfold visor. This is followed up with a slight reddening of his cheeks which causes him to wave his hands. "Uh...thank you..." he says, not sure what exactly to say, obviously not used to praise in SUCH a manner. It's easy to see that I4 does this kind of thing for the love of the game.
"Sure, I'd be ok with getting together for a more direct comparison.." he says, though hears the hint of regret in that voice. "I...know how you feel there. If we had more information about the nulls on our world, we could have prevented the loss of two of our last bastions..." he shrugs. "This is why I want to help others."
|Hibiki Tachibana|| "Look around...?" The question seems to bring Tsubasa back to reality, after the shared moment of Sword between her and Muramasa. In a moment, the starry-eyed look is (mostly) gone, and back to the professional air she also carried back on the surface and on the way down. "No, it's no problem at all. Though it'd be irresponsible to allow you to wander around on your own, so I'd be happy to accompany you."
There is, a moment, where she glances around. Ogawa being dragged off is something that came back to her mind. Something doesn't sit very right with her about that, still, but in the end, he can handle himself. And he's her manager, after all. There's very few she trusts more than him. There's actually a solid chance they'll run into each other on the way, anyway.
"Here, we can go this way. I'll make sure you don't walk anywhere you're supposed to. Even though the commander is laxer about that than he should be...there are a few things I'd like to ask you directly, as well."
Three seconds later, from another corridor, Ogawa Shinji returns to the lobby a short bit on the trail of Ioanna Langstrom. His tie is a bit unkempt compared to before, which he's in the process of adjusting with closed eyes and a look of stoic contemplation on his face. "...Quite the woman. Quite the woman indeed." He nods to himself and only himself, and then takes a sharp turn off towards the command room. There's some pencil pushing to do.