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|Midway|| In the center of the Mirror Sea, the Siren facility has been breached. Somehow the Siren Purifier overseeing it is unable to do anything about the incursion, and so has turned to those who had helped exposed the facility in the first place.
This leads to the interior of the building. Following the Princess' path is as simple as following the destruction, the destroyed doors and damaged walls through enormous corridors bearing smooth, rounded, organic shapes and flooded with water a foot or so deep. The lights are inset, strips of white behind diffusing covers.
The trail of damage leads to the center of the facility; here it opens out into a rather enormous multi-tiered structure lined with enormous cables and metal pipes. Here, a dias lifts up out of the briny sea, home to a sprawling console and several large monitors. It is here that Midway stands, framed by blue-tinged screens scrawling through reams of incomprehensible numbers. One shows graphs rolling through a constantly shifting graph, the axes labeled incomprehensibly.
Above and behind this massive console are multiple rows of large glass tubes, filled with some unknown substance that holds an unnatural blue glow. Some of these have vague, almost humanoid shadows inside them, though detail is impossible to pick out due to the liquid or semi-liquid contents.
As interlopers start piling in, the Princess of Progress lowers her head, tracing a fingertip across the edge of the console with a metallic scraping sound. A slithering thing escapes from her sleeve, some ghastly pale slug or snake, which rams its face into one of the ports and goes still while she turns around.
Now backlit by the computer system, Midway raises her hands to either side in silent welcome, her eyes wide, near-perfectly-circular glowing pools of roiling crimson.
|Captain Hook|| There can be little doubt that the man is Captain Hook.
He wears the blue-and-gold coat of a naval captain over his shoulders like a cape, loose and free above a white ruffled dress shirt. His one eye is bright, his eyepatch hidden under hanging blue hair, which is itself home to a blue tricorne with a skull-and-crossbones on the side. In one hand he holds a long cutlass; the other hand is a menacing hook, around which an old-timey flintlock spins.
The man walks through the destruction with the air of a man who knows his way around a ruin. He doesn't bother looking at the floor as he walks, uninterested in the water filling the ground. He's handled more water than this in dreams, walked more slippery surfaces, carried himself across more dangerous surfaces. Glossy black boots step through wreck and ruins towards the console.
Captain Hook does not know anything about the princess, nor the console, nor the shadows. What Captain Hook does know is that if something is wanted here, it's something of value, and Captain Hook is a man who wants things. Captain Hook is a man who wants everything.
The Captain shoulders his cutlass as he sees Midway, a broad smile on his face. His flintlock continues to spin around his hook. "Ahoy there."
"I should hate to shoot a beautiful woman without an introduction. I am Captain William Hook, at your service." He doffs his hat on the end of his cutlass, bows, and then flicks the hat back on his head.
"Let us say that I was willing to truly offer my services."
"What of value is there here that I might be able to walk away with, were I to assist you?"
|Shigure||Shigure and Yamashiro follow the path of destruction to the Princess of Progress. The Destroyer narrows her eyes at the Abyssal, and her new ally, before folding her arms over her chest. "Explain." she demands, while Yamashiro cracks her knuckles. The pair of kanmusu are not exactly happy with the apparent betrayal, though they can't say they weren't expecting it.|
|Kotone Yamakawa||The Siren's base has been breached. It was pretty much going time for everyone involved in this. The question that is on Kotone's mind? Well, she should be finding out one way or another. Following in the wake of the Princess' path seems to be the best option. It's also very hard to miss.
"Someone sure knew how to make an entrance."
Kotone is joined by a small hovering camera drone as she keeps up the pace. The tubes? Those get Kotone's attention. She nods once and will now attempt to find an access point. If she can't find a wireless network to jack into? Kotone will beave jacking in directly to see what she can find.
She isn't going to sabotage Midway after all there is a deal, but more than one person going after the system might net more information though? She's open to Siren security as she attempts to jack in.
|Hellwarming Duo||Gliding over the sea, Utsuho and Rin are busy chattering away as they follow the path of destruction to some kind of facility that looks vaguely familiar enough for them to poke their heads into, but not quite enough for the raven to realize what she and the kasha are getting themselves into (again).
Utsuho: "Freaky place. Who do you think managed to pull this off?"
Rin: "You forgettin' already, Okuu? It's the... You know! The one that got pissed off at the crazies in the ocean!"
Utsuho: "Oh. Uh... Right. Yeah, what's her name... Right over there, right?"
Rin: "Yeah, what's her...! Oh. Hey, sis!""
Recognizing Midway, Rin waves excitedly at the Princess as she floats on over while Utsuho drifts over at a far more casual pace. "Whatcha got over here? Looks like a buncha..." Rin starts, trailing off when she finally takes a look at the tubes around the same time Utsuho does.
"Bunch of... Uhh. Yeah, those things." Utsuho does a terrible job pretending to know what she's looking at, although she does nod confidently enough. The pair both turn to Hook as he introduces himself, and they line up with each other in mid-air before striking dramatic poses while leaning in opposite directions with their arms vaguely forming the shape of a J and a D.
Utsuho: "Captain, eh? Well, well, well! I'm Utsuho Reiuji, Administrator of Hell!"
Rin: "Rin Kaenbyou, Harvester of Death!"
Utsuho and Rin: "Junior detectives!"
"... Oh. Hey. You were there last time, too, right?" Utsuho almost immediately breaks formation to greet Shigure and Yamashiro with a quick wave of her non-control-rod-covered arm.
|Midway|| The Princess lowers her arms, folding one loosely while the other curls over the brace of spines around her throat, to rest fingers downwards against her cheek. Her eyes relax, narrowing from intense round shapes of raw red to the narrow, calculating stare characterized so strongly to her.
"You are ships. Molded by history. Shaped by experience. Driven by desire and regret and devotion to old names. Old faces. Old regimes." Her head tilts slightly, giving her eyes a faint upward-curved, almost amused shape, "How would a kanmusu be if she were created...with no history at all?"
The hand by her face shifts and she raises it, fingers splayed, "It seems this is a question the Sirens wish to answer, and I have taken interest in their findings. The ocean belongs to me. By building this in my domain, this facility and this research are also mine. I am merely claiming my property."
Those glowing scarlet eyes shift sidelong to the approaching pirate. From her normal height and her position atop the dias, she absolutely towers over him. In that resonant voice she addresses the man, "I am Midway. The Princess of Progress. Admiral of the Abyssal Black Fleet." Her eyes close for a moment, "The data I seek is of little value to you, no doubt. But dwellers of the deep come across much your kind covets. Spanish gold is the offer." One eye opens, "Upon services rendered."
When Kotone approaches to do the Cyborg Jack-In Thing, Midway shifts to obstruct the cyborg's approach, looming over the woman, "I will not allow you to interfere."
|Shigure||Shigure unhooks her cannons from their set on her back. "If you are so powerful, Midway, why are you so afraid of Yamakawa accessing the system?" she asks, keeping the tonfa-like weapons pointed downward. Blue eyes glimmer in the dull light, shifting from Midway to Hook and back. One of her hair-flaps twitches lightly, and Yamashiro straightens just a little. A subtle shift in posture. The Kanmusu have shifted to High Alert.|
|Captain Hook|| Hook's smile is broad as he's offered Spanish gold. "Ah, Princess, you've the way to this pirate's heart already." He settles his cutlass across his chest, then steps backwards, setting one foot on some of the debris and shouldering the cutlass once again. His grin is wide and handsome as Shigure, Kotone, and the Duo approach. "I should happily render services to my temporary Princess. Treasure is a pirate's romance, and you've such sweet words to court me with."
Shigure demands they explain. His grin is wide. "Why, I cannot speak for my Princess, but I should think it obvious - I am Captain William Hook, and she has treasures with which to sway my heart."
He whirls the flintlock around his hook with a cheerful whistle.
|Hellwarming Duo||Neither of the youkai seem to understand what Midway means at first when she talks about ships without history. About kanmusu, even. They just exchange glances with each other, visibly trying not to look like they don't understand and even looking at Captain Hook to see if any recognition flashes on his face.
It's not until Midway mentions that this structure is in her domain (however broadly defined) that they finally speak up once again.
Utsuho: "So this is a... Property dispute?"
Rin: "Really? So if that's the case, I guess that means..."
They strike a pose again. "Our work here is done!" They announce in unison, already turning to resume gawking at weird looking tubes before realizing that Kotone's getting on Midway's bad side with the cyborg thing Shigure's getting ready to shoot somebody, and Captain Hook brandishes his blade with a grin that has Utsuho looking confused and Rin just staring wide-eyed.
Utsuho: "This is... Uh. More complicated than a property dispute, huh?"
Rin: "Looks like. Ehm. So which ones of you are more... Cops-y?"
They look baffled. It probably won't be hard to confuse them or get the drop on them at this point.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa engages in some radio chatter with Shirgue as she gets a warning about the Siren's systems are a total unknown. She heeds it and replies she has faith in her friends to pull her out if something goes pearshaped on her. Kotone wonders, at Midway's words given how the ship spirits were? That was a very concerning point. She looks at Midway for a moment narrowing her eyes.
"We're here to get Data on these Sirens, what they are doing, their projects. I can copy data without destroying it. We need their supply lines, patrol routes, an idea of their numbers to deal with them."
She looks right at the Siren.
She's taken note of Captian Hook, but has not quite noted the Duo just yet as all her attention is on Midway. Kotone is one to try and talk things out.
"You know with our agreement you would get a copy of any intel I pull on the Sirens."
It may be to her detriment that she's not caught on with the Hellwarming Duo yet...
|Captain Hook||"I couldn't care less about your intel," Hook says with a broad smile, then looks over his shoulder at Midway. "A 'kanmusu'? Might you elucidate, Princess?"|
|Midway|| "Because I do not trust you," Midway states plainly to Shigure, "As you do not trust me. We are enemies; such is a healthy approach to the relationship we share." Her eyes shift to Kotone, looming over the smaller woman. When she speaks again, though, it's directed towards Hook: "Those two are Kanmusu. Ships from the distant past, given life again. Although these two are...imperfect. They have forgotten why the Abyss rose to the surface in the first place. Swayed by empty platitudes and hollow promises by the very beings that abused, neglected, and murdered them."
Across the room, a great white sphere rises out of the water. How it was submerged in a mere foot of depth is a mystery, but it's there now, nearly as tall as Midway herself. It remains where it appeared, smooth and pristine.
Her attention shifts, now on Kotone more directly. She seems to consider the cyborg's words. However, her response is not with words. Her left hand snaps up and back, and then swipes down with her fingers splayed, hooked, swatting Kotone with enough force that if she doesn't avoid it, she's likely to get knocked right into Yamashiro.
"Protect the computer. Destroy the intruders." Her orders to Hook are simple and straightforward.
|Captain Hook|| A ship from another time, given a new life, is it?
Hook's lips purse upwards in a smile.
Midway gives orders. Ah, how simple. "As you will, Princess." Hook's smile is a dashing one as he spins his flintlock. He takes up a position on the dais.
Then he just levels the gun at the dumb bird.
The hook jerks back. The flintlock fires. The Captain spins the flintlock down, against the shot pouch at his hip; in one clean motion it's already loaded, cocked with his hip, and fired again, this time at the other moron.
"Come, now! I've been given orders, madams, and there's profit on the line!"
|Hellwarming Duo||Utsuho: "This still sounds like a property thing."
Rin: "Right? But.. Uh. I mean, we're Paladins now, so we should be helpin' those two, right?"
Utsuho: "M.. Maybe? But if this Midway's house..."
For better or for worse, the idiots are too busy trying to figure out how ocean property rights works with what little/no knowledge they have. If nothing else, though, they finally know what kanmusu are! Rin might even actually remember that down the line. Utsuho probably won't.
When Hook is given the job to clear the premises, it takes a moment for either of them to realize that they're being included as intruders. Utsuho takes that shot straight in the arm with a pained yelp, and Rin's scream is somewhat less justified since she actually has time to just get nicked instead of hit head on.
Utsuho: "Ow! Fine, you wanna go? Let's go!"
Rin: "But this isn't even our house!"
Utsuho leads the charge for herself and Rin, the pair breaking off in opposite directions as flames are left behind in their flight path. Utsuho's burn brighter and start swarming towards Hook almost immediately, and it takes a bit longer for Rin's smaller flames to follow suit.
|Captain Hook|| "Do I *wish* to fight you? Hardly!" Hook's smile is a bright one as the two girls start moving. "But I am being offered treasure, you know, and perhaps greater profit besides. And there's hardly a thing that motivates a pirate like treasure and profit."
The two ladies split, and shoot fire.
Hook's reaction speed is ludicrous. The hook-hand flintlock goes across his chest. He fires into the first flame, and it splits in half, splattering across the ground. When the second flame comes the Captain's cutlass swings around to meet it, carving through and dispersing it into the water. It hisses and bubbles in the wake of the fire.
William waves his cutlass-hand slightly. There's some burns on his hand. "Now then, my dears."
Hook does not move fast. He does not run forward, nor fight like some sort of demon possessed, nor go in wild and swinging. No, the man waits for opportunity. Carefully, he walks, slowly, around the dais. He's following the order he was given - protect the computer. That's the key to his profit, after all.
And he moves like a great shadow beneath the water. It's the anticipation that kills as much as the cutlass or the flintlock. What is the shadow? What's swimming down there? A harmless whale? A cloud in the sky blocking the sun? Or some great and terrible nightmare, all tentacles and teeth, waiting to grasp and drag the unwary down into the depths? His movements are so hard to read, and so, so slow.
When he sees his opportunity, he takes it. A shot at Utsuho when she gets close enough - and then he kicks off the dais, runs forward, and moves to stab the cutlass straight into her chest for a brutal attack. His smile still hasn't left his face.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa had a feeling it would come to this but she did give it a shot to talk it would work out. Maybe it still will? Kotone is loomed over and feel just how small she is compared to the princess she's more than having to look up at her. Something in the bae domes online as Kotone is keeping an eye on the Princess more than the base, as honestly? Right now the Princess would be the most dangerous thing in the room. So far as she's aware it could be wrong and cost her dearly later. It looks like she's going to get a reply from the Princess.
It's not the sort she was hoping for, it's a blow with enough force to send even one like her flying. She only has seconds to react and in a small miracle, she's able to just barely twist out of the way.
"Well that's your answer then, very well."
She doesn't like it she does not look happy either. She sees Captain Hook go to fight the Duo.
It looks like she and Shigure are fighting the Princess. She'll move in and rather than attempt to shoot at this range? She'll turn on the powerful taser system built into her body and attempts to shock the Princess with it.
|Shigure|| Shigure jinks behind Yamashiro, using the heavy armour as cover, though the sheer force of the Princess' attack makes the Battleship stagger back and into the wall, crushing the Destroyer between Battleship and hardened metal wall.
Yamashiro rights herself, shoving off the wall and closing the distance on Midway, aiming to get into hand-to-hand range with balled up fists and those metallic kneepads she's fitted with. Shigure pulls herself up a alittle more slowly, grimacing as some metal falls from her tonfa, clattering to the ground as one of the weapons comes up to be uselessly crushed. The remaining cannon if lifted, and wiuth a pulse of RADAR, she fires a shell to impact just before Yamashiro strikes, hoping to give the Battleship, and Kotone by extension, a bit of an opening.
|Midway|| The Princess turns slowly, approaching the Kanmusu pair while they recover. Her head is bowed slightly, chin nestled into the spines of her spiked collar which puts her head at a forward tilt. It does nothing to mitigate her eyes, which have once more opened fully to their previous near-circular shape, filled to the edges with burning crimson around tiny black pupils. Kotone's electrical punch strikes her-- and it's like punching steel plate. There's even a distinct metallic sound when the cyborg's armored fist strikes the Princess' side, a deep, resonant *CLANG* that leaves a dark mark against her ghostly white dress.
Her focus is on the Destroyer-Battleship pair. The smokescreen hisses out around her, but she already saw Yamashiro coming. The first blow lands with a similar dull, metallic noise. Enough to pause the Princess. Yamashiro's second blow is enough to make her take one step back, bracing herself-- when the battleship's fist comes back in, Midway catches it.
The black, corroded steel braces running up the backs of Midway's fingers creak as she opposes Yamashiro's strength, and she leans into it. She takes one step forward, bracing again, leaning into Yamashiro with her oppressive strength, staring into the warship's face with those intense, wide eyes.
And then she acts.
Midway suddenly releases Yamashiro's fist and all the force she's pushing into it with. She dips sidelong from it, hooking Yamashiro's forward-planted leg in one hand and heaving the shipgirl aloft. Her foot plants, and she whirls around in a circle, swinging Yamashiro in an arc directly in the space Kotone occupies. The battleship is released shortly after hitting...whatever that crunch might have been.
|Hellwarming Duo||Rin: "Y'know what? That's fair."
Utsuho: "Right? I'd take treasure if I was given it."
Rin: "Yeah, but we're junior detectives now. And that makes us sorta cops, and you're a pirate!"
The computer is all but ignored by the pair. What reason would they have to go after it, after all, when Hook is attacking them and they're in someone else's home? Naturally, the only thing they can do is focus on fighting him head on.
And head on they fight, up to and including getting hit right in the eye in Utsuho's case. The only small relief she has is that she doesn't get stabbed literally in the eye, but she's caught off guard well enough by Hook that his weapon strikes right against the eye on her chest. It's only through turning at the last moment that it doesn't pierce right into her, although it's still painful enough to draw a shout from Utsuho as she swipes her control rod at Hook in reflex.
"Freaking... Okay, you wanna play it up close, huh? Then let's fight like the boss did!" Grinning in excitement as she clutches that chest eye, Utsuho slaps her control rod against her hand once as it starts building up heat. It doesn't take long before the rod starts to radiate with a more tangible heat surrounding it. Her footwork is anything but swift, and her swings are anything but controlled, but she charges at Hook nonetheless. She wields wielding that burning rod like a barbarian with a big flaming club in an almost literal sense, swiping left and right wildly.
Rin's not one to let the fight stay a one-on-one, of course, as she scurries about underfoot, trying to use Utsuho's more blatantly obvious attacks as cover to try getting behind Hook and blasting fireballs into his back. She hasn't quite realized the extent of his abilities just yet.
|Shigure|| Yamashiro is just getting into the 'flow'.. and then suddenly finds herself being used as a blunt, improvised weapon, She's been overpowered by Midway before, and just like last time she's lifted, and swung like a ragdoll. Regardless of what she hits, it's with enough force to fracture steel. Her equipment takes a lot of damage, two of her turrets crumpling like empty soda cans... but she gets back up, shedding the damaged turrets and angling her remaining ones.
Shigure fires another smoke round, and as it discharges, Yamashiro moves, then fires four barrels of Battleship artillery.
|Captain Hook|| It is at that moment that Rin learns she's made a horrible mistake.
Hook doesn't need to see to block ranged attacks. His cutlass goes backwards over his shoulder, parting the fireballs without a second thought and sending them ricocheting into the water. Knowing that he doesn't have to work to protect the computer from them helps him a great deal.
At the same time, as Utsuho comes in, his flintlock comes up to meet the club. A loud shot goes off seconds before it impacts him dead-on.
He rolls out of the way of the delayed strike, rising to his feet and shaking the flintlock-hand slightly. The trouble with people who throw fire is that metal attached to your muscles is not pleasant to heat up.
He rolls past Utsuho, rising, covered in water. His blade goes for her back as his flintlock settles on her shoulder. There's a loud bang near her ear as he shoots directly at Rin's shoulder.
"Ladies, I hope this doesn't affect our relationship going forward, mmm? I should hate for any lingering malaise to cloud future interactions."
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa is out classed she knows it but she is not alone, which is very good news for her. Midway has survived a very long time in the multiverse after all for a reason few like her have lasted this long. Kotone has punched steel before it does hit and then comes the counter. She knows Midway is dealing with two others but she's seen more people fight her at once. She gets hit by Yamashiro and it's pretty bad there's a crunch of something in her synthetic body being broken by the impact and Kotone is sent off her feet. She's forced to recover quickly as she can.
She learned the hard way about being up close with Midway.
There will be a pause the moment she gets an opening she'll pull back on one arm, it deforms unpacking a /shotgun/ which was contained in her arm all along. She grips her deformed arm with her other.
THen the weapon fire solid slug round at Midway, the first clear shot she gets.
|Midway|| Recovering from her spin, Midway adjusts her posture again, head turning straight towards the inrushing battleship, right through the smoke. There's a discordant pulse from her; Abyssal Radar piercing through the smoke scattered by the nimble destroyer. Rearing up to her full height, Midway spreads her arms, wreathed in pale white smoke, a malevolent silhouette with glowing red lamps. Cannonfire slams into her, bursting in flames and black smoke amidst the white. Kotone's piercing slug manages to draw fluid, punching through enough to draw out a spurt of oily black ichor. While she lurches when struck, she does not faulter.
Several meters away, that forgotten white sphere shoots through with cracks, then splits open. Shards of whitewashed metal scatter, revealing the misaligned teeth and blackened steel of Midway's parasite. The mouth yawns open, blazing with crimson light, and the device starts spewing out Abyssal aircraft in clusters of four. These bank hard and have to fly slow in this confined space, but this doesn't stop them from immediately dive-bombing and strafing all three of Midway's attackers.
|Hellwarming Duo||"Wh... Is that a magic freakin' sword?!" Rin looks aghast as Hook just slices her fireballs apart harmlessly, stopping for a moment in her surprise as Utsuho comes in with her broad swings.
"Who cares? You're pretty strong, Captain! Are you really human?" Utsuho asks with that same excited tone in her voice, going for another swing when he rolls right past her. Before she can whirl around to face him, he's already slicing her across the back, and Rin yelps as she takes a bullet to the arm from forgetting to actually keep moving.
"Lingering mayo... What? Hey, are you making fun of us?!" Utsuho actually sounds annoyed as that as she flaps her wings right at Hook's face, trying to throw him off balance long enough to take another swing at his gut with that rod as it outright puts out flames from the tip, looking less like a... Whatever it's supposed to look like and almost like an oversized blowtorch flame. As with her previous swings, the danger seems to be less in the actual swing or contact, and more with the flames surrounding the weapon itself.
Unlike her previous swings, however, Utsuho is starting to lean into each strike, almost as if she's trying to make direct bodily contact with Hook in the process. He might very well notice that her body itself is heating up, and that she might just be trying to burn him with contact alone! But how long can she keep this up?
"Relationship? H-hold up, are you...?!" Rin, meanwhile, has managed to fluster herself by overthinking things.
|Captain Hook|| "A magic sword? Hardly, madam."
They ask if he's making fun of them. That actually forces him to stop and blink for a moment. "No, madam. I'm saying that I hope that there will be no hard feelings." He steps backwards as Utsuho takes a swing with the rod, parrying with his cutlass as he taps his way back up the dais. Utsuho's trying to grab him with her body. Heating up. There's a smile on his face as he twirls, smacking her in the small of her back with the cutlass's flat. "I am indeed but a human being, my dear lady, and nothing more."
The flintlock continues to spin ominously as he moves.
Rin's having a reaction, and Hook's eyebrow raises as he raises the gun.
"A working relationship, madam."
He just fires it directly at her chest, without a second thought, as he sidesteps Utsuho again and brings the cutlass around for her leg.
|Shigure|| "AA grid, guns up!" call the pair of Kanmusu as the air threat manifests... they don't do much with how many of their emplacements have already been taken out or disabled, and both have to bunker down to not straight up sink right there... Yamashiro's third turret takes a direct hit, and begins to lick with flame, while Shigure takes a direct hit to a leg, knocking her to one knee as it gives out beneath her.
Yamashiro then makes a snap decision. Quickly unhooking the flame-licked turret as the hole begins to fountain sparks like a roman candle, she hammerthrows it at Midway, allowing it to sail in the air to strike at the Princess, before it suddenly detonates, the powder magazine finally reaching critical mass and cooking off.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa has her arm reformed as the one-shot weapon has spent it's payload. It's not enough to stop Midway but it's clear she did feel that one. She's already going for her matter manipulator to pull out another weapon. She sees what Midway is doing. There's a dawning look of horror on Kotone's face. Air support, oh hell. Then it comes to the strafing runs and diving bombs sure they are 'small' but there are so many of them. Her body is pitted with craters. One can see past her armour it into her body itself dispelling any illusion
There's unknown fluid red like blood but smelling utterly foul, sections of her synth flesh are gone and she's looking bad and her armours a bit ragged after that she's also clearly in pain. She does however now have an SMG of some sort in hand.
She then unloads upon Midway as Shigure makes her makeshift attack, she lays down a hail of lead upon Midway and seems to not care she's going to drain the magazine.
|Midway|| Midway begins to move again. Slow steps through the foot-deep water, admist the gunfire and explosions of her attack wings and the shipgirls' defenses. One plane takes a hit, catching fire and banking out of formation. It crashes against the wall between two of those glowing blue tanks, rattling the assembly. An exploding bomb damages a support arm and another of the canisters lurches free of its mounting, crashing down near the computer dias but not on top of it.
Yamashiro hurls her turret. Midway rears one hand up, backhanding the blazing gunhouse away from herself; it explodes nearby, but far less critically than it could have if it had hit her directly. She stops only when Kotone unloads with the full-auto weaponry, dark marks scraping against her skin and digging into her dress. On the computer, the worm-snake thing she'd deployed starts writhing, pulling its face out of the connector port to reveal its head to be a USB-like connector. Skin folds in over this connection, and the creature hurls itself from the console and into the water.
"Hn hn hn hn..." The resonant, low laugh escapes Midway, her shoulders bobbing. Leaning back, she throws her hands to either side, the laughter growing louder. Her parasite's mouth yawns wide, disgorging multiple planks of steel in the vague, mangled shape of the hulls and bows of ships. Atop them are multiple guns, mismatched, grafted into place where-ever they would fit. As Midway's laughter grows louder, the parasite's guns open fire indescriminately. Not just threatening Shigure, Yamashiro, and Kotone; but also dealing catastrophic damage to the room itself.
The floor lists a bit. The water seems to be getting deeper.
|Shigure||Midway stalks forward. Yamashiro has one cannon left, the second barrel of her remaining turret is bent at an awkward angle, kinked in the middle. Shigure has had to discard her other tonfa, the barrel and turret cap blasted through from the damage of the air assault. She unhooks her backup 'hand cannon' instead. As Midway starts firing, Yamashiro brings her arms up defensively, and backhands a shell that would have punched clean through her aside, into those banks of terminals. She steps forward, turning another shell aside, then another, approaching the Princess gradually. Once she's closer, she turns another shell, and guides it back around with a twist to redirect it right back at the source. Shigure, meanwhile, yanks a loose metal panel off the wall, straps it to her damaged leg and makes to evacuate. <Yamakawa... You other two. theis place is sinking, we must retreat... mission failed.>|
|Hellwarming Duo||Utsuho: "Oh. Uh. Okay, yeah. That's cool."
Rin: "... Hehe. He said-"
Thankfully, the fight is still going before Rin can finish that thought. Utsuho getting knocked off balance by Hook's back-slap has Rin scrambling sideways to not get caught up in the melee when the bird nearly stomps right on her, and there's a brief sigh of relief when Hook clarifies his intentions about 'relationships'.
"Oh. Good. Not like I'd be into a human even if GYAH FU-" Rin screeches as the shot rings out, her instincts kicking in at the last moment and twisting herself just so that instead of getting shot in the chest, she takes that to the arm. Unluckily, it's the same exact arm as before. She howls in pain while thrashing about, and Utsuho's not faring much better as Hook's slice opens up her leg and continues to wear her down.
"You move around way too much... Hold still for a second!" Utsuho shouts as she staggers around, not quite having the footwork she already didn't have much of the begin with. Instead of trying to chase Hook again, however, she grips the control rod with her other hand as heat continues building inside of it. "Ah, screw it. Let's just see if you can dodge this or not!"
With a brief flourish, Utsuho raises the control rod above her as a miniature sun forms above her. Almost as if she's learning from Rin's mistake, however, the sunball shrinks as quickly as it came, condensing right back into that rod until it looks less like something attached to Utsuho's arm and more like a solid beam of light. With almost no subtlety whatsoever, Utsuho brings it down to waist level, then floats about a foot off the ground before starting to spin and sweeping it around her like some kind of winged...
Spinning target with a beam coming out of one side.
|Captain Hook|| Midway goes batshit. She unleashes utter, total, complete destruction on the area, blasting the field with all the guns she can draw.
As shells rain down and bullets fire and the roof starts collapsing, Hook raises an eyebrow.
His cutlass whirls. His flintlock discharges. Surrounded by explosives, Captain Hook carves apart missiles, fires flintlock shot to knock bombs into other bombs, and bounds machine-gun fire to blast open explosives. It's absurd to watch, but he's not moving like some kind of lightning-fast supergod; on the contrary, he's moving slowly, deliberately, avoiding shots he doesn't have to parry with light sidesteps. In the end, Hook is surrounded by smoke, and it's hard to see what happened.
When the smoke clears, Captain Hook stands, perched on a platform. It's the only thing around him that hasn't been utterly bombarded, utterly torn to pieces.
And then the sun erupts, tearing through the smoke, melting the metal above, and hissing at the water. Hook starts skipping backwards through the listing ship, dancing back towards Rin. Midway calls for retreat.
Hook's going to have just a bit more fun.
He hooks one arm around Rin's waist and beams at her as Utsuho comes charging in.
"Goodness, madam, but you do wound me," he whispers in her ear, and then spins her forward towards Utsuho, just enough to give Utsuho pause.
At that moment, he lunges forwards, fires the flintlock directly into Utsuho's spin. The cutlass goes swinging up from the underside to hook under Utsuho's blouse; his hook goes for her collar.
Captain Hook moves to just *slam* the flying nuclear weapon into the ground with all force.
And a cheerful wink at Rin.
|Hellwarming Duo||Between Midway going apeshit with her cannons and Utsuho spinning like a jackass with her giant flaming arm, Rin is understandably freaked out rather quickly. The fact that Hook is just cleaving through all that gunfire with hardly even a scratch makes it more apparent, but when he gets in close...
He actually grabs her. He whispers into her ear. Which of the four? Who knows. The effect is the same: Rin continues freaking out, and she stumbles wildly as he uses her as an interception vehicle against Utsuho who, thankfully, has enough restraint not to set her best friend on fire and pulls that death beam right back into her control rod.
Unfortunately, that distraction does give Hook ample opportunity to get his hook under Utsuho's ample.. Shirt. She goes up, then over, and right back down into the ground/rising water with a heavy splash and a hastily shouted "SON OF A", some of the water already turning into steam from the residual heat of that control rod.
"Q... Quit flirtin' and just focus on fightin', jerkass!" Rin stammers in utter bewilderment, face flushed and tails sticking straight up. Eventually, however, she realizes that things are still kind of exploding around them. "... Wait, we should be gettin' outta here!"
"... Yeah, I guess. But first." Utsuho lifts her head out of the water just enough to get those words in as she points her still-glowing control rod up at Hook. With nowhere else to direct the energy, she just blasts it right at him, almost as if getting into that seemingly-defeated position was intentional!
It was not. She was just in the right place at the right time for that one.
|Captain Hook|| Full power.
Hook grabs Rin in one arm. The flintlock comes up and fires directly into the nuclear energy.
The flintlock hits the blast.
The blast goes ricocheting right past Hook and Rin, narrowly avoiding both of them. The heat is enough to sear through the metal. There's a smell of slightly burning flesh near his hook-hand. Presumably even with that slick move it's still not fun to be near that kind of energy with **metal attached to your skin**.
Hook spins the cutlass, then sheathes it. He spins the flintlock, then holsters it. He walks over to Utsuho, picks her up in his other arm, digs into his belt, and fires a grappling hook up, carrying the two girls with him.
"I should hate to allow two lovely ladies to drown in the deep, dark depths. A fate suitable for sailors, but not for maidens," he says as the Concord grapple carries them up.
Yeah, even though he just beat them half to death, he's still going to save them, because he's a gentleman.
|Hellwarming Duo||Rin continues freaking out as expected, making all sorts of confused noises and just turning as red as her hair. Utsuho, meanwhile, is laughing like an idiot the entire time. When she thinks Rin isn't looking, meanwhile, she gives Hook a thumbs up.
Utsuho might also look a little red, but surely that's just from the fight adrenaline and nothing else.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Midway is quite the horror fight and injuries are adding up on Kotone. She isn't sure she can take another major hit and then comes Midway. She just unloads it clear to Kotone? If Midway can't have the data here? No one will have it. Is what seems to be going on with this latest attack.
There's not much she can do about it at this point. Maybe return later to attempt salvage? She doens't know right nowe SHirure is right it's time to puill out. The big guns open up and Kotone moves, she pushes her body as hard as it can be in its current condition. She uses her double dash and air jumping systems as best she can and it's what saves her from being salvage herself. Or waking up somehow in the employ of Midway. Not a happy thought to think about nor a logical one but it's there in the back of her mind.
Things are getting worse too the place they are in is one baldy damaged there's likely going to be little to no data to salvage. Two? It's sinking and that's even worse news honestly for her. Kotone gets the call from Shirgue that it's time to leave and she agrees. There's no way to just run through Midway would doubtlessly shoot her in the back.
She'll reload her weapons and start firing as she pulls back following after Shirgure it's clear she's done and just is trying to get out without taking several battleship shells to the back.
|Midway|| Yamashiro redirects one of the shells flying towards her into the computer console. It goes up impressively, further battered by the indescriminate cannonfire pouring out of Midway's parasite. Redirecting one straight into the Princess has a rather less dramatic impact, as it splashes against her armored form, leaving a burned patch on her dress and hide but not sufficient penetration.
Kotone's cannonfire has her shifting her stance again, tilting forward as high tech gunfire rattles against her back. She might be on fire in places, even, but the implacable Princess is as much the monster from a horror film in how dulled her reaction to pain actually is. She rears up to her full height, looming over Yamashiro, still so very close.
When she shifts, it's a simple motion. Midway draws her knee up into the shorter battleship's chest with enough force that, should she make contact, she'd at least be doing the shipgirl the favor of hurling her towards her fleetmate.
The raised leg is then planted, slamming into the tilting metal deck with a splash of seawater. Her parasite rolls through the water until it can haul itself up behind her, mouth yawning wide in a screeching, tearing-steel roar. Midway lifts her hand, fingers splayed, and her guns unleash another barrage. This time, directed, the firepower is aimed not simply at Kotone but at the exit passage itself. She's going to bring the whole corridor down if they don't get out.
|Kotone Yamakawa||All things considered Kotone has got off lightly with what Midway can do. She owes that to the help she had from Yamashiro and Shigure. A hit is scored and she'll take it, It is still very much time to leave. Yamashiro is just plain got tossed and Shigure isn't doing very well either. Kotone gets hit it's bad, she's caught in the attack and Kotone is a mess now it's clear she's not physically human. Her armour is wrecked there's a lot of synth flesh gone the earlier wounds are just messed up.
Alarms go off across her HUD there's a lot of pain she's going to banish her weapon move to grab Shirgure and flee as fast as her damaged body can go.
There is at least one good thing she's learned today. Captain Hook seems to have standards he sticks to and when it's a job? It's a job and she will keep that in mind for dealings with him in the future. This may benefit the Captain later.
|Midway|| The Princess of Progress, wreathed in gunsmoke, does not pursue. She simply stands there, now knee-deep in rushing seawater. The Siren facility lurches steadily more as it begins to sink, and she raises her eyes to the great hole burned into the ceiling by the fight between Hook and those two demons. At last, her eyes return to their prior shape, the narrow and calculating form most typically associated with Midway.
She raises her arms, surrounded by mangled steel and flames and sparking electrics as the base goes under, acellerating as it descends until the fortress has disappeared. All that remains on the surface is patches of oily residue, flames, some debris, and a handful of those glowing blue canisters that had been knocked loose; threatening to drift off on the shifting tides of the region.
At least the Radar-reflecting qualities of the Mirror Sea seem to have died alongside the Siren lab.