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Dix Neuf

"Nice and easy. Like baking a pie."

0 · 549 views · located in Aftermath Era

a character in “Black Fang”, as played by ZoddtheItinerant

Description

Image

Name: Dieter Von Wolkenritter

Role: Base Commander of Haven

Callsign: Dix Neuf

Gender: Male

Physical Appearance: A tall, broad shouldered middle aged man with deep red eyes and jet black hair. Wears an olive Black Fang Commander's coat over his shoulders, like a cape.

Personality Traits: A man who has seen it all, Dix Neuf remains calm and collected no matter the circumstances. Laid back, informal, and rather lazy.

Personal History: A veteran Black Fang officer and former Silhouette pilot known as the "Cloud Knight", thanks to his lightning fast movements, use of smoke bombs, and a gigantic drill-tipped lance as a trademark weapon, a deadly combo which he utilized well against the MASS for years.

Despite his experience and relatively young age, the loss of his left arm and right leg severely diminished his piloting skills, even with prosthetics. Dix Neuf was subsequently reassigned as Haven's Base Commander, the highest authority in Black Fang just below the Arch Commander himself.

Equipment:
- Olive Black Fang Commander's coat
- Luger pistol
- Flare gun

So begins...

Dix Neuf's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: BFSV-16 Polaris Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Genna Strawberry Character Portrait: BFSH-035 Diesever Character Portrait: Tsubaki Horizon Character Portrait: BFSW-002 Stinger Character Portrait: Dix Neuf Character Portrait: BFSP-060 Paladin Character Portrait: VFM-06A Corvidae Character Portrait: BFSH-013 Sarissa
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  1. Edited to include reference to Lufia's Silhouette.

    by ZoddtheItinerant
  2. Edit retracted.

    by ZoddtheItinerant

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PROLOGUE: HAVEN

Year xx57, Aftermath Era.

The sun shined high above the vast, nigh endless stretch of the Gobi desert. The millennia-old, deep tan sand seemed fluid and soft, like an unmoving, all-encompassing ocean. Scraps of metal littered the dune surfaces, some small as a babe, others large as a battleship. But all were wrinkled, grey, and rusted.

Hundreds of baby blue tents stood in the middle of the desert, a temporary settlement, housing those who had come long and far to find a semblance of hope in a hopeless world. Men, women, and child alike waited anxiously under the scorching heat. Thousands formed lines, queuing in front of a red tent, where the Black Fang organization promised to provide food and supplies.

After hours of shuffling and feeling every corner of his body nearly combusting, a tall youth in a featureless black shirt and dusty tan pants stepped forward, his weary black eyes glancing to the large woman in front of him, clad in a pink apron and face mask and standing besides a large iron tin filled with gallons of pale yellow soup. To a normal man, the sight and scent would be nothing special. To the starving refugees, it was like a blessing from God.

The youth held up a small white bowl, which the woman quickly filled. He grimaced at the contents of the bowl for a few seconds. After so many dull hours, the soup felt like a pittance. Still, the young man nodded his thanks, then turned to leave.

"Nice hairdo," the woman remarked in a deadpan tone.

"Thanks," the youth replied just as flatly. He wondered if she was sincere. Probably not. The colossal mass of steel-grey spikes he called his hair could hardly be called 'fashionable'. But he liked it that way.

Out of the red tent, and back into the desert. The young man slowly looked up and squinted.

Before him, stood a gigantic landship. A mobile fortress of iron and steel, ten times the size of the temporary settlement, its rust red body shielding everyone from much of the unforgiving sun. Massive treads supported the vehicle, its rubbers new and almost free of dust and sand. Fifty cannons, each the size of five adult men, were mounted on both port and starboard sides of the mobile fortress.

Even after a week since he first arrived at this settlement, the spiky-haired youth could not stop marveling at the fortress.

An awe inspiring beacon of hope.

A refuge for the survivors of the unrelenting MASS onslaught.

"Haven".
===============================================================================




Hissing steam.

Rhythmic beating of metal.

All too familiar to those who took part in the construction of Mobile Fortress Haven. Nearly a year had passed since Black Fang's Arch Commander sent out his order. The workers, clad in their dirty blue overalls and oversized yellow helmets tolled through day and night to make sure the Mobile Fortress would be a stalwart place of refuge for the surviving humans of Eurasia.

"I need an english key, quick!"

"You got it!"

Orders shouted, tools exchanged. The workers moved swiftly as they delivered the finishing touches, sprinting upside down across the ceiling through magnetic boots, rolling through the interior with the aid of wheeled ladders...

Surveying the construction were two figures in Black Fang uniforms. The first, a tall, dark haired middle aged man with a gold-trimmed olive coat hanging loosely from his shoulder like a cloak. The second, a shorter young woman with bright orange hair and glassy green eyes, a neat and proper vermilion uniform on her person.

The two walked side by side, with the man, with one hand in his pocket, and another carrying a stainless steel flask, a casual smile gracing his face. The woman, in contrast, held a clipboard and pen in each hand, using the latter to tick away at several checkboxes.

"Commander Neuf, Section A and B are complete. The rooftops at Section C still need reinforcing, but it should be done by tonight," the young woman reported, maintaining a clear and formal tone.

The man, Base Commander Dix Neuf, gave a lax smile in response. "Good job, Tsubaki, send an alert to the Black Fang pilots. I want them to meet up with me at my office-"

"-Already done, sir," the young woman, Operator Tsubaki Horizon, quickly replied, the edge of her lips curving slightly into a proud smile.

Dix Neuf raised one brow in surprise, then smirked. "Working hard as always, eh, Tsubaki?"

Tsubaki raised a fist to her chin, and chuckled slightly. "Someone has to, Commander."

===============================================================================



Haven's hangar. A gunmetal grey chamber, accented by yellow lights to break up the monotony. The whirring and clicking of machinery echoed throughout this interior, located upon Haven's bow. The hangar was the third largest chamber in the mobile fortress, and the first to be completed.

Seven intricate catapult mechanisms were built on the hangar's ground, each connected to six giant clamps carved on the walls. Upon several of the clamps, surrounded by dozens of vertical, diagonal, and horizontal ladders alike, were five of Haven's Silhouettes. Or rather, four silhouettes, one hover tank, and one mundane fighter jet, the latter two of which were secured on the catapult deck itself, and not the clamp.

Haven's mechanics stood on the many ladders surrounding the Silhouettes, performing regular maintenances and check ups.

One of said mechanics was a short and petite girl, with large brown eyes and pink hair fashioned into two giant drill-like ringlets. The girl pouted, with furrowed brows, as she inspected each Silhouette one by one. Two humanoids, two walkers. She looked between the machines and a clipboard in her hand, matching each one with their model numbers.

"Huuuuuuuuu...," the girl's eyes narrowed as she whined to herself.

"Most of these models are downright ancient!," she mumbled, eyeing the fighter jet 'Corvidae', and the hover tank 'DK-13' in particular. "Are we a Silhouette defense force, or a walking war museum?"

Even their newest model, the absolutely gigantic 'Paladin', seemed rather simple and primitive. Though she had to admit, whoever had the bright idea to include a chainsaw sword among its armaments was an absolute genius.

"These babies better have top tier pilots," she thought aloud and nodded.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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Minerva was the first to reach Base Commander Dix Neuf's office, located at Haven's highest room on the Mobile Fortress' stern. It took quite a bit of walking to reach, even with the moving walkways and elevators strategically built upon every nook and cranny of Haven. Much of the Fortress interior remained barren and austere, with dark grey-brown iron walls barely lit by yellow, wall-mounted, circular lamps. As Minerva approached the Commander's door, she found the several inches thick vault entryway slightly ajar. A light, pleasant smell emanated from within. Then, she heard a...song.

"Ninety nine red balloons, floating in the summer sky~"

Peering in through the open doorway, Minerva heard a light splash. Then a dribble.

Inside, backlit by the sun shining through the windows behind him, was Base Commander Dix Neuf, relaxing in a pearlescent white bathtub. Myriads of crimson rose petals floated upon the warm water's surface, a small number of them gathering around Dix Neuf's wet, toned, and well-tanned chest and broad shoulders. His olive green long coat hung upon a nearby hanger, while his office desk and chair were pushed aside and out of the way, to make room for his glorious bathtub.

The Commander kept his eyes closed, a content smile etched upon his face. His shoulders heaved when he breathed in the sweet scent.

A few seconds passed. Dix Neuf remained still as the water. Finally, he opened one eye, and turned his head slightly to face Minerva.

"Ah, Minerva! Finely dressed and fashionably punctual, as always~," he greeted her. Casual. Informal. Still naked inside the bathtub.

The Commander closed his eyes again, and inquired without shame, "Care to join me? These roses, straight from our greenhouse, are absolutely heavenly."

To emphasize, Dix Neuf took another deep breath, exhaling a sigh which sang of the fragrant euphoria coursing through his veins.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: BFSV-16 Polaris Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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"Confirmed. And that I am sure of."

With a confirmation of request, Raiza almost immediately initiated a transformation sequence, and within .92 seconds the once tall mech that stood on the dunes had changed into what appeared to be a fighter jet, it soon sped off, kicking up a massive plume of sand as the afterburners kicked in, now with the radiant sunlight glowing through the canopy, which looked green on the outside, though inside it seemed clear, another marvel at technology with Polaris, as it masked the pilot well. And with a mere few seconds passing, Raiza was banking left, circling the mass known as Haven, waiting for the hangar doors to open. Though taking her eyes off the mass, a small smirk drew across her face, as Polaris straightened before rolling right in a descending manner, 'I think the people could use a show, and Miss Tsubaki the wake-up...' the air-show was to be brief, with her merely enacting a couple of maneuvers before landing in Haven, one of those maneuvers, however, would take her close to the Operator's room. Speeding up she could hear the wind passing by the jet, and feel the roar from it, it was a familiar feeling, and an all too loved one at that. As she roared past Haven (and the Operator's Room in particular), Polaris' nose turned up to a sharp rise, an Immelmann turn, which was a simple 180 degree turn amiss an Aileron roll, landing the craft higher than she was one moment ago. With a laugh from the pilot, she soon dropped and ended her little stunt with a descent into the Hangar.

While she had enjoyed the show (likely to the dismay of Tsubaki), others, were not as happy. Engine roars end to echo through the metal structure, and often the reverberations would intensify said sound. Shutting down Polaris, Raiza rubbed her hand against the console, almost like one would see while petting a horse or animal, from the old movies and all. Though soon the canopy came up, allowing for Raiza to leap out, landing hard on the metal, the pilot stretched with a light groan, after a while being in a cockpit caused a lot of muscles to tense up, and since there's not a whole lot of room to move, it made getting out feel amazing to Raiza's body. Next was the helmet, which was promptly removed, releasing amber hair to rest on her shoulder, and uncovered a matching pair of eyes with said hair. Setting the helmet back with Polaris, Raiza looked to Genna, lightly smiling, "Polaris flies beautifully, thank you for ensuring that he's in great shape." Her voice, much like the smile she gave, was soft and warm, Raiza liked being with people, and being able to trust those around her, and vice versa.

Though, feeling she was late, Raiza moved quickly, not even changing out of her protective suit that she's given to fly in, she quickly made her way to Dix Neuf's office, she seemed to be a few moments after Minerva, though what had awaited her was not to what she was expecting. Neuf, stark naked, in a bathtub... With rose petals. As she stepped in, stopping a few feet from the door, where a motherly sigh came through as she pressed two fingers against her forehead,

"Commander, could you please at least look decent when the others arrive...? I don't think they wish to see this...."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Dix Neuf Character Portrait: DK-13
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Anna wiped sweat from her face as she entered the mobile base. It was cooler here but Anna still felt miserable only the sight of her DK-13 brought a small smile to her face as she walked by the hanger.
Anna climbed higher and higher until the commander's room came into view.
The door was open and two other pilots stood there. Mirerva and Raiza if she remembered right

"Commander, could you please at least look decent when the others arrive...? I don't think they wish to see this...." Raiza said

This caused Anna to raise a brow as she walked closer and peaked in. Her eyes went wide shocked as she said "What the Hell!?" In Russian.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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Minerva just stood there, mouth agape, as she caught Commander Neuf bathing. In his office. Moments before an important meeting. Was her eye playing tricks on her? Had she gone mad without realising? No, the man was just sitting there, merrily scrubbing away, clear as day. He even invited Minerva to join, which caused a faint blush to spread to her cheeks, noticeable against her pale skin.

She was about to politely decline the offer as best she could when another one of the pilots entered the room. Raiza, she recalled. The other woman appeared to take this surprise quite well, unless she happened to be exceptional at concealing the shock and confusion of walking in on their commanding officer casually taking a bath.

And then Minerva jumped back in alarm as a sweaty, smelly drunkard burst in. It took her several moments to recognise that this drunk was, in fact, another one of the pilots. Hardly presentable enough for a friendly game of cards, let alone an important meeting with the base commander.

"With all due respect, sir, I believe Miss Mirnova could stand to benefit from a bath far more than I," Minerva replied to the offer given to her earlier with a straight face and deadpan tone.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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  1. Waiting for: Camille to respond to Rhys. Will wait for: 2 days

    by ZoddtheItinerant

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Base Commander Dix Neuf remained cool and collected, as Minerva was joined by Raiza. He leaned back stretched his long, muscular arms (or rather, one muscular right arm and a dull, handless stump jutting from his left elbow), before resting them behind his head.

With one eye open and a mischievous grin, Dix Neuf replied to Raiza's suggestion, "A little too late for that, Raiza" while his eye darted between her, the bemused Anna, a straight-faced Minerva, and finally back to the exasperated Raiza.

Despite his lackadaisical words and smile, the Commander slowly stood up, facing his bare naked backside against the three ladies, before grabbing a nearby towel and drying himself in full view. He did not seem to mind. Many faded scars had been carved into his back, though perhaps the two most significant 'scars' were his missing left arm and right calf, the latter of which was equipped by a waterproof prosthetic leg.

Dix Neuf snickered, then guffawed heartily at Minerva's suggestion. "Keh! Ha hahahah ha!" Even (or perhaps because of?) with her emotionless demeanor, the white haired girl never failed to amuse him.

The Commander twisted his upper body to look to the drunken and sweaty Anna. "She's got a point. A clean body leads to a sound and healthy mind. So what say you, tovarich? I promise I won't peek."

While waiting for the others to arrive, Commander Neuf put on the rest of his attire. A casual maroon shirt. Tan pants. Black combat boots. And somewhat importantly, a prosthetic left arm. Both of his artificial limbs were quite detailed, with ribbed designs and fully functional fingers and toes. Sophisticated enough to handle piloting Silhouettes. Theoretically, at least.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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It looks could kill the commander and Minerva would have fallen dead to the glare Anna gave them.
" I am not that drunk nor will I ever be...Also it was not my idea to set up in a fucking desert or to have a meeting on my day off...Your lucky I was even awake!"
Anna leaned against the wall crossing her arms she was clearly in a bad mood now and wanting this meeting to end before it even began.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Rhys Hudson Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Camille Arca Character Portrait: Tsubaki Horizon Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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Commander Neuf remained smiling, without a tense nerve in his face, at the sight of Anna's cold, hard glare. He grabbed the chair he previously tucked away by the wall, dragged it in front of the bathtub, and proceeded to slouch atop it, his long, olive coat cape draped over like a heavy curtain.

"If it bugs you so much," the Commander spoke, staying utterly calm. "I could send you off back to the Russian branch with a formal letter. You can stop whining about the desert, and we'd all save money on vodka and bath water."

Eventually, the rest of the team filed in, from the tallest to shortest. Rhys Hudson, Renzam Aubrey, Camille Arca, and Avery Hall.

The Commander looked at each briefly, then sat himself up properly. "And we're all here. Ahem."

"As Base Commander of this fine and fortuitous fortress, I, Dix Neuf, formally welcome all seven of you as members of Haven's Silhouette Defense Force." His words were official, fitting of an authoritative figure, but his tone was calm. Lax. Almost flippant, in a way.

Renzam glanced left and right, scanning the rest of his teammates. The white haired woman, in particular, caught his attention. Minerva Petra. She was there when his brother was killed in action. She was there when a lot of people were killed in action. Time, and time again. Renzam's hands balled into fists, but he quickly looked away once he realized he was staring, and focused back on Dix Neuf's speech.

With one eye closed, the Commander continued his speech, "Some of you have tasted true battles in the past. Others have engaged in mere simulations. It matters not."

"We're all part of a team now, and with our strengths, we will cover each other's weaknesses."

Dix Neuf sighed and stirred in his seat.

"After so many months, the construction of Haven will reach its end at around 1900 hours tonight. We will then open our gates, and proceed with the boarding of over 23,000 men, women, and children alike."

Renzam's entire body froze. His mouth quickly blurted out what was in his mind, "All seven of us are responsible for THAT many people?"

The Commander kept his everpresent smile. "Oh, you won't be alone. The ground vehicle and air support divisions will help you. Your Silhouettes' firepower will be our trump cards, but our less advanced jeeps, tanks, and fighter jets in the secondary hangar will perform secondary and tertiary tasks."

Dix Neuf paused, letting the information sink in, before continuing his speech, "We'll try and make sure the boarding process is as quick, painless, and organized as we could. This is a crucial operation, so I will need ALL of you to sortie in your Silhouettes, and watch our bow, stern, port, and starboard alike."

The Commander leaned back in his chair and snapped his fingers.

"Now. Tsubaki? You here?"

A monitor on Dix Neuf office table flickered to life, displaying the red haired Operator's calmly smiling face.

"Yes, Commander, I'm-"

A pause. The Operator glanced down from her position to see Dix Neuf's rose-scented bathtub. She quickly directed her eyes back to the Silhouette Defense team, and cleared her throat.

"I-I'm here."

They could see the girl wordlessly sigh at the Commander's impractical use of his water rations. Dix Neuf, of course, remained nonchalant. He looked up to the group, and asked, "Before we proceed with our review of MASS knowledge, I have a question."

The Commander paused again, taking his time to make eye contact with each of them, his expression far more serious than before.

"This team is going to need a field leader. Any volunteers?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Rhys Hudson Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Camille Arca Character Portrait: Tsubaki Horizon Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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As Rhys entered the commanders office, the most eye catching sight of the room was the commander himself. Slouching over a chair while still inside a bathtub. Being a commander sure had its perks, a nice bathtub. Where can he sign up to be a commander? He chuckled at his thoughts but stood at attention, a little bit casually.

His eyes soon scanned the room looking at everyone that was currently in the room and boy was he surprised. Out of the seven of them here, a stunning five ladies were here, they were all pretty good looking as well. He expected perhaps a bunch of men as well but if this was the defence force, the people who would engage the nastiest threats. Then he would be glad to work along every one of them. He could only imagine if he was not her, Renzam would be the only guy here. Probaly the start of a book he once read...something about comedy and romance. The name evaded him.

Shaking away his thoughts, he listened to the commanders speech or introduction...however out of the entire speech when he mentions 23,000 people he whistled. It was up to them and everyone who had volunteered to be in the armed forces to defend every last person here. This was some big responsibility, he signed up for this occasion and make a bit of a difference. At least he would be fighting with some pretty ladies.

However before the captain could talk about the MASS he had a question for them all...who wanted to volunteer for fire team leader. Well then, he could cross himself right off that list. He was pretty casual and a thinker sure, but strategy and tactics was not his deal, or maybe it was? Maybe Renzam? If he would be like his brother one day then he would Probaly make a good leader. Or perhaps Minerva, she was a veteran and Probaly had the most battlefield knowledge.

He decided to see who actually would volunteer, fire team leader was an important role after all. If he volunteered he would have to be a team leader, he could think under some heavy pressure but in the field...An order could be fatal...yeah, not going to have that on his conscious.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Rhys Hudson Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Camille Arca Character Portrait: Tsubaki Horizon Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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Minerva didn't even bat an eyelid towards Anna's outburst. She internally disputed the group's fortune that this woman was awake, but knew better than to voice such opinions aloud. Commander Neuf merely smiled as he towelled off and thankfully put his jacket on. The rest of the pilots filed in shortly after as he prepared to deliver his speech.

While listening intently to the briefing, Minerva caught someone looking at her out of the corner of her eye. She looked away when she recognised that face. Adzam's brother. Of course. She knew that she would be expected to work with him, being assigned to the same squad, but... her stomach still turned at the memory of hearing the news. That the Diesever would be refitted with a close combat loadout as per the specifications of its new pilot. To her, it was a disservice to the memory of its former occupant.

The quiet girl looked up when she heard Dix Neuf ask for volunteers to lead the squad. Minerva looked to the others assembled in the room. Many of them looked like fresh faces. Then again, such a proportion of rookies was hardly unusual among Silhouette squads. Whoever was elected to lead them, the protectors of so many human lives, would need to be competent enough to handle the task.

Minerva stepped forward, saluting smartly. "Sir. Based on my previous combat experience, I would like to nominate myself as a potential candidate for this position."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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"I'd like to give it a shot!" Avery excitedly piped up with her hand raised, almost at the same time that Minerva stepped forward. It seemed like an insane proposition - she was by far the least experienced member on the team, but the beautiful thing about being leader is that it's not all about giving the right orders - it's about working as a team!

"My Silhouette is outfitted with surveillance drones that I believe will allow me to make decisions with the bigger picture at hand, and without the fight-or-flight tension of being in the thick of the battlefield!" Well, that's what she said, but it wasn't the real reason why she wanted to be in the captain's seat. Shooting Minerva a side-glance, everything about her presence here shouted 'professional' in her mind.

And being a 'professional' meant making the 'hard' choice. It wasn't really a slight against her, but she seemed like the type of person that would settle for less to increase the likelihood of securing a fewer number of people. And Avery did not agree with that mindset one bit - if there was a choice to save everyone, she would absolutely take it in a heartbeat.

"I understand that I have a civilian background, but. . . in the face of insurmountable odds, I've witnessed many 'tactical retreats' in my time. They never came back, of course - where there were hundreds of us, only a dozen or so end up being able to scrape by." The tone of her voice shifted greatly as she moved onto her next point, wondering if it was a good idea to share this in front of everyone. Shaking away the thought, she steeled herself; if she wasn't going to make her point known here, then where would she?

"If it weren't for a lone, brave pilot that resisted orders to stay behind and protect us, I wouldn't even be standing here. I would be dead." That pilot was killed for their act of heroics, of course, but she wasn't about to undermine that kind of valor. She believed that there was always a way out. "You can't be humanity's savior if you leave everyone to die," Avery said solemnly, her gaze downcast but quickly shifting to meet with the eyes of her peers again. "I won't ignore a cry for help."

Avery was certain that she'd be called naive or an idiot, but this was the choice she'd secured deeply in her heart. It was this kind of hope - this kind of determination and compassion that allowed humans to overcome adversity. To leave helpless people behind, over and over and over. . . that could break someone. Where there was once sorrow and anxiety in her expression, now only an intense fire glared in her eyes.

She refused to be heartbroken any longer.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Rhys Hudson Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Camille Arca Character Portrait: Tsubaki Horizon Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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Anna had stayed quiet listening. She smirked at the commander's suggestion of her going back home sure he would love it until he saw the whole Death Knight tank force go with her. But as she listened on it sunk in the gravity of it all how many lives where on the line...

The call for a field commander took her by surprise she had thought it be Dix giving the orders. She had led tanks before but this was out of her area of expertise. So she stayed quiet...

But then Minerva stepped forward... Sure she had talent and even with her earlier comments Anna would normally follow such a vet but she had heard the tales of Minerva getting her whole squad killed.

" Know you have experience Minerva but I also know how many times those under you command die...I personally wish to survive this mission and am sure everyone else in this room would as well not to mention the 23,000 Innocents we are called to protect." Anna said

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Rhys Hudson Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Camille Arca Character Portrait: Tsubaki Horizon Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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As the other five pilots entered, Raiza politely waved to her new comrades, each one seemed interesting to her, and she wanted to know them better. Though the conference began soon after, as Dix Neuf began speaking, welcoming the new team into Haven, while she was familiar with most of Haven, being that she'd been here a while she understood the implications and especially how much pressure was on her. Especially when the civilian count was read, over twenty-three thousand civilians, along with the crew of mechanics, information specialists, Support units, pilots, and every ounce of this soon to be living base. The pressure of that all felt immense, though not new whatsoever, Raiza's felt pressure before, and knew her strengths.

Though it was time for the briefing of the boarding process, which was to be quick and painless, with everyone covering a flank like they mean it. Though without even so much as a notion, Raiza smiled as Tsubaki came up on the screen, knowing that she was likely still aggravated by Rai's personal air show, as the mechanics were definitely just as crossed, as Raiza was being a bit of a showoff with her skills. It was only normal, and was only for showmanship that the Silhouette pilots were good at their job, giving a secure feeling to everyone, and even hope that the long war could be won. Which as far as things stand, was a pipe dream, but, a girl can dream can't she? Though her eyes glanced carefully at each pilot, as a Field Leader was asked for, and volunteers would be welcomed,

Renzam Aubrey, from a mere look at him he seemed like one of those rough-and-tumble types. Though the number shocked him, Raiza felt that he could be a good pilot from his looks, though not great leadership material.... Next was Minerva Petra, a cold, and possibly calculative person. She'd experience in combat, though led a team to their demise before, as was mentioned by others, Rai liked that she's willing to try again at the least.... After was Rhys Hudson, a calm and casual, even in danger, while he wsa the type that was simple and clean both in mech and tactics, Rai liked how he wouldn't get himself in knots... After was Anna Minrova, a cold, cunning and temperamental pilot, Raiza wasn't exactly someone she would open up to, but there's something underneath everyone, and she wanted to know... Then Camille Arca, a bright and happy person, while she had a lot to learn, there was something about her that made Rai think very fondly and positive to the girl, maybe the fact she knows her weaknesses, and is willing to learn to triumph over them.... And finally was Avery Hall, a spunky and care-free girl, she had quite the experience with the MASS, and volunteered to be the leader, even going so far as explaining her story with everyone, while most would ridicule the poor girl, Raiza smiled, and gave her a gentle rub on her back, a way to comfort someone, something a mother would do, as she looked at Dix, the Tsubaki, and striking out with her words,

"I shall volunteer as well. I feel a synergy with this team, and am willing to put my skills to aid them, and push this squad farther than they realize the can go. However, I will pay my respects to Minerva, and Avery, as I am not questioning your skills or reasons, we all have our reasons to be here. And I will kindly accept any result of this matter. But, I want to ensure everyone's survival, we could use all the help we can get."

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Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Rhys Hudson Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Camille Arca Character Portrait: Tsubaki Horizon Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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The veteran pilot watched Avery, of all people, speak her piece in the application for squad leader. Though initially raising a quizzical eyebrow at this development, Minerva could understand where the rookie was coming from. The powerful Silhouettes, even dated models, commanded an awesome presence on the battlefield. And despite the obvious risks involved, such acts of bravery and heroism provided a source of inspiration and boosted morale among troops and civilians alike. The sacrifice of a single life in the right scenario could very well save hundreds or even thousands of lives.

Shortly after, Anna spoke up. Though it wasn't to throw her hat into the ring alongside the other two...

Minerva turned her head towards the tank pilot, her one eye casting an icy blue glare. The tactless Russian seemed to have struck a nerve. "I'll have you know that I although I am a veteran, I have not once assumed the position of field leader. I have merely served as a subordinate," she corrected Anna. "Or perhaps you have been too busy pickling yourself in alcohol to notice?"

She almost failed to notice Raiza step forward with her own proposition for command. The pilot of the Polaris spoke with more wisdom than Avery, and more warmth than Minerva herself. It was, of course, ultimately up to Dix Neuf as to who would be placed in command.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Rhys Hudson Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Camille Arca Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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"T-Twenty three thousand?!" Camille was almost taken aback upon hearing the number straight from their commander's mouth. "Let's see...That's practically around three times the number of people back at the H.O.M.E! I'm getting a little nervous."

In all honesty though, she didn't really expect to find their commander rather...flippant? Well, she wasn't really bothered by the fact that he opted to meet them in his birthday suit as most military personnel back at the H.O.M.E were desensitized to such things. Rather it was the use of that much water just to bathe. Considering that if they'll be taking in that much people well...rationing may be a little difficult.

Yet something about his demeanor put her at ease. At the very least, he didn't seem like a very strict man--well, until he threatened to send one of the pilots, Anna, back to Russia. "Gulp!"

The next order of action was to choose a team leader for their squadron with which both Minerva and Avery were more than happy to volunteer. Anna expressed doubts over Minerva's capability though, mentioning something about people often dying under her command. Minerva immediately spoke up in rebuttal though, making Camille worry that it might erupt into a full-flown catfight. Fortunately, Raiza also spoke up to volunteer and the way she presented herself seemed a lot more professional than the previous two.

"Hmm..." For a while, Camille wondered if she should volunteer for the position. "The people here may not take kindly if a mere fighter pilot assumes command of a Silhouette squadron. Not to mention that I'm already tied down with mechanic duty as well. Aside from that, it's quite difficult enough to escort twenty-three people to safety--what more if it was like, a hundred times more than that number! Urghh..." Camille sighed. This position just isn't for her.

"If I may...isn't it difficult to choose a leader among us right now? We barely even know each other much less our areas of expertise, personal experience and qualifications." Camille directs the question to the commander himself. "Wouldn't it be more appropriate to finish all briefings first, engage in drills later on and then choose the man or woman to take charge? That way, we can all get a grasp of how each one thinks and acts in face of the situation around them."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Rhys Hudson Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Camille Arca Character Portrait: Tsubaki Horizon Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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Renzam looked between the nominees for field leadership. The professional and unemotional Minerva, seemingly the type to stay cool under heavy pressure. And on the other side of the spectrum, Avery, whose impassioned speech caused Renzam to raise both brows in surprise. "Okay. I admit, that was pretty cool," he thought aloud next to her.

But then he continued to run his mouth, "...Cooler than puking your guts out, at least."

Then, Anna and Minerva exchanged sharp, ice cold words. Renzam glanced at the two and furrowed his brows. Seemed like these two would have quite the colorful interaction.

Commander Dix Neuf, with his eyes closed and head down, held up a hand to stop them from breaking out into an all-out cat fight. Not that he wouldn't enjoy it. "Now, now, girls. Play nice," he calmly requested, his smile never leaving his face.

Renzam then took notice to Raiza as she joined in and promoted herself. Her words were passionate, yet her voice was calm and certain. A healthy mix between Minerva's experience and Avery's compassion.

The Commander listened to each of their suggestions, offering no immediate response, verbal or physical. He finally looked up and opened one eye as Camille offered her perspective. She seemed young and relatively inexperienced, yet thoughtful.

"You're right of course, Camilla," Dix Neuf suddenly spoke out.

He then looked to the others, from Minerva, to Anna, then Raiza and Avery. "I was merely checking how many of you actually want the position. I am pleasantly surprised at what I hear, for the most part."

The Commander turned his eyes to Renzam and Rhys. His smile curled into a mischievous, cat-like one. With a chuckle, he jokingly reprimanded them, "Shame on you two, men are supposed to take charge. Make the ladies swoon with your confidence, you know?"

Renzam remained straight faced as he replied, "I'm a fighter. I follow orders, I don't hand them out."

"Heh. Can't blame you, Renz... nothing is more attractive than a woman that is not only beautiful, but ALSO charismatic... Wouldn't you agree?" The Commander inquired, eyeing both Renzam and Rhys.

Renzam slowly blinked. "...I never gave much thought to women, Sir."

Dix Neuf turned his attention back at the group in general. "In any case, I have taken all of your words into consideration. But before I decide, I would need what you've got."

The Commander spun in his chair, and turned towards the monitor with Tsubaki's face on it. "And before that...."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Rhys Hudson Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Camille Arca Character Portrait: Tsubaki Horizon Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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Tsubaki smiled and nodded, keeping her opinions of the field leader candidates to herself. "Good afternoon, everyone. All of you have read my messages, but this might be the first time you've seen me in person."

Renzam glanced to his teammates, then whispered, "Does a live video feed count as 'in person'?"

"Allow me to properly introduce myself. I am your operator, Tsubaki Horizon," she continued, her voice steady and serious, but accompanied by a certain warmth. With a bow of the head, she proceeded, "I look forward to working with you."

The screen switched away from a view of Tsubaki, to a small map of the desert around them, with Haven in the center, and two bright red dots, located northwest and southeast at the corners of the map. The dots pulsed with a slow-moving, radial wave from within.

"Now, allow me to refresh your memories. These dots represent the "Anomalous Rifts", distortions in the air from which the MASS invades into our world. These rifts become stronger as days passed, and after several nights, they would burst and bring forth our enemies, literally out of thin air."

The screen then shifted once more, this time into a light gray page which displayed the front, side, and back views of an alien creature. Black from head to toe, with a sleek body and long, spindly limbs and a hunched posture. Narrow and thin Rectangular patterns, not unlike a circuit board, were carved into their flesh. The creature lacked any kind of discernible eyes or ears. Instead, its head was shaped like a faceless cuttlefish, with five long, flexible tentacles tapering at the end.

"Our researchers link the pattern of these particular rifts to those of the MASS Nightcrawlers, the most common type of MASS. 13 meters tall when hunched, with sharp and flexible tentacles for limbs. Fast, fragile, and relatively easy to take down, they often attack in groups of five."

With a click, Tsubaki turned to another page. This one displayed more sketches, showing the true face, or 'core' of a MASS Nightcrawler. Their jet black tentacles pulled back and opened like a blooming flower, showing off a bright orange orb covered in patterns of technical circuitry and organic tendons.

Renzam winced at the sight, his eyes lost in the sea of techno-organic surface. "That's gross."

"You could take a MASS down by sheer brute force, but the most efficient way to take down a MASS, and the only way to truly destroy it, is to claim its core," Tsubaki continued to explain. "Destroying a MASS' exposed core ensures that the rest of its body will wither, and for the core itself to ignite and explode."

"The explosion from a single Nightcrawler would do little more than scratch your Silhouettes, but the larger MASS variants will be much less forgiving."

Tsubaki closed her presentation, replacing her face on the screen. "Oh, One last thing. Extracting a MASS core intact instead of destroying it will earn you large bonuses on your paycheck, and is considered by many Silhouette pilots to be a mark of true skill. The energy from inside the core are also invaluable in providing extra fuel for Haven."

The Operator's smile faded, and her glass eyes focused. "But, please, PLEASE, whatever you do, focus on destroying the MASS and coming back safe! No bonus in the world is worth your life..." Tsubaki's voice softened near the end, and she glanced aside, silently remembering many careless pilots who forsook safe survival for a chance at glorious victory.

Dix Neuf slowly spun in his chair and turned his eyes back at the team. "So, any questions? If not, you have five hours of free time. Use it as you see fit. Training, mingling, eating..."

The Commander winked, then gave a thumbs up. "Even fraternizing is fine too!... Juuuuust... don't let the High Command know."

"Commander!" Tsubaki protested with an exasperated frown.

Renzam nodded to himself. It was always good to have a refresher, especially since it had been over two weeks since he last saw actual combat. His eyes darted between the rest of his teammates, curious as to what they would do with the time they have.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Rhys Hudson Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Camille Arca Character Portrait: Tsubaki Horizon Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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"Apologies commander, I will be sure to give a nice gift to all the lovely ladies for my poor manners at taking charge. A little sorry for them all. I will be sure to jump at the next opportunity...also I share the same sentiments about beauty and charisma." Rhys smiled and shrugged casually. Yeah, now that he thought about it...it was ungentamanly of the guys to sit on the sidelines instead of rise to the occasion.

Before the commander could go on yet another tangent, the operator Tsubaki interrupted...or at the very least stopped the commander before he could rant yet again. She began to talk about their enemy, the MASS. How they appeared, how to spot them, their weak points and the common MASS unit they would encounter.

Soon his eyes soon began to have a sort of glint of them, a nice pay check to get a core intact. Not only was it valuable energy but it would be nice to have the extra cash. Of course like hell he would risk his life, maybe if there was one enemy left, taking the cores could be rather simple especially since if they attack in fives, that would mean easy energy and money right? Nah...he should not underestimate the enemy, he was a gambler, he knew about risk and reward well. If things look fine, it usually is or could be a trap. "Thanks for the information, and extra thanks for the kind words. Of course no bonus is worth our life, how else would we spend it if we died? All jokes aside I will be certainly taking care so don't worry about me...a smile suits you much better." He grinned as he pointed right at her.

"As for you commander...I will be sure to mingle around and train...and buy some gifts...but you should be careful commander. If word got out you use water rations for baths like that along with standing in the buff in front of your subordinates...high command will also not like that I am sure." Rhys grinned before turning around and waving. "Gonna see if they have some sort of shopping stall set up. Get you girls some gifts. Don't expect anything too fancy, but I will try and get something you all might like." And with that he laughed heartily as he walked away.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Rhys Hudson Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Camille Arca Character Portrait: Tsubaki Horizon Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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Avery was feeling quite confident after her verbal presentation to the group, if a little nervous, but the intensity of both feelings seemed to switch places in an instant at Raiza's gentle touch. It was kind of embarrassing to have the older girl rub her back, but it wasn't unwelcome. With flushed red cheeks and a smaller posture, she listened to her request the role of team leader as well. Raiza was professional in her words like Minerva, but without the same of sense of distance. It was then that Avery started to wonder if she'd been too passionate, nervously glancing between the faces around her.

Still. . . I don't think I'd mind if someone like her was our leader, she thought with some consideration, shaking off her anxiety and nodding to herself in approval. Heck, she also happens to be the only pilot with a Variable, if I'm remembering this correctly. The rest of us are stuck with walkers, humanoids. . . Avery's gaze briefly strayed toward Camilla, but didn't linger.
. . . fighter jets.

Her train of thought derailed when Minerva shot back at Anna - she was hoping that this would not be a lasting development in their team composition, though there was little to be done about the fact that it was beginning to look like the first development. Renzam wasn't helping any with his little jab at her, although he did say that girls weren't really on his mind.

"Man, that hurts almost as much as my stomach," Avery said with a joking glare.

She raised a brow at one of the commander's comments and smiled to herself, clapping her hands together. "Oh, so you know a thing or two about 'the ladies,' do you, commander?" Confidence isn't a concern to her, but a kind heart and a sense of humor are a definite prerequisite. Well, maybe she did have kind of a preference for taller guys too, but it wasn't a deciding factor.

"Uh. . . if you need me, I'm gonna grab something to eat that isn't soup and then take a quick shower," Avery said sheepishly, recalling the unfortunate incident earlier today. "I'm not feeling so good so I'll probably lay down in bed for a while, though I wouldn't mind if any of you came over to hang out. Well, see ya!"

With that, she followed Rhys and Anna out the door, though they were already quite far ahead of her by the time she parted ways with the rest of the group.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Rhys Hudson Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Camille Arca Character Portrait: Tsubaki Horizon Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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Raiza looked back, hearing Camilla speak, making actual sense of the situation, with an aspect that Raiza hadn't thought of until now, the team wasn't too familiar with eachother. It was definitely a noteworthy revelation, before Neuf spoke again, the team was to be decided after the sortie that evening, fair enough. Though then came the real fun, Tsubaki explaining the MASS, how they appear, which is through a type of temporal rift that quite literally spawns the blasted things out of thin air, it was old news to Raiza, as she'd been through this before, through both researching about the things, and through briefings like this. Moving on was the fun with the anatomy of Nightcrawlers, the most basic MASS "organism" if you could call it that. Thin and spindly, it begged the question as to why this creature is implemented in the army of sorts, outside of being probably inexpensive and good at taking care of humans outside of Silhouettes, though they were scary big, being almost as tall as Polaris in Battleoid form, they were not something exactly easily climbed. But outside of that, there was little to really fret on with them as Raiza could tell, as a Nightcrawler alone wasn't hard, however they came in packs, that's what made them dangerous. Then there was the take down ways, Raiza understood the core was it's weakest part, but wanted to try other methods, and even so much as research them a little more... The MASS intrigued her, and especially made her think what could be done should Black Fang get their hands on researching them....

Though the thought was snapped as the briefing ended, with Tsubaki finishing her report, and then Neuf mentioning the free time, five hours. While Anna merely walked off without so much as a word, Rhys mentioning mingling around and training, along with getting gifts for the female members of the team, with a gentle smile, she responded with a "Oh, you don't have to... I don't mind if you don't get anything for me." Next to walk out was Avery, whom as Rai has heard, was vomiting this morning, 'I'll be sure to make some tea for her, I believe Green Tea should help with that....' soon enough, Raiza spun on her heels, and lightly waved,

"If you don't mind me, I plan to get something to eat, maybe have some tea, and whatnot." as she began to walk away, mumbling bit and pieces of her plan to herself, and somehow ended in the Hangar once more, looking at Polaris, as engineers crawled around it. It was a nice craft she had, and Raiza made sure she tended to it the best she could, often with regular cleanings and regular checks herself. While Engineers knew what they were doing, Raiza preferred to check herself. Though that was not what she was there for, as she looked for bright pink, Genna. It didn't take long to find her, and soon words were exchanged,

"If you have the chance, Genna, could you equip Polaris' Heavy Weapons module? And if you could also switch the Phoenix missiles for the Wasp missiles that'd be nice too. But if you can't do it that's fine, I know you're busy."

It wasn't like Raiza needed it, it was more-so that she needed more firepower to protect the people entering Haven. Raiza would not allow a single casualty without both her and Polaris to go down. Though after being confirmed to her request, Raiza stopped by her next stop, without even realizing she was still in her pilot uniform, (Though it'd make no sense to change, she'd be back in it a few hours later) which was the observation deck, the pilot often visited the area as it gave her both a good view of the surroundings, and also giving her a chance to talk to Tsubaki, whom was likely still cross with her for the mini-air show. 'I really could have joined a flying circus....' she thought laughing at the prospect of that, though she did make a note to that, when there was a safe chance, to have a show for the people of Haven, though she pushed the thought aside as she entered the Observation deck, as the door opened, Rai laughed a little,

"Still dimly lit as ever I see, do you just enjoy the room to be lit by only monitors, Tsubaki?" she asked, shaking her head with a laugh, "I remember being told watching a monitor in the dark is bad for your vision." It was apparent to Raiza that she felt like everyone's mother, but that was brushed aside, as the pilot took up a second chair, rolling towards a monitor, as it flickered up, giving a view from the top of the fortress, while only one tent was noticeable, the red one, that is, Raiza moved the camera around, slowly picking up on the terrain they were in, to place Polaris in the right position...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Rhys Hudson Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Genna Strawberry Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Minerva Petra Character Portrait: Camille Arca Character Portrait: BFSH-035 Diesever Character Portrait: Tsubaki Horizon Character Portrait: Dix Neuf Character Portrait: BFSH-013 Sarissa
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Minerva was surprised to hear that the commander had only called them here to see just how many wanted the position of leadership, before jokingly calling out the team's two male pilots on taking no action while the women did so. Yes, perhaps their capability for leadership would be best seen on the battlefield itself. It didn't sound like standard procedure to her, but then Dix Neuf was hardly one for convention. The bathtub still sitting in the office was proof enough of that.

The briefing proceeded to a formal introduction to their operator, Tsubaki Horizon, who gave them a quick refresher as to the nature and capabilities of the MASS. Having sat through so many similar briefings, Minerva practically knew it all by heart. Take down a MASS by destroying its core, but try to extract it if possible to help fuel Haven. It was all a matter of weighing the risks against the rewards.

When the meeting was adjourned, Minerva watched some of the pilots file out of the room before departing herself. So they would have a few hours of free time before they were needed. The veteran pilot decided to check up on how her Silhouette was doing in its hangar bay. During her years of service she was no stranger to being transferred to a new base, but those had all been stationary installations. She was quite curious as to what facilities a mobile base such as this had to offer.

Haven's hangar was already loaded with the team's Silhouettes and their support vehicles, with adequate staffing to repair and maintain them. Minerva briefly caught the sight of Raiza speaking with Genna, the latter's bright pink hair making her stand out like a beacon despite her lack of height. Deciding not to intrude upon their discussion, Minerva pressed on towards the familiar blue shape of her own Silhouette, the Sarissa...

...and right next to it happened to be the Diesever. With a sigh, she averted her gaze from the retooled and repainted machine in favour of taking a closer look at her own to see if the mechanics were giving it proper treatment.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rhys Hudson Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Tsubaki Horizon Character Portrait: Dix Neuf
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Tsubaki gave a slow blink when Rhys flashed her his charming grin. A faint pink shade took over her cheeks, and the operator averted her cyan eyes, then stammered, "Why...uh...t-thank you." She was unused to such behavior from a Black Fang pilot. Not even Commander Neuf, and found herself unsure on how to react. And yet... it was not an unpleasant feeling.

Dix Neuf chuckled at Avery's comment. With an unmoving smile, he replied, "I wouldn't call myself an expert, but... possibly a journeyman. Definitely above apprentice. At the very least, I know that women are like the sun. If they don't shine bright, us men would just..."

The Commander leaned back slightly, paused for emphasis, and gave a wink.

"...wilt."

As Renzam exited and walked down the corridor, he mumbled to himself, a perpetual frown on his face. "And if they shine too bright, we'd burn. Like eggs in a desert." He had nothing against women, obviously. He simply could not afford any distractions. Even if they were very tempting. And cute.

===============================================================================

Rhys was in luck. Haven's largest area, the indoor plaza, had been opened for public use. The construction workers and ladders had been rid of, the lights affixed to provide adequate illumination upon the walls and floors of old, recycled iron. Everything seemed either brown or gray, with splashes of red-orange and yellow here and there. Even though the construction in this specific area had been finished, much of the wall panels and wiring were left exposed, no doubt to expedite the process and save on resources.

The plaza seemed almost like a small city. Buildings up to four storeys tall were neatly laid around them, each serving to either house Black Fang's Eurasian refugees and/or provide certain services. Much of the buildings will remain uninhabited until Commander Neuf officially signaled the time of boarding, yet Rhys were able to guess their purposes by their prominent signs. 'Belkan's Gourmet', 'Niko's Tailoring', 'Red Light Massage'...

The cat-bearded pilot found himself on a circular area on the southern side of the plaza, where several small stalls had been set up. In the center was a bronze sculpture, depicting a tall, broad shouldered man wearing a long, flowing coat. His jaw had been chiseled to perfection, and even without pupils, one could see a certain fire burning inside his sharp and sharply sculpted eyes. The nameplate read 'Magna Regnum'. Black Fang's long-dead founder.

"Excuse me! Sir!"

A high pitched voice called.

Left, right, back. Rhys saw nobody.

"Down here!"

A tiny boy, barely reaching the older pilot's knees, held up a tray, lined with twelve cinnamon rolls. Their freshly baked, yellow-brown surface seemed to glisten with the soft, white glaze which dripped from their peak to their sides.

"Would you like a sample?" The boy asked, with a smile so giddy that seemed to form a sideways "C" on his face.

Avery, who was seeking higher quality refreshments, found herself, and Rhys nearby, around this area as well. Unfortunately for her, it seemed that her options were very limited until at least the following day. A great many restaurants were built around the plaza, offering noodles, beef bowls, even pasta. For now, however, these offers remained hollow.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raiza Amsel Character Portrait: Rhys Hudson Character Portrait: BFSV-16 Polaris Character Portrait: Renzam Aubrey Character Portrait: Genna Strawberry Character Portrait: Anna Mirnova Character Portrait: Avery Hall Character Portrait: Camille Arca Character Portrait: BFSH-035 Diesever Character Portrait: Tsubaki Horizon Character Portrait: BFSW-002 Stinger Character Portrait: Dix Neuf Character Portrait: BFSP-060 Paladin Character Portrait: VFM-06A Corvidae Character Portrait: DK-13
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 “ hmmm" ”