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Eric Manson

"It doesn't feel right."

0 · 325 views · located in Area 11

a character in “Code Geass: Exiles”, as played by 10tanksonawall

Description

Image

Image

Age: 20

Sexuality: "The gays do their thing, and I'll do mine."

Height: 5'11"

Weight: 185 lbs




Image

Personality: Eric has a very loud personality. Walking into a room, you'll notice him because he'll be a center of attention, striking up and maintaining three or four separate conversations, or because he just bought the entire bar a round of drinks on his tab. He takes to people easily, and is very open about himself. However, a deeper layer of his personality shows itself to the people he knows and respects the most. He is very driven to do his best, and to follow his heart. He relies on his gut more than his head, and is willing to accept responsibility for whatever happens later.

Talents: Besides being a people person, Eric has a knack for breaking down walls that others put up.

Likes:
  • Friends
  • Food
  • Fun
  • A good sense of humor
  • Trust
  • The truth
  • Loyalty

Dislikes:
  • Betrayal
  • Lies
  • Deception
  • Bland people
  • Turncoats
  • Pointless loss
  • Isolation

Skills: Eric is a good shot with his dual pistols, skilled with them to the point where he can aim them independently to a high degree of accuracy, and has a good tactical mind and, as a Knight of the Round, is a skilled pilot and a strong fighter. He also prides himself on being a good cook. Also, his travels from Area to Area forced him to pick up different languages, most of which he can speak at a basic level, and a few which he can speak conversationally.

Flaws: Eric is too easily trusting, and reacts badly when people betray others.



History: Eric lived the first ten years of his life in an orphanage, and was adopted into the royal family by one of the lower ranking families. Though Eric never entertained the option of ascending to the throne, he did enjoy some of the comforts of high-class life, and a small but solid friendship with some of the other Imperial children, despite his unknown blood. At least, until his family fell onto hard times, got kicked out of their estates, and was forced to live off of scraps.

When his sixteenth birthday rolled around, he decided to enlist into the Britannian military, hoping, maybe, that he could somehow restore his family's name and status. He spent the next three years of his life going from Area to Area, fighting for what he believed to be just reasons. However, the more that people threw nasty glances at his as he walked their streets in uniform, the more he wondered if he was really doing the right thing.

Pushing his doubts aside, he continued his assignments, working for Britannia in hopes that his skill and service would be recognized. Eventually, it was, and he was made the Knight of Twelve. His first assignment as a Knight of the Round was to oversee an important operation in the newly reconquered Area 11...

Other: Eric's pistols are custom-made. They fire 9mm rounds, and the bodies are made from Knightmare-grade materials, making them potent melee weapons as well.

Thoughts and relationships to other characters:
Corvo: "Probably my best friend at this point."

So begins...

Eric Manson's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Alexandria "Lexi" Gillespie Character Portrait: Eric Manson Character Portrait: Katia de Britannia Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Eric's eyes were closed, his mind racing in thought. The officer in front of him had just confirmed some very, very upsetting news, and the icy calm that surrounded Eric could be a death sentence for quite a few people if the officer wasn't careful.

"Let me make sure that I understand this clearly, Captain Smith." Eric said. "Not only did you lose the immortal – to a group of Japanese insurgents, no less – but a good part of the equipment that they were using was suspiciously reminiscent of E.U. Gear?”

The officer nodded slowly. “Yes sir. They came quickly, and as you saw, we're still working on the damage.”

Eric nodded. He'd seen the damage to the research facility's rear-access gate, which had been blown outward. “Have you addressed the leak?” Eric asked.

The officer nodded again, more confidently this time. “I sent the list of infiltrators out to our other facilities in the Area.”

“And the vehicle that they stole to escape?” Eric asked.

“The units attached to our labs are combing the Ghettos as we speak.” The officer said.

Eric nodded. “Make sure that civilian casualties are kept to an absolute minimum. I refuse to give the Japanese people a reason to join with the revolutionaries. Not while Britannia is falling apart at the seams.”

The officer nodded. “Yes sir.”

“And Captain?” Eric asked.

The officer gulped. “Y-yes, sir?”

Eric smiled a cruel smile. “I'm expecting a full investigation into the matter. We can't allow people unsuited to such a demanding task be assigned to it.”

The officer nodded knowingly. A majority of the men at his lab's security division were there because their rich parents put them there to keep them out of more dangerous jobs, or jobs that actually required a decent skill set. “Yes sir. I'll get right to it.” The officer signed off of the video call, leaving Eric alone with his thoughts.

It had been a year since Schneizel's death. Britannia's throne was the subject of a bloody civil war that had already claimed more than a few lives. In the middle of all of it, the Knights of the Round had taken it upon themselves to try to keep the Empire from falling apart. A new system was needed, but the time for it would come later.

Now, Eric had bigger problems. The immortal that they had captured at such a heavy cost only a week prior was gone. He couldn't trust anyone. And it hadn't been any ordinary immortal. The scientists seemed to believe there was something special about her. Eric sighed, and pulled up a new communications line. The line buzzed once, and then the other end picked up.
"Jacob?" Eric asked. "Get the unit ready. We're going hunting this weekend."

Lexi wiped her greasy hands off on the rag, and sighed. "Alright, Ray. Try starting the truck up." Ray nodded, jumped into the cab of the pickup, and tried the ignition for the third time, turning the key in its slot. This time, by some combination of their skill, and plenty of luck, the engine coughed to life, and kept running. Lexi sighed in relief. "Finally."

Raymond nodded, and shut the engine off. "I know. That's two hours well spent." He shook his head. "A bit of application to keep your skills up never hurt, right?"

Lexi nodded. "No kidding. We should probably grab Katia and leave."

Ray nodded. They walked out of the garage, and into the main body of the shop, where Ray saw Katia stacking some boxes on a shelf, keeping herself busy with helping Mr. Saunders, the owner of the store, while Ray and Lexi fixed his delivery truck. "Katia!" Ray called. "We're all done here! Let's go!"

"Thank you for your help, kids!" Mr. Saunders called after the trio as they mounted their motorcycles.
Lexi put on her helmet, gave him a small salute, then flipped down the visor, revved the engine, and sped off, with Katia and Ray following behind.

They took the highway road back to the Ashford campus. The school year hadn't even technically begun, with the interim classes finishing up and the actual school year starting next week, and Katia, Lexi, and Ray had already fulfilled their community service requirements two times over. They'd gotten to know each other fairly well in that time, Lexi thought, but they still had their secrets.

Katia and Ray didn't talk about their respective pasts before coming to Japan, and Lexi respected that. She's had more than her own fair share of troubled times, and knew that sometimes, people just didn't want to talk. That was fine. Lexi had her own secrets...

She was broken out of her musings when a semi coming off of the bridge in the right lane jack-knifed, and cut across the left lane that Lexi was leading their group on. Lexi slammed on the brakes, leaving a long black smear on the road, her eyes following the semi as it barely missed her bike, then continued its slide down the hill leading of of the highway bridge, before coming to rest in the middle of a street in the Ghetto below. Lexi sat there for an instant, stunned, throat dry. The first thought through her mind was that the truck had nearly killed her. Her second thought was for the safety of the driver. She moved her bike to the edge of the highway, parked her bike, and slid down the hill towards the truck. She heard Lexi and Raymond follow her towards the semi...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Alexandria "Lexi" Gillespie Character Portrait: Eric Manson Character Portrait: Katia de Britannia Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Lexi nodded. Calling the paramedics was a good call. She turned on her heel and dashed back up to her bike. Thankfully, all eyes were on the wreck, not her bike. The discovery of a pistol holster on her bike would've prompted more investigating, even if the holster blended in with the bike. She'd forgotten her cell phone back at home, so she put her helmet back on, and used it's built in phone, dialing the emergency number.

"Emergency services." The voice on the other end said. "State the nature of your emergency."
"There's been an accident." Lexi said. "A semi blew off of the highway near the west inlet to the Britannian zone. I need paramedics!"
"You said a semi near the west inlet?" The voice repeated.
"Yes!" Lexi said.
"I'm sorry, ma'am, but that accident and its handling are both in the hands of the Britannian military."
Lexi blinked. "What?"
"The military will be handling the scene, ma'am." The operator repeated.
"A-alright." Lexi said weakly. "Thanks." She hung up, swore, and stripped her helmet, heading back down the hill towards the others.

"The military's taken control of the accident." She said. "They won't even bother to help whoever it is that's trapped in there." She shook her head. "We'll have to help them ourselves." She looked at Katia. "Check inside of the trailer, make sure that these guys aren't criminals. If they are, we'll let the military give them their just desserts. Otherwise, I'd rather see these guys get out of here." She turned to Raymond. "Help me get the cab open."

"You're sure that it's the same semi?" Eric asked.
"Positive." The voice on the other end said. "News footage confirms it."
Eric nodded. "Get that footage cut. Tell the press the bare minimum. No full disclosure, just the standard 'top secret' bullshit line. After you get that done, seal off and clear out the area."
"That might be a problem." The voice on the other end said. "The semi crashed into a part of the Ghetto. We'll have to kick El- Japanese out of their homes." The voice caught a slip of the tongue before it came out. The number slur wasn't popular with the Knight of Twelve.
"They won't like that, but we'll have to if we're going to keep this under wraps." Eric thought for a moment. "Find people that we can trust not to start pulling racial slurs, and send them to deal with the Ghetto. We can use the remainder to keep Britannians from snooping."
"Understood." The line went dead. Eric switched over to the line he shared with the men directly under his command. "Let's roll, boys. We've found our location."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Alexandria "Lexi" Gillespie Character Portrait: Eric Manson Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Raymond and Lexi ran up to the cab of the truck, and peered inside. The driver and passenger airbags had both gone off, and all of the windows had shattered. The metal frame of the cab was twisted from the forces of the crash. The amount of blood that was pooling in the seats and on the floor of the cab revealed the fates of the people within.

Both Lexi and Raymond remained mostly unfazed by the gruesome scene. Both had seen far too much blood and death for the crash to sicken them.

Suddenly, a powerful feeling shot through Raymond and Lexi. Lexi felt her left eye itch, but she knew that she hadn't activated her Geass. Raymond, too, felt the Geass sigil scar on his chest burn. The power that had been released was an unfamiliar one, yet almost too familiar. Still, the same thought crossed through both of their minds at the same time, though neither showed their feelings of fear to the other: What the hell had just been unleashed upon the world?

"Go check on Katia." Lexi said. "I need to go to my bike and grab something."
Raymond nodded. "Sure thing." He turned on his heel and headed towards the door of the trailer.

"This is too familiar." One of the Knightmare Pilots said over the comms. "I'm not the only one with deja vu, right?"
The murmur of agreement was unanimous, save for the silence of Eric, who raced along on the subterranean Knightmare Deployment tunnels that had been installed under Tokyo -- as well as other major cities throughout the Area -- after Britannia had retaken Japan. "What about you, Eric? You know about what happened during the initial phase of the Black Rebellion."

"Except there's a few key differences here." Eric said. "For one, this isn't going to lead to an attempted purge of the Ghetto. I've made sure that the soldiers removing the Japanese from their homes aren't trigger-happy racists. I know for a fact that we've got no fear of some sort of tactical genius coming out of the framework to turn any potential battle into a one-sided victory."

But Eric didn't mention the final difference, the difference that was perhaps the most important. It didn't need to be said that the Knight of Twelve alone would be able to single-handedly remove any potential Japanese threat -- Knightmare or otherwise. The presence of the Twelfth's squadron was enough to lock down the site against anything that Japan could throw at them. But if the cargo of that truck got out, there was no doubt in his mind that, unlike with CC, they'd be unable to neutralize her. She had military training, this one. Capturing her had taken three Special Operation squads, and she and her partner had killed half of them before they finally managed to take down the Immortal. Even their Knightmares didn't tip the scales too much. The Immortal and her companion had pulled more than a few nasty tricks. Eric didn't doubt they had at least one or two more.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Izumi Sanjin Character Portrait: Akiko X Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Eric Manson Character Portrait: Katia de Britannia Character Portrait:
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Eric's Knightmare, Valkyrie was a custom model, a 27-foot-tall monster of a machine that towered over the battlefield, and other Knightmare Frames, and easily outran them as well. Valkyrie had been a pet-project of Eric's, and was what he considered the perfect adaptation for close-quarters and medium-range combat situations. In addition to a pair of chest mounted Slash Harkens, and another pair at the waist, Valkyrie's primary armament was a magnetic linear-acceleration rifle that fired energy-sheathed projectiles. Underneath of the barrel of Valkyrie's weapon was a bayonet variant of a Master Vibration sword, and built into the left arm was a Blaze Luminous generator that created a shield with a slot over the hand that allowed the rifle to be fired while the shield was active. Valkyrie's color scheme was reminiscent of the Lancelot, but there was a trace of blue highlights in some of the torso detail work, as well as black in the arms and legs.

Valkyrie rocketed out of the mouth of the KMF deployment tunnel access node at nearly sixty miles per hour, the Landspinners maneuvering Valkyrie gracefully between the other vehicles on the highway, despite running at top speed.
"Thirty-five seconds to target." Eric said calmly. "Drop Squad, what's your status?"
"Drop Squad is ready to hit the ground running on your orders, sir." His second in command said calmly.
"And the soldiers?" Eric asked.
"Armored troop carriers are converging on the site from the highway. They'll be at the site five minutes after you arrive." There was a pause. "Your orders, sir?"
"Stand by." Eric said. "Target reached in five."

Raymond recognized the sound of Landspinners closing quickly on them. He swore, and turned the corner of the truck to head in to the trailer to get Katia and get the hell out.

He honestly didn't expect to see two girls, both teenagers, both complete strangers, sharing what seemed to be a loving embrace. "Hate to break up a touching reunion," Raymond said, "but the military's not too far out right now. If we don't get the hell out of here, there'll be hell to pay." He looked into the trailer, and spotted Katia. "Katia, we gotta go. Now." He turned back to the pair. "The ghetto's probably not the safest place for a couple of Britannians to be right now, but I don't think the military's going to be happy with what we've seen."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Izumi Sanjin Character Portrait: Akiko X Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Eric Manson Character Portrait: Katia de Britannia Character Portrait:
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Raymond blinked, the confusion and questions in his mind demanding. Shaking his head, he began running into the Ghetto.

Valkyrie pulled off of the highway, and leaped over the crowd that had assembled on the hill near the crash, landing beyond, near the truck. The landspinners rotated up and out of the way of Valkyrie's feet as the Knightmare touched down, shock-absorption systems minimizing the force of the impact.

Even as he landed, Eric was already having his the Knightmare's scanners give the truck a full once over. He frowned. The capsule was open. His subsequent scan of his surroundings didn't find the Immortal, either. He swore, and Valkyrie drew its weapon from where it rode on its left shoulder as Eric sent out the alert. Now, an action group of a dozen and a half military Armored Infantry Combat Vehicles, or AICVs, came in from the highway. The crowd, at first shocked and confused by the sudden arrival of a Knightmare, began to understand their situation.

The AICVs rolled to a stop, and opened their rear deployment doors, disgorging ten Britannian soldiers each. The squads moved quickly and efficiently, each performing their assigned roles. Six of the squads began herding the spectators away from the site, returning them to their cars and bikes, and sending them on their ways. The other dozen squads -- probably the only non-racists in the Tokyo area, Eric mused -- began moving into the Ghetto, performing the dangerous task of finding a hypodermic needle in a stack of sewing needles, razor blades, and broken glass.

"All forces in the reclamation squads, be on high alert. We don't know where our 'friend' is, and I doubt she wants to come back with us."

"What the hell was that?" Raymond hissed at the other immortal. He'd led his impromptu entourage through the maze of the Ghetto to a warehouse that he and Lexi turned into a large garage, holding their works-in-progress, as well as their tools and equipment. Right now, they were in one corner of the warehouse that had been refurbished into a sort of office, complete with a computer and radio, and a few couches.

"Let's go through all of the things that were wrong with what just happened back there, shall we?" Raymond said, his voice dangerously calm. "First, you somehow manage to take over my body. Then, not only do you use my body to hurt one of my friends, but you insult the person that released you from your little containment pod like an ungrateful bitch." His glare intensified as he looked at the Immortal. "I swear to every deity, higher power, and god that I know, if you ever take control of my body or hers without our permission again, you will wish that you could die."

Raymond closed his eyes, and took a deep breath. "Now, let's start from the beginning." He said with only a hint of anger and annoyance in his voice. "Who are you, who's your friend, why are you two here, and how the hell do you have a Geass?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Izumi Sanjin Character Portrait: Akiko X Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Eric Manson Character Portrait: Katia de Britannia Character Portrait:
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Raymond was about to answer Katia's question when he heard a sound that made his blood run cold. The look of horror and disbelief showed plainly on his face, and he didn't bother to hide it.

"Confirm what I just heard!" Eric demanded. "Ghetto squads, report!"
"Squad three here! Shots fired, we're returning fire now."
"Confirmed! Squad five here, lending support!"
And so the reports continued. All of the squads that had been sent into the Ghetto were either under fire, engaging their mystery assailants, or moving to render aid to a nearby squad. Eric leaned back in his cockpit, shaking his head in disbelief. It wasn't a repeat of Shinjuku, but it was still a disaster. Eric pulled up the Tactical Operations Map of the area, displaying the IFF beacons of his soldiers superimposed over a street map of the area. He froze when he realized a pattern. All of the ambushes had happened around a certain area in the Ghetto: a particularly violent and poorly-policed section of the Ghetto where criminals and general scum found refuge. A few calls to embattled squads confirmed his suspicions: whatever these people were, they weren't criminals. Too much training and too heavy firepower. These seemed far more like insurgents.

"Shit!" A call came in. "They've got Knightmares! I'm pinging!"
Eric's eyes locked onto the TacOpMap, where Squad one's leader had pinged the locations of at least three Knightmares. Soon, other squads were reporting the same thing: Knightmares were coming out of the wetworks and assailing the squads. Eric was reeling. This was obviously been the straw that broke the proverbial camel, but how the hell had the officials missed this many KMFs? Eric's squads had pinged at least fifteen of the Japanese Frames, and the number seemed to be growing.
"All squads, pull out immediately, and return to your AICVs!" He switched over to his private channel. "Round Squad, deploy and form up on me. We've got company."

When the chorus of gunshots grew to include the unmistakeable sounds of Slash Harkens, something in Raymond snapped. He realized that this wasn't a small incident with a Japanese person refusing to leave their home. This was spiralling out of control. He quickly looked around him, looking from person to person, his eyes landing on Katia.
His phone buzzed in his pocket. He pulled it out, and looked at the text. Two feelings went through his mind. The first was relief at seeing that it was Lexi who had sent him the text. The second was determination when he read the actual message: Field test the Tyr.
Raymond went quickly to the computer, explaining as he typed. "That was Lexi. She and I have been working on a special project since we first met." He selected an icon labeled "Prototype Controls" and put in a password. "We recently finished the actual construction of the thing after nearly nine months of tedious work." He clicked the command "Activate lift". There was a groaning as the prototype and its launching assembly descended from where they were hidden away under the ceiling, and the warehouse doors opened slowly. He ran over to it. "Now," He said, out loud, but more for his own benefit, "I'm putting it through its first live field test."

The Knightmare Suit was more than just a downsized Knightmare Frame. The ten-foot, two-ton brainchild of Lexi and Raymond's bio-electromechanical prowess was more than a match for the early-generation KMFs that it was mostly built using parts from, despite only being a third of the size. Raymond stepped up into the open cockpit, a section of padding that sat where the torso was. Clamps closed down on his arms and legs, and the head and chest came down to cover the rest of his body. There was a hiss as hydraulic locks sealed his body into the giant suit of armor.

"Running Diagnostics." Raymond said, his voice cast out by the speaker system installed into the suit, scrambled by the built-in modulator. "Hadron Generator running at 80% power." He moved his arms and legs, and the machine moved with him. "Mind-Machine Interface established. Command Latency is at .0001 seconds." He took hold of the modified Knightmare machine gun that rode on the suit's back. "Weapon load is 5,000 rounds of fifty-caliber armor-piercing incendiary. Sub-load is a solid Sakuradite rocket. Slash Harken locked in place and ready to fire. Armor integrity at 100%. System heat load is 10%." The metal monstrosity looked over to Katia. "Hey, now you know where Lexi and I have been disappearing to for the last three-fourths of a year." He smiled, but the machine didn't display his mirth. He faced forwards, towards the open doors of the warehouse. "You three should be safe here." He debated mentioning the cache of weapons in the locked chest that sat next to the computer, but decided against it.
"Katia... I'll talk to you later. I promise." Raymond's suit knelt down on the launch pad. Landspinners dropped to the ground. "Knightsuit Tyr..." He said softly, "launch."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Izumi Sanjin Character Portrait: Akiko X Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Eric Manson Character Portrait: Katia de Britannia Character Portrait:
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Raymond's suit was rushing into the battlefield when the comms interface fired up. He couldn't help but grimace when Akiko's face appeared in the webcam's field of view. “Hey Immortal Buddy! What’s going on?”
Raymond focused himself on what he was doing. The neural interface was a little bit touchy. Too much unwanted feedback from other thought processes would make the command latency increase, and a higher latency meant that the suit would take longer to respond to the MMI.

So he ignored the conversation that Akiko tried to start with him. He off-handedly noted that Izumi had downloaded some, if not all, of the files on the computer. However, as he neared what scanners onboard the Tyr told him was a battlefield, he heard Izumi tell Akiko that it was time for them to leave. "No." He said quickly. "They don't deserve death. But you two going out there might only add another body to the list." He switched the feed from showing his face to showing the fact-sphere readouts, showing them what he could see from his cockpit. "I need you guys to be my eyes. I don't know the tactical situation here. Keep me informed, and stay in that warehouse. Just tell me if anyone manages to get in."

He blew out of the alleyway he was rocketing down, and shot into the middle of a battle in progress. An older Knightpolice Sutherland was covering the retreat of two squads of regular Britannian infantry, engaging a pair of what looked like modified Burai. The Burais gunned down the Gloucester just as he entered the battle space, and were turning their guns on what amounted to defenseless Britannian soldiers, when they realized that another, potentially more dangerous target had entered the area. They turned their weapons on him, and fired. Raymond maneuvered away from their stream of fire, realizing that he wouldn't be able to convince them that he was on their side. A majority of the materials he'd used to make the Tyr was Britannian, after all.

Still, he couldn't just ignore incoming fire from a pair of Burai pilots who'd just managed to gun down a Knightpolice frame with what seemed to be relative ease. Raymond dashed around the larger, slower Burais, his suit's rifle rattling as he shot at the frames' weapons. Pin-point shots disabled the frames and disarmed them, and the pilots ejected from the now-useless husks.

A cheer went up from the once-beleaguered Britannian infantry. Shouts of "Hell yeah!" and "Showed them!" were picked up by the audio sensors, and Raymond couldn't help but smile.
"Get your asses out of here." Raymond said through the speaker. "Hurry up!"

Eric was having a hard time understanding the report he'd just received. Someone -- no one knew exactly who, it seemed -- was acting extremely strangely. He'd gotten several reports of a mini-Knightmare frame deployed on the battlefield. It's first appearance had been the saving grace of two squads of infantry, but the next time it appeared, it single-handedly shot up a quartet of Knightpolice Sutherlands, forcing all of the pilots to eject. Each appearance made the mystery frame even more interesting. The pilot never went for fatal shots, managing to precisely and exactly disable Knightmare frames -- even actively engaged ones. Clearly, the pilot was skilled, and the machine was obviously impressive. All of the infantry squads had reported back in their AICVs, but casualties were running at 60% wounded -- a third of that seriously -- and 10% dead. However, all infantry squads reported that, whenever they met the Mini-frame, they never shot at it, and it never shot at them.

Eric put two and two together quickly from there. "All Frames, should you come across the mini-frame, you are not to fire on it unless it shoots first. I repeat, retaliate only. I think that's how its pilot is acti-"

The mini frame burst out of nowhere, immediately engaging the four modified Gloucesters that comprised the Knight of Twelve's personal force. The mini-frame's small stature and high maneuverability truly proved to be a dangerous combination. The frame danced around the Gloucesters as they struggled to create and maintain locks against the smaller foe. The mini's weapon rattled, and Eric couldn't help but be impressed by just how precise the pilot's shooting was. All around him, his personal guard went down, vital joints and systems shot and disabled, forcing one ejection after another. Soon, Valkyrie stood alone against the smaller frame.

"I have to admit," Eric said, "I'm impressed, in spite of the amount of trouble that you're causing me."
The smaller frame laughed, a mechanical voice. Eric raised his eyebrows. There was no way that it was autonomous. Britannia was still experimenting with that kind of tech.
"One question, though." Eric said. "Why go for disabling shots in retaliation? Why not just go for the kill and end it?"
"Because there's no point in killing someone if you remove his ability to fight." The mini replied, re-holstering its weapon. "Like I've done here."

Eric realized what the mini meant, and smiled in spite of himself. "Son of a bitch." He murmured. "You wiped out all of the Knightpolice sent in here to support this operation." Eric looked back up, but the mini frame was gone, vanished without a trace. Eric blinked, then got back onto his comms. "All Britannians, pull out of the Ghetto. Mission failed, the target has escaped, and we have no resources to continue pursuit. I repeat, all troops, pull out!"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Corvo Crownguard Character Portrait: Eric Manson Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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It was early in the morning when Eric finally finished the paperwork. Yesterday's incident had been deemed a disaster by all involved, and the resulting uproar in the Japanese communities was still being felt. Several cities throughout Japan were experiencing riots, and not even the Knightpolice could keep things in check. Eric, as the acting governing official of Area 11, had authorized the use of retaliatory force only in equal proportion to what the rioters threw out. At first, that meant nonlethal measures. Now, the Knightpolice was fully employed and using whatever means were necessary. Even Britannian regulars were being employed wherever they were. Tokyo, somehow, had been spared so far, but Eric had a feeling that the peace they were feeling in Tokyo wouldn't last for much longer.

He picked up his cell phone, and held it for a moment. He knew what he needed to do, but the idea didn't appeal to him too much. It was an admission of weakness, in a situation that he could ill-afford to be weak in. But if he didn't get help, everything would go down the tube.

Sighing, he dialed the number, and hit the call button. The phone rang itself out, and Eric was instructed to leave a message.
"Hey, Corvo. It's Eric. Sorry if I'm calling at a bad time, but it's important. I... I need to call in the favor you owe me. Japan is in a state of chaos, and I really need some help over here. I'm calling you because you're the only person on the Round I could think of that wouldn't take advantage of the situation that I'm in. I know that this is short notice, but the problem only just started. Call me back when you get the message, or even text me. Bye."

Eric hit the end call button, set his cell down, and sighed. It rang again, and Eric picked it up immediately.
"Sir, there's a meeting on base at 0700 local. You've been asked to attend."
Eric checked the clock. 0630. He sighed. "I'll be there."

Raymond's bed was never actually used. He'd discovered long ago that the nightmares were never worth the sleep, especially after he discovered that he didn't actually need to sleep. So, he spent the night hours that had everyone else asleep working in his dorm. He hadn't been assigned a roommate for the year yet, so he made the most of his solitude while he could, and worked at a furious pace, concentrated solely on the computer screen in front of him.

He had already analyzed the data from what had been the Tyr's first live run. MMI readouts, pilot vitals, heat records in the Hadron generator... everything was there, and it all made sense to him.

He didn't like what it said, though. There were several instances throughout the fight where the MMI feedback went to a point that it would've overwhelmed a normal person's brain and either shut it down for a bit, or just plain killed the pilot. These issues hadn't come up during the 'dead' tests that he and Lexi had done in the warehouse. But then, all that they did then were simple walking, calibration and coordination tests.

The problem was with the MMI: the software. That was what he was working on now. He was trying to adjust the coding to prevent the kind of feedback that would kill a normal person, either directly, or indirectly by making him or her little more than a sitting duck. This kind of thing wasn't included on the blueprints of the Tyr that sat on his desk. The blueprints were just that: blueprints. Not included was the coding for the MMI to make it work. That particular piece of information was the brainchild of Raymond, and he didn't feel like sharing. Of course, the Tyr had been designed to work with manual controls as well, but then it really was just a smaller Knightmare, a vehicle rather than an extension of the body, lacking the efficiency of near-instantaneous maneuvering.

Raymond leaned back from the screen, rubbed his eyes, and looked at his clock. 6:45. He sighed. Festivities were scheduled to begin at two in the afternoon, but he had to help set everything up from seven until the preparations were done. He got up from his laptop, shut it down, packed it up, and headed downstairs to the cafeteria to grab something to eat.

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The Knight of Twelve was an excellent knightmare frame pilot who had seen battle both inside the frame and out. As not only a soldier, but a Knight, Corvo was expected to be the best of the best -- infallible and unfailing. So, of course, time was mostly spent improving himself where he could, and keeping the edge to the skills he currently possessed. Piloting and driving were, of course, a couple of skills he had. It may be for this reason that Corvo - having trained and piloted a great deal of frames - had an intense dislike of being driven and not the driver. This applied to airplanes as well.

A personal plane carried one of the Knights of the Round as the wheel finally touch the ground after many hours, its sleek and expensive-looking design far outclassing any of the public transports in the airfield. Unlike many public planes, this particular plane is equipped with luxuries such as a table-hockey-like game that uses miniature versions of the shielding found on newer-tier knightmare frames. Implementing that kind of technology is still expensive. It also includes a nacho-cheese fountain, the world's greatest creation. However, the young man has no interest in these sort of pleasantries, as he only has the thoughts in his mind to occupy him.

Eric calling in the favor after so long must not be random. I guess I might be the friendliest and the nicest of his fellow Knights, but I certainly wasn't the easiest to call for any matter. Small insurgencies and the sort wouldn't warrant him requesting my own, personal aid in this affair, would it? No, certainly not. If he's calling in that favor, then something a bit bigger than an insurrection must be occurring. I guess if that's the case, then I'd better wait for Eric to explain. I might not have any time to screw around. Ah well.

As he thought, the plane began slowing to a stop inside the airport, having reached its destination. There was no attendant stating that he had to wait before disembarking - it was a private jet after all. The pilot glanced back with a smile, nodding before speaking, "We have arrived, sir." before then turning back and checking on the many buttons and consoles of the aircraft. Corvo did not have much items on his person, save few changes of clothes and essentials to living, all of which were stored in a backpack that he now placed over his shoulder before the one attendant could even ask to carry his luggage. He started out the plane without much more of a word, his destination being the Britannian HQ of Japan.

*Ring, Ring....*

Corvo dialed the number of Eric's own personal cellphone and pressed call as he walked. He decided to take a much quieter route through the airport as talking would be difficult if he had too much background noise. He had entered Japan without bothering to even call Eric beforehand, having decided to catch the most immediate flight as soon as possible. Not that his flight would take off without him, but the pilot he had was... well, preferred. At least he could trust that particular one not to crash into anything, which was of course preferable to dying in a fire due to some technical difficulties during flight. Corvo couldn't wait to surprise Eric, having not seen his 'friend' in quite some time.

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Character Portrait: Izumi Sanjin Character Portrait: Akiko X Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Alexandria "Lexi" Gillespie Character Portrait: Corvo Crownguard Character Portrait: Eric Manson
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Eric walked out of the meeting room tired. It had lasted far longer than he would've liked it to, and it hadn't told him anything that he didn't already know. Area 11 was in chaos, and something needed to be done. Never the political one, Eric had handed off the responsibilities of managing Area 11's non-military assets to the Assistant Viceroy so that he could focus entirely on bringing the rebellion under control.

His phone buzzed in his pocket. He pulled it out and checked the caller ID. A smile crossed his face, and he sighed in relief as he hit the talk button.
"Corvo! Glad that you got back to me on that."

“Well it’s nice of you to help out with the student enrollment." Izumi said. "That reminds me, I just wanted to say thank you for letting Akiko and I stay here, it means a lot.”

"Don't thank me just yet." Raymond said, rubbing the back of his head. "There's a catch. See, the accommodations I set you two up with are only supposed to be for a week, max. After that, you two are moved out and you're replaced by the next homeless dude in line. The only way you get to stay on campus on Ashford's budget longer than that is if you enroll with a full schedule and join a club."

He sighed, and put up a smile. "But hey! Ashford's one of the best schools in Japan!" He lowered his voice. "And since new student enrollment is so low this semester, you two are basically guaranteed to get in if this school wants to keep its funding up." He laughed.

Lexi knocked once on the door to the StuCo room, and entered. She found Katia alone with a pile of paperwork.
"Katia," She said, "I need to talk to you. Not as a student, not as the head of Ashford's Student Defense Group. I need to talk to you as a friend."

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Corvo heard a delighted Eric on the other side of the call, a smirk settling upon his face. "Yeah, I've just touched down in Japan and was going to head to the HQ, unless you wanted to meet up elsewhere?" by this time, Corvo had headed up the street from the airport he was just in, opting to take a scenic route on foot while he had the chance instead of taking a vehicle.

"Anyway," he continued. "I'll be walking along my old jogging route. You know, past Ashford and the convenience stores? We can meet up somewhere along there if you're willing." he suggested, already setting off for the academy. He'd oftentimes jog around the academy he WOULD have gone to had he the ability back then. But that possibility was taken from him during the Black Rebellion. Ah well, nothing to do about that now.

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Lexi sighed, and closed the door. "It's about... yesterday." She explained. "About you and your wish t get involved." She shrugged. "I might have taken it the wrong way, but you asking about other Knightmares... do you really want to get involved in this fight? Do you have the will to fight this battle? I mean, you know that I'm Euro, and you know that I've seen the dark side of Britannia. But you... I don't think that you have the drive or a reason to fight."

Lexi sighed. "I could be wrong. Maybe you've been through just as much as I have. But, if you really want to get involved in this fight, I want to know your reasons for doing so."

Raymond frowned. "I'll see what I can do. Please, don't do anything hasty. I've lived here for a bit, so I know the people around Tokyo. I might be able to find something out about your sword."

He looked at Akiko. "I'll need to know what the sword looks like. I would also like to know why it is that you're so attached to the weapon, and how it's managed to survive 800 years."

Eric nodded. He knew the route well enough. He'd started using that route himself. "Yeah, I know the route. I think Ashford's holding some sort of enrollment fair today, so it might be a bit crowded, but we should be fine. I think we'll blend right in wearing civvies. Meet you there in a bit."

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"Enrollment fair?" Corvo repeated, showing interest in it. "Sounds like the perfect place to blend in. Alright then, we'll meet up soon and you can run me through everything." with that said, Corvo ended the call and continued walking. It would be a little bit before he reached Ashford Academy from where he was, but it should not prove to be too long. The Knight of the Round was very thankful he had at least managed to wear clothing that would not attract much attention to himself, so he was in no need of a change before meeting Eric.

With his goal in mind, he begun walking and admiring the many areas of a town he had once called home. Each older building he saw brought upon a wave of nostalgia as he remembered some memories that he had with it. For example, he remembered his first crime: he stole a small candy bar from a convenience store and made out like a fiend. Back then, he was so terrified of being arrested because he had stolen something, but now he could only laugh at himself and how dire he used to think that situation was. I mean, how long could you be jailed for taking a candy bar? Besides, as a soldier he had seen much worse things than being arrested, especially by cops and not your enemy in a war. Being a PoW was likely to be much worse than being a prisoner in the public system. They would not torture you for information and you weren't likely to be executed unless your crimes were heinous.

But moving on from grim thoughts....

His old house was probably not that far away from here. He could take a detour and visit it, for old time's sake. But... no, he shouldn't. There was no reason. He had no particular fondness of the building itself, and the people he loved no longer lived there, so it was more or less just a simple house he had once lived in, nothing more. His most fond memories were never of that place. That place was and always would be just a building. He kept telling himself this as he moved past the road that would have taken him straight to it, provided the roads had not for some reason been changed in his absence. And soon after doing so, he heard rising voices as he approached his destination. Students chatting and conversating about trivial things were the noises that filled the air. Corvo might have been just like them if he had the chance to go here as originally planned. But things don't always go as hoped. In fact, they can go in an entirely different direction. Yes.... that was very true in his case.

Most anyone and everyone attending this enrollment fair was on campus, so the distorted voices were all that kept Corvo company as he rested his back on the wall while he waited. Civilian students were so lucky. Never having to worry about being shot at any given time, and never given extreme responsibilities. As a student, you weren't worried about if your choices would result in the death of your friends and allies. So innocent....

...and he continued waiting as he mused on this.

((OOC: Hmm, got really caught up this last month, sorry about the delay. Won't happen without warning again~))

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Character Portrait: Izumi Sanjin Character Portrait: Akiko X Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Alexandria "Lexi" Gillespie Character Portrait: Corvo Crownguard Character Portrait: Eric Manson
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Raymond listened to Akiko's story with interest. When she finished, Izumi spoke up about how she wanted to help, too.

He sighed. "I'll help you, but we can't start now. I have to work the fair, and you two are required to join a club." He looked up and saw students beginning to flood onto the campus grounds. "Go mingle, and meet me here after the fair. We can talk more then."
Lexi felt an icy chill run up her spine as she listened to Katia speak. She saw the fire and passion in her burning eyes, but past that, she saw something else: pain, sadness. Katia knew what it meant to suffer, Lexi realized. Even if Lexi didn't know the exact reason that Katia had to fight, she was sure that Katia had every bit of determination and drive to see Britannia topple as she did.

Lexi smiled, and looked out the window onto the campus grounds. "Looks like people are starting to arrive for the enrollment fair." she said. "I need to go to my booth." She looked back to Katia. "You'll probably want to talk to Raymond, tell him that you're in." Lexi turned on her heel, and headed out the door. Just past the threshold, she stopped. "Welcome to the our little band, Katia." Then, she kept walking.
Eric was already wearing his civvies: blue jeans and brown sneakers, a white t-shirt under a brown jacket. His pistols' holsters were hidden behind the jacket's bulk, colored to blend in with the jacket. He walked through the growing throng of students, greeting them as though he were a long-time friend.

He spotted Corvo past one of the stalls, leaning against the wall of the main building. Shaking his head, Eric began walking towards Corvo, moving past the stall, which advertised itself as "G&N Club Stall/New Student Enrollment". He smiled. He'd been a member of a Geeks & Nerds club back during his own education. It had been fun to be among others like that.

"You just gonna stand there, man?" Eric said, smiling wider at seeing his old friend. "Come on! There's a whole fair to enjoy! The baking club's even got treats set out at their stall!" Eric acted like he belonged here, like he wasn't a Britannian soldier, just a care-free student with an old friend, enjoying a fair.

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Corvo Crownguard


"You just gonna stand there, man?" came Eric's voice.

Corvo had only been waiting for about five or so minutes against the wall. Pushing himself away and looking towards the man, he smiled. "Long time, no see, eh?" Now that he thought about it, it had been too long. Then again, being Knights of the Round, they had many different responsibilities that they had to deal with. Friendship and social life always came second in this kind of work. Especially for them, as sad as it may seem.

"Come on! There's a whole fair to enjoy! The baking club's even got treats set out at their stall!"

"As childish as ever, I see." Corvo gave a small laugh and a small, playful punch to Eric's arm. "Guess we have time to hang around for a bit. Lets take a tour, I think food sounds good about now." So saying, the young man started into the campus, noticing the nearest stall. "Geeks and Nerds club, right? Weren't you a part of that back in the day, you said? Sounds fun. Does it bring back any memeories?" Corvo asked, glancing at the stall as he spoke. He'd not had the chance to join any notable clubs when he was in school, a shame as that may be.

((:C I keep getting caught up with stuff! Lets get some more people into the fray, and I'll be sure to remember to post!))

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Character Portrait: Izumi Sanjin Character Portrait: Akiko X Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Alexandria "Lexi" Gillespie Character Portrait: Corvo Crownguard Character Portrait: Eric Manson
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Eric nodded. "Yeah, I was involved in a Geeks and Nerds club. Had a blas-"
The irony of what happened next didn't escape Eric. There was a huge explosion, the shockwave shattering windows all along the front face of the school. A huge blaze fire-balled behind some of the now-shattered windows. All around him, students were going into panic mode.

Then, a gunshot rang out. Then another. The screaming intensified. More gunshots, now coming in heavy bursts. Finally, Eric made out the distinct forms of Japanese Knightmare Frames storming the school's grounds, pursued by a trio of Knightpolice frames. More fire. More screaming. Another explosion rocked the grounds as an RPG slammed into one of the Japanese Knightmares, enveloping it in a fireball. One of Eric's hands went for his radio as the other drew a pistol. "What's going on?" He asked.
"Tokyo rebels are starting to get involved. Sir, we need you!"
"Understood. I have K10 Corvo Crownguard with me at Ashford Academy. Get our Knightmares over here, now!"
"Y-yes sir!" The line fell silent, and Eric took out the other pistol, handing it to Corvo. "Pick targets carefully. Distinguishing friends and foes in a crowded place like this is damn near impossible."

Lexi cringed when Akiko shot her mouth off about how they all had a Geass.
"Akiko, keep your voice down," the other girl said. "Someone might hear us." Izumi then looked over to Lexi. "Hello, it's nice to meet you."
Lexi nodded. "Likewise. So, what are you two doing here, anywa-"
The windows along the school shattered as a huge explosion ripped through the air. Lexi's blood ran cold when she saw the flames jetting out of the Student Council room, where she'd left Katia only a few minutes earlier.

Then, the shooting started, Knightmare Frames rolled into the yard, and her blood froze solid in her veins. Her body, though, kept moving in coordination with the military training screaming at her. She ducked under the booth, and unlocked the secure firebox. She took out the .22 semi-auto, the RPG and adapter, through her paranoia, already in place. She popped back up, took aim at the nearest Japanese Knightmare frame, and pulled the trigger. The liquid Sakuradite projectile shot forwards, even as Lexi stripped off the adapter and started scanning the crowd for targets.
"You two, there's a pair of .22 pistols in the firebox under the booth. Grab them and start picking targets."

When the explosion happened, Raymond's attention focused on the pair of men standing with their backs to the wall. He noticed that they acted disciplined, as though they were used to chaos like this. Then one of them pulled out a pistol and a radio. The man said a few words into the radio, and then swapped it out for another pistol, his eyes roaming the crowd.

Raymond crouched behind his booth, and slid the combat knife out of the sheath hidden in his boot. Those men... were they friendly? Or were they behind this attack? Raymond wasn't sure, and he didn't have a way to find out that didn't involve him getting shot and surviving. Raymond peeked back up, and saw a man in improvised armor raising an assault rifle to cut the two men down. In a split second, Raymond made a choice. He threw the knife as he could, and ran forward, watching as the knife's blade hit home, and sank into the ambusher's forehead. The rifle fell from his hands, and the man's body slumped to the ground.

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Corvo Crownguard


Perhaps one of less familiarity with combat would have been in such a state of mind that they would imagine that everything had happened in a flash. But this was not the case with Corvo. From the first gunshot, things began to slow down, rather than speed by him. His awareness shot up to levels close to inhumanlike, a result of his soldier instincts, and he was picking up significant sounds rather than the common cries of the student personnel who were obviously in a state of panic. They were Britannian students, and it was likely they had been sheltered their whole life, so combat was not something they would simply accept - fear would take over. But that would hold true for any students, wouldn't it?

Corvo was handed a sidearm by his fellow Knight of the Round, who was just as quickly prepared for this situation as he was, mentally at least. "Pick targets carefully. Distinguishing friends and foes in a crowded place like this is damn near impossible." Eric instructed as Corvo checked his weapon to make sure it was ready to fire.

"Yeah, I'll watch my bullets." he nodded in response. Around this time is when Corvo heard the sound of a gun being raised, and in an instant, turned and was about to place a couple of bullets into the foe, but.... he dropped dead before Corvo even managed to fire a shot. He glanced over towards his 'savior' and noticed that.... it was... Eric? To confirm this, he turned back to Eric, who was still there. Confused visibly, he turned his head back.

What the hell is this?! Are they twins?!

Corvo shook his head and made a note. Eric was wearing different clothing than this other Eric, so in the event he needed to remember, that was the way to distinguish them.

More gunshots rang out as the Knightmares continued battle, as well as other soldiers fighting. At least it did not look like they were massacring students left and right, but Corvo'd feel a lot happier in his Knightmare Frame, where this battle would not last too much longer. Especially if Eric was by his side. What force could stop two Knights of the Round, save the deceased Knight of Zero? Corvo motioned for this 'other Eric' as he would be referred to by Corvo's thoughts until a name was given to come over to the two Knights. He was not sure who this guy was, but he had firearm experience, and since he did not assist the soldier, Corvo'd take a wild guess and assume he was not a hostile.

I swear... if they sound the same too.....

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Character Portrait: Izumi Sanjin Character Portrait: Akiko X Character Portrait: Raymond Character Portrait: Alexandria "Lexi" Gillespie Character Portrait: Corvo Crownguard Character Portrait: Eric Manson
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(I guess I did use the same Face Claim for those two, didn't I?)

When they didn't shoot him dead, and one of them motioned him over, Raymond took that as a sign of good faith. He moved over to them, and retrieved his knife and scooped up the assault rifle that the ambusher had dropped. Picking it up, though, he knew exactly what it was and what the implications were.

"This is an M-21A3. Euro model." He said in Britannian, no distinguishable accent present in his voice. He looked to the two men he'd just saved, and realized that he was practically the twin of one of them. "Well hello, handsome." He said jokingly. "Name's Raymond."

"Eric." The 'twin' said, the Britannian accent in his voice obvious, pointing his pistol at another attacker and pulling the trigger, putting a round right through the man's forehead. "Care to explain how a Britannian student from a G&N club can identify a gun that quickly, on top of being able to put your knife in a skull from that distance?"

Raymond knelt into a firing position, and pulled the trigger. A quick three-round burst stitched its way through another oncoming attacker. "I've had practice."

Eric let that comment slide. By now, it looked like the insurgent forces were beating a retreat. At the very least, the sounds of gunfire were beginning to move away from the school. Eric didn't holster his weapon, but he did lower it. He turned back to Raymond. "Raymond, thank you for your help, but right now, I need you to go and see to your fellow students."

Raymond nodded. "Right." He ran off, keeping the assault rifle slung over his shoulder.

Eric looked back to Corvo. "That kid said Euro model. That means that the EU is supplying these people." He shook his head. "That's not good news."

A new sound broke him from his thoughts. He looked to the sky to see a Knightmare Transport flying in. It set down inside of the grounds, and disembarked a pair of Knightmares, while retaining two others. Eric smiled. "Our Frames are here." He said.

When the fighting finally tapered off and continued on into the city, Lexi breathed a sigh of relief. She slung the .22 rifle over her shoulder, and headed into the courtyard, to the casualty collection point where she could put her somewhat-limited, but at this point still valuable, medical training to good use. She worked through a couple of people with minor wounds before she realized that two people were missing. Where were Akiko and Izumi?

She looked around franticaly, and finally saw them. She went over to them, and noticed that Akiko was in really bad shape. "Izumi?" She asked. "Akiko? What happened?"

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Corvo Crownguard


"That kid said Euro model. That means that the EU is supplying these people. That's not good news." Eric informed.

"Yeah," Corvo replied, moving his glance to the deceased soldier that Raymond had killed. He knew what that implied, but not exactly what it meant. Was the EU so ballsy as to arm mercenaries and send straight to Britannian-owned lands? Surely they'd fear retaliation. Or perhaps they were meant to look like that. Until further evidence was provided, Corvo's deductive abilities would not allow him to reach a concrete conclusion for the case as of yet.

As he pondered the meaning of the weapons those men held, he heard a very familiar (and welcomed noise), followed by Eric's voice. "Our Frames are here." Eric said, a bit of relief betrayed in his voice. Corvo would not blame him, it felt a lot better to be in a suit, where they were assured a victory. There was not too much threats to a Knight of the Round once they were in a frame, unlike on foot, where it was always possible for a stray bullet to take you out. Not that Corvo was lacking as a soldier outside his frame - he just realized the dangers.

"Alright, that was quicker than I'm used to." Corvo sighed, smiling. "Been a while since I've been in non-hostile territories. Glad to see we've got manpower to spend. Lets get ready, then." as soon as he finished, Corvo started off towards the location where the transport had dropped the two specialized frames off. It wasn't that far away, especially for someone in shape such as Corvo. The open field in front of the school provided a great drop-off zone for the frames. As he reached his frame, he scaled it and hopped into the cockpit, inputting the security code as soon as he was prompted, then inserting his key. It roared to life, a familiar grumbling from the pit of the beast. Certainly, one could tell from just how the machine sounded that it was of the highest quality frame, likewise with his partner's. But now was not the time to sit in awe of a machine he had much experience in. "So, you've invited me, why don't you take the lead, Eric?"

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"Alright, that was quicker than I'm used to. Been a while since I've been in non-hostile territories. Glad to see we've got manpower to spend. Lets get ready, then." With that, Corvo started off towards where transport had dropped their frames off. The open field in front of the school provided a great drop-off zone for the frames, and was being used as a staging area for other troops as well. As he reached his frame, Eric scaled it and hopped into the cockpit, typed his security code into the keypad, and slid his activator key into the slot. Valkyrie came to life almost instantly, and Eric felt relieved to be back behind the armor of his frame. He wondered if that miniature frame would make another appearance, then cleared his mind. Now wasn't the time to worry about that. He'd burn that bridge when he got there.

"So, you've invited me," Corvo said over the comms, "Why don't you take the lead, Eric?"
Eric smiled. "Alright, Corvo. Just try to keep up." He looked over his readouts. "All systems go. Weapon ready. Deploying Landspinners." He felt the familiar thud as they hit the ground. "Racers, start your engines." He joked. "Three, two, one, GO!"
Valkyrie took off, going from standstill to its top speed of sixty miles per hour in nothing flat. He took off down the city streets, knowing that Corvo was right behind him. The presence of his friend and fellow Knight of the Round put him at ease. Whatever came their way, nothing would be able to stop them.
Lexi did a double take at that. She was absolutely sure that Katia would never do anything like that. She was absolutely sure that Akiko was lying through her teeth. She didn't buy the lie for a second. Still, she wasn't about to refuse the girl medical aid, even if she had probably just killed one of her best friends. It'd look really bad, and, for all of her backstabbing, Akiko was probably one of their most valuable assets.

So Lexi suppressed the urge to get the wound infected or to "accidentally" break the bullet into pieces inside the wound, and performed first aid on Akiko's bullet wound. It helped her take her mind off of the fact that, considering the weapons and Knightmares the attackers had used, the EU was funding this war, even if it meant getting civilians killed.

She finished bandaging Akiko's wounds, and sat back on her haunches. She was ready to go home, and the day hadn't even started yet.

Her cellphone rang, and she took it out of her pocket, hit talk, and put it up to her ear. "Hello?"
"Lexi, it's me." Raymond said over his helmet's phone. "I'm heading to the warehouse. I'm going to get Tyr out there."
"Are you insane?" Lexi asked. That thing is still a prototype for a reason! Besides, I haven't managed to get more ammunition for the weapon! You'll be going in with a half-load, tops!
"People are dying, Lexi." Raymond said calmly. "I'm not going to let that keep happening. Not while I'm able to do something to try to stop it."
The line was silent for a while. Raymond waited.
"Be careful." Lexi said. "Even if you're an immortal, death is still death, and Tyr was a pain in the ass to make."