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M.I.R.A.C.L.E. The Witnesses: Mission 1- Test Drive 
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Safiya had to admit, she was quite impressed by the combat ability of the Obernian boy. Still, what happened to their plan? Wasn't the whole point of their roughly discussed plan to get the Kaiju into a position for Alexandria to tranquilize it? And he had the audacity to say he was "sorry". She had been mistaken; they weren't becoming a team after all.

It seems that she was the only one to notice Alexandria emphatically expressing her opinion - what it was exactly however, no one knew because her communication line was on mute. The look on her face was enough for Safiya to understand though. It took a surprising amount of restraint for her to throw in a "ditto", but she didn't want to argue. It was pointless.

"I'll head back to the base to help the engineers," she stated without responding to the boy's request for help. He would probably need to be towed back anyways if the wrong gears had been damaged. Whatever the case, she didn't feel like being in the presence of the group at that very moment and wanted to return back to the hangar - where she felt most at home.

What hope did they have defeating much more powerful kaiju if they couldn't work together defeating one of the weaker ones? M.I.R.A.C.L.E. was proving to be anything but.

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Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:21 pm
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The crew gathered themselves together before heading back to the hangar. Once inside they were met with an area of different responses. Some people gave a small clap for the successful mission. Others let out sighs as they say the work that would need to be done on the Mechs. Nevertheless the engineers were waiting and went straight to work as the pilots departed from their massive machines.

"Great job guys!" Abigail exclaimed as they came down. "I was told to send you to the debriefing. The commander's already waiting on you guys."

The team made their way to the briefing room, where this time the commander was waiting on them. The room appeared different now. The clutter of boxes had been cleared away and a multitude of screens and computers had been set up. On the screen display were several pictures of the mission they had just preformed. As the pilots took their spots around the table and awkward silence fell on the group.

"Well, you guys did it." The commander started his voice sounded as though the pilots were about to receive the lecture of their life. "Hornitor is dead and justly so. He posed a threat to humans and you did what you had to.... However more importantly I have reports that Vibrant Rhetoric has taken some serious damage. Let's be more careful next time alright? Everything considered it was a success. You all take the rest of the day to rest up and prepare. We'll have another mission for you all tomorrow. Dismissed."

(I'll let you guys do one more round of posting, then I'll make a post and then move on to mission 2)

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Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:32 am
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It seemed like their handlers were quite pleased with the outcome in the end. Perhaps this would devolve into a kaiju killing squad after all; that was something that her people would not stand for at all. Would she have to report what had happened on the mission? She mentally shrugged off the thought, if it was anyone's responsibility, it would probably be Raza.

Instead, Safiya headed to the engineer's bay once again. It was a place of solace for the woman. The smell of the oil. The clanging of metal on metal. This was peace. She watched as the engineers scrambled along the body of the Vibrant Rhetoric. Hoping to learn a bit more about the machine, she grabbed a wrench to see where she could lend a hand.

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Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:55 pm
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((Insane Clown Posty - M.I.R.A.C.L.E.S ft. P Savvy and The Shrapster))

The air was pregnant with a familiar melancholy. The sun's gentle rays had turned red, bathing the frost-laden field in vivid crimson hues – a commemoration of the blood spilled that day. This day. The day that marked the end of the world with Hornitor, and the beginning of the world without. A day worthy of remembrance. A day that would be remembered.

Raza remained in sombre thought for the duration of the trek to base and the debriefing thereafter; brief, breviloquent thing devoid of the reverence due the adversary they had felled. To cause conflict over it, however, would be a dishonour to the dead. The monk would see homage paid. He had a call to make.

The following hours found Raza in the hangar, supervising repairs on the Arbiter. The damage to Almawt was extensive, its structural integrity potentially compromised. The engineers would have to work through the night if they were to have it ready for the morrow, and even then the solution would be temporary; the monk fully anticipated a new unit to be required. It was with these thoughts and a scrutinizing eye on the decisions made in the day's fight that Raza stood on a high balcony, overlooking the work below. He would see to it that the Arbiter was restored to its deserved glory, without any further unauthorized modifications.

---

After returning to base, Alexandria was the last to leave her mech. The chill wasted no time in greeting her once the machine was powered down, but it didn't matter. Abigail had agreed to cover for her at the debriefing, and she needed to think. Wrapping her arms around her chest, the scientist slumped back in the pilot's seat, which suddenly felt impractically large. Subduing Hornitor had been her singular goal for this mission. Even if she had screwed up everything else, even if she had missed every shot, even if RSLE had ended up a smoldering, limbless hunk of polymer in the middle of a snowfield, as long as the team had managed to repel the kaiju without killing it, she would have considered the mission a success. Instead, everything had gone perfectly up until the moment she let an opportunity at a peaceful victory slip through her fingers. Only so much blame could be placed on the Obernian when he had made his malice toward kaiju so plain. It was she who should have predicted that he would do this, and she who had been presented with a chance to stop it. She sat pondering for over an hour, wanting to process the day's events as thoroughly as possible. In the end, she could see only one conclusion. She needed to opt out of the task force. There were probably a dozen mech pilots more capable than her on the base right now who could operate RSLE. She could join the research team instead. And yet...

Lexi chewed on her lower lip, her brow furrowing. There was something she had to try first. From her slouched position, she brought her heel down on the console, opening the c***'s hatch. The door had scarcely peeled back when she hopped from RSLE's back directly onto the catwalk, horribly startling some poor technician.

"Gah! P-pilot Godotta!" She stammered. "We thought you had already-"

"Oh, oh goodness. I'm so sorry!" Alexandria replied, covering her mouth as her sudden burst of gusto quickly petered out.

"Ah, don't sweat it. Just try to look before you leap in the future, I guess." The engineer recovered quickly. When Lexi didn't respond, she continued. "Eh... is there something I can help you with?"

"Well, I don't suppose you've seen Mr. Al-Amin anywhere?" The ecologist inquired, attempting to redouble her focus on the task at hand.

"Tch. Have I?" The technician scoffed, gesturing upward with her thumb.

Following the mechanic's lead, Lexi looked upward. It didn't take her long to spot him leaning over the railing of a balcony higher up. She immediately bolted for the nearest lift, but quickly thought better of it and turned back around. "Ah, sorry! Thank you!" She called back, waving at the technician, who responded with a smirk and a lazy salute before turning her attention back to RSLE.

---

Lexi announced her presence to Raza with the sound of footsteps on metal scaffolding, footsteps that stopped only when she was leaning over the railing next to him. The monk acknowledged her presence with a subtle nod, though his eyes did not deviate from their scrutiny of the proceedings below. Being this close to the man reminded her just how imposing of a figure he was, and in honesty it was kind of taking the wind out of her sails. But now was no time to be getting colder feet. She took a deep breath as quietly as possible, then turned to him.

"Raza, was it?" She began, smiling softly. "You did excellent work out there today."

"Excellent?", he answered, the furrow of his brow deepening slightly. "To end a life is not an excellent thing. The work we did today, we did because it was necessary."

"Exactly." The woman responded without thinking, surprising herself. She adjusted her glasses with the heel of her palm. "Even in the thick of battle, you act with intent, and with restraint. I'd heard that most Sarajul regard kaiju with a sort of reverence that others don't. It seems like you take their lives very seriously. That... That's why I wanted to talk to you about something."

This remark afforded Lexi a turn of the head and a glance from eyes that seemed to bore into her soul the moment they locked to her own.

"You have heard correctly," came the response, once Raza had turned back to his supervisory duties. "And you are free to speak."

As Raza broke eye contact, Lexi's eyes wandered over the tattoos covering the man's chest. She had been too distracted to get a good look earlier. Now, the creature depicted in the center caught her eye, but she cast her gaze to the hangar below rather than letting it linger for too long. The markings gave Lexi hope that the man would understand where she was coming from.

"The long and short of it is that... I don't think there's any reason that Hornitor had to die today." She started, her voice taking on a more somber tinge. "I want to make sure that we avoid situations like this in the future, wherever that's possible. After all, stopping misbehaving kaiju is only half of our job." The ecologist sighed deeply before continuing. "I guess I was just wondering if you feel the same way."

"What I feel has no bearing on what must be, Alexandria Godotta." The Sarajul's eyes narrowed somewhat, and Lexi got the distinct impression that he was tearing half his attention from the repairs going on below to teach a lesson that he had taught a thousand times prior. "Neither does what you think."

He turned to face her again. "Hornitor fell. Upon the fallen comes judgement. On this day we were its tools. All was as it had to be."

"I see." Lexi murmured, shrinking a bit, though she was not yet dissuaded. "But I wonder... Would you say the same if it had been Aleta?"

The monk took a deep breath, but the assured tone with which he spoke was unchanged. If anything, the conviction in his voice had increased. "Were Aleta – blessed be she – to fall, the earth would soon follow. And were we to meet such an end, there would be no greater honour, nor privilege, than to escort the lifebringer herself to the next world."

"I don't understand." Alexandria pressed, shaking her head and meeting Raza's gaze again. "Why wouldn't you do anything in your power to prevent something so dreadful from happening, given the chance? And you keep saying... fell. Fallen. What do you mean by that? Surely you don't intend to suggest that any kaiju is slated for death the instant its existence stops being convenient for us."

"Every creature is born with a purpose, Miss Godota. A purpose traced before them in the sand, a path the Desert wills them walk. In this way the balance of the world is maintained."

A pause. His demeanor appeared to have softened somewhat; a teacher that had realized the naivete of his new pupil.
"It is so," he began again, arms uncrossed to add the occasional gesture to his words. "The world sustains man and kaiju. In this way we are brothers, common children of the earth. And to the earth and all life on it we owe our service. The kaiju possess strength; they guide the earth and shape it for the benefit of all. Man possesses wisdom; he guides the strength of the kaiju lest their great power destroy the lives of those the earth is meant to sustain."

Raza's somberness returned, his eyes possessed by a sort of grim sadness that the ecologist hadn't noticed before.

"Those who stray from the path to pursue selfishness have fallen. To those who fall comes judgement. Just as man is punished for his crimes, so too must kaiju be. It must be so."

Alexandria wasn't sure what to say. She hadn't known Raza for even a day, and already her preconceptions about the man were being challenged. Rather than dismissing her inquiries outright, or lashing out in response to her disapproval, he was instead at least trying to be patient and help her to understand his perspective. And while she was far from convinced, she sensed that the Sarajul was unflinchingly genuine in these beliefs. That they were incredibly important to him, perhaps more important than anything else. Then again, she was pretty awful at reading people.

"P-please, pardon my outburst. I forgot myself." The woman apologized, anxiously rubbing her upper arm. Every instinct was screaming at her to end this conversation right now, before she said something that she'd regret. "There's clearly a lot I don't know about your philosophy. I'm very sorry if I said anything to offend you. But, um, if you would be willing to tell me more about your doctrine sometime, I'd be glad to learn. I can't guarantee that I would take it to heart, but I can promise that I'd keep an open mind. I would only ask that you do the same."

As she finished speaking, Lexi clenched her teeth, nervously awaiting the man's reply. It wasn't long in coming.

"You are well-meaning. I see it plainly. But know that to protect is to make difficult choices. It is the unloving parent who does not discipline his children, and the unjust ruler who leaves transgression unpunished. Ask yourself whether the love you hold for the kaiju is great enough that you would follow the best course to preserve the world in which they live. Examine your heart and purge it of doubt. The battlefield does not forgive weakness."

Raza gave a subtle nod and returned his arms to their perpetual resting place, crossed on his tattooed chest. A sure sign that the conversation was over.

"I have business below. The Arbiter must be made ready for tomorrow's excursion. Aleta's blessings, Miss Godotta." And with that he turned and made his way toward the stairs.

Tomorrow? Another mission, so soon? Alexandria thought, looking after Raza as he stalked off. The worst case scenario immediately came to mind. A repeat of today. And after this brief, albeit exhausting conversation with her fellow pilot, that was seeming more and more likely.

The fluorescent light of the hangar glinted off of the woman's spectacles as she made her own way back to the lift. She had been lazy. Missing the debriefing had been a mistake, and she couldn't afford to resign as a pilot. Raza. The Obernian. She needed to show them both that there was room for clemency in dealings with kaiju, and she couldn't do that from a laboratory. It wouldn't be easy, but the question wasn't one of ease.

Suddenly, Lexi heard the frustrated cries of an engineer above the general din of the hangar, from the direction of the Arbiter. "Fine! Fine! I'll polish it clockwise!" She winced.

The question was whether she'd be the same person by the end of it.


Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:14 am
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((This post ft. Deci))

Feh. At least it matched how he felt inside. Reclined in one of the briefing room’s swiveling chairs, Everard took a long, slow sip of the now-stale coffee he’d nabbed on his way in. Wretchedly bitter. For all its faults, however, it did keep him company as he mulled over the events of the past day: The mission, his first kaiju kill, the fact that he’d been disowned… the disastrous state of his hairdo. He spent too much time deliberating on each, overcooking every thought much like whoever had overroasted whatever this awful poorman’s brew was supposed to be. Ech.

The debriefing that followed was a blur of short congratulations, an inconsequential reprimand, then the surprising development that the pilots were to be sent out again within the next 24 hours. Everard himself wasn’t particularly phased by the rapid pace: tournaments had quickly acclimated him to the process of fighting multiple bouts in a row, and his section of the garage contained enough spare modules to rebuild Vibrant Rhetoric three times over. Nay, as the Obernian forced down another sip of acrid black death, his worries shifted to the team as a whole. Their battlefield coordination was appalling. Even he, who had only flown solo before, could tell that much. Had their opponent been any larger or more threatening, things would have likely turned out quite a bit worse, and in all likelihood, something larger and more threatening was precisely where this second mission was taking them. Grimacing as he swallowed his pride along with the rest of his beverage, Everard swiveled the chair over to face the other pilots. The thought of what he’d have to do next left a dismal taste in his mouth comparable to that of the roast he’d just finished, but he’d see it through. If he wanted to learn the ropes of working in a team... he was going to have to talk to Mikan. Ech again.

The biologist scooched his chair forward a few spaces, calling out to the Kaiyokese EMT as he did.

“Oy, Mikan. I don’t believe I ever introduced myself, so allow me to rectify that. My name is Everard Bla…”

He paused. He’d been disowned this morning, hadn’t he? If he was to begin a new life here, he’d do it without his family’s name preceding him.

“...Just Everard. Or Ev, if you prefer. In any case, apologies for not calling my attacks out properly back there.” And apologies for not one bit more, he thought. “You seem experienced with squadron combat, how did your group arrange its members to deal with close-quarter threats? Our team’s lack of dedicated frontline fighters concerns me.”

There was a sudden bitterness to the coffee Mikan was drinking. But she doubted the coffee had changed a bit, just the environment around it. The young pilot addressed her and finally spoke his name. Well half of it, he clearly was a fan of withholding the truth.

She gave an exaggerated roll of her eyes and set forth on NVOX, moving a slider labelled MODULATION at the top to a setting: ANNOYED. It clicking slightly as it passed various others.
"In simple terms, we didn't, all of the rescue ops are equipped for long range."
"We don't engage kaiju in melee unless it's life or death."
"Other than me no one even has a proper melee weapon, just knifesaws for cutting through debris."
"Everyone uses detraction ordnance, and if a kaiju must be taken down then the captain does it."
"He uses a high powered rifle at a similar range to our flak cannons."

She gave a grin and slid the setting back to HAPPY. "The benefit of light mecha is you always have the choice of where you fight from."

Everard was taken aback at first, not by Mikan’s “tone” (that she wouldn’t be pleased to speak with him was a given), but rather by the fact that her machine was managing to reproduce the sounds of sass at all. It was quite a technological feat, being able to communicate all the nuances of sarcasm with but a few keystrokes. Yet here the woman was, employing the mechanical marvel attached to her arm for no grander purpose than to tell the Obernian that she wasn’t going to help him and apparently didn’t care that their lives could very well be on the line on the morrow. Astounding.

He pressed his fingers to his brow, bowing his head in a pained expression as he sighed.

“Listen, I know I can be something of a nuisance, and us getting off on the wrong foot is partially my fault.” He said, but mostly yours for being a kaiju-loving idiot, he thought. “That being said, my worries are for the others, and how we’re going to keep everyone safe. If you’re only concerned about the flexibility of your own machine, I can ask for advice elsewhere.”

“Buddy.” Mikan gave a questioning look at her device before switching it back to NEUTRAL. “Buddy.”

"You asked me how my squad dealt with melee. Did you want my opinions on this squad?"
"Get a gun put on your machine. What kind of crazy person wants to engage a kaiju in melee."
"It's a good way to get torn apart."

She blew some air out of her mouth and rubbed her palms on the table a bit. What kind of spoiled brat asks a question then gets frustrated when that question gets answered instead of a totally different one? Mikan wanted to leave at that point but he was right about something, they needed to do their best to not get anyone killed. She held up a single finger to let him know she was about to type again.

"If the need arises."
"If."
"Then here's what I think, please bare with me."
"Raza takes point. His machine is the only one with any armor so it's the one that could take a hit."
"I'd flank the kaiju. My speed makes it safe for me to do while helping draw aggro."
"Safiya positioned mid range, closer than she had been against Hornitor."
"She needs to be able to position to get clean hits in..."
"While having the flexibility to move and let Lexi get in a good shot."
"Obviously Lexi should shadow her at long range, and wait for her cue."
"If melee is unavoidable, that's how I think we should handle it."
"It's almost how we did."

The Obernian leaned back in his chair as Mikan typed, taking more than one fruitless, subconscious sip from his emptied mug in the pauses between messages. The earlier portion of her discourse was unsurprising cowardly drivel, hardly worth his time. (Melee being a fool’s errand? Was she unaware of the popularity of chainswords?) The second portion, however, was the first sensible thing he’d heard from the Kaiyokese woman in the entirety of the short time they’d known each other. Everard nodded his head in accord with every description of team roles, agreeing with each, curiously anticipating his senior’s suggestion for his own part in the arrangement… but it never came.

The younger pilot said nothing in response, only further furrowing his brow and looking Mikan dead in the eyes, letting a moment pass. What did she think she was she playing at? That he was better off doing nothing? Was she so insufferably petty as to prefer spiting him rather than share her experience when they could all be dead tomorrow? Unbelievable. Everard stood up very slowly, keeping his gaze locked with EMT’s.

“Very well.”

And he was off to the garage. He couldn’t remember ever hating anyone as much as he did Mikan.

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Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:20 am
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As the day went past the engineers finished their work. The engineer's welcomed Safiya and her help. They also helped teach her about what little she didn't already know. Despite Raza's looming presence the engineers continued the work to his standard. It eventually became a game to them as they began to tell jokes seeing if they could get Raza's gaze to lighten. Late that night and after hard work the Mechs looked good as new. Then a new mech was brought in. It seemed oddly generic. It was a heavy mech devoid of all weaponry and not even paint adorned it. Pleased with they repairs the pilots made their ways to the various rooms that had been assigned to them for a night's rest.

When morning came, the pilots awoke to a loud speaker.

"Rise and shine MIRACLE pilots. Commander wants a briefing in 2 hours. Breakfast today includes Scrambled Quesmoa eggs, smoked Toubacon, and the finest biscuits made with Quesmoa milk. " Abigail's voice sounded way to cheery for the time of morning.

As the pilots went around their morning routines they all eventually gathered in the briefing room. Once inside they were greeted with an unfamiliar woman as well as the addition of two extra chairs at the table. The woman was tall and lanky. She wore a tight gray jumper and a bright white lab coat over top of it. Her blonde hair was pulled up into a bun with random pens and pencils scattered within it. She seemed to be engaged in taking notes on a clipboard. She continued to gaze over her reading glasses with her bright green eyes.
On the table in front of her was a glass terrarium with a series of plants in it. Most of which Lexi could easily recognize from her home nation. It seemed like quite the collection of Steel Ferns, but there was the unmistakable Sangus Mitio Arbor or commonly known in the Selvagran region as the Blood Blender. A carnivorous plant known for puncturing nearby prey with it's large thorns and pulling them toward the center of the plant with it's long vines to absorb the nutrients of the blood. This was a small one but would still hurt if you got caught in it.

As others continued to look around the room the saw folders in front of each of their seats as well as pictures of Habnaji, Saratumti's western city. Inside the folders they would find a brief summary of the area and an place of residence of a man simply named *Randy*

The woman looked up at them before clicking her pen. She placed it in her hair scrunchy before turning to the pilots.
"Hello, I'm Doctor Erika Ruberg. I'm am the lead of the Experimental Kaiju Defense Design and Adaptation for Specified Combat Protocols Division in Zeitlund." She spoke in a strong Zeitlund accent. She gave a brief smile before greeting each member in the common way of their nation. Her grip was oddly firm and unwaving and each greeting was done oddly well for a foreigner.

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Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:36 pm
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A quick glance over the folders provided told Raza everything he needed to know: they were being told next to nothing. The single sheet of paper contained no information on the adversary in today’s battle, no confirmation of the location. It was almost as if those in charge of this so-called “miracle” operation enjoyed drip-feeding vital information to those upon whom they were depending for the safety of the world. The lack of professionalism made the monk want to spit.

It dawned on him then that this team – for tenuous as their cooperation might be, the previous day’s victory could leave them titled little else – was being treated not as a collection of professionals, but rather as an assortment of tools. Tools to be used and abused by those in charge of the initiative. Already the Arbiter had suffered for the lack of data, but if things continued this way, the pilots’ very lives would be needlessly endangered. So be it. He would extract the information himself, one drop at a time. This team – his team – needed a real leader. It would be so.

Raze addressed the doctor, gesturing with one hand to the pictures he held in the other.

“Doctor Ruberg, are we to assume that today’s mission would see us depart for Habnaji?”

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Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:05 pm
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Mikan had only caught an hour or two worth of sleep before she was awoken by announcement for breakfast. Two hours to prep for a briefing seemed like an hour and a half too long, but she decided that the extra time could come in handy to finalize a few things. Making her way to the cafeteria she only bothered grabbing a cup of coffee- she was pretty sure it was the same pot as the one from last night, or at least tasted the same. But she couldn't ask with her hands full so she moved on, not staying long enough for anyone to approach her either.

Once it came time for the briefing Mikan was no more awake than before and let out a large yawn, flinching and grabbing her neck at the tail end of it. That had helped snap her too. She set her own collection of folders next to the one already laid out for her. Her mission that morning had been finding first officer Dillon and requesting a timeslot during the briefing. She still wasn't sure if she had been given a yes.

She greeted the people there with a wave and a unnaturally chipper "Good Morning" from her device, and the same to any of the pilots that arrived after her, casually going over the pictures in the interim. When the Doctor that that was there introduced herself in a formal Kaiyokese bow Mikan nervously giggled a bit.

"No need to be that formal."
"A handshake will do fine."

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Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:40 pm
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Abigail's announcement found Lexi sitting with her legs straightened in front of her on floor of her personal quarters, bent forward at the hips and firmly grasping the tips of her feet. The officer's voice was a welcome break to the silence that had characterized her morning routine up to this point, even if it had interrupted her count. She made a mental note to thank the young woman later for covering for her. The truth was that the distress caused by yesterday's events had severely disrupted her schedule, causing her to lose out on an entire three dozen minutes of sleep, leaving her with just shy of six and a half hours rather than her usual seven. Indeed, it had put her under so much pressure that she'd nearly forgotten to do calf raises, and had only managed to review the data from the previous day's mission four times.

Sixteen!

Alexandria ceded her grip as the refreshed count reached its conclusion, taking a brief moment before the next stretch. When she was ready, she spread her legs apart until they formed a nearly straight line, then crossed her arms and tilted forward, her face planting into the carpet with a soft thud.

Oh well. She couldn't say it was all bad. After returning to her room last evening, she had been able to adjust the climate to something much more suitable for her needs, setting the thermostat to a cozy 29 degrees. In fact, she hadn't left her chambers since the previous day's evening meal. Instead, she had busied herself unpacking most of her belongings. Boxes containing spreadsheets, research notes, and a veritable smorgasboard of other reading materials had been upended with reckless abandon, rapidly transforming the chamber from a sleeping quarters to something more akin to an office with a bed in it. The room now exhibited the sort of organized chaos typified by one of her profession. She had naturally left several narrow avenues of floor unoccupied for easy access to the several amenities in the chamber she would likely be using. These included a modestly sized washroom, a bureau, and the desk that was now home to the demonspawn of a laptop she had familiarized herself with only to the extent that it helped her do her job. Oh, and of course, she had allotted a stretch of floor to remain clear for the purpose of daily exercises. In spite of her extensive preparations, however, a niggling sense that she had forgotten something prodded at the corners of her awareness. But she never let those bother her.

After running through a few more stretches, Lexi decided to heed the announcement. She would prefer to get at least another hour of training in with RSLE before the briefing started. But maybe some breakfast first. The ecologist took as brief a shower as she could manage before suiting up in her pilot uniform and preparing to face the new day. She assured herself that things would be different this time. No more hiding. No more slip-ups. Then it struck her. What she had forgotten.

She hadn't left a path to the exit.

---

Mocquetzal bite me, it's adorable. Alexandria had been resting her chin on the table, staring at the Blood Bender for several minutes now, pausing once just long enough to enthusiastically reciprocate Mikan's unexpected but welcome greeting. The ecologist had very deliberately chosen the seat next to the newcomer, and hoped that her purely intellectual fascination with the plant would not offend her. Fortunately, she seemed indifferent more than anything else. Only when the woman introduced herself as Erika did Lexi tear her attention from the plant. Being seated immediately next to the doctor, she was the first to receive the traditional Zeitlund greeting. Taken entirely off guard, she mimicked the woman's movements, grasping her hand firmly and shaking up and down exactly once. She breathed a sigh of relief as the doctor moved on without incident. The entire sequence of events left Lexi with a feeling she had performed the ritual oddly well for a foreigner. After the round of handshakes had concluded, she finally turned her attention to the new files and began familiarizing herself with them as Raza posed his inquiry.


Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:19 pm
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“...no, no, keep it long in the front. I’d just like the back tidied up a bit, if you please.”
Everard had lived through a frustrating evening the previous day and had gone to bed quite promptly in an attempt to hurry along a more pleasant tomorrow. The early morning hours found him up and about, asking a soldier or two for directions before eventually finding what he was looking for: the barber corner. It was in the process of being opened up as the Obernian arrived, stationed by a short, gruff-looking Rastavanian woman working a broom.

“Look, buddy.” she replied in thickly accented common as she kept sweeping. “I do one style here, and that’s crew cut.” She wasn’t lying either, by her appearance. The soldier’s dark brown hair was trimmed to an impeccable fade, complementing her rectangular jawline and impressive musculature. Framed by a black tank top, the woman’s arms alone were the size of allicados: she could probably wrestle one in each hand.

Everard sighed at the response, but continued his efforts with a deep breath and a deft adjustment of his glasses. “I understand that, I assure you, and a fade is perfectly fine for the back. But I will pay you exorbitant sums of money to leave the frontal portion of my hair alone.”

The barber leaned her broom against the wall at this, this odd recruit bothering her at 6 in the morning before most troops had even breakfasted. He was Obernian by his looks and entitled by his speech, and she’d nearly had enough of him already. Placing a mighty hand on his shoulder, she spoke once more. “Listen, I don’t know what Command has been telling you and your little ‘miraculous’ friends,” The woman leaned in closer, and Everard leaned a bit further back as she did. “But this is my barber shop, and as soon as anyone steps foot in here, what I say goes. So you either sit yourself down in that chair and get the special, or you get your ‘elite’ butt out of here.”

The young pilot glanced about nervously, looking for an escape, anything to conserve some portion of the Obernian pride that were his locks, but he eventually bowed his head in acquiescence. Anything was better than the mess he’d left back there, and this was the only place to have it remedied. In defeat, he adjusted his glasses once more and conceded. “The special, please.”

And that was how Everard arrived to breakfast with his hair once again newly styled. He didn’t leave a tip.

---

The biologist arrived to the debriefing room early and kept quiet throughout, content to sit in the corner and observe rather than interject at any point. He was well aware of the precarious relationships he’d established with the other pilots yesterday, and preferred to shut his mouth rather than risk having to fit another foot in it. Alexandria’s was the only arrival he saluted, and his guarded demeanor opened a crack as the fellow scientist sat down. At least someone here understood him.

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Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:00 pm
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Before the Doctor could respond to Raza the doors opened and The Commander and Lieutenant walked in.

“Great! It seems you all have met Dr. Ruberg. She’ll be in charge of designing and testing new equipment for you to use in upcoming battles with Kaiju." The Commander said his voice booming.

"Ah yes of course, If you all find anything that may be of use either to study Kaiju or perhaps advance the production of such devices while fighting bring them to me and I'll look into it." Dr. Ruberg injected quickly.

"Now down to business.” The Commander turned as the monitor in the room on. It began to show several images as he continued.

“You are headed to Habnaji, or more specifically just south of it. Your goal today is to recruit and assist Randy.” As he said Randy a image of the man popped on screen. He had messy brown hair under a ballcap. Brown eyes that seemed slightly glazed over. He looked oddly lean and weak for a Sarajul and his Beer Belly was definitely unusual.

“He lives in a refurbished Mech chassis about 100 yards away from Habnaji’s walls. Randy is by far the best engineer on the continent but we’ve been having trouble convincing him and due to his history it’s best that we send a unit with some combat history in. Also it’s estimated that Aleta may be doing a pass over Habnaji as you arrive so prepare to encounter some rain and high winds.” The Commander turned to face the crew

“Any questions? If not I was informed that Mikan would like the floor to discuss strategy with you all.”

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Sun May 19, 2019 1:03 pm
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