NERV Hawaii: Episode Five - Manu War

Apr 6th, 2017
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  1. Darkling: Another school day passing by. You're just waiting right now for the clock to tick down until lunch while you probably should be working on dissecting the frog in front of you instead. Each person had been paired up with a partner. Stella was stuck with Ashley, Kai with Kayla, and Leon with Ju.
  2. Darkling: The teacher, Mr. Woodward, was sitting up front, looking up from his books to watch everyone now and then to make sure they weren't screwing around too badly, but you had noticed over the past weeks of school he was pretty relaxed and didn't care too much about what you did in class unless you were really disruptive.
  3. Kaimana: Kai had been making a face through most of the class, not terribly keen on the assignment but going through it anyhow. Her grades weren't so great that she could afford to do nothing. "Bleh."
  4. Stella Lacroix: Stella clasps her hands together in front of her hands and lowers her head with her eyes closed, looking like she's praying. It only takes her a few moments after that to grab a scalpel and make an incision.
  5. Darkling: Kayla didn't seem to mind too much, helping guide the girl with her arms around her. "You gotta cut like this girl, don't hack at it like roadkill."
  6. Darkling: Ashley looks a little confused at Stella's display, but watches none the less for a chance to help out.
  7. Stella Lacroix: "Have you ever done this before?" Stella asks, her tone detached.
  8. Darkling: "I once was throwing rocks at frogs to scare them, and one didn't jump away and I squished its brains out."
  9. Stella Lacroix: "Do you do that sort of thing regularly?"
  10. Kaimana: "Ergh, it’s a bit much for me y'know? I almost passed out seeing the blood when the shark bit me." She lets Kayla guide her hands though, having no objections.
  11. Darkling: "When I'm bored I guess. Not a lot to do in the countryside back home." She shrugs watching Stella work.
  12. Darkling: "Oh don't be a baby." Kayla plucks out the frog's heart with tweezers. "This thing's been dead for a while, it ain't gonna bite ya." She clicks her teeth in Kai's ear.
  13. Kaimana: "Psh, like I'm worried about that."
  14. Stella Lacroix: "Hm... I might just have inspiration for a horror movie or novel now. Thanks." She manages a little enthusiasm in the 'thanks' as she begins pulling out an organ. "Any idea what this is?"
  15. Darkling: "Lung?" She says inquisitively.
  16. Kaimana: "Guess I should figure a girl that wrestles crocs is up for anything."
  17. Darkling: "You know it babe." She plops the heart down on the tray and hands the tweezers to Kai. "Grab me out the liver why don't ya."
  18. Stella Lacroix: "It is, in fact, a lung. Want to grab the other?" She offers the tweezers over as well.
  19. Darkling: Ashley takes the tweezers and goes in with a bit too much bravado, probably squishing other organs as she digs the other lung out.
  20. Kaimana: "Oh yeah, sure, sounds like a blast." At least she knew what the liver was and with a bit of work she plopped it in the tray. “No more drinking for you."
  21. Darkling: "See, ain't so hard." Kayla grabs Kai's hand and guides it down to the frog pulling out the stomach with her. "No more food either."
  22. Stella Lacroix: "Careful." Stella says. "It's delicate work. For some reason they want it to be in tact before they put it in the blender to make tomorrow's cafeteria food."
  23. Darkling: You'd think a comment like that would make a frail little girl wince, but she shrugs. "Can't be worse than me ma's cooking."
  24. Stella Lacroix: "My sympathies. I hope it's better wherever you're staying now."
  25. Darkling: "Our cook's not so bad." She shrugs and plops the beaten lung on the tray and hands the tweezers back.
  26. Kaimana: "So how are things since I got moved out? The two boys still keep silent most of the time?"
  27. Darkling: "Yeah you know. When they don't have us doing their tests and training they just play their stupid games."
  28. Stella Lacroix: Stella takes the tweezers and gives the frog's remaining interior a little survey. She plucks out the frog's heart, then its stomach, handling both with extra delicacy. "I like the one where I am. Not the brightest for following instructions, but she's a good cook."
  29. Darkling: "At least no one bothers me when I tan on the beach. No tan lines for this lady."
  30. Kaimana: "So what do you do then? They let you out at all or is it just the private little cove? They don't let us out without an escort, if they let us out at all."
  31. Darkling: "Nah, we aren't allowed out at all. A bit annoying."
  32. Kaimana: Kai gives Kayla a look when she mentions not having tan lines. That could mean just one thing.
  33. Darkling: "I miss the freedom back home." Ashley mentions, leaning towards Kai and Kayla. "I don't like being cooped up."
  34. Kaimana: "There was a time I just did the beach bum thing. Hung out on the beach all day, crashed on couches or in cars at night. I miss that."
  35. Stella Lacroix: Stella goes on removing frog organs. Why would anyone have a problem with staying indoors? She'll never understand these weirdos.
  36. Darkling: "Back home was just rolling hills and creeks and forests." She shrugs and watches Stella.
  37. Darkling: "Back home fer me was almost like here. Beaches as far as you could see." Kayla says
  38. Leon: Another day at school, and yet another assignment that was probably not really important at all for their futures. His current roommates seemed to be embroiled in conversation with old roommates of theirs, while he also got assigned to work with an old roommate. He had no real issues with cutting into the frog, but also didn't really see much of a purpose to it. "So... How have things been since I got reassigned to another place? Just the same status quo?" He asked Ju.
  39. Darkling: "No no, not like that." Kayla says, scolding Kai and closes her grip around the girl. "Like this."
  40. Darkling: Ju nods. She was always a little quiet. "Not much has changed." She says quietly.
  41. Kaimana: "That’s that I was doing. Geez, how much more could we take out of this little guy?"
  42. Darkling: "How is you new home?" She asks Leon.
  43. Darkling: "I think he could take a little more." Kayla rests her chin on Kai's shoulder as she watches.
  44. Stella Lacroix: "It sounds pretty. Where was home exactly?" Stella asks, letting Ashley be a slacker.
  45. Kaimana: "I wonder if it’s true they taste like chicken," she mutters, pulling out another organ.
  46. Darkling: "Carlow, Ireland."
  47. Darkling: "Wanna try?" Kayla asks.
  48. Leon: "Eh, hard to say, I guess? The testing and training has gotten worse, though I guess that might have been the same even if I wasn't relocated. It's a bit of an odd place, we have a robot for a cook, for example."
  49. Stella Lacroix: "Nice to have a fellow European around." A brief smile from Stella before she looks down at the frog, poking a few places. "This must be the froggy reproductive area." Pluck.
  50. Darkling: "A robot?" Ju looks surprised.
  51. Darkling: "Kinda small, even for a frog." Ashley smirks.
  52. Kaimana: "I don't think so, thanks. This little dude has soaked in more chemicals than most junk food."
  53. Darkling: "I didn't mean this one." Kayla giggles.
  54. Leon: "Yeah, it was pretty strange the first time we saw it. It actually does a fairly good job at cooking, though."
  55. Stella Lacroix: Stella gives the recently plopped frogbits another look. Then she looks to Kai and Kayla. "Have you two pulled out the reproductive parts? I want to do a size comparison."
  56. Kaimana: "I don't think either is winning a prize here, Stella."
  57. Stella Lacroix: "Just trying to get an idea of whether or not ours is within the realm of average." Stella mumbles.
  58. Kaimana: She motions with her head for Stella and Ashley to bring their frog over.
  59. Darkling: Ashley slides the tray towards them.
  60. Darkling: "Robots are neat." Ju says trying to keep her speech slow and pronounce everything better. She had made some progress since you last spoke with her at length.
  61. Stella Lacroix: Stella completely compares frog genitalia.
  62. Darkling: According to your measurements, Stella's frog has the bigger pair.
  63. Stella Lacroix: "Looks like our frog is the winner, Ashley." And with that Stella slides the tray back, going back to work.
  64. Darkling: Kayla shrugs. "Ain't either of them using it though."
  65. Darkling: Ju doesn't look too interested in dissecting the frog, instead just watching Leon and swinging her feet on the stool.
  66. Stella Lacroix: "Maybe in the froggy afterlife."
  67. Leon: "Yeah, after the initial sight of it and getting used to it, it's actually pretty neat to have a robot cook. The new training they've added to the testing though... that's less enjoyable."
  68. Darkling: "They train us too. Make us exercise lot."
  69. Kaimana: "It's so weird."
  70. Leon: "Yeah, we were doing that too, then they added virtual reality training to it."
  71. Darkling: "Virtual Reality?" She asks.
  72. Kaimana: "Headset and all."
  73. Leon: "Yeah, virtual combat training, evidently."
  74. Darkling: "We no have that. Just run, climb rope. Do push up."
  75. Darkling: "Yeah, and they took us to a gun range once," Ashley adds.
  76. Stella Lacroix: Stella frowns.
  77. Kaimana: "Glad we missed that one."
  78. Darkling: "It was kind of cool. Never shot a rifle before." Ashley says. Kayla shrugs her indifference.
  79. Leon: "Huh, yeah our training has been much for combat oriented."
  80. Kaimana: "If it’s all for this VR thing it seems a bit extreme."
  81. Darkling: "Who knows what for."
  82. Stella Lacroix: Stella is glaring at the remainder of the frog now.
  83. Darkling: Interrupting their conversation, the bell rings for lunch. Mr. Woodward stands up setting his reading material down. "Alright kids, clean up quick and go enjoy your lunch."
  84. Stella Lacroix: Stella does just that, walking off irately to wash her hands thoroughly.
  85. Darkling: Ashley looks confused but doesn't say anything and cleans herself up.
  86. Kaimana: Kai makes sure to scrub her hands good and clean because yeah, gross.
  87. Darkling: The rest of the class does the same, disposing of their frogs and cleaning up and heading off for lunch
  88. Leon: Leon does the same and washes up before heading off for lunch.
  89. Darkling: It was an overcast day, if you chose to eat outside. Not too hot or sunny, in fact there looked to be a bit of a storm brewing off in the distance.
  90. Kaimana: Kai plans to sit outside and watch it roll in as she eats.
  91. Stella Lacroix: Outside it is for Stella.
  92. Darkling: Kayla joins them, sitting down and munching on a plate of raw veggies.
  93. Kaimana: "The waves must be getting good right about now."
  94. Stella Lacroix: "It's almost nice outside like this."
  95. Darkling: "Might not be too safe for long though if that storm hits."
  96. Leon: Outside was were Leon typically ate his lunch, and so he continued the trend. "Eh, it would be a nice change of pace to have a storm, though."
  97. Stella Lacroix: "Are the storms here that severe?"
  98. Kaimana: "Waves can get crazy here when it rains. It'll churn up the water too, meaning the sharks will come out."
  99. Stella Lacroix: "Just as long as they stay in the water."
  100. Darkling: "I don't think that land sharks exist yet." Kayla laughs and crunches a carrot in half.
  101. Stella Lacroix: "I was thinking more of a sharknado."
  102. Darkling: "I'm not sure that could actually happen."
  103. Kaimana: "That’s when I refuse to leave the house too."
  104. Darkling: Lunch continues on, the sky growing slightly darker as the clouds approach and you can feel the wind starting to pick up.
  105. Stella Lacroix: Stella closes her eyes and smiles. "Hawaii at its most tolerable."
  106. Stella Lacroix: The smile quickly falters as she realizes wind like that could blow a giant centipede into your face.
  107. Darkling: "Storms def coming in." Kayla says. "Guess we might all be stuck inside tonight."
  108. Kaimana: "Guess I'll have to catch up on homework."
  109. Stella Lacroix: Stella seems content with that.
  110. Leon: "Well, not like that's much different from usual."
  111. Darkling: Off in the distance a bolt of lightning strikes the open waters of the ocean. After a delay the boom of thunder reaches you and rips the silence apart.
  112. Kaimana: "Welp."
  113. Darkling: As lunch is ending a few drops of rain start to fall and the sky grows darker as the storm reaches land.
  114. Kaimana: "Seems like it’s moving fast anyway." Kai gets to her feet, tray over her head. "You should show me those non-existent tan lines later Kayla. Maybe text me tonight? Not like I have plans now."
  115. Darkling: "I'll text you later and we'll see where it goes." She winks as she heads inside.
  116. Stella Lacroix: Stella heads inside as well, a bit reluctantly. Thinking of projectile centipedes helps speed her along.
  117. Leon: Leon heads inside, not really in much of a hurry. Rain never really bothered him.
  118. Darkling: Once inside you start a lesson on thermodynamics, and Mr. Woodward drones on as he draws diagrams on the board.
  119. Darkling: It's a pretty standard lesson, and he's not trying to make it exciting enough for anyone to stay awake.
  120. Darkling: Outside the rain is coming down in sheets, plastering the windows as the winds rattle them.
  121. Kaimana: Kai yawns and stares out the window with her chin in her hand.
  122. Darkling: The sky, when you can see it through the rain, is dark grey, almost black, lit up by the occasional bolt of lightning that crawls its way across the sky.
  123. Stella Lacroix: "It's beautiful...”
  124. Darkling: An extra loud bolt of lightning, quite nearby, fills the room with light, and the power cuts out leaving the classroom in darkness.
  125. Leon: "Well, so much for the power."
  126. Darkling: The emergency lights come on, barely illuminating the room. "Alright, let's just take a moment." Mr. Woodward speaks up. "I'm sure it will be back on in a moment."
  127. Darkling: Most of the class has already taken the opportunity to start chatting.
  128. Kaimana: Kai kicks her feet up on her desk, hands behind her head.
  129. Darkling: A couple of them have gathered at the window for some light, namely Rhys and Isiah.
  130. Darkling: Kayla scoots over to sit beside Kai, popping her legs up on her lap.
  131. Darkling: Seo makes to creep along the floor, pouncing up behind Stella.
  132. Stella Lacroix: Stella has her eyes closed. The eventual pounce prompts a jump. "The cat nation attacks!"
  133. Darkling: Ju and Ashley haven't moved much, but turned their chairs around to talk to Leon. "So you guys have your own robot eh?"
  134. Darkling: Seo seems to be sulking a bit Stella.
  135. Stella Lacroix: "Enjoying the weather?" She looks at Seo.
  136. Leon: "Yeah, a robot maid and cook named PAM. Though I've only actually seen it cook so far." Leon says as he turns his chair towards Ju and Ashley.
  137. Darkling: Seo shakes her head, clinging to Stella's chair.
  138. Darkling: "Is it different from the ones in cafeterias?" Ashley asks.
  139. Stella Lacroix: Stella pets Seo's hair. "It's alright. If any bolts of lightning come after you I'll eat them."
  140. Darkling: Another bolt of lightning and the power hasn't come back on yet.
  141. Leon: "Yeah, much newer looking and such. Also appears to be better at cooking than the cafeteria one too."
  142. Kaimana: "Here I figured this place would have a generator or something."
  143. Darkling: "We can just enjoy the dark and a break from that lesson can't we?" Kayla asks, wiggling at a toe through her flip flop at Kai.
  144. Darkling: Mr. Woodward, having been silent through this time speaks up again. "Alright, the power doesn't seem to be coming back on, so sit tight. We'll contact your rides and see if they want you to stay or head home." And he leaves the room to do so.
  145. Darkling: Another lightning strike lights up the room and the sky outside. You hear gasps from the window. "Holy shit, did you see that?" Rhys says.
  146. Kaimana: Kai turns her head to look out the window, "What’s up?"
  147. Darkling: "I didn't see nothing man." "Nah, there was something out there." "You've been watching too many movies."
  148. Leon: "Hmm... well in any case, I suppose classes are officially canceled now."
  149. Stella Lacroix: Stella keeps on petting. With the latest flash she opens her mouth wide and then chomps down, going through chewing motions with her cheeks puffed out.
  150. Darkling: A few more people have gathered near the window.
  151. Darkling: Everyone seems to have gone completely quiet waiting for either the power to come back on or something else to happen.
  152. Kaimana: Kai keeps quiet too, wonder what the heck is going on.
  153. Leon: School blackout, power still not back, and the teacher was gone. Add to that an evidently horrific storm and a... what, monster sighting, judging from the movie comment? Or could be a serial killer too, perhaps. Either way, the ominous tension was quite obvious around the room.
  154. Stella Lacroix: Stella goes to take a peek as well.
  155. Darkling: Just as you reach the window more flashes of lightning
  156. Darkling: There are more gasps from the window followed by arguing.
  157. Stella Lacroix: Stella goes back to pet Seo. She looks a touch uneasy now and keeps a wary eye on the window.
  158. Kaimana: "What’s going on over there?"
  159. Darkling: "Rhys thinks he saw something moving in the storm." Isiah tries to explain before Rhys cuts him off. "I did you asshat. There's something out there." "Nah man, just a ship or something."
  160. Kaimana: "Maybe it’s a trick of the light?"
  161. Darkling: What should be thunder following that last lightning bolt reaches you, but instead it sounds like the air rending itself apart.
  162. Kaimana: ". . ."
  163. Stella Lacroix: "What..."
  164. Darkling: The walls of the school shake as the windows threaten the rattle out of their fixtures.
  165. Darkling: As the sound dies down another one replaces it. Something the students have never likely heard before fills the air, getting louder and louder until it's wailing.
  166. Leon: "... That's definitely not thunder."
  167. Kaimana: "The hell is that? Like a tsunami warning?"
  168. Darkling: "Air raid sirens." Seo says from the floor.
  169. Darkling: "Used to hear them from across the northern border sometimes."
  170. Leon: "Air Raid? But that can't be what they're using them for as here though, right?"
  171. Stella Lacroix: Petting intensifies, Stella's eyes going wide. Seems to be a comfort mechanism for her now.
  172. Darkling: "Well, there was Pearl Harbor." Ashley says.
  173. Darkling: Mr. Woodward bursts back into the room looking a bit panicked. "Everyone on the floor, away from the windows!" He shouts.
  174. Stella Lacroix: Stella stays on the floor.
  175. Darkling: He heads over to the windows, shooing everyone away from them and pulling the blinds down over them so the room gets even darker, just the emergency lighting illuminating everyone now.
  176. Darkling: "We haven't had a drill like this in a long time, so keep calm, stay under your desk and cover your head if it starts to get bad."
  177. Kaimana: "Could it be one of those things, like the one in Russia?" Kai sinks to the floor, pulling Kayla with her. "An actual, giant monster?"
  178. Darkling: "A monster?" Woodward looks highly skeptical. "I doubt it young lady. This is likely just a really bad tropical storm. It should blow past soon."
  179. Leon: Whether storm or monster, Leon gets down onto the floor. "Either way we're stuck playing the waiting game, though."
  180. Darkling: It was a long wait. Almost an hour before the storm abated, the sirens died down and stopped, and the power flickered back on.
  181. Darkling: The entire time was spent on the ground of the classroom win near silence listening to the thunder boom over the sirens, and the noises of the air ripping apart in shrieks in between.
  182. Darkling: A bit of light is filtering through the blinds and Mr. Woodward has left the room to make some more phone calls.
  183. Stella Lacroix: Somewhere down the line Stella started clinging to Seo. She's a bit red and watery around the eyes by the time the lights are back on.
  184. Darkling: Seo did not mind being clung to and had practically buried herself into Stella’s lap.
  185. Darkling: Ju had curled up on the floor in between Leon and Ashley, Rhys and Isiah were still quietly arguing in the corner. One of the only people who seemed unbothered was Aveltina, who was just playing with an unlit smoke.
  186. Kaimana: Kai sits with her legs crossed, doing some like her beach meditation to pass the time.
  187. Kaimana: Kayla didn't make it easy to concentrate.
  188. Darkling: She didn't, having found her way to laying down, head in Kai's lap, staring up at her while Kai was trying to meditate. At least she wasn't actively trying to pester Kai.
  189. Stella Lacroix: Stella breathes out a sigh of relief. Petpetpet. "It's over now, I think." Sounds like she's trying to convince herself of that.
  190. Leon: What an odd experience it had been. And a long, long one. But at least it seemed like it was over, for now. "It seems like it is, yeah."
  191. Darkling: Mr. Woodward comes back in the room. "So." He starts to say and stops, paces a bit. Then sits down. "So, you'll be picked up soon, school is done for the day." He taps his fingers against themselves.
  192. Leon: That pause... was it due to stress from the recent situation, or was it something else, like the conversation he likely just had with a superior? He never actually stated they were going home, only that they were being picked up...
  193. Darkling: "Also. I guess. Hm." He seems to be having trouble with his words and picks up the remote for the television in the room turning it on instead. He didn't need to change the channel, it looked like there was an emergency broadcast taking place that overrode all channels.
  194. Darkling: You could see what looked like live footage from a helicopter, and if you were familiar enough with the local geography you could tell it was not too far out in the ocean from here.
  195. Darkling: The helicopter was circling something enormous in the water, it looked like an albino gorilla crossed with a hammerhead shark that was laying still in the water. There were gashes and cuts all over its body, red blood oozing all over and into the red ocean as waves lapped at it.
  196. Darkling: From what you could tell in scale, the thing was enormous, bigger than the skyscrapers back in any major city.
  197. Darkling: "I fucking told you!" Rhys punches Isiah as he shouts.
  198. Stella Lacroix: Stella stares at the thing and twitches. That thing bleeding into the water made her want to get into the beach water even less.
  199. Leon: "Wait... it really was a monster?"
  200. Kaimana: "Holy shit."
  201. Darkling: "We're just coming to the scene of the battle now." The reporter in the helicopter said as the footage continued. "We don't know what happened to the second creature, but the remains of this one are here as proof, definitive proof, that five years ago was covered up, and we are not alone on this planet."
  202. Darkling: The helicopter draws nearer to the creature, you can see specks of white on it the size of ants, which you realize are seagulls.
  203. Leon: "Second creature? So there were two of them, and they were fighting, like in a monster movie?"
  204. Stella Lacroix: The more Stella looks at it the more affected she seems, eventually trembling a little.
  205. Darkling: "We're going to move in further and try to see exactly what this, thing, is."
  206. Leon: And if this was a monster movie, this would be the part where the monster reveals that it wasn't actually dead, and also probably destroys the helicopter.
  207. Darkling: The helicopter flies in closer, you can see chunks of flesh and blood, seagulls trying to rip chunks out of it to get a meal.
  208. Darkling: Outside you can hears the screeching of tires on gravel. Looks like your rides are here.
  209. Darkling: "Alright, come on kids. Get your things, head home." Woodward says, though he hasn't moved and hasn't stopped watching the screen.
  210. Kaimana: "This is pretty wild." Kai's glued to the screen too, groping blindly until she manages to grab her backpack.
  211. Leon: Well, guess we don't get to see the ending then. Leon reaches for his backpack, still watching the screen as he waits for the thing to return to life. "One way to put it, yeah."
  212. Darkling: "Find what you're looking for?" A groped Kayla asks from her lap.
  213. Stella Lacroix: "Send me a message tomorrow morning if everything's alright?" Stella says to Seo, a bit shaken up.
  214. Darkling: "Uh huh." She peeps out.
  215. Kaimana: "Huh? Oh! Uh...yeah. Right, text me later if things don't get too crazy."
  216. Stella Lacroix: Stella takes a deep breath and hugs the girl. "Good. I'll see you tomorrow then. The cat nation is invincible, meow."
  217. Darkling: Everyone makes their way to the cars, though it takes more time than usual as everyone seems distracted by the news.
  218. Darkling: After a drive, you reach home, which appears to be empty.
  219. Leon: "Well, home sw-, well, home for now anyways."
  220. Stella Lacroix: Stella moves along inside, assuming the door isn't locked. No lack of people is going to deter her.
  221. Darkling: The lights are all off in the house. You see PAM just floating in a spot in the living room, not budging or making a noise.
  222. Leon: "... Is the power out here or something? PAM, are you active?" Leon asks as he enters the living room.
  223. Darkling: PASM doesn't move or respond. The power appears to be working however.
  224. Darkling: You hear the house rumble for a moment, sounds like the super train in the basement coming back.
  225. Stella Lacroix: Stella sighs. She looks at the floor nervously. "Do you think that thing we saw was real?"
  226. Kaimana: "I doubt it was a hoax."
  227. Darkling: You can hear another rumble, and then a slam, likely the false wall moving.
  228. Leon: "It would be a pretty elaborate hoax, if it was."
  229. Darkling: "Hello?!" You hear a shout from the basement, sounded like Elle.
  230. Stella Lacroix: "We're here!" Stella shouts back.
  231. Darkling: You can hear the clacking of her heels before you see her enter the room, makeup basically melted down her face from her eyes. "Oh thank god you're all safe."
  232. Darkling: "Quick quick, we don't have time, you have to come with me."
  233. Kaimana: "Seems like a weird time for more VR training."
  234. Leon: "I knew we weren't just coming straight back... Fine, let's get it over with."
  235. Darkling: "Just. Don't argue. Now isn't the time." She's hurrying you all back downstairs and onto the train.
  236. Stella Lacroix: Stella heads down quickly, looking supremely worried.
  237. Kaimana: Kai moves along too, though she looks unimpressed with the urgency.
  238. Leon: Leon follows, keeping silent.
  239. Darkling: Down you go and a short train ride to the base. Elle rushes you through and you follow her to the medical wing. There is a lot more commotion in the building than you've ever seen before. People running around like crazy, shouting and yelling orders, people seemed in quite the panic.
  240. Darkling: Outside of the head medical room Elle stops you. "Can you, wait here for... please?" She says, then doesn't wait for an answer before she goes inside leaving you in the hall.
  241. Kaimana: "Guess I can understand all the crazy. Giant monsters."
  242. Leon: "Yeah, but... then why are /we/ here? Considering their level of panic... I'm not sure we're here for training this time..."
  243. Stella Lacroix: Stella waits. Whatever thoughts she's having she keeps to herself, but they probably aren't good. "I don't know..."
  244. Leon: Combat training. Tons of testing. Giant monsters. NERV. All of these were connected somehow, including Leon and the others, but... how? Chances are he wasn't going to like whatever the answer was. Especially if everything continued to follow movie clichés as life evidently was doing lately.
  245. Darkling: You're left in the hall for what feels like an eternity, but really it's only 45 minutes. Still a long time to just sit and wait.
  246. Darkling: Finally though, a nurse pokes her head out of the door and invites you in.
  247. Stella Lacroix: Stella trudges along inside.
  248. Leon: Leon follows inside as well.
  249. Kaimana: "What now, a physical?"
  250. Darkling: Inside the room you can see a whole troupe of nurses and Dr. Smith working on taking care of a patient.
  251. Stella Lacroix: Stella looks toward said patient.
  252. Darkling: In between them moving around you can see someone laying in a bed, multiple casts holding up limbs, and neck brace around their neck. Pale red eyes strain to stay open and look your way.
  253. Stella Lacroix: "... Astrid?"
  254. Leon: "Astrid? But how did she...?"
  255. Kaimana: "Astrid!"
  256. Darkling: The girl is not moving, and Elle is basically by her side crying as the nurses work on her doing all sorts of tests.
  257. Stella Lacroix: Stella takes a hesitant step toward the bed. Then she halts. Best not to get in the way of the docs.
  258. Darkling: "Give them some room." Dr. Smith says, and the nurses clear out of the way giving you a good look at the girl in the hospital bed. She looks like she got hit by a transport truck and managed to survive.
  259. Stella Lacroix: "What happened?" Stella asks quietly, her voice not carrying far.
  260. Darkling: "Did they turn on the news at your school?" Elle asks quietly.
  261. Stella Lacroix: "They did. Saw some giant thing?"
  262. Darkling: "That's what happened." Elle sniffed. She looked downright terrible herself. Red eyes, and running makeup from crying, her voice sounded hoarse.
  263. Darkling: She takes a deep breath. "Astrid fought it." She sniffed. "And she almost died doing so."
  264. Leon: "The giant monster is what happened? Was she outside when the- wait, did you just say she /fought/ it?"
  265. Stella Lacroix: Stella gasps, and then starts pondering. Little Astrid fought that? With punching daggers?
  266. Kaimana: How in the world did she fight that thing, exactly?" Kai approached the bed and started to stroke the girl's hair.
  267. Darkling: You could see bruises all over her face in between bandages. It looked like one of her eyes was full of blood as well. She was really hurting but she wasn't making a peep as you stroked her hair.
  268. Stella Lacroix: "Hey, Astrid... hang in there. You did a good thing." Stella says weakly, finally approaching closer.
  269. Erika Jackson: Erika walked into the room. "What are they doing here!? Let's get moving all of you!"
  270. Darkling: All the nurses jumped and scrambled, looking busy and most of them fleeing the room.
  271. Darkling: "Give them a minute! This is, a lot!" Elle shouted back.
  272. Leon: No, of course they weren't here to see an injured... Astrid. Obviously they were here because NERV wanted something from them. Leon scowled as he looked towards Jackson. "So Miss Boss Lady, I take it that means we weren't brought here to see Astrid... then?"
  273. Stella Lacroix: With an air of resignation Stella gives Astrid a final nod and then walks toward Erika, stumbling back once or twice but keeping at it.
  274. Erika Jackson: "We don't have a minute. Let's wrap this pity party up! I want everyone out of here and suited up yesterday!"
  275. Kaimana: "What the fuck are you going on about now?"
  276. Darkling: "There's no reason to suit up! The threat was eliminated!"
  277. Leon: Suited up huh? I suppose the facts have been leading towards being some kind of child soldiers for NERV, but... why? They decisively had trained military personnel.
  278. Leon: "Something doesn't add up to me. You obviously have trained military forces and equipment and funding... why do you need us?"
  280. Erika Jackson: "I swear if you two don't shut your mouths I'm going to ram my feet up your asses and wear you like autistic flip flops. We need to move now not whenever you feel like it." She glared at Elle. "Threat level's orange. Life signs positive."
  281. Darkling: "What? No. It was eliminated. The MAGI said there was no...” She trails off. "Oh Astrid."
  282. Kaimana: "Now wait one damn minute. You want us to do something about the...the thing out there? If you want us to fight we want answers bitch-tits!" Looks like the Hawaiian reaches her boiling point, hand resting on Astrid's forehead as she had her little explosion.
  283. Stella Lacroix: Stella just keeps moving. No questions from her. If anything the autistic flip flops comment helped perk her up.
  284. Erika Jackson: "You want answers wahine? Well you're all about to fukken get em."
  285. Darkling: ==============================
  287. Darkling: Through the hallways again, led out of the infirmary and away from the injured Astrid, you were sat down in a small room with a folding table and chairs and a projector.
  288. Darkling: The large native you were told was the Vicecommander, Oscar Backus, was waiting for you. He looked jovial enough for whatever was going on but when he spoke he was quite serious. "So, we're going to tell you some things in here you can't repeat. Doing so is considered treason. Understood?"
  289. Stella Lacroix: A quick nod for Stella. Perhaps seeing Astrid in such awful condition has her looking more alert and lively than usual. "Understood."
  290. Kaimana: Kai folds her arms over her chest. "Understood."
  291. Leon: "Not like anyone would believe us anyways, but sure, alright."
  292. Darkling: "Alright." The projector flips on showing you the blurry footage that you are familiar with. "I'm sure you've seen this numerous times before. The alien giants. Well, it isn't a fake." The footage clears up significantly so you can make out the details of two slightly humanoidish creatures fighting.
  293. Darkling: "What we do here at NERV is something the rest of the world will not understand. What you may not even understand. But it is important to the continued survival of our species. We protect the world from these beings, what we here call the Kupua."
  294. Stella Lacroix: A nod from Stella. It seems sensible somehow after the sight of the thing that mauled Astrid.
  295. Kaimana: "Does that mean they aren't actually aliens? I mean I don't believe they're gods but..."
  296. Darkling: "What they actually are is disputable. What is not, is that they want to destroy us all."
  297. Darkling: The footage on the screen changes to that of the one out in the ocean that looks like a hammerhead shark mixed with a gorilla.
  298. Kaimana: "This may be a dumb question but...why?"
  299. Darkling: "We do not know. Any attempt of communication has been met with violence."
  300. Kaimana: She reaches up to rub her temples.
  301. Darkling: "This one was headed straight for Kahului. We attempted contact, it destroyed the convoy that did so."
  302. Stella Lacroix: "Then we don't really have much of a choice but to fight it. But how? We heard Astrid fought that one, but she's so tiny..."
  303. Darkling: "You know those VR units we had you in? That's how." He sighs a bit. "This one is a bit harder to explain. We can synch you with weapon systems we have made, basically giant fighting robots, just like you've seen in movies."
  304. Darkling: "These are our best defense against the beings as any other weapon we have, tanks, helicopters, jets, missiles, all are ineffective."
  305. Kaimana: "Giant robots. Ugh, I want to laugh but after seeing the monster I can't."
  306. Stella Lacroix: Stella gives Backus a long, blank stare. Seems she's at a complete loss over the giant robot thing.
  307. Darkling: "I know, this all seems like a terrible Saturday morning cartoon. Trust me, it isn't. Astrid was the first person we found that was compatible with our systems to fight these things. You all are also compatible, as are your school mates."
  308. Darkling: "You are literally the one in hundred million amongst the world that could fight to keep us alive."
  309. Kaimana: "Question."
  310. Darkling: "Yes."
  311. Kaimana: "If what we're doing uses those VR tubes how did Astrid get so badly hurt?"
  312. Darkling: "The system allows a degree of control beyond simple computers, but doing so synchs your entire nervous system and psyche with the weapon. In a sense, it is an extension of yourself."
  313. Darkling: "This does mean however that you feel what happens to it. You receive all feedback."
  314. Darkling: "Astrid was the most capable of you, and none of you were considered cleared for active combat. Unfortunately the circumstances require otherwise. We need you all as a team to take her place."
  315. Stella Lacroix: "I'm willing." Stella says without hesitation, though she looks a bit surprised afterwards and gulps.
  316. Kaimana: Kai rubs her face with her hands. "What happens if someone refuses?"
  317. Darkling: "Then we die. I die, you die, the human race, dies."
  318. Leon: "... Well, it's obvious we don't get a choice in the matter, so alright then."
  319. Darkling: He looks quite flatly at her with that statement.
  320. Kaimana: "Right, no pressure."
  321. Darkling: "Do you want me to tell you that if you fail we have a backup? That nothing will happen?"
  322. Darkling: "Would you give everything you had if you knew there was no drastic consequences?"
  323. Darkling: "What if I told you our next best option, which is just a slim hope, is to bombard this creature with nuclear weapons, ones powerful enough that it would wipe out everything on this island."
  324. Darkling: He shakes his head. "You can refuse to fight, if you wish. We will not force you. But you know what is on the line if you do not."
  325. Kaimana: "Okay, geez. Bad enough you lie to us so much, we don't need lectures and guilt trips on top of it."
  326. Kaimana: "It was rhetorical anyway."
  327. Darkling: "Alright, fine. Don't trust us. But we're trusting you with our lives. Let's just get you prepared for combat."
  328. Darkling: "Follow Elle to get suited up. She will guide you through combat if you run into trouble."
  329. Leon: "Right then."
  330. Darkling: The Vicecommander exits the room, leaving the projector on with a view of the creature, and Elle looking down at the floor.
  331. Stella Lacroix: "We'll finish it off." Stella says in an attempt at being reassuring as she makes her way to Elle.
  332. Darkling: "Come on. Follow me." Elle says and ushers them out of the room, into the elevator and down deep into the base.
  333. Kaimana: Kai keeps quiet, arms still folded over her chest.
  334. Leon: "Right, right." Leon says as he follows.
  335. Darkling: She leads to you to a room labelled "CAGES" and takes you into a locker room. You notice a row of lockers and that you each have your own, your names etched into them along with a number underneath.
  336. Darkling: Kai, you are #2, Stella #3, and Leon #4. You also see Astrid is #1, and a row of unoccupied, unlabeled lockers.
  337. Leon: "Lucky number 4, huh?"
  338. Stella Lacroix: "I hear it's associated with death in some cultures." Stella remarks as she goes to check in her locker.
  339. Darkling: Inside the locker you see a suit similar to the one they had you wear in your initial VR training, along with a pair of round nodules.
  340. Darkling: "You'll have to strip down completely to wear those," Elle explains and points to a set of change rooms for privacy. "The nodules attach to either side of your head."
  341. Kaimana: "Weird." Kai holds up one of the nodules to examine it.
  342. Stella Lacroix: Stella looks absolutely horrified. Even the sight of Astrid in such poor condition didn't seem to upset her as much.
  343. Darkling: "Get changed and we'll get you synched up."
  344. Stella Lacroix: Off to the changing room Stella goes, mumbling to herself in French.
  345. Leon: "Well, let's get hooked up then..." He says as he goes off to do so.
  346. Kaimana: Kai takes the last one, not sure about the color choice. "Did a blind guy pick these colors?"
  347. Darkling: She doesn't answer the question and just waits for everyone to change.
  348. Stella Lacroix: Stella comes out with her hair down, the ribbons out, and the nodules attached. She deposits the ribbons in the locker and then tries to stay out of sight. "I... feel like a banana..."
  349. Kaimana: "You could look worse," Kai says as she steps out in her suit, nodules sticking to her despite her hair.
  350. Leon: "Huh, so we each get our own colors? Seems random." Leon says as he steps out of the changing room.
  351. Darkling: "You shouldn't worry so much about the colours."
  352. Stella Lacroix: "She's right. Maybe we can spray paint them later." Stella says in a flat tone.
  353. Darkling: "Alright, let's go." She heads through the locker room and pushes another door open.
  354. Kaimana: "At least it isn't just a big bullseye."
  355. Darkling: The next room, if you had ever been in a warship, would look similar to a torpedo room. It is long and has hatches in the side that are numbered one through five.
  356. Darkling: A number of staff was waiting nearby each hatch at a console with screens feeding them a constant stream of data.
  357. Darkling: "You each have to climb into your hatch, as assigned by your suit number." Elle sighs, not seeming to want to do this as much as any of you.
  358. Stella Lacroix: Stella has not. She goes into her designated hatch quickly, eager to get out of sight.
  359. Kaimana: Kai does the same, moving over to the hatch matching her number.
  360. Leon: Leon follows suit, entering his lucky number 4 hatch.
  361. Darkling: You each head up small set of stairs and then down a tube that is almost slide like and into a chamber not unlike the VR pods you were in before. There is a seat and controls for you to grasp and place your feet on. There is however no headset to put on. Once inside the hatch shuts behind you and you can hear it sealing and pressurizing.
  362. Darkling: Elle's voice comes on through an unknown source inside each of your pods. "This next part is going to seem just as odd as everything else going on, but your best bet is to not freak out."
  363. Darkling: As she tells you this you can hear and eventually see orangey-reddish fluid filling the pod at a rapid pace.
  364. Leon: "Right... a built in swimming pool. This is a strange movie."
  365. Kaimana: "Most people freak out when they're drowning, it’s why they swallow so much water." She eyes the rising liquid, stretching her body to keep her head above it.
  366. Darkling: "This fluid is called LCL. It is a liquid designed to enhance the connection to the weapon units. It is oxygenated, and therefore breathable." She explain as it rises to your feet and starts to fill up towards your waists.
  367. Stella Lacroix: Stella eyes the stuff. She doesn't seem too weirded out by it and eventually closes her eyes. "It's kind of like being in an isolation tank."
  368. Darkling: "Sort of." Up past your waist now and climbing up your chests. "Do not hold your breath. Breathe it in, and it will seem weird at first, but you will find it will not harm you and you will not drown."
  369. Darkling: A moment later it climbs up quickly past your faces and fills the entire pods, leaving no trace of air behind.
  370. Kaimana: Kai coughs and finally ends up swallowing the liquid, looking absolutely miserable.
  371. Darkling: Of course for those of you with long hair it floats all about in the liquid.
  372. Stella Lacroix: Stella keeps her eyes closed and makes a note to control her breathing. After the first few breaths of LCL she opens her eyes. She almost looks like she's enjoying this part.
  373. Darkling: As each of you breathe the liquid in and become accosted to it, your pods begin to whir and seemingly power up. The blank interior walls light up in panels of screens showing you a dark and hazy view of concrete walls.
  374. Leon: It's a good thing he doesn't have a water phobia or the like, or this might have been much worse for Leon.
  375. Darkling: "Synchronization levels are good." Elle says. You can see a small panel with labeled OD with her picture in it. "Complete the connection." You hear a muffled response to her and you feel a sensation in body that would be akin to an out of body experience.
  376. Darkling: And a moment later you feel back in control. "How are you feeling in there pilots?" Elle asks.
  377. Stella Lacroix: "It's kind of nice."
  378. Leon: "Happy I don't have a fear of water, but yeah, it's just... different."
  379. Kaimana: "This is still strange."
  380. Darkling: "Alright. We're launching the 'Aumakua. Sit tight, this will get bumpy."
  381. Kaimana: "Very free with the native culture I see..."
  382. Darkling: "I was not in charge of naming conventions." You can almost hear her roll her eyes before the pod starts to shake and you're thrust down through the liquid into your seats forcefully.
  383. Darkling: Moments later your vision is full of sunlight and the sky and the force stops abruptly.
  384. Darkling: It almost feels natural, but at the same time foreign, but you can feel yourself connected to another body as you look around and can see the coastline nearby and the creature from your briefing in the water.
  385. Darkling: "Releasing couplings." You hear a hiss and clacks and can feel the weight of your bodies fully now. "You should be able to move about freely now pilots. Make your way slowly, take your first steps as it were, towards the target."
  386. Stella Lacroix: Stella closes her eyes at the abrupt sunlight. After a few moments she slowly opens them, getting accustomed to the new light level.
  387. Kaimana: "What kind of weapons are we using?" Guns, she assumed of course.
  388. Leon: "Well... different still applies, yeah." Leon says as he tries out the connection, moving his arms and legs one by one.
  389. Darkling: "Weaponry is mounted beside you. Move around, you'll see it."
  390. Kaimana: Kai's robot moves slowly, the girl interested in turning around to see her weapon. "A lance? Really?" Sure she picked on in the VR sim last time but...she reaches out to take it, stopping to stare at the arm. "Ugh...same colors."
  391. Darkling: You can each see each other in the robots which seem almost organic as well, in how fluidly they move.
  392. Kaimana: Kai's robot looks built for combat, more of a predator than the others with two eyes on each side of its head.
  393. Stella Lacroix: Stella makes a few movements. Arms first, then legs. She takes a spear, then begins to move forward. Her unit is scrawny looking in relation to the others, almost skeletal in places. Its legs are disproportionately long. Its eyes are vertical.
  394. Leon: Leon's robot looked fairly armored at first, featuring multiple segments of additional silver armor over its brown body. But upon closer inspection they were thin to the point of uselessness, being merely for show. And perhaps more outlandish about it was the gun built right into its right shoulder.
  395. Darkling: "Signals are all good on our end here. I need you to approach the target, identified as Manu and engage."
  396. Darkling: "If you need guidance ask, but we have been training you for this, let that training guide you."
  397. Leon: "Right, I don't believe firearms practice was part of our group's training."
  398. Kaimana: "Y'know...I hate to be a downer, but maybe if you'd told us we were supposed to fight a giant alien I would have taken things more seriously!"
  399. Darkling: "And maybe if we did, you'd have laughed at us and thought we were insane. Now, you have an order pilot. Engage and eliminate the target."
  400. Leon: "Right, right... can't be too hard to hit something that big with a gun, right?'
  401. Kaimana: "Yes ma'am!" She salutes and her machine takes off running.
  402. Darkling: As you approach the target, Manu lumbers up from the ocean floor, raising up high out of the water. You can see its body clearer now, the head clearly resembling a hammerhead shark with red globed eyes at each end of its face, a gaping maw full of razor edged teeth between them. Its body walk bulky and muscled, hunched forward like a gorilla, a dorsal fin on its back gleamed in the sunlight before streamlining down to a fish tail as well.
  403. Darkling: It stomped back and forth a bit in the water, pounding the ocean with its fists and roaring our, that air tearing sound year heard at school piercing your skulls.
  404. Stella Lacroix: Stella's unit goes zooming ahead, covering perhaps more ground than intended. It zips right by Kaimana's unit, closing considerable distance between it and the creature.
  405. Darkling: Seeing the approaching giants, the creature turns and opens its mouth. Past the rows of teeth you can see a gleaming red brighten and turn to white as something blasts out of it.
  406. Darkling: A beam of energy blasts past Stella as the air crackles around it. Thankfully it seems to pass by you without any effect.
  407. Stella Lacroix: Stella's eyes widen and then close tightly. Of all the things it was going to use as a weapon against her, it had to be a bright light.
  408. Darkling: "Stay steady pilots." Elle speaks over the comms to try and reassure you. "You can do this."
  409. Leon: "Right, right." Leon says as his unit moves forward, albeit at a slower pace than the others. As he does so his right hand grips the gun extending out of his shoulder which he points towards the creature. "Let's hope it's as easy as pointing and shooting."
  410. Darkling: Seemingly annoyed with itself Manu stamps and pounds at the ocean angrily and bounds forwards towards Stella, closing the gap quickly in a charge.
  411. Kaimana: "Hey! I don't like fighting but that doesn't mean you can pick on Stella!" Kai's unit closes the distance between in and the monster.
  412. Darkling: Closing the distance to the creature you feel a tingle. Maybe it is just the adrenaline though.
  413. Darkling: You barely notice the giant fist of the creature as it swings through the air, connecting to nothing.
  414. Stella Lacroix: Stella's unit makes a cautious retreat to better make use of the spear's range.
  415. Darkling: Following the fist and Stella's retreat is a gnashing of teeth as the creature attempts to bit at Kaimana.
  416. Kaimana: "Guh!"
  417. Leon: And fire! ... Close, but no cigar as the shot misses Manu. "Alright... so it isn't as simple as pointing and shooting."
  418. Darkling: Another flurry of teeth snap at Kaimana, eating nothing but air.
  419. Kaimana: "Eat this!" Kai's machine pulls back and thrusts with the lance, aiming for the creature's head.
  420. Darkling: You draw blood as the lance digs through the creatures flesh, and in your victory the creature lunges back immediately, taking you off guard and biting deep into the leg of Kaimana’s robot. Inside your pod Kai, you can feel the teeth of a shark clamp around your leg and tear at your flesh.
  421. Kaimana: "Gah! Fuck! Who would make a machine that can feel pain?!"
  422. Darkling: "Don't worry," you hear Elle say. Comforting. "The pain, for the most part is just imagined by your brain. Unless something extremely critical happens, you will be perfectly fine."
  423. Darkling: Of course, you can picture Astrid in that hospital bed.
  424. Kaimana: "Still hurts!"
  425. Stella Lacroix: Stella's unit jabs with its spear, the long legs perhaps taking her further than she intended. As she glares daggers at the creature the air around it seems to shimmer a bit.
  426. Darkling: Something seems to have happened, even if you don't quite understand it yourself Stella. The creature appears to become sluggish as it rears up on its hind legs and swings for Kai.
  427. Darkling: The fist doesn't connect and passes by harmlessly.
  428. Leon: "Alright... Rifle, take two." Leon says before pulling the trigger once more, this time scoring a direct hit to the head.
  429. Darkling: Red ichor flows from the wound as the beast shakes its head angrily, turning to face the ranged attacker.
  430. Darkling: Another blast of energy flies out and burns the air near Kaimana, but doesn't find its mark on Leon, scorching the hillside instead.
  431. Kaimana: The normally cheerful Kaimana just wasn't having it today. It was all boiling inside of her and the monster was the target. She let out a cry of frustration as she launched another attack with her lance.
  432. Darkling: You seem to strike true, blood gushing out of the creature as it screams in pain, staggering backwards from you
  433. Darkling: Through the staggering it rears up, both arms coming down to pound into the Kaimana’s head before it takes an unsteady step back.
  434. Kaimana: The girl reaches up to hold her head inside the plug.
  435. Stella Lacroix: Stella's unit moves in closer, carefully. She errs on the side of caution, trying to keep herself riled up at the opponent in case that sluggishness was her doing.
  436. Darkling: Whatever it is you are doing, you can feel it. Maybe it was robot magic of some sort, but it was there. The creature shakes off its daze but remains in a slowed state.
  437. Leon: Hmm... Rifles typically have some kind of increased firing rate, right? But how do you.... And sure enough, Leon accidently ends up firing a stream of bullets up into the air completely off target.
  438. Darkling: The creature attempts to swing at Kaimana again, but can't control itself well in the state it is currently in.
  439. Kaimana: Kai, looking to capitalize on her earlier success, attacks again but misses, the lance missing its mark completely.
  440. Stella Lacroix: Stella directs her unit to thrust its spear at the opponent's head while it's busy with Kai. Only a light blow, but efficient.
  441. Darkling: This seems to set the creature off differently for some reason and it backs up defensively.
  442. Leon: "Right, so there's the trigger for burst... let's try it again with the barrel facing the damned thing." Leon says as he points the rifle at the creature before firing off a hail of bullets into its chest.
  443. Darkling: The creature seems take off guard, even as it tries to move out of the way of the bullets they shred apart the creatures chest and torso and it slumps down to its knees, barely holding itself up.
  444. Kaimana: Kai takes advantage of the creature's seemingly dazed state and thrusts her lance right into its center mass.
  445. Darkling: It slumps down to the ground with the blow, it's massive body nearly ripping itself in half as it blood further darkens the red waters of the ocean.
  446. Kaimana: "There...how’s that then?"
  447. Leon: "Huh... is it dead then?"
  448. Darkling: Elle's voice pops into your pods. "We are still detecting signs of life from the target. We recommend complete destruction of the entity."
  449. Leon: "So stab and shoot it until its piles of flesh, is it?"
  450. Stella Lacroix: Stella does just that, directing a pair of rapid stabs at the downed creature. "Right. Remember that it looked dead from fighting Astrid but came back."
  451. Darkling: The creature shudders on the impacts to its body, more holes and wounds opening as its body bleeds out into the ocean.
  452. Kaimana: Kai pulls back her lance and makes for another strike.
  453. Leon: Leon aims and fires, deciding to plug another bullet into its head just in case it was still alive.
  454. Darkling: As the bullet hits and Kai pulls back to stab the body, it simply explodes. Both Stella and Kaimana are enveloped in blinding light and pushed back while simultaneously being covered in more entrails than should be possible.
  455. Kaimana: "Gross. ...is it dead now?"
  456. Darkling: You hear Elle come across the comms frantic. "What the flipping hell was that?"
  457. Stella Lacroix: "Aaaaaahhhhh!" Stella screams at the sudden light and closes her eyes. These things and their bright lights were really getting on her nerves.
  458. Leon: "Wow... it exploded?"
  459. Darkling: You hear a bit of conversation in the background. "Confirmation. Target seems to have self destructed. You're in the clear. Good job pilots, time to park those babies and celebrate."
  460. Stella Lacroix: Stella opens one eye just a bit, still seeing white. Takes her a while before she opens the other. "Is Astrid doing any better by now?"
  461. Darkling: ~~~~~
  462. Darkling: After getting the robots parked back in the alcoves they came out of and disconnected from the pods you were let out and allowed to clean up. Thankfully they had showers in the locker room, clean clothes, and food prepared for you.
  463. Darkling: At the moment you were sitting in a cafeteria with Elle and Vicecommander Backus.
  464. Stella Lacroix: Stella is immensely pleased to be back in her normal clothes. She's looking abnormally pleased to a level normally reserved for Seo. "I enjoyed that."
  465. Darkling: "You did well." The Vicecommander commended you. "Despite the pressure and the fact you hadn't fully finished even half of your training yet."
  466. Kaimana: Kaimana doesn't look terribly enthused, poking at her food with her fork as she listens.
  467. Darkling: Elle still looked worried. Once they had gotten cleaned up they got news that Astrid was going to have to stay in a leg cast for a little while, and they were going to keep her in the infirmary until you returned home.
  468. Leon: "It was... something, anyways. I can see why guns require a license now. Anyone can use those things even without training."
  469. Darkling: "True and unfortunate. There was some collateral damage sustained during the fight. That energy weapon it had, which our computers are still trying to analyze, blasted an entire farm apart, and sent debris down into some houses below."
  470. Darkling: He checks off something on his tablet. "Don't worry too much though, aide has already been sent to those in need, we'll relocate and treat everyone injured until we can get repairs done."
  471. Stella Lacroix: Stella cracks a smile, which is interrupted by a mouthful of food and then chewing. "That's nice of you."
  472. Darkling: "For now though, eat up and head home for some rest. Elle will debrief you fully later on." He looks about to leave. "Any questions?"
  473. Leon: "Hmm.... On average... how often do these things appear?"
  474. Darkling: "This is the second one in five years, and only the second one we've ever seen."
  475. Leon: "That's a fairly long time period. Was the first one killed as well?"
  476. Darkling: "Yes. Astrid dispatched that one."
  477. Stella Lacroix: "That's impressive."
  478. Darkling: "She is an impressive girl."
  479. Leon: "So these robots... It seems like you had them custom made for each of us?"
  480. Darkling: "Merely a blissful coincidence."
  481. Leon: "So you just had them built and assigned the ones you figured would suit us each best?"
  482. Darkling: "We have been monitoring and testing you for some time. We made the appropriate, calculated choices."
  483. Stella Lacroix: "Do the other robots use magic, too?"
  484. Darkling: "That is, something new. Until now we have only witnessed Astrid in use of one and she has done no such discernable thing. We will be fully analyzing the data we received from what you did."
  485. Stella Lacroix: Stella looks pleased.
  486. Leon: "That was odd, yeah. But then so was it shooting a laser out of its mouth."
  487. Darkling: "Indeed." He looks at his watch. "I'm sorry but I have to leave, I have reports to make with the Commander and Senior Staff." He nods his head and hurries out.
  488. Darkling: You can hear Elle sigh as he leaves, followed by her forehead thumping against the table.
  489. Kaimana: Kai continues poking at her food listlessly, chin in her free hand.
  490. Leon: "Well... That was something."
  491. Leon: "I think Miss Boss Lady lied about this not being like a movie, though. It's evidently a monster movie."
  492. Stella Lacroix: "Or one of those giant robot cartoons one of my old housemates used to ramble about."
  493. Darkling: "We should get Astrid and head home. I'm sure you all would prefer to be there right now." Elle says, forehead still connected to the table.
  494. Stella Lacroix: "Always."
  495. Leon: "Right."
  496. Kaimana: Kai puts her fork down and crosses her arms. Looks like it would be silence from her for a while.
  497. Darkling: "Alright." She gets up and sullenly walks out expecting them to follow.
  498. Stella Lacroix: Stella follows at a lively pace.
  499. Leon: So Child Soldiers it was, albeit with the twist of giant robots and monsters, go figure. Leon follows after, somewhat mechanically as his thoughts distract him.
  500. Kaimana: Kai follows along at least, making no trouble for Elle.
  501. Darkling: The first stop is the infirmary of course where they pick up Astrid who looks a little better this time around. She only has a few large bandages on her arms and face other than the cast on her left leg. She seems to be doing alright with her crutches and is able to follow them at a good enough pace.
  502. Darkling: After that it's back to the super train and home quickly enough.
  503. Darkling: As they get into the basement Astrid finally pipes up. "I hear you fought the monster for me!"
  504. Leon: "Ah, yeah, that's right. We pretty much finished it off for you, Astrid."
  505. Darkling: "Thank you. I couldn't finish it off. It managed to remove my legs."
  506. Stella Lacroix: "Leon removed its head."
  507. Darkling: "That seems to have been more effective."
  508. Kaimana: "Blew itself up."
  509. Darkling: "We should get you to bed Astrid." Elle says, the concern in her voice evident.
  510. Darkling: Astrid for her part looks a bit disappointed. "Okay auntie."
  511. Darkling: "Can one of you help her upstairs? I'll be up in a moment."
  512. Kaimana: "I'll help her."
  513. Kaimana: "C'mon champ." Kai takes one of Astrid's arms and puts it around her shoulders.
  514. Stella Lacroix: "Get better soon, Astrid." She makes the metal horns at her.
  515. Darkling: You have no problem escorting her upstairs.
  516. Stella Lacroix: "Maybe Hawaii won't be so bad after all." Stella says wistfully, no doubt in blissful ignorance of the future.
  517. Darkling: ---------------------------
  518. Darkling: That night, more storms arrived to wash over the island of Maui. These were at least normal storms, not filled with the gut wrenching screams that the terrible creature you fought let out. Instead rain pattered away at a steady pace on windows and the occasional lightning bolt lit up the sky followed by the rumble of thunder.
  519. Darkling: How awake were you though? Was the events and adrenaline of the day keeping you up still, or were you passed out like a rock from exertion?
  520. Stella Lacroix: Stella is languid by now but still looking pleasantly buzzed. There's been a hint of an almost smile on her lips for quite a while.
  521. Kaimana: Kaimana isn't having the most restful sleep, a tired body battling with a restless mind. She tossed and turned, sheets and pillows strewn on the floor.
  522. Leon: Leon paced for a bit trying to process everything that had happened today. The fact that giant monsters who wanted to murder them all existed was already a lot to take in, but so was the fact that he had been sold off by his previous family to be a child soldier to fight said monsters. Course, then again, that woman probably would have done so anyways even if she knew that's what was going to happen to Leon... Yeah, probably.
  523. Darkling: Where ever you were in the house it wasn't too hard to hear Astrid clomp around on her crutches as she slowly made her way from her bedroom towards the kitchen, thumping every step down.
  524. Stella Lacroix: Stella, being in an abnormally good move, quickly gets herself off the couch to track down the source of the noise. "Hello, Astrid. Need any help with anything?"
  525. Darkling: She was maybe halfway down the stairs so far. "This is hard." Is all she really said, not quite answering your question.
  526. Stella Lacroix: "If I were big and strong like Kaimana I'd piggyback you." She offers a bit of assistance on the way down.
  527. Darkling: Astrid accepts whatever help is offered and they make it down the stairs shortly.
  528. Darkling: "Why are you down here?" Astrid asks.
  529. Stella Lacroix: "I can't sleep yet. There's a lot on my mind after today." Stella answers.
  530. Darkling: "Okay." You see her start movie off towards the kitchen. "I wanted to watch the storm from the big windows."
  531. Stella Lacroix: "I like storms, too. They're usually really relaxing."
  532. Darkling: She sits down on a stool near the window and sets her crutches on the floor.
  533. Stella Lacroix: Stella stands nearby, peering out the window. She squints out into the darkness, almost looking a little excited. "Did you want to fight that thing you fought?"
  534. Darkling: "Of course not." She says and looks up at Stella. "Did you?"
  535. Stella Lacroix: "I got to like it."
  536. Darkling: "It is kind of fun. But it can hurt a lot. That's not fun."
  537. Stella Lacroix: She gives Astrid a solemn nod. "Yeah, I can imagine. We weren't sure if you were going to make it. Anyway I used some kind of magic I guess. That was neat."
  538. Darkling: "I didn't think robots could use magic. Just wizards." She looks back out at the rain. "Does that make you a wizard?"
  539. Stella Lacroix: "Mm. Maybe. Back home they would have said I was 'spiritually advanced' or 'touched by the stars' or something like that. I've never been able to do that stuff outside the robot, though, so who knows?"
  540. Leon: Well, pacing was getting nowhere, not that it ever really did, actually. And sleep seemed to be evasive for the moment, so perhaps time to see if access to the kitchen was allowed at time, as well as if they could even cook anything themselves with PAM. And so Leon opened his door and began to make his way downstairs towards the kitchen.
  541. Darkling: As you reach the main floor you can see Stella and Astrid by the windows. "I wish I was a wizard. I like rabbits and I would have dozens of them."
  542. Leon: "Wouldn't that actually be a magician, though?" Leon says as he approaches the pair.
  543. Darkling: "Good enough for me if I get rabbits."
  544. Stella Lacroix: "They're pretty cute. A white rabbit is kind of like you."
  545. Leon: "Well, I'd bet you could get one if you ask."
  546. Darkling: "We do get them to feed Kaa."
  547. Stella Lacroix: Stella's lips twitch into a short lived smile. "So, Leon, what's keeping you up? Storm or otherwise?'
  548. Leon: "Ah, thoughts mostly. I wasn't actually expecting the 'sold into child slavery as a soldier' theory to have been anything other than a joke."
  549. Stella Lacroix: Stella opens her mouth to say something, but no sound comes out. A moment or two later she tries again. “Sold. That does put it in a really bleak light."
  550. Darkling: "Do you know how much you were bought for?" Astrid asks.
  551. Leon: "Yeah, but then it isn't like living with the last family was much less bleak either. And it looked to be a lot. I think a suitcase of money upfront? There might have been a second one too."
  552. Darkling: "I don't know how much that is but it sounds like a lot."
  553. Stella Lacroix: "Seems you and I have both been bounced around to different families a lot. Not so sure with Kaimana..."
  554. Kaimana: "What about Kaimana?" She stood in the entry, scratching at her head and yawning. "Too much talking, how are people supposed to sleep?"(edited)
  555. Leon: "Yeah, was about a yearly thing for me on average... And hard to say, it sounds like she's been around Hawaii- Ah, speak of the devil, as they say."
  556. Kaimana: Poor Leon. The athletic girl is in a tanktop and lacey black boyshorts.
  557. Stella Lacroix: "Oh, just talking about how Leon and I have been bounced through different homes. I think he's had it a bit worse."
  558. Darkling: "Leon was purchased as a slave." Astrid points out.
  559. Kaimana: "Sounds rough."
  560. Stella Lacroix: "Seems we're all up thinking. And storm watching."
  561. Leon: "So it seems."
  562. Kaimana: Kai grunts and flops down onto the couch, arms folded over her chest.
  563. Leon: "So, what do you think the odds are that the kitchen works for non-robots?"
  564. Kaimana: "I'm sure the maid needs time off for repairs now and then."
  565. Darkling: "It works like a normal kitchen. I have seen Filipe make food."
  566. Stella Lacroix: "Seo didn't have any trouble raiding the fridge."
  567. Leon: "Ah, good to know. I was considering cooking myself a simple late night breakfast or something to go along with the restlessness."
  568. Stella Lacroix: "I'm a little surprised at both of you." Stella says, directed at Kai and Leon.
  569. Leon: "Oh? Surprised about what?"
  570. Stella Lacroix: "We got to fight a monster inside of giant robot things. If I were an extrovert like Kaimana usually is I don't think I'd be able to shut up about it."(edited)
  571. Kaimana: "Yeah, well...not something I feel like talking about. There’s a lot to unpack inside. Mentally, emotionally and even spiritually."
  572. Leon: "Alright, I can see that, but I'm not quite an extrovert. As well, it is a lot to take in, plus we technically can't quite talk about it either."
  573. Darkling: "We just can't tell anyone other than people who already know. So we can tell each other now. I'm sorry I couldn’t before."
  574. Leon: "Oh, it's alright Astrid. I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't believe it anyways unless they got a chance to see it for themselves."
  575. Stella Lacroix: "I was never too big on pushing you for that anyway."
  576. Kaimana: "Out in the open now, don't sweat it."
  577. Stella Lacroix: "We're amongst ourselves here. So what do you all make of it?"(edited)
  578. Leon: "For the joke answer, real life has become a movie like I've been saying from the onset. For a serious answer... Well, it's strange that children are the only suitable pilots for the robots, for one thing."
  579. Kaimana: "Who the hell makes a robot that feels pain?"
  580. Darkling: "I don't think the robots feel pain. We just feel it for them."
  581. Stella Lacroix: "I defer to Astrid's judgment."
  582. Leon: "But, shouldn't robots not need to feel pain even without us? Considering they're made of metal and whatnot?"
  583. Darkling: She shrugs. "You can ask one of the scientist’s maybe?"
  584. Leon: "Eh, even if they did decide to answer us, they'd probably fill it with enough jargon to make it a waste of time."
  585. Kaimana: "Or they'd lie."
  586. Stella Lacroix: "Never know until we ask."
  587. Leon: "In any case though, there was a five year wait before the second monster showed itself, right? So we could be in for a long wait before we'd have to pilot again anyways."
  588. Darkling: "I hope so. I can't do anything with my leg like this."
  589. Darkling: A nice bright bolt of lightning flashes and crawls through the clouds.
  590. Stella Lacroix: "Maybe. I'd rather do it myself than leave it to other people, though. At least for a while."
  591. Kaimana: "Can't say I'm as thrilled by all this like Stella is."
  592. Leon: "Well, unless this becomes a monster of the week thing, for the most part our future will just involve physical and vr training."
  593. Darkling: "And tasty food."
  594. Darkling: You can hear Astrid's stomach growl, or perhaps that was just the rumble of thunder.
  595. Leon: "Well, I was planning on cooking anyways, so do you want some breakfast for dinner, Astrid?"
  596. Darkling: She nods happily at that thought.
  597. Stella Lacroix: "I hope they have us try to move balls with our minds or something. Seems like that could be wizard training."
  598. Kaimana: "You can take any wizard assignments they give me."
  599. Leon: "Well it would be a change, anyways. Any who, off to cook some breakfast. Either of you two want some as well?" Leon asks, waiting for a response before heading to the kitchen to cook.
  600. Kaimana: "Gonna pass."
  601. Stella Lacroix: "I'll take some. Just a little."
  602. Darkling: Astrid turns around on the stool to watch Leon now, instead of the storm.
  603. Leon: "Alright, a few omelets then." Leon says as he begins rooting around the kitchen for a frying pan, eggs, ham, vegetables, and etc. If any good came from the worse families he stayed with, it was learning the practical skills like cooking.
  604. Darkling: Everything is sorted and easy to find, and a lot neater than you probably would expect. Although, given it was a robot that kept everything tidy, maybe that was expected.
  605. Darkling: All the appliances were standard equipment too, nothing fancy that PAM did with them.
  606. Leon: "Huh, I would have thought they'd have fancy, high end equipment... but at least this means I've used these before."
  607. Kaimana: Kai kept quiet on the couch, her occasional movements the only sigh she was still awake.
  608. Darkling: "I'm not allowed to cook. Elle tried to teach me and I set the kitchen on fire."
  609. Darkling: She gets up from the stool on her crutches and clomps over to the couch to sit right in the crook of Kai's stomach.
  610. Stella Lacroix: "I'm alright in the kitchen. Didn't have to cook a lot back home. And now I'm spoiled by PAM."
  611. Darkling: "They had to replace the whole stove and counter. It was a big fire."(edited)
  612. Leon: "Eh, it's been on and off for me for the most part. Depended on the family. Last one I didn't have to, but only because I think she really thought I would try to poison her. And yeah... that's some fire. That really takes talent, Astrid."
  613. Stella Lacroix: "I think if you put your mind to it you'll eventually be able to cook well."
  614. Kaimana: Kaimana gave Astrid's head a pat.
  615. Darkling: She plops backwards onto Kai.
  616. Stella Lacroix: Stella looks thoughtful.
  617. Darkling: "I am glad that I have you three." She says.
  618. Stella Lacroix: "You're pretty neat yourself. I'm impressed with what you've done."
  619. Leon: "Yeah, I mean you've been doing this for a lot longer than we have. Anyways, Omelets should be done soon."
  620. Kaimana: "Pretty neat."
  621. Darkling: "You are like my new family."
  622. Kaimana: "Guess that means you're stuck with us for now." She rustles Astrid's hair, making a mess of it.
  623. Darkling: She just smiles at this.
  624. Stella Lacroix: "In that case I won't jump off my balcony head first just yet."
  625. Darkling: "But, why would you do that in the first place?"
  626. Stella Lacroix: "It's a joke."
  627. Leon: "You could though, so long as you can jump far enough to reach the pool."
  628. Kaimana: "Seems strange to ay this in a world where giant monsters are real but that’s a bit dangerous."
  629. Stella Lacroix: "Living is dangerous."
  630. Stella Lacroix: "Especially here. The wind might blow a centipede onto your face."
  631. Leon: "Well of course, but if you're deciding to jump off a balcony I'd expect you to realize whatever you're doing is likely dangerous."
  632. Kaimana: "Centipede? I mean I've had lizards fall on me, or crawl through my room, but no centipedes."
  633. Stella Lacroix: "Of course. I don't hate Hawaii that much. So don't worry."
  634. Darkling: "I don't like centipedes. Too icky."
  635. Kaimana: "Too many legs."
  636. Leon: "So that means Millipedes are worse, then?"
  637. Kaimana: "Totally."
  638. Leon: "Well, omelets should be done now. Astrid, are there any condiments you want with yours?" Leon says as he grabs some plates and transfers the omelets onto them.
  639. Darkling: "No thank you."
  640. Kaimana: Kai yawns, legs and even toes stretching out as she does.
  641. Darkling: Astrid rests the plate on her lap and kind stares at it.
  642. Stella Lacroix: "I'll have it plain."
  643. Kaimana: The native girl props herself up on an elbow, looking at the plate. "What’s up?"
  644. Leon: "Alright, plain omelet coming up." He says as he brings Stella her omelet. He then goes off to the kitchen to retrieve his.
  645. Darkling: "It looks good."
  646. Kaimana: "Better eat it then, that’s how you show appreciation for food that looks good. Eat with gusto."
  647. Darkling: "Okay." She goes about starting to eat it.
  648. Stella Lacroix: Stella does not eat with gusto. She eats very slowly and delicately.
  649. Darkling: Astrid offers a bite of hers to Kai.
  650. Kaimana: Well it would be impolite to turn down the offer. It was better to encourage the girl to be more open. So with a chomp the bit of omelet disappears.
  651. Darkling: She smiles at feeding the native and goes back to eating.
  652. Darkling: "This is really good. Thank you Leon."
  653. Kaimana: "Better than the powdered eggs they fed us."(edited)
  654. Leon: "Ah, you're welcome then. Glad you liked it." Leon says before he takes a seat and sets about starting his dinner breakfast.(edited)
  655. Stella Lacroix: "Powdered eggs? How do you even do that?"(edited)
  656. Leon: "I'm not actually sure? I'd imagine it might be similar to how they make dehydrated onions and such?"
  657. Kaimana: "Beats me, but that’s what the government gave the sisters."
  658. Darkling: "Can you powder anything?"
  659. Kaimana: "Mmmaybe? There’s milk, right? Uh..."
  660. Stella Lacroix: "I powder my face sometimes when I do my makeup."
  661. Leon: "Well, if you do it Stella's way, then yeah, you can powder anything."
  662. Darkling: "You can turn people into powder?" Her eyes go a bit wider.
  663. Leon: "She is training to be a wizard after all. Turning people into things is one of their basic magic."
  664. Stella Lacroix: Stella starts to say something, stops, and then just wiggles her fingers at no one in particular.
  665. Kaimana: "I'm going to say you shouldn't turn people into powder, just to be clear."
  666. Stella Lacroix: "Guess there's no powdering today." Stella sighs in feigned dismay.
  667. Darkling: "I think making people powder would be messy."
  668. Leon: "Probably. And then it would be hard to keep them all in one place. Should probably stick to newts or squirrels."
  669. Darkling: "Aww. Poor squirrels though!"
  670. Darkling: Now she just looks sad.
  671. Stella Lacroix: "Right. Let's not make any squirrel powder."
  672. Leon: "Well, I meant more turning people into newts and squirrels, but I guess you're all fine with turning lizards into powder, it sounds like."
  673. Darkling: Astrid probably couldn't stick out her lower lip any further at that thought.
  674. Kaimana: "Stick to powdering eggs."
  675. Darkling: She sets the rest of her food down uneaten.
  676. Stella Lacroix: Stella finishes off her own. “Sorry. Not a great dinner topic."
  677. Leon: "Yeah, probably not the best choice."
  678. Darkling: Another flash of light fills up the living room followed by the low rumble of distant thunder.
  679. Stella Lacroix: "At least the storm is still nice."
  680. Kaimana: "It’s been fun but there’s school tomorrow and I'm sure I have more nightmares to get through."
  681. Leon: "You'd think we'd get a day off the day after the monster attack, but probably not."
  682. Stella Lacroix: "Was it really that bad? Except for Astrid."
  683. Darkling: "I don't go to school anyway."(edited)
  684. Leon: "The fighting in the robot thing, you mean?"
  685. Stella Lacroix: "Right."
  686. Kaimana: "Something about it just felt wrong. I mean sure we're saving a lot of people from the monster but..."
  687. Leon: "Well... for me personally, it was just, surreal I guess? I mean the robot almost felt like an extension of myself, controlling it anyways."
  688. Stella Lacroix: "What do you mean by wrong? I thought elements of it were very right."
  689. Kaimana: "I don't know how to put it. It’s like I wasn't the only one in that tube, and the way it felt when the robot was attacked...buhuhu."
  690. Stella Lacroix: "I thought the tube was a bit like an isolation tank. People sometimes hallucinate or have spiritual experiences in those, so maybe there's a bit of that in play."
  691. Darkling: "It is better than the other things they can put you in."
  692. Kaimana: "What’s that?"
  693. Stella Lacroix: "Other thing?"
  694. Leon: "Other things?"
  695. Darkling: "The older testing equipment was worse."
  696. Stella Lacroix: "Did you ever feel anything like what Kaimana talked about?"
  697. Darkling: "I felt everything inside it." She raises her casted leg.
  698. Kaimana: "Now see, that’s not right."
  699. Leon: "They said it was a side effect of how they designed the robot, right?"
  700. Darkling: She shrugs. "I just know what Kaimana means."
  701. Stella Lacroix: "I'll pay more attention next time I'm inside it."
  702. Leon: "Speaking of that, how often have you been inside your robot, Astrid?"
  703. Darkling: "Once a week since I was five."
  704. Kaimana: "Geez."
  705. Leon: "Wow"
  706. Stella Lacroix: "No wonder you're so good at it."
  707. Darkling: "It is only for an hour usually. They run a bunch of programs then let me out."
  708. Darkling: "The VR training started when I was nine. It has improved a lot since then. It used to be a giant track in a circle you had to run around in with helmets and wires everywhere. I tripped a lot."
  709. Stella Lacroix: "For a minute I thought of you going around on a glorified high tech hamster wheel."
  710. Leon: "You never know, that could be in our future."
  711. Kaimana: "Still weird. All of it. On both ends. Giant monster, giant robots, NERV..."
  712. Darkling: Astrid slowly plops done sideways against Kaimana on the couch. "They did have a wheel I had to run in once. I fell and spun around and fell from the top and broke my arm." She holds up her arm and there's a faint scar on her alabaster skin. "The bone came right through. They got rid of the wheel after that."
  713. Leon: "That's..." Leon started, but just trailed off.(edited)
  714. Stella Lacroix: Stella lets out a long sigh after that, taking a look at the scar. She looks a little deflated now.
  715. Kaimana: "Not the smartest eggheads."
  716. Leon: "No... It's sounding more like they might not exactly care if we get through unscathed... After all, they said that all the students in this school are technically capable of being pilots."
  717. Darkling: "Oh, and they once put me in a pool full of what felt like spaghetti."
  718. Stella Lacroix: "Was it moving?"
  719. Darkling: "No, but it was super squishy and got everywhere."
  720. Stella Lacroix: "I wonder what it was supposed to accomplish."
  721. Leon: "I dunno, maybe it was a prototype of that stuff they filled our pods with?"
  722. Darkling: "Maybe. I don't think they liked it. We never did it again."
  723. Kaimana: "Kinda hard to breathe spaghetti. Of course I'd have said the same about liquids yesterday."
  724. Leon: "Yeah... that was weird actually."
  725. Kaimana: "I'm tellin' ya."
  726. Leon: "Just imagine getting used to that and then trying to dive or something. Might accidently try to breathe water."
  727. Stella Lacroix: "The breathing liquid isn't that weird. I think there's some medical stuff that does something like it."
  728. Kaimana: "What? Maybe in a movie. Yeah, yeah that one with the divers."
  729. Leon: "Well, we're pretty much like in a movie anyways, so why not?"
  730. Darkling: "At least this movie is comfy sometimes." Astrid has managed to slowly wiggle her way right into Kaimana since there were no protests against it.
  731. Stella Lacroix: "It does have its good points sometimes."
  732. Kaimana: "I'm not gonna hope for plot armor."
  733. Darkling: "Mmmannammf." Astrid mumbles something but her eyes are closed now.
  734. Stella Lacroix: Stella nods solemnly to Astrid.
  735. Kaimana: Kai sighs and pats the girl's head. "Guess I'm stuck here now. Someone hit the lights when you go."
  736. Leon: "Right, will do, after I take the plates and such into the kitchen. I imagine PAM won't mind dealing with the cleaning part." Leon says as he sets about collecting the plates and such.
  737. Kaimana: "Right, right. G'night you two."
  738. Darkling: ==================END==================
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