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Chapter Seven: Full House

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Mario lets out a low whistle. "Wow. This whole thing is a total mind-fuck. Oh, man." He shakes his head as if trying to clear the cobwebs. "I am personally thinking that we all already agreed to all the complications of being a part of the Wild Cards, so taking the next step of transferring to the command of the UEEF is the logical choice. Getting into the loop from Sam here about what the details of our mission is, well, that is just an added benefit. Not to mention the additional added benefit of being able to stick a finger into General Steele's beady eye. Oh, to be the fly on the wall when he learns that we are still alive."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Mario finds Colonel Sharp nodding a great deal at his words. "Understanding Captain Drake's mission is more than a benefit, soldier - it's a necessity. Drake appears to have put some plan in motion that the rest of us are completely in the dark about. Even Commander Kirin might not know."

"Whatever Sam's hiding," Captain Piper says, "it's big. As in really big. I'd bet my favorite fishing rod on it."
 

Captain Hesperus

Harbinger of the End Times and Apostle of Ghan
Administrator
Supporter
As CSM Murphy wheels Reggie into the medbay, Hercules snaps back to attention, ripping a parade ground salute out for the senior NCO. Even if Piper was captain of the boat, CSM Murphy was Hercules’ direct superior and, if CSMs were to be believed, second in command to God Himself. If Murphy had leaned out a window and bellowed, “It’s supposed to be nighttime!” Hercules half expected a sheepish deity stuffing the sun down under the horizon.

As for Reggie, Hercules couldn’t resist giving the young man a smile and wink. To hear that he’d signed up as a technician-in-training was heartening to the tanker. The plans he had with Professor Stein intrigued Hercules and he wanted to ask for more details, once he had the chance.

However, Captain Piper’s words brought him back. Leave the ASC? Become a part of the REF, an organization that was simultaneously on the farthest side of the galaxy, essentially beyond reach and a tiny sub-faction here on Earth? But regardless of the risks there was one thing, Hercules was sure of.
”Sir, ma’am,”, the Greek giant spoke up, “I’m a simple enough man. I enjoy cooking and eating good food, I enjoy singing and I love Greece, my family and my friends.”
He looked around at his fellow Wild Cards, new and old alike. With an affirmative nod, he continued, ”I’ll fight to my very last breath to protect the things I love and enjoy. The badge I wear on my sleeve matters little to me, just so long as I fight for what I believe in.”
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
CSM Murphy does not automatically return the salute; the first thing Murphy does is size up the man giving it. Only then when it was in his heart does he return a good one of his own followed by the words, "At ease."

Cera glances over to the big Greek and tries to follow Hercules's example. Instead of the ASC salute however, Cera's hand is held with digits together like a spear-hand over her left breast. Again CSM Murphy looks a soldier up and down, but this time he stares Cera in the eye. Hard. Cera, with her Mega-damage discipline, remains like a statue - her form perfect. There appears to be some kind of struggle inside of Murphy, but he keeps his cool.

From her hot tub, Mack's baby blue eyes go wide. Cera was saluting a male - on her own without anyone asking!

Murphy growls at her like he does all of his troops. "Auxiliary specialist! You ain't ASC! You tryin' ta say you wanna be REF like Baby Huey over here?" He jerks a thumb at Hercules.

Cera's form does not diminish an inch. In fact, it seems she can hold that salute forever. "I am Ura-Meltrandi. I am a Wild Card. I say I wish to serve where they serve and Unit One with me. If you are joining the REF, then you are my... superior."

"Yer hot-damned right I am! You just continue ta pull yer weight an' you an' me will be all right. Unner'stand?"

"Aye aye, sir!"

Murphy returns her salute and goes on about his business. Cera lowers her arm slowly and does not blink. Murphy goes over to Mack and shouts at her in a familiar and typical military fashion. "And what're you grinnin' at, missy?"

Mack smiles up at him and points to Mario, Herc, and Cera. "I'm proud of my squadron, sir! So far, they're not only offering to join, but they're beating me to it!"

"You mean yer wantin' ta join REF, too?"

"Yep!"

Murphy looks heavenward and lets out a long sigh. "Oh Lordy! As if we didn't have enough problems without you, Baby Huey, an' Greenhorn onboard!" Mack chuckles and Murphy just grins at her.

"Hell, let's make it easy! Wild Cards! Loo'tenants!" he indicates Elinor, Lt. Sveadotter, and Lt. Rolland. "Any of you young'uns don't want to join REF? Whaddya say?"

D. Rex D. Rex Kaerri Kaerri Silanon Silanon
 

Silanon

Three Thousand Club
The Swede offers a salute to the veteran, but not an immediate response. Some decisions are hard, others are easy - this one, for example. Still doesn't mean that there's a reason to rush. "The way I see it, there's little downside to it, SIr. And quite some upside, potentially."

That family issue, for example. There hasn't been time to feel the burden of her offficial death on her shoulders thus far; but it'll get through to her eventually. When that happens, it'll be better to be one step closer to a potential solution. And there's more issues like that, certainly. Some beyond her awareness. These people around her have walked the same path as she will. Can't be the worst bet, following their assessment.

"Came here to make a difference, eventually. This is the place to do it, no matter what the future holds."

Those glimpses at the future; the Invids, whatever they are - it didn't sound pretty, right there. But Earth hasn't been a pretty place for a while. Ylva wouldn't be here, otherwise.

"So if you're saying that being in the REF will make an impossible ride a little easier, then I'll take your word for it. Getting the job done is what counts, right? In the right way. The REF stands for that, I'd say. That's enough for me. Besides - this is new territory for me, regardless. What's a different badge, compared to the rest? The ASC has been home. But I've left home before, and it hasn't changed me for the worse. Moving on doesn't mean forgetting what has been."
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
Then Piper looks confused for a moment and there is no evidence from her to show it's some kind of joke when she asks, "What's Star Trek?"
That had Elinor pretty equally confused, but she just answered, "It's a TV show. I'll look it up sometime for ya when I can."

"Yeeew got it, sweet thang!" replies the Samantha with a toss of her hair and a hearty thumbs-up. Piper turns straight to Elinor and gawks as if to say, "Do all of you talk like that?!"
Elinor merely grinned and shrugged. She'd been half-afraid the familiar accent and mannerisms would make her homesick, but they hadn't yet. Instead, it made the ship more home-like, for her at least.

A few minutes later, the sickbay door slides open revealing a tall, portly, and beat-looking Professor Stein. His suit remains immaculate and his long white hair and beard are well kept. The only sign of his fatigue is in his eyes. He moves towards the nearest chair and takes a seat in it giving a friendly wave to everyone. "Hello, all. Kind of you to wait for an old man."
Elinor returned his wave respectfully. "Good of you to interrupt your nap for us, sir," she replied, then hoped he'd catch the joke for what it was.

Professor Stein continues proudly. "Wild Cards, Colonel Sharp, Sergeant Murphy, Doctor Yashida, Lt. Sveadotter, Lt. Rolland, Mr. Reggie Booty - this announcement is for you. With the authority invested in me as the head of Project Eternity under the United Earth Government, I am proud to make you the offer to transfer from the Army of the Southern Cross to the Robotech Expeditionary Force with your full equivalent ranks, pay, and privileges."
Well, that was a stunner, and no mistake. Her first thought was, did he even have that authority? But he wouldn't have said he did if he didn't, she knew. And Captain Piper accepted it too, and it had come out of discussions with Colonel Sharp, so it had to be real. Well, then. Believability settled, there was just the question of how she would answer. And that was no question at all, though there wasn't time just yet to say so.

"Dammit, Sam! I'll show you screwed!" There is a hustle of movement as suddenly, Piper moves and reaches to do something to Sam who makes no move to defend itself, but Colonel Sharp is closer and with equal alacrity puts himself between them.
As Piper's temper rose higher, Elinor found herself looking for the captain's canine companion. Wasn't this just the kind of thing he was there to help with? She was on the point of asking someone to go fetch him when one of the Samanthas brought him in, with just the effect Elinor had hoped for.

Piper sighs. "You Wild Cards must have had one hell of a meeting with War-queen Taniya for her to ally herself with you!"
"I'll tell you all about it after we get the rest of this settled, ma'am," Elinor promised.

Cera's form does not diminish an inch. In fact, it seems she can hold that salute forever. "I am Ura-Meltrandi. I am a Wild Card. I say I wish to serve where they serve and Unit One with me. If you are joining the REF, then you are my... superior."

"Yer hot-damned right I am! You just continue ta pull yer weight an' you an' me will be all right. Unner'stand?"

"Aye aye, sir!"

Murphy returns her salute and goes on about his business.
Elinor didn't comment, but her eyes were filled with pride in both of them, just as Mack's were. Both Cera and Murphy had overcome a lot to do and say what they just had, and she couldn't be more pleased with them both.

"Hell, let's make it easy! Wild Cards! Loo'tenants!" he indicates Elinor, Lt. Sveadotter, and Lt. Rolland. "Any of you young'uns don't want to join REF? Whaddya say?"
"Nossir," Elinor replied cheerfully. More seriously, she turned to Piper and explained, "Captain, I signed up with TASC in the first place because I had partic'lar skills that I figured could be best used there, and I wanted to do my bit to help protect Earth. An' I think I was doin' a pretty good job, or they wouldn't 'a let me keep flyin' the prototypes, right? But now I know I've got somethin' even rarer than a sharp eye, cool head, and steady hand, and you're tellin' me that this mission, whatever it is, needs that somethin'. That it needs me. Earth needs me. I can't say no to that. It'd be like sayin' no to every single person alive on this planet -- my family, all our families, even baby you, wherever she is right now. I can't do that, ma'am. I'm in this wherever and however I'm needed." She smiled, then saluted. "Transfer offer accepted, ma'am."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
"So if you're saying that being in the REF will make an impossible ride a little easier, then I'll take your word for it. Getting the job done is what counts, right? In the right way. The REF stands for that, I'd say. That's enough for me. Besides - this is new territory for me, regardless. What's a different badge, compared to the rest? The ASC has been home. But I've left home before, and it hasn't changed me for the worse. Moving on doesn't mean forgetting what has been."
"Nossir," Elinor replied cheerfully. More seriously, she turned to Piper and explained, "Captain, I signed up with TASC in the first place because I had partic'lar skills that I figured could be best used there, and I wanted to do my bit to help protect Earth. An' I think I was doin' a pretty good job, or they wouldn't 'a let me keep flyin' the prototypes, right? But now I know I've got somethin' even rarer than a sharp eye, cool head, and steady hand, and you're tellin' me that this mission, whatever it is, needs that somethin'. That it needs me. Earth needs me. I can't say no to that. It'd be like sayin' no to every single person alive on this planet -- my family, all our families, even baby you, wherever she is right now. I can't do that, ma'am. I'm in this wherever and however I'm needed." She smiled, then saluted. "Transfer offer accepted, ma'am."
Piper pauses and watches Ylva and Elinor, just about gawking at their statements. Then she turns to Colonel Sharp and unashamedly asks, "After what I just did, I feel shame like you read about! Colonel, just where in the universe do you find people like this?!"

Colonel Sharp just stands there admiring Elinor and Ylva. He grins. "They come seeking us, ma'am. And we accept them. For each of us has something the other cannot do without."

CSM Murphy grumbles at Colonel Sharp. "Christ in a MAC II, ain't that the truth! You said it, Top!"
 

D. Rex

Magic Eight Ball
To be honest with himself, all of what they were saying went over Richard's head. Not all of it, he got the gist at least.

Rubbing his chin, he spoke up, "So let me get this straight. To make sure I'm not completely missing anything. Join a future force fighting a mysterious enemy that isn't here yet but WILL destroy the world, operating under the guise of a backwoods military branch yet having to stealth our main power and resources. " he said idly as he counted off on his fingers.

"And while waiting for said new big enemy we are fighting off old enemies and other new enemies and things we haven't seen before and traitors. New shit, old shit, red shit, blue shit. Everything and then some. On top of that we are expected to be the most elitist of warriors and with a single squadron save the world from nigh ensured armageddon using some fancy future gear, robots, and psychic powers. And if we don't, we get mindschlocked and wake up as if we just had a movie-worthy nine day bender."

"I've have never been known for making good life choices... so count me in." Ricky said with a smile. "I don't know a single ace who wouldn't want the chance to save the world. Don't worry. I understand the seriousness of the situation. I signed up to fight for Earth. And if I got to transfer to do that best, then by golly I'll sign on first chance I get."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
"More or less," Captain Piper pulls a tuft of dog fur hanging from her nose and looks down at Wwarlock as she replies to Ricky. "It's not so much that you've gotta be super-elite-perfect. You Wild Cards fill two very important needs on the Broadsword. You're Traversers. Where I'm from, any one of you are worth solid gold. Why? Because the Broadsword has only known one Traverser - Captain Drake. That crazy, intrepid son of a supernova did things none of the rest of us could do with his technopathy.

Piper sighs. "The other need is purely military. Flight Nine was our defense line of combat aviators. Brave, skilled, willing, they did it all. And they're... they're dead too. That makes us vulnerable should the Zeki, Malcontents, AUL, or whatever comes our way. We're not going to be able to hide under the ocean from every threat, ya know."

Piper turns to Ricky and seems to make a decision. "Oh yeah. Almost forgot. As for the option of waking up with no clue of all this? Here's just one of the big reasons for that. Yo Cera? Ask Iris to reveal herself and make contact via polyphonic nexus, willya? Hitomi. Got a spare transceiver?"

Professor Stein hands something small and white to Colonel Sharp as Hitomi does the same with Piper. "Here, Hiram. Put this in your ear." Sharp does and listens. Then Hitomi peeks from behind Ylva and Ricky and explains. "Lieutenants? Iris is about to establish a nexus - a mental bridge of telepathic communication. If you want out of the nexus, you can will yourselves out or fall asleep whenever you like. However, you can't come back into that nexus unless the one who originated it lets you, and for that, they have to see you. As far as we know, a nexus can't be maintained if the originator falls unconscious. That's what happened at Outpost #5 today."

"Aye aye, Captain." Cera stares past Ricky and Ylva. Hitomi then takes away the moveable sickbay wall. From behind that wall, something big comes from behind the level-headed Scandinavian scientist and smart-aleck combat aviator from Maine. The crazy thing is... you hardly hear her moving! Something that big should not be able to tread so soft upon the sickbay floor in unearthly quietness!

Trazer - Dreams of Flight (or as I call it, "Iris's Theme") =)

Inside the minds of everyone present comes a sensation that appears to make every blood-pathway in your brains move with a mission. The highways of your mind simply open up and race with life. You feel just a touch lightheaded. Then a series of symbols and letters, signs and numbers flash like lightning before your mind's eye.

"999pQzRRwa...

"YYZ8M1Nikzbkk!!kk...


A moment passes in silence. Then... a motherly voice, mature, friendly, and somehow soothing, is heard by your mind's ear.

"Success! Communication established! Species: Human. Dialect: American-English! Salutations, newest of Wild Cards! This One is identified as Unit One, but please refer to This One by her Meltrandi-given name - 'Iris!' It brings harmonious pleasure to This One to serve and assist you, the enemy of our enemies - the unforgiveable Zeki-Zentraedi and eventually, the Wronged Ones whom you call the Invid. May we save your homeworld from their wrath!"

As you turn to look at the creature mentally speaking with you, Cera the red-brown-eyed Meltrandi steps with arms crossed in obvious support of the inhuman creature. Cera seems to stand defensively between you and the creature, perhaps out of habit.

Then you see Iris.

This except add a bulbous mass on her lower back that seems to be part of her body. Also, her eyes are a happy grass-green color.
ark_mantis_final_by_davesrightmind-dagkair.jpg
(Image credit: Davesrightmind - DeviantArt)

Standing some 11 feet tall and half that as wide, Iris moves as little as possible allowing you to examine her as you will. With colors that seem to shift a little before your eyes, Iris is both terribly bestial and beautiful. Ylva and Ricky instantly recognize her recently washed and polished carapace as being Mega-damage in nature. This also likely means she is able to mete out bites and pincer attacks capable of cleaving entire cars in half, not to mention people. But there is something in her eyes, her sheathed pincers, her clear attempt at trying to dip her body low and bring her limbs inward in an attempt to look smaller, less threatening. She tilts her head your way and those green eyes blink slowly. Without warning, Trouble hops off of a nearby table and onto her thorax. There, he gives her a friendly sniff and lick. Iris does not seem to mind.

As you digest this, all of you then hear Captain Piper's voice in your ears and minds as she asks, "So, Cera? How are we working this out? You and the Broadsword have got enough of a past to warrant asking - you sure War-queen Taniya's gonna let you join the REF?"

Without taking her attention off of Ylva and Ricky, Cera the Ura-Meltrandi replies with a steely edge to her words. "You mistake intent. My situation has not changed, Piper. I have no intention of joining the Robotech Expeditionary Force. I am a Wild Card. My dentella is Elly Nor Hall. My Squadron Leader is Leader Mack. Iris the Scrath is my ally. War-Queen Taniya is my savior and greatest in station, may she destroy all who dare defy her!"

"Yeeeaaahhh," Piper nods and fidgets. "Should've seen that coming. The rest of the crew is gonna looove this."

"You need only fret for your human crew," Cera sends an emotional sensation along the nexus - an utter lack of worry - that is felt by every Traverser in the room. "Your nonhuman crew will get along just fine with Iris and I."

"What makes you say that?" Piper does not seem so certain.

Cera grins. "They are given to more open-mindedness than most of you humans."

"Keep your chin up, ma'am," Colonel Sharp says aloud to Captain Piper - his confidence-inspiring voice simultaneously sounds in your ears and mind. "We've just improved humanity's chances! Never before has there been a gathering of people like this together fighting for Earth!"

"Yeah! You're right, sir!" Piper brightens. "Plus you Wild Cards freeing the Esper from the Anti-Unification League have brought us outta the black and into the green! We've got decent food and drink now for months and a stockpile of resources to repair and build with!" Piper stands. "Listen up, everybody. I want you down on Hangar Bay Bravo tomorrow morning, bright and early by 0700 hours. Wear your new uniforms. We've still got some things to cover before you're let off on your own. For now, stay here or head to your new quarters. There are Sam units to guide and bring you provisions. Tomorrow, when you wander the Broadsword the first time, I want all of the Wild Cards together as one unit. She's a big momma and it's kind of a tradition, got it? Dismissed!"

Then you hear this over the ship's intercom. "Yo, like, Captain to the bridge, okaaay?"

"Saaam?" Piper looks up at the ceiling. "On my way. Pardon me, everybody, and thanks!" Piper and Wwarlock turn to exit sickbay, but just before she is about to leave, she pauses. Acting-Captain Piper, just some 19 years of age, stands and watches all of you with a combination of fear and relief in her expression. Then a small grin appears on her lips and she vanishes with Wwarlock through the doorway.

This leaves the rest of you to chat there in sickbay. A number of people speak up. Professor Stein and Colonel Sharp look rather pleased and even CSM Murphy is wearing a grin.

"Bravo, Wild Cards! New and old!" Professor Stein beams at all of you. Even Trouble.

Murphy says, "What y'all have done today is damned selfless!"

"Smurf's right," Colonel Sharp stands proudly. "Someone has to carry the torch when we become too old to do it. I'm just glad it's people like you! Whatever Captain Drake's master plan has in store for us, I bet it's going to require the best from each of us."

Mack reaches for the nearest Wild Cards (the dice tell me it's Mario and Toph) and tries to pull you both closer to the one-person hot tub. Mack is wet, weary, and very happy. "You all made it and blew the AUL outpost sky-high! Bitchin'! I'm stoked for the next mission already! And you!" Mack calls over to Elinor and laughs. "I can't believe you're making all of the Sam units talk like beach-bums! You're outta your mind, gal!" Mack continues to smile at you and it's wonderful to see. "You guys took down two of those drones with your new guns and gunnery skills? I mean, two unmanned combat aircraft? Totally gnarly! Mario, you're like a god of war! So your new call sign is Mars! Herc? You're... whathisnameagain... Atlas! And Cera? Get used to us calling you Athena! That's your call sign!"

"Aye aye, Leader Mack!" Cera grins with pride. Then she looks to any nearby Wild Card. "Who or what is Athena? I studied your Norse religion but the name is not there."

The OOC votes are in, Gang! Majority says "Mars" for Mario! That ought to be easy to remember. Thank you for participating! =)

Reggie cheerfully looks up to Hercules and says, "Mister Hercules! Oh, man! Professor Stein has me making legs! Real Sam legs like Sam's got! No more wheelchair!!" He eagerly points at the nearest Sam unit. "Professor Stein he gave me plans to follow. If I follow his directions in microengineering, I'll be able to control the device he invented! A battery-operated seat and pair of hypercarbon legs with impulses sent from my brain! Is that sci-fi crazy or what?! I'm gonna be like Geordi La Forge from Star Trek but with cooler legs! I mean, sure, it's going to take a lot of time and practice, but me daddy? He believed in me so I know I can do it! You think so too, don't you? I mean, it's only microengineering - it can't be that hard, can it?"

Hitomi simply leans up against a wall and silently watches with delight. For before her is a rare sight to see - a sickbay full of happy, mostly-healthy people with one hell of a future ahead of them!

I am going to leave this post open for a little bit for anyone who wants to simply chat with those present. Then we'll fast-forward to the next day at 0700 hours on Hangar Bay Bravo. Remember - no wandering around the Broadsword yet! It's either here or your new quarters for the moment. =)
 
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Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Mario gives off a grin as he is given his new call sign. "Cool deal! Mars, huh? I like it!" He then turns to the group and says, "I have not forgotten my promise of making up some real Italian food for us all. I just need to see what ingredients we have available, and get a head count for the number of people that will be joining us so I know how much to make. Just make sure you all prepare yourselves for a treat! After all, we have to celebrate our new members and our successful mission to get the Esper back."
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter


Elinor's character sheet
Action Points: 8/8
Bonus action point: 1

Acting-Captain Piper, just some 19 years of age, stands and watches all of you with a combination of fear and relief in her expression. Then a small grin appears on her lips and she vanishes with Wwarlock through the doorway.
Elinor saluted when the captain gave them their official dismissal (even though it seemed she was the one leaving). Though she itched to explore the ship properly, she knew it would be more enlightening to see her under the guidance of one of her crew, and Piper had elected herself for that. Besides, they had their orders. Now, on Piper's turning back to look at the Wild Cards once more, Elinor gives her a confident thumbs-up.

Mack calls over to Elinor and laughs. "I can't believe you're making all of the Sam units talk like beach-bums! You're outta your mind, gal!" Mack continues to smile at you and it's wonderful to see. "You guys took down two of those drones with your new guns and gunnery skills? I mean, two unmanned combat aircraft? Totally gnarly! Mario, you're like a god of war! So your new call sign is Mars! Herc? You're... whathisnameagain... Atlas! And Cera? Get used to us calling you Athena! That's your call sign!"
Elinor grins. "It was on the list," is the only "defense" she offers for her choice of Sam-speak. She nods approvingly at the call signs, and agrees with joking formality, "I concur, ma'am."

"Aye aye, Leader Mack!" Cera grins with pride. Then she looks to any nearby Wild Card. "Who or what is Athena? I studied your Norse religion but the name is not there."
"That's because she isn't Norse," Elinor explains to her... well, now was the time to ask, wasn't it? After she finished her answer, of course. "She's Greek. Goddess of war and wisdom, isn't it, Hercules?" There was something about owls, but she couldn't remember now whether it was because Athena liked owls or because they were also associated with wisdom. "Cera, I'm your dentalla, but what does that make you to me? I've been saying 'ward' but that doesn't seem to be exactly it."

Mario gives off a grin as he is given his new call sign. "Cool deal! Mars, huh? I like it!" He then turns to the group and says, "I have not forgotten my promise of making up some real Italian food for us all. I just need to see what ingredients we have available, and get a head count for the number of people that will be joining us so I know how much to make. Just make sure you all prepare yourselves for a treat! After all, we have to celebrate our new members and our successful mission to get the Esper back."
"Sign me up, for sure!" Elinor tells him. "I'd love a home-cooked meal just now."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Toph adds her happy grin to the conversation. "Just so long as the mess hall is on our list of approved locations, I'm all for it! Besides, it is well past time for us to get a good meal in. So Mario, assuming that we have everything you need, are you going to want help in the kitchen making up whatever culinary delight you have in mind?"
 

Captain Hesperus

Harbinger of the End Times and Apostle of Ghan
Administrator
Supporter
Hercules found himself unable to contain the smile that broke across his face as he heard Reggie’s news. He held his position until the Captain dismissed them then strode over to the teen in the wheelchair. With a laugh, the hulking Greek hefted Reggie out of his chair and gave him a generous but gentle hug.
”Reggie Rothschild! Mikrós fílos, Junior technician and a plan to get onto your own two feet. I am so proud of you an your father would be proud of you, too.”, Hercules said, tears of joy springing into his deep brown eyes even as his voice broke with emotion at the end, “If there’s anything you need, I would be honored if you ask me for help.”
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus Tag! (Dropping "Bomb #1" here! Enjoy, Gang!)

The rest of your late afternoon and evening passes without anyone shooting at you or trying to make away with someone or something you love. In fact, not a shot in anger is fired for the rest of the day - quite the contrast from the past week the Wild Cards have somehow not only survived, but made a success of. Hercules and Reggie spend many hours in Reggie's quarters as the two of them try to figure out the basics of Professor Stein's Automated Leg schematics. The neural network from the device proves to be over both of your heads, but Professor Stein explains that Reggie's challenge is to follow the microengineering plans in constructing the legs. It turns out to be one big game of Legos resulting in much laughter and a growing bond between Hercules and Reggie.

While Piper informs you that while the idea of a spaghetti dinner sounds incredibly good (Piper remarks that has never had spaghetti except out of an MRE pack, which of course does not count!), an inventory of just what the Esper's crew picked up is currently taking place to see if they have any of the ingredients. The Esper's resource recovery mission was primarily for the electronics and mechanical hardware they could get - it was only due to the Wild Cards' presence and your storming of the sentry gun-protected corridor into Outpost #5's reactor room that provided anything edible by people at all. Otherwise, the Esper was prepared to return with the Mega-damage materials it salvaged from Chessel Corporation/Anti-Unification League. Colonel Sharp adds that he would expect retaliation from the AUL except that due to the circumstances, the AUL probably has no idea who hit them! At least, for the time being.

The Sams make certain you do not yet roam the ship and this results in each of you getting the best night's sleep you have received since the action all started. Ricky's head is back to normal as long as he's on his medication and the same seems to go for Mack. Each of your quarters is quite comfortable (especially for a military bunk!) if sparse - each room seems to beg you to customize it to your fancy instead of letting it remain in its current military drabness. Going to bed after a day like today proves to be no challenge.

One by one, you wake in the morning and find freshly-cleaned REF uniforms that fit you very nicely. After preparing yourselves for the morning with a nice warm shower (for anyone who has a military background, let me specify - a niiice waaarm shower, not the cold brutal washings many enlisted soldiers in the field get during wartime if they get one at all). This is followed by a light breakfast that does little more than stave off the hunger brought about by your night's rest (in a temperature-controlled room and bed that you have the controls to!).

* * *​

"Spectre Induction" by Jack Wall for the Mass Effect (One) Original Soundtrack.

Each of you are escorted down to Hangar Bay Bravo where the floors are clean and the humungous bay doors open to a joyous sight.

Sunrise at Sea in the Gulf of Mexico from Love and Rum .jpeg
(Image credit: Love & Rum)

Here, you find two dozen Sam and Samantha units including some from the Esper's crew lined up in formation fit for a ceremony. They are not alone. Colonel Sharp, Professor Stein, and CSM Murphy stand beside Captain Piper, each of them looking crisp as can be in REF uniforms. For the first time, all of you are wearing the same uniforms. They are plain and devoid of rank save for Piper's.

"Good morning!" Colonel Sharp smiles at you. "Line up according to your rank, everyone." In ones and twos you do so.

Cera looks around, her natural Meltrandi suspicion arising. "What is taking place?" She is led by one of the Sams into position.

When Ricky and Mack arrive side by side in their hoverchairs, Mack takes one look at the others standing tall. She blanches and turns to Ricky, "Whoa! I don't know about you, kahuna, but damned if I'm going to be sitting in a chair for some kind of ceremony!" Despite the rest and food, Mack struggles to get out of her chair. She is assisted by her fellow Wild Cards (as I presume Ricky is if he wishes to follow her example and leave the chairs behind). Soon, all of you are standing together facing the sea with only your commanding officers between you and the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. Alongside you, Iris, Hitomi, and Reggie sit not far away all smiles. Trouble tries to join them, but is scooped up to sit beside Cera in line.

In order of rank, Trouble is positioned at the end with Cera beside Hercules and Mario. Toph, Elinor, Ylva, and Ricky make up the middle with Mack on the other end.

"Atten-shun!" CSM Murphy shouts so fiercely all of the Sams and Samanthas straighten as one unit. You find yourselves standing at attention with the exception of Cera who glances around briefly only to immediately follow suit. Trouble stops licking his paws and stands ready if a bit cluelessly.

Colonel Sharp with CSM Murphy beside him approach your group starting with Mack. "Wild Cards," Colonel Sharp says, "this is the first of two events today; the second event belongs to Captain Piper. Long ago," he chuckles, "back when Alexander the Great was storming the world, Murph the Smurf and I as teenagers joined the United States Army together, the Robotech Defense Force after the Rain of Death, the Army of Southern Cross when that war ended, and now here we are. Today, Murph' the Smurf and I are officially resigning from Army of Southern Cross." For one long moment, Colonel Sharp looks off into the distance and seems to briefly see memories long behind him.

"If you will all honor an old and gray tanker, I would like my last official action as an officer in the Army of Southern Cross to award each of you your Combat Infantry Badges (CIB). You've earned them!

The treasured Combat Infantry Badge is proof to all that you have personally taken part in active combat in service to the U.S. military. Young soldiers have coveted the CIB since before Vietnam as it draws a strong and clear line between those soldiers who have seen live combat and those who have not. This proves you fought! Here in the world of Robotech: Broadsword, I don't see any reason why mecha pilots serving in the Army of Southern Cross should be any different. Your characters saw action as ASC soldiers, hence the CIB.

"Congratulations to each of you!" Colonel Sharp goes down the line and pins one on your chests, salutes you, and shakes your hand with a proud smile. When he gets to Cera and Trouble, "Cera of the Ura-Meltrandi, Iris of the Scrath, and Trouble the... cat? You have also served with distinction and it is within my power to award you the Department of the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Award for your courageous actions in defense of humanity at large. Congratulations!"

"Gratitude." Cera returns Colonel Sharp's salute with a Meltrandi salute of her own. A small smile comes to her lips and does not leave it. Iris has to kneel down and kind of collapse her body in order for Colonel Sharp to reach it, but they succeed. Iris's eyes turn a vibrant green and seem to glow with heartfelt pleasure. Meanwhile, CSM Murphy picks up Trouble for Colonel Sharp's convenience and he puts the ribbon on Trouble. Trouble in the meanwhile is busy sticking out his chest as far as it will go. Once the ribbon is on, he lets out a long victorious meow that echoes about the hangar bay. Their parts done, Cera, Iris, and Trouble disengage and join the non-military among your friends.

* * *​

Colonel Sharp and CSM Murphy take their places again. "Ten-hut!" Colonel Sharp commands and the sounds of people ceasing any conversation and snapping to attention fill the Broadsword's voluminous hangar bay.

Captain Piper (looking mildly hung over) and Professor Stein (appearing pleased but in need of more coffee) share a wink. Captain Piper, with Wwarlock wagging his tail at her feet, addresses all of you.

"Okay, here goes. Where I come from, or maybe I should say when I come from, there are no military transfers. That means I have no monologue to read to you, okay? So... I hope that's okay. If it isn't, deal." Piper grins and clears her throat.

"The United Earth Government has seen fit to grant your transfer requests. As of this moment, you leave behind your careers in the Army of Southern Cross and join us, the United Earth Expeditionary Force! The UEEF's mission is different from ASCs. We both defend Earth, but the UEEF seeks to colonize other worlds so that humankind can never again face extinction at alien hands by placing all of our numbers on a single world. Our other goal was to find Tirol, the Robotech Masters' homeworld in the hopes of a diplomatic solution, but that sure as heck didn't work out. In this, the UEEF is big time different from the ASC in that we have liberated entire worlds, freed alien populations from lifetimes of slavery. All this happens years from now."

Piper turns a moment and quietly takes in the golden rays of sunshine from Earth's own sun. She enjoys the reflection of the Earth's own waters under a brilliant blue Terran sky. Turning back to you, she says, "Now that the UEEF of the future is here, is now - our mission follows. To defend Earth against all enemies, be they from the present Earth day or the future, be they born here on our only homeworld or beyond stars unknown by the people who dwell here. By joining us, you join the mission to keep Earth safe. For the survivors of the Zentraedi Rain of Death in the First Robotech War, the words 'never again' bear special meaning. The Earth does not belong to Zeki-Zentraedi or Robotech Masters or Invid! It belongs to us! Human beings and our allies! And we did not come back damn near 20 years in the past to lose now!"

Captain Piper takes a deep breath of self control. "In the days to come, you will meet Broadsword's remaining crew. We are all that's left of the Pioneer's fleet - the SDF-3's fleet led by Admiral Lisa Hunter and Vice Admiral Rick Hunter - and we have every reason to believe the Invid will nail us here on Earth. It is thanks to all of you that you have gotten this far. Captain Drake would be proud. We fly in his spirit and continue the master plan he laid out for us."

Piper stands firm. "By all of you joining the UEEF, we become one crew. You join a boatload of strangers from beyond on a special vessel you know little about. Take my advice, Wild Cards. Don't worry about not fitting in. It'll happen. Don't worry about not learning quickly enough. There will be time and hands to help you. And don't worry about not getting answers - they will come. Sam," she indicates Spaceman Sam, "has told me that once all of you are sworn into the UEEF, he is allowed to tell us what's really going on - what Captain Drake's plan is all about. But better than that, he wants to show us. Consider it one of many benefits. One of which is the equivalency in rank from the ASC to the UEEF. So... the first among you to I bring to transfer is... Colonel Hiram Sharp!"

Colonel Sharp stands up a little straighter and stops blinking. Piper walks towards him with Spaceman Sam beside her.

"As a colonel in the ASC, you are hereby granted the rank of 0-6 Captain in the UEEF. Captain Sharp has agreed to act as a combat advisor to me and Commander Kirin when we wake her." Captain Piper stops beside Captain Sharp and turns to Spaceman Sam. Sam's forearm housings slowly swing open. Captain Piper reaches in and pins his new rank upon his shoulders. "Congratulations, sir! Great to have you on board!" Piper salutes Captain Sharp who salutes in return. Then they both reach out and they shake hands.

"ASC Command Sergeant Major Murphy!" Murphy hears Piper calling his name and does not move an inch. "You are now Master Chief Petty Officer E-9." She pins his shoulders with his new rank. "Congratulations, Master Chief Murphy! I expect much out of you!'

"Yes, ma'am!"

Captain Sharp whispers out of the side of his mouth. "Aye aye, ma'am..."

"Uh, aye aye, ma'am!" Murphy manages to contain his volcanic grumblings.

"You got it." Captain Piper then turns to Professor Stein. "Uh, I think it's your turn, right?"

"Aye aye, ma'am," Stein repeats with a charming smile. "Wild Cards, now hear this! I have always wanted to say that." Professor Stein steps forward and with his hands behind his back, he looks into each of your faces. "As you know, all of you are considered deceased by the Army of the Southern Cross. Well, as the leader of Project Eternity and also as the friend I hope to either be or become in each of your eyes, I have... well... decided to use that little fact to advantage."

Professor Stein gives this devilish little grin. "It has become known to me that upon retirement or upon being classified as Killed-in-Action while in the performance of service to one's planet and people, there is a tradition of providing a promotion in rank to those deserving. Now-Captain Sharp accuses me of knowing this all along and he is right. As your UEG representative, I say that if you are going to die for your planet and people, well, you deserve to get something for it! Wild Cards, you are considered hereby promoted per the ASC prior to your transfer into the UEEF!"

Captain Sharp indicates Professor Stein with his eyes and adds, "Albert's been holding that card up his sleeve since we left Eglin, troops!"

"Now now," Fat Gandalf tuts, "a wizard does not reveal all of his tricks lest he cease to be a wizard. Captain Piper, would you do the honors, please?"

"My pleasure!" Captain Piper goes down the line, pinning upon you your new rank, saluting you, shaking your hand, all smiles.

"ASC 0-3 Captain Mackenzie, you are now UEEF 0-3 Lieutenant Mackenzie!

"ASC 0-3 Captain Kirin, you are now UEEF 0-3 Lieutenant Kirin!

"ASC 0-3 Captain Hall, yer naow UEEF 0-3Lieutenant Hall with your Southern Samantha-speaking self!

"ASC 0-2 2nd Lieutenant Ylva Sveadotter, you are now UEEF 0-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade Sveadotter!

"ASC 0-2 2nd Lieutenant Rolland, you are now UEEF 0-2 Lieutenant Junior Grade Rolland!

"ASC E-5 Staff Sergeant uhh.. Papa...dopolis, Papadopolis! You are now UEEF E-5 Petty Officer 2nd Class Papadopolis!

"ASC E-5 Staff Sergeant Zuko, you are now UEEF E-5 Petty Officer 2nd Class Zuko!"

Behind Captain Piper comes Professor Stein with credsticks for each of you. "Your new rank pay with a one-month advance with combat pay. Oh... and a little thank you from Project Eternity for each of you. Since you are considered KIA, your bank accounts with the ASC have been permanently frozen, but I am hoping this will make up a little for that." Each of your credsticks displays 15,000 credits.

That's somewhere around 6 months of pay for most of you. Please add this credstick to your gear.

Captain Piper yells, "Dismissed and dig in! Damn, that's one of the best things that have happened since I came off the ice! Here some of what we've found in what you recovered from AUL's Veracruz outpost."

Since you are facing the Gulf of Mexico, none of you see the Sam-powered hovering tables behind you. The tables are loaded with a hotel-style continental breakfast (eggs, ham, bacon, pancakes, coffee, juice, etc.) complete with chairs to sit at and one heck of a view to enjoy it all with. The clean salt air is refreshing. In moments, you are chowing down joined by Iris, Reggie, Hitomi, Cera, and Trouble. Unlike the typical armed forces, tables here are not divided by rank but by preference so people are sitting with whomever they want.

What do the Wild Cards do?
 
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Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
After a good nights sleep, Mario rises up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the whole Invid army all by himself. He rolls out of bed and cleans up, making sure to pay careful attention to his new uniform to guarantee that there are no stray traces of lint or dust to mar his appearance. He stand there in front of the mirror for a moment, checking out the new threads of the UEEF uniform with a smile. He had never expected his career to take such a path, but he is happy at the course that his life has gone on.

Following the lead of the Sam that is guiding him to the hangar bay, Mario takes in the sight of all of the people there, all of them members of the team in one form or another. He steps out towards the open bay door and looks out at the beautiful sight of the ocean and the glow of the sunrise with another smile. He has a feeling that this is going to be a big day.

When Capt. Piper calls everyone to line up, he moves quickly to fall in next to Hercules, looking quite tiny next to the giant Greek. He stands rock steady as the Colonel pins onto his uniform the CIB, feeling the pride swell up inside him to have such a little thing put on his chest. Then, he watches with interest as Capt. Piper awards the Colonel with his new UEEF rank of Captain, then the news that he has once more been promoted. When he finally gets his new UEEF rank on his collar, it takes all of his willpower to keep his face from breaking into a wide grin as he salutes his new superior officer. "Thank you, ma'am! I will make sure to do the uniform proud!"

Now dismissed, he turns to see the spread of food on the tables and his stomach lets out a loud rumble, showing his need for breakfast. He heads over to the table and take his seat, he takes a plate and begins to load it up with food and tears into it with gusto.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
After Toph gets up, she takes a nice long, hot shower before coming out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel to get dressed. It was a relaxing time, just the thing to start off the day with. Once she was fully dressed in her new UEEF duds, she makes her way along the corridor to the lifts to head to the hangar deck for this big meeting.

Stepping forward to the edge of the deck, Toph looks out at the view over the Gulf with a smile. This has certainly been an eventful few days, and this one is shaping up to be a good day for relaxing and getting some of the stress of the past few missions off her back. All that remains is to see what Capt. Piper has in store for them, then dig into the hidden mission orders of the Sam to see what their orders will be.

When called to order, Toph moves over to stand in line quickly and listens intently to the presentation of Colonel Sharp, then Captain Piper. Her heart swells with pride as she has her medals pinned on her uniform, along with her UEEF rank. A sudden tear comes to her eye as she thinks, Mom and dad would be proud of me for making it so far in my career. Now all I need to do is find a way to bring mom out of the cryotubes and get her healed up again.
 

Silanon

Three Thousand Club
The morning comes too early, after too little sleep. Not that there would've been anything wrong, by all means - but even the best accommodations can't always quieten a restless mind. This'll be her room, for the forseeable future; if "forseeable" has still any meaning, these days. But it didn't really feel like that yet. It's a scientist's room without a single book. Or anything, really, besides the few things in her pockets - the Malcontents had more urgent matters than her luggage's delivery in mind. Thus, only a single golf club found its place on one of the shelves - trophy of a day beyond anyone's imagination. And naturally, that day caught up to her. For once, she wasn't drugged, or busy, and idleness invites all kinds of thoughts. Little to do to shake it off - a computer that might have just posed further questions, and only so many steps one could make before inevitably reaching the room's other wall. The door was tempting, naturally. A whole ship from the future, waiting for her. She would've been in the right mood to stroll about, follow the corridors to an unknown destination. Not this night, though. The orders were clear. And if she's here, trying to save the world, it's not the worst idea to start things the right way. So patrolling through her own room it was, until sleep finally got the upper hand. Too late. Well, better late than never.

Still makes for a bleary-eyed Swede in the morning. The shower helps. Nice that there's warm water, but that's not what's needed. An ice-cold shower it is instead, in memory of northern winter days. After that - a fresh uniform. Even better. Different from others, but still the same. Wear a uniform, and you've worn them all. They're all meant to put you in a similar state of mind. It works. The poor excuse of a breakfast is devoured within record time, or that's what it feels like. Wasn't much, and there's other things waiting. Beyond the door. Even a tired mind can appreciate what would've been a distant dream about a week ago.

So she wanders through the hallways, absorbs what little is revealed to her on the way to the hangar. What follows is worth the rude awakening. The view alone would've been worth it; the ocean at its best, one might say, a sight to behold. The ceremony only adds to that. There's words, and ranks, and a shiny badge. This might only be the beginning of all that'll follow - but it's certainly one hell of a start. She does her best to show her proper respect, salutes and shows a gritty smirk. A little later, there's money, too, but that's never been her motivation. Nice to have, of course. But only temporary. The badge will still be there when the cash has been spent. She'll still be able to wear it when all of this is over. And remember it as a first step along a bumpy road. Invids, time travel, traversing; it all seems doable, in the morning's sun. Cherishing that thought is more important than any food in the world could be, right then and there. Thus, Ylva remains standing for a while, lets others get seated first. There's no rush, and it makes things easier. It's not like there's name cards to find the proper place, right?
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter


Elinor's character sheet
Action Points: 8/8
Bonus action point: 1
The Sams make certain you do not yet roam the ship and this results in each of you getting the best night's sleep you have received since the action all started. Ricky's head is back to normal as long as he's on his medication and the same seems to go for Mack. Each of your quarters is quite comfortable (especially for a military bunk!) if sparse - each room seems to beg you to customize it to your fancy instead of letting it remain in its current military drabness. Going to bed after a day like today proves to be no challenge. One by one, you wake in the morning and find freshly-cleaned REF uniforms that fit you very nicely. After preparing yourselves for the morning with a nice warm shower (for anyone who has a military background, let me specify - a niiice waaarm shower, not the cold brutal washings many enlisted soldiers in the field get during wartime if they get one at all). This is followed by a light breakfast that does little more than stave off the hunger brought about by your night's rest (in a temperature-controlled room and bed that you have the controls to!).

Last time she'd slept aboard the Broadsword, Elinor (and the other Wild Cards) had been put to bed rather than gone under their own power, and she hadn't had much of a look around. Now that she had time, opportunity, and awake brain, she wanted to check out these new quarters. The room was pretty spartan, but that was to be expected under the circumstances. She wondered what the previous owner had been like, whether he or she had been one of the combat pilots, how he or she had decorated the room -- or if they even had; some people liked bare walls and all that. Elinor didn't mind it, but given the chance, she was going to see about some customizing. She gave an experimental shove at the bed, verifying that she could change the positions of the furniture too if she wanted. On the way down here, she'd thought about doing some exercises if there was space, just to "cool down" from the long day. She thought there would be room if she pushed everything to one side, but her "inspection" was serving the same purpose, and after today she could use the gym for exercise, so no point to moving things tonight. Still, she found herself with excess energy, and decided to play a bit with her technopathy. Even in a place as friendly as Broadsword, she didn't want to go into the Blue World by herself just yet, but surely there were things she could do on this side. She explored the room again, this time touching various things and willing a setting or some such to change. She found the room's climate controls, pleasantly surprised to note the bed had its own controls as well! But neither of them seemed inclined to respond to a real-world mental nudge, and she moved on. The shower's controls were also too high-tech, apparently, and most of the gear she'd brought into the room. She ended up clicking and unclicking her ballpoint pen while touching only the center and igniting a lighter without flicking it (which was pretty cool, actually). She thought about trying the room's lock or latch, but those might have sensors or something and she didn't want anyone wondering what was going on. Finally she put the pen and lighter away. Returning to the climate controls, she set the air to a few degrees below room temperature, and the bed to a few degrees above, then hopped in, snuggled up, and fell asleep.

When morning comes, and after enjoying a proper shower (in which she made sure her hair was "squeaky clean," as Gran would say), Elinor dresses in the new UEEF uniform. She brushes her fingertips lightly over the empty place where her rank insignia ought to go. New service, new rank, I s'pose, she thinks as she looks herself over in the mirror, straightening clothing and smoothing hair. Today is a new start, and she wants to start off right. Breakfast is nearly as sparse as the room itself, but that's all right. Supplies are short, and she doesn't know what the Sams managed to grab from the Veracruz base. Possibly the only scavenged edible is the coffee Elinor herself had stashed away for Captain Piper. Well, that would change soon. Once they all know what they're supposed to be doing, they can plan for food runs. Meanwhile, Broadsword's been taking care of us just fine so far, so who am I to complain about the food? she asks herself as she plays with her pen again. Teeth brushed, and her appearance tidied once more to her satisfaction, Elinor exits her quarters and follows her escort to Hangar Bay Bravo.


Here, you find two dozen Sam and Samantha units including some from the Esper's crew lined up in formation fit for a ceremony. They are not alone. Colonel Sharp, Professor Stein, and CSM Murphy stand beside Captain Piper, each of them looking crisp as can be in REF uniforms. For the first time, all of you are wearing the same uniforms. They are plain and devoid of rank save for Piper's.

Elinor hadn't been slouching, but on seeing everyone formally assembled, she straightens and smooths her hair again, then takes a deep breath and joins the others. It feels good to be in the same uniform as everyone else, even if it wasn't one she was used to, and even without any rank insignia.

"If you will all honor an old and gray tanker, I would like my last official action as an officer in the Army of Southern Cross to award each of you your Combat Infantry Badges (CIB). You've earned them! Congratulations to each of you!" Colonel Sharp goes down the line and pins one on your chests, salutes you, and shakes your hand with a proud smile.

Elinor returns the colonel's salute, smile, and handshake, surprised to find her eyes watering just a little. Look, Grandpa Will! I'm a real combat pilot now! She glances up, feeling her grandfather's smile in the warmth of the sunrise.

"Aye aye, ma'am," Stein repeats with a charming smile. "Wild Cards, now hear this! I have always wanted to say that."
Elinor stifles a grin.

"As your UEG representative, I say that if you are going to die for your planet and people, well, you deserve to get something for it! Wild Cards, you are considered hereby promoted per the ASC prior to your transfer into the UEEF!"
A transfer and a (posthumous) promotion? Something seems wrong in the logic somewhere, but Elinor isn't going to complain. If tradition had been followed back at Eglin, they already have the promotion, after all. Might as well get some good out of having to play dead, right?

Captain Piper goes down the line, pinning upon you your new rank, saluting you, shaking your hand, all smiles. "ASC 0-3 Captain Hall, yer naow UEEF 0-3 Lieutenant Hall with your Southern Samantha-speaking self!"
Elinor grins and returns the captain's salute and handshake. "Aye aye, ma'am! An' you did let me pick, after all."

Behind Captain Piper comes Professor Stein with credsticks for each of you. "Your new rank pay with a one-month advance with combat pay. Oh... and a little thank you from Project Eternity for each of you. Since you are considered KIA, your bank accounts with the ASC have been permanently frozen, but I am hoping this will make up a little for that." Each of your credsticks displays 15,000 credits.
Elinor meant to just take the credstick and pocket it, not wanting to look greedy, but she catches sight of the display and freezes like her bank account. "A little? Sir...?" But the professor is already moving on to the next person, and Elinor just shakes her head and puts the credstick away. She can catch him later for questions.

Since you are facing the Gulf of Mexico, none of you see the Sam-powered hovering tables behind you. The tables are loaded with a hotel-style continental breakfast (eggs, ham, bacon, pancakes, coffee, juice, etc.) complete with chairs to sit at and one heck of a view to enjoy it all with. The clean salt air is refreshing. In moments, you are chowing down joined by Iris, Reggie, Hitomi, Cera, and Trouble. Unlike the typical armed forces, tables here are not divided by rank but by preference so people are sitting with whomever they want.

"Sweet!" Elinor exclaims, seeing the spread before them. "Thanks, ma'am!" She takes a seat by Stein's, not at all by chance, and loads up her plate. "Mind if I ask you a few questions, sir?"
 
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Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Chowing down on a real meal with a great sunny backdrop and serious reasons to cheer, each of the tables eventually light up with their own conversations. The only one among you not eating is Iris. Trouble is busy lapping up a plate of what looks like either cream or milk and he must like it because he's putting it away.

"You're welcome, all of you!" Captain Piper says. She seems relieved somehow as if finishing the ceremony has taken some kind of invisible weight from her shoulders. Then before she is asked anything, she viciously digs into her pancakes and maple syrup.

Professor Stein however is petting Trouble with one hand and chatting away with Mack when Elinor sits by him.

She takes a seat by Stein's, not at all by chance, and loads up her plate. "Mind if I ask you a few questions, sir?"
"Oh God! Now I have no excuse!" Stein mock-complains. "I have had a good night's rest, morning coffee, and I am awake! Have at thee, fair varlet!" he points his fork at Elinor as if it were a deadly... fork. His bushy white eyebrow raises. Elinor and anyone else watching can take this as a sign of his considerable curiosity piqued.
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter


Elinor's character sheet
Action Points: 8/8
Bonus action point: 1

Elinor grins. "I'm not that bad, I hope! Thanks." She offers Trouble a finger to sniff, but keeps her eyes on the professor. "Well, I s'pose the first one is, I was sort of playing around last night and this morning and got my pen and my lighter to work, but not much else. Is that because the most of it's too high-tech, and the high-tech things want us to talk to their Cores first? Do low-tech things even have Cores? And if we work at it, can we eventually get the high-tech things to do stuff even without going in? Maybe if we know them well, like Ricky does his Jezebel?" That last was a guess, but her fellow test pilot had been pretty concerned about his Valkyrie, even setting aside the fact that he'd named her, and that level of concern wasn't given to mecha that were seen as interchangeable.
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Trouble sniffs Elinor's finger, which holds his attention for a mere moment before his curiosity pulls at him. Then he is padding across the table in an attempt to investigate - nose-first - whatever is on Elinor's plate. "Roo?"

Professor Stein chews both mentally and physically and when he is done, he remarks, "Over the years, it has helped me to think of technopathy as a language. The more of it that I learn, the more I know, but then the more I realize I don't know. Like many languages, technopathy seems to evolve over time. One thing is for certain - the more you know, the more you can do in and out of the Blue World.

"As for if low-technology machines have Cores, the answer is yes. But they are much smaller than the Cores you and the Wild Cards have thus dealt with, I imagine. And since you have little experience in the Blue World, they - quite happily, I'm sure - evade your notice there.

"The 'things' and the Cores are one entity! Do not make the mistake of treating them as separate entities, as if one is property of another - that is largely a concept of living organic creatures. And yes, to reach the machine directly, you must speak to its Core. Some machines, Jezebel is a fine example, do not require that you enter the Blue World to contact them. Jezebel trusts Lt. Rolland I think as much as a Core can. I cannot say what took place that made this happen, but it satisfied the Core we call Jezebel. Next line of questions, my dear?"

Elinor has gotten the professor's attention so much that he has taken his eyes off of the meandering Trouble and looks pleased and expectant. Mack and Cera are quietly listening in.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Toph asks, "Is there an upper limit to the size or complexity of the machine for us to be able to Traverse with it? For example, could we use our powers to Traverse a ship the size of the Broadsword? Or even something larger, like the Zentraedi Assault Scout we were on before?"
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Professor Stein slowly puts his hands up as if he has no idea and that not knowing seems to excite him! "The stars appear to be the limit, my dear Muppet! Piper says she saw her dear Captain Drake perform technopathy on the main gun of the Pioneer - the Super Dimensional Fortress 3! I can't say I know any act that can top that!" He takes a swig of his coffee and adds, "Of course, the higher you go, the more powerful the Core! Knowing your limits and when to try and push them are everything! Just like flying a veritech into combat, I should think?"
 
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Silanon

Three Thousand Club
Well, this doesn't feel that unfamiliar. To discuss scientific absurdities at breakfast - a throwback. More of that, and the Swede will fit right in. "Well, if experience is key, how would one do that kind of limit testing, safely? Just going in seems to be a good way to end up in the medbay." Her spoon discreetly points in Rickys direction. "We can't have that, but we also need to use the potential at our disposal if we want to have a shot at all this, I'd assume. Maybe some of the more experienced members here can give me a hand with the basics - that'd be helpful - but that'll only allow me to catch up a little; how would they learn more, without risking the ship, or the mission? For mechas, there are flying lessons, and all that; real combat, eventually."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
"Well, if experience is key, how would one do that kind of limit testing, safely?Just going in seems to be a good way to end up in the medbay.
Professor Stein leans forward with a smile and says, "A grand question, my fellow student of science! The answer? You use a valuable resource that I lacked when I was learning - other Traversers! You have each other and you most certainly have me!

"I would like to create a classroom with all manner of technological objects with the purpose of seeing where everyone is and what roles do they play at a Traversers. But where?"

Hitomi chimes in with a lovely smile. "I think Lt. Sveadotter just offered the best option - sickbay is open and large enough. Plus, it's the best place to be if something goes wrong."

"Quite right!"

Hitomi brushes a touch of her long black hair out of her view. "I will admit; my motivations are many - I would like to see you at it while being an a good spot to administer assistance if necessary."

Professor Stein looks to all of you and says, "If any of you can produce a better spot, please do bring it up."

Maybe some of the more experienced members here can give me a hand with the basics - that'd be helpful
Professor Stein says, "You and Lieutenant Rolland have excellent timing, because we were just getting into the basics when the Wild Cards received their last mission. I want everyone to understand - there is no textbook for technopathy; we are writing it as we go."

how would they learn more, without risking the ship, or the mission?
Piper frowns and pets Trouble who has now wandered near her. "We don't even know what the mission really is yet. I mean, beyond preparing for the coming of the Invid. As for protecting the Broadsword, that's easy - just don't tell anybody we exist for now!"

Reggie raises his hand. "Um, Captain ma'am? I don't understand. Why can't we go to the Army of Southern Cross and ask for help? Aren't we on same side?"

Captain Piper shakes her head firmly. "We are, but we're not. Supreme Commander Leonard, the head honcho of the ASC, has a reputation even in our time. If Leonard finds out about the Broadsword, we're convinced he will take her out from underneath us. And then where would that leave us? Which reminds me," Piper looks to the professor. "Why isn't the United Earth Government knocking on our door for her?"

Professor Stein replied cooly with a wink, "Because, my intrepid time-traveling captain, they have no idea of the Broadsword's existence and I have no intention of telling them. Project Eternity is all about Traversers." Hitomi heard this and nodded in total agreement with him.

"Next questions?"
 

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