Under Terror Girls' Attack

The coordinates that MachMan had received would transport him into a dark room, perhaps a bunker, one that few Neo-Shogun associated would be familiar with, regardless of their familiarity with the main camp. The reason they'd be in the dark was simple: the bunker was only recently constructed. MachMan would likely have little idea of the exact location of the bunker, but its purpose would be clear, due to the small, iron-plate coated windows high on the walls of the room and the carved staircase leading up towards a door to the outside. The furniture in the room was minimalistic, with many small, wooden chairs arranged in rows like at a school play, perhaps intended for an earlier briefing. The chairs sat in front of a long wooden desk, behind which Yasu was seated. To her credit, while she had something to prop her elbows on thanks to the desk, her chair wasn't any nicer than the ones that those listening to her had been sitting in. The arrangement of the room made her seem strangely like a schoolteacher or something similar.

The first general of the Neo-Shogun Army was preoccupied with nothing, seemingly only waiting for the navi she'd employed to arrive. No one else was hiding inside the room and, while little sound came in from outside due to the room's use as a bunker, it was uncanny how quiet and peaceful it sounded, given that an organization called The Terror Girls was apparently conducting some kind of continuous raid over the camp. Yasu simply waited for MachMan and his company to show up, keeping her elbows rested upon the desk and her back straight in her chair. With her lower half hidden, she actually looked a bit more modest than she normally would, given that the bikini extension of her corset and her long-legged armored boots normally composed the entirety of her lower body clothing and exposed a good bit of her thighs and buttocks.
((From ACDC))

Following the coordinates sent to them by Yasu, the three programs warped into the bunker. Due to the area's somewhat cramped quarters, instead of arriving in typical a trio of cyan beams crashing from the sky, Mach and his SPs simply materialized on the floor of the bunker. The significantly reduced cyan glow disappeared quickly, revealing them and their NeoShogunate uniforms. Both Mach and Aera were wearing dark blue, sleeveless tunics, worn over long and baggy, similarly-colored pants, tied with a cord at the waist. Their forearms and shins were covered in banded tape, and they wore a headband around their foreheads and "tabi" style boots on their feet. However, Aera's forearm tape is mostly covered by a pair of dark blue vambraces, armored with a simple dull gray metal design. A single strip of fabric extends from the end of each vambrace, which runs under the palm of each hand to a single silver ring on her middle finger. Also, her pant legs were much more baggy than her Navi counterpart, giving her an uninhibited range of movement, but were wrapped to a form fit around her lower legs down to her ankles. She had a pair of silver rings around her ankles, which acted as the divide between her pant legs and the dark blue tabi boots.

Vector, on the other hand, stood out from the pair. His entire body shape of a feudal Electopian warrior's armor, complete with segmented plate mail and a kabuto-style helmet. However, the "woven" parts of the armor were a dark blue, while the exposed "metal" parts of the armor were a slightly polished silver. The entire set was very well armored, and the slatted design looked as if it was fairly adjustable. His helmet was adorned with a single silver blade-like crest extending upwards from his "forehead," which contrasted greatly to his fierce looking dark-blue face mask, complete with a pair of glowing red eyes.

Mach's glowing, bird-like wings unfurled behind him, giving him a rather imposing presence with his buster at the ready. Aera's blue and orange wings were much smaller and did not glow, but the electricity buzzing from the metal components of her armor denoted her charged nature. Vector wielded a slightly curved katana-like blade in both hands in the ready position. While they appeared ready for battle, they quickly saw there were no foes in the immediate vicinity; the only program visible in the dimly lit bunker was a seated Yasu. The three lowered their weapons as they realized their lack of immediate danger, and approached the female general slowly. Mach led the group, with Aera and Vector flanking at either side. His wings folded down to a "standby" position, like a bird after settling down on a perch, as did Aera's, and he stopped a few feet in front of the desk. He got a good look at Yasu, and was able to make a quick reference to the unofficial dossier of the NS Senior General, which consisted of some information provided by other members in the Shogunate, but most image files came from outside/public sources. While it should've felt odd to see a general sitting all alone, he had a similar encounter with the Shogun himself. From his previous experiences, solitary leadership appeared to be standard.

"I am MachMan.EXE, and these are my partners, Aera.SP, and Vector.SP," Mach said calmly, and tilted his head to direct Yasu's attention to each SP as he introduced them. He then bowed his head and upper body politely, which prompted Aera and Vector to do the same. "We await your orders, General Yasu." Another item from the dossier detailed Yasu's somewhat rough temperament, so his highly professional speech and manner were an attempt to start off on the right foot. He would like to add a compliment for the uniform, as the complex wings were apparently of Yasu's design, but he saved it for when the situation became a little less formal, if ever.
Yasu spared a rare smile at the look of MachMan and his allies in their Neo-Shogun attire, perhaps feeling a sense of pride at seeing them in the uniform of her own army. "Thank you for reporting in quickly, MachMan, and in proper uniform. That sort of thing shouldn't be undervalued," she replied, crossing her arms and nodding. The one room's one lamp overhead wasn't shining much light on her face, but enough to make out her expression; it had quickly changed from a smile to a frown as soon as she was done praising the newcomers. "Escort's told me just a bit about your abilities. I hear that you all have a lot of strength beyond what we've managed to tap with our ill-fitting missions today. Well, you'll be happy to know that you've got an opportunity to show off your full strength today. We're under attack by the Terror Girls, a terrorist organization that seems to target any faction that keeps a standing army. Ordinarily, we'd simply repel them," the First General shrugged, looking unimpressed as she sized up their foes. "They are only three women and a machine, after all. But their attack has revealed something of a... critical deficiency in our forces. You see, they've got a war machine capable of attacking air-to-ground while maintaining altitude. A flying bombardment, if you will. I've surveyed our forces naturally deployed at this camp and none of us: generals, subordinates, soldiers, or even the Shogun, are properly equipped to deal with a flying opponent such as this. We'll need a sustained aerial attack. That's where you and your SPs come in," she smirked, standing up now as if to admire the wings of each of them.

"Of course... I had no idea if you were going to be available for this sort of mission. Therefore, I also took the initiative and asked Arch and Sake to round up flight-capable recruits while Escort defends our base from bombardment. She's been catching the bombs and hoarding them throughout our base... no reason to let a perfectly good bomb go to waste, after all. They're specially-crafted weapons that disable the combat capabilities of most navis in a medium-sized radius around the area of detonation. Quite ingenious... I don't know why they chose these instead of regular bombs, though. Perhaps they intend to disable our means of attack before moving in for their own? But regardless, I got off track... the recruits I mentioned. As it turned out... Arch was unsuccessful in recruiting any members. Sake gathered up three herself, but... I have a suspicion they're going to take some whipping into shape before they are of any use to us. They seem to be trustworthy women, however, so we've entrusted them each with an honorary subordinate position. Of course, that's unimportant, now that you're here. Your forces should be more than adequate in swatting those insignificant pests out of the sky, sending them clattering down to the ground in that gold-plated bucket they call an aeroplane! Air machine? Fah! It's of no consequence!" she spat. It was beginning to seem more and more like Yasu was legitimately unfamiliar with the concept of an airplane. "Now, I plan to quickly escort you from this bunker to the outside, where you will immediately launch and begin your attack upon the Terror Girls. Follow me!"

Just like that, Yasu ran with ninja speed up the staircase, vaulting over the desk and chair arrangements with the greatest of ease. Perhaps over-excited, perhaps in too much of a rush to have the attack halted, she threw open the door to the outside... on the other side of the door, a tremendous mass of green bombs, each engraved with an open-mouthed human skull print, came into view. Only the black gloves mashed around them and the black coat and shoes visible beneath the tall accumulation of bombs identified the figure as Escort. She didn't appear to have suspected the door was going to open; summoning all of her poise, she just managed to stop herself from dropping the load and/or falling down the staircase. All was not well, however; one bomb slipped off of the top of the pile. Yasu grit her teeth and began to dive to catch it, before Escort shouted, "I've got it!" She swiftly extended one leg in an attempt to hackeysack the bomb back upward onto the pile...

Of course, MachMan was familiar with her strength; even when she'd just been lapdancing with him during their casino-venue mission, he'd felt her unnatural muscle weight. Suffice to say, the bomb was not propelled back upward. It promptly ruptured upon impact, sending rings of green electricity out in every direction, intersecting one another like a spider's web, the openings to thin to pass through. The waves of energy passed through each of the navis, not ostensibly injuring them... but one look at any of the HUD on any navi's respective PET would show that all weapon systems were down. "F-Fool! We've all been corrupted!" Yasu barked, sounding extremely indignant but unable to bark at Escort quite the same way she might Dee or... basically any male. "Do you understand what this means?! MachMan won't be able to take out the Terror Girls any more!"

Escort descended the staircase as the first general spoke, then gently set each of the bombs down upon the bunker floor. She turned her unexpressive, steel-blue eyes to MachMan and company, showing a calm frown... Until they realized that her lips were trembling. "My deepest apologies... I've ruined our plan and disgraced myself in front of my dear friends," she muttered quietly, bowing to MachMan as she spoke.

"This isn't the time for apologies! Without MachMan's weapons or your strength, we may actually be at a loss for ways to fight those terrorists!" the First General barked, slamming the bunker door back as she did. Just as soon as the door closed, it creaked back open... a short, tanned girl with brown hair in a childish, unkempt bob peaked her head in. "What, Sake?"

"I brought some recruits in like you asked, Yasu," the young girl responded in a sleepy voice. "What do you want them to do? Dee and I just finished making them wear their, HIC-!" She paused here in her speech for a massive hiccup that made her hair flap along with the movement of her head. "Uniforms that you made."

Yasu clapped one fist into the palm of her opposite hand. "That's it! The other girls are still safe. You three still have your flight abilities... You can be the instructors that lead our crack-team of flight specialists to victory! Sake will call the girls here, to the bunker, and MachMan's company will teach them all they know about aerial warfare. Once we deem they've made enough progress, we'll have MachMan's team lead the assault on the Terror Girls until they are driven back. If you can instruct those mismatched recruits and lead them to a victory in which we sustain no shoot-downs... Then I'd say you performed well enough to justify receiving the reward you requested. Of course, you know it's no small task acquiring such a reward, so I have no plans to award it to you unless you fulfill my every expectations. Man's ambition is great, but only with deeds to drive it, after all," she murmured, seeming to unconsciously emphasize the word 'man.' "Escort, you... go find the sorceress. With you no longer posessing your full strength, it's up to you and her to find some other way to deal with the bombs being dropped all around us. It goes without saying that if Sake's recruits are hit and we no longer have any capable, aerial fighters, the entire process of defending our camp becomes more costly, in terms of manpower and time allocated."

"Yes ma'am," Escort finished, heading quickly back outside. She was eager to redeem herself for the earlier screw-up.

"Yes ma'am! HIC!" Sake agreed, hiccuping again before shutting the door behind herself.

This left Yasu with MachMan and his group again. She stared at the floor with an irritable scowl, clearly both aggravated that her easy plan was gone and that MachMan had caught them all making fools out of themselves. "Please forgive Escort her blunders. For now, I ask that you three let me know if you see any problem with the mission going forward. Do you feel as though you may be able to pass on some of your knowledge and lead the air unit in its counterattack?" she asked, glaring at MachMan with her one good eye in a way that conveyed her deep desire for him to tell her that this was going to work and that she wasn't going to have to come up with another plan.
Mach and his SPs stood silently as Yasu addressed them. He was given yet another opportunity to thank the general for the uniforms which she seemed so pleased to see, but considering they were essentially undergoing a mission briefing, he tabled it for later. After commenting on their abilities, their enemy was revealed. Apparently the NS was woefully unprepared and unequipped to repel aerial assault, apparently in the form of a bomber-type program. Upon mention, Mach couldn't help but be reminded of Varius, the flying battleship he and his SPs faced in Sharo. Both Aera and Vector had similar memories run through their minds, and hoped it wasn't going to be a second encounter with that flying behemoth. They were almost entirely outgunned, and barely made their way out unscathed. The three mentally steeled themselves and listened with a heightened focus as Yasu continued.

However, the green armor-clad general described the "bombardment" they've sustained, which consisted of odd weapon-disabling bombs. While inventive and certainly potent, it didn't seem to fit the armament seen on the Varius. In fact, Escort was able to capture the bombs as they fell, and started to build themselves a stockpile of said munitions. [[i]Smart,[/i]] Mach thought to himself, [[i]Such weapons could turn the tables in many situations, even this one.[/i]] Yasu continued, and brought up the fact several recruits were enlisted in an attempt to combat the airborne menace, though Mach's arrival made said recruits somewhat irrelevant due to his significantly higher strength and experience. Yasu barked her intentions to start the counterattack immediately, which likely explained why she had yet to mention the report Mach had promised to deliver. She vaulted the table and chairs with an impressive agility and finesse, drawing the gaze of all three programs. Vector's expression was obviously unchanged, while Aera watched with an amused gaze, admiring her surprisingly high paced agility. Mach especially noted her scarred, but very shapely and athletic form, as well as her somewhat revealing attire... thankfully the NS uniforms didn't follow her own uniform's design.

Not to be left in the dust, Mach dutifully dashed after her, which prompted both Aera and Vector to follow. They followed behind the surprisingly quick Navi up the stairs and mentally steeled themselves for battle. Mach nearly kicked off to ascend the last few steps completely airborne, but Yasu stopped as the door open to greet them with a veritable wall of green bombs, the very ones the general mentioned. They appeared to be one of the stockpiles Yasu alluded to, carried by a familiar figure. However, the sudden exit by the group caused the bomb carrier to stop abruptly, and one of the green, skull-painted bombs teetered off the top of the pile. Yasu dashed in an attempt to catch it, and while Mach could've easily warped in to catch it as well, he heard Escort's voice call out as she assumed responsibility for recovering the explosive. Unfortunately for the group, her attempt to punt the bomb back up to the pile instead caused it to detonate with a rapidly spreading web of green electricity. The trio recoiled in an attempt to sustain the blast, but the wave passed through them without so much as a bump. Mach lowered his forearms, which were crossed in front of his face, but he almost immediately received several warning messages. Mazer saw similar messages pop up on his PET screen. ["What the? You seeing this?"] He said as he tried to wade his way through the multitude of error codes.

Mach had a much easier time deciphering the messages, which indicated several hard crashes of his buster, battlechip, and even signature attack subroutines. Aera and Vector's offensive abilities had locked up as well; the bombs were certainly effective, just as Yasu explained. However, other than mostly eliminating the entirety of their offensive arsenal, the rest of their programming appeared to be unaffected. "Affirm, I see the same. I'm showing crashes on all of our weapons systems, any chance of a repair?" he responded, to which Mazer scratched his head. ["Not sure, I've never seen something like this before, I'll let you know."] While Mach, Vector, and Aera were mostly taken off guard by the sudden explosion and subsequent crashes, Yasu was not amused in the least, and proceeded to berate Escort for her blunder. It was an honest mistake, but said mistake did effectively remove all of their combat abilities and throw a proverbial monkey wrench into the plan. The three stood to the side of the door to let Escort pass by without issue and deposit the rest of the bombs safely into the bunker. She then turned back to the group, mournfully apologizing for the mistake. The three couldn't help but feel bad for Escort, especially considering she was the only familiar face they've seen so far, plus she was mostly pulling off a feat none of them could accomplish. "Don't sweat it, we'll figure something out," he said in an attempt to reassure Escort. Aera looked to Escort and smiled calmly, agreeing with Mach's sentiment.

Yasu showed her frustration, which somehow cued the appearance of another Navi seemingly out of nowhere. The Navi, named "Sake," looked like a young girl who had just woken up from a nap, though she was wearing what looked like Yumlandian formal wear. Her verbal ticks started to make Mach think she was actually... tipsy? Guess it fit the name, but still, very odd. Aera had to stop herself from cooing in response to her endearingly cute demeanor. Regardless of her mannerisms, she brought good news, the previously mentioned recruits were here, and ready to go. Maybe they still had a chance to repel these rebels. Yasu was also pleased at this turn of events, forming a new plan to utilize the recruits. Mach nodded occasionally as the general laid out her plan to utilize Mach and company as impromptu "flight instructors" to get them ready for combat. While the mission was formed relatively quickly, Yasu had very high expectations of the group, so much so her requested result of a zero-loss engagement was what determined the group's payment. It was a tall order, and with no idea what caliber of "students" he's tasked to tutor, he had no idea of his chances of success, but he didn't have much choice. That said, he started to make a mental list of required information, including the Terror Girls' and their bomber's combat data.

Yasu gave Sake and Escort their marching orders, Escort seemed very determined to regain her honor. The trio followed Yasu back down the stairs once the path was cleared, and were again sealed back in the bunker. The area went mostly silent again, but Yasu's disappointment and tension was nearly palpable. She turned back to the group, and asked if they were capable of meeting the objectives she'd previously stated. Their situation was less than ideal, but they had to adapt and overcome. It was a challenge, one Mach gladly accepted. He nodded sharply and responded. "Yes ma'am, we'll do our best to make them as capable as possible. And even without our offensive capabilities," Mach looked to his left and right, making eye contact with his SPs, who were in similarly high spirits, then back to Yasu. "We'll still fight, even if it's just to draw their fire away from our new pupils. We're not going to just sit it out and let them have all the fun." he said confidently, smiling under his mask.

"While we wait for them to arrive, do you have any data regarding the Terror Girls themselves and their aircraft? Anything at all can help us figure a way to counter them. Also, has anyone been able to remove the effects of the bombs?" Mach inquired. Both were valid questions, with no knowledge of the enemy's capabilities, he'd be restricted to teaching them the bare basics to deal with general threats. Specialized training would likely be more effective.
Escort smiled to show her appreciation for the kindness of MachMan and his group, but they could tell she was still worrying about it as she left from the look in her eyes. Then again, she did seem to be the meticulous type, and a failure like this couldn't sit well with her.

Likewise, the first general was at least somewhat comforted by MachMan and company's swift snap to attention, but couldn't shake her own irritability that the quick-and-easy option was now off the table. She seemed to agree with MachMan's words, but the frown didn't leave her face; in fact, after taking her original seat again, she ended up glaring right at him. "Don't be overzealous and get yourself injured; I'm counting you and your SPs in that no-shoot-down tally as well. I have another male subordinate who's arrogant like that. To be honest, he's a flier as well, but we've been exhausting his services so heavily now that I prefer to allow him to show up on his own volition rather than seek him out. Unfortunately, the timing wasn't right for him to be here. But, well... we aren't strictly reliant upon him. It just so happens that misjudging our readiness for aerial combat was a specific, one-time blunder that will now be corrected," she murmured, aggravated at herself and Escort... but somehow, her eyes looked like they were still judging MachMan. If the dossier he'd obtained was thorough enough, he might have an idea of this aspect of her personality as well.

She lightened up on him again as he made the logical progression to the discussion of the enemies' capabilities. "Of course. The Terror Girls are a terrorist organization who targets standing armies. They have previously assaulted the war archive of Memora, a collector of battle-memorabilia. They were repelled there, I understand. We've had a run in-in with them ourselves at a recruitment fair, where DragonierMan managed to outwit and repel them. I believe that the leader is bull-headed and easily drawn into conflicts, for whatever reason; you may be able to taunt her to your advantage, although I'm not entirely certain what DragonierMan did that set her off. Knowing that man, it could be anything," she sighed. As much as she tried to sound as if she didn't rely on that soldier, she seemed unable to avoid talking about him. "Their main weapon at that time was TerrorMan, a giant tank with the ability to fire out a high powered laser cannon from the skull on its front. Its other capabilities are unknown, as the GNA destroyed it through sniper fire using a laser of their own when it violated their non-aggression rule."

"That said, the new weapon that they are using appears to be similar to the old one, including the motif and skull-face bearing a laser cannon. The major difference is that this one, so far, has remained consistently airborne and takes the shape of a massive aerocraft... with wings, and that sort of thing," she waved her hand, now clearly showing that she really didn't understand airplanes. "However, through some technical flaw, reservation of power, or whatever, it has done nothing to damage us so far... It has only remained at high altitude and dropped those debilitating bombs. We have a contact in the Mafia working on analyzing the bombs for us so far... She's making progress on the treatment, but not on a vaccination. But back to the subject at hand, the aeroplane... we've heard a voice coming out of it for a long time now, but their altitude is so great that we can't make out a word of it, despite its projection and volume. You may want to listen in once you go up; understanding their message may change the situation. On the note of their altitude, we have had another subordinate, Arch, attempting to shoot down the plane for some time, but her arrows don't have quite enough range... If you can lower the altitude of the plane somehow, she may be able to assist. So far, she's avoided being affected by the bombs."

Yasu leaned her arms on the desk, hunched forward, and continued, her one good eye flashing in a menacing way over the peaks of her hands. "The leader of the Terror Girls is named Prez. She doesn't appear to be heavily armed, nor capable of much offense without relying on TerrorMan. She relies on a lot of propaganda, but again, I have no idea what the message behind her attacks is supposed to be. Besides her, we can confirm she relies on the service of two women. We do not know their names, but given their above-average size, heavy musculature, and soldierly demeanor, I can only assume they're militants. There is a good chance they're on the ship as well; you're likely to run into the two of them when you go up. Carefully assess their capabilities and don't rush into any kind of combat."

After all of that briefing, Sake remained absent. It was no surprise that the drunken lackey was taking a long time to round up the recruits, especially if they had to navigate the battlefield in a way that avoided bombardment. Yasu's bright green eye tilted downward to look at the desk for a moment, before she straightened her back and placed her fists together on the table, in a business-like gesture. "You had a report to make, didn't you?" she asked, tilting her head up in a way that made it look like she doubted the team's ability to deliver useful information... or, at least, MachMan's. "Something about another faction? Are they enemies?"
Escort's smile helped pick up the mood slightly even though she quickly went off to restore her honor. Mach and Co followed Yasu back down to the classroom-configured bunker and stood about half a dozen feet from the head of the desk as she sat. Mach's momentary assertion of confidence didn't appear to fly with Yasu, as it elicited a venomous stare from the general. She scolded the Navi as well before she compared him to some unknown member of the NS, nearly going into a full-blown monologue. Mach stood a bit straighter, falling back to a professional demeanor. "Yes Ma'am, we won't make any unnecessary risks," he added once he found a gap in the conversation.

Yasu continued and described the enemies they faced; it wasn't the first time they'd encountered the group, the first encounter was repelled by a DragonierMan.EXE, which she didn't seem to particularly like. Mach perked up when she mentioned the Terror Girls' leader's ease to provoke, but she couldn't provide details that could help. An easily angered commander can be indirectly controlled, but could also be unpredictable, and he had to assume she wouldn't fall for the same trick twice. She also revealed it required some serious GNA firepower to bring down their war machine, "TerrorMan." This didn't bode well for them, especially since it may have been re-purposed into a high-altitude bomber. The only relief it seems was the observation it only employed these disarming, but non-damaging, bombs and they had a single Navi that could fill an AAA role, provided they somehow forced the bomber to significantly decrease altitude. There didn't appear to be a fix for the bomb's effects either, so the group was officially declawed until further notice. All three weren't exactly enthusiastic about the situation, and disappointed they had no other use than to be instructors for the still absent recruits.

Yasu revealed additional, much more tactical, data on the group. "Prez," the leader of the Terror Girls, doesn't appear to be heavily armed, and likely resides on the bomber with two other bodyguards. [[i]At least they're possibly consolidated as one large target, but if they are individually capable of flight, this battle will turn into a full-on formation dogfight...[/i]] Mach thought as he attempted to build a strategic framework for the battle to come, before responding to Yasu's warning against rushing in for a fight. "Understood, General. We won't engage until a solid plan is solidified."

Yasu paused, as if waiting for Sake to return with the recruits. To pass the time, she brought up the requested report, guess she didn't forget it after all. Though the change of pace was somewhat sudden, and he had to put his mental "table-topping" hold, at least he could pass of the information while everything was relatively quiet. General Yasu's demeanor was still salty as she requisitioned the report, so Mach remained on a "straight to business" approach.

"Yes Ma'am. While we were doing an extended busting run in the NAXA network, we encountered a Navi attempting to hack one of NAXA's communications satellites. He was called CrypticMan, from an organization called the 'Flexible Ownership Redistribution Fellowship for the Enabling of Inter-societal Trading,' 'FORFEIT' for short." Mach explained, not holding back any details while his two SPs listened silently. "CrypticMan was a bug-type hacking Navi, a very talented one at that. He also spoke of additional Navis in the organization, including one he alluded to being their go-to Navi for dealing with loose ends." Mach put out his hand, which held a glowing cyan data packet. He stepped forward to hand the packet to Yasu, which contained a more detailed text version of his report, including names of the other Navis CrypticMan mentioned, as well as his observed combat abilities. "All of the details are listed in this document, hopefully it'll be of use, especially if FORFEIT hasn't been known by the Neo Shogunate until now. We were ultimately able to end the situation peacefully and restore the satellite's functions before it's internal security system purged everyone. Long story short, I see FORFEIT as a significant player, as well as a potential threat." He stepped back to his original position and stood straight. "I will gladly answer any questions you may have to the best of my ability, General."

[Attached: FORFEIT_Report.doc]
MachMan's complacency with the plan thus far worked to his benefit when he dealt with Yasu, who was all too eager to over-analyze anything he spoke back to her. Finally, MachMan's turn to talk came, and for her part, Yasu folded her hands and listened attentively until he was finished. Her tense eyebrows made it look like she was concentrating deeply, but then again, she always sort of looked that way. Unfortunately, while the idea of airplanes was a bit foreign to her, the idea of navis specializing in hacking drew a tellingly long, blank period of silence from her. "Well, perhaps the Shogun would have a better idea of what to do with this information than I. Although, if they're controlling security systems, threatening large numbers of people, and have dedicated 'cleaner-uppers,' then it sounds like they have both means and power. They do certainly sound like a threat. Hopefully we won't run afoul of them, since we aren't exactly on the cutting edge of technology here at the camp... our security consists of posted watchmen, after all. We'll see how it plays out," she responded. "I'll present the information to the Shogun and perhaps we'll scout them, for further information. Honestly, I'd rather have them as allies than enemies, depending on how eager they are to match their own policy of aggression with ours. We can't ally ourselves with anyone who engages too freely or openly, these days. I'd like to know more about their motivations as well."

The gathering didn't have to wait much longer before Sake returned, hoping the door slowly, peaking her head in, and then stumbling inside. Her tipsiness made her entrance worrisome, as one could easily imagine she was about to spill off of her feet and fall down the staircase. Instead, she proceeded slowly, carefully inside, tiptoeing down step by step and then calling for the recruits to enter behind her. "Escord and Dee are talking with Arch now about whadda-do about the bombs," she began, crossing her arms and nodding proudly, as if patting herself on the back for a good report.

"... Good. Now please, introduce MachMan and his company to our recruits," the first General urged her subordinate to continue, rolling her hand to show that they needed to speed through this as much as they could.

"Alrighty. The first one here I scouted when I spotted her doing some real fancy flying. I know she's really good! At um... flying," Sake explained, raising one finger as if a bolt of inspiration was about to come to her. It never did.

After waiting for more to come, the first recruit decided to take matters into her own hands. "Nice to meet you, MachMan. I'm Skywriter. As the name implies, I mostly work as a skywriter, hired to do things like greetings, parties, and so forth. I can also operate a plane, used for the same purpose! So, I'm your one-stop shop for the lost art of skywriting," she finished, reaching out one hand for a shake. Skywriter was a female navi of average size, more mature than Sake by a fare bit, but not bursting in curves the way Yasu was (nor was she nearly as tall). Her hair was purple and reached only a little past the nape of her neck, but still curled a bit here and there, including one wisp which she seemed content to let rest in such a position that it nearly covered one eye. Her eyes were sharp, young, and colored a light brown, almost orange. Her skin tone looked Netopian. Perhaps most importantly, besides a yellow headband and white hand and foot wraps, her only clothing was a sleeveless yellow tunic, long enough to go just past her hips, but making her look as though she'd forgotten to put pants on with her outfit, showing off smooth, shapely legs. When she thought he might be looking at them, she shifted uncomfortably and looked red in the face. "Um..."

Yasu intercepted the conversation, smiling and nodding in a way that might be intended to lighten the mood. "It's unfortunate that I didn't have time to craft a full uniform for the recruits here, but as you can see, Skywriter here has already faithfully adopted the soldier's standard tunic. I'll prepare her a very special subordinate's attire, in due time," the first general explained. It certainly seemed to any rational person that the correct course of action would be for her to wear something else until the costume was ready, but she'd probably been pressured into it.

"Well, I'm... happy to serve!" Skywriter laughed, again awkwardly while still tugging down the front of her tunic.

"So, what are your capabilities?" Yasu further inquired, resting her chin on her fist.

"... I believe Sake already described them. I'm a skywriter, so I'm your go-to-girl for fancy aerial maneuvers!" she announced again, swiping one fist in a spunky, overly enthusiastic way, like a first-timer trying too hard in a job interview.

"And your combat experience?" the first general inquired, lowering her eyebrows over her one good eye and her eyepatch.

"... Minimal," Skywriter admitted, rubbing one bare toe against the floor of the bunker.

The first general sighed, but shrugged. "Well, there's a minor obstacle for you to overcome, MachMan. But I'm sure you'll quickly overcome that. She ought to be useful in many ways, even if she's not a combat expert," Yasu laughed. One could easily imagine that she might be more critical if Skywriter were a male recruit. "Alright, next recruit."

The next girl stepped forward as Sake introduced her. "Her name is Pest. She flies AND she's a fighter! That's impressive, right?" Sake asked, talking over the lip of a smooth, quaint brown teacup, which probably contained sake rather than tea. Nobody would know when she'd produced it or where from.

The next girl was shorter and more petit, about Sake's size, with blond hair done into two small pigtails, held at each corner of her head off the side. The hairstyle furthered her childish image, which was amplified by the way she raised her hand when it was her turn to be called upon. She'd altogether look like a cute grade schooler... if it wasn't for the brown, metallic mask she was wearing, featuring giant red insect eyes and a long, needle point, extending from the nose-and-mouth area in the direction away from her face. Like Skywriter, she only the yellow Neo-Shogun foot-soldier's tunic, but hers was long enough on her to be a bit more modest. In addition, she was outfitted with a backpack harness, which held two insectoid wings to her back. They flapped sporadically, seemingly out of synch with any of her other movements. "My full name is Pestilence, but you can call me Pest! It's an honor to be here!" she announced, giving an unpracticed salute.

"At ease," Yasu commanded the young girl. Sake's words of insurance were not enough to shake the lingering doubt in her mind concerning the fighting capabilities of Pest. "Tell me about your abilities."

"Well, I'm good at moving around quickly!" the little recruit announced, a small buzz seeming to come from her throat as she spoke in an otherwise cutesy voice. "I'm also good at fighting! I can suck data out of an enemy, which makes them weaker and makes me stronger!"

"... But if, say, your enemy was a giant metallic plane..." Yasu murmured, tapping her fingers against the table with growing impatience.

"O-Oh... Well, my special power wouldn't be that useful then," Pest buzzed dejectedly. "I could just use chips though! But... my operator doesn't have that many, and I think that most of you have been hit with that bomb, so yours are disabled, based on what Escort told us..."

"Quite right. Ugh... Very well. Just another bump in the road," the first general sighed, massaging her temples with both hands. "Come on, third recruit. What's your- wait a second!" she barked, jumping up from her seat and pointing forward in an accusatory fashion. "Why aren't you in uniform?!"

The final recruit, whom Sake hadn't gotten the chance to announce (regardless, the aforementioned subordinate had fallen asleep) was the strongest looking, tallest, and best proportioned of all of the girls. Her hair was short and white in the front, with flecks of red in the back, with a style almost like it had been combed away from the face, but seeming too disheveled in various places for that to be right. Her face was not at all friendly looking, with thin, slitty eyes framed by war-like red makeup and a constant frown pasted on at all times. As mentioned, she wasn't wearing the mandated costume. Instead, she wore a red skinsuit, covered from the shoulders and knees down in brown feathers, ending in massive black gloves and boots in the shapes of sharpened talons. "I don't give a damn about your uniform! I'm not here to be in your army, I'm just helping you guys out so that you return the favor later," the woman scoffed, keeping her feathered arms crossed.

"That's Rocky. She's my friend who I met fighting some Mafia dummies! She's suuuper strong and flies suuuper fast! When I spotted her, she told me I had to agree to help her or else she was going to mess me up!" Sake explained with no apparent fear. "So we decided that we'd do a trade. I think she wants help finding her sister once this is over..."

"So... you recruited two young women with no practical battle experience and an insubordinate bird-woman with pre-existing issues against the Mafia, whose request involves goals which will almost certainly pit us in direct conflict with the mafia and whom we are no longer at liberty to refuse?" Yasu asked, for clarification.

"I guess I did! They're all working for cheap, though. Whoops! Forget I said that," Sake laughed, patting Skywriter and Pest on the back in a chummy way. "Except Rocky. She's actually working for free! Well, besides that favor... hic-!"

The bird woman closed her eyes, seeming only slightly less irritable than Yasu. "Roc. Not Rocky," she clarified for the benefit of all of those in the room who were not currently hammered out of their respective gourds.

"... Very well. You see the situation as it is, MachMan," Yasu murmured, turning her back to the recruits to face MachMan and company. "This is your team. Your mission goals are as follows," she continued, moving to the back of the bunker, where a long, holographic window appeared across the wall. She began to write on it with her finger, revealing it to be a techno-magical blackboard. "One: explain each team members roles to them. Two: give them instructions ensuring their survival. Three: Find some way to make our new recruit, Roc, wear our uniform. Four: Proceed outside and assess the situation. Five: lead the assault! Now, MachMan, please address the group with your opening words."

"... I'm really not wearing it. You might as well give up," Roc grumbled. Her resistance to putting it on only made Skywriter more self-conscious, causing her to pull the hem down tighter with her hands over the front and back (which yanked open the window for cleavage at the chest a bit more).
Yasu's reaction to the report wasn't as engaging as Mach would've liked, but she appeared to acknowledge his advice and indicated she'd pass it along to the shogun. "Of course, General. We will pass along any additional information we find, and hope not to encounter FORFEIT in a similarly compromising situation," Mach responded. FORFEIT wasn't to be taken lightly, and Aera certainly didn't want to run into that multi-armed creep again. A slight shiver went up her spine just from thinking about it, though she did her best to retain her composure.

Thankfully the subject changed as Sake reappeared with recruits in tow. It also sounded like Escort was consulting with two others to further utilize the dropped ordinance. ["Good, and we can likely use said bombs to our own advantage."] Mazer chimed in through the Navi and SP's respective audio sensors. "If they aren't immune to their own weaponry, which I fear they may be," Vector responded, finally breaking his previously established silence. ["Good point..."] Mazer replied with a nod, a bit disappointed his plan had holes poked in it right out of the gate.

Sake introduced the first recruit, a young woman in a tunic that appeared much too short, which she was painfully aware. Other than saying she was could do some "fancy flying," the inebriated Navi gave not much else as she struggled to find more words. Thankfully the recruit introduced herself, "Skywriter," who was a literal Skywriter... appropriate, to say the least. Useful? That remained to be seen. Mach moved to her and reached out his own hand to shake hers firmly. "Nice to meet you, Miss Skywriter. Welcome to the team," he said calmly, professionally. Aera smiled and nodded, and tried her best not to pay too much attention to the almost lewdly short tunic. She had some great legs though, so much so they didn't go unnoticed by Mach either, much to her own embarrassment. Yasu inquired about her abilities, and unfortunately her combat abilities were "minimal." It was better than nothing, and her skillful flying may be something to capitalize upon. Mach nodded as Yasu addressed him, acknowledging the obstacle he had to address with this particular recruit.

The second recruit was much shorter and stranger than the first, thanks to her insectoid wings and mask, complete with bug eyes and a needle-like protrusion, like a mosquito. Even her name was pretty non-standard, as if it were a better fit for a HeelNavi than an otherwise innocent-looking little girl. However, her flight abilities could be on par with Skywriter, and she touted significant combat abilities. From the sound of things, her combat style fit the mosquito theme, which involved some sort of data/energy siphoning. Unfortunately her chip arsenal was reportedly lacking, which wasn't reassuring. Mach started to miss his chip library more and more. Mach nodded in Pest's direction politely as Yasu called forth the third recruit.

She was immediately alarmed at the recruit's lack of uniform, something that really shouldn't be a factor when one is being actively bombarded by an enemy force, but Mach chose not to interrupt. The third Navi, who was much more athletic and capable looking compared to her counterparts, was apparently bird themed. If she wasn't a combat-oriented Navi, she had a really good disguise, and a hotheaded personality to boot. She plainly showed a lack of respect for Yasu's authority, which could mean instructing her could prove to be difficult. Stubbornness isn't a good trait for learning, though she may have more than enough experience. However, Sake revealed the details of the deal she somewhat forced upon the NS; a lost sister. Mach could use that to gain her trust, or at least listen to him. So far, she didn't appear to even acknowledge his presence.

Yasu turned back to Mach and the gang, and gave him his mission profile. Everything was as previously briefed, though she also added in the objective of having "Roc" wear an uniform... [[i]I hope that objective won't cost me the BodyPack. Whatever, I'll see what I can do,[/i]] Mach exclaimed in his own mind as he continued to listen to Yasu's brief. With the mission mostly clear, Yasu opened the floor for Mach to address his new "flight." Mach bowed politely, Aera and Vector did the same nearly in unison. "Yes Ma'am!"

Mach stepped to Yasu's side, facing the group. He stood with both hands touching the small of his back, and his feet shoulder-width apart in a 'parade rest' stance. "Good afternoon, fellow Navis, comrades. As the general stated, I'm Subordinate MachMan.EXE, and these are my partners, Aera.SP and Vector.SP. I have been tasked to instruct and prepare you for combat against the threat currently bombarding our base." Mach made his opening words straight and to the point, remembering briefings his NetOp used to get from instructors in the civil air patrol. His orange-ringed sapphire eyes glanced amongst the trio as he spoke, getting eye contact with each one (which he could only assume in Pest's case, due to her mask). "Our goal is to repel and/or defeat the threat, which is reportedly the Terror Girls' leader, with two Navi bodyguards, currently residing in a bomber-type craft which is currently out of range of any anti-air artillery we currently possess. Before we begin, I'd like you all to give me a rundown of your combat upgrades, including chip library, NCPs, and signature attacks. I wish to know your capabilities before we can develop a sound plan to combat these intruders." He hoped they would comply, that data would likely prove crucial to the formation of a battle strategy.

Mach gave them time to pull up the requested information and turned back to Yasu. "General, I can take over from here. I don't want to hold you up any longer, I'll let you know if anything changes. If you have any additional data on the enemy, I can use it now for my instruction. I also plan to have myself or one of my SPs go outside at least once to do come reconnaissance on the enemy before we engage; I will notify you before we begin said recon sorties, and of course prior to executing our counter-attack. Do you have a quick chat line I can use to stay in contact?" Though Yasu could possibly provide some experience, her previous comments on the bomber illustrated a lack of knowledge regarding aircraft or flying in general. It was also already established Yasu and Roc didn't get along, and he didn't want that personality conflict to interfere with what needed to be done. If General Yasu refused his suggestion; however, he didn't have much choice than to let her sit in. He may try again to divert her attention elsewhere to give him un-interrupted time with his students.

Hopefully with Yasu moving on to more important things, he turned back to the recruits, and awaited their reports. He couldn't help but have high hopes for Roc, since it sounded as if he'd need some heavy firepower to deal any significant damage to TerrorMan. However, he steeled himself for the worst. Regardless, he had his hands full, and not much time to mold these three into an effective unit. He was itching to start, and wanted to know exactly what he'd be working with. "Any questions so far?" he asked, if Yasu was no longer in the bunker, he would've spoken in a less authoritative tone.

((I don't need entire character sheets on Skywriter, Pestilence, and Roc, unless you already have them built; somewhat general information should suit the situation just fine, I just want to know what they can bring to the battle))
Two out of three girls stood at attention as MachMan introduced himself and began his briefing, with the third impatiently tapping her foot and acting above it all. Perhaps one couldn't blame Roc for behaving that way, as the proceedings leading up to this point hadn't done much to inspire her confidence in the Neo-Shogun Empire's army. Skywriter began with an introduction of her own abilities, doing her best to hide her nervousness. "My chips are just cannon, rageclaw, and airshot... I don't have any special NCPs besides Undershirt and the shoes combination that allows me to fly. Oh, I can make smoke, though! Maybe we can use that?" she asked, clenching her fists and remaining optimistic that she had some way to help in the battle despite her complete unfamiliarity with combat.

"It could," Yasu agreed. "You can generally count an enemy to rely upon his or her eyes. A smokescreen could allow you to evade enemy fire or rob them of their senses. Your lack of other abilities is a serious detriment, however. MachMan, it will be a challenge to find the best way to utilize her," the first general reiterated, apparently hearing nothing that especially enthused her from the report. "What about you, Pest?"

"I have about the same NCP setup as Skywriter. I also have the ability to drain data from enemies to strengthen myself, inject them with poisons, or summon swarms of bugs that can give them other kinds of diseases," the little girl explained, giving a list of powers that were more ghastly than her petite size and speech suggested. "None of that will be very effective against a plane, though... I also have other chips, like guns, though. I'm not a great shot, but my operator, Buzz, knows a lot about shooting! He can probably make up for my weakness," she finished, perhaps thinking to herself that she was better suited for fighting than she originally figured.

"Excellent. You can perform a more traditional role, then-" Yasu commended her new soldier, but the humming in Pest's throat indicated she wasn't done talking yet. "What is it?"

"Well, I don't have any defenses other than flying fast. If I'm hit, I'll probably be defeated... Although, if I drain strength first, I can survive longer," she offered.

"Keep that in mind, MachMan. I want a high survival rate on this mission. Okay, Roc, please get into costume and then explain your abilities."

Roc ignored the latter request and gave a very brief explanation of her abilities. "I fly, I have lots of endurance, good chips, good innate abilities, and frankly, I'll probably do a lot better if you leave your so-called 'team' down here and stay with them. All of you up there are just going to distract me while I bring that plane down," the feathered woman shrugged, continuing to show her characteristic insubordination.

Yasu got up to complain and possibly to fight, but MachMan informed her that he could handle the rest of the briefing himself, so she begrudgingly left him to it. It was also possible she didn't want to get into a fight with Roc when she had been completely robbed of all of her weaponry. "I have no additional information besides what I've given you. Reconnaissance sounds good, but be certain that whoever you send out is capable and discrete; the ultimate folly would be to lose another soldier before the battle even begins. Also, do not investigate those bombs or even go near them! We'll wait from the results back from her tech-specialist, but I don't even want to imagine a situation where another of those bombs bursts and takes out the capabilities of our remaining soldiers," she snapped, pointing at the pile of bombs to clearly say, "yes, those bombs." "I'll provide you with a communication link, which will open a channel between you and myself. I'll await good news. Let me know if you think of anything else I can provide that might help, or if you'd like me to give any of the other girls any instructions."

With that, Yasu took her leave, walking with a glamorous cat-walk swagger that came naturally when she wasn't running around like a ninja. Soon, MachMan was left with just the three recruits and his own allies. He proceeded to ask the others if they had any questions so far, but no one was chomping at the bits to ask anything. Roc was the first to speak up, but of course, she didn't raise her hand and wait to be called on. "Can we go ahead and get started? I've just got to take down that bomber plane, right? I'll bet it's not that hard, your army's just a bunch of idiots when it comes to dealing with anything that doesn't face them down in the dirt like it's the feudal ages. I've heard about what happened to them back during their first attempted invasion... A big, shielded robot took the whole army out, as I hear it, with the help of some other Netpolice mercs. This army fights like a chicken: it runs headlong into trouble, loses its head, flaps around for a while, then falls dead," she murmured, sounding both disinterested and highly critical. "I don't know why you joined. Maybe you're weak too? Well, the point is, I hear there's maybe two or three strong officers here. Once I find out who they are, I'm going to get them to help me kick the door in on the Mafia and find my sister."

"I-I'd really like to go over some tactics first and decide exactly what to do before we go out..." Skywriter pitched in, raising her hand sheepishly. "MachMan, do you have any relevant experience with fighting a battleship in the air? Any story that might help us?"

"Pfft. A target's a target! Besides, you're staying down here, with everyone else, while I do this alone. Isn't that right?" Roc asked, daring MachMan and his group to disagree with an irritable glare.

"You should put on a uniform like the rest of us!" Pest scolded Roc, sounding surprisingly demanding.

Roc turned her eyes downward with a confused expression to face the little girl. "What, really? Screw all of you..." she sighed. MachMan would have to get control of the situation again somehow.
The Navis didn't take long to respond with their combat data, Skywriter reported first. Her battlechip list and NCPs were less of a surprise, due to her earlier comments on her lack of combat experience. However, she could fly, and apparently create smoke. Depending on the degree of smoke she can produce, she could potentially conceal her wing women or degrade the enemy's vision capabilities. Her AirShot could come in handy as well, especially if it can be used to knock one of the 3 Navis off the bomber, or even shoot a bomb back up into its bays.

Pest followed up with a more in-depth report, detailing her relatively rounded compliment of chips and signature attacks. However, she was apparently fellow "glass cannon," so he had to be careful not to expose her to direct fire. If he could somehow expose the Terror Girls Navis and get Pest in range safely, she could help whittle them down. So far his "squadron" had some fairly specialized skills, but at least he had a better idea of how to utilize them. Mach nodded in acknowledgement to Yasu's reminder to him of her expectation of zero allied losses, then turned to Roc as Yasu addressed her.

Roc ignored the "costume" part and gave a very scant rundown of her abilities. Very useful... She also continued with her arrogant attitude, going as far as to saying she could get it done solo. Thankfully Yasu heeded Mach's advice and took her leave instead of retaliating against Roc's insubordination. She also left Mach a comm link, and essentially forbade him from so much as touching the stack of captured bombs. He partially agreed, he wouldn't dare mess with them with the entirety of his squadron in the bunker, but he didn't plan on holding back and not using perfectly operational weapons. With that, she left to address other issues.

Now with her out of the picture, Mach could address his new pupils without risk of anger or interjection from the general. However, things weren't off to a great start. Roc insisted on starting immediately, as she seemed to think she could take them down single-handedly without issue. Mach listened to her rant, which mentioned the failed military action in Yoka, the one in which Rhea was involved. Sounds like there was an even more powerful Navi with them, a robot? It was obvious she had a very negative opinion of the NS, her drive to find her sister must be pretty strong/desperate to requests the help of "a bunch of idiots." Vector's eyes started to burn a bit brighter in Roc's suggestion that Mach was as weak as the rest of the NS forces.

Mach was about to speak up, but Skywriter had an actual, applicable question. She wanted to know if he had any experience or stories that could help them out. It was a great question; his encounters with Varius.APP forced him to learn a lot of hard lessons and tactics, which could help them defeat this new threat. However, before Mach could get a word in, Roc barged back into the conversation. She again underestimated the enemy, and now dared the group to disagree with her "lone wolf" routine. This prompted an unexpected scolding from Pest, which started to just develop into an argument. Though it wasn't entirely unexpected to experience friction and contesting personalities when you take a bunch of strangers and form them into a team, this bickering could no longer be allowed to continue. Both Vector and Aera were starting to get frustrated by the situation, so much so Vector was about to step forward to intervene.

Vector didn't get the chance as Mach took a couple steps forward. "Enough!" Mach asserted, voice raised, though his expression remained calm and collected. If his voice didn't catch their attention, his glowing wings snapped outwards to their full length, as if he were about to take flight. The feathers splayed outwards, and the glow seemed intense enough to throw a significant amount of light in the somewhat dim bunker. His wings started to fold back down as he glared at the Navis with his orange-ringed sapphire eyes. His SPs felt relieved their Navi took the initiative to reassert his authority. After pausing a moment to confirm he had captured their attention, he started to speak. "Let's focus on the task at hand, shall we? We are facing at least 3 Navis as well as an armored bomber. Even if the job could be accomplished by a single Navi, it wouldn't make sense to not use everything we have at our disposal. I have no intention on giving them a "fair fight;" this isn't a game, ladies," Mach cautioned, his voice back to a conversational volume. He met Roc's challenge, but didn't focus his attention entirely on her. If he directly antagonized or butted heads with Roc, he'd just end up being ignored just like Yasu.

Instead of directly addressing Roc's allegations right off the bat, he utilized Skywriter's question to build some ethos and credibility. Hopefully they would be more receptive to him if they knew he had experience with this situation. He looked over to Skywriter and nodded as continued. "Good question. This isn't our first time engaging in aerial battle with large, well-armed aircraft, and likely won't be the last. We faced off against a flying battleship in the Sharo Rogue Network, it was faster than anything we'd ever seen, and armed to the teeth. Our first mission was an attempt to identify and scan it as it executed a high-speed cruise across the Net. We had to utilize a rocket booster SP just to keep up, even then it was difficult to match its speed. Our second encounter was more "eventful." Its opening salvo included a multitude of 20mm vulcans, shotgun cannons, reciprocating beam guns, a mazer main gun, and nearly 100 missiles of various sizes. Its total armament was too vast to keep an accurate count, but they were positioned in a way to have seemingly full coverage in every direction." Mach's retelling was accurate, though he chose to leave out the sonic weapon it utilized to somehow incapacitate all 3 programs in a single, unavoidable shot. If the Terror Girls had that kind of tech, no strategy beyond orbital bombardment would be effective...

"We managed to destroy several of its weapon banks as well as one of its engine nacelles before breaking off the engagement, but more importantly we learned a great deal from that encounter. We'll teach you the lessons we learned, without actively getting shot at. That being said, what you learn won't be very useful without effective teamwork. You all have specialized capabilities and strengths, and seem very different from one another, but together we'll be more effective than we would ever be apart. I speak from experience, we wouldn't have survived our encounter with Varius.APP if we didn't combine Aera's electrical powers and healing programs, Vector's protective armor, and my speed. Hell, we would've been wiped out from the first salvo alone." Both Aera and Vector nodded in agreement, they managed to hang on for a significant amount of time despite being inundated with incoming fire the entire time, only because they worked together as a single unit.

"Now, with that out of the way, there are 3 things that determine success in these situations: Coordination, Communication, and Energy. Some of this may already be familiar to you, but bear with me. The coordination part will be satisfied prior to our mission, which will include some recon on the enemy to get a better feel for their capabilities. As for communication, without it the team doesn't exist, it's just a bunch of individuals in the same general area. Every one of us needs to be able to communicate with each other, so we can provide support, call out threats, and flexibly change plans as the mission progresses. We'll set up a comm link and make sure it works prior to mission start." Mach turned back and walked towards the holo-board on the back wall.

"Finally, Energy. Feel free to grab a seat, so you can better see this," Mach continued as he started to draw an egg shape with his finger on the board. He had drawn the outline of the egg fairly large, then drew another hoop like shape in its center, the apogee touched the left wall of the egg about 1/3rd of the way up from its center, with the perigee touching the left wall. He also drew a couple arrows on the hoop to signify an aircraft's direction, as well as a couple arrows near the upper and lower portions of the egg. After completing the drawing, he turned back to his hopefully seated pupils. Vector and Aera took seats behind the students. "As you may already know, energy management is incredibly important when it comes to air combat. You will be constantly trading altitude for airspeed and vice versa throughout an engagement, the trick is knowing when to do so. Most of this directly applies to aerial dogfighting. While I don't expect to see this turn into a dogfight, these concepts will help regardless." He referred back to the egg, pointing to the arrows near the top and bottom. "Now picture these arrows as aircraft, or Navis. Unless you have anti-grav engines, you will always be under the influence of gravity. Because of this, your maneuvering "bubble" will look more like an egg shape; maneuvers up here will be tighter, but with lower airspeed due to having higher potential than kinetic energy. Down here, you'll have plenty of airspeed, but maneuvers will be much wider. You need to be aware of this, because it'll be difficult catch up to or outrun an enemy up here in this energy state, and will have a hard time making sharp turns down at this energy state."

He then pointed to the hoop near the center of the egg. "As you can see here, those effects can still be seen with less vertical movement, though they won't be as pronounced. So application-wise, if you want to engage a target while giving them little time to respond, you want to dive down on them to engage in a high energy state. That being said, you need to be aware you might have trouble matching them if they try to maneuver and you might just zoom right past them. Any questions so far?" Mach opened the floor for questions, mostly to help them understand what it all means, and how it applies to them. If there weren't any major issues so far, he would then go past the basics and start to proceed into the strategy.

Mach looked to his pupils, facing them directly. With the basic concepts out of the way, we can now talk core strategy. I plan to get a good look at our enemy to get a better idea what we're dealing with. That said, they likely don't know much about our capabilities either, which we can use to our advantage. Because of that, we should avoid broadcasting our specific abilities until they're employed. These uniforms can help with that, so we look standardized, and it's difficult to immediately gauge our "themes" from a distance. So though you're not too keen on the idea, I insist you wear a similar uniform, Miss Roc."

He expected immediate resistance, so he calmly walked up to her to address it directly. "Let me level with you here. From what you say, you're currently the most capable combat Navi in this room. Because of that, you'd be our "ace in the hole." However, a single bomb can change that entirely, and I don't want them targeting you right out of the gate. If I were the enemy commander and saw you in a formation, standing out from the rest of your squadron, I would immediately assume "flight lead." I would then specifically target you to destabilize and scatter the formation. I can't risk that, especially when my goal is to accomplish the mission with zero losses on our side. To do that, I'll need your help and cooperation. If you can do that, I can help you find your sister." He looked her in the eyes as he spoke, trying his best to convey his sincerity. If she could be a good team player, he would have more confidence in fitting her into the strategy, otherwise he'd have to assume she'd disregard the plan and go off on her own. He extended his right hand towards her, hoping for a handshake agreement. "Deal?"
The girls ceased their bickering when MachMan demanded their attention, using the wings that Yasu had programmed to ensure they gave notice. Each piped down, though not for long, of course; Roc snapped back quickly with, "If anyone here is treating this as a game, it's all of you, pretending that you're going to do anything but slow me down..." It wasn't much of a protest compared to her earlier barking, so MachMan had the go-ahead to continue. As the recruits listened, MachMan found that he appeared to be gaining their respect, if not their understanding; the story was doing more to scare Skywriter than it was to educate anyone. Although, that too might be a good thing; it might be helpful to instill a bit of fear into the troops so that they didn't go into battle lazy. The two budding fighters nodded along with his instructions, but once the instructor got to the point of comrades and coordination again, Roc seemed to lose interest and become distracted. "I get it... So if you and your SPs are powerful enough to fight that ship, we should be through with this in no time. You must be one of the tough ones I heard about. That means you can help me bust up the Mafia and find out where my sister is once we're done here," she nodded. At least she was finally showing MachMan respect, although she still seemed to be entirely disregarding the gravity of the current mission.

Pest gave another angry, impatient buzz to tell her to keep quiet, to which she responded by rolling her eyes and crossing her arms. MachMan continued, explaining more difficult technical concepts to them, such as the important and fundamental concept of energy. Even Roc watched this one with a dumb face, seeming as though she wasn't really getting it; she didn't appear to be one for studies. The other two were trying their best, but they were no dogfighters either, so they'd both adopted the expressions of students listening to a particularly difficult portion of lecture. "We probably also have different means of flight that we should consider," Skywriter added. "After all, my movement in the air is similar to that of a plane, so I won't be able to pull off the same maneuvers that Pest will. You and Roc should move similarly, though, since you both have bird wings, right?"

"Does he actually use those for flying? He seemed to me like he was kinda just getting used to them, so I figured they were part of his uniform," Roc responded, perhaps just not wanting to admit any common ground.

"Oh, I just assumed," Skywriter answered absently. "Erm... What about the uniform then?"

"... What? Oh, that whole thing about wearing a uniform so I won't stand out? Please, he just wants to look at my ass," Roc scoffed, rolling her eyes. "Not like I care, though. It's stupid, but I'll wear it, if he agrees to help me find my sister. Only problem is, I didn't bring the uniform in here with me... So we'll have to go grab one from somewhere else. Either one of the soldiers or the supply shed."

"Don't you have anything else you can wear that might look a bit like a uniform? Or at least not stand out so much?" Pest questioned, tilting her head.

Roc stared from person to person in the room blankly, keeping her arms crossed. "Huh? I mean, I guess I'd look more like you guys if I..." she murmured, seemingly fiddling with the navi emblem at her chest using her giant claws, perhaps doing something to activate a new GMO. That quickly proved not to be the case, as Roc dug her talons into the breast of her stretchy jumpsuit and began ripping it away from herself. "The feathers are just cosmetic too, even the gloves, although I kind of need those for combat. But I'd look more like you two if all if I was wearing was a bikini, right?" By the time the other two managed to restrain her arms, she'd pulled the bodysuit off of her chest entirely, revealing a fantastic pair, clad in a strapless bra composed of thin brown cloth and red feathers, fanning out from the center of her bosom. It didn't restrain very much, causing her to bounce with every slight motion. "What?! Geez, make up your minds... I won't be camouflage like this."

"Of course you won't!" Skywriter protested, trying to pull the suit back up but finding that it wouldn't even stretch to clear her breasts.

"Y-You need a real uniform! Bzzz!" Pest added, trying the same from her side but quickly realizing she was too short to even begin to attempt the maneuver. Her wings flapped as she gained a bit of altitude for leverage.

Roc swiped the two of them off with alarming ease, nearly sending them tumbling into the school chairs and desks behind her. "Sheesh! MachMan, you're the leader here, right? If we can't all go in uniforms, we should just all go in our underwear, right? The enemy won't know who to pick out if we do that. We'll all look like a bunch of morons, equally." She didn't seem to comprehend that she was the only moron in her underwear here.

"N-No way!" the purple-haired girl gasped again, going red. "That won't work for... for a lot of reasons!"

Pest buzzed in a low tone, perhaps blushing behind her own mask. "Besides that... I think you'll still stand out a lot, Roc, even if everyone here strips down to their underwear..."

The class had gotten off track again. MachMan would just have to think of all of this as a bonding exercise.
Mach's attempt to gain credibility seemed to have worked, though some of the details appeared to have spooked at least one of his pupils. From Yasu's intel the bomber didn't appear to have any other weaponry besides the bomb compartments, but he'd have to find out himself if their foe had anything comparable to Varius. Though Roc didn't really pipe down much, she at least recognized Mach and the SP's strength, and focused her attention more to the task at hand. She again mentioned butting heads with the Mafia to find her sister, her mind wasn't easily derailed from what appeared to be her singular goal, everything else was likely secondary.

While he managed to keep their attention when he moved on to the basics and technical aspects of energy, the looks on his pupils faces indicated the material was a bit too advanced. Even the oh so confident Roc didn't appear to understand the majority of his lesson. [[i]Maybe that wasn't the best idea... Though I can't really teach them much without a better idea of the threat.[/i]] he pondered, irked by the lack of reliable intel. Yasu was able to give him some, but since no flight-capable Navis were available prior to their arrival, they couldn't provide any data on anti-air defenses etc. Thankfully Skywriter was still engaged, and brought up a good point of how the trio likely had different means of propulsion, and therefore different flight characteristics. He probably should've asked about that right at the start... Roc also pointed out Mach's wings were likely a part of the uniform, and not his default flight program. She must've had the awareness to see some subconscious hesitation or awkwardness in Mach's wing movements, not surprising for a Navi who uses bird-like wings naturally.

Roc still protested the idea of a uniform, and prodded at MachMan with an accusation of lecherous intent. Aera stifled a giggle, amused with how little the Navi knew Mach's intentions and character. [[i]Besides, mine's better,[/i]] she mused with a smile. Vector would've acted upon the insult to his master, but Mach's general lack of reaction (and slight desensitization caused by previous encounters and missions) urged him to stay put and continue observing. Roc then mentioned she didn't even have it on her... then how did Yasu expect her to be in uniform without even been issued one? Regardless, she would need one, if only to make her stand out a bit less. The other pupils were on the same page, and further urged Roc. She started to give, but then went off on a different train of thought, saying she would fit in if she was wearing a bikini. She even started to pull down her bodysuit, bearing an impressive bust in the process. Mach raised an eyebrow, confused by her sudden change in direction and eagerness to show some skin, or feathers... you get the point. "Ah, what?"

Skywriter and Pest decried her ongoing disrobing, and struggled to pull her body suit back up and over her chest, which caused only more bouncing. Aera's amusement started to wane, and glanced down at her own chest to make a quick comparison. "Hmph," she muttered under her breath. Roc quickly and efficiently dispersed her comrades, causing them to crash into the chairs and desks. Vector leaned to the right as a chair tumbled past his head, seemingly unfazed by the chaos unfolding. He was still observing quietly, though rather fascinated by this new experience. Unless they were in direct combat, he's only seen general cohesiveness and cooperation amongst Navis, this almost slap-stick bickering was mostly new to him.

Machman pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes in baffled frustration as Roc attempted to rationalize her actions by suggesting the only way to be standardized is to strip down to their underwear. "My clothes are staying on, and Vector doesn't even have underwear, so that's not going to work." Aera looked over to Vector, to which he looked back at her and kind of shrugged; he was a walking set of armor after all... Aera was also preferential to maintaining her current attire, though she'd probably show up at least 2 of the girls if she were to bear more skin. Mach tried to think of solutions, but he'd prefer to devote the bandwidth to figuring out a strategy instead of dealing with wardrobe malfunctions. He looked over to Aera, hoping for some assistance. "Aera, could you possibly make a copy of your .GMO for Roc to use? Otherwise one of us will have to go find a uniform somewhere in the camp."

Aera stood up and nodded, though she wasn't entirely sure she could provide exactly what Mach requested; she hadn't tried something like this before. "I'll see what I can do, but no guarantees," she replied. "Thanks," Mach responded before he looked back at his rag-tag group of students, trying not to focus on Roc's mostly exposed chest. He tried to get the situation back under control and refocused on the mission, and thankfully Skywriter's earlier comment provided a good opportunity to redirect the conversation on a more productive path.

"You're right about the wings, the .GMO covers my anti-grav thruster bits. So you say you fly like an aircraft, do you do so with an additional program, or just naturally?" he inquired of Skywriter. "And I assume you use avian-like wings to fly, Roc?" He waited for their answers, so he could get a better idea of their capabilities. While they waited for Aera to possibly set up an uniform for Roc, he decided to take the opportunity to notify Yasu of his plan to personally launch a recon sortie. He pulled up the comm link, and made his report. [[i]"General Yasu, the recruits are becoming a bit more cohesive, but I'm still working with them. While my SPs continue instructing, I'd like to take a quick peek at our enemy. I don't plan to engage them, I'd just like to get a better look at the bomber to assess its structure and possible weak points. Also, I've mostly convinced Roc to wear the uniform, but she doesn't have it on her person. Do you have a copy we can use?"[/i]]

The two smaller girls finally gave up their fight to get the navisuit covering Roc's chest again, which was easier for everyone involved. The bird-woman lowered her eyebrows into a stern frown and crossed her arms; like Yasu, Roc seemed to have a knack for acting like a serious warrior without realizing that she was making herself seem ridiculous in other ways. "I told you, they issued me a uniform, but I didn't bring it in here, cause I figured there was no way I was going to wear it. I'm still not happy about it, but you bring up a point about the enemy's ability to recognize a threat. You guys are going to be useless as distractions if they focus everything on me anyway," she shrugged. "But why worry about it? I know where I can get one right away and it'll take me the blink of an eye once we get out there. I don't trust pipsqueak to make me one, cause there's no way it'll fit," she scoffed, finally addressing Aera. "But if you're determined to do that, I guess we'll do it. I just want to get started."

Skywriter smiled, happy to have the chance to lighten the mood again as she responded to MachMan's question. "I fly like that one comic character, where he extends his fists out in front of him and goes in a line where he's pointing. If I stop pointing, I'll still keep my velocity for a time, unless I brake by putting my hands in opposite directions. Similarly, my fists produce fire and smoke as well while I fly. Ordinarily, my armor has some wings that make this look a little less silly, but it really all has to do with my hands," she laughed. She produced a ring of fire from one open palm, which slowly wafted smoke upward, to demonstrate. "I can't show you too much in here or we'll choke, though," Skywriter digressed, closing her palm and dispersing the heat. "But my movement pattern is pretty close to that of a plane."

The bird-woman sat down upon one of the desktops and crossed her legs, clasping the hooks of her talons at the edge of the desk. "Yeah, I fly more like a bird. Of course, my strength is high, so I don't have any problems with endurance or anything like that," she responded, sounding bored. "If you've got a bird that's as strong as a plane, it's actually better than a plane, right? Cause it's more responsive and fitted by evolution to be an optimal flyer. So I'm probably the best, fastest flyer here. It's like with ants, where an ant that's as big as a human is exponentially stronger than a human," she scoffed, feeling no further need to explain.

Pest flapped her wings a bit and buzzed. "My flight allows me to zip everywhere with relative quickness. Not perfect 360 movement, but probably pretty close! Swatting me is like trying to swat a gnat!" she announced proudly, although that didn't sound so impressive. "By which I mean, I can move out of the way at just the right second! It's thanks to my compound eyes..." Here, she pointed at the bulbous red orbs on either side of her mask. It was unknown whether she was saying those were her actual eyes or just part of the mask...

With his questions answered, MachMan gave a brief report to Yasu and expressed his intention to leave the bunker and scout the enemy. ["Yes, that's fine. Dee and her group have come up with a countermeasure to stop the bombardment for now, so you should be safe by ground, but I have no idea what sort of armaments the enemy might release upon an airborne opponent. Keep caution in mind. Also, excellent work on getting her to agree to the uniform! You can find one in a storage shed nearby the gate to the officer's restricted area. It's a fair walk from your current location, though; if you happen to have an alternate solution, it may be best to exercise that option, to minimize the period of time that the enemy has to launch an offense against you."]

MachMan was distracted by a new question from one of the recruits. "Wait, hold up. Why is it so important that you get to keep your clothes on, huh?" Roc asked, as if the thought had only just struck her; she screwed up her eyes in a menacing glare. "Why do you get to be the only one with pants? I think that if we're all going to look the same, you and her should take off your pants to match us," she remarked, indicating Aera as well using one of her over-sized claws. Skywriter and Pestilence didn't come to MachMan's aid on this one, with Skywriter holding down the front of her tunic again and Pest buzzing quietly.
Aera tried not to take offense to the "pipsqueak" remark, but unfortunately she wasn't having any immediate success to throw in the feathered Navi's face. She could've made an exact copy of her own outfit, but as Roc said, it wouldn't have fit due to the Navi's stature, amongst other things. Aera made an unsure shrug in Mach's direction, to notify him of her lack of progress. Guess another way needed to be found.

Skywriter explained her flight characteristics, which helped Mach conceptualize her potential role. Her brief demonstration of her smoke-making abilities further detailed her abilities, which was impressive nonetheless. With those abilities, she could potentially provide concealment for her flight mates, and even obscure the foe's vision by deploying smoke in close range. It also sounded as if the smoke could potentially cause problems for Navis in high concentrations, so she could potentially direct her smoke into a vent or hole in the bomber, and smoke the enemy out.

Roc detailed her abilities as well, with her usual cockiness, of course. She touted her avian design, and boasted her stature further multiplied the strength from which she was designed. She also claimed to be the fastest flyer in the room, even if she was *likely* incorrect, a close second would still be impressively quick. She'd likely be the "slugger" of the team, one to deal the most damage to the bomber, and potentially even bring it down. That said, Mach realized he would have to consider the area of engagement, he wouldn't want the down the bomber directly over the camp, or else he would do the Terror Girls' jobs for them.

Pest's explanation was also optimistic, as she claimed significant agility in the air. Like Roc, she appeared to capitalize on the strengths of the creature that inspired her design. Her wings allowed her a higher degree of directional movement, and her compound eyes, which Aera hoped was just a mask, gave her the ability to track incoming threats quickly. Those combined abilities, along with her small stature, may make her a surprisingly difficult target to hit. She might be a good candidate to draw anti-air fire from the rest of her teammates.

Mach was impressed by their confidence and abilities, which helped bolster his motivation to lead them to victory. Mach nodded with a smile, looking a his students. "Very good, you all have very promising abilities, and I'm looking forward to see them in action." Mach received his response from Yasu, thankfully she didn't have an issue with his recon sortie, and she gave the location of a potential uniform for Roc, though it was a "fair walk" from the bunker. Before he could respond, Roc persisted on the disrobing issue. She pointed accusingly at Mach and Aera, as if the inclusion of pants in their uniform was unfair to the rest of the group. Unfortunately Skywriter and Pestilence didn't do much to oppose Roc's statement, maybe the felt the same? Mach elected to answer Yasu first, as it was she was making more sense than the rest of the group. [[i]"Understood, General. Thank you for the information. I'll report on my findings shortly."[/i]]

It was only appropriate for Mach himself to do the scouting, and though he could also grab some attire from the storage shed, it may be quicker to send one of his SPs. He would send Vector, but Aera was significantly faster, and would likely have a better chance of obtaining something which would work for Roc. Vector also had a better affinity for point defense, so he was the ideal candidate to hold down the fort while the other two ventured out. Mach responded to Roc before he addressed his SPs. "Instead of addressing who should or shouldn't have pants, let's get something done. I'm going to scout out the area and try to get eyes on the enemy. Aera, see if you can find some uniforms to use in the storage shed near the gate to the officer's restricted area. Vector, keep guard here, I expect you to keep these three safe." Aera nodded, happy to be temporarily freed from Roc's judgement. She wasn't entirely sure what she wore underneath the dark blue fabric of her pants, something she didn't previously believe required checking... "Will do." Vector took his marching orders in stride, he was more than happy to hold down the fort, and keep the three charges under his care. "It shall be done," he replied proudly, tapping his fist against his breastplate. Though his offensive capabilities were essentially nullified, defense was his forte.

"Good. Let's get to it!" Mach started to make his way up to the exit, with Aera in tow. He reached the door, and looked back at Vector and the three Navis. "Sit tight, we'll be back in no time." Mach opened the door slowly, and cautiously peered out for any potential threats. If the coast was clear, he stepped partially outside and held the door open for Aera. "Good luck, stay safe." he cautioned as Aera's unflapping wings lifted her a few inches in the air as she passed by. "You too," she responded, her expression showed focus on the task ahead. She immediately darted away, leaving a slight trail of dust as she cruised just a couple inches over the ground. Her new flight abilities didn't feel to be any way diminished by her uniform, keeping her pace seemed effortless.

Mach closed the door, securely sealing off his remaining SP and 3 students from the potential threats outside. He made a quick scan of the sky around him, in an attempt to locate the enemy. If he was able to, his plan was to make a beeline away from their position to get a significant distance from the bomber, before taking the opportunity to take flight. Mach's wings slightly unfurled, as if he were in a dive, with his wings tucked back to improve his aerodynamic profile, but instead of diving he shot almost straight up in an attempt to gain as much altitude as possible. He rocketed skyward, and tried hard not to break the sound barrier, otherwise his position would be given away... to pretty much everyone. After gaining a significant amount of altitude, he slowed to a stop to acquire, or reacquire, the enemy and form a plan to scout them out.
"Bah! I didn't expect you to get all prissy when it came to your pants, when you're asking me to wear that stupid outfit that's got no pants. At least your outfit isn't bright yellow," Roc scoffed, seeming ready to pick a fight over anything. Soon, however, she was left with only Vector and the other girls to complain to. Vector had very little in the way of any reason to care about the presence or lack of pants, so the conversation was killed outright. "Well? You got anything you're going to instruct us on?" she asked Vector, crossing her arms impatiently.

"I believe he's just here to guard us," Skywriter added, mostly just to be saying something.

Roc narrowed her eyes. "Protect us? This guy? I don't think he could protect us from viruses, let alone a giant bomber ship," she responded, rolling her eyes. "What's your talent, huh?" she pressed further, poking one big claw into Vector's chest inquisitively.


Meanwhile, MachMan and Aera split up outside, each going their separate way in search of their own objectives. Perhaps even before the bomber, the two would notice a shimmering field, almost like a giant bubble, cast over the entire camp; presumably, this was the defense that had been set up by the Neo-Shogun officer that Yasu had contacted. That said, MachMan would find that not only could he see through it, but he could also freely move through it. After passing through the other side, he'd notice that the ground-level appeared to be a field of clouds, as a low-lying mist covered the entire area and all of its inhabitants. Presumably, the sorceress who had put up this defense hadn't been able to literally protect everyone, so instead, she'd hidden their locations from the bomber using using an illusion technique.

The enemy's bomber didn't take long after to spot, partially because it was booming propaganda, orders, demands, or something similar as it moved, although it was too far away to make out the words clearly. The ship was almost completely gold-painted and quite massive, although not nearly as large as the battleship MachMan and his crew had encountered earlier. From long-distance, he couldn't tell much about it, other than that it had a giant skull ornament, oriented top-and-front, where a cockpit presumably ought to be. They might be using some other methods to see where they were going, or there may be windows across the surface that weren't immediately visible from his current position. He'd need to gain altitude and close distance to get a better look, if he wanted to collect thorough details. At least for the moment, it didn't appear to be dropping a bomb, but there was no telling when or how it would release the load.

The altitude part came naturally, as MachMan felt confident in his plan to get into the sky before reducing distance to target. At least for the moment, the ship did not appear to be attacking. He could see from his new position that four automated turret installments lined the surface, two on each wing, one top and one bottom. There might be other armaments concealed from detection. He'd need to get behind the ship to see how it was being propelled, exactly, but it was clear that some sort of jet-fire was coming from the back. The enemy didn't address him, which meant he was probably undetected at this point. He wouldn't remain that way for long, if anyone had eyes to the sky... despite the fog across the ground, the sky was fairly clear.


On her lonesome, Aera found that the ground was largely deserted; there was no reason for Neo-Shogun soldiers to scatter themselves throughout the base and risk temporarily losing their combat ability, although Aera could easily suppose that a large number had already been affected that way. She saw no sign of the base's defenders, the First General, or anyone; the flapping of the empty tents and the silence, broken only by the barking from the machine in the sky, made the place feel like a ravaged ghost town, although nothing was actually ruined or damaged. The off-limits area was easy enough to spot by its fence, so she was able to make her way unhindered to it. While Yasu had warned MachMan it would be a fair walk, she had perhaps underestimated Aera's ability to fly quickly or the lack of danger she'd face on the way there, so she arrived at her destination in no time at all.

In a base that looked relatively untouched by war, however, the storage shed was an anomaly. The door looked to be riddled with bullet holes and broken off of its hinges, leaning against one side of the entrance. If she moved it out of the way and entered, she would find that not only the tunics, but also headbands, foot and fist wraps, and even fundoshi underwear had all been literally torched, only recognizable by a few pieces that were nearly missed. Broken spears lay scattered all across the floor of the shed. Nothing here was likely to be usable.

As if sensing her distress, and perhaps causing her more by the surprise of his arrival, a voice whispered to Aera from nearby. "Over here! Quickly!" the voice demanded, beckoning her into a nearby tent. It was definitely a man's voice, which was good; the man probably wasn't part of the Terror Girls, after all. On the other hand, the Neo-Shogun Army didn't have a lot of noteworthy men itself.
With Mach and Aera out on their own separate missions, Vector was now alone with the pupils. Unfortunately for him, Roc immediately directed her sour attitude to the fractal SP. Her blunt inquiry wasn't entirely inappropriate, as further instruction would be the most effective use of their time while their leader was scouting out the opposition. However, Vector wasn't very outspoken, and hadn't yet filled an instructor-like role. That being said, the SP took a couple seconds to collect his thoughts and form a "curriculum" that suited his style. Roc continued to press him, and physically did so with her clawed hand. Taking that to his advantage, his chest "plate" gave way, partially allowing the Navi's claw to pass through, though the multitude of small fragmented metal bits started to reach over her hand, like a creeping metallic moss. His eye tightened as it focused on Roc's own eyes. "If you hold still a moment, instead of talking, I'll instead demonstrate."

If Roc humored Vector's request, or didn't show any immediate signs of struggle, Vector's metal plates would've immediately started to surge over the avian Navi's body. The flurry of metal plates flowed over the Navi like a wave, but each piece organized itself to begin forming a comprehensive structure over Roc. "Regardless of each one's individual strength..." Angular greaves formed over her feet and shins, which formed an extra layer of protection as well as a pronounced third talon protruding from each foot like angular sickles protruding from tabi-style boots. An armored-slatted skirt extended about half-way down her thighs, which fused into an angular chestplate above. Due to her ample chest, the Dō-style cuirass had to split partially down the middle to wrap over her bust without a significant amount of constriction. While it left some cleavage exposed, the cuirass was solid and securely attached to slatted spaulders that extended nearly to her elbows. Further down her arm were armored vambraces which extended to another third talon, similar to her greaves.

The rest of the plates formed a kabuto-style helmet over her head, as well as an angular, avian-like facemask. While the facemask was entirely solid, Roc's vision was unrestricted, as if the mask was transparent. The single spine-like crest split in half, and curled into a pair of short, upward-turned wings with several angular, feather-like protrusions. With the transformation complete, a pair of thin, glowing crimson eyes materialized on the mask where Roc's own eyes would be. Vector's voice seemed to come from the entirety of the armor, instead of from a single point; "...together they become stronger than the sum of their parts."

On cue, the talons formed by Vector's plates over her gloves thrust outwards, and reshaped themselves into a pair of slightly curved, razor-sharp blades, like wrist-mounted katana. Vector's voice again came forth from the armor. "This is my talent, and I believe it illustrates the point we multiply our strength by working together."


Mach made his way outside, and got a good look of the protective shimmering bubble covering the majority of the base. Thankfully he managed to pass through without incident, whoever manifested/designed this veil must've had the foresight to make it permeable for the defensive force, but that likely meant the Terror Girls could pass through the shield unscathed as well. It may be somehow calibrated to distinguish friends from foes, but that would've required an impressive amount of skill. Regardless, his position gave him a clear view of the target, which was a large aircraft with a gaudy, polished gold paint job. Though he couldn't discern the minute details, he could pick out a few turret positions on the upper and lower surfaces of each wingtip, and some sort of jet exhaust coming from the back. Though no visible windows could be seen, they would likely detect him if he attempted to move near the craft's sides or front. If there were any blind spots, they would likely be somewhere below/aft, Mach assumed. With a silent flap of his bird-like wings, he flitted ahead in an attempt to get behind the bomber and get a better look at its propulsion system.


Aera reached the supply tent quickly, but it appeared to have been assaulted and subsequently ransacked; the door was riddled with bullet holes, and the contents were thoroughly trashed. [[i]Something's not right here, they didn't mention any attacks from the ground...][/i] Aera thought as she slowly made her way through the supply shed, trying not to make a sound. Everything inside appeared to have been set alight, and due to the aforementioned bullet holes, it didn't appear to be caused by accident. Unfortunately her presence was apparently detected, as a voice whispered out to her from a nearby tent. Aera immediately tensed up, her eyes darted towards the direction of the voice while she slowly backed away, trying to make as little noise as possible. The voice could be one of an ally, but it could just as easily be one who had previously torched the shed. She crouched down slowly to silently pick up one of the broken spears, hopefully with a spear tip still intact, to utilize as a makeshift weapon.

Upon backing into a corner, she sent a message to Mach to alert him of her situation. [[i]Storage Shed looted/destroyed, possibly by ground troops? Are there enemies on the ground? Please respond ASAP.[/i]] She kept her eyes trained to the entrance and outer wall of the looted shed, without responding to the voice. If anything attempted to pursue, she was prepared to hurl her makeshift weapon at the threat and attempt an escape, but hopefully Mach could provide her some backup. She didn't have much choice but to wait for Mach's response, but if worse comes to worse she'd use the full capability of her wing units to bust her way out of the shed and attempt to flee from the potential threat.


Though Mach was in the process of gathering visual intel on the bomber, Aera's message gave him pause. Were there enemies on the ground, or worse: dissidents within the Shogunate's own ranks capitalizing on the chaos of the raid? He immediately forwarded the message from Aera to Yasu, and added his own message as well. [[i]-!ALERT!- The supply shed appears to have been destroyed from ground fire; we may have hostiles inside the base. Please advise, has the camp been breached by ground forces?][/i] With the message away, he tried to refocus on the bomber's propulsion, flight control, and offensive/defensive systems. He prioritized his search on exposed/lightly armored components, hatches/windows, anti-air artillery, and anything that could cause significant degradation of capabilities if damaged/destroyed. That being said, bringing the aircraft down to a lower altitude could bring it within the NS's ground fire envelope, but it may possibly descend inside the protective bubble and leave the camp exposed to bombardment. It sounded like the NS's anti-air capabilities were limited to a single Navi according to Yasu, so he'd have to lure the bomber outside the veil's diameter before bringing it down or else risk a frantic carpet-bombing by the enemy.
Roc narrowed her own eyes as well and raised her lower lip into a tight frown, unsure of what to expect from Vector. "Demonstrate what?" she asked, unwilling to obey his instructions for even a moment. Thankfully, she held pretty still while he armored her up, so there was no need for him to verbally elaborate on what he'd meant. Once it was over, the other two girls admired his handiwork, looking it over from different angles like one might a new dress. Roc's frown didn't leave her (it didn't ever seem to, expect for the purpose of being smug). "I guess this isn't so bad. It's not too different from my regular armor, when I use it... but it might be better than my regular armor. Whatever. At least you have a pretty useful power, unlike the rest of them," she concluded, crossing her arms across whatever part of Vector composed her breastplate. "I get your point. It'd be better if the other two could also turn into armor for me, though."

"We'll do our best to support you in other ways," Skywriter reaffirmed, speaking up so as not to be lost in the background so much. "But wow! I never thought you'd turn into armor... It's so cool! I kind of want to try it on," she sighed, still busily inspecting the armor while circling around Roc.

Pestilence buzzed around with similar admiration. "I wish I had armor period...Bzzz..." she murmured.

"Well, too bad. We already established that I'm the centerpiece of this operation. It's best if he keeps me protected. If he tried to separate, there wouldn't be enough clothes for all three of us, besides," Roc retorted, squashing their hopes.

"But you're wearing clothes underneath it... Well, not enough clothes, but something," Skywriter pointed out. "Well, I don't mind, regardless. Our mission hasn't changed! All we can do now is wait for MachMan to come back. This does kind of make me hope they'll design some neat armor for me later, though," she remarked, tugging down on her tunic again self-consciously.


On the ground, Aera took shelter in the ruined shed while she assessed her situation and informed MachMan of the trouble. The shed gave her a wall to her back, although it felt dangerously like waiting at a crime scene with no police around to secure it. There was no telling who the perpetrator was or how far they'd gone... unless, of course, the perpetrator was the man who'd attempted to speak to her. By moving away quickly and failing to respond, she seemed to confuse the mysterious figure, who attempted to call for her a few more times, now a bit more loudly. "Hey! Where'd you go?! I've got information!" he hissed, loudly enough so that his words stopped being whispers. Finally, the man stepped out from the tent, peeking his head out first to slowly investigate the area. He was a tall, Electopian guy with brown hair, spiked up as though he was an anime character; too-long sideburns trailed both sides of his face, matching his overly intense expression. Like the girls from earlier, he was dressed only in the soldiers garb, which showed off his toned legs in a way that was normal for Neo-Shogun soldiers, but might look indecent to others. "Dammit! She's gotta be Neo-Shogun. I can tell from her... clothes," he cursed to himself, pausing for a moment and looking around as if to see if anyone was watching him. He appeared to feel even more paranoid than Aera did at the moment.

Having not spotted Aera, he began to head off in the direction of the bunker, although it wasn't clear if that's where he was actually headed. Somewhere in the near distance, the SP heard a mechanical humming sound, followed by the noise of jet propulsion. The ship overhead coming closer to ground, perhaps? The metallic noises that followed, however, sounded too close by to possibly be the bomber ship... something like parts unfolding or retracting into a larger body. The only way she'd know for sure would be to go behind the storage shed and look, but she was probably a lot safer staying where she was.


MachMan's message to Yasu received a quick but involved series of responses: "That's bad news for us. No prior knowledge of breach by enemy ground forces. Intel suggests there should only be three enemies, not counting the ship. It is possible one of them has left the ship itself to perform attack by ground. Whoever it is must be moving carefully themselves, as we've yet to spot them. Recommend caution, do not engage any ground forces while your weapons remain disabled. Ultimately, you make the call on best way to proceed. I'll tell remaining forces to keep their eyes out. Arch is one of our only ground troops still fit to engage, but she should be able to take them out at a distance if the enemy is spotted. Continue to provide any reports that might clarify enemy's position."

Unfortunately, Aera would have to take care of that portion of the orders; there was no way MachMan was going to be able to report on enemy ground movements, with the thick fog coating the land below him. He was able to make himself useful inspecting the ship, however. Careful inspection revealed to him that the bomber was staying in the air via jets on the back and underside, alternating relatively weak streams of jet propulsion, but in large numbers. The effect was that the ship had very little speed but might be difficult to disable through means of targeting the thrusters, save a full shutdown from inside. On the other hand, based upon a comparison of the main body's plating to that of the wings, he realized those upon the wings looked much newer and less well-worn. It implied to him one of two things: another enemy had been attacking the ship and focused primarily on the body for some reason, or otherwise, the wings were new. Whether that meant they were a good place to attack or not was up to him to determine. Inspection of the hatch below the ship would lead him to conclude that a landing gear probably deployed from the underside... but there was another hatch as well, much larger in size. That could be used to drop bombs, or it could be used to deploy something else entirely. A bit more watching and waiting might reveal its use.

For any other inspection, he was going to need to get closer, which could easily mean revealing his position.. however, he could potentially get more details about the lower hatch, the way the turrets were mounted, whether the ship had any exposed windows or consistent openings, or etc. if he could just close a bit more distance. From his current proximity, he was able to begin taking in a bit of the propaganda that the ship was spewing out... as it turned out, the voice on the radio belonged to a clear-spoken young girl, which, while barking demands, wasn't as unpleasant a bark as it had seemed from the ground. "We are the Terror Girls! I am our President. The Neo-Shogun Army is hereby ordered to disarm. We will not negotiate! All of your physical armaments must be destroyed. All other weapons must be surrendered via data transfer to the Terror Girls for decommissioning. The only way to peace is disarmament! The net does not need armies or soldiers! Let us bring you to the way of peace! Submit to the Terror Girls!" Although perhaps less unpleasant than one might imagine, the clarity of the voice wasn't making the demands any more tasteful. Once she's finished that, she started over again from the beginning. This repeated one more time, before finally changing. "Cruise, report! Open hatch to accept cruise," the voice snapped, although it wasn't really clear what they were referring to letting in. He could see the hatch below the ship beginning to open, however...
Roc didn't seem entirely impressed by Vector's display, noting his similarity to her own armor. However, she didn't completely snub the fractal SP, in regards to his usefulness. The other two pupils seemed much more impressed, the looks of admiration did well to feed Vector's hidden ego. The glowing eyes on the faceplate looked to Skywriter and Pest as they commented on the armor, and the lack of their own. Though the mission plan details still remained to be seen, Roc asserted her role in the upcoming sortie and that Vector should be supporting her throughout. This obviously didn't go well with the other two, which caused the SP to speak up. "We shall see. While you may have higher offensive strength, my skills may be better suited for a different member of the team. Regardless, this is my role, and I shall execute it to the best of my ability; not for myself, but for the good of the mission. You all should do the same."


Aera's report was quickly relayed, and Mach made a point to give a prompt response. [[i]Info passed, ground forces alerted. Do not engage, provide visual and location of hostiles if possible, to help remaining forces locate the threat. Stay safe.[/i]] Unfortunately the message didn't do much to relieve the situation, but at least her observations were passed along. She continued to stay crouched and hidden at the ready, and heard the voice again. This time it seemed he believed her to have fled the area, but he started to seem to be more of an ally than a threat. Aera caught a glimpse of him as he ran off towards the direction of the bunker. He was wearing a NS soldier's tunic, but considering the state of the shed, he may have simply looted an uniform for himself and torched the rest. It wasn't obvious where he was headed, but he was moving in the direction of the bunker, and she didn't want Vector and the Navis to be caught unprepared by a potential saboteur. [[i]Vector, suspicious male Navi in NS soldier uniform heading towards bunker. Secure the door, and don't open without positive ID.][/i] She sent the message to both Vector and Mach, to the benefit of the entire team's situational awareness. Mazer could also see the messages being passed along, like an admin in a chatroom. He watched them carefully, and tried to build a battlespace-wide map of what was going on, so he could possibly provide inputs from a "big picture" perspective.

As soon as the message was sent, Aera started to hear an odd noise coming from the camp. The noises weren't at all familiar, and the increasing volume suggested the source was approaching. She slowly and quietly moved to the wall nearest the potential source of the noise, and looked for bullet holes, cracks or some sort of aperture through which she could peer outside. If there were no peepholes to use in the wall, she'd try to look out through the multitude of bullet holes in the doors. She tried to move slowly enough to not attract attention, but with enough urgency to not miss the chance to locate and potentially identify the source of the noise. Her hands wrung around the broken spear, denoting her rising apprehension.


[[i]Understood, General,[/i]] Mach replied. He too didn't feel entirely reassured by the response, but at least his team was able to detect a new threat on the ground prior to launching their sortie against the ship. If they launched completely unaware of the hostiles on the ground, they could've been picked off right out of the gate. That said, he didn't get fired upon when he took off, so either he was too fast to be detected, or the ground hostiles weren't expecting an aerial threat. While he wanted to dive back down below the fog and assist his SPs, he still needed to accomplish his objective. The disarm demands blaring from the bomber helped snap Mach's focus back to the task at hand. He was able to take in more details of the aircraft as he got closer. It had multiple thrusters, though they didn't appear to be powerful enough to get the bomber up to a significant speed, but looks can be deceiving. The wings also appeared to be much newer than the fuselage; he remembered Yasu's mention of a tank-like machine they previously faced, the Terror Girls may have modified said machine to take an aerial role, which would explain the odd propulsion systems and new wings.

Now closer to the bomber, he could more easily decipher the messages being belted out through the loudspeakers. He found it odd that an organization called the "Terror Girls" was urging peace through disarmament and demilitarization, and their spokesperson had the voice of a young girl. While the overall message portrayed some lofty ideals, it was wrapped in a ribbon of malice. Guess it did make sense for that organization, since the message was essentially "play nice, or else." A different call came out over the loudspeakers, suggesting a program was actively speaking, not just using a pre-recorded message. It also alerted Mach, and apparently the rest of the bomber's crew, of the return of an entity called "Cruise." Mach assumed she was alluding to some sort of away vessel, which could possibly be threat that destroyed at least 1 target on the ground. Considering the storage shed likely housed armaments, it made sense if they used this "Cruise" to take out targets that couldn't be accurately nullified with bombs. He might've solved their little mystery, but ultimately that only meant they had another flight-capable threat. Mach tried to close the distance more, to get a better look at the bomber, as well as Cruise. His eyes warily looked to the turrets for any signs of movement. If they started to pan towards him, he would quickly try to dive down and under the belly of the ship, to possibly put the bulbous fuselage between himself and the gun emplacements. If that didn't work, he would've rocketed back down towards the fog below as fast as possible, to avoid incoming fire as well as make himself difficult to identify.


Back in the bunker, Vector's eyes flickered as received Aera's communique. After quickly reading her orders, the armor which surrounded Roc seemed to slide off her curvaceous body like water on teflon. Vector's body walked off Roc's form like a shadow, and once free of her, folded back down to his standard NS form. The winged crest on his head reverted to its simple spire shape, and his chestplate merged back into a more complete structure. He made his way towards the door, and briefly looked over his shoulder to the Navis. "Stand by, I've been told there might be foes in the camp. I shall secure the door, but I won't be able to do much other than stand in the way. Steel yourselves, this fight might begin earlier than expected," he advised as he wrapped his fingers around the handle of the door. As he did so, plates within his arm started to pour out and take places around the handle and door itself. He was trying to use his fractal body to envelop and secure the door handle, to prevent it from turning. Additional plating shifted forwards, filling gaps and spreading outwards like a wall. If the enemy couldn't open the door, Vector expected their next course of action would be to open fire. He wouldn't be able to retaliate, but hopefully his actions would buy the Navis enough time to mount a counter attack, or for the rest of the NS to secure the camp.

He listened for any noises coming from the other side of the bunker door, while his eye slid over the back of his body to check back on the Navis under his charge. He wanted to reassure them, but maybe this threat get their heads in the game, and shift their focus away from their attire to the mission at hand.
Roc rolled her eyes, crossing her arms over the part of Vector now encompassing her chest. "Sure, sure. Listen, if you just protect me, the mission will be over so fast you won't have time to debate whether you ought to protect everyone else," the bird-woman reasoned with her armor. Before the others had a chance to assure her that their lives mattered as well, Roc suddenly lifted her arms, releasing her bouncing, bikini-clad breasts again, to the spite of the other girls. The reason she'd done so was that Vector had slid off of her, with the intention of securing the door. "What, an enemy? They've got balls if they're attacking this bunker on foot! Just open it up, I'll show you what I've been talking about this whole time."

The door began to shake soon after Vector had secured it, first with normal force, then with a few more frantic attempts. Finally, a fist began beating on the door's surface, with a muffled voice coming from the other side. "Let me in! I have information about the enemy! I said let me in!" it demanded, with a sense of impatience more so than urgency.

"It sounds like... a man's voice. Well, I guess if MachMan works with the Neo-Shogun Army, there may be a few other men as well," Skywriter murmured, weighing the discovery against the popular, preconceived notion that the army only had women besides the Neo-Shogun Army.


MachMan continued to close the distance between himself and the ship. Getting in closer, he could see that there was very little on the surface that looked like a window. On the other hand, tiny serrations across the surface of the metal appeared to contain cameras. Those likely acted as the primary method by which whoever was inside viewed the outside. It didn't seem like it would be easy to disable its optic capabilities, since the armor plating of the ship would protect it, but the inset of the cameras might explain why the ship had such a hard time recognizing him from a distance. The ship was probably more effective at recognizing close range targets, due to the tight distribution of those cameras.

Before he had a chance to examine much more, MachMan noticed a new sort of movement in the ship; the skull head on its from began to tremble, then, almost like some sort of mythological demon, started to extend away from the plane in a way that ought to unbalance it, but seemingly didn't. The skull swiveled with surprising speed upon the spinal neck, then rotated, turning its grinning, eyeless gaze onto MachMan. "You there! You've approached our vessel. Is your intent to surrender on behalf of the Neo-Shoguns? Respond immediately, or I will conclude negotiations with the use of lethal force! This threat is for the good of our net disarmament movement and represents just a tiny bump in the road to peace. You have been warned!" the voice cried out from the speakers inside the ship, its cuteness at odds with the ominous skull now facing towards MachMan.

Recognizing he'd been seen, MachMan rocketed towards the ground. Although the skull tilted to follow his movements, he noticed that down and behind was a position that it couldn't cover very effectively. He managed to escape before the slower targeting turrets had a chance to get a bead on him. From here, he'd have to decide whether to regroup and begin the operation or approach his target from another angle, perhaps waiting until the aforementioned "Cruise" took its place back inside the hangar.


Aera found that the bullet holes gave her a good way to peep through to the outside of the shed. Her target quickly came into view, hovering with supernatural quietness despite the low flames coming out of her wings. The figure was a tall, fit-looking woman, with the appearance of a woman in her late thirties, dressed in a light blue sleeveless jacket over a darker colored navisuit. Her curves managed to fill up the suit pretty well, but her tone was more remarkable. Her red-orange hair was almost short-cut enough to be military, brushed and parted. Her lips were held into a very tight frown and her eyes were masked by a pair of black, wraparound shades. Most notable were her arms, which had either become encased or replaced by tremendous, metallic blue wings, composed of a series of thick plates with boosters inside similar to the plane's propulsion system. Right now, she was using those to almost inaudibly glide across the ground, with a speed slightly greater than that of the tremendous ship. Right now, she was headed in the direction of the bunker, which, unfortunately, it seemed the soldier was leading her right to.

There wasn't much time to ponder whether to interrupt her pursuit or not. Rather than fly all the way there, she started deploying a series of long, metallic rods from the undersides of her wings, just outside of the ruined storage house. A series of lights flashed across her shades for a moment... before her head tilted back on a hidden hinge and off of her neck, revealing that a missile was now sliding out from inside her body. The head, alarmingly, began speaking while she was thus occupied. "Target acquired. Releasing payload in 5..." the woman's slow, monotone voice began. There wouldn't be time to report to anyone; if she was going to stop that missile, she'd have to act quickly.
As luck would have it, or lack thereof, the door attempted to be opened immediately after Vector had secured the handle. Vector was surprised by the near split-second timing of it all, but remained steadfast to keep the door securely shut. Whoever was on the other side attempted to open the door several times, then resorted to banging on the door. He heard a male voice come from the outside, demanding he be let in, and claiming to have important information. Vector turned his head around nearly 180degrees, an easy feat for his fractal design, and silently brought his free left arm up to where his mouth would be, placing his index finger vertically in a "hush" gesture. He didn't want the intruder to know how many folks were in the bunker, thus urging his charges to remain quiet. His head rotated back to the door. This intruder could be telling the truth, be he could easily be one of the enemy, who could ruin the entire operation with a single well-placed detonation of their nullification weapons, which he may be carrying. If he truly was an ally however, one with useable intel, there was no better place to have him than in the bunker with them.

"Identify yourself!" he demanded with a loud, authoritative voice. He quickly realized his request to confirm the intruder's identity was a bit open ended. He didn't know anyone male in the NS other than Mach and NeoShogunMan himself, so a simple name wouldn't be entirely valid. He quickly tried to think of some information known only by NS members... "Under which general do you serve, and who designs the uniforms for the NeoShogun subordinates?" Vector continued to interrogate, waiting for his answer. If he managed to respond correctly, he'd slowly open the door and block everything behind it with his own body to shelter the Navis while he makes a visual confirmation.


Aera watched quietly as the winged figure glided over the ground with a surprising lack of sound; she looked almost graceful in her movements, and her figure helped complete the picture. The scene was quickly broken as the figure's head slid back as if attached to a hinge, to reveal a missile in its place. Aera's eyes went wide as the woman mechanically stated her preparations to fire. She was pointing in the general direction of the bunker, and though Aera didn't know the program's target, it was likely more than coincidental. She had to act, and act fast. The weight of the spear in her hand reminded her of the impromptu weapon, and she focused on the missile slowly emerging from the program's neck. With her target chosen, her wings quietly propelled her towards the exit of the shed, to give her a clear shot. She slid to a stop on the net floor, and cocked her right arm back, the end of the spear pointed towards her target.

With a quick overhand throw, she tried to hurl the spear shard towards the missile like an oversized throwing dart. While she hoped the potential impact would damage or potentially detonate the missile, it could at least get the woman's attention and possibly delay the launch. If not, she would have to resort to more drastic measures. With no weapons to speak of, Aera had no choice but to get physical with his new threat. Her wings started to buzz with electricity, a leftover effect from her new propulsion system, and sent her rocketing towards the winged program. She pointed herself towards the woman's right wing, she guessed the metallic rods which protruded from said wing were stabilization measures, so trying to strike her dead center would likely be as effective as attempting to tackle a wall. She thought if she could somehow dislodge or damage the program's right side, it could either cancel the launch to deal with her, or possibly cause the missile to lose lock and "go dumb." She closed her eyes instinctively just prior to the point of impact, she tried to lead with her shoulder, which she expected to cause as much or even more damage to herself than her target.

Mazer saw Aera's status flash with additional data, including a max throttle command. He opened Aera's location on his PET screen, and saw the SP's break-neck charge towards the winged program, and the missile which it appeared to be launching. This wasn't good, Aera had a fight on her hands, and thanks to the nullification bomb's effects, she was figuratively fighting with her arms tied behind her back.


Mach was unfortunately spotted, likely by the myriad of cameras he saw lining the hull, then was greeted by the odd sight of the bomber's skull-like "face" staring back at him from some bizarrely constructed neck. [[i]Oh, crap.[/i]] Mach thought as the bomber addressed him through the loudspeakers. The jig was up, and he had to end his reconnaissance sortie. Luckily his quick dive from the bomber evaded the turret's crosshairs, and also gave him the chance to notice a bit of a "bald spot" in its defensive coverage. He tried to catalog his observations as he zoomed down through the fog over the base on his way back to the bunker, but was derailed by a message from Mazer. ["Mach, Aera's in trouble, get to her pronto!"]

Mazer also sent a file, showing Aera's location on an impromptu map of the camp. Mach immediately forwarded the map to Yasu as he made an impossibly sharp turn in the air. His wings splayed outwards before they angled sharply like a huge pair of elevons to completely reorient the Navi in a new direction, before the simultaneously flapped down and back to give Mach an impressive acceleration. The fog all but disappeared behind him from the force of his wings as he hurtled through the air towards his SP. As he closed the distance, he added a very brief message to the file, hoping to explain the importance of the file: [[i]Enemy sighted, request support[/i]] While he was very likely to arrive on the scene first, like his SP he was essentially "declawed" by the previous bomb detonation. He could only hope he could help his SP as he rushed to her location.