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IC:

 

"Oh come on, give me some credit here. I did go to school for this." The German engineer grumbled aloud, casually going about grounding the power conduit in a safe manner. Albeit without much interest, given how often he had done such things.

 

"I haven't even caused much trouble since the Baconator. Which is still disputed."


fK5oqYf.jpg

 

On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC:

 

Gwen grinned.

 

~ ~ ~

 

The Scout stood with its arms outspread, held up by winches and supported under catwalks, looking to embrace the world like Jesus on that crucifix. Its armour was burnished copper, and along the right flank was a vertical spattering of red paint chips: an outline of an echo of a name. Kimberly. Gwen traced a finger along the letters. Tapped against the twice. Whistled low.

 

"What do you see here, Hassan?"

 

-Void


 
 

 

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IC: "Alright, while we're on the subject of food, horror, and terrible things you've done, do you have any schematics for the Baconator? I feel like that's the only way I'm ever going to understand exactly what kind of monster you created."

 

"Or have they locked those in a vault and refused to disclose the location to you?"


We will remember - Skies may fade and stars may wane; we won't forget


And your light shines bright - yes so much brighter shine on


We will remember - Until the skies will fall we won't forget


We will remember


We all shall follow doom

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IC:

 

"I was referring to how they don't bother to break out of it- But yea, that's a fair point I guess," Kristen said with a sigh, getting some of the meat pies for herself.

IC: Kenny MacDomnall

 

"I don't think it's possible to break out."

 

He still hadn't decided on his meal.

 

---

 

IC: Christoph Lockheed

 

"It's better not to pry, Lance Corporal," interrupted Christoph, the Test Team Captain's gaze flicking towards Ben for a moment. Unlike his subordinate, it seemed that he did feel as if the Baconator incident was one of the more troublesome issues that their group had faced. Even when compared to fever-induced solutions to a lack of firepower by installing a nuclear bazooka (thankfully shot down by saner members of R&D) or those strange "decoy balloons" that were supposed to create life-sized copies of one's Walker.

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IC: Hassan

 

Hassan looked up at the Scout, towering over the pair despite its relatively small Walker size.

 

"A scout undergoing maintenance?"

 

IC:

 

"Not just that," she said. "It's Kimberly, bro. You can see where the letters were right here, y'see?"

 

Her fingers tapped against the chipped paint.

 

"Who's Kimberly? Was it the pilot's name? Was it their mother's? Sister's? Girlfriend's? Daughter's? Was it a name they read in a book somewhere that they couldn't forget? The name of a great-great-grandmother on their uncle's side that they heard stories about growing up?" She laid a hand against the cold metal plating. "I don't know. But whatever they named this mech after meant something to them. Because this mech means something to them. It'll be their best friend out in the field, out in the fray. They'll be closer to this Scout than they might be to their actual best friend. Know it more intimately than a lover. It'll be their lifeline, their rock, and their only hope when push comes to shove and they're staring down the barrel of an Ark Union gun."

 

"What you see here, Hassan," Gwen said, "is someone's life. And it's in our hands right now."

 

-Void


 
 

 

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IC:

"I'm not allowed to work on them. Never got past the prototype phase. No one got hurt, it was all because of the..." At the glance from his Captain, Ben's voice trailed off though he did mutter something about 'power requirements' under his breath. After a few moments spent bolting the panel that covered Vernichten's power junction back on, he glanced back to Fairuza. "Eventually I'll get to revisit it."

"Current system works better, anyway. Connector's a weak point on the old girl but if they're behind me I already have a problem. Power flow is a whole lot more stable."


fK5oqYf.jpg

 

On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC: Hassan

 

Hassan looked up at the Scout, towering over the pair despite its relatively small Walker size.

 

"A scout undergoing maintenance?"

IC:

 

"Not just that," she said. "It's Kimberly, bro. You can see where the letters were right here, y'see?"

 

Her fingers tapped against the chipped paint.

 

"Who's Kimberly? Was it the pilot's name? Was it their mother's? Sister's? Girlfriend's? Daughter's? Was it a name they read in a book somewhere that they couldn't forget? The name of a great-great-grandmother on their uncle's side that they heard stories about growing up?" She laid a hand against the cold metal plating. "I don't know. But whatever they named this mech after meant something to them. Because this mech means something to them. It'll be their best friend out in the field, out in the fray. They'll be closer to this Scout than they might be to their actual best friend. Know it more intimately than a lover. It'll be their lifeline, their rock, and their only hope when push comes to shove and they're staring down the barrel of an Ark Union gun."

 

"What you see here, Hassan," Gwen said, "is someone's life. And it's in our hands right now."

 

-Void

IC: Hassan

 

Woah.

 

Hassan was completely enraptured by the genuine care and reverence in Gwen's voice. It wasn't that Hassan had never thought of a mech as something more than a tool or weapon. He certainly cared for Djinn much more than that. He'd brought Hassan out of numerous battles, his guardian genie, and he'd always made sure the old heap got the best care Hassan could find. Heck, that was how Hassan had met Gwen; he was complaining about shoddy maintenance work, after all.

 

Hassan looked back at the name, the myriad possibile triumphs and defeats throughout the Scout's life unfolding in his mind's eye. All of that could disappear into a thermonuclear pile in a second in war.

 

Gwen was right. The techies were entrusted with a life, but it wasn't just the pilot's.

 

"Got to admit, I never realised the gravity of your work Gwen, apart from its obvious essentiality. Real glad to have someone like you taking care of our other, mechanized halves."

Edited by Agent Norik of E.Y.E.

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IC Maigo Koizumi:

 

"So.... where are we? Any suggestions for positioning?"


Credit and thanks go to @Onaku for the wonderful art that is my profile picture!

                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                                           The Unofficial Guide to TBRPG Combat!

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Woah.

Hassan was completely enraptured by the genuine care and reverence in Gwen's voice. It wasn't that Hassan had never thought of a mech as something more than a tool or weapon. He certainly cared for Djinn much more than that. He'd brought Hassan out of numerous battles, his guardian genie, and he'd always made sure the old heap got the best care Hassan could find. Heck, that was how Hassan had met Gwen; he was complaining about shoddy maintenance work, after all.

 

Hassan looked back at the name, the myriad possibile triumphs and defeats throughout the Scout's life unfolding in his mind's eye. All of that could disappear into a thermonuclear pile in a second in war.

 

Gwen was right. The techies were entrusted with a life, but it wasn't just the pilot's.

 

"Got to admit, I never realised the gravity of your work Gwen, apart from its obvious essentiality. Real glad to have someone like you taking care of our other, mechanized halves."

 

OOC: Really sorry about the (very) late reply. College got the better of me.

 

IC:

 

"And you, for today, anyway," Gwen said, strolling over to Hassan and bopping him, lightly, on the shoulder. "Come on, let's get this show on the road. Can you get in the cockpit for me?"

 

-Void


 
 

 

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IC: Christoph Lockheed

 

"I'll pass the message along to R&D and the engineering staff to try working your proposal into a reality," replied the Test Team's captain. "And I don't believe there's too much else for me to take care of for the moment, so I'm free to join you."

 

He paused for a second, before glancing over to where Ben and Fairuza were - the workbench.

 

"Armbruster, put a warning sign up in case one of the engineers isn't familiar with you."

 

IC:

 

"I'm a little new here, sir," The Japanese pilot began, after listening to the talk between test pilots. Her head was cocked ever so slightly as she tried to understand the scene, but straightened again as she began talking. "So I'm not quite sure where the mess hall is."

 

"And I was wondering... How does one get in line for some of these more interesting modifications?"


fK5oqYf.jpg

 

On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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OOC: Really sorry about the (very) late reply. College got the better of me.

 

IC:

 

"And you, for today, anyway," Gwen said, strolling over to Hassan and bopping him, lightly, on the shoulder. "Come on, let's get this show on the road. Can you get in the cockpit for me?"

 

-Void

 

OOC: Yikes, likewise for me! Busy with work and stuff

 

IC: Hassan

 

"On it," he said, still wondering about the repeated shoulder taps. Not that he minded.

 

He squeezed through the half-open canopy and sat himself in the cockpit, his arms instinctively reaching for the controls. As the Scout frame shared similar control mechanisms with the Warrior, he immediately felt at home.

 

"What next?" he called out.

Edited by Agent Norik of E.Y.E.

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IC:

 

"The mess hall is this way," Nadia White butted in happily, hooking one arm underneath Ayane's and pointing to the left with the tangled limbs. She was wearing a cheerful smile as usual, but her large jade eyes were twinkling mischievously. The cheerful smile was quickly turned to the Japanese corporal.

 

"And only sane people get to have Test Team swag."

 

It's a good thing Ayane didn't know the members of Horizon's Test Team very well, or the statement might have carried less water.

 

OOC: I'll edit a Union post into this in the morning. -Tyler

  • Upvote 2

whats up doc

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IC: Hassan

"On it," he said, still wondering about the repeated shoulder taps. Not that he minded.

 

He squeezed through the half-open canopy and sat himself in the cockpit, his arms instinctively reaching for the controls. As the Scout frame shared similar control mechanisms with the Warrior, he immediately felt at home.

 

"What next?" he called out.

 

IC:

 

In the time it had taken for Hassan to cozy himself into the Scout's cockpit, Gwen had fixed a toolbelt around her waist and was pushing a step-stool over to the mech's right leg. She climbed up onto it so that she could crouch down on it and still be at eye-level with the knee-joint of the appendage, one hand digging into her belt. Her gaze never shifted from the machine.

 

"I need you to flex the right leg," she called out. "Just a little, but I need to see how it moves."

 

-Void


 
 

 

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IC:

 

In the time it had taken for Hassan to cozy himself into the Scout's cockpit, Gwen had fixed a toolbelt around her waist and was pushing a step-stool over to the mech's right leg. She climbed up onto it so that she could crouch down on it and still be at eye-level with the knee-joint of the appendage, one hand digging into her belt. Her gaze never shifted from the machine.

 

"I need you to flex the right leg," she called out. "Just a little, but I need to see how it moves."

 

-Void

IC: Hassan

 

"Got it!" He called out, booting up the user settings and setting it to "maintenance".

 

He set the locomotion to manual with a few button presses. An indicator on his left flicked to the right, signalling the change.

 

Setting his foot down onto the contoured pedals and adjusting his legs into the now smaller leg compartment of the cockpit, lined with touch-sensitive panels, Hassan counted down aloud, so he wouldn't accidentally crush Gwen if she was still in the joint.

 

"Three... Two... One... Flexing," Hassan pushed his leg down, mimicking a flexing motion.

 

"Holding position," he said, activating the motion locks.

Edited by Agent Norik of E.Y.E.

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IC:

 

c-click c-click

 

"Something's jamming in the knee joint," Gwen said, opening up her tool belt and fishing a black marker out of it. She scribbled a short Rotation jam: debris? on the smooth metal of the lower thigh before sidling off of the stool and taking a few steps back from the machine.

 

"Hip looks good," she said, tapping the end of her marker against her chin. "Ankle joint's looking a little old, but I didn't hear anything weird coming out of it. Let's finish all the diagnostics and we'll take another look at it after. Now, can you move the right leg back to its original position and then flex the left leg?"

 

With that, she walked over to the other side of the mech.

 

-Void


 
 

 

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IC:

 

"Yeah, I hear it," Gwen said, rubbing her temples with the heels of her hands. "Sounds like a cracked bearing in the knee joint. We're gonna have to take the whole knee apart to replace it. Frick."

 

She sighed.

 

"Anyway. Good ear, Hassan. Think you're getting the hang of this," she let her hands sink back down to her sides as she cracked her face back into the semblance of a smile. "Bring the left leg back and try flexing the right arm. I'm gonna let you try and spot any problems in this all on your own now, got it?"

 

-Void


 
 

 

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IC:

"I'm sane." Ayane objected, glancing the way Lauren indicated, at the Horizon pilot, and then back at Lockheed. "I'm perfectly sane. And the Ronin could use an extra edge. Help me keep up with the newer machines."

"Besides," She added, after a moment's thought with a small smile. "I think that is the Captain's jurisdiction, not yours. He may believe my sanity."


fK5oqYf.jpg

 

On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC:

 

"The mess hall is this way," Nadia White butted in happily, hooking one arm underneath Ayane's and pointing to the left with the tangled limbs. She was wearing a cheerful smile as usual, but her large jade eyes were twinkling mischievously. The cheerful smile was quickly turned to the Japanese corporal.

 

"And only sane people get to have Test Team swag."

 

It's a good thing Ayane didn't know the members of Horizon's Test Team very well, or the statement might have carried less water.

 

OOC: I'll edit a Union post into this in the morning. -Tyler

 

IC:

 

"I'm sane." Ayane objected, glancing the way Lauren indicated, at the Horizon pilot, and then back at Lockheed. "I'm perfectly sane. And the Ronin could use an extra edge. Help me keep up with the newer machines."

 

"Besides," She added, after a moment's thought with a small smile. "I think that is the Captain's jurisdiction, not yours. He may believe my sanity."

IC: Christoph Lockheed

 

"I can't make a judgement on your sanity yet," said the Test Team's Captain quite honestly. "My assumptions might -"

 

He glanced surreptitiously back towards Ben, and then quickly to Nadia, before returning back to Ayane.

 

"- disappoint me again."

 

He shrugged.

 

"Given our state of conflict, however," Christoph continued, "it would likely be easier for you to grab a modification for your machine. If you have any interesting suggestions, R&D would definitely want to test them out."

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IC:

"Those couple looks were a mite telling. Sir." Ayane appended the formality after a quick pause, a small smile beginning to work its way onto her face. Having Lauren around, she was starting to feel a little more comfortable. Even if the implications on her sanity made her want to give a little harrumph. "I'll think about it. I might have some ideas. We can network."

"Lauren can help if she really wants."

Edited by Peele

fK5oqYf.jpg

 

On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC:

 

"Yeah, I hear it," Gwen said, rubbing her temples with the heels of her hands. "Sounds like a cracked bearing in the knee joint. We're gonna have to take the whole knee apart to replace it. Frick."

 

She sighed.

 

"Anyway. Good ear, Hassan. Think you're getting the hang of this," she let her hands sink back down to her sides as she cracked her face back into the semblance of a smile. "Bring the left leg back and try flexing the right arm. I'm gonna let you try and spot any problems in this all on your own now, got it?"

 

-Void

IC: Hassan

Hassan brought the leg back and locked the controls, moving on to the right arm. Flexing it, he didn't hear or see anything out of the ordinary.

 

"Nothing seems off," he called out, flexing the left arm too.

 

"Arms look good," he called out, though he was unsure if his assessment was right.

 

Man, it would blow if I screwed this up after she let me spot the problems myself.

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IC:

 

"Hrm," was Gwen's initial response to the diagnosis, her brow furrowed and one hand scratching the side of her chin: a veritable Thinker Reborn.

 

"Close," she said, letting her face soften into an expression of professional relief. "Doesn't look like the arms need anything too major, but I saw the starts of serious scorching on the elbow joint of the left arm. Difficult to spot over the usual wear and tear of the metal, especially when you're looking at it from the cockpit. Don't beat yourself up or anything over it. Frankly, if you'd had gotten it completely correct on your first try, it'd be a minor miracle and render me more than a little redundant."

 

Letting her hands fall into the pockets of her jeans, she sucked in breath between her teeth.

 

"All right," she called up. "Make sure all the safety mechanisms are active for the weapon systems and get back down here. Time for the fun stuff."

 

-Void


 
 

 

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IC: Hassan

 

Hassan was a little embarrassed at the yelp of excitement he almost let out despite his slight disappointment at being unable to detect the scorch mark. Just a little. Despite being a veteran and seeing his fair share of battle and death at the hands of these war machines, he couldn't help but look forward to weapons testing. The armaments of the Arsenal Walkers were one ###### of a power trip, for sure.

 

Hassan flipped open a small plexiglas safety cover and pressed down on the master safety switch, watching as the indicators for the weapon safeties lit up, before climbing out of the cockpit and down the ladder.

 

"Fun part, huh? Let's get going then," he let himself smile a little as he said that.

Edited by NorikSigma

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IC:

 

"It's really simple!" Starbuck insisted again. Behind her mask, Major Gypsy Alexandros' eyes were rolling hard.

 

"Starbuck, I swear to the gods, I will have you censured for rank insubordination. Then I will throw you into the Atlantic."

 

"Why would you rebuke a woman before throwing her out of a plane?" the battleship captain needled. "Come on, it's simple! I'll make all the arrangements!"

 

"No."

 

"Name?"

 

"Five question marks."

 

"Hmmph. That's true, I guess...age?"

 

"Five question marks."

 

It was clear that the captain was growing discouraged by Gypsy's stonewalling, and she dropped the tablet down from her face to stare at her commanding officer reproachfully. Gypsy's look back, through her gilded-maroon mask, was implacable. 

 

"...Fine," Luft Starbuck conceded. "Likes?"

 

"Arsenal Walkers, the occult, Nietzsche, and the blood of the vanquished dripping down my bosom."

 

"...Travel, movies, books and competition!"

 

"Okay." Gypsy didn't sound like she was paying much attention.

 

"Dislikes..."

 

"Earth."

 

"You don't mean that!"

 

"Mars."

 

"Major!"

 

"Hey, actually, could you put Uranus in my likes."

 

"Gypsy Alexandros!"

 

"Watch your mouth. What's the point of a dating profile anyway, Starbuck?" Gypsy asked, head lolling forward to finally give her fellow blonde. "I don't want to bang guys in Horizon, I want to bang up the Federation. We're mounting an armed invasion against the biggest hyperpower in world history - and we're winning, as long as we stay focused, from the two of us down to every mech jockey and bridge bunny. The last thing I need to worry about is getting some Panama in my canal before the war's over. Besides, you'll make Jacky jealous."

 

"No, you make Jacky jealous."

 

"What'd I just say? Watch your mouth. You don't get to call him Jacky," Gypsy sighed softly, leaning back in her seat again. It was a long stretch of unbroken ocean between the shrunken remnants of Florida and Coiba; both of which had been ravaged in their own way by the rise of sea levels over the last century, but each had retained enough of its size and scope to park an Insurrection-class battleship. Coiba was close to Panama, though, so Gypsy had elected not to head out with her full fighting force just yet. She would have preferred if Starbuck had stayed behind at Cape Kennedy as well - for reasons as related to wartime strategy as speed dating tactics - but the German prodigy had refused to leave her Major behind in a small, undefended shuttle. What good she would do if some Feddie did get lucky and tried to shoot them down, Gypsy had no idea; there was nothing separating the masked major from, say, Admiral Yamamoto, who had met his fiery death on this planet a century prior and doomed his own empire to certain defeat in the process. Even if she was wrong, it comforted Starbuck to believe she could be the x-factor that saved Gypsy's life.

 

Gyps wouldn't deny her that.

 

"When we touch down, I want you on the bridge of that ship before anyone knows any better," she instructed. "I'll deal with the pilots, but you're a good commanding presence to have up there - and people trust you more than me." Liberator's crew was mostly loyal to its ramshackle pair of captains, which united them in the face of the more scornful - and successful - pairs of Union commanders who had seized their targets without issue. It was a fact that rankled Gypsy slightly, but things hadn't gone far enough off of the operation plans she'd laid out on New Berlin that they couldn't be salvaged. She'd told High Command as much when they demanded Jackson's head. She would have sold that Parisienne midget far more happily, but Jackson was still convinced they were a package deal. So, in the meantime, Gypsy would need to find some uses for her too.

 

With the news of Olympic at Horizon...

 

Well, she'd talk to Monet about it later. Or have Jackson do it. There was only so much "Euro"trash that could be trapped in a room together.

 

"Aye, Major," Starbuck said grumpily. Gypsy smiled slightly; the rebuke had clearly stung her temperamental, immature right hand woman, and a soft look from Major Alexandros always got her out of her funk. It was working, for just a couple seconds--

 

--before Starbuck's face darkened in uncharacteristic anger, and she cursed loudly.

 

"Those stupid--the carelessness--those--" Starbuck was switching between English and German mercurially, and though Gypsy had enough of a few different languages to be considered an able polyglot, whatever arcane Teutonic curses the captain of her flagship was calling down were far beyond dictionary definitions. "They scuffed my baby!"

 

Starbuck had only seen Liberator once, from the captain's chair of Insurrection when the six ships of the 1st Earth Invasion Force cast off from New Berlin, and Gypsy doubted that the ditzy German had any real attachment to the vessel. It was the failure - or, at the very least, the incomplete success - that Liberator's battle wounds symbolized that irritated Starbuck. Gypsy could relate to that.

 

"I'll pass that on to Jacky when I see him," Gypsy drawled with a note of good humor in the face of her inflamed subordinate. "You remember where I told you to go?"

 

Starbuck blinked.

 

"Aye, my major. The bridge, right?"

 

"The bridge. Riiiight. And you stay there until I give you the all-clear. Sit in the captain's chair if you want. But do not let anything pull you off of that bridge. They're gonna want you there if we leave today."

 

Starbuck blinked a lot.

 

"Leave...today? Leave for where, Horizon? Are we bringing Insurrection? We're not going to have just the one ship?"

 

Gypsy beamed.

 

-Tyler

Edited by Sauce
  • Upvote 1

whats up doc

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IC:

 

Gwen shucked her jacket and draped it over a nearby section of railing in one smooth movement. She barely even needed to look around for where the work aprons were balled up and left on the work bench -- show her an engineer who carefully hung up their work clothes after a job, and she would show you a university kid who'd never touched a Walker in all their life -- and a spare set of safety goggles were, predictably, underneath. This was followed by a movement that hitched somewhere in the middle: tossing those spares, along with a second apron, over to another person.

 

"Put these on," she said, already tying her own apron. "There should also be a box labelled Weapon Maintenance or something like that underneath that work table next to you, as well as a clipboard on top of it. Grab both of them and list off the weapon systems we're looking at here."

 

-Void


 
 

 

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IC: Hassan

 

Hassan put on the aprons as ordered, and tried to see through the goggles. They were scratched, and a little smudged, but they would do.

 

"Got it," he replied, clipboard and box in hand.

 

"Let's see... the clipboard says we got an internal Vulcan CIWS in the chest, a GL-04 Falchion Blade, Federated Arms TB-101 90mm Machine Rifle(oh, I remember those from my time in the Sahara) and a shoulder-mounted STech PB-12A Grenade Launcher." Hassan mentally noted Kimberly's surprising lack of sidearms for a Scout, though the vulcans and blade probably made up for those as far as close-combat went.

Edited by NorikSigma

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IC:

 

Gwen let out a long, low whistle.

 

"All right then," she said, lowering her own goggles over her eyes. "Grab a ladder, Hassan, and start on the Vulcan. Each gun's gotta be emptied of ammunition before we can scrub down and clear out the barrels, de-gunk the firing mechanisms, replace any worn out pins and parts, and otherwise put the whole mess of weaponry back into shape. Actually, wait, you know what: I'll grab the ladder for ya, Hassan. Probably isn't such a good idea leaving you on your own with something like a CIWS, you know?"

 

Gwen tried a slanting smile as a way to keep him from feeling too down-and-out about his hand being held like this, but she wasn't too sure if it helped or not. She just grabbed the metal step-ladder from the side of the workstation and set it up in front of Kimberly.

 

"Ready to unload some cold, very cold lead?"

 

-Void


 
 

 

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IC: Hassan - Hangar

 

Hassan smiled.

 

"Born ready."

 

Hassan began climbing the surprisingly sturdy ladder. He realised that the amount of lead he would have to unload was more than a single ladder's job.

 

"Hey uh, Gwen, could you maybe get a -what's it called- cherry picker?" Hassan called out, roughly indicating with a free hand one of the aerial work platforms next to Kimberly .

 

Hassan reached the top and began prising open the ammunition maintenance hatch.

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IC:

 

Gwen blinked twice before the penny dropped for her.

 

"Er ... yeah. Right," she said. "Bullets. Heavy. Platform. Right."

 

And while, admittedly, it took a little longer than the length of two blinks for her to skedaddle over to the nearest AWP, power it up (during which she frantically motioned for Hassan to get down from his ladder and move away from Kimberly) and shift it over to the mech du jour, Gwen wouldn't have said that it took significantly longer.

 

Of course, she once insisted that she could survive on a diet of nothing but chocolate doughnuts, so her perception of reality was to be taken a grain of salt.

 

"All right then," she called out over the low rumble of the machine. "Hop on!"

 

-Void


 
 

 

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IC: Hassan - Hangar

 

Hassan held onto the handrails as the machine slowly extended its height, finally reaching the head.

 

He got to work removing all the access panels that shielded the internal mechanisms of the lumbering war machine, removing piece by piece to expose the silvery metallic wires and fibres and parts inside. Although it was his first try, with Gwen's hollered instructions (until she realised there was an intercom at ground level that linked to the Platform proper) he got into the rhythm of it, unscrewing, heaving, de-solventing and removing. It reminded him of something he did as a child, disassembling a puzzle board slowly, removing one piece after another, while trying not to jerk the other pieces into a mess and stopping every few parts to try to imagine the assembled work overlaid on the half-complete one in front of him, admiring how all the little parts that looked meaningless fit into a cohesive bigger picture, like some microcosm of the universe and all its myriad-

 

Woah, I'm getting a little stir-crazy right now. Must be the solvent fumes.

 

Hassan paused to strap on a disposable facemask.

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