>Statistics: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1p2K_evlFKjbblbSTf3ZSf-0xECyNHEeiQEgyiFdADcw/edit?usp=sharing>Character: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1F43-0W17qNQ3Q_FwOOQPYw8Rf4HmSCFrEcAv-uOPQD0/edit?usp=sharing>Map/Locations: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ns6pDh5fkzxTvBYSN_5dICL4JbVLwk7qiNyoNHPcdww/edit?usp=sharing>Tasks: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1agFmzgoNb0jeqd2G9H2voZ5Zm4N6fxPTQXQyt_GY9ec/edit?usp=sharing>Rolling Rules: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1D6xlxpzfqF_rC2iemL-OGhFkNK4uiy8PZdvjkkdVBPU/edit?usp=sharing>Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=shipgirl+commander>Twitter: https://twitter.com/DiceToTableTop‘Do not let your mind go astray.’Your tutor’s voice is distant, echoing from the depths … or was it the Heavens? You couldn’t tell. You are not formless, but you don’t feel that your limbs are your own … or if they are even there in the first place. Tiny strikes of static course at you, through your nerves and your bones at odd intervals. This was merely the surface, the preparation; you weren’t even remotely at the first phase of this exercise … you had a long way to go. You let out a breath, your mind as focused on the task as you could manage. It was as though you were swimming in place, praying for a current that was as unpredictable as it was powerful to push you in a direction that was generally in the same vector as your destination.It feels like needles are drilling into the back of your spine with your next breath. If you were unaware of your limbs before, you were definitely feeling them now—with fishhooks digging through them in addition to the odd, no, frequent, shocks of static right to your marrow. You feel something of a vice crushing your skull, numbness in your palms as you see that door just beyond. You can hear it—the sound of cogs and steel, scraping and clashing in this abyss of familiarity … which was at the same time, unrecognisable.This was it. This was—You fall onto your knee, feeling your liver do backflips and a cartwheel, painfully clutching Iowa’s hands as she holds you up the best you can. Your eyes water and you want nothing more than to crawl into bed and sleep … if the incredible pain wasn’t what was keeping you wide awake. Your muscles spasm lightly, your whole form trembling as you realize that you were back here—here with Iowa, in the material world. In Yokosuka, sweating enough to fill a bucket.Thirteen failures. This was the thirteenth try and just as you had grasped … you had found yourself cut off, almost painfully so.‘Commander,’ you hear the slow, disappointed drawl of the Shaman, ‘for someone that has the recklessness to bond himself above the standard of stability, you are sorely lacking in the grit I thought would make up for the absence of discretion.’
>>2135337>'I don't see what that has to do with this.' (Snide)>'Let me try again.' (Get back to it)>'Isn't there an easier way?' (Inquire)>'At least I'm back at the door.' (Disclose progress)>'Are you sure this is by the book?' (Exasperated)>Write-In
>>2135352>>'At least I'm back at the door.' (Disclose progress)
>>2135352>'At least I'm back at the door.' (Disclose progress)>Write-In"One more time."Ours is a refusal to give up.
>>2135352>'Let me try again.' (Get back to it)
>>2135352>'Let me try again.' (Get back to it)>'At least I'm back at the door.' (Disclose progress)
‘At least I’m back at the door this time,’ you let out breathlessly. Iowa, mercifully, holds onto you as you try to stand again … only to fall on your bottom upon the grass. You hadn’t moved an inch from this spot in the last hour or so, but it felt as though you had just participated in an iron man dragging a millstone strapped to your forehead.‘That’s five out of thirteen,’ the Shaman quips dryly. ‘If nothing else, you’ve shown that you’re at least capable of putting your foot back on the starting line.’You look up to Iowa, still holding your hands—your trembling, clammy hands—who gives you a sympathetic look. You want to open your mouth to argue, but find that what little energy that you had had been siphoned away by the consecutive efforts on your part; not that you had a point in it, anyway. The morning had gone and the afternoon was well on its way out the door—hah—and you had progressed little in the attempt to fix your problem. Your hands are cold, and it’s not from the chill of the autumn air: going into yourself to draw out and tie whatever it was that was breaking back up was like going into an abyss of unknowns … familiar and frightening at the same time.‘I stand, however,’ your teacher speaks up again, ‘by the fact that you’ve only yourself to blame for this hurdle—it’s not easy to delve into your own being to calibrate yourself to a new presence … never mind one of your weight class, my dear.’‘Oh no,’ Iowa grimaces, looking down at you with an unreadable expression, ‘I definitely think he’s to blame for his own shortcomings.’You lift your hands from her palm.‘Glad to see your vote of confidence,’ you remark laconically, ‘but I’m ready to get back to work.’‘Rest,’ the Shaman commands—the first time you’d seen him take your fatigue into consideration since you underwent his tutelage. ‘Your enthusiasm is admirable, but thus far, we’re able to see where your progress has halted. For now, rest—if you’re going to fix yourself, be it by the end of the day or whenever, you cannot continually push yourself. The dangers of such a practice carry far more damage than you know.’The same words. The very same words he had said before opening up that pathway for you—a road that you only understood to be one that only you could—No, he hadn’t implied that. That was the conclusion that you had reached.Did you have to do it alone?‘Here,’ the Shaman sounds again, catching your attention, ‘if nothing else, I believe that the effort at least deserves some lunch.’He presents a wrapped burger, as wide as the tip of your thumb to the edge of your small finger.You don’t miss the look that Iowa gives it as you take the meal from your tutor.Even as she collects herself almost immediately as you face her.>Write-In
>>2135466>split the burgergive the Burger a burger
>>2135466>split the burger, enjoy a nice lunch breakWe're on a diet anyway
>>2135466>Write-InShare the burgerAnd feed her.
>>2135528i am all for this
You unwrap the meal … and hold it out to your companion. Iowa doesn’t need the verbal invitation, happily biting into the outstretched burger, the gravy squelching messily as it dripped from her mouth and the patty onto the grass. Your hand, thankfully, is kept relatively clean thanks to the mess of paper that the large meal it was served in. Pulling it back, you scowl the significantly-smaller buns and patty in your hands, at least a quarter of it gone with the wind … or into the stomach of a KanMusu that looked like she was in the throes of ecstasy. You give the messy sandwich a grimace, before biting down on a piece of meat and bread that had much too much pepper and spices in its runny gravy to qualify for a job well done … but one that you also find hits the spot enough that you really can’t find it in you to put your grievances to voice. You happily munch and chew, rubbing your neck … only for you to realize that Iowa wasn’t done with just one bite, pressing against your shoulder and leaning over for another snap that you think you really should reinforce was unbecoming of a well-oiled war machine such as her.Neither did you expect the messy, gravy-laden kiss of thanks that she gives you in the corner of her lips, much to your tutor’s consternation.‘There is a line that is blurred here,’ he begins solemnly, taking out his own lunch—the same as yours, ‘and I shudder to think how the scholars of Basilius would react to this.’‘Normalfags die in a fire?’The Shaman considers this acceptable, if the slight scowl and tilt of his head was any indication.‘I’m afraid that even at this point,’ he takes a more serious tone, ‘I am unable to tell whether or not the current course that you’re taking will suffice. As things are, we’ve barely enough to discern your limits … and considering the ones that are already bonded to you, I cannot risk pushing you any further than I have without knowing all the bases.’‘You told me,’ you mutter thickly, admitting defeat and allowing Iowa to practically smother you as she shares in the meal, ‘that by opening the pathways, accessibility was more manageable, but … doesn’t really feel like it. Kinda feels like it fluctuates. Sometimes it’s easier … sometimes its harder. It’s always painful, though.’‘The scape is one of your own making,’ he repeats, ‘so you are either making it harder on yourself or there is something in you that is pushing back out. Calibrating yourself, your soul, you mind … it’s never easy, never something that you’re used to.’‘Like strapping yourself to a RAY?’‘Something like that, but the RAY is external—what it can manage, that interface, it is finite. The scape is of your own making—it knows you more any pre-programmed magical algorithm, what hurts you the most; how to hurt and repel you.’
>>2135690>'So it's like circuitry that bites back every time I try to run a current through it.' (Observation)>'How does that even work? How do I hurt myself trying to get into myself?' (Confounded)>'So how do you suggest I approach this? You must have gone through it yourself.' (Ask for hints)>'Iowa, what do you think?' (Ask for input)>'I keep getting to that door and it feels like that's it.' (Frustrated)>'I'd like to try again.' (Get back to it)>Write-In
>>2135703>>'So it's like circuitry that bites back every time I try to run a current through it.' (Observation)
Feels like you guys need a hint, so here's a small hint:Review Thread 58.
‘So it’s circuitry that bites back every time you run a current through it,’ you wrinkle your nose as you take another bite out of your meal. ‘That makes things a lot easier.’‘Spiritual connections are more than just interlinking and telling that being what to do,’ the Shaman declares ‘To prepare yourself for the eventualities, to unlock oneself is a key lesson … and I have only made it as easy as I am able. If you are unable to do this on your own, I am afraid the only thing awaits you is the inevitable coming of your own making … one that, if I would emphasize, is something that you couldn’t have done without your need to be attached to anyone being so inhumanly obvious.’‘I think that we’ve established that it’s what I am,’ you mutter absently, ‘and it’s what I’m unwilling to compromise on.’You share a look with Iowa.You’d chosen to put your trust in the KanMusu as much as they did in you … and unlike Kasumi, you were prepared to make this right. You believed in Iowa—and you believed in the rest of them, you were prepared to put your life in their hands just as much as they put their belief in your words—that while they didn’t believe you infallible, they thought that you were worthy of that sort of responsibility, that commitment.It was heartening to have again.‘You’re an enigma, my Disciple, I give you that much,’ the elderly man chuckles, ‘but one that I more than admit we could use more of back in Basilius.’Your ears perk up at the mention of Basilius.‘Would Basilius be able to help me with my problem?’Your tutor stays silent.You also find that your burger had been thoroughly devoured by Iowa during the course of your conversation.‘It is one of your own making,’ ‘Even if they could, they’re of the mind that one must bear the weight of their own journey—misguided or reckless as it is.’‘Is that their approach to the Heretics too?’‘They compromise a lot more than they let on,’ he lets out a dark chuckle, ‘but at the same time they must present a unified front, no matter how much their own wishes go against the principles that the operated by … it is a poor truth, but it is a truth nonetheless. It is why you would be the object of envy.’‘Him?’You turn to Iowa, feeling hurt. Iowa, however, doesn’t share your evaluation of your worth.‘In the face of knowledge and answers to the questions of eternity, you said no for the sake of a bad memory,’ he smiles fondly, biting into his meal before continuing thickly, ‘I believe, in their eyes … yes, you would be the object of envy. You are probably one of the few that figured out the sum total of what is gained and lost by the glance of an eye—even to this old man, that is very much commendable.’
>>2135805>'Iowa, what do you think?' (Ask for input)>'I keep getting to that door and it feels like that's it.' (Frustrated)>'So how do you suggest I approach this? You must have gone through it yourself.' (Ask for hints)>'I'd like to try again.' (Get back to it)>Write-In
>>2135809>>'Iowa, what do you think?' (Ask for input)
>>2135805>You also find that your burger had been thoroughly devoured by Iowa during the course of your conversation.Iowa pls.>>2135809>'Iowa, what do you think?' (Ask for input)
>>2135809Asking for Iowa's perspective sounds good
>>2135809>'Iowa, what do you think?' (Ask for input)
‘Iowa,’ you turn to the only KanMusu present, now busily wiping and relishing the stains of gravy on her cheek, smacking her fingertips one by one as she savoured the meal like no other as her eyes lit up in positive delight, ‘you have anything to say?’‘The same application,’ she begins, before pausing to suckle briefly on her thumb, ‘applies to KanMusu … but humans are generally more ignorant of their architecture because they’re so rooted in the physical realm, so it’d be harder for you to dive in and fix up what’s needed … or even know what needs fixing. I mean, if we’re going to go by layman’s terms, it’s about operating on yourself without having any knowledge in surgery and needing your eyes wide open for it.’‘Well said,’ the Shaman chuckles. ‘It’s a crude comparison, but it indeed is—KanMusu are synthetically constructed in physical form, but they are more than aware of their own architecture, the spiritual structure of their being, in this plane or the next. However, due to the limitations of this world, a KanMusu can no more do what you can to yourself than you sewing up torn intestinal tissue … which brings us to the present state of the problem: that your mind is blocking itself to entry into your spirit because you lack a fundamental understanding of it.’You frown, trying to follow the conversation as thoroughly as well as you could, ‘What?’‘It’s the same as when we’re being summoned—the baby steps,’ Iowa steps in. ‘You’re not aware of yourself; of your changes, of the things that you’re made of. All you know is … the hand that leads you home. Humans, KanMusu, it’s the same thing—but the methodology, well, that’s different.’‘KanMusu structure generally allows for easier manoeuvrability because the grounding points that keep them on this plane of existence are a mix of artificial and natural patches—you can call them quantum arrangements if you’d like; the smart ones think everything needs a fancy name. Practice, awareness, a sense of understanding of your deepest self, to look inside and know what’s there and what shouldn’t—what should—is the first step. One that takes more than the limited time that we already have.’You let it stew for a moment.‘So I’m on a suicide course anyway,’ you admit, deflated—you’d suspected as much; you suppose that the sheer magnitude of it all didn’t actually sink in until moments ago. You look up to your tutor, who had finished his meal in the time you had spent thinking on the matter. ‘So what makes this anything but an exercise in futility?’He mimics Iowa’s previous action, licking the last crumbs of food off his fingertips.‘There are two things required to accomplish the impossible,’ the Shaman wears a ghost of a smile. ‘a blueprint … and not quite enough time.’
>>2138585>‘That’s all well and good, but how does that help me?’ (Frustrated)>‘Any tips?’ (Ask for hints)>‘I’m ready to try again.’ (Get back to it)>Write-In
>>2138587>>Write-InTo Iowa: Sooo. In theory you could come with me and guide me to understanding?
>>2138587>‘Any tips?’ (Ask for hints)
>>2138587>to Iowa, so in theory, could you come with me and guide me to understanding? You do understand this stuff after all.
>>2138589going for this
Something hits you.‘Different methodology,’ you repeat, ‘but the same end result, right? A stability achieved by attunement.’‘You could put it in such a way,’ the Shaman nods, ‘and it’s never easy to come to an understanding with oneself … one’s place in this plane of existence; sometimes we paint pictures of ourselves that we either never want to see or merely to reflect on in grand delusion. Shedding that attribute—that selfishness—is something that must be fundamentally achieved, even if one cannot consistently help but stray back towards it. Humans are creatures of ego and with pompousness a million times more potent than any other being in existence. If nothing else, being a Shaman teaches you that much. In comparison, a KanMusu, a spirit formed from purpose and echoes from a different world know exactly what their purpose is: guardianship, stewardship, exemplification of the qualities that humanity is sorely lacking in … and who we turn to explicitly for guidance and protection in this dark hour.’You agree whole-heartedly.‘That means that it’s simple, then,’ you declare breathlessly, ‘and I can’t do this alone.’‘Well, we’ll be here to guide you for what little time we can spare, so some thought should—’‘No, it’s not that. I’m saying that I’ve figured it out,’ you declare, much less firm now that the thought had made its way to the tip of your tongue, ‘at least, I think that I have … and I want to try it.’‘Oh?’‘Iowa, you,’ you pause, turning to face her confused features, ‘in theory, you’d be more than aware of the architecture of my soul, right? Even more than I am.’‘H-Huh?’‘Yes, there’s that recklessness,’ you hear your mentor’s sarcasm to your right, ‘I was wondering where it went off to.’‘You could, right? In theory, you know me better than I know myself through the Stream—everything that I am … and everything that I’m not.’‘I … I could, but I’m not a Carrier,’ she sounds apprehensively, in slight protest, ‘I mean, my weight class—as a Battleship, I’m not made for subtleties, there could be … you know what I am. I can’t guarantee that I could—it’s dangerous.’‘It’s like operating on your own heart with a chainsaw,’ the Shaman laughs darkly, ‘and you have no worry from this old man—I’ll do as you would like to proceed. I have no qualms; I am here to help, after all … and it’s not beyond my power to at least make that road visible to her as well as you, but as she has said: it is dangerous. She has said what she is … and she has voiced the consequences better than I could have.’The Shaman twirls his staff.‘However, it is your decision, my Disciple. It is your life on the line.’You turn and meet Iowa’s worried gaze, thoughts racing.
>>2138634>o>‘I’ll believe in her as she believes in me—that’s what faith is.’ (Once more into the breach)> You’re right, it’s reckless.’ (Think of another method)>Write-In
>>2138635>>‘I’ll believe in her as she believes in me—that’s what faith is.’ (Once more into the breach)
>>2138635>‘I’ll believe in her as she believes in me—that’s what faith is.’ (Once more into the breach)what cound possibly go wrong
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>2138635Leave my decision to the RNG
>>2138635>>2138642>‘I’ll believe in her as she believes in me—that’s what faith is.’ (Once more into the breach)RNGesus has spoken.
>>2138635>‘I’ll believe in her as she believes in me—that’s what faith is.’ (Once more into the breach)
>>2138635>I’ll believe in her as she believes in me—that’s what faith is.’ (Once more into the breach)
>‘I’ll believe in her as she believes in me—that’s what faith is.’ (Once more into the breach)Social link go!
‘I’ll believe in her as she believes in me—that’s what faith is … it’s what I’ll put my stake in.’Iowa relents for a moment, before letting out a defeated sigh.She doesn’t protest her participation, however.‘I can only provide the pathway,’ the Shaman repeats, ‘but if you wish to use this method, even I cannot guarantee that your snap-back is going to be able to pull the both of you out. Untrained as you are, you are risking certainty over probability. And in the event of failure, breaking a connection is still an option—right now, you’re doing the equivalent of matching the pot in the second round.’You give a weak smile.‘I thought that you recognized my penchant for recklessness?’The Shaman mumbles something indiscernible under his breath.‘If it is what you believe you are capable of,’ he gives Iowa a quick look, muttering a little more, ‘then I will not protest your right to take that step. I do, however, still advise against this, so if you have any second thoughts …’‘No,’ you shake your head, breathing out, ‘I trust her.’‘Putting your faith in a KanMusu you’ve barely bonded with in a day and a half when you barely know the back of your hand,’ the Shaman snorts, getting to his feet, ‘is the single most illogical measure of solution-drawing that I have ever heard from someone in your predicament.’You see the ghost of a smile on his lips.‘You’re ready, then?’You nervously glance at Iowa, who is already on her feet, the paper wrapping of your lunch—her lunch—tucked in the pocket of her denim skirt, fluttering with the cold wind. It never struck you how cold the day was … not until now. Mumbling a prayer under your breath, you stand up, dusting non-existent grass stains off your fatigues and glancing at her. The last time you’d done anything remotely close to this was … Kaga, all that time ago. Even then, that was just to fix something that was fundamentally off about you. Now, this … this was you going into you to fix a bridge that was going to break under weight and render you brain dead from your own habit of damsel-saving.There was a difference between adjusting an instability and rebuilding something stronger, better, sturdier. You know that, even from here.Placing your hands in her palms, you stare deep into her eyes … and let the truth free.‘No.’He doesn’t wait.You’re caught in a familiar darkness.Thick, suffocating … and you hadn’t even moved yet. Could you move? Would this allow you to move? You feel yourself freezing solid, rooted to the spot, unable to scream, unable to do anything—no, no, not unable, unwilling. It is as it is before … no different, no less hostile or friendly. It is … as it is. Almost immediately, you can feel the familiar tremble going through you as you push … forward? Back? Dive?The first shock comes.
>>2138746It only needs a second this time.You want to cry out.>Write-In
>>2138748At least I'm not alone in here.>onwards!be on a lookout for friendlies
>>2138748Let's move forward, look around and assess the area
>>2138748push forward, keep going
>>2138748>Write-InTry to call out anyone
>>2138748>Call out to Iowa
>>2138748>forward >call out to Iowa and our girls
You move forward.Or at least, this is what you think is forward.There is no light, no indicator of where you are headed, only that you are here … alone. Were you alone? Where were you before? Was someone here? No, no, it didn’t make any sense—this was forward, you had to move forward. You can feel your hands crawling through the muck; you couldn’t see it, but you could feel it. It was like swimming in oil. You’re not blind, just unaware—you had to have eyes to be blind. You didn’t need sight—no, you did. You needed it. You needed to go somewhere. It’s painful, but you need to go somewhere; you needed to push forwards. There is a place that you need to go to.Where?Why?You could just stay here.In this Abyss where everything is familiar and … warm.Moving forward only brings pain. Every time your arm pushes against the oil, spikes of pain make themselves known all over you. Arms—they were in your arms. You want to gasp for something, anything, but find that you’re not able to make a sound. The thought strikes you: forward, forward. It doesn’t let up. It’s horrifying. It doesn’t allow you to stay where you are. It echoes, even without your voice: that you had to go ahead, push ahead. You can feel your limbs grow heavier by the moment—what appendages they were, anyway, pushing through this dark space that is so frighteningly comforting that you wish to strip yourself away from it. It is a womb, protective and smothering you, preventing you from moving forward. Every time you claw yourself to a destination that you know is a breadth’s away, what you don’t know you can reach alone … pain comes. It comes without mercy, gnawing on your bones, running through you like a current from a lightning strike.Lightning. Light.Thunder.You make an almighty cry. Standing.Yes, standing. You had legs. You had to stand. That was their purpose.Stand. Stand on your two legs you will.It pulses and spins, this darkness, this warm, comforting shell around you … and you ignore it, powering on. You had to go: one foot ahead of the other—baby steps—that was all that you needed to do. Indistinguishable voices cry out from all around you, booming shrieks that you cannot drown out. The thick darkness makes way to a web of dark light. You will yourself to move forward, only to find that every movement takes an eternity. The web holds you back, the dark light around you turning into a flurry of colours: red, green, yellow, blue, purple as though you are caught in some twisted world built to mock you.[i[Lightning. Thunder.You push forward with an almighty cry. An inch. A centimetre … and no further, but you do not look back.You cannot push forward.It won’t allow you to.You won’t allow you to.>Write-In
>>2138819>cry for help
>>2138819>Write-In:Try to call out anyone
>>2138819>Try to call out, Iowa should be here somewhere
>>2138819>Try to find Iowa
>>2138819There's no need to be afraid. Girls won't let us down. Iowa must be here. Others, Nagato, Houshou, Takao, Musashi, Nachi, Shigure, Samidare, Murakumo will be not far away either. Even Kaga is probably reachable. And of course the ghostly princess (she needs a name btw).There's no need to let them down, either.Press onwards.
>>2138831Is this calling out in general and not specifying Iowa or is this calling out FOR Iowa?
>>2138837>tfw forgot to mention Tenryuu and she'll come to punish me at most inconvenient moment.
>>2138819>Call out to Iowa
>>2138838specifically Iowa, sorry if that's unclear
>>2138819>>Call out to Iowa
A name.What was it?What was a name?A title. A focus. A specification.Someone.Something?No. Someone.‘Iowa.’The world shakes. The darkness quakes. You can hear the pounding of thunder—streaks of lightning. Everything before you becomes more defined, more real. There is ground, there is air, there is breath. You can feel it—every inch of you is screaming in agony—inch, measurement—and every limb—arms, legs, yes—is run through by the sensation of electricity—thunder, lightning—as you try to break through this world, morphing between white to black to a plethora of other colours, resonating with your pain. You want to break free. You have to go forward … but you cannot. You will not. By your own two legs, your own two hands, you can’t break through; it’s too strong. The thump of noise, the screams that deafen you slowly push you back, want you back out. You do not know this place anymore than you did the back of your hand—you didn’t know yourself enough to dive through fears and weaknesses as you liked. Colour fades into grey, then white … and again you find yourself in the darkness, shocks and stabs hitting you to the bone. To stop, to stand down … to forget.But you can’t.You won’t allow yourself to.Because even if you didn’t believe in yourself, even if you were uncertain of ‘IOWA!’The world shatters as a hand reaches for you … and you find yourself being pulled through grey rock, breaking through a wall—no, not a wall, a ceiling—and see clouds, hearing thunder … and in the distance, witness a strike of lightning. You fall face first into water, but not through it, strangely, rolling with the waves before finding yourself … alive, breathing, and standing on water.Thunder rumbles in the distance again.Your thoughts comes back to you … and with every returning memory, you notice the clouds gathering above you, and the wind beginning to pick up. It was like standing in the middle of a storm … but you feel strangely unaffected. A breath escapes you as everything finally returns: you were a Commander of the Admiralty, placed in the seat of defending humanity against the onslaught of monsters of the deep. You were a bad fit for the job but achieved your posting by virtue of everyone else that wanted and qualified for the job ending up dead.‘I couldn’t get to you without you letting me get near,’ you hear a voice, looking up to see … Iowa, yes; she was Iowa. The latest addition to your crew—your Division. ‘You were cutting it close.’You were here to fix your problem.She takes your right hand, pulling you up. Her expressions communicate worry, anxiety … and she seems visibly fearful of the mess that you are in. In the middle of a storm with no land in sight …But a door standing in mid-air, slightly ajar.‘That’s … where you need to go?’
>>2139033>'That's where we need to go.' (Go inside with Iowa)>'Yeah. Stay here.' (Go inside alone)>Write-In
>>2139035>>'That's where we need to go.' (Go inside with Iowa)
>>2139035>'That's where we need to go.' (Go inside with Iowa)
>>2139033CORRECTION:Because even if you didn’t believe in yourself, even if you were uncertain ofTOBecause even if you didn’t believe in yourself, even if you were uncertain of where to go ... you believed in her. You would follow wherever she led you.
>>2139035>write inthat it is, any idea what i have to do? you are the one that knows this kind of stuff, it might not be the same that ship girls, but is worth a try
‘That’s where we need to go.’Iowa gives the door a quick glance, letting out an audible snort before turning back to you, ‘You sure?’‘No,’ you chuckle, grimacing as you take a step forwards. The first step in this world that didn’t carry weight, didn’t have any sort of pain, struggle with it. The darkness is a distant memory—and the irony isn’t lost on you. You trudge over the water, looking into the deep abyss below before staring at the doors again.It’s unremarkable. Just a stone door with no handles with two pillars serving as frames. Nothing ornate, nothing fancy, just a simple door that is ajar, leading into a realm of unknowns … but where familiarity echoed too much for you to not gravitate on instinct, on curiosity. Your companion steps forward with you, catching up until she is not merely following, but beside you—a partner, an equal. The door draws closer and closer, and with every step, you feel the air around you becoming less thick; the rumble of thunder lessening in the distance; the waves becoming calmer; the clouds above beginning to part, even if the light didn’t shine any more than it did with your initial crash into this world.‘The external shell is warping … the five layers are trying to constrict themselves. The Stream is destabilizing itself … taking itself apart.’You can see it. It’s for less than a moment, but you can see them. A spectacle of gears above you, turning slowly like clockwork; the glow of something that resembles a circuit of light; sparks of electricity, of lightning. The rotation of the gears, the hum of the electricity is almost familiar, comforting … but at the same time, you raise your guard, clutching Iowa’s hand in yours. You don’t let go, not at all. A light runs through the sky—the ceiling—above, the gears turning as though they are on a schedule … and you hear metal drag against metal, sparks and static flashing before your very eyes …‘Commander?’‘I can feel it,’ you tell Iowa, grimacing.You fear yourself.You had never understood yourself. You don’t believe any man, living or dead, ever truly understood themselves. If they ever did, the gumption to live would be hardly present. It would be mere rhetoric. No one could stand looking into that mirror, to crawl through that valley of truths and lies without despair. The reflections, those dirtied hands, they are much more frightening than anyone can conceive. Every flaw, every failure, is magnified by perception, by default.But it is through this mistrust in yourself that you are you.Because even if you didn’t have faith in yourself, you had faith in the person next to you.‘Let’s go.’You take your last steps from the water to the raised door. Iowa pulls you up … and the both of you step into the darkness to find:
>>2140218>A broken spear>A hammer and anvil>A crackling fireplace, a rod stuck right in the middle>A clouded mirror>A knife and a whetstone
>>2140219>A hammer and anvil
>>2140219>A clouded mirror
>>2140219>A clouded mirrortime to reflect and polish our mad skills
>>2140219>A knife and a whetstone
>>2140219>A knife and a whetstone"Iowa, polish my knife!"
>>2140219>>A hammer and anvil
>>2140219>>A knife and a whetstone
A hammer resting on an anvilThe whole place was dark.The only thing that stood in this vast void, without limit, was the hammer, the anvil … and the odd glow about it. The floor—if it was even there—was at least solid enough for you to walk over without tripping or wobbling. The door behind you is still there, but you notice the surface of the sea that was this enigma of a place looking much more tumultuous than when you were in it. Iowa is still here, although she looks as unsure as you are. You’re able to make out her features, even in this darkness, albeit barely. There is nothing around you. A deep void as it was before, but neither familiar nor as eerie as that darkness that you were caught in before.You take a step forwards.What did you see, young man?You jolt, taking a step back.‘Commander?’Iowa turns to you, confused at your sudden motion.‘I thought I heard some—’Did you watch that movie?I’m tired, I think I’ll head on back. You think you can waddle home on your own today?Get the laundry our of the basket now!All at once, you see one by one, out of the darkness … forms of light, imaging themselves into existence. They’re faceless, ghostly forms. No defined features, no nose, no mouth, but each and every one of them lets out a voice that echoes louder than the clanging of bells. Slowly, the voices turn into whispers, mumbling and chattering. Your hand becomes cold, clammy, sweat and thirst overtake you. You fall to one knee, trying to scream out your mouth. The darkness resonates with every breath you try to take … and you feel like … you’re being talked to death. Every form, every spectre that nears you has words—but there are too many for you to comprehend on your own. It’s indistinguishable from static, from pure noise. There is no air here. There is no space. You feel like you’re being smothered …Then you sense the flow of wind.No.You feel a storm.There is a ceiling.There is a floor.Next to you, you see Iowa, with her eyes closed. The white, ghostly forms spin and spin around you, caught in a whirlwind, becoming solid … and turning into light. It’s brief, but you see it above you, below you: lines, circuits, lightning and fire coursing through them, humming with every spin, every revolution achieved by the flurry of forms and voices … and through it all, Iowa stays still, staring back at the eyes as the both you laid within the eye of this hurricane.Then it stops … and you notice Iowa has her hand outstretched, her palm holding what appeared to be a small, solid flame, dancing in her hands. You give it a curious look … only to be shaken from your reverie by your companion’s giggle.‘What’s wrong? It’s like you’ve never seen your own core before.’
>>2143828>'You lost me.' (Confused)>'Oh no, I know what that is. I was just wondering if Chimeras and Sea Serpants were real.' (Sarcasm)>'It's because it's my first time seeing it.' (To The Point)>'I honestly thought I'd have a spirit animal or something. Like a Dragon. Or a Hydra.' (Childish)>Write-In
>>2143829>>'I honestly thought I'd have a spirit animal or something. Like a Dragon. Or a Hydra.' (Childish)something like the First Flame is good enough for me
>>2143829>>'It's because it's my first time seeing it.' (To The Point)>>Write-InTry to touch it
>>2143829>'I honestly thought I'd have a spirit animal or something. Like a Dragon. Or a Hydra.' (Childish)spaguetti
>>2143829>>'I honestly thought I'd have a spirit animal or something. Like a Dragon. Or a Hydra.' (Childish)
>>2143829>'I honestly thought I'd have a spirit animal or something. Like a Dragon. Or a Hydra.' (Childish)
>>2143829>'I honestly thought I'd have a spirit animal or something. Like a Dragon. Or a Hydra.' (Childish)somehow i expected a cow or a seal, mayve a walrus
‘To be honest, I thought I’d have a spirit animal or something,’ you sigh, unable to keep the disappointment out of your tone. ‘Kinda … anti-climactic to have whatever that is.’She mumbles something under her breath.‘Don’t blame me, I’m not sure how a metaphysical image is to be alike according to whatever your brain says it is,’ Iowa huffs, holding the tiny flame in her hands, ‘but at least in this way it’s a lot more managea—wait, a hydra?’‘Hydras are cool,’ you counter defensively.She rolls her eyes, before fixing them upon the tiny dancing flame in her hands.As you notice the slight stretch of her fingers, you feel that you—or rather, the you that was here—feel relaxed, all tension slowly seeping away from you. Iowa closes her eyes, letting out a breath that seems to echo, the parting of her two palms making moulding the flame into a shape more solid. It crackles and hisses, and with every turn, you feel yourself … comfortable. You don’t know why you raise your hands, touching the tips of of your fingers with hers, but as you do, you feel the flame slowly twisting and turning, melding and moulding itself even further, like a caterpillar in the midst of a metamorphosis, but … stagnant. There is shift, there is change, but there is no evolution, no transformation. The flame is living—an aspect of you, a part of you … you. The echoes of a life that was long past whisper in one ear as both your hands close around it. The same whispers from before, but less maddening … less spat out and more spoken. Memories. Experiences. Regrets. Dreams.The are all there.However, the ones that ring louder, however, are the voices of the ones that matter.‘Commander!’‘Commander?’‘Sir!’‘Sir.’‘Commander …’‘Commander?’You open your eyes to see Iowa, enveloped in a warm, orange glow, light sparks of dust flying upwards. Your hands enclosed the flames … and yours in hers. You cradle it like a precious stone, not crushing it, but protective of it. It dawns on you just what this was. What this was made of. It was the very part of you that was melded as you saw yourself. The part of you that was perceived by your experiences … and shaped by the voices that had reached out to you: good, bad, and everything in between.You know what to do.You know why that anvil was there, why that hammer glowed.Because even as much as you tried to curb it … there was no part of you that wasn’t unsubtle.‘I’ll take it from here, Iowa.’She doesn’t protest, releasing your hands from hers. You gingerly step towards the anvil, laying the flames on the anvil, where it crackles and glows, still whispering, still echoing from the depths of your being.You take the hammer …And bring it down.>CLANG! (Roll a 1d6 each)
Rolled 5 (1d6)>>2143857let us build
Rolled 4 (1d6)>>2143857Time to clang clang clang
Rolled 2 (1d6)>>2143857
Rolled 1 (1d6)>>2143857
THUDYou frown, wondering what had happened.Turning to Iowa, you only find her shrugging in confusion yourself.Shaking your head, you ready yourself to strike it again.>CLANG! (Roll a 1d6 each)
Rolled 1 (1d6)>>2143867keep smithingfeel you inner dwarf
Rolled 2 (1d6)>>2143867Here comes the 1
Rolled 1 (1d6)>>2143867
>>2143870I think I'll stop now.
Even with two 6 rolls now it still fails, might as well begin writing
Rolled 5 (1d6)>>2143867
THUD!Your cheeks flush in embarrassment.‘Hee…’You glare up at Iowa’s smug face.>CLANG! (Roll a 1d6 each)
Rolled 3 (1d6)>>2143876KEEP HAMMERING
Rolled 1 (1d6)>>2143876What time is it? Not gonna work o' clock!
you suck RNGesus!
>>2143879>implying we're not gonna keep trying until we don't try but do it
Rolled 6 (1d10)oh fuck it.No guts, no glory.maybe losing them was not the smartest thing to do
Rolled 4 (1d6)>>2143885meh wong die
>>2143887>wongno offence (or harm) to any Wongs intended.
I need 2 more rolls, folks.
Rolled 5 (1d6)>>2143876
Rolled 5 (1d6)>>2143876Eh, fuck it. I'll throw My hat into the ring.
Rolled 2 (1d6)>>2143876here goes nothing
CLANG!Third time’s the charm.Golden thunder bursts out of the flame. Around you, you the world seems to shake. You see lines of circuits, briefly visible with the strike of iron against your spirit, moulding itself by your will, your blueprint, the shape that you wish it to be. You envision what the flame means to you: a glow amidst the darkness, hot and hurtful, but warm and necessary. It is the vision, the nexus of what you are: your core. This is what you were here to fix—no, not fix, to fix would be to make it as it was before. It would be made in the fashion that it had been. This was not a time to make things as they were … what it was did not suffice. What it was did little to bear the weight of your bonds, your links … the souls that shared this sacred space.You strike it again.CLANG!You would make it stronger.As you would be.This wasn’t a time to return to the basics. It wasn’t a time to return to what you were … this was a time to turn what you are to what you are meant to be. The hammer was your movement, your will. The flame the shape of the past, the burdens, the sins and the deeds that made you what you were … and even if they had no place in that next step, that didn’t change that they were what made you.The good. The bad. The ugly.Even if there was no use for them in the dictating its shape … there was nothing stopping them in being raw materials.They need not be chains. Not anymore.CLANG!You raise the hammer above your head one more time …>CLANG! (Roll a 1d6 each)
Rolled 4 (1d6)>>2143924more jobbing
Rolled 3 (1d6)>>2143924I wonder if we can make our soul into a brick with wings.
Rolled 1 (1d6)>>2143924f-rank luck ho!
Rolled 5 (1d6)>>2143924Dice gods pls
Rolled 3 (1d6)>>2143924luck pls
Rolled 1 (1d6)>>2143924
You bring the hammer down … and the world explodes in a blinding, deafening explosion.You are in darkness again.No, not in darkness—this was more blue, purple … and you were floating. Stretches of dancing light go about you, linking and chaining themselves together. You see lines of a myriad of colours whirling and spinning around, finding their mate as the clanging sound of iron against iron roars above and below. The sound of whirring gears, the materialization of thought and process, groans and whines. Every strike of the hammer that you hear, you see two lines connecting, like the end of strings re-forming and tightening themselves, all around you. You reach out a hand, unconsciously, to one of these things … and a thought resonates; like fire, hot … but comforting.Mountains and clouds of lines dance above you, linking and reforming themselves. With every link made, you feel something in you … complete itself. The niggling headache is gone, replaced by a steady, unmoving rock. You relax as the lines of colour dance around you, the blue and purple world fading away and—‘Commander!’You jolt forwards … and immediately regret the action as you let out a pathetic cry, rolling face-first onto the grass with your hand on your forehead, cursing up a—Grass?‘You made good time,’ a familiar voice sounds above you … to which you see the owner, one Heretic Shaman chewing what appeared to be a mint stalk in his mouth with an expression that was a cross between being impressed and mired in amusement. ‘I thought I’d have to start writing up admission forms.’You clutch your head, grumbling under your breath, ‘Did it work?’‘Yes, it did,’ the Shaman answers.Relief comes over you like a cold shower after a hot day.You’d managed it, somehow. You’d played the odds, time and time again … more often than not, in sheer violation of common sense, but you’d come out breathing … and only with lips that tasted like grass to show for it.‘You,’ you hear the annoyed rumble of the female persuasion behind you, ‘owe me dinner, Commander.’Chuckling, you turn around to see your third Battleship sitting in the grass with tired eyes … and glaring straight at you with all the irritation that she could muster. She didn’t look any worse for wear, but she did look like she had run a mile with an office block on her back.‘I guess Nagato wasn’t wrong when she told me that you were a pain to keep up with.’You don’t bother to reply, wincing and rolling your shoulders as you pull yourself back to your feet … before noticing that sunset was on the cards. The sun was getting ready to go down, over the hills; you’d been in your head for close to four hours … but it’d felt like you’d been in that mire for days on end.‘How did it feel?’ the Shaman inquires.
>>2143972>'Horrible.' (Pessimistic)>'Weird.' (Confused)>'I don't think it's something I'd like to try again without good reason to, to be honest.' (Pragmatic)>'Felt like I wasn't going to come back.' (Fearful)>'To be honest, I've kind of brushed death enough times that a roll of the dice is probably going to kill me next time.' (Amused)>Write-In
>>2143975>>'Weird.' (Confused)>>'To be honest, I've kind of brushed death enough times that a roll of the dice is probably going to kill me next time.' (Amused)
>>2143975>It was weird, but with Iowa there to guide me it actually ended up feeling like a pleasant, if confusing, experience.
>>2143975>Write-In"I don't suppose it's possible that I can weaponize My soul without taking a hefty dose of personality configuration or instant permanent coma."
>>2143980'You can,' the Shaman nods, 'but then we'd be facing copyright strikes.''Ah,' you give a sage nod. 'There truly are no boundaries on just how anal people can get.'
>>2143975>It was a... fascinating experience. Painful, tiring... but also awesome.
>>2143984The path is clear, We must make our soul into a giant warmachine so we can punch and alpha strike island princesses to death.On a entirely different note, does Coke or Pepsi exist in this world, or what would be their reality of Coke and Pepsi?
>>2144027Truly it is a sad world where it has not experienced the light of Crystal Pepsi. Thanks for answering the question though, I appreciate it.
‘Weird,’ you admit, rubbing your temples. ‘I don’t know what my head comes up with sometimes.’‘It’s rare that anyone ever does,’ the Shaman chuckles deeply, ‘but I think, that lack of awareness is something we all need—lest we go insane.’You frown at your mentor.‘Isn’t being a Shaman all about delving into the unknown?’‘How would you feel,’ he begins coolly, ‘if you didn’t require any sleep and were forced to stay up for twenty-four hours a day without a filter as to what goes in and out?’‘I’d go crazy.’‘Exactly,’ the Shaman nods sagely, ‘but that’s not to say that there haven’t been cases, of course … but to be fully aware of every aspect of your condition, every nook and cranny of your being, your state of mind, to know what to change and what not to: that’s a cosmic state of awareness. I think as far as humanity goes, what we have right now is good enough to get by with. If a university student with a backlog of assignments and an examination around the corner is pushing the limits of the average threshold of insanity for the average man or woman, I doubt that comprehension of self is something that should be a … widespread product.’‘You sound like you’re speaking from experience.’‘I’m speaking in terms of understanding the consequences of such a route, should it exist,’ he sighs, ‘and as dogmatic as some of the warnings are, they—more often than not—speak the truth.’‘So, um,’ you frown, feeling even more confused, ‘I want to know more about myself … but not all about myself because I’d go insane doing it?’‘On a good day.’You sigh again.‘Well, I have some errands of my own to catch up with, my Disciple,’ the Shaman jabs the end of his staff into the grass as Iowa comes up to you, ‘and I believe that you have some matters to attend to before the day ends as well.’You open your mouth: you had more questions.‘All in due time,’ he raises his hand, reading your mind. ‘For now, do what you think needs to be done … and get some rest.’‘Right,’ you grumble, looking up … and finding your tutor gone. ‘How does he do that?’‘Magic,’ Iowa chuckles, walking up to you and placing her hand on your shoulder.‘DECHI!’The sound of falling objects and a screeching cat sound in the distance … and you pinch the bridge of your nose.‘Hey,’ Iowa speaks again, catching your attention. ‘I wanna try something out … do you mind coming along with me?’1/4>‘Sure … lead the way.’ (Follow Iowa) – CONSUMES TIME>‘Does it really need me around?’ (Brush her off)>‘Actually, I was hoping of settling some things of my own.’ (Go your separate ways for the evening)>Write-In
>>2144042>‘Sure … lead the way.’ (Follow Iowa) – CONSUMES TIMEeven though it would be nice if we could see Takao sometime soon. I'm worried for her.
>>2144042>‘Sure … lead the way.’ (Follow Iowa) – CONSUMES TIME
>>2144042>‘Sure … lead the way.’ (Follow Iowa)
>>2144042>‘Actually, I was hoping of settling some things of my own.’ (Go your separate ways for the evening)I guess a strange pink haired girl is having some bad look today, poor girl.
>>2144064She should not have hurt Kaga. She’ll have hard time gaining sympathies after that,
>>2144042>‘Sure … lead the way.’ (Follow Iowa) – CONSUMES TIMEeh, fuck it
>>2144042>>‘Sure … lead the way.’ (Follow Iowa) – CONSUMES TIME
Can someone help me out with a small issue?
>>2144566What's issue? Changing IDs too often? Happens to mobile or when you reset the router.
I forgot to announce that I fixed the "District". It's a lot simpler now.
You consider it for a moment.There were a lot of things on your plate as it was, after all.However, since you probably had an hour at best before the sun went down and couldn’t possibly have made good on any of the prior arrangements … you decide that there wouldn’t be any harm with giving Iowa the reins. Without the proper time to actually allocate to your day-to-day tasks, you really didn’t have anything in mind outside of just roaming the town and checking up on how things were doing. She had saved you from an indefinite stay in an asylum and being fed stale porridge. The least you could do was at least abide by her request.Without much resistance, you give a light shrug and voice your compliance, ‘Sure.’Iowa takes your prosthetic digits in yours, throwing a glance back and pulling you with her. You jog to catch up with her quick, long strides. Thankfully, she notices her eager pace by the time you hit the concrete, slowing down into a much more relaxed pace. Staring at the lined streets, you decide to inquire on the destination that she had in mind.‘So, uh,’ you begin, ‘where are we going?’‘The beach,’ she returns, a slight bounce in her step. You notice the enthusiasm in her voice. ‘I think … I think I might be able to actually do it this time.’>‘You’re talking about re-activating your system?’ (Inquisitive)>‘Iowa, we’ve been over this …’ (Pessimistic)>‘Well, failure’s only a certainty if an effort isn’t made.’ (Optimistic)>Write-In
>>2155929>‘You’re talking about re-activating your system?’ (Inquisitive)
>>2155929>>‘You’re talking about re-activating your system?’ (Inquisitive)
>>2155929>Write-In"Should I get a towel before we go?" (Joke)
‘You’re talking about your system … being re-activated?’You find that a little hard to believe. As much as you wanted to take it for face value … you didn’t think that Iowa’s condition was something that was able to be fixed just because she was connected to you—no matter how hard she thought it to be so. It wasn’t that you were outwardly pessimistic, but even someone of your lowly standing understood the intricacies of a KanMusu’s blueprint … and as much as it was magic, putting your money into a pool where certainty was a luxury wasn’t something that you were particularly inclined towards. Especially when it came to a case like Iowa’s.However, because certainty was such a luxury, you didn’t discount that the possibility existed, either.‘My systems have always been active,’ she huffs, throwing a playful glance as she takes a brisk pace—and you following her, your metallic digits clasps firmly in hers like a water-skier hanging on for dear life with a power boat dragging them. ‘Sustaining it’s always been the problem since I got here.’You frown, wondering how you’d made that mistake.Iowa had never had a problem summoning her gear.It was indeed, the fact that she couldn’t even fully power a volley through—that had been the problem. That the moment she’d fire her shells, whirr the guns on a target, they’d disappear. However …‘So what’s changed since then?’She throws a confident glance at you.‘I have you now, don’t I?’>‘Oh, so this is what it’s about? You only wanted me for my body.’ (Over-dramatic)>‘Not very enthusiastic about this, Iowa.’ (Pessimistic)>‘This doesn’t feel like a patch-up fix. I mean … I’m your Commander, but …’ (Tentative)>‘Yeah, you do.’ (Believe)>Write-In
>>2156118>>‘Oh, so this is what it’s about? You only wanted me for my body.’ (Over-dramatic)
>>2156118>‘Oh, so this is what it’s about? You only wanted me for my body.’ (Over-dramatic)ALL THE HAM
>>2156118>‘This doesn’t feel like a patch-up fix. I mean … I’m your Commander, but …’ (Tentative)
>>2156118>‘Oh, so this is what it’s about? You only wanted me for my body.’ (Over-dramatic)
>>2156118>>‘Oh, so this is what it’s about? You only wanted me for my body.’ (Over-dramatic)and then lead into after the laughter>>‘Yeah, you do.’ (Believe)
‘Oh, so this is what it’s about? I knew that the only thing that you could have wanted from me was my body.’She rolls her eyes as the both of you slow down the pace slightly. You could have done a little more with your exaggerated tone, but a good set-up never took more room than it should have … and Iowa’s raised eyebrow left plenty of space for her to work her magic.‘Don’t discount the only thing about you that’s working as intended,’ she snipes back, playfully tapping the side of your head. ‘If that grey matter in your noggin was firing anything worthwhile, you wouldn’t have been in that particular predicament in the first place.’You laugh, throwing her a wink with your good eye.‘Come on, Iowa,’ you reply with a roguish grin, ‘you know that I’d make that choice with working grey matter anyway.’She snorts in amusement, ‘I don’t doubt that at all, sir.’The both of you share a smile as you continue to walk down the street, your thoughts a little more at ease compared to the restrained state that they were in before. It doesn’t take long for Iowa’s words—her too-optimistic statement—to set in again, and you find worry bubbling a little more. A glance at your companion tells you that there’s a gleam of hope in her eyes … one that isn’t quenchable by anything but the affirmation of what she believed would happen. That wasn’t to say, however, that you weren’t considering the possibility that this time it would stick and you’d have another soldier out on lines … maybe even right next to Nagato—or even Musashi if you were feeling particularly confident—suicidally so. You hear her hum under her breath as the sea comes into view, the dark edge of night teetering over, waiting for the day to finally fade and give way.It was busy here, compared to the inner reaches of town. The maintenance crew and the soldiers were going about their business, hauling cable, supplies and weapons. They made room for your as you walked down the pavement—and you spy the odd man giving Iowa curious glances … and a soldier who is brought back to attention by someone for staring too long.It made you feel a bit … proud, actually.‘Iowa,’ you start again. ‘You really think that this time you’ll be able to break the requirement?’‘Positive,’ she answers confidently, looking straight ahead. ‘I mean, with you around … why wouldn’t I be, right?’You’re unsure whether to reinforce that thought … or retract the confidence.‘Iowa …’‘Hm?’>‘I just think you shouldn’t get your hopes up too high.’>‘Shouldn’t we get someone to … supervise this, at least? I mean, to make sure that you’re not making any mistakes?’>‘I’ll take your word for it—I owe you that much.’>‘Let’s not. I think we should leave this to the experts, actually … I mean, I’m your Commander and all, but …’>Write-In
>>2156546>>‘I’ll take your word for it—I owe you that much.’
>>2156546>‘I’ll take your word for it—I owe you that much.’
You want to put forth your doubts.The words, however … refuse to come to you.Not that they weren’t there, but—no, you refused to take them. Iowa believed so strongly that you were somehow the only key needed to open this lock. The lines and lines of exposition and theory reach your ears from a mix of Yuubari’s and Akashi’s voices. How the structure of KanMusu worked; how the body that made them them operated on a level so vastly different to the basic comprehension of what humans were capable of. You have the words. They are there, they are present … but with that, however, came the stoic expression of a face that you had once forgotten, now remembered, never to be put away again.Faith came from irrationality.To put stock in the intangible was a tenet of its application.It’s no different now than it was—is—since the dawn of time.‘I’ll take your word for it,’ you manage a smile, nodding as you cross the street. ‘I owe you that much.’‘What’re you saying?’ Iowa giggles slightly with her words. ‘It’s just a test run, you goof. I mean … not like anything changes if it doesn’t work, right?’The worry that tinges her words, however, was more than apparent.Neither of you say a word to each other, navigating the bustling streets all the way to the beach front. You make your way down the small steps onto the empty lay of sand, once bustling with activity and now nothing more than a blustery front to the dark sea beyond the shores. The tents down the beach were flapping with the wind, the chill more than enough to have you wishing for a warm shower back at base. Iowa was already flexing her fingers and lightly stretching. You open your mouth to have a few words with her, but find yourself silenced by a brief blue glow.Her gear noisily whirs its notice to existence, the turrets rolling and moving under the will of their master; you allow her her moments of preparation, however she wished to go about it. She mumbles under her breath, taking tentative steps towards the water as you watch.Suddenly, she turns around. Her expression is hard to make out from here, given the lack of light.‘Moment of truth!’Her yell is enthusiastic … and a little fearful.You give a tentative thumbs-up and a nod … and Iowa is off to the races, skating along the surface. She’s barely visible in the light, but her gold hair seems to glow, trailing behind her like an elegant jet stream. So far, so good—she can move, turn and speed along, just as she had before.Then she stops in her tracks.Engaging Combat Sub-Routine: Patrol Mode EngagementA light tremor goes through you as you watch the golden-haired woman train her guns out to the open sea …And she fires them all.>Believe she can make it>Doubt she can make it
>>2156874>>Believe she can make it
>>2156874>Believe she can make it Believe in bewbs
>>2156874>Believe she can make itFaith boi
>>2156874>Believe in she who believes in us
You see lightning dancing upon the surface of the water. Iowa takes on an eerie bright purple glow as barrels of the turrets dip and rise. You feel a light gust picking up as Iowa’s gear stays on her this time, even with the whistling shells of magical steel soaring through the air, making their mark with several loud splashes far and away. She tries to steady herself—you see her barely holding on, standing on the water. This was her limit.Once upon a time.The crackle is audible even from here.You feel something in you open up as the sound of chirping lightning becomes louder. Iowa doesn’t move. Her form is still, her stance in a half-crouch as the turrets turn and the barrels angle themselves. You hold out your hand—unconsciously—as time seems to stop around you. The tremor isn’t just from head to toe … but everywhere. You raise your hand to your eyepatch, lifting the flap … and thunder sounds. You understand.You never did before.What made a KanMusu a KanMusu.They were all different.But looking through the lens of sight that was otherwise lost … you finally comprehend pure power.She howls in delight. A performance car revving her engines before shooting off in a burst almost equal to Shigure in her madness. Iowa is relentless and vicious in her display, exploding with both incredible position … and an almost endearing clumsiness. She makes her own waves, spinning at breakneck speeds and blasting her cannons in a scream of joy. Your eye throbs as you begin to understand just what she had meant by you. Just as you had believed in her, she had entrusted herself to your hand. You can see it, faint as it is—the connection that she draws upon, the strength that you give her without condition. That you give all of them.She is the supernova to your universe.Iowa fires more and more shots, rolling mid-air before landing and skidding to fight back the inertia. She drifts back on course, firing again and again, screaming in ecstasy at her returning form. She was whole again.No, she wasn’t whole. Not alone.The electricity that coursed through you gave you the bigger picture. This was what being a Commander meant: that you, together were two parts of what made it work. What made the gears turn and burn … what made them, the KanMusu, able to fight.You’re so distracted by your thoughts … that you don’t notice the ecstatic Battleship sliding back onto the beach and coming to an immediate halt until she tumbles into you. Her arms are more than strong as she engulfs you in them.‘I DID IT! I DID IT!’‘I … saw,’ you gasp, wincing as she lifts you onto your tip-toes. ‘Congratu … lations …’ ‘Oh yeah, before I forget …’‘Hm?’‘What’cha makin’ for dinner?’YOU HAVE ACQUIRED: IOWA [BB]END INTERLUDE
Taking a break. I will continue at about 8:00 PM GMT+8.
So.Proper hamburgers, pizza or fried chicken.
>>2157346>fried chickenwhat is our KFC equivalent in-universe here?
>>2157463LFC. Louisiana fried chicken.Or as fans call it: Looking For Chicken.
The barracks weren’t that much further off.‘I’m going to have to hand in the paperwork if you’re going to go back into active duty,’ you announce, ‘but I really think that you should have Akashi run more trials just to make sure everything is—are you even listening to me?’Iowa glances over at you to indicate that she was, indeed, listening to you. However, the fact that she had a double scoop chocolate ice cream cone (generously provided by Mamiya’s chef after a brief stopover) practically halfway through her mouth—and dripping onto her chest—indicated all to the contrary. She looked positively lost in the sensation of sweetness upon her tongue, as much as she tried to conceal it. Thinking back to the words of the Shaman—your tutor—you have a gist as to why several things had been held back from the KanMusu. The last thing you wanted a war machine to have was a distraction in the form of a—‘Want some?’A bite wouldn’t hurt.‘Hey,’ Iowa raises an eyebrow, pulling the offending object away from the reach of your mouth. ‘I said some.’‘I paid for it.’‘No you didn’t,’ she snorts, taking another lick of her ice cream. ‘You asked that guy if he had any and he gave it to you.’‘I paid in pride.’‘Sure you did,’ Iowa rolls her eyes, right before she lets out a squeal as the flavour hits again. ‘Oh, this is just heavenly. I can’t believe that I’ve gone mu whole existence without even knowing this. There’s a difference between knowing something and actually experiencing it, isn’t there? This is bitter and sweet, isn’t it?’‘Bittersweet,’ you correct with a chuckle … and finding irony in the fact that even in this sort of weather, someone out in the realm of existence would have a craving for ice cold dairy treats. You wouldn’t have bothered with it if Iowa hadn’t declared her sudden interest in the experience that only ice cream could provide—and evidently, even the chill of autumn failed to put any damper on her enthusiasm.She had regained her battle capabilities—at least by the eye test—and had been the first KanMusu to your knowledge to actually become aware to the concept of flavour; both of them by-products of the bond that you had established with her.‘You said you were a cook, right?’‘Assistant,’ you correct her again with a frown. ‘Why?’The walls of your compound come into view as she adopts a thoughtful look.‘So you can make this, right? More of this?’‘I’ve never actually had to prepare it on the job,’ you reveal, ‘but I can fix a decent bowl if I put my mind to it.’Her eyes instantly brighten as the words leave your mouth.
>>2157890>‘Iowa, no. It’s fattening—and for you, it’s a distraction.’ (Discourage)>‘You want me to make you ice cream, don’t you?’ (Annoyed)>‘Fine—I’ll see if the rations crew can ship some contraband over.’ (Admit defeat)>‘Iowa, if the rest of the Division finds out …’ (Reason)>Write-In
>>2157890>‘Iowa, if the rest of the Division finds out …’ (Reason)as cute as it is, theres bound to be jelousy hereand no idea how to re-construct them this way
>>2157890>>‘Fine—I’ll see if the rations crew can ship some contraband over.’ (Admit defeat)How can we resist?
>>2157890>(admit defeat)I'd rather deal with jealous botes than botes we're hiding something obvious from. And sooner or later they will inevitably see that Iowa avoids eating with them or makes funny faces when she does.
>>2157890>‘Fine—I’ll see if the rations crew can ship some contraband over.’ (Admit defeat)I mean finding out that Iowa can taste things won't be the worst thing our division discovers once we end up having to explain Nee-san.
>>2157893>>‘Fine—I’ll see if the rations crew can ship some contraband over.’ (Admit defeat)W.H.I.P.P.E.D.
There were no two ways about it.It was easier to curb your reckless streak than it was to say no to Iowa when she was so earnest and … bubbly.Not to say that your good judgement didn’t put up a fight, though—for all of three seconds.‘Fine,’ you concede—sounding a lot more reluctant than you actually were about it. ‘I’ll try to see if they can get some contraband over. Not that I—’You wince in pain as your feel your shin hit something … hard. You look down to see what appeared to be an old car, a sedan, with a black paint—no, a black re-paint job. You frown as you give it a once over. It wasn’t a luxury car by any stretch, but with the fuel shortage and the minute-to-minute management of what little petroleum the Taiyouga government could give out and the fact that it was parked right in front of the compound to your barracks … the signs pointing to whoever this was being someone who mattered were more than obvious. You enter your compound alongside Iowa … and immediately see a pair of familiar faces.‘Ah, Commander,’ an old voice crackles through the cold air, ‘we were wondering where you were. I was just about to take my leave … your girls seem to have been unable to locate you.’It was the First Admiral … and right by her side in a snug-looking kimono was Bismarck.‘I, uh—’You immediately click your heels together and drop into a salute—and Iowa follows immediately, much to your relief … although she did look rather silly doing it with the whole cone in her mouth.‘Ma’am.’‘And you must be Iowa,’ she continues, not missing a beat as she approached the tall woman. ‘I do enjoy a good mint myself, but I hardly think that this is ice cream weather. Don’t you?’You glance at Iowa, who immediately and—you reluctantly admit—comically sucks in the scoops and the cones, biting down hard on the cone … before wincing and clutching her head with a whine. You fight the urge to roll your eyes. So much for being a mighty battleship.The First Admiral laughs, ‘Ah, I remember your first brain freeze, Bismarck. If you would?’Bismarck mumbles under her breath, approaching the slightly—very—pathetic form of your Division’s latest acquisition. The sound of a shutting door catches your attention, and you spy a moustachioed man in a brown suit hopping from the entrance to your barracks towards the First Admiral, dusting himself off as his teeth chattered against the cold winds.‘S-Sorry about that, ma’am, but the toilet was—’‘Please go and heat the car up—I will be joining you after I have finished conducting my business.’‘B-Busine—’He pauses right as his eyes meet yours, letting out the sound of dull realizaton.‘Oh,’ he tucks his hands underneath his armpits, ‘I’ll do that, then.’He jogs right past you without another word, leaving the First Admiral to gesture towards the doors again.‘Shall we, Commander?'
>>2158028"Of course."Go to open the door for the FA. "After you."And go put on some tea for her. The good stuff.
You glance back at Iowa and Bismarck—to which the latter gives you an inquisitive look before turning her attentions back to the former, pathetically incapacitated by swallowing a scoop and a half of chocolate ice cream, cone and all. Giving a nod to the First Admiral, you walk with her to the door and open it for her … and seeing Bismarck still tending to Iowa at that point—and that the First Admiral didn’t look fazed at all—you leave them to their business while you attended to yours. Bismarck probably had more in the way of managing the concept of agony that Iowa had just discovered … and considering her age, you doubt that the First Admiral would enjoy waiting out here any longer than she really needed to be.‘Thank you, Commander.’You close the door behind you, helping her up the slightly raised floor and guiding her to the common room, where you see Shigure, Murakumo and Tenryuu at the table with Nagato by the kitchen area with Yamato, going over what looked like a list in her hands. The first to notice you, however, was Nachi, who, upon seeing your return—as well as the First Admiral’s—jumps to her feet with a quick salute and a respectful bow.‘First Admiral,’ she greets—and the room immediately falls in, save for Nagato and Yamato, the former of the two throwing you a withering gaze from behind the counter. ‘Commander, where’ve you been? We looked all over town for you!’‘I was busy.’‘Now, now,’ the First Admiral raises a hand—to which Nachi immediately stiffens and adopts a formal stance, along with the other three. ‘What matters is that he’s here … and if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, would it be all right, Nagato dear’—you notice Nagato immediately perk up at the mention of her name—‘if we could have some privacy?’‘Of course, ma’am,’ Nagato bows respectfully, before assuming an authoritative bark, ‘you heard her—everyone up or out.’There’s no protest.Nachi dips into a deep, formal bow, before going off on her way. Shigure, however, is led out of the room by Samidare, who Tenryuu lightly pushes for them to get a move on after throwing up quick salutes. Murakumo, however … stops right in front of the First Admiral, wearing an expression that looked as though she was … struggling with something.A feeling of dread comes over you as you remember a certain incident from weeks before—one that ended up with you tanking a fist to your cheek.‘Murakumo-chan?’You’re surprised by the brief—if tight—hug that Murakumo engulfs the First Admiral in. Your eyes widens as the First Admiral stiffens slightly … before returning the hug, kissing the girl affectionately on the cheek. Her eyes light up in genuine fondness, if only for a moment … before her features turn red and she practically sprints out of the room with a squeak if apology, embarrassed by the display.
‘It’s nice to see that she isn’t embarrassed to hug an old lady like me thrice in the a day like she used to be,’ the First Admiral comments with a light ring in her voice.‘We’re not built that way, Admiral.’The First Admiral doesn’t answer, instead wearing an enigmatic smile.‘I’ll leave the both of you to your business,’ Nagato dips into a formal business bow, with Yamato following suit. ‘If there’s anything you need … we’ll be upstairs.’‘Thank you, my dear.’Nagato gives you a look of support—which, you find, was also tinged with genuine concern—before making her way out of the common room, leaving you and the First Admiral the only remaining occupants. Not one to show your lack of graciousness as a host, you immediately make your way to the kitchenette and set the kettle—which was already filled with water—on the stove and open the top cupboard for something akin to a respectable welcome for your guest.‘Coffee or tea?’‘Tea, please. No sugar.’You open the pack of rations—which thankfully, had more than enough bags for the both of you. You take out two metal mugs from the shelf to your right, setting the both of them down on the counter … and find a question immediately forming on the edge of your lips.‘Your methodology in operation and conduct is unexpected. You don’t run by the normal conventions of Command.’Grimacing, you wonder if that was an observation or a critic of your capabilities.>Write-In
>>2158271all i do is work what my heart and concience tells me, and hasnt failed me that muchand i like my troops to come alive, so if that is going against the admiralty, so it be
>>2158271You could say that, madam.To what do I owe the pleasure and honour of your visit?
>>2158271>Write-InI just do what I think is best at the time mam. Though I doubt you came all this way just to tell me im a little off.
>>2158271Lets go with this>>2158277
‘You’re probably right about that,’ you laugh, waiting for the kettle to sound off, ‘but at the risk of sounding a little bit too forward … to what do I owe this visit?’‘It’s comforting to know that you’re at least to the point.’You lean against the counter, keeping your eye on heated kettle on the stove before turning back to the seated Admiral. There were no illusions that she was here to merely shoot the breeze. After the last two meetings, you doubt that anyone would have an inclination to see you on pure social graces.She peers around, her lips forming a thin line, before staring back at you, ‘You’ve kept the place habitable—a little less in the way of elegance, but I suppose it couldn’t be helped, could it? This building is probably older than my second-born.’‘It used to be a school dormitory before it was turned into a storage unit,’ you pause, allowing her to ease into the conversation, to dictate its terms. There was no sense for you to press on. If she wanted to keep things from you in the first place, she needn’t have bothered to talk to you at all. ‘The Admiralty converted it into a liveable space, but … well, you take what you can get.’‘If nothing else … you make a good home-maker.’You try to fight down a smile. Even the possibility of it being an insult hardly discouraged you from taking it as a compliment anyway.‘Thank you.’Silence reigns for a moment. You focus on the kettle, waiting for it to boil while she … collects herself in her thoughts. Whatever she had to say, if it was anything important, probably wasn’t for loud across-the-room booms like this. Placing the tea bags into the mugs, the light hiss of the kettle tells you that the water is of acceptable temperature, to which you turn off the stove and pour it into the mugs, giving them a light stir each before picking them up and making your way to your work table, setting her mug down first before taking a seat in your chair.She raises the cup to her lips, giving it a good sniff, followed by a sip … and a grimace comes right after.‘They haven’t bothered to change this out at all, have they?’‘Nutrients over niceties,’ you recite, taking a sip of your own before letting out a hiss. Bitter and hot, like it always was. ‘So, if I may, ma’am—just what is this visit for exactly?’She pauses for a moment, fixing her gaze upon you before speaking, ‘Quite a few things, but … the most immediate concern—and one that I fear will come into fruition sooner than possible is that the Admiralty and the Haszad government have come to an agreement on a joint-defence initiative with the Lords and Senates presiding. There’s no planned date … but they are rushing to commence their operations as soon as possible.’
>>2158711>‘And what does this have to do with me?’ (Confused)>‘Impossible—the Admiralty’s already in the muck.’ (Disbelief)>‘Well, it’s the only logical development from the alliance …’ (Concede)>‘How do you know this?’ (Inquisitive)>‘Well, if it’s to get defences up, I can’t say that it’s not something that I hope won’t happen ASAP.’ (Supportive)>Write-In
>>2158719>>‘Impossible—the Admiralty’s already in the muck.’ (Disbelief)
>>2158711>‘And what does this have to do with me?’ (Confused)they are going to sell our ass to haszad, arent they
>>2158719It was a matter of time. We’ll have to make best out of bad situation. (Resolved)>>2158785Rather they’re gonna deploy us. We’re probably too valuable to be handed over to satisfy “allies’” bloodlust.
>>2158803i wouldent underestimate the posibilityhaszad is much more "fresh" than us and we CANNOT deal with the war against the abyssals and haszad, and they know itmayve it wont happen, but, get your ass ready for a lot of bad shit
>>2158719>Write-in>It was a matter of time. We’ll have to make best out of bad situation. (Resolved)
>>2158719>‘Well, it’s the only logical development from the alliance …’ (Concede)"not an unexpected development, considering from what I saw in that conference."Take a sip of tea."I guess what is more pertinent is exactly what concessions did the Admiralty give to them."
>>2158719>>2158994This.It's not an unexpected result and the important bit is what we had to offer to them since at the meeting, we only heard what they were offering. And that FA is here means that it probably concerns us or our flotilla.