So, news! Back to classes this week- the good news is my long days are only twice a week, instead of four days a week like I'd thought. The bad news is one of those days is Thursday. We get out at 1700, but that last class is effectively just extra machine time, so I expect to be leaving a little early most of the time. This week's run will probably also end a little early at night, since I'm still trying to get back on a relatively normal sleep schedule, haha! Archive here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Strike%20Witches%202016and Discord here: https://discord.gg/q4RXBykrXU====================================================================Kyou managed to clean off the plate of snacks you'd set out for her before retreating to shower, which isn't a surprise at all. Mori had showered first, having changed into a T-shirt and a pair of shorts that, honestly, cover more leg than you'd expected- though given their camoflague pattern, you suspect they're IJA issue. She takes the stool next to the one just vacated by Kyou and looks into the kitchen, interested. "The princess said you're protective of your kitchen when you're cooking." She says, a smile playing around her lips. "She also said it was your right, considering how good the food you make is." You shrug. "Easier to work around fewer people." You say, shooting a glance over at Wendy- who smiles lightly herself. She's well aware that she's one of the privileged few you consider a big enough help to have free access to your kitchen whenever she wants. Mori laughs. "Doesn't surprise me that the princess isn't one allowed in there, then. From what I've seen, she'd be more interested in sampling the food than helping make it." You nod. "Mostly, yes." You respond. "She'll help a little, but you've got to make twice as much." There's a brief period of quiet before Wendy speaks up. "How was the gym?" She asks. Mori laughs. "The Princess is more fit than I'd thought." She responds. "I guess I should have expected it." Wendy nods. "She can be quite surprising." the older witch agrees. "Though you must watch her, she's a habit of cheating and using her power to enhance herself to push others." Mori laughs. "That must be difficult for Morgan, then." She says. 1/2
You shrug. "She doesn't do it for very long." you respond- you're only lying a little. Kyou doesn't do that sort of thing when you're on your morning runs anymore, and you don't really go to the gym at the same times. She still does it in other places, of course- though it's hard to complain about that. "Just enough to test, huh?" Mori asks, and you and Wendy both nod. "She also tells me that we've got a good relationship with our commanding officer." Mori says. "The guard briefing I had indicated that the admiral isn't really a commander so much as an administrative overseer." You frown. That's not entirely wrong, but at the same time, it's not right. Merlin does coordinate with other flag and staff rank officers in theater, helping to make sure that you, like any WCT, is used to best effect within the area. She doesn't really have any command authority past handing you your target or objectives. At the same time, though, that's still a fairly significant level of control. She also has the ability to ground you- and in theory, can install test and trial systems aboard any aircraft of the element with or without consulting you, though you doubt she'd ever exercise that right. On paper, her job is only really to make sure that your team is employed correctly in respect to your unique skills and abilities compared to other WCTs.  That's kind of right, but not really. Merlin coordinates when and where we fly.  I guess that's right. She gives us our targets, we decide everything else.
>>4622493>[x] That's kind of right, but not really. Merlin coordinates when and where we fly.She also eats food
>>4622493>[x] That's kind of right, but not really. Merlin coordinates when and where we fly.
>>4622493>[X] That's kind of right, but not really. Merlin coordinates when and where we fly.
>>4622493> That's kind of right, but not really. Merlin coordinates when and where we fly."We also keep her from destroying the world with her Science."
>>4622493> That's kind of right, but not really. Merlin coordinates when and where we fly.
ok, votes called!
[x] That's kind of right, but not really. Merlin coordinates when and where we fly. You shrug. "That's kind of right, but not really." You say. "Merlin coordinates when and where we fly." "But everything else is decided by you or the princess?" Mori asks. You nod. "Or Wendy." You say. "Right." Mori responds, nodding. "So you plan your missions as a team after being assigned them by Merlin?" You nod again. "Yeah." You say, indicating Wendy. "Wendy's got a lot more experience than we do, so we tend to listen to her. But we decide routes and loads as a team, since that's how we operate." "It's all made rather easier to coordinate by the MIU." Wendy offers. "We don't use it except in flight, of course, but it lets you understand each other to a much greater degree, even without it active. It does allow us to plan much more quickly, for example." "Right." Mori says. "So when can I expect to be brought in on that?" "As soon as we're flying again, I expect." Wendy supplies, looking over at you for confirmation. That's far more assertive than she'd have been normally, which you think is a good sign- though she's still clearly only saying what she expects you to. You nod. "Wendy's probably right." You agree. "We'll double check with Merlin, but as far as I know the plan is tomorrow." "Good." The bodyguard says, looking over as Kyou emerges from the bathroom, her wet hair still hanging loose. "Highness." Kyou frowns. "What have I said about referring to me that way in the privacy of our quarters?" She says, shaking her head. "Apologies." Mori responds. "Accepted." Kyou says, then smiles. "I expect dinner will be ready soon?" She asks. "Unusual that Merlin isn't here yet." You frown- she's right, it is a little unusual, though it doesn't quite worry you- yet. Odds are she's dealing with personal issues- at least, that's what you'd expect- but it's also possible that she's still up in her office, or even out on the line right now. "I can go attempt to fetch her." Wendy offers. "I can't imagine she'd be that difficult to find." Kyou looks over at you.  She'll be here when she's hungry. You stay here, Wendy.  Might not be a bad idea. Let's go look for her, Wendy.  If you don't mind, yeah. I'll stay here and keep an eye on dinner.
>>4622594>[X] If you don't mind, yeah. I'll stay here and keep an eye on dinner.
>>4622594> Might not be a bad idea. Let's go look for her, Wendy.
>>4622594>[x] Might not be a bad idea. Let's go look for her, Wendy.
>>4622594> If you don't mind, yeah. I'll stay here and keep an eye on dinner.BORDER PATROL.ALL GLORY TO MORGANLANDIA.
>>4622594> If you don't mind, yeah. I'll stay here and keep an eye on dinner.
>>4622594>[x] If you don't mind, yeah. I'll stay here and keep an eye on dinner.We trust Wendy to find Merlin quicklyWe *don't* trust Kyou not to eat all the food
Ok, votes called!
[x] If you don't mind, yeah. I'll stay here and keep an eye on dinner. You look over at Kyou who, despite her efforts to look the picture of innocence, you can tell is really hoping you decide to head out with your other teammate in search of Merlin- so she can 'sample' the meal a little early. You don't doubt that she'd leave enough for you and Wendy- even if you'd probably have to make more later in the evening with Merlin added in- especially with Merlin factored in. "If you don't mind, yeah." You say. "I'll stay here and keep an eye on dinner." Wendy nods. "I'll return shortly, then." She says, smiling as she pulls off her apron, stepping past you to hang it on the hook near the door and pulling on her shoes. Kyou watches her as she steps out, then turns to you, smiling faintly. "I am surprised you didn't wish to go with her." She says. You shrug. "Don't want the food to burn and can't let it get cold." "I see." Kyou responds. "And perhaps it is that my consort doesn't trust me to not eat most of it before anyone else has had a chance to take their servings?" "The thought crossed my mind." You admit.Kyou's smile gets a little wider. "Perhaps it is time to admit that the MIU truly does allow you to know me as well as I believe I know you." She says. "Probably." You respond, smiling back at her. "Ah, the shame!" Kyou responds dramatically. "To be known as one would not place her household's needs above her own! The future of the family will have to rest on my beloved younger brother and his household!" You laugh. "Should I make something for you to snack on?" You ask. "We've probably got a few minutes." Kyou laughs and shakes her head. "No." She says. "Besides, I'd not have my new bodyguard thinking I'm incapable of some measure of self-control in the privacy of my home." Mori shrugs, looking carefully disinterested. "I never paid attention to rumors anyway." She says. "Rumors?" Kyou prompts. "About the wolf princess and her appetite." Mori clarifies. "How much of her pilot's cooking she and her family ate on their visit to the imperial palace grounds." Kyou laughs. "I'm also informed that my mother thought very highly of some of the items prepared." Mori nods. "The cooks have been looking for the recipe he used," She says, looking over at you, "But they're certain it's something he made up." You shrug.  It's my own version of an existing recipe.  Sorry, coven secret. I can't tell you yet.
>>4622703> It's my own version of an existing recipe.
>>4622703>[X] It's my own version of an existing recipe.
>>4622703>[X] Sorry, coven secret. I can't tell you yet.
>>4622703>[x] It's my own version of an existing recipe.
>>4622703> Sorry, coven secret. I can't tell you yet.SASS
>>4622703>[x] Sorry, family secret. I can't tell you unless we're married.heh
>>4622703> It's my own version of an existing recipe.Do we get brownie points if we write it down for them?
>>4622703>>4622710>>4622730changing to +1 this. Too good teasing to pass up
oop, sorry gents. votes called, I'm gonna use the write-in so there's no tie!
[x] Sorry, family secret. I can't tell you unless we're married.You shake your head with a smile. "Sorry," You say. "Family secret. I can't tell you unless we're married." Kyou blinks, then smiles. "How soon would you prefer the ceremony to be, then?" She asks. "As there's no question that we will be married at some point. Perhaps it better if we do so now, and remove any doubt anyone may harbor as to our relationship?" "I think the crown princess Mizuki does expect it on your return to the empire." Mori remarks. "As popular as the wolf princess is in the public's mind, I'm sure she thinks it better that no young nobles get the wrong impression about your availability." Kyou blinks. "She is?" She asks. "She's not informed me." Mori shakes her head. "No, it's something I was informed of before I left to come here." She says. "I believe the crown princess is preferring the naval temple at Kure for the ceremony, but there are several potential locations, I'm sure." "I see." Kyou responds, looking a little deflated. You can't laugh, of course- though it is almost funny to see Kyou's response turned on it's head like that. It takes Wendy about twenty minutes to return, stepping into your rooms with Merlin in tow. For her part, Merlin doesn't look much different than you expected- slightly distracted, and a little nervous, almost. "Sorry to make you wait." Wendy says. "Miss Wells was finishing up some work that simply couldn't be put off." "Sorry." Merlin says, but Kyou shakes her head. "The fault is ours." Kyou says. "We assumed without asking that you would be able to take supper at this time." "I should have been." Merlin says. "I got hung up doing.." She pauses. "Something." "I see." Kyou responds diplomatically, looking over at you- you're pretty sure you manage to keep your face neutral. "If it's anything we can assist with, please don't hesitate to ask us." Merlin looks like she's ready to say something, but then shakes her head. "I think it's mostly handled, now." She says. "Anyway, I'm hungry. And is that cake I smell?"  It is, and you can go grab a seat, I'll bring out the food.  Would you prefer to just skip straight to the cake?
>>4622899>[X] It is, and you can go grab a seat, I'll bring out the food.
>>4622899> It is, and you can go grab a seat, I'll bring out the food.
>>4622899>[x] It is, and you can go grab a seat, I'll bring out the food.Let's make sure Merlin's actually eating a good meal before filling her with Chocolate Cake.
>>4622899>[x] It is, and you can go grab a seat, I'll bring out the food.Merlin knows Morgan's cake is not a lie
And gents, I'm going to call it there for the night. I'm really beat- during the winter break I got into real vampire hours, going to bed at 06-07 and waking up around 14 or 15, so trying to get myself back to racking out around 22-23 and waking up at 06-07 has been a real hassle, haha. Right now I'm racking out around 23 and waking up at like 23, so as you can imagine, days are pretty long right now! But that's going to be it for the night. I'll be around another little bit or so, but not very long, so if you have a question or a comment and I don't respond, I'm probably sleeping, haha! Otherwise, though, till tomorrow gents, cheers!
>>4622914thanks for running
>>4622899>>4622899>[x] It is, and you can go grab a seat, I'll bring out the food.If she grumbles about wanting cake first, hit her with puppy dog eyes.
>>4622899>[x] It is, and you can go grab a seat, I'll bring out the food.>>4622914Thanks for the run Ghost!
>>4622914>Right now I'm racking out around 23 and waking up at like 23Think I found your problem chief
>>4622914Thanks for the run boss.
>>4622899> It is, and you can go grab a seat, I'll bring out the food.Chez Morgan
>>4622899>[x] It is, and you can go grab a seat, I'll bring out the food.Dinner first. Then desert.
Gents, I'm sorry to do it this way, but I'mma have to postpone the run a day. I'm running on about a 2 hour nap right now and so I'm going to eat my evening meal and crash again, haha. We'll do a make up day to cover it on Friday. Sorry again guys, this whole 'normal person' schedule stuff is horrible, haha!
>>4623935Sleep well, Ghost.
Alright gents, votes called!
[x] It is, and you can go grab a seat, I'll bring out the food. You nod. "It is." You respond, and she smiles widely. "And you can go grab a seat, I'll bring out the food." "Ok!" She says, nodding and heading to the table as Wendy comes back into the kitchen to help you with the food. Kyou and Mori both take their seats at the table as well, Mori taking the one next to Wendy, leaving Merlin alone on one side. Kyou looks interested as you bring out the pan of food- Wendy's already brought out the pot of egg noodles you'd prepared and seen to everyone's drinks. Mori looks interested in it too, though you note she's already got a good sized plate of red beans and rice in front of her- along with a side plate of fresh vegetables that Wendy must have set out for her. "What's this?" Merlin asks. "Coq au van." You respond, spooning a couple peices of chicken and sauce over a bed of egg noodles for her. "French recipe." "Of course." She says, smiling. "You like your French recipes." You shrug- You've never given it much thought. You guess she's right, though- Kyou nods in agreement. "We got the engine settings modified." Merlin says after about a minute. She's already about a quarter of the way through her plate in that time, you note- and Kyou's not far behind her much larger serving. You're suddenly glad you let Wendy talk you into making all four chickens- though now you're wondering if even that was enough. "So you'll be able to do a full range of power settings tomorrow." "Excellent." Kyou says. "Once we're able to do so, when should we expect a return to the front?" "Soon, I think." Merlin says, frowning a little. "So far, the reports from Korea sound like the Chinese are trying to limit their exposure to losses right now, and are surrendering ground instead of contesting it. There's indications they're withdrawing back to China across the northern border and the Yellow sea. " 1/2
Kyou frowns. "That's... odd." She says. "They started this war, only to withdraw at the first sign of trouble?" Merlin shakes her head. "I'm not sure." She responds. "There's been no reports of contact with Chinese witches, and the only thing worth noting really is there's been a lot of encounters with new equipment in really limited engagements." "Such as Mars?" Kyou asks, and Merlin nods. "Yeah, exactly like that." she says. "But the one you brought down has been the only one encountered so far. But they've not deployed any additional witches, and the ones that were there are gone, or haven't been used in combat in several days." Kyou frowns. "That makes little sense." She says, and Merlin nods again, agreeing. "No one has really figured it out. At least not anyone that's told us anything." The older witch responds. "But I and a lot of other people would feel better about things if you were back at the front. I'm not sure if you'll be operating off the Kaga again or not though." "If not there, where?" Kyou asks. "I'm not sure." Merlin responds. "Shimofusa or Atsugi, probably. Those are the two bases right now that can handle a combat team." Kyou nods. "Either would be nice, it would allow us to spend some time at the palace." She says, then frowns a little. "Though we'd prefer to be closer to the front, if possible. Yes, Morgan?" She asks.  I think so, yeah. If we can get a carrier again, that'd be great.  There's advantages either way, really.  I think I'd rather we had the better support at a land base.
>>4625699>[X] There's advantages either way, really.
>>4625699> I think so, yeah. If we can get a carrier again, that'd be great.
>>4625699>[X] I think so, yeah. If we can get a carrier again, that'd be great.
>>4625699> There's advantages either way, really.
>>4625699>[x] There's advantages either way, really.
>>4625699>[x] I think so, yeah. If we can get a carrier again, that'd be great.
[x] There's advantages either way, really. "There's advantages either way." You say, thinking about it. A carrier puts you closer in- meaning you'll be more available for critical responses to things, if necessary, and it also means that you'll burn less fuel in transit, giving you more combat time. That second point isn't as much of an issue for you as it might be for another aircraft, but you're still mindful of ranges because of Wendy and Mori. Of course, part of you is anxious to be able to spend time in the palace, even if settling in might not be really possible yet. Merlin nods. "We're going to have to keep an eye on things between now and when we go back." She says. "I may have us put in at a land base just because I'll need the space for work." "Are you planning further modifications for us?" Kyou asks. Merlin shakes her head. "Not right now, I haven't worked on anything in a little while, before we started work on installing the cannon and new engines." She says. "But I think I should be able to soon again, so I'll have new test equipment available eventually." "I see." Kyou responds. "Then this distraction you spoke of was temporary?" You shoot a glance over at Wendy, who's done the same in your direction. Kyou doesn't know- yet- you think- and Wendy's clearly thinking the same thing. Merlin frowns. "I guess." She responds, after a second. "It shouldn't be a problem anymore." Kyou nods, satisfied by the answer. "Excellent." She says. "It has been noticeable that you were bothered by something.""Really?" Merlin asks, blinking. "I'm sorry, I didn't want it to be." Kyou shakes her head. "It was noticeable." She says again. "But not to the point of becoming a problem. Had it been, we would have approached you about it." Merlin smiles. "Well, I don't think it will be, anymore." She says. "But I may be taking some personal leave in a few days to deal with some things back home." Kyou's face is impassive, but you can hear her brain spinning up at the statement. "Is there any way we can assist?" She asks. "I don't think so." Merlin responds. "I may need some help getting things moved into the vought house here, though. I'll be making that my permanent stateside residence from here on in." "I see." Kyou says, looking over at you. "Perhaps we should begin dining there. I'm sure the kitchen is larger, at least." Merlin nods. "That would be nice." She says, smiling a little. "The house is pretty big for just me." "I'm quite sure you'd be welcome to spend the night here, should you need company." Wendy offers. "Though I'm sure that your own bed is preferable to our couch." Kyou nods. "Wendy is correct, of course you're welcome here whenever you wish to stay." she says. "Perhaps, with Morgan's permission, I can have a suite set aside for you at the palace as well. I would not have you feeling alone if we can prevent it." I think that's a pretty good idea, yeah.  Let's not get too ahead of ourselves, yet.
>>4625822>[X] I think that's a pretty good idea, yeah.
>>4625822>[x] I think that's a pretty good idea, yeah.We should be fine as long as things don't move too fast.
>>4625822> I think that's a pretty good idea, yeah.let's not pretend this is going anywhere else
>>4625822> I think that's a pretty good idea, yeah.
[x] I think that's a pretty good idea, yeah. You nod. "I think that's a pretty good idea, yeah." You agree. "But you'd have to visit." Merlin smiles. "If I could, I'd move in." She responds. "Especially since you promised me cake every day." You laugh. "You know that I can't make you a cake everyday. I'll make sure you have it least once a week, though." She frowns a little, but nods. "Alright." She says, then smiles. "But remember, you promised!" "We'll make sure he honors his word." Kyou states. "Though if he's to do that, you'll have to join us for our morning runs, at least. As capable a cook as he is, I doubt even Morgan can make that much cake healthy for anyone, and we won't be responsible for you having a heart attack." Merlin pauses with a slight frown, but then nods. "Deal." She says, smiling again. "I guess I could start staying with you on weekends, and that way we could have cake the same time every week?" Kyou nods. "That would work well, I think." She says, looking over at you. "Though I imagine Morgan will be busier now with groceries." You shrug- small price to pay, you think, and with Wendy around it's not like it's much trouble for you anyway. "Of course, the logistics may be somewhat more challenging once we're in the palace." Kyou states. "And as much as I imagine they'll tolerate, I cannot see the navy being amenable to us flying to the US weekly." Merlin laughs. "Maybe I'll just have to move in." She says. "I probably won't keep my commission after the war is over, and I could use a change of scenery. Besides, Dr. Hayashi is wonderful to work with, and I'm thinking I may stay on with her team after this is over." "Is that so?" Kyou asks. "With Mitsubishi?" "Partly." Merlin nods. "It's a corporate thing, I'd still be employed by Vought, but working with Mitsubishi, at least temporarily. The two companies are thinking of spinning their wyvern teams off into a separate entity, with Vought and Mitsubishi each taking partial ownership." "I see." Kyou says. "For technology sharing?" Merlin nods again. "Yes, exactly." She responds. "One of the points of the sale was that all technology for the platform would be shared between the countries freely. So I'd just transfer to the Japanese office and keep working." "What of your family?" Kyou asks. "Would they move as well?" 1/2
Merlin hesitates. "I-" She pauses. "My husband and I are getting a divorce." "Ah-" Kyou says, a little surprised. "My apologies." "No, it's ok." Merlin says, shaking her head. "We let it drag too long. It's just a little strange." "Are you alright, mum?" Wendy asks. "Perhaps you should stay here this evening?" She says. "Not good for the mind to be alone in a large house right now." Merlin nods. "If that's alright?" She says. "I kind of don't want to be alone right now." "Of course." Kyou responds. "Perhaps dessert will also help. Morgan made that wonderful cake again, correct?" You nod. "If everyone's done, sure." You say, standing up. Wendy stands to help- of course- and the two of you clear the table quickly. There's not much left over, which doesn't surprise you in the least, and Mori completely finished the red beans and rice, confirming your suspicions that she's got a healthy appetite as well. "I rather hope I didn't overstep." Wendy says. "It's just- well, I still feel rather guilty about her former marriage, and it's failure-"  If you hadn't said anything, Kyou or I would have. It's fine, Wendy.  None of that was your fault, Wendy. But it's done now anyway.  I wish you hadn't, but too late now anyway.
>>4625892>[X] If you hadn't said anything, Kyou or I would have. It's fine, Wendy.
>>4625892>[X] None of that was your fault, Wendy If you hadn't said anything, Kyou or I would have. It's fine, Wendy.Bit of both there
>>4625892> If you hadn't said anything, Kyou or I would have. It's fine, Wendy.
>>4625892>>4625894+1 but with better punctuation
>>4625892>[x] None of that was your fault, Wendy. But it's done now anyway.
>>4625892> If you hadn't said anything, Kyou or I would have. It's fine, Wendy.[Headpats]
Ok, votes called! This'll probably be our last for the evening, getting pretty tired over here, haha.
[x] None of that was your fault, Wendy. But it's done now anyway. You shake your head, frowning. "None of that was your fault, Wendy." You say. "But it's done now, anyway." "I'll think of some way to make it up to you." She says with a slightly lewd grin. "Perhaps later this evening?" "We're going to have company." You remind her. "And you've got a bad habit of being loud." "Clearly I shall have to find some way to muffle myself, then." Wendy responds, smiling. "I seem to recall Tabitha was a fan of a gag of some sort." "We'll talk about it later." You say, and Wendy laughs lightly. She thinks she's won the argument there- not that there was ever much of an argument to begin with. There rarely is- You, her and Kyou are all usually of the same mind on most things anyway, and that's certainly one of the topics where the three of you agree wholeheartedly. You carry the cake out as Kyou explains to Mori it's significance. "The cake is one from a recipe thought lost." She says. "I am unsure of it's origin, but it was Admiral Wells' favorite during the Soviet war. When the original chef passed, she thought it lost forever. However, he'd left behind his recipe books for Morgan, to be given on his graduation from flight school." Mori nods, eyeing the cake. "I assume it's highly thought of?" "It's the best thing you ever had." Merlin says, watching as you set the plate down and cut her off a fairly large slice. She savors it, usually eating the cake much, much more slowly than she inhales other food, but even so, you know that this slice will be gone in a few minutes. You serve everyone else out, noting that there's less than a quarter of the cake left after everyone's gotten one slice. "How much sugar is in it?" Mori asks. You shake your head. "It's not that bad, so far as cakes go." You respond. "There's a bunch of sugar, though, yeah." "Figures." Mori responds, then shrugs. "Oh well. I'll make it up tomorrow." 1/2
You nod, letting her take a bite before you start on your own piece, just to see her reaction. She frowns a little at the cake, taking another bite, then another. "Dangerous." She says, and everyone else at the table laughs a little. "I find it requires an additional mile on my morning run." Kyou states. "not much to ask.""I can see why you'd want to limit it to once a week, though." Mori responds. You nod. "If we'd let her, I don't think Merlin would eat anything else." "I wouldn't." She agrees. "Probably." You all laugh again at the statement, but then you all finish your cake in relative silence. There's just enough left to make sure that everyone can get a small second slice later- though you'll probably give yours up for Kyou or Wendy or Merlin- whoever gets to it first, really. "Well, I need to go get a few things, if I'll be staying here." Merlin says, standing up. "Will you need help?" Wendy asks. "I'll be glad to come along." Merlin shakes her head. "No, thank you Wendy." She says. "But you're sure you're ok with me staying? It's going to be a little crowded in here." Kyou nods. "Of course." She says, then smiles. "What is the discomfort of being close with those you hold important?" Merlin pauses, then nods. "Ok, I'll be back in a little bit." She says, quickly heading out of the door. She's gone for about a minute when Mori speaks up. "Is this wise?" She asks. "I've no complaints, but it seems to me that inviting her to stay here so soon will be seen as... "She pauses, looking for the right word. "Improper." Kyou shrugs. "Perhaps, but I care little." She says. "Besides, any bothered by my decision outside this household will no doubt be mollified by Merlin's own reputation.""And inside?" Mori prompts. "I have no complaint." Wendy says, before Kyou speaks. "It may be a little forward of me, but I've been quite looking forward to the possibility." Kyou nods. "Morgan?" She asks.  It's moving a little fast for me, but otherwise what Wendy said.  Honestly, I'm surprised you didn't just ask her to stay with us on a permanent basis.
And that's going to be it for me for the night, haha! Kinda in that weird place where I'm dog tired, but awake enough that I may be up another short while yet. Remember we'll be running a make-up thread tomorrow to cover for yesterday- I think we're in a pretty good place to get to where I'd hoped to this week, despite me having my schedule all jacked up, haha. Anyway, as usual, I'll be around both here and in the discord to answer any questions or comments. Otherwise, gents, till tomorrow, cheers!
>>4626007>[X] It's moving a little fast for me, but otherwise what Wendy said.>>4626011Thanks for the run boss.
>>4626007>[x] Honestly, I'm surprised you didn't just ask her to stay with us on a permanent basis.
>>4626007>[x] It's moving a little fast for me, but otherwise what Wendy said.
>>4626007> Honestly, I'm surprised you didn't just ask her to stay with us on a permanent basis.SASS
>>4626007> It's moving a little fast for me, but otherwise what Wendy said
>>4626005>"And you've got a bad habit of being loud."nice>Clearly I shall have to find some way to muffle myself, then." *nice*
>>4626007>[x] It's moving a little fast for me, but otherwise what Wendy said.>>4626011Thanks for the run Ghost!
>>4626007> It's moving a little fast for me, but otherwise what Wendy said.
>>4626007Also> Honestly, I'm surprised you didn't just ask her to stay with us on a permanent basis.
>>4626007>[X] It's moving a little fast for me, but otherwise what Wendy said.
ok gents, votes called! Probably going to be a shorter run this evening, I'm pretty tired- didn't nap today, haha. If we need to we'll extend another day.
[x] It's moving a little fast for me, but otherwise what Wendy said. "It's moving a little fast for me, but otherwise what Wendy said." you respond. Kyou frowns, then nods. "I will admit things are progressing much more quickly than I anticipated. I suspect that her own personal plans were in line with ours far more than I'd initially thought." "You think she wants to be part of your household?" Mori asks. "Enough that she'd leave her husband over it?" "There was little to hold them together, I'm afraid." Wendy offers. "It's quite apparent now that they only were married because they believed what we had told them. Had we not, I suspect they'd have never gotten together." Kyou nods. "And it's more than evident now that that's the exact case." She says. "I suspect, had we offered her a place with us permanently, she'd have accepted without any hesitation." "It wouldn't be much of a change for her, really." Wendy points out. "She already eats supper with us almost nightly, she spends a great deal of time with us. At this point I rather suspect she'd be more comfortable here anyway, as she'd be able to shed a great deal of domestic tasks she has no interest in." "Most likely." Kyou agrees. "Regardless, I feel as if the current arrangement should be made to stand before we invite any further movement, especially if she really does intend to remove herself from active service and remain on the home islands after the war." "It's still a little surprising that she's so open to the idea of moving in." Mori says, frowning. "What of her children? She has children, right?" "Two daughters." You say. "And of course they'd be adopted." Kyou responds. "At least in as much as they can be." Mori frowns- then shakes her head. "I don't know enough about the situation to make any further comment. The three of you know her far better than I do, and I'll accept whatever decision you make regarding the situation." "Ultimately, the decision is hers and Morgan's and Wendy's." Kyou says. "As they've the greatest amount of time with her. I'm willing to accept their decision, regardless." "And you already know my feelings." Wendy says, smiling lightly. "At least, I should think I've made them quite apparent." "Very." Mori states. "What about you, Morgan?"  I just want to make sure we don't rush things and make everything worse. We should avoid speeding things along too much.  I just want to make sure everyone ends up happy. If she wants to speed things along, then that's fine.
>>4626902>[X] I just want to make sure we don't rush things and make everything worse. We should avoid speeding things along too much.
>>4626902>[x] I just want to make sure we don't rush things and make everything worse. We should avoid speeding things along too much.
>>4626902> I just want to make sure everyone ends up happy. If she wants to speed things along, then that's fine.
>>4626902>[x] I just want to make sure everyone ends up happy. If she wants to speed things along, then that's fine.
[x] I just want to make sure we don't rush things and make everything worse. We should avoid speeding things along too much. "I just want to make sure we don't rush things and make everything worse." You say, getting a nod from Mori. "We should avoid speeding things along too much." Kyou's expression doesn't change- though Wendy blinks. "Even if she wishes to accelerate things?" Kyou asks, and you nod. "Better to be slow and certain." You say, "Than let her rush into a third failure." Kyou frowns- but nods. "Yes, I think you're correct." She responds after a minute. "I have no doubt that this is her end goal, but rushing things may prove to be their undoing in the long term. Better that we force things to progress at a more manageable rate."That more or less ends the conversation- You and Wendy go back to cleaning up, while Kyou and Mori retreat to the living room to sit and talk, with Mori still trying to gather as much information as she can about the household dynamics and, of course, Merlin. You and Wendy join them after setting the dishes on the counter- one of you will load them in the dishwasher before you go to bed. Wendy sits for just a minute before standing and disappearing into the bedroom, emerging with sheets and a couple of blankets for the couch. She sets them on one end, out of the way, and then sits back down next to Kyou. Merlin knocks on the door almost exactly twenty minutes after she left to get her things, returning with a flight bag that's packed with a couple of shirts, her laptop, and you assume her shower kit- signaling her intent to remain at least for a couple of days. You don't stay up too long though- both you and Kyou starting to yawn at about the same time. "It appears my pilot and I are both suddenly very tired." Kyou announces, standing up- you mirror the move. "We'll be retiring, but you're all welcome to remain up as long as you like. Don't forget, however, we will be going on a morning run." "Of course." Mori says, nodding, and Wendy nods as well. "I'll be along shortly." She says. "Though I should like to stay up and visit some." "Of course." Kyou says- then heads into the bedroom, with you not far behind. "A pity we can't stay up longer." She says, stifling another yawn. "But if we're to fly again tomorrow, I'd rather have more sleep. And I doubt Wendy is quite so tired as we are." You shrug. "She'd never wake us up for that." You point out, and Kyou nods. "Which is the great pity of it all." She says, then grins. "Though I'm more than willing to attempt to remain awake for a while longer. I'm sure we can think of a way to do so, yes?" After thinking about it while brushing your teeth, you have to admit the two of you are able to come up with some pretty good ideas.
And that's gonna be it for the week, gents! I'm hoping this is the only week where we're gonna have this sort of nonsense owing to sleep- almost feels like I'm on the schedule I want now, if a little offset, still. I'll be around over the weekend, of course, to answer any questions or comments, either here or in the discord. Probably not anymore tonight, though- I, like our heros, am dog tired- and unlike them I've no good way to stay awake, haha! Anyway, gents, that's it for the week, so till next week, Cheers!
>>4627009Thanks for the run boss.
>>4627009Thanks for the run Ghost!
>>4627009thanks for running
Considering that Frank sees Merlin as a sort of little sister I'm a bit curious on his reaction to this, or maybe he was expecting it.
>>4627318I know it won't happen this way, but I love the idea of Frank not realizing anything lewd at all is happening there for, like, years. The thought just never occurring to him that someone in his family could ever lewd Merlin. I mean, in his eyes, she's always gonna be his little sister who needs an airplane ride for sassing him, even if it is a bit tough to balance her on his shoulders with the walker.
Ok gents, sorry about the late start! Probably going to be another short night- really short, honestly, haha. Been up since about 02 and had a long day in class. Lathes are a little nerve wracking to work with. Really neat and honestly a little more intuitive and easier to set up than a mill, but man. I expect a short run tonight- maybe no more than one or two updates, just to whenever I really can't keep my eyes open anymore, so we'll run a make up day Friday. No news other than that, though!==============================================================================================Your morning run almost made you think of your time at the academy, with it's formation runs. You doubt you were the only one thinking that, as well, as the five of you made your way around the base in the pre-dawn morning, before even the first flights were going up. War or no, the fighter weapons school is still running, and there's also the crop of trainee witches flying. They were leaving for their class run about the same time you and Kyou stepped out of the building, ahead of everyone else. You're pretty sure you saw Tatyana in the group, though you don't think she saw you. Either way, you're glad she's gotten to flight, and hope her attitude has improved. They weren't around by the time you got back, and must have followed a different route around the base. You're more impressed that Merlin managed to keep up without looking too out of breath by the end of the run- she's always neglected her PT if left to her own devices, so even completing your fairly punishing morning routine is impressive for her. Once you're back in quarters, Wendy showers first by standing agreement- you'll get it right after her, then it's up to everyone else to sort out their own place while you two prepare breakfast. You usually let Wendy lead for the morning meal- though you've noticed she prefers things that you'd prepare anyway- sausage, bacon, eggs, pancakes of waffles. Regardless, though, you've more than come to terms with how much you enjoy her company in the kitchen. Everyone else has showered and changed by the time the two of you have the food prepared, with Wendy setting down a tray of fruit slices for Mori, along with a plate of pancakes. "We're to perform more test flights today, yes?" Kyou asks, watching hungrily as you fork several peices of bacon on to her plate and add a small pile of sausages. 1/3
Merlin nods. "Ideally." She responds. "I should be getting a call that they've got the targets I wanted in the range set up for you, we want to test Yellowstone's ability to defeat armor, since we've seen what it will do to soft targets. If we have a problem with armor, I think I can tweak the initial laser pulse to a slightly longer or more powerful one, but we'll need to see what happens first." She watches as you finish filling Kyou's plate before taking hers and similarly piling it high. "But that won't be until later this afternoon, we still need to get the engine control configuration set up so your afterburner and WEP aren't locked to closed cycle operation. I don't think that will take very long though." "Have you made any progress on an improved weapons load for Tessa?" Wendy asks. "I think so." Merlin says with a nod. "We've got plans for a belt fed, caseless, one inch cannon that we were testing for tank witches in the ninteys. The bigger guns that Spears was suggesting would work too, but their ammunition would be dangerously low. We had some trouble with overheating with the caseless guns, but I think with modern ammunition and a few changes, we could mount two of them easily, along with enough ammunition to make it worthwhile." "How much ammunition would that be?" Kyou asks. "A little over sixty rounds per gun." Merlin responds, frowning. "I'd like more than that, since valkyrie relies on it's guns in a way you don't, but without using non-euclidean space, I'm not sure how to do that, and I don't want to add too many passive draws to the system, especially not with a fleet-wide expansion going on and a whole lot of new witches coming into the program." "The navy has decided to expand to four element teams?" Kyou asks, blinking. 2/3
Merlin hesitates a little. "Yes and no." She says, eventually. "They're going to expand the valkyrie program to provide four element teams to any team open to it. But it's not going to be a fleetwide requirement. New teams coming on line will be configured as four ship units from the beginning." "So we'll have to make a decision weather or not to take another wingmate before we ever meet any of them?" Kyou asks. "Considering the commitment that involves, I'm somewhat surprised the navy would be so eager to have an agreement from existing teams before we know any of the potential teammates we may have." "It's going to control available slots." Merlin responds. "The navy intends to only convert the necessary numbers to fill out existing teams, plus have a pool available for new wyverns as they come online." "How soon would we be required to make this decision?" Kyou asks. "Not for a few weeks." Merlin says. "We've all got our hands full with other things." She smiles. "Sometimes I wish I could just go back to playing in my workshop all day and not have to worry about this sort of thing." She laughs. Kyou looks at you- she caught the hint there, you're sure. "With us not flying early in the day, what will we need to do?" She asks, changing the subject. "Well, I'll need Wendy and Mori to come with me." Merlin says. "If we're going to talk about using expanded space, they'll need to get a feel for what that's going to require out of them every flight. There's some other weapons fits I've got down there, but the one inch guns are the most promising, I think. I don't really have anything for you and Morgan officially, but I did leave some things in the vought house that you could pick up if you want?" Kyou nods. "I think we should be able to do that, yes." She says. "If my pilot is willing?"  Just tell us what you need, we'll go get it.  You don't have anything for us on the flight line?  Maybe better you get anything from the house, we don't want anyone getting the wrong ideas.
>>4633351>[X] Just tell us what you need, we'll go get it.
>>4633351>[x] Just tell us what you need, we'll go get it.
>>4633351> Just tell us what you need, we'll go get it.
>>4633351>[x] Just tell us what you need, we'll go get it.>inb4 this is a Merlin-sanctioned panty raid
ok, votes called! This'll be the only update tonight gents, I'm sorry. Getting old is a bit of a bitch, haha- back in the days of 89, I coulda easily powered through!
[x] Just tell us what you need, we'll go get it. You shrug. "Just tell us what you need, we'll go get it." you say. Merlin smiles. "Oh, good!" She says. "It's not much, just some little things I forgot and something I'll need over the weekend. I'll write a list, but if you see anything you think I'll need that I forgot, could you bring it, too?" Kyou nods as Merlin pulls out a small notebook and takes out a sheet of paper, pulling a pen from a pocket and starting to write. "I won't have you bring over many clothes, if I need them this weekend I guess I can always just go get them then. It's mostly just a couple of books and some cables and things I forgot." "Is this all?" Kyou asks when Merlin hands her the list. Merlin nods. "It should be." She says. "But if you see anything you think I'll need could you bring that too? I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things, I always do." She laughs a little. Kyou looks over at you, then nods. "Of course." She responds. "Thanks!" Merlin says, smiling. "I swear if people didn't help me, I'd lose my head some days." "I'm sure you'd be quite fine." Wendy says for you all. "Though we're quite glad to help regardless." Merlin nods, then stands up. "We should be going." Wendy and Mori both stand, though Mori hesitates a little, looking at Kyou. Kyou returns the look levelly and Mori takes the hint- she may be IG, but part of the deal of her being here was she functioned as a member of the team. Kyou remains seated till the three other witches have left. "Odd that she's so eager for us to have her her permanently." She says, looking at the list. 1/2
"That obvious?" You ask with a slight smile, and Kyou nods. "Either she is terminally incapable of subtly, or she truly is eager to be part of the household." She says, frowning. "Were it anyone else, I would suspect some other motive, but in this instance I can see nothing for her to gain." "Other than a relationship that allows her to do exactly what she wants." You point out. "Sleep, eat, play games and do whatever she wants in a shop equipped to let her tinker at will." Kyou nods. "Yes, but she effectively had that, did she not?" She asks. "The only other reason would be her desiring one or all of us, and that seems rather remote a reason for one such as her to make such an overt move." "Could be both." You point out. "You did share a live MIU." "Muffled." Kyou corrects you. "The link was not nearly so strong as that between yourself and I, or us and Wendy." She explains. "And even if it were, it was for a brief time. No, I feel if she were desirous of anyone, it would be you, and even were that the case, why wait until now?" She shakes her head. "It's clear she's eager to become a member of the household, but what is less clear is why." You shrug. "Does it matter?" You ask. "We've already decided to bring her in, we're just moving slowly enough to make sure we do it correctly." "This is true." Kyou says, nodding. "Perhaps I am overthinking things. I doubt her motives would be anything other than what she claims. With the exception that I am sure she is looking forward to some more personal attentions." She smiles.  Too early in the morning to be talking like that already.  Something to look forward to, then.
And that's going to be it for the evening! Given the way I've been sleeping lately, I'll probably be up early to answer questions or comments, but I intend to rack out as soon as this post goes up, haha. Sorry for the short run today, but honestly at this point I'm running more on reign and rockstar than sleep and food, so it's probably time to head off the inevitable crash, haha! Anyway, that's it for the night gents, so till tomorrow, cheers!
>>4633484>[X] Too early in the morning to be talking like that already.>>4633494Thanks for the run boss.
>>4633484> Too early in the morning to be talking like that already.>>4633494thanks for running
>>4633484>[x] Something to look forward to, then.>>4633494Thanks for the run Ghost! Good luck on getting some rest
>>4633484> Something to look forward to, then.Always look forward to delicious MILF
>>4633484>[X] Too early in the morning to be talking like that already.
>>4633484> Something to look forward to, then.
>>4633484>[X] Something to look forward to, then.
Ok gents, I'm going to eat, but we'll call the votes here!
[x] Something to look forward to, then. "Something to look forward to, then." You say, trying to not think about it too much- regardless of what has or hasn't been decided, there's enough tangled history there to not quite make you comfortable with reflecting on it all. That and it doesn't stop you from being able to picture it- in vivid detail- which you're also not entirely sure you should be doing just yet. Of course, at the same time, you're well aware that Kyou has no such concerns, and given the way you've seen her looking at the older witch, you're positive that her imagination has come up with quite a few scenarios. For her part, Kyou nods. "Indeed. Though, as you say, allowing her to rush things would be foolish." She says. "Still, I cannot help but think she intends us to encounter things that will make us more accepting of allowing it to be rushed." You shrug. "No way to know till we go." You point out. Kyou nods, then smiles. "Lead on." She says, and the two of you head out of the door and down the short hallway to the elevators. The men at the duty desk look up long enough to see who's leaving, one of them getting up to change your status on the dry erase board as you leave the building. There's slightly less security for you now- the worst parts of adapting to the MIU are long over- and by now they know you know the rules and regulations. You're not going to leave post without clearing it with them, and past that they're not too concerned about it- if they need to find you on post, they can fairly easily. 1/2
You and Kyou end up taking one of the available cars out to the vought house- you've still got a set of keys, of course- Merlin practically insisted you keep a set. Part of you wonders, now, if that was supposed to have been some kind of hint on her part. You dismiss the thought- it doesn't matter anymore if it was or not, really. "This is an impressive home." Kyou remarks as you pull the car into the empty driveway. "The company maintained it for her?" You nod. "Mostly. it's supposed to be for whoever's overseeing wyvern startups here on base, but since that's always been her.." You shrug. "I see. It has become hers through use, if not fact." Kyou says, nodding. "Almost a pity we cannot simply move here instead of bringing her into our quarters. I imagine a building like this would be far more suited, regardless of how close we were." You nod. "Probably." You say, and Kyou smiles. The two of you head into the house- it's actually kind of stuffy, like it hasn't had air circulated in a few days. That gets a frown out of Kyou- as do the empty wine bottles on the kitchen counter. There's not that many- three that you can see- but even that's fairly heavy drinking for Merlin. "I suspect her portrayal of her domestic events wasn't entirely honest with us." Kyou says, looking at the wine bottles. "Unless, of course, she was celebrating achieving a goal." You shake your head. "I don't think it was that." You say. The wine isn't exactly bad stuff- you recognize the brand- but it's not top class, either. "Nervous, probably." "With good reason." Kyou responds. "She, as Wendy was, is on the verge of entering a household that will cherish her completely. No doubt she's concerned something could take that from her at the last possible moment, as has happened to her before."  Possibly. Hard for me to say I don't think it's that. She's got some other motive she's not sharing with us yet.  Most likely. Especially if she's doing this because she's interested.
>>4635248>[X] I don't think it's that. She's got some other motive she's not sharing with us yet.
>>4635248> I don't think it's that. She's got some other motive she's not sharing with us yet.
>>4635248>[x] I don't think it's that. She's got some other motive she's not sharing with us yet.
>>4635248>[x] I don't think it's that. She's got some other motive she's not sharing with us yet.Merlin's not one for subtley; but she's also been acting a bit weird lately even considering circumstances.She's wrestling with *something*, and we don't know what yet.
>>4635248> Most likely. Especially if she's doing this because she's interested.
>>4635248>[x] Most likely. Especially if she's doing this because she's interested
[x] I don't think it's that. She's got some other motive she's not sharing with us yet. You shake your head. "I don't think it's that." You say. "She's got some other motive she's not sharing with us yet." "Perhaps, but what?" Kyou asks. "It's not as if we can offer her much she cannot already get, other than a stable intimate relationship." She points out. "And she is well aware of that fact, as well. She knows how utterly valuable she is, and has long since worked out how to gain her goals by using her personal value as a lever." "So You think she's just nervous because she's close to getting what Wendy's got." You ask. Kyou nods after thinking about it for a second. "I would be lying if I didn't point out that I'm sure she's had private fantasies of you more than once." She says. "I suspect her behavior is a combination of her feelings at finally being able to fulfill them, and of the mixed emotions she has on the subject, as you do." "I think she's drinking a little heavily for that." You say. "Perhaps. You know her better than I." Kyou responds. "However, I think it is a number of concerns she has about entering a relationship involving you. Similar to Wendy's concerns, though perhaps amplified by her proximity to your father." You nod- you'd thought of that too. Quite honestly, that's part of why you never did try anything before now- Wendy's case is a little different, of course, and Merlin was far closer to Frank than Wendy ever was. It's not something you're exactly looking forward to- that's going to be one hell of an interesting discussion, when it happens. At least, you think it will be- it could just as easily happen Maman talks to him long before you ever do, and he's had a chance to work through any problems he has with the arrangement. "Regardless, we should gather her things." Kyou says, pulling out the list. "Mostly power cords for her electronics, a few changes of clothes, and two cases of monster she says are in the pantry." Kyou frowns. "Two cases? Surely she doesn't drink that much of it that quickly?"  I'm surprised it's just two cases.  We're going to have to work on getting her to cut back.  She'd been drinking four or five cans a day since they came out with it. I'm not sure how we'd get her to stop.
>>4635341>[X] I'm surprised it's just two cases.
>>4635341>[x] I'm surprised it's just two cases.
>>4635341>[x] We're going to have to work on getting her to cut back.Should be easier to do while in the same residence
>>4635341> I'm surprised it's just two cases.> We're going to have to work on getting her to cut back.Now that Morgan's in charge of her food, she's going to need to eat (and drink) healthier
>>4635341>[x] We're going to have to work on getting her to cut back.
>>4635341> I'm surprised it's just two cases.Dry like Sahara
>>4635341> I'm surprised it's just two cases.
ok gents, votes called! thjis is gonna be our last for the evening again- I spent the entire update period almost asleep, haha!
[x] I'm surprised it's just two cases. You frown. "I"m surprised it's just two cases." You say, shaking your head. Kyou blinks. "You cannot be serious?" She says. "There is no way that is healthy for her. I know having the magic forgives many personal sins, but the amount of sugar alone-" She shakes her head. "I would suggest that you use any means necessary to force her to cut back or quit, but I suspect nothing you can do has not been tried before." You shrug. "Probably." You agree. You're sure you've got a few ideas that haven't been tried, even if you don't exactly want to disclose them- or even admit you've thought of them- but you're not even sure they'd work. To some extent, you know, Merlin drinks so much of the stuff because she wants to- and while you're sure it's not healthy at all, you're also hard pressed to prove it's proving unhealthy for her, too. Like Kyou said, magic seems to forgive a great many sins when it comes to self-care, even ones as egregious as this. Kyou shakes her head as you pull the two cases down- the top one's been opened and several cans are missing, about as you expected. You'd probably find a couple of them in the fridge- and that makes you realize you'll probably have to clear some space in your own for a few cans, once you get back. "Fortunately that appears to be the only thing on her list that is questionable." Kyou says. "It may be better if you gather the cables for her electronics, she indicated they should be in her office downstairs, and I can collect the clothing she wanted." She says, then smiles. "Unless you'd prefer to go looking through her closet and dresser drawers."  I think I'd rather get the power cables, yes.  You know what, you get the cables. What's she want from upstairs?
And that's going to be it for the evening! I Know it's been short runs the last couple weeks- I'm really hoping I can get myself sorted out soon, haha. It's gotten old at this point. That said, I am back to being able to get all my sleep at night- even if 'all' is only a couple hours, haha! Depending on how long it takes, we may just make a fourth day normal, at least for a while. My notes are kind of set up to run a certain length thread, and it's weird trying to adjust because we had to call early or whatever. But that's going to be it for the night! I'll probably be around a little in the darkest hours of the morning to answer any questions or comments, but otherwise, till tomorrow gents, cheers!
>>4635457>[X] I think I'd rather get the power cables, yes.>>4635464Thanks for the run boss.
>>4635457>[x] I think I'd rather get the power cables, yes.There are some lines you don't cross, if you can help it.
>>4635457>[x] I think I'd rather get the power cables, yes.Gentlecatte
>>4635457>[X] I think I'd rather get the power cables, yes.Kyou does enough panty raiding for her whole harem
>>4635457>[x] I think I'd rather get the power cables, yes.>>4635464Thanks for the run Ghost!
>>4635457> I think I'd rather get the power cables, yes.I trust Kyou to inform us about anything particularly juicy anyway
>>4635457> I think I'd rather get the power cables, yes."Try not to drool on anything, dear."
>>4635457> I think I'd rather get the power cables, yes.
>>4635457>>4635596+1 for this. Because that line just tickles me pink.
Hey gents, just woke up from a nap that went a lot longer than I'd planned it to. Votes called, but I need to go grab some food and we'll get going.
[x] I think I'd rather get the power cables, yes. You frown. "I think I'd rather get the power cables, yes." You respond, and Kyou smiles, turning to head upstairs. "But, Kyou?" She half-turns. "Yes?" "Try to not drool on anything up there." She smiles. "I will try." She says. "But if she has anything particularly excellent, I may bring it back for her, regardless of if she listed it or not." "Remember, we're trying to make sure we don't move too fast." You say, a little worried. If anything, though, Kyou's smile gets a little wider. "Of course." She says, turning back to head up the stairs. You're not exactly comforted by the tone of her response, but at the same time you know she's mostly only saying that to worry you a little. While Kyou is very clearly interested in Merlin, you also know she's not willing to ruin things long-term for a short term thrill. Meanwhile, you head to the downstairs office. There's not too much in here, of course- because the house is supposed to be for any crew that vought sends, there's really nothing in here to personalize the space. It reminds you, in some ways, of a hotel- there's a generic desk with outlets to plug a laptop into, some fairly generic art on the walls, and a bookshelf with about what you'd expect- nothing particularly interesting, honestly. The cables are all where Merlin left them, strung across the desk and plugged into the outlets there. You pull them out of the outlets and roll them up, carrying them into the kitchen, where you set them on top of the cases of monster. You frown at the black and green plastic wrap, vaguely wondering if there's anything you can cook with the oversweetened syrupy drink. Glazed something, you're sure, but you're less sure about how it would come out. Kyou, meanwhile, takes her sweet time, eventually coming downstairs with a bag that looks relatively full. She smiles as she sets it on the counter, pulling Merlin's list out of her pocket. "I believe this is everything." She says, reading over it. "I also included a few books she seems to have brought along. I did not bring anything from her closet she didn't list, however." You look at her, and she laughs. "I may have been tempted, but it is as you said. We do not wish to rush this, and I have no desire to indicate to her that we intend to."  We can always come back over anyway.  We could always take it with us and just not let her know we've got it.
>>4636975>[X] We can always come back over anyway.
>>4636975>[x] We can always come back over anyway.
>>4636975 We can always come back over anyway.
[x] We can always come back over anyway. "We can always come back over anyway." You respond, and she nods. "That was my thought as well." She says. "And even should we be required to leave, it is not as if it's impossible to find such things regardless of where we go." "Provided it's not aboard ship." You respond, and she smiles. "Even then, it is far from impossible." She states. "while there are limits on weight and frequency, especially during wartime, online shopping is popular among crews of the navy, and their purchases are often delivered along with other mail. Still, if we are done, we should return." You nod, gathering the cases of Monster and letting Kyou lead while she carries the bag with Merlin's clothes and books. Everything goes in the back seat of the car, though the drive back takes a little longer, with everyone heading in to work. Heading back into the building, the desk staff nod to the two of you. None of them get up or even check your IDs- you're well enough known by now that they probably don't need to. Once you're back up in your quarters, you busy yourself putting things away, finding just enough space in the pantry to keep the cases of Merlin's monster. You finish putting them away just as Kyou steps back out from your bedroom. The two of you sit in quiet for a minute, then Kyou nods, as if satisfied. "I intend to discuss it with her, but I feel we should have the household staff arrange for movement of her things to the palace." She says. "I suspect she has little desire to be anywhere but with us at this point, and no intention of returning to her former home if at all possible." "Probably not." You agree. "And I doubt Bradley would want to see her much anyway." "That does raise an interesting question." Kyou says. "Regarding her daughters. I fully expect they will intend to spend at least some time with us, yes?" You frown. While both of Merlin's daughters are enormous Japanophiles, and you know they'd like to visit as soon as possible, both of them are also highly independent already, and you doubt they intend to change much now, regardless of their changed familial situation.  Probably, but I'm not sure how they're going to handle the whole thing.  Well, I know they're both interested in meeting you, but past that I'm not sure.
>>4637098>[X] Well, I know they're both interested in meeting you, but past that I'm not sure.
>>4637098>[x] Well, I know they're both interested in meeting you, but past that I'm not sure.
>>4637098>[X] Well, I know they're both interested in meeting you, but past that I'm not sure.If only to see if meeting an actual Japanese princess can cure them of their weebery (or make things worse)
>>4637098> Well, I know they're both interested in meeting you, but past that I'm not sure.How does one politley say "they're gigantic fucking weaboos and you should brace yourself for the moment they get a spot of vacation"?
>>4637098> Well, I know they're both interested in meeting you, but past that I'm not sure.[Catte Grin]
>>4637098>>4637116I like this.
>>4637098>[x] Well, I know they're both interested in meeting you, but past that I'm not sure.The moment they figure out that Kyou's basically their new stepmother, their heads will explode.
[x] Well, I know they're both interested in meeting you, but past that I'm not sure. "Well," you say, frowning as you try to figure out the best way to explain it. "I know they're both interested in meeting you, but past that I'm not sure." "Is that so?" Kyou asks. "I assume they take after their mother somewhat?" You nod. "Both of them are incredibly smart, and both will probably have doctorates in the next year or two, easily." You say- both of them positively devour information, especially in technical fields. Frankly, you, like many people, think that they'll both surpass their mother- should they decide to follow the same path she has. You're not entirely sure they will though, honestly- while Kelsey, the oldest, is like her mother and utterly fascinated by bleeding-edge jet fighters, Naomi, the younger, spends a lot of her time utterly engrossed in video games, and has written more than a few mods for various games. "Have you considered what we may do with them, with Merlin as part of the household?" Kyou asks. "Normally, they would be adopted into the family, though kept outside the line of succession, but I'm less sure about how to handle them while their father is still alive. Of course they will be more than welcome in the palace while their mother is part of the household." You shake your head. You've thought about it some, you'll readily admit- usually as you talked yourself out of doing anything with Merlin in a particularly heated moment- but you've never really been sure how to proceed. Adopting the girls seems silly, especially given both are within just a few years of your own youngest sister, and given how you were all raised, they're closer to cousins than anything else. Adopting them would be a little strange, you think- though, at the same time, clearly you'll have to do something. Both are minors, and while they may act like it, neither are emancipated from their parents. "It may be that we are forced to adopt them, and then merely allow my mother to see to their wellbeing." Kyou muses.  That may work. Not sure how they'd do with a lot of parental interest in them, though. Probably better that we talk about it with Merlin, first.
>>4637184>[X] Probably better that we talk about it with Merlin, first.
>>4637184>[x] Probably better that we talk about it with Merlin, first.
>>4637184> Probably better that we talk about it with Merlin, first.
>>4637184>[x] Probably better that we talk about it with Merlin, first.I know it's unlikely but I *do* want to see what happens if they call Morgan 'Daddy'.
ok, votes called! this'll probably be our last for the evening.
[x] Probably better that we talk about it with Merlin, first. "Probably better that we talk about it with Merlin, first." You say, and Kyou nods. "Of course." She responds. "I'd not considered taking any action before then. I merely thought to get your opinion, as you will be as affected by the decision as I. But of course will need to discuss it with everyone, as everyone will be expected to have some involvement with them. I often find myself wondering how your father's household deals with such things." "Rachel." You respond. "Once the war was over and they settled down, Rachel took over as the house mom, and handled most of the domestic tasks." "Alone?" Kyou asks. "That must have been quite a challenge." "She had help, but she ran things." You say. "Stasya and Lilya were able to help early on, along with Natalya." "Ah, yes." Kyou says, nodding. "Your adopted sisters." "Yeah." You nod. "Stasya and Lilya really helped, from what they told me, especially after Anastasia and Christina were born. But that was before I was around the house much." "Of course." She says. "while you were still largely being raised by your mother and her close associates?" You nod again. "My aunties." You respond. "Special forces witches maman worked with during and before the war, and kept in contact with.""Truly a prince of the navy, then." Kyou says, smiling. "To have had the advantage of being influenced by so many skilled and known individuals. Your mother's associates are well known to the guard and the majority of the imperial military's special operations offices." You shrug. "And I'm still a fighter pilot." You point out. "As is expected." Kyou agrees, nodding. "I expect any sons we have will follow in their father's footsteps, though perhaps with the imperial navy, rather than the American one." Probably not a concern for a long while, yet.  Hard to say. I almost went into the special warfare community.
>>4637310> Hard to say. I almost went into the special warfare community.
And that's gonna be it for the night! remember, we'll be running a sort of make up day tomorrow to cover for how short and spotty things have been this week. Tonight should have been better, but that long nap really kinda threw me, haha! Sorry about that.Anyway, that's it for the evening, so till tomorrow gents, cheers!
>>4637310>[X] Probably not a concern for a long while, yet.>>4637317Thanks for the run boss.
>>4637310>[x] Hard to say. I almost went into the special warfare community.>>4637317Thanks for the run Ghost!
>>4637310>[X] Hard to say. I almost went into the special warfare community.
>>4637310>[x] Hard to say. I almost went into the special warfare community.
>>4637310> Hard to say. I almost went into the special warfare community.Kommando Katte
>>4637335But does catte *go* commando?
>>4637310>X Hard to say. I almost went into the special warfare community.
>>4637310> Probably not a concern for a long while, yet. But what they want to do will be their choice.
Hey gents, I'm gonna postpone our make up day, haha. I know, not what anyone wanted to hear, but I went to grab a short nap around noon... and just woke up about 20 minutes ago. I'm really sorry about this.
>>4638258Sleep well, Ghost.
Ok, gents! I've got dinner here in front of me, but votes called.. .like a day late, haha! Probably just going to be a short make up day today, and since it's Saturday night I expect it'll be pretty quiet.
[x] Hard to say. I almost went into the special warfare community. "Hard to say," You respond with a very slight shrug. "I almost went into the special warfare community." "Is that so?" Kyou asks, looking a little surprised by the revelation. "I had thought that there was never any doubt that you would pursue a career as a fighter pilot?" "After high school there wasn't." You say. "But I went through a phase there where I thought being a SEAL would be great." "What made you change your mind?" Kyou asks. "I'm sure the special warfare community would have welcomed you with open arms." "I don't have to deal with wet and cold this way." You respond. "Always have a roof and a bed to come back to and hot meals available." Kyou blinks- then laughs. "I see." She says. "So it was a simple matter of comfort?" You nod. "I made the mistake, my last summer before I entered the USNA, of going on one of Liz's 'adventures' with her." You say, frowning at the memory. "Being on a freight train going sixty through the plains in a rainstorm is an experience miserable enough I'd rather skip anything like it again." "I see." She says again, still laughing a little. "Forgive me, it's just difficult to imagine that something so simple as that would push you into excelling as much as necessary to achieve a wyvern posting. We are not significantly more comfortable than Tomcat crews." "That was expected of me." You say, shrugging again. "If I do something, everyone expects me to excel at it." "And so you do?" Kyou asks. "Do not misunderstand, I am not complaining, nor, I doubt, would anyone, but is it that simple?"  Of course.  There's other things, sure, but that's the majority of the reason.
>>4639615>[X] There's other things, sure, but that's the majority of the reason.
>>4639615>[x] There's other things, sure, but that's the majority of the reason.
[x] There's other things, sure, but that's the majority of the reason. "There's other things, sure," You say, nodding "But that's the majority of the reason." Kyou smiles. "I've had more than enough proof that you do seem to excel at anything you set your hands to." She says. "And I'm sure Wendy would more than agree with me." "Wendy's an easy mark." You point out, and Kyou laughs. "Perhaps so." She says, nodding. "Still." She looks around, and frowns. "I do not understand why she wished to come here to stay with us, considering she had ample space for all of us there." She says, changing the subject back to Merlin. "Security?" You ask. "That's the only reason I can think of." Kyou agrees, nodding. "Still, it hardly seems to be as much of a concern as the navy claims it is. I wonder that we'd not be more comfortable there than here. Certainly she would be, as there's beds enough for everyone, rather than her sleeping out here." "She's always been fine on couches." You say, thinking back. "The guest room at the Bishop house doesn't even have a bed, just a pull-out couch like this one. I don't think she sleeps on a real bed unless she's home or aboard or someone makes her." Kyou frowns. "That cannot be good for her back." She states. "Yet I doubt I have many options of preventing it." "You don't really have any, right now." You point out. Kyou's frown gets deeper, but she nods. "I doubt that a few more weeks of it will cause significant issue." She says. "Probably not." You agree. "If we're even here that long." She nods. "I don't think we can be." She replies. "surely once our firing tests are over, they'll have to return us to the front." You nod, looking up at the clock on the wall. You're not scheduled for flight till late in the afternoon- you'll probably be returning to Miramar around sundown. It's still only midmorning, so there's little reason for either you or Kyou to start getting ready for several hours yet. Kyou seems to read your mind, and gives you a smile. "It seems we have quite a bit of time to pass." She says, inching a little closer. "If I may, I have some ideas on how to spend some of it." You have to admit, her plans do seem to be well reasoned and thought out- at least, you have no complaints.
And that's going to be it for the week! Sorry about the weird times and runs this week, getting my sleep patterns normalized these days is much harder than I remember it being! Used to be I could just stay up a day or two and then crash and be fine- not anymore, haha! Anyway, that's it for the week, but as usual I'll be around, both here and in the discord, and the IRC if I can ever remember to log on, to answer questions or comments or just chat. Otherwise gents, till next week, cheers!
>>4639754Thanks for the run boss.
>>4639754Thanks for the run Ghost!
>>4639754thanks for running
Ok gents! Sorry for the late start, ended up having to play with the dog some- she hasn't gotten to the park in weeks and needs to run some, but she injured her leg so we're trying to keep her off it, haha. Still, gotta do something or she'll go stircrazy- so I threw the tennis ball for her for like an hour, haha! This will probably be another week of relatively short runs- Thing are about sorted over here, but I'm still hitting the rack a lot earlier than I was. Still, I'm down to sleeping once a day, so that's an improvement, haha! As has been usual the last couple weeks, we'll run on Friday to make up for lost time if we need to. ==================================================================================The wyvern line is busy- you're not the only crew out here this afternoon, nor are you the only one flying. You and Kyou both have to wait a ways back as a pair of drakes are pulled out to the taxiway, where both of them begin startup procedures- you can hear the pop of starter cartridges being fired and the rising whine of their turbines spinning up. You wonder where they're headed- both have baggage pods and fuel tanks under their wings, indicating they're being rebased somewhere else. Asia, most likely, you think. That's where the majority of the drake fleet is going to be headed, though it's possible they're headed out to replace one of the handful still in the Atlantic or out in the med. You don't recognize any of the other crews- most of the other aircraft sit alone, their ground umbilical lines snaking back to the utility hubs. Every four spaces has one, providing the power-hungry drakes with their necessary electrical lines back to the main power grid. You know that each draws a significant amount of power on the ground- the cables linking them to the utility hubs are about as big around as your arm. Each pulls about 4 megawatts an hour- enough, you know, that the Nimitzs had to be refit with an additional set of generators to provide power while they were onboard, and why each ship is limited to no more than 2 drakes. Rumor has it the Fords have already had to be refit with the new requirements of the expanded WCTs in mind- though, in their case, it was a simple matter of expanding the umbilical links available for additional valkyrie units. You note that both Tessa and Mori's as yet unnamed valkyries aren't in their spots near Muninn- nor is Spears' unit near her team's aircraft. You see Kyou frown out of the corner of your eye as she notices the same thing. "Surely they've not begun refits on them now?" She asks. You shake your head. "No clue." You admit. "But I doubt it. It sounded like they were still trying to figure out what they all wanted." "No doubt made more complicated by Mori." Kyou says, nodding. "Who surely has her own ideas on the subject." 1/2
You nod. "No doubt." You agree. You're more interested in your own upcoming tests- just another firing test today, but that's more than enough. You'll be testing Yellowstone versus a section of the heaviest plate recovered off the crashed mars in Korea- an odd steel alloy that shows a lot of markers of old Martian materials science and metallurgy. While notable today as the lightest- and toughest- homogeneous steel plate, it's also significantly outclassed by composites in most aspects. "It is a pity she can't fly with us on this test." Kyou remarks, pausing at the foot of the ladder while you start your walk around inspection. "I had hoped that things would not be put off quite this long." You smile. "Is that why your plans were so involved earlier today?" "Perhaps." She admits, then smiles. "Later, I am sure. I'll start the checklists." You nod as she heads up the ladder, her massive tail emerging as she hops over the lip of the cockpit and settles down in her seat. Meanwhile, you finish your inspection, finding nothing out of place- not that you expected to. Muninn is in a clean configuration- no pylons hanging from it's wings, with your self-defense weapons tucked into the conformal FAST packs. You probably won't need them, flying well inside the CONUS as you are, but wartime regs are wartime regs- all aircraft fly with self defense weapons. Once you're done with the walkaround, you head up yourself, plugging in as Kyou brings the systems up. She doesn't start up the engines, though- you'll have to be towed out before that, with there being too much going on around you to risk the jets ingesting something. While the turbine discs are made to withstand an unreal amount of stress- and ingest 'minor' FOD, it's still something no one wants to deal with. You're towed out in relative silence, Muninn and Kyou both busy with the usual startup tasks. "We're clear onto runway two-four right." Kyou calls. "Hold there." You repeat the instruction back to her while Muninn ties on with local air traffic control. Your ship's AI seems almost distracted by something, though you're not sure what- unlike the biological components of a network, an AI can very much keep secrets from you- and you suspect Muninn frequently does.Kyou, apparently, picks up on it as well. "Is something the matter, Muninn?" She asks. "No." The AI responds, a touch too quickly. "Just an unusual flash message on the UN net. It's encrypted with their standard internal ciphers, so it's not meant for us, or anyone else, really." "Is that the manner of thing you should be listening in on?" Kyou asks. "It was in the open." Muninn says. "It's just encrypted. I bet Lovelace already knows what it says."  Not our concern.  You can ask after the flight, then.
>>4644864>[x] You can ask after the flight, then.
>>4644864>[X] You can ask after the flight, then.
>>4644864>[x] You can ask after the flight, then.Watch it be some warning about a Chinese Super weapon.
>>4644864>[x] You can ask after the flight, then.Let Birb have an excuse to visit her boyfriend
>>4644864> You can ask after the flight, then.
[x] You can ask after the flight, then. "You can ask after the flight, then." You tell the AI, and Kyou approves. "If we don't find out sooner." Muninn responds. "Usually they don't flash messages like that unless they're urgent." "Or they need to begin to justify their reason to exist another year." Kyou says, a little contemptuously. "As they do before the general session every year. Simply state they've seen or detected unusual activity on Mars, allow that to gather press for some time, and then state it was a natural anomaly, or more of the old martian infrastructure failing." Muninn processes the equivalent of a shrug. "We have the runway." Kyou notes, a minute later. "Clear for takeoff, climb to angels six, then turn north. Be aware of civilian air traffic in the area." "Angels six, turn north." You repeat, pushing the throttles up and releasing the brakes at the same time. Muninn starts to roll forward, slowly at first, but with quickly gathering speed as the massive engines push you down the runway almost effortlessly. You're still a little wary of them, though you know they've been reconfigured for a separate closed-cycle mode- one that they won't activate without oxidizer tanks hung off the plumbed points on your wings. As is, of course, they're still well capable of operating in very thin atmosphere- another of the things Merlin wants to do is seal and properly check out your cockpit for vacuum, though she's already said that would require some additional things she doesn't currently have- not least of which is a replacement poly-carbonate canopy. Personally, you're interested in the possibility, but you're not so interested as to be willing to wait around Miramar for it to happen. You rotate up and off the runway just under halfway down it's length, quickly pushing up to about four hundred feet while you retract the landing gear and pull the throttles back to their lower marks. "Gear is up and locked, systems green across the board. I have full connectivity on all flight elements, all weapons showing stowed and safed." You nod, starting to climb out of the airspace and turning north at the same time, wary of 'heavies'- civilian airliners. While the threat of a collision is almost nil- even if, for some reason, you failed to detect one of the big, lumbering jets, Muninn most likely would- and even if Muninn missed it, you're still tied on to the regional air traffic controller. While you're technically not under his control- you're a military aircraft flying on mission, afterall- he's still another set of eyes to help you keep out of trouble, especially in the crowded airspace above the city. 1/2
You clear to the north after a few minutes, with Kyou tying into the civilian air traffic network to track most of the jumbos- the nearest to you is still over ten miles distant. Still, there's a lot of traffic- no small amount of it driven by the late game rallies being held by the presidential candidates. There's still a few months till the election, but both of them are ramping up appearances. "Take heading zero-two-zero for range complex entry." Kyou calls. "Zero-two-zero." You repeat, gently banking a little to the east and lining up, roughly, with Las Vegas. Nellis AFB is the emergency field in the area, and they're equipped to handle Wyverns, though not nearly as many as Miramar is. Of course, they're classed as an emergency only field- you don't intend to land there if you don't have to. "This test should prove interesting." Kyou says, as you cross out of the relatively green regions of the coast, over the mountains and into the desert. "It is a pity we can only test against armor plate, and not against a live target, as we did yesterday. I would have liked to have known what sort of damage we're able to do to targets." "Too much of a radiation risk." Muninn says. "All six engines on the Korean crash were fully fueled, and only one has been successfully defuelled so far." "They use conventional fuel rods, do they not?" Kyou asks. "How can it be taking so long?" "Semi conventional." Muninn responds. "And they were designed to never be handled by human beings, only by specialized base support equipment. There's some makeshift equipment now, but it's still slow going, and the fuel elements are extremely dangerous even when removed. They don't even know what's in them." "Has there been any additional information about them we can use?" Kyou asks. "Not as of yet." Muninn answers. "But initial findings are saying that it appears some equipment was removed before the flight. In particular, the areas of the aircraft where the witches were found over siberia was gutted." "Very odd." Kyou says, and you can feel her frown.  Maybe they wanted to use that gear somewhere else? Soviets probably took it out before transferring the aircraft.
>>4645023>[X] Maybe they wanted to use that gear somewhere else?
>>4645023> Soviets probably took it out before transferring the aircraft.
And that's going to be it for the night from me! it's actually a little later than I'd thought I'd get, haha, but I'm kinda running out of steam quickly- if you couldn't tell from how long that update took, haha! Anyway gents, I'll be headed to the sack here pretty quick, so I won't be around much more this evening, but I've been up pretty early the last couple weeks, so I'll be around in the morning for sure! But that's it for the evening, so till tomorrow, cheers!
>>4645023>[X] Soviets probably took it out before transferring the aircraft.
>>4645029Thanks for the run boss.
>>4645023>[x] Maybe they wanted to use that gear somewhere else?And any Witches that were also hooked up probably.
>>4645029Thanks for the run!
>>4645023>[x] Maybe they wanted to use that gear somewhere else?
>>4645023>[x] Soviets probably took it out before transferring the aircraft.Feel like the Soviets pulling equipment is just as likely an explanation as the Chinese still needing the originals. >>4645029Thanks for the run Ghost!
>>4645023> Maybe they wanted to use that gear somewhere else?
>>4645023>[X] Soviets probably took it out before transferring the aircraft. Alternatively, maybe the Chinese had something else in mind for the hardware?
ok gents, votes called! I'm going to go get something warmed up for dinner, and then we'll get going!
[x] Maybe they wanted to use that gear somewhere else?"Maybe they wanted to use that gear somewhere else?" You ask, paying only vague attention to the terrain sliding by below you. The desert of the Nevada Test Range is rugged and mountainous, but, to your mind, still just desert- hot, dry, and dead. You can certainly see why almost the entire US Nuclear test program was conducted here- not much to do with this kind of terrain but punch craters into it. It's quiet as you enter the range complex, the various training electronic systems pinging to life as Muninn taps into the test range computers. Most of their functions won't be needed today, of course- you're not training, you're testing. "Adopt heading three two nine degrees and give me a racetrack at the marked navigation point." Kyou calls. "Eight mile legs, north-south orientation." You frown at the point that pops onto the forward canopy- you're very close to restricted airspace there, and only just within the test range's boundaries- close, actually, to both dreamland and to the old nuclear test site. Still, you know Kyou's only relaying instructions- and so you turn to the instructed heading and cross the hundred or so miles in about fifteen minutes. "Our target is in the Pahute Mesa range." Kyou relays, after you've done a few lazy turns around the racetrack holding pattern you've been put into. "We have multiple engagements, one pass, one shot on each. We're to engage, then return to this anchor and hold for confirmation from ground elements before engaging the next target." "Multiple targets?" You ask. "That wasn't briefed." Then you frown. "And Pahute is in R-4808N. We're not supposed to have to fly into that airspace." "Change of mission parameters." Kyou responds. "We've got three targets, then they'll be putting up an airborne target for a fourth shot. We have a full magazine for the cannon, so ammunition shouldn't be an issue. They're ready for us to engage the first target at your discretion." 1/2
You frown- this sort of thing, especially out here- is more than a little sketchy- though if the orders came through, then it is what it is. "I can try to verify with Admiral wells" Kyou offers. "But the ground element isn't suspect." Something about this smells to you- and badly. You know the spooks and dwarves that run the dreamland complex are notorious for these kinds of things- tests they want to run that are driven on the 'light side' of the military without their involvement being public- but with a firing test taking place inside restricted airspace- especially this deep into restricted airspace, less than a hundred miles from area 51- you're more than a little tempted to simple scrub the flight. That's well within your jurisdiction as the aircraft commander, you know, and beyond the ability of anyone in this case to do anything about. The only reason you don't pull the plug is, of course, wisdom you remember from Maman- who pointed out, more than once, she'd done 'favors' for these exact kind of people, completely aware of who she was really working for, just to call them in later. You can't imagine what the spooks from dreamland would need you to shoot at, but you do know that Merlin has spent more than a little time at the highly secretive base, and while she might not be able to tell you, she probably has an idea of what they're asking for, or why they're asking, at least.  Alright, get the first target lined up.  We'll hold on engaging anything until we've had a chance to verify with Admiral Wells.  This smells, I'm scrubbing the flight. If they want us to blast their targets, they can route it through Merlin like everyone else.
>>4646241>[X] Alright, get the first target lined up.
>>4646241>[x] Alright, get the first target lined up.Explosions!
>>4646241>[x] We'll hold on engaging anything until we've had a chance to verify with Admiral Wells.
>>4646235[X] We'll hold on engaging anything until we've had a chance to verify with Admiral Wells.
Honestly, at least part of the reason I'm inclined to wait until we can verify with Merlin is the fact that we didn't receive that update in-flight directly - just an electronic orders packet, AFAICT.Keep in mind that there's at least one PRC AI in play, possibly multiple such AI. If the AI was able to fuck with our MIU link, I'm concerned about the possibility of signals interference/generation of false order packets. And frankly, if the SPOOKS have problems with us being suspicious as all hell of SPOOK orders, then they should have kept in mind that we're the son of Brigitte Laroux.
>>4646235 Alright, get the first target lined up. This seems harmless enough.
looks like a tie vote, gents! Gonna give it another ten minutes here for that to clear up! I know these tiebreaker periods aren't anyone's favorite thing, so if anyone has any ideas about how to just resolve a tie without resorting to them, I'm open to suggestions, haha!
>>4646241>Hold on engagement until Admiral Wells verifies it
Ok, votes called, thanks >>4646321 for breaking the tie!
[x] We'll hold on engaging anything until we've had a chance to verify with Admiral Wells. You frown, thinking. "We're going to hold on engaging anything until we've had a chance to verify with Admiral Wells." You say, not entirely trusting the setup. Sometimes, you think, it's hard to tell you're all on the same team- especially when the deep black side of the house is the way they are. You know that Maman had a tendency of hijacking 'regular' military assets as she needed to get her missions done- though Maman was also, in many ways, a special case. "Understood. Hold this pattern." Kyou responds, and you can hear her, though muted, flip back to the channel that ties you on with Miramar, trying to get Merlin. She's not likely to actually be in the center there, but she'll be on post, and probably near enough that you won't have to wait long for her. At least, you don't think you will. It's a few minutes before you can hear Kyou talking with ground- Merlin, you hope. She feels a little confused at the conversation- and finally clicks back over to the intercom. "Admiral Wells can verify that the change of plans is from a legitimate issuing authority, but she cannot clarify beyond that." She says, sounding just as confused as you're starting to feel. "The issuing authority is the air force detachment at groom lake." In many ways, that just raises more questions- why would the air force want you to engage additional targets, especially the airborne one? You already know what the cannon will do to another aircraft- the only question today is will it defeat a mars' armor plate. And you know they're probably more than aware of the weapon's capabilities- nothing you have is so secret as to be beyond Dreamland, at least so far as you're aware. "You still have the option to scrub the flight." Kyou reminds you. "I would not blame you if you did, there are too many questions and the ground authority is being remarkably closemouthed about what we'll be engaging after the first target." "I'd offer to look, but I'm not an intrusion intelligence." Muninn points out. "But there are no other aircraft in the test range right now, so if they plan to put one up, it would have to launch either from dreamland directly or be sitting on the pad at Nellis or Tonopah."  Alright, we'll play. Let them know we're engaging the first target.  No, I don't think we're playing this game. Let Merlin know we're RTB.
And that's gonna be it for the evening, gents! I'd wanted to get in another update, but I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open right now, haha! still, this is a lot later than we had been getting, so I think next week we should be back on the regular schedule. At least, I sure hope so! Anyway gents, I'm going to rack out over here, but I'll be on in the morning a little before school to answer any questions or comments anyone has. Otherwise gents, till tomorrow, cheers!
>>4646386>[X] Alright, we'll play. Let them know we're engaging the first target.>>4646394Thanks for the run boss.
>>4646386>[X] Alright, we'll play. Let them know we're engaging the first target.
>>4646386>[x] Alright, we'll play. Let them know we're engaging the first target.Merlin says it’s good and that’s good enough for me. Let’s go blow some shit up!
>>4646386>[x] Alright, we'll play. Let them know we're engaging the first target.>>4646394Thanks for the run Ghost!
>>4646386>[x] Alright, we'll play. Let them know we're engaging the first target.We trust Merlin, so that's enough for me
>>4646386>[X] Alright, we'll play. Let them know we're engaging the first target."This is gonna cost you extra."
>>4646386>[x] Alright, we'll play. Let them know we're engaging the first target.If the AF wants us to shoot a flying target, we'll give them some scrap metal to study I guess.
>>4646386 Alright, we'll play. Let them know we're engaging the first target.
>>4646386> Alright, we'll play. Let them know we're engaging the first target.Catte [Stretch]
Ok gents, votes called!
[x] Alright, we'll play. Let them know we're engaging the first target. "Alright, we'll play." You say, after considering it a little longer. You've still got more than a few questions- but at the end of the day, you trust Merlin, who you're sure would have sent an order to scrub the flight if she felt it necessary. "Let them know we're engaging the first target." You roll Muninn off the southbound leg of your pattern, pulling into a tight turn and lining up on the target marker that pops onto your forward canopy display. "Understood." Kyou says. "We're to exit all attack runs by turning off to the north west, and we're to remain below angels ten unless otherwise necessary to avoid terrain." That, you know, is security concerns from dreamland itself- while they'll be aware, more or less, of what you can do, the exact capabilities of Muninn probably aren't something they're sure of, and so they'll err on the side of caution. Still, you repeat the instructions back to Kyou as you get them, confirming that you've heard and understand them. The desert rushes up at you as you drop below ten thousand feet above ground level, the mountains to either side swelling as you cross over the cratered moonscape of the old nuclear test range- your targets are on the northern most end, in part of one of Area 51's dedicated aerial test ranges- the western one, with the mountains still between you and the base. You trigger the yellowstone cannon about three miles out from the target- a section of armor plate about the size of a car- the glowing slug competing, briefly, with the harsh desert sun in brightness as it slashes across the sky between you and the target, the impact visible on Muninn's ventral IR and visible light cameras as you pull away, a shower of sparks and a plume of dirt and debris rising from behind the target stand. "Ground team has our next target up." Kyou calls as you bank wide to the south, doing your best to stay well away from the base. "No information on it's specific composition, but they described it as extremely hardened. Take the same heading, the target is a mile east of our previous one." That's a pretty compact area- but you pull around into a tight turn and adopt the same attack profile, streaking low across the desert and taking the shot about three and a half miles out. You don't get any kind of visible impact from that shot- though radar and infrared both showed you slug hit... something. Muninn isn't exactly sure what it is, either, though he's estimating it's little more than a huge, thick slab of armor plate. "Last target is up." Kyou says. "They've indicated this is the one they're the most interested in. It's a vehicle-sized target, two miles north of our previous engagement target. The airborne target is also being launched, but we'll have to hold for confirmation to engage it. They're also putting up observer aircraft with it, they'll have ten miles separation from the target drone."1/2
You frown- that's risky either way, though they seem confident in your ability to put a slug where you want- and that you won't want to put one into any chase planes. It's true in both cases, of course, but still- anywhere else, there wouldn't be anything in the same airspace as the target drone for dozens of miles, at least. As you set up your third- and final- ground run, Kyou speaks again. "The controllers want us to engage this target from maximum range." She says. "We can engage the target drone once it crosses into the range from the south, though they'd prefer if we did so while it was over papoose lake." You frown- that's a fairly small area, and even a slow moving aircraft is going to be across it fairly quickly. "If we're unable to engage successfully before it would move north of chalk mountain, we're to abort the shot and circle around for another attempt. Under no circumstances are we to engage it over either Groom lake or north of chalk mountain." You nod- you get the feeling the air force is much more interested in the outcome of the flying test than the vehicle target test- honestly, you're more than a little intrigued, as well. The shot on the vehicle follows the pattern set by the other two targets- though, as it's a smaller target at a much longer range, it's a little more challenging- and, as with the second target, you don't actually get to see the slug's impact, having already turned away. You can't tell what it was- Muninn makes it out to be a medium sized fighting vehicle, about the size of a tank or SPAAG, but beyond that, none of you are able to tell. Of course, after being hit, you doubt there's much left but wreckage. The airborne target is a little more interesting- Muninn identifies it immediately as an EF-111A, though the signals emanating from it indicate it's a drone conversion. "That's... odd." Kyou remarks as you line up on it, feeling more than a little confused. "There is something unusual about that aircraft. The controlling team has indicated we're free to engage however we prefer, as long as we make sure it's south of chalk mountain and not over groom lake."  Engage at range- you know they're not going to do anything stupid with you up here, but you still don't entirely trust this thing.  You want a better look at that drone- engage from close in.
>>4647811>[X] You want a better look at that drone- engage from close in.
>>4647811>[x] You want a better look at that drone- engage from close in.
>>4647811>[X] You want a better look at that drone- engage from close in.It'll probably go rogue (or the operators will) sooner or later. Better gather what intel we can.
>>4647811>[X] Engage at range- you know they're not going to do anything stupid with you up here, but you still don't entirely trust this thing.
>>4647811>[x] Engage at range- you know they're not going to do anything stupid with you up here, but you still don't entirely trust this thing.
Well, looks like a tie vote again, gents! Seems to be a running theme this week, haha! I'll leave the vote up for another ten or so minutes while I go grab dinner.
>>4647811Here >>4647861Changing my vote since it's a tie.
>>4647919Ok, thanks for breaking the tie! votes called (again!)
[x] You want a better look at that drone- engage from close in. Whatever's going on with this drone, you want a better look at it. Based on it's speed and flight path, you've got a solid couple of minutes to engage- you decide to get close. It's also safer for the chase aircraft- both of which, true to control's word, are hanging back, about ten miles away from the target jet and several thousand feet above it. They, at least, appear to be fairly mundane, so far as it goes- a pair of slightly modified F-20s, their wingtip stations replaced with camera pods and the lengthened cockpit revealing two crewmen in each. The target drone, true to it's nature, flies along serenely, making no turns or evasive maneuvers as you cut across the sky, pushing well into cannon range while Muninn gets a good look at it. It, unlike the two chase planes, shows evidence of more significant modifications. The cockpit is gone- faired over, it looks like, and the wings look to be longer and thinner- swept back, you think their tips would extend past the tail of the aircraft. The electronic warfare pod on the tail is angular, almost a diamond shape, and the engines show 2 dimensional thrust vectoring exhausts. You give Muninn a solid ten seconds to look at the thing before pulling the trigger, sending a slug ripping across the sky and into the drone. You blink in surprise as a shield flares to life for a split-second before shattering under the impact, and something- large enough for a person, if only just barely- ejects from the aircraft a split instant later- Muninn clocks the time difference as barely enough to register the failure of the shield. 1/2
You bank away from the stricken 'drone'- you're not sure it was, now, and you're less sure of how you feel about that- and turn back off to the northwest, your firing tests done. "Control extends their thanks." Kyou says, sounding a little shocked, honestly- she'd have seen the shield too. "But we're to exit this airspace at best possible speed to the north, and to shut down all external sensor equipment other than critical terrain following and crash avoidance gear. We're invited to recover at Nellis Air force base for a debriefing." She's not real sure about that, you can tell- she's not happy at all about the last firing test, and even less so as you push away from the range, flying just high enough to clear the highest mountains as you get out of the restricted airspace. You'll have to circle around it either way, you know- You can turn west and go around to the south to recover at Miramar, or around to the east if you plan to take the spooks up on their offer- though you're not sure you intend to. It doesn't worry you that they'll do anything stupid- at least, not much- and the bloodbath would be unreal in the pentagon if anyone tried to shanghai a wyvern team- especially yours. Still, you know from experience that sometimes, people who make their living behind top secret compartmentalized clearances don't always have a good handle on their exact limits- and they do occasionally overstep their bounds.  I don't think so. We're recovering at Miramar, if they want to debrief us, they can join us there.  Get a message off to Merlin. I have questions I want answers for. We're going to Nellis.
>>4648040>[X] Get a message off to Merlin. I have questions I want answers for. We're going to Nellis.
>>4648040> Get a message off to Merlin. I have questions I want answers for. We're going to Nellis.
well gents, I'd planned to keep going tonight, but I caught myself just now dozing off at my desk, haha! that said, it's pretty close to 2200, which is much closer to normal than we have been getting, so I think this is probably the last week of these weird sorts of runs. But that's going to be it for the night- I'm going to rack out and hopefully catch a full night's sleep again. I'll be around in the morning to answer any questions or comments, and thanks for putting up with this nonsense, I really appreciate it! Anyway gents, till tomorrow, cheers!
>>4648040>[X] I don't think so. We're recovering at Miramar, if they want to debrief us, they can join us there.
>>4648055Thanks for the run boss.
>>4648040>[x] I don't think so. We're recovering at Miramar, if they want to debrief us, they can join us there.>>4648055Thanks for the run Ghost!
>>4648040> Get a message off to Merlin. I have questions I want answers for. We're going to Nellis.Awoo & Catte, Private Investigations
>>4648040> Get a message off to Merlin. I have questions I want answers for. We're going to Nellis.thanks for running Ghost
>>4648040>[x] Get a message off to Merlin. I have questions I want answers for. We're going to Nellis.
>>4648037>[X] Get a message off to Merlin. I have questions I want answers for. We're going to Nellis.At the moment, the Discord is hypothesizing that this is something akin to the Ace Combat universe's Connection For Flight INterface (COFFIN) system - essentially, MIU 2.0/VDNI 3.0. The big problem with the AC version was the lack of ejection potential, though.A definite question for Ghost - did we see a chute?
>>4648179The F-111 was originally designed to be able to use either an escape capsule or twin ejection seats as a backup,(only the first few airframes had the ejection seats) since they capsule had to designed from the ground up for the airframe instead of being bought off the shelf.
>>4648208Problem - that looks an awful lot bigger than, to quote the latest update, "large enough for a person, if only just barely". While Morgan might be underestimating the size due to distance and/or unfamiliarity with the Aardvark, it's still entirely possible that something else is happening.That said, the question of "did we see a chute" is still a valid one, because if that capsule popped out without a chute or any indication of an occupant bailing from it, that's still a problem.
>>4648246It was over a lake likely to assist with a low altitude recovery and the original capsules were almost positively buoyant when unassisted, so it does float for a while even if the additional flotation mechanisms fail to deploy.It is also likely that it is a more advanced / developed system, that is / was being powered by a witch in order to provide the shield. Air to Air Tandem warheads might be developed to stop them from getting away since the capsule might not be able to fit the foci needed to generate a strong shield.
>>4648259Not sure those would work for the Yellowstone cannon, but if it really did come down to it, simply having an Agile ready to be queued up would probably be how it was handled.Although, frankly, I expect that Morgan, and most other US Armed Forces pilots (and possibly most pilots in general) would be reluctant AF to shoot at someone bailing out. I don't think it's technically a war crime, but I'm not sure.Also, it was stated that "We can engage the target drone once it crosses into the range from the south, though they'd prefer if we did so while it was over paopoose lake." This does not necessarily mean that we actually engaged it over the lake. And even if we did manage to engage over the lake despite the time taken to close in for inspection, hitting water at terminal velocity would kill whoever was riding the capsule just as thoroughly as hitting concrete.
>>4648259>>4648282Papoose lake is a dry lake
>>4648285To add to this, I doubt they wanted debris/the capsule to hit anything at Groom Lake so we were told to avoid a shot over it.
>>4648282Unless we were told a lie up and it was only ever referred to as a target ,or Kyou slipped up here( >>4647809 ) we were told it was a 'Drone', though it still may be since they might be using some form of 'telepresence's or they might have wanted to attempt to salvage whatever makes it work because at this stage it might be unique, or extremely expensive.Also a recovery capsule still has a parachute system like an ejection seat does (and potentially other systems like some form of RCS and rocket propulsion for assisting with rapid deceleration) they just tend to be used for High speed and / or high altitude applications where getting ejected out at potentially supersonic speeds isn't going to be a good time for an exposed pilot, they also tend to be limited by their expense and so an ejection seat would be used wherever possible to cut down on weight and costs.
>>4648336Also possible that what we saw ejecting was a super-black-box or something to absolutely make sure the telemetry from the aircraft getting punk'd got preserved
>>4648339Maybe they managed to develop a way to 'store' and deploy a simple shield that Witches can generate remotely or something, sort of like our VLS system does since doesn't need to be constantly powered up.
>>4648336I'm aware the capsule has a parachute - my question is if it deployed before it dropped off Muninn's sensors. If it didn't deploy, then that's a definite problem. If it did, then that's a lot less of a concern. That said, the "salvage what makes it work" would be a viable alternative if that wasn't a pilot - as mentioned by others, one of the hypotheses in the Discord is that the shield was entirely powered by something similar to the widgets that power our VLS.
>>4648384I guess we might find out at some point, since I doubt that Maman or one of our older sisters isn't going to go looking for answers if they don't already know ( we might not even have to ask) if we don't find what we're looking for.
>>4648040>[X] Get a message off to Merlin. I have questions I want answers for. We're going to Nellis.>>4648282>Although, frankly, I expect that Morgan, and most other US Armed Forces pilots (and possibly most pilots in general) would be reluctant AF to shoot at someone bailing out. I don't think it's technically a war crime, but I'm not sure.It's a war crime: Protocol I Article 42 of the Geneva Conventions outlaws attacking pilots and aircrew that are parachuting from a distressed aircraft. Once they reach the ground, they must be given the chance to surrender unless they engage in hostile acts.It's also just a bad idea in general, since it signals to the enemy that it's fine for them to open up on your pilots and aircrew when they can't fight back.
>>4648493But the thing is we were told it was a drone, which implies that there was no aircrew or pilots aboard the craft in the first place, and the capsule could have contained something vital like some sort of AI life support pod or something that we would want to deny an enemy even a chance to discover let alone capture it.
>>4648040>[x] I don't think so. We're recovering at Miramar, if they want to debrief us, they can join us there.Let's not give spooks a chance to fuck with us.
>>4648507>the capsule could have contained something vital like some sort of AI life support pod or something that we would want to deny an enemy even a chance to discover let alone capture it.If the drone is over enemy territory when it goes down, why would you even have the AI eject instead of just self-destructing? Its core has zero ability to evade capture unlike a human.
>>4648803it could potently be recovered by follow on forces, or not be found by an opponent searching for it depending on how hard they go looking especially if they get given something else to focus on.
>>4648803Also potentially it could be designed with some form of mobility; Gliding, Rolling Frame, Wheels, Tracks, paired Flywheels and more out there designs and powered by an RTG and a pre charged magical foci or something.
>>4648809If it's close enough to be recovered, it's close enough for the AI to jump back to the friendly network the way Lovelace can. And giving it mobility options also gives it more points of failure, and a greater possibility the enemy will attack it.I don't know why you're overthinking ways to save an AI when you accepted the possibility of losing it by designing and funding an AI-controlled EWAR drone in the first place. Much the same way the brass has to accept the possibility of losing a pilot, witch and AI if a Wyvern gets splashed.
>>4648846The only reason Lovelace could jump forward and backwards was that there was designated 'spare' hardware for it to use / inhabit, and so needing so double up on the hardware of a limited resource would mean a drop in the number of viable units (IIRC there was a bottleneck in the production of the needed hardware because it involved a witches talents or something), or a massive increase cost in cost. And having a secondary method to avoid capture would probably be a good investment if there was available space for it.I don't think that the use of the EA-111 was anything more than a cheap spare airframe (likely as a simulation target for opposing EWAR aircraft)that they had lying around that had the needed space and spare lift for whatever modifications they needed for the testbed, I don't think that the choice was made to conform to it's intended capabilities otherwise you would probably see the use of a more modern airframe.
>>4648846In addition to Lovelace being set-up with backup hardware that can be inhabited when they return from their system intrusion stuff, there's also the fact that the AI has to be set up with that capability from the ground up - and considering that's not a capability Muninn or Tessa have, I wouldn't be too surprised if it's not exactly an easy thing to configure an AI for.
>>4648866>hardware of a limited resourceAnd here's where your argument stops making sense: if AI cores are so limited and expensive, why use one on an EWAR drone, a priority target? You might as well give it the best protection around by pairing it with a witch. And if you've got a capsule containing a witch, you might as include a pilot and then you've got a ghetto EWAR Wyvern.No, this test wasn't about an AI-controlled EWAR drone, it was about getting us to use Yellowstone on a witch, without making it look like we were. Why? Maybe she's a superwitch, which we aren't supposed to have.
Ok gents, votes called! Gonna just be a short catch up run tonight- I don't wanna eat into everyone's friday evening too much, haha!
[x] Get a message off to Merlin. I have questions I want answers for. We're going to Nellis. You frown- then turn Muninn around in a wide eastern bank, keeping yourself out of the restricted airspace on your way to Nellis. "Get a message off to Merlin, tell her we're putting down at Nellis." You say. "I have questions I want answers for." "Understood." Kyou responds, opening up a communications line back to Miramar. The flight down to Nellis is quiet- almost eerily so. You suspect that's because the controllers of your little test have already sent out notices that you're working with them- and while there's not a lot you'll need to hear from ground control, there's almost no one that's going to want to be involved with the security involved with anything driven by groom lake. You're sure you and Kyou will both get the usual briefing about the targets you hit- though, frankly, it's wasted effort. Merlin is, no doubt, already cleared onto everything you shot at, and if she's not, she can probably get cleared on without any issue whatsoever. Muninn can't breach secrets, if for no other reason than AIs are coded to prevent it- and you and Kyou both have TS/SCI anyway, due to your aircraft. The approach to Nellis is incredibly easy. It's a big post- about the same size as Miramar, though it looks a little more full. Muninn tags no fewer than sixty fighters on the pad- mostly air force King raptors and a handful of lightnings, along with a smaller group of F-15Es and F-16s. There's also a squadron each of Rafales and Typhoons, along with a handful of antique Skyhawks and an undersized squadron of Polish tigersharks. Muninn also picks out the USAF demonstration team's aircraft- the high gloss white paint of the Thunderbird's F-16s contrasting with the dull grays of their more tactical brethren. There's even some B-1s here, both Ws and Bs, though only two of each. You touch down, briefly wondering how your own, almost mirror-like paint looks from the tower in the desert sun- and are directed almost immediately away from the line towards a follow-me car, which bumps down the pavement at a good clip- almost 40 miles an hour, practically racing for you on the ground. It guides you to a hangar far away from the rest of the flight line, pulling in through the open doors. You follow it inside, where you're directed to shut down as a ground crew, apparently well familiar with Wyverns, hooks up a ground umbilical. 1/2
"It seems they've hosted our kind before." Kyou muses as you shut down the MIU and switch everything over to ground settings. "Though I see nothing that would indicate anything out of the ordinary, other than our speed on the ground. I was told that our counterparts on the ground would be here before we were." You nod, gathering your things and stuffing them into your flight bag. That's easily possibly- they'd have had a much shorter flight, and it's entirely likely that the actual command element of the whole thing was at groom lake anyway. All they'd have had to do is board a jet there and fly here- even a helicopter could have done it, though they'd have really had to move if it were. You head down the ladder first, being met on the ground by armed air force security troops and an air force colonel. "You're Laroux?" He asks, and you nod. There's a slight softening of his features, and a smile tugs at the very corners of his lips. "Yeah, I can see the resemblance." He flicks a glance back to Kyou, then nods. "Well, follow me. We're not going to try to keep you here long, none of us wants to risk the wrath of Sammy Wells." You're lead to a briefing room. "Go ahead and take a seat." The colonel says, pausing by the door, letting you past him as you do so. He steps in after you do, but leaves the door open. There's a bit of an awkward silence as you sit for a few minutes before a civilian man and a woman in uniform step in. The woman's expression is unreadable, but the man is clearly pleased for whatever reason. You note, though, that while she's in uniform, the woman has no rank pins or branch tapes on- an indication that she's with one of the various alphabet soup agencies. "So I expect you have some questions." She starts- an indication she's the one in charge, at least in this case. "First, I want to remind you that everything you did today is classified. You are not to discuss it with anyone not cleared into it. We understand that it's not possible for you to keep the information from your immediate team, but otherwise it is not to be discussed. Clear?" You nod, as does Kyou. Her expression softens a little. "Good. Sorry for hijacking you like that, but we needed a high energy linear cannon, and the reports from your shots into the tico indicate you're outperforming a Whiskey lancer by at least another fifty percent." You look over at Kyou- who, without changing expression, manages to look smug at that information. "And since you were in the airspace anyway, it worked out." the woman continues. You can't help but note none of them have introduced themselves yet. "So, I'll let you go first, since I know you probably have more than a few questions for us. We'll tell you what we can, since you were willing to work with us the way you were, and we appreciate that sort of thing."  Biggest thing first- that drone.  What was the point of those ground tests?  How did our cannon perform against the armor plate target?
>>4649322>[X] Biggest thing first- that drone.
>>4649322>[x] Biggest thing first- that drone.
>>4649322> Biggest thing first- that drone.
>>4649322>[X] Biggest thing first- that drone.It'd be real nice to get confirmations regarding one, whiskey tango foxtrot was that shield doing there, two, if there was a witch onboard providing shielding did they make it out okay, and three, if that's just a UCAV specific thing or if some variant on the tech might make its way out to Wyvern Teams - even if just as something RADM Wells gets data on to use as she feels she needs to.
[x] Biggest thing first- that drone. "The target drone." You state. "We detected a shield and an ejected component before it was destroyed." She nods. "We figured you would." She responds. "First, I want inform you that all the critical components were in the pod you saw ejected from the drone before it was hit, and that everything survived and performed almost perfectly. That test verified that a computer system can link with an onboard magical network and issue instructions based on it's performance." "That is excellent, but it does not explain the presence of a shield." Kyou points out. "for that to exist, there must have been a witch aboard, and for there to be a witch would mean the aircraft is no longer a target drone as it has a crew aboard." "We can't discuss certain aspects of the program with you, but yes, there was a live witch aboard." The woman confirms with a nod. "She specifically asked for the posting, and has already been recovered. She's probably eating an early dinner right about now." "That in no way excuses the action." Kyou retorts. "It was necessary." The civilian says, a little quickly. "Uh- sorry. But it was necessary we had her aboard, because the computer had to have a controlled source of magical energy to work with for this test. If we could have, we'd have just used a ground charged crystal and let that get destroyed, but it wasn't an option." "And the purpose of this test was merely to trial a computer system that can eject crew and components if a shield fails?" Kyou asks, frowning. "Could that have not been done with a much safer arrangement on the ground?" "Among other things." The woman responds. "We don't have that many airframes a year we can expend, even digging way back on the dusty shelves like we did here. We try to get as much done with them as we can, and we got a lot of really valuable data with this test." "Can we assume we'll be informed of this test data?" Kyou asks. 1/2
"The parts of it you're cleared into, yes." the woman responds. "We didn't actually expect that shot to defeat the shield, so some of the information is a little more limited than we'd have liked. We did get some ballistics information from the onboard sensors before the target was struck, we'll forward that to your handler." "The witch, she was in the ejected pod?" Kyou asks, and the woman and civilian nod- the colonel, for his part, has taken a seat at the far end of the row of seats you're in, content, it seems, to listen. "She did not control the aircraft?" "She had some limited commands, but for the most part no, it was a ground controlled drone." the civilian responds. "And yes, she was in the pod." There's a lot they're not telling you of course- you're pretty sure that pod would be cramped even if it was just a metal shell, let alone any sort of thing that a person could fly in for any length of time. Of course there's every possibility it's just a test system, and that it's not designed to operate outside a few minutes at a time- but you doubt that. "The only other things we can tell you is that the target was formerly an EF-111 that we'd used in the ninteys and early part of the aughts as a flying testbed. It had been retired and mothballed on base for years prior to this flight and was modified specifically to serve as a target for this test." That's not a lot. Why didn't you tell us there was a live person aboard?  If that's all you can tell us. What about the other targets?
>>4649412>[X] If that's all you can tell us. What about the other targets?Honestly, as much as I'd absolutely love to give the spookies shit for not telling us there was a person onboard, frankly, I'm not inclined to pick that as Morgan's hill to die on - what's done is done either way, and if she'd gotten killed because of it, we could always have fallen back on "we closed in and inspected the target, and saw nothing that suggested there was a live person onboard, nor were we given any indication there was a live person onboard, so clearly blame lies with those who assured us this was an unmanned target drone".Meanwhile, I'm a good bit more curious about the other targets, especially whether that was a shielded IFV/tank of some sort, and also if the sample of Mars armor plate was actually able to be defeated or not.
>>4649412  That's not a lot. Why didn't you tell us there was a live person aboard?
>>4649412>[X] If that's all you can tell us. What about the other targets?
>>4649412>[X] That's not a lot. Why didn't you tell us there was a live person aboard?>We didn't actually expect that shot to defeat the shieldInteresting choice of words there, spooky...
>>4649412>[x] If that's all you can tell us. What about the other targets?
>>4649412>[x] That's not a lot. Why didn't you tell us there was a live person aboard?
>>4649412>[X] If that's all you can tell us. What about the other targets?Spooks gonna spook, and since we're not SF we sadly probably can't find out much more about this, unless the Glowies That Be decide we are among those who need to know.
>>4649412>[X] If that's all you can tell us. What about the other targets?If they told us, we wouldn't have shot at it.
Ok, votes called! This'll probably be the last for the week, I was up pretty early today, so I'm getting really tired, haha!
[x] If that's all you can tell us. What about the other targets? You frown, but at the same time, you understand their hesitancy to tell you anything. "If that's all you can tell us." You say, noting the relieved looks on their faces- they thought they were going to have to deal with you being stubborn, stuck on the point of a live witch being in the target aircraft. Your father would have, you realize- that was their fear, probably, at least the basis of it. You learned better early in life- sometimes, you didn't need- or want- to know the full story right away, and if you needed to know, you had to trust people would tell you. "What about the other targets?" "We can tell you you defeated both armor plate targets." The woman says, seemingly happy to be moving away from the 'drone'. "The plate from the wrecked mars barely even slowed the slug on the ultra high speed cameras we had. We'll run our own calculations on it, but you're probably already able to tell it'd have had more than enough energy to do catastrophic damage." As she speaks, she starts the projector used for briefings and pulls up a picture- the time stamp in the bottom left showing it was taken less than half an hour ago. There's a solid dinner plate sized hole in the target, and the hill behind it has a crater punched into it's face- one that indicates that the slug was still moving incredibly quickly, though it was starting to disintegrate. You nod, pleased enough with that outcome- if you run into another mars, you'll have a weapon to kill it. "The second target did worse." She says, pulling up the slide. "These are mock-up targets for something else, it's a three foot thick section of armor plate. Your slug was able to defeat the plates, though it lost a lot of energy in the process, as you can see here." The second target is penetrated, similarly to the first, but it looks like it took a sizable plug of steel with it on the exit side. You wonder what a saturnite round would have done in the same situation- that alone may be worth another test at some point. The exit point is a single hole, though irregularly shaped, and the facing side of the berm it had been set against looks like it was hit by a giant shotgun- hundreds of small impact points mar it's surface, while a pair of larger holes mark where the slug and the material it had carried with it impacted. "The third target was, in fact, a drone." She says, a wan smile on her face. "Remote controlled from a few miles away. It was a ground test of a countermeasure system for vehicles against electromagnetic weapons. It failed." "To be sure, it probably failed because we weren't aware of just how strong that cannon of yours is." The man speaks up again. "We'd done our work based on the average top end output of a B-1W's main gun, which is significantly less powerful than your cannon.""Regardless, all that's left there is some wreckage and a smoking crater in the ground." The woman says. 1/2
"We'll forward the results of the first two tests to Admiral Wells." The colonel says, standing up. "But for now, I think that's enough. We appreciate you working with us on this, and if you don't mind, we may ask for your help again in the future." He reaches inside his pocket and pulls out a thumb drive, handing it to you. "That's for your boss, complements of the base staff. She might be able to use some of that information later on." You nod, dropping it in a shoulder pocket. "You're welcome to stay for chow, but we're done with you for the time being." He says, looking over as the door opens- one of the security troops steps in. "We'll be in touch." The three of them step out without another word, while two of the security troops stay behind. Kyou watches them go, then shakes her head. "Very curious." She remarks. You have to agree that that's the best way to put it- you came out of the briefing room with more questions than you had when you went in. That won't last forever, you know- you've been around their kind enough to know that they'll be asking after you sooner, rather than later.
And that's it for the week! It feels like I'm back to some semblance of normalcy, but it also feels like I've said that before- a couple of times, in fact. I'm hoping to be back on the 3x6 schedule we had by next week, but we'll see how things shake out, it may be the shorter runs with a friday like we've been getting. Either that or I may just drink a lot more coffee, haha! I'll be racking out here pretty quickly after this post goes up, but I'll be around over the weekend, both here and in the discord, to answer any questions or comments. Otherwise, gents, till next week, cheers!
>>4649503Thanks for the run boss.
>>4649503Thanks for the run, Ghost - glad that this is the first run I actually got to participate in. Currently reading Strikers '89 for the first time, and it's definitely awesome, but I honestly have to say that, thus far, Strikers '16 is my current favorite. Admittedly, that might be because I read them out of order, which was probably a bad idea.
>>4649503Thanks for the run Ghost!
>>4649503thanks for running
>>4649503Thanks for the run!