Soffy and Torace's Room
"I HAVE SCARED OFF THE INTRUDER!" Torace reported proudly, inching towards the door slightly to watch as Geiben left with her magic-wand still in hand... though it would be impossible to tell just what expression was on her face as the I'ee weren't exactly expressive in the same way humans were.
"BYE GEIBEN!" Soffy shouted, the I'ee's attention still firmly on her sister, "He's unhappy with us! WE HAVE TO CLEAN NOW!"
"But this is our room! How will we watch Ayumu?" Torace asked, the two I'ee turning to face each other, no longer locked in a struggle to either get to the door or to keep Torace from trying to stab anyone.
At this point Green Thumb would finally arrive on the scene, watching as Geiben left and their Tai Pan guests took up position just outside the doorway. For the moment she had her finger away from the trigger of her launcher as she called out, "Soffy. Torace. You two ok in there?"
The two I'ee would look back towards the door. Immediately Torace would hold her sword up above her head and jump in front of the doorway, Soffy standing behind her and jumping up a little bit to see over her sister's head, "WE ARE FINE!... BUT WE MUST CLEAN!"
"Ok. Torace, be nice to our guests... and Geiben. They are friends." GreenThumb herself took a few moments to piece together what had happened, though her heart rate certainly had spiked in anticipation of some other international being incited.
"OH..." For the moment it seemed Torace wouldn't try anything so long as everyone stayed out of the room. She would slowly lower her sword, her unblinking compound eyes observing everyone standing near the doorway at once. "...Do they want to watch Ayumu?! She's fighting Bobbey right now with her magical powers!... you could help with the pillow-fort too!"
Meanwhile just down the Hallway, Somnya was speaking with her Medical Officer.
"The ship has had a number of non-standard modifications. Part of us being here is to correct such things. Mark is a decent engineer, and should be able to get whatever equipment you need installed in the med bay. Heram also has that talent, but I need him fixing the ship's CIC right now.
And please, finish your report while you have my attention. This tour group does not include me... but it is in my current path." She would take a few more steps forward, though her view of Soffy's room was blocked by the group standing in the way.
Once the commotion around Soffy's room started to die down, Green-Thumb would turn her attention to Geiben.
"I'm sure Heram has some long-term plan in mind for this cultural exchange plan of his." She cast a quick glance over at their guests, not wanting to say too much while they are in earshot. "He is always working on something. You can consider this a 'something'... as for Frank, I need to tell him that he's being transferred to Green-Squad as the new FNG... Maybe we could finish up here before going to talk to him? Or just run on ahead and I'll talk to you as soon as we're done here."
Upon arrival, the commander lets himself into the room and walks to the center, inspecting the entirety of it. At least it's less cluttered than Soffy's. The first thing that comes to his attention is the sword. He turns back to Frank. "Do you maintain this as a hobby, soldier? I mean, it's not a problem. Just make sure it's securely mounted whenever you're not using it." Geiben then examines the rest of the smaller, scattered items. "Make sure these are stowed away as well. Otherwise, your room meets naval standards. That is all." The commander smiles at Frank, then prepares to leaves. "Oh, one more thing. Lieutenant Green Thumb has informed me that you will be transferred to Green Squad. We'll discuss details later. Congratulations."
He walks through the hallways, checking his data pad periodically, acknowledging Ecur squad soldiers, medical officers, scientists. Navigating through the gravity plated paths, adjusting to the messy, cluttered, cylindrical section of the ship, then returning to gravity plated paths. He stops in front of a closed door, and knocks. "Mr. Wazu, I'm coming in." Geiben waits for a few seconds, then overrides the door's security system, allowing himself in.
Suddenly Kala narrowed her eyes and leaned over to look between the trio of Tainese, "Lassie, Kaa, Tigger- Eyes to yourselves." She said sternly, before returning her attention to Somnya, "I do believe that's my room as well- what's the damage? Lot of commotion going on in there."
Once dry, dressed, and standing she checked the message, then the sender three times before reacting. First unbridled anger and confusion filled her to the brim before she questioned such a strict punishment and how she was intended to 'lap' the ship. Being three dimensional in design the only options where to lap the widest outer hallway or run up and down every hall from top to bottom. The latter would require the use of elevators so she ruled that out pretty quickly as she assumed the punishment wouldn't likely include any form of breaks. The anger set in deeper but not to enrage her, no Enid found it as a challenge. Not one to enjoy being made into a play thing Enid hardened her focus and entered a very serious state. Charting the path of the laps, which took a U shape, using the two longest hallways on the ship that mirrored each other and a small path through a rear cargo bay. Tagging each wall at the end of the hallways with a tap to mark one lap. She searched her desks for her supplies, a pair of earphones, jogging shorts, sports bra, and embarrassingly her one pair of mositure wicking spanks. Taking extra preperations however she printed two sets of kangaroo hooks for her prosthetics and a mount to attach them at the ankle. Once redressed and readied she made her way to the closest side of her U shaped track. The fires of determination and petty acceptance fueled her pride. Enid's confidence was with the birds in the clouds.
Arriving to her starting line she started a playlist of music ranging from old archives to a few modern pieces. Begining with a small leisurely stroll she tested her hooks. They extended her steps with bounce and reduced the recoil of her stride, sadly they wouldn't have worked for the snow on the Adlet planet. Her full weight on only a few centimeters of surface would have plunged her into the snow. Once adjusted she bounded down the hall at a slow sprints pace with only a small jogs worth of effort. Moving for endurance over speed.
Almost prancing with glee she passed construction sites and officers with a large smug grin. Never speaking a word to anyone she still nodded her head to the rhythms and beats. She began taking note of the different areas of renovations. Some projects were moving along better than others but some seemed like scheduled demolitions. Many areas had sleek white walls and blue screens, every curve a mathematical perfection. Plenty of more areas had the old model things being pulled out and hauled off. A particular note was a few old conference rooms that once had wooden panels that curved over half the room must have been cover up instead of uninstalled and now the wood was black and rotting. Many supports of the ships skeleton showed basic I beams used in some areas. Places often seemed to required varying levels of repair. Lots of said I beams were being replaced or reinforced. Some eyes followed her as she ran by them, one person strangely cheered her on.
When Enid entered the Cargo Bay for the first time she saw most of the new parts for the ship being unboxed and some old ones being reboxed. New engine parts meant to replace older ones, new exaust channels, new core parts, new tubing, and an Overclock kit for the engine. The overclock kit doesn't actually make the engine run faster it just cleans the tubing automatically to make the flow more efficient. These things excited Enid as it meant they would be pulling more power out of the engine. More than just a tune up the new systems mean they might dial back the governor on the ship which means higher achievable speeds.
The first lap was naturally slow as she learned the route. A tap on the wall and she spun around to learn it backwards. As time passes and Enid begins to adapt to the walking her mind wanders to places aimlessly as music plays. She dwells for sometime on Geiben, his tall figure, his awkward commanding presence, his face when he thinks to himself really hard. Enid finds him goofy and harmless but still respects him. The large sapient wasp doctor whos name often alludes Enid, her try hard attitude and cute gestures despite all the weird insect features she has. Enid distrusts the doctor but doesn't want to outright hate her, she knows thats wrong but the prejudice of all bugs being disgusting and the harmful nature of regular wasps still puts fear in Enid. All the fieldmen and soldiers seem like the same batch of Jarheads you see everywhere. That egg thing from the surface, the Adlets in general, Enid again fears the odd biology of these creatures. Strangely enough it draws her to like the Dog Lady more despite her preconceptions about the Tainesse. She may even desire a friendship with Dog Girl. Firstly she should learn her name.
As she bounded by the second hallway for the second time she saw more incomplete projects and renovations. Office rooms, laboratories, several strange rooms whose purpose was not particularly clear to Enid. Soon the sights of construction became common place as she rapidly tallied up laps. The IAS Edward Demming was a Hayden class Survey vessel so it was only 240 meters long and 80 wide, her total lap was roughly 500 meters since she didnt travel the entire length of the actual ship. This meant a standard marathon run was almost 100 laps. Enid had done a few marathons for amputee awarness and such and finished in roughly four and a half hours, this was not the same pace however she was going much faster with the hooks. It did sink in for Enid that she would have to walk for over 24 hours to complete the task but something inside her burned on.
Within the first 3 hours Enid began to lose the strong passion as pain settled in, though an unbroken stubborn attitude pushed her forward.
Many times did Enid pass by crew members and co-workers and construction peoples but never once did they comment on her figure. She felt the eyes follow her and heads turn but it was so few and far between she wondered if it was the Alliances strong HR Department or her amputated state. The thoughts bogged down her mind for sometime before she was forced to think of other things. Her need for water occasionally satisfied by a silent and kind man working on an office space.
Enid forced herself to focus on other things when the pain was too great. MechCall came to mind often, self reviewing the games, strategies and builds, and how to finally beat the last raid all flooded her over and over again. 'The first game held such controversy with the enemies strongly hinted at being Tainesse. It had no story either and was so lackluster in the solo campaign. MechCall 2 was considered statistically more successful but the multiplayer was trash and full of toxic builds with zero reguard for balance until the 90 day hotfix then it became unplayable since no system to seperate players based on skill or time played was in place. Meaning you could join a game against 5 vets and have a team of 4 new players. The story for 2 was the best however and truly set the bar for writing in Triple A VR Games. MechCall 3s campaign didn't over achieve but did satisfyingly meet the precedent set by MC2 by giving us more of what we love in new ways. Solo play was a bit bogged by each level banking on a gimmick except the express missions which really had open level design so you could reach the objective Your way. The levels should have all been like that. MC3 has the most bearable multiplayer of all though since people are now ranked and DLC and updates are free.' Enid rambled on in her head with a customer-service-esk voice mocking those who post video like that. 'Maybe I should get my Dog Friend into the game and she can help me beat that raid. Got to get her to level 87 at least which will be a pain. But if she can carry her own weight then the difficulty increase from having her along won't be a thang.' She mused the training of Doggy and the adorable confusion she might have to the concept itself.
More laps came and went as Enid felt she was getting a time lapse of the ships progress. She saw more things for the bridge area of the ship including a nice new set of chairs with two very large comfy looking ones. Rails, screens, and internal components being transported up to the project site. Five hours in and Enid's count begins to waver though she believes she is in the 80's. Her shoulders weight heavy and her arms tire from the repetition of swinging. She finds herself wishing her thighs didn't touch so much, to give her less of a chaffing problem. Genetics could not be helped now however, Enid was simple in pain. After some time her legs began to lock up and strain under the endurance run. The stress on the bolts and servo build and weaken them unbeknownst to Enid.
Eight hours deep and Enid can't stand to listen to music anymore. Her hatred for the task grew. The left knee servos locked up causing her to have to lock it in place which strained the servos and bolts more. Soon her chaffed thighs began to hurt in the socks of her prosthetics from the odd and stiffened walk cycle. She begged for baby powder but never stopped to grab any. The longer she walked the more it hurt. Torture on the body. Unfair punishments to crew with unprepared repercussion. If anything else her pain will reflect negatively on the one who assigned her the task. Eventually it came to pass that she drank more water than what pooled around her in sweat. Combined with the jossiling jog and overall movement Enid lost her lunch. The heaving hurt but the shame of throwing up into a bucket that had to be thrown away as 4 men stared at her was more to bare.
In the tenth hour Enids thoughts were short and violent. Her hair soaking wet and her thighs burning. She cursed her wicked punisher and all things but stubbornly strode onwards.
After twelve long hours of pure walking Enid could not fight off the beckoning call of sleep. Her head had thought of everything it could and now as her legs moved on their own her eyes fluttered. She marched 40 meters with her eyes closed before the knee servos finally snapped and threw her to the ground. She was jolted awake and left helpless. The men didn't work on this end of the hallway at these hours and she was out of sight. Removing the prosthetics she simple adjusted herself for comfort and choose to sleep right were she was. "This will do." She muttered.
The child was using part of Frank's large arm as a branch, a sort of perch. NOw they didn't have a solid grip on the man. Their talons just rested against the thick muscle and their feathers stuck up a little bit. Their large eyes started to look around, in a way searching for a way down as well as seeing if there was anything interesting going on.
"Do you two need any help?" The Dog type soldier asked the wasps, peeking in. Despite her interest, the Taianese woman's ear perked up when her two compatriots began talking at length about something else entirely.
"I find it hard to believe that this is irrelevant," the Tigress replied to the Snake, the two still standing outside of the I'ee quarters to either side. "Additionally, the more I search on this matter, the more it becomes clear that there is something hidden behind the maturity filters, and that this is in fact something highly inappropriate," she admitted, shifting uncomfortably despite her stoic gaze. "I do not understand their strange fixation with our Zhōngjiàng. It is...most perplexing, their reproductive drive and associated behavior." Hearing this, the serpentine soldier crossed her arms over her reptilian chest in thought before flicking her tongue out in a hissing sigh.
"Well, from what I understand - " From there, the Snake then dove into a long and complex explanation regarding human behavior, as well as their thoughts towards Hoshiko. She explained a great many things such as how human duality was nuanced and that Hoshiko was a good example, as many humans detested the Zhōngjiàng, yet wanted to do all sorts of things with and to her both out of spite and because she simply appeared attractive. Her explanations regarding humanity's curious habits also included their proclivity to find things that were not human attractive, and that Bobbey - and by extension even the Sutakame - was interesting, which had the Tigress's tail stand on end in shock. The straight laced soldier was nearly apoplectic when the serpent pointed out that humans had fictional depictions of such relations with all sorts of creatures for much of their history, and that Japan in particular had many wood carvings of such acts with tentacled creatures as well. All in all, humans were complicated, and this was simply one facet of a much larger topic, made much more complicated now that such beings actually existed.
At least, that's how the Rooster explained things to her, the Snake added.
"Uh. What did that all just mean?" The canine featured soldier asked, tilting her head in confusion.
"Just be quiet and listen. You'll understand when you grow up," the Tigress sighed, having understood this disturbing knowledge.
"Anyways, the show is apparently much longer with the cut footage included, however, we're not old enough to access these things yet," the Snake concluded. She then turned her serpentine eyes on the elvish woman nearby. "What do you think?" she then asked, curious.
Heram Wazu's Room
Wazu's room could best be described as sterile. His closet wasn't even in use, instead he had a pair of duffel bags that were on the floor, full of clothing,tools, and other accessories. His bed had only a pillow and pair of blankets... though there appeared to be a small dream-catcher like device made from string and wood that was under the pillow. Other than that there were no pictures of family, no decorations, and nothing really 'left out'.
"I thought I had mode time before inspections," Wazu stated, using the ship's intercom as he continued to work on the CIC, putting together a new central work space surrounded by various projectors and other systems.
IAS Edward Deming,
Soffy and Kala's Room
When Somnya finally got the opportunity to look at Soffy's room along with Kala, it was clear she was less than pleased. Geiben had already covered the basics... the room was a mess, and would be dangerous if the ship had to take extreme maneuvers.
Soffy was scurrying about the room, trying to put away the pillows, keep track of the kittens, and keep her sister Torace from trying to stab anyone. The moment the Dog-type tried to peak her head in, Torace was back to her sword, holding it up high above her head and running to block the doorway in case the dog-type came in.
"TORACE!" Soffy Shouted,
"INTRUDERS!" Torace responded, wiggling her sword at the Dog-type to make her point. Though as the snake type started talking, Torace slowly started lowering her sword... soon starting to practically dance as she eagerly listened until she couldn't listen anymore, "SOFFY! THERE'S MORE MAGICAL GIRL AYUMU!"
Torace would turn towards the screen, running towards it for a few seconds before remembering she was guarding the door... the I'ee quickly turning around and waving her sword at the dog-type again, "STAY BACK!"
Somnya would just nod, "Kala, it looks like you have your work cut out for you. One of the side rooms attached to this main living area is yours. I trust you will keep the I'ee in line, but do remember they are civilians here as guests... not soldiers."
It was then time for Somnya to give a sidelong glance as the Snek. She wasn't a fan of Hoshiko, and her look-alike had provided her with hours of entertainment at Hoshiko's expense, but it would not be diplomatic to say so. "I think your media preferences are not my concern."
Soffy and Kala's Room
"Ah, no, that's not what I mea - " as the serpentine soldier spoke, Geiben had closed the door on her, earning a good silence from the Snake.
"I think even the humans and their relatives are uncomfortable with the topic," the Tigress replied, massaging her temples. "That aside, their rooms are interesting to say the least. I think the one that closed the door on you had stopped by one dorm that had a sword somewhere," she pointed out. All the while, their Dog type companion had started to note that something funny was going on after the I'ee declined her help. Enid was running around, and would reappear every so often. And just kept running.
"Hey, are you taking a walk?" the Taianese soldier called out. Without an immediate answer, her mind shifted into overdrive as the question echoed, over and over again in her head. Her heart started beating faster, and her breathing slowly became deeper and faster. Twitching slightly, a bead of sweat running down the side of her face, she finally broke out after the Alliance soldier, running down where she last saw the woman. Sniffing the air, smelling her scent like a beast, the Taianese soldier quickly homed in on the prosthetic legged woman like a bloodhound. "HEY, ARE YOU ON A WALK?!" called out the several hundred pounds of raw muscle and armor charging after Enid from behind.
Meanwhile, her two companions were left speechless outside the I'ee room, only to run over to the dorm that Geiben had vanished into. Looking at each other for a moment, the Tigress sighed and began knocking on the door as the serpent slithered after the elvish captain.
"Our companion has bolted. We require assistance," the two simultaneously declared.
It didn't take Wazu long to respond.
"I can expect Somnya will always be quite firm in her command style. I wouldn't take her assessments too negatively.
And just like Hoshiko, and everyone else in that line of work, there is a premium placed consistency and predictability. When things aren't predictable and consistent... well, it isn't a good time.
Though I think I can handle Hoshiko and Somnya. Getting punched in the face a bit is a fair trade for saving the day."
Outside Soffy's Room
Green-Thumb was merely left to watch as the Dog-type ran off after Enid. She'd quickly get on a channel with Green-Horn, speaking out loud:"Keep an eye on her remotely. Wake up Green-Thumb and get him gear'd up too... stun-rounds only." While keeping her vision trained on the soldier running off, Green Thumb would then respond to the others. "I will have someone keep an eye on her. Is she dangerous? I haven't been impressed by your people's self control."
"Do you have this situation in hand? Our guests seem quite energetic." Somnya stated, not really expecting an answer, and similarly not quite responding to the inquisitive Tiger and Snek types that were nearby as she waited for Green-Thumb to form some kind of response.
"It is being handled," Green-Thumb responded,
"Very well, please direct any further concerns to your new Escort. I'm sure you will find her satisfactory." Somnya responded, providing just enough of her attention to their Tai-pan guests so that she could uninvolve herself in the unfolding situation.
The commander shakes his head of the incursion of doubt. "Yeah, it's not great. We'll do our best; we don't have a choice." He pushes himself off the floor and turns around to leave, only to see the Snake-form attempting to eavesdrop. His eyes go wide, only then to fall to a tired exasperation. "Do you wish to follow me everywhere? Fine, we'll be inspecting..." He looks down at his datapad. Zenigata, then Sonia's room. Absolutely not with the Taianese still around. Geiben flicks their names off of the spreadsheet.
"... the Ecur squad's rooms next." Geiben walks up to an elevator and gestures the snake to follow, if they wish.
984 had reverted her to second in command of the squad while he takes up the reins "I dont mean to interrupt you two sir but i might not be the only one to pick up on this but why does everyone call you 984?" the squad leader looks to snow "because that's my designated product number and that i wasn't given a name." he said without breaking eye contact with Geiben, "I'm glad to meet the person we've been tasked and assigned to. i believe you do great sir."
984 probably looked the most like he knows what hes doing as he was the one who created and trained the small militia before ever meeting the Alliance scars from both battle and noticeable surgical scars to replace no longer functioning body parts with augmentations.
Divided by so little distance in the crew area, the Tiger and Snake type Taianese could turn to look at each other as something dawned on them both, their faces as stoic as they always were.
"We are very sorry," the Snake apologized to Green Horn and Green Thumb. "The elf-captain looked pretty, and was in charge," she admitted.
"We are very sorry," the Tigress then apologized to Green Thumb and Green Horn, bowing at the waist. "I was more used to Geiben," she admitted next, her snake companion's attention turning elsewhere as the woman spoke. "Our companion should not be dangerous. As Dog types are configured for continuous, long term combat, they have a propensity to like physical exercise," the redhead began to explain to the human crew members. As the athletic woman continued, the Snake flicked out a tongue and slithered aside, pondering what to say, and what to do now that new instructions had arrived. "It is all too likely that, upon realizing that your crew member was doing just that, she chose to follow suit. " Pausing to scratch her chin in thought, the snake made her move. "With luck, she will not take one of the pilot's legs as she is running."
"Hello?" the serpentine soldier inquired, knocking on the I'ee door. Having carefully deciding what to do, she hoped that this ploy would work. "I am snek. Will wasp-friends let snek in? Top-Tigress says she wants to give the three furry-friends a medical exam."
Footsteps thundering behind her, Enid found that their crashing noise was only getting closer. Even as she rounded the corner, the Taianese supersoldier simply kept on barreling forward, her feet slamming into the wall as she ran up along its side before hurtling at the pilot from behind.
"Stop what? Is there something wrong? I can help!" the Dog-type shouted back, her several hundred pound armored form gaining in the pilot's rear view mirror.