[19:52:09] <Oxford> Almost a week has passed since Elsa's trip to the infirmary. Though she's healing up rapidly, her stitches have yet to be removed, and a few other bandages mark out the more serious cuts. Between that and the bustle of school life, there's been precious little time for anything else.
[19:53:14] <Oxford> At the moment, the girls are walking quickly behind Maj. Westfield on the way to the locker room, as he gives his usual fast-paced briefing.
[19:53:47] * Elsa 's face still hurts, though she's been less cheerful ever since that incident.
[19:54:41] <Caitlin> Caitlin's been quiet over the past week, spending most of her time in the library.
[19:55:35] <Oxford> The Major's long legs carry him along at a brisk pace. "At you girls know, last night there were several explosions in and around Bougnetsport. Early Warning didn't detect anything on radar, and we've been scratching our heads until now."
[19:58:18] <Joslyn> "Could it be an enemy faction of magic users?" Joslyn speaks up, eyeing Caitlin as she talks.
[19:58:19] * Elsa looks curious, "What are they? Airplanes?"
[19:59:49] <Oxford> "As for enemy users… nothing from intel indicates the Novgos possess that kind of technology. Pray that they're right, or it could be a very long day."
[20:00:27] <Caitlin> Caitlin nods along, her mind racing ahead nervously. Stealth planes? Or, what if they WERE other girls with pendants? Tiny planes that are hard to spot seem like the best circumstance. They wouldn't that be that dangerous, if that were the case.
[20:01:25] <Joslyn> "Understood, Sir." turning to her classmates, Joslyn does her best to appear a leader. "All right; Jester, Bookworm, let's suit up!"
[20:01:38] <Oxford> The locker room is much the same as before. Radio sets are waiting for each of them, and Westfield distributes a pendant to each of them.
[20:02:15] <Elsa> "Can we have our pendants now." Elsa says flatly, "And Major, I think I'm ready to talk about what happened last week after this."
[20:03:21] <Joslyn> Steely magic suffuses Joslyn's form, the greaves and metal-covered skirt appearing below her form-fitted breastplate. She quickly picks up a radio unit and does a quick mic check.
[20:03:40] <Oxford> He gives Elsa a nod as he hands her the necklace. The Major has been surprisingly silent on the topic until now.
[20:04:01] * Elsa takes her pendant, holds it with her hand outsretched as a ring of fire forms around her hand quickly envelps her in a fraction of a second, revealing a red-headed, orange-eyed jester.
[20:05:01] <Caitlin> Another question crossed Caitlin's mind; why did they need an entire locker room just for some radios? Westfield kept the pendants on himself, after all. Whatever the case, she accepts the pendant, donning it as an assortment of air force and aviation terms weave through the air as her costume appears, complete with the large quill pen.
[20:07:11] <Joslyn> "Hey…" Joslyn puts a hand on Caitlin's shoulder. "Just focus. You can do this. Trust me, okay?"
[20:08:10] * Elsa looks at the pair of girls before looking upwards, "I'll be heading ahead, I'll wait for you up there."
[20:09:10] * Elsa heads out of the locker room and begins her ascent, leaving behind a trail of orange flame. Hopefully nobody saw that!
[20:10:13] <Joslyn> "Ready to fly, bookworm?" Joslyn smiles. It's obvious she cares.
[20:10:59] <Oxford> Almost immediately, the radio crackles to life. "Flight, this is Ground Control. Targets are at 200, heading 260."
[20:11:03] <Caitlin> "I am quite fine, thank you." Caitlin steps forward, ascending with the word float. If she intended to do this of her own free will, then she had to be independent.
[20:11:54] <Oxford> "We're having trouble picking them up; I'm going to patch you through to EW, cut out the middle-man. Over."
[20:11:56] <Joslyn> "Roger that, ground control. Iron Maiden, engaging." Joslyn takes off and scans the western skies
[20:12:09] * Elsa heads off in that direction, slowly, half waiting for the others. "Roger."
[20:14:06] <Caitlin> Caitlin searches the skies nervously; it'd be best not to let some kind of stealth fighter rip them to shreds without their presence even being noticed, obviously. "Understood, Sir."
[20:14:11] * Elsa speeds up and rushes forward in the direction the targets were seen, again leaving a trail of orange flame, its almost like she wants to be seen.
[20:14:51] <Oxford> The days this week have been unseasonably warm, and today is no exception. Seagulls wheel and caw below, circling for fish, as they race out toward the sea.
[20:15:16] <Joslyn> Oh for the love of…Joslyn will distance herself from the jester. No use getting caught in crossfire. "Bookworm, stay glued to me."
[20:16:55] <Caitlin> It's a strategic maneuver, not a sign of incompetence. Fine. Caitlin flies a short distance from Joslyn, not watching Elsa but rather scanning the area around the youngest of the trio.
[20:17:56] <Oxford> For all the trouble they're giving radar, the targets are fairly obvious by eye. A group of seven or eight thick, black smoketrails can be seen, each billowing behind something very small and very fast.
[20:16:59] <@Joslyn> Trading 2 social for 2 magic. Block is 9m8h6f
[20:17:32] <Caitlin> 683
[20:17:49] <Elsa> 693 mfh
[20:18:07] <Elsa> scratch that
[20:18:14] <Elsa> 963 fmh
[20:17:56] <Oxford> For all the trouble they're giving radar, the targets are fairly obvious by eye. A group of seven or eight thick, black smoketrails can be seen, each billowing behind something very small and very fast.
[20:18:45] * Oxford changes topic to 'Jos>Elsa>Cait>UFOS'
[20:19:13] <Oxford> Very fast, indeed. The girls will be hitting the merge any second now.
[20:20:11] <Joslyn> "Ground, we have visual on bogies. Eight of them, escaping radar detection by their small size. We are engaging currently!" Joslyn says this as a steel gauntlet slams into one of the bogies.
[20:20:20] * Elsa readies for using burstliing inferno, its been working well so far, right?
[20:20:24] <@Joslyn> 2d6+9
[20:20:24] <DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, 2d6+9: 19 [2d6=5,5]
[20:21:43] <Caitlin> Well, that's lucky. Exactly what Caitlin hoped for; but then again, her judgment is based off of a week's reading.
[20:21:44] <Elsa> "They're leaving a huge smoke cloud behind too."
[20:21:51] <Oxford> 2d6+ did I mention how fast they are?
[20:21:52] <DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, did I mention how fast they are?: 10 [2d6=4,6]
[20:22:09] <Oxford> Hits
[20:22:10] <@Joslyn> That likely misses then :/
[20:22:15] <Oxford> oh wait
[20:22:16] <@Joslyn> Oh okay cool
[20:22:19] <Oxford> 1d6 my bad
[20:22:20] <DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, my bad: 3 [1d6=3]
[20:22:21] <Elsa> roll dat damage
[20:22:27] <Elsa> my turn
[20:22:34] <@Joslyn> 1d6?
[20:22:34] <DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, 1d6?: 5 [1d6=5]
[20:23:52] <Elsa> 4d6+9
[20:23:52] <DiceMaid-9001> Elsa, 4d6+9: 32 [4d6=6,5,6,6]
[20:24:25] <Elsa> 3d6
[20:24:26] <DiceMaid-9001> Elsa, 3d6: 9 [3d6=3,2,4]
[20:24:12] <Joslyn> The idea is that by smashing into one, Joslyn might be able to get some information from what they are. Any luck?
[20:25:10] <Elsa> 1d6+10
[20:25:11] <DiceMaid-9001> Elsa, 1d6+10: 11 [1d6=1]
[20:27:57] <Oxford> She'll have to look quickly. Interposing a fist directly in front of a fast-moving object tends to do some serious damage. She sees what looks like a long cylinder, with a pointed tip, almost pencil-shaped. Then her fist crumples through the nosecone, and the entire vehicle detonates spectacularly.
[20:29:12] <Oxford> 7#2d6
[20:29:13] <DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, 7#2d6: 7 [2d6=2,5], 6 [2d6=4,2], 2 [2d6=1,1], 3 [2d6=2,1], 8 [2d6=6,2], 9 [2d6=5,4], 2 [2d6=1,1]
[20:29:38] <Oxford> 1d6
[20:29:38] <DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, 1d6: 6 [1d6=6]
[20:29:41] <Oxford> 1d6
[20:29:42] <DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, 1d6: 5 [1d6=5]
[20:31:59] * Elsa once gain flies in the middle of their formation and releases a MASSIVE area filled with flame, this time its actually lots of dragons made out of fire and spreading out rapidly, thankfully avoiding the other two girls.
[20:33:15] * Elsa doesn't even bother yelling out the attack name
[20:34:04] <Oxford> The entire formation is engulfed in a cataclysmic explosion. Shockwaves spread out over the ocean's surface two-hundred feet below, and an echoing boom momentarily deafens everyone in the area.
[20:34:46] <Oxford> Sharps, all of you.
[20:34:53] <Caitlin> 2d6+8 sharp
[20:34:54] <DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, sharp: 19 [2d6=5,6]
[20:34:57] <Caitlin> MASTER
[20:35:02] <@Joslyn> 2d6+6
[20:35:02] <DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, 2d6+6: 13 [2d6=4,3]
[20:35:20] <Elsa> 2d6+6
[20:35:21] <DiceMaid-9001> Elsa, 2d6+6: 15 [2d6=4,5]
[20:36:43] <Oxford> The girls are momentarily disoriented, themselves caught up in the billowing fireball. In the wake of the blast, only Caitlin notices a single aircraft zip from the inferno, stub wings shredded with debris.
[20:37:57] <Caitlin> 3d6+6
[20:37:57] <DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, 3d6+6: 19 [3d6=6,2,5]
[20:38:00] <Caitlin> 1d6
[20:38:01] <DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, 1d6: 4 [1d6=4]
[20:38:35] <Oxford> 2d6
[20:38:35] <DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, 2d6: 8 [2d6=6,2]
[20:38:38] <Oxford> 1d6
[20:38:39] <DiceMaid-9001> Oxford, 1d6: 4 [1d6=4]
[20:39:14] <Caitlin> 1d6+4
[20:39:14] <DiceMaid-9001> Caitlin, 1d6+4: 8 [1d6=4]
[20:40:53] <Caitlin> With the word Chase, Caitlin is propelled after the strange aircraft, closing the distance until she can reach to write upon it. Implosion.
[20:44:04] <Oxford> With a sickening crunch, the flying tube's sidewalls give way, crumpling like a hot soda can in a bowl of ice water. The engine, mounted above the main body, continues to fire, sending the odd contraption spiralling down into the ocean with a splash.
[20:45:14] * Joslyn regains her bearings just in time to see Caitlin absolutely dismantle the last missile. "Nice Kill, Bookworm! Ground, picture seems clear."
[20:47:06] <Oxford> From the other end of the line, a strangely feminine voice answers back: "Roger, gels. Radar shows no further targets. Nice shooting up there!"
[20:47:22] * Elsa is too busy coughing up noxious fumes from rocket fuel to notice anything around her, she eventually flies lower and bleow the smoke to get a better view.
[20:48:13] <Joslyn> "Thank you ma'am." all the same, she will keep her head on a swivel. The first wave dodged radar detection, right?
[20:48:26] <Elsa> "So is that all?" Elsa says a bit dissapointed
[20:50:02] <Joslyn> "Cant be sure. Keep looking for anything that looks off."
[20:50:03] <Caitlin> Caitlin keeps a careful eye out, as well. Nervous jitters don't rob her of her attentiveness.
[20:50:12] <Oxford> "Anyway, guess you didn't need me." The voice sounds almost disappointed. "Flight, this is Echo-Whiskey, over and out."
[20:51:54] <Joslyn> "Roger that, Echo Whiskey. All units, RTB." barring seeing another wave of missiles, Joslyn heads back towards base.
[20:52:52] * Elsa goes back to base and lands outside the locker room.
[20:52:26] <@Joslyn> 2d6+6 there aren't other missiles incoming right?
[20:52:26] <DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, there aren't other missiles incoming right?: 9 [2d6=1,2]
[20:53:08] <Oxford> As the last few scraps of metal disappear beneath the waves, the last trace of attack vanish as though it had never happened.
[20:53:48] * Joslyn touches down shortly after. She feels…nothing. No need to kiss or grope anyone. Thankfully.
[20:54:25] <Oxford> The Major doesn't meet them at the lockers this time. He may have returned to his office.
[20:54:51] <Caitlin> Caitlin lands last, still not convinced that some flying enemy isn't hiding, waiting to blow them all up the moment she stops paying attention.
[20:55:52] <Joslyn> "Worried we missed something?" Joslyn says, her metal armor vanishing as she unclasps her pendant.
[20:56:56] <Caitlin> Caitlin nods, "If we miss it, it won't miss us."
[20:57:27] * Elsa pulls out a bottle of wine from out of…somewhere and puts in into the locker next to the radio and untransforms…and she notices something wierd on her left arm, "What the bloody hell?" She asks out loud to no one in particular before pulling her sleeve up.
[20:58:27] <Joslyn> "I know…but we did all we could. You saw as much as me - there was nothing up there except us. But yeah, can't hurt to take one last look if you're worried."
[20:58:31] <Elsa> Yup its a huge burn scar that goes from her elbow to her wrist. Elsa looks at it incredulously, thankfully she is detached enough due to recent events that well…
[20:59:41] * Elsa drops to the bench while staring at her arm.
[21:00:22] <Oxford> It's pretty painful to look at. The other girls, thankfully, don't seem to have noticed yet. Though if Elsa doesn't hide it, that will change pretty quickly.
[21:00:49] <Caitlin> "Are either of you familiar with such designs as we just delegated? Oh, is something the matter, Elsa?"
[21:01:36] <Joslyn> "Can't say I am. They were explosive, fast as hell, and avoided radar detection. In short, they seem like a very big problem."
[21:02:20] * Elsa quickly pulls her sleeve back down. "I'm going to look for the major in his offcice. I really need to talk to him about things."
[21:03:06] <Joslyn> "…As you wish." Joslyn wanted to be alone with Caitlin anyway. No, not like that.
[21:03:37] <Oxford> Lunch hour is almost over, and none of them have gotten to eat yet. They'd have to hurry.
[21:04:11] * Elsa really doesnt care about lunch right now, given the recent…circumstances.
[21:04:31] <Caitlin> "But, shouldn't we integrate Major Westfield, too?"
[21:04:52] <Joslyn> Yeah - that's important. Joslyn will stuff the pendant into her bookbag, reminding herself to return it shortly after lunch. He wouldn't be too mad as long as she didn't use it, right?
[21:05:09] * Elsa quietly leaves the locker room and makes a beeline for the Major's office.
[21:05:59] <Joslyn> "…I think she wants to speak to him privately. We can talk to him once he's free. Come on, let's get some lunch…I'm starving!"
[21:06:51] <Joslyn> The second Caitlin is detransformed, she's being dragged to the cafeteria.
[21:08:13] <Caitlin> Caitlin stows her pendant away, "Alright, well, if you're sure. Let's remunerate lunch."
[21:08:34] <Oxford> Westfield in on his telephone as Elsa enters the office. He doesn't say anything for a long time, until a very formal "yes, sir, by your leave, sir." He hangs up quickly.
[21:11:48] <Elsa> "I want to talk about two things, one from last week and this" She says bluntly, pulling up her sleeve revealing her mysterous (and nasty) scar, it has spread further upwards than a few minutes ago…wierd.
[21:14:09] <Oxford> The officer raises his eyebrows. "I'm glad to see you've returned. Your flightmates are-?" He cuts himself off as he sees the scar. "stowing their equipment, no doubt. By all means, give me your report."
[21:18:37] <Elsa> "About last week?" She thinks for a second and continues, "After the fight I split off from the others to go practice…which I think you already know the result. Jos' was there to drag me of there." Thats the part he already knows.
[21:19:44] <Elsa> "I found a nice couch with a fireplace and lit it the old fashioned way and took a nap…when this girl came in and…and…"she's almost sobbing at this point
[21:20:35] <Oxford> "…continue, Warrant."
[21:22:31] <Elsa> "I…wanted to kill her for no reason, tried to, and failed." She says as shortly as possible. Hear face wears an expression of guilt and disgust.
[21:24:57] <Oxford> "…I see." Westfield's hands are steepled in front of his face, calculating eyes regarding Elsa from either side. "Your file doesn't show anything to suggest any anger management problems in the past…"
[21:27:08] <Elsa> "I…wan't angry at all at the time…please don't make me remember."
[21:29:01] <Oxford> "Warrant Elsa, let me make this very clear: you are not simply another citizen anymore. You are held to a higher standard of behavior, and lax though I am in enforcing it, I do have my limits."
[21:30:58] <Oxford> "Attempted murder - whatever your psychological justification might be - Is. Not. Acceptable. Now I read the transcript of your discussion with the headmistress, as well as the one Ms. Darlington had with her. Is there anything you've withheld from that report?"
[21:32:59] * Elsa flinches at his voice, and then goes on silently and lowers her head, "I didn't want to do it…I tried to stop myself…and I did right when the other girl broke free….I didn't even try to defend myself at that point." She says, with tears flowing down her cheeks.
[21:36:25] <Oxford> "I see. Were there any indications leading up to this? Any pent-up aggression, short-temperedness, anything of that nature?" He hands her his handkerchief, but his expression doesn't soften.
[21:38:36] * Elsa takes it and wipes away the tears, "It…just happened, I saw her I felt an overwhelming need to do that, something like breathing or drinking water…I havent ever felt that and I don't want to ever again." She sobs even harder now
[21:39:56] <Oxford> It's finely embroidered silk, monographed with a "L.W." in curly gold script. The cloth is soaked through almost immediately.
[21:41:34] <Oxford> "For that to happen, you're going to need to develop some self-control, Warrant. Remember, you're not just schoolgirl anymore - you're an officer in the Imperial Albaean Air Force."
[21:45:24] <Oxford> "The next time you feel yourself losing control… come talk to me." Westfield leans in a bit, and puts one hand on her shoulder. "I know how tough it can be."
[21:45:37] * Elsa looks at him from behind the cloth, she looks angry now, "Why don't you believe me?" She slams her palm on the table. "I…didnt…want that. I bet it was some sort of thing from the pendant like this." SHe points at her arm.
[21:48:42] <Oxford> "Oh my… I thought I heard an explosion, but I didn't expect…" He touches the scar tissue gingerly. "This seems to have healed over already? Nothing in your file said…"
[21:49:50] <Elsa> "It showed up after the fight."
[21:51:46] <Oxford> "Hmm…there's a known ability for some users to heal rapidly, but…" He trails off, looking worried. "I'll file a report to Headquarters about this, naturally. Are you in any pain?"
[21:53:55] <Elsa> "The explosions didn't do anything to me, and I bet what happened las week was the pendant's bloody fault too." She sounds seriously angry.
[21:57:07] <Oxford> "The pendants!" Westfield says, mood shifting rapidly from concern to anxiousness. "That idiot called, and I completely…" He looks Elsa over suspiciously.
[21:58:01] <Oxford> "I think I know what's happening, and you're completely right about the pendants being the cause. I need you to return it to me before things get any worse."
[21:59:48] * Elsa tosses it at him and narrows her eyes. "So tell me whats exactly going on."
[22:02:05] <Oxford> He returns it quickly to his heavy leather pouch. "As I've explained, prolonged exposure to the Focus Pendant or over-extending your usage of abilities can have a variety of side-effects. It would seem you're having a very bad reaction indeed."
[22:02:20] <Joslyn> *knock knock knock*
[22:03:18] <Oxford> "And so- who's there? Come in."
[22:04:09] <Joslyn> "I hate to interrupt, professor…but it's an emergency." oh, it's just Elsa still. That's good. "First off, there are these." Joslyn holds out two focus pendants.
[22:05:44] <Joslyn> "The reason Warrant O'Connell isn't with me to return it herself…well, that's the emergency."
[22:05:53] <Oxford> "Ah, thank you, Warant Parnocus. Apologies for not collecting them sooner. In the future, that's the first thing we do after landing, yes?"
[22:06:15] <Oxford> "But go on. O'Connell is…?
[22:06:56] <Joslyn> "Having…vocabulary issues. Trading words that make sense for ones that don't. And she doesn't hear herself doing it."
[22:07:48] * Elsa looks like she ahs been obviously crying.
[22:08:24] <Joslyn> "She's in the infirmary right now…I figures if it wasn't magic-based, they'd help. If it was…getting the pendant away from her would help."
[22:09:03] <Oxford> "Did O'Connell suffer any head trauma during the battle? It sounds like a concussion to me." He strokes his chin, eyes narrow.
[22:10:41] <Joslyn> "I…don't know. After I downed one of the crafts, Elsa…made a giant explosion. Wiped out almost the entire enemy squadron. By the time I regained my bearings, all I saw was O'Connell destroying the last target."
[22:10:59] <Joslyn> "She might have taken a blow to the head while I was disoriented."
[22:12:23] <Joslyn> "It…I should have been paying more attention…"
[22:12:45] <Oxford> He nods. "See that she's monitored at the infirmary; this is the sort of thing they can handle."
[22:13:39] <Oxford> "You're dismissed, Parnocus. Warrant Elsa, was there anything else you wanted to discuss?"
[22:13:44] <Joslyn> "…and her word salad? That…is reversible, right?"
[22:14:11] <Oxford> "It should clear up with the concussion. If it doesn't, we'll know it's something more serious."
[22:15:18] <Joslyn> "…Yes sir. I'll watch over her at the infirmary. You know where to find me if you need it." Joslyn leaves, a bit depressed.
[22:15:37] <Elsa> "I have more questions for you major." She says, her voice sharp as knives.
[22:16:17] <Oxford> "Then you'd better ask them, Warrant. What's the trouble?"
[22:17:31] <Elsa> "I want you to tell me exactly what happens when we use the pendants too much." I deserve at least this much after this, she says holding her scarred arm up.
[22:21:42] <Oxford> "You want to know exactly what happens? Well that makes two of us, Elsa."
[22:22:42] <Oxford> "As I said, these are still in a 'test' stage. We need to evaluate the side-effects before we can develop a means to combat them."
[22:24:09] <Elsa> "It has a different effect on everyone? So we're just test subjects. Aren't these the improved pendants? I thought that the side effects were studied with the first ones."
[22:26:26] <Oxford> "They were, and believe me, they weren't nearly as pleasant as what you've experienced. Warrant, I've read the reports. Let me be clear: compared to the Mk. I, the new Focus Pendants are essentially harmless."
[22:28:43] * Elsa shrudders "…what happened to them?"
[22:28:47] * Elsa gulps
[22:31:18] <Oxford> The Major lets out his own shuddering sigh. "…Warrant, you said there were things you didn't want to remember? Feelings you never wanted to feel again?"
[22:32:19] <Oxford> "I'm not too proud to admit I have a few of those myself. What I saw on those tapes is something I'll take with me to the grave."
[22:38:04] <Oxford> The officer absentmindedly fumbles with his top desk-drawer, and something inside sloshes. "Was there anything else, Warrant?"
[22:41:54] <Elsa> "…I think thats all, aren't there supposed to be doctors to you know…see whats wrong with us?" She says while getting closer to the door.
[22:44:25] <Oxford> "I've said as much, at Headquarters. At present… Warrant Elsa, I'm afraid I'm all you've got. And if it makes you feel better, you three are all I've got."
[22:45:10] <Oxford> "Do your best out there, and try to stay safe. If I come up with anything that might make it easier on you, I'll let you know."
[22:45:29] * Elsa frowns, "I don't think that makes me feel better but…thanks." She closes the door while waving goodbye.