World War Burst: Part #4

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[20:42:16] <~Oxford> Major Westfield does not return to the Academy until late Monday night. Despite this, Joslyn finds him back in his office the very next morning, paging studiously through a large binder filled with laminated photographs.
[20:45:04] <Joslyn> "Sorry to interrupt, Professor…but could I have a bit if your time?" Joslyn seems to be adapting quickly to her powers, even without her pendant - her steel eyeglasses take in the scene with clarity that's almost superhuman.
[20:46:40] <~Oxford> He snaps the binder shut and leans forward at his desk. "By all means, Parnocus. Is this in relation to your report on Sunday's events?"
[20:48:43] <Joslyn> "Ehh…sort of." She fidgets, unsure of where to begin. "Is…is everything okay? I mean, from what Flauri said…"
[20:51:13] <~Oxford> The officer steeples his fingers in front of his face. "Warrant Elsa's court-martial is still in the investigatory phase. For the time being, I've formally taken custody of her - command has agreed with my recommendation that her 'medical needs' have been satisfactorily addressed."
[20:52:05] <Joslyn> "Also…" Joslyn rummages in her pockets and produces two focus pendants. "Kate and I figured that even if we could have kept them…we didnt want anything to…happen."
[20:53:34] <~Oxford> He takes the focus pendants back and returns them to his briefcase before continuing. "Naturally, given the extenuating circumstances, I've obtained permission to submit your statements by mail. The three of you should write those out and get them to me as soon as possible."
[20:54:21] <Joslyn> "Of course. I'll inform Warrant O'Connell shortly. But…did her pendant really make her this…bad?"
[20:57:23] <~Oxford> "Her pendant didn't have anything to do with it. As I've said, the pendants mitigate what would otherwise be rather uncontrollable forces. Warrant Elsa, to the best of my knowledge, suffered from the over-use of her own abilities."
[20:58:10] <Joslyn> "Wait…so the pendants are a control mechanism? From my understanding it just allowed access…Kate's not gonna be happy about that."
[20:59:09] <~Oxford> He sighs. "In some ways, I blame myself. I should've been more strict in forbidding you three to use your powers outside of an emergency. Ms. Elsa's 'practice sessions' were probably the direct cause of her mutation."
[20:59:33] <Joslyn> "She…well, her powers kind of scare her. Mostly…it seems she's a mind reader and that scares her."
[21:00:33] <Joslyn> "Though I'd wager she saved all of us by identifying Major Reiker's intentions.
[21:01:27] <~Oxford> "Warrant O'Connell? Hmm…" Westfield strokes his chin. "That kind of ability would be of great value to our Intelligence branch. As for Reiker…"
[21:01:38] <Joslyn> "All the same…I'll be sure to keep my abilities well under control."
[21:03:58] <Joslyn> "One mutation is enough for a squadron, I'd think. More than enough, actually."
[21:04:17] <~Oxford> A flicker of embarassment crosses Westfield's face. "Very good. As I was saying, I hate to ask this of you, but it would be best for you not to mention our encounter with Major Reiker in your official report."
[21:05:03] <Joslyn> "…What encounter?" Joslyn asks innocently. Yeah, she gets it. "There…was one other topic I wanted to discuss."
[21:05:43] <~Oxford> He smiles at her response and nods. "Speak freely."
[21:07:26] <Joslyn> "I was just curious…doing some reading. Apparently taking out five enemy planes elevates a pilot to the rank of 'Ace'. I know that it probably isn't usual for officers to ask like this…but I wasn't sure anyone was keeping track."
[21:08:06] <Joslyn> On a sheet of parchment, it notes that Joslyn has 6 kills to Caitlin's three, though Elsa's kill count is already in the twenties.
[21:10:32] <~Oxford> Westfield chuckles. "Oh, I'm keeping track. All this paperwork you see me doing isn't just for show - I submit detailed after-action-reports from each engagement, and enemy craft destroyed is a major part of that."
[21:11:28] <~Oxford> "But…what you're really asking for is the recognition, right?"
[21:11:54] <Joslyn> "Well, I doubt there would be a big parade or announcement. OpSec and all."
[21:12:33] <Joslyn> "But at least knowing that the people who are read in know and recognize what we're doing…is all."
[21:15:10] <~Oxford> He nods. "In any normal fighter unit, making Ace is a big deal. Understand, that means meeting the enemy in even combat five times, and conclusively beating him every time. Most pilots don't survive that many fights; those that do are the best of the best."
[21:16:32] <Joslyn> "But with the hordes bearing down on us, and there only being three, and with magic at that…" Joslyn nods. "Five craft really isn't that big a deal is it?"
[21:17:39] <~Oxford> "For you girls…let's be honest. You've got capabilities that no conventional aircraft can match. Your combat record thus far has been outstanding, and I expect just as much of you the next time you go up."
[21:19:24] <Joslyn> "I wouldn't have it any other way, Sir. We're the first defense against the Gualian and Novogaardi bombers…it's not like we can afford to slack off."
[21:22:08] <~Oxford> He smiles. "Still…" The officer's eyes flick away for a moment in thought. "Tracking individual kills is good for morale. Breeds a certain sort of aggressiveness, a competitive spirit." He smiles. "Tell you what: We'll have a celebration of sorts. First one to 25 kills - that sounds about right, eh Warrant?"
[21:24:29] <Joslyn> "…I guess. But Caitlin and I have some serious catching up to do…Elsa's plan of attack has usually consisted of leading with overwhelming force, and we're lucky to pick up the scraps. Her kill count is that high for a reason."
[21:26:02] <~Oxford> Westfield chuckles. "Actually… well, I've been meaning to break it to her, but unmanned craft don't count in the traditional sense…"
[21:26:20] <~Oxford> "Ah, but that reminds me!"
[21:28:10] <Joslyn> "I do guess that would level the scores somewhat…but you were saying?"
[21:29:39] <~Oxford> "Pulse-bomb attacks have continued to strike our coastal cities. They haven't struck around Bougnetsport recently, but as of yet we haven't come up with a… 'conventional' countermeasure. Simply put, there aren't enough of you girls to go around."
[21:31:23] <Joslyn> "…So what? Do we let them keep going? Or are you implying we'll be deployed along the coast?"
[21:32:09] <~Oxford> "We need a better picture of what we're up against, and wreckage only gets us so far. Ideally, we'd like to recover a sample intact, and that's a task no ordinary unit could handle."
[21:33:38] <Joslyn> "So…like Catching one? Seems…well…" Joslyn thinks about it, the sunlight reflecting off her glasses, making the lenses opaque from the Major's point of view.
[21:34:50] <@Joslyn> 2d6+8 sharp roll with winging it
[21:34:50] <DiceMaid-9001> Joslyn, sharp roll with winging it: 19 [2d6=5,6]
[21:36:19] <Joslyn> "I figure as long as we can keep one from detonating, bringing it back out to be simple. O'Connell's abilities probably would make deactivating one easy enough."
[21:36:51] <~Oxford> He nods. "It'll be tricky. However, we have one advantage." Westfield shuffles some files on his desk until he comes to a plain manila folder, which he passes to Joslyn. "We've received intelligence indicating a concentrated attack will be made against our Early Warning radar in the next few days. This attack will likely include pulse bombs."
[21:39:01] <Joslyn> "If they take out the early warning radar, we'd be sitting ducks for bombing runs - we wouldn't know they're coming until there's a visual from the coast. And their last bombing run…" Joslyn doesn't need to expound on that.
[21:40:06] <~Oxford> "My intention is to deploy you three to Keller's Isle, where the main EW base for this region is located. It could be for the rest of the week, so pack a change of uniforms. With any luck we'll kill two birds with one stone - stop the attack and capture some enemy tech for the Engineering Division to play with."
[21:42:14] <Joslyn> "Understood. I hope it's not a combined force, at least - the last bombing of bougnetsport had a Gualian fighter among the bombers."
[21:44:59] <Joslyn> "The LAST thing we need is the horde teaming up with Gualia's experimental aircraft…that thing was crazy, none of us were even able to touch it."
[21:45:57] <~Oxford> Westfield frowns and again pages through his notes. "Yes…not a model we've seen. In general, the Gaulian Air Corps is fairly small and underequipped; they're still flying biplane fighters, for the most part. My current guess would be a mercenary or foreign volunteer. At any rate, keep your eyes open out there."
[21:47:12] <Joslyn> "Alright…but there's no way I could mistake the accent. Whoever gave them the plane I don't know, but I'm positive there was a Frog flying it." Joslyn frowns.
[21:51:28] <~Oxford> Major Westfield folds his hands and places them on the table. "At any rate, you'd better get off to class. Tell the rest of the unit to get packed; I'll be driving you down to catch the dawn ferry to Keller's. If there's nothing else…?" He waits a moment, and then nods. "You're dismissed."
[21:52:58] <Joslyn> "R-right…I'll gather the three of us to leave at dawn." with a short salute, Joslyn leaves. But not without clutching the steel pin in her hands close to her chest.
[21:53:39] <~Oxford> /session