World War Burst S2: Part 10

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[13:34:27] * Oxford changes topic to '…'
[13:34:45] <~Oxford> "It's Marina," Col. Vaughn stammers, his voice sounding distant and vague despite their physical closeness. "She's gone."
[13:37:48] <~Oxford> The bald-headed officer's words hang in the empty hallway between him and Loewin like particles of dust caught by the light through the heavy patterned curtains.
[13:37:55] <Loewin> "Did she leave any tracks, sir? I'll go bring her back." Loewin maintains her salute.
[13:48:37] <~Oxford> "Tracks…" he repeats, as though hearing the word for the first time. "She's…when I went into her room to check on her, she was just gone. Her window was broken - broken in, not out. I only just found - I needed to call it in…" Behind him, the door of the office stands ajar, revealing a black military telephone hanging off the hook and beeping faintly.
[13:52:01] <Loewin> Her posture falters as a gnawing grows within her stomach. "But that…who…sir, permission to use the pendants to hunt for her immediately?!"
[13:55:08] <~Oxford> He blinks, and snaps the hand touching his mustache back down to his side. "Yes. Of course," he says, stepping back through the office door and returning smartly with a black leather briefcase and an olive canvas duffle. "Pendants, and radios. Get to the other girls and start a search pattern. I'll brief you in the air."
[13:56:59] <Bridget> "Eh? Wut's goin' on?"
[14:00:51] <Loewin> Loewin swiftly takes the briefcase from the Colonel, popping it open to grab a pendant and radio for herself and another pair she hands to Bridget. "Bridget, help me find Lily and Henri…Marina is…missing."
[14:01:10] <Bridget> "Oh! That ain't gaed! Caemon!"
[14:01:19] <Bridget> Bridget is racing to look for her friends.
[14:03:08] <Lily> Lily and Henriette are still int he forest, cleaning up the mess from the shooting practice earlier!
[14:04:33] <Loewin> Loewin snaps the briefcase back up and trails Bridget.
[14:08:28] <Henriette> Henriette has gathered the glass into a bit of leather cut from the inside of her jacket so as to not have anyone cutting themselves. She leans against the tree with it, staring at the contents inside reflecting images both fantastic and disturbing, possibilities of the future and glimpses of the present and past.
[14:11:45] <Lily> Lily has gathered up other shards of glass, not as many as Henriette, and also pieced together the pieces of the basket that Henriette shot up, putting the shards in the remnant of the basket. She's currently sitting down and admiring a patch of flowers in the sunlight, the basket set next to her on the ground.
[14:13:15] <~Oxford> The clearing is still and silent, and the light from the lowering sun turns the ground gold in patches where it lands.
[14:15:45] <~Oxford> Stopping here on the way back from the orchard had been a mutual choice, neither girl eager to exchange the beautiful sunset forest for the Wightshead's close quarters and awkward questions.
[14:16:53] <Bridget> Bridget heads after Loewin! She's clearly worried!
[14:22:34] <Bridget> Well, Bridget heads there
[14:22:44] <Bridget> "So, Marina's gaen!"
[14:22:49] <Bridget> "Anyane' seen 'er?"
[14:23:13] <Lily> "Nope!" Lily doesn't turn around, still sitting in the sunlight with the flowers.
[14:24:49] <Loewin> Loewin holds up the briefcase. "QUICKLY! Come pick up a pendant and a radio! She can't be TOO long gone!" Loewin shakes as she speaks.
[14:25:08] <Henriette> "Marina… gone?" Henriette responds, as if in a daze. She furrows her brow and grimaces. "C'est de ma faute. I know it…" On cue, she starts crying, though it doesn't seem like she's really all that sorrowful.
[14:30:15] <Lily> Lily turns around and starts walking towards the other (picking up the basket and shards carefully). "Oh, you mean gone gone, not 'went out for a walk and I wanted to talk to her' gone?"
[14:30:22] <Lily> *others
[14:30:41] <Loewin> "I mean possibly k…kidnapped…now hurry the hell up!"
[14:31:36] <Lily> "Got it!" She walks over to Henriette and kneels down, grabbing one of Henriette's hands despite the girl's bawling. "Come on." She starts standing up.
[14:33:29] <Henriette> Henriette stands- and not reluctantly!- but the tears don't cease. "Oui," she says through sniffles. "How shall we find her, ma belle?"
[14:35:09] <Bridget> "Oi, oi. 's okae. Yae' shaeldn't blame yerself"
[14:36:23] <Loewin> "We're going to search by air, with Vaughn assisting by radio." She drops the case on the ground before Lily and Henri and begins her own transformation, armor appearing with a roar.
[14:37:39] <Lily> "…but what about the glass?" She frowns, then shakes her head. "I'll pick it up later myself, I guess!" Then she takes Henriette's stash, puts it in the basket, and takes a pendant and radio to start TRANSFORMIN' UP
[14:37:54] * Bridget nods, her own armor appearing as she transforms. "Laets go!"
[14:39:42] * Henriette almost protests, but then her halo glows particularly bright for a moment. She stands next to the barrel and transforms with her hand planted on the glass, thoughts of incorporating the shimmering shards into her wings.
[14:43:00] <Henriette> The light from her pendant washes over her body and for a moment, the colors in the glass flash across her and into her wings. Afterwards, they are larger and more intricate, with colors flickering about. They could almost be construed as familiar images, but they're gone before anything can be seen.
[14:45:58] <~Oxford> They rocket upwards through the trees, emerging above treetops brushed in gold light and purple shadow. As if on cue, Col. Vaughn's smokey baritone fills their ears. "Whiskey-Bravo calling all units. Check-in when airborne. Repeat…"
[14:46:08] <Bridget> "Oi, 'm 'ere!"
[14:47:55] <Loewin> "Roger, sir, we read you loud and clear."
[14:48:03] <Lily> "Oh, that works too!" Lily finishes transforming, her sundress replaced with the druidic robe, her hair turning green and lengthening. She gets the radio on right as Vaughn starts sending that message. "Amazon here! Ready to go!"
[14:53:38] <Bridget> "m' Albatross, raite?"
[14:55:58] <Bridget> "Ahm Armstrong, right! Ahhah!"
[14:57:38] <Henriette> Alice ascends without a flap of her glass wings. The glittering colors refract her natural glowing and cascade a rainbow of hues onto the ground below. Her radio is atop her head as her tiara once again. "Alice is airbourne, Whiskey-Bravo, sir."
[14:58:35] <Bridget> "Armstrong too~"
[15:03:12] <~Oxford> "Copy, Flight. Mission is search-and-rescue. Target is Codename Albatross, status unknown. Search by vector; headings to follow: one-tree-zero, one-six-fife, one-niner-fife, two-two-zero."
[15:06:10] <Loewin> "Roger!" Loewin glances about quickly for any soaring birds in the area of their search.
[15:07:29] <Henriette> No birds but us chickens. Henriette rises high into the air, sharp eyes trained on the town for anyone that might be suspicious. Particularly, she's looking for the Nov that Angela had mentioned and Margarette.
[15:08:09] <Lily> "Got it!" Lily begins scanning the skies, before going at one of the designated headings to look for Marina~
[15:09:35] <~Oxford> She's in luck. A small flock of starlings were disturbed by the girls' sudden departure, and now weave intricate patterns above the trees.
[15:11:37] <Loewin> Drifting closer, though not so close as to spook them, Loewin cries out to the flock. "I have need of your assistance! I am looking for what I expect to be a pair of humans, one of which has hair the color of snow, should be pretty unusual!"
[15:17:47] <~Oxford> The birds give no acknowledgement, but at once the flock scatters, its individual members darting down into the forest below in all directions. Given the density of coverage, it would be almost impossible for the kidnappers to be in the forest and not be discovered by the searching animals.
[15:28:25] <~Oxford> The girls spread out over the indicated headings, each taking a separate direction. Together, they form an arc that sweeps south, widening the further they go from their starting point. Furthest west is Loewin, followed by Lily, Bridget, and Henriette, whose flightpath takes her over the westmost edge of Ternwald.
[15:33:49] <~Oxford> The radio provides a running update as they search. "Whoever took Albatross only has about a fifteen-minute lead. The coast is the most likely escape route; if these vectors are clean, they're likely still hiding inland."
[15:39:01] <Loewin> Time passing at both blinding speeds and a snail's crawl simultaneously, Loewin's eyes dart about over the landscape. Each rustling bush or swaying tree catches her attention, ultimately slowing down her search significantly, and she peers in vain toward every bird she spies for some sort of sign.
[15:39:37] <Henriette> The townspeople going about their business are the only thing Henriette sees over the west edge of Ternwald. Her eyes pass over the schoolhouse, empty except for one individual having a lonely lunch on the front steps as he plans for the next lesson. As she flies, Henriette's eyes can't help but stop over Dirk's house, Angela's, Maggie's. So many people she'd like to talk to, but none
[15:39:37] <Henriette> of them her target.
[15:43:02] <Lily> Lily twirls along the sky as she surveys the ground below. She scans the forest, looking both for Marina and for any good spots for relaxing later! Not to say she's taking her time, she's more just being thorough, and besides, whoever kidnapped her probably wasn't a pendant user, so simply by flying she's alreayd got a huge speed advantage.
[15:43:52] * Bridget just looks around, golden eyes staring and scanning for her friend. She'll find her! Probably!
[15:48:45] <~Oxford> One by one, the girls come to the coastline, stretching like a foam-white snake between green land and blue sea. They are spaced out, with about a mile between them. A net, cast with the intent of catching their foe fleeing towards some hidden boat, now come up empty.
[15:49:33] <Loewin> "Alexandria here…I saw nothing."
[15:50:28] <Bridget> "Armstrong 'ere"
[15:50:31] <Bridget> "Naethin!"
[15:50:42] <Henriette> "No sign of ma belle over Ternwald," Henriette reports. "We have confirmed she did not leave of her own accord, non?"
[15:50:43] <Lily> "Amazon reporting nothing, sorry!"
[15:52:23] <~Oxford> "That doesn't make any sense," Vaughn's voice replies, his confusion evident even through the headphones. "Heading inland would only- standby."
[15:52:34] <Lily> "Mmm?"
[15:55:39] <~Oxford> A moment later, his voice returns, suddenly excited. "Radar contact! Heading one-eight-fife, bearing one-eight-zero! Angels two." There's a certain amount of relief in his voice, though perhaps premature. "Identify and engage the target."
[15:57:34] <Henriette> "Angels two? …Confirm, Whiskey-Bravo?"
[15:58:06] <Bridget> "Angels two?"
[15:58:17] <Loewin> Loewin doesn't bother waiting and heads for the coordinates.
[15:58:40] <~Oxford> "Angels confirmed," responds Vaughn, after a moment to re-check.
[16:00:53] <Lily> "Angels? Well all right!" She starts heading over to the taaargeeet~
[16:03:51] <Henriette> Grimacing, Henriette takes off after Lily, glancing back at the town momentarily.
[16:06:10] * Bridget follows!
[16:10:52] <~Oxford> Ahead of her, Lily sees the source of the radar signature. It is a squat cargo plane, bare aluminum shining bronze in the setting sun.
[16:12:55] <~Oxford> As she gets closer, she can make out narrow elliptical wings and an odd bulge at the midsection. The aircraft has two engines and twin vertical stabilizers on the empennage, and the oddly-sloped lower hull of a flying boat.
[16:14:50] <Lily> "Cargo!" She rubs her hands together, scheming. "Ahem, Amazon here, I've sighted the target! Seems to be a cargo plane!"
[16:15:13] <Lily> "Design's a little weird!"
[16:16:26] <Henriette> "Weird how so?"
[16:16:47] <Lily> "Look at the bottom of it!"
[16:20:01] <Bridget> "Ah?" What's at the bottom!
[16:20:45] <Henriette> Arriving just behind Lily, Henriette takes a look at the plane with a puzzled look on her face. "Perhaps it is carrying something broad and heavy? A tank?"
[16:21:08] <Henriette> "Mais… I do not understand what that would have to do with Marina…"
[16:21:21] <Lily> "Maybe we should just disable it so that we can take the cargo…er…Whiskey-Bravo, is that okay?"
[16:22:29] <~Oxford> "Roger, Amazon," replies the Colonel. "Engage and-"
[16:22:34] <Loewin> Loewin catches up, the grinding of her teeth probably slightly audible on the radio.
[16:25:12] <~Oxford> "New contacts!" Vaughn shouts from their headsets, loud enough that the speakers cut out a moment to avoid damage. "Eight bogeys, heading one-eight-fife, bearing zero-zero-zero!"
[16:26:02] <Lily> "What!?" Lily immediately whips around to see the bogeys!
[16:33:55] <~Oxford> She sees nothing, until Vaughn's addition of ,"…angels four!" makes her snap her head upward. From two thousand feet above, a swarm of eight Novgoraadi floatplanes dives down on them with terrifying speed.
[16:34:49] <Lily> "Ah! I see them! They're coming down on us fast…"
[15:14:43] <Bridget> "Oi! Ah'll taek caer a' tha' cargae plaen!"
[15:14:57] <Bridget> She's bouncing almost, looking eager. "Ain't gonna sneak intae 'ere!"
[15:19:08] <Henriette> Floating with a rather intense look on her face, Henriette eases up towards Loewin. "Do you have a plan to attack them, ma belle? Perhaps we could attack together, non?"
[15:19:36] <~Oxford> The wide-hulled seaplane continues on its course, fleeing south toward the safety of Gaulian waters. The fighters, meanwhile, are rapidly moving to put themselves between the four girls and the escaping aircraft.
[15:20:06] <Lily> Lily mutters something to herself about "and here I thought I could get away with not destroying anything"
[15:20:19] <Loewin> She nods, rage quite visible in her eyes. "I would gladly put them down like the rabid dogs they are with you at my side."
[15:20:55] * Bridget rockets off towards the seaplane. She'll go through bullets to bring it down!
[15:21:13] <Henriette> A little intimidated by the anger from Loewin, Henriette visibly recoils from the comment. "O-oui, ma belle. Simply say when."
[15:22:02] * Oxford changes topic to 'Loewin->Bridget->Henri->GAR-7Es->Lily->m.31'
[15:24:28] <Loewin> Loewin puts her hands before her, a slight gap between them. The swirling chaotic visage of a spectral lion can occasionally be seen forming from the vortex of magic. "Give me time to prepare and I shall cry havoc."
[15:27:14] * Bridget pulls her wings in and dives after the seaplane, hoping to land on it and force them to surrender. She'd rather not murder everything in it, but hey, she could.
[15:29:05] <Henriette> Glancing back at the frightful ritual Loewin seems to be performing, a gleaming light pours from Henriette's wings, reflecting off of Loewin and back to the sender. Slowly, her tiara and dress appear like armor, and there is a fierceness to her eyes. "I shall… ensure you have time enough, Loewin."
[15:33:55] <Henriette> A feline growl escapes her throat as a thin beam of light streams from her hand towards the fighters, sweeping across the skyline. The kickback is intense, however and a grimace passes over Henriette's face as the energy burns.
[15:35:55] <~Oxford> The two floatplanes in the path of her glowing beam juke in perfect unison, falling out of formation to roll past one another and split off in different directions. The attack slashes between the enemy aircraft, finding nothing but empty air.
[15:37:58] <Lily> Lily nods, her hair beginning to spread out and grow larger. "I will as well!"
[15:40:04] <~Oxford> As they bank and turn, Henriette can see an unusual squadron designation on the wings of the floatplanes. It features a red maple leaf over two crossed tridents, clearly visible against the seaplanes' stipled blue hulls. Four of the enemy craft dive to intercept Bridget, attacking in pairs, while two more pairs line up on Lily and Loewin.
[15:40:47] <Loewin> "Idiots!" The pulsing orb before her crackles as she speaks. "Don't get reckless!"
[15:41:29] <Henriette> "I am not being reckless! I have control!" Henriette retorts, tossing a glare over her shoulder at the girl.
[15:57:25] <~Oxford> Bridget is cut off from the others, and half the enemy planes take turns leisurely rolling in on her from behind. Though she dodges gamely, some of the rounds find their marks, tossing her through the air like a ragdoll. It's all she can do to regain control and stay on course after the flying boat.
[15:58:17] <Lily> Lily uses her hair to whip all the bullets coming her way out of the way,a nd then she rushes over to defend Loewin, setting up her hair as a barrier that blocks most of the bullets, a few breaking through and leaving scratchlike marks on her arms and legs, marring her body with cuts that begin bleeding profusely. None hit directly, but they all managed to sting profusely. Lily
[15:58:18] <Lily> grimaces, before shaking her head and retracting her hair, focusing.
[16:00:13] <Lily> Her hair, prehensile, floats above her hair, a sheet billowing in the wind, before she yells out a command. "All of you, BACK OFF!" Her hair enlarges into a tangled mess, much larger than the girl, and then most of the tangled mess detaches into a net, trying to ensnare the 4 jets that attacked her and Loewin, red thorns popping up all over the surface of the vines in her hair.
[16:11:31] <~Oxford> The fighters peel off from their attack runs, trying to avoid the expanding mass of tangled vines. The second plane in one of the two wing-pairs is just a little too slow, and a mess of expanding vines wrap around his tail, creeping forward along the hull. His lead has no choice but to leave the slower plane behind.
[16:15:32] <~Oxford> As the clash between seaplanes and Pendant Users turns into a broiling mess of intersecting flightpaths, the flying boat stays on course, trying to reach the edge of the girls' engagement region.
[16:19:31] * Oxford changes topic to 'Loewin->Bridget (Progress 0/2)->Lily->GAR-7Es->Henri->m.31 (3 turns to escape)'
[16:20:10] <Loewin> The orb suddenly begins to contort and expands violently, constructing a metallic lion. The lion's features are twisted and hellish: great swords extend as claws, the mane is a mercurial nightmare seemingly with a mind of its own, and two eyes that seem to bite into the soul. Loewin is left panting as a result, but she hops atop her beast and nods to Henri. "Ready when you are."
[16:20:56] <Henriette> "Oui," Henriette replies, energies in her wings shimmering.
[16:27:43] <Loewin> Loewin holds her sword aloft. "On my mark, we'll target the four planes focusing on us. With some luck, we can down them and move on to help Armstrong. Now then…if you're ready…GO!" She slashes her sword downards to accentuate the command. Her noble beast gives an ear-shattering roar as it charges forth, mount and rider becoming a flurry of blades that storm through the enemy fighters.
[16:31:05] <Henriette> Nodding and recalling the absorbed glass from just prior to the battle, Henriette's wings lengthen and grow wicked edges, each shimmering with a translucent color different from the rest, a rainbow of razor-sharp weapons floating just beyond the girl's shoulders. She soars after Loewin, sweeping in tandem with the girl. It matters little what happens so long as Loewin can break through.
[16:55:47] <~Oxford> The two girls are a hurricane of blades as they bolt through the enemy formation, sword and wingtips leaving glowing after-images in the darkening sky. Henriette is just a bit behind Loewin, and so as the Sachsen pounces through cleaving a wing and an engine from the first two planes, she follows up to completely shred the wounded planes.
[16:59:33] <Lily> Amazon attempts to aid Bridget by tossing a tangled mess of vines at the cargo plane, but her trajectory already looks off from the start.
[17:00:08] <~Oxford> They explode together behind her, and the girls are on to the next pair. These turn to go head-to-head with the two Pendant Users, spewing glowing tracers like a pair of Ascension Day sparklers. Loewin's metallic lion sinks its teeth into the first, but then sees Henriette below her taking a burst of fire straight to the chest.
[17:01:29] <~Oxford> With a roar, she leaps from the beast and swings her sword in an arc down on the floatplane, slicing it in half just behind the cockpit. The enemy fighter splits and seperates, pontoon breaking apart in mid-air as the ruins plummet into the sea below.
[17:26:12] <Henriette> "Loewin, do not overexert yourself!" Henriette calls. "C'est my forte, non?" She turns to face their enemies, a few scratches on her legs, but nothing worth writing home about.
[17:28:47] <~Oxford> The other four enemy aircraft are still harrying Bridget. Their efforts seem to be having an effect: the cargo plane has gained some space between it and the horned girl, who is distracted from a pure pursuit by attacks from all sides.
[17:30:42] <Loewin> "So long as I draw breath, I shall serve!" The respite doesn't last as she charges forth once more to aid Bridget, managing to draw the attention of one of the attacking aircraft. The intercepted salvo leaves her struggling to remain upright on the lion.
[17:32:44] <Lily> "Don't worry Bridget Lily has got your back!" Lily rushes in between Bridget and the most accurate-looking plane, setting up her hair to block the bullets from it and blocking most of them, taking some damage like before but getting no direct hits.
[17:32:50] <~Oxford> Most of the Gaulian seaplanes are content to cut long, looping attacks that spit a few dozen bullets at her before turning away, but one particularly cruel pilot has decided to simply follow Bridget from dead astern, stitching her with gunfire as she tries vainly to dodge without losing the cargo plane.
[17:40:45] <Loewin> Despite her exhaustion, Loewin barks out to Henriette. "Alice, you up for another round?"
[17:40:53] * Oxford changes topic to 'Loewin->Bridget (Progress 0/2)->Henri->GAR-7Es->Lily->m.31 (2 turns to escape)'
[17:42:02] <Henriette> The physical exertion isn't bothering the Gaulian so much as the magical exertion. "O-oui, mais I am concerned about the side-effects… I cannot maintain this technique much longer."
[18:01:28] <Henriette> Once more, though, her wings extend, like massive stained-glass collages behind her, depicting strange and frightening images of fire and death, and she rides through the planes, enduring the attacks of the more wary of their targets while catching two planes unawares. On the other side, however, she is shaking, more than a few cuts bleeding on her person. "… hah… hah… I cannot…
[18:01:28] <Henriette> do that again…"
[18:02:06] <Loewin> With a nod, Loewin once more begins the dance of steel aside Henriette. Her attacks are sloppy, her movements slower, but she manages to exact her fury upon one of her targets before her, fatigue setting in before she can make her move on another plane.
[18:08:39] <~Oxford> One of the remaining planes sees the girl stop, panting, in midair, and draws a bead on her. The machineguns at its nose cackle, vomitting forth a hail of lead that throws her from her mount. Loewin's armor and costume disappear with a flash, leaving nothing but the limp form of a schoolgirl, dropping towards the black waters below.
[18:09:17] <Lily> "Ah!"
[18:11:02] <Loewin> The mount gives a resounding roar at the pilot, but as the girl's magic fades, so does the lion with a vindictive glare.
[18:16:32] <Lily> As the last remaining plane from the first squad charges at Bridget, Lily rushes in between it and her, taking some bullets that barely scratch her. She's cut all over, but some of the cuts have clotted and stopped bleeding by now. She stares down the plane with determination as the sun in the sky begins brightening, especially around Loewin, and her cuts begin closing up from the Sun.
[18:21:54] <Loewin> Loewin's body racks with pain as she snaps back to consciousness. She quickly recalls her armor but glances around wildly, covered in a cold sweat.
[18:27:16] * Oxford changes topic to 'Loewin->Bridget (Progress 1/2)->GAR-7Es->Henri->Lily->m.31 (1 turn to escape)'
[18:30:45] <~Oxford> Bridget, with a brief respite from the constant attacks, has managed to close the distance on the escaping cargo plane. But the sky is darkening fast, and they have other concerns as well, heralded by a squawk of the radio in their ears. "Flight, Whiskey-Bravo," comes Vaughn's voice. "Be advised you are nearing recovery limit. Repeat, you are nearing recovery limit. Do not proceed further south."
[18:38:26] <~Oxford> The fighter trailing Bridget makes another go at it, despite the thick black smoke pouring from its engines. The pilot squints through watering eyes to line up his shot, only to find it once again intercepted by Lily, who throws herself between him and his target and earns herself a gash in the side for her efforts.
[18:42:31] <Lily> "Ngh!"
[18:54:31] <Henriette> "We must allow Bridget time to reach the target!" Henriette calls, as bits of her wings from the bottom break off and shoot through a plane's flak and tear through its fuselage. Her wings are still enormous and, if anything, even more jagged now.
[18:55:43] <Loewin> Returning to the fight, Loewin manages to catch up with one of the planes tailing Bridget. She throws the last of her energy into intercepting its fire and manages to slam her sword into the plane before dropping from the sky once more.
[19:03:12] <Lily> Lily dives down, breaking from the battle to catch the falling girl. "Alexandria shot down, hostiles leaving retrieval radius, Amazon is going to break combat to recover Alexandria!"
[19:04:32] <~Oxford> "Roger, Amazon! Have you recovered Albatross?"
[19:08:08] <Lily> "No sight of Albatross yet! Armstrong has caught up with the target Cargo Plane!"
[19:09:02] <Read> "AYE! 'M GONNA KAEK ITS BUTT!"
[19:09:55] * Oxford changes topic to 'Bridget->GAR-7Es->Henri->m.31 (escapes this turn)'
[19:10:25] <Henriette> "Alice following en route with Armstrong. We'll get it, sir."
[19:10:51] * Read is now known as Bridget
[19:19:18] <~Oxford> Bridget has finally managed to close with the squat cargo plane. Designed for water landings, it has a sloped lower hull like a boat's, and engines placed high on the wing to avoid the spray of waves. The last rays of the sun, just before it disappears entirely, reflect off the silver cargo plane so it glows like molten metal.
[19:22:41] <~Oxford> Bridget raises her sword and leaps forward to attack, glowing with arcane power, but suddenly the hatchway at the rear of the plane flies off its hinges and tumbles toward her. She slashes it aside easily, only to find herself staring at a young girl with flowing black hair in a dark blue military uniform.
[19:23:10] <Bridget> "Huh. Naet waet ae 'expaected."
[19:23:22] <Bridget> "Yer' ah Nov?"
[19:24:39] <~Oxford> "Ja olet ruumis," the girl replies, and hefts a massive antique cannon.
[19:26:35] <Bridget> "Naece!"
[19:32:47] <~Oxford> The explosion is massive. From far behind, Henriette and the other girls see a sudden, fiery flash, illuminating one another and the remaining enemy fighters like a flashbulb in a dark room.
[19:36:35] <~Oxford> Bridget is hurled backward, her clothing covered in burns. Blinking ghost-images from her eyes, she can see the girl outlined by the light from inside the cargo plane's cabin, retreating into the night. The ringing in her ears clears enough to hear Col. Vaughn over the radio: "-thdraw! Do not exceed the retrieval radius! I repeat-"
[19:37:15] <Bridget> She growls, trying to catch herself as she falls back. "Y-Yessair."
[19:42:36] <~Oxford> The Novgoraadi Pendant User hoots in triumph as she sees the girls turn back toward the mainland. From the darkened sky, the girls of Wightshead Flight can only watch as the cargo plane carrying Marina Martel, their friend and comrade, vanishes into the night.
[19:43:15] <~Oxford> /session