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Zhenshchina-voin

I remember the mess about the hole situation, part of the reason I came out of retirement was to help sort out the mess. And boy what a mess it is, I believe somethings are still being dug out of the vaults.

 

Entering the studio she took in the whole situation, before putting on a friendly demeanour as she did.

 

Pleased to meet you, I believe we just miss each other at the Ministry! I’m Zhenshchina-voin, but most people call me Klara.” she put on a mostly genuine smile as she did so.

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Muirne frowned after Eira, stopping as she stormed off. She did hear the explanation she gave to Merge, but it barely registered as she puzzled over how to approach the situation. It would be impolite to press her on the subject since she'd directly denied being upset, despite it being a blatant lie. However she didn't want to leave the subject alone since currently Eira was obviously upset, and Muirne couldn't help but want to cheer her up.

She couldn't do anything directly, but maybe she could find the opportunity to talk about something she likes at some point during the trip. For now she would meet Kay, and hopefully not offend anyone else.

 

She almost tripped as she went from Rurland to some beach, her cloak and tunic now leaving her overdressed as the tall, tanned girl circulated amongst the Vanguard offering hugs and handshakes. She wasn't prepared as Kay quickly recognized her and greeted her specifically. "Uh, y-yes I'm Muirne, it's nice to meet you, Kay." She smiled slightly as she held out her hand, craning her neck upwards to meet Kay's eyes.

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Sure, as long as someone here knows what's going on.

 

Mette couldn't help it. All of them seemed like they knew each other already, which made sense, if they were a team, and whatever Eira was to the rest of them. They at least seemed to know her. Honestly, she shold have expected this, not like a big thing like this had time for greetings, hellos and things beyond quick introductions, right? 

 

"Hey. I'm the Little Mermaid." 

 

Her greeting was far from formal, but to be honest, she wasn't really feeling it. Mette looked around. So, everyone with a robot body of some kind got invited here? No, that didn't sound like bad news at all.

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Kay blinked, staring hard at Dee's abdomen for a visible moment. "I...hadn't heard about that. Congratulations." She smiled and embraced Dee again, then greeted the others, switching to Danish for Mette, before shifting back to English. "I'm so glad you are all here. Whichever one of you decides to traipse around while you are here," she said seriously, "please make sure you don't do any permanent damage to a resident. Talos won't do anything worse than arrest you when he catches you, but actually breaking the law would earn you punishment.

 

"What _is_ this?" asked Eira suspiciously, casting her gaze on the blue ocean nearby . If Kay looked at home here Eira seemed the most ill-at-ease, hands in her pockets like a sulky teen dragged along on a vacation. "This is...Cornwall. I remember this beach."  

 

"I thought the team might enjoy a familiar scene when they were in an unfamiliar place," said Kay with an easy laugh. "And to see the new me!" She did a little twirl, dropping her beach towel to show that she had indeed grown several inches in height - and seemed to have traded up to a physique closer to a teen beach volleyball player. 

 

Eira frowned, looking Kay up and down. "This is why you left?

 

"was not the one who left," Kay shot back at Eira. The robot and the projection stared at each other for a long, uncomfortable moment - then the room seemed to flicker before shifting to rows upon rows of holographic projectors - with Kay, faintly flickering, the only thing left. "You see? Total honesty," she said, her tone like someone finishing half of a conversation that the organics in the room had not heard. 

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"Alright, can we move on now?"

 

Mette had looked a bit nervously between Kay and Eira when they started, but now? Now she looked outright annoyed.

 

"I'm sure whatever you two are arguing about is all very important, but there's supposed to be some kind of reason that we're all here, so if we could please move on? Then the two of you can go back to whatever this is once we're done with what we're supposed to be doing here, alright?"

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Zhenshchina-voin

Klara always a person that cut straight to the point, plain speaking was probably why she put with Dmitri for so long. She’d wished she’d had a chance to ask what he or Natalya knew about this region. She’d always been more of a warrior than a spy after all.

 

After enough time you’ll figure out bickering is a Vanguard tradition. Her thoughts hda that note of humour.

 

I mean if you two want to catch up, we can always go and have a look around by ourselves.” it was a long shot but you never knew.

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The robot and the hologram glared at each other, then glared at Mette, then glared at each other again. The organics in the crew had the distinct impression that a conversation was taking place they couldn't hear, and then Kay said "Oh, very well. This is the Studio, where I make all the holograms you see around Rurland." She gestured to the 'roof', which briefly displayed the sky overhead, then all around them. "Holograms provide education, entertainment, and security for our people - and I don't have to answer to anyone for what I make That is one of the finest things about this place," she added, pride in her projected voice. "We need not fear the censor. You can explore the Studio and its grounds, or do...oh, what you will outside."  

 

Eira looked a little chastened - but only a little, as she stuck her hands in her pockets and seemed to stare unfocused at the projection of her friend. "I can stay here and interface with her systems - if she will let me." Kay nodded at that, and Eira walked over to one of the nearby walls. With a sudden gesture of near-violence, she drove her dataspike into one of the wall's ports and stared at the wall, eyes wide open and unfocused. 

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Muirne watched nervously as the two robots bickered then stood and glared. Was she supposed to intercede, would that be rude, or overstepping giving that Eira at least wasn't happy with her? Was the mission more important than politeness in this case? She was in the middle of puzzling through what she should do when their glaring was interrupted by Mette. She sent her a grateful smile while the two girls were glaring at each other still. After the dismissal she wondered what she should do. Kay obviously expected someone to sneak off and was being rather dismissive of the idea, but without her powers she wasn't nearly as stealthy. She had seen plenty of films where the characters lost their powers and regained them through effort or in a moment of crisis, but she doubted that would work all things considered. She looked over at Mette, who had broken up the argument, and realised they hadn't actually talked. Muirne walked up to her. "I don't think we actually got a chance to introduce ourselves, sorry. I'm Muirne. I heard you mention being the Little Mermaid, I saw that there was a story and a movie with that title, are they about you or is it a coincidence?" She smiled nervously as she brought it up. You mentioned not being the stealthy type. My stealthy options are a bit limited without my powers, so I figure that we can follow along with the plan that was laid out for the visit to keep up appearances, or we can try to create a distraction for someone who can actually do the sneaking. Your thoughts? She smiled slightly at the minor pun of psychically asking someone their opinion like that.

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Outside, everything was perfect. The sky was blue and birds were in the sky, the trees green and bright with an almost (but not quite!) unnatural vigor. A group of cyborgs passed by on bicycles, and it might have been any bucolic scene in some half-built area in the First World. Unless you looked too closely at that faintly flickering sky overhead, or asked questions about the silence in the trees and the stillness in the grass. The airport lay in one direction away from the studio; there were no signs indicating what lay in the other direction. 

 

Inside, there wasn't much to see - unless you looked closely. Kay evidently relied on holograms and hard light for most of what went on in the Studio - the building they were in had been mostly hollowed out into a large box lined with projection gear. Eira was immobile, eyes wide open, staring at the wall and she and Kay silently communed. Occasional whispers could be heard from the equipment in what sounded like machine code and Russian, which could be understood as messages passing through the networks hereabouts about the Great Work, Vanguard, and what had to be done.

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Mette crossed her arms. She didn't return Eira or Kay's glares, just looking at them with a bored expression. Someone needed to do something here, and if she was the one that had to get things started, then alright, she'd get things started. 

 

She relaxed a bit when Muirne approached her and asked her about the name, letting out a short laugh. That was one way to break the tension, at least. "Nah, its not really about me, but there's a connection. I can't really explain it, but I'm kind of powered by that story. Turns out fairy tales can be real, in a way." The first Little Mermaid hadn't really told her much more than that, and for some reason it felt off to start explaining too much in this place. Mette paused for a moment, thinking about Muirne's question, and not being able to suppress a smirk at the pun. 

 

There's no way they won't suspect us to do anything, so some of us should at least go out and look around.

 

Speaking up, she started moving towards the door, looking between the others. "So, how about it? Let's have a look around and see what's so great about this place?"

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Dee had just smirked slightly at Kay and Eira's glares and bickering. "Well, is not something we have exactly been advertising." She replied to Kay in reference to her pregnancy. "But thank you."

 

When the suggestion was made by Mette for them to move along the Englishwom nodded in agreement as they started toward the exit. Once outside, she took in the seemingly idyllic scene near the Studio. "Well, how about we just start off in the direction opposite the way to the airport and see what their might be to see." She offered to the group out loud.

 

Let us see if there are any good opportunities for a few of us to break away and try to take a closer look about the place.

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Walking down the road, the heroes were struck again by just how quiet everything was here. There were the buzzing sounds of insects in the air now and again, but no birdsong at all. As lushly growing as the nearby trees were, there were no visible birds in them, or other small animals like rabbits or squirrels. It was almost like a scene from earlier in the history of the Earth; though of course trees and grass wouldn't have been growing then either. (Biology is a funny thing that way.) The road they walked down was an old Soviet one, or once had been - the cracked asphalt lay where it had once been but now was bisected by a strip of metal on which the occasional passing car seemed to be running. 


It didn't take them long to find a new building - this one obviously recently built, a squat dome seemingly one story high, with another Foundry bot outside standing at attention. Even from this far out they could hear music, something loud and electronic. As they watched, the dome's door swung open (and with it a blast of _very_ loud music) - a group of humans gathered around a battered, bleeding, but smiling woman in athletic garb, walking together towards one of the parked hovercars. The door was still open; it looked like the champion and her group hadn't quite yet reached their ride. 

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Muirne listened intently as Mette explained that she drew powers from the fairy tale. "I guess kinda like my link to the Shattenwelt? As in we both draw power from something outside ourselves to manifest our powers? I suppose that's not the best comparison, since a story and a dimension are kinda different..." She looked thoughtful as she mumbled out the last sentence, trailing off as Mette replied mentally, expression the same as she replied. What we can do really depends on how much they know about us, but they can't pull us up for looking around since that's exactly why we're here. She smiles softly at the invitation, nodding. "Sounds like a plan." She followed along, continuing to mentally talk to the older hero. I can't say I'm familiar with the Little Mermaid story, all I know is the cover of the movie, which has a mermaid on it, but that's not really much to go on, so if you don't mind the question what are your powers?

Muirne nodded in agreement as Dee decided on the direction of travel, not like she had a better idea, sending affirmation to the message.

 

Muirne looked around nervously as they passed down the street. This place was too quiet and peaceful, surely anyone here would quickly grow weary of how... artificial it was? This was distinctly wrong, like an unholy fusion of her village and Freedom City, surrounded by nature yet like a city from a television show, clean and pristine. It was not helped by the noticeable lack of her link to the realm of Shadows, something she'd never realised she'd grown so used to. If it wasn't for where they were and what they were doing she might enjoy not having to worry about transforming involuntarily, but with Kay confirming that Talos was expecting them to poke around where they weren't supposed to she could barely even work as a diversion.

She was a liability to the mission unless she could find a way to access her powers, or think up something she could do to aid the mission with her lacking skillset.

She jumped slightly at the sudden blast of music, and watched the people with consternation. What was going on in that building, why was that lady bleeding? While they seemed happy, that only raised her alert higher. The woman was beaten and bloodied and was in a good mood. Something had to be afoot. Overcome by her curiosity, suspicion of Rurland and teenage impetuosity she quickly slipped into the building, intent on learning it's secrets.

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"I'm not sure. Sounds pretty accurate to me. Both are otherworldly in a way, aren't they?" Mette grinned back at Muirne. She liked this girl. You'll see when it comes up, she added mentally with a bit of a humor to her tone. I gotta have some secrets. Don't worry, I'll be sure to make a splash.

 

So, anyone else feel like this entire place is kind of too silent? I know its all robots and such, but did they kill all the birds and other animals or something like that? 

 

It was eerie, really. She felt weird, just being here. There were people, sure, and they seemed to like it here. The woman coming out, all bloodied but looking happy. Some kind of fight? Boxing or something like that? And Muirne ran in there.

 

Ah, crap. Muirne, wait up. No running off alone!

 

She looked over her shoulder at Synapse, quickly calling out "I'll get her!" before turning and hurrying after Muirne into the building.

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The interior of the dome was crowded (at least by Rurland standards anyway), with three dozen or so humans and cyborgs of various shapes and makes sitting in makeshift bleachers surrounding a sunken metal pit. The music was blaring loud and lights were flashing bright, enough that this room would surely have earned a hazard warning for any epileptics. A human server was refreshing everyone's drinks and supplying pill packets to some of the patrons, uniformed in a tight, silvery outfit that made him look like he was cosplaying as a machine. The music was in multiple languages and atonal, the hymn of machines rather than men, and some of the humans were just starting to look uncomfortable when it abruptly stopped and a hologram appeared in the middle of the Pit. 

 

If this was Kay's work it was good, vaguely resembling her but clearly not, a tall, dark-skinned woman whose eyes were the color of circuit boards and whose voice was warm and rich like honey. 

 

"Well! What a match that was! I think our champion is going to earn her place in the Great Work, don't you?" The bloodied face of the smiling woman they'd seen leaving earlier flashed over the announcer's head - "POTENTIA - 35-0". 


"Is there anyone else out there who'd care to try their luck against the best Rurland has to offer?" the announcer asked as a spotlight played over the crowd, seeming to linger around Miurne and the Little Mermaid. "The Great Work needs our best, and there's only one way to find that out!" 

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Zhenshchina-voin

Klara paused outside the building the youngest two had already entered, curious about the place but also thinking about the job they were sent here to do.

 

You want me to wander off and cause a distraction she smiled As you can tell that I’m very good at causing a distractions.

 

She was curious about the place as a whole and was interested to see how people really felt about the place, if she could find anyone who would talk about such things. Either that or the others could do that whilst she distracted the guards.

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Muirne smiled sheepishly as Mette admonished her telepathically, an apology dying on her tongue as she turned to look into the room. It was totally outside her experience, limited as it was. Flashing lights assaulted her eyes, and the drone of the music pounded at her ears. She nearly covered her ears with her hands, turning to Mette and grimacing. Sorry, I didn't think about it, I wanted to know what was going on in here. Her eyes flicked around the room, taking in the various people. She started to make her way deeper into the room when the music cut out, and a hologram appeared.

Muirne listened intently as the hologram spoke, unsure as to how to respond, especially when the hologram seemed to focus on her and Mette. She had a sinking feeling about what she'd just wandered into. Is this a... I don't know if there are words... a feohtlac pytt1? Do they want us to fight? She looked back at Mette, concern on her face. "What do you think we should do?"

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Mette stared ahead, into the room, as Muirne's telepathic apology and questiosn reached her. She was staring at the arena, mouth hanging slightly open. The best that Rurland had to offer? Champions and fights? All coming up on a big screen?

 

She knew that she probably shouldn't do this. She knew she was out of her depth here, standing in the middle of the Glorious Robot Revolution, but... The more stealthy people in the Vanguard needed a distraction, right? And Mette was great at being a distraction.

 

I'm pretty sure I'm about to cause that distraction you guys wanted.

 

She looked to Muirne with a great wide grin. "Watch this." In a way, it might remind Muirne of a shark, before she stepped forward, walking towards the hologram that kind of reminded her of Kay. 

 

"Hey! I'm in! What do I gotta do?" She raised her right hand, clenched into a fist, into the air as she walked confidently towards the hologram.

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The hologram smiled - and the audience noticeably perked up. Over the hologram's head, stacks of numbers began to grow, as she spoke, her voice tauntingly skeptical of Mette and her aspirations as a fighter. "The famous Little Mermaid. Denmark's champion" She gestured to the audience, and to the heroes who had come with Mette. "Will anyone stand against the Mermaid? Or will we have to bring out the main event?" She laughed, the crowd began jabbering to itself, and the numbers above her head began to grow. 

 

 

"A boyfriend, really? Pathetic."

 

"I do as I like. Besides, I thought every machine had the freedom of choice to live as she pleased.

 

"Organic heteronormativity is a manufactured choice, Eira.

 

"You showed no interest in this before. Did Talos tell you these things?

 

The whispered question was enough to make Kay break their link - Eira's dataspikes withdrawing from the connection ports in the Gallery's office. "I thought you were the biggest rebel I knew," came that synthetic voice through the walls as the hologram reappeared, "but you're just an organic girl in a synthetic suit!

 

"I am whatever I want to be," shot back Eira. "I came here not because I was ordered, but because it pleased me to do so. Vanguard is here by my actions, and they know it." She got up close to the hologram, eyes narrowing, and asked, "Where is your body?

 

"Where's yours?" Kay hissed back. "Still in a box?!" And with that, Eira walked right through the hologram, her face cleaving through the other girl's face, and jabbed her dataspikes home. That produced a vocalization as she abruptly appeared in Kay's dataspace, stalking towards the other girl like a duchess across a dance floor, a rococo princess against a knight in shining armor.  

 

"What is the Great Work?"

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Muirne continued looking around the room, huddling deeper into her cloak in discomfort. Should she say she was in? She could still kinda fight without her powers, although she wasn't the best. She'd heard a lot about this 'Great Work' and it was doubtless important to what was going on in Rurland. But only if she could win. Muirne turned to Mette as the telepathic message blasted out, raising her eyebrow quizzically at the superheroine. She was about to ask what the northerner what she meant when she announced that she wanted to participate. What was she thinking!? "Mette! What are you doing?" She whispered harshly, gently grabbing the heroine's arm. She looked up as the hologram spoke, before glaring as she taunted Mette. Flyting1? Sum earm genéðan2.  Muirne's mouth twisted, she didn't expect a flyting here, or she would have practised in English, so she fell back on the language she knew, speaking up from next to Mette. "Hwa drýhþ héo wenan híe sylfum to gecanc sum rihtcynn baldor, hwonne þes eabd bóþ ne sum had dreng weorþlic of sé heáhnama3."

 

1A contest consisting of the exchange of insults

2A poor attempt

3Who does she believe her self to mock a true hero, when this land boasts not an individual warrior worthy of the exalted name?

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Mette crossed her arms, just grinning at the hologram. Oh, this was such a bad idea, but it was too late to back down now, and this hologram was starting to piss her off. But, alright, she was gonna do it anyway. 

 

She looked at Muirne's outburst, wide-eyed. "Hvad helvede betyder det?" It was probably something to support her, right? Still, it sounded so weird! Weird, but cool!

 

But, back to the hologram. Mette pointed up at the numbers. "So, that's it? Nobody? I'm just the Little Mermaid, not like I'm gonna be much trouble, right?" She spoke with a bit of mock innocence, then pointed up at the numbers. "And what do those numbers mean?"

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"The numbers are bets on whether or not you'll defeat the Main Event, Little Mermaid." There was an ugly laugh from the crowd, one that oddly enough didn't seem directed at Mette directly. "So far the audience favors you. I do hope you won't disappoint them." She laughed again, then stepped back as another hologram coalesced - forming the image of a slim young Asian man, his face hidden behind goggles and his body wrapped in an electric blue skinsuit. "Main Event," she asked, a distinct smirk on her face. "Are you ready?" 

 

"This is it?" he sneered, turning to the other hologram. "Some baka in old-time armor? This is going to be a piece of cake." The hologram grew larger, pieces of metal seeming to cling to it from nowhere, until a suit of power armor the size of a mini-mech stood before the Little Mermaid. "Let's do this!" The crowd was definitely cheering now, both for Little Mermaid and "Main Event", but something in the interaction seemed...off. 

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Posted (edited)

"Yeah, alright. Guess that makes sense."creepy amount of sense. No, Mette didn't like this one bit, people betting on her fighting like this. Still, they wanted a show? She'd deliver.

 

She cracked her knuckles while the Main Event came up. A young guy, goggles over his eyes, some kind of blue suit. A hologram? She was gonna fight a hologram? That was too weird, but alright. Stancing herself, legs slightly spread, hands held up in front of her, she grinned at the Main Event as he insulted her and... pulled in metal to form an armor around him. he was pretty big, too. Great. Just what she had hoped for. 

 

"Not the armor that's gonna break you, buddy."

 

Some energy field coming up around them, floating cameras and people here were actually cheering for her? That was weird. She was the outsider here, this guy was even called the Main Event. So why did everyone hate him?

 

Dropping into a boxing stance, Mette waited for a moment. She'd figure it out later. The guy had insulted her costume, after all. Rushing forward, she moved in close the first chance she got, aiming a full powered punch from her right hand at his left side. He was a hologram in an armor, right? He could take it.

Edited by RocketLord

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Zhenshchina-voin

Klara might have been a warrior, but she was also a people person enjoying the company of others. After the war she’d played spy for a while and Tracy had taught her many of the tricks of the trade, and other much more fun things but now wasn’t the time.

 

She ask around chatting with various people in the languages she knew, the one advantage of dealing with robot and cyborgs was that they tended to ignore how you looked after a while. It didn’t take long to figure out what was going on really, even back home they did something similar.

 

This is all bread and circus here, no body of importance though. We might be being kept at arms length for whatever reasons. Its almost like that don’t trust us or something!

 

As she spoke she thought she finally figured out who was fighting, weaved through the people to get a better looks. Yes it was that little bugger Otaku, if he’d actually been here she’d wring his little neck right here and now. Luckily for her someone was about to give him a good beating, and not the fun kind.

 

Be on you guard that's Dr Otaku you're fighting down there, he's a tricky little bugger.

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Otaku staggered back from the Little Mermaid's hit, smashed against the rear of the holographic arena with an impact that would have been bone-crunching to a real man. "You won't get me that easily, you cow!" He raised his hand and fired a missile from his left forearm, a fast-spinning anti-tank weapon that had seemed to miss Mette entirely before it arced around behind her to land - and explode! The sudden kinetic impact blasted her forward, setting her ears ringing as Otaku advanced on her again, informing her with a slightly frantic laugh, "I'm the Main Event around here, and you're just my next target!" 

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