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[SS] Lighting the Fuse

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[SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:59 pm

Prologue
A simple Assessment. Dollhouse_Rebellion


Dear Mr. Shiokishi,

I am well aware that it is rather unlikely for this letter to reach you directly, however I do still pray it does at least tip off some reaction among your security staff.

My name is Nishimura Isshin, I am a human resources manager employed by the Iwakura Corporation.

In recent years the Iwakura Corporation has been faring quite well, thus it is hardly unusual that the number of employees grew quite well. Especially our science and development divisions have grown in strength, not only in numbers but in quality. The age demographic was also lowered, due to the acquisition of a number of students from Academy City’s elite schools and universities. In fact we have even acquired internationally recognised experts, something I myself take pride in.

The recruitment-dismissal ratio has also assumed a positive shape.

However this is not what this is about. I do neither seek your praise nor recognition for my deeds. In fact there is an entirely different purpose I do wish to express.

Recently I have been able to observe a strange phenomenon among the Iwakura Corporation’s employees. There have been various irregular work times, numerous shifts in departments I have never been informed about and upon sampling I discovered that a number of employees have been hired using fake identities.

While I was told not to concern myself with such irregularities over the years, I am convinced that the ones occurring recently are a source of justified concern. Their frequency of occurrence is too high.

Following my own intuition I approached the company’s higher echelons, without any success. I was turned down immediately. However when I did I noticed an unusual pressure, signalling me that it would become necessary for me to pursue my own investigation.

As my position is limited to the human resources department I have approached a colleague of mine, a financial controller, with my concerns. Together we discovered a sudden increase of irregular movements in the company’s monetary resources. An increased production of weaponry, upgrades of security standards not covered in by any file or report.

It became imminent that the Iwakura Corporation’s upper echelons are actually well aware of the events, yet are trying to cover them up. Their involvement in the irregularities appears too passive, though. I am assuming that they were overpowered from within, the side of the employees. In fact the company’s employees have banded together rather strongly, forming a centre group similar to a cult. Originally I had assumed that this was a positive occurrence. After further observation, however I can tell there are similarities to a conspiracy.

Taking into consideration the fact that this group that has formed within the company has acquired the means to take control over both the funds and the upper echelons, beginning to reinforce non logged productions as well as the large scale recruitment of uncertain individuals, I make the assessment that stepping in has become a necessary step.

After all the Iwakura Corporation is a rather large producer of high class military goods.

Therefore, I have settled on informing the highest possible instance, which is you, about said assessment.

Sincerely yours

Nishimura Isshin, Human Resources Manager

✖︎ ✖︎ ✖︎ ✖︎ ✖︎

Mr. Shiokishi,

Going by your request we conducted an investigation on company X.

We can in fact confirm the suspicion that this has assumed the colours of a rebellion.

We arrived at the conclusion that a simple purge would be the most efficient means to solve the issue.

The necessary assets have already been assembled.

All preparations for the cover up operation are already made.

Awaiting your confirmation.

Mugino Shizuri
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:41 am

Chapter 1
Gradual Regain of Everyday Life. Unnerved_Railgun

August 14th, Saturday, 2:30 P.M.

A wide stretch and well-accompanied yawn marked the end of Mikoto's much belated journey to the arcade centre as she headed towards her next destination to reward herself for such a productive session.

Though the climate was of such heat that it felt like it was paying tribute to the last month where students could and would revel in their Summer vacations, as September crawled closer than ever upon the well and the ill-prepared alike, Mikoto still had the daring spirit to leave her comfortably air-conditioned dormitory to adventure herself outside.

In typical Japanese August fashion it was unbearably hot outside and while it was Saturday, without Kuroko and the others to keep her company Mikoto had been at a loss of how to spend her well-deserved proper free time; the girl who had struggled to return to this everyday routine just a little under two weeks ago – and had gone through another considerable amount of mess, if not as severe, since then – was going through a fair period of re-adjustment to these calm and tranquil days.

Thankfully for her insatiable boredom, an amiss sense of lightness from her skirt made Mikoto realise that since that incident where she had used most if not all of her coins she had not had time to pass by the arcade so as to replenish her stock of convenient makeshift weapons, and as such her morning had been entirely dedicated to fixing the issue of her awkwardly empty skirt pockets.

But now that she had well since replenished her stock of easily carried makeshift weapons by playing all afternoon to a point where it was becoming a chore over anything else, her boredom had returned as she still had quite a fair amount of time to kill before returning to her dormitory. 

“And I've already caught up on all the manga I've been missing out on, too.” Mikoto let out a small sigh, having finally arrived to the place where she would always go in her boredom; the lamentable vending machine that was akin to her punching (or evidently kicking) bag.

Building up the strength needed to loosen the vending machine's springs, Mikoto hopped on a single foot a few times before sharply turning and using the momentum to throw a powerful kick to the side of the vending machine with her opposite leg. (Kuroko would lose her mind if she knew that doing this feels strangely relaxing right now.) Mikoto thought as a sense of satisfaction filled her from hearing the clanking noise of a falling can while she returned to a normal standing position before cringing before the fact that luck had offered her the beautiful beverage dubbed "Bear Curry Soup".

Which was not only very disgusting sounding on its own, and even moreso when you knew the list of ingredients in it, but was also a hot drink. Alas, beggars couldn't be choosers so Mikoto picked it up regardless and tried her best to finish this painfully hot to even hold drink sip by sip, though audibly whining like a small animal while doing so.

"Uuu... I really want to throw this away right now. Itsh sho hawt..."

_________________

Spoiler:
"Mikoto speaks"
'Mikoto thinks'


Misaka Mikoto
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Guy Li on Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:58 am

The lens rotated, finding the correct focus. He rested the device in the crook of his elbow to steady it, compensating for its weight by raising his shoulder carefully. He settled his gaze on the intended target, blissfully unaware of the stranger observing from a distance. The young man closed his other eye, relaxed his shoulders to compensate for his breathing which slowed to a measured, almost meditative pace. And when the perfect opportunity came he did not hesitate, pressing the trigger deliberately.

The camera snapped loudly with a satisfying whirr and Guy lowered the device to look at the screen. The corners of his mouth raised in a slight smile, satisfied with the image. A small bird that had perched on the end of a branch.

As he checked through his other photographs, another opportunity caught the young man's eye. A pretty young girl and her friends were enjoying Saturday in the park. He quickly raised the camera and hit the trigger, catching them in the midst of a natural, joyous laughter. It was the kind of photograph that would make for a perfect publicity shot to advertise the city's tourist industry. He opened his notebook and scratched off one entry from the list of shots he needed for his latest job.

All he needed now was a picture that encapsulated the feeling of 'Heartwarming inspiration' and another that evoked 'excitement and awe'. He shrugged, sitting back against the trunk of a tree and adjusting his camera's telephoto lens. You can't rush art, he supposed. So he would just have to see what fate presented him with.

He felt an odd sense of unease all of a sudden but dismissed it just as quickly. Perhaps it was just that it felt odd to have a moment of tranquility in this city. He tried to shake he feeling that it was about to be shattered unceremoniously as always.

No. This time would be different, he declared. This time nothing would get in the way of a peaceful day's rest. Besides, who could expect him to do anything in his current shape? He looked down at his right arm, still locked in a cast.

Yeah. This time would definitely be different...

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:40 am

August 14th, Saturday, 2:30 P.M.

Somewhere in District 2



A sudden burst of flames. A shock wave. An explosion.

A man was thrown off his feet, his back thrown against the thick concrete pillar right behind him. A cracking sound, rather unhealthy, yet he still didn’t stop moving. Frantically he turned his eyes. More explosions. More crimson. Everything around him was just blowing up. The Powered Suits to his right, the construction robot to his left, even the concrete pillar to his back. In quick succession everything was covered in crimson.

The sound of machine guns being fired, of rockets being launched, grenades exploding. Shrapnel spreading anywhere. Heat. Smoke.

He readied the gun he’d been holding onto. Forcefully returning himself to his legs, he eyed the calamity in front of him. He was ready to fire. He saw them coming. He saw her silhouette within the flames and the smoke.

Even though it was loud, he could hear her heels clatter with each step she made on the concrete ground.

He placed his finger on the trigger, took aim and…


Green light.


Another one had been erased. Mugino Shizuri kept her right hand stretched out even after she had fired another of her characteristic Meltdowner beams. A clean kill, nearly each time she fired. And she’d fire a lot. The number of enemies was still great, their equipment was top notch and reinforcement might have been on the way already. She was firing and firing to her hearts content, covering the large hall of concrete and machinery with the heat of death. Her attacks would melt through nearly anything, so she had an easy game. If a grenade came she just changed shape, making a shield. If someone sought close combat by sneaking up to her, she’d just step backward and kill them as well.

That was as simple as it was.

Her enemies might have held the strength of a small army, equipped with whatever could be found in this gigantic facility hall, but she’d simply fire backwards and eradicate all their attempts indiscriminately.

A woman in a lavender coloured long sleeved summer dress, white high healed boots with knee length stockings. Her wavy and glossy tea coloured hair was swaying in the wind caused by the shock waves. The expression on her beautiful face befitting of someone playing a smart phone game on an overly long bus ride; that’s exactly how she felt about all of this.

Pressing further she fired more of her beams of instantaneous death.

The enemy had been driven further and further backwards. They had assembled in a single group, equipped with all kinds of top modern weaponry, powered suits by their sides. They kept seeking cover, firing whenever they thought to see an opening. She didn’t even try to dodge. She just pressured them enough that their aiming was driven off target. That was all. She was like a tsunami running over anything in her path.

That was the #4. Meltdowner.

Even against a defence force made of trained specialists with the entire equipment found in the first production room of an arms factory at their disposal, the upper hand was entirely hers. They knew, she knew, the people watching this through the eyes of the security cameras knew and the team of reinforcements hurrying to flank her from behind knew as well.

Mugino Shizuri
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Kira Kohaku on Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:29 pm


One could only be amazed at the abundance and variety of things Frenda Seivelun could store in her skirt. Truly, her skirt could be in the running to knock the Colossus of Rhodes or the Lighthouse of Alexandria off the list of the Seven Wonders of the World. Unfortunately for many, this wondrous space was used to store the many incendiary devices the girl used in her line of work. While she still had many bombs left to spare, the one she was setting up would be the last one she needed.

She carefully placed the innocuous-looking stuffed animal hiding a deadly explosive down while looking around and estimating distances between this bomb and the many others she had set. Once she was certain that the bomb was sitting in the right place, she took her hands off the stuffed animal bomb, played with her long golden locks for a second, and then gave a quick nod. “Alright. Everything is set.”

As she walked away from the position of right next to the bomb, she peered over the railing near the metal staircase she had used to ascend to this level to take a look at how her partner and superior Mugino was doing as she made her way to one of the safe zones she had been sure to leave in her planning. “Uwaaah. Mugino's really going full tilt here…At this rate, there’s going to be nothing left for me to do.”

Flashes of green light filled the floor below that emergency terrace as people, weapons, and powered suits were mowed down and picked off one by one. Such a terrifying massacre scene was one befitting of the girl who held the position of the 4th Level 5. The form of the overwhelming young lady at the center of that whirlwind of carnage was enough to make one’s heart be set aflutter.

She had been making her way down the staircase but ended up walking straight up another one to another maintenance terrace situated not too far away. There was the safe zone she had created for herself.

Were it not for the hell Mugino was raising since the beginning, Frenda would likely have never been able to set up explosives to the extent that she had. Even as she moved to her safe zone and ultimate vantage point, Mugino’s presence had continued to prevent her from being noticed by the enemy.

Once she had made her way to that vantage point, she surveyed the locations of the entrances to keep watch for any reinforcements while keeping an eye on Mugino’s position. Hmm…she moved out of range of Bomb 13 and into the range of Bomb 17’s debris.

After tapping at her white miniskirt, she let a smartphone drop before quickly catching it only a couple of inches below the skirt. She flipped back her hair with her free hand and unlocked the phone with her thumb, leading her to a list of bombs she had set up ranging from 01-32.

She needed to decided which bombs would be set off on the first wave and which would be set off on the second. As she was trying to make up her mind, the sight of more enemies coming through the entrance shifted her thoughts.

Reinforcements…?

Her suspicions were confirmed as a large number of men and women with guns as well as on occasional powered suit began to pour out from either entrance. As soon as she was certain that they had all exited, she tapped 20 of the 32 numbers on the phone’s screen.

Yep, these should do. So, let me hear you scream. With a smug grin, she hit the red confirm button. Before the numerous reinforcements could even open fire at the woman in the center, a number of loud roars echoed throughout the facility hall as twenty characteristic brilliant red-and-orange flames erupted from all over.

The panorama of red, orange, and green could almost be called blinding. Some of the reinforcements were caught in the explosions. Others were thrown around by the resulting pressure waves. When all was said and done and the brilliant red-orange had started to fade, only one-third of the reinforcements were not left dead or incapacitated by the explosions.

Of course, this, too, would eventually become meaningless in the eyes of the explosives expert as the cracks created by the explosions in the walls, ceilings, and pathways began to propagate, leaving multiple portions of debris to fall as these hanging pieces fractured off under their own weight, leading to a shower of reinforced concrete, metal fragments, and rebars, crushing or impaling the remaining 33.3%. Needless to say, neither she nor Mugino were even touched by Frenda’s carefully calculated attack.

Mm-hmm. In the end, remote detonation is a wonderfully precise tool.

All that was left behind of that army of reinforcements was a grisly scene littered with corpses whose bodies had been twisted and disfigured to the point where heads were crushed or impaled, arms were ripped off, and torsos had been pierced through leaving puddles of blood to form. It was a massacre scene that could be held in stark contrast to the one the tempest known as Mugino Shizuri had produced.

“Nihihi. Too eas—"

Frenda’s celebratory jubilation was quickly cut short before it could even ascend to its peak as a lone figure remained among the reinforcements.

“Ah…dammit…”

The figure was standing there quivering. It was unlikely he had even been mentally prepared for the possibility that he would be the sole survivor as his squad was wiped out in its entirety in under a minute. But, even so…one survivor was one too many.

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:34 am

Bringing the torture to an end as she slid the emptied can into a trash bin near the vending machine, Mikoto took a few deep breaths in a vain attempt to calm her agonising throat down. She almost lamented for a second not living on the outside where drinks were guaranteed to not be as bizarre as they were in Academy City, seeing how being Asian certainly didn't help her grow an immunity to spiciness in the middle of Summer nearly as much as she would have hoped, but whose God-forsaken idea was it to create such a demonic thing and sell it in Summer anyway?!

Mikoto let loose a few coughs before looking around, slowly massaging her throat as she pondered her options.

“Now then... I guess I'll just walk around for a bit.” Muttering in a somewhat hoarse voice to no one in particular, Mikoto let herself be carried throughout the park to wherever her legs would take her, feeling a certain sense of serenity as she found herself almost rediscovering this place she had grown so accustomed to; the slight amount of wind that rustled the greenery gently sitting obediently under the radiating sun even elicited a smile from someone who usually didn't found much to discover about what Academy City could offer from her years worth of thorough extended stay here.

Yet... she wondered why. This was the most beautiful scenery and peaceful atmosphere she had witnessed for a long time, even without that incident, yet she had an uneasy feeling that something would go very wrong, very fast. It was like somewhere inside of her was simply mocking the very idea of a peaceful day.

Mikoto hurriedly shook her head, trying to empty herself of those negative feelings and forcibly marched on with her walk in a way that made it seem like she was ready to go and strangle someone for any bystander. However, that spartan march found itself quickly interrupted when she spotted something familiarly black and red with a touch of white in the distance.

Yet... she wondered why. Suddenly she came to a subconscious understand of her mocking feelings in regards to spending a peaceful day's origins the moment she laid her eyes on the distant yet familiar figure, though it would take a while for her to consciously realise it. 

(Hey, that's... What is that idiot doing now?) She thought with a deep sigh as if she bore a curse that forced her to find him no matter what part of Academy City - or potentially even the world - she fled to, making made no attempt to make her presence known; she simply observed the boy's actions as she slightly approached a set of trees while trying to get closer while not being spotted in a very rare instance of successfully.

“Photography...?” She muttered, having never expected him to have such a hobby she couldn't tell if it was that or simply more of his part-time jobs.

Whatever the reason was, though, if she originally embarrassingly found the view of him taking the picture of a bird to be an almost mysteriously endearing sight, the feeling was quickly wiped away and replaced by all kinds of exasperation and displeasure upon the understanding that he had once again done something to a group of young girls without their concern. Mikoto came to a damning realisation as she stopped hiding herself, approaching Guy with a smile that reeked of death itself.

“What the hell are you doing, you freaking pervert?” The realisation was that there was simply no helping him; she could at least try her best for the poor girl who were the victims of his indecency, emitting sparks from her forehead that could speak to the camera's doom at any wrong answer.

_________________

Spoiler:
"Mikoto speaks"
'Mikoto thinks'


Misaka Mikoto
Level 5 Electromaster

Posts : 573
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Guy Li on Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:40 am

That voice.

His eyelids lowered in a sort of weary resignation before he smiled sardonically. Of course he'd jinxed it. Simply by thinking those words he'd cursed himself and the day. If it hadn't been her it would have been Natsumi or one of the many other violent delinquents he seemed to attract.

He sighed, keeping his eyes on the viewfinder of the camera while he adjusted the lens. He snapped a shot of a large, golden coated dog bounding through the park. He glanced at the screen and frowned at the blurry picture.

"I'm working." He re-aimed and took another shot but gave up after another blurry mess resulted. Guy stood up, retrieving a small booklet in his pocket. "The city tourism board is looking for new photos for guidebooks and promotional material." He explained. "I just need to get photos that 'sum up the spirit of Academy City.'" He sounded a little sceptical. "Whatever that is."

"And who are you calling a pervert?" He only now seemed to have realised Mikoto's insult. He looked more irritated than offended and raised the camera to snap a quick image of her expression.

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:46 am

The shock in his eyes, the cold that had enveloped his entire body, the shivering, the fear, the panic, the emotions he no longer understood. A single man remained unscathed amidst the hellish inferno that kept spreading inside the entire concrete and metal hall. It covered nearly every inch around him and it did not stop. Explosions just like the ones that had killed his comrades only a blink of an eye ago, flames, the roar of the barrels and that green light that sliced his body apart just the next instance.

«Frenda, we are supposed to leave no survivors whatsoever. So. Do. Your. Job. More. Carefully.»

Instead of praise Mugino used the communications line, they’d always set up when on a mission, to complain about the lack of even the tiniest bit of precision.

But in fact, that was what their orders, as short as they were, demanded. No survivors, no traces, just purge said institutions from the face of the city. Short, simple and cruel. For the sake of meeting this goal everything had been prepared carefully. All connection to the outside had been cut, the majority of the blueprints to the interior had been leaked to ITEM and an attack strategy had been planned out carefully.

Another barrage of gun fire, a hailstorm of rockets. Quickly Mugino altered her hands’ position, shaping the mass of green light to craft a round barrier in front of her, annihilating even the last bullet, absorbing the shockwaves emitted by the rocket’s explosions and trying to prevent even shrapnel from reaching her, before altering the shape of the green light yet again in only another movement of her hands. Piercing lances of green easily dug through the defences that was high tech machinery, vehicle parts or not fully combat ready powered suits, likely ending those taking cover behind.

«They sure are persistent, I give them that.»

A slight smile had formed on her lips, smug, yet in enjoyment over what she was given. The soldiers’ struggle was indeed that valuable. Their resistance, their attempts to stretch their endurance and their still powerful attacks were remarkable, yet foolish at the same time. They had yet to learn their place.

Another barrage of beams, crimson spreading with the explosion of variety of equipment like gasoline tanks and malfunctioning grenades and another slight drop in the bullet fire’s intensity, yet no end to it.

All of a sudden a new movement. Something quickly came leading over the sturdy covers the remains of what once used to be a production facility. A bunch of Powered Suits, pure black, four in numbers. In their hands a set of large guns, reminiscent of toys, yet really strong in power. They opened fire as they came charging at super human speeds. Even Mugino saw herself forced to switch to defence faced with such overwhelming power. Quickly she altered the shape again, only taking a glimpse at how the massive pillars right next to her was easily torn through by the bursts of bullets.

«Tank piercing equipment? Not bad.»

Then more fire erupted, not from up front, but from the sides. On her left a bunch of men with assault rifles had left the cover, readily emptying their stock of bullets. On the other side some with rocket launchers made their appearance, placing the focus of their sudden attacks on the many metres high pillar instead of her.

Tearing into her from two sides, she found herself adjusting her defence towards only those that presented an imminent danger, while being left entirely open from the side she had considered safe due to the pillar. However she figured that this was also a part of their strategy. Those suicidal upfront attacks were only a feints. The true danger was with the bombardment group.

Annoyed by her enemy’s craftiness, she’d click her tongue preparing to leap backwards supported by her beams’ strength. However just as she was about to, she’d notice a shadow or more moving behind her just as well.

They had cornered her. From every side.

«Frenda~?»

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Kira Kohaku on Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:52 pm


In retrospect, there was only a tiny chance of any survivors in the first wave of explosives. The fact that that man survived that was a miracle worthy of Dionysius. Luckily for Frenda, that miracle seemed to run out as that survivor was consequently shot down with the brilliant beam produced by Mugino Shizuri.

It was a relief that her oversight of the unexpected miracle did not seem to have too negative of an effect. Still, there was always—

«Frenda, we are supposed to leave no survivors whatsoever. So. Do. Your. Job. More. Carefully.»

—that to worry about.

Frenda could feel a small tear forming in the corner of her eye as she took a simple, harsh berating from Mugino. She actually felt herself wincing with each word she had punctuated in her last sentence. “Understood.”

She quickly wiped it off and continued to pay more attention to the battlefield. At current it was empty but who knew when more reinforcements would begin to come into play. It was part of the reason she didn’t just detonate all of the bombs she had set up. Even if she had some spares in her skirt along with a plethora of other explosives, keeping a few in reserve was always optimal.

She still would have many chances to make up for her tiny oversight. So, she just needed to keep a watchful eye on the battlefield from her vantage point. She continued to keep watch as she heard Mugino muttering a few things on the communications earpiece. As they were merely Mugino’s personal impressions on the enemies, Frenda decided to just keep her mouth shut.

However, things started to get a bit more hairy as four new powered suits forced Mugino to switch to defensive actions. At the same time, there were even reinforcements with assault rifles and rocket launchers taking different positions to corner Mugino and drag her into checkmate. Was it time for Frenda Seivelun to shine once again?

She grabbed four of her shark-faced anti-tank warhead launchers from inside her skirt and aimed them towards the four new powered suits while tapping away at three of the remaining twelve numbers on her phone.

«Frenda~?»

Without saying a word to Mugino, she pulled the triggers on the warheads and hit the confirm button on her phone.

Once again, a sea of crimson enveloped the powered suits and current reinforcements, annihilating most of them while the falling debris and shrapnel eliminated the rest of them. Unlike the previous miracle, this was a total annihilation. Among the sea of corpses and parts, not a single entity breathed.

The only living being left in that scene of corpses was the Meltdowner herself.

“Complete annihilation~ Nihihihi~”

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:09 pm

“Would it kill you to at least ask before snapping pictures of girls who have no clue you're even there? It's really creepy for someone supposed to be a teacher...”

Snatching the booklet from his hands, Mikoto sceptically flipped through it as she released an almost impressed – for all the wrong reasons – puff of air. The problem with these tourism booklets was that they tried to advertise Academy City as a friendly place removed from every problems that came with containing a large student body so hard that it actually looked absolutely ridiculous to anyone who had lived in Academy City and its reality for more than a month. “...well, I guess they wouldn't be able to gain so many new students every year if they were to be honest about the state of things, would they?” Mikoto muttered to herself as she closed the booklet, planning on handing it back to its owner in a decent amount of tranquillity before a certain shutter noise had her regain her previously irate expression, causing her fist to mercilessly tighten around the small, now crushed booklet before it could be returned.

“You. The pervert who seems to enjoy taking shots of young girls without their permission.” A very stiff grin sat on her face though it was nothing joyous with how it was accompanied by more blue sparks dancing around her forehead. “But Mikoto-san is in a good mood today, so if you delete that picture you just took I'll spare you from having to buy a new camera and redo your day of work. You're not going to put me through that again.”

The threat concluded, Mikoto could only sigh while setting her hands on her hips; at least his peculiar research brought about a certain sense of curiosity in her that quelled her annoyance and she felt rather thankful and pleased he hadn't involved himself in dangerous matters for once. (Something that sums up this city's spirit, huh.) She pondered as she looked around for a few seconds, unable to understand why they would ask someone who had only entered the city months ago to find something not even she, one of the individuals who knew it best, could easily answer.

“Do you even have a single idea of what you're looking for? The topic sounds pretty vague to me.” She asked as she started twirling around a strand of her fringe's hair, surprisingly finding herself more and more intrigued on the matter by the minute. Guy had raised an interesting question and now she couldn't help but wonder what would be something that summed up Academy City's and that could be taken in the form of a picture.

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"Mikoto speaks"
'Mikoto thinks'


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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Guy Li on Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:54 am

Seeing her stiff grin he shot her a wary sidelong glance.

"I guess it's too scary for a tourist brochure anyway." He sighed, deleting the unflattering photograph without any more hassle.

“Do you even have a single idea of what you're looking for? The topic sounds pretty vague to me.”

"Well I was just going to go for the broad strokes." He counted out on his fingers. "Technology, shiny things and Espers with flashy powers." He said flippantly. "I was going to leave out the stuff about the shady underbelly, a disenfranchised underclass and sinister plutocratic regime." He added dryly before letting the camera hang around his neck by the strap. He found it rested nicely against the sling on his arm.

"I'm not the only one they hired, so I guess they'll choose whatever fits their agenda the best anyway. It would be nice to get paid though." Guy lamented, almost feeling the yawning void in his wallet as keenly as a hollow stomach when hungry.

"Anyway, what's your story? Don't you have anything better to do than harass me?" He asked, noticing that her usual trio of friends were nowhere to be seen.

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:04 am

With even more explosions, the final counter attack had been drowned out entirely. The Powered Suits were blown to pieces, the assault rifle wielding soldiers ripped apart, the rocked launcher group burned to crisp and the sneaky ambush group annihilated. Death from every and all sides.

However, the pillar hadn’t escaped unscathed. As the direct hits from tank piercing ammunition and the rockets had already worn it down, the final hit was delivered by the countless shockwaves hitting it from all sides. Thus it came crashing down right onto Mugino.

Mugino Shizuri who would not even budge a single inch.

Fluently the green would adopt a new shape, adopting to the danger at hand. And when the gigantic pillar of many tons weight finally hit the ground, sending a tremendous shock through the entirety of the floor, there had appeared a hole in it. A round hole large enough and perfectly cut out to allow for a single person to stand at its exact centre.

She'd simply blow away the remains to her front and casually walk away from the entrapment. Her expression was none that seemed any bothered at all. And besides a bit of dirt that was clinging to her expensive dress and soft skin, there was not a single trace of harm found on her.

Meanwhile the entirety of the room had become hell itself. Crimson had reached everywhere, it had eaten up even the last trace of the cold sterile atmosphere of the production facility. All machinery was broken apart, so were the weapon parts and even the weapons that were actually in working condition. All life, even though it had only been sparse in the beginning, had been erased. At places there were corpses, most of them burned, crushed or sliced apart. The smell of smoke mixed with that of organs. Besides the cackle of the flames and the silence there was only the sound of her heels hitting the concrete floor, as she’d find herself a straight path through the battlefield. Completely natural, completely out of sync with the absurdity this scene actually was.

«Seems like there is no resistance left any longer. Good job Frenda.»

Only once she had spoken those words, their victory had been confirmed.

«But that’s only for now. We have only overrun the first production so far. They have likely only withdrawn to the core of the facility, preparing themselves for a counter attack or maybe more lines of defence? Whatever. Their losses are already quite big with how hard they have tried to stop us from breaking through, so they might actually start to try really hard from now on.»

She sounded curiously amuse when ending her remark, toying with a strand of her hair.

In fact, there was much more to this facility they had attacked than just this one production room they had fought a war against. This was one of the largest factories belonging to the Iwakura Corporation, a rather large weapons producer resident in Academy City, after all. While the facility itself may have been only two production rooms and one gigantic loading area for transports on the surface, the underground levels dug quit deep into the earth. There were at least about 10 underground levels, some as high as this hall, some a bit lower like ordinary building levels. From the information provided by the woman on the phone, the weapons depot where the finished products were stored — the largest part of the facility — was at the bottom level. Among the many other production rooms for single parts, offices and other facilities, there were also two control rooms. One situated somewhere in the centre and one situated in the aforementioned weapons depot; likely a measure to keep invaders from conquering the entirety of the building or something like that. It was likely the enemy’s core lay at either or both of them.

Fortunately, there were many ways to get downwards. The obvious, yet truly unfortunate one, were the staircases connecting the office portions, then there were also two elevators for transporting larger objects in this production hall alone and lastly smaller lifts for single person usage spread all over. Still, all methods gave them reasons to worry.

«Sooooo what should we do next? It’s not like we can stay here forever.»

Frenda had been given an odd chance, her personal reward for a lot of good work. At least even Mugino Shizuri had some generosity left within her; enough to warrant her partner’s actions with the right to participate on the game table.

Maybe it was because their mission had just been that simple.

Crush the entire facility, crush all survivors, crush everything and at best, leave no traces behind.

Or maybe just because she wanted to confirm with the picture she had drawn in her head.

Now with one of the key areas down, where would they continue?

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Kira Kohaku on Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:41 am


«Seems like there is no resistance left any longer. Good job Frenda.»

It was over. The first phase of the mission was over. The overpowering stench of burnt flesh combined with Mugino’s declaration was enough to signal that they had finished up the first stage. Frenda felt herself slightly relax her shoulders as she stowed away the phone and began to move around to collect the bombs she could still reach.

«But that’s only for now. We have only overrun the first production so far. They have likely only withdrawn to the core of the facility, preparing themselves for a counter attack or maybe more lines of defence? Whatever. Their losses are already quite big with how hard they have tried to stop us from breaking through, so they might actually start to try really hard from now on.»

In the end, the mission was far from over. Until the two of them essentially crushed the core or cores of the facility, the corporation could bounce back. In other words, the best way to end this cleanly was likely to destroy the weaponry depot, seize and/or destroy all of the weaponry, and if it was a control center, use it to access the rest of the facility. It was the option that would inevitably kill multiple birds with one stone.

According to the woman on the phone, there were two control centres in the facility. However, it was likely that the control centres were connected to each other. In other words, if they played their cards right, they could probably annihilate both without having to step into the other. Though, that could just be a pipe dream.

«Sooooo what should we do next? It’s not like we can stay here forever.»

After picking up five of the bombs, leaving four which she could no longer reach, she heard Mugino taking the rare action of asking Frenda’s opinion on the next steps. It was likely a reward for Frenda’s performance. So, the all-too-eager Frenda divulged her two cents over the communications headset.

“Basically, I think we should take out the control centre in the weaponry depot first. We can kill two birds with one stone that way and not have to worry about any sudden revivals if we do that. We’d be crushing all of their means of fighting back and, if possible, we can take care of both control centers from the weaponry depot as well.”

That was, of course, the ideal outcome. Of course, life was far from the ideal. Things would not fall into place that conveniently, which was why the choice of annihilating the means of resistance was crucial. It was enough to allow for the seamless elimination of the corporation’s facility.

“Even if we can’t take out the second control center from the weaponry depot, we can still eliminate the largest source of any possible resistance before we move onto the second center.”

All that was left was to consider the method of entry. But, she also needed to plan for the exit route. The last thing she wanted was to be trapped tens of meters underground with no way out.

“As for entry points, we can use the single entry lifts down to the lowest level in order to allow for a pincer attack. I would rather not take the stairs, get attacked in the middle or at the entrance and then leave the guaranteed method of exit in shambles if we end up cutting the power at some point.”

It was a simple and straightforward assessment from a meticulous girl who was willing to make contingency upon contingency in order to guarantee a perfect victory.

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:09 pm

Many retorts immediately sprung to Mikoto's mind at his insulting question, namely that if she had been harassing him it would at least explain why she kept encountering him literally every goddamn where – in her own mental words – but she ultimately decided against saying anything lest it be used against her. 

(Not to mention that with his usual attention span, this is already a lost fight.) Mikoto sighed once more, bearing the unpleasant impression that the more she encountered him in these bizarre and not always pleasant ways the faster she would mentally age. It wasn't normal for a teenager to sigh this much in less than five minutes, that much she was certain of.

“Kuroko and the others are busy today so I was simply taking a walk in a park I'm very familiar with... or at least was doing so. Before I ran into a pervert. An ungrateful one at that when you consider how many people would simply faint if I approached them so casually.” She shrugged with a smirk as she spoke, though her smirk quickly morphed into a self-derisive smile at the reminder that her public presence was nothing short of eventful to say the least, prompting her to change the topic immediately.

“Ahem. I-It's not like I have a better idea, but don't you think the other employees are doing the exact same thing as you are? It's going to be hard to stand out in selection if you just take pictures of things Academy City advertises anyway with or without you.”

She followed up by bringing a hand to her chin in deep thought, and that was when an idea came to mind as she raised a finger with a sincere suggestion.

“Instead of taking unauthorised pictures of teenage girls, why not actually ask them and see their thoughts on the matter? You haven't been in Academy City for very long, so asking people who've been here for a longer time should work out a lot better than randomly pointing your camera around.”

_________________

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"Mikoto speaks"
'Mikoto thinks'


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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Guy Li on Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:23 am

He smiled.

"There's a saying in photography." He started, cradling the camera around his neck like it was a child. "A good photograph only happens once." He raised his finger like he was lecturing her. "It means that you have to take every opportunity for a good shot. Staging it isn't the same as capturing a natural moment."

He raised the screen and walked around to stand next to Mikoto, showing her the photograph. "See." The girls in the photograph were obviously not faking. "If I had asked them for a photograph, do you think her smile would be as honest?" He shrugged. "I was going to ask them if I could use the photograph but you had to jump to conclusions." He shook his head in exaggerated disappointment.

"But that's not a bad idea. I was thinking I could add a different spin on things, coming from an outsider's point of view. But I'm still not familiar enough with the place. Having someone to point me in the right direction would make things a lot easier."

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:59 pm

«Sounds good.»

In what seemed to be a cheerful tone Mugino signalled her agreement to the plan suggested by Frenda. There wasn't so much as a need to argue over it any further, had all of her arguments hit right on the mark. Therefore there was no need to waste time either.

The two of them would quickly make it to one of the many lifts for single person transportation and board it. While single person transportation would make it sound like a rather narrow, low space cabin, it was actually not even something that had proper walls to begin with. The lift was more of a platform with a waist high grid barrier that’d even though small still offer enough space for at least two slender girls.
However to at least fit a lift’s reputation its movements weren’t the fastest.

After only pressing a few buttons and hitting a few switches it set into motion, down and even deeper down.

The majority of the time was spent in dark only dimly lit tunnels, occasionally passing by the view of an entire level. Sometimes a facility of the size of the production room, sometimes just a simple passenger corridor.

«Let’s see. We started from here, now we should be about here…»

While travelling forward at minimum speed Mugino found the time to bring forth her phone once again, opening the files containing the various maps of the building they were provided with.

From the first glance it’d actually appear as if what was depicted was a skyscraper, only that it reached into the ground instead the sky. The structure was fairly simple and easily overviewed. Each level held a designation, a layout and own characteristics. The most striking thing may have been the rather large ventilation system in the facility’s centre reaching from the lowest to the highest level, but that might have been necessary due to to this being a production facility with a major part underground.

She quickly skipped the majority of the inventory, getting straight to the interesting point: The armoury.

As Frenda had stated before, this was probably one of the best strategic points the facility held. Therefore if it should be overtaken all hope might actually be lost. Considering the amount of space it offered for weapons it was very likely that there was more than enough to wage war with one of the greater world powers down there. Aware of those dangers various security measures had been integrated into the architecture. Apparently there was a way to close off the armoury entirely from the rest of the facility. Two sets of barriers were the means described by the plans. If both were closed, the entire lowest level would be cut off entirely without any hope for penetration. A vast number of materials and technology was mentioned in the explanation, but Mugino skipped the majority of those. The data said that the two sets were entirely autonomous from each other. One could only be controlled from the central control room, the other only from the one in the armoury. In both cases it would be possible to shut the other side out in case something unforeseen like an attack would happen. Even if one room would be overtaken, the barrier would still remain to stop the other side. However in worst case said barrier would only be half as strong.

Usually for conservation’s sake the entire armoury was turned into a vacuum like place, was there a function to suck all air from the space or to even flood it in case of an enemy attack. However the most crucial detail, the whereabouts of the control room, was left out entirely from all plans. Actually both were, for logical reasons.

«Interesting. So we neither know the whereabouts of the control rooms, nor do we know if we can enter the armoury. Looks like you can shut the entire facility off, if necessary. They sure were prepared for a situation like this.»

Surprisingly, even though it took them quite long to travel down the entirety of the building, nothing out of place ever occurred. It was so silent, the temptation of letting one’s guard down was terrifyingly real. What was going on? Wasn’t this supposed to be a weapon’s production facility under attack? Wouldn’t at least that mean that every possible asset would be held at the ready?

«This is strange. According to this data they should even be capable of shutting down the lifts or at least closing the barrier around them, keeping us from leaving. And it’s not like they couldn’t know where we are. There are cameras and even microphones hidden everywhere.»

She commented, but in truth she didn’t think much of it. With her ability and Frenda’s skill they should easily be able to free themselves from all restraints, so none of that actually posed any reason for worry. But, wasn't it still a bit strange that the enemy didn’t even try? Even as they’d travel through construction halls or corridors, there was no trace of life. No person in sight, only gloomy silence.

«Mh. This doesn’t match the pattern we have seen before at all. The security team was pouring everything into holding us off, but now there’s nothing. It’s like they’re actually planning something in the shadows, something really big, something they actually believe will be effective.»

Making her own assessments of the situation, a dangerous glint appeared in the #4’s eyes.

«Very interesting.»

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Kira Kohaku on Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:12 am


Frenda found herself smiling slightly at the sound of Mugino’s acceptance of her plan of attack. Unlike the more sadistic grin she had been wearing throughout the mission thus far, it was far more genuine and heartfelt. It was truly the happiness she felt from being praised by Mugino and then having her plan of attack accepted. She could say she was in a state of partial euphoria to the point where she would not be surprised if she accidentally let a giggle leak out.

Following Mugino from behind, Frenda simply listened to Mugino as she decided to muse about the current state of affairs out loud. Based on what Mugino was saying, she was likely using her phone to look at the data for the mission.

Mmmm. I should probably check up on the information myself.

Like Mugino, Frenda took out her phone and switched the display to all the data about the facility and the mission they had received. As she looked through the data, there was something she could not help but be bothered by.

Now that I think about it, that could be dangerous…

Regardless of the risk, they had to eliminate the facility’s two cores. In other words, they had to find some way to disable the lowest level. Neither of them were competent enough to crack a system from the outside, so it boiled down to the need to break through there physically.

As Mugino continued to make her observations of the current situation, Frenda began to realize just how curiously empty the passages they were making their way through were. There was an unnatural lack of resistance for such an important stronghold.

«Mh. This doesn’t match the pattern we have seen before at all. The security team was pouring everything into holding us off, but now there’s nothing. It’s like they’re actually planning something in the shadows, something really big, something they actually believe will be effective.»

Were they? Were the waves of enemies from before merely a distraction? After all, it was clear that Iwakura Corp had numerous disposable options to throw at them. It definitely could not be that they threw everything they had already if such a large armory was in place. That meant there were two options. The first was that the higher ups of the corporation gave up and decided to cut their losses. This was the most unlikely option.

In that case, they were definitely leading the two of them into a trap…and in this case, especially if they were being observed, the best kind of trap would be…

“The vacuum…” she muttered, though her utterance was hidden by Mugino’s own.

«Very interesting.»

Frenda could feel a chill run up her spine at the sound of this. Even if she held a high admiration for Mugino, the two still held different thought processes. In the end, Frenda was the type of person who’s combat relied on the establishment of an exclusive safe zone. Unlike Mugino, she had to play carefully as she could not charge in with reckless abandon.

For someone like her who ran on calculating the best possible course and making tens of contingency plans…

This isn’t going to end well if I’m right…we’re being led into a trap and she knows it. So, they’re going to lead us in, seal us off, and then evacuate the lower level of air. They’re fully aware of me being an explosives user at this point. That means the easiest way to counter that is to cut out the fuel for explosions. Even if the spark acts as the activation energy, there won’t be any explosions if there is no oxygen to consume. Moreover, a vacuum means that the one atmosphere of air pressing on our body will turn into zero allowing for…

Frenda shuddered at the thought of being forced into a vacuum. While decompression was not as explosive as the movies made it out to be, it was still incredibly painful.

And then there’s still the danger of what would happen even if we broke through the seals. If that kind of thing isn’t done properly, the huge difference in pressure will cause us to be thrown around in there. In the end, it would be like getting hit head first by a tanker truck!

“Muginooo. We’re being led into a trap…if I’m right, they’re going to seal us in there and evacuate the air.”

Frenda summarized her panicked thoughts to her superior though she knew that Mugino would more than likely brush it off and go with the plan that Frenda had suggested earlier anyway. It was at this time Frenda was beginning to regret not thinking things through a bit further.

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:17 am

Mikoto slightly bit her lip in a slightly pouting matter as he gently admonished her on her admittedly hasty conclusion, feelings all sorts of ashamed and annoyed for putting herself in a position where he could actually be right for once.

“Sorry about that...” She muttered out as she closely observed the picture, not really understanding the analogy he had made but certainly seeing his point about the genuineness of the shot. Taking that in account of how poorly she had acted just now, she looked up from the camera ahead to where the girls had walked off before tugging at his vest.

“Come on, they shouldn't have gone too far and if they're okay with you using that picture then I'm sure they'll at least be of some help with your weird theme. At the very least, it won't look too creepy when you ask if I'm there.” She affirmed with a slight blush on her cheeks as she attempted her best to salvage the remainders of her pride with that last sentence.

**

Finally seeing the group of girls that had thankfully not separated yet after a few minutes of looking for them, Mikoto approached and called out to them.

“Excuse me...”

Surprised, one of the girls turned around with a confused expression, unable to recall if they had done something wrong to warrant being called out, though the lack of any official appearance told her it was something a lot more casual than that. “Ah, yes? Do you need something?” With that, Mikoto nudged Guy forward as she slowly played around with a strand of hair in the meanwhile.

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'Mikoto thinks'


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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Guy Li on Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:41 am

He raised his shoulders in a shrug.

"Right."

***

"Actually, I was just taking some photographs for..." He started but was quickly cut off by the girlish screams of excitement that followed.

"It's actually her!" One of the group pointed with giddy elation, scarcely able to contain her joy. She started to hop up and down, too excited to even stand still.

"Who?" Asked one of the other girls, turning to see what she was missing. "The Railgun! It's her! It's Misaka Mikoto!" Another of the group joined in the adoring chorus. Guy felt himself become invisible in the face of Mikoto's overwhelming fame and the girls surged past him to get closer to their idol.

"Can I get your autograph?" "Can I take a photo with you?" "You're so cool!" They gushed praise and questions at Mikoto, swarming around her with starry eyed expressions of adoration.

"I guess she wasn't kidding..." He recalled her statement earlier about how grateful most people would be to be approached by her. He spoke up to one of the girls. "Excuse me, but would you mind this photograph being used for..." He got cut off again by her hasty reply.

"Yeah, sure. Whatever..." The girl said coldly, not even looking him in the eye before returning to her fangirling. Guy nodded in thanks.

"Hey, what do you know? That was easy. Thanks for the help, Sparky." He called over the group of girls to Mikoto and raised his thumb in the universal gesture of success before starting to retreat. It felt wrong to leave her to the wolves like that, but he rationalised the feeling away. After all, if what she said was true she dealt with this all the time.

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:50 pm

There was no change about that glint in Mugino’s eyes when Frenda voiced her concerns. She hadn’t overheard them. It had just been as the blonde had deduced in her own mind, Mugino’s perspective as the #4 Level 5 Esper of Academy City differed entirely from hers as a normal person. And that glint of excitement in her eyes made that clear all over again.

«So what? Then we’ll just have to cause a malfunction in the machinery or something like that.»

She’d simply shrug it off with a halfhearted comment, much like one would give over a pointless homework exercise. It was as if she had peeked into Frenda’s mind that moment, had she easily figured out where exactly her partner’s concerns lay. But going by long years of experience that was hardly unnatural to begin with.

Actually underlining the immediateness of her reply, she quickly moved her hand to hit one of the buttons placed on the lift’s control panel. It stopped, perfectly neat with them having a corridor right up front. It was a dark and gloomy one, dimly lit, long, seemingly unending. The walls were made of metal, but cables stuck out at places. An obvious maintenance area running somewhere in between the levels of the building. Going by the map they were somewhere in the level right above the armoury’s barriers.

«The data says a lot about the barrier and how invulnerable it is and whatnot. But, the system for turning the armoury into a vacuum still seems somewhat classic. A pump, a special ventilation system, that kind of stuff. They wouldn’t have poured that much effort into making a side feature indestructible, would they?»

The vacuum had never been build for defensive or combat purposes, so it wasn’t the kind of reinforced concept the barriers protecting the armoury were. As long as it was that way in the minds of the architects there was no way they would have actually expended more thought on unnecessary sides of such features, which on the other hand meant that they could be taken out easily – or at least easier.

Therefore Mugino had been entirely unhesitant when she opened the waist high grid barrier and moved away from the lift. Her hair swaying as she threw it back with her right hand, she’d seem entirely unaffected by the pressure of the situation; something she had to thank her natural arrogance for.

«Frenda? Where do you think we should start? Cut the power of maybe just wreck whatever machinery we can get access to? At least that feels a bit quicker than spending hours to see through the plans.»

The map depicted the current level as a maze. It was quite chaotic when seen from one perspective, if however one tried to understand it through the viewpoint of a worker or someone who knew the basic concept behind the facility’s design it actually had a sense of order. Either way, the maze was a collection of maintenance shaft like corridors and small rooms, like offices, restrooms, quarters, minor control rooms for engineering purposes that didn’t need the attention required for security or machine rooms. If one checked a bit more there were actually even smaller labs spread about. Either way, even though this wasn’t an area to be overrun by people, it still felt surprisingly empty.

No one in any of the rooms or the corridors. No sounds, no smell, no dirt. It was actually quite sterile, as if someone had just cleaned.

However, as they would turn corners in search of a place related to the maintenance of the ventilation slash vacuum system, that changed as well.

They found something. Or rather something left behind by someone.

One of the cold metal walls was covered in something dark, brown, it may have been red originally. It was a stain among many others. The walls on one side of the corridor had received large splashes of the colour. Nobody in their business would have thought it to be anything but blood. Not too old, actually, as the stench was still lingering in the air. However it was only blood. No trace of corpses.

«Oh? Now that’s a surprise.»

Discarding the idea of their search, Mugino immediately stepped out of the line she had been following, casting a closer look at their discovery. The glint in her eyes ever present.

As she knelt forward to trace the remains of the liquid with her index finger, she noticed it was still glibbery, not yet dried.

«This mustn’t have happened too long ago…»

Her thoughts were trailing off even more, as she mused about the stains’ origin. The cleanness, the lack of presence and the sudden shift in their enemy’s behaviour. If added together with this, maybe…

«Fufufu. Interesting.»



The hidden eyes would turn. They would gather at a point. They would watch. They would send the electric signals to another place. A place that’d visualise them all over again. The eyes there were staring. Watching. Waiting.

Silence.

Time was moving.

Awareness was growing.

They knew.



Hidden by the shadows cast upon the unlit areas, the rest of the story would remain to be told. Those deep holes caused by the precise tools of modern murder. The drills that had dug through human flesh and beyond were still there. Yet unfound, they would mark the final conclusion.

This was the somewhere where something had happened in this gloomy silence.

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Kira Kohaku on Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:06 am


As worried as Frenda was about the vacuum, Mugino did bring up a fair point. There were still methods to deal with that in advance before they reached the armory. It was worrying, but it was definitely likely that the vacuum would not be as fortified as the so-called invulnerable barrier.

If it was there, it was likely meant for use as a maintenance tool as opposed to a defensive tool. Due to the presence of delicate machinery or sometimes incomplete machinery, it was highly likely that it was meant to prevent build-up of any particulate matter on the weaponry.

It would be like keeping the armory in stasis until it was needed for use again.

In that case, the vacuum would be far less fortified than the rest of the armory. In fact…

“Basically, the vacuum would actually be the best access point…” Following Mugino as she left the lift, Frenda muttered quite audibly her next thought once Mugino had finished asking where they should start. It was completely unintentional, but the timing was something she was satisfied with.

The vacuum was their Achilles’ Heel if they left it unchecked, but from another perspective, it was a perfect opportunity.

“We would not even have to worry about the vacuum if we use it as an entrance point for the armory. It’s likely the vacuum has large pipes in order lower resistance to flow of air from the armory. More likely than not, the rotors are quite large. I don’t know how many pumps they may have in series, but the exit and entry points for them should be large enough that people can fit through. Otherwise, maintenance would be difficult, especially if one gets this deep underground. In the end, we can kill two birds with one stone this way. We’d find a subtle path inwards and we would destroy the most dangerous element on the way there.”

She had continued to divulge her raw thought processes out without a single filter, all for Mugino to hear.

In summation, Frenda could say their best bet was to plow through the central pump system which was the main foundation for the vacuum. To evacuate an entire armory, the pumps would have to be quite large and there would possibly be more than one in series in order to maximize how close to a vacuum the air pressure in the armory could get as no vacuum, especially one for a large-scale armory would be perfect.

As she finished shuffling through her thoughts on the entry strategy, Frenda heard Mugino speak of something as a surprise while sensing a familiar, pungent scent. As she looked to what Mugino was referring to, she saw something that stood in stark contrast to the rest of the path they had traversed since they left the lift.

A fresh, reddish brown color stained the walls around them. It stood in stark contrast to the eerily sterile corridors that they had been passing through earlier. In fact, the sudden switch from uncharacteristically clean and pristine to painted with a fresh coat of blood was quite jarring.

Luckily, the shock of the shift wore off in seconds as she begun to make observations about the blood. If there was something she could denote as strange aside from that contrast in environment, it would have to have been the lack of traces of any corpses. As Mugino had tested while taking a short diversion from the path, the blood had not even dried off.

Yet, there are no traces of bodies ever being here, let alone dragged off…

Master of contingencies Frenda Seivelun began to list off multiple different ideas in her head. Third party intervention? Infighting? A new weapon? A sudden shift in plans? Decoys?

Despite how much Mugino seemed to be relishing in this strange pattern, Frenda could not hold the same level of arrogance. Unlike Mugino who was wanton destruction incarnate, Frenda was someone who, despite her use of explosives or perhaps because of her use of explosives, progressed through careful and precise planning.

Walking through as more and more uncertainties began to pile up did not sit well with her at all. She unconsciously let her mouth curve down into a frown. Something was wrong. Something was definitely off about this whole mission and Frenda did not like that one bit.

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:49 pm

A familiar frown decorated Mikoto's expression as she felt like a vein was about to pop. Not only was it utterly awkward and frankly bothersome to be recognised so suddenly out of nowhere and to be promptly harassed for it, since she did enjoy her peaceful times of being like a normal teenage girl rather than Academy City's celebrity, but her earnest effort in assisting him was rewarded by him trying to leave again?

If she was a less selfish girl in such instances then she would probably reflect on whether she's just that difficult to be around.

But she wasn't, so the immediate conclusion she reached was that this would certainly not do.

“Hey, you...” Mikoto called out in a slow growl as she managed to extend her hand beyond that restraining crowd of three, latching onto Guy's vest and using that to pull herself out of the crowd and towards him. “I'm going out of my way to help you as my apology. Don't you think that you're being a little rude right now?”

Each word was muttered as if carefully lined with the deadliest intent she could gather on the moment, and Mikoto turned back towards the girl with this time a much more genuine smile as she foregone any response coming from Guy, pretending no deadly intent had washed over her just now. “Um, I'm sorry for asking what's probably a really weird question all of a sudden," She spoke in a much calmer manner as she tugged Guy's vest for him to actually pay attention. "but what comes to mind if I ask you about something that'd "represent Academy City's spirit"?"

(I feel like I suddenly became some kind of occultist...) Though she said that in a calm and composed manner, Mikoto internally sighed as she considered that she was nowhere close to even understanding what she herself was asking to these random girls.

_________________

Spoiler:
"Mikoto speaks"
'Mikoto thinks'


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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Guy Li on Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:12 am

"Hey, you... I'm going out of my way to help you as my apology. Don't you think that you're being a little rude right now?”

"It seemed rude of me to hang around." His attempt to look innocent only made his response less convincing. She wasn't listening anyway.

“Um, I'm sorry for asking what's probably a really weird question all of a sudden, but what comes to mind if I ask you about something that'd "represent Academy City's spirit"?"

He tugged back on his jacket. The way she pulled on it reminded him of a cat toying with a loose string. "I'm listening, I'm listening." He said, batting her hand away and risking a reprisal by her 'claws'.

"Huh." The girl put her finger to her lips quizzically, looking skywards thoughtfully. "That's a strange question." She considered, sharing glances with the other girls who were also mulling it over. "I want to say something like 'Esper powers' or something, you know?" Guy gave Mikoto a look as if to say 'I told you so.' "But maybe the Endymion? That's pretty impressive and it's something nowhere else has. I don't know how you'd put it into words, though."

"Oh, I know. What about that windowless building?" One of her friends chimed in. "No way! That's too creepy." The first girl giggled.

"Yeah, that place is pretty boring. I might as well just photograph a factory or something in that case." Guy commented. "Too bad the Daihasei isn't happening right now." He wistfully considered the idea of such an easy answer.

The girls waved goodbye, enthusiastically chattering about their brush with fame. Guy looked over to the partially completed space elevator and raised an eyebrow.

"You know, it's weird. I guess I never really paid attention to that thing before. Like it was always just at the corner of my eye or something." He dismissed the feeling as nonsense. "But a space elevator is as good as anything else for now." He seemed curiously unimpressed by such an extraordinary creation.

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:55 pm

After a while Mugino returned to a standing position, facing away from the discovery that had been captivating her a moment ago. It felt a bit as if she had grown bored of its sight and would now simply settle on heading forward again. Placing each of her steps as careless as ever. The threat that were bullets did not apply to her after all. No matter if those were the standard equipment any Anti-Skill officer would carry or the special military prototypes that had come to use in here.

«Let’s move on. Staring at corpses won’t give us much of a change.»

For a while the two of them would continue on through the maze, however, since they now had a goal in mind they would head directly for there. Assisted by the sheer amount of data they had been supplied with, they’d quickly find themselves on a somewhat proper path, even within that overly confusing environment. For a while then the pair would head through more dark corridors, come across many shadows and occasionally one or the other blood stain – most of them escaping Mugino’s attention.

Eventually, they’d enter one of the smaller compartments, their goal.

It was room not that large in size, filled with a variety of equipment, most of those tools or spare parts for whatever high tech machinery one could imagine. The way the room was set up appeared to be rather sloppy, obviously meant for the usage through physical workers. However that wasn’t the most striking aspect. In the very least there were still left over traces of life, like a magazine in company of a coffee to go cup lying on a metal bench.

They’d skip past the interior, though, ignoring whatever tools or spare parts there were in this room. After all, even if this was the maintenance room for the armoury’s vacuum’s main air pumps, there was hardly anything of interest in the actual equipment. Their desire had only been an access point, one they found at the room’s other end. It was another door, they quickly crossed and once they had done so they’d arrive at a shaft leading them even deeper, down into an even darker abyss. To worsen the conditions, there was no trace of a lift this time around, only a ladder.

«I guess that’s what you get for picking the easiest to reach.»

According to the files, the armoury’s vacuum was supposed to be caused by a collection of collections of large air pumps, spread all around the lowest level’s outer walls to ensure the best working conditions. Of course each of said pumps had their own maintenance entry points and even those were high in numbers. These entry points were designed in a way that’d allow for both humans, powered suits and other possibly larger equipment to be transported into them, while still holding off the threat of technical malfunction from further equipment like lifts. Therefore all there was, were ladders. Not a single one, but a collection, some made for human usage, some for larger sized objects. It went without speaking that the hole before them was rather large.

«Let’s go then~»

Characteristic for herself, Mugino Shizuri would once again take the lead, ignoring the presence of security functions and simply making her move to the edge to begin the climb downwards.

It was a long climb, a very extensive one, but an eventless one. It went down by many metres. For many men this may have actually been a challenge, especially if they had to carry along heavier equipment. Therefore it was possible for there to be a whole lot of safety mechanisms or at least an alternate idea of a wire lift that’d carry the engineers down specifically. But she hadn't thought as far as to search for or make use of that. No, she’d take the classic route. Supporting her own weight for a while wasn’t that much of an issue to begin with. Hell, even an adult man’s body wouldn’t have caused her problems; she was quite the brute after all.

«Frenda? Have you checked where we need to head next? I’d like us to find the best path to the biggest destruction. I wouldn’t like for some miracle, like this pump somehow still managing to function even after extensive damage has been dealt, to occur, you understand?»

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Kira Kohaku on Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:12 am


Of course, Mugino, unperturbed, continued to move forward without even a single step out of place in her gait. In her mind, nothing much had changed. Such was the difference between those who fought tooth and nail with tools and those who fought effortlessly without lifting a finger. With a sigh, Frenda continued to follow Mugino. But, Mugino was right. Regardless of the origin of the strange bloodstains, there was no point in mulling over it. There was still the objective of eliminating Iwakura Corporation’s ability to bounce back.

Thanks to the overabundant data that they had been given, Frenda did not even need to question whether Mugino was going in the right direction. For once, the woman on the phone actually gave information that was so useful, it was downright scary.

Continuing to acknowledge the occasional bloodstain, she followed behind Mugino without a word until they reached a smaller compartment. As she passed through the messy interior of what was likely meant as an all-purpose gathering room for the engineers and maintenance workers, she had crossed the door that functioned as the access point, followed Mugino down the set of ladders to what was the access point for the main pump.

Between ladders, she continued to check up on the information from the blueprints that were loaded onto her phone.

«Frenda? Have you checked where we need to head next? I’d like us to find the best path to the biggest destruction. I wouldn’t like for some miracle, like this pump somehow still managing to function even after extensive damage has been dealt, to occur, you understand?»


“Right now, we’re headed to the main pump, Pump A0. While there are clusters of clusters of pumps that are meant to be used to decrease the air pressure of the armory, the one we’re moving down to is the one that performs the greatest load of work. In comparison, the remainder of the pumps are auxiliary and generally are unable to fully compensate if Pump A0 loses functionality. Due to that, maintenance is performed more frequently on this one and maintenance mode is generally much more accessible as a result as the workers need to make quick work during maintenance periods.”

On the blueprints and data, Pump A0 was labeled as 70%. That meant that it was the pump that dropped the air pressure to .3 atmospheres in the armory. The data for the other pumps stated that the remainder could drop the atmospheric pressure down to .5 atmospheres at best if they were all being used at 100%. However, this maximum power was generally unnecessary to the function of the vacuum as the full power would never be able to bring the air pressure down to zero perfectly.

Further looks at Pump A0’s data would also reveal the details of operational and maintenance modes, namely all the access codes, load times, power up times, OS types, encryption keys. Basically, the information was enough that anyone with a functioning brain could crack into it. Even Frenda, who’s expertise in programming was only relegated to simple codes for certain bomb types, could easily break through the system and cause some damage.

“I can simply crack into the switchboard panels for the pump and quickly mess around with the Operational System for the pump. Though, that in and of itself wouldn’t guarantee that the pump would not suddenly start to function. Basically, it would only become a stall tactic.” As the two got off the final ladder, Frenda stopped speaking to give a quick stretch before looking for the consoles.

They were standing in a large, enclosed space. At the very least, it would seem like that were it not for the focal point of the space. In focus was what looked like a giant motor covered up and with three pipes reaching out like stiff branches. The largest two were the ones that were aligned perpendicular to what was likely the rotor. The last one was one that branched off to the side.

On each side, left and right, were two sets of stairs. Each set held two staircases: one that led to a door on the lower portion and one that led to the upper portion. Needless to say, both were necessary for maintenance of the pump. On a wall, close to the stairs that led to the lower door, were two things. The first was a console and adjacent to that was a switchboard.

“There is one way we can create a guaranteed window of time in which Pump A0 will not function at all, though. If the pump is shut down from here, there is one other location in which it can be reopened: the vacuum control center in the armory. But, even if they were to turn it back on from there, it would take about 15 minutes to turn the system back on and another five to switch the system from maintenance to operational mode. We’ll use that guaranteed twenty minute window from shutdown to rush to the control room in the armory and shut down the pumps.”

Making her way to the console, Frenda used all the information given to access the console and start changing the operation protocols. It was quick and dirty, but she made sure of two things. The first was that pump’s console would always open to maintenance mode by default. The second was that maintenance mode, itself, would not be able to turn the rotor in the pump in the slightest. She could not disable operational mode, however, the current sabotage should have been more than enough to break through the pump, destroy the rotor, and enter the armory.

Quickly confirming that all the sabotage was in order, she looked back to Mugino and nodded, before pressing all of the switches and shutting off power to all of the pumps in the A cluster.

Running up to the lower door, she slammed it open and took a look inside to see the great rotor of the pump with a radius that was thrice the girl’s height. She readied her hand to grab at any necessary bombs in her skirt. It was now time for the mad dash to the armory to begin.

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