Field Trip 28-02

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Two of the soldiers with the blank faceplates stood guard in front of a door. Ahead of them and opposite the door was a blank wall, while the corridor continued on in both directions to the left and right. Both held their weapons at loose readiness, clearly on alert and ready for anything.

Anything, that was, except for a small, shimmering liquid-like spot to appear on that wall directly across from them. For a second, both of the guards simply leaning forward slightly as though squinting at it. Then they turned to look at each other, each about to say something.

Whatever they had been about to say was interrupted as an energy-arrow shot through that small liquid-like spot on the wall that they had been staring at. It hit the floor between the guards before exploding into a burst of concussive force that knocked them both to the floor.

“They’re down, let’s go!” I called while lowering my staff in its bow form. Turning away from where I had been looking between Gordon’s raised hands in order to see through the wall, I looked toward Jazz. The other girl was already moving up to the wall to run her hands along it. Like with the floor in the room where we had arrived, everywhere she touched, the wall turned that liquidy-shape. In this case, whatever material the wall was made out of must’ve been less dense than the room where we had first shown up, because it turned a lot faster than that floor had.

Within a few seconds, she’d made it just large enough to dive through. I did so, throwing myself through the almost-hole before rolling to my feet on the other side. The first of the two guards was starting to pick himself up, until my weapon, collapsed back into its staff form, collided solidly with the back of his helmet. He dropped once more, hitting the floor with a dazed grunt.

By that point, the second guard was up to my right. Before he could do anything, Roxa was suddenly there. She caught hold of the man’s arm with one hand and his neck with the other, before bodily heaving him hard into the opposite wall. He slammed into it like Wile E. Coyote running smack into a painted-on tunnel, rebounding off it before collapsing to the floor.

Gidget, who had come through with Roxa, padded over and leaned down to sniff at the second guard. When he stayed unmoving on the floor, she made a happy purring sound before plopping down right there with one big metal paw resting on his back, just waiting like that. The guy was gonna have a pretty bad day if he woke up and tried to move at all.

The others joined us a moment later, moving through the opening that Jazz had created. Finally, all six of us were standing there in front of the door. We had been running for the past fifteen minutes. Most of the others were winded. Roxa and I were the only ones that weren’t panting. Hence why we had been elected to go through and deal with the soldiers that were in our way.

Looking up and down the corridor for a moment, Sands asked, “Okay, so now what? We have no idea where we are, where we’re going, which way is safe, if safe even exists anymore, and everyone around here wants to kill or capture us. Oh and, by the way, apparently ‘capture’ is the worst of the two options, considering the reason they want to catch us is so that they can let one of those wannabe angel fuck take over our bodies and turn us into their personal meat-suits.”

“Um, I’m sorry, wannabe angel?” Isaac raised a hand. “As in big glowy wings and halos?”

Sands shook her head at him. “It’s an unbelievably long story. Seriously, you have no idea. Just wait until we can actually talk.” She gestured to me then, repeating, “What do we do?”

“We keep going,” I replied. “We’ll find an exit, get out of this building, and regroup from there. And–” I added while looking to Isaac, Jazz, and Gordon. “I know you guys have questions. We’ll answer them. But first, we have to get the hell out of this place. Then you’ll get your answers.”

The three of them looked between Roxa and me, and it was clear that they still at least kind of wanted to push the issue. But they stopped themselves. Gordon was the one who spoke up, taking the pragmatic approach. “How do we find the exit when we have no idea where we are?”

It was a good question. Our initial flight from the room we had arrived in had just been a result of ‘let’s get as far away from this particular location as we can, as fast as possible’. But now, we’d been running for this long and there was still no sign of an exit. The whole place was a maze, a maze that we would have been lost in for good, and probably even trapped and captured, a lot earlier if it hadn’t been for Gordon’s x-ray vision and Jazz’s ability to let us go through walls.

Pausing for a second, I thought inwardly, I don’t suppose you have any ideas, Tabbris?

There was a slight hesitation before the response came. I… I’m sorry, I don’t know. This wasn’t part of the memories that Mama left me, I don’t think. Um. Maybe it was built after she left, or she was never here, or… I had the feeling of a shrug. I’m r-really sorry, I wish I knew more.

It’s okay, I thought back to her. You don’t have to have all the answers. Just speak up if you think of something. Or if one of those extra memories your mom left happens to kick in.

Focusing on the others once more, I shook my head. “Sorry, guys. I wish I had a better answer than just ‘keep looking’. Eventually, we’re either gonna find our way out, or those guys are gonna find us. Let’s hope for the former. Because seriously, you don’t wanna let them take you.”

Roxa squinted at me for a second before turning back to look at the guards on the floor. “Too bad we can’t just ask these guys,” she started before her head tilted. “Unless we can.” Slowly, she looked to me. “You killed Charmeine. And back there, in that room, I swear I saw you…”

I nodded. “Right. I possessed the guy. But these ones are unconscious. As we saw back in the hotel with Charmeine, there’s not much an unconscious body can do, even if it is possessed.”

Jazz’s mouth opened at that, but I saw her hesitate before stopping herself. It was obvious that she had a ton of questions. Which I didn’t blame her for. But she kept quiet. Clearly, the other girl was smart enough to realize that every second we took dealing with their questions was another second that we weren’t escaping. And another second for the bad guys to find us.

Roxa just raised an eyebrow at me, asking dryly, “Does he have to be conscious to read his mind?” After a brief pause, she amended, “That sounded really snarky, but I’m seriously asking.”

“Oh…” I felt like slapping my own forehead, but now that there were two of us in here, it felt wrong. “Right, I guess I could give that a shot.” I took a step that way, while thinking, Little more help? I’m still not sure I understand exactly what you did before. Could you show me again?

Oh, oh, um, yes. I felt Tabbris’s own embarrassment, like she was ashamed that she hadn’t thought of this solution herself. She hesitated again before asking, Can I, um, does that mean–

Go ahead, I replied while moving to kneel next to one of the fallen guards. Do what you need to.

Once again, I didn’t actually feel control of my own body slip away. My hand simply moved by its own, reaching out to touch the fallen guard on the arm. Just as before, it felt disorienting.

The next thing I knew, there was… darkness. Right, he was unconscious, so his eyes were closed. And, as far as I could tell, he wasn’t really thinking about anything in particular. Or dreaming, if his race dreamed. I assumed they did. But in this case, there was just… nothing.

How do I, uh, get what I need? I was trying hard not to think about how weird it was to possess anyone, let alone someone that was unconscious. There was a part of me that thought I should have been cheering about the fact that I could now use the Seosten’s own trick against them. But mostly I just felt really awkward about invading someone’s privacy like this. Taking over his body, even if he was an enemy, felt really… icky. There was no other way for me to describe it.

Still, I forced myself past that. I was going to have to use every trick there was to make sure we all got out of this alive and unpossessed. Or, at least, unpossessed by bad guys. And now, I wasn’t just fighting to keep myself and my classmates safe. I had to worry about Tabbris too. She’d been hiding inside me this whole time, obviously secretly helping where she could. I owed her as much as I’d ever owed anyone. She saved me from enslavement. I wouldn’t forget that.

Shaking off those thoughts (which I was pretty sure she could hear), I focused on what was going on. Okay, so how do I–uh, you know, read the thoughts of someone who’s asleep?

The um, the same way you did b-before, the answer came. Just um, you know, uh, focus on what you wanna know. Think about it really hard, and it’ll move his thoughts that way.

So I did. Sitting there in the darkness and relative quiet (I could kind of hear the others whispering in the background, but it sounded like it was coming from a long way off for some reason), I focused on thinking about the layout of this base, or building, or whatever it was.

It was that thought that dragged up the single word answer to that particular question from the man’s mind. An answer that almost made me bail out reflexively as I blurted that single word.

Space station?! We’re on a fucking space station?!

That was the first thought that I’d pulled out of the man’s mind. As soon as I’d wondered about where we actually were, his slumbering brain had offered up the image of a massive complex floating somewhere in the middle of space. According to his memory, the place was fucking huge. The place looked like an enormous, roughly pill-shaped oval with two giant pyramids attached to it at their bases. The pyramids each constantly revolved around the main pill shape of the structure, moving very slowly so that, over the span of what I was guessing was their equivalent of a day, each pyramid would face the nearby star for their daytime, then rotate away from it and behind the main structure for their night, then back again for the next day.

The top half of the pyramids themselves were clear, with parks and trees and farms and stuff inside, and places where they were raising animals. There were even a couple streams and waterfalls in there. Water itself was brought through a couple portals at the head each stream from some other planet, which then terminated at the end of the stream in a few hidden reservoir-like tanks to store more water. When those tanks happened to be full, extra portals sent the water back where it came from. In the meantime, the water that flowed through the streams could be used by the animals that they had wandering through their artificial wilderness.

They weren’t just small wildernesses either. At its base, each of the pyramids’ upper halves, which contained the farms, ranches, forests, streams, and more (even some low hills), were about eighty miles across from one side to the other, and about half that tall to get to the top.

The lower half of the pyramids, meanwhile, were where all the housing and other more private things were. And the big oval-shaped base in the middle that each pyramid revolved around, that’s where we were. And it was where all the military stuff happened, where the science labs (like the room we appeared in), the docking bay, and the bridge were.

Okay, uh, hey, partner, I thought toward my companion, I’m gonna need your help again. You’ve got that perfect memory. Can you, like, pull up every memory about this whole place that we can manage and just remember all of it? I don’t know how it works, but if we can just grab every bit of information possible out of this guy’s head before we go, I’m pretty sure we’ll need it eventually.

I had the impression of the girl nodding. O-oh, yes! Just… umm, just a second. It’s like… um, flipping through a book. Speed reading. It’s like speed reading.

Over the next brief minute, dozens of images zipped through my mind. It was like watching a movie on extreme fast forward, all I could focus on were the occasional high points. The man had the equivalent of what we would call a husband, his mother had passed away a few years earlier, he really wanted to be a pilot but didn’t have the test scores necessary for it… and more and more facts just careened through my thoughts too quickly to keep track of.

Finally, just as I was starting to get a headache, Tabbris was done. She had everything she could get in the brief window that we had. Neither of us dared take any longer.

That time, the moment I had the urge to escape the man’s body, I could suddenly see again. I was back in my own body, blinking at the bright lights. To my right, I caught a glimpse of Sands jumping a bit as I abruptly appeared out of nowhere.

“Well?” Isaac prompted, standing beside his two teammates. “Did you, uh, get what we need?”

“Jesus, Isaac,” Jazz chastised, “give the girl a second, would you?” She seemed to remember only belatedly that they weren’t sure they could even trust me, and flushed a little bit before muttering under her breath, “It’s a new power and she just possessed someone. Ease up.”

“Hey, sure, no problem,” the boy retorted sarcastically. “Not like we’re in a hurry or anything. Should I get the picnic basket and a few lawn chairs so we can spread out right here and have a nice, relaxing meal while we wait for all the bad guys to dogpile us?”

“Enough.” That was Gordon, the somber boy speaking that single word without taking his eyes off of me. He watched silently after that, clearly waiting for me to explain what I’d found out.

Still, I hesitated briefly before turning. “I’ll explain on the way, we need to keep moving. Isaac’s right, if we stay here much longer, they’ll be right on top of us. Trust me, we don’t want that.”

So we kept running. And as we ran, I quickly explained what I had found out from the guard.

“Wait, wait.” Jazz slowed, looking over at me with wide eyes. “We’re on a space station?! As in, there’s nowhere to escape to? It’s either stay here until they find us, or go die in the vacuum?”

Before I could answer, Sands spoke up. “No, there is a way off, remember? She said there was a docking bay. That means there’s spaceships, right?”

“Do you know how to fly a spaceship?” Isaac demanded. “Cuz I can’t even drive a stick shift. Plus, I seem to have left my ‘Piloting A Sowstin Spaceship For Dummies’ book in my other pants.” The boy was lagging back a little, running behind us. He sounded a bit out of breath.

“First of all,”  I interrupted before the two could argue any more,  “it’s Seosten.” I carefully sounded it out a second time. “Say-oh-stun. And secondly, we’re not going to the hangar bay. We might be able to work out the whole ship thing, but honestly, there’s a better way. The portals in the pyramids, the ones that bring in the water from that planet. They’re guarded, but we can deal with that. We go through the portals, deal with anything on the other side, and get out onto the planet. Then we’ll go from there.”

Roxa, jogging by her cougar, asked, “So we just break into their little park thing and head straight for the river?”

While I nodded, Gordon spoke up, his voice as calm as ever. “How far do we need to go? You said the station was almost a hundred miles across. So how far are we from getting into this park area? And how do we know that we’re not about to run straight into a guard barracks or something like that?”

“Yeah,” Isaac chipped in. “Can we take an elevator or something to get there? They’ve gotta have quicker ways to get around than just walking everywhere, don’t they? In all those space shows, they’ve always got elevators or teleportation systems or something like that.”

“Yes,” I replied to the second boy first, “they’ve got elevators. But we can’t use them. These back tunnels aren’t under constant observation, but the elevators are. So are the transport portals and every other thing they use to move quickly. Our only chance of getting there without being spotted are these tunnels. They’re basically maintenance shafts. Those guys are gonna be looking for us in them, but there’s hundreds of miles of these corridors wrapping all the way around the station on every level, and they’ve only got so many guards to send. Plus, they don’t want to split up too much, because they know we’ll plow right through any group that’s too small. They’ll stick together in big enough groups to slow us down long enough for the rest to jump in.”

Isaac heaved a long, heavy sigh. “So basically you’re saying we have to walk there.”

“No, idiot,” Jazz retorted, “she’s saying we have to run there. So save your breath and keep moving.”

Roxa shook her head. “Too bad you guys don’t all have werewolf powers, that’d help a lot.”

From where she was jogging, Jazz gave the other girl a thumbs. “Oh, right, saw you go all part wolfy back there in the big room. How many of the furry guys did you have to kill to get the full werewolf shifting?”

Somehow containing most of her reaction, Roxa replied flatly, “You’d be surprised.”

“And is that where you’ve been, hunting werewolves?” Jazz pressed. “And what does that have to do with Chambers over there? What–”

“Later,” Roxa managed to interject with a slightly pained expression. I knew she wanted to tell them more, but she simply shook her head. “No time now. I…” For a moment, I thought she was going to say something else about it. In the end, however, the girl just changed the subject. “I wish you could all ride Gidget, but the board’s only so big.”

“Hold on.” I stumbled a bit to a stop. “Roxa, can Gidget carry two people in her board form that aren’t you if you ask her to?”

“Uh.” The girl looked at the cougar, then back to me and shrugged. “Sure, if I ask her to. Why?”

I smiled a little bit. “If you go full wolf, you can run a lot longer and a lot faster. Then two of these guys can ride Gidget.”

“That still leaves three of us,” Gordon pointed out. “You and two more. What are you planning to do about that?”

Slowly, my smile widened.

*******

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” Sands cried out.

“Oh my God, we’re gonna die, we are going to die, we are going to diiiiiiieee!” Jazz chimed in.

Big babies. You’d think they’d never ridden bareback on a five foot tall (at the head) lioness that was running about forty miles an hour down an alien corridor before.

It must have made a rather eclectic sight. One massive lioness carrying two teenage girls, one armed with a mace and the other a falchion, a wolf, and a hoverboard with two teenage boys riding it, one of them holding a flail while the other had what looked like a black powder tommy gun. All of which were careening through the corridors, basically running over and through anything that got in the way.

I knew the route from the man’s mind, and going the way that we were, it wasn’t too long before one of the entrances to the ‘park’ (or whatever they called it) loomed ahead of us. From the memories that I had taken from the guard back there, I knew that it was actually a hidden maintenance entrance built behind a large tree, with a boulder blocking the other side from view.

Then we were there. A security panel sat beside the heavy metal door, but it clicked green as we approached, and there was a hiss of escaping air as the hatch began to slide open. That had to be my security-breaking power kicking in. Super useful, that was.

Slowing down as the door opened, I let Jazz and Sands slip off my back. I wanted to take the time to change back, but… we didn’t have it. We had to get the hell out of here. As the boys stepped down off of the hoverboard to let Gidget shift back into her cougar form, we slowly crept forward. I went first, stepping through the doorway.

It was like going outside into an actual park. There was even a slight breeze as we moved out of the maintenance corridor and into the wilderness area. Dirt, grass, trees, rocks, and more surrounded us. We could hear birds chirping. It was a freaking park right in the middle of a space station.

“Okay,” Sands whispered once we were all through the door. “Flick said we just have to follow this treeline about a hundred yards, then take a right to hit the stream. Then we can find the portal and get the hell out of here.”

I was about to make a growl of affirmation, when the door behind us suddenly whooshed shut and gave a definitive click. My head jerked that way, before snapping back to the front at the sound of a lot of energy weapons powering up.

Guards. Soldiers. A lot of them. Too many. Thirty, at least, and that was just at first count. All of them with their weapons raised and pointed at us. And right in the middle of them stood the one figure I really didn’t want to see: Radueriel.

They’d known where we were going. They’d beaten us there. He was ready for us. He had been waiting for us to show up.

We were so fucking dead.

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42 comments

  1. Well. That kind of… could’ve gone better, huh? I mean, it definitely could’ve gone worse, at least everyone’s still alive. But it could’ve gone better too. Yeah, I think we’re gonna have to go ahead and grade this particular situation as ‘less than optimal.’

    Anyhow, thanks for reading, you guys! Seriously. I know a lot of you really, really want to get to the point where Flick and company can actually talk about what’s going on, and I promise it is coming. But if they had just easily walked out of this place within the first chapter or two, it really would have lost something, I think. But rest assured, the chance to discuss things will be coming up. Just bear with me. 😀

    And if you HAVE been bearing with me through this story, why not give a quick clickity click on the link right here to vote for this story on Top Web Fiction? I think that would be just lovely.

    Tags for this chapter are: Felicity Chambers, Flick, Gidget, God Damn Competent Bad Guys Screwing Up Perfectly Good Escape Plans., Gordon Kuhn, Isaac Acosta, It’d Be Much More Conducive To Figuring Out Isaac Is A Spy If He’d Be Good Enough To Follow The ‘Accidentally Reveals That He Knows Too Much’ Trope, Jazz Rhodes, Just Remember – If You Kill Me For The Cliffhanger – It’ll Never Get Resolved., Radueriel, Roxa Pittman, Sands, Tabbris

    Liked by 2 people

  2. And Flick just gave away her lion power. And possibly the security breaking power (although Jophiel and Elisabet may have figured that one out back in arc 22). Fuck.

    Also, I found out that the word Seosten is pronounced differently than I’ve been imagining.

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    1. To be fair, with the lion thing, as far as they were concerned, the longer it took, the more chance of getting caught. Traveling literally miles quick enough to escape felt like a good enough reason to use it.

      And how were you pronouncing Seosten?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I got that. I’m not really criticizing anything, just expressing dismay. It’s understandable, but unfortunate. Showing it to Isaac already meant there was a good chance it would get out.

        I was pronouncing it SEE-oh-sten instead of Say-oh-stun.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Funny. I pronounced it se-o-sten; se like in SEntence, short o like in on, sten more like the stan in Stanley.
        Might have to do with me being german, though. We love consonants and prefer short vowels. And I am pretty sure I just broke just about EVERY rule about english pronounciation there is… xD

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      3. I pronounced it sews-(a)-ton. Like an insane seamstress, going so fast she doesn’t pronounce the ‘a’ >.>

        Got it from the Korean vowel ㅓ which is romanized to ‘eo’.

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      1. Oh, but I do like the real pronunciation better. It sounds more…high-brow, less of an American drawl. (Not an insult, I’m American. It’s just how we talk.)

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  3. >Spacestation?! We’re on a fucking space station?!
    Huh. And here I was expecting a planet.

    >“First of all,”  I interrupted before the two could argue any more,  “it’s Seosten.” I carefully sounded it out a second time. “Say-oh-stun.
    This is rather different to how I’ve been pronouncing it…Meh.

    >“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” Sands cried out.
    “Oh my God, we’re gonna die, we are going to die, we are going to diiiiiiieee!” Jazz chimed in.
    Big babies. You’d think they’d never ridden bareback on a five foot tall (at the head) lioness that was running about forty miles an hour down an alien corridor before.
    Pffft. Wimps. XD

    >They’d known where we were going. They’d beaten us there. He was ready for us. He had been waiting for us to show up.
    We were so fucking dead.

    Like was mentioned earlier Flick, death is the more preferable of the bad options here, since then you won’t be experimented on and/or used as meatsuits. Curious as to how they will squeeze their way out of this one. Orrrr… will they?

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    1. My guess is that Raduriel either doesn’t want them dead for some reason, or tries to possess Gordon and screws himself over letting them get away. That second one is bound to happen at some point on this field trip at least.

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      1. We already know he doesn’t want them dead. That’s why they were sent out to Seosten space in the first place. Radueriel and the Seosten in general want Flick alive so they can figure out why she can’t be possessed, and the rest alive so they have more Heretic meatsuits for their soldiers to pilot.

        That said, I’m pretty confident that some Seosten will try to possess Gordon at some point, and I can’t wait to see what happens when they do.

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      2. I’m pretty sure Radueriel won’t be the one to try to possess Gordon only because of how lame and anticlimactic it would be for the guy shaping up to be the main villain of their time in Seosten space to go out like that.

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    2. Huh. And here I was expecting a planet.

      I figured everyone was, that’s what made subverting that fun.

      Pffft. Wimps. XD

      I know, right?

      Like was mentioned earlier Flick, death is the more preferable of the bad options here, since then you won’t be experimented on and/or used as meatsuits. Curious as to how they will squeeze their way out of this one. Orrrr… will they?

      Good question.

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      1. “I figured everyone was, that’s what made subverting that fun.”

        And I, for some reason was imagining Seosten space as a vast emptiness, full of stars, non-inhabitable planets, and Seosten space stations :D. Never even considered the possibility that they’d be on a planet 😀

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  4. If Flick and co need to escape at all costs, why weren’t they killing more guards? I mean, the level-up ability they got is pretty much their greatest and possibly only advantage, so why are they being non-lethal in cases where they could be lethal?

    If a couple of them had managed to kill enough guards while running around, they might have become too powerful for the typical guard weapons to overwhelm, so what they should have been searching for wasn’t the quickest way to get out, but for side-quests before the BBEG fight.

    Because there’s always a BBEG fight in the Death Star, and if you can level-up by visiting a few residential areas and killing small groups of guards or, even better, unarmed technicians and civilians, that is what you should be doing.

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    1. There’s NO WAY any of them (except Isaac) would be willing to kill unarmed technicians and civilians. We have laws about killing noncombatants that even the military (mostly) follows, and these are just kids in training who are used to fighting monsters actively trying to hurt others. And yes, I know the technicians and civilians are complicit in the Seosten war machine, but that still doesn’t make them valid targets.

      That said, I totally agree that they should have been killing the guards. Unfortunately (in this case only), except for Isaac none of them like killing. Flick might be thinking how guards are just trying to protect a place, and that doesn’t make them evil. Sands…actually, Sands might be fine with it, but she’s been trying to work on her “killing Alters” thing, and she’s following Flick’s lead. Jazz probably still thinks more like a civilian that a Heretic at this point.

      Although…they definitely were killing guards when it made sense in the original fight, and we don’t see much of what they’re doing here. Maybe they killed other guards they encountered? They definitely weren’t going to go rampage through the guards for fear of getting bogged down and overwhelmed by superior numbers.

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      1. well, maybe not for the “enlightened” crossroad students, but for the other, a civilian stranger is a stranger, first and foremost… the only difference is they would kill the soldering strangers first then the civilian, as a matter of efficiency… and most likely they didn’t on the way there because neither Flick, Roxa nor Sand did and they probably assumed it was because they didn’t have to to waste on that… (Flick assuming the leader cape in this whole run, the others follow her lead)

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      2. Actually, I’m reasonably sure that basically anyone on a military installation is a legal target under Geneva.

        Technicians and the like certainly are.

        Not stopping to kill more makes perfect sense, going non-lethal is odd from a purely tactical perspective, much less with Crossroads dogma rather than Geneva being the RoE for most people here.

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      3. Alex: Huh, didn’t know that about the Geneva Conventions, but it makes sense. And yeah, I agree that limiting themselves to nonlethal would be dumb, and wasting time hunting down and killing more would also be dumb. Fortunately they seem to be doing the smart thing. (I’m not actually disagreeing with you here.)

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    2. Let me parse this: You want Flick and Co., who are mostly of the mindset that mindless mass slaughter of Alters (which technically includes Seosten) is evil and BS, to go around killing untrained and (possibly) uninvolved noncombatants?

      You do not understand their characterizations very well do you?

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      1. This is war. Flick wants Alters treated as people … and guess what, treating Alters as people is not remotely exclusive with killing enemy Alter soldiers on sight.

        With rather few exceptions anyone on a military base is OK to target specifically, and one of the big exceptions (medical personnel) gets removed given they’re involved in vivisection and live experimentation.

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      2. Alex, you didn’t address landcollector’s point. Flick doesn’t like to kill. She’s ruthless in a fight, and eager to kill people who have deliberately harmed her or her loved ones, but in generel tends to avoid with people she doesn’t hate if she can. She was uncomfortable with possessing the unconscious guy in this chapter, let alone kill him. She didn’t even kill the guards Charmeine had on her. She probably would have if Tabbris hadn’t been there, but she was clearly hesitant.

        Killing them might be smarter, but it would also be out of character.

        I’m not as sure about the others (save Isaac), but the fact that they didn’t kill the unconscious guards seems like a pretty clear indication that they generally lean the same way.

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      3. I was reading landcollector as saying that killing the grunts would be morally unacceptable, not just that Flick and co weren’t comfortable going for kills there.

        Given that Seosten possession is high octane nightmare fuel in basically every possible use bar Flick/Tabbris or Elizabet/Jophiel style symbiosis being squeamish about using it offensively even in life or death situations makes sense.

        Now I agree that mass slaughter thing would be OOC and tactically insane to boot, but NOT going for the kill on soldiers in their path actually feels a bit off. Flick’s not doing it because of Tabbris, but none of the others have that reason.

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      4. Sands, Roxa, and Gordon all see Alters as people, and the fact that they didn’t kill those guys seems to indicate that they aren’t desensitized to killing enough to be willing to kill someone who can’t fight back.

        Isaac is either going with the flow, or doesn’t want to kill them if he can’t take his time.

        Jazz has been freaking out the most of anyone, I would guess that killing the guys didn’t occur to her in the midst of the situation she’s in. There’s a lot going on.

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  5. “Seriously. I know a lot of you really, really want to get to the point where Flick and company can actually talk about what’s going on, and I promise it is coming.”

    Yes, yes, we know that first, they need to be almost captured, so that Isaac would give himself away trying to save his skin…

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    1. Nah, I think there’s more narrative mileage from Isaac continuing with the group. That we we get to cringe every time he learns something important.

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  6. You’re laying it on a bit thick there with the intentionally-getting-words-wrong, Isaac. It’s being drowned out by the rest of your general dickishness, but I’d be willing to bet that if Flick had time to think, you’d be looking mighty suspicious.

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  7. This is very late but I think I’m gonna need a picture of this station because wouldn’t gravity shift at some point during their run and also wouldn’t they approach the park from below the ground (meaning they’d need stairs/ladders or the path’d need to incline upwards)?

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