Worm Genesis

Chapter 1

LordSunhawk

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Chapter One
It had once been a rather lovely summer nature camp right at the foot of the Longfellow Mountains. The low rolling mountains could be seen just to the west, and the trees were mostly quite lovely this time of year. There had been a rather large lake at the center of the camp, surrounded by the various main buildings of the complex with the campers cabins circling the lake at a somewhat higher elevation.

The lake was a muddy hole now, slowly refilling as the small river that fed it poured in. There were craters and scorch marks on the ground, the small snack stand that sold candy and such to campers was a blackened, charred wreck and the main hall was missing most of the roof and an entire wall. The administrative building had burned to the foundation, taking the camp records with it. Fire crews were still dealing with hotspots as a brushfire had been ignited in the forest opposite the main hall, evidently by the same thing that had destroyed the admin building judging by the presumed angles.

It looked like a warzone. Like something out of the First World War inflicted on a small nature camp in Maine. Miraculously, none of the campers had died, nor had any of the counselors. A few of the camp employees had been killed and more had been injured. But that wasn’t important.

What was important was that the Slaughterhouse Nine had evidently met the proverbial bigger fish, and that bigger fish had decided it really didn’t like them. There was so little left of them that it had taken Armsmaster several hours with a high powered tinkertech scanner to find DNA evidence proving that they all were, in fact, dead. A scorched bit of flesh here, a fragment of bone there, the crushed chassis of Mannequin. A crushed van containing the remains of Dr William Manton was parked in the employee parking lot, although all of the cars there had been crushed as well, a data point that Colin was attempting to decipher.

And one other thing that stood out like a sore thumb. A cylindrical device that, if the readouts on it were to be believed, contained Bonesaw in stasis while ‘decontamination and deprogramming’ took place. Colin had no idea how it worked, it had none of the obvious signs of tinkertech yet was clearly far in advance of anything ordinary technology could have produced. He had a feeling that the convenient user’s manual that had been left with it would answer how to operate it, but the manual itself raised even more questions. You couldn’t make a manual for tinkertech, for one thing.

For another, the apparent corporate logo on it corresponded to absolutely nothing that he was familiar with. He’d sent it to Dragon to see if she could find anything but so far she was coming up completely blank.

Several hours earlier PRT ENE had received reports of explosions and bright lights from the camp, then silence. Armsmaster had been dispatched to investigate the situation and while en-route had received word that a 911 call had been received from within the camp… that the Slaughterhouse Nine had been there and ‘it killed them!’ repeated over and over again by the young caller who seemed to be in a state of ecstatic shock.

As he rode northwest the picture cleared up somewhat as emergency services arrived. The Slaughterhouse Nine had indeed attacked the camp and appeared to be about to start their typical sadistic ‘games’ with the campers when, somehow, Burnscar and Shatterbird had both been killed simultaneously by ‘them’, followed moments later by the Siberian vanishing as ‘it’ appeared in the parking lot, then Hatchetface and Jack Slash were both killed by ‘it’ with an ‘awesome punch’, Crawler was ‘obliterated’ along with the lake by ‘it’ using a giant ‘death ray’, Mannequin was ‘blasted’ by ‘them’, and Bonesaw was captured by ‘it’ and stuffed in the stasis chamber, with the campers instructed not to touch it. By ‘it’.

What ‘it’ and ‘them’ were was incoherent, with explanations ranging from a giant robot to fighter jets to giant robot fighter jets… Armsmaster had given up trying to make sense of that, simply filing it all away. There had, however, been one other thing. A piece of an unidentified metal that appeared to be half of a highly complex electromagnetic ‘key’ that was designed to be slotted into the other half of the ‘key’ to form a whole. And a note, that the bearer of the other half of the key would report to the PRT ENE HQ to collect the bounty on the Nine in the coming weeks.

The note had been written on a piece of camp stationary with a Sharpie, evidently with the non-dominant hand of the writer considering how shaky the writing was, which didn’t match the nearly military professionalism of the content of the note. It read like a hand-written version of the memos that Colin regularly read as part of his duties as the leader of the Protectorate, the word choice was that of an experienced trooper with a strong military background.

According to the campers, ‘it’ and ‘them’ had disappeared in a ‘flash’, leaving the chamber, the ‘key’ and the note behind. And no, none of them had seen where ‘it’ and ‘they’ had gone.

One quite likely possibility was that one of the campers had somehow triggered in response to the arrival of the Slaughterhouse Nine, a powerful enough trigger that they were able to take the Nine down without training or experience. None of the kids or surviving staff were acting like they’d just triggered, but considering the euphoric situation and the emotional whiplash they’d all experienced it might just be someone hiding in plain sight.

At least whichever cape had pulled this off was kind enough to include what Colin was certain was their cape name on the note. Although for the life of him he had no idea what ‘SDF-1’ meant.
 

Thors_Alumni

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good so far, I love Macross and its secondary canon timeline Robotech. Linn Minmay can die in a fire somewhere for all I care.
 

Yacovo

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Huh, Space based fiction always has interesting chemistry with the primarily Earth Bound Worm series.
 

LordsFire

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Decent hook. It suffers a bit for being 'talking about what happened after the fact' in retrospect, but sometimes that is legitimately the best reasonably possible way to establish a premise in a smaller word count.

Will this actually go anywhere?
 
Chapter Two

LordSunhawk

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Chapter Two

The bus ride back to Brockton Bay was the first chance I had to actually relax since this entire mess started. The fight had been bad enough, and quite honestly I’d been winging it the entire time. Whatever possessed me to actually punch Hatchetface and Jack Slash rather than shooting them with something… I knew that I had flailed around like an idiot, but thankfully had managed to only kill villains, which makes me a hero I guess.

But I still had been winging it on pure instincts. My crew helped in that regard, and isn’t it weird that I already feel comfortable with the fact that I have a crew? Captain Gloval was a godsend, since he actually knew what he was doing and had taken over after my first few flailing attacks. He was quite insistent that I had to learn all of this myself, though.

So now that I had the chance, and with the other kids falling asleep around me on the bus, I joined them. And woke up in the hangar bay of Prometheus.

Yes, I was inside of myself, as myself. If you think about it too hard you might go a bit mad. But it made perfect sense to me. I was the SDF-1, so why shouldn’t I be able to walk around the SDF-1? I was still operating on instinct as I did so, but they seemed to be good.

A few hours of subjective time later and I was really wondering what I’d gotten myself into. It seemed like such a good idea when Captain Gloval had suggested it that I’d agreed immediately. It didn’t seem like such a great idea standing here in an exercise uniform facing a distinctly unimpressed DI.

Well, I won’t bore you with all the details of the training, so imagine a training montage straight out of Rocky or that Earth Aleph Mulan movie. If anybody tells you that you can’t get sore or tired while ‘dreaming’? Let me tell you that they are lying liars who lie. Then again I wasn’t, precisely, dreaming. Objectively only a few hours passed while the bus bumped along to Brockton Bay, subjectively though? Years. Years spent training, starting from Boot Camp all the way through standard United Earth Defense Force Command Officer’s School. With the final exams there set by Captain Gloval and Breetai themselves. I now knew how to use any personal weapon in the UEDF arsenal, pilot a Veritech, almost as much about all of my internal systems as my engineers, and had been taught tactics, strategy, logistics, administration, communication, and command skills by the various experts in those fields I had on board.

I was no longer merely the ship, a passive vessel being crewed by the best damn crew in the United Earth Defense Force. Well, that, the Robotech Defense Force, the Robotech Expeditionary Force - how that worked I’m still not sure since the SDF-1 wasn’t around for that - and even the Zentraedi were all mixed in somehow, I even had a few Invid on board which was a bit freaky but according to them the Regess had grabbed whatever she could for this. Regardless, I was now a fully qualified officer of the United Earth Defense Force. And the ship. Mostly the ship. But still, I now knew what I was doing myself! Now, is there really a difference between knowing these things for myself and just letting my crew handle it all? Yes and no. From the outside it might not look like there is a difference, since I have, as the ship, all the skills and such of my crew. But from the inside? My reactions are just that little bit faster, that little bit more certain. I am working with my crew, rather than my crew working and me just following along like a moron.

Still, I had to concentrate to make sure I moved like the other teens and not like an officer in the RDF, that I didn’t stand out. Because I was certain that the PRT officers driving the bus and escorting us were on the lookout for things like that. My crew was pretty insistent that I wasn’t a parahuman, after all, and considering that one member of my crew claimed to be the ‘spirit’ of the ‘shard’ that was supposed to be mine I guess I could believe that. Having an Invid on board who told me that I was the result of my putative ‘shard’ and the Regess collaborating was a further indication that I wasn’t, in fact, a parahuman. I could still be a hero, of course.

But regardless I didn’t want the PRT to know about me until I chose to reveal myself to them, and I certainly didn’t want them to be able to identify me by my real name. I might wish to be considered a hero, indeed I wanted to be a hero and yes I did know the difference, but I didn’t much trust the PRT. Probably because my dad didn’t much like them, I guess. Mayor Luan certainly didn’t have much good to say about the situation, pointing out that the ultimate cause for all of the problems in the city was the economy, that the reason the economy was so shitty was a mix of the Boat Graveyard and, especially, the tanker blocking the main ship channel, and that it would have been far cheaper to scrap the tanker in place and clean up the Boat Graveyard than just the likely maintenance budget on the Rig. That’s not even accounting for the profit to be had in scrap metal either. Blow torches and crane barges were cheap, relatively speaking. But no, from what I’ve been able to figure out nothing got done due to everybody arguing that it was somebody else's responsibility, combined with a congenital refusal to actually do something useful.

Dad isn’t at the drop off point for the bus, but I honestly hadn’t expected him to be there. He was far too busy at work and I didn’t blame him for it. Somehow he has to put food on the table and pay the bills and he has far more people than just me who rely on him. So I take a city bus instead. There’s the usual riff-raff, and I think only the fact that none of the various gangbangers on the bus bother with ‘kids’ keeps them from bothering me. Lucky for them either way, though, because I’d have to go along with their demands unless I wanted to out myself.

The training was valuable for that sort of thing, being able to keep the mission in mind and not just seeking the path of least resistance. If the plans that Mayor Luan, Captain Gloval and the rest were working on bore fruit then the gang problem would eventually evaporate as the leaders sought greener pastures. On that note, I’m pretty sure everybody would be jealous of me. I don’t need a phone, I’ve got a radio room.

I get off the bus and start walking the rest of the way home. My lookouts and ELINT gear aren’t picking up any surveillance so I launch a Cat’s Eye Recon bird, keeping it at the miniature size in order to minimize the chance of detection. I have it performing a patrol orbit around me, monitoring the area. Not that there was any gang problem in this neighborhood, it was too rich for the small-timers and too poor for the major gangs, and not nearly densely populated enough to support any of its own. A sad state of affairs, to be honest, but it was home.

It was a short walk home, I dropped off a number of marines on the way, along with a few destroids to provide security. I kept them miniaturized as well, no sense scaring the neighbors with patrolling Spartans and such is there? I had the Cat’s Eye Recon circling the neighborhood, although I was careful to keep the epicenter of its orbit well away from my actual house. If it were picked up I wouldn’t want to make it easy to deduce where I lived, after all.

I carefully skipped the broken step and went inside, dropping my backpack off and heading straight to the kitchen. I was hungry, after all. A quick check through the cabinets showed that dad hadn’t gone grocery shopping since I left, but there were still enough bits and bobs that, with the training I’d had in the mess hall, I was able to put together something tasty. Maybe the quartermasters would stop kvetching for a few hours about supplies.

OK, and maybe pigs will grow wings and fly, Kaiser will join the Anti-Defamation League, and Minmei will sing off-key. Here at home I was able to indulge a bit and started humming some of the song’s I’d come to enjoy during my training. That reminds me, Bad Canary and Minmei need to meet, it would be epic. I make a mental note to make sure that happens.
 

Simonbob

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Ok, Shipgirl Taylor, SDF-1 Shipgirl Taylor.

Who can pull out her supporting units, and use them, both auto, and hop in one and pilot it.

There's pretty much nothing short an Endbringer that can do more than irritate her, on the physical level. And the tech, most of it is actual tech.

I'm kinda waiting until she pulls a Monster out.

 

Thors_Alumni

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Those things might actually be able to kill Behemoth and probably the Leviathan. The Simurgh will be taken out by Veritechs..
 

ShadowArxxy

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Those things might actually be able to kill Behemoth and probably the Leviathan. The Simurgh will be taken out by Veritechs..
Not really. They're impressive looking, but they're basically just conventional artillery pieces with 'plot bonus' firepower.
 

Simonbob

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Not really. They're impressive looking, but they're basically just conventional artillery pieces with 'plot bonus' firepower.
Yeah. Not even the main gun of the SDF-1 should kill an Endbringer. Anything else, up to and including cities, would get one-shotted.

The reflex cannon is kinda nuts.
 
Chapter Three

LordSunhawk

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A/N - probably not the strongest, I'm not very good at writing this sort of thing but I'm giving the scene I have in my head a try. Not sure if I wrote it as well as many others who are better at things like 'dialogue' could do.

Chapter Three

The discussion with my dad had been difficult, not that I expected it to be easy at all. At least he had snapped out of the funk he’d been in since mom died, but I’d honestly would have preferred it if he’d been a bit less stubborn. It took hours, and my discovering that I could pull him into my mindscape to meet with Captain Gloval and Commander Hayes before he relented on his insistence on immediately contacting the PRT and signing me up for the Wards. It was rather touching, but still. I know he looked at me and still saw his little girl, not the UEDF Officer and, well, ship, that I now was, and he wanted to keep me safe.

Ahhh well, such is life. But I’d rather have my dad back than be comfortable with the consequences of him being back so there’s that at least. On that note, I really need to go shopping for actual food, oatmeal and Chef Boyardee just won’t cut it, I need actual supplies. Although the look on dad’s face when I ate the can…

He’d finally calmed down, and now I was off to my best friend’s house. Her dad was a lawyer, so he’d hopefully be able to help me with any legal issues arising from my situation. If nothing else he’d know how to find out the legal information my own on board team of lawyers would need to reconcile UE law with current Earth Bet US law. Besides, I’d not spoken with Emma for a while and couldn’t wait to reconnect.

I had been refreshing my Cat’s Eye Recon flights ever since I got home, and had a fresh one up in the air. I decided to leave it patrolling the neighborhood while I launched a VEF-1 to provide recon support; using a VF-1D frame gave me most of the same sensor capability as the Cat’s Eye Recon would, after all. I knew Emma’s parents would be at work, so I was rather surprised when the VEF-1 showed two people in her house.

I slowed down a bit, to give the recon bird a chance to gather more information and to bring up my own on board sensors. All of my lookouts were on high alert and I had a full deck load strike of Valkyries spotted and ready to launch at a moment’s notice. My slowing down also allowed the miniaturized MBR-04-Mk VI Tomahawk and SDR-04-Mk XII Spartan destroids to discreetly deploy and form an escort ring around me in case there was trouble.

I wasn’t under observation, so my movements became crisper, less the teenager and more the soldier. I couldn’t afford any delayed reactions. I relaxed slightly when I saw Emma coming out of the house, removing several undesirable scenarios from play, then tensed up even more when I registered how she was walking and the expression on her face.

This was an Emma who was struggling to hold herself together and present a brave front. My medical staff immediately gave a preliminary diagnosis of potential traumatic stress.

“What are…” she started, obviously, at least to me, doing her best to sneer and be ‘mean’, but I could hear the quaver in her voice. One of the benefits of being me now, I guess. So I didn’t give her a chance to finish, not slowing down at all, catching her around the shoulder, and marching her inside.

“Not out here, Ems.” I said, keeping my voice light. As I practically frogmarched her in the door, my VEF-1 took the opportunity to enter through an open window, coming up behind a dark skinned African-American girl about our age who had a lean, athletic, and hungry look. I had the Valkyrie switch to battloid mode and aim the GU-11 gunpod at the back of the girl’s head as a precaution, since one of the possibilities here was that my friend was being Mastered and this could be the Master in question.

Ems, bless her, immediately tried to retake control of the situation. I guess in the past I’d always let her take the lead in these sorts of things, but not here, not with that expression on her face and that look in her eyes.

“I don’t want…” she started, and I had a finger to her lips before any more words could escape.

“Who is she?” I asked, my eyes now locked on to the black-skinned girl.

Ems didn’t answer for a moment, and the other girl sneered at me, stalking forward in a rather poor imitation of one of my CQC instructors. “I’m the predator, little prey, she told you to…”

I couldn’t help it, I started laughing. Really, her? A predator? She certainly was trying real hard, but Sergeant Herrise would tear her head off and use it for a bowling ball with just a curl of her lip. I kept on walking towards her, no hurry here, and the other girl actually dropped into a vague approximation of a proper fighting stance.

“Used to fighting at range, from ambush.” I commented as I closed. “Shift your rear foot two inches to the left and shift your weight back if you want to use that stance. And you're dropping your shoulder, stop telegraphing what you are planning on doing.” I kept my tone clinical now, channeling the Sergeant who’d kicked my ass up one side of the mat, down the other, ground me down into roadkill, ran me over with a few tanks, then forced me back to my feet to do it all over again.

That confused her, and Ems was coming up behind me. “Taylor, I…” they were both in range. Excellent. Left hand striking forward, nothing but wrist, right hand striking back, nothing but wrist. A little mental twist, and…

We were no longer in the Barnes’ living room, but rather on the hangar deck of the Prometheus. I was no longer wearing jeans and a t-shirt, but rather my working uniform, and both Emma and this stranger looked utterly flummoxed.

“Sergeant, take our wannabe predator to the training area and see what she’s got, if she’s a threat you know what to do, otherwise I want an evaluation of her. Ems, with me.” I slipped easily into ‘command voice’.

“What did…” the other girl started.

“Welcome aboard the SDF-1.” I said coldly. “I am going to be talking to my sister in my stateroom, and if I don’t like what I hear from her about you, I have plenty of space in the brig, and my Marines haven’t gotten to shoot anybody for far too long. Give me an excuse, please.”

OK, I admit it, she rubbed me the wrong way, but that could simply be a case of two strong personalities clashing and we’d eventually learn to get along. Simply lashing out based on first impressions was something I’d had ground out of me in Basic.

I was not expecting Ems to suddenly start sobbing and practically collapse against me. I easily caught her, of course, but I was morally certain that every single crewmember who saw this was going to compare this to some of Minmei’s antics with Rick. Lovely. Now what do I do?
 

LordSunhawk

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Honestly, at this point Sophia hasn't done anything even half as bad as many of Taylor's own crew, especially the Zentraedi members. This will definitely color her response to her!
 
Chapter Four

LordSunhawk

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Chapter Four

By the time I got Emma to the hospital I had come to several conclusions. One, Uncle Alan needed to be informed that Emma had managed to fake being alright. Two, the ABB was going down; nobody attacks my sister like that and gets away with it. And third, Sophia may be an unpleasantly aggressive bitch with a warped viewpoint of things, but honesty compelled me to accept that all of my former Zentraedi crewmembers, even Miriya, were just as warped and fucked up at some point.

So I had given Sophia a choice. Her ass was getting kicked either way. But option one was to have her ass kicked in basic training and come out the other side as somebody with her head screwed on straight and worthy of the title ‘hero’, while option two was just leaving her for Panacea to heal if she chose to. It was amazing how quick the tough girl act disappeared when she realized that I was serious about stomping on her with a Monster.

So I had Emma in my medical bay, Sophia getting stomped flat then peeled off the ground to get stomped again by a mix of human and Zentraedi trainers, and time on my hands. I was keeping the internal compression high so I could hopefully help Emma before anybody got home, so that meant I had time to kill.

So I spent a great deal of highly productive time smoking cigars and sipping brandy with Captain Gloval and Breetai, discussing strategy and tactics while my ELINT staff shamelessly abused the internet connection at the Barnes house for ‘research’. I’m not an ELINT expert, I have no clue how they overcame the time compression barrier to pull off whatever black magic they pulled off. They tried to explain, and I quickly agreed with Captain Gloval and Breetai that this was not something that command staff really needed to know.

I also spent time in the sims, and I am very proud to report that I managed to actually land a glancing hit on both Max and Miriya. It didn’t penetrate, and I got comprehensively annihilated moments later for my trouble, but it was better than I’d ever managed before. So go me!

I have been reliably informed that my talents do not extend to impromptu cheerleading routines. But it did make Emma laugh, the first real laugh out of her since she came on board, so that’s a good thing. According to the reports she was suffering from severe PTSS, and had been seconds away from being raped when Sophia as Shadow Stalker had driven off the ABB thugs.

I may have let slip to Sergeant Herrise that I thought Sophia needed her ‘special’ attention. Hey, you show your displeasure your way, I show it mine, and all the training reports are showing that Sophia is not nearly as bad as she had been. All of the idiotic ‘predator’ ideation was being broken down and replaced with a much healthier mindset of an actual modern warrior. I was a bit worried about what QA informed me was her ‘shard’ influencing her, but evidently QA was able to intimidate that shard almost as much as Sergeant Herrise was able to intimidate Sophia, so I had some hopes in that regard.

After about six months of subjective time, and about an hour objectively since I could compress things quite as much with others on board as I could alone, it was time to release my ‘guests’. Emma was in much better shape, and even Sophia had managed to graduate Basic and AIT and would be starting on Pilot training the next time I brought her on board. Once the attitude and stupidity was ground out of her, she wasn’t nearly as unpleasant a person as I’d first thought. QA had kicked Sophia’s shard a few extra times for being excessively bitchy as well, which helped.

And just in time too, my VEF-1 was reporting that Uncle Alan was almost home, with Aunt Zoe a few minutes behind him. This was not going to be a fun conversation.

I am not going to reveal the details of this conversation. There was crying, yelling, hugging, and Aunt Zoe’s amazing meatloaf involved. I did have to bring everybody on board to prove that I was indeed what I said I was.

But that’s behind me now. There’s a certain gang that needs to get its collective ass comprehensively thrashed. Yes, I get it, balance of power, blah blah blah. There comes a point where you need to do the right thing even if the sky falls down because of it. But first I had business with the PRT.

So I went to the Brockton Bay Airport. Yes, this does matter, bear with me. The airport may be small, dingy, and mostly used for private planes and the odd commuter flight to Boston or Portland, Maine, but it was still an operating airport complete with air traffic control. It also had plenty of abandoned hangars and hard stands. So I simply hopped over the fence where the security cameras couldn’t see me and made my way inside of one of them with a conveniently missing door and no cameras.

There I manifested a Skull Squadron VF-1S. I had already checked and the built in transponder had the proper modes to interface with civilian ATC systems, even here on Earth Bet. Well, they did now, the techs had to tweak a few settings and such, but thankfully the standards are open source and published.

I hopped into the cockpit, already wearing my flight suit. The bird had been fully prepped in the hangar already, so I didn’t need any of my crew to manifest for this, I simply began the field startup checklist. The reflex turbines spun up on cue with no faults detected.

I toggled the comm using a mental command via the thinking cap, foregoing abusing my status as the ship to directly connect. “Brockton Tower, this is Skull Ten X-Ray requesting taxi to the active. Flight plan has been filed. Information Hotel.”

“Uhhhh, Skull Ten X-Ray, Brockton Tower, repeat last.”

“Brockton Tower, Skull Ten X-Ray requesting taxi to the active. Information Hotel.” I repeated.

“Skull Ten X-Ray, transponder shows you at Hangar 17.”

“Brockton Tower, Skull Ten X-Ray, that is affirmative.”

“Skull Ten X-Ray, taxi approved, Bravo, Alpha, hold at 23 Right.”

“Brockton Tower, Bravo, Alpha, hold at 23 Right, Skull Ten X-Ray.”

I start taxiing, the taxiway itself is bumpy and rough this far out due to lack of maintenance, but it soon smoothes out as I turn onto Alpha to head to the runway.

“Skull Ten X-Ray, ident type?”

I roll my eyes, evidently they weren’t used to people actually filing the proper forms out here. “Brockton Tower, I am a Victor-Foxtrot dash 1 Sierra, Skull Ten X-Ray.”

There was a pause as I continued to taxi.

“Skull Ten X-Ray, when you reach 23 Right, there is a Cessna on a 2 mile final. You are cleared to line up and wait once he lands.”

“Brockton Tower, Cessna on 2 mile final, will line up and wait once he lands, Skull Ten X-Ray.”

I look up and spot an old Cessna 182 on final approach. I idly wonder what the pilot makes of the obviously military jet waiting at the threshold to the runway, but dismiss that thought with a slight chuckle.

I wait for the old Cessna to land, then lightly advance my throttle to enter the runway, turning smoothly before coming to a complete halt.

“Brockton Tower, Skull Ten X-Ray is lined up.”

“Skull Ten X-Ray, winds are 5 out of 125, you are cleared for takeoff.”

“Skull Ten X-Ray.” I acknowledged, as I advanced my throttle. I opted for a rolling taking off, no need to show off too much after all. I even used most of the runway, keeping my nose down until my bird was almost straining with the need to get airborne before gently easing back the stick.

Several hours, and several discussions with ATC, later, I was out over the Atlantic in uncontrolled airspace. I kept my transponder on, but that was more out of courtesy than need.

I admit it, I had far too much fun playing. I stuck to fighter mode, again no sense giving anything away. But I still gave myself a strenuous flying workout. I’d done this so many times in miniature or in the sims, this was my first time doing it live and at full scale.

Then it was time to return home… “Boston Center, Skull Ten X-Ray, requesting permission to approach and land at Parahuman Response Team ENE HQ Helipad.”

Time to play in other ways.
 

ShadowArxxy

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I hope Sophia gets herself shot. Good concept though, first time seeing a Worm/Robotech/Kancolle crossover.
If you actually look at canon as opposed to fanon, Sophia is a vastly more redeemable and sympathetic character than Emma. For that matter, despite the bullying, I think that in the end, she's more redeemable and sympathetic than *Taylor*.

Edit: Not at first when Taylor's just a bullying victim, of course, but Taylor pretty much willfully yeets herself onto the fast track to becoming one of the most utterly evil supervillains in *all fiction* while delusionally thinking it's the "only way". It absolutely isn't and never was; indeed, Taylor almost always ignores numerous options for a less violent resolution while pretending they don't exist and that she has "no choice" but to be Maximum Violent Thug.
 
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