Snow Angel: Chapter 28

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Chapter 28: Diplomacy

Snow's whole life changes when the winter solstice arrives.

 

“We can discuss your needs, and whether we can help with them while we eat,” I offered as I tried to remain diplomatic but not give too much away until I knew more about them.

 


 
Author's Note: Hey everyone, I had a bit of a crappy week but I'm trying to get back to writing since the holidays are over. I got two chapters of other things done last night and this morning and I'm hoping for a new chapter of Snow Angel on my patreon sometime late tonight as well. Anyway, here is chapter 28 of Snow Angel. Thanks to Big Closet and to all my readers for your support. I hope you all enjoy. Further chapters are (or soon will be) available on Patreon.~Amethyst.
 


 
Chapter 28: Diplomacy

For a moment, nobody moved a muscle or said anything as we sized each other up, though I heard Heather’s voice through our comms. -=Lisbet and I are using the Dragon’s corpse as cover, Snow. We’re ready to cover you if you give the word.=- Thank goodness that short-range and line-of-sight communications were still working.

The three metallic humanoids were large but of varying sizes and builds. The largest was close to eight feet tall, half that in width, had a hunched back, and it carried a large and simple cudgel-type weapon in its hands. The next largest looked to be just over seven feet tall, looked slimmer and more maneuverable than the other two, and had long blades of what looked like steel protruding from each wrist. The third was the smallest at barely over six feet tall, was built on a stocky frame, had a flat and wide head, and carried something that looked very similar to Heather’s sniper rifle, though quite a bit larger.

They all had various slots and openings along their frames that I thought could be for weapon emplacements. Their posture seemed more defensive than threatening though, and I was trying to figure out how to calm things down when Risha suddenly laughed beside me. “Oh please, you people probably could not kill a fly right now, unless you got really lucky with that big hammer. Snow, they are no threat right now. They barely have enough power to move those suits right now, and they have expended almost all of their onboard weapons. That is probably why they were hiding in the tower, instead of out here fighting the Dragon.”

I kept one eye on the three mechanical beings and let the other move toward my Avatar teammate. “You’re sure?” I asked.

“Of course I am, Snow. I am close enough to remotely connect to the tower’s systems and theirs. It doesn’t give me full access as direct contact would, but it is more than enough to see that their power readings are in the red and their main weapons are offline,” she responded confidently. Then she turned to the mechanical men in question to add, “If anyone should be surrendering, it is you.”

The weapons aimed at us wavered enough to let me know that Risha was probably right. Autumn peered at them in interest and inquired of our AI mate, “What are they, some sort of old-world security for the tower? They came from there.”

Risha shook her head. “No, they do not belong here any more than we do. My guess is that they picked a fight with the Dragon and hid inside when they spent all their ammo and realized that they were not going to win. The towers do not have any security; they were built to be very difficult to damage and the inner workings are damn near impossible to reach for anything but the repair and maintenance nanites. The tower has drones to gather raw materials for the repair nanites to use, but that is about it. The programming in their armor isn’t nearly as advanced as the drones though; it is basically just set up to respond to commands through the basic NCI that comes with the equipment interface nanites like the ones that Marti gave Raven.”

“Okay, so what I’m getting is that they were probably the ones who were fighting that Dragon before we showed up to finish it off, and we’re probably not all that different. That means that we probably don’t need to kill each other. So, how about the three of you lower your weapons, and we’ll lower ours. Then we can talk this out like rational adults,” I offered. Then I set an example by sheathing my Goliath behind my back.

As expected, Autumn and Risha waited until the three beings that we were facing lowered their weapons in response, before lowering their own. The smallest of the three spoke in that metallic voice again, and this time I could make out the feminine intonation. “I’m Desra Maddock, team leader for Suppression Team Theta. We hail from a city to the north called Ashburn. That dragon has been terrorizing us for months and my team was sent to find its lair and kill it, if possible.”

“Ashburn?” I asked as my brows rose in interest. I managed to hold off my curiosity enough to make introductions though. “I’m Snow Bengal, Wing Commander for Storm Wing. We’re with the Angel Corps, and we came to investigate the communications blackout. This is Risha and Autumn. Heather and Lisbet are the ones coming out from behind the Dragon corpse, and Karina is waiting nearby with our transportation.” I didn’t trust them enough yet to mention what manner of transportation or that it was currently cloaked and far closer than I was implying.

“Aye, Ashburn,” the large one replied as he looked us all over. “Heard of something called the Angel Corps in Misota but never seen ‘em before. Normally, we can hold off Demon incursions just fine by ourselves, but that Dragon wasn’t your standard Demon,” His voice still had the same electronic and tinny sound as Desra’s but it was far deeper.

“Damn thing surprised us on our way south and destroyed our transport; we barely had time to get into our armor. We ran our power cells nearly dry and used up most of our munitions fighting it off and then we saw this tower in the distance. We were hoping it would have some old-world tech that we could use. We were just about to report our location and request backup when our comms died. My sensor suite isn’t even working right now since it’s tied into the communications system,” Desra explained with a tinny sigh. “Anyway, the big guy is our engineer and heavy weapons specialist, Garon. Pippa there is our close combat girl.”

Garon gave a sound something like a snort while Pippa could barely be heard as she offered, “It’s… umm… nice to meet you?”

“Well, that explains that,” Risha said while rolling her eyes. “You guys led the angry dragon right to the communications relay tower so when it started trying to knock it down while you were hiding inside, it took out communications for the entire area. Did you not know what that tower is for?”

Desra turned to gaze up at the missing top of the tower, which looked a little odd with her armor’s wide and flat head. “Well damn, do you think it can be fixed? We don’t really know how the communications system works; just that it always has, until now.”

Risha sighed and I wondered if it was possible for the AI to get headaches or if she was just rubbing her temples out of exasperation or for show. “Well, now you know. Do not damage the relay towers. To answer your question though, it should be fixed soon, the repair nanites are already on it.”

“Hmmph. You would think they would have built redundancies,” Garon said with what sounded like another snort.

“There was supposed to be a redundant system of secondary towers built for situations like this where comms go down due to Demon attacks, but the project was never started,” Risha pointed out bitterly. “By that point, the rich assholes in charge were more interested in getting off-planet and away from the Demons. So funds went there instead of toward systems that would have helped people left behind on Earth.”

“You make it sound like you were there, back then,” Desra replied, and it didn’t take a genius to hear the suspicion in her tone.

I mentally cursed. I knew that Risha had no love for the people of the old world, especially those who had been in charge. I could even understand it after how those in charge (even Kylie’s father) had locked Kylie up, treated her like a science project, and then left her to the mercy of bigots when they left this world. It wasn’t the first time that she got mad thinking about it, but she needed to learn to not let it color her thinking.

“Do I look hundreds of years old?” Risha snapped to cover up her faux pas. “I just do a lot of research and I am good with machines. That is how I know so much about the towers.”

“I suppose that anyone with access to the right computer archives could figure all that out if they wanted to,” Pippa offered quietly, though she didn’t sound completely convinced. It was more like she was willing to give us the benefit of the doubt. “We don’t know much about this Angel Corps, Des, only rumors. It looks like they have HESS armor, like we do, and look at the weapon that Risha is holding, I’ve never seen anything like it. And they did take down the Dragon. I mean, you did, right?”

As the three turned to us for clarification, I nodded slowly. “Yeah, we took down the Dragon. Mostly because we were able to take it by surprise and keep it on the ground while it was still watching the tower for you,” I told them diplomatically to not dismiss their own efforts against the massive Demon.

“See, Des. None of them look like Humes either, except for Risha. Maybe they were abandoned like we were? I mean, we get pissed off at the Exodants all the time, and none of us were around back then either,” Pippa pressed.

“Humes? Abandoned? Who are these Exodants that you speak of?” Heather asked in interest as she and Lisbet came closer.

“Maybe we should go have this conversation inside,” Desra finally said after emitting a long sigh. “Every minute that we stay in our power armor, we lose more power. We’re going to need it running if we’re going to contact home once the comms are back up.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right, Desra,” Garon said, managing somehow to look sheepish even in his large power armor. “I don’t suppose that you people would have some spare fuel cells that we could use? Or maybe some food that isn’t rations?”

I considered it for a moment and figured that it would probably be best to act as diplomatically as possible. We had a chance here that nobody from Misota, or the Corps had had before and if their tech was even close to our own it would be nice to be able to make allies of the people of Ashburn, or at least open up the possibility by being friendly. “Risha, you and Autumn go inside with them and see if we might be able to provide something compatible that they can use as a power source for their armor. I’ll go talk to Karina about getting us all something to eat. Lisbet and Heather, we still need to figure out what to do about that Dragon corpse.”

“I have an idea about that, Snow,” Lisbet offered as Autumn and Risha followed the three from Ashburn inside the tower. “Remember Kyra’s weapon? The micro plasma charges are actually based on similar larger charges that are used in plasma grenades. Those don’t get a lot of use since plasma is dangerous to work with, and they burn a lot longer than the tiny ones in Kyra’s bullets. The grenades should burn hot enough to even consume a Dragon’s flesh and if I use enough at key points then we should just be able to stand back and watch it burn from a safe distance, once we’ve gotten scans of any possibly useful materials, like those scales.”

I winced at the thought of those plasma charges in grenade form but nodded. “Okay, you can start scanning now, but wait to make the grenades until after we eat and get to know our new ‘friends’ better. I want you to join us in there. I know how much you’d love to get a better look at their power armor, and I’d like to know as much as we can about it, just in case. They look pretty banged up, so maybe offer to help with repairs.”

Lisbet grinned and had to visibly restrain herself from jumping around excitedly at my orders. Once she had collected herself from a state of near-binkies she extracted the spare molecular scanner that she had procured from the lab from one of her pouches. “You got it, Snow. I’ll get the scans while you and Heather go grab Karina and some food.”

It was ten minutes before I returned to the tower with Lisbet, Karina, and Heather in tow, with the latter three of us bearing platters with fruit, meats, cheeses, and bread. The MIST was all locked up and the only people who would be able to open it up to get inside would be the members of my team. If it was an emergency, Karina could teleport inside and be at the controls in seconds.

We entered the tower and into a large room that was currently a flurry of activity as large drones moved back and forth from a room to our left and one at the back of the tower. They looked like the much bigger brothers of those that Risha had been controlling when we met her, but with these weird mechanical arms attached. They carried loads of raw materials, from what I assumed must be where they stored them until needed, to the back room and returned empty-handed to do it again. In the back room that the materials were destined for, my sharp eyes could see this sort of silver goo flowing upward along a pillar in the center of the room.

It was fascinating, but was soon interrupted by the sound of Risha’s frustrated voice exclaiming, “How have none of you blown yourselves up yet?! Daisy-chaining a bunch of hydrogen fuel cells meant for pulse pistols together and calling it a power source is certifiably insane! No wonder your power armor drains quickly! I can see why you are not using energy weapons on these!”

She was currently looking inside the armor-plated chest of Desra’s small unit and grumbling to herself as three people looked on, all of them dressed in HESS armor in its combat mode. The first was a small Catkin woman with a black tail, ears, and hair who was standing aside and looking annoyed. It was she who replied, “It’s what we’ve had available and it’s worked until now. So, do you think that you can help us or not?” The tinny electronic tinge to the voice was gone, but it was definitely recognizable as Desra’s.

The second person was a pretty blonde Fay girl with bright blue eyes who wore her wavy hair long. By process of elimination, I assumed must be Pippa. She was sitting on the floor and looking like she was shy and feeling really out of place. She also seemed fascinated by Autumn’s hairstyle. I was a little surprised to find a Fay amongst them since the residents of Ashburn supposedly seldom left their city and the Fay tend to prefer living close to nature.

The third was a massive man, over six feet tall. I had never seen an Orc before, only heard about them through other Animen villages. They were technically Animen, Boarkin to be exact, but they had been labeled Orcs before the old world fell and the name had stuck. At least now that I had watched the Lord of the Rings, I had some reason why. He looked like a large human except for the ears, the tusks, and the snout-like nose. He probably had a swine-like tail too, but I couldn’t see it at the moment.

The Orc stood up once he noticed us and grinned. “Nice! Real food instead of rations. I’m guessing that whatever transport you’re using has a food dispenser available? That could help with making some fuel cells.”

“We can discuss your needs, and whether we can help with them while we eat,” I offered as I tried to remain diplomatic but not give too much away until I knew more about them.

Desra nodded in agreement and I was pretty sure that she knew exactly what I was doing. “Yes, maybe we should get to know one another a bit better first though.”

They started explaining a few things while we ate, including some of the things that had caught Heather’s interest earlier. Humes was what they called Humans, and I gathered that it wasn’t a nice way of referring to them. They didn’t trust Humans, which explained why the people visiting from Misota had never gotten anywhere with them. They certainly didn’t appear to trust Risha very much since she looked the part, but at least we were making some progress.

Near the end of the old world, just before the VIPs had left Earth for New Terra, the last vestiges of the population of Wisconsin who weren’t rich and powerful enough to live in secure compounds were to be moved to safer locations. Those who were untainted by Demon Seeds were evacuated to cities in other states while those who were no longer Human were moved to a military base that was being constructed on Lake Superior, the site where the city-state of Ashburn now stood.

It was something that Risha later ended up calling a PR dick move. Those in charge wanted to look like they were helping the people in one of the states that had suffered some of the greatest losses due to the Demons. Construction was never completed on the base that the non-humans were moved to. About the only thing that was truly completed before funds were moved elsewhere was the stardrive meant to power it all, the shielding to keep the radiation from leaking out, and the vats of maintenance and repair nanites.

It had secure walls that the nanites would repair when damaged, but no hardlight dome. It was almost as if they wanted to keep the residents in rather than the Demons out. Rather than homes or underground living quarters, a large collection of simple barracks and public buildings were hastily constructed to house more than eighty thousand people. It had an AI core, but no AI was installed and everything was automated. There were food dispensers, boutique booths, and some large nano-weave factories, but they lacked any real way to defend themselves if attacked by the Demons without plasma turrets on the walls, a hardlight dome, or an AI to coordinate those missing features.

At least they got some decent equipment, but Risha figured that was just stuff that had been already delivered in preparation for a military base. It was likely left there so they could say to the public, “Look at how we’re helping these poor people with top-of-the-line equipment.” They had some veetols, HAMETs, a pair of hover-haulers for moving people and supplies, and a nanite programmer that was regularly, if a bit slowly, producing both HESS armor and the injections to interface with the equipment.

Then the VIPs, or the Exodants as the people of Ashburn called them, left the planet Earth en masse and abandoned those of us who weren’t important enough or human enough to deal with the Demons on our own. After that, they had to get by on their wits and what resources, gear, and information they could get by raiding now-abandoned towns and old military bases across the state. That was when they found a base where they had been researching power armor.

If there was an AI like Sira at that base then they probably never found her. They hadn’t mentioned finding anything like Sira or the Avatars at Woodbury Base, and they stripped that base of anything useful. Computers, prototypes, parts, and anything else that they could get their hands on. Since then they had been producing more power armor, ammunition, and other necessities to defend their city when needed by using the raw materials and the nano-weave factories and food dispensers. The only problem was the power supplies for the power armor, which they had improvised a solution to.

After that, they seldom left their city except to get raw materials and avoided Humans like the plague. They tried not to use their advanced technology beyond their walls unless necessary to avoid the jealousy of those who would want it for themselves. I could sympathize with that given our current problems with the nobles of Misota.

As for Suppression Team Theta in the present day, they had taken one of their few remaining veetols to track down the Dragon’s lair and their prey hit them in the dark before they were properly prepared. The pilot of the vehicle had been killed in the resulting crash and the trio barely had time to get into their banged-up armor and get it powered up before the Dragon swung around for another attack.

They fought the Demon off, and as soon as they saw the tower when their power and munitions ran low, they made a run for it. Then they hid inside until the sound of our brief and very loud battle with the Dragon had them hurrying into their armor and outside to see what was happening. And that was when we had our tense meeting.

By this time in their tale, Lisbet was off with Garon and looking over their armor to see if she could help with repairs and she sounded as frustrated as Risha was earlier. “Geez, these things are really banged up. Why aren’t you using Razorwing metal to fabricate the frames and other essential parts? It would be a lot more durable, and way more heat resistant.”

“Razorwing metal? What’s that?” the engineer asked in confusion.

“Big bird with razor-sharp metal feathers? They like to attack airships and small villages. Never heard of those?” Karina asked with a raised eyebrow. When the Orc shook his head she just muttered, “Somebody had a happy childhood.”

“I’ve heard of them in old stories, but I’ve never seen one. We probably get a lot of Demons that you’ve never seen coming from the lake too,” the Orc replied with a shrug.

Heather looked up as she bit into a peach from the fruit tray. She quickly finished her mouthful before offering, “To be fair, they aren’t even all that common in Misota either, especially in winter, unless it’s just after a seed storm. The archives say that they prefer warm weather, so they usually go south, if they don’t get taken down by Angels first.”

Autumn smiled and gave Heather a hug and a peck on the cheek. We had all been studying the Demon archives as part of our training but it was nice to see Heather speaking up and offering the knowledge for the people from Ashburn. Even as she was starting to relax with us and find herself, I worried sometimes that she had trouble being herself with new people around. She wasn’t slipping back into being a bitch for no reason, but it felt like she wasn’t quite sure who she should be when it wasn’t just Storm Wing present. She had that problem when we were starting to get to know the members of Phantom Wing too, and seeing her put herself out there conversationally made me as happy as it seemed to make Autumn.

“Anyway,” Lisbet said as she looked over the power armor, “there are probably some things that we could do to help you, but the Wing Commander would need to approve it first. And she’ll probably have to talk with the higher-ups before doing that. When she gets the go-ahead though, there are all sorts of things that I think we could try.”

I nodded thoughtfully. As much as I wanted to help them, we were dealing with people from a foreign nation and that meant politics. I would have to make sure that I wouldn’t be crossing any lines by helping them and to know exactly what information the Corps was willing to share with them. I needed to know more about them too. So I tried not to smile at Lisbet’s eagerness to tinker with something new as I attempted to eke a bit more info out of Desra. “You said that your city was originally built for eighty thousand people? I can’t even imagine that many people in one place. The village I grew up in barely had two hundred people.”

Desra shrugged and I had a feeling that she knew exactly what I was trying to do. She didn’t seem to mind, but she did glance suspiciously at Risha. It was Pippa who offered, “From what the stories say, we lost a lot in the first few years from Demon attacks. Even with the armor, we take heavy losses when a large group of them attack the city. Only about ten percent of our population are suitable to be pilots too so that…”

Apparently, the Fay was too close to giving us information that Desra didn’t approve of. The Catkin smoothly interrupted what was probably going to be a number of some sort with, “Some are too young, some are too old, and the armor was designed with Humes in mind, so biology works against some of us too. It’s really uncomfortable for my tail in there, but for those of us with other differences, it’s impossible to pilot them. The interface nanites help by allowing us to give some commands mentally, but they only do part of the work. There are still pedals and controls that have to be manipulated manually.”

“Yes, well no technology is perfect for everyone, I guess,” I replied, managing to cover a groan of distaste at how she cut off her teammate, who seemed as awkward as Heather and was just trying to be involved instead of sitting there quietly. I tried to diplomatically drop a hint. “Our technology doesn’t work for Humans, so only seed-borne become Angels.”

Either she missed the hint entirely, or Risha looked just a little too human for her comfort because that was when Desra decided to say to hell with diplomacy and lay her cards on the table. “I don’t know how much I feel comfortable revealing that with a Hume present. I don’t even like her knowing about our existence.”

I quickly buried the defensive feeling that boiled up in my chest at the distasteful way that she said the H word. Did they even know that seed-borne could look Human? It sounded like their whole city was made up of people who had changed physically. Taking a deep breath to try to calm myself and give Desra the benefit of the doubt, I gave Risha a questioning look and she gave a slow nod in return.

Only after I sighed and mentally debated giving her the permission that she was asking for did she say, “Snowy, I have been reading their biometrics this whole time. They are not lying about anything. They might be holding something back, but they are not lying and she has reason to distrust Humans. Things might go more smoothly if I tell her what I really am.”

I didn’t get a chance to respond as Desra cast another suspicious look Risha’s way and she asked, “What are you…”

She paused as she tried to figure out exactly what she was trying to ask but it was all the opening that Risha needed to say, “I’m not Human. Hell, they probably hate and mistrust my kind even more than any biological non-humans, but they still built us to serve them. I’m an AI.”

Whatever Desra was going to say was lost in the silence that followed. A silence that was only broken by Pippa’s startled gasp. “Holy shit, an AI. If she’s really what she says she is then she could…”

“Enough Pippa!” the Catkin snapped angrily. “She looks Human, she smells Human! Humans lie to get what they want; we all know that better than anyone! She can’t be trusted, she…” Her tirade ended in a gasp seconds after Risha turned off her scent cloak and her normal scent of metal, ozone, and various other things hit my nose as Desra’s eyes went wide. “Wha…”

“As I said, I am an AI,” Risha stated calmly. “I am interfacing with you through an avatar, an avatar that allows me to be convincing as a Human. I apologize for the ruse, but we felt that it would be safer for me if others do not know exactly what I am until we have dealt with certain issues related to the Human rulers of Misota. I hope that you understand the trust that I am showing in sharing this with you.”

Desra’s mouth was hanging open and she couldn’t speak. Garon’s mouth was opening and closing like a fish as he too tried to articulate something and failed. It was the blonde Fay, Pippa, who managed to gasp, “Please. You have to come to Ashburn with us; we really need your help.”

© 2021-2023 Amethyst Gibbs
All Rights Reserved

Further chapters are available to the public on my Patreon page.

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Comments

Worried

I'm concerned that Risha may have just gone from "person" to "property" in the eyes of the Ashburnites. I wouldn't want them to get the idea that Risha is a valuable tool they just have to have for themselves, that they are willing to take by force.


"Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.”
George Carlin

It's possible

Amethyst's picture

It was risky to reveal herself, but any sort of diplomacy was going to be difficult so long as one party is hostile to another. If that does happen, then at least she got them to show their true colors early.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

The question is

Amethyst's picture

What manner of help?

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Sounds like there's a section

Sounds like there's a section of Ashburn that requires an AI to function properly, and it's been breaking down.

Gee, where do we know of a few hundred AI that are mashed together into a tiny space?


I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

it's 101

not hundreds, 100 MARTIs with Avatars and 1 that is primarily in the main AI Core, still together they are Legion, and they are all MARTI.

101 MARTIs

Amethyst's picture

Sounds like a Disney movie. Yes, if there is an issue in Ashburn that requires an AI watching over things the MARTIs are available. They would ask for a volunteer to do so though since the Angles really don't want to treat AIs as property or mere objects like the humans who created them.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Yea, letting them know Risha

Yea, letting them know Risha is an AI could be a mistake if they decide they just have to have her. It's like waving a jug of water in front of a person dying of thirst, rational thought goes out the window.

yeah but if she gets in their

yeah but if she gets in their system, after checking and clearing any digital nasties, just try stopping her

Possible mistake

Amethyst's picture

Yeah, it might not have been the best call for Risha to reveal her true nature. But if she gets into their system and they aren't on the up and up, she could seriously fuck them up in a lot of ways, and not all of them obvious.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

The easy comment is “wow you

The easy comment is “wow you are still on track for this to be awesome”. Instead I will say I like the newest characters, and the face off that happened on first sighting, so typical of people. The gradual growing acquaintance of the two groups, the suspicions, both subtle and obvious, all ring true to life. With the backstory from previous episodes as well as what was supplied by our new characters, the people of Ashburn have good cause to hate the “Humans” and be leary of Risha. I look forward to more of this.

Aw thanks

Amethyst's picture

Trusting is hard especially in a world like this one and it made sense for them all to be suspicious of one another and I really wanted to show that, and how it might make any kind of future relationship difficult to forge going forward. The people of Ashburn do have good reason to be wary of strangers, especially humans, or those who look it. It they really want the help of our Angels though, there is going to have to try and hold back their ingrained mistrust.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Ashburnites

Ashburnians?

Ashburners?

*Shrug*

Anyway, given their paranoia about humans I don't think they would be good fit for the Angel Corps since the Angels are charged with the protection of all, not just the non-humans.

I would be very suspicious of the help they are looking for and don't commit to anything that might risk Risha.

Des seems to be acting

Des seems to be acting different than the others, perhaps she has a reason to be more suspicious than most

Desra

Amethyst's picture

Yes, she does seem to be quite a bit more mistrusting than her companions, and there is a reason for this.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

I'm going with Ashburnites.

Amethyst's picture

I'm going with Ashburnites.

That's a very good point and there are people who look human as well as human sympathizers working with the Corps as well, and that could make things difficult.

Snow will have to navigate this situation cautiously and weigh the possible risks and gains.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Ashterburners.

Ashterburners.


I'll get a life when it's proven and substantiated to be better than what I'm currently experiencing.

Looks like another nation

Wendy Jean's picture

It's just waiting to take in any refugees from the upcoming war. What exactly is hard light? I gather from context that it is some sort of force field, but it is not obvious.

Hardlight

in most media that uses the term "hardlight" its generally a force field/energy projection that you can walk on as if it were a solid object. this differs from other types of force fields that will either melt you or let certain objects pass through.

Yup

Amethyst's picture

That's basically what hardlight is in this story.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

ChibiMaker1.jpg

Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

also one of the more

also one of the more dangerous forms of energy weapons, if you only look at primary effects (exclude burning, radiation and electromagnetic affects) as a hardlight projectile can be like a bullet with an atomically sharp tip, with extreme effective hardness,