No Title Set

Date: 2019-05-15
Pose Count: 20
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-15 23:43:15 105090
    The message EMI received might not have been the kind of thing she might have expected from Alexis, late into the evening.

    Need your help with recon on something. Meet at rooftop on following address. Ingress from east and be quiet about it.

    ...INcidentally, that is followed just ten seconds later with another message that reads simply ... If you are free that is. Somehow he managed to make Kanji look sheepish.

    When she follows the address provided, it leads her just slightly off of the downtown of Uminari city, to a district mostly populated by office buildings and warehouses. Stahlritter himself is set up on a particular office building's roof, sat down with his back pressed to the raised divider of the roof in an obvious effort ot keep himself unseen from whoever might be off to the west there.
EMI v248.1 2019-05-16 00:10:36 105092
    Nine and a half seconds after Alexis sends the first message he receives a simple response.


    It is followed very shortly after by a second.

I am always free when you need me, Alexis.'' Appended at the end of the text is what the young man may or may not recognize as a SarcMark.

    Teasing aside Emi does arrive several minutes later in a simple getup of a grey skirt and blouse and black stockings and flats. Well made but not exactly designer- she took the request for quiet to include a general sense of being inconspicuous. She also takes 'quiet' to mean silent, and though she arrives by walking down the sidewalk her footsteps make no sound.

    Technically speaking Emi is flying, barely not touching the ground to further direct attention away from herself- or at least as much as someone with silvery white hair and red eyes can. When she reaches the building Stahlritter is perched upon she walks into an alleyway, out of sight of the road, and raises vertically as effortlessly as if gravity didn't exist at all.

    Her head pops over the edge to see Alex resting against the divider and a momentary smirk shows on her face. She goes up and over the divider on the east side of the building, tilting over sideways until she's parallel to the roof, hovering face up and floating over to Stahlritter, just high enough to keep her hair from brushing the roof.

    "Good evening, Stahlritter," Emi greets in a tone that suggests everything is perfectly normal.
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-16 00:31:05 105093
    The second response from Emi actually receives a Yeah yeah, love you too from Alexis. There's no signs to indicate it, but the snark probably comes across anyhow.

    THe instant Emi's head is poking up, the Steel Knight's visor is directly on her. And following her descent and hovering slide along the roof too.

    "Now you're just showing off because you know I can't fly." The faceplate and the visor should, by all accounts, keep a constant visual look to them, but somehow it all looks very much incredulous while those words rumble out.

    A low grunt echoes from within the man, and his neck cranes to lift his head up just so that he can give a brief peek over the divider. "At least no one noticed, I think. I haven't noticed any active supernatural surveillance methods on the site's exterior."
EMI v248.1 2019-05-16 00:42:38 105094
    "I am not. I am sure you could suspend yourself with properly lengthed and tensioned chains if you wanted to," Emi replies, not seeming to take his objections entirely seriously.

    As he looks over the divider she glances to where his eyes are, seeing only the divider itself. She rotates until she's face down, raising a bit and arcing herself upwards, looking rather like she's in some kind of yoga pose save for the fact she doesn't need to prop herself with her arms. "I see. I will passively scan for signs of technology above this planet's knowledge base."

    She reaches into a pocket and retrieves her glasses, putting them on and looking back to the building, eyes sweeping slowly over it's exterior.
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-16 01:06:53 105095
    "THat would be very uncomfortable after an extended period," Stahlritter points out, in complete deadpan, as he slides himself back down to be fully concealed behind the divider.

    "Try to do it without making your own signature flare up significantly if you can," he tells her afterwards, visor focused more on her again-- it's not like they're actually doing recon by direct visual sight on the target, afterall. "You're way beyond anything that has been on Earth before as far as I know, but I can't put it past that bitch to have built something that might manage to pick it up anyhow. But... hopefully that fact will help us here too. They can hide their own presence, but they might not have prepared anything to prevent scans from your technology."
EMI v248.1 2019-05-16 01:27:32 105096
    "Yes, it would. I haven't a clue what that might be like." Emi replies.

    "That is the very nature of a passive scan. I am only collecting what they are emitting rather than emitting anything myself." She looks over to him briefly, only to turn her eyes back to the building and focus intently.

    It isn't fast. Avoiding detection means whatever Emi is looking for isn't easily found. "There is nothing in the building," Emi finally replies after ten minutes of holding her odd pose and looking over the edge of the roof. "However," she begins while closing her eyes and removing her glasses, "there is an extensive complex beneath it. It is very well hidden."

    She rotates upright, lifting her legs and crossing them in front of herself before lowering herself to rest on the roof. "Their methods might be impressive to someone of this world, but it is clear they are far from mastering Device technology. They are canceling out their emissions but not with such precision that I wasn't able to decipher the remnants and create an algorithm to compensate."

    While she speaks she contacts Kreigsfauste directly and begins transmitting him a three dimensional map of the complex along with a heat map of sorts that is labeled as notating concentrations of above-Earth level technology. "This is the best I can do without risking alerting them to my presence." She looks to Alexis, gazing at his eyes as if able to see through his visor, "There is a lot. You will need to be very well prepared if you intend to assault a base like this. They would not have gone to such lengths if they did not take security very seriously."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-16 01:51:13 105097
    Stahlritter, himself? He doesn't seem at all fazed by any of the information Emi provides. He even goes on to note, "All of that seems pretty on brand, really,"

    He turns one of his gauntlets slightly along with a peek sent down at it while Emi's transmitting the information to Krieg-- the Armed Device likely sharing it all telepathically to his wielder.

    "I already suspected this would be a genuine storage and production or research facility for Device-based technology," he suggests. "But I had to be sure. It wouldn't be the first time 'she' intended for me to find one of her facilities just to use it as an elaborate trap. ... Honestly, I am not really closing that possibility for this place yet either. She's good like that. But maybe... Maybe I can make some headway finally. Get some tools and resources to equip other Device users here better. Help figure out things for you too."

    The hand's lowered, and his head tips back to bump the back of his helmet against the divider. "...And one step closer to dismantling them and everything they've wrought."
EMI v248.1 2019-05-16 02:22:34 105098
    "You know 'that 'bitch' better than I do, but I would not expect something so carefully hidden to have no other purpose than to be a trap. Even so the only clear entrance seems to be from above, which necessarily will alert those below to the coming assault." Emi tilts her head a little to the side, "I am sure this too is something you anticipated, but I have some suggestions that might be more advisable than a direct assault."

    "If I came along with you I could attempt to interface and interfere with their systems directly. There is little doubt in my mind that I could overcome them, but not quickly. I could almost certainly force their attention to such a breach and make things easier for you. The downside is that it would give them knowledge of my capabilities and methods, as it would require a brute force approach." Given how much effort she's put into remaining as hidden and anonymous as possible upon Alexis' warnings it Emi might be hesitant, but the offer is made without reservation.

    Emi once more messages Kreigsfauste, adding more notations to the map previously sent. "Do you know anyone capable of translocation or teleportation magic? The best solution I see is to begin the attack from within. Such a facility will have security and checkpoints that exist to keep people out, not keep them trapped inside." A swirling symbol appears at the lowest point of the base, two differently colored dotted lines making their way through the facility on different paths before arriving together at the entrance and escaping from the top.

    "A breach like this would cause significant shock and surprise. With little to no warning you could likely overcome any existing security forces bit by bit rather than facing hardened resistance." Her tone and demeanor clearly demonstrates that this is what she thinks is the best option. There is, however one more.

    "If not there is a more... brute force approach." The map expands and zooms out, an overlay of the city's underground coming into view around the base. "There is a storm water drain that comes within twenty meters of the base at this point," another highlight appears along with a line between the two points, "I believe that is a short enough distance that a sufficiently large energy beam, or a series of smaller explosions, could breach the base in much the same way. It would give less warning than attempting to break through the surface, but still more than arriving by magic alone."

    The connection to the Armed Device closes once more, and Emi again focuses on Alexis. "I am curious about something else though, Alexis. You have told me and I have seen how she is dangerous, but I know very little about what 'they have wrought.' It is obvious that this means more to you than finding tools for friends and allies. I also understand that having your parent doing such things is hard on you, but even so this seems more..." Emi pauses for a moment, searching for the right word before finishing with, "personal."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-16 23:35:12 105099
    "You really can't assume anything when it comes to these people," Stahlritter insists-- though his head doesn't move at all while he speaks, possibly focused on processing all the information she is giving over to Kriegsfauste.

    He is, in turn, quick grunt out a firm "No," to the suggestion of her coming to enact cyber warfare against their enemy. "I do not want them to get the necessary information to start preparing countermeasures for you-- and much less get an idea of *what* you are. I don't--" He pauses for a second or so, to just consider his own words. "... I don't want them after you."

    Either way, he considers the other options she presents, and after a moment of silence, he murmurs out, "Figures you'd make for a good strategist," before straightening up slightly where he sits. "The previous sites have all had countermeasure fields in place to prevent spatial interruptions. Spatial manipulation does still work in the small scale inside - like the quickstep spell I use to complement my mobility in combat - but longer-range teleportation within and into the facility isn't possible unless you have some specific signature to be allowed through it, I assume. Going through the Dusk Zone worked once for escaping, but I imagine they've put in defenses for it after the first time, and... honestly, the trip through there would be too draining for people not made of Dark Energy for an attack route."

    "The storm drain could bypass most frontal defenses," he allows then, at least. "Though I fear they might have taken that avenue into account, too. Gotta bring some serious brute force there, just in case they got heavy duty armor and shielding there in the way. And after that, it's gotta be a right damn quick smash and grab... The Raskoph Conglomerate has a quick reaction force available, and in worst case scenario, if this place is important enough, She might come there too-- and I fear her Manipulation magic might be enough that she can turn the whole place into a prison while people are still in there." He considers that for another moment-- and though the helmet is hiding his features, Emi might get the sense that he is very much frowning underneath it. "...Might have to provide a diversion elsewhere."

    And as for Emi's concerns on how Alexis is treating all of this? That brings him to turn his helmet to facing the visor towards her directly. He's silent for several long seconds, before he says; "They made me."

    Perhaps realizing that the statement is somewhat vague, he goes on to amend, "I don't mean just gave birth to me. They *designed* me. They were manipulating my whole life from since before my birth so that they can turn me into a weapon for them. Treated to Dark Energy therapy and subtle mind altering effects in small doses in the long term. The only reason that didn't take was because I *died*."

    There's a low, very much unpleasant growl rumbling through his throat then. "...After all that... I have a duty when it comes to them."
EMI v248.1 2019-05-17 00:23:24 105100
    "I am not fully aware of what they are capable of or their level of deceit and preparation. This is true. That is why I intend only to inform you so that you can carry out your mission in the way you best see fit." Emi is being technical when it comes to the actual break in attempt, at least for now. She shakes her head, however, when the hacking idea is shut down cold. "I do not want that either."

    She listens as Stahlritter explains further about the potential base defenses, eyes focused on his visor. She doesn't nod or otherwise respond as he speaks but it's clear she's listening to him, devoting all of her attention for the moment. When he's finished she retrieves her glasses and again puts them on, tilting her head down low and seeming looking straight through the building they're sitting on. "I understand now. The Raskoph Conglomerate is an opponent that organizes itself with military or paramilitary levels of security. I am unfamiliar with that level of organized defense. However you have given me valuable extra information. The emissions I am receiving have a ninety eight percent chance of being related to the countermeasure fields you described. That is why their masking is imperfect- nearly all Devices and technology based on them use spatial manipulation in some form. They could not transform otherwise."

    Emi considers the hotspots of activity she'd seen before and all the possibilities, "If such a field is in place they are likely to know it's limitations, possibly even enough to use teleportation magic to deliver the response team you spoke of through it or by momentarily deactivating it. A diversion in such a case would be a useful tool."

    Her eyes narrow slightly for a moment, after which her head raises back up. "The equipment that produces the field must be on site. It may be possible to use it to secure your escape. If you take control of it you would be able to alter it's frequency and then boost it's power at an opportune time to defeat any such Manipulation magic attempting to erect a subspace barrier. It may even be possible to cause a temporary, localized disruption at the entrance rather preventing it. A cat does not quickly pounce on a mouse it believes to be cornered."

    Emi's expression softens a little as Alexis explains the circumstances surrounding his birth and life, a small frown eventually forming on her lips. "I see. Your creators are jerks. They made you to do their bidding and their harm, and that is not something you approve of, so you are trying to stop them."

    Unfolding her legs, Emi rises up into a crouch and walks over to Stalhritter, sitting back down beside him with her back resting against the divider, only to reach over and put her arm around him in a approximation of a hug. "I am sorry to hear that your life was planned out for you in such a bad way. I am glad that you are alive, even though you died." She is quiet for a few moments, only to add, "I do not think this duty is something required of you simply by the circumstances of your birth, but I understand and respect that you would take it upon yourself anyway."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-17 00:41:10 105101
    Stahlritter remains perfectly still for a moment, but he does eventually wind up leaning into the one-armed hug from Emi. "I would be doing terrible things if it wasn't for everything else," he murmurs. "But I have all these abilities they gave me still. I have to make use of them still. So they can't... Do any of that to anyone else, or go through with anything else they have in their plans. ... I've been fighting my whole life. I can't stop now. I can't have it any other way."

    He turns the visor further to her, considering her from up close for a moment... and then turns away again after a few seconds, though he doesn't try to wriggle away from the hug. "I'll probably end up being the one to create the diversion while others break in over there, too. Mother's much more likely to respond in full force to me."

    His helmet-covered head tips slightly downwards. "...For whatever it's worth, I did miss you. And I am serious about not wanting them to go after you. I don't know if I can bear them doing something to you."
EMI v248.1 2019-05-17 01:07:54 105102
    "It is good that you are not, and good that you are doing what you can to prevent others from dealing with what you have. I think it is heroic that you want to fight to protect people and stop people from doing bad things because you can." Emi replies, speaking in a quieter voice.

    Emi remains calm and still as he looks towards her and then away again, nodding slightly when he speaks again. "You must represent a much greater value to them than even a facility full of equipment. I-" Emi pauses and frowns again, looking more directly at Alexis. "I do not like it. I do not like it at all, Alexis. It is wrong to treat people as tools. As things." It's clear from the way she speaks that this is something very important to her, and it isn't exactly difficult to figure out why.

    "I am sorry for being away so long that you would miss me. I do understand what you mean. It would hurt me if they harmed you in a way you could not recover from." Her head tilts slightly. "Is that not what it means to be friends? To care about what happens to them and want them to achieve their goals and be happy?" It isn't a rhetorical question, Emi is honestly asking someone who would know better than herself.
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-17 01:18:41 105103
    "I don't know about value-- she already expressed giving up on me since that time in the market. If she was actively trying to... 'get' me, she would be interfering significantly with my school life. I mean, there are the occasional assassins but... I think it's more that she perceives a threat there."

    He doesn't immediately respond to her questions-- perhaps actually thinking that it's rhetorical. But then it quickly sinks in that with Emi, that is in fact an *actual* question. "Oh, uh..." He turns the visor towards her, blinking his eyes behind it. "Of course it is. I mean, some folks will say that's more to do with something deeper, but..." The partly-bared shoulders of the young man roll around slowly and he shakes his head. "...Well, either way."
EMI v248.1 2019-05-17 01:37:04 105104
    Emi nods a little but doesn't respond, something about the situation still not sitting well with her for more than the obvious reasons. When he answers her question she considers a moment before replying. "There are many kinds of friendship that I have learned about, but the kind of friendship I feel towards you is one where I would be upset if you were hurt."

    She thinks aloud then, looking at her feet while she rests against the divider, "The path that you are on will surely bring you into conflict with her again and again until the conflict is resolved. You fight against them because they are bad and what they are doing is wrong, and you are trying to keep your friends from becoming involved as much as you can because they are very dangerous."

    After another quiet moment she looks back to Alexis, "I have a hypothesis. You worry about your friends becoming involved not only because of the danger itself, but because of the impact it would have on their lives. But you did not have a previous 'life' like them, you were 'created' and raised as a weapon or tool. Value judgment: interruptions and entanglements to the lives of your friends is more important than your own. Is this what you believe?"
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-17 01:49:16 105105
    He considers her question in silence for another moment. Head tipped down low, visor aimed to the ground between his legs.

    "...I suppose so," he offers after a moment. "It is not as if though... all the magic-possessing people aren't working to fullfill their own duties too. But... they do have room for a normal life. And there is a certain point, when it comes to these things, that most people shouldn't be crossing. I... I don't think I have the room for a normal life anymore, Emi. I keep going to school to make it feel like I might, but... It just feels like a lie. It doesn't feel like me. I don't feel so much like 'Alexis' anymore as I feel like 'Stahlritter'. And Stahlritter... Stahlritter isn't the kind of person to hold a day job, go date someone, have a family and die in bed surrounded by loved ones."
EMI v248.1 2019-05-17 02:08:45 105106
    "I would understand if you said that those were things you did not want, but that isn't what you are saying. You are Stahlritter, but you are also Alexis. It is understandable and justifiable to want to keep your friends safe, but it is equally understandable and justifiable for them to want to help you. You are willing to take more risk upon yourself than others, that is fine. But remember that the purpose of scouting this facility is because Rashmi wants to be able to better help people herself. People like you. I am not saying you should not try to protect people, only that you should only protect them as much as they'd want to be protected."

    Emi shakes her head a little, having not yet even started in on the most important part yet. "I am worried about this way of thinking, Alexis. I do not think your life or happiness should be considered secondary to another's, especially not by yourself. 'I have less at stake, therefore I can take more risk,' is understandable. 'I do not want to see others hurt, so I will try to keep them from getting hurt,' is understandable. 'I will give up my own happiness so others can be happy,' is only acceptable in extreme circumstances. 'I do not deserve to be happy,' is not okay. That is how you are starting to sound: 'Stahlritter is for fighting, not being happy. I am becoming Stahlritter.' That is not right. You deserve to be happy, and have a happy life. As Alexis and as Stahlritter, too."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-17 02:27:33 105107
    Stahlritter looks sidelong to Emi while she speaks-- maintaining that eye contact for a longer time now. Even if... there is a helmet and a visor in the way to prevent her from actually seeing his eyes directly. But nevermind that.

    At the end of it all, he nudges his elbow lightly against her side. "You don't need to be so grim about it," he insists. "When have you ever known me to not be fine? I'll be fine." Shoulders roll slowly again in a shrug, and his head tilts back slightly to look up to the sky above-- there aren't any stars to see, though, with all the light pollution in the city. "I'll just keep walking forward and see what comes. That's what I always do."
EMI v248.1 2019-05-17 02:40:16 105108
    "I am not being grim," Emi replies as is nudged, "I am being honest. But I must admit that you are correct that I have not seen you fail to manage your affairs." She speaks in a usual for her even tone. It's helpful, having deadpan as a normal speaking voice. It obscures what is left unsaid when it is needed. "That is what I have been doing. Be careful to watch where you are going so you don't forget to talk to your friends for too long, like me."

    Her eyes follow his gaze up to the sky and as she does something occurs to her. "So near to an enemy facility is a poor place to converse, if our observations are complete." Then, almost immediately after she finishes her sentence she speaks again. "I have an idea."
Alexis Raskoph 2019-05-17 02:42:17 105109
    "You are absolutely being grim," Stahlritter insists, with... actual amusement in the tone of his voice. "But I'll be fine. You needn't worry about me."

    Her observation brings a low cough from him, and he throws a quick peek over the divider. ":..You are right," he murmurs, and starts to rise up. "We're done here. I should--" He stops - both his words and his movement - when Emi says *that*. "...What is it?"
EMI v248.1 2019-05-17 02:51:23 105110
    "I believe our caution was necessary this time, but we should also be careful not to avoid this location. There are magic users all over this city, and a sudden lack of activity would also constitute an anomaly." Emi partially rises and looks over to Alexis, "I propose a double diversion. Rooftops all over the city are used for conversation by magic users, are they not? It would not be entirely out of the question for a small group to gather openly to talk on their roof as well, perhaps for food and sweets, or to discuss a patrol. It would alert security forces, but if the gathering remained innocuous only for an actual, abrupt incursion to happen at another location it is highly likely the reaction team would deploy immediately."

    Emi makes a small sweeping gesture with her hand, "If you have enough friends those that gathered could openly move to assist you, allowing the true assault team to attack when their guard was dropped."