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Rabbidy last won the day on October 24 2020

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  1. The ear-splitting crack of gunfire snapped Risu back into virtual reality, breaking her momentary stupor. Even though none of this was real, the stress of being down the barrel of a gun was too much to handle. As Carter dropped to the floor, the beginner Diver felt her knees buckle, and clutching Fa’s wrist, she dropped to the ground herself. This was all her fault. She was the one that made the mistake of being captured, of leaving Higanbana behind. The realization set in that everything that went wrong was her doing was punctuated by the blare of klaxons, and the crackling voice of a man with a grudge. Risu tried to think, but the roar of explosions and the telltale screech of beam fire growing ever nearer made it impossibly difficult, not to mention the ache growing in the back of her head. Dozens of Taurus swarmed the hospital, seemingly preparing to raze the building and leave little for their enemies to recover: a scorched earth retreat by the Titans, as well as their OZ benefactors. Training their weapons on the structure they begun to open fire, pillars of harsh ruby light tore through brick and metal, leaving molten holes in their wake: several shots tore into the west wing of the hospital, and quickly, the hallway that Risu, Carter and Fa found themselves in was now open to the air, giving them a view of the chaos overhead. Risu’s attention shifted towards the hole in the ceiling as a black mobile doll lowered itself from the air, training its massive rifle towards the three; its single square eye pulsing with murderous intent. It had acquired a target, and as per its programming, it prepared to engage. Her eyes widened, staring down the barrel of yet another gun while it charged with that same deadly energy. A flash of light filled her vision, and for a moment, Risu thought she’d been engulfed by the Taurus’ beam, but just as quickly as she had been blinded, the hole in the ceiling had been covered in shadow. The familiar, fairy-like outline of a gargantuan machine appeared overhead, seemingly out of nowhere. As her eyes adjusted, the mobile suit’s colours became more apparent: that white-and-red scheme was immediately obvious to her. Higanbana! However, its proportions were different: it was longer, possessing a pair of wing-like prongs protruding from its shoulders. Where once it carried a single weapon, it now carried two identical beam rifles. Autonomously, the custom Woundwort raised its weapons skyward, which crackled with a harsh purple energy instead of the regular pink. An incredible beam engulfed the Taurus as well as several other above, its size comparable to that of the Argama’s Mega Particle Cannon. Then, with the roar of its thrusters, which by now sounded more like the cry of some monstrous creature, it surged forward, leaving behind a trail of that same sickening purple energy in its wake. The mobile dolls that it touched begun to shut down, and for a moment, they seemed to twitch unnaturally, as if something had broken them on a fundamental level. The amber glow in their monoeyes faded, before assuming that magenta hue. An angry red window dominated every Diver’s vision: UNKNOWN BREACH DETECTED
  2. A group of pilots sprinted past Fa, one of them giving her a brief pat on the shoulder paired with a thumbs-up gesture. "Good work, kid." One of them spoke, "We'll take it from here!" As the other pilots brushed past, Fa begun to walk faster, figuring it would be better if she was out of sight before they started to ask questions. She approached the outpost, built into an old hospital, and with her helmet visor lowered she entered. Where is she...? Fa thought to herself, trying desperately not to make eye contact. She was aping her posture as well, hoping her poor imitation of a Titan's prideful walk would be enough to fool them; the Lieutenant pips on her normal suit's collar were probably enough to help her blend in as well, it seemed that almost everyone was a Lieutenant of some kind within the ranks of the Titans. I need to find that girl, and quick. Nervously, Fa approached what appeared to be some kind of checkpoint leading into the hospital's west wing. If there was a checkpoint, she reasoned, then whatever was behind it wasn't supposed to leave. Could that be where they kept prisoners? Slowly, she took a step forward, puffing her chest in an attempt to intimidate the pair of soldiers standing guard. "Ma'am." the guards saluted in unison, and upon cursory glance, Fa could see that the two of them were simply enlisted men, privates at most. She gave them a salute of her own, crooked at the elbow and obviously lacking any military precision, but to the nervous soldiers her exaggerated posture and loose salute looked like any other self-important commissioned officer in the ranks of the Titans. "What's through this checkpoint?" Fa asked, her deliberately-deepened voice muffled slightly through the speakers in her helmet. Hopefully, her act would be enough. "This is where we keep persons-of-interest, ma'am!" the soldier-in-charge replied, his voice cracking slightly. "Uh, not necessarily prisoners, but we've been asked to guard them like they are." That could be it! Fa cleared her throat. With a firm goosestep forward, she challenged the two. "Then let me through!" her act broke briefly, and as her voice increased in volume, it increased in pitch, threatening to reveal her identity as a 16-year old girl who was certainly not a part of the Titans. The soldiers, understandably frightened, remained in place, one of them clutching his rifle tight. "Do you... h-have business here, ma'am?" he asked. Fa scoffed, channeling the blonde officer she'd seen Kamille punch just a few short days ago. "O-of course I do!" she nearly shouted, trying her best to sound as indignant as possible. "But it's.. it's classified business! You wouldn't want to be thrown in the brig for interfering with Titans business, now would you? I'll see to it that-that-that... C-Commander Jamaican himself punishes you if you dare get in my way!" Almost immediately, the pair of guards balked at the idea of getting personally reprimanded by Commander Jamaican himself, and quickly, they shuffled backwards, watching the considerably-shorter 'officer' walk past and into the west wing. "S-sorry ma'am! We'll stay out of your way!" As if to rub salt in the wound, Fa turned around and mashed her fist into her hand. "See to it that you don't." As she rounded the corner, the girl let out a frantic sigh, clutching her chest as her heart raced underneath her suit. "Oh my god..." she whispered, taking off her helmet. "I really did that... Okay, time to find that girl." Quietly, almost tip-toeing in her boots, Fa wandered through the west wing, which aside from the occasional member of civilian hospital staff, remained mostly empty. She peered through the slit windows of each door, cupping her eyes against the glass to get a better look through. Eventually, she saw her mark: Risu was sitting on the floor, her knees pressed up to her chest. Fa knocked. "Risu!" she whispered. Slowly, the squirrel looked up with puffy eyes. She'd been crying. "I've come to get you out!" Fa grabbed the door handle, giving it a brief tug. Locked. "Damn it..." She looked around the mostly-empty hallway, and for a moment, silence. Then, she could hear the sound of footsteps. The blood drained from her face as she watched the bend in the hall, anticipating it was a Titan who'd caught onto her scheme. She clutched her pistol. I've never shot anyone before... she thought, preparing herself mentally for a fight. Just as the footsteps grew closer, she grew ever more tense: Fa was about to draw her gun when the source of the footsteps showed itself. A janitor. She let out another sigh, allowing her hand to fall from her holster and down her side. "Uh, excuse me." she spoke. "Can you open this door? I forgot something in here." Without an audible word, the janitor grabbed the massive keyring off of his belt, fumbling with each of the dozens of old keys as he begun the process of unlocking the door. Fa waited, glancing over her shoulder nervously. Finally, the door opened, and she stepped inside. "Risu, I'm here to help. Your friends sent me to get you out of here, now come on! My mobile suit is waiting outside, we have to go, quickly!" Letting out a loud sniffle, the squirrel got up onto her feet, rubbing her eyes with gloved hands. "O-okay."
  3. Slowly, Risu's eyes opened, staring up at the ceiling. The room she was in was dark, windowless save for a single small viewport at eye-level on a door to her left, which let through a stream of pale blue-white fluorescent light. She could see smooth plaster walls, though the lower half of them were covered in the same plush padding the floor was covered in. Where was she, again? The last hour and a half had been a blur, a flood of situations she didn't have the context to. There was a war? And a soldier had taken her away in a shuttle? Slowly, she sat up from her spot on the floor, letting out a shaky sigh. This was all too familiar, though. In here, it was completely silent, no doubt owing to the sound-absorbing properties of the padding all around her. Risu had been told to wait here for her safety, and after the... stunning reality of everything, she did so, stewing quietly in her thoughts. What was she even doing? GBN was supposed to be her escape, even if she had no experience with it, but why was it so cripplingly real? Eventually, she stood, taking slow, quiet steps towards the door to push on it. Locked. She sat back against it, holding her hands out in the way she'd been taught to, allowing the game's main menu to materialize in front of her. Her eyes were locked on the button labeled QUIT, and for a while, she stared at it.
  4. (Mafty + Replicator collab) Risu's vision was quickly dominated by the impressively sculptural silhouette of a spaceship. It appeared as if it were reclining, its long legs bent at the knees up front. She recognized it, the ship she'd attacked during the previous mission. As the Asshimar came closer, an airlock at the side of the ship opened, deploying a small platform in front of it where a man dressed in uniform stood. The machine's massive hand hovered beside the platform, giving her the opportunity to hop off before it flew away. With one last glance over her shoulder, she'd look at the battlefield behind her, before stepping inside away from the wind. Closing the hatch, the Federation soldier briefly took a moment of rest to catch his breath. "God, that was close..." He then grabbed his standard-issue carbine, which he had left hanging from a strap, and signalled the little girl to follow him. "Come on. You're safe now, let's get you to the bridge." Slowly, Risu begun to follow, first brushing her hands through her thoroughly windswept fur to straighten it out. She found herself inside of a large, almost cavernous corridor, at least compared to the... Arga.... Agra... Argoma thing. Why was this one so much bigger than the one she had left? Maybe it was from a different thing altogether. Her soft footfalls contrasted heavily with the soldier's boots as they contacted the metal floor, following close behind until finally, the two of them approached a small door. Why the bridge? What did she need to be there for? Sparing the thought, Risu waited for the door to slide open before moving through, making sure to not let her big tail get caught as it closed. Soon, they had reached the upper bridge, in charge of Murrue Ramius, staying away from Natarle's lower bridge, at least for the moment. Kira's friends could be seen in both levels, working some of the ship's systems, while other tasks had rather generic-looking people in charge. The bridge was impressive, providing a sprawling, panoramic view of the world outside through large viewscreens. Explosions and streaks of light dotted the horizon, showing Risu firsthand that the battle raged on without her. Briefly, she wondered about her team. Were they alright? Surely, they too would realize that they were playing the villains too... or perhaps they knew that. Her heart sank at the thought, wondering how they could just so eagerly do such a thing, even if it was ultimately a game. Perhaps the most important member of the crew seemed to be a Titans officer, dressed in a neat black uniform, with a peaked cap and a... cup of coffee? For some reason, it had a logo that looked like a yellow rhombus with triangles and a blue Earth. To somebody who was new to Gundam, it only looked like Brazilian iconography, but it was the symbol of the Earth Federation instead. "Sir! We've successfully rescued the civilian." The soldier announced his presence loudly to the officer, and Murrue. She turned her head to look at her, but she was not prepared to see a normal, almond-haired little girl. "Oh, Lord. Did they really throw her into a free fall?" The Titans officer almost spat his coffee, too. "Well, Miss Ramius. Now you see what these terrorists are capable of, just to gain an edge. Thank God our Mobile Armors are so quick, it was actually in vain for them to try such a thing. Nikon, you can go now. Keep looking after the hangar, don't let any of those redcoats get in." Dismissing the soldier, the officer left the now empty mug on Kuzzey's desk, probably where he had gotten it from, and approached Risu, changing his tone from stern, to caring. "Are you alright?" For a complete outsider to Gundam, Risu had found herself completely absorbed in it, enthralled at just how... real and terrible the world it portrayed was. Finally, her ears swivelled towards the source of the voice addressing her, snapping the squirrel out of her momentary trance. The lady in the chair was now talking to her, presumably the captain of the ship. Risu examined her soft, but stern matronly features before replying with a hesitant "M-mhm.." Sensing her unease, the man in the cap kneeled before her, continuing to address her from eye-level, seemingly placing a lot of trust on how Murrue was handling the situation as things exploded and beams streaked across the sky around them. "Ah, where are my manners? I'm Captain Yuiran. That's Lieutenant Commander Ramius on the chair, and Lieutenant Junior Grade Badgiruel on the pit o'screens." He didn't look like any stranger to the notion of approaching individuals in a non-threatening manner, like some sort of negotiator. "What's your name?" Risu's attention quickly shifted to the man in the hat as he introduced himself and the rest of the crew. She nodded slowly, looking over the bridge until it was her turn to introduce herself. "I-I'm Risu." she said sheepishly. "It's nice to m-meet you." There was something in her that dreaded talking to people, virtual or otherwise. Maybe that was why she'd elected to use text chat for the longest time: only just recently did she find the courage to actually talk in GBN. "I-I... I'm sorry for attacking you last time." She would lower herself into a bow, as deep as she could muster. Yuiran listened to the few words the girl could utter. Five minutes had not passed, and she already had his sympathy. Perhaps it was the way she reminded him of his own little daughter, and the way she would look terrified every time he dared to arrive home in his uniform. Only when he took his cap off did she finally recognize her father in the front lawn. However, the last line confused him and Murrue, who despite being so busy, had been listening to her too. She turned her head towards her again and asked her about it. "Attacking... us?" Slowly, she'd nod. At the very least, she thought, the right thing to do would be to admit to it. Risu tapped her index fingers together in front of her, averting her gaze from Captain Yurian. "I was... uhm... the one in the... red... mobile... suit that was attacking this ship before." Risu visibly tensed up, as if to prepare for something painful in response. While Toto Yuiran had no idea what she was talking about, Murrue remembered perfectly the lean, red Mobile Suit that had come close to the bridge last battle, which was repelled by the two blue Mobile Suits of Beta Team, rather appropriately. "So, you're saying that was you? But that's impossible. You're too young to pilot a Mobile Suit." Yuiran walked closer to Ramius and spoke to her. "Unless she’s…" Murrue soon understood what he was implying. "Her? But she's so young..." The man in the blue coat approached Risu again, trying this time not to scare her. "Suppose we say that's true... Did those scary people force you to pilot?" Come to think of it, she was never given a real choice about where she was put in this... quest arc thing. She hesitated for a moment. Admitting to it would be betraying her team, right? But still, she did not... want to lie. "U-uh huh." Risu nodded. She'd say little else, instead waiting for him to respond. Surely, he would believe her. "Poor kid..." Yuiran could not bear the notion of a child young enough to be his own, grown in a vat and made to fight, like some sort of living weapon. At least, that was what he hypothesised of her, and what she seemed to confirm. Slowly, he took a hand to her hair, and gently patted her. "Well, you're here now, with the good guys, and that's all that matters. You won't be forced to fight if we have a say on the matter. Huh? What is-?" Just as the Captain thought he had touched a pair of animal ears on an otherwise normal head, a nearby tremor almost made both fall to the floor. Yuiran quickly recovered, and immediately looked at the little girl. But there were no ears. I must be seeing things. "Badgiruel, damage report!" Natarle soon addressed the officer and reassured him. "Same as before, sir! It didn't touch us, but they're close."
  5. The sudden gust of wind, and the wash of reverse thrusters from the enemy Asshimar had sent Risu tumbling away from the orange mobile armor even as it made its attempt to catch her. However, it was persistent, and soon, the newbie found herself in the metallic palm of the machine’s hand. She was kind of surprised that it had caught her instead of firing its beam cannon, though what it was going to do next was beyond her. “Are you okay?” She heard over the Asshimar’s loudspeaker. With its other hand, it would shield her from the wind, allowing her to speak properly. “I’m Captain Remy Arbuckle, with the Titans. Don’t worry, I’ve got you. How did you end up falling from the sky?” The machine begun to turn about, getting clear of the enemy mobile suit’s weapons. Assimars were quite fast machines, and soon, Hikaru and Creed were far out of range: Risu had been captured. Risu hesitated, having at least enough sense to understand that telling the truth would be a bad thing. She’d grab hold of a small ledge in the Asshimar’s finger joint, looking out towards the battle as she left her allies behind. “I escaped.” She called out in response. Likely story, given how unlike a soldier she seemed to act. There was no doubt that a sophisticated NPD like Remy would be able to pick that up. She paused again, before turning back towards the Asshimar’s cross-shaped face. “I’m Risu, by the way!” “Well, you made the right choice, Risu. Those ZAFT people are trying to destroy the Earth, and they’ve gotten the help of those AEUG terrorists. Who knows what they would’ve done to someone like you? Did you hear about how they turned a peaceful neutral colony into a warzone for no reason? They might’ve started off with good intentions, but they’ve gotten way out of hand! Us Titans are trying to stop them to keep the Earth Sphere safe, along with everyone living in it.” She was… playing the bad guy? Risu remained silent, instead choosing to digest those words carefully. While she might not have known a single thing about Gundam, her tendency to get lost in a story was most certainly affecting her here. Remy continued, breaking her free from her momentary trance. “I’m going to be taking you to a field hospital nearby, you’ll be safe there until all this blows over.” Risu peered through the small gaps between the massive titanium fingers, hoping to spot the hospital from afar. “O-okay!”
  6. Risu was late! When she logged in and arrived at the Mission Lobby, she found no trace of her team. Maybe they were already in the mission! Hurriedly, she approached a mission clerk, scrambling through the admittedly complicated menus to try and join the mission in progress. The clock was ticking, and often, the newbie found herself going back a step or two before finally pressing the 'Ready' button. Would her team judge her for being late? In the blink of an eye, her vision was quickly dominated by a bright blue glow, which just as quickly gave way to a pale beige landscape that was growing… bigger? It was like she was falling. She was falling?! Wind buffeted her as she plummeted to earth at an alarming speed, making it difficult to speak, or even hear anything. It all felt so real. The air around her was cold, though as she descended from the upper sky, she could feel it grow warmer and warmer against her face. It was a desert below, marred with the scars of battles past. For the most part, as she fell, her panic subsided. However, as she tumbled in midair, she’d witness a wide line of powerful explosions just above her, the collected shockwaves rippling through her virtual body. Like the air, it felt real, and that powerful boom made her just as anxious as before. “Help!” she cried, hoping at least someone would hear her. In her rush to join the operation, Risu had forgotten to assign herself a gunpla, and somehow, it had allowed her to enter without one. The rush of battle surrounded her, and since it was a long way down, she was afraid she would be an easy target given her lack of a mobile suit. Two disc-shaped machines flew past, and Risu could only watch as the pair of NPDs circled around, now pointing their underside-mounted beam cannons straight at her… “Somebody help me..!”
  7. Higanbana moved exceptionally quickly, though its mostly-stock loadout was not enough to elude the Comet Dagger’s custom Saturn Engine. Risu watched as the enemy machine surged forward, deftly coming to a stop just a few short meters in front of her, its Anti-Armor Shotgun aimed directly at her own machine’s chest: she was staring down the smoothbore barrel of the weapon for just an instant before it fired. The diminutive white mobile suit shot upwards just in time, though not fast enough to completely evade the withering fire: the shot had managed to blast the leg of the Higanbana clear off, causing a large, spherical explosion directly in front of the opposing machine. Risu clutched the controls tight, her normal suit creaking against the virtual plastic grips as she pulled back as ordered, sending her mobile suit rushing backwards away from the Archangel and towards friendly lines, towards the Argama. “W-what next..?” she called out, obviously shaken by the experience. It seemed that her earlier display of skill was nothing more than a fluke, or perhaps something else. However, with its main weapon still operational, Higanbana begun to fire, taking shots in the Zeong’s direction. At this distance, the shots would go wide, but perhaps it was enough to get the Mobile Armor off of Shin and allow him to withdraw as well. “S-Shin-san! Go back!” Risu cried, a video window of the girl appearing in the corner of the Astral AGE pilot’s monitor. “Hikaru-san said we’re retreating!”
  8. Streaks of amber light filled Risu's vision, no doubt the enemy returning fire. With widened eyes, and andrenaline coursing through her veins, she scanned her surroundings. Debris dominated her vision after the shots, though in the heat of the moment, she elected to continue shooting instead of changing position, as any experienced pilot should. However, the Higanbana would stop shooting as soon as its pilot spotted a humanoid shape. There was no doubt in her mind that this was the one shooting at her earlier. Her heart begun to pound, and even though the reality that this was just a game was very present in her mind, it did nothing to dull the sense of danger she'd created in her mind. As if by instinct, Risu begun to steer her gunpla towards the Comet Dagger, and for a single, almost-imperceptible moment, the normally-green sensor lights of the Higanbana turned to purple. Higanbana charged forward at full throttle, rushing towards the Archangel at incredible speed. If there was any doubt surrounding the quality of its construction, all of that would be swept away at the sudden burst of movement. Violently, it fired its comprehensive suite of maneuvering thrusters, shoving itself downwards below the Comet Dagger's field of view before resurfacing just a few short meters in front of it. The singular Long Beam Rifle it carried begun to glow with a powerful heat, turning the weapon into an elongated heat sword. The gunpla raised its weapon to strike, at first aiming directly at the Dagger's chest to strike directly at its pilot with a single thrust, but instead used the movement as a feint, surging past the Beta Team machine to instead strike at the Archangel itself up close. Almost immediately, the Earth Alliance vessel's array of point defense turrets raised from their hardpoints, coming alive with unending volleys of machine gun fire towards the Higanbana, which in an uncharacteristic display of skill considering its pilot, weaved between the turrets' arcs of fire with ease and grace as it slashed across various points of the vessel's hull with its Long Heat Claw.
  9. For a long time, Risu seemed to disappear from the battlefield, even staying quiet on team comms. The HUD marker for her machine on the rest of Team Alpha was way out of position, moving seemingly further and further away from the action. What was she doing? Eventually, though, the Higanbana’s marker stopped moving, and an unfamiliar, young voice would transmit through the team comms. “I’m here.” Her comm window finally opened to show the squirrel pilot, who had somehow changed into a more fitting outfit: a close-fitting red-and-black normal suit possessing a pink rabbit pin on the protective collar. “I see it. The ship.” Risu had parked her machine inside a field of debris, having managed to sneak her way over towards the Archangel as ordered. She raised the Higanbana’s sole weapon, its Long Beam Rifle, propping the long, flat weapon against a piece of nearby space debris. Thankfully, the ship wasn’t moving at all, and her heads-up display showed a pair of markers over its bridge and its engine cluster, helping her aim at the critical components of the vessel even if she was wholly unfamiliar with it. A brief pause punctuated the pull of the trigger, and with a low whine, the weapon begun to charge up to let loose a large beam of energy towards the bridge of the ship. If Risu could successfully destroy the bridge, she reasoned, then the fight would be over sooner. She fired again, and again, and again, every shot threatening to slam into the large vessel’s hull and pierce right through. No doubt this would attract the attention of everyone on Beta team, but Risu was fine with that. She'd at least done her job: she'd be lucky to come out unscathed after this.
  10. […] [crimson] says: u sure tho [crimson] says: cuz once u do this nuthins gonna be back to normal again [risuwu] says: yea [risuwu] says: ill do it -- The next phase of this storyline had come far quicker than Risu had anticipated. Unlike her compatriots, she had little thought of actually changing or upgrading her gunpla, reasoning that it was ‘good enough’. She was far too consumed with her chat conversation just minutes before to notice that things were starting; soon enough, she would find herself alone in the Argama’s launch bay. The rest of the team had long since departed the vessel towards the battlefield, leaving the inexperienced Diver to scramble, making her launch rather inelegant. “H-Higanbana, going out…” “So, you all got a plan, or what?” Risu would hear over the radio. It was that aggressive-looking guy, Shin. There was no doubt he’d be going off on his own again, she thought. This time, though, she’d listen. They were to remain at distance… or something. She thought it prudent to hide behind some of the debris in front of them and hopefully try and help her team from there. Risu knew she was no good in a fight, so the best she could do was try and provide cover from afar. The Higanbana’s Long Beam Rifle/Claw seemed to be effective at long range, judging from what her heads-up-display was telling her. If she stayed out of the way, it would be fine.
  11. Risu’s little ears flattened at the touch to her head, appearing to wince away at Hikaru’s touch. Still, she looked like she appreciated it, judging by the small, nervous smile she’d given him. As the proceedings continued, she remained quiet, trying her best to understand what was going on. By the looks of things, this Rau person seemed quite important. And while she didn’t quite get the finer details of his speech, she understood that the next part of this questline was gated for tomorrow. Her attention quickly shifted to her interface as a red circle marked with a ‘1’ appeared above the back of her hand. She’d hold it in front of her to open it, finding a friend request from Marco. She’d leave it for now. As the other divers begun their goodbyes, she’d stand idly in place. She was typing something, and it was taking quite a while. Eventually, she’d bow again, offering her own farewell-for-now. [good night!! see u tomorrow wwww (ノ´ヮ`)ノ*: ・゚] Despite this, she lingered, watching the rest of her new Force disappear with clouds of teal, cubic particles. Now alone, she could finally relax. It felt like she’d been holding her breath the entire time. Slowly, she’d slump to her knees on the cool metal floor, letting out a shaky sigh. This wasn’t normal for her. Usually, she had no problem with people online, where they were static, distant avatars speaking in text, but in the space of virtual reality, it all felt too real. They looked real, quite possibly like their real selves, and they were speaking to her about things she had no understanding of. And now they were counting on her: strangers she barely knew hanging their hopes of success on her meager shoulders. While they’d managed to eke out a victory, Risu could feel it in her heart that she was dragging them down, that they felt that she was dragging them down, holding them back from performing perfectly. Why was she even doing this? She didn’t know Choco in real life, either, but the obligation of meeting her in this game gnawed at her conscience. She wanted to impress her, especially since she’d been given the game, owing nothing in return. For all her hangups and anxiety about all of this, Risu wanted to do better, she wanted to be better for when they would inevitably see each other. She was never good at games, and in virtual reality, where real dexterity was important, she had little chance of keeping up: she was clumsy and unskilled with anything requiring a modicum of finesse or expertise. How would she get better for Choco? Risu paused for a moment, laying back and closing her eyes before she’d log out herself. “Sorry….”
  12. Risu listened quietly, though she'd occasionally fidget with her hands. While the others were talking about their Gunpla, she found herself more occupied with looking at her own. She didn't get an opportunity to look at the machine before, and now that she stood at the foot of it, she couldn't help but admire how it was portrayed. Risu had built Higanbana for Choco, but her friend had refused, instead telling her that she could have it. For a moment, the squirrel reflected on why that was. Maybe Choco had her build it to trick her into playing GBN. While that was fine, she wondered why Choco didn't just ask her if she wanted to play from the start. It was obvious that the Higanbana was an exceptional Gunpla, built using advanced modeling techniques. While ultimately, the machine was stock in its configuration, it was far from a scratch build: the original white-and-navy colour scheme had been replaced with a pearl white and two-tone red satin finish, merging pieces formed from plastic plate to modify the proportions of the already fairy-like mobile suit. The V-Fin had been replaced as well with an intricately detailed golden figurehead, owing to the ornate aesthetic. Just how it was made was something of a mystery. Eventually, she'd turn back towards the group, giving them a small bow as greeting. [my name is risu btw ٩(◕‿◕。)۶] [im new to gbn wwwww]
  13. Risu took a brief pause as she was pulled out of the dark cockpit space of her gunpla and deposited into what appeared to be a large atrium, though the way that various other gunpla were placed in rows against the walls seemed to suggest that this was a hangar, not unlike one for aircraft. She was perhaps too engaged with getting her bearings that she’d effectively tuned out the rather terse conversation happening between the other members of her team, though the way she appeared to actively avoid them would no doubt inform the other divers about what kind of person the little squirrel was, though as soon as her name was called, she’d turn towards the one who’d addressed her. Hikaru, she recalled, though the fact that his name showed up just above his head helped quite a lot. Now that they weren’t engaged in distracting combat, she could dedicate her attention to what he was saying. Unlike previously, he was showing concern. Whether or not he was mad at her, she couldn’t tell, but regardless, Risu felt like she ought to apologize. With a small pout, a white speech bubble appeared overhead, filled with a single word. [sorry :c] [i’ll try harder next time] It’s just a game, Risu thought to herself. There’s no reason you should be getting down like this! Even though she knew better, something nagged at her, or rather had been nagging at her for quite some time. Right now, though, it didn’t matter. She’d try to keep her word as best she could. She wanted to do good, if not for them, for herself, and then maybe Choco as well, whenever she decided to show up.
  14. A long, pregnant pause marked the gap between Risu's thoughts as she stared at the dark-haired boy while he begun to climb the hand of her gunpla. She'd stare for a while, noting just how small he was against her machine. All of this seemed so real, and people enjoyed it? How? Remaining still, she'd look around at her surroundings, watching the combat continue overhead, seemingly without her. Risu wiped her eyes with her sleeves, which were quickly stained with her tears, and eventually, Higanbana begun to move again, rising to its spindle-like feet, clutching Kamille close to its chest. A brief flash of light, and the boy would disappear, only to materialize behind Risu.
  15. For a while, Risu’s hand hovered over the button labeled ‘quit’, staring at the glowing blue shape and the almost alien English text written across it. As far as she knew, she’d already failed. There was no point continuing like this. They were going to lose, and it was all her fault. However, as her hand lowered towards the button to press it, she would look up. The face of a young man met hers but only briefly. His eyes betrayed his stoic face, belonging more to a boy who was time and time again scorned by others, forced to carry the weight of expectation: a burden he simply could not bear. How could a game portray such emotion? She knew those eyes well, and even just that fleeting moment of contact between them, however wordless, was enough. She stirred in her seat upturned, moving her hand away from the button as it disappeared and instead grabbing the pair of control sticks at either side. Finally, Higanbana would move, sitting up slowly as steam billowed from the vents on its narrow chest doubtlessly attracting the attention of anyone who was watching. Its pilot stared at the scene unfolding before her, as the two men traded blows. It was the boy again, with those pain-filled eyes. Risu may not have known who he was, or even what was happening, but something inside whispered to her: help him. The crimson machine lurched forward, reaching out towards the pair as they fought, holding its hand out flat in an effort to separate them like a wall. She had to help him, and she didn't know why. Risu was shaking the entire time, overcome with a feeling of relief that she had not felt in a long time.
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