Magali and me

Hangars beach Magali and me_small

 

Magali Kidd is tired: she’s done with black ops. She gave me back her armour and will from now on float in Hangars Liquides aquarium. Her clone Rhea Cortes is obviously following her.
I lose two great fighters, but I will keep hearing their psyonic songs, like dolphins in the data stream.
Here we are at Hangars holobeach™ for a last souvenir picture together. Farewell Magali.

Taken at Hangars Liquides. Holobeach™.

Soundtrack

High quality picture here

Fallback

Celestalis enters the medlab, supported by Xer0.

He lies on the couch, then closes his eyes. Thrill removes his armour, piece by piece, revealing burns and blood blisters on his skin.
She spends half an hour operating devices on him, then, when she’s finished, Lawrence looks asleep.
Frida is waiting in a corner. She looks at Xer0, who nods and sits close to Celestalis, she then looks at Thrill and exits the medlab. Thrill steadily follows her.

They both enter a lounge room and sit on a pale blue bench. Frida lifts her chin “So?”
Thrill shivers “Oh, at first it went very well. We parachuted on Nova Venetia at night, as agreed. Ash was jamming their systems. Xer0 hacked the hatch in 30 seconds and we breached in.
Everyone was silent, even Djehan was fast and moving slyly. I didn’t agree at first, but Lawrence was right. Then Ash sat in the lotus position and started accessing their system. I hate it when her AI half takes over, but she looked like she knew what she was doing.

Then the black guards ran in. Oh, fuck, Frida! Lawrence started moving very fast, but his eyes looked like holes, black holes on a ghost. I had to look away and concentrate on shielding Ashling from the guards.
Djehan was grinning while she made her way through the soldiers with her grey machetes. At one point she started singing a children song.
Xer0 was laughing out loud. She danced around cutting everything with her claws.
When Ash opened her eyes, no guard was standing. We escaped to the roof and ignited our backpacks.”

Frida says nothing, sipping green tea from a cup. Then she turns towards Thrill again “And we have got it, right?”
Thrill shakes her head “Yes, yes. We have it. Ash and Djehan are on stasis downstairs. They should be fine, ten to twenty days.” She gulps her tea down, then shivers again.
“Frida, I don’t know if I want to stay. Now I know why everyone’s afraid of the Crimsons.
I’m trained and skilled, but that was too much! It’s insane! I signed to be in a black ops crew, not to mess with cruel voodoo gods.”
Frida smiles “You will get used to this. It’s just business. Everything will be alright”.

 

HL – Sic transit gloria mundi

The dark marble walls at The Baths shimmer from the water reflection.

A group of residents is gathering at one side of the huge pool.

Djehan is sitting in the middle, wearing a black armor and a rifle on her back.
Hibiki is standing against a wall, the smoke of a cigarette coming from behind his mask.
Celestalis is wearing warpaint and is sitting nearby. Behind him, five Crimson Merchants stand in their black and red uniforms.

Some Realcov managers are sitting among the crowd as well

On the opposite corner, Countess Frida Orsini, a thin lady wearing a large hat and a long dress, barely moves her chin to let Lawrence know she’s there.

At the entrance, two Crimsons stand behind a metal detector, while two AI’s, Magali and Rhea, help scanning everyone entering the area.
“Eldtrich Commons” says a dangerous looking woman, sporting two katanas on her hips, while she’s granted access.
Ambassador, in her shiny silverish outfit, is typing on a datapad, watching and listening.

Celestalis stands up and lights a cigar. The crowd stops mumbling.
“We didn’t suffer major damage. All missiles were stopped by our countermeasures.
Drones and their firebombs left some marks around, but we will rebuild.
Sincerely, I don’t even think we should fight back Nova Venetia, they can’t wait for it!
The giant doesn’t bother an ant passing in his garden, and so will do Hangars”

Djehan looks up and stands. She doesn’t look stoned as usual. “De minimis non curat praetor, my father always used to say. The chief magistrate does not concern himself with trifles. It’s latin!”

Celestalis blinks and lights up “Latin was the language of the ancient empire of Rome. They had many wise sayings. “Sic transit gloria mundi, is one I like! Here flows the glory of the world. We should have it on flags around the city, under Hangars Liquides logo!”

People suddenly stand up, raising their fists “Yes! Let’s print flags! Let’s place them all around the city!”

A dark haired young woman stands up “Realcov will pay for it”.
A man raises his hand “I’m Gabriel Adler. Hauer-Bosch will contribute.”
Lawrence smiles “Count the Crimsons in. And we will maintain the defense systems active all around town.”

Hibiki Ochs walks towards the door, then stops, turns towards everyone “Per aspera ad astra!” he says, bowing. Then, he leaves.

“Through hardships to the stars”, murmurs Frida, while lighting a cigarette.