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Sep 24, 2019 5:37 AM
Su and Naruto in Voltron
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She moves on, smiling at her team. "Wanna talk about strategies for next sim?" she asks, mostly towards Pidge.

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"Here's a strategy," Pidge snaps. "How about you don't screw up!" 

He shoves past Nuray and stalks off down the hall, but not quite fast enough to hide the tears starting to build in his eyes. 

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"...Is he okay?" she mutters, staring after him, a bit baffled.

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Akira sighs. "C'mon Nuray, we can talk on our own."

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She nods, slowly. "Sure..."

And off to one of the quiet little nooks they've found over their friendship.

(Big conclusion: they need to get better at working with people who aren't the two of them. She and Akira don't really need to talk, even, to understand each other, but it's sometimes hard to slot anyone else in... Nuray's pretty decent at working with arbitrary people, but something about them both in a larger team - it's like a three-person waltz.)

Still, they'll be ready for the next challenge!

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The instructors keep throwing them into group exercises over the next week or so, with a variety of groupings. Pidge doesn't seem to be good at working with anyone, but he doesn't snap at his teammates again. 

One evening, five minutes before curfew, Nuray and Akira happen to see Pidge in the corridors with a backpack and dressed in civvies, clearly sneaking out. He seems to have done this before, from the way he calmly steps around a corner to avoid a patrolling officer. 

"Oh. Hi." 

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"Hey! Going somewhere?"

She doesn't actually super care if he wants to break the rules, and needs to get back to her bunk anyways, so she's talking quietly and intends to keep this short.

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"Uh. Nnnoo?" 

Pidge is apparently a terrible liar. 

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"Well, stay safe, practice lying a bit maybe."

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He snorts. "You got me. I'm only going up to the roof, though, 'cause there's better signal up there." 

Pidge turns to go, then adds as an afterthought, "Come if you want, just don't bug me." 

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"That sounds neat! You coming, Akira?"

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He nods.

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"Lead the way, then."

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"Cool. Okay, follow me and stay quiet." 

He leads the other two through the corridors of the Garrison. The lights go down to signal curfew, leaving their path lit only by small strip-lights running along the walls, but he doesn't miss a beat. 

A few stairways and a ladder later, they're on the roof. It's wide and flat, but a good half of its surface is taken up with solar panels, generators, satellite dishes, and the like.

Pidge finds a clear spot near the edge, with a good view over the whole Garrison site. He sits down cross-legged, pulls a laptop and some other electronic gadgets out of the backpack, and starts setting up a tiny satellite receptor of his own. 

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Nuray wedges herself into a weird, high point, where she has as close to an unobstructed view of the sky as possible. (She's assuming 'stay quiet' applies here, too.)

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Akira perches where he'd be able to see if anyone is coming, and signal to at least Nuray to hide better.

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Excellent. Pidge fiddles with gadgets and has everything set up in a few minutes with practised efficiency. The equipment is obviously jury-rigged and heavily modified. 

Pretty soon, the electronics are beeping away, and he puts on headphones to listen to the radio signals that come in. 

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"What'cha doing?" she whispers at what seems an opportune moment.

Okay so she's not very good at staying quiet.

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"Listening in on alien radio chatter. Here, you wanna listen?" He offers the headphones.

"They're excited tonight. Must be something happening." 

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"...Aliens?"

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Pidge doesn't seem bothered by her disbelief.

"Put the headphones on or give them back, we're missing stuff." He points at the activity on his screen, which does seem to be fairly busy. 

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She puts them on.

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And her ears fill with chatter in an unintelligible language. It sounds harsh, full of hard consonants and strange clusters of sounds that don't naturally go together in most human languages. Several different voices are barking at each other, sometimes interrupting and talking over the others. 

Some words and phrases are repeated often enough to catch: vrepit sa. ZarkonVoltron

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She loves languages, even if they're super hard, and is quickly imagining getting to talk to these people, find out who they are, if they dream of the same stars -

She whispers the words she notices repeating to Pidge. Or, well, the best approximation she can pronounce.

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"Vrepit sa's not new, they're always saying that one, and I'm pretty sure I've heard 'zarkon' before as well. 'Voltron' is new tonight; I think it's what's got them all excited."

He reaches for the headphones. "Can I have those back—"

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