Gabriel’s breathing picked up as he focused on the locked blades in front of him. Reality seemed to cast a shade over him as his arms shook in rage. Then she spoke, the damn space monster had a voice.
“You must think you're an oh-so-righteous knight, right? Come from the heavens to rain down his wrath upon evil... Pathetic… you're but a mere toy soldier!”
Something about her tone, her voice; no, monsters deserved to have a voice. The damn zeeks spoke the only words he’d listen to when they dropped the colony on his home. “Shut up. Shut up! Shut up!” He practically screamed. The Quel dropped the dead shield handle and he held the beam saber with both hands, managing to push the Gouf away with the focused strength. “You know nothing!” His voice was shrill.
The break caused his blade to swing out wide to his left and he flared his thrusters to dive at the reeling Gouf. With the saber in both hands he flew forward, ready to swipe back again towards his right. Just as he cocked the blade back he jerked his controls to suddenly jab his foot in the ground and push his Quel at a slightly off angle towards his right so he wouldn’t head straight into the enemy. His arms swung the saber after his movements, slashing horizontally. He was hoping to avoid the Gouf’s defense all together and get a slash against the cockpit ending the fight quickly.
A wicked grin formed on Gabriel’s face as his rounds hit poor Dustin’s suit. “Damn fool!” He howled. As the suit began to catch fire and emit smoke he strode forward confidently. He honestly didn’t care for Dustin and a growing part of him hoped the loud mouth was dead. He tossed his rifle on the ground and pulled out his beam saber as he slowed his approach, shield leading into the smog. In the back of his mind he kept thinking of all the after action reports he read about the Goufs, every one of them warned him about the heatrod.
He switched on his PA, “Oi! Cheap tricks and cowardice won’t save yer skin!” His eyes darted before him trying to make out shapes from trees and smoke. Finally one particularly swirling moving cloud of smoke caught his eye and he rushed forward to ignite and stab with his pink blade. His movements were precise, his Quel shuffling with caution. As his blade pierced through the cockpit of Dustin’s Quel. He kept moving and jerked the blade sideways outwards to his right, twisting the torso of his Quel and pushing his shield into the dummy Quel, practically shattering it. He didn’t know if the Gouf was still hiding behind the Quel or not but his blade would have gone through for some damage most likely if it was still there. He wanted Dustin’s Quel out of this fight either way, even if it killed that arrogant bastard in the process. What mattered more was this chance to take out a probable Zeon commander, another space monster. “Is that the best you can do?” He taunted.
Albert was beside Gabriel taking on one of the Zakus by the ridge. The enemies didn’t seem like pushovers as the two entwined in a deadly exchange. Gabriel was in a similar position aiming at a zaku who was doing the same. The zaku raised its rifle up and rounds slammed into Gabriel’s shield. They were almost too close to each other to shoot effectively. Gabriel fired his thrusters to bash into the Zaku, suddenly stunning the enemy mobile suit. As it fought to bring its gun back around Gabriel didn’t hesitant and brought his rifle to aim at the feet of the zaku. At point blank the bullets easily tore into the metal as the recoil drew a line up along the body of the machine. Flames bled out of the holes as the Zeek fell over and Gabriel knew that one was out of the fight.
He looked around wildly to see what other units were doing. Perhaps it was the uniqueness of it, but his attention was drawn to the Gouf leading away. “Oh no you don’t!” Gabriel popped a magazine out of the rifle as he brought his Quel around to aim at the Gouf. He charged as he slapped in the new magazine. He barely noticed the two Tropens rushing away to Ryder’s location but his focused was fixed on the Gouf now. Something about how it moved told Gabriel that this had to be the commander.
He got within weapons range and brought his rifle up shooting a brief blast 90mm in front of the cockpit. Gabriel was never much of a marksman and made the shot to bring the attention to himself. “That’s right big green! You’re fights with me mate!” He muttered more to himself than anyone else. As he spoke he leveled the rifle to aim more precisely. He moved forward to close more distance cautiously, he had heard many stories about the heat rod on the Gouf. Even as he advanced he brought the shield up to try and prepare himself for the retaliation. His shield was battered from his previous exchange and he wasn’t sure how much more abuse it could take.
Gabriel’s face melted into a scowl as the commander barged into the cramp hangar and announced that they were dropping. He gawked at the man, it took a large portion of his will power not to question Albert. Instead he focused on the task at hand. He put on his space suit (which was supplied inside the Quel) with the ease of a veteran. Everything seemed to be moving too fast and the ensign fumbled around booting the operating system up as bay doors opened and radio chatter commenced.
False information? Just what kind of a mission was this turning out to be?
Gabriel growled out loud as he finished getting the space suit on, with mobile suit combat it never hurt to be prepared for anything. It seemed like he barely got ready in time as his Quel was tossed out of the transport. Strapped in he felt the familiar uneasiness of G-Force’s tugging on his body. Steely eyed, the ensign fired his thrusters to get a sense of the unit and its weight. As he glided through the air he slowly got more accustomed to the movements of the mobile suit, though he admitted it would still take some time getting used to. He was the last to hit the ground, given his testing of the thrusters. The whole mission was starting to leave a bitter taste in his mouth; immediate deployment, hasty arrangements, sloppy planning, poor intelligence. Gabriel sighed but kept his criticism to himself, he wasn’t about to let his sour attitude get himself killed.
He loaded up the bullpup and shield and shuffled ahead to take point, something Albert didn’t seem to protest.
They had been marching for a few minutes when flickers in the distance seemed to catch everyone’s attention, weapons fire.
Albert’s voice chimed in, “Crap it looks like Bravo’s made contact! Everyone advance! Let’s pincer them from our side!”
At a full sprint now, it didn’t take long to see the line of mobile suits, starting to entangle in the throes of battle. “Dammit! Why didn’t Bravo wait just a few more minutes?” Gabriel wondered to himself.
As he got within weapons fire range he didn’t stop his charge. Several Zakus were engaged with the GM’s from Bravo and didn’t seem to notice his Quel rushing from the opposite side. With the vegetation and sloping of the region he didn’t have a clear picture of all the enemy units but he could see all of Bravo team as they held position on the ridge. Suddenly the upper portion of one of Bravo’s GMs burst into flames as enemy fire tore into the armor. “No!” Gabriel yelled as he skidded to a stop and opened fired at the farthest Zeek from his position. He was close enough to engage a couple of Zakus near the ridge but specifically chose one that was farther away, wanting to draw the enemy attention to himself. As his rifle boomed out rounds the Zaku went limp suddenly, telling Gabriel that a round found the enemy cockpit. He fought his urge to celebrate and kept his focus as he shifted his attention to the nearest Zaku which did notice his presence now. “C’mon you space monsters!” He yelled as he turned his shield and gun to face the next one.
Ryder announced "I've read up a lot on the GM Quel. It's a cutting edge GM. Much better than the GM Kai."
Gabriel nodded his head in agreement as they gazed at the new units. He did his best to not put down the older sniper unit, after all he got all his kills in the trusty GM. In many ways Gabriel was as big of a GM fanboy as the next federation pilot.
“Oh yeah mate I’m excited to see what this new Jim will do.” He led them to where both their units stood side by side. From the tiny catwalk he moved towards the cockpit and opened it up. The ensign marveled at the “new factory” smell from the cockpit. Despite himself a grin did form on his lips as he eased into the seat. “Oi! Yeah! I got a good feeling about Jimmy here! You sure you don’t wanna get one of these new boys Ryder?” He asked rhetorically.
Perhaps in another life Gabriel would have been a mechanic for the GMs. His appreciation for the machine was genuine as he fawned over the controls. His features grew more solemn as his reality caught up to him. He looked up from the controls to call out to Ryder. “So how long have you been serving mate?” His tone more grounded suddenly.
"Yeah, I'm pretty decent too." Ryder responded. Yeah my mate thought he was hot stuff too, Gabriel silently shot back.
Two men came into the already cramped room causing Gabriel to stiffened up and jumped down to snap into attention. He quickly realized that they were both superiors. As the two introduced themselves Gabriel already decided that he didn’t like Dustin. Loud mouthed and likely insecure, the type didn’t sit well with the ensign. Albert at least seemed more level headed, though his familiarity with Dustin was off putting. They all got a long way to go to measure up to my old unit, Gabriel thought.
He followed everyone to the briefing room and patiently listened to the mission details. Albert began pointing at the screen dominating the room and Gabriel found a place against the opposite wall to lean against.He silently wondered how reliable this intelligence was and didn’t like the vague details of “5-10 mobile suits” lurking around. As Dustin spoke Gabriel did his best not to roll his eyes, even the man’s voice was growing to be irritating.
The plan seemed simple enough and he wasn’t one to get paid to over think any problems. Still he cleared his throat, “permission to check out my mobile suit sir?”
Albert quickly nodded his head, “granted, anything else?” Gabriel’s disinterested look answered for himself as he shook his head slowly. He was already kicking himself off his perch on the wall and moving to stand at attention to be dismissed. Like all missions he didn’t care, Gabriel didn’t care if Char Aznable himself was sitting in the desert waiting for them, the only thing that mattered was getting the chance to take down some zeeks.
His expression grew bitter as he contemplated, and he silently wondered if this new team would perform as well as he hoped. When everyone got dismissed he turned to the sniper standing next to him, “you wanna check out the new units Ryder?” His tone was as close to cheery as he got.
Jaburo certainly didn’t disappoint, though Gabriel hadn’t been there before, he certainly was astonished by the complex. The ensign navigated the bustling hangar and subsequent complex, from his transport that he had caught from North America. He carried his Ruck over one shoulder and a folder with his assignment papers in his free hand. The entire place seemed alive with the salt and pepper of Titans and Federation officials. The last few weeks had been a blur of activity since news of the fleet’s destruction by Zeon forces. One thing was certain, the Federation wasn’t taking the hit lying down.
Gabriel eventually found the oversized plane that would take him and his new squad to South Africa for deployment. The prospect of taking the fight to the Zeeks made the ensign grin. The grin seemed infectious as he found two women standing next to a cart inside the Medea transport.
Gabriel tucked the folder under the other arm and snapped a salute, “Ensign Gabriel Winter, reportin for duty ma’am!”
The woman offered a warm smile at the gesture and held out a new uniform. “Here you go ensign! Please change inside and join everyone else. We’ll leave once the whole team assembles.”
“Thank you ma’am!” Gabriel took the uniform solemnly and proceeded to find the area to change.
As he changed out of the drab tan of the Federation uniform to the Titan black equivalent he admired himself in the new outfit. Clean crisp lines, black with gold trim and Red accents, Gabriel found the style to be an upgrade. He secured a locker to hide his rucksack into and took out the binder with his mission details before going to find his bunk.
As he navigated the cramped hallways he found the room he had been assigned. As he opened the door another man was already inside. Gabriel couldn’t help his nature as he eyed the other man suspiciously.
“Hi. I’m Ryder Sarka.”
Gabriel eyed the outstretched hand as he silently studied the fellow ensign, sizing up his peer. This Ryder fellow had a few inches on him in height and maybe a couple more years but seemed unremarkable otherwise. Gabriel knew first hand that appearances could be deceiving though, he offered out his hand.
“Ensign Gabriel Winter…” he shook Ryder’s hand tightly, “pleasure to meet you mate.” He released the grip and nodded his head to the beds. “Looks like top bunk is mine?” The question was more of a statement as he moved past the fellow ensign to jump into the bed agilely. His feet dangling down as he opened his binder to look at some papers. After a moment he jabbed a finger at the papers in the binder, “ah so you’re the sniper?” He glanced down past his binder to Ryder accusingly. “I’ve heard of some sweetas’ pilots in those units, knew a bloke back in my old unit who was decent at it himself.”
Gabriel wasn’t one for talking usually but he wanted to know what kind of pilot would be shooting over his head in the field.