Artemis bounced between the walls of the ship as she barreled towards a door with a big green restroom sign posted above it in glowing lettering. In her haste she smacked her shoulder against the frame instead of opening the door. The girl let out a series of curses and exclamations of pain before she opened the door and stole her way inside.
"Oi anyone in here?" Yelled the pilot after the door shut behind her. Silence was the only reply. She scanned around the doors to the stalls, trying to see if there was any occupied stalls and found none switched to the red occupied signal. "Oh thank god."
The farthest stall from the door soon became occupied with more Artemis than most rooms would be comfortable with. She waited until the door was shut securely before the tears returned from her time in space. Her hands covered her eyes as clear droplets began to stream out of them, filling the stall with tiny floating spheres. Artemis almost choked on her sobs as she curled up into a ball herself, tucking her knees under her chin.
The crying session dragged out for a few minutes before with one last shivering breath she uncurled herself and took a deep breath. Her eyes had turned red around the edges from having her hands pressed against them and a small trail of snot oozed down from her nostril. She smacked the flush button and hesitantly peeked out of the bathroom stall door. Thankfully for her, the room was still empty.
Artemis kicked the toilet and grabbed onto the sink across from her stall. She took deep breaths as she stared herself down for a few moments before she started to clean herself up, but the redness around her eyes refused to subside.
"Happy anniversary Serenity." The words came out choked from the girl's sore throat, "Why can't I get over you?"
She took one last deep breath before putting on the smile everyone expected from her and kicked her way to the door. She sailed through the open door to the hanger before long and glared at an unpainted Gaza-D that stood unused beside her Gaza-C, most of the paint around the chest and abdomen had gotten scrapped off from the Zaku's attack earlier.
"How's my bitch baby lookin'?" Shouted out Artemis to Ginger.
"Like it got drunk and slept with a pizza guy again!" Came the swift reply from the mechanic.
"It was only twice! You never let me live that down!" The words came between fits of giggles as Artemis sailed up to her Gaza-C, "What needs fixing?"
Part One: Rise, Junk Zaku!
"Really, faggot, you still play with toys?" Snorted out Joseph Cooper, leader of his own little trio consisting of himself, Rico Gibraltar and Albert Bastion. The toy Cooper was referring to was a model of a MS-06 Zaku II that Artemis had built, "Zeon trash to boot!"
The Zaku met the ground and then the heel of the boy's boot, the plastic splintered easily and turned into a pile of green plastic shards covered in a fine layer of dust. Artemis saw all of this at eye level while being held down under Gibraltar and Bastion's knees.
A knife was clenched in the girl's hand. Her teeth were barred. These events had played out almost exactly the same every week almost like clockwork for years, ever since Artemis had gotten her first Zaku toy as a child.
It wouldn't end differently this time either. A rock sailed through the air and conked Cooper on the forehead, where a scar had formed over the years of getting hit there so often with sharp rocks.
"Hey jerk off squad, get the fuck off my girlfriend!" Serenity was right on time as usual, "I'm the only one slowed on top of her ass!"
"Great your psycho sister," muttered Bastion as he threw his arms up to protect his own head, "Joe your parents need to medicate that bitch before she kills us!"
Artemis rolled into Bastion, giving his now unprotected crotch a visit from her shin as she scrambled to try to get to her feet, half running on two feet and half climbing the slight hill up before she hid behind Serenity, she hugged the taller girl's arm against her own face and glared down at the trio of boys.
"What the fuck Serenity!?" Screamed Cooper as he clutched his forehead with both hands, "Fucking protect your tranny girlfriend. You both are perfect for each other, you're both fucking nuts!"
Two middle fingers flew up at the same time, one from Artemis and the other from Serenity. The trio slink off along the path as the lovers give each other a big squeeze.
"What are you doing out here? You know those goons drink near the old air field," Serenity coos down to Artemis as the green haired girl pressed her face into the her girlfriend's chest, "Aside from wanting an excuse to rub your face in my boobs of course."
"You know that thing I've been working on? I finally finished it!" Artemis chirped out the words while she looked up. She bounced to give her girlfriend a kiss on the lips, "Its inside!"
"Didn't the Federation abandon this place like a decade ago? Its bombed to shit anyway, babe," whined Serenity as Artemis began to drag her through a break in the chain link fence that ringed the old military base, "What could possibly be in this dump that you fixed?"
"Its a mobile suit of my own creation!" Giggled out Artemis as she lead her girlfriend to one of the close by hangers, pushing it open with her shoulder, "We call it the Junk Zaku!"
"We?" The word almost caught in Serenity's throat as she caught sight of the first thing in the hanger, a Neo Zeon flag, "Artemis. Holy shit. This is... Awesome! I mean my dumbass parents are shipping me to Earth tomorrow but I could probably hook up with a Zeon cell there."
"I'm supposed to get in the Zaku and get it to port tonight," Artemis's voice lowered as she gently pushed Serenity over to one of the rows of lockers and benches that filled the area before the work bays and the massive arched main floor, "Wanna come with?"
Rather than having given Artemis an answer, Serenity pushed the smaller girl herself, down against one of the benches. Artemis was pinned under Serenity and much like a turtle on its back, she could not wiggle side to side to freedom.
The wiggles were soon quelled by a nibble to Artemis's neck, causing her limbs to turn to jelly as those bubble gum pink lips sealed around her skin. Artemis's hands flew to push Serenity off of her but only succeeded in getting her arms pinned above her head by one of the larger girl's arms.
"N- Serein- Uhgg..." Artemis couldn't form words if she tried. Her mind and tongue were both useless before she finally rolled onto the ground, ending up on top of the other girl, "B-babe! Not the place."
Sereintiy balled her fists into paws and gently pawed at her girlfriend's cheek, her face as red as the Zeon flag they passed moments earlier. Artemis sat up on the taller girl's hips, Serenity gave a playful thrust.
"Every time we're alone all you wanna do is bang," snorted Artemis before finally escaping Serenity's grasp, "Come on I wanna show you my Zaku!"
Serenity opened her mouth to retort but it was covered by Artemis's hand and given a harsh shoosh. The pair of girls skitter through the dark and near abandoned hanger. Parts of military equipment lay strewn about, in fragments and parts. Parts of mobile suits lay strewn apart in far less frequency. Zaku limbs, Gelgoog armor and a couple boxes of parts with 'ZEON' and 'FED ASSHOLES' in marker written on them in bold lettering.
In the middle of that mess stood the culmination of all that junk. A Zaku crafted out of not only mobile suits but anything Artemis could get her hands on. Above the elbows the suit had little armor but instead a mess of cables coiled around the forearms and plugged into the hands. The legs were ripped from a Gelgoog but how the legs were removed rendered them in need of repair. Within the Zaku's hands it held a shield made from the armor that was originally on its legs with a massive Neo Zeon emblem painted on in bright red and the reason for all the wires on the arms, the massive heat spear. The spear had more or less the parts of two heat hawks assembled into a massive halibard with a massive spear point.
"You're going to fight in that?" Whispered Serenity as she stared into the open cockpit, "Can we at least fuck in first it for good luck?"
Artemis rolled her eyes as the first of the explosions shook the hanger, sending both girls to the ground.
Once the first explosion popped up on her screens, Artemis stopped firing, her fingers hovered over the triggers hesitantly. Her eyes took stock of the situation. All of the other mobile suits were damaged in some way but rather than being destroyed they were merely disarmed, or more literally in the Zaku's case.
"Amber, I really hope you can get back to the ship on your own," the words came out as a groan as the girl thumbed the transformation controls, hearing only a sharp error beep and a quick flash of a red light, "The Gaza is doing what it does best."
The Gaza turned face and began to putter back to the ship. The slow rate was to give Artemis time to look at what the short skirmish had done to her beloved machine as her eyes flew over the panels and readouts that clustered her cockpit.
Her propellant? Not gonna propel her for that long. Her Knuckle Buster? Could use a little love. The structural integrity of everything? Well it is a Gaza that just got hugged by a multi ton pirate mecha.
The Gaza-C waddled into the hanger, shifting side to side more than actually walking. The knees seemed to be in as dire of a state as the rest of the Gaza. With a sickening series of shrieks and snaps the Gaza-C unfolded and stood up in its designated place, the cockpit getting flung open just after it stopped walking.
Ginger took no time in bounding up to the open cockpit, shoving her face in the same motion.
"Artemis! I'm s-" the girl was silenced by Artemis's pilot suit being thrown in her face, wrapping around her head and muffling the red head's excited greetings.
Artemis herself soon kicked out of the cockpit, somehow having found her tank top and a pair of boyshorts. Her disgruntled rumblings as she floated through the air mentioned something about 'running out of changes of clothes' before she grabbed onto one of the railings and tugged herself onto a catwalk.
"I need to use the bathroom!" Screamed the pilot before opening up a door that lead deeper into the ship, "Start after-conflict maintenance, I'll be there to help in a minute!"
"I really. really hope this doesn't hit Amber," whined Artemis to herself as both of her Gaza=C's optics were keeping her locked onto the Gelgoog, the red triangle around it blinked back into a circle as she gained a lock, "Three, two and one!"
Artemis's fingers started to depress the triggers for her cannons when she saw the two icons abruptly part from one another rather than draw closer. The girl hesitated until the two icons were far enough away that she felt that she wouldn't hit Amber. And after that moment she pulled the triggers on all of her guns.
A torrent of yellow beams blared out of her twin cannons and her Knuckle Buster. As her Knuckle Buster fired Artemis adjusted her aim between each blast of the massive weapon, trying to keep it aimed at the Gelgoog as it flitted through space.
Artemis's screens became walls of red exclamation marks. The trackers on the approaching mobile suits both became red triangles with flashing exclamation marks. With one new marker represented by a green square with the tag AMBER. The tag guides the girl's hand to fumble for her coms, to hear her crew mate's words; we're being attacked.
"Well they're shooting back aren't they-" Artemis cut herself off as she yanked back on her controls, sending her backwards as the Gelgoog opened fire, last few shots crossing over were she was moments before, the only thing saving her being the distance between the two suits, "Yes being attacked! Very much! Can you take the Gelgoog? You're faster than I am."
A high pitched beeping dragged Artemis's eyes back to the Zaku. It was charging her with arms spread wide open. The distance between them pops up in big red numbers under its tag, and it was dropping like a rock tied to an anvil wearing concrete shoes.
"No touching you pervert!" She screams as she tears the beam saber from her right shoulder, igniting it. The beam saber met the Zaku's shoulder, shearing it off and leaving a glowing orange ring of molten metal in it's place, "What is with these old guys always grabbing me!"
The Zaku wouldn't be denied it's embrace., apparently, and so Artemis wouldn't be denied when her Gaza brought it's elbow up and smashed it down onto the Zaku's head, dislodging her from the one armed antique. Her beam saber slashed through space once more, leaving the Zaku with two missing arms and no hugs.
"Amber I'm coming back to assist you, the Zaku is probably harmless now," She grumbled into her com as her thrusters roared into life, she was moving already but away from the Gelgoog and Amber due to the Zaku's tackle, "Put it down if it comes close again though."
Beam saber in hand she launched at the flashes of light echoing in the darkness and the red triangle and the green square. She aimed herself at the triangle and engaged her transformation, folding her suit over and pointing her Knuckle Buster and two cannons at it.
grabby hands at it
After the Gaza-C was flung into the star filled abyss of space Artemis accidentally dragged her hand over her controls, flicking off her communication channels. She cleared the cockpit screens of numbers, indicators and gauges and took in the carpet of twinkling lights with a deep pent up sigh that came from deep inside of her. Tears began to blur her vision as she drifts soundlessly through the void. For once her thoughts were her own. But her moment of silent reflection was never meant to last.
A red flash brings the screen back to life as a circular target is drawn around a distant dot of moving light followed by a line of text branching off of the red circle; MS-06? Zaku II. The girl stared at it with a mixture of anger and resentment before bringing her screens back to life. The screens brought a surprise back with them, another target drawn over another rapidly moving dot. This one was only given a BOGIE label.
"I thought the One Year War was over," Artemis croaked out, her voice cracking as she lifted her helmet to dry her eyes, "You interrupted me time. You're dead. Both of you."
The girl smashed the communication button with her fist, opening up a channel with the Repentance.
"CPO MacGriever outside the Repentance. Two unidentified mobile suits are approaching." The voice that came back to her questioned not about the mobile suits but about her voice, it sounded hollow and dry. She was then quickly told to wait and not to engage with the suits, "Sorry Repentance, couldn't catch that. Com's probably still fucked."
Artemis switched the com back off with a heavy hand as she aimed her Knuckle Buster at the bogie. The pair of green lenses on her Gaza were both focused on the rapidly moving dot. At such an extreme range any shot from the Gaza would be a crapshoot and might as well be a warning shot, or at least was Artemis's justification to firing at the distant bogie.
Artemis watched the arm reach back to grab the other beam saber. The math was easy, staying put equals death. The girl yanks on the controls and the Gaza's thrusters roar to life, pushing her away from the Nemo, assisted by a double barrel kick from the Gaza, pushing off the Nemo. But the Nemo's blades do find something to cut through, both of them. The Gaza's legs were severed just below the knee.
"Do you fucking know how long this will take to fix!" She whined as she smashed the transformation toggle rapidly. The mobile suit folded over on itself, sparks flying out from the stubs where the legs used to be. Both of the cannons swung down to aim at the Nemo, "Please just die already!"
Two red circles blinked around the Nemo as the girl pulled on the triggers. Firing the cannons as her mobile suit protested with an array of alarms and flashing lights. Losing the Knuckle Buster, a hand and the good parts of her Gaza's legs took a toll on the mobile suit and Artemis couldn't transform back if she wanted to. After six shots in total fired from her cannons, the Gaza finally gave up. The cannons refused to fire as the intense battle finally claimed it. Its passenger however was not dead, merely annoyed that she couldn't get the mobile suit to move.
There wasn't any time to avoid this rocket, Artemis could tell by the oh fuck alarm going off in her ear. Her Gaza held the Knuckle Buster out in front of itself before the rocket hit. The Gaza was left without a hand from the explosion and then some. But despite this her momentum flung Artemis to complete her swing, her yellow beam saber clashing with the Nemo's pink one. Artemis glared at her console and the warnings popping up on it.
"Shut the ever loving shit up!" Artemis screams, not at her foe but at her own mobile suit. She slams her control stick forward, sending the damaged arm punching at the Nemo's chest, "Just stop already!"
"Two, three and four!" Yelped out Artemis as she smashed her controls to the left again, making her Gaza strafe left through the air, missing the three missiles fired from the flailing Nemo, "I hope you only have one more!"
The Gaza spins through the turbulent skies, losing altitude as the atmosphere began to drag her down. Artemis began to bob her head side to side as she bit her lip. Her eyes scanning over her controls and console. She punches the shut off for the thrusters before making her Gaza pull out a beam saber with its free hand, igniting the pink blade in the same motion. The mobile suit fell towards the gaping hole.
"You emptied the colony for me! Let me give you a tip!" Artemis yelled out as she hit her thrusters, sending her Gaza diving through the hole, charging at the flailing Nemo, beam saber swinging downwards at the other mobile suit.
Other Characters by this Player
There's nothing here yet