Full nameKalika Ananta
Anxiety had knotted up in Kali's throat as she entered the med bay, her heart raced as she walked about looking to the beds lined up on either side of the wall. Some were empty, some had a resting soldier with a bandaged head or limb. Her glasses reflected the overhead lights as she turned her head this way and that to read the charts, more specifically the names. Ellison, Pope, Summers...MacMaster. She stopped at MacMaster looking to the curtain that circled the bed. Kali reached for the curtain but stopped herself realizing she was shaking. Lowering her hand, she took a breath and steadied herself. She reached once again and peeled the curtain back, "Roa...Private MacMaster?" the words fumbled out of her mouth clumsily. She didn't pull the curtain all the way back and waited a welcoming response that invited her to reveal her fellow soldier or silence to leave him be.
The last thing Roane remembered was light—a bright light. Overwhelming. Then, he had dreamt. A red flower in a sea of white ones, swaying indolently in a phantom breeze. There was more to that dream, so much more, but he couldn’t seem to remember it. It was just out of reach and getting further by the second. Then, a voice. And with that voice, the dream cracked into a million little pieces and fell away. Roane tried to open his eyes but found only one willing to do the work. The other was covered by a bandage wrapped around his head, but it didn’t feel like he was seeing the inside darkness of a bandage. It felt like he wasn’t seeing anything at all. The glare of the hospital lights overhead made the eye that did open water.
“Hello?” he asked, trying to fight through the haze of his confusion and fear. His eye searched for a face, a source for the ghost voice that had pulled him from his dream. There—a silhouette behind the curtain. A shadow waiting beyond the veil, yet he felt nothing but calm. Roane reached out his right hand and saw that it, too, was bandaged. Bandaged…and missing most of his ring and pinky fingers. Roane studied his hand with detached fascination before turning his thoughts back to the one behind the veil.
“Come in,” he said. “It’s alright,”
Kali listened to Roane adjust slightly in the bed, she waited with bated breath wondering if she woke him! She hoped that if was indeed sleeping that he would disregard her voice as an apparition and go back to his much needed rest. She heard him say hello and she clenched the curtain tighter and continued to listen until he mentioned it was alright. Her fingertips felt upon the stiff fabric the curtains and she felt her arms will itself to open the curtain and reveal her comrade. Her eyes watered at the sight of her friend and she bit her lip to stifle the gasp of surprise as her eyes scanned from behind the clear lenses of her frames noting Roane's bandaged head and hand. Her lips parted and soft spoken "Hi." breathed out of her mouth.
It took Roane a moment to recognize who he was looking at, but when that moment came, a soft smile formed onto his face. “Hey, Kali,” he said, looking at her through bleary eye. “Thanks for coming to visit,” A spike of pain drove itself like a nail into his left eye socket, the one covered by the bandage. The pilot winced and clenched his teeth until the pain passed, a thin sheen of sweat beginning to form on his forehead.
“How’s…everyone else? Did anyone else…” Roane shook his head, abandoning that line of questioning. It was too painful. “Are you okay?”
It pained her to see Roane this way, she felt the pang of guilt strike her again as she felt responsible for his condition...and Geneva...she couldn't bear to think about it but it haunted her. The pang doubled as Roane winced in pain. She instinctively shushed him to relax him, she reached for the towel on the nearby medical trap. She dabbed at his sweat, "I spoke with the Lieutenant...I believe things are all right." she sad as she put the towel down, "I'm okay...I think I have been most worried over you. Seeing you has helped ease but I'm sorry that I didn't act sooner...Roane...perhaps if I had gotten into the purple frame earlier...you would...Geneva would..." she sighed and lowered her head and stopped herself. She was at a loss for words.
Roane shook his head as Geneva fell silent. “We all knew what we were doing,” he croaked, his throat growing dry. His thoughts turned to Geneva. From what Kali had said, she had been the only one aside from himself that had gone down. That, at least, was good. As good as losing a teammate could realistically be. “We all made a choice to go out there and fight knowing that some of us might not be coming back. Losing Geneva is…” he fell silent again, searching for the words. Eventually, he simply gave up and gave Kali a wry smile.
“I’m glad the rest of us came back in one piece…mostly,” he looked at his bandaged hand and chuckled slightly. “Don’t beat yourself up too much about all of it. If anyone’s to blame it’s me. I could have acted faster…but we have to look forward for now. The union needs us. As soon as I can, I’m getting back in that mobile suit. If I ever cross paths with that GINN pilot again, I’m going to be ready,”
Kali nodded, Roane was right they had to look and move forward. They would be better than they were before, "I'll be right there alongside you. We'll both be ready." She said with resolve, "I'm going to rest...you should do the same." She added knowing that he was in pain. She quietly departed...she thought about going to her quarters but she decided a cup of tea was in order to calm her nerves.a
The explosion was a hallmark to her quick thinking. Kali beamed proudly and close her eyes in gratitude, "That was for you...Geneva." she whispered.
A sigh escaped her as she and the purple frame moved in tandem to watch the enemy forces retreat much to her relief. It wasn't long before they were in the hangar. The medics had met them and had cleaned her head wound and bandaged it. Her black bangs fell over the white red-stained bandages. A dull ache remained but she was okay. She nodded politely to the medics assuring them they could go on to help where they were more needed. Her hands rested on her elbows as she absorbed the experience. The events replayed in her minds eye over and over, it all transpired so quickly and yet it seemed like they were trapped in eternity.
She glanced over to the red frame, "Roane..." she whispered. Images of her crying out to him, the explosions, them being separated flashed before her eyes. Kali stood up immediately, a wave of dizziness fell over her causing her to stumble slightly but she regained her bearings, "Where is Private MacMaster?" she asked a passing technician, "The infirmary ma'am." Kali nodded in thanks and hurried her way through the corridors, she had to make sure he was okay. A stray thought entered her mind, where was the lieutenant? Was he okay as well?
It all happened so fast the shot and Roane moving to protect her. Kali didn't here herself cry out and instinctively reach out to the Red Frame only for them to be separated by the explosions. Kali's body jolted violently from impact as she did her best to maintain control! She fell into a massive heap. Kali's winced, her breath rapid as she tried to regroup. She recalled the shimmer before the attack and the shot that followed.
The purple frame as if sensing her urgency recollected itself at her command. Kali felt blood trickle down her forehead, her head hurt but her hands reached out the operating system of the astray. The shimmer, the shot, the two factors in her equation. While they were seemingly minute, they were not. She could trace the trajectory of the shot for her target.
The aiming receptacle of her astray began scanning the screen as the purple frame took aim. Kali's eyes focused as her hands input the data she needed. The receptacle locked onto the location she sought and she let out a volley of shots in that direction. While there was a chance of error, Kali was confident in her calculation even if her head was killing her at the moment.
Kali instinctively reached out to Roane, her Purple Frame seemingly matching her own movements resting its mechanical hand on her comrade's shoulder. Steadying her voice as best she could, her lip trembled, "There...was nothing we could have done." She whispered in the comm as if she were sitting next to Roane himself, "I don't know what to do either." She continued, "Roane..." it felt different saying his first name, "We can't let her death be in vain..." She said as she stood and looked off into the distance, "She would want us to fight and honor her." She said looking back to her kneeling partner, "That's what we can do." She said gripping her rifle, "I can't do this without you...will you help me?" She asked.
Kali's attention was ripped from her terminal as the Captain called out to her. Her eyes widened in astonishment as she was ordered to suit up. She nodded at the Captain's reassurance and left her terminal immediately.
Her feet had a life of their own as they guided her quickly through the corridors and into the hangar. She felt herself climb into pilot's seat of the Purple Frame. Her hands instinctively reached out operating the OS activating the machine. She felt herself say:
"Purple Frame. LAUNCHING."
The large violet hued machine was guided by her steady yet nervous hands as she entered the battlefield. As she approached she equipped her beam rifle. Her gaze fell upon the dissipating smoke seeing the Red Frame, "Private MacMaster." She called out as approached, she noticed a piece of broken scorched blue shrapnel, "Private...what happened? Where's Ensign Halston?" She asked in a seemingly hopeful voice even though the reality of situation sunk in like her heavy heart. Kali closed her eyes tight to hold back tears but she immediately blamed herself for not being ready...
Brown eyes were seemingly vacant as Kali watched the viewing screen with intent. She monitored the incoming bogeys as well as looking for stragglers as Ensign Halston suggested, "Roger." She said almost robotically. Her deft digits danced across her keyboard like second nature. She was simultaneously collecting battle data while monitoring.
"We have 6 units intercepting!" Kali called out to the team watching the blips on her screen move this way and that, "Lieutenant and Larris, two of the bogeys are entering your vicinity."
Kali monitored as the Gold Frame launched knowing the team would follow suit, she listened intently as the Lieutenant issued his orders. Swift digits brought up a view of the area. She watched as the M1s engaged, her eyes darting as she looked for openings and anything that would be helpful to the team. Part of her wished she was out there, she knew that she had more training to do before she was to be in the field.
She listened to the chatter, noting the adaption and teamwork that was more apparent than the ambushed training. Ensign Halston showed more confidence and ease.
Her terminal alerted her to movement opposite their position, "Chromatic team, we have inbound movement. Watch your six." she noted as she continued to monitor their movement, she couldn't tell if it was friend or foe.
Kali hadn't anticipated becoming a pilot so soon but she anxiously took it in stride as best she could. She spent her time during the drills recording the battle data of the team which she consumed at length for strategy and formation notes. When data wasn't reflected in the lenses of her glasses she was hands on with Mobile Suit maintenance. She struggled with firearm training only barely excelling in the use of the standard pistol. Outside of the trainings she spent her spare time pouring over the operating system of the Purple Frame, she recalled the data she first saw in the captain's office and even though she had the core functions of the frame down, she was frustrated by the data kernels that eluded her with encryption. She wanted to know more.
Not one to have consumed anime before, Kali watched with interest while drinking her tea. Her reactions were minimal as she tried to understand the concept of it.
Kali was on standby as back up. She listened to the chatter while simultaneously going over data should the team need her assistance. She didn't have any drones to assist but with her terminal she was able to provide an extra set of eyes to the team and help them strategize to compensate where needed. She listened as Ensign Halston and Private MacMaster reacted to the Lieutenant's brief, her uncertainty echoed with theirs but her determination was equal with it.
"You know my sentiments, Lieutenant." Kali followed in support of Halston and MacMaster, "I am on standby. I will be monitoring the team's movements as well as frame and weapon status. Pilots, formation data has been uploaded to you based on the Astray trainings. I will be sure to apprise you of any battle data that will assist you."
Kali took a breath hoping that she conveyed more confidence than her anxiety. Her heart was racing the entire time!
Kali glanced to Private Larris from her peripheral and she gave a nod of satisfaction and soft smile at his comments. Her eyes went back to Lieutenant as he explained the training. Kali took her seat again and added his trainings to her datapad. She glanced back towards him to see him give her a look and a nod. She wasn't sure what he meant but she decided to stick around to clarify. Her anxiety quickened and she worried she overstepped her bounds.
Intrusive thoughts, Kali told herself as she brought her datapad up again. She hoped by focusing her anxiety into tasks she would be less overwhelmed and worrisome. She brought up her formation notes began adding notations for different scenarios for drills and sorties that could be helpful in the field. She'd run them by the Lieutenant to gather his thoughts.
A small smile was offered to Private Larris as if saying 'I'm not offended when he showed up for the meeting.
She noticed the Lieutenant give her a smile which made her feel at ease and her grasp on the datapad lessened and her tension melted like ice in warmth.
She nodded at his sentiments that they were lucky and that no one on the team got hurt. Kali noted hints of frustration in the lieutenant's voice but she wasn't sure if it was directed at anyone specific or himself for the matter.
Kali's ears perked up at the mention of them being a team and they would act as such. She couldn't help but notice his gaze fall on Ensign Halston and Private MacMaster when the lieutenant talked about being as strong as a weakest like that they were stuck together. Her intrusive thoughts couldn't help but shift her focus to being a part of the team. Was that what she wanted? To be a part of the team? To help beyond her terminal on the Archangel? It was at that moment she without really noticing or trying, located eyes with the Lieutenant. She felt herself nod in affirmation to an unasked question.
When he asked for feedback Kali raised her datapad from her lap, she felt sweat form upon her brow and she swallowed hoping her anxiety would disappear in the pit of her stomach as she listened. Ensign Halston suggested they do team building off the field which Kali agreed. She appreciated Private MacMaster's suggestion for relaxing but she wasn't certain if the lieutenant was keen on relaxing.
When Mac master stood and explained himself she felt she understood him, especially when neither one of them came from a military background. Her intrusive thoughts reared their ugly heads shaming her for comparing when he was a Private and a pilot, Kali didn't even have a rank even though she wore the standard uniform, she wanted to change that.
"Lieutenant." She said shakily before her voice gained confidence, "Given the initial training exercise and how quickly the team was assembled, Ensign Halston's suggestion on team building will help your dynamic on and off the field. Ensign Halston's weapons may have overheated but with the quick thinking of yourself and the other team members, you were able to compensate which I think shows how the team is adaptable given unexpected anomalies. And I too would, with your permission, would like to submit myself for training. I know I'm not a part of the team..." Her tone saddened at the statement but she continued, "But I would like to be as helpful as possible."
Topics I Participated In
January 25th CE 71
Zaft forces have traced alliance activity to the seemingly neutral colony of Heliopolis. The coordinator task force takes it upon themselves to infiltrate and steal the new alliance mobile suits being rolled out for deployment. During the attack the Zaft team succeeds in procuring four of the five machines. One of the machines, the Strike by name, was commandeered by a young coordinator by the name of Kira Yamato.
As the strike fought off the attack from a lone GINN, other forces began to take advantage of the deteriorating situation…
Nathaniel hated being rushed, his fingers fumbled over the door code for the third time. “Settle down Hawthorne!” He chided before the woman behind him could quip about him forgetting the code. The Red haired woman bristled at the mind reading remark and shook her head in resignation. “this’ll do it…” Nathaniel cooed as he entered the correct code this time, confirmed by the click of the door unlocking.
The man dressed as an Alliance Lieutenant, snatched the handle of the door and twisted it, holding it fast so it wouldn’t lock again. Nathaniel studied his handgun before looking back at Delphine Hawthorne and the four other members of their commando team. The point man was less than thrilled about this next portion of this impromptu operation but it was for the betterment of their homeland so how could he disagree?
He made eye contact with Hawthorne as she scooted to the opposite edge of the sealed door. Nathaniel quietly mouthed a countdown to “three”, which the woman mimicked with her free hand for their teammates to see.
On the third count he swung open the door violently and followed Hawthorne as she ducked into the corridor, gun raised for any threats. One by one the six man team entered the ship and sealed the hatch behind themselves. As the team pushed themselves through the eerily vacant ship their hopes grew that they could actually pull off this crazy stunt. Their hopes soon met reality as they came to the entrance to the bridge. The team paused by the doo, Nathaniel took the moment to give everyone a stern glance. His team had worked together for many years and could practically read his mind when he gave that particular look, “follow my lead.”
The team of operators soon entered the bridge of the Archangel where they met the skeleton crew of Earth Alliance officers. A black haired woman looked at him with both surprise and relief, “Lieutenant! What’s goin on out there? Have we received orders?”
Nathaniel cleared his throat as his team moved around the bridge, taking up strategic positions but not putting away their weapons. “We have…” he paused to consider his words, “we’re taking the ship out, I need you to initiate the launch sequence.
The stern looking woman nodded grimly and barked out, “you heard the man lets launch the Archangel!” As she said this the other two crewmen began working their controls at their stations. The woman came closer and asked in a lower voice, “so does this mean ZAFT is attacking?”
Nathaniel nodded, “they are, we need to deploy the Archangel into the colony and protect the civilians before any more damage can be done! Can I count on you…” his voice trailed off as he hinted to wanting her name. “Badgirulel, Natarle!” She responded eagerly. She seemed on edge, that much was certain, so Nathaniel did his best to hide his growing smile as he looked her.
Soon the ship left the dry dock and began floating free. Subtle head nods from Nathaniel’s team soon told him that it was time. “I’m sorry to do this Natarle but I’m taking control of this ship. Everyone step away from their stations, and put their hands up. I promise you, that none of you will be hurt.” As he spoke he leveled his gun at the Earth Alliance Officer, she sputtered, “what?”
Nathaniel shrugged sheepishly, “I’m taking this ship in the name of the Orb Union Ensign. I don’t have time to discuss the details right now. All you have to do is surrender so that I can save as many Orb citizens as possible.”
Natarle along with all the other crewmen looked confused and angry, but no one put up a fight as the six man Orb team kept their weapons aimed at everyone. They made short work, cuffing and escorting the crew to a confined area as four people stayed behind on the bridge.
“See no bloodshed Hawthorne!” Nathaniel pipped as they went about double checking all the systems on the ship. The red haired woman scowled at him, “it would have been quicker to shoot them all…” she muttered and again Nathaniel gave a sheepish grin and nodded, “go ahead and take the Command chair, you studied more of this battleship stuff than I ever did.”
His remark did brighten the woman’s mood some, “you mean I’ll be captain?” She raised an eyebrow and Nathaniel shrugged as he looked out the viewport, “Semantics don’t matter right now Delphine, we just need to move quickly.”
The reminder replaced the woman’s stern look and she nodded, “very well, lets make course to the alternative manufacturing site. Assault cannons… fire!” In response the Archanel unleashed a volley from its’ two main cannons to destroy the gate keeping it contained. The massive ship erupted out of the flaming debris of the gate to fly into the synthetic skies of the ailing colony. The commando team remained dumbfounded as they studied the damage to their home territory. Nathaniel was about to say something when the fight between the Strike and a CGUE came to everyone’s attention. “What is that?” He asked aloud as the studied the peculiar mobile fighting the ZAFT unit. He was stunned as a brilliant beam lanced out from the mobile suit to try and hit the CGUE. It dawned in Nathaniel that the mobile suit was one of the GAT series, “that idiot!” He yelled out as the overpowered weapon not only glanced the CGUE but tore a hole into the ground of the colony. “The CGUE is retreating!” Someone called out, much to the relief of everyone on the bridge. Hawthorne spoke up then, “lets match speed and land?” Nathaniel nodded, “yeah, lets see if we can capture the Strike with the same trick. Maybe if we take control of all the Alliance assets ZAFT will cease hostilities…” it was as much a prayer as question as he moved for the door. “Ships in your hands Hawthorne!”
As Nathaniel approached the Strike with one of his other men he saw a woman, and a man with a group of teens. A mobile armor which had been fighting, asked for permission to land, which they gave to help keep up the charade. “Whose piloting the Strike?” Nathaniel called out as they got closer.
The woman turned to look at him and scrunched her face in confusion, “I don’t believe we’ve met? I’m Lieutenant Ramius…”
“Are you the pilot Lieutenant?” Nathaniel didn’t hide his contempt as he studied the out of uniform officer, “no” she responded cautiously, as she did a brown haired teen came down the pulley of the Strike’s cockpit. Suddenly it made sense how the machine could move when the OS was supposedly incomplete. “A coordinator?” Nathaniel mused, which caused the woman to stiffen some, along with the teens. A smile grew on Nathaniel’s face, “boy are you a Heliopolis citizen?” Kira tilted his head as he regarded the mysterious Earth Alliance officer. “I am…” he answered tentatively. “Ah then you’ve done your homeland a great service!”
Nathaniel leveled his weapon at Ramius as his teammate did the same to Mu. “Lieutenant, this ship is under Orb control, you will be confined with the rest of the Alliance officers we’ve arrested. The two alliance officers looked baffled at this turn of events. “We have precious little time to rectify your mistakes so please cooperate and we might all make it out of this alive.”
The jeep bumped precariously as it wound through the abandoned streets of Heliopolis. One battle and one hole in the colony left the place looking quite ragged. Nathaniel adjusted his regular suit as he eyed the road. Nathaniel’s team was stretched thin as it was so he only had two other people with him, both dressed in their own regular suits. He hated leaving the ship like this but knew that he had to. By all accounts ZAFT had secured four other GAT series suits, plus they still had an unknown supply of other mobile suits to boot. “This may be our only chance to level the playing field.” He mused as he entered. The correct code for this security gate the first time. They parked the jeep outside of a nondescript factory and made headway for the interior of the building.
They soon found themselves in a dimly lit hangar of sorts with three massive shadows standing next to catwalks. “Hit the emergency lights! We need to hurry!” Even as he made the order he was climbing a ladder to approach the first machine. The lights turned on just as he approached the chest of a black, white, and gold mobile suit. “Astray…” he solemnly addressed. Nathaniel looked to see his two comrades approached the red and blue machines as well. “If we hurry we can snag all the spare parts move it!” Nathaniel moved for the cockpit and popped the hatch. He went inside the brand new mobile suit and went about adjusting straps and booting up the OS. It wasn’t ideal but he had to adjust the operations system much the same as the ZAFT forces had done earlier. In a few moments the Coordinator had his suit moving. “It just might be an even fight now!” He announced. “This is Nathaniel Barondel, Astray launching!”