Full nameKalika Ananta
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."
The alert on her datapad caught Kali by surprise!
To All Astray Pilots:
We will have a mandatory staff meeting at 1500 hours. The topic of the meeting is to debrief the recent mission. Please bring forth any ideas or issues noticed from the action for discussion.
Lt. Nathaniel Barondel
Chromatic Team Leader
She lowered the datapad next to her cup of steamy tea wondering if it was a mistake. Her anxiety climbed a notch as she debated on if it was an error. She reached for her cup stirring the liquid thoughtfully with her spoon.
Should she go? Or should she assume it was sent to her in error and not go? Kali sighed softly and sipped her tea.
- - - - -
After catching the captain mere minutes before 1500, Kali confirmed she was indeed invited to the meeting, but the captain wouldn’t tell her why or better she was hurrying off before Kali could ask her.
A released sigh helped her ease her anxiety and she took comfort that the invitation was not in error. Datapad in hand, Kali arrived at the briefing room. She heard Ensign Halston acknowledge the Lieutenant with a resounding, ‘Sir.’ Kali immediately started overthinking, was she supposed to do the same? Did she have to be as loud? As confident? In the flurry of anxious thoughts, she observed Private MacMaster who came in quietly. Kali decided to do the same and found a seat where she sat promptly and quietly. Her hands grasped to her datapad as she waited for the discussion to commence wondering what she could contribute that would be useful to the Lieutenant and his team.
Kali watched as the unknown aircraft unloaded its cargo before ascending. The cargo rained down on the battlefield. Kali was confused by the tactic but grateful that in its own quirky way, was working! She listened to the chatter in her earpiece as she re-focused and prepared the drones to provide cover fire only to watch them be destroyed by the enemy. Kali sat back defeated unsure of what to do next besides watch the view screen helplessly. She felt herself saying her mantra like a silent prayer of support for the Lieutenant.
When her fellow officer the enemy was retreating and the mobile suits were making their way back to the Archangel, Kali felt as if her prayer was answered! A wave of relief swept over her and she felt her body sit back in the confines as her tension and anxiety left her body. Kali was exhausted but still managed to curve her lips into a satisfied but weary smile. A cup of tea sounded grand in that moment.
Her anxiety screamed beneath her calm, determined demeanor as her brown eyes darted to and fro looking for the next opening the next opportunity. Fingers danced along the keyboard of her terminal; her eyes dare not stray from the battle on her screen. Her silence and stillness were betrayed by her typing fingers and observant eyes. She gained access to the visual receptors of the drones giving them additional eyes on the battlefield which she shared with the crew of the archangel. Perhaps they would see something she did not. Her eyes momentarily locked with Captain Hawthorne giving her a silent, agreeable, and determined nod before she returned to the task at hand while her anxiety worried that her observation about the island went unnoticed. Given the circumstances she understood yet her anxiety did not.
The drones closed in on their intended destination, with simple keystroke Kali activated the self-destruct sequence on one of the drones cause a sizable and noticeable explosion. She was certain that while it wasn’t enough to turn the tide, collateral damage would still be factor. Still a gamble, she didn’t risk exploding another but was concerned that any of the remaining drones could be shot down before she could. She set a timer on another drone as she listened to the chatter. The lieutenant was getting his team to evacuate or regroup, she was certain the intention and it only caused her anxiety to climb another notch. When she heard Geneva mention whether the commander was accompanying them, her anxiety within screamed another octave. Another drone exploded closer to the mountain on the island. Kali nervously set the timer on another; her little trick would only last so long.
Kali’s indicators flashed bringing her attention to the unknown aircraft entering the battle zone. Her anxiety reached its crescendo! Was Kali holding her breath? Her heart thumped in her chest as she heard Private MacMaster try to hail the airborne vehicle. What else could she do to help?
With bated breath, Kali’s brown anxious eyes darted about behind the round lenses of her glasses as she watched in silence. Private Larris decided to focus on the tanks to her relief which was short-lived when a tank shell hit the left arm of the Gold Frame, “Lieutenant!” she cried out, her hand clasp over mouth all too late! Geneva was fighting off the missile barrages while the drones did what little they could do to assist. Kali felt the Archangel lurch at the Captain’s commands. Kali’s indicators went off signaling the Green Frame’s SMGs overheated, “Hang on, my friend.” Kali felt herself say out loud much to her dismay as she typed changing the protocols of some drones to cover her while her weapons recovered, “Hopefully they’ll last enough for the weapons to cool down.” She said hastily as her eyes shifted to Roane as he cried out, he couldn’t breathe. Kali never felt so helpless as she watched, she heard the Lieutenant's voice yell at Roane, but she had toned him out as her eyes scanned her terminal to see what else she could to help, the drones were all occupied! The explosions and crashes brought her attention back to the Red Frame who had overcome her fear, “You did it!” she exclaimed in her earpiece. They didn’t have long to celebrate the victorious moment as more helicopters swarmed the area. Kali sat back in her chair daunted by the odds they faced. A determined look came across her face, unless the enemies were destroyed from the source, they were just spinning their wheels at this point. Kali sat up from her chair and typed in her terminal tracing the trajectory of the enemy fire, tanks, and helicopters. Her eyes widened at the discovery, “Lieutenant, they are coming from the mountain.” Kali said earnestly, “On the island.” She clarified. She hoped the information she relayed was useful as she typed in her terminal frantically. It was a gamble, but she hoped that by redirecting the drones toward the intended area it would draw the enemy fire towards them and allow the Astrays to regroup while the Archangel did what it needed to turn the tide of the battle.
On the bridge of the Archangel, Kali’s brown, analytical eyes hidden behind her spherical spectacles scanned the viewing screen as Lieutenant Barondel launched the Gold frame. His voice rang out in her earpiece as he commanded his team. Her deft fingers instinctively reached out and began typing on the interface in front of her. Captain Hawthorne had given her access to the data on the mobile suits, this was her opportunity to add to that data while they were testing in the field. She noted the distance the Gold Frame had traveled in its launch, Kali was impressed and awed by the feat. She was curious and eager to see how the other pilots measured up.
Kali noted the staggered formation and was curious how other formations could enhance their defense as well as offense. Her fingers put her thoughts into data noting how a rotating star formation could provide optimal defense, as well as alternating firepower from each of the mobile suits, would help reserve power.
Along with all her datapad and terminal, Kali also decided to bring along a notepad and pen. She noted the standard equipment loadout for each suit as well as the exception that made them unique such as the Lieutenant’s bayonet beam rifle and the Blue Frame’s SMGs. She noted the Red Frame’s pilot confidence and ease. A quick examination noted he was worked with a different OS compared to the other suits.
She heard Geneva’s voice which was a first for Kali, the two bunkmates kept missing each other. A soft smile formed on Kali’s lips at being able to hear it for the first time, it was such an odd way to meet she thought as she glanced at the woman’s visage on the screen. Kali noted a silent, respectable greeting in her mind and hoped their paths would cross soon.
The team approached the drones that awaited them for the exercise. Kali waited for the Lieutenants command for the exercise to begin when her terminal blinked with warning indicators. Kali looked up only to hear the Lieutenant’s voice cry out in her ear to take ‘evasive action!’
The explosions that followed from the fire missiles rang in her ears as she watched in horror the battle that ensued right in front of her. The reality was further solidified when the Lieutenant cried out it was a trap! They were surrounded!
Kali glanced in the Captain’s direction who appeared anxious at the events unfolding. The Captain's anxiety notwithstanding, the Captain gave her commands with cool confidence which comforted Kali and urged her to calm her anxiety that threatened to take over. Kali turned back to her terminal, she glanced at her datapad and her terminal determined to do something to help! The alarms rang and the ship shifted into action! What could she do? Then it dawned on her as she recalled the lieutenant’s words,
“Alright, this is a war game with live ammunition. We will conduct a patrol, just keep an eye out for anything, target drones will appear at random intervals.”
Light reflected off the lenses of her glasses as she logged into the protocols for the training exercise, “What are you doing?” one of her fellow officers asked, “Reprogramming the drones from the exercise.” Kali explained hastily as she typed intensely, “We can help the Lieutenant while we intercept the vessel.” She said with determination as she finished with one final keystroke.
The drone's indicators flashed with their new directive and scattered and began firing at random intervals at the unexpected enemy. Kali was thankful that the drones were equipped with live ammunition. She was certain this tactic was enough to even the odds and allow the team to regroup and allow the Archangel to intercept with less interference. It wasn’t perfect but it would have to do, she thought to herself as she analyzed the battle taking place seeing if there any other opportunities in which she could assist.
Kali sat quietly with her hands clasp in her lap as she listened to Lieutenant Barondel speak. She studied the map showing the small chain of islands in the pacific. Her ears perked up at the mention of the mobile suits running their paces, ‘So the purple frame has been assembled…’ she thought to herself pushing her circle frames gently on the bridge of her nose. She nodded in agreement when the Lieutenant mention that it was up to them to protect the homeland. A soft smile curved on her lips, she couldn’t place the feel she felt. It was as if she had found her place in the world without really looking for it. It was at that moment she and the lieutenant made eye contact or at least it felt that way. Her dark eyes lowered to gaze at her clasped hands.
Kali absent-mindedly tugged on the sleeve of her jacket, she couldn’t believe she was in uniform. She was glad she got settled in even though she didn’t see her roommate, “Geneva” was what the captain had said to her. Kali exhausted her already fatigued mind that night anxiously thinking of the best ways to greet the pilot. The mental Olympics she played lulled her fast asleep before she settled on a proper greeting. She tried her best not to play in the jungle gym of her anxious mind trying to think of another greeting. She just hoped they would get along. Her thoughts were interrupted as they were all dismissed. Kali closed her eyes and let out a sigh of relief as she got up from her seat and exited the hall.
The Archangel was still a maze to Kali, but she did manage to find the cafeteria. She decided to help herself to a cup of tea. She decided on simple cup of chamomile and honey. She sat quietly with her hot, steamy cup and stirred with her spoon as she listened to the hustle and bustle of the busy ship around her.
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!”