Grim glared at both men evenly. He could see the gears grinding in Nicky’s head. Ryder cautiously remained quite and Grim did have to pause and wonder if there was hope for them both yet?
“Sir. This will not happen again. I'll make sure of it as soon as i cross that door.''
This was the second time Nicky made that promise but Grim could tell it was more heartfelt. The Captain merely nodded and responded softly, “see that you do. Both of you.”
He gave both men another quick glance to study their obedient demeanors. He supposed time would tell if these two could help pull off this mission or doom them all. “Dismissed.” With that he moved to return behind his desk and calmly began sitting back down. He paid neither of them little attention as he went back to looking at the papers on his desk.
(lackluster but I can’t think of anything else to grill them on :p)
“There's no excuse. This incident is completely on my shoulders. It will not happen again."
Grim squared away at Nicky as the ensign gave the pitiful but expected response. The Captain had been around awhile and could see hate behind the ensign’s eyes. Hatred at what, was hard to tell, Ben would have preferred the ensign be focused on the enemy but suspected it was aimed more at Grim himself. Still the Captain gave a hard stare at the boy before Ryder chimed in.
As Ryder rambled on, a small but distinct curl formed on the edge of Grim’s lips. While a part of him could agree with the Titan’s assessment of the situation this wasn’t the forum to address the issues. Grim was beyond stressed and this cocky little bastard was pushing his buttons. Before anyone could understand what had happened Grim’s backhand firmly connected with Ryder’s cheek. The hand flew across and stood hanging in the air, the slap of flesh silencing the room. “Ed Shiro was twice the pilot you will ever be Lieutenant.”
Grim’s cold stare could freeze a beam saber, and he glared hard at the sniper.
He fought the urge to slap the Titan again, but he knew he needed to get through the pilots ego one way or another. “I need soldiers not divas…” he added as he slowly dropped his hand. “You keep up that attitude Lieutenant and you won’t amount to anything under my command! do I make myself clear?”
His eyes shifted dangerously back to Nicky, “and do you understand that Ed Shiro died trying to protect you and the Nemo?” He reached behind him to the desk and hoisted up a folder nearly tossing it at the ensign. Inside the folder was the radio log from the battle and highlighted were Ed’s lines stating how he was trying to protect the ailing Nemo. The comms during the battle were probably flooded with activity and no one but the Firefly seemed to catch his transmissions. Ed was in fact in the GM that Grim had seen getting destroyed by one of the Gaza’s. Grim stared at both men waiting to see if they had any other intelligent remarks to make.
“At ease.” Grim announced as the duo stood before him. He put his mug down and stood up, walking to the side of his desk. He took a moment to study both men trying to gauge what they must have been feeling at that moment. The look on Ben’s face showed that he wasn’t there to pay them praise.
“I’ll get straight to the point… what the hell was that out there?!”
Grim slammed a fist down on the desk hard shuttering everything on top of it. His eyes pierced at Nicky then surprisingly jumped to Ryder too. “What I don’t understand is how two pilots on opposite ends of the spectrum could fail so miserable?!”
Sweeping his hand from the desk he arched a finger and pointed it squarely in Lavie, “training mode?! Do you have any idea the level of danger you put everyone in with that stupid stunt ensign?! Any more incompetent and you may as well be working for the damn zeeks!”
His finger waved from Nicky over to Ryder. “And you! You think just because you were a Titan means you are hot stuff don’t you? I thought you were supposed to be a leader? Instead you’re out there acting like a damn headhunter!” Ben’s voice hit a crescendo and he dropped his finger to gaze down between the two men shaking his head. Lowering his voice he muttered “I expect better from you…” he looked up to regard both pilots. “What do you have to say for yourselves?”
Grim sat in his chair of his quarters looking over the hastily gathered damage report. Overall the damage had been superficial, a busted window on the bridge scared the hell out of those on duty but the emergency shutter did its job closing quickly. More importantly this was going to have a bad impact for morale.
Of course it wouldn’t matter that they had defeated a technological superior force, all the incident seemed to prove was that Zeon was on to them. It would only be a matter of time until another strike force moved in to engage them all. Grim sighed out loud, “I doubt we’re going to catch a break anytime soon…”
He rubbed his temples as he glared down at the two personnel files on his desk, “of all the pilots… where’s kamille when you need him?” He bit his lip as he made the comment thinking back to reports he read about the ace, while the kid had been good his attitude left much to be desired. “Who names a boy that… poor kid must have been angsty because of that…” he shook the thought from his head returning to the present. He was going to have a good debriefing with his two “star” pilots.
Grim pulled on a phone and held it to his head, “get me Sarka and Lavie! Thank you.” He hung up and got up to pour himself a cup of Tea. A minute later he heard the ship’s PA ask for his two pilots to report to him. He sat back down in his chair sipping at the mug, inhaling the steam.
A knocking on his door broke his concentration. Although he was expecting the two pilots, this was perhaps too soon to be the duo. The Captain shrugged and called out, “enter!”
Grim watched in amazement as Nicky performed a bash against the Gaza. The Captain didn’t know whether to be amused or angered at the persistence of the ensign. Nicky made his retreat, and Grim snapped out of his gawking, moving in to slash at the Gaza.
His pink blade sailed harmlessly past the enemy suit however. “What the-“ Grim shifted the grip on the saber to slash sideways but was surprised again when the Zeek simply dodged by flaring their thrusters to levitate over the strike. Growling, Grim swept the blade back in a diagonal slash upwards, again missing the newer suit. The bright flash of thrusters alarmed Grim at first, then he noticed the enemy shifted into a mobile armor and speeding away in retreat. Grim knew that his GM couldn’t chase the Zeon suit and he simply disengaged the beam saber as the Zeek bolted away.
Dazed by the escape of the Zeek, Grim barely noticed the movement near the nose of the Firefly. It was the first Gaza that Ryder had hit, apparently crippled. It drifted at an awkward angle still in its mobile armor configuration, bleeding out white fire retardant. The vision seemed surreal, unnatural, like the Gaza had been frozen in time. Grim shifted the GM to look at the Zeon unit, and his eyes narrowed as he stared at the crippled unit. It was amusing how the Gaza slowly, yet definitely, sailed towards the bridge of the Firefly. Almost as if the Zeek intended to land on the ship.
To Grim life wasn’t filled with coincidences, “shoot the Gaza! Shoot it!” He yelled frantically as he fired his thrusters to dive for the deceitful Gaza. Everyone had been so engrossed with the battle that the crippled Gaza didn’t seem important. “Firefly di-!”
Grims voice was washed over with the shrill voice of a stranger over the radio, “Sieg Zeon!” An explosion followed as the Gaza self destructed, mere meters from the Bridge of the Firefly. Grim was barely halfway across the “neck” of the ship. The explosion wasn’t particularly violent at that distance but it was bright. He winced instinctively and halted his charge. As the explosion cleared he frantically got on his comm, “Firefly status?!”
(OOC: figured we could make that damage as superficial or as extreme as we’d like. Thoughts?)
Grim kept firing volleys at one Gaza but he refused to be drawn in by it’s maneuvers. The Zeek danced in an weave of dodges, and experience told Grim not to get “buck fever”. He tried to remain close to his comrades and the ship. A flicker of lightning told Grim that the former Titan shot one of the Gazas, presumably taking it out of the fight. Grim shifted his attention to see what the other two tangos were doing.
Sure enough they had broken away and were attempting to flank, one in particular seemed focused on ensign Lavie. Grim cursed under his breath and fired his thrusters to intercept.
With Ryder reloading he knew he had to respond to help the ailing Ensign.
We can’t afford to loose any Nemos, we can’t afford to loose anyone.
The distance closed quickly for the three units, although Nicky was doing a commendable job dodged the enemy fire, his luck would run out if the claws of the Gaza reached him.
The Zeek fired wildly hoping to land a clean shot on the Nemo, just before the Gaza could grab Nicky it veered off wildly. Grim shield bashed into the Zeek, interrupting its momentum. Knowing that he wouldn’t have time to properly pull his rifle around and aim Grim released the weapon and reached for the beamsaber. The stunned Zeek had transformed into a mobile suit to try and deal with the sideways tackled but it couldn’t keep up when the pink blade came slashing down diagonally across it. Grim kicked away from the unit not wanting to get caught in the explosion. Even as he jetted away his mobile suit shuttered from the shockwave. His heart pounded as he the adrenaline coursed through him and he looked around for more enemies.
“Ensign!” He was about to chastise Nicky when an explosion above Firefly made him look upwards. He saw a Gaza fly past the wreckage of one of their GMs, presumably its kill. “Damnit Ensign!” Grim growled at Nicky before flying up after the killer Gaza with just his beam saber and shield. Things were getting so chaotic that Ben didn’t know if the downed GM was a mercenary or another AEUG pilot.
It was an uneasy feeling “dropping” out of the Firefly. Never in all his piloting experience did he have to deploy in such a bizarre fashion. Grim hardly had the time to admire the precarious circumstances as he quickly got his bearings and used his thrusters to get distance from the ship. They had six mobile suits in total, with two of them having to be strapped to the outside of the ship.
Grim took up a firing position in front of the port side of the Firefly, resisting the urge to use the ship as cover itself. He steadied his breath to look out at the stars and ready his shield and beam rifle. He tried to maintain a covering position so the rest of the mobile suits could safely deploy. He checked his com unit and hailed Ryder, Grim figured that the Titan had to have deployed nearly as quickly as he had. “How’s it looking Lieutenant? Do you have eyes on the enemy yet?” Grim knew from experience that if the sniper didn’t already see the enemy that they all would soon enough. Grim kept his eyes peeled on the panoramic screen looking for movement or flashes of light.
Before he could hear Ryder’s response a flash of light flickered towards the Firefly, a beam glancing a hit across the hull. Grim cursed and sent a volley back near the origin of the beam. Now he could barely make out the specs of enemy mobile suits on the monitor in front of him and he knew it was about to get serious. Grim keyed the general com line, “all mobile suits protect the Firefly at all costs!” He realigned his rifle at the source of the first shot and fired again, this time trying to lead in front of where the Zeek was heading towards. The Gaza wasn’t going to make it easy as it simply avoided his distant shooting. If the could deploy all of their mobile suits then they could boast numbers, something which might make the zeeks second guess this skirmish. This would be test as well to see how much Grim could trust Ryder and all the other pilots on board as well.
Grim sat in the Captain’s chair nervously. The cargo they had to transport to the Rose was seemingly too important to be transporting on a near piece of junk, but the AEUG had been dealt a severe blow from the battle at Gryps. So many leaders, so many resources plundered, “and for what?” Grim muttered to himself. Neo Zeon was setting up shop like the one year war hadn’t even happened and the Federation was still in its fitful slumber. It was up to him and the AEUG to stop this madness. “To avoid another Winter…” he mused as he stared thoughtfully out at the stars. He smirked as he recalled a long dormant memory before shaking the notion out of his head.
The intercom buzzed and the comms officer got on the PA system. Grim eyed the back of the Alistar’s head as he gave a long winded introduction and even cringed as the man mentioned Grim’s status. As Alistar finished up he looked around seemingly pleased with himself and Grim chimed in almost bitterly, “thank you Alister, for the announcement.”
Seemingly oblivious Alister flashed a toothy grin and responded, “Any time boss!” Grim did his best to stop himself from sighing out loud. He was used to the rigid discipline that the Federation demanded, not this loose consortium of soldiers working together. At times he was amazed that he was somehow in charge of it all now. Grim cleared his throat, “make all haste to La Vie En Rose!” He stood up and added, “I’ll be on our ‘so called hangar’… contact me at once if there is anything unusual.”
He couldn’t explain why he felt the need to goto the mobile suits. Maybe it was because he was feeling uneasy about their deployment from Von Braun. As he entered the makeshift hangar he looked around at the suits and found the bleached hull of his GM, the paint seemingly worn off from extending use. As he hovered towards it he took note of the Nemo assigned to Ryder and could tell someone was inside it. Probably the sniper getting some training in, Grim mused. As a rule he didn’t exactly agree with the Titans, he didn’t disapprove of their original intentions either; ultimately they simply lost sight of their original purpose. Spies on the other hand unnerved him, even if they were friendly. This Ryder fellow seemed like a necessary evil however and what better way to keep an eye on him than right under Grim’s own nose.
The pilot in Grim felt the urge to fly out in the trusty GM, inside the suit of armor he could fight giants, he could change the world. He loathed and craved the responsibility of being a leader, he needed to feel in control of his situation; and right now he simply didn’t.
“Captain!” Grim furrowed his brow to glare up at the speakers near the ceiling, Alistar’s voice blared from the tiny speakers, “Captain if you can hear me? We got Zeeks coming from port side!” Cursing the Captain jumped into the cockpit of his mobile suit and keyed on the radio to the bridge, “get everyone in their battle stations now! I’ll head out in the GM!” Grim hastily began the process of getting his suit ready to launch while barking into the radio, “how many are you seeing Actual?” As Grim fought to get a space suit on he could hear Alistar say something about 4 contacts. He finally got his suit on and settled down in his seat, pulling the straps across his body, “repeat again, how many tangos?”
There was a pause and Alistar’s voice came in clearly now, “4 I repeat 4 identical zeon units, Looks like Gaza-C class.” Grim’s blood turned cold at the revelation and he could feel the adrenaline of pre-battle begin to flow in his veins, he fought the excitement to remain in control. “Get our suits deployed.” He responded as calmly as he could muster. He worked the controls to poise the GM for the deployment, or rather, the dumping from the Firedfly that would get him into the fight. Let’s see how our boys do, he mused silently.
(OOC: this was longer than I intended lol.)
Grim maintained a friendly demeanor despite himself feeling rushed. As Hiro asked about departing the Captain did smirk as he stood at ease, “funny you should ask, we should be launching any -“ as if on cue the Firefly suddenly lurched and the engines could be heard humming through the rusty ship. Grim held his hand open and motion around them all, “well there you go.”
He did glance around to study the mercenary crew his eyes taking a precious moment to study each one. The Draconis Fury did have a good reputation which was a large reason why Grim decided to hire them. “Ladies and gentlemen thank you for departing with us. The AEUG will not forget the services which you will be rendering. Now if you will excuse us we have a ship to see to.” Grim offered a stiff salute before turning on his heel. He gave a brief nod to Ryder and Nicky before gliding past them both.
As the Captain made his way to the bridge he studied the ship along the way. The freighter seemed barely space worthy much less worthy of being a mobile suit carrier. There was going to be minimal crew for their escape and Grim would be sure to visit with them all when he had the chance; now wasn’t the time though. As he entered the bridge he took in a deep breath before looking around at the viewports and the crew manning the controls. He gave a brief nod of acknowledgement towards the helmsman and then nodded forward.
“Get is out of here.” Grim ordered. By his command the ship rose up escaping from the moon. As they rose he could feel the gravity lessen and soon he was holding onto a panel to keep himself from floating away. Tense minutes passed and Grim found himself reluctantly relaxing.