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  1. Today
  2. The inside of the cabinet was soaked with sweat. The GBN racer had fallen out, pushing the door open and knocking his headset off. A worried Ernie stood by him, crouching down to assist him. “Mr. Velo? Mr. Velo!” He yelled into the ear of the dazed diver. Dash slowly awoke, allowing the scientist to help him up. “Y-you were yelling in my ear.” Dash uttered softly. “But… no, that was in GBN.” Ernie looked confused as he brought Dash outside of the room. “Sorry sir. I didn’t mean to yell.” Dash laid against a nearby wall, hoping to keep his balance without assistance. “I felt something. I felt pain.” He exclaimed while looking at his helper. “Wait a minute…” Ernie began to pull out his cell phone. “I don’t know what happened sir. You got fourth place, then just shut down. Let me call-“ “Where are your glasses?” Dash put his hand on his forehand. The agony he was suffering got worse, crumbling down onto the floor. Ernie and another nearby worker bent down to help, but when Dash looked back up, Ernie had his glasses on. The racer began denying an ambulance, much to the dismay of the workers. They knew Dash was very sick, plus they wanted to get their star player back on the virtual track as soon as possible. Nevertheless, Dash was eventually chauffeured home in the company’s limo. He rested on the seats of the car, noticing the rain patter down on the vehicle. Dash was at least happy the nightmare was over. Being stuck in GBN like that didn’t make him want to go back. Sure, the company and other sponsors would be pissed, but the amount of money he had didn’t ever need him to work again. The limo started to slow down, stopping at the intersection. Dash pulled himself up as he glanced out the window. “The lights. They aren’t on.” He bent forward toward the driver. “Hey! Is the stoplight broken?” Once he looked back though, the red light turned to green. … Dash relaxed in the bedroom of his mansion, allowing the housekeepers to leave early. He had always joked that they were keeping track of him, like Amuro, but now that seemed to be more plausible. Something wasn’t right for him. He clearly felt disoriented, hoping the experience he had was just messing with him mentality, but inside he knew something was up. “Did they drug me?” He thought while he moved around on the bed. “I don’t get it.” A vibration jolted these thoughts, causing Dash to pullout his phone. “Cassidy. It’ll be nice to talk to someone I can trust.” He said as he began to respond. Dash dropped the phone on the floor, jumping out of the bed. “Ok. I need help.” He stated during his run to the front door. Opening the large door up, Dash was greeted by a skinny man dressed in a black overcoat. “mr velo” The man said. “youre not well” The racer panicked and pushed the lanky guy aside, running down the hill to the front gate. It was meant to keep crazed fans out, but Dash couldn’t find a way to get himself out of it. He looked back as the overcoat man and immediately shuttered. He was a fast runner for someone who didn’t move their joints. The arms and legs of the person, who Dash was starting to think wasn’t even a person, stayed straight while it jolted down the hill to pursuit. Dash observed the area, realizing there was only one way out for him. The front gate had a small room built by it for the gatekeeper. “This is gonna hurt!” He exclaimed while getting a head start. Bursting through the window, glass cut deep into Dash as he fell into the floor. He didn’t have time to clean up, but there wasn’t much to clean up. The cuts were there, but there was no blood anywhere around him. “GODAMMIT! WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!” Dash felt insane as he unlocked the front door, running out onto the street of the rich community. At this point, everything wasn’t right around him. Colors of buildings were either muted or so bright they hurt his eyes. The people around him didn’t dress normally and the cars moved at a dreadful pace, barely reaching 5 miles in hour. Dash couldn’t stop running through. Two others had joined his pursuer, running the same unnatural way. The diver had to lose them, running inside one of the nearby buildings. However, there was nothing for him to hide behind. It was an endless white void, almost the opposite of the nightmare inside GBN. Dash turned around, but he was too late. One of the pursuers pushed him onto the white floor, with the others grabbing him by the arms, opting to hold him up instead. The main overcoat wearer pulled out a large blade. “END END END” He pushed the sliver knife into the gut of Dash, causing him to scream in agony. He knew he was going to die in this hellish world and there was nothing he could do about it. BANG! BANG! BANG! The three pursuers dropped to the void’s ground, bullet holes in each of their heads. No blood poured out of them or Dash’s stab wound. The racer could barely stand as he viewed his lifesaver. “What? Allelujah?” “Wrong.” He responded while helping up Dash, who noticing that his wound didn’t hurt anymore. “I took this form because it suited me very well.” He snapped his fingers, causing the void to mesh and meld into something else. Dash looked around to see the room, now a spitting image of the main bridge of the Ptolemaios. “I don’t… I don’t get it. Is this GBN?” The CB lookalike stood still. “Yes and no. The best way I can explain it is that it’s a middle point between logging in and the game itself.” He paced through the area, circling around Dash. “The world you were in was a creation by the data inside your brain, likely an attempt by you to make everything be back to normal again. It failed.” The diver looked concerned. “Data?” His lifesaver glanced back away, then back. “Your body is likely deceased. Whatever is standing next to me could be the only part of Dash Velo that’s left. A copy perhaps?” Dash didn’t know how to respond. Nothing made sense to him anymore. “So who are you then?” He asked. The man showed emotion for the first time as he slightly smiled. “I’m the most important thing to you in all of GBN. I’m the Airspace.” Dash jumped back. “My Gunpla? But how?” Airspace snapped his fingers once again, sending them back to the white void building. Him and Dash walked out, with the diver worrying about other strange people finding him. At that moment, it popped out of the world. “Sorry, I had to leave that void. I’ve had these powers ever since I was born, but every time I use them, THEY show up.” The two stood in the middle of the street, with no people in sight. “I have so many questions.” Exclaimed a very confused Dash. Airspace once again smirked. “The other guy and I will try to explain everything we can, but right now we need to get to a safer area. Someplace that we can make a game plan to leave his hell you’ve created.” Dash wasn’t trilled about the jab at him, but he still wanted one question answered. “The other guy?” A blast of air hit the two as they looked up, seeing a Nemo floating down from the sky. Dash noticed that it looked slightly different from the regular AEUG mobile suit while the cockpit opened. The pilot held the grapple until it reached the ground, letting go as he walked toward the two. Holding his right hand out, he began to speak. “Hello Dash. My name is Ryder Sarka.”
  3. Yesterday
  4. Hunter scrunched his face as the Astaroth seemingly burrowed into the earth. His confusion was short lived as the Diver told him to essentially “Lure the enemy in and be ready.” All without Trans Am, he mused as he debated on what to do. He fired his thrusters to land on a roof of a building which offered him a temporary view of the great Hashmal as it lumbered just outside of the city. “I’ll see what I can do Astaroth….” hunter calmly responded. He knew time was of the essence so he decided simply to act. He leveled his GN Pistol at the mobile armor and fired a shot off at the “bird’s” head. Sure enough the blast simply splattered off Hashmal’s nanofilament armor, but the result was favorable. Hashmal reared its’ head and sorta squawked as it turned it’s attention to Hunter. Unlike the Astaroth, Hunter didn’t have nanofilament. He fired his thrusters and took to the air, he took advantage of his GN drive to juke Exia in a pattern that would have been more difficult for traditional thrusters. Hashmal was entranced as it moved it’s beak towards him, following his movements, trying to lock on to him. It took a step his direction. “Come on your dumb bird!” Hunter growled and he took another pot shot, daring the “angel” to return fire with its’ more significant weapon. “What’s the matter can’t lock on to me?” He almost ate his words as the unholy screech ripped through the air along with the pink beam. He dived just in time but the blast seemed to trace after him for an uncomfortable length of time. He ducked down between buildings just as the blast shot out past him. He almost regretted the course. Plumas jumped up at the Exia like hungry dogs, bashing into his feet. He flipped out the GN blade and swiped down blindly at one that happened to cling onto his foot, armor shredding off along with the falling Pluma. At this rate I’ll be flying just a frame, he thought as he reversed course back into the newly created valley from Hashmal’s blast. He fired a shot at the beast as if saying, “hey over here!” The mobile armor took another step his way and he knew it was starting to work. “Now if only I can stay alive long enough for the Astaroth Diver to make his plan work!” He growled as he jerked to avoid more incoming fire. A little closer and I’ll have to worry about that nasty tail…
  5. Immediately, Dash began to engage his rival, blasting right past the pink Asshimar. Dash wasn’t worrying about any of the other pilots, unless they got in the way. Unfortunately, another Gunpla began to ride on his tail, directly firing at the Kyrios. Dash pointed his beam machine gun, which almost worked like a turret in flight mode, back at the United Over Flag, hoping that the machine would back off. However, Rex had other plans. The Gassela burst through the clouds, only firing two shots. They each directly hit the middle of the enemy, setting the Over Flag ablaze in the air. “Those were perfect shots!” Dash thought as he banked left, hoping to avoid the purple Gaplant. Rex was no rookie Diver though, and relayed a volley of railgun shots at Dash, hitting parts of the previously damaged wing. At this point, the left wing was toast, causing the Kyrios to lose balance and height quickly. “Geez Dash! I didn’t think you’d go down THAT quickly!” Yelled out Rex as he followed his prey. Dash looked up to see the Mach Murasame taking on the gray Wing unit. He knew that would be a challenging fight for his rival. As a real life fighter pilot, the Diver with the Mach Murasame had a type of experience in flying the others wished they could have. As much as it pained him to do so, Dash had to focus on Rex, pulling up as high as he possibly could to avoid crashing into the surface. Letting go of the controls, the aircraft stalled in the air, which likely would’ve caused a great deal of G-Forces in a non GBN setting. Rex almost panicked as the Kyrios began to almost float toward him, but he still knew some of Dash’s tricks. The large diver decided to instead use brawn over brains, directly hitting the middle of the plane with the large Gaplant. “That’ll show you! I know y-“ Everything began to go black for the cocky diver as the Airspace careened to the bottom of the canyon. “T-this isn’t right.” Dash contemplated as the virtual reality started crumbling around him. “Is the game shutting off? I don’t… I don’t know what…” Darkness surrounded the pilot, giving him no sense of direction as to where he could be. He was still in the game, as the warnings of the damaged Gunpla reminded him, but where ever he was, it was definitely not the Great Canyon. “I don’t understand.” He uttered while looking through the menu, hoping to find answers, but there was nothing. Every word, pictures, and whatever else he could normally navigate through was gone. “No use looking at a blank screen.” Dash said, but the reality of the situation started to set in. There was no way teleport out of the Kyrios or even log out. Something was clearly wrong with the game, Dash knew that for sure, but couldn’t quite figure out this plain of “existence” he was in. Was the Gunpla floating or still? Had he been there a minute or a day? His concept of reality crumbled more and more until a faint whisper graced his ear. “what did you expect” The voice faintly spoke to Dash, who by this point had fallen back onto the floor of the cockpit. “you and your rival would fight and youd win” The voice felt louder to the diver, even through he knew it was still a whisper. “Thats Just Garbage Storytelling Where The Racing Legend Pulls Through And Gets Their Stupid Virtual Trophy In The End” “I… what? I wanna go back. Back to life. Back to reality.” Dash never actually said anything, but the voice knew his thoughts. “ToO LatE FoR ThaT” The voice started to hurt his ears. “How..?” The diver didn’t know what to think anymore. He was simply struck with fear. … … … “END” “END” “END” GBN AUTOMATIC LOGOUT ATTEMPT #182: FAILURE GBN AUTOMATIC LOGOUT ATTEMPT #4795: FAILURE GBN AUTOMATIC LOGOUT ATTEMPT #$&%!: SUCCESS
  6. (Collab with Roromi) Hikaru walked down the hallway with a pad full information. He looked for the room Kamille and Fa were staying in and wondered if the two were talking more openly because of the shared quarters. That didn't happen on the Argama, after all. Something Kamille had said before still worried him, and it was time to resolve it while still giving both NPDs something to do. Standing in front of the door, he gave a knock and hoped he wasn't interrupting anything. - Talking could be heard on the opposite side of the metallic door and soon the door was opened by Fa who at first appeared annoyed but then brightened up as she recognized Hikaru. “Oh it’s Mr. Hiyashi!” She announced for Kamille’s benefit. The teen new type floated casually behind Fa with his hands knitted behind his head. He gave a look at the pilot and gave a slight nod. Fa smiled at Hikaru. “What can we do for you Hikaru?” She asked politely. - "Hello Kamille, Miss Yuiry." He still lacked Fa's permission to call her by name, and remained aware of such. "I thought that since we have a day before we can do much, I might be able to see about getting some discussion and maybe some training in. Also, something Kamille said before worried me...I felt like I should discuss it. Nothing about ideology or the like, I assure you." He made sure not to enter unless told it was alright, observing proper decorum. - Fa blushed as Hikaru used her formal name and she grabbed his arm in a friendly manner, “please you can call me Fa. You did save my life after all!” She cast Kamille a look which seemed to speak volumes. Kamille scoffed at Fa and shrugged after a moment, still seemingly content floating around. Finally he spoke up, “So what do you want exactly? Hikaru?” He tried the name out as it trying a foreign food. He glanced over at the pilot, not exactly glaring but not quite friendly. He was still unsure if Hikaru’s overly friendly demeanor was genuine or not. - "Not a reason to be presumptuous on my part. Still, thank you for the permission, Fa." Hikaru looked to them both and noted Kamille's distrust. Not that he could blame the boy. "First, I'm worried. Kamille said that 'he could make a difference inside a Gundam'. I think he might be overestimating the value of that name and underestimating the value of a basic machine." With a smile, Hikaru looked to Kamille. "I don't want you to think you're invincible if you get in a machine that carries the name 'Gundam'. The RX-78-2 may have been amazing enough to survive against Char Aznable, but that's just because there wasn't much that could pierce Luna Titanium at the time. By the time of A Baoa Qu, the Gelgoog being fielded was superior to the Gundam in most respects save for armor...and the beam rifles in play made armor a moot point. By then it was Amuro's accumulated skill which cemented the Gundam's legacy, not the name 'Gundam'. It's actually more impressive to me that Char Aznable was able to use a machine as inferior as the Zaku to stand against the Gundam for as long as he did." Hikaru looked to the pair. "I think that's what you should be aiming for. To develop solid basic skills so you can be effective in any machine you're assigned to, even a grunt unit, rather than to risk using the name 'Gundam' as a crutch should you find yourself in one. Amuro Ray could easily have been killed if he fell into that trap." - Hikaru’s words hit a sore point with Kamille and even he had to admit the pilot had some good points. Slowly he nodded his acknowledgment. He cleared his throat, “that’s all well and good but I still haven’t even been in the controls of a normal mobile suit… and from what I’m hearing here these GINNs can’t be piloted by ‘normal people’ whatever that means…” he looked away slightly disgusted. “At least you’re are able to do something…” he muttered under his breath, silently not wanting to go down that road again. Fa studied Kamille silently and looked back to Hikaru to see how he’d react. - "That's why I'm going to let you two run some simulations in my Beta Gundam's cockpit. If I can't do anything for a day, I can at least make it available to you for that so you get some practice in. We can even try to make the machine emulate the handling of other units like GMs. Beta Gundam has two fold-out jump seats, so it's not like you would have to be by yourselves." Of course, Hikaru's intentions for this were not only to help the pair improve. He also wanted to see if Kamille's Newtype potential would be exercised a bit by the Quasi-Psycommu system. The boy would need every edge. "As for the GINNs, I think they refer to the fact that the Coordinators using them have the ability to process information differently than unmodified humans, and they've probably integrated that capability into their machines' OS. It might be possible to rewrite the OS to be compatible with a normal pilot, but my guess is that it's counterproductive for them to do so." He shrugged, making an educated guess as to the reasoning there when considering the nature of the mixed universe. - Kamille’s face did brighten up at the mention of doing training in the Beta Gundam. He couldn’t help but give Hikaru a sly look before nodding, “sure why not? It beats being treated like a second class citizen on board this place…” Fa gave Kamille a venomous look before looking around for any ZAFT members and responded in a hushed tone, “Kamille! You better be nice to them or they’ll kick us off this ship!” The boy gave a half hearted shrug as he kicked off the bulkhead to head towards Hikaru and the exit. “Let’s get to it then?” He asked casually as he moved out the door. The trio made their way to the hangar and Kamille looked at Hikaru to see how this would work out exactly. “You got room in there for both of us? He asked skeptically, still not believing Hikaru’s earlier statement. - Hikaru followed and gave a nod to Kamille's response. He agreed with Fa's comments, but at least Kamille was feeling a bit better now that he could do something. "There is a jump seat to the rear left and another the rear right of the main pilot's seat. They're meant for emergencies, like when I had to let Fa into the cockpit before. It'll be slightly cramped for the taggers on, but the pilot will be fine. All three of us will fit. You and Fa can trade off time in the pilot seat. In addition to the basics, I'd also like to have you both try some time with the quasi-psycommu. Most machines with that system use a simplified all-range attack, but the Beta Gundam uses it for aiming optional beam weapons." When they arrived, he would open the Beta Gundam's cockpit for them and allow them inside. He idly wondered if this would impact the design of the Zeta Gundam. Kamille had based the Zeta on his experiences with the Gundam Mk-II, if Hikaru remembered correctly. Maybe it'd wind up with biosensor-guided hip beam guns or something. - Kamille’s mood brightened up considerably as they approached the Gundam. He was half paying attention to Hikaru’s explanation as the cockpit finally opened, revealing the interior that he as so desperate to get into earlier. He fought the urge to immediately jump in the pilot seat, knowing it was better to be nice than rude in this situation. “Are you sure this is ok?” He asked Hikaru as he traced his fingers over the controls. He looked from Hikaru to Fa for approval. - Hikaru smiled, pressing a few buttons to make sure the machine would be in a training mode and to deploy the jump seats. "When you save someone, you generally want them to be able to stay alive. The best I can do for you in that regard is help you both improve your knowledge and skills. Go right ahead, Kamille." - A sense of relief washed over Kamille as he took the hot seat of the cockpit. Immediately it seemed as if the teenager knew almost more about the machine than Hikaru as he expertly ran his fingers over all the controls. Seemingly becoming acquainted with each relevant function. “My father…” Kamille mumbled before shaking his head and simply focusing on the controls. “I think I understand, this isn’t all that different from the smaller units I’m used to using.” He looked at the screen waiting for the training simulation to begin. - Hikaru had a seat in the left jumpseat and fastened himself in, letting Fa take the other position to Kamille's right. The cockpit showed a message for them to restrain themselves in their seats, though it didn't prevent the operation of the machine. The GBN tutorial started, allowing Kamille to select lessons from basic movement controls and weapons all the way to tactics and quasi-psycommu use. They could also simulate various conventional gunpla. The first simulation was in an empty colony, where Kamille's machine could walk, run, jump, and even fly to his heart's content. There were various checkpoints to reach. It was boring, but necessary depending on how much experience the pilots-to-be already had. - Kamille picked up the controls very quickly, he wasn’t known for being a gifted pilot for nothing, even if he hadn’t even scraped his potential yet at this stage. He worked through the boring tutorials before starting up a mock combat. Again if there was any disparity, Kamille didn’t show any signs of it. His proficiency was astounding and his ability to learn from mistakes was uncanny. As the simulation continued its difficulty slowly increased but it hardly seems to slow him down yet. - Combat started out with the basics rather than unlocking everything, though Kamille would note that the Beta Gundam's armament was diverse. A 'jack-of-all-trades' machine far more than the Gundam Mk-II that could test modular equipment. Some of that equipment included a backpack module allowing a Mobile Armor Mode, a Long Smart Rifle which the quasi-psycommu could help aim, and hip beam guns guided by the quasi-psycommu as a defense against multiple enemies or funnels -- an anti-Newtype point defense. There was a hypothetical hip incom he eventually unlocked as well, though the device was labeled "unbuilt". "You're doing far better than I expected for the first time, Kamille. I'm pretty sure that even in a GM you'd be a force to be reckoned with. I'd like you to try out the quasi-psycommu too. Let's see if you can balance your focus between combat and managing such a system." Hikaru advised, deciding to try something a bit more advanced. Whether he used it for sniping, defense, or offense was left up to Kamille. - Kamille offered Hikaru a sly grin and nodded, “sure why not? I’m up for a challenge!” They activated the quasi-psycommu, In the simulation he was engaged by three different GMs. The trio split up to surround him making Kamille having to focus his attention simultaneously. At first the concentration made his head hurt as the sensation could be commonly compared to rubbing one’s belly and patting their head at the same time, only worse. But as each GM took shots at him he miraculously managed to dodge them instinctively. Kamille felt as if he was wearing a hood with the simulation, like the raw emotions were stripped bare from the experience, but the threat (albeit it fake) was still there. A few more moments of tense dodging and he began to focus, or direct? The hip cannons to try and aim at two separate GMs. He leveled the rifle of the Gundam at the third and at the same time he fired at them all, eliminating them in one go. Kamille had to pause the simulation after the feat. He looked first at Fa who seemed thrilled at his ability to pilot then at Hikaru to silent ask of what he just did was normal. His expression speaking volumes. - "That was very impressive...and unusual." Hikaru said, nodding at Kamille. "That was a maneuver that usually takes far more practice to pull off. I'd really recommend getting your compatibility with a psycommu system checked out, Kamille. Your spatial awareness seems to be far higher than that of most people. I don't throw the term 'Newtype' around lightly and I don't want to inflate your ego, but you've got a lot of promise that should be looked into further." Hikaru still had some general advice, though. "Even if you can use a machine like that though, make sure to practice those basics so you can fight in whatever is available. The best aces could still make even a Zaku reasonably deadly and put up a good fight in just about any situation." - Normally such praise would have sent Kamille over the moon with happiness but he kept a somber expression of his face as he asked, “newtype? Do you mean like Amaro Ray?” He had an almost pleading expression on his face as he looked around numbly for a second and pushed himself away from the controls. In a rare gesture of kindness he offered to Fa, “how about you give it a try?” As he switched seats with the girl who still looked excited to just be in a mobile suit. Fa took the dear and strapped in, she gave Kamille a funny look before turning her attention to their instructor. “Ok, so where do I start?” She asked innocently. - Hikaru smiled and helped show Fa how to use the menu, guiding her to the first simulation. "Amuro Ray is a Newtype, yes. He's not the only one though. He's just the most famous one. There are even different types of powers among Newtypes. It's not just spatial awareness that's an indicator. There's also...an empathic connection that can develop, as I understand. An ability to sense others' feelings and intentions. Some even manifest telepathic abilities. That's a bit beyond my abilities to discern, and beyond the scope of this simulation to confirm. If you are a Newtype though...it's one more reason to be wary of the Titans. There are those who consider such powers as something to be controlled and employed solely as a weapon." With that warning, he nods to Fa. "Yes, this one. It's the same movement exercise that Kamille started out with..." - Kamille chewed on all the information that Hikaru was spilling out, boy did he know a lot about new types. As Fa went through the tutorial Kamille still seemed distracted, “how do you know so much about new types Hikaru?” Kamille asked the loaded question as he looked at the pilot sitting past Fa. - Hikaru pondered how best to parse this in a way they could understand. He couldn't say it was because it was a game. While monitoring Fa's progress, he continued the conversation. "...Because the Earth won the war, a lot of the information on Newtypes has been controlled. Zeon Zum Deikun, the original founder of Zeon before the Zabis took over, considered them an evolved form of humanity. The Zabis use them as weapons, but employ the rhetoric of evolution at times for propagandizing Spacenoid superiority since most Newtypes are born in space. The Federation likes to use Amuro Ray as the defining example, but took a long time to come to terms with the very existence of them until their combat effectiveness forced them to acknowledge their presence. None of the accounts seem fully accurate or complete. Sometimes, you have to do the research yourself to get a solid idea of how things really are. Isn't it interesting, the possibilities they offer humanity if it weren't for them just being used as weapons? It makes me wonder what they're really meant to be." - Again Kamille took his time processing the information, Hikaru didn’t appear to spewing off nonsense, but the alternative was certainly alarming. To him new types were somewhere between intangible fantasy, and political rhetoric. He blankly studied Fa as she moved on to the combat scenario. For no better reason than curiosity he found himself blankly asking, “and have you ever met one Hikaru? A new type I mean?” The man seemed so sure about his information, surely they must have first hand experience dealing with such beings? - "I believe I've met a few, but none of them have explicitly claimed the title." Hikaru stated, and was able to do so honestly enough. Rau, Char, Emma, Fa, and Kamille himself counted. "There's also a chance that some were in the last battle. Mu La Flaga is a Moebius Zero pilot with Enhanced Spatial Awareness, considered a prerequisite for a Newtype, but he was in an enemy Gundam Mk-II last battle. I also shot down a Zeong which is exclusively meant for Newtypes." Oh, the Zeong's pilot wasn't a Newtype, but he did know Rau was. Hikaru thus wasn't lying about there being 'some' Newtypes on the battlefield. "The Captain of this ship might be one, but I don't trust him. He's a good speaker and manipulator with a political slant. He tried to gain our favor as spacenoids, but seemed never to have even said the word before. That's honestly one of the reasons I worried about you being too eager. I worried you'd make a deal with the devil in your haste to fight...not that I dare to say so outside of an insulated area like this cockpit. Ah, watch your altitude, Fa!" Hikaru advised the rookie, still observing her piloting. "If we're distracting you too much, feel free to say something." The Diver knew it was little compared to the sounds of battle, but still... - Fa shook her head as she regained control of the machine pulling out of a risky looking dive. “I got it!” She half muttered to herself and likewise in response. She focused again on piloting and seemingly tuned the two boys out. Kamille simply shook his head in disbelief, how could there be so many new types out there? What did it mean for humanity if so many people could manifest such powers and abilities? “I had no idea there were so many…” he muttered. He watched as Fa did respectively well in the simulation as well. “Good job Fa…” he offered halfheartedly as still processed all the information Hikaru was revealing to him. To try and get himself off the subject he asked curiously, “I watched videos from the last battle and you seemed to do pretty good…” it was as close to praise as Kamille seemed to get, “how did you get to be a good pilot?” - Hikaru's expression was a bit sad for a moment, but he gave as honest an answer as he could. "An injury from a traffic accident left me years to research Mobile Suits and to practice in simulations. That information's serving me well now, though. It also helps that I maintain my own machine and designed its hip and forearm modules. When a pilot helps maintain and customize their own machine, they can tailor it to suit their skills and style while also getting a better idea of what it can do. Beta Gundam is designed with flexibility and versatility in mind, for example." - Kamille nodded his head in understanding, “guess that’s one way to kill time…” he shifted his tone trying to apologize for bringing up the awkward subject of injury, “but hey it looks like you made a good recovery.” He offered blindly. Fa almost crashed into a GM causing Kamille to offer, “ease up on the throttle Fa!” He looked back over to Hikaru, “I’ve often dreamed about designing a mobile suit… but without any kind of financial backing or formal background in the field it may never come true…” He lamented as he kept an eye on Fa’s display. His tone shifted, “I’m not sure how these ZAFT guys are going to treat us when you guys leave…” - "It's alright, you didn't know. Have you had to endure racism while you were here?" Hikaru asked. It was a viable concern...if these two were stuck on the Vesalius, people like Yzak could give them a hard time. He let the comment about his 'recovery' pass. "As for designing your own machine, everyone has to start somewhere. Being an unknown matters a little less in times of war as long as you come up with a good design. Everybody's desperate for the next big thing. With the Movable Frame ushering in the Second Generation of Mobile Suits, there's a lot of possibilities to use it in unusual ways. If nothing else, it would still give you a deeper understanding of Mobile Suit technology." "Good job on that GM II, Fa. Try to Spray and Pray a little less though. The computer can help you compensate for distance and your enemy's vectors." Hikaru said, advising the girl. - “Nothing overt…” Kamille responded to Hikaru about the racism, “it’s just not exactly friendly on here… I can just… tell…” he looked around conspiratorially before adding. “I am worried about what they are going to do with us that’s all. I get the impression they won’t want us on their plants and I haven’t heard them talk about making any pit stops to any of the sides. Is there… well…. I’m wondering if we should go to earth… if for no better reason than we can try and sort ourselves out down there…” he looked genuinely worried, his gaze fixed on the back of Fa’s head as she squirmed with the controls. - Hikaru pondered the matter for a moment before giving a nod. "I can see that. If you were a Newtype, you'd also be potentially sensitive to their feelings. Newtypes aren't empaths, but there is some overlap." He took one of Char's quotes from Char's Counterattack and appended to it a little. "The racism has been getting worse and coming to the surface as the war's gone on. I think they still need naturally born humans for breeding due to the Coordinator gene pool being shallow and low birth rates, but the nationalism and racism pushes that to the backs of their minds at times when they should be more accommodating." The Diver spoke candidly while to explain the matter, but he soon realized that the topic was the sort that might be embarrassing to the pair. "I'm willing to take you two with us, but I have no idea how much opportunity to 'sort yourselves out' you'd have. We're going down to keep chasing that ship. It won't exactly be safe for either of you, nor do I know what resources we'll scrounge up for you to pilot if you choose to fight." - Kamille was visibly relieved to hear Hikaru agreeing to take them down to earth. “I get the impression that no where is exactly safe… at least on the ground we won’t be on a battleship…” as he spoke his eyes peered into Fa’s head, concern could be seen etched on his eyes. Fa seemingly finished her routine and the simulation soon ended. All things considered she did relatively well for a beginner. She looked around for approval which Kamille obliged with a simple, “not bad…” as he looked away. Fa looked at Hikaru, “what do you think?” She was so focused on the simulation she hardly noticed what the two boys were talking about. - "It was very good, Fa. Kamille was just unusually skilled for his first time around. You did decently with the quasi-psycommu as well, though you still need some simulator practice to brush up on your general evasion. You're better than I expected you to be. You might try enhanced spatial awareness testing as well..." It made sense to see these results, especially given that Fa was known for wrecking the Methuss fairly often. If she improved beyond her rut with that machine, she could easily pilot a ZII or a ReZEL... "Orb should be safe right now, Kamille, but it might not stay that way. That's why I want to provide them a cheap aquatic Mobile Armor design I have to defend their shores against aggressors. There might be some other places you can go if you chose. We'd have to keep an eye open." Hikaru stated, giving Kamille a hint about how and where those designs he wants to make can do some good. Maybe Orb would get the Murasame sooner? So many possibilities... - Fa scrunched up her face up in confusion, “Orb? Never heard of it! Is that your country?” Kamille modded his head in agreement, “yeah can’t say I’ve heard of the place, is it nice?” The boy’s eye scanned the cockpit as if looking for clues. - Hikaru found that odd. Perhaps he'd been mistaken? Or did it fail to exist in this timeline? Hard to say...but the Astrays existed for the purposes of Orb, and those had been confirmed. "Maybe I'm pronouncing it wrong. They had built Heliopolis?" - Kamille and Fa nodded their heads in recognition, “oh yeah! That’s right!” Kamille nodded. “We’re not exactly familiar with all the countries in earth.” Fa apologized, “You didn’t say is that where you’re from? Is that why you want to protect it?” - Hikaru shook his head. "No, I'm not from there, but rather it's a peaceful country that doesn't want to play a role in the war. Of course, what happened at Heliopolis may have dragged them into it. It's a good place to live, as I understand, and doesn't have the racist thing going either. One of the few places that has decent leaders...though there are whispers of subversion of some of its officials lately." - “Some off the colonies could have been described the same way…” Kamille responded bitterly before shaking the sourness the air, “anyways… are you hoping to make it that far on earth?” - "Yeah, that's where I hope to eventually go, at least so as to provide them with a way to better defend themselves. Not sure I'll stay there though." He smiled, regarding the pair. "We'll just see how things go down there." - Kamille nodded his understanding, “thanks so much for showing us your Gundam…” Kamille offered rather shyly. There could have been a hint of jealousy in his voice but he remained grateful for the experience it seemed. “I look forward to the day when I can repay your kindness to us!” Fa nodded her agreement. Kamille continued, “We better get out of your hair and get ready for tomorrow, I’m sure you need to get ready too !” The duo headed for the hatch to leave. - The Diver opened the hatch and allowed them to depart. "You're welcome! The best thing you can do to pay me back is to stay alive!" He smiled, waving as the pair departed. Hikaru truly hoped that things would go well...thankfully, no one had noticed the Elemechu hiding in the cockpit. That was not the time to find out how Fa responded to mice.
  7. Last week
  8. If Dave hadn’t been using an IBO Gunpla, he would’ve been toast. Instead, the machine was only slightly toasted, muting the yellow and maroon colors of the Smackdown. He COULD keep pushing toward the large mobile armor, but even the Astaroth couldn’t survive an attack like that multiple times. “Can’t go upward.” He thought while landing his Gunpla on top of a nearby building. The bland man glanced all around the map, hoping to find some way to get to the Hashmal. Most areas were covered with Plumas. All except one hole in the outskirts. A tunnel, used for a nearby road, was dug out of the hills. “Must go downward.” He uttered while flying toward the opening, hoping the mobile armor would be distracted with some other poor souls. He knew the Exia’s pilot had skill though, knowing that he could be useful in his plan. The tunnel was a very tight squeeze, definitely not meant for a mobile suit. Barely getting inside, he listened for the steps of the machine, taking different paths to find the best route. This was all while he’d punch the roof of the tunnel, hoping his plot would come to fruition. Suddenly, Dave’s luck ran out. A substantial amount of Plumas began to catch up with him on both sides, leaving no way out to leave without major damage or the destruction of the Astaroth. Still far from the Hashmal, he had to rely on the other pilot. Using his four fists, Dave slammed up at the roof, creating massive cracks all around him. “Exia. Get it closer to your position, but keep him in the outskirts.” Pointing his arms at each group, he had to buy himself some time. “Don’t use Trans-Am yet. You’ll know when.”
  9. The way the oddly color Gundam dealt with the Plumas was impressive. Seeing the manner in which the stranger dealt with the drones made Gabriel feel self conscious. If I could just get out of this rut… the diver’s voice cut through his thoughts, “Ignore them. Get to the Hashmal.” But even as Gabriel saw the IBO variant lift off higher he knew that was a bad idea. The Hashmal slowly stomped towards the city and by now was in the outskirts. Like bizarre mechanical dinosaur it turned to regard Dave along with another trio of flying Gundams. Its’ response was absolute, it opened its’ beak and shrilled our another angry screech. The pink beam reached out at some closer targets before sweeping its’ attack towards Dave. Gabriel knew that IBO units were resistant to beams but the sheer power of the attack would be sure enough to dazzle. He growled and pushed his throttle to rush underneath his strange ally and began attacking the Plumas in the streets. Just as he was about to slash down one of the drones landed on top of his Exia pushing his unit into the ground. “Damnit!” He yelled, he should have seen that coming. The pluma reach in to bit the left metallic shoulder of his Gundam. His screen flashed a warning about damage. Another Pluma tackled into him pushing the Ardent Exia into the side of a building, completely stopping his charge. Dust and debris flew around wildly from the impact. Another warning on his display, Gabriel was seeing red. Is this how this ends? One defeat? One utter humiliation and I’m reduced to a bumbling mess? Just then his thoughts flashed to Meer, to her breaking up with him in a GBN lobby with all their friends watching from the opposite end of lobby. A pluma bit into the chest armor, trying to tear the plating away. Just like how she ripped my heart out… “how she humiliated me…” he finished aloud. It was then his fingers relaxed, it wasn’t that the tension was gone exactly, he just felt… in control. “Trans Am…” Hunter commanded, and he flared his output to shoot back into the sky just above the building lines. The Plumas shedded off of him taking scraps of armor but ultimately sparing him major damage. He just as carefully deactivated the Trans Am suspecting it could be handy later. His eyes darted around for the friendly Gundam. “Astaroth are you there?” He called out as he looked around calmly. “We can’t fly directly there…” he cautioned, his tone more confident now. Hunter studied the streets and wondered how they might lead them to the lumbering mobile armor.
  10. Earlier
  11. Three Plumas jumped off the roof of one of the broken buildings near the Smackdown, attempting to catch the yellow Gunpla off-guard. At first, it looked like they'd connect with the machine, but Dave was beginning the figure out their patterns as they would stop and start moving. Once they got dangerously close, the diver stepped to the right, pointing his right fist at the three. With all his might, the fist pushed the three into each other, smacking the wall in the process. The crushed parts mixed together with the wall's materials, creating a large crack. "Yes." Dave finally responded to his teammate, swiping the Gunpla's arm back to remove some of the oil. He knew the other player was right. The amount of Pluma's in the area were substantial. Whoever else was on the team was likely destroyed, meaning they didn't have much of a chance to even get to the Hashmal if they tried to defeat the mobile armor's minion. The Astaroth blasted upward in the air, attempting to get as much distance between the massive group and himself. Seeing the mission's goal in sight, he began his assault forward, knowing in the back of his head that the tiny machines would follow suit. "Ignore them." Dave uttered. "Get to the Hashmal." It was easier said than done...
  12. ((This was done between myself and Hikaru.)) Kamille bumped through the hallways of the ZAFT warship, tears streaming out behind him. Fa called out to him but each time a little more softly as the angry teen mindlessly went down the hallway. She eventually forced herself to stop chasing him. As much as she cared about Kamille she knew she couldn’t do much for him in this state. Fa hated the idea of fighting, but she felt just as frustrated as he did at that moment. “We can’t even protect ourselves…” She muttered more to herself as she steadied herself to look out the viewport into space. Tears welling up in her own eyes as she gazed at the countless stars - It wouldn't be long after the conclusion of the meeting before Hikaru followed. He couldn't really tell where Kamille was, but he did notice Fa looking out amongst the stars. He told himself that she was an NPD, as was Kamille, but he couldn't really ignore this. He moved to be near Fa, respecting her personal space by staying at the next window over. "...Hard to save someone from themselves, isn't it?" Hikaru asked, not fully interpreting Fa's lament at the moment. - Fa fought back a sniffle and nearly jumped as the kind pilot from before surprised her. She looked around quizzically before catching on. “Oh… yeah, well Kamille has always been a stubborn one…” she looked away absently and an moment passed before she gasped. “You know I don’t think I properly thanked you or introduced myself… I’m Fa Yuiry… I appreciate you pulling me to safety back at Green Noa…” her voice trailed off as she was still very much worried and thinking about Kamille. - This briefly surprised Hikaru as he realized that he'd not introduced himself. The NPDs were just so iconic that he felt like he knew them already. It seemed to be time to rectify that. "Ah, I'm Hikaru Hiyashi. You're welcome for that, Miss Yuiry. I regret that you got dragged into that. In a perfect world, governments wouldn't use their civilian populations as shields. Of course, given that Kamille's parents both work for the Titans, he might not have been able to avoid that mess either way." - Fa’s eyes lit up momentarily at the mention of the Titans and she went back to staring longingly at the stars. “Fate is a funny thing isn’t it? Don’t you feel like sometimes life has a script that you have to follow? And no matter what you do you have to follow it?” She paused as the thoughtful words flowed out of her. “Still… I know I feel the same as Kamille… I feel like we need to take the fight to the Titans… we can’t sit idly by while they destroy colonies…” her gaze turned cold as she talked about the enemy. Hate could be seen etched on her face. “I think that’s why I can’t bare to bring myself to Kamille right now… I can’t tell him to stop, because deep down…” her voice trailed off again as she weighed the implications. - The mention of a script made Hikaru flinch slightly. At what point was her pain real? When did this transition into cruelty? He gave a sigh and rubbed the back of his head a bit. "There's a difference between feeling a need to do something and charging in blindly. That's what I was trying to warn him about. He has to be careful who he throws his lot in with. I feel stuck myself right now and want him to avoid that if he can. ZAFT may be the Titans' enemies, but it isn't necessarily a group that would always align with his intentions.” - She looked around in response, as if studying the ship itself. “Well you guys seem fine enough… though I understand you guys are somewhat freelance…” she looked at Hikaru now, “it’s not a matter of being blind for us right now as it is a matter of taking action. Green Noa is still fresh for us… too fresh…” she looked away as thoughts of home flooded her sense. “Do you think you could talk some reason into Kamille?” She asked meekly as he eyes absorbed the stars once more. - "Yes, we're freelance, though that doesn't come without questioning a few things here and there. I'm willing to try helping him, if he'll listen. That's the important part. He seems to think I'm trying to stop rather than advise. Do you know where he is, Miss Yuiry?" Hikaru asked Fa, wondering if she might have any ideas. - Fa pointed at the hallway that led to the hangars blankly. “He went off that way… and… thanks again Mr.Hiyashi” she offered a polite bow to Hikaru. “We really are indebted to you and your allies.” She offered a weak but genuine smile. - "Ah, you can call me Hikaru. I just felt like I shouldn't presume upon your given name." Hikaru bowed back to Fa. "And really...it might help if you were there. You're the only familiar person on this ship for him. Even if he is too upset and angry to show it right now, you might be an anchor for him as he is for you." - Fa nodded reluctantly and pushed off the railing to lead the way with Hikaru in tow. Meanwhile Kamille clawed at the cockpit of the the Beta Gundam. He snarled in frustration as the godlike mobile suit denied him entry. It looked almost identical to the MKII’s the titans were using, he was certain he could use this machine if he could just get inside. He whimper and groaned in frustration as the cockpit hatch didn’t budge open. “Please!” He begged softly. As it became evident that the machine wouldn’t yield he punched the metal hatch angrily yelling out in rage. “Let me fight!” Some of the Zaft personnel paused to regard the angry teen but most went about their business eager to avoid the awkward situation. It was during the height of his sorrow he could sense an approach, it was a difficult feeling to describe but in that moment he knew he wasn’t alone. “Kamille! What are you doing?” Fa called out as she floated toward him. He turned around to glare at her and the pilot equally. Fa caught herself next to the cockpit of the Beta Gundam, “Kamille you can’t take…” she bit her lip eager to not anger Kamille any further. “You can’t Mr. Hiyashi’s mobile suit! Did you forget that he saved me?” Kamille gave Hikaru an angry look and spat out. “Don’t think I’m ungrateful…” he muttered in response. “I just… I know…. I know I can make a difference… inside a Gundam…” he looked at the pilot of the machine before him. Silently challenging Hikaru with the glare. - Hikaru noted Kamille and, strangely, didn't seem angry. If anything, he was thankful that Kamille tried to take the Gundam. "First off, you're lucky you picked my machine to try and take. If you tried to steal one of the ZAFT suits, you'd probably be in the brig by now. If you'd done that to one of the Gundams they just took, you might even have gotten shot." It was important to clarify the danger Kamille had placed himself in, to shock him back to reality...such as it was within the game. "I'm not angry though, I get it. You want to do something about it. But we won't even be in a position to deploy to attack the Titans or the ship they're on for another day. It would also mean descending to the Earth. So since there's nothing any of us can do at the moment..." Hikaru leaned back against his machine and regarded both Fa and Kamille. "Mind listening to a story?" - Kamille wasn’t so eager to take the bait but Fa edged them on, quietly asking “ what’s it about?” As she asked she floated next to Kamille and took his clenched hand in her own, in an attempt to sooth the teen. Kamille reluctantly nodded to hear what the level headed pilot had to say, curiosity getting the better of him. - "There was a time, in Side 3, when people were angry about how they were treated by the Federation. They wanted freedom and independence from the distant foreign power that controlled them. They weren't alone in feeling this way, since Side 6 had achieved that peacefully in 0077. However...that feeling was easy to manipulate by those in power." Hikaru started, glancing to Kamille as he continued. He had to parse this carefully. He glanced to the parts of the GP04. "That machine over there was piloted by a woman named Cima Garahau. She was a Zaku I pilot in the One Year War who fought for independence and wanted justice and freedom for her people. As such, she listened to the Zabis and became one of their soldiers. She had no idea that she was using poison gas in January 0079 when she obeyed her orders...but she has to deal with the knowledge that she had been tricked into killing a whole colony full of her fellow Spacenoids for the rest of her life. After the war, her superior officer blamed her for the war crime and fled to Axis. By 0083, she no longer loved her homeland and was a pirate who only wanted revenge." He sighed and closed his eyes for a moment. "When she rebelled against a former Zeon admiral and advanced certain plans with her actions that year, actions which may still be classified and led to the formation of the Titans, she apparently became exactly what she hated. An instrument of Earth's oppression and hatred. She is now a Titan, and seems unable to be anything else." Hikaru glanced to Kamille and Fa, intent on getting his message through. "Her mistakes were in who she trusted and signed up with. In her haste to achieve her ends, she became the pawn of people who had their own agenda beyond that which she desired. My point is that, before you join some military or group to take revenge, consider that group's intentions and goals. Ask yourself what they might insist you do for them in exchange for the power to fight." - Kamille did blink as the story became prevalent to himself. He ever so slowly nodded his understanding that the pilot was trying to relay to him. Slowly his anger seeped away and he reluctantly let his fist unclench. He was still distraught, but he understood that perhaps he should bide his time. He glanced away unsure of how to react before finally looking back at Hikaru. “I…” he searched for the words before shaking his head, “thank you…” he said at last and Fa nodded alongside him as they floated in front of Beta Gundam. “I’ll take what you said to heart…” he grumbled before looking at Hikaru. “I still plan on fighting with you guys next time… but… I’ll be patient…” he pushed away from the Gundam and gave a little nod to Hikaru. Fa looked from Kamille to Hikaru and gave him a brief smile. “Thank you Hikaru…” she said softly as she looked back to see where Kamille was off to now. - Hikaru smiled, glad to assist. "You're both welcome, Mr. Bidan. Miss Yuiry." He could have said more, but he would have been repeating himself. He didn't want to hold Fa up any longer than necessary in going to Kamille. The Diver could only hope that the pair stayed away from racist tripe and thought through who they trusted. ZAFT wasn't exactly a nice army for Naturals. - Kamille winced at the use of his surname, it reminded him too much of his father. He paused as he hit the catwalk away from the Gundam and turned around. “It’s Kamille… my first name is Kamille… you better remember it.” The teen warned as he looked back at Fa and Hikaru. Fa pushed away from the Mecha to join Kamille. She waved politely at Hikaru as she joined the infamous “boy with a girl’s name”.
  13. Through the dust the a figure of absurd colors slowly took shape. Yellow and maroon slowly collated into an IBO variant, which Gabriel couldn’t recall at that moment. What he did see was the machine punching its’ way past plumas. Gabriel responded to the simple greeting with, “I’m glad I’m not alone!” As the two suits met up more plumas seemed to stream towards the duo. Gabriel slashed past unique machine to split the crown of one of the minion machines charging them. “Looks like we got a entire maze of these monsters between us and the mobile armor!” Gabriel noted as he fought the urge to pull out his beam pistol to fire ineffective shots. “Is your suit only effective at close ranges?” He asked blindly as the plumas slowed down in consistency, offering them a small reprieve. Gabriel was still feeling flustered between his recent defeat and the sudden intensity of this challenge. At the moment he was playing much like his old self, and he hated it. He felt like he couldn’t get the upper hand, he was barely prepared, and there was perhaps a literal army between him and the desired goal. As his insecurities grew, the wave of plumas all together stopped, offering an eerie pause to the action. Still he looked around cautiously as he waited to hear from his new companion.
  14. Aida waved his team off, but after they left, he noticed Beta Four, now sitting on the hand of her Gundam, contemplating the savannah. As usual, she had let everyone go in silence, without any sort of commentary. Once both his companions were out of the stage, however, he had nobody else to turn to, but her. Using his remote, he ordered Airbatel to pick him up with its left hand, then take him next to the GP03. While he waited for it to get there, he created a chatroom with Kyle and Carter inside, and sent them a message with his assessment of the situation. <8TMS> Aida > Impromptu Group #3976043 We’ve got a savannah with little to no probability of return to space. Make sure your MS can handle gravity and dust before coming back. Lots of extra fuel to walk aimlessly. And DEFINITELY bring a civ attire preset. In case we find a village. After sending them the message so they’d prepare for the next fight, he lowered his interface and looked at his artificial teammate, still wearing her normal suit. An aura of mystery surrounded her, but he was determined to know what lied underneath. - “I never did ask you.” Slowly, his feet changed hands. He did not dare to come next to the NPD, as he felt it was too soon, but he’d be forced to yell if he were to talk from the other hand. - “Hm?” - “What is your name? I mean, we’re all in the same team, but i don’t think you’ve told anyone yet.” - “Would it make you happy?” As was standard practice for her, Beta Four fired an armor-piercing question, but didn’t seem any less apathetic about it. Not being able to see her face definitely helped. - “Well, uh...” Aida struggled to find a reason not to make it about his uncertainties, but soon he found a good enough excuse. “... i noticed the guys aren’t quite as formal as my usual band of performers. So i’d like to get accustomed to the idea of calling everyone by their names, so we can build trust. This can be a long tour of duty. I don’t want to make people uncomfortable.” - “If that’s what you’d like to call it… here are my papers.” Surprisingly, a window sprung up in Aida’s interface, with the NPD’s name, speciality, and an icon that represented her current appearance, plus some numbers and status icons. - Isla (#0005) ReConfigurableNonPlayerDiver HP: 101/101 Unharmed MP: 275/400 Focused Customize < Stats - - “Nice to meet you, Isla...” Aida was obviously baffled. A customizable NPD? This is very new. I haven’t heard beta testers talk about anything like this in the private forums. Curious about the possibilities that had been implemented already, he opened the customization menu and found not only a myriad of options for Isla’s appearance, but also a very important function: changing her active Mobile Suit. Opening the menu, he discovered a timeline, which only had two entries: The green Galbaldy Beta, and the Titans GP03. Apparently, she could switch between any MS she had used up until this moment… but there was an option to add new Gunpla to her roster. Excited, he knew he had to try it all out, so he played with the options. He made her Mobile Suit into a Murasame provisionally, then went for her appearance. What do you even look like? Finding just two presets, A and B, he figured the one without the spacesuit was her canonical appearance. He applied it, and a masked, blonde woman wearing green showed up. Still can’t see her face. Well, don’t want to make her upset, if i haven’t already. Satisfied, he logged off, and upon returning to his shop in the real world, he took off the headset and cleared the sweat off his forehead. His cabinet being intended for the shop’s clients, it wasn’t as comfortable as one of those models people used from home, but being that he already lived literally next to the shop and spent most of his days there, it was somewhat pointless to buy one of those rigs with mood lighting integration, a motorized rumble seat or a Mobile Trace System, when the store cabinets already had the basics covered: decent seating, force feedback, working systems. He thought that was enough for him, and had no plans whatsoever of- WHAT THE HELL? Just look at the time! Wake up, get up, get out there!
  15. The main lobby of GBN was filled to the brim with crazy looking cosplayers and animal people as Dave walked around. That was the fun part of GBN for most players. You could look however you wanted to, but Dave was perfectly fine with just looking like Dave. Ironically, the bland man with a white T-shirt and jeans stood out in the crowd as he looked through the the mission list, seeing if he could find a mission that would just give him something to do. It didn't take long to find a mission that was starting to become quite popular in the game. Order of the Seven Stars began to get a reputation of being one of the most difficult challenges in all of GBN. In fact, no one had ever beaten it. "Hm. Okay." CLICK! Wherever he was transported to, the place had seen better days. Noticing the Hashmal immediately, he saw the mobile armor utterly decimating the landscape. "Alright." Said Dave as he walked toward the machine, not even worrying about speed or any of his teammates currently. He decided not to wait and try this mission with his Force, the Baka Brawlers, knowing that only their Grandmaster would stand a chance against the metal beast. He wasn't even paying attention as to who was even on his team right now while The Astaroth Smackdown's feet crunched down on debris. "Doesn't matter." He thought while black metal creatures watched him. Dave didn't really care if they won or lost. Suddenly, four of the Plumas pounced at the neutral diver, but Dave didn't care. He pulled up on the controls and turned around, grabbing two of the vicious enemies in the Astaroth's hands. He then quickly turned off the thrusters, angling his legs at the other two. They didn't see it coming when he crashed down on them, sandwiching the two between him and the ground. Dave looked at the two squirming in his hands, mashing them together into a mishmash of oil and metal parts. That wasn't the end of their attack though, as many more began to attack the IBO custom. Dave stared down, clicking two buttons on the control pad. The hands above the regular ones tightened, creating a "double fist" of two stacked appendages. The diver thought back to when he told his crew about his Astraroth's gimmick. "You gotta say it loudly when you do it!" Josh Duncan clinched his fists and began to punch the air "FOUR FISTS!!!!" Dave blinked and didn't react to the stupidity. "No. That's fine." The fists flew into some of the Plumas, pulverizing a couple of them in the process. The sheer strength of the hands began to push back the machines, all without the Gunpla moving from its spot. Eventually, the enemy had enough, opting to go kill some other poor mobile suit. Dave's comms blared as one of his teammates flew near him. “Anyone out there? We lost an ally already!” Dave heard as he ignited his engines, flying toward the white Exia. "Hello."
  16. Order of the Seven Stars Gjallarhorn is the savior that pulled the world out of the brink during the calamity wars. They fought and nearly exterminated the menace of mobile armors from known existence. Mobile armors were soulless death machines which brought humanity to its’ knees during the calamity wars. Hero’s who vanquished these mighty foes were rewarded the highest honor within Gjallarhorn, the Order of the Seven Stars. Do you have what takes to echo the achievements of these heroic titans? Gabriel looked at the description with a scowl on his face. Ever since his meeting with the mystery sniper he had been in a bad mood. He didn’t feel like playing into their hands, on the other hand he was missing the rush of combat. He needed to do something legit, to feel validated again, to feel worthy of Ardent Exia. While some missions could be described as hard or challenging, others were in a class of their own, downright suicidal even. Of course there was a rendition of this mission on the old GBN, but this new one, well he hadn’t heard good things about it. Supposedly no one had beaten the challenge yet. For Gabriel’s mood, It was right up his alley. The diver selected the join button and he as put in a que to see if anyone else would be up for the task. As he waited, he checked over his armaments. True Exia was largely armed with beam weaponry, so he took the precaution to load up two extra GN blades the normal Exia would carry in 7 swords mode. It would make him more bulky but the trade off should be worth the risk. He was so lost in his thoughts, that Gabriel almost didn’t realize the mission had started. “Crap.” He chided himself, “I didn’t even see who I’m teamed up with!” The scene before him was carnage incarnate. Ardent Exia stood in the abandoned streets of a huge city. Tall buildings cut up the terrain into grids, with gray skies threatening to rain at any moment. If it wasn’t for the radio chatter (which he was ignoring) the whole scene would have been eerily quiet. Unidentifiable mobile suit remains were scattered in the streets like body parts from a slasher film, with thick oil seeping from their limbs like blood. A flash of lightning made Gabriel jerk in surprise but as he turned to look at the source his eyes grew in alarm. In the distance an area of mountains bordered the city, and on the rim of one of the mountains was the great beast Hashmal. The bird like mecha tilted its’s head up to screech out a roar, and despite its great distance the pink lightning of a beam blast, blindly glanced into the city. Buildings erupted into gray dust and tumbled down, creating a thick fog like smoke, hiding the terrifying beast from sight. Gabriel gripped his controls tighter as uneasiness grew over him. “What did I sign up for…” he muttered to himself. Movement caused him to look to his side and see a friendly mobile suit. “Oh thank goodness!” He sighed as he turned his comm on to hail the friendly. Before he could even say hello a black dog like creature pounced into the mobile suit, followed by another, then another. The swarm of Plumas crashes into the mech drowning it with attacks. The friendly pilot screamed out in terror begging for help. Gabriel yelled out, though he didn’t know if it was from fear or rage, and charged in towards the pile. He slashed out with his GN sword to start bashing away the smaller drones. “Crap! We can’t be a man down already!” Even as he swiped his blade through the little mecha, he knew he was too late. He got a handful of them with his sword but more and more kept coming. “If I stay here they’ll over take me too…” he reluctantly fired his thrusters to take flight and hovered away from the plumas as they proceeded to tear their fresh kill apart, greedily “chewing” the limbs of the mech and draining its’ fluids. One thing became clear to Gabriel as he retreated, “this isn’t going to be easy…” he darted between buildings looking for more allies. “Anyone out there? We lost an ally already!” He called out frantically. Fear was settling over him and he didn’t like the feeling.
  17. ((This was a collaboration between all the members of Alpha team. Great work everyone!)) Hikaru's machine arrived at the Vesalius next, though it wasn't without at least something to show for its trouble. The machine carried the main weapon, the lower body, and the arms of a RX-78GP04G Gerbera Gundam in Titans livery. He disembarked from his machine, displeased. They'd lost. Oh, they managed to do some damage, but still. He moved through zero gravity and landed near Fa, Kamilla, and Marco. "Tch...at the very least we disabled a couple Gundams for a while. I brought back pieces of the machine that tied me up, but the torso got away. Maybe the AEUG can do something political with proof of the Gundam Development Project...or at least Anaheim can build us a machine faster out of the parts." Marco snapped out of his reverie to regard Hikaru. His expression was blank and he shook his head as if in a daze before clearing his throat. “That’s good kid…” he slowly began returning to the “here and now” his eyes studying the room more openly. Kamille trembled with visible rage “those bastards! How can they get away with all this! First our home…” his glare shot up at Hikaru. “I can’t let them….” He shook as he clenched his eyes tightly. “I wish I wasn’t so helpless… I need to be able to fight my own battles…” he muttered with tears trickling out from his closed eyes. It was obvious how distraught the teen was and Fa moved to comfort her friend. “Kamille…” she offered feebly. Hikaru hesitated for a moment. He could egg Kamille on and coax him to fight, but this...wasn't like manipulating Emma. No, this was a civilian transitioning into a soldier. He scratched the back of his head in thought. "Except it's not just your own battle. If you go out intending to fight alone, you'll just be killed. We were outnumbered, pulled away from the plan by it, and got lucky as it was. It was very nearly two-to-one out there. Besides...are you ready to kill? Even if people have their own reasons for joining the enemy side? Can you obey orders you might not like?" Hikaru inquired, wanting Kamille to have a more solid idea of what he was getting into. If he chose to help, it might aid his transition. Shin loaded in looking and listening to the two players and then the NPDs But then back to Marcos " So what happened to the teamwork talk! Because once the fight started you rushed in same as last time, and y'all thought I wasn't the team player here!" He then looked over to Hikaru and the young kamille but didn't say a word. He knew opening his mouth further would only make things worse. Risu entered a fair bit later than everyone else, scurrying in and giving the group a little wave. "Did I do good? Did I do good?" she called out, not at all aware of the room's current atmosphere. "We won, right?" Without a quick response, she'd stop speaking, giving her Force a small pout before sheepishly stepping to one corner of the room. Something told her that they were dealing with something, and her butting in would make things worse. Marco involuntarily gasped at Hikaru’s words and grimaced. He stood up and turned to regard the conversation fully. Then Shin chimed in about teamwork. Creed stood up straight at the remark and flared at the kid. His first impulse was to react violently but Risu cut him off before he could do anything rash. Kamille was fuming “What does all that mean? At least if I’m able to fight I don’t have to sit here helplessly! I should be able to protect myself! Having you guys kill for me is worse than if I’m the one pulling the trigger!” He flared angrily around at all the divers sweeping his hand out wide. “I’m being forced to trust everyone else’s judgement! I can’t bear such shame!” He clenched his fist in front of him practically growling. Marco took the moment to clear his angry thoughts and walked up to place his hands on Kamille’s shoulders before looking around at everyone. His touch on the boy made the teen jump but not run away. Creed took a moment looking at everyone grimly, “plans seldom make it through contact with the enemy… all things considered we did good…” his eyes settle in Risu as he said the last part. This was the most animated he’d seen her and he was surprised. Kamille hardly look pleased however as he began to brush Marco away. “I need to fight…” he stated defiantly, looking around for someone to help him. Hikaru rubbed the back of his head. He noted Shin, acknowledging the man's irritation. First, he responded to him so as to explain things. "So the Bael could attack the other Gundams with more impunity, and to keep the enemy's leader and probable main strategist from messing with Risu with his long range weapon, I led him away. I didn't expect the battlefield area to shift and for them to throw an extra Gundam at us. I sent a communication as soon as I could, and shot down the Zeong as soon as I saw you were in trouble. That's all I could really do." He wouldn't apologize for his actions, but he would explain them at least. The Diver then regarded Kamille and Fa. "...Kamille, I'm not telling you to fight or not to fight. I'm trying to prepare you. You may understand that the Titans were using you as human shields and might forgive us for fighting, but not everyone will. You might be ordered into a situation like that again if the Titans keep employing such strategies. You might have to fight among innocent civilians like we had to. We can't always choose our battlefields. If you insist on fighting, maybe we can contact Anaheim and have them finish this GP04 or something...but I think you need to talk to Fa about it before committing. You're her lifeline here, and she was scared out of her wits for you." Shin looked over to the young Risu and with a strange sort of smile spoke to her "As far as I could tell your the only one that kept the plan I knew of before the mission started." He turned to look at Creed and Hikaru and took a deep breath then looking at Kamille. "You wanna fight, do it your way. Stop feeling down about it and just move forward. Make a choice and stick to it. Trust me questioning your own choice will only hold you back." He walked closer and look closer at Creed and sighed as he looked away. Before he looked back at him " Guess what happened doesn't matter anymore." As Hikaru spoke Shin listened "Thats fine. Things happen, however Creed did exactly what he did in the first mission. He rushed forward without a full plan or if he had one he didn't explain it well. I've worked on teams before and it's a two way street. I was humiliated because I worried about what I was supposed to do to be a 'Team Player' in the end I realized I wasn't fully the problem on this team. " He scratched his head and then looked to all of the group. "If we wanna be a team we have to work together and play off each of our strengths. You all work off my all out combat style and I learn to work with the rest of you. I hate to admit but if we could actually work together we wouldn't be able to lose even if we got outnumbered." Risu paused for a moment, giving Shin a small nod of thanks. However, she'd continue to stay quiet, figuring it'd be best to listen intently. She had little knowledge of anything Gundam, and the best way to start would be to listen to everyone else. Marco looked away from Shin and muttered. “I’ll admit I got buck fever… but I didn’t intend to get lured away from everyone else for so long… I… I haven’t been the best teammate I know….” The man seemed more emotional than he should be as he still mulled over thoughts of Kira in his head. Kamille scoffed and headed for the doorway. “If you guys can’t help me then I’ll find a way to fight myself…” as he stormed out of the room Fa called out chasing him “Kamille!” The two NPDs exited the room and there was a tension that seemed to go away with them. Creed stroked his beard and eyed everyone. “All things considered we almost pulled that one out of the bag… one thing on my mind is how you did it?” he nodded to Risu. “I didn’t know your suit could perform like that…” he then looked at Hikaru. “Also why did the field change for just you?” Hikaru sighed, noting that Kamille seemed to reject the offer of trying to make the GP04G work for him. Maybe he should make a Zeta Gundam for him. Having him fall for Rau's logic would be a bad idea...though hopefully Char would be quick to accept Kamille as a protegé. He noted the question and responded after a moment of thought. "I suspect it was because of both distance and some flag the other team triggered. Cima Garahau mentioned that the other team's leader was to be executed along with me. I only managed to pinpoint her sniping position by contacting the Red Frame to warn it of the danger and being given the location of the Gerbera in exchange. Not everything seems to be going well between Beta Team and the NPDs." Shin after sharing his piece leaned against the wall just watching the room. Maybe something helpful would be discussed A brief, almost hesitant pause met Creed's question, though soon enough, she'd return with that peppy, youthful countenance. "I-I dunno!" she smiled. "I-Isn't it like... if you put a lot of effort into building it, it's really good?" As cheerful as she seemed to be, it was pretty obvious that she was hiding something. Marco simply nodded as his teammates responded, he took in all the information and processed it silently. He gave Risu a knowing look before answering, “I’m going to be re-watching the replay of that fight very closely…” his eyes shifted from the squirrel to both boys. “It’s clear there’s …” his voice trailed off as he looked at the screen behind his teammates. The smiling face of Rau seemingly taunted all of them through the wall display. Rau’s melodic voice cut in finally, “I’m sorry if I’m interrupting anything…” the soulless gaze of the NPD seemed to scan the room and all the divers before he contributed. “Time is of the essence though and I have a new mission for you all… assuming you’re all still available for employment?” The question hung in the air as Marco looked around uneasily at his teammates trying to gauge their reaction to their pseudo employer. Curiosity got the better of him though as he impulsively blurted, “We’re listening…..” Hikaru noted Rau and was on his guard. So much for their after-mission discussion. At least it was largely over anyway. Rau had his attention, but he hesitated to immediately agree to something reckless. After all, Rau was offering employment on ZAFT's terms. He wasn't sure if they were ever on ZAFT's payroll and he didn't want manipulated into changing sides in ignorance. "I'm listening as well, but would this mission be for the AEUG, for ZAFT, or both? I have to admit to a bit of confusion about our status since we seem to have been handed off from our original co-workers." Shin looked at the wall with the NPD but just kept quiet. He would just talk if he spoke anyway so what was the point. In fact he took the time to pull a design bored and started to work on a long range type for the Astral AGE Rau grinned ever so slightly as he garnered the full attention of the room. “I’m glad we still have your attention then… as for employment this would be for the motherland. That’s not to say our goals don’t align with all spacenoids however.” He let the word spacenoid hang in the air as if trying it out. “As it stands the ZAFT forces are spread thinly. But we cannot afford to have the legged ship escape to their base on earth. The last battle set them off course, a timely mistake. We would like to have your team follow them down to the surface to finish what was started here in space. Unfortunately you will have to wait one more day before you can effectively pursue them, due to the rotation of the earth. In reality that gives you little time to prepare. We will provide you with re-entry pods and you can continue the pursuit once you have landed. Will you accept this job?” Rau’s tone was deceptively sincere as was his polite smile. The question hung in the air like a bad stench. Creed tilted on his heel to see what his teammates would do. He was curious beyond belief and wanted to see just how deep these missions would go. Even if it was just him he’d take on the challenge, whatever it might be. "Would we have support, or be operating solo?" Hikaru inquired of the commander. On the surface, it was a reasonable question to determine combat strength. They'd just been overpowered by their target, after all. However, he was truly pondering just how much oversight ZAFT would have over their decisions. If they had too little support, that could be a blessing on its own...given the nature of the man in front of them. Still, it felt like making a deal with the devil. Maybe he could use this to fish for an angle to let the AEUG stay connected to the deal, if the support was too light. Rau’s demeanor didn’t skip a beat as he calmly replied to Hikaru, “reinforcements will be forthcoming but not immediately available. So it’s safe to assume you may be operating alone for this whole ordeal.” His masked face scanned around and he politely asked, “any other concerns? I’m not saying that this won’t be dangerous, to the contrary it should be a worthy challenge for a team such as yours. We have high hopes for you…” Creed let out a sigh and nodded. “I don’t know about you guys but I’m good to go. I just need some repairs and Bael will be ready for terrestrial combat.” He turned to nod at Rau. “I’ll report back a couple hours before we begin.” He hardly acknowledged the response from Rau before bidding everyone else goodbye. As he was about to log out he noticed a reward waiting for him from the mission “hmm this out to be handy...” he mused as he fully logged out of GBN.
  18. Carter was elated with himself, actually coming up with a winning plan that got them to safety "Hell yeah!" He said, sitting up from his cockpit and opening the hatch, he looked around the area and saw nothing "Hey.. we're on Earth right? Not mars?" He joked, wiping his forehead as if there was sweat. "Oh yeah! We did well out there guys" he chuckled and raised his fist "We'll get back at them for betraying us another time, I gotta go for now" he waved bye as he logged out. When he was back to reality, he shut his eyes and laid back, it wasn't too intense, but he was mentally strained.. his new MS felt amazing to pilot and use. He picked it up and admired it "You did well out there" he said, bringing it over to the shelf and putting it in action pose next to his Zaku. "Oh yeah, I should probably.." He nodded and looked at the time "I should make a visit" he said, grabbing his coat and heading out
  19. The man’s voice was coarse, yet somehow melodic. The tone couldn’t help but rub Hunter the wrong way. His concerns grew exponentially as the man called him by his real name. He wanted to lash out, to curse and pout but the eerie calmness he was accustom to made him reply slowly, “Who are you?” The cackling on the other end of the line did little to ease his fears as the two suits pushed away from each other. Both aimed a weapon at the other, Hunter’s GN pistol to the weird Buster’s gun launcher. “Talk…” he beckoned simply. The other man laughed all the more before calming down, “you could say I represent your benefactor…” Hunter didn’t say anything as he tightened his grip on the controls. He gritted his teeth and stared hard at the black Buster. The wind from the storm buffeted them both with dust which soon turned into a stead sheet of rain. Drops of water dropped off their weapons and the sniper finally cleared his throat. “You see… it’s no coincidence that you’ve been dropping into people’s games. We’ve been using you to… practice some exploits we’ve uncovered in the code. Whether you want to or not, you are working for us, you have been since the moment you logged into the beta.” The news didn’t come as a surprise, in fact Gabriel wasn’t so oblivious as to assume what he was doing was officially part of the game. Hearing to spoken so clearly however was alarming. “What does that mean then? Why are you trying to shoot me down?” The sniper crackled as if the answer should be so obvious. “It’s simple!”the Buster fired a blue bolt at Exia’s GN pistol beating Hunter to the draw and destroying the GN sword in the process. “I need you to fall!” Hunter exploded into action ditching the broken weapon and charging with the beam saber in his off hand. He yelled out in defiance as he closed the distance. Before he could get close however the Trans am faded off. He talked to me to run my particles out! He realized just as he got within striking distance. The jolt of the machine was noticeable as he ran out of juice and his blade clashed with the blue beam saber. His power seemed to flicker in the cockpit as he brought his right hand to pressed against the enemy cockpit. He got as far as he could though and his beam saber cut off along with all his power. Luckily he didn’t feel it as the blue beam sliced through the Ardent Exia. He soon rematerialized on the wet rocky ground right in front of the Buster. He looked up quizzically at the machine wondering what would happen now. The enemy pilot could be hear cackling over their PA system before finally addressing him. “Not bad kid! You see you were gaining too much attention! We needed to bring you score down so you remain under the radar. That’s not to say you’re doing anything bad. So don’t take this personally…” Hunter glared up at the ebony colossus, “what now? Am I still your little pawn?” He spat the question out accusingly and looked around as the wind and rain buffeted him. “I happen to think you’re a little more valuable than that… I’ll contact you in a couple of days kid…” the Buster flared it’s engines and began to hover away. “Keep all this under your hat… Gabriel… You work for Zapp now kid…Just remember… We know how to find you…” the man bellowed out as the Buster floated down the mountain and away. Hunter stood up to watch, perplexed by the turn of events and curious what it all meant. “Zapp?” He muttered, “the Gunpla aesthetics company?”
  20. Walking outside of the Zeong's head, Kyle looked around the savannah. The group of four seemed to be alone, with no Archangel or anything else in sight. The diver knew that whatever happens during their next mission, Beta Team will likely be on their own. "Wouldn't want to fight with those Titans anyways." He thought while walking toward Aida. Kyle put his hand on the back of his head. "Sorry I couldn't do much this time." He exclaimed. "I'll promise you that the Trinames will be complete by the time we do the mission, whatever that may be." Kyle pulled up his menu, checking to see if he was past his allotted playtime he gave himself. It was close, but the diver decided that he needed to get to back to his real job. "I'm gonna have to log out now." He uttered while pressing a few buttons. "Great job on the win! I'll see you guys next time!" With that statement, the diver materialized away from GBN. Pulling off the headset, the sides of them were covered in sweat. "Gross!" He yelled while grabbing wipes. "Wish I had one of those more comfortable, hi-tech ones..." He wiped the whole setup down and picked up his Zeong gunpla, placing it back where it belonged in his collection. "You were good, but you're no Trinames, that's for sure." He thought to himself as he glanced at the uncompleted custom. "Nothing will stand in the way of the Comet Meister's machine!"
  21. (Post-Operation II) Having regrouped near the Archangel, Beta Team tried to reach for the hatch of Archangel’s right catapult. Oddly, not a transmission had come from the ship ever since the announcement of victory: Aida himself was guiding the team to the ship with his Super Airbatel’s Mobile Armor mode, going at a pace the Buster Dagger and GP03 could keep up with. As for the Zeong’s head, it was still being carried by Beta Four. As nimble as it was, it was not fast enough, nor did it have a reactor anymore, so it would have to save its energies as much as it could. - “Alright, people. We’re here...” Aida switched to MS mode as soon as he reached the closed hatch, and put the GM’s hand on it to establish contact with the bridge. “Archangel, this is Beta! Open up! We’re here!” - “Lieutenant. I wouldn’t have thought you as the naive type...” As a video window opened up in his cockpit, Aida saw Cima Garahau in a room of the Archangel, along with Bask Om and Jamaican Daninghan, rather than the bridge. It was possible those in the bridge could not hear what was going on. - “Garahau! You… how did you get here so quick?” Aida was surprised to see Cima in the ship, but she refused to disclose any information. - “Does it matter? Now, you’re in the perfect position. The whole lot of you will burn up in the atmosphere, Mobile Suits and all. I would’ve preferred to interrogate you, as traitors deserve, but merely getting rid of you will do the job.” Mocking Beta Team, Cima put on her Titans peaked cap, and grinned as she dedicated the four of them a military salute. - “Hahaha! And while you’re at it, you’re taking that GP03 with you to Hell!” Bask laughed, while Jamaican served himself some gin. - “Truly, two birds with one stone. They're saving us a logistics problem on their own.” Daninghan only had but a slight smile for the team, before sipping from his glass and exiting the room. - “You snakes!” Aida, furious at the three of them, tried to aim his weapon at the ship, before realizing his weapons were locked, as usual for cutscenes, and interactive story sequences. “I’ll get the Titans back for this, i swear...” After this, the communication was cut and Aida took back the Airbatel’s hand. “This ain’t good… We need to find a way to descend safely, fast!” -“Bastards! Bastards!” Charo chirped as he bounced around the entire cockpit of the Zeong. -“Watch your language.” Exclaimed Kyle as he looked through various settings on his control screen. “You’re right though. I’m sick of these Titans and their nastiness!” If there was anyone in the group who could get them through this predicament, it definitely wasn’t Kyle. The diver stood inside of the Zeon machine’s head, trying to think of a plan. It seemed that there was truly no way in. Kyle was getting more and more concerned by the second, even though he knew that he wouldn’t actually burn up physically. Worse case scenario, they’d be locked out of the game, a far worse fate in Kyle’s eyes. “I don’t think any of us have atmospheric reentry capabilities either, except maybe Aida’s mobile armor.” He uttered. Turning on the teams comms, he hoped the others had an idea. “Can anyone here reach the actual bridge?” --- Thus, the Divers began to truly cooperate for the occasion. - "Tsk.. SERIOUSLY?! We fight tooth and nail to protect them and this is what we get? Dammit..." Carter, normally the aloof member of Beta Team, was clearly unsatisfied with how they were being treated, with good reason. This must be what Garma felt when Char betrayed him, he thought to himself, looking around and scoffing before speaking again. "Should I blow open the catapult?" Carter’s irritation was slowly getting the best of him, however, he was not the only one. - "Believe me Carter, if only our weapons were unlocked, I'd burst in there myself and take over the ship with this 9 mil of mine..." Aida begun, clearly angered, yet in a state of tranquil fury, "but it's no option." - "We now have four minutes before we ignite. Beta One, what are your re-entry measures?" Four coldly stated the facts, and inquired about Aida's machine, unwittingly (or perhaps not?) following up with Kyle's thoughts. - "I don't have that stuff! This is a GM, after all! Doesn't anybody see some thick debris we can get behind or something?" -“Beta Four! Try to get us in front of the bridge. We’ll try to alert the crew while the others look for debris!” Kyle pleaded. The angle of the head didn’t give him much visibility, so he couldn’t find any, but Aida and Carter were bound to find some around in the area if they went looking. - "Tch.. this is a rotten situation. Wait a moment. You fought in a debris zone, right Kyle? This is gonna be dangerous but..." Carter suddenly fired up his main burner. "If I use the Saturn engine, i might be able to pull myself out to grab some debris!" He was fully aware of the rangers, they were already burning up, and a Saturn engine on top of that only complicated matters. But maybe, just maybe, it could work out. - "To be seen by the crew, we would have to hack control of the comms away from the Titans. Even if the crew heard us out, i don't think they have any authority to let us in..." Aida, still pessimistic about trying to talk things over with NPDs which could very well be scripted to disregard them, put all his bets into Carter's attempt to bring something able to withstand re-entry. “That sounds like a plan, Carter. Can i be of help?” Aida turned the Airbatel into a Mobile Armor again, and followed him towards part of a colony cap that seemed to have drifted into orbit from the debris field. If they could briefly make their orbit steeper, they could reach for it. - "I can attempt to hack the comms.” Beta Four surprisingly revealed. Dedicated hackers were a rare commodity on the game, due to the sheer complexity of some of the puzzles. “It's worth a try. Carter, Aida, you have three minutes..." Still speaking in her signature monotone voice, the NPD put the GP03's hand over the bridge, which couldn't see any of them directly because of the covers put over the bridge windows to survive re-entry. "Authority fabrication sequence... begin." - “Hmm.” Shaking around in the Zeong’s head, Kyle hoped that the other two members could find a big enough piece to withstand the return to Earth. He felt worthless, for he had no way to help the others. However, someone else could. “Hey, Charo.” He reached for his red robotic companion. “You’re a smart little machine. Can you help Beta Four hack into the comms?” -“Roger! Roger!” The ball responded while essentially going limp. A bizzare noise, which almost sounded like a fan running, began to play. Kyle grabbed the toy to keep it from rolling around. Hacking wasn’t it’s speciality, but as a product of the game itself, he could give them a better chance of contacting the bridge. With the crew being unable to physically see them, it’d be worth a shot for the droid while Aida and Carter went for the colony cap. - "Ever watch some football?" Carter asked, diverting power to only what was necessary for his plan. "I'll be the running back…” Conscious that Aida might not be a sports fan, he corrected himself and used cleared terms. “I'm gonna flick the Saturn engine switch and grab onto your mobile armor. Our combined boost outputs should pull us out to reach for that thing." - "Haven’t got the foggiest about football, but that sounds like a plan. We're taking that piece of the cap as close as we can to Four and Kyle, in case Plan A fails..." Firing up his thrusters, Aida caught up to Carter's Comet Dagger, and positioned himself in front of him. "Four, can you take yourself and Kyle to the colony cap when that happens?" - "It will be done. Two minutes remaining." Four couldn't be bothered to lose her calm. Her job was hard enough as is. "Attempt 3, failure. The structures are predictable, but... I lack dedicated hardware." - "Hardware, huh?" The NPD's comment made Aida think about Beta Four's proficiencies. Slowly but surely, more information about her playstyle surfaced. If only he was in charge of her Mobile Suit of choice, he would not be afraid to specialize her, given that he was already a jack of all trades for the team, even if a Gundam was naturally better-performing than a GM. -“Charo!” Kyle, worried, yelled as smoke started to come out of the droid’s “mouth”. He put the unit down, as the toy shut down completely, it’s lights turning off. The diver realized that, for the first time ever, he felt something for an AI. “You’ve gone on plenty of adventures with me, little buddy. I’m not gonna lose you because of this.” With Beta Four also not being able to contact the bridge, their only hope was the colony cap retrieval operation… --- - "Alright!" said Carter, you could almost see him smirking from his MS. "This is gonna be a gamble, so let's see just how lucky we are..." He flipped the switch on his Saturn engine, and diverted all the power to thrusters, life support, and comms. "On three, Aida." Taking a deep breath, Carter’s foot hovered over the pedal. "One… two… THREE!" After the countdown, he put his foot down, and the Comet Dagger burst forward with his thrusters flaring beautifully. Having carried out his own countdown silently, Aida fired up all of his rear-facing thrusters, and both the Comet Dagger and the Super Airbatel sped towards the colony cap piece, eventually reaching it. Weirdly, the cap appeared to be from an O'Neill Cylinder rather than an Hourglass-Class: this meant the piece of debris destined to save them was not from Junius Seven, but rather another colony. - “Ok… now we oughta make sure we don't overshoot that piece, so turn off that engine for now! On the count of three, we'll use the verniers to pull off a 180°, then full throttle on the mains to take it with Kyle and Four! Ready?! One, two, THREE!" On his signal, the Airbatel fired up all of the thrusters mounted in the front of the GM. For the maneuver to be successful, it was paramount that Carter used the thrusters in the back of his MS to counter the maneuver, and so both of them would be able to achieve the desired spin. As for Beta Four, her GP03 finally gave up. It appeared as if the Titans had not only repelled her attempts to hack into the Archangel, but also attempted to counterattack with a hack of their own. Before it could engage the Stamen's self destruct protocol, Four simply took back the hand, and gripped the Zeong head, grabbing it from one of the big red antennas. "It ain't gonna work. Hold on tight and remember to prioritize life support... They only have a minute to come back." -“One more minute?!” Kyle yelled while grabbing the front console with one hand, while holding Charo in the other. It was going to be tight, but he believed in Beta Team. He knew the others would work together to win. “AIDA! CARTER! DO IT!” - "IKU DE~!" Carter cheered as he and Aida shot towards the colony cap, he smirked, knowing his plan was gonna work. "Come on!" He said, cutting off the engine and then firing his verniers at the perfect time! They spun and pulled off a perfect 180 together, before using the main thrusters again to get to the piece and push it towards Earth. "We made it! Now let's push this thing back to our friends!" He said over comms, the excitement was painted all over his voice and his face. He didn't know PVE could be this fun at all! - "Just a little longer..." Aida pushed his thrusters as much as he could: less than a minute was left until the temperature reached levels capable of damaging the Mobile Suits of his friends, and when that happened, it wouldn't be much longer until the heat sinks couldn't hold it any longer. I'd rather not lose any of my teammates the one day we're on the winning side. The payout is probably twice as good! - "Thirty-three seconds... Aida-san, Carter-san, you're not gonna make it at this rate." As she waited for Aida and Carter, Beta Four had eyed the timer, and her predictions were not pretty. - "Hold my war crimes! We'll be there in time, just you watch!" Aida, determined to leave no Diver (or NPD) behind, had one last trick up his sleeve, and was not afraid to use it for the home stretch. "EXAM! CHEESY ONE-LINER! HERE WE GO!" Pressing the right combination of keys on his controllers, all the sensors of the Airbatel turned blood red, marking the deactivation of all the machine's limiters, and the engines flared like never before, giving the colony cap that direly needed push that would allow it to get to Kyle and Four on time. - "Don't die just yet." Four gripped the other antenna of the Zeong, and taking it with both hands, the GP03 waited for the colony cap fragment to reach a certain point, before kicking the Archangel to propel itself towards it at maximum acceleration. The Gundam started to glow orange, then red. But just before bursting into flames, it activated all of its fire extinguishers at once, buying a little more time for Four and Kyle, and leaving behind it a beautiful white trail. After this, it arrived to the safety of the colony cap, where it started to lose glow, and Aida knew he could turn off the EXAM, lest he let the Airbatel blow up there. - "Woooohoooo! Turn off the engines, we did it fellas!" Aida celebrated, as all of his systems, save for the life support and communications shut down. "I think a celebration is in order! And a damage report, of course." - “Oh man! You guys are fast!” As the four of them went behind the colony cap, Kyle took in a huge breath of relief and congratulated the team. “Awesome job!” The diver looked down at the unmoving ball. “As for a damage report, uh, it’s a lot of damage for me. Plus, Charo...” Beeps and boops whistled from the toy as it rebooted. Lights on the machine lit up while Charo jumped out of Kyle’s hand. - “Idiot! Almost died! Idiot! Almost died!” It chirped while hopping on its owner’s head. - “Alright, alright.” Kyle exclaimed as he pulled up his menu. “You did great today, and don’t worry. I’ll be piloting a proper Gunpla for us next time. The diver pressed a button, putting Charo back into his inventory. After that, he felt Beta Four’s Gundam aiming the head to the side, so as to let Kyle contemplate the scenery, which left Kyle speechless. It never ceased to amaze him how much work went into the graphics of this world. - "WOOOOOOO! I’M A GENIUS!" Carter said jokingly, cheering in his cockpit. The Comet Dagger turned off its engines, as the pilot congratulated Aida. "That was awesome, man! Hell of a way to debut that EXAM of yours." He said, before going on to render his damage report. "I'm kinda crispy, but luckily I'm not too battered up." Carter relaxed slightly and then leaned back, looking at the beautiful view. He had always wondered what it looked like.. - “The view… it’s gorgeous. I need to take this one picture.” As Aida’s main camera turned back on, shining very dimly, the view came to his screens as well. Without a second of doubt, he kept three keys pressed, and screenshots were taken, being saved on his personal gallery. Smiling, he thought he’d be sure to send them to his new teammates. For a group of randoms, they're sure good fellows. I wish I could invite them to the force. Even the NPD. --- Minutes passed, admiring the view and chatting with one another as the colony cap fragment slowly burned away, pieces of it coming off at intervals. At times, they worried that the fragment would be completely destroyed, and tried to have the three Mobile Suits (and complementary head) occupy as little space as possible. However, just as their impromptu heat shield had shrunked down a few sizes, the trail of atmospheric heat disappeared, marking the point where they had survived re-entry successfully. Soon, the ground was visible. An extense, lush savannah. The question now was, how should they land? Hmmm. Non-transformable MS without ballutes meet a long, long fall… And we don’t even have a Dodai. Aida quickly put his knowledge of the aerial environment to the test, coming up with one plan. Later, the team put it into action by pushing the cap fragment together with their thrusters, making it go horizontal, in a maneuver that made their descent less of a downspiral and more of an actual curve. When the cap fragment was about to touch down with incredible force, the Beta MS bailed out, using all their available rocket fuel to slow down, while Aida's Mobile Armor took off for the clouds. When it came back into sight at a much lower speed, he saw the Comet Dagger and the GP03, boots on the ground. Touching down next to them, a prompt showed up for everyone, as the sun started to set. < Landing Successful! +2000 Cr.> The leader of Beta Team got out of his MS, for once relatively undamaged, only to remember there were no welcoming figures, no new motherships or politics. Only them, in the middle of a savannah, along with some animals that had been blown away by the force of their thrusters. Alone. On their own. Does that mean I have to do a debriefing? Putting on his usual dress uniform, he stepped down from the cockpit into the hands of Airbatel, which automatically lowered him down to ground level. Beta Four put the Zeong's head down next to Aida, then opened her own cockpit to come with her two teammates, while Carter did his own thing. If this is the end for now, then we truly don't know what comes next. I have to come up with something... a strategy of sorts.
  22. ***Immediately following mission 2***** Before his blade could bite for more flesh the enemy MKII backed away. He had plenty of chance to pursue the enemy but Marco declined as the sinking feeling in his stomach grew. The text of “Mission Over” sprawled on his screen but he hardly cared and instead turned Bael around to fly for the Versailles. He checked his heads up to see the status of his allies. It seemed as if his team was still relatively intact. This did grant Creed some relief however the whole situation felt bittersweet. As he docked Bael he disembarked and was floating through the hangar of the Versailles. As he made his way through the ship he squinted as he nearly bumped into Kamille and Fa. The pair looked agitated, with Kamille clenching his fist and grinding his teeth. Clearing his throat Creed asked, “how are you two doing?” his face grew grave as he studied their reactions. The hesitation, the eye movement, it was all so lifelike that he could swear they were divers just like him. “We’re fine, how did the mission go?” Fa responded. Creed nodded, “The legged ship got away… but we dealt significant damage to the enemy…” he let the words linger as he chewed on their exact meaning. Shaking his head, he moved away from the pair before either could respond. He numbly floated his way towards the boardroom of the ship and sat waiting. The room was dimly lit with the monitor displaying the status of all the machines in the hangar as well as the projected course that the Archangel was taking to earth. He hardly reacted or noticed as his teammates floated in one after another. Despite himself, his thoughts dwelled on his son and the Freedom Gundam they had recently built together, and how “cool” Kira Yamato was supposed to be. With a simple sword stroke, it felt like had had just betrayed his son, and that thought was challenging to cope with.
  23. Alarms sprung up as the Archangel reached orbit, and immediately went “vertical”, at least, that was what seemed to be going on for all of the pilots, but in reality the ship was aligning itself with the Earth, then tilting a little upwards from there to prepare for re-entry. The cannons retracted into the hull, and a visor protected the ship’s bridge from the heat that would build up soon. It was now or never for everyone near the ship, and the Archangel's two catapults opened their hatches for anybody who wanted access to the hangar bay. “KIRAAAAAAAA! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” - Kuzzey Buzzkirk's loud shriek, played on all bands and frequencies, brought Mu to his senses, after Rau made his retreat and insulted him by taking his beam saber away. Quickly, he turned around to find the Strike Gundam trailing smoke and fire from its cockpit. “No, no, no! I told him he’d be alright… but i just got so caught up in the battle!” Unit 01 accelerated towards the Strike and quickly gripped it, before flying away with it for a moment. Then, he turned both machines around and sped towards his ship. "Archangel! This is Lieutenant La Flaga! We don't have much time, take fire control and paramedics to the hangar bay NOW! Deploy the net!" Shortly, Mu's Mark II entered the corridor at such a speed, his machine broke through the first MS-sized net. However, said net slowed it down enough for the one after it to bring him to a complete halt. As the Gundam entered the hangar bay and people in spacesuits approached it with pressurized foam guns, the door started closing. Just one transmission from the medical team escaped before it shut, sealing the left catapult for good. "Patient recovered in critical condition! This is bad, we have to take him to the E.R now before-" Nothing else was heard on that end, but Emma had bigger problems than a wounded supersoldier that would probably be back on the fray by noon: she quickly aborted her attack, as soon as she saw the enemy machine ready their gilded blade. She was fearful, fittingly for her first true battle in a long time. It's… it's not fair! How can something be so strong, yet so fast? As she changed course, new orders were delivered to her cockpit, through a video window that opened next to some meters. On it, a group of soldiers could be seen taking Kira's devastated friends away from the bridge. The person speaking to her was Ensign Badgiruel herself, who had to take Buzzkirk’s position and relay her orders directly to the Mobile Suits. "Unit 02, RTB immediately. Enter through Right Catapult." As she sped past the white machine and made a U-turn to enter the hangar bay, she was given further orders by her superiors. They weren’t pretty, but orders were orders. As her Mark II stood inside the bay and reloaded its beam rifle, she remembered that sensation the enemy Gundam gave her. I had forgotten… how terrifying is to approach Death. --- Kyle and Charo saw Shin leave their fight, for a chance to attack the Archangel. Charo amusingly voiced his opinion on the matter. - “Coward! Coward!” - “Looks like he’s heading for the Archangel. I better pursue…” Kyle did not want to let Shin go, not without getting him back for Green Noah, but Charo was still flipping out for some reason. - “Look! Look!” - “Oh, Haro… er CHARO. Looking out and surveying the battlefield is just one important part of being a successful sniper. Firing at long range targets, pointing out where people may be, these are things I HAVE to do. If I didn’t look around and pay attention, then I wouldn’t advance at all while playing this game, now would I?” - “No! Look!” - “Oh, I’m sorry Charo! You just wanted to show me AHHHHHH!” By the time Kyle looked at the screen Charo wanted him to pay attention to, it was too late. The ever-precise Beta Gundam and the new enemy sniper, Higanbana, had fired two powerful shots at his machine. As they landed and the Zeong turned into a fireball, sending both Psycommu hands flying away without aim or purpose, Beta Team briefly heard interference from Kyle’s end, before he was annihilated. Or was he? From the huge explosion caused by the destroyed Mobile Armor, came the Titans GP03, engulfed in flames and carrying the head of the Zeong. It appeared, Kyle was able to eject it, outrunning the reaper in true Char Aznable fashion, while Beta Four grabbed it and sped towards the Archangel. “Four? I… i had this under control, but… thank you.” Kyle was surprised by the NPD’s gesture, thinking they had done it out of kindness, but the electronic lifeform promptly shot that down: “We’re trailing behind and my machine’s faster. Hold on tight.” The dark Gundam put pedal to the metal, and soon reached the ship. --- As the little red Gundam was firing at the Zeong, Aida’s blue GM found an opening, and aimed his Shot Lancer at it, while its pilot was distracted. “Don’t forget who you’re fighting with!” Alarms sounded in the little rabbit girl’s cockpit, and a closeup of the GM appeared within a little window, designed to catch the pilot’s attention. A split second passed, where Aida had Risu down his sights, and where Risu knew the next attack would hit, and there was nothing to do about it. But before he could fire, the IFFs and weapons systems turned off. The Archangel had begun re-entry, effectively making the score even. Beta Team’s machines heard the voice of a woman announce ‘MISSION ACCOMPLISHED’, while Alpha Team was told by the same voice ‘MISSION OVER’. Aida smirked, certain of what would’ve happened, had the mission not ended. “I would've gotcha...” As he lowered his weapon and made a run for the Archangel, he savored his team’s victory. But there was a bittersweet taste to it. Kira Yamato, judging from what he had heard, could be in any kind of shape by now, from a coma, to a flatline. And numbers were in their favor all the time, yet the same could not be said of their skill, or the capabilities of their machines. They had barely scraped through… --- Alpha’s story will continue in Alpha Override! Beta’s story will continue in Challengers of Diamond! Check out the latest side stories!
  24. “What do you fight for kid?” The eerie blue energy from the sniper rifle flared again along with its thunderous chorus. Grunting the man began to sprint away from the position. Caring little to see if his shot followed through, and more invested in repositioning to his final spot. “Things will get cozy if he gets any closer…” the shooter considered as he pressed his mobile suit’s back against a rock. He grimaced as he studied his sensors, sure enough the kid dodged the last shot. The man’s instincts were certainly proving to be true about this mark so far. “Alright no more games…” he muttered as he disengaged his rifle’s configuration and alternated it’s position to have the blunt end of the weapon as the main cannon now. Of course his version of the Buster was heavily modified. Instead of the typical colors the phase shift on his machine was simply black. The glow that radiated from the eyes was blue along with the energy of his shots, which was in itself quite rare and intriguing. The Edlen Buster was equipped with mirage calloid as well as an N-Jammer Canceller and a nuclear reactor. So unlike, the stock version he was able to rain continuous fire and even hide for his initial assault. The added boosters also increases his mobility while offering him twin beam sabers for close encounters. The reticle of his crosshairs changed to designate the difference in weapon being aimed. The gun launcher shotgun would be sufficient for the medium range the boy was beginning to enter into. The Exia variant slowed its pace to a cautious patrol as it entered a ravine on the side of the mountain that the sniper had been using. “Surely he knows it’s a trap…” the sniper muttered as he leveled the invisible shotgun to aim. He waited patiently as the range dwindled down to the desired distance, not too far that the target could slip away from effective range, and not too close as to easily find himself. That’s when the fool did something the sniper wasn’t expecting. “He’s turning away? What a disappointment kid…” the Exia presnted it’s back just as it began to flair its’ thrusters. —- Hunter readied his hands over the control. He had a feeling that he wouldn’t make it out of this encounter cleanly but he felt compelled to try. Whoever was shooting at him was darn clever and kept quietly repositioning. And the inconsistency of the shots proved to be almost maddening. As he approached the ravine it became clear to him that it was a trap of some sort. “We won’t play your game…” he huffed as he turned the machine around, as he did so a wicked grin grew on his masked face. “Take the bait…” he muttered. As if on cue a shot rang out and pelted the back of his suit, severely damaging his thruster pack. Hunter grunted but set his plan into motion, ejecting the GN Amplifier. The sacrificed piece fully exploded sending a cloud of GN particles everywhere. By now their hue was burning dark orange nearly burning red. The red intensified as Hunter immediately pushed the Ardent Exia into Trans Am. Everything blurred as made Exia drop nearly to the bottom of the ravine before turning and making the suit scramble up the steep edge of the cliffs. Between the GN drive and the feet of the Exia, he half flew, half hopped up the mountain towards the general direction where the last shot came from. —- “Jigs up!” The man snapped as he tried to fire a second shot into the exploding GN Amplifier. The resulting cloud of particles flared his sensors and he almost didn’t notice Exia dropping like a stone. “Clever little…” he trailed off as he lowered the shotgun to try and get an angle. “You bastard!” He hissed as his barrel hit the lip of the rim overshooting his follow up shot, missing harmlessly above the Exia. “And giving away my location!” The man grumbled as he jumped away from the edge to hide more on the ground he was already on. He maybe had one more chance to get a lucky hit before his Mirage Calloid would be useless at hiding him. “Hmm let’s entertain the kid… he made it this far after all…” he touched a control shutting off the dispersal of his cloak and flared his engines up as he disconnected the rifle to duel wield the rifle and launcher. The Exia erupted over the side of the ledge and immediately locked in on him to throw a beam boomerang at his black mobile suit. He hovered to the side, shooting down the attack with his left gun while raising his right to shoot a beam at the Exia. The shot missed as Exia tumbled back down straight at him, a beam saber swipping in horizontally for the Buster’s chest. The sniper obliged the attack by drawing his own beam saber from his back, a blue blade igniting to clash with the red one. “I can’t recall the last time I had to use this!” The shooter howled over the comm, “you are worth the bounty they placed on you!” The pilot of the Exia grunted and replied by pulling out its signature GN blade to swipe down with it, a move that the Buster blocked with the hammer head end of it’s gun launcher acting more like a club, parrying the attack. “Don’t be hasty! Don’t you wanna know what’s going on? Gabriel….” ((Again, thanks to Frosty for the amazing work on the Edlen Buster!))
  25. Each of the mobile suits blasted forward, changing into their much faster flight forms. One by one, the contestants began to make their way into the crevice, with the Wing Flanker taking the lead. “And they’re off!” Chaser exclaimed, now inside an announcers booth of a small transport ship. One of the race’s advertisers had their logo on the side of the vessel, with big red letters spelling out ZAPP. “Looks like the Wing Flanker has taken the lead, but the Kyrios Airspace isn’t too far behind!” Dash grunted as he tried to catch up to his nemesis, but the somewhat straight path lead to a hard right, causing many of the pilots to pull back. The two didn’t stop though, as the Wing Flanker maneuvered gracefully to the right, creating a big gap between the Gunpla and the others. Meanwhile, Dash’s maneuver wasn’t nearly as successful. He watched as his left wing ever so slightly touched the rock wall, causing him to lose the draft he had with the leader. “Ah! Stupid rookie mistake!” He said while gritting through his teeth. Many of the other players started to pass the Kyrios, including Rex in his Gassela. “Ha ha!” He laughted while tilting his machine left and right, taunting Dash. “There’s no way in hell you’re getting the win playing like that!” Now near last place, Dash pulled up near the top of the ravine, getting dangerously close to braking the rules. He looked to see if he could find some way to catch up, noticing a fork in the ravine. Situations like that happened constantly in GBN, with Dash rationally thinking what path would give him the best outcome. Seeing the Wing Flanker take the left path took any sense of rationality away from the diver as he began to follow suit. Diving down, he expected to see his rival, but the pathway only seemed to have him and the Airblaster racing down it. The two were almost neck in neck, but the alert my their mobile suits caused them to bank in different directions. Two tiny flyers blasted past them at breakneck speeds. “What?” Thought Dash. “The Bawoo Brothers aren’t that fast!” Pushing forward, Dash and the other pilot began to catch up to the undocked mobile suit parts. Upon further inspection, Dash knew the brothers weren’t using their typical Bawoo. It was white with red highlights, with it also being shaped slightly differently. “A Rebawoo? They didn’t register that for the race!” While not necessarily illegal in the GBN racing rules (Dash thought of the divers who reveal new Gunpla in tournaments), it was unethical to trick them, although the Bawoo Brothers weren’t known for their ethics. The attacker and nutter purposely lessened their speed, pulling back to get close to the Airblaster. “What the hell are they up to?” Dash thought. At that moment, the two flew over and under the custom model from Gundam X, sandwiching the poor machine. The Airblaster couldn’t do much except glide with the Neo Zeon flyers, which jetted forward toward the ground. Picking up plenty of speed, the brothers pulled back as hard as they could at the final moment of impact, causing the plane to almost slide out of the “sandwich”. It was too late for the Gunpla though, the Airblaster slammed hard into rocky surface, creating a large explosion. Dash could hear their chuckles as they began to fly back to him. “Oh man! Looks like the Airblaster is down for the count!” Chaser uttered while in the edge of his seat. Dash Velo better watch out! The Bawoo, or should I say, REBAWOO Brothers are creating mayhem on the racetrack. “What the hell?” yelled Dash as he pressed a couple buttons on the control panel. “These guys are really nasty today!” Looking through their profiles, he finally found a clear picture of the mobile suit. “That’s definitely an upgrade!” He exclaimed as he glided through the ravine, noticing now curvy their path was becoming. The attacker and nutter had much less of a problem navigating the canyon due to their size, getting closer and closer to Dash with each turn they had to make. The diver wasn’t stupid enough to get squished between them, but he knew how crafty the two could be. He recalled their famed Axis win, where the two managed to tie through clever tricks inside the asteroid. “Those two bickered more during the trophy ceremony than actually enjoying it!” Dash articulated. “Wait…” The diver’s plan began right as the attacker jetted toward him. Opting to fly diagonally to the left of the nutter, Dash waited for the top part of the Rebawoo to strike, pulling his controls toward himself. The Kyrios flew back as the brothers smacked each other, causing damage to both machines. “Watch it, Scound!” said the nutter pilot, Wretch. “Oh shut up, you shouldn’t of been there in the-” Dash jetted ahead of the two, all while the two bickered. “No you don’t!” The attacker pilot yelled with his brother following suit. Planning out his next move, the Kyrios pilot decided to pull back from his huge lead. “What’s Dash up to?” Chaser asked. “Oh, I get it! He’s baiting them!” The crowd cheered, with some more focused on the other path’s racers. Getting between the two horizontally, He waited for them to strike again, knowing that they wouldn’t be able to resist the urge. Of course, the attacker and nutter started their assault, but the speed of the Airspace left the two to become a mangled pile. “What the? We’re stuck!” Scound screamed as he pulled his controls in all directions. “This wouldn’t have happened if you weren’t such a terrible pilot!” Wretch responded. “Well your pilotin- AHHHHH!” The two weren’t paying attention to the turn, crashing right into the rock wall while Dash flew past the two. With Dash being the only person left on the path, he didn’t have much of a challenge getting through, eventually getting to the massive colony crater. It was much better than Dash had expected, but he knew that it would allow them to have plenty of room to fight. “Heh. Wish that was the only part of the match.” He exclaimed once he realized he was the only one there. “I too good for these clowns.” He didn’t have anytime to gloat though, as the other racers made their way to the crater. Dash noticed that the Rezelta was no where to be seen. “Probably couldn’t handle the turns.” He thought. The aircraft flew all around each other, waiting for the approval by the management to start the second part. “Let the dogfight begin!!!” Chaser screamed as the diver’s weapons unlocked. Dash watched as the other five kicked off the battle. The crowd roared as the fight between divers truly began.
  26. The world of GBN could easily be overlooked, though no easily discounted when one took the time to simple pause look around. Gabriel was having a moment of repose as he lay on a shallow hill overlooking a valley. In the greater distance there were clouds clashing with mountains in bouts of lighting. He was exhausted, he had just completed another “intervention” and was trying to gather himself before logging off. A screen floated in front of his lazy eyes as he held his hands behind his head. The vista below him rolled into his memories as it intimately reminded him of the past. Back before he dated Meer he rolled with a bunch of mission programmers who specializes in making fan missions for GBN. There was a particular situation that he could vividly recall in his head with Zeon and Titans fighting in the hills. The crescendo of the mission was a duel with an enemy Gouf. Gabriel’s mind lingered on the fond memory as it soured his expression. Back then he was having fun with friends on GBN, what he was doing now? The thought caused him to turn on his side in anguish as he felt the bitterness of his reality set in. Here he was doing the opposite of what he strived for in the past. Now he was invading other people’s missions, possibly ruining their experiences, and for what? Gabriel crinkled his nose and closed his eyes tightly. “If I can’t be happy why should they be?” He muttered to himself. He slowly relaxed his eyes open, “if they want to emulate combat so badly then they should be ready for anything.” He squinted ahead past the screen which seemed to float directly in front of his eyes. Gabriel has been having resounding success with the “intervention” missions and he didn’t question how he kept getting the prompt to do, them despite their shady origination. Although he had gotten his share of lickings, Gabriel’s proportion of damage was very much in his favor and even worth bragging. It even seemed that he was starting to get some renown as a talented player, a deed he never even got close to before. His fingers touched the mask gracing his digital persona and he smirked. He had to admit that he liked the feeling of being respected. A message popped up on the persistent display and Gabriel frowned as he saw it was a message from the same party that had been giving him the missions. The topic simply read as “Warning Bounty” and he didn’t hesitate as he opened up the text. “A word of caution, our agents have been contacted and paid to place a bounty on your mobile suit. We are forced to oblige the details of our contract. Players will be able to engage you at any time…. Be careful.” His display erroneously fizzled out of existence as he read the last words and he looked around in sudden alarm. A flicker from the storm on the horizon made him squint and on sheer instincts he yelled out loud, “Exia!” He crossed his arms in front of him in a reflexive nature just as Ardent Exia formed a barrier around him. The Armor of the Exia illuminated in brilliance just as one of the “lightning bolts” burnt into the hill he was just standing at. —— “Clever kid…” the man crowed as he licked his lips and moved the aiming apparatus once more. The digital cockpit was completely custom, woven to appear more like the cockpit of the Dynames than the simple glowing aura most regular players were used to. Still it had its moments when it would flicker as ethereal but the use of Dyname’s aiming rifle was par none, especially for a person was was used to firing real weapons. “1 degree…” he whispered as he squeezed the trigger again. His rifle barked out again, the mirage calloid engulfing his mobile suit pulsing out of a existence before attempting to conceal him again. Much to his dismay the Exia variant had a shield up for this round which shattered just as it absorbed the shot. “Crap he already has an idea where I am, better reposition…” the man released the fake rifle before grabbing the controls and pushing his suit back into its feet. The mirage calloid shimmered around him as he moved but persistently did its job. He didn’t fire his thrusters but rather made his black suit run along a ridge on the mountains edge. There was a path just wide enough that he could get a good kilometer or two from his previous position. Although he suspected Ardent Exia would make a much larger gain in that timeframe he was confident that his extreme distance would forgive his repositioning. Most marks didn’t last past the first shot, fewer still survived a second. Maybe his colleagues were right about this “Hunter” fellow. The man chuckled as he found his next position, he had it set up ready for him already and it was as simple as parking his mobile suit in the designated area. “No this one is already tons of fun! If he does as well as I suspect, he’ll be most useful…” The scruffy man was already pulling down the fake rifle to rest his cheek on the buttpad. Unlike a human a mobile suit didn’t have a pesky thing to deal with such as a human heartbeat. The long weapon was collaborated with the two weapons conjoined in sniper configuration still. Of course all of its features were still hidden under the veil of mirage calloid, nearly making him completely invisible, especially when not even moving. The crosshairs of the display placed the charging Exia at the very bottom of his scope still, signifying the extreme distance he was trying to shoot from. “That’s it, come to daddy!” The man mused as he leveled for another shot.
  27. Higanbana moved exceptionally quickly, though its mostly-stock loadout was not enough to elude the Comet Dagger’s custom Saturn Engine. Risu watched as the enemy machine surged forward, deftly coming to a stop just a few short meters in front of her, its Anti-Armor Shotgun aimed directly at her own machine’s chest: she was staring down the smoothbore barrel of the weapon for just an instant before it fired. The diminutive white mobile suit shot upwards just in time, though not fast enough to completely evade the withering fire: the shot had managed to blast the leg of the Higanbana clear off, causing a large, spherical explosion directly in front of the opposing machine. Risu clutched the controls tight, her normal suit creaking against the virtual plastic grips as she pulled back as ordered, sending her mobile suit rushing backwards away from the Archangel and towards friendly lines, towards the Argama. “W-what next..?” she called out, obviously shaken by the experience. It seemed that her earlier display of skill was nothing more than a fluke, or perhaps something else. However, with its main weapon still operational, Higanbana begun to fire, taking shots in the Zeong’s direction. At this distance, the shots would go wide, but perhaps it was enough to get the Mobile Armor off of Shin and allow him to withdraw as well. “S-Shin-san! Go back!” Risu cried, a video window of the girl appearing in the corner of the Astral AGE pilot’s monitor. “Hikaru-san said we’re retreating!”
  28. Hikaru shifted into Mobile Armor mode as well, with the addition of the GP04's lower body and main gun in its arms underneath. He accelerated, pushing the machine as best he could. Of course, this was only done long enough to get up to a reasonable pace before aiming himself at Beta Team's vessel and letting go of the lower body and arms. This only took a few extra seconds, but it might have some sort of consequence for secondary objectives. "Hikaru to Team, secondary threat resolved. I and the leader of Alpha Team are enroute! Bottom half and arms of enemy RX-78GP04G "Gundam Gerbera" drifting toward our vessel! Grab it on retreat! I need to provide cover!" The transformed machine was now more stable, even though it was carrying the Gerbera's main weapon in both hands underneath to deny it to the enemy. He was going to take aim at the Archangel with his Long Beam Rifle, hopefully being able to assist before Risu got overwhelmed, but seeing Shin in that state changed his mind. Taking aim at the larger target, the Zeong, Hikaru opened fire with the Long Beam Rifle in hopes of disabling or destroying the machine. "Risu! Withdraw, you've got inbound! I'm coming Shin, hang on!" Risu might have to deal with the consequences of surrendering her range advantage, but it couldn't be helped. Shin didn't seem likely to last as long.
  29. “Oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap!” A skinny man in a lab coat was bolting through the hallway of what looked to be a high tech facility, almost smacking another worker in the leg with his briefcase. As he took a left turn, the door he was looking for finally appeared. “I didn’t expect Mr. Velo’s machine to take that long to fix!” He thought while he typed the entrance code in front of him. As the door opened, the room lit up, only containing a single large cabinet with a table next to it. “Oh man! That was a close one. If he had-” Suddenly, a figure emerged behind the cabinet. “You’re late, Ernie!” The man yelled. “One of the biggest events ever and you were late?” For someone who seemed important, the man looked fairly average with no outlying features or clothing. “MR. VELO!” The scientist said as he jumped back. “I was just-” “Did you fix the stability issue with the left leg?” Mr. Velo interrupted. Moving his glasses, the scientist put the briefcase of the table, undoing the latches. Mr. Velo pushed the man out of the way and stared at the blue plastic model, gently pull it out of the molded foam. “It’s perfect.” He exclaimed. “But there’s no issue for you to be late.” He walked inside the cabinet, putting the model over what looked to be a scanner. “One of the best racers in the goddamn league and I’m surrounded by morons.” Mr. Velo said as he sat down while putting on a headset. The cabinet door closed as the scientist walked out of the room. … “WELCOME TO THE GREAT CANYON TRIATHLON!” An accounted uttered through a microphone. Surrounding him were many large stands with thousands of people cheering. Many battleship were also high in the sky, with some displaying various sponsors on the side of their hulls. This area was only a small chunk of the Great Canyon, one of the many expansive places to go in GBN. The massive ravine went many different directions as nine mobile suits stood at the edge of one side. The platform, which was also surrounded by fans, had a gigantic screen facing everyone, with a smug doppelganger of Stalker smirking at them. “My name is Chaser and I’ll be your announcer for what’s sure to be one of the best GBN’s events ever!” One by one, the names and mobile suits began to be shown to the crowd. Near one of the concession stands, a Zeon fan with a snake head picked up a large cone with pink cotton candy on top. “Exsscuse me. Sssorry!” He exclaimed while trying to get through a large crowd back to his friends. Meanwhile, a Titans cosplayer was stuck sitting behind one of the biggest ogres he’d ever seen. “Oh, come on!” He screamed. “Can I at least get a look at the screen?” Getting a quick peak, he saw two people standing in front of a Neo Zeon mobile suit. “Next up!” Chaser yelled. “You know their Hotrod from the Axis race and their butting rivalry. It’s the Bawoo Brothers!” At that moment, the whole crowd went silent. Everyone who cared about GBN races knew who was next. “And last, but DEFINITELY not least, it’s the Celestial Speedster, the GN Driver, the diver looking for his 100th win…” Dash Velo and the Kyrios Airspace! The crowd went wild, cheering and hollering as Dash waved at them. No longer boring and drab, the diver now had bright blue hair with white streaks, all while wearing a special tracksuit made just for him. Outside was a confident man who kept waving, but inside, Dash was deep in thought. “He won’t beat me again. Never again…” A buzzer blared, signaling the pilots to teleport into their machine. As Dash appeared in the cockpit, he pulled up the racer list. 58-Kyrios Airspace 143-Airblaster 99-Mach Murasame 25- Gassela 392-Asshamar 653-United Over Flag 7-Rezelta 100- Bawoo Hot Attacker 001-Bawoo Rod Nutter 402-Wing Flanker “Wing Flanker…” Dash muttered. A deep voice then appeared over his comms. “Hey Velo! You gonna end up having another Dakar moment?” The other racer said while snickering. Dash chuckled. “Not if you end up like you did during the Marshall Islands Marathon, Rex!” The deep voice diver howled with laughter as Chaser began speaking to them and the crowd. “The race will begin and go all the way though the ravine. The racers cannot fly over the canyon or use any weapons. Once they get through the ravine, the dogfight begins in the colony crater. When two divers are left, they’ll be transported to the final secret area. They’ll be able to transform and duel for the victory with no restrictions! Are our racers ready?” Each of the Divers signaled, allowing the triathlon to begin. Chaser smiled. “GUNPLA! TRANSFORM!!!”
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