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Replicator last won the day on March 19

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  1. Hmm? Niemeyer’s attention was soon brought by his onboard computer to something happening outside his field of vision to the right, according to the way the alarm sounded. Turning into a Mobile Suit and tilting its head towards the stimuli, his DINN briefly stopped, but switched to its simple MA mode once again very soon and kept moving. The pilot had seen enough. Alright, picture taken. It’s not simply above in the air. No point to that when it can shoot me on the top, or ride me while turning me into roast with a saber… The green DINN gained altitude, and soon was lost among the clouds. It’s on the ground, but not anywhere near that flash. An explosion would obviously not trigger near it, no sense to that. A rifle or a grenade both mean he’s far from that building… “but my sensors haven’t picked anything up.” He opened the snapshot he had taken of the area, and noticed something. Bingo. I’ve got it… the projectile hit one of the buildings before exploding. And damage can be seen from this side of it. That means it’s somewhere in that area… The Captain drew an imaginary, C-shaped zone on his head, which seemed to engulf the area where the grenade exploded. He gripped his controls, and activated his first weapons system. From the clouds, missiles started to rain towards the city, bombing the streets inside the C-shaped zone. The DINN pilot descended immediately after, facing the zone, to observe the results. “You tried to trick me! Pretty impressive for an A.I, but if you have any sense of self-preservation, this will smoke you out.” You can fly up, or light on those thrusters and simply find more cover. But whichever you do, I'll know where you are. Thank heavens this city is not real. Such a situation would cripple me in real life… i couldn’t simply fire at a city like this. Not with all the treaties and bureaucracy.
  2. Nyaa only has Origin, Thunderbolt, IBO, Fighters, Fighters Try Island Wars (but not Try itself), and Divers. BakaBT has turned... weird. Still, i can check other sites and force myself to watch through it if i do find it in subs. Plus now i know where to watch IBO and see if i give it a try.
  3. It was a very quiet night aboard Captain Niemeyer's regal-looking vessel, the Florence. Nothing was showing up on the scanners, there wouldn't be an attack from the Federation (or other undesirable groups) either, not so soon after the last one, and they'd already been served dinner. Now there would be only two things to do: fall asleep on the Captain's chair out of boredom while making his rounds, dropping his cup of tea in the floor, or go to his quarters and stare at the ceiling for hours, having already exhausted his supply of sleep aid pills. Well it definitely won't be either. I'd rather die than do this again and again every night… or rather, it’ll kill me. God, i can’t think clearly anymore. Getting up from his chair, he left his Executive Officer, Pizzini, in charge of the chair, the tea and countless sensors that beeped as soon as they picked up some wildlife on the ground. He lied to him about having to check up with the mechanics one last time before going to sleep, even though Lieutenant Pizzini most likely knew already: they wouldn't find him on his bed anytime soon, but rather, in the cockpit of his personal DINN, running simulations. And soon enough, he was in the hangar, preparing to enter the machine, painted green with golden and red accents, a color scheme inspired by the Zaku IIs of the Zeon Royal Guard. A black uniform jacket and white peaked cap were tucked under the seat, as he closed the hatch behind him and fired up the electrical systems, leaving the engines, actuators and Minovsky Reactor inactive. He navigated the simulator's menu slowly, out of boredom. He'd tried it all out in ZAFT's catalog: the BuCUE, the GOOhN, the ZnO, among others. The chief engineer, a One Year War veteran, had even hooked him up with data cartridges to simulate Mobile Suits of previous eras, such as various Zaku I and II variants, the Flight Type Gouf, GM Sniper II and even a Gundam… of which there only seemed to remain a round head with manipulators attached to the sides and a cannon on top. A very weird contraption that looked more like a Ball than a Gundam, but a Gundam's a Gundam, and so the enigmatic B Gundam remained the jewel of the crown in his collection of Mobile Suit data. One day, I shall obtain the rest of its body and know what controlling a Gundam truly feels like. Then, he found a new option. “Duel”? What’s this one do? Must have come with the newest firmware… Eager to find something new to finally feel in need of a nap, he pressed the button, and braced himself as the screen turned dark, only showing a single word on screen: “SEARCHING”, and the Mobile Suit’s HUD. Thus, he knew the system had selected the default Mobile Suit… his own. I won’t be unacquainted with the controls, at the very least. Now, before his eyes appeared a city. A floodplain surrounded by gently rolling hills, with buildings too diverse to be characterised by any particular architectural style, partly because of their varying ages, and intrincate streets navigating the massive city, with unintuitive turns, dangerous looking roundabouts and most particularly, traffic lights on the left side of the roads, when present. The skies were gray and cloudy, but the weather looked stable and the wind was bearable. It reminds me of one of those cities smack dab in Federation territory, as shown in my high school geography books. The DINN, standing next to a hangar in an airport with a layout not unlike Carpentaria Base’s, took off to the skies and deployed its six golden wings, as Niemeyer’s objectives appeared in the HUD. Primary Directives: Find Enemy Mobile Suit (0/1) Restore Peace and Order No Secondary Objectives Only one enemy? So that’s what it meant by “Duel”. Well, if it’s just one of them, he ought to be skilled enough. Better be wary of my surroundings...
  4. Worried about this option. I didn't get to finish Destiny. Long gone in the rotation when i finally made time for it.
  5. Cool! Looks like it's come back from a walk through the Sahara. Sadly only the AEUG one did that...
  6. The first gleam appeared under the only Gundam of the group - Kyle’s, a modified Dynames. Looking at the differences between it and a normal Dynames, Aida could only guess the model was incomplete during the skirmish in Gryps 2. Praying that it was complete now to help him battle the gleaming machines of the opposite team, he was shocked when the GN-Particle powered Gundam was replaced with… a massive Zeong, seemingly stock, which sat on its skirt rather than use any legs for support. Aida wanted to pull out his own virtual hair and eat it. Oh, no… If he wanted to play Newtype, he could've at the very least brought along a Qubeley! He better know how to use that thing. Two faces in the ship were alarmed, however. One of the bridge hands, a bespectacled, brown haired man sporting a Federation uniform, was talking with an aging Titans engineer. - “Hey, i know that thing. That's a war relic.” - “From the time you were manning White Base’s sensors, right? It’s going to be another weird tale of yours, isn’t it, Oscar.” - “I mean it. It's a Zeon psycommu machine. One of the first and last. It guides those beam fingers with just the power of thought. One of these faced Amuro at A Baoa Qu and wrecked his Gundam. We saw it there.” - “So what you’re saying is… at least we’ve got a Newtype to face all of those Coordinators.” - “Two at least. I don’t buy all that crap about the Moebius Zero having an Oldtype-use, quasi-psycommu.” - “It’s wire guided. That means it doesn't require space magic.” - “So are the hands of that gray behemoth. And it was designed exclusively for Newtypes. Besides, if any schmuck could control a Psycommu, why aren't all Moebius like the Lieutenant's?” - “Great. First one of the mercenaries is not only a Newtype, but now, so is La Flaga. You’re an... interesting fellow to speak to, Dublin.” - “You never do listen, do you.” Before he could look at the Zaku Forerunner’s cubicle, which was still empty, however, the Comet Meister himself came out of the enormous Mobile Suit, greeting him with an enthusiastic: - “Yo!” - "Hey there. Looking to haunt the ruins of Junius Seven, I see." Well, at least he seems confident. - "Oh, this? Heh, I wasn't able to finish the Trinames in time for this stage, so I thought I'd try something different tonight." Kyle landed next to Aida and stood by his side, as he noticed the absence of his red Haro. - "Well, i suppose it makes sense from a terrain perspective. We are in space." The one in the blue Federation uniform shrugged, then looked at the Dylandy lookalike. "Surely you’ll want to turn the pointy one into debris before he gets any chance to even look at you." Aida, of course, was talking about the Astral AGE. - “Yeah, i should probably get rid of him first. The Zeong has no close combat weaponry to counter that thing. However you seem like you have the most leadership skills. Me and my wired finger guns will go wherever you need me.” Kyle signalled positively, lifting his thumb. - “Best if we don’t leave that maniac to chance. I’ll have somebody cover you, shall he get past your beam attack. You’ll be OK in the debris field, i think.” Probably… possibly… right? - “Hey, don’t get nervous. We’ll prove them you don’t need a full pack of Gundams to win… well, i don’t know what our speedy friend will be bringing. Could be Turn A or some other crazy stuff.” Kyle turned around to tilt his head at the speedster’s platform, but fittingly, it was lighting up. A new portal was opening. - “Speak of the devil, there he is. Cross your fingers.” Seconds passed, and a portal opened in the floor, out of which came a surprisingly different MS. A shiny new Gunpla, based in the Buster Dagger, with parts from an Astray, and what looked like Duel Gundam's rifle. If starkly contrasted with the Zaku Forerunner, in and out of itself a worn-out Gunpla that had seen its fair share of use, and looked like it hid many mysteries. Furthermore, it sort of felt like it belonged with the others… It might be the blue. All of our Mobile Suits are a shade or another of it… almost like a team motif. - “Would you look at that. I love it. You don’t see lesser-known units in the battlefield often.” Kyle approved of the new design, while Carter floated towards him and Aida. - “You know what, Kyle? I think you’re right. Tonight, we prove monoeyes and visors can save the day too!” Aida, marvelling at the design, was now optimistic enough to get Kyle riled up. - “Yeah! Nothing will stop the Challengers of Diamond now!” There was a long silence after this, with both Aida and Carter, who had just landed right next to the two of them, looking at him with raised eyebrows. Finally, Carter snapped the silence in half. - “The… what?” - “Sorry, i was thinking of a name for the team...” Kyle let out a chuckle, and Aida was relieved to see he was not the only one thinking that they might make a fine team after all. Minutes later, the three of them were joined by the still-unseen NPD in the briefing room, along with Kacricon, Emma, Mu and the others. It wouldn’t be long until Jamaican Daninghan appeared in the room, along with a blond, middle-aged man. Familiar looking… is he a Zeta extra? - “Sit down. I am Lieutenant Commander Daninghan, of the elite Federation unit… Titans. I assume everyone is aware of our current situation. Yes… that’s how i like it. Then we can get straight to business: we’re currently nearing the Earth’s upper orbit, where the patrol fleet is stationed. We should be making our first contact with them any moment. They should be enough for Creuset for reconsider… or at least, they’ll buy us some time while we enter the atmosphere. Not even Creuset’s Versailles has the capacity to perform re-entry on its own.” - “Wooo! I’m going to see Amelia again...” - “However… Creuset is probably very much aware that he won’t be able to touch us if we do that, so it’s very likely that the latter is going to happen, and you, our defense team, will have to battle his forces right here, in orbit. Now, i’ll tell each one of you pilots what to do, so pay attention!” The Titans pilots stood up, and so did Mu La Flaga, which prompted Beta Team to follow suit. “Ahem… Yamato. Kira Yamato!” Aida opened his eyes wide and scouted the room, only to find, indeed, Kira Yamato, standing up next to Flaga. I don’t understand… he’s not the kind of protagonist to answer to adventure’s call. And there’s other pilots around. Why is he piloting anyways? The blond man next to Jamaican was quick to explain something about the Strike. - “I was not in the team that designed it, but these files are detailed enough. The Strike is one out of five Mobile Suits belonging to the G-Project… a series of Mobile Suits which count with a revolutionary technology that can render the five suits immune to physical damage when active: Phase-Shift Armor. However, the space occupied by the yet-to-be optimized system means a Minovsky Reactor big enough to power a Mobile Suit could not fit in there, forcing us to give it batteries. Fortunately, it can also use another Mobile Suit as an auxiliary power source to replenish its batteries, but if it needs to be stationary anyways, it might as well come back to the ship and…” - “Mr. Bidan. Get back on topic.” - “Ah, yes. Ahem… the X-Numbers count with a revolutionary technology that can render the five suits immune to physical damage when active: Phase-Shift Armor. However, the last rounds of testing ever performed on them resolved that effective management of the system was too much for Naturals. Only a very bulky computer, or a Coordinator, can get anything out of any of these five Mobile Suits.” - “Mr. Yamato, for the sake of your friends, and the other civilians in this ship, you will be that Coordinator. You will pilot the Strike until we are nearing the point of no return, then return to the ship.” Jamaican sealed Kira’s orders with this, and also disclosed to all of the military staff in the ship that he was, indeed, a Coordinator. Chatter quickly sprung up in the room about the topic, while Emma was simply astonished. - “So these are Coordinators… they don’t look any different from us.” - “Don’t let your guard down around these slippery bastards. They’re even deadlier on hand to hand combat. Ironically, they’re at their weakest in a Mobile Suit… that’s where the terms are still somewhat even.” - “Silence! Kacricon and Sheen will have similar orders to take off in Unit 01 and Unit 02. Strike and the Mark IIs will defend the ship. Meanwhile, Beta Team will sortie, and take a more... aggressive stance. Is that clear? I want the whole lot of you on standby NOW.” Minutes later, everyone was at the hangar, which bustled with activity. Beam rifles were being taken to the dark blue Gundams. While it wasn’t the time for Beta to take flight, Aida had entered his Mobile Suit earlier, closing the hatch and reaching for his left wrist to open his contextual wardrobe. This is a space battle. I don’t plan on having my ass handed back to me twice in a row… but if I do, it'd be useful to be able to get out of this thing without having my Diver die of oxygen deprivation. Pressing a button, his black on blue normal suit appeared over him, replacing the fancy dress uniform, hat and glasses. Afterwards, he turned on the systems, seeing Sheen, Carter and Kira get on their Mobile Suits. The rest probably were already in their Mobile Suits. All that was left was wait for the signal… - “Beta Team, do you copy? This is Ensign Badgiruel. We estimate that the enemy could arrive in minutes. I want you to take off first, scout our backs in advance without getting too far away from the ship.” - “Roger that...” Aida, anxious to get out of the ship for his triumphant rematch, activated the Super Airbatel, lighting up its main camera in a flash of golden light. “This is Beta One! Kyle, Carter, Four, meet me outside.” Quickly, it hogged the catapult, lifting one foot after the other to put theme in the binders, before bending its knees for the takeoff sequence. “Aida, Super Airbatel GM! Flying towards victory!” The red row of lights on the side of the catapult turned on. Soon after, one row after another of the yellows… and finally, the much-expected green. The GM accelerated towards the open hatch, and was finally thrown into space, spinning once over its vertical axis before engaging the thrusters of the GM-Defenser, flying towards the bridge of the ship, narrowly missing it and deaccelerating once floating above the engines of the Archangel. Now, the title of the mission was showing up for him… Victory Conditions: Archangel descends successfully. - “Fine then. It seems to be game time. Listen up, element! I don’t see anybody showing up just yet, but we can do some preparations in advance. Kyle, you’re next in the catapult queue. Hide amongst the satellites and other debris. Carter, you’re with me. And Beta Four, cover Kyle. Anybody comes close to him, and you’ll make them see the tears of time. After that, the catapults belong to the Gundams. They have their orders.”
  7. This story will continue in Gunpla Battle Nexus 1.8: Community Update.
  8. I'm interested too! Count me in.
  9. Nice little detail, i love optional parts. They make your models feel more unique.
  10. - “Take two…” That Sunday night, Aida deposited the Airbatel, now complete and entirely ready for battle, on top of the scanner. His gaze lingered on the completed unit, now at full combat capabilities. This time, he thought, I’ll be prepared for anything. Again, the rings of light met near the GM’s waist and a different name appeared on screen. Super Airbatel GM. The original completed state of the Airbatel GM. But Aida could only wonder, will we really leave it like this? There are probably adjustments to be done… He logged in, put his visor on, and then landed back again in the lobby. Not much had changed since last time: The guide NPDs had been implemented, and promotional banners for other community campaigns that had been featured by the administration, such as Leges Sine Moribus, Zeta Destiny and one with a name that Aida couldn't make out due to it being written entirely in Japanese symbols, but probably set in the Cosmic Era judging by the appearance of a Murasame in the poster. He knew his atmospheric Mobile Suits well, perhaps due to being in a team dedicated to them before, but the Murasame held a special place, since it was his first suit in said team, the one he managed to enter with. He remembered making a sleeper of it, by simply detailing a stock suit, and making some additions that would not be noticed. I aced that audition. Good times. Hangar Bay 06B. Mostly empty, save by his machine and the administrator’s machine. This time, a Marasai with Gouf Custom parts, painted in the same light blue as Norris Packard’s unit. Another Marasai? Well, can’t blame the man’s taste. He inspected his Mobile Suit, this time with extra care since it was in a new configuration, and took note of every seam, every unpainted spot, every imperfection. Left binder. Missed a spot there, and it’s even in a hard area. God damn, i’m gonna have to dissasemble the thing to fix that. After the exterior checkup was done, he entered the cockpit, but noticed two bug-seekers inside the cabin: Elmeth mice. He patiently allowed them to leave before closing the door and seating himself in the pilot's throne. He had seen a lot more of them in his brief stay as a beta tester rather than in his whole GBN career: a justifiable increase in surveillance, seeing as bugs and exploits were all but expected in numbers… Aida navigated through the suit’s Settings interface, and started making adjustments accordingly, one of the reasons he had logged in early. The suit was able to move around gravitated environments, just like Friday in Gryps 2, but he had postponed the making of a space movement preset for the Super variant right until now. He loaded the Airbatel’s own zero-g preset to lay the groundwork, and then modified it to match the current state of the Suit, now taking into account the GM-Defenser. By nine, he was finished, but there being no sign of the Archangel yet, he decided to take to the skies, albeit briefly. The Super Airbatel used the catapult, and started to fall towards the floor, but once the GM-Defenser activated, the machine took off and achieved flight on its own. Where to go now? So as to answer his question, the scanner warned him of new content ahead, yet again in the Riah district. A MacDaniels restaurant? That’s new. While they had been part of the many, many buildings in said district, up until now the MacDaniels were in an empty state, with locked doors and closed curtains, merely serving as part of the city backdrop. He set course for its parking lot, over which an EWAC Leo with a Flight Pack was already landing, crushing some city cars with its foot. This was not a grave matter, however, as while only accessible or important buildings were safe from accidental or incidental destruction by the machines of the users, whatever could be destroyed in Free Roam mode would go back in time and reform itself as long as no users or Mobile Suits were touching the object in question. This feature entertained users, which caused them to crush and destroy stuff, from signs and cars to empty buildings, only to see the pieces of concrete, metal and glass fly back to their spot and repair the destroyed buildings. It was much like marvelling at a smart pillow: the ones that always came back to their original shape, once one’s head was no longer resting on top. However, before he could crush some cars of his own and greet the pilot of the Leo, a portal suddenly opened in his way. Before he could know it, his GM was in the Archangel’s hangar bay, standing upright with the engines off. This gave him a mild case of motion sickness, since the Super Airbatel was facing gravitated ground moments ago, flying towards the horizon, as opposed to standing still and up in a weightless environment. Ow! What the… Jesus, are they even allowed to do this? He opened the door, feeling woozy and annoyed, expecting an important reason to be brought there so urgently. This better be good. But there were no announcements being made through the PA system, nor were there any NPDs standing in front of the GM. Are they waiting for us all to be here to start the briefing? He did notice that, in addition to the pair of Gundam Mark IIs and the GP03, the Gunpla of his teammates were already there. Or were they? Getting off his Mobile Suit to approach the sniper’s Gundam and the speedster’s Zaku, he noticed both machines were not only half transparent and did not collide with him, they also had the exact same battle damage as Friday night. Snapshots of their states at the end of last mission… could the NPDs have been seeing this ever since we left? They might not even know we left at all. But if this was the case, Aida wondered, what about the changes on the Airbatel? Didn’t they notice the new backpack? Or the fact that it was whole again? What if somebody brought with them an entirely new machine, rather than the one they had a day before? This update was a whole world of questions. But right now, not much could be done. Just as he saw Miriallia Haw pass him with a food cart, he also noticed a portal was opening right under the feet of one of the two machines. One of his teammates was coming online...
  11. After his crash course on all the sorts of crazy things the upcoming update seemed to contain, Saturday seemed to go without a hitch for Aida, even though much work had to be done, starting with an order by a collector who wanted a rather obscure kit and somehow thought they were a good choice. He simply couldn't wait until the next episode of their astounding tale would be available: by Saturday night, he was only certain that whatever he had stumbled upon, it would take a better effort on his part to conquer, and so he told Meryl to cover for him, as he abandoned his post to collect the Airbatel from its box and take it to one of the tables where tools had been laid out, in anticipation for the arrival of Gunpla Club Night. While Meryl worked the counter, people of all ages and sizes browsed the available wares of their hobby shop, admired the craftsmanship of the models built by him and Dan, or logged in with their Gunpla. But most importantly, that night they mostly came to the store to improve on their existing Gunpla or build new ones altogether. For example, a father using a paint booth so his Wing Gundam's paintjob matched that of an SD his daughter had simply dropped three different flasks of paint on. Or an older woman whose specialty seemed to be dioramas of real military vehicles. She accounted for a big part of the Miscellaneous purchases: basically plastic models not related to Gundam, nor other mech franchises. Some said she had seen the horrors of war first-hand as a nurse during the Cold War, and fittingly, her work and attention to detail were incredibly good - sometimes horrifyingly so. But lately, Miss Cooper seemed to have given Gunpla a chance, maybe to try something new, and was putting the finishing touches on a wrecked Zaku I, over which little plastic children played and plants climbed, slowly covering the remains in moss. - "Bang. You're dead." A pair of fingers touched his back, prompting him to look behind. Wearing a limited edition Banagher Links jacket was Daniel, the builder behind the Airbatel and other brilliant builds at the shop. - "Dan? Thought you'd be in hypersleep by now, lazy ass..." Aida exaggerated the 'hy' in 'hypersleep', turning around in his chair to face his friend. - "I was going to sleep. Then some Newtype bells ring in my head and tell me some wannabe Banksy with an airbrush wants to paint our baby in bright pink and give it a Lacus Clyne." - "Give it a rest. It's been over a year, you know..." - "Yeah, you wish." Daniel sat down and grabbed a pair of pliers, laughing at the memories of that incident in their past. - "No, i mean… it's been a year since we finished this thing. I'm thinking that, with the addition of the GM-Defenser, we oughta give it some maintenance." - "You seem really eager to give it that Mark II backpack and take to the skies again. What's the matter? You either want to run away from somebody, or destroy him altogether, and Airbatel alone was not enough." Daniel was curious. Aida looked different this time. Determined. Inspired. - "Another virtual hitman. Some sort of Barzam mocked up as a Mark II. Cold, straight to business. Shot me in the back in a non-competitive match. JANET has finally stopped screwing around and hired a pro. I want another shot, take him down, show him it was just a fluke and to stop messing with me." - "Hiring… I know your beef with JANET was big back then, but don't you think hiring harassers is a bit much? Especially after so long. Maybe they're just random good players. Send a GG and move on." - "Please. He countered me too well to be a coincidence. They've briefed him. Besides, they've done it before." - "Literally nobody would enough of an idiot not to shoot you before you could finish that spin." Dan countered, keeping it low enough for it to slip past his partner’s mediocre hearing. He could bet a hundred bucks right then and there Aida had been shot down because he got cocky and tried that stupid shield throw again. Maybe he even seeked the Barzam out, bringing it on himself. Man, i need to remove that stupid throw from the programmed moveset and put something useful instead. Sealant launchers? Or missile launchers at the tip. Little by little, they took the Airbatel apart, revealing its innards and putting the Hyaku-Shiki backpack away. A year-old custom kit, it had been based in the Real Grade Gundam Mark II due to the lack of an RG kit for the GM III. It hadn’t aged badly at all, but a check-up was still in order. Slowly, they took away what was left of the panel lining and did it again. Golden metallic markers coursed the surface of the thrusters, vents and other details. A small sample of the main blues was used to give the decals some chipping, too. By the time they were done with the machine, Daniel could see what really had his friend in a frenzy. Aida himself looked revitalized by his latest experiences in the GBN 1.8 cabinet: he was inspired to try out new ideas, drawing sketches and making stupid theories about the mess of a story mash-up the campaign creators had done. He was not wrong: the gleam in the painter’s eyes had returned. His interest in the hobby was not only alive again, Gundam was exciting all over again. Just like the very first day.
  12. Dude, loving this. Especially the torso vents, where are they from? GP03? They don't look like the stock. Try to get the backpack thrusters aligned unless you're going for a flying pose for it though.
  13. With a gentle smile, the provisional team leader pressed a few buttons to unequip his jetpack, rather uncomfortable in a non-combat situation, before addressing them. "Welcome to Beta, Kyle, Carter. You can call me Aida, and that's my Mobile Suit over there… " he said making a signal at the wrecked GM III. "I admit I have been the least helpful of the bunch today, but it's what I get for getting into a new campaign with such confidence..." Flicking his wrist, schematics of the Airbatel appeared, with what appeared to be an alternate backpack bearing resemblance to a G-Defenser, the word MISSING laid over it in red capital text. Aida's Mobile Suit was clearly incomplete, while overconfidence had also gotten the best of him during battle. "However! We've now seen what the enemy team is capable of. And I promise you, next time, I won't be playing around. Believe me or not, I used to be kept around in a Top 50 team..." Closing the schematics, he motioned for them to follow him and leaped towards the transit rails, which fortunately were quite similar in nature to those of an Universal Century ship. "My current crew, however, we're all for fun. We roleplay canon battles of the Universal Century, and every once in a while, we make our own, with original machines and plot, but with extra care not to make either of them very outlandish. I made the Airbatel for one of those, actually. It's a modified GM III made by the AEUG to compliment the Earth Federation Air Force as a dedicated grunt to escort Ankshas and Asshimars, or ride on top of them. It battled modified Titans suits at Torrington Base in UC 0097, along with other prototypes, like the Jegan Sniper II and… I know, I'm getting chatty again. Sorry about that. It's hard not to." He apologized with a faint laugh, straightening his cap before entering the debriefing room. The debriefing room was an ample space with lots of chairs, many of which were not occupied. He recognized Emma Sheen and Kacricon Kacooler amongst the ones that had been able to attend. The team NPD was sitting in the front row, and Aida promptly sat next to her. But it was no use. Her spacesuit and visor were still put, rather suspiciously to them, but strangely raising no questions among the other NPDs. She's not quite like any NPD I have ever seen, before or even inside this update. A long-haired woman promptly entered the room with Ensign Badgiruel and Lieutenant Mu La Flaga, wearing a similar uniform. "Sit down. I want to congratulate all of you on reaching this ship, whether you hail from either Gryps." She paused to let her companions take a seat beside her. "I am Lieutenant Commander Murrue Ramius of the Earth Alliance, and these are Lieutenant La Flaga and Ensign Badgiruel. Due to the chaos that ensued this morning, me and the Ensign here are the sole remainder of the Archangel's original crew. Most of you are seeing this ship or any its current cargo for the first time, but you must know that all of them are top-tier secrets of both the elite Titans branch, and the Alliance military as a whole." She allowed a pause, maybe expecting her public to react, but then cut it short. "Silence. I am not going to ask you to feel honored, but rather remind you: your knowledge puts you in a very tight spot. We will not take your petty squabbles with ease…" She interrupted herself once again, seeing a pair of rookie Titans chatting lively with each other. Flying towards them, she slammed her hand on their desk. "You are not in boot camp anymore! You're in a select group, where insubordination is immediately met with severe repercussions..." Aida saw Lieutenant La Flaga stand up and continue his superior's point, calmly hovering towards the desk. "Such as capital punishment. A pair of young ones like you both should learn to make yourselves useful before you get into trouble. Love or hate your leaders, you should know that the less people know about all of these secret research initiatives, the better to them. People like you are not just disposable. They want you dead, and will put you down at the first sign of instability. So why don't you save everyone the trouble and be a pair of good soldiers?" The look on Murrue's face was of gratefulness towards Mu for helping her, even if she was a bit annoyed at his liberal manner of speech. While she had gotten a field promotion in the last hour, Mu was her senior, and as one of the only pilots in the ship, he had been skipped over for said promotion, so that he could be used as a pilot rather than command the ship. The next person to have the word was Kacricon: who stood up to talk in a controlled manner. "Speaking of our superiors… where are Bask and Jamaican? We shouldn't be ordered around by Federation officers..." La Flaga clenched his fist, but Murrue motioned for both of them to sit down. "A valid question. Why yes, you could say they should be here, but for now, they're in the bridge, assessing our current situation and thinking of ways to accomplish our objective… We must reach Jaburo, in South America. However, we are being pursued by a ZAFT ship carrying what could be said is the best the enemy has… the Creuset Company. Natarle?" "Indeed. Lieutenant La Flaga here probably knows them better than anyone on this ship. He has faced them countless times, and can attest to them being an elite Coordinator team… which now, to make matters worse, have experimental Gundams on their hands." Mu, as to help her point, continued: "Not to mention a ship capable of keeping on par with ours. So, without a skilled helmsman, we can expect them to get to us sooner or later." Murrue came back to the front with Mu, and grabbed the spotlight once more. "For the time being, there is no plan. No ships have yet heed our distress signals, much less come to our rescue. All we can do for now is… be vigilant, and be prepared. I want everyone on level two battle stations, I want all pilots to keep their machines in as high working order as they can, and I want the watchtowers working turns. We keep pushing the pedal, and wait. When they appear, we defend ourselves nicely until we can get to Earth's Absolute Defense Perimeter. Any questions?" With the silence that followed, came her dismissal of everybody in the room. "Very well. This meeting is now over. All can go..." Man, I can't wait to see what the next episode entails… "Except for Beta One and Two. Your trials begin now." Mu pointed his finger over his shoulder, towards the door. "The kid with the GINN knockoff and the visor lady, out. Go have some dinner or something." Carter was visibly confused by the Lieutenant calling his Zaku a GINN knockoff, but simply shrugged it off and called it a day, while the NPD Who Shall Not Be Seen followed him quietly out of the room. Aida and Kyle were left alone with the three of them, scratching their heads. "But… but… we couldn't fight. They had wrecked our stuff-" Murrue had the word once again. "Silence, Beta One. We shall begin with your trial once we've finished discussing Beta Two's stunt here. Now, mister… 'Kyle', it says here you shot a prototype Gundam's cockpit?". Aida sat down patiently and listened, amused by the situation, while Kyle was left standing. "But I did it to stop Kami-" Kyle began to explain himself, but seeing the expression in the faces of the officers, he stopped himself. So lifelike… it's like they're still pissed about that Gundam… anyways, it's probably better not to get on their bad side anymore. "Sorry. My actions were reckless. I felt that was the best way to handle that situation at the time." While Mu was perplexed, maybe looking for a different answer, Murrue continued, holding files on the Gundam MkII given to her by either Bask or Jamaican. “Well, while it would've been correct to destroy that Gundam if it was in the process of being hijacked, truth remains, no enemies had been reported in the area at the time, and there is no way you could've seen something from such a distance people near the unit didn't. Furthermore, the brilliant engineering behind the Gundam was most notably used on its structure, with the cockpit holding nothing of notice, which is why its self destruction protocol was complete rather than partial.” She knows her stuff... I better watch myself, don't say anything meta. Kyle suddenly realized his avatar's similarities to the AEUG's fabled Lieutenant, and tried not to let out an alarmed gasp. Meanwhile, Natarle took over. “However… while you remain a suspicious person, and will be under our constant watch, we cannot deny the gravity of our current situation.” Mu followed her, adding something as to drive the point home: “We cannot simply jail a guy capable of hitting a Gundam from that far... and wrecking it. Not right now. You are dismissed.” Kyle finally sighed with relief, and got out of the room, leaving Aida alone with Murrue, Natarle and Mu, who continued speaking. Aida’s appearance disturbed him a little, however. When did he even change into that uniform? And why is it nicer than even Bask’s? “Ahem… for charges of feeding false information to elite forces and failing to keep your men under control, how do you explain yourself?” Aida got up from his chair and looked at them straight. Don’t want the campaign to take unfortunate spins because of my earlier incompetence. “Well, how should we put this… i might have wanted to impress the lady with my fighting skills over there, heh.” In response, Murrue restrained a chuckle. “How did that go? I suppose being shot in the back and crashing into a factory is the true mark of a professional...” Aida, too, felt relief. He appeared to have convinced them of having committed a mistake, without actually telling them that he didn’t want any of the Titans to mix up with the custom Barzam, or the red Woundwort, which could have provoked a traitorous response from Sheen and questions from Kacricon at the very least. Natarle finished the trial in an advisorial tone. Apparently, the day was wearing off on her. “We will let you out with a warning. But let this be said, we will not tolerate any more unprofessional behavior from you or your men, understand?. Dismissed.” Getting out of the room, Aida finally got a chance to look at his wrist hologram without looking impolite, and noticed that it was late back in the real world. Furthermore, he had lost track of his team, but he could speak to them tomorrow. Pressing a button, he logged off, and the blue GM III disappeared from its stand on the ship. Right before the log-off was completed, though, he was met with a screen detailing the rewards given to the team for completing the stage. --- << Rewards >> Aida Unlocked for Printing: Back Camera (Marasai) Badge: Memory Lane (+5000cr) Stage Completed: 10000 Credits Kyle Badge: Hijack This! (+10000cr) Stage Completed: 10000 Credits Carter Available at Avatar Shop: These Glasses Are A CHAR! Badge: Outdated But Skilled (+30% Credits) Stage Completed: 13000 Credits --- As he pulled back from the game cabinet and returned to the darkness of his hobby shop, Aida could not help but laugh, his 1/144 Airbatel in hand. Back Camera… well aren’t you one hell of a comedian?
  14. Back inside his crashed Mobile Suit at the factory, Beta’s acting commander prepared to abandon Airbatel for a little experiment. He opened his inventory, more importantly, his avatar’s wardrobe menu, and pushed a button to load Preset B. Only a blink of an eye passed between his uniform and cap vanishing into glowing particles, and the appearance from thin air of a Gryps-era normal suit, customized by Aida with the colors of his Man From Jupiter attire, and loaded with accessories taken from Quattro’s normal suit: the leg pistol holster and jetpack, which ironically, made their Zeta debut on the very episode this stage had been built upon. Taking a deep breath, he pushed the button that would make the hatch open. Weirdly, despite not really having anything to lose in a virtual videogame, he had his doubts. The experience was more realistic than ever, and he could only wonder what would be of the world when these games became fully immersive thanks to full-body sensor coverage. Somehow, people preferred fiction to reality, even if the worlds they were moving into weren’t really places one should want to live in. Swooooshhhh... Bingo. The hatch was now open, and he was out of the cockpit, but his avatar’s health meter was not decreasing in any way, fast or slow, which meant no significant oxygen loss. They had even implemented a practical use for normal suits… which meant people in public servers would finally have to stop breaking character and getting out of their machines into space wearing only swimsuits or casualwear if they didn’t want their Divers to die. He climbed down from the GM III, and continued his journey on foot. His avatar still having the meter at all meant he had not been ‘ghosted’ into Spectator Mode… and could still influence NPDs or other Divers, even though his MS was out of the fight for good. However, he thought as he fired up his jetpack’s thrusters and flied out of the factory, watching out not to get too close to the whirlwinds, only God knew what he could do now. To find such opportunities to wreck havoc as a mere person was rare. And since he was on the defending team, there weren’t even enemy facilities to infiltrate… only these factories, and the Titans building in the distance… Suddenly, he needed to take cover. A GM’s BOWA rifle, briefly caught by the wind vortex before it became too weak to keep it spinning circles, was now approaching him with speed, just as he was getting used to seeing the colony from above. Rapidly, he accelerated towards another one of the factories, and crashed through one of the upper windows before the gigantic weapon could claim his avatar's life. Landing forcefully on top of a metallic scaffold, he took a moment to get up again, grabbing a hold of the metal bars. After getting himself on his feet again, he found yet another weird detail left in the map by the campaign’s creators, a sign of a different Universal Century. Did they really waste so much effort in detailing all of these factories and minor buildings, just in the remote case somebody did enter them? “... Beta Team… calling Beta...” Now, a faintly familiar voice could be heard emanating from a device on his wrist. It was the pilot of the Galbaldy Beta. She was surprisingly alive, and still trying to contact the team. Quickly, he initiated a conversation with her. “Beta Four? This is Beta One, come in! What’s your status?”. An uncomfortably long pause followed, but B-Four would respond eventually. “Beta Four reporting… slightly wounded, Mobile Suit inoperative. On foot, armed with explosives. Hiding in a building… what are my orders?” Hearing her out, Aida recoiled for a moment, thinking of a response, before looking down from the scaffold upon what lied on the floor. Yet another idea that could get the team back on their feet. “Beta Four, i’m sending you my coordinates. Regroup with me, on the double.” Elsewhere in the battlefield, Emma and Kacricon flied, looking for the sellsword that had shot Unit 03, when a woman in a blue normal suit appropriate to the era passed them, flying her jetpack towards the factory district. “What the hell… Kacricon, did you see that-” Emma was interrupted, however, as Kacooler’s news were more urgent. “Quick, I see stray shots!” Quickly, the dark blue Gundams spotted the enemy: one of the AEUG’s machines was in trouble, with a friendly trying to end it with a well placed slash, and an enemy keeping the energy blade from touching the Rick Dias' head with a beam saber. She recognized the friendly as the one that had shot 03, and the enemy as that weird Gundam that seemed to share more than a passing resemblance to her own Mark II. Why didn't the blue GM want her interacting with the white Gundam? She didn't know, but the other black Mobile Suit had caught wind of their arrival, and now fired its Clay Bazooka towards Kacricon and her. Kacricon acted quickly, dodging out of the way, and she followed suit, lifting her shield up in case the Gundam was not fast enough to dodge the round. "Emma, we'll waste that one! Poor bastard must feel pretty lonely, and with that kind of firepower, the maniac in the glitter dispenser can probably handle two tangos at once anyways." said Kacricon, referring to Apolly's Rick Dias as their new target and the Trinames Repair as the "glitter dispenser". Emma had her doubts, their orders were to bring the glowing Mobile Suit's pilot to their superiors for interrogation, and the Mark II lookalike still poked at her curiosity. But in such a situation, they had to be pragmatic. Emma fired her beam saber up, not wanting to use her rifle inside the colony, and charged at Apolly Bay's unit. Suddenly, the cockpits of all Divers cut to black, with the words “Mission Accomplished” for Alpha Team, and “Operation Completed” for Beta Team. Apparently, that had been the end of the stage. Now, a new cinematic showed, and control of the Mobile Suits was temporarily taken away. --- << GENERATION BREAK : CUTSCENE START >> Over at the Titans base, from which the firefight and the wind had both shifted away, giving fire control and medic teams way to take action, base commander Samuel D. Rogen of the Federation idled nervously next to a window on the upper floors, assessing the situation with a pair of binoculars and talking to himself in a low tone. "Not good… Some mercenary crashed into one of the R&D hangars. Let's hope these lunatics don't notice Sisquiede… they've already flied away with 03's wreck, so they are not afraid of carrying dead weight." A beeping signal interrupted him, followed by the shout of the communications officer operating the receiver/transmitter array of the base. "Distress signal from LCAM-01XA! The structural supports of Heliopolis-” The young officer paused, knowing the Titans were insistent in using another name for the colony, and corrected himself. “The structural supports of Gryps 1 are very damaged, and-” The young officer was cut off by Rogen. “What do they want us to do about it?! Our hands are tied over here, and all we have are Mobile Suits anyways! We can’t repair a colony! Order them to retreat and get over here before ZAFT comes back and squashes us all! Bask will have a plan.” Immediately afterwards, a new signal came in. The communications officer listened in, then gave everyone in the room the news: “Gryps 1 has experienced dissasembly. Archangel, X-105 and the Hawk of Endymion are falling back here. ZAFT has chosen to fall back for unknown reasons.” At the same time, the radar technician on Rogen’s other side spoke with an update on the fight taking place in Gryps 2. “The AEUG is on the run! They’ve put Unit 03 in a barge… the red one and his escorts are currently flying away.” Commander Rogen was not amused, but right as he was beginning his rant, the faces of Bask Om and Jamaican Daninghan appeared on screen. Samuel promptly filled his commanders in, and when he was done, Jamaican spoke. “So ZAFT partnered with the AEUG and used them as a distraction here, while they stole our X-Numbers… damned know-it-all spacenoids! We’ll give them a beating they won’t ever forget… once we’ve built System, no fleet, no weapon will be more powerful than us!” Bask lifted his hand, prompting Jamaican to shut up and let him speak. “Base Commander, Archangel is coming here. We’re boarding it, but without four of five X-Numbers, the ship is seriously understaffed. And we can’t really leave anything of value, given the condition of this colony. Lieutenants Kacricon Kacooler and Emma Sheen are to board Archangel with Unit 01 and Unit 02. Have the mercenary team join them. They’re insubordinate, but they're regular force material.” In space, an orange Mobile Armor could be seen approaching the punctured hull of Green Noa 2, escorting a white legged ship... << GENERATION BREAK : CUTSCENE END >> --- When the cutscene ended, control returned to all the Divers. The IFF, however, had been disabled, and the weapons had been deactivated. Combat was no longer possible, nor were the Rick Diases where they used to be moments ago. Now, Quattro, Apolly and Roberto all were far away from Beta Team and the two dark Gundams, flying towards the first hole, the one next to which the AEUG barge now safeguarded a Gundam Mk-II, before crossing the threshold and disappearing into the darkness of space. The two operational machines of Beta Team were left alone with Emma and Kacricon, while the voice of Jamaican pierced the silence. “... repeat, this is Lieutenant Commander Daninghan. Units 01 and 02, retreat towards the spaceport. Beta Team, escort Units 01 and 02. All non-mentioned personnel is to stay and help repair this base.” While Kacricon and Emma took off, the Divers of Beta Team saw a blue arrow appear in their cockpits, pointing in the direction of the hangars they had taken off from at the start of the operation. Apparently, that was the destination of the Mk-IIs, and by extension, theirs. As both his beam tomahawk and the modified Barzam's beam saber turned off automatically, Kyle was not disappointed or angry, he merely couldn't help but be bewildered in the team's voice channel. "Shouldn't we be back at Alfred's school already? We lost, didn't we?" Taking off towards the spaceport, the pilot of Trinames wondered to himself: How come I can never ever get a bit of casual fun without risking this kind of stuff…? Stupid maniacs. Upon returning from the cutscene, Carter found his Mobile Suit in midair, lunging at a missing person. The Red Comet was long gone now, and he was left alone, circling around his own axis. "Agh, I'd have beat him to a pulp..." he said as he landed the Zaku Forerunner for a moment, and turned it around, flicking the Saturn Engine back on to cruise towards the other side of the colony. They did give my mech one hell of a beating, though... no respect for the classics, no respect for the classics. As for the team NPD, she unexpectedly burst through the roof of a factory, now at the helm of a restored GP03S, painted in Titans colors and wielding a Folding Bazooka. Her passenger, Aida, hanged on to the pilot seat as best as he could, lacking any jump seats where he could sit. He was not happy that their stellar find couldn't make it in time to save the day. "Crud… It was a perfect idea. But we are too late." The nameless NPD looked back at him, her black helmet visor betraying no faction, no feature of her. "We must go to the mission marker's position." Aida calmly replied, regaining his composure, "I know. But first, we must pick up my Mobile Suit. The Stamen can probably take it to the spaceport..." Minutes later, the six Suits entered the spaceport, just as the venerable Moebius Zero could be seen entering Archangel, in anticipation of the ship aligning right in front of an open gate, allowing the Marks and Beta a clear landing onto their Mobile Suit bays. The Trinames and Forerunner took off into space first, clearing the way for the two dark Gundams, before joining the Stamen and Airbatel behind them and landing inside the ship, which closed its hangar bays and turned around to flee, before the enemy Nazca-class could catch up. Leaving Airbatel in one of the bays and the GP03 in another, Aida and the NPD materialized in front of the latter, floating in the middle of the hangar bay towards the floor. Oxygen had already been restored to the area, and a black haired woman was moving in for an introduction. Not wanting to be impolite, Aida traded his helmet back for Preset A's cap. The NPD, however, did not change attire. With graceful movements, a woman dressed in a white Earth Alliance uniform stopped in front of the Mobile Suits, as a blonde man could be seen unboarding his Mobile Armor. Holding a clipboard, she would address the group. "You must be the reinforcements… I'm Executive Officer Badgiruel. Commanders Bask and Daninghan have boarded the ship some minutes ago and will be in the conference room for a debriefing. You can head there when you're ready. Dismissed." She would then head back, with the NPD following her in a manner reminiscent of an automaton. Aida was somewhat disconcerted at the two of them. "Yeah… nice to meet you two I guess." Then, he looked at the white Dynames and the blue Zaku, curious about the people inside.
  15. This story will continue in Gunpla Battle Nexus 1.8: Challengers of Diamond.
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