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Hiro Kusanagi sat in the lounge of the Firefly as he watched the AEUG personnel scurry about their work in preparation for their departure from the lunar city. His crew of four was squeezed into the booth seat meant for three as they had their lunch. The seat opposite them remained empty for the person they were expecting. His wingman Kamea Thrace snuggled to his left, her right elbow carelessly jabbing at his ribs as she worked her food with a metal spoon. He suspected she was prodding his side partly on purpose.

Kamea had tucked her short blonde hair behind her ear to keep it out of her lunch, revealing a star-shaped ebony stud. Her dog tag hung over her cleavage that her black tank top struggled to hide beneath her black leather. Hiro still found her appearance more masculine than Grace Valerii, who sat on his right. Grace had more feminine curves and the larger buxom than her short-hair counterpart, but her jacket was zipped all the way up to her neck to keep herself fully covered. Her straight black hair fell beyond her shoulders. Grace made Hiro uncomfortable for some reasons, especially when they were alone. Perhaps it was her open admiration for her superior, who happened to be a famed pilot in the Galleon Combine.

Hiro Kusanagi was a renown mercenary in the Combine. Grace was the newest member in his team. Although she had been a part of the Draconis Fury for over a year, Hiro was still unable to be as comfortable as he was with Kamea. The latter was his wingman, so that explained for their familiarity. Grace was a backup pilot and still had a way to go before she was able to step up as a full-fledged pilot for the team. Her body was pressed against his as they sat awkwardly in the booth seat of the cargo ship. Hiro could feel the stiffness in Grace’s body despite her best efforts to appear comfortable with the physical contact.

It was not as if he could help it. He was stuck. Hiro turned to look at Ronald Boone. The mechanic took the outermost seat and was the only one among them who could escape the scrum if he wanted to. Ronald, however, was engrossed with the food in his metal food tray. Kamea slammed her spoon down in frustration, “Knock my elbow one more time and I’ll shove this spoon up where the sun don’t shine, Augur!”

“Hey, blame the small table! You’re knocking half of each spoonful I scrape before I can shove it into my mouth, not that this poor excuse for food is in any way appetising.” Ronald shot back. Kamea shook her head. “You can tuck your elbows in instead of airing your armpits, lad. We can do without the stench.”

“Wha—“ Before he could even protest, Grace chimed in, “Starbuck is right. Why don’t you stand up to give us more space. Be a man, Augur.”

“Just ‘cos Spike isn’t around, now I’m the whipping boy,” Ronald said. Kamea laughed. “Keep on dreaming, lad. Nobody’s gonna whip that ass.”

“Shut up and enjoy cozying up with Apollo, girl.” Ronald teased as he suddenly leaned to his right to shove Kamea against Hiro. She leaned on Hiro’s shoulder with feigned affection while Grace flushed red as Hiro was pushed against her. Kamea giggled. “He better be enjoying this more than we are.”

“C’mon now, we’re gonna look so professional like this when Captain Grimsdottir shows up.” Hiro said as he gave up trying to convince himself he was hungry. Ronald moved to the empty seat. “I’ll warm the seat for the captain before he arrives.”

“I hope you’ve got a hot bum cos you gotta give up your seat and it better be well warmed up.” Grace said and gestured at the door of the lounge.

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Grim half sprinted, half hopped towards the ship in the port. With the moon’s gravity it was hard to make haste on foot, yet the Captain almost make it seem easy. Ben did manage to steal a glance back at the two pilots he seemingly recruited on the way through the spaceport. “On the double Ryder! Lavie!” He hardly paused to acknowledge their responses, satisfied with them merely following along.

 

All morning Grim dealt with the remaining leaders of the AEUG; to say that the other officers were feeling stressed would be an understatement. Grim knew that this was the time for action.There were reports of Zeon movement heading their way and the AEUG couldn’t afford to be caught on the moon like it was at the moment.

 

As the trio boarded the ship Grim glanced back over his shoulder to make sure his two pilots were still with him. When they caught up to him he did pause to regard them both this time. “Listen I know you both have questions about why I recruited you two for this mission but I don’t have time to explain at the moment.”  Grim’s gaze lingered on Nick, “What I do need from you guys is to at least act like competent pilots when we meet our contacts inside.” He glanced at Ryder. “It’s time to show the Zekes what we can do gentlemen. I’ll explain more after we leave port, just stick by my side in here.” Grim gave a stern nod to his two new subordinates and quickly led them on board.

 

The Captain drifted his way through some of the corridors, seemingly much more at ease just being onboard the ship. He looked around to get his bearings  and stopped again by a certain passage when he heard the commotion down the corridor. He went towards the discussion being held at a table, his face lit up at the revelation of who was sitting at the table. “Ah excuse me but you must be our hired security!” He offered a wry smile as he approached the four mercenaries. “Allow me to introduce myself! I’m Captain Benjamin Grimsdottir and these are my two pilots who will be accompanying us.” Grim waved a hand to refer to Ryder and Nick. His attention shifted to to the man wedged between two women and a wry smile crossed his face. “You just be Hiro?” He offered his hand to the mercenary. His stern expression showed that he wasn’t in the same jovial mood as the mercs were a few minutes ago.

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As Grim began talking with their newly hired security, Ryder glanced at the other pilot to the right of Grim, Nicky Lavie. The two had talked with each other the night before, and it wasn't pleasant. Nicky seemed to think this new war was a joke, something Ryder wasn't a big fan of. "I can't believe that I'm stuck with this fool." Ryder thought as he looked around the interior of the Firefly. It was smaller and a little dirtier than what he was used to, but he understood things wouldn't be like his career as a Titan. The AEUG ran things much differently than his former faction, which he appreciated.

Ryder looked towards the AEUG's leader and his new captain, Benjamin Alan Grimsdottir. He knew almost nothing about the man, other than that he was a Federation soldier assigned to the AEUG. He wished that his superior would've told him the plan and why he was recruited for this mission, but he didn't think too much about it. After all, being apart of this team (and the AEUG in general) kept him out of a Titan POW camp. Ryder hoped that the white-haired leader had what it took to command the AEUG.

Ryder was at least familiar with one thing, which was the Galleon Combine. While he had never fought the mercenary group personally, he knew of their existence and what they did for the AEUG. Ryder wondered if he could trust the mercenaries, or if they would even trust him because of his past. He understood that it didn't matter much though. The four soldiers we're going to be his new teammates, after all. 

He then watched as Grim held out his hand to one of the mercenaries, a man with a large scar running down his cheek, and asked if he was someone named Hiro. Ryder looked at the Galleon Combine member, awaiting his response. 

 

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Not unlike most of the nearby AEUG personnel and Grim himself, Nicholas Lavie appeared very, very stressed, bags under his eyes due to the moon's uncertain day/night cycle messing with his biological clock, having dealt with lots of things in the last few days with the bare minimum of sleep, chugging down caffeinated energy drinks like tap water and running from one side of the lunar city to the other, running errands and providing insight on the mechanical condition of some Mobile Suits that somehow held together and returned from the brutal skirmish at Gryps, most of them having to be scrapped due to the inviability of restoring them to a decent working condition, despite being very good machines. He had only gotten an eight hour nap after being assigned to this new post: guarding the AEUG's new leader and following his command as he got on a ship and went... somewhere.

Catching the person to his left in the act of glancing at him, he restrained himself from returning the angry glare and simply sighed very slowly, in an almost silent manner. The man in question was Ryder Sarka, an ex-Titans officer that would be his squadron leader from then on. He had angered the guy nine or ten hours before via microphone on a secure comms channel, calling him out for being a former Titan, which prompted him to respond that he ''was there'' when the Colony 30 incident ocurred and that it was the subject of profound psychological trauma on his person. In all honesty, Nick did not believe the man's words for a moment. Since he heard him, he only thought of him as a pathetic ''bad boy'' and a war criminal most likely wanted by the Federation that joined the AEUG to avoid prosecution, lying his way to sympathy from his new squad by feigning guilt. The bastard was probably just beating dissenters to death and eating human steak in an interrogation room while Colony 30 happened, Nick thought to himself, making very sure not to voice his thoughts out loud in front of his new group, which he trusted almost as much as he trusted the felon to his left.

Which brought him to think of his new, very dire situation. He was now part of an all-new platoon, which was probably nothing like the sympathetic crew of the Salamis Kai that had given him a lift to Gryps and Von Braun. His squadron leader was already mad at him, probably looking for an excuse to get him into trouble, the mercenaries (of which he knew absolutely nothing) that made up the rest of the Mobile Suit squadron probably going to make friends with him, which Nick feared would make them antagonize him in exchange for befriending Ryder. What was worse, Nick also feared that Ryder and the mercenaries would eventually plot against the Captain and running away with the rust bucket they were going to board, which wouldn't be of any surprise to him. And even if nothing along those lines happened, he was still being put in a Mobile Suit, probably to pale in comparison to Ryder and the other two pilots, so Grim (who was already like the rest of harsh commanding officers he had seen during the course of his life, expecting nothing of him, and didn't even think he could behave professionally) could have an excuse to lecture him for not being as good as the rest of the squadron, which save by him was made entirely out of certified professionals and an alleged ace pilot.

As if they could blame me. I'm a mechanic, not a pilot. Yet the idiots at the corporate Round Table decide it's a great fucking idea to put me into a Mobile Suit, so they can get my ass killed for exactly no fucking reason. Seriously, who the fuck thinks of these things?! I swear, when this war is over, if i don't get a fucking metric crapton of money for my troubles, i'm going to load up my vulcans, and Management will kiss their asses goodbye with my next visit.

It was going to be a long day for Nick...

Edited by Replicator
Added drama or something. Geez.
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“You must be Hiro.” Captain Benjamin Grimsdottir said after a brief introduction. The AEUG Captain was a tall and imposing figure. Draconis Fury stood up almost in unison and snapped sharply in salute. Certain mercenaries gave their profession a bad name with their lack of care for decorum and discipline. They often used their freelance status as an excuse to misbehave. The Galleon Combine thought otherwise. They were an armed force for hire, but they were still an armed force. 

Discipline was not just expected, but demanded of the Galleon mercenaries. That was one of the factors that convinced Hiro Kusanagi to submit the Fury to the Combine’s authority.

“Captain Grimsdottir. Hiro Kusanagi reporting for duty. These are the finest of Draconis Fury. Kamea Thrace, MS pilot. Grace Valerii, mechanic. Ronald Boone, tactician and comms. I believe you know that already.” As standard protocol, the Combine provided detailed profiles of each mercenary for the employers. Each of his team member were as outstanding as the other in their own area of expertise. Hiro nodded in acknowledgement at the AEUG soldiers who fell in behind Grimsdottir. "Our packs and gear have all been loaded, so I guess we are pretty much settled. When will we depart?"

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Grim maintained a friendly demeanor despite himself feeling rushed. As Hiro asked about departing the Captain did smirk as he stood at ease, “funny you should ask, we should be launching any -“ as if on cue the Firefly suddenly lurched and the engines could be heard humming through the rusty ship. Grim held his hand open and motion around them all, “well there you go.”

He did glance around to study the mercenary crew his eyes taking a precious moment to study each one. The Draconis Fury did have a good reputation which was a large reason why Grim decided to hire them. “Ladies and gentlemen thank you for departing with us. The AEUG will not forget the services which you will be rendering. Now if you will excuse us we have a ship to see to.” Grim offered a stiff salute before turning on his heel. He gave a brief nod to Ryder and Nicky before gliding past them both. 

As the Captain made his way to the bridge he studied the ship along the way. The freighter seemed barely space worthy much less worthy of being a mobile suit carrier. There was going to be minimal crew for their escape and Grim would be sure to visit with them all when he had the chance; now wasn’t the time though. As he entered the bridge he took in a deep breath before looking around at the viewports and the crew manning the controls. He gave a brief nod of acknowledgement towards the helmsman and then nodded forward.

“Get is out of here.” Grim ordered. By his command the ship rose up escaping from the moon. As they rose he could feel the gravity lessen and soon he was holding onto a panel to keep himself from floating away. Tense minutes passed and Grim found himself reluctantly relaxing.

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The slight G-force pushing Hiro into his seat was strangely settling as the Firefly lifted off from the port. It was good to leave Von Braun behind. He had a nagging feeling that something would happen the longer they stayed in the lunar base. His crew had gone off to catch some rest in their bunkers. Hiro chose to remain behind to get to know the two AEUG pilots. Ryder and Nicky. They had introduced themselves and joined him for some drinks. It was good to know those who would be covering your back for you in the field. Hiro took a sip of his flat white and ran a finger down his scar out of habit.

"The Draconis Fury has its reputation in the mercenary scene. We rivalled the Galleon Combine back in the days, but unfortunately, times have been hard with the wars taking so many good soldiers. While I won't call them our allies, the Combine had good relations with us. Old Galleon and the previous Fury leader go way back. Brother-in-arms before they started their mercenary businesses. Enough of us. Tell me more about yourselves."

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Ryder Sarka glanced at the scarred individual. "The only thing you need to know about me..." He exclaimed. "is that I won't miss." He looked to the right, toward the hangar. "I was told that I'd be using a Training Nemo." Ryder smirked. He thought the AEUG would've had a better suit for the ace sniper. "I hope the sniper beam rifle I requested is with it." He said to the mercenary. "It's the same type I used as a Titan." 

The former Titan sipped more of the orange drink he had. "Speaking of, back when I was with the Titans, I knew people who skirmished with your little mercenary groups. To be honest, I've heard good things. You guys sound like... competent pilots." Ryder remarked. "However, I'll be the judge of that." Ryder looked to the other AEUG pilot next to him. "Enough about me. I'd like you to meet our other teammate, Nick." He said somewhat sarcastically. Ryder put his hand on the other pilot's shoulder and gripped it, perhaps a little too tightly...

 

 

OOC: I love the Nemo. Ryder's just an asshole lol. Ryder will also obviously miss shots. He's a great sniper, but he's just a little too confident.

Edited by FrostyFoster
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After being dismissed by his new superior, Nicky would find his way into a small cafeteria at the middle section of the Firefly, attended by a pair of cooks that looked like they had just gotten a rest. Only a few of the tables were occupied, as the crew that came with the ship had taken their breakfast earlier, and so Nick got the luxury of choosing a cushioned seat at a corner table, always having been drawn to push his back against walls, always reliable guardians for one's back. The wall paper was coming off in some places, but the ambiance given by the titillating, calid lighting tubes was nice overall, so he decided to have his breakfast there, setting a metallic food tray down upon the table, and securing it with a pair of small hooks that were built at various points into the table, knowing that it would fly away with the contents otherwise upon escaping the moon's weak gravity field. Halfway through the sandwich, the mercenary addressed by Grim as Hiro would come to greet him, while he had his mouth full. But before he could say anything, an unwanted presence invited itself onto the table too. Ryder Sarka.

Trying to ignore the unsettling guest at his right, Nick listened at Hiro's introduction of his group. Apparently, they had a high reputation amongst other mercenaries (whatever the hell that was supposed to mean to him). He was relieved to hear him speak in a gentle manner despite his tough aspect, acting not at all like he thought a sell-sword would be, an impression matched very closely nonetheless by his squadron leader, who replied with a long volley of what he assumed would be just bullshit about his time with the #1 pedestrian beating institution of all times. Guess first impressions aren't always right... Finishing his sandwich, Nick would poke a hole in the straw of his orange juice tube, but before he could take it into his mouth, a hand fell heavily over his right shoulder, clutching it in a very uncomfortable, maybe even painful manner. But Nick knew what the results of facing somebody his size would be, and his fists opened before they even had a chance to fully close.

''If i wanted to make sure somebody would put his mind and heart into covering my back, i would know better than to threaten them. Good thing you're an ace, right, Commander? If you're what you say you are, then you'll have no need for me next time a Zeek gets to see you from behind, anyways.'' - Nick replied, talking by the first time in person to his first object of loathing since his introduction to the Anti Earth Union Group, always looking forward while trying to appear calm, before taking a sip from the juice tube and shifting his hazel eyes to Hiro, talking to him with a slight smile on his face, trying to make a better first impression than his superior, but inadvertently giving the latter a brief, last throw. - ''It's nice to meet you, Hiro. I feel relieved now that i know that the squadron is to contain actual professionals...''

Edited by Replicator
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"Damn, this kid's got guts." He thought as he finished his drink. Ryder expected a little less from the Ensign, but what he got was perfect. Nick had the guts, but would he have them in a real battle? He turned his head toward Nick "Hmph. You know something, Ensign?" Ryder asked. "No Zeek has or ever will even get close to me, so I guess I don't really have a need for you, do I?" Ryder got out of his seat. "I do wish I knew what you're like in battle. The only thing it seems you're good at is being a smart mouth toward your superior. I hope your trash talk is as good as your piloting skills, Lavie." Ryder floated to the door. "I'll be taking my leave now, Hiro. I'd like to see our mobile suits."

Ryder felt weightless as he headed toward the large hangar, noticing the Trainer Nemo's and the GM II's, one of which was almost completely white. "That's gotta be Grim's or Hiro's." He thought. Thankfully, in the corner of his eye, he saw his sniper-type beam rifle being held to the ground with straps, along with some other basic beam rifles. "Good." Ryder used his legs to push himself toward one of the Nemo's. The mechanic of the ship was working on another mobile suit as they saw Ryder opening the cockpit. "Hey! I'm working on these right now." They yelled out. Ryder thought they would be in their bunk by now. Ryder briefly glanced at them. "Don't care." 

He floated inside the cockpit. It was an upgrade to his old GM Sniper II, but not by much. It had various training logos and instructions around the controls. "Baby's first mobile suit..." He thought. Ryder pushed one of the red buttons to his right, closing the cockpit. He watched as the entire cockpit's screen turned on. He loved the vision he had in the suit. "Alright. Time for simulation one of many..."

Ryder proceeded to use the AEUG's simulation program for what seemed like hours on end for him, fighting many GM Cannon II's, other Trainer Nemo's and Gaza-C's in the process. Each time, he seemed to get a little better, but it was physically starting to take a toll on him. His hands started to bleed after becoming raw from holding the joysticks. His last challenge was defeating a Gaza-C holding G-3 gas with only a clay bazooka, barely succeeding. By the end of it, Ryder shut down the suit. He was tired but felt like it was good practice.

Edited by FrostyFoster
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The aroma of the coffee made him feel more energised even before he started drinking it. Hiro made a mental note to give his regards to the cooks the next time. It was one of the better cups he had in a while. Too bad I have to cover that fragrance with the milk. Damned stomach.

He loved to drink his coffee black but some brews were a little too strong for his guts. Hiro used to down several cups of the black stuff at a time. Maybe that caused his stomach to be so touch at this age. Whatever his guts disliked, he stayed away from. Just like this ex-Titans guy who sat opposite him. Ryder Sarka. It surprised Hiro to see a Titans serving with the AEUG. All Titans members had been arrested, trailed, and imprisoned. He wondered how Ryder managed to wriggle his way out of jail time. Even his self-proclaimed sniping abilities would be far from a redeeming factor for the AEUG authority to add him to their ranks. They were desperately shorthanded, but not that desperate or shorthanded. Or were they? It did not matter to Hiro or his crew, but he never liked to be taken by surprise.

The brief bristling exchange between the AEUG pilots came as no surprise, however. Hiro expected Ryder to be detested by the AEUG soldiers. It would take him quite a while to earn their trust and acceptance, though his behaviour indicated he could not care less. He might even be enjoying the thinly-veiled contempt from his comrades. Nick's voice broke into this thoughts.

"I'm not sure I would trust an ex-Titan pointing sniping at my direction in the battlefield either... Nick, was it? Yes, Nick." Hiro had gone through their files. He had seen better pilots and more experienced soldiers in his time, but the pilots assigned to the Firefly would do fine in the mission. As long as nothing went wrong. The nagging feeling was starting to irritate him. He appreciated his gut feelings. They saved his hide more times than he would have preferred. They kept him alive nevertheless. It was hard to ignore it, yet there was naught he could do about it. He turned his attention back to the AEUG pilot before him. "Tell me about yourself, Nick."

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It's sad that we're short enough on hands to accept this clown... but hopefully nobody will bat an eye when that Nemo's cockpit is melted through with a heat hawk. While Ryder let go of his shoulder and made his exit, much to his relief, Nick finished slurping the contents of the pulp-free juice tube. All that was left on the tray was a pair of elongated, wrapped candy, which didn't really call out to him then, but would come in handy later, so he put them on his jacket's left pocket for another time.

Immediately after Ryder's exit, Hiro would speak again, and it was comforting to see that he wasn't the only unsettled one at the presence of somebody who should, by this time, be at the gallows back in Dakar. Nodding his head in happy agreement, he would be then asked for information about himself again, and without the intruder in sight, this time he felt like actually introducing himself. Adjusting his glasses, Nick began:

''Ensign Nicholas Lavie, but you can simply call me Nick. Been in the Federation ever since working age, repairing grunt suits. Got in the Group when a bunch of their idiots tried to steal GMs from my Salamis and got blown up to smithereens. One of them, well, what was left of his face, used to be a friend of mine in school, so the Titans charged me with being their inside man without prior investigation and sent men after me and my family. So the AEUG made sure to protect them. And, in exchange, they expect me to pilot a Mobile Suit. I'm a mechanic, for fuck's sakes!'' - Nick calmly motioned both of his hands forwards, rolling his eyes at the ceiling for a brief moment. - ''And yet, i have to do it. Even though i know nothing about this, and having in mind they were the ones with the brilliant idea of jacking GMs from the Feds. I swear, if these imbeciles at Anaheim thought they're getting away, doing this to me, they better hope i don't survive this war...''

A brief pair of beeps would interrupt his ramblings. The intercom had been switched on, and now a mature, slightly raspy voice spoke through it in a slight British accent. ''-sting. Testing. This is Communications Officer Alistair Dashwood. The technicians appear to have fixed this thing at last, which means we can finally be heard through the ship's speakers again. Not all of them might work, however, so be sure to report any malfunctioning units to me through one of the lines. More lives than your own might depend on our announcements being read by every crew member, or so says the emergency manual. Anyways, speaking of announcements. From this day, we're joined by new personnel, amongst which is the AEUG's new leader, Benjamin Grimsdottir. Be sure to remember, he is now at the top of our command chain, and his authority overrides that of your previous superiors, so, uh... don't question him like last time. You know who you are. The only other item in the list for now: some of the dummy balloons are reported to need patching. Get somebody to it, will ya? It's a simple task, and it's not like those fake asteroids haven't saved our collective asses before. You can keep on working on that scrap heap of a space bus later.''

After the general message ended, Nick would check the time with the LCD clock embedded on the upper end of the opposite wall. He needed to be at the Mobile Suit bay in twenty minutes to check his Mobile Suit, then to get acquainted with it by running operation simulations. He had time to hear from his new comrade. ''So, what about you? I didn't catch your full name, so you can start there, if you feel like it. The interest for knowing those i'll cover from now on is mutual, after all...''

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Grim sat in the Captain’s chair nervously. The cargo they had to transport to the Rose was seemingly too important to be transporting on a near piece of junk, but the AEUG had been dealt a severe blow from the battle at Gryps. So many leaders, so many resources plundered, “and for what?” Grim muttered to himself. Neo Zeon was setting up shop like the one year war hadn’t even happened and the Federation was still in its fitful slumber. It was up to him and the AEUG to stop this madness. “To avoid another Winter…” he mused as he stared thoughtfully out at the stars. He smirked as he recalled a long dormant memory before shaking the notion out of his head.

The intercom buzzed and the comms officer got on the PA system. Grim eyed the back of the Alistar’s head as he gave a long winded introduction and even cringed as the man mentioned Grim’s status. As Alistar finished up he looked around seemingly pleased with himself and Grim chimed in almost bitterly, “thank you Alister, for the announcement.”

Seemingly oblivious Alister flashed a toothy grin and responded, “Any time boss!” Grim did his best to stop himself from sighing out loud. He was used to the rigid discipline that the Federation demanded, not this loose consortium of soldiers working together. At times he was amazed that he was somehow in charge of it all now. Grim cleared his throat, “make all haste to La Vie En Rose!” He stood up and added, “I’ll be on our ‘so called hangar’… contact me at once if there is anything unusual.”

He couldn’t explain why he felt the need to goto the mobile suits. Maybe it was because he was feeling uneasy about their deployment from Von Braun. As he entered the makeshift hangar he looked around at the suits and found the bleached hull of his GM, the paint seemingly worn off from extending use. As he hovered towards it he took note of the Nemo assigned to Ryder and could tell someone was inside it. Probably the sniper getting some training in, Grim mused. As a rule he didn’t exactly agree with the Titans, he didn’t disapprove of their original intentions either; ultimately they simply lost sight of their original purpose. Spies on the other hand unnerved him, even if they were friendly. This Ryder fellow seemed like a necessary evil however and what better way to keep an eye on him than right under Grim’s own nose.

The pilot in Grim felt the urge to fly out in the trusty GM, inside the suit of armor he could fight giants, he could change the world. He loathed and craved  the responsibility of being a leader, he needed to feel in control of his situation; and right now he simply didn’t.

“Captain!” Grim furrowed his brow to glare up at the speakers near the ceiling, Alistar’s voice blared from the tiny speakers, “Captain if you can hear me? We got Zeeks coming from port side!” Cursing the Captain jumped into the cockpit of his mobile suit and keyed on the radio to the bridge, “get everyone in their battle stations now! I’ll head out in the GM!” Grim hastily began the process of getting his suit ready to launch while barking into the radio, “how many are you seeing Actual?” As Grim fought to get a space suit on he could hear Alistar say something about 4 contacts. He finally got his suit on and settled down in his seat, pulling the straps across his body, “repeat again, how many tangos?”

There was a pause and Alistar’s voice came in clearly now, “4 I repeat 4 identical zeon units, Looks like Gaza-C class.” Grim’s blood turned cold at the revelation and he could feel the adrenaline of pre-battle begin to flow in his veins, he fought the excitement to remain in control. “Get our suits deployed.” He responded as calmly as he could muster. He worked the controls to poise the GM for the deployment, or rather, the dumping from the Firedfly that would get him into the fight. Let’s see how our boys do, he mused silently.

(OOC: this was longer than I intended lol.)

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Ryder listened to the intercom, sighing in the process. "Looks like my workout isn't over yet." He scoffed. He looked around to find a pilot suit, noticing one of many hanged up on a nearby rack. It was a standard orange normal suit for the AEUG, but Ryder didn't mind. "I'm sure I'll get my own custom uniform later." He thought. Putting on the normal suit was a challenge to him. His hands still felt raw and every touch stung, but the pilot eventually got it on. "Snug fit."

He floated back to his seat, looking to see his superior getting in the white GM II, confirming to Ryder that was his and not Hiro's. He quickly used the controls and buttons to get ready for the battle, making sure the Nemo was in combat mode, not training mode. The AEUG mobile suit started, with Ryder making it reach for the beam sniper. "Can't forget these." He said as it grabbed several magazines for the weapon, clipping them to its waist. The Nemo also took a spare regular beam rifle, knowing that they had extras.

The decked-out mobile suit waited for one of the doors to open, but nothing seemed to occur. It had to wait for the others to sortie before opening, letting the air out. "I hope they can make it in time..."

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Before the mercenary in front of Lavie could reply, a high-pitched alarm, followed by Dashwood's voice, would interrupt their chat again with an announcement for the captain, and implicitly, for whomever it might have concerned: Axis had already found them, and had deployed Mobile Suits. The first of many red flags yet to find within his assignment...

''FUCK!'' - A yell would run away from between his lips, and his fist would slam itself over the plastic table once, in a very audible manner. - Just when i thought this day would go easy on good old me! And i didn't even get to the god-damned simulator! Screw the Zeeks! Screw them all! ''Hiro! We have to take off! We can resume our introductions later!'' - Nick would yell over the intercom's blaring request for everyone to get into Level 1 battle stations, before jumping off his seat and kicking his table (thankfully screwed to the floor) to fly towards the corridor, then speed like a bullet through it to the Mobile Suit bay by constantly jumping from one wall to another, nimbly dodging a dazed mechanic, parts of a malfunctioning speaker and a floating laundry cart. It appeared he was somehow accustomed to doing such things in zero-G.

Cornering right by using a metallic handle, he would fly into the supply cabinet and stop himself by bouncing off one of the walls with his feet, then grabbing the door's frame. He would quickly look for one of the one-size-fits-all orange flight suits, a matching helmet and a pair of boots of his size, as Dashwood spoke again in the background to confirm the presence of four bandits, AMX-003-class. - This is not normal. We're a box of scraps floating through space. One of many. Why the hell would they go to such lengths to intercept such a ship they know nothing about? They must know two things: First, we're AEUG and have Mobile Suits. Second, we're carrying something of interest. But aside from Grim, which is by all means replaceable... what the hell could we be carrying that they want? And how do they know all of this? God damn the Corporate Department to Hell! They never tell me anything!

Now getting out of the dressing room, sporting a flight suit that was only barely stretched out, Nick being small as he was, he would propel himself towards the unoccupied Nemo by kicking one of the railings to gain speed. As he floated, he would have a glance at the two Mobile Suits already on their feet: a bleach-white GM II, and a doppleganger of his own unit, holding a sniper rifle. According to the file he had been handed at Von Braun, the peculiar GM would be assigned to Grim himself, while the only other Nemo had been assigned to the dreaded squadron leader. - Is Grim heading out into space himself? Heh. Sitting on an armchair all day must not be that comfortable. Look at the bright side, Nick... you can let the felon die under the excuse that there were more valuable assets to protect at the time...

He would finally enter the cockpit, trying to remember as well as he could his GM-type pilot training. Thankfully, stickers all over the place helped him get his bearings, and so he easily found the button to close the canopy, before firing up the main camera, the exterior finally displayed all around him on the panoramic screen as the propulsion and AMBAC systems started up. The UI showed the standard warning that indicated the suit was unequipped for ranged combat, and a pair of presses of a button later, the Mobile Suit automatically walked up to the arms rack on one of the walls, grabbing a beam rifle with the right hand, then with the left, strapping two spare magazines to the left side of the skirt armor. Then getting in line, behind Ryder's back, Nick would speak to his Mobile Suit, conditioned by a strange habit of his: making his tools and weapons of war the objects of his affection. - ''Okay, big boy... i know this sounds crazy. I don't know you, even though you've been easy to read so far. And you probably hate me already. But let's make a promise, both of us. If we both survive this war, we're walking up to Anaheim's offices and tearing them down to the foundation for putting us into this.''

Now pushing the button to activate the communications system, the radio (which had already been set up) would let him hear Alistair's voice again. ''-the report. Four contacts. Gaza Cs. Romboidal formation. Approaching our port side.''

Very well... here goes. If i'm going to be turned into grilled meat any time, this should be the day. ''Ensign Lavie, on line for catapult, Nemo!''

Edited by Replicator
Slightly tuned down Tourettes.
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It was an uneasy feeling “dropping” out of the Firefly. Never in all his piloting experience did he have to deploy in such a bizarre fashion. Grim hardly had the time to admire the precarious circumstances as he quickly got his bearings and used his thrusters to get distance from the ship. They had six mobile suits in total, with two of them having to be strapped to the outside of the ship.

Grim took up a firing position in front of the port side of the Firefly, resisting the urge to use the ship as cover itself. He steadied his breath to look out at the stars and ready his shield and beam rifle. He tried to maintain a covering position so the rest of the mobile suits could safely deploy. He checked his com unit and hailed Ryder, Grim figured that the Titan had to have deployed nearly as quickly as he had. “How’s it looking Lieutenant? Do you have eyes on the enemy yet?” Grim knew from experience that if the sniper didn’t already see the enemy that they all would soon enough. Grim kept his eyes peeled on the panoramic screen looking for movement or flashes of light.

Before he could hear Ryder’s response a flash of light flickered towards the Firefly, a beam glancing a hit across the hull. Grim cursed and sent a volley back near the origin of the beam. Now he could barely make out the specs of enemy mobile suits on the monitor in front of him and he knew it was about to get serious. Grim keyed the general com line, “all mobile suits protect the Firefly at all costs!” He realigned his rifle at the source of the first shot and fired again, this time trying to lead in front of where the Zeek was heading towards. The Gaza wasn’t going to make it easy as it simply avoided his distant shooting. If the could deploy all of their mobile suits then they could boast numbers, something which might make the zeeks second guess this skirmish. This would be test as well to see how much Grim could trust Ryder and all the other pilots on board as well.

Edited by Roromi
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Four Gaza-C's jetted toward them, firing at the hull of the ship. "Shit!" Ryder yelled out as a beam slid across the Firefly. He had positioned his Nemo on top of the hull, laying the AEUG suit down. "Captain!" He said through the comms. "I've got four Gaza-C's in their mobile armor mode!" Ryder had never fought one of the Neo Zeon suits outside of simulations, especially not their transformed mode. He grunted as he positioned the rifle at the one on the right side of the group.

"Once I hit one of them, they'll all scatter. You'll have to be quick to fire back at them!" Ryder looked through the scope of the rifle, attempting to aim the reticle right down the middle of the enemy machine's eye. Luckily, this could completely destroy the suit, since its cockpit was positioned behind it. Numbers flashed all across his screen. Distance, movement, and speed were all big parts of a sniper, but Ryder's trained years for this. The pilot aimed, exhaled, and fired. 

The large beam sped toward one of the Gaza-C's, missing the eye, but hitting its beam gun almost directly. The Mobile Suit ignited, going out in a blaze of fire. "Damn, that was a little too far up. I can do better." He thought. As expected, the other three scattered, making it much harder for him to hit another. The magazine fell out, with Ryder trying to reload as fast as possible.  "It'll take a while for me to reload!" He yelled. "You need to..." 

Suddenly, the three Zeeks began firing all at once as they flew closer to the vessel! "Dammit! Ensign! Hiro! Where are you?!"

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Coming out of the Firefly, the second yellow-accented Nemo would automatically aim its standard issue beam rifle at one of the attackers, chosen at random by the targeting system. Inside, the panoramic screen would show the pilot three green rectangles and a fourth one, colored yellow, all identified as ''AMX-003'' by the HUD. Apparently, the one that was hit by Sarka's sniper rifle was still in one piece, however it would still switch its IFF to yellow status, signaling itself as ''out of combat'' per the now-aging Antarctic Treaty. It was unknown whether it would manage to go back to wherever it came from or if its pilot would be forced to eject and risk capture by the Firefly. However, the scarce white foam that now came out of the Mobile Suit (if it could be called anything but a stick with legs and arms) indicated that the pilot was still alive and was attempting to buy himself some time by placating the fire.

''Go back to your rock, fascist turds!'' - Holding down the button on the right lever that prompted his Trainer Nemo to point the rifle at one of the operative Gazas, Nick would wait until it was moving in a relatively straight-forward line, as most Mobile Armors did in-between maneuvers, to position his crosshairs right in front of the bogey. Then, he would press the red, circular button with his thumb, prompting his Nemo to fire an unveliebably easy shot at the MA, courtesy of its pilot's carelessness. The perfect, cleanest one-shot.

Or it would have been, had Nick remembered to switch his unit to Battle Operation mode upon activating it. As he pressed the firing button, a big sign would then occupy the center of his screen, reading ''TRAINING MODE ENGAGED: Disengage to operate weaponry'', and the beam rifle would emit no particle upon the pink speedster. Upon seeing this, Nick would yell, enraged at himself for committing such an idiotic mistake. - ''What? No, no, no, NO! Whoa-''

Nick wouldn't be granted any other word. Another of the Gazas would appear out of the blue, flying in his direction and firing his cannon at him, forcing him to quickly maneuver out of the way. This was a real battlefield, and he realized he was extremely lucky to have been forgiven an initial mistake. Further mis-steps would be punished with gruesome death, and he needed to act quick. Reaching for the radio commands, he avoided the Gaza at the same time, which seemed to be fixated on his unit, maybe sensing his fear, maybe seeing weakness through the thick armor plates of his Mobile Suit.

His finger would finally find the button with the twin protuberances, meant for tactile identification, and spoke through the AEUG frequency to request help. - ''This is Ensign Lavie! Nemo 2! I'm experiencing technical trouble with my unit, Mr. Dashwood! Get me a Nemo technician on the line please!'' - As he said so, he hoped that the comms weren't blurry enough for the Firefly to miss his transmission, and that the Galleon Combine pilots had already come out in their GMs. However, the Gaza at which he had intended to fire a shot was now en route to him too, seemingly warned by his comrade not to lower his guard, and his flight pattern was looking increasingly complex already.

Oh man, oh man...

Edited by Replicator
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Grim kept firing volleys at one Gaza but he refused to be drawn in by it’s maneuvers. The Zeek danced in an weave of dodges, and experience told Grim not to get “buck fever”. He tried to remain close to his comrades and the ship. A flicker of lightning told Grim that the former Titan shot one of the Gazas, presumably taking it out of the fight. Grim shifted his attention to see what the other two tangos were doing.

Sure enough they had broken away and were attempting to flank, one in particular seemed focused on ensign Lavie. Grim cursed under his breath and fired his thrusters to intercept.

With Ryder reloading he knew he had to respond to help the ailing Ensign.

We can’t afford to loose any Nemos, we can’t afford to loose anyone.

The distance closed quickly for the three units, although Nicky was doing a commendable job dodged the enemy fire, his luck would run out if the claws of the Gaza reached him.

The Zeek fired wildly hoping to land a clean shot on the Nemo, just before the Gaza could grab Nicky it veered off wildly. Grim shield bashed into the Zeek, interrupting its momentum. Knowing that he wouldn’t have time to properly pull his rifle around and aim Grim released the weapon and reached for the beamsaber. The stunned Zeek had transformed into a mobile suit to try and deal with the sideways tackled but it couldn’t keep up when the pink blade came slashing down diagonally across it. Grim kicked away from the unit not wanting to get caught in the explosion. Even as he jetted away his mobile suit shuttered from the shockwave. His heart pounded as he the adrenaline coursed through him and he looked around for more enemies.

“Ensign!” He was about to chastise Nicky when an explosion above Firefly made him look upwards. He saw a Gaza fly past the wreckage of one of their GMs, presumably its kill. “Damnit Ensign!” Grim growled at Nicky before flying up after the killer Gaza with just his beam saber and shield. Things were getting so chaotic that Ben didn’t know if the downed GM was a mercenary or another AEUG pilot.

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His team was already in the bunker when he got there. The red normal suits trimmed with black were easy to spot among the white and orange suits of the AEUG. Grace Valerii and Ronald Boone were assisting the AEUG mechanics with the mobile suits in the cargo bay. The AEUG had retrofitted the cargo bay to serve as a hangar bay but it was far from being a one suitable for handling battle situations. How did the Zeons find us so fast?

Kamea Thrace was at the airlock. "Just in time, boss. I was about to head out without you."

The Galleon Combine mobile suits had the honour of being stowed away in containers attached to the hull of the Firefly. The transport ship could only carry four mobile suits and the AEUG had filled that up. This was a simple compromise when it was made, but a daunting one now that they had to waddle out into space and clamber to get into their mobile suits. Hiro wondered if whoever made the agreement had experienced going into combat in this manner.

"Let's get going, Starbuck," Hiro said as he put his helmet on. Kamea did likewise and initiated the depressurisation. The hatched opened and the air escaped almost instantly. Their magnetic boots held them to the deck. Kamea headed out without hesitation, and Hiro followed after her. They disengaged their boots and drifted to their respective containers. Hiro disliked leaving his fate to a single cable attached to the hull but it was a lot quicker than plodding step by step along the hull. He punched in his access code and gained entry to the container. The GM-II laid flat on its back. They had prepared the equipment beforehand in anticipation of a possible sortie. Hiro hopped into the cockpit and powered up the suit. The top of the container opened and he pushed the suit into space. Hiro waited for the suit to drift a distance away from the hull before igniting the thrusters to push him into the emptiness. It felt good to be back in space.

"Apollo, check your six," Kamea's voice came over the comms. Hiro glanced at the screen and saw her IFF indicator falling in on his wing. "Good hunting, Starbuck."

Ronald Boone had been relaying updates on the battlefield to them while they prepped. The AEUG CIC officer was doing her job well but Hiro preferred to get the reports from his own man. Ron knew both pilots so well that he could anticipate what they would do and analyse what they could do, so his updates often gave them an edge during combat. The AEUG sniper took out an enemy Gaza while the Zeons downed a GM unit. Even with the young boy Nicky withdrawing from battle, they outnumbered their enemies four to two. The chatter on the AEUG channel reminded Hiro of this early days as a mercenary. No wonder the AEUG had to hire us. The war has really taken a toll on their ranks. Either that or they chose to hand Grimsdottir with an inexperienced team.

"Sorry we're late to the party. It was a little inconvenient getting to our suits." Hiro spoke to the AEUG channel as he sped up to chase the remaining enemies. The two Gaza units kept formation as they turned back to make another pass at the AEUG forces. He frowned at a sudden thought that occurred to him. If the Zeons knew what we were transporting they would have attempted to take out our mobile suits instead of attacking the ship directly. Perhaps the Zeons did not know about this mission after all.

Then as if reading his thoughts, one of the Gaza units veered off formation while its counterpart continued its charge. "Ryder! Get that Gaza before it escapes! Starbuck, deal with this fella."

Leaving Kamea to deal with the attacking mobile suit, Hiro gave chase. However, the Gaza was the faster mobile suit. It would be hard pressed to even keep pace in his GM-II. He hoped Ryder could take out the Gaza before it went out of range. They could not afford for word of the Firefly to get back to the Zeons.

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For Ryder, the worst thing about a battle wasn't the threat of death. It was reloading, which kept him for being a part of the battle. His sniper beam rifle is a powerful weapon, but each cartridge could only hold one shot. Over the years, Ryder tried to get better at reloading, but it was still a process that could take a while. A lot had happened since he reloaded the rifle. Grim had managed to destroy one of the Gaza-C's, the mercenaries had managed to join the battle, and Nick had managed to almost get himself killed.

"Ensign!" He yelled out. "Get back to the hangar! We can take care of this!" His teammate had said something about technical trouble, but it wasn't worth it for him to be a sitting duck for the last two Zeon mobile suits. Hiro was chasing after one trying to flee, while Grim and the other mercenaries went after the other. The bipod on the beam rifle swiveled open, resting on the Firefly"You're not going back to the Zeeks..." He thought as he aimed toward the fleeing MS. It was farther than the last one he incapacitated, but it was staying on a direct course. Ryder simply had to accurately measure the correct angle, and the thing was toast.

"Come on..." He whispered to himself. "Steady. Steady. NOW!" The beam glided to the pink Zeek, hitting it diagonally through the side. The Gaza-C produced a shockwave as it exploded. Thankfully, Hiro wouldn't have been close enough to do damage. "Phew. It's up to the others to take care of that last one."

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Unable to accept defeat, Nick kept evading beams and trying to convince the Firefly that he was still worthy, as he avoided the shots of the last operative Gaza's cannon. - ''Negative! I can disable these locks! Give me time!'' - However, the Mechanic in Chief, Gina Reid, proved him wrong with the Nemo's manual in hand. ''Ensign! Obey orders and return to the carrier! The mode change needs a system reboot, and you would be even more of a sitting duck while the switch takes place. Your only bet is to return to the ship... out here, you're just a liability.'' - Angered and filling with impotence as Gina's disappointed face vanished from his screen, Nick finally agreed in a silent manner, adopting a new course towards the Firefly at full speed. CO Dashwood, who would see through this an attempt to return to the ship, wouldn't ask for his acknowledgement and vanished too. Seconds later, a light that came from the inside of the ship attracted his attention. They were opening one of their cargo hatches to receive him.

But his tactical retreat was suddenly interrupted by the last Gaza, which turning again into a Mobile Suit, stood directly between him and the ship, aiming his beam rifle at Nicky's Nemo, as if he hadn't gone through enough that day. Tired and enraged, Nick was not in the mood for the playful demeanor of this particular unit, and decided he would get the last word, even if he was to retreat. So his feet both turned suddenly into solid lead to floor the thruster pedals, and yelling, Nick maneuvered at the side to avoid the Gaza's first shot at him. By the time the bright pink beam rifle was ready for another, the Axis pilot would suddenly find the Trainer Nemo was at an alarmingly close distance and still closing in, the left shoulder pointed towards its enemy, ready to ram him. One of the Combine pilots, who had positioned its GM II behind the Gaza and was ready to destroy it, had but mere seconds to forget about it and get itself out of the way, which it miraculously managed to do with a full burn of the thrusters.

I'll teach you not to mock me ever again, you imbecile! ''ZEON, BE GONE!''

A second passed, and the speeding trainer unit made contact with the Gaza. Not a sound was heard by the rest, but they could only imagine the force of said impact and the fear in the enemy's eyes, who had thought Nick would simply change course on being faced by him. The sturdier Nemo, having rammed the Gaza only with its left side, got its fair share of bumps in the armor, ruined paint and had its antenna bended, but would get off lightly compared to the other Mobile Suit, which had gotten its right arm's joint ruined, the secondary optic array mounted in the torso crushed by the Nemo, and even lost its beam rifle, which somehow slipped out of the Gaza's hands on collision to start spinning towards the Firefly. Both pilots ended up briefly dazed and disoriented, as their units spun around on a similar manner, though seeing as he did expect this, Nick would recover faster, and quickly aligned his MS with the Firefly to enter through the hatch, while the enemy machine was nowhere to be seen after the impact, perharps intending to flee the area. Seconds after stepping inside, the door started closing again in front of the Nemo, which kneeled on the floor. When it finally closed, Nick would hear his own breathing and feel his heart beat again, as he shut the Nemo's systems off. He was out of the battle.

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Grim watched in amazement as Nicky performed a bash against the Gaza. The Captain didn’t know whether to be amused or angered at the persistence of the ensign. Nicky made his retreat, and Grim snapped out of his gawking, moving in to slash at the Gaza.

His pink blade sailed harmlessly past the enemy suit however. “What the-“ Grim shifted the grip on the saber to slash sideways but was surprised again when the Zeek simply dodged by flaring their thrusters to levitate over the strike. Growling, Grim swept the blade back in a diagonal slash upwards, again missing the newer suit. The bright flash of thrusters alarmed Grim at first, then he noticed the enemy shifted into a mobile armor and speeding away in retreat. Grim knew that his GM couldn’t chase the Zeon suit and he simply disengaged the beam saber as the Zeek bolted away.

Dazed by the escape of the Zeek, Grim barely noticed the movement near the nose of the Firefly. It was the first Gaza that Ryder had hit, apparently crippled. It drifted at an awkward angle still in its mobile armor configuration, bleeding out white fire retardant. The vision seemed surreal, unnatural, like the Gaza had been frozen in time. Grim shifted the GM to look at the Zeon unit, and his eyes narrowed as he stared at the crippled unit. It was amusing how the Gaza slowly, yet definitely, sailed towards the bridge of the Firefly. Almost as if the Zeek intended to land on the ship.

To Grim life wasn’t filled with coincidences, “shoot the Gaza! Shoot it!” He yelled frantically as he fired his thrusters to dive for the deceitful Gaza. Everyone had been so engrossed with the battle that the crippled Gaza didn’t seem important. “Firefly di-!”

Grims voice was washed over with the shrill voice of a stranger over the radio, “Sieg Zeon!” An explosion followed as the Gaza self destructed, mere meters from the Bridge of the Firefly. Grim was barely halfway across the “neck” of the ship. The explosion wasn’t particularly violent at that distance but it was bright. He winced instinctively and halted his charge. As the explosion cleared he frantically got on his comm, “Firefly status?!”

(OOC: figured we could make that damage as superficial or as extreme as we’d like. Thoughts?)

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The Nemo rattled as it was thrown from its laying position. The mobile suit floated as Ryder grabbed on to the controls, positioning it to see the damage caused. Smoke blared from the outside of the bridge. "Not good..." Ryder thought to himself. If they couldn't get the ship to move, they'd all be sitting ducks. The only choice for the Lieutenant was to fly back into the hangar and hope things would be ok. The hangar door opened as Ryder flew back, connecting his rifle back to the wall. There were minor scrapes and paint chipping on his mobile suit, but it was otherwise still very functional.

The mobile suit powered down as Ryder floated out of the cockpit. "Hey!" He yelled out to the mechanic. "What's the damage look like?" Ronald turned his head to the pilot. "I'm not sure yet. A lot of crew members are surveying the damage right now!" Ryder pushed off the cockpit door to the neck of the ship. He had no idea how far they were from their destination, so it was unknown how long it'd take for someone to come to their aid. Smoke was all around him when he made it to the neck of the ship. He assumed the bridge crew was wearing normal suits, so unless they took a direct hit inside the bridge, they'd hopefully be fine. "We've had some bad luck..."

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"We were lucky," Hiro said as he handed Grace her cup of coffee. She shook her head as she leaned against the bulkhead. "The bridge crew got away with minor injuries, but the damage to the bridge will still hinder our progress."

"Stay our course and rendezvous for repairs, that's all that we can do right now," Kamea said as she swung her makeshift wooden staff at Ronald. He dodged easily and replied with a flurry of attacks. "I still say word got back to Zeon."

They had been over this. Hiro saw the AEUG pilots take out the fleeing Gaza unit. However, both Kamea and Ronald claimed to have notice a blip flicker briefly on their radar. They did a sweep of the region but nothing came up. Years of experience taught the mercenaries that it was very likely that a hidden Zeon unit had escaped, bring with it the information of the Firefly back to its base. Whether Zeon would take the effort to capture a small AEUG force was another matter. Regardless, the probability gnawed at Hiro.

Kamea parried each blow before side stepping the last and retaliated. She said, "It doesn't matter. Whatever happens, we have our job to do. Those AEUG boys better be clocking enough hours of training in the mean time. They were lucky to survive combat, but their luck will run out at some point."

"We don't have the best of crew, but we gotta make the best out of the situation," Grace said. She paused and looked at Hiro, "I don't like how we were taken off guard by Zeon. You would think they would have better intelligence given that they planned this whole operation."

"Well, then you should do more work. You and Augur." Hiro said. 

"Sir! Yes, sir!"

He emptied his cup of coffee and left the lounge to look for the captain.

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      History
      Born July 2nd, 0062, Ryder lived on a space colony located in Side 5 with his parents and his older brother, Len. Once the One Year War broke out, Len joined the federation and was killed during the battle of A Baoa Qu. Ryder felt that his brother's death was pointless and held a personal vendetta against the Principality of Zeon. Against his parent's wishes, he joined the Federation in 0082, becoming a mobile suit pilot for reconnaissance missions. 
      While he was no ace, he was a competent pilot who followed orders. Other teammates did notice his skills as a long-range sniper, so he was given control of a GM Sniper II. After the Delaz Conflict, he became a member of the Titans and was offered a much better mobile suit, but he decided to keep his GM Sniper, painting it in the standard Titan colors. Ryder thought that he could avenge his brother's death by joining the Titans, a unit specifically meant for hunting down Zeon loyalists. This never gave him closure though, and he felt empty. 
      Ryder worked hard over the next two years. He even became a lieutenant, a rarity for someone his age. It was also that time when he was made a part of a special assignment. A colony in Side 1 was holding a protest and the Titans wanted to silence them. They decided to gas the colony, killing the entire population. Ryder watched in terror as the citizens died. This act of atrocity in 0085 changed him forever and he wanted nothing to do with the Titans anymore, comparing them to Zeon. Ryder planned on just deserting, but he learned about a new group formed to resist the Titans, called the AEUG. They were just starting out and they needed all the help they could get.
      Ryder would've joined them right then, but he realized that his position in the Titans could benefit them. Ryder began purposefully leaking top-secret information to them, hoping some of it could benefit them. Like many others, he wanted to eventually become the Titans leader (so he could destroy them from the inside) and began to work even harder for a faction he despised. By the time the Gryps Conflict began, he had become a commander with his own MS squadron. With this new rank came lots of information that "accidentally" got leaked to the AEUG. As the war went on, Ryder enjoyed his status and loved telling people what to do. At that point though, Ryder was caught as a spy. The Titans tortured him for days, attempted to force him to give out AEUG secrets. Ryder couldn't since he never actually met with the AEUG.
      Near the end of the conflict, the ship Ryder was a prisoner on got attacked by an AEUG vessel. It's elite MS squadron captured many members of the Titans vessel. At first, none of the AEUG members believed that he leaked information, but after some convincing, Ryder managed to prove his innocence. The captain of the ship researched Ryder and gave him two options, either go to a POW camp with the others or join the AEUG as a pilot. Ryder chose the latter.
      Ryder was sent to Von Braun shortly before the final battle against the Titans. For him, missing the conflict was great because barely anyone returned from the battle, with most dead or missing. The AEUG's new leader, Ben Grimsdottir, has recruited him and another pilot, Nicky Lavie, for a top-secret mission aboard a mercenary ship called the Firefly. Ryder's one of the only experienced pilots left, so he's been asked to be apart of this ragtag group's MS squadron. Ryder will do anything to lead the AEUG to victory since it's the only home he has left.
       
       
      Current Vessel:

      Transport Ship Firefly
      Ryder's Mobile Weapons
      MSA-003T TRAINER NEMO

      This version was used for training purposes at Von Braun. Now, Ryder must use it in the front lines.
      Armaments:
      BOWA BR-M-82L-9 L-9 Type Beam Rifle
      BOWA BR-S-85-C2 Beam Rifle
      60mm Vulcan Gun
      Beam Saber
      Shield
      Kills
      N/A
      Roleplays
      Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeta Destiny [In Progress]
      Coliseum Battles
      A Momentary Battlefield: vs Roromi WON
      Attack in the Colony!: vs Acidic WON
    • By Acidic
      Artemis MacGriever

      Biography
      Full name: Artemis MacGriever
      Faction: Neo Zeon
      Rank: Chief Petty Officer
      Age: 19
      Sex: Transgender Female
      Height: 5’7’’ (1.7m)
      Weight: 124lb (56kg)
      Eyes: Green
      Hair: Dirty blond dyed neon green
      Skin: Pale
      Handiness: Right handed
      Personality
      Artemis is the most kind person most will ever meet. She loves everyone she meets unconditionally and acts as attentive as a mother to those she calls her friends. This even extends to foes she meets on the battlefield, more often than not she will try to disable rather than slay her foes.
      Her main passions lie in mobile suits. Everything about them fascinate her and excite her. Maintaining them, repairing them, piloting them and sometimes customizing them. She even joined the Neo Zeon forces primarily due to the Zaku being her favorite family of mobile suits. In her opinion Federation suits are too boring.
      Easily excitable, Artemis can usually be found with a lot of energy, bouncing around the hanger bay or common areas of whatever base she’s located inside. She’ll try to butt in on any conversation she can find and add another friend to her list of people to fret and care for. Sitting still might as well be a foreign language to her.
      Strengths and Weaknesses
      Mobile Suit Familiarity: Able to repair and maintain her mobile suit on her own, Artemis is familiar with the basics of all aspects of mobile suit mechanics and is able to make field repairs to most Neo Zeon suits.
      Hyperactive: Artemis needs to constantly be moving and that includes while piloting a mobile suit. She can’t help herself from fiddling and that causes her attention to be split at all times.
      Hopeless romantic: If she falls in love she’ll fall hard. Cute girls are her biggest weakness and will often become a love struck puppy when faced with one.
      Appearance
      A lithe girl with a round doughy face that makes her appear much younger than she really is. She’s a fan of dying her hair and styling it at random and in random ways so it frequently changes but always returns to her green. She hasn’t had any of the surgeries normally associated with her identity.
      She usually wears scarves or hats she collects alongside her uniform and will try to personalize it whenever her superiors aren’t looking. When off duty she’s seen in baggy clothes that couldn’t be farther from her uniform.
      History
      Enthralled at an early age by tales of her father’s far fetched stories, him fashioning a Zaku tank with a shot down Zaku during the One Year War so he can fight in the war to how he was really the one to save the colonies. She naturally fell in love with mobile suits and always dreamed of piloting her own Zaku, her favorite line of mobile suit. To that end she began dedicating herself to one day piloting a mobile suit.
      When Neo Zeon began to rise Artemis debated joining. She wasn’t particularly warlike or dedicated to the Zeon cause. Her only real cause for joining at first was wanting to pilot a Zaku. Her girlfriend at the time agreed, wanting Artemis to stay on their colony and away from the fighting. Ironically it was that fighting that spurred Artemis to leave.
      The more blood that was shed the more Artemis couldn’t sit still. She had to try and stop the fighting but she couldn’t do it on her own. The choice soon became clear to her, Neo Zeon promised to protect the colonies where her girlfriend lived. Reluctantly she signed up as a mechanic rather than a pilot, unable to stomach actually killing anyone.
      That didn't last long. During a botched operation she was forced to pilot a Gaza-C in defense of her ship. Although the suit returned without a leg, hers was the only one to. She gained slight infamy for her rather strong personality while continuing to serve Neo Zeon. 
      After she got assigned to the Repentance she returned home to discover her girlfriend had left her in her absence. Heart broken she painted her mobile suit its current black color scheme and put on a smile that only faltered when she wasn't being watched. She briefly decided to abandon Neo Zeon but after seeing the Regent's hair in person she decided to continue to serve, if only to annoy the crew of the Repentance in between missions.
      Possessions
      Artemis's AMX-003 Gaza-C: A standard unit painted with her personal colors; black and bright green.

      Kills
      None
      Role plays
      Ashes to Ashes
      Coliseum battles
      2 Zaku 2 Furious
      Attack in the Colony!
    • By Acidic
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      This is not an actual roleplay and more of an origin of Artemis and what shaped her into the Neo Zeon scamp that she is, it is split up into four pre planned parts each with their own title.
      It will contain very harsh language and some scenes may be inappropriate for some sensibilities so please be cautious before reading.
      I will try to complete this within the week as I already have most of this figured out with only the rest to be filled in with words. 
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Links(Will be converted to clickable links as a table of contents): 
      Part One: Rise, Junk Zaku!
      Part Two: Sieg Zeon
      Part Three: Just add Ginger
      Part Four: Goddess of the Hunt
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