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Grim sat in his chair of his quarters looking over the hastily gathered damage report. Overall the damage had been superficial, a busted window on the bridge scared the hell out of those on duty but the emergency shutter did its job closing quickly. More importantly this was going to have a bad impact for morale.

Of course it wouldn’t matter that they had defeated a technological superior force, all the incident seemed to prove was that Zeon was on to them. It would only be a matter of time until another strike force moved in to engage them all. Grim sighed out loud, “I doubt we’re going to catch a break anytime soon…”

He rubbed his temples as he glared down at the two personnel files on his desk, “of all the pilots… where’s kamille when you need him?” He bit his lip as he made the comment thinking back to reports he read about the ace, while the kid had been good his attitude left much to be desired. “Who names a boy that… poor kid must have been angsty because of that…” he shook the thought from his head returning to the present. He was going to have a good debriefing with his two “star” pilots.

Grim pulled on a phone and held it to his head, “get me Sarka and Lavie! Thank you.” He hung up and got up to pour himself a cup of Tea. A minute later he heard the ship’s PA ask for his two pilots to report to him. He sat back down in his chair sipping at the mug, inhaling the steam.

A knocking on his door broke his concentration. Although he was expecting the two pilots, this was perhaps too soon to be the duo. The Captain shrugged and called out, “enter!”

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Ever since getting back on the ship, Nick would spend the whole of his time trying to get the Training Nemo into working condition. As much as he wanted to blame it on Anaheim's rapid manufacturing, certainly a case to be helped by the presence of all those unpainted parts and hastily screwed-on stuff on the Mobile Suit, he knew this one was on him. He couldn't spend a full hour in the ship before the patrol was encountered, and never got to the cockpit, never mind read the status report that was supposed to be inside (not that there was one to boot), but for everyone, everything seemed to be his fault, and the voice of the many often turned into the fake but collective and easy ''truth''. Sad, but unpleasantly true in the cruelest of manners. How ironic. Aaagh. Nothing to do about it but properly screw on these things now, he thought. The Nemo was lucky to survive ramming the Gaza, which even without the best of durability ratings, gave the shoddy assembling a good shake, many of the parts on the verge of coming off when he got back inside. Mechanics were all over the five Mobile Suits, looking to make a list of every part in need of a good screw. All but the Nemos seemed to be exempt, being as the three GMs were built during the beginning of the Gryps Conflict, times in which the Earth Federation had the resources to think they had more than just a shot at defeating a mere group of rebels. Both Nemos were recent, and had no such luck. Some things had come off in both, and while the hotshot ace hadn't slammed the Mobile Suit against anything, the close examination revealed that some parts were off-place too.

The crew started properly bolting bodywork on both Mobile Suits, while Nick gave the operating system some finishing touches in the Preferences section, switching on the Metric units to have a clue at how fast was the thing going. Switching the unit to operative mode was a surprisingly bureaucratic task. Sarka probably found his in working condition when he got here...

No time to smell the ashes. As he got out of the cockpit, looking to go for maybe another juice bag, or a waffle, the intercom turned on with a red light that changed intensity as Dashwood's voice spoke. However, it was dim all around, since he sounded tired as he called for him and the war criminal to go to Grim's office. Fucking great. Not only will i have to stand a whole stupid lecture from this guy, the other one is going to be there to get a medal and look at me with a smug grin in his face. God if i could only wipe that shit off him with a well-placed jab. I should have gotten those martial arts lessons back at my Side. If only to get the jump on him for a first hit... Fortunately, he was nearby when the announcement was made, since he was trying to get to the cafeteria as he heard it, so it took him but a minute to get to the office's door. The faster i get these two off my back, the sooner i can start training. Axis is onto us, and if we're still as unlucky as we've been, i'll be still inside the Nemo when it happens... He took the two candy from his pocket and opened their wraps, before putting them in the trash bin next to the door and the candy in his mouth. Happy thoughts make happy people, now be a happy fucker and get in that office, thought Nick as he built up the strength to get in. So he shyly knocked on the door, and after being granted access, he made his way in, looking at his commander in the eyes with a tired expression, before sighing and taking his hand to the head to perform a standard military salute, aware of Ryder's absence, but knowing this bliss wouldn't last long.

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Ryder Sarka stood against one of the walls near the sleeping pods, arms crossed. As he reminisced about the recent battle, the former Titan wished he could've gotten more practice in the simulation. It had been months since he'd even been inside a mobile suit, since he was too busy being tortured by the Titans. Luckily, he realized how much the Nemo controlled like the GM Sniper II, one of his older machines he'd piloted before. "Reloading..." He thought to himself. "I got to get faster at that!" Ryder walked to his sleeping pod. "That rifle could take out nearly anything in one hit, why can't it hold more than one shot?!"

A red button illuminated near his pod. When he pressed it, the square door hinged up, allowing him inside. It was cramped, but it was supposed to be. After all, the pods weren't meant for comfort. A couple of pictures were taped to the top of his bed. Two were of the squadrons he'd served in with the Titans, the Pursuers and the 41st Strike Team. He looked closer at the Pursuers, noticing his former Commander. "Poor bastard." The other two were taken back when he was in high school, one of him and his friend Maria, and another with his newly enlisted brother, Len, as he grinned in his new uniform. "That was the day he gave me his jacket." Ryder grabbed that jacket, putting it back on as he closed the door. After many years, the jacket had become somewhat torn and ratty. Ryder attempted to fix it many times, but he dreaded the day it would just tear in half from any sort of movement.

There wasn't much time for him to think about the past though. Dashwood's voice spoke through the intercom, requesting him and the Ensign, Nick Lavie, to go to Grim's office. "Expected that..." He thought. A debriefing was needed after what they went through. Ryder made his way to the quaint office, seeing his teammate saluting the captain. Ryder followed suit, awaiting a response from the Captain.

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“At ease.” Grim announced as the duo stood before him. He put his mug down and stood up, walking to the side of his desk. He took a moment to study both men trying to gauge what they must have been feeling at that moment. The look on Ben’s face showed that he wasn’t there to pay them praise.

“I’ll get straight to the point… what the hell was that out there?!”

Grim slammed a fist down on the desk hard shuttering everything on top of it. His eyes pierced at Nicky then surprisingly jumped to Ryder too. “What I don’t understand is how two pilots on opposite ends of the spectrum could fail so miserable?!”

Sweeping his hand from the desk he arched a finger and pointed it squarely in Lavie, “training mode?! Do you have any idea the level of danger you put everyone in with that stupid stunt ensign?! Any more incompetent and you may as well be working for the damn zeeks!”

His finger waved from Nicky over to Ryder. “And you! You think just because you were a Titan means you are hot stuff don’t you? I thought you were supposed to be a leader? Instead you’re out there acting like a damn headhunter!” Ben’s voice hit a crescendo and he dropped his finger to gaze down between the two men shaking his head. Lowering his voice he muttered “I expect better from you…” he looked up to regard both pilots. “What do you have to say for yourselves?”

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Posted (edited)

Working for the Zeeks. Hmph. If this shit keeps up, sure, I might. What do I have to say for myself? One of the first and most important jobs you're supposed to do is keep spies at bay. Yet Axis knew when and where to find us, on our first day. YOUR incompetence got us into this. I couldn't get to the unit for the most basic of acquaintances before those fucks appeared. There was no status report inside the cockpit warning me of the mode switch, a task too difficult to be done while all of you repelled the Zeeks, nevermind the fact that in an emergency sortie, you don't have time to go through the whole check-up. And even having so few mechanics in the ship, I was assigned to battle in a shoddily-made Mobile Suit of all people. You knew this would happen, and probably even wanted it. You're merely playing with all of us. This is but a game for your amusement, isn't it? Come on, what do YOU have to say for yourself? Because I didn't expect better from you, yet you still managed to disappoint. Nick looked at Grim with accusing eyes, not even gazing at Ryder. As much as they hated each other's guts, he felt this one was all on Grim, regardless of what the other felt.

But he knew such thoughts would get him ejected through the airlock in record time. He couldn't simply give anybody in that ship his two cents. Everybody was unknown, and he was still making his white list. So far, only Hiro and the good-hearted cooks had made a good impression on him. The rest, an unknown force. Not to be trusted. Not to ever see behind the shield. So he put on his best poker face and spoke what they wanted to hear from him. "There's no excuse. This incident is completely on my shoulders. It will not happen again." I won't let you make it happen again.

Edited by Replicator
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Ryder looked puzzled. "Headhunter?" He thought. "Has he ever worked with a sniper?" While Ryder was confused, he did understand why Grim would be enraged. As much as he wouldn't like to admit it, his first sortie as an AEUG pilot was somewhat sloppy, but the way things were run in the AEUG was sloppy. As a Titan, things were planned out and it was clear what jobs people had on the battlefield. Ryder was told that he was the squadron leader, but one of the mercs would give him orders. Nicky's actions were self-explanatory, and the other pilots were far from skilled. "Four Gaza-C's shouldn't have been an issue, but it wasn't all my fault."

"Sir, my job as a long-range mobile suit pilot is to take out as many enemies as possible before they get in range. A headhunter is what I'm supposed to be." Ryder responded. "And I'd love to be a leader, but when the team doesn't know how to even adequately pilot our mobile suits, like our sitting duck over here, it makes it very challenging." Ryder felt himself get angrier. "Am I even the squadron leader, because one of your mercs was giving me orders. Why is nothing in the AEUG ran efficiently? None of us even know our mission, we were just thrown onto this dumpy ship!" 

Ryder thought again about the battle. Some blame could be put on him. He needed to be a better teammate, no matter how reckless the AEUG did things. He looked away. "But you are right in expecting better. I expected better from myself too..."

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“There's no excuse. This incident is completely on my shoulders. It will not happen again."

Grim squared away at Nicky as the ensign gave the pitiful but expected response. The Captain had been around awhile and could see hate behind the ensign’s eyes. Hatred at what, was hard to tell, Ben would have preferred the ensign be focused on the enemy but suspected it was aimed more at Grim himself. Still the Captain gave a hard stare at the boy before Ryder chimed in.

As Ryder rambled on, a small but distinct curl formed on the edge of Grim’s lips. While a part of him could agree with the Titan’s assessment of the situation this wasn’t the forum to address the issues. Grim was beyond stressed and this cocky little bastard was pushing his buttons. Before anyone could understand what had happened Grim’s backhand firmly connected with Ryder’s cheek. The hand flew across and stood hanging in the air, the slap of flesh silencing the room. “Ed Shiro was twice the pilot you will ever be Lieutenant.”

Grim’s cold stare could freeze a beam saber, and he glared hard at the sniper.

He fought the urge to slap the Titan again, but he knew he needed to get through the pilots ego one way or another. “I need soldiers not divas…” he added as he slowly dropped his hand. “You keep up that attitude Lieutenant and you won’t amount to anything under my command! do I make myself clear?”

His eyes shifted dangerously back to Nicky, “and do you understand that Ed Shiro died trying to protect you and the Nemo?” He reached behind him to the desk and hoisted up a folder nearly tossing it at the ensign. Inside the folder was the radio log from the battle and highlighted were Ed’s lines stating how he was trying to protect the ailing Nemo. The comms during the battle were probably flooded with activity and no one but the Firefly seemed to catch his transmissions. Ed was in fact in the GM that Grim had seen getting destroyed by one of the Gaza’s. Grim stared at both men waiting to see if they had any other intelligent remarks to make.

 

((OOC: redd Shirto seemed too obvious))

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Ryder's emotions became very mixed after getting slapped by his superior. Part of him wanted to fight back, but that'd be a one-way ticket to a Titan POW camp. Another part of him respected the Captain for what he did. It showed Ryder that the AEUG had a competent leader who wouldn't put up with people's bullshit. The former Titan didn't agree with the silver-haired man, but he was starting to warm up to the AEUG's leader. Right then, Ryder knew he had to change his act in order to succeed.

He had one goal in mind, which was to rise up in the AEUG's ranks. Pissing of their leader wasn't going to help with that. "Like it or not, I gotta play by his rules." Ryder thought to himself. "This is my chance to shine. I can't screw this up." The Lieutenant was going to respond, but the captain was currently chewing out Nicky on the account of Ed Shiro, the GM pilot who perished in battle. He noticed the Captain really seemed to care about the deceased, going as far as to say he was twice the pilot Ryder was. "If he really was that, he wouldn't be dead."

His sloppiness didn't get the pilot killed though. It was a mixture of Nicky's incompetence and the man's own skills, so Ryder felt little sympathy. However, it made Ryder realize every life mattered to the Captain. "If I want to get on his good side, I'll have to protect every pilot, no matter how inept they are." Grim stared back at the two, seemingly waiting for a response. Ryder had nothing else to say, but he wasn't sure about Nicky. How would he feel being partially responsible for a teammates death? After all, Ryder had been in the same spot before...

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Dead...? A GM was destroyed in the battle, and rumors that no capsule was spotted were abundant. But... Slowly, Nick stepped forward and reached for the folder, looking at the papers containing a script of every transmission made during the battle, the desperation that was thinly hidden behind every single word, and Shiro's personal file. Born Edward Benjamin Shiro, forty-one years old. Earth Federation Liutenant and AEUG agent ever since its formation after Colony 30. Husband to Lena Shiro Ferrin. Father to a teen, and a preschooler. Jesus fucking Christ... His right hand shook as it tried to reach for the pair of silver-trimmed glasses, taking them off. Such a sight saddened him profoundly, never mind the fact that he knew part of what Grim said was right: he was partially responsible for the death of a good man. Not only a good pilot. A husband. A father. Growing up in one of Hatte's grittiest colonies, he knew this feeling well. He had seen friends of his cry for the loss of their loved ones. He had seen his cousin cry for the loss of his aunt and uncle when Zeon took the capital colony away. It filled him with impotence, and impotence turned into rage. His left hand briefly clutched in anger, he gently set the folder down upon the table from which it was taken, and now looked at his Commanding Officer, hating him no more, but still full of hate.

''Sir. This will not happen again. I'll make sure of it as soon as i cross that door.'' Nick seemed a little different all of a sudden. He cared not about the enraged Commanding Officer that was more likely to unload another slap on his face than to actually dismiss him, nor the star pilot at his right, riding his high horse even after being backhanded across the face, but about what he was doing to do before getting to the sleeping pods, if only to sleep knowing he had tried his best at least once in that day.

Not everything was my fault. Shiro died defending me, because i was defenseless. I was defenseless, because i had sortied in an useless Mobile Suit. I sortied in a useless Mobile Suit, because i did not know it was in that condition, not that it should have. And it was in that condition because somebody carelessly left it that way, even though the rest of the Mobile Suits came ready to use. I didn't know it was like that, because there wasn't a maintenance report over the seat, even though that was someone's responsibility too. For want of two nails, we lost the war.

Whoever was responsible for this, i'll find out before the day ends, and i'll give him fucking nails.

Edited by Replicator
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Grim glared at both men evenly. He could see the gears grinding in Nicky’s head. Ryder cautiously remained quite and Grim did have to pause and wonder if there was hope for them both yet?

“Sir. This will not happen again. I'll make sure of it as soon as i cross that door.'' 

This was the second time Nicky made that promise but Grim could tell it was more heartfelt. The Captain merely nodded and responded softly, “see that you do. Both of you.”

He gave both men another quick glance to study their obedient demeanors. He supposed time would tell if these two could help pull off this mission or doom them all. “Dismissed.” With that he moved to return behind his desk and calmly began sitting back down. He paid neither of them little attention as he went back to looking at the papers on his desk.

(lackluster but I can’t think of anything else to grill them on :p)

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Ryder walked down, turning away from the Ensign. A wave of emotions seemed to flood inside of him. All he wanted to do at this point was move on, but something wasn't letting him do so. The Lieutenant went back toward the barracks. He hoped that maybe they could arrive at their destination before he woke up. The bleak, dank ship was beginning to bore him, and he wished for a change of scenery. Climbing back into the pod, he began to rest. However, this former Titan would never be able to rest peacefully...

Knock Knock! He heard someone banging on the pod door. "Oh, come on. Let me get some sleep." Ryder climbed out, only to see a familiar face staring at him. "I can't believe it..." He said. "Len?" The blond haired brother smirked. "It's great to see you, Ryder!" The Lieutenant ran up to him, as the Sarka brothers hugged. "I thought you were dead!" Ryder cried out as tear began to form. He let go, beginning to take of his jacket. "This belongs to you." Len shook his head. "No, no. You can keep it." He responded. "It fits your badass look." 

Ryder laughed. "Badass look? Bro, I'm far from being badass." Len chuckled. "Come on, dude. You're pretty cool!" Len put his hand on Ryder's shoulder.  "Too bad you killed all those people!" The former Titans expression changed. "What?" Len laughed hysterically.

"Look around you, bro!" Ryder began to notice dozens of people on the floor. They were withered, as if all the air was taken from them. "This is only a faction of deaths you caused." Ryder shook his head. "No. NO! I didn't know. Dustin was-" Len turned back to him. "THEY ARE DEAD AND THEY'LL NEVER COME BACK!" Len began to smirk again. "You should join them." Ryder looked back at him. "Stop this! Make it e-" Suddenly, it seemed like all the air was being sucked out as Ryder began to gasp for air. He fell to the floor, trying to breathe. Len watched to his brother suffocated.

"AH!" Ryder smacked his head on the top of the pod. "He came to realize it was all a dream. It didn't matter to him though. The nightmares felt real, and they continued to haunt him every night...

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Getting out of the Captain's living quarters with Shiro’s file and a clenched fist, Nicky floated to the cargo bay, where he got himself two red wrenches to slip into the sleeves of his jade-colored jacket, and approached a remnant of his friends in the AEUG's green Salamis: Nelson Astley, a chubby engineer who liked to collect military plastic models back in Earth, living with the elite before his parents kicked him out and he joined the AEUG in retaliation. Nelson had photographic memory, and while he didn't remember the name of the guy legally in charge of the maintenance reports, he did tell him about a guy with messy hair and a bandana keeping the upper part in place, dressed with a green military jacket. Dining with his friends in the cafeteria. Bingo. He made his way there, and surely enough, he found a posse of young adults, crammed in a single table and carelessly laughing at each other's jokes. He could hear what they said as he calmly floated to his table.

"Heard we're gonna have to tow that GM all the way to wherever we're going." Said the bandana-wearer, apparently the leader of the pack, eating the last of his fries. He was bigger than what Nelson had said...

"The one that ate shit?" The fat one opposite him stopped sipping his drink after the fizzy liquid had gone past the half mark, then left the plastic vase in its hole while reaching for an unfinished heart-stopping, triple-decked burger. "Dead weight. We could get there faster if we left the thing floating around space or something. It’s not even worth scrapping, not to us anyway." You’re another definition of dead weight...

"Literally dead. Fucking Zeeks punched a hole through the torso. We're lucky they don’t try to bring that shit near the bay. You know, i completely pity the poor bastard who gets assigned the job of opening that thing once we get there. Must reek of fried burgers in there." The careless alpha-male laughed, along with his friends. One of them was drinking from another plastic vase when the black humor kicked in, and his nose fired the soda back into the table, along with an extra something, before he was forced to get out of the table and go to the bathroom, holding his face on pain and cursing at the air while the ones next to him were understandably grossed out by the sight of what seemed to be a blob of not-ketchup floating next to their bread.

"Then..." Cleaning up the blood next to his brother’s sandwich so he could munch on it like nothing had happened at all, another one of them replied, clad in a green engineer’s jumpsuit. "We should get one of the new captain’s Feddie lackeys to start doing the dirty jobs here. The ex-Titans fucker walking around in the black jacket sounds like a good start."

Nick didn’t give them any more time, and without a greeting, he began building his relentless offense. His hand threw Shiro’s file in the table, exactly in front of the culprit and just like his commander had done a few minutes ago. But it fell much more heavily this time, with an audible thump. "You know, you’re talking mad stuff, for the shithead responsible of killing a perfectly good soldier."

His eyes open with disbelief, the green jacket turned around and looked at him. "The fuck you said to me, you little shit?" He asked, adding a lot of emphasis to the second word. Nicky was already scared shitless, and had to constantly remind himself not to show it to everyone present, not to run away, that everything was under control. We’ve been here before. You can time it right this time...

"Of course, i did kill him." Nick continued. "But it was your fault too. You see, your name is probably somewhere in a piece of paper in Von Braun, a piece of paper that says you get paid for doing a job you’re currently NOT. Namely, doing the final check-up on every Mobile Suit."

"And what do you know about little Eddie over there?" Said the jumpsuit guy, having finished his own Ham and Cheese Long.

"I tend to read about the people i kill", Nicky jokingly added. "Edward Shiro was with this organization from the very beginning, because he was a man of outstanding morals, not like a group of people i’m currently staring at." Looking at the big man in the bandana, he could see him gritting his teeth. "He had two daughters, which means he was capable of maintaining much more than you ever will, even without your fancy toolbox. And he has left behind a wife. He seems to have been somebody a woman could get to love. Unlike your sorry behind."

The gang replied with typical teenager behavior: "Ooooo"ing. The universal way to add gasoline to a fire you want to make sure will be there for one to watch the world burn. Their leader was an imbecile, but he could take a hint, and so he crepitated his knuckles, getting up from his seat. "Some fucking sorry ass excuse of a manlet is forgetting his place here, and i’m about to send his pretty face where it belongs… the infirmary."

"Why not the showers? My new camera could use with the practice!" A fourth voice joined the fray with another joke, which made all of them laugh again, innocently enough to convince Nick that they hadn’t gotten ever before to that extent, nor would they get to anyways. He ignored the joker with the shiny black SQNY video camera, and made his final approach, to make sure all cards would be stacked in his favor against the alleged chief maintenance "worker" of the ship.

"Funny of you to say. You’re failed a spot check in that confidence of yours. You see, that guy, that good man? He died covering me so i could get back to the ship. Because i was out of combat. Because my bullshit Mobile Suit sortied without giving me a single warning that it had been put in the wrong configuration. And it wasn’t entirely its job. It also was your job to warn me of how the Suit had been used beforehand and the state it was in. That father? That husband? Wasn’t only me and Anaheim. You killed him too. So if you think you actually deserve a place on this ship, you incompetent piece of shit, well… you’re as wrong as the colony gasser in the other Nemo."

"Motherfucker!" With an audible yell, the big man finally lost it, having his punch go all the way back, to be launched towards Nicky’s face at terminal speed. With incredible nimbleness, however, all Nicky did in immediate response was to take a mere step back, and watch the fist come to a halt a pair of meters away from his face. He wasn’t one to simply keep dodging, though, so before his opponent could make another move and force him to step back again, he crouched, and one of the red wrenches came out of his right sleeve. He steered away from his rock-hard abs, instead launching it towards a much more harmful area. When the wrench hit his groin, the whole gang covered theirs impulsively, making all kinds of painful grins. Then, to drive the point home, he pulled his left arm back, and the other wrench came out of it too. When the disoriented man tried to look in his direction, it was too late. A solid piece of steel made impact against his nose, and by the noise it made afterwards, the watchers knew that was going to hurt almost as much. Fainting by the sheer amount of pain endured in a question of a few moments, his towering figure fell with his back over one corner of the table, turning it over and sending everyone’s food floating around the room, while he started floating slowly towards the floor, unconsciously grabbing his nose with both hands and leaving behind a trail of blood.

With a smug smirk, Nick looked down upon the defeated man. Internally, he couldn't believe it. He had actually pulled it off, and now was feeling invincible. He raised his gaze to Bandana Man's shocked friends, and quickly tried to scare them off a "boo", which didn't work out as well as expected. He would only realize too late that the one that had gone to the bathroom was back, and so he was subdued from behind, thrown to the floor and kicked by the five men that were still standing. It went on for minutes, until one of the cooks got out of the kitchen with a rolling pin in hand, and threatened to beat them all to a mist if they kept making a disturbance in the cafeteria, while Nick was wise to fly away the moment the gang was being distracted by the chef with the killer glare. Not the most beneficial of ways to end the the battle, he reckoned an hour later, as he came out of the nearest men’s restroom with wraps over his own nose and forehead. Their leader wouldn’t get out of bed in a long while, but the five of them were still at loose, looking to return the favor. And Captain Grim was sure to slap him for it next day. Don’t give a piece of crap. The point has been made. That fucker better do what he’s paid to from now on...

Only one thing left to do now. Nick set course for the sleeping pods, looking for the pod labeled B7R, and when he found it, he used a key to unlock the door. He briefly leaned inside to leave his e-journal and glasses there, under the watch of an empty receptacle where a CRT screen probably used to be, before it was removed and replaced with the kind of flexible tape one could see in early-morning weekend infomercials back in the colony cylinders. There still seemed to be something there Nick could use to close his eyes, though: a pair of worn headphones and a radio with a broken dial, which probably couldn’t even reach for anything on the emptiness of space, but maybe still played something. Eager, he plugged in the headphones and listened, looking for a musical safe haven he could let himself fall in, and as a happy tune played behind them, a familiar pair of Swedish women indeed welcomed him with the one thing he didn’t know he really needed that night: their voice.

"You can dance! You can jive!

Having the time of your life!"

Yes! Somebody had probably left a number of incredibly dated, but unbelievably good mixtapes running as a makeshift radio station of sorts and plugged all of the bed auxiliary cords to it. Just like in that good old Salamis. Tired, Nick left his shoes in the receptacle under the door and climbed inside, getting cozy under the provided bed sheets and putting on the headphones again, before turning on his journal and typing for ten or twenty minutes straight about his first day of being berated and punched by a gang of incompetent, overpaid crewmen. After that, he turned off the journal and closed his eyes, drifting through the coldness of space as a roll of artificially softened bed sheets. By then, the radio had suffered a serious tone shift, from a cheerful song about happiness, to a sad piano piece over which another woman finished her solo, while he silently cried, alone, to once and for all kill what was left of that horrible day.

"Nothing I can say

A total eclipse of the heart..."

---

OOC: If you thought this post would be good because of how long it is and how much time it cost me - you’re wrong. It's plain old writer's block. Have a good night.

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    • By Ryder Sarka
      Universal Century 0085. It had been a year and a half since Ryder had joined the Titans, and things had changed for the newly promoted Lieutenant. No longer was he apart of a platoon. He belonged to the Pursuers, a special force within the Titans, and they were at the top of their class. The 8 Mobile Suit pilots apart of this squadron were all assigned to the Alexandria-class ship, the Excalibur. Ryder currently floated around in the hangar of this ship, waiting for it to dock into Konpei Island. Their next assignment was being kept from them, something the Lieutenant didn't enjoy. It never gave him enough time to prepare, but it did give him the extra challenge. However, Ryder already had enough of a challenge, considering he had an outdated mobile suit.
      Most members of the team used the Hizack, one of the newer mobile suits, but Ryder was stubborn. He opted to stick with his GM Sniper II, along with another squad-mate, Gabriel. The Ensign loved his GM Quel, which made him an obvious choice to be Ryder's spotter on missions. The Titan watched as one of the Hizacks was being dismantled for spare parts. "It's sad to see her go." said a booming voice behind him. Ryder turned to see the Commander of the Pursuers. "But it's not every day you get to try a new mobile suit, huh?" Ryder smirked as he heard that comment. He knew the commander wished he would use something better, but time and time again, Ryder would refuse. "Well, I hope it works well, Dustin." He responded to the scarred individual. Suddenly, he heard the ship start to connect to the large space station. "That's our cue." said Dustin. "I'll meet you inside Solo- I mean Konpei Island, in room R17." He floated toward a nearby opening as Ryder watched. Every time he saw him, he was reminded of the mistake he made. That Gelgoog Marine haunted him...
      Ryder zipped up his uniform and followed suit, but he knew he couldn't catch up. Dustin worked a million miles a minute as a commander and wanted to make sure everything would be ready for their meeting. He looked and saw his teammate. "Gabe!" he yelled out.
       
    • By FrostyFoster
      Ryder Sarka

       
      Biography
      Full Name: Ryder Sarka
      Faction: AEUG
      Rank: Lieutenant
      Age: 26
      Sex: Male
      Height: 5'11"
      Weight: 170 lbs
      Eyes: Gray
      Hair: Black
      Skin: Lightly tanned 
      Handiness: Right-handed
      Personality
       
      Ryder used to be a lot more pleasant, but after seeing the horrors of war, he has become cold and distant to many people. He'll frequently try to avoid social interaction, only doing so when it's necessary for a mission or to profit from something. He's very methodical and will remain serious at all times, which is seen as a turn-off by some. He's not afraid to speak up in some situations though. He's a hard worker who's constantly working on battle plans, in order to be successful as a soldier for the AEUG. He strives for leadership, wanting to rise up the ranks of the AEUG as he did with the Titans. He feels that he would be able to help them become victorious.
      Strengths and weaknesses
      Even if he doesn't show it, he won't let his team down. He's an expert tactician who can quickly figure out the enemy's plan in the middle of a battle. Because of his reconnaissance experience, he prefers to and is very good at defeating the enemy from afar, without being seen. His experience as a leader will come in handy during battle.
      However, his close combat skills are far from perfect and he may ignore the orders of his superiors to benefit himself. Ryder wants to make a name for himself in the AEUG and the only way he'll reach that is by being successful. Because of this, he'll frequently try to steal kills, even when it's not the best opportunity to do so. He may challenge the orders of his superiors too. 
      Also, because of his past as a Titan, his peers may not trust him as much as the average soldier. His past has made him somewhat selfish, feeling like he deserves a higher position because of what he's done for the AEUG. This mindset can make others uncomfortable.
      Appearance
      Ryder usually wears a red shirt along with his brother's old jacket. It means a lot to him since it was a gift from his brother before he left for war. His pilot uniform is colored orange, which is standard for AEUG pilots. He'll make an attempt to impress people by appearing as if he cares, but it's all a way to benefit himself. He's in good physical shape
      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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