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Race to the Rose

Hiro Kusanagi

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Hiro fought the urge to hold Grimsdottir back to get an answer out of the AEUG captain. He knew better than to stop vital back up that Thrace needed then. The Minovsky particles had made them a blind sitting duck and they needed more eyes in the field.

As the white GM got ready to launch, he headed back to the cockpit. The crew eyed him as he stepped in. With Grimsdottir gone, Hiro was the commanding officer on his own ship once again.

“What’s the status, Athena?” He stood behind Valerii and leaned forward to peer at her screen over her shoulder. The fragrance of her air calmed him down a little. She shook her head and the scent intensified. “Still no contact from Starbuck.”

“Keep hailing her.”

“Roger that, Apollo,” Valerii said. She punched a button and said, “Firefly to Starbuck, do you read me? Firefly to Starbuck, do you read me.”

Hiro straightened up and started pacing around as his mind raced through the possibilities. The Zeon fleet had to be very near for the escaped mobile suit to bring reinforcement to their location so quickly.

The AEUG CIC officer broke through his thoughts. “Incoming mobile suit, Apollo sir!”

The officer pulled up a magnified visual on the screen and they saw its AEUG markings and the heavy damage it had sustained. The officer was already preparing the hangar for repairs.

The pilot’s voice came over the comms system as soon as the suit landed on Firefly. “It’s the Titans!”

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It was always daunting submerging into the sea of stars, whether it was a mobile suit or in a space suit. The feeling could be overwhelming at times. Ben was feeling that very sensation as he floated alongside the ship in his GM.

One by one the other mobile suits joined him. It was a tedious task given their ship, and it took precious time to deploy each one. “I suppose that’s why he advocated for the patrols…” the Captain muttered to himself.

His lament was short lived as everyone’s attention was brought towards the retreating AEUG suit. Ben bit his lip knowing it was better not to tie up the comm line, and listened for the report. “Titans?” he scoffed, why would they be out here?

Grimm himself had many colleagues that had gone on to join the radical group. While war crimes were generally unforgivable, he himself didn’t disagree with the idea of keeping a shorter leash on spacenoids.

He gripped his controls and flared his thrusters to meet their retreating unit. “Did they attack you?” he asked cautiously. Ever since Operation Maelstrom the Titans had effectively been shattered. What existed of them now might compare to modern day ronin. Maybe there would be a chance to reason with them?

Switching comm frequencies Ben tried haling the Titans, “This is Captain Benjamin Grimsdattir with the AEUG. Unknown Titan forces state your intentions!"

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  • 1 month later...

Hiro Kusanagi was already in the hangar bay when the damaged mobile suit was brought in. The technicians swarmed over it as soon as it settled on the metal floor of the bay.  They went to their assigned areas such as the limbs and thrusters. They ran inspection on the undamaged areas and assessed the damage in preparation for repairs. 

A couple of technicians went straight to extract the pilot from the cockpit. The hangar bay was depressurised during combat, so they were in normal suit. This meant they did not have to wait for the hangar bay to pressurise before working on the mobile suits. The doors of the hangar bay were still closing when they got the pilot out. 

Hiro heard his own filtered voice through his helmet, “Status report.”

Blood ran from the pilot’s head. The medic was applying first aid while the other strapped the pilot into a stretcher so they could rush him to the medical bay.

“Starbuck and I tried to draw them away from the *Firefly*. I took a bad hit so she told me to return and warn the ship. But… I’m too late.”

“No, solider,” Hiro shook his head. “You’re just in time. You did well holding them off and you arrived with a warning. What are we facing?”

“Six bogeys, sir. We took down two. An assault ship is advancing on our position.”

Hiro nodded. “Now get some rest and go get yourself mended.”

The AEUG pilot saluted before being transported to the medical bay. With a brief glance at the heavy damage to the mobile suit, Hiro headed back to the cockpit. Starbuck was out there putting up a fight. That brought him some relief mixed with anxiety. He wanted to be out there alongside his wingman.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ben gritted his teeth as he anxiously awaited an answer from the enemies. Slowly his scopes filled with the enemy mobile suits and he muttered a curse as they all began to open fire on him and his allies. He himself barely managed to avoid damage as he juked his GM up to avoid a pink blast from a beam cannon. It didn’t have to be this way! He silently pleaded as he came alongside one of the Titans to blast the enemy’s main camera away with a shot of his borrowed beam rifle. 

As the battle commenced Grimm counted his blessings to have one of the mercenary pilots already out besides him fighting. “Starbuck….” He tried to recall the name though the concern was fleeting giving the growing hostilities.

His cockpit rattled violently as a glancing shot struck his GM’s ankles causing smoke to trail behind his spinning mobile suit. We have no choice it would seem, he resolved as he fought with the controls to bring his sluggish suit around to trade fire with the perpetrator. He barely managed to bring his shield up to absorb another blast, the force of the blast disintegrating his shield. 

His targeting reticle wasn’t fully locked on the enemy before the Captain fired his weapon, taking yet another Titan out of the fight. Despite himself his thoughts careened to a time long ago and the visage of a young soldier snapping a salute to him filled his minds eye. That eager young solider who was so ready to soil his innocent hands with blood, the one who told him that they would be joining the Titans to repel the spacenoid threats. “Gabriel…” Ben muttered apathetically as he was forced to wonder if he was perhaps shooting his young friend into the void from one of these many enemies. 

“Not him….” Captain Grimsdottir decided as he turned to regard another enemy. His white GM reached up to pull out its’ beam saber and ignited the blade as he tried to train his beam rifle on the next enemy. More enemy shots forced him to weave and dodge and there was just no way he would be able to retaliate without loosing his evasive defense. As he jerked and tumbled through the vast void the image of the Titan’s assault ship looming closer seemed surreal if not a stark contrast to their own Firefly. 

Any worries about their force’s ability to repeal such a threat were tossed out of his mind as his suit jerked back from a hit to his rifle arm. The exploding limb sent his white GM “falling” backwards away from the battle. “Firefly no!” He yelled out in frustration as he tried to regain control of his trusted mobile suit. 

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