“I’m breaking up with you.”
Gabe caught his breath at that sentence and did pause to turn and look at Meer. “Wha- what do you mean babe?” Even as he spoke the words he felt their strength waver at the truth that was beginning to form in front of him. She was cute, maybe too cute for the likes of him. She always took the effort to do her makeup and look phenomenal as soon as she stepped out the door. To top it off she looked like a casual version of her name sake with pink hair and gold hair pin. Was she out of his league? He never considered it before but as her statement hung in the air suddenly all the unsung insecurities began to crop up.
She rocked her hips, her left hand resting easily on her body as she looked up at the sky. Her blue eyes seemingly searching for an answer to his confusion. “Listen Gabe… I’ve been going out to parties the last few weeks without you…”
“So you’ve been cheating on me?” Gabe hacked the words out in disbelief. The girl grimaced and bit her lip while slowly shaking her head. “Gabe no… I just… I’ve been just going out without you… nothing more…” the tone she had did little to comfort Gabe and he wrinkled his face in growing anger. “So that’s it you just want to ditch me?” He shook with contained rage but still looked around helplessly as the beautiful girl gave him a sad look, “look I didn’t come to this decision easily… I just need to be able do chase my dreams Gabe and I can’t do that with you…” he voice faded away as Gabriel Winter spun on his heel to storm away.
A few days later
Gabe remained hunched over his desk in his dimly lit room. An orange hue attempted to breach his room from his window shades but was drowned out by the fluorescent light above his work station. He hadn’t left his room besides going to work since his break up with Meer. For the last few days he ran through all the scenarios in his head as to why she’d want to leave him. They had been together for over a year and not until recently did he feel any animosity from her. His mind wandered to them first logging into GBN and it dawned on him that maybe that was the beginning of it all.
Meer was a cosplayer and a good one at that, but she was fiercely self conscious and had a hard time making friends because of it. Meer wasn’t even her real name but the alias she chose to be called by to associate herself more with her hobby. Gabe was always the one pushing her to reach out of her comfort zone, to meet new people. GBN was the happy medium for them both; he could build Gunpla for them, while she could try different costumes and plan out outfits for the real world while actually making friends. It felt good at first, a win win situation.
As Gabriel mulled over his thoughts he trimmed and filed the gauntlet for his latest Gunpla. The blue plastic was becoming discolored from his attention but it would hardly matter once he painted the whole kit. In a fit of rage he took apart all the Gunpla on his shelves when he got home that night they broke up. He was ashamed that he actually broke a lot of the kits when he flung them off the shelf. At the moment he wasn’t sure that he wanted anything to do with GBN, all he did know was building something aloud him to not be so angry, it let him direct his focus from his sorrows. It was as if he took all the anger he had at the world and was condensing it into the single kit in front of him.
He was a mediocre builder at best. He never won any awards before and was always afraid to make the extra commitment of scribing, paint and panel lining; the sort of thing she would add to the kits he gave her after he built them. This time was different, he was possessed to make the best kit he possibly could. Even if she never saw it, he would have the satisfaction of having something so pristine that she would not.
When they dated he was always afraid to take risks, whether it was in building his Gunpla, or not doing particular missions. “No more…” he muttered to himself as Ash Liked Snow played in the background, “no, more hesitation… I have to reform myself… my Gundam…”
A few days later
The indicator for his email inbox showed the vast number of missed messages, something he had neglected to pay attention to the last couple of weeks, he simply wasn’t in the mood. Now he decided was the best time to finally drudge through the messages, most of it being spam. A few notes did catch his eye and give him pause. The first was from a mutual friend him and Meer had on GBN, a woman by the pseudo name Stella. She had apparently asked him to join a Force in the game. His initial reaction was one of hope, maybe Meer was trying to get him back in her life? To rekindle their relationship? But his face immediately soured the next message down where Stella retracted the earlier offer, saying that she didn’t want things to get awkward with Stella already on the team.
He sighed, but that eventually turned into a sob at his own predicament. He wasn’t just loosing her but all his friends it would seem. Through tear filled eyes he read through the next few GBN messages, all varying between apologies and other sad things he didn’t want to bother with. He was about to close his messages when a notice from GBN itself popped up just then. Curiosity caused him to open it immediately, he was surprised to see it was an invitation for a private beta of the new version of GBN. Apparently he was chosen by lottery to test in and partake in the new version. It offered exclusive rewards, but more importantly to Gabriel, it offered a blank slate, a fresh start. One of the features the invitation offered was the chance to replace you’re user tag and avatar for free. With tears still slipping down his face he responded that he would be taking the opportunity. As the message went into the digital nether he gazed around his room to the Gunpla standing defiantly in the middle of his desk, maybe 80% complete, ready for final details and paint. Wiping away the tears he stood up to resume his work.
A week later
PLEASE ENTER USERNAME:
Gabriel gawked at the display and the flicker of where his new title would show up. His fingers remained frozen over the keyboard as he swam through his thoughts. With a fresh start there would be virgin usernames out there with little chance of redundancy, but still it begged the question of what he should call himself. He wasn’t in a social mood still, and he wasn’t even sure what he was really doing on GBN all alone. Scratching the stubble on his chin he kept staring at the otherwise boring screen. “I suppose I’m looking for something…” he finally said out loud, his own voice startling him. Slowly his fingers chipped away a new identity. Next a wardrobe menu popped up and he scrolled through the options to pick out something to hide behind. He was never audacious enough to pick an avatar too unlike himself and he hated when Meer would as him to be a character to match hers. He stayed away from the generic Chars of the options and instead chose a black cloak like pancho and a matching mask. He did change his hair color from his typical black to brown and cleaned his face to be clean shaven. Finally he loaded up the new information and was satisfied to see it accepted. All that remained was...
“Please scan your Gunpla.”
He reached out hesitantly and grabbed the white and red mobile suit he had so diligently been working on over the last month or so. He traced the features with his fingers and was suddenly apprehensive about using the model. Once he placed it down it would become alive. Part of him would grow to be beyond just a hunk of plastic, and his declaration towards his ex would be made reality.
“Please scan your Gunpla.” The mechanical voice repeated. Gripping the Gunpla a little harder he grimaced and placed the model in the scanner. With a scowl watch on his face he logged into GBN, to hunt for something he didn’t quite understand just yet.
((Big shout out to Frosty for starting the side story trend, not to mention for his help with the yet to be revealed Gunpla! I thought it would be fun to do a new (if not slightly used) character. I’ll be adding more soon!))
Gundam Battle Nexus Online was home to many different locations, some of which are space colonies. Most were the typical sort. Cities with parks, bridges, and other objects to make civilians’ lives feel normal. A few though, were created just for certain quests because of their varied areas. One such quest managed to create a heap of trouble for a couple of divers with very unlike playstyles…
“Mmmmm!” A man mumbled while eating a burger. “How can something fake like this taste sooooo good!” This is Josh Duncan, who had just managed to get some ketchup on his Titans uniform while finishing his meal. “McDaniel is still the best place to eat in GBN!” He yelled while walking out of the famous, fictional restaurant, catching a few annoyed glances from other players. Josh waltzed down the street of the space colony he currently resided in. His Force, Baka Brawlers, had their ship parked near the McDaniel. “Should’ve really thought that name through.” He pondered to himself. “Have the others even logged in yet?” As he opened up the Diver sheet, an alert blared at him, causing him to trip and fall. “Ah!” He exclaimed as he fell to the ground. “That… scared… me…” Suddenly, he began to smirk. “A timed mission, eh?”
DESCRIPTION: Find the special animal and bring it to the hangar!
LOCATION: Savanna Space Colony
“Hey, that place is near this colony.” He said while pushing ACCEPT. “I can do this while I wait for the boys to log in!” Josh managed to get even more glances from others. “Am I being to loud?” He thought, but soon realized that he was still laying on the ground. Not looking to be embarrassed even more, he teleported to the main hangar bay of the colony, directly inside of his mobile suit. “Time to get this reward…” He yelled as he moved the Gunpla to the catapult. “…that I actually know nothing about. I hope it’s good.” The Gaza E in front of him launched, allowing him to do so as well.
“Josh Duncan! Gundam Age Titanus! Punching to Victory!”
The dark blue Gunpla blasted into the depths of space, igniting its powerful MK-II backpack, which strangely had its beam sabers connected by a rope. The vastness of GBN’s space always amazed the Diver. He saw a couple others around, but once they were gone, he got to work. Not on the current mission though. What looked like two discs flew off of the Titanus’ shoulders, revealing cameras inside. “This place is perfect for a new video!” Josh proclaimed while turning on every single beam he had on the machine.
He started to punch and kick through the zero gravity biome, thinking that he was the coolest Diver in the whole world. “This’ll probably be my most watched video.” He said as he threw a flurry of punches toward one of the cameras. In reality, or rather the GBN reality, his views were a far cry from G-Tubers like Captain Zeon’s, with most commenters finding it stupid. Josh was to prideful (and dense) to mind though, but eventually he give the cameras everything he could possibly do. “Not I just gotta pose for the thumbnail!”
When he went to post his magnum opus, Josh noticed the entire reason he was out in space to begin with. “Oh crap!” He yelled. “I need to get to the colony before it’s too late!” The Titanus glided through space, making it to the colony’s opening with no time to spare. The other side of the airlock unlocked, showing Josh a gigantic plain of grass and countless animals. “Special animal?!” He yelled with concern. “I’m not in expert on these types of things. How am I supposed to know what’s special?” The custom Age jetted in the air while Josh attempted to make out any differences between any the animals. “I don’t get it. It’s just a bunch of zebras, giraffes, and what ever else belongs in a area like this.” No luck came from his search, so he landed the Titanus on the highest hill he could find. Josh teleported from the Gunpla, continuing his search on foot.
The battle was over.
The Murasaki Archer stood on top a green and gray Gunpla, which had seen much action prior to this.
It was the Geara Hunda, a custom mobile suit piloted by someone who would be seen as quite old compared to other divers, Leon Schulz. In the world of GBN, the 40 year old wrote a dark green Zeon jacket which surprisingly complemented his graying hair. If this was a Universal Century Anime, he'd pass off as a battle worn captain very well. However, it seemed as if his experience did nothing for him, since the purple enemy managed to cut all of his weaponry in two, ending the battle quickly. The two mobile suits disappeared, transporting the two back to the main lobby. The divers stood across from each other, as Leon watched the other players battle record raise by one. She snickered. "Your overconfidence is what made lose." The girl pressed a couple buttons. "I gotta go. Good game." She was gone before he could respond.
Leon growled. "She just caught me off guard. That's all." He thought. "I'm the leader of Die Zeonic Mörder, after all." He began to hear laughter behind him. "HAHAHA!" Easily the biggest Diver in the lobby began to walk toward him, howling with laughter. The massive bald man wore a sleeveless tan Zeon uniform to show off his fictional muscles. "She really destroyed you, huh boss?" Leon was angry, but couldn't get mad at the big oaf, Hans Sauer. "I could've blown that AU trash away with my gattling guns at any moment!" Leon responded. "I just didn't want to hurt the lady's feelings."
"Ssssssure." The "man" to the right of Hans said. "I would've ssssssneaked up to her with my sssssshotguns and ruined that eyesssssore." While Leon and Hans could roleplay as real Zeon Pilots, their third teammate, Sepp, could not. While had did wear his own custom Zeon pilots suit, the scaly, brown individual had the head of a snake. "Ha! No way!" Hans yelled. "You couldn't take out a Ball with your Gelgoog!" Sepp hissed at the large teammates, sticking out his tongue. "Alright, break it up." Leon exclaimed. "I'm in the mood for another team mission!"
"Me too!" Hans said as he put his fist in his hand. "But not that Kobayecho Heyto test. Not being able to win is stupid!" The snakeman sighed. "Kobayassshi Hayato tessst, dummy. Have you even ssseen Gundam?" Han put his hand on top of his head. "Oh yeah, sorry!" Leon looked through the missions, trying to find a new Universal Century mission that would be a challenge for them. In fact, their disdain for non UC stuff caused them to never touch a mission not from it. Eventually he found the perfect one.
MISSION: Feddie Scum
DESCRIPTION: Destroy the Federation's new test Mobile Suit!
"Alright boys!" Leon yelled out. "Let's destroy some Federation garbage! SEIG ZEON!" The members of Die Zeonic Mörder each vanished as the mission began.
Hikaru waited at the Gundam Base for his younger sisters who were currently fulfilling their duties as Puru image girls. They made time for him, but there were points where they were pulled away and he was left alone. His parents had been having them bring him to the Gundam Base so he wouldn't become a complete shut-in. There were still times like this where they had to go record voice lines or officiate events in GBN that he wasn't part of, which left him little to do. The latest anime/GBN crossover event left them busy. As he pondered what Gunpla to build to pass the time, he saw two high school-aged boys storm out of a room he'd never been in before.
“Can you believe that? Who uses a system that wrecks the Gunpla you use with it?” One half-shouted angrily.
“At least you won. My GOUF Ignited was pretty much destroyed...” The other one said, more grumbling than shouting. The two left the Gundam Base in clear irritation, making Hikaru curious. Navigating his wheelchair to the room and entering, he realized what what had made the pair angry. There was a Gunpla Duel setup in the room, and the system still had the two discarded Gunpla within.
One was a High Grade ZGMF-2000 GOUF Ignited and the other was a High Grade ZGMF-1100/K Slash ZAKU Warrior. Indeed, the GOUF was very heavily damaged while the ZAKU had damage to some of its more superficial shoulder and ankle armor, its shield, its stock beam tomahawk, and its its leg energy piping. Laying claim to the parts, Hikaru headed to the build table and also took stock of various discarded pieces and runners which he'd collected from the establishment for turning into plastic for his 3D Printer. Noting some verniers, and a Heat Hawk with a broken handle, he got to work.
Painting the parts wasn't possible right now, though he detailed seams with an ultra fine permanent marker and filed down various nubs. The base units were made stock by rookies, and he had to use the plastic spudger tool in a few places to disassemble the unit to fix things. The similarities between the GOUF Ignited and the ZAKU Warrior meant some parts commonality for fixing the internal frame. The eventual end result was a ZAKU Warrior with stripped down shoulder and ankle armor, a GOUF Ignited Shield which had heated spikes and a pair of "Draupnir" Beam Guns in the face that held a Tempest Composite Beam Sword, racks on the hips that could store E-Pacs or missiles, extra verniers in the legs where there were once power cable connectors, and an optional Slash Wizard Pack.
“Not bad for trash parts...” Hikaru said, smiling to himself. His new ZAKU Warrior Light Armor may not have been the best build he made, but it wasn't something to be ashamed of at least. Scanning it with the GBN scanner parts in his wheelchair and resolving to use that data to maintain or improve it later, he re-entered the empty Gunpla Duel room. Placing it onto the device where the ZAKU Warrior originally was, he accessed the system to fine-tune its specifications. He was also more than a little curious about how the Gunpla Duel system worked. It was a bit before his time, after all.
(OOC: if anyone wants to jump in feel free! I just thought I’d be fun to write from this perspective!)
Marco let out a sigh of relief as he put the visor down for GBN. He glanced over at his Gunpla poised on his station and rubbed his chin as he contemplated the toy right next to him. He gave a cursory glance behind his shoulder to the shelves of other Gunpla that he built. Each one had their own story, their own flavor that he appreciated. He found himself paused as he contemplated that very idea. He used to love slapping together kits. He loved the lore behind each mobile suit and in turn trying to personify that through his work. “Used to” being the key term, how did he find himself so disconnected from what was happening?
It was at that moment an idea sparked in his mind. The realization that he hadn’t built a kit… in what? Months? Years? When was the last time he even went to a hobby shop. Standing up, he stretched his body and cracked his neck. Finally he popped his fingers in front of him before sighing again and walking out the room he had designated as his workspace. Marco called out as he entered the hallway. “Honey! I’m going to town, mind if I take the kids with me shopping?”
It was the crowing his kids did that made Marco realize that it had indeed been too long since he has gone out shopping for his job? Hobby? He had grown so used to having everything delivered to his countryside house that he had forgotten what it was like going to one of the infamous Gunpla shops in town.
The place was busy, fans of all sorts lined the lanes of model boxes. Even the colors of the boxes was exciting, as it formed a pallet of unique colors surrounding them that you just wouldn’t experience in normal stores. Marco gripped the small hands of his two children tightly so as not to loose them or have them damage a rare kit on accident. Yet still the boy and girl marveled at all the colors and toys in front of them. It dawned on the man that he hadn’t even built a Gunpla with them yet. So focus on his work that he hadn’t realized that his kids were nearing that ripe age where their dexterity and maturity would allow them to share in his passion.
The father grinned to himself as he asked his kids outloud. “So… which kits do you two wanna buy and build for yourselves?” His children gleamed up at him with awe on their faces, “really?” “You mean it?” They both asked in unison. Marco chuckled, “sure I’ll even help you guys start building them here before we leave! Now be good and bring me back what you find so I can pay for them. Daddy’s got to do a little research while we’re here.” His kids let go of his hands and practically flew off into the store gawking at each kit, mesmerized that they would soon have one as their very own. Being a father, Marco couldn’t help but smile as he watched them romp away. As they rounded a corner, he lazily followed behind while scanning the shelves for one item in particular.
Mumbling to himself he spied what it was he was curious to find. The black and blue coloration made the kit pop out in his mind. “There you are…” it was a real grade Titans MKII Gundam. Something about the last mission rattled in his head, it felt like this particular unit was becoming a type of recurring theme in his mind that he just couldn’t shake. “Know thy enemy…” he mused as he gripped the rather dusty box. He blew away the film to marvel at the artwork before turning to find his kids, Titans box tucked under his arm.