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Gunpla Duel


MM007
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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.

ZAKUlight.thumb.png.f9c43313e42ef3f0c8a2b2072b2b7a0d.png

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.

Edited by MM007
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It was a very quiet night aboard Captain Niemeyer's regal-looking vessel, the Florence. Nothing was showing up on the scanners, there wouldn't be an attack from the Federation (or other undesirable groups) either, not so soon after the last one, and they'd already been served dinner. Now there would be only two things to do: fall asleep on the Captain's chair out of boredom while making his rounds, dropping his cup of tea in the floor, or go to his quarters and stare at the ceiling for hours, having already exhausted his supply of sleep aid pills. Well it definitely won't be either. I'd rather die than do this again and again every night… or rather, it’ll kill me. God, i can’t think clearly anymore. Getting up from his chair, he left his Executive Officer, Pizzini, in charge of the chair, the tea and countless sensors that beeped as soon as they picked up some wildlife on the ground. He lied to him about having to check up with the mechanics one last time before going to sleep, even though Lieutenant Pizzini most likely knew already: they wouldn't find him on his bed anytime soon, but rather, in the cockpit of his personal DINN, running simulations.

And soon enough, he was in the hangar, preparing to enter the machine, painted green with golden and red accents, a color scheme inspired by the Zaku IIs of the Zeon Royal Guard. A black uniform jacket and white peaked cap were tucked under the seat, as he closed the hatch behind him and fired up the electrical systems, leaving the engines, actuators and Minovsky Reactor inactive. He navigated the simulator's menu slowly, out of boredom. He'd tried it all out in ZAFT's catalog: the BuCUE, the GOOhN, the ZnO, among others. The chief engineer, a One Year War veteran, had even hooked him up with data cartridges to simulate Mobile Suits of previous eras, such as various Zaku I and II variants, the Flight Type Gouf, GM Sniper II and even a Gundam… of which there only seemed to remain a round head with manipulators attached to the sides and a cannon on top. A very weird contraption that looked more like a Ball than a Gundam, but a Gundam's a Gundam, and so the enigmatic B Gundam remained the jewel of the crown in his collection of Mobile Suit data. One day, I shall obtain the rest of its body and know what controlling a Gundam truly feels like.

Then, he found a new option. “Duel”? What’s this one do? Must have come with the newest firmware… Eager to find something new to finally feel in need of a nap, he pressed the button, and braced himself as the screen turned dark, only showing a single word on screen: “SEARCHING”, and the Mobile Suit’s HUD. Thus, he knew the system had selected the default Mobile Suit… his own. I won’t be unacquainted with the controls, at the very least.

2003858786_DINN(Niemeyer).png.52c9abd40a0b971fdd092d60db14fc9f.png

Now, before his eyes appeared a city. A floodplain surrounded by gently rolling hills, with buildings too diverse to be characterised by any particular architectural style, partly because of their varying ages, and intrincate streets navigating the massive city, with unintuitive turns, dangerous looking roundabouts and most particularly, traffic lights on the left side of the roads, when present. The skies were gray and cloudy, but the weather looked stable and the wind was bearable. It reminds me of one of those cities smack dab in Federation territory, as shown in my high school geography books. The DINN, standing next to a hangar in an airport with a layout not unlike Carpentaria Base’s, took off to the skies and deployed its six golden wings, as Niemeyer’s objectives appeared in the HUD.

 

Primary Directives: Find Enemy Mobile Suit (0/1)

Restore Peace and Order

No Secondary Objectives

 

Only one enemy? So that’s what it meant by “Duel”. Well, if it’s just one of them, he ought to be skilled enough. Better be wary of my surroundings...

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Hikaru was more than a little surprised when, after adjusting the ZAKU Warrior Light Armor's parameters, he was thrown straight into a battle.  He had no idea that there was an online multiplayer to this system.  Perhaps it was something added later?  Still, it seemed oddly implemented.  He wasn't even given the option to decline.  Hikaru would have minded were it his main GBN machine or one of his other builds, but this particular one?  "Ah well, maybe it'll be fun."

He took note of the terrain, quickly noting that the land surrounding the city was too exposed to serve as cover.  It reminded him of the ancient UCGO computer game.  The ZAKU have to use the city which it found itself in for cover.  He initially sought out an overpass or something but found this to be a city much like those in Europe - ancient enough for roads to be forced to conform to the terrain and old buildings rather than the other way around.  Roundabouts were present, though the inclusion of traffic lights at them indicated an American touch.  It was a noncommittal mix of old and new.  The pilot guided his machine into the shadow of a taller building, careful to turn down the light of his optical sensor to reduce visibility.  Getting trapped between buildings was a bad idea since he would need to retain his mobility, so he stayed near some of the wider roads.

 

Primary Directives: Find Enemy Mobile Suit (0/1)

Maintain Peace and Order

No Secondary Objectives


Noting the beginning of the encounter and Shield and Beam Machine Gun at the ready, he decided to wait.  It wouldn't be long before he saw a DINN take to the air in the distance, and he clicked his teeth.  An aerial unit had an advantage with its ranged armaments.  Though he could use cover to his advantage, it wouldn't be ideal.  No, he needed to be careful with this.  The pilot took one of his machine's grenades and tossed it into the distance from his cover.  In a more constrained area between several buildings, one which the DINN might be able to corner a hypothetical enemy, the flash grenade went off.

"Come on.  Fall for it.  Use up your missiles, be drawn in closer, something..."  Hikaru uttered, hoping his enemy had an itchy trigger finger.

Edited by MM007
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Hmm? Niemeyer’s attention was soon brought by his onboard computer to something happening outside his field of vision to the right, according to the way the alarm sounded. Turning into a Mobile Suit and tilting its head towards the stimuli, his DINN briefly stopped, but switched to its simple MA mode once again very soon and kept moving. The pilot had seen enough. Alright, picture taken. It’s not simply above in the air. No point to that when it can shoot me on the top, or ride me while turning me into roast with a saber… The green DINN gained altitude, and soon was lost among the clouds. It’s on the ground, but not anywhere near that flash. An explosion would obviously not trigger near it, no sense to that. A rifle or a grenade both mean he’s far from that building… “but my sensors haven’t picked anything up.” He opened the snapshot he had taken of the area, and noticed something. Bingo. I’ve got it… the projectile hit one of the buildings before exploding. And damage can be seen from this side of it. That means it’s somewhere in that area… The Captain drew an imaginary, C-shaped zone on his head, which seemed to engulf the area where the grenade exploded. He gripped his controls, and activated his first weapons system. "Multipurpose Launcher. HE Rounds. Twenty. Left... four rounds."

From the clouds, missiles started to rain towards the city, bombing the streets inside the C-shaped zone. The DINN pilot descended immediately after, facing the zone, to observe the results. “You tried to trick me! Pretty impressive for an A.I, but if you have any sense of self-preservation, this will smoke you out.”  You can fly up, or light on those thrusters and simply find more cover. But whichever you do, I'll know where you are.

Thank heavens this city is not real. Such a situation would cripple me in real life… i couldn’t simply fire at a city like this. Not with all the treaties and bureaucracy going on.

Edited by Replicator
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Hikaru had been expecting less competence.  Though he'd hoped that the pilot would descend or fire missiles on the position he'd drawn the enemy's attention to, he instead found that the pilot had seen through the ruse.  Missiles streaked out and fanned the area.  Hikaru was forced to duck behind the large building he'd adopted as cover only for a missile to strike at its base.  The downside of using the shadow of the larger building to conceal himself was that the building was a larger target.  The pilot was forced to use his thrusters to move back away from the building as it collapsed while falling at an awkward angle, not able to maintain its shape as it toppled over.

"Tch..."  Was all Hikaru had time to emit before his cover was blown, the pilot responding by keeping his shield ready and firing his Slack Pack's dual Hydra Gatling Beam Cannons.  The ability to generate his own suppressive fire was a boon for a melee-oriented unit, though he didn't expect it to do much.  Maybe clip his enemy's wings or intercept further missiles if he was lucky.  Closing to melee was a priority, but he needed to regain the initiative first.  Or at least keep his enemy from being able to retake the skies.

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  • 1 month later...

Finally, the DINN’s optics had set sight on a weird Mobile Suit, quite unlike anything he had ever seen both as a Mobile Suit pilot and warship captain. It was, like many ZAFT Mobile Suits, a modernization of the classic Zaku concept, a generic green monoeye that had been loaded with an axe in the back waist section and two beam gatling cannons over its back. What the… where did such a design come from? This is most definitely not a generic mock made by the CPU… The enemy seemed to lay its eye on him too, and quickly responded by spinning the beam gatlings to fire at him. “Agh! No time for sightseeing!” Niemeyer had the DINN spin over its vertical axis to point the top of its head towards the floor, and moved the thrust lever to speed towards the ground, disappearing behind tall buildings. Damage was done to the wings, and while they were not totaled, the pilot decided to exercise a little more caution. It’s got anti-air? What kind of sorcery is this? I’ll have to save my wings as a last resort while i have them at all… with any luck, they’ll think i already lost them.

The DINN thus started walking cautiously, holding its anti-air shotgun on one hand, and the assault rifle on the other. “Whatever the hell that thing is, the DINN is not equipped to properly fight it.” What would this hypothetical design be for? Are our boys back at the Integrated Design Bureau already thinking of the next generation of Mobile Suits? I shudder to think, in the face of this conflict, Mobile Suit technology is bound to rapidly advance, just like the war seven years ago… then again, if they already know what to do, why don’t they? I just can’t wrap my head around this. Captain Alasdair Niemeyer’s thoughts trailed off as his MS scanned block after block, looking for his foe, weapons at the ready.

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The controlled descent of his enemy was noted, and Hikaru decided not to assume that his enemy was incapacitated by any measure.  The hits hadn't been confirmed, after all.  With as light a step as a Mobile Suit could achieve, he moved his machine.  He knew not to stay in the same position, and was sure his enemy knew not to as well.  He shifted his loadout for urban fighting, adopting the Tempest Beam Sword and his shield with its beam guns in the face.  Range would have to be traded for flexibility here.  The Beam Sword was kept deactivated until needed, so its glow wouldn't give him away.

Once he'd moved to a new position, he elected to try something he'd seen on the 08th MS Team.  With the city empty save for the enemy and the destruction caused by the missiles, he attempted to use the Mobile Suit's audio detection systems.  Perhaps he would be able to hear thrusters or his enemy's footsteps.  "Let's see if I can figure out where you are with this."  Hikaru uttered, trying to detect his enemy enough to get a rough bearing and distance estimate.  It wasn't as detailed as listening through the ground, but it was hopefully better than nothing.

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      He didn’t understand why he ate. The food tasted just fine, enjoyable even. But why did he eat? Lounging back in his oversized office chair, Aker called out with a mouthful of food. “8 have you had any luck tracking this Spider creep down?”
      The computer screen in front of the Psuedo EL diver flickered to life and the hacked AI replied, “Negative. The best I can determine is he is using some sort of filter when he logs in.”
      Aker nodded in agreement; he couldn’t say he was too surprised by that revelation. “He probably logs into his own hellish hacked force nest too I bet. No dice tracking him down there…” he shivered at the memory of their last encounter. He took another bite of his apple as he looked at the screen. Could he get fat? If he kept eating, would he gain weight? He did loose the feeling in his arm before but was that merely a programming glitch or was he fully simulated?
      Shaking the thought from his mind Aker leaned back forward to glare at the screen. “Alright… lets send out a message to Creed… Time for him to do a favor for me for a change huh?”
      As he rhetorically asked out loud, he was already typing a message to his sponsor of sorts. Satisfied that he had done all he could do at that moment he stood up to walk, or rather float, along the halls of his spaceship to the manufacturing bay.
      It still bothered him just how vacant the personal base was. It was after all a battleship of sorts and in theory should have been full to the brim with soldiers milling about. He came to a catwalk that oversaw the production line and he caught the railing to bring himself into a standing position over the silent behemoths in his hangar.
      The Noblesse stood prominently in display; floodlights activated all around the machine. Despite the obvious attention the Gundam demanded, he couldn’t help himself as he spotted a darker machine in the corner being nearly completed. Aker narrowed his eyes as he studied the machine, still wondering if it was the best course to explore.
      His reverie was interrupted as he got a video call from Marco Creed. Activating the screen, he asked, “So you got my request?” The middle-aged man didn’t look thrilled by the casual attitude the EL diver was giving him, but he still nodded, “Yeah, I did, and it is concerning. In a manner of speaking ZAPP was supposed to have the corner on gaming exploits in 1.8. This Spider fellow, well he isn’t playing by our rules. Needless to say, I’ve been… ‘permitted’ to give you unrestrained support in your current venture.”
      The tone in which Marco said “permitted” wasn’t lost on Aker and he slowly nodded his appreciation. He was about to say something else when he felt compelled to ask. “Is… is everything alright?”
      The older man looked around uncomfortably and sighed, “The board doesn’t like the freedom you’ve been given, they didn’t appreciate your ‘stunt’ of logging back in after you were here last… The point is… well… they’re worried… they’re worried about what you could expose.”
      Marco gulped and nodded, “half of them want to pull the plug on you. Others want to pull your connections after you get knocked out again, study you… A few want to exploit your existence, tell the world and put GBN in a position to fully open 1.8 for the ‘freak show exhibition’.” The man looked disgusted at the choice of words.
      Aker frowned and asked, “And what about you? What do you think?”
      Marco allowed a soft smile, “I think you deserve your freedom… I’m just at a loss as to how you could secure that.”
      Nodding thoughtfully Aker cleared his throat, “You know.. I often wonder about my existence… about why I do the things I do….” His eyes looked blankly ahead as if lost in contemplation, “I wonder why I feel the things I do… why I like the people I do…” a cold sneer grew on his lips, “And then I wonder why…” his voice trailed away as he shook his head. “Look… I need to find this Spider… at any cost…”
      Marco gave a sympathetic smile and nodded, “It’s going to be hard to track down a hacker from this side alone… there’s a few new programs I can offer you which might help. If we work together, I think we can fish him out though.”
      Aker nodded eagerly, “let’s get started then!”
      --------------
      It felt uneasy switching off his digital “mask” of sort. Part of him felt like he would suddenly be put in an awkward situation that could be dangerous. One option after another, Aker maneuvered his floating pane of settings and toggled the last switch. His entire person shimmered as his clothes changed from his Noblesse uniform to a Phantom Pain uniform he had worn awhile ago. It was still stained with blood on the breast and sleeves and looked smothered in soot and ash.
      Despite himself Aker held his breath as he stood in front of his test machine. Together they were out in the middle of a field not far from the main lobby. A cool breeze brushed the grass and played with his dark hair as he looked around in alarm. There were no sirens or sounds of incoming mobile suits. Nothing that told him he was in for a world of hurt. Reluctantly he let out a sigh of relief. Once again, he had simply become Hunter. He went back into his options to dawn his black poncho and matching mask. “Alright… lets find us a Spider….”
      A few moments later he was flying to the lobby. It had been months since he had pulled off his so called “Second Bloody Valentine Massacre”. Undoubtedly he would have a lot of players still pissed off at him. Perhaps it was his insecurity, but he swore he felt a few players glower at him as he passed by.
      The GBN lobby at times could feel misplaced with time, often appearing to be daylight when he was tired and ready for sleep instead. Despite this, there seemed to constantly be darker corners one could find if they were determined. It was largely debated that some of the best hang out spots were in the darker pubs and clubs that GBN offered in the darker recesses.
      Never the social type, Gabriel went to a shady club and walked up to a grungy looking bartender. The gruff figure gave him a once over and smirked, “you lost boy?” Shaking his head, the EL diver tilted his head to look around at some of the shadowy corners. “I’m looking for a man named Spider… know where I could find him?”
      A few patrons paused their actions to study Gabriel and see just how serious this outsider was. The barkeep huffed, “Heh! You don’t find Spider, he finds you. If you wa-“
      Gabriel was already shaking his head and raised a finger to silence the bartender. “You don’t understand…” he tilted his gaze then added, “Everyone is looking for me. I need to see spider now… otherwise I just might have to lockdown this establishment and wipe everything out.” His tone was matter of fact and he gazed at each patron who was looking at him.
      Scrunching his face up the bartender replied, “Not possible kid, are you loony?”
      Not missing a beat Gabriel cut him off, “Second Bloody Valentine… Surely no one else has stolen my log in lock trick, have they?” He was referring to an attack he had perpetrated; where him and Marco Creed hacked a Gundam Seed event and prevented anyone from logging out while they destroyed nearly all the gunpla there.
      For a long while no one moved, no one said anything as they all studied each other. Gabriel’s mask made it hard for anyone to tell who he was even looking at. Finally, a door in the back of the room popped open, creaking loudly and a voice called out. “Get back here fast!”
      -----------
      “What do you mean you need my protection? What kind of idiot runs one of the most sophisticated hacking attacks in GBN history and not have a fallback plan for when things go bad?”
      Shaking his head Gabriel replied, “The kind of idiot who didn’t think it would actually work! Look I didn’t come here to poke fun at myself, can you help me or not?”
      The criminal crossed his arms and studied Gabriel for a long while then slowly stated, “what you’re asking for will not come cheap. And I don’t always take cash for my payment… do you understand what I’m suggesting?”
      Gabriel nodded eagerly, “Hey you saw what I could do on my own, imagine what we could do together? That aside does that mean you’ll take me in?”
      Spider waited a heartbeat before nodding, “Sure, I’ll have you stay at one of my private nests while I figure out a way to mask your log in.” Unceremoniously he brought up his menu and sent Gabriel an invite to transport to a new location. Together they both left the back room of the tavern and emerged moments later in a truly unique location.
      Gabriel gawked around; he was begrudgingly impressed. Together the stood on top of an asteroid inside of atmospheric bubble. It was no normal asteroid however, for they were standing on a heavily modified version of A Baoa Qu. The dome they were inside was on top of the Gate of Zedan and prominent inside the dome was a rather large castle, reminding Gabriel of the palace the Zabi family would use on Side 3. Despite whatever criminal background Spider had he did seem to appreciate the finer things GBN had to offer. The next thing he noticed was four towering mobile suits at each corn and or the castle, or were they statues? As the pair got closer to the door, Gabriel could tell they were skinned with a stone texture. Shaking his head, he focused on what he had to do.
      “Make yourself at home, have a seat in my lounge and I’ll be back in a few moments.”  Spider offered as he gestured to the couch. Gabriel spoke up, “So, did you get all this by selling hacks like the Venom Drive?”
      Spider paused at that comment and spun around to glare at Gabriel, “And…. How do you know about those?”
      “How could I not? They’re the hot item right now for anyone wanting to get better at the game fast!”
      A smile curled on Spider’s lips as if that notion satisfied him. He nodded then walked on towards the back of the room.
      “you’re certain no one can trace me here?”
      Spider twisted around to walk backwards and raised his hands up to shrug. “Relax, would you? This is my personal nest. I’ve installed some of the best security credits can buy; not to mention some top-notch hacks.” He turned around and waved a hand dismissively. “You’ll be fine just wait!”
      Gabriel frowned as he sat on the comfortable couch and waited a moment to be alone before he brought up his menu. The fist thing he did was active the program he had used all those months ago which prevented anyone from logging out of the area. Then he sent a message to his teammates along with a pass to get them into the nest.
       
      I got him where we want him. Show up ready for a fight. Be advised my handle here is Hunter, so watch the friendly fire. Be ready for anything.
       
      Gabriel closed the menu after he sent the message and leaned back on the sofa putting his hands behind his head. He’d strike when the moment was right, but first he wanted to see this scumbag squirm as everything he worked so hard for crumbled.
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