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Three Musketeers


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Gabriel was nervous, he wasn’t exactly wanting to return to the civilized part of GBN much less the public lobby. But his Zapp contact had insisted the boy return to the public areas to test out the digital identity mask they had created. It wasn’t a mask in the sense of the black mask he was wearing now, but rather a mask that hid his normal user ID which was under some heat by the administration at that moment. To anyone who looked up his digital ID he would (in theory) appear as “AkerHero13”. He scrunched his face as he looked at the name in his heads up display“is that supposed to be some sort of play on Graham Aker and Akihrio?” he mused aloud as he stood in the middle of the GBN lobby. That Zapp bastard had a sick sense of humor. 

He looked at his display and soon found himself browsing the missions available. He couldn’t help himself. Of course the missions had a whole new meaning to him now but he just felt compelled to look. One mission caught his eye and he clicked to read the description “three musketeers…” he mumbled under his breath. His attention was cut short as a new Diver logged in right next to him. It occurred to him that he was still in the loading area and he moved out of the way reflexively. “Whoa sorry!” He said as the newcomer logged on. Because of his proximity his heads up display automatically scanned the Diver and he could see that they were a newbie. 

The man standing next to him was pale skinned with blonde hair put into a ponytail,  they seemed to be wearing a Seed Earth Alliance special forces space suit of some type, a fact that made Gabe cringe for a second for fear of being recognized himself. The outfit clashed with the black poncho and mask that he wore himself.  Gabriel awkwardly rubbed the back of his neck and smiled sheepishly, “hey there! Welcome to GBN! First time playing?” He asked cautiously. It just occurred to him that his new identity would likely display him as a new player as well. 

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“Finally,” Raymond sighed as the game began to load. The amount of time he had spent fumbling with his gunpla just to get it to stand steadily on the scan pad had bordered on embarrassing, let alone the three failed scan attempts following it. Eventually though, his model had scanned successfully and Raymond was shunted into that unsettling space where he hovered naked as the game asked him if he would survive. “Lord knows I’ll certainly try,” it was his first dive without his students, something they had urged him to do to get some practice on his own outside of the club.  The feeling of shyness that came with walking into the store alone was alleviated when he saw several older businessman types chatting fervently about their win-loss records against one another. Now all he had to worry about was embarrassing himself in-game even though he knew it’d be an inevitability.

As the lobby formed around him, Raymond—now Icarus—caught a glimpse of a masked man in a black coat practically jump out of the way of where Icarus appeared. Icarus glanced at the masked man from between the loose strands of his now much longer hair, his tired-looking eyes scanning him from head-to-toe. A suspicious looking guy, but he couldn’t possibly be one to judge. He was a disheveled looking man in the normal suit of one of the bad guys. Tucking his helmet—with the ridiculous horn that Icarus so enjoyed—the newbie stepped out of the way of the loading zone. The black-clad man had begun speaking to him, asking him if it was his first time playing the game.

“No, not quite,” Icarus responded. “But pretty close.” He scanned the man one more time. “You some kind of navigator? I could use a little help I think. I can’t, uh, remember how to pull up the menu,” Icarus chuckled weakly. “I’m kind of useless without my students here,”

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Wade was striking out with finding new recruits as he wandered around the GBN lobby. UNIVERZ, his diver force, had made quite the name for themselves, boasting a total of 107 players, but something just wasn’t working for him today. “I just don’t get it.” The dark skinned teen muttered as he sat down on the closest bench near him. “UNIVERZ got second place in the Cyber Newtype Trials. Who wouldn’t want to join us?!” At that moment, he watched a man in a black coat almost crash into another Diver logging in. “Heh. That was close.” Wade thought to himself, now turning his attention to the two players.

Wade normally didn’t eavesdrop on others, but the conversation they had turned into an opportunity for the young pilot. “Jackpot.” He jumped right out of his seat, adjusting the pink and white version of Banagher’s jacket to look somewhat kempt for his recruiting attempt. He strolled up to the Divers, noticing he was fairly short compared to them. “Now I can help you with that!” Wade exclaimed to the blonde haired player while flicking his wrist and finger. The blue menu popped up in front of the recruiter, allowing him to pull up some screenshots of his team.

“I’m Wade, one of the star players for UNIVERZ.” The pictures showed some of their best pilots along with their Gunpla. “You may have heard of us. Second place in the Cyber Newtype Trials, third in the Xtreme Challenge, our leader even has the 18th best time in G5 attack!” He swiped the whole menu to the right, removing it. “The reason I’m bringing this  up is because there’s something different about you.” Wade pointed his finger at him, pretty much ignoring the black clad Diver at this point. “You’ve got potential. A fire inside that can only be lit by a great team! What do you say? We’d love to have you in UNIVERZ!” Wade said with a cheesy grin.

Edited by FrostyFoster
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((Good collab guys!))

Gabriel groaned inwardly as the prospective recruiter approached him and the newbie. He would be lying to himself if he said he wasn’t offended about being looked over by the guy as he pointed a finger at the newbie however. It was only then that he pieced together all the nonsense the guy was spouting out about UNIVERZ. Second place? 18thbest? His claims could very well be true but Gabriel knew what this fellow was trying to do, he was trying to get a lucky recruit, someone who was already talented enough and would be sure to elevate their lesser peers. 

Gabriel chuckled, he was more than certain he had shot down a handful of these guys before. Greater quantity didn’t equate to quality.  “And just how good are you Mr. Recruiter?” Gabriel asked with a snarky tone. “What is it you have to offer new players like us?” He lied but was curious to see how the guy would react. 

-“Oh where do it start, my good friend.” Wade turned to the other diver, pulling up a large picture of the extravagant base UNIZERZ used, a gray circular shaped building. “This is the Shield. Easily the biggest base in the Moralia section.” Smaller pictures appeared around it, showing many different recreational areas, MS catapults, and training areas. “Everything here is something you’d have complete access to just by joining.” Wade smirked, hoping it would impress the others.


-Icarus’s head whipped over to the newcomer that had just appeared and instinctively took a step back. The diver, who introduced themselves as Wade, a ‘star player’ for a group called UNIVERZ, was enthusiastic—to put it mildly

“Can’t say that I have. And how can there be something special about me? I haven’t even battled anyone yet,” 

The black clad man—who’s screen name was…AkerHero13? Was this some kind of Mr.Bushido fanboy? The black clad man had responded to Wade as well, asking about accommodations and perks, to which Wade happily responded by pulling up several screenshots. 

“I mean, it looks impressive, but what’s the catch? Why us?” Icarus was grateful for any kind of help, but his age had made him skeptical about things that seemed to good to be true.-


-Gabriel furrowed his brow and crossed his arms, “I think you misunderstood me…” he bit his tongue not wanting to come off as too hostile, “I asked how good are you? Are you able to cover his back in a situation? Do you have what it takes to be credible yourself? Or are you merely some lackey sent to do the dirty work for your force?”

-Wade’s eyes widened after the diver’s statement. “Aw crap!” He thought, trying to keep his cool. “He noticed I didn’t talk about that.” Wade watched as the others waited, so he had to come up with a good excuse.

“Alright then. I’ll prove how good I am to you.” He turned slightly, pondering. “How about we do a...” Wade didn’t know this man, but he realized that losing to him in a battle would ruin his chances at recruitment. “a mission together!” He pushed away the pictures and pointed at the mission area in the middle of the lobby. “All three of us could do a mission together. Any preference, guys?”


-Gabriel’s cocky grin didn’t go away as he brought up his menu and swiped the mission he was looking at to both players. “I was actually just looking at this one. With the three of us we would have enough to do it...” he looked at them both as he sent the “Three Musketeers” mission for them to study.

The description: 

“Do you have what it takes to raid the homeland? This is not the tomorrow you know about. What would the Plants be like if fate was a little different? What Knights would you run into on this dangerous mission?”


-Watching the two others waving their hands about, Icarus did the same and was pleasantly surprised when his own menu popped up. "There we go," he muttered to himself. Looking past the menu at Wade and AkerHero13, Icarus smiled softly. "A mission sounds good to me. I prefer co-op to pvp anyway. For now at least," he watched as the mission popped up on his menu and nodded. The Three Musketeers--he had taught this book just last semester. "I'm Icarus by the way," he said, accepting the mission. "It's Wade right? And...can I call you Aker? What kind of gunpla are you running?"


-Gabriel grimaced at the attention and forced a friendly smile in response to Icarus, “yes, you can call me Aker, it’s nice to meet you too… Icarus.” He tried out the name and looked at Wade as he answered, “I’m running an Astray variant, how about you guys?”he eyed Wade in particular to see if he would go along with the proposed mission.


-The Diver pulled up a picture of his SD Gunpla. “I pilot the Command Gundam FSD. It’s got missiles, grenades, and a nice Beam LMG. I think it’ll be good to use in the mission.” Wade twisted his hat backwards. “Seems like a fun challenge!”


-Icarus nodded as the others spoke of their machines. His eyes lingered on the SD gundam and he chuckled slightly. "That's a cute mobile suit," he said, fully earnest though his words perhaps rang a little bit more condescending than he intended. "I'm not running anything special--a custom  ReZEL with some long range variations that I cobbled together. Kind of a hit-and-run fighter," he was actually quite proud of the DaeDAL. For his first usable gunpla and a budget one as well, it turned out pretty well, though he would neglect to mention the botched Wing Zero EW version that came before it. "How about we get this mission started? Do we know our objective?"


-“Guess I’ll be up close an personal with them.” Gabriel nodded his agreement as he read from the description. “It just says we have to defeat an enemy ZAFT patrol by the Plants…. Lets get to it.” He grinned as he nodded to his new teammates and activated the mission. The world shimmered around him and he soon found himself in the cockpit of his mobile suit. He was slightly concerned about the ramifications of doing a mission but knew he had to keep his skills sharp. “This is Aker… Jäger Astray launching!” As expected his mobile suit appeared in a star field of sorts. He checked his screens to see if his allies had materialized around him yet. 


((thanks to frosty for the pictures!))

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Icarus took Aker’s disappearance as the signal to start the mission. With a glance over at the kid—Wade—Icarus nodded and pulled up his menu. It all sort of came flooding back to him then. His students had run him through the basics of navigating the menu the first time he had logged in and showed him how to access the hangar. Tapping the button, he soon found himself staring up at the RGZ-99i DaeDAL, a slightly trumped-up ReZEL painted to match the classic Gundam colour scheme.

“Hey there, big guy,” Icarus said as he scanned the mobile suit. “You ready to go for a ride?” Another series of button presses saw him in the cockpit of the machine, staring down the barrel of a launch catapult and the starfield beyond. Icarus closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

Relax, Ray. It’s just a game. If kids can do it, so can you.

Icarus opened his eyes and focused as another side of him took over. “This is Icarus. DaeDAL is good to go,” the ground beneath him shifted, throwing him and the mobile suit forward down the long hallway and flinging them both out into the reaches of space. Luckily for Icarus, the controls came back fairly quickly—it was the only thing he had really practiced extensively the first go around.

“Let’s shift gears, DaeDAL,” he said to himself as he activated the machine’s mobile armour ‘Waverider’ mode. The DaeDAL contorted and changed shapes, folding itself into a plane-like silhouette. “Everything is feeling good and tight so far,” Icarus said to himself. Ahead of him, he saw a dark blue-and-white mobile suit with the head of an Astray. As he approached, Icarus seamlessly switched the DaeDAL back to mobile suit mode.

“Alright,” he said, hailing Aker on the comm system. “I’ll try not to hold us back,”


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Wade was the last of the newly formed group to leave the main lobby, ending up in the cockpit of the smaller Gunpla. "Alright! Let's take whoever these Knights are down. Command Gundam FSD! Let's do this!" The diver grasped the controls as he appeared on the space map their mission would be taking place. The brown SD blinked as it glanced over to the two other machines. "Better to stick together. You never know what could be out there." He thought while pushing the controls forward. The FSD's feet wobbled a bit, Wade noticing the craftsmanship of the Gunpla. "Sometimes the little ones can be the toughest to make perfect..."

The model jetted closer and closer to the regular sized Gunpla, holding its LMG tightly. "I'll really have to prove myself here." Wade checked the maneuverability of the weapons, bringing his missile launcher up and down. "Can't stay behind while they fight." The unknown enemies were currently nowhere to be seen as the three flew in one direction. "So..." Wade exclaimed through the comms. "What's the plan?"

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((Kudos to Frosty for the amazing work on the suits!))

Satisfied that he didn’t load in by himself, Gabriel studied his displays to look for the enemy. Wade’s question weighed in on the radio and Gabe responded. “I recon Icarus will keep some distance until we know wheat were up against exactly, you will move in closer with me since you have some fire power. Sound good?” Scanning his scopes he added under his breath, “ I got a trick or two under my sleeve as well…” 

His search didn’t last long as they got hailed over the radio, “attention unknown mobile suits, you have trespassed into a restricted air space. If you do not withdraw now you will be fired upon.” The voice was familiar, he just couldn’t place it. He scanned the area and his eyes lit up as he saw the three stars approaching them.

Unable to resist himself he responded back, “and whose going to make us?” He readied his beam rifle to aim at the dots in the distance. The snarky voice responded, “the Jule team that’s who! Now stand down!” There was clear irritation in their voice. 

Gabriel smirked thinking they would be engaging the Duel or more likely a Zaku. His eyes grew wide as he spotted the distinct silhouette of a mobile suit he wasn’t expected.

09D5E06B-DDA6-4D84-8F97-0DC0376C3CE6.thumb.jpeg.af9d726c770fee15e8dba4bd145af21b.jpeg“Spread out!” Gabriel yelled in terror as the Freedom attempted to lock onto them all. The other two “stars” whipped out to the sides and slowly the picture became more clear. “Look out for the Justice and the Strike!” He grunted as he worked the controls to try and stay wide of the beam volley launching out of the Freedom. 


Yzak yelled out as he unleashed the volley from the Freedom, “Dearka! Rusty! Spread out and flank them!” The way the enemy reacted had him surprised that they didn’t fall for his initial attack like most enemies did. “These guys might be trouble!” He growled out. 

Edited by Roromi
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“Sounds good to me,” Icarus said as he patted the mega beam cannon attached to the DaeDAL’s shoulder. “I’ll be your guardian angel for this one,”

The comm system beeped with an incoming transmission from somewhat outside of their squad. “attention unknown mobile suits, you have trespassed into a restricted air space. If you do not withdraw now you will be fired upon.” The pilot’s voice was grating and bordering on hostile. Aker responded and the name Jule came up.

Jule team? Does that mean we’re dealing with the Duel, Buster, and Blitz? Maybe some Zakus? This was supposedly a beginner mission—Zaku’s would make sense. But the three mobile suits that appeared on the sensors did not fit the specifications of Zakus.

“That’s odd, I wonder wh—”

“Spread out!” Aker cried. A lock-on warning blared and flashed in front of Icarus, who instinctively pulled back on his controls, sending the DaeDAL dashing in reverse away from his comrades as a volley of beams sliced through the space he had previously occupied.

“Tch,” Icarus grit his teeth. “That’s definitely not a Zaku—it’s not even the Duel. That’s…the Freedom?” Aker warned him of the Justice and the Strike as well and Icarus shook his head. Nothing about what he saw in front of him was accurate in any way, but Icarus quickly chastised himself for expecting these npc pilots to be in their own mobile suits when he himself was in something highly customized and non-canon. “So this is GBN, huh? Gotta’ expect the unexpected, I guess. Let’s see,” he tried to pull up images of his opponents from afar. “a blue freedom, a black Justice and…Bazooka Strike? No, a railgun maybe?”

Only one way to find out, Ray,

“Right. I don’t know what they call those suits,” he said to his comrades. “But they certainly have some secrets to them. That Strike unit looks particularly long range. I’ll try and distract the others and one of you can get in close to it,”

Alright, big guy, time to see what you can do with this cannon. You get three shots, make them count. Icarus brought the mega beam cannon up and aimed it towards the Black Justice. “Firing mega beam cannon, stay clear, you two,” the muzzle of the shoulder mounted gun glowed as a great orb of light grew at it’s tip before turning into a laser that cut through the darkness of space as it approached the Justice.

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Wade definitely wasn't expecting to be fighting these mobile suits, but he was still intrigued by the choices. "It's like a weird What-If story!" He exclaimed as he attempted to stay away from the Freedom's weaponry. "We're just getting started, you blue meanie!" He started to point the LMG at the legendary unit, but stopped after hearing his comrade. "Alright then. Leave the Strike to me!" The SD give a thumbs up and winked as Wade skirted away from the others, watching the three enemies in case there was more trouble.

"He's right." Wade thought about what Icarus had said. "It'll be tough to get some shots in at this range." Whatever he decided on, he'd have to think quickly. It wouldn't be long before the Strike retaliated against the little brown Gunpla. "Oh, I got it!" The Diver pressed a couple buttons on the side panel, causing the SD's scope to be the main camera. "We'll keep him busy." At that moment, two of the four rockets blasted out of the launcher, heading straight for the Full Armor Strike. "Steady... Steady... NOW!" Once the missiles were close enough, Wade pulled up the LMG, firing a barrage of beams, hoping many could connect.

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Gabriel worked his controls to avoid getting shot. His attention was diverted as he heard Icarus announce shooting a mega beam cannon. “Go for it!” He responded as the DaeDal fired off a large golden shot. Gabriel took that opportunity to time his move correctly. He let the warm glow of Icarus’ attack alarm everyone else and that’s when Gabriel activated his Mirage Colloid. The Jager Astray shimmered our of view and he rocked his controls to divert his direction from the way he was moving before. He holstered his rifle on the Astray’s butt and moved both of his hands to pull out his beam sabers.it was unfortunate for him that his enemies had phase shift, as that nullified half his weaponry. And if he relied solely on the beam rifle he was worried he would drain his battery too fast. If he timed his attacks with the beam sabers he could activated them just as he was going to attack. This would both conserve energy, and keep himself concealed. He wondered if everyone would think he was shot down already by his stunt. 


“Why is he targeting me?” Dearka complained as he tried not getting incinerated by the golden blast. He managed a cheeky dodge by separating the flight back from the back of the Justice only for the glider to get squarely impacted by the death ray. “Damnit!” Dearka cried out, “Yzak let’s get this bastard!” It wasn’t that he wasn’t thinking of Rusty, he merely trusted Yzak more in desperate situations and the damage to his mobile suit was a bad as bruising his ego, something the two coordinators had in common.

The Justice and Freedom directed their attention to the mobile suit with the big cannon and spiraled towards it while firing shots from their rifles. “You won’t get off so easily!” Yzak cried out as he fired on the big threat. 


“You call that an attack?” Rusty mocked as his phase shift absorbed the missile barrage from the minuscule mobile suit. His taunt was cut short as a barrage of beams lanced at him. He raised his shield in time to absorb many of the hits but a few stray shots got past the barrier. One burning the inside of his left foot. “Just what kind of lame Alliance weapon are you supposed to be?” He taunted as he leveled his rail gun to return fire at the enemy.  He fired consecutive shots hopping his barrage would panic the enemy. Each blast attempted to go in front of Wade, to box him into facing Rusty. 

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“Two on one, huh?” Icarus smirked. “Hardly seems fair to me,” The DaeDAL raised its shields and Icarus adjusted the machine to make it as small a target as he could. Beams collided with the shield while others flew past him. A few of the last beams, however, managed to glance his shoulder and hip armor, melting them somewhat.

Careful, Ray. Your armor isn’t anything special. Those beams will cut through it like butter if you stay still.

“Tch, right. You guys wanna’ play ball, we’ll play ball,” Icarus shifted the mega beam cannon back to the shoulder and, with the shield still in front of him, pulled one of his beam boomerangs from the defensive device and flung it towards the two incoming mobile suits. He hoped it would serve at least as a distraction of some kind as Icarus transformed the DaeDAL back to mobile armor mode and pushed the engines to max in a wide arc around the Justice and the Freedom, keeping them to his left.

At the end of his turn, which he had hoped would place him behind the two suits once more, the DaeDAL transformed back, lifted its rifle, and shot off a volley aimed primarily at the already disadvantaged Justice.

Don’t linger for too long. You’ve put yourself in between those two and the Strike unit. Hit and run, hit and run.

He hoped that Wade was managing to distract Rusty and the Strike—if not, one well-aimed shot from that cannon of his could do a whole lot of damage to the DaeDAL. Icarus scanned the battlefield and, curiously, found no sign of Aker in the Jager Astray. “Did he ditch us?” he muttered to himself. He brought up the comm channel to hail his fellow pilot but closed it quickly afterward. “No, have some faith in him. He might have a plan of his own,”

For now, Icarus would focus on Dearka and Yzak and hope that his comrades had his back.

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The SD fumbled its way though space, trying to dodge each of railgun blasts. The ginger’s plan had worked, clearly seen by the look on both the SD and Wade’s faces. “Oh please don’t hit!” The shocked Diver yelled out while jerking the controls back and forth. Each move was met with a volley of machine gun beams, but even the optimistic player knew he wouldn’t last.


“Think. Think. Think!” Wade flew above a shot, legs wobbling in the process. “My grenade can do some damage to Phase Shift, but I can’t throw it far enough.” The diver looked down at the feet of the Gunpla, just barely hanging on. “Unless...” The stubby arms almost didn’t reach, but eventually, he grabbed ahold of the right foot.


The ball joint popped right off while the SD attached the LMG to the hip. “This is REALLY strange, but it could work.” Pulling off the clip of one grenade, Wade chucked the explosive as far as he could. It got close to the Strike, but  the speed in zero gravity wouldn’t be enough.


“Now we throw-oh!” The railgun got extremely close, decimating the other leg as he threw the foot. Smacking the grenade, Wade assumed the fast weapon could make it in time before the timer was up, but wasn’t TOO sure... 

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“Yzak!” Dearka cried out and in response the Freedom fired a full volley at the boomerang. The shots exploded the weapons and Dearka tried to get a bead on the mobile armor. “Damn you!” He cried out as his emerald shots trailed the strange transforming suit. He decided to repay the favor and reached for one of his boomerangs as well. 

“Follow my lead Dearka!’ The Freedom announced as it moved to follow the quick suit, something the Freedom was capable of doing. Gripping his boomerang, Dearka Followed and poised a throw. Yzak closed the distance and unfurled his wings and weapons to unleash another full volley just for Icarus. As his leader did that Dearka shot up from behind the freedom to follow with his own boomerang. “Fight you coward!” Yzak called out behind his attack. 

Gabriel grimaced as Icarus kept the hit and fade tactics heading his way. “Damnit I should have clued them in huh 8?” He asked the Computer duct taped to the side of his seat. 

“It would have greatly increased your effectiveness as a force.” The computer chirped back in what Gabe assumed was a snarky tone. Still Gabriel made the situation work for him. He edged his way toward the duo, believing that they hadn’t wisened up to his plan just yet. “Hopefully I don’t get hit by friendly fire…” he muttered as he came up beside the Justice. It wasn’t anything dramatic or exceptional as he slide up to the distracted suit and pressed the emitter of the saber to the side of the belly. He could have killed the NPD, but he didn’t think that was a fate Dearka deserved. Instead he went for the “Shin” style blow and activated his weapon in the belly. His attack making his cloak fade away as his pink blade ignited into the body of the Justice. 

He didn’t linger instead he flared his thrusters to get away from the crippled suit. He could hear Dearka’s alarm over the radio. “Eject you dummy…” he implored as he tried to shift his focus to the dangerous Freedom. Taking out Dearka would likely put Yzak into a frenzy. 

“Icarus try to keep Yzak interested in you!” Gabriel pleaded, hoping to line up another sneak attack. His concerns were interrupted however as the Justice exploded in a grand fashion. Nuclear you idiot, he chided as the Astray was violently knocked backwards away from Yzak and Icarus.  


Rusty was so focused on firing on the bizarre Gundam they he didn’t think much when it attempted to throw the grenade his way. Of course there wasn’t the range and the projectile didn’t even get close. “Pathetic!” Rusty announced victoriously as he took his time for another shot. He dialed in his reticle and smirked as he locked on. “No where else to run!” He concluded. But as he took his time aiming Wade preformed his own self surgery, removing a foot and throwing it at him? Rusty did pause and consider the odd movement. He hasn’t hit that limb, had he? Why would they throw a foot?

His curiosity was violently answered as the nature of physics went to work sending the harmless looking grenade Rusty’s way. The projectile time out perfectly and exploded against the poised battle of his Rail gun. The explosion sent the strike flying back and Rusty growled out in anger, “damn it!” The phase shift reduced a lot of damage secondary damage but his main weapon was out of commission now. “You’ve done it!” Rusty yelled, “you’re gonna pay now pipsqueak!” He flared his thrusters and moved to produce a grenade in one hand to fly towards Wade with the intention of repaying the attack. 

Edited by Roromi
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The DaeDAL’s volley sped through the empty space where he thought he had left the two mobile suits.

“Huh? They’re gon—” sirens blared as the Freedom and the Justice appeared at his flank. “Damn it,” Icarus brought the shield up once more as the Freedom’s entire arsenal let loose a full salvo but the timing was far from perfect. They had managed to get the drop on him with their speed, something that Icarus foolishly miscalculated. The Freedom’s cannons tore through the legs of the DaeDAL, obliterating them completely, and melted the shield to the point it became unrecognizable.

“It’s a good thing you don’t need legs in space,” Icarus said over the comms, his voice laced with smarminess. Let’s get him really worked u—

His train of thought was interrupted by the sudden reappearance of the Jaegar Astray, which had jammed its beam saber up into the torso of the Justice.


Tossing the shield aside, Icarus wrenched on his control sticks, throwing the DaeDAL in as fast of a backward thrust as he could manage. There was no time to shift to waverider and he had his doubts that the suit was still capable of transforming at all without legs. The explosion of the Justice was a beautiful, horrible thing—radiant, iridescent, and blinding. Despite his evasive manoeuvres, the shock wave still managed to send the DaeDAL hurtling even further away.

“Icarus try to keep Yzak interested in you!”

“Roger that, Aker,” But maybe I’ll do you one better and take him out myself.

As the light of the explosion began to fade, Icarus brought the Mega Beam Cannon back up and aimed, waiting for the Freedom to come into view.  One shot an end this here and now---I just have to concentrate.

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"Haha! It worked!" Wade made the SD pull out the LMG to continue firing on whatever was left of the Strike. However, only the Coordinator's weapon had been destroyed, causing Rusty to move forward at a rapid pace. "What's he doing?" Wade thought as he tried to keep his distance, blindly firing on the Full Armor unit. Without the feet, the small Gunpla had lost some of its thrusters, creating a bigger problem as the speedy mobile suit began to catch up.

"Wait a minute... He's got a grenade too!" The SD's eyes widened, Wade realizing the pilot was looking for payback. "But where- there they are!" The explosives were kept on each shoulder of the machine. giving the Strike much more of an arsenal than he'd thought. "I'll just take those out then!" Suddenly, the bullets halted as clicking noises started to produce from the trigger. "AW! COME ON!" The Diver tossed the weapon aside, opting to fire the remaining two missiles at each shoulder. He wondered if it would cause a chain reaction, or even hit, with how well he could aim flying backwards.

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Yzak’s eyes went wide as the Justice exploded right beside him. The explosion rocked the Freedom in a linear path but Yzak was too stunned by the turn of events. Probably his closest friend had just been vaporized, seemingly out of no where. The shock subsided for sheer rage and in a fit he flared the wings out, pausing his drift. He then focused on the one target he could see, Icarus, and blindly charged straight at him in a rage. “You bastards! You’ll pay!” 

He couldn’t recall the last time he felt such rage, such intensity. All he knew was he had to avenge. He dropped his rifle to draw both beam sabers, igniting their fusia blades with malicious intent. The angle he was afforded him a clear enough shot that he brought his shoulder cannons out to aim. All he could see was red, all he wanted to see was blood. He fired the cannons almost in a panic as he was intent on getting in close for the kill. It wasn’t until the golden light began to almost blind him that he realized his mistake. To his credit he aligned his shoulder cannons in time to get an accurate shot in return, but the blast from the mega cannon was far less forgiving, and more brutal. 


Several LMG shots dug into the strike but not enough to slow down the machine. The shield still led Rusty’s charge as he yelled in anger. But then the IFF for the Justice disappeared, accented by the brilliant eruption from his ally unit. The Justice and Freedom were supposed to be the pinnacle of ZAFT engineering, how could one of them get destroyed? His distraction cost him dearly as two missiles slammed into the Strike, setting off the remaining grenades on the shoulder, excellent shots that would have crippled a normal suit. His alarms blared, warning him of a drained battery. The mobile suit dulled in color, but the Strike still remained intact, even as the smoke from some of the grenades made a cloud around him. Rusty still held a Grenade in hand and colorful shield in the other. “I don’t care if you drained my battery I can still move!” He poised his arm to throw the grenade. But as he moved the throw an odd vibration rocked his cockpit and nothing flew at his target. 


Gabriel was stunned from the blast but he wasn’t out of the fight. Alarms blared around him of stress damage and other fun things, but he found he could still move. He lost his grips on his beam sabers and shield which left him with an even more limited arsenal. As he gained his senses he saw Icarus take aim for the Freedom and knew he dint want to be around for that exchange of fire. He pulled out his Katana and searched for Wade and the Strike. 

He found the leg less SD looking almost in a panic as it fired its’ missiles at the Strike. Part of him wondered why he should even help the recruiter? It’s not as if he was exactly charmed by the kid, and his attempts to recruit the newbie. But as he looked at the expression of the SD he knew he had to, even if it meant risking Rusty’s existence. 

“8 activate the colloid.” He said determinedly. He flared his thrusters to dive in towards the Strike. “Affirmative!” The computer responded as he moved to close the distance. He didn’t know of his attack would have any impact with the Phase Shift but between the two of them they should be able to-

His concerns were answered as the pesky phase shift bled off the Strike and he knew it was suddenly a fight he could win. Again he didn’t necessarily want to kill the pilot, and the cocked arm was too tempting a target not to slice at. The katana cleanly sliced the joint  severing the arm and the grenade before it could get thrown at Wade. 

The colloid faded away revealing his Astray once again. He wasn’t exactly recovered from his slice but he spun his suit around to level the blade at the mobile suit. “Do you yield?” He asked daringly at Rusty. He then shifted his channel to address his teammates. “Are you guys alright?” All the while he kept his blade aimed at the Strike. Rusty still had his shield as well as two knives, and the shoulder cannons; but he didn’t know how reckless the Zaft pilot was willing to be. 


Dearka groaned and his eyes fluttered open. He could see that he was miraculously outside the cockpit of the Justice. As his vision came into focus he could see the debris of his machine floating around him like ghostly pieces. His eyes then moved to lock onto the electrical arcs webbing off of another machine. “Yzak!” He slowly groaned out, realizing the Freedom had been shot down as well. He then turned to see the Strike with its’ shield slung across its back, one arm raised up in surrender. “Coward…” he rasped, realizing that they had all soundly been defeated. “Just… who are… these guys?” He asked no one in particular. His body slowly floated away along with fragments of his machine. 

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Icarus clenched his teeth as the Freedom made its desperate charge, beam sabers in either hand and wings of light blazing behind him. “Come on, come on,” he hissed as the mega beam cannon shot bubbled at the tip of the barrel. When the shoulder cannons of the Freedom folded out and took aim, Icarus began to panic.

Gotta’ adjust, but the cannon…

There would be no time, not if he wanted to score his hit and remove the pilot from the scenario. All he could do was hope that, in his fury, Yzak was firing from the proverbial hip and not aiming with any kind of scrutiny. The mega beam cannon let off its massive shot, the golden light lancing forward and consuming the Freedom as it continued its charge. The shoulder cannons, however, still managed to get their shots off before the Freedom was engulfed and the beams tore through the DaeDAL, obliterating its left arm and head, leaving behind little more than a singed and melted torso, a cracked arm, and a red-hot mega beam cannon.

Inside the virtual cockpit, Icarus’s cameras knocked out, the screens turning black and displaying ‘no feed’ in bold red letters. Icarus himself tensed up as he waited. He had no visual confirmation of, well, anything really, which meant that it was possible the Freedom had somehow survived and was closing in for the final blow.

“Are you guys alright?”  Aker’s voice came over the comms.

“One sec,” Icarus responded as he opened the cockpit hatch. Floating in space before him were the toasted remains of the Freedom. He breathed a sigh of relief. “Yeah, scratch one on my side. My suit isn’t looking too pretty though. How about you guys?”

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The missiles did their job as smoke erupted around Rusty's unit, SD Gundam looking in awe. "Direct hit!" The tiny Gunpla pulled out its only remaining unit, a silver knife, and switched the grip to point the knife downward. "If you're still gonna fight, then I guess I'll have to pry open the cockpit door!" Wade blasted ahead into the smoke cloud, but the next two moments looked like a blur to him. When he looked ahead, Aker's Astray had appeared to slice off the Strike's arm, pretty much ending the SD's battle.

Wade slowly floated to the strike and pointed his own blade at the machine, opting to follow Aker in keeping the NPD's alive. "Maybe we'll get a bonus or something..." The diver thought as the SD stared intently at the defeated enemy, watching for sudden movements. "I'm alright!" Wade finally responded to the Astray's pilot. "Looks like we were able to do some damage here. Thanks for the help!" Inside, Wade was thankful that the others could pick up his slack. The Gunpla also made a thumbs up to what looked like the remains of the ReZEL custom. "Nice job with the Freedom!"

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Gabriel breathed a little easier with each confirmation from his teammates. He then took a moment to study them and see the battlefield for what it was. It was then that he frowned as Wade mentioned the Freedom, and the wreckage confirmed that reality. So… Yzak bit it huh? His gaze shifted to his allies and the substantial damage they all took. His own unit wasn’t without some interior strain, with his conventional armor it was almost like piloting a glass cannon. Not that he wasn’t used to piloting anything with thicker armor, so to him this was fairly normal. Shaking the thought of his head he looked at Rusty who stood with his hands up in the open hatch of the Strike. It was then the glorious confirmation splayed across his screen:

Mission Accomplished!

Spared Enemy Pilot Bonus X 2

He sighed relief as he realized it must have meant Dearka made it out of the Justice in one piece, or was at least breathing. “8 we’ll catch up later. Take care of the Jager for me?”

“Affirmative!” the deep tinny voice replied, and Gabriel lifted his hands from the controls just as his reality shifted away into the familiar lobby of GBN. That sensation was always, unnerving, and he wasn’t certain he would ever get used to being spirted away like that. As he regained his footing a message popped up in his HUD and he lifted his hand to open it. The mission rewards were fairly generous; some good credits, along with a teamwork bonus. There was also an extra reward for not killing two the pilots as well: a full set of red ZAFT flight uniform with space suit. 

Curious, he opted to change his clothing right there, his outfit instantly shimmered from his black poncho to the signature red uniform of a ZAFT elite. Oddly enough the mask stayed on his face, something he didn’t notice as he lifted his arms to study the uniform. “Not bad! he announced as he put his HUD away. He looked at his teammates curious what Wade would say about the mission, and how Icarus would react from the event. Nodding to the newbie he asked, “What did you think of the mission?”

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((Compilation post between me, Frosty, and Judge))

“Nice job with the Freedom!”  Wade’s voice came in loud and clear across the comms as Icarus took the controls again. 

-“Thanks,” he said, looking at the ‘mission complete’ screen that had popped up. Apparently they had gotten a bonus for spared enemies, but only two of them. “I guess I went a little overboard though. I don’t think Yzak made it.”

The cockpit faded away around him and before he knew it, Icarus had returned to the GBN lobby. A couple feet away, Aker had his menu open and was looking at something intently when his avatar changed clothing to that of the red ZAFT uniform. Icarus too brought up his menu and saw the mission rewards waiting for him. He opted not to change into the uniform however, choosing instead to stay in his normal suit. Closing the menu, Icarus approached Aker and folded his arms. 

“What did you think of the mission?” Aker asked him. 

“Well, aside from obliterating a teenager, I thought it was fun,” he said with the hint of a smile on his face. “It was pretty quick work, but I think we did well.” Icarus turned to Wade and nodded. “Quick thinking with that leg stunt—I’d never have thought of that,”

-Wade put his hand behind his head, rubbing it. “Thanks, but I was honestly kinda desperate. They were tough, but we pulled through!” The diver scurried around the menus on his main screen. “In fact, I think we make a very good team.” He slid the Diver force request towards the middle. “I was right-oh wait sorry-I was right about you two. UNIVERZ would love to have you!” Wade was very excited about their possible acceptance. In fact, he wasn’t paying much attention to the recruitment screen...

-Aker kept his arms crossed with a skeptical look on his face. Last time he dealt with a force it led to a lot of drama. On the other hand he had been running solo for so long that he admitted that he forgot the advantages of working as a team. With the way things were going now maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to sign up with a force? “Yeah I gotta admit we pulled that off pretty good together...” shrugging he accepted the request.  Maybe running with a larger crowd would keep him under the radar better. “I’m in.” He stated as he looked to Icarus to see what they would do.

-Icarus looked at the force request as it popped up in his menu.

A team-up, eh?

His students had already offered him a place in theirs once he reached a high enough rank, but he was sure that they would do just fine without him and they could still run club missions regardless. With that being the case, Icarus looked at Wade and Aker then pressed the ‘accept’ button with a nod.

“I’m in too,” he said, looking at Wade once more. “Only, I thought that your force was called UNIVERZ. I didn’t see that name pop up at all on the offer,”

-“Wait a minute. Aw man, wrong one.” Wade said while cancelling the requests. “Come on... there we go.” The diver slid what he thought was a recruitment form to Icarus and Aker, except he made it worse! A screen, meant for giving new forces a name, appeared in front of the novice player, while the recruitment form for the new team was given to the ZAFT uniformed diver.

-“Oh,” Icarus said with mild surprise as a new form popped up on his menu, prompting him to input a name for the new force. Anxiety gripped him. He glanced up at Wade and Aker, but both divers seemed preoccupied with their own menus. Surely this was intentional right? Maybe they were deferring to him since he seemed to be the oldest—or maybe it was tradition for the newest player to name the force. A bead of sweat rolled down Ray’s in the real world. With a deep breath, he typed in the name for their union. 

“Fleurs de Noblesse,” he said, looking back at them as confidently as he could. “It means Flowers of Nobility in French…I thought it was thematically appropriate since we just finished a mission called Three Musketeers.”  Icarus scratched the back of his head nervously. “I, uh, I’m a bit of a nerd for literature, you see. It might not be as cool as some of the other names you see around here but, well…I like it. See there’s this old concept called Noblesse oblige and it was about how the elite had to treat those lower than them with generosity and…ah, yeah, I thought it was...good,”

-Aker raised an eye brow at Icarus as the man yammered on about literature. “What do you mean?” He asked slowly as he looked at his heads up display. He hadn’t seen the force menu in the Beta yet so he was curious if there was something he missed. It was then he saw the title next to his own tag “Fleurs de Noblesse?” He tried out the word out loud. By this point he caught on what happened and he did his best to stifle his laughter as he looked to Wade. It made little difference to him, a force was a force and these two didn’t seem all that bad.

-“Fleurs de what?” Wade looked down at his display, a horrified look painted his face. Thoughts raced into his head, mostly wondering (and worrying) about Chris’ reaction, but they suddenly stopped. “Kyle and Amy left to do their own thing.” He pondered. “I can too!” Wade pushed the menu away and began to speak. “Looks like I created a force on accident, but I think it’s for the best. We can do many different things when it’s just the three of us, so let’s make Fleurs de Nob...es... the best team in GBN!”

-Gabriel couldn’t help but laugh as wade played off the mistake. He had to admit their leader had some spirit. For the first time in awhile Gabriel let the laughter come out of his belly. “Yeah! I’m down for a challenge!” His face grew more somber but a grin etched his face at the possibility. He nodded approvingly at his new teammates.

-“Fleurs de Noblesse,” Icarus repeated as Wade enthusiastically stated his goal to make their new force the best in GBN, which elicited laughter and agreement from Aker. “Then it’s official. The three of us are a team now and we’re going to soar to some extraordinary heights,” Icarus said, pulling up his menu. “So we should really power through as many missions as possible and as quickly as we can. I’m making a list of the ones that seem like they’d be right for us and as soon as the DaeDAL is repaired we can head out...” the man continued speaking, listing the various details of the missions he had planned for them without stopping to think about whether or not they were even still listening. He was just happy to have some people to play with that weren’t his students.

-One of the missions Icarus gave catched Wade’s attention. It wasn’t the hardest, but had a high amount of money given for completion. “We’ll need some cash to get a Force Nest.” The diver exclaimed, realizing the Shield would no longer be accessible to him. “What about this one?”

Mission: Redacted Experiment

Difficulty: Hard

Description: The Earth Federation will go to extreme lengths for their secrets...

“What do you guys think?”

-Gabriel shuffled some at the mention of a force nest but kept his mouth shut. Teammates or not these were strangers he just met and he wasn’t certain about sharing all his resources just yet. Besides he was supposed to be playing the part of a newbie. Still, the mission Wade selected wasn’t something to bat an eye at, it looked hard. Slowly he nodded his agreement however. They couldn’t be taken seriously without their own nest. “That certainly looks like it would help us on our way...” he nodded at the mission. “You sure that’s a good idea? That’s like climbing a mountain after scaling a hill just now?” He kept his arms crossed as he leaned in close to Wade to look at what their leader was looking at.

-“Hm... Well we don’t know what we’ll be up against, but it’s a high intake of treasures.” He pointed to the three secret rewards underneath the credits. “It COULD be crap, but if it’s hidden, it normally means something good...”

-Gabriel bit his tongue, he held back his more experienced remark and instead said, “well you’re the veteran, I’m down for whatever you think... what about you Icarus?” He nodded to the other man.

-"No risk, no reward," Icarus said. In truth, the difficulty of the mission concerned him. He was barely able to hold his own in the mission they had just finished, but this new one was labelled hard. He didn't want to slow his new teammates down. Wade had made a salient point though--higher rewards would give them the jump start their new force needed and would go a long way in finding their Force Nest, which Icarus assumed was a sort of guild hall. 

"I mean, what do we have to lose really? A little humiliation maybe? But then, I can take the blame if that happens--I'm the newbie after all"

-"Well, then it's settled!" Wade uttered as he clicked ACCEPT on the mission screen. "Whatever comes next, I know that we'll be able to handle it." Soon after, the three new members of Fleurs de Noblesse were no longer in the main lobby, now appearing near the next mission objective. Wade scratched his head while looking around, only seeing almost pure white on his screens. "Uh... is something wrong?" He asked the others. Suddenly, a large gust of wind pulled him away from his teammates, although Wade had no clue where they even were.

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