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Redacted Experiment


FrostyFoster
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Wade had fallen to the ground of his cockpit, still seeing a flurry of white on each of his screens. The Diver had done missions, but nothing like this. The blast of chilly wind engulfed his little SD as more snow began to pile on top of the Gunpla. “I’d rather not get buried…” Wade thought, getting up the grasp the controls. The brown machine pushed itself forward with its hands, struggling to stay balanced while taking a barrage of bad weather. “Aker, Icarus!” He yelled out through his comms, wiping ice off the large eye section of the mobile suit. He'd lost the white ReZEL, but the Diver could very faintly still see Astray. That is until the blizzard quickly gave him no sense of direction, losing the unit in the process.

At this level, he could see hills of snowbanks all around him. “There’s gotta be some sort of base or mobile suit around here.” The Diver stated to the others while pulling his LMG out of the snow. Thankfully, the Diver's communications still worked, no matter what climate it was. “Do either of you have any recon or like, tracking devices or something?” Pulling up his menu, Wade put a generic compass on his left screen, minimizing it. The small model kit started walking in a direction that felt the least troublesome, an incline that led south. “I'm walking south, but who knows if that'll lead me to the mission." The Gunpla started shivering, holding its tiny arms together. "I’m up for any ideas honestly…” Wade wondered if this was a huge mistake after all.

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Gabriel was still flustered by Icarus’s comment about “not having anything to loose” as he was taken a back by the sudden blizzard they were immersed in. His monitor was nearly washed out from the snow and he winced to study his surroundings. There was something nostalgic about the environment, something that reminded him of a long time ago, he just couldn’t place it. 

Just seeing the snow was making him feel cold. He took a second to change his costume to the red space suit thinking that if it was good enough for space it would be good enough for the cold. He reached up to open the visor of his helmet, looking at his displays to see nothing but white. He could almost hear the word “Winter” in the distance. 

Wade’s words cut in, through the snow, snapping him to the present. “Negative…” Aker replied, “my unit is more meant for stealth and general combat, all this snow would probably mess with my Mirage Colloid. I doubt I could sneak anywhere.” He hoisted his rifle  and shield up as if to reassure himself. “But if we can’t see them they can’t see us right?” He asked suddenly feeling a little nervous of the unknown. He moved his suit in a southern direction as well before asking. “We should all go the same direction, maybe Icarus could fly ahead to scout?” He tried to keep up with what he thought was Wade. 

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“Same here,” Icarus said to Wade’s question. “This thing is kind of stripped down except for the cannon. It was meant for hit-and-run, not necessarily for recon. About the only advantage I have here is that my suit is partly white” Aker suggested going in the same direction, which Icarus agreed with, as well as the DaeDAL going ahead to scout, which he agreed with somewhat less. “I’m not sure mobile armor mode would be advisable right now. I can’t really see anything and I don’t think flying up above the tree-line—wherever that is—would change much.”

Icarus placed a hand to his chin and thought deeply about the situation. Since they hadn’t spotted the enemy, their biggest concern at the moment was advancing without being separated, a task made more difficult by his own suit’s colouration. Both the Jaegar Astray and the Command Gundam were darkly coloured which meant Icarus could, theoretically, make them out better against the snow. Theoretically.

“I don’t suppose either of you have a Gundam-sized rope, do you?” the idea sounded silly as soon as it came out of his mouth, but the idea would’ve been sound. It would ensure at least that the newly formed Force wouldn’t get too far without one another. “Scratch that—we could have our mobile suits join hands if we’re worried about getting separated, but as soon as the shooting starts that’ll go out the window. But either way, we should head south and stick together like Aker said. Weapons at the ready,”

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"If I was piloting a Gouf, I might." The SD trudged over a nasty patch of ice as its pilot responded to Icarus. It was getting to the point where the mission was becoming tiresome. There were no enemies to fight and they could barely see a thing. This is until Wade took a closer look at what he thought was more ice. "It's steel!" The Diver made the tiny Gunpla go down on its knees to wipe around the metal. "I almost stepped on it. That could've been bad!" Eventually, the little base was uncovered, a cube shaped building that was no where near the size of a mobile suit.

Wade got out his machine, thankful GBN didn't have mechanisms in place to make him freeze to death. The snow level was high enough to annoy him as he stepped closer to the base, but not enough for Wade to be stuck. The Diver, after almost falling a few times, grasped the only opening to the building. Pulling as much as he could against the snow blocking it, all that was inside was a small elevator. "Ok, that's gotta lead us somewhere." He waved to the other mobile suits in his group. "Come on guys! I think this is it!" The blizzard was beginning to lighten up, I thought popped into his head. "Actually..." The leader of the group uttered. "One of us should keep guard while we go inside. You never know what could happen." The Diver knew he had to be a strategist, since it was likely that there would be opposition on their journey to the experiment.

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As Wade exited his mobile suit to investigate the hatch Aker was already shaking his head. This was looking more and more like a bad horror movie. Outside the mobile suit, he would feel too exposed, too weak. Before Icarus could speak up Aker cut back, “I’ll- I mean I can stay up here and keep watch.” He turned the Astray to regard the DaeDal nodding in an almost pleading fashion. “I can try the colloid and stand guard.” He offered once more. 

The hairs on his neck were standing up in alarm from this turn of events. Most missions would have dished out some sort of engagement by this point, instead they were getting a sense of eerie suspense. He cautiously looked past the DaeDal to keep his guard up. Last thing he wanted was to get surprised himself. 

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Icarus quirked an eyebrow as he watched Wade exit his mobile suit. He wouldn’t have guessed a mission in a Gundam-based game would require him to actually leave his mobile suit to complete it, but he liked how it added variety. After a while, Wade had uncovered what appeared to be an elevator of some kind and suggested that someone stay behind. Before Icarus could even mull it over, Aker volunteered. Icarus turned the DaeDAL to look at the Jaeger.

“You sure?” he asked. But Aker had seemed pretty sure and so the DaeDAL nodded in affirmation. “Alright, I’ll go with Wade then. If something comes up, don’t hesitate to call us back or run if you get overwhelmed. As long as one suit survives we pass the mission, right?”

Right, let’s do this,

Icarus brought the DaeDAL into a kneel, opened the cockpit, and rode the wire down. The snow was deep and felt realistic when walking through it and Icarus was eager to get out of it almost as soon as he had landed on the ground.

“Alright, Wade,” he said, clapping his teammate on the shoulder and gesturing toward the elevator. “Lead the way,”

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Wade was thankful only one of his comrades joined him. The elevator was extremely crammed, barely giving the Diver's any room. The ride itself was surprisingly short though, opening up to a dimly lit hallway. Copious amounts of papers and electronics littered the walkway, with some either ripped up or in pieces. "It's clearly abandoned, but they sure left in a hurry." Wade uttered while walking with the other Diver. Part of it did scare him as he started to see syringes sprawled around beds in rooms connected to the main hall. "Is this like a Cyber Newtype facility or something?" Wade enjoyed these types of story driven missions, especially the ones that weren't spelled out for him.

Two large doors stood in front of the teammates. At first, Wade didn't even want to open them. "Aw! It's terrible! I can smell that from here!" He was admittedly impressed by how well GBN mimicked senses, but was horrified to see what was causing it. Inside was a gigantic area with one large cage, riddled with the bodies of Federation soldiers and labcoats. "Well, that answers what the smell was. But... these look recent..." He uttered, noticing the wounds many of the dead had received. "They're massive. Looks like a mobile suit tore through them." Wade knew the cage didn't work. It, along with a large part of the wall, were completely torn through. Whatever it was, it was long gone...

-

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The blizzard had finally begun to die down for the lone Astray. However, he wouldn't be alone for long. Ten Gundam Ground Types, made for special operations, had managed to surround the three Fleurs Gunpla, with only one pilot at the scene. With machine guns readied, Wade and Icarus were sure to feel the rumbles of the battle.

Edited by FrostyFoster
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Shortly after his two teammates entered the elevator Aker activated his Mirage Colloid. It’s not like he was expecting it to work marvelously, but he figured it was better than standing out in the open. He attempted to stand between the two parked suits for cover as he tried his camouflage. The wind of the storm seemed to die down some and finally the white haze slowly began to rescind, albeit a little.

Aker contemplated the cold, and why the environment was tugging on his sense of nostalgia when 8 interrupted his thoughts, “Sir I’ve detected heat signatures, likely mobile suits approaching.” Instantly he jerked forward in his seat, almost appearing like had had been hit. “Crap! Where 8?” He asked as he studied his scopes. 

Before the computer could even respond he started moving along their snow tracks, essentially back tracking. He knew with the snow his Colloid wouldn’t be as effective, so perhaps using their old tracks could help keep him hidden longer. “It would seem they’re massing around us. Multiple Bogeys, I can’t confirm their exact locations.” Aker hissed a curse under his breath as he still studied his screens. The storm seemed to still be playing havoc with the sensors. He hoisted his shield in front of him and readied his rifle. 

It wasn’t so much that he was running away; no, he knew that he couldn’t have a fire fight next to the unmanned machines. He needed to appear far enough away from his friends to lure any enemies away. “Hopefully I can give them a chance to suit up and give me support!”  He growled as he searched for a target. How he desperately wanted to be the one to fire first if possible. Frantically Aker called out on his radio, hoping his allies would hear his warning, “we got incoming enemies, get back up here!” 

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Wade and Icarus’s journey into the depths of the base was short and the two of them soon found themselves wandering down a hallway full of scrap electronics and other detritus. The whole place reminded Icarus of an abandoned hospital, like the ones you see in scary movies or ghost hunting shows on TV.  Wade theorized as they walked, the younger diver voicing his thoughts about what the space had been used for prior to its abandonment.

“It sure could be,” Icarus replied. “Military’s have all sorts of dark secrets. Could be that they were looking for something even beyond Cyber Newtypes, too. I’m sure there will be some clues laying around for us to find.”

The two of them approached a large set of doors and were immediately greeted by an overwhelming odour, the strength of which Icarus did not think reproduceable in a videogame. He didn’t have to wonder at the source of the smell for very long, either, for the room beyond it contained dozens of bodies—both soldiers and scientists alike.

“Damn,” Icarus hissed, looking over at Wade. The kid (if in fact he actually was a kid in real life, Icarus didn’t know) seemed rather unperturbed by this sight. He should’ve expected as much though, kids—especially teens—didn’t seem nearly as sensitive about these things as adults did. Still, Icarus felt like it would be irresponsible not to ask: “You alright seeing this kind of stuff, Wade?”

It was a gruesome sight too. As Wade had put it, it looked a like a mobile suit had torn through them.

Just then, Aker’s voice came over the comms.

“…we…income…mies..back…ere!”

“This place must be interfering with the signal, but that sounds like bad news,” Icarus nodded at Wade. “If you want to stick around here and search for clues, I can go back topside and see what the situation is. But it might be best if we both go,”

Without waiting for an answer, Icarus jogged back down the hallway until he reached the elevator, turning to see if Wade had joined him before pressing the button to head up.

“Hang on, Aker,” he said over his helmet’s radio. “Back up is on the way,”

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"I probably should, but I don't want to be-" Wade turned around to see that Icarus was already bolting to the exit. "alone..." The diver picked up one of the nearby papers, attempting to read through the bloodstained text, but he could only make out two words. "PSYCHO EXAM?" Before he could read more, the entire base began violently shaking, knocking Wade on his back. "Welp, time for me to go!"

The diver pushed himself up as the walls began to crack, sending small rubble and dust on top of Wade. He didn't want to stick around, not knowing what would happen to his avatar being crushed under concrete, but the tunnel caving in was catching up to him. Thankfully, his fellow diver hadn't left yet, still standing in the elevator. "WAIT!!!" Wade dove right into the back elevator wall, stumbling to the floor. "Man, that was close." He thought, noticing the elevator was going back to the snowy surface. Originally, the diver assumed their was a battle happening near the base with Aker, but he was proven wrong once the elevator door opened up.

Wade ran out to find that the weather had cleared, but enemies had arrived. The Ground Type mobile suits had spread out, with only four being in Wade and Icarus' direct vicinity. "Let's take out these guys first." Wade yelled while he got into the tiny Gunpla. "Hopefully they haven't gotten Aker yet!"

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Despite his best efforts Aker knew he was kicking up snow with his shuffle away from his allies. He spotted a group of three and decided now was his chance to shine. He aimed at the farthest Gundam and paused to level a decent shot at it. Taking a moment he calmed his breathing down before squeezing the trigger. While his own breathing would do little to impact the shot, it was his nerves he wanted to keep in check. 

The emerald beam lanced out, making his colloid shimmer away from the rifle. His shot hit true, pegging the “collar bone” region of the mobile suit, instantly taking it out of the fight. Aker knew the next few moments would be critical, as he launched the Jäger at the closest  enemy. He dashed forward a few steps and tossed the rifle out wide, making the colloid cast off from it and creating a diversion. He likely already had attention from his opening shot and knew that he maybe had one more surprise attack in him. 

The other two ground types scanned around frantically and the one closest to him did catch the rifle being tossed, but not the shimmer of his mobile suit as he rushed up. His free hand reached back to produce a beam saber and he lashed down at his opponent. The colloid dripped away with the attack fully exposing him. His shield bashed forward to stun the Gundam as his right hand slashed down hard for the mobile suit’s neck. 

As he attacked he opened up his PA system. “Over here! You cowards!” Of course he didn’t know what kind of NPDs he was dealing with but he hoping to stir the hornet’s nest as his friends got suited up. 

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As soon as Wade was on the elevator, Icarus jammed the up button multiple times until they began to rise. The short journey to the top felt like an eternity and when the doors opened to reveal the snowy exterior and the Ground Types surrounding them, his stomach sank.  Him and Wade made a run for their respective suits and upon entering the DaeDAL, his younger companion’s voice came over the comms.

"Let's take out these guys first. Hopefully they haven't gotten Aker yet!"

“Roger that, boss,” Icarus said as the DaeDAL’s visor flashed with green light. The Diver scanned the surroundings, counting four Gundam Ground Types surrounding himself and Wade. He wasn’t sure if they had noticed them just yet, so Icarus brought the DaeDAL’s beam rifle up to bear while keeping the suit itself kneeling.

“Let’s see if they’re paying attention, Wade,” Icarus said as he fired off a volley of beams at the rightmost Ground Type. After the shots were loosed, the DaeDAL rose to its full height and brought its shield up on the left side to hopefully intercept any fire coming from that direction.

“Aker it’s Icarus. How are you holding up?”

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The DaeDAL's beams gave the ground type no chance to recover as they pierced many parts of the torso section. The mobile suit crashed to the floor, causing its head to snap completely off. It rolled gently across the snow, tapping the closest ground type's foot. "They are now!" Wade yelled as he pulled back on the controls. The three remaining enemy machines fired a barrage of everything they had, from their machine guns to their multi grenade launchers. Icarus had his own shield, but Wade wasn't so lucky.

The Diver bolted to get behind the raised base. It wouldn't give him to much cover, but the small Gunpla could mount its LMG easily on top. "Take this!" The LMG moved from left to right as Wade barely aimed at a specific target, knowing that he could at least distract the enemies from beating down on the ReZEL custom.

Meanwhile, the Astray had taken two of his ground types out of the battle, but the remaining Gunpla near him was no rookie. Opting to forget its long range weaponry, the machine pulled out both of its beam sabers and ignited them. Taking advantage of its friend's demise, the mobile suit slashed down with both sabers toward the Seed custom. Thankfully, his backup arrived as two more ground types waltzed across the snow.

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“Aker it’s Icarus. How are you holding up?”

He hardly had time to contemplate the question as he noticed the third Gundam charging at him with both of their beam sabers out. Growling was his only audible retort as the ground type came; it swung down with both it’s beam sabers overhead. Aker had just enough time to bring up his shield arm to block the attack. If I’m not careful… the thought trailed in his head as he realized the predicament he was in, it was foolish to go out alone like this. No, he decided, I’m not going down like this

His own beam saber was still lodged in the second Gundam he had defeated. He let go of the weapon and moved his feet to push back against the attack oppressing him. With his now free right hand he reached for his right hip and drew out the metal saber, reverse gripped. He lashed it out at the belly of the gundam, the metal blade crunching into its’ side. There wasn’t enough power to cleave through his opponent but it was enough to make the Gundam stagger back. 

As he disengaged his latest opponent two more ground types ran toward him, their machine guns ready. Hunter wasn’t going to have any of that. With his shield still raised high from the block, he cocked it up and jerked his arm down to chuck the shield at one of the Gundams. He hoped it connected, if at the very least give him a distraction. Knowing he had to be quick, Hunter flared his thrusters to charge the staggered double bladed Gundam. In truth, he simply wanted to get behind that opponent so the machine guns couldn’t get a clear shot at him. As he rushed forward he drew out the second blade on his left hip, his right hand poising the weapon to impale his target as he charged. If he wasn’t careful, if he wasn’t perfect, he would get shot down. “8 be ready!” He cautioned as he focused on his attackers.

Edited by Roromi
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The DaeDAL was buffeted by the hail of gunfire from the Ground Types as their shots connected with the shield, pushing the defending mobile suit backwards with their force. Aker’s growl came in over Icarus’s radio and the Diver smiled wryly to himself.

I feel that right about now,

An opening presented itself in the form of the Command Gundam letting loose with its LMG. Distracted by their own hail of incoming bullets, the Ground Types momentarily pulled back their assault on the custom ReZEL, giving Icarus time to thruster out of the way. The only problem was that he didn’t know where to run off to. There was a notable lack of cover, which put the fragile mobile suit in a precarious position.

“Guess there’s only one good option for me,” Icarus muttered. “Boy I hope this works,”

If he couldn’t find cover, he’d have to make some. Flaring his thrusters, the DaeDAL skated in a loose circle, kicking up a flurry of snow beneath it before it sped off in the direction of the Ground Type on the left. Leading with its shield-arm, Icarus began generating a beam blade from the barrel of the rifle. When at last he rammed directly into the Ground Type shield-first, Icarus brought the beam blade forward, shoving it through the unit’s head piece and quickly removing it. The DaeDAL then maneuvered itself behind the Ground Type and wrapped an arm around it, hoping to secure it in place as a shield as Icarus turned the two suits to face the other bogeys.

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The Astray's weapon stabbed directly into the belly of the unit, taking yet another of the mass produced Gundams out of the fight. Meanwhile, the shield lodged itself deep into the neck of another Ground Type, almost knocking the mobile suit of its back. It was too late for the two to help out their NPD colleague, but they weren't programmed to quit the fight, deciding to strangely fire at the legs of the Seed Gunpla.

However, the NPD's were programmed not to fire at another living target. The Unicorn custom had put the two suits in quite the predicament as their friend was used as a shield. "Oh, they're screwed now." Wade stated, slowing moving away from his cover. The little SD tiptoed across the snowbank to get behind the enemies, hoping to take them out quick. "I got a little present for you." The SD's grenade pins flew up in the air, tossing both near the feet of the units. It was too late for the mobile suits to react as the explosion utterly decimated the two. "Uh oh!" Wade yelled. " I hope Icarus' mobile suit shield took the blast for him."

Far from the ongoing battle, a lone Gundam Ground Type laid deep in the white snow. The mobile suit was riddled with slash marks and bullet holes. Surprisingly, the damage done was extremely precise, almost too precise for a mobile suit...

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Aker jerked suddenly as his mobile suit ran into his target. He was pleased to see the blade digging into the enemy suit. He could hear more metal getting eaten up as the new mobile suits open fire at him. Alarms blared as his legs began to take damage. “Damnit!” Hunter growled in frustration as the enemy began to widdle down his meager defenses.

Flaring his thrusters he jumped up, making a cloud of steam as he did so. He deftly toggles the controls for his mirage colloid once more, hoping to effectively disappear with the jump. He angled his descent to some nearby trees for cover and flared his thrusters again at the last minute to cushion his fall. He grimaced as he landed, he knew he was far from quiet. An alarm popped up and he found the Astray needing to kneel, sparks fizzling out from his left knee. “8 can you fix it?” He asked as the Jager crouched down, attempting to hide. Hunter ground his teeth as he adjusted his grips on the two metal sabers. Panting, he managed to call out, “this is Aker, I’m taking damage, what’s your status? Icarus? Wade?” He was so focused on his battle he hardly noticed what was happening to his friends. 

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Icarus held the Ground Type tight as Wade’s grenade exploded before him, destroying the two units that he had shielded himself against. Shrapnel sliced through then air, zinging across the space between the four suits. Shards of the exploded mobile suits embedded themselves in the disabled Ground Type, shielding the DaeDAL from the damage.

“A damn shame,” Icarus said as he let the Ground Type drop to the earth. “I really liked these suits,”

He had to admit though, his quick thinking this time around had left the DaeDAL looking a lot nicer than it had by the end of the previous mission.

It’s not over yet, Ray. They hadn’t gotten a mission complete screen or anything, which meant that there was still work to be done. Just then, Aker’s voice came over the communications systems asking his teammates for assistance.

“Wade and I are free and clear, hang tight,” Icarus whipped his suit around and scanned the surrounding area. There was no sign of the Astray but two more Ground Types jutted out from the trees some distance away. “Time to bring the heat, I guess,”

The DaeDAL maxed out its thrusters and brought itself just above the treetops. Icarus’s hands danced across the controls and as the suit began to fall back to the ground, he shifted the DaeDAL into waverider mode and pushed forward at full speed, taking out the tops of several pine trees as he rocketed towards the Gundams. As he neared, he let loose a lazy volley of shots, more as a distraction for his real plan than anything else.

As the distance closed between the DaeDAL and one of the Ground Types, Icarus muttered a quick plea to whatever higher power that looked over Divers to let this work and began to transform the ReZEL custom into mobile suit mode, aiming directly at the Gundam.

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Thankfully, the explosion didn't really hurt his friend, thanks to the makeshift shield Icarus had used. "Well..." Wade uttered as he watched the DaeDAL blast away from the area. "That was a success." With no way for him to get to the other enemies that quickly, the SD began to waltz toward the now bare treetops. "Hold on guys, I'll be there soon!" Trudging through the dense snow, Wade immediately stopped. The faint sound of an engine caught his attention, noticing how low pitched it sounded. "Icarus?" The Diver looked up, but the mobile suit hovering high in the sky was not the DaeDAL.

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"Oh... That's bad..." The SD shook in fear while Wade slowly had it take little steps backwards. The red and orange machine pulled its arms back, not directly aiming at anyone in particular, but at the entire general vicinity. "Uh, guys?!" Wade yelled into his team comms. "THIS ISN'T GOOD!" The hatches on the mobile suit's shoulders swung open, revealing dozens upon dozens of tiny missiles jettisoning all around the group and the remaining Ground Types. The little Gunpla dived to the ground, having no real way of protecting itself from the furious attack. 

It was almost like a carpet bomb, laying waste to the landscape. Whatever treetops, or trees for that matter, were broken and blown far away from any of the mobile suits. The Ground Type stood no chance as the missiles rained down upon them, creating two small explosions in the eyes of the attacker, who slowly floated down once his shoulder ammo had ran out. The SD and its pilot tried to not freak out as it also slowly moved. The only resemblance of cold left was the mountains in the distance. The sky had turned gray from the returning clouds and smoke from the assault. The snow was entirely gone, now replaced with dirt stained by what the red and orange mobile suit did.

It eventually reached the ground, sliding off the two huge carriers. Two large THUDS scared Wade, watching the machine point its rifle directly at him. "Aker. Icarus. Please still be ok." Wade thought, pointing his own machine gun at the much larger mobile suit. "AHHHH!" There was no turning back now as he fired two of his own much larger missiles, along with a volley of beam bullets.

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Aker was relieved when Icarus responded to his call. He even began to feel optimistic as Icarus attacked his enemies. He remained cautious however as he strained his grip on the controls of his damaged machine. Finally 8 chimed in, “I was able to reroute power, try moving now.” Hunter scrunched his face in confusion as he heard Wade call out on the radio, “This isn’t good!” Fear chilled down his spine as he caught a glimpse of a new machine raining down hell fire. “No choice!” He yelled out as he jerked his controls, praying for a movement he wasn’t able to do earlier.

The Astray lurched slowly but was soon sprinting away from a trail of missiles. It wasn’t fast enough. Explosions hit the ground and trees around him throwing shrapnel at him. He resorted to crossing his arms in front of his body, blades feebly trying to protect his body. At some point something banged hard into the Astray sending the mobile suit sliding on its’ back, the Mirage Colloid flickering away from the abuse.

Stunned, Aker coughed himself back to reality, blinking his eyes, trying to regain his focus. Perhaps his only saving grace was that he wasn’t directly targeted. The world around him was transformed from the white blizzard to a virtual hell fire as the forest slowly danced with flames. He rolled and got to his feet just as Wade was opening fire on the red suit. Aker cursed as he saw the enemy aim their rifle at the SD. His eyes flared with alarm and he called out, “8 do it now! Initiate-!”

“But sir –“

“No time! Do it!”

Even as he yelled out he urged the Astray to charge at the red suit. The steps thudded down in a pattern reflecting his urgency. The truth of the matter was that he was pissed, Hunter was mad at himself for getting into this situation more than anything else. Just how many times would his own short comings come to haunt him? Even as the thought cross his mind a new chill ran down his spine. The sensation was alien, intrusive, and it quickly transitioned from cold to hot like a fire. The “chill” trickled from his spine, and back towards his extremities. His eyes grew wide and without warning the Astray tripped and hit the ground face first. Aker gagged out loud but with no words, writhing in his seat and arching his back in pain. He squinted and focused hard on Wade and the red suit, doing his best not to black out.

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The DaeDAL hit the Ground Type feet first, taking the unawares Gundam by surprise and sending it crashing to the ground. Icarus’s own mobile suit stumbled on the landing and joined his opponent in the dirt when the DaeDAL couldn’t find sufficient purchase as it stepped on the Gundam’s head. The diver grit his teeth as he hit the ground and let out a small groan of discomfort.

“Well, it worked at least,” he said as he brought the suit quickly back to its feet. The Ground Type, too, was recovering, but Icarus’s attention was instead caught by something…different…looming in the sky above them. “Damn,” he muttered. “And here I thought we were almost done,”

The missiles caught him—and clearly his enemies as well—by surprise as the shoulder mounted launchers opened and let fly a twin barrage that streaked through the air, their smoke-trails twisting and zigzagging as they traced their way towards destruction. Before he could try to max his thrusters away from the site of impact, the first missiles had already hit. It was all Icarus could do to bring the DaeDAL’s arms up in front of the cockpit and the head and put the mobile suit into a crouch. He had to make himself as small a target as possible. The DaeDAL rocked and groaned with the force of the explosions happening all around it and Icarus’s vision was consumed by light. Alarms began to blare and the diver gripped his controls with a white-knuckle grip, worrying, perhaps irrationally, that if he let go of the controls, the DaeDAL would fly into pieces.

Then, all went silent. For a brief moment, Icarus wasn’t sure he hadn’t been ejected from the game. Then finally he realized the darkness was from his eyes being closed and upon opening them, Icarus saw the battlefield, once verdant and lush, if covered in snow, had been reduced to little more than a burned wasteland. What’s more, he noticed soon after that the arms of his mobile suit had, in fact, been obliterated from the elbows down.

“Come on,” he hissed. “I was doing so well too. What am I going to do now?” according to his systems, the DaeDAL’s  Vulcan guns were still operational and, assuming he could find some way to pull the trigger, the mega beam cannon was still functioning.

“Aker? Wade? I’ve been disarmed…literally,” Icarus waved the DaeDAL’s sparking stumps for emphasis. “What’s the situation?”

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The only thing Wade's onslaught of attacks hit was the mountainside far behind where the red mobile suit was standing. Leaping forward, the enemy the SD right on its back, knocking the Gunpla's LMG far from it. "Dammit!" Wade yelled out as the machine now stood on top of him. Holding its hands together, the blades on its forearms made a V shape, deciding to slice down at the tiny armed Gunpla. "I won't get disarmed too!" Pulling slightly back, the Diver kicked into the right knee of the Federation mobile suit, causing it to jerk back.

"That's... strange..." Wade pushed the SD up and watched the enemy grasp its knee joint, almost as if the mobile suit was actually in pain. "What a strange NPD." It wouldn't be long before the mobile suit enacted revenge, grabbing the large head of Wade's Gunpla and thrusting it back onto the ground. This time, there was damage to the SD, with the V-fin snapping off completely. "I've spent more time on the floor then fighting." The Diver thought while turning the model's head to the others. 

The Astray, which seemed to also like the ground, was a prime target for the enemy. It hobbled to Aker's unit, eventually moving forward normally once it shook its leg a couple times. Without its beam rifle, now lost in the shuffle, the mobile suit only had blades to attack its newfound prey, getting close enough to attempt a strike on the back of the Gunpla. 

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“I’ve been disarmed … literally. What’s the situation?” Icarus’ voice came to Aker and he squinted focusing on the present. The Astray arched its’ back much like Aker was. The myriad of pain was exquisite, as soon as it washed over him. However, the pain soon ebbed away, and he felt sensations like he never had before. He could feel the earth tremor from the red mobile suit approaching him. Aker gulped down some air and caught his breathe. As he regained his focus the Astray seemed to stop its’ writhing. Was Wade eliminated? Was Aker the only combat effective Fluers De Noblese had left? He hardly had time to consider his thoughts as the strange mobile suit poised to strike down at his back, a feeling he could suddenly sense. 

“No you don’t…” he growled. The Astray pressed down with its hands to rise up suddenly. “8 let’s do this!” Blood trickled down his nose and mouth but he hardly noticed. Just as his enemy posed to strike at him he bolted into action. The Astray attempted to leap up, thrusters flaring and sending Aker to tackle into the knees of the enemy. The two mobile suits barreled through burning trees and tumbled away from each other. It was a petty move and Hunter knew it. He sacrificed his metal sabers for the attack, leaving them on the ground. As he recovered his footing from the tackle, he reached up for the katana on his back. As he freed the blade he called out, “is there anything you guys can do while I keep him busy?” Hunter aimed the tip of the curved blade at the mysterious mobile suit and cautiously spread his feet out for better footing. “I’m your opponent!” he called out over the PA, hoping to garner the attention back on him again.

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Icarus watched as the SD Gundam and the Astray took their turns combatting the newly arrived enemy and the diver took note of their adversary’s strange reactions.

It’s almost as if…but that can’t be possible, can it?

He had to be imagining things, surely, but flashes of what he and Wade had witnessed in the underground base kept coming to him. “Hnn…I don’t like this,” whatever was going on here, it wasn’t good, but Icarus doubted that they would get any answers before they finished this thing off. With that decided, it was time to take action, only…

What action can I even take?

His eyes watched as the Jaeger and the bogey danced, the Astray’s katana blade gleaming in the sun as he drew it from its sheath. “Well, I gotta’ do something,” Icarus’s voice rose as much as the subdued man could make it, teetering dangerously on the edge of a yell. He compelled the DaeDAL into motion, bringing it nearer to the two combatants but not so close as to intrude on their duel or hamper the Astray. He let fly with his Vulcans, the machine guns whirring loudly as they let forth a stream of bullets that merely bounced off the bogey unit. Watching as his bullets ricocheted away, an idea struck Icarus.

“Wade, I think I know how we can finish this thing off, but I need you to be my hands,” Icarus smirked nervously, trying to draw his teammates attention to the gun on his shoulder.

I hope this works.

 

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As the red mobile suit pulled itself up, it lifted its head up, as if it were screeching in agony from the attack. Except, no voice came out of the machine. The enemy stood, watching the Astray take a stance against it. Not even flinching to the weak vulcan attack, it had to strike the stronger unit down first. The Federation experiment had very few choices left as a sound did appear out of its own PA. "EXAM SYSTEM" It uttered as lights on the machine began to glow a deep red. The only thoughts it had were pain and finishing the battle. Blasting at an immense speed, the red mobile suit slashed its forearms up and down constantly and consistently, not caring about any counterattack, only that its opponent would hopefully parish quickly.

The SD, hopefully for the final time, pushed itself up off the ground. Wade had no clue how to beat the machine as it hobbled to Icarus' injured Gunpla, but his teammate had an idea. "Oh, the cannon!" The diver responded, reaching to grab ahold of the weapon. Unfortunately, The ReZEL custom would likely have to crouch down. Wade started jumping up with the tiny SD to grab it, but to no avail. "Perks of being the little one..." Wade uttered.

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    • By Roromi
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      ****
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      “I didn’t claim that you did.” Retorted Gabriel with a self deprecating chuckle, “that doesn’t excuse any feelings you may have for her. She is a remarkable woman after all. No, no one can dictate your feelings and how you care about another.” He stared off longingly at the brilliant streaks of orange as they peaked past the low clouds. “What I want to know is, what would Zechs Marquis do to anyone who wronged the woman he loves?” 
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      ****
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    • By Zhane Tan
      Zhane was happy today, he had a good day at school, granted still tired after all he has been through with his cancer, and has two more treatment sessions before he was done and to see if he was cancer free after so many years. As he walked, with a cane that he was given, he entered the Gunpla Store and smiled as the attendant waved at him. "Hey Zhane, how ou doing?" he asked.

      "Tired," Zhane responded back. "Had a busy day at school," added as he walked to look at the Gunpla.

      "What are you looking for," asked the attendant?

      "I am looking at upgrading my Prime Gundam and want to work on a Long Ranged one," he said back tot he attendant. "I am thinking of an optional loadout for Prime besides what he has right now," Zhane added.

      "What are thinking?" the attendant asked him.

      "Melee wide, I have a GN Beam Saber, vulcan guns and a beam rifle. I want to have another weapon or two added to him, but not sure," Zhane states as he picks up three Gunpla, two XXXG-01H2 Gundam Heavyarms Custom Kai, the blue version and the GAT-X102 Duel Gundam, Assault Shroud version.

      The attendant looked at Zhane and asked, "You want anything else?

      Thinking, Zhane looked and nodded, "Actually yea," he said.  Heading over he picks up four more gunpla, Gundam Deathscythe Hell, Gundam Age-2 Double Bullet, Gundma Barbatos and Blitz Gundam. "I think this will work," Zhane added as he returned to the counter and paid for his purchases, in addition to paint and glue. Zhane exited the store and headed home.

      --------------

      The next day, Zhane was at school and looked a the Gunpla Club and walked in, carring his first suit that he made, the RX-78GP01OP Prime Gundam and the Gunpla he purchased the night before. Zhane looked aroudn the club and spoke, "Hello," he said simply as he saw no one. "Anyone here?" he asked as she looked at the application and sat down. While he filled out the application, a few others entered and stopped hwen they saw him sitting there.

      "Hey, who are you?" asked one.

      Zhane looked up, "Sorry, my name is Zhane Tan. I would like to Join?" he stated to them.

      "You wanna join?" another asked.

      "I would like to yes," Zhane responded as he looked at his near completed applicaiton. "I am filling the application out for membership," he added as he puts his pen down.

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      "I have one I custome built," was Zhane's response as he pulled out his first suit. "I call him the RX-78GP01OP Prime Gundam, or Prime Gundam," and he sat it down.
      The group looked at it, "That's all you have?" asked the first.
       


      "Yea. I purchased some the other night to work on, just have not had a chance to yet. Had a long and busy day," he said as he looked at them.

      "Well, get that application filled out and than lets battle," one states.

      "I am still new to Gunpla Battles. So I am sorry," he commented. "I have not been in the best of health in a long time," Zhane added.

      "That's ok. we can teach you." two say a tthe same time, who look like twins.

      "Thank you," and Zhane finishes the applicationa nd stands as he walks and places it in a tray. He walked back to the table, getting his Gunpla and looking. "Where to?" he asked simply.....

      --------------

      Ten minutes later, he looked at them. "Sorry," he says as he sits down and gets a drink of juice from his bag and drinks it.

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      "Should you be doing this? With your condition?" another asks.

      "Its the only thing that kept me going," he says. "I am in the final stages of treatment for bone cancer. All the treatments makes me tired real quick, but I still love Gunpla. Prime ther was my first suit I built," he commented on the red and blue gunpla. "I am going to upgrade it, but I need to get better at the GBN first," Zhane added.

      "You did good, but we can work on the rest. Welcome to the Gunpla Club Zhane," one says as they offer a hand. "Now what is the gunpla you purchased the other night?" she asked him

      "Thank you," Zhane said to them as he put Prime back and pulled out the 7 kits ....
      OOC: Open to anyone who wants to join in.
    • By Hunter
      How Things Could Be…
       
      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.
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      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.
    • By JohnSeever
      Biography
      Full name Zhane Tan
      Faction: n/a
      Rank: n/a
      Age: 15
      Sex: Male
      Height: 6 foot
      Weight: 155 pounds
      Eyes: Redish-Brown
      Hair: Silver
      Skin: Caucasian
      Handiness: Right-handed
      Ingame name: Lucky
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      Appearance

      History
      Born in the United States, Zhane grew up in the Midwest. His parents traveled due to their careers and so he was never in a single place for more than two to three years. Additionally, he has a few health issues, mainly bone cancer, and is not able to do much, and making friends is hard. Due to this, he spent time building Gunpla and creating his own worlds with them. Finally, after many years and many homes, Richard's family has finally settled down and has stopped moving and now, perhaps he can make friends.
      While not a very good pilot, he does have some natural abilities and is an excellent builder of Gunpla. Due to moving, he was not able to take part in GBN, and has never dived before, however, he might his chance and more and maybe he will find a team he can join or get some time in to better his skills. If nothing else, he will just enjoy what time he can within the GBN.
      Possessions
      Gunpla #1: XXAGET-01X105-2DB Gundam Deathstrike Bullet
      Gunpla #2: XXXGAT-X10201H Gundam Duel Heavy
      Gunpla #3: RXGN-001OP Prime Gundam
      Role plays
      Mairéad Grace Sandilands: For the Homeland
    • By Zhane Tan
      Looking at the Gundam Battle Nexus setup, Zhane blinked and had no idea what to do, "So, I just sit in this and put my gunpla here?" he asks the person at the GBN store as he looked back at them. "That's right," said the worker.  Looking at the machine, he thought for a moment and sat down. "Ok, now what do I do?" he asked as she looked again after placing his Gunpla on the machine. The employee blinked and just looked, shocked more than anything "... you've never done this?" he asked. "My first time," was Zhane's response.  The employee sighed, "You put on the headset, and create an account," and as the employee spoke, Zhane did that. "That's it?" he asked. "Yes," said the employee.
      Zhane is odd in this matter, having not been out in public much, except for his trips to the hospital. He has bone cancer and has been going through a lot to try to stop it and fight it of and the Doctors are sure that they are to the point of getting all of it, so he has little experience with anything like this, and thinking, Zhane types in a name, Lucky. The employee looks, "Interesting name," he states. "Yea," Zhane says. "I have been lucky my entire life, and still am so far," he replies as he listens and places his Gunpla on the machine to scan it in. "Interesting suit design," the employee said. "Thank you," he states simply as he closes his eyes and takes a few breaths, kind of tired but opens them. "Here it goes," he comments to himself as he logs in for the first time....

      Traveling through the VR of the login, he looks around and smiles, "Totally cool," he states as he wonders, will keep his same appearance or will have a different appearance. 

      He looks at the screen and thinks as he gets his answer. smiling to himself, he picks an design that he thinks will be cool. "Can I change my appearance later?" he wonders to himself as he picks his normal appearance with simple clothing. Afterwards, he steps through the door and into the GBN.
      Arriving in the GBN, he looks around as he sees all the different avatars, "Wow, there's someone dressed as Zechs and another as Char.... and... is that a dogboy?" he says to himself as he walks around the floor and looks completely lost.
       
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