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Gods Amongst Men


Hunter
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You stubborn ass…

Icarus clenched his teeth as he held on in the power struggle, the arms of each man’s suit quivering.

If I move my left arm…I could grab my other sword and get a swipe in….no that won’t work.

Icarus eyed the beam blade digging deeper and deeper into the shoulder-mounted shield. If he moved, chances were good that Athrun would recover more quickly and get a swipe in before he could act. Besides, he wanted to avoid a killing blow on the ZAFT pilot if he could, but he didn’t exactly have a lot of room for mercy.

“So what options do I have left?” the Leo had no automated weapons on it, not even Vulcans. He had to move, he had to do something.

You have to stop getting into these damn sword struggles, for starters.

He had been in this same position with Orga not an hour ago. How had that situation ended?

He kicked me…

Icarus’s eyes widened. “He kicked me!” the diver wrenched back on his controls as hard as he could and slammed a hand on the button to activate his suit’s Trans-Am. The Leo rocketed backwards away from the Aegis just as its foot swung up, slipping through the beam blades as they twisted in for an unexpected strike. “Not this time, damn it. I’m making it through this mission in one piece,”

The Leo reached back to its rear hip mount and pulled loose the Beam Shot Rifle with its left hand, bringing it level with the Aegis. Icarus quickly deactivated his beam saber and tucked it into the remaining half of his left-side shield, freeing up his right hand to steady the gun as he took aim.

“Aim for the arm, deep breath, exhale and…”

The Leo fired a single shot from the rifle, aimed at the Aegis’s left arm. Icarus took another deep breath and loosed another shot at the right arm this time.

“I don’t want to kill you Athrun,” He said over the radio. “Hell, I don’t even want to fight you, but I can’t let you destroy that shuttle. It’d be the greatest mistake you ever make,”

 

--

 

“Oh, shit,” Million hissed as the GINNs began to focus their efforts on her. The Star Dueller was fast, but the only shield it had at this point was the one generated by its Voiture Lumiere system, the other having been destroyed in Clotho’s last stand. Which meant that, with the amount of enemy fire coming her way right now, Million had little choice but to try and evade and so far that wasn’t going well.

A volley of shots managed to slip through the VL and connected with her suit’s left leg, causing it to crumple and explode. Million was too busy fighting off a pair of GINNs at close range to notice, cleaving through one with her beam saber and another with a beam cutter. But like some kind of hydra, whenever she managed to take one down, three more seemed to pop up in its place.

“Hey guys? I’m getting a little—” The Star Dueller juked to the right and ducked under a GINN sword, responding in kind by popping up and driving her beam saber down between its shoulder and across the torso. “I’m getting a little overwhelmed here,”

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Wade's hunt for the culprit was met with a flurry of funnel bits ready to see him down. With each in position, it wouldn't be long before the Diver was out of the mission for good. "Where are they?!" The Local Type swerved through space, hoping to dodge the assault, but each misstep cost him a good deal of damage. As he moved upward, his remaining gatling gun was immediately blown off at the swivel joint, sending it flying away. Meanwhile, his shields were just barely hanging on, both in defense and sub arms. Everywhere he went, he seemed to get hit.

The Fleurs Leader gritted his teeth, stopping in the depths of space. With no other options, Wade pulled both of his rifles back out, pulling each grip out. "Stop... STOP!!!!!!" The Local Type's visor shined as it pointed the two rifles in opposite directions like a certain protagonist. The Diver didn't even care about power at this point, sending everything he had into the two blasts. With his space thrusters flaming, he began to spin around quicker and quicker, sending the yellow beams in all sorts of directions. Wade screamed as he tightened his grip on the controls, rage and emotion greatly affecting his judgement.

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The mystery pilot’s smirk evaporated as the peculiar Gundam shot down a handful of their funnel bits. “Why you!” They growled and chuckled after a pause. “You’re lucky I’m on the clock punk or I’d really teach you a lesson!” Shrugging their disappointment aside the pilot sent the remaining bits to attack the GINNs closest to Lacus’ shuttle. The bits danced around sending out a flurry of emerald shots making quick work at destroying or immobilizing a majority of the defense forces left. 

“Now can’t have you boys spoiling the fun!”the pilot mused and nodded to themselves as they recalled their bits. “It’s a shame…” they lamented as they looked at the local type and  pondered the material cost it would take to finish off that machine. “Another time perhaps…” They mused one last time before setting off away from the battlefield. The chaos was more than ample to ensure their escape. “All too easy…”

—-

Athrun’s eyes went wide as the Leo danced back in a red blur then shot at him with an uncanny speed he wasn’t used to seeing in mobile suits. He couldn’t even properly react to the shots coming at him. The beams ripped into the left arm on the Aegis, the opposite sword managing to coincidentally prevent the same fate for his right arm. 

“Why you!” He gasped more out of shock than any emotion. Then the words of the enemy pilot came through over the radio and Athrun had no choice but to contemplate what the stranger was saying. Of course he wanted to believe him, but part of him didn’t. What did it mean if his fiancé was on the same shuttle as his friend turned enemy? 

Still he had no choice but to yield, “Why would they be on that shuttle it doesn’t make any sense!” Athrun responded back, he poised his good arm ahead of him with the sword and contemplated his options if he needed to retaliate. 

—-

Aker felt a sense of dread wash over him as he locked blades with the GINN. Of course he could have killed Lunamaria already but he couldn’t bring himself to that conclusion. “She’s not the same! She’s not the same!” He repeated to himself. He had to come to terms with that as he recalled the earlier incarnation he had summoned of her. Million’s voice broke in over the radio about being overwhelmed and he had to grind his teeth in apprehension. Aker’s denial became complete as another GINN, Rey to be exact, flanked him and opened up a volley of shots from the rifle. 

The Fleur’s de Noblesse member cried out as the bullets ate into the Astray mercilessly. “Move aside Lunamaria!” Rey yelled out as he discarded the empty weapon and drew his own sword to fly in at Aker. “What a fool I’ve been…” Aker lamented as he sensed the incoming attack. The Jager was heavily damaged from the barrage, his right leg was cleaning shot off and his left arm was no missing as well. Smoke bled out from the machine as it lifelessly floated away from the stunned Lunamaria. 

“Can I still fight?” Aker wondered out loud,  it felt like this whole mission he had been nothing more than dead weight. The images of the GINN charging at him brought him back to reality. He thought of Luna,  and Meer; why couldn’t he do anything about them? Blood trickled down his face not just from the Alaya-Vijana but from the damaged helmet he wore as well. “Why can’t I do anything…” he muttered, death swiftly approaching from Rey. “Why can’t I change the world!” He yelled out in sheer rage as he gripped the controls tightly. 

Just as Rey was about to swipe at his cockpit for the kill, the Jager responded by raising the GN sword up and batting the attack out wide. With an eerie deftness to his movements he quickly jabbed the sword tip at the battery pack on the GINN, expertly making Rey’s suit go limp. 

The eyes of the Astray flashed a hungry red as the Astray burst into motion. “I’ll show you all!” Aker cried out as he gave into the Alaya-Vijana system. Smoke trailed behind as the Jager burst towards some suits coming near Million’a machine. “I killed Hashmal!” Aker cried out with a blood thirsty glee.  “I’ve shot down countless players! You’re no different!”  The Jager danced between GINNs hacking and slashing a path of destruction. Yes, Gabriel was the one who etched a name for himself in GBN, he was still that same person. Alarms blared in his cockpit from damage and it seemed like each movement made the machine groan in protest more and more. “If this is to be our last fight Jager make it a glorious one!” Aker cried out as more and more GINNs decided he was a good target. 

The Jager reacted with an uncanny agility and dodged most of the shots, most; a few bullets ate into his armor, specifically the last leg, exposing the inner frame fully. “No more hiding!” Aker cried out as the Jager struggled to keep the frantic pace. The damage slowly but surely mounting on his mobile suit.

—-

The shuttle kept its thrusters to maximum as it quickly closed the distance to the nearest docking bay. At this range they were simply able to use their phones to alert their local supporters of their intentions to land and they were quickly getting things ready to meet them. It was true as soon as they got in the Plant they would effectively disappear from ZAFT. The pilot dared to look back at the worried looking Lacus and cried out, “get ready mistress I think we’re going to make it!” 

The words died in his throat when he returned his attention to the battlefield just outside the cockpit. His eyes grew wide as a one armed GINN quickly flew towards them with a sword raised. 

—-

Lunamaria yelled out in a battle cry as she found their target, the shuttle which was almost towards their beloved homeland. “I can’t let you enter!” She cried out defiantly. Much to her surprise a response came back but from the pilot of the mobile suit that had attacked her before. “And I can’t let you shoot that shuttle down!” 

The badly damaged Jager flew right in front of her. It brought its’ sword up to try and deflect the stab Lunamaria was trying to do, however the mobile suit was at its limit. Just as the GN blade made contact with the GINN sword the arm snapped off the Astray from all the stress the machine had been through. The only thing preventing the loss of the mission, of Lacus and Kira, was the body of the Jager. “Maybe you’ll remember me now…” Gabriel said calmly as the blade plunged into the Body of the Astray. 

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Icarus breathed a slight sigh of relief when Athrun’s voice came to him in the cockpit once more. The Aegis was still on guard, but something about the body language and the pilot’s tone told the diver that the ZAFT ace might actually be reconsidering his stance.

He always was rational, in the end,

“I don’t know why they’re on the shuttle, Athrun, but if I know anything about Lacus Clyne, it’s that her reasoning is sound and is always in the interest of peace. We didn’t fire that first shot and I don’t know who did, but the only reason we are fighting at all is because someone made us. We don’t want to hurt any more of your people,”

Chaos erupted on the battlefield then, even more than it had before, but Icarus kept his eye on Athrun. “We need your help, Athrun Zala. I need you to call off your forces. You have my word that, however little that might mean to you right now, that we will honor a cessation of combat. No more blood has to be spilled. You just have to say the word,”

-----------

Million was staring down the business end of a GINN sword when out of nowhere Aker and the Jager zipped by, slicing the suit in two and several more just like it coming after. Million watched with awe at the speed and grace with which the increasingly damaged mobile suit.

“He really is something else, but…” she couldn’t shake off the feeling that something was very wrong right now. That Aker was behaving erratically was evident by the way he was piloting the Astray, but Million couldn’t see into the cockpit. She had no idea the anguish its pilot was going through, but she knew that something was amiss.

She was lucky in that Aker’s onslaught had cleared a path for her and had provided her with some room to breathe. In the distance she could see all of her comrades as well as the shuttle as it neared the colonies. Icarus had activated his suit’s Trans-AM drive but was currently in a stand off with the Aegis. Wade had been fighting off an assault from some funnels by going full Wing Zero on them. And Aker…Aker seemed to be in trouble.  Million pushed her suit forward with as much thrust as she could, but was sideswiped by a pair of GINNs she had not seen.

As the mobile suits tackled her, jostling the diver in her cockpit, Million hailed Icarus and Wade.

-----------

“I think Aker’s in troub—zzsshhhhh” Million’s message was cut off by a loud blaring of static. A cold sweat gripped Icarus as he wheeled around to pinpoint his friend’s mobile suit, laying eyes on the Star Dueller just as it exploded, taking a number of GINNs with it. Icarus knew that Million would be fine, but her message…

Aker…in trouble? He turned his attention to the battlefield ahead of him and spotted the shuttle, the Jager, and an armless GINN moments before tragedy struck.

Million might be fine, but Aker… Icarus tried not to think about what would happen if the EL-Diver’s suit exploded. He stomped down on the pedals of the Leo and cranked his thrusters to max, spurred on by the red particles of the Trans-AM. The Leo rattled violently as the GN Drive worked overtime, threatening to tear apart the machine that was certainly never designed to go that fast.

“Come one, Leo, I need a just a little more out of you,” Icarus growled as he leaned forward in the seat. The Jager was getting closer and closer but there was never any way, no matter how fast he went, no matter how much punishment he put his machine through, that Icarus would have ever made it on time.

As the GINN sword sunk into the armor of the Jager, Icarus’s eyes widened and time stopped almost completely. It was only for a second, but the second seemed to stretch towards infinity as the Leo, arm outstretched, slowly inched towards his comrade’s suit.

Then, time caught up again. Icarus drove the Leo shoulder-first into the attacking GINN, sending it sailing away. But before it could get too far, the Leo’s hands reached out for the ZAFT suit’s foot and grasped it tight. Icarus wrenched on his sticks and brought the Leo to swing in a tight circle, releasing the GINN after a few rotations and sending it hurtling into space, minus a leg. Tossing the sparking limb aside, Icarus turned to the Astray and took its remains in the Leo’s arms.

“Aker, talk to me,” Icarus tried in vain to mask the fear in his voice. The man, usually so calm and collected, was beginning to crumble. “I need you to say something, buddy. Let me know you’re okay,”

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A few numbers blinked on the Local Type's control panel. "0.23%" Wade muttered under his breath. His Gunpla had practically no more energy left as it slowly floated through space. The Diver could care less though. He'd taken out his opposition during his beam rifle meltdown and had little reason to worry about another attack. As the red visor dimmed, the Fleurs Leader decided to take a little spacewalk, hoping to get a better look at the battle far from him.

While it never truly felt "real", zero gravity had been improved once customizable cockpits were introduced. Now you could jump and spin through the depths of space to your heart's content, even without a helmet. However, it never felt right to Wade to not wear one. He pushed forward off the cockpit door, sending himself further away from the Gunpla. He had quite a poor look at his teammates assault against ZAFT, only being able to see the larger explosions. Part of him wanted to mope about not being a good leader once again, but he'd made his decision already that would negate that. 

"Never again..." The Diver pulled up his main menu, hoping to leave the mission, but he felt the urge to stop. Something in the air, or rather space, made him feel queasy, a strange feeling for GBN. "Something's not right." Wade reached for his jetpack, but felt nothing as he floated further away from the Local Type. Even then, there was no way he could reach the others in time. All he could do was wait for the victory or the defeat. 

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Athrun remained stunned as the Leo darted past him to go aid a comrade. What stunned him most was how outperformed the Aegis was by the eerie looking mobile suit. The difference in strength was too great to ignore. Naturally Athrun’s curiously then fell toward the shuttle which did manage to escape it seemed. “Whoever they were they are someone else’s problem now.” Athrun muttered before turning on his comm channel, “All units regroup inside the base, we need to reassess the situation.” It was the closest he could get to actually retreating given the circumstances. Athrun warned over an open channel thinking it was the least he could do, “if you have any sense you’ll leave before the rest of the defense force retaliates against you.” He left it at that not entirely sure if the odd pilot had helped him avert disaster or not. His attention then diverted to helping gather what survivors he could find. Whatever was actively attacking them was something he had never seen before. 

—-

Even after Icarus went to the aid of his comrade sparks webbed on the outside of the badly damaged Jäger. There was no sign of activity, nothing to show Aker as being responsive. A glow could be seen coming from inside one of the chest vents and it was evident there was a fire of some sort. The sparks grew in frequency and it became apparent it was going to explode. Before Icarus could really react further the suit burst in an explosion. Scraps and pieces of the machine splattered against the Leo as the Jager Astray was as simply no more.

A message was then sent to the members of Fluers de Noblesse, had anyone paid attention they would have noticed that it lacked for formality of normal missions. Instead the message was slightly off font and read simply: “mission accomplished”. Instead of automatically ejecting the players it merely offered the option to leave the area. Attached was also the rewards which lacked any finesse or quirkiness but rather was a substantial amount of credits to each player. 

Still there remained no trace of Aker in what little debris remained of the Jager. And there was no transmission, it was almost as if he had just disappeared. 

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The Jager was silent. Icarus shook the machine, frantically calling for its pilot to respond. 
And then it happened. Before Icarus could even tell what was going on, before he could do anything to try to prevent it, the Astray exploded in the arms of the Leo, knocking it backwards and embedding shards of armor into the OZ mobile suit. Icarus sat frozen in his cockpit, eyes wide and mouth slightly agape. Before him, in the blasted stumps of the Leo's arms, was nothing but the remains of smoke and empty space. Icarus let go of his controls without realizing, his hands shaking violently in the air. The mission complete screen appeared before him, but it didn’t register. No reward or job well done could shake him from his stupor.
The cockpit and outer space shimmered away and the diver found himself back on the platform of the oil rig, falling to his knees. He scanned the rig with panicked haste, hoping to see his teammate safely alongside them, but Aker was nowhere to be seen. He turned his attention to Wade and, still on his knees, grabbed his young leader by the arms and looked up at him in dismay.
“Wade, I…I tried…”
Million came up behind them, stretching and yawning. “Damn, I’m sorry guys. I totally got overwhelmed and…Ick?” she stopped short at the sight of her friends in such a dire state. Icarus kept his eyes locked on Wade's, his expression turning from one of despair to one of anger and sorrow. 
And then, just like that, he was gone. 
Ray removed his headset and practically dropped it on the table in front of him as he tumbled out of his seat. Amelia removed her own visor just in time to see her friend rush out of the game room, leaving his gunpla behind on the scascanner.
“Ray? Hey Ray, slow down! What happened?”
Amelia grabbed her Star Dueller and the Leo Chevalier and stuffed them both in her bag as she raced out of the store.
 

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Something had happened. Wade had no idea what, but before he could ponder further, the mission was over. Strangely, the mission's completion screen looked janky, only giving them a cash reward. Not that this mattered to Wade though. He was done, no ifs ands or buts. The four, or rather three, were brought back to the oil rig, which is when the Diver realized what was wrong.

He watched his teammate in agony as he looked for their friend. Nether him or Wade could find him. The Fleurs leader didn't move a muscle, even as Icarus grabbed him. There were no more thoughts of joy in the Diver's head as this day went from bad to worse. Once Icarus logged out, Wade did the same, sending him back to the real world. He sat in the Diving chair for a while, staring intently at the High Grade in front of him. Slowly, Wade got out of the chair, grabbing the toy as he walked out of the hobby shop for the last time.

It was getting dark, but the bike ride back was thankfully smooth, only taking a short time before he was back home. The teen knew he had to put on a facade in his home, knowing that his parents wouldn't understand the trauma he had just went through. Attempting to get to the stairs quickly, he was stopped by the booming voice of his dad, currently on the sofa watching TV. "Wade! You were playing that game for a while, huh?"

"Y-yeah. Sorry about that." As he took a few steps up the stairs, his dad asked some questions about his birthday. "Oh yeah!" Wade thought, brightening up his day slightly. He was going to be 16, ready to take on the world with his admittedly lackluster driving skills. However, even that didn't save his prior good mood earlier. The somber former Diver shut the door in his room, throwing the plastic model straight into the wall.

He didn't bother picking the broken toy up as he laid facedown on his bed. Everything felt like a mess to him. His kills felt real, and whatever happened to Aker seemed drastic. Icarus' emotions were real, so Wade assumed the worst for the EL Diver. With no intention of going back to the hobby shop, Wade Lincoln thought he'd hung up his Fleurs hat, but someone else had other plans...

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A few days later

 

Gabriel groaned as he rolled in a familiar bed. His head throbbed, and the sensation didn’t feel any better from his stirring. He slowly rose, sitting up straight and squinting as he spied the rays of the sun peaking into his room from his window. He spied the landscape outside the window, a city skyline resembling Tokyo and the sleepy suburbs of his apartment. In one corner was a terminal used to log into GBN, on an opposite wall was a well sorted out desk with gunpla and other various building materials. 

“My apartment…” he mumbled as he planted his feet before his eyes shot opened wide. “What?” He jerked around to look out the window next to his bed, the motion making him hold his head in pain. “But this place…”he looked out the window for along while, the sun finally dipping behind the horizon and the city becoming alive with twinkling lights. He finally stood up and looked around, his room was tidy, almost like a housekeeper had been through the place. Cautiously he paced the studio apartment until he came to the bathroom to look in the mirror. 

The face looking back at him was gruff, if not worn out. He fumbled the medicine cabinet to pull out some medicine and swallowed a pair of pills for his headache. Again he stared at the mirror for a long moment, waiting for the pain killers to kick in. A rapping at the door stole his compilation and he turned on his bare heels to regard the door to the outside. Gabriel was wearing a pair of grey sweat pants and a white t-shirt, hardly presentable. He shook the notion out of his head and slowly approached the door as it was knocked yet again. Slowly he pried open the door to see who it was. 

A middle aged man stood in a suit, his beard well kept along with his short cropped hair. Gabriel didn’t immediately recognize the man but could sense something familiar about the person. “H..Hello?” He asked as he slowly swung the door open. The man offered a weak smile in response and nodded, “oh good! I’m glad to see you up and about. I was worried about you kid! Can I come in?” The man motioned to the inside of the apartment and Gabriel squinted at the man a moment before slowly standing to the side to let the man in. “I’ll cut to the point Gabriel, I don’t have much time to visit you like this.” The man stood near the kitchen area putting his hands on his hips as he studied the place. Finally the man looked directly at Gabriel as the door was closed. “Who are you?” Gabriel cut in as he slowly approached the businessman. 

“Don’t tell me that log out messed with your head that much?” The man stated more than asked as he shook his head and took a deep breath, “I’m the man whose been looking after you Gabe, I know I showed you my face just once at that orbital elevator but I kinda expected a better memory from a Pseudo EL Diver.” The man was reaching up to stroke his beard as he regarded Gabriel. The expression Gabriel was giving the man spoke volumes and the man continued, “I’m your Zapp contact Gabe, my name is Marco Creed. The reason why you might be confused about being here is because you haven’t logged out in a very long time, at least not since you figured out the truth about yourself.” The man walked around and reach out to touch the walls of the studio, looking impressed by the simple wall. “This place is essentially a Zapp server dedicated entirely to you.” 

Gabriel slowly began to follow along with what Creed was telling him and alarm grew over him, “But I was shot down! And what do you mean by Pseudo EL Diver?”

The man nodded his agreement, “indeed you were shot… err rather stabbed, and not by any lack of performance let me assure you. However we saw this coming and built in a split second auto log out for you. We couldn’t risk you buying the farm due to any…” Marco lifted his hands up as if juggling for the right word, “instabilities you might exhibit.” The man’s face grew serious  and he nodded his head more so to himself as he considered how to answer they next question. “As you’re aware EL divers are a natural phenomenon within GBN. You however are not that. After the rise of EL divers Zapp took an interests in them and we worked diligently to produce… you. A Pseudo EL Diver. The idea was to make our own diver with the ability to compete with the highest skilled divers in the world, flesh or otherwise.” Marco couldn’t help but frown from his own words as he then raised a finger up, “listen to me good Gabriel. This is the only second chance I can personally guarantee!” Marco moved in closer and looked around conspiratorially before added in a lower voice. “Things are shifting in the real world. My position isn’t as advantageous as it once was… frankly… they’re trying to out me from the company.” He locked eyes with Gabriel then, “if you end up back here again they might… change you… if you catch my drift. 

Gabriel nodded slowly as he began to wisen up to the situation. It was still a lot to process, his artificial existence. It was a detail he intentionally chose to gloss over whenever possible but this whole situation was starting to make him feel sick all over again. He took a deep breath and put his hands on his hips before looking at Marco, “so… what’s the plan? What is it you want me to do this time?” 

Before Gabriel was done asking Marco was already shaking his head, “oh no… that’s not for me to decide… we may have made you Gabriel but I refuse to be your master. You helped me out with that Kira business and it put my conscious to ease… no, what can I do to help you?” 

The question had Gabriel rocking back on his heel now as he considered what that implied, “are you saying I can go back into GBN?” Marco nodded at the question before responding, “I want you to know too that you could choose to stay here… not that it is anywhere near as exciting… but you don’t have to fight. You could stay here in peace, I’d do my best to keep you preserved as long as possible.” The man’s voice trailed away as it hinted at the ultimate demise Gabriel would face with that option.
Now it was Gabriel who was already shaking his head however, images of Wade, Icarus, and even Million came to mind and a small grin grew on his face at that notion. They had already been through a lot together and the notion of leaving them high and dry didn’t sit right with Gabe. “No. I want to go back. I have friends… people I care about, people who I want to show that I’m still… alive.”

Marco raised an eye brow as he crossed his arms, “Even if they cause you pain you want to go back don’t you?” 

Again Gabriel was nodding, “I’ll take on that responsibility.”

Marco remained poised for a long while studying the young man in front of him, it was an amused expression, one that seemed to relay a sense of approval. “Damn how can I say no to that moxie… Alright listen good. You got a solid…” he paused to look at his wrist watch and nodded to himself, “six hours until the egg heads come back to the office. I suggest you log in before then.” Marco pointed at the private terminal that seemed to provide just that function in the corner of the room. “Do not die again! Don’t log off again! I’ll see what I can do within ZAPP but it will take time. If possible, I’ll do my best to get you free of the situation. You’ve exceeded every hope that our R&D team had and I don’t want to constrain you by some corporate agenda. You are a person as far as I’m concerned Gabriel Winter… or is it Aker?” Marco raised an eyebrow in amusement and patted the kid on his shoulders. He gave one last approving smile and nod before letting Gabriel go and moving towards the door. “Oh!” Raising a finger Marco spun on his foot to glance at Gabriel, “one last piece of advice if I may?” Gabriel was already nodded, a weak smile etched on his own face this time. “Ditch the Alaya-Vijana. It was a real headache getting you sorted out … physically. Frankly the trade off isn’t worth it, at least not for you.” Gabriel was nodding his understanding, he hadn’t even considered what kind of damage his body would have in GBN after that last stunt he pulled. Marco grabbed the door handle and began to close it “good luck!” He shouted before shutting the door to disappear. 

Gabriel was already nodding to himself thinking about logging in just then. He walked over to his desk to look at the gunpla already sorted out. The Ardent Exia stood proudly on his desk, the Jager Astray had been constructed entirely in GBN so there was no model there. A smirk grew on Gabriel’s face as he looked at the Exia, he had time after all. 

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