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Literature: Amemasu - Predator from the Deep


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[This is the fiction I had in mind for the Amemasu design I posted, over at Pointless (click here). As the title says, it's not 'art' in the sense by which this section is for, but back at GSRPG, the Literature section was under Art too. In any case, I've secured Valiant's permission already.]


Phase 1


“This is our last chance. If we don’t succeed, we won’t have enough cash to keep the squadron afloat for another year,” said a deep and thoughtful male voice.


“So tell me again why we’re in the middle of the Pacific?” asked a high-pitched voice, which belonged to a young Coordinator female by the name of Trisha Flair, who had been fresh out of ZAFT for repeated insubordination.


The older man put down the binoculars and turned around to face the three younger pilots that made up his fledgling mercenary squad as the ship they procured jerked up when it hit a wave. Times had been progressively harder for independent groups like them, given the Soldier of Fire’s virtual monopoly of contracts, but thankfully, there were able to convince a sponsor to grant them this particular high-profile contract by calling in a long-time favor. He’d always been transparent with his crew, and each knew how seriously they had to take this mission.


He opened the once-sealed folder, and read out the orders. The unusually strong sea winds blew his graying hair across his face, and though his glasses had been obscured, he still managed to recite the text on the sheet in front of him. As he was wont to do, Captain Hugh Polifer, formerly of the Earth Alliance’s 34th Marine Corps, had already memorized the contents of the file before they even left the shores of Ecuador.


“You are to search and destroy Orb’s new mobile suit design prototypes, which are undergoing testing near the Galapagos Island in the Pacific Ocean. Initial reports indicate that the design is an aquatic variant of the Murasame, with limited land capabilities. There should at least two and no more than four of these units. Destruction of these units is the primary objective, but Orb facilities and ships are to be considered targets of opportunity, and will be compensated for accordingly.”


As Hugh closed the file he didn’t really read, another member of his team spoke up, albeit with a monotonous drone. It was Malik Retal, Hugh’s one-time student at the EA Academy, who had joined him to found the squadron right out of the Second War. “I’ll take the ASSH.”


“Hey!” interjected Trisha, “That one’s mine!”


“Silence!” admonished the last member of their squad, a female from Orb in her mid-twenties, who went by the name of Vixen. She had never revealed her true name, but as she had always performed admirably and was the first to choose to remain when other members of his group switched over to the SoF, the Captain respected her anonymity and never asked her again.


“You are too young and foolish, Flair. We cannot afford to have you screwing around with that machine, but neither can we afford to send one less unit,” continued Vixen. “I will take the GOOhN, you will take the ZnO, and neither of us will complain. Do you understand me?” she said, intimidating the brash girl.


“Okay, okay! Sheesh, get outta my face, will ya?” said Trisha, having been forced to back down. “Stupid Naturals…”


“Ship ahoy!” cried a sailor, pointing ahead. “All stop!” cried the ship captain.


As the ship stopped, Hugh took one last look through the binoculars and confirmed the existence of what looked like an Orb cruiser and frigate. That meant there was probably a small outpost beyond, and perhaps a full squadron of four. Of course, almost immediately a shell landed in the water, a hundred meters or so to the port of their ship.


“All right, everyone, suit up,” he said, “I’ll meet you in the water. Form up and wait for my instructions.”


As the rest of the squadron ran ahead to the ready room, Hugh fixed his glasses and used the internal radio and said, “Get my Forbidden Navy ready.”

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Phase 2


The mercenary squadron could see the cannon shells impacting the surface of the ocean then slowing down as they fell to the ocean floor. Hugh and his team were right beneath their ship, formed up in their mobile armor forms, with the exception of their leader’s own custom Forbidden Blue. At the moment, there was no sign of the Orb Union’s new mobile unit in the water, and Hugh decided to push forward with an assault on the enemy ships. He instructed Malik and Trisha to take on the cruiser, while he and Vixen would try to break through and scout out whatever was on the island.


Hugh and Vixen were intimately aware of what a Murasame looked like; the captain at least knew that both of them were at the Battle of Dardanelles, after talking with the woman at length, long ago. If the new units were of similar design, the two of them would stand the best chance of locating and engaging them. As they swept past the frigate, skillfully evading the depth charges that were lobbed against them, the other two finally began their attack run.


“Engaging the cruiser,” came the unemotional transmission from Malik’s ASSH. “Trisha, transform and fire masers on my mark.”


The girl, however, had other plans. She set her thrusters to maximum, and dashed past the cruiser’s port side, gashing it slightly and rocking the ship mildly. “Charge!” she cried in glee, as she piloted her ZnO around to avoid the ship’s counterattacks and set herself up for another ram.


Malik didn’t care one way or the other for the girl’s decision to disobey orders. He simply engaged his mobile suit mode and locked onto the gash his eager partner had made. The ship shook with the violent attack, making the compartment they had targeted begin to take in water. In a minute or so, the cruiser’s hull would be mostly underwater, he knew, and that would be the perfect time to take the finishing blow.


“Captain, shore ahead at one kilometer from my position,” reported Vixen. Her GOOhN, being much a faster skimmer, had gone on ahead of Hugh’s refitted Gundam. “Surface and report from up close,” he ordered in response.


Vixen decreased her depth and speed gradually, and surfaced just at the steepest grade of the shore. There he found the targets: three cyan-colored Murasame look-alikes in mobile suit form right near Orb’s make-shift dock on the island, with one of them already active and heading to her position. “Targets located, sir. Three, with one active.”


“Fire at will.”


Vixen did not have to be told twice. She had seen a jeep making a beeline for the two inactive suits, so she reactively unloaded her dart gun at one of those machines, scoring all direct hits to the torso. A small explosion from inside the suit’s frame toppled the hapless unit back onto several crates of ammunition, taking itself out in a spectacular inferno.


Her ammunition ran out just as the active suit aimed two pistols at her and fired several shots rapidly. Vixen weaved and ducked underwater as soon as the projectiles whizzed by her, but the last attack had managed to clip her suit’s fin as she submerged as far down as she could. Once at the ocean floor, she changed her unit to its mobile suit form and made her retreat.


“One confirmed kill, sir. Their primary weapons seem to be two linear guns of some sort; MS-class pistols with the firing rate of CIWS,” she relayed, as Hugh finally caught up.


“Form up,” their leader said, just as his sensors alerted him. “I’m reading one unknown underwater contact behind you. I’m guessing that’s your boyfriend.”

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Phase 3


Trisha had set herself up as far as she dared before turning around. With a wide grin on her face, the girl pushed the accelerator to maximum, making the suit vibrate violently from the suddenness of the change in its velocity. “Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about!” she exclaimed, and in a few seconds she hit the other side of the sinking cruiser head on at maximum speed. The cruiser, already unstable from their initial attacks, toppled to its side, dooming its crew.


The ASSH pilot was not one to leave things to chance. A toppled ship could still be easily salvaged. Their employers wanted destruction, and they would get what they would pay for. Malik moved around the ship, pushing the ZnO away. With a clear shot at the ship’s underside, he fired six of his fourteen torpedoes, cracking the cruiser apart into quarters.


“Cruiser destroyed,” he confirmed. Noting that the frigate seemed to be busy engaging their own ship, Malik aimed his torpedoes at it. He fired what he had left, but just before they reached the target, a barrage of high-speed objects came up from somewhere below the ship and took out all but one of the torpedoes. The frigate was able to withstand the remaining attack.


“What the heck was that?!” asked Trisha, incredulous. She immediately dove her ZnO towards the ocean floor to look for the interloper. Her partner simply charged the frigate.


“Now we will see what this new design is capable of,” said Vixen, as her pursuer began to move towards her and the captain’s location. Hugh, for his part, was silently tracking the enemy’s movements, and could not believe how quickly the enemy unit was picking up speed. “It’s coming,” was all he said.


“Our torpedoes should be enough,” said the former Orb soldier. She raised her GOOhN’s forearms and waited for the Orb mobile suit to come into range. “My attack earlier proves it does not have Phase-Shift. We should simply…” she began to say, when several projectiles arrived and cut off her train of thought as well as both of her suit’s arms.


“Scramble!” Hugh immediately shouted as more of those high-velocity ammunition came at them. He could not believe that Orb could develop underwater linear weaponry with a range that rivaled torpedoes, but seeing Vixen’s armless machine was more than enough proof that they had. The two veterans encircled and evaded the enemy, which was forced to split its attention and firepower in opposing directions. Soon enough, they realized that the Orb unit was starting to conserve ammunition by firing sparsely, but still managed to tag the Gundam’s leg with it’s latest round.


As Hugh expected, his unit’s Phase-Shift Armor had negated any damage he would have otherwise taken, but he was amazed at how much power was drained for that one lucky shot. It was evident that the Murasame variant still had enough of those bullets, however, but he had no intention of being hit again.


“Close in and return fire!” the leader ordered, and the EA and ZAFT machines bore down on the lone suit. As the distance between them decreased, they watched the suit place both pistols on its wings, and begin to transform just as they came into range. The Forbidden Navy launched its torpedoes as Vixen fired her energy weapons, and while the pilot of the outflanked suit did their best to evade, the phonon masers had damaged it enough to make it unable to dodge the incoming explosives. The unit was torn apart, before exploding underwater.


“Vixen, hang back and assist the others, I’ll deal with the last one on that island, and whatever else they’ve got up there.”

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Um… thank you?


Phase 4


“Under the sea…” Trisha started to sing softly, recalling an unforgettably catchy song from her childhood as she dove into the darker depths of the ocean for the mysterious defender of the frigate. Her sensors failed to detect anything nearby, and she is forced to turn on her ZnO’s lights to illuminate the area. No sooner than she does, a contact appeared right beneath here, closing in fast.


The speed of the incoming unit gave her less than enough time to scream her guts out in surprise, as the cyan visage of an aquatic Murasame in mobile armor mode passed across her screen for just a split-second. Malik immediately turned his camera to locate the enemy unit, and barely caught it on video as the Orb unit launched itself past the surface of the water and into the sky.


Trisha managed to calm herself down enough to realize that the enemy has left its home environment. “Hah! And they call ME dumb? You must be a stupid Natural!” she screamed into the public channel, unmindful of the fact that the rest of her squad was made up of Naturals. She transformed her unit to its mobile suit mode, and broke the surface of the water on its back in order to fire the missiles located on the chest. She figured that the underwater mobile suit would not be able to evade six direct attacks against it in mid-air. However, her flash of brilliance, like her, was short-lived, as the last thing she saw was the Orb unit diving back down, raining metal into her mobile suit.


Malik saw the ZnO be destroyed right before the enemy unit defiled the young Coordinator’s watery grave by crashing itself through the debris. In quick retaliation, the ASSH fired its phonon maser cannon, but the agility of his target’s unit assured the failure of the attack. Tracing the path of the unit away from him, he transmitted, “Captain, I have made contact with the primary target. Trisha is dead, and the enemy is heading on an intercept course for our own ship.”


Hugh grimaced. Although he would have wanted to take on the enemy himself, he was too far away to be of any help. Malik and Vixen would have to deal with it by themselves. “Vixen, Malik, return to the ship and defend it. I’ll deal with the frigate later, myself.”


“Affirmative, sir,” replied Vixen as she dashed on, past the frigate once again.


The Navy made its way up to the shore as its frame moved into close-combat mode. The moment the cannon broke the surface of the water, the unit searched for and locates the nearest target – an unfinished communications station - and blasted it with its powerful main weapon. Still wary about his previous encounter with the new unit, Hugh immediately gripped his Nidhoggr heavy scythe and began to dash around the beach, scanning the burning outpost for the remaining unit. He was certain that it had already been activated.


Several shots that caused sand to rise up from the ground behind confirmed his suspicion. He found the enemy unit firing from behind a rock formation, so he did the most sensible thing he could think of; he shot the rocks apart. The unit, fully exposed, started to back away, shooting wildly at the veteran. The captain immediately saw the unit’s weakness; it performed very poorly above outside of the water. To take advantage of this, he aimed his left arm at the feet of the enemy as he continued to dash and evade, gritting his teeth as he took another unwelcome hit from a single linear bullet. After glancing to make sure that he still had more than enough power, he fired his refitted missile launcher, taking out his enemy’s legs. The Orb unit never reaches the ground, as it is destroyed with a single slash from the mercenary’s scythe.


Hugh returned to the dock, and razed the remaining structures that the island nation built on the beach. He was about to tell his squad he was ready to engage the frigate, when a tower of water bursts up in the distance.


“Captain, we lost Vixen.”

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Phase 5


Malik turned off the transceiver as he dodged the shrapnel that had once been his teammate’s GOOhN. Sorrow did not affect him, however, as the former EA elite had seen far too many good men and women killed in the line of duty to ever be affected again. What Malik was, instead, was patient and observant. Though he had chased the enemy unit to the vicinity of their ship, it had not engaged their floating base but rather, it doubled-back and swam past Malik, taking out Vixen practically with the first few rounds from its exceptional underwater guns. Though he had lost two comrades-in-arms, he was at least able to formulate a plan to engage it.


Hugh pushed his throttle to the maximum, skimming across the surface of the water full-on towards the frigate. His Gundam’s mobility served him well against the expected anti-MS fire he would encounter, but his thought was on the destruction of the one unit that had already taken out two of his squad. The captain realized belatedly why there were only three on land when he first thought there would be four – this particular unit was already in the middle of testing when they arrived. His glasses slipped momentarily, but he could see well enough to shoot the first anti-MS battery on the frigate, and then pass near the edge of the ship to cut off the second battery behind the first. Hugh thrust up and fired his remaining missles, destroying several of the frigate’s main guns, before dismissing it for later in order to seek out and eliminate the troublesome unit.


Malik transformed back into his machines mobile armor mode in order to give chase to the arguably faster suit. He had no opinion on the skill of his opponent as a pilot, but he could respect the fact that the Orb machine was far more suited for underwater work than any of their units, save for his former instructor’s Forbidden Navy. He did his best to keep the distance between them from increasing any more, but it was evident that the other mobile armor was swifter than his, as was to be expected. The ASSH had once been considered as the king of the seas, but that was a decade ago, and this newcomer had proved it had usurped the title. The only way it would go down, Malik surmised, was if he and his teacher would work together.


“Target depth at 150 feet, sir,” Malik relayed to Hugh, whom he realized was also heading for an intercept.


“I see him, contact in 3,” the leader confirmed. Hugh watched his sensors; not even his Gundam could go as fast as this one was going while submerged. Thankfully, he wasn’t the one giving chase, for he could feel that the opponent was going directly for him. A second later, he pointed his mobile suit, scythe at the ready, down towards the sea. Another second more, and he realized that the opponent had apparently not moved. It was physically impossible for a war machine going that fast to suddenly stop, but it only took his experience to tell him that the enemy was simply changing it’s depth, so he managed to adjust accordingly right before his feet touched the water.


“Contact,” Malik said from where he was, noting the two blips on his sensors to be right on top of the other. He had been surfacing as he went, and he watched just above the waterline as Gundam and the Orb unit met each other. However, the slightest hint of surprise formed on his face, as he saw that what was meeting his leader was a mobile suit, and not the mobile armor he had personally witnessed dealing death.


“Take this!” cried Hugh, as he swung his Nidhoggr at the head that appeared from the water. He felt the scythe impact and he pushed his precariously hanging glasses back to their proper place, only to see that his opponent had parried his attack with two curved daggers. Before he had time to back off, the enemy unloaded vulcan ammo at him, most of which harmlessly ricocheted off his unit’s Phase-Shift; the rest, on the other hand, entered the barrel of his main cannon, rendering it useless. Still in motion, the Orb unit’s greater momentum allowed it to ram the Gundam with it’s left shoulder, pushing Hugh off-balance in his seat and making his mobile suit fall back into the water.


The Orb unit followed him in by landing a kick squarely in the Navy’s torso, using it as a springboard to launch itself back into the air, where it returned to it’s jet-like mobile armor form, and dove back into the water where it seemed to belong.


Malik could do nothing but watch and speed on.

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Thanks everyone. It’s done now.


Phase 6


Malik followed his former instructor into the depths, using his mobile suit’s arms to catch the falling unit well before it touched the seabed. He shook the Gundam a bit, and banged on its frame all in an effort to get the captain to recover himself.


“Malik, I’m okay,” finally came the transmission. “Let me handle this guy, just head back to the ship and prepare to leave. We’re bugging out. No arguments.”


Before Malik could respond in compliance, their sensors picked up three screws in the water – torpedoes. Hugh took off the now-useless cannon off his machine’s head, and diverted the torpedoes directed at him. Malik managed to shake off the torpedoes headed for him, and ducked just in time to evade the redirected torpedo. However, the rapid fire shots came at them once again, hitting the torpedo just above his suit’s head, sending shrapnel into the back of his ASSH, and severely damaging the thrusters.


“Malik!” cried Hugh. “Get out now!”


The mobile armor now came into view, unloading more bullets like there was no tomorrow. This was not someone as careful as the first one Hugh encountered, that much was certain. The shots went between the two mobile suits, making Hugh unable to support his remaining squad member, who could no longer move well enough to avoid the then focused fire. Malik’s machine did not explode – instead, it had literally been ripped to shreds.


Hugh screamed in anguish. “DAMN YOU!” he exclaimed, and launched all the torpedoes he had. The enemy unit barrel-rolled in the water, evading all but one of the torpedoes, losing the right leg in the process and severely impairing its speed and mobility. It slowed to a stop as it decided to fight in mobile suit mode once again, but before it could reach for both guns, the former EA Marine Corps officer sliced off the left wing, forcing it to dash back and wield a combination of its gun and a dagger.


“You’re not getting away that easily!” he yelled out, bringing down his scythe as he kept the distance close. His opponent could not move fast enough to avoid the fluid attack, and was barely able to deflect the attack so as to lose the left arm instead of its core. Unfortunately for Hugh, the Orb machine’s gun was poised directly in between them, and it expended all the ammunition it had left.


At such a close range, the remaining mercenary could see the effect of the gun that had plagued them from the start. He could clearly see small pieces of metal – nothing like a bullet – spinning around as they cut through the water, in a path that reminded him of a spring. The effect was incredible. The enemy only had ten shots left, but even with his shields swinging closed in time to defend against the weapon, they had been more than enough for the Phase-Shift to drain his main battery and still make him lose shields, arms and legs. Hugh could do nothing now but float, practically dead in water. He watched helplessly as the new design threw away its gun and grabbed the broken staff of his scythe, wielding it like a kama.


“Come on…” Hugh taunted in his exhaustion. As the predator of his squadron swung the blade down and hard at what was left of his Forbidden Navy, he said his final words, “I’m coming, Olivia.”


A sailor came up to the bridge on the mercenary’s ship. “Captain, we’ve confirmed that the Orb outpost has been destroyed. However, our squadron has also been completely destroyed.”


“Then be thankful we turned around as soon as we did. All ahead full! We’re done here,” he replied.


A few minutes later, the sailor manning the sensors sounded the alert. “Screws the water! Torpedoes on the port side!” alerted the sailor manning the sensors.


“What?! Hard to starboard!” commanded the captain. “They’re too fast, captain! We’re gonna get hit!” came the grin response.


As soon as the first torpedo impacted the hull, the radioman turned on the transceiver and sent out a distress call. “Mayday, mayday, this is the S.S. Telstar requesting immediate assistance. We are under attack by unknown forces!”


“This is the Earth Alliance vessel Chimera. Telstar, please relay your position.”


“Chimera! We are 15 kilometers off Galapagos Island, heading towards Ecuador. We have taken torpedo hits and taking in water,” was the desperate plea for help. “I repeat, we are…” the radioman tried to say again, accompanied by an explosion on the bow, automatic-weapons fire and breaking glass, cutting off the transmission, but not before a bloodcurling shriek could be heard.


“Telstar! Say again!  Telstar… come in, Telstar… This the Chimera calling the Telstar...”


The End

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