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Loki
December 5th, 2008, 09:31 PM
OOC Thread (http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=160414)

Didn't proof read it. I'm wiped out, and I'll be gone almost all day tomorrow. :< So if you have any questions or beefs, please direct them to the OOC thread~

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The once united world had fallen back into its original state of three separate entities, but nothing outside of government and politics had changed. People moved on with life as usual, sparse objection to the changes coming in muted voices compared to the masses. Workdays were no different after the split, families were no different, and on the outside, it was nothing but a little change of pace for the general public. It was practically welcome, seeing as the gelatin had grown stiff and boring inside its delicate mold. It was not done through war, or a major, public event. It was spread like wildfire across the globe for the span of three days before news stations and magazines were hushed up. Those who had their reservations and suspicions found that their seeds of doubt did not take root, even after months of the change, and forgot their conflicts.

If the Advanced European Union, Human Reform League, and the World Economic Union unanimously agreed on something, it was most certainly the fact that there was no need to suddenly drop the Pandora’s Box of war on a society that had long forgotten the suffering that came with battle, and loss. They were cooperative in saying nothing and doing nothing that would garner the attention of the public, gathering their military forces and silently waiting for the other to make a move. Nuclear mobile suits that had long been secretly developed from the original blueprints discovered by the dissolved Federation were claimed by the Union, and after five prototypes built in the barren deserts of Nevada proved successful, the suit was mass produced. The AEU received the mobile suits of old, the still operational Aheads that had been stored deep underground, or in the far off depths of space, improving their capabilities and weaponry to match up with the armaments of the new Gamma. The HRL, neutral in stance, was widely considered the losing end of the dissipation of unity, receiving the fewest Ahead models, and having no new suit in development, the HRL was severely crippled. However, unlike the Union and AEU, their advantage was the number of their volunteers, as they had more than enough volunteers to train and pilot the few suits they possessed.

The day after tomorrow would be the international event where hangars on earth were re-opened, re-furbished military bases opened to operation once more, and the official roll-out of the Union’s Gamma would take place, in Washington D.C. It was a meticulously organized war by the new generation who was tentative with its first wobbly steps away from the bassinet of peace.


2461, 22:00, London, AEU.


Wearing a casual suit, Basilio Donate stood prim and confident, looking out the huge windows of his luxuriously modern loft. It was a single room, conveniently located in the heart of London, and though it had but one room, it was large, and lavishly decorated with geometrical black couchs, a lounge chair, and his own chair, sitting tall behind a stainless steel desk with a crystal surface. The walls were windows, providing the most perfect view of the glittering city expanding beneath Basil’s feet. To his right was a black Faziolo grand piano to match the rest of the grayscale room, and the black marble floors were illuminated by square crystal chandeliers. It spoke of expensive items and furnishings, and its owner did no less. His pure blonde wavy hair was cropped neatly around his ears, with shockingly green eyes that surveyed the expanse below him as he waited. Basil’s hands were tucked neatly in the pockets of his metallic gray suit, and he had taken the time out of his schedule to come and meet some agents of Celestial Being personally. He already had a mission in mind, and everything was set up perfectly. It was a tiring quality of Basil’s, a perfectionist and overachiever who felt that anyone’s work other than his own was simply not good enough. He’d relented, though. He was not accustomed to admitting he couldn’t do something, but he had no reserves admitting that he had no experience piloting a mobile suit. After all, between all his pride and self-confidence, he felt that the risk for his precious life in piloting a mobile suit was simply not worth the trouble.

At the young age of 26, Basil had successfully used his father’s company to create a huge enterprise who’s yearly gross made a lavish apartment such as the one in which he currently stood look like penny candy. He had far reaching connections, and firmly believed that any militia interference would send a shock though his economy. He had been promptly upset when he’d heard the news that the government dogs were trying to mess with his possessions, and had therefore enthusiastically volunteered to become Celestial Being’s new benefactor.

The doorbell rang, a smooth buzz, and Basil motioned to the butler beside the door, giving him permission to open the door.

“Please,” Basil said with a pleasant smile as he turned around to meet familiar and unfamiliar faces, “Feel free to sit anywhere you like.”


2461, 8:00, June- Sydney, Union


He was regularly one of the first people there, and one of the first to leave, though at times he would disappear for months and return with the same surly silence. He worked alone, speaking to no one and taking only periodic breaks. The others who came had grown accustomed to giving him his space, because even though he was an incredible kick boxer, deadly precision, and powerful hits that caused bystanders to cringe for the sake of the sandbag, he made for poor company. Any attempts to speak to him had been received in stride, quickly brushed off and left behind. This unfriendly front that Aesur had set up for himself was extremely grueling, but he spoke to no one he would see again with a smile unless they were apart of Celestial Being. And even some people he’d met, he’d never been able to smile to no matter how hard he tried to force the corners of his lips up. He gave a good solid kick at the sandbag, and then threw down three jabs- right left right. Ignoring any sweat that might’ve been slipping down the side of his face, he occupied his thoughts not with kickboxing, but with the upcoming Celestial Being debut mission. They had received no details yet, and it was already quite late in London, where this meeting was supposed to be taking place. He thrust his arm into an uppercut. It would be soon. Stepping back from the sandbag, Aesur looked around for the clock, finding it behind the concession stand. He pulled off his gloves and picked up a towel, mopping his face dry and collecting his things. As soon as he stepped out of the gym, the winter morning air biting into the heat that flushed his cheeks.

He silently tossed his things into the trunk of his compact car, looking at his watch. Three hours until his flight. That was plenty.

A shower, a collection of a small bag of things to accompany his gym things, and an hour later, Aesur was on his flight to the other hotel room that had been booked for him in Beijing, HRL. He would receive mission details soon, or so he’d been told. He looked down at his pocket pc, which was one of the newest in design, sleek and small. He had nothing else to spend his salary on, having no real material desires. Theritia was cloaked Northwest of Beijing, which would mean more driving, and most likely, by means of a motorcycle. Ugh. Aesur slunk down into his seat with a heavy sigh, closing his eyes to try and sleep the next 12 hours away.

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Why have I not gotten anything moving yet? Because Celestial Being doesn't have a tactitian! :D Hurrah! We need one, so if anyone wants to show off their intellect, please make it snappy. The first mission will be divided to make things move along. Each meister to their own, and it will begin and end in one post. Antagonists won't have much to do other than get in the way... xD; And be sure not to hold us up too much. It's just the first battle. :B I'll have more details on the first mission later, but yeah, for now, please feel free to give us a little introduction on your character while they head to their respective faction.

Aesur is headed for HRL, obviously. Kain, Abele, and Ryder can go to AEU. Alitaria goes to the Union. If you want Ryder to go somewhere else, Kansas, go for it. I put you with Kain and Abele simply because they're not going to fare well in close combat, and your unit will have more forte in those terms. If you guys want to switch around and stuff, just make it clear in the OOC Thread, or MSN, or whatever.

parallelzero
December 7th, 2008, 09:04 AM
12:00AM, Abakan, Siberia, Russia, HRL.
"I'm doing the right thing, right Mom? Right Dad?" The chestnut coloured hair of the girl blew gently in the frosty breeze the nights in Russia had to offer. She was slouched delicately over over a relatively fresh gravestone amidst the grassy fields of similar stones and crosses, a relic of a white church barely standing atop a hill in the distance. The only things written on the stone were three names, Edward Stiyl, Mary Stiyl, and Sara Stiyl. Stiyl, she'd have to discard that name for now if she wanted to accomplish anything, she knew, but it was hard. Ms. Sara Stiyl would have to disappear for now - or rather, she had been assumed to have died in that attack with her parents only several months ago. Things had changed a lot in that time, and events had proceeded in a manner that gave her a new name. The discovery of her body by that man, her surgery that gave her a robotic eye and arm (though nobody would be able to tell the difference) and her eventual drafting into Celestial Being had left her with a new identity, Alitaria Sigma. But Alitaria still had doubts. She wanted revenge for the death of her parents, and that further fueled her belief that the world needed to change, but there was no possible way she could take a life.

That's the main reason she had decided to head to the city of her parent's grave prior to her first mission. She needed to obtain something that could help her overcome her weak mind, and thanks to some old notes she had recovered from one of her mom's offices, she found a way. It was a drug, ST98708R was it's name, but it had a very simple codename: RAGE. It was a serum invented by HRL scientists to better improve the combative abilities of their soldiers, but it had yet to be perfected. It was supposed to give them a rush in battle, which would be useful for those pilots who needed the extra motivation to kill, but what resulted in the test stages was a serum that turned the subject completely hostile. It was okay in small doses, but was ruled illegal shortly after it's creation. Luckily, Alitaria had a way of obtaining some, an old friend in the weapons development area of the HRL, and she had received a whole suitcase full in exchange for a large sum. She'd have to take it in secret though, else she risked her position as a Meister.

She eventually stood after hearing the voice of her cab driver calling out to her. She had a long flight to the Union, where her Celestia was concealed near Washington. She gave one glance back at the grave of her parents and herself, before straightening her beige jacket and continuing to trek up the hill towards the taxi, the chilly wind continuing to nip at her skin. She had to admit, a lot could go wrong in this mission. She was the newest Meister to be added to the roster, and other than field tests, she hadn't used Celestia for much combat. She also had no idea as to what effects RAGE would have on her, nor did she have any backup as she was working independently from the other Meister, at least it seemed to be so. Not that she really knew the other Meisters, as she hadn't had a lot of time to socialize with them. All she knew was, she seemed like she was the youngest. Oh well.

As she reached the top of the hill, she gazed at the Russian city in the distance, noting the beauty of the lights, before getting in the cab bound for the airport. "Beauty is only an external affair."

OOC: Hope this was okay. XD I did some timezone checking to make sure the time was in line with the time Aesur was experiencing. And wasn't sure where in the Union you wanted her to go, so I just picked wherever...

Alter Ego
December 7th, 2008, 09:34 AM
2461, 1:00, June- St.Wolfgang Mental Hospital, Munich, AEU

The rain went pitter-patter against the windows. He liked the rain. It made pretty patterns on the glass and bent the gray city beyond it into all kinds of funny shapes. He tried making a few faces at it in an attempt to see his reflection, but all he could see was the rain-blurred cityscape.

Heaving a sigh of quiet disappointment, Kain slumped back down onto his back on the bed. It was all nice and fluffy and soft, not at all like the beds in that other place...he forgot the name. Part of him wanted to just go to sleep now, just like the man in the white coat had wanted him to a while ago, but the rest of him knew he couldn't. It wasn't that he had trouble sleeping alone. It wasn't like he found anything wrong with the room they had put him in (because there wasn't anything wrong), it wasn't like he was the issue. Kain let his gaze slide to the tiny bed that had been propped onto a nightstand next to his, reaching out a hand to gently stroke the head of the little figure residing in it. It was a doll, its frame thin, delicate and stylized far beyond what one would have expected from such a thing, a picture-perfect little girl right down to the tiniest detail, scaled down to be able to comfortably sit in the palm of a hand. It was dressed in a little night gown right now, its red dress and matching ribbon carefully folded next to it.

"I miss her too, Rosa." he mumbled, turning to face the doll, "But she'll come and get us tomorrow, remember? Tomorrow..." he did his best to put up a brave smile, "...tomorrow, we'll get to show Abele our new act. With the big puppets. Won't that be great?" he gave his best attempt at an upbeat tone, a rather half-hearted one he had to admit, carefully lifting up Rosa and cradling the little doll in his arms - for her sake, of course; not his - "Tomorrow, my sweet...tomorrow..."

He sighed again, turning onto the other side to let Rosa watch the rain with him. This was going to be a long night.


OOC: Short, but...at this early hour there's not an awful lot a fellow can do. D: You sure know how to pick 'em, Al.

Chibi-chan
December 8th, 2008, 01:59 PM
1:00 AM, Mannheim, Germany, AEU


Under the lights of the train station, Abele sat with her bags by her side, waiting for the intercom to say the name of her train to Munich. Fortunately, the funeral and wake had been done and over with just in time to meet her deadline. She had never been close to her great-aunt and their encounters during the past two weeks failed to remedy that gap before she departed. Sick on her deathbed, she had wished to see the last of her family before she passed on. At the thought, Abele chuckled inwardly. The old lady didn't want to die alone. Plain and simple, she knew that no one would have noticed her passing and so, invited family that she had not seen in years. When told of her aunt's sickness, Abele was sympathetic and willing to go and bring along Kain with her. To her surprise, she was told that the visit was going to be a family exclusive visit at her house; those who did not hold the Walburg name were not allowed. Arguing with an old woman's death wish didn't work that well either. So, it had been decided that Kain would stay at the AEU hospital in Germany and that she would meet him there when the funeral was over or when they were needed by the AEU. It was hard, but she somehow managed to board the train, waving goodbye to Rosa and Kain until they were out of sight.

She yawned. Kain should be asleep at this hour. He probably wasn't though. More the reason for her train to come in on time, she might be able to force him back to sleep. Along with that concern, they both needed a good night's sleep for the mission they would receive...today most likely. The details around the mission weren't very clear, but Abele was psyched as well as a bit nervous.

"Train 172A, Munich: Boarding at Port C"

Hearing her train's arrival over the intercom, Abele quickly slung her bag over her shoulder and headed towards her port. She's probably be getting a couple hours of sleep on the train; hopefully Kain was getting some sleep too.

Kansas
December 9th, 2008, 05:23 PM
11:00 PM Paris, France, AEU

The evening sky of Paris was lit with an almost magical soft golden glow of the lights of France. The air was cool and comforting as cars could be heard whirring passed below. Letting his hair ruffle in the wind, a young man with short dirty blond hair stood silently, reviewing the cityscape. Behind him, the hotel room he was staying in could be seen, an extravagant room as per his request. He wished to continue the lifestyle he was used to growing up. It was somewhat risky still being in Paris but he couldn't help but say by to it one more time, the man who had already died once for Celestial Being. Jonas F. Cache, codename...

"Ryder Fleetback... So thats my new name from now on...It's got a nice ring to it that's for sure. As of tomorrow, Jonas Cache will be a forgotten tragedy compared to what the world will soon be facing." Ryder said aloud as he gazed out over the dark sky contrasted by the bright city lights. Wearing a nicely pressed maroon button up shirt and black pants, Ryder stood outside his room contemplating the future that his hands would create. The moon hung in the sky, shining down brilliantly. He let out a sigh, stepping back and turning into his hotel room, shutting the large double doors that led out to the balcony. The room in actuality was far too much for one person, and Ryder knew it. He plopped onto the large circular sofa in the center of the room which encompassed a small circular coffee table. Ryder fished out a small disc from his pocket, tossing it onto the smooth surface of the center piece coffee table.

"Display, Retribution." he said aloud to the disk.

"Password please." a small female voice responded to him.

"DY56K cache." he responded aloud in a casual tone.

"Password and Voice patterns confirmed, hello Ryder. Displaying Retribution. Would you like equipment specs or any additional calculations?" The voice responded again as a bright holographic image of a bulky dark Maroon and Black mobile suit appeared in front of him on a foot tall scale.

"Rotate imagine at a continuous 2rpm and that will be fine, M.I.D.D" Ryder confirmed back to the small disc. This was M.I.D.D. short for Mass Information Data Disc, a small trinket trusted to Ryder upon joining Celestial being, information on various speculations of Celestial Being, even containing its own navigational personality. Ryder stared down at the glowing model of the mobile suit as it spun slowly, showing off its various features and weapons.

"Retribution... this Gundam and I are going to do amazing things. According to tomorrow's specs, I do the mission along side one of the other pilots, right Midd?" Ryder asked aloud to the small disc.

The image of Retribution moved to the side of the visual as a map and display of the mission parameters came up next to it.

"You'll actually be accomplishing the mission with two Pilots instead of just one. Their names are Kain and Abele, their suit, Alice, supports dual-piloting capabilities." The small machine responded.

"Really now?! Hm... replace image Retribution with image of Gundam, Alice. " Ryder said to the small machine.

An image of a massive arsenal of a mobile suit appeared in front of him, cannons looming in every direction.

"Sheesh! What an eyesore... I bet that thing can't move much, probably why they had me tag along. Looks like I'll be babysitting the hulk of metal while it commences bombardment?" he commented aloud to Midd.

"I don't know how to answer that, Ryder." The voice commented back.

"I didn't think you would. I'm gonna hit the sack. We'll be leaving with Retribution for the mission site first thing in the morning... Go ahead and power down. Secure mode activate." Ryder said as he stood up, taking the small disc and placing it in his rear pocket. The image disappeared instantly and Ryder moved through the room, flipping a light switch on his way towards a bedroom. He flopped onto his bed, closing his eyes and letting slumber take hold.

"Ryder Fleetback and Retribution. Change will come at our hands."

Loki
December 9th, 2008, 07:04 PM
Guys guys, feel free to be fifty thousand times more awesome than I was. <_< This post kind of sucked, I know. x_x

And Jack, I guess if you want, you can put in some introduction for your antagonists now. They won't get to do much, since these missions need to be started in the second post, and finished by the end. D: Sorry about that. Next mission, they'll get to have more action though.

If you have any questions, please ask in the OOC/VM me or bug me on MSN. And umm... yeah. :D I trust most of you guys know what you're doing, so feel free to take any liberties with your block.

David, your military thing is obviously at Washington D.C. You can pick which establishment it'll be at. None of them really have much room for military stuff, but hey. Whatever. This is Gundam. xD

Al, Chibbles, and Evas, I guess either you guys just randomly pick a nice big spot in Europe, or whoever posts first gets dibs on picking.

6:00 AM in Beijing. Do your own math. xD


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“Dui bu qi.” Aesur bowed his head in apology to the man he’d bumped into, before turning around and hurrying back on his way. He hadn’t missed the dirty look he’d gotten from the office worker. It had been years since he’d been in China, but the people weren’t any more open to his distinct Taiwanese accent, and probably even less now that his mandarin was probably muddled up with English errors. “Sorry.” He muttered under his breath in perfect English, rolling his eyes and hurrying along to the designated point where a motorcycle awaited him.

A few sickeningly thick summer headwinds later, Aesur hopped off the motorcycle, setting it on it’s programmed path into a safe hiding place. He fished around his pocket and brought out his pocket PC. It wasn’t hard to find Theritia, with the new information that had been apparently sent to him while he’d been taking a good nap on the plane. As soon as it was uncloaked, Aesur hopped onto the ladder, grabbing the top rung and securing his left foot on the bottom rung, using his right to go over the mission plan. It was short and concise. At least, his was anyway. Kiel probably hadn’t wanted to blow the HRL away too much. They had such little to begin with anyway. Looking up at the musty sky, Aesur sighed. The most action would be at the Union, he guessed. The place where they’d sent that newbie. Shaking his head in disapproval, but voicing no displeasure with Kiel’s mission plan, Aesur hopped into his cockpit, pulling off his courdouroy jacket and his extra long tie and grabbing his pilot suit off the floor behind the pilot’s seat. He multi-tasked, putting on his suit and propping his PC up against the communications control, and folding his regular clothes into a perfectly neat square, before shoving them into a bag he’d brought with him.

As soon as he finished zipping up his suit, Aesur ran his hand through his hair, pushing his bangs away from his face and putting his helmet on, his eyes gaining an unfamiliar edge of malice. He didn’t get this way in simulation, but he could feel the adrenaline pumping through his blood now that the real deal was coming. He chuckled darkly, turning off the receiver that would allow him to speak with the other pilots and the crew, but leaving the reception on so that he could still hear them, and maybe any changes. He doubted there would be any mission plan changes though. It was just a little rehearsal, to set the stage for the sequel of the first Celestial Being.

“Good morning Mr. President,” Aesur smiled, a sinister curl of his lips as he sat down, the belts strapping him securely in place, “Before breakfast, let’s play a little game, shall we?”

His control screen flashed, signaling the beginning of the mission, and green sparkling particles gushed out of the engine on Theritia’s back. He’d done so much maintenance on this damn thing, and he was finally getting to give it a real spin.

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6:00, Beijing – Tiananmen Square, HRL


A professionally dressed woman with her hair tied tightly back into a perfect bun gave the morning report in Tiananmen Square. “Today marks the anniversary of a great national achievement for the Human Reform League.” She spoke like a drone, and as Aesur watched the broadcast from his hiding place just past the first village outside of Beijing’s city limits, he rolled his eyes, watching her with distaste. She had such a thick accent it was hard to even understand her. “Today, we will unveil our new militia in celebration of our new independence from the Earth Federation, and pledge our neutrality and humble good will to the new world’s potential future conflicts. The Human Reform League will honor traditions of old while creating the new road for our new future-“

Aesur turned the news off, tossing his PC over his shoulder. Good riddance. All that propaganda. They said nothing about the AEU or the Union revealing their armaments too. No mention of the fact that the Human Reform League had gotten lynched in terms of military power, regardless of their “good will”. Aesur hated these people. These conforming people who thought of either nothing but their government, or nothing but rebellion. Nothing had changed in over what- nearly half a millennia? Whatever. Math, politics, and history had never been Aesur’s best subjects. He wasn’t from this place, so what right did he have to judge it? In fact, he was from the very place that practically hated the Human Reform League the most. But… Aesur scoffed. Who cared about fairness? “C’mon.” He crooned, drumming his fingers on his controls, “I’m dying here~”

“Countdown to ascension has begun. Fifteen… Fourteen…” Aesur sat up straighter, gripping the joysticks with anxiety and glee. “Ten, nine, eight, seven…”

Again, Aesur started up Theritia’s GN Drive, the drill-like mechanism beginning to glow as it spun. “Three, two-“

“One!” The newswoman’s excited voice came as an explosion of engines and mobile suits taking off muted her voice. The small window in the corner of his screen indicated that the sound had been switched off, giving him the visual of the handful of refurbished Ahead’s.

Aesur cackled, shooting off into the sky, to hide in the smog covering Beijing. As the mobile suits did their rounds, Aesur hovered at a safe distance, just far enough so that he wouldn’t show up on their sensors.



“Let them have their show.” Basil spoke confidently to himself, swirling a maraschino cherry in his champagne, and looking at the small screen in front of him displaying the Union’s rollout of the Gamma’s, before looking up at his guests expectantly, “Just make sure it doesn’t last.”



Three quick bleeps and Aesur jerked the joystick forward in full thrust, pulling out the sub-machine guns and pointing shooting towards that accursed square. Two Aheads were down; one damaged and forced to make an emergency landing- the other blown into fireworks for the spectators frantically trying to run. Landing in the middle of the square, Aesur diligently followed his orders to leave any Ahead’s as intact as safely possible, so that the Union and AEU couldn’t take the chance to absorb the HRL with military force. “Weeeak!” Aesur laughed, his face gleeful but his eyes a little nervous as he checked to make sure the microphone in his helmet was still off. He didn’t want anyone to see or hear him like this. As soon as he’d pummeled five ground units that didn’t even function with pseudo-GN Drives, he caught his breath and turned on the receiver again, smoothing out his haggard voice and reporting cheerfully, “Phase one, complete!” He shook from the effort of keeping himself normal, “Moving on to phase two!”

He turned the communications off again, sliding Theritia around the square like a skate rink, evading particle beams raining in around him before shooting off into the sky again. The engine remained firmly in place, as he’d also been instructed to reveal only the barest of his Gundam’s capabilities.

“Hey hey!” Aesur laughed, “This is like, fifty against one!”

His machine guns shattered the square, leaving the concrete in shambles, while the building overlooking it was washed in the gray dust rising from the rubble.

“But it’s kind of like one God- against fifty peasants!” He added as footnote, laughing wildly as he waved Theritia’s hand teasingly at the Aheads that were headed towards him at full speed. “Pathetic formation!” Aesur stuck his tongue out, pulling back on his joystick and disappearing up into the sky as quickly as he’d appeared.

“Phase two complete.” Aesur reported when he flicked the switch back to on, feeling the adrenaline rush out of him with an almost immediate effect. “Preparing to pass through the upper layers of the stratosphere into the mesosphere and return to the Ptolemaios. Mission complete~!”

Jack O'Neill
December 9th, 2008, 10:22 PM
Tiananmen Square, Beijing, People's Republic of China, Human Reform League
0600 hours local time
xx June 2461

While the Human Reform League obviously had no shortage of willing and qualified volunteers for its newly-reformed mobile suit corps, it had a severe shortage of actual mobile suits. When the Earth Sphere Federation's assets were partitioned in the aftermath of its dissolution, the HRL received the smallest and least advanced portion of the pie, with only a few GN-XIIIs and even fewer Aheads relative to its two rivals, the World Economic and Advanced European Unions; to compensate for this lack of advanced mobile suits, the HRL resorted to reinstating the obsolescent MSJ-06II Tieren and the even more obsolescent MSER-04 Anf in order to bolster its numbers. In addition, the HRL high command responded to the influx of volunteers by instituting a highly rigorous selection process that permitted only the best of the best of the best the privilege of piloting Aheads and GN-XIIIs; those who failed these assessments were relegated to piloting Anfs and Tierens. 2nd Lieutenant Marianne N. Santos was one of the lucky officers who performed particularly well on the tests required for pilot candidacy, and as such, she was currently sitting in the cockpit of one of the Aheads gathered at Tiananmen Square. The opening act of the show went well, with her and the rest of the Ahead and GN-XIII pilots demonstrating the capabilities of their upgraded mobile suits as they made their rounds over Beijing; masses of Anfs and Tierens were also showing off on the ground of the square, attempting to demonstrate that they were still worth something even in this day and age.

However, none of them were expecting a full-blown Gundam to crash the party.

The tightly-choreographed presentation soon dissolved into chaos as the Theritia effortlessly blasted two Aheads from the skies before landing right in the middle of the square. Marianne and the other Ahead pilots trained their GN beam rifles on the rogue mobile suit and opened fire, but their enemy was just too fast; by the time they were actually opened fire, their target was already on the ground, literally tearing it up with the Anfs and Tierens. Even with force of numbers on their side, the ground units had no chance; five Anfs and Tierens were ripped to shreds in close combat in relatively short order before the Gundam rocketed back into the skies, firing madly at the ground of Tiananmen Square partly out of spite and partly to deter the anti-air fire being thrown up by the survivors. The Aheads and GN-XIIIs doggedly gave chase to the Theritia but were quickly forced to break off the pursuit when it simply outran them.

Marianne simply sighed. "Until next time, I guess," she said to herself in a resigned tone of voice as she directed her Ahead back to Tiananmen Square. "Whatever that mobile suit is, whoever's piloting it...I'll get them. I'll make sure of it."

Alter Ego
December 10th, 2008, 09:05 AM
The more he watched, the more confirmation he received for every cynical assumption underlying this particular mission plan. Brussels had been a given long before the official announcement. Where else, after all, could the internal squabbling of the AEU's representatives end up than Brussels, the eternal compromise city? From there, Grand Place had been a logical next step; the most visually impressive place in the city still capable of containing such a crowd. Synchronization with the other unveiling events to demonstrate the much-praised 'equality' between the three. Even the primly and properly dressed announcer woman who was currently treating the crowd...it was all so pitifully predictable. Part of him wanted to either laugh or cry, couldn't quite decide which.

"Haro." he said, leaning back in his seat a little as the tedious speech drew to a long-desired conclusion, "Give me the charge ratio of Gundam Alice."

"Gundam Alice, Gundam Alice!" the automaton repeated in a digitized voice probably intended to be adorable, flapping the ear-like little hatches on its head and causing the tactician to roll his eyes. Whatever possessed someone to design a tool of war to act and look like a cute little toy marketed for twelve-year olds he would never understand, but despite its quirks he far preferred the device to their tactical officer. It had the distinct advantage of knowing how to stick to the point, "Gundam Alice. Main bazooka charge, 78 percent. Secondary cannons charge, 69 percent. Support system idle."

"And here we have them, ladies and gentlemen!" the announcer called, the camera zooming into the night sky above. And there, basked in the lighting of the square below and silhouetted against the night sky above, a full thirty ominous figures flew above the square in tight formation, "The new generation of Aheads!" the crowd cheered, the little timer in the upper corner ticked on to 21:58

"Main Bazooka, 93 percent. Secondary cannons, 82 percent."

"Truly, we are witnessing history in the making!"

"History in the making?" he couldn't help a wry grin as he reached for the glass of vintage wine he had kept waiting beside him.

"100 percent."

"...how right you are."

At that moment, a blinding ray of light shot across the screen, engulfing the leading Ahead just as the formation swept down into a bold dive and burying the cheers of the crowd and the commentator's inane blabber in the sound of an ear-rending explosion. For the tiniest fraction of a moment, the entire square was wrapped in complete silence, save for the pitiful groan of the devastated suits as they tumbled down from the sky. Then, reality caught up, chaos ensuing in the crowd while the Aheads that had managed to avoid the destruction hastily swiveled to the sides, scrambling to localize their opponent.

"Really now, still using those old formations?" the tactician shook his head disapprovingly as two only slightly smaller blasts illuminate the screen in quick succession to the first, ripping through another two suits as they passed, "How tediously predictable."

"Well then," he reached towards the contact button on his headset, "I suppose I shall have to make this game more interesting myself. Gundam Retribution. This is Kiel. Thirty additional Ahead units are stationed at Brussels Airport; dispose of them before they can mobilize and join the main force then proceed to the rendezvous point. Gundam Alice will dispose of the rest."

His piece thus said, Kiel turned his full attention to the screen once more, the television report now replaced by schematics monitoring the condition of four distinct Gundams, chuckling slightly. The Meisters had all objected to this mission plan in one way or the other - in their hearts, if not in words, but they missed the point. This mission was not a full-scale intervention. It was a test. Gundam Retribution's response speed and mobility, Gundam Alice's close-range capabilities, Gundam Thertia's true peformance speed. These were all important factors to determine early on. The pilots of these three suits were all qualified and more than capable of matching the amateurish opposition and their ancient toys, so their missions were little more than a flashier test run. The fourth, however...Kiel's attention focused on the schematic of Gundam Celestia, his hand reaching for the wine glass again. A little civilian girl, no prior combat experience or special talents for piloting, artifical limb transplants, psychological trauma, this...Alitaria Sigma, she was a hopeless mess at face-value yet someone had seen fit to appoint her a Meister. The only thing a good scientist could do when faced with such a comundrum was to put it to an empirical test. He may not have been at an authority to deny appointments, but as tactician he was very much in a position to gauge their abilities and that was precisely what he was going to do.

"Now then, my little maverick..."Kiel took a small sip of the wine, his attention now fully focused on the last schematic, "...show me what makes you worthy to pilot the Celestia."

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


23: 05 City outskirts, Brussels, Belgium, AEU

The lights were really pretty...the lights that looked like a sunrise but were something different - he couldn't recall what. It was a big important word, just like the big, official words resounding in his ears, so he knew it was important, even if the precise meaning escaped him. Rosa was excited to be there too, he could tell, excited and a little scared. Kain had to cover her ears when the really big cannon fired; she didn't like the noise, though he could tell that she thought the sunrise that was no a sunrise pretty too. The precise contents of the past hours were a bit of a blur to Kain - he recalled watching the rain with Rosa when Abele came hurrying inside and told him to get dressed. He recalled the cold of the rain against his face and the familiar, comforting warmth of Abele's hand in his as she guided him through it, a comfortable seat, and then the Gundam. The suit that took him and shut him out from all the confusing things in the world and kept him warm and safe and made him lose track of the time. He might have fallen asleep, he couldn't remember and he didn't really care. He had Rosa beside him, the Gundam around him, and Abele's voice in his ears to tell him what to do. That was all he needed.

It was then that he caught sight of the spots of light approaching them, countless sparks of red soaring towards the matching screen of green surrounding them, bouncing off it with soft thuds. It was all very pretty. It was then that the other person spoke up. Kain didn't quite know who he was and had thought it a bit rude to ask since he had a feeling that he should have known, but the other person seemed to know almost as much about things as Abele. Which meant he knew almost everything. And right now, he was telling him something that immediately killed the relaxed smile on Kain's face.

"...hurt...us?"

Kain's eyes widened, his lip trembling, like that of a small child who had been adoring the cute little piglets when someone told him precisely what said piglets were being raised for. His hands clenched to fists, but he quickly stilled his body again as another sound struck him at the very edge of his senses.

"You..." he hissed out, placing each hand above their designated command nodes, feeling the connection between them building up, he turned his glare straight at the Ahead suit leading the charge, the cannons immediately swivelling from their standby mode to ready, "...how dare you...how dare you make Rosa cry?!"

His fists unclenched, his mind blanked, and the world in front dissolved into a blur of explosions and colorful lights.

parallelzero
December 10th, 2008, 03:10 PM
16:50, Outside Washington D.C., Union.
Alitaria had never learned to drive. Since her home, her family, was always moving, there was never a location in which she had much of a chance, not to mention her parents were always too busy to teach her. To be fair, she had a learner's permit in the Union. Unfortunately, that left her at a disadvantage when it came from moving from place to place. Fortunately, she knew of a bus that would bring her out into the country to a point which was in the general area of Celestia. The entire time, she carried a vial of her RAGE in a small, cream coloured shoulder bag, having sent the rest of the stock in secret to Celestial Being after meeting with an operative at the airport. The thoughts of what this serum would do ruined her mood during her ridiculously long flight, as well as the bus ride that followed. It wasn't wise using an unfamiliar drug, stimulant or no, in any kind of military operation, let alone during her first intervention as a Meister. It had been bugging her lately, as well. Why was she picked as a Meister? Sure, she was familiar with the controls and functions of a mobile suit, but her piloting ability was only average. The Celestia was a magnificent machine to be sure, but during her test flights she didn't feel she had been operating it to it's full potential. She had a weak will, as well. She wasn't comfortable taking lives, which is why she had to refrain to taking drugs.

She finally arrived at where Gundam Celestia had been cloaked in it's mobile armor mode, below a tall bridge on the way into the city. It was only a short flight to her target, Andrews Air Force Base, from this location, and she needed to wait a short amount of time for the unveiling to begin. Why all of the supernational unions seemed to be revealing their cards at all seemed a little bizarre, let alone at the same time. But... what they had discovered, nuclear energy, and the capacity for nuclear weapons such as mobile suits was really something quite serious. Alitaria had seen possible plans for the use of this energy, and she had been quick to conclude that this was a power humanity should not trifle with.

The girl was quick to climb the machine and slip into it's cockpit. The area surrounding her was desolate, with no homes or possible traffic to create witnesses. Not that it would matter anyways, she considered, as she herself had just been hidden from mortal eyes. Her identity was what was important, considering Celestia would be headlining the news soon anyways. The Meister removed a portable PC from her handbag after dropping into her seat in the cockpit. She fumbled with it for a couple of moments, before eventually navigating to a live feed of the events at the Air Force Base.

The acting president of the Union was present atop a podium between the actual base and the press below, dressed in a fine black suit. It was at this point that Alitaria shakily reached for the syringe in her bag, which had a needle equipped for it's use. She stared at the video image with the translucent red liquid acting as a filter for the image on screen, staining the president red. "It is now, with great honor, that I reveal to you all our military power. There is no finer way to show that our separation from the Earth Sphere Federation, that was holding our people down, was the right decision! With this, we will-" The small electronic device fell to the floor of the cockpit as Alitaria drove the needle into her left arm, the only one made of flesh, before pushing down to release the liquid serum into her bloodstream.

It didn't take long to set in, as it felt as if her fears and concerns were just melting away. Or rather, any emotion whatsoever was melting away. Why was she so concerned about killing again? Humans were replaceable in the military, after all. The GN Drive in the back of Celestia began to spin rapidly after the girl activated it, her hands gripping the joysticks in a relaxed manner. She wasn't afraid anymore. Death wasn't something to fear. Killing wasn't something to fear. It was all natural. All that remained was her mission, and she knew that it had to be completed. "Celestia, subduing the targets." The girl murmured in a voice that lacked her usual warm and cheery tone. She had left the speaker and receiver on, so she could hear the other Meisters and vice versa. She knew the others had doubts about her, but with this, with this she could prove them wrong for sure. With that, the Gundam launched, climbing upwards into the sky at the speed of any well crafted jet.

In the opinion of military experts in the HRL, the only good kind of pilot, was an emotionless pilot.


17:00, Andrews Air Force Base, Union.
The Gamma's, having been revealed only a few moments ago, flew around in the air in various formations to demonstrate their mobility as Mr. President droned on about his plans for the future of the Union. One eventually fired a round off into the distance to demonstrate the enhanced firepower of a suit powered by contained nuclear energy. The beam was large, and it was powerful. To the pilot's surprise, however, two blasts of white energy were shot back from the distant location his own beam had been fired. The twin rays of light struck his machine, taking off both of the arms and sending it to the ground.

She had to eliminate them. Those Gammas. They were responsible for the death of her parents. They were responsible for the imminent war. They're very existence was a threat to humanity. It was much to her dissatisfaction, of course, that she could not completely destroy the machines. If the nuclear energy contained within the machines was to be hit, there was no telling what the resulting radiation would do to all the innocent people in the area. That's why, at all costs, she kept the thought in her mind that she could not completely obliterate every machine in her way. Her task at the moment was only to leave a bad taste in the Union's mouth, anyways, while gathering data on the new machines.

Gundam Celestia finally became visible to the highly confused group of Gamma pilots as it closed in on it's target. The fact that it looked like a mobile armor at that moment was something Alitaria calculated on working to her advantage. If she was lucky, the enemy would let it's guard down. It would have been a lot easier if she could have just used her Assault Shroud, but as per orders, she wasn't permitted in order to keep that little feature a secret for later. She fired the main cannons once more, this time striking two side by side Gammas in the head. This task required extreme precision, and she seemed to be exhibiting abilities she never once thought she had before. Was it the RAGE? Probably, it was made in an attempt to create the perfect soldier. Quickly, she converted the Celestia into it's mobile suit form just moments before entering the airspace of the base.

She couldn't see their reaction, but it was quite obvious that the general reaction amidst the thirty plus pilots in her presence was hatred at the appearance of a Gundam. As her machine decelerated to a stop, she moved Celestia's hands up to it's shoulders to pull out a pair of plasma sabers. It was time to see just how well these machines matched up in close combat. It wasn't long until the nearest Gamma came flying at her with it's broadsword blade glowing furiously. The attack was blocked, of course, although her machine was pushed back in the air significantly from the impact. They were strong. Alitaria took a short poke at the general location of the cockpit, making sure not to pierce all the way through to spare the energy core. Chances are, the pilot was dead. Surprisingly, she didn't regret it. RAGE... it worked!

Distracted by her own thoughts, a beeping suddenly snapped her back to reality to inform her that something was closing in on her from behind. Her mind raced, and she quickly pulled the machine back into mobile armor form so that it could zip up into the air a ways to avoid it's attacker. To double the victory, the GN particles that were spewed from her drive at that moment scrambled the censors of the attacking Gamma, leaving the pilot unable to coordinate.

These kind of tests continued on for another ten minutes to follow, until she finally felt she had seen all she needed to see. At the very least, the Gammas weren't up to snuff in comparison to her Celestia. They were really strong, though, and really persistent - though that was typical of the Union. If the Union decided to upgrade the things some more, they would probably be really dangerous. Alitaria finished up by decapitating yet another Gamma with her blade, before transforming back into her mobile armor mode and zipping up towards the great orange sky, leaving the Air Force Base in disarray. She had made her point. Besides, RAGE had a time limit per dose, and by the time she reached the Ptolmy, that time limit would be up. There was no telling what after effects she would suffer.

"Celestia, mission complete. Returning to the Ptolemaios." Was the last line she spoke before preparing to break through the atmosphere.

Kansas
December 11th, 2008, 01:19 PM
The night had gone quickly as with the short commute to the hidden sight of his suit. Ryder now sat comfortably nested in the cockpit of his Gundam as it arrived at the rendezvous point via undercover flatbed. He could see Alice Gundam through his cockpit monitors, preparing to start its assault as he stood up, exposing the full bulk of his armor and piercing blades. Placing the Midd onto a circular indent in the cockpit beside him, he moved his hands to the controls in front of him, grabbing tight and inhaling a deep breath.

"Midd, power on, password DY56K cache. Display mission status" He said calmly.

The small disc lit up quickly, showing a document of the mission and a chart of Alice's power output.

"Alice gundam will be ready to fire in approximately 2 minutes and counting." Midd responded.

"Thank you, end display." He replied quickly. The image vanished from in front of him as he leaned back, loosely moving the controls a bit.

"This is Ryder Fleetback... I have control." He proclaimed over the communication line. Retribution took a massive step off of its supports, and another. Alice's cannons blasted with a magnificent glory as they tore their targets assunder, wreaking havoc where they aimed. It didn't take long for the surprise assault to be countered as many red mobile suits lined the sky.

"Hm... I guess this is where we come in, Retribution!" He yelled aloud as his GN engine began to spin, spitting out green particles. Retribution stood tall, pulling the long glimmering blades from its waist and holding them in front before blasting straight towards the group of suits, accompanied by Alice's artillery fire but quickly stopped short at the familiar sound of a voice over the airwaves.

"Gundam Retribution. This is Kiel. Thirty additional Ahead units are stationed at Brussels Airport; dispose of them before they can mobilize and join the main force then proceed to the rendezvous point. Gundam Alice will dispose of the rest."

"Copy that, Retribution commencing interception." He confirmed back. Music to his ears. Ryder quickly disengaged his targets, halting in mid-air. Changing a few settings around his cockpit, Ryder spoke while adjusting.

"Midd, looks like we got out of baby sitting duty, display new mission specs."

"New mission target is the 30 support units mobilizing at Brussels Airport, 5km NNE of here." the small disc informed him.

"Perfect, lets roll." He said, blasting off away from the battle field at full speed. He quickly came within view of the airport, with people scrambling everywhere, trying to get into suits. "Looks like they were sleepin... oh well, they can go back to sleep once i destroy all these suits..."

Havoc tore down hard, to the surface, skimming close at high speed as it closed in on the base. It entered the grounds, slicing quickly and swiftly through the standing units, as they exploded in rhythmic sequence as he finished them one by one. His monitors began blinking red with two small marks to the left displaying on his cockpit.

"Looks like a few managed to mobilize... what an unfortunate day to have been so prepared... " Ryder commented quietly as he maneuvered in and out of the lazer fire, spinning and skimming the ground gracefully until he was right in the middle of the group. raising the blades above his head, he attached them together, forming the double bladed sword, and slicing through the group in a single slice like butter. As the smoke and debris cleared, Retribution stood, scanning the area. In the distance he saw one suit left, as a pilot attempted to scramble into it. Without blinking, he threw the double sided sword, sending it spiraling towards the suit. The cut went through clean, slicing it in half and traveling through the air, returning to Retribution. The suit sparked slightly before exploding nothing.

"Target destruction confirmed. Reinforcements intercepted." He said calmly as he looked over the destruction. He turned his gaze to a small monitor on the side, watching the end of Alice's battle to be soon at hand. Confident in their stance, he spoke again. "Mission Complete. Retribution returning to Ptolemaios."

Jack O'Neill
December 13th, 2008, 01:23 AM
Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, United States of America, Union
1700 hours local time
xx June 2461

1st Lieutenant Michelle Nishikawa was one of the many officers assigned to the Union Gamma project, and it was here at Andrews Air Force Base, one of the Union's oldest continually-operating bases, that she could help prove the full extent of its capabilities to a wide audience. She did not pay much heed to the President's speech; all she was concerned with was making sure that she and the other thirty or so pilots gathered at the air base performed their demonstration without a hitch. Once the signal was given by ground control, the Gammas began strutting their stuff in the skies above Andrews, pulling off daring aerobatic feats and firing their weapons off into the distance.

Unfortunately for one of the Gamma pilots, the horizon fired back, as the arms of his mobile suit were shorn off by long-distance cannon fire. It wasn't long before the Gundam Celestia appeared on the other Gammas' visual sensors; the mass of GN particles kicked up by the Gundam's GN Drive masked it from the Gammas' radar and infrared sensors, allowing it to approach the air base more or less undetected. Two more Gammas were decapitated and disabled by another cannon salvo before the Celestia transformed into its mobile suit mode, throwing the survivors further into chaos.

"Well, well, well, it's a Gundam. This should be an...interesting exercise," Michelle remarked to herself as she charged into the fray. If anything, the Celestia was a very cagey opponent, swapping between its mobile suit and mobile armor modes at will as it toyed with the Gammas, shooting only to disable. One Gamma got its cockpit stabbed in by the Celestia's beam sabers and fell to the ground, while another got a face full of GN particles, completely frying its sensors.

"Radar and IR are useless with all the GN particles being thrown about," Michelle muttered to herself as she adjusted her controls and activated her comlink. "All units, switch to manual! Auto-targeting won't do a thing in this environment!"

The rest of the Gammas complied with 1st Lieutenant Nishikawa's orders as they resorted to the good old Mark 1 Eyeball for target acquisition. Wild beam cannon fire filled the air as the Gammas attempted to overtake the Celestia through sheer volume of fire; however, the Gundam simply weaved through the shots and engaged the Gammas at close range with its dual sabers, liberally severing limbs and heads as it sliced through its enemies before transforming back into mobile armor mode and firing off its own cannons.

"You're a slippery little bugger, aren't you? Let's see what you're really made of," Michelle said to herself as she and the other Gamma pilots doggedly engaged the Celestia, attempting to dodge its shots while strafing it with their beam cannons and bringing up their own swords to parry when the Gundam reverted back to its mobile suit mode and charged in with its beam sabers. Even in the face of severe damage, Michelle and the other Gamma pilots displayed unparalleled persistence and coordination, drawing out what would have been a simple recon mission for Celestial Being into an all-out brawl; not even having their suits dismembered would stop them, just as long as they still had the will to fight.

Eventually, the Celestia was forced to withdraw, decapitating Michelle's Gamma with its saber as its final act before transforming into its mobile armor mode and blasting off from Andrews. The Gamma force was completely devastated; at least one pilot had been killed outright, and many of the mobile suits had been dismembered and/or decapitated. While technically a defeat for the Union, it was not a complete disaster; collateral damage at the air base and the surrounding area was surprisingly light even with all the ordinance and wreckage being thrown about. Even with all the damage they took, not a single Gamma had suffered a reactor accident during the fight, and between all of the mobile suits present, their data recorders had collected more than enough information to both piece together a reasonable estimate of the capabilities of this new enemy and determine the Gamma's strengths and weaknesses in actual combat. The defeat of the Union pilots could be spun into a testament to their sheer tenacity, if the PR folks chose the right words.

"Well, at least those civvies who actually stuck around got to see a really pretty light show," Michelle remarked to herself as she climbed out of the cockpit of her headless Gamma. "Yes, it's all just a big show, and we're the villains. If they're trying to play Kira Yamato, then what does that make me? Lunamaria Hawke?"

Such was the joy of being a mecha anime fan in a universe where mecha actually existed.

Chibi-chan
December 13th, 2008, 11:20 AM
"Alright then Kain, let's show them what we're made of!"

Pulling back the throttle, the Gundam launched itself backwards into the air to gain distance between themselves and the oncoming Aheads. Once at the right altitude and a certain distance away from the approaching mechs, the large Gundam Alice was then placed to hover. The strategy for this mission would be nothing more than to blow them up with firepower; their full power wouldn't be necessary this early into the game. There seemed to be flanks of Aheads that approached, luckily the all came from the same direction. Abele thought of a plan quickly. Although there were many of them and the flank was wide, it would be best to pack them in close together and then release the power of the GN Bazooka. Abele flipped a switch from the top of the cockpit that opened up the projection screen of Kain's cockpit. He was already on the edge of his seat, ready to unleash some carnage against the opposing forces.

"Alright Kain! Let's fire the cannons!"

Abele fired the Gundam's two GN canons, creating an explosion of smoke and steel among the air. Even before the smoke had cleared, Kain fired more of the violet rays into the smog predicting where the surviving Aheads would have most likely maneuvered to and annihilating them with another eruption of debris. The more Kain fired into the smoke, the more smoke rose, limiting the view of the Aheads and creating a more erratic firing pattern from the flank from a limited area. In the meantime, Abele swiftly clicked the switches in her cockpit, pulling up the screen of the GN Bazooka. On the screen, it proved that the total enemy width was within the GN-Bazooka firing range. She cursed under her breath. Alas, the GN power was drained to about sixty percent; they needed to have a bit more time for the energy to recharge. Moving the Gundam back a bit farther, Abele setup the controls to load the GN Bazooka. The large weapon attached to the mobile suit's center as it's jaws began to charge with particles. Fortunately, everything was going according to plan. The smokescreen still left the Aheads scrambled. When it finally dissipated, they would be in for the full force of the GN Bazooka.

Ninety-five percent. The smoke slowly cleared as the remaining Aheads showed their faces, now locked on to Alice's position. Unfortunately for them, they wouldn't have the time to fire. With the click of a button, the GN-Bazooka fired with a violet glow and a blinding white flash of light. The blast lasted for a good five seconds, launching he Alice was sent backwards from the force and vaporizing the remaining attacking Aheads. When the glow disappeared and the smoke trailed off, the two pilots surveyed the remaining area.

"See? All the meanies are gone now~" Kain responded enthusiastically, cradling Rosa.

"So they are." That didn't seem that difficult. Abele opened another screen. ""Mission Complete. Alice returning to Ptolemaios." With that, the Gundam began it's asent into space.

Loki
December 13th, 2008, 08:38 PM
As soon as he heard the dull whirr of Theritia’s engine recharging, Aesur wrenched his helmet off, sitting where he was for a few moments longer. His breathing was hard and ragged, and nothing but the attempt to calm down ran through his mind. He was not alarmed, as there was no reason for him to have a nervous breakdown. He’d taken the last of his medicine before heading out in the morning, he’d been safe in his cockpit from the blazing flames that had been fizzling around destroyed suits, and now the mission was over. But his attitude and wrecklessness inside the cockpit always gave him a sick worry that maybe he’d unconsciously left the communications on. Maybe he’d accidentally stepped over the bounds of the mission. He stilled his trembling hands and squeezed his eyes shut to refocus his gaze. A very long, deep breath later, he felt perfectly fine, and tugged his helmet back onto his head. Reaching around his seat and picking up his things, he pressed a button and waited patiently for the cockpit to slide open. As soon as he stepped out, he felt the familiar sensation of being weightless, and he looked around to the other suits. He hadn’t the time to put in a smile and a good job to the other meisters though, as the resident mechanic, in all his cranky glory impatiently shooed all the meisters out.

“I don’t need help!” Royal barked irritably before anyone could say anything, programming instructions into a purple haro furiously. Other Haros propelled themselves towards the Gundams to retrieve data, “Go somewhere else!” He waved his hand, trying to make the meisters pick up the pace, “You’re distracting me!”

Though the ashen haired man was usually somewhat amiable past his sour expressions, today, it was apparent that someone had pushed his buttons. Aesur shrugged, and quickly got out of the line of fire. Royal was another moderately new member of Celestial Being, the old mechanic having returned to earth a few years prior. Aesur had long gotten used to the random, pointless outbursts that the mechanic seemed to constantly have simmering just below the surface, but he hadn’t had the chance to make peace with the machine-junkie’s short temper.

As soon as he stepped out of the airtight elevator that lead from the docking bay to the middle of the Ptolemaios, Aesur took his helmet off a second time. Pulling out two bobby pins from his hair that pinned his hair away from his face while he was piloting, he mussed his hair and rearranged it with his fingers, before looking around. Kiel was probably still down on earth, with Basilio. But Kiel wasn’t who Aesur was looking for. The sound of capsules rattling against plastic caught Aesur’s attention and he smiled sheepishly at the woman standing with a dark bottle in her hands. She replaced the bottle in her white jacket, stating, “I’ll give it to you later.”

“Sure.” Aesur replied, “Is there anything I-… Or we,” He corrected himself, referring to the meisters as a whole, “Need to do?”

“Kiel should be on his way back, so he’ll probably have one or two things to say to you guys regarding the mission. He’ll show up soon. In the meantime, you guys can do whatever you want, but stay here until Kain contacts you.” Dr. Quinn motioned to a blank screen before turning around.

Looking curiously at the motionless screen for a moment, Aesur sighed, leaning against the wall and putting his arms behind his head. He couldn’t wait for the awkward silence between himself and the other meisters while they waited.

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

Siegen Dierk was not a genius, nor was he particularly good with reflexes. His best trait was his impeccable hand-eye coordination, but that wasn't nearly enough to get a good spot as a pilot. As such, he'd been stuck sitting indoors with a handful of other soldiers that hadn't managed to land a place in the show, watching the debut from a dinky TV, because the view from out the window wasn't exactly all that great, no thanks to the fact that the other side's flood lights that brightened the night sky were shining practically directly into it. His roommate had woken him up at 5:00 AM when he'd opted to take a shower at that godforsaken hour, and between boredom and lack of sleep, Siegen was not interested in the whole ordeal, his eyelids sliding shut periodically before he snapped them open again. It was only just as he put his head down on his arms that he heard explosions from the TV's poor speaker system, and the same explosion shaking the windows. At full attention now, Siegen looked out the window, finding that the flood light that had butchered his vision had been flushed out, and the main thing illuminating the sky now was a flurry of particle beams shooting this way and that.

In a rush of relief, Siegen was actually glad he hadn't been chosen. Otherwise, he be stuck in the fray above. But...

"Where's that suit from?" His nose crinkled up as he raised an eyebrow, mumbling to himself and staring stupidly out the window up at the huge mobile suit. "Ain't the Union... But what the heck's it... doin'?"

Kansas
December 18th, 2008, 02:27 PM
Ryder and Retribution had broken through the atmosphere with ease, escaping their mission site without so much of a hint of trouble. Drifting through the void of space, he soon spotted the spec of white in the distance that he could scarcely call "home"

"Ryder commencing docking procedures..." Ryder said monotonously as he flipped several switches around the cockpit above his head, lining for entry. In no time he was stabilized, backing into his spot in the hangar, securing Retribution into the docking frame. A small catwalk extended in front as Ryder popped the cockpit open, snatching Midd from its spot on his console and pushing off into the zero gravity towards flat ground. He was quickly met by the crew who rushed to analyze.

"Shouldn't be a scratch on him" Ryder commented as the group of men floated by quickly. Ryder proceeded quietly towards where the other meisters seemed to be meeting up. He drifted in casually, stopping himself using a nearby wall. As he joined the circle, he heard one of the other pilots, Aesur, speaking.

"Is there anything I-… Or we, need to do?" He questioned to Dr. Quinn whom he had apparently been conversing with.

“Kiel should be on his way back, so he’ll probably have one or two things to say to you guys regarding the mission. He’ll show up soon. In the meantime, you guys can do whatever you want, but stay here until Kain contacts you.” Dr. Quinn motioned to a blank screen before turning around. As Aesur let out an audible sigh of what Ryder imagined was frustration and boredom, Ryder couldn't help but feel the same way.

"What are we waiting on anyway..." He asked aloud to no one in particular after a long awkward silence between the group. There wasn't much to talk about and Ryder was beginning to get antsy. He looked towards Aesur again, thinking.

"Hey... you're Theritia's pilot aren't you? That's one hell ofa suit. Its got high speed close and medium combat to a tee, I was checkin the specs. You could almost say I'm jealous... if I weren't piloting Retribution..." Ryder said to him rather fanboyish as he trailed off, realizing his attempt at conversation was probably going no where.

"What a dead crowd..."

Alter Ego
December 18th, 2008, 03:57 PM
Much like he always did, Kain looked rather out of place as he half-stepped, half-stumbled out of the cockpit, staring at his surroundings with wide-eyed innocence, as if he was seeing them for the first time, or at least...for the first time outside of a dream, still panting quietly, sweat glistening on his brow from his frantic dance with the weapon controls mere moments before and his hair was in an even more unruly state than usual. The grouchy mechanic's shooing did not bother him in particular, the meister merely allowing himself to be ushered along with an expression of polite confusion plastered on his face. Then, slowly, the feeling of familiarity crept on him, a wide grin spreading across his face.

"We're home." he said, the excitement of this revelation clearly overtaking him as he turned first to the doll and then to his co-pilot, "Rosa, Abele, we're home!"

He let out a loud, hearty laugh over the sheer mirth of this revelation, eagerly skipping over to the others.

"Aesur!" he declared, pointing a triumphant finger at Theritia's pilot, "You're Aesur, and you-" he spun around to face, the pilot who had first addressed the person he had now identified as Aesur, "You are Ryder, and you're Quinn!"

He clapped his hands excitedly at having identified the ship's medical specialist, visibly proud of his discoveries. On the street, this kind of behavior would have earned him ever quizzical stare available, but to anyone who had spent any greater amount of time around the eccentric blonde: the signal was loud and clear. Kain's short-term memory came and went as it pleased; these bouts of rediscovery were simply confirmation that it had decided to return, like ringing of a shop's bell or a quick greeting from a friend passing another on the street.

"And you-"

Kain's brimming enthusiasm faded in one fell swoop as the name of the last meister failed to come to him, his finger still pointed at the girl as the sunny expression on his face turned pained, troubled, "You-you are..." he repeated slowly, obviously struggling with the mental effort of recalling the chestnut's name, "...you...are..."

He took a hesitant step away from the girl, now obviously bewildered as he lowered his hand and retreated behind Abele's back, peering cautiously from behind her as he half-whispered the question weighing on his mind, "...Abele...who is that?"

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

"Kiel is peeping! Kiel is peeping!"

"Just process that data, machine."

"Processing! Processing!"

Leaving the haro to its antics, Kiel cast one last glance at the awkward mingling attempts of the meisters before shutting the screen off. 'Meisters'...such an outrageous euphemism. A spoiled brat who treated his Gundam as little more than an expensive toy, a mentally handicapped ex-pilot who habitually sought guidance in important decisions from an inanimate object, a half-blind cripple, a pilot who had to be medicated to keep him from blasting everything in sight and another who needed to be medicated for precisely the opposite reason. The only term that could reasonably encompass them all was 'misfits', and yet...yet they were the best they had. The tactician shook his head, turning back to the half-finished text document flashing on his screen.

'...as expected.' he typed, 'The design of each Gundam is near-flawless in all but one area. This area, the only true weakness of a Gundam, has always been and always will be the same: the pilot.'

"Processing complete! Processing complete!"

Kiel nodded in confirmation, "Transfer it to the usual folder." he declared, slowly rising from his chair. He had never been a great believer in associating closely with subordinates, hence why he spent most of his time holed away in his personal quarters as he was now, but at times like these...well, given the circumstances, an in-the-flesh meeting seemed to be in order. Humans weren't as disciplined as machines; every once in a while, you had to remind them of your existence to keep them from getting unproductive ideas, "I am going to have a little discussion with the meisters."

"Affirmative! Affirmative! Beginning transfer-"

The door behind Kiel slid shut with the tiniest of whirrs, gliding smoothly on its tracks and shutting out the obnoxious little information terminal's chatter. Feeling no particular need to hurry, the tactician began navigating a path towards the hangar in his own, leisurely pace, making use of the time to organize his thoughts. The address to the meisters he had already sorted out in his mind; contrary to what one might have expected, speeches had always been something he was good at, he was a professional lecturer after all, he just didn't enjoy giving them. For the moment, his real focus was on anticipating the mechanic's reaction. One might have faulted Royal for many things, but he was no fool. It would hardly take a glance for him to discover the additional monitoring equipment he had snuck into the suits to monitor various vitals of note concerning the pilots, not to mention the bugs he had installed for similar purposes. The mechanic would certainly not be happy about it, that much was for sure, but would he give voice to his feelings on the matter? If so, how? It wasn't that Kiel was particularly worried about any of the Meisters finding this out, far from it, but he did dislike spontaneous outbursts, the kind which Kain was already too eager to provide, and losing track in the middle of his address would be quite bothersome.

'Oh well.' the tactician mused, pausing to adjust his glasses before opening the last set of doors, 'I suppose there's only one way to find out.'

parallelzero
December 19th, 2008, 08:06 AM
Alitaria had been one of the first to arrive, but one of the last to leave her Mobile Suit. If not for the sudden side effect of RAGE, she assuredly would have been out a lot sooner. During her fun little atmosphere exit, when the RAGE finally decided to wear off after exceeding it's proposed operational time, she had been struck with a serious case of fatigue. Barely able to move, let alone stay awake, she had problems making it to the Ptolmy, and docking was an even more annoying task than when she was fully awake. Even after docking, she remained aboard the Celestia for quite a while as she tried to muster the strength to get out. There was no gravity, so it wasn't as hard as she originally thought it would be as she gathered her things and finally opened Celestia's cockpit.

She winced quickly as the bright lights in the roof began to ravage her sleep-starved eyes - of course the fact that she got no sleep on her flight to the Union probably wasn't helping much. She used the last of her willpower to try and force a recovery on herself. At all costs, she couldn't allow her secret to be revealed. She would probably be removed from her position, and at the same time she wouldn't be permitted to leave Celestial Being since she knew all about it. It was going to be pretty difficult to hide her shortness of breath and inability to keep herself awake, though. She floated herself over to the elevator, in which she rested her eyes as it brought her up to the room in which she assumed the other Meisters would be meeting.

Sure enough, as she floated out of the elevator and struggled to catch herself on a nearby wall, she witnessed the others present as well, including that doctor. She owed a debt to Ms. Quinn for giving her an arm and eye, but she'd probably inquire into why she was so tired. Would she be able to stick with a sleep deprivation story of some sort? She had been ridiculously nervous about the mission days and days before, so it might be plausible. She didn't dwell on it much further, however, as her vision began to blur over and she leaned herself against the wall, shutting her eyes without even removing her helmet.

"You-you are..."

It had only been several moments of shuteye before she had been interrupted and snapped back to the awake condition she clearly didn't want. Through the glass of her helmet, she found herself staring at a blond haired man, whom she instantly recognized as Kain. She had seen him once, having only been a member for an extremely short amount of time, but she had been warned about his condition. Mustering up the last of her strength, she removed her helmet to let her hair drop. Cool air quickly hit her face, which had been hot the entire time, and she greeted the man with the only smile she could muster at the time. "I'm Alitaria Sigma. I haven't been around, so it's no wonder you don't know who I am." Despite her fatigue, her voice still had a warm quality to it, similar to her smile. She was quick to close her eyes again afterwards though. She really needed to sleep.

Loki
December 19th, 2008, 03:39 PM
Aesur's signature grin was wide and goofy as he saluted in acknowledgement to Ryder's question about him being Theritia's pilot. "That's me. I love Theritia's specs- it’s like an uber, now that I think about it. Too bad I’m the one piloting it.” Aesur laughed good-naturedly, not really meaning what he said. “But dang if I get hit I'm grilled cheese- you don’t have that problem with Retribution, so you don’t gotta worry about getting taken out by a wimpy particle beam or anything." Aesur shrugged, waving his hand in the air, "I’m not gettin’ grilled anytime soon though, so long as I don’t get all up in some suit’s face within beam saber distance. Retribution's got that big sword though, better than Theritia’s dinky AEU style sonic-"

"Aesur!" The man in question cut his attempt to carry his side of the conversation up as he glanced over at Kain, who looked like he'd just won first place in the Olympics. … For correctly identifying the meister in red.

"... You got it down pat, man." Aesur replied to Kain’s rhetorical address, an edge of confusion in his voice wondering whether Kain had any real reason for his exclamation. "That's me..." He trailed off again when Kain started to name everyone else. But “Everyone else” seemed to be limited to Dr. Quinn, who looked over her shoulder, nodding approvingly at the correct identification. Aesur looked over at Alitaria when Kain got hung up on her name. He didn’t provide the answer, as Kain had already inquired to Abele for the answer- and Aesur still wasn’t 100% sure on how to act around Kain. The girl of the hour though, the new pilot of the Celestia, seemed to be having a rough time. Aesur thought that maybe the mission- a simple run-through, might have been too much for her, but that was an offensive assumption, so he said nothing, merely asking, “You alright, Alitaria? Lookin’ a little pale there-“ The door’s opened, the sound of the air rushing out of the pressure ducts in it’s hinges catching Aesur’s attention. “Oh, Kain. We were waiting for you.”

Dr. Quinn raised an eyebrow at Alitaria, and upon Kain’s entrance, departed without a word.

“So how’d it go man?” Aesur asked the tactition of Ptolemy excitedly, “We kicked butt, am-I-right?”

Chibi-chan
December 21st, 2008, 02:04 PM
Removing her helmet, Abele gracefully leaped out of the Gundam and onto the metallic floor. Kain, in a rush of eagerness had already found his way from his cockpit and looked around in awe. It'd been awhile since they had stepped aboard the Ptolemaios, it was invigorating to hear the noise of the mechanics and the tap of shoes against the metal. The mechanisms and gundams were fine, the only stressful part about this would be dealing with the other pilots; and the tactician.

"Yep. This is our home from now on." Abele replied with a smile towards her copilot. Kain was already getting a kick out of this though. He had already bounded over to the other pilots. She sighed and ran her hand through her hair, casually making her way over to the group of pilots that had already arrived. She'd met them before, but had never really had enough time to know much beyond their names and appearance. Later, she'd have to remind Kain who was wh-. She blinked. Kain had remembered their names! Abele chucked as she finally reached her enthusiastic friend. If he was so eager about everything, she'd force herself to be a bit friendlier too.

"You-you are..."

All too suddenly though, Kain's naming streak was brought to an end. She hoped he'd remember her name although the two hadn't met in person. It was understandable though to forget the name of the most recent Meister. Who seemed as if she were a bit drunk. Kain had made his way behind Abele like shy kid hiding behind a sibling for support. "...Abele...who is that?" He questioned from behind. The question was expected, but Abele wasn't so comfortable about answering the question. The newcomer was, well, a newcomer. If was best if she gave a first impression and introduced herself than someone who only knew her by picture. The girl removed her helmet and gave a forced but pleasant smile.

"I'm Alitaria Sigma. I haven't been around, so it's no wonder you don't know who I am." The girl closed her eyes again, her weight placed against the wall where she stood. Kain seemed a bit nervous at her response. She understood he wanted confirmation from his copilot.

"Yes, she's the newcomer Alitaria Sigma. We haven't met her before, but I'm sure she's a nice person," Abele moved beside him instead of in front of him, giving him a small nudge. "You remembered everyone else's name though! You think you can remember their gundams as well?" Although she didn't formally introduce herself to the other pilots, she'd have the time to again at some point.

Alter Ego
December 23rd, 2008, 12:58 PM
"Ali...taria?" Kain took a few moments to digest this new information, but Abele's assurance was good enough for him. She said that the new girl was nice, so that meant the new girl was nice. Since this was apparently not a person he knew from before, Kain briefly considered making an introduction, but his co-pilot's last question quickly caught his attention.

"You think you can remember their gundams as well?"

Kain nodded enthusiastically, turning around to face the giant shapes looming behind them. He liked naming things. It was really hard sometimes, but he'd always be praised when he got them right, and being praised was nice.

"Ours...is Alice." he began confidently, smiling fondly at the bulky gundam, "And that..." he pointed his finger to the slimmest one in the bunch, mostly because it created such a stark contrast with their own, "That-that is..."

"Theritia." a frank, matter-of-fact voice interrupted, finally drawing Kain's attention to the gray-haired man he vaguely acknowledged as someone whose name he should have known, "The remaining two are Retribution and Celestia...if I may interrupt what I'm sure would have been a most educational presentation."

The blonde looked a bit put off, but gave a reluctant nod, instinctively reacting to the other's authoritative manner. Kiel could practically feel the evil eye from Abele's side, but gave no indication of noting such a thing, just like he ignored the other meister's greeting, merely casting a quick glance at the notes in his hand before clearing his throat.

"Well, Meisters, I believe congratulations are in order." he let his glance travel across the gathered pilots, a faint semblance of a smile on his features, "With today's mission, you have all officially become mass-murderers. If some of you have not taken our secrecy stature seriously until this point, I would suggest that you do so now. From this point on, you must betray no sign of you connection to this organization in your civilian roles. No information received on board this ship, not even the slightest piece of trivial banter or the most irrelevant joke, must leave this place under any circumstances. Lives hang in the balance, including your own." he took a pause to allow this statement to sink in before continuing, "That being said...the results of today's mission. Aesur Therra and Gundam Theritia." he turned to red-dressed pilot first, "Target: the HRL unveiling in Tianmen Square. Crippling of Ahead units and destruction of older mobile suits. As expected, opposing units were handled without problems, but your approach was rather reckless." there was a slight hint of scolding in his tone as he surveyed the report, "There were civilians in that square, and you are lucky that your little parting shot doesn't seem to have struck any of them. This is Celestial Being's first armed intervention; we do not, I repeat: do not, need to be introduced to the world as vandals and mindless terrorists. Your opponents were mostly ancient toys from centuries past; you could easily have adopted a more precise method of attack without incurring any real risk." his piece thus said, the tactician turned to the largest grouping for the mission next, "Kain R. Heinlein, Abele Lansfeild and Gundam Alice-"

"Rosa."

Kiel raised an eyebrow at the blonde's interruption, "Excuse me?"

"Kain, Abele, and Rosa." the meister elaborated, pointing to himself, his co-pilot, and the doll peering out from his breast pocket in turn, his tone dead serious, "You forgot Rosa."

For a moment, the tactician seemed to consider counter-arguing, but then thought the better of it, "Of course." he replied woodenly, "Kain R. Heinlein, Abele Lansfeild, Rosa and Gundam Alice. Target: the AEU unveiling at Grand Place, destruction of unveiled new generation Ahead units. As anticipated, you seemed to be having some difficulties with close combat, but I will admit that your strategy was...passable. In the future, however, I would suggest quicker initiative with the remote cannon system. Ryder Fleetback and Gundam Retribution. Target: the AEU backup Aheads stationed at Brussels Airport. Emergency response and destruction mission. Good initiative. You eliminated most of the units before mobilization, as per orders. I shall expect this level of performance from you on future missions as well, even if they are, as you say, 'babysitting'. This is not a game or thrill ride and you can not always expect mission specs to be tailored to your liking. Regardless, you have exceeded your simulation run performance by a fair margin, though in that regard, I am still afraid that you have one other Meister to best." he finally turned his attention to the half-sleeping Alitaria, "Alitaria Sigma and Gundam Celestia. Target: the Union unveiling at Andrews Airforce Base. Test of the Gamma model's fighting capabilities. Your performance was...quite remarkable, nearly twice the usual reaction rate and far better aim and measurement in your attacks. Why if I didn't know better...I'd say that there was someone completely different in that cockpit." his gaze betrayed nothing but dead seriousness, even as he broke into what was supposed to be a good-natured chuckle; hardly a mannerism that suited him. He may not have had any proof he could press to prove this particular pilot's incompetence, but at the very least, he wanted to see if there was a reaction, "I do look forward to seeing the contents of that mission recorder."

Kiel took a brief pause, giving his notes a last check before nodding for himself, "That is all for our little unveiling ceremony." he said, "Alitaria Sigma. Given your current condition, I have requested a full medical checkup from Miss Quinn for you. Please report to the medical bay in fifteen minutes. The rest of you are on standby onboard the Ptolemaios until further notice. Dismissed."

And with that, he turned on his heels and left the same way he had come in.

Loki
December 26th, 2008, 01:52 PM
“A-Ah…” Aesur scratched the back of his head after listening to Kiel’s scolding, flushing in embarrassment at his unruly behavior. “Sorry, I was a little nervous.” Lying through his teeth, Aesur wasn’t exactly about to tell everyone that he went psycho in the cockpit, because- well. That didn’t really inspire confidence. “Thanks for the analysis thou-“ Aesur looked back up from the floor of shame and noticed that Kiel wasn’t there anymore. “… Or not.” He finished lamely, raising an eyebrow at the other meisters with a shrug. “Well anyway, ‘gratz on the mission everyone! Especially you Alitaria- you really did well, as far as I can tell. Not that I was watching, since I was too busy making us look bad apparently, but y’know how it goes.” Aesur laughed, “Now what to do for the rest of the day? There’s really nothing on this ship is there?” Aesur stretched, reaching his arms up to the artificial lights in the ceiling.

“Gonna go get me some fake food,” Aesur mentioned, referring to the usual rations aboard the Ptolemaios, “Anyone want to come with?” He faltered, looking over at Alitaria, “If you’re not too beat from the mission, that is…?”

Shifting in his uniform he made a confused expression before pinching the fabric on his arm between his thumb and forefinger. “Oh, well I guess we should probably change first.” Looking back up with a bright smile on his face, he addressed everyone, “Well since we’re gonna be in this together from now on, we should get to know each other, right? How ‘bout we meet up after Alitaria see’s Quinn and gets a break? I’m wantin’ to see the news. Bet they’re all having cows over us!"


OOC: Yeah I dunno, I kind of suck at this guys. D: You'll all have to forgive the fact that I just... suck. :/

parallelzero
December 29th, 2008, 11:40 AM
OOC: Kind of... forcing myself to post. So... yeah. XD

Alitaria had figured this would happen from the beginning. She was going to have to engage herself in a battle of wits with the tactician, Kiel, if she had any hope of getting away with her substance use. Luckily, seeing as she knew all about the properties of the serum, and he had no idea regarding anything involving it, she had the upper hand. He could send her to see the doctor until the cows came home, but he'd have to do it a lot sooner than he was doing it now. Something that had been used up isn't something that could usually be found, and Rage had that kind of property. The worst that doctor would be able to diagnose her with would be heavy fatigue, and she could justify that through a variety of means. As such, she showed little reaction to his 'compliments' and other comments, though her lust for sleep helped quite a bit. She didn't like having to sneak about, being the kind person she was, but she needed to keep her position as a Meister. The world needed repair, and she wanted to help repair it.

"How ‘bout we meet up after Alitaria see’s Quinn and gets a break? I’m wantin’ to see the news. Bet they’re all having cows over us!"

The sudden invitation snapped the girl back to reality, and brought a little bit of red to her cheeks. She hadn't expected to be outright invited to meet up with the others, especially considering the nature of their positions. Not to mention she was new, and probably not worthy of their company. Yet this Meister, Aesur, had asked her straight out. Was this man really a Meister? A killing machine? Somehow, nobody in this group seemed to match that description. She initially intended on declining, what with her condition, but she too wanted to see the news, and it may give her a chance to examine the habits of the other Meisters. "S-sure..." She replied hesitantly, naturally an anti-social person. Almost her entire life, she had lived abroad with her parents, so it wasn't very often she was engaged in conversation with unfamiliar people.

Those were her parting words, and she slowly made her way to her room, where she was quickly to change into her civilian clothes. She didn't like the pilot suit, and much preferred her gradient themed tube-top micro-dress, arm warmers, and black skinny jeans. She ended things by brushing her chestnut hair, and putting the light pink flower ornament on the right side of her head. All in the meantime, she had a coffee pot brewing in the farthest corner of her room so that she'd have something to drink afterward that would, hopefully, keep her up a little while longer, even if she hated the bitter taste. She took a small cup and poured some in, quickly taking a small sip and cringing before she downed the whole thing. Before departing for the medical room, she slipped the suitcase containing her 'medicine' in a secret compartment in the floor beneath her bed. She had a friend on the Ptolmy make it for the purpose of hiding her secret, and it blended perfectly with the floor when closed. This friend and herself were the only ones who knew how to open it, too.

With that said and done, she wearily wandered out into the hall into the direction of the medical room. It was going to be horrible if this became a regular occurrence.

Kansas
December 30th, 2008, 09:39 AM
Ryder and Aesur's conversation had continued more successfully than he had expected as the pilot responded with his own compliments on Retribution's build and weaponry. Ryder could almost blush at the man's charisma before he was as the other pilots entered and took their places as well. Awkward small conversations began to form before being interrupted by Kiels appearance. He began to explain the mission and each Meister's performance in detail. Ryder quickly silenced as he listened to the other pilot's performances. Aesur had some embarrassing maneuvers but performed well, and Ryder couldn't help but smile when he heard of Alice's trouble with close range combat.

"Heh... looks like they needed a little babysitting after all..." Ryder thought to himself as he looked at the two Alice pilots sitting together. His chuckled thoughts were interrupted by the sound of his name.

"Ryder Fleetback and Gundam Retribution. Target: the AEU backup Aheads stationed at Brussels Airport. Emergency response and destruction mission. Good initiative. You eliminated most of the units before mobilization, as per orders. I shall expect this level of performance from you on future missions as well, even if they are, as you say, 'babysitting'. This is not a game or thrill ride and you can not always expect mission specs to be tailored to your liking."

Ryder tensed up at the sound of that comment, looking around nervously and grinning with a pathetic half effort. "I coulda sworn that line was closed..." he thought as Kiel continued on.

"Regardless, you have exceeded your simulation run performance by a fair margin, though in that regard, I am still afraid that you have one other Meister to best."

"Another meister?! Who bested me?!" the thoughts raced through his head as Kiel turned to the pilot.

"Alitaria Sigma and Gundam Celestia"

"How did she even pilot a Gundam? She can barely walk..." Ryder thought spitefully as Kiel gave Alitaria her report. When finished he turned quickly, making his way out of the room and leaving them to themselves until another mission would arrive. Aesur was the first to speak up, quickly making a suggestion of meeting up later to get to know each other.

"Sure, sounds good. I bet they don't even know what hit them down there. I can't wait to see the news..." Ryder responded, laughing slightly as he pushed off the wall to head over to the recreation area of the ship. "I'll just go on ahead, see ya" Ryder called as he pushed of the ground, floating towards the doors and grabbing the edge, ready to leave.

Loki
January 4th, 2009, 06:52 PM
“Well.” Dr. Quinn let out a sigh, leaning back in her seat and eyeing her clipboard impatiently. Examining the results of the short check-up, Scarlett Quinn saw nothing particularly out of the ordinary, and put the data aside on her desk as she drummed her fingertips against her cheekbone. “I don’t see anything immediately wrong with you. Don’t wear yourself out over such a small mission- you’ve got a lot to go, and if this happens every time then you might not be able to get into the cockpit for every mission you know.” Sighing, the woman stood, signaling that she could go. “You have a rendezvous with the other meisters, or so I heard. I won’t keep you here- there’s nothing other than a bed, if you’d like a change in sleeping environment.” She smiled wryly before sitting down again, “I’ll report the results to Kiel, but I doubt there’s anything to be concerned about.”

---

It took a lot for Aesur not to make a face as he peeled away the plastic covering on his space-edition TV dinner.... thing. He loved TV dinners, but when they were… flash frozen to be kept in space for long periods of time? Urgh, they taste like someone had over cooked a piece of expired meat. This was not a TV dinner. Sighing dejectedly, he shoved it into the re-heater, opening the storage and sifting around for a water bottle. As soon as his thirst had been slaked, the man flopped down onto the bench, twisting the cap back onto the bottle and perching it on the surface of the white table. He sat by himself in silence for a few moments. Normally, he’d take much longer to get dressed than he’d had today. But he was suffering from post-victory laziness, and simply thrown on a black thermal long-sleeved shirt and a pair of stone-washed jeans, instead of his usual fashionable ensembles.

Quick run-through, Aesur decided, sitting up and watching his meal cook. Ryder pilots… Retribution. He seemed like an okay fellow- perhaps more average than most. But that was the perfect requirements for a pilot. Aesur rolled his eyes at himself. He was such a failure outside of the cockpit. Must’ve been nice not to freak out like a little girl whenever someone seemed like they were reaching out to touch you. Moving on. Kain, seemed a little… strange. But Aesur didn’t mind that, since he wasn’t strange in a bad way. But one really wondered how he was a meister. Such a haphazardous person. He’d spew everything soon as someone took that doll hostage. Abele was a mystery to him- as was Alitaria. The two of them seemed as normal as Ryder, just less… outgoing. More introverted. But then again, who on this entire ship wasn’t? It wasn’t exactly like you could find pilots walking around the streets these days. Nobody piloted- there was nothing to pilot, up until that stupid agreement that they’d go back to the way things were before the peace.

“Oh, it’s done!” Aesur forced out a grin, hoping it might taste better if he were looking forward to it.

Before he could sit down to enjoy it, a very blustered mechanic stormed into the dining room. “Did you do it?” Royal asked, looking like he was ready to blow, as usual.

“…” Aesur raised an eyebrow, “… Do what?”

Royal let out a strangled cry before hurrying back out of the room without explaining, simply grumbling to himself. Aesur couldn’t hear any of it, since he was halfway across the room, but he didn’t let it bother him. Royal would get over it as soon as he got something new to fuss over.

Alter Ego
January 5th, 2009, 01:11 PM
"No, Rosa, I don't understand how you can have a TV for dinner either. At least...I don't think it would taste very good." Kain tapped his chin thoughtfully, carefully depositing the miniature comb he had used to fix up the doll's hair back into the toolkit and picking up the ribbon, taking equal care as he tied it back into its place at the top of the doll's head, "...maybe they're called that because people eat them on TV?"

Apparently satisfied with this conclusion, the meister cast an appraising glance at Rosa, and, content in noting that dress, hair, and ribbon were all in tip-top shape, gently lifted the doll back into its regular haunt in his breast pocket, gently stroking it on the head with an index finger, though he took care to not to mess up the hair again. The pilot himself seemed only marginally more presentable than before, still wearing his pilot suit, hair still a wild mess, the only real personal maintenance he had the patience for having been washing off the worst sweat so that he could handle Rosa properly, but this didn't seem to disrupt his sunny mood in the least.

It wasn't until Divine came blustering in that the blonde raised an eyebrow, "I always do Rosa's hair and ribbon." he said earnestly, "She's very picky about the way they're supposed to-"

Kain blinked in confusion as the mechanic stormed off without even giving him a chance to finish his sentence, "...did I say something wrong?"

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


"Kiel is peep-"

"Save it, machine." the tactician interrupted, peering intently at the data spread out on the massive screen in front of him, the heart and soul of his personal quarters, a personal terminal completely excluded from any outside networks. No-one got into it except him and nothing came out of it unless he wanted it to, the numerous alarm and precaution functions he had rigged it with ensuring that even any would-be hacker bold enough to try breaking into his personal sanctum would think twice about trying to access it. It may not have been the most easy-to-use of personal databases, but it was by far the safest solution, perfect for precisely this kind of thing.

Kiel frowned, slowly massaging his temples as he peered at the wall of graphs laid out in front of him. The solution was all here, he knew it was. Adrenaline spike, suppression of normally highly active areas of the brain, something had taken that frail little body and overclocked it, and there was no way any emotional state, no matter how profound, could satisfactorily explain this discrepancy, not when the brain scan was so clearly indicating little to no activity on that front. Periods of psychosis, psychological trauma, past life trouble, the other Meisters had all come here with something to hide and he had been given no reason to believe that this...Sigma, this weepy little cripple girl, would be an exception to that rule.

The tactician gave a tired sigh, leaning back in his chair and taking a moment to clean his glasses. This was precisely why he had chosen machines. They were reliable. They did what you wanted them to do, without duplicity and dirty little secrets, and they didn't make excuses for themselves. If a machine did not do what it was commanded to do, it was because you were operating it wrongly. Errors were clear, tangible, and correctable. But with people? Never a straight answer, never complete obedience, and always, always the tedious game of cat and mouse as you had to distill the data from the personal nonsense. The medical exam would not help him get to the bottom of this, he knew that much. The girl had taken the news too calmly - smugly, even - there was no doubt in his mind that whatever compound she was using would have dissolved by now.

This, however, did not mean that she had out-maneuvered him just like that. Kiel had not become a world-class chess player by being short-sighted. To the contrary, it had taught him to think ahead, and to consider carefully all the implications of the data available to him. Though it was hardly conclusive at this point, there was a hint of decline in the effects near the end of the monitoring period, and if doctor Quinn's report would contain what he expected it to, they would have vanished completely by now. This meant that the drug worked short-term, and - judging by Alitaria's condition - came with a considerable backlash, as was to be expected from a body pushed past its natural limitations. This was good, because it meant that she would have to take a new dose for each mission. With every time the girl had to access her secret, there was a risk involved, and the odds only had to fall in his favor once. All he had to do was to keep casually constricting her movements until she made a misstep. The tactician afforded himself a small grin. His preferred kind of gamestate.

For now, however, there was little else to be done about the matter. He could, after all, not jeopardize the mission by devoting too much time on such a distraction.

Well, not too much of his time anyway.

"Haro," he turned his attention back to his mechanized assistant, which was currently preoccupied with jumping up and down of its own accord, "Calculate an estimated rate of decline based on this data and cross-reference with available data on military-developed drugs created under project goal 'improvement of combat ability and or physical performance'. I doubt you will find any, but report any possible matches to me."

"Understood! Understood!" the Haro chirped, "Processing, processing!"

"Well, well..." the tactician said to no-one , leaning back in his chair and shutting the personal terminal in favor of following newscasts on the public one, "...it looks like your opening moves could use some work, but let's see if you can give me an interesting game."

parallelzero
January 6th, 2009, 01:13 PM
"Thank you for your concern, and I'll be back later this week for my usual checkup." Alitaria said quietly as she headed for the exit of the medical center, referencing the monthly examination of her eye and arm that she was required to get. While Miss Quinn had said nothing was found yet, there was no telling what the use of the drug multiple times would do to her body, and her main priority was, ironically, the inorganic portions of her body. As she began her walk back to the mess hall, her mind wandered back to her new problem. Would there be a way to prevent, or at the very least weaken the fatigue she felt after the usage? There was a chance that over time her body would just become accustomed to it, but that was too long term to ensure she'd be able to get away with it. The coffee was helping at the very least. She could keep her eyes open, and her mind was somewhat clearer. She'd need to figure out a more clever way of administering the serum to herself as well, figuring that bringing her bag on board the Celestia every mission would be way too suspicious. For this to work, she may have to make some discreet modifications to her piloting gear.

"Ah! Sorry..." The girl apologized to the man she had accidentally bumped into in the hallway outside of the mess hall. Having been lost in thought, looking quite depressed - though this was only because she was so fatigued - she didn't get a chance to see the man's face. But, as she glanced back, she recognized him as Royal. Another crew member she was unfamiliar. Really, the only crew member she knew was the gunner, Evan, and she hadn't seen him since arriving back. Sighing, she walked through the doors of the mess hall - which was more or less the crew hangout, and found two others already present. The first was the one who she had spoken to before the debriefing, Kain, and the other was... "...Aesur, right?" She was never one to waste words, but she had grown up without much social interaction, so she was pretty introverted. "Good job on today's mission." She forced a small for the second time in the past hour. Sleeeeep.

Loki
January 6th, 2009, 06:29 PM
12:00, Paris, AEU.

"Non merci." A man with a horrid accent, enunciating all the wrong letters, shook his head impatiently at a waitress whilst surfing through various TV channels on his flat holographic cellphone. A pair of earbuds recited the words of the anchorwoman into his ears as he watched the report on the latest, unexpected developments in international news. His flaming orange red hair hung in and around his face, a fringe long overdue for trimming. He wore a black turtleneck, accompanied with a rather thin yellow waterproof vest. His dark navy jeans were heavy, but well fitted around his waist, and a pair of indifferent brown eyes were focused on the not-so-attractive woman on the small screen.

“-Though the origins of these mystery suits has yet to be discovered, experts have concluded that they are most likely working together as a joint attack against the three forces of the world. Images of all five units have been released to the public. For more, please visit our website at-“

Tuning out, Siegen put his phone down, rolling his eyes. It didn’t take an expert, let alone multiple ones, to conclude that they were all apart of a group against the AEU, HRL, and Union. Dang even a kid could figure that out. Bringing his coffee to his lips and breathing in the unique aroma, the young pilot seemed not to care for the bitter cold around him. It was by a stroke of luck- or maybe now, bad luck, that he’d been allowed to pilot one of the Aheads. He stirred in enough cream to turn his black coffee a nice, milky brown. This was easily his last chance for vacation for some time, unless those five suits suddenly decided they were going to take a break. But being stationed in Paris was Siegen’s worst nightmare. His French was terrible, and he only knew the stupidest, most useless trivia words, like… like…. Well the bottom line was, he hadn’t exactly passed his French exams with soaring colors in highschool.



Ptolemaios

“Ooh, thanks.” Aesur grinned sheepishly at Alitaria’s comment, remembering Kiel’s not-so-positive analysis, “Wish Kiel thought so too, but I guess not. It’s not like I hurt anyone this time…” Aesur trailed off, poking his broccoli, debating whether to let it get cold. “But dang, you did really well!” He perked up, changing the subject, “I mean, you never really shined when you were doing the simulations, so maybe- Oh you must be one of those people who just can’t do the fake stuff. It’s the real deal that really let’s you let go, huh? I’m kind of an obsessor type. It’s all gotta go perfectly, but the real adrenaline really got me this time. People firing at you- and really firing at you. Well what about you?” Aesur waved his fork towards the other meister, who had been thoroughly creeping him out for the past few minutes. (He hated dolls, ever since hearing a horror story about them during the few years he attended public school.) Then again, he wasn’t really sure if it was the doll himself, or Kain. He’d never really met someone quite like Kain. Sure there were plenty of weirdo’s in the psycho-ward, like the guy who was sure that anything and everything that got near him was poisoned, but…

“Hey Kain, shouldn’t Abele be with you?” Aesur asked, intent on pumping as much life into the conversation as he could manage.

Alter Ego
January 9th, 2009, 01:23 PM
Kain offered Aesur a blank look as the topic of the mission was turned to him, "They made Rosa cry." he said matter-of-factly, his tone dead serious as he cradled the doll protectively, "Only bad people make Rosa cry, so I made them stop being bad. She's not scared anymore so it worked, see?" he nodded towards the doll, as if its continuously neutral expression was proving an important point, "She thinks the new girl is kind of weird, though, like the person from the other ward who got the wrong medicine. But that's okay," he offered a reassuring smile in Alitaria's direction, "Rosa is just careful, that's all, and Ai..Aili...Ali-" his face scrunched up in concentration, "You, I don't think you're a bad person, so it's going to be okay. I think Rosa just needs a bit of time to adjust."

His piece thus said, the blonde returned to his business of fawning over his doll, only to be torn away from it as Aesur mentioned the absence of his co-pilot.

"Abele..." Kain repeated slowly, just a hint of nervousness apparent in his manner as he clutched Rosa a big tighter, "Abele needed to wash herself, and Rosa thinks it wouldn't be ap-apri-ap...appropriate for me to be there." he nodded in confirmation, visibly proud over having recalled such a complex term, "Yeah. That's it. Abele will be right back when she's done, she promised."

Loki
January 12th, 2009, 04:27 PM
A teenager’s history textbook stood open on a stand before a black leather upholstered arm chair, a small artist’s rendition of a white and blue Gundam facing off against a standard Ahead pictured in the corner. The circular room was empty, save for the stand, book, and chair, and was enclosed with deep red velvet curtains for walls. Murmuring voices could be heard behind the curtains, and the young information agent of the present day Celestial Being sat with his hands folded under his chin, reading silently to himself.

Chapter 6

Celestial Being and the Gundam Units

A.D. 2307 was the mark of a new era in mobile suit technology. At the unveiling of the AEU’s Enact, a strange, white mobile suit interrupted the exercise and put the lone Enact out of commission. The white mobile suit was later on identified as a Gundam. The Gundam was later associated with a third-party organization called Celestial Being, who presented four unique Gundams. The purpose of Celestial Being was to end war by means of interventions with military campaigns and warring countries. In essence, Celestial Being’s existence was a direct contradiction to itself, as they fought strife with strife, war with war. Their actions promoted the formation of the Earth Federation, which is still intact nearly a century later. The two halves would be at odds with each other for six years after Celestial Being’s first debut.

The Long Peace

After the conflict between the two powers of the world, Celestial Being and the Earth Federation, and the passing of an economic disaster, a world-wide peace…


Absolutely nothing worth mentioning, the section on Celestial Being was short, vague, and would be of no aid whatsoever to the three blocks. Much of the information on Gundam’s seemed to have been long destroyed, or shut away, for the sake of covering up the wars during the beginning of the Long Peace. Or at least, that was Basilio’s theory. After all, he’d failed to find any vital information on the Gundams even at the very end of his information web, which included many of the top ranking businessmen in the world. Of course, they were apart of the financing for Celestial Being as well- because they were all against the huge economical crises that hit the world hard at the end of the war. It was common knowledge amongst businessmen of this time and age. Fighting was not good for company profits, simply because companies that primarily manufactured mass war weaponry didn’t exist anymore. Crossing one leg over the other, Basilio sighed contentedly, having done his share of the work and set his butler to investigating the rest of the textbooks. They were merely highschool and college materials, but as with everything he did, Basilio wanted nothing overlooked.

Looking up from the boring text, he cleared his throat, and after a few seconds, a hush fell.

“So.” Basilio waved his hand, and the red curtains withdrew, revealing tall black screens lined with flat speakers. “I’ve found nothing of importance.”

“It seems my government has only recently begun investigating deeper into the topic of Celestial Being. They were still trying to identify the mobile suit before the newscasts from the Union and AEU were broadcasted. Apparently, nobody was able to capture a good picture of the Gundam without it being irreparably blurry in my country.” An old man’s voice with a crisp accent stated from Basil’s left.

“Good, good.” Basil replied, amused by the short trivia, “My informants have reported to me that the Union and AEU are currently looking through their archives. I doubt they’ll find much, but I wanted to run a double check.”

“Thorough as always.”

A polite chuckle echoed through the circular room, one that Basilio contributed only a smile to.

“An agent of mine has reported that the AEU has managed to scrape up a lead. It may no longer work, since it’s a C.D. in a long outdated format. But the information contained in that C.D. has yet to be identified.” A stern and rumbling voice cut in, “Is it worth looking into?”

“It always is.” Basilio replied, an edge of interest in his voice, “Please send the information to me. Same means as always.”

“Of course.”

“Anyone else have any information that may aid in the selection of the next mission?”

Silence.

“Then for now.” Basilio continued, closing his eyes, “Let us celebrate the debut of Celestial Being, and the imminent eradication of war.”

Kansas
January 14th, 2009, 01:50 PM
Ryder entered the room, looking around curiously at first to see who occupied the inside. He was surprised to see it already full with the other pilots, conversing together. He slipped in silently, giving a small "yo." as he entered, as to not attract too much attention to himself and interrupt their conversation. He glided to a vacant space against the wall, turning slowly and propping against it, folding his arms. The monitor on the wall adjacent to him projected various news stories, all of which entailed images of the Gundams.

"These people are more scared of the Gundams than they are of Celestial Being itself... After a larger scale intervention, I'm sure they'll realize what they're up against..." Ryder thought to himself as he watched the various images of suits exploding and being mercilessly torn apart. "The media of course is well manipulated to make us out as complete enemies... but there isn't much to justify our actions yet either...I'm sure the Kiel has that under control though."

"They made Rosa cry." Ryder couldn't help but over hear the other meister's conversation. He turned his head in curiosity to litsen
"Only bad people make Rosa cry, so I made them stop being bad. She's not scared anymore so it worked, see?" the other pilot of Alice, Kain said, nodding towards the doll, "She thinks the new girl is kind of weird, though, like the person from the other ward who got the wrong medicine. But that's okay."

Ryder tuned him out after that, thinking curiously. "The new girl is weird? The kid talks to a doll..." Ryder thought from behind a cocked eyebrow. "How does that kid pilot Alice Gundam..."

He looked to the newscast on the monitor again, looking at a portion of the screen that was showing Alice Gundam in action, blasting large volumes of particles and destroy waves of fleets. Ryder glided over gently, picking up a remote and enlarging the report. The sound immediately kicked in as a reporter spoke over the visuals.

"The unknown mobile suits seemed to attack without warning and intervened all over the world. The AEU reports that they plan to have zero tolerance in regards to the interventions and will strike back with full force ---" Ryder tuned out the newscaster's voice as he watched Alice destroy another wave of suits on the screen. The visual suddenly switched to the airport scene, as a replay of Ryder and his mission played on screen.

"30 additional suits were lost lost in attempt to scramble to action at Brussel's airport before they were intercepted by the red mobile suit. 6 lives were lost in the assault. Our thoughts go out to them as---"

Ryder tuned out the report again, switching the screen back to split, muting them all once more.

"6 lives... its all for a cause though...It had to be done. The next mission will be the same thing, I can't let something like that get to me now..."

parallelzero
January 19th, 2009, 01:34 PM
"I- I guess so." Alitaria falsified a response to Aesur's compliment. She wasn't very good with the simulator, she was aware. So, why had she been selected as a Meister in the first place? It was one of the many questions she needed to find answers for. The man continued to address the issue of Kain's partner, which lead the girl to realize how uncomfortable she felt around that individual. As much as she wanted to like him as much as everyone else, she had encountered very few people like him in her life, and was provided with a sudden insecurity in his presence. Why was someone like him a Meister, was a bigger question to Alitaria than her own existence in that role. She also found herself disliking him for the fact that comment that he had made about her getting the wrong medicine being too close to the truth. She contemplated saying something to this, but was interrupted as Ryder entered, offering nothing other than a short greeting and an examination of the news. She got the feeling that this Meister didn't really like her, even though he seemed to be closer to her in terms of age than all of the others. As things were looking, Aesur may have been the only Meister she could have pursued a plausible friendship with, not that she was any good establishing friendships. She avoided confrontation as much as possible, and she hated speaking up to start conversations.

She glanced over at the screen Ryder had enlarged only for a minute, and found herself watching the footage of the Celestia - or rather, her. The way that machine was ducking and dodging was clearly not her in the pilot seat, but rather someone completely different. Someone who didn't feel anything for what she was doing. Was it really smart to keep using the drug? Her thoughts became tangled further and her eyes widened as the footage of the kill she made flashed on the screen. It continued to show the family members at a funeral, deepening the emotional wound. She hadn't felt anything at the time, but now. "I... killed someone... right..." The man she killed possessed a family, just like she had. Was it really right to take something like that? She had resolved to, and she had been aware of it from the start, but it was still a lot to consider. "I think maybe I'll be taking my leave now..." She bowed to Aesur. "Thank you for inviting me, though!" Come to think of it, she was still very tired.

Loki
January 19th, 2009, 08:17 PM
Aesur blinked, staring at the door in which Alitaria had just disappeared through. He glanced over at Ryder with a “What just happened?” sort of look, before turning on one screen again, just to get a good look at how he looked on the tube. He mostly focused on the ones from east asia, which had the most footage of himself. True, destroying the square was definitely a little bit of an overkill, now that he was watching from outside the cockpit. He still held true to his original argument however: He hadn’t exactly killed anyone with the last blast. At least, not anyone other than the people in the dinky old suits of times past that had been trying to catch him, the pilot of the fastest Gundam available. Yeah, right. Aesur smirked to himself and ate a mouthful of un-frozen soup, which was probably the best thing on his plate. As he ate, he forgot all about maintaining the conversation, contemplating on how shaken that Alitaria had been upon finally realizing that she’d killed someone. The only information he got from the news on his own intervention was that eleven people had died, and all of them pilots. Most of them had probably died in the last shower of particle beams during his goodbye attack, he reasoned. Few families were being interviewed, as per the uptight regulation of the news, but they had to exist. And… he felt pretty normal, knowing that he was officially a murderer. Everyone could suffer, just like he had. Just like a lot of the others in Celestial Being had. Aesur looked over at Kain, who seemed busy with Rosa.

All those ignorant people who didn’t care or understand, but pretended they did. Burn off their masks.

Aesur sat up straighter at the thought of burn, swallowing a lump in his throat. Fire was the worst. He dropped his spoon and let it sink into the liquid letting his head fall into his hands. “Man this stuff is nasty.” He groaned, covering up his slip with something that he probably would’ve actually said anyway. He shoved all thoughts of fire out of his head.

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


Two Days Later

“And everything should be set.” Royal huffed, his face smeared with black grease as he sat back from Theritia’s GN Drive. It was a pain in the butt, that thing. Too delicate, and constantly in need of oiling and greasing for smoother movement. Actually the whole suit in general was a pain in the butt, and to the mechanic, its pilot was a pain too. He was a nice guy, but Royal just didn’t like him at all. He was the kind to whom Royal would immediately snap at, and the kind who wouldn’t snap back. Hopping off the platform, the mechanic stretched, glad that he’d finished in time. Now he wouldn’t need to talk to Kiel. That stupid tactitian. Messing with his Gundams, installing mission recorders without permission?! What if he’d broken something!? Then they’d have to go through the trouble of ordering a replacement part, and it would’ve been a pain and that stupid guy was just… stupid! But Royal had already gotten that out of his system yesterday. Mostly. He was itching to yell at someone again, but the only things around were Haro’s, and they didn’t react to being yelled at.

“Better get outta the hangar.” Royal muttered darkly, looking down at his stained T-shirt and jeans. The gravity would be cut as soon as Royal reported that he was out of this place, so… best to get the mission moving.

“Alrighty Haro, shut it down.” He patted the spherical computer docked beside the control system and sat down, watching as things that had been tied down floated up, just to be restrained by their cables. He glanced at the screen, where the mission details were being displayed. A race for information, Celestial Being versus the AEU and their Aheads. They didn’t stand a chance.

Damn that Kiel was a hateful guy too.


OOC: Time to move out kiddies. Directions in the OOC thread.

Alter Ego
January 24th, 2009, 12:42 PM
Kain liked the briefing room. It was nice and clean and simple, like the one he had back on the Earth's surface and everything was in plain sight. It was the kind of room you could trust.

"No Rosa, that's not the real thing." he explained, nodding sagely at the stylish three-dimensional depiction of a military installation that Kiel's pet Haro was currently projecting in front of them, "It's a proji...proge...proje...it's all done with lights and things."

Kiel cleared his throat rather more loudly than Kain thought necessary, the blonde tilting his head towards the tactician in a slightly curious manner, "AS I was saying." the man continued somewhat louder, "While the AEU's second unveiling must obviously meet the same end as their first, we also have a more pressing priority on our hands. Model B23, Haro."

On que, the miniature image of the AEU base faded into the shape of an old picture of two men, one shrivelled and old with long, gray hair, the other brown-haired, looking about thirty with a bright and attentive countenance, both dressed much in the same way scientists were expected to dress for formal photographing.

"Ralph Eifman and Billy Katagiri." Kiel introduced, not all too surprised when Kain offered the hologram a friendly wave, "These names may not mean much to you, but during their respective lifetimes, these two were extremely prominent figures in the Union's struggle against Celestial Being. Specifically," his expression grew a notch sterner, "They were the leading minds behind the analyzing the capabilities and weaknesses of the Gundam class mobile suits. Following in his mentor's footsteps, professor Katagiri eventually managed to compile an extensive analysis of both the individual capabilities of each Gundam and the GN Drives that powered them into a document that became known as the Eifman-Katagiri Report, EK for short. This document was the fundation for the design of the Aheads and the main reason for why they could ever match Gundams in combat. Officially, every copy of the EK report and all documents like it were erased at the time when Mobile Suit technology was first outlawed, however..."

The projected image switched again, this time depicting a structure built in the same spartan style as the base from before, but less...armed, probably a research facility of some sort, "It has come to our attention that an old data container of the outmoded Compact Disc format has recently been transferred to this AEU research facility for decoding and processing. It does not take a logical mastermind to determine what they are after trying to decipher such an antiquated piece of data. While the disc itself is too small to contain the EK report, it may well contain clues leading to the full backup storage, and needless to say that is information that must not reach the hands of our enemies, especially now when we are still in the process of determining the full potential of GN particles ourselves." he waved a hand towards the Haro, the projection ending, "From this point on, ladies and gentlemen, we are in an information arms race against the world, and I can not sufficiently stress how imperative it is that we stay ahead. For this mission, you will be divided into two teams. Gundam Retribution, Gundam Alice." Kain snapped into attention upon hearing the familiar name, "Your task will be to disrupt the second AEU unveiling. It is obvious that they are attempting to use it as a decoy to draw our attention, but we may well use it against them for that very same purpose." the tiniest hint of a smile briefly played across his features, "Bombard and terrorize the unveiling. Provoke them into action. The more of our enemy's forces we can tie up with the unveiling, the smoother our true mission will go. Gundam Retribution shall lead the assault, while Gundam Alice's primary objective will be to intercept any Aheads that attempt to break away from the battle and reinforce the primary target area. Meanwhile, team two," he turned to Aesure and Alitaria in turn, "You will infiltrate the research facility, avoiding conflict as far as possible. Gundam Theritia will then pierce the facility at the point that will be designated in your mission specs while Gundam Celestia provides covering fire. Starting from the point you break in, you will have at most ten minutes to secure the disc before security manages to concetrate on your location. As always, avoid civilian casualities as far as possible, but do not hesitate to use as much force as necessary to accomplish your tasks and if no other options are available to you, destroy the disc. Granted, it is a valuable lead for us, but it is an even more dangerous weapon against us that must not - I repeat, must not - remain in our enemy's possession."

There was a brief moment of silence, but Kiel soon broke it again, "Well?" he demanded, "This briefing is now concluded, so man your Gundams immediately. You will be disembarking for the mission area in five minutes, and whatever questions you still have can be answered during the flight. Now move out!"

And with that, the tactician turned on his heels and strode out into the corridor, the automatized doors sliding shut as he passed and just barely missing the Haro hopping along behind him. It didn't take long for the tactician to run into company again, however. This was, after all, an encounter he had seen coming long before.

"Is there something on your mind, Royal?" he inquired casually, striding past the aged mechanic, "If so, you had better explain it to me on the way to mission control, as I shall be a very busy man for the foreseeable future."

"Busy Kiel! Busy Kiel!" the Haro chanted, hopping along beside him.


OOC: THERE! BRIEFING! >O So yeah, that's how we discussed it, right? I left the name of the place up in the air because I realized that we hadn't reached a conclusion on that, so feel free to fill the detail in and correct any stupids I may have pulled there, my fellow Al. :3

Loki
January 25th, 2009, 07:57 PM
Aesur’s brow furrowed as he listened intently to the briefing, staring at the facility, then at the two little figures. Those two would unravel all their plans if their report was found. And Aesur couldn’t allow that, and nor could any other meister in this room. At least, he hoped this was the case for them. This mission was considerably more important than the last one. He would have no fun and games. No fun and games. He repeated the phrase in his mind over and over again for good measure, knowing it would do no good once he got into the cockpit. It was like a conditioned reaction, the way he freaked out in the cockpit. The feeling of being free from his chains. Nothing to fear. He paid close attention to Ryder, Kain, and Abele’s mission details, wondering how it’d fit in with his own mission, which was probably with Alitaria. He hoped she would do as well as she did last time, and maybe help save him some face. He was the oldest official meister in the room, and yet he had let himself slip by firing a worthless shot. He’d been unprofessional, and the idea had been eating away at him for the past two days as he lamented his failure and the lack of a sandbag to distract himself. He took a deep breath and nodded when Kiel turned to him and the newest meister.

"You will infiltrate the research facility, avoiding conflict as far as possible. Gundam Theritia will then pierce the facility at the point that will be designated in your mission specs while Gundam Celestia provides covering fire. Starting from the point you break in, you will have at most ten minutes to secure the disc before security manages to concetrate on your location. As always, avoid civilian casualities as far as possible, but do not hesitate to use as much force as necessary to accomplish your tasks and if no other options are available to you, destroy the disc. Granted, it is a valuable lead for us, but it is an even more dangerous weapon against us that must not - I repeat, must not - remain in our enemy's possession."

Aesur’s determined expression grew looser and looser as Kiel’s explanation continued. He didn’t understand. Or more like, he understood, but his brain was blocking it out. Suddenly, even with Theritia, there was something to fear. His face was that of dumbfounded shock by the time Kiel was done. Secure the disc before security managed to pinpoint their location? But didn’t that mean that he’d have to get out of Theritia? Didn’t that mean that he would be… Aesur’s vision blurred for a second as he felt his knees weaken and his lungs twist into a knot. Swallowing a lump in his throat with a bit of difficulty, Aesur forced himself to recover. This was an important mission. He couldn’t put it in jeopardy thanks to some stupid phobias like fear of…….

Aesur’s eyes darted to his side, looking over at Alitaria as he realized something. Shoot. If he was working together with her on this mission and she was providing his cover, didn’t that mean he’d have to keep the transmission on the entire time? He couldn’t do that. It wouldn’t… It… It would undo everything if the other meisters heard him speak! The wild monster in the back of Aesur’s head growled in displeasure as Aesur worked his brain to the limits on how to solve his new dilemma within the five minutes he had to get to the hangar. How would he explain himself? He couldn’t let something like surprise at his ugly personality take down the rest of the meisters. And then if he got out of the cockpit to retrieve the disk, he wouldn’t have the protection of the cockpit against the fire! There would be fire, from the particle beams and explosions and... There would be fire. He looked up nervously at the other meisters and found that his throat had completely closed up. He forced a smile to show that he was… okay, before quickly making his way out of the briefing room. Shoot. Shoot. Damn it!

He made a beeline for the hangar, clutching his bangs in his fist as he pulled out the bobby pins holding them away from his face. Damn he wouldn’t be able to do this. He tried to catch his breath and calm his pounding heart before taking the final step to his nightmare into the hangar. He was screwed. Utterly screwed. He’d keep his composure this time, and he’d just… Just warn them, if he couldn’t. Just a… vague reference to the fact that if he couldn’t control himself, not to… not to pay attention to it. Good. Good, that was a good idea. Feeling a little better, Aesur pushed himself off the wall and realized that he had to apologize for just walking out of the briefing room without saying anything. An unfriendly move like that. He had to count on himself being able to control himself throughout the entire thing, so he would bet on it by apologizing like the normal Aesur. Yeah, that would do it. That would calm him down. Smiling to himself, Aesur felt better. Just keep pretending! What a great solution. He was feeling a little better already.

As long as he didn’t think about the fact that he had yet to think of a solution as to what he’d do once he got out of the cockpit.

parallelzero
January 26th, 2009, 10:35 AM
"You will infiltrate the research facility, avoiding conflict as far as possible. Gundam Theritia will then pierce the facility at the point that will be designated in your mission specs while Gundam Celestia provides covering fire. Starting from the point you break in, you will have at most ten minutes to secure the disc before security manages to concetrate on your location. As always, avoid civilian casualities as far as possible, but do not hesitate to use as much force as necessary to accomplish your tasks and if no other options are available to you, destroy the disc. Granted, it is a valuable lead for us, but it is an even more dangerous weapon against us that must not - I repeat, must not - remain in our enemy's possession."

So that was it, huh? Alitaria had figured she would be cooperating with Aesur from the moment Rider, Kain, and Abele had been given their own mission. That was fine, though. She had taken the last two days to rest and figure out a way to administer the serum to herself in secret. The solution she had discovered was one that she'd still have to be very careful about, but it would work for the time being. It had been a simple enough solution, as well. All she had to do was fill a small bag with the liquid, stick a small needle on the bag, and stick the bag in between the interior and exterior material of her pilot suit with the needle pointing out slightly so as not to pierce her arm by itself. All she'd have to do, if conflict were to arise, is hit the part of her pilot suit that housed the serum in order to drive the needle into her skin and provide the drug. She had one in both arms, in case the mission ran on too long, but she hadn't a clue what would happen if she used two in a row.

The prospect of providing cover fire seemed somewhat difficult to her, but Alitaria nodded in acknowledgment to her orders as she considered the outliers. The Theritia's specs, including those of speed, outmatched those of her Celestia. However, if Aesur were to fly a bit slower than normal, the Celestia wouldn't have a problem keeping up in it's much more agile mobile armor mode. Of course, this left her at a disadvantage if they were confronted by a large group of enemies. Also, since it seemed that Aesur would be leaving his cockpit, Alitaria had the responsibility of protecting the Theritia once it's cockpit was vacant. She'd most likely have to rely on her mobile suit form for that portion of the operation, but hopefully the distraction caused by the other three would leave them with few hostilities, if any.

The girl's full attention went to Aesur as he took off without a word. Had something upset him? There wasn't really anything in there that should have been unexpected to him, so... what was wrong? Alitaria bowed to the others as if to apologize for the actions of the young man, and followed after him. If there was something that he found wrong with the plan, if there was a way she could help it go smoother for him, then maybe asking would be the best option? She couldn't afford to have him screw up because something was bothering him. She pursued him to the hanger, figuring that that was where they were supposed to go anyways.

When she arrived, she found Aesur smiling. Had something really been wrong? Maybe she was over-thinking things? Maybe he was just anxious to get going? "Um... Mister Therra? I was... just curious if you found something to your dislike in the mission plans?" She revealed herself as she walked around the corner from which she had been momentarily spying to check his condition. She bowed again in apology of her own rudeness. "I just think that if you find anything to your distaste that could prove to be an issue, could you inform me so that I'm prepared to take a proper course of action? Unless of course, I'm the issue, in which case I apologize." She had been open to the prospect that nobody would want to work with a newbie ever since joining Celestial Being, and that could have very well been the case with Aesur. "Umm... I'm sorry if nothing is wrong and I'm just asking stupid questions, as well..."

Loki
January 26th, 2009, 03:29 PM
Aesur took a long time to realize that Alitaria was there. It was like with Kiel. He could hear, and he understood, but his brain just wouldn’t process it enough so that he could respond. When he finally did though, the first thing that hit him made him grin. “Mister Therra?” He laughed, though an edge of nervousness twinged his voice and he mentally slapped himself, “You can just call me Aesur. I don’t think I’m that much older than you, so it’s awkward otherwise. And um… there’s… no need to change the plan. I’m sure I can handle it, I just had to… accept it, earlier. So d-……” His voice blocked up again but he forced the sound out of his throat, “-on’t apologize, I should uh, be the one apologizing for leaving without say- ing anything. But um, there is something… wrong. A little. So I should tell you now that I… show an ugly face, inside the cockpit. B-Basically I might… I might say a lot of… offending things.” Aesur pushed his bangs back as he searched for the right words, “And uh… I’m really sorry if I do… I-I don’t mean it! But I j-just… sort of… lose it. B-But we shouldn’t stand around!” Aesur brightened, masking his shaken realization that he really might call Alitaria a ♥♥♥♥♥ or an ugly hag… “Kiel is probably wanting to start the mission now. Um, about the other meisters… I… I’ll close those lines.”

He nodded at this other solution. At least he wouldn’t have to admit it again. He didn’t want to see Alitaria’s reaction. He was vague. And he thought she definitely wasn’t going to be expecting his total turn around. He hoped he would be able to keep his tongue in check. He hoped he could retrieve the disk- No. He had to hold his tongue. He had to retrieve the disk. He had to succeed, and he would. Not as Bai Yan, who excelled at the arts and learning. Not as Michael, who was an introvert and a social butterfly. But as Aesur, who would help show the world what was good for them.

Dropping into the cockpit, a contented smile crossed across his face before he realized with terror that he’d already lost his grip on reality in less than a few seconds. Calm, he told himself. He pinned his bangs away, and pulled his helmet on, shaking as he gripped the controls. “Sending the launch timings and mission specifics to Gundam Alice and Retribution.” Came a voice over the communicator.

He would be fine! Absolutely fine.



“He’s screwed.” Was Dr. Quinn’s eloquent way of putting the fate she expected of Aesur, already preparing the necessary supplies to remove a bullet, and a potent sleep medicine. She sighed. “I picked a bad seed, didn’t I?”


OOC: Alright, I know me and David are kind of being boring, but we'll be waiting for Alice and Retribution to get most of their part of the mission to finish before we carry out our side. AKA: We're just waiting for everyone else to post, and there's really nothing important in our posts right now, unless you're interesting in watching Aesur wet his pants. (Not literally. D:)

Kansas
January 26th, 2009, 05:39 PM
Ryder had left the room as covert as he had entered, heading for his Gundam. He floated to a slow stop in front of his massive dark crimson mobile suit. He sighed, leaning silently against the railing on the catwalk outside Retribution's cockpit shutting his eyes and crossing his arms in contemplation over the mission. The cockpit door remained open as crew members floated around, making the final preparations on Retribution for its re-entry into the atmosphere. From there, the mission would commence. Another all out slaughter mission at the hands of Retribution's blades. How many lives would it be this time? For the sake of a simple decoy. But the data was vital. The deaths were unavoidable. He chuckled to himself as Alitaria floated by, greeting Aesur. Probably to go over their co-operative mission. He left the two to themselves, they wouldn't be launching until well after him.

"Well Retribution... It looks like they painted you're Crimson because any other color would show how stained you're going to be with blood..." Ryder murmured to himself and his mobile suit. He pushed quietly off the railing, turning in mid-air as he went. He landed with a soft thud inside Retributions black seat. He slid his hands over the controls, strapping himself in as he went. He slowly closed the cockpit, letting the darkness overcome him for a moment as his monitors powered up, displaying visuals of all sides. The platform slowly moved as Retribution was taxied to the launch platform. After a few interchanges, it sat in the launch tube, ready to go. He slipped MIDD into its corresponding circular position on his panel.

"M.I.D.D mission status, password DY56K cache" He said calmly as he tuned various switches around the cockpit. A holographic image displayed before him, with various countdowns and status bars. He observed them all, letting the mission briefing replay in his thoughts.

"For this mission, you will be divided into two teams. Gundam Retribution, Gundam Alice. Your task will be to disrupt the second AEU unveiling. It is obvious that they are attempting to use it as a decoy to draw our attention, but we may well use it against them for that very same purpose. Bombard and terrorize the unveiling. Provoke them into action. The more of our enemy's forces we can tie up with the unveiling, the smoother our true mission will go. Gundam Retribution shall lead the assault, while Gundam Alice's primary objective will be to intercept any Aheads that attempt to break away from the battle and reinforce the primary target area. Meanwhile, team two..."

That was all he needed to know. Him and Alice again for the mass assault mission. If any of the Gundams were going to eliminate multiple units in a swift movement it would be the two of them.

"Things must be getting serious..." Ryder commented aloud. "MIDD, end display."

The hologram dispersed into the air, giving Ryder a clear view of the launch tunnel that shot off into the void of space. He felt Retribution's feet lower and lock into position on the launch platform, Ryder placed his hands on his controls, letting Retribution crouch slightly. He opened his communication airwaves at last, gaining communication with the bridge.

"Ryder Fleetback and Gundam Retribution, all system set for launch." He called over the communications. Silence followed before operator confirmation.

"Copy that Ryder, switching control."

"I have control... Retribution launching."

The catapult hurled forward, sending Retribution into space. Immediately his GN turbines began to spin as his engine burst into life. He headed down immediately at top speed, the unveiling would happen soon.

"Dispersing GN Particles for Re-entry procedure." He called over the airwaves as Retribution emitted particles from various armor slots, shielding its front. They glowed bright as the atmosphere ripped at them, until finally clearing it and entering cloud cover. The base would be a short flight directly below them. The mission would commence immediately and Alice would arrive soon for backup. That was the plan. He broke through the cloud cover, finally gaining a complete visual on the base. Aheads lined the perimeter with rifles pointed directly at his entry point. Retribution didn't slow down. It reached down, drawing the massive blades from its hips and holding them out to the side. The GN engine began to spin fiercely as he thrusted to max speed.

"Retribution commencing mission and engaging targets."

The hail of enemy Ahead rifle fire immediately followed.

Loki
February 19th, 2009, 04:42 PM
“Theritia, on stand-by for mission start.”

The feeling was vaguely familiar.

The feeling that your chest would burst at any given moment, holding back something that just wanted to rush out all at once. It took all his willpower to keep in the wild glee of being in control again, and he was torn. Torn between concentrating on the mission and letting everyone else think whatever they wanted, or putting his efforts towards keeping himself normal and acceptable. Gripping the controls harder than usual, he was glad that he and Alitaria’s missions began about ten minutes after Alice and Retributions. It’d give him time to reconcile with himself. Calm down a little, maybe. He wouldn’t be able to be as nimble as he usually was if he was holding onto the acceleration for dear life. Shaking, Aesur loosened his grip on the handles, and took a deep, deep breath. He calmed to a small tremble, trying to refocus his eyes. As he tried to keep himself under control, it felt like all the other aspects of him that were usually normal were slipping away too. He wanted to burst into the mission, despite the fact that they had three minutes left before penetrating the atmosphere once more. He wanted to just destroy stuff. Wanted big explosions and light shows. Hitting himself on the side of his helmet, Aesur swallowed a lump in his throat. Breathing in and out was the key, he preached to himself, and he felt much calmer than usual as the countdown on his left reached zero, the numbers blaring red into his line of vision. He nodded to himself before pushing forward. He said nothing, unsure of himself, but went ahead and raised the amount of GN particles being released by the engine. Lock on the engine’s socket to keep it in place, and the descent through the atmosphere passed like hours in which Aesur’s hard work of cooling his nerves quickly dwindled.

“Theritia, moving to phase one.” Aesur reported, straining to keep his voice under control. He hurtled through the sky as if he were falling before easily recovering at the proper altitude. Angling himself so that he would hit the runway of the base as soon as he reached it, he turned the GN particles back to their normal level, looking for Celestia through his screen. He let himself grin like a maniac, feeling a little less tense, and thinking to himself, ’Show me what you’re made of!’ He reached forward to dart ahead, but hesitated. This was a group operation. It wouldn’t do for him to go ahead. Shaking his head, Aesur moved forward towards the point where he’d have to face his phobia. He’d all but forgotten about the fact that he had to get out of the cockpit, what with all the other worries on his mind.

Theritia’s feet hit the pavement in no time, and Aesur released the rollers on the bottom of its feet and increased propulsion, sliding around on the pavement to avoid enemy fire and slashing through enemy Aheads to find his way to the entrance that would put him closest to the disc. With each explosion occurring around him however, the fact that he’d be heading into action on his own began to dawn on him again. This time however, he was more desperate to get it over with, than run away from it. It was too late to run. He grabbed a handgun and set it in place at his hip. As soon as it was in place, he whipped his hand out again and narrowly dodged an oncoming Ahead’s lance by spinning around, reaching out and pushing it against the ground while he raced towards the exit point. He cackled in amusement, “Bang!” He laughed again when he heard the explosion, reaching out and ripping the wall of the building off. His sudden burst of confidence quickly dispersed however when he reached over for the button that would open Theritia’s cockpit. He stalled, turning up the dispersion of GN particles to stop communications within the building. And then… Just do it!

“False footage successfully feeding to the security cameras! You’re all clear Aesur.”

He breathed in, and choked out, “Phase two.”

The cockpit split open like a blooming flower, and he hopped out right away, giving himself no time to consider it. He raced into the hallway, enough so that the burning mobile suits were out of his sight. Aesur had pretty much had his fill of fire for another lifetime, and he hadn’t even taken the time to really absorb its existence. He pinched his arm and hit his helmet against the wall before stumbling into a run, pulling out a drive that displayed the information stored on it. A holographic map appeared and he looked around, taking a minute to discern where he was and register where he would go from there. Slipping the drive back into his belt, Aesur blitzed it through the halls. He wasn’t scared of blood. He pulled out his handgun and shot two soldiers who had been heading towards his fake location, ducking past their dying bodies and twisting around into another hall. In this one, he met three soldiers. Then they began to ebb in amount, thankfully. How long until they figured it out? Probably not much longer. It wasn’t like they had a fake Aesur running around. It wasn’t exactly as fun as he’d imagined, running around on your own with a zillion armed people looking to kill you. Then again, he hadn’t really imagined this as much fun to begin with. He was just glad that there wasn’t any fire inside the building yet.

Twisting into the room where the disc was supposedly located, Aesur took a suffocating three minutes to locate the disc. He lifted the disc up and scanned it with the drive he’d pulled out earlier. “Disc identity confirmed.”

He pressed up against the door, peeking through the crack and straining his ears to listen for any passerby’s. He was running low on time. He wrenched out the drive and checked. Four minutes to get out. “Returning to Gundam Theritia.” He reported absentmindedly, slinking out of the room and darting along the designated escape route.

“Camera’s deactivated.”

He was making good on time, at least. He turned the last corner and met the bad luck that had been chasing him all along.

“I have bad luck, don’t I?”

Aesur spun around and a splitting pain bolted through his abdomen, but not before he managed to shoot the soldier first.

“Or maybe-“ Siegen flinched, hastily dressed in his uniform after being called on duty for the crises on hand, “It’s not that bad.” He crumpled to the floor, Aesur’s bullet having blasted through his right leg. Through all this, Aesur hadn’t even realized that behind him was the blazing ravages of the battle outside, and at first, the single, haunting sound of crackling silenced everything. Stumbling backwards, Aesur gripped his wound unnaturally tight, his eyes wide and his entire body shaking horribly. Frozen, frozen. Aesur was completely frozen in the face of flames. They were so far away, but they were still there. His knees folded beneath him, and he fell to all fours, his shoulders heaving with the effort of breathing. Just a little farther. He wrenched his eyes away from the fire and stared at the cockpit, dragging himself over with the little strength left in his arms. Needles of pain shot up in his abdomen as his vision slid in and out of focus. Just a little more, and he would be safe from the fire.

This was more than enough to get him into the cockpit a little faster, and once there, he stumbled through the medicine box for a small dose of anesthesia. Not enough to stop the organs working around the wound, but enough to keep him from passing out. Just enough. His breath ragged, he pulled back on the handles, and Theritia shot backwards, spinning before leaping into the air. Aesur swallowed a cry of pain, as the pressure of Theritia’s speed crushed into his stomach and coaxed out more blood.

“Phase-“ He choked on his words, taking a sharp breath and gripping his side, “C-Complete."

Deviating from the original flight path, he shot up into the air, away from the battle scene and scanned for surrounding Aheads. None. He let go of the controls, pressing into his bullet wound with his right hand and pulling down on his helmet with his left. It would be hell to get through the atmosphere in Theritia after this.

parallelzero
February 25th, 2009, 01:18 PM
"Celestia, on standby." Alitaria spoke calmly after settling herself into the cockpit. What Mr. Therra- Aesur, had told her was slightly troublesome. Saying things he didn't mean? He loses it? Judging by the rest of what he said, "it" was probably control. The girl didn't feel perfectly comfortable with him cutting himself off from the other Meisters, either. There was just too much risk in not being able to communicate with them. But, in the end she agreed to go along with it. It wasn't like she didn't have her own flaws that others had to accept. In fact, she probably had more than most.

She hadn't forgotten about the drug pouches woven into her outfit as she launched after the Theritia. In fact, Alitaria had decided to go into this operation without using them once. If it had been any other country they were attacking, this would not have been the case, but since the enemy was using those relic Aheads, the spec difference between them and her Celestia were more than enough to guarantee her victory. It would have been a different case if she was about to face the full force of the units stationed there, but since most of them would be lead away by Alice and Retribution, there was a slim chance that she would be overwhelmed. If in the case she was, then she would obviously have no choice to use this drug. In any case, this measure would prevent her from being caught as quickly, although her battle data would probably turn up worse than last time.

Alitaria shook her head as she pressed the button that triggered the Celestia's transformation into it's mobile armor form. The mecha quickly shifted to it's quicker and more agile mode, leaving the girl to take a deep breath. "Celestia, initializing phase one." The jet-like mobile armor shot after the Theritia, which seemed to be keeping a pace that allowed her to keep up. At least he was doing that for her. There wasn't a huge gap in speed between the Theritia and the Celestia's mobile armor, but there was enough for him to pull out of her range if he wanted to, and, well, cover didn't work that well when the thing being covered is way in the front.

It wasn't long after Aesur's Gundam touched down on the pavement of the runway that enemies began to engage them. As she assumed, the Aheads were few and far between, with the odd anti-mobile suit weapon stationed nearby. Aware that Aesur had the Aheads under control, she focused on the anti-Mobile Suit cannons scattered around the building. While they were smaller targets, they were stationary, so the GN cannon in mobile armor mode was more than enough to take them out one by one. This continued until the Theritia made contact with the wall of the building, leaving Alitaria with the position of defense. She quickly reverted the Celestia back into it's mobile suit mode, taking a defensive stance slightly ahead of the Theritia. "Phase two, initializing."

It didn't take long for a small unit of Aheads to appear on her left, and the solution for the pest control was glaringly obvious as they were all in a group. Alitaria sighed, "You all want to be killed, don't you?" The GN cannons behind the Celestia's shoulders flipped up and over to point in the direction of the flying Aheads as the sound of GN particles gathering could be heard. A single shot wouldn't guarantee complete success, but a single charged shot would. As the squad grew even closer, she adjusted the mobile suit so that it's direction remained consistent with the that of the targets. A loud beep confirmed that the cannons were done charging, and the buildup in the cannons was released all at once, pushing the Celestia backwards as well until it got a grip in the ground. The girl managed to murmur an apology as the beam finally struck the first Ahead, and she manipulated the aim of the beam by slowly adjusting the Celestia's direction. This way, she guaranteed a hit on all of the targets. The main problem with this attack was that it consumed a lot of GN particles, so it was limited to only one use for the time being. Luckily, it wasn't a very difficult attack to pull off.

It didn't take long for the fact that she had just killed a group of people to set in, and she felt rather sick to her stomach. She'd eventually come to terms with it - or rather, she'd have to, but for now it was still a little overwhelming. It wasn't long after that Theritia began to show signs of activity again. It quickly flew up in the air, and Alitaria sped after him after hearing Aesur's phase completion line. "Aesur!? Are you okay?" He sounded like he was in pain. Had something happened inside?

Alter Ego
February 25th, 2009, 02:09 PM
"You're right, Rosa; they do look like big fireworks."

Kain absent-mindedly stroked the doll's head as he listened to the steady, dull hammering of ahead weaponry against the Alice's heavy and unrelenting defenses, following the display of flashing lights and explosions on the monitor with bemused interest and occasionally flicking his one occupied hand to shoot down a suit or two that attempted to veer past them. Abele seemed to be getting into her job like usual, and so she hadn't bothered him with it, but to be honest...this was sort of boring. The lights and explosions had had their charm, but Kiel was being adamant about 'exhaustion battle tactics', which apparently meant that he should just sit there and only fire when absolutely necessary. No pretty firework patterns and absolutely no playing with the big puppets.

The meister pouted. Just as he was about to finally voice his opinion, however, a vaguely familiar voice in his head.

"Team one, this is Kiel. Our primary target has been secured. Commence phase three."

"Phase three..." Kain repeated the words slowly and deliberately, a smile creeping up on his face as the recollections from the briefing bubbled up onto the surface of his thoughts, "You know what that means, right Rosa?" the meister slowly and deliberately pulled on the second one of his custom-made gloves, placing his previously unoccupied hand on the control pannel, "Remote cannon system; initiate one-to-one mapping." his expression split into an excited grin as the cannons responded to his touch, not stiffly and unnaturally like they had before but smoothly, like so many puppets connected to the strings on his fingers. On the outside, the careful observer would have noticed a subtle shift in the previously rigid posture of the Alice's cannons, but unfortunately, few paid attention to such detail in the heat of combat. Kain could barely contain his excitement as he watched the cannnons' energy gauges charge up in near-perfect unison, "Let's make some fireworks!"

Kansas
February 25th, 2009, 09:40 PM
The volley of artillery fire instantly hailed from the ground units as the enemy Aheads scattered in military unison. Ryder and Retribution didn't slow themselves as they continued to bullet towards the ground, kicking the forward thrusters just in time as particles showered the earth with its glow, forcing Retribution to a quick halt on the ground. He looked up for a moment before blasting straight forward with no warning, blades extended, slicing through the suits one by one. The Aheads were now beginning to move into formation, the surprise attack no longer keeping its...element of surprise. The enemy suits were quick and ruthless with their counter attack.

"They've got a bit more skill than the guys back in Germany... but it's still not good enough!" Ryder screamed as his blade's clashed into the beam saber of the enemy Ahead in front of him. The two machine's only paused briefly before Retribution's solid blades tore through the beam saber, instantly dispersing it and slashing through the torso's center. It glowed a slow orange before exploding into pieces. The crimson gundam kept moving, unphased by the kill, moving to his next targets. The suits battled in close combat, sharing a few parrying blows before being torn to shreds by Retribution's blades. Small volleys could be seen blasting through the air, the sign of Gundam Alice's support fire. It blasted suits down with ease and single shots, showcasing its power and defense as it refused to budge an inch.

"Looks like things are starting to clean up around here...When is Aesur going to..." Ryder thought silently as he fought before being cut off by the open air transmition into the cockpit's speakers.

"Team one, this is Kiel. Our primary target has been secured. Commence phase three."

Aesur had done it, but that means it was time for the ending phase of the mission. The clean up. Retribution parried a suit away, then slashed through the suit, standing firm and defensive as Ryder rushed inside with his controls.

"midd, display status of Gundam Alice's particle compression status for phase 3." Ryder commanded in a quick tone as Retribution's turbines began to spin faster and faster. The small disk displayed a model of Alice in front of Ryder with a long bar next to its cannons.

"Alice's cannons are nearing one hundred perc--"
"I can see that! End display!" Ryder snapped at the machine as Retribution's turbines slowly crept to launch speed.

"Phase 3, Gundam Retribution clears the firing radius of Gundam Alice's cannons which will immediately clean the battlefield of remaining Aheads..."

"If I don't clear that radius, Retribution Retribution'll be toast... not to mention myself..." Ryder commented to himself with a loud gulp of spit as the turbines hit the right out put, Ryder immediately blasted forward, then straight up to the sky to await the cannon's fire.

"Hmpf, once those kids fire that thing, its mission complete. Aesur and Alitaria work fast...I expected no less from the Gundam Meisters."

Loki
February 26th, 2009, 09:38 PM
"Nothing's on fire! It's okay Michael, it'll be fine, everything is okay! Xing Mei, put that fire out, turn it off, turn it off! Do you hear me!?"

Aesur dug his gloved fingers into his helmet, a splitting pain jolting through his brain and side. Pain was coming from all areas of his body- his chest was starting to turn into a jumble of knots, like they did so long ago. The bullet wound was starting to escalate in pain- from the original shock to the heavy throb back to the brain realizing, my god, I've been shot! His head hurt from remembering so many things all at once, and everything was just about ready to fall apart. It felt like... like his side was on fire. He turned and fumbled through the back of his cockpit, looking for something that would numb the pain if only a little. He couldn't see straight though. Everything was blurry, and everything was starting to glow red, orange, and yellow. "Ah!" He yelped, drawing his hand back to see that there was nothing there.

This was it- but... Aesur reached out and slammed his hand down on the CD case he'd acquired. He'd completed the mission, which was something he'd hadn't thought he could do. The point didn't really manage to reach his senses however, as the disk clattered to the floor, bumping off of the edge of the control panel as it fell.

"Aesur!? Are you okay?" Who was that? That voice was vaguely familiar. He could identify it, but it was just out of his reach, and so he was left to ponder who it was, or if they were even saying anything more. He felt like his ears were all plugged up with water. "Wha-..." He began, but someone interuppted him before he could think of a coherant way to inquire after who was talking to him.

"What's going on?!" A familiar voice.

Aesur let his lungs reinflate, breathing hard as if he'd just sprinted a mile.

"Aesur," Quinn's calm voice came over the transmission, "Can you pilot the Theritia?"

He shook his head violently, but only furthered the pain in his head. "-No, not-" His voice stuck in his throat again and he wondered why it was suddenly getting really hot. Was it- fire? He spun around to look at the medic box, and saw nothing. Where was it? The fire- was it creeping up on him again? Oh it felt cold against his cheeks- like that night, where it had been all cold except for the front of him, which was facing the burning mansion, helpless. He began to let out a yell, but blocked it from escaping by trying to say something instead. Nothing came out and he shook his head again.

"Aesur, change in plans. Do you understand?" Quinn inquired slowly, "We'll send coordinates to Theritia, and set it on auto-pilot. Did anything happen other than the problems we've already diagnosed?"

Half of the words filtered out, but Aesur managed to piece together the basic gist.

"I got shot!" He yelled into the microphone, throwing himself back against his seat as the effort of pushing out his voice shot another needle into his side. Catching his breath, Aesur was silent for a moment, calming down enough to speak at a normal volume without his voice catching, "It's not important."

Quinn replied immediately, understanding that to him, the more apparent problem was that he was imagining fire all over his cockpit. "You're fine, Aesur, there's not going to be any fire inside your cockpit at any time, so calm down."

He swallowed and nodded. That had definitely been a lie through her teeth, but it was still reassuring. He was older now, and it was apparent to him that he had better control over himself than he had the last time he'd seen fire or been touched by someone. Back then... was it sometime in elementary school? An absolute nightmare. Coordinates popped up on the side of his screen as he began regaining movement that wasn't simply blank reaction, and he hit autopilot anyway. He didn't want to pilot with the wound in his side anyway- autopilot was slower. He leaned back and closed his eyes, suddenly feeling exhausted from all the commotion he'd thrown himself into after successfully escaping his original predicament.

But the back of his eyelids burned red.

parallelzero
March 10th, 2009, 05:38 PM
"Celestia will watch over the Theritia until we arrive back at the designated point." Alitaria stated into a transmission to their ship, shortly after receiving the coordinates of it's location. What she had stated was a given, they were returning to the same place after all, but she knew what it felt like to be reassured when things looked rough. Even if it was a new pilot like her, maybe someone would feel a little better. She was concerned for Aesur, but she knew he took up the role of Meister completely aware of what he'd endure. If she showed too much concern, maybe she'd just be insulting him. He had been shot. Pain was something that came of war. Physical pain, she knew from experience, was horrible, but it didn't compare to the pain from losing family and friends. She had cried enough, and that's why she became a Meister. Her reason for fighting was to prevent that pain for many more people in the future, even if she had to accomplish it through means as unconventional as substance abuse, even if she had to create some pain in order to fulfill it; that's why she was with Celestial Being. She knew this, but it didn't make the emotional implications any less difficult. She had kept herself holed up for almost the entirety of the time between this and the last operation in depression, only snapping herself out of it the day before last.

When they were finally out of the way of any possible enemies, the girl set her Gundam to autopilot so that she could rest a little before docking. She moved her right arm so that it rested on her lap, the unnatural sounds the motion produced echoing rather clearly in the quiet cockpit, other than the sound of the GN drive in the back. That arm was some of her pain, an artificial arm that acts ridiculously similar to a real one, as was her artificial eye. She was snapped back to reality as the ocean filled her view. Their little hiding place was on the water, huh? An island? Maybe she'd be able to relax a little for once.

She laughed to herself at the thought. There wasn't much room for relaxation where she was now. Alitaria, however, hoped she'd have a break soon where she could go back to the HRL for a little while. She had business there she still needed to attend to, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to check on the graves of her parents.

Beeping from her console brought to her attention that they had arrived at their base, and it was most definitely an island. It wasn't large but it was large enough to be covered in a small forest of tropical plantation. In response to the Celestia's presence, the sandy shore nearby began to sink away, revealing a tunnel just large enough for a Mobile Suit to slip in through. Deciding there was always the possibility that it was a trap, Alitaria decided to go ahead of Aesur. In the end, it just turned out to be a regular base down below. She docked, similarly to like how she would have on the Ptolmy, and scrambled out of her cockpit in anticipation of Aesur's entrance. Hopefully he'd be okay... She made her way onto the walkway in the hangar, readjusting herself to walking after spending a long time in her Gundam as she made her way to where the Theritia would eventually dock.

Kansas
March 17th, 2009, 12:56 AM
Retribution hovered quietly as Alice Gundam's cannon fired its massive blast. The surge of energy roared beneath him as he watched the enemy mobile suits disintegrate into nothing as the blast consumed them. The beam made a slow sweep, clearing the suits that weren't able to escape the radius. Ryder watched through monitors as the smoke cleared around the ruined base, no signs of movement anywhere.

"...This is Ryder. Clean up complete and returning to rendezvous." He said in a low firm tone as he looked over the battlefield, observing his and Alice's handy work. Mobile suit pieces lay strewn across the concrete, the ones lucky enough to stay intact at least. He turned slowly before blasting off into the skies towards the horizon.

He flew in silence, only accompanied by the silent whir of his turbines spinning rapidly. The blue ocean flew beneath him in a blur as he approached his coordinates. The mission had to have gone well, there were no hitches and no reports of failure, another crucial victory for Celestial Being.

"Those ants should start learning how to counter attack us soon enough. The plan is working well and the predictions are flawless. What could possibly stop us... the power of Celestial Being..." Ryder thought silently as a small green island drifted into view slowly and came rapidly into perspective. Retribution Gundam slowed to a hover, looking down on the island and letting its green particles pour from the engine before lowering softly to the ground and down into the safety of tree cover. Docking into the small island base, He immediately let the cockpit slide open, standing and moving to the ground below. He looked around, seeing that Celestia had docked already and was awaiting her mission partner.

"How did I get here before Aesur and Theritia... did something happen?" Ryder thought in a slight bit of concern before removing his helmet and shaking himself out of his dazed thoughts. "Don't be stupid... we're Gundam Meisters." he scolded himself quickly for doubting the abilities of his comrades, proceeding to the already docked Gundam and passed it where the other pilot would soon be landing. Celestia's pilot stood in anticipation already for Aesur's landing. Ryder couldn't help but wonder what happened on the other half of the mission that would cause the mission to stray so far from the operation time. He waited in silent anticipation behind the other meister, Alitaria, for Aesur's much awaited return

Alter Ego
March 17th, 2009, 01:08 PM
"Gundam Alice. Mission complete. Returning to rendezvous point."

Kain lowered his hands, pulling the gloves off somewhat reluctantly as he leaned back in his seat, his ecstatic grin slowly fading as he drew a couple of slow, heavy breaths, finally noticing the rivulets of sweat running down his face. In all honesty, he had only gotten started, but Abele had assured him that all the bad guys were gone, and that meant no more fireworks...at least for now.

It was then, leaning back in his seat and watching the scenery flash past, that the blonde finally noticed something odd about the situation.

"Abele?" he asked, tilting his head to the side, "Why aren't we heading upwards?"

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

"...repeat, all Gundams, assemble at the emergency rendezvous point immediately."

"Angry Kiel! Angry Kiel!"

"Your capacity for stating the obvious never fails to amaze me, Haro." the tactician grit back as he finally shut the communications link, rising to his feet. He had expected shenanigans like this from the rookie, but Aesur too? The tactician had to constrain himself from punching the nearest wall out of sheer frustration. Pyrophobia. All this time, that brat had been covering up pyrophobia? The more he discovered about this team of 'meisters' he had been handed, the more he began to suspect the possibility that this entire arrangement had been set up to be an abyssmal failure right from the get-go. A half-blind cripple, a mental institution patient with the attention span and memory of an average goldfish, a cripple girl who had to continually drug herself to operate, and now this?!

Content that not even this freak circus that had been put under his command could fail to follow the instructions he had left, the tactician abruptly rose to his feet, finally leaving the sanctity of his personal room with only one target in mind.

A certain medical officer would have a question or two to answer.


OOC: Pointless filler post done. Carry on.

Loki
March 17th, 2009, 04:19 PM
OOC: Thank you. :>

IC:

Docking was like a dream. The resolute sound of the Theritia locking in place, Aesur slumped back into his seat, relaxing his tense muscles, feeling much better as the whirr of the engine began to slow. He'd made a gamble, and he'd probably lost. But they didn't know- his ugly face inside the cockpit. At the very least, that wasn't out there yet. At the very least, he was still... generally stationed to the ground. He pulled his helmet on securely, as if almost shamed to meet the other meisters. He wasn't all that he'd hyped himself up to be. What a terrible fall from grace. Opening the cockpit, with a trembling finger, he flinched at the sounds of the moving machinery. Choking up at the sight of Alitaria and Ryder, he pulled his helmet down even further, biting his lower lip as he stumbled out of his seat. He covered his bullet wound the best he could with his right arm and hand, wishing it weren't there, yet glad that it was. It was a perfect excuse, but he didn't want to lie anymore. It was so much harder than he'd anticipated. Awkwardly and cautiously making his way down to the platform, he moved as if he were swimming through honey, dreading facing the others.

He stopped in front of his fellow pilots, counting two missing from the fray. Medical wing, he decided, turning and saying nothing. The mission was a success, but a failure for him. Such a failure. He faltered after a few steps, turning back and reaching into his holster, extracting a disc. Holding it up, as if to present his success, he found that he... really had nothing to say. He hated the shallow relationship that just made everything so awkward and silent between himself and all the other meisters. Of course it was a security issue, but... still, they could never even just talk with each other. It was... kind of sad. But then he realized that suddenly walking around was giving him a headache. Not the pounding, nauseating one from before, but a lightheaded, floating-on-the-clouds kind of headache. Like, maybe he was way drugged up- without any drugs.

A young man dressed in a crisp yet plaintative suit approached, stiff and formal with a blank expression. He carried a soft leather bag, and by the way he spoke, it could be easily deduced that he was Basilio's personal assistant. "Please," He motioned behind him, "step inside. I will tend to your wound there, Mr. Therra. Please use our facilities to your own discretion; they are all available. I've been told to advise you not to leave the premises until later tonight, for security and safety purposes." He bowed and spun around on his heel, moving back towards the door.

Aesur looked up at the open ceiling, wondering where Kain and Abele were. Ryder was already here, so why...? They should've been here by now, at least.

"Please do not dabble sir." The man said briskly, pulling out a pair of spectacles and putting them on while he held the door into the home of sorts that Celestial Being's information agent had made for himself, "It will not do if your wound should become infected."

"Er-..." Aesur clumsily handed the disc over to Ryder, hoping that he knew what to do with it, because Aesur certainly didn't. This detour meant that Kiel, Quinn, and the rest of the crew weren't even around. Yet. If they planned on coming down at all... "Coming..." He glanced over his shoulder at the other two meisters, nodding to show that he was fine. For the most part. At least the attack had done it's job in terms or wearing off, rather than leaving him stricken and frozen like an invalid. And if he really thought about it, he'd done a swell job, considering the circumstances. Sure it wasn't stellar, and it probably wasn't what anyone was... expecting... but he'd gotten things done. And... and that was what mattered the most. He gripped the railing with most of his weight as he limped towards the door. Leaning his weight on his left leg was painful enough, but gravity was definitely working it's magic. "That door, please."

Well, he was definitely glad that the room was so close. Aesur stumbled in, heard the door snap shut behind him. The doors in this place all seemed to be the kind you'd find in some traditional English mansion, but all the rooms that Aesur had seen so far were all... modern. Clean. Very advanced. Two cell regeneration chambers stretched across either wall, with various other medical equipment spread around- probably more in the closets and drawers. It kind of... gave him the creeps. Gingerly sitting down on the cushioned table that was covered securely with plastic, Theritia's pilot wasn't too sure about letting a butler handle removing a bullet... And then he wondered if Basilio himself was here.

Aesur loosened his grip on the wound, checking it's appearance as he thought to himself that the chances of that unlikable man being here were slim, to say the least.

parallelzero
March 19th, 2009, 08:52 AM
In the end, nothing was really said to her. Ryder had said not a word while in her presence, and all she received from Aesur was a simple nod before he was taken away. Even though it wasn't her fault directly, at all, she still felt some responsibility for what happened to the man. She was his partner on the mission, so why did only he get hurt? She hung her head slightly as she left the hanger shortly after Aesur was taking to get medical treatment. First thing was first, she needed to get changed into some regular clothing.

The trip to her quarters was a lot easier this time than in the aftermath of the first mission, although she had problems finding them since this wasn't the Ptolmy at all.. The drug really was terrible for creating such exhaustion, but the benefits, at least for her, were worth it in the end. But the fact that she didn't use it this time was likely to cause a bit of a ruckus, especially as far as Kiel was concerned. He would most likely compare her performance this time with last time, and notice some inconsistencies... more specifically that she performed poorly compared to last time. The second she was exposed, she would probably be tossed away like common trash, the drug being confiscated and used with someone that bastard Kiel considered more worthy of it. She wasn't going to let herself get thrown away in that manner, she definitely wanted to keep her role in the interventions.

When Alitaria finally got into her room, she made haste to pick out an outfit to wear out of what had been provided for her in this particular base. In the end, she decided on blue skinny jeans and a white halter top with a black braided trim. She couldn't wear the same thing every day, plus she felt like wearing something especially casual if she was going to go wait for Aesur to finish in the medical wing. With her outfit picked out, she began to peel her pilot uniform off, and eventually the light clothing she wore underneath until she was completely naked.

"Yo, Miss Meister! How goes the fighting?" The voice of Evan Skye, the Ptolemy's gunner sounded in the room, though he quickly bit his own tongue when he realized he had walked in on a naked Alitaria. The girl panicked, beat red, and grabbed the clothing she had laid on her bed before forcing it in front of all of the important places. "Maybe... I'll speak to you from outside..." The average looking man murmured out of embarrassment as he turned around, bring his right hand up to his shoulder length red hair, scratching the back of his head before walking out the door. "All I came to say, is you need to be more careful. You hid the stuff in a safe place, didn't you?" All in the while, Alitaria was putting on her clothing at a rapid rate, tying her hair into a single ponytail, while not forgetting to place the flower ornament in her hair as well.

The girl gave not a word to the young man as she darted out the door, despite how he called to her. "Cold shoulder, huh?" Evan sighed as he out his hands in the pockets of his jeans. "Grow up, kid." When he finished his murmuring, he set out for the hanger. Since the Ptolmy had yet to engage in battle personally yet, he'd been pretty bored lately.

It took Alitaria a little while to find the medical wing, considering it was the first time she had been present in such a base. The fact that she wasn't on the Ptolemy was kind of worrisome for her. What if someone searched her room and found her stash? But, Aesur deserved her concern more for now. When she finally found the wing, she decided to sit outside in the waiting area as Aesur was being tended to. She was hungry, and concerned, but she'd bear it for now.

Alter Ego
March 21st, 2009, 11:05 AM
It was bright and sparkly, the light refracting and playing around its intricate shape in various way as he turned it around in his hand and held it up towards the bright ceiling lamps.

"...stay here and be careful not to break that, alright Kain?"

The meister offered his partner an enthusiastic nod, beaming as the woman excused herself in the direction of the ladies' room. He was sad to see Abele leave, like always, but there was something about this place that soothed him. The smell of disinfectant, the tidiness, the bright ceiling lamps, the stainless steel and glass...to Kain all of these things spoke of his home away from home, the place he would stay whenever Abele had to take care of things. To part of his mind, the woman leaving was the most natural thing in the world, even though she had assured him that this would really just be for a moment, and more importantly...this place had one thing the usual home away from home didn't have.

The blonde's smile practically reached from ear to ear as he turned his full, undivided attention back to the delicate glass bird in his hands.

This place had a shiny thing, and both Kain and Rosa were now officially occupied for the next hour.

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


Kiel, meanwhile, had something completely different on his mind, and not just the haro he had sent to probe around a certain meister's living quarters - the only possible benefit that could be derived from this new development. When the door to Dr.Quinn's office slid open, the tactician was already halfway in, bearing his usual expression of quiet contempt.

"Doctor Quinn." he began levelly, "When I asked you whether or not these 'meisters' of mine had any unusual psychological or physiological conditions that I should be aware of, did it occur to you that it may have been out of more than just my infinite curiosity about the messy lives of failed human beings?" his glare intensified a notch, "Specifically, would you care to explain why you did not consider it relevant, at any point of their training period or the time thereafter, to inform me that one of my pilots is pyrophobic?"

Loki
March 21st, 2009, 02:18 PM
Now to be perfectly honest, Dr. Scarlett Quinn was normally a very graceful, dainty person. She was a middle-aged woman not yet past her prime, proud and dignified. She wilted for nothing, bent for no-one, and certainly didn’t like Kiel as much as she probably should have. Well that last part was a little lie. He was refreshingly professional, but at times, it really did seem like he had a coat hangar stuck up his- well. Setting her communicator back where it belonged, Scarlett was fully prepared for Kiel to burst unceremoniously through her office door without even so much as a “Good afternoon Dr. Quinn.” She ignored his entrance, examining herself in a mirror she’d propped up just for his arrival. She adjusted the fake white rose in her hair, re-pinning her bangs as she pretended to have little interest in what the tactician had to say. The doctor did feel just a tad bit sorry for the man, as he’d had a very dysfunctional organization thrust into his care, and all his missions seemed to be running on sheer luck. But what could he expect after years of no battle? It wasn’t as if Celestial Being was the only group that was having internal difficulties. Or so was the woman’s reasoning for her laid-back attitude. Now, should she say that, or perhaps tick him off even more by dodging the subject?

“… to inform me that one of my pilots is pyrophobic?"

At the end of his miniature tirade, she let out a long, heavy sigh.

“It’s not a problem as long as he’s inside his Gundam. How was I supposed to know that you’d be sending him into an actual battle so early?” She paused and pulled open a drawer, extracting a tube of lipstick from it, “Anyway Kiel, after I told you that Kain was a regular member of a mental institute before his days as a meister, I thought you might crap out your brain if I told you that Aesur was scared of fire.” She reapplied a fresh layer of red on her lips and capped it, tossing it aside, “So since you’re here, I might as well tell you that Aesur isn’t just pyrophobic, but he’s haptephobic as well. Y’know. Freaks out when people touch him.” Dr. Quinn leaned back in her seat nonchalantly plowing on, “Everyone here has their secrets, it’s not fair if Aesur can’t have any just because he’s been here the longest. Would you want me telling the world you had a mental disability if you did?” She met his gaze with her chin raised in defiance, “We’d all doubt your ability, and probably get rid of you for a different tactician. Shove you to a backseat position. Same idea.”

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

“Could you please not-“

“I have been informed before your arrival. I will try my best not to touch you Mr. Therra, but you must understand that it may be inevitable.” The man pulled on a pair of gloves, slipping on narrow glasses to see his work. Aesur silenced himself as the man gave various commands in a suffering tone that bothered Aesur’s pride as a thinking, conscious human. “Please remove your shirt Mr. Therra- I cannot work through a pilot’s suit and underarmor. Lie down Mr. Therra, you are embedding the bullet further into your body when you sit.” Mr. Therra this, Mr. Therra that-

Ouch! Aesur clenched his fist when a needle sunk into his abdomen, but the pain washed away, replaced by a throbbing numbness. “Please hold still Mr. Therra. I will be removing the bullet.”

That was probably the man’s way of saying that he was going to touch him now, but Aesur squeezed his eyes shut and felt nothing, really. The numbing was stronger than he’d expected, and though the thought of someone with their hands anywhere on him gave him goosebumps and made him break out in a cold sweat, he stayed still. While he was still trying to get over the fact that someone was… ugh…. He shuddered, but realized that there was no protest from the uptight man. He opened his eyes and noticed that the man had already left his side, a bloody bullet on a tray beside Aesur holding- The meister diverted his eyes, not too keen on seeing what had been sunk into his flesh. It was a much smaller bullet than the one he’d used against the soldier, to his great relief. He sat up gingerly, feeling nothing but thinking to himself that he should probably still be careful.

“In here Mr. Therra.” The man motioned to a cell-regenerating chamber, “The wound should close up in about an hour. Please do not leave the chamber until then.”

An hour of… just lying there? Aesur let the lid close over him, and he felt… awkward. He’d never really been in one of these things. Just hospital beds. Old fashioned, hospital beds. Being surrounded on all sides by a white arcing wall that kept him tightly enclosed, he was thankful that at the very least, he wasn’t claustrophobic…. The thought was mildly amusing, and he felt… better. An hour of sleep didn’t sound too bad…

~

“If you would like to rest Mr. Therra, please do so inside your quarters. Your wound is fine for the most part, but please take care not to be too reckless.” The voice was blurry, and left as soon as it finished talking. Opening his eyes, still groggy from his quick nap, Aesur lay without moving a few minutes, gathering his attention and wondering whether his wound still hurt or not. The numb feeling was definitely still there, so it wasn’t exactly clear to him whether he could walk around like he usually did. …. Well whatever. Aesur sat up slowly, looking down. The skin was a bit warped where it had been trying its best to pull itself back together, but it had thankfully closed up. To what extent, was the question. Swinging his legs around the side of the platform, he looked around, wondering if the assistant had been thoughtful enough to put his under armor somewhere he could find it.

He stood up cautiously, looking around and finding brand new under armor sitting on a tray beside a now clean bullet. He pulled it on, all the while watching the pock scar on the side of his stomach. He left outer shell of his uniform hanging around his Okay. Everything was okay. He’d gotten out of the mission alright. He’d gotten the disc. Despite a few things that had gone wrong, it had turned out much better than he expected. Aesur put on a cheerful smile. He felt good! Much better than an hour ago anyway. He left the medical room, a bit nervous that he wasn’t supposed to be leaving. But he spotted Alitaria as soon as he walked out, and his eyes widened in surprise. He wasn’t exactly prepared to see her, and his head blanked out for a few minutes in which he said nothing. Now what? Oh that was right, he needed to say something. Like, thanks for worrying about me. Er, was she worried? He didn’t want to just assume that, it might be condescending… He brought a hand up to the back of his neck and dragged it around, looking sideways to avoid looking at her. “Um….” He furrowed his brow, trying to dredge up something to talk about. “Sorry I… kind of messed up on this mission. Ah b-but-“ He quickly interrupted himself, frantically holding his hands up at his shoulders, “Thanks for the back-up! I’m glad I didn’t have to worry about Theritia or anything, so uh- … yeah, thanks I guess.” He finished sheepishly, dropping his hands at the lame ending.

parallelzero
March 28th, 2009, 08:58 AM
Alitaria ended up waiting on Aesur to come out for a long time. She had entertained herself by reading a fashion magazine at first - not that fashion was much of a priority anymore, she didn't even really have time to shop for, let alone wear nice new clothes - but it wasn't long before she had finished that, and was left to find some other activity to pass the time. She took the time to test her artificial arm, running her biological hand over it. It didn't feel any different than normal. To the touch, one wouldn't be able to notice that under the skin an intricate system of technology replaced blood and bone. Her eye was the same, but only because she wore a special contact lens that covered up the falsities of the robotic eye. She owed a lot to several people for these things, which granted her life after nearly dying. Evan was the one who found her, after all, and Dr. Quinn had been responsible for the surgery, and had been checking up on her since.

By the time Aesur finally came out from his treatment, Alitaria was spread out in a laying position on the waiting couch, half asleep from the long wait. When she finally saw the man, she struggled to sit up, yawning and rubbing her eyes. She smiled slightly as she stood up, before softly saying a short "Hello." It came as a surprise when Aesur apologized to her. "I wasn't thinking it was your fault or anything of the sort! You tried your best, right? So that's good enough. Besides, Kiel is more at fault for drawing up something so dangerous for you in the first place." Yes... Kiel. He seemed more of an enemy than an ally. They way he spoke, the actions he took, they all rubbed the girl the wrong way. "And there's no need to thank me for the back-up, I didn't really do anything special anyways. My Celestia isn't as special as your Theritia when it comes to overall ability, after all, the same could be said when comparing their pilots. When compared to you, who has been piloting for such a long time, I'm more of a hindrance than anything..." She said nothing for a moment, before beginning to walk away. "I'm going to go get something to eat. Since this is an Earth base, I'm hoping there's some real food down here! You're welcome to join me if you'd like~"

Loki
March 29th, 2009, 08:51 AM
What a relief. He cheerfully joined Alitaria as they headed down the corridor, also anticipating food that hadn’t been flash frozen for weeks. Not only was there real food awaiting, but he’d been invited to join another meister for lunch. Which meant that his openness was getting somewhere, at last. Now if only it would reach the other meisters, who seemed like they might be a little harder to befriend.

“N-No it wasn’t Kiel at all,” Aesur rubbed his cheek, kind of happy that at least he hadn’t caused too much trouble for Alitaria, “I should’ve been prepared for that kind of combat, and I’m glad that Kiel trusted me with it- but I guess….” He trailed off, but mostly because he wasn’t sure how to continue. Ah he hated this slowly developing habit of not completing his sentences. Well, whatever. The meister diverted the direction of the conversation back to something a little more interesting, “No no, the Celestia is amazing! I mean having two forms is like having two mobile suits! The only thing Theritia’s got goin’ for it is speed. Not that I mind,” Aesur pulled his hands behind his hand, looking up at the low ceiling, “I’m glad that I’m piloting it. But really Alitaria, I don’t think you give yourself enough credit! Kiel praised you the most post mission last time, and I don’t see how you’re a hindrance at all. I don’t think you’re comparing us at the right angle, since it’s obvious that I’ve kind of got a few shortcomings in terms of my resume, and you don’t have any- well… None that I can tell.” He grinned, thinking to himself that his pyrophobia hadn’t exactly been obvious beforehand either. It was reading too far into his statements however, so he left the subject hanging as he opened the door that led into the actual house.

As far as Aesur had been able to tell now that his head was clear, the whole facility was built into the side of a mesa, hidden from prying eyes in the sky. The whole place screamed Basilio however. The glass and stainless steel decorations- in a base for Celestial Being. Only he would go to such trouble. And the furniture, all lacking in color, modern and contemporary in design. Everything was cold and unfriendly- but he couldn’t complain. It was kind of classy- the high arched ceiling that opened to a second floor that didn’t seem to have any stairs leading to it. Aesur highly preferred living like a business conglomerate manager like he might’ve once become, rather than in his one-room apartment back in Sydney. The bottom of his red boots squeaked against the glassy black marble tiling, and he spotted Kain, sitting on a couch, staring at one of Basilio’s various glass sculptures. Aesur really wondered about that guy at times. It wasn’t a big deal to him that Kain was obviously a few cans short of a six pack, but if Kiel was upset about Aesur being afraid of fire and being touched… Where would Kiel even begin with Kain?

“Excuse me Mr. Therra.”

Aesur jumped, startled at the sound as he looked over at the butler, moving out of his way.

“Ah, sorry- uh…”

“Baldovino. You may address me as Baldwin, if it is easier for you to pronounce.” He addressed the meisters in the room, straightening to announce his news, “My benefactor extends his regrets that he cannot be here today, but this was an unexpected visit, and as such, he cannot change his schedule. That is all. If you should need me, I will be outside. Mr. Therra, your room is down that hall, third door to the left. Mr. Fleetback is across from Mr. Therra; Third door to the right. Mr. Heinlein, fourth door to the left. Ms. Lansfeild, fourth door to the right. And Ms. Sigma, fifth door to the right.” Baldwin turned on his heel and briskly walked away.

Aesur waited until the door was safely shut before turning to Alitaria, smiling apologetically as he looked down at his pilot’s suit, “I think I’m going to take a quick shower and change before going to eat. You can start without me- I won’t be long.”

Alter Ego
March 29th, 2009, 03:50 PM
"If I had a mental defect that would prevent me from performing my job efficiently," Kiel replied in a tone that spoke of glaciers and northern blizzards, "Then I would obviously have to be removed from this post. And naturally you couldn't have known what I would do; no-one is expecting you to. That is precisely why I asked you for the full, uncensored data. To avoid situations like this!" the tactician had half a mind to commit violence against the nearest suitable object in his vicinity, but he willed the urge aside, "And secrets?" he echoed in disbelief, "Don't kid yourself; these meisters have all had their entire background thoroughly plumbed, right down to the last dirty little secret, before they were admitted here. All of us have. Privacy is what we sacrificed to participate in this operation. For the last time: I have no interest in spreading anyone's personal filth to anyone else. As long as they do their job properly and keep it their own business, I don't care if my meisters strangle puppies and murder little orphan girls in their free time! What I do care about, however, is doing this job properly, something which every last one of you seem intent on keeping me from, all in the name of this vain little quest for 'privacy'."

He slammed his hand down on the desk, more out of instinct than anything else, "The kid was in luck this time." he grit out, "But we are hardly in a position to be relying on luck now, are we? The next time a little slip like this happens, we could end up losing a meister...or worse. Keep that in mind the next time you decide to neglect your duties, doctor Quinn. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to conduct some damage control on this latest mess you have landed us in." the tactician promptly turned again, heading back towards the hallway, "I wish you a good day purely as a matter of form."

And with those parting words, the automatized door slid shut behind him.

parallelzero
April 6th, 2009, 03:33 PM
Guilt. Guilt hit the girl like a brick wall when Aesur brought up the mission prior to the one they had just completed. Those results were lies. She knew it, and Kiel clearly knew it, but the other Meisters had no idea. She would have spoken up at that moment, to correct him, to tell him that ultimately she was nothing but useless, but those were words she couldn't yet say. Until the world changed, or at least until she was caught red handed, she would continue to lie - she had little choice. Her train of though, however, was interrupted with the appearance of the butler, whom of which pointed her to the room she had already found earlier. Though, to be fair, she had only known it was hers by finding it was the only one with clothing in her size. The girl had no idea who he was, or who this benefactor was. She hadn't been around long enough to be aware of details like those, but maybe she'd ask Aesur later, since he at least seemed to have some sort of idea.

Alitaria was suddenly posed with the instruction to eat on her own for the meantime, but brushed it off. She hadn't invited him so that she could start without him, after all. "No, no. Go ahead and have your shower. Ever since I was a little kid, my parents were too busy to cook for me, so I learned a thing or two myself. It won't be great, but I'll try and cook a meal for all of us." Well, it had been bugging her, that all of the Meisters didn't really know each other. Maybe if they all sat down and ate together, it would help things?

And thus, half an hour later, spaghetti and meatballs was completed!

Loki
April 27th, 2009, 02:08 PM
Hmph. The clothes in Basilio’s island hideout base simply weren't up to snuff for a fashionable guy like Michael. Seemed to him that every article of clothing in the sleek gray wood dresser was stiff and boring- most of them formal in cut and classy in design, like the rest of his temporary room. The normal monotonous color of the outside rooms had been replaced by a much more personable touch- beige and rich dark colors accents to break the black and white. The furnishing was spartan in the personal rooms, as though all the attention had been lavished on rooms that outsiders might actually end up seeing. Which didn't make any sense at all to Aesur, since really, nobody but the members of Celestial Being would come here. The purpose of all the luxuries of the more public areas such as the living room was beyond the man standing stark naked save for a towel around his waist. By the time he’d finally resigned himself to a white formal shirt that looked as if it had been sitting at the bottom of the drawer one too many days and a pair of dark gray shorts, a good half hour had passed. But that could almost be considered a record for Aesur, who had forgone blow drying his hair after being unable to find the darned object in the bathroom adjacent to his room. So after vigorous toweling, his hair just slightly damp, he reappeared in the hallway, pushing the sleeves of his shirt back to his elbows. He felt extremely un-fashionable, but he couldn’t let something that trivial get in his way after his most recent escapade to freak land.

He didn’t know that Alitaria could cook, but he was sure that he certainly couldn’t. Unless the top was electric, instead of open gas. But one could never be sure with Basilio, as to whether the range was modern or old fashioned. That man flit from one style to the next. And as such, Aesur avoided the kitchen, relocating to the foyer. He wasn’t exactly sure if he was surprised that Kain was still sitting there, or if he had been half expecting it, but Aesur couldn’t help but think that out of all the meisters, he wondered the most about Abele and Kain’s history. The two were closer than birds of a feather, which was saying something compared to the rest of the meisters- and then… Certainly there was good reason as to why Kain acted the way he did…? Even if it was as boring as “he was born with it”. But then…. Aesur shoved all the contradictions out of his head. “Kain, you hungry? Smells like Alitaria made something to eat, so you should join us.” He hesitated to continue- and he failed to say anything more as his eyes rested on the glass statuette in Kain’s hands for a moment in distraction. It really did catch the light, but…


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


Scarlett Quinn was bristling on the inside, but looked only slightly put off on the outside. Kiel certainly had a way with words that she could never compare with. “Well!” She huffed at the shut door, having had no chance to interject in Kiel’s miniature eruption, “Wouldn’t you be pleased if we lost a meister!” She crossed her legs and stuck her nose in the air, “Hmph”ing one more time. It was really appreciable that he took the job so seriously, unlike she, who had never really cared much for the state of the world to begin with. But she was quite positive that it wouldn’t kill him to be a little more civil and personable. If he didn’t want to wish her a good day, better if he hadn’t even tried!

Oooh she was mad. And all ready to withhold the whole question on why Alitaria was so exhausted after such a simple mission, just to spite that arrogant man. There was no way the amount of G’s taken on the Celestia could cause that much damage- heck, none of the g’s on any of the Gundams that day had been enough to warrant that kind of repercussion. Unless it was a problem with her synthetics- which Quinn couldn’t imagine the girl concealing. After all, that would hinder performance and daily life and… well, it would hinder a lot of things that would be simple to fix. But Quinn was sure that Kiel was probably sticking his nose into it already- with the way he made everyone else’s business his own. Well... it was his business, what with his position, but it wasn't as if he was making it any easier for himself by throwing a wet blanket over the entire crew! She folded her arms, doing absolutely nothing but muse to herself and try to justify to herself as to why Kiel was just a big pain in the butt.

Alter Ego
April 30th, 2009, 12:09 PM
At Aesur's words, Kain merely continued staring at the glass statuette in his hands at first, a troubled expression on his face. His mouth went through a number of movements, as if he was going through some form of complicated debate, but none of these words were given sound, not until he finally look up at the man.

"Ali-ta-ria made it..." he repeated, his frown deepening, "...if I say 'no', I might make her sad. But...I promised Abele I'd stay right here. If I say 'yes', I might make her worry." he shuffled uncomfortably on his spot, pausing to bring Rosa closer to his ear for a moment before promptly turning his attention to Aesur, "Do you think..." he began slowly, like someone who was on the verge of solving an extremely complicated dilemma yet wasn't quite ready to believe he had found the solution, "...we could eat here instead?" he shifted a bit again, "That way...I wouldn't have to make Ali-ta-ria sad or Abele worried. That...would be best, right?"