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|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:27 pm
Location: Heaven's Pillar
POINT 10 - FALL BACK
Grey now recognized his opponent.
"I should've shot him down before." He muttered.
It was too late for that.
The hair on his neck stood on end. He had to focus on this new machine. Now that he saw it, there was no excuse he could give to mistake it for a Predator.
He fired off several shots from the beam rifle.
The Czar gracefully swam out of their way before vigorously retaliating.
"If that's all you can do, this won't take me long!"
A spray of beam shots hammered the Arcana's shield.
Grey was glad to have it up as quickly as he did.
He kept his eye on the fast-moving mobile suit.
"Where'd they come up with this one?" He decided to call Shara. "Equinox?"
"I read you, Arcana."
"We have an unknown enemy machine, and I don't know how to take care of it."
A Predator disintegrated before the Equinox.
"Uh, shoot it down?" Shara was preoccupied with the swarm around her.
"Hey, thanks." Gray grumbled sarcastically. "I'll get right on that."
The Czar fired on the Arcana.
"I guess you have some wonderful reflexes at least." Ashton commented. The Gundam had once again blocked his shots. No need to worry just yet. This time, he had the edge.
"Today, I'll bag this mobile suit!" He assured himself.
The Sandalphon charged at the Seid, poised to chop down with its claymore.
K.T. was set on ending this obtrusive enemy.
The Seid pointed its weapon and fired.
"Quite the bullish one, aren't you." Nanai mused.
One shot connected with the claymore, altering the Sandalphon's direction.
Through narrow eyes, K.T. glared at the Seid, as it had dared to defy her judgment.
Nanai tracked the Gundam as it came around, looking to start another attack.
"Oh, yes, please try to sneak up on me." She mocked.
Suddenly, she whipped around when she felt the Sandalphon was ready to come and strike.
Instead of driving at her opponent, K.T. found herself blocking incoming fire.
Her precious Sandalphon lurched and shuddered.
"Damn." She hissed as warning indicators popped up inside the cockpit.
Some wisps of smoke reaffirmed that her mobile suit had just taken some damage.
"I need something lighter."
She put away the claymore, opting for a beam saber and shield.
Nanai was amused at K.T.'s determination.
"Very well, then, I'll fight you on a more equal plane."
She brought out her own shield and beam saber.
The mobile suits rushed at each other, both pilots determined to finish the other.
"You Coven bastard!" K.T. seethed as the beam sabers sparked together.
"My, my." Nanai chided. "It seems your bark is greater than your bite."
The saber lock broke, and K.T. swung hard with an attack.
The Seid stopped the slash in mid-arc with its shield.
"I'm not really sure what you 'Gundams' are coming around for, but it seems as if they're like you, it's just a few animals."
The words dug at K.T. as the Seid slashed at her mobile suit.
They infuriated her even more.
"If we're animals, the Coven is--
"Sandalphon!" Grey interrupted. "Sandalphon, how are you doing?"
"I'm doing fine." She replied curtly.
"That's a lie. I can see the smoke from your machine."
She gritted her teeth while he continued. "What if we pull some maneuvers and take care of both our opponents?"
A plasma bolt cut closer than she cared for.
"I said I'm doing fine!" She reiterated, this time yelling.
Grey shook his head. He had tried, but no luck and he really needed some.
The Czar was trailing him and he couldn't shake the enemy off.
He pointed the beam rifle behind him and fired blindly.
Ashton had to break off his chase.
"Well played." He commended under his breath as he looked to regain the distance he'd just lost.
The number of Predators was lessening, but they were concentrating on the Equinox.
Sweat was dripping down the back of Shara's neck and over her face.
This mission wasn't going as planned.
She knew the time to finish was growing close, though with the situation, pulling it off had become a challenge at the very least.
Both Grey and K.T. had yet to eliminate the new Coven mobile suits, leaving her all the current Predators plus the mass driver.
She fired the sabot and another of the seemingly endless Predators. It fell from the sky, leaving a smoky trail to its descent, but was replaced by another.
A low beeping caused her to check the cockpit's status panel.
"Out of time." She sighed.
"Arcana! Sandalphon! We're pulling out!"
Grey couldn't believe it, but he began to ascend and place a distance between himself and the Czar.
"Sandalphon, we're leaving! Pull back, now!"
K.T. was unwilling to let the Seid go.
"Once I take care of this--"
"I just gave you and order to retreat!" Shara sternly told her. "Fall. Back. Now!"
"I will!" K.T. was nearly screaming her response.
"No Gundam can be left behind...in tact." Shara replied coolly.
This grabbed K.T.’s attention and instead of making another attack run, she began to ascend with the team.
Ashton looked on as the Gundams grew smaller. He couldn't believe what he was seeing.
He looked around to see a sizeable force of Predators in the sky. The mass driver was still fully intact. He couldn't help feeling proud of the role he'd played. Sure it wasn't a total win, but the Gundams were on the run.
With his mobile suit secured, opened the cockpit to exit.
Even before he stepped out, he could hear the applause roaring to life.
A smile formed.
-[Earth Orbit/Soleil I]
Now that their Gundams were locked into place, the pilots could relax. Or, at least, try.
Grey pulled off his helmet and just sat in the cockpit.
A metallic ring pulled him from his loss-induced stupor.
"Grey? Are you all right? Open up?"
He opened the cockpit.
"Sorry about that." He explained to Shara.
"No problem, I just wanted to make sure you were okay."
He spread his arms out.
"As you can see, I'm just fine."
"Good." She pushed away. "You're the easy part."
He scrambled to unbuckle himself and exit the cockpit.
By the time he'd exited, Shara was almost to the Sandalphon. By how Shara had quickly moved on and her comments, he could tell something must have happened with K.T.
K.T. had left the cockpit before Shara made it to the mobile suit.
"Care to explain what went on during that battle?"
Shara's normally pleasant tone was nowhere, replaced by a cool, hardened one and a face to match.
"You tell me." K.T. grumbled. "You said to pull back."
"Because we were out of time to complete the objective."
K.T. smacked an open hand against her chest.
"I can't help they had some new mobile suits."
"No, but you can help your approach and self-control." Shara looked deep in to K.T.’s eyes. "Listen to me: you must handle yourself better in the future."
"How can I? Don't you understand what the Coven have done?"
"Of course. But that doesn't mean I'm losing control of my emotions whenever I see our targets. We can't have that. I won't stand for it, and neither will the directors."
"You don't understand the Coven!"
K.T. turned to leave, seething.
"No, I do understand what that entity is and what we're attempting to do." Shara firmly contested.
"We're here to make sure they don't have an easy access to space and eliminate other strategic targets. I don't know what your problem is, but whatever issue you have with the Coven needs to be in check every time we go on a mission. We're not on a suicide run. If you want that, it's your business, just not during work."
A withering glare came from K.T. as she looked back at Shara.
"That's not the way you'd see it if you were in my shoes! I want them to fall, and don't you dare tell me how to attack these guys!"
"So you're just going to throw away your life?" Grey was now close enough to be heard.
"What does it matter to you?" She scowled.
Shara put a hand up to stop him.
"Grey, I can handle this."
"Let me finish, okay? What's happened to you that you're so vengeful?"
"You don't need to know that, Grey. We're no longer together, so leave me alone!"
"I won't do that if you're life is at risk."
"My life is my own and it's all I have left!" She snapped.
Shara turned to Grey.
"That's enough. It's agitating her. Let me deal with this."
"It may be all that you have left," Shara picked the conversation back up, "however, neither of your two teammates want or can afford to have you acting in this manner. Suffice to say, I don't think anyone in Sigma or the colonies can afford it. I can't promise and end result. I can promise certain failure if you don't cooperate with us in the--"
But K.T. cut her off in a fury.
"Didn't you just hear me? It's my life! Let me alone!"
Shara just looked sadly at her.
Grey had moved himself as to not be in the line of sight, but he heard the smack and went to look.
K.T. drifted back, holding her cheek with one hand, eyes wide and a look of shock across her face.
"Wake up, girl." Shara ordered. "By your obsession, the Coven controls your mind."
He thought he caught a glimpse of something sparkling in the air around K.T.’s face, but she was gone before he could figure out what had happened. He shook his head.
"Hell, I don't know."
-[L2 Colony Group/Colony C7]
Daisuke shook his head as the Sandalphon was unloaded.
"Well, things certainly didn't go as planned." He scratched his head. "Alright, let's get going!"
From the observation deck, Valentino looked out in disgust.
"Why can't they be more careful? At least if they came back with the objective complete, it would be worth it. We must have good stewards with the relatively limited money set aside for Sigma."
"I think we're fortunate they came back." Josiah said. "After all, wouldn't it be debilitating if they knew how the Gundams tick?"
Valentino put a hand in his breast pocket to retrieve a pocket watch.
"Anyway, don't jump on them just yet. We'll sit down and review the situation and decide the next course of action."
A different voice entered the conversation.
"Well, you can always activate my team."
The two men turned toward the originator. She was propped against a wall, legs and arms casually crossed. "Sounds like Shara's team didn't have a good time."
"Does bad news spread that fast?" Josiah wondered to her. "Or just to a certain Christmas Lajon?"
She whimsically walked up to him.
"What does a certain Josiah Cramer want to know about it?"
He shrugged. "It's just a question."
"Oh." She shrugged back. "I just pick up bits here and there. It is, after all, the first time, you know, the Gundams popped up on any Coven TV channels."
Josiah said nothing, and Valentino looked more vexed than he had.
Christmas played with her black, pink accented hair, chewing on it. It was obvious she enjoyed bringing up the agitating news.
"Hey, like I said, if you want us to suit up, we're ready to go."
She swung and twirled her arms as if slicing with swords.
"My Paladin is hungry for cutting."
-[L2 Colony Group/Colony A3]
Shara opened the door and shuffled inside.
A sigh of relief exited her mouth as she dropped her bag on the floor.
"Hey, honey." Louis greeted from another room. "How was it?"
She waited until she had located him. He was on the couch, watching the news. She kicked off her shoes and curled up beside him.
"There were some problems on the job and I had to discipline one of my subordinates before it was done."
"No, fun, huh?"
He squeezed her with one arm.
"Well, I'm sure the next time will be much better." He kissed her forehead. "Plus, you handled me?"
They both laughed.
-[L2 Colony Group/Colony A9]
Grey tiredly cracked open the door. He watched and listened to see if Jamie's Haro would come bouncing along to greet him. Nothing, so he proceeded inside.
It was still quiet.
There was a long silence before Jamie answered.
He saw her head lift up from the couch.
"Hello! Hello!" And Haro started moving to greet him.
"Sorry, the news is on and I wanted to hear what they were saying."
The bag slid off Grey's shoulder.
By now she was standing and becoming animated.
"Check this out: the Coven got attacked by some mobile suits! I've had class so I've missed watching anything until now, but this is really neat to see."
He could see images of the Equinox, Sandalphon and Arcana flash across the TV screen, followed by triumphant shots of the Czar and Seid.
She stopped her antics when see didn't get the same enthusiasm from Grey.
"What's wrong?" She stepped closer.
"Nothing." He sighed. "Just tired...work was a little rough. I'm gonna go sleep some."
"Hey, wait!" Jamie protested. "You just got home--"
"I know." Grey said, walking down the hall. "I just need to rest. I really don't feel like talking about it right now."
"Too tired! Too--"
"Shut it, Haro." Jamie sighed before dragging herself back to the couch.
-[L2 Colony Group/Colony A6]
K.T. purposefully lay with her back toward the wall with the photographs.
She shook, angry at the outcome of the mission, angry at Grey, angry at Shara, angry at herself. She was so angry, the tears stuck inside seemed as if they too burned with rage.
-[L2 Colony Group/Colony A14]
"So, anyway, as I was saying." Herman smiled, looking deep into the blonde's eyes. "You have to line up the shot like," he closed one eye, poising to strike, "...this!"
The pool balls clacked and bounced around with several making their way into the side pockets.
"That's quite impressive." The girl purred.
"It takes a good understanding of the angles...and some practice here and there."
He moved behind her to help her set up a shot when he heard his cell phone ring.
"Ah, sorry, Leah, give me just a sec..."
Out of hearing range of his date, Herman answered.
"Hey, what is it, J?"
"Sorry to call you so late." Josiah started off. "We're going to need the directors to meet soon.
Valentino and Andressa can meet tomorrow. Christmas showed up wanting to activate the Delta team and Valentino is definitely considering it."
"Yeah, put me down."
He ended the call.
To Be Continued...
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:27 pm
Location: Heaven's Pillar
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:27 pm
Location: Heaven's Pillar
Nothing new to post because of life and that I've been concentrating on Gundam Deus. I'm not abandoning this, but clearly, I haven't had new completed stuff to post in 3 months. Mostly, this is to say I haven't forgotten about this, but other things have forced this to the back burner for now. I'll post something, but for now, uh, I can't say when.
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:27 pm
Location: Heaven's Pillar
POINT 11 - THE SCARS INSIDE
-[L2 Colony Group/Colony C7]
Grey and Shara sat in the foyer, both silent. There was no sound made by either in by any means. In fact, the room was almost completely silent, save for Francheska typing away at her computer.
He replayed how the previous battle had ended. For the first time in how many missions, how had things gone so wrong? There were two mobile suits they had never seen before. Was that enough to have jeopardized the mission? Or was it just a shock at something that could keep up with a Gundam?
The thought of the Czar popped into his head.
That guy had something new and this would keep him on his toes at the very least. At the worst, well, neither the Arcana, much less himself would make it back alive. His death wasn't so bad, but it was the thought of the sudden severing from Jamie.
"Just like with her."
He hung his head.
Shara's head turned toward him.
"Hm? Did you say something?"
"It's nothing." He waved away her attention. "I was just talking to myself."
They continued to sit there, neither speaking. There was nothing they really wanted to discuss.
A door opened and someone entered.
It was K.T. Quietly, she took a seat by herself, not looking at the others in the room.
Grey peeked over at her to see a wearied person. Whatever aggression she had displayed days ago was simply not there. She seemed calm, though not at peace.
Francheska's typing came to a halt.
"It seems the board is ready for the session."
It was an audio-only communication.
Ziddan was having a conversation directly with the Fathers.
"Why was it necessary to shoot Colonel Miller?" Father Two asked.
"He had been informed prior to my arrival that of what was needed." Ziddan replied. "I told him personally in a direct conversation before I even set foot off this base that I was coming to obtain machinery for dealing with those Gundams. When I arrived, he had nothing prepared and seemed oblivious to the situation."
"But was this really necessary?" This follow up was from Father One.
"With the losses we've been handed, it's clear the Predator is not on the same level as these mobile suits. It was necessary to obtain equipment that could deal with the threat. If we have technology available and someone is impeding access to it, to me that is treason! I simply can't ignore the lopsided slaughters perpetrated by these Gundams."
"Neither can we." Father Three reinforced the point. "We just want to ensure that officers don't
go around shooting other officers in the process...without good reason."
Ziddan looked at the static screen with disgust.
"It was passed down to deliver results by whatever means." He said bitingly. "However, we need to be alive at the end of it or we're not the victors. There's no telling how many of these Gundams there are--"
"Which is why we're keeping you at Casasaros." Father Three interjected. "Ultimately, we want the
Gundams destroyed, and we should assume that they'll be back to finish the job. Colonel Miller is a fool, and should have been shot a long time ago. You are the kind of man we don't want to shoot or we can't get results."
Nanai studied the paper before handing it back to Ziddan.
"It's directly from the Black Hands." He informed her.
"Yes, I can see it overrides their previous orders...temporarily."
He was surprised this did not appear to upset her. "That's all I had to discuss, so you're dismissed."
She saluted silently and left the office.
Gordon was waiting outside.
"What did he have to say?"
"The Black Hands have suspended the tour." Nanai said softly as they walked away. "These Gundams rank far above my other duties."
"I see. Would you care for me to take care of the scheduling matters?"
"Go ahead, just don't fix any specific dates as of yet."
"So it's that much of a problem I see."
Nanai turned her head slightly towards him as they walked.
"Unfortunately, although I might be two in one, but I can't conjur up any means of being two places at once."
"That could be a problem long term."
"I agree. We'll only be able to stem the questions for so long, but for now..." She trailed off.
For now, she could bide her time. The Gundams were still very much alive and would certainly return. One corner of her mouth upturned. Maybe next time she could settle things with the sword-type Gundam.
-[L2 Colony Group/Colony C7]
Grey walked a long time through the corridors. It was beginning to feel like a maze or a cruel joke. How far back was Herman's office? For that matter, what did he want to discuss? He didn't know, but he was getting ready to turn back.
He turned a corner into a waiting area.
"Must be it."
The waiting area was similar to the one at Josiah's office, but there were three doors. If this was where Herman's office was, the other two were probably for Valentino and Andressa. He looked around for a receptionist, but found none so he walked toward the doors.
Herman heard a knock.
Grey walked into the room, shutting the door behind him.
"Why don't you take a seat." Herman indicated the chairs in front of his desk. "I don't want to
waste your time, per se, but I do want to get some answers."
The look on Grey's face indicated he was bracing for a scathing interrogation.
Herman put up a hand and gave a warm grin. "Relax, this is just you and I. Valentino and Andressa aren't here to grill you or anybody else."
Grey's posture slightly relented its defensive aura while the other continued.
"I have some concerns that I think I can turn up much better with you than with the other.
Specifically, I want to find out about K.T. Barnett."
Grey's hands flexed into fists and he gulped. He didn't want it, but he had to form an answer.
"Then," He began, "what do you want to know?"
"Well, I know you two were an item, but between then and pretty much now, there's a big blank."
Herman clapped his hands together. "So, if you could fill me in on some details, it would help a lot. You see, from what Shara's told me, we're at the verge of losing a very valuable person with Ms. Barnett, and if that happens, we may be forced to prematurely unveil additional resources to the Coven."
One of Grey's hands tapped on the arm of the chair and then he started to speak.
"Let me think...it's been, oh, approximately a year and a half since she broke the relationship, so that puts things near the end of 382."
His mind flashed to the words K.T. had told him.
"I don't think I can go on with this relationship anymore, Grey."
"I'm still not sure what prompted her to break it off. Things were going pretty well, but then," he sighed heavily, "then it just happened. I almost expected it, but then I never really thought it would come up so suddenly."
"So, what can you tell me about her?" Herman waved his hand in a circular motion. "Something such as her personality, likes and dislikes, and pertinent personal information and so forth."
Grey nodded. "I see...I guess I got a little side-tracked."
"No, that's fine. The more I know, the better I might be able to fix these problems."
"I know something happened to her family and she hasn't seen them since around the time the Coven took over Earth. She never really told me what happened, but I would guess they're probably connected."
Herman looked at the wall, thinking.
"That's very good to know. I suspected something along those lines myself, but from what I've heard, if she's unwilling to discuss the matter, she won't."
"Whatever it is, something between then and now has done something to her. The K.T. I knew was warm and pleasant, although she could be kind of sad."
"Do you think that might explain why she had cut herself?"
Herman's question seemed to startle Grey.
"So, you saw?" He replied quietly. "She was angry when I looked."
"I did notice it, but I didn't think it was wise to bring it up at that point in time." Herman glanced at Grey, then back to the wall. "So, did she ever do this while you two were together?"
"I see. Did she ever see anyone about it?"
Internally, Grey felt as though he was betraying her. At the same time, he forced himself to speak. After all, it was impossible for him to ignore this problem.
"She had, and I thought she was better, but..."
"But, maybe not? It's possible this interaction with the Coven is making whatever memories she has about them resurface. Whatever happened certainly seems to have taken a deep toll on her." Herman finished the thought. "You wouldn't happen to remember what her treatment was, by chance?"
Grey shook his head.
"No, sorry. I probably forgot on purpose, since it was around...that time...when she finally did something about the problem."
"That sounds painful." Shara commented after reading Herman's report. "I knew there was a relationship, but not to the extent. I should have been more in tune with this."
Herman shook his head. "Pssh." He said. "You're not psychic, Shara. You didn't ask for this, and now that we have a better idea, we can move forward. We didn't purposely try to hand you a mess, but obviously, some checks were missed in the screening process that should've come up."
"So, what do you plan to do with the Alpha team?"
Herman looked at her. To him it seemed as if she believed something was going to happen to her team. "Nothing at this time. At this point, we're still planning to revisit Casasaros. I mean, that's one major mass driver we can't leave be."
It didn't alleviate Shara's concerned face.
Herman closed his eyes and exhaled, collecting his thoughts.
"Look, we're not shutting down, suspending, whatever on the Alpha team. I know Christmas is dying
to activate Delta, but Josiah and I are both against it. Our pilots are the most valuable things.
More than the Gundams or any other technology, please understand that. There is a problem with
K.T. Barnett, and that needs addressed."
Shara cocked her head.
"What do you have in mind?"
"I think I'll attend to it personally."
The quizzical expression, prompted Herman to expand.
"I've discovered that I'm very good at getting into people's heads. I freely admit, I do it for gaining ladies favor and so forth, but this time, I think I need to see to it personally."
Shara's eyes narrowed. Clearly, she didn't like the direction his idea appeared to be going.
"So, are you suggesting that you're going to 'date' my subordinate? I know you fancy yourself a ladies man, but using one of my pilots?"
Herman rubbed his forehead.
"Not quite, but I do think some aspects might be what I use." He looked at her dead in the eyes.
"I'm not after her for sport. This is strictly business." She still didn't seem to believe him.
"Look, from what I've gathered, taking this issue up with her head on may not be the best
approach, so another way of getting into her head is what I'm after. Once we know the full story, or at least more than we know now, don't you think we can better address it? If we can fix the problem, that's a lot better than pulling out a new team for a multitude of reasons."
Shara's hardened glare subsided.
"You're serious?" She asked matter-of-factly.
[L2 Colony Group/Colony A9]
Grey entered his apartment.
No one was home. He expected the typical ambush from Jamie's Haro, but even as he traversed deeper inside, no sound was heard. Of course, there couldn't be. When he walked past the living room and saw the round robot sitting on the coffee table with the back hatch open.
His mind flashed again.
Now, there K.T. sat, arms wrapped in bandages.
Her head turned toward him. Her face spoke apologies, sadness and agony.
"Why are you doing this to yourself?"
"Why?" She bit her lip.
A tear ran down her cheek. "I can't forget what I want to go away!"
Her fists balled tightly and her eyes clenched shut.
"It's in my head!"
Grey felt powerless. If he could reach his hand into her mind and cut out this cancerous nightmare that haunted her, he would.
He phased out of the memory and back to the present.
Now, he felt even more powerless. The relationship had not only been severed, but during the gap between the break up and coming to Sigma something had gone wrong, though in a new direction.
He heard the door open and footsteps.
Without looking, he knew Jamie had returned and he went over to the kitchen.
She was at the counter, unpacking the pair of bags she'd come home with. By the label on one, he knew it was likely some part for her Haro. From the other one she was unloading food.
She looked over her shoulder, beaming.
"Oh, hi, Grey. I didn't expect you to be back so soon."
By the time she was done, he'd rushed over to her, wrapping her in his arms.
"Wow." Jamie was surprised by the intensity of the embrace. "I'm glad to see you too, but let me--" She stopped when he spoke softly, yet firmly to her.
"Whatever troubles you, tell me. Tell me everything!"
[L2 Colony Group/Colony A6]
K.T.'s cell phone rang, and she answered after seeing the single Greek letter.
She was unaccustomed to being addressed with her last name, but she still replied.
"Good. Hey, this is Herman Avery, and I need to talk with you."
"Oh, just a few things."
"Should I come down now?"
"Don't bother, I'm coming over."
"What!" She wasn't ready for anybody, let alone one of the directors. "W-when?"
"How about you just open your front door?"
Herman was relaxed when she opened the door.
"Sorry, this is spur of the moment."
Still unnerved by the sudden arrival, she worked to recall some manners.
"Ah, Mr. Avery, why don't you come in?"
He smiled warmly, at the same time producing a hanging garment bag.
"Don't bother. I actually was thinking we might discuss it over some dinner."
To Be Continued
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