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 Post subject: Brother of Mine
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:08 pm 
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Okawara x Katoki Love Child

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:52 pm
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Location: Athens, GA
Hey, all. This is the beginning of what I hope to be a series of shorts. While not told in a linear, narrative fashion, they are all connected by a common theme. Can you guess what it is?

It actually began as something of an offshoot of something I posted on this same forum under the mantle Untitled 00 Prospect. I was sitting down to work on it when this idea burst out of my head fully-formed. I dropped the idea in heartbeat and devoted my energy to this one. Why do I mention this, you might ask? Consider it a spiritual successor. While I've scuttled the original idea of introducing Team Trinity much earlier and as potential replacements to the current Meisters rather than an entirely separate team, a lot of the ideas I hoped to explore there will be carried over here.

And remember that I'm a glutton for feedback, good, bad, or otherwise.


Brother of Mine: Irish Eyes


“So this is Ali Al Saachez?” The pilot rasped, his helmet suddenly two sizes too small and several degrees too warm for him. The cocktail of painkillers didn’t help at all, muddling his mind and making his one available eye (which just had to be his off eye, of course) swim with a disturbing lack of focus. He had done his best to work around the problem, of course, which was why he hadn’t bothered to make an attempt at sniping with the GN Arms Type-D. Unloading everything he had on the bastards had worked well enough, blowing away at least half a dozen aggressors and two of their mother ships.

And that was about the time the notorious mercenary showed up, ruining everything in a way that only he could. The lunatic had an almost supernatural gift for complicating things beyond all recognition.

Blanketing the area with ordnance and crude bombardment tactics wouldn’t be enough to deal with a pilot of that caliber. That distressing fact had become doubly true now that the gun-for-hire had gone about acquiring a Gundam of his very own, throwing open terrible new doors to vistas of power that he had no business visiting. A machine like that didn’t belong in Ali Al Saachez’s blood-stained hands. There was a reason the VEDA supercomputer had gone about selecting only the greatest candidates for the world-renowned (and despised) role of Gundam Meister.

They may not have been the best pilots in the Earth Sphere, but they were the best men for the job. War had taken its toll on each of the chosen four, sculpting them into the men they were today. They didn’t subscribe to ideas of national borders, religious rights, or ethnic superiorities. There was war and it had to be stopped, no matter the reason.

The man with the code name Lockon Stratos didn’t see eye-to-eye with frequent wing man (boy, really) Setsuna F. Seie all the time, but he could see why it was the boy took his role so seriously. Something about the thought of Ali Al Saachez in a Gundam put not only a fear in him for what that could possibly mean for a future, but a profound sense of disgust and even personal offense. He felt obligated to take someone like that out of the world.

That was so much easier said than done.

“Damn it!” He cursed again as he missed again. He had lost count of how many shots he’d thrown away, but that, in and of itself, was a problem. The Dynames was practically bleeding GN Particles at this rate. The words burst from his frustrated lips almost of their own accord. “Why don’t you stop running and fight me like a man, you coward?”

At that, the pale orange mobile suit shifted, looping through bands of fuchsia power like some sort of twisted carnival display. The Gundam Throne Zwei had now fully turned to face the rapidly approaching Dynames even as it continued bending and weaving through the hail of beam fire that lanced through the shrinking gap between them. It accomplished the same task as a pair of GN Missiles arced forward, leaving a harmless trail of shimmering green in their wake as the Throne twitched to one side.

“Sounds like fun, sniper boy!” The non-Meister’s voice crackled over the open line like a firecracker in stereo even as he urged his mobile suit forward in a vicious lunge. He drove the point home with a vicious, backhanded swing that sent particles flooding into the GN buster sword for extra momentum. The particle-laced carbon clashed with another band of GN Particles compressed into the shape of a saber. “Nice reflexes! I wouldn’t have expected that from a gun slut like you!”

“Oh, shut up!” Lockon snapped back, his beam sniper rifle sliding into place on the Dynames’ shoulder rack to get the cumbersome thing out of the way. As much as he’d been hoping the chance for a close range battle would give him an opening, the Throne had gotten too close too fast for him to use the rifle. “You think getting a Gundam of your own makes you better than me?”

“Not at all! I already know I’m better than you! The Gundam is just a bonus!”

As if to emphasize the point, the Throne’s arms uncoiled, forcing the Dynames bodily back. Lockon cursed at another clash of sword-on-saber which ended much the same. The bastard was knocking him around like a rag doll.

“The Gundam doesn’t make the man, Saachez!” The weapons met again, with the Dynames holding its ground. The weapons vied for power, each seeming poised to destroy the other, until the Throne’s leg shot out to send the opposing mobile suit careening back one more.

“Big words from a brat! Haven’t you and your little peacenik friends been getting by on those gimmicky Drives this whole time?”

That’s right, Saachez, Lockon thought darkly, moving the Dynames into position as the saber-wielding hand moved up to intercept the next strike and the other slid toward a port. Just keep on running your mouth. Talk yourself up so high you don’t even realize what’s going on in front you.

And that was when he saw it, the Throne surging forward with the mother load of murderous intent and very little caution to speak of.

The second saber burned to life in the Dynames’ right hand, ignited the second it came free. The first saber met the sword head on, neither gaining any ground. It didn’t need to. That wasn’t the point. The second saber was the knockout punch, taking the form of a wide arc that came around to bisect the Throne at the waist.

At least, that was the plan. Lockon hadn’t banked on Ali pivoting on the sword to bring his machine up and around so that one thick, particle-rich leg could absorb the impact of the stroke. Metal sizzled and boiled off like a tub full of water. Orange-red GN Particles spewed from the limb in a parody of a severed stump leaking blood. Most distressingly of all, Ali pitched his suit into another acrobatic maneuver as soon as the saber met the leg, knowing that limb was lost. It brought his mobile suit up and backward even as he squeezed off a string of particle blasts from the Zwei’s arm-mounted beam gun to force his opponent away, the Dynames sliding back and shifting to one side as a defensive measure.

“Ha!” Ali half-barked in naked joy. “Maybe there’s something to you losers after all! But I know that trick, too!” One of the Zwei’s rarely seen beam sabers burst to life in its left hand. And then it was surging forward less like a mobile suit and more like a force of nature accompanied by the sound of Ali’s manic laughter.

“I think I’m in trouble,” Lockon muttered to no one in particular.

And he was right. Metal and plasma exploded into a whirlwind as spectacular as it was deadly. The common man might not have seen anything deadly in the light show that was bound to get at least one of the men horribly killed. But Lockon knew the score. A year ago, people would have balked at the idea of a fanatical ideological group using never-before-seen mobile suits powered by a shimmering something in the pursuit of a world without war. That idea had died screaming.

So he knew not to take the Gundam Throne Zwei lightly. He knew it so well that he felt that sticky heat in his suit turn to a cold sweat when the enemy’s buster sword arced up to cross blades with one of his sabers and pop it loose with superior leverage. As much as he hated to admit it, Lockon realized that Ali knew exactly what he was doing.

A missile pod slid forward, purging its contents. The Throne halted its forward charge with a sudden burst of power backward, allowing the GN missiles to slip past its shoulder. Lockon cursed. Granted, he hadn’t really expected it to work, using it more as a means of warding the other pilot off, but it would have been nice if he could have blown off an arm.

And that was when the Fangs came into play again.

“ZOINKS,” Lockon muttered. He’d forgotten about those.

He should have seen that one. The Throne’s second saber came into play when he drew his own. Now that he had used his hidden weapons in a sword fight, Ali would do the same. Lockon hated his sense of humor.

The remote-controlled craft looped upward and sideways and all around, trailing crimson particles like some sort of nightmarish, sentient, bleeding cloud of comets. These things had overwhelmed Regene. Lockon wasn’t sure he could do much better, but he was going to give it his best shot.

Things actually went quite well, with the Dynames suffering any number of glancing shots that chipped away at its e-carbon armor, but not suffering any real damage. He even managed to eliminate four of them between his GN Vulcans, the sniper rifle as he drew it again, and even the saber when one of the Fangs came in fast and low from behind to stab his suit in the Drive.

“On your right! On your right!” The high chirp of the Haro support machine whined at him out of the blue.

“Where is it!?” He felt his chest go tight, his heart surely skipping a beat. The worst case scenario had come to pass. The UN was slowly picking them apart with their new pseudo-solar reactor-powered suits. His GN Arms were scrap. The Virtue had been trashed. The Kyrios was likely fighting far too many enemies for even trigger-happy Hallelujah to adequately handle. The Exia was God-knew-where. Team Trinity was history.

And now that murderous bastard had gleaned the blind spot in his vision after several minutes of battle. He was going to die.

The Fangs stabbed forward, first shearing off the Dynames’ right arm at the elbow in beam saber mode while the other destroyed the sensor-rich head with a direct hit. Lockon cursed, his body being jostled by the force of the blows. It made his eye flare up. It tossed his ribs into the console at his sides, biting his ribs, even as the pilot restraints threatened to snap his collar bones.

That was the worst of it. Lockon blinked in his good eye. He became dimly aware of Ali cackling and Haro reporting the severe damage. But that didn’t matter. He was still alive. Sure, the Throne was moving in to finish the job with a flourish, saber returned to its rightful recharge rack so it could perform a two-handed dashing stab. But he was alive. His machine had been shredded, barely worthy of construction duty let alone combat.

But Lockon Stratos still lived. And that meant he could still fight, still survive, still show this waste of skin why you didn’t make a game out of Celestial Being.

The Throne drew ever closer, with death at the tip of its blade. The particle-enforced metal would tear through his armor like a gratuitously big knife through butter.

He found himself rapidly scanning his mind for something, anything. He had the will, but was there a way?

Ali spat something smug and condescending, now so close the Dynames could almost reach out and touch the Throne.

Ah, there it was: The trump card.

“This had better be all it’s cracked up to be, old man!” He could hear his GN Drive cranking up its output so much that it overrode the sound dampening features that usually kept it quiet to anyone in the cockpit. The entire frame hummed with crimson power. “Trans Am!”

The sword sailed through an empty patch of space that was fairly unremarkable except for the fact that the Gundam Dynames had been there just a split second ago. But that was before Trans Am. With Trans Am, the Gundam, a furious red rather than its usual green, slid down and around the Throne that barreled forward, almost brushing against the Zwei even as it outmaneuvered the other machine. Then it was surging upward and twisting to right itself, no longer back-to-back but facing the machine’s oh-so-exposed rear. The GN Pistol came free of its holster at the Dynames’ hip.

All of this in one, fluid motion to put himself at Ali Al Saachez’s back with a gun that was armed and all but begging to be fired.

It went without saying that Lockon squeezed the trigger.

Ali, able to appreciate a good piece of fighting more than perhaps any other man on the planet, couldn’t resist the urge to say, “Well, looks like you’ve been brushing up on your Gun Fu.”

And then his world was filled with fire.

***

“I’ve confirmed the Gundam Dynames!” Felt Grace announced to her fellow bridge personnel, each of which felt a bit of their bottled up tension bleed away. Christina exhaled a massive sight while Lichtendal Tsery let out a nervous little chuckle. Even Lasse Aeon let his shoulders loosen a bit.

Incongruously, Felt didn’t seem any lighter than usual. Christina and Sumeragi Lee Noriega, the closest thing the ship had to a real captain, might have noticed if not for the slightly more pressing matter of keeping themselves alive.

“Dynames severely damaged! Dynames severely damaged!” Haro piped up so Sumeragi could factor it (or the lack of it) into her equations. As happy as they might have been to see one of their own coming home, the members of Celestial Being couldn’t allow themselves any more than a moment of respite.

***

If anyone had ever accused Lockon Stratos of being too cautious, he would have earned the right to give them a huge I-told-you-so after Operation Falling Angels. It was always best to err on the side of caution, he said. He was wiser than he knew.

The Assault Container had just left the ship when Ian Vashti, riding shotgun next to Lockon, spotted something sleek and silver gliding through the debris of Lagrange point 1 (L1). If not for Lockon’s insistence that he sortie in the Container with the Dynames as the power supply, it might have remained undetected until it was too late. If he hadn’t asked Ian to accompany him, he probably wouldn’t have picked out the machine moving amidst the refuse on his diminished right side. If not for all of those factors working toward a common goal of making sure everyone came home, three more lives would have been lost in the battle at L1.

But, as it was, Ian sent up a cry. “We’ve got a bogey!”

They fell into their roles, each a cog in the well-oiled machine. Lockon brought the Container around and was off like a shot to overtake the GN-X before it could cut any deeper into the ship’s airspace. He left the aiming to Ian who, despite his glasses, had two healthy eyes. Felt sent out an emergency signal to warn the few remaining crewmembers on the ship, even as Sumeragi continued scanning the latest Haro-generated report to bring her up to speed on the battle at hand. She couldn’t allow this one moment—terrifying as it was—to override all others.

“Go for it, Vashti!”

It needn’t be said, but it made Lockon feel better. The twin cannons atop the Assault Container erupted with their particle-rich payload. The beams lanced forward, for all the good they did. The GN-X detected the heat surge and reacted accordingly, turning the beam blasts into little more than beacon the pilot could trace back to the point of origin. The pilot wheeled his mobile suit in surprise, hastily expelling a flurry of panic fire.

So Lichtendal rammed the damn thing. At least, that was the intent as the ship lurched forward, which inspired nothing short of holy terror in the flustered pilot. It was the opening Ian needed. The next two shots hit pay dirt, shearing off both of the suit’s legs at the waist before detonating the fake Drive with a direct hit.

“Ohmigod!” Christina’s voice all but exploded through the Assault Container’s cabin as her face popped up on a communication screen. “We were almost toast! Thankyouthankyou!”

Lichtendal, slightly more eloquent under pressure, put in his two cents. “Thanks for lending a hand.”

Lockon, the first to recover, said what everyone was thinking. “What the hell was that, Lichty?”

The helmsman looked at them with total innocence, unable to understand why his four coworkers (even Felt) were looking so goggle-eyed. “What? I thought you guys were in trouble, so I figured I would lend a hand.”

“Lend a hand?” Lockon balked at the idea. “Did you forget the ship doesn’t have any weapons?”

Sumeragi, sensing a pointless conversation in the making as Ian rushed to defend the ship’s design ethics, cut them off at the pass. “We can quibble of who has what later. You two are coming aboard as soon as we dock. Contact Doctor Moreno. He’s coming, too.”

“But Miss Sumeragi—”

“The ship isn’t safe anymore,” she interrupted Felt, not unkindly. “If it makes it through this in one piece, we can head back. But the way things are now, it’s a giant target.”

Lockon felt his brow furrow in a mixture of concern and frustration. Was she going to use the Assault Container as an escape pod? He could see the logic in it; even agree with it on some level. Get the crew out before they got killed. It was an admirable desire.

But that meant leaving the battle and the Meisters as they were. The other three had their quirks, many of which grated on his nerves, but they were his comrades. He couldn’t stomach the idea of leaving them to die. In the end, it became a moot point.

A torrent of golden power spilled across space to core the ship like an apple.

***

“How are they, doc?” Lockon looked up from the rolling, twinkling sameness of space. It wasn’t like he needed to keep his eye on the road. They had left the shrapnel-strewn space of the battle behind them.

Moreno stripped the ever-present sunglasses from his face to rub at the bridge of his nose. “They’re healthy—mostly.”

“Mostly?” Ian parroted with an eyebrow cocked.

“No one’s going to die,” he explained, returning the glasses to his nose with a heavy sigh. “But there are some problems. Everyone’s exhausted, depressed, wiped out.” He waved a hand lazily, no longer having the energy to gesticulate wildly.

A melancholy settled in at that. Most everyone had secluded themselves in whatever nook or cranny of the tiny container they could find, whether it was Sumeragi to cry and wish she still had her booze or Regene to fume in silence. Lichtendal and Christina had fallen asleep, last he checked, so shocked by the near-death experience that they had precious little choice but to let it overwhelm them, if only briefly. Of course, for every sad soul crammed into the attack boat-turned-escape pod, there was a heart wracked with guilt at the men left behind.

Lockon tried to see the silver lining. It had paid off. His bull-headed insistence that he be allowed to rejoin the battle had ultimately allowed them to save three Drives and seven people from a wretched fate. They’d brought the craft around just in time to evacuate the ship of its last few occupants between shots from that monster mobile armor. By some miraculous stroke of luck, the beam cannon hadn’t struck any of the occupied sectors of the ship. Hell, even all of the Haro bots had made it off the ship in one piece, now floating through the rear of the ship in sleep mode. There was no way in hell the Dynames would be getting any repairs and everyone was just a little too on edge to deal with the robots right now.

He shifted his attention to Felt, who was perhaps the most pro-Haro person on the ship, as she cradled Orange in her lap. He didn’t look away quickly enough, her eyes catching his.

Things were about to get painfully awkward.

Theirs had been an awkward relationship, him a cocky pilot to her withdrawn analyst. It all began to change with a sympathetic ear and a few shared secrets. Then it changed even more, as he began to pick out all the little hints (unintentional as they may have been) that she saw him as more than a shoulder to cry on. And that could only end in tears. (Or so he’d told himself.)

Maybe he shouldn’t have rejected her, especially not in such a roundabout way. But he would always be her first kiss, and he would always feel slimy for it. He didn’t hold her down or black mail her into it, but it was still an under-handed move. Which was entirely the point. Who wanted to hang out with the sleazy guy who tried to seduce underage girls?

He expected her to leave the cabin rather than deal with him, maybe even tell Christina he was paying too much attention to her again. He visibly winced at the notion. The last time she’d done that, it had been a disaster. The older girl had all but ambushed him after an intervention, burying him in a wave of accusations and threats that she would get Lichty and Lasse to kick his ass.

Lockon certainly didn’t expect Felt to very quietly put Haro aside—almost like a mother with her child—and lean down next to him. He almost jumped when her helmet touched his. (He normally would have caught her in the periphery of his eye, but said eye was patched over.)

She had only a few, heartfelt words to spare, but they meant the world to him. They would never be lovers, but they could still be friends.

“I’m glad you’re alive, Lyle.”

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 Post subject: Re: Brother of Mine
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:30 pm 
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That battle between Lockon and Ali went sort of how I wish it had actually gone in the show.

If there's going to be more to this particular story, then I'll reserve judgment for the time being; but if not, I have to wonder what it really changes that Lyle is the man in the Dynames and not Neil. So far he didn't seem to do anything that I couldn't see Neil doing.

But as you know, I'm down for a good Lockon-lives story.


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 Post subject: Re: Brother of Mine
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:56 pm 
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Okawara x Katoki Love Child

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Quote:
That battle between Lockon and Ali went sort of how I wish it had actually gone in the show.

If there's going to be more to this particular story, then I'll reserve judgment for the time being; but if not, I have to wonder what it really changes that Lyle is the man in the Dynames and not Neil. So far he didn't seem to do anything that I couldn't see Neil doing.

But as you know, I'm down for a good Lockon-lives story.


Thank you for the input. There's more to it than a Lockon-lives story, although that is one side effect of the larger changes at hand.

At any rate, I'll admit it's not much right now. I really just wrote this one for the excuse of writing the last line. I also got to hint at some other things with a pair of name drops. Then I decided I wanted to write the fight instead of talk about it, and it jsut kept on growing after that.

There will be future installments, some of which touch on Lyle. Others will deal with Neil and even Amy. However, for the time being, the only real change is piloting styles. Lyle actually uses Trans Am (Neil never did, you may notice) and he seems to be better at close range combat. I don't think Neil's a bad pilot, mind you, but Lyle is a slightly better match for Ali. Neil was the sniper, while Lyle did his best work at mid/close-range firefights. The idea of Lyle-as-Lockon will (hopefully) be more striking when I have a chance to deal with him outside the cockpit.

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 Post subject: Re: Brother of Mine
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 12:43 am 
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I don't know if I'm missing something, but I can't seem to find the Edit function on this skin. Did it get lost in the upgrade? Guess I'll just double post

Brother of Mine: Betrayal in Purple (In the Name of VEDA!)

It began innocuously enough, with a comment made so lightly that it might have been small talk.

“Send me.”

It put Ribbons Allmark on edge all the same. He didn’t respond with words, but a faintly bemused look. He would give him just enough rope to hang himself.

“You know, I really would be better suited to this sort of thing than him.”

“I don’t have time to waste on your vagaries,” he turned his violet eyes away from his co-conspirator. There could be only one thing Regene wanted to discuss, but Ribbons wouldn’t have that chat with him unless he came out with it. Juvenile, perhaps, but marvelously effective. It was in the little ways he forced Regene to bend that he made the other chosen one aware of his place in the world.

“Meister,” the red-eyed one snapped, his irritation showing through. He immediately chastised himself. He prided himself on his poker face. For him to let it slip was to give Ribbons what cleaved incredibly close to sexual gratification. For one so smug, a sign of concession or inferiority was the ultimate rush. So he resolved to reign himself in and rob Ribbons of that pleasure.

“I think we both know I would be much better suited for the role of Gundam Virtue Meister than Tieria Erde.”

Ribbons was secretly glad he had turned his eyes dismissively away from Regene Regetta, or the other might have seen the look of surprise that spread across his face. He hadn’t been expecting that. Unexpected things bothered him more than he would care to admit. It made him look week.

By the time he turned to favor Regene with an artificially neutral look, his features had settled. “What makes you say that? He is a Meister-type, after all. He was born for this in the most literal sense.”

“Send a child into the world to do a man’s job?” Regene returned evenly, having expected that from Ribbons. “He may yet serve the Plan, as we all must, but he will be sub-par at best. If you send him, you merely send a soldier. If you send me, you can be assured everything will go as smoothly as possible.”

Ribbons chuckled at that. “Once I’ve persuaded Corner to seize VEDA, that will become a moot point.”

“And until then, your plans are fantastically fragile. Really, what were you thinking when you decided to play manservant.”

Ribbons suppressed the urge to strike him. It was an oversight on his part, a disgustingly large one. As useful a tool as Corner had proven, his overbearing pride made him somewhat difficult. He might have bowered to Ribbons at the end of the day, however unknowingly, but so long as he lived the delusion of self-importance, Alejandro Corner would never be quite malleable enough for Ribbons’ liking.

But he didn’t need to let Regene know that. “The role serves me well enough.” With that, he rose to move toward the door.

Regene now felt his own anger swelling again. Ribbons really thought he could brush him off so easily? He would have to go for broke.

“I’m surprised you didn’t take the opportunity to nominate me.”

It had crossed Ribbons’ mind more than once. Send Regene away, thereby removing a particularly loathsome pest from his life. But there were just as many things telling him not to.

Regene was shrewd, if nothing else. And that was the problem. On one hand, he would make any such attempts to remove himself from the ‘inner circle’ as long and difficult as possible. He would bank on his ability to annoy and frustrate being greater than Ribbons’ own resolve. The threat of such an ordeal was just enough to make Ribbons never wish to pursue it.

That same cunning had its uses, too. While Ribbons and Regene were too much alike to ever get along in any real way, they saw the pros of a continued partnership. Each used the other, furthering their own goals in the process, which tended to cut along such similar lines that it was rarely a problem. Territory and authority were the only real issues. They were both heralds of the Plan. Neither would move to strike it down. It was simply a matter of who stood at the top of the totem pole.

Yet the prospect of a willingly subordinate Regene was just too tempting to pass up. If he volunteered for this position, he wouldn’t put anyone through the ringer resisting it. And as intelligent as Regetta may have been, Ribbons would never want for brainpower so long as his own gray matter remained intact.

The only sticking point was a point of pride. Ribbons very much doubted Celestial Being would be revered, but on the off chance it should happen to earn a degree of respect… Regene would emerge as a hero of the revolution, the spearhead of the war on war. It pained Ribbons to think of it that way. Then again, it was often politicians and generals who went down in the history books, so perhaps there wasn’t quite so much to fear. Regene would be the footnote to the greatness of Ribbons.

“He’ll hate you for it,” Ribbons said at length. He had already made his decision, but he would drag it out, if only to see his response to this biting observation.

It worked like a charm, Regene recoiling as if threatened.

“Yes,” he grit out. “He will. But he will learn to appreciate me in due time.”

“I very much doubt that.” His smile grew broader as Regene’s frown deepened. “After all, you’re the one who snatched away his glorious role as avatar of the Plan.” He paused, letting Regene marinate. “But if that is what you truly desire most…then I will make the proper arrangements. Good day, Regene.”

***

Regene Regetta was most certainly not having a good day.

He fumed on a level he never thought possible. He had basked in the proud afterglow of a victory. He had frowned with disappointment when things didn’t quite go his way. But he had never truly felt anger on this level before this moment. He had strong feelings about Ribbons’ attempts to separate him from his other self. He recalled no small amount of ire at his helplessness during the Taklamakan intervention.

But this was entirely new realm of knuckle-whitening, soul-scorching emotion. Ribbons had sent him off to die. The possibility nagged at the back of his mind from the very beginning, only for it to fall by the wayside. So sure was he of VEDA’s guidance and the Virtue’s power that he quickly discarded the idea of a sacrifice as preposterous.

Ribbons went about dispelling that notion with a vengeance. Team Trinity could replace him should he ever fall. The UN’s newfound pride and power in the form of the pseudo-solar reactors came as a sign of Ribbons’ ambitious apathy. But the crowning moment of insult and sorrow came in the form of that blasted golden mobile armor and the suit within.

The would-be god sat upon a golden throne of wires and circuitry and firepower as he passed judgment on the entire world. Regene’s elder ‘brother’ had oozed a concoction of both boredom and fascination at his own genius. Regene couldn’t be sure how he had accomplished such a thing, but Ribbons had found a way to sound both disinterested in Regene’s liquidation—as if it were beneath him—and tickled pink at the notion that his so-called rival would die at his own hand after having jerked upon his strings for months on end.

There had been a silver lining in the Trans Am that he never could have predicted and the defeat he never saw coming, but, really, that was hardly a fair trade. As wounded as his pride may have been at losing a mobile suit duel, Ribbons would survive to reap the benefits of schemes. The GN-X squadron had seen sure to that, spiriting his broken mobile suit away to safety even as they picked over the Nadleeh’s corpse.

His glossy eyes rolled across the storage compartment of the Assault Container, dominated by the remains of the Dynames and two disembodied GN Drives. Three out of four wasn’t bad. No, that wasn’t bad at all, especially when one considered how many of their own had made it out of that battle with life and limb intact. Aeon was most certainly dead—he had witness the GN Arms exploding with his own eyes—and the other two Meisters had very little chance of success, but they were replaceable. For every member of Celestial Being, dozens of potential place-fillers.

He felt his lips quirk themselves into a hooked smiled. Yes, this would do nicely. He had been quick to think the battle a tragedy when it was only a setback. The supply depot at L3 remained, not to mention the extensive support network that made it all possible. Celestial Being had lost little more than a fingertip. And so long as Celestial Being lived, Regene would never truly be lost.

If Ribbons would be the patriarch sitting at the top of the UN, Regene would be master behind the resurgent Celestial Being. How marvelous it would be defeat Ribbons with his own castoff flesh. He would teach the serpent that shedding one’s skin was not always the best way to survive. Theirs was a plan centuries in the making. A few years of deviance would be swept away by the current of irresistible tradition and conspiracy.

Ribbons thought it the end of war. Regene mused that it was only the beginning.

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 Post subject: Re: Brother of Mine
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:52 pm 
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OMG Doomsday Laser

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:24 pm
Posts: 1289
Location: Near Rockets
I've just been able to log back in to MAHQ, so pardon being late.

Solidly written so far, even if there isn't that much yet. Better combat than I could do, which might mean I have a commission for you if you're interested.

Plot wise, I'd be interested in how far you take this, but I admit to being confused as to just who's a Meister and who's not; Tieria isn't/wasn't, apparently, and I notice you haven't mentioned Allelujah. Would be interesting to see the 4th meister confirmed.

You clearly indulge in your CB-lives, Ali dies scenario; I can't criticize because I've done it to, but it's still pretty apparent (even though I agree that trans-am should have decided the fight to Ali's detriment). Besides the obvious Lockon/CB crew surviving, I notice one other person of note apparently survived. Or at least I assume Darryl Dutch, the other Flag Fighter, survived, unless you killed him off-page elsewhere. If he survives as well, that's more butterflies.

Well, write more and what not.

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I'm sorry this letter is so long, but I did not have time to make it shorter. -Mark Twain

Official Jerid Fanboy


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