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 Post subject: Distant Winter: G Nova
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:49 am 
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Mecha Flunky
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Continues from Tomorrow Winter...


LOG 001: NOVA


On board the Proteus: 2051.02.13 (video mail of Ensign James Serac)

It’s a lot quieter now, though everyone seems to still be on edge. But who can blame them, nearly half the crew went nuts. Our ship was one of the lucky ones; we got to the saboteurs rather quickly and stopped them from further damaging the ship. The Geyes wasn’t so lucky though, we had to open fire and sink it, it’s just us and the Kottos now. It’s strange, nine hours ago there was this weird broadcast, and all of a sudden our own crewmembers flipped and tried to overtake the ship. But like I said, we’re one of the lucky ones, we got most of them quickly, the others just surrendered. Rumor has it Colony Zero-Two-Zero-Four was destroyed too. Cause of all the commotion, Captain is ordering us to dock in Usen, the Sons of Winter Capital, I can’t tell you all the details, classified ya know, the Alliance would have me locked up. But I’ll be sure to email again soon, tell the little dork I love em', and I love you too mom.

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

Cape Euren, Outside of Usen: 2051.02.14


Possibly the coldest place in Osea was the sea, since the Winter began the sea was similar to that of Earth’s Arctic region. The water could kill you if you were in it more than a minute, not to mention the glaciers. Carriers like the Proteus were always at risk of crashing; that is until the adaption of sea-based machina, such as the Maw, that could swim and cut through ice. These amphibious machines served as scouts for Ave Alliance vessels and proved highly successful.

Ensign James Serac drew his controls back causing his Maw machina to surface. The black and silver tinted unit continued to swim forward latching onto the surfaced section of a glacier. A section of its upper torso extended two parallel panels forward. “This is Dusk Shark preparing to fire plasma cutter…” The interior of the panels ignited with a white flash of energy. “Three… Two… One…” A second flash of greater intensity struck the ice and immediately forced it to split. The glacier’s mid-section hurriedly melted away and drifted into separate directions.

“That should do it Duskshark, return to the Proteus.” Maws slightly resembled the Titans, its few major differences were in its massive shoulders and shin placements. The shoulder modules hid-away a row of torpedo tubes, whereas these shin placements were reinforced to protect its propellers. Though the unit did posses feet, they were largely unnecessary seeing as the unit proved awkwardly slow on land pushing barely 40 km/h. Its hand and finger modules were merely clamps to grip the ice and debris within water; they possessed strength that could puncture most vessels though. It’s most unique variation was the plasma cutter which fired a single blast of intense plasmic heat, though possessing terrible range it served more as a tool then a weapon.

“Roger that Proteus.” The Ensign yanked at his controls once more maneuvering the Maw to flip backwards. Its propellers, built within an open section of its shins, churned and pushed it back to the ship. Coming up alongside the carrier, James guides the Maw into a series of cables that almost immediately haul him upward. Within minutes the cables safely lower the machine on the deck of the Proteus.

“Land hoe!” A fellow Ensign, Ravi Lazarus, stood just a few feet from James as he climbed from his cockpit to the hard deck.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” James gave his jacket a tug pulling it over him tighter, he was unable to zip it with the bulky pilot suit restraining him, so he tugged at it again hoping it would keep him warm. The chilling wind blew his short wild hair across his temples, his eyes were a nearly matched amber color.

“What, I heard they used to say stuff like that on ships a long time ago…”

“Fine whatever, just let them say it, you can shut up.” James blew into his hands making his way past Lazarus and took note he was not dressed in his flight suit. “Why are you here like that anyway?”

He shot him a grin, “Well we haven’t been ashore in a while, figured I’d go into town, and well ya know…”

James opened the bulk door into the ships interior, “Fraid that’ll have to wait, our orders were changed to standby, were going ashore, but not for pleasure.”

“Got d*mn it, I’m a man ya know, I’ve got needs.”

Serac waved him to approach the ship, “Com’on big guy, we’ve got work to do.”

Lazarus stuffed his hands away into his pockets entering the warmer temperature of the first floor of the bridge tower. “Ave Alliance doesn’t pay enough for this sh*t, it’s always cold, I almost die, then I can’t get any…”

“Who cares, your just gonna lock the door in your cabin and take care of yourself anyway.” The ensigns peer upward as a middle-aged gentleman makes his way down the flight of stairs. Even with the strong lighting this person was dark toned, deep voiced with a militant buzz cut to match. “Ensign Lazarus, get back in uniform.” James shakes his head watching as Jacob makes his way back for the mid-ship. “Sorry ‘bout the short notice James, Proteus is short handed as it is.”

“Its whatever…” The ensign leans back against the rail allowing Lieutenant Jacob Crowes pass him down the stairway. “What are the details on this assignment anyway?”

“Well this whole Heaven… I mean Aralei conflict is stirring up some major panic already, the way were organized now, those bastards could penetrate all the way to Nohlingen if they wanted. The Sons of Winter had been developing some new machina for us; Brass doesn’t want them to remain here any longer, Usen being neutral and all.”

James gives a feint sigh crossing his arms, “Yeah neutral until the highest bidder rolls around.”

“My thoughts exactly, it’d be too dangerous keeping those units here, good news is the Hammerheads will get first dibs.”

“Looks like all that fancy piloting finally paid off. Any idea on what it is?”
The Lieutenant gives a brief shake, “Looks like the ship is receiving an assortment of Strigion type machina.”

“Strigions huh, that’s the model capable of independent atmospheric flight right?”
“You familiar with it?”

“I’ve seen the prototype and read the reports, I didn’t realize it was being mass produced though.”

“Technically it isn’t, Proteus is getting the first dozen that are rolling out. Brass figured we might as well put them to good use.”

James throws a balled fist against his own flat palm, “A flying machina will give us a major advantage over those Titan stealing bastards!”

Crowes gives James a quick glare, “Don’t get to carried away though, your still gonna need to become familiar with it.” The Lieutenant buttons the collar of his uniform, “Let’s not dawdle for long, we’ll be docking soon. It’s gonna be cold in town, you sure you wanna stay in that jumpsuit?”

“It’s warmer than the uniform, less itchy too…” Both chuckle.

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

Usen Port was one of the few real cities that remained, its city ran along the ocean as the only other port city in Ouren. Being the Sons of Winter capital was fairly technologically advanced, well at least with the technology that was left. Though it was different than most settlements, Usen’s streets were not busy with cars like before the winter, though it did possess a mass transit system to make for this. Many vehicles were confiscated by their own factions to supply for metal to repair their home territories, or strengthen their military. The city was naturally cold running along a wintry ocean; it of course didn’t help with the occasional light snow such as todays.

The Proteus and Kottos were moored to the dock and was already busy resupplying and repairing, at least that’s what James Serac could see from the rearview mirror. Lieutenant Crowes, Lazarus, himself and a few other pilots were truck bound to Warehouse twelve, a small Ave Alliance garrison was stationed there. He’d known across the dock somewhere was a equally small Arganac garrison, though he’d never seen it in person.

Ravi placed a hand on James’s shoulder already shooting him a scheming smile. “Maybe if we hurry this up we’ll get some free time.”

The Lieutenant was already shaking his head in disagreement, “Doubt it Lazarus, were waist deep in war ya’ know.”

“Yea but boss, this is Usen, this is as about as neutral as it will get.”

The truck pulled up alongside the Warehouse entrance, though with a closer look inside had shown this warehouse was in truth a hangar. The cluster of pilots: Hammerheads and the secondary pilot team Blueboys, entered the hangar. The group was greeted by an older gentlemen who was holding a clipboard in hand.

“Hello, hello we’ve have been expecting you, I am Lieutenant Jocore, lead engineer on this garrison.”

Jacob extended his hand to meet engineer’s, “Likewise I’m Lieutenant Jacob Crowes, this is Ensign James Serac, and Ensign Ravi Lazarus. The group behind me are the Blueboys, they’ll be accompanying us in the transfer.”

“Right right, if you’ll follow me Lieutenant…” Jocore’s voice seemed to trail off as he and Crowes had headed in a different direction.

The ensign duo peered upward at the dozen of Strigion machina lined up along the hangar interior. Each one still fitted into their maintenance frame as the final touches were being applied for transfer. They had already been painted a sleek black and silver design noting their allegiance to the Ave Alliance. Their build was different from that of the standard Titan, it was thinner and its frame obviously lighter. They were each equipped with booster modules, though these modules had wings that extended outward an easy 20 feet each side. The wings possessed six hardpoints in total as well as a perpendicular jet engine housed at each tip.

Its main camera was a squared module housed atop the upper torso, a metallic fin was fitted atop the camera for looks or aerodynamics. Its crouch region possessed two additional thrusters at its front and back angle, possibly for stability control, vertical, or even short takeoffs. The unit was especially light on armor around its legs, there appeared to be no joint reinforcement of any kind, though it seemed possible the legs could’ve folded back during flight. One of the dozen units had its forearm exposed revealing an internal gun placement, from the ammunition it appeared to be a twin barrel 20mm Vulcan gun.

“This thing is a piece of work…” James broke the silence approaching one of the units.
Ravi’s eyes wandered eyeing a young woman heading towards a separate section of the hangar, “…she sure is…”

James continued, “I mean this vertical stabilizer is such a beast, can you imagine the maneuverability an airframe like this could possess?”

“Yea.. uh huh…” Ravi began to follow in the direction of the young woman.

“Hey are you even paying attention?” James’s question was immediately answered when he turned to find Ravi gone, he adjusted his sight catching sight of his partner chasing after someone into the darkened section of the hangar. “Ravi? Ravi!” He took chase after him at full sprint, though collided with Ravi misjudging the distance. Losing their balance the two fell forward through a line of curtains the split the hangar into two.

“Hey you two!” The young woman made herself known, she was young with a frame that looked very slender in her Alliance uniform. A quick glance at her ranks shown that she was an officer, a second glance had shown her strawberry bowl cut hair. “Can you go play somewhere else, some of us has work to do!”

James hurriedly stood to his feet and gave a brief salute, “I apologize ma’am!” He shot a quick glance at Ravi, “Stand up!” He brought his attention back to the female officer, “Ensign James Serac, once again I do apologize Lieutenant…” He paused.

“Lieutenant Kay Nova, at ease ensign.” She relaxed a bit, “Just be careful, there’s a lot of sensitive equipment in here.” She paused a moment realizing she hadn’t seen these officers before. The garrison was very small, and there weren’t many pilots around. “What are you even doing here anyway?”

Ravi took a step forward, “Ensign Ravi Lazarus, we’re a part of the team picking up your Strigion machinas.”

Kay gave smiled a bit, “You’re the hammerheads I presume?” She chuckled a bit, “You must be Houndshark, there aren’t many mechanized naval squads, and stories do travel fast.”

Ravi’s jaw dropped, “I see my reputation precedes me.”

“More than you know.” She turned back to James, “And you must be the Duskshark, I heard about how you singlehandedly kept the submarine, Phoenix from sinking, long enough for its crew to be rescued.”

James chuckled reaching behind his head to scratch, “Oh yeah?”

She brushed her hair aside, “My brother was aboard that vessel, you’re alright in my book.” She brushed her hair aside.

James let a genuine smile grace his lips, while Ravi’s faded away. His eyes quickly wandered behind the Lieutenant and to the massive machina attached to the maintenance frame behind her. There were several different things about the unit, though its most outstanding feature was its face. Not the usual large camera, but two red tinted eyes housed in a humanoid like head. “If you don’t mind me asking Lieutenant Nova, what is that unit?”

Kay turned back briefly and suddenly remembered the machine behind her. “Oh, that’s our long working project; it’s a machina powered and capable of controlling the vector field of newtons per coulomb or, equivalently, volts per metre. It directly effects the strength of the field at a given point thus defining as a force that would be exerted on a positive test charge of plus one coulomb placed at that point; the direction of the field is given by the direction of that force. This contains an electrical energy with energy density proportional to the square of the field intensity. The electric field is to charge as gravitational acceleration is to mass and force density is to volume.”

Ravi stares blankly at the Lieutenant then clears his throat, “Yeah, I totally understand, but my buddy here is a little slow so try and slow it down for him.”

Kay sighs and begins again, “This unit has the ability to utilize electromagnetic fields.” She brings her hands together, “Imagine a machina that uses an energy source that is free and abundant, it can never run out of power and never needs to be recharged. Then imagine that it can bend this energy to the pilot’s will.”

James scratches at his chin, attempting to understand, “Everything has an electromagnetic field, people, buildings, machina. If I understand you correctly, this thing…”

Kay interrupts briefly “Gundam…”

James nods, “This Gundam can control magnetic flow.”

Kay gives a nod, “Roughly, but yes.”

Ravi takes a closer look at it examining its red and white angular build. “If this thing is so amazing, why isn’t this baby on the front line.”

“Because it’s highly unstable.”

James tries his hand at explaining, “I’m guessing because you’re having trouble manipulate this Gundam against the planet’s own gravitational field, am I correct?”
Kay nods once more, though a smile surfaces, “That is correct ensign.”

“There you two are!” The booming voice of Lieutenant Crowes easily caught the duo’s attention. “Hey, looks like only unit one and two are configured at the moment, the rest of the birds can’t move until tomorrow.” He shoots Ravi a brief smile, “Looks like you’ll get your wish Lazarus.”

Ravi smiles back and immediately turns to Kay, “So ma’am, that means I’ll be in town for the night, you busy?”

Kay winces at the young ensign, “Looks like I do now…” She turns to James, “So how ‘bout it, wanna discuss some my theories over dinner?”

James gives a soft chuckle, “Sure, I’d like that miss Nova.”

On board the Gaia: 2051.02.14

A thick billowing fog had rolled in over the Euren Cape concealing the slowly creeping craft. Nightfall was merely an hour away, though the Gaia had plenty of cover with the fog alone. Commander Cadmus entered the bridge where Captain Leander was patiently waiting.

“This Intel better be accurate Cadmus”

“Yes sir, my agents tell me the Alliance has twelve units of the new Strigion model, a flight capable machine.” He approaches closer, “From what they tell me only two are currently functional, a third will be combat ready in a few hours.”

Leander rubs his chin, “These new machines would do well in the Empress’s army, what of the other units?”

“Why we destroy them along with the Alliance base, and vessels docked. With your word, Asta’s team will move in and protect my agents while they steal the Strigion machina, and the Gaia can open fire on the docked ships.”

The Captain nods in agreement, “I’ll grant you permission, though if this operation fails, it will be you, not me who suffers Cadmus.”

A smile graces the Commander’s lips, “Fail? We’ve already won Captain.”

_________________
Tomorrow Winter


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 Post Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:12 pm 
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Mecha Flunky
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LOG 002: UNDER COVER OF DARKNESS

Aboard the Proteus, Commons Room: 2051.02.14
James slapped his hands on his cheeks rubbing in the tingling aftershave; the Alliance navy wasn’t too hard on them nowadays about keeping kempt, though the young ensign decided to shave for the occasion. He ran his hand across his reflection keeping the steam from fogging it up again. Though he had a decent view of what was behind him, he was unable to dodge the towel that’d be thrown at him.

Ravi gave a loud laugh watching his buddy remove it. “How in the hell do you get a date with the Lieutenant, I mean I did all the work, and you get to play, bad form my friend, bad form.”

James sighed continuing his business in the mirror, “It’s not a date, though Kay is easy on the eyes.”

Ravi snorted in protest, “Oh yeah, you’re discussing theories…” He mocked, “Well I’ll tell you what, I got a few theories I want to discuss with her.” He fell backward slamming into the bench opposite James, “That body, her little walk…” he lifted his hands up as if to cup the air, “Her breast are kinda small, but I would still put it to her…” His eyes closed with such strong laughter, he reopened watching James open his locker.

“Ever heard of tact?” He slipped on a black thermal, then a black nylon jacket. He then smiled as he began to zip it up, “Or maybe, you’re just jealous I got a date with Miss Nova?”

Ravi sat up straight, “Whoa whoa, you said it wasn’t a date!”

James chuckled lightly as he exited the room, “It’s not, but messing with you is entertaining.”
Running to the door to catch him, “Don’t you skip on any details, I want to hear about it all!”

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

Lieutenant Crowes entered bridge of the Proteus carrying two cups of coffee. Through the row of dark windows, Jacob could see one or two stars at best in the foggy night sky. Though it was night, the mid-deck was still active with the ship’s standby crews, the bridge was no different. Aside from the three men of the ship’s observation team, the Captain was sitting barely awake at his post. Jacob made himself known, “Navy special, black and strong enough to clean engine grease.”

Captain Gabriel Wray snagged the mug and immediately took a sip. “Thanks Lieutenant, haven’t had any sleep since the coup, don’t want to lose the helm.”

The Lieutenant took a seat some feet away, “Well what good is a sleepy Captain when the enemies do show up?” He took a sip of his own, “Besides we’re at port, we should take advantage.”

“Same could be said about you Crowes.”

He chuckled, “Decided to cover for my squad, let them enjoy tonight, they can cover me when were out at sea again.”

“Good thinking, it’ll probably be a long while before we see land.”

Jacob adjusted himself, “New orders Captain?”

He nodded, “H.Q. has ordered us to locate the enemy carrier Gaia.”

“The ship from the report?”

Wray nods, “All the rumors are true, it can fly and it did destroy colony zero-two-zero-four. Arganac reports indicate that it was last seen heading out to sea towards the north. Ave Alliance and Arganac ships have spread out waiting to intercept in all directions.”

“Even with our combined ships, we’re looking at sixteen vessels total, minus two since we’ve docked here.” Crowes lets out another relenting sigh. “Let’s just hope they haven’t established a port of their own over the years, the bastards built a ship that far exceeds our expectations, and already crippled our military force over night.”

“I understand the situation Lieutenant, were all in the same boat here.” Wray stood up stretching a moment, “Looks as though this coffee isn’t going to do the trick, I’ll be turning in, Peters you have con.”

“Aye sir!”

Before exiting the bridge, the Captain gives Crowes a quick nod, “With the Strigion units, we’ll be pursuing the Gaia; things will turn for the better Lieutenant.”

The Lieutenant salutes, “Sir!”

Usen Harbor, Hangar Twelve: 2051.02.14
An engineer was finishing up the final diagnostics on Strigion unit three, he peered down as another was checking up his progress with a personal console. “Looks like that’ll be it for this one.” The engineer climbed down giving his comrade a quick glance just before nodding together. The first engineer checked his watch, and then looked to the hangar’s opening. “Just seven more minutes…”

Across the hangar behind a white curtain, Ensign Serac and Lieutenant Nova were sitting at one of three desks that had been oddly placed within the darken hangar section. James’ eyes ran across countless documents and crumpled notes that detailed the mysterious machina Kay nicknamed Gundam. Opposite him was the Lieutenant who was just watching him go over her materials. She was dressed downed in her civilian clothes, a simple blouse and jean pants complimented with a jacket and scarf. It was cold outside, but just as cold within the steel hangar.

James shook his head tossing a note aside, “It’s almost too much to take in, I’m not exactly an expert in quantum mechanics.” He brushed his hair aside picking up another document, “How does this thing sustain so much electromagnetic energy at such a constant wavelength?”

Kay gave a short sigh, “That’s the problem, it really doesn’t.” Pushing the work pile aside with an open binder, “We’ve fitted a stabilizer that works as a vector field, helping control the strength and direction of some of the magnetic force. But even with this stabilizer, the Gundam has only had a maximum performance time of eleven minutes.”

“Well what about the pilot reports?” James shuffles another document to the top of the pile, “Hallucinations, what exactly is this?”

“The cockpit itself is a conductor used to channel the electromagnetic field along with the unit, one of the test pilots claimed he could see other electromagnetic anomalies that dictated the position of other beings. Now I don’t doubt that the unit could detect other macania using electromagnetic current, but the pilot himself couldn’t possibly have seen it with the naked eye.” Kay took another breath of air as she let herself fall back into her chair. “I think I’m letting myself get overworked.”

James chuckled a bit setting some papers back into a pile, “Well it’s about eight o’clock, how bout’ that dinner you promised me?”

Kay chuckled along with him, “Your right, I’m sorry, lemme shut off the Nova’s systems.”

“Nova? You named the unit after yourself?”

Kay began to climb the maintenance frame calling back to the ensign, “Gundam Nova, I think it has a nice ring.

“Why call it a Gundam ma’am?”

“It’s a reference to the Gundanium alloy that is reinforced along its key structural points and joints. It’s twice as durable as tungsten and highly heat resistant; problem is there’s less twenty tons on the entire planet. The other engineers just starting calling it Gundam, and I added Nova.” Kay struggled a moment attempting to close the cockpit door. “Thus Gundam Nova.”

James hustled over hurriedly climbing the maintenance frame, “Hold on, I can get that.”

“No…” Kay shooed him away still struggling to close it. “I can get it, I’ve done it a million times.”

“Maybe…” James continued to climb nearly matching her height, “But I bet you’ve never closed it with the locking peg still engaged.” He pointed upward showing the Lieutenant that hatch was indeed locked open.

The Lieutenant began to blush as she reached upward to disengage the lock. “Right… I…” Her fingers slip, causing her to lose her balance and fall head first into the exposed cockpit. Reacting quickly, James leapt upwards gripping onto the maintenance frame, then leapt a second time but into the cockpit. His knee slammed against the back of the console forcing the rest of his body to sling forward and slam into the Lieutenant’s. “Ensign!?”

“Sorry ma’am, I… well… lost…”

“Just try and back… oh… up!”

“Sorry… oh… sorry…”

James lifted himself trying to back out the cockpit, whilst giving the Lieutenant the freedom to turn around within the confined space. The ensign’s pained knee forces him down once more this time atop the Lieutenant’s front. “Sorry…” The two of them look away momentarily, though both find themselves drawn back to look, it is silent for several moments.

There is a sudden noise from across the hangar as a several maintenance frames are released simultaneously. Kay straightens up quickly attempting to look by the ensign to see outside, “Are those the Strigions? They shouldn’t be cleared to launch right now.” James hurriedly slides backward letting the frame catch his feet. Kay follows rushing down to the hangar floor, literally hitting the ground running; she rushes past the curtain where the Strigion units were held.

Several tremors shake the building as three of the black tinted macania begin to exit the hangar, “Those shouldn’t be running right now.” Lieutenant Nova rushes toward a service phone and hastily dials the garrison h.q. “Sound the alarm, Strigion’s one, two and three are leaving the hangar, I repeat Strigions one, two, and…” A sudden chain of explosions interrupt her. She witnesses the blazing light from the hangar door as several unknown projectiles strike outside. The force from the blast rips Kay from the phone and skids along the ground.

“Kay!” James skids along the ground towards her and then quickly grabs her cheeks to check her pupils, she gives an empty stare up into the ensign’s eyes; they slowly become unresponsive.

Aboard the Proteus: 2051.02.14
“The Kottos, she’s been hit!” Peters screams aloud. His movements are frozen, forgetting his immediate duties.

Lieutenant Crowes, who had still been within the bridge ran towards the monitor observing the fireworks display just outside. “Is she sinking?”

“No… no… its stern took a nasty hit though…”

The Lieutenant reaches for the console and flicks a quick switch before yelling himself, “All hands report to battle stations, this is not a drill. I repeat: all hands reports to stage one battle stations!”

Ravi rushed into the brightly lit bridge, his face was deafly pale watching with his own eyes the destruction outside. “What the?” He was still dressed in his civilian clothes, lucky for the ship he hadn’t left yet, unlucky for him it was back to work. “Is it those bandits?”

Crowes rushed by hit and yanked at his collar as he passed, “Didn’t you hear me, get your ass to the macania deck and launch right now!”

“But Lieutenant, where are they attacking from? The Proteus only has Maw units, and we can only fight what’s in the water.”

Crowes gave another yank at his clothing pulling him outside, “D*mnit Lazarus, that doesn’t matter, you always get out there and do what you can. We can’t fight them in the air, but you can still fight them in the water and on the land, and as a pilot in this navy you will do it. Do I make myself clear?” Ravi is silent a moment, “Do I make my-f*cking-self clear!?”

“Aye Sir!”

The two head down the corridor as Peters yells to them, “I’ll update you on the situation once you reach the hangar!” He turns his head back to the large window overlooking the harbor. Even with the smoke and confusion he can make out several red Titan units making their way across the dock towards the Ave Alliance garrison. “Red Titans? No, those are Aralei units.” His eyes wander elsewhere, “Observation team, track where those missiles are coming from!” Peters snaps to a realization suddenly as he tracks the enemy’s movements, “Get the garrison commander online, they’re after the Strigion units!”

“Petty Officer Peters!” One of the observation crew suddenly snaps, “Tracking the missiles over five thousand meters offshore to the east, looks like their using the fog for cover.”

“We can’t wait for the Captain, we have to open fire!” Switching the comm. station over, “Bridge to fire control.” There was only silence to meet the petty officer, it was still possible no one was on station just yet. Every second that passed gave the enemy more opportunity to open fire on the Proteus.

“Bridge, this is fire control.”

Peters’ heart rose, “Prepare to open fire upon receiving coordinates!”

“Roger that bridge, accepting coordinates.”

A moment passes as information is downloaded from the observation team fire control. Through the window several large gun barrels could be seen adjusting their position as the data told them so. It is only a moment after that the guns drum fire one by one. Though it was hard to track the plumes of smoke, they could easily see where the ordinace traced through the fog. The thick wall of mist suddenly sweeps away as the ordinace explodes on target, or at least near it.

Peters watches in amazement as the shells explode several feet from their target, a large hovering ship. “Did they not hit?”

“No sir, there seems to be some kind of force field around it.” He pauses, “Ship identified sir, it’s… it’s the Gaia!”

Peters slams his hand across the console as he yells into the comm., “Fire again!”

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

Ravi closed the Maw’s hatch as the cockpit lit to life. He was still in his civilian clothes, there just wasn’t any time to change. He hoped that just equipping some gear he’d be more than prepared. His radio came to life shortly after listening between Lieutenant Crowes and the Proteus’s bridge.
Peters voiced came greeted the pilots, “Okay, we’ve confirmed multiple red Titans ashore, we’ve got three heading in this direction. Those three will be your focus, the Proteus will focus its attacks on the Gaia.”

Ravi drew in a deep breath, “Roger that Proteus.” He maneuvered his unit atop the freight elevator, bringing his and the Lieutenant’s unit to the top deck. “We should be able to leap off the portside and hit shore, but how are we gonna take the three of them on land?”

”We’ll draw them in with the grappling cables, those Titans may have land advantaged, but as soon as we close the gap they’ll be in our hands.” Crowes maneuvered his unit’s hand clamping, then opening several times to case his point. “Literally.”

“Right, what about ensign Serac?”

“We’re still trying to reach him, the garrison is already under attack, so he may be caught up out there.”

The two units reach the top deck and make their way towards the portside, Crowes unit has point. “Don’t worry, we’ll hold them off til base support arrives.” The two units lower themselves in prep for their jump. “Jacob, Hammerhead, launching!”

“Ravi, Houndshark, let’s rock!”

Euren Cape, Outside of Usen: 2051.02.14
Lieutenant Junior Grade Asta watched from her cockpit at maximum magnification, the destruction that had been taking place. The fog forced her to use the monitor’s thermal vision, though she couldn’t complain really, it had covered their entrance. She was accompanied by two red Titans, though she had requested that she would work alone her request had been declined. The rest of the Gaia’s units were attacking the Ave Alliance, and Arganac forces. The two accompanying her were from some other ground support unit or whatever, as long as they didn’t get in her and the Dione’s way.

She could make out muzzle flashes in the distance to her left, the fog had concealed another battle just off the port. Though unable to see the conflict, the radio told them everything she needed to know. The enemy ship had opened fire and was probably finding the Gaia’s shield highly resistant. Unfortunately there were too many targets for the Gaia to focus on, keeping it from making a decisive blow to the Proteus or Kottos. The vessel wasn’t exactly a pushover though, the shield would take some good punishment before they would have to retreat.

Asta let out a sigh as she crossed her arms, there was still no confirmation that Vulture team had successfully escaped the hangar. The current phase was taking longer than expected; if the reports were correct, the Strigion units should have a major advantage once airborne. “What’s taking so long?” She adjusted her monitor attempting to locate the units, but still there was nothing. “Enemy resistance might be too thick, the longer we wait here, the less our chances of success.”

She flipped a switch contacting the ship, “Gaia, requesting permission to advance on the Alliance garrison and get our units out of there.”

“Request denied Asta, losses have not yet met minimal standards, you are to remain on standby.”

She slams her fist against the console, “Minimal standards? F*cking Leander, are you so worried about your precious combat record that you’d sacrifice our comrades?” She adjusts the controls, readying the Dione to take off, “The two Titans can stay here, if anything passes me, I deserve to be punished!” The Dione’s thrusters flare up into a white blaze, “Asta, Dione, Go!” Her unit rips a burst of white light as it cuts through the fog towards the commotion.

_________________
Tomorrow Winter


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 Post Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:21 am 
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Mecha Flunky
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LOG 003: ELEVEN MINUTES… MAYBE.

Usen Harbor, Hangar Twelve: 2051.02.14
Lieutenant Kay Nova blinked showing signs of life once more. The back of her head was thoroughly sore and her vision wasn’t doing much better either. A few more blinks enabled her to just make out the shape of James’ face. The ensign placed a hand on Kay’s chest easing her to stay down, “Not too fast ma’am, you took a nasty fall.”
Her vision wasn’t quite back yet, though she knew it was the ensign, “How… what… the Strigions?”

“They’re outside; I’ve locked down the hangar so no one else can get in.” He took a second glance at the entrance, “Not sure how long the blast doors are gonna hold though.”

“I don’t understand…”

“Looks like some of your engineers were Aralei rebels. And now they’ve got enemy Titans outside, I think they’re after the remaining Strigions.” James lifted Kay to a sitting position, “I don’t get why they didn’t just destroy them when they were leaving.”
Kay reached behind her head and rubbed slowly, “Probably because none of them are armed, their armaments are in another warehouse.” Using James, she brought herself to standing height. “We have to get out here.”

“No…” James grabbed her shoulder pausing, “…I need you to help me operate the Gundam.”

Kay’s faced suddenly changed along with her stance, “Wha… no, no, no, I can’t, you can’t pilot the Gundam. I’m sorry but you’ll have to pilot something else.”

Pointing off to the Strigions, James gave a quick look between them, “None of these are even calibrated, and it would take too long to do so either. There are no other capable machina in this hangar, when they break through the blast door, and they will, they’ll probably come after the Gundam too!” He grabbed both of her shoulders getting her attention, “We’re running out of time and options ma’am!”

Her gazed averted away, anywhere else but James’ eyes. She knew he was right, but it was a risk she’d rather not take. “If I help you, try to keep it near the hangar, as long as it’s for defense I don’t mind.” She slipped away from the ensign making her dash for the darken hangar section. Kay hurriedly climbed the maintenance frame and towards the console. “I’ll need some time to get it running, hurry up and get into the cockpit and boot up.” James nodded as he began to climb the frame making his way to the cockpit. “Just remember like I told you earlier, once this thing is running, you’ll have eleven minutes… maybe.”

Usen Harbor, Outside the Proteus: 2051.02.14
Jacob’s Maw unit skidded to a halt upon landing ashore; he was immediately followed by Ravi Lazarus who skidded just to his right. Crowes could already see the three incoming Titans, making their way to the ship. Each fired from their 30mm autocannons which covered their approach. With no effective way to counter, Crowes and Lazarus took cover by some of the small buildings.

“Lazarus!” Crowes chimed in over the radio, “Head right, and see if you can draw one or two of them towards you. Just be sure to keep an eye on them if they start to close in.”
“Roger that!” Ravi started off heading right, which immediately caused one of the Titans to split off from the group and take chase. At full speed the ensign struggled to achieve a mere 42 km/h, competing against the Titan’s 90 km/h he was already losing. Ravi watched his radar as the gap closed between the two of them, 50 meters, 37 meters, 30… Stray fire pecked around his unit, though with the Titan running it couldn’t make an accurate shot. “Com’on Hound just a little more…”

With less than 12 meters between them, Ravi hastily forced the controls in opposite directions. His Maw spun around awkwardly and reached out with its right arm, it suddenly fired a grappling hook at the pursuing Titan and pierced its shoulder. Shortly after the hook began to reel into the arm once again. The Maw locked itself into the dock as it drew the Titan closer. The Titan pilot reacted attempting to lock itself into the dock as well, though with less success than its husky opposite. The enemy’s feet sparked wildly as it was still dragged through the metal earth, the metal warped against the powerful tension with screeching restraint. The Titan’s right arm was suddenly wrenched free sending the rest of the unit falling forward. Maw continued to reel obtaining its foe’s right shoulder, arm, and its autocannon.

“Looky here!” Ravi taunted waving the arm before the fallen unit.
The pilot reacted ignited its booster unit launching it forward into Ravi’s Maw unit. The ensign hurriedly engaged the brakes once more, though to no avail this time. The two skidded hundreds of feet until finally the two went over the dock and into the freezing water. The Maw hit the water first with a powerful splash that slammed Ravi's head against the back of the cockpit. The two began to separate as they slowly drifted downward together. With the Titan’s remaining hand, it unsheathed its proximity blade and accelerated a second time downwards towards Ravi.

“No you don’t!” The Maw reacted flawlessly catching the Titan’s arm just under its wrist. “You see, in the water, I am king.” The arm suddenly imploded from the Maw’s extreme grip, sending shrapnel adrift. “Hope they got a hell where you’re from.” Two panels extended outward from the Maw’s torso and began to charge, after a few seconds there was a brilliant flash of plasma energy which sheered the Titan into two distinct sections. Engaging his propellers, Ravi navigating himself upwards towards the surface…

Rewinding back, as Ravi ran to Crowes’ right; Crowes blindly fired his grappling hook, through the very building he’d been using for cover. It missed, just as the Lieutenant expected, though it wouldn’t slow him down. The two units continued to advance concentrating their fire on Crowes. Jacob drew in a deep breath trusting the integrity of his cover, it only needed to hold out just a few moments longer. Click, click, click… The two Titans ran dry and nearly together began to replace their ammunition.

Crowes took this moment and started running left, he continued to let the steel grappling cable stream from his right arm. His path curved a bit, as he began to strafe the two units as far as he could. The lead Titan pilot drew its autocannon back up to chest level and began to open fire, his comrade did the same. The Lieutenant squeezed a trigger on the right control stick forcing the cable to retract, it did so wrapping and tightening around the Titans legs. With a quick and powerful jerk, the two Titan units toppled over one another and collided with the ground.

The cable retracted completely, through Crowes was already on a course towards the downed Titans. The lead Titan pilot quickly adjusted himself firing onward from the ground and into the Maw’s torso. The Lieutenant reacted diving forward and sliding along the ground for several feet. Flipping a switch, the Maw’s left shoulder module swung open revealing a row of torpedoes. “Hammerhead, torpedo-one fire!” A swift press of the button sent a torpedo sliding along the dock in a trail of sparks as metal struck metal.

The lead Titan pilot adjusted his fire again attempting to hit the oncoming target. The second pilot engaged his thrusters launching him along the dock hundreds of feet away just as the make-shift missile struck his leader. The metallic beast erupted into a powerful tremor which cratered that very section of dock.

Ravi hobbled itself back upon the top side of the dock. Through the monitor he eyed the remaining Titan struggle to its own feet. Its back was heavily damaged from the boost, not the pilot’s best idea, though he was still alive… for now. The red giant brought its weapon to chest level once more taking aim at the still downed Crowes. It opened fire dancing a trail of bullets across the dock to Crowes’ machine. Just before hitting though, its bullet trail suddenly darted off to the right effectively missing the Lieutenant.

Crowes peered through his monitor watching Ravi’s Maw grapple both of the red Titan’s arms and holding them away from its body. The Titan pilot of course struggled to get himself free, though it only proved futile to the Maw’s superior glacier-crushing strength. Its two panels on the upper torso extended a second time preparing to fire its plasma cutter. At this, Crowes diverted his eyes not wanting to catch the blinding flash; though even with eyes closed there was still a distinctive burst of energy. Returning his vision before him, he watched as the Titan’s now bright orange mid-section collapse upon itself.

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

“What was that?” Asta brought the Dione to a sudden halt, watching as a glint of light lit up the dock region. Her monitor confirmed it was indeed an intense heat source, and the Titan’s had heated titanium blades at best; none of them could cause that sort of heat without a plasma weapon. Looks like our enemy is very well-equipped. She switched her gaze from her course to the hangar and her possible course to the Proteus. No, I have to focus on the mission; I can’t bother with those Alliance units.

The Dione’s thrusters whined to life as its back module flickered with gleaming white thrust. Vulture team is still taking too long, she contemplated breaking their radio silence, though if their forces were still fighting for a destroyed unit, this would all be for nothing. She tuned in the Vulture’s radio signal. “Asta to Vulture team, come in…”

“This is Vulture-One.”

“What is your hold up Vulture team?”

“These Strigions aren’t equipped with any weapons, and were surrounded by Arganac and Ave forces. Most of our escort unit is gone, were losing ground here.”

Asta scuffed as she changed the Dione’s course just slightly; D*mn that Leander, he didn’t send enough men to get our own people out. “I’m on my way to back you up. What of the remaining Strigion units?”

“Looks like they’ve locked down the hangar, our forces are still fighting just outside.”
“Alright then listen up I’ll be your escort, all other Titan units commence an attack on hangar twelve, we have to wipe out those remaining units.”

“There’s an entire attack force after us, you think you can take all these units?”

“I said I’ll handle them, just make sure those other Strigions are scrap metal, and I’ll get you out of here.”

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

Lieutenant Crowes zoomed in on his monitor and swept his vision across the row of warehouses and hangars, hangar twelve in particular. He noted two black Titans belonging to the Ave, a handful of red Titans, and even a few more reds making their way to the hangar as well. The Ave was backing themselves into a corner, they were equipped with heavy assault gear, but the Aralei sheer numbers in this situation would win in the end. “Hammerhead to the Proteus.”

“Go for Hammerhead…”

“Requesting permission to assist in base defense.”

Ravi chimed in his opinion with much debate, “I’m sorry?”

“Shut it up Lazarus, we got folks dying out there.”

“Yeah, but we could have folks dying over here too.”

“Request denied Hammerhead, Blueboys still haven’t returned, and were still trying to contact Ensign Serac. We are literally defenseless without your support.”

Crowes gave a short sigh, though he understood the bridge’s decision, he still couldn’t help but feel helpless. “Roger that Proteus, going defensive.” His fist tightened moments before slamming into the cockpit interior. “F*cking Aralei bastards.”

“D*mn it James.” Ravi sat back crossing his arms, “You better be gettin’ some for us to be risking our necks out here alone.”

Usen Harbor, Hangar Twelve: 2051.02.14
“There.” James yelled from within the cockpit, he fingers continued to calibrate simple settings to fit his standards. “I’m ready up here Kay… err… Lieutenant.”

Kay, at the unit’s feet, was busily finishing up at the console below. “Just give me a few more moments.” Her fingers ran across the keyboard finalizing the larger roles, such as the stabilizer, magnetic induction, levels of the wavelengths. “I just hope you’re as good a pilot as they say.” She pauses a moment speaking under her breath, “For both our sakes.” With a final double tap of the enter key, the unit’s red tinted eyes suddenly spring to life. “Okay I’m switching control over to you.”

Kay backs away slowly allowing the frame to unlock freeing the white machine. James maneuvers the red and white beast to its feet, and closes the hatch. Kay speaks into a radio she obtained from the desk. “Your equipment should be a heated gundanium blade and the Nova’s shield.” James searched the monitor for anything that even resembled a shield, though nothing came close. The unit’s left arm was completely naked, he then remembered the energy field, and would it actually work?

“Now just engage the vector field.” James responds placing his hands on the touch screen monitor and allows energy to flow into the Gundam. “Word of warning, energy running through the vector field can be…” A sudden shriek over the radio interrupts her, “…painfully loud, sorry.”

James shakes it off, walking the unit forward, his eyes dart to the lower right hand corner of the screen indicating the unit stability. A simple percentage rating is already counting downward from 100% “Eleven minutes, right…” The vector field activates lifting the unit off the ground a few feet. The Gundam looked like a spiritual being as it hovered over the floor with a resonating hum. “Is this normal?”

“Oh yeah, forgot to mention that too, the unit can essentially fly repelling against the planet’s very electromagnetic field.”

“Okay…” He sighs unsure what to expect next. “Go ahead and release the lockdown, i'll head outside and support the others.”

Kay nods as she begins running to the brighter hangar section. “Alright, just give me a…” The blast door is suddenly torn asunder, speared through by one of the black Titans. Its limp body plunges into Strigion four and sparks into a furious explosion destroying them both. The force knocks unit five loose from its frame and sends it crashing into the hanger wall, it to sparks a blast, though fortunately doesn’t explode. Rearing through the breach was a red Titan; its arms widened an opening as it squeezed itself in.

“Lieutenant, stand back!” James yelled over the Nova’s loud speaker. Switching the controls, the unit unsheathed its single armament: a rather long blade. Being of solid gundanium, James understood the weapon would be powerful, but it was the length that surprised him. It was easily a meter longer than the standard blade, two meters more than the machina knives. The weapon could be compared more to a samurai sword, possibly unnecessary in James’ book; though this was no time to criticize.

The Nova’s body lowered gripping the hilt with two hands, it waited until the Titan had both feet planted in the hangar; a single mis-judge of distance would put him through the building’s wall. The red giant began to lift its 30mm just as James hammered down on the pedal. A high-pitched whine filled the hangar as the Nova effortlessly zipped through the air and swung its blade at the final moment. There was a powerfully loud clank of metal against metal, or in this case gundanium against titanium, the blade grinded its way through the upper torso. The resistance was pathetic against a blade of this caliber.

The hulky red beast toppled over into two separate chucks and bounced along the ground. The ensign gasped to catch his breath, the speed was intense, and much more so than he thought it would be. He’d caught a glimpse of the tachometer, but doubted what he read was real, 271 kilometers per hour, very doubtful. His eyes ran across the monitor again hoping to see the speed once more, though the tachometer was now reading zero. A second glance to his right monitor noted something he’d originally forgotten. The blade hadn’t been heated yet, he chuckled a bit under his breath switching the function on.

Lieutenant Kay watched from within the hangar the amazing burst of speed, “A real battle, I better start taking notes…”

James spun the Nova around in mid-hover avoiding the first wave of bullets flying his way, he’d nearly forgotten the Aralei support units. Another glance allowed him to take a quick count of what he was dealing with: four, no five red Titans; looked like they meant business. James continued to evade fire darting left and right as fast as his eyes could react. Though the unit was fast, James was still having trouble evading everything as random bullets continued to knick his armor.

“There’s too many to dodge!” Kay chimed in over his radio, “Use the shield on the left arm!”

James shouted back in surprise, “I don’t see it, how do I activate it?”
“The thumb button on your left control stick!”

“She means this one…?” James quickly felt for the button and pressed it: the Nova’s left arm suddenly sprang forward as if the unit was calling stop. Four separate panels erupted from each side of the unit’s forearm. Another resonating whine sounded as an invisible aura seemed to whip the bullets around and away from the Nova. There was a sudden silence between the enemy Titans and the Gundam; they had ceased firing unsure what was going on, including James.

Kay broke the silence yelling through the radio once more, “Keep an eye on the stabilizing field!”

James blinked back to the monitor noticing the shield’s drawback; it was consuming the vector field faster than normal. He hurriedly shut it off stopping the countdown at eighty-two percent. With another swift motion, the Gundam gripped the blade with both hands once more and trusted its weapon into the closest unit. The motion was too quick for the enemy pilot to react, and suffered the Gundam’s advance; the blade’s tip erupted from the Titan’s backside with a deep orange glow. A quick adjustment sent the blade arcing upward through the machina apex effectively splitting its torso in two.
James couldn’t help but smile as he adjusted the controls for another assault, “Five to go.”

Aboard the Gaia, Usen Harbor: 2051.02.14
“Give me a status report!” Captain Leander slammed his fist against the console watching the Gaia’s shield rating continue to drop rapidly.

“Shield is less than thirty percent; we can’t take much more of this!”

“I can see that you twit, I mean the status on the ground troops!”

Asta’s is evacuating the Strigion units as we speak; the other teams are spread out elsewhere.”

Commander Cadmus gives a short sigh as he approaches Leander’s chair. “Looks as though our surprise is over, I think it’s time we called the retreat.”

Leander shoots the Cadmus a frustrated glance, “Oh and I thought we’ve already won Commander?”

Cadmus chuckles briefly, “We have, we’ve accessed the Ave Alliance’s battle strength and proved it can’t handle a single undercover battleship. The three Strigion units are as good as ours with Asta escorting them. The Kottos will most likely open fire soon and put us at a disadvantage. Let’s call the retreat, the Strigion units as well as Asta’s Dione can fly so it’ll save us the trouble of landing. We’ll order the other ground units to regroup with Commander Eryx squadron saving him the trouble of having to resupply.”

Cadmus shifts making eye contact with Leander, “Our Empress would be proud Captain.”
The captain is silent for several moments before finally grunting an order, “Alert all commands, give the retreat order. Redirect any ground units to Commander Eryx's platoon.”

“Aye Captain!”

Usen Harbor: 2051.02.14
The Dione unsheathed its blade from the husk of a fallen black Titan, blood-like lubricant trickled from its once sheen edge. Asta searched the immediate area for anyone else who might try her skill, though eventually found nobody. “Looks like that’ll do it.” She chimed to the following Vulture unit as several pink plumes of smoke trailed across the night sky. “A retreat order huh?”

“Just as we were already in the clear,” A Vulture pilot followed up.

“Get those things airborne and board the Gaia, I’ll follow…”

A sudden burst transmission interrupted the Lieutenant, “…Requesting back-up at hangar twelve. I repeat: any standby units come assist us at hangar twelve, were under attack from… oh god no!” The transmission abruptly ended with a fizzling pop. There was nothing but silence for several seconds.

“Vultures, go ahead and rendezvous with the Gaia, I’m heading back…”

“But Lieutenant, what about the retreat order.”

“I won’t be long; I’m just going to give the ground team a chance to escape.” The Dione’s thrusters begin to burn white light; the Strigion units do the same as they perform vertical takeoffs. Maneuvering the silver machina away from the trio, the Dione’s engines burst into a blaze of white thrust zipping off towards the origin of the distress call.

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

James caught the enemy’s retreat flare out of the corner of his eye; it would mean the enemy would be changing its tactics. Though he hadn’t doubted retreat was on their mind by the time he’d down his second Titan. Two of the remaining Titans had kept their rifles steady; they might’ve understood the ensign could only deflect their shots while standing still. Though deflected or not, the 30mm autocannons were still having trouble against the mixture of reinforced composite armor and gundanium alloy. They trusted that the armor couldn’t hold up forever, and they were right, hitting the unit would be the more problematic dilemma.

The third Titan had given up on his rifle and had unsheathed its combat knife giving close quarters a chance. James drew in another breath pushing the Nova forward and swinging the blade at the Titan. The enemy guarded against it, heat against heat and held the Gundam’s blade away from its torso. The two held at a standstill driving their blades together, the constant whine from the Titan’s gears foretold its coming failure. The titanium blade yielded to the superior alloy allowing the Gundam’s katana to pierce downward into the upper torso and reappear from the mid-section. The two metallic chunks fell at the Nova’s feet.

The remaining duo opens fire on the Gundam as they hastily reverse their steps. Without time to evade, James activates the electromagnetic shield once again repelling the oncoming fire. He keeps an eye on the vector field as it steadily passes under sixty-nine percent, it would only be a matter of time before the two empty their clips and have to reload. He readied himself knowing his opportunity would come soon, though more so kept an eye on his limit. The first Titan’s gun comes to a clicking halt followed shortly by the second, the two hurry their retreat as they prepared to power jump away from the hangar.

“Sorry. But I can’t let you guys leave.” Dropping the force field, Nova accelerates forward hastily closing the gap between it and its opponents. James shifts the controls, starting to swing the blade across his closest target. To his surprise though, the katana is repelled mid-way by a silver machina’s blade. It was miraculously fast: coming between the two Titans and jutting its blade in the Gundam’s path. The unit was unknown to James, and the Nova’s databanks, though not to the enemy pilots.

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

“Lieutenant Asta!?”

Asta grunted struggling to keep the Gundam’s blade from passing hers, “You saw the retreat order, get the hell out of here now!”

“Roger that ma’am. Just remember that thing is fast, maybe faster than you. And it can also deflect bullets, but only when it’s standing still.”

She scuffed in surprise, “Alright, now get out of here!” She kept her balance unwavering against even the Gundam’s strength. She watched through her rear camera as the two red Titans power jumped away giving them plenty of distance between themselves and the white monster. “Now, let’s see how powerful you really are!”

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

The Gundam and Dione pushed off each other stepping back a bit; they both immediately lowered themselves into an attacking stance. James took another glance at the Nova’s rating now at sixty-two percent. This new opponent was merely a stall, so he shouldn’t worry too much if he can destroy it or not. The Dione hovered a bit, nearly mimicking the Gundam with its thrusters; it swayed from left to right making its next move difficult to guess. Suddenly it launched forward applying a great deal of thrust behind its attack, its right arm extended forward for a rather hasty stab.

James smirked a bit judging the Dione’s speed and approach, “Now you’re too open!” With decent timing, the Gundam swung its katana across what would be the enemy’s torso, or what should’ve been. The Dione’s lower body suddenly arced upward making itself parallel to the ground and gliding over Gundam’s swing. At this, more thrust was applied as the Dione sped up sending its blade ahead. James reacted quickly tilting the controls backward and forced the Gundam to kick its legs forward becoming parallel to the Dione and allowing it to just pass over.

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

Looking down, Asta could see the machina as Dione harmlessly stabbed the air. Shifting the left controls allowed the Dione to reach for its sidearm, a 25mm machina pistol. The Dione thrusts again forcing it to flip upside down and began firing wildly at the awkwardly position Gundam. Of course none of initial shots hit, though she was able to score a few direct hits before her foe could even react. Asta relished in watching the Gundam lose its balance to a few well-placed shots, it’s frame clumsily spun upside down mocking Dione as it attempted to evade.

Maneuvering right-side up, Dione continued forward with a barrage of bullets closing the gap on the target. The Gundam had awkwardly tried to do the same and reached out with its left hand suddenly. Asta watched in surprise as her shots suddenly arced off and away by an unseen force. “This must be what they were talking about. Nonetheless, you can’t possibly deflect everything!” She continued to squeeze the trigger pushing onward, her grip along the right control tightened as the gap shrunk.

The Dione stabbed forward bringing its blade to meet the Gundam’s face. A sudden electric glint ruptured between the two giants, the unknown reaction kept the Dione from coming any closer. Inside the cockpit was just as frantic, as the equipment spat sparks and fizzled. Asta kept her foot on the pedal pushing her machine to full throttle. Progress was visible as every second was rewarded with another inch.

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

James cringed as sparks neared his face, he was struggling just to keep the left arm up. Through the main monitor the Dione was creeping closer with each passing moment, within a matter of seconds it would pierce the main camera. It was pointless to keep the force field up now, though releasing it now would spell the end for the young ensign. His mind raced thinking of any possibility to counter his enemy’s assault.

“James!” Lieutenant Nova’s voiced boomed over the radio, “You can repel it… Disperse the energy from the force field and this should repel the enemy unit, do it!”

James did as told, running his fingers across his left monitor he brought up the image representing the force field. He increased the wavelength allowing a large amount of energy to collect in front. The Gundam’s left arm began to whine and glow with raw energy, a gleaming blue light surrounded the two machina. It soon became too much as the monitor began to flash warning and overload; James quickly released this pressure causing the energy outside to rush in all directions. The energy current carried the Dione backward sending it crashing into a nearby crane.

The ensign exhaled finally remembering to breath. His eyes quickly glanced at the vector field rating and noted it at thirty-two percent, more than enough to finish the job. He eased the controls forward and brought up another warning across his main monitor. The Gundam’s movements became sluggish until it finally came to a stop altogether. Its feet touched the ground and its body hunched forward, its hands hit the ground first keeping it from keeling over. James tugged at the controls repeatedly trying to move the white beast, when it appeared it wouldn’t work he slammed his fist into the cockpit wall.

“D*mn it!”

Kay took a quick look at her watch noting the amount of time that had passed, “Seven minutes… Still needs work.”

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

Asta’s back ached with such tremendous pain, just with the slight twitch of her fingers made her body cry out. “What was that force?” She ignored the pressure best she could forcing the Dione to stand up. Her opponent was truly a monster, though not one without weaknesses.

“Lieutenant Asta!” Her radio suddenly bleeped to life, “We’re running out of time, return to the Gaia immediately or we’ll have to leave you behind!”

Asta’s back cried out almost in agreement with the radio, “Roger that Gaia, returning to base.” She took it easy, giving the thrusters a slight push to send the Dione upwards and into the night sky.

_________________
Tomorrow Winter


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