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 Post Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:33 pm 
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Elitist Earth Politician
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Updates have been longer, lol.
<---3, 4 months to make an update, thanks to constant procrastination. And you do write very long chapters. I remember reading them on my old phone, when it would take five minutes to load. Oh the days of oldschool technology <3

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:15 pm 
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Yeah, basically, I've had depression issues and then also was diagnosed as being bipolar. I think the medications have had some effect on the creative part of my mind. It's been very hard to come up with what I want to write and I think I've just now gotten onto the right combination of meds where some of my creativity is starting to come back.

Just for the record, there haven't been plans to kill everyone in my fic ;)

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:21 pm 
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Aaaand BOOM!

Had some hard drive issues, and lost my fanfic. I'll have to use some of this here to fix it once I find my back up.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:14 pm 
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Wat
No recovery? You can still recover lost files you know. I re-formatted a drive and got it all back.

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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:11 am 
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Well, so far, no luck with the recovery tools I've tried.

*sigh*

It looks like I'll be starting over from scratch on Phase 52 & the epilogue.


Scratch that. I got ahold of Easus Data Recovery Wizard and with the 1GB freebie reovery option, I got to find my stuff.

*Whew*

Just saved my ass. Four years of work down the crapper if not.

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:36 pm 
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Got a writing wind as of late!

Teaser of Phase 52.

Quote:
Pagan aimed the dual buster at the Deus.
"At the core, that's all humanity is: depraved, unrepentant, undeserving of life. If I could fix that, I would, but I can't! This is the most merciful way of correcting the problem! A new heaven and a new earth without humanity to contaminate my creation!"

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:02 pm 
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Wheee~
Waiting still

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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:45 am 
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PHASE 52 - FOR A FUTURE WE WANTED
--------------------------------------------

The Aurora jetted through space with four Zeus Advanced's trailing behind. Nicoletta's face crinkled at the sight of the enemy. It had been a single incident, but the Wraith was quite familiar to her. This time, however, it wasn't just a single, lone unit.

Still, she knew they had to be dealt with for the plan to move forward.
"Let's start clearing away those mobile suits!"
--------------------------------------------
Titan-class Rhine
--------------------------------------------

Otto heard the mobile suit team begin engaging the Wraiths. For the time being, the Rhine and its compliment of fellow Union ships advanced slowly. He felt his caution agitated with the burning to have the ship burst forward toward the Prometheus control center. Now that he knew what terrible device was housed in the construction, he couldn't help his agitation. It was all he could do to maintain his own composure, but he had to do so for the sake of the operation. He'd heard the phrase more often than he cared to remember, though now, he couldn't think of more true words.

Failure was absolutely not an option.
---------------------------------------------

Ryuji pressed forward. He had the Nergal moving as fast as he could force the machine to go, yet he felt as though running through tar.

He knew he was close, and that strong sensation was growing. It felt vaguely familiar, and it bothered him to know he couldn't place the source.



Inside her Scorpio, Alice knew she was in a very dire situation. Her head stung, and she felt the blood oozing from the wound. Alarms blared, screaming she was left with a limb-less mobile suit.
From the cameras that still worked, she saw the Wraiths circling her crippled machine.

She winced with the throbbing wound. It was as if the enemy were vultures, and maybe they were.
This was her last stand, and a pathetic one at that.

One of the Wraiths broke away.
"I guess you're tired of waiting?" She asked rhetorically.
It was the end; game over.

Her acceptance of her end was jolted when the advancing enemy unexpectedly disappeared in a beam
of light.

"Good."
The voice was familiar.
"I got here in time."
It was Ryuji in the Nergal.
"How are you?" He asked.
"I'm banged up, but still with it." She replied, clearly grateful he'd saved her life.


Ryuji turned his attention the remaining Wraiths, one of which had an emanating force strong enough to grab his focus.
"You!" He glared as he could almost taste the bitter reminder of Brisbane from seemingly so long ago.

He briefly turned part of his attention to Alice.
"Can you make it back to the Augustine?"
Alice sighed, relieved. "Yeah. My main thrusters are okay, so I should be alright."
"Just hurry." He cautioned. "I'll let them know you're coming back."
"Roger that."

The Scorpio left the combat area. Now, it was just Ryuji versus this group of Wraiths.
He picked a target, and aimed a beam rifle towards it.
------------------------------------------
Prometheus Control Center
------------------------------------------
General Kyoji silently examined the data pouring in about the battle.
It was disconcerting that the remaining Union and Federation forces had formed an alliance of sorts. That was a kink in the plan that hadn't gone according to such. While the Wraiths still held on, he'd expected much less of a fight. The battleships were drawing close to an effective firing range with their main cannons. It would still take a great deal of firepower to destroy the control center itself, but that didn't mean that needed to happen for the system to be disabled.

It was time for a change of plans.
----------------------------------------

Smith's Scorpio fired a controlled burst, but he missed the intended target and the beams continued into space.
Even with the enhancements, he still felt slow against the enemy.

The IFF blared, and he jerked away from the line of fire.
"Tricky little bastard, aren't you." He glared at the Wraith that screamed past.

Several shots flew out perpendicular to his view, one landing and sending the Wraith off course.
"Try it now." Jana called.

Smith swiftly re-aimed and fired.
This time, he saw its effecting impact as the Wraith buckled briefly before an explosion.
"Thanks." He breathed. "That clears this area, right?"

Jana checked around and started to answer.
"Yes--wait!"
"What?" Smith was already looking around.

"Quiet." She hissed. "I'm unsettled for some reason."
Her eyes continued to shift.
What was it? She was either crazy or she was sensing something.

By the time the IFF sounded, both she and Smith were too slow to react. Both Scorpio IFF's were now competing with alarms over damage to each machine.

"What is that thing?" Smith caught a glimpse of a vaguely familiar enemy before its attack violently jolted his mobile suit.
"The two of you are coming with me."

Smith realized his mobile suit was still moving, but he had no control over it. Once his head stopped spinning, he realized that he was at the mercy of him. Pagan Czevik.
----------------------------------------
Reformer-class Augustine
----------------------------------------

Veronika glanced at the mammoth cylinder. The final coordinates were being locked in amongst the battleships participating in the attack. Soon, the threat would be gone.
----------------------------------------
Near Prometheus Control Center
----------------------------------------
Elena saw no Wraiths. Something had changed.
It wasn't a large force by the numbers, but even so, she thought she was a prime target. The behemoth cylinder was a hulking beast, even at her current distance.

It was too quiet.
"This is wrong." Her eyes shifted. "Where's the enemy?"
She checked her sensors.

Not a single enemy was within range.
She still sensed Pagan, but he seemed to be fading.
The enemy machines weren't retreating and that could only mean one other alternative.

"Pagan Czevik!" She growled. "Where are you?"

Her head swung side to side as she tried to ascertain a bearing.
In doing so, she caught a flash out of the corner of her eye and looked in that direction.

She waited with a baited breath, hoping she wasn't hallucinating or mistook a star as a false hope.
A twinkle happened again. It was in the direction of the cylinder.

Elena felt a tug ever so slight, but still strong enough to confirm she couldn't be imagining this.



Pagan felt her reciprocate; his teeth gleamed.
She was coming to meet him.
"Yes, little goddess, come witness the dawn of this new era."
--------------------------------------

Ryuji fired.
The beam rifle shot clipped one Wraith, sending it spiraling away and he looked for another target.
Things were not well in the battlefield. He didn't want to waste any more time than necessary fighting the enemy.

"I'll cut through you." He said quietly.
The reticule locked on a Wraith.
The shot was clean and Ryuji was left with one final enemy.

Uriah smirked.
"I don't know what you are, but if you're like he says, I guess you're a god."
The Wraith moved towards the Nergal. "If not, well, you're dead meat."

With that, he blazed towards Ryuji.
Ryuji backed away. A flash in his mind made him feel as if the Wraith's pilot would try to ram him.
"Kamikaze." Ryuji said under his breath.

"I'll go to heaven." Uriah remarked in a manner that resembled singing.
The Wraith sprayed the Nergal with fire.

Ryuji started to move, but was jostled with a rumble from the shaking machine.
The cockpit had started issuing alarms about the aftermath of the impact.
He shook his head to focus.

"What happened?" He asked, dazed and attempting to focus on what happened.
As his head began to clear, he saw debris scattered around the Nergal. The full story fell into place: the right side of the mobile suit was heavily damaged.
How had he let his guard down so easily?

He hadn't time to consider this, because he remembered his enemy was still nearby.
-------------------------------------
Near Prometheus Control Center
----------------------------------------
Elena followed the sensation and now knew she was getting close. Her sensors finally locked on to a single unit. She didn't need to magnify the image. She knew full well who it was. She also knew this had to end once and for all.

Pagan's voice rang out, loud and clear.
"It's so good of you to come see the new beginning."

As she drew closer, she noticed two badly damaged Scorpios nearby.
She had a number of choice words for him, but she said nothing as her jaw clenched.
-------------------------------------
Another Wraith was flung back from the Aurora with a blast from its cannon.
Nicoletta panted, eyes flicking back and forth. She felt completely soaked in her own sweat, but it appeared to have been worth the fight.

"Area clear?" She asked through the comm.
"Yes, ma'am!" Saul immediately reported. He then added, "We're requested to fall back."
His grimace was audible. "The ships are being attacked by the enemy, and therefore can't fire at the colony weapon.

Nicoletta didn't hesitate.
"Back to the ship."
--------------------------------------

Ryuji grimaced and gritted his teeth. His enemy was constantly blazing past him, taking cheap shots that were slowly ruining the Nergal. This one was the most dangerous of all in that he wasn't afraid to die.

No, he already considered himself dead.
There was no pattern that Ryuji could ascertain, and the pressure to figure a method to the literal madness was mounting.

He cursed himself seemingly sitting there, his machine being picked apart. His hesitation and the lack of concentration were his undoing if it kept on as it was.

Another blast seared the Nergal, jolting Ryuji.
Wake up.
He needed to wake up!
He had a superior machine. He had the skills. He was losing to an enemy he should be able to defeat.

He shook his head as if to loosen any distractions and focused on his opponent.
"Why am I wasting time with you!" He shouted away his frustration.

The Wraith dove again, but this time, Ryuji saw the pilot.
He saw the maniacal face in the cockpit. He confirmed this person had lost touch with his sanity and personal welfare.

This time, the Wraith did not have its attack connect, and Ryuji was ready with a reciprocating blow from an ignited beam saber.

It happened so fast, Ryuji only realized the slashing arc was a fatal blow when he looked behind the Nergal with the machine's cameras.

The explosion followed the long cut and then the Wraith was engulfed in a firey flower.

Ryuji exhaled, relieved this battle was done.
----------------------------------------

Alice groaned as she struggled out of the cockpit. Judging by several other Scorpios, she was in good company. She was alive, but the ensuing battle had trampled her nerves and she collapsed into the medics waiting outside her machine.
----------------------------------------
Near Prometheus Control Center
----------------------------------------

Elena felt every inch of skin covered with goosebumps. The visual of the Thanatos electrified her senses.

This was it. This had to be it.


"I knew you'd come." Pagan greeted.
"Of course you did." Elena replied, growling her sarcasm. "You've been hounding me for, what, two years? Yeah, you don't need to be gifted to figure out that one."

She slowed the Deus's approach, but she wasn't about to have tea and make small talk with him.
The mobile suit brandished both beam sabers.

The Thanatos moved to meet its opponent.
"But you're not one to idle."

"You're correct." She forced herself to give a calm reply. "You should know I'm gonna do what I can to stop you."

"No you won't." Pagan chided. "You will simply watch the future unfold!"
With that the Thanatos rapidly accelerated, launching its bits out to attack.
"Watch, just as they will!"
The Thanatos gestured with its head.

Elena's eyes followed the indicated line to two Scorpios. She zoomed in on the machines finding them rather damaged, save for around the cockpit area. She sensed the presence of both Smith and Jana. It was a relief they were alive, but angering that Pagan was using this as a way to torment them, not to mention her by extension.

Even though she pondered this, Elena had already turned her attention back to Pagan and the Thanatos.

"What's the idea?" She yelled, the Deus swooping upon the Thanatos.
Her mobile suit swung with both beam sabers.

"I'm giving them a gift!" Pagan replied, the Thanatos brandished its own beam saber to block.
"They should consider it mercy that I allow them to live to see the new future!"

"What future?" Elena snarled.
The Deus's wings wrapped around itself, blocking a multi-point attack by the bits.
"Earth might not recover for a long time after that thing is fired!"

"It isn't for humans! The era of man is about to end, replaced by the era of gods!" Pagan
replied.

"You're delusional." Elena spat. "You're 'gods' just come from experimentation! Everyone of the Newtypes that attacked me weren't mentally stable!"
She used the break between bit attacks to recover distance lost since they began pushing her from the Thanatos.

"Then you're just as mad as I!"
The Thanatos reached for its dual buster.
"Go ahead! Tell me how many times you've looked into someone's mind and seen the corruption, the vile, selfish desires of that person? How often does that circle back to a self-destructive pattern of the human race? How many times do I need to tell you, humanity wants to be destroyed!"

The Deus charged.
"That's the only answer you want to hear!" Elena screamed.
"You look for the very worst and point it as the only side of humanity!"

Pagan aimed the dual buster at the Deus.
"At the core, that's all humanity is: depraved, unrepentant, undeserving of life. If I could fix that, I would, but I can't! This is the most merciful way of correcting the problem! A new heaven and a new earth without humanity to contaminate my creation!"

The Deus was closing in, preparing to strike.
"You bastard!"

"Little goddess, you should know your place in my creation!"
Pagan fired directly at the Deus.

Elena was jostled about in the cockpit. The wings had saved her from an otherwise fatal blow, but it wasn't enough to have her head spinning from the impact.

When the wings opened, she looked out to see a greater distance between her machine and Pagans.
Before she'd reoriented her thoughts, she felt a jarring series of impacts radiating from the edges of the Deus.

She couldn't tell by looking out of the cockpit, but she did see the damage was tied to the Seraphic System.

"Just sit and watch." Pagan's voice filled the cockpit.
"Yeah, right." She muttered. "Sit and watch--!"
She attempted to increase the thrust, but found the Deus immobile.
"No. As I said, sit and watch."

Pagan seemed controlled but more forceful than he had before.
Elena finally saw what the problem was. The external camera feed showed several bits plunged into both wings. Her machine was crucified and she was left to watch the impending horror.
------------------------------------------------------

Nicoletta prayed they weren't too late to stop the enemy attack. She could see beams flinging through space all in proximity of the small fleet.
"Prioritize the safety of the ships and engage the enemy at will." She ordered.
-----------------------------------
Titan-class Rhine
-----------------------------------

Otto was relieved to see both Union and Federation mobile suits converging on the enemy mobile
suits.
"Lets accelerate to attack speed."
They had to make it close to the Prometheus control center very soon, and the reports of its growing potential output gave nothing in the way of relief.
----------------------------------

Shilah glared at the latest mobile suit team to join the fray. She noticed this one had the heavy artillery unit that had plagued her and her comrades in the past.
"You're it!"


"Incoming!" Saul alerted as the Satyr screamed at the group.
"Hashishiri and the rest of you, get over to the ships." Nicoletta ordered as she broke the
Aurora away from the team. "Defend them at all costs."

With her subordinates sent on their way, Nicoletta equipped the Aurora's repeater and turned to the Satyr.
She had nothing to say before opening fire on the Satyr.
Predictably, it managed to avoid taking a hit, but it could return fire...if Nicoletta let it.

"Stop it!" Shilah seethed, enraged that she couldn't focus enough to shoot back at the attacker.
"I'm supposed to smite you!"

Nicoletta heard the angered pilot and continued to fire. As fast as the enemy was, she couldn't let it release its remote weapons. Her best option was to keep it on the defensive for as long as possible.

Shilah's face was contorted by the irritation she had with this one mobile suit. She was too far away to aim or launch a bit that could strike fast enough to save her machine.
She stopped her seething when the idea struck her.
"I'm already dead."

Nicoletta continued to fire, chasing the Satyr with beam shots across space.
It had gotten a little closer, but nothing at a dangerous level yet.
Then it happened. A bright flaming ball appeared, and it seemed as if she'd destroyed the enemy, but something told her not to trust her eyes.

The Aurora drifted towards the coordinates scanning for a mobile suit.
She picked one up, but it was identified as the Nergal.
"At least he's safe." Nicoletta commented.

Go to hell!

It flashed in Nicoletta's mind at the same instance the IFF alerted her the Satyr was well within striking distance.
Before she could aim, a flicker of a metal object flashed through space.

Ryuji whipped the Nergal back around. Something had just happened to Nicoletta.
By the time he did, he saw the Aurora floating back with damage to its torso. He wasn't sure how deep the damage was, but he knew Nicoletta was still alive.

"We don't have time for this." He breathed frustrated, but he couldn't let himself leave the situation as is.

The Nergal released its beam rifles into its hands.

Stop it! Leave her alone!

Shilah looked on at the damaged Aurora. She could tell the pilot was still alive and started to smirk but stopped. She heard a voice.
She looked around. Where was it coming from.

Stay there!

Shilah froze. She couldn't make herself move the controls. It was if she was paralyzed.
"What's going on? Why isn't my body responding?" She panicked.

Ryuji hurtled the Nergal toward the Satyr.


Nicoletta awoke and noticed her machine was floating. It wasn't of the Aurora's own propulsion and she knew it was too fast to be simply drifting.
"Who's pulling me?" She groggily asked.
"How are you doing, Lieutenant Giovanni?" a familiar voice asked.
"For starters, I'm alive..."
"I see." Ryuji said. "Just rest. The fighting's died down around the ships, so I should be able to bring you back to the Rhine without a hassle."
-----------------------------------------------------
Near Prometheus Control Center
-----------------------------------------------------

Elena sat, stunned at how her Deus now hung crucified out in space. So close to the goal, yet stuck and hopeless. Before her was the thorn that dug into her for the past couple years and now sat watching. Watching her and his horrific plan about to come into fruition.

Feeling defeated, she hung her head.
Feeling angry, she clenched her hands.
Of the sea of emotions she'd experienced, this had to be the most exasperatingly frustrating time in her life. She was about to witness her enemy have his way while she could do nothing.

"This isn't like you."
It was a long gone, yet familiar voice.

Elena tilted her head up to see the vision before her. For a second time, her mother had
appeared.

"I never knew you to give up easily, especially when the goal was within your grasp."

"That's the thing: I haven't been able to beat him once." Elena sighed, dismally. "Every time I've fought him, I haven't won. Maybe tied once, but never won against him."

"Then you're owed a victory. You owe it to yourself, your friends, your husband..." Rosa paused, take a moment to to gaze at Elena's belly, "you're child."

"But how? I can't do the job!" Elena exasperated.
"So, we can help."
Rosa made a sweeping motion with her arm and Elena saw figures materialize.

"Always a team." Hawk nodded.
"Never give up." Hisham said.
"I got your back." Lee smiled.

Rosa smiled looking at Elena's belly again.
"Someone else wants to lend a hand."

Elena looked down and saw two tiny arms that seemed to sprout through her womb and grasp the control sticks. The rest followed suit.

Alive or dead, she had people on her side.
"OK." She looked out into space. "Elena Kai, Deus, Go!"

The Deus began reaching at its left wing, grasping a bit and pulling it out and flinging it into space and finished with a quick shot from the palm cannon.


Pagan saw the Deus begin to re-mobilize.
"Stay put." He commanded.
But nothing happened.

"Little goddess, you're supposed to stay put and watch." Pagan warned.
Elena ignored this and increased the Deus's thrust.
"Watch what? You trying to massacre Earth?"
The Deus unfurled a heatrod.
"No, thanks!"

The Thanatos started to charge its dual buster.
"Don't make me destroy you, little goddess!"

"I won't make you do anything!" Elena cried. "If we're both gods, I have my own vision for me, for Ryuji, for everyone!"

The Deus's arm reeled back to strike.
"I don't want to erase the future! I don't want your future!"

The heatrod lashed out, whipping around the dual buster and snapped it in two.

"It's the only way to save anybody!" Pagan yelled back, scrambling to activate another weapon.
"We need to take the corruption out of the system! That's a divine right"

"Right!" Elena ignited a beam saber.
"Let's start with you!"
The Deus closed the gap as she concentrated on it.

For a moment she flashed into the white world and saw her deceased mother and comrades holding each of Pagan's limbs. Further out, she saw another man in the cylinder with Jin Suzaku behind hands over the man's ears.

"This is my diving judgment!" She cried.

With all her might, Elena had the Deus plunge the beam saber into the Thanatos's torso and jetted away from the machine.

In the wake of her escape, she saw the Thanatos explode.
She sighed, relieved this had finally reached its end.
-------------------------------------
Reformer-class Augustine
-------------------------------------

Veronika glared at the foreboding cylinder.
"Ma'am, all ships are in effective firing range." Martin reported.
"Very good. Fire when the signal is given."
-------------------------------------
Near Prometheus Control Center
-------------------------------------

General Kyoji drummed his fingers on the desk. He was becoming impaitent as the charge seemed to slow as the time passed. The noise and bustled he'd long ignored, but he grew irritated with a high pitched noise in the background.

No, it wasn't a noise.
It was screaming--screaming for his attention.

He had no time to understand why he'd lapsed in his observations, but now he was trying to listen to what his subordinates were screaming over.

Looking around the operations room, he scanned across the main display. It wasn't on the charge level, but the row of ships lined up.
-------------------------------------
Titan-class Rhine
-------------------------------------

Otto looked sternly at the Prometheus control center one last time before opening his mouth.
"All ships, fire!"
--------------------------------------
Reformer-class Augustine
--------------------------------------

The bridge was greeted to the sight of their target split, more or less, down the center under a series of rippling explosions.
-------------------------------------

Above the Augustine Ryuji and Elena floated between the Deus and Nergal, locked in an embrace.
--------------------------------------
End Phase 52
--------------------------------------

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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:05 pm 
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Location: Heaven's Pillar
After Phase
----------------------------------------------

Elena looked at herself in the mirror in the shower rooms. She wore only a tank top and shorts.

Her hands fiddled with the band as she loosely tied her hair back. She rubbed her belly as she lovingly looked down. For now, she could still see her toes, but soon enough they would be temporarily eclipsed.


--------------------------------------
Epilogue
--------------------------------------
Five months after the Prometheus incident
--------------------------------------

The sounds of gunfire came wave after wave inside the large bunker. Julia knew the intruders were still far away from her small, makeshift office, but that wasn't comforting to her or her soldiers. She knew Pagan was dead and that the Federation had begun it's clean up of all related connections. Her soldiers didn't know Pagan was gone, and she couldn't bring herself to tell them...not yet.

"First line has been breeched!"
The abysmal report did nothing to quell the antagonizing wait. The intruding force seemed to have been sent with orders to abide by extreme prejudice.

The troops around her were already sweating in nervous anticipation. She too could feel the persperation begin to trickle. She unholstered her sidearm to check the magazine. It had been some time since she'd used it at a firing range, let alone in any sort of combat.

"Second line is down! They'll be here any minute!" One of the soldiers turned toward her. "Major,

maybe you should get inside your office and see if anyone's coming for backup? Stadowkzicz thought we might have some help."


After Julia closed the door behind her, she locked it. That wouldn't do much, but still, why not?

She knew nobody was coming; not for her, not for her men. She smiled bitterly as she saw that there had been no reply ever. Stadowkzicz had lied. It was just to keep up whatever morale might be left.

A loud bang was heard as the door to the final room erupted open for Federation soldier to flow through. More gunfire complimented by screams told her what she knew to be inevitable. She had rolled the dice of life and recieved a poor number.

She placed her sidearm on the desk and then sat down to recline in her chair for the last time.
She leaned back, laughing and shaking her head from side to side. She reached for the gun and undid the safety. This was her last stand.
"Damn it."


Just as the previous door had, Julia's office door opened violently, immediately followed by a surge of soldiers. After seeing the room was safe, they lowered their machine guns. There was nothing to do here. It was obvious as to what had happened. The woman in the seat was already dead, given the gun that was dropped on the floor by one of her limp arms.
"I guess that's it then." One Federation soldier said. "Tag 'em and bag 'em."

--------------------------------------
Ohau
--------------------------------------

At the Faust home, a phone rang, and Gerhard picked it up.
"Hello?"
"Uh, dad?" It was a voice he hadn't heard for at least a year and a half.
"Elena!" He was surprised and ascending to euphoria. "It's so good to hear from you!"
"Same here." There was a genuine relief in her voice, but also something she was holding back.
"How are you?" He asked. "How's work?"
"Well, I'm doing pretty good. There's been some, uh, changes and I'm coming back home."
"Is something wrong?" His voice had turned to concern.
"No, it's nothing bad, but I have a couple of surprises--" she paused to breathe, "and they're pretty big. It's something that, well, I think you just need to see."
"Oh, really?" The building tension was released although his puzzlement hung in his voice. "So, when are you getting in?"
"It looks like tomorrow...sorry, I-I know this is so sudden."
"You know it's no bother to me, so, why don't you tell me what the flight number is."
-------------------------------------

Eliza walked toward the seating near the terminal she and her father expected Elena's flight. She looked up to verify she was at the right place.
"You came back just fine." Her father said. "I see you were able to get some flowers."
"Yeah." She exasperated as she dropped down beside him. "I swear, this place is always bigger than I remember it."
He just chuckled.
"You've always said how big it is, even when you were a little girl."
"I guess." She changed subjects. "So, when's Elena getting off her flight?"
"Well, she should show up at anytime."


"Are you nervous?" Ryuji asked as he and Elena stepped out of the plane and into the bridge to the terminal.
"Well, yeah...a little." She smiled fondly, yet he could see the nervousness that was barely there.
"I guess that makes two of us."


They waited, until Eliza started squinting at the slew of passengers exiting into the waiting area. "Uh, dad, I'm not sure, but I think that's her." She pointed towards a familiar face.
He leaned in to better visually follow where his younger daughter aimed.
"I think you're right."
"Yeah, it has to be her."
"The long hair threw you off?"
"Well, that's part of it."
With that, the pair stood up and began waving.


Elena grabbed Ryuji's hand.
"I see them!"
"Where?"
"Over there!"


As they drew closer to her family, they slowed down and finally stopped.
Her father and sister stood in apparent shock as they looked her over. A man on one arm with a belly that could no longer conceal a five-month pregnancy.
Gerhard blinked a few times before he spoke.
"So, I guess these were the surprises you mentioned." He slowly observed.

Elena's heart was beating intently as she quickly stepped over to hug her father.
"Now, don't walk to fast, Elena. You don't want to fall over with such precious cargo."
They embraced, holding each other tighly for several moments.
"I've really missed you." She smiled at him as they broke far enough away to look at each others face.
"You certainly didn't pull any punches." He said, looking down at her belly.
"No, I guess not." She laughed, and then turned half-way toward Ryuji. "Anyway, dad," she presented, "this is Ryuji...my husband."
Now, Ryuji had to come forward, unsure of how to proceed. The only thing he could think to do was bow.
"I see." Gerhard rubbed his chin. "This is quite a load all at once, but, nonetheless, we should celebrate."
"You want to go to Sargasso's?" Eliza entered the conversation and deflated some of the awkward tension.
"Hey, that does sound pretty good!" Elena agreed. "You have no idea what weird stuff I've been dying to have."
"But, won't you just, like, throw it up?"
"Nah, I'm past that stage, but it feels really awkward being pregnant."
------------------------------------------------
Four months later
-----------------------------------------------
Cologne, Deutschland
-----------------------------------------------

It was the last time Veronika would pass through the gates of any Federation base. She looked over her shoulder at the sign above the entrance, and then hefted her duffle bag back onto her shoulder.

She knew she was very fortunate to be granted a discharge from the military. Truthfully, her involvement with the Resistance and what had been done should have merited a firing squad. As it was, her dishonorable discharge from the ranks was a pretty fair shake, all things considered.

"So, now what?"
Martin and Cara stood ahead, both smiling.
She stopped.
"Well, I've had plenty of time to think. I suppose the best thing would be what I've been doing."

She resumed her pace. "I hear the Centurion Guard is looking for new personel, so I suppose it wouldn't hurt to inquire about any openings."
------------------------------------------------
Oahu
------------------------------------------------

The hospital room was mostly dark, save for the lone light near the door. Although still very tired, Elena slowly woke in the bed she lay. For a moment she forgot why she was there. Nearly four months had passed since she returned home and now she was here.

Over to one wall, Ryuji slept on a couch. Even with the silouette she could tell his sleep wasn't the most restful. He deserved more than this for the support he gave, but it couldn't be helped.

Against another wall, a cart stood. Atop, the clear plastic sides displayed the reason they were there.

Through her tired face, she smiled at the bundle she saw and raised a hand to wave out and then return to itself. The faint breathing came from the little body, and she wanted to hold it, yet she knew it was still time for her to rest.
------------------------------------------------
Six months later
------------------------------------------------

Elena closed the refrigerator with her free arm while balancing the stack of containers in the other. She then gingerly transferred the stack so she could carry it over to the counter with both hands. On her way over, she saw the little girl lying in the play pen, babbling and looking at the ceiling with great interest. Elena smiled at the child. She would've waved too, but not at the expense of toppling her load.

Before she could make it to the counter, her cell phone rang.
"Coming...coming!" She rolled her eyes. Of course, right when she couldn't reach the thing. She quickly moved the stack over and reached for the phone to answer.

"Hey." She said, switching on the speaker phone.
"Well, hey yourself, Elena!" It was a voice she hadn't heard for some time.
"Alice!" Elena was surprised...in a good way. "Geez, it's been a while since we talked."
"No kidding! I forgot what's going on, you know, so I figured I'd touch base with you."

Elena pulled out a butter knife from a drawer and began opening several of the containers.
"Well, right now, I'm just throwing together some sandwiches."
"Lunchtime over there? I thought it's a little late for that."
Elena laughed.
"Oh, no. You're right. I'm getting something packed for the surf meet today before I whip out a boob for someone else's lunch."

This time, Alice laughed.
"You're pretty casual about that, huh?"
"Yup."
"So, does that mean you're dropping her off with your sister?"
"Nah. It's just late enough that Ryuji can cut out a little early and be fine." Elena sat the knife down to remove the contents of one container. "Actually, now that I think about it, he might've gone in early today. I was kinda half asleep when he got up, so I don't know what I'm saying."

"Oh, I get what you're saying...kinda. Anyway, how's the baby? And Ryuji?" Alice asked, eagerly awaiting more details.
"Etsuko is pretty good...I think. It's hard to tell sometimes, because you don't have that sort of personal reference. There was, like, a sparkle in Ryuji's eye when she started sleeping through the night." Elena smiled. "Little stinker."

"Which one?"
"Depends on the time of day!" Elena joked. "Anyway, Ryuji got in at the company my dad works with and it seems to be going pretty well, and the pay isn't that bad either. They must've revised it, because I knew it was so-so a while back when I was a little girl."

"That's great!" Alice approved. "Say, I got those pictures of you two not too long ago. Very nice, Elena. That baby bump was so-o-o cute!"
"Glad you liked them. It was worth it to have a wedding at home. If nothing else we have pictures that we don't have to worry about being, uh, classified."

"So, are you going to work outside the home anytime soon?"
Elena pondered her response. "Eh, I thought about it, and we could do it, child care and all, no problem, but I'm not all that motivated right now." She admitted as she snuck a peek at the play pen's occupant who had fallen asleep. "It's just...kinda nice."

"I never pegged you as the domestic type." Alice commented.
"Hey, now. I'm not the cleaning lady here." Elena obviously faked her irritation, but then continued in a softer tone. "It wasn't in my plans, but now that my life is like this, I don't think I'd be happier. I've had my time to run around and see the world. Those are great memories, but I wouldn't leave what I have for anything...including the world."
-------------------------------------------

The stroller rolled briskly through the warm sand of the beach. The satisfied look Elena wore matched the warm temparature of the days temperature. She was glad she'd had her surfboard picked up by Meg and Jake earlier in the day because she couldn't imagine how she'd hold it and steer the stroller without appearing highly intoxicated.

"You made it!" Meg exclaimed. "Are you ready?"
"Yeah, soon as Ryuji gets here." Elena pushed the stroller underneath an umbrella. "But, I can get ready to hit the surf." With that she started to pull off her shorts and shirt.

"Oooh!"
Meg heard her, but was too busy with her visual examination of the baby. "She's so cute, Elena!"
"Why thank you." Ryuji had joined the small crowd.

He noticed Elena's swimwear. "Nice. I was afraid I'd never see that again."
She struck a pose with her hands on her hips, smugly displaying a black bikini. "I was hoping more for a 'Damn! That's hot!', but I guess yours works too."

Ryuji moved over to give her a quick peck on the lips.
"Well, I can take over from here."

Elena winked, grabbed her surfboard under one arm and started to run toward the ocean she loved.
----------------------------------------------
End After Phase
----------------------------------------------
End Gundam Deus
----------------------------------------------

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:24 pm 
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Elitist Earth Politician
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Okay, peaceful, acceptable ending, but those apostrophes are crying to me from the grave.

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:16 am 
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I think I killed off a good chunk of people part way through the story, so there weren't as many people who it was necessary to die. Some people were potential casualties, but it didn't fit the story to do it and have it seem as though they were dying just for the sake of pulling a Tomino.

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:34 pm 
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I was talking about apostrophes D:
As in, grammatical boo-boos

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