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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:58 am 
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Retconned MSV Ace

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No worries, we will. :)

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 Post Posted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:27 am 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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Heh, so far so good I guess then. :mrgreen: *knock on wood*

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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:20 pm 
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Creepy Bishonen

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Hi there! Been reading the first few chapters. You have a very basic style, concentrating more on conversations than on the surroundings or how the POV character is feeling. If you were attempting to turn professional, I would be tearing it apart, but for fanfiction I'm more lenient since your grammar and characterization are mostly on target. ^^

But I will suggest formatting your fic differently to make it easier to read. This is me reworking a random scene from a recent chapter just for formatting, I haven't modified your text at all.

Quote:
He stepped into the room.

"How long has it been?" Leonidas asked.

"Quite a number of months, chairman."

"War has that unfortunate side effect, doesn't it?"

The question was unanswered, so he continued. "I know you haven't been to the front lines, but I wanted your input on how to end the deadlock between our forces and the Union?"

"Out of the air, we could target some major cities....of course, those cities don't exactly correspond with military targets."

"So, you're saying a place like Beijing or Seoul, or Hong Kong are better?"

"Actually, if rumors are to be believed, Shanghai." Pagan replied frankly.

"Remind me, Commander, what makes that city so special?"

"I know it's the headquarters of Izanagi Mobile Design, a principle mobile suit company.
They were behind the Zeus development."

Leonidas frowned. Pagan could tell he was recalling the Federation's abysmal Orion mobile suit.

"However, what I'm hearing is that it is also the site where much of their prototype work happens."


This also highlights another flaw, sometimes I can't tell who's talking. When you just say something blind like that, it's difficult to tell who the speaker is. When you have a character say something after exposition/description, it's best to say who the speaking character is. It's not a big deal when you have two characters conversing but when you break it with a description, it's best to say who the speaker is. I hope I'm making sense.

I'll try to comment on your story more, I'm barely into it right now (again, I pulled the recent scene randomly).

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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:27 pm 
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i format my fanfics exactly the same way, although the personalities on my NGE fic are different enough for a reader to tell who's talking, so give each character a specific way of talking, and voila, problem solvd

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 Post Posted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:21 am 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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rebel_cheese wrote:
Hi there! Been reading the first few chapters. You have a very basic style, concentrating more on conversations than on the surroundings or how the POV character is feeling. If you were attempting to turn professional, I would be tearing it apart, but for fanfiction I'm more lenient since your grammar and characterization are mostly on target. ^^

But I will suggest formatting your fic differently to make it easier to read. This is me reworking a random scene from a recent chapter just for formatting, I haven't modified your text at all.

*snip*

This also highlights another flaw, sometimes I can't tell who's talking. When you just say something blind like that, it's difficult to tell who the speaker is. When you have a character say something after exposition/description, it's best to say who the speaking character is. It's not a big deal when you have two characters conversing but when you break it with a description, it's best to say who the speaker is. I hope I'm making sense.

I'll try to comment on your story more, I'm barely into it right now (again, I pulled the recent scene randomly).


Yeah, over the course of this thing, I've started to realize that. Once I get done, one thing to do is run through it again and fix stuff and repost, which might make some of the Phases that got a little borked from the forum upgrade a bit more readable.

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 Post Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:03 pm 
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PHASE 43 - THE MAKER'S SHADOW
-------------------------------------

Alarms blared inside the Victory. Everyone onboard had felt the blast rumble through the ship.

While an actual panic hadn't broken out, a number of crewmembers were certainly in shock. It was a wonder the ship hadn't dropped from the sky, but even so, the damage inflicted was nothing to celebrate. Captain Logan knew repair crews were scrambling to cut off the proverbial bleeding the ship had to be doing right then. One shot, that was all it took from a single mobile suit to severely cripple his battleship.


"Why can't I simply live my life without you stalking me all over the world?" Elena demanded of Pagan.
His reply was eerily calm.
"Call it what you will, but I have good reason to keep my eye on you."
Once again, the Thanatos aimed its dual-buster at the now floundering Victory.
"Like hell you're going to pull that one a second time!"
The Deus shot toward the Thanatos, beam saber ready to end the attack.

"Leave this world behind!" Pagan cried out as the Thanatos released its bits to fend off Elena.
"Not this again." She grumbled seeing the unwelcomed armaments.
"Oproštaj!"
The second shot pierced straight through from bow to the rear of the hapless battleship. This time

it no longer languished in mid-air. Instead it began to sink, the bow slowly aiming skyward in its final moments.

It had been a long while since Elena or Ryuji felt so helpless. In moments, they had witnessed a lone mobile suit casually defeat a battleship. It's death was almost concluded as little explosions popped up all over the vessel's surface. Even as beams bounced off the Deus's wings, Elena still clung to the inkling of hope that it might somehow survive.

The inevitable happened. A series of trembling explosions cracked the Victory down the middle, followed by smaller ones and then both halves were as if they'd be impaled by the fury of a volcano.

Elena hung her head. She was sad, upset, confused. Despite her career choice, she still found herself feeling the impact of death, especially on such large a scale.
"Wh-what is the point of this?"
Her head whipped back up, and she glared toward the Thanatos.
"What are you doing here?!" She exploded. "Are you here just to destroy everything?"
The Deus pressed toward the Thanatos despite the constant attack hailed upon her machine.
"No, not everything will be destroyed. I will give humanity exactly what they want and then I," Pagan explained, "I will recreate heaven and earth!"

Elena had heard enough and the Deus barreled towards the Thanatos, both beam sabers ignited.
"This isn't making anything at all!"
The Thanatos pointed it's dual-buster rifle at the incoming mobile suit. "I'm not the one who chose the path humanity has taken!" Pagan called out. "When it comes down to it, history shows the same vicious circle of destruction. Humanity continually proves that it wants not only to destroy, but, ultimately, it wants to be destroyed!"

As the Deus's wings began to wrap around the mobile suit, Elena shut off the beam sabers and prepared for a violent impact. The suit rumbled as the energy wave struck the mobile suit and lasted far longer than she thought it might. Still, the blast subsided and the Deus's wings snapped open. Both hands flung out, firing as soon as they were aimed in the general direction of her enemy.
"Is that really so?" She asked, the question clearly delivered in a scathing tone. "That's why you're following me?"
"Of course not; you and I are the same."
Elena couldn't believe how calm and composed Pagan could be as he delivered the reply. The Thanatos blocked her shots as he continued. "You're alive because we need to be alive!"



Ryuji could tell he barely avoided the last shot from the Satyr's bits. He had nearly forgotten what it was like to deal with this type of weaponry.
The Nergal aimed its beam rifle and fired off several shots at the other machine. They were either dodged or blocked by a shield before the Satyr returned the attack with another round from its bits.
"You're with the martyrs, too, aren't you?" Ryuji accused.
The Satyr flew over his last burst, firing its own beam rifle as it came in an arc at his mobile suit.
"We're no longer that way!" Shilah claimed. "We are the angels of god!"

Ryuji hesitated for a moment when he heard this.
"When did this happen?"
But, he had no time to speculate. The time needed to aim a beam rifle had dwindled, so he backed away, firing the Nergal's CIWS during the interim.
"When he decided we were worthy." The Satyr slowed it's approach, and its bits docked back with the mobile suit.
He took advantage of the enemy mobile suit's delay. The beam rifles swiveled up to target the Satyr. He fired several bursts off at the Satyr.
"Your god tells you to kill people? That's how he solves problems?"

The Satyr fired back with its own beam rifle. "It's not killing anyone. It's bringing justice to rectify the sin of humanity!" The bits re-launched, fanning out and then circling around to attack the Nergal.
---------------------------------------------------

Jana was riding the lift up on her Scorpio's maintenance frame when she heard a voice from below.
"What are you doing?"
Wade was below, and she could see him breathing deeply from running to the hangar as quickly as he could.
"Huh?" She turned to look at him.
"What are you doing?" He repeated.
"I'm about to sortie." She answered. "What does it look like?"
"I don't think we know what we're up against, Jana." He took several deep breaths. "The Victory was just shot down--"
Her mouth fell open. "No way!"
Even from ten meters above, Wade was clearly not making light of a grave situation. "It would be nice if I were. We just found out, so I thought I'd let you know what you're dealing with...if you're still going."

Jana thought over the sobering odds. It would be three mobile suits against a battleship plus whatever mobile suits it hadn't launched.
She sighed, resigned to the unfavorable outlook of either choice. She looked at Wade, then at her Scorpio, then back again at her leader.

As the helmet went over her head, Wade nodded, silently wishing her good luck. It wasn't vocal, but she knew she distinctly heard him.
----------------------------------------------------

While Elena hadn't made up her mind about Pagan, comparing it against her first impression told her this man was clearly something other than whatever was on the surface. Humanity wanting to be destroyed...was that reality, or simply a mad man's messiah complex? Of that, she was unsure. What she could tell to be certain was her opponent was well armed and unreserved on using that option.

She couldn't let him be, not with what she had observed from the meetings with him. Beneath his words, she could sense something much more sinister. What it was she couldn't determine. At the moment, she couldn't even get close. The bits from the Thanatos swirled around the Deus, firing then darting to a new location. If she could just get closer, then maybe, just maybe she could take Pagan on in her machines ideal combat situation.

She would break through his assault. She had to do it. At this point, it was a stalemate of some sort: he couldn't break through the Deus protective seraphic shroud, but she couldn't fight bundled up like a cocoon.

It was then that she sensed another presence. Someone was coming and Elena could already start to visualize.
"Jana!"

Several moments later, Elena could feel the barrage taper off. The Deus's wings opened, then flung wide. Jana’s Scorpio was attacking the Thanatos.
"I thought you might use a hand." Jana mentioned.
"And you were right!" Elena was already making use of Jana's distraction. Her machine rushed toward the Thanatos. Both heatrods unfurled; she was going to end this now. She was focused on breaking the enemy. She couldn't shake the sinister vibe she felt growing from Pagan.


Then, the surrounding area became a sea of white. Elena felt as if she was floating in the middle of nothing. As she quickly grew accustomed to the white, a sense of nakedness hit her and she hunched to cover herself. It was just like at Helsinki.

"So, your conscience has expanded, little goddess." Pagan's voice rang out from an undetermined location.
Still hunched over, Elena looked around. Not only did she fail to understand where she was, her enemy was here too and she couldn't see him. Her head whipped to and fro, her eyes darted around looking for this masked pursuer.
"You've certainly grown strong, but as Joshua reported, you still don't fully realize your potential."

Elena shouted into the white void.
"What potential? Tell me, what the hell is this potential crap you keep spewing?"
She could hear Pagan chuckle. It wasn't distinctly ominous, but it wasn't quite comforting.
"The divine sea of potential inside you." He explained. "The first time at Helsinki, I wasn't sure, but I know for certain you were at the second attack as well."

Elena couldn't make an attempt not to gasp in surprise.
"So you were there!"
A faint outline of someone appeared in the distance.
"Of course." It was still Pagan, and now his voice actually came from a direction. "I was watching my angels descend."

Now, Pagan stood closer and seemed to tower over Elena.
"If those are angels," Elena cast an untrusting eye up at Pagan. "I'd really hate to see who's the devil."
"The only ones who need to fear them are those who create sin." Pagan replied.

"Humanity...mankind...men...people...use the name you prefer, but in the end, what they produce is the same."

She felt no fear. She wasn't sure what he meant, but she determined to face him, her masked shadow. So, Elena stood. In this place, regardless of if she felt naked or not, she assumed that Pagan was in the same boat. Clearly, he wasn't bothered by it--if he felt bare.

Pagan was still taller than she, yet it made no difference. She looked at him with narrowed eyes.
"Yeah, I get that man and sin are the same. My dad is Lutheran and my mom was Catholic, so yeah, I get what your saying."
"Then you understand what has to happen." Pagan pushed for her affirmation.
"Of course." She looked at her feet, then back up at him. "But, by your talk, I guess you think you're the man for the job." She stopped to examine what she just said and added. "Or, should I say, 'god'?"

A thin smile crossed Pagan's lips. "Now you finally understand your place."



Jana's growing concern for Elena showed no signs of waning as she watched the Deus and the Thanatos just floating in the air.
"Anything yet?" Ryuji sounded as if he had been working out for a while.
"I-I just..." Pagan and Elena weren't having any sort of conversation that she could hear, but

Jana could sense something was happening. "I'm sorry. I really don't know."
"Then keep watching." Ryuji told her.
"What about you?"

Ryuji moved the Nergal higher to avoid one shot and blocking the next successive ones with the shield. "I'm going to be fine."
"But--" She objected.
"Someone needs to be able to report back what happens!"




"I understand some things." Elena informed Pagan. "But I don't understand you." She forced herself to stand closer to him, looking at him in the eyes. Even through his mask, she started a cold, hard stare right into his eyes. "You think you're god?"
Pagan grinned.
"That, little goddess is what Newtypes are."
"No," she argued, "that's what a cult leader believes."
"Except they are merely human." Pagan countered. "Humanity has always been flawed, as I've already said. They're flawed to the point they can't even recognize a god before them."
Elena's fists clenched.
"And that's your justification for killing them?"
"No, humanity really doesn't want salvation; the flaws are simply extensions of their desire to destroy themselves!" He raised his hand beside her cheek. Elena couldn't tell if he was going to caress her cheek or strike it, all the while listening to him speak. "No soldier willingly tells his enemy about their plans. No, they lie to carry out the end goal. Women use themselves to sway men into doing what they want. There's not enough time, energy or space to describe how humanity takes a perverted path towards its demise!"

Elena backed away, now glaring at Pagan.
"You don't even know if people would reject salvation!"
"Yes, I do." There was no mistaking his smugness. "No matter how it's presented, any appearance of salvation always has a fight to be heard and then continually heard. Don't religions preach of the end of the world? For humanity, that time has come! That's why there must be a new heaven and earth. If all the inhabitants are god, perfection will be constant."

Now, she could feel her teeth grinding together. "Yeah, there's problems, but there hasn't even been a solid Newtype recognition standard. You don't know anything for certain."
The smugness lessened as Pagan countered. "Just because humanity can't, by some means, detect a

Newtype doesn't make it untrue. Only god can see the mind of man, and all I see is a darkness that spreads throughout their bodies. It's far too simple to trigger humanity into conflict."

A cry, much like a child seemed to echo around them.
He waved.
"Farewell; it's the beginning of the end."



Elena found herself back in the Deus's cockpit and within the covering of a pilot's suit. The Thanatos was falling back to its ship.
"What just happened?" She was unsure of this experience.
"I dunno, you tell me." Jana answered. "That mobile suit and yours just sat there forever and all of a sudden, he's going back home."

With the Satyr gone, Ryuji moved the Nergal toward the Deus and Scorpio.
"I didn't fire a single shot." He heard Jana say.
"I think we should go back." He said to the other two. "Maybe before they change their minds."
Jana wasn't about to take chances, and agreed with him.
"What he said."

Elena stared off at the retreating Knox.
A familiar churning in her belly forced her to affirm the retreat.
"Yeah, let's go."

On the way back, Ryuji received a private call over the comm.
"Hey, Ryuji?" Elena began. "I'm starting to feel a little nauseous again, so I think I'm gonna lay down as soon as I can once we get back."
"Oh, sure." He was familiar with the topic she'd been experiencing. "Do you need me to help take over your side of things then?"
"Let me see what needs to be done when we get there."



One by one, each of the three mobile suits returned to the somber hangar of the Augustine. Maybe it was just their perception, but Elena just felt a sense of mourning. There seemed to be less spunk in the workers actions around each machine's maintenance frame.

Or, maybe it was the churning inside her that had become like rapids. As she stepped out of the cockpit, she swallowed to stop anything from coming up and steadied herself with a hand against the Deus. This wasn't like any time before, and she gingerly removed her helmet as to not upset a seemingly precarious balance in this sudden sea of nausea.

She took a step toward the lift to the main floor.
Then, after seeing that hadn't set anything off, she took another step.
The rapids rose to a wave and she clapped a hand over her mouth while forcing herself to keep things down.
With the third step, it didn't get worse, but it didn't get any better.

She stopped. Maybe she should stop here for a few moments and let the rapids settle down into churning and the churning go down to calm.
But the internal ocean's might wasn't dissuaded.

Elena dropped to her knees, coughing through the hand over her mouth.
All she got out beforehand was "Oh-!" And then the waves beat hard and her stomach convulsed and thrashed, violently bringing up everything it could and then some.

Her hand couldn't contain the tidal wave, and she needed it to support herself on all fours as she wretched and gagged throughout the ordeal. Even though she could see that she had produced everything her poor stomach had to offer, it was still being squeezed and coerced to give even more.

Eventually, the waves went away. Worn out from this, Elena rolled to one side, mostly avoiding the mess. She didn't know how long she lay there near to her own vomit. Despite the putrid odor, she no longer had the strength to repeat the performance. It was over, and she just wanted to lie there without interruptions. Eventually a couple of people from the medical team came up to retrieve her.

Being put on a stretcher made the incident look a lot more serious than it really was. She puked, no big deal in itself. Puking in front of a bunch of people was. On her way out, she caught a glimpse of a concerned Ryuji, and that was worse than the embarrassing barf-fest she just had.
She reminded herself she needed to pay attention to what she ate.
--------------------------------------
Reformer-class Knox
--------------------------------------

Pagan reflected on the interaction with Elena.
He could have brought the two of them there, but she had done that herself. She had gone there all from her own power.
She would, eventually, see his side. Once she realized everything, she would know her place as part of his new heaven and earth.
--------------------------------------
End Phase 43
--------------------------------------

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 Post Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:15 pm 
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Elitist Earth Politician
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cultists are all the same.

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 Post Posted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:45 pm 
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Uh oh...0.0

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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 11:35 am 
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Pagan was inspired by Rau LeCruset, just an FYI.

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:31 pm 
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Current update: nothing new to post. It's in the works, but pretty much, real life has come into play, and I haven't had much time to invest in this lately. It will be done, but not likely this year.

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:48 pm 
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Location: Heaven's Pillar
PHASE 44 - FIRE FROM HEAVEN
---------------------------------

Elena lay in bed, arms crossed. She had been staring, quite often really, at the wall past her feet. The doctor had ordered bed rest and clear liquids for two days, something she wasn't in the mood for right now. She wasn't tired either, so the confinement seemed nearly excruciating. While Ryuji could devour books to bide his time, she wasn't content to be out like this. It was all she could do to stay in bed.

The only upside was she had been allowed to serve the time in her quarters, so at least Ryuji could come in and out to visit and fetch for her. Currently, he was out and about on the ship.

Ironically, he was likely desiring to kick back with whatever literature he was currently in the middle of reading.
------------------------------------
Helsinki
------------------------------------

Leonidas sighed heavily. He sat at his desk that was covered with the preliminary reports about the Olympus colony.
He closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead. The monetary cost from the Olympus colony disaster alone was enough to administer an excruciating headache, let alone other casualties that came with the loss.

Instinctively, he thought of the Resistance. Pagan had pointed out their involvment. Surely, they couldn't really have the resources to cause the level of damage necessary to destroy an entire colony did they? They had made two separate runs on Helsinki itself, but a colony? What was the end goal of the colony? This enemy wasn't out for a mere terrorization. No, it was something else entirely. Space didn't seem to fit their mode of operation, but who else would it be? Clearly, the entire picture was missing some important pieces, however, the data collected on the group narrowed it to--at the very least--include some traitorous factions within the Federation itself.

The Union could be another contender, given the current war. However, no data collected so far had indicated any of that particular enemy's presence within days of the tragedy. If any enemy had shown itself that should have easily stood out.

He leaned back in the chair. There was a third possibility: an inside job, something outside the Resistance. Of the potential culprits, it too made sense, but the motivation escaped him. Wouldn't the resources necessary have shown up? Destroying a colony was possible, but to do so would take a great deal of firepower to accomplish. Some of the details Pagan had given him seemed to be contradicted with some of the information he'd received from the investigation team and few survivors.

Of course, the details would surface over the course of time. Unfortunately, time could be cruel, revealing the pertinent details at such point they would do no good, as far as leaving any means to act. He could only pray, desperately so, for time to spare it's fiendish ways before something worse might occur.

------------------------------------
Reformer-class Augustine
------------------------------------
Ryuji walked down a hall, a black bag hanging from one hand. Veronika was very interested in the exchange Elena had with Pagan, so she wanted to make sure she could get all the details available.

He had managed to report on the little he had happened to see, and was sure Jana had as well.

He looked down at the bag and thought how this would be good for Elena.
By her restlessness, Ryuji could tell Elena would likely jump at the chance to do even the most unpleasant chore. Truthfully, he wanted to know exactly what had happened against Pagan. He hadn't bothered to ask, since the doctor had ordered her on bed rest. Though he despised doing so, it was best, he thought to leave her relaxing for the number of days prescribed. It would be over soon enough, so they would bear it.


A little further and he could see he was near their room. As he closed in, he distinctly sensed Elena aching to leave the room. Nothing he could do about it, but some relief from her boredom was literally at his hands.

He opened the door and passed through.
"Hey." He smiled at her. "How's it going?"
Her eyebrows raised, and she shook her head.
"Bored. I could rip my brain out, I'm so bored."
By the time she finished, he'd come around to sit on bed beside her, and leaned over to give her a peck on the cheek. Better for him not to pick up anything if at all possible.

Presenting the black bag, he spoke.
"This might not be much, but" he said, already noticing her fixating on it, "this is your little project for now."
"Show me." Elena was trying not to sound too eager, but she realized that may have come across as such.
Ryuji slid the dull grey machine out of it covering before handing it to her.
"The captain asked for a report." He grinned slightly with a look of apology. "I got a chance to peek at Jana's report and like mine, we're not sure what went on between you and that guy."

Her brow furrowed as the masked man's name came up. "Pagan Czevik." She held the laptop with one hand while her other clutched her forehead in frustration. "I don't know why I got the bad luck of running into him. The intentions he has...they're terrible. He needs to be stopped, but I don't know--"

"It's alright." Ryuji told her in a soft tone. He didn't know that this would trigger such a fluctuation in Elena's demeanor, but he could feel the distress rising from her.
Her hand broke from her head and she looked at him, slightly surprised.

"Look at it this way: we have a name to go on now. That might help connect some dots." Ryuji sat down on the bed to rub one of her arms. "Just write it down in your report. The more the Resistance has to go on, the better chance we have of maybe stopping him and whatever he's planned."

She sighed heavily, the upward angled air exhaled forcefully enough to rustle hair hanging in front of her face. She opened the laptop, powered it on, and then looked at Ryuji.
"I suppose we don't need this hanging over our heads until both of us are wrinkled and gray."
------------------------------------------------

Alban stretched out his arms in front of him.
"I think this is as far as I can go." He informed Smith. "She'll have to do those last set of adjustments herself."

"That's alright." Smith nodded, backing away from the cockpit hatch so Alban could exit the Deus.

"You don't mind doing this?" Smith asked. "I mean, this was kinda yours wasn't it?"
Alban shrugged after standing upright.
"Technically, there's no real ownership of military equipment. I don't know if that was the same for mercenary work, but not in the enlisted ranks."
"Not that, uh, that particular detail really matters now." Smith let it roll off. He didn't care to bring up the subject of the Centurion Guard. Even a year later, the subject was a sore spot with him.

"Right." Alban agreed, stretching. "Certain things are more lax under new management."
Smith couldn't believe that the Resistance would exclusively run on Federation military protocol, and he nodded knowingly.
------------------------------------------------
Reformer-class Knox
------------------------------------------------

Pagan made sure his door was locked before he sat down at his desk.
Once the connection had been made and secured, the familiar cohort appeared on the screen before him.
"My lord!" General Kyoji greeted reverently.

The masked man folded his hands together on the desk.
"What progress has been made?" He asked.
"As expected." General Kyoji reported. "Mr. Cavalier's presentation has influenced Cai Deshang on the path he was expected to take. Obviously, the Union council needs to vote to approve the matter, but where he leads, most tend to follow."

"Humanity is quite predictable." Pagan mused before posing another question. "Tell me, are the necessary arrangements--"
The answer came before he could finish. "Your legions are in place. No matter the vote, this will happen."
----------------------------------------------

As the ship flew over the smoldering land, Captain Galt kept an eye on the surface. There wasn't much to look at on the ground of the formerly great land of England, but then again, they weren't here for a vacation. This was one of the last things needed before the main plan was executed.
----------------------------------------------
Reformer-class Augustine
----------------------------------------------

In the officer's lounge, Graf gazed out the window at the clouds floating by. Questions about what had occurred in Iceland circled and cut through one another inside his head. As rapidly as the Federation appeared, it was hard to believe there was an informant. It wasn't impossible, and maybe he had become careless, but still, the speed and ferocity--

No. The frightening part about the attack was the two unfamiliar mobile suits. The uneasiness he felt about the situation reminded him.
"I thought the Spectre data was destroyed." He said aloud and just as someone walked into the room.

"What's this Spectre?" Veronika asked casually. She held two mugs of coffee, handing one to Graf.

"It's Dallymer, from back home."
He nodded his thanks and took a sip while collecting his thoughts.
"That 'Spectre' sounds familiar. The pilot of the Deus, Elena Kai, has referenced it several times as a mobile suit of some sort." She told him. "I forget the details right now."

"That's not what I was planning to talk about, but I suppose it may be just as well that I do."

Graf began. "The Spectre was the codename for a project RMX-D105. Its development began around the same time as the D101 Orion. The D105 was, in my opinion, the real reason the D101 ended as the pariah machine we know. Part of the official D101 budget was siphoned off and under the radar."

He broke from his explanation, taking another sip. Veronika was unwavering in listening to him, but she also knew where he came from. All this time, she hadn't be given the full story. As he had spoken, he realized he owed her these details, especially now. John Logan, Jr. probably should have known, though it was after the fact.

"Anyway," he continued, "it was probably about thirty-five to thirty-nine percent of the D101's budget, and that project's development was cheapened. It certainly wasn't due to Chairman

Stolitsky's Russian background as the rumors claimed. But, before I quit the military, I was told the D105 project was being scrapped because the systems required for the mobile suit couldn't be created with the current technology."

Veronika spoke.
"However, if what Elena told us is true, that's either a lie or someone else picked up the project."
"Yes, that's what I'm afraid has happened." Graf watched the clouds. "There were two avenues for the development of the D105 that could've been taken. The main idea around the Spectre was to create a machine with remote weapons that could simultaneously take on multiple targets at once.

Obviously, this requires a lot of complexities to operate at a combat level, but as I said, there were two avenues."
"The first was a computer-based real-time mainframe complimented with the remote weapons running their own real-time operating system on each unit. The second would utilize a person with a high mental awareness and a mobile suit frame designed to enhance this said awareness. I don't know enough to say how the remote weapons were supposed to interact with that system, but apparently someone does."

"Maybe you should say 'did'." Veronika corrected.
Graf looked back at her.
"I beg your pardon."
"We intercepted some sensitive data transmissions stating something's happened to the Olympus colony. The Federation hasn't let this out yet, so far as we could tell, but I think it's interesting a new pair of mobile suits appeared back in Iceland."

Graf didn't know what to say for a moment, but he had to speak.
"We need to list this out, but I believe it's fair to say this isn't a coincidence."
"I would agree." Veronika nodded. "It's unfortunate we didn't know this earlier on, though."
"Yes. The approach we've been using probably wouldn't be the way we would have gone about this if we'd known." Graf could feel a sinking feeling inside, but it was balanced by the possibility that the Resistance might still have an opportunity to correct the problem.
-----------------------------------------

Ryuji sat back in the Nergal's cockpit. He yawned and stretched. He needed to get up and move around or he just might fall asleep in his seat.

Once the lift of the maintenance frame hit the hangar floor, he started walking toward the exit.
"I need a break."
"You probably should take a nap." Smith suggested, overhearing Ryuji.
"Wish I could." Ryuji looked back at the Nergal. "But, I don't have that much more to do, so I'd hate to leave it this far in and not finish."
"Gonna check on Elena?"
"Of course." Ryuji confirmed.
"So, how's she doing then?" Smith was genuinely concerned, and Ryuji was grateful to have a comrade such as him.
"I think she's fine physically, but being confined to bed has been hard on her. She's not able to move around as she'd like to." Ryuji answered. "At least the captain wanted to know what went on during her sortie."
Smith rubbed his chin. "Yeah, that was a weird one."
"To say the least. I'd like to know the details myself."
Smith was surprised by this.
"You mean, you don't even know? I thought Newtypes could--"
Ryuji shook his head.
"No. It's not like that." He folded his arms. "I really don't know the full spectrum of what it covers. If I were to guess, I think Elena's either really powerful or has a lot more control over her abilities than I do." He smiled grimly. "At least I hope my theory on it is correct."
--------------------------------------------
Shanghai
--------------------------------------------

A military convoy rolled into the base. General Kyoji sat calmly in one Humvee holding a briefcase with a pair of handcuffs linking it to one wrist. He knew what was inside and that it was critical in an attempt to end the war. Still, he found these measures to be a little overboard and extravagantly old-fashioned, as if from another era.
--------------------------------------------

One of the escorts handed General Kyoji the key to the handcuffs and he took them, glad to remove the obnoxious faux bracelet.
"Well then, let's have a look at what's inside, Colonel Vihn." He addressed the base's commanding officer while entering the combination on both locks.

It opened to reveal a plain, nondescript binder, which General Kyoji removed. He flipped open the binder, beckoning the other officer to read it as well.
For several moments, the two stood, making sure they fully comprehended the orders given.

After that, Colonel Vihn looked at General Kyoji.
"I thought these two were possibilities, but I'm surprised we're going after both."
"From what I understand," Kyoji explained, "the council and the Chairman felt this might end the war."
"Then let's hope so."
-------------------------------------------
Hong Kong
-------------------------------------------

Cai Deshang had stood silent since glancing at the clock several minutes earlier. Any moment now, the operation would be carried out. At that time, he hoped that this would set the motions for a conclusion to this war and bring relief to the anguished cries of all people within the

Trans-Pacific Union.
------------------------------------------
Prometheus Control Center
------------------------------------------

The operations room was alight with activity. Lieutenant Major Ngo was waiting on two Prometheus satellites to orbit into their locations. The large main screen displayed the major statuses.
Satellite 3 and satellite 5 were being used for this operation.

A beep indicated one satellite's charge had crossed the 80 percent mark.
"Lieutenant Major! Satellite 5 is now at 80 percent!" A soldier reported. "It will be over the target zone in 93 seconds!"

Ngo began responding with orders.
"Disengage the safety override lock! Recheck all power connection statues! Confirm the charge level!"

The soldiers hurried, more fervently, yelling back their reports to their superior. Everything, as expected, was operating in perfect order.

The satellite made its orbited pattern right above the target. Lieutenant Major Ngo gave the final order.
"Initiate transmission!"
---------------------------------------
Berlin
---------------------------------------

The streets downtown bustled between the workers in the government buildings and civilians going about their business. While it was overcast, the darkened clouds didn't seem to slow down the population.

At a fruit stand, a woman and her young child browsed. Well, she browsed, and the child fought her so she could run around as she pleased.
"Just a few minutes more." The woman told her daughter, hoping it would buy her the last bit of time she needed to finish. "I promise. Then we'll go home and you can play."
"But, I want to now!" The child pleaded, then noticing a light. "Mommy! The sun's out!"

The woman noticed the sudden heat and turned around to see the unpredicted light. But once she looked, she knew it wasn't the sun behind the clouds.
-----------------------------------------
Prometheus Control Center
-----------------------------------------

"Sir, transmission is successful. 95 of target area has been cleared."
Lieutenant Major Ngo sighed, grateful the first half of the operation had completed.
------------------------------------------
Reformer-class Augustine
------------------------------------------

Veronika had taken off her jacket, making herself comfortable while she worked in her room. Just as she sat down, a desperate series of knocks came at her door.
"Come in." She called with a slightly terse tone. Someone seemed to have forgotten protocol.

The door opened, Martin stood, eyes wide as if in a daze. He started stammering.
"C-captain. Oh, my...it...it's..."
Veronika stood back up. She could tell something was terribly wrong.
"Berlin." He sputtered.
"What about Berlin?" She needed to know what had him so worked up.
"It's not there!"
----------------------------------------
End Phase 44
----------------------------------------

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:35 pm 
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Quote:
"My lord!"

http://www.alexandgregory.com/images/darth%20sidious%205325.jpg

Wow, that little girl part was...
0.0 another universe-destroying laser.

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 6:55 pm 
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It was that or a colony drop. ;D The FE calendar doesn't have a lot of colonies to be chucking at the planet at this stage.

Actually, I've had the Prometheus system idea in my head for a long time.

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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:28 pm 
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PHASE 45 - IN THE WAKE OF WRATH
---------------------------------
F.E. 109
---------------------------------

A prison guard held a tray full of a freshly prepared meal. He could smell the succulent steak and the generous sides of potatoes, chili among other less potent items. He backed up as another guard unlocked and swung open the cold metal bars on a door to the equally cool appearance of the bleak cell.

"Bryce Hendrick, here's your meal." The first guard said, stepping solemnly into the cell that held a scruffy and weary man.
The prisoner looked up at him as if he'd forgotten something. He had neglected to mention something. It was the man's last meal. In ninety minutes, the man would be strapped to a table and injected with a cocktail of drugs to induce his death.

The door shut and locked. The guard that delivered the food was gone, leaving him, the other guard and the tray of food. He rose from the hard bench to walk over to the food left for him.

He sat down beside his meal, slowly starting to cut up the meat. He thought he'd be a lot hungrier when he asked for this food, but the thought of his demise had deteriorated his appetite. He bit into the first piece of steak, chewing slowly and analyzing the texture and flavor. Whoever had cooked the meat, well, they were the best. At least that's what he thought. It was a small piece of solace as he awaited his doom.


His meal was almost done, and he reached for the can of beer left. As he cracked it open, he heard the solitary guard grumble.
"Oh, what the hell?"
Bryce stopped mid-sip to listen.

"It doesn't matter at this stage does it?"
There was a second voice, one that was unfamiliar to the condemned man. The voice was calm, yet empowered.
"Don't you realize who this guy is?" The guard argued.
"Yes I do. He's almost dead, and I have my reasons. Either way, you won't see him much longer."

The guard grumbled, but decided it best to let this mysterious figure come inside.
"Hey, Hendrick, feel like a guest?"
Bryce sighed.
"Sure, why not?"

In the next moment, a member of the military stood. It was a blond man, who Bryce guessed to be somewhere in his mid-or late twenties. At least that was based on the half of the face that wasn't hidden behind a mask.

"I supposed I could ask how you're doing, but my guess is that it won't be a positive one." The visitor began. "A man like you has committed a sin so grave, you've been rushed through the courts and are now on death row."
Bryce chuckled.
"Well, I guess it pisses people of to shoot the Chairman's head off." He cocked his head, and smiled. "So, who are you and whaddaya want?"

"If a name is important, I'm Colonel Pagan Czevik of the Siberian League."
"That's nice."
Pagan smiled. "So, even though you're about to be executed for the assassination of Vladimir Stolitsky, you wouldn't be interested in some, ah, salvation?"
"I thought I pissed off god, Allah...whoever." Bryce swallowed a large gulp of beer.

Pagan leaned on the bars to the cell.
"What if god offered a deal? There's another way to leave this place besides in a body bag."
It caught Bryce's attention. He put down his beer beside him.
"Alright, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to hear what you have to offer."
----------------------------------------

The military convoy rolled away from the prison.
Inside one of the trucks, Bryce thought about his last-minute fortune. It wasn't an easy road, but the odds of him surviving were much higher than what he had been faced with shortly before now.

He looked over at Pagan.
"Hey, what's the time?"
The masked man pulled back the sleeve on his left hand to view his watch.
"0600."
Had he rejected the offer, he would be on a gurney right now waiting for the grim reaper.

"It seems Bryce Hendrick is dead." Pagan remarked. "That's what will be reported later today. It might just be fitting to give you a new name for your rebirth."
"Your show." The former prisoner said. He was beginning to wonder if this was real or just a dream from which he'd eventually awake.
"Yes." Pagan reinforced. "Yes, Uriah."
----------------------------------------
F.E. 116
----------------------------------------

"Berlin--it's gone?" Veronika could feel the weight of the issue sinking in.

Martin couldn't answer for several moments as he struggled to compose himself. He swallowed before speaking.
"Yeah, that's right." He exhaled slowly, forcing himself to answer as calmly as he could manage.

"We caught wind of it a few minutes ago while scanning Federation signals. There's also been a large heat signature over that particular coordinates."

A beep from the comm paged Veronika’s attention to her desk.
"Yes?" She answered.
"Captain? Another heat signature has been detected." Cara's shaky voice came through the air.
"Where at?"
"It's..." Cara was listening intently to confirm the location. "Ma'am, it's Moscow."
"I see. Gather all the data you can as it comes in." Veronika responded, adding, "Stay calm and focused."

She looked at Martin.
"If I didn't know better, I'd say the Union has come up with something rather nasty."
Martin slumped against the doorway, face downcast.
"They have awful timing."

He was absolutely correct. The Augustine had enough problems with its participation in the rebellion. This new, sickening development would certainly do nothing to alleviate the initial focus's issues.
----------------------------------------
Hong Kong
----------------------------------------

The door to Cai's office opened, and military officer entered. The leader of the Union was seated, calm, but doing nothing else. He clearly had been waiting to hear with the other man had to say.
His eyes looked up at the one standing, as if telling him to give him the results. Even so, he needed to ask, as to ensure he was given the results.
"How did the operation go?"

"It's a success, chairman." Reported the officer. "The exact details are still coming in, but both

Berlin and Moscow have been razed."
"Thank you." He turned to the computer at his desk. The officer left.
Now, Cai needed to give a statement claiming the Union's responsibility in the matter. He sincerely hoped this would convince the enemy to agree to a ceasefire at the very least.
------------------------------------------
Reformer-class Augustine
------------------------------------------

Elena left the restroom stall and made a direct line to the row of sinks. She turned on the faucet and positioned her head to slurp the water. There was an awful taste and feeling still lingering in her mouth. She wanted to rid herself of the disgusting aftermath of this episode.

She rinsed and spit several times before deeming it to be an acceptable, yet temporary effort. Her hand drew across her mouth, wiping the excess water away. She spit again for good measure. She sighed. The taste still lingered--one of which she wished to rid herself.


She returned to her room to find Ryuji sitting on the bed, removing his shoes.
"Oh, hi, Elena." He greeted. "I would've stopped by sooner, but the work I had took longer than I expected. I'll go down to the mess hall in a little bit, if you want to come along."
He assumed she'd gotten tired of waiting and went down for a bite.

Her tongue darted out in disgust when he mentioned eating.
"Uh, no thanks. I just got through throwing up." She started looking in a cabinet. "I just ran back for the mouthwash."
"It happened again?" He was surprised to hear of it happening.
"Yeah." She shut the cabinet, holding a plastic bottle with a clear, bright green liquid. "My favorite past-time, you know." She rolled her eyes to emphasize her sarcasm.

"Will you see the doctor?" Ryuji asked.
She walked back across the room preparing to leave again.
"Not yet. I mean, it's not constant, just a couple of instances."
"Are you sure?" He questioned. "I thought you sounded like you were uncomfortable last night. Or maybe I was dreaming."

She stopped to think.
"Oh!"
She remembered.
"Yeah, I woke up with some heartburn that didn't want to go away, so I was a little restless until it died out." She explained, darting out the door. "We'll go down and eat in a minute."

After she left, Ryuji stretched out on the bed. He was going to read, but before grabbing the book, a question popped into his head. What did she have to even give her heartburn?
-----------------------------------------

Back in the restroom, Elena squeezed the sides of the cap over the bottle and twisted it off. She set it on the counter and emptied part of the bottle's liquid to the pre-measured indicator line.
Vigorously, she swirled the liquid inside her mouth and obliterate the unwelcomed feeling she'd been reintroduced to as of late.

The door opened to the restroom, and another crewmember walked in. Elena vaguely recognized her, but as she was crying with her face partially covered, it was difficult to tell.
She finished rising and bent toward the sink to spit out the mouthwash.
Then, she straightened up and turned toward the other woman. She could feel the distress permeate the room, but was unsure of the exact cause. Even without looking at her, the grief was incredible. Elena felt as if she could have choked on it.

By now, Elena could see enough of the person's face to at least know it was Cara. Elena had gathered little, but knew she was one of the Augustine's bridge crew.
"Um," Elena began, "what's wrong?"

Cara looked at her, not directly in the eye.
"What...what happened?" She squeaked out. She seemed to smile, but it was stifled with anguish.

Elena wanted to know more, and felt the details would come out. Yet, she could feel her on pulse ramp up and adrenaline infuse her own system. Whatever would be said was horrific, something she couldn't determine.

"I-I..." Cara was fighting her own emotions to spill the source of her distress. She finally grabbed enough control, gulping in resolve to say it.
"Berlin just disappeared!" After that, she immediately started to collapse. "So...did...Moscow."

Elena watched Cara sink to the floor as the brutal reality permeated the room. She felt frozen in place. Two major capital cities were gone?

An image flashed through Elena's mind. She could see the Reichstag crumbling and disintegrating in a sea of light. In another instant, the same fate happened to the Kremlin. Her eyes opened wide, horrified over the reality. Wider they grew when the images in the far reaches of her mind came to produce England and then the ruins of Buckingham Palace she saw over a year prior.

"Humanity continually proves that it wants not only to destroy, but, ultimately, it wants to be destroyed!"
"I will recreate heaven and earth!"
Two of Pagan's lines bolted to the forefront of her mind.
"Is this your doing, Pagan Czevik?" She asked under her breath.
The possibility was enough to make her ill, but she didn't have time to get sick. Under other circumstances, she might've stay as a sort of comfort. Not this time; there was too much at stake.
-----------------------------------------

Veronika wasn't in her room, so Elena made her way toward the bridge. It was possible this was a coincidence, but her instincts told her it was already beyond that. With the sudden attack on Berlin and Moscow, she'd been operating on auto-pilot. After having a few moments to think, she realized she had that familiar sensation in her head. She thought Ryuji mentioned they were on a course toward England, though that didn't mean that's where they were now.

She slowed as the entry to the bridge came up. In hindsight, she should've simply called up there. The panel to the door indicated it was closed without the proper authorization.

"Captain?" She buzzed in through the comm. "I know you're probably busy at the moment, but I need to talk with you now."
There was no response, but Veronika appeared at the door when it opened.

"I take it you found out about Berlin and Moscow?" Veronika probed after the door had closed. For what had just happened, the captain was rather calm. At least someone was.
Elena nodded the affirmative.
"Yeah. I ran into one of the bridge crew in the restroom, and she told me--enough." Her eyes had shifted away. "Did you read my report yet?"
"No. I was about to before this developed. Why?"

Elena turned her eyes back at the captain. As windows to her very core, the seriousness vented through them.
"I think I know who's behind it."
Veronika had an educated guess as to the culprit as well, but she waited for Elena's response.
"Pagan Czevik." Elena exhaled the name.
"That wasn't what I expected, but go on."
---------------------------------------------
Hong Kong
---------------------------------------------

Behind the stage, Cai paced restlessly. Of all the decisions he was responsible for, of all the speeches he would give, this, he was sure, was the one he would forever loathe. There were no second thoughts that could be had since earlier in the day. He heard his introduction and moved toward the stage.
---------------------------------------------
Reformer-class Knox
---------------------------------------------

"Within the confines of war, there are certain things that must be done if one wishes to triumph."

Pagan watched the video feed of Cai's speech.
"War, as we must surely know at this stage, is an ugly, terrible monster. Everyone involved in this matter knows what sacrifices will be made, not just on our side, but also against our enemy, in this case, the European Federation."
--------------------------------------------
Hong Kong
--------------------------------------------

In a side room, General Kyoji watched the chairman speak.
"The council and I have heard the people's anguish and dissatisfaction with the war. We, your leaders never wished to put an atrocity like this on the backs of our own people. Still, our enemy has risen up as a threat that we, the Trans-Pacific Union, cannot ignore. We seek to put an end to this conflict in a manner that will save the lives of not only our own forces, but also provide a strong incentive to our enemy to cease current and future hostilities against us."

Cai took a breath and continued.
"Earlier today, we employed the use of satellite weapons to strike two Federation cities, those being Berlin and Moscow. We hope for a rapid conclusion to our current crisis, but will not hesitate to use whatever weapons deemed necessary to reinforce the point to our enemy: end all hostilities!"
------------------------------------------
Helsinki
------------------------------------------

Leonidas was surprised and saddened by his rival's announcement. There was nothing he could say, even though he knew the truth. It was that very truth that seemed to drain the life within him.
-----------------------------------------
Reformer-class Knox
-----------------------------------------

Pagan gleamed.
"Of course, humanity will be surprised at it's own ferocity."

He sensed Elena. She was still far away, but he knew she was close. To Pagan, it was ironic. Things had come full circle. Just as he acted upon his declaration of judgment, she would finally learn about this place.
------------------------------------------
Reformer-class Augustine
------------------------------------------

Veronika looked back at Elena, the full impact of the younger woman's words still sinking in.
"Then I need to tell you the same thing Graf told me. If you'll give me a minute to tell the bridge my whereabouts for a few moments, I think you'll find this is something very enlightening."

The captain disappeared through the bridge door.
Elena hadn't been that familiar with Graf. Outside of working along side the Resistance, even now within the group, she didn't consider herself to be familiar with the man. It was odd, considering how he'd inadvertently affected her life.
------------------------------------------

Veronika led the way, showing Elena to the officer's lounge.
"I mentioned to Graf some of what you told me, and he'd like to fill you in personally."
Elena smiled slightly.
"That would be nice. I know he's connected, but I just don't know exactly how." She finished her statement as they entered the destined room.

"Hopefully, I can clear some of this up."
Graf had heard what she'd been saying, greeting both women and directing his words to Elena.
"I've known something's been wrong with the Federation when it was still the Siberian League, but not how deep the problem went."

He motioned for her to sit.
"I think we might be on the same relative path." He told Elena. "Same end goal, I can't say, however I am certain that the end goal revolves around the same person."

Elena cocked her head away from him as to have a good view of the man. It wasn't that she believed him to have some malevolent agenda, but she didn't know him. If there was anything she'd learned well from the Centurion Guard was the value of caution.

"What if the name was Pagan Czevik?"
Elena had been sensing the masked man for some time now, and having him as the subject of conversation was darkly amusing.
"I'd say you have my interest." She paused. "But I need the full picture, and fast."
"Of course."
Graf heard the earnestness in her voice, and added. "You sense him, don't you."
She nodded. "He's close. If at all possible--"
"You'd like to take him out?" Graf completed the thought.
"It might not solve everything, but yes." Her eyes seemed to bore her honesty into his soul. "I think that would make a good start."
-------------------------------------------
End Phase 45
-------------------------------------------

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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:31 pm 
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Location: Heaven's Pillar
PHASE 46 - CITY OF GOD
------------------------------
Shanghai
------------------------------

The Rhine had been docked for about a day, and Otto had decided to let his crew take a limited time off the ship. They couldn't leave the base, but physically leaving the ship was at least something.

He looked at the papers on his desk. The Rhine would be receiving some new pilots shortly, but only after they picked them up at the Asgard colony. Otto had noticed that these pilots had survived a couple of battles versus that silver mobile suit and the machine piloted by Ryuji Kai.

He hoped they would be more grounded, as the only pilot he currently had with a clear head was Nicoletta Giovanni. His star pilot had taken a negative and obsessive angle and Jin Suzaku would likely fail again.

Otto didn't want to beat up his own people, but he also couldn't find a way to sweeten the stark reality. He needed to have better pilots if his ship would be any use at all besides an easy kill.
--------------------------------

Jin looked around his quarters. For the first time in awhile, it seemed that he'd have roommates very soon. The last person he'd had any sort of friendship with was Ryuji. His fist clenched. He didn't know which part of the situation was worse: that Ryuji was a Newtype or that he'd ended up with the Federation. Not only that, but the pilot of the silver mobile suit was his girlfriend or something!

He knew he was getting worked up over something he couldn't control and made himself relax. If there was anything good about the situation, it was knowing Ryuji was still alive. Looking over at the bed that had been Ryuji's, Jin decided he at least owed it to the other to get the full story.

As much as he still clung to the belief that Newtypes were a problem, he knew for certain that Avent would not give him the truth.
--------------------------------
Reformer-class Augustine
--------------------------------

"So that's it, then?" Elena sat, slightly hunched as she digested what Graf had just told her. "If I had only known." The second sentence escaped with an air of longing and despair.

"That's what we all said about this." Graf said. "The important thing is we have a lot of pieces that fill in some equally important details. If you're right, it's certainly fortunate we've run to England."

Elena looked back at him.
"If Pagan is there, maybe we can put an end to it right now." Her eyes switched from passive to aggressive. "If I can take him out, I will."

"Aren't you jumping the gun a little?" Veronika questioned. "If he's the mastermind, then wouldn't he have a lot of details only the leader would know?"
Elena turned her attention to the captain while Veronika continued.

"Let's assume that he's had this plotted out for years, given the apparent mobile suit links and the connections he has in his position that he would want to be cautious--as in not to arouse any suspicion. Let's also assume that along those lines, he might have a network of accomplishes that are in place to carry out the plan, whatever that may be. Even now, you yourself just admitted that course of action might not be the wisest one."

"So," Elena sighed, "what exactly do we do?"
Graf spoke, drawing her attention back to him. "I was hoping you'd tell us. From what I was told before you came in, the signal of that other Reformer-class battleship from Iceland was detected near Buckingham Palace."

"What?" Her voice was low as she stifled her surprise. Adrenaline had begun to storm into her veins. "So, what are we waiting for?"
-------------------------------------

Alice pulled the slide back on the empty pistol to cock it.
"Been awhile since we did this sorta thing." There was an audible click as she squeezed the trigger. "Ah, the memories."

Elena closed her left eye as she aimed at the wall with the machine gun.
"I guess you're memories are fonder than mine."
"You don't like this sort of job?" Alice looked over at Elena. "I mean, your hand-to-hand is pretty good."

Elena kept her aim up, and the gun snuggled up to her shoulder.
"That's not it. Its just infiltration hasn't panned out for me so well."

Smith had been listening, but he chuckled.
"Well, this place for sure. I hope we don't have to go hunt for you this time."
She relaxed the gun in her arms.
"So do I, but I don't think it'll be a problem. I'm pretty sure we have a better idea of what's happening." She reached for a clip to load. "I'm not one hundred percent sure, but I've got this feeling Pagan wants me to find him."

"Must be nice to have your own globe-trotting stalker." Alice smirked, gazing warmly at the pistol before setting it down.
Elena slammed the magazine into the gun, while her face wrinkled with disgust.
"Yeah, right."
------------------------------------
Low Earth Orbit
------------------------------------

The military shuttle seemed to drift along, but General Kyoji knew it was on schedule. The next stage of the plan would be initiated in the near future, but he needed to be in place sooner than later--just as a precaution.

Then again, he thought it would be better to be in the Asgard colony than Earth anyway. If all went well, some places on Earth might be just as black as the space around the shuttle. Cai Deshang had acted just as expected, both with his speech and by sending him into space to oversee the Prometheus system. It was too much to keep a slight smile from forming across his lips.
------------------------------------
Reformer-class Augustine
------------------------------------

Elena and Ryuji walked down the corridor. It was a little odd for Ryuji to be the only one of the pair to wear a pilot suit. He was quiet, more so than usual, and Elena could tell by his stiff jaw he was apprehensive about the plan.

"Hey, it's going to be fine." She looked at him sweetly apologetic.
They kept walking. She could tell he was thinking about what was about to happen.

"I want to believe that." He said finally. "But is it really okay?"
They stopped.
Ryuji turned toward her.
"Look..." he closed his eyes momentarily. "I'm worried you just want to kill Pagan and go on your way."
"I can't promise if he'll live or die." She told him. She was honest. "I'd like to put an end to all this, but talking with Graf and Veronika, I guess that might not be the best action. It's looking like things are so connected in retrospect."

Ryuji put the hand free of his helmet on her shoulder.
"You're going in with very few people." He stated. "That's not good odds, you know."
She looked away and down.
"Yeah, I know." She looked back up and moved so there was no light between them. "What if I said I think Pagan wants me to find him?"
He reaffirmed his assertion
"I still say it's dangerous."
"If I'm right, I'll definitely come back." She tried to assure him of the situation.

Their foreheads rested together.
"What if you're wrong?" He asked quietly.
"Then I'm glad for all the times we ran into each other."
He gently rocked his head in understanding, sliding his free hand up from Elena's shoulder to the back of her head and pulled it in closer.
-------------------------------------

The jeep carrying Smith, Alice and Elena had left leaving the deck clear for the Nergal.
"I know it's a little late, but are you okay with this?" Veronika asked over the comm.
Ryuji smiled.
"I'll have to be. She would've done this whether I wanted her to or not. I guess we're entitled to do risky things because we're younger. Plus, I can't sit by while she runs out to do this."
"Alright." She confirmed. "We're having the rest of the crew standby if you need reinforcements and we've alerted other ships if we would need more help."
"Thank you."
A beep indicated he was cleared to sortie.
"Ryuji Kai, Nergal, launching!"
--------------------------------------

The jeep coasted to a stop, well clear of any entrance to the loosely familiar, dilapidated palace.
"Second time's a charm?" Smith smirked as he left the vehicle.
Elena took in a long gaze of the building before replying.
"Yeah, let's hope so."


The palace gave the same impression it had before, and seemed to have deteriorated even more since the last time. Elena led the way, despite not completely remembering where the one room she looked for happened to be. There was a lot of space to cover, but they agreed that starting off with certain locations might be the best course of action.

So, the trio snaked along the wall. They had gone on for a long time without citing an enemy, less any indication of anyone being there at any time recently. Elena hoped she wasn't leading everybody on a wild chase for something she was hallucinating. Despite coming to terms with her apparent gift, she wasn't about to abandon her given five senses.

Smith tapped her shoulder and indicated that they should slow down. Elena just nodded. This section triggered a sense of importance. The small party went from slow to even slower, causing the three's heart rates to increase as they anticipated and prepared for the worst.

As a section of wall ahead appeared to have crumbled, Elena took notice. This immediately grabbed her attention. She wasn't sure, but it triggered a sense of importance when connected to the palace.

With one swift motion, Elena whipped out in front of the wall, machine gun up and ready to fire.

Smith followed after she cleared it. He nodded, and then gave a thumbs up. This was definitely familiar, and they knew for certain it was where she had been found the last time they were there.
-------------------------------------

Pagan watched the trio's movement on a bank of monitors. The screens colors gave a dull reflection of his mask. He smiled.
"It's about time, little goddess."
-------------------------------------

Elena crept down the corridor, knowing where it would lead. She felt a bead of sweat trickle down the side of her head as she approached an unlocked door at the end.

Smith kicked open the door, while Elena and Alice rushed in.
It was just as Elena had left it. Well, sans the dead man Elena left during her previous visit.
She nearly let her guard down from the wave of nostalgia, but snapped back into the right mindset.

Pagan was here...somewhere, and she was going to find him.

The room wasn't at all large, so covering it took little time. By the time Elena had made it back to the door, Smith was signaling he'd discovered something.
"I take it there's nothing there?" He asked with a hushed tone.
Elena shook her head. "No, there's no way to get in except through this door."
"Maybe we should check there." He pointed at an ajar section of the corridor wall. "I don't think we missed that."
"No way." She pushed ahead to take point. "I'm positive it's Pagan." She growled.


Just as the rest of the palace, the descending stairwell was void of any enemies, but the three all wondered how long that luck could last. At the bottom of the agonizingly long set of steps there was a door.

Smith burst through the door a split second after Elena threw it open. Nobody was around this area either.
"Power's on, but nobody's home." He grimaced.
"This is getting a little creepy." Alice noted as she also scanned the new area.

Elena wished they were right, but she could sense Pagan was even closer now.
"He's here." She reaffirmed, and then frowned. This morphed into a look of disgust after which she rubbed her chest.
"Something wrong?" Alice asked.
"Heartburn." Elena muttered and then moved forward.
------------------------------------

Ryuji knew Elena was still fine, but he couldn't help worrying. Pagan was the key, but Ryuji didn't trust the man, nor was there any argument to persuade him from that view. Even so, he managed to find some miniscule solace knowing nothing had happened. The Augustine had just checked in and he had nothing to report. It was just waiting, and the anticipation of what might happen kept his mind racing in a thousand separate directions. Hey prayed that things would be fine and that the little infiltration team would all come back, if just for Elena's sake.
-------------------------------------

She wasn't sure when it had happened, but Elena suddenly realized they'd moved from something like offices into a medical area. The smell was just like a hospital, at least from what she could recall the few times she had to enter one.

"What sorta place is this?" Alice wondered.
The doors to the rooms were open. Within each, several large tanks stood. They were empty, but whatever was inside was clearly meant to be seen, judging by the glass windows on each tank.

Smith opened cabinets, looking inside at the contents.
"It's hard to say, but this looks like some sort of lab." He stepped aside so the others could see. "I mean, I can't see this as being a hospital based on some of the stuff here. I'm no chemist, but some of this stuff is pretty toxic, so I can't imagine them being used to cure anything."

Elena stepped closer to examine the chemicals. "Your right. Anybody with a basic science course would know that."

"It's not science." An all-too familiar voice rang out.
"Pagan!" Elena roared, whipping around to search for the source. "Where are you?"
"Come to the main chamber, little goddess."
She sighed, frustrated.
"Well, that sounds fantastic." Smith said sarcastically. "Sounds like a really great plan."
"You'll all be fine." Pagan responded. "If I wanted you dead, we wouldn't be talking now. I've been watching you three since you entered the palace."
-------------------------------------

It wasn't difficult to find where Pagan had requested their presence. That was even an understatement. With all the signs, Elena was sure even the blind would make their way to the chamber.

Inside, the tanks they'd previously seen lined most of the room walls on either side.
"You were so close before, little goddess." Pagan said. Near the back of the room, and on a technological throne of sorts he sat. "You're one of us, you know."

"If you mean by Newtype, we agree."
Elena was itching for answers and possibly a means to an end with the mysterious man.
There was a chuckle before Pagan replied.
"That's what man wants to call it. They're afraid of the truth and try not to acknowledge it. They'd have to admit guilt, but nobody wants to do that! And, as I already told you, man's focus is on its own destruction."

"Is this guy for real?" Alice whispered.
Elena nodded slightly, but didn't remove her gaze from Pagan. "Oh, yeah. He's a real piece of work."
"I can make the shot from here if you want." Alice offered, patting her rifle.
"I know. I wish we were allowed to take him out."

"I call your ideas a double standard!" Elena loudly retorted. "You're killing people in the name of your agenda."
"You would be right, except, as I told you before, Newtypes are gods. We have no obligation to the laws of man. That's the road that leads them to hell, and they willingly and defiantly walk that path! The final hours are waning, and when the fall of man is complete, the era of gods will be established in its wake." Pagan stood. "Every one of these tanks in the facility represents those who have become my angels. One day, they can attain the status of god."

"Well, who's 'they'?" Elena wondered.
"The small faction of humanity that's realized its imperfection and called to me for salvation!"

"Must be nice to spout your garbage." Smith yelled at him. "I mean, I bet it's easy to spout that crap when you hide yourself behind your mask."
"Oh." Pagan clearly was amused. " 'Hiding' you say? I'm not hiding. This," He tapped the mask, "is protection. The little goddess should really be doing the same, as you and your other friend are too flawed to look upon the face of a god."
Smith was unable to form any sort of response to what he'd just heard.

Pagan shrugged. "Of course, that's entirely irrelevant in the near future anyway. There's no future for humanity. My plans are in motion now! Enjoy the little time left before the world succumbs to its desires when the surface is re-baptized with a divine light."

Elena brought up her gun and aimed it at Pagan.
"Then you were the one behind Berlin and Moscow!"
"No." Pagan corrected. "All I did was let humanity do what it does best. It's amusing that a device intended for energy production was quickly turned into a device for desctruction. Just like the automobile spawned the tank and the lift suits gave way to the mobile suit, its simply the same type of thing here."

"Nobody wants to kill others!" Elena blurted out. "That's not the thought of most people."
"That's a great line, little goddess. You were part of a mercenary group that specializes in clean up operations among other services. If you keep telling yourself the same lie, it will appear to be true. Violence is a never-ending cycle. We have factions that war against another and do even know the root cause. All they know is the other side should be wiped from the Earth! Don't assume people don't want to kill after you've been in the thick of it. You can't find it in yourself to escape it!"

"Like you're any different!" Elena shot back. "You're not helping the situation either."
"There's no use in trying that method. Man's tried to stop, but hasn't. We've even had a war that was intended to end war itself and it failed!" Pagan responded gleefully. "The only solution is to remove the cancerous element forever! Yes, it is I who will re-create this world. I alone will re-create not only this Earth, but the heavens as well!"
---------------------------------------------------------
End Phase 46
---------------------------------------------------------

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:33 pm 
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About half-done with Phase 47, and hopefully, I can wrap this story up before February starts up. I'm getting some steam built up, so I will probably have this cranked out sooner than later.

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 Post Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:36 am 
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PHASE 47 - THE ONLY PATH
-------------------------------

"That guy is really off his rocker!" Smith exclaimed as the jeep flew away from the palace.
"Yeah, I know." Elena gritted her teeth. "I've had to deal with this nut job, so you can see what the hell is going on."
"Nothing like a cult leader implementing his own doomsday scenario."
------------------------------
Earlier
------------------------------

"I alone will re-create not only this Earth, but the heavens as well!" Pagan Czevik, a self-proclaimed god announced. "These angels will gather together and bring forth a new era!"

"Not if-" Elena started to blurt out.
"Not if what? You'll stop me?" Pagan questioned. "Even if you could, you'll still have to deal with the perpetual cycle engaged in by humanity. You wouldn't have been able to stop me if you'd known this earlier."

Elena thought of something and smirked.
"Oh, well, not me." She giggled, but it was laced with sarcasm. "The Federation might have had a say in this."

With a wave of his hand, Pagan casually dismissed what she had posed.
"The law of man doesn't apply to me. Why would I even want to follow it in the first place? After all, everything man does inevitably becomes twisted and warped. No! The Federation can't do anything. Nobody can do anything to stop this destruction."

The smirk transformed to an angry frown.
"If you're really a god, I'd think you'd be able to make it stop."
"Man is hopeless." Pagan responded calmly. "There's no hope whatsoever, thus no point in stopping the inevitable. I'm being merciful bringing about this plan. On the other hand, I'll make sure that those who are us will survive."

Elena felt as if his eyes burned through her, straight to her soul. She knew what he was talking about. Strings had to have been pulled. That's the only way she'd lived. Now her savior of sorts was in front of her. He was there, alright, as the person she wanted to rid herself, yet couldn't seem to make it happen.
-------------------------------

"Okay, we're gonna need to stop for a minute."
Just outside the stairwell, Elena could feel it coming. She hoped it wasn't a reaction to Pagan, but either way, she was about to throw up. She barely had enough time to set her machine gun safely aside before the retching began anew.

Alice and Smith stood guard while their comrade hacked and gagged. It was unpleasant to listen to, but they weren't about to leave her alone. After hearing what that whack-job had spouted, they wouldn't leave Elena down here alone.
-------------------------------
Reformer-class Augustine
-------------------------------

Graf looked across the table at Veronika.
"I think it's safe to say Pagan has been playing a great number of people as fools."
"Yes." The glum reply seemed to drag from the captain's mouth. "I would imagine that alerting the Federation won't do much good."
"Probably not." Graf admitted, remembering that previous attempts had gone unheeded at best. "But, we should still try."
"And then what else?" She posed.
Graf folded his hands together and looked at her in the eye.
"What do you think?"
"I think the Federation won't act in time, if at all." She said. "I take it you mean to go to space?"
"Yes. Based on our luck with any conversation attempt to the Federation thus far, even as you admitted, it would be foolish to make any plans factoring in their help." He sighed heavily. The weight of what he was asking the Resistance to do was truly heavy. "Based on what we've learned, waiting is something nobody can afford. Pagan's been very good about slowly piecing this thing together and we've managed to have a good idea of what he'd like to do. We should certainly try to alert the Federation, but we may not have time to build the case we need to get Chairman Rask and the council to act."

"How soon would you like to make the move?" Veronika tapped the table with her fingers.
"Immediately, if our space-ready ships are all supplied well enough for an extended trip." Graf scooted his chair back to stand.
-------------------------------

Elena sat on the edge of the examination table. She swung her legs waiting for the doctor to appear. She gave a large sigh. What was going on with her?

The door to the examination room opened, and the man appeared.
"Well, Elena" the doctor looked at his tablet, "it seems we're still going with the flu-like symptom?"
She nodded. "But I don't think it's that."
"Okay, why not?" He pulled up the wheeled stool by a side desk at a wall and rolled over to his patient.
"Ah, let's see. There's the nausea that comes right before I barf."
"Mm-Hm."
"I've also started to get some heartburn." She rubbed on her chest right below her neck.

"Okay." The doctor paused briefly. "Let me ask you a few questions, if I may."
Elena nodded yes.
"Have you had any cramping," he motioned with one hand, "similar to your menstruation cycle?"
She bobbed her head. "Not really. I felt a pain here or there, but not really anything out of the ordinary."

He fired off another question.
"Have you been tired at all? More so than usual, I mean."
Her eyes flicked off to one side she answered.
"Not really...well, I guess a little. I don't know if it's because I'm sick or what, but, yeah, now that I think about it, a little bit."

The doctor got up from his stool and walked over to a cabinet.
"This shouldn't take long, so if you'll humor me," he retrieved a clear, plastic cup and handed it to her, "could I ask for a sample?"
She took the cup, nodding, but not entirely comprehending the full impact.
"Sure." She slid of the table. "Uh, where's the--"
He pointed out the location. "The lavatory is over there."
-------------------------------
Helsinki
-------------------------------

"...No!" Leonidas decried. "We, the European Federation will not stand for this attack on our people. This is war, but our enemy has crossed boundaries they should never have considered in the first place. We will persevere. We will prevail. We will take the measures necessary to end the attempts on the well being of our citizens. If the Trans-Pacific Union believes this will quell our desires, they are mistaken. If anything, this tragedy has ignited the blaze within, and we will make the victory ours!"

The crowd roared fervently. There was no way the Federation would bow to the Union. He knew war to be ugly, but he hadn't seen this side in a great, long while.

Done, he waved and then moved off stage. No sooner had he disappeared behind the curtain than one of the suits hurried up to him.
"Chairman, we've just received a message you might want to look at now."
"What's it about?" Leonidas continued to move away from the curtain.
"It's from the group, the Peoples Resistance of Deutschland. They seem to think that the recent attacks weren't directly from the Union."

Leonidas face turned sour. What was this terrorist group trying to pull?
"Well, let's see what this is about."
-------------------------------
Reformer-class Augustine
-------------------------------

Outside the medical section, Elena let a large, bottled sigh out. She put her back against a wall to support the weight of her fresh diagnosis. She rubbed her forehead, trying to stabilize her head from the news that had just made it spin.
"I suppose this would happen sometime."
-------------------------------

"It looks as if all our remaining Leonard-class ships will be able to make it into space." Graf told Veronika over the comm. "We'll relay any more information as it becomes available, of course, but all the ships will rendezvous at the set coordinates."
"Hopefully, we'll have more information by then." Veronika sounded tired.
"So do I." Graf was apologetic. "I wish we could take time and thoroughly investigate and research, but I fear we don't have that luxury."
"I'm inclined to agree." Veronika replied. "Either way, the Augustine is preparing to launch, so if there's nothing else, I should move along."
"I'll let you know."

He still waited for the full, written reports, but what had been told to him by the three infiltrators was extremely disturbing. He was still trying to fully comprehend the impact the new information had on the situation. It seemed as if Pagan Czevik really did believe himself to be a deity and ready to instigate his own Armageddon.

That truth posed another troubling question. How did Pagan tie in with the attack on Berlin and Moscow? Did he truly do so, or was it just a bluff? The man had always been despised for receiving special treatment, though that could now be construed as him manipulating his way through the ranks. Either way, Graf knew waiting for the results could have extremely damning consequences.

Now, he hoped they were fast enough to stem the tide of whatever was coming. Even more, he wished they could do something that was effective.
--------------------------------
Titan-class Rhine
--------------------------------

The battleship rocketed through the stratosphere. Soon, the blue and whites in the sky would give way to the cold and black space outside the planet.

Nicoletta watched the contrast between the vaporous shell and the vacuum effect in front of her eyes. It was the first time she'd been in space, yet she was now in charge of the mobile suit team. Right now, that didn't consist of much, but she was curious to see how the additional manpower would do with what was left. She was concerned that, given their previous encounters with Ryuji and the pilot of the silver mobile suit they might turn out like Avent Marquis.

She couldn't help fostering a desire to put an end to this enemy, but she wouldn't let herself obsess over it. Avent was nearly mad with his obsession over Ryuji. It was cruel, but she almost wished Ryuji would appear and put the man to rest for good.
-------------------------------

Jin felt the weightlessness began to affect him. It had been a good while since he'd been in space, yet the experience was still exciting. The maintenance on his Nephthys was done, so until the Rhine reached the Asgard colony, he was free to do as he wished. For now, that meant he could drift along in the weightless, invisible sea.
-------------------------------

It had been several weeks since Avent had made any long excursions outside his room. Out there, somewhere, that little Newtype bastard Ryuji Kai ran amok. The only thing worse was his lady friend, Elena something or other.

Luck probably wouldn't favor him with those two getting caught in the military's Prometheus system blast. It would serve them right.
"Yvette..." he seethed.
The woman he'd pledged himself to for life to protect had gone mad. She was involved in Newtype research for a secret Siberian League project. At first, he had said nothing. He wasn't thrilled, but he supported her since she was son engrossed in discovering what had gone wrong.

But that was before everything went wrong. At first, one subject had tried to reach into her mind somehow, but never got far enough. That subject was shocked before things went downhill. Yvette was shaken only briefly, and that was fine. There were hazards to any job, and apparently, this was one of them.

It started to happen more frequently. He remembered how she began to feel violated by the subjects. She told him of the terrible nightmares that came. These too ratcheted up their intensity. The pressure broke down a strong woman, and he felt powerless to stop it. It ended, however, after she was driven to madness and flung herself from several stories above. That was when he realized the danger Newtypes posed. The growing League was a threat, and he wouldn't stand for that.

His hands flexed and balled up in anger.
"Yvette...why can't I give your ghost relief?"
------------------------------------
Prometheus Control Center
------------------------------------

The shuttle had taken General Kyoji to his destination. As one of the few passengers, he was able to quickly disembark and was greeted by Lieutenant Major Ngo.

"This must be more serious, I take it." Ngo commented after the two exchanged salutes.
"I wouldn't come here without good reason, now would I?" General Kyoji gave a dull grin with his reply.
-----------------------------------
Reformer-class Augustine
-----------------------------------

"Man, that came fast." Smith commented from inside his Scorpio's cockpit.
"What did?" Wade asked.
"Oh, going back into space." Smith tapped at a screen. "Looks like the backpack's installed on these things are a worthless upgrade, huh."
Wade shook his head. "No, not really. Yeah, they're made with atmospheric conditions in mind, but since we can't just yank them off the mobile suit, the design gives additional mobility in space mode."

Smith nodded, impressed by the foresight. "Nice."
"That's what I thought myself. Well," Wade checked his watch, "it appears we're going to be going up pretty soon, so I need to make sure everyone's finished with whatever they're working on before we get near the top of the stratosphere."
"Alrighty."


Elena was trying hard to concentrate on her work with the Deus, but she still found it difficult.

Just a little bit longer and she would be done.
"Hey."
She startled and looked around where the voice emanated.
"Sorry, didn't mean to scare you." Wade apologized. "Anyway, how's it going here?"

She exhaled.
"Oh, I think I'm just wrapping it up. Five minutes, if that."
"Sounds good. Get some rest after you're done. I don't know what's coming up for us in space, so get what you can while you've got the chance."
With that, he left.
"Yeah, rest." Her eyes rolled up to see the cockpit ceiling. "I'm gonna need a lot of that."


She was soon riding the maintenance frame lift to the hangar floor. As she stepped off, Alice and Jana were walking past.
"Wanna come with us?" Alice invited. "Girls time?"
"Uh, I just don't feel up to it. I think I'm gonna lie down for now." Elena said. "Maybe later?"
"Okay!" Alice responded, smiling. "Probably in my quarters."

Jana watched Elena walk off.
"She looked kinda pale, don't you think?"
"Hmm. Maybe a little, but she might know more of what that Pagan guy was talking about." Alice responded. "Honestly, I'm surprised we're all not going straight to an asylum after hearing that guy. Anyway, I'm sure she'll be fine."
------------------------------------

Ryuji moved down a hallway. He was beginning to feel the effects of weightlessness. It seemed like such a long time since he'd been in space, when really, it was simply a matter of months. So much had happened so quickly that an illusion of sorts had gotten into his head.

In any case, he was going to make use of Wade's advice and catch some rest. He drifted through the door to his and Elena's quarters. He saw Elena already curled up underneath the sheets as he began to undress. It seemed she'd beaten him to the punch.

The typical shift of the mattress was dulled with gravity having less of an influence, but Elena still knew Ryuji had snuck into bed. She bit her lip. She had to tell him the news, and dreaded what reaction he might give.

She waited for him to settle in before speaking anything.
"Hey, Ryuji." She said softly.
"Yeah?" He replied.
"What are we going to do in the future?" She asked, and realized she might need to flesh it out so it wasn't as vague. "Where are we going to go?"

Ryuji had been almost perfectly comfortable, but the question prevented him from getting to the last step.
"Well..." He stopped and thought. He should've done that before starting to talk. "I guess we could go to your home? Your dad's place, I guess." They'd been so used to being a soldier of some sort for long enough that they forgot other occupations existed. "I really don't know, Elena. It was something you suggested, but I didn't think of it that much."

"I see."
Her hand kneaded the sheet. "I hadn't thought about it that much myself."
"Okay." Ryuji still wasn't sure what she was getting at, but he sensed a great deal of distress in her head. "Are you okay?"

She sighed. "I guess."
There was silence.
Ryuji thought. It was an awkward conversation they were having, and she wasn't her normal self.

There.
He sensed fear and uncertainty, and then thought of something.
"Hey, what about your visit to the medical center? What did the doctor say?"

Elena froze.
Had he figured it out. She'd forgotten he was a Newtype as well, but didn't know the extent of his sensitivity.
She swallowed hard before speaking.
She shifted and rolled to face him.

"Well, I wanted to know what direction we should be thinking about, because," there was a glassy shimmer in her eyes, "because I was told there's some changes."
Ryuji wasn't sure what that meant, but his quizzical look prompted Elena to embellish.

She sniffed a little and rubbed her eyes with one hand.
"Oh, Ryuji." She took his hand and placed it against her abdomen.

"I'm pregnant."
--------------------------------------
End Phase 47
--------------------------------------

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 Post Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:16 pm 
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why did i not see this coming?

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 Post Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:17 pm 
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Well, depends if you've dealt with the issue before. I'm awaiting my son in February and have a 19mo daughter, so I have some research handed to me.

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:21 pm 
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Trying to make things go the traditional 50-installment route doesn't always work. Things will seem too cramped if I try to keep it at 50, so I need to go past that to at least 51.

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