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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:26 am 
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ZETA GUNDAM: TALES FROM THE FRONTLINES - THE AEUG

“Whether in the afterlife, or somewhere else, the soul that once inhabited this shell is probably not at peace.

Further out, there is a blue-green planet where intelligent life has evolved.

There, humans bear and raise children. Too often, they grow arrogant, and take the gift of life for granted...”


ARC 4 [b]-- THE GATE OF ZEDAN[/b]

~January 16, Universal Century 0088~
~13:15 Coordinated Universal Time~


- Lunar Airspace -

- The Dervish -
- Bridge -

Above the friendly cities of the moon orbited the ships of the AEUG 4th Advance Squadron, and not far away from them the white flagship of the rebel organization, the Argama. From the bridge of the Dervish, Capt. Carl Abbey looked out on his fleet's ships with a mixture of pride and regret. When the 4th Escort Squadron left the moon months ago to carry out a routine mission, it had been an entirely different lineup of ships. When Capt. Dombrowski and the Chuikov left the fleet, Abbey felt like in a way the last vestiges of the old 4th Escort had gone with him. He felt a pang of sadness at the thought of all the good men and women who had died under his command.

"We're not done yet, sir," Lt. Barrique said in his soft baritone. It was as if he was reading the captain's thoughts. Abbey clasped his hands behind his back and shook his head solemnly, "No, we're not. But I hope to God this operation cuts the war short,". Thruster flares swirled around the Argama as the Zeta Gundam completed a routine sortie. "The operation starts in 45 minutes, sir," Wade announced as he adjusted the ship's course. Capt. Abbey checked his watch and nodded. At 1400, the AEUG vessels would set out for the Titans stronghold at the Gate of Zedan to carry out an attack with the help of Axis and Haman Karn, and whether he liked it or not the 4th was assigned to the mission. While the Argama took charge of the AEUG's part of the mission, the 4th Squadron would be held as a reserve fleet in case things spiraled out of control while they attempted to keep the Titans close to the asteroid base. Of course, Gates had jumped at the chance to test the new toys Anaheim Electronics had given him, and Wong Lee and the others agreed to his request.

Somewhere among the forces loyal to Mineva Zabi was Julian Meighan, who had been a pilot on one of his own ships. The lines on Abbey's face deepened into a scowl when he thought of that treachery. Unlike the men who bravely and honestly served with the 4th who happened to have been in the Principality's military during the last war, Meighan had turned out to be an Axis spy all along. His defection had only served to call into question the service of men like Filmore Hayes and Ian Greydon, whether it was warranted or not. Julian had taken more than AEUG secrets back with him - he had taken a little bit of the 4th's trust. Now Abbey and the 4th had to rely on Axis to uphold their end of this operation.

The captain tried to put that out of his thoughts. If he was distracted during the gambit at the Gate of Zedan, it could jeopardize many people's lives. His vision wandered to the ship that had replaced the Chuikov, the Balrampur. Its original skipper Capt. Ebsch had fallen severely ill a couple of months prior and was replaced by Capt. Karl Keaton. Beyond it was the New Yark, and even further out the Hamburg. Captains Guanche and Loweno both fully supported the idea of an attack on the Gate, each for different reasons. Capt. Guanche was keenly aware of the potential value of striking a heavy blow against the Titans so close to Luna II and Gryps. André Loweno was just the kind of man that relished a good stand-up fight, and the idea of a knock-down, drag-out brawl that would be the largest battle of the Gryps Conflict was like a fantasy come true to him.

Abbey impatiently checked his watch again. Bright had made it clear to him that the 4th was accompanying the Argama not only as a reserve force, but would also be present to deal with the aftermath of Axis’ plans as a pursuit unit. Once the asteroid Axis collided with the Gate of Zedan, the 4th would be unleashed on any Titans attempting to escape that the Argama could not deal with. For some reason, he felt like things would not proceed so smoothly.

- Rec Room -

“Ha! I beat you again!” Michiko announced triumphantly. She playfully pointed right in Fritz’ face and exclaimed, “Yeah! Take that!”. In her seat in the corner, Sophie Coggs cracked up, “I thought you said you were good at darts, sir,”. Fritz flushed crimson and frowned at the humiliation of defeat. “I’m better at pool. Ask Sager,” he stammered, trying to change the subject. Sophie and Michiko giggled at his reaction, and the wounded pilot rose from her seat. “Let’s see how I can do with one good arm,” she said as she plucked Fritz’ darts from the board. Her left shoulder and arm were still restrained by a brace over her gray military tanktop so the broken bones could heal.

“You don’t need two arms to throw darts…” Fritz muttered as he slinked off to get a drink. He looked at his watch as he approached the machine and realized that the operation would start in less than an hour. He sighed at the thought of returning to combat duty after so much downtime in Amman. Elizabeth had cried in his arms at the docks when he moved back onto the ship, and that made him feel worse than anything had in a long time. “I’ll come back,” he had promised her. “I swear I’ll come back…”

- Hangar -

Team 3 had drawn the short straw, so to speak, and were the first ones back on the full duty schedule. Clute Tideland rested against a large drum of paint as he watched one of Sager’s teams finish mounting one of the new Rick Dias equipment packs on Jacob’s machine. Dr. M was enthusiastically explaining his ideas to Sager, who was politely listening while he continued to do his work. Clute knew Rem Banner was somewhere on the ship, as he had greeted the men from AE when they had first returned to their offices onboard the Dervish a day or so earlier. “They do quick work, don’t they, sir?” Luke Burke asked as he approached his team leader. He wiped grease from his hands with a rag and nodded in approval.

“Yeah, the Chief is the man around here,” Clute replied with a smile. He pushed his sunglasses up and put his hands in his pockets. Burke was definitely a competent pilot and a nice enough kid, but every time Clute looked at him he was reminded that Jack David was laying in a hospital bed in Amman. His smile faded a bit. “I think he’s going to have plenty of work to do pretty soon.”

- The Hamburg -
- Hangar -

Capt. Loweno strode into his ship’s hangar bay to the surprise of several mechanics who were lounging around not doing much of anything. “As you were,” he said, waving them back. He stopped, attempting to locate one of his pilots. The new Nemo Cannon unit stood in its rack, standing out from the other mobile suits with its factory fresh coat of paint. He breathed in the smell of the hangar and smiled. Soon he could get back to doing his job as a soldier. He hadn’t shot at a Titan in months.

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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:04 am 
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Location: side 3; watchin' out for Zabis
-Balrampur-
-hanger-

Rick sat in his Nemo; He'd finally become a full pilot. Though he didn't show the usual excitement one might find in rookie upon receiving such a position; nor did he show any sort of fear but rather Rick remained his quiet and impassive self.

His break had been uneventful so to speak; he'd taken the chance to return to his home only to discover his sister was not there and according to the land lord hadn't been there for a good while. Rick was worried that something might have happened to her but a bit of checking found that she was making regular withdrawals from the account he'd set up proving she was alive and well somewhere. Had Rick been so inclined he could have tried to track her down but he knew there wasn't time to do so else he'd risk losing his job.

Rick had given no hint of this 'trouble at home' upon his return but merely set to work as usual, quietly and effeciently.

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"If You are a man you'll do what's important before you grieve" -Captain Harlock

"I like the SAGA. Its what Rambo would pilot if he was in Gundam 00" -Kylern


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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:48 am 
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- The Hamburg -

Randy kissed his would be fiancé for the last time and said goodbye to his little sister. “Guess this is it,” he grinned. “I don’t want to be late for the flight. Take care of mom and dad for me.” He almost left when his fiancé took his arm and said, “Promise me… that you’ll return home safely.”

He gazed softly at her eyes. So many times they spent together in the past few months, yet so little did they talk about this. To them, until a week ago this parting seems so unreal. Randy grabbed her hand and kissed it to comfort her. “I’ll return home safely, I promise… And next time, I’ll bring a diamond ring with me.” His voice was level but rich with childishness.

She didn’t blush but there’s a glimpse of happiness in her face when she replied, “Liar.” She pursued her lips a bit, a gesture that she wasn’t happy with Randy’s attitude. “Just return home safely, for me. Don’t forget your family and me in here, when…” she sobbed. “When you’re up there, fighting.”

Randy nodded. “I’ll remember you all in my heart. Take care.” He smiled and walked to the spaceport passenger area. He got through the custom check and waved back to his little sister and fiancé for the last time.

The whole story happened three days ago, just before he boarded the plane to Amman. Emington now already in the Hamburg, left his cabin and headed for MS hangar. He’s happy with this "upgrade" as this will add more firepower and some long range capability to his team. Clad in federation uniform and wearing his favourite brown sunglass he entered the hangar and saw the MS in question from distance.

Randy already studied the new MS and his initial decision is to give it to Bernard as he’s the pilot with more experience in long range fighting. He based his decision from Korbel’s service record that includes his training in old ex-principality MS, complete with its bazooka style weaponry. “Now where is the lucky bastard.” He said while trying to find his pilots. Unexpectedly he found Capt. Loweno in the hangar. He walked his way toward him and greeted his skipper. “Admiring the new unit, sir?”


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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:35 am 
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- The Hamburg -
- Hanger -

Adam had returned to the ship some days ago and was lounging around with the rest of the maintenance crew in the yellow and white coveralls of a pilot. The repairs to his heavily damaged Nemo were final complete and he was feeling pretty good about things.

When Capt. Loweno walked in to admire the new Nemo Cannon, he was one of those who jumped to his feet before being waved down by the informal captain.

Unwilling to sit back down now the captain was here he started back toward the crew quarters when Randy Emington came in. Calling out to the lieutenant, Adam said jovially, "Yo, Lieutenant, long time no see. Here to marvel at the the new toy we got from Anaheim?"

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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 4:19 pm 
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Pan's departure from the moon was uneventful. There was no one at the docks to wish him goodbye, no girls with tears in their eyes awaiting his return. Just an empty apartment and a huge tab at craters waited for him.

Hangar

Pan wasn't on duty yet, but he wanted to check out the new option packs for the Rick Dias units. He frowned as he looked over a few documents.

"Wouldn't it been a lot easier to just give us a gundam or something?"

Jim snorted, trying not to laugh. "I dunno...I like the looks of the Rick Dias alot more then the Gundam look."

Pan raised his arms in the air sending the papers with the information about the option packs flying about the hangar.

"That guy paying us is just a tightwad! The Dias is perfect at what it does. Trying to get it to do other crap is just cheapening it.By having all these fancy packs we got more things to repair, and more hangar space being taken up."

Jim scratched his head. "But it takes up a lot less space then 3 different types of units."

Pan nodded. "I guess you're right. That would be an even bigger mess."

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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:59 pm 
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Location: Von Braun
-Hamburg-
-Mess hall-


A pleasant fragrance roamed in the air as the coffee maker started to fill. Bernard leaned back in his chair with his boots on the table. He liked the Austrian coffee he had back in the European style coffee house in Amman. It had a smooth but slightly firm taste which he liked so much that he bought a case for himself...Michiko and Markado. Enjoy the little things while you can.

As Bernard sat back in his chair, his surroundings started to change. He closed his eyes losing himself in the moment.

-Bucharest-
-outdoor cafe-

Thunderous explosions echoed nearby with small arms fire going off in the distance. A group of men carry a wounded soldier over to some chairs. Bernard's head and legs are heavily bandaged with small amounts of blood seeping through. He is carefully placed on a chair by his comrades who leave to secure a transport. They had pried him out of a down Zaku losing 2 men in the process. Leave no man behind was their battle cry during the war but this battle was now a lost cause, that last blow quickly collapsed the front and sent everyone running back into the city to regroup. As Bernard looked on he was surprised to see a few civilians seated drinking their coffee. It actually was the sweet aroma that awaken him from his haze. With artillery rounds launching from the city into the neighboring mountain side, Bernard ordered a cup from a surprised waiter. Pulling out a book "All Quiet on the Western Front" from his olive green tunic, which he found days ago in a burnt out library, Bernard prepared to enjoy his cup.

"Enjoy the little things while you can."

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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:56 pm 
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-The Dervish -
- Hangar -

(Most of) Jacob's doubt and uncertainty were gone. The day after his failed trip to Craters, he'd called his family back on Earth. Once they knew where he was and that he'd be there for a while, they'd got on the next transport to the Moon. They'd stayed the whole time, saying good-bye to him on the docks and going to board their ship back home as he mounted the ramp that lead onto the Dervish.

In between, they'd spent almost all their time together. His mother was clearly worried about him, but proud and so was his father, though he'd never admit to the worried part. His younger sister looked at him like he was some kind of hero and that faith, combined with the desire to prove that he was a hero and the desire to ensure that none of them ever had to live under Titan oppression was enough to renew his resolve to fight the tyrants in every corner of the Earth Sphere if necessary.

It was with that fresh faith in his cause that he watched the new "C" pack being installed on his Rick Dias. He stood on the opposite shoulder of his Mobile Suit scrutinizing everything that the crew did to it. It wasn't that he didn't trust them. He knew that every one of them knew the workings of his suit much better than he did. Instead, he was trying to figure out the steps for himself.

Eventually, he moved down to stand next to Tideland. By the time he got there, Burke was already talking to their team leader. It was strange to think that he had a bit of seniority over someone. It didn't seem possible that there was anyone with less experience than he had and he didn't realize that he was on his way to becoming a veteran.

He nodded to Burke and stood on Clute's other side, looking up at his Suit as the crew finished their work. "Do you think these new modifications are going to work, Sir?" he asked, a hint of nervousness in his voice.

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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:53 pm 
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-The Dervish-
-Ready Room 2-

Marvin was oddly at peace, now that the 4th was underway. It had seemed like forever, those months in Amman. Not that he had spent most of them there. He had slept in his apartment for the first week or so of leave, but then had gone back to the ship. Cowboy had gone back and forth between and his apartment, never really staying in one more than four or five days before he got restless. There had been way too much free time, and while he'd spent scant amounts of it with Eddie, Jane, and Ian, most of it had been his own. He had slept a lot. He had wandered the city more than once, effectively anonymous, unnoticed by anyone in the city. He had smoked a lot when he had been home, although Marvin Hamilton didn't really consider that place in Amman his home, or on the ship, where either nobody had cared or there hadn't been enough people on board for it to bother at the time.

Marvin was smoking now, reading the manual and overview papers on the new 'modular equipment packs' the AE Pukes had given to the 4th. Each team had one of each pack. Marvin had gotten Team 2's B-Type equipment, while Ian had gotten the C-Type. It fit well, as the former Zeon soldier had piloted a Zaku Cannon during the war. Eddie hadn't been interested in either equipment set, he was perfectly happy with his -099S, and Wes, whom still seemed to be avoiding the rest of the team, hadn't been in on the meeting, as usual, when the packs had been handed out, and so was stuck with his normal Rick Dias. Cowboy was considering just giving Curren the B-Type gear, as he had no real interest in it, but Wes hadn't made any noise about it, at least, as far as Marvin knew, and he simply didn't care.

He wasn't alone in the ready room. Across the table, which itself was covered in the manuals and files and dozens of other papers and reports that were largely useless to the pilots but had been given to them anyway, Ian Greydon was reading up on the C-Type. They had been reading for some time, six or seven minutes, neither man was sure, when Ian spoke. "Well, these are certainly going to be interesting...", the comment was just a general statement.

Marvin grunted, "I get to use a beam rifle now." The comment was dead pan, with no emotion whatsoever. Ian sighed to himself. The kid was going down and down, inspite of what efforts Eckardy and himself had made. But, they couldn't do everything, and Marvin still flew fine...

"Yeah, I saw them loading some extra rifles aboad." Ian commented. They were still limited, although now it could be two per team, should the non-B-Type pilots want the rifles. The door to the ready room opened and Eckardy entered, prompting Ian to smile. "Well well well, look who decided to show up..."

"Yeah yeah yeah, blah blah blah." Eckardy said, waving away Ian's comment. "We couldn't stay in Amman another ten days. I just start thinking of celebrating my birthday and we got marching orders." Eckardy fell on the couch in the room and lit a cigarette.

"How old are you gonna be?" Ian asked, eyes closed.

"Twenty-nine." Eckardy replied.

Ian snorted a laugh. "Wow, I feel old."

Marvin took a deep breath. "Ed, you mind if I pass the 'B-Type' stuff onto Curren?", his voice an odd mix of hesitation and the usual disgust he had for the fourth member of the team that Cowboy kept private.

Eddie glanced at Marvin. "Don't want it, Cowboy?"

Marvin shook his head. "Nah. Just doesn't... I... I just don't want it. I like the normal unit."

Eddie sighed and got off the couch, moving to the wall phone. He punched a button.

"Bridge." Jane's voice came through the speaker a second before her face appeared on the small video screen.

"Hey honey." Eckardy said in a high register, his usual goofy grin on his face. "Can you leave a message to Curren for me?"

"Shoot", Jane said, plesent grin, as always.

"The new B-Type gear is his. The manual and all the other papers will be back with the AE guys." Eckardy said.

"Right. One second..." Jane said. The audio feed cut for a second as Jane left a voice message on Wes' rooms comm unit. The audio clicked back a second later. "Okay, message left. I assume you want someone to take those papers back to their office?"

Eddie grinned, sheepishly, "Yes."

Jane grinned back. "Messenger on the way."

Eddie nodded. "Thanks. Love ya." Jane winked and cut the feed.

Marvin collected everything related to the B-Type gear, placing them back into a large bag with the AE logo on it that they had been given to him in. The messenger, an orderly whose secondardy job was carrying papers around, arrived a few minutes later, collected the bag, and headed off to the office in the hangar used by the Anaheim group. Marvin decided to go get some sleep and left a minute after the orderly. He waved to his two teammates, not quite catching the silly comment Eddie yelled as he left, but did hear Ian bark a laugh, and headed back to his room. Sleep wasn't always good to Marvin, he did have nightmares a bit too often, although he kept that fact to himself, but giving his body rest was. Even if he hadn't really done anything and wasn't tired, being well rested was... something of a good feeling.

Marvin stopped thinking about it. He went to his room, lay in his bed, closed his eyes, and was asleep within a few minutes, without any further thoughts on why he was doing so.

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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:05 pm 
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Dr. Proud
Two weeks prior-

Dr. Ashley Proud sat at lunch in a nice restaurant in Von Braun across from one of the most powerful men on the moon. “Uncle” Branson was from old money that was made in the early 21st century of the old calendar as one of the successful pioneers of commercial space travel.
“I know that you don’t like to be involved in my politics, but want you to look at this,” he said after they finished, and handed a file across the table.
“I knew you didn’t call me out here just for chitchat” she sighed but took the file and opened it. It was the personnel records and psych reports of one Juilan Meighan, some of the records were blacked out but the psych evaluations, which as a professional clinical psychologist she assumed he wanted her to read, seemed normal enough.
“He looks fine, why did you give me this?”
“Several weeks ago the man who’s personnel file you’re holding turned out to be an Axis spy. When he fled he took a good deal of technical and forces data with him too.”
Ashley was surprised and looked back at the file again. It was subtle but little inconsistencies even she hadn’t noticed at first only gave the barest hint that something may have been amiss. “He’s one hell of a liar” she admitted. “No one could have noticed unless they observed his behavior on a regular basis and were trained to look for certain…” she paused and looked up form the file to the face of her close family friend. “No..” she stated unbelievingly.
The older man smiled a proud fatherly smile behind his bushy beard at her deduction. “We’d like to keep these things from happening again, especially amongst the former Zeon personnel and I want your help.”
“No” she said firmly “I deal with war victims, the broken people you have after your ‘politics’ are finished. I just settled down to start a family, I won’t risk doing anything to jeopardize that!”
“How can you say that we create victims after Apollo! After 18th bunch!” He fired back, voice raised. ”If we don’t stand now there will be a lot more of those victims you deal with!”
“Please Ashley,” his voice dropped as he pleaded “I didn’t want you to play a spy but even an officer aboard the Argama jumped ship awhile back and the Board is very concerned. They asked me to help deal with it and you’re the only one who’s qualified and that I trust enough to help with this.” His voice now became grave, “There is a very real and frightening possibility the AUEG might crumble from within because a lot of those people out their fighting for their freedoms might soon become the disillusioned, burnt out, “broken people” you refer to without some help. This is a commissioned psychological survey to see how the organization is fairing mentally in the face of challenges like 18th and Apollo and to keep people from giving up and bailing out. You can file bogus reports on the former Zeons to the Board for all I care, as long as you help those in need out in the field.” He sighed and continued “It is not lightly that I involve those I consider family in my personal politics, especially you, who I consider like a daughter. But you have a good heart and can empathize which is why you're so good at what you do. So please, help me help the people that want to help you," he finished.
Ashley listened silently, he had some good reasoning, and a part of her was keenly aware that she owed a great deal of her good fortune in life, perhaps more than she cared to admit, to the man across the table.
"When this is all over I will personally compensate you for doing this even if the Board does so anyway.”
“I don’t want money,” She gave in wearily, “just promise that this is the first and last favor you’ll ever ask of me.”
“Done,” Branson replied in understanding. “In that case, I’m putting you on one of my sponsored ships, the Balrampur. It’s been recently placed with the 4th Advance Squadron which ‘Julian’, if that’s even his real name, was outfitted with until he defected. I’ll send all the personnel files I can tomorrow.”
Coffee and dessert came at this point.
“Mark isn’t going to like this at all” she thought out loud

She was right, after finishing discussing the details and going home, she broke the news to her husband. He was understandably very upset that she was running off for a few months at Branson’s request, into a battle zone and on a warship no less, without her discussing risking her life with him first. She tried to explain that she owed Branson for much of the good in her life, including the chance to meet Mark at Med school, because she knew a portion of the reason she got in to the highly renowned and selective program, where they met and fell in love, over certainly more qualified candidates was partly due to his influence. She told him that she thought this was the best way to pay him back as thanks for his generosity and support over the years but Mark wouldn't hear of it.
Ashley was a tough woman but she was looking for some support and was as fearful as her husband that she might not return home, but he was angry that she decided on something so important without him and both parties ended in tears that night.
However, the couple had patched thing up over the week and they had teary goodbye when the time came for her to leave on the shuttle that would take her to Amman and the Balrampur. Mark gave his wife a small gold pendant with a picture of the two of them inside as a little going away present and shared a final laugh while choking back tears when he told her he sent the invoice for the locket to Branson. As she left, Ashley promised that they would start a family when she got back and Mark’s smile was all she needed as an answer.


Present-
-Balrampur-

After settling in and finally convincing the on board Doctor, Jim Moronsky, to let her use a portion of the Medical bay as her “office” in exchange for some hours on duty there Dr. Proud now floated down the hallway towards the hanger. Ashley didn’t know how many strings Uncle Branson had to pull but he had somehow managed to deliver the couch from her office on Von Braun to the Balrampur. It was a kind gesture on his part to be sure, but there wasn’t too much room onboard and she was on her way to the corner of the hanger where it was stored to see if it was feasible to maneuver it across the ship and if it wasn’t then she would just leave it there and out of the way.
She arrived at the hanger but due to her inexperience with microgravity forgot to arrest herself at the door before shifting her wight so she could change direction and as a result went tumbling into the hanger with a small shriek, a few feet from the floor and unable to stop. Embarrassed, she called for some assistance amidst a single wolf-whistle and the maintenance crew’s amused chuckles which flushed her face a shade of pure crimson it hadn't been in public since Highschool.

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IAN: (Shaking fist up at sky in a storm of GN particles) Science does not WORK this way, Setsuna!!!


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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:19 pm 
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The leave had drawn out for so long that Wes had lost track of time. He hadn't done much with his free time since he spent most of it hanging around his apartment. He didn't have family to keep in touch with, nor did he feel that this city was really a "home." He still very much preferred to live on Earth.

And so the time spent doing absolutely nothing came and went. Before he became too restless, the 4th had been called back to depart. Curren couldn't complain because it gave him something to do. He probably wouldn't be able to stand being unemployed in the future with so much time on his hands. He wouldn't know what to do with it.

Stopping by his dorm room to drop off his things, he found he had a message from one of the bridge operators saying that he'd been given the new B-Type equipment for his Rick Dias. Puzzled as to why the others didn't lay claim to the upgrades and simply left him in the dark, he went over to AE's office to pick up the materials before returning to the ship again, this time walking into Ready Room 2.

Curren was met with the heavy scent of smoke, and he found Eddie and Ian both inside. The other guy wasn't around.

"Long time no see," Wes said to his teammates, taking a seat and pulling out the materials to study up on his new equipment. He didn't expect an answer but said it anyways; it had been awhile since he'd said anything to them. As he skimmed through the packet of information, he let out a grumble, suddenly concerned with losing the binders and pistols on his unit.

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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:22 pm 
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-The Dervish-
-Ready Room 2-

Eckardy was reading a book, a sci-fi bit from the 0060's, and had his music at a rather quiet level, when the door opened. Wes Curren can in, said "Long time no see", sat at the table, and started reading over the information on the B-Type.

Eddie and Ian exchanged a quick glance and gave Wes a few minutes to read over the information, before Eddie spoke up as he sat up on the couch. "Well, we've finally got some extra beam rifles, and it seems that that B-Type kit is ment to use it, so you get to use one of those again." Eddie finished his cigarette and flicked it into a trash can. "Since your thing is gonna be faster than us, and have less time to kick ass, when we engage we'll probably just let you race on ahead of us, f*** 'em up as best you can, and then me and Cowboy'll follow up with Mr. Greydon here bringing up the rear, supporting as best he can." Eckardy said casually, ending with a yawn. "That thing doesn't have enough endurance to really suit me, and Marvin has no interest in it..."

"And I've pulled support duty before." Ian said with a shrug.

"So yeah, enjoy it." Eckardy said with a grin, before he lay back on the couch and went back to his book, figuring Wes didn't have any questions.

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Wes listened as Eddie and Ian explained the team's battle plans. it certainly seems sound, though he doesn't quite like having his operation time essentially cut in half. Of course, he does have a bunch of missiles to work with.

"Sounds good," Wes replied, then grinned genuinely, "I'll make sure to leave some Titans scraps for you guys to play with when I'm through with them.

"I don't intend to use the B-type equipment all the time though. In an endurance battle, my lack of op time isn't gonna help at all," he added. "Might want to try different combinations of equipment if it's possible. I don't mind the extra weight."

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-The Dervish-
-Ready Room 2-

"Sounds good," Wes said, with a grin that struck Ian as unforced, "I'll make sure to leave some Titans scraps for you guys to play with when I'm through with them. I don't intend to use the B-type equipment all the time though. In an endurance battle, my lack of op time isn't gonna help at all. Might want to try different combinations of equipment if it's possible. I don't mind the extra weight."

Ian flipped through a few pages of his material. "You'll have to check that combination bit over with the Anaheim guys. Everything in here is about all the equipment being in their intended combinations. Might lead to some odd performance if we start mixing it around..." Ian's voice trailed off.

Eckardy's voice came from over the couch. "Yeah, you'd have to clear any changes to those packs with the AE guys. As far as I know, if we're using the equipment packs, we're using them as they are. I guess they're protective 'bout 'em or we don't have enough sets or I have no f***in' clue..." Eddie's voice trailed off, before returning to it's normal level, "Yeah, just talk it over with the Anaheim dudes before ya start changin' around any of their stuff. If ya do though, be prepared for worst..." Eddie's voice trailed off again, this time into a higher register, hinting at the oddities of the Anaheim reps assigned to the Dervish.

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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:28 am 
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- The Balrampur –

“ …Please
Don't wake me from the dream
It's really everything it seemed
I'm so free
No black and white in the blue

Everything is clearer now
Life is just a dream you know
That's never ending...
”

As the song ended Karl folded the document he just read and threw it across the room. Initially it landed on the table not far from his bed before hit another stack of documents and slide to the other edge. It fell down along with other papers unceremoniously to the clean metal floor below. Karl didn’t really pay attention and continue resting his shoulder and head to the pillow. Officially he was the Captain of the Balrampur starting from two months ago. However, only very recently did he set his foot on the ship along with the crew after their break from their last mission was over.

The ship was Capt. Ebsch’s before he succumb to illness. Karl deeply regretted his full timetable that he couldn’t pay a proper visit to this fellow captain. He did sent a mail to Ebsch, wishing him a quick recovery and a sincere request for his blessing for the ship and the crew. A fellow officer told Karl earlier this day that Ebsch was happy with the letter and asked him to tell the new captain take care of the ship and the crew for him. Those were what Karl also had in mind.

The Balrampur crew as in integral part of the ship were well trained and the morale was pretty strong. The news of defection to the other side didn’t really bother them much. It was probably because the Balrampur was new to the 4th and were yet to feel associated with the rest of the fleet. The morale wasn’t his priority although he did brought up some small welcoming party and made himself available to the crew with regularly having his meal in the mess hall. His biggest concern was the fact that the ship haven’t seen much action since its keel was laid down.

Like it or not, he must go through and make sure that all the ship’s weaponry will function as required. He already designated his XO, Christopher to form a team to perform test as close as they could to the actual real firing, to the turets and gun placements all over the ship. A job that took most of his XO time after the ship got underway.

His wristwatch start to beeping and lazily he turned it off, get up and took his coat before leaving for the Bridge. He’s planning to test the crew readiness and the standard night time was the perfect time. Karl entered the bridge and shouted, “Red Alert. Man the guns. I wanted to see all on their post in a minute.” The crew shocked at first but began to do their job before they could make up their own personal opinions. Before anything could happen, Christopher his XO entered the bridge and there’s a confused look on his face seeing everybody were busy with their console.

Karl grinned. “Relax, there’s no attack. It’s just a drill. Come, get some men in arms with me. We’ll do the inspection.” With that he entered the crowded hallway that’s dimmed but bright with red lights. He stopped for a moment and exclaimed, "Ah, that's more like it."


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-Balrampur-
-Hanger-

Rick was just finishing up when he heard a commotion outside looking out he saw someone tumbling freely in the low gravity. Thinking it was that klutzy girl who'd dragged him off to the Strip club. Rick propelled himself with a quick kick and headed in the direction of the woman he was just realizing was, in fact, not Caroline but someone he'd never seen before. Regardless Rick offered her helping hand back to the ground.

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- The Balrampur -

Once Ashley was back on the floor of the hanger and regained some modesty, she turned to Rick.
"Thank you, I'm so sorry that you had to do that" she apologized and adjusted her glasses, her face still hot with embarrassment.
"I was on my way over there," and gestured to the corner behind her where her couch was stored, "but I guess I'm just not used to the lack of gravity yet.
Oh, where are my manners?" and extended her hand to Rick, regaining her professional demeanor, "I'm Dr. Proud and I've been stationed here as a psychologist."

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Location: side 3; watchin' out for Zabis
-Balrampur-
-Hanger-

Rick accepted the hand rather unenthusiastically as he replied in a matching tone. "Your welcome; Richard Archer or Rick which ever you perfer, pilot of Nemo # 4. Be more careful from now on." His words came across as barely above a murmur and rather disinterested.

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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:56 pm 
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Dervish
- Hangar -

Rem was tired already. The last few weeks seemed to fly past as he worked pretty much round the clock to get the new Dias equipment packs in ready status for today's launch. His damage control and sensing system was in the prototype phase, ready to test. However, hard equipment packs took priority this close to launch, and he might have time to test in flight.

Rem had come over yesterday with all of the gear to make sure it was installed properly. Translated, he had been up for nearly 72 hours now dealing with logistics, physical transport, and security checkpoints, even before the equipment left Anaheim. Couple that with his troubled sleep lately, he was a wreck. His hair was a little disheveled and loosely pulled back, he had grease stains on his face and hands, and he had deep circles under his eyes.

Walking on deck, Rem saw Dr. M speaking with Sager while Clute was speaking with Jacob and someone he hadn't met before. He thought he had briefly said hi to Clute the day before, but so much was blurring now he honestly wasn't sure. On the other hand, he had seen Dr. M seemingly everywhere. He was pretty sure the man never slept period, and the last few days seemed only to confirm that more. Rem wiped a little at his face (totally ineffectively), ran a hand over his eyes (smudging the grease more), and tucked his palm scanner under his arm. He walked over to where the men were working.

"Hey all, looks like just about everything is either stowed or installed, our inventory lists just about match up, and we only ended up with a couple extra parts. How are the su-"

He interrupted himself with a bone cracking yawn, then sheepishly coughed.

"Ahem, the suit upgrades going?"

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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:39 am 
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- Lunar Airspace -

- The Dervish -
- Hangar -

Clute smiled warmly as Jacob floated down from his Rick Dias. Markado had grown up a lot since he had first met him on the Hamburg back when the ship was still patrolling a section of Side 2 alone. He even seemed to have taken Jack’s injury pretty well, all things considered. "Do you think these new modifications are going to work, Sir?" Jacob asked. The small hint of youthful worry in his voice was enough to show he hadn’t been totally hardened by his experiences. Clute gave it a moment’s thought and then shrugged, “They look solid enough to me,”. He put a hand on the shoulders of both young pilots and chuckled, “You’re the ones that get to find out, not me,”. His -099S stood in the first Team 3 rack, unmodified.

Burke stuffed the greasy rag he was carrying into one of the pockets of his orange pilot coveralls and laughed, “If there’s anything I’ve learned studying mobile suits, it’s ‘More missiles equals better than’, yeah?”. The spray missile pods of the B-Type equipment pack were already mounted and waiting on his Rick Dias. “We get to do some serious fighting while playing test pilot, eh, Jacob?” he said, leaning forward to look at Markado.

Up on Jacob’s suit, Sager and Dr. M were watching the mechanics finish fastening the shoulder cannon onto the Rick Dias’ back when Rem approached looking half dead. "Hey all, looks like just about everything is either stowed or installed, our inventory lists just about match up, and we only ended up with a couple extra parts. How are the su-" he began before being interrupted by a powerful yawn, “Ahem, the suit upgrades going?”. Merkwürdigliebe nodded excitedly at Banner’s question, “Yes, ah, Mr. Banner, the crew have been more than capable so far in installing the prototype equipment packs. As a matter of fact, Chief Polk’s men have gotten faster with each attempt,”.

Sager gave Rem a concerned look and said, “Man, you look like you need to sleep for about 24 hours straight,”. He turned back to his men and whistled loudly to get their attention before bellowing, “YOU’RE NOT GETTING PAID TO WASTE TIME. GET THE DAMNED THING DONE,”. Dr. M rubbed his left ear at the noise and chuckled nervously, “The Chief’s men completed the change on Ltjg. Burke’s Rick Dom in just over 33 minutes, which is quite impressive,”. He blinked a few times as if he realized his mistake, and then carried on instead, “Quite impressive,”.

After waffling on whether or not to go to the bridge to watch the official start of the operation, Fritz decided instead to go to the hangar and check his team’s mobile suits. After all, the bulk of the next day and a half or so would be spent traveling from Luna to L3 so the AEUG would be in position. He arrived just in time to grab a couple of papers out of the air from Pan’s frustrated throw. “I see they‘re done installing the new equipment,” Fritz said as he plucked another page out of the microgravity, “Careful you don’t lose any of these materials,”.

- Ready Room 2 -

After passing a grim looking Marvin in the hallway and seeing Wes enter the room, Sophie stopped in the doorway of Team 2’s ready room and knocked on doorframe. “Any of you boys bored?” she asked with a friendly smile, leaning into the room just enough to show off some of her cleavage, “I’ve beaten half the pilots on this ship at darts and billiards but I hardly ever see you guys in the rec room,”. Michiko stood behind her in the hallway. “I could go for a bite to eat too if anyone is interested,” Sophie asked, straightening up and rubbing her shoulder.

- The Hamburg -
- Hangar -

“Admiring the new unit, sir?”

“You’re damn right I am,” Loweno replied cheerfully, folding his arms. "Yo, Lieutenant, long time no see. Here to marvel at the new toy we got from Anaheim?" Adam Trask called out as he moved closer to the two. The captain gave Trask a crisp nod in greeting as he approached. “I was looking for one of you to ask what you think of the new Nemo after getting a close up look at it,” Loweno explained.

- The New Yark -
- Rec Room -

“Ahh, crap,” Lt. Mello groused as his watch began to beep. He hopped up from the couch and slicked his hair back. “Operation starts in about 15 minutes and we’ve got to be on standby,” he said as Thibaut lost at the arcade game he was playing. Mello straightened his uniform and frowned, “Not as fun to hang around in the locker room with Sophie gone. Ens. Tanner isn’t exactly my type,”. Thibaut snickered at the lieutenant and said, “The guy is almost as big and loud as Pan was,”.

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 Post Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:39 am 
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Half an hour seemed like an awful long time when you were the person watching your suit be modified instead of one of the people doing it. It only made sense that things would take that long given the size of what they were dealing with. After all, the cannon being mounted on Jacob's Rick Dias could have crushed the entire crew working on it if it fell in normal gravity. It wasn't like they could just pick it up and maneuver it around, even in microgravity. The whole operation required equipment and teamwork and careful manipulation.

That knowledge didn't stop Jacob from watching the whole thing worriedly. Clute's words didn't exactly ease his nervousness either. Given how the Rick Dias was configured if something went wrong it would likely go wrong very near his cockpit.

Still, he knew that technological superiority could be the edge one side needed in a war and there was something exciting about testing the equipment out.

"Yeah," he said and managed to grin back at Burke. "We're living the life. Those guys from Anaheim seem to know what they're doing, anyway. Our packs are probably more reliable than the modifications on the Lieutenant's suit. Hope you don't stall out and have to watch us have all the fun, sir," he finished, aiming a grin at Clute.

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