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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:44 am 
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Patrick took a minute to think over again. He wanted to use more than just a machine gun. He took out the Hizack's piloting manual. "uhh sir, what about the missile pods, and the lightsaber?....are we low on them too?" He asked his question after Jason though, so it would probably be unanswered.

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mcred23 wrote:
Well... it's official: O'Regan is the next Hitler.

WhiteWingDemon wrote:
Not to start anything, seeing as that is O'Regan's job...

ShadowCell wrote:
O'Regan, quit hitting on other users.

Orrick Alexander wrote:
Did anyone know that O'Regan is the reason there's no air in space?


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 Post Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:10 am 
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Location: 미합중국 버지니아주 페어팩스군
- Alexandria-class Kirov -
- Briefing Room -


That Nick spoke up with proper formalities no doubt meant the man had something crucial to say - something he felt had to heard at all costs.

"Go ahead, Lieutenant."

* * *

- Salamis Kai-class Hades -
- Briefing Room -


Drossel was first to speak up: "Sir, any word on what our next move is? All I heard was 'victory' from the crew but I just didn't see it out there."

M-Hover shook his head and gave his best 'you poor fool' smirk. "You gotta look at the big picture, buddy. Echo was out there as a diversion so Commander Daningan's main fleet could capture the AEUG's nest in Von Braun. Since we retreated so early, I guess the main fleet right, which means we did right. But I guess the big picture isn't your job, eh?"

Eyeblinks later, Miller, who at that point was thumbing through a Hizack's manual, chimed in, "Uhh sir, what about the missile pods? And the lightsaber?....Are we low on them too?"

Picard took a brief second to recognize that Miller meant "beam saber" when he'd said "lightsaber", then pinched the skin between his eyes and heaved a sigh before replying, "I was talking about primary weapons, Ensign. Of course we have the missile pods and beam sabers, because those are secondary weapons we always have on hand. You should know that."

* * *

- Salamis Kai-class Herakles -
- Combat Bridge -


Idealistic kid, mused Berg silently. The most amusing kind, and the kind most moldable. It would be only a matter of time before reality thwarted his little ideals. War had a way of doing that.

"Noble thoughts, Ensign," responded Berg finally, "Keeping your men alive is crucial, especially these days when manpower is hard to come by. But never lose sight of the importance of completing mission objectives. Weakening - and eventually defeating - Zeon groups and the AEUG terrorists means preventing future casualties, after all. Decisions on the battlefield aren't always clear, and you often have to make them in a split second, and often with partial or unclear information. Roberts, I hope that when you're out there, commanding in the field, you'll be ready and willing to make difficult decisions in the blink of an eye. There are times when the consequences are more than whether or not your men are in danger. Will you be ready for that?"

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 Post Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:01 am 
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Picard, in a demeaning way that Patrick didn't catch, told him that there were in fact beam sabers and missile pods available for him to use. He assumed that they were low on the beam weapons because he was sent out with a heat hawk in the previous fight. Good thing he hadn't gotten close enough to be in a close range fight.

"Ok Sir, I can be the er...the serport(support) unit of the team if needed and send out save-alls(salvos) of missiles against the ayeoogs(trying to pronounce AEUG as if it were a word).

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mcred23 wrote:
Well... it's official: O'Regan is the next Hitler.

WhiteWingDemon wrote:
Not to start anything, seeing as that is O'Regan's job...

ShadowCell wrote:
O'Regan, quit hitting on other users.

Orrick Alexander wrote:
Did anyone know that O'Regan is the reason there's no air in space?


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 Post Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:18 am 
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"Yes sir I understand what your saying and I agree with you whole heartedly. If we don't succeed the people of Earth suffer. I will do whatever in my power to prevent more slaughter on my planet." He said this when in the back of his mind he knew what the Captain was hinting at. The hard decisions would be sacrifice and doing things that might not prove moral but bring out the right outcome. Basically he was just agreeing that the Ends Justicfied the Mean and at this time he had no problem doing that. To him there were more important things to worry about then the enemy and if they had to die in order to prevent his friends and family from suffering then he was ready.

"Is there anything else you need from me before setting me off to my job here?" He asked eager to begin whatever he was suppose to do here. He was ready for whatever they threw at him because he believed he was up to the job. The Federation had trained him well and he hoped that this Captain would help him continue.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:32 pm 
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((MASSIVE EDIT! >_<))

"Shin"

Shin paused, focusing in on the here and now after mulling for some time in and around his MS, before winding up at...foot level, with Samantha Fulton. He had been wracking his brain about the last sortie...

How he should have listened the FIRST time and pulled out to cover Her and Gillarme's collective arses, instead of playing OYW hero and trying to single-handedly take on three to four Rick Dias MS in an attempt to clear their rears.

Yeah, that worked real well. Those traitorous, Zabi-philliac, Federal wannabes ended up showboating him around the Hamburg's airspace and to what end?

It got him, Samantha, and Gillarme in hot water. No doubt Gillarme was getting raked over the hot coals of Trent's interrogation methods at the moment. How he REALLY wanted to be there and set things straight for the record. Even though he really wasn't one to get involved with task force politics, he felt that he had the most to loose over the rest of the team, as it was HIS fault that they took so long pulling out, even after the rest of the task force had begun to pull out of Lunar airspace..

"Shin"

Again, he snapped out of what seemed to be an eternal tirade and looked up to face Samantha.

"S-Samantha? What.."

Strangely enough, his tone went flat and cold, the surprise of Samantha's presence wearing off as he gathered his thoughts. Right now, he had to find some way to get to the Briefing room to set things straight, even if it meant blowing off the Ensign.

Then again, that wouldn't be befitting a Federal Officer. But then again, once more..he wasn't a Federal Officer anymore.

He was a Titan officer.

Feigning a shake of the head to clear his thoughts, his eyes filled with a steely resolve and he looked..no, glared into Samantha's eyes.

"Ensign Fulton, don't we have somewhere to be right now?"

He kicked off the floor, bringing himself to eye level momentarily before grabbing the Ensign's shoulder quite forcibly and dragging her with him toward the briefing room.

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TRANS AM!
Yes, it's a V8.
Yes, it was a Trans Am before there was "TRANS AM."
Yes, it's mine. 8)


Last edited by The Big Zabowski on Thu Jul 12, 2007 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:43 pm 
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Nick breathed deeply before plunging on.

"Sir! A...confrontation...I had with one of the Rick Dias pilots has lead me to believe that there is more then a 70% chance that the ones who engaged us are the same AEUG-personal that we were originally pursuing. Considering that we never found out what they were carrying, or what they recieved for it, I think that we should pursue them and complete our original assignment. I also believe that the crew wishes to wash out the bad taste of letting our targets go. Also, they have Ed....they might have other people we misplaced," he quickly corrected, not wanting to appear weak in front of the others.

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I mean when you spend precious seconds to give an "All Your Nukes Are Belong To Us" speech before you even start the Gundam up, you know you're too overzealous for your own good.~wza


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 Post Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:19 pm 
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(OOC: Cardi said that I can RP as Ryo so if anyone has a problem with it just tell to me and I'll try to clear it up.)

IC: After sleeping for about twenty minutes Ryo wakes up and walks out of his quarters and begins to walk towards the hanger to see how the repairs on the Mobile Suits are going. 'I'm not to sure if that was a victory or a loss today, I guess we will find out later though. I doubt they would lie to us about it but probably better to just not worry about it anymore.' He thinks to himself while walking into the hanger and looking at the Mobile Suits before going over to his Marasai and starts to review the battle data that had been recorded by it during the last battle so that he can see what he did wrong out there.

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Thundermuffin's TEGSD: MEYRIN: Ma’am! The Archangel has arrived and launched a giant, man-shaped robot at us! Likelihood of it being a mobile-suit… (Meyrin does some quick calculations on her console)…ninety-nine point eight percent!
ARTHUR: Good God, that’s almost a hundred-percent!


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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:34 pm 
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OOC: RP for my other stuff in the works

IC:
- Alexandria-class Kirov -
- Briefing Room -


Nick's words struck a chord in Trent. Nick implied the crew had a bad taste over this 4th Escort Squadron's escape, especially since they had been on the ropes when Echo was recalled to help in Jamaican Daningan's little hunt for glory. That was probably true - the crew was surely at least a little bitter that the enemy had escaped after all that bloodshed and sacrifice. They weren't alone, though; Trent was a hunter, and burned at the chance to finish the job. That didn't mean he'd be reckless about it.

"Hold that thought, Lieutenant." Trent had an idea.

He stepped over to a wall comm and called up the bridge. The Commodore's face promptly appeared on the screen.

"What is it, Commander?"

"Our course, Commodore," responded Trent, "We're headed for Gryps, by by what course?"

"Via L4, unless you'd prefer otherwise."

"And the rebel fleet we engaged?"

"It appears they've chosen to pursue us."

Trent blinked. Von Braun City had fallen. What would possess an AEUG fleet, especially one of such significant size, to pursue a Titan taskforce in the wake of such a disaster?

"Set our course straight through the L4 shoals, then," decided Trent, "Side 2 in particular."

"Very well, Commander."

A brief formality and the line was cut. Trent turned back to the suit team leaders. "If this AEUG unit really is the 4th Squadron we let slip, then I'll make sure to finish them off this time. However, turning to pursue them is not the answer. Their numbers, their ability, and their technology are too even to ours: who would win in a slugmatch in open space would be a flip of the coin, and even if we won it'd be with major losses. No, we'll let the bastards pursue us until we've reached a place where we have the definite advantage. There we'll make our move. Until then, we wait."

The details of the plan were already formulating in Trent's mind. Oh yes, this time he'd finish the job that Bask Om had forced him to abandon.

"Unless there are any other pressing questions or concerns, we'll dismiss, gentlemen."

- Mobile Suit Bay -

Samantha had approached Shin intended to... to what? Slap him? The man had some of the most extensive combat experience in all Echo, and he'd made a pile of idiot rookie mistakes out there in the last sortie.

Ever since she'd met him, she'd wondered what the hell was wrong with the man. It seemed like he was in his own little manic world, one that robbed him confidence or ability to associate with other people. Samantha presumed he had some sort of social disorder, but she didn't pretend to be a psychologist.

What she did know, though, was that his idiocy on the field could well have gotten himself killed. That fact alone she didn't care so much about; if he wanted to get himself dead it was his life. If he got himself killed, however, he was liable to get her killed, either in the process or in the aftermath. No way in hell would Samantha allow that. So she'd come to put some sense in the weird little man.

But when Shin turned to look up at her, it wasn't with the usal look obesessive cluelessness. No, this time he had the look of a man possessed, lit by some manic new determination.

"Ensign Fulton," he intoned, the voice devoid of its characteristic uncertainty or discomfort, "Don't we have somewhere to be right now?"

As far as Samantha knew, there was no particular place both of them had to be at the moment, but before she could say anything Shin had pushed himself up to her level and was dragging her away.

"What the hell is wrong with you, Shin?" she snarled as she tried, not quite successfully, to wrench herself away from the man's grip, "Let go of me!"

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Die Anti-brutale Kraft: Cardi Doorl


Make sure to check out the RPG section - We're about to start a new VOTOMS RPG!


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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:01 pm 
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((Retconned to fit Shin IC after a short talk with El Meistero Furitsu..))

"What the hell is wrong with you, Shin?"

Samantha snarled as she tried, not quite successfully, to wrench herself away from the man's grip,

"Let go of me!"

Shin's grip loosened, his eyes loosing that steely resolve. It was one thing to drag an ensign to the briefing, but then again, he didn't even know if they were supposed to show up.

But he had to, to stand up for Gillarme and his team after what he did out there over the Hamburg. Someone had to set the record straight.

Right?

Shin finally let go of Samantha and floated aimlessly toward the upper hangar exit, lost in another of his fogs. His mind was turning, twisting over what he should do. He had gotten them into this mess, but he was just a Lieutenant JG, not some big shot Lieutenant that could actually hold some leeway in the Titans.

He wasn't Gillarme, he wasn't Ryo either. Both seemed to be better than he was at these kinds of things too.

He began to mumble to himself, the lost look turning into one of definite concern, almost a shocked concern. Not just from the reaction that he had just gotten from Samantha, but of what he was actually doing, what he was planning.

Shin, now realized as late as usual, that he wasn't ordered to go, but rather was ordered to stay by his MS, work on it, and go over combat data. Wait, wasn't that right?

He wasn't even sure any more, and was now confusing himself even more.

"He wants us there..right, I mean we're supposed to stand up for him and defend the team leader, through thick and thin.. I mean that's what we did in the EFF back then...right?"

Shin bumped into the railing on the catwalk and did a half somersault before unwittingly bouncing into the wall and doing a face plant on the railing he had just vaulted seconds before.

"ACK!"

He grabbed the railing, having now been pulled from his stupor, and looked back at Samantha, who was by now tens of feet below him. He could only lower his eyes in response to that same look of indignity and shock being given off by Samantha.

"S-sam..I'm sorry. I'm just a bit scatterbrained at the moment. Maybe it'd not be the wisest thing to help Lt. LeSalle in his explanation of my actions out there.."

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Yes, it's a V8.
Yes, it was a Trans Am before there was "TRANS AM."
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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:09 am 
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- Alexandria-class Kirov -
- Main Bridge -


Trent slid naturally into his command seat. All those years in Columbus transports and Salamis cruisers, and already he felt at home in a powerful Alexandria-class.

Already the battle to come was formulating vigorously in his mind. He could see the details coming together: how he'd draw in the prey, and how best to finish the job. Finish it thoroughly, so he'd never have to deal with them again.

- Mobile Suit Bay -

Samantha wasn't so much bamboozled by what Shin had just become, as it felt like a return to normalcy, if anything. No, what confused her was the suddenness by which he lost his surge of self-confidence. He was back to his indecisive self, back to his inability to face another human being with much confidence. Maybe that weird surge had just been some surplus adrenalin? The same stuff that had prompted him to charge in like some mindless berserker?

Whatever it was, the old Shin was back. Samantha felt a sinking feeling as she saw the man mutter to himself, then seem to clumsily fall over the catwalk and end up far above her. She didn't want to admit that she regretted seeing that powerful, authoritative, decisive - if unreasonable - Shin gone, replaced by this awkward reject once again.

Well, at least Shin was easier to deal with when he was retreated back into his shell.

"First off, Lieutenant," she said with all the authority she could muster in her voice, "Don't call me Sam. I'm Ensign Fulton, or Samantha if you must use my given name. But in any case, I don't care what happens to Lt. Lasalle. If you want to run in there and make a scene, go right on ahead; you're my superior anyway, so I can't tell you what to do. Just don't drag me into your and Lt. Lasalle's problem. I'm going back to my quarters, Lieutenant. You can go be our leader's knight in shining armor all you like. Goodbye, Shin."

With than, Samantha rather pointedly took hold of a gripper that took her by her quarters. As she was pulled away she was almost beset by a slight shiver, but quickly controlled it.

-

Leandro had never changed out of his pilot suit. He stood back, looking up at his now-pristine Hizack Custom. His body was greasy, and his hair was a tangled mess.

No, he wasn't just looking at it. His relationship with his mobile suit had changed. Now he knew the machine. He understood it more than he'd ever understood any person. When next they went into battle, they would no longer be pilot and mobile suit. They would be brothers in arms. They would be a singular entity, even; a sword of justice.

As he glared with cold, rock-hard eyes over the green armor of the support mobile suit, Leandro didn't notice the mechanics murmur amongst themselves, deciding that the Hiding Hizack pilot had lost his mind out on the battlefield.

* * *
- Salamis Kai-class Hades -
- Briefing Room -


"You'll be whatever I think is best for whatever's going on, Miller," groaned Picard. Then, without giving any more chance for inquiry, he blurted, "We're dismissed now." Then strode toward the door.

* * *
- Salamis Kai-class Herakles -
- Combat Bridge -


"For now, Ensign, you will act as my second - my lieutenant, if you will. You will learn the workings of command on a vessel. This will prove crucial when next we engage in combat, presuming that comes before we have a chance to receive more mobile suits. Just stay to the side and pay attention even to nuances and details. Don't be afraid to ask questions, so long you aren't interrupting anything in doing so."

As Berg continued the routines of noncombat command, he considered his new apprentice. The kid seemed to understand that defeating the enemy came above all else, and understood why that was so. He did have some soft spots, though. Those would have to be ironed out. The natural course of things were sure to do just that.

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Die Anti-brutale Kraft: Cardi Doorl


Make sure to check out the RPG section - We're about to start a new VOTOMS RPG!


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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:17 am 
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All in all, the briefing went better than Gilliarme had expected --- and he wasn't sure that was a good thing. Trent would've said something more than what he did if he wanted an end to the issue right there; That he merely brushed Gilliarme's comments off meant that Trent would be looking into Delta Team even more. And that meant Shin and Samantha will be in further trouble than he hoped for.

Which, of course meant that Samantha and Shin would be distracted out there by one more thing which they do not need.

And with the AEUG force earlier pursuing them, Gilliarme knew the last thing his wingmen needed was this weighing on their minds too heavily: Given the two, Samantha paranoid and Shin depressed, that might very well be fatal for them. He was going to have to find a way to get through to them about the previous fight without completely bombarding their minds with the issue.

He did not have as much time as he thought, even though he was actually looking for his wingmen after floating out of the briefing room --- he didn't have far to go towards the hangers before the aforementioned two presented themselves to him. And apparently, they were fighting with each other. Gilliarme frowned. Was this really going to become a pattern...?

Setting himself down onto the ground and moving towards them with a calm demeanor, Gilliarme waved once to get their attention and refrained the urge to shake his head. "Lieutenant Yamamoto, Ensign Fulton, Is something the matter?" It was a basic question, and one just enough to break up whatever is going on without implicating either of them. After pausing to let the two calm down and answer, Gilliarme nodded, not blaming either of them. Besides, he had more serious matters on his mind.

"Actually, I'd just like to briefly speak with the two of you about the previous battle --- don't worry, neither of you are in any trouble, not with me and not with the Commodore. We don't need to do that here, either, if you prefer."

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"MISSION 2: DESTROY AN ENEMY AIRCRAFT CARRIER. Alright. Fine. As long as I don't have to f*cking land on it!!!"
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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:04 pm 
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Shin was slightly beset by the reaction from Samantha to his rather familiar dialog. He wanted to at least explain his side of the story, but yet again, in Shin-tacular fashion, he screwed it up again. As he watched the Ensign float off in a huff, he turned slightly and closed his eyes, his head shaking slowly. He was beginning to think that explaining himself, and showing a little backbone was all for naught. Not only because it got Samantha riled up, and he didn't like it when people got riled up...

But it made him downright sick to the stomach, almost to the point of vomiting, hence his acrobatic stunts with the catwalk railing. It wasn't even a second before these thoughts again turned into introverted anger, his teeth clenched, jaw set as he mulled over his fallacies. Could he really be that stupid? That helpless, blind, and useless?

No. Not this time, no more Mr. Boo-hoo I'm depressed. If he was going to function as a Titan, he had to get a grip on reality, and stop being such a winy emotional priss. And explaining himself to Trent or Gillarme wasn't going to solve it either.

Rather, he had to show them the hard way that he could be found competent, confident, and be stable combat material. That, would be his mission now. He had to prove not only the others, but also to himself that he could function as a capable Federal pilot, just like he had been during the One Year War.

Bad memories or "Stick with the team" philosophies be damned.

As he opened his eyes, he found his fists clenched, having done so unconsciously. With a cold blank stare, Shin looked down the hall to see Gillarme following up just as Samantha had gone out of view. As soon as he was in ear shot, the French pilot began to prattle off about how they weren't in trouble with anyone, and that he needed to speak to them about something.

Most likely about the damned fiasco that happened out there with those Federal Terrorists no less. He probably took the fall for them, and was now passing it off as a great victory against the douche bag, Trent. And that was something Shin'd like to let go at the moment, and concentrate on how he was going to get a handle on himself.

His next comment was almost comical under the circumstances..

"Stuff it, LaSalle. Stop trying to play mediator, because Samantha isn't going to hear a lick of it, and I most likely won't now, either. Thanks for getting in the way."

As Shin kicked off of the floor, he muttered an addition to the comment under his breath.

"Should have let Trent skewer me alive instead of taking the fall for us.. It ain't rocket science to tell what went on in that briefing room."

*blurgleflorp*

There was that uppity feeling in his stomach again..this was going to be a rough time ahead..

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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 5:41 pm 
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"Yes Sir I would be honored to act as your Second. I promise on my family name that I will not let you down or this ship." With that he gave a salute and turned around in his chair and used the ships computer to become familiar with the systems and workings of the Herakles. This was a nice ship and he was honored to be on it, the problem was deep in his mind he wondered if this was the place for him... The intelligent inner voice questioned why he was given this task after such a short time on the ship. Kyle shook his head and didn't think it really mattered at this point. He was an acting assistant to a ships Captain. This was much more than he had hoped, especially after coming out of the Federation officers academy. His acting commander at that time always told him he would be a grunt and wasn't worth the time... And look at him now.

"Sir what is the plan if we encounter the enemy again before we have a chance to repair and re-arm? Because of the losses and performance in the last battle this ship is in a tough position. Not that I'm questioning your leadership or this ships ability but you know that in today's warfare the mobile suit trumps the battleship and we only have two units." He asked since the Captain did say to ask questions. Kyle thought this was a pretty good question since he had no idea what was going to happen and it was best to have some clue of how to deal with these issues. He was kind of worried since they were in the Combat bridge and had lost the two experienced pilots on the ship.

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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:59 pm 
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Shin didn't get very far at all before a hand, with surprisingly quick reflexes for an Oldtype, grabbed at his left shoulder.

"Now stop that, Lieutenant Yamamoto," Gilliarme said evenly even as he stopped Shin, his voice perfectly calm despite being told off. The easy thing to do was to yell and hit Shin for his insubordination, but that was not Gilliarme's style --- it was what Jamaican would do, falling back to the easiest and most brutal of tactics, and Gilliarme was resolved not to fall under that pattern no matter what. "I've been trying to do nothing but help both you and Ensign Fulton go through whatever you both seem to be suffering from in addition to being your Team Leader --- I'll admit I don't know what that is, and if I pretend I do I'd be overly arrogant --- and perhaps commanding a squad on Earth differs from the way you do things up here, but you of all people should know that I would never do anything to throw you in for a loop, much less require you to prove anything to me.

"And since you seem to have some place to be, I'll be brief, then --- I'm asking you to listen for a few moments. At risk of being blunt, what is wrong!? It doesn't matter if Trent said anything: You and Ensign Fulton did a great job out there slowing the AEUG down in the last sortie, and you have exceptional talent, Lieutenant Yamamoto --- your Marasai came out the least damaged out of the three of us even with the amount of fire the AEUG threw at us out there, and you're easily Delta's best pilot, hands down. It's even past Stukov's caliber, if you ask me --- Nobody can buy that skill and instinct you have. For and off the record, do not let anyone tell you otherwise about it, not even Ensign Fulton. If she gives you grief, let me deal with her."

Gilliarme's grasp on Shin's shoulder loosened slightly.

"That said, you seem to have problems keeping that in mind out there, Lieutenant. You're doing more than well enough, but it seems to me...that you need everyone else to know it. You've let yourself get caught by the AEUG pilots multiple times, and each time you actually wheeled yourself around to make your stand. I want to know what you're feeling to drive you towards this, Lieutenant Yamamoto, but I'm sure you'll tell me only when you want to. But before you take off, I want you to keep this in mind.

"You don't like me, that's fine and fair. But don't try to prove anything to me, because you do not need to at all. I'm confident enough in your competence, Shin, but when you go out of your way to make the AEUG know that, you're making them a priority over yourself, and that way of thinking will get you killed; The AEUG knows this and will bait you into doing that. Constantly. If you die, then all the talent in this Earth Sphere means nothing. No matter what happens, I want you to make yourself a priority over the enemy and anything else, even me if needs be --- you still come out ahead if you outlive the AEUG."

Then Gilliarme's grasp loosened entirely, letting Shin go.

"That's it, basically. If you have any feedback on my performance in the last sortie, I'd like to hear it. Other than that, you're free to go, but please keep this in mind."

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Location: 미합중국 버지니아주 페어팩스군
- Alexandria-class Kirov -
- Mobile Suit Bay -


Lt. Lasalle appeared, no doubt attempting to play peacemaker. No doubt trying to be everyone's pal. Samantha was already through a door to a corridor. She could conveniently pretend she hadn't seen Gilliarme come in, nor heard him speak.

You never see the stubble in the publicity shots. They cleaned him up real thoroughly for the cameras, but he wasn't himself. An oversized doll, looking good for the newsreels.

Samantha clenched her eyes shut for a few seconds to clear her mind, then rode the gripper the rest of the way to her quarters in silence.

* * *

- Salamis Kai-class Herakles -
- Combat Bridge -


"Considering our ship's sad state, Ensign, I presume the Commander will order us to remain at a distance and in the rear line. We'll stay out of the way, humiliating as it is, if only because we have little other choice. Far enough we won't be exposed nor in the way, but close enough to provide cover to other units should rebel units get too close."

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- Alexandria-class Kirov -
- Main Bridge -


There was Stukov, standing imposingly at the head of the bridge. Business as usual. All was business as usual, except intel officer Tariq Sayed's unexplained - and unnerving - presence.

- Ready Room -

Alexandra, now in her standard uniform, dashed to the door as Wolf entered. Mercedes, nonchalantly pushing her hair behind her left ear, remained where she sat.

When Alexandra came within arm's reach of her fiancée, they clasped hands and interlocked fingers. Alexandra's mouth twisted slightly in a way of hers.

"Alexi," came Wolf's voice, softly. The manner in which he said it was just as informative of what Wolf wanted to communicate as outright speaking would have.

"Wolf," replied Alexandra, "That blue Rick Dias out there-"

"Is my father's concern now."

"Who is it?"

"I don't know. Someone who knew my father and thinks he can rattle me because of it. Don't worry about him; he's all talk."

"Are we going to engage that unit again?"

"From what I heard, that same AEUG unit opted to pursue us out of Lunar airspace. The Commander looked determined to finish them."

"Then we'll see that blue Rick Dias again," asserted Alexandra, "And he knows your Marasai looks different; he'll spot it and come right after you."

"I said not to worry about that loudmouth, Alexi. If he's foolish enough to single me out then he must be determined to die in battle."

"Wolf, don't brag to me."

"I'm not. Only an idiot would tunnel-vision on a single opponent. If he's that stupid, I can easily draw him out to where he's vulnerable to fire from our comrades. If he isn't so stupid then, well, he's no more dangerous than any other opponent."

"And I'll be there with you," added Alexandra with a smirk. Wolf by now was holder her by her upper arms. They floated just above the ready room floor.

"Don't get ahead of yourself, and don't do anything stupid," retorted Wolf, but his tone wasn't one of a warning, lecture, or command.

"How ironic, you saying that." Alexandra's words were the last in the conversation before the two came together for a kiss.

-

On the other end of the ready room, Mercedes' eyes trailed away and found a corner of bulkhead to look at. Those two had the weirdest leadups ever, but with a man like Wolf...

In any case, Mercedes was not interested in being in the same room when those two were like that. Wolf showed this side of himself only to Alexandra, so being in the vicinity of even just a kiss, or just a touch, always felt like an intrusion. If you made your presence known, Wolf would destroy you utterly.

-

As they parted, Wolf said to Alexandra, "Alexi, we will face these people again. Go out there and help get everything ready for the inevitable fight. If there's no maintenance to do on your Marasai, then join the engineering team in repairs around the ship. If there are none to join, then rest." Alexandra saluted crisply, but still with her mouth halfway between a smirk and her little twisted-lip whatever. She pushed off the floor and out the door, but not without saying, "Don't think I'll drop the blue Rick Dias so easily." And then the door was shut, leaving Wolf and his little sister Mercedes.

"So," murmured Mercedes, "Who is this special Rick Dias, and why are you protecting Alexi from him?"

"I wasn't lying to her," sighed Wolf, "All I know is that the man seemed to have a grudge against Father. I scuffled with him only briefly, but the way he dealt with Lt. Te'litha and I simultaneously - even if Nick didn't seem to be fighting seriously - gives me the impression he's high caliber, though I can't be sure yet."

"And I suppose you don't want Alexi trying to engage him alone."

"Of course not, sister," - they both knew that was easier said than done - "Alexi has the potential to be better than me. I don't say that just to say that: she truly has the potential to surpass me, if she'd only take herself more seriously. But at this point, she wouldn't survive against that man alone."

There was a brief silence before Mercedes spoke again, "You're scared, brother,"

"Don't start this-"

"Don't lie to your sister, Wolf. You're scared because you know our fate. You know exactly what it means to be in this family. I know you love Alexi, but don't go soft on us now."

Wolf brought himself over to Mercedes and grabbed her by the collar of her tunic. "Don't," he hissed, "Accuse me of forgetting our destiny. Every waking moment, and during what little sleep I get at night, I constantly remember. I remember all of them, Mercedes. I see all of them and remember the cost of our place. I remember Rigney and even Davies and everyone who came before, but most of all I remember Mstislav."

"We all do, Wolf," retorted Mercedes, whose face remained impassive throughout Wolf's words, "I didn't fight out there like you did, Wolf, because I was too young. But I remember Mstislav. Every day I think about how he didn't deserve it, about how I'd give anything to trade places with him, so he could be the one here today. That's our destiny, Wolf, and Father told us about it all the time, for as long as we can remember."

"I know," Wolf's voice softened and he let go of Mercedes' collar, "I know. But until now I've been the one at the forefront, alone. It weighs down on me, this knowledge. Don't think I don't make the same wish. Mstislav should be the one standing here today, not me. I can't change that, just like I can't change the fact that it was Rigney who was hacked apart out in Earth orbit and not me. It was Davies who was shot down, and not me. And every other comrade and subordinate who ever died in all my career. It weighs down on me, but when I remember our destiny..."

Mercedes stood and took Wolf in a sisterly embrace. "Brother, it weighs down on us all now. Let Alexi and I take some of the burden. That's why we came."

A long silence.

"I miss him, you know."

"So do I."

"Stay strong for me."

"I'll stay strong so long as you are."

"Then we'll be invincible."

And they parted, leaving the ready room through different doors.

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Location: Von Braun
- Salamis Kai-class Hades -
- Briefing Room -


Jason waited till Picard left the room and the door fully closed before uttering anything.

"Miller, am I the only one here that saw those Rick Dias things run circles around us. Six against two and no one scored a hit. And no one seems worried."

Jason pulled his chair closer.

"Granted, the Lieutenant is right we all came back alive, nonetheless while we're in the Hizacks all we are is cannon fodder. We gotta get better out there .. earn ourselves some more advanced suits."

Or pray some Marasai pilot gets killed especially that one that shot me...

"So I suggest you.." Jason does a double take when he notices Ens. Sliverwind was also in the room.

Geez, need to tie some bells on that guy or he'll hardly be noticed around here.

"..and you too Silverwind, watch the recordings from the encounter and take the data and hit the simulator. I gotta go see how bad the damages to my garbage haul really are." Jason gets up and walks over to the exit.

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Patrick listened as Picard shut down his only idea that he had thought through, one could see the sad look on his face.

once Picard left, Jason was talking about cannon fodder, which sounded like a new brand of cereal to Patrick. 'hmmm I'm hungry' thought Patrick as he continued to listen.

"uhh ok sir...but first, whens lunch?....or the sims?"

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Well... it's official: O'Regan is the next Hitler.

WhiteWingDemon wrote:
Not to start anything, seeing as that is O'Regan's job...

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Orrick Alexander wrote:
Did anyone know that O'Regan is the reason there's no air in space?


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"Yes Captain that sounds about right. When do command expect us to be relieved or at least reinforced?" Kyle asked still watching the cramped Combat bridge with interest. The Captain was right... They were in a sad state and in their state would make an easy target for any eager Rebel pilot to pick off. Hopefully lady luck would shine on them and keep them alive until the end. Death was not something he was looking forward too this early in his career.

"Tell me Captain where are we going at this point?" He asked eager to start looking through space maps and plotting just what kind of trip it would be. He had nothing better to do at the moment anyways.

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Location: In the cockpit..
"I've been trying to do nothing but help both you and Ensign Fulton go through whatever you both seem to be suffering from in addition to being your Team Leader..."

Shin let out a deep sigh, half peeved that the Lieutenant still wanted to persue the matter rather than let Shin do it himself, and half because he was dragging that paranoid loaner, Samantha into the equation too. Normally he wouldn't be thinking this way, but being in the Titans was having some sort of adverse effect on him that he couldn't pinpoint. For some reason, it was making him brash, stressed, and formed an ire temper within him. Neither of which were an issue before.

As Gillarme prattled on, Shin began to stew more and more on his delima, bordering on tuning the Lieutenant out.. But, as he did he began to realize some things..

"And since you seem to have some place to be, I'll be brief, then --- I'm asking you to listen for a few moments. At risk of being blunt, what is wrong!? It doesn't matter if Trent said anything: You and Ensign Fulton did a great job out there slowing the AEUG down in the last sortie, and you have exceptional talent, Lieutenant Yamamoto --- your Marasai came out the least damaged out of the three of us even with the amount of fire the AEUG threw at us out there, and you're easily Delta's best pilot, hands down. It's even past Stukov's caliber, if you ask me --- Nobody can buy that skill and instinct you have. For and off the record, do not let anyone tell you otherwise about it, not even Ensign Fulton. If she gives you grief, let me deal with her.

"That said, you seem to have problems keeping that in mind out there, Lieutenant. You're doing more than well enough, but it seems to me...that you need everyone else to know it. You've let yourself get caught by the AEUG pilots multiple times, and each time you actually wheeled yourself around to make your stand. I want to know what you're feeling to drive you towards this, Lieutenant Yamamoto, but I'm sure you'll tell me only when you want to. But before you take off, I want you to keep this in mind.

"You don't like me, that's fine and fair. But don't try to prove anything to me, because you do not need to at all. I'm confident enough in your competence, Shin, but when you go out of your way to make the AEUG know that, you're making them a priority over yourself, and that way of thinking will get you killed; The AEUG knows this and will bait you into doing that. Constantly. If you die, then all the talent in this Earth Sphere means nothing. No matter what happens, I want you to make yourself a priority over the enemy and anything else, even me if needs be --- you still come out ahead if you outlive the AEUG."

"That's it, basically. If you have any feedback on my performance in the last sortie, I'd like to hear it. Other than that, you're free to go, but please keep this in mind."

Shin was dumbstruck momentarily. Of course all Gillarme prattled about was things he'd heard a thousand times before while he was a Federal, but something different was there. Somehow, Gillarme seemed sincere, full of hot air, but sincere. Like his old commander, which may have been why he wanted to defend him in the first place.. Shin began to feel himself fall back off of the tense attitude he had earlier, partially because of Gillarme's calm demeanor, but more so because he began to come to another realization whilst his mind went a thousand miles a minute.

Maybe Gillarme was right, maybe he didn't have to prove himself like a fool. He did have a point about meeting an early demise with that brash attitude. He'd seen it many times before back in the War. Had he really become so fragile and...inept to the point that he was faltering in the same way? Why else would he be doing such things?

Shin had to face the facts. Gillarme was actually right on this one. Going it alone and gung ho to prove yourself wasn't the way to go. Shin should have known better anyway, being one of the few that survived the war. He really needed some time to cool off and relax. Ever since he'd joined the Titans, he'd been more on edge than he had been while in the Federal service. The thought that maybe he had made a mistake in joining the Titans floated around his head whilst he thought up a response to the Lieutenant's inquiry..

"Listen, Lieutenant. I just want to apologize for my snap back there. Don't think that we're all hunky dory now. Personally, like Samantha, I think you need to learn to not lecture but rather listen to those under you. I know you try, but... you were doing it just now, which gave me time to think this up."

Shin let out a breath and thought to himself, "Well, here goes"

"Lieutenant, I might be one of the good pilots on this ship, but I have to make a confession. I'm not sure that I'm fit for the Titans. Ever since I joined, my mind has been wrestling with the decision, as well as trying to fit in. Hence my attempts to separate myself from the others. I dunno what it's been doing to me, but to be honest, it's driving me batty. I want to help you guys, but I can't say that I'll stay stable for long because of all that is going on.

I guess I just need time to cool off, collect my thoughts, and assess the situation rather than being sent out every other hour on sorties while I lose my mind. I really don't want to be a prick and put off both you and Samantha, but I guess you caught me at one of my manic low points. Sorry."

Shin wiped his hand on his face, dragging it down to his chin as he again collected his breath. He then continued.

"Sir, with all due respect, you did a good job out there taking on that Sally Kai. Personally I wouldn't have gone it alone and actually tried to get some more support, but it...did something. I think that if we're to actually work as a team, that we should at least sit down and discuss what we need from ourself, and each other. Samantha may need this, because from what I get, she's still trying to get over whatever got her demoted in the first place.

The way she acts, how she refuses confrontation and at times, looks down on people.. I might be seeing things but I think that she needs to see some sort of counselor...like I should-..Wait a minute."

Then it hit Shin like a sack of potatoes..

"Sir, I think we should start doing daily briefings. Not of tactical information, but that of our personal lives. Maybe if we open up to her, she'll open up to us. Then, maybe it'd help her, and possibly me. I know I'd need such a thing from a commanding officer. I may now be inept, but this thing with my old commander back during the war helped me immensely. The Captain thought of it after some serious infighting like this formed a rift between many of the pilots. It worked for them, and we functioned like a well oiled machine for most of the war, so I guess it might work for us."

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