Gundam SEED: Wings of a Harpy

Your own tale of two mecha.

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CHASER
Elitist Earth Politician
Posts: 619
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:11 am

Gundam SEED: Wings of a Harpy

Post by CHASER » Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:35 am

*Apprehensive looks all around*

I finally have something to post O.O
I'm a little worried, since it's been about 3 years since I've written anything larger than a role playing post, so please let me know if the writing style seems a little off. This is set post Destiny (since thinking about re-writing it gave me a headache), and will omit most if not all (aiming for all) Canon characters. This will be written in parts rather than standardised-length episodes for some various reasons.

This first part is Part 0, hopefully giving a little look into what made things get into motion in the rest of the story.



[[PART-0]]
The calm of a hallway was suddenly set into disarray as a woman burst through it, pushing her way past a pair of soldiers in green as she continued ahead. The two barely acknowledge her with a grunt as they continue along forgetting about her as quickly as she appeared. Her rather dangerous dash continued for a few more steps before the inevitable, and expected, happened. She brushed against another passer-by too closely and their shoulders collided; the woman stumbled for a moment, and then a clattering sound followed. The bewildered man she had just ran into looked down at her in a mixture of surprise and confusion, taking his time to process the chaotic scene on the floor as the papers were scattered around. Yet another moment was spared before he finally knelt down and began to help her pick everything up, shuffling page after page covered all in small text as they were set back into the medium-sized briefcase they fell out of. A few apologetic mumbles were passed back and forth between the two, the woman however concentrating more on collecting her lost documents.

The sight of the two was given nothing more than a strange look by the sparse groups that passed them. This was not a very busy area; as the hallway had soon become almost void of life, save for the two scrambling around on the floor. Suddenly the lighting began to dim, a shadow moving over the two and blocking the light in the entire length of the hall. The man looked up from his work in confusion, almost in unison with the sudden return of the lighting as the shadow slipped away and crept down the corridor until it was gone completely. He stood up and stepped towards the opposing wall of the hallway, from where the shadow had passed, staring blankly through the broad line of thick windows and out into a vast stretch of near-vacant space. Lined up from nearby to further away were the large hourglass forms of the space colonies, a few ships passing from one to another with the glowing sphere of the sun sitting neatly in the background. However, neither a single ship, nor the colonies themselves were close to the windows stretching along the corridor. Odd, he thought to himself, that a shadow would be cast and move away so briskly. He turned around to ask the woman if she had seen anything, only to catch a glimpse of her as she clicked shut the briefcase and continued along on her dash down the hall.

A glint of suspicion passed over his face as he gave one last glance at the window, turning away and taking on his route prior to his collision with the woman, walking up the hallway with a dismissive shrug. It must have just been a transport ship passing by.

~~~~~~

A large room becomes brightly illuminated by artificial sunlight as a window in the ceiling opens, beneath it a large rounded table sits fixed to the flooring with documents and a dozen half-emptied glasses of water sitting about. A group of twelve, formed from men and women dressed in long blue jackets, sit evenly spaced around the table. At the table’s head, with six of the blue members on either side, sits the thirteenth and most distinguished of the group. This man is easily told apart by his violet and black-lined garb, resting his chin in his hand thoughtfully as he inspects yet another page parked on the desk. He gives an approving nod after a moment of consideration, signing his name on a dotted line at the document’s end, slipping it into a leather-brown folder and handing it to a patiently awaiting aid standing by his side. Accepting the folder, the aid moves back and makes his way out of the large room, pausing only to allow a somewhat rushed woman in. As the aid finally leaves the woman takes a seat at the side of the room, working to catch her breath while setting the briefcase at the side of the chair. The few others that are seated like her along the walls spare her a glance, though the group at the larger table proceed as if she wasn’t there.

“If there are no urgent matters remaining, the council will rest for a few minutes.”

The suggestion given by the member seated at the table’s head is duly accepted by eleven with a short wave of nods. The twelfth takes a moment longer to consider, but agrees with the rest soon. One by one the blue-coat wearing individuals stand and take their leave from the round table, though not leaving the room itself. With some more social and idle chatter filling the room in the intermission the woman that had come in late, as far as she considered it, stood with the briefcase in hand as she was approached. A hand was raised slowly, as if to calm her, by one of the men in blue. He was a man with dark eyes and hair, sharp features which were used to look down at the woman sternly. He wordlessly took the briefcase from the woman, opening it and looking through its contents. To his dismay the pages he searched for were out of order, leading him to search through every sheet to find what he needed. The woman receded away to the side, a certain degree of nervousness growing quickly.

At the same time as this uneasy scene, the man seated at the head of the table was still in his chair. He leaned back into the piece of furniture, resting his hands on the ends of the armrests. He used the time allotted to him to rest his eyes from paperwork and discussions. It was a comfortable location to have such a meeting, sitting under the glow of the sun’s redirected light. A different aid from before moved to stand by his side with a glass of water, which was graciously accepted before a few of the blue-coat wearing others began to reclaim their seats. The more than somewhat concerned woman clutched the briefcase to herself as it was handed back, sitting back down without a word once the sharply-featured man finally collected what he had been looking for. Moving back to the table he seats himself with the papers neatly in front of him, taking on a far more patient appearance than the one he had given to the woman moments ago. The remaining few that have yet to take a seat note his desk-space arrangement, breaking away from their social talks in order to return to their own seats as well. The room becomes quiet again as people settle down, and from the table’s head the voice of the violet-coated man sounds.

“I see there are some topics to continue discussing?”

The other nods as he sets his hands on the stack of paper that had been neatly organised in front of him. The violet coat nods in approval in return, shifting forward to better sit at the table. The blue-coat stands to address the others, clearing his throat and shifting a few pages about in preparation. After a moment of silence he begins, crossing his arms behind his back in a highly official manner.

“Fellow Council members, and Chairman, as the elected representative of the Junius colonies, I have found that the responsibility falls upon myself to discuss the foundations of the Junius Treaty. Or rather, the lack thereof.”

This calls for the attention of everyone present in the room, with some small chatter coming and passing before another blue-coated representative moves to respond.

“I hope you’re careful with that topic, it took years to have that set back into place.”

The Junius representative came prepared for such a retort, and his response came back quickly with little time for thought necessary.

“As far as my findings can show, that Treaty did less than force the military to become more… creative, if you will. Do recall that not a single issue that the Treaty was set to deal with were ever resolved, and the restrictions set by it were ignored by all sides.”

General silence comes about, with not a single individual in the room able to dispute or consciously disagree with the point. From the stack of pages the Junius PLANT representative draws one in particular, this one filled with text and smaller images arranged in accordance with the paragraphs they were related to. Looks of concern were passed about, though a curious frown was contributed to the scene by the Chairman. Still standing and unopposed on the subject, the representative simply proceeds as he had planned before. He looked around the table before shifting his eyes down to the document at hand, though he didn’t need to read it to recall what information its text held.

“As we look at the conclusion of the first war between ZAFT and the Earth Forces, the Treaty signed on the site of the remains of Junius 7 set simple guidelines for all parties involved. This ‘Mirage Colloid’ that the Earth had developed was banned from use, for particular reasons, which the Earth Alliance had soon implemented in the way we had tried to prevent. I presume everyone here can recall that ship. But perhaps we should look at the one technology that was banned for obvious reasons.”

Now less than pleased faces were making their appearances, with every single one of them knowing quite clearly what the topic was that would now come up. Unlike before this would not be accepted as a topic to be raised in the council, and the Chairman took the matter to his own hands as he stands to interrupt and confront the representative.

“I believe, that it had been agreed upon that the issue of nuclear weapons would not be raised in this council. We are aware of the attempted nuclear strike against PLANT by the Earth Alliance, which we were more than prepared for at the time. Or perhaps, you simply have a personal vendetta against the use of that particular weapon.”

It was a point well made, and the Junius representative recoiled slightly as the reminder of Junius 7’s past was sent against him. He came prepared for something of that nature, and he had reached for a similar document from his stack as the Chairman interrupted his address. Much to the surprise of the other representatives he moved away from his place at the desk and moved towards the Chairman, quietly and calmly as if the subject had failed to affect him at all. The page is handed to the Chairman, who examines it curiously with a cautious eye. Photographs of the machines that have come to be known as Mobile Suits litter its face, with text arranged alongside each image with a few notes. A series of letters and numbers set above each pf these paragraphs is the most prominent, set in bold font. ZGMF-X10A, ZGMF-X19A and ZGMF-X20A are among the first pictured, though right below them ZGMF-X42S and ZGMF-X666S follow closely. The Chairman is uncertain of what to make of these serial numbers and partially blurred images they are attached to, though the representative leaves him in confusion only for a moment before expanding. He turns himself slightly away from the Chairman so that he can face the other representatives from their respective colony groups.

“I’m sure everyone here remembers those as well. They are perhaps the most memorable of the prototype Mobile Suits that have served in any battle following the conclusion of the first war, four of which were built following it. While I’m sure that Orb had its reasons for using their machines, I am still unable to find a credible reason for ZAFT to have fielded two Mobile Suits bearing an N-Jammer Cancellers.”

He had made his point with blank faces appearing everywhere as the only response, and the Junius representative began to make his quiet way back to his seat. A few small conversations broke out in discussion, but none that were of any substance. Resting the paper onto the desk, the Chairman brought up the questions that the other representatives had as well.

“Exactly what point are you trying to make with this?”

The Junius representative turns back, a spiteful glare in his eyes. This alone is enough to bring every pair of eyes in the room to face towards him, most in suspicion though some returning the glare. The Chairman himself is one of the latter, seeing the look he was given as a challenge. No other physical gesture was made towards the Chairman, however, to assume that it would be directed towards him. For this response the representative forwent his papers despite the still-sizable stack he had on his desk space. His tone became more solemn, pouring every bit of seriousness he had into his following speech.

“The Earth Alliance knowingly broke the Treaty that was set, and in response PLANT did the same. It’s such a shame when one colony can’t thrust its neighbour to follow the rules that were set by the whole. This is a lack of trust that very well might be shared by the Earth Forces as well, and with more than enough justification, considering what our past Chairmen have tried to do. My point is that no one wants to follow the rules, even those who take it upon themselves to try and enforce them, which nulls the purpose of rules completely. It seems that we’re reduced to resorting to playground politics; something isn’t right, and those whom we are supposed to go to for guidance are the same people that are causing the problem. If we’re unhappy with something that cannot be fixed, it seems we have no choice other than to pick ourselves up and leave.”

This doesn’t go over well with the others in the room, and the ending statement brought everyone to their feet in an instant. All of them spoke at once with various counter-arguments, not a single word managing to get through as anything remotely comprehensible. The Chairman takes charge at last as he moves up towards the Junius representative, his once simply tired features now showing some form of aggression as he breaks the babblings of the others off.

“You can’t be serious! You can’t just opt to remove the Junius colonies from PLANT, and you do not hold the authority to do it.”

The Junius representative didn’t as much as flinch at the confrontation. He knew to expect something similar to that reaction, as the remaining nine hourglass colonies of Junius were the main source of food and agriculture for PLANT, with shipments coming up from the Earth not being enough to sustain them on their own. The prospect of nine colonies leaving PLANT appeared just as outrageous to all involved as much as the loss of their primary agriculture, as the PLANT were a unified nation. The representative for Junius kept his cool through all the stares, as far as to continue.

“Actually, I do hold the authority. I have been chosen as the representative for Junius in the Supreme Council, and I have been chosen so that I can maintain Junius’ security above all else. Junius will not, and cannot be safe while its colonies are surrounded by your militant ones. Furthermore, you have no way to stop our independence.”

Following the remarks the Chairman was more than ready to launch a fist at the representative he considered to be acting so smug. His final sentence was the last nail in his coffin as far as the Chairman was concerned, and he would deal with the act of insurrection as soon as possible. Deciding against the fist-fight, he opens his mouth and begins to speak his mind, or attempts to before being cut off mid-word. The large room becomes dark, a shadow falling over the interior in an instant. Worried faces look about as the ground gives a tremor and a glass tips over, rolling along the round table and shattering on the floor. Shards of glass were scattered on the floor, and some larger ones crashed down into the table itself from the window above. All eyes turn skyward, numerous pairs of eyes looking up at the darkness that had fallen upon the structure. The deep glare of a large, singular eye looked back down at them all, a red dot in the colossus above. From all the shocked faces in the crowd, the representative from Junius and his late-arriving aid were briefly flashed, the former replacing his with a knowing smirk before he turned away and walked out. A still bewildered, yet rushed woman was quick to follow behind him as he departed, taking the Junius PLANT colonies with him.
[[End PART 0]]

Antares
Retconned MSV Ace
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Post by Antares » Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:09 pm

Goody good! You finally publish as you have threatened for some time! I do have to say I've been waiting for this with some interest. :)

I think your writing style is pretty fluent. Like me, you like to describe the scene which helps visualizing the scene for me. Also, the politics of the Junius colonies seems quite plausible to me. So a roaring good start, and I hope there will be more at your own leisure. :)
-We will not be caught by surprise!
*Almost everyone I've killed uttered similar last words.
-Then I am glad once again that you are on my side.
*They've often said that too.

CHASER
Elitist Earth Politician
Posts: 619
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:11 am

Post by CHASER » Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:34 am

Well, thanks to those who commented through various mediums ^_^ Here is the much feared Part 1 o.o there's a bit more politics in it, and even another glimpse at the good old 'mysterious' suit that broke into the Council meeting in part 0. I think I lost my place near the end, though it was either that or rewrite the whole thing. The next part will come after I get some feedback, and will feature more than enough action to 'make up'
for two parts with little, and maybe a small change in format to make it easier to write and read.

[[PART-1]]

A warm and dry light pours into the confines of a small room, the glowing yellow sphere of the sun becoming visible as rises past the frame of a window. Some shuffling is already present as things are dragged back and forth across the rough fabric of a thick carpeted floor. Light thuds of objects being tipped over came and passed, with no real order to the small-scale chaos that was being spread within the confines of a small living space. The tussling continues to a bed at the room’s corner, where the blanket has long been tangled up in rough knots, playful growls tossed back and forth along the lump in the cloth that wrestled with it. The joyful act was interrupted as the window overlooking the room gave a slight shudder, ears perking up as a curious face slid out from under the covers. Hazel eyes stared towards the window in complete attention for a few more moments, the pane of glass giving another shudder as a large, round craft passes by it. A small yelp of surprise sounds as the lump in the blanket dashes out and into refuge under the fixture of the bed.

~~~~~~

Out in the stretches of airstrip under the sun, few of the smaller vehicles parked nearby give small jolts, the springs of their suspensions keeping all wheels against the ground as a series of landing crafts come to a halt over the tarmac nearby. The set of four drop capsules are given a few moments to rest in place while trucks make their way about, cargo trailers empty and prepared to accept a load. The bloated bodies of the olive-green pods opened a hatch in their front, a small ramp unfolding outwards. Personnel rushed about hurriedly in response to the opening, moving in with few words in between.

Higher above the ground in fortified structures people sit by computer screens, logging and making new entries into stock-keeping databases. While updating the numbers one of the technicians is disturbed; a tall, blond-haired man leaning over his shoulder to glance at the screen. Noting something of interest among the list, he presses a few keys and a new window opens with schematics and text. The taller man only gets a few seconds to read through the information as the other gives him a slight shove aside, attempting to continue working. The taller one simply gives a shrug as he steps away, glancing over at the airstrip and in particular at the second pod sitting there. From its gaping mouth stepped out a large body, painted in orange and black, bearing its large assortment of arms. Taking in the sight of the heavy Mobile Suit making its way along the remaining length of the airstrip, he gives a shameful shake of the head before leaving the control room, lest he disturbs anyone else.

~~~~~~

A series of four, large, heavy machines march past the large doors of a dim bay. The difference in lighting that the roofing brings causing the orange of the suits to darken, aside from a few spots moving about on their bodies as they pass by windows. The tall blonde man takes to a light jog alongside their path, barely managing to keep in pace with their considerably larger stride, despite their bulk. He gives out a small breath as the foursome separate into pairs, each making their way up ramps and into deep-brown hulls seated at the back of the construct. He himself also comes to a slow and finally a stop near a larger and lighter form than the other two. Staring blankly for a moment, he raises a hand to the back of his head with a frustrated sigh. By the point at which he shakes his head someone has already overheard him, and a figure began to approach him from behind. A woman’s voice speaks up from behind, questioningly.

“Something wrong?”

He shakes his head again, this time with a hint of amusement. Both of his hands come to rest on his hips before he gives an almost dismissive response.

“I told everyone we didn’t need any more of those; and here we have another four arriving at our doorstep.”

At this the woman steps closer, shooting a glance towards him as she pauses next to him. Catching the look, his posture suddenly straightens as he stands up proper. The woman continues ahead, leaving him to stare at the back of her head of red hair. His feet begin to follow her as she makes it a few steps ahead of him, giving a slight stumble before managing to catch up. As the pair walk, the cause of his sudden shift comes better into view as the rest of her body, which is fitted with a long-tailed black jacket, in contrast with the more plain green that he wore. He shakes the fumble away from his mind before continuing, trying to better explain himself.

“Those Bradleys take up a lot of space in the ship; there’s a lot of extra equipment they need, not to mention the amount of room they need for all that ammunition they use up. We already have six of them on board; we don’t really need another four.”

She doesn’t as much as blink an eye at the statements tossed her way, and for a good portion of their walk leaves it almost as if it were ignored altogether. Only once the two have stopped, looking onward as the large cargo trucks roll into the hangar space loaded with crates, does she spare him a second look.

“Six dedicated support units, separated among three ships. As reliable as the modified GINNs are rumoured to be, don’t you think some extra support might be necessary? I don’t have the option of turning down what we get assigned, anyway.”

The other nods in agreement, sadly though. He knows too well the state of their military as of late, which brought him to question the hastiness at which older suits were being moulded into newer ones. Outdated equipment had to be brought up to date, however, in order for it to stand in the modern battlefield. Examples of those suits began marching through the hangars with the discipline of veteran infantry, not a step out of synch among the rows of suits that began to be loaded into the ships. The red-haired captain starts to walk away again and towards the largest of the three ships at bay, looking back at him with a set of eyes matching the colour of her hair.

“I still have work of my own to tend to; can I trust you to gather the crewmembers that haven’t boarded the ship yet?”

The taller man stands straight once more, giving a salute and nod as a simple answer. The two go their separate ways, for the moment.

~~~~~~

The sound of rapping static emanates throughout a crowded room. The shifting pitch of the noise changes, a pause, another change, followed by a second stop. Quickly the sound ceases altogether, and a man in black is left standing behind a podium before a crowd flowing with movement and quarrels. The greying man looks over the ebbing tide of people with a frown, unable to escape their waves even in the open outdoors. At last the turbulent throng stops its movements with the distinguished thumping against the ground. Farther out in the background behind the podium passes a troupe; a cast of five bodies whose large dimensions show as they pass near buildings. A foursome of GINNs surrounds another suit in formation, towering more than a storey above all else, even the other machines. The officially clothed man at the podium glances back at the cause of the heavy thuds against the ground, giving an almost thanking smirk at its broad figure. The eyeless gaze of the Mobile Suit remains fixed ahead, not knowing and not caring for the gesture from afar.

“Now, if we can please get back to the point of this assembly?”

The man speaks up, having taken note that all eyes in the now still crowd moved to the group passing in the background, cameramen pointing their lenses unsteadily at the entity in the centre. They return their attention to the stage as their point of interest moves further out of sight, and the waving begins anew, though more structured than previously. One individual is selected out of the crowd, and he stands to speak and question.

“Mr. LaRoque, why is it that now, nearly a month following Junius’ separation from PLANT, that the December Colonies have followed their example?”

The waving crowd stops, all eyes and ears open and trained towards the podium in attention. LaRoque knows too well how to answer that question, yet leaves a few seconds of silence as if in thought all the same.

“How couldn’t we? One of our sisters reached out to the larger PLANT, only to find they were left alone on its stance. We are obligated to aid the others in our family, even if it means distancing ourselves from those who are not in the same state of distress.”

Every word carefully noted, documented by the dozen pens against pads, microphones and eyes of the cameras. He was almost satisfied with the reception of his words, though showing no signs of such outwardly, lest they be registered as a sign of contempt. This ideal ending, as he saw it, was interrupted as another individual from the cluster of people in front of him stood suddenly; a woman with fire in her voice.

“And what do you have to say to those who call your sudden move a simple attempt at taking advantage of Junius’ agricultural colonies? Surely, you have much to gain as seventeen colonies, now five of which have the capacity to supply enough produce for dozens more. By doing this, aren’t you basically taking PLANT hostage by eliminating their largest food sources?”

LaRoque didn’t as much as flinch in the face of accusation, unlike the whole of the remaining attendants. A new wave of gasps and chatter, with a nearly dropped piece of video equipment, came about. Be it from general astonishment at the idea of a group of colonies taking the rest hostage being absurd, or simply that those individuals hadn’t thought of the story-angle themselves would never be publicly known, but the shock of it was more than widespread. It was a total blanket among those present, other than LaRoque who may very well had anticipated such a thing. He gave a heavy sigh, shaking his head slowly in shame.

“Each to their opinion of the situation, but to you I would recommend more thorough investigation before an outburst like that. I personally know that every PLANT colony has in storage sufficient produce to last more than a month with no outside shipments, and surely you wouldn’t think that Junius would leave itself closed. Junius’ resources are still available for commerce and trade, and I highly doubt that any person working for the media would be oblivious enough to forget that the rest of PLANT has still been receiving partial living support from us. Any colony has the time necessary to make its own produce or choose to side with Junius.”

The woman simply sat herself back down. Her chance at a story more than likely destroyed, now was the time to fade back into the crowd. Although he kept an eye on her for a few more moments, Mr. LaRoque had more questions being sent his way and had to tend to them first. As soon as he opens his mouth to speak again the scene goes dark, the rather bright outdoors of the interior PLANT colony instantly zipped into a small point of light before blinking out. The crowded room that had been filled with static moments ago was now filled with voices of protest and moans of annoyance. A group of nine sat arranged on various pieces of furniture, huddled closely around the now black screen of a television set. All but a few of the members in the crowd were glaring towards the door behind them, and more directly at the tall, blonde man standing near it. He disregarded the looks he was given by the diverse group staying true to his reason of being there.

“I knew I’d find you in here. Get your lazy asses to the Dezrael before we leave without you.”

The group was far from done protesting over his turning off the television, making loud remarks among themselves as a line formed and they began to shuffle out of the room. The taller man watched them one by one as they departed with general disinterest concerning what they were saying, as most of it was lost in another’s protest. The basic idea of it all was rather obvious at the least. The last head to have left the room caught his attention immediately, and he set a hand on it heavily, stopping the young man in his tracks.

“So, you’re behind this?”

A pair of dark eyes shifted up to meet his, set in a face visibly younger and a body more than a head shorter. The younger male pulled away from the unwanted contact with a jerk, looking up at the other with a crabby frown.

“We were just watching the news, what’s so wrong with that?”

The hand that was now hovering aimlessly after being shrugged off set itself onto the taller man’s hip. He raised an eyebrow curiously, as if knowing something really was going on behind the scenes.

“Every time some of the crew doesn’t show up, or work isn’t done, I’m the one who gets our Captain on his back. You know what, it doesn’t matter right now. Get everyone into the ship and ready to leave.”

He didn’t have the time to continue his lecture. His figure simply moves to dash up the hallway with the bedazzled young man looking on. Deciding against provoking any form of further conflict, he gave a small shrug and left to follow the others. Their voices had faded some time ago, though he knew where they were going. Although even as he ran to where he should have been, the ideas raised in the conference on the television kept repeating in his ears. Taking the rest of PLANT hostage, he knew that it was true in the end.
[[End PART 1]]
HellCat wrote:
ShadowCell wrote:I'm skipping this one if it's in suppository form, though. Like, I like Gundam, but not that friggin' much.
They decided against that because most Gundam fans already have something up their butt.

CHASER
Elitist Earth Politician
Posts: 619
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:11 am

Post by CHASER » Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:11 am

Well, here we are once more. This is the second and a half part, since it can effectively happen following or instead of the last one I posted (personally, I prefer instead). I made a few changes to the writing style, so do comment on that if its any harder/easier to read than before.

And oh my god, some action!


PHASE 01.5; “True Beginnings”

>10:20 AM, February 12, C.E. 75
>Northern Plains of Africa

The arid plains of the desert stretched out as far as the horizon, with the only guess of more beyond that. Tumbling winds carried screens of sand and dust across the surface, sweeping over the smooth curves of the dunes. The sun sat high in the clear blue, not at its peak yet, though it beat down on the plains all the same. The smooth curves that the sand had formed were broken, feet pressed down on the loose ground heavily until they sunk several inches deep. Paying no heed to this, the feet continued along their powered walk dully. The towering body climbed one of the sand dunes, stopping at its peak with a hum of its servos. The dull orange and brown of its shell failed to capture the light that shone down on it, and as its orange eye shifted right to left along its fixed track, the machine groaned at the sight of nothing ahead. To its right another machine climbed a lower dune, shifting its eye towards the former. The lens gave a short buzz as its view zoomed closer to the first suit in thought. A voice rang through the communication instruments in the cockpit of the second suit, breaking the thought that the pilot had.

“Sato, we’ve been at this for hours. I really doubt we’re going to find anything in this wasteland.”

The female’s tone was impatient and tired, with hours of combing the desert already behind them. Sato, the pilot of the second Ground GINN, turned his suit to face the other before a response was given.

“That’s beside the point. We have our orders to search this area; we can’t just leave anytime we feel like it.”

“Maybe, but don’t tell me your suit isn’t low on power too.”

A side console inside both cockpits showed it clearly. The curved power metre was blinking as it displayed the battery levels in the red, less than a full bar above the line representing the minimal operating requirement. Sato’s shoulders dropped submissively as he turned the machine back, with a short pause before the other turned to join it. What was now in front of the two was far more promising than a vast region of nothing, with a set of three, large forms in the distance. Those forms remained in fixed positions, yet the distance between the suits and them was being covered much more quickly with a brisk walk, for one of them at least. The leading GINN glanced back to catch the other dawdling. It had drawn out a small firearm, featuring a stubby barrel, and unloaded a thick shell into the dune it had been on. A faint blue was visibly flashing from under the sand with repeating beeps, signalling the successful planting of the beacon.

Sato gave a nod at the move, knowing it would mark the last position they searched and saving them the effort of looking through it again. Once returning the gun to the rear skirt mount, the second GINN continued on its way back as well.
~~~~~~

“Are they just leaving?”

“Yeah, looks like it.”

“The hell are ZAFT mobile suits doing out here? I thought they abandoned this area.”

“Looks like they still have some interest here; could be trouble.”

The two were huddled together, watching a screen displaying the image of the two GINNs as they left the area. The circular reticule on the display hovered between the two machines as the men operated the controls arranged in the two-seated space. With the range increasing past their ability to do anything, the two men returned to their respective seats behind one another and closed the straps to secure themselves. More screens lit up as the machine awoke from its rest in the sand. The face of a small lump in the sand was disturbed, much of it being kicked forward as a square body dashed backwards out from under it. A single button inside was pushed by the man at the rear, with a yellow shroud wrapped around the top of the machine being shed in response. The arch of the revealed linear tank sped it in the direction opposite to the one taken by the Ground GINNs, running at its highest velocity.

~~~~~~
>10:28 AM February 12
>Lesseps-Class Battleship: Dezrael

The two GINN type mobile suits climbed into the hangar of a Lesseps-class battleship, either giving a small kick to the sand with their thrusters as they jumped the distance. The two pilots were well enough versed in the process of docking their machines, and almost in synchronous motion both suits made their way to the opposing hangar wall. Facing their backs to the wall, the pair of missile pods folded down behind their backs, mechanical arms lowering onto their shoulders and latching on. A small assortment of cabled were plugged into opened ports on the lower back of the machines with a hiss. A message of successful docking was displayed on the cockpit screens before they went blank, and the cockpit hatch opening to allow the pilots to exit.

Sato was the first to exit his suit, sliding down to the hangar floor along the zip-line. Removing his helmet with little effort, his face contorted slightly into a squint as he came to face the sun. The light caused a few others to turn away, though most have become accustomed to the desert conditions to the point where they merely continue with their assigned tasks. One of these tasks was a form of welcome to the returning pilots, as one of the mechanics did approaching Sato.

“Hey, you made it back!”

At first the mechanic was just given a confused look, the pilot not understanding why he would possibly sound so surprised. Sato opened his mouth to respond, but it was shut when the mechanic continued, looking up at the pair of suits.

“So, how’d she handle?”

“It’s a little rough, but then it’s not much different than the old GINNs. We won’t really know until it goes through some real combat testing.”

The hearty laugh that followed was, most definitely, not what he expected to come from the mechanic. The same view was shared with the other nearby crew as they looked on queerly, but the jumpsuit-wearing man didn’t seem to notice them. The only one spared from the sound of his laughing was the female pilot, whom had opened the cockpit just around the time he calmed down and finally stopped. Unlike Sato, she hadn’t worn a flight suit and was now standing above the scene in standard issue uniform. She paid no attention to what had been going on, letting out a tired breath, and running her hand through orange hair. At the sight of her standing there, the mechanic leaned closer to Sato and lowered his voice.

“I was talking about her. You know what everyone says about how ‘wild’ she is.”

The younger man recoiled from that, and the woman above raised a brow despite being unable to hear it. She had to dismiss the curious thought and just keep moving along, lowering from the suit and calmly leaving the hangar without a word from anyone. There had been enough awkwardness in there, and Sato shrugged off the mechanic and proceeded to leave as well, though through a different exit. In the meanwhile the remainder of the hangar crew returned to their various work stations, despite the lack of things that actually needed to be worked on. His humour ignored, that same mechanic simply moved towards the docked suits to observe their restocking.

“Wow, it’s like people from PLANT don’t have a sense of humour anymore...”

~~~~~~
>10:46 AM February 12
>Undisclosed Facility

The structure set on the surface was large, piping of various widths leading from one section to another all across the interior and exterior. The age of the compound was clearly visible with the number of cracks and patches of corroded metal everywhere, and several sections of pipes missing or ending out in the air uselessly. Quick repairs were underway, numerous crewmembers welding plates of metal over damages. Others were settled around partially disassembled tanks, taking an early break from the labour. Many more tanks were stationed about, some visibly newer than others. Near the rear of the facility a few more machines were set up in front of a catwalk, the line of green, red and brown mobile suits kneeling down so that their chests were level with the catwalk. A few individuals in Earth Alliance uniforms were gathered around, and on them, taking notes or making small adjustments under open panels. Their uniforms however were different than the standard set by the Earth Alliance, and more so the O.M.N.I. Enforcer branch. The white and blue are present, along with orange collars and cuffs, and the dark letters C.O.R.E. printed down the right sleeve.

An older and darker-skinned man made his way down the walkway, towards one of the men taking notes on the catwalk. He stopped to look up at the face of the nearby mobile suit, admiring the work, before interrupting it with a thick tone and a slight African accent.

“The prototypes seem to be coming along well. How soon before we can field them for testing?”

The other man that he had approached, the C.O.R.E. operative, continued to note down the work that the others were doing. He noted a few last sentences to finish his current paragraph, turning back a few pages briefly to glance at the writing there in order to answer.

“We had to make a few more changes to the operating system, since almost none of your men have much past experience piloting one of these. Even though these facilities are far from ideal, the prototypes should be ready enough to field today.”

The darker man, who wore a more traditional Earth Forces officer’s uniform, nodded in satisfied agreement. His slight smile faded soon as he fished a few leaves of paper from his coat pocket and handed them to the other. He, in turn, glanced briefly through some of them, stopping at a photograph displaying a pair of yellow and brown GINNs walking through the desert. The African voice spoke again to elaborate.

“One of our linear tanks stationed in the desert took that; it was earlier today. I don’t suppose you would have any idea what ZAFT might have of interest in this construct, over a month after abandoning it?”

Merely noting the visible differences of the suits to their space-bound predecessors with his pen, the C.O.R.E. soldier handed back the photograph with a simple shrug. He flipped the pad to a new page and continued writing in it, making a few more notes before stowing it in his rear pocket.

“I don’t suppose it could have something to do with last week’s test, considering how close your troops made it to Gibraltar’s boundaries. There really was no need to go so far from here; it’s all sand and dust anyway.”

The officer nodded again, turning to leave the others to their work. To his belief, there was no reason to go against the ‘suggestions’ of those who were stationed to help them. He took a last look at the series of prototypes, constructed for him and his men, among the first mobile weapons they could claim as their own.

~~~~~~
>Same Time
>Lesseps-Class Battleship: Dezrael

The mess hall of the land battleship was nearly full; half of the ship’s crew settled for an early lunch. A dull roar of widespread conversation was all around the room, people varying from mechanics to pilots sharing the time socially. Naturally, there were the odd few that had seemingly decided to keep to themselves at this time, a particular orange head of hair standing out in the crowd, though in a seat close to the entrance. The familiar face of Sato entered the room casually, not pausing as he took notice of the girl, simply continuing on towards a reserved seat. He sat there beside another, somewhat older man, who himself was seated across from a woman. The latter slid a tray of food towards Sato quietly, with both of them engrossed in a game of checkers. Some time passed there, the other man beginning to sweat over the horribly one-sided match against him alongside the number of his losses tallied on a sheet of paper seated beside the game board.

The populace of the room gradually filters out as personnel finished their activities and returned to other duties around the ship, only a handful in the mess hall before even the orange-haired girl left as well. Sato gave her a short glance curiously, watching her disappear out the door. His form of trance was broken by the voice of the girl in front of him.

“So, when are you going to talk to her?”

He turned his attention to the girl, who was in the process of setting up the pieces of the board game for another round. He shook his head slowly, with his attention set more on the empty tray that slowly slid aside by his hand. The girl frowned slightly at him, making the opening move in the new game before prodding him further.

“How are you ever going to meet women if you won’t talk to them? I can’t even remember when the last time was that you had a date.”

The man sitting beside him gave a choked laugh as he tried to hold it back, shifting one of the pieces on the board thoughtfully. The minor scoff gave way for a continuation of the girl’s original question, apparently taken on with the particular twist of the soldier.

“I thought you younger people liked the ‘wild’ type, and it’s pretty hard to wander around this crew without hearing about it. I’ve been here for a few weeks, and never seen it, though.”

Sato gave a drawn out and frustrated sigh, burying his face in his hand. It was a somewhat more extravagant show than he had given to the last person to note the arguable fact, mostly due to his inability to simply get up and leave. However, the girl found it in herself to give a note and expand on the topic, though far from what would generally be expected.

“Actually, he’s right. I looked through some of the notes for pilots assigned to the ship in the last two months, and I remember hers. It said she has tendencies to act wild and unexpectedly at times, but nothing related other than that.”

“You’re serious? I though everyone was just playing with me because I was sent out with her this morning, and had to spend four hours walking around the desert.”

Sato had his moment of surprise, more so relating to the fact that the other pilot really was ‘wild’ in some context. The mere fact that it seemed important enough to be kept record of in her file was more concerning than anything, despite the total lack of a show of the fabled wildness that followed her. There was also the question of how the girl sitting across from him had gotten access to those files to begin with, but that would be left for another time. The man beside Sato stood to leave, as yet another game of checkers ended in the favour of the girl. She offered a simple smile to him as he took his leave, and then proceeding to point her smile at Sato himself.

“You want to go next?”

Sato shook his head again, taking another few moments before leaving the room himself and leaving the girl almost completely on her own. She didn’t show any signs of disappointment at it, rather just setting the board up once more. She took hold of the paper holding the scores, gently folding it after looking over them, and tucking it away securely. She was thoroughly content with her long victory streak, looking down at the board with a smile. Her eyes quickly blinked and her face turned into a more surprised one, the little pieces of the game dancing along on their own accord as the ship seemed to shift. She didn’t know of any plans to move.

~~~~~~
>12:40 PM February 12
>Plains of North Africa

Two large figures ran their way over the desert surface, another trio soon catching up to their pace and entering a loose formation. The brown and red and green of their new armour reflecting the light of the late-noon sun, making way in their run as if the sun was of no consequence. The five mobile suits, loaded with various sets of armaments, were followed by a small set of linear tanks mounting additional antennae and dish systems. The tanks alone began to slow and separate from one another, the central tank came to a stop as the others were still slowing down, an officer in the gunner seat flipping on the communications system.

“Tank company spread out! All mobile weapon pilots stay close. We have one more shot at a successful test, let’s not mess this one up.”

Within moments the mobile suits came to a clattering stop, standing in attention. The arrangement of tanks surrounded the group at a moderate distance, and pointed their sensor-laden turrets towards the mobile suits. Inside the machines pilots were pressing switches and activating systems, each of the five suits reaching back and taking hold of different armaments in response. The assortment of rifles, cannons and launchers were each carried in their respective styles while the machines worked to balance them. The weapons were loaded, and the suits armed. In the command tank the driver reported the status of the test suits to the gunner seat.

“PPTs one through five are ready, field testing may begin on your order.”

“Very well. Begin the test clock now, order all prototypes to begin.”

A screen flashed with a timer beginning to count up the seconds of the test, and the sensory devices on the tanks sharpened their eyes and ears. Every motion of the suits would be captured, and every variable recorded. Seconds after the test clock began to run the Pre Production Type prototype suits gave a flash of their visors, legs kicking into motion as they ran ahead. Those carrying the heavier equipment and weaponry were led by those with simpler machine guns and beam rifles, ducking around sand dunes and experimenting with combat positions in mid-stride. The tanks remained stationary even as the suits began to distance themselves, though the turrets were constantly directed towards them. As with any test, things were far from flawless. One of the suits failed to make good distance up a particular dune, having tried to carry a thickly-built bazooka up the loose sand. It slid slowly down the side of the mound, kneeling down to avoid falling over, yet at the same time losing sight of its team-mates.

The frustrated Eurasian pilot shook his head in an attempt to clear it, keeping the suit on its knees as the slide led it lower than the original dune. Its feet crunched against the sand as the sandy hillside began to level out, though a cloud of sand covering the machine as it descended. The tanks lost its sight, much to the dismay of the command tank.

“Damn it. Send units three and five to retrieve it, the others will stay to continue the test. And tell them to stay closer this time.”

The driver proceeded to relay the orders, and two of the test suits turned to follow the path of the lost pilot. They approached the edge of the hill cautiously, despite their much lighter equipment, and prepared to descend if necessary. They scanned the area below them only to find the situation much worse than expected; their, more than literally, fallen comrade was hastily backing up the hillside on a diagonal path, pausing every few steps to secure its footing as the bazooka weapon was pointed ahead and launched a rocket propelled shell ahead. The pilot cringed as alarms began to fill the cockpit.
~~~~~~

“What’s going on? Who gave authority to use the live ammunition?”

The command tank was in chaos as the officer demanded answers to the sudden sound of explosions. All eyes in the field turned to the pair atop the hill, the two themselves quickly beginning to back away from the edge. They each managed a few steps before the edge of the sand gave a roar and rose up against them, and both suits were knocked off their feet. The tanks now moved, turning their bodies to face the pair of fallen suits in surprise. Several hundred metres away a much more level side of the hill also erupted upwards, with the face of a large and dark brown battleship sailing into view. The pair of still standing suits pointed their weapons towards the ship, a long cannon and a rocket launcher, firing on instinct at the Petrie-class. As the ship continued to move along shells and rockets hit its surface, adding scars to the hull in addition to those already planted onto its left side. In the command tank things were still hectic.

“They wouldn’t dare!”

The officer shouted, causing the driver to flinch before starting up the tank’s drive systems. He would be proven wrong within another second as well, the Petrie-class raising its own cannons and firing on the group. Pillars of sand and dust were thrown up with the close impacts, the tanks stalling before moving back out of the line of fire, still beginning to fire in return. With explosions of destroyed tanks visible far to the distance, it marked the inevitable beginnings of a battle.

End Phase
HellCat wrote:
ShadowCell wrote:I'm skipping this one if it's in suppository form, though. Like, I like Gundam, but not that friggin' much.
They decided against that because most Gundam fans already have something up their butt.

Antares
Retconned MSV Ace
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Post by Antares » Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:36 am

Fight, fight fight! :) The story seems to be going along nicely. And I like the idea of linear tanks getting an iGLOOd (i.e. make tanks have a role in battle beyond moving targets again) update.

I think your format is improving constantly, this was very effortless to read.
-We will not be caught by surprise!
*Almost everyone I've killed uttered similar last words.
-Then I am glad once again that you are on my side.
*They've often said that too.

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