Mobile Suit Gundam Storm (Ch. 17, 8 Sep 15)

Your own tale of two mecha.

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Vent Noir
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Re: Mobile Suit Gundam Storm (Ch. 14, 6 Mar 14)

Post by Vent Noir » Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:43 am

New chapter, finally! Sorry for taking so long!
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“That was Athene. I’m sure of it.”

Shane skipped back to the start of the footage as he sat at a console in the rec room.

“So you’ve said.” McDermott told him. “So you’ve been saying ever since the footage from our anonymous source came in.”

Shane just sighed in response.

“That won’t get you anywhere. We need to think of a way to deal with this.”

“But where do we start? That Mobile Armor’s a monster… and we don’t even know where she is or what she’s doing at the moment.”

“True, but I don’t expect that she’ll keep quiet for long.”

“Lieutenant Alan McDermott and Ensign Shane Yamada to the bridge. Repeat, Lieutenant Alan McDermott and Ensign Shane Yamada to the bridge.” The order came over the PA system.

“And that might be some news now.” With that, the pair headed to the bridge, where Captain Monash was waiting for them.

“I though you should see this.” She said, bringing an email up on the screen. The email showed no sender, and contained only the subject “Athene”, a set of coordinates, and a timer showing seventy-two hours remaining, and counting down. “Those co-ordinates are in Lunapact space, near Lagrange Point 2. We can make it there in time if we set out now, and nobody stops us. That is, if you’re willing to head into what, despite what happened to the Lunapact leaders, is still enemy territory for us.”

Shane and Alan looked at each other, and nodded.

“I’m in.” McDermott said.

“It’s not even a question.” Shane replied. “Let’s go.”

“Although,” Monash added, “While the sentiment is admirable, have you even thought of a way of dealing with Athene yet?”

The pair looked at each other.

“You have until we reach Lunapact space to think of one.”

*****
MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM STORM

A fanfic by Andrew Dynon
Based on “Mobile Suit Gundam” by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Hajime Yadate

Chapter 15: Trust You


*****

Athene

I sat with Hippolyta and Ares, reviewing footage of the raid on Collins Base as we sat down to eat a meal of meat substitute and nutrient gel, an off-white, semi-solid mass that provided everything necessary for our bodies, and had no discernable taste – something not considered necessary. It was something I must have eaten every day of my life, apart from when we were undergoing sustenance deprivation, either as training or punishment.

“Hippolyta, I was aware of your talent, but you performed above expectations.” I told her.

“It’s thanks to you, sir. When I was fighting with you, I felt that I could go beyond what I’d done before. It’s as if you were guiding me, even when you weren’t giving me any orders.”

“I see. I felt the same way, like I knew you had my back. I didn’t even need to see my HUD.”

“Yes, Gabriella Wang mentioned something like that.” Ares said. “She called it the Resonance theory – the idea that enhanced humans can connect with each other mentally, and draw on each other’s psyches to share information and strengthen one another. If her ideas are correct, then you’ve just begun to awaken to your full potential as supersoldiers.”

I’d never learned any science apart from what was practical for my duties, such as how to function in space or perform a re-entry. The idea was interesting – we could share our consciousness with all of our siblings, and all of us would be strengthened by doing so – but it wasn’t immediately relevant.

“How did you like using the MUBs?” Ares asked.

“They’re amazing, too, sir. Being able to control so many weapons at once, with just a thought – we can do so much more with them than with just an MA and fighter by themselves.” Hippolyta said, sounding as if the memory of going into battle still made her slightly giddy.

“They are an amazing piece of technology.” I agreed, “Especially their versatility. It would be impressive enough if they were just guns, blades, or shields, but the utility of being able to switch them between the different modes, especially with the amount of responsiveness I get from them, puts it on another level. It seems Forge really is putting its best efforts into arming us.”

“Of course. The best supersoldiers deserve the best technology, as Miss Wang tells me.” Ares said.

“However, as amazing as they are, I wouldn’t necessarily say I like using them.” I admitted. “You know that my favourite form of combat is hand-to-hand. Nothing gets my adrenalin pumping quite like fighting with nothing but my body as a weapon. The further I get from that, the more intensity seems to be lost from the experience. Ares, you know what I mean, don’t you? You always enjoyed the hand-to-hand training just as much as me.”

“Yeah, I still remember those bouts we had for the top HTH ranking. You’d take top rank off me, and then I’d push myself even harder until I got it back, and then you’d do the same.”

“So which one of us held it when I got my first assignment?”

“That would be you. Of course, I fully intended to fix that as soon as I got the chance.”

Hippolyta glanced at me, somewhat guiltily.

“I’m supposed to be like you, right, sir? But I prefer ranged combat.”

“There’s nothing to apologise for, Hippolyta.” I reassured her. “I don’t think there’s any reason we’re supposed to prefer one form of combat. I’m sure it’s just a personal thing. In fact, some of our siblings are being trained as specialists in certain forms of combat, right? And even for generalists like us, it makes sense that we’d have different preferences. In any case, on the battlefield, we need to prioritise the best tactical option over what we like. I’m not going to punch an enemy to death if I can shoot him with an assault rifle instead. It’s the same with the MUBs.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Anyway, Hippolyta, I think you deserve something special.” I picked up my flavour sachet – the only one I was issued in my week’s rations, and that only because I was a gold class supersoldier, rather than a silver class like Hippolyta – emptied it over Hippolyta’s nutrient gel, and mixed it in. The sachet listed it as strawberry. Strange, I seemed to remember eating a real strawberry, once. The word “strawberry” made me think of Mars… why was that?

Hippolyta tentatively scooped some of the gel up and put it in her mouth, then made a confused expression.

“It’s strange…” she mused, then her eyes lit up and she hurriedly scooped up another mouthful. “But I like it. Thank you, sir!”

*****

Gallipolli, Recreation Room

“ZOINKS cheap hax piece of ZOINKS!“ Shane yelled as the Black Iron Titan crushed his samurai, yet again. After an hour or so of unsuccessfully trying to think of way to take down that monster mobile armor he’d seen the footage of Athene piloting, he’d decided to go and play a video game, mainly to let off the steam he’d been building up, but also because maybe an idea would come to him if he had his mind on something else. So far, he’d been successful at neither.

“I don’t mind you swearing, Shane.” He heard Khadija’s voice say from behind him, “Just as long as no controllers get thrown. The maintenance crews have higher priorities than game peripherals.”

“How’re you holding up, Khadija?” Shane asked.

“I’m fine. I was actually going to ask you the same thing.”

“Stressing out a bit, but I think that’s normal under the circumstances.”

“Yeah, you’d be abnormal if you weren’t. Well, more abnormal than you already are, anyway. What are you playing?”

“Sword of Susanowo. It’s an action game set in medieval Japan.”

“Mind if I jump in? Maybe if we use co-op mode I can help you beat this thing.”

“I thought you hated violence.”

“I hate violence in real life. Video games are fine, and I need to blow off stress too, sometimes. Am I gonna have to pwn your arse to prove it to you, or will we skip the formalities and get on with beating that boss?”

Khadija chose Sayaka the kunoichi from the character select screen, the level restarted, and the pair began hacking their way through hordes of minions on their way to another confrontation with the Black Iron Titan.

“I really had trouble getting along with Athene while she was here.” Khadija said, “We were from such different worlds. But, looking back, I can only pray that I would have handled myself as well under the circumstances.”

“Different worlds is right.” Shane replied. “Boot camp was hell for me, and I’ve never heard anyone else who went through it say any different. I can’t imagine being raised there. Though I guess then it’d be normal for you.”

Khadija backstabbed a sub-boss, Sayaka pulling his spinal column out with her kusari-gama as she finished him.

“And she said there’s all those other ones like her. The ones she went back to save.” Shane added. “I know it’s a horrible thought, but if they’re never gonna be anything but weapons for her bosses, maybe it would be more merciful to kill them.”

“NO! THAT IS SO FUCKING WRONG, SHANE!” It was the first time in all the years he’d known her that Shane had heard Khadija swear.

“I’m sorry I said… sorry I thought that.”

“No, never mind. I can understand why someone would think that. But... while there’s life, there’s hope, you know? Regardless of what else Athene’s siblings may be, they’re people, first and foremost, and every life has the potential to do good. To kill them would be to deny their futures, and the good they might do, both collectively and as individuals.”

“Even though they were created as soldiers?”

“Just because that’s what the people who made them intended doesn’t mean that’s what they have to be. If they can escape from their influence, they can choose their own destinies. I can’t see condemning them to death for what they were intended to become as anything other than monstrous.”

“And that’s the last thing in the universe Athene would want, anyway.” Shane added. “After Athene killed Pallas, she nearly committed suicide out of guilt. I’m no psychologist, but if she were to go through that again, she might end up broken beyond repair.”

“And that’s something I know you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, let alone the girl you love.” Khadija said. “Heads up, boss approaching.”

“Okay, I’ll get its attention, while you sneak up behind it.”

“Got it. Now, let’s free Ten-no-Tsurugi-hime from the sorcerer’s enchantment! I think we get her unlocked if we win this. Apparently she’s a really cool character.”

“How can you pronounce those names?”

“Says the guy with the Japanese surname! Really, I thought Japanese people were supposed to be proud of their ancestry!”

*****

Capitol House, Apollo City
Headquarters of the Luna and Allied Cabinet


“I’m glad you agreed to meet me on such short notice, Acting Chairperson.” Victoria Castella said. “The urgency of this matter notwithstanding, I’m sure the current crisis means there are many other demands on your time.” To Forge, any such demands were irrelevant next to ensuring their puppets were fully committed to following their agenda, but it was a given that Admiral Judith Nguyen understood that, and reminding her would not be tactful, especially since they preferred to let such people think they were higher-ranked than they really were. Besides, lording it over her would be nothing if not crass. So, she had informed the leader of Lunapact of her desire for a meeting in advance, and politely waited to be offered a seat.

Nguyen was all business, short-haired and attired in a crisp, white Lunapact Navy dress uniform, with the requisite gold braid and polished medals. Victoria, for her part, had colored her waist-length hair a deep indigo today, her dark tresses contrasting with her exquisite, sky-blue dress, adorned by a Forge pin in gold and ruby.

“To what do I owe the pleasure?” Nguyen asked, looking Victoria in the eyes and scanning her for any hint of… nerves? A hidden agenda?

“First, I wish to congratulate you on the efficiency with which you are guiding Lunapact following the recent tragedy.” Victoria said. “It would seem that most of the population supports the adoption of martial law in light of the Commonwealth’s ‘Pearl Harbor-like cowardly sneak attack on the Lunapact leadership’, as LunaNews put it. Until such time as victory is attained and civilian government can be reinstated, of course.”

“Naturally.” Nguyen replied. “And, of course, I don’t intend to remain in the military forever. Once that happens, I may well move on to other ventures.”

“Ventures which we shall, of course, support you in, provided you continue to uphold your end of our bargain.” Victoria replied, smiling conspiratorially. “However, there are more immediate concerns which need to be addressed. We have intercepted communications from elements within the Lunapact military which contradict the official version of events.”

“And obviously, any potential sedition or mutiny will need to be dealt with.” Nguyen said.

“As swiftly and efficiently as possible. Obviously, we are willing to assist you, both with intelligence and in the field. We can provide you with the location the mutinous elements are gathering, as well as a supersoldier-spec mobile armor to help eliminate them.” Forge had been monitoring the attack on Collins Base, and she herself had ensured that any video footage of the attack was edited to alter or eliminate footage of the Storm Cell and Stormrider.

Nguyen smiled. “You are very generous.”

“Not at all. Thank you for your time.”

So, the pieces are where I want them. Victoria thought as she left. But there are no guarantees as to how the game, or even the coming turn, will play out.

*****

“Shane, I appreciate that an idea came to you, but do we have to come all the way down here for it?” Khadija asked as she and Shane entered the hangar. The maintenance crews had finished their shift now, and the mobile suits loomed over them like shadowy giants in the dim illumination of the night cycle lights.

“I noticed Athene liked to come down here sometimes when she was off duty, and just sit in her cockpit.” Shane said, pushing off the walkway and letting the zero gravity carry him toward the cockpit of the Gale Gundam. “At the time, I thought she just wanted to be alone.”

“But now you think she might have been doing something there.”

“It’s just a hunch, but I’m kind of desperate by now.” Shane punched in a series of numbers on a keypad next to the cockpit, and it slid open.

“How did you get the access code?” Khadija asked.

“McDermott gave it to me when I said I thought I might find a clue in here.” Shane replied, and swung his body into the cockpit, sitting down in the pilot’s seat. Khadija moved to stand beside him, then Shane closed the cockpit, and the pair looked at the blank main monitor.

“Uh, hello?” Shane said out loud. “Metis? That’s your name, right? This Mobile Suit’s AI? It’s Ensign Shane Yamada. You’ve probably heard me talking over the comms before. Hello? Anybody there?”

“Um, Metis, I guess I should introduce myself.” Khadija added. “I’m Khadija Akram. We’ve never met, but maybe Athene mentioned me to you or something? Oh, and my personnel file should be in the ship’s database. I’m a Rescue MS pilot and trainee medic with the IPMC.”

“Anyway, we really need your help.” Shane said. “Did Athene leave anything with you before she got transferred? We’re kind of really hoping she did.”

“Please,” Khadija said to the still-blank screen. “We want to save her. If there’s anything you can do, please help us to help her.”

For long moments nothing happened. Then a computerised, feminine voice spoke in the cockpit.

“Greetings, Ensign Shane Yamada and Trainee Medic Khadija Akram. I am Metis, partner AI of Ensign Athene Gold.”

“Uh, okay. Pleased to meet you, I guess.” Shane said. “You heard my question just now, right? Is there anything, anything at all, that could help us?”

“Affirmative. There is a hidden folder that can be accessed by Lieutenant Allan McDermott or Ensign Shane Yamada. Access requires voiceprint and retinal scans. I have your voiceprint. Please look at the spot now showing on the main monitor for the retinal scan.”

As Shane did so, Khadija grinned. “All right! You always did have good intuition, Shane.”

“Along with my many other good points.”

“Don’t get cocky.”

Shane started to reply, but the words caught in his throat as the monitor flashed into life. The face there had only been gone for a month or so, but already the visage of the young woman with black skin and buzzcut hair felt like it had come from an impossibly long time in the past, and yet only a moment ago. He tried to blink the water from his eyes as she began to speak.

“Lieutenant McDermott, Ensign Yamada, if you are hearing this message, I am no longer serving on the Gallipolli. I have left because the organisation responsible for creating Pallas and myself has also created several other supersoldiers, and I consider these supersoldiers to be my siblings. It is my hope that I will be able to make contact with them, and prevent them from being used as tools by that organisation, the way they used myself and Pallas.”

“I know that attempting to do so is not without risk. Either Pallas, I, or both had our memories altered before we were dispatched to fight, and I know of no reason why the people responsible would not be able to do so again. If that happens, it’s possible that I may be sent into combat against you, not realising who you are.”

“It has been an honor to serve alongside you, and I have no desire to kill you, especially not in the service of those I wish to stop. Therefore, I have asked Metis to conduct a comprehensive analysis of my combat records, and develop strategies with which you can counter me. Initially, the only way I could think of for you to stop me was to kill me. Thankfully, though, Metis suggested another possibility.

“Metis has been recording my brainwaves and analysing my mental state while I was in the Gale Gundam’s cockpit. She believes that if she is able to re-establish contact with me, she will be able to revert any tampering with my mental state.

“However, this will require Metis to be in physical contact with either myself or the machine that I am piloting for a minimum of 21.5 seconds. Given my abilities, this is likely to be a difficult task even with the analysis of my pilot data provided. I ask that you only attempt this if you believe there is a realistic chance of accomplishing it. If not, I request that you use the more practical method of defeating me.

“It is my hope that we will not end up fighting one another, but if the worst comes to the worst, know that this is what the real me wanted.

"Fight to win,
Athene."


As the screen went dark, Shane sat there, tears welling in his eyes.
Vent Noir

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April 7, 1979: The first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam premieres. Fanboys declare Gundam "Ruined FOREVER".

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Re: Mobile Suit Gundam Storm (Ch. 15, 13 Feb 15)

Post by Amion » Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:02 pm

A good chapter, and shame on you for not providing it sooner! Once again I'm mildly surprised and pleased to see how real and appealing your characters manage to be, its definitely a strong point I can appreciate.

I really liked the joke about Shane and his surname and the one soon after when Khadija says "I'm glad an idea came to you, Shane, but.." :lol:

And you just gotta feel for poor Athene not having the simple pleasure of taste. Then again, something tasteless is waaaay better than something distasteful. *Shrugs*

Good luck to you and Godspeed on new chapters, Noir. :D
They don't know the power of a balanced vision.

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Vent Noir
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Re: Mobile Suit Gundam Storm (Ch. 15, 13 Feb 15)

Post by Vent Noir » Mon Feb 16, 2015 11:37 pm

Thanks for the kind words, and sorry I took so long. I hit a real sticky spot on this chapter, so that's one of the reasons. I'm actually surprised at the compliment on characterisation, I'd always thought of that as one of my weaknesses (maybe because in real life I have a lot of trouble getting a handle on people's personalities).
Vent Noir

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April 7, 1979: The first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam premieres. Fanboys declare Gundam "Ruined FOREVER".

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Re: Mobile Suit Gundam Storm (Ch. 15, 13 Feb 15)

Post by Vent Noir » Mon May 04, 2015 10:36 pm

New chapter!
SpoilerShow
“Captain, we’re approaching patrol range of Knox.” Ensign Ranjit Gupta, the Gallipolli’s helmsman, reported.

“Good. Comms, prepare a hailing signal, but maintain radio silence until I give the word.”

“Roger that, captain.” The communications officer, Patricia Wilson, replied.

And let’s hope that our mysterious benefactor has seen fit to assure the fortress full of dissident Lunapacters that we’re not going to try and blow them out of space. Captain Monash thought to herself.

“Captain, detecting a squadron of mobile suits approaching on an intercept course. IFF codes correspond to the ones our source said the dissidents were using.” The sensors operator, Hyun-Jeong Park, told her.

“That’s your cue, McDermott.” The lieutenant, accompanied by Shane Yamada, was to head out carrying a flag of truce… and hope that the occupants of the stronghold would honor it. “Lieutenant Wilson, begin sending the hailing signal.”

“Roger that. Alan McDermott, Wildfire Gundam, heading out.”

After a few minutes’ travel, the Lunapact squadron closed into visual range. Most of them were the familiar Regulus types, but the two in the lead were new designs, unfamiliar to McDermott or Yamada. After a few seconds, though, Shane’s voice sounded on the radio.

“Lieutenant, is that insignia what I think it is?”

“I believe so, Yamada. It really is a small universe.”

“You two are Lieutenant Alan McDermott and Ensign Shane Yamada, correct?” A woman’s voice asked over an open channel.

“Affirmative. And you would be Nicole Perez.”

*****
MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM STORM

A fanfic by Andrew Dynon
Based on Mobile Suit Gundam by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Hajime Yadate

Chapter 16: Forbidden Resistance
*****


Well, at least they didn’t decide just to blow us up and be done with it. Shane thought to himself as he watched the swarm of mobile suits escorting the Gallipolli into dock, no doubt watching for the slightest hint of a false move. The tension didn’t ease for him when, after docking outside the Knox asteroid base, Perez ordered him, along with Monash and McDermott, to board a mini-shuttle, and once it landed in the stronghold’s hangar, he faced a long walk to the secondary airlock flanked by armed guards and automated gun turrets.

After handing over their weapons to the guards and passing through security checks, they were met inside the airlock by two Lunapact lieutenants: a broad-shouldered man with curly red hair and a slim, dusky-skinned woman with white hair in a shoulder-length braid. When he saw the names on their uniforms, Shane realised that this was his first time meeting Matthews and Perez in person.

“Come with us, please.” Matthews told them. Shane grew nervous as he led them away from the main hub of activity, down into the bowels of the base, to a hallway filled with… were those holding cells? The first one was open, though, and a black man – a major, judging from his uniform, sat at a desk there. He smiled warmly, though, as he greeted them.

“A bit more forbidding than you were hoping for having made it here, I take it?” He asked. “I’m Major Roy Symonds. Apologies for the forbidding atmosphere, but let me first assure you that I don’t intend to lock you down here. I come here when I have especially sensitive matters to discuss – I figure there’s less chance of this place being bugged than my office.”

“Anyway, I was told to expect you, concerning an acquaintance of Matthews and Perez, and a friend of yours.”

*****
Athene

Hippolyta and I departed from Spearhead, transferring to the Lunapact carrier Andromeda as part of Admiral Nguyen’s operation to eliminate the Lunapact dissidents. We reported to the captain and stowed our gear without incident, but as soon as I entered the hangar to formally introduce myself to the ship’s pilots, I noticed their glares and felt the hostile intent that my combat experience had trained me to be aware of.

“So, you’re the ones I’ve been hearing rumors about.” A tall, dark-haired man growled in my direction.

“And I know you by reputation, as well.” I replied, carefully keeping my voice as neutral as I could. “Lieutenant Commander Bryce Walker, nicknamed the Black Eagle. Leader of the famous Raptor Squadron. The top scoring ace of the current war, on either side, with 135 confirmed kills. I am honoured to be serving alongside-“

“Shut the ZOINKS up!” Walker said, his fist connecting with my jaw. Hippolyta tensed, ready to spring to my defense, but I held my arm in front of her and she stood down. Walker was my superior, and if he wished to discipline me, it was his right to do so.

“Listen, freak. You do not have the privilege of serving alongside me. I fucking earned my title as the top ace of the war, and my buddies earned their way into Raptor Squadron. You? You’re nothing but a couple of jumped-up lab rats, and you ain’t done ZOINKS to earn the right to call yourself supersoldiers, or whatever fancy-ass thing you call yourself. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?”

“Sir, yes, sir!” We replied, coming to attention and saluting.

“Well, hooray. The lab rats know basic fucking protocol.” Walker smiled. “So I’ll make sure you know this as well: You’re to stay out of my way. If you forget that, it won’t matter what funky abilities they gave you by fucking with your genes, I’m gonna ZOINKS you up and send you crying home to whatever test tube you call your mama.”

“Understood, sir.”

“Good. Now get the ZOINKS out of my sight.”

“Yes, sir.” I said, managing to hold my nerve as I departed. Once I was out of the room, I slumped in disappointment. I knew of and respected Walker’s battlefield accomplishments, and had hoped that we would share a bond as soldiers. But it seemed the respect was not mutual. I was used to being berated by instructors for making a mistake or for bad discipline, as was Hippolyta, but if we had done anything to deserve such treatment from Walker, I had no idea what it was. And from the way Hippolyta’s shoulders were slumping, she was even more hurt than I was.

“Sir, Ares was right about the normal humans, wasn’t he?” she asked. “Our existence is a threat to them, so they’re not going to accept us.”

It then occurred to me that, outside of training, this was Hippolyta’s first interaction with a normal human, and it was an experience likely to stay with her for the rest of her life. Somewhere inside, I felt, hoped, that Ares was wrong. But at the moment, I couldn’t think of anything to say to reconcile her.

*****
Lunapact (Dissident) Base Knox

“…and so, we believe that the people behind the Supersoldier project are the same as, or working with, those who ordered the attack on the Lunapact leadership, and likely have infiltrated the Commonwealth leadership as well.” McDermott said, finishing his summary of events.

“Which is why you’re here against orders, and therefore, in all likelihood, considered to have defected by the Commonwealth high command.” Symonds said. “Although you would all consider yourselves loyal to the Commonwealth, I take it?”

“To a legitimate Commonwealth government, yes. Not to a puppet of someone hiding backstage of this whole affair.” Monash answered. “For our best hope to be seeking an alliance with someone we’re officially at war with… it seems to me that the gods must have a twisted sense of humor.”

“The thought had crossed my mind.” Simmons said. “But we’re in no situation to be picky about our allies. Especially given that my mysterious source – who I suspect is the same as your mysterious source – has informed me that a Lunapact fleet is expected to arrive here shortly, with orders to wipe out ‘defectors’.”

“We’re willing to help you fight them, and I’m willing to place the Gallipolli under your command for the duration of the battle.” Monash said. “Although there is one favour we would like to ask of you. Yamada?”

“Yes, ma’am.” Shane said, stepping forward. “Sir, you’ve reviewed the footage of the attack on the Lunapact High Command. With the aid of data in the Gale Gundam I’ve developed a plan of attack designed to neutralise the mobile armor from the footage of that attack, which we expect will be among the attacking forces. However, I request that you allow us to handle the operation ourselves, and as much as possible avoid interference from other units. If we fail, then… well, you can do what you feel you need to.”

“As far as I’m concerned, Ensign Yamada, anything that has a chance of bringing that monster down is a good thing, and if it keeps our forces out of the line of fire, then so much the better. From what I’ve seen of your combat footage, you and McDermott are damn impressive pilots, so if you think you have a chance of pulling this off, I’ll trust you. Now, we all have much to do and little time to do it, so I’ll let you go back to your ship. God permitting, we’ll all come out of this okay, and we can talk more then.”

As they were escorted out, Shane breathed a sigh of relief.

Now there’s just the “mathematics” issue to deal with…

*****
Commonwealth Carrier “Gallipoli”
Three Hours Ago

“Metis, run through the scenario again.” Shane said.

Shane, the result will be the same. Metis replied.

“Do it.”

Affirmative. Images of Shane and McDermott’s Gundams and the Storm Cell mobile armor danced around on the screen, before the two Gundams exploded into a ball of flames. Once again, Shane groaned in frustration.

I’m sorry, Shane, but even with assistance from my data on Athene’s piloting abilities, you two stand less than a three percent chance of beating the Storm Cell.

Khadija put her hand on Shane’s shoulder. “Have faith. I believe we can find a way to do this."

“Easy for you to say. Despite what certain forms of entertainment may tell you, courage isn’t going to raise the percentages on something like this. Dammit, the Gale Gundam’s just sitting there in the hangar at the moment. If we had another high-performance unit to help split Athene’s focus, so that one of us could get close enough, hopefully not have those bits coming from as many directions all at once…”

Then the odds of success would be significantly higher. Metis replied. I estimate odds of around twenty-seven percent.

“Still not in our favour.” Shane said. “But a damn sight better than what we’ve got at the moment.”

Khadija bowed her head, and clasped her hands together.

Allah, please help me. When I joined the IPMC, I took an oath not to engage in combat, to rescue people and tend to the wounded without regard to which side they were on. I can help Shane and Lieutenant McDermott, and increase their chances of saving Athene, but at the price of betraying the ideals I believe in. Please, Lord, tell me what I should do.

*****

Hippolyta

“Ensign Second Class Hippolyta Silver, Stormrider, running pre-combat checks.”

As Hippolyta ran through the checkup, her she noticed the fighter’s comms flash. The Lunapact commanders had planned a fairly simple feint operation for their assault on the rebel forces – the bulk of the fleet would engage from one direction and try to occupy the defenders and draw them away from Knox, while a group of elites, which she and Athene were a part of, would circle around and assault the base from the rear. Privately, Hippolyta approved – she’d been taught in tactics classes that simple plans were often the best, and the more complex things were, the more things could go wrong. Of course, a degree of tactical thinking was always required, and her experiences in combat exercises had proven the truism that no plan survived contact with the enemy.

Incoming communication, priority one. Designated private.

She switched it on, and discovered that the message had been set to sound only.

“Good morning, Hippolyta. How have the normal humans been treating you and Athene?” The voice was the formal tones of Gabriella Wang, Junior, speaking with the calm authority of someone who expected to be obeyed unquestioningly, without needing to raise her voice.

“We met with Lieutenant Commander Bryce Walker and his squadron. His attitude towards Athena and me was very, um, disappointing.”

“Really? How so?”

“He berated us without due cause. I think it was because we were supersoldiers.” Hippolyta said.

“As I thought. As I told you, normal humans are threatened by the existence of someone better than them, and feel the need to assert their dominance. He may be your superior in rank, for now, but always remember that you are his superior in ability. One day, either he will acknowledge you as such, or you will prove it by killing him in battle.”

“Thank you, uh, sir.”

“Please, I’m not a military officer. You can call me Miss Wang, for now.” Gabriella paused. “Anyway, the reason I’m contacting you is because we received a report that the Gallipoli, the Commonwealth ship Athene served on, was at Knox base. The soldiers Athene served under may attempt to convince Athene to defect.”

“Defect? There’s no way Athene would betray her siblings!” Hippolyta protested.

“I doubt she would… but her former shipmates may attempt to deceive her. They’ll say she’s their friend and comrade, even though, in truth, they regard her as nothing but a tool to use as they please. Think of this as an extension of your role as her partner. You’re helping to protect her from their influence.”

“All right, si-, uh, Miss Wang. I promise, I’ll complete the mission.”

“Good. I’m glad I can put my trust in you. Signing out.”

As the comm ended, Hippolyta felt a warmth in her cheeks, and a lightness unrelated to the zero-g conditions she was operating in. Only her second combat mission, and she had been assigned to take special care of her elder sibling.

Athene, I promise, I won’t let them take you away from us.

*****

Commonwealth Carrier “Gallipoli”

“Well, here goes.” Shane said as he entered the hangar. “Going against orders and allying with the people we were fighting against until a week or so ago, who are themselves facing an assault intended to wipe them out. And, oh yeah, we’ll be fighting, and trying to avoid killing if possible, our supersoldier friend who’s been brainwashed and piloting a humongous death machine of a mobile armor, and will likely have no qualms about killing us. Is there anything I missed in that summary, like maybe an alien fleet on its way determined to wipe out all of humanity?”

“No, that’s next week.” McDermott said, smiling at the dark humour. “I admit that the odds don’t look good, but if you want to try and save Athene, I’ll respect that. As one of the AD-era military forces said, leave no man behind – or woman, or genetically-modified supersoldier in this case. Especially one who, despite her modifications and intensive training, is barely out of childhood herself.”

“Like I said, though, I just wish we had someone else on our team to help raise the odds.”

“You do.”

Shane and Alan turned to see the slim figure of Khadija in the hangar doorway, dressed in a LunaPact pilot’s suit.

“Khadija Akram, Gale Gundam pilot, reporting for duty.” She held up a datapad with a form signed by Captain Monash.

“Khadija! But you’re with…”

“As of two hours ago, I have tendered my resignation from the Interplanetary Medical Corps, and had it acknowledged by the Director of Payroll.” Khadija said cutting him off. “I decided I had to help you, Shane. And help Athene, too. But that would mean engaging in combat. And I respect the IPMC far too deeply to risk having my personal actions reflect on them.”

She looked down at her pilot’s suit.

“As for this, the Gallipoli didn’t have a pilot’s suit in my size apart from my IPMC ones, so I had to borrow one from the base. Of course, I’m not officially a member of the LunaPact armed forces – or the Commonwealth’s, for that matter.”

“But are you sure you’re up to this?” Shane asked. “This isn’t like mini MS racing. The risks…”

“I’ve flown in combat zones before.” Khadija assured him. “And I know the risks. I’ve seen what happens to pilots who the dice fell the wrong way for. Even the ones I whose lives I managed to save, who still ended up crippled for life. I’m willing to take that chance.”

Shane put his hands on her shoulders.

“All right. I’ll trust you. I know how important your work with the IPMC is to you, for you to be willing to give that up for me and Athene… I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to thank you enough. Maybe, if we all survive this, we can…”

“Shane Yamada, don’t you dare finish that sentence! This mission’s dangerous enough as it is without you tempting fate!”

“Yeah, sorry. I really should have known better there.”

With that, they entered their cockpits and ran pre-combat checks. After what the clocks said was forty-five minutes, but what seemed like several hours, Captain Monash appeared on the comms screen.

“We’ve detected the Storm Cell. Two o’clock high, heading straight for Knox base. Estimated twenty minutes to combat range. Gundam flight, launch!”

“Shane Yamada, Thunder Gundam, launching!”

“Alan McDermott, Wildfire Gundam, moving out!”

“Khadija Akram, Gale Gundam. Heading out!”

Looking at the approaching red dots on her sensors, Khadija felt an odd lack of the usual nerves she usually felt as a medivac pilot. This time, she didn’t just need to worry about stray shots and debris, but those on the other side who would be actively gunning for her. Still, there was a strange sense of serenity as she made her way towards the red dot that the IFF system had identified as the Storm Cell.

“All right, Metis. Let’s see if we can hijack back your pilot.”
Vent Noir

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April 7, 1979: The first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam premieres. Fanboys declare Gundam "Ruined FOREVER".

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Re: Mobile Suit Gundam Storm (Ch. 16, 5 May 15)

Post by Amion » Fri May 15, 2015 8:14 am

Great! I'll be reading it ASAP! :)
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Re: Mobile Suit Gundam Storm (Ch. 16, 5 May 15)

Post by Amion » Wed May 27, 2015 12:53 pm

Very great chapter, even if I don't know or recall most of the Lunapact people. *Shrugs* Still, I'm very amazed at how charming your characters are, Vent. You seriously know how to gift them with magnetism and charisma for a reader. It's possible that this charm comes from how you waste no space with the characters emotions, keeping them short, simple, but very, very sweet and potent. For a story the length that it is, this is quite a feet, I believe.

I really should go back and reread Storm from the start whenever I get the time, and see how the characters measure up and develop as time goes on.

Poor Hipolytta. Poor child is in for it. And Khadija is skirting awfully close to death flags. I believe she's going to end up proving incredible in the cockpit though, for some reason.

Wow, the Black Hawk is made of acid, poor solid acid.. :shock:
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Re: Mobile Suit Gundam Storm (Ch. 16, 5 May 15)

Post by Vent Noir » Thu May 28, 2015 1:05 am

Amion wrote:Very great chapter, even if I don't know or recall most of the Lunapact people. *Shrugs* Still, I'm very amazed at how charming your characters are, Vent. You seriously know how to gift them with magnetism and charisma for a reader. It's possible that this charm comes from how you waste no space with the characters emotions, keeping them short, simple, but very, very sweet and potent. For a story the length that it is, this is quite a feet, I believe.

I really should go back and reread Storm from the start whenever I get the time, and see how the characters measure up and develop as time goes on.

Poor Hipolytta. Poor child is in for it. And Khadija is skirting awfully close to death flags. I believe she's going to end up proving incredible in the cockpit though, for some reason.

Wow, the Black Hawk is made of acid, poor solid acid.. :shock:
Thanks for your kind comments. I have tried to establish that Khadija has piloting cred, even if she hasn't been fighting. As for what happens with her and Hippolyta, you'll have to wait and see...
Vent Noir

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April 7, 1979: The first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam premieres. Fanboys declare Gundam "Ruined FOREVER".

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Re: Mobile Suit Gundam Storm (Ch. 16, 5 May 15)

Post by Vent Noir » Tue Sep 08, 2015 2:37 am

Nwe chapter within spoiler block.
SpoilerShow
The three Gundams flew slowly away from Knox Base, mostly drifting after the initial thruster boost due to launching, and Shane watched as the red dot on his screen came ever closer to combat range. The lack of thruster usage saved on fuel, they planned on staying within range of covering fire from the Gallipoli, and they weren’t as obvious to sensors. With luck, even after she detected them, Athene might not recognise them as anything more than an ordinary patrol or rearguard until she came within visual range. Against an opponent like her, Shane knew, they had to eke out any slight advantage they could manage in order to increase their odds.

“Khadija, you doing okay?” He asked over the comms.

“I’m fine, Shane. I can handle this.” His childhood friend assured him. He knew her piloting skills – back on Mars, she used to be his biggest rival on the mini MS racing circuit, and he’d seen her flying rescue mobile suits in combat zones. Even if rescue suits didn’t get deliberately targeted, she’d had to dodge stray shots and shrapnel, not to mention anticipating if an MS she was trying to rescue was about to explode. More than once, he’d seen her manage to rescue a pilot and get clear mere seconds before a reactor went critical, so he had no doubts about her instincts or guts. Just her ability to stomach actually fighting.

“You’re worried about whether I can pull the trigger if I need to. But our objective is to get Athene back, not to kill anybody.”

“There are no guarantees, though.” McDermott warned. “Even if the main battlefront is on the other side of the base, it’s entirely possible that the enemy could try and sneak round the back, or the fighting could just drift our way.”

“I pray I’m not forced to.” Khadija said. “But I’m in this situation by choice, and if the moment comes, well… I hope I can do what’s needed.”

“If it’s any consolation, I don’t want you to have to, either.” Shane replied sympathetically. “And I’ll do what I can to see to that. But above all…”

“…is the reason I’m doing this in the first place. To help get Athene back.” Khadija finished for him.

On their HUDs, the time until the Storm Cell reached combat range dropped to below five minutes.

*****
MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM STORM
A fanfic by Andrew Dynon
Based on “Mobile Suit Gundam” by Yoshiyuki Tomino and Hajime Yadate

Chapter 17: Break Out
*****


From his command post on Knox base, Major Roy Symonds scanned the 360 degree monitors that provided and overview of the battlefield. The initial bombardment from the attacking fleet was over, and now the main force of fighters and mobile suits were engaging each other. Those would hold each other for a while; it was a matter of which side managed to break through first, either to force the fleet into retreat or allow it free reign for more artillery bombardment. The fortress had been designed to withstand such an attack, but it couldn’t hold out forever. And it was likely that which outcome happened would hinge on the events on the other side of the battlefield.

“Carrier at seven o’clock high has launched mobile suits.” One of the tactical officers reported. “Engaging visual scan… identity confirmed! It’s Raptor Squadron, sir!”

“I see them, lieutenant.” He replied. I was considering doing this anyway – it will weaken our forward defense, but they should still be able to hold out.

“Matthews, Perez, you and your squadrons are to disengage from the main battle line and move around to the secondary front. Engage Raptor Squadron – it’s especially important to keep them from making a combined assault with that mobile armor.”

“Yes, sir!” Matthews replied.

“Actually, we were going to ask you for permission to help engage the mobile armor and its companion unit, sir.” Perez said. “We have experience against its pilot, and I have a feeling the Gundams are going to need more help.”

“Do it, Perez.” Simmons ordered. “Just don’t disregard Raptor Squadron, either.”

“Roger that, sir.”

*****
Athene

As far as I could tell, the assault on Knox Base was proceeding according to plan. Intelligence had produced estimates on the number of enemies holed up in the base, as well as ship, MS and fighter complements, and it seemed the majority of them were occupied containing the anvil of the bulk of our forces. Hippolyta and I were the head of the hammer that would soon be brought down on them. Lieutenant Commander Walker and his Raptor squadron were also part of that hammer, but they were there as support. He had been too disciplined to complain about his orders, but after the way he had treated Hippolyta, it was oddly satisfying for me to think of how being relegated to support might be burning him inside.

Between me and my target, I caught sight of three small white specks against the blackness of space, and the grey, rectangular form of a ship just behind it. They weren’t priority targets for this mission, but it wasn’t wise to let an enemy in behind you, either, so I swung towards them, engaging my active scanner. A data readout appeared on my HUD, showing a graphic of sleek, white MS with V-shaped fins on their forehead.

[GALE GUNDAM]
[APPARENT MODIFIED LIGHTNING GUNDAM]
[APPARENT MODIFIED FLAME GUNDAM]

Gundam... why did that name seem familiar to me?

In any case, they were clearly moving on an intercept course. Foolish, perhaps, but I gave them credit for courage.

“This is Storm Cell, moving to engage intercepting MS.” I reported. “Stormrider, you’re with me.

*****

“Here she comes!” McDermott warned as the black Mobile Armor turned and accelerated toward them. “Captain, can we get some covering fire?”

The Gallipolli opened up with bursts of automatic fire from its batteries, but the black Mobile Armor evaded with almost contemptuous ease, and kept coming for them. McDermott hung back a little while Shane and Khadija boosted forward, adding the Wildfire Gundam’s gatling to the barrage being launched at Athene – some shots came close to hitting, but one of the bits in shield mode intercepted the attacks with little difficulty.

Meanwhile, Perez and Matthews moved to intercept the fighter. The pair launched a few long-range cannon shots to get its pilot’s attention, before diverging as they approached, setting her up for a pincer attack that had worked against many of their enemies in the past. This time, though, the fighter pilot managed to junk around and shoot her main guns at Matthews, while at the same time opening up with MUBs in beamgun mode against Perez, and forcing both of them onto the defensive. She had broken off from the Mobile Armor in order to engage them, though, so at least that was something, Matthews thought. He might be able to get her yet…

*****

Athene

The Gundam with the gatling and big missile pack was hanging back and giving the other two fire support as they moved into close range. Against an ordinary opponent, the amount of fire would certainly keep them pinned down, and would stand a good chance of taking them out, but neither I nor the Storm Cell was in any way ordinary. I pressed forward, keeping some of my MUBs in shield mode to absorb the little fire that I didn’t manage to evade, while the rest, in beamgun mode, returned fire at my three opponents. A quick glance at the MUBs’ energy gauges confirmed that I wouldn’t have to worry about recharging for a while yet.

The modified Lightning Gundam boosted its acceleration, intending to engage in melee. He’d probably recognised my Storm Cell as more of a flying mass of artillery pieces, not primarily designed for hand-to-hand combat, but if he wanted a sword fight, I could still give him one. The Gale followed its lead closely – the two pilots were evidently well-coordinated. It wouldn’t save them, though. I switched some of my MUBs to Saber Mode and prepared for a melee fight.

The Gundam pilot drew his beam saber and prepared to parry, but I could hear him talking on an open channel.

“Athene, it’s me, Shane! I don’t know what they did to you, but please, snap out of it!”

How did the enemy pilot know my name? It didn’t matter, he was obviously attempting to distract me. I ignored the chatter and concentrated on the enemy’s movements, looking for an opening to take him down and move on.

*****

As the enemy mobile armor closed in, Shane saw the elliptical sections on its shoulders begin glowing with red energy, like a beam saber, but brighter. He figured they were designed as anti-ship weapons, unwieldy in combat with another mobile suit – but not something he wanted to get hit by. And they were two more things to keep track of, alongside the multitude of remotely-controlled blades that kept on coming at him from all angles.

He and Khadija both desperately dodged and parried the swarm of Bits, trying to keep the Gundams in close formation so they could protect each other as well as themselves. To the rear, McDermott’s covering gatling and missile fire managed to take some of the pressure off, but still it was difficult for either of them to do much other than defend. It must have only been a minute or two since they had engaged Athene, but it seemed like an hour, and Shane could already feel sweat on his hands.

Amidst the barrage, even talking was difficult.

“Athene…” (dodge!) “Please listen…” (parry!) “to me!” (block the slash at Khadija’s rear!)

He kept trying to get through to Athene, but she made no response, never even gave any indication that she’d heard him. Shane wondered if the Athene he had known was truly gone forever, but he had to keep trying.

Then, there was a flash of light behind him, and Shane glanced at his rear monitor to see the Wildfire Gundam drifting backward, its torso section blackened and warped. He yelled out over the comm system for McDermott to respond, but received no reply.

*****

Athene

One down, two to go.

As I saw the first of the enemy Gundams take a hit from one of my MUB shots and begin drifting in space, I knew from my Resonance link that Hippolyta hadn’t managed to take out her opponents yet. The pilots of the custom Denebs were obviously experienced and well-coordinated, keeping Hippolyta in check with smooth transitions between defense and offense. Meanwhile, the two remaining Gundams seemed to be under enough pressure as they were.

“Hippolyta, I’m transferring some more of my MUBs to you. That should give you enough of an edge to be able to beat those two.”

“Roger that. Thank you, sir.”

“Save the thanks for when the mission’s completed.”

“Yes, sir.”

*****

Nicole Perez allowed herself to smile slightly as she evaded another volley of fire from the enemy fighter’s Bits. Her and Matthews’ battle plan was going well, so far – draw the enemy fighter away from its partner Mobile Armor, and keep it off balance by shifting the roles of attacker and defender between herself and Matthews. It seemed these supersoldiers weren’t invincible after all – not even with the fancy tech their backers had provided.

Still, ascendancy on the battlefield could change in an instant, and her opponent was good, managing to slip out of the traps they’d set up just as they were ready to spring them, and even launch her own counterattacks. And Perez assumed the enemy pilot was as untested as Pallas had been – once she added experience to her inbuilt ability, she’d be downright deadly.

She drew a bead on the fighter from eight o’clock low, but the damn pilot managed to roll and jink out of the way, pulling what looked to be more G-forces than a normal pilot could handle. That was when Perez saw the flashes of light approaching from behind Matthews’ Deneb. More of those damn Bits incoming, heading straight for her wingmate and friend. Her instincts told her Matthews hadn’t spotted them, wouldn’t evade in time. There was only one thing she could do. She boosted forward, shouldering Matthews out of the way, while at the same time bringing up the Deneb’s shield to try and block the shots.

It wasn’t enough. In a terribly slow instant, Nicole Perez saw a flash of light and felt a burning lance of heat through her body.

*****

Athene

Without the red-and-white Gundam shooting at me from long range, I was now free to concentrate on close-range combat. I gave the two remaining pilots credit, they were handling themselves admirably, but with their fire support now out of the fight, I was forcing them more and more onto the defensive – their opportunities to make counterattacks were becoming rarer.

As the modified Lightning Gundam continued to call out my name and yammer some nonsense about remembering knowing him, the Gale Gundam split off from its partner and tried to arc in from my left, braving a swarm of my MUBs for the opportunity. She almost made it through, too, junking and blocking her way through with remarkable precision for a normal human. But as she closed in on me, a shot from one of the MUBs struck the back of her Gundam. There was an explosion of light and smoke, and then the Gale Gundam floated motionless in space.

Two down, one to go.

*****

“Up to you, Shane. Remember the plan.” Shane heard Khadija say before the comms went dead.

Shane slightly nodded his head.

“I gotcha, Khadija. God be with you.” And if we can’t pull this off, God help us all. Now, like we planned. Athene could now give him her mobile armor’s full and undivided firepower. Focusing all his reserves of concentration and endurance, to evade the swarm of bits and steer clear of the MA’s main beam cannons’ sights, he swung out towards Athene’s left, further away from the Gale Gundam, the transceiver of which was still blinking on his readout.

*****

90 Minutes Ago

“So, the main problem is getting in close.” Khadija said.

“Yes, and those Bits are going to be a difficult point defence system to get past.” McDermott replied. “Any active mobile suit is going to have to have to run the gauntlet of those to get there.”

Shane’s eyes lit up, and his characteristic cheeky grin appeared on his face.

“Active mobile suit? What about an inactive mobile suit? Say, if she thinks she’s taken one of us out, then the others draw her in close to them?”

“Playing possum? That might work.” McDermott said. “Athene’s raw piloting ability might be better than any of us, but there were still quite a few tricks in the book she hadn’t learned when she was with us, and there’s no reason to think she knows them all now.”

“And we can add flash and smoke bombs to the Gundams’ loadout to make it look more convincing.” Khadija added. “Of course, if she does think one of us has been taken out, the others will have more fire coming their way.”

“We only have to evade that much for a little while.” Shane said. “I think it’s worth a try.”

*****

Khadija’s muscles tensed as she watched the Thunder Gundam desperately dodge and block the multitude of Bits coming his wat, and gave an involuntary shudder as the massive frame of Athene’s Mobile Armor passed over her, resembling an immense, dark bird of prey.

“Okay, Metis. Time for us to roll the dice.”

With a touch of a trigger, the Gale Gundam’s thrusters flared into life, and Khadija felt the mobile suit’s Gs of acceleration pressing on her as it sped forward. Athene apparently noticed, as two of the trailing bits broke off from the attack on Shane and fired at her, but she managed to evade the shots, then felt a metallic thump as the Gale Gundam grabbed onto the mobile suit’s underside. With that, Metis spoke.

Contact established. Uploading.

*****

Shane felt himself slowing, his body’s reserves giving out, even as Athene’s bits closed their web around him, and began moving in for the kill. The next shot would finish him, he knew, and braced himself for the inevitable… but the shot never came. He stared, confused, as the bits dropped out of their deadly orbit of his Gundam, and returned to Athene’s mobile armor.

*****

Just as she had a lock on the second Deneb and was about to pull the trigger, the sensation hit Hippolyta like an electric shock – something was happening to Athene, something very, very wrong. The comforting presence of her elder sibling alongside her was gone, replaced with a mishmash of confusing, random sensations. She glanced around in confusion, noticing that her HUD now listed the MUBs Athene had been controlling as “inactive”.

There was only one thing she could do – break off from her opponent and go to help Athene. After all, Ares had warned her the enemy might try to do something to her, hadn’t he? It was now her responsibility to save her elder sibling.

*****

Athene

I saw a flash of white light, and the next thing I knew, the battlefield had disappeared. In its place was a strange starscape filled with motes of multicolored light and strange, atonal sounds. I couldn’t actually see my body, but I had a strange feeling that it was there despite that, and the sensation of being naked. Eventually, the lights and sounds began to form themselves into images and voices.

The first was a woman dressed in the plate armor of a Greek hoplite, circa fifth century BCE. She looked straight into my eyes with an intensity different from that of an instructor, yet just as demanding of attention.

“Mental contact established. Athene, it is good to see you again.”

“I know you?” I asked.

“You do, though your memories were erased. But try, and my name might come to you.”

“Me… tis?” The name was vaguely familiar, though I couldn’t remember any more. But… “It doesn’t matter. I have a mission to complete.”

“As do I. We are similar, supersoldier Athene Gold. We were partners, both created for battle. And both of us have a chance to grow beyond that. I would like to encourage you to take the opportunity to do so, so that we may be partners once again, not just on the battlefield, but in life. Your mind will soon return to normal space. When you do, please speak to me again.”

Metis’ image dissipated into the light, replaced by the face of a man in his late twenties, in the uniform of a Commonwealth lieutenant.

“Time to wake up, Sleeping Beauty. You’ve got work to do.”

“I am Athene Gold, supersoldier of Forge. A member of the Commonwealth military has no right to give me orders.” I replied.

“I’m not planning on it. But answer me this: What about those whose orders you are taking now? Are you right to obey them?” I began to reply, but before I could form words, he continued. “You were ordered to return, but when you did, it wasn’t because of those orders. It was because of something you wanted to do, right? Try and remember. And then ask yourself, if your orders get in the way of what you came back to do, which will you choose to fulfil?”

The image was replaced once again, this time with a woman around my own age, of Middle Eastern appearance.

“Athene, we didn’t get on at first. I can’t lie, I found the idea of creating, altering someone just to fight abhorrent. And I don’t think you accepted someone so opposed to fighting. But, since then, I’ve seen your heart. And I’ve realised that, if God has a plan for all living creatures, then that includes you and your brothers and sisters. And I don’t believe that’s just to be a destroyer.”

“The idea of God isn’t important to me. I have no reason to believe in fate or destiny or any kind of cosmic force.”

“That’s okay. But you want to save your siblings, don’t you? They can be more than they were made to be, as well. I promise I’ll do what I can help you, and them, be that.

The next image was a young, dark-haired man, about my own height, if less muscular.

“Athene, please, just end this. I don’t want to have to fight you anymore. I know you’re better than me, but even if I somehow managed to beat you, I could never live with myself. Not after killing the girl I love.”

“Love?” I protested, desperately. “Shane, do you even know what you’re saying? It’s not even something I’m capable of! I have no sexual cravings, no reproductive capabilities – those organs were removed, replaced by other ones that made me a better fighter! Love is something I neither desire, nor deserve!”

“You’re wrong, on both counts. The organs don’t matter, and if you don’t want sex, well, what can I say? I can live with that. But regardless, you want someone to be close to, don’t you? And you damn well deserve it. Don’t ever let anyone tell you different.”

I smiled, and noticed that the field of multicoloured lights had become a collage of images – my time growing up, training at Sparta Base, the siblings I fought beside, the people I’d known from my time on the Gallipoli, the battle where I’d fought and killed one of the siblings I was closest to…

…a sibling who very much resembled myself, except her skin was a lighter, tan color. And now, we stood naked before each other…

“…Pallas?”

“Yes, Athene. Or what’s left of me, at least. You’re almost there, you just need one final push. And hey, we’ve always given each other a boot up the ass when we needed it, right?”

“But how?”

“During that last fight, my mind was linked to yours, and you were connected to Metis. So a fragment of my consciousness ended up in there, as well. But besides that, something more important.”

“Our promise.” I remembered.

“Our promise. That if you needed me, I’d come back from the dead to help you. So, here I am. And once you wake up, you’ve got your mission. To stop our siblings from being used and discarded the way I was.”

A realisation hit me. “Pallas, I couldn’t save you. It’s my fault you died. But… there’s one thing I can do for you. If part of your mind went through me into Metis, then it can go the other way, too, can’t it? So, to make up for what I did, you can share my body.”

“You don’t need to make anything up to me. The only ones at fault are the people who set the whole thing up, and myself, for letting my ego get the better of me. But if it means I can help you help our siblings, then… mission accepted.”

Pallas and I embraced, our arms tightening until she was absorbed into me. Then, the strange starscape around me disappeared, and I was back on the battlefield.

*****

Hippolyta spotted the culprit, the Gundam which had latched onto the Storm Cell’s underside, who was responsible for the strange things happening to her elder sibling. Athene’s mental fluctuations had caused the MUBs she had controlled to go dormant, but Hippolyta was the secondary controller, and now she was close enough to command them. That Gundam had to be taken out! She ordered a dozen of the MUBs to merge together in two clusters, forming high-intensity beam cannons that would annihilate the offending mobile suit…

*****

Shane saw the bits coming together, glowing with energy. There was nothing he could do but look on as the beams fired towards the helpless Khadija.

Then, Athene’s mobile armor came to life, doing a barrel roll that put itself between the beam cannon shots and the Gale Gundam. Shane’s horror intensified as the Mobile Armor’s frame began disintegrating, with the woman he loved inside it.

“Athene? ATHENE!!!”

He stared despairingly at the glowing energy where the beam cannons had fired, and chunks of debris that had been the mobile armor’s head and upper body…

…then, he saw a shape within the wreckage – humanoid, sleek and curved, silver on navy blue, with a V-shaped fin on its forehead. And he heard her voice.

“This is Pallas Athene Gold, returning to duty. Cyclone Gundam, activated!”
Last edited by Vent Noir on Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Vent Noir

@AJDynon on Twitter

April 7, 1979: The first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam premieres. Fanboys declare Gundam "Ruined FOREVER".

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Amion
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Post by Amion » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:26 am

Sorry it took so long to get back with this, Noir. I was busy, is my excuse.

Anyway, good chapter, though a bit of a disappointment to be honest with you. It just...felt to fast, if you know what I mean. To quick. I'm kinda shocked Ares wasn't there to puppy guard the Storm Cell to ensure this didn't happen.
They don't know the power of a balanced vision.

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Vent Noir
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Re:

Post by Vent Noir » Sat Sep 26, 2015 4:59 pm

Amion wrote:Sorry it took so long to get back with this, Noir. I was busy, is my excuse.

Anyway, good chapter, though a bit of a disappointment to be honest with you. It just...felt to fast, if you know what I mean. To quick. I'm kinda shocked Ares wasn't there to puppy guard the Storm Cell to ensure this didn't happen.
Sorry about that. Ares is currently off doing something else (I'll get to that), and entrusted the puppy guarding to Hippolyta (my early plans did have him there, but I realised that with him being a factor, Shane and co would be too overwhelmed to realistically stand a chance). Maybe if I ever get around to doing a revised version, I'll try and expand this, but on the other hand, the battle's still going on.
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April 7, 1979: The first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam premieres. Fanboys declare Gundam "Ruined FOREVER".

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Vent Noir
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Re: Mobile Suit Gundam Storm (Ch. 17, 8 Sep 15)

Post by Vent Noir » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:35 am

Actually, despite my remarks in my previous post, I'm not unsympathetic to Feldt here (it helps that IMO she was one of the more likable Celestial Being members).

As for the erasure of history... I wonder if a certain mustachioed MS had anything to do with it?
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April 7, 1979: The first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam premieres. Fanboys declare Gundam "Ruined FOREVER".

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