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Synchro Frame: Identity [IC/PG-16+]

Mecha Action Drama Animesque Sci-Fi A Zai RP A TRAP Production

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#21
Maeriberii Haan

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"Kommondaaaaaaaant!"

 

A voice called to her from behind as Adelheid made her way to the hangar in preparation for the arrival of the new addition to her team. Johan? She wondered. She hadn't talked with him for weeks, not after what happened. Ah, she's such a bad leader if she's distancing herself from her own team like this. Nevertheless, she put up a smile as the source of the voice approached her...revealing that it was Heinrich. She snickered a bit inside. She had worked for quite a while to differentiate the two's voices for a long while, but now she just forgot about that skill.

 

"What is it, Heinrich?"

 

He looked awfully happy. What happened? Did he get himself drunk and now he's running around the base wearing only an undershirt? That would've called for some disciplining, but Adelheid was far from being in the mood to do it or to tell Gavin about it.

 

"There you are!" He exclaimed, slowing his pace to match hers. "I've been tryin' to find you and...are you wearing makeup?"

 

"It's not. Must just be your imagination." That was a weak denial if she ever heard of one. No way would Heinrich buy it, but admitting it openly would also feel like admitting defeat. "You're coming to see the new recruits too? Wouldn't it be odd for you to dress like that for this occasion?"

 

And then, she noticed the box that was being clutched by him. Her eyes were trained to recognize it just from a glance. A model kit box that was still fresh, and...was it the Long Arms? Ah, she missed that one from her collection. Not that she was able to actually tend to them lately or to buy more of them, of course. Though, what was important was how nice it definitely was to see how someone finally shared one of her hobbies here.

 

"You're starting to collect model kits too, Heinrich? That one is pretty nice, it's easy to assemble but with the additions included in it, you can go further and make interesting dioramas featuring it with more ease. If you need to, I can show you how to paint these sometimes."

 

It was nice to have some distraction in a time like this. Perhaps stressing herself too much over this wouldn't do her good. Although, before that, at the very least she should perhaps talk to Johan. She didn't want to see what happened last time to be repeated, and it was unforgivable for her to not be there when her own team members needed it the most, either. Being a hermit really wouldn't solve anything.

 


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#22
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Admiral's Quarters

 

 "Not that Sarah was the best fit for my unit anyways. Call it a hunch, but I think she'll do better under Drayden than she did behind enemy lines with me."

 

There was an explosion after Mike's words, which took Takeo briefly by surprise.  "You wouldn't happen to have anything to do with this little vacation of mine to the front lines of our battle in France, would you? Not that I mind having a place to eat my breakfast apart from my cockpit, but this isn't exactly what I'm good at."

 

Takeo raised a concerned eyebrow.  Why was Mike in France?  "Afraid not.  Must be a call from the top down.  Though I can't say I'm surprised.  They could always use your experience and tactical expertise.  There's really no telling how many battles may have been lost without you."  Despite his cold heart, Takeo did have a genuine concern for the men he associated himself with.  They weren't just fellow brothers at arms.  They were family.  And family was everything.  "Do keep your head down, Mike.  I'm already planning a big dinner in your honor when we see each other again.  You'd better not miss it."

 

 

The Brig

 

Melissa wiped her eyes, her sorrow turning into confusion and a bit of rage.  "What happened, Lauren?" she questioned aloud, biting her lip.  "I . . .don't understand.  I saw it.  With my own eyes.  I saw you go down."

 

Melissa's mind flashed back to the moment she and the Saviour had failed.  When she had let down her best friend, her team, and herself.

 

"I watched you die."  Melissa's voice was rising, as she grew more emotional.

 

"Ms. Juniper.  Calm yours--"

 

"mourned for you!" Melissa belted out.

 

"Melissa!" Zalwara said, approaching the cell bars.  "I understand that you have some. . . .history with Ms. Vega.  But right now, you're putting all of us in danger.  I need you to regain your composure.  Right now."

 

Melissa took a deep breath, frustrated and slightly frightened.  She walked back over to her bed, passing over her plate and moving it aside as she sat, her face now in her hands.  "I can't believe this," she mumbled, noticeably shaken by all of this.


Drowning in your silence.


#23
Makο

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His mind was hardly what one would consider to be cleared, but the splash did help him regain some of his senses. The night wasn't over yet, and he had only ruined his impression towards Evette and no one else; though it was likely damaged. All he would have to do is recover from the situation. Perhaps distancing himself from Evette? He had the feeling she wouldn't let go what he said so easily, so staying within her radius might result in him being made more a fool than he could possibly make himself. And what of the others?

 

Peering up from his leaning-back position, his heart skipped a beat for a moment. One of the others at the bar, a pleasant red-head, had made a gesture towards him. An inviting one, it would seem, with a subtle flick of her glass. Owen stared back blankly for a moment, his own stupor thankfully concealed as her attention was drawn towards Evette. Mind racing from the alcohol, thoughts poured over his mind at thousands per millisecond; was he being called over just now, by her? Invited back to the conversation? In his drunken mind, had he just misinterpreted a minor flick of the wrist as something more than it was? But she was looking at him as well, so that couldn't be the case... could it? Was she coming onto him? Isn't that unlikely? With his face beginning to flare red, he internally poured over a hundred different scenarios before stopping, cold turkey. He reached a certain level of clarity in the moment, though only a second or so had passed, and a sole important realization had been achieved.

 

She had given him an in.

 

After a disastrous first impression, and excusing himself from the conversation, it would've been so easy to never fall back in, instead just walking away and back to his room in misery. But now, that was not the case. She had given him an in, so that even if no one else wanted anything else to do with him, she was still there, and she had called him over. And that was the greatest gift, greatest first impression he could have ever gotten from her. Regardless of any other thoughts his drunken mind had conjured during the flurry previously, it would be criminal of him to not at least try and be a friend with her. He collected himself the best he could in that moment, walking back over to the bar and returning to his seat, close enough to her as he felt was needed. And just in time to catch her name.

 

Shayne... that's a nice name.

 

Peering over to her as she spoke, he gave a subtle but noticeable bowing gesture, as a means of communicating thanks for bringing him back in; if she felt the need to communicate in such subtle ways, Owen was happy to oblige.


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#24
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It took Lauren a moment, but at last clarity returned to her. Yes, this was really happening. Melissa was really here, taken prisoner. The numbness of the shock was rapidly replaced by dread as the thought of what her friend must have already been through filled her mind. Lauren knew full well what Terra Firma's soldiers were like, especially when it came to SAF prisoners. At least she could take comfort in the fact that Mel didn't look too worse for wear, all things considered, and Zalwara had clearly been taking care of her. Things had calmed now. Melissa was silent, and Zalwara looked at Lauren expectantly, waiting for her, with a bit of a desperate look on his face, she noticed, to clarify the situation. She glanced up at the security camera in the corner of the room. The pit in her stomach got worse.

 

"Those are wired for sound. Guards might be on their way."

 

The reminder that they were being recorded got her thoughts racing once more. Anything else she said aloud from now on could spell doom for either herself, or worse, Melissa. She had to do something. Lauren gulped, then did her best to fake a laugh and sound as playful as possible, all the while positioning herself so that her face was invisible to the camera hanging from the corner of the ceiling.

 

"Hehe, Vice-Admiral Adachi.... I have no idea what she's going on about. There must be a mistake..." That was it. Just play around for long enough. "After all... you should know me well enough by now..." Lauren took a few steps forward, giving Zalwara a wry smile and internally praying with all her might that Melissa would stay quiet long enough for this crazy idea to work. She could hear the faint sounds of footsteps from down the hall. The guards were coming.

 

"But... in case you don't... I think we should get a little better aquainted."  She accentuated this last sentence with extra breath, adopting a tone that, until now, she had kept reserved for those precious few with whom she had been closest. Another couple of steps forward, and her lips were on his, her weight leaning the both of them back against the wall next to the doorway, in full view of anyone who happened to be coming down the hall in their direction.

 

The footsteps stopped, and as Lauren wrapped her arms around the back of Zalwara's head she heard them moving again in the opposite direction, along with a few muttered words that she could just barely make out.

 

"No wonder he didn't go after Miss Black."

 

"Heh, lucky bastard. Lets give the Vice-Admiral a little privacy. Cut the camera feed on your way out. He'll thank us later."

 

Thank goodness. Not only did it seem to be that no one had heard Melissa's outburst, but Lauren's gamble had also gotten the three of them a crucial window of much needed privacy... at the probable cost of her shipboard reputation. But she could live with that. When she was sure they were gone, she pulled away from Zalwara and wiped her mouth. Her cheeks were flush and the words that came out of her mouth a bit pained.

 

"Forgive me for that. I... couldn't help myself." She phrased it differently than she would have, just in case the cameras hadn't been turned off yet, but Zalwara probably understood her meaning. Lauren took a deep breath to wait out the last few seconds before she was sure they were no longer being monitored. Then, her composure finally breaking down, she ran over to her friend's cell.

 

"Mel.... please tell me you're ok. If they've hurt you I.. I..." She didn't know what to say. What she could say.

 

---

 

"So, anything on the schedule for today? Orientation? Training? Briefing?"

 

"She's an eager one... Lovely." Drayden scowled for just a moment, then forcibly removed the look from his face before Sarah could see, replacing it with his usual sharp-toothed grin. "Liberty, miss Shepherd. Liberty is on the schedule. Shark Squad is off until 0800 tomorrow, as it turns out, probably timed to coincide with your arrival so that you could get settled in. You're free to go exploring, or if you like you can tag along with me. I'm sure we'll bump into your wingman in due time. She's rather... busy today, and couldn't make it down to the flight deck with me. " Drayden started walking. "Well, might as well tell me about yourself."

 

---

 

"Gavin... we need to get Melissa back."

 

The reminder of TRAP's most recent failure brought a pained look to Gavin's face. He didn't like thinking about it any more than Johan did, and he was sure the rest of the unit was in similar spirits. He sighed. There wasn't much use in hiding his own feelings at this point, and so at last after so many weeks the veneer of the confident commander melted away from Gavin Decker.

 

"I know." He sat down, leaning himself against the hallway wall and motioning for Johan to join him if he so desired. "Johan I just... I don't know what I can do for you guys. Every time we go out there the odds are stacked way against us, and no matter what I do it just doesn't seem like we can come out on the wining end lately. I know you and your brother must hate me for pulling you out of there the other week. I know if it were me in your shoes I would. And you're allowed to, but... if I hadn't, we'd be grieving over four friends instead of just two. I know that with one hundred percent certainty." He inhaled deeply, then continued. "Look, and I'm saying this not as your superior officer, but as one man to another man. I'm gonna do everything in my power to find her, you have my word. But, to do that I need you and your brother to have my back. You don't have to like me, or even have respect for me or what I've done. But when the time comes, and believe me Johan its going to come one way or another, I need you two to be able to stand there with me, and the Lieutenant Commander, and the Kid, and these new guys, and whoever else, and face what comes at us. We need to be a team, and if we can do that..." he paused, choosing his words carefully. "Well, I'm not going to promise anything, but if I've learned anything from being a pilot its that things have a way of coming together when you're prepared to face them."

 

Gavin laughed at himself, realizing now that he was rambling. "Sorry, sometimes I don't know when to shut up. I just had to speak my mind, I guess."

 

---

 

 

"My machine should already be here. Call it the risastór.... anyway, name's Shayne. Don't make yourselves strangers. I only bite 25% of the time."

 

Evette paused a moment, mulling the unfamiliar word around in her head, then forgetting about it and focussing on the new girl's name instead. "Pleasure to meet you! Evette's the name, but you probably heard that already." She spun around on her bar stool, seeing Owen make his way back to them and sit down as she came around. "Feeling a bit better, Mister Bell?" She asked, giving Owen a wink. Hopefully he learned his lesson, and besides, he didn't seem like a bad guy. Might as well soften up on the poor boy for a little. She finished by addressing the whole lot of them. "Soooo.... how long have you guys been with SAF, anyway? Ever flown before?"


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#25
Dad

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Zalwara read the situation as best he could.  Melissa was frantic, but at least she had quieted down.  But there were still guards approaching.  He grew tense, and there was no sign of a way out.

 

"Hehe, Vice-Admiral Adachi.... I have no idea what she's going on about. There must be a mistake..." 

 

What?  Of course she knew what he was talking about.  But Zalwara had to know the truth.  "Ms. Vega, I--"

 

"After all... you should know me well enough by now..." Lauren took a few steps forward, giving Zalwara a wry smile. 

 

What was she doing?  This was no time for jokes or games.  The sound of footsteps closed in.  The patrol was near!  What was he supposed to do!?

 

"But... in case you don't... I think we should get a little better acquainted." 

 

Oh, great.  Now she wanted to discuss her personal life and her past!?  This was not the ti--oh.  Ooooh!  Zalwara's mind went blank as Lauren suddenly fell upon him, their backs against the wall.  The guards noted this very unique distraction as an opportunity to give the Vice Admiral some privacy.  Lauren was clever, much to Zalwara's surprise.

 

When they separated, Zalwara took a moment to regain his composure, his face flushing red as he straightened his uniform.  "Well--ehem.  Well-well played, Ms. Vega."  Zalwara could make out an embarrassed sigh from Melissa in her cell.  

 

"Mel.... please tell me you're ok. If they've hurt you I.. I..." She didn't know what to say. What she could say.

 

"I'm fine," she said, carefully making her way back over to her bed, and flopping down.  "But I'm still in disbelief."  Melissa rubbed her forehead slowly, as she waited.  "Well?  Would you mind telling me what exactly is going on?"

 

Zalwara cleared his throat.  "Yes.  I believe, now, Ms. Vega, an explanation is long overdue."


Drowning in your silence.


#26
VCR_CAT

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Sarah Shephard

 

"Liberty, miss Shepherd. Liberty is on the schedule. Shark Squad is off until 0800 tomorrow, as it turns out, probably timed to coincide with your arrival so that you could get settled in. You're free to go exploring, or if you like you can tag along with me. I'm sure we'll bump into your wingman in due time. She's rather... busy today, and couldn't make it down to the flight deck with me. " Drayden started walking. "Well, might as well tell me about yourself."

 

"Hmmmmm..." Sarah thought for a moment. "Well, I'm a San Loma kid, I'm sure you get lots of those. I was training to be a pilot and was on the final test before I got my wings until the bombs started to drop." Sarah's tone was considerably less gung-ho than before, but she spoke without any break in her voice. "Plane hit in the crossfire, and I was forced to make an emergency landing. Good thing I paid attention in those classes. Anyways, TF scooped me up out of the rubble about a week later and I've been fighting ever since. They were pretty happy to find a refugee who had some experience piloting dangerous vehicles, though."

 

Sarah turned to Drayden as they went on. "Any reason you guys picked me outta the litter back in the 101st? Reconnaissance isn't exactly the most flashy of jobs to have."


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#27
Super Chaos Sonic

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"Soooo.... how long have you guys been with SAF, anyway? Ever flown before?"

 

Akira nodded, hearing Evette ask this question to the group of them sitting at the bar. No one else was answering first, so he figured he'd break the ice. After all, talking Frames with other pilots? Not many others would've wanted to even do that.

 

"I have, actually." Akira smiled, looking at Evette, Owen, and the newcomer to the group: Shayne. "Me and Raiju Kai have been flying with SAF for quite sometime now. I'm the type of pilot that ends up going straight in with close combat." he said, before standing up and stretching a bit. "The Raiju was designed for being a melee combat Frame, taking some heavy inspiration from feudal Japanese armored samurai. Still, its the best Frame a pilot like myself could ask for."

 

He slid his hands into his pockets before smiling once more. "Though I'm really psyched about returning to TRAP. It's seems like it's been forever since I was there last. Plus, I also wanna throw a few of these Frame designs I've been working on to the higher ups."



#28
Asriel Dreemurr

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"You're coming to see the new recruits too? Wouldn't it be odd for you to dress like that for this occasion?" Wait, the new recruits were coming in today? And that meant Captain Renner was coming too...god dammit. Well, at least his flight suit was clean. Wouldn't be too hard to get it zipped up, and he might even look something close to presentable if he did. Not that Heinrich got the chance to do anything about his current appearance, as the reason he had been looking for his commander was brought back to his attention. "You're starting to collect model kits too, Heinrich?" He didn't really catch the rest of what she said, mainly because it took him a few moments to remember the unopened box in his helmet. He had, of course, intended to give it to the Lieutenant Commander, but just as he was about to correct her he noticed something.

 

She was smiling. It was faint, and only there for a second or two, but she was smiling. He didn't need to be a genius to realise that was because she thought someone shared her hobby. So he found himself in an awkward position. He'd intended to give it to her and hopefully cheer her up a little, but now he couldn't help but wonder if she'd be disappointed then. Well, at the very least he knew one way to make her happy.

"Yeah! Yeah, I was just coming to ask if you could help me out with putting this thing together." What on Earth was he getting himself into? "I'd wanted to set it up as a Command-use model with a Rail Cannon, but I don't think the parts for that are in the kit. I figured maybe you could help me out with custom building something for that." At least that research he'd done in the name of picking out a good kit for the commander would pay off.

 

---

 

"...We need to be a team, and if we can do that..." Gavin paused, apparently putting some thought into what he said next.. "Well, I'm not going to promise anything, but if I've learned anything from being a pilot its that things have a way of coming together when you're prepared to face them." Johan hadn't really expected this whole thing from the team's second in command. He'd gotten used to commanding officers, apart from Lt. Jensen anyways, who had been only too ready to throw their pilots' lives away. From what he'd heard when he went on leave, that was the norm by a very large margin. The primary reason he'd had it out for Gavin was because, when he and his brother had first been transferred into TRAP he'd thought that it was something different. For a while it had seemed more like he was under someone like the Lt that had gotten him through the worst part of his career.

And then Lauren got shot down over Ireland. And Gavin gave the order to leave her behind. And now things weren't adding up anymore. He thought he'd figured Decker out, but now...it was harder to hate a man for his decisions when you could see them eating at him.

"Decker," Johan began, as he finished crossing the distance to the ugly black machine and set about running system diagnostics from its stall's computer, "I don't get you, and I don't like you...but if we can get Melissa back I might just follow you."

---

 

"Do keep your head down, Mike. I'm already planning a big dinner in your honor when we see it again. You better not miss it."

"Ha! I'd miss Zalwara's cooking like I'd miss a shot on an SAF command unit." Of course the good times came to a swift end as another explosion, closer than the last one, rang out and shook the damnable metal box that he was sitting in. "I'll talk to you later, Takeo. I've got some artillery to shut up." He didn't even give his old friend a chance to reply, he just hung up and got up. Thankfully Brunhilde was in the small hangar that this piece of crap command center had. He set himself on a swift stride in that direction, and was quickly joined by one of the Admirals he'd been sent to assist.

 

"Commander Wittman."

"Admiral Hawke." The kid did look sharp, decked out and looking oh so very official in his dress uniform. Other people might have considered it insulting to be under the command of an officer who was almost two decades their junior, but Adrian Hawke was as good an officer as Michael had known. He also knew full well when to listen to someone with as much more experience in this war as the Black Baron.

 

"I wanted to discuss plans for the next offensive. As you've no doubt noticed the SAF's artillery has been slowing our advance, and I have a plan to deal with-"

 

"Don't bother," Wittman interrupted, "I'm going out to handle this myself. I could use the target practice." To say that the young admiral was stunned was very much an understatement.

"Alone?"

 

"Do you see my team anywhere?"

 

"But the old Long Arm is-"

 

"Every bit as good as her pilot, and I am a very good pilot."

 

"But the enemy is-"

 

"Son," Michael stopped and turned to look the other man in the eye. He and Hawke were about the same height, though the younger man's hair certainly altered that appearance, "I know what I'm doing, and it's gonna go a lot quicker if you just let me go." By this point they had reached the entrance to the hangar, the only frame currently stowed in any of the stalls was none other than Brunhilde herself. Just as the legendary sniper was turning to make his way there, the Admiral spoke up again.

 

"I am ordering you to stay. We can't afford to risk losing you in some... some... stupid solo mission just for you to get some target practice!" Wittman stopped a few meters away from the entrance to the hangar, put his hands in his pockets, and turned back around to face one of the many officers on this front who outranked him. He knew the kid was trying to look out for him, but he also wasn't going to let himself be ordered around.

 

"Adrian, stay in your fucking lane." With that he crossed the rest of the distance to the stall, and just a few short minutes later Brunhilde was plodding out into the storm and the bog.


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#29
Makο

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"Feeling a bit better, Mister Bell?"

 

Looking in Evette's direction, Owen gave a light nod of confirmation, with a light smile. While as much non-communication as reasonably possible was still the game plan, in order to minimize damage and maximize potential recovery, it would be foolish to come across as unpleasant to her. It would be infinitely more harm than good, and considering they were now in the same unit together, he felt the need to avoid as much damage as he could. Although, still, he didn't particularly feel like speaking with her any time soon.

 

"Soooo.... how long have you guys been with SAF, anyway? Ever flown before?"

 

Dammit.

 

He turned to the bartender and asked for a glass of water. He felt like he needed some more "wake me up" juice in order to make it through the conversation to come; it's not as though he could avoid it. By refusing to talk about himself when prompted, who knows what sort of impression he'd be giving off. Pompous oaf? Too-good-for-you? Secretive bastard? Overthinking? Probably overthinking. Either way, the singed memory of a month ago was still disturbingly fresh in his mind. He certainly didn't want to recall it.

 

As Akira, another bar newcomer, spoke, Owen asked the bartender to dilute the water with some cider. He figured he'd need the kick for what was coming next. Suddenly, his thoughts turned back to Shayne, who had been listening to Akira as he spoke. He had hoped she'd respond to his own gesture towards her, but Evette had distracted her from that. Or, perhaps, she hadn't even seen it at all. He wanted a chance to speak with her, for a moment to introduce himself formally, and start the long road to friendship. He owed her a debt, and he wanted to repay it somehow.

 

As Akira had finished speaking, Owen found himself flushed in the face. It almost seemed as though he was obsessing over a girl he had just met. With a cough, indicating he was gonna speak next, he quickly downed the diluted cider he was given in a single breath. He thanked God that no one could read his mind, for fear of seeming like a massive creep.

 

"I, uh... I've been SAF for three years now, I think. Prospective engineer, got drafted into the SF sect when I scored high on the aptitude tests. Nothing special, really. I am... well, was a Long-Range support specialist; I spent those three years as the sole SF attached to the 5th Battalion."

 

He paused to breath for a moment; he could see people begin to squirm. No one present would be unaware of the fate of the 5th Battalion.

 

"Yeah... about a month ago, I lost my frame, my closest comrades, all my possessions, and my home away from home, in a single day. It was that day I was also inducted into TRAP, so... here I am. Clean slate, I... guess?"

 

...

 

"God, it sounds like I'm starting a pity party, doesn't it? Bartender, gimme another, please; non-diluted."

 

Fυck.


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#30
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Shayne swept her fingers through the loose, pink bangs, shuffling the arrangement around to make it all look a bit messier; it was a look that really worked for her, and she suddenly got the feeling she was being examined. Maybe it was this Owen boy, or maybe she was just being unnaturally nervous due to the overall unlikelihood of her entire situation. Freedom hardly felt natural to her, if that's even what you could call this. If anything, it felt like she was just waiting for the other foot to drop, or at the very least, someone to give her day a little bit of direction.

 

"Soooo.... how long have you guys been with SAF, anyway? Ever flown before?"

 

Shayne's focus on her own thoughts was quickly shattered, as she was presented with a fairly difficult question, much more difficult than it seemed to be for the other people in the room. Akira had an answer right away, and Owen seemed to be completely incapable of doing anything but answering the younger looking girl. Boy, this guy was really a mess, wasn't he? He was like a puppy. A really, very inebriated puppy. In a way, it was sort of endearing; he may have been irreversibly damaging his rapport with the other pilots, but Shayne would at least enjoy entertaining his seemingly mindless ravings.

 

Shayne took the last sip from her glass, and the ice cube knocked against her teeth and surprised her a bit; had she really plowed through that bourbon so quickly? Sheesh. She shook off her internal monolog and finally spoke out,

 

"First day on the job, actually. I was told my skill set would fill the unit's holes nicely... I'll hold my judgment on that one until I start seeing the action, I guess." Shayne placed her hand on Owen's shoulder, hoping to rescue him from his self-curated hole of awkwardness, "I'm sorry to hear about your friends. Most of my friends are gone forever too. I think we've probably all lost in one way or another around here." Shayne looked down the bar; she wasn't sure if that was true, but she wanted to at least put the dialogue on everyone's tongues that they were a unit. The more often she insisted they were all friends, perhaps they would be persuaded to believe her.

 

Lastly, she looked at Akira; during her time with APEX, she had always been a bit of a tinkerer. Her creative, and at worst, just plain bizarre, schemes and weaponry choices were usually what made her so effective when it came to seizing government property. Can't use defense according to protocol when the offense is operating rather far out of protocol. Her eyes lit up a tad, "Building models for the Shell Armed Forces? Is that something you can do? What else are the pilots allowed to contribute?"


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----


#31
Serenade

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Danielle rifled aimlessly through her luggage, searching for a pair of bottoms that would complete her outfit, leather, leather, denim, nylon... nothing was popping out to her at the moment. Of course, she would have to slip something on at some point. She couldn't very well walk into the gathering area of the ship with her rear end hanging out. Of course, it would be a lot easier if that nagging sound of her investors would get out of her ears.

 

"I'm sorry, Mr. Barron. I'm afraid I haven't been paying much attention to what it was you were saying. My wardrobe isn't agreeing with me much today. Wanna run that one by me again?"

 

"What!? Ms. Fuhr, please. We've all just put a large sum of money into the deployment you've just found yourself inside of. The least you could do is listen to what I have to say."

 

"Well how am I supposed to pay attention to you when I haven't even got my pants on yet?!" Danielle threw her spare hand up and let it fall, creating an audible slap against her bare thigh, "Could you just send me an email with the details, Barron? I've got to get some clothes on and mingle with the rest of the unit. I've already spent way too much time blabbering with you." Danielle smiled; she was surely driving him well past the point of insanity, but that's what she loved to do best with these dreadfully boring investors. She may have been her parents' child, but she was the furthest thing from them when it came to playing nice with the money. Why bother appeasing them if they hadn't a choice regardless?

 

Mr. Barron groaned audibly over the phone, "Danielle, I will not tolerate this for the entirety of your deployment, but I will cede you this for now. We'll be in touch."

 

"Oh of course, Paul. I wouldn't dream of missing your calls. Kisses!" Danielle obnoxiously smooched into the phone and threw it aside. "Now to focus on what's really important: making my backside look as good as possible!" she looked behind her, admiring the product of her own genetics and gym time, "Of course... I think it looks pretty good just like this, but I doubt that flies here in the military." Danielle chuckled to herself and grabbed a pair of black, leather pants. They would compliment her white and black horizontally striped midriff perfectly, and the more excuses to wear her "ass kicking boots", the better.

 

Finally satisfied with her wardrobe after tying her hair into a high ponytail, Danielle made her way towards the sound of casual conversation. To her surprise, the source of the conversation was a bar! It came as sort of a relief, as well: any sane person could use a drink after having to interact with Mr. Barron, and she intended on doing just that. With a health sway of her hips, Danielle made her way directly into the center of the group, leaning over the bar, and sliding a larger monetary denomination to the bartender. Always aware of her surroundings, and what it takes to get the affection of others, Danielle looks over her shoulder, and then back to the bartender,

 

"Put the next round on me, babe. I'll have a glass of wine. Red. Oh, and the older, the better. Take the rest as a tip, will you?" she winked at the bartender and turned around, resting her hips against the bar, now seeking to make an introduction.

 

"I hope you all have room for another, else I'll be having an awful lot of wine for myself." her voice was higher in pitch, yet still very smooth. There was an innate attractiveness to the way Danielle presented her whole package, simply because that is what she had invested a large portion of her life into perfecting. It would be a total waste if her tone of speech was shrill and off-putting. Danielle continued, "Name's Danielle Zeta Fuhr. From what I understand, TRAP is a bit thin on pilots these days, and we're the next crop. Here's to hoping we do something special with it. It's already a pleasure to have met all of you." Danielle winked once more, this time at the group. Right on time, her glass of red wine had arrived; it was light in color, and smelled fantastic. Danielle let out and audible sound of admiration for the glass and took a sip, praising the contents of the glass immediately afterwards, "Well well well... I could get used to this, if this glass is the start of what's to come." she giggled. War? This whole thing was beginning to sound more and more like a vacation by the second.


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#32
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"I'm fine. But I'm still in disbelief. Well? Would you mind telling me what exactly is going on?"

 

"Yes.  I believe, now, Ms. Vega, an explanation is long overdue."

 

Lauren sighed. This was going to be painful, both for her, and Melissa. "I'm surprised they haven't told you anything, Vice-Admiral. I was formerly a Synchro Frame pilot with SAF... and now I'm here." She gestured to Melissa. "She was a squadron-mate of mine, and a close friend. That's how she knows the sound of my voice." Lauren paused a moment, then turned to address Mel. "I know that's probably hard to swallow, Mel... but its the truth. I'm here because I chose to be here. I couldn't... I couldn't fight for the wrong side anymore. What we're doing to the people here on the surface... its cruel, and its wrong.... and it isn't something I can be a part of anymore. So... I've changed sides." She was holding back tears, fighting desperately with herself to not show any weakness. Thank god Melissa couldn't see.

 

---

 

"Yeah... about a month ago, I lost my frame, my closest comrades, all my possessions, and my home away from home, in a single day. It was that day I was also inducted into TRAP, so... here I am. Clean slate, I... guess? God, it sounds like I'm starting a pity party, doesn't it? Bartender, gimme another, please; non-diluted."

 

Suddenly Evette felt bad about being so harsh on him. She knew the kind of pain he was going through intimately. Before she could attempt any kind of consolation though, Shayne beat her to it.

 

"I'm sorry to hear about your friends. Most of my friends are gone forever too. I think we've probably all lost in one way or another around here."

 

She nodded. "But... hey, we're all friends here too... or at least I hope we'll be, right?" Well, this was weird. Now she was the one being awkward. Thankfully though, before anyone had a chance to continue, someone else showed up.

 

 "Put the next round on me, babe. I'll have a glass of wine. Red. Oh, and the older, the better. Take the rest as a tip, will you?" The new girl seemed to make herself right at home, though it took her a second to speak to everyone else present. "I hope you all have room for another, else I'll be having an awful lot of wine for myself.  Name's Danielle Zeta Fuhr. From what I understand, TRAP is a bit thin on pilots these days, and we're the next crop. Here's to hoping we do something special with it. It's already a pleasure to have met all of you."

 

Fuhr... why did that name sound familiar? Either way, best not to ignore her. Evette gave Danielle a wink. "Free drinks? My kind of girl! Bartender can I get a refill?" She gestured with her empty glass. The next voice they all heard was the intercom's.

 

"Attention. The Albatross will be landing in approximately twenty minutes. All personnel please report to your stations for offloading. Repeat, all personnel report to your stations for offloading."

 

"Guess our time's almost up, guys."

 

---

 

"Hmmmmm... Well, I'm a San Loma kid, I'm sure you get lots of those. I was training to be a pilot and was on the final test before I got my wings until the bombs started to drop. Plane hit in the crossfire, and I was forced to make an emergency landing. Good thing I paid attention in those classes. Anyways, TF scooped me up out of the rubble about a week later and I've been fighting ever since. They were pretty happy to find a refugee who had some experience piloting dangerous vehicles, though."

 

Well, at the very least she wasn't some idiot rookie. Drayden hated babysitting.

 

"Any reason you guys picked me outta the litter back in the 101st? Reconnaissance isn't exactly the most flashy of jobs to have."

 

"Wasn't me who chose you. The guys upstairs must have thought you'd do better out here with us, I guess. If it were up to me I'd be hand picking the lot of you and I'd be showing more than just you around the Dark Tide today. Three frames is hardly a squad, after all." He turned to face her, his grin disappearing and being replaced with a more serious look. Because it was Drayden though, he looked way more threatening than he did stern. "Lets hope you can pull your weight."


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#33
Dad

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Mel shivered at Lauren's words.  '. . . I couldn't fight for the wrong side, anymore.'  Though her voice had settled, Melissa couldn't fight back the tears.  The years of training, fighting, and serving together drifted through her mind at mach speeds.  And then Lauren died.  She had lost a friend, a comrade, and a sister.  

 

"Is that true, Ms. Juniper?" Zalwara piped up.  "Were you comrades, some time ago?"  Zalwara turned his head slightly, observing Lauren out of the corner of his eye.  Her entire demeanor had changed when she came into contact with Melissa, and it was painful to watch.  "I don't care much for the sentimental gestures.  But if you're going to tell all, now is your only chance," Zalwara said, directing his words to Lauren.

 

"Yeah, it's true," Melissa said, wiping her face again.  "I watched that frame fall into a twisted wreck of metal and fire through the Saviour's eyes.  Now I'm wondering if my eyes are just playing tricks on me again," she said, with a halfhearted smile.  Melissa folded her arms.  "I wonder what your brother would have to say, knowing his big sister is alive, and playing ball for the opposition.  Something tell's me you have a lot of catching up to do.  And you won't be able to do that, fighting him in frame warfare."  Melissa's voice hardened.  Her soft temperament vanished, and she became stoic, and cold.  Her deep brown eyes that normally welcomed anyone she laid eyes on, were now filled with disappointment.

 

"For what it's worth, Lauren, I still love you," she said, as honestly as she could.  "I'm willing to hear you out.  But I don't know if my heart alone is big enough to bare this burden.  There's no telling how the twins will react."


Drowning in your silence.


#34
VCR_CAT

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Sarah Shephard

 

"Wasn't me who chose you. The guys upstairs must have thought you'd do better out here with us, I guess. If it were up to me I'd be hand picking the lot of you and I'd be showing more than just you around the Dark Tide today. Three frames is hardly a squad, after all." Drayden said to Sarah as she finished her short summary of who she was before joining up with the TF. Drayden's statement regarding the squad made sense, though. Drayden didn't seem like the type to brood over countless rosters all night, looking for the right individual to add to their roster. Although it seemed weird that there was so few people in the squadron. Were their standards that high, or was their funding that short?

 

Drayden stopped and turned to face Sarah, staring her down with an expression that seemed to speak as if someone had used up all his hot water three mornings in a row and if he ever found out who it was heads would roll. "Lets hope you can pull your weight." He said, plainly.

 

Sarah's expression remained stoic and neutral for a moment. She was used to superior officers screaming in her face, showering her in their spit, faces so read and twisted you swore the devil himself sired them. Drayden's glare was different than the unbridled rage that Sarah was used to seeing from superiors, and while her expression remained stoic a chill went down her spell. Nevertheless, a confident smile spread across her lips.

 

"I'll do my best, cap!" She quipped with a sharp salute.


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#35
Makο

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The touch of a woman was something Owen was not intimately familiar with in the slightest, so it came as no surprise to him when he slightly flinched to Shayne's kinda gesture. Again, he could feel his face getting flushed with blood, as he cursed his own virgin sensitives. Pathetic was the only thing he could call it, but at the same time, he recognized that he could no longer afford to dwell on it. Yet again, Shayne was offering him an out to the holes he seemingly kept digging for himself. And if that was the sort of situation he needed to make the connection he wanted, then by god he'd take them. Reaching up and placing his on hers, he mustered the best smile he could.

 

"Thanks, Shayne. I appreciate it."

 

...

 

For a moment, Owen considered what he was doing. This sort of, hand on hand, hand on shoulder routine... aren't the roles reversed here?

 

...

 

Ah, whatever! Not like there was anything left to salvage here anyway. Looking back to what he mentioned earlier, he really was starting with a clean slate. No mech, no friends, no reputation.

 

Well, maybe one friend. Upon seeing Danielle enter, full of life and desiring booze, he mustered a similar smile as he did earlier.

 

"Hey there. I look forward to working with you."

 

...

 

"Attention. The Albatross will be landing in approximately twenty minutes. All personnel please report to your stations for offloading. Repeat, all personnel report to your stations for offloading."

 

He was warped back to reality then; the reality of his position, and the reality of the Frame he desperately didn't want to pilot. Piece of work, that thing is.

 

"Hey, Bartender. Wrap that for me, would you? I'll come for it some other time."


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#36
Super Chaos Sonic

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"Name's Danielle Zeta Fuhr. From what I understand, TRAP is a bit thin on pilots these days, and we're the next crop. Here's to hoping we do something special with it. It's already a pleasure to have met all of you."

 

Akira chuckled at the newcomer's statement, especially with the offer of another round of drinks. However, Akira stood up and stretched some. "As tempting as that offer sounds, I think I'll pass on that." he said, moving from the bar before hearing the announcement on the Albatross.

 

"Attention. The Albatross will be landing in approximately twenty minutes. All personnel please report to your stations for offloading. Repeat, all personnel report to your stations for offloading."

 

"Looks like perfect timing." he smiled, before waving at the group. "I suppose I'll see you all when we off load. Gotta make sure everything's still green on my Frame." With that, he headed off from the bar and back towards the Raiju Kai. The group that was there at the bar varied in different personalities, which was good. There were times when pilots were huge sticks in the mud or just monotone with no life in them...it was good that they were different from the common rabble.

 

Akira looked at his Frame, after approaching it's terminal and smiled. "Looks like its about time, Raiju."






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