Gundam SEED Fan Fiction / Vandread Fan Fiction ❯ GunDread SEED (Redition) ❯ Decision ( Chapter 3 )
[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Disclaimer: Gonzo and Bandai are the owners of VanDread and Gundam SEED. So if there are any lawyers asking for fees, I'm sorry but I'm broke.
< >: Thoughts
Somewhere out in the vast reaches of the galaxy, a group of female pirates from Megele and their male captives were drifting aimlessly in the star-studded void. The pirate vessel had now been completely engulfed by the Ikazuchi's Paeksis Plhagma Reactor and now the two vessels became one whole ship. Inside the newly made and combined vessel, particularly inside the conference room, the captain of the pirates, her first officer, and their Dread squadron leader were in deep discussion.
Magno nodded as she gazed at the holographic images on the screen. “Continue with your report, BC.”
The first officer nodded as she began to explain the current situation to her commanding officer along with the latest reports they have gathered which were being displayed. “Yes, Captain. The entire ship has now been completely swallowed up by the crystals. The bridge, residential, and engineering sections have now been completely reformatted and all systems have been infused with Paeksis crystals. Fortunately the Dread launching Platforms were not affected and at this stage we are implanting the new data into the systems. It now seems that the Paeksis Reactor has reached its peak. The bridge has stopped sliding from the original configuration to be overlooking the ship's Bio Park.”
“And our current location?” The captain asked as she continued to fan herself with a small hand-held fan to cool down. The ship's environmental control systems were among the systems still inactive and that made the current temperature to be at least a full thirty degrees Celsius.
The holographic image changed to that of a star chart as BC continued her report. “It's hard to believe, but the vacuum that occurred when the torpedoes struck us and the reaction of the core reactor of the old colony ship has transported us to a completely different galaxy from our own. It will take at least approximately 270 days for us to return to our home system.”
The aged woman gave a sigh as she looked in slight disappointment. “What did we ever do to deserve being flung across space?” She then turned to address Meia. “And do you have to report Meia?”
The young blue-haired female nodded as she took her turn. “The three Dreads that were swallowed up and transformed by the Paeksis, including mine, are no longer able to fit into the regular Dread platforms. We've modified the cargo bay area on the men's side of the ship and are now storing them there. While we were doing so, we made a few discoveries ourselves. It seems that this entire section of the ship hasn't been used for a long period of time. The circuits and conduits are all decayed and useless.”
“I see. And what of our enemies?”
“I decided to deploy a scouting party to the wreckage of the alien vessel to see if we can gain any information. Since we're short-handed, I asked for…volunteers.”
This got the old woman's curiosity. “Volunteers?”
Out in space… on the way to the alien wreck…
“Wow! Look at that! It's and Adamsky-type UFO! Did you see it Ms. Gasco?” The pilot of the ship called out.
Gascogne sighed as she sat behind Dita onboard the apprentice pilot's Dread Fighter. It was going to be a long investigation in the mind of the older woman.
Kyo winced in unison as he was in his boxer shorts (What? You were expecting briefs?), while he was being sprayed down. Standing next to him were Duero McFile and Bart Garsus, as they were as well in their under-garments and were now going through the Megele female's way of the decontamination process. It was the fact that the women were using icy water that didn't help matters at all.
Watching all this going on from a monitor on the bridge, Magno and Buzam were contemplating their male prisoners.
“So, these are the only men onboard?”
BC nodded. “Yes, Captain. It seems that we'll have to rely on them until we fully understand this new ship of ours.”
Magno nodded. “Yes.” She then began to recall back to the time of the end of the battle. When the enemy was destroyed, the ship went on full automatic standby mode and released Bart from the navigation well. “I have never seen anything like it before in my long years. And that other one…” She shivered a bit as she recalled what Kyo was capable of doing. The fact that the Gundam pilot had let himself to be returned back to the cell along with the other two men showed that things were stable for now. However Magno was quite aware that the young man had the potential to destroy all of them in an instant and at any time of his choosing… that is, if he had command of that Gundam unit of his. The giant war-machine was impounded by BC and were now being studied by Parfet and her crew of engineers. But through all this the aged pirate captain still felt a bit unnerved by all that had happened and what she had seen.
At the brig…
“It was so unnerving!” Bart whined in his usual voice as he tried to strike a conversation with his fellow prisoners. Sitting at a nearby corner, was Kyo, eating a tray filled with a very large amount of Talark food pills. These things still tasted like dirt but as hungry as the young man was, he had no reason to complain.
“One after another, my comrades fell all around me, until I was the only one left standing!” Bart continued to babble. “But I knew that even alone I had to find a way to retake the ship from the women. And fate has given me two able allies! What do you say?” He placed his questioning look at Duero first, then to Kyo. He knew that his might, skills, and powers would be more than enough to beat the women.
The Gundam pilot ignored Bart as he already had understood where his train of conversation was going. He had NO intention of using his powers and skills on the women, on the fact that he was not involved with the war between Talark and Megele, meaning that he was never raised on Talark. The second fact was that the women weren't the enemy, so why should he fight them in the first place? He had finished the little meal and polished off the tray and set them to the side.
“Damn! Even after living on Talark for at least several months, those pills still taste like crap!” Kyo said as he let the pellets be digested.
Duero nodded, as he understood the man's comments. “That's true, but that fact didn't seem to stop you from consuming enough pills to keep at least four men fed for few days.”
Kyo looked at Duero and sighed. “I've got no other choice actually, either eat it or not and starve. Seems like an easy to pick choice.”
“I see. However that still doesn't explain how you came to be here. Are you a human? Or are you some sort of cyborg? And are you and that Vanguard you piloted secret weapons of Talark?”
Kyo looked distant for a second and then shook his head. “No, I'm…human…and…”
“That's all I know, I don't know exactly HOW I became this way, but I'm very much human. I'm trying to find answers to those questions also. But I don't know anything else. And in the case of Freedom, I know how to maintain and pilot that Gundam quite well, though I can't exactly say how and why.”
Bart shrugged his shoulders as he chimed in. “We don't exactly have time for that now guys." He then directed his attention to Kyo. “By the way, what's the deal with you and that Vanguard of yours fusing with that female ship?"
Kyo gave a slightly irritated glare. “That I'm afraid is none of your concern. And my Gundam is a Mobile Suit, not a Vanguard. Now would you please be quiet? There's too much hot air in here already! And the last thing we all need at this point is more of it!" He emphasized his point by making a fist.
Bart got the message. “Whoa! Okay! Okay! Take it easy!"
Duero began to talk in an effort to sooth Kyo. “Please try to forgive him." He said in calm and collected tone. “He's rather uneasy and is trying to keep calm through conversation."
Bart looked at Duero, impressed. “Hey. You're pretty sharp. No wonder you're part of the elite. So how about it? With my talking, your brains and his muscles and skills, we could beat these women!"
“Oh really? I'd like to hear how you're going to plan to do it."
Bart stiffened at that and slowly turned around as he heard BC's voice. He turned and saw the first officer and two of her subordinates standing in front of the cell, looking straight at him. He could only guess how long she had been standing there.
“So you haven't been able to find out anything about that strange Vanguard Parfet?" Magno was speaking as she had gotten in touch with the head engineer through the communicator.
The girl with the oversized glasses shock her head as she gave her report on the massive Gundam she was given to study.
“The machine apparently isn't a Vanguard, Captain. I've analyzed it's combat frame, and there are only vague similarities to it and the Vanguards still here on the ship. It's armor and frame construction is made of a totally unknown alloys, and it's got some well designed systems, though some of them are older models. It's armed also with advanced life support systems, and electronics, plus it's armed with a special ECM shielding system and also a special defensive energy emission field called a Neutron Jammer Canceller that renders it very resistant to most forms energy storms and power pulses, It's run by an OS or operating system, that can be reprogrammed to change the performance of the machine to suit specific or general combat areas, and can fight in space and on a planet with no problems whatsoever, it has a special repair system that can help it rebuild most damaged core systems and motors, give this a few hours and the Freedom will be back online. This machine takes advantage of the fact that it can move and fight like a fusion of Dread and Vanguard, it's faster than a Dread and more capable for various battle field conditions like a Vanguard. It's armed with an armor system known as Prominence Phase Shift Armor or P.P.S Armor, this is an apparent upgrade from the originally armor system known as Phase Shift Armor or P.S Armor. This original version was apparently designed previously to give this machine complete invulnerability to solid, and kinetic projectiles such as missiles, explosives, solid rounds, and melee weapons such as blades, though it was considered ineffective against beam based energy weapons. The difference is that the normal super-conductive circuits that generate the Phase Shift effect are now emitting a special disruption field that now grants this `Freedom' mecha the ability to deflect beam based weapons. This may not repel all beam attacks but renders them less effective.”
“Are you saying that this P.P.S Armor makes this machine virtually indestructible?” BC asked.
Parfet nodded. “To several angles, this machine is indestructible, though there could be some weaknesses there, though I still have to find them, Commander. It also is armed with a collapsible general purpose shield on the left arm.”
“What about it's weapons and power source?” Magno asked.
“The Freedom, is armed with heavy assault machine cannons, that can fire heavy armor-piercing high explosive tipped rounds at a rate of two hundred per press of the firing trigger on the shoulders. It's also got some lighter assault guns installed in the head, and is also capable of firing the same AP/HE mix of bullets, though of a lighter grade. It's apparently armed with an ammunition replenishment system to supply it with large amounts of bullets. Combined together, these two pairs of assault guns and be deadly in medium to close range battles. It's also armed with a pair of beam sabers. From what I can see, these energy blades can cut through Dread armor plating rather effectively and can even cause considerable damage on capital-ship armor. The sabers can be turned into double bladed lances, as there is a second energy blade emitter on the end of each saber, these can be also tossed at a fair distance and are stored near the hip armor for easy access. The next is apparently a double beam rifle. This weapon actually is a smaller hand-held version of our cruiser's energy cannons, and is called a double beam rifle due to the fact that it is two weapons that can be melded into one. In the single form it can take out a large group of targets in a medium range battle, and in the separated form, can be used to lock onto multiple targets at once. The next is a number of wing stored plasma bolt cannons, one on each wing. When used these cannons can be linked to the shoulders and can be fired independently, they can be overcharged to create a more intense beam and since there are two on each shoulder when used, it's got some serious fire-power for extreme, long, and medium range combat. The last is a pair of collapsible dual rail-guns on the hips, which act as extra armor, and as the storage area for the beam sabers. They can be fired independently like the plasma cannons and can be overcharged for a more lethal blast, and are ideal for extreme, long, and to medium range battles. But when a system known is High Mobility Aerial Tactics or HiMAT system is used, the Freedom's ranged weapons can all fire at once and can engage massive numbers of targets at once, even missiles can be intercepted and destroyed by the HiMAT system.”
“All that fire-power in ONE machine…interesting… What's it's power source?” Magno asked.
“It's armed with a powerful nuclear reactor, and a very advanced one to rely on clean fusion power. This reactor is capable of powering all the systems on this for over two centuries, this allows this machine nearly infinite combat time in a battle field. But it's also armed with a secondary power source that emits vast amounts of energies that improve this machine's performance rate by several extra degrees, and the power's as puzzling as the Paeksis Phlagma Reactor itself, as they emit nearly the same energy patterns.”
Parfet then gulped as he read what else she had learned. “And, Captain…for added security, the Gundam is armed with a self destruct system linked to the nuclear reactor and it's support reactor. The blast would be enough of severely cripple several Class 10 Megele battle-cruisers and would destroy smaller ships, and could…incinerate entire regiments of Dreads in the span of one hundred twenty seconds as the range is a maximum nineteen kilometers if they get too close to it."
Magno thought about the data she had been handed by her head engineer.
“What's your estimation of this…Gundam… Parfet?”
“Captain, if the men of Talark wanted a nearly invincible weapon…this is the ULTIMATE target of achievement on Talark. It has the best on both worlds, and is very powerful. If Talark would even just have a handful of units like the Freedom, then they can be nearly unstoppable. And the cost would be even higher if a pilot would use the self destruct system and take out anyone that even tries to take his machine or if he goes into a suicide attack.”
“Is there any way you can copy the systems and install them in the Dreads?” BC asked.
“Maybe, but it will take a lot of time and the OS is well encrypted, but I can probably get all the data I need.”
Magno then told her chief engineer to continue finding out more that she could, as she switched to another line. “Gascogne, how are you coming along with your investigation of the alien wreck?"
In the engineering section…
The section was now being flooded by several complaints concerning the inactivity of the majority of the ship's systems. One of the more common complaints was the air conditioning as that was one of the systems inactive at the moment. The section got a call from the bridge crew on that particular problem.
“What's with the air-conditioning? It's at least thirty degrees in here!" One of the bridge crew complained as she loosened her uniform's collar.
Parfet moved to take the call as she unzipped her jump-suit and revealed herself wearing a tank-top like her friend Dita, and tied the sleeves of her jump-suit around her waist. “Don't complain! It's at least thirty-six down here!" She directed her attention to one of her subordinates who seemed to be trying to restrain something. “So how's it going?"
The technician gave her boss a sigh and went back to work in struggling with the Navi-robot, trying her best to hook up the little automaton to a console to lock in it's systems in a plan to determine the ship's condition. However the machine wasn't in a rather cooperative mood.
“Beep! DON"T TOUCH ME!" It shouted as it continued to struggle like a calf during branding time.
Meanwhile, at another section of the ship…
Paiway was rather busy sitting on an elevator which was on its way up to the other sections of the ship. She was more pre-occupied with the fact that she was now writing on her usual companion apart from her frog puppet-handbag, that being her diary.
“As the valiant crew continued to do their best, Magno's family suddenly found themselves in a new and difficult crisis." (No need to tell you what that crisis is.)
It was then… “Hey! Hold that elevator!"
Paiway looked up from her diary and saw her fellow pirates, Jura and Barnette carrying various personal items in their arms. The reason for little 'haul the gear' routine was that due to the changes done by the Paeksis during the initial transformation of the two ships. As a result, several of the crew of women pirates had no other alternative but to relocate to their new living quarters.
“Slacking off again, Paiway?" Barnette asked in a rather irritated tone, no doubt not forgetting that Paiway had nearly made her into a human ice cube.
“Instead of just sitting around doing nothing, why don't you do something more important?" Jura asked as she managed to get a better grip on her items.
“I am doing something!" The apprentice nurse replied as she held out her diary for her comrades to see, then held up her handbag puppet frog and began to speak in a comic, cartoon like voice. “Barnette and Jura sure have a lot of stuff." She then directed her attention to her puppet as if she was speaking to it. “It's a good thing that our room wasn't changed so we don't have to move out right? Kero!"
Jura gave a rather irritated look at the precocious eleven-year old nurse. “She's really beginning to piss me off." She growled.
Barnette gave a silent nod, but then her attention focused on a strange rope harness on Paiway's waist. “Hey Pai, what's that rope on your waist for?"
Paiway answered her comrade's question with her puppet's voice. “This is only a temporary elevator, so it won't be my fault if it falls. See you later. Kero!" The young girl was then hoisted upward and off the lift, leaving behind the two Dread pilots in a state of shock.
“You're kidding right?! Paiway!"
Inside the wreck of the alien mothership…
The head supplier looked through everything that she could see. The ship looked like someone stuffed one massive explosive pack into the mouth of the ship and made it look like a shattered tomato. She sighed and responded to the call of her commanding officer. “Progress is real slow in here and things are real extensive, considering the damage that mecha Dita had used when her Dread merged with that mecha had caused to this alien ship, then it's a miracle this wreck's even out here. We've got a lot of things to go through at this point. But to tell you the truth Captain, this thing isn't like any ship I've ever seen before, it resembles more of a mobile factory than a ship."
Dita however paid no attention to what the conversation was between the supply officer and her captain as she was rather busy taking pictures of the alien ship she and her Mr. Alien had destroyed together. Then she spotted something.
“Wow! Look at that!" Dita exclaimed as she spotted something and began to point at it. “Hey, Ms. Gasco! Can I take a look around?"
Gascogne was in no mood to have the young Dread pilot go anywhere on her own, so her answer was simple. “Absolutely not! We've got a very important job to do here Dita, and sight seeing is not part of that job!" With that she flicked her finger on the surface of Dita's helmet-visor. In the vacuum of space, this gentle yet firm push had sent the young redhead flying backwards.
“Whoa! I can't stop!"
The pirate Captain smiled a bit at that as she signed off. “Very well then. I'll leave the investigation up to you, Gascogne."
She then pressed a button that made her chair turn around and head for the door. The Door slid open and she began to descend down a rail and arrived at her command console on the bridge. Waiting for her was Buzam and the captive Bart.
“Heh heh, I heard you wanted something from me." Bart said with barely hidden nervousness.
The old woman nodded and pointed towards the navigation well. "Yes. That thing. We haven't been able to interface into it and operate it, so you'll have to tell us how you did it."
“Uhh…okay…yes of course. Given my current circumstances and my situation, I don't have much in terms of choice." He held up his manacled hands, indicating to Buzam that he needed his hands to be free. The first officer complied and activated the release for the manacles. Bart then moved to the direction of the well. “Now listen very carefully. This is a male ship, so therefore only men are capable of operating it. So I suppose that it was rather fortunate that I was around. In fact, you could say that I'm indispensable to you and… uurrrk!"
At that point the well flared up and sucked the hapless man into it again.
Magno sighed as she leaned back and shook her head. “I really doubt I'll ever understand this system at all."
Inside the navigation well, Bart found himself once again naked and surrounded in the holographic display of the outer environment of the ship.
“Okay… let's see here…uhhh…okay…"
All of a sudden, the ship's systems and main drive system came online and the vessel leaped forward and began to accelerate away from the wreck of the alien vessel. The sudden movement caught everyone off guard as the inertia dampeners and stabilizers were unable to cope with the sudden movement. Jura and Barnette were thrown off their feet in the elevator and their possessions went scattering all over the place.
Back on the bridge, the crew tried to stop the ship but wasn't getting anywhere.
“The system just booted up and we're now on some unknown heading!" One of the bridge officers called out.
Magno wasn't in a good mood as she got in touch with Bart at the navigation well and shouted. “What in blazes did you just do in there?!"
The image showed Bart as he shook his head. “Hold on! I didn't do anything! The ship seems to be on auto pilot!"
At the wreckage…
Gascogne nodded with satisfaction as she took out the data disk from the downloader unit they placed on the wreck's systems to gain the needed data. She was now looking forward to be back at the Register office with her crew again. “All right, I've finished copying the data. Let's hurry and get back to the ship."
“Roger." Dita replied as she nodded and activated her suit's built-in maneuvering thrusters to propel her towards the opening. However, the moment she got there, she gave out a gasp, as she could not find the ship, as it was nowhere in sight.
“Ms. Gasco! Can you hear me? Ms. Gasco!" Ezra cried as she tried to hail both the head supply officer and the young Dread pilot, but had made no progress. The young woman then began to sweat profusely as her breathing became shallow bit by bit.
“Deploy the buoys!" BC ordered, but had turned her attention went she heard a person collapse and a shout was heard. She looked in shock as she spotted the gentle Ezra lying on her console.
Back at the cell…
Kyo was dreaming, as he lay asleep. As he rested names and faces began to fly about in his head. He then began to mumble as several names began to repeat in his mind.
He woke up when he felt something warm on his face, and when he opened his eyes he found Duero's face was pressed on his. He immediately reacted as he darted away.
“WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING?!”
“I was taking your temperature." The physician replied. Kyo now understood that with his hands restrained then the Talark doctor had to use other ways to determine his temperature. “You were mumbling in your sleep. Who are these Kira, Lacus, Mira, and Aki."
Kyo's face grew slightly curious and quiet at the mention of his real mother's name. This naturally got Duero's curiosity. Kyo took a deep train of thought as if the names sounded… familiar. Kyo recovered quickly. “Is that what I was saying?'
“Yes, you were saying that name several times actually. I thought you were feverish from the heat. So who ARE these people you keep saying."
Kyo gave a sigh. “The names…I don't exactly, know for sure. But they all sound familiar for some reason.”
Duero looked and could see a small part of Kyo's loss in his face so he naturally didn't want to cause more trouble for the young man, so he dropped it.
At that moment, the first officer and two of her guards arrived at their holding cell, and addressed the young medic.
“You're name is Duero, correct? It's your turn now."
As the guards deactivated the energy bars on the men's holding cell, the first officer of the pirates directed her attention to the other man in the cell. At the moment the young man looked rather deep in thought. It appeared to others that Kyo was a totally harmless individual, but then again, appearances were deceiving. After seeing the skills and the sheer destruction he could do when piloting his Gundam, Buzam was VERY cautious. However, she was certain that without his Gundam, Kyo presented no danger to the crew and the ship, or so she hoped.
Back at the navigation well…
Bart was in full panic mode as he tried in desperation to determine where the ship was heading; he got his answer as they were heading into a nebula. And in truth… he didn't like the answer.
“We're going in there?! How do I stop this crazy ship?!"
The ship didn't seem to care much about Bart's complaints and dove headlong into the mix of gases of the nebula's outer ring. Various chunks of ice and debris flew all around the ship and smacked into the hull of the fused vessel. Unfortunately for the cowardly Bart, due to the neural interface link between him and the ship, then anything that collided with the ship came to hit him in the form of PAIN. A stray chunk of ice smacked into the top near the bow, which caused him to yelp in pain. As the hit felt like a blow to his head and that threw him back a bit.
“Will somebody please raise the shields?!" he called out while rubbing his head.
Bart wasn't the only one with problems on the ship. At least ninety percent of all operating systems were offline. Jura and her buddy Barnette found themselves trapped inside the elevator, buried underneath their own possessions. They were in a rather difficult situation as along with their belongings, which were clothes and personal items, were also some firearms and live ammunition. Meia on the other hand was in dismay as she had found out that the Dread platforms were also offline. That naturally meant that she couldn't send anyone to rescue Gascogne and Dita.
Duero also had problems. Long before the ship's little dip in the nebula, they were brought to the medical bay and there he spotted a young gentle looking woman on a bed with one of her companions watching over her. BC told them Ezra's condition and requested them to check on the woman. This got the doctor's attention as he knew that technology wise the women were better equipped than his own people, also in the area of medical technology, so why would they need his help? He naturally directed this inquiry to BC. The silver-haired women gave a simple smirk and told Duero that he was showing his status as an elite. She then explained that with all the major systems offline they needed all the help they could get. Besides, he could learn all about the female physiology. This got the doctor's curiosity and so he agreed to help with Ezra. While Duero was running a scanner over Ezra's body, the lights went out; indicating that power to the medical facility was cut off as the ship took its little bath in the nebula's outer gas ring. With one quick lighting fast motion he took a communicator from the hip holster of an aide, who made no bones in showing her surprise and displeasure at that.
“I'm trying to work on a patient here! Make power to the medical bay a top priority!" Duero ordered in a totally no nonsense tone as he contacted the engineering section of the ship.
In the engineering section, Parfet was exasperated as she took Duero's call. “I'd love to do that also, but we've got our own problems here as well! I can't do much right now since I can't read the men's language!"
Duero then directed his attention to Buzam, who was watching him check on Ezra. “If I were there, I could help them read it as it's all in my home-planet's language."
The first officer shrugged her shoulders and nodded in agreement. “Go right ahead, but be back here to finish your examination."
“Yes, I will." Was Duero's reply as he headed for the Engineering Section.
The moment Duero stepped into the Engineering area, the reaction to his presence was simple.
“It's a man!" One of the engineers under Parfet screamed as she caught sight of the young Talark doctor.
Parfet simply glanced at Duero and nodded her approval of his arrival. “Oh, you're here. Good." She then led the doctor over to the worktable where the little Navi-Robot was hooked up to one of the consoles. “I can't do much with all this data if I can't read it."
“It's just a Hi-type #6 data feed." Duero replied as he examined the data being shown on the Navi-Robot's screen. He was rather curious about the little setup the engineer had going on. “What exactly were you trying to do here anyway?"
Parfet began to explain with a little sheepishness to the young physician that the Navi-Robot and the ship's reactor somehow seemed to be linked together. She had thought that the robot would make a good sensor. However, with the language of the men in front of her, she couldn't figure out the reason for the ship's current condition.
Duero nodded as he looked a bit more at the data. “According to this readout, there seems to be a massive built-up of impurities, probably from the merging of the two ships."
“Maybe, so can you fix it?" Parfet asked as she gazed at the young medic.
“I'm sorry to say this, but I'm a doctor, I'm no engineer."
This made Parfet a little bit mildly irritated. “That's no excuse! Everything that moves is alive! It's a doctor's duty to fix all living things, right? That's what I always believe in!"
Duero's curiosity was peaked as he gazed at the feisty female engineer before him. “You have a very interesting view of things." He replied as he removed his trench coat.
As soon as the vessel's lower section immersed itself into the nebula's outer gas ring, the engines went on full shutdown. The ship was now propelled by pure momentum now.
“Engines have now shut down, captain." One of the bridge crew, a brown haired and brown skinned woman reported as she gazed at the monitors. Her name was Amarone Slatheav and she was the best friend of all the other bridge crewmembers.
Magno sighed as she was now being cooled by an ice pack over her head and a portable fan was nearby as well. “Just when I get the good news that we've stopped, we now are in a nebula of all the places." It was then that the fan near her shut down as well.
“Captain! Sensors indicate that another section of the ship is now transforming again." Reported another member of the bridge crew, a blonde and a blue-eyed girl by the name of Belvedere Coco.
Outside of the ship's hull, near the arm areas of the ship, new crystal formations appeared as the ship once more went into a transformation phase.
“Curious." Duero commented as he checked the data being displayed through the Navi-robot's screen. “It seems that the ship is reacting to the gaseous composition of the nebula's outer ring."
Parfet considered the data for a moment then smacked her fist into her open palm. “That's it! The ship must be trying to use the gases in the nebula to neutralize the impurities inside its systems!"
Duero nodded as he was in full agreement to the engineer's answer. “It seems that the ship is reacting like a living thing."
Back at the wreckage…
Dita looked through her binoculars. “All I can see Ms. Gasco are the markers." She reported back as soon as she looked through and spotted the buoys deployed under BC's order.
“Something must have happened then." Gascogne thought about the change of events for a few moments, and spoke. “Well, we're already finished here. So we'd better get back to the ship now."
Just as the two women were now making their way back to Dita's Dread, the ship's supposedly destroyed systems came back online. The sensors detected the presence of Dita and Gascogne; it deployed massive metallic tendrils that moved like snakes aiming to snare one of the female pirates, which happened to be none other than the chief supply officer Gascogne. Before the older woman knew it, she was now the proverbial fly trapped in the spider's web as the tendrils surrounded her in a metallic cage.
“Ms. Gasco, look out!" Dita cried as she saw the tendrils capture her comrade but was a little late in delivering the warning.
Back at the pirate vessel…
“Captain, I have an idea." Buzam called in as she got into contact with the bridge and to her commanding officer through the active communication systems. She was currently in the sub-bridge of the former Ikazuchi colony ship.
“Go ahead BC." Magno sighed as she continued to try her best to remain cool despite the sweltering heat, which indicated that the temperature had just hit a few extra degrees in the bridge.
“Since the Dread launching platforms are offline, we can't launch any of the Dreads to retrieve Gascogne and Dita. However…"
“However?" Magno inquired as she tried to shift to a more comfortable position on the command chair.
“However the Vanguard launching platforms are still operational. It's a potentially high risk, but we could have that young man go out and go look for them." BC spoke earnestly
“Hmmm…. Not a bad idea despite it's risk, BC. All right then. Explain the situation to him and see if he agrees to it."
“Thank you, Captain." But just as BC was about to sign off, Magno took a look at the second in command's location.
“By the way, BC. What are you doing in the men's section of the ship?"
BC gave a slight smile. “Just… fulfilling my duty as your first mate, Captain. Over."
At the brig…
“Man… it is hot in here!" Kyo said to himself in a tired voice as he lounged on the floor clad only in his white undershirt and boxers. He took off most of his clothes as the heat became unbearable by the minute
He began to think about the situation he was in, he had no doubt that he could break out the cell, get Freedom, and escape. But he didn't know where he was now, and Freedom wasn't invincible. Where then did that leave him? Stuck on a ship with a band of female pirates and absolutely no idea where to go, besides, the forces that attacked the ship previously were still out there. Well…, he decided he might as well help out and get moving once this was all over.
It was then that the former Yamato broke away from that train of thought as he heard someone enter the room, so he looked towards the door. Buzam walked in to the brig and smirked as she gazed at Kyo in his current state of dress.
“My, my, don't you have any shame?"
Kyo gave a look to BC. “Look who's talking! Don't you women ever consider knocking BEFORE seeing someone in their undergarments?" He replied as he as well began to put on his clothes.
He gave a curious look at the silver-haired woman. “I know you're not here to visit me just for the sake of mere social interaction. What do you want from me?"
Buzam nodded. “I've come… to ask a favor."
“A favor huh? That favor being?" Kyo asked as soon as he locked in his gloves and boots.
“Two of our crew were left behind when this ship dove into the nebula. I would like to ask you to go out and find them."
Kyo took an introspective look. “Hmmmm… There's a reason why you can't send your own pilots to retrieve them I take it, otherwise you wouldn't come here and ask that favor from me, right?"
BC nodded. “Unfortunately, yes. The reason is that our main Dread platform is offline, so we can't send out any of our own Dreads to retrieve our missing crew. However, with the abilities you have and that Gundam of yours, you can easily use the still functioning Vanguard Launching platforms and go look for our missing crewmembers."
Kyo nodded, and then looked at Buzam. “All right I'll go out there and find your missing crew…in exchange for a deal.”
Buzam gave a suspicious look. “What kind of deal?”
Kyo spoke. “The deal is that none of your crew will try to tamper with Freedom while I'm here on the ship, unless I allow them to, and I'm allowed to leave if I so choose when this whole mess is all over.”
Buzam became curious. “What do we get out of this deal?”
Kyo smiled. “Simple…I and my Gundam will be ready to help this ship whenever it's needed, and we will be helping this ship until we all make it back to Talark, and Megele, since I heard that it takes at least 270 days for us to get back to the system where both planets are anyway.”
“How did you…?”
“Find out? You could be surprised what one could do with a small access port and the right hacking unit. So, do we have a deal?”
Buzam thought it over, and nodded. “Fine, I'll clear it with the Captain, but only AFTER you rescue our crew.”
At the alien wreckage…
“It's no use, Ms. Gasco!" Dita cried as her latest attempt at freeing her comrade failed.
At this point the older female and the pirates' chief supply officer was more concerned about her current predicament than reminding the young Dread pilot that her name was Gascogne. The metallic cage that trapped her was well designed and kept her from escaping. Dita had attempted to use the built-in blasters of her suit, but the metallic tendrils were too dense for the lasers to cut through.
Dita then got an idea. “I'll get the tools from the Dread!"
Gascogne shook her head in disagreement at that. “Don't bother with that now Dita. Have you forgotten our mission here? Someone has to go to the ship with that data in that disk! You take your Dread and head back to the ship!"
Dita looked horrified at that and shook her head. “Ms. Gasco! I can't just leave you here like this!"
“Who said anything about you leaving me here to rot anyway? This isn't some third-rate soap opera! You can come back for me with more help, right? Now hurry up Dita and get going!"
Dita nodded reluctantly as she knew that Gascogne was right, she turned around and headed for her waiting interceptor.
However, the moment she was out of sight, the insides of the ship reactivated itself again. Panels all over the section of the wrecked vessel opened revealing more of the alien fighters and several smaller types, which could be repair drones of some sort. Gascogne immediately began to have this sinking feeling behind her spine.
Back at the nebula…
“Sensors have detected a massive object, which has a direct collision path with us. It appears to be an asteroid-sized chunk of ice." Amarone reported to Magno as her sensors confirmed the object heading for the ship.
“Did you hear that? Do something now!" Magno cried out to Bart who was still in the navigation well.
However, Bart was in the middle of a hysterical screaming fit as he also spotted the incoming asteroid, and was now of no help to anyone whatsoever.
In the engineering section, at the mean time…
“The input/output ratio is off." Duero remarked as he checked the readouts in front of him. Through using the screen display of the Navi-robot.
“That's because there aren't enough link routes to handle the strain!" Parfet declared at her own end of her monitor.
“But the existing ones can't handle the strain on their own."
“Don't give up yet! There HAS to be an answer!"
The physician thought for several moments, considering the situation they were in, then he decided to approach this situation the way Parfet viewed and thought of it. If it really was behaving like a living organism, then perhaps his training in medicine and his doctoring skills would apply.
“How about a bypass then? In medicine, when there is a blocked artery, then all you have to do is make an alternate route to clear the path and relieve congestion."
Parfet nodded, as she understood what Duero had in mind. “A detour huh? Great idea doctor!" She reached him and patted her hand on his left shoulder in agreement. “You know… you wouldn't make a bad engineer!" She turned and directed her attention to her staff and began giving new orders. “Listen up, everybody! We're going to get busy!"
Duero looked down at his shoulder and contemplated Parfait's touch.
Back at the wreck…
Gascogne looked in morbid fascination and amazement as she witnessed the alien fighters and the smaller drones begin their repairs on their mothership with clean-cut efficiency, which confirmed her suspicions that the so called alien vessel was actually a massive mobile factory.
“They can regenerate under these conditions?" The head supply officer remarked.
It was then she caught movement through the corner of her eye, she turned and saw something very large and rather ominous heading for her direction. The machine looked like some massive bug, with a massive array of clawed appendages, and two large soulless eyes focusing solely on her. She had a very accurate idea that this machine wasn't here to have a chat with her.
The head supplier laughed nervously as she focused her own gaze at the mechanized bug as she said. “I guess I know what you want for dinner."
Out in deep space…
Dita cried out as she was now running for her life, as several enemy fighters were chasing her and taking pot shots at her Dread. She used every evasive maneuver she had learned from her fellow Dread pilots and her comrade and leader Meia, and any other maneuver she could think of at the moment. But the alien fighters remained behind her and had no intention of letting the young redhead escape.
“I REALLY HATE ALIENS WHO DON'T KNOW WHEN TO GIVE UP!"
It was at this point that her ship's sensors warned her of another approaching blip heading for her.
“From the front too?!" Dita asked in growing panic.
At that instant, one of the fighters pursuing her managed to hit near her Dread, the fighter rocked by that near miss, making accidentally activate her ship's weapons and firing them. Twin beams of destruction lanced forward and caused a small explosion some distance away from her as soon as they struck their target. However, as soon as the explosion faded four massive beams launched back. The beams however, passed over Dita's Dread without hitting the fighter and turned her pursuers into scrap metal. It was at this moment that Dita was close enough to spot who were in front of her.
Kyo was not in a good mood, he powered down his plasma cannons and stored them back in the wings as he got into contact with Dita's Dread. “HEY! IS THAT ANY WAY TO THANK THE PERSON WHO CAME OUT TO GET YOU OR WHAT?!" He knew that Dita's weapons don't have the needed power or effectiveness to harm his Gundam's armor, but even so it still ticked him off that he was shot at by the person he was looking for.
Dita however became overjoyed at seeing Kyo. “Mr. Alien! You came for me!" She then made her Dread accelerate towards Freedom.
“Hold on! Wait a minute here!" The young Gundam pilot activated his Mobile Suit's braking thrusters to decelerate, but as soon as his Gundam and the Dread were in close proximity to one another, there came a bright flare of light. Gundam and Dread once more became the GunDread.
“Wow! What is all this?" Dita asked in delight as she tried to gaze at everything she could see, as she now sat on Kyo's lap in the cockpit of the massive mecha.
“Hey! Will you please stop moving around so much?" Kyo didn't like the way she was moving and squirming on his lap for one second, as her movements on his lap begun to stimulate a certain part of his male anatomy despite his uniform.
The young Dread pilot smiled as she turned to face her Mr. Alien. “I just want you to know, that I believed that you would come, and I knew that you would rescue me."
Kyo tried not to blush as Dita's face was at least half a foot away from his, and part of his natural male instincts were sending certain thoughts into his brain “I didn't come here to save you!" He retorted angrily, using his anger as a shield to hide his reactions to the young woman in front of him. “I… just went out to look for you… that's all."
“Well thank you." Dita said happily, though blissfully unaware of what her smile was doing to the young blue-violet eyed Gundam pilot.
Gascogne was definitely not liking her situation as it unfolded in front of her. The mechanized bug began to efficiently cut away the tendrils that held her. She knew that the machine was only doing so to get to her.
“You guys work pretty efficiently. I don't suppose I could make you consider working for us?" Gascogne tried to sound confident which was a sharp contrast to the fear she was feeling as the automaton came closer to her.
The response of the machine was simply extend a wicked looking appendage with claws that looked VERY sharp.
By then the chief supply officer for the pirates was sweating. “So, now I guess it's my turn now, eh?"
However, the automaton couldn't reach her with its surgical arm, as the thing was suddenly swallowed by something metallic and rather huge. It was instantly crushed into a mangled mess of parts as Gascogne looked out and saw the GunDread outside.
Gascogne sighed with relief, as she was now sure that Dita had brought in the cavalry. “You guys put off saving me until the last possible moment, but I guess I couldn't have asked for a better stage ending."
Back at the pirate ship's engineering room…
“We've managed to secure at least thirty-six bypasses to the reactor and the main systems of the ship!" Parfet declared as she checked in through the monitor on her console. “How are things on your end, doctor?"
Duero sighed as he closed the Navi-robot's panel and faced his colleague. “I can't do any more back here I'm afraid to report. We'll just have to make due with what we have now."
Parfet knew that despite then newly installed bypasses, those were not enough. “The balance ratio will be completely thrown off if there aren't enough link routes!"
“Do you know what doctors do during a time like this and when in this kind of situation? We then believe in the patient's desire and will to live."
The female engineer smiled and nodded.
The massive chunk of ice continued it's path of collision with the fused vessel as the crew frantically try to avoid disaster.
On the Command Bridge, Magno's mouth was in a tight straight line as her bridge team continued to report.
“Distance is now twelve hundred kilometers and closing…" Amarone reported as she stayed at her station.
It looked like the end to Magno; however that was until the fan near her suddenly came back online…
“Huh?" the pirate Captain could say in surprise.
Belvedere gave a cry of joy as she checked the readouts on her console. “The system just rebooted itself!"
Down at the engineering section, the Navi-robot became active once more, stood up on its feet and smartly saluted both Duero and Parfet.
“Beep! I'm back in service!"
“Yes! We did it! We make a great team!" Parfet whooped with joy as she reached out clasped Duero's hand in her own, then she looked down at both their hands for a moment and blushed as she gazed briefly at Duero.
Duero also felt rather… odd, as he also found his gaze torn between his hand held in Parfet's own and her face.
“HARD TO STARBOARD, THIRTY DEGREES!" Magno shouted to Bart in the navigational well.
“AAAAAHHHHH! IT'S TOO LATE!" Bart screamed in fear as he immediately braced himself for imminent destruction.
Then, there came a massive explosion in front of the vessel, but it wasn't the ice colliding with the ship's hull. Bart opened his eyes as he felt no pain at all, all he could see was that the asteroid was completely vaporized and in the thing's place was the GunDread flying in front of them.
“Hmph! So he saves the day once again!" Bart said with disdain.
Inside the GunDread's cockpit…
< Man! I am SO tired! > Kyo sighed as he leaned back on the command chair.
“See! I told you it was amazing!" Dita said excitedly as she bounced up and down on Kyo's lap, making the young martial artist and pilot even more agitated and nervous, as she was bouncing once more on a certain part of his anatomy.
Beside them, in very obvious discomfort was Gascogne. “Yeah, yeah it was. So how about getting me the heck out of here?"
Later that day…
Magno got into contact with every member of her crew onboard the ship as she and BC prepared to make a special announcement.
“We have deciphered the data that was salvaged from the wreckage long before Jin and his team destroyed it with one of their quantum bombs. I want all of you to take a good look at this" BC said as she changed the image in the holographic display screen to all the monitors on the ship, the images depicted a rather strange looking planet. “This is the enemy's home world. We don't have a full estimation of the planet's exact location, but apparently they are in possession of some very serious firepower. They seem to perceive our presence as in invasion of their system so therefore, we expect more hostile encounters and battles on our return to Talark and Megele space."
The first officer continued her briefing as she let her words sink in to the crew. “We have also discovered that the enemy is planning a major operation, which calls for the total obliteration of our home-planet of Megele and the male planet of Talark. For rather unknown reasons, a hostile force is fully intent on wiping out our two worlds."
Then the captain took over. "We are, as you all know are pirates and as such we therefore have no bonds to either Megele or Talark. However, it would not be in our best interests for this unknown and hostile force to wipe out our potential 'customers.' Therefore, I intend to reach our home system before the enemy has the opportunity and inform both our worlds of this crisis. In order for this mission to be successful, we must incorporate the men we have captured into part of our crew."
Belvedere and her friend Amarone, along with the rest of the bridge crew were the first be shocked by this announcement, as Bart smiled smugly as he lay on the floor near the navigational well.
“Heh. So you finally see things my way."
The old woman continued to speak. “There are many things that we don't understand, such as this ship and that large machine." < Plus our new 'friend' Kyo and his Gundam. > Magno silently added before she finished her speech. “However, I expect that we shall learn more, one day at a time. That is all."
Just as soon as she shut off the comm-link, Ezra and Duero entered the bridge. As soon as the ship's systems were in full operational condition, Duero returned to the medical bay and finished his examination of Ezra's odd condition.
“I'm sorry about before." Ezra apologized at the old woman. “I'll be returning to my station now."
BC directed her attention to the young Talark medic. “Did you find the cause of Ezra's fever?"
Duero nodded. “There was nothing wrong with the patient's vital signs and functions, but she seemed tired, for unknown reasons, that is until I made a thorough examination. There seems to be some sort of parasitic organism feeding off my patient's body internally."
That statement alarmed Magno as she looked at the gentle woman, but Ezra shook her head while trying to hide her blushing face.
“No! No! It's not like that! It seems… I'm going to have a baby."
The minute Magno heard that statement she relaxed and gave a smile to Ezra, while Belvedere, Amarone and the rest of the bridge crew became very exited as they crowded around the mother-to-be.
“When in the world did you become a fahma?" Belvedere asked with joy coating her voice.
“So who's the ohma?" Amarone asked as well.
All this naturally confused Bart, as he was not aware of the birthing methods on the home-planet of the women. “But I thought that babies were born in a factory." (That's on your planet, stupid!!)
The young medic pondered this information for a moment. “Come to think of it, I have heard this rumor that females reproduced internally.”
Ezra bowed her head at Magno. “Forgive me, Captain. I had intended to you after the last raid on the men, but…"
Magno smiled more and waved it off. “There's nothing to forgive, Ezra. I hope that you give birth to a healthy baby."
“C'mon Ezra! Who's the ohma?" Belvedere asked at her comrade.
“What is that exactly?" Duero asked with genuine interest. He never told anyone on his planet, that part of his reason to become a doctor was because of his fascination with the mysteries of female physiology.
“The ohma is the one who donate the egg and the fahma is the one who nurtures it in her womb. Don't you know anything?" Belvedere asked the young doctor.
“In all honesty, this is the first time I've ever heard of it."
As they continued their discussion of Ezra's pregnancy, none of them noticed Buzam edging her way to a console and removing a small data disk.
“We certainly have our share of surprises today, right BC?" Magno asked her first mate.
The first mate turned quickly and managed to hide the disk from her Captain's eyes as she directed her attention to the old woman. “Er, yes Captain!"
“The whole crew will have to work as hard as they can, especially for the new life that will be joining us soon."
“It's going to be a long journey then." Buzam added.
“Yes, it will be a long journey indeed." Magno nodded.
Meanwhile… back at an elevator…
“When do you think are they going to get us out of this elevator?" Barnette sobbed.
Jura shouted out. “Somebody help us!"
To be continued…
Well, the situation is getting to be real good, on how did Kyo get access to the data from the Command Bridge, you all should recall that he's been trained as a field combat agent and hacker in his days as a counter-terrorist agent and having a good time in studying computers and engineering concepts gives him quite the edge with certain electronics. Either way, on the next chapter, we'll see how Kyo deals with his new crewmates as they all make their way back home.
See you there!