Zone of the Enders: F.A.T.E. Squadron

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    Date: March 5th 2179
    Location: Space Station Montressor
    Orbit: Jupiter's Moon, Aitne

    Marcus Shiola finished his quick shave he stared into the sink with the hot water steam fogging the mirror above his head. Rubbing what was left of the shaving gel from his face he tossed the razor, which was well past its prime but as usual for him he liked to get the last bit of value he could out of something so cheap, off towards the right side of his sink as he took some of the near scalding liquid into his hands and slowly dipped his face into the little pool that his palms were able to create. The feeling of the heat made his mind race and finally put aside whatever feelings of slumber he still wished to take on just a few moments prior. It always worked better than any bitter cup of coffee. Perhaps that's why he wasn't as high strung as some of his fellow military officers.

    Shiola looked into the mirror how and say that the glass was fogged up everywhere except for the level his eyes were on and a single section on the right that caught a glimpse of the scar that had arrived there just a few months prior. It still looked fresh and he saw that the hair around it wasn't as finely cut as the rest of his face, though he supposed that was to be expected. Having a searing piece of metal scrape your face makes you a little cautious of doing the same exact motion even if it is with just a little less speed and slightly less dense. He scoffed at the sight of it now, as it almost came off as a bit of an annoyance as it was always a topic of conversation for those around the station of Montressor. And with him being here for the last two months there was plenty of time for people to ask him exactly what happened and what it was like piloting a legitimate Orbital Frame.

    It had been a long time since the first Orbital Frame Idolo was built back in 2167 yet the machines still possessed a certain wondrous aura about them. The sleek designs. The speed that they moved. The kind of power they possessed against the raging enemy they may face. Yet once you pilot one just long enough like Marcus had he literally felt no real awe towards the machine anymore. It was just another tool that he needed to control to the best of his ability otherwise he was going to float around in space a frozen and charred up corpse. Hardly the way he wanted to go out in his earlier days. Yet he did his job with entertaining the naive minds about what the powers of Metatron were.

    The last of his buttons buckled and his boots laced up, Shiola finally found himself leaving his small bunk of a room to head towards a gathering point he could almost hear from his part of the station. To lifts and an elevator away and the excited or worried murmurs were already hitting his ears. Perfect. Just what he wanted when he was designated the head of the F.A.T.E. Project.

    As the lines of light sailed past him during the last half of his trek to the gathering point he ran through the conversation he had with the Elena Weinberg woman, the lady who helped train the prodigy of a Runner in Leo Stenbuck and pushed back the forces of BAHRAM after their Mars occupation, and realized just how much extra work they stacked on his plate. They simply collected the talent yet they didn't do any screening of any sort so there were going to be people cast off from Montressor based on how many Frames the UNSF had at the time. As of now all he knew was that two Frames were ready for combat while others were still in the testing process. And he had to figure out which of the candidates fit in which Frame to boot. Talk about a serious grading scale he had to work on. It used to be so much easier when he could just throw random men and women into LEVs and just go after whatever enemies may be attacking the designated target. Yet with the rumors of BAHRAM making a comeback it was hardly a time to be wishing for the “good old days”.

    Finally arriving at his location he walked through the final doors that swung open upon his vicinity while soldiers to his sides saluted him as he entered the landing bay that served as a meeting room. There weren't many people below him on his elevated platform but there was enough that made him sigh inwardly at the potential work he would have to go through to see which of them he would take under his wing. Hopefully they wouldn't make it too much of a headache, but he doubted it as the conversations below him seemed to continue even after his arrival on the platform roughly three feet above the masses.​
    #1 MixedUpGuy, Dec 24, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
  2. Noticing the Officer, Erika goes on about her work on the Pak-Fa prototype Aquila, she was curious how far the officers knowladge on her postion went..or rather Vostok was more concerned. "Attention, Captain Gallagher, Senior Officer is on the deck. Opperational systems are at specs, the supervising unit recommends you get to impress the Commander, Da? You are in need of social communications." The AI Chimes at her from within the cockpits speakers.

    Gallagher watches the officer from her internal HUD display, the AI had something of a point. "Very well Vostok." The blue haired woman says in simple reply. Climbing down a connecting ladder, the woman lands on her feet, having jumped the last few feet, crossing the rungs, and working her way to the commander, she noteably doesn't snap a salute, rather nodding her head, as if from one seasoned pilot to another, it was clear upon close insepction of the Aquila, it and its so called trials likely went past that envelope..but the question was why. Among many others likely.

    "I am Captain Erika Gallagher, concept test pilot of the Pak-Fa prototype look young for A general..Vostok..are you sure about this?" A conversation seems to play out from the radio on her armored flight suit.

    "Affirmitive, Comrade Captain. Shiola, Marcus, age 42, weight, hei-" The staticy slavic voice cannot finish its reply before the woman speaks in kind.

    "Thats enough, thank you Vostok."

    " you are General Shiola.." Should I thank you, or should I shoot you..I had family to fall on both sides afterall.. "I was expecting someone..taller." Studying the commander, the Captain then snaps a simple salute. "If you have orders, or want to see an airshow, let me know, sir..." Looking at the bay below, she in turn studies the men and women below her, much as she had the commander, she wasn't given to easily trusting others that was for sure. "If there is nothing, I'll get back to working on the Aquila's systems.."
  3. "SHILOH, I swear to all that is holy, if you don't make yourself useful, I'm going to replace you." Michael sighed. It was, truth be told, a rather difficult thing to pilot one of these huge frames without the minute controls of an assistant. There were tiny thrusters and the like that keeps one stable in zero gravity. At present, Michael was spinning slowly to the left just outside the small gravity well the station provided. A few of the newer pilots had gathered at the large viewing ports on the flank of the bay to watch.

    "With what? Do not try to intimidate me, Michael. You and I both know how much you need me." SHILOH said, sardonic as ever. "And it isn't like you're going to be able to hit it, anyways. You probably should have thought about this before you threatened to tweak me." She sounded pretty triumphant to Michael. Cocky. That's okay. He had accumulated many years of practice without her in his old suit and they had performed many more trials since then in the Riptide. Michael was thankful his parents had actually forced him to function without an AI, as there were always worst-case scenarios. However, the Orbital Frames had just too many parts to be able to manage without one, so there was much he could not do efficiently. At the moment, near all his concentration was focus to getting the perfect shot from his main weapon. The current target was a large asteroid passing by a few kilometers away. While it posed no threat to any current human lives, he had gotten word that its orbital trajectories might put some in danger a few years down the line. There were, of course, many many defenses in place should that happen, but Michael had been extremely bored. This is was also a good opportunity to warm up his frame. It hadn't been piloted since they arrived.

    Despite SHILOH's cynical attitude, she was a superb AI. The frame righted itself at the exact angle Michael needed when he held the trigger. A shiver spread throughout his entire body as he heard the main reactor humming and the coils on his weapon spinning to the right. The entire suit vibrated as the accelerator hit the perfect RPM and held. This was practice and there was no reason to activate the deadly overcharge. In fact the resulting explosion could cause the debris to endanger more than it would save.

    At the very moment SHILOH commanded "Fire!” Michael released the trigger, sending a wonderful blast of blue-white streaking through the blackness in a direct intercept course for the giant rock. Those gathered by the window gave some gasps and ooo's or aaah's he fired. The flash bathed the bay in a quick light, drawing even more looks just in time to see the ion blast strike its target beautifully. While they were all expecting an explosion, Michael and SHILOH were satisfied that their calculations (mostly SHILOH's) were correct. There was a small impact, revealing somewhat of the size of the thing, where the projectile hit, but naught else. Instead the sudden momentum sent the asteroid out and away from the planets and moons nearby.

    "Well done. Thanks." Michael's gratitude was sincere and he was thankful once again that he could count on his partner, as usual. "You're welcome. Even if you are an idiot you're a good pilot. Now, you might want to head inside. While you were wasting time out here it seems a very important person has shown up and you're the only one not there." The man flushed with anger and preemptive embarrassment. He wanted to deliver all the expletives in his vocabulary but that might make his already touchy AI even worse. So, he swallowed them and prayed that when he arrived in the bay five minutes later, he might be shown some forgiveness. He had wanted to show off, but being punctual was one his is talents. Bah!

  4. [​IMG]
    Seeing the female soldier address him in such a manner made Marcus raise a quizzical eyebrow while trying his best to hide the smirk showing on his face. Here he was, a high ranking officer and getting flak from those who he could have removed not only from this station but the entire military as a whole with a single word. Goes to show that at least some people still have backbone in a world full of folks that like to try and kiss ass to get their way and find that perfect little spot in the world. And this one was good with the tools as well. Definitely one of the few he was told were already in the F.A.T.E. program and their appearance here in the cargo den was more a formality than anything.

    Reading up on the file, Erika Gallagher was somebody Marcus was intent on trying to break in regards to her apparent attitude. Many files on her simply had no comment on her previous work and it almost seemed like there were gag orders on certain platoons in the UNSF that she had served under previously. Made Marcus wonder if perhaps it was something along the lines of harassment or perhaps threats that were handed down to people that tried to step into her boundaries, whatever those just happened to be. She had been piloting her Frame well up to this point from what he was able to tell but it still made things concerning when so few people seemed to want to go into battle with her in the first place.

    As he was about to respond to the height comment, a bright blue light filled the room from outside one of the windows that did not have a blast shield over it. Wincing his eyes to adjust to the flash he then saw a Frame flying through debris and all he could do was sigh. Had to be the Riptide. None other than Michael Bouvier. Sure enough once the Frame landed inside the station, luckily away from any of the other test subjects that were watching the display and now could care less that the commanding officer was on deck, it was clear with the heavy shield on the arm of the strong machine that it had to be the Riptide. Waiting for Bouvier to come out of the cockpit made Marcus both swell with agitation and, for some odd reason, hilarity. Here was the start of perhaps the biggest project in the UNSF history and some folks were coming in late like children to their high school tests to see if they'd walk or not. If Marcus could see it done, Bouvier wouldn't be walking period after his little shenanigan with the asteroid out there.

    "Ladies and gentlemen allow me to introduce myself in case you live under a rock on whatever speck of dirt you decided to ship off from or have never received a news report on your piece of junk satellite colony you called home. I am Marcus Shiola, I am a general in the UNSF and I as of right now am your biggest critic," Marcus allowed the last sentence to linger as the soldiers below him began to murmur with the two Frames in the hanger and the sudden realization of a test perhaps on the horizon. "Thanks to the two individuals here who have their Frames in working order I am now at liberty to tell you that, yes, you all are here to see if you are capable enough to join myself and others as Orbital Frame pilots."

    The room erupted in cheers and high fives among the men and women which made Marcus sigh. People always did love messing around with new toys. "HOWEVER," Marcus interrupted the celebrations below with a stern yell. "Not all of you will earn the right to pilot one of these miracles of Metatron. Some of you are here simply because your previous commanding officers needed to fill a quota and your name was either the first or last one on the list. Think of your last names now and see which category you fall into." Whispers now echoed in the metallic room as Marcus chuckled to himself at his last comment. Sadly he had never grown out of the phase of laughing at his own jokes.

    "We will begin the feeling out process among the rest of you candidates within the next few weeks. As of right now you are all dismissed to the mess hall where you can start trying to teach your taste buds to enjoy whatever slop the cooks here at Montressor are preparing for you. Good day soldiers!" Marcus gave a quick salute as he then pointed at Erika and smiled. "However Miss Gallagher I am afraid I must ask you to follow me to the Riptide that just landed in the hanger. I believe sir Bouvier may need a lashing while his Frame is checked for any damage to the hull of his machine. And since I'm so short I'll have to ask you to see if you can reach up to the higher parts of the Frame itself."

    Marcus decided to take the jab and run with it now. Figured it was best to show he could take a joke like that and use it to his advantage. He stepped down from his elevated platform and began walking to the Riptide where they crosses into Bouvier midway through the trek. Marcus shot a quick salute and shook his head at the engineering prodigy turned military fighter. "I would say I was impressed with the entrance Bouvier but that was before a few of those space rocks flew into the window of this station. One good sized block and we're all in a vacuum waiting for the orbit of Jupiter over there to take us in and burn us to a crisp that way we aren't too cold before we die," He exclaimed as he continued walking to the Riptide and looked the machine up and down for any signs of damage. "And you best pray Miss Gallagher here doesn't find any damage to the Frame whatsoever or I promise you that doing PT on a space station for eight hours straight is going to be the last worry for you in regards to repaying that debt." Marcus said with a smirk as he pointed to other engineers coming towards the Riptide. They scurried around and began rubbing away the scuffs that had found their way on the machine and began checking for any damage, though none of them seemed to be catching onto anything really prevalent.
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  5. When the general and the lady, a pilot he hadn't met yet, intercepted his approach, the colour of Michael's face drained pretty quickly. He had hoped to be able to somewhat sneak in to the initial address, but those damn landing approaches took far too long. He gave the salute and had, at least, received it in return. As they walked back to his Frame, he was sullen, feeling fairly guilty. The thought of dying to PT was, perhaps, the worst part. He'd rather scrounge up any sort of amount of money than do that load of nonsense. He had had enough of it in his lifetime already (though others would absolutely disagree).

    "Sorry, sir. We had thought it was far enough away that the station would be fine, as well as toning down... Well. No excuses." He was certainly crestfallen as his beloved frame was given a good inspection. However, he was confident. "You'll be happy to know, though, that it at least wont present a problem in the five-point-six years it was going to take to come back round to hit us directly!" Michael hoped that would count for something. He was certainly confident that his Riptide would come out unscathed; the Nova Shield and its source, the Nova Reactor, were masterpieces of engineering and something as small space debris would not be allowed within a good twenty feet of the machine. As for station, however, he wasn't so sure. He hadn't had ample time to get into the exact specs of the station yet.

    Michael stood, still sore from the general's words, in parade rest as the others did their work. While he had not grown up military, he had come to love the customs and courtesies that made it the efficient killing machine that it was and enjoyed playing the part he was given.
  6. Standing behind the General and off to his left out of sight, the man was very serious with his job, but weren't all Commanders..though this one at least seemed..what was the word she thought..better..least he seemed to know how to take the most of a situation, and wasn't..wasn't what? Blanking out for a brief bit, she listens to her Superior, on his comment about the height, the man wasn't shorter, she was playing on his legend, regardless of his intentions she however follows his commands, with the electronic eyes of the Aquila tracking her briefly.

    Making her way towards the new comer without a sound, Erika jumps up onto a lift, with a watchful crew chief in tow, he was curious about this test pilot as well, more so as she had worked on her own machine alone, refusing most help, well minus with the heavy lifting. With an experienced eye Captain Gallagher allows her body to float up after a leap, leaving the artifical gravity of the hangar deck. "..hmm.." Not saying another word, Erik darts around, at home in the zero-g enviroment, though being a native of mars, plus the physical stree of piloting Aquila, her body was used to varible gravity. "Hand me a Number Six Wrench, with a 480 spanner,..some control vector surface interface monitors..and get a crew to do some work on the Feet engines.." Looking down at the pair, the pilot seemed to look a bit like a ghost as she read off the list of what she needed. With a raised voice, Erika calls down to the General. "Sir, the Armor is fine, his calibrations on the leg engines is off however, that may of had some effect on his manuvering and later on target engagement. Opinions Chief?"

    The Mechanic that had joined Gallagher reaches up with his right hand scratching his head, taking a exaimination tool in his left and reading the data while cross referencing with the Units AI, the chief gives a nod. "Heh, she has an eye for machines at least..never mind she's suicidal as all hell behind the stick..yeah she's right, I only see a slight variable..its in norms, but if we correct it, will be about a seven percent improvement on performance..normally I would just leave this till it was time to do an overhaul, and all respect due Captain, we'll do the work on this, you can just keep working on that damn machine of yours..Well that is if you want us to handle it sir..but yeah she's right, we show no damage, just slight wobble in the leg units..wouldn't affect combat performance by more than five percent likely." Scratching his head some more, the mechanic seemed annoyed, if not holding a grudge of some sort against the Captain, either at being shown up, or some earliet run in.

    While the pair await the Generals orders, Erika gets a slight, if passing wild look in her eyes, her fist balling up around a wrench she was given as she looks at the chief. Releasing the item however, she turns her attention back to Marcus. "General sir, Gallagher requesting permission to show you how she and the Aquila Operate sir. Pilot and AI Unit Vostok requests at least five LEV's to engage us, we'll stick to targeting lasers for this drill, if you allow the sortie."
  7. [​IMG]
    Marcus listened to the other mechanic on sight and feigned surprise at the sound of the drastic improvement they could provide the Frame. His over acting was clear as day, but he had no intention of hiding it from Bouvier and he turned his head to the young pilot. "Wow! Seven percent you say? That's almost as if someone hasn't been paying attention to basic AI controls or has no idea what the Frame is actually meant for in the grand scheme of piloting it. So that begs the question..." Shiola smiled with a cheeky grin covering his face. "Which one do you fall into Mr. Bouvier. Because one is easier to fix than the other. And I'll also tell you for free that both make me question whether or not your credentials in your file were either polished up or just not written down accurately."

    Shiola laughed as he gave the mechanics a quick nod as they began working on whatever fixing up the Frame needed to do. Marcus put a hand on Bouvier's shoulder and turned him to face the window of the station that he had his little side show in front of as he pointed out to it. There were no cracks in the window thankfully but Shiola still hated the idea of explosions happening so close to their temporary base of operations. Even the slightest ting of a space rock was going to be enough to perhaps cause an entire collapse of the life support system. You never could tell with these old stations.

    "Bouvier I want you to look out towards where that old space rock used to be. And I want you to think about this for about ten seconds. If that rock wasn't floating at the right trajectory or you just happened to hit it in the wrong indention there could have been a chance that the whole window there would have just collapsed in itself and every single person I just sent to the mess hall up the ways would have gotten an up close view of your Riptide," Marcus described as he let go of the pilot's shoulder and began walking a few steps away to stand in front of Michael. "And that whole thing about the rock coming for us in five years? I want you to say that time frame again a few times in your mind before I tell you that this station DOES have propulsion systems."

    The general began scratching his neck as he began thinking about the engine on the station and the specs of it. He wasn't completely familiar with it but he had the basics of the system down in his mind. He figured it wasn't pertinent information with it only being a temporary hull for the project but now he was hoping he had done more research to make the next part a little more funny. "See, if I were to put you next to the main engine that this station uses and stepped on the gas to move this giant pile of bolts a little further away from the moon we circle you probably wouldn't even recognize that I just set you ablaze with enough engine fuel to make an entire field of the new grass they are growing on Mars turn not only into dust but turn that part of the Red Planet into a black ditch." Shiola said with a smile as he patted the soldier on the side as he turned back to Gallagher and her request.

    "Permission to face off against the LEVs granted. And take our eccentric little pilot here with you as well as a wing mate. The Riptide's specs can be fixed after the fact since it worked fine enough to fire off at least one live round. No sense in going in depth on those systems just to fire practice rounds," Shiola commanded as he waved an arm at the mechanics around the Frame who scattered immediately. Shiola turned his attention back to the two pilots and pointed to their Frames with his head. "Go on then. Show me what you can do as Runners." He said as he began walking towards the window to get a good look at the upcoming battle.

    Shiola immediately began pressing commands on a small digital pad he had kept in his back pocket expecting to do a quick test with the two Runners he knew would be present and started seeing the LEVs and their pilots begin their preparations to launch into the space around Aitne. Holding the pad to his mouth he began speaking with his voice over both radio and the hangar speakers. "This is a test run folks, leave all live rounds here on the Montressor. We will be sending out eight LEVs for this test run, four for each Runner to see how they react to numbers as well as how they work in a unit. Nothing fancy with the piloting just do the basics and this will be over with no problems or repairs needed pending someone wanting to destroy another innocent chunk of space metal." Shiola joked as a few laughs could be heard from the LEV pilots still climbing in to their machines. Hopefully this little test would go as quickly as he thought it would, but with the difficulty this Gallagher had of working in a group it could go a little longer. Good chance to see just how much breaking in he would have to give out to the mechanic turned Runner.
  8. Not replying at first, it almost seemed she was about to rebuke the notion of taking help with her, however Erika doesn't voice this opinion, well conditioned to her status, she snaps her heels, then gives a smart salute in respone. "Roger that sir." Throwing her self off of a railing and into the Zero-G area, the pilot makes way in a slightly swimming manner for her own frame. The cockpit is already open with the AI conducting its own booting and system preperations.

    "Pryvet Comrade. Welcome Aboard, Captian Gallagher. Please be seated." As the generals orders come out over the comm, the heavily accented Russian AI begins its checks. "Monitoring vitals, monitoring pilot mental stability, connecting spinal drug injection system, optimizing thrust control systems, optimizing cage preassure, and suit sealant systems.." As Erika assumes her position in the seat, a port in the lower back of her armor recives a drug injection system. In theory and those that seen the Aqula in action, it was thought the joint Martian Motors, New Terra Dynamic Engineering program, had achieved a breakthrough or was using one of the rumored jump, or zero point systems. When in fact it was using Vector-thrust and high performance engines, and drugs among other things to keep the pilots alive from the stresses, while it wasn't openly stated, the unit performance and external, and even a few internal systems had more to owe the terrorist wrecked frames on Mars, than any of the UN super, secret, and to this point, in the hands of one Company's technologies.

    Grimmacing slightly as the suit adjusts, the AI seems to take note of this, having taken a liking to Gallagher, he considered her as valuable as the Frame its self..which was unusual for an AI who's primary program dicated the Orbital frame as having top priority and to reach max possible performance. "Reducing preassure by Fifthteen Percent, nominal operational levels can be achieved. Da. Handing over comm suit when you are Ready Comrade Captain."

    Giggling slight as the first of the drugs kick in, in this case the same military grade booster variant of Speed, that had been in use from the 1940's, its effects are counter acted with a number of other medications, while AI Vostok seldomly voiced it, he was gravely concerned about these systems being in the production run, after being reassured they wouldn't, he started having...thoughts that he and the captain were now being kept as a technology testbed..the Pak-Fa, or at least this variant would never be a production modle. Adjusting his systems, the AI couldn't allow his unit to develope too much personality, that would only end in his destruction, and a replacement unit may not care for the Captain remaining operational.

    Erika now adjusted, has a violent, almost feral grin hidden behind her mirrored vizor, hearing the Generals orders over her loud speaker, the captain punches in a few commands, powering the main engines and communicating her exit with hangar command, sighing within the confines of her cockpit, the woman briefly forgets that on paper, she wasn't listed as an Ace Pilot, though she was sure those records of hers were full of mistakes anyways, in this more aggressive nature, she could care less if this fact was on full broadcast now. Performing a maneuver common to Vanguard and Interceptor pilots, rather than back out slowly, the Aquilla turns in its bay to face space, at full military power, and rockets out of the bay doors as soon as they are open. "Gehehahaha!" Always enjoying when she could fly, and her face was hidden behind the visor, Erika found this to be one of the few times she was free.

    Performing a series of vector thrust aided turns, Delta V's and rapid climbs and dives, Vostok monitors the numbers, while it was a bit of showing off, or in this case checking the movement of the Orbital Frame, the data was usful. "Captian Gallagher, Please maintain some Military bearing, we are in the Glorious Military, not Pirate or terrorist scum." With a tch sound, Gallagher opens a comm line to her flight partner. "Attention, Pilot of allied OF, what shall I call you for this operation? " Waiting for her allied unit to join her, and communication to be set up, the Captain then lays out a basic battle cordination plan; "You want to cover or distract? This unit specializes in close quarters..or if you rather work alone, while we provide mutual cover , that suits me just as well." As Vostok runs his system checks, the decoy system comes online, as does release of her more..dull unit blades.....of course with the chains unpowered it would be the same as getting smacked with the guantlets, the systems on each LEV would register kills however.

    Curiously the Beam Rifle remained in its holder.
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