The creaking sounding of metal submerged in water, eerily echoed into the night. Along with the slow lapping of waves just off the beach of Inkai.
Syto Takade balanced precariously outside the cockpit of his mech. Not wishing to be soaked within. He was looking up at the stars searching for signs of the SS Omaru. He could see burning debris falling from the heavens like comets.
"Your favorite EVAC is on its way," Crackled in communications from O.R.A. "ETA 15 minutes and 27 seconds. Do wish to hail Corporal Chase."
"Maybe in a bit ORA. What are the diagnostics like?"
"Still scanning damage. Your shield generator is still operational, but fuel supply is low on all jump jets and thrusters. You will most likely have to be towed."
"Great..." Grumbled Syto. "She'll not let me live this one down."
Syto was the single officer to survive without being shot down during any of the operations in the past decade. Now he was waiting in the middle of the sea. On an unknown terraformed planet. After failing to defend a wayward supply ship.
"Any word on how Omaru is fairing?"
"She's being secured as we speak, Captain. The pirates scattered to the void and warped before Squad III could get to them."
At least that was some good news.
"Ok, you can hail her."
Tapping his temple a hologram appeared before his eyes. Syto had passed for augmentation. The idea of cutting open his eyeball to insert a film into the corona wasn't what he had in mind for improving eye sight. He suffered though because of that decision. The reception on these things was horrible. Dated technology.
A fuzzy image formed in front of him replacing the stand by sign of a flipping panda holding a japanese sign saying wait a moment plz. Custom imagery downloaded by ORA to remind him of home.
"Fuck, I'm glad you're alive." Melina exclaimed. Her face puckered by the stupid ERU helmet. "Why'd you even try to take them on yourself? That was such an asinine thing to do. And don't tell me... You wanted to prove how big of a bad ass you were... Again."
"Look Chase, I just need a pick me up. You don't have to make this a thing."
"Fine have it your way. I'll load you up and send you on your way. But next time, I'm leaving this duty to another fool. You were so close to the end of your service. No more wars, no more fighting, just R&R on some remote pleasure world to spend your wily days satisfying all those stupid fancies of yours."
"Haha, and what? Let you take on all the shit. Rather be here to keep causalities down Melina, no offense, but I do pull quite a bit of weight. Admit it... you know you love having me around causing trouble."
At that Melina stuck out her tongue.
"I'm about 2 clicks off, from your location. I suggest you prepare for repairs."
"I don't want go back in though it's all wet and stinky. The beach here is terrible, smells like a marsh." Syto complained.
"Shut up and take your bath, you big baby."
This time, Syto made a silly face with his tongue to the side and eyes crossed.
"Cut Comms please, ORA. Captain Takade is being immature."
"Affirmative, Corporal Chase. I will remind the Captain to maintain a more professional attitude for the next encounter."
"Wow I didn't know A.I.'s could tell jokes."
Takade slapped O.R.A. and activated his mech. It was a Basilisks II with extra plating. A double headed arm cannon mounted on the right arm. Shoulder mounted missiles on both. And the signature weapon. Shredder's Shield on his left. A phalanx tower that covered majority of his body, loaded with screaming banshees.
Takade had some basilisk's eyes painted at the front. The stare was just as deadly as in the ancient Greek texts he read so long ago in cryptic datafiles.
The cockpit slid open at the top of the mech's "head" and Syto's helmet automatically suited around his own as he entered. The lower half of the pit was submerged in sea water. But the captain ignored that as he fired up all consoles and ran sub routines.
"Corporal Chase wishes to ask what is taking you so long."
"ORA would you politely tell Melina to hold on to her imaginary power over me. And that once I'm ready to be picked up. She will be duly noted with a letter, sealed and kissed by an otter."
"I don't believe she would appreciate that response, Captain."
"Well she will or she won't. We'll have to wait and see. Won't we."
"Diagnostics finished, Captain."
"Wonderful show me on screen what we are dealing with."
Relaying data onto the cockpit's front glass, it showed the entirety of the mech. Or actually what was left of it. The whole lower half of the body had been blown off. Red blinking lights were flashing over the core, both arms and the shoulder weapons. All that remained.
"Well, if you ask politely..." Responded Melina jokingly.
"ORA why didn't you warn me you accepted the hail." He said as cool headed as he could muster.
"Your not in good shape."
"Looks like that may be true.
"Want to accept repairs now, or would prefer to swim back to your home galaxy?"
"You know Melina, I don't know where you get this idea that you can just swoop in here and save my ass without me swooning over you like a wounded princess. But if you must, who am I to stop you."
"A simple yes would've been good enough."
Syto set his mech into standby and watched in wonder as Melina went to work. It was similar to going through a jet wash. First the fuel tanks were loaded with the good stuff. The dirty balm as it was called. All dirty mechs, like his own, ran on fuel from melted down metals and minerals. The mech's themselves were made up of a hardened polycarbonite based metal. It was called Grid among the soldiers as it was placed in square pieces.
Melina's mech was a supportive based unit. Or ERU. Emergency Repair Unit. Or Ury's. It was a like a printer, technician, physician, counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist, mechanic and fuel tanker all rolled up in one. It also had mega shield capability and slug cannons.
"Well that's the best I can do for you. You're circuitry was fried on most of you're electronics after the core overloaded when you lost your legs. You're lucky you landed in water otherwise it may have overheated and overloaded on it's own. That's probably the billionth time I've seen you survive the stupidest shit and it really has to go to God loving you in some stupid benign way."
"Don't be silly Melina..."
She waited for it. He could almost imagine her tapping her toes for his stupid response. Preparing to roll her eyes.
"God just loves everyone else less than me. Has nothing to do with being special."
He gave her a mischievous wink.
"You know, sometimes I wish I could slap you through this hologram."
"I know that's why there's 3,000 pounds of metal, electricity and and propulsion missiles between us."
"Somehow... I don't think that'd stop me."
Syto smiled at that remark. Appreciating the abusive compliment.
"Alright enough of the foreplay. Let's get you up." Chase was in her mech. L.A.N.A. showing her the mapping route back to Syto's original destination. Central Command. Omaru was no longer overhead. Warped away during the repairs.
"You're going to hate me for telling you this, but they are going to be taking Basilisks from you, you know."
"Yah," The ERU encapsulated his mech and began to rise up from the beach. Water pushed back into a mist as Melina jettisoned them into orbit. Both of them so accustomed to take off. They didn't even break a sweat. "Hopefully she finds a good owner."
Melina continued to monitor the trajectory when something flashed on her radar.
Unlike Syto she partook in the augmentations wholeheartedly. Her focused in like an eagle into the distance. Spotting the pirates. A docking ship, two slicers and a gangplank.
"Shit, Shit, Shit..." Melina scrambled for the controls trying to turn around while at the same time opening up the hatch for Syto.
"What's going on?" He asked as he had been playing a new game he'd just downloaded. He watched as the hatch opened up to the endless night stars around him.
"ORA tap into LANA's communications."
"That will require a Captain's override, do you wish to confirm this order."
".... Mayday, mayday. This is Corporal Melina Chase. Looking for any responding combat units in the area for the Coalition. Anyone read. Please, I'm carrying precious cargo on route to Command. Do you read?"
"Melina, what the fuck is going on?"
The hologram of Melina popped up and turned to him.
"We got slicers, a gangplank and a galleon on it's way."
There was panic, tears and defeat in her eyes. Which surprised him.
"AND? Did you not hear me. You cannot maneuver. We are out numbered. And.... I used up everything to repair you. I just have my shield gen."
"Well that's all we'll need."
"What, what do you mean that's all we'll need."
"No one's responding?"
"They're hijacking your comms, turn off LANA."
"Wait, what, how'd you know."
She looked then at the expression on his face and followed his command. She had never fought with Captain Syto Takade. Only repaired his junk about fifty or so times now. They had grown to like each other a lot. Something about their personalities just meshed.
"Now turn us 180 degrees let me face the oncoming pirates and just wait for me."
She followed his commands.
"Now I want you to do something, that just might as well change the outcome of this fight. I want you to pray. To... Who do you pray to?
"Uh... the Messiah?"
"Ah so the person yet to show themselves. Well pray to them then. We are going to need their blessings."
Takade couldn't explain this to anyone or allow them to understand the transformation that he under went when dog fighting. The mech becomes like a sword in his hands and he would strike exactly where it would do the most damage. He would know exactly how to move, react and wait for the perfect opening.
The slicers ahead began to flank him while the gangplank rooted himself in the distance.
"Fire up your shield generators in exactly 3 seconds, Melina."
Chase rerouted energy into the shield generator and a transparent bluish green shield surrounded them. The gangplank opened fire with his sniper cannon. The shot blasted into the shield shattering into bright filaments that lighted up all the mechs in the area like a firework.
"Drop your shields!"
"Why the sniper," Melina protested. "And the slicers."
But despite it all she did it anyway.
Positioning his shield aside, he brought his dual cannons to bear and blasted the right shoulder from one of the circling slicers.
The other slicer came in with a liquid phase blade. But as he made to slice the ERU. Syto fired of all his rockets and over burnt his shoulder thrusters. Blocking the attack with his shield. The slicer continued to try and strike around the shield, but Syto was quick.
Within the cockpit he was holding on to the flight controls and triggered the basilisks trump card. The screaming banshees ripped into the slicer in front of the shield as the missiles fired out. And in the distance the sniper was desperately trying to unroot himself. But it was also too late, the missiles from earlier catapulted into his chassis and caused an inferno within.
Moments later, an explosion silently happened in the distance from Melina. Disbelief at what just happened left her mouth a gape. How'd he do all this.
"Melina I'm going to need you."
One slicer remained and she didn't realize he had his blade cut into the Basilisks head.
Blood was pouring from the severed hip at his side. Gatling fire was occurring against the remainder of his body. Luckily the metal between them was protecting any damage to the ERU.
"This is going to sound insane, but I want you to put up your shields, turn around and warp through those sons of bitches in the distance." Syto then coughed, blood pouring down his mouth.
"Fuck, it Syto why didn't you say anything. You turned off comms, I was facing away."
"Didn't want you to see me like this, but now I can't have you die too. Especially if I owe your Messiah like 10 to 50 times."
"What you talking about, you Shinto bitch..." She replied jokingly as she followed his instructions hoping she could keep him talking.
"Tell command they can shove retirement up their ass."
"LANA, engaged warp," She whispered before replying. "Whatever you say Syto, but why not do it yourself?"
"Haha, are you kidding me, Chase. Do you not see this." He leaned over showing his severed side.
"Oh my god," Tears dropping freely now. But the droplets began to slow down and float freely off her face until they were still completely. Warp engaging. Shredding the slicer trapped within the shields and puncturing a devastating hole through the hull of the galleon.
A moment later it was just the ERU in the vastness of space stuck between galaxies. Stars speckled all around them without a heavenly body in sight.
"Syto... It worked." She said hoping against hope he would answer. But only white noise greeted her through the damaged comms.
"I knew it would." He gruffly replied, breaking the silence. His voice slightly distorted.
The amount of relief that washed over her was so warm and she could feel her heart swell. Turning to their comms, she tried to link up video again. Frantically wiping away tears.
"Jesus, Syto. You had me worried."
"Yup, that was the point..." He laughed coughing haggardly. "Damn I think, ORA is asleep. She diverted powers just to my bios and comms."
"You fucking asshole. Just stay right there and I'll patch you up."
"Whatever you say doc, I ain't going anywhere."
Syto looked up at the stars as he couldn't believe it happened again.
The universe is a funny place, he thought. He was just glad he was a part of it.
The sound of a hush echoed in his mind as the channel between their two mechs opened.
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Very imaginative. Nicely done.
Im not one inclined to sci-fi but this blew my mind. Nice work!