A Gods Eater 2 fan fiction by Lushard.
14 – 10 – 2075 / 10 : 01 : 17
One did not have to doubt the skill Dr. Paylor Sakaki possessed to make a room unrecognizable in mere hours. If his working chamber in the Anagura had been 'messy,' then this chaos, previously a small and neat working chamber in the east wing of Satellite Base 011, would need a new term to describe the horror. Papers were littering the floor of the room where the doctor had been left to work a day ago; various designs and construction plans lie haphazardly on his table, along with empty cups of coffee and leftovers of his meals. The curtains hadn't been drawn, and in the semi-darkness one might think that a stray Aragami had come and ransacked the place.
Kota repressed a sigh. He was bound to help him in cleaning up the room. Again. Beside him, Erina was already fuming.
"Do you always have to make such a mess?!" the girl shrieked.
Sakaki's head snapped up from behind the mountain of papers and trash on his desk, looking all sleepy and surprised. His gray hair, usually untamed and messy, was now sticking in all directions. "Oh," he mumbled as he scrambled for his glasses. "When did you two come?"
"To the Base, an hour ago. To your door, fifteen minutes ago," Kota supplied, all bitter and annoyed. Meaning: they, well, Kota to be precise, had knocked, rammed, slammed on the door for fifteen minutes non-stop.
"Gosh, doc. You need a siren for an alarm," imbued Erina.
"Be not too kind to install that," the doctor replied. He straightened up in his chair. "I was studying more about the Anti-Aragami Armor that we're installing in this area, and well, I found out some interesting things and came up with some new projects, so…"
"You got carried away," Erina cut in, "as always."
His smile looked sheepish despite the glares he was receiving. "Well. Being away from my office doesn't make me any restless. So," Sakaki clapped his hands, "what is it?"
Kota was about to add more to the doc's statement, but he held his tongue. Sarcasm could wait. From his pocket he produced a memory card, then handed it to Sakaki. "It was a record from our patrol team. The 4th Defense Unit, to be exact."
The doctor inspected it with interest, his face darkening. "Don't tell me…"
"Yeah," Kota said. "It contains a one-minute record of their...battle against the newly-sighted Aragami."
One minute. It had only been one minute, and out of four people, only one managed to return, and he was not without some serious injuries. Erina looked away in contempt. "One of them was my friend," she said, almost in a whisper. "I swear I'll track this fox down."
Dr. Sakaki remained mute for a while, then he placed the memory card into his portable computer and watched it with narrowed eyes. Kota had already watched it several times after the record had been brought to him four hours ago. He knew exactly what Sakaki was seeing on the monitor: how the team had been ambushed by rays of purple beams that seemed capable of slicing through metal like paper, how they had tried to intercept the incoming beast...and then the slaughter.
The record might be blurry and damaged, but it still managed to replay that part quite clearly. When watching it, he had muted the sound just to block out the screams of his now dead comrades.
Sakaki replayed it two times before finally looking up from his laptop. He folded his hands before him, touching them to his mouth, a sign of distress Kota knew so well. "Disturbing," he concluded.
"Judging from its shape and size, it is most similar to the Hannibal, if not slightly bigger," Kota said. He didn't point out that its many tails resembled the one strange species that had taken his friend's life a year ago. Only now the numbers of the tails were multiplied. "Its movements are sharp, quick, deadly. I'd say it is the quickest Aragami I've ever seen."
"It attacks with its claws as well as with its tails, hence the purplish beams," mused Sakaki aloud. "Where was this beast last sighted?"
"Fifteen kilometers from this base, give or take."
Erina scoffed. "We'd be mad not to prepare for it feasting upon this place."
"At the same time, we'd be mad to think we can slay it easily," Sakaki said. He looked at Kota. "Can I assume that this beast is the same from the one that wiped our 5th Defense Unit last week?"
Another calamity, where an entire unit dispatched on a night patrol had been annihilated. Kota said, "I'm not entirely sure. I've looked at the corpses and submitted them to the autopsy team, though. They will come up with the results in two hours or so."
"But based on your intuition alone?"
Three years spent as a defender had taught Kota much, and his deductions were mostly right on cue when it came into things like this. That, said Tsubaki, had been one of the reasons why he was enlisted Captain. "Yes."
Sakaki heaved a breath, leaning back. "I see. A new species then."
"Tighten the defenses?" Erina guessed.
"That, please do. And...we might as well as try to gather as much information as we can about this Aragami too." His eyes traveled back to his computer screen. "Which reminds me, I've been receiving strange readings for two months now, all of which are showing irregular activities of the Aragami within fifty to a hundred kilometers radius. I'm hoping that I'm wrong, but, it seems that we have more than one newly evolved species lurking about."
Kota thought for a while. If that was true, then this fox could very well be another Aragami that could suppress the God Arc. "The BLOOD's on the move to check on the wolfish one, right?"
"The Marduk. Yes. They left to track it down while researching more about the Red Rain."
"And now we got this," mumbled Erina.
"I'll try to see what I can find," Sakaki said. "In the meantime, Erina, could you please contact Hibari to dispatch more patrol units?"
The girl managed to send the doctor an assessing stare for a second before turning on her heels to leave. When the door was shut behind her, Kota sighed. "She knows you're sending her away on purpose. Man, I'll be the one to suffer later." Dealing with Erina had never failed to drain both energy and patience out of him.
An unapologetic smile curled Sakaki's thin lips. "Sorry about that."
"You're not. So what is it?"
"Now that you've brought me a disturbing piece of information, what I'll be telling you will consist of three matters." Ignoring the pained look on Kota's face, Sakaki continued. "The most pressing matter about our little fox, first: I want you to contact Lindow and Soma. Quickly form a counter unit against this Aragami. Gather as much info as you can, track it down. We can't afford to lose more people at this rate."
"Consisting only the three of us?"
"Four," Sakaki corrected with a smile. "You forgot the lady."
Alisa. He nodded, but then paused. "Is that all right? Isn't she still in charge of the Satellite Base Development and Security?"
She had been occupied with the project ever since the incident with the Black Cloaks. She had avoided talking about it altogether, and Kota hadn't tried to confront her about it after so many failed attempts. Despite the smile that she wore, she was still hurting, he knew. Over everything that had happened, over so many things they had never thought possible of occurring.
And truth to be told, so was he.
"Patience, Kota. We'll be jumping into the second matter if we bring that up."
Kota groaned, already foreseeing this. "Those people again, isn't it? What, they still can't accept the project? At this stage of development?"
At the mention of that, Sakaki's face turned a shade paler, his weariness finally showing. Suddenly Kota felt sorry for him. Shouldering responsibilities of all going-ons in the branch was no easy burden to bear; Sakaki, no matter how his appearance might fool people, was a man of science at heart. It was never in him to work with papers that had minimum references to his research, more so to govern an entire branch. That was where Tsubaki came in. But now that the Satellite project was in motion, their respective workloads had all but increased, forcing the doctor to widen his scope of vision.
"It will be easier if they could be persuaded to watch first and talk later, but you know that is not in their nature." Of course. Those self-centered bastards seated on high had rarely looked below without measuring the flow of sum. Their eyes were solely drawn to profit, all for the sake of protecting Fenrir from bankruptcy. "Some of them are still objecting to the project, but thankfully the wage lent to us hasn't been cut."
"Yet," Sakaki agreed. "But still, as long as their taunts and mockeries stay in the form of words, there should be no administrative problems. For the time being, at least."
"So? What's it about?"
Kota was dumbstruck, silenced for one good second. "What about them?" The cogs in his head responded late. The moment he asked, the answer came. "Oh." Oh.
Sakaki's face lightened a bit. "You've become sharper," he remarked idly. "Yes. Trust issue. As usual."
It was becoming more and more apparent lately, after the Ark Project had been thwarted and the existence of Nemos Diana had received people's attention. Not many heads were in agreement to every decision Fenrir made in the first place. There were some who maintained their skeptical look on life, and these people were usually quick with their tongues, spreading rumors here and there, persuading civilians to side with them and question Fenrir's motives. The Ark Project and the late Black Cloaks incident had increased that skepticism by a great deal, and the number of people who were now encouraged to revolt against Fenrir was multiplied. TV programs were filled with news about them.
There could be no helping that some people did view the Satellite Project was more like a cover-up for a bigger scheme. Kota couldn't blame them from thinking like that. Even his mother had questioned him several times about the project whenever he was home. While some viewed it as Fenrir's desperate attempt to redeem for their past mistakes, some other, who supported the project-albeit still full of doubts, were content on living in the grey area and simply accepted the offer to transfer while voicing their wants and doubts.
For all it was worth, Kota found himself at a loss of words. Dealing with such diplomatic issue was an alien subject to him. And the question arose: "What's it got to do with me?"
"The third matter," the doctor replied all too smoothly. The smile, the one that all Gods Eaters of the Far East Branch dreaded, was there. Not strangely, Kota had a feeling that he had stepped on a landmine. "You must have heard the name of Yuno Ashiraha."
"Yes…" he drawled, not sure where this sudden turn of conversation was going. "She's a singer from that Nemos Diana. Got publicized recently, frequently appearing on the radio, garnering enough fans within a short amount of time." Not to mention that she was quite a looker too. Kota had met her once, when he had been tasked to pick up Soma and Alisa from the secluded sector. "You haven't answered the question, Professor. What's it got to do with me?"
While pushing his glasses up his nose, Sakaki's smile grew, dangerously so. "Have you ever thought of appearing on TV?"
xx - I - xx
14 – 10 – 2075 / 12 : 36 : 17
For days after the Satellite Project had been launched in full motion, hours seemed to tickle too fast to be tracked. Tasks were abundant: check the development plans the architects had designed, check the papers, submit them, help the Professor to assign patrol teams and change units, go on tracking Aragami who stuck their noses too close to the bases. It was a devious cycle that kept Alisa awake on most nights, bombarding her mind with loads that sometimes felt too much to handle. In the mornings she would go to nearby bases, and before the sun set she would be locked in meetings and evals. It was always guaranteed that she would sleep with a tablet which memory was almost overloaded with data and reports.
She didn't mind it. This hectic routine was more preferable rather than having nothing to do. Daily missions that concerned only of the Aragami usually didn't occupy her mind enough to keep it from backtracking to certain events in the past. Though being busy didn't mean that she could run from the haunted feeling.
Had she made the right decisions? Had she only hurt him more? His eyes, at that time they had last shared together, spoke of repressed feelings and hatred. That, she could tell. Her reflection in the past had had the same kind of gleam to her eyes, bred from years of yearning to unleash the bubbling anger within her in the name of vengeance.
And now, to see that in him pained her.
He, the one who'd pulled her out of the dark tunnel that had led her mad…
"You need rest."
Alisa looked up from the tablet in her hands, meeting a sympathetic stare of Hibari's. She had seated herself beside Alisa whilst she had been lost in thoughts. The bar stool was now almost empty of people, most were already finished with their lunch, and it registered into her late that the plate of omelet rice of hers hadn't been touched.
She tried to ease herself and drive the dark thoughts away with a smile. "I will, once I'm done with this."
"You were not reading," the older woman stated gently. "I saw your eyes growing vacant, your fingers stop moving." At what Alisa's expression must have shown, Hibari's eyes softened. "Your mind strayed, didn't it?"
Hibari was one of the few people in the Branch who knew what truly had happened. Of course, she, along with a few who did, had been told to keep their mouths shut about Ray. No further issues must be brought up lest it would damage Fenrir's reputation and raise questions about its connections.
Finding herself unable to rebuke, Alisa turned the tablet off and started towards her ignored lunch, the smile still carefully on display. "It did, but please, think nothing of it."
She seemed reluctant whether to pursue the matter or not. Alisa was grateful when she finally acknowledged her plea with a nod. "Still, you look a bit pale. You know you shouldn't neglect your health in favor of work."
"Thank you. I'll rest as you suggested after lunch." To avoid more topics about herself, Alisa took a spoonful of her food. The taste was...good. It was far better than bland rations that she had gotten used to for the past few weeks due to her travels in and out of the Branch. "Am I imagining it or Mutsumi's getting better?"
The girl, Mutsumi, was a new bar keeper and cook at the branch, who had stolen most Gods Eaters' hearts with her talents and skills. She was still so young, recruited into Fenrir not so long ago due to her circumstances of being orphaned early in life. Many had doubted her skills when she'd first entered, thinking that she had passed the recruitment tests only because of pity. Now after months had passed, words of doubts and scorn turned into praises; they couldn't have asked for a better cook. The girl must be a culinary genius. Throw her into a random kitchen and she could turn even the most absurd ingredients and materials into exquisite cuisines.
Hibari tasted her share of lunch, the same serving as Alisa's, and nodded. "I must say so. Even transfer Gods Eaters praise her."
"I can imagine." Behind her, Alisa could hear some guys ordering seconds to the young cook.
"Some of the newly appointed Gods Eaters are so troubled when told to travel far after she enlisted."
"I see why," Alisa smiled.
"Emille practically begged for Mutsumi to pack him lunch boxes before leaving."
An image of a blond Hammer-wielder popped up in her mind along with Kota's audible whine whenever he talked about his junior. She had met the eccentric Gods Eater a few times, and was always amused by his antics. "I think I can picture that happening."
"Yes. You should have seen the scene. It was totally hilarious."
"And did he succeed?"
The smile on Hibari's face widened. "No. Erina dragged him out of the longue before
Mutsumi could comply."
Alisa laughed. "Typical of them, don't you think?"
"All the more reason why I sympathize with Kota."
The conversation steered into life at the Den: what everyone was busy doing, Hibari's nonchalant recites over the many gossips swirling around, funny stories about various of things. All in all Alisa found relief in the talk. Sure, spending time with her comrades had also been refreshing, but Hibari was...Hibari. She didn't press her over the Black Cloaks incident, didn't question things she'd rather not talk about, didn't give her that pitying/inquiring look that almost all of her acquaintances did her.
Minutes went by and lunch break was almost over. They stored their trays, and strolled back into the lobby. "Now, please do take some time to rest," said Hibari before going to her station at the front desk.
"Thank you." The smile Alisa gave her was nearly apologetic, for she knew she wouldn't be keeping her promise.
Riding the elevator alone, she skipped the button to her quarter and pushed the button that led into the laboratory instead. The few scientists shuffling about the area had all been accustomed to her presence, so much they didn't bat an eyelash at the Gods Eater. This was, after all, had become a routine. Under the guise of a normal check-up and bias factor injection, that was.
Alisa went to the room at the far back of the level. There, a middle-aged man whose hair was graying was already waiting for her. "Ah, welcome," Marcus said upon her entry, rising from his seat.
"Good afternoon," she greeted back.
Marcus was the key person who knew the operating system of the Black Cloaks. He had been involved in the siege, playing his part as a double-agent, then ending his ties with the underground organization with one gunshot that had saved Alisa's life.
"I'm sorry I haven't been able to meet you personally. I've been busy for the past month," he said. He motioned for Alisa to sit on a chair near a small operating table, and she did.
"I understand how busy you must have been," she brushed off his apology. "Being promoted into the head of research department concerning the bias factor and all."
"I do hope I'm lessening the burdens of Doctor Paylor's," he said with a wry smile. Quickly the man prepared a syringe and a piece of cotton. He sat across of Alisa, eyes narrowing as he concentrated, hands busy checking his instruments and inspecting her left arm for a vein. In almost no time he found what he'd been looking for. "On three… One… Two…"
A familiar sting prickled her skin. The needle didn't have to go deep to draw blood from her. Marcus had always been quick at this kind of thing, never hesitating, working as if he had been doing this for a lifetime. Soon the needle was pulled out, leaving a dull ache that was soothed by a cool cotton that had been dampened by alcohol.
Marcus went to work with his instruments at the table. Alisa pressed the cotton, waiting for the wound to knit itself, which, given her superior New Type's standard of healing, shouldn't take more than one or two minutes.
"How is it going...so far?" she asked to his back.
"You mean how he is doing so far." There was a hint of smile and irony in his voice.
She cast her gaze to the floor.
"Everything works as I predicted, thankfully," he said. "The developed bias factor used by those people on him and his kind was something that was not hard to replicate, once you know what they'd done to upgrade the original. Though I'm still finding trouble in making a perfect copy, but it seems that my theory about using the very extract of substance that could combat further cell-mutation is right. He had, after all, been transfused with your blood."
The very thing that had started all this madness. Edric made that clear on their last battle at Aegis. She had been the cause to all of this.
"The girl locked down in the dungeon helps too. Her blood has the antibody we need in Maxwell's case."
An image of a young woman who had the same eyes as Ray's, whom she had crossed blades with during the Black Cloaks' second infiltration, appeared in her mind. Little was known about her, and Alisa hadn't met her personally out of a battle field, but she could remember how stern Ray had been when her-was her name Karen?-case had been brought up in trial. Though not saying much, he had made it a point that should he adhere to Fenrir's decision then sparing her life would become a necessity. Fenrir had considered that bet, and nodded, even if somewhat begrudgingly.
Suddenly feeling uneasy, Alisa tried to move out of the topic. "Is there any known side effect then?"
"So far I have found very few. He hasn't reported any significant cons either. So I assume it is safe to continue with the current procedure we have until I can come up with a better results in synthesizing a perfect one for them."
"Then he doesn't have to know…"
Marcus turned to fix her a wide-eyed stare. "Oh? But he does."
Alisa's heart clenched tight. Him knowing of what precisely the prototype bias factor was made of would likely complicate things between them, and the last thing she needed was things to be more complicated than they already were. "You didn't-"
"Oh, no. I didn't tell him that we've been using your blood all this while. But I think he does know: he asked me to say 'thank you' to you."
xx - I - xx
14 – 10 – 2075 / 19 : 11 : 07
Subject: Dr. Marcus' Bias Factor
From: Rachel Claudius
Dr. Marcus has contacted me that there is a slight modification to your usual injection, so he passed me a message to warn you to refrain from activities that are too straining for the time being. He also asked me if you have experienced nausea and headaches, and you are to report to me if you feel anything out of the ordinary. Other than that, please also refrain from taking more than two sleeping pills per day. We don't want them to mess with what we've been working for.
How are you adjusting to the FRIAR? I do hope you find this place comfortable.
14 – 10 – 2075 / 21 : 31 : 58
From: FRIAR OP
Due to a change of course in our routes because of the Red Rain and mechanical problems that arose with it, we will re-schedule all missions for the next seven days. Please come to check at the Front Desk to see the changes.
15 – 10 – 2075 / 00 : 02 : 43
From: Unidentified Sender
C. 4. 3. 5. 4. R. V FRGH