A/N Hello again, here with another story-even though I've got a gazillion other uncompleted stories: but this one has been bugging me for ages…
Disclaimer: This is the only disclaimer I'm writing, so:
I don't own anything, except for any unrecognizable names. Also, part of the plot is borrowed from a futuristic book called 'The Ward' by Jordana Frankel (though only part of the first chapter). And if I own any of the above, I wouldn't be on a fanfiction website.
A/N2 Well, after the amazing agreed to be my beta, we've made a fair bit of change in the plot, and the published chapters are currently being reviewed. SO far, only chapters 1 & 2 have been edited. I would definitely recommend at least skimming the chapters (though all the reviewed chapters would have a note stating so), as there are quite a few changes. I apologise for the wait, but hopefully with the plot all straightened out and understandable now, it'll be lot easier and faster to write the chapters.
Thank you once again for your superb betaing skills, and with her much-needed help, I present to you, the new and improved version of Chapter 1!
Chapter 1-Midnight Reaper
Date: 6th of January 2020
Commencing Drift procedures in 10.. 9.. 8.. 7.. 6.. 5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1.. Drift initiated. Midnight Reaper's AI filtered through our suits, and all of a sudden, memories poured into our minds. It started with the smallest of things, the barest of emotions: a birthday party, first day of school. Then, it started to progress onto more personal memories: a first kiss, the death of a family member. The last memory that plagued both our minds, was the same every Drift. Our mother, lying on her hospital bed: the left part of her body infected with 'Kaiju Blue'. This image sparked anger and grief within us, but was soon transformed, as always, to rock-solid determination. We were going to destroy this son of a bitch Kaiju, and we were going to come home and see our mother, and hug her and kiss her once again.
Neural handshake achieved. Left hemisphere calibrated. Right hemisphere calibrated. The AI's voice was tinged with what would almost be categorized as proud. Except that was crazy. Giant, metal Jaegers didn't have any emotions, did they? We weren't sure if it was scientifically possible, but we had long ago accepted that our Midnight was a living and breathing being, and we loved her as much as if she really were made of flesh and blood. But we were smart enough to keep our traps shut, the only other person to know was mother: Evangeline Luna. Speaking of which…
"Midnight. Link her in, would you?" the two of us spoke as if we were one- which in a way, we were.
"Hey girls. Hey Midnight. Schastlivogo Rozhdestva!" Our mother's sweet and soft tone filtered through our speakers as she wished us 'Merry Christmas' in Russian. She sounded a lot better, but we weren't sure if it was just an act meant to comfort us. Around us, the metal walls of our Mark III vibrated ever so slightly, leaving the two of us to translate the machine's answer.
"Midnight says hi and Schastlivogo Rozhdestva to you too!" Anastasia cheerily informed: she always could decipher Midnight's little gestures. Meanwhile, I grumbled a response in Russian, temporarily taking control of the Drift, guiding and controlling it, giving Anastasia time to debrief their mother on the Kaiju they were sent to kill. It was a common occurrence for us to give full control to me, and I was getting better at it. Besides, I was a person of little words despite the love I had for our mother. I let Anastasia do the talking instead .
"It's name is Claws, but we have no idea what it looks like, because the storm's messing with the satellite signals. It's appeared next to this country called New Zealand, and the new Mark V, Striker Eureka is going to assist us! Apparently, since they're not sure how big it is, they want to send two Jaegers out. Especially after Solar Prophet was destroyed last month. Thank God Cherno Alpha was there and managed to kill the Kaiju! I'm not sure what we'd do if it wasn't for the Mark I and his pilots!" Mother laughed a soft laugh as she heard Anastasia comment on how Midnight was getting warmer on the inside. The Jaeger immediately proceeded to increase the cooling systems on board, making our mother laugh again.
Suddenly, the older Russian started another fit of coughing, and we started to worry about her. The Kaiju blood had damaged her lungs, and she was due for an operation today to replace the damaged tissue.
"Mamochka, you should rest your lungs. We're going to come visit you afterwards in the hospital, so don't you die on us." Anastasia's gaze softened as I gently reprimanded Mother. The walls around us hummed in agreement. Even though Anastasia understood the machine's actions, I understood her heart, and the machine understood the heart of her favourite Pilot.
"Ok, my dotchka. Good skill." I smiled at Mother's answer, my heart brimming with love as she repeated the family mantra to us.
'It has nothing to do with luck; only skill and the will to survive'. It was father's favorite saying, and had been adopted by the three of us after he died in a Kaiju attack.
"Goodbye Mama." The call ended as the Jaeger stopped near the shore of the Wellington coast. Silence echoed throughout the machine, until a weathered Australian accent came through the speakers.
"Midnight Reaper, this is Striker Eureka. Do you copy? Over." I quickly handed back the left hemisphere to Anastasia, as the younger-by-five-minutes sister answered.
"Striker Eureka, this is Midnight Reaper, we copy you. Our names' are Anastasia and Anya Luna, and we look forward to working with you. Over." Anastasia stated.
"Midnight Reaper, this is Striker Eureka. Name's Herc Hansen, and my co-pilot is my son, Chuck Hansen. We look forward to working with you too. Over." The casual wording of the response told us that the rumours were true: Herc was one of those pilots who did a fine job killing Kaiju, but didn't give a crap about professionalism, especially when he was just doing his job.
"They sound like stuck-up bitches." A slightly younger voice came through the communicator, followed by a rather loud 'SMACK' to which we grinned.
"They can still hear you, idiot!" Herc's scolding tone echoed.
"Da, idiot." My response and laugh sounded through both Jaegers. I was completely unaware to the response of the younger Australian pilot. Suddenly, a loud roar was sounded, and we fell into defensive positions.
It was an ugly motherfucker, and I heard the idiot say the same over the radio. I smiled, silently agreeing.
'There's two of us, and one of it. We've got this.' I heard my sister think through the Drift.
"Don't get cocky." I said out loud. "It is still a threat and must be treated as such. Striker Eureka, you shall be in charge of maintaining the Miracle Mile. We can take the Kaiju." The Australian Jaeger complied, making its way towards the shore as we took on a defensive position.
Claws, a Cat 4, rushed towards us, and we managed a glimpse of the beast. It looked like a T-Rex, with tiny arms and a long, spiked tail to match. The major difference was the head. It looked like a soccer ball that survived a blender, only to have acid chucked on it. Tiny pudgy eyes squinted at my Jaegers' beautiful form, and it screeched in jealousy. As any person who knew us could guess, these were all Anastasia's thoughts. It was hard to differentiate one pilot's thoughts from another when Drifted, but there were some things that were undoubtedly Anastasia.
The Kaiju swung its sharp tail toward us, and we used Midnight's scythe to block the brutal attack. We grunted, and stepped back, swinging the 350ft weapon in a full circle before holding it like a staff, the blade closer to the right: the hemisphere I controlled. Memories of defeating opponents with a staff flooded our minds, and we executed similar moves, brandishing it towards the Kaiju. The beast roared and charged us, but we were ready.
We sidestepped, swinging the scythe and plunging it into the monster's back. The heated blade quickly cut a trench into the beast, and cauterized it just as quickly. We pulled the weapon out haphazardly and the beast roared in pain, before shrieking and turning around, swiping at us with its long tail. We blocked each attack seamlessly, just like a real Reaper of Death was supposed to. Suddenly, its claws extended, and it plunged them into Midnight's left side, causing my sister to scream in pain alongside Midnight. Their cries angered me, and I charged towards it, dropping the scythe temporarily. The beast was so surprised, it barely registered the vicious punches and jabs we threw its' way. A final, bone-crushing punch was delivered to the Kaiju's chest and its body jerked, before slumping under the water.
We straightened Midnight, and turned around towards Striker Eurekawhen a tiny arm grasped our shoulder. We turned around, and were met by a vicious claw to Midnights' head, and us.
Claws started to bash us in a very similar way to what we had done just moments ago. Before we knew it, we were on our knees, struggling to stay conscious. Then, it stopped. We were confused, and looked up. It was the worst mistake we could have made, and I often wonder: if we had kept out head down, would Anastasia would still be here with me?
Claws plunged its razor sharp nails into the Conn. Pod, and yanked out my twin. We were still Drifted, and I could feel every emotion passing through her head, and every thought she had during her last moments.
Anya. ANYA! Please, you must stay alive, for Mama, for ME! PLEASE ANYA, GET UP! GET-
And then she was gone.
My twin sister, my guiding hope, my other half, my life! Was gone.
I barely remember what happened afterwards. People say it was the most spectacular thing they'd ever seen: a miracle, a life-saving accomplishment. Only, to me, it wasn't spectacular. It was ruthless and brutal. It wasn't a miracle. It was a tragedy. And it wasn't a life-saving accomplishment. If it was, my precious sister would still be here. But she wasn't. And I was going to have my revenge, even if it killed me. At least then, I'd join Papa and Anastasia.
Striker Eureka's Conn. Pod.
We were watching the battle anxiously, when-
They had decided on a closed casket. Honestly, there wasn't much of a choice: the body had been too damaged when it was pulled out of the wreck that I wasn't even allowed to take one last look at her face.
All around us, similarly dressed mourners were filtering around, as the priest began his blessing. Dad was holding my hand and I-
No! NO! Not this memory! I struggled against the hypnotic pull of the RABBIT, and dragged myself out of it, through pure fear at seeing it happen again. It was mum's funeral, and I didn't need that kind of distraction out in the field.
I'm not sure what happened. One minute, I was shaking off the mental drain of the RABBIT, Midnight was beating the Kaiju, the next they're on their knees, their Conn. Pod viciously torn open by the monster. Without even verbally communicating, Striker made it's way towards the Russian Jaeger. In that fearful moment, it didn't matter that the girl had given me orders, that they were prissy brats: they were human and the beast was not.
We made to swing a fist towards the Kaiju when it turned around, ducking the anger-filled attack. Deeming us the bigger threat of the two Jaegers, he left Midnight to get rid of us. It charged us, much like it had with Midnight, and we were prepared, sidestepping the beast. What we hadn't accounted for, was its barbed tail. Suddenly, the right leg: part of Dad's hemisphere, jerked under us, and we fell to our right knee. He gasped, and I instantly knew we'd been hit, bad. We looked up, and I thought, 'This is it. We're going to die.' Only for a loud mechanical roar, even louder than the Kaiju's, to sound across the Pacific Ocean.
We were confused, and we looked over to the Russian Jaeger, to see the glass protecting the Conn. Pod gone, shards of glass falling from the black mech. I squinted. Was that? I didn't know which twin it was, but I definitely knew there was only one in there.
'What the hell is she trying to… Oh my God, she can't be serious. She wants to pilot it on her own?' Dad and I though simultaneously. We shared a glance, and tried to stand up to help her, only to fall back on our right knee. Shit. All we could do was watch as Midnight Reaper picked up her fallen scythe, the full length weapon crusted in Kaiju Blue and dripping clear ocean water.
There was no warning, or battle cry like the one earlier. Just deadly silence as she charged with impossible grace towards the beast and swung the heavy blade into Claws' shoulder. The Cat 4 screeched in pain before pulling away, only making the wound bigger.
Twirling the weapon above her head, she spun around 360 degrees in a flash, catching Claws in one deadly move. The monster looked dazed and surprised before it's disproportioned head separated from the rest of it's body. It fell down, and the Russian Jaeger fired a pulse gun into the beast's hearts.
By now, our Jaeger had very limited movement, and we could only watch the skillful dance. The slightly bigger Jaeger marched towards us. She stopped Midnight just before us, and picked up our battered Jaeger by the shoulders and dragged us on her way to the shores of Wellington. We tried to contact Midnight, but our calls were going unheard.
Finally we reached a beach, and Midnight carefully set Striker down. Dad and I started climbing out of the Mark V, and I noticed blood pouring out of both her nostrils. Honestly, it was a miracle that she was still conscious, as the shore was at least an hour away from the battle scene.
Suddenly, her Jaeger collapsed onto her knees and hands and she stumbled out of the machine, legs wobbling. A static command came in from the Russian Shatterdome through her Jaeger's speakers.
Midnight Reaper's Conn. Pod.
"Mid-Mid-gh…. Do-copy- Midnight Reaper, do you copy!" The panicked voice of the Vladivostok Marshal came through the speakers. I tiredly replied.
"Ye-Yes. Anya Luna copies. A-Ana-Anastasia has fallen, sir." I couldn't control the tears that leaked out. A pause.
"Anya, I'm very sorry." His solemn voice answered.
"Wh-" he cut me off.
"Your mother didn't make it through the operation.….."
All life around me stopped. I felt myself plunge into a dark hole of loneliness, despair and helplessness.
"Ma-mama di-didn't make it…" I echoed. I felt my already shattered heart completely disappear. Ana was gone. Mama was gone. I didn't have a reason to be anymore.
"I'm very so-" I turned off the speaker and stumbled away. A coarse hand gripped my shoulder, and my mind was instantly plagued with the memories of the Kaiju gripping Midnight's shoulder. I feverishly flipped the person over my shoulder, and attacked him with a shard of glass from Midnight's Conn. Pod, before stopping. It was the younger Aussie Pilot: Chuck Hansen. I turned around, and dropped the dripping glass before stumbling off like a zombie, ignoring the calls to come back.
"Anya! Come back!" Dad silenced me with a glare.
"Don't strain yourself. We need to treat that wound before it gets infected." I nodded sadly and we contacted the Sydney Shatterdome and arranged a pick-up. All the while, I was trying to ignore the beautiful, heartbroken Russian as she stumbled like a drunk out of the beach, her red-rimmed eyes haunting me, as Dad tried to staunch the bleeding.
A/N And there we have it! The current chapters are being edited before any new chapters will be written… very sorry for the delay, but it is a necessary evil.