Yeah, it's a double chapter update. I hope this makes it up for my long absence.
"We've gotten intel from Wang Liu Mei that Allelujah is being detained in a secret on the coast of southern Pakistan," Leesa stated and the monitor all around the walls and floor zoomed in towards said place. "Information gathered on the place indicated that high profile targets are held there."
The prison was in a coast in an entrenched deeply surrounded by cliffs in from three directions in a mountainous coast. The prison structure itself was ten story's tall hexagonal building with each side having a thick support that would obviously had mounted defenses. Walls surrounded it and what looked like a hangar on its right. There were only two entrance, from the sea south of it or the vehicle entrance on the north.
Neil whistled at the tight defense they had. He was already expecting a lot of resistance for when they assault it.
"Allelujah Haptism?" Milleina gasp. "The missing Gundam Meister?"
Tiera's body tensed up across the room, "he's alive."
She nodded in return. "We have small hope he's alive, but we didn't have any confirmation until now."
"So," Lyle leaning on the wall, "I'm guessing he went missing after the Operation Fallen Angel. And the reason why Arios didn't have an assigned pilot."
"He is," their Captain replied nodding stiffly at his statement. "We had hope he was alive after only the GN Drive of his Gundam was found."
His gaze at her softened, and his smile dwindled a little. He knew what she felt, heck all of them aboard knew what she felt to know that one of their friends was alive and well. His lips curled upwards and the light feeling in his chest spread through his being.
"Back to the topic," Ian, who huffed in impatience, interrupted. "What's the info gathered on that place. If they have high profile targets in there then it'll be a difficult rescue judging by the external layout of it."
"Yeah, there's no doubt that the place will be well guarded with MS too aside from defenses built around that," Lasse commented.
"Surprisingly no," Feldt said as specific places all across map glowed red while their target glowed blue. "Additional information about the A-Laws' movement indicates that their forces are stretched thin across the globe dealing with Katharon and other insurgent groups. Wang Liu Mei's intel suggests that the forces stationed there are small enough."
"But now that they know of our return it's possible they have reinforced it knowing we'd target it," Ian who stood beside his daughter said eyes narrowed. "Or how could we know that it's not a trap to lure us there. It may be risky to attack it now."
Lyle shook his head, "it could be a trap, but it can't be more than what we could take since the A-Laws are busy with anti-Katharon operations on Europe and Africa."
True, the news coverage were nonstop about the successful operation of A-Laws on Europe and Africa. Though the authenticity of the information given was the only problem seeing as the Federation had control of media, so there's no telling how true it is or not.
The redhead hummed in agreement, "true, I'm expecting the operation to be difficult with the defenses of the place. That is why I'm being cautious and asked Ian to include the Long gun along with the Arios and supplies."
"It's that serious, huh," Neil smirked with his arms cross. "I take it you already have a plan."
He would finally get to use it and not just in simulations.
She smiled and shook her head, "I'm not a miracle worker, Neil. I have an idea but it's still just a vague outline. What's the status of the 00 and Arios?" she turned to their mechanic.
Judging by the smile of Ian, he thought that it went well. "The 00 still has issues with its stability but safe to say it's okay to use. Until the Raiser is finished, I wouldn't recommend the use of Trans-Am. The Arios is in fine shape, the performance of the Gundam will be dependent on Allelujah himself."
"Noted," replied Setsuna.
"Are you sure about this, Sumeragi," Tiera spoke, his expression a blank slate. "Isn't it too early to reveal that weapon to the A-Laws? They would know what we are capable of early if we use it in this operation."
"Yes," was her firm reply. "With a lot of unknowns, we must be ready for anything."
Never again, Neil remembered the promise of Leesa as she cried years ago. Never again will I lose someone if I have anything to say about it.
This scene reminded him of the day Allelujah went on his own to stop True Pillar and being ordered by Leesa to assist him. Tiera was not pleased that day that they had revealed too much of their strength earlier. This time though, he was just asking of caution, and saying things out of anger at her choices.
"If that's your decision," Seravee's pilot shook his head, "then I can't stop you, can I."
When none of them had anything to say, she nodded each of them. "That's all," dismissed Leesa. "We're leaving in twenty."
One by one the others left until it was just him and Leesa. She sighed in relief and took his hands. "He's alive. He's alive all this time."
Draping an arm on her, he pulled her closer. "Thank God he's alive."
That's one less worry that Kujo had to face. Neil knew how much the deaths of Christina, Lichty, and Dr. Moreno had affected her that she fell to a depression and drank herself to death. All this burden she had carried for years that even when it became too much for her still she stayed with them.
"I know," she shifted closer to him more as they walked out of the room. Turning to him she smiled, "Neil," Leesa whispered. "I need to be alone tonight. I-,"
He hugged her tighter and kissed her temple, "Say no more. If that's what you want. I'll tell the others you're planning."
"I am planning," she said smirking a little. "I just don't want you distracting me."
"Sure," he drawled rolling his eyes as he kissed her cheeks. "Don't drink too much."
"Of course," Gently pushing him away, she grabbed the rails headed towards their quarters. "You'd think I break my promise," she said but her eyes implied otherwise. His eyes stuck to her rear but snapped out of it and noticed the smirk by her. Shaking his head, he went the other way.
Heading to the bridge, he passed by the brig and came upon the corner when he noticed the door open and Setsuna's voice.
"It's true," he heard Setsuna say. "We have different methods of conducting armed interventions from the Thrones."
The stolen orange Gundam flashed to Neil's mind upon hearing this. His battle to the death with the monster responsible for ruining the lives of many. He went cold just imagining that fight. Just the thought of dying without finishing his own battle.
"So, they weren't your allies?" Saji's eagerly curious question snapped him out of that nightmare.
A moment of silence passed on the two acquaintances. "Even so," Saji, with his voice so firm, whispered firmly, "you killed people with your Gundams too, putting people in the situation as mine. It's normal for people to hate you for what you did." The hatred at the Gundam by Saji was palpable.
He knew that when he joined Celestial Being that lives will be taken by them at some point. He, no, they were all prepared for that inevitable outcome. All for a better future without war nor conflict, but that didn't mean they didn't try their best to prevent unnecessary bloodshed. The differences between theirs and the throne's intervention were clear as day and night.
"The world was peaceful then."
Was it? was his silent rebuttal. There was still tension between the AEU, HRL, and the Union that was waiting to explode. Conflicts were all over the world, one of which destroyed Setsuna's home and made him what he was today. The conflict that nearly destroyed its neighboring state of Azadistan too. Was it really peaceful, Saji?
"My world was peaceful then," the young man's voice gradually grew louder as he said this. "My normal everyday life would have continued. And it was you people who destroyed that!"
Silence once again reigned between the two young men
"So, everything's all right as long you have peace."
Saji's gasp was audible, "That's not what I mean," a pause again, "but no one wants to be unhappy."
No words were said and the only indication that their discussion was over was the door hissing close. Neil waited for a few minutes and peered until he was sure Setsuna was not there anymore before opening the door.
"Yo," he lazily greeted the civilian with a two finger salute. Saji scowled and looking at him and went back to what he was doing. "How're you holding up."
Saji mumble, "fine."
Still not talking to us, he sighed. "You know, I know you don't like us and don't talk to us much, but we have a lot of spare quarters. You don't need to be in here, I could even put in a good word that you won't escape."
The brunette didn't respond to him and continue typing away as if he wasn't there.
Neil sighed, prideful youth, he scoffed. "Look," he said to the still silent brunet, "if you want to be angry at us, it's fine. You don't have to refuse us when we offer you one of our spare quarters. Just promise us you won't try to escape like the first time."
It's not like he was capable of piloting their Gundams. Even if he did escape, he had nowhere to go being a wanted man. So, in the end, he's with them in the long haul and the sooner he accepts reality, the sooner he'd be at peace with his situation.
"I don't want them to think I'm one of you," was his stubborn reply.
"I see," he muttered. In the end, all he could was shrug and leave the man alone. He made his choice, if he ever decides to change his mind then all the better for him.
The alarms blared, and they all went for their Gundams. "It's time. It's time." Haro flapped his wings excitedly beside him.
He turned to Lyle on the other side, "Ready?"
His younger brother smirk.
As he got to the Dynames and the Cherudim waited in the hangar.
"You ready for this, Lockon."
"You worry too much," was Lyle's easy reply. The blue Haro chirping happily can be heard on the background. "I got this."
Lockon breathed heavily in and out as his hands caressed the controls. This was their first real mission, their real strike against the A-Laws. Finding Setsuna was just the prologue of their second book.
"Engage GN Field dispersal," Feldt announced. His body and the cockpit trembled signaling the ships' descend towards Earth. Just as sudden the ship shook, it stopped just as sudden too after several minutes.
"Dynames, prepare for drop."
The bottom of the hangar opened, and the wind rushing was audible the sensors. He tightened his hold on the large folded weapon. The clamp holding his Gundam loosened and off he went dropping from the skies like a stone feet first.
Neil stepped on the pedals pushing the thrusters to its limit just to counter his fast fall. While his descent gradually slowed, the ships' speed increased dropping like a meteor towards their target.
The Gundam groaned a little when he lifted the Mega Launcher. The weapon was an improvement of the Super Substratospheric Altitude Gun in a way that its size was reduce to a little bit taller than his Dynames. Not only that, it also had a shorter cooldown and able to fire faster with a two minute reload by having it use his unit's fast GN particle, yet imperfect, output and have it fill numerous condensers by cycling it. If one condenser was emptied, it will automatically take it out and spin to replace the empty one with a full one.
Though it can fire at great distances accurately as far as five kilometers thanks to the Dynames' extra sensors along with the gun's together with Haro's calculations, it wasn't as great distance like its predecessor. That's not to say he was disappointed at its ability. In fact, only Ian was disappointed that he was not able to retain the original weapon's long distance shooting ability.
"Haro, connect the GN Mega Laucher to the GN Drive. Calibrate the beam to fifty percent and put everything else to counterthrust."
Three blinking green lights from the ship came out before separating and heading west. Moments later, a huge wall of white exploded that was the water when the ship crashed into the sea. It was seen even from his distance. With that he proceeded to his assigned location and activated Sniper Mode.
The image magnification zoomed in enough to see what was happening. Even with the thick fog, the long gun's imaging were clear with its thermal sensor. All the enemies, which were unregistered to his unit, were marked red in the Sniper Rifle control.
The sensor beeped when it lock on to a target that just left the enemy carrier. "Targeting and firing!" immediately he pulled the trigger. The force of the attack left him trembling and pushed him further back into the pilot's seat but not as much as he expected it to be.
After he fired, the weapon hissed and the targeting sight glowed red whilst beeping once after the shot. The only sign that he hit his target was its explosion being marked by the sudden temperature high temperature glow then dissipating.
The thrusters may had made sure to mitigate any strong push back recoil from the weapon, though it didn't help with countering the weapon raising up when he fired.
"Second condenser loaded," Haro chirped, "Second condenser loaded."
All targets were now moving but he had no problem identifying his friends from foe nor with their speed. A group of MS continuously flew in front of the structure surrounding a green glow. Tiera, he identified immediately.
Without second thought he fired again. The others scattered when his target exploded but was caught by Seravee's shot. More shots from afar provided covering fire by was detected scattering the enemies even more. Up above yet still far behind the enemies, the Cherudim was doing a good job of distracting them away from the Seravee and 00.
Briefly, he turned to the timer, "one eighty seconds left," he muttered. Not much time left before their operations end. "Haro, get us nearer."
He fired more shots intercepting the MS out of the ship this time, but this time they scattered already prepared for his attacks. The ship while no doubt thickly armored can't be destroyed easily, he just needed its attention. Deactivating thermal vision, he set his sights on the cannon.
The Dynames' speed reduced when he fired, and the gun shook going up. Still, zooming in, the portside bow cannon and the hull glowed red as smoke then rose to the skies. Not relenting, when the condenser was loaded, he fired at the second bow cannon. The beam pierced through the weapon before exploding. Slowly, just as four Gundams rose to up the heaven, it slowly moved back.
Pushing the Dynames with the thrust in maximum, he planned to join up with the others. Still, they were a ways away, and Neil not one to miss chances used the opportunity of being out of the ships' range by aiming at its wings. Without hesitation he blast at it.
The wing withstood the blast but pierced it enough to see the interior of the ship.
Raising the left shield, he dodged the beams and missiles headed for him when he entered in range. He smirked upon feeling the pressure. "These guys are good."
At all cost, he didn't let one shot hit the large weapon for it was one of their powerful ones. Plus, Ian would be mad at me if I let them destroy it. They all knew how the man loved all of his creations.
Bearing all the shots, he transferred evasive maneuvers then to his partner. "But we got better too!" Swiftly, he aimed the rifle upwards where an enemy was shooting at the 00. The shot went all the way through its body before the gun cooled down and the condenser replaced.
Looking up, their it was, the Arios flew in tandem with the others. "Yo Allelujah," he turned to Arios shooting back at the A-Laws suits. The orange Gundam despite its speed flinched as the beams hit it and the grunts of Allelujah can be heard.
"Enemy approaching," Haro warned. He aimed the launcher at the two MS, both activating their GN Shield while charging at him with their lances. Upon seeing him aim, they continuously moved whilst firing.
"Lockon!" Tiera called out and came between him and his target with the field activated.
"Lockon?" their newly freed friend asked. "Who's piloting the Cherudim."
"Talk later!" Tiera scolded and grunted as he retaliated with a burst shot melting the attacking MS. "You need to protect yourself better, Lockon."
"Yeah," was all he said because with the other hand he drawn the pistol keeping the A-Laws at bay while the other weapon aimed once more at the ship. "Targeted and firing!" the beam hit and cut through its hull then exploding.
"Time's up," Lockon said. Swiftly, they all turned back and went towards their rendezvous point. "Whew, that was a tough one. We were lucky it was just one carrier."
"Two… Lockon?" Allelujah questioned confusedly. "I thought Lockon piloted that one." The Arios pointed at the Cherudim. "Whose piloting it now?"
"Nice to meet you, Gundam Meister," he had a feeling that his brother was smirking. "Name's Lyle Dylandy. Codename: Lockon Stratos."
He spluttered when he heard Lyle's response.
This is bad, Kati Mannequin thought deeply. "Status report," she ordered, "and turn off the alarm."
"Bow GN Cannons inoperable, the bow hull sustained heavy damagep, and critical damage on the portside wing."
That was much more than she expected from a Gundam. She didn't doubt the big one could make that hull damage, but it needed to get in range first. This one on the other hand, I heard that Celestial Being used Superweapon capable of firing from Earth to Space. To think they managed to miniaturized it that surpasses the combat range of any of their weapons.
They were lucky the bridge wasn't targeted because they wouldn't expect it. Luck, she shook her head. Normally she would've scoff at the word luck, but with Patrick's track record she was somehow believing that maybe there is such thing as luck.
Realizing that the officer had been expecting a reply, she then said, "continue."
The man shook his head subtly, "All GN-X teams were wiped out but three survived. All Tartarus prison defenses destroyed with all its MS destroyed. Almost all of the Katharon prisoners were freed."
She sighed, she'd take any good news that she could get. That's three less people dead and the more dangerous people remaining locked up. "Order remaining forces to be on high alert and land the ship. We'll assist with keeping order in the prison."
Though unlikely, at this point it was better prepared than never.
Base from the report acquired, Celestial Being had indeed returned, their strength deemed by HQ only as a moderate threat. It seemed that they had greatly underestimated once again the capabilities of Celestial Being. They only have few MS shown, the green Gundam from their Armed Intervention days, the twin drive Gundam, and the white large heavy assault Gundam yet they possess so much power than expected.
Now, they have another new Gundam, another long range green one but newer and the variable frame Gundam for the pilot they rescued. She knew they would be hard pressed in defeating the organization with all their Gundam's now.
Where do they get the funds to make new batch of Gundams? Could they have spare GN Drives that they kept secret too? It was said by Billy Katagiri, a famous scientist under the former head of research of the Union Dr. Eifman, that the GN Drive that the Federation used was a fake one, and that they were missing something crucial to make it like the ones Celestial Being uses, but making that part was time and resource consuming. So, either the organization had two spares to, one for the Twin Drive one and the other for the other Gundams, or they made one.
If it was the latter, where did they get their resources from?
Seeing as she would have no answer for now, she focused on something else.
Kati had a lot of questions about Celestial Being, but that wasn't what interested her though. Firepower could only get them so far, and what got her attention now was the tactics used. A blitzkrieg that only lasted for less than five minutes. It was daring, even by her standards, yet it has finesse. Shocking and sowing confusion them by diving straight into the ocean by showing the capabilities of their ship, then creating moist environment to halve the beam strength, and finally attacking the prison and being attacked by long range both front and back dividing their forces further as they were torn from evading long range strikes and from the white one.
Their coordination was nearly perfect too. Their strikes left no room for any opening and their rescue was swift like the strategy's namesake. Though, Kati can't help but feel like she had seen someone use that strategy before.
Not only that, did Celestial Being also collaborate with Katharon on this operation? Their timing was too impeccable for it to be coincidental. She didn't have evidence for her to conclude the two groups were working together, but it was the only logical conclusion that can be gathered from this.
"Contact from HQ, ma'am," she nodded.
"Send it to my quarters."
It took only a few minutes to go to her quarters and opened the transmission. "Commander Katagiri," she saluted.
The commander's expression was neutral, his eyes looked like they were searching for something but since his hands covered the lower half of his face she couldn't be sure what his expression was. "How did the operation go," he asked neutrally.
She knew that the commander already knew of the situation. There were eyes on the sky, after all. "Subject E-057 escaped, along with most of the Katharon prisoner." She was tempted to say, they failed spectacularly since they didn't have a lot of data about Celestial Being and its Gundams, plus they lacked the sufficient units. Not to mention the prison's defense units were just outdated MS, but Kati doubt her CO would appreciate the snark comment.
Oh God, Patrick had passed some of his quirks to her. "We underestimated what Celestial Being was capable of. Their plan consisted of using the giant wave the ship made when it dive to render our beams useless and attacking our front and rear flank with long range attacks while the GN Field equip one cover the blue Gundam."
"I see, a bold move on their part. One that even I couldn't foresee. This is unfortunate," he narrowed his eyes. "At the very least, we got enough data of what Celestial Being is capable of. I want you to rendezvous with Major Aber Rindt and assist him on the next operation. His ship is just on the Arabian sea, near the coast of Karachi."
With a final salute, the head of A-Laws cut the transmission.
Aber Rindt, she pursed her lips and her fist tightened. A man five years her senior and had great skill in tactics when it comes to mop up operations, but one that lacks strength for he relies only on his chances of winning. For someone that was highly praised, he can't deal with the unexpected that well. Still, she had to acknowledge his skills and the results of his operations, revolting his process may be.
For them to bring such a notorious man, HQ must have acknowledged the threat Celestial Being brought.
Only time will tell if Celestial Being's return was a boon or a curse.
Lockon chugged the water with haste, and quietly groaned in satisfaction. The room they were in, the small dining room that also functioned as a pseudo conference room, had a very somber atmosphere. The Queen of Azadistan, Marina Ismail, who was seated on the other end opposite of the chair near the door while holding the cup tightly in silence after brief introductions.
Seated beside him was their Captain with his brother standing behind her hands on her shoulder. Setsuna, Tiera, Lasse, and Ian stood near the Queen.
Shirin would be glad to know that they had her friend.
"So," Lasse began, "what's your plan now."
"I'm going back to Azadistan," she said without hesitation the Lyle was impressed by her. No wonder she was liked not just by her friend but by the Azadistan's too.
"Your highness," Sumeragi leaned forward, hands on her chin, "think-" "
"Call me Marina," she smiled despite her situation.
Their captain nodded then continued, "Marina," she paused for a second, "think about this for a minute. The security agency will come back for you again."
"Don't make the efforts of those who came to rescue you be in vain," Neil added. "I doubt those Katharon members who struck the prison the same time as us would forget rescuing you if Setsuna didn't do it first."
"Miss Sumeragi's correct. It's possible the Federation would intervene and use you as an excuse," Tiera said. "Possibly accuse you of being connected to Celestial Being or Katharon."
She looked down, her hold on the object tightening more. "Because Azadistan refuse to join the Federation, the whole world abandoned us," Marina stated, and not even once did she wavered when she said this. There was strength in her words, but no anger nor heat, just passioned words laced with fact. "Our economy has failed. Now that Rasa has passed away, the Conservatives and Reformists has reached a stalemate. That is why I must go back."
The risk of being captured again was high, but he could see her point. It was a well-known conclusion that with the tensions between the two groups were on an all-time high, it was only a matter of time before things went worse and for conflict to rise between the two groups.
Lyle didn't doubt Marina's abilities to lead, it was at this point it would be hard to fix the situation. The minute she steps on Azadistan, the Security Agency would be on her once more rendering her and their efforts null.
"We know this is important to you," Sumeragi insisted, "but going their now would be dangerous for you. Especially with the A-Laws looking for you."
"You need to be strong for your people," Ian said. "Look at this logically. Right now the Federation has Azadistan blacklisted. No country would help you openly in risk of facing backlash from them. Your neighbors are on the watchlist, I doubt they'd openly defy the Feds by supporting your country. It's simply too, risky to come back."
Not to mention most of Katharon's supporters came from Middle Eastern Countries due to how their treatment from the Federation.
Marina didn't respond after that and looked down. Just when he thought the matter was dealt with, "still," she said determinedly, "I have to go back to reassure them that everything will be better."
"Are you sure?" Sumeragi asked with finality after a minute of silence.
This woman was really standing her ground and even with the odds against her. She had guts much more than any politicians he'd seen, and he immediately respected her for this.
Sumeragi looking at Lasse, the man nodded. "Got it. Setting course of Azadistan," he said before the captain can utter one word and left the room with Ian.
Milleina, followed by a reluctant Feldt, walked in with spring in her step. "Excuse me, are you two lovers?"
Lyle loved the fact that Neil lost his calm even for just a second. Though he wasn't surprised that his brother did so. He hadn't known Setsuna for long, but the thought of him being that intimate with someone just seemed strange.
"No," both Setsuna and Marina answered at the same time.
The girl puffed her cheeks and pouted, "I was sure my maiden senses were on the spot."
After Marina had left, Neil and Leesa along with Tiera went back to check on their rescued comrade on another room with his brother already there. When they entered, Allelujah was staring at them mouth agape in shock.
"Lockon... he told me you two were twins but," he stared back and forth at the both of them. "I…," he clutched his head then sat smiling a little as he drank with the other hand on his temple, "do I call you both Lockon?"
Neil laughed at that notion both of them having same name. "Call him Lockon," he pointed with his thumb at his brother, "just call me Neil from now on."
"Neil," he said as if testing it. "Your real name, after all these years I finally get to know. Neil… I think that name suits you." Looking down, he then mumbled something inaudible.
"Welcome home, Allelujah," Leesa said smiling and her eyes glistening. Allelujah's being here looked like it really did wonders at Kujo's conscience. She had often murmured in regret in her sleep the names of their fallen comrade. For Allelujah, they were unsure if he was alive or was left by them drifting in space with Kyrios' disappearance. It was all a big mystery
To see her smile, it also brought a smile to his heart.
The Super Soldier smiled. Neil took one of the seats in front of the monitor, Leesa sat next to their friend, his brother while took the other chairs, and Tiera opted to stand.
Tiera shook his head, "you haven't changed," he said clearly amused.
"I guess," was his reply. "Not as big as change as Lockon— uhh" Neil coughed at this point, "I mean Neil and Sumeragi, I would've never expected that. You too Tiera, you look good smiling rather than that stern face you usually do. It seemed like everyone changed."
He smirked at Tiera who gracefully accepted the compliment silently.
His smile then dropped, causing Leesa to asked him, "Are you alright, Allelujah? They didn't hurt you much, did they?"
"No, it's just…," he shook his head as if debating whether to say it or not. "I'm grateful for the rescue, but I can't use Quantum Brainwaves anymore. Hallelujah died during that operation. I'm not sure I can pilot Arios effectively." Perhaps, the man didn't mention it, not the he should, there's the issue of muscle atrophy too with him tied down in a chair for years.
"It doesn't matter," Tiera replied. "Whether you can fight or not, does not matter. We rescued you because you're our friend and what you do after it is on you."
Allelujah closed his eyes. When he opened it, there was a fiery determination was in his heterochromic eyes. What prompted him to continue was unknown, but he was happy that he couldn't help but grin on seeing his expression. He had something to fight for. "I'll fight with you guys again."
"The teams together again, huh," Lockon smirked, "now I feel left out."
Putting an arm around Lockon and ignoring his stiffening body, he said, "don't worry. You're part of this family now, Lockon," Neil grinned at his brother.
After their reunion, they left Allelujah to his own devices and returned to their quarters. The operation may had been swift but nevertheless the A-Laws put up a good fight, so they needed a good rest while they can. Especially with them on Earth where their presence was far stronger.
"Thank god," she sighed, her voice shaking. "He's really alive."
"He is," he whispered caressing her back. "He is."
Rest your soul, Leesa. She did not fail them then as she thought she had, she did not fail them now.
Shifting to the right to give her more space, he then said, "why didn't you stop her?" He asked, opting to change the topic for her.
Snaking an arm behind her nape to her right shoulder as they lay on the bed. His shoulder touched the wall and Leesa had to scoot a little closer because of the size of the bed. "You wanted to didn't you?"
He had watched her when they talked with the Queen of Azadistan earlier, Leesa looked like she really wanted to convince her to stay with them but relented.
Leesa sighed as her two fingers, the index and the middle, slowly crossed his chest walking like a person. "I wanted to," was her simple reply, "but despite knowing the odds she still wanted to. I have to respect her wishes." Her gaze tore away from him and towards the serene footage of the sea.
He smirked, his arms caressing her arms, "isn't that illogical of you? We both know she's gonna be in danger once she returns. No, it's likely that the A-Laws will expect her to return."
For someone like Leesa Kujo, logic and rationality was her forte. She analyzes every angle that she can see. Most of them aboard the Ptolemaios was more on the emotional side, even him. If he had to say who was the embodiment of that, he'd have to say it's Setsuna. The man he had become now had not changed when it comes to his convictions that despite all odds, no matter how illogical, he will still fight for his beliefs.
"Perhaps," was her reply but then continued, "but not so much. I believe Katharon will protect her once she returns so it's not all bad."
Her hands then lifted a little of his hair sticking out the front and touched his scar
Maybe,he hummed in agreement. No way would Katharon leave her alone if Lyle was correct in saying that one of their Middle Eastern branch leaders know her.
"After getting her back, what then?"
"We strike back."
He whistled. That required a hell lot of power than they have now with the A-Laws MS equipped with the latest technology and possessing greater number than them. It would be different than their Intervention Days now that their enemies and them stand on equal grounds.
Wiping out the A-Law's presence in Europe would be difficult with their presence entrenched in it unlike in the Middle East, but if they could then it would decrease the hold of the Federation on the continent and there were chances that Katharon, along with them, would counterattack with them and reveal the true colors of the Federation and A-Laws some way or the other.
"That's a tall order," he commented. "With the Federation having GN Tech this time
"I'm sorry— wait," she sat looking at the monitor.
Following her gaze, she was focused on the live feed on the ocean. "What's wrong?"
"The water's too calm," his girlfriend suddenly asked out of nowhere, "and now fish at this depth? Lockon, get to Dynames!"
Nodding firmly, he left in time to hear the redhead call the bridge. The ship shook that sent him sprawling to the ground. "The hell!" he cursed with gritted teeth. The enemy can reach them even at this depth?! A new type of torpedo or depth charge?
He held on to the wall as the trembling continued. "Neil!" Lyle hobbled the same as him with blue Haro bouncing next to him. "What's going on."
"From this depth?" was his reply. "That's impossible. No A-Laws weapon can reach this deep!"
Indeed, his brother was right, but the evidence was there right outside that continually caused the emergency alarm to beep loudly. When they reach the hangar and boarded their units it was halfway flooded. Slowly, the water filled the bottom part of the ship and they waited until it was full of seawater did they open the bottom hatch.
Tch, he clicked his teeth in annoyance. He would have to make do with only half the Dynames' shield equipped since the Long gun took too much space for him to use. Luckily, it was stored in the central hangar that could be launched to assist him if possible. No doubt there were MS waiting up when they got out of the water, so he'd be disadvantaged when it comes to defense.
The Mobile Armor was big as expected, thrice or so the size of Seravee, with two claws and a long pointed tips front from front to rear. Neil and his brother then started firing but their shots did no damage, not even dent it. "Lockon!" he called out and for a second he thought it weird he was calling somebody else his former name. "Let's get closer."
Neil drew his beam saber and the Cherudim took out its beam pistol, a saber drew forth from its barrel, as they then approached the large unit. The 00 outpaced them and sliced its claws as it continually struck Tiera then proceeded to slice its body starting from the eye. As for them, both he and Lyle stabbed the claws from its joints and cut downwards.
Taking out the other weapon, he stabbed both weapons into its body cutting it sideways and with a warning from Setsuna, all three of them got away from the sinking unit and saw it exploded.
Allelujah and Setsuna took the fight to them when the latter clung to Arios and swiftly went upwards. Not needing any words, both he and his brother went up while Tiera guarded their damaged ship.
When they breakthrough the surface, both Setsuna and Allelujah were fighting a customized Aheads. One was wielding two beam swords and the other used a rifle and a small shield. The two were distracted by their opponents while ship was launching their MS, "Lockon!" he called to his brother.
"Targeted and firing!"
The first MS that they saw launched from the carrier met its end by their beams while the others, the three already flying, scattered into the air evading as they gradually near the Dynames and Cherudim. Left, up and right, the enemy approached them all sides with their defenses ready.
Even with that, they fired, and Neil for his part, blasted the right GNX's leg, the upwards MS's head, and the arm of the left one. "Distracting them with the GN bits!"
"No!" he interrupted his brother and said this before the other can reply, "don't reveal your cards early." He then folded the Sniper Rifle and sprayed the enemy with beams with the other hand equipped with the pistol.
The one nearest to him had already had its arm torn and he dashed for it with the beam saber coming out of the small weapon. With Lyle providing cover fire for him, the other two couldn't approach as he slashed from its left waist and diagonally cut it upwards then kicked it away from him.
He then opened fire at the other one above him who was going down lance first. Raising the shield, the shots of the other MS on his left did not leaving any room to retaliate. Going down, he swerved left and right dodging every orange beams headed his way. The two stuck close together but something his them from the back.
A three three-man squad of Hellions flew closer to them. The sensor automatically zoomed in, it was a light blue hued MS which can only mean one thing, Katharon.
Once in range, they shot the GNX's and the A-Laws was about to retaliate, but they turned back towards their ship and never looked back. The two Ahead's from the radar, also did the same and retreated.
For their part, Feldt contacted them and gave the ship rendezvous location.
"Katharon," he muttered loud enough for Lyle to hear. "I wonder if someone contacted them."
An indifferent hum came from Lockon, "could be. We'll never know."
Glancing left and right, their formation looked so out of place in any military with four Gundams in the center guard by the Hellion's on the front and both sides.
"Thanks for the help, Katharon."
With that, they flew silently towards their destination.
I hope you guys like this chapter. :) I'll edit what I found unsatisfactory later.
4/13/19: Edited some stuffs. Will edit more later.