I dont own Armored Core in this story or any other story I may write. Though I do own my benevolent, and skilled character, Jason. :D

Chapter 2: An Unexpected Prize

"Zwei you are cleared to land." Said the control tower "Zwei here, roger that Tartarus it's good to be home." Jason said as he landed on the runway of the military base.

Tartarus was a military outpost that was surrounded by mountains and the only means of approach to the base was a small canyon that was guarded by heavy defenses to prevent 'unwanted' guests from arriving unannounced. The base was roughly the length of The Spirit of Motherwill class AF. Though it may be small it packs a big punch for a military outpost.

Jason landed his NEXT on the runaway, skidding to a halt while deactivating his Over boost. 'Ahhh I think I need to take a shower after that somewhat ferocious fight with White Glint.' Jason thought to himself.

Jason made his way to his personal hangar on the base, which was at the end of the airfield. As Jason passed by some mechanics they waved to him as he made his way to his hangar "Did you hear? It seems Jason defeated White Glint without breaking a sweat!" the mechanic on the right said "What? Impossible! Even if he is the Ace of the Demon Straights, he can't beat a monster like White Glint. Or can he?" said the mechanic on the left as a cold bead of sweat ran down his back thinking about what it would mean if he did defeat him.

As he pulled his NEXT into the hangar, he aligned it with the catwalk that was ready for his arrival. Jason proceeded to power down his NEXT after conducting a systems check.

As the cockpit to the NEXT rolled open he stepped out and removed his helmet to show his dark brown hair and deep hazel eyes. His hair was mid neck and his body was built for only the light to mid weight for bench pressing, giving him an air of a fit pilot.

Jason got out of the NEXT and closed the door behind him with the console next to it. "Jason! How did the fight go with White Glint?" said a mechanic by the name of Jody came to greet him. "I was expecting a hard challenge from White Glint, but I was disappointed to find out that it did not measure up to expectations." He said as he finished what he was doing on the computer.

Jody looked at him in a bit of an 'awe' sense thinking he was some kind of prodigy. "Well that's what we expect from our Ace of the Demon Straights!" she said joyfully, but gasped as she had just figured out what she said "Oh. I'm so sorry Jason! I didn't mean to bring up old wounds." She said sincerely.

Jason had twitched a bit at the mention of his title that was known only to a select few "It's alright; it just goes to show that there is still some business that needs to be taken care of in this world before I depart from it." He said in an emotionless tone.

Jody looked at him in concern, but thought he was just only joking "Well as long as you don't get yourself killed and leave Lilith here to mourn your death, then you can do what you see fit." She said to him.

Jason looked at her for a moment and walked down the catwalk "Someone is going to have to stop me someday." He said in a whisper to himself.

As Jason exited the hangar he made his way to the bar to meet Lucian about the battle.

When he got to the bar he spotted Lucian sitting at the bar drinking some Red wine. "Isn't it a bit too out of your range to be drinking red wine like this?" Jason said as he pulled up a seat next to Lucian "It's never too out of anyone's range to be drinking this stuff, besides it's to celebrate your victory over White Glint! The most fearsome NEXT in all the land has been defeated by a ghost that should not be alive." He said taking a sip of his wine.

Jason looked at him for a moment and took a mug and poured some red wine into it "Hey hey hey, that's good stuff, aged 100 years old! You can't just be using it in a mug like that, it has to be savored in a glass cup like mine!" Lucian said as he looked at Jason taking a sip of it without regarding it. Lucian let out a sigh knowing that his comrade would never listen to him unless it was needed. "You're a pain, you know that right?" he said to Jason. "I've always been a pain to people that's why I avoid contact with them." Jason said to Lucian as he took another sip of the wine "Good stuff".

Lucian let out another sigh "You haven't truly avoided contact; Lilith is the proof of that. You still haven't told her what happened that day did you?" he said as he glared at him.

Jason looked at his mug for a long moment before chugging it down and leaving a tip for the bartender who gave him the mug "Still a bit sore on the subject I see? Well remember you aren't the only one who lost something that day!" Lucian yelled after him.

Lucian now looked at his glass and cursed himself "Bartender! Give me the strongest beer you have!" he said as he dumped the glass of wine in the sink behind the counter. Lucian rubbed his right leg, but nothing was there to rub "You aren't the only one who lost something." He said as he chugged the beer the bartender gave him.

After walking around the base for an hour to clear his hothead in the crisp January weather he made his way to his private quarters, which everyone on the base got since only a few actually lived on the base which was only the mechanics.

As he entered his room Jason noticed that the lights were on and someone was in another room with that light on as well.

Jason walked to the room and peeked around the corner to see that someone had fallen asleep on their desk. Jason walked over to the person and gently woke them up "Lilith if you're going to go to sleep then you need to climb into your bed." He said. "Mmm? Papa is that you? I'm sorry, I was reading up on some books on different tactics to use in battle's." she said as she rubbed her eyes.

Lilith was a small girl; aged 10 who had jet black hair, dark hazel eyes, and a knack for books on battle. Lilith, just like her father used to want, wanted to be a NEXT pilot of great skill like him. "Well you need to get to bed if you are going to go to sleep." He said picking her up and going to the bed. But Jason didn't want his daughter growing up in a world of Lynx pilots and their shattered minds and twisted conspiracies', he wanted her to grow up a normal girl who had friends and went to school and live a happy life, but that was just a way for Jason to escape the realities of the world as they were. Jason knew that deep down inside that she would eventually become a Lynx pilot of great skill'…just like her mother…' Jason thought to himself feeling a bit pained by it.

Lilith rubbed her eyes even more to get the sleep away from her eyes "No I don't want to go to bed papa, I want to stay up with you and learn what you did today. When you tell the stories of your battles they are always so exciting." She said as she refused to go to the bed.

"Well alright if you say so, but today wasn't much of a challenge." He said to her as he put her down.

Jason, aged 26, began to recount his story of the day and how his fight with White Glint went, but leaving out the part where his partner was of no use.

Lilith looked at him in awe imagining how his fight against White Glint went and how he had defeated this so called 'opponent with no equal'. "Wow papa, you defeated White Glint so easily even though you said it was feared throughout the land! I bet those rumors were exaggerated! No one can defeat my papa, he's the strongest in the world!" she said spreading her arms in a circle to represent a planet.

Jason laughed a bit seeing how she was making those comments about him "Now now, even I have an opponent that is stronger even if I haven't met him or her yet." He said to her.

"Humph. You always say that papa, but I know you don't have an equal." She said in a voice that said 'that was final'.

Jason knew that he wouldn't be able to change her mind even if he had tried, that stubbornness of hers came from her father even if he didn't want to admit it.

"Ok it's time for bed princess." He said to her as he led her to her bed in the room they came from.

"Papa, I know you don't like to talk about it a lot, but what was momma like?" she asked him looking him in the eye.

Jason saw her curious glance at him and couldn't refuse his daughter after she asked such a serious question.

Jason sat down next to her on the bed where he had tucked her in "Well…your mother was a great woman who loved to pilot machines and try to bring peace to the land…but peace cannot be gained so easily. Your mother was also a woman of many great talents who seem to have no equal." He said to her "Except for you?" Lilith said to him. Jason looked at her for a moment and said "Except for me" with a smile. "Your mother was also a very kind person who wanted nothing less than to see other people happy even if she had to give up something…" he said in a bit of a sorrowful tone.

"If your mother was still alive she would have probably showered you with unconditional love instead of me who has to be away almost every day to provide food and a good education for you." He said looking away from his daughter. Lilith then proceeded to hug him "Its okay papa, you can stop there, I know you don't like to talk about this, so please don't cry." She said as she started to cry herself.

Jason hugged his precious daughter back and tucked her back into bed again "Good night my sweet princess" he said to her "Good night papa." She said to him as she turned off the light next to her bed.

Jason walked out of the room and towards the kitchen where he proceeded to wash the dishes and put them away.

When he finished he went to his room and took a shower, to get all the dirt he collected from his sweat, off.

As he got out of the shower and put on his night wear, he looked at a picture next to his bed and saw a dark haired, pale skinned woman with deep blue eyes that could captivate anyone, next to the woman was a person of equal height to her if not taller with short dark brown hair, and deep hazel eyes "If you were still here I wonder what you would say to me if you knew what I was planning." He said to the picture knowing he would not get a response from it.

Jason put the picture back on the night stand and turned off his light as he fell into a deep sleep that seem to hold nightmare's for him, since he tossed and turned and made grunting noises before bursting awake saying "No! Annabel!"

Jason had realized that he had woken up from a nightmare of the past and had been drenched in cold sweat. 'I just don't get any sleep these days, do I?' he thought to himself.

He looked at the clock to notice that it was 4:00 in the morning 'still too early to be getting out of bed today' he again thought to himself.

Before he could go back to sleep, Jason got a call on his intercom about him being needed in his personal hanger 'Ugh just no luck today at all' he thought to himself tiredly.

As Jason approached the door to his hanger he saw that Lucian was also making his way to his hanger with his prosthetic leg attached to his side. Lucian waved at him "Hey, you know why we were called down here for?" Jason asked him "Something about Line Ark sending equipment to us. I find this very troublesome." Lucian said to him with his raven dark hair waving in the wind.

Though Lucian's personality gave him away as an easy going guy, he was actually once feared as the Desert Tiger who preyed on the strong to make a name for himself. And a name he did make for himself which caused him to lose his right leg for his cockiness.

"Well lets go see what Jody wants before she tries to come find us herself." Jason said as he made his way through the door with Lucian behind him.

"Oh hey guys! You won't believe what just came in from Line Ark and trust YOU won't believe it." Jody said as she came down from the catwalk.

"What is it that you wanted to show us Jody? Don't you know what time it is? I have to wake my daughter for school in 3 hours." Jason said to her.

"Keep your hats on! I'm about to show you a prize that is worth every penny of your time." She said to him as she opened the hangar doors to reveal something most unexpected.

"White Glint?" Jason said as he stood there with his mouth a bit open.

A/N:Okay here's chapter 2, which to say I think I am most proud of.

R&R as usual and no flammers as usual as well ..

Ch.3 is still in the process of being made, as well as the name for it.

make sure to check back down here later on in the future to know how I am progressing with this story.

Check back tommorrow to see the specs of Jason's machine and what it looks like if you have AC:FA