SRW OG FU
Chapter 4: Ulterior motives
Wodan Ymir sat in a grandiose chair unbefitting the rather small room it resided in. In front of said chair was a desk with properly organized paperwork and a PA system.
"Operator, could you please give me file number 0093-V?" The head of the Cradle Defense Forces asked politely.
"I'm sorry Commander, but the file was erased by Doctor Nate an hour ago," the female operator answered reluctantly.
"I see, thank you," Wodan calmly answered.
5 minutes later…
The once pristine room that was Wodan Ymir's personal office was now shattered and cluttered beyond recognition.
"Without those files, we can't find Luckfield," the mysterious man raged.
The single door in the office opened and revealed the figure of a treasured associate.
"Sophia, I was just about to talk to you,"Wodan's voice seethed with a mix of rage and confusion.
"I know what it's about, and I'll tell you now, the boy was recently 'used' as a sample for the GEIM system, you can imagine what happens to those people," the Cradle's supervisor revealed.
Memories flowed into Wodan's mind, those of a valued comrade, Tempest Hawker, who went to far in the short war of the Feds and DC. The former Aggressor put his custom Valsion into overdrive and died from an overload, but not before taking the lives of 78 Federation pilots and 33 of his own unit. Suffice to say, the GEIM system was deemed a failure at that point.
"Who could possibly?"the man raged at the inhumanity, unwilling to let another disaster similar to his blood brother's self-destructive path.
"Koch, he acquired Luckfield, a lesser Psychodriver, and performed the same operations as Major Hawker," Sophia rubbed her glasses, "I have a few other files ready for your selection in my office."
"We stick with Luckfield," the Defense Forces' Commander replied firmly.
"You're trying to be a hero for this kid, it won't bring Hawker back and it will only bring more problems than he's worth!" the woman argued.
"The only thing evil needs to succeed is for people like us, people who can change the playing field, do nothing. And as long as there's 1% chance that this man is capable of recovery then who are we to deny that 1%?" Wodan answered the Professor.
"Do what you want, but I won't come to bail you out when it burns on you," the woman left the man's office.
From an outsiders viewpoint, it would seem that Sophia had slammed the automatic door on Wodan Ymir…And that's exactly what it looked like to Excellen Browning.
5 minutes later…
"Kyosuke, Kyosuke, Kyosu-*thud*" the woman was cut off by running into the man in question.
"Don't' tell me your pregnant or some other crazy stuff like that again,' Kyosuke sighed.
"I really thought I was that time and I'm talking about something else entirely," Excellen defended herself.
"What?" her boyfriend said flatly.
"The boss just had a fight with our other boss," the sniper said confusingly.
"Like an old married couple?" the gambler tried to picture such a scenario in his head.
"I dunno, but I saw Doctor Nate walk out of Wodan's office and…*Blah*" the woman trailed off into a long tirade.
"I wonder if this is really worth the effort, I've lost a good deal of my original body, though she does have a nice ra-" Kyosuke's chain of thought was interrupted by a tingling feeling.
A large food tray was somewhat thrown straight through his face, leaving a mark on said tray.
"Stop thinking about my rack and pay attention!" Excellen's voice fumed.
"Dammit," Kyosuke muttered.
"As I was saying," the sniper gave a visible sign of displeasure, "we might do something so crazy that the higher-ups are questioning it."
"That bad?" the man raised an eyebrow as he continued sipping from his coffee.
"If the Cradle people are going nuts about it, how much worse could it end with us? You just had that live for battle speech to sound cool, but we still work for the EFA, my parents could…" Excellen rushed her speech.
"Don't sweat it, the Aerogater threat let's us validate at least a large chunk of the crap we're going to do," Kyosuke replied rationally.
After Dramatic Meal Time…
"All right you two," Wodan spoke with seriousness in his voice, "we're going to raid a DC base."
"What for?" Kyosuke asked, puzzled at the decision.
"It was a human experimentation facility, one of their *samples* was left behind, we might be able to help him," the masked man continued.
"Who is this mystery person you speak of?" Excellen reverted to her happy-go-lucky self.
"His name is Brooklyn Luckfield and the reason he was taken by the DC's human resources division was an eerie display of precognitive ability in one mission," the swordsman replied.
"TK?" Kyosuke asked his current superior.
"Yes, and we're moving out in half an hour," Wodan added.
"Awful lot of effort for one psychic don't you think?" Excellen wondered.
"Yeah, must be carrying some deep secret on him," the gambler spoke.
"Well, we're new recruits, so they wouldn't trust us with sensitive information," the sniper justified.
"Make's sense to me, let's move out," the man spoke with renewed confidence.
At Dr. Nate's Laboratory…
"Sanger…" sadness ruled over the Doctor's voice, "the things in Chiu Hill were meant to be buried."
The scientist lost herself to her melancholy as a nearby presence overheard her woe.
"Mom…" a blonde girl's smile changed to a frown, "Chiu Hill? Why does it sound so familiar?"
Later at the mech hanger...
"I can't wait to test out our new toys," the sniper clapped her hands in impatience.
"Don't get too excited, I highly doubt the facility would have any guards since it was abandoned," Wodan informed his subordinate.
"Wouldn't they have some security measures?" the gambler pointed out.
"Yes, but they are just minor defenses, nothing that can do anything more than ruin our paint jobs," the masked man said confidently.
"That's not so reassuring considering your mech is the size of Texas with armor thicker than my boyfriend's head," the blonde woman cracked.
"Oi,my head is at least twice as thick as that thing," the young man gave a rare smile.
"All right you two, save it for bedtime," the boss joined in on the humor.
"Honcho!" Excellen said disapprovingly as she blushed.
"Yes sir!" Kyosuke acquiesced to the elder man's humor.
"Let's prepare for launch," Wodan ordered the two.
"Sir!" the two subordinates gave a heartfelt salute.
The Cradle's hangar was a storage system that propelled units outward via Railgun-based catapult technology. In short, non-flyers had to be heavily armored to avoid extreme impact hence the flight unit upgrades for the new Gespenst units. After aligning the hangar with the only entrance to the cradle, the units were ligned up for launch. The Thrudgelmir was the first to go, leaving a visible trail as it zoomed out into the horizon. The two ghosts were launched shortly after the commanding unit and the behemoth reduced speed to meet its followers.
"Where's Nanbu?" Wodan asked the blue ghost's pilot.
"Uh, Kyosuke isn't so good with high altitudes," Excellen explained.
"It's not what you think," Kyosuke caught up with his unit flying rather clumsily,"I'm just a ground type specialist, I'm used to unbalanced units but flyers are a bit tougher to control when they were built the right way."
"Defending yourself really makes people think differently you know," the man's girlfriend sighed.
"Are you telling me that you can only pilot units that were designed wrong!" the swordsman asked with a false calm.
"No, I just pilot better in them than most people do in normal units," the gambler struggled with the controls