Chapter One: Shatterdome
A/N: Hey everyone! So this is going to be Chuck/OC and Raleigh/OC. You may have noticed that we've changed Ember's name to Jazmine - that's because Raleigh and Yancy DO have a younger sister in canon. So basically, she's the same character, just with a different name.
Jazmine Becket gasped her way into consciousness, the cotton sheets tangled in her hands and around her waist. Another nightmare…great. They were getting more frequent now, but she had a pretty solid idea as to why. Marshall Stacker Pentecost was bringing Raleigh in. Taking a deep breath, Jazmine pushed herself to her feet and dropped onto her back on the cold floor. Twenty sit-ups, that should do it.
Jazmine knew that she was not meant for the Drift, but that didn't stop her from trying. Both of her older brothers had been Jaeger pilots, and it was more that than anything else that gave her a fierce desire to become one. She wasn't compatible, Pentecost had made that absolutely clear. From the beginning, Jazmine had been volatile and fiery. She had been seventeen when her oldest brother Yancy died, and it had impacted heavily on their entire family.
There had been no word from Raleigh. Pentecost assured them he was still alive, but he'd just…vanished. So Jazmine had nursed a grudge against her only surviving brother. The darkness in her heart, the anger she struggled to contain, was unacceptable for a Jaeger pilot. She would be taking too much into the Drift.
She'd been doing mechanical work in high school, and once she dropped out after Yancy's death, she focused her attentions on doing some fix-up work for some illegal drag racers. Yeah, so she got involved with bad people. But her parents were too worked up about the son they lost and the son that never came home, so they didn't really have time to watch what she was up to.
Jazmine had been nineteen when Pentecost picked her up, three years ago. He'd offered her a proper job, in honour of Yancy's services to the PPDC. Jazmine fell in love. The Jaegers were the most amazing machines she'd ever seen, and once she had learned all about their structure, she was good to go.
Jazmine sighed heavily and pushed herself up, raking her brown hair out of her blue eyes. How was she meant to feel about her brother coming back? She'd given up on Raleigh…or had he given up on her? Either way, there was a five-year lack of contact, and Jazmine wasn't sure that anything could make up for it.
Flopping onto her bed, Jazmine crawled between the sheets and snuggled against her pillow. Tomorrow, everything was going to change. The Russians had arrived three days ago, the Chinese a week before that. The Australians were set to arrive in the morning…along with Raleigh. Jazmine tossed onto her side, not knowing whether to love or hate her older brother.
Raleigh Becket looked around the place as the helicopter landed on the helipad. The whole place was foreign to him and he was unsure of how he would feel settling back into the program. As he got out of the helicopter a young Asian girl greeted him by the name of Mako, who was meant to be leading him around the place and introducing him to everyone.
"The Marshall says there are only four Jaegers left here." Raleigh commented, as he was lead into the Shatterdome.
Mako nodded her head, confirming his comment to be true. "That's right."
Chuck Hansen looked around the place feeling rather bored. It was so different to Australia in so many different ways. He looked at his father who was petting their bulldog affectionately. He reached over and scratched the dog on the top of the head,
"Marshall said the American pilot is coming in today. Raleigh Becket. You'd have heard of him." Herc glanced at his son, wondering how he could always look so bored.
Chuck shrugged. He didn't see how this Raleigh Becket guy was so important though. "Yeah, I have."
"Hey, that Aussie guy is kinda cute," Jazmine commented, nudging Sophia Kyle, who was busy working through some Jaeger tactics. As the strategy specialist, Sophia spent more time working than doing anything else. Jazmine's gaze was focused on Chuck Hansen, who looked to be in his late twenties.
"Hm?" Sophia looked up from her paperwork, but Jazmine knew her friend and comrade wasn't interested in checking out any hot potentials. That was more Jazmine's field. However, the grin faded from Jazmine's face when she saw him. It had been five years, but Raleigh Becket hadn't changed one bit. She stalked over to her brother, hands clenching and unclenching.
"Jaz?" Raleigh sounded astonished at seeing his younger sister working in the Shatterdome. After Yancy's death, he never would have imagined that Jazmine would get involved in the Jaeger program. "What the hell are you doing here?"
Jazmine cut him off with a sharp slap to the face. "You are an asshole!"
"You two know each other?" Mako said in surprise, watching as Raleigh rubbed his cheek ruefully. She was more than familiar with Jazmine's aggressive tendencies – they were the same age, but Mako had ten years on her in terms of maturity.
"Uh, yeah." Raleigh indicated his younger sister. "This is my sister, Jazmine."
"Who you haven't talked to in five years!" Jazmine shot at him furiously. Did Raleigh seriously just think he could act like nothing had happened between them? Sophia trailed over a little uncertainly.
"Jaz, I'm sorry, alright?" Raleigh sighed heavily, as if the weight of the world rested on his shoulders. "There was a lot going on."
"Yeah, like Yancy being dead and you not even bothering to call," Jazmine said accusingly. She folded her arms over her chest. Raleigh examined his sister carefully. She was twenty-two now, no longer the kid he remembered. She was still slender, but she'd filled out. This was no child, but a woman – and she was angry at him.
"Herc Hansen." The older Australian pilot had crossed over and offered Raleigh his hand. Raleigh noticed the small bulldog on a leash in Herc's other hand. "You must be Raleigh."
"You pilot the Striker Eureka, right?" Raleigh asked, although of course he knew the pilots of the Jaeger with the highest kill count ever.
"Along with my son, Chuck. Yeah."
"Hi," Chuck stated boredly from where he stood beside his father with his hands in his pockets. He looked disinterested, glancing around the Shatterdome as though there was somewhere better he could be.
"Jazmine Becket." She folded her arms over her chest, causing Raleigh to examine her warily as Sophia gnawed at her lip and scribbled things down on her paperwork.
"Are you two going to be a pilot duo?" Herc inquired, glancing between the Becket siblings. "Like you and Yancy were, back in the day?"
"No," Raleigh stated flatly before Jazmine could say anything. There was no way Jazmine would be able to cope with his memories of Yancy's death. "Hell no."
"The Marshall said I'm not fit for neural connection," Jazmine stated casually, popping some gum in her mouth. It affected her more than she let on, because she'd always wanted to be a Jaeger pilot, but she had to agree that she wasn't cut out for it.
"Hey, buddy." Raleigh glanced tersely at Chuck, who was openly checking Jazmine out. "Quit that."
"What?" Chuck threw him a contemptuous look. "Can't I admire a pretty lady?"
Sophia looked up at the two of them, brushing her red hair out of her green eyes as she shook her head. She sometimes wondered the maturity of some people, especially ones who were around her own age. She didn't have time to be disturbed over petty things such as who thought who was attractive. She had work to do. She always had so much work to do.
"Hear that, Sophia? You're being admired." Jazmine grinned at her older friend.
Sophia looked up from her work once again, completely lost. "What?"
"The Aussie boy's checking you out." Jazmine nudged her, her grin seeming to grow even larger.
"Still a troublemaker." Raleigh commented, remembering fondly that his sister had always been a troublemaker and it was no surprise to him that she was still that way.
"Oh. Right." Mako cut into the conversation, gesturing to Sophia who had gone back to looking at her work. "That's Sophia Kyle, our strategic specialist."
Herc nodded his head in acknowledgement as the red head looked up at them. "Sophia, nice to meet you."
"Hey." Raleigh greeted with a smile.
"Hello." Sophia smiled before looking back down at her notes, scribbling a few things down.
Jazmine shook her head. "Sophia's in love with her work. It's a one-sided relationship."
"No, my work does love me, just not at the moment. Considering we are significantly lacking in firepower, it makes every strategy we employ have a 25% success rate." Sophia rattled off, not sure if anyone was really comprehending what she was saying.
"Striker Eureka is our only Mark 5, she has a lot of firepower." Herc smiled, knowing it would help the strategists more now that they had more firepower to combat the kaiju.
"I love your Jaeger." Jazmine piped up, her grin still plastered to her face.
Mako shook her head. "You love all of them, Jaz."
"I love Striker Eureka best," Jazmine said enthusiastically, her blue eyes lighting up. "It's like a brand new toy. Can't wait to get my hands on that one."
"You make it sound so…dirty," Raleigh stated, wondering if his sister even realised the sexual implications in what she was saying.
Herc noticed that his son was still eyeing off Jazmine, a slight smirk curving the corners of his lips. He nudged Chuck and shook his head, causing his son to scoff. Chuck was so used to being handed whatever he wanted, being allowed to do whatever he liked, that he didn't see the problem with it.
"What? Can't I look?"
"Cut it out," Herc ordered, noticing Raleigh's intense glare. Obviously, he'd seen the way Chuck was looking at his sister.
Chuck held up his hands in surrender. "Fine. Whatever."
Jazmine had been more than aware of Chuck's attention on her, and she offered him a wink, causing him to grin. It was more to piss Raleigh off than anything else, and it seemed to work, because he rolled his eyes and exhaled deeply.