Disclaimer: I never own the nice things in life, like giant robots. :'(
Chapter 1: The Rabbit Hole
The first sensation, was silence.
What could be considered as silence, at least.
There was a low buzzing in the air. The soldiers at the patrol station were laughing at a joke.
In the distance, the waves lapped against shore. It lulled, the rise and retreat of the ocean.
It was peaceful, so he slept.
He didn't realize it was not a dream until it happened again the next night, the footsteps of the night guards a little clearer than before.
Gipsy quickly realized that he was standing. He could feel his feet against the floor.
The floor was coarse. There was a bolt sticking out from one of the plating seams. It itched, right against the edge of his armor.
He had hands too. And fingers.
He tried to curl them against his palms, but a soldier was approaching, so he kept still.
As the patrol swept his flashlight across the hangar, Gipsy slept.
He had time.
The next instance he woke, he was knee deep in the ocean.
The ocean was cold. Freezing seawater an even pressure against his plating.
He almost startled, but the thoughts fleeting before his vision stalled his instinctual fright.
He quickly realized that he didn't have a vision.
He wasn't seeing.
The thoughts weren't flying before his eyes. They did not belong to him, but to the minds currently deep in conversation with each other. It was good that they were preoccupied. If not, they would've noticed the tiny twitch in his fingers not of their control.
When they'd returned to the hangar, Gipsy found out that the two minds did in fact notice. Good thing was, they didn't exactly know what it was. They murmured to each other, and glanced up at him every once in a while.
Before long, someone else came. The three murmured some more, before the woman with the dark hair shook her head. Then they left, the blond man giving him one last look over his shoulder.
He couldn't see them, but he could sense them, pattering away.
He felt like twitching his fingers again, but he held back the urge.
The engineers were running a diagnostic on him, so he went back to sleep.
Maybe everything would make more sense when he woke again.
He didn't wake again for a long time.
The next time he jolted out of the numb submerge, everything rang with clarity.
He still could not see, as he was not equipped with visual sensors, but he had other ways of gauging his surroundings.
It was night again. The guard at the patrol station was tapping a finger against the arm of his chair. He was making coffee. It smelled strange. The man yawned, arms in an overhead stretch. He almost tipped over his chair, scrambling in alarm, and that seemed to wake him up better than any coffee could.
Gipsy wanted to laugh, but he held back, because he did not want to alert the patrol, and also—…
What was laughing?
He became confused.
He was standing again.
Just like that, his confusion went away.
The soldier on night watch was too busy making his coffee now, so Gipsy gave his fingers a curl. Yep, had both hands.
He wanted to walk, but he couldn't possibly leave the hangar without being noticed.
Gipsy wanted to squirm.
He extended his sensory range, and felt around in the dark, until it bounced back from armor similar to his own.
Someone was standing too. On his far left.
Gipsy wanted to hop on his feet.
There was someone else.
Maybe he was awake!
Gipsy couldn't move, though.
What to do…
He took another scan of the guard, who was now fixated on the fine print of the sugar package.
He whispered at the someone on his far left.
The waves splashed against the beach.
Gipsy felt something pinch inside him. It was scary, because it might mean something had gone wrong.
He quickly figured out how the engineers had run the diagnostic, so he ran one of his own.
It was a bad idea.
The alarm went off, red lights flaring from corners all around the hangar.
He pulled on one of the cables attached to his ankle, and it yanked loose.
He kept still, and waited.
Armed soldiers spilled from the gates.
There was a flash of blond, shoving its way through.
Gipsy did not have time to check if it was Raleigh.
He went back to sleep, because that seemed to keep him hidden.
When he resurfaced again, there were more guards on duty. They were close, so he couldn't move at all. That was too bad.
He didn't want to sleep, though, so he felt around. The soldiers didn't seem to notice beyond some anxious shuffling and rubbing of arms. He was safe.
Gipsy felt like puffing his chest, but that would defeat the purpose of staying hidden. He refrained, and extended his sensory range, until it nudged against the someone on his far left.
Hmm. Wonder if the guy was awake.
A shove back.
It came as such a shock that Gipsy almost stumbled, but he forced himself still, motor cables snapping tight.
He stayed contained for exactly ten minutes before trying again, this time inching little by little toward the someone.
There was no question about it.
Someone was awake now.
Gipsy felt warmth swell over his circuits.
Wait. Was that normal?
He felt nervous again, but he stopped himself from running another diagnostic.
After what had happened last time, he knew it wouldn't be a good idea.
So he tried poking Someone again.
However, this time, no matter how much he poked or nudged or pushed, Someone did not reply.
Probably went back to sleep.
What a bore.
Gipsy let out some air through his vents.
It blew against the soldier standing beside his foot, and the man jumped, swirling around and gaping up at him, fingers tight around his gun.
He started to yell, and a bunch of his buddies sprinted toward him.
They ended up calling a higher-up, and the engineers came back, some holding cups of coffee.
Gipsy didn't want to go back to sleep, but now he had to.
A little reluctant, he sank back into the numb submerge.
Briefly, he wondered why he knew what coffee was.
Then, there was nothing.
And it was cold.
He couldn't see.
Not even with his sensors.
The wind howled, blades of ice.
He was cold. Everywhere. But it was worst at his left arm. His left arm—
It was gone.
Running down his torso.
Something was missing.
Even worse than his arm.
It left hurt.
His knees trembled under his weight.
There was too much.
His head felt like it was splitting right down the middle.
:Don't chase the R.A.B.I.T.!:
:I'm not! I'm—:
His knees buckled, and he fell, crashing to hard, frozen ground.
There was snow, melting against his plating.
And the sea…beat against the skin of his armor.
Then the second half, the one that was left, was gone too.
The hole dug deeper.
And he was left there, alone.
He was standing.
Gipsy stumbled, feet sloshing in sea water.
Fear and confusion speared through the dark, and his sensors reeled back online, a sweeping surge over the ocean.
It smacked against something solid. Something that wasn't rock.
He'd pushed again.
Gipsy recoiled, arms clutching around his chest as he fell back a few steps.
There was no shove back this time, however.
The something that wasn't rock remained rooted where it was, and, slowly, words began to filter through the film of cold and pain that lingered from the dark void.
:-the hell was that?!:
:It wasn't either of us.:
:What kind of an upgrade—:
The words stopped.
He shouldn't have said anything.
:Did you hear—:
:Who was that just now?:
He shouldn't have said anything!
:I don't know.:
:Is this some kind of a joke?:
:Ok, I don't know what the hell is goin' on, but if this is your idea of a joke, Choi-:
:-I swear I'm gonna—:
And, for a long time, even if he wanted to wake, he dragged himself down.
He didn't want to experience that again.
The cold. And the pain.
He didn't understand what it was, but it made the voices angry.
They didn't like that, so he slept.
Maybe it'd be better to sleep forever.
Things seemed simpler that way.
Gipsy wouldn't have minded if he slept forever, but Someone on Far Left had other ideas.
The flood came with a sharp stab, and he jolted awake, turbine an alarmed whirr in his chest.
He froze, and felt around.
His shoulders sagged in relief when he realized that things were back to one soldier at the patrol station with a cup of coffee. A little annoyed at having his sleep interrupted, he kept to himself, and took a closer look around.
The hangar was dark. He was on his feet. The waves were still lapping against the shoreline.
No cables this time.
That meant he could run a diagnostic without tipping off the alarm.
Another probing wave.
He ignored it.
Then came a punch that disrupted his sensory field.
Gipsy squirmed, and pushed back.
What was that for?
[Knew you were awake.]
Gipsy kept to himself, and pretended to have fallen back to sleep.
[Tch. I can tell you're awake, idiot.]
Gipsy felt his plating tighten against each other.
[Your field's avoiding mine.]
Gipsy forced his joints to relax, and eased the pulse of his sensors.
Someone on Far Left attacked with a jab.
[What's your problem?!] Gipsy swirled on the guy, and right away realized his mistake when he noticed the soldier on patrol gaping at him with his mouth wide open, coffee mug shattered to pieces on the floor next to his feet.
His turbine clunked to a stop.
He looked at the soldier, then rounded on Someone on Far Left, only to find that the guy had—
Gone back to sleep.
"…Wh-What the…" The soldier was plastered against the wall, a hand on top of his heart. "…What the fuck…?!" He was scooting toward the alert pad for the alarm.
Gipsy immediately scraped back a step, and snapped to a perfect stand at exactly where he had been.
Yeah. Good luck explaining that.
As far as Gipsy was concerned, he hadn't moved at all.
He was just a robot.
Who'd believe the soldier?
He powered down, and went back to sleep.
He was so gonna get back at that jerk on the Far Left, though.
He promised himself.
From now on, the guy was the Jerk.
Big, bad Jerk.
Gipsy woke up every night, to study the Jerk.
The Jerk didn't seem to wake up as often as he did, but that was a good thing, because it gave Gipsy plenty of time to scout out the guy's build and sensor field habits.
And exactly where to attack.
In truth, Jerk was practically impenetrable.
But everyone had vulnerabilities. As it turned out, Jerk had these extra panels on his back that helped him balance. Not a real weakness, but great for being petty.
As the Jerk sank into a really deep cycle of sleep, Gipsy concentrated his sensor field, and sent a wave spearing toward one of the panels.
The reaction was immediate.
With a roar, Jerk, well, jerked awake.
He fell back, and ended up tripping over the wires connected to his feet, floundering a great deal before finally regaining his balance.
Gipsy clutched his stomach.
He didn't know why, but that seemed like the right thing to do when one laughed.
Jerk looked ready to kill. However, even so, Gipsy would've never anticipated that the guy was crazy enough to actually launch himself forward, arms outstretched and engine in a grinding cry of rage.
He didn't even have the time to think before the other Jaeger tackled him by the midriff, and threw him to the ground.
[You little bitch!]
Gipsy was too flustered to retort, fending off the fists aimed at his head.
It was just a little prank. He didn't mean to make the guy so angry!
The lights burst on.
The gates jolted open with a groan.
Gipsy felt his vents hitch, and his temporary shift of attention cost him a punch to the Conn-Pod.
His turbine whirred. He grabbed at the Jerk's face, bucking to kick the guy over.
"Striker Eureka, stand down. Now!" A voice shouted.
Miraculously, the big bad Jerk did as told, though he spat a vent full of hot air at Gipsy's face before he shoved back, and climbed to his feet with a roll of his shoulder.
Well, he tried to.
It was kinda hard, without eyes and all.
So he pushed with his sensor field instead, and got a kick on the butt.
The Jerk growled his engine, and crossed his arms.
Gipsy cast him a tilt of the head, smugness abundant in a flick of a brushing touch.
That smugness only lasted until he spotted the whole base gathered in the hangar, staring up at him and the Jerk.
Raleigh and Mako were among them, gaping, lips apart.
Guilt slammed Gipsy right in the chest. He shrivelled, clambering into a sitting position on the floor.
He didn't mean to—
Why was he hiding?
He ducked his head, and gave his two pilots a discreet scan.
He didn't understand why Mako spread a hand toward Raleigh, and got a fifty dollar bill slapped into her palm.
She smiled, though, so things probably weren't that bad.
Notes: I have no idea where this is going yet other than I just really want to write about the Jaegers gaining sentience and figuring themselves out. I do have a premise, but I don't know if an actual plot is gonna develop out of it. Oh dear.
There might also be Jaeger shipping, and Mako/Raleigh, depending on what happens as the story progresses. I can't promise that I'll finish this thing, and updates will probably come slow. If you still decide to stick around despite all that, thank you a million! If not, I completely understand, 'cause I wouldn't want to read a story its teller is so unsure about either. X'D
Reviews would be lovely regardless. Thanks for reading!