A/N: Thank you for being so patient, after my vacation I had a ton to catch up on, so it took a while to have the time to write. Please review and let me know what you think!
The breech alarm sounded, bringing Audrey out of bed and pulling on her uniform before she'd fully woken from her deep sleep. She and Raleigh had slept in their separate rooms for the evenings, as they tried to do at least once or twice a week. The full size beds in the dorms were not conducive to a full and restful night's sleep when shared, and they both needed their alone time occasionally.
Just as she finished tying her boots, Raleigh threw her door open, looking like a happy puppy. "You ready?" he asked excitedly, giving her a huge grin.
"Yeah." She told him, returning his infectious smile. She pulled her hair back as she walked towards him, her smile broadening as he gave her a kiss. "You're in a good mood." She told him as they made their way to the LOCENT. Audrey glanced at the digital clock on the wall as they passed; it was almost 4 in the morning.
"I'm just glad it finally happened, all this waiting around was making me go crazy." Raleigh told her. The last Kaiju attack had been from the other breech just after the New Year, the Hong Kong breech hadn't seen activity since the mid November. It was now the end of February, and the Hong Kong shatterdome was so tense, it radiated through the halls, making most of the occupants irritable and jumpy.
Audrey nodded in agreement, and the two joined the others in the LOCENT, surrounding the Marshall as he barked orders to the LOCENT crews. When all the pilots had gathered, Pentecost turned to them. "One signature picked up, Cat III. Amber Delta and Tactit Ronin, go. Striker Eureka and Gipsy Danger on standby."
The teams scattered, the Gage twins and the Jessops ran to the drive suit room while Audrey, Raleigh, and the Hansens took their places in the holding room, ready to suit up as soon as the order was given. They watched the feed on the large monitor as the jump hawks brought Tactit Ronin and Amber Delta to the drop site, releasing them in sync. The two Jaegers scanned the area, searching for the Kaiju in the dark waters.
It took almost half an hour for the kaiju to surface finally, erupting from the water with a screech of rage. The two Jaegers began battling with the lizard like creature. The massive Kaiju was one of the biggest Cat III Raleigh had seen since Knifehead in Anchorage. The two Jaegers looked like they were barely phasing the large monster as they attacked. Tactit Ronin's fangblades shot out from the pointed tips of the Jaeger's arms, and they began striking the Kaiju's middle, barely perforating the armored skin, but finally making the Kaiju notice they were there.
"What are they doing?" Chuck asked with a small amount of disgust in his voice. "The head isn't armored, it's the only way to get it done."
"They were told to keep the brain intact." Raleigh reminded him.
"If it's between the kaiju brain and my brain, I'm gonna go with mine." Chuck retorted. Audrey nodded in agreement, her eyes still focused on the monitor as she watched the fight. One of the fangblades sliced into the kaiju's belly and the Jessops brought it up through the tough leathery skin, leaving a wide hole in the Kaiju's middle. The Kaiju roared in anger and pain, and sunk its claws into the shoulders of Tactit Ronin, the claws pierced the metal, sparks erupting from the wiring being severed beneath the armor. The Kaiju pulled down, its strength clearly not waning from the severe blow inflicted by the Jessops, and Tactit Ronin's arms separated from its torso, falling uselessly into the water, leaving a severed tangle of wires protruding from holes.
"Jesus Christ!" Herc shouted as the other's watched mutely. Amber Delta pulled the Kaiju backwards, burning it with the fire cannons pushing out from their ports on the Jaeger's torso. The fire melted the Kaiju's skin on its back, leaving a hole through both sides of the torso. Amber Delta reached into the fresh wound, yanking whatever vital organs it could from the Kaiju. It began to waver, wobbling from side to side as it swiped at the Jaegers sluggishly, before finally losing its footing and falling to the ocean floor. Amber Delta watched the corpse for any sign of life, while Tacit Ronan stood helplessly; its main defenses now floating beside them in the water.
The Marshall came over the open comm line, declaring the signature was showing no signs of life. The jump hawk helicopters began circling over the Jaegers, dropping the lines to connect with the Jaegers and take them back to the shatterdome. The whole battle had only taken a couple hours, and it was six in the morning.
"I need coffee." Audrey declared once the monitor went black.
"I need food." Chuck mimicked.
The four began walking out of the holding room towards the chow hall, when the breech alarm sounded again, the piercing wail making the pilots jump in surprise. They looked at each other in confusion, and turned back around, making their way to the LOCENT. "Maybe it's a glitch?" Raleigh said to the others as they reached the LOCENT. The frenzied activity in the control room quickly dashed that idea, as the crews scrambled to bring all systems back online. The Marshall didn't even wait for the pilots to come to a complete stop before barking the orders out. "Cat IV, Gipsy and Striker go, Solar Prophet and Cherno Alpha on standby."
The four pilots ran to the drive suit room, their tension palpable as the techs began suiting them up. "Something's not right about this." Herc said to no one in particular.
Raleigh agreed with Herc, two Kaiju at once wasn't new, but to send one immediately after the other was new territory, and it had everyone on edge. If the Marshall sent a third Jaeger to help deal with the Cat IV, it would leave only one fully functioning Jaeger at the shatterdome if a third came through. Amber Delta could be brought up to 100% in a few hours, but no one knew if they would have that long. They were in uncharted territory, and it put them all on alert.
One of the drive suit techs that formerly worked on Coyote Tango handed Audrey a cup of coffee, and she thanked him, drinking it as quickly as she could. She handed the cup to Raleigh and he smiled at her, finishing it off. The techs finished suiting the pilots up, and they were handed their helmets. The pilots started the short walk to their bays, Herc clapped Raleigh and Audrey's shoulders, giving them an encouraging grin before he and Chuck made their way to Striker. "Keep the comm line open, we'll bring this bastard down and still have time to get breakfast." Herc told them jovially.
Audrey leaned over to Raleigh and gave him a kiss before they took their spots in Gipsy's cockpit. "Love you." He told her as they began turning the systems on, waiting for the drop onto Gipsy's shoulders.
"Love you too." She responded with a smile, before raising her eyebrows. "Ready for the drop?"
Raleigh nodded. "Ready for the drop."
"It should have surfaced by now." Tendo Choi said over the open comm line in confusion.
"Maybe it got lost." Chuck responded though he couldn't conceal the anxiety in his voice. The two Jaeger teams had been out in the water for 2 hours, and the Kaiju had still not surfaced. Tendo had been tracking it, but it remained deep in the waters, and it was moving so quickly the Jaegers couldn't intersect its path, and were forced to wait for it to surface.
"Pull up the thermals." Audrey said to Raleigh, her eyes scanning the maps pulled up in front of her. Raleigh pressed the sequence of buttons to pull the thermal imaging up over the map. The Kaiju's signature showed as a large red and yellow blob on the radar, making a large looping trail around the Jaeger's, slowly inching closer.
"It's really close." Raleigh muttered his forehead knitting as he watched the signature. The kaiju should have been less than a mile from them, but they still couldn't see it.
Audrey and Raleigh looked in the direction that the kaiju should have been coming from, and they saw the water begin to wave as it came closer and closer. Suddenly, Gipsy's legs were pulled, feeling as though they had a large piece of rope wound between them. Raleigh and Audrey attempted to brace the Jaeger, who had several fail safes to insure it didn't fall. The pulling sensation continued as the force increased.
"Hang on Gipsy!" Herc said over the line. "We see the bastard… kind of." Striker Eureka made its way to the back of the struggling Jaeger, reaching for the black skin that occasionally showed above the water line. The Jaeger couldn't get a tight grip on the slimy creature, but had distracted it enough to make it unwind itself from Gipsy and retreat back into the water. It rose up from the water on two thin legs, shrieking at the two Jaegers before diving back into the water.
The Kaiju looked like a huge, thick eel or snake, with razor sharp teeth protruding from its oversized mouth. Its arms and legs folded into its body, making it fluid as it swam through the water at a rate the Jaeger pilots struggled to keep up with. "This is going to take a while." Raleigh grumbled, watching the thermal signature on the radar swim a few miles away from the Jaegers and begin the slow circle pattern it had taken previously. The pilots knew they were going to have to figure out a new strategy before it attacked again.
Audrey tried to ignore the sun's position in the sky as they waited for the Kaiju. (now officially code name: Kuikku) She knew they had been out there for around 8 or 9 hours, maybe longer. A few hours prior they had received a message over the open comm line letting them know that Cherno Alpha and Solar Prophet had been deployed for a Cat IV about 50 miles from their current location. Less than an hour ago, they'd been updated that the new Kaiju had somehow split into two and the other Jaegers were struggling to stay on top.
Striker Eureka landed a well-timed kick when the Kaiju swam by again, slowing it enough for Gipsy to pull it from the water by one thin arm, struggling to maintain the grip it had as Kuikku struggled to free itself, snapping its razor sharp teeth and latching on to the Jaeger's arm.
Audrey winced, doing her best to ignore the pain shooting through her arm as she tried to shake the creature's teeth loose. Raleigh reached over with Gipsy's free arm, grabbing the top jaw of Kuikku and pulling. He smirked as he felt the jawbone snap and finally released its grip on the Jaeger's arm. Raleigh held tightly as Striker Eureka's sting blades protruded and it sawed through the middle of the Kaiju. Kuikku thrashed violently and Raleigh felt his grip on the monster's head slipping. Audrey reached over to help hold the Kaiju, and said over the comm, "if you guys could hurry the hell up, that'd be great."
"Oh we didn't realize you wanted us to hurry…" Chuck said sarcastically. Striker gave up on sawing through the Kaiju and grabbed the tail, yanking backwards until the weakened Kaiju snapped in two, Kaiju Blue spraying over both Jaegers before they dropped the remains into the ocean.
Raleigh pulled up the life form map overlay, verifying the Kaiju was dead, and glancing at the time. They'd been out for 10 hours, and now that the adrenaline of the fight was wearing off, it definitely felt like ten hours.
The recommended amount of time in an active drift was 4-6 hours. The Kaidonovsky's held the record for longest neural handshake at 18 hours, but the effects had put them out of commission for over a week. Raleigh knew if the headache, nausea and fatigue he was feeling now was bad, the hangover once they were out of the drift was going to kick his ass. A quick glance over at Audrey let him know that she wasn't feeling too hot either.
"Gipsy. Striker." The comm line crackled to life as Marshall Pentecost spoke. "Cherno Alpha and Solar Prophet need your help. Do you think you can make it a few more hours?"
"We're on it." Herc replied.
"Us too." Raleigh responded for him and Audrey. Even without the drift between them, he knew she would have to be close to death to turn down helping the Russians.
The map coordinates popped up in front of them and they made their way north towards the pinpoints in the distance. Striker pulled ahead quickly, the Mark V jaeger had been built for speed, and it was using all it had to make its way to the next battle.
Helicopters flew overhead, spraying both Striker and Gipsy down to remove the corrosive Kaiju blood from the outer armor of the Jaegers. As the two got closer to the fight, they realized how dire the situation was. Both Jaegers were locked in a wrestling match with the identical Kaijus, doing their best to keep the razor sharp pincers away from them as they held them at bay.
Striker picked up their already quick pace, rushing towards the two struggles. They were going to get to the fights precious minutes before Gipsy Danger could. If they went left, they would reach Solar Prophet, if they went right; Cherno Alpha. Striker turned right.
Audrey and Raleigh's emotions began swirling through the drift as the pincers of the Kaiju attacking Solar Prophet made contact, digging through the torso of the Jaeger, leaving a wide hole in its wake. By the time Gipsy Danger got to the Kaiju, Solar Prophet was full of holes, including the cockpit. Raleigh and Audrey registered that the two pilot escape pods were falling from the sky, the equipped parachutes slowing their descent. Whether or not the pilots inside were alive, that remained to be seen.
Audrey's breathing hitched when she saw the destroyed Jaeger, a confused tangle of emotions almost incapacitating her.
"Audrey." Raleigh said softly, hoping to mask his own emotions enough to calm her down. If their handshake broke down now, Gipsy would look exactly like Solar Prophet.
"I've got it." She said through a forced breath, Raleigh felt the handshake strengthen and her focus washed over him in a warm blanket. The two turned their attention to the violent Kaiju they were barely keeping at bay, warming up their plasma cannons as they did. The chain sword on Gipsy's arm slid smoothly from its holster, snapping into place. Raleigh sliced into the Kaiju's arm, removing the pincer from the end. The Kaiju shrieked in pain, attempting to retreat away from the two pilots, backing into Cherno Alpha, who had finished off the Kaiju's twin moments before. Cherno burned the Kaiju with the incinerator turbines protruding from its torso, before backing away to give Gipsy the space it needed to fire the plasma cannons.
"I hope they got a brain from one of the others." Raleigh thought as they aimed for the kaiju's insect like head, almost blowing it away completely. Finally, they both took a ragged breath as they watched the corpse float away on the waves caused by the fight. As they waited for the Jump Hawks with the other Jaegers, they watched pieces of Solar Prophet fall into the water as cables snapped and systems finally lost all power. As the Jump Hawks latched onto Gipsy, Solar Prophet fell into the water, now nothing more than a pile of twisted metal.
A/N: PLEASE PLEASE REVIEW AND LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! ALSO, AS THIS STORE IS WINDING DOWN I WILL BE STARTING WORK ON A NEW SONS OF ANARCHY STORY, IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED, LET ME KNOW AND MAYBE I'LL POST SOME INFO ON IT!