Go Big or Go Extinct

Part I


Some say we expected them to come from the sky, others that they would just appear from the thin air. I think, we didn't expect them at all, thinking them to be a boogy-man under the bed. So when they emerged from the depth of the ocean, we were not ready.

Not ready at all.

Thousands…millions of lives lost. Wracked cities. Destroyed destinies. Orphaned children.

Some of the attacks took us by complete surprise, to the later ones we were prepared more than to the first ones. After we realized that the invasion wasn't going to stop, we started creating monsters of our own to fight off the threat looming over humanity.

I saw them first on TV when I was 10. I can still vividly remember it like it was yesterday. I was playing some game of bubbles on my mother's tablet when all channels clicked to what they thought was an earthquake in San Francisco. And then we saw it… an ugly horrific creature that destroyed the Golden Gate bridge, taking the city with its brutal force.

As the time went by and it was established that the attack wasn't the last one, we adapted. We rebuilt the cities attacked, we constructed shelters and bunkers. And lastly we created something that later we'd call Jaegers.

My parents, both working military in pre-Kaiju era, were ones of the first pilots the Earth knew. After Brawler Yukon was created in 2015 and its first pilot Adam Casey died in the trial which led to Caitlin Lightcap's discovery of the drift, the pilots begun to be chosen by their compatibility. And who's better than a wife and a husband?

While their training took place we had to leave our home, my beautiful Canada, making me think that I would probably not see it again. My parents, Lieutenant Devon West and Lieutenant Clotilde Remour, were stationed in Shatterdome in Lima. They were training while I was watching and consequently training with them. The area of defense of the Jaegers of Lima stretched as far as Medellin to Patagonia. But my parents were safe in the quarters until She was built in 2016.

A beautiful but terrifying creation of scientists - Solar Prophet, second in the series of Mark-2 Jaegers. But to my parents She was more than just a Jaeger, more than just a machine, more than just a means. After the drift was completed and the Neural Handshake was initiated for the first time, Mom and Dad became one with Solar Prophet. I wasn't allowed to watch the process back in the day but I saw the footage that was stored in the computer memory. That day I knew I'd be a Jaeger pilot one day as well.

Three years and ten dead kaijus later Solar Prophet was lethally injured in a battle for the lands of Patagonia. The Kaiju named Coros emerged from the waters of Tierra del Fuego region. The archipelago that once seemed magnificent and was referred to as the Land of Fire turned exactly into one, covered in blackness and blood. The blood of my parents. Solar Prophet was getting old and the kaijus were adapting…all that resulted into the loss that I would remember for the rest of my days.

Though it was uncommon to leave their assigned positions in the Pan Pacific Defense Corpse, many of my parents' comrades and friends, pilots from all over the world came to pay their respects the day of their funeral. Herc Hansen from Australia, Stacker Pentecost who was at the time teaching in the Academy in Aleska, all the Lima pilots. Some people sent their respects and condolences from far away, I vaguely remember one Yancy Becket who my father recruited when he went to the USA as an Academy Instructor. Yancy was then piloting Gypsy Danger in the Icebox and couldn't show up. I appreciated them all. But that wasn't enough. Apparently my parents with their bold performances and brave actions stirred a lot of lives and touched thousands of destinies. But for me…everything that was happening felt numb. I had nothing. Simply nothing. A lot of people asked me then what they could do for me…to help…offering comfort of any kind. I took Stacker Pentecost on his offer: I wanted him to sign me for the Jaeger Academy though I was still two years behind in age. But at sixteen and growing in the world of con-pads, jaegers and pilots who were making life and death decisions every other day, I was already filled with too many lessons learned. Maybe that's why he didn't even try to object.

Next thing I knew I was in Alaska, in the Jaeger Academy, focused on my goal, driven and still equally numb on the inside. Although I knew much more than most of the future Rangers I worked twice as hard. I realized that my memories would probably prove to be a problem at the Drift so I worked meditation techniques and self-control not to chase the RABBIT at the unfortunate time.

At the Academy I met Mako Mori, who Pentecost adopted after she was left orphaned after the attack of Kaiju Onibaba on Tokyo in 2016. She was silent and determined, mirroring me in many ways. Maybe that's why we found it so easy to be in the company of one another.

It also marked a very important event in my life – the re-meeting with Ricardo Wizinsky, a child of love of a Czech technician and a Peru nurse whom my parents new from our days in Lima Shatterdome. Ricardo and I were loosely acquainted then. Ricardo was nineteen when we met again, with broad shoulders, sun-kissed skin and more than pleasant features he stood out from the rest of the men. His temper was the other thing he was famous for. He was a walking Apollo with a fire in his eyes. But somehow those characteristics made us perfectly compatible, being almost opposites. When we were first called to the floor of the training room, I saw Pentecost's eyes lit up for the first time I was at the Academy (it even got Mako amused), he said he hasn't seen such sync in two trainees who weren't related or intimately close before in his years of piloting and teaching. It was only obvious after long antagonizing hours of training and waiting that we were ready. Ready for real. And by the begging of 2022 in Tokyo Phoenix Tsunami was born. Classification Mark-5 with weight of only 1700 tones the Jaeger combined all the best qualities of her previously built predecessors like Striker Eureka's Angel Wings, switched her body language from Capoeira to Shikon Kobushi like Tacit Roning , had fang-blades like most Japanese Jaegers. Thanks to Pentecost's position as Marshal of Pan Pacific Corpse not a week later on his orders Ricardo and I were drifting to pilot Phoenix for the first time.

When our minds melded and the three of us became one, I truly understood my parents maybe for the first time in my life. It was a strange warm feeling – as if you were home. I searched through Rico's memories looking for nothing in particular. He did the same. My trainings kicked in and I focused not to let the worst of my memories take over. It worked. It was something incredible – like I lived through his life…and beside his womanizing ways to which I just rolled my eyes, he was a good guy. Coming from me it was big – I wasn't a fan of people in general. But what was even more amazing, the feeling of being in control. Finally we could fight back, we could stand our ground. Me, Rico and Phoenix. Together.

Our first mission popped out of the Pacific two weeks later. Kaiju Okashi, category three. A monster , ruining everything that's on its way. Disgustingly big with fangs and snake-like tongue. But the three of us were calm, collected and our every move was a perfection. In the dead of night with heavy rain hitting the metal skin of out beast, we slayed our first Kaiju.

Later we drank our adrenaline under the table with a bottle of Jack but inside the Conn-Pod there was no room for hesitation or delay. I think, by then we were so used to an every-day fear the Kaiju brought on us that we didn't consider pulling back an option. We created killing machines, so kill we must.

Two years. Two years that seemed no more than two weeks Ricardo and I were fighting side by side. We became national heroes by then but fame never exactly was of interest to me. I didn't have any real life outside of Shatterdome. Ricardo on the other hand was showering in it. I didn't mind. We were very different but by the time I considered him a part of myself, that's what happens when you spend a lot of time in each other's heads.

2024 was a mark in almost finished Anti-Kaiju Wall the governments were building with intention of preventing the invasion of Kaiju beyond the Pacific Rim. To my mind it was in illusion – no wall could stop those monsters. Disruption that came next proved me right. Two Kaiju categories III and IV threatened the existence of Japan and that time we knew that Phoenix Tsunami wouldn't be enough. Shaolin Rogue was deployed from Hong Kong Shatterdome. We also got message that Kaiju Mutavore breached the Wall in Australia and took down Vulcan Specter and Echo Saber before he was destroyed by Herc Hansen's Striker Eureka. That day something went horribly wrong, not only outside on the battlefield. We've lost Shaolin Rogue and with her two pilots, Thao Li and Mio Li. When the Chinese Jaeger was crushed I felt something stir…not in me but more in Ricardo, as if it was the trigger. I didn't know what it was then but the tension became unbearable. I think we won that day fueling on his magnified rage and my will-power.

When we came back and Phoenix was having her repair jobs, we stood on one of the platforms observing it, I asked what happened in the water during the fight because I've never, alone or with Rico, felt such an overwhelming rush before…not in a good way. He didn't answer, thinking hard about something. Gone was a carefree attention-whore. This man was focused and hard, he was changed and it seemed that the changes weren't about to stop.

Ricardo found me the next day in my bunker. I was going through the latest Kaiju configurations that our scientists shuffled into our pads. He positioned himself on the floor, his back to the bed and put his head in his hands. I put the small computer away and crawled to his side, not saying anything. He looked at me and said the thing that changed our lives drastically. Rico told me that his paternal grandmother and great-grandmother were sick with schizophrenia and that it's genetic and that the other day when he saw the destruction of Shaolin Rogue it was the start of what they call nervous psychosis.

I was holding his hand when I realized that it was the end of our threesome. Rico knew about his disease and he would never let me into his head, knowing that the poison that was there would more probably hurt me. Also we didn't know what the consequences could be for the Jaeger as well. So I clenched my hands around his and held for dear life.

It appeared that Phoenix got damaged much more seriously than we'd anticipated. Two months later both Rico and I were summoned by Pentecost to Hong Kong. He told us that we were to stay at the Academy for the Shatterdomes were closing due to the distrust of the government to the Jaeger program. Marshal also knew about Rico's condition, and my co-pilot was gulping medications by then, so he secured him the position of instructor of the new pilots.

The Jaegers were close to extinct. I had a feeling that should something not change, we'd be next.

Seemed that Hong Kong brought everyone remaining together: four last standing Jaegers, Pentecost, Herc Hansen with his son Chuck, me and Rico, Mako who I haven't seen for almost three years, Yancy's brother Raleigh who's been MIO for five years… I think, we instinctively saw Hong Kong as our beacon of hope. I could feel Pentecost planning something, I just didn't know what exactly. Maco seemed to know something but held back.

That was it…I think we, the pilots, realized it more than anyone else. We felt the end approaching us with our skins, could hear its client crawling, it was looming over humanity. It was time to raise the stakes. As my father always used to say: go big or go extinct.

A\N –Sooo, everyone, what do you think? I want a lot of your reviews! Seriously!))

As you see I had to change some chronology slightly to fit in my OC. What do you think of her, by the way? I know, I didn't give you a name yet, but next chapter…))

Anyway, I hope you like it, feel free to tell me what you think!