It is easy to break a heart. But it is far harder to shatter a soul.
NOTE- Earth technology HAS advanced. It's not futuristic-era or anything like that, but webcam-type communication's replaced the phone, and there's webcam-mail, too. Weapon-wise, laser guns and polearms referred to as `plasma pikes' (which is a mistake as there's no plasma in them) are standard issue. A plasma pike is a spear-like weapon that consists of a four-foot long staff with long, thin blades at the end. These blades are superheated and electrified at the edges, which enable them to cut through metal like butter. These weapons were developed on earth specifically to fight the dark axis, which are (duh) mechas and repel most modern bullets and conventional weapons. So yeah.
This chapter is mostly insight to Graye, and major decision is made. It may be a little hokey, but it overall feels like something that would happen in the real series. Kin da weird, sort of angsty/serious but there is still hints of humor here and there. I can't name a totally humorless SD gundam episode. So myeh
Disclaimer: If I did own SD gundam, season 2 would already be out and season 3 would eb scheduled for relsase in both USA and japan this febuary. But I don't, so neither of those things will come to pass. Darnit!
Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5
4. A Soldier's Resolution
“Stop!” I yelled that day, “Quit it, please!”
The older boy, Kevin, I think his name was, just chuckled as he dangled my hat from his hand playfully. “You want me to stop, sissy punk?”
“Yeah!” I sniffled. “Please gimmie my hat back!”
“No way. I like this hat, I think I'll keep it.” He grinned as he put it on his head in satisfaction.
I shed tears as I yelled, “Gimme my hat back or I'll get my big brother!”
“Ohh, you're hiding behind you big strong brother. I'm so scared.”
“Give it, you bully!”
“Sticks and stones!” he yelled. “You're beginin'to tic me off, shut up!” he said as he raised his fist to punch me. I flinched, bracing myself for the impact.
It didn't come.
He froze mid-swing as a hand grabbed his collar from behind.
Kevin was lifted up to meet the emerald eyes of Cyrus, my big brother. “Are you bothering Graye?”
“Yeah, you were.” He spat, flipped my hat off his head and shoved him to the ground. “Don't EVER do it again.”
Kevin squeaked and quickly shuffled to his feet and ran away. Cyrus walked up to me, plopped my hat back on my head and kneeled town to my level.
I immediately gave him a hug. “Thanks! You rock!”
“Anytime,” he assured and held me back. “Maybe someday we can make them all go away.”
I nodded, smiling. “Yeah! Someday…”
Snowflakes pelted against the window of the den later that evening. As soon as they had left the school (which had promptly collapsed) it had began to snow a whiteout; the state was on alert for the seemingly freak blizzard.
“It's not a coincidence, is it?” Baku grumbled as they gathered around the television, searching for the rarely used news station.
Captain shook his head. “There is a 70.2 percent chance that this snow is the work of a weather machine. There were no forecasts this morning, and the sky was clear until a few minutes after we evacuated the learning facility.”
“It's called a school, Captain. Remember?” Shute said as he patted his gundam friend on the back as they sat on the couch.
Zero sat, hovering a few feet to the right. “There is one matter that still does puzzle me.”
“Huh?” Graye blinked, surfing channels.
“Why they did not simply use their infernal insects to petrify the innocents? Why bother attempting to kill the children if they could simply turn them to stone?”
Graye blinked. “yeah, I was wondering that too… wait.” She pressed, remembering something that was previously overshadowed in her memory, “One of the Zako soldiers said that the BaguBagu `don't work'. How the heck can that happen?”
Captain gave a blank look for a second, as if trying to see something very far away, and then snapped back to life with the answer. “The magnetic field of this world is very abnormal.”
Shute blinked. “What do you mean?”
“There is interference from the magnetic field of the planet. Implementing data obtained from deactivated BaguBagu, it would be a logical conclusion that it would disrupt their sensors.”
Bakunetsumaru gave an enlightened expression. “They lose the ability to recognize plant from stone?”
Graye grinned. “Harmless as bumblebees!” and then smacked her head. “Wait, then how do they plan on conquering this world if the only people here are human and the BaguBagu are out?”
Shute looked out the window in boredom, but suddenly gave a huge whoop of surprise, “I got it!” and all heads turned. “It's the snow!”
Zero blinked. “Thy words do not present to me a solution, Shute.”
“No, don't you see?! They're using the snow to turn Earth into a popsicle! That way, people can't live here and nothing can grow here if it's always so cold!”
Graye nodded. “Oh, I get it now. But then why isn't it snowing everywhere?”
Bakunetsumaru put up a demonstrative finger. “They want to eliminate us first.”
“Darnit, we're like one of the only things holding them back!” Graye frowned and then smiled a bit. “There's the channel. Dunno why we have ten channels in Arabic, though.”
Today, on local news, Fairebridge Public High School was attacked by forces unknown, resulting in heavy damage to the facilities and several casualties. It is now known the force that Earth has been fighting with calls itself the Dark Axis, and has claimed open hostilities not only with men and women in the field, but have also been recently mounting strikes on civilian facilities throughout the state. When authorities reached the scene of the attack today, most had been evacuated by an unknown group of people, and the attacking force had been neutralized by presumably the same anonymous organization. Here is what one of the children has to say:
I don't who saved me, I couldn't see their faces at all, but I think they were good people! I don't think they were in the army, they looked just like normal kids, but they all had weapons, like swords and stuff. If I ever see them again, I want to say thanks for saving my life, so if they're watching this, thanks a ton!
“Mushy stuff,” Graye rolled her eyes. “You were just doing your job.”
That is all the information we have on the incident. In other news, the water level in the Atlantic Ocean has been lower than normal. Oceanographers have not been able to determine the cause, claiming that the water seemingly `disappeared'. The freak storms inland may be connected…
Shute turned the TV off. “This is bad. This planet doesn't even know what it's up against.”
Bakunetsumaru nodded. “This world has not tasted the strength of a real attack by the Dark Axis. Those scum have been toying with this world for eight years.”
Incoming videophone. Answer? The TV / videophone asked in a monotone voice. It reminded Graye of Ms. Sheehy.
Graye waved a hand, “Whatever. Yeah.”
The screen flickered on to the view of a middle-age dark haired woman with glasses. “Graye! I'm so happy you're safe!”
Graye sighed, “Yeah, I'm fine, Mom.”
“When I heard your school had been attacked, I feared the worst! How did you get out?!”
Graye grinned. “Fought my way out. How else?”
Her mom gave a look of horror. “Are you crazy?! I don't want to lose my only daughter!”
“Mom, please quit the mushy stuff,” Graye eyerolled. “I've got guests.”
“Huh?” the older woman blinked, and then adjusted her glasses. “Oh, I see. Who are they?”
“Some people who are crashing with me after the attack on the school, Mom.”
Her mom gave a sly look. “Which one do you like?”
“MOM!!!!” Graye yelled indignantly, blushing as red as Bakunetsumaru's hair.
A vein throbbed on Graye's head. “That doesn't help.” And then said “You're in the administrative district of Japan right now? They've sent out an evacuation notice, right?”
“Your father and I are evacuating to remote station eight in an hour.”
Graye gave a concerned frown. “Be careful.”
“I always am. Don't you do anything drastic!”
“Yeah.” She smiled “Stay hidden, stay safe. The Dark Axis targets organic life, they'll shoot at you if they see you. Please move as fast you can.”
Grayes' mother nodded. “Yes. What about you?”
“I have to stay.”
“WHAT?!” she squawked, “YOU GET YOUR BUTT OUT OF THERE BEFORE THEY GET YOU, YOUNG LADY!!!”
“I have to stay. Even If I'm in the middle of the conflict, where I am now is way safer than a shelter,” the teenage girl explained. “I have to go. Later.”
“I love you!” her mom piped as the connection clicked off.
Graye rolled her eyes. “Good grief… I can manage myself, she shouldn't worry so much.”
Shute snickered. “So which one of us DO you like?”
“Eh…” Graye sweatdropped. “You may have been spat out as pretty shmexy humans, but I'm not eligible for any of you!”
At this everyone gave a mushroom-cloud sigh. “I appreciate the compliment,” Zero put out awkwardly.
A little ding sounded from the TV and Graye scowled. “Darnit! What now?! Can't the world leave me alone for two seconds?!”
Incoming recorded mail. Read?
The TV flickered into light, and the image of a young man with gentle green eyes, pale copper hair and a face that eerily resembled Graye came on screen.
“Hi little sis,” The image started.
At once Graye gave a cheer, “It's Cyrus! I haven't seen my big brother in ages!”
The image rolled its eyes, “I know you're whooping at seeing your big bro again, but this is only a recording, so hah.” He pouted, and was all business, “As you know, your school got attacked today… or yesterday, depending on when you get this. All nations have sent out a recall for those with training. It seems the enemy will mount a decisive battle very near our house! I'll be around there now, probably too scared to eat. They've issued an order for a prosthetic leg for me, so I'll be able to walk again, even if just for this fight. I'm too good for them to miss in this attack, even I if do say so myself, lil' sis.” The image smiled towards the end. “I'm calling for good luck. I miss you a lot, and I can only lament the fact that I didn't finish college before I had to be shipped off. It'll be a rough one, our forces are already devastated, and this seems to be the largest concentration of troops they've ever pitted against us. I just want you to know I love you, and I always will. I look at your picture every day because I can't call from school. I know you look at mine. You wear it around your neck, like you always have, and you always will. I just want you to know that even if I don't return, I'll always be there to protect you, even if in spirit. Maybe, just maybe, the day will come when you can add your own picture to that locket of yours, on the day that I need you more than you need me. I'll always fight by your side, if not in person, but in your heart. If I die, or worse, please remember that I'll… gawd, not to sound hokey or anything, live in your heart forever. You're never alone. Ah, I have to go. I love you, Graye Tyrone Kenneth. Goodbye.”
The screen flickered off, and everyone stared at the screen, and then Graye in silence.
The girl made no sound, staring at where her brother's face had been a second before, tears welling up in her cloudy eyes.
Captain spoke first. “Graye, your behavior is abnormal. What is troubling you?”
“STUPID!!!!! SO EFFING STUPID!!!” she screamed in rage, bolted off the couch and bellowed at the TV, “WHERE DID THE BROADCAST COME FROM?!”
Origin of signal is roughly twenty miles to the west
“DARNIT!” she yelled, grabbed a coat, boots, gloves and a long purple scarf off her hook, fury welling in her eyes. She stormed to the front door, a resolute look on her face.
Zero darted up to her, placing a hand on her shoulder, “Has thou gone mad?! It's a maelstrom in the open air!”
Graye batted the hand off and gave him a desperate, angry look. “Don't you get it?! My brother's out there! The Dark Axis is setting a trap, and he's falling for it!” and she ran off into the night, snow fluttering through the door and kissing the face of the Winged Knight.
I sat on my bed, decked in the black of mourning that gray dawn. My shade was drawn open; I was waiting for the day to begin, another day without my brother.
Two years earlier, Cyrus was in High School, when they issued the draft. He was one of the people on the list, and he had to go serve our world against a force of mysterious identity. Six months ago, we had received the notice that his squadron had been captured and his whereabouts were unknown. We all feared the worst, and had gone into mourning for my `late brother'.
That is, until that morning, March eighth, I think. I was looking out the window in depression, musing to myself.
“He got himself killed fighting the bullies. The bullies won… I'm so sorry I couldn't be there to help you with them.” I spat, gazing out to the walk.
Blood. A man limped, missing one of his legs and leaning on a stick up our walkway, clad in bloodstained and tattered army fatigues. Halfway to reaching to open the door, he collapsed on his back and from a distance I could see a pair of bottle green eyes staring up at the sky in futility. I pried open my first-story windowpane and ran up to him.
“Cyrus!” I screamed, overjoyed yet horrified at my brother's gristly return from `death'. I leaned down to carry him into the house and he smiled.
“Thanks for heading the welcome wagon, sis.”
“Welcome home, Bro. Welcome home.”
“That was foolish! You do not just walk out into a snowstorm!” Bakunetsumaru, from on top of Entengo scolded Graye as they trudged along. The snow had died down for a bit, and the gundam force had caught up to Graye after a day of searching. The storm had made it very hard to track her and it was difficult even traveling in the blizzard.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. But you aren't one to talk about having a short fuse,” Graye mumbled.
“Hhg… we've been walking all day… I need a break…” Shute sighed.
Captain turned to Bakunetsumaru. “Do you think Shute can get on Entengo?”
“What do you think?” Baku asked his horse, who whinnied in approval. Captain helped Shute up and they started off again.
Zero looked at Captain, “How close are we to the site of battle, Captain?”
“Exactly one quarter of a mile.” Captain informed. He was about to say it again in metric, but a flare of reddish light cut him off, like a soundless thunderclap. There was screaming heard for about a second, and then silence.
Graye gave an alarmed look, “I'm coming! Hold on!” and broke off at a sprint, despite being almost totally exhausted, she sped past a wall of concrete, and then froze, horrified.
The others caught up in a second, but their reactions were almost the same as Graye's.
From the view of the hill overlooking the battleground, all you could see was gray granite. Upon closer inspection the `concrete wall' was actually a bush. Thousands of soldiers stood petrified in their tracks, guns or plasma pikes pointed at some long-gone foe.
“How-” Shute gasped, and Captain turned to him grimly.
“The red light we saw 8.9 seconds earlier was an electromagnetic pulse, strong enough to temporarily nullify the interference in the planet's natural magnetic field,” Captain explained.
Zero stared at the soldiers in awe. “By Mana…” he mumbled, remembering countless battles lost.
The Arkian gundam said nothing, but looked at the stone army in amazement and caution.
Graye took off at a sprint down the hill “Please, please, no!” she screamed as she searched the marble statues at a breakneck pace. One, in the middle of the combat caught her eye and she halted on the spot, tears in her eyes.
The statue wore a neat, now granite, uniform, only slightly scratched up by the battle. A pair of protective goggles sat on his forehead, removed for being foggy. In his hands he held two plasma guns, one aimed at something unseen and the other held in a downward position, still cooling from an overheat. The face was captured forever in a determined expression, resolute in his final moments. Where the raised gun was pointed were a few metal Zako corpses, still smoking. A Plasma pike in its sheath sat unused, the only unpetrified item other than the pair of shining metal guns held in his hands.
At once, Graye ran up to the statue and embraced it, sobbing, “I'm so sorry, I was too late. Please forgive me Cyrus. I couldn't help you… even after everything you did for me, big brother. I'm so sorry…” she cried, salty tears condensing on the cold stone.
The Gundam Force looked on in concern at the hysteric Graye. Captain took the baseball cap that Shute had insisted him on wearing off and held it to his breast in salute. Bakunetsumaru gave a respectful bow, and Zero lowered his head in silence.
Shute hopped off Entengo and made his way to comfort Graye, but the soft hand of the Winged Knight held him back.
“This is not our business. This is a personal matter, one that we have no influence over. However warmly you deliver thy words, they will not ease this icy moment.”
The boy sighed and stopped in his tracks. “You're right.” And then gave a sad look “But I can't help but feel bad.”
Bakunetsumaru turned away. “We should not be here. I am going to make camp, who is coming?”
All save the girl complied. As the soft snowflakes of a gentle sunset settled to the ground, Graye cried herself to sleep, lost in a world of regret and sorrow.
That night was one of the roughest ones of my life. I could barely tell if I was awake, asleep, or what, seeing as I could feel myself cry in my dreams and in the moments that I was awake.
My brother had always been there for me. While some older siblings like to tease their younger ones, my brother always cared, always helped me out of a rough spot, and was always my idol. Whenever the mean boys on our old block would come around, he was there to protect me, and he was always around to cheer me up, whether it be by mail from his base or in person. He means a lot to me, more than most people guess.
And then, just like that, he was gone. I would have been less hysterical if he had dies an honorable death. But no, he was now a statue. And I couldn't help him.
“Why?!” I thought in a half-asleep state, “Why did this have to happen?!” and burst into a dream.
I was in a field, rosemary and snowdrop flowers as far as the eye could see.
“Guess who?” a voice laughed from behind me, and I whirled around to see my brother, standing on two legs and smiling at me like life was one big joke. I ran up and hugged him.
“Cyrus!” I exclaimed, but then looked up at him. “How can you be standing on two legs, you only have one.”
He rolled his eyes, “This is a dream, remember, it isn't supposed to make sense, goofball.”
I blushed. “Oh yeah.”
“Look,” he said and looked me in the eye. “I know you're upset. But there's nothing you can do about me right now. Leave me, there are other things you should be doing.”
I looked up at him in shock. “What are you saying?!”
Cyrus shook his head. “I'm a soldier. This is my war wound, and it cripples me. I can't move, so my job isn't finished. I've always helped you out when things were rough, so I'm asking you to do one thing in return, okay?”
“I want you to take my plasma pike and my left hand gun.”
I blinked. “I don't get it.”
“Man, you always were the slow one in the family.” He yawned.
He held up his hands, “Whoa, don't get all bent out of shape; I'm kidding. What I mean is that I want you to take my place, not in the army, but in the whole war. I'm asking you to get the `bullies', you see?”
He gave me a serious look. “Do you promise?”
I thought a second and then replied with, “I promise. I won't ever forsake Earth.”
He held out his hand. “Pinky promise.”
I accepted, and locked a finger, “Pinky promise.”
“Good.” He smiled, “You're a soldier now, Graye Tyrone Kenneth. And a soldier doesn't give up, not ever. Make me proud, lil' Sis.” He grinned and wiped the tears away from my eyes. “Make everyone proud.”
Dream faded to reality, and I reached up to feel my face.
It was dry.
I looked at the statue of my brother in amazement and then gave an understanding nod.
Slowly, as if the enemy wasn't nipping at Earth's heels at the moment, I unbelted the polearm and its case from his back, and strapped it over my light coat. I reached to his left hand, and to my surprise, the gun slid out of his stony hand with ease. Tucking it into my belt, I looked up at the clouded, angry sky.
“I'm a soldier now. Dark Axis, I hope you're watching this. You may have become Earth's worst nightmare, but I am about to become yours.”
Well that's the end of that!|
Dream scene- dude, she hasn't eaten in a day, she hasn't slept in TWO days and she's in hysterics. Maybe her brother IS talking to her, maybe she's just delusional. It works either way. She stopped crying in her sleep as soon as the whole dream-scene thing started, so her tears could have just dried up. As I said, draw your own conclusions.
The decision that was made? She's made up her mind not only to fight to survive, but not to just leave it to the army and actually fight for earth. She's a big girl now XD
I promise there'll be fighting and kewlness next chapter… its just that this one was necessary to make it all work. Look, notice that Graye never engaged in combat first, she was always fighting to survive last chapter. Now, well, she's got a cause, and by gosh she'll uphold it!
Rosemary and snowdrop flowers- symbolic for remembrance and hope. Just something I slipped in there. Much fun
That's all for now, review please, it's my bread and water!
Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5