Literary Challenge #27 : Return to Terra Nova
View Single Post
Join Date: Jun 2012
Pierce him! Faster than he!
09-05-2012, 12:35 PM
Captain's personal log:
I am of two minds today. Part of me is sad as my ship, the Trombe, is being reassigned to another captain. The rest of me is happy though, as my crew are getting some much needed R&R and when we come back, we have a scratch-built vessel waiting for us. I have been looking over the specifications of this ship, and I can't help but notice it is not a standard vessel... Something stinks at Jupiter Station.
As I record this log, my crew are being ferried toward Sol on the U.S.S. Alteisen Riese, commanded by my good friend Cagalli Y. Atha.
"Computer, halt recording." I muttered as I heard a knock at the door, "It's open!" I called out to whomever was on the other side.
The door opened, and I had to look up...
...This can't be good. Cagalli was towering over me at 8ft tall, sosomething serious was going down.
"Amuro, I'd like you to accompany me to the ward room. R&R will have to wait." Cagalli said to me, her voice sounding deep and ever so slightly metallic.
I grabbed my PADD and ran after her, fortunately the ward room was just down the hall, so their wasn't much ground to make up.
I entered the room and made my way to the nearest available seat, and slumped down into it.
Cagalli motioned to the viewscreen rising from the centre of the table and spoke to me, "What do you make of this transmission?" She asked, starting playback of a recording she tells me was intercepted by her Ops officer.
I hear distorted, broken cries for help; talk of radiation and tremors. There are faint reports of collapsing caves and buildings where many are trapped, then I hear two words which send a chill up my spine...
"Terra Nova." I unwittingly said aloud with a sense of dread. Cagalli took notice immediately.
"Amuro? You look like you just saw your father." She said, knowing he passed away a few years ago.
"I may as well have." I said to her "Terra Nova was very nearly humanity's first interstellar conflict, in a manner of sorts, and it was with ourselves.
If it was not for Archer and the Enterprise, this colony would surely have been wiped out centuries ago. We haven't heard from them in some time, if I remember my lessons correctly." I said with some humour.
"I brought you here because I know you're in a hurry to get home, but you know I have to go to Terra Nova to help in any way I can. The Aquarion is docked aft, you can take it and get back to Sol in time, or lend me your hand in helping the colony." Cagalli said, she looked as though she was hiding something.
"You know full well I can't turn and go after hearing this! Zazhid and I would both take a right good square go at beating you up for even thinking that! She'll understand, and besides, the ceremony can wait. Ma'll understand too." I raged, calming as I thought of Zazhid, the yin to my yang.
"Ok, but do me a favour and stay on the bridge for a while. I need to finish some calibrations..." Cagalli trailed off as she stood up and strode out of the room towards engineering.
We reached Terra Nova wihtin the hour, almost holding together as Cagalli ran another one of her experimental drive tests. I swear shes going to kill herself at this rate. I seriously doubt her stasis defence would hold up in the vacuum of space.
The bridge crew performed their jobs admirably, but they missed something on their scan: radiation levels were rising rapidly. Soon even our EV suits would be useless.
I heard my combadge chirp, "Meet me in cargo bay 4."
What is Cagalli up to? I thought, racing towards the transporter at the rear of the bridge for the most efficient route.
I materialised just within the cargo bay and say two huge screens. Cagalli emerged from behind the screen on the right and called out to me "I know you've noticed the specs on your new ship are a little different than the standard. That's my fault!"
"What do you mean?" I asked her, perplexed.
"Well, you know how it's customary to give gifts to the happy couple, right?" She said with a glint in her reflective eyes.
"Well, here's mine for you!" She bellowed as the screen was pulled to one side, revealing what looked like...
"No... No WAY!" My eyes widened " Is that what I think it is?!"
"Only if you were thinking of a Neutronium alloy armoured, overunity engine driven, bipedal search & rescue haz-mat mechanoid." She said with a beaming smile from ear to ear. "
"How...?" I almost whimpered in bewilderment.
"I been working on a general use, no danger assistance module for a very long time. I just had to finish the power core. The journey here was the last test." She said with pride, something I haven't heard from her before.
"So why now?" I asked her.
She knew full well what I meant behind my vague question, " The shielding is almost as strong as the Trombe's was. Plus, the equipment on board should help you get the job done."
"Ok... What about the giant spike?" I asked, pointing to the massive pointed protrusion emanating from the right arm.
"That's a 'Revolving Bunker', mostly for breaking through rock, but I think you'll find other uses for it."
"Roll out!" I called, feeling a little nostalgic for that animation I often watch.
Touching down on the planet, I feel like the balance for my new toy is strange. Cagalli told me that she did what she could, but short of overspecialising she couldn't centre the balance any more.
I managed to create enough holes in collapsed caves and buildings for the Alteisen Riese to beam out survivors, but we all knew this colony would be lost for some time.
I hailed Cagalli for a beam out, but she told me the ship couldn't get a lock on me or my new toy, commenting that it would need a name. She suggested using the abbreviation for the working title she used while building it.
"No way, I'm not calling it G.U.N.D.A.M.!" I said.
"Why not?" She asked, pouting.
"It sounds goofy. How about 'Alteisen'?"
"It was conceived on your ship, the Alteisen Riese, which is "Old iron giant" so why not give this a name derived from its 'mother', so-to-speak?" I reasoned with her.
"Ahhhh, I see the logic. Wait, you pulled that straight from that animation you've been watching... at night..."
"A little, but you have to admit it fits." I grinned.
"At any rate, you're going to have to up the output on the drive to get out of there. Fly up!" She said, almost getting into it. I think she's been watching some of that anime too...
I listened to the sage advice, upped the output and gunned the engine to obtain escape velocity. When I did though, my heart sank. A bird-of-prey sat between me and safety.
'You'll find other uses for it...' Cagalli's voice rang inside my head.
Another insane idea, but I had to try.
"Ikuzo, Alteisen! Pierce him, faster than he!" I cried out as the thrusters roared into life, supplanted by the modified fighter impulse engine as momentum took hold.
I cocked the right arm back, and thrust the bunker into the bow section as I reached the splatter point, and fired off the bunker round.
Cagalli never told me about the shockwave that round would create, as it cascaded through the vessel, destroying relay after relay.
I turned to move toward the ship, but I was pushed by the shockwave caused by the BoP exploding!
"No matter how thick your armour... I have but to pierce it!" I said calmy.
Back aboard the Riese, speeding for home, Cagalli reminded me I had a wedding to get ready for, but there was still one thing puzzling me...
"You never explained to me why my new ship isn't standard spec, so tell me now, please?" I asked, hoping for a straight answer.
Amazingly, I got one.
"Because I needed the space for your 'Alteisen', and its opposite number to fit. That and I had to reroute a few relays to accomodate the engine's ability to power said vessel. Speaking of which, the comissioning has been done. They dubbed it 'Aussenseiter'. Whaddaya think?"
"I can't wait. But first comes the wedding, and the Honeymoon." I said as I turned to go to my quarters.
'What a long day...' I thought to myself, as I slumped onto the bunk for some peace and quiet.
Then the alarm went off. "AARGH!"