Chapter 11: Scout
The group landed within the hanger aboard Atlantis Base. With ease, Ransac moved the Gundam over to the repair bay. Once that was done he shut the machine off and climbed out of the cockpit.
“Sorry about the damage. I’ll do my best to make sure it won’t happen again.” Apologized Ransac.
“An arm we can fix, let’s just be glad the GN-Drive wasn’t damaged or we’d be in serious trouble.” Said Daryl.
“So what now sir?” Daryl frowned.
“First we recover our strength, then we head back into the desert to find their base and take it down.”
“I’ll be ready once the Gundam is sir.” Daryl’s frown deepened.
“Are you sure you‘re up for this? You know exactly where we’re headed.”
“I have someone there who I owe something to sir.” The commander sighed.
“Very well then, your quarters are down that hall, room 5.” Daryl pointed to a corridor behind Ransac. Ransac nodded and entered the hallway. When he opened the door, he was surprised by his room.
It was rather luxurious, considering it was a military personnel bed room. The bed looked soft and in the corner was a door leading to a bathroom.
“Is this a luxury cruise or a military base?” chuckled Ransac as he inspected the bathroom.
In the corner he found a locker. So this was to double as his locker room for immediate sortie. Finding a change of clothing on the counter, Ransac changed out of his pilot suit, throwing it into the locker before putting on the rest. Ransac threw himself onto the bed once he was done. Allowing his mind to once again race with thoughts.
Milliardo had been good, there’s no denying that. He had been able to simultaneously deal with both Ransac and the GN-Claws. If not for the others arriving, he would be dead by now. How was he going to deal with Milliardo if his best weapons were useless? Suddenly it occurred to him. He had to find Syrene.
Ransac leapt out of the bed, racing down the hallway back into the hanger. He quickly searched around for Syrene, spotting her as she walked down the catwalk leading to the left side of the Gundam.
“Syrene! Hold on a second!” He shouted. Syrene turned, a curious expression on her face. She waited patiently as Ransac quickly climbed up to her. Once close, he noticed a faint blush on her cheeks.
“I need you to do something for me, it’s important.”
“What is it?”
“I need you to synchronize the GN-Claws with my Quantum Brainwaves.”
Syrene’s eyes grew wide. Ransac could tell she was already miles ahead on that idea.
“But if that happens, won’t you be vulnerable to other Quantum Brainwaves as well?”
“Let me worry about that, this may be the only way we can level the field with that guy.”
“Alright, I’ll get it set up for you. Just be careful out there.” Syrene blushed further before turning away to observe the left arm of the Gundam being reattached. Ransac turned and left for the simulator room.
“Time for some quick work.” He thought. An hour later Ransac climbed out of the simulator. He was confident his plan would work now. A quick alarm went off through the base.
“Attention all personnel! We will be breaching the surface shortly. All pilots to the hanger bay immediately!”
Ransac took off for the hanger, stopping by his room first to swap out into his pilot uniform. Within a matter of minutes he was climbing back into the Rush Gundam.
“The modifications are finished, good luck out there.” Informed Syrene as she looked into the cockpit. Ransac nodded in thanks before closing the cockpit for take off.
The ship jumped as it broke the surface of the ocean. Once it had settled, the hanger doors slid open for them. The group launched immediately.
“Be careful guys, we only have a small idea of what we’re up against.” Warned Longshot. Privately the group agreed.
An hour of soaring through the Sahara, brought Ransac back to a familiar sight. Before them, growing rapidly on the horizon, stood the Super Human Institute where Ransac was born. His heart leapt as he glared at the view screen.
“Well Karith, you got what you wanted, I’m home.” He growled to himself.
“I’m not detecting any mobile suits nearby, no personnel either for that matter.” Announced Dom.
“The base was heavily plated to keep out the desert sand, and to hide themselves from anyone who wanted to invade the base. There’s a hanger over here.” Informed Ransac. Ransac took the Gundam into a dive next to the sand. In the distance he saw where the hanger was, but the doors were sealed shut. “Doors are shut.” Said Dom. “I can deal with that.” Replied Ransac. Ransac shoved the arms and GN-Claws of the Gundam straight through the armor plating of the door, forcibly pulling the doors open as he worked. Within a short moment, the doors were open wide enough for everyone to crawl in.
“Longshot, Strafe, you two are coming with me.” Said Ransac as he brought the Gundam to a stop inside.
“I’ll watch our mobile suits then.” Said Dom reluctantly.
Ransac opened the cockpit, climbing down onto the floor. Besides him, the others did the same. A shiver ran down Ransac’s spine. He had never wanted to come back here.
“There’s nobody here.” Said Strafe as he pulled out his sidearm. Ransac noticed this too. If someone was in the base it would be on high alert and the moment they broke into the hanger they would’ve been under heavy gunfire.
“Stay on your guard anyway, remember, this belongs to some mad scientist with an agenda.” Warned Longshot. Ransac lead them up the stairs and through the door, reliving each step he took last time he was here as he went. When they reached a split in the halls, Ransac stopped. “That way leads to the living quarters and holding cells of Super Soldiers.” Said Ransac, pointing to the split to the right.
“And the left?” Asked Strafe.
“I don’t know, I spent most of my life in the holding cells.”
“Then we go left.” Said Longshot as he took the lead.
The group quickly traveled through the halls, weapons at the ready for the slightest sign. The lights flickered above them, suddenly dying out. Red lighting turned on to replace it.
“Main generator must’ve died.” Said Strafe. “Or it was shut off on purpose.” Replied Longshot.
Ransac sincerely hoped Strafe was correct. If someone had shut the main generator off, it meant someone wanted them here. The group stopped as they found a door. A sign attached to it said off limits.
“Sounds like a good a place as any to start.” Said Longshot as he shot the lock off the door. With nothing holding it shut, the door creaked open. Inside, the room was filled with round objects. Their true form hidden by the darkness within the room. Enough light filtered in to show just that.
“Stay close.” Warned Longshot as he went in.
The group followed him in, covering each others back as they walked. They walked deeper into the room, still unable to see anything. Suddenly Ransac tripped over a small round object, causing him to grab onto one of the round things next to them. At that moment the lights came back on. Ransac screamed as he saw what he was holding.
It was a giant container filled with water, inside, floating almost serenely, was Ransac his eyes staring blanking outward. Immediately he flung himself away from the tube, falling to the floor.
“What the hell…” Whispered Longshot faintly as the other containers came into light. Ransac followed his gaze to see it wasn’t just one tube like that, it was many. Dozens of rows of containers, each filled with a different Ransac. It was like a sight straight from hell.
“I see you’ve found my experiments, a pity, them.” Said a voice from the door.
Ransac swung around at that voice, gun at the ready. He recognized that voice. In the doorway, stood professor Karith, holding a gun directly at Ransac’s head.
“Who are you?” Demanded Longshot. “I see, I suppose introductions are in order, I am chief genetic scientist, professor Karith, or at least I was.” Replied Karith. “So you’re the one behind this?” Demanded Strafe. “Unfortunately, yes, these were experiments before and after my perfect creation was made, unfortunately it seems the DNA used to create them was contaminated, they never stood a chance.” Sighed Karith.
“You are a sick man, nobody in their right mind would do this.” Snarled Longshot.
“That is a matter of perspective my dear man, if a man needs to kill in order to survive, he will. If he has to remove a limb to defend himself, he will do it. And if a man with the right knowledge is hired to do a job that could advance his career like nothing else could, he would do it without hesitation.” Longshot growled. Karith seemed uninterested however, instead he turned his attention to Ransac.
“Welcome home, E-58, it’s been over a year now, hasn’t it?”
“You don’t fool me, Karith, I still remember what you put me through.” Snarled Ransac. Karith sighed again.
“Still feisty as ever I see. Yes, unfortunately those were necessary to your development, you were the pride and join of everyone you know.”
“You call torturing me for hours necessary?! You call trying to have me killed, necessary?!” Roared Ransac, his finger tightened on the trigger of his gun. Now Karith seemed to become irritated.
“You were a highly stubborn creation, if you had done what you were told that would’ve never happened.” He snapped.
“Stop calling me that! I am a living person! Not your creation!”
“You are both that and more, you are the first perfected Super Soldier, and I have the honor of being your creator.”
Strafe thrust his gun at Karith, his finger already pulling the trigger. Before the shot was off though, the gun was suddenly blasted from his hand.
“You will not harm the professor.” Said a voice. Ransac turned to see who spoke. Sure enough, it was Milliardo, and he was holding a gun directly at Longshot, his attention gone from Strafe.
“Ah yes, I believe you have met my second greatest creation, you’ve met Milliardo of course, I hear he has a rather interesting effect on you.” Karith chuckled as he watched Ransac fall to the ground while holding his head.
The agony was worse than before. He had left his helmet back in the cockpit of the Gundam, too focused on the mission to remember to bring it. Ransac rolled on the ground as the pain spiked another level.
“Yes, it seems the Quantum Brainwaves between you two crash against each other, it’s odd that only you experience the effects though. I guess I’ll just have to fix that later.” Observed Karith.
“Enough, you’re going to kill him at this rate!” Demanded Longshot.
“The pain won’t kill him, it doesn’t target any necessary parts of the body, at the worst he’ll just fall unconscious.” Replied Karith as he continued to watch Ransac roll on the floor.
Despite Karith’s fascination, Milliardo seemed uneasy by all this. He slowly backed away, keeping his gun focused on Longshot as he did. As he got further away, Ransac stopped rolling on the ground, he still held his head, but at least it was tolerable now.
“You should be thankful that Milliardo is such a thoughtful person, you wouldn’t know it from first meeting, but then again good first impressions are always the hardest to make.” Said Karith.
“What do you want with him?” Demanded Longshot.
“I thought that was obvious just from looking around, the DNA used to create him has been contaminated, I need a new sample or more will die just as these did.”
“You created Milliardo though.” Said Strafe.
“Yes, and that was a miracle beyond hope, unfortunately, taking DNA from the clone of a clone is a risky business, better to get it from the original.”
“A clone of a clone? Are you saying Ransac is a clone?” Demanded Longshot
“He was born in the Super Human Institute wasn’t he? It’s extremely difficult to alter a previously existing human to become a desired super soldier, it was much easier to grow one than to wait for the right person to come along.”
“You still need DNA for that though, why not use that source?” Asked Strafe
“Ah, well that’s the most troublesome part of it all, it seems age has damaged that source to the point where cloning it again is simply impossible.
“Age…? Are you saying…?”
“That it was I who supplied the DNA to create Ransac? Yes, and it took a great deal of effort to make him how he is today, you would hardly tell if you looked at his DNA.” Ransac’s eyes snapped open. He was created from Karith’s DNA? That couldn’t be, he was nothing like him.
“I’m nothing like you, I’m not some kind of monster.” Snarled Ransac. Karith chuckled.
“Well having the same DNA doesn’t make you just like me, does it? It’s like the saying goes, you can’t pick your family, only your friends.” Ransac slowly picked himself off the ground. Anger seemed to force the pain away almost entirely. Ransac swung his gun out.
“Damn you!” He roared as he pulled the trigger. The shot struck right in the chest. Karith seemed unharmed by this however.
“Did you really think I would speak to you in person without having some means of protection?” He snarled. Ransac fired another bullet before his gun was sent soaring into the air. Milliardo had disarmed him.
“Milliardo, deal with these pests, kill them all if necessary, we only need the bodies.” Snarled Karith. With that said, he stormed down the hall, toward the hanger.
“Good luck trying!” Roared Longshot as he fired a bullet at Milliardo. Milliardo leapt behind a container to dodge the bullet. Immediately he began to fire his own shots. Unfortunately they had already dived out of the way. “Strafe! Go alert Dom, we’ll meet you there!” Strafe nodded in response, breaking into a run as he leapt through the doorway out of eyesight. Longshot suddenly handed a gun to Ransac.
“It dropped near here, I’ll take Strafe’s, go, get in the Gundam and stop that mad man before he escapes.”
“What about you?” Asked Ransac.
“I didn’t earn this code name for nothing, don’t worry about me.” Ransac nodded reluctantly, diving through the doorway. As he dove, he watched Longshot begin to fire multiple shots from both guns to give him cover.
Chapter 12: Ambush
Ransac raced down the hall. Focused entirely on finding the hanger. A few turns later and he nearly fell down the stairs. Before him stood the Gundam and Strafe, who was climbing back into his Agas.
“Come on! He’s getting away!” Shouted Strafe as he sealed his cockpit shut. Immediately he and Dom roared from the hanger. Ransac wasted no time, within seconds he had climbed back into the Gundam. Before he even had the cockpit shut he was following the others, taking to the sky once clear.
“Where is he?!” Demanded Ransac.
“There! Tieren Taozi on the move at 3 O’clock!” Announced Dom. Ransac didn’t waste time, immediately he threw the Gundam at it at full speed.
“Karith!” He roared as he charged. The Tieren Taozi swung around, firing a series of bullets at the Gundam as it turned. Ransac dodged each of these with evasive maneuvers. Ransac finally closed the distance between the two, clashing his GN-Claws against Karith’s hastily pulled out beam saber.
“I’m going to kill you! Here and now!” Snarled Ransac.
“Such a fascinating specimen you are!” Replied Karith.
Infuriated, Ransac laid down a vicious series of blows with the Gundam, delivering both powerful kicks and a devastating back hand swipe to the head of the Tieren Taozi. Karith managed to stop him before he was able to finish the fight by shoving the GN-Claws into the chest of the mobile suit, blocking him with his beam saber again.
“I knew I had created a masterpiece when you were born! Your reflexes, your raw power, your combative mind, how truly glorious you are!” As he said this, Karith returned with some of his own blows, throwing the shoulder of the Tieren Taozi into the Gundam to force it off, then following with a fierce series of swipes and thrusts with the beam saber.
Ransac roared in fury. With a brutal thrust of the Gundam’s arm, the arm holding the beam saber was forcibly removed from the shoulder of the Tieren Taozi, Ransac was forced to stop when the Gundam was struck from behind. Coming from the same direction, was another Tieren Taozi, firing multiple rounds at him as it charged.
“Your friend was quite a challenge! I’ll admit I wish I had been able to finish him! But alas, that was not my fate.” Said Milliardo. Ransac swung around to block Milliardo, allowing Karith to pull away. Instead of running however, Karith began firing his gun at the Gundam.
Now fighting from two sides, Ransac realized he was in trouble. Both were remarkably skilled pilots, he’d never survive if he took them both on. Deciding now was the time, Ransac activated the GN-Claws. It took immense mental effort, but he was able to connect his mind directly with the GN-Claws, they were entirely under his control. With a simple thought, he directed them to Milliardo.
“That again? You can’t surely think those will save you!”
Milliardo used his remaining hand to fire his gun at the GN-Claws. Instead of striking however, the bullets missed as the claws rapidly evaded. The claws retaliated with a barrage of beam fire.
“Ah, I see then, very impressive.” growled Milliardo as he was forced to disengage from the Gundam.
Ransac took this moment to pull out the physical sword and beam rifle. With the rifle he forced Karith to dodge instead of continuing his bombardment. At the same time he charged down Milliardo, forcing him into another lock with his blade. At this time, he received additional support from the others, and to Ransac’s joy, Longshot was among them.
“He managed to nick my arm, but it takes more than that to kill me off.” Answered Longshot to Ransac’s silent question. Ransac smiled in the cockpit, they were going to win now.
Suddenly the area around them exploded with gun fire. Ransac was forced to wildly evade the sudden bombardment.
“It’s an ambush!” He announced angrily. Then his eyes grew wide, his face pale. The group firing the bombardment, was a massive force of Tieren Taozi, and they were supporting Karith.
“Retreat!” Ordered Strafe. The group immediately acknowledged the order. Instead of a tactical retreat however, it quickly became a full fledged flight as the enemy began to chase them, not giving up in the slightest. Once the group reached the ocean, they dived under water. Tieren Taozi couldn’t operate there so they finally got some peace.
Diving deeper, the group found Atlantis Base waiting for them. “Open the hatch! We need to get out of here!” Shouted Dom over the com. In response, an airlock slid open for the group to enter. Once inside it sealed shut, the water quickly flooding out.
“That…was too close for comfort.” Gasped Dom.