View Full Version : Writing: My Girlfriend is a ~200ft Tall Killing Machine

2010-08-08, 07:08 PM
So, explanation? I had read some NGE Fan Fic and was in the midst of those times when your brain is wierdly creative. I thought of this, thought "What?" then went "Hell with it, I'm gonna write it." I'd like to thank QED, Byrnbot08, Chiasaur11 and SonofSkz for helping with ideas and proofreading. Hope you enjoy!

My Girlfriend is a ~200ft Tall Killing Machine

In the year of Our Lord,Two Thousand and One, humanity came under attack from an extraterrestrial being. No negotiations were held, nor attempted by the newcomer. Using weapons and equipment operating on laws not then known to science it looked like the battle would be a walkover... until a desperate offensive caught it off guard, and it was killed. The body was claimed by an unorthodox organisation, EARTHDEF for study. Of the things learnt from studying the alien, the most disturbing was that it was not alone... and more were coming.

Nine years later, in the year of Our Lord Twenty Ten, Earth awaits the imminent arrival of a new alien. But things will be different this time. We are expecting them. We have a new form of defence that outclasses anything we've fielded before. We are Ready.

“Tokyo again. It's always Tokyo that gets attacked. Why?”

The question was asked by a young man in the passenger compartment of a private jet as it flew across the Pacific Ocean. Joshua Falmoth was sat in a window seat alternating between looking at the expanse of blue below, or around at those also on the plane.

“Well, yes it's the predicted location of the coming attack... but it does also happen to be where most of EARTHDEF's assets are located as well. Japan's been one of our biggest funders, you know.” said Janice Young, Josh's 'minder' for the trip. “You could say they're sort of prepared for the eventuality.”

“That's... not quite what I meant...” Josh said, shaking his head. “Why not attack... London? Or New York? Heck, even Paris if they wanted to be inventive. Tokyo's cliché.”

“We know they're targeting Tokyo. That's all we know from the communications we've recovered and that's all we need to know at the moment. Whilst the majority of the population has evacuated or gone into emergency bunkers, you always have a few people who can't or don't leave their homes for some reason or another. You'll be fighting for lives here.”

Josh sighed. As if the situation didn't already sound cartoony enough, not only was Tokyo in danger but he was being flown in to pilot a giant freaking robot war machine. He wasn't incredibly certain on the details, apart from some explanation he was given about “genetic markers” and “natural affinity.” He didn't really recall most of it, to be honest, as his brain was then divided into a camp that said, “What.” and a secondary, much louder camp that yelled “WHEEE GIANT ROBOTS” The enthusiasm had worn off somewhat mid-training and now questions were clamouring to be answered...

Janice spoke a phrase in a language that he didn't understand, which threw him off his musing. Watching his confused expression, she sighed and repeated in English “I was asking whether you had your translator switched on, which, I gather, you didn't. You'd better activate it before we land.”

Joshua nodded and flicked it on. The translator, a piece of reverse engineered alien technology was a... well, universal translator. There was even an optional HUD that could be used in conjunction with it to translate the written word.

There was silence again in the cabin, broken only by the loud roar of the jet engines. Until it was broken again by a small pinging noise coming from Josh's bag. Grinning somewhat sheepishly, he pulled out a small laptop computer and unfolded it. The pinging noise was coming from an IM program trying to get his attention.

Joshi_t3h_Dinosaur: Yello?
Alanna: Hey, how's your flight?

Ah. It was Alanna. She was a... well, a 'pen' friend, he was introduced to by a friend of a friend of his parents... if he remembered correctly. He was eight or nine years old then, and apparently she'd lost quite a few friends in the Extraterrestrial Contact war. He'd been in regular contact with her ever since and they got on pretty well. She'd been excited to hear about his transfer to Tokyo as that was where she lived and was therefore hoping they could meet up.

Joshi_t3h_Dinosaur: Pretty boring, to tell the truth. Long haul always is though. Still, we're nearly there, I think.
Alanna: Missing the UK?
Joshi_t3h_Dinosaur: Not yet. Probably will at some point but I only left a few hours ago so... homesickness hasn't really had time to kick in.
Alanna: Heh. Well, Tokyo's a nice city, hopefully you'll find it easy to live in.
Joshi_t3h_Dinosaur: Yeh, well, you may have to take me on a tour then, show me the sights and the like...
Alanna: Yeah... that'd be nice... who'd you say you were being employed by again?
Joshi_t3h_Dinosaur: EARTHDEF. Why?
Alanna: Thought so. I work there as well, sort of. Ask around after me, hopefully one of the staff will point you in the right direction.
Joshi_t3h_Dinosaur: You're well known then?
Alanna: *shrug* You... could say that, I guess.

Josh was interrupted by the pilot informing them that landing was imminent and could all electronic devices please be turned off. This was accompanied by the seatbelt sign being flashed on

Joshi_t3h_Dinosaur: Gah, got to go, we're landing soon. I'll try and meet up with you, although... I don't even know what you look like. Guess I'll work something out. Bye.

Joshi_t3h_Dinosaur is offline

The landing was uneventful, and as soon as all the luggage was offloaded, he and Janice were taken to a chauffeured car. After a few minutes of driving, the car slipped into a tunnel that ran fairly deep underground.

“Welcome to EARTHDEF Japan.” Janice said, as the car drove through the tunnel. “Built a hundred metres or so under Tokyo. 5 metres of steel armour plating on the outside walls. Pretty much a fortress. Even has missile defense batteries for use in a pinch.”

“Right. The Japanese military isn't threatened by this at all?” Josh asked, raising an eyebrow.

“A little, but technically they have more hardware than we do. And we have to ask them for permission to field anything other than the PCUs. Oh... that's the acronym. Stands for Primary Combat Units.”

“The robots?”

“Yes. Three of them, at the moment, few more planned. You'll see them soon enough, but the Commander would like to speak with you first, so that's where you're going when you get there. As a small piece of advice, don't wander around the base until you get your keycard... security doesn't like it much, and it'd be embarrassing for everyone involved,” she finished as the car drew to a halt and they exited.

While there was silence between the two, and the two security escorts tagging along, Josh's mind was working overtime, taking in his new surroundings. The main corridors were a fairly sterile and minimalist environment, Bright white walls with coloured stripes indicating where various facilities were... dual language text providing directions and safety warnings...

“Ye Gods...” Josh thought, “Is the whole base like this? Can't imagine being here for any length of time... I would go crazy... or snow blind...”

Josh stood before the door that appeared to lead to the Commander's Office. With a hiss, the door slid open revealing a darkened room, lit mostly by screens showing maps, various telementary and information that had to make sense to someone, right?

"Enter." An unseen voice stated. Josh and Janice filed into the room, and an overhead light above a desk flickered on. Josh sat at the offered chair across the desk and Janice left the room.

"So. Joshua Falmouth. Resident of the British Isles... Never been in a combat situation before have you?" The commander spoke, suprisingly softly.

"No sir. Been a civilian all my life so far," Josh replied, a touch apprehensively.

"He must have a file on me..." Josh thought, "No point in lying really"

"I'm Commander Tarvis, Leader of EARTHDEF. You need to understand that, right here, right now. Whatever I say? Goes. Doesn't matter what anyone else tells you, my word is law on these premises and on any operations you undertake. I'm supplied with up to the second intelligence and reports, and I'm ex-military myself, so you can trust me to make the right decisions for you, because, out there, piloting one of those contraptions? You won't have time to think. It sounds bad, but that's how it is. Mulling things over too long, leads to deaths. Yours, or your team mates, or civilians. Or all of them. I know that you understand me."

Josh nodded. He didn't like it much, but on reflection, he saw the logic behind it. Time was not an infinite resource, and those behind him would generally have a better view of any proceedings.

"Any questions?" Commander Tarvis enquired.

"When will I meet the others, and who'll be in charge of the robot unit?" Josh asked, after a few seconds of thought,

"We don't have a command structure in place for you. Yet, anyway. You've got a few days of group training in front of you, which is when we'll decide who'll be giving the field orders. You'll meet them soon. I won't say more because... well, wouldn't want to ruin the surprise, would I?"

"Would you?" Josh asked, a little confused. The two stared at each other a second, minds preforming a move similar to two cars heading in opposite directions down a narrow road, waiting for the other to back up first. Amazingly, the Commander gave out first.

"Touche," he grinned. "Is there anything else?"

Josh racked his brains, but could find no pressing issues and said as much.

"Very well then." The Commander said, motioning Josh to stand up. "My door isn't always open, but... there are times and times, you know, once in a while. Catch me during a good moment and I may be willing to help you. Say "Hi." to the others for me."

Josh left the room, pacing quickly to catch up with Janice,

"Where're we going now?" he asked.

"You'll see." Janice answered cryptically.

Commander Tarvis' Office:

"So. What'd you get from him?" Commander Tarvis asked to a figure standing in the shadows

"He seems.. not incredibly bright... but we don't need philosophers, so that'll be fine. What I'm worried about is mostly about his background. His home and family are on the other side of the the world. What has he got to lose?"

"Does he need anything? He's got most of it already..."

The commander smiled, this time without humor.

"His life, for one thing."

"Even so..." the shadowy figure began.

"I understand your reservations, but I don't believe that any additional... coercion is necessary at this time, at least. He's got the world to fight for, and I think he understands that. He'll be fine."

"As always, it is entirely up to you commander." The man bowed a little mockingly

"Don't take that tone with me, Jester. I may be getting on a bit, but I know what I'm doing. I hope."

"As you say sir," he droned respectfully

EARTHDEF Living Quarters

"And this is your home for the duration." Janice finished, indicating with a vague motion of her arm. The room in question had enough room for a bed, a desk and some storage boxes. Not exactly 5 star living, Josh thought, but it'd do.

"Your luggage is being brought up from the car so you don't have to worry about that at the moment... in the meantime, let's introduce you to the other pilots..." she continued, as Josh meandered around the room. She swept out quickly, Josh following her through the facility to a break room.

Just as they were about to enter through the door, the low murmur of conversation halted abruptly as a well spoken, male British voice yelled, "HANDS OFF MY EARL GREY!", followed by a crash and sounds of a scuffle.

"On second thoughts... maybe now isn't the best time?" she said, hesitating. Before they could leave however, a young man arrived through the door. While horizontal. And unconcious. Janice grimaced, while Josh looked at the newcomer in mild shock.

"Charles? For heaven's sake it's TEA!" she yelled, storming in, "If you can't behave yourself, you can think about it in the brig. You know I'd do it."

"B-but... but, it's EARL GREY!" He wailed "I have to get it IMPORTED!"

Janice gave a long suffering sigh and covered her eyes with her hand. "Joshua, this is Captain Charles Montgomery. Charles, this is Josh. Don't kill him please, he's the new pilot."

"Don't worry, I left my knife in my quarters this time." Charles grinned.

"You still have your sword..." Josh observed, a mite timidly.

"Of course," Charles chattered, the grin growing wider, "Try to take it off me..."

Backing away, a series of panic signals ringing, Josh found himself against the wall. "He's a freaking nutjob!" he thought, trying to stall for time, unsure of the man's mental processes.

"You're a captain?"

"Ex-Royal Fusiliers, British Army." Charles explained, extending a hand. Josh returned the shake and tried not to wince when the bones in his hand were ground together. Charles was apparently stronger than his thin frame suggested.

"Has she told you I'm a pilot too?"

Josh blinked. "Not yet..." he started, but Charles cut him off, winding onto another tangent,

"Yes, I'm the pilot of the Light Mech Byron. Named after a poet, don'tcha know. I mostly work as our sniper, or a scout sometimes," he smiled whimsically, turning to Janice, "I like the boy."

"I'm gonna go get some tea," he chuckled, "Would you like some, Joshua?"

Josh turned to Janice, noting the frantic hand signals. "Maybe some other time," he replied, straightening out slightly as Charles reached for his teapot.

Charles' smile grew slightly "He learns quickly, I like him a lot," he leaned back and poured a cup, humming quietly to himself.

As they made their escape, Janice let out a large sigh of relief "He may not've spiked the tea but it's better to be safe than sorry. You chose wisely," she said, grinning at Josh's look of mild confusion and outrage. "Just joking around a bit."

Josh shook his head wearily. "So... that's two pilots, including me... there's a third, right?"

Janice nodded, "Yeh, I was expecting her to be in the breakroom as well. Maybe she's back in her quarters or something."

"She's just avoiding me Janice!" came a shout from the breakroom.

"With good reason!" Janice yelled back

"Bite me!"

"Yeah, probably in her quarters then," Janice said, ignoring the retort, "Let's go see if she's in."


The two nurses looked at the new casualty to have arrived through the door. One picked up the file while the other looked the patient over

"That's... pretty nasty..." she said, somewhat concerned.

"Yeh. He opened a door with his head." the other nurse replied whilst she flipped through the file.

"Oh, a stupidity count then?"

"Thrown through it head first by Charles..."

"Assault then?"

"After touching his tea."

"No, wait, that's stupidity." the nurse sighed, "It's strange how we work in the only organisation that has that sort of injury as a keyboard shortcut..."

" If Charles wasn't here how much quieter do you think our jobs would be?" the other nurse said, putting the file down.

"We'd probably be made redundant." The first nurse said, "I'm probably the first person to say this... but thank heavens Charles works here..."

Living Quarters

"Kojima? Are you in?" Janice asked, knocking on a door. There was a muffled reply to the affirmative, and Janice opened the door. Josh hesistated, not sure whether he should go inside.

"What? First time you've been in a girl's room?" Janice asked, sticking her head back out. Josh looked a bit sheepish.

"Yeaa-no... maybe? Possibly? You can't prove anything?"

"Stop screwing around and get in here. You're wasting time." Came the terse reply from inside the room.

"Fine." Josh said, closing his eyes tightly, stepping inside and tripping over something unseen. "Ow. It appears as though my shin has cracked."

"Smooth." The girl inside said, grinning.

"Totally." Josh replied, picking himself up, "Did you see that arc? Vertical to horizontal in one sweep."

"Impressive," the girl said rolling her eyes, "He's new here?" she asked Janice

"Yes, He's the new pilot" Janice replied.

"It's official. We're doomed." The girl said, Josh wondering whether or not she was joking. "Kojima Miharu. Well, anglecised, it's Miharu Kojima, but you've got to respect tradition, sometimes, yes?"

"I'm Josh. Joshua Falmoth"

"Well Josh, Joshua Falmoth why are you in my room bothering me?"

"He met Charles in the break room and we wanted to convince him that we aren't all insane." Janice explained calmly.

"Well... at the risk of sounding immodest, I'd count myself as sane." Miharu said, grinning. "Nice to meet you, sorry about the mess, I try to keep it clean but..." she shrugged

Josh looked at the room properly for the first time. It was a tip, and larger than his, by a large margin.

"How come your room is huge?" Josh

"I was here first," Miharu said, as if that were an explanation. Josh blinked, rubbed his nose and decided not to persue it further.

"Miharu here pilots the heavy mech." Janice explained, leaning on the doorframe

"Right, I'm the immovable object to your unstoppable force." Miharu grinned, "Now... sorry to seem rude... but I'm kinda working... see you later?" she asked, indicating an open textbook

"Ah, right... yeah, later then..." Josh said, leaving the room, giving her a final wave as he left.

"Nice girl, isn't she?" Janice said as they walked away

"A little sarcastic, but yeah nice..." Josh replied smiling slightly.

"Get your mind out of the gutter boy."

"But I... I wasn't... WHAT!?"

"Kidding, but... I don't think she's your type."

"I never... urgh... Hey, do you know anyone here called Alanna?" Josh asked quietly.

"Um... Alanna... Uh... I don't think so..." Janice answered a bit awkwardly...

"You know her, don't you?"

"Need to know info. That's all I'm going to say." Janice said

"What... urgh. Fine. That's... strange." Josh replied, trying to work out why the whereabouts of a friend were classified.

Janice looked at her watch. "Ack!" she exclaimed, "We need to go. Got to get you set up in your robot, I think we spent way too much time tracking down Miharu..."

She walked at a brisk pace, Josh close behind her, his mind abuzz with the day's events. Surely he could be allowed some rest?

A few minutes later, they arrived at a set of doors with heavy security. Janice unlocked the door with keypad and retina scanner, and motioned Josh in...

"Whoah..." he breathed...

The room was huge and cavernous. It could easily fit a five story building in it, with room to spare. There were three pens currently seperated, each with people buzzing and fussing around them. In the pens were large metal humanoid structures, with scaffolding surrounding them. Josh estimated them to be around 60 meters high... and if he remembered the conversion to imperial measurement correctly, around 200 ft tall.

They weren't, however, uniform. The one closest to them was lean, and appeared to have been modeled around light medieval armor, its stomach was almost concave and had the words PCU 001 stamped across it's chest, the armor was bone white with black trim and it had what appeared to be a huge sniper rifle on its back. The other noticeable armnament was a revolver prominently holstered on its chest.

Behind it was a heavier looking machine. The bodywork was mostly straight and undecorated, a blue and grey camoflage pattern serving as a paint job. Like the first, it had PCU 002 stamping on it. There wasn't much in the way of visible weaponry on it, but there did seem to be a few barrels along the arms and in the torso.

Behind PCU 002 was a huge hulking monster of a machine.It had thick armor and generally seemed to be built on the principle of "Add Mass and add guns." While PCU 002 had a few inbuilt weapons, PCU 003, as it's chest designation proclaimed it to be, was pretty much covered with them. Additionally, beside it was what looked to be the mother of all rapid-fire weaponry, a huge gatling gun, evidently designed for use by this monster. The paint job was a deep red with intricate yellow curved designs, apparently a labor of love.

Janice walked quickly past PCU 001, Josh barely managing to keep up whilst staring in awe. She stopped at the group of labcoat wearing people of various races, and waited for them to stop looking at figures and notice her."

"If your wondering, PCU 003 was hand painted by Miharu. She's very dedicated to it." She said to Josh, while waiting.

"Ah, Janice." Said one of them, apparently the one in charge. "This is him, is it?"

"Yes, Joshua Falmoth." Janice said. "Joshua, this is Doctor Matsuo. He's the head of the PCU development and maintenance team."

"We're running a bit behind schedule," the Doctor said, slightly flustered, "But we're ready to go when you are."

"Wait, what're we doing?" Josh asked, apprehensively.

"We're going to put you in the cockpit and put you through a few training simulations. Nothing too much, just to get you acquainted with the controls and capabilities."

"Uh... Why are the Mechs... you know... Mechs, Doctor? I thought they were supposed rather... less useful than say, tanks?" Josh asked, regaining control of himself a second.

"Well, the Official reason is that it provides morale. They're big and recognisable, which is good. The Science reason? The materials we 'borrowed' from the First Alien happen to work well like this. Don't ask why, we don't fully understand it ourselves. Build a Mech, it works well. Build a tank, and it collapses. Strange, I know." explained one of the technicians standing near him.

Doctor Matsuo pointed at an access lift. "Use that to enter the robot and we'll begin." As a few scientists went to the lift as well to help Josh get set up, Matsuo leaned over to Janice.

"Does he... know about Alanna?" he asked.

"Not yet," Janice breathed, watching him "Thought he'd react better if she broke the news to him."

The doctor nodded. "I hope you're right." he replied, sitting down behind a console...

Josh shivered, trying not to look down during the long trip skywards. He wasn't usually scared of heights, but when all that's seperating you from a long drop is a metal rail...

As the lift slowly slid to a halt at the chest of PCU 002, a technician unlocked the hatch with a quick tap, revealing a snug little cockpit inside. It was quite a tidy little outfit, with a single wide screen dominating the wall, controls laid to the side of the control chair. "Proceed inside pilot," the technician said, nudging him gently towards the waiting seat.

After working out the seating arrangement, and having the controls handed to him, Josh was left alone. The eerie, though efficient humming of the machine was his only comfort inside this space. He stared into the screen as it flickered to life.

"Simulation Prog#01/01?" Josh was a little confused by the numbering they'd chosen. Was this the only program or what?

"I know right? I tried to convince them to change it but noooo, It can't be called 'Robot Pilotin' and Fightan' it has to be professional..." A voice he hadn't heard before sounded over the speakers

Josh had gone completely still. "Who's there?" He asked, thoroughly spooked. As if in response, a section of screen on the control panel lit up, displaying a young woman, about his age, though she was unnaturally beautiful and had long, light brown hair and clear blue eyes...

"Hi Josh." the girl said happily, "We meet at last."

"Do I know you?" Josh asked, brow crinkling

"Only for about a decade," she said, smiling. "You know, speaking on and off? Although I guess I'm not quite what you expected to see in person..."

"You mean you're... the robot?"

"Yes, I'm Alanna, PCU 002. Nice to finally meet you Josh," she finished, looking directly at him.

"Wha... hrgfghgbleee..." Josh said as his brain finally gave up on the day's events and he slumped forward.

Janice and Doctor Matsuo watched from the monitor showing the image from the incockpit camera. The screen divided and Alanna's avatar popped up beside it.

"Well... that could've gone better..." she sighed.

Doctor Matsuo nodded curtly. Janice, still looking at Josh's drooling form, could only think of one thing to say.


2010-08-09, 06:56 AM
It all seems, to have come together well mate!, I've got to admit it looks good. Well done :P


Lord Raziere
2010-08-09, 11:09 AM
Very good, but the title kind of makes the Alanna twist thing obvious.

Although it seems intended to be that way....so I can't really fault you for it...

2010-08-18, 07:24 PM
Chapter Two!


"Okay, I admit not giving him a full briefing may have been a rather bad idea... alright Doc. Fetch a bucket of water." Janice said, observing the comatose form of Josh on one of the beds in the medical bay

"I've got a better idea!" Alanna exclaimed, flicking her avatar onto a nearby screen.

Allana turned the speakers in the room up to their highest level.

"WAKE UP YOU DAFT BASTARD!" she 'bellowed,' bursting a few eardrums.

"Well, Alanna... I'm not sure about Josh... but you've definately woken up the rest of Toyko..." Janice whimpered, holding onto hope that her ears were still functional.

Another voice came through the speakers, this one with polite overtones.

"Scuse there Janny, wots up with all the noise, praytell?" Accompanying the voice was a view of a pleasant looking young man, wearing a military uniform very similar to Charles', but his skin was tanned and his hair shorter and black. He had the sort of smile that made people believe he was here to help.

"Alanna's trying to wake her 'friend' up." Janice replied with a grin, determining she was not deaf for life...

Alanna rolled her eyes. "BYRON, THIS... OH CRap I left the speakers on. Sorry about that! That lazy toerag over there is or was my pilot. Turns out he wasn't fully 'briefed' about everything." She looked at Janice accusingly.

"Turn the fraking volume down love?" Charles' voice came from outside the room. "You should have seen my face when I found out about Byron. That was a rather... eventful, meeting."

"Yea, but I didn't go and blast our ears out when they got ya in the medbay sah," Byron muttered,

Charles wandered in with a carefree grin on his face. "He doesn't look too good, does he?"

Josh made a strangled gargling noise and stirred slightly. "Ow... my head... urgh... what happened?"

Charles' grin grew a notch wider. "You met your new friend. Oh, you should've heard how happy she was that she was going to see you!"

"Oh would you please shut up about that?" Alanna sighed.

"Make me little lady."

"Charles, shes a 60 meter tall killer robot, define little?" Janice commented.

"On the plus side sah, we still have the bigger gun if nothing else," Byron added.

"How reassuring."

Josh ignored this banter, staring at the screen displaying Alanna's avatar. After a while he pointed at it.

"You're not real. You can't be real. What are you? You can't be her. No way. I won't believe it. WHAT IN HELL ARE YOU!? " he screamed, still pointing the accusatory finger.

"Extremely hurt, most likely" Janice grimaced as Allana's portion of the screen blanked suddenly after a short gasp. "I hope sh- Oh no, hold on, I've got to go..." She ran off, muttering under her breath...

Miharu entered seconds later. "Okay... Janice just ran past me with a worried look on her face. Charles, did you break into the high explosives storage again?" she said, giving him an A-Grade glare

"Yes, but thats not the reason." Charles had a nervous look on his face, a little like a teenager talking to his crush. He was fidgeting dejectedly. "Josh was just... rather... rude to Alanna."

Byron snorted through the speakers, "More like a real prick."

"What'd he say?" Miharu asked, rolling up her sleeves and advancing menacingly on the increasingly more cowed Josh.

"He told her she wasn't real." Charles explained, his expression was slightly pained as he said this.

"But... She's a computer program or something, right? So's... Byron, was it? You can't be telling me that's real?" Josh yelped shrinking further backwards

"I'm real, you can be sure of that lad. I'm yer backup, so keep it civil, yea?"

"Lad, Byron? He's older than you." Charles reminded him his voice reasonable and British.

"He's not acting it..." Byron grumbled.

"Josh... Let me put it this way. Those feelings, of Byron's and Allana's, that you just smashed? One hundred percent real. Charles and I have worked with these AIs for a few weeks now... just because they don't exist in a physical sense doesn't mean they aren't real!" Miharu almost yelled at him.

"Speak for your self, I've known Byron years." Charles muttered.

"Well, yes, but you only found out he was an AI about two weeks ago, around same time I found out about Yukiko."

"Three weeks, I got here before you, remember?"

"Uhh... does anyone know why Alanna's crying?" a younger, concerned voice piped up over the speakers. The AI display screen showed a young girl peering through, seemingly close to tears herself

"Oh boy..." Charles grimmaced. "Yukiko, Josh just had a bit of a... slip of the tongue."

"Oh... she's really upset about it..." Yukiko sighed. "I hope she'll be okay..."

"I suggest he appologise to the 200ft mecha, before the aliens arive and kill us all." Charles deadpanned.

"Gawd, rookies sure are hotheaded these days. What's the world coming to, eh sah?"

"You're just saying that because I had military experience before I met you," Charles grinned.

Josh sat on his bed replaying his words in his mind. He groaned inwardly at himself. Although he could pin some of the reaction down to shock, it still didn't exactly justify it. He made up his mind.

"Excuse me... I've got... things to do." He quietly rose and walk out the door, feeling the stares boreing into the back of his head.

Charles looked around and gave Miharu an almost lecherous grin before his smile became more subdued, though no less sinister in its cheerfulness.

"Well, now he's gone to go appologise and given me a distraction from most of the command staff... I'm gonna go set off those explosives I mentioned earlier." Charles left the room humming to himself.

"Wait, you weren't... Gods, you weren't, were you? CHARLES, GET BACK HERE!" Miharu yelled rushing after him.

Byron and Yukiko blinked.

"Humans are strange." Yukiko observed, after the shouting died down

"It's alright dear, I got the detonation codes nice and safe." Byron grinned. The monitor switched off, and the medbay room was silent again

Josh realised two things while wondering the halls. First of which was that he didn't know where or how to 'find' Alanna. Second of which was his lack of a passcard.

"That may be problematic..." He thought with a slight sense of doom. Noticing that there was little point in getting completely lost, he settled for sidling over to a nearby console set in the wall.

Fortunately, it didn't appear to require a username or password, as he didn't have those either. However, there didn't appear to be any direct way of contacting an AI through the terminal. Cursing it silently, he stepped away and persued the only other option occuring to him.

"Er... Alanna? Are you... you know... there?" He asked, thankful that the corridor was empty. He hoped that there was some way she could hear, otherwise this would leave him looking rather silly.

"According to you I'm not..." she replied, obviously still very upset. Contact was established with her at least. Now came the rather more difficult part of putting his foot in his mouth.

"I... Look, I didn't really mean that... I guess it was insensitive, but... I don't know. I wasn't expecting... I don't know what I was expecting. Why didn't you tell me, you know... before we met?"

"You wouldn't have believed it. 'Oh, by the way, I'm actually an artificial intelligence construct in charge of co-piloting a giant robot?' Not exactly something you'd expect to be true." She said. She still sounded upset, but a little less so than before.

Josh shrugged. "You have a point, I guess. And I'm sorry for claiming you don't exist. I guess... well. I was insensitive, although I'd like to pin some of that down to shock, if that's okay."

"You know... neither of the others reacted like that..." She replied, a little testily.

"I can't speak for them, but... well... finding out one of my best friends wasn't quite who I thought she was... on top of a few of the other things that day..."

"Oh, would you please shut up?" That... was bordering on angry. "Whee Josh, well done." He thought sarcasitcally. "You're just making excuses now," She continued. "You're not helping yourself..." She sighed.

"Shall we try this again?" She asked after a moment. Josh nodded a little uncertainly.

"Can you accept me for what I am?" She asked. "Oh yes, in a way, just a bunch of ones, zeroes and pixels but I am a person too, as much as you or anyone else is. You need to understand that, for a start."

Josh nodded again. "I understand now. And, as I've said, I'm sorry for that stupid outburst. I didn't mean to hurt any feelings."

"Well you failed there. Look... just... I dunno. Let's leave it at you owe me one. Deal?" She smiled a little nervously.

"Deal." He replied with a relieved smile.

Day 2: Training

"Okay, because you were a pansy and passed out yesterday-"

"In front of a pretty girl no less." Charles added with a small smirk.

"-You have no idea how PCU 002 works, do you?" Miharu finished.

"I thought we agreed that was because I didn't get much sleep..." Josh mumbled

"No you agreed that, we were too busy pissing ourselves laughing." Charles again.

Miharu sighed. "Look. You two, just get in your mechs. I'll get Doctor Matsuo to load up the sim and we can try to make Josh be not terrible at fighting. Agreed?"

"Yeh, seems good." Josh nodded, turning towards his access lift

"OY BYRON! OPEN UP!" Charles shouted at his best mech friend as he rode the elevator up,

"Just a mo sah. Systems initialising in three."

"And that's what 'experience' brings?" Josh laughed, "Yeesh." He climbed in through the cockpit.

"Initialising Training simulation," Dr Matsuo's voice filtered through the cockpit speakers...

"Preping for initialisation, PCU 001 is go." Charles said, his voice suddenly serious.

"PCU 003 shows green. Online." Miharu stated.

"Booting up. Please for the love of fudge don't pass out again," Alanna replied, half to the others, half to Josh. This was greeted with laughter from the others, while Josh muttered obscenities under his breath.

After the scenario had loaded, the control screen flashed to reveal the Tokyo skyline, on a bright clear morning. Yukiko and Byron were standing infront of Alanna, obviously waiting.

"Now, the thing to know about controlling... uh... me, I guess, is that you don't usually actually have direct control over what the limbs and weapons do." Alanna started explaing. "Heard of Fly-By-Wire, on aircraft? It's a similar concept. I take your input and interpret them with regard to accuracy and enviromental factors. I say usually, because in close combat and other similar situations, It's pretty much entirely in your hands, because I'll likely be focussed mostly on damage control and not being thrown off balance."

"Believe me..." Miharu cut in, "You do not want your AI getting distracted and forgetting to check the reactor temperature..."

"I said I was sorry about that!" Yukiko, exclaimed, whilst Charles made a noise suspiciously sounding like strangled laughter.

"Right. I hope I only need to take your word for that..." Josh said, gulping inwardly.

"You'll be fine. I'm good at this." Alanna said quickly, noticing the sudden discomfort. "Right. Those control sticks in front of you control the movement. Lean them forward to move forward..."

Thus followed a fairly standard tutorial instructing various types of movement and combinations of such. After that...

"And now for the fun part! See that red button on the right control stick? Press it!" She practically ordered. Josh, a little setback by her enthusiasm, complied.


"ARGH. Someone's taken the ground away! Where's it going!?" Josh yelled in surprise.

Alanna sighed. "Don't worry. It's just jumpjets. Don't expect to go flying though. They loss efficiency the higher we go..."

As she finished explaining, PCU 002 reached the top of it's arc and began descending, Alanna flaring the jets again to smooth the landing.

"I think that's most everything for now... Ready to start the combat training, Doctor Matsuo." She concluded, while Josh commited the controls to memory.

"Acknowleged. Restarting Simulation, Combat Excercise, Alien Codename: ARES. Battle start in three... two... one..." the Doctor counted down

"Okay people. ARES, otherwise known as the First Contact Alien, was easily the single most powerful entity encountered at the time. You know what happened, to an extent, Josh?" Charles briefed, strangely calm.

"Well, yeh, I guess. Wiped out most of the military assets in the Mediterranian area..."

"Not to mention what happened to Cairo..." Miharu added.

Nine Years Ago

"This is a BBC Breaking News Broadcast..." Joshua blinked as the cartoon he was watching got interrupted. "Mum... I think the TV's broken!" He yelled. No response from upstairs. Strange.

"... A large unidentified object has appeared recently in low orbit around Earth. NASA and other space agencies have yet to provide an explanation as to how it approached undetected. They could also not confirm it's origin, although sources say that it is looking likely that it is of possibly extra-solar origin. We go now to our reporter who is currently at the European Space Agency headquarters. Stephen, what can the scientists tell us about this entity...?"

The nine year old Josh absorbed this with interest. Although nothing was yet proven, this could be evidence that aliens existed! And they'd come to Earth!

Josh sat back and dreamed of being able to meet an alien. His thoughts of friendship with the newcomers, perhaps shared with many other children and even adults around the world, was, as it turned out a few hours later, utterly wrong.

"...I'm reporting from the deck of the Italian Navy Aircraft Carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi... We are presently positioned near where the object is predicted to re-enter... My God, It's here! It's massive! What the..."


Then static. Then the screen cut back to the news studio, and an obviously shocked presenter. After a moments quiet, she pulled herself together.

"This just in. The Italian Fleet, including Flagship Giuseppe Garibaldi stationed in the Mediterranian Sea has been... destroyed, according to eyewitness reports. We do not yet have details on the casualties..."

That was the start of the first Extraterrestrial War. It was a life changing event for everyone, including Josh and his family, who just sat watching politicians and world leaders imploring people to remain calm, the footage of attacks and counter attacks...

After a combined strike by the Navies and Airforces of the major European countries, ARES, a 50ft wide crablike being (for, as was found out later, it was one organism), was forced to retreat south. The EU had by then lost nearly half of it's military power, and many southern towns and cities had been obliterated off the map.

It was the single bloodiest day in Humanity's history. And now they had a problem. ARES had moved over Eygpt, and positioned itself over Cairo. The barrage it had taken a day earlier had hurt it, apparently, but now the United Nations had to make a choice. Some of the largest non-nuclear weapons ever created had been pelted at ARES, to little effect, and resupply would take time, which no-one had, as ARES appeared to be showing signs of regenerating. Certainly, if ARES decided to attack again, Cairo was doomed anyway...

The UN made one of the most controversial decisions in it's history. ARES was hit, on the third day of the war by simultaneous strikes from the combined nuclear arsenals of the USA, Russia, the UK, France and, after much persuasion, China. Cairo was gone, but ARES too was slain. It was a victory of sorts for Humanity.

No one felt like celebrating, however.


"Yeah. And we're fighting... that?" Josh asked, unconvinced. "So, we tie it up whilst the virtual military sends Nukes in to take it out, and us in the process?" he finished incredulously,

"Hopefully, it won't come to that..." Miharu sighed. "Ready? Charles, I guess you've got command for this. Figuring you'll be wanting revenge again."

"I apreciate the thought Miharu. I suggest we begin moving, 'ARES' will be here soon, Miharu you take mid range and deploy your chain gun, Josh close range and deploy your blades, I'm moving to the back to deploy the rifle, keep in constant radio contact." Charles interjected, his voice more focused than normal.

"Wait, blades?" Josh asked as the others moved off

"Gah. I'll show you... let's just go." Alanna grunted.

"Get moving people, I'm going to get to the high ground." Charles was almost growling with anticipation now.

"Right. EARTHDEF Control, request one Assault Rifle, ASAP." Alanna radioed, as they closed in, Yukiko veering left, spinning up her chaingun

"Confirmed, and you didn't say please." A low male voice said over the radio.

Commander Tarvis cut in after that, "There are times to moan and now is not the time, COGP. We're transmitting Sensor Data now, should be appearing on your Tac-Net view."

"Is that actually the Commander or a simulation of him?" Josh asked Alanna quietly

"Oh, it's him alright. He's watching, to see if you screw up. No pressure." She replied, catching a rifle that came rocketing out of a ground hatch. "Switching to Tac-Net view mode."

"Any visuals yet?" Charles asked, scanning the horizon.

"No, but the sensors have it. It's approaching fast." Miharu responded.

"Wait... How are we supposed to kill this thing?" Josh yelled, "We don't have a fraction of the firepower required!"

"Wonders of this thing called Autopsy. We have Alien Armour Piercing ammunition."

"Also one good shot with this rifle should cause enough damage to, if not kill it, cause it some discomfort. The bad news is we need a clear shot, which is where you guys come in..." Charles explained.

"What, we're the distraction while you shoot the core or something then?" Josh muttered, still urging PCU 002 forward. "Sounds simple enough..."

"Core? What is this core you speak of? I'm going for the gonads." Charles said, laughing

"Miharu, what're gonads?" Yukiko asked

"I'll... I'll tell you when you're older, Yukiko... Damnit, I've lost ARES. Where is it?" Miharu yelled.

"Apologies. Tac-Net appears to be glitching...we're working on it..." the Commander responded, while technicians in the backhround could be heard screaming obscenities and hitting equipment.

"I have visual confirmation. It's moving fast!" Yukiko yelled as ARES flew into view.

"Time to go..." Alanna whispered. Part of the wrist plating retracted, and a sliver of blue energy was emitted from the gap. "Plasma blade," she explained to Josh.

"We're in position. Scope checks out green. Please try and keep it still guys... but stay focused, the bastard's fast. I'll do my best but it's hard to aim if it's flying around..." Charles instructed. "Byron, get a firing solution ASAP. Miharu be prepared for switching between long or close range combat."

"Closing... Right then, Yukiko... Let's give it a warm welcome eh?" Miharu grinned, whilst spinning the chaingun. She let rip with it, bullets arcing across the virtual city. Whilst many went wide, many hit due to the sheer odds on chance of doing so.

"Josh, give her support. If it gets into CQC range, she may not hold out that long."

"Be advised, we're detecting energy signatures building inside ARES. It could be charging it's energy weapon." Commander Tarvis barked. Josh blanched

"How thick's the armour on these things?" He pondered. His question was lost, however, as a beam of light lanced out of ARES and splashed over Miharu and Yukiko. "HOLY CRAP LOOKOUT!" he yelled.

The beam abruptly cut off. Somehow, Miharu had survived the attack, although Yukiko was blackened and looking slightly worse for wear.

"Think I might have made it angry?" Miharu laughed, ducking behind a building as the beam shot past again, bisecting a distant building.

"Keep distracting it!" Charles grunted, still working with Byron to get a decent aim.

ARES ploughed through a few skyscrapers, collapsing them, but with no discernable damage to itself. It appeared to have it's target set on PCU 003, for now at least.

"Byron, fire on the chest, if we can slow it down sufficiently Miharu can kill it, any hit will hurt it." Charles yelled

"Let's go!" Alanna yelled. Josh complied and PCU 002 broke into a run, spraying while on the move with the assault rifle

Charles pressed the trigger, firing a tungsten shell the size of a sedan at twice the speed of sound, into the massive alien's body. The shell impacted, ripping through ARES' body and flying out the other side. Other than a shriek of pain from the alien and green ichor leaking out of the wound, it didn't seem to have slowed down much.

It did however, change it's targeting priorities.

"Well... frak." Charles grunted as ARES charged towards him. "That's not a good prize. Someone keep it off me!"

"Alright, jumpjets away. Going for a DFA" Alanna announced.

"What's a DFA?" Josh asked, as they rocketed skywards

"Death From Above." She replied, as if that explained everything.

"It's closing fast, sah!" Byron yelled, around the time PCU 002 reached the peak of it's arc, beginning its decent.

"Really? I didn't notice." he growled firing another slug through its body.

Miharu stepped out from behind her cover, chaingun already spun up, and began firing again. ARES responded to the dual sources of damage by levitating upwards,

Meeting PCU 002 on the way. Josh and Alanna slammed feet first into it's back. Getting Alanna to hang on as ARES bucked and rolled, Josh began slicing at it with PCU 002's plasma blade.

"COGP, where is its energy generation at the highest?" Charles demanded suddenly.

"Energy output is highest in the centre mass, approximately the middle of the target, and you didn't say please. Again."

"Send me the exact area to my tactical uplink now. Byron, be prepared to adjust the trajectory as I aim, we're hopefully gonna remove it's power source."

"Wait, hold on, what?" Josh managed as PCU 002 was flung around.

"Keep it still Josh, Miharu be prepared to let loose with the heavy weaponry as it loses speed."

Josh saw PCU 001 bring it's rifle to bear suddenly aiming just off the centre of ARES' chest.

"Keep it still? You think I'm in control of this thing?" he asked incredulously, as ARES rolled over. Alanna had to activate the jumpjets again to keep hold.

"ARGH, you're causing it to move too much! Get off it!" Charles yelled, as ARES resorted to more erratic movements.

"You're the boss... engaging... WHOAH!" Alanna yelled as her grip failed, and PCU 002 went tumbling backwards into a nearby building. Now with no need to worry about hitting PCU 002, Miharu engaged ARES with the chaingun again. "Yukiko, try and correct the recoil!" she yelled, noticing a disappointing number of shots go high.

"I have the shot sah, all outside factors considered. Chance of success... 54%. Give or take." Byron calculated.

"For the 26th platoon you bastard." Charles growled, pulling the trigger. The slug speed towards ARES. If it'd had a voice recognisable to humans, the wail preceeding the hit may well have been...

"Ooooooohhh Sh-"

Instead, it gave out an ear shattering scream, and dropped to the ground. It tried to crawl along using it's legs, making a few steps, before collapsing. If it wasn't dead by then, it certainly was when Miharu gave it a full burst of lead at point blank.

"Objective Complete. Ending simulation." Commander Tarvis announced. As Josh got PCU 002 on it's feet again, he got the strange view of Tokyo deconstructing itself, building by building, before the screen went blank.

Excitedly, he clambered out of the cockpit and rode the lift down. "That was pretty damn awesome!" he thought, gleefuly.

Comander Tarvis was standing at the bottom of the lifts, next to him were Janice and Dr. Matsuo. Miharu and Charles were making their way to the group as well, so Tarvis waited until they got there.

"Well then. I offer my congratulations to you, Josh for not messing up and breaking Tokyo Tower or something," he smiled, "All in all, a pretty good sortie, Miharu got two or three layers of Yukiko's armour melted off but you managed to distract it sufficiently to prevent any really serious damage."

It was all Josh could do to stop himself beaming with pride. It'd been relatively easy! He couldn't believe now that it had taken several days and billions of pounds worth of hardware to take down originally.

"Of course..." Tarvis began, and Josh noted a slightly evil grin on his face... replicated in those of Charles and Miharu... "Now that you are a veteran of PCU combat... next test will be facing ARES at its full power... See how well you do against weapons that can vapourise a city block in one hit..." Josh blinked.

"Wait... what!?" Josh was half waiting for them to laugh, to show it was a joke at his expense.

No-one did.

2010-08-18, 07:38 PM
Gone well again Xp, the rewrite gave it a nice flavor, making the discussians between the charecters seem more real. good one