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The Sniper Project : Chapter 5

 

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From here, it continues…

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--Safe House 023E (A short time after the attack)

 

Duo leaned back against the counter in the small kitchen of the safe house, glancing across at Quatre and Trowa, who were seated at the table.  The blonde boy glanced down at his bowl of some kind of stew that Trowa had made—it was delicious, but it just lacked…something.  Perhaps it was because his stomach churned so much just thinking about the attacks…and about how another one could come at any second.

 

“Thinking too hard, I see.” He heard a soft voice say.  He looked up and across at Trowa, who had put down his fork and was looking at the blonde boy in a concerned way.  “I don’t’ really think the stew is what’s making you look that worried, after all.” Trowa said quietly.

 

Quatre picked up his fork and speared something out of his stew—totally at random--and brought it to his mouth, chewing. From the texture, it was probably meat of some kind, but he was hard pressed to tell what kind it was.  It was rather good—but he just couldn’t place the meat.

 

“Maybe we should sleep in our Gundams.” Duo remarked.  The other two looked up, and then nodded slightly.  If they turned the AI of the Gundams on, and slept inside them, they’d be relatively safer than in the house.  After all, the house was only brick and wood and plaster, but the Gundams were made of Gundanium alloy…any self-respecting mobile suit could cut through a house in a few seconds, but a Gundam could withstand at least one hit, usually.  Trowa cursed the usually.  There was always something out there bigger, stronger and faster, and he didn’t want to think of what it was. 

 

Quatre perked up slightly, without warning.  He craned his head to one side, as if listening for something.  He muttered slightly, and then seemed to hear it again.  “Ah!  Hm, the communications panel we left in our room is going off, Trowa.

 

Trowa looked at the blonde boy, amazed.  How had he heard that from so far away?  He decided not to ask and instead jogged to his room, punching the accept call button before it was too late.  Sally’s face appeared on the screen, and Trowa hooked a chair with his foot and dragged it over, sitting down so that he could talk to the woman.

 

“Trowa, I hear you need backup.” She said calmly.  Trowa only nodded in response, so she kept talking.  “Unfortunately, there’s been news of a ‘fire’ starting somewhere in Eastern North America so we had to deploy all of the people that would be helpful to you there.  The funny thing is, it almost looked as if it was planned.”

 

Trowa’s breath caught in his throat.  Planned?  What if it was planned to draw the other Preventers away from the headquarters so that they’d be left helpless—no, he was just being paranoid.  He forced himself to calm down.  Sally was in the middle of a sentence, so he’d missed something.  “I’m sorry, can you repeat what you just said?” he asked, in his most polite tones.

 

Sally sighed slightly then repeated her comment.  “Since we’re out of people to send, we’re sending an upgrade for your Gundams.  It should help you track down these people.  We’re sending you a similar ‘upgrade’ for yourselves, no surgery required.  You’ll see what I’m talking about.  Use the new technology to track them down, and then you can strike.  Just be careful.”

 

Trowa nodded slowly.  “Well, thank you, Sally, and goodbye.” He said softly, then ended the call and made his way back to the kitchen.  Duo wasn’t there, but Quatre was, still picking at his stew.  The blonde boy let out a sigh and stabbed a piece of potato with a frightening ferocity, obviously unaware that Trowa was standing behind him.  Trowa gently touched one of his shoulders and Quatre jumped slightly, throwing down his fork and twisting his head around.  He searched for words for a second, and then decided on what he’d say.  “Back so soon?  How’d it go?  Is she sending us extra soldiers?”

 

Trowa took the seat opposite Quatre once again.  “No, they’re just sending us some upgrades for our Gundams and something for ourselves.  There was a slight rebellion somewhere in Eastern Northern America, so all their soldiers got sent there.”

 

Quatre looked slightly sick at the announcement. “So…we have to…?” he looked at the taller pilot pleadingly.  Trowa nodded, a somewhat sad look in his green eyes.  Just then Duo ran in the door.  “Hey guys!  The Preventers just sent us a biiiig box!  I don’t know what’s inside but it looks promising!” with that, the American pilot ran back out the door, braid trailing behind him.  Trowa sighed, and then looked at Quatre with a slight smile.  “Well, here we go.”

 

--Secret Laboratory {Hangar} (About the same time)

 

The primary tech climbed the scaffolding up to where the Silver Suit was resting.  It was still slightly hot from battle, and the dark, jagged edge where the shield had been cut through was obvious against the gleaming surface of the mech.  He ran one hand gently over the blackened metal, almost drawing his hand back in distaste as he ran over the jagged edge.  He didn’t even seem to notice when his palm was slit open a bit and drops of fresh, hot blood dripped down his hand and across the metal of the mech.  It wasn’t very visible against the jagged, dark, burnt blackness of where the shotel had not-so-neatly clipped the bottom half of the shield off, but it created bright trails that could be seen in the somewhat dim lights of the hangar.  It was then he made up his mind to do something he’d been plotting for a while, even though it was suicide.  He slipped down from the scaffolding and pulled on a drab, dark orangey-yellow flight suit and a helmet, then checked around.  Making sure nobody was around, he quickly grabbed the line that he’d left extended near the Silver Suit’s foot and was pulled up into the cockpit of the mech.  He closed the hatch, and then turned to the other two suits, jokingly called the Green Suit and the Blue Suit, just as this one was called the Silver Suit.  Nobody called them by their real names.  He quietly gave the Silver Suit the command to walk over to the Blue Suit, then gently guided what was now his mech into taking the primary weapon of the other—a long, strange weapon they’d revived from ancient Earth history—a beam pike.  He slipped it into the Silver Suit’s hand, then, with a last look around, he blasted out of the hangar, bound for safer territory and a life he’d lost.

 

--Safe House 023E {Hangar} (A good bit of time later)

 

Duo wiped one of his hands off on his forehead, taking a last look at the new feature that they’d just installed on all their Gundams.  It rested on the arm, and they had thoughtfully provided one in each color of the boy’s Gundams so that they didn’t stick out too horribly against the paint.  The handheld ones resembled small pistols—the kinds undercover agents wore—but instead of bullets they had strange ammunition that almost defied description.  It had a head on it that was twisted, but not at too sharp an angle—meant to penetrate flesh enough to deposit what was inside the bullet rather than kill.  What were inside were microchips.  Each boy had a tracking device to track the microchips with as well.  Duo had a sneaking suspicion that the new installments on their Gundams did just about the same thing, only in a different way.  He slipped down into the cockpit of Deathscythe Hell and powered up the mech, silently flipping switches and finding out the basics of the new addition to his weaponry.  He raised an eyebrow at the information.  It either shot tracking chips that stuck to the surface of metal and couldn’t be removed without removing the entire section of metal, or bombs that stuck and did damage to the computers of things—extremely useful. [1]  With a sigh, he powered down the systems and hopped out, coming face to face with Quatre.  The smaller boy had odd streaks of grease across his face, making him look like an out-of-place American Indian tribesman—or perhaps a football player.

 

“Oh, hey Quatre!” Duo said.  “Would you mind if I went to see Heero?”  Quatre lowered his head for a moment, and then looked up at Heavyarms.  Trowa looked down at Quatre and nodded.   Duo almost swore sometimes that they were psychic.

 

“Yeah, okay, we’ll all go.   Just wait until Trowa finishes.” Quatre said.  He dabbed ineffectually at the greasy streaks on his face with a rag.

 

“You’re done already?” Duo said.  Quatre nodded.  “It wasn’t that hard, but Trowa’s having some trouble for some reason.  He should be done by now though.”  Just as he finished speaking, Trowa leapt down and landed nimbly next to the other two pilots.  “Let’s go wash up, then we can get going.” Trowa said quietly.

 

“Sounds good to me.” Duo said, then walked into the house.

 

--Heero’s Hospital Room/ICU ‘Cell’ (a short time later)

 

Duo leaned over Heero’s bed, studying the Japanese pilot’s face.  He sighed and reached out, brushing his fingertips along one of the few unbandaged areas of Heero’s face.  He leaned over Heero, his eyes betraying none of his thoughts, even though he did.  A tear dripped, rather suddenly, from one of Duo’s deep violet eyes, and landed on Heero’s face.  Duo leaned down quickly and gently kissed Heero, full on the lips—he was astonished when Heero’s mouth opened slightly, but decided not to go any farther than he already had.  Pulling back, he wiped the last tears from his eyes and fled from the room, for a reason even he couldn’t place.

 

Behind him, Heero let out a slight sigh and closed his mouth.  Maybe next time…

 

--Wufei’s Hospital Room (same time)

 

Quatre stepped into Wufei’s room.  Trowa had decided to stay in the truck, while Duo went to see Heero, so Quatre decided to pay the Chinese boy a visit.  When he walked in, Wufei was reading a book, probably one he’d bribed a nurse to get for him.  When he heard the click and whoosh of the door, Wufei looked up from his book, expecting another nurse.  When he saw Quatre, though, a half-smile reached his face and he put the book down.  Quatre walked over and sat down next to Wufei’s bed.  Wufei reached up with his good arm, which just happened to be on the side that Quatre was sitting on, and brushed something away from the Arabian’s face.  When Quatre looked at Wufei, he said, by way of explanation, “You had a bit of grease on your face.”  Quatre nodded slowly, then spoke out himself, quietly.  “Well, how are you doing?”

 

“I’m doing okay, considering.” The Chinese pilot said. He looked at the window, then back to Quatre.  “Quatre…how much time do you have?”

 

Quatre sat forward immediately, feeling that this was important.  “As much time as I need, why, Wufei?”

 

The Chinese pilot appeared to be debating with himself.  “I’m ready to talk…” he finally sighed and turned to face Quatre.  He cleared his throat, then started talking, voice shaking slightly.  “Her name was Meiran…”

 

--Parking Lot (A while later)

 

Duo looked up, fidgeting again.  “I wonder where he is.”

 

Trowa shook his head.  “Maybe Wufei had something to tell you.  He’ll come.”

 

Just then Duo shot up in his seat. “I see him!  I see him!  But what’s…”

 

“Wufei must have told him something very sad.” Trowa said softly, as the Arabian walked over and climbed into the truck, his face pale, and his eyes a bit red around the edges.  Quatre nodded towards the road, looking out the window.  “We should get back.  We need to start tracking that odd mobile suit, or any other suit for that matter.”

 

Trowa looked in concern at his small friend, but nodded.  They drove off.

 

--Hidden Underground Lair (short time later)

 

The man sat up as his repairman walked in. 

 

“Sir, she’s good as new, we even reinforced some of the armor and gave her another coat of that special paint.” The repairman said, fidgeting slightly.  Truth be told, he was kind of scared of the other man. 

 

“Good, good…so it’s ready to fly?”

 

“Yes sir.”

 

“Okay then, good job.  I’ll be taking her out immediately.” He said, and then walked out of the room, and into the dark recesses of his hideout.

 

--Safe House 023E (some time later)

 

The pilots climbed out of the truck and immediately went to their Gundams.  They climbed up into them to do a routine check and found something not-so-routine on their new radar.  Another mobile suit.  Not only that, it was headed in their direction.

 

“Let’s get out of here and fight.” Trowa said, arming the AI on the other two Gundams, then flew out of the hangar.  He was followed quickly by Sandrock and Deathscythe Hell, then they all made their way towards the other mobile suit.  They didn’t see it, but it was on radar.  That meant only one thing, stealth and cloaks.  Duo turned on the infrared heat sensor and saw…nothing.  Infrared block?  That one was new.  Duo commanded Deathscythe to raise the arm that the new tool was mounted on, and then fired a tracking chip.  It marked success.  The chip immediately sent back reports of metal type, computer type, and hundreds of other things.  Duo immediately passed the information onto the other pilots, and then looked at the data himself.  It was a new type of alloy, but the suit weighed very little; that spoke towards a less-armored suit that moved fast.    Duo made up his mind, not even telling the others what he was doing.  He moved in for the kill.

 

His scythe was up before Quatre and Trowa knew what he was doing, he was charging before they could shout, and when they did shout he was plowing into the other mobile suit, as sparks flashed where their thermal beam weapons collided.  Duo snapped open the active cloak and used the added maneuverability to his advantage, zipping around and slashing.  Soon, he hit something vital; the cloak on the other mobile suit went down.

 

It flashed in the sunlight.  It was black with silver and red accents and it held a long beam sword in one of its hands, with a shield in the other.  Its paint job looked new, but Trowa was even more shocked because he was sure this was the one that he’d fought.  His eyes narrowed as he watched Duo slashing and slicing at the other mobile suit expertly.  He suddenly got an idea.

 

He threw Heavyarms into action and zoomed around behind the battling pair of suits and then activated the new chip-firing tool.  Instead of a tracking and information chip, however, he shot one of the digital bombs.  It stuck, and the effects were instantaneous.  The other suit suddenly crackled with electricity, then, miraculously, shut down.  Trowa’s eyes went wide in shock.  If these were this powerful, then what could stand in their way?  He decided to contemplate it later.  How had they managed to create weapons that powerful?  It made the hair rise on the back of his neck.  He didn’t want to think about something like that.

 

Quatre opened a small link to Heavyarms, and then started talking to Trowa.  “That really worked, didn’t it?  I can’t believe it worked so well.  At least now we have somebody to question, though, don’t we?”

 

Trowa nodded in agreement.  They had somebody to question, indeed!  And if they didn’t get answers…the boy’s eyes narrowed.  They’d get answers.

 

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