Mech Arena: Horizon Clash

Recommended Posts

 

With the flick of a switch, your terminal powers up. The machine comes to life with a low pitch hum that whispers in your ear. The screen flashes, bearing the familiar startup screen. A bright blue glow illuminates your dark room.

 

“Beginning start-up process." Siren announces. "Location: Horizon, Hades VI. Current date: November 19th, 2234. Current time: 7:45am. Current external temperature: 25 degrees.” The camera fixed atop your terminal glances over you like a metal eye, whirring quietly. “Opening shutters.” Daylight begins to stream into your room as you hear the mechanical shutters opening behind you. It’s dawn, the cityscape is still dark, barely lit by the rising sun. “Please enter your passcode, user.”

 

“Passcode: David eight one.” You speak clearly.

 

“Passcode accepted. User: Amelie Rigton.” The voice of Siren, the virtual intelligence greets you with her robotic, yet polite voice. “Good morning, Administrator.”

 

You yawn heavily, your eyes still heavy from lack of sleep. Your nerves had kept you awake for a good part of the night. Sleep felt impossible. You awoke earlier than you had hoped, barely dressed yourself in a pair of boxers and a vest, grabbed some coffee from the kitchen and decided it was best that you made sure everything was prepared for tonight. You take a sip from the cup, the bitter coffee perks you up mildly. “Open my files, Siren.”

 

“What system are you wishing to access, Administrator?”

 

You set down your morning coffee by the terminal and brush back the unkempt hair from your face. With heavy eyes you gaze into the illuminated screen. The brightness hurts your eyes. “Open file 1b1a.”

 

The terminal beeps, acknowledging your request. “Understood, Administrator. Retrieving file 1b1a: Schematics of Mecha 3V. Pilot Name: Amelie Rigton. Sc...b...zzz…” The terminal begins to hiss, screeching static as the screen flashes a warning symbol. “Error. D-Data C-Corrupted. I am sorry, Administrator. A manual registration is necessary.”

 

“I don’t have time for this.” You sigh wearily, shaking your head in frustration. Nothing could be done about it. “Very well.” You crack your knuckles and take a seat in front of the terminal. “Create folder. Name: 1b2a.”

 

“Folder created. Name: 1b2a.”

 

“Pull up the contenders list for the Horizon Clash: Amateur Division.”

 

The computer whirs as Siren begins searching. Pages flash up on the screen, too quick for you to keep track, finally stopping on a single page full of names. “Horizon Clash: Amateur Division. Hosted by Trident Corporation. Event date: November 19th 2234. Location: New Trafford Arena, Horizon district center. Current Contender Count: 20.”

 

“Find me my entry, Siren. Mecha name: 3V. Pilot name: Amelie Rigton. Registry number: 26732.”

 

“Searching…” The computer beeps happily. “Entry found.”

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Choose your Mech

In this sequence, you are required to choose the frame of 3V. The frame chosen will also decide 3Vs starting equipment, health, and armour. As you progress through the ranks of the arena, new and better equipment will become available to you, including weapons, defensive gear, and armour plating. A mech can be designed from three frames: Vanguard, Nomad, and Titan. Each mech provides their own fighting style, strengths, and weaknesses.

Mech loadout slots vary depending on the frame chosen. They are Offense/Defense/Support. The loadout slots cannot be changed, with the exception of the Nomad. All frames are capable of melee, though some weaponry and defensive items will replace the gauntlets of 3V. Weight load must be considered too. Mechs with too heavy a weight load will struggle, suffering penalties to melee and movement speed. All starting loadouts are within acceptable weight limits for their respective frame.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Frame: Vanguard

Vanguard mechs are light framed mechs desired for their mobility and offensive customization. Their light armour means they can’t take much of a beating but they make up for their lack of defense and sustain with high mobility and an array of offensive weaponry.  

 

Vanguards use quick attacks and synergy between their weaponry to quickly take down heavier opponents. Their jump pack allows them to move through the air and along the ground quickly while their frame allows agile maneuvering. However, their light armour and reliance on shields means they are prone to EMPs and heavy attacks. In team battles, Vanguards serve as pure damage, relying on their team to keep the heat off them.

 

Offense: Light Assault Rifle: A medium range assault cannon equipped with armour piercing rounds that is attached to the Vanguards right gauntlet. Fast firing with a two hundred round clip. Concentrated fire to a single area will shred the plate of heavily armoured mechs and stagger low armoured mechs.

 

Offense: Longsword: A sharp, sleek longsword that replaces the Vanguards left gauntlet. A longsword is strong against little or no armour but ineffective against heavily armoured targets. Power can be diverted from a shield, charging the blade with electricity.

 

Support: High Energy Shield: A high-strength shield that provides a shield around the Vanguards armour until depleted. Electrical strikes inflict more damage to a shield, and an EMP will take the shield offline temporarily.

 

Support: Jump pack: A light and simple jump pack mounted to the back of the Vanguard, allowing for increased mobility and vertical movement. This support device is built into all Vanguard frames and can be upgraded.

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Frame: Nomad

Nomad mechs are medium strength mech units, desired for their versatility and jack-of-all trades combat style. The versatility of a Nomads frame prevents them from possessing a built-in device, however their frame allows them to be outfitted with almost every piece of equipment currently available.  

 

Nomads strike a perfect balance between offense and defense. They lack the mobility of a Vanguard or the heavy engagement of a Titan but make up for it with strong versatility. Weight management is highly important with Nomads to ensure the frame can handle the equipment. In team battles, Nomads serve as a flexible fighter, being customized to suit their teams need.

 

Offense: Light Assault Rifle: A medium range assault cannon equipped with armour piercing rounds that is attached to the Nomads right gauntlet. Fast firing with a two hundred round clip. Concentrated fire to a single area will shred the plate of heavily armoured mechs and stagger low armoured mechs. The Nomad variant Is also equipped with long distance, low penetrating rounds. 

 

Offense/Defense/support: (Choose one of the following)

 

Offense: Heavy Burst Shotgun: A double barrel cannon equipped to the left gauntlet of the Nomad. The cannon is slow to reload and only effective at close range. Successful hits will dent and damage a mechs armour as well as stagger them.

 

-or-

 

Defense: Heavy Holding Shield: A strong shield mounted to the left gauntlet of the Nomad. While active, the Nomad enters a defensive stance, raising the shield and slowing movement. The shield protects from frontal attacks and can be used to bash.

 

-or-

 

Support: Smoke Screen: A series of containers equipped with a high-heat compound. When deployed, a smoke screen surrounds the Nomad, covering it completely. The Nomad cannot be detected by thermal visioning or locked on-to while the smoke screen is active.

 

Defense/Support: (Choose one of the following)

 

Defense: Electromagnetic Shield: A low energy shield mounted to the rear of the Nomad. An EMS provides minimal protection from bullets and blunt attacks. If an EMP is used, the shield will overload, protecting all systems from going offline but the shield will be unusable for a time.

 

-or-

 

Support: Regeneration Sequence: A virtual intelligence mounted within the cockpit of the Nomad. Upon taking critical damage, the mech powers down for 15 seconds, gaining a massive shield and restoring functionality to critically damaged systems and limbs. The Nomad is vulnerable during this sequence, and an EMP will disable the regeneration.

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Frame: Titan

Titan mechs deploy the heaviest frames and are the mech of choice for brawlers. They’re built for long, sustained fights and can easily take a beating. Their strong, sturdy frame allows them to wield the heaviest weapons and shields. However, their thick plating does not allow a strong shield emitter, nor does their frame allow them high mobility aids.

 

Titans use heavy defense and sturdiness to hold their ground. They are brawlers, employing crowd control to move in against their enemy and using their fists against weakened areas. They are strong enough to even remove equipment from an enemy mech. However, Titans are prone to long range attacks and armour piercing rounds that will make short work of their heavy plating. In team battles, Titans serve as support, drawing fire from the enemy while providing strong crowd control.

 

Offense: Gunlance: A hybrid weapon consisting of a long lance and a heavy hitting rifle that replaces the Titan’s right gauntlet. The lance allows for extreme reach and is capable of pinning a target if it hits exposed armour, but is slow to swing and struggles to penetrate medium or heavy armour. The rifle holds six heavy rounds that can penetrate up to medium plating. Up close, the rifle will dent heavy armour and stagger weaker mechs.

 

Defense: XL EMP Gauntlet: A Titan gauntlet designed for close quarters engagement, equipped with an EMP device. When activated, the gauntlet emits an electromagnetic pulse in a radius around the mech, momentarily taking all enemy electronics offline. Once used, the EMP must recharge, entering a 13 second cooldown.

 

Defense: Dash Boosters: Two heavy boosters mounted to the back of the Titan. When activated, the Titan performs a short dash in any direction. This device is built into all Titan frames and can be customized.

 

Support: Trident Missile System: A heavy missile launcher carrying a payload of fifteen missiles mounted onto the shoulder of the Titan. When performing a dash or sustaining heavy/critical damage, three missiles will deploy, striking the enemy mech. After each strike the launcher will enter a 12 second cooldown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I realize I'm in the minority here, but I say Vanguard. I love a glass cannon build.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, PPP said:

I realize I'm in the minority here, but I say Vanguard. I love a glass cannon build.

Agreed, I vote Vanguard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mech Name: 3V

Pilot Name: Amelie Rigton

 

Mech Frame: R3K5-Titan

 

Armour: R3K5-Heavy

 

Right Gauntlet: IMPALER MK.1 Gunlance

 

Left Gauntlet: XL EMP Gauntlet

 

Left Shoulder: MK.1 Trident Missile Defense System

 

Rear Cockpit: R3K5 Aftermarket Thrusters

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

The data loads up on the screen. You watch as each letter is quickly loaded until the whole page is complete. “Copy data to file 1b2a, Siren. Weapon specifications and operating systems too.” You rest your feet on your bed, nursing your coffee and watching as Siren transfers the data to the new folder.

 

There is a quiet knock at your door. “Hey, I thought I could hear you up.” It’s Zoe, your best friend and current engineer of the 3V. She stands in the doorway, a tall and skinny girl, her thin arms shielding her eyes from the morning sky. She’s lazily dressed in a pair of grey sweatpants and a black tee. Her short hair is brushed back and wild, revealing her eyes, baggy and heavy from little sleep. “Mind if I come in?” She asks drowsily, stifling a yawn.

 

“Not at all.” You turn back to the terminal and close down the files for the 3V. “I was just making sure everything was in order for tonight.”

 

“You too, huh?” Zoe slides an information tablet down beside you before she slumps down on your bed, falling back onto the soft mattress. “I’ve been looking into your opponent for tonight. I was able to track down a few specifications for her mech.” She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a box of cigarettes. “Do you mind?” She asks, holding a cigarette between her fingers.

 

“Go ahead.” You reply, unfazed. It never bothered you. As Zoe lights up the cigarette, you turn your attention to the tablet she’s placed by your terminal. Most fighting for a place in the amateur division were already experienced pilots with a few years under their belt. For you, a novice with not even a year of training, any advantage was going to be needed. You take your cup of coffee in one hand and the tablet in the other. The page displays a few notes.

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Mech Name: Angel

Pilot Name: Hina Katsumi

 

Mech Frame: L1T3-Vangaurd

 

Mech Armour: L1T3-Light

 

Right Gauntlet: Northwing X-11 Katana

 

Left Gauntlet: EMP Throwing Disc

 

Rear Wings: Ascension Jump pack MK.2

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

“A Vanguard.” You repeat what you read. “Looks like she favours mobility over everything. Swift strikes, in and out..." You put the tablet back on the table and take another sip of your coffee. “She has to get close to the 3V to be effective. One good hit or an EMP at the right time and it's game over."

 

“She’s got a lot more experience piloting a mech than you though.” Zoe blows out a puff of smoke. She sits up on the bed, the lit cigarette dangling from her lips. “She probably has experience fighting against a Titan, especially with a Vanguard. We only put you in the seat of the 3V earlier this year.” She leans forward and takes the tablet from beside your terminal. “You know what your dad likes to say: It’s not just the mech that wins a battle-”

 

“It’s the pilot too.” You finish Zoe’s sentence. Your dad always stressed that lesson during training. It wasn’t a training simulation if that lesson was not repeated every time you made a mistake. For a pilot to win, they had to understand their own limitations while understanding their opponent. Any man could sit in the cockpit of a mech and make it move, but a pilot can make it win. “Do you think I’m ready?” You ask, looking into Zoe’s eyes for a sincere answer. That was the question that had kept you awake all night.

 

Zoe takes a drag from her cigarette. “I’d like you to run more simulations and potentially do one live exercise.” She exhales, blowing out a puff of smoke. “But it’s your dads call. He’s the man who’s worked with a mech before. So if he says you’re ready,” she takes the cigarette from her mouth and smiles, “I say you’re ready.” She reaches into her pocket, taking out a small silver container. She stubs out her cigarette and slides the lid of the container closed. “Let’s not worry about it now, though. Let’s go get breakfast, huh?” With a friendly pat of your shoulder, Zoe reassures you with a kind smile. Exactly what you needed from your best friend right now.

 

You finish up the last of your coffee and nod. “Yeah, let me just get dressed.”

 

After Zoe leaves, you sit alone for a moment. The air smells strongly of black coffee and cigarette smoke, an aroma you’d grown used to. It calms your nerves. Every day leading up to the clash, you’d sat awake in your bed, wondering if you were ready to be a pilot. Every setback, every wrong maneuver in training, it all fed into the anxiety you were feeling. But hearing Zoe say you were ready, the warm caring smile she gave you, it settled your nerves. “She’s right.” You stand up from your terminal and look out over the city of Horizon. It’s still as beautiful a view as when you first came here.

 

As you are getting dressed, there is a ping from your terminal, followed by an alert from Siren. “New message received, administrator.”

 

“A new message?” You say to yourself as you are pulling up your sweatpants. “Who’s it from Siren?”

 

“Sender is unknown, Administrator. Message originates from satellite relay near Atticus VII.”

 

“Atticus VII?” The name of the planet draws your attention. Quickly, you throw on your red and white letterman jacket and rush back over to the terminal. “Play the message, Siren”

 

The terminal chirps. The message begins with an audible crackle. Once it clears, you hear him. A voice you haven’t heard in over a month. A voice that brings a smile to your face. “Amelie, it’s your brother David. I know we haven’t spoken in a while, but after hearing about what happened I had to leave a message. You’ve been the talk of the station; my little sister is fighting in the Horizon Clash tonight. Hard to believe. You’re gonna be fighting in the very ground we saw Axel Shaw lift his first Grand Slam trophy in. Anyway, I’ll keep this brief; Me and the whole station are gonna be watching tonight. We’re all wishing you luck, so do us proud.” With a click, the audio message stops.

 

Suddenly, the anxiousness fades. You hadn’t heard your brothers voice in so long. You lean back in your chair, turning around to look out into the city. From the window you can see the New Trafford arena, a tall spherical arena that stands out among the surrounding buildings. “David.” You whisper to yourself, the name bringing back joyful memories. It was your brother, and his devotion to the military’s mech unit, that started you on this path. Every time you saw him manning a military mech you remembered that feeling as you’d tell yourself that one day you’d be just as good as him. That time had finally come. “I’m going to do you proud, big brother. Dad, and Zoe too.”

 

As you get up to your feet, you clench your fist. The anxiety is gone and in its place now sits a burning desire to win. You’d emerge victorious tonight. Nothing would stop you. You rush out from your room and down the hallway to meet with Zoe.

 

There are no choices to make.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

In the hangar beside you, your father and Zoe work on getting the 3V ready for combat. You can faintly hear the crackling of welding equipment. For the first time you’re wearing the pilot outfit, a dark blue skin-tight suit that feels more bare than you were expecting. It fits your body perfectly, making you feel almost naked. To keep yourself warm until it's time, you wear your red and white letterman jacket over it.

 

The locker room was tiny, barely enough space for one person. It’s a changing room, so only the pilot needed to be in here. The engineer staff would always be in the hangar, working to ensure the mech was ready. That’s what your dad had always told you, as well as whatever you did in that room was your own business. "Every pilot has their own way of prepping for a fight." He was the one who had experience, serving on an engineer team ten years ago, so you took his advice well.

 

The whole room was tiled white, with the floor a light gray. Above you, a single fluorescent light illuminates the whole room brightly with a low buzz. You smell burning in the air; forged metal coming from the hangar. There was a steel locker, where your regular clothes were stored, a small bench to sit on and a small television mounted to the wall for you to watch the fights live. You were free to head up to the observation deck and watch from there, but you preferred some solitude before your fight. You’d chosen to take it easy before the fight, watching the clash before your own on the TV and keeping yourself perked up with an energy drink. This is what it was like before the fight, a kind of calm before the storm. The reality still hadn’t set in; once or twice, you look down at your hands wrapped up in the dark blue material of your pilot suit, reminding yourself that you’re going to be piloting a mech.

 

After a strong clash between the two mechs, Atlas and Iron Giant, you hear the final klaxon, signalling the end of the fight. You hear it live from the arena first before hearing it on the TV. “And that is an unbelievable finish! Alex Rodriguez pilots the Atlas to victory!” Forty years of mech battle commentary and John Owens still sounded like an excitable kid as he delivered the post-match commentary, dressed in a sharp suit with his thinning hair slicked back and a microphone clutched in his wrinkled hands. “It was a close call for a good twenty minutes. It looked to be either's fight! But in the end a powerful right hook to the back of the Iron Giant sees it out of commission, and with it, the Atlas through to the next round!”

 

You had heard it all from your locker room. The arena erupted with cheers as the two mechs fought each other. There wasn’t a single moment of grinding metal that wasn’t accompanied with a chorus of cheers and screams. The fighting never let up, both mechs, equally matched, pummeled each other. Their frames were heavily damaged, their weapons started to fail, and the Atlas even lost its shield, but that didn’t matter. In the end, it won.

 

It was an exciting fight, but you didn’t feel that familiar rush as you did when you were in the crowd. Being a pilot felt much different. You felt more fear than excitement. In about ten minutes, that’s going to be you up there, piloting the 3V for the first time. An entire galaxy was tuning in, driven by their desire to see new blood beat each other up with the hopes of reaching the top of the amateur division. Those cheers in the arena, the screams of excitement at every punch thrown or bullet fired, they would be for you… or your opponent.

 

The announcer continues, his enthusiasm not lost from witnessing that fight. “What an astounding fight that was! But the night is still young! We’ll be back here LIVE with Rodriguez after a few words from our sponsors! And after that, in the amateur division we’ll have the clash between Amelie Rigton, pilot of the Titan 3V, and Hina Katsumi, pilot of the Vanguard Angel! Don’t go anywhere! This is LIVE, Galaxy-wide from the New Trafford Arena in Horizon!”

 

You shut off the television, preferring a moment of silence while the ads ran. You take a sip from your can of energy drink to settle your uneasy nerves. Your stomach felt empty, but it feels like something was crawling around inside you. An ad break, an interview with the victor, all while they reset the arena and then it would be your turn. You’d get into the 3V and be taken up to the main arena before a roaring crowd eager to see you fight.

 

A sudden white flash overwhelms you, pulling you from your thoughts and blinding you with an air of hot white. “What the-” You rub your eyes and look by the door, seeing the blonde curls and mischievous smirk of your younger step sister hiding behind her camera. “Abigail? What are you doing?” You hiss through gritted teeth.

 

“Capturing the moment.” She lowers the camera, smirking at your sudden change of mood. “We’re going to be looking back on this when you go pro!” She shrugs her shoulders, keeping up her smile.

 

You sigh and relax, leaning back up against the wall and resting your hands on your knee. You rest your head against the cold tiles and close your eyes. “Didn’t dad tell you to wait up in the observation room? You’re not supposed to be down here.”

 

Abigail lifts her camera, holding it tightly in her hand. “I wanted to make sure I get the best picture of the winner for tonight's Horizon Clash.” That was the only answer you’d expect of a girl who's job was a photographer for the Horizon News. As much as you enjoyed the confidence she had in you, Abigail always put her work first. “How are you feeling for tonight, then?” She inches closer to the bench, standing over you with a big grin. “Hina Katsumi is a two time winner on the Horizon starting circuit.” She continues. "So how do you feel? Your first fight against an experienced pilot? Are you scared?"

 

You were already a nervous wreck thinking about this, you didn’t need your sister pushing you about it. You put out your hand, urging your sister to be quiet. “You got your picture. Now go back up to the observation rooms, Abigail.” You cut the conversation short, addressing your sister with a calm, but serious tone and pointing toward the door. “I need to get ready.”

 

Seeing the impatience in your eyes, your younger sister doesn’t debate with you. She goes quiet and accepts the order. “Fine.” She sighs, sounding defeated. “We’ll be cheering for you up there, Amelie.” She leaves, slamming the door behind her. She wasn’t supposed to be allowed down here, but that didn’t stop her from wandering. Nothing ever did. Abigail loved being where she wasn’t welcome ever since she was a little girl.

 

“David will be too.” You say under your breath. That was the only thing keeping you strong, driving you to win.

 

Just a few minutes. The anxiety felt crushing, like there was a large weight on your shoulders. You take a big gulp from the large can to wet your dry mouth. After a second, your lips quiver as you feel the drink hit the pits of your stomach. You pick the up the can of energy drink with your hand; it feels half-empty. “It’s going to be a long fight.” Anywhere from 10 to 40 minutes, that’s how long you’d be in the mech for, including an intermission. And you did always have a nervous bladder. “Maybe I should use the bathroom.”

 

There is roughly ten minutes before you are called up to the arena.

 

What do you wish to do?

 

>Help Zoe with the 3V

 

>Relax and finish your drink

 

>Use the toilet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using the toilet would be a sensible choice, but let's make things exciting. Help Zoe with the 3V.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With a sigh, you stretch your arms and rise up to your feet. You didn’t feel the need to use the toilet was overwhelming; you could hold it for a while. For the last few minutes, you decided it would be best to use your precious time wisely, helping out your team in the hangar. You take your energy drink, zip up your jacket and head through the small door at the back of your room.

 

The hangar beside your room was a large concrete storage that sat beneath the main arena. The smell of welded metal hangs thick in the air, warming it up. It was completely soundproof, all you could hear were the echoes of Zoe and your father as they work at their stations, readying the mech for its first fight. A chilling wind howls; you wrap your jacket around yourself. It’s barely enough to warm you up. At the very back, you make out a large red light. Once that turned green, that meant it would be your turn to enter the arena. For the next few minutes, you would be fixated on that light, waiting for the final moment where it would change.

 

Beneath the body of the 3V, your father and Zoe work. Several work lights are spread around beneath the mech, connected to a small generator that also powers your father’s workstation. Above the heavy light, there it is; Your mech: 3V. A bipedal mech built from a salvaged R3K5 Titan frame, resembling a theropod. The armour was a dark grey, heavy and bolted to the frame. Your dad had procured the armour from a military surplus, meaning that it had seen some action; you could still see the scars left from planetary service but the armour was still strong enough to withstand even the heaviest attacks. On it’s Right side the MK.1 Gunlance is mounted in its idle position, facing downward. It’s length almost matches the 3V itself. Behind the cockpit, you can see the large core that powers it, a box with curved edges that stood on the rear of the frame. Mounted to it are the thrusters and on the left side the missile defense system.

 

Your father, a tall twiggy man with a long white coat and a pair of small rectangular glasses, is working by a small desk with terminals around him, completely absorbed in the light of their screens. His hair is wild, spread out in all directions. He was a man who cared little for his own appearance. Once or twice, he stops to push his glasses back up. There are several wires running up toward the 3V, all connected to the several terminals he’s working at. His frantic clacking at the keypads echoes through the hangar.

 

Atop the 3V, Zoe is working. She’s dressed in her overalls, her face is covered by a mask as she welds something near the gunlance. After a minute, she finishes up and walks to the edge of the 3Vs head. “Okay, Hammond. She’s welded on tight, bolts are locked in place, and the rotary system is mounted properly. Try her out.” She brushes her hands and slides down the ladders. “Hey Amelie, shouldn’t you be resting up?”

 

“You’re just in time to see it in action.” Your father doesn’t sound so formal about you being here; he sounds overjoyed. He pushes up his glasses and looks up toward the gunlance proudly. “Since you’re here, would you like to do the honours, Amelie?”

 

You approach the terminals and look around at the screens; information, statistics, and graphs fill them all. This was the emulator Zoe and your father used, a system built into the terminals that mimicked the systems of the 3V and allowed them to perform maintenance and weapon tests usually left to the pilot.

 

“Just hit that button there.” He rubs his hands with glee.

 

Staring up at the 3V eagerly, you push the button and watch with Zoe and your father. SCHWING! The gunlance lifts and readies itself, moving along the rails built into the frame almost instantly. a long jet black tungsten blade protrudes from the right shoulder.

 

“Haha! It works!” Your father cheers. “Excellent work, Zoe.” He looks down at the keypad and begins typing quickly. “Press the button again, Amelie.” His smile grows bigger.

 

On the second press, the lance retracts. The small box at the back of the lance unfolds and shifts quickly into a short barrelled rifle. There is a loud click and after a second, you see one of the heavy shells move from the autoloader.

 

“Both the rifle and the lance are mounted properly.” Your father takes off his glasses and cleans them on the sleeve of his coat. “I’ll admit, I was worried you’d struggle loading on the rotary system, but you’ve done me proud.”

 

Your mechanic blushes. “Thank you, Hammond.” She sweeps the hair from her eyes, showing her proud smile. It was rare when Zoe smiled. “So what are you doing back here? Got bored of sitting on your butt in there?”

 

“I didn’t want to spend my last few minutes just sitting and watching tv. I was wondering if you guys needed any help with anything.” You take a few large mouthfuls from the energy drink can and sit it down by the terminals.

 

“There’s not much to do anymore,” your father pushes his glasses up, “ but since you’re here why don’t we run a proper pilot test? Make sure all the 3V systems are working properly and get you properly acquainted with the cockpit?” His smile dwindles as he lowers his head and types at one of the terminals. “A simulation, no matter how real it feels, can’t compare to the real thing.”

 

Zoe looks up from a terminal with a big grin on her face. “That’s a great idea.” She looks at your father and then at you, still grinning. She was excited for this, probably more than you. The chance to see her handiwork come to life. Zoe types furiously on her keyboard. As she finishes the legs of 3V lower, the head rests against the floor, allowing you to climb atop it. “Your big moment, Amelie. You want to make yourself useful, right?”

 

“Gladly.” You look up toward the steel behemoth. Your first time to enter the 3V, you’d waited so long and you didn’t need to any longer. You huff, clenching your letterman jacket tighter to your chest. “Dad, do you mind looking away for a moment?” You didn't want to be seen in your suit, you were ashamed, feeling like it showed off more of your womanly curves and figure than you cared to share. Your dad looks confused, tilting his head. “I just need a second.” You spin your hand, signalling for him to look away. When he finally does, you take off your letterman jacket; the air in the hangar feels colder, even through your pilot suit it nips at your skin. “Keep ahold of this.” You throw the jacket at Zoe and take a few steps toward the 3V.

 

It’s like standing before a great beast made of metal. Even with its legs lowered and the cockpit on the ground the 3V is still an armoured behemoth that puts you in its shadow. You approach slowly, savouring these moments. The first time you’d enter the mech outside of a simulation. Everything was real, this wasn’t just training. Your mind still struggled to grasp that. Up close, you put a hand against the armour, feeling the tough cold exterior of your mech. It's real, all of this is real.

 

There’s a ladder around the side of the cockpit, you climb up it slowly, the clunking of the steel echoes through the empty air of the hangar. You climb down into the dark cockpit where barely anything is visible. The hatch of the 3V lowers with a hiss as it seals shut. It’s dark in the cockpit with only a single light activated on the central dashboard. You settle into the pilot seat and sit down before the dashboard.

 

“Please input activation code, Pilot.” The on-board computer springs to life and addresses you as the pilot. Of course, you’d never properly been seated in the 3V. All maintenance and tests were done by Zoe or your father who worked on an emulator of the 3Vs systems from their terminal. All of these computers, they hadn’t been activated for a while. You lean forward in the seat and enter one-one-two-seven into the keypad beside the light. “Activation code accepted. Welcome, Pilot.”

 

Suddenly, the central dashboard lights up as you hear the core of the 3V power up. This was the first time you’d sat in the cockpit, you watch with astonishment as the on-board computers and systems come to life with a comforting blue glow, faintly humming.

 

“Alright, you comfortable in there?” You hear your father’s voice with a hiss of static. “I’m going to run a quick diagnostic now that the 3V is powered up.” Through the radio you hear the clacking of a keypad.

 

“Powering up, connecting to external sockets.” The on-board computer announces. “Rotary weapon system: Online. MK.1 Gunlance: Online. Diverting systems to EMP transistors… EMP emitter: Online. Syncing thrusters to missile system. Trident missile defense system: Online. All systems nominal. Core power: Full. Armour integrity: Maximum.” The computer pings.

 

“Alright.” Your father sounds pleased. “All systems are online. I’m showing green all across the board here. Siren, please show current system status on screen three.”

 

Beside you, a small terminal lights up. You watch the lines of text fill the screen.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Core Power: Full

Armour Integrity: Maximum

 

Right Gauntlet: MK1 Gunlance (Online)

Rotary Weapon System (Online) (10/10)

 

Left Gauntlet: XL EMP Gauntlet (Online) (Charged)

 

Left Shoulder: Trident Missile Defense System (Online) (15/15)

 

Rear Cockpit: R3K5 Aftermarket Thrusters (Online)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“That all look good to you? Excellent. Since we’ve only had you run through simulations and no live exercises best you know now: You’re going to want to keep a close eye on that monitor. Against a Vanguard, the 3V is an easy target for having its equipment targeted. Siren will be keep track of the 3Vs systems; if something gets too damaged you’ll be warned, so keep a close eye on that monitor.” He repeats herself, the second time he’s especially stern about that warning. “Hang on, let me just give you a quick lesson.” You hear your father clacking at his keyboard again.

 

“Warning! Multiple system failures. Mass system failure! Multiple sockets offline!” The concerned call of Siren startles you. Suddenly, a warning alarm begins blaring in the cockpit. The computer terminal monitoring the 3V begins to crackle and the lines of text begin to waver, turning from a dark green to a dangerous red.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Core Power: Full

Armour Integrity: Maximum

 

Right Gauntlet: MK1 Gunlance (OFFLINE)

Rotary Weapon System: (OFFLINE)

 

Left Gauntlet: XL EMP Gauntlet (OFFLINE)

 

Left Shoulder: Trident Missile Defense System (OFFLINE)

 

Rear Cockpit: R3K5 Aftermarket Thrusters (OFFLINE)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

“Dad!” You call out, alarmed. Over the sound of the warning alert it’s hard to hear yourself. “What the hell did you-”

 

“No need to worry, I’m just emulating a system failure. You see what I mean though, it’s important you know this stuff and you’re aware of it.” He types at his keyboard. “Putting all systems back online.”

 

The computer chirps happily. “Systems Normalized. All main systems back online and running at full capacity.” The lines of text blip back up on the screen, reverting to their original green glowing colour.

 

“Okay, everything’s running normally again.” You lean forward and watch the screen for a few more seconds. “I’ll make sure to keep an eye on it, dad.”

 

“Good. Monitoring those systems is critical.” You hear a shuffle of cloth. “That pretty much covers everything. You’re familiar with all the controls, thrusters, weapons and the like, right?” You answer with a yes. “I’m going to let Zoe run you through this part. It’s what she’ll be doing during your fights. I’ll need to go check on your sister.” The radio hisses static and you hear footsteps moving away from you.

 

There’s some interference but once it clears you hear Zoe clearly through the headset. “Okay, comms are good. One last thing we need from you then.” There are a few clacks from Zoe’s keyboard. “Do you see the small glove down by your right hand side?”

 

You look down beside the cockpit and see the glove Zoe is talking about; it’s a small metal gauntlet with a few slots to put your fingers through. It doesn’t look like a glove, more a small frame that fits around your fingers with a few wires running down to the wrists. It feels light as you lift it. “Okay, I’ve got it.”

 

“Just put your right hand in it.” Zoe instructs you.

 

The computer pings. “Bio signal received. Linking nanoid data to host terminal.”

 

You look at the small terminal, raising an eyebrow in suspicion. “Zoe, why am I doing this?” You inquire; you’d seen nothing about nanoids or requiring them over the past few days. “I don’t have any nanoids in me.”

 

“You remember that shot your father gave you the other day? That was a nanoid shot. It injected several nanoids into your bloodstream that work with my own computer to monitor your vital signs. I basically have the same screen here for you that you do for the 3V.”

 

You had wondered why your father had insisted on the shot. He had told you it was to steady your nerves and muscles during practice, a mild antidepressant designed to lessen the impact of stress and fatigue. You’d never needed it before during practice. Although you did a lot of practice in simulations, the feelings and weight of the cockpit were still there, they still felt real. You’d agreed, believing your dad knew best. “So that line about it being an antidepressant?”

 

“It wasn’t a line, but we just didn’t include the part about the nanoids…” Zoe pauses for a moment, there’s only silence from the receiving end. “There was a small period where the nanoids needed to… optimize. We were worried if we told you that it would affect this period. Give out false readings, false signs, you know what I mean. We needed you to just be you while the nanoids got the default reading of your body.”

 

You shuffle around in the seat, still struggling to make yourself comfortable. “What do you mean by just be me?” You didn’t give it thought as you were trying to get acquainted with your skintight suit, but after a second of thinking, she meant more than what she said.

 

“Well… you do drink a lot of those energy drinks, and you don’t sleep much. Nanoids need to get acquainted about everything in you, including those high caffeine and stimulant levels, the periodic spikes in heart rate and blood pressure. No need to worry, these nanoids only track heart rate, neural activity and blood pressure. You know, important stuff.”

 

You feel your cheeks going red and your heart racing from more than just anxiety. Zoe had access to all this information about you. She could monitor you, even the spikes in any data being a huge indicator to what you were doing at the time. Did that mean when you decided to have some alone time and “relieve” your stress at the computer that Zoe would see the spike in your heart rate? “So, does that mean-”

 

“Don’t worry, I haven’t been tracking everything you’ve been doing.” She answers before you finish, easily predicting what was on your mind. This is my first time booting up the nanoids properly.” There is another air of silence before the radio crackles. “You’re not upset about us doing it, are you? We’re gonna be a team for this fight so best we get any emotions out in the open now.” She sighs. “Nanoids aren’t mandatory. I didn’t want to use them but your father insisted it was for the best. It’s combat data, vital information for helping me help you.”

 

“It’s fine.” You smirk. “I wouldn’t have anybody else in the world to track my biological functions.”

 

Zoe chuckles, sounding relieved. “That’s good because I’m the only who’ll be looking. Okay, I’m going to switch on the nanoids now. You might feel a buzz or two.” There is a mild pain that shoots up both your arms. It lasts for a second and then vanishes completely like it was never there. “Okay.” Zoe sounds mildly concerned. “I’m picking up a high heart rate, high blood pressure and increased neural activity. Are you feeling okay?” She begins typing on her keypad. “You’re scared, aren’t you?” She loses that touch of professionalism when she asks such a personal question. That wasn’t your mechanic speaking, that was your friend.

 

What do you wish to do?

 

>Admit you’re scared for your first fight

 

>Lie and tell her it’s excitement

 

>Blame faulty electronics and laugh it off

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tell her it's excitement. Don't let her know you're afraid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

“Scared? No.” Even you can hear it, you’re not too convincing. “I’ve been waiting for this day for a while. I’m excited. Eager to finally get in the arena.” If you say it, then you might feel it. You didn't want Zoe to know your proper feelings. You needed to be confident in this situation, show your team that you weren't scared of anything.

 

“Excited?” Through the radio you hear the familiar clink of a lighter. “I guess that makes one of us then.”

 

“Hey! What are you-” You yell angrily down the radio. You rise to your feet, trying to look out the cockpit toward Zoe. “What happened to no smoking around the equipment?”

 

"You're father wouldn't let me have a smoke the entire time I've been working, I'm about to go nuts if I don't have one." You hear the blowing of smoke and a very relieved sigh. “It’s just one.” Zoe says calmly. Already she’s sucking on her cigarette a second time. “Besides, it’s not going to blow anything up. I’ve been working with a welding torch for god sake.” She sounds at peace, puffing on a smoke. "Oooh, I've needed this."

 

You grumble but decide not to press the issue. The engineer knew their workspace better than anybody. If Zoe wanted a smoke, not even a nuclear disaster would stop her from having one. Not to mention you had your own vices, sucking down energy drinks as a means to calm your own shaky nerves.

 

“Alright, let me just check your vitals, make sure you don’t bite the dust during combat.” Zoe blows out a puff of smoke and goes quiet for a moment. You hear the quiet clacking of a keyboard.“Hey Amelie, mind if I ask you something?”

 

“Go for it.” You’re not sure why Zoe needed to ask; she’d always been upfront about most things.

 

Another puff of smoke, followed by another joyful sigh. “You ready for this fight? Done everything you need to before you go into the arena?” She chuckles. “You’ve eaten, had a drink... emptied the tank?”

 

You stare dumbfounded at the radio for a second. “I’m not following you.” Emptied the tank? What the hell did that mean?

 

Zoe sighs. “You’ve been for a piss, right? You’re gonna be in that mech for a long time so I just want to make there’s nothing distracting you. At least if you're hungry during the interval I can slide a power bar or something to you, but between now and the next hour the closest thing you have to a bathroom is that cockpit you're sitting in. Piloting a mech on a full pissbag isn't fun. All that exercise and labour isn't going to be good if you've gotta go and If you soil that cockpit you're cleaning it." 

 

You wouldn't share something so personal with Zoe. What you do on the toilet was your, and only your business. Zoe didn't need to know you'd taken a shit before leaving your house, and you didn't feel like sharing your toilet time with her. Not wanting to let it weigh on your mind, or creep up on you unexpectedly, you'd unloaded yourself in the comfort of your own toilet before heading out to the arena. You didn't want to suffer your first fight with the fears of shitting yourself. Piloting a mech was daunting physical work and it was easy to over-exert yourself. You still remember the young pilot from a few years back who'd won her first match but ended up shitting herself in the heat of the moment. She became quiet infamous after that, despite being a skilled pilot she was always remembered as the girl who scrambled out of her mech with a full load in her knickers. You were keen to avoid that kind of sullied reputation.

 

You were feeling a niggling urge to take a leak however, something you should've taken care of earlier. It's easy to ignore. “You don't need to worry about me.” You reply, letting out a small belch as you feel your energy drink settle in your stomach.

 

“Hope you’re not feeling gassy either. That’s a pretty tight hull, so if you let one rip in there, you’re gonna be eating it for the whole fight.” Even when making such childish comments, Zoe speaks with an air of professionalism.

 

“You’re making this a little too personal, Zoe.” You chuckle with nervous laughter. You were feeling a little gassy after that energy drink, but you'd be fine.

 

“I can currently read half of your bio-signs, I don’t think we can get more personal than this.” You hear the click of the lighter again, but this time decide to say nothing. “I’m just making sure you’re fully ready for this fight. We’ve still got a little time, anything you need to do beforehand? I want you fully focused on this fight, so you name it, I'm on it." 

 

What do you wish to do?

 

>Tell Zoe you need to pee

 

>Tell Zoe you could use another drink

 

>Tell Zoe you’d like a smoke

 

>Tell Zoe you're fine

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The desperation system for this story is pretty simple: Through the course of the story, Amelie will have to keep an eye on her bladder and bowels during combat. Once she has entered the 3V and is ready for combat, she will be unable to use the bathroom until the fight is over. If Amelie gets too desperate during a fight, she may suffer penalties to piloting the mech and if unable to relieve herself in any way, she will have an accident.

 

When an option shows up for Amelie that involves relieving herself it will be colour coded depending on how desperate she currently is.

 

Green: Amelie is either empty or barely desperate. She will suffer no penalties.

 

Orange: Amelie is desperate. Exerting herself physically in combat may lead to her leaking or wetting. 

 

Red: Amelie is on the verge of an accident. She will get easily distracted and even the slightest amount of force could cause her to wet herself. Light tasks while piloting may also cause an accident.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tell her you need to go, because you're not a loser and if you reminisce about what happened to another pilot, have that be a possibility, and do nothing about it, you're stupid and SHOULD lose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“Well now that you’ve said it…” That niggling urge you could feel earlier had grown. You were starting to feel it, a growing pressure between your legs. “I do have to pee.” Better you went before the fight regardless.

 

Zoe puffs on her cigarette and you hear a weary sigh in-between the exhale of smoke. “I figured as much. Alright, just sit tight, give me two minutes.”

 

“Why? What are- Wait, Zoe. Where are you-” It’s too late, there’s no reply and you can hear steps echoing into the distance. You sigh and lean back in the chair. “Why do I have to wait?” You say to yourself wearily. You sit, the thought of going to pee makes the feeling so much more profound now. The toilets were just down the corridor, a two minute venture and then you'd be back, but now Zoe was making you wait.  

 

The cockpit is left with dead silence, with the quiet humming of the mechs systems giving the faintest feeling of live. You lean back in your seat and rest your head against your fist. The chair is comfortable, but you still fidget as you feel the rear of your bodysuit wedged between the crack of your butt. It had been annoying you since you put the suit on, the tight fabric pressing into every crevice it could and you were feeling it. Everywhere. You lift your butt and try to pull at the suit, but you can't pull the fabric out from firmly between your cheeks. Annoyed, and frustrated by the feeling, you slump back down, sigh and let your eyes wander around the cockpit, taking in every small detail. This was your first time seeing the 3V running; the consoles and panels around you beep and blink, several thin lines, like veins of glowing neon run the length of the whole cockpit, coloured a bright blue. The screens monitoring the mechs vital systems flicker as information is displayed, their small glowing panels barely light up. On each arm of the seat, a large steel bar is placed with a grip and handles.  

 

You put your hands on the grips and grasp them tightly. They’re cold and even when still you can still feel the weight of them. You’d only used them in the simulation. They were heavy but after a while you got used to handling them. “Forward to move.” You say quietly, giving both handles a gentle push forward. “Neutral to brake.” Slowly, you move the handles back to their neutral position. Those lessons were the first you were taught, spending countless hours in the 3V simulation until you could manoeuvre the mech like your own body. Most nights your body would ache, you could barely lift your arms after hours of practice, but over time it got easier. Just holding the levers brought back memories of your arms trembling, but the pride you felt as you moved the mech for the first time, the simulated feeling of movement as the cockpit moved. The nostalgia conjures a smile on your face. Tonight you'd be moving it, controlling it for real, and your dad was right: No simulation could compare to the real feeling. You rest your arms back on your lap. "Not long now." You could feel your confidence rising now that you were settled properly into the cockpit.

 

Clink! Clink! Clink! The sound of metal echoes in the cockpit. Somebody was climbing up the ladder. You turn your head toward the hatch and await your visitor. After a few seconds the hatch opens with a metallic creak and you’re met with the bright floodlights in the hangar. You shield your eyes, the few minutes in the dark cockpit making you sensitive to such intense light. There is a strong smell of cigarette smoke.

 

A hand reaches into the cockpit, holding a strange device. “Okay, here you go.” You hear Zoe’s voice. “Make it quick, yeah?”

 

You get up on your knees and reach up, grabbing the device, which on closer inspection is nothing more than a regular plastic bottle with a funnel taped to the top of it. “What the hell is this for?” You look up at the hatch, furrowing your brow at the bright lights before looking down in confusion at the bottle.

 

“For you to take a piss in. You said you had to go, right? Oh, almost forgot… These too.” Zoe chucks in a small bottle of hand sanitizer and a few crumpled up tissues, one of which has an oil smudge on it. They land on your lap, the former hitting you right between the legs.

 

Even after Zoe has told you what the bottle is for, it takes a moment for you to fully comprehend it. You hold the makeshift urinal in your hands, staring at the jury-rigged aiming device made of a small plastic funnel and some tape. “I’m supposed to go in this?” You finally say, your feelings turning to shame as your cheeks warm up.

 

“Well you said you have to take a piss.” Zoe replies casually. “What did you think I was going to do? Bring you a toilet?” She chuckles quietly.

 

You can feel the blood rushing to your cheeks. “I was expecting you to tell me to just go to the toilets. You know… the ones down the hall?”

 

“No time. You’re up in a minute, so anything you’ve gotta do you do in the mech.” The metal above you creaks. “That includes taking a leak.” You hear a snigger. “You’re not shy about doing it, are you?”

 

Holding the plastic bottle in your hands, you grumble. There was so little space to move in cockpit and no floor space. You wouldn’t mind if you could just squat down over the bottle and pee in it that way, but there was hardly any room to move in your seat. If you were to use it, you’d have to inch yourself to the edge of the seat and rest the bottle between your legs with funnel against your crotch. The other problem was your pilot suit; a skintight bodysuit that was a hassle to take off and put back on. There was a zip running down the front of it that you could pull down, but it still wouldn't be easy. You weren't wearing a bra or any boxer shorts; you’d be almost naked with your whole suit wrapped around your knees.

 

Suddenly, you feel like holding it in. But this was the only chance you’d have to pee for a while. The thought of peeing has only made your need worse, or it was your nerves. Either way, you were starting to really feel it.

 

What do you wish to do?

 

>Piss in the bottle

 

>Hand it back to Zoe and hold it in

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.