Egypt, once home to one the most ancient civilizations on Earth. Even in the Universal Century, its many ancient architectures still amaze and strike imagination to all those who gaze a pawn them. It's modern towns and cities house people from many parts of the Earth and from the space colonies known as Sides. Among this diversity of people is a group called E.N.O.Z, the Earth Nation of Zeon.
The citizens of the E.N.O.Z. are descendants of the Zeon Remnants that survived the Zeon conflicts in first century of the U.C. calendar, such as the One Year War and the Third Neo Zeon War formed this hidden nation. The Earth Nation of Zeon spans throughout the four corners of the Earth; hiding in plain sight by working for the Earth's two main governments.
The first government is known as The Union Foundation. This small, yet growing, faction holds up the ideals and standards of the Old Earth Federation. The Union also based many of their Mobile Suit designs on suits that have come before. However, their military strength is not up to scratch compared due to lack of access to certain resources.
The more dominant government is known as the Earth Sphere Alliance, ruled by Empress Jessica Selene and the Selene family. The Alliance was forged in the year U.C. 158 at the end of the Logos Conflict. The control that Alliance possesses expends beyond the Earth. They control at least of the half of the 9 Sides that are stationed around the Earth and it's moon.
The Alliance's military are split off into Army, Navy, Air Force and Space Force just like the old Earth Federation. However, there is a Special Force within Imperial military known as the Storm Troopers. The Storm Troopers answer only to the government and the ruling family. The Storm Troopers main task is to unify the nations of the Earth and to eliminate all forces that are a threat to Alliance or the Selene Family by any means necessary in most cases.
Many of the actions made by the Storm Troopers have caused the destruction of many nations who refused to join the Alliance. The information about these tactics are kept hidden from public eyes thanks to the Government's actions and the fact that the Storm Troopers have full control over the Alliance's operations and reports.
It's because of these actions that Union has risen from. Despite the low number of military force, for the past 30 years, the Union has been in stalemate with the Alliance and it's Storm Troopers. Unable to break the Union's defenses, the Storm Troopers moved to destroy any strong faction that might aide the Union. Now, the Earth Nation of Zeon was their new target. However, the Zeon was proving to be just as tough as the Union and very hard to find.
Yet, the Storm Troopers managed to locate a Zeon village near the Nile River and destroyed it. Hoping to force the Egyptian forces to surrender, the Storm Troopers took the surviving civilians hostage and threatened to execute them if they did reveal any information on the ENOZ and all their locations. Before, the date of execution, a Storm Trooper Cadet named Amuro Mass III, using the alias, Edward Noah, turned against his company and aided the Zeon's rescue mission.
The refugees and Zeon forces retreated towards the Red Sea, where they would link up with Zeon forces stationed in Israel. The Storm Troopers discovered the refugee's location and launched an assault to finish them off. They sent 2 mobile forces for the attack. The land group was made up of 15 Letos and 15 GM Quel Xs. The second group, made of 30 Oceanus amphibious mobile suits, would come by water and cut off the refugees escape route. A reverse group of suits, made up of 30 more Letos, stood by in case something went wrong.
By the time the Storm Troopers arrived, the refugees were more then halfway across the Red Sea. Missiles and laser soon bombarded them by the Zeon forces. The Zeon Force were made up 3 RF Dom Tropens, 10 RF Zaku IIs, 10 RF Zaku Cannons, 3 RF Ga Zowmnns, a RF Zssa, and a white Leto, piloted by Amuro. Although out numbered, the Zeon forces held their ground, taking down as many Letos and GM Quels as they could. Each suit used any means, from beam sabers to missiles, to take down their enemy without hitting their Minoveky ultra compact fusion reactor. With one hit, the reactor could produce an explosive effect like that of a nuclear missile.
Meanwhile, the cruise ship, carrying the refugees, continued its journey across the Red Sea. Then, the ship came to a halt as 3 Oceanus' grabbed a hold. Several other Oceanus emerged from the raising their rifles to fire into the ship. Then, like as quick as a shark strikes its prey, more then 10 RF Z'Goks and 10 RF Hy-Goggs swam towards their targets. 5 of these suits, 3 Hy-Goggs and 2 Z'Goks rose from the water and destroyed half of the submerged Oceanus' and drove the rest away from the ship and into the sea.
Like the mobile suits on the ground, the Z'Goks, Hy-Goggs, and Oceanus' tried to bring each other down with out setting off their reactors. The sea battle moves in-between the surface of the sea to below water. Hy-Gogg fires right into the cockpit of an Ocreanus, killing the pilot, before the arm of another Oceanus smashes through the Hy-Gogg's cockpit.
Three Oceanus suits break away from the battle and make their way towards the cruise ship. They fire their weapons at the ship. The ship takes several hits, but not enough to cause it to sink. One Oceanus suit speeds up towards the ship in a kamikaze run.
A long laser shot comes down from the sky, hitting the kamikaze Oceanus suit through its cockpit. The two remaining Oceanus pursuit force stop dead in their tracks. 2 more laser rain down on the two Oceanus suits, hitting them in the cockpit area. The laser shots came from a RF Zaku I Sniper that was attached to a Zeon ship called the Fat Uncle, a large MS carrier with a helicopter fan on each side.
Several more Fat Uncles, each one containing a Zaku I Sniper, flies over the main area where the sea battle was taking place. At the head of the Fat Uncle fleet was a red color Fat Uncle that the leader of the Zaku I Sniper Squad, Graham David, rode.
Graham presses a button on the right counsel of his cockpit. The 360-degree monitor around him changes to an inferred type screen, showing all the different types of suits under the water.
"All sniper units, switch to inferred," Graham ordered his troops, using the com-system of his suit. "Target the cockpit area of the enemy suits."
All of the Zaku I Snipers opened fire into the Red Sea; using armor penetration rounds as laser don't work under water. The snipers adjusted their aim for their next target. Each sniper only got to fire 3 rounds before Graham ordered a ceasefire.
The 15 surviving Z'Goks and Hy-Goggs emerged from the water. A Red Z'Gok launches a red flare, signaling their victory. Graham looks at the flare for a moment and then turns his attention to the cruise ship, which was being escort by Zeon warship and submarines.
"White Devil to Kate. Do you read me?" Graham said.
A computer screen size picture appeared on Graham's monitor. A boy, no older then 12, with brown hair and blue eyes, wearing a torn up Storm Trooper cadet uniform, was in the picture. The boy's name was Amuro.
"White Devil here. What's up?" Amuro said.
"The civilians have reached the escort fleet," Graham said. "You're prediction on the enemies' strategy was accurate."
"I was a Storm Trooper, remember? Listen, the enemy is about to launch the reserve unit. We're going to retreat to the rendezvous point. There is the possibility that we'll need back up."
"Wolfgang's squad is on their way as we speak. In the mean time, I'll send some of my snipers to cover."
"All right. Listen, I'm going to stay behind to give the others a chance to escape."
"What? That's suicide!"
"It has to be done. If not, the Storm Troopers will pick us off one by one. As long as there is one unit to hold them off, the chances for survival for the rest will increase."
"I understand, but still it's too damn risky."
"Don't worry. I'm not going to die that easy. I'll meet all of you again."
Graham starts at Amuro for a moment, wondering what he was going to say to change his mind. But he couldn't find them. "It was an honor serving with you," Graham said.
"Same here," Amuro said. "To victory. Life or Death."
"To victory. Life or Death," Graham said as the picture of Amuro disappeared.
Back at the old refugee camp, the remaining Zeon force retreated as Amuro, in his Leto, attacked the new wave of Leto mobile suits. Throughout the pervious wave of mobile suits attacks, Amuro's Leto had sustained some damage. A quarter of his Leto's head was blasted off, which shut down some of the Amuro's monitor system. The Leto's right leg was damaged. The only weapons the Leto had were 2 beam sabers.
Despite this, Amuro continued to pilot his suit as if it wasn't damaged at all. No matter where he turned, Storm Trooper mobile suits fell with the pilot's lives in tack. Even when a Leto was in his blind spot, Amuro brought it down as if he knew it was there. As if he was a Newtype.
In all directions, the enemy Letos kept coming, like locusts. Amuro took any fell weapon he could find on the ground to continue buying the Zeon suits more time to escape. However, even with his amazing skills, the amount of fighting was beginning to take its toll on Amuro. An enemy Leto fires a couple of missiles at the legs of Amuro's damaged Leto, causing them to blow. Amuro's Leto falls onto an old stone, causing to crumble down. As the Leto fell, Amuro's body was cushioned by the front counsel airbags.
Once the Leto stopped falling, Amuro removes his seat straps and pulls an anti-mobile suit bazooka from behind his chair. The cockpit of his opens, allowing him to climb out. Once he did, Amuro found himself surrounded by Letos. One Leto towered over him, the barrel of its beam rifle pointing directly at Amuro's position.
Looks like I won't be able to keep my promise, Amuro thought. At least, I'll go down swinging.
Amuro slings the bazooka over his shoulder and aims for the Leto's cockpit. Before the Leto or Amuro could act, several blue glowing laser blasts rain down from the sky. Each laser took down every single Leto suit in the area. The shockwaves of each exploding suit caused Amuro to lose his balance and drop his bazooka.
Amuro looks up at the night's sky, hoping to see what had caused that sudden attack. Then, he saw it. It was a mobile suit that he had only read about in history books. The suit's limbs, shoulder pads, and head were painted white. The chest area was orange. In it's left hand was a large black and red shield with a green colored gem on it. In it's right hand was a long beam rifle. It had a pair of large fighter plane like wings on its back, which possible meant that it could transform into an aircraft-like mode. Also on its back was a small backpack, which seem to emit glowing blue particles.
But the face of the mobile suit shocked Amuro the most. At the forehead was a V shaped crown with a jewel in the middle. It had glowing green eyes. It had a mask around the mouth and nose area. This was face that brought fear and courage to those who fought in Universal Century's pervious wars. It was the face of a Gundam.
Then a couple large beams of light shined upon Amuro. Amuro covered his eyes to prevent blindness.
"Amuro Mass?" a young girl's voice said.
"What?" Amuro asked.
"Is your name Amuro Mass?" the young girl's voice asked again.
"Yeah." Amuro said.
The lights died down. Once his eyes were adjusted, he could see a couple gunship-like vessels hovering above him. Standing just a few feet in front of him was girl of 14 with shoulder length dark brown hair. She wore clothing that would allow her to blend in a crowd at New York City's Time Square.
"Who are you?" Amuro asked.
"My name is Louise Rose," the girl said. "I've come here to make you an offer."
"What kind of offer?"
"A chance to change this world if you get my drift."
The young girl called Louise points up towards the sky. Amuro turns his attention toward the Gundam that floated above him.
"So, what's your answer?" Louise asked. Amuro brings his attention back to Louise.
Date: U.C. 0223, 6 year later
Side 3, to this day it is still known as the Republic of Zeon. Most of the colonies in Side 3 are made up of "closed-type" colonies to house greater capacity of people. It was the Side that started the movement Spacenoid Independence through the words of the idealist Zeon Zum Deikun. However, it was this same movement that started many of the conflicts in the Universal Century, starting with the One Year War.
The Republic of Zeon happens to be one of the 4 remaining Sides that haven't allied themselves with the Earth Sphere Alliance. However, it hasn't allied itself with the Union either. Since the conflict between the Storm Troopers and the Union started, the Republic of Zeon declared neutrality. To ensure this neutrality, Any member of the Alliance force or the Union force must sign an agreement to not fire on each other, whether it is firearms, ships, or mobile suits. The Republic of Zeon also passed a law that limited the number of ships and mobile suits from the Alliance or the Union that can enter Zeon space.
At the Zeon space fortress known as A Baoa Que II, a rebuilt asteroid fortress modeled after the original fortress used in the One Year War and destroyed in the Gryps Conflict, the Earth Sphere Alliance was hosting a performance testing of their newest mobile suits, TSH-004 Spearhead and the TRMS-106V Hizack V. There were 3 units of each type of mobile suits maneuvering around asteroid field and firing at dummy balloons that were shaped as mobile suits. Some of the asteroids had targets that carried beam rifles. As a Spearhead or a Hizack passed by, the target's sensor would go off and fire at the suits. This was performance was also the first public unveiling of the Alliance's undated version of their Minovsky Particle Drives, which unleash Minovsky Particles that respond to a wavelength corresponding to the red portion of the visual spectrum.
A few miles away from this exercise were several ships belonging to the Earth Sphere Alliance, the SNRI or Strategic Naval Research Institute, the company that developed the Hizack and the Spearhead, the Union and the Republic of Zeon. However, the main party of onlookers was on A Baoa Que II, at the fortress' ballroom area. Large windows provided the viewers at great view of the attack that was taking place outside.
One of these onlookers was a young 18-year-old girl with long blonde hair, brown eyes, wearing purple rim glasses, and a High School uniform. The girl's name was Rukia Vlady. Rukia watched the mobile suits' movements very carefully as if she was going to write a review on their performance. Beside Rukia was a young man of 18 with short black hair and hazel eyes named Leto S. Dullindal, the 3rd Prince of the Earth Sphere Alliance. Leto wore his Military dress uniform, showing off his rank as Lieutenant JG.
Then, there was Maria Z. Links, the daughter of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Zeon. She had short red hair and bright green eyes. She wore long aqua green, one shoulder strap dress. She also had lone evening gloves that ran all the way up to her biceps. "So, these are Alliance's latest suits," Maria said after seeing enough of Spearhead and Hizack's attack.
"Are you impressed, Princess?" Leto said.
"How many times do I have to tell you to not call me princess?" Maria said with annoyance in her voice.
"Then stop dressing like one when we meet and I'll consider it," Leto said.
"Speak for yourself, Princy," Rukia said without even looking at Leto.
"Will you stay out of this?" Leto said.
"My, oh my. Getting hot tempered is not good for the Alliance's image," a young girl's voice said.
Leto, Maria, and Rukia turn around to find an 18-year-old girl of dark blonde hair, blue eyes, and wearing a maroon dress that was modeled after dresses of the 14th century. Leto recognized her at once and said, "Should Mariemaia Catalonia, the daughter of Heero Catalonia, be here at this party?"
"Of course I shouldn't be here," Mariemaia said happily. "But curiosity on the Alliance's new suits got the better of me."
"And what is your take on these suits?" Leto asked.
"Will you arrest me if I'm too blunt?" Mariemaia asked.
"Of course not."
"Well, to be honest, they're quite good machines. However, it seems to me that Hizack is just a knockoff of the Zeon's Zakus. Only the exterior is original."
"Hey, you!" A loud voice said. Everyone looks out the window and sees one of the Hizacks floating near the window. The cockpit hatch was open with the pilot, Patrick Barton, standing at the entrance.
"I can hear you! What did you say, lady? Well? Come on!" Patrick shouted.
"Well, I'll give it an A for good sound pick up," Mariemaia said, holding back her giggles.
"You got that right," Rukia said.
Approaching the space area of A Baoa Que II was a white mobile suit, with a blue and red colored chest and body, and carrying a white shield. It has large backpack to help maneuver itself through space and emit glowing blue particles. On the backpack were 2 beam saber handles for easy access. The face of the approaching suit looked like a human face. Its eyes were glowing bright yellow. It had a long golden horn attached to a red jewel on it forehead.
Inside the cockpit of the unknown suit, the pilot, a young man of 18, reads a 21st century mystery novel. A light green, basketball size robot called Haro rested on coaster made especially for him. "Amuro, approaching targets. Amuro, approaching targets," Haro said.
"Good. Send a message to White Base as planned, Haro," Amuro Mass said, putting his novel away.
"Roger. Roger," Haro said.
Amuro accelerates his suit towards A Baoa Que II. He presses a couple of buttons of the counsel to his left. A picture of the Spearheads and the Hizacks appear on his 360-degree monitor.
"Targets confirmed," Amuro said to Haro. "Proceeding with first phase and ceasing M Particle dispersal on arrival."
Meanwhile, the performance exercise continued. Then, one of the Hizacks, piloted by Emma Crossroad, stopped dead in its tracks, for some strange reason. It was as if some radar in her head was alerting her about something. Emma looks at the radar screen on her counsel.
"What the hell?" Emma said to herself.
"Ensign Crossroad, what's wrong?" the Commander of the Test team said from her p.a. system.
"I'm picking up a mobile suit on my radar, sir," Emma said.
"Wha- wa- tha-," the Commander's voice said before being cut off.
"Commander?" Emma said. Then, the radar system on went down. She changes the communications system, hoping to pick up her comrades. She managed to pick them up with laser channels.
"Ensign Crossroad, can you hear me?" the Commander asked.
"Barely, sir. What the heck is going on?" Emma said.
"I don't know. Be on your guard."
Emma presses a few buttons, hoping to get a glimpse of the upcoming mobile suit. But it was unnecessary for the white mobile suit had entered the exercise zone and could be seen with the main monitor. What on Earth is that? Emma thought
The white mobile suit stops at the center of the circle made of the 3 Spearheads and the 3 Hizacks. The new suit was emitting blue particles from its backpack. "What is with those particles?" Emma said to herself. After she said those words, the unknown suit stopped emitting the blue particles
"Ensign Crossroad, try and contact the pilot of that machine. You're the closet one to it," the Commander said.
"Yes, sir." Emma said. "Pilot of the unknown suit, if you can hear, answer my hail?" There was silence. "Please respond. You're in the middle of a military exercise. There still no response. "What should I do, sir?"
"Don't do anything yet," the commander said. "Let's wait and see what it does."
Back in the ballroom of A Baoa Que II, the onlookers started to mumble among themselves about the arrival of the new suit.
"Incredible," Mariemaia said. "I didn't know you had another new model."
"You mean that's not one of yours?" Leto asked surprisingly.
"What?" Mariamaia said. Leto and Mariemaia turn their heads towards Marie's direction.
"That's not one of ours," Marie said.
"Then, whose machine is it?" Leto asked.
"I've got film this," Rukia said. She makes her way to the front of the crowd and pulls out her camera. Marie, Leto, and Mariemaia join her. Leto pulls out his cell phone device from his pocket.
"Commander, capture that machine!" Leto ordered. But all he got was static. He drops the phone. "I can't get through."
"That's impossible," Marie said.
"Guys, look," Rukia said. Leto and Marie turned their attention to what was happening out in space. The Hizack piloted by Patrick slowly makes his way towards the white mobile suit.
"All right, who the hell are you?" Patrick said. Everyone within A Baoa Que's space area could hear his voice. "The Union? The ENOZ? Either way, you're a party crasher and you're about to pay the price for coming here!"
Patrick's Hizack pulls out its beam saber. The energy blade glowed in a deep red color like a Sith lightsaber from Star Wars.
"That idiot!" Marie shouted. "Is he trying to break the agreement?"
"Considering that suit doesn't belong to Alliance or the Union, the agreement won't be broken," Rukia said.
"Rukia, you're not helping," Marie said.
"Don't worry this incident will be over in no time," Leto said. "Lieutenant Barton is one of the Alliance's best pilots. His personality could use some work."
The white mobile suit stayed in the same position, even as Patrick's Hizack continued its advance towards it. "Hey, you! Do you have any idea who you are messing with?" Patrick said, hoping to taunt his unknown opponent. "I'm Patrick Barton of Earth Sphere Alliance. I've never lost an MS battle. So, don't say I didn't warn you!"
The Hizack charges at the white suit at full force. Amuro's suit doesn't move an inch until Hizack was a few feet away. The white suit's left hand grabs the Hizack's sword hand as it came down for the strike. Then, the right hand of the Amuro's suit punches the elbow joint of the Hizack's arm and breaks through it. This maneuver shocked everyone who viewed it. The white mobile suit throws the dismembered arm into space.
"You don't get it, do you?" Patrick shouted. His Hizack fires its laser gun at the Amuro's machine. Amuro dodges the shoots at almost lightning fast speed, approaching the Hizack. As it dodged the on going laser fire, the white machine draws its beam saber with a beam that glowed blue. Once with a good striking distance, Amuro took out the Hizack's other arm. Then, in one swift motion, Amuro drew his second beam saber and took off the Hizack's head. He then kicked the Hizack right into the rocking of A Baoa Que II.
Everyone who watched had his or her mouths dropped. Amuro's machine flies away from the Patrick's Hizack. It approaches the windows of the ballroom. Rukia looks at the words painted on the left should pad.
"White Devil," Rukia said.
"Is that the name of the machine?" Mariemaia asked.
"Who knows?" Rukia said.
"What is it doing?" Leto asked.
Rukia and Mariamaia looked up. The golden horn of the white suit had split in half and was forming into a v-shape crown. Then, around the mouth and nose of the suit's face, 2 halves a mask came together. The mask had 2 small slits that were on top of each other.
"Oh, my god," Mariemaia said.
"That looks like," Leto said.
"A Gundam," Marie said.
The ORX-78X3 Gundam Mark IX "White Devil" turns around towards the 5 remaining Alliance suits.
"A Gundam? How is that possible?" Emma said to herself.
"All units, surround that Gundam and capture it!" the commander order.
"Yes, sir!" All the pilots answered.
Gundam White Devil makes it way away from A Baoa Que. The 3 Spearheads and the 2 Hizacks follow it.
Back in the ballroom, Leto leaves to return to his ship, the Comet. Zeon soldiers went around the room assuring the guest that they were in no danger and showed them roots to the shelter ships in case of an emergency. Marie, Rukia and Mariemaia sat a table discussing what had just happened when a soldier came up.
"Miss Link, I'm here to escort you back to capital," the Zeon soldier said.
"Who gave you this order?" Maire asked.
"The Prime Minister, ma'am," the soldier answered.
"You can tell my father that I have no intention of returning until this has been played out."
"I am pilot of the Zeon Military. There is a good chance that my skills may be needed in case things go out of control."
"I understand, ma'am. I'll relay the answer at once." The Zeon soldier salutes Marie and leaves.
"You're going to be in so much trouble," Rukia teasingly said.
"When it to situations like this, the people come first and family second," Marie said.
"You sure are something, Marie," Mariemaia said.
"True, but that Gundam is something else," Marie said. "I wonder if this appearance and attack was meant to undermine the Alliance's military."
"Maybe it's some kind of warning," Rukia said.
"Whatever the case may be, the Alliance and the Storm Troopers won't takes this lying down," Mariemaia said.
The 3 Alliance ships launched their mobile suits forces, which were made up Letos and GM Quels. The total number of this mobile suit force was 18, excluding the Spearheads and the Hizacks. All the suits make their way towards the battle against the Gundam.
Located at L1, which on the Earth side of the moon are the colony nations of Side 4, Mua or Frontier Side, Side 8, Gaia, and Side 9, the Britannia Kingdom. These two of these 3 Sides have also declared neutrality from the Alliance and the Union. However, both nations supply more aid to the Union then to the Alliance.
Aside from the three Sides, there is a shoal zone created by destruction colonies of Side 5 during the Battle of Loum of the One Year War. The Delaz Fleet, a group of Principality of Zeon forces that were left over from the One Year War, used this base during the first 3 years of the post One Year War and in Operation Stardust. Now, this base being used by a group, who slowly gathered the strength need to oppose the actions made by Storm Troopers and the Alliance, called the Preventers.
The base known as the Garden of Thorns, houses factories for mobile suits and battle ships. Many of the Preventer's ships and mobile suits that are make the Garden of Thorns' docking area were built in the factories. The flagship for the entire Preventer armada was a Pegasus class ship, the first one ever built since U.C. 0083. The ship was named White Base II, after the legendary Pegasus class ship of the One Year War. Some of the Preventer members nicknamed it the Gundam's Horse, because it is the only ship that carries all of the group's Gundam mobile suits.
The bridge for the White Base II is located at the tower of the ship, which bared a resemblance to a horse's head. The bridge's crew is made up of 6 people. At ship's control systems was Gene Starwind, a red haired man, in his late 20s with a couple of scars on his face. Stationed at the communications station was Stella Key, a short blonde hair girl, in her late teens with hazel eyes. At the weapons station is an Indiana-descent woman in her early 20s. Her hair was brown with some lavender highlights and bright blue eyes. Her name was Everly Adill.
At the radar station was a young man named Kenshin Uraki. He had short black hair and dark eyes. Another noticeable feature that Kenshin possessed was his left mechanical hand. He doesn't say as to how he lost his hand, but it was that reason that caused him to become a Preventer. Next to the radar station was the ship's operation and security station. Operating this station's systems is an early 20s woman with dirty blonde hair with lime green eyes and has a tendency to act like high school teenage girl, named Crystal Cora.
At the captain's seat is woman, of Eurasian descent, in late 20s with reddish brown hair that runs down to her shoulder blade, which she keeps a braded ponytail to help putting on a space helmet easier. Asides from being the ship's captain, this woman plans the strategies for the Gundams and the other Preventer suits and ships and excels at it. Her name is Kelly Mackenzie.
At red light at the Stella's station flashes, letting her and the bridge's crew know about an incoming message. "Message from Amuro's Haro," Stella said, looking over the message on her computer screen.
"What does it say?" Kelly asked.
"'Destroyed one of the enemy's prototype models. Already has proceed to second phase of the mission,'" Stella read out loud. "That's all."
"I wonder how Amuro is doing right now," Gene Starwind asked.
"Well, if he screws up, it will mean the end for us," Kenshin Uraki said.
"Didn't have to put it so bluntly, you know!" Crystal Cora shouted.
"I was only joking, Crystal. You don't have to bit my head!" Kenshin yelled out.
"Save your lover's quarrels for another time," Kelly said. "We're still on combat status."
"Sorry, ma'am," Kenshin and Crystal said at the same time.
The red light at Stella's station went off again. "It's from Seth's Haro," Stella said. "'Arrived at the rendezvous point and waiting to begin the mission.'"
"Good," Kelly said. "Kenshin, is the coast clear?"
"No enemy readings on the radar," Kenshin reports. "We're good to go."
"Crystal, send the Legacy Z out," Kelly ordered
"Yes, ma'am," Crystal answered.
The White Base's launch catapult opens up on top of the port side hanger bay of the ship. The MSZ-006XL Legacy Zeta Gundam rises onto the catapult in its G-Fortress mode. The pilot of the Legacy Zeta is 19-year-old Alex Bidan, the descendant for the AEUG pilots Kamille Bidan and Fa Yuiry. Alex has deep aqua green colored hair and blue eyes.
The cockpit setup of Alex's Gundam is similar to the cockpet setup in Amuro's Gundam. Especially to the coaster made for Alex's red colored Haro. "Legacy Zeta deploying as planned," Red Haro said.
"That's right, Haro," Alex said as he puts on his space helmet. "But this is depressing to me."
A picture of Kenshin Uraki appears on Alex's monitor. "Alex, your course is clear. Good luck out there," Kenshin said.
"Roger. Legacy Zeta Gundam, Alex Biden, lets do this!" Alex said.
The Legacy Zeta launches from White Base's catapult. The Gundam's wings spread outwards. It flies out of the Garden of Thorns' space area and makes its way towards the Britannia Kingdom.
The Britannia Kingdom was established in the year U.C. 0173 with the support of the government of Frontier Side. A parliament government runs the Kingdom with a Prime Minister as its leader. There is also monarchy with nation known as the Britannia family. This monarchy has no power over the government's systems and they like to keep that way. The Britannia family opposes the idea that any family or bloodline is superior to another's.
Asides from going to or hosting parties, buying fancy things, and driving super cool vehicles, the Britannia family assists with daily works, such as construction, running shops, cooking in restaurants, and service in the Britannia military. However, most of the family and the military were busy celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Britannia Kingdom's establishment. Of course, citizens from the nations that support the formation of the Kingdom were also there; this included the Earth Sphere Alliance.
The main celebration was taking place at the ballroom area of the palace of the Britannia family. The ballroom was unlike any ballroom known to mankind. It was at least 3 floor high with large platforms in-between them. The platforms were held up with the ballroom's anti-gravity system. Here, people who were rich or poor got together and have themselves at good time.
One of the guests to this party was a young girl of 16 with long red hair and blue eyes. She wore red colored ballroom dress and jewel that went with the dress. Men around her age or slightly older went red in face was they saw her. The girl's name was Katherine Ann Rose, the daughter of the leader of Frontier Side, William Rose.
"May I offer you a drink, Miss Rose?" A young man's voice said. Katherine looks behind her and sees a young man about a year older then her and about a foot taller then her. He wore a Britannia military dress uniform. He had black hair and green eyes.
"That will depend on what you put into it, James," Katherine said.
"What are you implying?" James Britannia Jr. asked. Katherine giggles. "That's not funny, Katie,"
"Come on, I have to pick on my fiancé every once in a while," Katie said.
"I get enough of that my parents and siblings with any of your help," James said.
"Not getting into another fight, are you?" An elder man's voice said. 2 couples float towards them. The first couple to was Katherine's parents, William Rose and his wife Lucy Ashta Rose. William was a man in his early-40s, with the same red hair as his daughter. His wife, Lucy, was about the same age with medium length dark brown hair and blue eyes. Both of them wore formal ballroom style clothing.
The other couple was James' parents, King James Britannia and Queen Katrina Britannia. James Britannia Sr. was a man in his early 40s and had the same colored hair as his son. He had a full, yet groomed beard and mustache on his face. His wife, Katrina, was about 5 years younger then him and had violet colored hair. She was a very fit woman despite the fact that she was a mother of 8 children, 4 of which were adopted and 2 on the way. The King and Queen wore clothing in a 14th century style. However, Queen Katrina's dress was looser to accommodate her 5-month pregnant belly.
"We're not fighting, dad," Katie said, putting her hands on her hips.
"I don't know. It sure sounded like one to me," William said.
"We're not fighting!" Katie shouted. "Right, James?"
"Leave me out of this," James said.
"Hey!" Katie shouted.
Katrina, James Sr., William and Lucy start laughing.
"See? I told you they would be a good match," Katrina said, while elbowing her husband in the ribs.
"I cause you're right as usual," James Sr. said sarcastically.
"You didn't have to put it like that," Katrina said in an annoyed tone.
"Now, now, lets not start fighting each other," Lucy said. "We're supposed to be having a celebration. Besides, it's not good for someone of your condition, Katrina."
"I'm sorry," Katrina said.
"Excuse me," One of the Britannia soldiers at the party said as he floated towards them.
"What is it, Sergeant?" James Sr. asked.
"I'm to relay a message we received from a private channel, your highness," the Sergeant said. "The message said, 'It's begun.'"
The Sergeant floats away. James turns to William and says, "Did you know that they would be making their move now?" William gives him a slight nod.
Back at A Baoa Que II, the Gundam White Devil continues its battle against the Alliance's mobile suit forces, having already destroyed 5 suits already without killing the pilots. 2 of the destroyed suit were the Spearhead and another Hizack. Laser blasts fire at the Gundam in different directions, but Amuro dodged them all with ease.
"Damn. I didn't know a machine can move like that," an Alliance pilot said.
"Stay focus, everyone!" The Spearhead Commander said. "That machine maybe new and powerful, but there is only one. Surround it!" Amuro dodges even more laser fire. He returns one of his beam sabers to his backpack and draws out his beam rifle. He takes aim at the heads of the enemy suits and fires. The shots that the Gundam fired hit 4 Leto suits' heads.
"What!" Emma said in surprise. "That's impossible. Unless. Commander, we need to regroup. The pilot of that machine is not normal."
"What are talking about?" the Spearhead Commander said.
"I think the pilot of that Gundam is a Newtype," Emma said.
"How can you be sure?"
"I don't know. Its just a feeling I have."
"Don't worry, Ensign. Reinforcements are on their way."
Hiding behind the a couple large asteroids, a few Alliance vessels make their way towards A Baoa Que II. About 30 more mobile suits, made up of Letos, launch from the ships. Amuro picks up the new suits on his radar system.
"It's as we thought. The Alliance has more force then they are allowed by the Zeon's Treaty," Amuro said. "This is going to be interesting."
The Gundam White Devil takes aim at the new incoming suits. The shots take out at least 5 Letos at once.
On a large asteroid far from A Baoa Que II, another Gundam mobile suit, the ORX-78X4 Gundam Mark X "Gabrielle," watches the battle unfold. The Gabrielle had a similar build to the White Devil. However, this one was built with an extremely long-range sniper system. The pilot of the Gabrielle is Louise Rose, now the age of 19. Next to her was Orange colored Haro.
"Louise, Reinforcements coming," Haro said in a female voice.
Louise giggles to herself and says, "Even Amuro would trouble with this. Should we step in?"
"We got no choice. We got no choice," Louise's Haro said.
"Okay then. Let's shoot them up!" Louise said. Louise pulls down the controls to the Gabrielle's sniper system. The controls looked like a sniper rifle without a barrel. At the side of the controls was a small monitor for Louise to see what the Gundam's sniper camera sees. She takes aim 3 Letos, each one in line with one another.
The Gabrielle fires. The laser blast takes out all 3 of it targets in one shot. At couple more laser blast fly towards their targets. All 3 shots took out 8 more Letos with superior accuracy.
"What the hell was that?" A second Alliance pilot said before being taken out by Amuro's Gundam.
"Nice support, Louise," Amuro said.
"Thanks, Amuro." Louise said.
"Now, hurry up and get out here," Amuro ordered.
"Patience, Amuro. An artist can not be rushed," Louise said in an imitation British accent.
The Gundam Gabrielle comes out of its hiding place and continues to snip down the up coming reinforcements. The last Spearhead approaches behind the Gundam Gabrielle with its beam saber ready to strike.
"You're mine, Gundam," The Spearhead Commander shouted.
The Gabrielle turned around and folded its sniper rifle into small machine gun weapon. The Gundam aims its weapon at the upcoming Spearhead and fires. The Spearhead gets hammered with laser fire. Within a minute, the last Spearhead exploded into space dust.
"Commander?" Emma shouted. "You bastards!" Emma activates her Hizack's hyper mode. The Hizack starts glowing in a bright golden color. Emma makes it way towards the Gundam White Devil, who was taking down a couple more Leto suits.
The Gundam White Devil fires at Emma's Hizack. None of Amuro's shots hit the Hizack as it was moving 3 times then its normal specs. The Hizack fires several shots from its beam rifle. Amuro dodges most of Emma's shots. For the shots that Amuro couldn't dodge, he activated his beam shield. The laser storm continued for a few moments. Then, Emma's Hizack came out of hyper mood, having reached the system's time limit.
"No, not now," Emma yelled. Amuro takes aim at Emma's Hizack. Fearing the worst, Emma shuts her eye, awaiting her fate. But it didn't come. Instead, Amuro shot off the Hizack's limbs and flies off.
"Louise, mission complete. Let's get out of here!" Amuro shouted.
"Right behind you," Louise answered.
The White Devil and the Gabrielle make their way out of A Baoa Que II space area, while laser blast flies past them. The 2 Gundams past the ships were near the battle zone. The Gundams emitted their blue glowing particles as they leave, using the particles to make themselves invisible to any radar system.
Back in the ballroom, the guests were chatting amounts themselves about the appearance of the second Gundam and the battle that took place. Maria, Mariemaia, and Rukia stayed out of earshot of any of the guest.
"So this attack was meant to expose the Alliance's undeclared fight strength within the Zeon borders?" Rukia asked.
"Yeah. This attack was designed to show that the Aliiance has more force then they are allowed by the treaty," Maria said.
"Meanwhile, they attacked the prototype models of their newest suits, which would delay them from being put into mass produced," Mariemaia said. "This was a check and a warning."
"But why would they go through all this trouble?" Rukia said. "If they had knowledge of this, then wouldn't they have leaked it?"
"They could. However, the Storm Troopers would disclaim quicker then lightning," Maria said.
"If you want to know the true answer to this question, you'll need to ask the pilots of those Gundams," Mariemaia said. "Whether we know the answer or not, I can't see how the Alliance or the Storm Troopers are going to keep a lid on this."
Back on Britannia Kingdom, the anniversary celebration continued throughout the Side's many colonies. Around the colonies, several Britannia ships, Victoria and George class, patrol Britannia Space sea for any sign of trouble. Other ships also patrol the Side 9's space. These were from the Alliance and The Frontier Side. Several pieces of debris, created from the wars that have gone before, pass the by the ships and the colonies without hitting anything.
The debris would usually be shot down if they posses a danger to the colonies. Luckily, that wasn't the case today. But the patrol fleet kept their eyes on them, including the Alliance ship, Dermail, under the command of the Captain Alexander Dullindal, the brother in law to the First Princess of the Earth Sphere Alliance.
Captain Dullindal was a man who could inspire greatest in all those who severed under his command. He believed in fighting for the people, even if you have to break orders to do it. He was tall man, with shot black hair and a big scar across his face.
"Another reading? There seems to be an awful lot of debris out their," a crewmember of the Dermail's bridge said.
"They're probably material used from the construction of Side 8," Another member of bridge crew said.
"Get a visual on it," Captain Alexander Dullindal said. An enlarged image of the debris they just picked up. Instead of debris, the images showed mobile suits.
"Mobile suits?" the first bridge crewmember said.
"They seemed to have sneaked in with the debris," a third member of the bridge crew said.
"Hail them!" Alexander ordered.
"They're not responding, sir," a fourth member of the bridge crew, female, said.
"Are they terrorist?" the second crewmember said.
"Warn the other ships and launch a mobile suit team!" Alexander ordered.
At the Dermail's docking area, a MS team, made up of 3 GM Quel Xs prepare for launch.
"Only cowards attacked during a celebration," a Dermail pilot said.
"Save that anger for the enemy," The pilot's lieutenant said.
"Yes, sir, the Dermail pilot said.
"Lieutenant, I only have 56 hours of space combat training," a second pilot said.
"Then, just crash into them. You'll get a 2 rank promotion," the Lieutenant said, jokingly.
On the Britannia Victoria class ship, the London, the ship's Mobile Suit commander, Lieutenant Nana Britannia, a woman in her early 20s with red flame hair and blue eye and the eldest adopted daughter of the Britannia family, was have a screen talk with Alexander.
"They're using Batara IIIs?" Nana asked.
"That's what it looks like according to our database," Alexander said.
"Damn. This wouldn't have happened if the Jupiter Federation weren't so eager to trade their suits for anything they can get," Nana said.
The Dermail's MS team makes their way towards the 5 terrorist EMS-06-3 Batara III.
"Sir, one of those Batara's is carrying a Bug container," the second GM Quel X pilot said.
"Take out it!" the GM Quel X Lieutenant ordered.
The GM Quel Xs fire at the Bataras. Only 2 Batanas break off from the main group to engage the GM Quel Xs. The remaining 3 Batanas continue on their way towards the colonies. The patrol fleet fires their cannon at the terrorist mobile suits, but do to the small size of the suits, the laser fire misses.
The GM Quel Xs finish off the 2 Batanas and follow the 3 remaining Batanas. The 3 Batanas passes the patrol fleet defense line. The Batana carry the container full of Bugs, disk shaped machines designed to kill all humans, stops died in its tracks. The container on the Batana's back opens up and unleashes the bugs units. As the bugs make way towards the patrol fleet, blue laser fire rains down on them. Within seconds every single bug is destroyed. The sudden explosion of the bugs shocks everyone onboard the patrol ships.
"What the hells was that?" Alexander said.
"It came from an unknown unit, sir," the 4th bridge crewmember said. "I got a visual."
An image of the Legacy Zeta Gundam appears on screen.
"What the heck is that?" Alexander asked, as if he was speaking to himself.
The Legacy Zeta continues on its path towards the 3 Batana suits. 2 of the 3 Batanas fire at the Legacy Zeta, but misses. Alex fires back at the 2 Batana and destroys them.
"Wipe out! Wipe out!" Red haro said.
"Kudos to Captain Mackenzie. Her battle forecast is amazingly accurate," Alex said.
"Last unit going suicide!" Red haro said. Alex looks and sees the Batana, which once carried the bug units, fly towards on of the ships in a kamikaze run.
"Figures. All these terrorist are the same," Alex said. "Seth, time to move in."
The last Batana continues it flight towards the bridge of a Britannia George class ship. Then a white mobile suit appears in front of the bridge. The new suit had similar built as the Legacy Zeta, in that it could transform into an aircraft type mode. However, there were many major differences. The new Gundam was less bulky and had characteristics similar to the Victory 2 Gundam. This Gundam unit was called the Victory 3 Gundam, sometimes known as the V3 Gundam.
The pilot of the Victory 3 Gundam was Seth Evins, the youngest grandson of Uso Evins and Shakti Kareen, the heroes of the Zanscare Empire War. Seth had slightly dark skin, thanks to his grandmother's side of the family, dark brown hair, and blue eyes.
"Surrender now or you'll be destroyed," Seth called out. The Batana continues its run.
"It's not stopping. It's not stopping." Seth's blue haro said.
"I warned you," Seth said. The V3 Gundam draws it beam saber and moves in for the kill. The Batana fires at the V3, but the Gundam dodged every single shot. The V3 strikes down the Batana, slashing through the suit's cockpit. The Batana explodes. The V3 Gundam emerges from the explosion without a scratch on it.
"You should have surrendered," Seth said.
"Seth, lets get out of here," Alex said.
"Roger," Seth answered.
The Legacy Zeta and V3 leave Side 9 without being pursued by the patrol ships, as they were too damn stunned and confused by the Gundams' intervention.
On Earth, the Hamptons, located eastern part of Long Island, New York, home to many famous people, whether they are movie stars, writers, politicians, and high price food stores. But there is another special feature. As being part of Long Island, the Hamptons possess the same neutrality bases as the rest of Long Island. This means that members from both the Union and Alliance have to get along with one another and not cause any incidents.
Located in the Hamptons was Hampton University, one of the best universities in the entire world with different fields to make a living out of, such as medicine and mobile suit theory and development. Being close the house of Hampton, many of its students wake to their classes, except during the night due to crime. The Hampton University had everything one could expect from a university. It has several 3-floor buildings full of classrooms and assembly halls. It has gymnasiums and sport fields for many sporting events. There are also several café areas for students to gather to eat, drink and gossip about classes or the latest rumors buzzing around the university, all very routine.
That was until today. In each café, their TVs were all tuned for the news on the events that took place at Side 9 a few hours ago. 2 students entered the café. The first student was TJ Maxwell, a young man of 21 with long brown hair, which he kept in a ponytail. He also happened to be a reserve Mobile Suit pilot for the Earth Sphere Alliance, due to an incident that he doesn't talk about much. The other student was TJ's girlfriend, Karin Evins.
Karin Evins was an exchange student of Side 2, also known as the Zanscare Republic. She was a caring young woman, about the same age as TJ. She had long dark brown hair. She skin was the same color as coffee when milk was added. She also had the most beautiful blue sapphire eyes on campus.
The café was full of chatter. TJ and Karin approach of the their classmates, who was seating at the table with their friends.
"What's going on?" Karin Evins said.
"They say some people in a couple mobile suits stopped a bunch of Terrorist from destroying Side 9 with Bug machines," the Hampton University Student said.
"What?" Karin said.
"Which military were they from?" TJ asked.
"That's what they don't know," the Hampton student said.
"What does this mean?" TJ said to himself.
Then, out of nowhere, the news channel played its live report music. This music drew the attention of everyone in the café. The worker of the café turned up the volume of the TV.
"We have an update on the people responsible for stopping the attack on Side 9," the CNN female reporter announced. "CNN and other news station around the world and the colonies have just received a video from an organization who has claimed responsibility for preventing the terrorist attack. It is not clear who they are or whether the claims they are making are genuine. We will broadcast the entire video unedited."
The screen changes to a group of people, ranging from different ages and ethnics, sating together as if they were posing for a group photo.
"I would like to address this statement to every man, woman, and child born and raise on Earth and in Space," the young man with dirty blonde hair and blue eyes, who was sitting next to a dark skin woman, who was nine months pregnant. "We call ourselves the Preventers. We are a private armed organization that processes the legendary mobile suits called Gundam."
Chatter filled the café a pawn hearing the word "Gundam."
"An armed force?" a female Hampton student said.
"What is the Preventers," Another male student said.
"Our main objective is to end the terror that has plagued the Earth and Space since the establishment of the Earth Sphere Alliance," the young man in the video stated. "We do not act for our own benefit or personal gain. We're choosing to act to give a voice to those who have lost theirs voices to the Alliance's Autonomous Peace-Keeping force, the Storm Troopers. We seek the greatest goal of all: Freedom and the end of all acts of wars from this world.
"As of this very moment, I make this declaration to the Storm Troopers and the Earth Sphere Alliance. No matter what the reason or excuse the Storm Troopers or the Alliance gives, if there is a conflict being caused or carried out by them, we will step in with arm force. Any country, organization, or company that supports the Storm Troopers' activities will also become targets for armed intervention. We are the Preventer. And we will not stop until all of humanity is free from the corruption of the Storm Troopers and the Alliance. I repeat..."
The Preventer's video continues to be watched by people around the world and the colonies. It was even shown on board the ships that traveled through the seas of space.
"Is he claiming responsibility?" Alexander said, viewing the video from his office on board the Dermail.
In the hospital wing of one of the Alliance ships that was leaving Zeon space, the survivors and wounded of the Gundam battle at A Baoa Que II.
"Those are the guys?" Patrick yelled out. "Those are the guys who put me through all this?"
"We better get use to this," Emma said.
"What?" Patrick said. "What are you saying?"
"As we are now, we don't stand a chance against those Gundam," Emma said. Emma stares at the video. She looked at the faces of each person in the video. There was something about them that seemed familiar to her, but she couldn't put her finger on it.
On one of the Union ship leaving in a different direction from Zeon space, Mariemaia listens to the speech and starts laughing her head off.
"They seriously think they can stop the war with armed force," Mariemaia said to herself. "Preventers, you're whole existence is nothing but a contradiction."
Back at the Hamptons, in one of many seaside residences, the second and third princesses of the Selene family, Margaret and Elizabeth Dullindal, watch the broadcast from the TV in their dining room.
Margaret Dullindal was young woman in her mid 20s. She had long blonde hair, hazel eyes and had the tendency to wear purple colored lipstick. She also happened to be a mobile suit pilot and instructor for the Earth Sphere Alliance base near Long Island.
Her younger sister, Elizabeth, was also a mobile suit pilot for the Earth Sphere Alliance, but she enjoys the quiet life. As of right now, her main occupation was being a student at the Hampton University. She too had long blonde hair, which she kept in a ponytail with a bow holding it together. She had blue colored eyes.
"Those guys are out of their minds make such a bold statement," Margaret said.
"Our grandmother said that about the Union and look at where we're at now," Elizabeth said.
"Always have to be the smart mouth," Margaret said. Elizabeth starts to giggle.
At one of the many waterside residence of the capital colony of Side 2, also known as the Zanscare Republic, an older man, in his early 80s, sits on rocking chair looking that stars of the night skies, which were shining through the sky glass of the open-type colonies. He has long sliver hair and long white beard. Next to elder man's chair was his wooden cane. The elder man's name is Uso Evins. Uso's wife, Shakti, an elder woman in her early 80s, walks out onto the veranda. She turns her attention to her husband and said, "You're not watching the news?"
"Why bother watching when I know all the words by heart," Uso said. "Do you remember what I said before I made that speech?"
"I'm old, but I've got a good memory," Shakti said. "You wondered whether we would all live to see this day."
"Not many of us have," Uso said.
"True," Shakti said. "Now, I wonder if any of us will live to see how it ends."
"There is cryogenics," Uso said.
Shakti gives Uso a dirty look, which told Uso that there was no way in hell that he or she was going to go through all that. Uso chuckles and says, "I'm kidding, dear."
The Gundam White Devil and the Gundam Gabrielle returned to the White Base II. Amuro and Louise made their way towards the bridge of the ship while hearing the Uso Evin's declaration speech through the ship's speakers. Their haros bounce their way through the halls like had been kicked around like soccer balls. After a few minutes, Amuro, Louise, and their haros reached the bridge. The bridge's crew looked at screens, which were showing the Uso's video.
Alex, Seth, and their haros were also on the bridge, staring that the TV. Amuro and Louise float towards them. Alex and Seth turn their attention towards their fellow Gundam pilots.
"Do you know how late you two are?" Alex said.
"Last time I checked, Side 9 was a lot closer to here then A Baoa Que II is," Louise said. This made Seth laughed. Alex punches Seth in the shoulder. Then, the video end and screen turned back to the news broadcasters.
"That's it. We've started," Kelly said. "And it can't be stopped."
"It won't stop! It won't stop!" All 4 haros said in almost perfect unison.
"Hallelujah. It feels as if all of the world's evils have been exposed," Seth said.
"No," Amuro said. "Not yet." Everyone on the bridge turn his or her gaze towards Amuro's direction.
"The Alliance and the Storm Troopers will find a way to hide their true nature," Amuro said. "How long that remain is now up to us."
"There are probably not many people who believe we can do it," Crystal said.
"We'll just have them make them believe, won't we?" Louise said confidently.
Everyone on the bridge nod his or her heads in agreement. Amuro turns his attention to the sea of stars in front of White Base II. That's right. We have no choice now. Otherwise, history is going to repeat itself in an endless waltz, Amuro thought.
To Be Continued...
The world has been thrown into sudden shock the by appearance of the Preventers and the legendary Gundams. As the Alliance and the Union question and wonder about their origins, the Gundam pilots are called in for a new mission. This mission will take the Gundam pilots right into the Alliance's doorstep. When the mission is over, one of the Gundams may find itself with a new enemy. Find out on Mobile Suit Gundam UC: Savior Misson 2: Gundams on Earth.
There were once two men seeking wisdom under the tutelage of an ancient master. He brought them into a dark room. In the center were two metal lamps, each containing a flickering flame.
"Grip your lamp by the base, endure the heat, and gaze into the flame," instructed the master. "If your faith wavers and you look away, or your strength fails and you let go, even for an instant, you will be lost. You will never be wise. But gaze at the flame and, if you prevail, you will know truth."
And the master left them.
The two men gripped their lamps, and gazed into the light. Soon the lamps grew hot from the fire within, and began to burn their hands.
One man let go and stood up. "Aha!" cried the faithful man, as he continued to grip his lantern. "You have shown yourself too weak to become wise."
"Who is wise, the one who holds fire, or the one who lets go?"
The faithless man's eyes adjusted to the dark, and he saw that he was in a library, filled with books. He took his lantern by the handle, and began reading them by it's light. "There are books here!" he said.
The kneeling man became furious. "You have damned yourself to ignorance, don't tempt me to join you! I hold the truth in my hands. I find myself growing wiser already- a feeling you will never comprehend."
The standing man read all that he could, and then went into the next room. There waited the master.
"Master, why did you tell us to be blinded by the lanterns when truth was elsewhere?"
The Master looked at his pupil. "Because, wise as I am, I know that if I tell a man the truth, all he may do is believe it. And truth lies not in believing, but in seeking."
"But Master, he is harming himself by gripping the lamp."
"A true believer is willing to inflict great harm- our friend, at least, will harm only himself, until he finds his common sense."
So go and seek the truth; And do so first by releasing belief.
In the course of studying story and its component parts- character, thematic armature, bright colors- I found myself quite unexpectedly developing parables.
Parables exist solely to convey a theme or moral truth- plot, setting, everything else is minimized so it doesn't distract from the point of the story. Characters exist only to the degree they're needed to dramatize the theme.
Some schools of thought hold that this is the ultimate embodiment of story, it's highest and purest form. If you grant that stories exist only to convey thematic truth, then they'd be right.
I tend to think otherwise, but exploring this model still proved enlightening. And productive- I wound up discovering a few parables of my own.
And that's really how it felt with these- not like writing, but like finding. Once discovered, it seemed only appropriate to transcribe them- and why not, share them.
Sherlock's POV "I can't believe my dear Howard is gone!"cried the old widow out as peramedics removed the dead body of her murdered husband. "Anyone who pops to mind that hated your husband so much that he wanted him dead?"I asked not interested in the grief of the wheeping widow. "What he means is that we're sorry for your loss ma'am."John picked in, trying to smooth-talk my emotionless action. "But we want to catch the killer of your husband as quickly as possible and therefor we need to question any person of interest. Is there someone in preticuliar where Mr. Jamesson spended a lot of time with?". "Well..."she sniffed. "There is one person who knew my husband better then I did and that's our granddaughter. She lives here at the mansion ever since she was 15 because her parents died in a car accident. Even though she has the rebelious character of her late mother instead of the character of my late son, she and my husband sticked together like glue.". "Excellent!"I concluded. "Where can we find her?". "In her room normally."Mrs. Jamesson replied. "Anna?"she called. From the other room came a girl in her early twenties who was wearing an uniform from which I guessed she was one of the many servants of the Jamesson household. "Can you please show these gentlemen Allison's room?"the widow asked her. "Of course Madame."the girl answered and then looked at John and me. "Please follow me.".
She leaded us towards the impressive hallway where we had entered the house less then a hour ago. There we almost bumped into Lestrade who was busy with calling his people at the Financial Crimes Division so they could check out the Jamessons' financial records. "Hold on for a moment."he said and looked at us. "Where are you two going?"he wanted to know. "We're going to have a nice little chat with the granddaughter."I answered. "Sherlock, she just lost her grandfather so please don't be...". "His usual self?"John guessed and laughed. "You know that even if he tries he can't do that.". After our little conversation, Anna showed us the way towards the upperlevel that could be reached by a massive staircase that was made out of oak. Infront of the third door at our right we stopped and Anna knocked. "Miss Allison?"she asked. "Yes Anna, you can come in."a voice through the door called. "These are the detectives that investigate the murder of Mr. Jamesson."the servant explained as she let us in. "They wanted to ask you some questions.". I looked at the girl that was sitting crosslegged on the kingsized bed, typing away on her laptop. Her long brown hair fell over her shoulders as she bended forward to reach the keys of her computer and her dark blue eyes shifted from left to right to check the words she had typed. If I had to guess her age I would say early thirties. Her clothes were basic which was wierd if you knew she came out of one of the richest families of England. A ripped jeans and a band T-shirt while she actually could wear things designed by any fashiondesigner on this planet. "Thank you Anna."she said when she looked up. Anna nodded and left the way we came. "Tell me, what can I do to help you detectives?"Allison wanted to know. "I'm John Watson and this is Sherlock Holmes."John decided to take the first word. "We're investigating the murder on your grandfather. We already talked to your grandmother and she said you and Mr. Jamesson had a good relationship. Do you know anyone who wanted him dead.". Allison shrugged her shoulders as she closed her laptop. "My grandfather worked in the diamondsector."she pointed out. "That's how he made all his money. So yeah... He had enemies. Who, I don't know. He never talked about work with me.". "About what did you talk then?"I wanted to know. "He would listen when I played the piano or tell me stories about my parents. Unlike my grandmother, my grandfather did like my mum what also meant that he could get along with me."she answered. "There was a tensed relationship between your grandmother and her daughter-in-law?"John asked. Allison nodded. "My grandmother is still living in the 18th centuries. In her opinion women don't have to work, go to school and can't be smart. All they can do is being pretty and hope a good man will come along and marry them. My mum was a muscian and a dancer. She played in musicals and in her free time she had with some friends a band. In my grandmother's eyes she was the devil in disguise and she was determind that my mom would be a bad influence on my dad. She tried to stop the wedding but failed. And then I came along. Did you know that when my parents died in that car crash, she at first didn't want to adopt me because I am way too much like my mum? My grandfather convinced her however and because of that I'm still even now at the age of 32 a prisonor in this golden cage.". "So, your grandmother is clearly not your most favourite person in the world."I concluded. "Ow, you have no idea."she replied as she swung her legs over the edge of her bed and putted on her sportshoes. "Did your grandparents had any arguments over the past few weeks?"John asked next. "They always had arguments."Allison pointed out. "And mostly they were about me.". "Because you aren't the picture perfect granddaughter your grandmother had in mind."I guessed. "Ten points for the smart detective."she answered. "Euhm... Allison."John said. "It's Allie."she corrected him. "Though my grandmother doesn't share that opinion.". "Allie."John started again. "You cared a lot about your grandfather, right?". She nodded. "Still I can't fail to notice that knowing the he got murdered only a few hours ago, you're the only one in this house that isn't grieving.". "I'm sorry to disappoint you Mr. Watson."she spoke. "But if you were expecting a crying girl, you're in the wrong room. I used all my tears when my parents died and guess what? Tears, even if you use a whole sea of them, won't bring them back. There's no point in crying. I learned that years ago. And if you would excuse me now, I rather go out for a run instead of being a pile of misery.". And that was the point where I realized that I had found my equal...
And this is what happens when I fall asleep after an episode of Sherlock... Why is it that my dreams give me ideas to write? Ahwell... I hope you guys like it so please let me know what you think Don't own Sherlock, do own this story and all OCs in it.
Paris is indeed splendid. Doctor John Watson thought to himself as he was strolling on a boulevard right next to the Seine. Weather was certainly more pleasant here than in England all sunny, with occasional white cloud puffs blowing across the blue sky.
John was really glad that he had accepted an invitation to a medical conference, which took place in the capital of France two days ago, and decided to stay in the city for a whole week. A well-deserved vacation, he repeated inwardly with satisfaction. And the hotel was just marvellous.
He glanced mildly intrigued at bookstalls lined up on both sides of the path, but he brought himself to heel and averted his gaze. He wasn't here to browse through musty novels, his purpose was far more important. Or so he hoped, filled with doubt.
It was still relatively early, so the gas lanterns weren't lit. John, however, wished that the darkness could come and engulf him, hiding from prying eyes of other people. As a doctor and a gentleman he felt rather uneasy, entering a funfair set up by bunch of gipsies on a grassland near the river. The meadow was covered with numerous, tawdry tents and wagons painted in absolutely tasteless combinations of colours and John could hardly spot patches of grass among the crowds of Parisians looking for entertainment. He had to nearly elbow his way through, but at least he knew where he was going. Mike, his friend from Bart's who currently lived in Paris, gave him very specific instructions how to get to the most interesting part of the fair.
Finally, after stomping on feet of at least seven people, John arrived at his destination point. It was a small, black and red striped tent decorated with fluffy, pinkish garlands. A stocky middle-aged gipsy was enticing people to come inside. He was also collecting entrance fee, so John paid grumpily a few franks, hoping that the show would be worth it. Nonetheless, he couldn't contain his curiosity. Mike only told him about the place and insisted that John simply has to see it without any discussion. So upon entering, as he took off his top hat and bowed down to fit into the tent's narrow entrance, he wondered what marvels would be awaiting him inside.
Certainly he wasn't prepared for what appeared before his eyes, instantly irritated by the overwhelming stench of opium smoke. A pale boy, looking no more than sixteen years old was sitting cross-legged and bare feet on the floor in front of a crystal ball. His cold, blue eyes were locked casually on John, as he puffed a cloud of acrid mist into the air, wisps of fumes still billowing above his pipe. The boy was extremely lanky and even heaps of colourful, garish rags wrapped up around his body couldn't conceal that fact. Dozens of beaded bracelets on his ankles and wrists as well as purple bandanna supporting his raven hair only added to the overall eccentricity.
"That's definitely not what I've expected," John summed up slowly, using French. His brows came together as if he was still trying to make sense of the situation.
"And what did you expect?" The boy replied with a cheeky smile. Clearly he wasn't used to showing any respect to his elders.
"An old gypsy woman shrouded in mystery for starters, not a flamboyant kid. And you're not even a gipsy." John scowled, beginning to think that Mike played a nasty trick on him.
The boy's smile became wider.
"No, I'm not. And you're obviously not French, even though your accent is impeccable."
"Thank you. I guess." John was slightly taken aback. There was something weird about this fake gipsy, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it.
The boy laughed mockingly at his client's confusion and moved a bit closer to him.
"So, dear doctor, should I gaze into my crystal ball and foretell your future? Or maybe read your palm? Or lay out the Tarot?"
"No, I don't believe in this nonsensical hocus-pocus," he stated firmly, but the realisation hit him like a hammer. "How did you know I'm a doctor?"
"It's obvious." The smile vanished from the boy's face, replaced by the look of utter concentration. He put his pipe down and started speaking with the speed of a rushing train. "When you removed your hat while entering, you did it very carefully as if you didn't want to drop anything. That means you're used to carry something inside, most probably a stethoscope - quite a delicate contraption - and even though you don't have it right now, the habit is stronger, so you carry it most of the time. When you stood at the doorway and marvelled at the unexpected sight," His voice dripped sarcasm. "your right hand clenched, which means you unconsciously wanted to get a grip at something in the unfamiliar situation. Taking into account my previous observation, I venture to say it's a bag and who always takes a bag with him? A doctor, of course. The final proof is in your clothes. The quality of fabric is very good, so only a wealthy man can afford them. But they're very pragmatic, devoid of any unnecessary fashion ornaments that can quickly become outdated. That means these clothes are investment for many years and also they're not only clothes, but a uniform needed for your job. The one that elicits trust from people and evokes respect. So, it's elementary that you're a doctor."
The silence in the tent was absolute. John was dumbfounded, staring at the boy in awe. Mike didn't lie, there really was something extraordinary waiting for him at the funfair. But then an inborn scepticism began to take John over.
"It's all a prank, isn't? Mike told you about me, his unbelieving friend, and you two thought about impressing me with "a magic trick", right? What else did he tell you?"
The boy bridled at the accusation.
"It's not a trick, it's deduction! And I don't know any Mike."
"Well, I don't believe you." John crossed his arms on his chest. He didn't like being taken for a fool.
"How can I prove to you that I'm not a cheat?" The boy inquired, visibly offended.
"Okay then. If you're so smart, tell me what I had for breakfast!"
The boy quickly scanned his client and announced with confidence as if it was all self-evident.
"Tea with milk, no sugar, and bread rolls with bacon".
John was stunned, his eyes wide opened and mouth slightly agape. Mike couldn't possibly have known that!
"H-how...?" His voice failed him.
The boy gave him a superior smile.
"There's a distinct greasy stain near your left cuff and its fresh. The only food eaten during breakfast that can leave this kind of residue is bacon, so the conclusion is obvious. And as for the bread rolls, there are breadcrumbs near the seam of your lapel. Their shape clearly indicate they come from a bread roll and not bread or baguette. And tea... that was just too easy. You're English. You always drink tea with milk."
"And the lack of sugar?" He mouthed, still petrified.
"Well, I admit that was a guess, but a good one fortunately," he beamed, clearly proud of himself.
"That's truly amazing." John finally regained his ability to speak coherently. "You're always so observant?"
"Oh, I'm just warming up!" The boy declared, his eyes alight with excitement.
Something in his voice made John believe him without any reservations. John really felt intrigued, spellbound even. He wanted to know about this mysterious boy as much as possible.
"Where are you from?"
"Andalusia," he answered simply, reluctant to dwell upon this topic.
"Did you have any formal education?"
"Yes. But I am mostly self-taught person. My governess didn't have sufficient knowledge about anatomy, chemistry and physics. She was an idiot." He said matter-of-factly. "I practically weaned myself on scientific books."
The boy made an indelible impression on him, John couldn't deny that. The gipsy tent wasn't a place for such astuteness.
"You're wasting your talent here. With such intelligence you should be a scientist, an inventor or at least a doctor and not... a fortune-teller in a third-grade funfair."
The boy sighed and confessed grudgingly, his eyes downcast.
"All of that costs money and my options are rather limited, since I ran away from home," he admitted, no self-pity in his voice. Only an unwavering resolution never to come back.
John understood it too perfectly, as a doctor he witnessed many times how horrible one's family can be. Thus, he didn't need to think long to make a decision. He instantly knew what to do.
"You can come with me to London. I was looking for an assistant, anyway. I can teach you all that I know and I'll pay you enough so you can study whatever you want. I have the wherewithal to give you the future you deserve."
The boy looked at him hopefully, but hints of disbelief chased all enthusiasm away.
"You're proposing such a thing to a complete stranger?"
"Let's say that I'm a good judge of character." John smiled warmly. "Are you interested then?"
"That's quite an offer." The boy was lost in thoughts, still leery of John. But he calculated all fors and againsts and eventually said:
"Yes. Little help wouldn't go amiss."
"Splendid! And where are my manners, I haven't introduced myself yet. My name is John Watson. And yours?" He asked, while holding out his hand to the boy.
"Sherlock Holmes," he shook his hand vigorously.
John's forehead creased.
"That's hardly a Spanish name."
"I've never said I was Spanish. I only said I come from Andalusia," he retorted in perfect English accent, a mischievous smile showing on his face.
John snorted and shook his head.
"A British boy running away from his home in Spain to France and going to England. Now that's interesting..."
"Oh, the interesting has just begun!" He grinned winsomely. And John knew he could trust him on that.
Okay, so I planned this story to be part of "3 ficlets inspired by songs": [link] but it was so long that I decided to publish it separately. It was inspired by the beautiful song Bohemienne: [link] and I simply had to write this.
And what about the story itself? It's Sherlock BBC AU, so expect 19th century Paris, top hats, gas lanterns and our dear John Watson meeting a very intriguing character among gypsies...
This story will have at least one sequel. The inspiration for the second part was the song "Hellfire" from Hunchback of Notre Dame, so the story will be more... racy
And Bohemien is apparently "boy version" of the word Bohemienne (a gipsy girl). At least that's what French dictionary told me, it's his fault, not mine.
Wonderful BossHossBones draw a picture of gypsy!Sherlock for me, please check it out! - [link]
John walked slowly through the cemetery, thinking how lifeless the world looked today. The sky was ashen, painted in a dull, homogeneous shade of grey. There were no sounds, no birds chirping, no beeping of horns, nothing. Only John's steady footsteps on a gravel path were resonating in the absolute silence of the necropolis. The air seemed stale and heavy like in a room that hadn't been opened for years. No trace of wind among the graphite leaves, no gentle blows to ease the pain and chase away all the undesirable thoughts. John wished it was raining. Or storming. It's always easier when the sky at least pretends to weep with you. Instead, the whole place seemed to be wrapped in a shroud, waiting apathetically for its funeral.
John finally stopped and tried to shake off his melancholic observations, knowing how irrational they were. Sherlock would probably have a field day if he only knew. If.
"It's been three years already, " said John thoughtfully, staring at the tombstone adorned with yellow letters forming the name SHERLOCK HOLMES. "Feels like a lifetime, though. When you died..." He stopped suddenly. Even after three years those words still were painful. He swallowed the lump in his throat and gathered the strength to continue. "When you died, I felt lost and empty, just as if someone took the sky from me, took the sun, took everything. I couldn't go on, I couldn't. I just kept staring blankly at the wall, blaming myself for all that happened. I was certain that I truly died right beside you, there on a street. The moment I saw your mutilated body, everything was gone. I was nothing more than a hollow, breathing shell. My life's been like a coma... " He paused, lost in memories. Then he took a deep breath and continued, knowing this was his last chance to say everything. "But time heals, Sherlock. At first I didn't believe it. Then one day it just happened. I woke up and realised that I want to live again. It's been hard, it still is, though. And now... You won't see no tears when I say goodbye, I have none left. But it's true Sherlock, it's our goodbye. I'm leaving London, I'm leaving England. Forever. I'm never coming back. I just can't stay here, not anymore. I have to find my serenity somewhere else. I've... I've packed everything I need." He shook his hand, in which he held a simple, medium-sized bag. "Well, it's not much, I never had many things. After all, most stuff in our flat belonged to you... I took your scarf though, I hope you don't mind. And... And that purple shirt. You know, the one that always drove women insane. I tried it on but you definitely looked better in it," he attempted to laugh, but the sound that left his throat was closer to a muffled choke. Something was burning inside his chest, he felt like he was drowning. Slowly submerging into the dark and cold abyss, his heart and lungs screaming with pain.
He knew he could't stay here any longer or he would fall apart again. He made a decision and he couldn't go back now if he really wanted to live.
John stared at the tombstone and gave it a salute, showing respect to his deceased friend.
"I loved you, Sherlock, and I always will. I pray we're going to see each other again, because God knows you deserve a punch in the face," he smiled weakly, misty-eyed, voice failing him. "Farewell, Sherlock."
The doctor looked at his friend's grave for the last time. He couldn't dawdle any longer, he had a plane to catch.
John turned around and froze. The bag fell from his numb fingers and landed on the ground with a thud, but John didn't care. He stopped blinking, stopped breathing and he felt that his heart stopped beating as well. He couldn't believe neither his eyes nor ears.
I'm a shameless, shameless Sherlock fangirl. But I also love Firefly. And what's better than combining two shows that you love the most?
The idea for this fic appeared while I was listening to "Mal's Song": [link] John Watson and Malcolm Reynolds are in fact very different characters, but they have at least one thing in common: they suffer, they fall down, but they always stand up and fight back. Oh, all my feels ;__;
Hope you'll enjoy. And if somebody ever makes a Sherlockian video to this song, I'll explode from happiness and my remains will bawl forever.
The moment Sherlock went inside the house, he knew something was amiss. He had this gut feeling telling him that John was in danger, that's why he ran home like a madman in the first place. But he didn't realise how accurate he was in his predictions, until he saw bloodstains on the carpet. His heart skipped a beat, but he didn't waste any time.
"John!" he yelled at the top of his lungs and rushed headlong upstairs. He was cautious, his senses working at full steam, and he kept tracking the blood trail like a trained dog. His mind started analysing situation and he instantly knew what had happened. John answered the door since Mrs Hudson was away, the visitor stabbed him, John fought him off and started running away into the apartment.
The bloodstains and reddish shoe prints led into Sherlock's bedroom. The door was ajar.
"John, are you okay? ", he shouted while running towards the room. And there John was, lying motionless on the floor in a pool of blood. The window was open, letting the net curtain flutter ominously, but Sherlock barely noticed it. His world shrank just to this short, blonde man, now pale as a sheet and spread lifelessly on the floor. He had several stab wounds on his body.
No, he's not dead!
"John!", Sherlock knelt beside him and checked his pulse. There wasn't any, but the body was still warm.
"John!" he shouted, a sheer panic in his voice. "No, no, no!" He started to press his hands against John's heart, trying to restore circulation. After thirty pressures he leaned over his friend and breathed the air twice into his mouth, while pinching his nostrils shut. He kept repeating the procedure, not paying any attention to the sweat pouring over his eyes or to twitching of muscles in his hands, screaming from exhaustion. He concentrated only on saving John's life, the rest was unimportant.
Finally, when Sherlock thought he couldn't go on anymore, John opened his eyes. His look was cloudy, he couldn't focus his gaze.
"Sherlock..." he whispered, barely audible.
"Are you okay, John?" Sherlock asked nervously.
"Don't... know..." John was terribly weak, slipping again into unconsciousness.
"John, stay with me!" He urged, taking phone from his pocket and dialled 999. He squeezed John's hand. "I won't let you die!"
"I know..." John tried to smile and squeezed his hand back.
2. Skyrim - Main Theme
"Look out!" John warned Sherlock, as he slashed across the thug's chest with a sword. He wasn't a big fan of violence, he preferred to heal people rather than to kill them, but sometimes he didn't have a choice. A bunch of bandits ambushed him and Sherlock when they were travelling to Riften, so they had to defend themselves. Actually, Sherlock was doing it without any visible effort. He dodged an arrow shot into his direction gracefully, so not even a scratch was marring his ashen skin. With a quick wave of his hand he set one of the aggressors on fire. The thrill of combat was glistening brightly in Sherlock's red, elven eyes and his smile widened with every opponent that he brought down with his magic. He was a mighty sorcerer and he enjoyed every single moment of wielding that power. Soon, among shrieks of the wounded, scorching of flames, and whistling of swords, only one of the bandits was left standing.
When John looked at Sherlock, he instantly knew what was coming.
"Oh, come on..."
But Sherlock only inhaled deeply and yelled with all his force at the thug, petrified in terror:
"FUS RO DAH!"
"Always a show-off, eh?" commented John reprovingly, watching as the bandit was flying across the sky.
"Perks of being Dragonborn", he smiled with all his charm. "Let's not dawdle any further, John. The adventure awaits!"
3. El Cazador de la Bruja - Maxwell's Witch
Sherlock was descending deeper and deeper into the dark. He gave up on counting the steps long ago. The stone stairs were worn smooth and slippery, so he proceeded slowly with caution. In the faint glow of a flashlight he saw shadowy alcoves filled with musty bones, tangled in a thick layer of ominously looking cobwebs. The catacombs were dark and stifling, the kind that can easily induce primal fear in the faint-hearted. But Sherlock wasn't one of them. He wasn't afraid of ghosts or zombies. These were only superstitions of the vulgar, common folk. He knew he was above all that. But the hoarse chanting that was resonating from within the depths of the earth gave him chills. The monotonous, ancient prayer sung with a distorted voice was strengthen further by the ageless echo reflecting the sound from the stone walls, making the small corridor even more claustrophobic.
Sherlock bit his lower lip but kept going. He never backed away from a mystery and he certainly didn't want to break that habit now.
He didn't know how long he was walking, but after what seemed like hours, he finally reached the chamber with arched vaulted ceiling. There, among the statues of vile and blasphemous ancient deities illuminated by dozens of burning torches, was standing a man dressed in scarlet robes. The hood was casting a deep shadow over his face, but Sherlock knew without a doubt that his eyes were resting on The Occult Murderer, as the pressed named him. The crazed killer, who killed five people as sacrifices to his bloodthirsty gods.
But all this madness ends here, Sherlock thought to himself and said aloud:
"It's over Geoffrey. Surrender now."
The hooded man stopped his chanting and turned around. He didn't look surprised.
"Sherlock Holmes..." He hissed while licking his lips. "You haven't disappointed me. You'll make a great sacrifice." He produced a long knife from his sleeve and jumped at Sherlock.
Before the detective's life was forfeit, the silence was broken by a loud bang. The murderer's body went limp and he fell on the floor, blood gashing from his pierced heart.
"Sherlock, you're so careless, it's unbelievable!" John grumbled, putting his gun away. "Good thing I followed you or else you'll be dead by now! How is that I always end up saving your arse?"
"Despite your constant ranting, I think you quite enjoy it" Sherlock announced, not losing his cool. "Both the saving and arse parts in fact."
John cleared his throat and looked away, trying to hide a blush showing on his cheeks.
Okay, so it was a bit of an experiment (all for science!). I turned on my winamp and told him to choose music from my computer at random. And when he did, I just closed my eyes and imagined some Sherlockian scenes. The stories above are the results of this inspirational session. Actually, originally I wanted to publish five ficlets, but the one inspired by "Bohemienne" turned out to be really long and the other, post-Reichenbach story, was very emotional for me, so I decided to publish them separately. Hopefully, they both will be available this week.
If you'll like the stories I might do something similar again or somehow expand on existing ones
Anyway, I hope you'll enjoy. Oh, and I think that Sherlock in Skyrim would totally be Dunmer And John would be Breton, probably.
Unfortunately I don't own the songs nor Sherlock - they belong to their respectable owners. Period.
John wasn't woken up by the suspicious crack of the floorboards, a sudden and inexplicable draught, nor by bright light attacking his pupils. No, the sensation was far more subtle. A certain feeling of absence. The gnawing coldness. The emptiness around him. John slowly opened his eyelids and noticed what was wrong. The other side of the bed was vacant. John's eyes wandered across the room and stopped at the slim silhouette bathed in the moonlight, which only highlighted the paleness of the naked skin. Sherlock was standing by the window and looking out at the quiet and empty street below. He was looking, but not really seeing. His eyes were awash with deep sadness, something John had never observed before.
"What's wrong, Sherlock?" John asked with worry.
Sherlock flinched a little, not being aware that John had been watching him. His facial expression changed instantly as if he put a joyful mask on.
"Nothing, John. I'm sorry if I woke you up." Sherlock apologised, twisting his lips into a smile. John knew him too well to fall for that act, though. Something was amiss.
"Come on, Sherlock. It's cold, go back to bed." He urged, propping himself up on his elbow.
Sherlock didn't move an inch.
"In a moment." That was his only response spoken in a flat tone. He was silent, focused and tense as he kept staring blankly straight ahead with his blue, unseeing eyes.
John rose from the bed and came to him silently, putting a hand on his lover's shoulder. A gesture of comfort and reassurance to which Sherlock inadvertently responded with a heavy sigh.
"Are you thinking of Moriarty's trial tomorrow?" John asked softly.
"Don't worry, Sherlock, everything will be fine." John stood before the detective, looking up at him with confidence that was written all over his face. Nothing could shatter his belief in Sherlock Holmes. "Moriarty is no match for you!"
A sad smile tugged at the corner of Sherlock's lips.
"Thank you, John, but I'm afraid it is not true." Sherlock embraced John, hiding his face in his lover's warm neck. Normally, John's scent always soothed his nerves. But not today. "Just promise me one thing, John: whatever happens, you will stay strong."
John felt his muscles tensing. Sherlock's tone of voice alarmed him. He sounded as if he predicted something sinister and didn't want to share it with anyone else.
"What are you saying, Sherlock?" John was confused. "What can happen? Moriarty will go to prison and everything will end!"
But as he looked deeply into Sherlock's concerned eyes, he realised how childish his hopes were. Moriarty won't go down without a fight. He made burning the heart out of Sherlock his goal. That send shivers down John's spine.
"There's nothing we can do right now." Sherlock said calmly, placing a soft kiss on his lover's forehead. "Come to bed, John. Let's enjoy our last night of peace."
And as they lay together, bodies pressed tightly, lips hungrily searching for the other, Sherlock realised how much he'd miss John during the lonely years to come.
I was having feels, okay? Lots of feels. Reichenfeels, Rosefeels ("Doomsday", oh God, why!), emofeels and acefeels. And during acefeels I was listening to the song "Learn to be Lonely" from The Phantom of the Opera and that's how this little pre-Reichenbach story was born. It's not really "ace", but whatever. I just had to get rid of the sadness from my system.
I hope you'll enjoy it. As always, comments are appreciated.
I was asked by an aspiring 3d artist who was about a year from actually attending college, for some advice about the gaming industry and this is what I had to say to her. She was specifically thinking about going to Digipen, which is the same college I went to. But the advice applies to just about any school that offers a program in "video game' 3d art.
Well, there are a few things I'd suggest you do, if you have the goal of being a 3D Artist in the gaming industry.
First off, you need to really decide if you want to aim for the gaming industry or production film 3d.
Most schools that offer degrees in 3D Animation could go either way. The big animation projects that they all have you do are big prerendered, storyboarded 3d animated sequencees - which is obviously much more along the lines of film production. The limitations and techniques used in a planed out, storyboarded 30sec/1-2min animation are entirely different from the limitations and techniques used in real-time game art.
While these sort of assignments can still be valuable in teaching you different, important, techniques, they do literally nothing to prepare you for actual game industry work flow.
This means that you will need to do a little self-imposed focusing.
In the actual game industry, most people are fairly specialized into at least a couple smaller niches. There are overall generalists, as well, and they're still valuable, but being specialized in a specific area, and then a generalist in several others, is usually more valuable.
From my time in school, I remember it seemed like everyone wanted to make characters. I think that's just a big thing for school-aged kids. The idea of making the characters seems cool.
Problem is that there are very few character positions, and it's very hard to get good enough at it to be competitive - especially when you're first trying to break into the industry.
At our studio, we have 8 level artists, and 1 character artist. I'm the studio's character rigger, and terrain/prop generalist.
So if you want to go into characters, realize that you'll have to get really effing good at it, to compete.
Terrain/Environment/Level artist positions are way more plentiful. But again - making environment art for a video game, and making it for a production animation are VASTLY DIFFERENT. When I was in digipen, it was back before they offered the BFA program, so I was in a 2-year associates program. We only had TWO assignments, my entire time there, that specifically involved video game terrain art. The rest were much more like production-animation type projects.
If you really want to get good and be really competitve when you start job hunting, you'd probably be best served to self-impose some additional work on yourself, or bend some of the class assignments to allow you an opportunity to practice your desired specialty.
My husband Justin, went to Digipen too, and he currently works in the industry as an effects/particle artist. Obviously there were no effects or particle assignments the entire time we were at digipen. But he knew that's what he wanted to do.
Every assignment we had, he would find some way to squeeze in all these extra crazy effects, or reactor/havoc objects, or he'd have burning torches, or simulated water or SOMETHING, going on, in the background. He didn't need to do it to get the assignment done. But he wanted to get better at that specific thing, so he always squeezed it in.
It's made him really valuable too, because no one really focuses on things like that when they teach 3d classes, so no one focuses on learning it while in school. There aren't a lot of 3d artists who know how to use reactor, or havoc, or particle flow, or voxels, when they come out of school. Even 5+ year industry veterans usually don't know shit about those things. So he's really valuable to a studio.
I learned complex rigging things and it's made me valuable. Rigging, in most studios, is not a full-time job. There isn't usually enough work to keep a rigger busy full-time, so it's important that I can also generalize in other fields. But no one else here, knows how to do, what I do, with the rigging. Even our lead character artist really sucks at skinning (Although he's a fucking god with zbrush). So I'd say, my best advice, is to spend some time trying out a lot of different things, early on, and try to pinpoint one specialized thing that will set you apart from the other hordes of experience-less grads, and spend your time at school intentionally getting really good at that one or two things.
Specialize in terrain. Specialize in character modeling. Specialize in character animation. Specialize in effects. Specialize in object-animation. Pick something and get really good at it, and learn the basics of as much of the rest as you can manage.
As a final bit of advice - learn either 3dstudio max, or maya, or both. Digipen will cover both, in separate years. It's really REALLY good, to actually be able to use both apps, because you never know which the studio you go to will be using.
If you aim for character animation, you might want to learn SoftImage XSI, or Motion Builder.
Do Not bother with blender. Yes it's free. Yes, it's actually a really decent 3D app, especially considering it's free. But it is not used by anyone in the industry.
Learning that specific package will not prepare you for working in an actual studio. Get the student versions of 3dsmax and Maya. You can get both of them, fully-functional and legally for THREE WHOLE YEARS under the student learning license. IT'S FREE FOR THREE YEARS. There is NO REASON not to get them.
Also, if you want to aim for characters, start to really study anatomy. Like REALLY study. Get one of those books, like Anatomy for Artists (Good book, will probably be required for one of your classes anyways - it was when I went there) and try drawing a human and animals from the inside-out.
Draw some basic forms of the bones. Don't waste your time and effort trying to draw every rib or metatarsal bone, but get the general shape and mass of all of the big solid bits, and then draw the muscles over top.
Focus on specific areas. Like, just draw the upper-torso and the arm and focus on the muscles of the upper-arm and shoulder as it connects to the chest. Learning this stuff will seriously improve your drawings and understanding of real living creatures.
Also, if you're aiming for characters and creatures, Zbrush is an important tool to learn, but don't try to just jump straight into the surper high poly mesh. Get a very solid, well-proportioned base mesh first and work up gradually. I see so many n00b lumpy red deform-o heads where the person tried to jump into the high detail stuff without getting a solid base structure in first.
For normal map creation on environment art, I recommend you get and try out a program called Crazybump. It's really becoming a standard in the industry and it is insanely helpful and it's even cheap enough that you might not need to pirate it at first. lol.
In response to that I was then asked to go into some more detail on the terrain/level artists job, this was my response:
Every level will have a lead level artist who is primarily responsible for overseeing the whole thing, maintaining consistency and quality, and working with the designer to make it work for gameplay.
On next-gen titles, the level artist will usually have several junior artists working under him/her to help with specific pieces, sections of the level, and props.
In smaller teams, it may just be a level artist who is solely responsible for the whole level, and then pass it off to a junior artist who will do a collision pass.
As a level artist, you literally model and texture the whole darn level. The floors/ground, walls, buildings, fenses, trees, furniture, light fixtures, plants, fountains, cars, whatever, etc. etc.
Most studios will have a repository of objects and props, and often times have dedicated prop artists who will make key objects, and more complicated-reusable objects like cars, and you'll be able to draw from that repository for items so you don't always have to make absolutely everything though.
Also, it's often very very encouraged to reuse assets that have already been created by other people on the team, for the sake of consistency, and saving time. And saving on resources - why make five different brick textures when you can easily get away with two?
The lead level artist will also be responsible for lighting the level and the atmosphere settings. Lighting is done in two passes in next-gen games. The first pass is a baked-in lighting simulation where the lights placed in the level are used to calculate what value the vertexes should be and then those values are 'baked' into the geometry data.
The second pass are the realtime lights that can cast shadows (If your engine and hardware support it) and can be animated if need be (ex. if you have a lamp, hanging on a chain and it's getting blown by the wind - the light is attached to the animated object and moves with it, so that you can get dynamic lighting.)
Now, any objects in the environment that move, react to the player, explode, whatever - are handed off to one of the environment animators once they've been modeled and textured. So you generally don't have to worry about doing that stuff, as a level artist. You still usually have to make it for them, and they may have requests like having you set up multiple states of something if it can get damaged or get destroyed. Make a clean state and then a broken state and they'll transition between the two.
Weather effects, fires, explosions, sparks on electrical wires, etc. - those tasks will go to the effects artist
Water will depend on a few things. If it's just a 'faked' animated-texture water, then the level artist will still probably be responsible for it. Say you're in some jungle setting and there's a water fall. The level artist will probably have to do *some* work on it. But they'll be working closely with the effects artist since they'll still have to add a lot on top of everything. The effects artist may just be assigned the whole darn thing too.
If it's "real" simulated water, especially if it's water that the player can swim in, or interact with, then it will be engine specific. In our games, we have a gameobject called a 'water box' that we place. It's just a reference box and in the software, it looks like an untextured box. But it has custom attributes that we have to edit that get exported. We can set the under water fog color and density. Distance, etc. And we can assign a custom-made ref map for the surface. The engine takes that information and creates the water in game real-time.
These are responses to additional questions I've received:
Q-- presentation to senior high school students a lot of them thought they would spend a lot of their time playing/testing games...
A-- Well, I'll definitely say that in the later stages of making the game, you will still do plenty of playing and testing it. lol. You make an adjustment/bug fix/lighting change, and you have to run the level, run around to wherever the change/fix was made, and make sure it's actually fixed.
When you're working on one specific level for weeks, the background music to that level is like, embedded in your brain. Especially since it'll remain paused, on the dev station in your office for hours and when you're going back and forth over and over you can't really shut it off...
But this is usually just the level geometry without the actual NPC population. So it's not like you're 'playing' the level. Just running around in it to check stuff.
Now if they actually want to be testers, there are still plenty of those jobs, but its far from glamorous. The pay is fairly low, and the hours SUCK. I'm talking about some serious overtime, and working weekends and holidays if a big deadline is coming up.
Q-- I'm fond of thinking about plots, gameplay, how to do this..
A-- Plots and gameplay are things that designers deal with. Designers arethe ones who figure out how the actual game play is going to go, and the lead designer might be partially responsible for helping to come up with the story and possibly some actual writing. It'll depend on the studio. Some studios hire actual writers, like, legitimate authors. In some places, the head of the studio may be primarily responsible for coming up with the story.
Designers have to deal with a lot of technical scripting, but not actual programming. Again, their duties will depend a lot on what studio they're working at. A lot of studios have complex, fancy, level editors and the Designers will work in that, setting up nodes and scripting events.
Q-- How much do you interact with your programmers? Who writes shaders: artists, programmers, or a mix of both?
A-- In our studio we have a technical artist who is primarily responsible for writing the shaders, but he works closely with one of our coders. He and the programmers do a lot of work together. He sort of acts as the bridge between the art and code department.
There are two programmers at our studio who are both assigned to working out the character system - One is working mostly on the character animation and traversal system, and the other one is working a lot on the combat system, and they've both had to come to me fairly frequently so I can set up files for them to test with. For the combat guy, I'm always having to work on the 'hardpoints' (the dummy objects that are exported with the character that define where the weapons and accessories appear on the character).
So it really depends on what that programmer is working on, as to who they interact with in the art team.
Q-- I'm going to tell you point-blank that I love Blender.
A-- I never claimed that it's not a perfectly good enough 3d application, and you can certainly make some great stuff in it. However you will never get a job at a real game studio and use it. No one in the industry, unless they're indie, uses blender. Coming to a studio that uses Maya when all you know is Max is challenging. Same as vice versa. That's why it's best to learn both. At least, get really good at one, and know the general use of the other. At least if you learn one of those two applications, you've got basically a 50/50 chance of knowing how to use the software that your employer will need you to know. If all you know is blender there's like a 2% chance you might get a job that uses that package.
No one uses it. If you're going to spend months learning to use a package, its a much better use of your time and effort to learn a package that will be used in your future job.
Q-- any idea on an average pay? i mean i'd love to model stuff but i still gotta feed myself. i am guessing its pretty crap for first starters...right?
A-- My first job in the industry was as a contract artist. I was paid hourly and I got $12/hr. After 3 months I got a raise to $15/hr. At 9 months I got hired on salary. I started around $32k/yr. Every year I've gotten a raise. I'm now sitting at 5 years experience and I make $45k/yr. The pay is also representative of where you live, though. I'm in central Oregon and the cost of living is lower here than in Cali or the Seattle area. If I was working at a studio in Seattle, I'd probably be getting a fair bit more than that.
But it costs a lot more to live there too. So it's variable.
Q -- What about breaking into Video Game Concept art?
A -- The concept artist has to be really really effing good. They have to be fast. They have to be diverse. They have to be good at drawing and painting from scratch, and be good at paint overs. They need to be able to do environment art as well as characters. In fact, the environment art is going to get a lot more use. Our concept artist does almost all level paint-over and level concept stuff.
His stuff is for lighting and atmosphere reference too. He helps set the color and mood that we use for a level.
He does paint-overs of the layout stage art to give us direction.
I think to get a job as a concept artist you just have to have an epically baddass portfolio and be able to demonstrate that you can be really fast when needed.
Q -- What is the industry like in other countries?
A -- I'm afraid that I have no idea. I've only ever lived and worked in the United States, and that's as far as my experience goes.
Q -- How best to break into the industry?
A -- This is probably the hardest part for a new grad. Actually getting that first job. The biggest reason its so hard is because most studios won't even look at someone who has no previous experience.
It's like they've got someone in human resources who sifts through the initial applications and on their first pass they just go through each and everyone and so "Any experience? No? Trash can." The second question they ask is "A degree? No. Trash can." And this is before they even look at your portfolio. The HR person might not actually look at your portfolio at all - they're just there to narrow down the list before it gets sent to someone who actually WILL look at your portfolio.
So how do you get around this?
Well, you just apply to every freaking job you can stumble across, and send your portfolio and resume to every studio's email@example.com address you can find. Chances are that this won't get you very far, but do it anyway.
Honestly, the best way to get a job is to know someone who is already on the inside.
Networking is a HUGE part of getting a job in this industry.
Whenever we have had an open position, long before any notice is actually posted online, the art manager will ask us all in some art meeting if we know anyone who would fit the job. We throw out some names, send the people we know a line and see if they're looking for work, and anyone who is, will send back their samples.
We usually hire someone without ever even posting the job listing anywhere on the net.
So... that sucks for you. But all the more reason to send your stuff -again and again- to every studio you find, even if their site doesn't list that they're hiring. Just because it doesn't say it, doesn't mean that they really aren't.
And just because you already sent your work to Naughty Dog doesn't mean that you cant send it again in another month. I'm not telling you to spam the living shit out of every studio - try to space it a month between your emails, but keep at it. You have to be really persistent, and while you're job hunting, keep working on improving your portfolio.
It took me 9 months after graduation to get my first job. Some people take way longer than that. Just don't give up, and realize that you will probably have to be willing to move. There is no guarantee that you'll find a job in your ideal city. You have to go where the job is when you're still a n00b and desperate for experience.
Q-- what would you recommend someone to focus on who is wanting to do animation for videogames and currently pursuing a degree in animation?
A-- We have our character animators who deal with the mocap, and deal with creating and managing the animations for the cinematic sequences, as well as preparing and exporting the animations so that the coders can get all of that working for traversal and combat, etc. The character animator is pretty much swamped with what he's got going on.
The object animators deal with all of the environment objects that move and change. Even something as simple as 'the player walks over and rolls a barrel over to get to a hole in the wall behind it'. That barrel's path has to be set up by someone, and that someone is one of the object animators.
Of course it also applies to really complex things like Helicopter flying in the sky getting shot down and crashing to the ground. The effects artist will also play a big role in something like that since there will be fire and explosions and such, but the rotating blades, broken pieces, things flying off, and the actual collision with the ground - all animated by someone.
Q-- How far does your rigging go? Adding the skeleton and weighting and the face modifiers? or is there more than that?
A-- This is the answer for the studio that I'm working at right now, however this is not how it will work everywhere all the time. The characters that go directly into the game are simply skinned to a skeleton. The skeleton doesn't even have IK or anything attached to it. It is simply a hiarchy of bones that recieve animation data.
The characters that I hand off to the animators are actually set up for a program called Motion Builder, which is the animation software that we use to create our animations. The animators import in the motion capture data that we've had made, and then they clean it up and make adjustments, or use bits and pieces and then hand-animate what we need in addition to it.
I set the skeletons up with FBIK (Full Body IK) before I export it out of Maya and into motion builder. In there I set up a lot of controllers, and custom drivers to make working with the rig easier for the animators.
When they're done in motion builder, it takes all of the data and keys from the IK and controllers and bakes it into the bones so that when it goes into the engine it drives the skeleton properly.
Q-- What is zbrush? you've mentioned it a few times and I don't remember seeing anything called specifically zBrush in maya.
A-- Zbrush is a stand-alone package from a company called Pixologic. --> www.deviantart.com/users/outgo… Zbrush is used for 'sculpting' incredibly detailed, high poly meshes. Most everyone in the industry uses it for character creation. They create the super detailed high poly mesh in zbrush, and they use it to create a normal map that is applied to much simpler, lower poly geometry.
Q-- A few of my teachers have mentioned art tests. What do they entail exactly?
A-- This will depend a lot on what studio you're applying to, but generally speaking, they will give you a specific task and a time frame to do it. Depending on the position you're applying to, it could be a specific building, a room, an animation, or a character. They will probably provide you with some reference or concept art and a list of restrictions that you have to work within.
Q-- So I've decided to specialize in Prop art and I'm wondering if you can help me out with some inspiration for real "Holy Shit"-quality props I could do for my portfolio?
A-- It's hard to say would would be 'holy shit' quality props. I think that diversity would be key.
Do some science-tech props, some grimy industrial props, some organic props, like trees or moss and lichen covered rocks, and some every-day household stuff. Put together a couple small sets - like a phone pole next to a mailbox and a vending machine on a small slap of brick with some weeds growing out of the cracks - stuff like that.
You could do a small museum set piece. Have your king tut mask, but also make the display case, or pedestal, and have some other artifacts near it.
If anyone has further questions, throw them my way, and I'll probably add them to this lecture thing.
lupa suckled rome's first twins; the ainu of japan believed themselves offspring of deity and wolf-kind. asena, the wolf-born, founded the empire that ruled the turkic nomads. Wolves both accompany and will be the end of the mighty god odin. the first men, killing wolf, brought death into the world for the pawnee of north america. in both christian and muslin traditions the wolf is a symbol of avarice and destruction.
wolf: revered and feared; mercurial as the moon whose homage you sing.
John had sometimes really strange dreams and the one he was experiencing right now was definitely among the weirdest. He felt a big and slimy snail sucking on his forehead, trying to make a hole in his skull and slurp up his brain. John tried to scream or defend himself, but he was powerless.
He was relieved when he woke up and the surreal dream ended. However, the sucking feeling didn't go away, which almost gave him a heart attack. He jumped up in the armchair, causing Sherlock to back away.
"What the hell?" He asked in utter confusion, fixing his gaze on Sherlock's intrigued face. He moved his hand to his forehead and felt a moisture there. "What the hell, Sherlock?" He repeated with anger.
"Waking somebody up with a kiss is said to be very romantic." Sherlock stated in a scholarly tone.
John looked at him with disbelief and snorted.
"Where did you get that?"
"You need to stop reading that crap," he sighed and shook his head with resignation. Sherlock's new hobby browsing through teen and women magazines, taking notes and trying various awkward tricks on John was slowly driving him mad. The doctor wiped his forehead with his sleeve and went to the mirror, dreading what he might see there.
He gasped in horror. There was a big and throbbing hickey just above his left eye.
"Sherlock!" He huffed, annoyed. "That's not what you call a waking kiss! It should be gentle. Gentle!"
"When I kissed you lightly you didn't react, so I had to apply more force." Sherlock seemed offended that his endeavours weren't properly appreciated.
"Sucking on someone's skull can hardly be considered kissing," he retorted. Sherlock was so hopeless sometimes.
The detective didn't reply. He just turned on his heel like a wronged prima donna and threw himself on the couch, sulking.
John rolled his eyes. Not only hopeless, but also a child.
"Oh, come on, Sherlock..."
"I'm not talking to you," he announced haughtily.
"Fine," the doctor shrugged his shoulders and sat on the armchair, pretending to read a newspaper. He started the countdown in his head.
5... 4... 3... 2... 1...
"John!" Sherlock jumped off the couch and ran frantically to his flatmate, crouching beside him and putting his chin on John's lap. He stared at him like a sad puppy.
"What's wrong, Sherlock?" he asked, thanking God that Sherlock's mood swings were lately so predictable.
"Well, so what do you want to do?" John asked, knowing that otherwise Sherlock would never leave him alone.
"Something not boring."
"That's not really helpful." John scratched his head, searching for inspiration. "How about going to the cinema?"
"Okay, then. Restaurant?"
"Not hungry," he shook his head violently and then exclaimed with excitement. "Let's go on a date!"
"A date?" John echoed, not sure if he caught it correctly.
"It's where two people who like each other go out and have fun? Those are your exact words, John concentrate!" He snapped.
John felt that his urge to kill Sherlock was rising, but he managed to remain calm.
"People usually go on a date to the cinema or the restaurant," he explained patiently.
Sherlock looked really disappointed.
"Yes," John nodded half-heartedly, but then suddenly he got an idea. "How about bowling?"
Sherlock considered the proposition for a while. "I've never been bowling before."
"That's good! Maybe you'll like it." John smiled, rising from the armchair. "But first I'll have to cover that hickey with a sticking plaster, people might talk."
The nearest bowling alley was still relatively empty at such early hour, but they decided it would be the best just to share one line. Sherlock tried to appear unfazed and unimpressed, though his eyes curiously scanned the whole room. John actually felt a bit excited. It was nice just to go out together and not chase some criminals in the process.
"So basically you need to throw a ball so that it will knock over all the pins." John explained eagerly, but Sherlock gave him a condescending glance.
"John, I know the rules," he said and picked up the ball, weighting it for a while in his hands. "It's all about the right trajectory. I can calculate just the perfect route to strike all the pins in one professional move," he recited, self-confident as always.
"Well, shoot then. Show us, the ordinary folk, how real whizz works." John encouraged him with a smirk.
Sherlock huffed and decided to ignore the taunts. He concentrated, making all the necessary measurements in his head before he finally let the ball roll. But not everything went as planned. The ball didn't go as Sherlock wanted, but turned right and went around the pins just by a hair's breadth, not touching even one.
"This can't be..." He mumbled, surprised. "That's impossible! My calculations were perfect!" When the effects of shock wore off he threw a tantrum like a spoiled brat, much to John's amusement.
"Okay, champion. Now it's my turn." John said in an upbeat tone and picked up the ball. He really enjoyed himself and Sherlock's irritated grimace only made everything better. Even though John wasn't to the bowling alley for ages and felt a little rusty, he used to be very good at this during his university years. He hoped he still remembered how to do it.
He took a swing and threw the ball skilfully. It hit right at the centre, knocking all the pins over.
"Yes! A strike!" John whooped, throwing his arms in the air and looking at Sherlock with smugness. "Experience before brains!"
Sherlock glared at him and pouted.
"Bowling is stupid," he said casually. "Come on, John. Let's abandon this awful place."
"Where do you want to go?"
"Out. As far from here as possible." Sherlock urged. John couldn't help but to giggle discreetly.
They were walking shoulder to shoulder on the empty street. John kept glancing surreptitiously at Sherlock's pale, slender hand standing out against his dark coat. He began to wonder whether he should take it or not. He really wanted to feel the man's warmth against his own skin, but he wasn't sure if Sherlock would approve.
"Yes, you can." Sherlock said out of the blue.
"What?" John asked in confusion.
"Yes, you can take my hand," he explained with an annoyed sigh. He hated to repeat himself.
"How did you...?"
Sherlock rolled his eyes.
"It doesn't take a genius, though I am one, to notice the look of perplexity on your face, inhibited glances directed at my hand, nervous flexing of your fingers and small movements of your wrists indicating you want to hold my hand. So I give you my permission to do it."
John's face turned red. He really hated when Sherlock was doing it, summing up all John's emotions into a few logical observations. He swallowed hard and hesitantly took Sherlock's hand, feeling really awkward. Sherlock didn't make it easy on him.
"Sherlock?" he mumbled barely audible, not entirely sure he really wanted to bring up the issue.
"As to what, John?" he asked raising his eyebrows.
"As to us, Sherlock," he confessed. "Are we even a couple?"
"Do you have doubts?" Sherlock clearly didn't comprehend what John meant.
"Yes, I do," he stated firmly. "Nothing really changed between us since you threw in my face evidence that I love you. Okay, there are experiments taken from Cosmopolitan that you conduct on me, but that hardly counts."
Sherlock pondered about it for some time.
"Obviously, we are a couple. Why shouldn't we be? We go out, we talk, we bicker..." Apparently everything was that simple in Sherlock's world.
"Those things are done also by friends and not lovers..." He bit his tongue but it was already too late. Sherlock took notice of John's tone and phrasing. The consulting detective turned his head to his partner, staring at him intensively.
"You want more..."
"I... I don't really know what I want," he admitted, averting his gaze.
But such a feeble attempt to conceal the truth would never deceive Sherlock. He stopped walking and without any warning locked John in his embrace. He gazed into John's eyes, hoping he would understand, and leaned over to kiss him.
A soft and surprised moan escaped John's throat as he felt Sherlock's tongue inside his mouth. He pulled the man closer, kissing him back with all emotions he felt for him. He became dizzy, his legs barely holding his weight.
When their lips finally separated, John was gasping for air and looking into Sherlock's eyes. Sherlock smiled fondly and kissed him on the forehead.
"So are you sure now whether you're in love or not?" John whispered awkwardly, afraid to ruin the moment with a louder noise.
"Not really. Are my pupils dilated?" Sherlock asked curiously.
"Sherlock!" He exclaimed with outrage, but his anger quickly changed into a lopsided smile when he realised that Sherlock was just teasing him.
"I am as sure as I can be, taking into account the complexity of the subject," the detective admitted softly, nuzzling his face against John's neck.
My Sherlock/Hunger Games crossover is rather dark, so I wanted to write something lighter, bit silly and fluffy for a change, and that's how Wanting more was born. I had so much fun writing this, you won't even believe
Like a Virgin series, all semi-sequels (you don't have to read them all to get the story, but if you do, I'll be happy! ):