This would've been up last night, but BSRaven ran up against the main reason I'm not Andy Waltfeld anymore. (That is, the fact that a lot of people think he's Andy WaltfIeld.)
SRWQG: The White Sword of Justice
(Author Note: Goddamn writer's block is a bitch. Sorry if this chapter seems fillertastic. Also, any drawfags and/or flashfags willing to do anything for this... Go ahead, just make sure you credit me, ya bastards.)
Chapter 2: Sprains, Pains and Being Clearly Insai-- Er, Insane.
Alex winced as he clambered out of Hauteclere, his left arm clutching the elbow of the right. Jil shook her head in disappointment, and Carl stated what he was thinking with the same degree of disappointment evident in his tone as Alex sighed and left the room:
"20 creds says he's broken it." Jil looked at the mechanic with an unimpressed look on her face.
"I have bigger worries than 20 creds, shithead." Jil took off after Alex, catching up with him just outside of the base, struggling to catch her breath after catching up with him. "Slow... Down... Speedy..." Alex laughed and waited for her to regain her breath before setting off towards the all-night doctors' office, the streets washed in an orange glow from the lamps.
The all-night doctors' office was still and empty, given that nobody really went to it because of the time loop that had existed prior to recent events, so the secretary looked up in surprise when she heard the doors opening for Alex and Jil, her blonde miniature afro and oversized glasses giving her a very toned-down 1970s look.
"Oh my... Well, the doctor's free, so you two can just go straight on in." Alex smiled and thanked the woman before going into the other room and sitting down. The doctor, Kim Smith, was a good friend of Alex's father, and had actually taken Alex in following his father's disappearence and his mother's subsequent mental breakdown, and she knew that if Alex was in pain, he'd generally done a real number on himself. Her appearence hid her gentle, motherly nature quite well, given that she was rather voluptuous, her figure slightly hidden by her slightly baggy shirt and rather long skirt, wavy brown hair that normally went to the small of her back tied up so that it went back into itself whilst she worked, and icy blue eyes, full of warmth and care, looking straight at the rather embarrassed-looking Alex, a soft, caring tone being in her voice as she spoke:
"Well Alex, I can tell already you've done something nasty to your elbow. Just try and put the arm into the scanner for me, okay?" Alex nodded and did as he was told, wincing a little when the clamps locked onto his shoulder and wrist.
"They're a bit tight... Could you loosen them a bit, please?" Kim loosened the scanner's clamps slightly, allowing Alex to relax a bit. "Thanks."
After several minutes, the clamps on Alex's arm retreated back into the scanner, allowing Alex to bring his arm back into view, sighing with relief when Kim gave the verdict:
"Well, good news is it's not broken, but the bad news is that you've bruised the bone... Will probably take about two weeks to heal. In the meantime, I'm going to have to tell you, as your doctor, to stay the hell away from heavy machinery, and also to tell you, as your friend and guardian, to stop getting into fights, and to have a nice Lovers' Day... Both of you." Jil shot Kim a surprised look, having gone beetroot red at the implications of Kim's statement.
"You... You think me and him are...?" Alex felt embarrassed, and turned around so he was facing Kim, in order to tell her the truth.
"We're not like that, and you know it." Kim smiled in a way that said 'I know, but I love teasing her', causing Alex to sigh, say his goodbyes, and leave, Jil following in his footsteps.
"Hmph... Why'd you think she had that idea about us being a couple?" Jil was cuddled pretty closely into Alex, trying to leech warmth off of him, cursing her mother's decision to have her wear shorts. "Sheesh... sure is cold tonight. Not normally this cold, is it?" Alex nodded, curious himself as to why the weather had taken a turn for the cold.
"It's closer to the Eiken Islands than Beren, I'll give you that. I wonder though..." Jil looked up at Alex, her eyes full of curiousity themselves.
"Hey, Al... You're not thinking up another one of your crazy theories again, are you?" Alex looked down at the petite blonde, his face displaying that 'Oh you bet I am' smile that always made Jil feel awkward in a relaxing manner. "What is it this time then? That strange black mech from earlier is actually from a rival alien race to the Vertans? Kim is actually a trap? Carl is actually a Vertan?" Alex laughed rather loudly, Jil's theoretical theories were always amusing.
"Nope, none of those. Although the one about Kim would explain a lot." Jil looked at Alex in shock, her left eyebrow raised well above the other. "I'm only kidding, you know. Not that I'm going to tell you my theory though, at least not until I find out if it's true or not..." Jil sighed and elbowed Alex in the ribs, causing him a noticeable amount of pain.
"Don't care, too tired." Jil's quiet yawn made Alex realise that it was pretty late as they walked towards Alex's base of operations/home. "Guess you'll have to stay here for the night." Jil nodded and smiled as Alex led her inside, the pair of them unaware of a computer screen left unattended, some white text showing up on the black screen:
System 44554d49: Schematics downloaded. Integrating into core operating system kernel... Error: File encrypted, integration impossible, relocating to Optional Equipment directory... Complete.
System 53544f524d: Schematics downloaded, creating new file within Optional Equipment directory... Complete.
Integrating systems into selected optional equipment... Complete. Modifying equipment to allow installation of either system... Complete. System 53544f524d will now be installed upon next repairs of DIVER #5 'White Rift'. System 44554d49 cannot be installed with current equipment.
Jil went over to the repair bay for Hauteclere the following morning, finding Carl trying to restrain a spanner-wielding Alex, the older man having a little success, the frustration in his voice very evident, even to the casual listener:
"The hell do you think you're doing!? The doc told you to stay away from heavy machinery, and I will not let you break the advice of a cute lady!"
"Well you're not helping me keep that advice by trying to restrain me! She said no fighting too!"
"Will you two knock it off!" Alex and Carl both looked at Jil, who had facepalmed heavily at the antics of the two supposedly adult men. "I'm the youngest person here, and I'm being the voice of reason... Are you TRYING to make Baby Jesus cry!?" Alex and Carl both looked at each other, then quickly and quietly stopped their little disagreement. "Alex, set up Hauteclere's auto-configuration program after Carl's repaired it." Alex stood up straight and saluted, as if mocking Jil's sudden authoritarian shift, causing his victim to rage slightly: "Now!" Both men quickly set about their tasks, doing so quickly and quietly, Alex because he knew that despite being smaller and slighter of frame, Jil's skills in martial arts were not to be messed with, and Carl doing so because he wanted to show off to Jil.
After a few hours, Jil was sat in Hauteclere's cockpit, running through the actions required for the auto-configuration to kick in. Despite Carl's protests, although he eventually gave in after Jil swiftly lowered his sperm count by about 30%.
"That's Stage 7 passed, start Stage 8 now, okay?"
"Alright, starting Stage 8 now." The final stage of configuration for Hauteclere's piloting system, a combination of neural control ('Think it and it happens' system) for the basic body functions and levers for advanced functions like the Hyper Burst and thruster control kicked into action, reading Jil's brainwaves as she mentally performed several actions, all of which showed on a 99%-accurate simulation of Hauteclere on the computer that Alex was sitting at. "I see you're using your martial arts training as your fighting style. Nothing wrong with that, just remember that Hauteclere's not quite as flexible as you are."
Jil laughed as the auto-configuration program shut down, the neural link lifting itself off of her head, allowing her to step outside of the white giant that was Hauteclere. Staying the night with Alex meant that she didn't have to worry about her mother's reaction to her choice of clothes that day, her hair back to it's usual messy state, and the borrowed t-shirt and jeans from Alex being baggy in the wrong places, but she didn't care, as she was comfortable, and that was all that mattered to her.
"Hey Al, that's pretty much me ready to go, yeah?"
"Yup, you're ready. I'm surprised Carl managed to jury-rig that black mech's rifle to work with Hauteclere though. It's not as powerful as the revolvers, but 150 bullets is a fair whack of ammo to work with, even if we can only have 8 of them loaded at a time." Alex skimmed over Hauteclere's support equipment, the screen delivering the list of equipment in white text:
Fast Attack Neutron Gun (F.A.N.G.) x2, mounted in leg holsters using x6 chamber configuration, 18 spare slugs per F.A.N.G. using 3x6 speedloader configuration.
CR-WR76RA x1, mounting in back slot possible but not reccommended. 150 bullets of 556 x 450mm, held in clips of 8.
Cenomachin Repair System (C.R.S.) x1, embedded within power lines.
S.T.O.R.M. System x1, currently not installed, C.R.S. Required
Intelligent Machine Under Despair (I.M.U.D.) System x1, currently not installed, currently uninstallable.
"Huh...? I don't recall choosing those last two." Alex was baffled as he read through the last two entries, choosing to leave the two mystery pieces of equipment uninstalled, as an alarm blared. "What the... Oh for the love of god, why do we always get attacked at the worst possible time!?"
"Don't know, don't really care, but I'll deal with it." Jil launched herself back into Hauteclere, leaving Alex to return to Hauteclere's operator station, a place he himself had been familiar with for years. "Alright Al, lemme out!" Alex complied, the blast doors opening to reveal a repaired Hauteclere, this time with the holes in the cloakshield repaired, and the once dented, scuffed armour polished and smooth.
"All systems online... Alright! Hauteclere, you're good to go!" Jil gave Alex a thumbs-up, then left to go deal with the threat, the latter being left baffled when the scanners picked up a distinctive type of emission coming from the threat. "Wait... what? Jil, according to the scanners, that thing's nuke-powered."
"Nuke-powered!? As in, a nuclear reactor that will explode and level the entire island along with it if I blow it up nuke-powered!?"
"That's what this thing's telling me. Keep an eye open, it seems to be near the docks."
"Gotcha... I'll be back soon Al, promise." Jil lead Hauteclere to the docks, being surprised when the 'enemy' was lounging in a sunbathing position, it's grey frame assuming the classic tanning position, the head open, the pilot relaxing on top of it, his blonde hair sort of slicked back in a messy manner, his laid-back attitude and large girth causing Jil a fair bit of surprise. "Er... Sorry, but I'm going to have to ask who you are, and what you're doing here." The man looked at the white giant that was Hauteclere, a smile forming on his face.
"Cool 'bot you got there."
TO BE CONTINUED...