CH. 11- Moving Forward
A/N: No, I'm not dead, promise. Massive amounts of writer's block and I kept writing Elder Scrolls one offs for funsies. One day I might upload them here, there are a shit ton of them. Most of this had been done for the LONGEST time. But I couldn't figure out how to friggin end it and connect a couple parts. Still feels like a jumbled mess to me. But to get to the good stuff later I had to finish it. So please... Forgive me. And remember, I don't own Titanfall. Respawn and EA do.
Lieutenant David Turner was pretty sure he was in an interrogation chamber at this point. Not the usual office for his sessions with his recent psychologist.
The man seemed awfully relaxed even when two armed Spectres stood silently beside him. His glasses reflected the tablet he held tightly in one hand as he reviewed something in silence. David sitting stoically on the other side of the table. Flanked by another set of Spectres.
"Like I stated when you came in, Lieutenant." Martin spoke up suddenly. "Don't mind the Spectres, with the recent riot and the intrusion of my office it's only a safety precaution."
"Also because of my review." David remarked hotly.
Martin stopped what he was doing to look at the Pilot with a raised eyebrow. A slight expression of surprise on the usually calm man.
"Well, yes." He hesitated. "To be honest with you, down in Angel City you displayed a rather telling… Lack of discipline, or regard for basic human life." With a brief flick of his fingers a screen on the wall came to life.
David's eyes flicked over to the still image, he recognized it quickly, but failed to react to it. Martin tapped a few keys into his tablet, making a note of David before starting the feed. It wasn't a long video, granted, Hazard had only touched down at the end of the engagement in Angel City. They had missed the priority target and an elite squad had managed to get away.
His eyes focused on what appeared to be a worn down Militia Titan. Ogre class, and David started to feel his blood boil at the sight. The video did not include any sound, but the Pilot knew what the man was after.
Both men watched as Hannah's fingers tore through the weakened plating of the other Ogre and instead of immediately executing him as other Pilots were known to do, he had hesitated. It didn't take long for the feed to switch to David's personal HUD instead of the Titan camera. The man's body thrashed in the steel vice that was Hannah's fist.
The man seemed to still as if he was listening to something and David could hear the conversation echoing in his head.
How he had even opened the hatch of his Titan to let the man see who would kill him, and not let it end quickly.
"So, Lieutenant." Isaac started as he paused the feed to gain the Pilot's attention. "Care to elaborate?" He gestured to the other Pilot on screen.
"He was a Militia Pilot." His tone was clipped and short. Trying to avoid more questions than necessary.
"I can see that." Martin was growing agitated with the other man. Every session with the Pilot was similar. They would play a game of cat and mouse about these things, but Pilot David Turner had erected massive walls around his heart and mind. The man was going to keep cracking and one day, well, he was worried he had found the first crack in the video.
He was all too aware of what would happen when the dam would burst.
"I get that we are in conflict with them, but we hold to certain standards and codes of conduct." Isaac explained slowly. "On and off the battlefield." He pointed to the other Pilot. "You knew who he was, didn't you?"
"Not really." David crossed his arms as he stared at Isaac in the eye. He shrugged before continuing. "Even in the IMC we talk about how the Militia have tough Pilots." He pointed to the one on screen. "Intel would say that was one of them, Vladimir Vodnik of Bandit. High priority kill on the MCOR target list."
Isaac Martin seemed to process the information before letting out a quiet sigh. Turning the screen off he removed his glasses and rubbed at his eyes.
"Look, I'm going to be clear with you, David." The man's eyes became dangerously sharp as he placed his glasses on his nose. "I'm not going to recommend you for suspension, but for a monitor." The silence between them seemed to drag on until David nodded.
Martin opened his mouth to continue but felt his annoyance spike again as the door behind David slid open. His eyes bugged open as Captain Richards strode into the room.
"Captain on deck!" Martin called as he rocketed to his feet. David effortlessly rose from his seat and stood calmly until the Captain came to stand beside the table.
"As you were." He looked at Martin for a moment and cleared his throat. "May I have a moment with the Lieutenant?" He quietly requested, despite the fact that he easily could have commanded him for complicity.
Isaac nodded and wordlessly gathered his things before departing. He would schedule another appointment when he returned to his office.
As the door slid closed the Captain looked Turner up and down. His ever present stern expression looking even more imposing than normal.
"I'll skip the niceties, Turner." The Captain folded his hands behind his back. "I know how vested you are with the current combat situation." David didn't blink or move, silently watching the Captain. "I'm having you transferred off-ship." David blinked as if he had been physically struck by the comment. He took a quick breath. "After I got to review your last mission report and after a few other witness reports, I can't force the good doctor to ground you." He held up one hand and pointed a finger at the Pilot. "But as soon as we go to refuel and restock, you're being sent to the Whitehead facility." David spent a moment to process the information.
"You want me stationed at a training facility?" David asked with clear disbelief. "After what happened with Jake?"
"One traitor to the IMC does not make you a poor instructor." Richards explained. "He was already skilled, you improved his skills and he spiraled out of control." David clenched his fist as he thought back to the Odyssey. "But with the help of other instructors I know any who learn under you will be exceptional Pilots."
David wanted to argue, wanted to yell his frustrations to everyone who would listen.
Especially the Captain.
Instead he swallowed his anger and the vile taste of his shame down with any argument he could try and muster.
"Aye aye, sir." He replied stiffly before saluting.
Commander Jackie Roe was quietly eating what she assumed were mashed potatoes in the mess hall when she saw him enter. David normally was stoic and calm, but she could feel the anger coming off of him in waves. She could feel herself trying to shrink in on herself as the man slammed his tray in front of her and sat down soon after.
Him showing this much raw emotion was rather new, and it made her uncomfortable. She didn't look up to meet his eyes, she knew he would be looking at her.
After all, she knew he had every right to be mad at her.
"Why?" His question was simple, but the barely contained rage was evident in his tone. She wished she had others sitting with them, but most of the other personnel tended to leave the Pilots alone to their devices.
"I know you weren't the only one to submit the reports." David continued after the silence had gone one for a few moments. "If you don't want to answer me now, please do soon." David started to stand. He hadn't even touched his food. "I don't want to be mad at you, ma'am. I just want to understand." He pulled his tray away and left her to stew in her thoughts as he dumped his food into a waste bin.
Jackie visibly deflated as the man left. The rest of her appetite abandoning her as the more personnel coming off their shift filtered in. A pair of Grunts, based on the way they were dressed made their way over to her.
"Mind if we sit here?" One of them inquired. The familiar accent caused her breath to get caught in her throat as she heard the man speak. Eyes latching onto his dark brown ones.
Tears tried to fight past her eyes and the man before her seemed to shift uncomfortably as she stayed quiet.
"Umm… We can go." He made to turn before Jackie snapped out of her trance.
"No!" She coughed before gesturing in front of her. "No, it's fine. I was pretty deep in thought." She rubbed at her eyes and watched as the pair shrugged and then sat down.
The one who spoke was far smaller than his companion and he had dark hair while the other had short blond hair. The other man slid awkwardly onto the bench and apologized when his knee swung into hers.
"Sorry, if we are intruding." The first man started again. "I'm Matt," he pointed to the other man, "and this is Daniel."
"We have ranks, buddy. We go by last names when talking to an officer." Daniel reprimanded his friend.
"Don't worry about it." Jackie interjected. "I'm Jackie. It is nice to meet you guys." She had a small smile as she watched them bicker. She even got lost in the stories the two started throwing around in their time as soldiers. Some seemed too crazy to believe, but it was nice.
"Look, ma'am, I don't know how you got this idea. But to make the kind of designs you are asking for." A man garbed in a grey jumpsuit with a white vest spoke to Lieutenant Mantesteva. He moved his hands in a circular motion to keep the sentence going.
"It can be done." She replied, arms folded across her chest as she looked down at the other man.
"Sure!" He exploded at her. "But only if you tear your Titan apart and have it redesigned from nearly square one!" He pointed to her Ogre chassis. "Ogre's are tough and have upscaled power servos and switches, yeah." He pointed down at the request she was making. "But this requires the output of two Ogre chassis for only half the system. Not to mention the reactor core couldn't handle the stress for anything more than thirty minutes of full operation!"
"First, you want to see if we could take that massive arc cannon thing and mount it as some form of shoulder cannon?" He started by pointing to a specific spot on the schematic. "We would have to rebalance the weight distribution of the entire Titan, set the gyros and gimbals on new mounts." His finger traced a line.
"After that we have to settle the power issue, Titan reactors are good, but what you want needs too much juice, and we may have to settle for external battery packs." The man huffed as Mantesteva looked over the man and her request.
"But it can still be done, yes?"
"Are you-?" He sucked in a breath through his teeth and put his hands over his face. "You know what? Yeah, sure. Why not?" His tone was laced with sarcasm. "Why not just change the arc cannon into a fucking laser or plasma weapon?" The nod he got in response doomed the poor man to realizing that this woman had missed his sarcasm.
"I better get a damn raise for designing such a hunk of shit." He grumbled as he snatched the tablet away and went about his other duties.
"Glad that was settled." Mantesteva shrugged as something caught her eye. It looked like a chain used for holding equipment was swinging slightly. She almost dismissed it as someone moving something around, if it wasn't for the fact that it was coming from where the already checked off Titans were.
Finding this odd, she made her way around Marvin's and other maintenance personnel towards the single chain. When she rounded a stack of crates and her eyes fell on what, no, who was being held up by the chain she panicked.
"Man down! Pilot down!" She broke into a sprint towards the man. "Gregor!"
Captain Richards set down the report and let out a deep sigh. Before him stood First Lieutenant Martin and Master Sergeant Koitz. "Sir!" Ensign Lovell called from his workstation on the bridge of the Argonaut. "We are receiving a distress beacon." He paused to listen to it from his headset. "It's an automated transmission and we are locking onto it now."
"Hail them." Captain Richards ordered gruffly as he stared at the readout that Spyglass had issued to all the ship captains. They were a series of new battleplans and logistical redirects, nothing too exciting, but something he would be required to have read and understand before his next debrief.
"Sir, the source of the distress signal is not responding." The young man hesitated. "Orders?"
"Hail again, but make sure you log this incident." Richards grumbled as he keyed a few buttons. The image of Captain Van Doorn soon appeared on the large screen.
"Captain." Van Doorn greeted his fellow captain with a tired sigh.
"Good morning to you too, Doorn." Richards let a small smile tug at his lips before he nodded. "We are receiving a distress beacon, we are already in ready status and we will investigate." Captain Richards informed the other man. "If anything happens we will radio you."
"You sure you don't want me or at least any other ship to accompany you?" Van Doorn questioned him tightly.
"The Argonaut may be old, but she is tough." Richards defended his ship. "I'll radio you when we drop back into sub-light."
The feed was quickly cut and he reached over to the blue all call button.
"All hands! Prepare for jump! Man your stations and secure your spaces! I say again, all hands prepare for the jump!" He looked up and caught the eye of his navigator, with a raised brow he got the message across of what he wanted.
"Coordinates are locked in, sir. We are ready to go on your command."
Leaving the mess hall, David quietly made his way to the Hazard quarters. The few he did run into in the passageways were either too busy to really acknowledge him or bid him a quick good-whatever-the-time-was and moved on.
When he found himself in front of the door to the bunks he pressed his identification to the side console and was met with a small green flash and a positive chirp from the machine. The door slid open to reveal most of the Hazard Pilots who survived Angel City were inside. He made a mental note of how many of the rookies had survived.
Only two, Cassandra and Anthony survived as the new recruits. Damn shame. David turned his head away from them as he made his way to his rack and pulled out a tablet. Searching through it briefly he found what he wanted and started a video call. It didn't take long for his sister, Alice to answer his call and do it without looking at the screen.
"Hello?" She asked as she was clearly occupied with something. The sounds of medical equipment could be heard in the background.
"You know, I could always just call back if you don't want to talk with me." David replied with a small smirk. He ignored the clearly said 'Holy shit! He smiled!' that someone in the room announced. He watched as his sister's eyes appeared in a rush of blond hair and a smile.
"My baby brother called me?!" She nearly shouted in mock surprise. "I feel like we don't talk anymore!"
"Alice, I call you every other day." David deadpanned, clearly ignoring the snort of amusement from across the room. "It would be nice if you could return the sentiment." He chewed on his lower lip nervously for a moment. "But, hey, I need to tell you something."
"What's up?" He watched as his sister went from being playful to her eyes hardening at the statement. Her eyebrows knitted together as she looked slightly concerned.
"It's not too big, but I am being transferred after we pull in for a refuel and refit." He tried to stay quiet. He didn't want to be heard by everyone else. "I'm going to Whitehead."
"Oh really?" Her tone picked up in cheer as her smile returned. "That's amazing! I'm due for a new contract in about a month, see if I can't get in over there. It would be nice to work alongside my family again." She started rambling on things they could do together in their time off and it didn't take long for David to interrupt her.
"What about Scott?" He quietly asked.
"What?" The question clearly caught her off guard. "Oh, Scott?" She paused to think. "Well he was telling me how he finally found his 'beach paradise' home." He watched as she did air quotes with one hand. "You think with how young we are he would want to keep working for a little longer." She stifled a laugh. "But no, he already has plans for us to retire and raise a family on a tropical island somewhere. I have to remind him that we have to be able to afford that lifestyle first."
David cracked a smile as he imagined his sister and her husband trying to raise kids on some resort. It was one of the few moments where David truly felt at ease with everything around him. His feeling of peace didn't last long.
Lights cut out and the screen of the tablet went out. He could hear the shouts of surprise and a feeling of dread wash over him as something else stirred within him.
It didn't take long for the backup generators to kick in and it still took too long. By the time Captain Richards had reclaimed power and some control over the ship, it had been boarded and he knew it would end quickly.
"Get out a distress signal immediately!" He ordered, turning he looked at another man. "Give the orders to begin scuttle procedures."
"I gave you an order Lieutenant!" Richards nearly shouted. "They came in ready and knowing how to shut us down." He put his hands behind his back. "We can't hail all of our security teams, so send out a shipwide general quarters." He paused as he watched several screens flicker back to life.
"Let me know when the hard wipes for the scuttle is complete. Until then get our weapons up and prepare to stop any other boarding parties."
"Aye aye, sir!"
It didn't take long for sensors to come back online and a startled cry arose from the operator.
"Sir! We have an unknown in our AOR!"
"Well? Destroy it!" Richards ordered sarcastically. "If we cut off their escape route, we may be able to save the ship." He sighed as he looked at the incoming reports, cells and armories had gone quiet. Engineering had just been cut off.
Maybe there wasn't any salvaging this at all?
"Set all weapons and defenses to automated. Ensure that the distress signal isn't being cut off by the Militia." He gave one last look over his bridge crew. "Abandon your posts, they are coming to the bridge." He sighed sadly as they all paused to look at him. "I want you all to live, abandon ship and make for the escape pods, that is an order."
Pulling out his Hammond P-2020, he made sure it was loaded before placing it on the console in front of him.
"The Argonaut will soon be lost. Now go."
The last boarder of this group fell to his knees, clutching at his throat as blood spilled past his fingers. Letting out pained gurgles he finally collapsed to the floor and lay still. His blood pooling around him and mixing with the blood of his squad.
David's boots didn't make much noise as he stepped into the crimson liquid. There was a brief pause before he turned the man over with his foot. Letting him stare down at the Militia Pilot before he reached down and tore the blade from the man's throat.
A sudden dull chiming echoed throughout the ship. David pausing in his navigation through the IMC and MCOR corpses as he listened to the now activated PA.
"Attention all hands! The ship's vital systems are all under Militia control. Abandon ship now or face execution. This will be your only chance. Leave immediately, or die." The sounds around him dulled to the point where he could only hear his own breathing.
His vision tunnelled as he could hear someone trying to talk to him. His breathing and heart were loud in his ears. The helmet echoing them around him.
Jake was here. Of course he was.
David looked up at the ceiling in silent contemplation. His eyes caught something partway down the passageway.
"Hannah, ich möchte eine Nachricht an die Brücke senden. Kannst du auf die Kameras zugreifen?" There was a moment of silence as a small circle on his HUD pulsed slightly.
"Ich habe mich in das Feed eingebunden. Ich werde anfangen, auf dein Signal zu senden." Hannah responded. David nodded briefly as he stood up from the collection of corpses.
"Jake." David's voice was firm, but the slight shake to his words slightly betrayed him. "I should have known it would have you to lead this scum here." David paused as he squared up to the camera. The dark red of his visor giving him an ominous air. "But if you think for a moment. That I will let them take my home from me again." He let that hang in the air as he stepped over a corpse.
"I will find you, Ace. It will be soon." He turned his head as he heard boots echoing down the passage. "But I will make a deal with you." His head snapped back to the camera. "Since you are one of them now, I want something that you can bring me." He checked the drum of the shotgun he had been using to clear the ship, four shells.
He needed a new weapon soon.
"The attack on my home, Romulos, you remember it?" He waited, he knew he wouldn't get a response, but this would work. "I want names, the people who authorized the attack and massacre of civilians. You do this for me and I will resign from the IMC." The boots were getting closer to him.
"You know how to get in contact with me. If you don't and we run into each other before that?" David lowered the shotgun and pulled out his Hammond. "I will kill you." With the last word he shot the camera, killing the feed immediately.
With a final solid exhale David turned to the way the sound had been coming. They were coming faster, now that they had heard a gunshot. David was as ready as he would ever be, seeing as there were no IFF tags, they weren't friendly.
Starting into an easy jog, he turned into a run as he approached the intersection. As he reached it a M-Cor Pilot was emerging from the other hallway. He caught her by surprise and with a squeeze of his trigger, ended her.
The Eva-8 bucked twice in his hands is the first shot tore into her chest piece and the second blasted away a large portion of her helmet. All she had managed was a startled cry before falling into the arms of the Pilot behind her.
The man had no time to react as the butt of the shotgun slammed into his helmet and helped him lose his balance. Slamming into the ground with his squadmate's corpse holding him down. He felt an increased pressure as the IMC Pilot placed his boot on her bloodied corpse.
With a dismissive sigh, David reached down and pulled the pin on the dead woman's grenade. The spoon launched in another direction and set the fuse. Turner simply dropped the pin next to the other Pilot's head before taking off towards a hangar bay. Knowing it was still under IMC control.
Even wanting to save the ship. His home.
He knew it was hopeless.
Even in his dismally small room, he knew it was not something he should be hearing. Hours had gone by after what sounded like alarms and gunfire had been raging only feet in front of him.
The solid door in front of him did nothing to display the corridor beyond, nor let anyone realize he was still here.
Then he heard it.
"Why are we checking all these cells?"
Muffled, maybe two rooms down.
"Cause with the mass release we got people. They lock high risk people in here. Like Pilots"
A door groaned as it was forced open.
"But we haven't found a single person yet."
"Just shut up and get working on the next one."
The door in front of him vibrated slightly as someone pressed something against it. Softly, but with a lot of effort.
"Yeah, yeah… The boredom is going to kill me." The man grumbled as the door locks clicked off and the hydraulics fought against the override. The door groaning open slowly.
"I really doubt that.." The man, clearly wearing MCOR green and patches paused as he saw a massive man standing just on the other side of the door.
No other sound escaped him as a hand wrapped around his throat and another clapped over his mouth. He was quickly dragged in and he tried to scream before the bones in his neck let off a sickening crack.
"Francis? Where are…? Oh shit!" The other man yelped and reached for his gun. The rifle clattered away as the Prisoner's hand slapped it away. His other hand coming up with a vicious swing to the gut. Gasping for air, the Grunt retched and vomited as he tried to maintain his footing. Trying to maintain distance from the crazed attacker.
Backing away he attempted to draw his sidearm and to shoot the other before the other man did a smooth spin and swung his leg in a graceful arc. It was only amazing until it crashed into his right arm, the foot hooking the back of his elbow jerked forward and he managed to let out a scream as his elbow hyper extended and the bone shattered from the strength of the attack.
His scream was cut off by a quick jab from the former prisoner. The Adam's apple crushed into his throat and his one good hand reached up vainly to help relieve the pressure.
It was over in mere seconds overall, as the prisoner finally tackled him to the deck, wrestling with the Grunt's kit. The Grunt choked around his crushed throat and feebly tried to push the larger man off of him.
Until he felt a knife touch the base of his chin. Choking out one last cry for help, the tip of the blade slid into the underside of his chin and up into his skull. His thrashing turned into slight spasms that eventually stilled as a last rattling breath escaped the man's nose. The prisoner took a moment to survey the hallway before dragging the corpse into the cell.
About ten minutes passed and Gregor stepped out of his cell wearing Militia colors. The gear was small and the uniform a bit tight, but he was sure it would allow him time to make a new plan.
One thing was clear though, the IMC lost the Argonaut and he would never let them keep it.
Post A/N: Thank you all for reading and being patient with me... I really do appreciate the messages you guys send me. Also, please don't burn me at the stake. I can take some fire, but ugghhh... Hopefully I can get back into the swing of things. Keep on keepin' on Pilots!
Hannah, ich möchte eine Nachricht an die Brücke senden. Kannst du auf die Kameras zugreifen?- Hannah, I want to broadcast a message to the bridge. Can you gain access to the cameras?
Ich habe mich in das Feed eingebunden. Ich werde anfangen, auf dein Signal zu senden.- I have networked into the feed. I will begin broadcasting at your signal.