Adelise glanced up at the war clock from her metal tray of food, chewing a mouthful of green beans. Twelve hours, forty-three minutes and eight seconds was counting down in big yellow numbers, the screen big enough to see across the entire Shatterdome. When the clock reached zero, Aloisius Crusade had an actual chance to go out and fight; and that made Adelise's eyes glue to the clock, hoping that it would go faster if she stared at it.
"This is probably the quietest you've ever been," a female voice said behind her, making her jump and drop the fork from her hand, and it clattered against the metal tray. She shot a menacing glare at the culprit, who was a tall, platinum blonde woman.
"Dammit, Sasha, you scared the shit out of me," Adelise hissed, snatching her fork back into her hand as she watched Sasha Kaidonovsky, one of the pilots of Cherno Alpha from Russia, sit down across from Adelise with her tray. Sasha's husband, Aleksis Kaidonovsky – and the second pilot of Cherno Alpha – strolled in and sat down next to his wife a few moments later.
"So, I heard Aloisius Crusade is the newest Mark-Four Jaeger," he said as he scooped up a forkful of potatoes.
"No way!" she exclaimed, unable to control her excitement anymore by stretching her mouth into a huge grin that made the skin around her eyes crinkle. Sasha looked up from her tray to Adelise, slowly chewing her food and narrowing her eyes in confusion.
"You didn't know that?" she questioned, slightly tilting her head to the side, her perplexed look beginning to draw her eyebrows together. Adelise snorted.
"Hell no! I thought it was still a Mark-Two!" she cried, her voice loud and clear with excitement. Her Jaeger was now one of the best; right behind Stryker Eureka, which was a Mark-Five.
"Marshall didn't tell you?" Aleksis asked, just as confused as Sasha. Adelise shrugged as she stabbed at the beans and brought them up to her mouth.
"Might have," she said as she took the bite, chewing it a few times before tucking it in her cheek to talk, "I was a little too excited to listen to him. I kinda tuned him out."
"Well, then you missed a lot," Mahieu announced as he set his tray on the table and sat down next to Adelise, who's head jerked up to look at him.
"Ouais, désolé," (Yeah, sorry,) she answered and glanced back up at the clock, which wasn't as close to zero as she wanted.
"Est-ce que tu besoin que je tu diras tout?" (Do you need me to tell you everything?) he asked her in an irritated tone, picking up the pan of potatoes from the middle of the table and scooped them on his plate.
"S'il tu plait?" (Please?) she replied, smiling wide and shrugging her shoulders in her best attempt to look innocent. He glanced at her as he set down the potatoes and couldn't hold back a small chuckle of amusement.
"Oui, Bambi," (Yes, Bambi,) he answered as he picked up his fork and began to devour his food. Bambi was a nickname their parents had for Adelise because of the big, doe eyes she had when was a child. Her eyes didn't possess that innocence anymore; she had a natural look of someone who would kick ass without flinching or thinking twice.
"Merci," (Thank you) she said with a nod of her head and turned back to her tray of mostly untouched food.
"Anyway," Sasha said, her voice still perplexed since she didn't know what the twins were saying. "You guys are going to be deployed next time. I say, show Hanson how good you are. Maybe he'll back off," she suggested, taking the last bite of her chicken breast, peeling out a blackened bone from the meat before she ate it.
"Herc already knows what we're capable of," Mahieu stated flatly while while picking through his chicken and adding bones to the pile in the empty spot on his tray. Sasha shook her head with a snort.
"Not Herc," she snorted, "Chuck." Adelise glanced up from her food, looking to the table adjacent to theirs, which was another table of Rangers. She found Chuck, across from his father, his foot on the seat, leaning into it with his elbow on his knee. He was shooting her a mocking look, with a growing toothless grin. She sneered at him as she took a bite from the chicken and turned her attention back to the people sitting at her own table.
"I have nothing to prove," she said in a low tone as she pulled off a bone she'd exposed by taking the first bite of her chicken. Sasha and Aleksis exchanged glances, then stared back down at their food, knowing that Adelise's mood was killed, and a darker side was being brought to the surface.
Glancing back in Chuck's direction, Adelise saw him staring at her and Mahieu, most likely thinking of something to criticize them about. Dropping her chicken from her hands, she raised her arm to a right angle above Mahieu's head, her middle finger sticking out of her clenched fist. She glanced over to Herc, who was staring at her in disbelief, then bolted up and began storming over. Adelise immediately dropped her hand and jumped up from the table, slowly and cautiously stepping away from the table.
"Beaudet, I expect better behavior from you," Herc scolded loudly as he reached her.
"I'm sorry, sir," she responded, her voice loud and clear. "But all do respect, sir, I think your son needs a serious kick in the ass," she added, gazing over Herc's shoulder and shot a menacing stare at Chuck, who was grinning wildly. Herc glanced behind him, and then looked back at Adelise with a sorrowful expression on his face.
"I wish I could've done better with him," he said softly, his anger with her completely gone from his voice.
"Don't worry about it, Herc," she reassured, pursing her lips and reached to pick up her tray. She gave Herc a tight smile and made her way around the crowded tables to dump out her tray in the garbage next to the kitchen.
"Ah, mon Dieu. C'est trés génial," (Oh my God, that's very awesome,) Adelsie said excitedly as she sat down on her bed, with Mahieu sitting on the chair in front of her desk, which he turned to face her.
"The joy of having a Mark-4 Jaeger," Mahieu chuckled, with the back of the chair in his armpit as he leaned into it.
"Spiked fists," she praised, enunciating the words, as she sat crossed-legged with her hands propping her from up behind her and threw her head back, staring at the ceiling of her room.
"Is that seriously your favorite part?' he questioned, cocking his head to the side.
"Hell yeah!" she exclaimed, her eyes wide and lips pulling back into a dazzling white smile.
"I like how much faster we will be," he replied, running a hand through his dark brown hair.
"Yep. Can't forget that. And our extra armor," she said, pointing her finger at her brother as she raised her eyebrows. Mahieu smiled, dropping his gaze to the floor.
"We should get some rest before we get deployed," he suggested, pushing himself off of the chair.
"Good idea," Adelise agreed, falling back while stretching out her legs from underneath her.
"Bonne nuit," (Good night,) he called behind him, the sound of the metal door opening then closing was the last thing she could hear as she closed her eyes.
Adelise pulled her leg up to take a step, the resistance of the machine causing more strain to her muscles. She loved being in there - it was like her home, but this thing she loved most was controlling a giant machine to beat up the Kaiju.
The ocean was up to the Jaeger's knees, and was slowly beginning to rise each step the took. It was raining hard, with thunder and lightening in the distance of the night sky.
"Tendo, we can't see anything out here. He's not showing up on our radar," she spoke into the speaker next to the green button she was holding down. They were searching for a Category IV Kaiju, one that was strong and huge, one that would be a pain in the ass to kill. There was no dot on their radar, but she hoped Tendo would have a signature to locate it's exact position.
"I'm not getting a steady signature. But keep your eyes peeled," Tendo replied, with the tapping of a keyboard and rushed voices in the background. To the left! a voice said in her head. She shifted her attention to her left, spotting a dark shadow moving fast underwater. Before they could react, the Kaiju hit them hard, and Mahieu and Adelise were whipped backwards, knocking the breath out of their lungs.
As a response, Adelise and Mahieu pulled their right arms back, building momentum as they threw their fists forward, landing the punch on the Kaiju's neck. The ocean was now up to Aloisius's waist, and the Kaiju plunged into the water below from the impact of the punch. It sprung out, it's mouth open wide, producing a loud and earth-shaking outcry. It's teeth were as long as semi trucks, with its glowing blue saliva spraying out of its mouth. It's clawed fingers smashed into the side of the Jaeger, causing them to jolt to the left, and it's other hand grabbed the other side, tearing at the arms of the Jaeger, pulling off half of the right one with a swift, downward pull. Adelise's shoulder burst in pain from it, the Kaiju pulling her shoulder out of its socket; she winced as she made a small cry through gritted teeth. Once she opened her eyes, the Kaiju was gone, Mahieu mentally telling her that it was underwater, circling around them. It sprung out of the water from behind them, wrapping its giant, black, scaly fingers around the cockpit, tearing the top off with ease.
"Aloisius! Get otta there!" Marshell Pentecost's voice barked. Adelise's shaky finger bolted up to the green button. She was panicking, with her chest heaving and her face twisted in horror, hearing the rain pour down on her Drivesuit, getting all the controls and gears soaking wet.
"We're trapped! We can't get out!" she screamed, her voice crackling from the excess mucus in her throat, and she glanced over at her brother, who was sharing the same panicked look as her.
"Hold on Aloisius! We're on our way!" Herc's voice called out of the speaker.
"Striker! Hurry!" Mahieu yelled. They jolted back again as the Kaiju clawed at their arms, and suddenly they had the urge to fight back. Mahieu jabbed the button that made the Jaegers fingers razor sharp, and as they thought as one, they stabbed the good arm into the Kaiju's belly with the fingers together, then jerked them apart, ripping the Kaiju's stomach and spilling its blood into the dark ocean.
"Herc! Where the hell are you?" Adelise screamed into the speaker, her panic rising as the Kaiju jumped on them, ripping into the cockpit with it's enormous teeth. Next thing she knew, she was plummeting into the water below, her good arm flailing about it as she cried for help.
Adelise jolted awake, jumping into a sitting position under her blankets, her hair sticking to her face with sweat with the back of her tank top drenched in her fear. She slowed down her breathing once she knew she was safe and buried her face into her hands, rubbing her face furiously with her palms. Sharp and urgent knocks reverberated from the door and she looked over to the sudden noise.
"Bambi! Tu va bien?" (Are you alright?) Mahieu's voice exclaimed from behind the door. Adelise threw the covers off of her and swung her legs over the bed, her bare feet touching the cold marble floor as she bolted to the door and swiftly pulled the door open. Mahieu's eyes were filled with concern, his hair messy from just getting out of bed.
"Je vais bien," (I'm fine,) she croaked, rubbing her eyes with one of her hands to get rid of the grogginess that still lingered in her sight.
"Lise, you sounded like you were crying," he retorted, pausing to examine her, "why are you all sweaty?"
"I had a nightmare," she answered, leaning in the doorway and folded her arms over her chest. Beeping sounded loudly behind her, and she spun around, dropping her hands to her side as she stared at the source. The screen next to her bed read Aloisius Crusade. Report down to the Drive Room to be deployed. Category III Kaiju off the cost of Sydney. Deploying with: Striker Eureka.
Adelise looked back at Mahieu with a wide smile plastered on her face, and her brother returned the gesture.
"On fait ça," (Let's do this,) he said with a wide grin.
A/N: Thank you so much for reading! I hope you are enjoying this story so far. I know it takes me a long time to update, but I am working on two other stories as well. I'm so sorry!
Please leave a review! They are greatly appreciated. I'm sorry if I make some occasional mistakes, I tend to skim over some as I proofread. Thank you to everyone who alerted/favorited! It means a lot.