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Big Eyes, Small Mouth (BESM): Nexus Earth - Chapter 10.5.12: Therapy.

Rebecca Baines

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Rebecca walks through the halls of the Macross in her flight suit, set up casually with a backpack over her shoulder and a smile on her face. It's been a couple days of long sleep, since many of the SCRT-4 teams have been handling deliveries. Many understood her need for a rest. After all, she was the one that stopped the Amaterasu and potentially saved the entire mission. Being in a unique position of being a combat officer in a non-combat team provided enough of a paradox where she's called "when needed". That and still being technically Dead legally, and still M.I.A to the SCRT service. Since there's been enough chaos where the pencil pushers haven't had the time to complete their paperwork, she's sort of slipped through the cracks.

Although the medical personnel still take a vested interest in her. She's been using a highly experimental, and patently illegal form of mecha control. The AMS concept was scrapped and banned a decade ago because of the instability pilots showed on the battlefield. She though was different.

"Psychologically, you're atypical, Lieutenant..." the chief medical officer told her after she had arrived back at the macross a couple days ago. "...compared to other users of that system, your psychological hygene is sound. You don't go berserk like the others. You are also neurologically Non-Typical as well... your synapse makeup is far more conducive to man-machine interfaces. Only one in a million humans have even shown that sort of mutation Rebecca. You're unique. Usually those with high Tachyon and Dirty Tachyon radiation poisioning show signs of advanced dementia... but your body adapted."

Rebecca twenty years ago in real time would have said that doctor read too many comic books. Now though, with the strange happenings all around her... maybe she's the normal one in a sea of freaks.

She loads a orange bag the size of a small car into the cargo hold using a power loader into the mecha backpack originally concieved for her cargo carrying mission that was deferred. She's been given a humanitarian mission to an orphanage in a coastal town hit hard, but not so ravaged like the other cities near the capitol city. She's been tasked with helping the orphans there on a nature trip, and generally to put a kind face to Satoshi operations.

She hops into her cockpit, refreshed and ready to go. She hesitates for a moment to turn on the AMS to control SeaTalon, but she knows showing fear would only be amplified. She turns it on and takes a breath. "This is callsign Osprey, requesting permission to depart for Eldaris villiage."

"Permission granted, XMU1-003 SeaTalon, you are clear on launch platform 1. Be careful out there."

"I will, control, send my regards to Kai and Captain Klan for me. Lieutenant Rathbone, out."

She launches out under a normal overboost. Under regs she's flying with her weapons, but they're in cold running. No power devoted at all to them. She's in peacetime mode, maybe she can find that mode herself.

When she starts re-entry, she pulls out an inflatable shield designed originally for escape pods or large scientific unmanned probes. She rides it like a surfboard, right until the mecha has slowed to a safe atmospheric velocity. She then uses it to guide her to the sea just outside of the village. She deploys a parachute from the cargo pack and drifts slowly to splashdown. The parachutes detach and the SeaTalon bobs up in the water, treading like a expert swimmer.

"Well... that was actually fun. Computer, activate flotation systems and radio the coast to send a tug for final approach."

A system of air bladders on the backpack inflate to help the SeaTalon to keep afloat without needing to expend thruster power, and the SeaTalon stops treading water and takes a heads-up orientation. Instinctually though Osprey's mecha still moves it's arms like it's floating in water, a feedback from Osprey's interfacing method.

A small tug, usually used to guide large cargo ships pulls up along side and fires a magnetic clamp attached to a towing rope and starts pulling SeaTalon to shore. Once the SeaTalon's feet touch ground, the SeaTalon wades, then walks to the beach. It takes a kneeling position like it always does to allow Rebecca to get out, still 15 feet in water.

A representative from the province's orphanage approaches, nodding in approval of her arrival.

"Miss Rathbone, I assume?" The Orphanage's director shouts up to Rebecca from the shoreline.

"Yes, indeed. I am Rebecca Rathbone of SCRT-4. I hope my arrival wasn't too... disruptive."

-to be continued

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Rebecca jumps off her mecha and lands feet first into the 15 foot deep water. She naturally bobs up in her pressurized suit and swims over to the director at the beach. The Director scratches her head. "Well, it's rare we get a fully bespoked Gundam-Class mecha arrive on our shores."

"Sorry for the commotion then. But... I'm here." Rebecca says as she reaches shore, smiling. When she sets foot, she opens her helmet and offers her hand for a handshake. "Well, how goes things?"

"As best as they can be expected. The children are doing as well as they could, but it's been hard."

"I know. I'm sorry for their loss. If we could have acted quicker..." She says, pausing.

"...just stop there. Satoshi did all he could. That's the best we can ask." The Orphanage director says, taking her hand in a firm handshake. "I'm Director Auriga. And thank you. The nature trip you're planning to Eldora island will be a good distraction from Orphanage life for the kids."

"Excellent. I got all the camping gear with me in the backpack." She says, as the gear is unloaded unto the large fishing trawler. "Tents, rafts, food, even a few gifts I selected and from the crew." She says with a smile. "Also I plan on walking SeaTalon over to the shore in a minute so the kids can see her. I'm sure they'd love to see her."

"Actually, yes. They heard you were instrumental in stopping the Amaterasu."

"Yes. It was actually a stroke of luck. That and a little miracle."

"Miracles are often like that."

Osprey pulls out a datapad and sweeps a stylus across the screen and the SeaTalon stands and slowly walks to the shore like a titan. "Autopilot... gotta love it."

"Heh, you love her, don't you."

"Of course, in a way she's my daughter. I built her."

"Ah... suprised since it's using the 53N-5H1 armor configuration."

Osprey scratches her head.

"Rebecca, I'm a retired officer in the Dalaraan army. We familiarized ourselves with the various armor configurations of Earth's forces." Director Auriga states, brushing back her graying hair, showing the battle scars on her face.

"Oh my... well I'm glad we're on the same cause now."

"I hope so. I'm glad Satoshi's forces are helping us rebuild. Hopefully with you here the first glimmers of healing for our people and the initial bonds between our two worlds can be forged."

"I hope so, Director."

Rebecca sees the orphans from the orphanage running out to see SeaTalon from the neighboring schoolhouse attached to the living quarters of the orphanage. Resplendant in their uniforms. There was damage to their living quarters, and the rooms lost were already being compensated for with deployable shelters sent from SCRT-4.

"I see you're using the MK-III inflatable multi-environment shelters we sent."

"Yes, the weather was getting hot, and power was out, so those came in handy for our children."

Some of the kids look up at awe at Rebecca's giant companion and try touch the armor. "BE CAREFUL! The armor is still hot from re-entry!" She shouts before the more adventurous children touch SeaTalon itself.

"Heh, can you blame them. That's a mecha that has arrived that isn't trying to destroy the town or take more of their parents away. She looks practically harmless if you ignore her armaments."

"I know." Rebecca says, smiling and with a warm tone. "She doesn't seem the warrior, but was forced into the role. And now she watches the peace. As must we all."

"I might be having some friends coming along, so be ready to see some shuttle craft arriving. I'm not sure who, but seeing more of our team might raise their spirits. I didn't get any promises."

"Oh that's alright. Seeing your mecha alone has made their day." Auriga says. "Come, lemmie show you the school."

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...The Next Morning

The boat launches are a flurry of activity as Rebecca and the orphanage staff start getting out the boats and gear for the trip. The older orphans (older even to human child standards) start getting the boats inflated and tied to the fishing docks. The younger ones, seeing an opportunity for fun start swimming about the dock area, enjoying their day off from their lessons and forgetting their current lot in life.

Rebecca starts prepping the SeaTalon. She plans on using her to tug along the boats to get to the island. She couldn't cram outboards on the cargo pack, but this should work out fine. She already calculated how much thrust is safe for transport, and how much line she'll need. That and the requistions from the SCRT-4 Nautical supply corp was a big help. After the boats are loaded and gear set out on the beach, Rebecca calls over everyone to her location.

"ALRIGHT! Listen up!" She shouts, so everyone turns to her and pays attention. "We're about to disembark in 30 minutes. Enough time to get your Gear I have set up for everyone, and to get your belongings on the supply boats. I want everyone to make sure you have your locator armbands on at all times." She says, holding up a tablet computer with a map and multiple points glowing on the display. "That way if any of you get lost we can find you. I want the older children to watch the younger ones. We went over the pairings last night at the school assembly."

She adjusts her clothes. It's rare she gets to wear civilian garb, even though it's a sailor collared blouse and cargo shorts, and a pair of sturdy boots, with a wide-brimmed hat for shade form the summer sun. "I also want everyone to wear their flotation devices during the boat trip to and from the docks here, and at all times near the beach on the island. My rule, the chaperones and the director WILL enforce this as well." The children predictably moan, in particular the ones who are keen and savvy divers. "I will have goggles and snorkels for snorkeling, just don't think of letting the air out of your PFD when you swim! Also... I will have a surprise on arrival for everyone here, a gift from Captain Klan of the Macross herself!"

Everyone erupts in cheer. Klan's a hero, after all, and any gift from her, is greatly appreciated. "And... one lucky person is going to get to ride with me on the SeaTalon!" She says passing back in forth looking over the assembled mass... "And that one is... Midiri Eradini!" She says with a smile. Rebecca knows among the assembled mass, her story was more tragic. She was practically a track star for her age, and her peers respected her for her service to the fishing community of Regalith. But when war broke out, her father died protecting the village and her mother and brother were killed trying to escape the battle. She was paralyzed from the waist down, and the medical teams that could have helped repair the damage right now are busy in the capitol.

Midiri's wheelchair is rolled over to Rebecca, and Rebecca lets Midiri ride her shoulders. "Okay! You 6 kids start tying the boats to the tow lines. Use a solid knot, we don't want the knots to unfasten during the towing process! Everyone else gear up!"

Rebecca walks over to the SeaTalon in it's kneeling position in the water. A simple ladder is all that's needed to get to the cockpit in the head, as SeaTalon's "hair" is properly parted. Rebecca starts bringing her passenger with her up the ladder. Midiri looks in amazement at the controls. Rebecca sits Midiri down in a spare seat that folds out, usually reserved for a technician or a passenger in a pinch. She belts her in and let's the chairs cushion fill up and adjust until Midiri's confortable. She also makes sure her gear is in place.

"All set, Midiri?"

"Of course!" Midiri says, smiling.

"Good." Rebecca muses as she closes the cockpit pod's airlock hatch, and turns on the internal lighting to make it comfortable. Although with the screens running, it seems like the cockpit has wide windows on the world outside.

"After this, Midiri... I talked with the medical teams I am associated with... They'll be able to squeeze you in for your surgery."

"You... mean it?" She says, if she could get out of her seat, she would in shock.

"Oh yes. We do have the best doctors around. Your surgery with Dalaraan know-how will be a cinch."

"Thank you..."

Rebecca grabs her own flight vest and puts it on, then slips one on Midiri. "Okay... now you look like a pilot."

Midiri giggles, opening up almost instantly to her. "Thanks, Mom..."

For a moment there is an awkward silence before Midiri starts to tear up. Rebecca just walks over withut prompting and hugs her tightly. Letting her cry in her chest. Rebecca joins her. Knowing her family is practically gone as well. "I know... I know..."

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The SeaTalon bobs along, using it's foot thrusters to safely pull along it's multiple boats in a small, orange and red flotilla. Rebecca watches the kids on board, wearing the high-visibility red life vests she gave them, keeping a particular eye on a few too daring ones that like hanging over the edge, superimposing their locator band blips to her lock-on system to add to the ability to spot someone. She activates a rear camera and sees the island coming up.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking, we will be arriving in 5 minutes to the island! Please get your gear ready, as well as your oars for the last few feet. Chaperones, do a head count of your boat. Also, in 5 minutes... look up!"

Rebecca smiles as she sees a squadron of green blips closing on her location. The sharp eyed ones of the group see a bunch of bright white, blue and green lights approaching from the north...

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  • 3 weeks later...

It was Klan and Kai, in their mecha, bringing the rest of the picnic. They zoomed overhead towards the Island, where they would finish setting things up for the kids.

Klan's brilliant scarlett battlearmor touched down, and Kai's Meteor gundam did likewise, their hands lowered to the ground to unload a number of large crates.

Some might argue that other duties should hold the attention of officers like them, but Kai had mandated everyone take at least 10 hours off per twenty-four. This was to reduce fatigue, and since they worked in shifts it worked well.

This happened to be off time for him and Klan.

He rode the lift down to the ground and moved to the crate bins, each 8x10x2, and pried the lids off. Klan on the otherhand, shut down her suit and prepared to get out.

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Once Osprey gets the SeaTalon to shore, and safely detaches and anchors the "fleet" she towed, she stands her mecha next to Kai and Klan's mecha. The appearance of the SeaTalon seems like a similar make and model to Kai's Gundam, but certain quirks in the armor or lighting configuration suggest that what is under the armor is far more complex.

Rebecca takes Midiri safely from her seat and makes sure she holds on tight as she grabs the pilot decent cord deployed from her cockpit. "Okay, this won't take but a minute, Midiri."

"I trust you, Miss Osprey."

Rebecca smiles. "Okay... here we go." She says, rappelling down from the cockpit, making sure her passenger on her back is okay and enjoying the ride.

"I used to do this... before the war."

"Really? Maybe after you can move around again, we should go on a trip to a cliffside in the St. Croix region between Minnesota and Wisconsin."

"Where's that?"

"Earth... Continent of North America."

"Ah. in the territory of the United States... I've heard tell of their people. Agrarian society, god-fearing."

"I'm from the United Kingom personally... if it still exists in this time."

"You speak as if you're from the past."

"I am. I'm humanity's first cross-dimensional traveler and it's first time traveler!"

Midiri looks in awe. "Cool! In this mecha?"

"Aye." She says as she plants both feet firmly on the island. She knows she's overinflating her misadventure, but she has no powers and dammit she's gonna crow about this. She walks over to Kai and Klan with a smile on her face.

"Well, hello you two! Thought I'd bring our lucky lady with." She says, as the orphanage director wheels a unfolded wheelchair for Midiri. "This is Midiri Eradini."

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Kai looked at her and his eyes asked the question "Is her injury due to our war?"

He nodded. "It is a pleasure to meet you Midiri, I am Kai Morisato." There were no titles here, this was simply Kai being himself.

"I trust you brought others, since we did bring alot of goodies for everyone."

Klan's mecha was powered down, and they heard the hiss as the torso unsealed. He held up his hand, which began to glow for a moment, and she didn't emerge.

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Rebecca steps back from Kai a couple steps. Some of the other children spot Kai's glowing hand and they start walking up, too scared to come close, but too curious to keep away.

"Yes, Kai... it was due to the war. She lost her family. And her ability to walk." She says.

"Umm... what do you intend to do, Kai?"

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His hand stopped glowing, and he smiled. "Don't be afraid children, I just have some special forms of communication."

He looked at them and smiled. "You've all met Captain Klang."

There was a chorus of "Yes" and it was a happy one. Klan's childlike appearance made her a favorite of the Dalaraan children.

"Would you like to see what she really looks like?"

They all looked at him quizzically. "You see the child form is what's called her Micronized form. Her natural form is much different."

"We wanna see!"

He smiled. "Alright." He looked to the quadrono armor and nodded. "You heard them."

Looking to the kids, he smiled. You are the first Citizens of the Empire to see the true appearance of a HG Trooper like Klan, aside from Ryoko and Lily."

This made them all smile. Then there was a hiss as the armor's hatch swung open, and the most massive hand any of them had seen emerged, followed by the rest of Klan. Despite here fifty-five foot height, she was very light on her feet, and stood only for a moment before sitting down. "Hi Everyone."

The kids were fearful then overcome with curiosity. "Wow! You're Beautiful."

It was one of the rare times she'd been seen to blush as the kids began to crowd around her, complimenting her in various ways, and for Kai he confirmed what he always knew. Klan was truly a gentle soul at heart.

Midiri looked on, still there with Kai and Rebbecca. "That looks like so much fun." The kids were trying to tickle Klan now, which Kai admit was damn funny.

He laid a hand upon her shoulder, and she could feel a protective warmth infuse her. He smiled down at her after she laid a hand over his, and nodded. "Go join them then."

"But I can't.."


In a Miracle that stunned them all she rose up, stood and took off running for the other children. they met her joyously, and Klan nodded, even as the small horde of Dalaraan children continued to play about her.

The adult Dalaraan chaperones looked at him. "No Madara can heal like that.. She would have been confined to her chair indefinitely. There are so many like her, injured in some way more than the Madara can handle, those who are left. You can't possibly try to heal them all."

Kai looked to them and he nodded. "Let me tell you a story I was told as a child."

They looked at him intently.

"There was a man who would get up every day and walk along the beach. When the tide goes out, countless starfish, slow moving sea creatures, are left to dry out and die on the sand. That is simply nature's order. The man walks along, and picks up the Starfish, every single one he comes to, and throws them back into the water.

Day after day he does this. One day another man stops him. "Sir you can't possibly make a difference here. They'll all wash back up, and they could still die."

The first man bent down, grabbed a starfish that was slowly trying to make it back to the water and heaved, tossing it far back into the water. "It made a difference to that one." was his reply, before going back to saving all that he could."

The Dalaraan were humbled then, in seeing Kai for what he was, a pure soul, trying to do all he could, with his vast resources, and what he could as a man to help the Empire rise up again.

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Rebecca... is speechless. In her mind every possible calculation as to how he could have reconnected every damaged nerve cell and not only that but restore her atrophied muscles in her legs was simply blowing her mind.

Psionics? Electromagnetic manipulation? Can't be...

Rebecca then, uncharacteristically, turns off her rational mind and for the first time in her life just accepts it for what it was.

"Not bad, Kai... not bad at all." She says, with an accepting, warm tone. Her British accent adding a tone of kindness.

"Midiri! Don't get too rambunctious! We don't want to have Kai do that again!" She says with a playful tone, before walking back over to Kai. She speaks in a tone under the children's voices, to his ear. "I've noticed the powers in circulation in our assembled team... how in God's program has this many paranormal and meta-normal people appeared lately? I've been gone entirely too long."

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Kai smiled. "My greatest Strength is the quality of my friends Rebbecca. I don't care who and what they were, what they did before. I only know what I've seen, and they're all good people. Eccentric, odd perhaps, but inherently good."

He started walking back to the Meteor,looking to leave. "That goes for you as well. Though I don't know you well, I'd like to change that sometime. I realize in War it is hard to be "Good" but it's most important to do what we think is right."

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"So would I, Kai. So would I." She says, coming to an understanding for the first time regarding the current state of affairs. She nods with a smile that hasn't felt genuine for quite a time. "Once this chaos is over with... Thank you."

She lets Kai take his leave as she walks over to a nearby container carrying her personal effects. She opens it and sees a folded up bolt of black cloth on the top with a note.

"Rebecca... I thought I'd send this along with the rest of your gear for your trip. I hope the younglings aren't being a bother. I decided to take a moment to whip up a new family cloak for you. The color has obviously changed and is no longer the family tartan you had grown accustomed to. After you dissapeared and pretty much the rest of the family died... I decided to change the color to a flat black. Although I've not had a need to represent the Shirasu Rathbone line, now that we are two... well... maybe we should make the universe remember who we are.


Rebecca pulls the cloak out and opens it up. She drapes it over her shoulders in a dramatic fashion. She whispers to herself..."Once more unto the breach... right, mother..."

She remembers all the times her Mother taught her about tactics and the proper ettiquette regarding military function. She was a diciplinarian, and demanded preciceness. She would look lust flustered even if one little bit was off on Rebecca's school uniform...

She whispers... "Very well... as needed and as demanded... for a return engagement... I am a Shirasu-Rathbone."

She shouts to the rest on the beach. "Alright! Stop poking Captain Klan! IT's... probably not gonna work! We got quite a day ahead of us so let's get the important stuff done!" She gestures to the few remaining containers. "The sooner this is set up with the tents and what not the sooner we can start letting you guys direct the course of our expedition!" She says with a smile.

Today... is gonna be fun.


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