Chapter 3:

Under Fire

Violet: No. 02189

Mech is the easiest and more usual way to call the heavy and superheavy classes of N.R.I.C.A. There are not many significant differences in the technology between a standard mechanical suit and a mech. However, the huge difference in size, firepower, defense capabilities, and endurance, makes the distinction between the two more than justifiable.

Standing at 52 feet and weighing approximately 48,000 pounds (without weapons), the superheavy class combat armor is a monster capable of incredible destruction, while at the same time being able to survive many kinds of attacks while also being incredibly maneuverable.

The weapons a mech usually carries are also impressive by themselves. Their main weapon is a 2.75in autocannon, with a fire rate of 600 bullets per minute.

As a secondary weapon, mounted to their left shoulder, they have a 6in cannon, it is considerably slower than the main weapon, but it has immense destructive power.

And finally, as a thump card, they carry a missile launcher on their right shoulder. It carries usually 3 missiles, but they can be produced by demand with the nano-robot technology, as well as the magazines and bullets for the other weapons.

The nano-robots also help with their automatic repair system, but when the mech is too damaged, drones filled with nano-robots will be launched from a compartment on the mech’s sides to aid with the reconstruction.

And now a mech of this category is closing the distance towards no. 02189 and Kaede.

“We don’t have much time. I know it’s much to ask, but we’ll have to fight together to have a chance, however minimal, of living another day.”

02189 glares at the sky making a grave expression while voicing those words. Now that Kaede is fully awake, she for the first time gives a thoughtful look towards 02189.

Once again Kaede is taken by surprise by how young 02189 appears to be in contrast with the way the conducts himself and the way he fought her, hours back. With black and slightly spiked hair, a gentle face filled with affable features, added to his already mentioned juvenile frame 02189 does not seem to be fit to combat, except by a mere detail…

Those eyes, those dark-brown eyes, they don’t even seem human, it’s like I’m staring at a pitch-black hole. It’s like they’ll pull in and drown my very soul. Although I’ve already seen my fair share of messed-up things back in my hometown, I’ve never seen eyes so empty and devoid of life like his.

Now thinking back, maybe the fact that those dead eyes were staring at me when I woke up was what made me feel so uncomfortable, even more than that lap pillow on itself, or the fact we tried to kill each other.

Despite all those thoughts that abruptly take up Kaede’s mind, she almost instantly gives a response to the young man:

“All right, I’ll fight with you! But I just don’t picture any of us taking down that thing!”

“Honestly, neither do I. But we still have to fight!”.

“Any plan in mind?” – Asks Kaede in an anxious tone.

“I’d not say a plan, but-”

It takes no more than 3 minutes for the mech to reach the two. It stops at more or less 100 feet from them and immediately gives a voiced message:

[Felon no. 02189, please surrender. This is a direct order!]

[You have 30 seconds, from the end of this transmission]

[If you surrender yourself, you’ll die with your dignity and your body will be collected and properly disposed of]

[If you persist in this vicious behavior, you’ll be not the only one who’ll suffer consequences]

[In accordance with the Act. XXXX, Resolution XX of Violet’s Constitution; Acts of treason shall be throughout investigated and severely punished]

[i.e., No. 02174, who is currently felon no. 02189’s partner, shall also be judged and punished accordingly, should you decide to persist with this transgression]

[End of transmission]




What the hell!?

Are they for real? They already tried to eliminate me without showing an ounce of mercy or dignity, and now they say they’re giving me a chance to redeem myself but they’ll also punish 02174 if I don’t accept their terms!?



“Hey, are you okay?” – asked Kaede worryingly.




“Don’t tell me you’re seriously thinking of submitting to this thing’s order!!”

Kaede punches the metal beam with the side of her hand while trying to restrain her voice the maximum she can, but still maintaining a serious tone.

“Don’t screw with me! After all that talk…”



As 02189 leans his back against the beam, he continues to look towards the vast sky above his head and once again, gives a burst of hysterical laughter before lowering down his head and leaving the pillar’s cover passing by Kaede. Before he completely passes the girl, he whispers something at her ears and gently taps her shoulder.


Kaede frowns and gives a slight sigh before squeezing her sledgehammer’s hilt even more.


02189 slowly begins to walk towards the mech, completely unarmed, with his hands raised.





02189 approaches the mech even more and says while raising his voice:

“I’m already here! You don’t need to keep counting!”



[Felon no.02189, prepare yourself, for you shall receive Violet’s judgment!]

[Do you have any final message you want to let registered?]

“Yes, I do have…”

[Very well, you may state it]

02189 moistens his lips, takes a deep breath, and then looks towards the mech with intensity and confidence.


Immediately, 02189 felt a gust of wind coming from his back to above his head, along with the sound of thrusters roaring in fervor. As he perceived this event, he knew, the trust he chose to put in Kaede was not mistaken.

[Your message was recor-]

Before the mech could even complete its message, it received a strike. A single precise blow to its right leg. It was a perfect hit, to a pivotal spot and with enough power to displace the mech’s leg from its correct position simultaneously blowing a hole in it.


The giant combat armor stumbled, as its pilot tried to control the fall by swaying the mech’s arms in a tentative of stabilizing it, but there was nothing they could do to prevent the mech’s collapse to its right side. A reverberating sound of metal echoed for many miles while a huge cloud of dust erupted from the crash site, whereas the repair drones immediately came out of the mech at the moment of the impact.

Kaede knew that to do her part of the plan, she would have to risk her life, but more than this, she was not allowed to make any mistake. She set the thrusters at maximum speed as she reminded herself of the words 02189 whispered to her ears.

“We’ll go on with the plan”

The girl tightened her grip on the sledgehammer, even more, her magnet gloves as well as her ‘support wires’ (reinforcements that allow her to withstand more weight than she’d normally be capable of), were essential for making this move work. However, more fundamental than any accessory or reinforcement item, or even skill, what mattered the most was her tenacity and conviction, and that was exuding from Kaede’s eyes.

From behind the beam to the mech’s leg, there was a distance of almost 100 feet, but, that length was covered in a little less than a second. With almost no time, Kaede synchronized and timed her movements in a way that arriving next to the spot in the mech’s leg, she turned the thrusters and swung her sledgehammer, successfully carrying her objective.

However perfect was the strike, the landing would be an even harder task. After delivering the blow to the mech’s leg, the thruster continued its sideways trajectory, making Kaede lose grip of her weapon having to withstand a 15ft. free fall.

02189 saw that scene and worried for the girl, but he also knew that from now he could not falter even for a second. The young man entered the dust cloud even not being able to see well inside it and with the information that the opposite was not true. After all, besides the obvious means (the mech being able to find 02189 via the nano-bots inside him) the mech was also equipped with movement sensors.

The true intent of this plan was to make the mech not be able to use the most effective weapon against a smaller target at its disposal. 02189’s arch-nemesis; the ultra-fast rocket that once had the young man unconscious for five whole days despite being inside an N.R.I.C.A.

From that position, it was not possible to shoot the rockets anymore, in that regard the plan devised had accomplished its goal, however, the missile launcher is not the only weapon at a mech’s disposal.

Despite being felled, the mech still pointed its autocannon towards 02189. Each of its bullets was more than capable of killing him off, but the hazard they provide is not only limited to their lethality. To prevent his eardrums from rupturing due to the weapon’s loudness, 02189 opened his mouth while covering his ears and running towards the mech.

The route 02189 chose to take towards the mech, was carefully planned, taking into consideration the unsteady position of the giant combat armor, the young man knew the recoil would make the bullet spray deviate upwards. He just had to dodge the first bullet, with a bit of luck and his understanding of how the autocannon works it should be possible to-



02189 shouted at the top of his lungs. He did not have time to dodge or to roll in as he planned to do, even though he knew exactly what he was supposed to do and the bullet’s trajectory, the firing was simply too fast for him to react. 02189 feels an intense heat on his upper arm as well as his rib area, both on his right side.

None of the 10 rounds shot in that one-second spray had actually hit 02189, however, the first bullet came relatively close to the young man’s torso. But, just the heat and the shock-wave created by the 2.75in bullet was enough to damage 02189’s body, even inside his protective light armor.

“Argh!” – 02189 immediately falls to the ground.

The autocannon adjusts its position and aims for 02189 once again, this time he doesn’t even have the chance to move.

“So, this is it?” – the young man exhales as he faces the weapon pointed at him, closing his eyes at the moment he hears the clicks and squeaks of the autocannon preparing to shoot again.


However, before hearing the sound of the weapon shooting at him, what he hears is a ringing metal sound.

When 02189 opens his eyes again, he doesn’t believe what he sees.

It was Kaede, with her left ankle out of place and blood running down her face. She was swinging her hammer. The motion she’s doing makes it clear to picture what just happened. The young woman deflected the cannon with a hit of her sledgehammer!

Kaede approaches the stupefied 02189 and says:

“I thought we were supposed to defeat this thing together!”

“T-that really was amazing!”

02189 responds as Kaede offers her hand to help the young man to get up again.

02189 holds her hand but instead of getting up, his face pales and his eyes widen. 02189 uses all his strength to pull the girl sideways while also projecting his body to the same side the maximum he could.


That was a sound 02189 was used to hearing. After all, that was the sound of machine guns the medium-weight N.R.I.C.A. are usually equipped with. Looking toward the mech, more specifically on top of it, there was indeed another figure, the expected culprit for that attack. A violet human-sized mechanical suit.

After the sound of the spray of bullets, a huge angered shout could be heard coming from the combat armor.

“Stop squirming around! You damned Blue!!!!”

Taylor Victoria