Memorial To The Fallen

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"Nokota Williams, what is your mission?"

"Join their ranks and gather intelligence."

A pair of deep blue eyes looked out over the Mojave desert as the Hind D flew through the sun baked sky. On the horizon stood the Olympia, a gargantuan being of metal and gears. Nokota sighed, a spike-tipped silver cross was held to her chest as she whispered small prayers to herself.

"And how can we achieve victory, young one?"

"By crushing the non-believers."

The girl flattened the wrinkles in her habit, and stared at her mocha colored skin as memories flooded her mind. "Go with Her blessing, Nokota. May the true Blessed Lady guide you."

A chopper roared over the Mediterranean Sea from Ankara, Turkey, heading towards the small island of Cyprus. Its cargo, five young women, shifted uncomfortably in their seats. The early morning twilight cast an eerie darkness inside the passenger compartment.

"Why so fucking early? I mean, we barely got any sleep on the flight to Turkey and now we'll have to be up all god damn day."

The voice came from a black haired, silver eyed lady, clad in a red hooded cloak. She pulled at the sleeves of her black blouse and the hem of her skirt. "I'm taking a cat nap."

The girl seated next to her fidgeted about, rubbing her emerald green eyes in an attempt to stay awake. "I thought we had to all stay up Natalie?" Her thick Irish accent coated her words as she ran her hands through her short black hair, trying to flatten and straighten her flared out hair in the back. "What about jet lag and all?"

"Shut it Ashlin. I don't want to hear your bitchin'."


The cab grew silent, the only sound coming out was the hum of the Gaston 24Ms engine and rotors. Ashlin shuffled in her seat more to fend off sleep, this time turning to her left to a lady in a nun's habit.

"Ummm, Nokota? Where're we headed again?"

"To the island of Cyprus. You remember why, right?"

Ashlin stared at the spectacled blue eyes of her companion, wracking her brain. "Oh yeah! I remember." She mentally kicked herself for lying, and to a nun of the Blessed Lady to boot. "Let's hope we can land soon."

Nokota let out a soft chuckle, seeing through the obvious ruse. "I pray that we do." She removed the headpiece of her habit, letting her platinum blonde hair curl around her head. She brushed the bangs from her eyes, the short, curly locks contrasting with her mocha brown skin. "I could really use a shower."

"How you liking the Fourth?" Ashlin beamed at the nun, her eyes wide with curiosity. "You've been there for a few months, right?"

Nokota ran her hands through her hair, taking a deep breath. "Yeah, it's been a little bit. Need to keep the faith up, you know? After all that happened, we girls need it." She turned to face Ashlin, meeting the Irish girls eyes. "What about yourself? Is everything going well for you?"

"I guess it is. It's much different living in a giant robot than it is living in Canada. Too cold for me." Ashlin's eyes veered to the floor as her voice grew soft. "I...I hope my mom is doing okay..."

"I'm sure she's fine, Ashlin. Isn't your father taking care of her?"

"No...he died when I was really little..."

Nokota flinched at the revelation. "Oh, I'm sorry. I don't mean to bring up painful memories."

"It's fine, really." Ashlin waved her hand gently, as if to brush the comment aside. "I was barely six, so my memories are a little foggy."

"Your father would be proud of you, I think. I'll pray for your mothers safety. The Blessed Lady looks after all her children, and their loved ones."

The cab grew silent again, Nokota closing her eyes in prayer, Ashlin doing what she could to stay awake, and Natalie passed out and not a single word from any of them. A call from the pilot broke the silence, letting the girls know arrival would be within the half hour. Silence took the chopper again, until Nokota leaned forward, removing her hood in a scowl.

"Why were we sent with you two?"

The petite-framed Ashlin looked at Natalie, Nokota merely glancing from her prayers. "I mean, you can't fight worth a shit Ashlin, and Nokota there says she's on a pilgrimage, but I know that's a fucking lie."

Ashlin turned to the floor, mumbling a soft 'sorry' to her self. "I-I know I can't fight really well, but I-"

"-try? You 'try'?" Natalie's voice oozed with malice as she glared at the timid girl next to her. "I've seen what 'trying' gets you, and it gets you no where. Only results in your comrades dying. And that's all you do Ash. You try."

She let out a sharp grunt before slamming herself back into the seat, a stern, angry look plastered on her face. "Let's hope you don't try anything, lest you get one of us killed."

Nokota stood up with a jolt, her calm, praying demeanor replaced with one of anger. "Natalie Miles, how DARE you talk to a teammate like that!" She glanced down at Ashlin, her emerald eyes still facing the floor but now welling with tears. "You're making the poor girl cry!"

"Then she needs to stop being such a fucking coward and stand up for herself! Ashlin always cowers away from fights, cries whenever people simply fucking yell at her, and how she apologizes for everything, oh my FUCKING GOD! Do you really want someone like that watching your back?!"

Nokota just stared, her breathing becoming heavy. "I believe Ashlin is a good person and can be a wonderful ally, but if bitches like you are all she has, NO WONDER she feels like she can't do anything!"

"Do you wanna roll, you fuckin' oreo slut?!"


A voice boomed from the other side of the compartment, loud and commanding. "Natalie Miles, Nokota Williams, both of you will sit and be quiet for the rest of this flight." Its source, a tall, tan woman, stood. Her mere presence made the room silent. "I will not tolerate any kind of shit flinging. Do you understand?"

The two girls quietly sat down, each muttering a quick 'yes ma'am'.


The tall woman sat back down, pulling her long, copper red hair away from her seat. She sighed, turning to the fifth member in the passenger compartment. "Please, tell me we won't have to deal with this shit for too long, Edea. I don't think my soul gem can take the stress."

Edea gave her a gentle smile, petting the taller woman's head. "You'll be fine Maria. I doubt the arguing of two girls is gonna make you witch out or anything." She pulled at her long, single braided blonde hair, smacking Maria with it. "You're tougher than that."

Another sigh. "Doesn't make things any easier. At least I have you to rely on." The red head stared into the golden yellow orbs of Edea. "You know I love you, right?"

"Uh, ummm. Miss Maria, there are others here too..."

The two love birds turned to Ashlin, both blushing slightly. "Oh, sorry Ashlin."

Gusts from the Gaston's blades whipped up the dust and debris as it landed at the base of Mt. Chionistra, the largest mountain on the island of Cyprus. As the engines idled, the five occupants exited, each with their belongings in their bags. Barely off the chopper, multiple bodies of the Heavy Ironforms, the staple physical constructs of the Fourth Officio, were wheeled into the cargo and passenger compartments.

Edea gasped slightly as the mechanical magical girls were wheeled by, staring at the exposed wiring and gears. "Wh-what the hell happened?"

Her answer came from a tall, slender Ironform, painted in a deep blue. "Non-stop attacks over these past few days. Damage was too great to repair here, had to send them back to the Olympia." The fully metallic woman brushed her hands over her short, hime-cut styled 'hair' before extending a hand out. "Leah Stroud, Eversor commander for the Walpurgis Memorial Project."

Each of the girls shook her hand, greeting her, Maria last. "Maria Brae. I'm the selected leader of our little group here. So, what's-" She was abruptly cut off as the Gaston began lift off, more dirt being tossed around.

As the chopper's blades grew silent in the distance, Maria continued. "-been going on? All we know is that your group has been getting its ass kicked and needed replacements."

Leah let out a distorted sigh before motioning the girls to follow. "Let me show you to our 'strategy room' before we get into the really shitty parts."

The so called strategy room, a small, one room building, sat off to the left of the still in progress statue. As the six girls walked inside, a gentle light above flickered, illuminating enough to compensate for the just rising sun.

"All right, the rundown of the thing." Leah sat down behind a dark metal desk as a small projector rose from it. "We've been working on a monument project for the past few months." A flash, and a panning video of the area popped up from the projector. "But of course, with all things, there are people who want to fuck it up."

The video switched to a view of a battle, gunfire and small explosions lighting up the night sky. The girls of the Fourth were being pushed back, before the feed was cut off. "That's how a lot of the latest attacks have been. Countless equipment repairs and chassis maintenance has taken a toll on our resources." The projector blinked off, submerging itself into the desk.

"Any questions?"

Natalie spoke first. "How far back as the project been pushed back?"

"We started on it about a month after Walpurgisnacht, and it's been three months since then. By all accounts, it was slated to be completed by June." Leah slumped slightly in her chair, pointing out the window. "And now we're nearly back to square one."

Edea sighed, stepping towards the window and gazing at the broken statue. "It was going to be a monument to the Blessed Lady, right? Looks like it was going to be beautiful too..." She turned to her comrades, a melancholy look in her eyes. "Why would people want to destroy this?"

Leah spoke again, a more firm and commanding tone to her voxed voice. "Because they're hired guns, they don't want to see it finished, or the worst offender, it clashes with their own faith." A small tap on the desk, and the projector appeared again, this time flashing images of various magical girls and the local populace. "At first, it was just hired mercs, which posed no threat. But as the weeks went on, it started becoming worse. Religious fanatics claiming it's a tribute to a false god or rogue magical girls claiming that the 'true' Blessed Lady frowns upon it."

She shook her head as the images continued. "The whole 'false' Lady unnerves me though. If we follow the same faith, why are they trying to hurt us?" Out of the corner of her eye, Leah spotted Nokota looking nervous and staring at the floor. "Is something wrong, Nokota?"

The young nun became flustered as she spoke. "N-no Miss Stroud! I-I'm fine." She clenched a large, silver cross to her chest, growing pale as Leah continued to stare at her. "I-is there something amiss?"

Leah let her eyes linger for a few more seconds before breaking eye contact. "No, nothing's wrong." She began panning over the rest of the rag tag bunch of fleshy magical girls, before setting her sights on Maria. "You're all probably wondering why you were sent instead of the Heavy Ironforms." Each of them nodded slightly, Ashlin giving a small shrug. "Reason being, you all can regenerate wounds and limbs. Our metal bodies, though much tougher, need to be replaced and properly repaired on the Olympia in case of severe damage." A few taps on the desk and more images started scrolling, this time of the ruined forms of the Fourths girls.

"We can do minor repairs here, but as you've seen coming in..." Her voice grows soft for a moment. "...we don't have simple repairs to deal with." Another desk tap and the projector disappeared into its cold, steel coffin once again. "But I do want to ask, why'd the Warsmith send you, Miss Williams?"

Nokota fumbled her words again, caught off guard at the formality. "Oh, uh, umm. I-I was sent as a negotiator of sorts. I can speak the local languages a bit and can try to reason with them if the situation calls for it!" Her face beamed with pride at the last statement, as if she was being given praise.

"That's if the locals will even LISTEN to reason."

The next few hours went by quickly as the six girls discussed how watch duty was going to be dished out; 12 hour shifts of two girls with the Ironform girls as backup for attacks. At Leah's behest, the girls settled into their sleeping quarters, set away from the other buildings.

Natalie plopped down on the small cot assigned to her, a light pomf coming from it. "Ah, feels good to finally fucking lay down. Sleep can't come soon enough." Patting the pillow, she laid her head down and closed her eyes. "That Leah seems like a nice lady!"

"Oh, if you'll excuse me ladies, I have some private matters to tend to." Nokota shifted her headpiece, making sure it was snug before bowing. "I'll be back shortly."

As the metallic click of the door closing signalled her leave, the room suddenly became silent, each girl lost in thought. Maria broke the silence, speaking what seemed to be on everyone's mind. "Private matters? We just got here."

Edea piped up, sliding off her black hiking boots. "Well, she DID seem kinda unnerved when Leah mentioned that false Lady. Maybe it has something to do with that?"

"Could be." A clattering of boots hitting floor came from Natalie's bunk. "She pops up at the Olympia shortly after Walpurgisnacht and starts preaching about the Blessed Lady. And now the news of a so called false Lady?" A scowl grew on her face as she unbuckled her hood. "Sounds really fucking fishy."

Ashlin, silent for the past few hours, snapped at the suggestion. "She's not doing anything wrong and you know it! Maybe she needed to talk to Leah alone? Doesn't mean she's doing anything suspicious, she's too nice for that!"

Natalie growled back at her, malice oozing out of every word. "So what? Nice little bitches such as her make me sick, and it's usually 'cause they hide shit like that." A swift punch to her pillow failed to quell her anger. "And just because she saved you on the chopper doesn't mean you should go and start licking her cunt."

For a moment, a glare of pure hate shot between Ashlin and Natalie, the former having reached her limit. "You're j-just je-jealous!" Tears started to well up in Ashlin's eyes, her anger boiling over into tears.

"Jealous of what?" Natalie slid off her bunk, and stood before Ashlin mere centimeters away. The silver eyed girl looked down, being a few inches taller. "Pray tell, why would I be jealous of that fucking mixed whore? That nun bit doesn't hide a fucking thing." Leaning forward, Natalie began pushing Ashlin back, pressing her forehead against the latter. "If you have something to say, then fucking say it."

"Miles!" The booming voice of Maria echoed in the small room, silencing everything. "If I have to tell you to calm your shit again, you WILL NOT like it. Understand me?!"

"Y-yes ma'am." Natalie's eyes quickly darted to the floor as she mumbled. "Fuckin' bitch."

+Is everything going as planned, my child?+

+Yes, my lady. They don't know my true intentions. And I pray it stays that way.+ Nokota shifted on her knees as she prayed before the ruined statue. +Do I still have your blessing?+

+You will always have my blessing, child. Now go. And let not a single non-believer tarnish her name.+

+As you command.+ Nokota stood, flashing her soul gem back into the pearl white oval choker it was before.

"May the true Blessed Lady guide my path."