The four Meisters exited the simulators and Feldt Grace could tell that Tieria Erde was NOT happy. He marched right up to her and fixed her with that glare of his.
“Your performance in this last scenario was below average Feldt Grace. You need to improve.”
“Aw cut the kid a break would you Tieria?” chimed in Lockon as he doffed his helmet.
“I will not. Mistakes like that could lead to the destruction of the Angelas or its solar furnace.”
“Not too mention the pilot inside the Angelas,” Lockon muttered under his breath.
“I know what I need to work on. I won’t fail again,” Feldt said solemnly, staring right back at Tieria. He gave a curt nod and exited the room.
“Oy, that guy can be kind of a pain,” said Lockon wryly.
“But he’s right. I made a mistake,” she countered.
“Well, that doesn’t mean he has to come down on you like a ton of bricks for it,” Lockon said as they exited the room.
This little exchange had occurred about a month before they had had their first intervention. It had been typical of the dynamic that developed as the five Meisters trained together.
Feldt, being the youngest, two years younger even than Setsuna, often felt that it was her responsibility to be the best Meister possible, not just for the sake of her comrades, but also for the sake of her parents. Unfortunately, due to the secretive nature of Celestial Being, Feldt didn't know much of the nature of what her parents had done as Gundam Meisters. The only things she knew was that they had been Meisters, had piloted the prototypes for the Exia and Kyrios and had died in an accident. Ever since then those within the organization had raised her. The woman she had met on the night she discovered her parents’ death had disappeared, but she had met others. Ian and Linda Vashti had always been very kind to her, even though many times Feldt could tell that Ian had wanted to talk to her about her parents. Linda had become like a second mother to Feldt and Feldt had often played with Linda’s daughter Mileina. She recalled fondly that Mileina had wanted to go with her, but Ian wasn’t having any of that.
Then there was the bridge crew of the Ptolemaios. The two she most interacted with were the CIC operators, Christina Sierra and Anew Returner. They very much felt like Feldt’s older sisters, and acted like it too, what with Christina constantly trying to improve Feldt’s “Fashion sense” and Anew acting as the long-suffering support. Although Feldt didn’t really understand why clothes were so important (not when she spent so much time in her normal suit.) but she did very much want to emulate some of older girls’ more feminine characteristics, especially the beautiful and graceful Anew.
Then there was miss Sumeragi. If there was one person on the Ptolemaios who could rival Anew’s beauty it was the tall, flowing-haired Sumeragi Lee Noriega. Although she occupied the seat on the ship’s bridge that would traditionally be held by the captain, Sumeragi was more a “commander,” being the Gundam Meister’s tactician. Sumeragi interacted with Feldt regularly what with Feldt being one of the Meisters and Feldt enjoyed her company. She would sometimes tease Feldt that she had to be careful not to distract her male comrades with her blossoming beauty, at which point Feldt would blush madly. If Sumeragi had one flaw though it was her drinking. Whenever the older woman would offer her whatever happened to be in her bottle that day, Feldt knew it was a joke, that Sumeragi didn’t seriously condone minors drinking, but she couldn’t help but think that at the rate Sumeragi drank it was a good thing modern medicine could fix the damage she would otherwise have done to her body.
The other two members of the bridge crew she interacted less with. Lichtendal Tsery was the Ptolemaios pilot and his partner Lasse Aeon was part navigator and the gunner, which was kind of redundant considering that the Ptolemaios wasn’t equipped with any guns at the moment. Lichty, as they called him, was good-natured and just a bit of a hound, constantly asking for dates from Christina and Anew. Christina would always refuse but Anew would humor him occasionally, although she made it clear that this was a “friends” thing and she wasn’t about to let an actual relationship get in the way of her duties. Lichty had gone for drinks with Sumeragi once, in her quarters, and found out the hard way that he was a featherweight where alcohol was concerned.
Then there were the Meisters themselves. Allelujah was friendly enough but very reserved. There was something strange about him though. After one particularly nasty sim, she had exited and saw Allelujah leaning against the sim machine as if he were in pain. She had approached and was about to ask if he was all right when he turned around and she saw the creepiest smile she had ever seen on his face. And then just as quickly he blinked, shook his head then asked her if she was fine.
One word could describe Tieria Erde and that was cold. Feldt didn’t talk to him much except when he had something to criticize her about. Often she wondered if Tieria was trying to find an excuse to get her booted out as a Meister but he was equally tough on all the other Meisters.
Setsuna talked as little as Tieria but almost seemed more approachable. Still, Feldt maintained a very “professional” relationship with him as when he did talk, it usually had something to do with the Gundams.
Lockon was the most personable of the four and she had to admit that she did like him the best. He was kind to her but didn’t coddle her, defended her when Tieria was being too harsh and pushed her to the best of her abilities. Still he seemed just a little hesitant about her being a Gundam Meister and she’d never been able to get a straight answer out of him. At first she thought it was because she was the youngest, but now she wasn’t so sure anymore.
When all was said and done, Feldt very much regarded the people onboard the Ptolemaios as her family. Celestial Being had given her parents a dream and a mission and she was determined to give back to the organization and especially the people around her who were also part of Celestial Being. She was still a private person though and Christina’s and Anew’s attempts to draw her out and make sure she had passions in her life other than being a Meister were going very slowly.
She turned her head, straightening up from where she had been leaning against a tree. Lockon had walked over and she had been so lost in her thoughts, she hadn’t heard him. Well, that and the sounds of the jungle around them and the sound of the GN Condensers bleeding off.
“Time to get ready for the next mission.”
“Mission Briefing! Briefing!” chirped Lockon’s orange Haro.
“Roger,” she replied, standing up and smoothing the wrinkles out of her pilot suit. She began to follow them back to the combat containers where their Gundams were stored. Haro bounced into her arms and she cuddled the ball-shaped robot against her.
“Smile Feldt! Smile Feldt!” it chirped.
“He’s right you know. You should smile more,” said Lockon, grinning at her. She nodded back… but didn’t smile.