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BEFORE...


The truth is that Monolith was entirely correct in his assessment of Zen, in or out of his Trask armor loadout. He was a precision calculating fighter. As a machine built for it, he dedicated much of his cycles towards combat, and how to use it properly. The rest was personal needs and his personality. For instance, when Animal Man came at him and Monolith in the form of rhinos, the android's speed and use of leverage was applied towards tripping it up or attacking from the side. Rhinos were great at charging, but they didn't corner well, unlike Zen. The T-Rex form was also a trouble in a head-on attack, and the whipping tail was a flying slab of meat that could knock you into a wall with ease. However, it could do nothing to protect its senses, so a blinding flash to the eyes, followed by using its own heavy weight to slam it to the ground was a viable strategy that eventually worked, as Garfield was still highly-experienced and apparently fought or sparred with technological foes before.

It was roughly two weeks later, while Zen was plugged into the system to work, that he overheard Animal Man on the phone from the hideout's security feed, and then arched what you might call an electronic eyebrow when the man seemed to panic at whoever he was talking to. Tracing the signal, he found that it was someone calling from Old Gotham, and that soon - with a little finnagling over the e-space - he could see what was out there. What he say was...

Oh my...

...most unexpected.

NOW...


Time had passed, since then and now, and Zen had gotten himself settled into this new Titan's Tower. Naturally, his room was decked out in technology. To explain, it was thus... The room had a number of computer servers in out-of-the-way spots on the room, all centering their connections on a single self-adjusting chair which could go from an upright seat to a flat slab with a repair station. His Trask armor was stored overhead for easy access, as it replaced his Zen armor. There were other machines for storing weapons, and of course he had his own printer now. Ahead were a number of screens to corralate all the computer data he was sifting through while he was connected via the seat, like he was now. It was in an easy chair form, with alot of controls being manipulated now. On the screen was the picture of a human being among several text and face-matching entries, in which he was getting no hits.

Where are you...? Why can I not locate you? Was it an identity protection plan? Or did you simply change your name in shame?

He could not go to Oracle for this, although she might know. It was a personal matter, first of all, and also...if he did not do this with subtlety, he might make a little too much noise... So, he continued his search, dimly aware that training time was approaching. If he was called, he would go, but for now...this was Zen's focus.
The sudden diversion from his course did not seem wise to Zen for expediency's sake, but he took it on the basis that it would keep things a bit more secret from the public, which was always a plus. Fortunately, his fly-by could at least be toned down, in terms of the noise, so attraction called to his attention would be minimum, and the night sky was always friendlier towards his blue-black armor a bit more than the Trask loadout. The point is that things would seemingly work out for them, as he arrived at the base to let the good doctor get to work.

Time passed...and soon the rest of the gang would arrive to report that Peacekeeper 01 was secured. Shade...Tia...was sadly not among them. She needed some recovery time from whatever state her mass-transport had done to her. That just left the aftermath... The Shapeshifter, Animal Man, had some choice words about their execution. Frankly, so did Zen, but not exactly the way that you think. He turned to the green man, now.

"There was a greater than 90% chance that Oracle always knew this was going to happen, and took steps as she has. Nevertheless, I made no mention of this possibility to the team, as I attempted to rally them to a sane course of action which would use all of their skills to overcome Peacekeeper. The main fault lies in the impatience of Bolt, even though I was acting to help all of the team take down a killer. Hopefully, he has learned his lesson. However..."

And he turned now to face the others.

"I think that in the heat of the moment, where we were forced to improvise under pressure, we proved ourselves capable, which I believe Oracle wanted to determine for herself."

He stepped over to join the others, head lowering as he turned to face Animal Man again.

"My experience is such that I cannot let someone be sacrificed for my benefit again, so I was all for this, and as a result, Bolt was not killed. My one regret is that while this did succeed, Shade Walker may not return for some time, and the feeling of loss is familiar to me."
To be clear, Crea wasn't always on day patrol. In fact, she preferred the night, since of course that was the best time to use a Gouf. Really, if the blue color was functional at all, like how Zakus would take on desert or jungle camouflage, then her use of the night and of water made the most sense. And while it wasn't designed AS a Marine Mobile Suit like the Goggs, its engines were sufficient to get it where it needed to go and operate in the water. Did so better than the Feddies ever could with their GMs, that's for sure. Of course, some weaponry didn't operate well underwater, which is why the Goggs have those tendrils arms that launch out with heavy pressure and claws, and why they fire torpedoes. Any non-Marine Mobile Suit has to make due. Fortunately, as the Gouf was originally designed as a close-quarters Suit that could simply pick up any weapon a Zaku or Dom could have, it had options.

The first option was the Heat Rod. The right arm of every Gouf contained a deployable whip-like 'rod' that could superheat under any condition - even under water - and lethally burn through a Mobile Suit's armor, when used right. It WAS A whip, but it deployed with force, like a Gogg's arm. Crea had used it to grab and pull GMs into the water before, and the electrical strike was a big help in making that happen. In a situation like that, she had gotten it around the neck, short-circuited the machine as it was pulled in, and then Option #2 was used. That was the Gouf's heat sword. It wasn't as good as a Dom's, as theirs were longer, but it was perfectly servicable, and it fit inside of a shield. Anything else - guns and the like - were less dependable if immersed in liquid. The sheer force of their Mobile Suit weapons tended to displace water quite a bit if fired down there, but there was a reason Zeon built dedicated Marine Suits.

These technical and tactical thoughts were what was going through Crea's mind, reviewing the facts of her opposition, as she went to scope out what the Federation was up to. Opposition had indeed been light in this area, which meant that they were now trying to make a push, and that could not be allowed. It's important to note, at this point, that she and Axton had chosen two very different approaches to the south of the lake. The Gouf pilot was taking full advantage of the lake, as she often did, to make the chances of spotting her nil and to reduce the chances of them finding her thermal traces. Africa was HOT, and the water was cool, soo the mitigating factors helped so long as she wasn't on the attack, and not staying in one place for too long. The Acguy was so much better at this, though. It's dual-plant of two smaller reactors left a smaller energy profile, made it great for watery ambushes. It was designed for it.

In any case, she was in the water and not at full speed to prevent any sort of cavitation that would be visible on the surface. Axton, meanwhile, was on foot, going around the edge of Lake Nassar, which was fairly large. What HE was doing to reduce detection was on him Crea didn't know he was there. Her focus was ahead, to the impossible-to-miss blip on her screen from a large vehicle, similar in nature to the energy profile of their own. As soon as it registered, she stopped, thinking 'I have to risk a look, but not dead-on. If it's what I think it is, I could be dead meat within seconds.' before moving her Mobile Suit more to the right. From there, she dropped down, hit the lake floor, and then boosted up, so that she would surface, but only for a few seconds. That was long enough, though. More than enough to see that she'd made the right decision, as she dropped down again.

Big Tray... High-powered guns, heavy armor. Not good. They want to push us out.

Big Trays were slow, but fairly powerful in their own right. Attacking one dead-on in anything was never wise, and so the best way to handle one is to take either the sides or even the back if you can. Getting around to the back of the thing would take forever, and the other important thing about Big Trays were that they were hover vehicles. They could go over the water. That was going to be a problem when they made their push. It looked like the other units were a few Mobiles Suits, maybe the standard medal GM or something close. It depended upon the importance of the mission, but still...the Big Tray was the play. They were there to protect their heavy armament in order to force her own people out or kill them outright with its cannons, which meant only one thing in Crea's mind.

The Big Tray's gotta go, the sooner the better.
Although Peacekeeper appeared to act as an ordinary well-trained human being, the possibility of his physique being enhanced in some way - such as by technology - was always in the cards. However, Zen wouldn't know until he encountered him personally or found some clue from data to support this. As it happened, though, this confrontation yielded proper results. He had cybernetic limbs, proven first by one of his attacks connecting with a metallic sound, and then Monolith using his unyielding force to pull off the arm. With the situation swiftly turning in their favor, they were now in a damage control state in this fight.

LOCATION: Gotham PD Blimp Station (Abandoned).

STATUS: Primary objective reached.

NEW OBJECTIVES:

-Secure Peacekeeper 01 for capture.
-Determine best method of dealing with battle injuries.
-Escape detection by authorities.


Landing, Zen approached Monolith without delay and - without making any move to interrupt his attacks as of yet - jabbed his fingers into the connector area for Peacekeeper's missing limb. There was a sudden electical jolt, which could stun the man and short-circuit his limbs' primary motivators, and then Zen interfered. Both the arm Monolith was swinging and the leg that Zen had previously hit were quickly caught in his scissor claws, and they pressed down to crumple both.

"That will not be necessary, Monolith. He isn't going anywhere."

This left Objectives Two and Three now, which Natalie and Jeremy began to address with understandable distress. Zen decided to be the answer to both, at least insofar as Bolt's situation was concerned.

"Yes, I can fly, and very fast."

He'd move towards Bolt with that swift mechanical pace of his, already planning his exit route.

"It would be best if I left immediately. You will have to transport Peacekeeper yourselves, and do so quickly. Someone will have noticed this action, however brief."

Provided Bolt didn't resist being picked up, he would do so and go, saying "Do not shock me.". Their destination? Well...there should be some sort of Crime Alley Memorial Hospital or something, right? Something that'd been supported for those who weren't made of money, but staffed with good doctors?
The frequency of attacks in the African region - or lack thereof - was a subject of debate among those in the Steel Sharks, a group named for their unbreakable deathgrip upon others, once the jaws clench shut. Those who had been here longer than Axton rightly told him that the beginning of the war saw plenty of action in this area, as one fifth of Zeon's opening forces landed here, and according to the plan, was to become the main support area of the offensive. Alot of the materials seized materials by Zeon moved through here to either reach some other part of the war, or get sent back up into space. Anyone who knew anything about war could tell you about supply lines. Well, this was that, a strong link in the chain that had been attacked plenty of times in the past, and repelled by their group, among others.

Nevertheless, this was to become a non-issue at the beginning of this day, in the Universal Century Year 0080. Today, they would announce the end of the war, and as the others began to shake themselves out of their New Years stupor and start addressing the issue that had been placed in their lap, a number of them would notice Lieutenant Thompson was not among them. They remembered her there last night, drinking and eating with 'em. She might've taken the war rather seriously, perhaps the very reason she was as skilled as she was, but she'd never turn down food and drink with good times among others...for the most part. There was a subtle divide there, something in her eyes. The terror of war didn't shock her. It hadn't made her a laughing maniac or a monster, but Crea Thompson was ideal as a soldier of Zeon. She fought for her country, but didn't go at great length about it. She had killed plenty, some in this very lake, but felt little over it. When asked about the killing others, Crew had said...

"This war is a mass-slaughter in both direction. If you want to win, people have to die. I will not whine about it, and I sure as hell won't cheapen it, either. I'm gonna kill 'em until they stop fighting me and mine. That's all that matters."

Zeon fought to keep Earth at bay, to keep them out of their way. It was a cause worth fighting for, and - beyond the politics of it all - it was a cause made practical. They could not operate in total autonomy while Earth looked upon them with greedy, controlling eyes. But in any case, Crea wasn't here among the others. Given the situation, there were only so many places she would be, and a perfectly rational reason why that place would be her Mobile Suit. Right now, the Gouf was stationed about waist-deep in water, crouched and ready to go, as it often did. She'd stationed it there because of the clear and obvious advantage in putting a blue humanoid mech in the middle of Africa in the only source of water around. Attempts by Feddies to act in or around the lake usually procked her arrival, a swift attack, and the removal of remnants and bodies afterwards. The Acguy was better-suited for that kind of ambush, but Crea was good at it.

Right now, inside the cockpit, she was asleep, having stepped in here to keep away from a load of drunken pilots and soldiers she didn't feel like entertaining some of the things that might show up on their minds. This wouldn't last long, as she generally started her day with a bit of scouting, once she'd received some intel from the night shift in their Dopps. As she did a stretch, she also switched on, and outside they would see the Gouf's eye shimmering to life. Next, she got on radio.

"Night crew, this is your relief call. Give me your telemetry. What's good out there?"

"We spotted some activity, directly south, but Lieutenant, listen... There's been an announcement by the Federation-"

"The Feddies are always up in arms about something. That's why we're here. Report to Major Sone, get some R&R. I'm doing my rounds."

That was a Gouf getting ready for some combat, quickly checking its armaments before it would go.


They didn't have a proper plan to deal with Peacekeeper once the fight started because they didn't know all of his tactics. That was why Zen cautioned them to his merciless professional attitude in order for them to keep up the defense and watch each other as the fight progresses. Other than that, the only viable info to deliver besides that would be - since PK-01 was a guy with guns - to disarm him, bind him, and knock him out, which he didn't need to tell them how to do, since they had all done that to others by this point. OF course, everything was suddenly interrupted by the fact that Bolt was gone, leading Zen to facepalm with an audible Clunk!

"Normally, when the plan doesn't survive the engagement, it gets to be engaged first."

Why did he go? Yes, he was angry, but this was literally a plan of attack he'd been putting together so they could all fight their enemy. They were actively defying Oracle in favor of retribution for Gemini, so why couldn't Bolt wait? He would've enjoyed tearing into Peacekeeper's base while they pull the proverbial rug from beneath him. Instead, they were the ones on that rug, quickly needing to jump or be thrown askew. It was at this point that Tiara, sensing both that they had to act quick and that she had to help her friends now or bad things would happen, decided to bite the bullet and get them over to the site via the shadows. They were ALL transported - admittedly, not all of them prepared - and would now be in a position to help Bolt. As a result, though, the strain caused Tia to go through some unseen pain, and then fall limp into Zen's grasp.

"Tia, are you- Heartbeat regular, otherwise unresponsive. Passed out from the effort."

Immediately, he began assessing the situation. Zen was combat-capable, but he would not be doing much if he had to keep Tiara safe. His previous statement involving Peacekeeper meant that he could not leave her, lest a bullet or explosion find her. The darkness of the blimp station meant that the power was off, meaning Bolt's actions had led to the disablement of power and thus automated artillery, so there did have that. That made things a little better, although he still couldn't leave Tia alone out here. With this, Monolith charged in, stating that he would sset off the traps since they wouldn't likely hurt him, or not as much. Natalie couldn't wait for long, even though Oscar - He tended to just call himself Monolith even at their base, seriously. - asked them to do so in order to draw fire. Jeremy also went in. There wasn't much else that could be done, since PK was obviously still fighting Bolt and he would be taken off-guard NOW, not later. Then, after that, it was Travis who said to hand Tiara over to him, saying he wouldn't do much good in there.

"You would be surprised, but thank you."

Zen could think of several ways in which Travis could tactically master his abilities in a situation, even one as hairy as this. However, now was not the time. He handed over their Shade Walker and moved aside, so neither of them would be caught in the backwash of his engines firing.



His engines would allow him to catch up to the others in no time at all. He was only housed with default units, nothing ot the Trask special armaments or thicker armor. No matter. He was lighter as himself, and would take advantage of that. Of all the people in this building, the one best-suited to dodge bullets - via immediate vector pathing from the angle of the barrel at the instant he could see a trigger depression - was him. Really, any human could dodge bullets by moving before the gun was fired, knowing that it was going to fire. Zen could just do it AS it was being fired. In any case, the interior of the place was rather spaceous, and since three of his allies would be taking up the floor after the traps were set off, Zen would fly in, grab some ground with his hands, skid to a halt with feet and hands, then launch upwards to gain the aerial view of the situation while deploying his pulse gun undermounts.

He would open fire on Peacekeeper's legs with forceful impacts. If he cracked a joint or broke a leg, the man would be very incapacitated, both now and in future.
There was, understandably, some pushback on the idea of taking on Peacekeeper. The funny thing was that Zen did not regard any of this as reckless. They knew him will enough that her operated under a calculable level of certainty, that this was his area of expertise, and if he could fathom a means to take down an opponent with the resources at hand, that he would execute it. It was the reason that he was here, and he would not shirk that duty. The only thing of it was that people weren't resources, and so their cooperation had to be convinced, their relative safety assured. Zen would not have it any other way. It is what his creator intended...

Still, there were two things of importance brought up, right now, apart from the general level of inexperience: First, that Monolith was mentioning the use of traps - which were a likelyhood - and second, that Tiara could transport more than herself. The second point was far more important because of how it was emotionally locking her up. Tia couldn't see a way around this, to catch Peacekeeper by surprise, unless they all teleported in. She expected it to be a suicidal shooting gallery, otherwise. They were just entering the planning stage now, and Zen would have addressed how likely it was that they'd need a stealthy approach himself, but it was pre-empted by the others. As Monolith said 'Start planning', Zen spoke up again.

"I intended to. A good plan will help with our confidence, and I would never leave home without one."

Planning and execution were pretty much his bread-and-butter. So, as the android began pointing at the building blueprints...

"It is true that Peacekeeper will have traps and armaments set in place if this is his base of operations. The doors into the building could be boobytrapped with gun turrets placed behind them, or they could be simply rigged to explode. The windows of the building could have weapons trained to cover the normal approaches, and the roof section where the blimps would normally dock may contain anti-aircraft weapons."

Yes. He thinks about thesr things all the time.

"The only safe places in situations such as these would be out of the field of fire, the arc by which normal weapon placements cannot extend and require his personal touch to repel attackers. Further, any approach from beneath his location - as there would be some form of access that way - will be laden with traps to make it completely impassable. That is why an assault is unlikely to succeed, as some of you are concerned about. That is why I suggest one of three attack plans, or a reasonable variation thereof."

He held up an index finger.

"One - a stealth maneuver. If Travis is covered in an insulating fabric, his powers will render him invisible to even thermal scanners, and thus be able to approach the building. The main concern would be heat build-up, since it is assumed that if he leaves a heat trace, he builds up heat. However, while in this state, he could operate with near-impunity to open a path or disable power. Since Peacemaker is likely not on a dedicated powergrid, he must be using his own source, so that is a potential weakness and an opening for the rest of us to come in. This puts alot of pressure on one person, but if you are not detected, you are not suspected, and once done you can get out of there to regroup with us. Even if it isn't possible to disable his base, you could still bring back useful information to us."

He held up his second finger.

"Two - disablement and sabotage. As stated, Peacekeeper's hideout is very likely well-defended. However, as this is Old Gotham, there is nothing prohibiting us from using our abilities to lean on these armaments until they break. We don't even need to risk ourselves, just determine the limitations of what he is using to defend himself and systematically break them down from a distance until the only useful defense he has is himself. That is something that Bolt and I will be effective in, in this case. Someone would also have to watch underground approaches - which again, sounds like a decent job for you, Travis - to make sure he is not making his escape. To make his base into his prison is a more protracted sort of action, though. It may gain attention, so while this has potential for success, It may not be wisse for the consequences that follow."

Zen looked around at the others, lowering his hand now.

"That just leaves the third, and I apologize Tiara, as this one is because you spoke up on your abilities. The third idea is a diversionary tactic. He expects an attack, so we launch one with several of acting to disable his defenses and keep him occupied. This will allow another team to get inside to open the path for the rest and to begin the attack in earnest."

He turn turned to Tiara directly now.

"You are concerned that you will lose one of us if you transport us all inside. What about one or two? Any number of us with even a few seconds unobserved on the inside could make life difficult or impossible for him if he does not see it coming, but if you are still worried about losing someone, I will be the one. I will not let go. Not ever."
While the others were somewhere in the order or desiring to go or not being certain of their readiness, Zen was cycling through rampant amounts of data, which flashed several images on the screen at once for less than a fraction of a second each while a mental analysis determined the usefulness of the images, in regards to tracking down Peacekeeper 01. Once he had found what he was looking for, and the team had confirmed who was going to find the man, he would suit up in his Trask armor to maintain anonymity.

Sub-Query: If the Peacekeeper gives himself the '01' designation, does that imply that there are more, or that he is the rated number one Peacekeeper?

Information regarding possibility of another Peacekeeper is sparse, as true motivations are unknown. However, it would be possible for another person to take up the mantle, regardless of intentions.


He continued... Camera evidence of some of Peacekeeper's movements, claims of his passing began to correlate and confirm these movements, locking off others that - while confirmed, did not lead anywhere.

No. Negative. This is another false lead. Witness Account 33-A paints this as deception. Target has doubled back in order to lead pursuers down the wrong path. Eliminating branches 3, 6, and 8. Pursuing branch 11 now.

He had narrowed the field to Old Gotham, with an increased difficulty in establishing a location, until he had three branching paths where it was possible that taken a severe left turn towards the waterfront, ducked into old Gotham law offices, or...

Pathing indicates greater desire for stealth in alleys now. Negative on left field movement, secondary and tertiary targets still-

Target seen exiting roof to enter tertiary location at extreme range of surveillance.

Confirmed. Target location acquired.


Zen would disconnect, and even as Natalie cleared a space on the table, they would all hear him approach.

"I have located Peacekeeper 01 at a disused police blimp station located in Old Gotham. There is a greater than 90% probability that this is a base of operations, temporary or otherwise. In either case, it is likely occupied at this present moment, so we must plan quickly."

He put down several printed sheets of paper. One was the photo evidence of Peacekeeper's presense. One was an old photo of the Gotham PD blimp station when it was originally in use. The third was an old design of the location in question. All of this was obtainable on the net if you knew where to look. It wasn't even illegal to have them.

"All evidence points to Peackeeper operating in keeping with some of my original designs. That is, being a well-armed combatant who acts decisively in the heat of any conflict. Because he is human, he will be well-trained in combat, but limited to what he can carry and store on his person, which is less than my own capacity, but still lethally-capable, as we all know. If we assume his style of combat to be soldier-like, he will not leave things to chance while in battle. We must watch out for each other in this, as he will make certain to confirm the kill if we do not."

He looked at them all, his triplet of red eyes panning around.

"Peacekeeper is a combatant without mercy. He should be considered lucky that we are willing to do better."
@Birdboy Yes. This question came before you edited, so it made sense at the time, but since the comment is gone, no worries.
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