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 Post Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:27 am 
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OMG Doomsday Laser

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On the night her brothers died, Neena Trinity witnessed and talked with Gundam. That experience changed her, and so changed the world. A true Gundam Meister, she seeks an end to conflict, to emulate Gundam, and perhaps her own redemption. 00 AU from ep 22.



A quick explanation. Yes, this is the episode 22 drabble from Season 1. But after continuing the idea in a short drabble in season two's episode two drabble, I decided to separate and make a dedicated story from this small time line. Updates will be when and as I feel; the weekly drabbles will take priority over these, and I may decide to do other projects instead. But rest assured, there will be more.

Oh, and I don't own Gundam.



---

Gundam 00 Episode 22/Reformation Drabble 01

To Be Gundam

---

It was a reversal of a scene long ago. One stood in the sky approaching divinity, while the other lay on the ground, broken and dejected. Power and nobility radiated from the savior, while anguish engulfed the fallen.

Tears threatening to flood her eyes, the fallen woman struggled to speak past her recent loss and terror. “You… what are you?”

He looked at her with the eyes of a man who had realized his purpose and potential, and said three simple words. “I am Gundam.”

That was when she first truly believed.

--

Outside of her god of steel and electronics, Neena cried. Cried for her second brother, shot before he had a chance to fight for their family. Cried for her first brother, who fought and died so that she might live. And cried for herself, who was too weak to help either of them. She cried over the only body that was left, scattered sobs as she struggled for composure.

Footsteps approached, and her savior walked into the barren clearing, approaching her. She could not bring herself to look up, and soon saw him kneeling on the other side of her brother. Never seeing his face, she watched as his hand rose and gently closed her brother’s eyes, a courtesy she had never imagined him capable of.

“Do you…” she trailed off, not knowing what dynamic stood between the two of them. “Do you think they’re in heaven now?”

“There is no God.” Neena looked up sharply, scanning face for any hint of malice. No expression was on his face, but his eyes held no scorn, instead showing a peculiar mix of pity, regret, and a sense of understanding.

“Then where are they now!” She cried, grabbing his arm and pulling him near her. “They were good brothers to me! They wanted to end war!” His expression did not change. He did not reply.

Neena began to cry again. Crying over her brother’s corpse, crying into the arm of the man who had once spurned her.

This time, however, he didn’t push her away.

--

The camp was set, but far too empty. Setsuna’s companion had already gone to sleep, but Neena could not bring herself to sleep. She saw Setsuna sitting on a log, looking into the fire around which dinner had been silently eaten. She could see the graves for her brothers, two markers for one body. She had insisted, and Setsuna had obliged to help her.

She walked to the fire, and sat down beside him. Despite their proximity, they were clearly far apart. They sat, looking into the fire. But Neena did not merely see the flames; she saw the flash that had occurred before her brother Michael had fallen. She saw the brilliant explosion that had signaled the end of Johan. And no matter how many times she averted her gaze, as soon as she looked back the images replayed themselves.

“Hey.” She said softly, as if afraid of being heard. “Do you ever stop remembering?” Whether the battle or the voices and faces of her brothers, she did not say. She did not need to.

He was quiet, and she had begun to think he had not heard when he spoke. “No. Never.”

“Does it ever hurt less?”

His silence was an answer as to the complexity of those five simple words.

The new silence was more comfortable than the last one. They sat for untold minutes, perhaps hours. Occasionally Setsuna would get up and wander into the woods, leaving a cold space beside her before returning with more wood for the fire. Sometimes she would poke the fire, stirring the embers. Complex thoughts ran through her mind, fighting for contention. One eventually came above the others.

“Why did you save me?”

He heard and answered. “Because that is what it means to be in Celestial Being, to be a Gundam.”

“But, the last time we met, you went straight at me, trying to kill me. Why?”

“Because that is what a Gundam does. You were a source of conflict, and I intervened.”

She looked at him with the first hint of anger all night. “We are Gundam Meisters too! We were working to end war, just like you!”

He looked at her straight in the eyes. Calling it hatred would be too strong. “Then why did you attack a group of civilians in Spain? What made you think that piloting a Gundam gave you the right to ignore the tenants of Celestial Being?”

She opened her mouth, ready to give words of “they don’t matter” or “they weren’t working for a new world,” but such phrases died at her lips when met with the unflinching gaze of Gundam. An ember of teenage rebellion burned in her eyes, but died in view of the impartial arbiter of Celestial Being. In a moment of maturity brought by the overthrow of her world, she looked away and could only say “that… wasn’t right, was it? You’re saying I was too caught up in my own beliefs?”

If she had been looking, she might have seen something approaching approval pass through his eyes at that. “Being a Meister means upholding the values of Celestial Being at all times and with all people, never for our own whims and desires.” It was a near-rote lesson that Neena could remember from her own days in training.

Neena looked in the fire, thinking over a lesson she had forgotten long ago, wondering in how many places she could have applied it. Setsuna looked at her much like a teacher seeing a pupil work through an especially difficult problem. Neena sat there, chewing on the inside of her cheek, and Setsuna watched as she absorbed his words.

Eventually, Neena relaxed, and suddenly looked much more tired than she had previously. She looked at Setsuna, a slightly more mature view brought by loss and exhaustion in her tired eyes. At the same time, though, she somehow looked lost, more vulnerable for just this moment. “Do you think that if I hadn’t done that, that my brothers would be here right now? If I had controlled myself, you had not intervened, would our groups have stuck together against these new enemy suits?”

Setsuna considered it. “I don’t know. No one can tell you that. But the past is the past, and no power in this world can change it. You can never take back your sins, no matter how grave. You can only work to atone for them.”

“Then I want to be like you.” The strength and certainty of her reply was surprising in face of her apparent exhaustion.

“You want to be like Gundam,” he corrected.

Neena stood and turned to face him. “I want to be like you,” she agreed. She began to walk towards her tent, her hair a brilliant crimson in the firelight. At the other side of the fire, she paused and looked back at Setsuna.

“Just a warning, but I think I’ve fallen in love with you, Gundam.” There was a faint smile and an even fainter blush as she gave a soft V with her fingers, and then she turned back and went into her tent without a look back.

She never saw Setsuna’s gaze follow her every step of the way, and even further.

_________________
I'm sorry this letter is so long, but I did not have time to make it shorter. -Mark Twain

Official Jerid Fanboy


Last edited by Dean_the_Young on Fri May 15, 2009 8:52 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Reformation 02: Resolve
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:29 am 
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OMG Doomsday Laser

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This is from S2 drabble 02. A minor edit here and there, but please reread. Several points in this chapter will be addressed in later pieces. Not only the important Saji conversation, but ask yourself this. If Lockon is still alive, then how? And who else might have been saved?

The world hasn't changed for one person alone. The butterflies can be endless.

--

Reformation 02

Resolve

--

Neena stands before the confinement cell, hand raised over the open switch, and for the first time in a long time, she hesitates.

Tiera stood behind her watching. “Are you going to talk to him or not?” asked the purple haired Meister, no sympathy in his voice. Even though she had long since proven her loyalty to Celestial Being, the other Veda-link had never truly warmed to her like Felt or Ian had. And he was never shy to remind her of that.

“It’s hard, okay?” she snapped, turning to face him. “Whether you believe it or not, I’ve changed since then!”

Tiera raised an eyebrow. “If so, why are you still out here?”

Neena grunted and spun around, letting the strength of ego press the button. The door slid open, and she could have sworn she heard Tiera smother a grunt of laughter. A moment later, she saw why. Saji Crossroads hovered in the lack of gravity, asleep, and likely had been for the entire time she had been standing there.

--

“Have you talked to him yet?” asks Setsuna later, sitting in a chair in what passes for a recreation room on the new ship. He doesn’t look up from the manual of the 00, but Neena can tell that he’s paying attention. Over the past few years, she has learned to pick up on the way he holds a book or the way his ears turn to focus.

“No,” she admits from a couch nearby. “When I went, he was sleeping. I didn’t think it would be right to wake him.”

Setsuna grunts, but says nothing else. He turns a page, and for a short while there is a companionable silence. She reads about her own suit’s maintenance: though the Drei remained serviceable for the time she and Setsuna wandered outside of Celestial Being, it had since begun to lag behind the Federation A-Head and GN-XIII models. Upgrades upon their return to Celestial Being were appreciated, but required readjustments.

The silence continues for awhile, until Neena cranes her neck to glance at Setsuna. “Do you think he will ever forgive me?” It is a valid question: the civilian man had come close to shooting Setsuna before his confinement, and she still has yet to tell him the truth.

“I don’t know,” Setsuna admits. “It’s been several years since I’ve seen him, and even then I didn’t know him well.” Even so, Neena can tell that he is attentive and more concerned towards the detainee. Setsuna has discreetly monitored the last Crossroad since his detention, checking to see that he has eaten his meals and is taking care of himself. Even asking her if she had talked to him was a sign that he… cared? Even after so long, it could be hard to tell what exactly he felt about others.

“What will you say?” he asks before another silence can set in.

“The truth,” Neena says. “As to how…” she trails off, and looks away. She’s not given to uncertainty often, but this issue is different. Growing up has underscored just how irresponsible she had been at the time, and there was no excuse for her actions. Even if she tried to take responsibility now, though, what difference would it make?

“No one will force you to talk to him,” Setsuna pointed out. “Lockon told me that no one will tell him if you don’t.” His suggestion, offer, was too attractive. He was even right: she had fought hard and honestly to defend Celestial Being during the final phase of the war, and helping save the life of Lockon Stratos had endeared her to most of the crew, even though she had quickly left without permission to search for Setsuna after the final defeat. She had found him in the remains of the Exia’s cockpit, but he had asked her not to return him to Celestial Being. She had traveled with him ever since.

Five years ago she might have taken an offer of the easy way out. Five years ago, she hadn’t chosen to emulate him, Gundam. They were the same to her. “No,” she answered colder than she intended. “I will do this.” Her posture relaxed, and she smiled and gave a victory sign. “Gotta follow the Gundam way, right?” she joked with a wink, hoping to restore the mood.

Setsuna looked up from his manual and met her eyes. “I know you will,” he said. “That’s what I told Lockon.”

Neena flushed at the highest compliment he would gave.

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I'm sorry this letter is so long, but I did not have time to make it shorter. -Mark Twain

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 Post subject: Offer of Absolution
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:30 am 
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First piece since explicitly deciding to continue this jaunt. I call this TL “Reformation.” It’s likely to be mostly Neena-centric, obviously, but expect some pieces to be about the rest of the world/cast of 00. I’m working out a unified back story at the moment, which will have some important changes.

I’d also like to point out that these posting won’t be in chronological order of events. So eventually I’ll do a season-1 ficlit or three, and I may do a between season 1 and 2 fic, but this one is explicitly after episode 3.

I like how this came out. The intention was to give something other than a love triangle between the three in question, and I think I did that well.

--

00 Reformation 03

Offer of Absolution

--

“What did you do to him?” Given the girl’s tone, it was a remarkable example of self-control when Marina did not flinch when the woman entered the room as Marina conducted her prayers.

“I am sorry?” the Princess asked, not understanding.

“Don’t play dumb,” the red-haired woman demanded, though she made no threatening advance. “I haven’t seen Setsuna like that in a long time, and he wasn’t like that before you came back with him. What did you do?” Though she stood at the far end of Marina’s room (Cell? Prison? Her current status was not clear), she was tense, fists clenched, glaring at the Middle Eastern Princess.

And at Setsuna’s name, Marina empathized with the sentiment completely.

“Something is wrong with Setsuna?” she asked, racing through her memory at their recent encounter for any sign of distress or unease in the young Meister she barely knew but felt a great responsibility towards. “Is he alright? Where is he?” she asked with sincere concern, standing.

“That doesn’t concern you,” the other woman nearly snarled, shifting her stance to block the door. “Now tell me, what did you say to him?”

“I told him it was sad he still chose to fight,” Marina said, remembering their brief conversation. “I told him I felt very sad about that, even if he did not. I pray to the almighty God that he finds his peace someday.”

The other woman searched Marina’s honest face, and then laughed darkly. “Prayer? In this day and age? If there is going to be any peace, it will be because we fight for it.” She stood straighter, and her form stopped radiating aggressive intent. “Setsuna knows that as well as I do. If that was all, he’ll get over it. Next time you see him, please don’t distract him from our mission, iPrincess./ He doesn’t need that kind of distraction when he’s in danger.”

The woman turned, signaling that the conversation was over, but Marina ignored the mocking title. “You care for him too, am I right?” she asked. The woman started, and then turned back to face the Princess. Marina smiled. “I am glad he has others concerned for him as well.”

The crimson-haired woman said nothing for a moment, but then asked a question that must have been on many of Celestial Being’s minds: “How do you know him, anyway?”

“We met while I was traveling abroad for aid for our people,” Marina admitted. “I recognized him as one of my countrymen, and God has led our paths to cross since.”

The woman said what many foreigners had thought or said upon hearing Marina’s firm belief. “There is no God,” she said. “If there was one, why would he let the world be like this?”

“I disagree,” Marina said politely but firmly. “I do not claim to know why the Almighty chooses to let things be when He certainly has the power to stop everything, but I firmly believe that, by his love and guidance, all things will come to the best. My people have regained peace within my own lifetime, many wars and conflicts have been set aside, and I have met people like Setsuna, who could live in peace if they only let themselves.”

“Some would say that a certain Celestial Being had something to do with all of that,” said the woman. Marina said nothing as the girl listened to her own words, and then both laughed lightly. For a brief moment, the air of confrontation was replaced by a moment of camaraderie between the two woman who shared concern for the same man.

“Who is to say what our Lord plans?” Marina continued after the moment had passed. “Even Celestial Being may have been the result of the Almighty through Aeolia Schenberg, whether he would admit to it or not. Even you may have a unique role in His plans.”

If the moment prior had been one of mutual ease, the following one could only have been matched had Marina commited a faux pas in public. The woman tensed, and any camaraderie the moment before was lost.

“No Supreme Being had anything to do with my creation and motivation for peace,” she stated, her eyes hard as stone. “We Trinity siblings were made to end war. God had nothing to do with my creation, and no Loving Creator had anything to do with my actions. My acts were my own responsibility.” As she said the last, her gaze shifted away from Marina, as if ashamed to meet Marina’s pure eyes.

“Gods means are infinite, and include all science,” Marina said gently, stepping towards the troubled girl. “And even if the moment seems cruel, there is always a reason. He has a plan, and you can always have faith in that.”

“No!” the Trinity cried out. “I refuse to accept that! There was no reason, and I already admit that!” Her attention was barely on Marina now, and she was clearly seeing some other time pass before her eyes. Scenes that Marina would never see flashed through her senses once again. Light from the fire of that night, the explosion the marked one brother’s passing on to oblivion, from the muzzle that ended the other, to the many blazes she had helped wrought, to the young man in the next room over and once again to the Spanish countryside…

Marina paused, and watched the girl fall into her own past. “I see,” she murmured. “You are much like him, regretting your own actions but unable to move past them…” Marina brought herself up, standing to her royal caliber and stepped towards the troubled woman.

“Whatever happened in the past remains there,” she said. That you can even feel sorrow and guilt proves that one of His children, no matter how you came into this world. You can live in peace, if only you would be at peace with yourself first.” Standing before the other woman, she offered her hand. “Would you accept my peace, Ms. Trinity? Would you forgive yourself, and make peace with the world? You may not be of my country, you may not believe in my God, but I promise you. I will be there.”

Neena Trinity stared at the hand in front of her. Her own hand slowly began to approach Marina’s own, before she yanked it back.

“No!” she cried again, though no tears threatened to spring from her eyes. “What do you know?! I don’t need your God, and I don’t need you! I am a true Meister, and all I need for peace is Gundam!” And with that she fled from Marina’s still outstretched hand, out of the room and past confused and concerned shipmates.

As the door closed, Marina was alone in her room once again. She returned to her bed and to her prayers, much as she had been before the last of the Trinity had come into her room. But this time, as she performed her regular prayers for her people, for the world, and for all who were important to her and in need of peace, such as Setsuna F. Seiei, she made a special prayer for one Trinity. And, just as for Setsuna, she would continue to do so every day until they found their peace.

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 Post Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:57 pm 
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I'm impressed with the way the story's going; and I look forward to reading more along this particular path. Keep it up :wink: !

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 Post Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:53 pm 
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Hey, hey, I like this! I wanna see more of it!

Nena seems to have changed within believable bounds, and I like how it feels like there's something fake about her redemption so far... but, that's why there's a story, right? Even so, the idea of her trying to become a better person is attractive, and I'd like to see you take it as far as you can... preferably all the way.

There's a few nitpicks I can make, so I'll just say them:

Tieria might need some retuning. He's cold, yes, but he's become far more humane since he started coming closer to the other Meisters. Not sure how cold he'd be towards Nena, especially if she's the one who saved Lockon. It's a small matter, considering his one-line cameo, but if he's gonna show up later, you might wanna keep this in mind.

Marina's Quran-thumping faith. It's well-established that Marina is a faithful Muslim, but I never pegged her as the sort who'd drop "God" into every other sentence. Her perspective always seemed to be one of humanism above spirituality, to me at least. Since her argument with Nena over God is the meat of Chapter 3, it really sticks out.

Also, and I could be very wrong, when Christians refer to God by titles, they use "the Almighty" and other power-expressive words, but don't Muslims use "the Merciful" and other compassion-centric titles?

But, yeah, I'd like to see more, and maybe a bit more unity between the different parts, 'cuz I think this story has some really good potential. Nice job. :)

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 Post Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:18 pm 
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Kenji wrote:
Hey, hey, I like this! I wanna see more of it!

But, yeah, I'd like to see more, and maybe a bit more unity between the different parts, 'cuz I think this story has some really good potential. Nice job. :)
I'm glad you like it, and I'm even more thankful you even brought up points that you are concerned about/think are wrong. As the first person to do so beyond a minor typo, I thank you. I'll address some of these points.
Quote:

Nena seems to have changed within believable bounds, and I like how it feels like there's something fake about her redemption so far... but, that's why there's a story, right? Even so, the idea of her trying to become a better person is attractive, and I'd like to see you take it as far as you can... preferably all the way.
I make no promises, but we'll see. But yes, Neena hasn't really earned her redemption yet. She's trying, but she's still far from being reformed: I intend to show that she's still emotional, impulsive, and, most importantly, still a human with human failings. But she hasn't made up for her own actions, especially the spiteful attack in Spain, and she may never truly do so.


Quote:
There's a few nitpicks I can make, so I'll just say them:

Tieria might need some retuning. He's cold, yes, but he's become far more humane since he started coming closer to the other Meisters. Not sure how cold he'd be towards Nena, especially if she's the one who saved Lockon. It's a small matter, considering his one-line cameo, but if he's gonna show up later, you might wanna keep this in mind.
It may or may not: regardless of what she's done, I don't think Tieria could ever really like the Trinity siblings: they are the ones who turned his picture and relationship with Veda on its head, after all.

And there's the small matter that, no, not all is happy in the state of Denmark. Lockon may have survived, but at what other cost? I already plan for a back-glance (read: re-write parts of the final two/three episodes) that will touch on why a completely canonical reason why season one does and will not end in a happy joy-joy snuggle fest with the Ptolemy, complete with a four-year long love triangle/threesome between Lockon, Feldt, and Tieria. And, unfortunatly, that reason is Lockon himself.



Quote:
Marina's Quran-thumping faith. It's well-established that Marina is a faithful Muslim, but I never pegged her as the sort who'd drop "God" into every other sentence. Her perspective always seemed to be one of humanism above spirituality, to me at least. Since her argument with Nena over God is the meat of Chapter 3, it really sticks out.
I didn't think it was Quran-thumping, especially since I didn't mention it or cite a passage once (that I know of), but since it really was a spat over God, I don't think there was much avoiding it. I remember Marina as definitely guided by her beliefs, amoung them being faith in Providence, though I should probably rewatch season one soon.


Quote:
Also, and I could be very wrong, when Christians refer to God by titles, they use "the Almighty" and other power-expressive words, but don't Muslims use "the Merciful" and other compassion-centric titles?
It's mixed. Islam has more names for God than I can count, some compassionate and some powerful. Though I will admit that I was certainly using the alternative titles for God I could think of, and the seven synonyms I was brought up with (Mind, Spirit, Principle, Soul, Life, Love, and Truth) didn't seem fitting.

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:51 am 
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Dean_the_Young wrote:
I'm glad you like it, and I'm even more thankful you even brought up points that you are concerned about/think are wrong. As the first person to do so beyond a minor typo, I thank you.

No prob. :) Being a Rhetoric graduate, I appreciate constructive criticism the most, even though I do love compliments. I only post in the Fanfic forum if I feel I have something worthwhile to add (or really legitimate to complain about... hahaha...)

In regards to Marina, I think my main problem is the denseness of it. After all, she does drop "God" periodically in her conversations with Setsuna, but this seemed like the majority of her invocations over S1 compacted into a single conversation. Other than that, she seems pretty well in-character, so I think what I'm really having a problem with is the compactness of each chapter. If it were, say, three times longer or more spread out, then it probably wouldn't seem so odd to me.

Yeah, I'm aware these are really just drabbles with a common plot thread, but I guess I'm just that interested in it, so I want more. Hahaha...

As far as Nena's continuing journey and what happened at the end of S1, I'll be waiting to see more. I suspect, since Nena's the main character of this story, that Ali would loom larger than in Setsuna's story... I also wonder what sort of understanding, if any, that Nena and Setsuna came to about him.

Obviously, I expect to have to wait until you get to that point in the story. :P

Oh, and thanks for the extra Islamic trivia!

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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:03 pm 
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A couple of things.

No, I don’t hate Saji. Since Saji has never been a part of Celestial Being or Kataron, and has been open that he just wants to go back to his peaceful civilian life, it’s kind of hard for me to see this episode as an example of naivety or as backstabbing, since neither of those are actually true. Can’t backstab a side you aren’t on, and the whole Saji-Sergei conversation was the only reason why Saji did admit. If that Blue Falcon of an officer hadn’t been hanging at the door, then life would have been different.

Second, this actually is both drabble five and an update into Reformation. I didn’t emphasize it, so this works as a stand-alone what-if, but Reformation will have another chapter that notes how, unlike the Series, Saji's tensions with Nena make him angrier at Celestial Being.

---

Loyalty

“To be a traitor, you must first be on the same side…”

---

“Setsuna!”

Setsuna turned around, and saw Saji walk towards him. Even in the poor lighting, he could see the look on the last Crossroad’s face.

“Yes?” he acknowledged. “Is there a problem?”

“Why did you bring me here, to Kataron? You know I am not a member!” Saji, while upset, was not yelling, which Setsuna took as a good sign for the other’s receptiveness to reason.

“You do not wish to remain associated to Celestial Being, correct? Placing you in Kataron’s protection is the best choice for your safety apart from us,” Setsuna said with cold logic. “Until the A-LAWS are defeated, you will be a wanted man wherever you go. The Federation can search even your biometrics.”

“There are ways around that. Celestial Being was able to place you in the apartment next to mine, after all. I know that you could do the same with me, if you chose to,” Saji pressed angrily. “Dropping me off here is not releasing me, just changing where you lock me away. I would still be working for a faction I don’t agree with, I would still be a dead man should the Federation ever find this place, and I don’t even know the language of the region. Nothing is changed by leaving me here.” Saji’s face loosened, and Setsuna recognized some of those emotions striving for release. Even if he would not admit it, the last Crossroad was pleading for Setsuna to return him to a civilian life.

And in truth, Setsuna could. The still-effective Intelligence arm of Celestial Being likely could find some quiet corner of the globe for Saji to reside peacefully in, and hide him from the Federation view for the duration of the war. Or Setsuna could have Saji accompany Marina to Azadistan: the First Princess would gladly shelter a fellow Federation fugitive to the extent of her ability, and the young engineer could put his abilities to constructive use in the ravaged country struggling to build.

“No,” said Setsuna, who had already thought of those and decided. “You would be in too much danger.”

And he would be in danger: Celestial Being had been compromised once before, and its Intelligence arm was headed by a mercenary young woman who would sell Saji Crossroad out the moment it might advance her own interests. And Marina was already in enough danger returning to Azadistan as it was: allowing Saji to accompany her would only place both of them in peril.

But Setsuna was not one to explain such.

“Why?” demanded Saji. Saji, like the rest of the world, would never be privy to Setsuna’s inner thoughts. “Why do you care? You already brought this all about in the first place, Celestial Being already destroyed everything else I cared about. Why care now?”

Setsuna would not, could not, answer. Was it a sense of guilt? Responsibility? Had, in those short encounters over those months they had lived beside each other, had Setsuna come to value Saji as an open friend? Did he envy Saji’s former lifestyle and innocence, the same selfish peacefulness and joy that Celestial Being had promised to bring to the world? Was it all of these? None of these?

And so instead he said “It is what is best for you. When the A-LAWS are defeated, I promise you that the world will be such that you can safely return and live your life.” Setsuna made few promises in his life, a gesture of his sincerity.

But Saji glared, not knowing the meaning behind the invisible gesture.

“Don’t you dare patronize me,” he almost snarled. “My sister may have had that right, but not you. Not any of you. The world does not exist for you to change as you see fit. I am not a piece for you to place in the world as you see fit!”

“You have your own view of how the world should work,” Setsuna pointed out, not in his own defense as much as to try and warn Saji of the perils of hypocrisy.

“The difference, Setsuna, is that I don’t have the power to change the world as I want. I don’t have a thirty-meter tall war machine made to murder armies. The difference, Setsuna, is that I don’t want that power.”

“Gundam is not a war machine made for murder,” Setsuna said, and for once it was he with an edge in his tone. He might not care what Saji, or the world, thought of him, but the purpose of Celestial Being was vital to understand.

But Saji merely looked at him, and said nothing more. And Setsuna had no response.

---

Sergei watched the door to the cell close. Then, remembering his own time as a junior officer, he counted to ten and re-opened the door. The officer who had previously been interrogating the civilian male fell inside the room. After reprimanding the man and insuring that no one else would do so again, Sergei Smirnov turned his attention back to the young man in the room.

The bruise on his face was already beginning to swell, but he made no complaint, just as he had not said anything when the previous officer had attempted to ‘correct’ him upon hearing of the bio-matrix match as a Kataron member. A veteran of a thousand battles, Sergei knew the look of a soldier of any sort. This man, boy almost, had no such look. His hair was not regulation-style, nor was it unkempt as many irregulars were prone to do. Clean shaven, but lacking the tone or size of muscle that spoke of regular physical training. His hands lacked the calluses of a soldier or even mobile suit pilot.

But what was most telling was his eyes. They were eyes that spoke with a suppressed anger, a determination not to be a tool for anyone else. But they lacked the suspicion, the guarded view that soldiers learned. They spoke of an angry, but kind, idealist.

Sergei leaned forward.

“You aren’t part of Kataron,” he said. It wasn’t a question, not even a confirmation of the young man’s own denial a minute ago. It was a statement of fact, as sure as if Sergei had looked at the sky and said “there are no clouds.”

The young man looked up, but Sergei continued before he could respond.

“You aren’t Kataron, but something else. Something else that brought you out into the middle of the desert. You were at the Proud prison colony before it was attacked by Kataron, which is an issue, and now you are here, after the return of the Gundams. If not Kataron, perhaps you are a member of Celestial Being?”

“I am not a part of them,” the man said with an emphasis on the last word, and Sergei also saw the flash of anger.

“Them?” he prompted, urging the other man to continue.

But he paused, in open conflict with himself. He clearly knew something, but at the same time was hesitant to admit. Sergei could guess as to what.

“Mr. Crossroad,” he began, “I don’t want you to be under any misconceptions. You are in a difficult spot here, and one that will only get worse with time. As an accused member of an anti-Federation insurgent group, the A-LAWS have every legal right to demand custody of you. I have no authority to deny them, regardless of my belief in your innocence. If you wish to return to a civilian as of now, you will be hard-pressed to convince anyone else.”

Saji Crossroad lifted his head, but Sergei raised a hand. “But,” he said meaningfully, “I do not intend to hand you over to their tender mercies if I have any choice. If nothing else, I promise to release you. But if you can give me any means to do so, I promise to do my best to protect you to the extent of my
ability. All I ask is that you decide what loyalties you have, if any, and then to make the choice you think is best. Regardless of what you choose, I will stand by my word.”

Sergei stood. “I will give you time to consider on your own. Remember, though, time is not in your favor should you choose not to leave.” And so he left the room.

Had there been any witnesses in the room, they would have testified that Saji Crossroad did not say a thing. The only sign of alertness was his twisting of a ring he had on a necklace, and of a continuous silent mouthing of words.

A short time later, Sergei returned, again checking the hall for any snooping young officers. As he entered, Saji’s head turned to face him.

“I am sorry to press you, but I must cut into your time. The report of your arrival must be submitted in a matter of minutes, it will not matter what you choose.” He placed two data pads on the table, text filling them. “I have two reports here. One says that you, Saji Crossroad, were taken into custody but were released before the A-LAWS could order me to transfer you into their authority. Officially, I have done so in hopes of tracking you to a regional rebel base.”

He gestured to the other. “This report, on the other hand, says that an accident in the biometric scanning process has sent forth a flawed report. You are not Saji Crossroad, but instead an informant of mine who has been able to escape. I have the authority and connections to provide support for that, so it should last until someone scrutinizes it heavily. The exact details can be worked out later, but to choose this you must cooperate with me.”

“So please,” the Wild Bear of Russia finished, “having considered where your loyalties lie, what you owe or are owed, choose one, and quickly.”

Saji Crossroad, for the first time offered a true choice over his destiny, chose the second report, and began to talk.

---

“So what will you do?” asked Kati after Sergei had shared his recent discoveries. The last Crossroad had been honest and free: having no loyalty and no reason to be loyal to either Kataron or Celestial Being, he had answered every question Sergei had asked of him, from the Gundam pilots to the local Kataron base. But more importantly to Sergei, he had detailed the A-LAWS own assault on Proud, of the deployment of the anti-personnel automatons, neither of which Sergei had heard of.

“Hm?” asked Sergei, who was still mulling over the implication of the night’s discoveries.

“What will you do, both about the boy and the local rebels? If Celestial Being truly is allying themselves with the rebels, then the A-LAWS will surely take more power in the ensuing war. You won’t be able to protect him should they learn of any of this.”

“I will have to be careful,” admitted Sergei. “But I will keep my vow. He has proven himself not a member of either Kataron or Celestial Being. I do not approve of vengeance-minded individuals, but he truly does have no reason to love Celestial Being, and he wishes to simply leave this conflict. For the time being, I will assign him to an engineer who has my trust. If he truly is a qualified engineer as he claims, he should be able to slide in with little notice.”

“On a ship during the middle a patrol? Rumors will spread like wildfire. And you can’t just drop him off in the civilian life again: if the A-LAWS didn’t find him, Celestial Being would. Didn’t he say they killed his sister merely for investigating into them?”

“True,” Sergei acknowledged, “but at the moment this is the best I can do.”

“I’ll look into it from my end,” Kati said. “If possible, he should be moved into a gray-zone outside of the usual chain of command, so as to avoid the red tape and digital foot print.”

“I would thank you for it,” Sergei said.

“A minor favor,” Kati said, waving the fact that they were technically co-conspirators. “But what will you do about the Kataron base? When the A-LAWS learn about it, and they will, I will have no choice to attack, likely with the automatons.” Her unease at the prospect was obvious.

Sergei grunted. “I will perform an armed reconnaissance at a suspected Kataron staging post,” he said. “If the Gundams happen to still be there, I will be forced to withdraw to protect my ship. It may be dangerous, but it will not be a massacre.”

Kati raised an eyebrow. “Intending to lose? That isn’t like you.”

“If we experience unexpected resistance on a small raid, no one will question me for calling in the A-LAWS.”

Kati was quick on the implications. “By which point, they will have likely moved to another base, and we would assault an empty base.” She paused. “You are too kind, Sergei.”

“I must have grown soft in my old age,” said one of the most fearsome commanders on the face of the planet.

Kati smiled. “I won’t lie when I say I appreciate it.” She paused, and then said “I’m sure Lieutenant Peries would appreciate it too, if she knew.”

“If she knew,” he agreed, not commenting on the recently signed adoption papers sitting on his desk.

---

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Please, don't stop writing this!

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Indefinite hold, I'm afraid. At at least till the end of the series, when the actual plot can be planned out. Which probably means it never will be.

On the other hand, someone else has expressed interest in continuing it, so at least the idea will be continued.

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Bummer... But I remain hopeful! I also feel grateful towards this other person!

Thank-you for your straight-foward response, Dean!

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Ribbons Yukari wrote:
Bummer... But I remain hopeful! I also feel grateful towards this other person!

Thank-you for your straight-foward response, Dean!
I've been meaning to mention it here anyway.

I'm actually in the middle of writing an up-to-the-episode plan/thoughts on how the Reformation-universe would go for that other person, so that they can at least have an idea of what I was planning. It's too disjointed to call an outline, but once I finish I'll be posting it here for anyone who's curious. That should be soon-ish (as in today or tomorrow).

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Quote:
I'm actually in the middle of writing an up-to-the-episode plan/thoughts on how the Reformation-universe would go for that other person, so that they can at least have an idea of what I was planning. It's too disjointed to call an outline, but once I finish I'll be posting it here for anyone who's curious. That should be soon-ish (as in today or tomorrow).


That's good :) Thank-you for that :)

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This was my 20-page thoughts/plans/over-detailed ideas for how Reformation would have run if it were the anime series.

Since it wasn't, most of this ZOINKS wouldn't be in any story or drabble collection. But hey, where's the fun in not over-planning?

I'll admit that this just got finished, and hasn't been properly edited/spellchecked/comprehension checked yet. I may (not) do that soon. If I keep calling Darryl Howard or Soma Louise (I found myself doing that a lot), or reference something written above when I meant below, just role with it. I'm pretty sure I caught most of those anyway.



Reformation Rough Episode Guide

---


-These are remarks on the cannon episode-
*This is the Reformation alternative*



-Setsuna stays, Nena joins CB crew-

-In anime, Nena left immediately and Setsuna and Lasse slowly made their way to space, presumably by way of orbital elevators, returning in time to see Lockon’s death.-


*Reformation*

-Having stayed the night at the island, Setsuna, Lasse, and Nena leave the next morning. In order to make up for lost time, Nena leads them to a conventional rocket booster system (ie, cargo shuttle before the Solar Elevators were complete) that Laguna had set up for the Trinity siblings. This cuts the time of traveling to and smuggling the machines into the solar elevator, and so they return to space sooner than they did in the series.


-Cannon-
-In series, UN forces are fought off by Ptolemy and the Gundams with heavy losses due to Lockon’s GN Arms. Almost half the UN forces, including Daryl Dutch, are killed, and Ali al Sarchez is heavily injured and the Gundam Zwei destroyed. Lockon Stratos dies after succumbing to his burning desire for vengance, the Dynames is totaled, and the Virtue’s outer armor is destroyed.-

*Setsuna and Nena are ahead of schedule and approach the battlefield. The UN forces, led by Sergei and Kati, decide against fighting the Ptolemy and its Gundams and instead turn to overwhelm the Exia and the combat container (which is hiding Nena’s Drei) before they can reunite with CB. CB sorties to rescue the Exia and Setsuna, but face a delaying screen of UN troops (led by Daryl Dutch and Sergei/Soma). Ali and the Zwei lead against the Exia.

The battle goes as such:

The GN Arms allow CB to tear through the UN screening force, though not with the damage they did in series. While Lockon and his GN arms race towards Setsuna, Allelujah and Tieria are held back by Sergei/Soma and Daryl Dutch.

Setsuna, Nena, and Lasse fend off the enemy troops. Nena’s presence is a surprise to the UN forces, even though she isn’t that skilled, and her composure is shaken when Ali appears, almost leading her to break off into a futile charge for revenge. Before falling for Ali’s ploy, Setsuna reminds her to be like Gundam and she masters her temper.

Lockon shows up, and tears through a fair deal of the UN force that was attack Setsuna and Nena. Once again he races after Ali, even after the enemy has retreated. Nena and Setsuna pursue, and Lockon takes more and more damage from the UN forces, losing parts of the GN arms. Ali takes major damage from the GN Arms and flees behind the cover of the UN force, but Lockon tries to finish him off even if it means his death. Before he can, Tieria, panicked for his survival, activates the Trial System of the Nadleeh (succeeding because Ribbons and Alejandro did not expect it, and they see no reason to stop it on the battle field). As the UN rear guard tries to finish him off, Nena intervenes and pulls the damaged Dynames to safety.

Back at the ship, the crew comes to welcome and thank Nena for saving Lockon. Tieria hurries to check on Lockon, but Lockon is furious with Tieria for stopping him from claiming his revenge against Ali. Tieria tries to explain that he did it to save Lockon’s life, but Lockon slaps him for intruding on his personal vendetta. From the door to the hanger bay, Feldt watches in shock and some horror.

!This is to be an important section, because it marks the lasting change in Lockon from the carefree man he was to the vengeance-obsessed man he turned into. Though Lockon survived, all is not well: he is obsessed with claiming revenge against Ali (who everyone knows and still alive), and his trust in Tieria hits rock bottom. He is, in short, a very angry man, and though he is still friendly with the rest of the crew he is often moody and impatient, is reckless on the battlefield, and his almost-budding relationship with Feldt is stalled. Though he will slowly improve over the years, it will be some time into season 2 before he and Tieria reconcile.!

Battle Review: Less than half the UN forces destroyed (several more alive than in the series), the GN arms destroyed, no major character deaths. Lockon is alive, Daryl Dutch is alive, Ali is incapacitated but known to still be alive. Nena finds initial acceptance with the CB crew, even though hard questions remain. The Gundams of Celestial Being are damaged; a leg here, an inoperable weapon there, damage to the Kyrios’s shield, and the like.



-Cannon-
-With Celestial Being on the ropes and the UN forces down to their last squadron of men, Kati and Sergei launch a final assault against the forces of Celestial Being, along with the reinforcement of Alejandro Corner and his massive, 10 GN drive mobile armor. Graham Aker comes to the battle late and after Corner reveals his conspiracy to Setsuna, and Celestial Being and the UN forces are both routed.-

*Celestial Being, though weakened with the loss of their GN Arms battle systems and damaged Gundams, remains intact and with the additional Gundam Drei (and, by extension, the Trinity mothership which Sumeragi intends to use). Kati and Sergei agree to hold back and regroup, awaiting reinforcements that are in-route.

During this time, CB regroups as it can. Hasty repairs and fixes are made, and the crew greets Nena. She is confronted for her actions, makes no excuses for herself, and states that she is a Meister who wants to end war, and not just because she was raised to. Setsuna backs her up, and she is more or less accepted. Nena vows to uphold the principles of a true Gundam Meister, and privately vows to be as strong as Setsuna.

On the downside, Lockon’s change becomes more evident to the crew. His friction with Tieria is obvious, he snaps at Feldt’s attempts to comfort him, and his friends are left wondering what has happened to distort him so.

On the UN side, reinforcements and resupplies are performed while the wounded (ie, Ali) are taken back. Alejandro Corner arrives with mystery, and Graham Aker arrives with his GN flag. Though Darryl tries to avoid him, Graham tracks him down and confronts him with why he transferred without a word. Darryl admits he wanted revenge for Howard too much to wait for a Flag to be remodeled, and apologizes for disgracing the spirit of the Flag Fighters. Graham waves off the apology as needless, says that he is proud that Darryl did it for Mason’s memory and not because he was disgusted with being a Flag Fighters and with Graham himself (Darryl denies this vehemently), and the two reconcile, both reaffirming their vows against those who caused Howard’s death.

Patrick arrives soon after and recognizes Graham: Patrick asks what took Graham so long to arrive, and Graham admits to wanting to use a Flag. Patrick laughs, Darryl almost punches him, but Graham stops him and makes a challenge with Patrick about who will be the one to defeat a Gundam.


Summary: A breather/interaction episode. Nena meets and has face time with the crew of the Ptolmy, and Graham arrives with the UN forces and reconciles with Darryl.







Final Battle
-Canon: Total annihilation on both sides. Ptolemy hit in bridge, everyone damaged/shot down, Corner killed by the Exia, and Setsuna and Graham have their final battle which ends in Graham’s heavy scarring and Setsuna going to the wilderness.-


*The initial start of operations is a feint by Celestial Being: Sumeragi sends the (empty) Trinity mothership towards the Solar Elevator, forcing the UN taskforce to divert a few units (Graham, Darryl, and the two remaining overflags) to stop it before it can get to the tower. It’s empty, of course, and by the time Kati recalls them they are going to be several minutes late. (Regular UN forces are tasked to destroy the ship before it approaches the Tower, where it is self-destructs and burns up in the atmosphere away from the tower.)


The battle generally goes much the same: Alejandro does major damage with his mobile armor, and the UN forces attack. Their greater numbers are countered by the still-active Dynames, and though a mobile suit still gets around Lockon’s blindside and goes in front of the bridge, Nena saves them. When Lockon re-establishes the defense, Sumeragi bids Nena to go support Setsuna, as Graham’s team is soon to return and has been sent by Kati to support Alejandro.

Tieria still fights off Patrick and Allelujah Soma. Pretty much the same. However, it’s actually clear that Allelujah ejected his GN drive (recovered by Lockon) and then gets captured (thanks to the more UN forces, who Lockon can’t fight off). Tieria returns to Celestial Being, determined to eventually reconcile with Lockon. Lockon himself survives, but the Dynames is critically damaged and weaponless by the end after driving off Tieria’s remaining foes (Tieria is also overwhelmed by more numbers), and the Ptolemy is sunk, though the entire bridge crew evacuates to the container pod.

The major* change comes with the battle with Alejandro. Setsuna and Lasse battle him with Nena trying to help, and again he runs off his mouth, including telling Nena that he was the one who commissioned the Gundam Thrones and their pilots AND that he intends to use the UN to rule the Earth. But as he does (and without him realizing, because he wasn’t aware that Kati had sent him reinforcements), Graham, Darryl, and their flight get close enough that they can hear the transmission despite the GN particles. They don’t hear everything, but more than enough to realize that the Gundam Thrones that killed Howard were made and sent by Alejandro for his own gain.

It quickly becomes a fierce three-way battle when the UN forces open fire on Alejandro. The ‘nameless’ Overflag pilots and Lasse are shot down, but Setsuna and Graham, pushing Trans-am and their bodies to the max, work together to kill Alejandro, Setsuna because Alejandro is the source of the world’s distortion and Graham because Alejandro is the culprit behind Howard’s death.

After Alejandro dies, calling out for Ribbon’s assistance*, Graham and Daryl turn against the Gundams once again. Daryl and Nena occupy each other, stopping the other from assisting their friend/leader. Graham and Setsuna have their fight and a similar exchange of words (Graham is obsessed with the Gundams, Setsuna sees him as distorted, Graham claims it’s because of Gundam, Setsuna claims it’s only Graham’s ego, etc.).

When the two stab eachother, the explosion hurls their suits away from eachother. Daryl and Nena both unilaterally break off, risking themselves to rush to their respective partner. Both exit their suits to check on the wounded pilots within.

Daryl checks on Graham, and bandages Graham’s pilot suit with emergency tape, covering Graham’s visor and leaving him blind. Graham says that they have avenged Howard, and that their revenge is honorably concluded. Daryl urges Graham to just live now, but Graham says that he can’t, not when Alejandro’s co-conspirators (Ribbons, who Alajandro had called out for during the fight) are still alive. Graham swears he will not look himself in the face until he has brought the conspirators to justice, Daryl swears he will support him, and Graham thanks him for his loyalty and pledges to prove himself worthy of it.

At the Exia, Nena frantically tries to awaken Setsuna, who is dreaming of his letter to Marina. When he awakens she is glad and hugs him, but before she calls in to the Ptolemy he asks her not to. He explains to her that the world is still distorted, that even Celestial Being (Alejandro’s conspiracy, Lockon) has been distorted. He asks that she leave him to find the true source of the world’s distortion, but Nena shakes her head and says (not asks) that she will come with him to find that distortion as well, and reminds him that she vowed to become like him, like Gundam. Setsuna accepts her, and the two quietly float into space, their Gundams holding onto each other much as they are.



Summary: Not too different from the first season finale except for the final battle. It is a much clearer UN victory through weight of numbers, with the capture of the Kyrios and the destruction of the Nadleeh, Dynames, Exia, and the disappearance of the Drei. Though Celestial Being is known to still be operating, the UN victory was more decisive, with more soldiers surviving. With Graham and Daryl’s report of Alejandro’s CB/UN conspiracy, more officers and officials (including Kati and Sergei, who will keep contact with Graham as well) are suspicious of the happenings of the newly-formed Earth Federation.

All in all, the ending is the same but with slightly changed contexts for season two, mainly in the form of surviving characters and the hint at the Corner Conspiracy (and, by extension, the presence of Ribbons’ manipulations) in the UN/EF.

*Again, this is very important. It is/was going to be a very important reoccurring plot point: people know that Alejandro was a member of Celestial Being, that he had at least one co-conspirator (Ribbons), and that he was working through the UN. With the UN turning into the EF and producing the A-LAWS, suspicions that Celestial Being is really on top of the A-LAWS is important to more than one character.*

---

Post time-skip. (Drabbles already apply)


-Episodes 1-4: Setsuna is found at Proud and rescues Saji, Kati goes in A-LAWS, Setsuna recruits Lyle Dylandy as the new Lockon, they recue Allelujah.-

*
Most the plot remains the same, but with character differences. Tieria AND Lockon save Setsuna and Nena at Proud (Louise enters the fight at seeing Nena’s Throne), Kati goes into A-LAWS, etc.

Differences/themes:


-Saji’s relationship with CB is ever-poisoned by Nena, up to the point where he joins Sergei. On the other side, Saji represents Nena’s guilt over the past, and so she has a hard time dealing with him but also sees him as her personal responsibility: Nena, attempting to make up for her wrongs, is defensive of Saji, and nearly becomes fixated with earning forgiveness from him in order to forgive herself. Setsuna as well, sees Saji both as a friend he’s harmed as part of CB and as a personal responsibility, because he’s the one who brought in Nena.

In a planned but never written drabble, Saji is visited in his cell by Nena, who admits she attacked Louise’s family for no reason and doesn’t make any excuses but apologizes. Saji, furious, tries to strangle her, but she doesn’t even resist and he can’t bring himself to do it and demands she leaves. Setsuna enters soon after seeing the marks on Nena’s neck, and Saji confronts him about why he let her enter the cell. Setsuna tells Saji that he believes Nena is sincerely trying to reform, but Saji says she has to be brought to justice for her actions as a member of Celestial Being. Setsuna tries to say that she wasn’t a member of Celestial Being then, that the Thrones weren’t part of them at that time. Saji says he’s trying to believe Setsuna, but as long as Nena is on the ship he can only see them as one and the same.

-Lockon’s own rehabilitation is another thread to be followed. Though he survived the war, Lockon was the vengeful man who wanted to kill Ali. Tieria stopping him with the trial system blew apart their friendship, and the abrupt change in personality brought a fight with Feldt that pushed them apart. As the series begins, Lockon is slowly returning to being Lockon as he was, and he slowly begins to trust Tieria again.

-The Ptolemy bridge crew is all alive. Millenia is onboard as an assistant mechanic for her father, while Christina and Lichty keep their bridge posts. Lichty and Christina’s (implied sexual) relationship is the most stable thing onboard the ship.

-Lyle Dylandy is a Kataron agent. When Setsuna goes to earth to retrieve Sumeragi, Lockon asks him to warn his brother of the impending A-LAWS sweep of Europe. Upon hearing of it, Klaus has Lyle (and others) retrieved to Kataron’s HQ, where Lyle begins as a new mobile suit, to be instructed by one of Kataron’s best: Darryl Dutch.

-Darryl Dutch is one of (if not the) top aces in Kataron, and is highly placed because of his skill and familiarity against GN suits. He is a trusted figure with Klaus, works as a tactical advisor beside Shirin, and leads the fight with the Custom Flag he deserted with. In secret, though, Darryl spies on Kataron on behalf of Graham, and presses them to dig from the outside into uncovering any Celestial Being relation at the top of the EF. He is the one who informed Shirin and Klaus of the Corner Conspiracy and its possible UN-ties to the EF, and presses them to discover any such proof (allegedly in order to turn popular support against the EF). He is strongly against the Gundams and the returned Celestial Being.

-Kati and Sergei’s underground network of officers who are suspicious of the A-LAWS is greatly expanded, with the (publicly hushed) indication of the Corner conspiracy. Such officers include Sergei’s HRL superior, Billy (though he retired) and Graham, still Mr. Bushido, who forwards the occasional piece of information in addition to his own personal crusade against all of Celestial Being. Suspicion of A-LAWS is high, but proof is low.

-Mr. Bushido, while still a lone fighter, talks and cooperates with fellow pilots (offering advice or political insight) while working with Kati for their goals of uncovering the truth behind A-LAWS. In addition to Sergei and Kati’s network, Graham maintains contact with Darryl, exchanging information between them (Darryl doesn’t share his source with Kataron, and neither does Graham with anyone). Though Mr. Bushido is still approachable and talkative without the loss of all his previous command, he remains dedicated to the ultimate destruction of all of Celestial Being and not just the gundams.

-Billy still joins the A-LAWS as chief weapons developer. However, he is also in Graham’s circle of informants/people who know that Corner had fellow conspirators who are likely involved in the EF, and he too includes that conspirator as responsible for Eifman’s assassination.

---

-Episode 5-
- CB makes contact with Kataron, but no alliance can be struck. Saji confronts Setsuna about how Setsuna is responsible for the orphans and the continued war, leaves, and gets picked up by Sergei. A-LAWS find out, tragedy results. *

-Nena stays behind at the Ptolemy, both to guard it and so that she won’t have to see Saji off (and vice versa)

-At Kataron, Lockon is reunited with Lyle. Meisters and Kataron both are surprised. Lockon is upset that Lyle got involved with the Kataron insurgency despite his comfortable job, but Lyle responds that it was his own choice and that he isn’t his brother.

-Though most of Kataron cheers the Meisters, one man does not. Darryl, exiting his Custom Flag (which Lockon recognizes from multiple encounters), confronts the Gundam Meisters with killing is comrades, warning them that he will only tolerate them as long as they bring him closer to defeating the true enemy. (Most think he means the A-LAWS and Federation, but he only means the Corner conspiracy elements at the top.) Lyle intervenes before a fight breaks out, introducing Darryl as his flight instructor.

-No alliance between Kataron and CB is formed, and Darryl is openly hostile to the suggestion, but the two sides do agree to lend assistance when convenient. Setsuna asks Klaus to take in Saji as a refugee and suggests him as a mechanic, and Klause agrees.

-Saji confronts Setsuna, but the topic is Setsuna’s choosing what’s ‘best’ without giving Saji a choice. Saji leaves, is picked up by Sergei, and chooses to tell him about CB and Kataron in exchange for protection. A-LAWS don’t find out. (Reformation ch. 4). Sergei shares his information with Kati, plans to attack (and withdraw quickly) in order to prevent a massacre, and Kati agrees to try and find a safe position for Saji. Sergei plans to attack during the night.

-During the night, Kataron and CB get some rest. Nena thanks Setsuna from the Ptolemy for ensuring Saji’s safety and tells that she’s bringing some supplies for Kataron’s mechanics, Lockon and Tieria have a heart to heart and discuss Lyle and how different he is from Lockon (Lockon is jealous, Tieria disagrees), Lyle and Darryl talk over maintenance on their suits (Darryl doesn’t blame Lyle for his brother’s actions, Lyle learns of Howard Mason), and Setsuna talks to Marina after not being able to find Saji. They agree to leave for Azadistan.

- After Setsuna has left, Sergei’s ‘reconnaissance in force’ stumbles over Kataron’s base. Everyone in Kataron and CB is taken by surprise, but the presence of the Gundams keeps the GN-XIII’s from penetrating the base completely (a GN-XIII gets to the base of the ramp and fires a shot before being destroyed). Darryl (surprised that Graham didn’t warn him: Graham hasn’t heard about Saji or Sergei’s plan yet) and Lyle (forced to jump into a Kataron Flag) also launch, and together they take down a GN-XIII while the Gundams push back the rest. Sergei’s goal of finding Kataron accomplished, he begins to retreat.

-At this time, though, Nena shows up as reinforcements. Taking Sergei by surprise and throwing the defense in disarray, she closes in to the battleship and attacks the bridge, cracking it open and hurting many inside. Before she fires the coup de grace, however, she sees Saji on the bridge, helping a wounded Sergei. Saji looks at Nena’s gundam and glares, and Nena is so shocked that she can’t fire and is forced to retreat. The EF forces withdraw with only three lost suits (but several damaged).

-Even without the A-LAWS attacking, Azadistan still burns. Once the first reports of the discovery of the Kataron base comes in, Ribbons sends in Ali to start out the long-planned and already prepared Middle East reorganization. Rather than see Azadistan already burning, Setsuna and Marina see Azadistan in the process of being razed by Ali and Ali alone, at which point they retreat to Kataron.

----

-Episode 6-
The aftereffects of the A-LAW massacre. CB is accused of betraying Kataron, Saji is confronted, and CB plays cover while Kataron changes bases. Soma is convinced by the massacre to think of herself as a super-soldier, and decides against Sergei’s adoption. Soma meets Louise, they form a brief bond, and CB’s battle against the A-LAWS begins with Sumeragi unconscious. *

*Reformation*
-Celestial Being is hailed as heroes for fighting off the EF with so few Kataron casualities. Initial speculation of a spy or CB betrayal is passed over by Darryl’s conclusion that an EF sweep got lucky (Darryl knows Graham would have warned him if he had known). However, he and Klause immediately see the need to move bases before A-LAWS attack

-Setsuna, after seeing that Marina is alive, tries to find Saji. Instead he finds a distraught Nena, who in the privacy of the Celestial Being transport tells him what she saw during the battle, and she begins to approach a guilt breakdown about how he wouldn’t have joined the other side and the attack wouldn’t have happened had she not been there. Setsuna awkwardly tries to comfort her.

-Lockon and Tieria, talking with Klaus, promise to assist Kataron in moving to a new base by engaging the local A-LAWS force. Lyle also volunteers to sortie to support them, and in doing so prompts Darryl to do the same. (Darryl’s motivation is to both keep Lyle alive and to use the opportunity to send a coded message to Graham during the battle).

-The A-LAWS hear about the battle and plan to attack quickly, before Kataron can escape. Colonel Lindt arranges for the still heavily-damaged force under Sergei to join them, even though Sergei is still in intensive care. Graham reminds them both that he still has a license to fight as he wishes, and indicates ahead of the briefing that he wants to take on the 00.

-After Kati informs Soma of Sergei’s injuries, Soma stays in her room worrying about him. Upon receiving a email (typed by Saji, because Sergei can’t use his arms to write yet) reassuring her of his survival and apologizing for making her worry, Soma realizes that she can’t continue to pretend she doesn’t have a heart and promises that, should she return from the next battle, she will accept Sergei’s adoption proposal. Relieved, she goes to check on her mobile suit* and has her encounter with Louise.

*Further explained below, but if you decide for Soma to remain with A-LAWS then this would be a point where a mechanic can go “oops, glad we found that or your GN-drive might have failed you.”

-Over to Sergei, Sergei is recuperating from the attack in a hospital, Saji assisting him as an adjunct now that Sergei’s ship and crew have been drafted by the A-LAWS. Sergei thanks Saji for helping him write the letter, Saji apologizes for not being able to assist during the fight, and Sergei reassures him that even non-fighters have their role, and says that there are people he personally wishes weren’t on the battlefield regardless of their skill.

-The battle commences. Nena in her upgraded Drei, Darryl in his Custom Flag, and Lyle in his own Flag roughly balance the few extra men and ship from Sergei’s command. This is where CB really gets to show off the new Gundams, and their kill-count can be inflated.

-While Lichty pilots the Ptolemy, Lasse and Ian handle the Ptolemy’s guns.

-While Graham and Setsuna duel, Darryl uses a special transmitter to send data to Graham. Unfortunately this is right when Setsuna taps into trans-am, and Graham’s distraction loses him both arms to Setsuna’s attack. Darryl watches in horror as Setsuna tries to shoot down the unarmed Graham.

---

Point of Contention

This is where the planning diverges, because at this point the most important branch yet is presented: follow the canon and have Soma join Allelujah (and abandon being Sergei’s daughter), or do Louise and Andrei fend off Allelujah and Soma returns to A-LAWS?

My planning revolves around Soma staying with the A-LAWS (after all, with no massacre she has even less reason to leave the A-LAWS, and the adoption theme is much more positive). The problem with this, though, is that it leaves much more in the air. Allelujah more or less has to be ignored, or at least given some reason to not say “Marie” every five lines, and some reason not to try the exact same grapple every fight. While nothing Soma-dependent has come on air yet, it’s only a matter of time until it does, and the loss of Saji already lowers CB one accessory pilot. Possible solution at the moment is that Lasse fills in for Saji as 0-riser pilot, and Lichty and Christina take gunnery and helm while Millenia gets bumped to bridge crew.

For the GN-archer, however, that depends on Anew Returner’s true loyalties: if she’s actually an innovator, then before long you’ll need someone to fill her pilot seat. If she isn’t, then that’s where she can go, but what other purpose is there for Soma at this point other than GN-archer?


From this point on, my planning reflects the assumption that Soma returns to the A-LAWS.

---


-Episode Seven-

Battle continues. Graham is chased by Setsuna until the 00 burns out, puts the 00 in checkmate, and then leaves. Allelujah tackles Soma, their suits crash, and Marie is awakened and Sergei leaves her to Celestial Being. At this point, Saji has decided to do what he can to help Celestial Being.



*Reformation*

- Darryl watches in horror as Setsuna tries to shoot down the unarmed Graham, until the 00 burns out. Graham retreats, and Darryl drags the 00 back to the Ptolemy so that other CB members won’t come and possibly kill the defenseless Mr. Bushido. Doing so, however, leaves Darryl under attack from other A-LAWS, and the Flag is damaged (but no limb lost) before Nena can provide covering fire and assistance. The under-maintained Custom Flag (which can’t get Billy’s level of maintenance in the desert from Kataron) begins to fail, and only with Nena covering fire and Lyle’s support can Darryl and Setsuna fall inside the Ptolemy’s hanger. In the attempt, Lyle’s Flag is damaged by a stray beam.


-Allelujah does try and corner Marie, but Andrei and Louise manage to grapple him away from Soma’s damaged machine. Trying to get Marie, Allelujah is damaged by Andrei as Louise tries to support Soma’s machine, and he is forced to retreat. Louise begins to have a panic attack when Soma can’t respond over the radio, but Soma finds herself able to use her quantum brainwaves to calm Louise (a hint at Marie’s ever-awakening presence inside her).

-Lockon, Tieria, and even Nena do well, however. Lockon, better at sniping than Lyle was, is able to shoot down/damage a number of suits. Nena faces off with Louise’s commander before Lockon is able to cripple his suit with a snipe (Nena goes to help Setsuna and rescue Darryl after that), and with no one to duel him Tieria is able to do major damage to a number of GN-XIII’s and use the Seravee’s GN-field burst to heavily damage Sergei’s EF carrier (including one of the engine blocks) forcing it to retreat.

-With half of her forces damaged/down, Sumeragi launches the smoke torpedoes and takes the Ptolemy (and the remaining Gundams) underwater. With half of her forces damaged/down, including the EF carrier, and unable to fight the Ptolemy underwater without more aquatic MS, Kati signals her own retreat.

-With no one missing and no searching needing to be done, both sides focus on their next step. Kataron has already moved, and Marina is safe. The Ptolemy needs to find a safe landing spot to make repairs however, and so Sumeragi sends Tieria and Lockon to find a good place. That is where Tieria meets Regene, and hears of the Innovators.

Instead of an episode of Marie/Allelujah interaction, we get…


-Darryl and Lyle are effectively stuck on the Ptolemy thanks to their two damaged suits. Lyle serves as a contrast between the Lockon of old and the Lockon of present, and stimulates development with his brother, Tieria, and Feldt. However, his differences from Lockon are also a welcome relief.

-Darryl is the last person who wants to be on the ship, and consistently nearly comes to blows with all the Meisters over their role those years ago. The only Meister he doesn’t almost punch is Nena, who he feels he owes from the last battle for allowing him to separate to recover Graham. Darryl spends most of his time with Lyle or working on the Flags: he and Ian get along ‘best’ of all the crew members, largely because Ian admits being impressed with the Custom Flag and agrees to help repair it.

-Nena is still depressed about Saji’s leave being her responsibility as well, and even worries that Tieria’s attack on the EF cruiser might have killed him. Setsuna tells her that Saji made his choice on his own violation, but Nena isn’t reassured and says she won’t be able to forgive herself if she can’t make up for her past harms, which Setsuna has no reply to because he remembers his own past.

-Allelujah gets ‘corrected’ by Sumeragi for almost throwing his life away in battle, and in doing so endangering everyone else. This isn’t to convince him to give up on Marie, but rather to drop the “Or die trying” part after Sumeragi forces him to understand that ‘Marie’ may not return the sentiment and have him decide her life for her.

-Soma gets permission from Kati for a brief leave to visit Sergei in the Middle East field hospital. She meets Saji sitting outside the Colonel’s room and immediately can see him not to be a soldier, but her suspicions are deferred when he asks her if she’s Lieutenant Peries. When she says yes he opens the door for her, and she walks inside where Sergei is asleep. She sits by his side holding his hand until he awakes, during which she thinks of his initial offer for adoption, her own response at the time, and all the lessons he’s taught her. When he eventually does wake up, she greets him as Father.

-And at the A-LAWS, Kati’s has convinced herself that it really is Sumeragi she’s been fighting after she reviews the battle data with Mr. Bushido. It’s only after Graham starts listing CB’s general blitz battle strategies that Kati admits she may know the type of forecaster. Graham asks if it is Leesa Kujo, and when Kati is surprised he admits that not only has he heard of her and the incident, but that a friend (Billy) had told him as well. He couldn’t confirm it himself until this battle. Kati confirms it, and in the ensuing discussion they realize they share (old) friend: Graham knew Kujo by reputation, and Kati also knew a younger Billy Katagiri from college. When Graham admits that it was Billy who told him about Kujo and that he is going to take leave to visit A-LAWS’ new head of MS development during the next battle, Kati asks him to ask a favor.

---

-Episode Eight-

-In which Tieria dresses up and meets Ribbons, Setsuna meets Louise and tells her Saji is in space, and Ali makes a debut. On the A-LAWS force, Revive Revival arrive.-

*Reformation*

-Tieria still dresses up in a dress, but now he faces some light-hearted teasing from Lockon (marking a return to friendship). Also a bit more mention of the female crew of the Ptolemy helping out, and the male half (and two visitors) being strangely disturbed by how effective it is. Setsuna is still his escort.

-At A-LAWS Revive and Patrick arrive. Kati is annoyed that Patrick ignored his warnings and came to A-LAWS, while the watching Mr. Bushido is highly suspicious of Revive.

-Louise is also due to go to the ball, and Andrei is her escort by default because Soma is still with Sergei. Through a video conversation, Soma admits she has just been officially adopted and apologizes that she can’t escort Louise. Louise tells her to enjoy being with her new Father, and hangs up immediately before Saji walks into the room Soma is calling from. Saji at this point has become Sergei’s official aid, so that Sergei can keep him safe and use him as the proof of A-LAWS’s atrocity.

-The party itself is unchanged, and the main difference is that Ribbons also admits to Tieria to have helped set the Thrones in motion to bring about the unification of the world.

-When Louise and Setsuna meet, she again asks Setsuna about Saji. Seeing her surgery scars and unable to say Saji is safe, and unsure of how to explain it period, he says that while he saw Saji in space, Saji was wrongly suspected by the A-LAWS of being a part of Kataron and and that Setsuna helped him flee, but that he doesn’t know Saji’s current status. Setsuna also has enough time to tell her that Saji was still thinking of her.

-At this point, Tieria has just made his escape and sets off a panic beacon, which calls in the other Meisters for support. Nena, who had been hiding in the nearby forest, flies over the mansion in her Drei, inadvertently setting off Louise’s panic attack. Setsuna leaves Louise with Andrei to make his own escape, and because all the security guards (and Billy) are distracted by the Gundam, Setsuna makes his escape without being ousted as a CB member.

-Setsuna and Tieria fly away in their Gundams, with Nena close behind. Ali shows up.

---

Episode 9

-Cannon-
-Ali kicks more ass, the Innovators discuss amongst themselves how Kataron isn’t a satisfactory opponent, and Andrei reflects on Louise’s past, while Louise wonders about Setsuna’s connection to Celestial Being. Mr. Bushido flies past her shuttle in his fully-repaired A-HEAD on his way to Billy, while Lindt, Kati, and Revive discuss the upcoming battle. On CB’s side, Lyle differentiates himself from his brother by discarding long-term revenge, and after their escape into the atmosphere Sumeragi receives Kati’s message confirming her as CB’s strategist.-



*Reformation*

-Ali kicks even more ass. Setsuna, Tieria, and Nena all take him on with thoughts of revenge and justice (for Lockon’s sake, in Tieria’s case), and they get pounded. Nena gets nearly totaled except for the GN drive and cockpit when Ali reveals his feet-sabers; Tieria and Setsuna are unable to assist her.

-When Lockon shows up and sees that it’s Ali, he immediately goes Trans-am to try and kill him. Ali, however, is just too good. All that saves Lockon is Tieria getting in the way to grapple with Ali, and trying to use his own hidden hands to kill Ali. This works about as well in the cannon, but seeing Tieria nearly get killed on his account snaps Lockon to his senses. With a 4-to-1 fight looming, Ali backs off and Setsuna carries the ruined Drei to the Ptolemy.

-Back at the party, Ribbons blames Regene for ruining it. Regene blames Ribbons for angering Tieria, and suggests that Ribbons did it to incite Celestial Being to further action. He suggests that Kataron is too weak a threat to convince an increasingly skeptical EF establishment, but that CB creates the perfect popular justification and support for the A-LAWS. It’s implied that the Innovators are aware of the presence of lower-ranking officials that suspect A-LAW atrocities, the Innovators very existence and involvement with CB, but that rooting them out would cause too much trouble at the moment and that without proof of connection or A-LAW atrocities (both controlled by VEDA) those officers are powerless.

- Louise recovers. Rather than immediately return, however, she goes to talk to Ribbons. The Innovators are surprised to see her back after the Drei overflew, but Louise asks a personal favor of Ribbons: to find out the status of Saji Crossroad, and if he really was wanted wrongly by the A-LAWS as a Kataron member. She doesn’t explain how she heard he was unjustly accused, but Ribbons remarks that it is the first favor she’s asked of him and he will look into it.

-As they arrive back at the carrier, Louise and Andrei see Mr. Bushido’s (still damaged) suit fly past and wonder why he’s leaving right before the next battle. They also see Soma return from her visit to Sergei. Mr. Bushido greets Billy and congratulates him on his promotion, and calls himself Mr. Bushido ‘for now’ when Billy stumbles over what to call him. He still asks for the fastest speed and the strongest sword, and still promises to destroy all of Celestial Being, but he also does one more thing different from the cannon. He forwards Kati’s request: can Billy find a place for a young engineer wanted by A-LAWS but who’s proven to be against CB and Kataron?

-Back at the Ptolemy, Lyle, Darryl, and Ian are trying to fix Darryl’s Custom Flag. Ian is just telling Darryl that the Flag’s main engine is scrap when the Meisters return. Everyone is surprised at the damage, especially to Nena’s totaled Drei. As Ian frantically starts repair on Tieria’s Seravee, the Meisters explain what happened in the briefing room. Upon learning of Ali’s role in the murder of his parents (and Setsuna’s admission), everyone else who’s fought for vengeance or the past (Nena and Darryl among them) are surprised when Lyle admits that he doesn’t hold such views forever and that only the present and the future matter. Lockon is especially touched, and when Tieria later approaches him to apologize for interfering with his revenge once again, Lockon waves off the apology and thanks Tieria for looking out for his safety.

-Lyle’s admission of not living in the past affects more than Lockon. Later Nena asks him if repentant criminals can be be forgiven even if vengeance isn’t pursued, while Darryl differs with him and says that while keeping one’s perspective is admirable, crimes of the past aren’t washed away with time and that even past criminals need to be brought to justice. Most impressed is Feldt, who Lyle catches watching him. Feldt admits that at first she thought he was just like his brother, but now sees that he’s different and calls him a good man. Lyle thanks her for not comparing him to his brother, and asks about what Lockon is like. This starts Lyle and Feldt’s own friendship, which depending on future (ie, Lockon’s own) developments could turn into romantic tension.

-When the breakout to space comes, not much is different except that Daryll also ‘predicts’ (was warned by Graham) the usage of a number of A-LAW Trilobytes. The trans-am Ptolemy still breaks out to the atmosphere, but this time it is Patrick who, at Kati’s request, sends the message to the Ptolemy. Soma, Andrei, and Louise are unable to prevent affect the Ptolemy from making orbit. About the only difference in orbit is that the A-LAWS are surprised when the Ptolemy’s GN barrier lessens and turns gold but continues: Nena’s tau drive is enough to keep a modest barrier running when the trans-am true drives run out. Setsuna still saves the day, and Homer Katagiri resolves to bring in the Innovators.

---

-Episode 10-

-This is a breather episode, with a bunch of content that no longer applies. Sumeragi remembers college with Billy and Kati, and Sergei and the A-LAWS are both watching the kingdom of Suihr. The A-LAWS send a pursuit task force to Lagrange point 3, and Bring Stability engages the Ptolemy. Nena meets Ali. The Ptolemy arrives at the CB base and tests the 00’s trans-am just as the Memento Mori fires, and those with quantum brainwaves are affected. -


*Reformation*

-Sumeragi still remembers Kati, Kataron arranges to meet the kingdom of Suihr, and Bring Stability still engages the 00 before retreating, but most every other event is different.

-Sergei, still recuperating, is preparing to see Saji off to his new spot as an assistant to Billy. Saji feels guilty for leaving Sergei without an aid while he’s still recuperating and feels he owes Sergei more than he can ever repay, but Sergei tells him that that Saji will one day have to return the favor to everyone who helped arrange this by standing up to the world and telling of the A-LAW atrocities.

-Kataron meets, but even with their more intact forces they feel they don’t have much aid to offer Suihr without their best ace, Darryl. Klaus assures them that when Darryl can return to them from Celestial Being that it will be worth the wait. They agree to the information strategy, in part because they too know that many EF officers are skeptical of the A-LAWS.

-On the Ptolemy, Ian writes off the Drei as good only for spare parts now, and that except for the GN drive an entirely new Gundam would have to be built from the ground up. Though Nena is distraught without her Gundam, Ian tells her that there isn’t much that can be done. Afterwards, though, Ian finds a filled data pad in his room. At the very top is a single header: GN Flag.

-Nena is depressed, and she and Setsuna talk about being a Gundam Meister without a Gundam, and Setsuna tells her that being a true Meister it is more than just being the pilot. He points to Lyle as someone perfectly qualified to be called a Meister without ever once sitting in a Gundam because Lyle has a sense of justice and a willingness to put others ahead of himself, and that even Darryl, who hates Celestial Being, puts his friends and their memory ahead of his own desires and never forgets his pride. Lockon walks in and hears this, and wonders if he’s worth calling a Meister even though he’s put his personal desire for revenge ahead of his friends, his last family, and their mission.

-When Bring Stability attacks, Lyle and Darryl are working on Lyle’s own Flag. Being ready to launch just when Setsuna does, Lyle sorties along with the 00. The standard Flag is hopelessly obsolete but Lyle puts up a fight, pestering Bring Stability and harassing him until the A-LAWS machine nearly tears off the main engine. Lyle is only saved by the timely arrival of his own brother, and Stability only retreats after the other Gundams attack. Lyle apologizes to Darryl for not living up to the Flag’s reputation, but Darryl instead welcomes him back as a Flag Fighter.

-The Ptolemy arrives at the CB base. Millenia has her family reunion, Anew Returner is introduced, and the GN-Archer and 0 Riser are revealed (though no pilots selected yet). Darryl and Lyle are placed in a waiting room while the 00’s twin drive system test starts, and talk about how they really aren’t trusted by CB yet, though Daryll expects it. On Earth, Sergei and and Saji are at a small desert airstrip outside of Kuihr, where a small plane is ready to take Saji to Billy’s lab. Saji thanks Sergei for all his help and Sergei advises Saji to always be ready to listen to new things, even facts that are unpleasant. They shake hands, and Saji boards the plane. Overhead, the Memento Mori prepares to fire.

-The Memento Mori fires, just after Saji’s plane has left and right as the 00’s own test has started. The massive quantities of GN particles have their effect on quantum brainwave users in the vicinity: Tieria gets a migrane, and Allelujah begins to show signs of Hallelujah reviving. Nena has a flash of seeing Saji in peril and yells for him to get away, startling Setsuna and others around her. In their ships that have left Earth, both Soma and Louise have the same vision as Nena (seeing both Saji and Sergei), though not as clearly. Saji’s plane manages to stay up despite the turbulence, and Saji witnesses the latest A-LAW atrocity as the Memento Mori’s beam hits the Kingdom. Sergei out in the open on the desert airstrip can only watch as the shock waves rushes towards him.

---

-Episode 11-
-Sergei is shown to be alive on his ship’s bridge. Nena and Wang discuss after watching the show. Sumeragi implies Lasse has serious disease, Tieria reveals the Innovators, Louise’s commander is revealed to have had a wife who died. Innovators use quantum brainwaves to find CB base, Kati attacks. Big fight scene, Saji pilots 0 Riser and docks with Setsuna who kills Louise’s commander. From his rear seat, Saji and Louise sense eachother and realize that they are on opposite sides.-

*Reformation*

-Sergei is found still alive, but not by EF troops. Unknown strangers find him half-buried, and mentioning an A-LAWS crackdown in the area they decide to take him to ‘that place.’

- Wang Liu Mei watches the Memento Mori attack with Hong Long. Meeting Ali, she wonders about buying his services (and he doesn’t refuse, but only suggests it would be a high price).

-After the Memento Mori’s dust has settled (assume a day or so), the A-LAWS force is still in-route to the CB base. Louise receives a message from Ribbons and the results of his inquiries. Ribbons writes a letter along the lines of: “Yes, a Saji Crossroads was detainedd in the company of a Kataron insurgent, and was sent to the Proud colony for detention for suspicion of collusion with Kataron. No evidence exists to confirm him as a Kataron insurgent. However, no confirmed record exists of him after Kataron’s attack and the return of the Gundams. A DNA match of his name did turn up in the Middle East over a week ago, but the Commander of the EF ship submitted a report informing our systems that it was a mis-match due to an on-ship malfunction, and the matter was dropped. This Colonel Smirnov, legal guardian to one of your fellow fliers I believe, has recently been declared MIA and is currently presumed dead due to developments in the region near his field hospital and so we have been unable to contact him on this matter. I apologize for not being of any help, and assure you that should any mention of Saji Crossroads come across our attention we will immediately insure his safety and inform you. Yours faithfully, Ribbons Almark.”

Louise is both relieved that Saji was uninvolved with Kataron but is worried for his current state, especially after her experience during the Memento Mori’s firing. Soma, notices Louise’s reaction and comes over, and Louise sadly has to reveal Sergei’s status to Soma Smirnov.

-At CB, it’s Nena who is in Celestial Being’s medical ward after her outburst, and Allelujah and Tieria are also there to testify of their experience. With the Ptolemy crew gathered (but not Lyle or Darryl, who are confined to non-sensitive portions of CB’s base), Tieria tells of the Innovators and Quantum brainwaves, and reveals that Ribbons admitted to having a part in Nena’s creation. CB realizes it’s real enemy isn’t merely the A-LAWS, but the traitors who changed the Plan four years ago.

-Darryl gets a priority message from an anonymous router. It’s Graham using their pre-arranged communication means, and the message is simple: an A-LAWS task force is about to arrive at Lagrange 3 and attack, and Darryl needs to survive. Though he hates to help Celestial Being, Darryl alerts the Meisters, still at still at the infirmary. Though skeptical, Allelujah and Nena both sense quantum brainwave pressure from Revive Revival reaching out to Anew Returner and soon are convinced. An orderly and proper evacuation of the base is started.

-The A-LAWS arrive and find the base and attack, though by the time they do most of Celestial Being is already prepared. Casualties are much lower, data and equipment salvaged much higher, and only the 0 Riser is delayed. Without a Flag between them Darryl and Lyle are out of the fight and man turrets while Ian rushes to finish the 0 Riser. Battle plans are the same: Allelujah leaves with to escort the personnel to safety and rush back, while the rest of the Meisters bar Nena protect the Ptolemy, which has Nena’s Tau Drive supplementing it’s shields and firepower.

-When the hanger is hit, it is Nena who answers first. Ian tells her to deliver the 0 Riser to Setsuna, and it is she and her purple Haro he get inside, while Lyle takes Ian to the infirmary. Nena goes to help Setsuna, and the mere presence of her quantum brainwave ‘pressure’ is enough to surprise Soma long enough for the hook-up to happen.

-Setsuna goes trans-am and kills Louise’s commander (Barack Zinin) while Louise and Soma trail helplessly behind. In the ethereal newtype-ish world, Nena hears Louise’s thoughts and picks up Saji’s name from Louise’s jumbled and worried thoughts. Nena’s own thoughts of him, and of the reason behind that guilt, reach Louise, and in the confused questioning about how the other knows Saji the two women realize who the other is: Nena recognizes Louise as the one she harmed most, and Louise sees the one who murdered her family.


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Plans/Thoughts for rest

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Immediate/short term (in next episode)

-The moment the ethereal newtype magic fades, Louise will go into a panic attack, and Soma will try and protect her when Setsuna tries to finish the squadron off. Soma will be overpowered, but before Setsuna can kill any of them Nena will tell him to stop and go to the Ptolemy. After the battle, she will tell Setsuna what she saw and realized.

-Lyle will be the pilot of the GN Archer, in order to help in the fight. Whether it’s launched next episode or later depends when it is ‘finished.’ Either way, Lyle more or less joins CB from Kataron.

-With Sergei missing and presumed dead, Soma is thrown into something close to a depression. About the only thing keeping her from one is her ever-deepening friendship with Louise, who is having the same situation with Saji’s status as missing with no hint as to dead or alive. Soma doesn’t even know that the A-LAWS are behind the events of Sergei’s disappearance: when the official letter comes, it says that Sergei vanished after the Kingdom of Suihr attempted to instigate violence with the assistance of Kataron, leading Soma to formulate a grudge against Kataron for bringing about the events.

-Sergei is not dead: he is currently the ‘guest’ of a Kataron cell, and upon realizing they have the Wild Bear of Russia they send him to Kataron HQ. Besides meeting Marina and receiving a lot of grief for being a part of the EF, he will also meet Klause, who will try and turn Sergei against the Federation by revealing all sorts of A-LAW atrocities. Since gathering proof on the A-LAWS has been Sergei’s goal from the start, he will play along.

-Saji is working as Billy’s assistant, and Billy takes to the younger engineer. They talk over working on Graham’s new machine, but Saji’s dislike of Celestial Being is tempered by his opposition to the A-LAW actions. Billy confides with Saji that he’s suspicious of the A-LAWS as well, and that the suit they’re working is meant for a man who shares their suspicion. This lets Saji work with a clearer conscious on the mobile suit.

---

Medium/Long Term

- Darryl gets his GN-Flag once Nena becomes the partner in the 0 Riser, using her quantum brainwaves to work with Setsuna. Using spare parts both from the ruined regular flag and Nena’s Drei, as well as more technology, Ian builds a ‘complete’ GN Flag, also armed with the Drei’s arm-slung beam rifle, a GN- small-shield similar to the GN-X and GN-XIII models, and a reinforced rotor shield. The beam saber can be used independently of the GN-drive, or the GN-drive can be shifted for increased output similar to the original GN Flag, a setup Ian calls a suicidally brilliant way to take advantage of the Flag’s peerless speed and the GN-drives firepower. Ideally this will be finished when Graham’s own new suit is revealed, and Darryl and Graham will meet on the battlefield and duel.

Though he makes inroads with the Ptolemy crew and earns the respect of the Meisters, Darryl will take the first chance after receiving the GN-Flag to jump ship and return to Kataron, even if without CB’s consent or without Lyle. It will be a bloodless betrayal (probably just not returning after a battle, and maybe faking his own death), and it will leave the crew shocked and with various emotions when they discover he just left. Doing so will give Kataron the chance to copy the Tau Drive, and give them a chance to build their own GN forces. It will mark a point at which Kataron really does become a credible threat to the Innovators and the A-LAWS, but by that point the EF will already be in tension with the Innovators.

-Allelujah starts combating Soma more often, and Marie starts coming closer and closer to awakening on her own. However, while Marie Parfacy cares for Allelujah, Soma Smirnov only wants to return home to her father and remain with her friend Louise. If/when Marie awakens, it will be in a Hallelujah/Allelujah dualist manner, with both striving for dominance. Allelujah will of course not kill Marie under any circumstance, but he will also put Celestial Being’s mission first and then come back once peace is attained.

-Nena and Setsuna are partners, but Nena is confronted by memories of Saji and Louise. Her drive to emulate ‘Gundam’ is checked by her guilt to them, and it increasingly becomes a contradiction of her development; she can proceed like Gundam and act with justice regardless of what others think and value, or she can feel guilt for her past and desire to be punished by those she hurt. While she is stalled on that, Setsuna’s own development with Marina will also have ramifications.

-Bouncing around with various people and having spent time people from all the sides, Saji grows out of his hatred of Nena after seeing what bitter hatred has done to people like Billy and Graham. In their climax of a meeting/confrontation when Nena tries to save him from A-LAWS, Saji doesn’t even try to kill Nena when she gives him the chance, but tells her that he doesn’t hate her anymore and that he believes she is sorry. He also says he wants her brought to justice one day, but a fair trial. Hearing, if not forgiveness then at least understanding from Saji allows Nena to accept Setsuna’s path, not pardoning oneself for past sins but living and acting with a sense of justice, even if others don’t understand or accept. That is being Gundam: not in being popular or liked or strong and mighty, but living and acting according to your sense of justice and acting for what you, not others, think best.

-Louise will stick with the A-LAWS for her quest for revenge, but will also spend more time and resources trying to discover Saji’s fate. She and Soma form and keep a stronger-than-normal friendship with newtype-bond undertones. When Sergei is found with Kataron, Soma will make a point to ask him if Saji is alive, and in his surprise he’ll admit that he knows Saji but he won’t tell where, how, or what happened to Saji. After the series turning point, she’s very uncertain as to her loyalties and susceptible to Saji’s words.

-Sergei ‘joins’ Kataron in order to oppose the A-LAWS after what he considers unforgivable acts (Memento Mori terrorism). He also fears that, if unchecked, the A-LAWS won’t hesitate to use Soma against the weak. He doesn’t oppose the EF, however, putting him at odds with many other members who doubt him, but his tactics, knowledge, and command skills, along with his contacts and reputation with the rest of the EF, puts Kataron in much better standing. With his influence, Kataron and the moderate Elements of the Earth Federation become more sympathetic with each other. Though Sergei tries to alert Soma that he’s still alive, he is unable to contact her, Kati, or any of his EF contacts. Their next meeting will be a surprise on the battlefield, and will greatly shock Soma and lead her to feel that Sergei didn’t try to warn her. However, if Soma does jump ship this will be when and where.

When Darryl returns with the GN drive, he and Sergei will work together and eventually realize they share a goal/comrade through Mr. Bushido. Darryl’s means of contacting with Graham will be Sergei’s means of rejoining the Sergei-Kati-Graham informal information triangle, and will put Sergei back in touch (through Kati) with similar-minded EF officers.

-The EF increasingly becomes a third player and not under the control of the A-LAWS. Insinuations of Celestial Being influence at the top threatens the legitimacy of the A-LAWS and the Innovator’s hold on power, and A-LAW actions are increasingly unpopular with parts of the population. When Sergei is publicly revealed to have joined Kataron, many moderates and those who know him and his reputation start having second thoughts and quietly support Kataron.

-A political climax/victory would be for the public connection of all the information by the various players who by all rights shouldn’t agree: the Corner Conspiracy to use the EF to control the world (related by the survivors of the last battle Graham, Darryl, EF officers ‘in the know’, and Nena), A-LAW atrocities (Saji speaks in court, Kataron gives other proofs, and Louise/Kati could testify), and the revelation of the Innovators being tied to Celestial Being (Tieria, Louise, Wang Liu Mei). If all these threads can be put together and all these different people from different factions work together, the result would be the overthrow of the Innovators, the restructuring/dismantling of the A-LAWS, and the reformation/breakup of the Earth Federation.

Of course, most of these people hate each other, and so many people are hiding secret information/allegiances that not everyone knows who knows what, and some of these people want to settle scores first, and Ribbons will try and kill any witnesses he needs to in order to keep the secret, but if it happens it’s a perfect storm victory. If it does happen, it would look like…



Series Tipping point

Set up, if possible: some time after Sergei has joined Kataron, the EF begins to make moves on the A-LAWS behavior and privileges, especially the Memento Mori. A publicized proceeding in the Earth Federation assembly is started by Ribbons in order to officially find the A-LAWS in the clear, but many in the EF are unexpectedly critical of the A-LAWS and it soon turns into a public trial. Using their contacts, Sergei has it so his old HRL commander (the one who assigned him Soma) drop a bombshell on the proceedings: Saji Crossroads is called as a witness on the A-LAWS actions, and Saji steps out of obscurity and into the view of the world as billions watch the young man begin to answer questions by the (pre-warned and friendly) questioners.

Saji admits everything: starting with the loss of his sister while she was investigating CB to Louise’s maiming (a surprise association that quiets many otherwise hostile representatives) to his arrest at Proud, the hard labor, Kataron’s rescue attempt and the automaton anti-personnel machines. He admits to being rescued by his old neighbor Setsuna, to finding that Setsuna was part of Celestial Being and his own brief stay with them. He mentions being taken to Kataron with the purpose of being left there, of taking a jeep and being stopped by Colonel Sergei Smirnov. He admits to having told Sergei of the location of the Kataron base in hopes of having his name clear, and how he soon found himself Sergei’s aid until Sergei arranged for him to be sent to safety. He gives an account of the Memento Mori annihilating the Kingdom of Kuihr and how he though Sergei had died, and how he has been hiding as an A-LAWS technician ever since. Billions watch as Saji recounts his experiences with both Celestial Being and the A-LAWS.

Ribbons, of course, tries to stop this with Veda. But prepared for it, Sergei and Kataron and the Moderates of the EF have arranged that the signal can get out despite VEDA, by radio and satellite and hard line and every possible means, modern or ancient. Radio stations around the world transmit the broadcast. So Ribbons sends in the A-LAWS to silence Saji and regain control; he tries to keep Louise back, but Louise launches without permission. Regardless, Kataron has prepared a defensive: Darryl leads in his GN Flag, Kataron’s own GN suits are publicly revealed, and loyalties are revealed and established. Kati and Patrick, and even Mr. Bushido reveal their opposition to the Innovators by opposing the A-LAW attack (if she hasn’t already, Soma would join Sergei here): it’s a chaotic battle, loyalties and sides are proven, and of course Celestial Being shows up to defend the EF assembly and defeat the A-LAWS.

With Setsuna’s assistance Nena is able to find and isolate Saji, away from the cameras and everyone else, and they have their final confrontation. Nena says she heard Saji’s address, and understands how he must hate her and all of Celestial Being. She apologizes, but says she knows that words are not enough, hands him a gun, and says she will not run away from him any longer. Saji throws the gun away, tells her that he doesn’t hate her but wants to bring her to justice, and Nena has her moment of epiphany into Gundam and that Gundam acts as he or she judges best, not for support or understanding. She thanks him for being such a kind person, apologizes for what she has to do, and then knocks him out in order to evacuate him to safety from Ribbons.

Louise arrives just in time to see Nena gently carry an unconscious Saji into the 00 Gundam and for the Gundam to take off. Nena apologizes directly to her, promises that she won’t let either of them be harmed any more, and takes off. Louise is unable to stop her.

The post-battle implications are immediate. The Earth Federation moves to reign in tight control over the A-LAWS, and a three-way Civil War between the A-LAWS (the last bastion of the Innovators), the Earth Federation (the loose alliance of the former Three Powers and their members, all of whom have started reorganizing; still opposes Celestial Being), and Kataron (who’s goals include the devolution of the EF back into the Three Powers system, but prioritize the destruction of the A-LAWS; they are supported by the traditionally unaligned countries: Africa, the Middle East, Western Asia, and support Celestial Being). Celestial Being is also aligned against the A-LAWS and Innovators, but not for either of the other two sides in particular. Everyone is temporarily united against the A-LAWS.

With this, the series immediately turns to the End Game phase. The Innovators and A-LAWS reveal hidden secret weapons, characters make final commitments before the final battle somewhere in space (at Veda?) and everyone prepares for what’s to follow.

Sides/main characters into final fight:

A-LAWS:
Innovators
Colonel Lindt
Ali
Louise (wavering)

Earth Federation
Kati/Patrick
Sergei/Soma
Graham/Darryl/Billy

Kataron
Klause
Marina/Shirin

Celestial Being
Meisters/Ptolemy Crew
Lyle
Nena
Saji (actually a detainee, but Nena intends to release him after the A-LAWS are destroyed)

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:53 am 
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Okawara x Katoki Love Child

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:shock:

I would be lying if I said I wasn't impressed. I can see why such a gargantuan undertaking would be a virtual nightmare in the face of school, work, and life in general.

Darryl of Kataron, working to cleanse Allelujah of his Marie fixation, Soma referring to Sergei as "Father," the anti-Innovator conspiracy, and Lockon's evolution are some of the paritcularly strong points that jumped out at me.

I just hope your replacement can do your ideas justice.

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:46 am 
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OMG Doomsday Laser

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Imperial wrote:
:shock:

I would be lying if I said I wasn't impressed. I can see why such a gargantuan undertaking would be a virtual nightmare in the face of school, work, and life in general.
Not virtual. It is a nightmare.

You see, we haven't even hit the 'this is entirely unlike the series point,' and so for now I could loosely follow the events of the series because most of them are in reaction to points that have already been set in motion independent of the Meisters or that the Meisters can't affect (IE, Memento Mori). For the most part, I've just changed characters aroundd a bit and explained their interactions, and in was-dead cases like Darryl or Lockon there's no real need to have a big change from the series. Darryl doesn't have a suit to allow him to make a difference until Graham does, allowing me to mitigate his role on the battlefield, Lyle is now support, and even Nena got bumped off her Gundam.

But when we start hitting points in the series where characters like Soma, Nena, or Sergei start making critical decisions/actions that they're no longer in a position to make...


Well, we'll have more episodes like seven (when Marie was NOT revived) and the plot begins being entirely made up. Which requires even MORE planning than I did for these ones...
Quote:
Darryl of Kataron, working to cleanse Allelujah of his Marie fixation, Soma referring to Sergei as "Father," the anti-Innovator conspiracy, and Lockon's evolution are some of the paritcularly strong points that jumped out at me.
Thankyou, though I'd correct you on Darryl. Darryl is 'the Traitor' of the series, even more than Saji, seeing as he's only loyal to his friends (Graham and, to a smaller extent, Lyle). He's in Kataron to press them as a separate angle of investigation for the anti-Innovator conspiracy, and once that's found...

Well, Kataron supports Celestial Being as well. And while he'll work with them (and especially Sergei) to bring down the Innovators, he has no loyalty to the organization. Not saying he'll be a traitor and start shooting them down in the middle of battle, but there's a reason he and Sergei are under the EF side at the end.



For Allelujah, one of the things preventing me to say more on him was that I can't plan the future episodes in advance. But yes, the Marie-fixation was one theme I wanted out. The means to do that is most likely Sumeragi: they're drinking buddies, and she's the one with woman's intuition.

That said, though I can't plan for it because I can't know if that finale is even achievable, Allelujah likely does get reunited with Marie/Soma... near the end, after Soma's jumped the A-LAWS ship to join with Kataron. Roughly, CB would visit Kataron to make a common fight, and while there Allelujah would meet Sergei and, by extension, Soma. Soma's dual (not single!) personalities would be exposed, and Sergei and Allelujah would realize they both treasure somewhat different women in the same body, made only a bit less awkward by the fact that while Marie cares for Allelujah and forgives him his crimes, Soma is always experiencing quantum brainwave headaches and doesn't forgive him for killing the children of the Institute and almost killing Sergei as well.





And yes, the anti-Innovator conspiracy is my favorite part. It's just a furthering of Sergei and Kati's own anti-A-LAW information ring, but expanded with the knowledge of the Corner Conspiracy. But expanded enough, and with the proper connections and information...

Quote:

I just hope your replacement can do your ideas justice.
Since I've already outsourced it once, I'm not opposed to anyone who wants to taking a crack at some drabbles on it, so long as they stick to the themes and what not. I may even do periodic 'planning' updates, just to keep where the story is/would be going.

But I'll be sure to link anything he/she writes.

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:53 pm 
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Mecha Flunky

Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:43 pm
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Hello everyone this is my first time posting on this forum but I just thought I should let you know that I am the author who will be trying to pick up on Dean_the_Young's work "Reformation".

Some of you guys might recognize me as the guy who wrote a A Friend Indeed on fanfiction.net, which I am not incredibly proud of to be honest as it was my first real attempt at writing anything. I also came on to tell you that I will most likely not be posting on fanfiction.net-instead I will be either posting here or on my blog. (which is still under rough construction)

(wordpress.centralexpress.com)

I look forward to your response,
masterkeyes2.


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Phew, that was dense! But a really interesting read. I like how things progress logically. Very well paced.

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Thoughts

An angry, unhappy Lockon sounds sad and kinda scary...

Quote:
She is confronted for her actions, makes no excuses for herself, and states that she is a Meister who wants to end war, and not just because she was raised to. Setsuna backs her up, and she is more or less accepted. Nena vows to uphold the principles of a true Gundam Meister, and privately vows to be as strong as Setsuna.
That's very good and brave of her. You can she her mature in front of your eyes.

Quote:
Sumeragi sends the (empty) Trinity mothership towards the Solar Elevator, forcing the UN taskforce to divert a few units (Graham, Darryl, and the two remaining overflags) to stop it before it can get to the tower.

Gee, that sounds familiar...

Quote:
he runs off his mouth, including telling Nena that he was the one who commissioned the Gundam Thrones and their pilots AND that he intends to use the UN to rule the Earth.

Don't forget the fact that he sent Ali to kill her...

Quote:
At the Exia, Nena frantically tries to awaken Setsuna, who is dreaming of his letter to Marina. When he awakens she is glad and hugs him, but before she calls in to the Ptolemy he asks her not to. He explains to her that the world is still distorted, that even Celestial Being (Alejandro’s conspiracy, Lockon) has been distorted. He asks that she leave him to find the true source of the world’s distortion, but Nena shakes her head and says (not asks) that she will come with him to find that distortion as well, and reminds him that she vowed to become like him, like Gundam. Setsuna accepts her, and the two quietly float into space, their Gundams holding onto each other much as they are.
That is extremely touching...

So, you didn't have as many people killed. Hmm.

What are Nena's time-skip clothes like? And her hair! Her hair is super-ugly in S2! And what colour will her CB uniform be? If you aren't interested in designing clothes and hair, may I please? You don't have to accept them it you don't like the ideas of her appearance, of course!

A couple of months ago, I saw a two-panel fan art of Saji strangling Nena. Did you or your friend draw it?

Quote:
Saji looks at Nena’s gundam and glares, and Nena is so shocked that she can’t fire and is forced to retreat.
Harsh...

Quote:
Instead he finds a distraught Nena, who in the privacy of the Celestial Being transport tells him what she saw during the battle, and she begins to approach a guilt breakdown about how he wouldn’t have joined the other side and the attack wouldn’t have happened had she not been there. Setsuna awkwardly tries to comfort her.
Stupid Saji. I blame you.

Quote:
Nena isn’t reassured and says she won’t be able to forgive herself if she can’t make up for her past harms, which Setsuna has no reply to because he remembers his own past.
Nena is going through what Setsuna had to go through before we saw him on-screen... Probably.

Quote:
This isn’t to convince him to give up on Marie, but rather to drop the “Or die trying” part after Sumeragi forces him to understand that ‘Marie’ may not return the sentiment and have him decide her life for her.
That's smart.
Quote:
When he eventually does wake up, she greets him as Father.
Crowning Moment of Heartwarming


Quote:
Setsuna makes his escape without being ousted as a CB member.
That’s good *breathes sigh of relief*

Quote:
Nena gets nearly totaled except for the GN drive and cockpit when Ali reveals his feet-sabers; Tieria and Setsuna are unable to assist her.
Oh dear.

Quote:
With a 4-to-1 fight looming, Ali backs off and Setsuna carries the ruined Drei to the Ptolemy.
:sweatdrop: she always has to be helped by Setsuna…

Quote:
Back at the party, Ribbons blames Regene for ruining it. Regene blames Ribbons for angering Tieria, and suggests that Ribbons did it to incite Celestial Being to further action. He suggests that Kataron is too weak a threat to convince an increasingly skeptical EF establishment, but that CB creates the perfect popular justification and support for the A-LAWS. It’s implied that the Innovators are aware of the presence of lower-ranking officials that suspect A-LAW atrocities, the Innovators very existence and involvement with CB, but that rooting them out would cause too much trouble at the moment and that without proof of connection or A-LAW atrocities (both controlled by VEDA) those officers are powerless.
The plot thickens…

Quote:
He forwards Kati’s request: can Billy find a place for a young engineer wanted by A-LAWS but who’s proven to be against CB and Kataron?
It’s nice the way everyone’s helping Saji.

Quote:
Lyle’s admission of not living in the past affects more than Lockon. Later Nena asks him if repentant criminals can be be forgiven even if vengeance isn’t pursued, while Darryl differs with him and says that while keeping one’s perspective is admirable, crimes of the past aren’t washed away with time and that even past criminals need to be brought to justice.
:sweatdrops: Poor Neena must be so confused…

Quote:
The A-LAWS are surprised when the Ptolemy’s GN barrier lessens and turns gold but continues: Nena’s tau drive is enough to keep a modest barrier running when the trans-am true drives run out.
Cool.

Quote:
Nena is depressed, and she and Setsuna talk about being a Gundam Meister without a Gundam, and Setsuna tells her that being a true Meister it is more than just being the pilot. He points to Lyle as someone perfectly qualified to be called a Meister without ever once sitting in a Gundam because Lyle has a sense of justice and a willingness to put others ahead of himself, and that even Darryl, who hates Celestial Being, puts his friends and their memory ahead of his own desires and never forgets his pride. Lockon walks in and hears this, and wonders if he’s worth calling a Meister even though he’s put his personal desire for revenge ahead of his friends, his last family, and their mission.
Wow… this is just all so noble and… noble…

Quote:
The massive quantities of GN particles have their effect on quantum brainwave users in the vicinity: Tieria gets a migrane, and Allelujah begins to show signs of Hallelujah reviving. Nena has a flash of seeing Saji in peril and yells for him to get away, startling Setsuna and others around her. In their ships that have left Earth, both Soma and Louise have the same vision as Nena (seeing both Saji and Sergei), though not as clearly.
Oh cool! Neena gets a strong Newtype flash! Stronger than Soma or Louise! Wait – (why was hers stronger?)

Quote:
Sergei is found still alive, but not by EF troops. Unknown strangers find him half-buried, and mentioning an A-LAWS crackdown in the area they decide to take him to ‘that place.’
Mysterious…

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Wang Liu Mei watches the Memento Mori attack with Hong Long. Meeting Ali, she wonders about buying his services (and he doesn’t refuse, but only suggests it would be a high price).
She’s much more of a clearer evil now.

Quote:
Tieria tells of the Innovators and Quantum brainwaves, and reveals that Ribbons admitted to having a part in Nena’s creation.
how will she react to that… it turns out, she has some of his DNA… he’s the closest thing she has to a father! Squick!

Quote:
The A-LAWS arrive and find the base and attack, though by the time they do most of Celestial Being is already prepared. Casualties are much lower, data and equipment salvaged much higher, and only the 0 Riser is delayed.
You… you avoid killing at all costs, Ne?

Quote:
the rest of the Meisters bar Nena protect the Ptolemy, which has Nena’s Tau Drive supplementing it’s shields and firepower.
It must be frustrating for Nena…

Quote:
When the hanger is hit, it is Nena who answers first. Ian tells her to deliver the 0 Riser to Setsuna, and it is she and her purple Haro he get inside, while Lyle takes Ian to the infirmary. Nena goes to help Setsuna, and the mere presence of her quantum brainwave ‘pressure’ is enough to surprise Soma long enough for the hook-up to happen.
All right! Butt-kicking time!

Quote:
In the ethereal newtype-ish world, Nena hears Louise’s thoughts and picks up Saji’s name from Louise’s jumbled and worried thoughts. Nena’s own thoughts of him, and of the reason behind that guilt, reach Louise, and in the confused questioning about how the other knows Saji the two women realize who the other is: Nena recognizes Louise as the one she harmed most, and Louise sees the one who murdered her family.
What a great new way of doing that scene!

Quote:
Soma doesn’t even know that the A-LAWS are behind the events of Sergei’s disappearance: when the official letter comes, it says that Sergei vanished after the Kingdom of Suihr attempted to instigate violence with the assistance of Kataron, leading Soma to formulate a grudge against Kataron for bringing about the events.
Oh. Dear.

Quote:
Sergei is not dead: he is currently the ‘guest’ of a Kataron cell, and upon realizing they have the Wild Bear of Russia they send him to Kataron HQ. Besides meeting Marina and receiving a lot of grief for being a part of the EF, he will also meet Klause, who will try and turn Sergei against the Federation by revealing all sorts of A-LAW atrocities. Since gathering proof on the A-LAWS has been Sergei’s goal from the start, he will play along.
I see. Interesting where it will lead…

Quote:
Nena becomes the partner in the 0 Riser, using her quantum brainwaves to work with Setsuna.
Sugoii!! Yeah, Quantum Brainwaves! ‘Cause it’s like, the Users can sense others’ inner feelings and thoughts, so Nena would be able to sense Setsuna’s next actions and act in sync!

Quote:
It will mark a point at which Kataron really does become a credible threat to the Innovators and the A-LAWS, but by that point the EF will already be in tension with the Innovators.
Yeah… they’re really not much of a threat now, are they? :sweatdrop:

Quote:
Allelujah starts combating Soma more often, and Marie starts coming closer and closer to awakening on her own. However, while Marie Parfacy cares for Allelujah, Soma Smirnov only wants to return home to her father and remain with her friend Louise. If/when Marie awakens, it will be in a Hallelujah/Allelujah dualist manner, with both striving for dominance. Allelujah will of course not kill Marie under any circumstance, but he will also put Celestial Being’s mission first and then come back once peace is attained.
Dilemma, dilemma

Quote:
Nena and Setsuna are partners, but Nena is confronted by memories of Saji and Louise. Her drive to emulate ‘Gundam’ is checked by her guilt to them, and it increasingly becomes a contradiction of her development; she can proceed like Gundam and act with justice regardless of what others think and value, or she can feel guilt for her past and desire to be punished by those she hurt. While she is stalled on that, Setsuna’s own development with Marina will also have ramifications.
Poor Nena. The road to her development is long and hard. But what do you mean by being confronted with the memories of Saji and Loiuse?

Quote:
Bouncing around with various people and having spent time people from all the sides, Saji grows out of his hatred of Nena after seeing what bitter hatred has done to people like Billy and Graham.
Good. Saji grows up.

Quote:
He also says he wants her brought to justice one day, but a fair trial.
That’s a weird thought. À trial.

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Hearing, if not forgiveness then at least understanding from Saji allows Nena to accept Setsuna’s path, not pardoning oneself for past sins but living and acting with a sense of justice, even if others don’t understand or accept. That is being Gundam: not in being popular or liked or strong and mighty, but living and acting according to your sense of justice and acting for what you, not others, think best.
Wow… Once again, I am reminded of my immaturity– I can barely grasp that concept! I really do need to grow…

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Louise will stick with the A-LAWS for her quest for revenge, but will also spend more time and resources trying to discover Saji’s fate.
Y’know, I bet on the actual show she’ll turn into the monster Nena was.

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So Ribbons sends in the A-LAWS to silence Saji and regain control; he tries to keep Louise back, but Louise launches without permission. Regardless, Kataron has prepared a defensive: Darryl leads in his GN Flag, Kataron’s own GN suits are publicly revealed, and loyalties are revealed and established. Kati and Patrick, and even Mr. Bushido reveal their opposition to the Innovators by opposing the A-LAW attack (if she hasn’t already, Soma would join Sergei here): it’s a chaotic battle, loyalties and sides are proven, and of course Celestial Being shows up to defend the EF assembly and defeat the A-LAWS.
Ahhh, chaos… But… the climax of the series is a public trial?

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With Setsuna’s assistance Nena is able to find and isolate Saji, away from the cameras and everyone else, and they have their final confrontation. Nena says she heard Saji’s address, and understands how he must hate her and all of Celestial Being. She apologizes, but says she knows that words are not enough, hands him a gun, and says she will not run away from him any longer. Saji throws the gun away, tells her that he doesn’t hate her but wants to bring her to justice, and Nena has her moment of epiphany into Gundam and that Gundam acts as he or she judges best, not for support or understanding. She thanks him for being such a kind person, apologizes for what she has to do, and then knocks him out in order to evacuate him to safety from Ribbons.
So…amazing. You’ve done something wonderful here, Dean.

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Louise arrives just in time to see Nena gently carry an unconscious Saji into the 00 Gundam and for the Gundam to take off. Nena apologizes directly to her, promises that she won’t let either of them be harmed any more, and takes off.
And so, they finally meet face to face…

Thoughts:
Everyone’s so noble… it’s like… it’s hard to explain. It’s inspiring? It’s definitely something good.

It’s weird having two Lockons at the same time :sweatdrops:

You’ve turned Darryl into an interesting and cool character. What do you think Nena’s final fate would be…

Also: I’m very sorry for being so late. I’m a bad typer with a lot to say and limited time to type it. I’m sorry. You must of thought that I was so ungrateful when I didn’t review…

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I'm so terribly sorry.


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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:57 am 
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OMG Doomsday Laser

Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:24 pm
Posts: 1289
Location: Near Rockets
Ribbons Yukari wrote:
Thoughts

An angry, unhappy Lockon sounds sad and kinda scary...
He tends to be. Everyone thought it was cool and garlock to throw his life away to fight Ali, but it isn't so cool when it's directed at others.

He gets better, it just takes awhile
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That's very good and brave of her. You can she her mature in front of your eyes.
It is the idea of the series; Nena being forced to mature.

It's something of a weak start, because it was completely arbitrary. Maybe talking to Setsuna changed her from her in-series 4-year brooding.
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Gee, that sounds familiar...
Hm? It didn't happen in-series, and I wasn't remembering any other series in particular (though the 'threaten catastrophe as a diversion' is as old as literature)
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Don't forget the fact that he sent Ali to kill her...
Point, but already implied. It's not clear if Alejandro ever worked with Ali, or if it was Ribbons who was guiding him.

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touching...

So, you didn't have as many people killed. Hmm.
Yes, but don't take it as a no-deaths-at-any-cost aversion on my part. Lockon was spared as a butterfly effect of Nena's joining, and so did the battles change accordingly. Adding another Gundam threatened to overbalance the fight in favor of the Ptolemy, so I saved a few here and there to give Alejandro and Graham time to show up. Darryl has an important part in the second season, Lockon has a whole new season for development, and there really was no purpose to kill off other named-characters to equal out; only two named characters escaped the axe.

If you're talking about the more decisive win on the part of the UN forces, that was to serve as emphasis that just adding Nena wouldn't save CB. The aces of the three powers are meant to play a more important role in Season 2 than they have on-air.


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What are Nena's time-skip clothes like? And her hair! Her hair is super-ugly in S2! And what colour will her CB uniform be? If you aren't interested in designing clothes and hair, may I please? You don't have to accept them it you don't like the ideas of her appearance, of course!

A couple of months ago, I saw a two-panel fan art of Saji strangling Nena. Did you or your friend draw it?
Absolutely no planning or drawing went into Nena's S2 appearance or uniform. Feel free to draw what-ever you would like; it's not like I'd force you to take it down even if I didn't like it.

No, I've never seen that two-panel fan-art, though I'd appreciate a link. But I could see Saji trying to strangle Nena but not being able to do it, and Nena not trying to resist.

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Harsh...
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Saji (and Louise) is a culmination of everything Nena feels guilt about. It should probably be changed to "Saji glares, and Nena is so taken aback that the Federation MS force her to fall back.

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Stupid Saji. I blame you.
I don't see why; he owes nothing to Celestial Being except saving his life, something that wouldn't have been at risk had they not arrived. The woman he hates more than anyone else, who was behind the loss of one of his loved ones, is on the ship. All Saji wanted was to go back to being a civilian.

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Nena is going through what Setsuna had to go through before we saw him on-screen... Probably.
Something like that. She wants to emulate him (and he's trying to emulate the ideal of Gundam), so the parallels are present. Of course, she's a different person, and it will show.



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That’s good *breathes sigh of relief*

Oh dear.

:sweatdrop: she always has to be helped by Setsuna…
The alternative is to be helped by someone she doesn't have as strong a friendship with.

Nena's loss to Ali serves three roles, though perhaps I didn't make them all clear; it proves how powerful Ali is and resets the balance of the battlefield, it gives a reason for Nena to be Setsuna's co-pilot, and it frees up a GN-drive for the Ptolemy and, later, Darryl's GN Flag. It also reinforces the lesson from the end of the altered Season 1 of to not be consumed by vengance, that it will get you killed.





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It’s nice the way everyone’s helping Saji.
They aren't helping him for his sake, they're trading and doing favors for friends and co-conspirators. Saji's role for them is clear; he's a living testimony, and one who's proven himself unaligned with CB and Katharon. The network of friends and contacts is part of the anti-Innovator conspiracy.
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:sweatdrops: Poor Neena must be so confused…
She is. This is about the phase where she really gets torn between the past and future, and how she should handle Saji and, later, Louise.



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Oh cool! Neena gets a strong Newtype flash! Stronger than Soma or Louise! Wait – (why was hers stronger?)
Because she was at the center of such a massive concentration of GN particles, while Soma and Louise were at the edges of Earth and not in such a dense GN area.


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She’s much more of a clearer evil now.
I'd disagree. Wang Liu Mei isn't evil, she's ammoral and a bit of an idealogue of the "I'm right and everyone else doesn't matter" school of thought. Distasteful, sure, but not greedy (Alejandro) petty (Nena wedding massacre) or plain bloodthirsty.

CB has Phon, an actual terrorist who even they won't leave unrestrained. If Wang Liu Mei bribes Ali to play her game, she's just in line with the rest of CB.

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You… you avoid killing at all costs, Ne?
No, not really. It just seemed pointless. I also get annoyed at the "let's shoot an asteroid, and suddenly all the computers will explode like bombs!" premise of the attack.


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Sugoii!! Yeah, Quantum Brainwaves! ‘Cause it’s like, the Users can sense others’ inner feelings and thoughts, so Nena would be able to sense Setsuna’s next actions and act in sync!
Sort of, except she doesn't pilot. It's more like she would be more able to detect the intentions of other QBW-users, and then forward it to Setsuna. Secondhand newtype, as far as QBW users are involved, or newtypes.


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Poor Nena. The road to her development is long and hard. But what do you mean by being confronted with the memories of Saji and Loiuse?
She keeps remembering the wedding massacre, and she remembers her confrontation with Saji and then how he showed up on the EF bridge and led to the attack on Katharon.

I really should right out that scene; it's rather important, what with a non-resisted strangling, impotent hate, and basically not resolving anything between him and Nena except that she is a cold-blooded murderer who killed for no reason.

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Good. Saji grows up.
Indeed. And without a Bright Slap or needing to jump into a cockpit.

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Ahhh, chaos… But… the climax of the series is a public trial?
A public hearing revealing to all the truth behind the A-LAWS and their methods. And, if others speak at the trial, possibly revealing the Innovator/Alejandro conspiracy itself.




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So…amazing. You’ve done something wonderful here, Dean.
It bloody needs to be changed. Handing him a gun? Stupid. But the idea is there.
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Louise arrives just in time to see Nena gently carry an unconscious Saji into the 00 Gundam and for the Gundam to take off. Nena apologizes directly to her, promises that she won’t let either of them be harmed any more, and takes off.
And so, they finally meet face to face…
I think I'll need to re-write that to make a point. Louise arrive in time to see Nena sock it to Saji and then carry him away, but be powerless to stop it. Make it a tragic moment for her, having finally found him but Celestial Being unarguably and indisputably taking him away from her.
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Thoughts:
Everyone’s so noble… it’s like… it’s hard to explain. It’s inspiring? It’s definitely something good.
Character-driven, hopefully, with interesting dynamics.

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It’s weird having two Lockons at the same time :sweatdrops:
Not two Lockons; only one Lockon and his twin brother. Lyle has no interest in being Lockon Stratos, as will grow clear.
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You’ve turned Darryl into an interesting and cool character. What do you think Nena’s final fate would be…
Darryl has plenty or wiggle-room now that he survived, and I wanted to take advantage of it. As for Nena...

She will reach her understanding of Gundam before she dies. It may be different, it may be the same as Setsuna, but it will be her own Gundam.

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Also: I’m very sorry for being so late. I’m a bad typer with a lot to say and limited time to type it. I’m sorry. You must of thought that I was so ungrateful when I didn’t review…
Anyone who writes solely for the reviews can't be called a good writer.



Anyways, I'm typing up the episode 12/13 planning now, and making some edits to the past. Look to see that in the next few days.

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I'm sorry this letter is so long, but I did not have time to make it shorter. -Mark Twain

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