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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:24 am 
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"How does the Agrissa's plasma field feel?" the mocking voice asked from the sinister spider-like machine perched over him, and agony lanced through the young man who piloted the Gundam Exia. "Just leave the cockpit and die, Kurdish brat!"

He tried to move, but every part of him shuddered at the intense pain ripping through him. The blood red Enact perched inside the mobile armor seemed to enjoy his suffering as much as its pilot, the golden stripe along its face lighting up....

Just as Setsuna's sight tore in two by a streak of blinding light.

The Agrissa was skewered by a trio of beams, Ali's Enact ejecting from the machine before it detonated entirely, showering the sand with debris.

Setsuna looked up at the sky, the rising sun playing off the unblemished and practically glistening armor plating of the new machine.

The machine belching forth GN particles as unique as the energy weapon that had destroyed the Agrissa.

"Gundam.....Gun....dam......Gundam!"

Which was when a young voice returned his nondescript acknowledgment of the new machine's presence.

"Still alive?"

***

The mop up of the remaining forces that'd captured and surrounded the original four Gundams was almost painfully brief, the new trio of Gundams deploying weapons that the combined international forces had never expected. Thoroughly planned out for the original four, and somewhat lax due to the capture of at least two units, the forces had been systematically taken out and driven into retreat.

Which was when Johann Trinity, the apparent commander of the new Meisters, had contacted his sister Nena.

"Maximum particle dispersal, right! Let's go Haro!"

"Yes, Nena! Yes, Nena!"

The Throne Drei rose into the air as the central core under its torso began to glow. Setsuna watched as ports all over it opened, belching forth even more of the GN particles than its propulsion required.

"GN....Stealth Field!"

There was a single bright flash, and then the great wave spread out across the sky.

***

Various soldiers noticed it at once, the Gundam Meisters as surprised as the multinational forces, but at the moment, one familiar red-headed pilot wasn't too concerned, poking at his phone in annoyance.

"HQ, can you hear me? This is Patrick, please respond! Damn, it won't connect....how'm I supposed to get back?" he wondered, looking up at the sky as an unearthly twilight covered the desert under the eerie green gleam of the particles flooding the land....

***

At least partially inspired by Dean_The_Young's various drabbles, this alternative's been niggling at me ever since I rewatched the second half of Season 1 again. The remainder will probably play out in "layout format" like my previous revising of SEED Destiny from forever ago, but this scene was in my mind, and I couldn't get it to go away till I'd written it.

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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:05 am 
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Yay, I'm inspiring!

Can't quite tell what the divergence is yet (still looks like episode 16 to me), but I'll be waiting expectantly.

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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:55 pm 
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Dean_the_Young wrote:
Yay, I'm inspiring!

Can't quite tell what the divergence is yet (still looks like episode 16 to me), but I'll be waiting expectantly.


I bring your attention to this:

Quote:
"HQ, can you hear me? This is Patrick, please respond! Damn, it won't connect....how'm I supposed to get back?" he wondered, looking up at the sky as an unearthly twilight covered the desert under the eerie green gleam of the particles flooding the land....


The Throne Drei emitting green particles? Most intriguing...

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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:45 pm 
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Strike Zero wrote:
Dean_the_Young wrote:
Yay, I'm inspiring!

Can't quite tell what the divergence is yet (still looks like episode 16 to me), but I'll be waiting expectantly.


I bring your attention to this:

Quote:
"HQ, can you hear me? This is Patrick, please respond! Damn, it won't connect....how'm I supposed to get back?" he wondered, looking up at the sky as an unearthly twilight covered the desert under the eerie green gleam of the particles flooding the land....


The Throne Drei emitting green particles? Most intriguing...
:shock:
Indeed I missed that. Already, I'm thinking different thoughts. Are the Thrones legitimate (as in, pre-planned but secret) members of CB? Are Ribbons and Alejandro still behind it, but were able to copy down the true drive? Certainly their credibility is going to be up, if they really are perfect Gundams. Will they act the same way?

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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:25 pm 
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"Damn it!" Graham Aker slammed a fist into the side of his Flag, looking at the burning ruins of the MSWAD, a still smoldering gouge cutting through the base like the finger stroke of some malevolent god.

The other Flag Fighters for the most part retained their distance from their commander. Their organization was too new, their sole real operation the disastrous Gundam capture operation in Taklamakan. The only two to remain close by in case the commander needed them were the original members of the Anti-Gundam Investigation Team, Darryl Dodge and Howard Mason.

But even as he voiced his frustration at their arriving too late to stop the attack, Graham knew how lucky they had been. The one new model that had carried out the attack on MSWAD had had the firepower of the heavy Gundam and range almost equaling the sniper, but it was optimized for that role. Its particle spread had kept it concealed until the single bright particle beam had carved its way across the MSWAD, slicing through armament storage, mobile suit hangars, and eventually the headquarters compound itself. All in the first few seconds, and all done by a single machine.

But the minute his Overflags had caught up with the black armored monster, it had immediately fled. Like the early interventions, it seemed these new models were so confident in their technological superiority that they'd piece-mealed out their interventions among their members for the most part. The cannon, as the black Gundam had been unofficially designated, was operating alone, and the huge toll in human life and resources that it had caused with the five second blast had been cut short, something that would've been drastically less likely had it been supported by its compatriots which were much better built for combat against mobile suits, as the slaughter of an Enact squadron east of Brussels that had occurred at roughly the same time as the MSWAD attack had demonstrated. Graham's unit was already down three pilots and tired besides. Had the orange one and its remote controlled missiles been here, he probably would've lost more.

And, a selfish part of him noted, Billy was still alive. He had known Professor Eiffman and liked the man, but they'd never been especially close. He knew his friend was already grieving, but Graham felt an almost traitorous sense of relief that at least he was alive TO grieve, thanks to his being away from the Professor's office when the strike had hit.

Thus it was disaster mixed with sheer luck that drove Graham to his frustration, for while the Gundams continued to remain on their perches, judging all humanity from above, it was still a military and political problem. Graham was grateful for that. Graham Aker was a passionate man and he knew it. Right now, he was able to keep his detachment. To consider the problem like the officer and, he liked to think, somewhat intelligent commander he was. But there was a dark and ugly part of himself that he knew about and didn't like, which would've been much harder to deal with had the Gundams added insult to injury in not only casually sweeping aside the Taklamakan operation, but killing Billy as well.

So for now, Graham watched the gaping ruin of the MSWAD, alone in his thoughts, and was paradoxically grateful to the celestial puck Murphy for who he chose to spare as randomly as he'd taken away.

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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:40 pm 
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Hm hm. So, Thrones still do military interventions ala cannon, but do it by themselves, so Johan's get-in-get-out works well, and keeps Graham from having to make his vengeance vow for Howard.

On the other hand, one of the things in the series was that the 3 powers were on the edge of unilaterally disarming before the Jinx were introduced: since I doubt there are 30 true drives waiting in Antarctica, that will bear watching as well (unless Nena still massacres, and an inter-CB fight starts in public).

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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 5:54 pm 
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It was so difficult, he mused, to avoid a God complex when one was given this sort of view.

200 years of preparation. That's what Aeolia Schenberg had had. But the Corner family had had even less when they'd finally discovered the ship that had allowed Schenberg's supporters, the proto-Celestial Being, access to the gravity well of far off Jupiter, the forge for the mightiest weapon the world would ever know: the GN Drive.

Naturally, this had been no accident. The Corners had been seeking to subvert Celestial Being's plan for generations; to finally locate the area Schnberg had kept so secret was but the final, crowning moment where planning became reality. And similarly, the one terminal found onboard that had failed to delete its critical construction details had given the Corner family the perfect tool.

But there hadn't been enough time. Had they had enough time, they could have built more, but the deadlines and keeping such investigations secret from the rest of Celestial Being made brevity of more importance than quantity. Like Aeolia Schenberg himself, the Corner family had built only a trio of drives, entrusted with the hopes, schemes, and ambitions of their creators.

The developments of the GN-Tau drive, a much more suitable design for mass production, gave Alejandro some comfort, however. They would be the heralds of the new order that he would build from the shadows, guiding the world along its destined path. But for the first stage of this, the climax of a century and a half of preparation, it was only fitting that the Thrones should carry the Corner family's masterpieces: GN Drives constructed without the knowledge or sanction of Aeolia Schenberg. Perfect, indistinguishable from the originals.

"Master Alejandro," Ribbons said, entering the room. Alejandro deviated from his self-congratulatory thoughts to glance at his manservant.

"Yes, Ribbons? What news?"

"As expected, the Exia has engaged the Thrones. The other Gundams responded in support of him. The Trial system failed. As planned."

"Excellent, Ribbons. As always, the plan benefits immensely from your involvement. What of the rest?" Alejandro noted, sipping his brandy slowly.

"Antarctica has reported in. The final production is finished. The 30 GN-X are ready at your order."

"Perfect," Alejandro noted, bringing up the video of the Thrones and the original Gundams engaging one another. "Now all that remains is the recovery of the Thrones to be...suitably disposed of. Johann will do as expected: he's been trained too intelligently not to. The Trinities will be driven away from this Earth, and the Ptolemaios destroyed in the wake of the hunt. And so the Corner family's crown jewels will be recovered, and five more added to their number."

"Should I contact the mercenary we employed to remove Laguna for that?" Ribbons asked, anticipating already the practical preparations necessary to back up his employers histrionic proclamations.

"No," Alejandro noted. "Team Trinity will do as expected. Johann is capable enough of handling his siblings to wait for further orders until we can rendevous and...neutralize them in person. But he won't take any initiative with Laguna dead and unable to pass on any further orders. And with such...regrettable slaughter as the younger two Trinities have demonstrated, Celestial Being will not take them in either. They have no option but to place their heads on the chopping block, even if they can't see the guillotine waiting above. Everything is proceeding as planned."

Ribbons nodded, departing silently to fulfill Alejandro's orders, and the Observer returned to looking at the map of the world, pinpricked with glowing red dots of the Trinities' various interventions. As an Observer, he had been bound to only sit back and watch as Celestial Being carried out the plan of Aeolia Schenberge. But he was also a Corner, and they were not so passive. To reach out into the world with his chosen tools and direct it onto its set path...the path that Aeolia Schenberg had been too idealistic to realize was necessary...this must be what it felt like to be God. Or at least, he thought with ironic humor, a celestial being...

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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:48 pm 
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Oooh, that was quick. Next point: trans-am. Do the Trinities get it as well, or does only the Ptolemy meisters get it because their drives were put together by CB proper, while the Trinities might have missed that blackbox programming?

It makes sense that Alejandro would want to keep his three drives intact: he did say that as long as the GN drives exist, Celestial Being could be resurrected at any time. (Speaking of which, you might have made an error: "And so the Corner family's crown jewels will be recovered, and five more added to their number." If you're speaking of the Gundams, that's sort of reasonable (except that the Gundams would presumably be destroyed along the Ptolemy), but I took it to mean solar furnaces in context.)

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 2:52 am 
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Dean_the_Young wrote:
Oooh, that was quick. Next point: trans-am. Do the Trinities get it as well, or does only the Ptolemy meisters get it because their drives were put together by CB proper, while the Trinities might have missed that blackbox programming?


Got it in one. The principal difference that made this entire set of events spiral outwards is that one computer terminal and its attached database wasn't emptied as planned when CB abandoned their Jupiter based operations. In the original canon, we see what are presumably the Corner conspiracy's people finding the Jupitris look-alike and Nena's Haro, which notes later that it doesn't remember Lockon's Haro, again suggesting a security based information wipe of whatever they couldn't take with them. Presumably, by the time period of the present, Jupiter's gravity well would've pulled the ship into it, erasing all evidence. But, while the intact mainframe had the pieces necessary to make three true drives for the Thrones(i.e. the information on creating a stable TD blanket for their cores), presumably there's far more to Aeolia's Trans-Am system than just dumping the particles en masse, or A-LAWS would've cracked Trans-Am years before Billy did with the Masurao. Just as Alejandro's on Alvatore has nothing on the Twin Drive system of the 00.

Quote:
It makes sense that Alejandro would want to keep his three drives intact: he did say that as long as the GN drives exist, Celestial Being could be resurrected at any time. (Speaking of which, you might have made an error: "And so the Corner family's crown jewels will be recovered, and five more added to their number." If you're speaking of the Gundams, that's sort of reasonable (except that the Gundams would presumably be destroyed along the Ptolemy), but I took it to mean solar furnaces in context.)


No error, exactly. After all, the superpowers have wanted to capture a Gundam mostly intact long before Corner's unification scheme. Plus, Alejandro's an arrogant sonuvabitch(as noted by his god complex musings), and I don't doubt he thinks he could spin the united GN-X units to his tune in order to recover CB's GN drives. Perhaps not as discretely as he plans to recover the Thrones, but the end of the series certainly seemed to indicate the drives themselves are heavily protected within the Gundams. Kyrios, Nadleeh, and Dynames all suffer enormous damage that disables the pilots and renders the Gundams themselves so much scrap metal, yet their drives are fine in the end, and obviously recoverable. Corner, possessing only the information he has about the GN Drive, would doubtless think that 30 GN-X units and his Alvatore would be perfectly capable of overwhelming them in such a way as to seize the final drives.

And since he'll be pulling the strings, after all, that would essentially put them in his hands regardless of who(HRL, Union, or AEU) actually got ahold of them in the end.

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 Post Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 6:57 am 
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"Choubu GN-X Squadron, commence assault on the Celestial Being facility..."

The ten deadly shapes of the false solar furnace equipped MS descended like predatory birds on the mountain, indicated by the information the various intelligence services had indicated.

However, they were all of them, deceived. Johan allowed himself a tight smile as he considered that no other weapon but a Gundam could have pulled off the opening move he was about to make, for no other weapon possessed such power in its lone hands.

"This is Johan. High Mega Launcher, firing!"

The GN-X squadron scattered moments after he fired, someone having apparently gotten a read on his intent, but the solid wall of firepower punched through one, maybe two of the enemy suits like it had the wall of the facility itself.

But the leader of the Trinities was no fool. Even eight on three would favor the GN-X squadron the same way Taklakaman had favored the united powers of the world. Which was why a single blast would not solve this battle.

"Michael, now!"

"Right, bro! Go, Fangs!"

The silver darts emerged from the tree line from a variety of places where Johan had had Michael secure them, waiting for just such an opportunity. The GN-X quickly closed ranks to concentrate firepower, but another blast from Throne Eins forced them apart. Kept them seperated as the Fangs darted between them, causing them to pull back shots lest they hit their own allies.

"We've got them, bro! Let's finish them!"

"Negative."

"But!"

"No buts! They found us here. This means we were betrayed." Did you mean for us to die all along, Laguna Harvey?

Johan frowned again, before bringing up another comm. screen. "Nena, how's the emergency evacuation setup going?"

"Charging is at 85%," she reported. "It's a good thing the people who built this place were paranoid enough to expect this."

"Indeed. Finish the charging in one go."

"Right, Johan!"

"Michael, fall back. We're leaving."

"Aww...."

Eins itself stepped backwards, firing a few more shots into the GN-Xs but otherwise simply letting Michael's fangs, now operating off of remotely programmed patterns instead of direct control, continue to harass them. As he saw Zwei enter the hangar, Johan followed his brother in, watching the doors close as the two Gundams docked with the final emergency option that had been built into their base: namely, an enormous magnetic driver to launch their mothership back into space from the surface. Only the combined power of the three Thrones could power it sufficiently to achieve such an altitude, and Johan thanked the self-same paranoid engineer that had designed the system almost as if he'd been a prophet and foreseen this exact situation.

"Charging is at 110%, Johan!" Nena called out, as Johan adjusted the flow of GN Drive output to the driver, alligning it carefully.

"I still can't believe we're running away! Again!" Michael growled.

"It's not running away. It's a tactical retreat. We will return," Johan noted, swearing that as close to a holy oath as he knew how.

***

Colonel Smirnov looked over at Lieutenant Peries' signal after the last of the blasted missiles had been shot down by the GN-X squad, now down two of their precious GN drive suits thanks to the deadly ambush. What he saw once again reminded him that Celestial Being was still beyond them and not to be underestimated.

The massive craft was clearly designed as a carrier, but not for the atmosphere. Its oddly symmetrical shape was studded with ports Sergei imagined would sprout thrusters for attitude control in space. But for the moment, all Sergei could really concentrate on was its dark shape ascending, rising on a column of green-white particles so dense it looked like some kind of glowing pillar.

As he heard more than a few exclamations of disgust, Sergei once again wondered who it was that commanded Celestial Being. This level of preparation seemed almost omniscient. Had they foreseen traitors would turn over their weapons to the world? And give the locations of their bases?

However, as the Celestial Being mothership turned into ever more of a tiny speck, Sergei scowled as he realized that the true battle for the future of the world would happen not on its surface, but far above it.

Space would be the final battleground.

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 Post Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:58 pm 
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The battle had been brief, bloody, and mostly inconclusive, Sumeragi noted as she considered the tactical situation. The fact that Veda had been hijacked was, of course, now confirmed. By who, however, was the question.

Truth be told, she was grateful for the most unexpected windfalls these days. The Trinity team's arrival and Johan's suggestion of an alliance against the new false-GN drive suits had been unexpected. Resistance to accepting them had come from multiple fronts, with only Allelujah among the Meisters abstaining from an opinion. Truth be told, Sumeragi didn't have the authority to force them to accept the Thrones into their ranks, and she'd probably made some rough edges in acting as if she did when she'd overruled their concerns in the name of a united front against the UN Forces.

However, the Trinities themselves had at least proven their worth. Nena, for some reason even Tieria didn't know, appeared to possess the same linking ability as Tieria himself. With it, she'd been able to assist in the creation of the stand alone operating system by simulating an attack from Veda itself to shut down the Gundams' Veda-linked OS. The stand alone system had worked well...except for Virtue, which had suffered an unforeseen fault that really couldn't have been corrected beforehand, given the intricate construction of Nadleeh to mount the TRIAL System.

Out of curiousity and more than a little suspicion, Sumeragi had in turn left a terminal operating a Gundam's OS active in an isolated terminal on the Ptolemy. Sure enough, when the attack came, it'd crashed at a critical juncture. The GN-X forces didn't seem surprised that it hadn't, however, indicating no foreknowledge of such a tactic, which only heightened Sumeragi's suspicions further.

However, the sudden activation of the black-boxed "Trans Am System" in all four original Gundams had come as a surprise. the extended engagement handily turning about against the UN Forces, who had retreated rather than face the new challenge. Sumeragi had to admit, she was impressed by whoever was in command. Given their superior numbers, some might not have developed such a comprehensive fallback plan, but the beam dispersing gas and detonating various debris to create even more distractions had convinced Sumeragi that nastier teeth were in waiting if she decided to have the Meisters pursue them further.

Besides, the number of UN suits had stayed constant since their initial appearances. Down to a mere 27 suits, she was confident they didn't have any more just yet, and had committed their entire reserve.

***

"Reinforcements?" Kati wondered, as Sergei nodded to her. "They said to expect a prototype armed with the GN drive that was kept in reserve, now that they're certain they can at least replicate if necessary, as well as one other unit that they didn't explain."

Kati frowned. The appearance of more GN drive equipped units seemed....suspicious to her. As if someone was feeding them just enough capability to make an even match for the Gundams.

When the Varanus and the Alvatore arrived later that day, the pilot of the latter only increased her suspicions. But regardless, he seemed perfectly willing to employ the massive mobile armor according to her strategies, given the increased combat potential of all seven Gundams. That he hadn't attempted to take over the operation entirely from her was a welcome change, and the Alvatore's given firepower and durability gave her an edge. Now it was all up to her tactical forecast...and luck.

***

Sumeragi considered the positioning of the Ptolemy, the Trinity mothership, and the likely attack vector of the UN Forces. Johan had proven a great help in the planning, and the UN's extensive delay had given them some time to put the preparation for one of his suggestions into place. Now, all they had to do was survive the upcoming battle, and whatever reinforcements their delay likely foretold.

No. Not survive it, Sumeragi admitted. They had to crush their opponents. Then track down the source of these fake drives and destroy it. For once, she and Johan's planning of an intervention had been identical.

But something told Sumeragi that it wouldn't be quite that simple.

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 Post Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:11 pm 
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Teamwork between the aces/commanders of all three powers? Trinity/Meister alliance? Effective use of the Trinity mothership in the space battles?

I am inspiring. :D

Ego aside, looking forward to where and how far you take this.

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 Post Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:50 pm 
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I like the idea, but the story seems to be lacking substance.

It's not a bad story, but it's too skeletal to actively enjoy. It feels more like an outline for a fanfic than an actual fanfic. Everything is touched upon so briefly and with so little detail that I can't really appreciate it.

For instance, you mention things like the Trinitys being accepted onto the team with some reluctance, but rather than depicting this scene, it is mentioned in passing almost as if an afterthought. How did that whole shebang go? Just how vehemently did some Meisters react? What made them bite back their complaints in the end?

I like the idea and the possibilities it represents, but it's more of a sample platter than a main course I can really sink my teeth into.

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 Post Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:59 pm 
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On the other side, 'skeletal' can be enough, or rather all that one would get. Plenty of large epic ideas go on in my head, but full planning and execution is impossible; that's why I do drabbles almost exclusively. So skeletal may very well be the only way anyone would see this. (Though more thorough outline would be interesting/appreciated as well: let us fill in more blanks).

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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:42 pm 
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It occurs to me there might (or might not be) a minor error. Though they didn't demonstrate it in-series, weren't Johan and Michael capable of accessing Veda as well? They were all test-tube babies by Ribbons, so if Nena could shouldn't the other two Trinities?

I might be wrong, or you could pose it as Johan keeping the fact in reserve, but...


Well, looking forward to more soon.

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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:37 am 
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It's remarkably calming, knowing you're going to die.

Kati Mannequin, tactical forecaster of Operation: Fallen Angels, had the unique pleasure to see her death coming in advance. The two glowing lights on her tactical plot indicated the presence of two oncoming enemy units. One appeared to have the power output of a mobile armor, the other a single Gundam. With her GN-X forces and the Alvatore out of position by virtue of the Giant's massive burst across her formation in the opening minutes of the conflict, she knew that her delay to properly integrate the Alvatore into her forces had tipped her hand...and given the enemy the time to prepare their own counterplans to whatever she'd gotten for reinforcements. Only her paranoid deployment of Patrick to cover the massive mobile armor's rear had saved a portion of the AEU's squadron of GN-Xs, since the massive beam had hit the Alvatore's GN Field and splashed around the other Jinxes on its right side.

Now, with her units drawn into small clumps away from central command, dealing with the Gundams which were attacking from hit and run circumstances further complicated by the Stealth's unique particle spread, Kati saw the enemy commander's plan, for it was the same as hers had been: take out the motherships and isolate the enemy.

Even her rear guard couldn't possibly get here in time, she understood mechanically as the first carrier detonated in a brilliant display of particle fire. A second joined it moments later...before red beams of a friendly unit shot down, skewering the mobile armor and sending it off course. Jolted out of its protective stance, linear rounds from Kati's ship blew the armor apart, even as she saw the Gundam inside eject...and the blinding speed of the prototype unit Corner had billed as the "Varanus" as it engaged both Gundams then took off, the green one going first before the orange. And Kati breathed a breath for small miracles as a pair of GN-X finally arrived to cover her lone remaining ship.

***

"Dammit, Lockon, we're supposed to trash the ships!" Michael growled in the commlink, utterly flabbergasted at the other pilot's sudden change of attitude.

"Then go do it yourself!" Lockon growled back. "I have business with this one!"

"@(#$ that noise!" Michael noted, even as the scans of the enemy unit came up. "Johan, this is Michael. New enemy unit located. It looks like one of our Gundams mashed up with one of theirs."

"You're in pursuit? What about the ships?"

"I'm doing what you told me to do: covering the damn sniper. No way I'm getting blamed by the rest of them if he dies!"

The two Gundams trailed behind the blazing tail of red particles left by the Varanus, even as Lockon charged dead on, igniting a beam saber that was immediately blocked by one of the Varanus's own. Michael didn't hear the confrontation over the circuit, but given the brutal way with which the Dynames pressed the attack, he could guess that it'd confirmed the pilot was who Lockon'd thought it was.

The duel shot through the asteroid field as Michael kept pace, still waiting for the ambush Johan would've told him to anticipate. Part of him wanted to dive in, join the slaughter of this enemy that'd interrupted the plan. But the other part wasn't stupid enough to risk Lockon turning on HIM out of some mistaken case of identity.

Which was when the world caught fire.

The enormous particle beam smashed through the asteroid field, superheating rock all about it in its passing. The sudden cooling caused fissures, then vacuum finished the job, causing several asteroids to explode into deadly shards that pinged about local space, and the Throne Zwei was caught in the middle.

Lockon whirled the Dynames about as the blast hit, before realizing the only reason he'd escaped unscathed was because he'd been engaging one of the enemy's soldiers. If they'd decided Al-Saachez was worth losing to kill a Gundam....

***

Alejandro scowled as he considered the plot. That he'd been forced to critically damage one of the Thrones was unfortunate, but that annoying tactical officer's idea aside, he thought he'd managed to avoid destroying the drive.

Celestial Being was proving to be far too prickly for his taste. Best to finish this quickly...

***

Flying back, Lockon fired backwards towards the Varanus as it darted about like a drunken hummingbird, taunting him.

"What now, Mr. War-Ending Terrorist? Time for your friend to die!" he cackled, firing several shots from his rifle into the Zwei, blasting off what was left of an arm and one Fang holder, the Varanus's acceleration ramping as it drew a beam saber and headed right for the weakened Gundam.

Lockon cursed as he dove for the Zwei, but he knew that this time, he'd be too late...

Which was when several things happened at once.

The Varanus's acceleration stopped abruptly. Multiple movements too fast for even Lockon's eye to catch happened about them. And the enemy MS abruptly sprouted a half dozen new points as various mini-beam sabers punctured its hull.

"Shoulda...stayed...in formation," Michael laughed hoarsely as the Fangs overloaded their power plants, exploding and taking the Varanus with them in their orgy of fratricidal self-destruction.

"Michael!" Lockon called, obviously worried as his image flickered onto the screen.

"Get...out of here...Stratos. It's gonna fire again, now that no one's holding it back..." Michael noted, grimacing as he reached over to grab a local anasthetic which he applied to the gouge in his pilot suit where a twisted piece of shrapnel was embedded.

"But..."

"But nothing! Take the drive...get it back to them. Don't let these bastards have it..." Michael noted, as the Zwei's back cracked open, a single small object sliding free of what was left of the Gundam's upper torso.

"Also...Stratos?" Michael said as he felt the beginnings of the fading of sensation that he knew foretold bodily shutdown.

"What?"

"Saw you...with the pink one....stay the fu....the....away fr'm.....my siste-.."

He didn't get to finish the thought, and Lockon looked away as he picked up the drive, the Zwei exploding behind him, leaving the sniper carrying the lone remaining piece of the comrade that'd died to salve his revenge...

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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:38 pm 
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So. Um. Any more updates down the line? Or is this line of ideas more or less tapped out?

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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:32 pm 
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There's ideas for both the next bit and the epilogue, and probably a line of plot for Season 2, much like Destiny: Revamped, now that most of the series has come out.

I've just been in the midst of moving from Colorado to Washington, so I've been a bit busy with that. Damn real life! I could actually write this entire thing out as a full length epic if not for you! :P

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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 8:33 am 
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As the GN High Mega Launcher charged itself for one last shot, Johan reflected on what he'd learned in the last, chaotic hour.

"You were grown and made for MY plan, not the plan of the withered corpse, Schenberg. All that you are has been to serve me. Now be a good little boy and surrender, and I may let you and your sister live."

The taunting message had a ring of truth to it that Johan couldn't deny...though he'd shut the line off in Corner's face.

Ahead of him, his and Sumeragi's plan continued to unfold as best it could. Unfortunately, with the GN-X tracking all their units, they couldn't use the Trinity's mothership as a refueling depot post-Trans-Am anymore. And after the glancing hit from the enemy mobile armor's beam cannon the Ptolemy had taken, their careful plans had fallen into a series of one on several others fights against the remaining GN-X. Which left the ship, as much as Johan was loathe to do such a thing to his old home, with one last task. One which, for once, Johan didn't share with anyone....because he knew it was risky and no one would've let him do it if they'd known.

***

Alejandro smiled as the Alvatore's main gun lined up on the Ptolemy, the drifting hulk unable to evade his reach and power in time. One last shot, and this farce would be over, with just the mop up necessary to finish this phase of the plan....

Which was why the high powered beam nearly rattling the GN field about the Alvatore caught his attention immediately as he looked about, trying to find the source of the blast....and detecting the suddenly skyrocketing energy signature of the Trinity mothership flying towards the battlefield, Throne Eins barely visible atop it. Realligning his cannon, he blinked as the communications window came up again. "Changed your mind about returning your loyalty to your creator?" he smirked.

"You claim that you engineered myself and my siblings for Celestial Being," Johan answered flatly.

"Yes. What of it?""

"And that you gave us our Gundams."

"Yes! So?"

"You should have seen this coming, then," Johan noted, as Eins slowly charged its cannon into dangerous levels.

Alejandro blinked as the Alvatore's controls suddenly squealed a warning, as multiple weapons locks suddenly came online on his mobile armor. Tracing them back, his eyes widened as he recognized them as coming from the various GN-X from his own alliesi who were now backing away, taking up flanking positions. He looked at the screen as Johan smirked at him.

"Never make inconvenient confessions on a channel broadcasting in the open, Mr. Corner."

Alejandro had a brief moment to snarl in anger before the GN-X, recognizing the Alvatore as the most immediate threat, opened fire.

***

Johan saw the GN-Xs open fire, even as he saw the Alvatore deploy its GN field and brush them off like annoying gnats. But as the GN-Xs scrambled to take evasive action from the return fire from the sluggish mobile armor, its operator's incoherent fury expressed itself exactly as Johan had predicted.

He saw the jaw-like beam cannon extend from the front of the Alvatore. Saw the power readings spike as the mammoth weapon took aim at his position.

In the seconds between, Johan considered the situation. Even with the attritional damage the UN forces would cause to the Alvatore, the mobile armor itself could probably hold off all of the Gundams long enough to severely damage the Ptolemaios. The Ptolemaios was the brain of the plan, and Johan had to admit as he considered his risk assessment, Sumeragi was a far better tactician than he. He wondered if she'd predicted this move by him when she'd approved of his plan to use Trans-Am to fill the Trinity mothership's GN capacitors to near overflow. Still, to render the playing field even, the Alvatore's most potent weapon had to be destroyed. The GN cannon mounted on its hull was enormously powerful, with absurd range demonstrated during the events that had killed Michael. But its powersource was comprised of the fake GN drives that Alejandro must've devleoped as a backup to the three drives within the Thrones. Units even more expendable than he'd seen the Trinities to be. Which meant that, no matter how powerful it was, it couldn't match the output of a Gundam utilizing the Trans-Am system. Unfortunately, Virtue, or more appropriately, Tieria, was not someone they could risk dying in the only 99% probable tactic to destroy the beam cannon. And while the Eins did not have Trans Am, like all the Thrones, Johan was fairly certain that flooding his capacitors via a direct link to the full GN particle capactiors of the mothership would provide a similar effect. Which left one last thing to take care of.

"Computer, record message," he said as he saw the Alvatore fire, the enormous blast racing across the space between them with devouring speed.

"Nena. I must apologize. It was not my intent to cause you pain. Especially given what happend to Michael," he said, his tone remaining steady even as the Eins' GN Launcher extended to its full length.

"However, there was no other option. This had to be done, and I was the only one that could do it. I don't expect you to understand now, which is why I'm leaving you this message."

The GN High Mega Launcher whined in pain as the Throne Eins fired, a beam of purest light erupting from its barrel, focusing the entirety of its particle flow into a single, high pressure shot focused to the thinnest diameter that Johan could program.

"However, you knew the truth we were all taught. As much as Alejandro Corner lied in his reasons for creatiing and training us, he failed to comprehend one essential concept."

The High Mega Launcher's beam and the Alvatore's shot met in the middle of the two mecha.....before the Alvatore's widely spaced shot was punctured by the incredibly concentrated shot by Eins' launcher. The pink GN particle beam caused the Alvatore's beam to lose internal cohesion, coring through it at an accelerated pace even as the disrupted energy of the Alvatore's cannon round continued along its path, for no single shot could deter its all-consuming power entirely.

"They raised us to be Gundam Meisters. We fight to eliminate war. We embrace contradiction to bring about peace. We live, fight, and die for the sake of a world that will hate and despise us for what we do."

The Eins' beam reached impact point first, its higher concentration and speed forcing it through as it impacted the Alvatore's extended cannon, currently outside the GN field in order to fire at the Eins. The weapon exploded violently as the remaining power of the absurdly long range shot hit it like a super heated iknife through fresh snow.

"We are Gundam Meisters, Nena. Never forget that. Never let that go. Goodbye. End recording," Johan ordered calmly. "Execute drive ejection sequence."

"Acknowledged," Eins' computer said emotionlessly, as a single green light erupted from the side of the Trinity Mothership, the cables leading into Eins' now gaping back still carrying the power necessary to run its systems even as the escape pod carried the precious GN drive away to a pre-programmed rendevous with the Ptolemaios.

Johan had five seconds to close his eyes, at peace with what his end had accomplished, before the blast wave hit the Trinity mothership, rupturing the GN storage condensors and vaporizing the entire construct in a massive explosion.

***

This was actually the second scene that came to mind when I had the idea for Light Like Snow, ages ago. Johan's so underused in the actual series, despite being the closest thing the Trinities had to a counterpart to Sumeragi. He's clearly the one in charge and cares for his younger, less stable siblings, and his final words in canon express his shock that he was going to be killed accomplishing all of nothing, despite being a Gundam Meister. That the events of Light Like Snow naturally resulted in Johan sacrificing himself, ironically fulfilling his role in Alejandro's plan as "expendable" despite his sacrifice screwing Alejandro's charade over completely is probably second only to the progression I foresee this causing in Nena in terms of things I like about this overall series of drabbles.

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 Post Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:49 pm 
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Sumeragi looked out at the tactical plot as the Ptolemaios fled the battlefield. The UN forces were still pursuing, as was the Alvatore, for reasons no one understood. Revealed as the mastermind behind manipulating Aeolia's plan, his machine was damaged and incapable of taking on everyone that remained...as far as they knew. However, his arrogance may have not quite come to that conclusion yet.

The UN forces, however, had stayed tightly to them. Not one of them had dropped away, and in fact, long range E-sensor had detected another GN-Tau equipped mobile suit joining them. Possibly a bogey that'd somehow survived the earlier battle and gotten back with the main group, though the distance was too great to be sure.

As for Sumeragi, she had learned the lessons Taklakaman had beaten hard into her troops. Though she hated to admit it, the sacrifice of two of the Thrones gave the Ptoelmaios enough renewable power to make a decent flight around the edge of the orbital ring. The Meisters, in the meantime, spent time on patrol or sleeping in shifts, resting as best they could.

Behind them, the enemy commander probably had the same idea, as the UN Forces units had been rotating through redocking with their carrier as they pursued, possibly to recharge as well, if what Johan had suggested about the false solar furnaces was correct.

Which meant she had a little time to look into other matters, as she stepped off the bridge, heading back for the crew compartments.

She bumped into Ian on the way, the engineer looking a little more haggard, and Sumeragi didn't blame him. Dr. Moreno had been a friend, and the one blast from the Alvatore that had connected had opened the medical compartment to space without warning. Another death that Sumeragi suspected would haunt her for failing to anticipate they had a firing range that long.

"How is she?" she asked quietly, looking over at the sealed door.

"I haven't looked in on her recently, but the last I saw...was fairly normal, all things considered. She's crying. Sick bastard, Corner, putting a child like that into a cockpit."

At Sumeragi's look, he snorted. "Setsuna's different, but you know I had the same reservations when we first took him on."

Sumeragi nodded, admitting the point, before turning as the door opened. Ian did as well, and they both blinked as Nena stepped out in her flightsuit.

"Nena..." Sumeragi began, before the redhead shook her head violently, cutting her off.

"Don't say it. Don't.....don't say anything. Brother was right....we're Gundam Meisters. This....it was something we accepted could happen."

Sumeragi blinked again at a statement of such maturity from a girl that she'd written off as little more mature than a high schooler before, before Nena looked up, and she saw emotion in those eyes that frightened her.

"That's what Johan'd want me to think. And maybe I will. Later. Grief will have to wait. But for right now, don't you damn think of trying to ground me. You need all the pilots you can get, and I want to boil Corner's organs with particle beam fire."

"Revenge won't bring them back," Sumeragi said as Nena pushed past her.

"No, it won't make it stop hurting....but it'll make sure that I feel I didn't abandon them and run away..." she said. "I'll take next patrol shift in Drei."

Sumeragi watched her go, wondering if she should stop her....or if she could if she'd wanted to.

"It's something she has to do," a voice noted from behind the two of them, and Sumeragi jumped slightly.

Lockon looked after her sadly. "Some people....have a hard time letting go. Better she deals with it now, immediately, than let it consume her life. And the lives of others," he noted, a twinge of pain in those steady eyes.

Once again, Sumeragi was left with nothing she could really say.

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