Because I just can't stop working on Gundam stuff...
This is the product of me A) loving every bit I can out of Gundam and B) playing waaaay too much Dynasty Warriors Gundam / Gundam Musou.
Right now, I'm just throwing out the first part. One character is pretty obviously written out of my ZOINKS, and I'd like to know if I've done their part right. To avoid spoiling, I'll just say that the character in question is 'covered in mud'.
Before I get started, let me say that this story is still under construction. Some parts might not be finished and any part is subject to change before final posting.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Gundam franchise or any other licensed material.
Heroes and Ghosts
Kira’s head hurt… That was all he could tell someone if they asked him how he felt at the moment.
“Agh…” he groaned, clutching his head in agony. “What happened last night?”
The young Coordinator wracked his mind. The last thing he remembered, he was out on the town with Lacus, Dearka, and Yzak. They had been eating at some place Dearka had recommended, and then…
“Did I pass out?” he asked himself, trying as hard as he could to remember. Unfortunately, all of this thinking just caused his head to hurt even more.
Calming himself, Kira tried to think rationally. The first thing he needed to do was get up and find somebody. Surely Lacus would know what had happened. If not Lacus, then Yzak would, at the very least, tell him about how he got hit on the head using the bluntest, most degrading words imaginable.
Rolling himself onto his side, Kira attempted to throw his legs from his bed. Strangely enough, though, all his legs did were land with thuds on the rather hard and firm mattress. In fact, what he was lying on did not feel like a mattress at all. It felt like…
“Grass…” the nineteen-year-old ZAFT Admiral, Diplomat, and Hero of the Earth-sphere, Kira Yamato, proclaimed in a voice that could only be described as ‘dumbfounded’.
Letting his eyes flutter open, Kira slowly started to soak in his surroundings. Sure enough, he was lying in a field of grass. Just to check, he dug his hand down below the grass, feeling the cold dirt. This was not the plain sod that lined the fields into the PLANTs. This was real, Earth-grown grass. He took in a breath through his nose, smelling the aroma that filled the air. It was like it had just rained. Pulling his hand back, he found it covered in trickling rainwater.
Pushing himself from the ground, Kira ran a hand through his hair, allowing it to dispel some of the water it had accumulated from the ground. There was no visible sky, so he did not have to worry about the sun hurting his weary eyes. The sky was gray with overcast, a vague white spot being the only sign that there was a sun at all.
The world around the teen reflected much of what the sky gave. It was dreary-looking, to say the least. There was a grayish-tan rock face in the distance before him. It sported a calm waterfall with water that was tainted gray by the sky. The waterfall fell into a river, which ran far and wide into the distance. The grass was green enough, though, as it ran down the hill ahead of him, towards the river.
“Huh…” Kira mused to himself, unsure what to make of his current situation. He had never seen a place like this before, drawing images from old story books to his mind. It was more surreal than anything, especially as he wiped the cool water from his hands.
Finally finding the urge to stand up, Kira wiped the wet grass and loose water from the frock of his ZAFT White uniform. He was rather surprised to see the grass stains form on the white fabric, and dread built in his mind that there was likely more on his back and shoulders. It made him wish that they had gone back to the house and changed their clothes before going out. If Dearka had not been so insistent that they get there ‘before the rush’.
“What kind of ‘rush’ starts after ten at night, anyway.” the young Councilor grumbled, trying to find some sort of humor to help ease his mind. It did not work very well, though. He was so used to bottling his emotions, that all of the confusion in his mind was staying right there. In his mind. Being a politician, a military leader, and a public figure had done that to him on only a year. Not to mention the two wars. They had not helped much on that front, either. Actually, he reminded himself, if it were not for Lacus he would have likely cracked and thrown himself off of a cliff a few years ago.
Deciding that there was nothing helpful in the direction of the river, Kira turned around to see what was in the other directions. To his right was a large forest that eventually led to another rock face. To the left was, much to Kira’s dismay, a cliff that led to another green field. With his flanks hopeless, he turned himself around entirely. He braced himself for more of the field, but most of the green was obscured by something much more prominent in the view.
Two metallic legs, naturally a pair, colored a similar dull gray to the sky. Their appearance caused Kira to blink. Had they been there this whole time? As Kira wondered this, his eyes trailed up the legs, leading him to a pair of folded rail cannons, a familiar torso, and then to the arms. One hand held a white rifle, and the other a black and red shield. Finally, there was the stalwart head and large, folded back wings.
Kira’s eyes went wide at the sight, as it was one he thought he would never see again.
“Freedom…” he said the machine’s name as it stared into the distance, its yellow eyes waiting to be activated. It was the X10A Freedom, his machine from the first Bloody Valentine War.
“I just can’t get away from you, can I?” Kira jokingly nagged at the mobile suit’s imposing figure. It just sat there, of course, it’s cockpit open and the automatic step waiting for Kira to grab on. “It’s like you followed me here.”
Seeing no better option than to take the Gundam’s offer, Kira heaved a heavy sigh and proceeded to approach the automatic step. Upon reaching the step, Kira took hold of the hand grip and stepped on. The mechanism was pressure-activated, so the instant it detected Kira’s weight, it started to lift him up.
Kira took the ride up as an opportunity to look at the landscape one more time. The river in the expanse looked rather peaceful, in spite of the gray coloring. As nice as it seemed, this was no time for him to rest. He had to find out where he was and how fast he could get back to Aprilius One. Unfortunately, the Freedom alone could not get him into space. If anything, it would hinder him from docking at an average spaceport. He would likely have to head to Orb and take a shuttle. As for the Freedom…
“One step at a time.” Kira told himself. He would figure that out eventually. Even if he had to leave it at a Terminal outpost on Earth, three of which he could think of that had mobile suit hangars, he would make sure to preserve this machine.
The sudden feeling of stopping brought Kira back to the present. He had reached the cockpit, so he threw himself into the Freedom’s seat. It was warm, as if having just been occupied. It was like the Impulse had never even touched it. It was exactly as it had been before launching that day.
Kira had never been so content to be in the cockpit of a mobile suit.
Deciding that he had best be getting going, Kira closed the cockpit and proceeded to fire the machine up. It was actually the first time Kira had been in a mobile suit at all in almost six months, but it still came to him without hesitation. He flexed his hands on the controls, grasping them with each individual finger. It was rare that he got to fly a mobile suit without actually going into combat, but this was always the machine he would have wanted to do take a joyride in.
“Kira Yamato,” he mocked himself aloud, a grin appearing on his face. “Freedom Gundam! Taking off!”
Lighting the thrusters, Kira felt the sudden jolt as the Freedom left the ground and blasted into the air with enough force to level a building. Within seconds, they were above the cloud line, tearing across the sound barrier as Kira waited for the Freedom’s computer to obtain data on their surroundings.
Elsewhere, Haman Karn was walking disdainfully through a forest. She grunted a few curses as she clutched her pistol in both hands, checking her surroundings for whoever might have left her here. She was covered in mud, having woken up lying in a puddle of it. She did not know what to make of it, so she simply stood and got herself underway.
It was despicable. The last thing she remembered was fighting Judau and… losing, as much as it pained her to admit it to herself. She had hoped for a tie, but such was fate. Whether it was Char, Kamille, Glemy, or Judau, she was always getting snuffed by boys. And if it wasn’t a pilot crossing her, then it was one getting all zealous for her, like that creep with the rose, Mashymre Cello… Although the thing with Cello was entirely her fault in the first place… as was Kamille.
The Neo Zeon leader shook her head, trying to get the thoughts of what had happened before out of her head. She needed to focus on the present. Whether or not she had terrible luck with boys, at the moment she was stuck lugging her half-dead ass through some dark, muddy woods.
“Where the hell am I?” Haman finally asked herself as she pulled another one of her black and gold normal suit’s boots out of the sticky mud of the forest floor. She could not imagine that she was on a colony, seeing as they were not nearly this rural. She had been walking for almost an hour, and she had not seen a single sign of civilization. No human footprints, no animal tracks, nothing. It was like she was only thing in the world that wasn’t a tree, grass or-
Letting out a growl as she shook the brown goo from her boot, Haman looked up. The sky above the tree canopy was gray, likely because of clouds. Weather… That was something that certainly did not belong on a space colony. That meant that she was on Earth, but how did she get here? Naturally, she thought that someone had rescued her from her wrecked Qubeley. What else could have happened?
On the other hand, if somewhat was to go through all of the trouble of making sure that she did not die from the suicide attempt that she had pulled off for Judau’s sake, why would they just drop her in some Earth forest? Not to mention in the mud of some Earth forest? To her, it seemed to almost defeat the whole purpose of performing the rescue.
Heaving a sigh, Haman stopped to lean against one of the trees. She had been walking for so long, now all of this thinking was actually starting to tire her out. She could barely remember the last time she been able to actually relax. The end of the war, getting backed into a corner like that, had really had a negative effect on her.
“If it hadn’t been for Glemy…” she cursed her former underling. It had been his little rebellion that had really doomed Neo Zeon. Haman herself might be the Ghost of Zeon, but Glemy was the ghost of something much worse. If anything, he was the ghost of Gihren Zabi, and that was something that everyone could do without.
Deciding that she was getting nowhere by just standing still, Haman decisively held her pistol up again and once again started looking for the end of the forest. For her, it could not come fast enough.
“What do you mean ‘there’s no relevant map data’?”
Kira was baffled. The Freedom’s computer had failed to pull up any data on the surrounding area, which bothered him quite a bit. Without map data, all Kira could really do was fly around until he found a city. For all he knew, though, he was in the middle of some uninhabited region. That was, in all logic, even more baffling to him. He had no idea that there was such a large and green area without so much as a village in it.
One thing that was for sure, though, was that flying above the clouds was out of the question. He needed to be able to see the land. Even if his target locator was active, it would not help him if he came across, say, a little place like Reverend Malchio’s. At this point, any kind of civilization would be a great help to him. He needed to get back to Aprilius as soon as possible, or else he would have a mountain of paperwork waiting for him, not to mention Lacus would probably have him kicked out of the Diplomatic Corps.
As for the Freedom, he really had no idea what to do about it. He had pondered Terminal, the Junk Guild, and a few other solutions, but first he would have to find out where he was. Without map data, he was little more than a fish in the ocean.
If he was going to be a fish, though, the Freedom assured that he would be an extremely fast one.
Breaking back below the cloud line, Kira slowed himself so that he could actually see what was passing below him. At the moment, it was a sea of trees that seemed to stretch on forever. The trees were dark, however, blocking the Coordinator from seeing anything within the mass. It made Kira wish that the sun would come out. The clouds did not seem to want to break, though. It was like the weather of this place was perpetually gloomy.
Moving back up to dodge a mountain, Kira was once again over the clouds. Up here, the sun was shining. The Freedom’s shadow cast a perfect silhouette upon the thick layer of undulating condensation. His only gripe with the clouds was that they were so low that he had no idea about what was below them. For all he knew, he could fly through them and smash right into a mountain.
Pulling his throttle back, Kira slowed his pace even more. He leaned back in his seat and let out a sigh. This was certainly not getting him anywhere productive. At this rate, he could be flying around for days before he found a city. All he could do at the moment was have faith in the direction he was going on, but that did little to nothing for his confidence.
The sudden ping on the Freedom’s dash caused Kira to perk up considerably. Instantly, his negative thoughts went away. Praying that he had thought too soon, he pulled his throttle back even more so that he could come within close range with the flashing blip. Within seconds, the computer was coming up with data.
“Huh?” Kira mumbled as the computer brought up some quick analysis that it had pulled off of the targeted object. The label, ‘unknown type’, meant that it was a mobile suit. “A mobile suit? Out here?”
True to its label, the model brought up by the computer was definitely something Kira had never seen before. It had many long, almost seemingly extraneous parts. Large shoulder binders, almost like wings, sat upon the machine’s frame, giving it a very regal appearance. Its head also seemed to be elongated in the back. It was not a Gundam, that was for sure. Whatever it was, though, it did not seem to have any visible weapons, but that did not make it any less dangerous.
Finally coming within range of the strange machine, Kira descended below the clouds again to see his discovery in person.
Haman could not believe how bad her luck was becoming. After trudging her mud-covered self all the way through this forest and finding the end of it, now there was a mobile suit flying somewhere above her. She had not quite reached the end of the woods, but she knew full and well that the incoming mobile suit was not far off.
Upon finally reaching the light at the end of the trees, what Haman found stunned her. Not one mobile suit, but two! Two mobile suits stood not twenty meters from her stop at the dark forest’s edge! The first one was exactly what she had not wanted to see. Blue and white…
“Gundam…” Haman murmured in frustration. The anger, however, did not come solely from the fact that it was the white and blue structure of a Gundam that had appeared in her way. No, it was mainly the fact that the other mobile suit, the one that the Gundam seemed to be investigating, was none other than Haman’s personal mobile suit.
“You’d better not lay a hand on my Qubeley, Gundam!”
Inside the Freedom, Kira’s monitor suddenly zoomed in on another spot. He glanced over, finding something he had wanted to see.
“A person! Is it the pilot?” he asked himself, taking in the odd-looking woman. She had pink hair, though it was a slightly deeper shade than Lacus’s, and wore a very fancy looking suit of gold and black. Her face was one of what appeared to be extreme irritation, which caused Kira to grimace.
“You’d better not lay a hand on my Qubeley, Gundam!”
“What?” Kira exclaimed, feeling the intimidation in the woman’s voice. He thought about getting out and trying to reason with her, but noticed the gun in her hand. It was not pointed at him, though, but he was not positive that she would not just take a shot at him the instant he got out of his cockpit.
So, without further ado, Kira activated the Freedom’s speaker system, which was intended for a much more commanding use than this, and tried to put his political protocol training to use.
“Um… Hi there.”
Haman promptly propped an eyebrow at the nervous greeting. It sounded like a teenager with a frog in his throat speaking. She inwardly laughed at the thought of having to deal with another teenaged Gundam pilot, but she’d have to deal with it for now. He had contacted her, which meant that he was probably willing to negotiate.
“You can hear me?” she spoke loud and clear as she slowly emerged from the tree line and into the dreary field that was separating her from her Qubeley.
“Yes.” Kira confirmed, nodding in out of habit. “Is this your mobile suit?”
“Yes, it is.” Haman claimed, a smirk climbing onto her face as a result of the pilot’s polite behavior. Whoever he was, he was much more civil than the other Gundam pilots she had come against over the years, especially Judau. “I’d be very appreciative if you left it alone.”
“O-Oh!” the pilot stuttered, almost causing Haman to start laughing. She watched with amusement as the imposing machine took a few steps away from the Qubeley. Haman jumped at this chance to get to her machine. Moving as fast as she could without overexerting her tired body, the Ghost of Zeon moved up and mounted her personal specter.
Feeling the Qubeley’s controls in her hands put Haman at ease, allowing her to catch her breath. Finally, she was somewhere that she could actually control her destiny from. It came to her as she shut the hatch and started the mobile suit up: This was a second chance at life for her. She would not squander it this time.
A ringing noise from her console caught Haman’s attention, telling her that the Gundam was hailing her. She thought about ignoring it, seeing as she owed the Gundam pilot little, if anything at all. But, then again, her instincts told her that she might be able to make use of a Gundam as her ally. It would certainly be a nice change from her last situation, when she had the Double Zeta breathing down her neck.
Stroking a button on her console communicator, she answered the hail. An image came onto her screen, showing her the image of a young man spikey brown hair in a white military uniform of sorts. As it was, though, the uniform was disturbed by what appeared to be grass stains. Haman had no place to complain, though, seeing as her lavish flight suit was featuring caked on mud for the time being.
“Who are you? Where are we?” Haman bombarded the Gundam pilot with questions. Now that she was behind the controls of the Qubeley, her confidence in the situation was higher than ever. No way would she let another Gundam beat her. Not now, and not ever again.
“I don’t know.” the young man replied, trying to brush off Haman’s brusque approach. “I don’t even know how I got here.”
Haman did her best to hide her shock. If what the Gundam pilot was saying was true, then he was in a similar situation to her.
“Hmm… That’s not what I wanted to hear.” she stated aloud, giving the boy a grim look. “My name is Haman Karn. And you are…?”
“Kira Yamato. I’m a member of the ZAFT Diplomatic Council and a White Coat in their forces.”
Haman perked an eyebrow at the boy’s titling. From the sound of it, he was some sort of politician-slash-military officer, which made for a dangerous combination.
…or a powerful ally.
However, there was also the matter of fact that she did not have any idea what ZAFT was. She could work around that, though, so long as he was willing to cooperate.
“Kira Yamato,” she said the boy’s name. “I know that this might not be the most opportune time, but perhaps we should join forces?”
Kira gave Haman a questioning look, slightly put off by her sudden offer.
“Join forces?” he inquired, not liking where this was going. Her reaction told him that she was in a situation similar to his, and that could not mean anything good.
“Yes… You do know what that means, right?” Haman questioned the boy’s intelligence, a smirk of amusement crawling onto her somewhat haggard features. “I don’t have any idea how I got here, and you don't seem to be in such a familiar situation yourself.”
Kira felt his yes widen slightly. She had called him on that. She was right about him, and that meant that they were in a similar boat. Still, there was something about Haman Karn that troubled Kira. Perhaps it was her voice? He could not be certain.
"You're correct about that. I don't know how I wound up here," Kira admitted, not wavering at Haman's confident leer. "However, that doesn't mean that I'm going to just join up with you just like that.
Haman closed her eyes for a moment, hiding her insatiable urge to roll them at the Gundam pilot. While he was not quite the social master, he at least had the thought capacity for caution.
“Listen,” she started back, looking at Kira in all seriousness before he could start stuttering again. “For now, we need to work together. You don’t know where you are. I don’t know where I am. It makes us natural allies.”
Kira gave his head a light shake at that. As strange as this all was, the woman made sense. Two heads were better than one, after all.
“Okay,” Kira finally voiced his decision. “I’ll work with you until we find out what’s going on.”
Haman let out a pleased chuckle at this. This one would be easy to manipulate if necessary. She could see it as he struggled to think. He was not used to making his own life decisions. However, she could also feel no Newtype pressure from him. That would likely limit his use as a Gundam pilot, but she could work around that.
“Very well,” Haman said disarmingly, wanting to put the boy at ease so that he could focus. “Here’s to us, Kira Yamato.”
Kira did his best not to grimace again.
If you see an error, I would be appreciative if you would alert me to it. Otherwise, expect a full chapter to possibly be presented within the next week or so.