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 Post Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:51 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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A story I've been writing since December last year. The lack of Beta Reader and the fact that English isn't my native language doesn't really help with the prose or the grammar, but overall I think I did my best in that aspect. What matters is the story ;)
Enjoy n__n

Mobile Suit Gundam 00: The Unicorn Awakens

Prologue

The year is UC 0096. Seventeen years have passed since the apocalyptic One Year War between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon. Despite their best efforts, Londo Bell has been unable to eliminate the last Zeon remnants, the Sleeves, due to interference from the excessive bureaucracy present in the Federal government.

The Sleeves, remnants of the Second Neo-Zeon, have united all Zeon remnant groups from the past (Delaz Fleet, Axis…) under leadership of Full Frontal, known by the masses as the "Second Coming of Char". Despite their lack of resources, the Sleeves have managed to avoid heavy engagements with the Federation, relying in guerrilla warfare and hit-and-run tactics.

At Industrial 7, the millenarian Vist Foundation had offered the Sleeves an object that could mean Mankind's Rebirth, or the End of the World: the Box of Laplace. The leader of the Foundation, Cardeas Vist, hopes that the Sleeves will have the capability of using this "Box" for the greater good, as he has grown disillusioned with the Federation.

However, the Federation Security Council catches on with this operation, and being manipulated by the scheming Martha Vist Carbine, the Federation sends in their elite corps, Londo Bell, to interfere in this transaction.

As this happens, another faction, which has been in hiding for the last century, also catches on with the plans of both the Federation and the Sleeves, and races against time to get this Box themselves...

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


Last edited by schwarz ritter on Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:53 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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Another thing: the link to the rest of the story is here:

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7672572/1/M ... rn_Awakens

Just browse the menu for the other chapters. I'll also be posting the good stuff later on.

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:06 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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Posts: 343
It's a shame, really, that forums don't allow more than "6000 characters" to be posted. A shame, really...

In that case, I'll give you an excerpt of the actual first chapter, which is basically Marida's battle with the overrated Stark Jegan pilot. There's a little surprise as well...

Here goes nothing:

Chapter 1

Day of the Unicorn and the Angels

Several kilometers from Industrial 7 space. The Garencieres was a simple freighter that loosely resembled the legendary Zanzibar-class carriers of the One Year War. Despite lacking any significant weapons, the Garencieres was fast and capable of atmospheric reentry. In addition, its excellent, veteran mobile suit pilots made up for the ship's overall vulnerability.

One of these pilots was Marida Cruz: a beautiful, red haired, blue-eyed woman, she usually had a sad, stoic expression. Despite this, she would occasionally express a little emotion during battle, such as annoyance or pain; even so, she tried her best to keep them in check.

Marida was in her mobile suit's cockpit, readying herself for an imminent Federal attack: a Clop-class cruiser had trailed them, and has started shooting its mega particle cannons at the Garencieres, lightly damaging one of its wings. However, the Garencieres was faster than its pursuer.

The Clop-class, however, wasn't the concern: Marida, using her NZ-666 Kshatriya's sensors, picked up at least three signals. Mobile suits. A speedy Jegan, I see, Marida thought.

"Marida," said a voice from the radio: it was her "Master", Suberoa Zimmerman, "Ignore the cruiser. Just focus on the immediate threat. As soon as you finish with them, return to the ship."

"Yes, Master." said Marida, finalizing all pre-launch procedures.

"Don't call me Master." said Zimmerman in an annoyed tone.

The Kshatriya was then launched: this mobile suit possessed four wing binders which heavily increased its AMBAC performance; in addition, these binders could be used in a "cocoon shield" fashion, which made it impervious to most projectile weapons, and to some extent, made it resistant to beam weapons as well. These binders also housed at least 24 "funnels", some beam sabers and a sub-arm in each of them. In addition, is also mounted several megaparticle cannons in its body and binders.

Marida accelerated towards the enemy mobile suits. Being above her, the Federal pilots tried to execute a pincer move against her. "You're not going anywhere." said Marida, who then launched her funnels. These small weapons exited the Kshatriya's binders in a flashing speed, and headed towards the enemy. Marida used her mobile suit's targeting system to pin point the funnels' targets, and then closed her eyes. Being a Cyber-Newtype, Marida had all the abilities a natural Newtype would have: therefore, using these funnels was a piece of cake for her. She opened her eyes in dramatic fashion, and the multi-directional, all-range attack from her funnels began, ripping the Jegans apart. Some tried using their beam rifles, machine guns and even their head vulcans against these little weapons, but Marida cut them down in fascinating and elegant fashion. One particular Federal suit, a state-of-the-art Stark Jegan, was able to avoid getting hit by these beams. Annoying little thing, thought Marida. The Stark Jegan fired its shoulder missile launchers, but Marida dodged them with ease. The Stark Jegan then fired its bazooka with scattering shots. Marida used her binders' thrusters to dodge this attack. Realizing the uselessness of long range attacks, the Stark Jegan's pilot decided to eject the missile launchers and draw out his beam saber. Marida did the same.

Now, any other pilot in her position might have simply closed in on the Stark Jegan and used the mega particle cannons to finish this pest off: however, Marida disliked using these weapons. Whether by pride or simple preferences, Marida instead preferred to either overwhelm her opponents with her funnels or go CQC with her beam sabers. Which is exactly what she did against this annoying Feddie: drawing her beam saber, she accelerated towards the Stark Jegan, matching its speed, and clashed with it. Energy was released from the clash of their beam sabers. After briefly turning away from each other, they once again fenced off. However, this sword fight had annoyed Marida by now, and so she simply deployed her funnels to disarm the Stark Jegan, which she promptly cut in half. Damn Sleeves!

That thought came from the Federal pilot: Marida, being a Cyber-Newtype, would occasionally feel or hear the thoughts of those recently deceased.

Marida withdrew her funnels and beam saber, and headed towards the Garencieres. Taking her helmet off, she looked towards the ship. "I'm glad you're back, Marida." said Zimmerman, "Now let's get this done with now."

"Of course, Master." said Marida.

"I told you not to call me Master." said Zimmerman, once again in an annoyed tone.

As she approached the Garencieres, Marida noticed a stream of light in the distance. At first she thought it was some kind of ship or mobile suit, but she then realized this wasn't any kind of conventional propulsion. She tried using the Kshatriya's sensors to focus, but by the time she tried looking at it again, it had disappeared. With a look of slight confusion, Marida clicked on her radio. "Sir, did your sensors pick anything in the vicinity?" she asked.

"Nothing at all." retorted Zimmerman, "Why?"

Marida tried to look for this object, but it was nowhere in sight. She shrugged it off. Must be some optical illusion or something…, she thought to herself. "Nothing, sir." she then said, "Nothing of importance."

And so she returned to the Garencieres, not knowing that someone was watching her: nearby, the GN-002 Gundam Dynames of Celestial Being, piloted by Lockon Stratos, floated by as its sensors focused on the battle.

"My, my." said Lockon to himself (and to an extent, to the Haro that was docked on his main computer), "That Sleeve pilot sure has the moves."

"What will you do, Lockon?" asked Haro.

"Well, since this is supposed to be a simple recon mission, I suppose there is nothing to do but to tell Miss Noriega that her predictions were correct, as usual." he said. And with that, the Dynames turned and accelerated somewhere off to the distance.

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:48 pm 
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Creepy Bishonen
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Word of advice, you shouldn't have that note of Banagher being bashed. It could turn off some readers.

_________________
ShadowCell wrote:
Zanald is so disappointed in you he's going to smash a desk for every time you people disappoint him. there will be no desks for the little schoolchildren of Vagan because Zanald will have smashed them all. i hope you people are happy.


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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:13 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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Edited out the bashing.
Here goes more of the chapter. Enjoy n__n

Industrial 7. Banagher Links, a student at Anaheim, was in the usual mobile suit practices at the colony's External Block: using a TOLRO-800 mobile worker, Banagher's current task was to clean debris so that it wouldn't interfere in the colony's overall performance as a "Living Space". He finished doing so, when his watch alarm beeped: it was History Class time.

At the classroom, their teacher, Bancroft, began speaking of the Zeon-Federal conflicts.

"The One Year War, which occurred seventeen years ago, was one of the most catastrophic conflicts in human history." he said, "Started by the self-proclaimed aristocratic Zabi Family, the One Year War resulted in the deaths of more than half of the human population."

"When the Zabis proclaimed the Principality of Zeon, the Earth Federation began a Rearmament Plan to counter the super-militarization observed in the newly-created nation of Zeon. This militarism gave way to the One Year War, which ultimately ended in the defeat of Zeon at the climatic Battle of A Bao A Qu. In the ensuing decades, several factions claiming to fight for the legacy of Zeon have emerged and failed to resurrect the Zeon Ideal: in 0083, the Delaz Fleet dropped a colony on North America, in an attempt to revive the "Zeon Spirit" in their homeland, Side 3. This failed, however, and instead brought the creation of the Titans Task Force, which was founded by Jamitov Hymem and a select group of Earthnoid-supremacist fanatics. After their controversial move at the protests in the 30 Bunch, a rag-tag group of One Year War-veterans created the Anti-Earth Union Group. This organization fought the Titans for several years, and their efforts culminated at the Battle of Gryps II, when they destroyed the entire Titans Fleet. However, by this time, the remnants of the old Principality that had taken refuge at the Asteroid Belt returned, and declaring themselves as the Neo-Zeon, began the First Neo-Zeon War.

"Their attempts at bullying the Federation failed, and with the AEUG recuperating from their heavy losses at Gryps, the Neo-Zeon were forced to retreat to their main base, Axis. By this time, a schism occurred between those loyal to the Neo-Zeon leader, Haman Karn, and those loyal to a contender, Glemy Toto, who claimed to be a genetically-engineered descendant of one of the Zabis, Gihren Zabi. This schism became the AEUG and Federation's opportunity to strike, and the First Neo-Zeon movement failed.

"Four years later, Char Aznable, who had been presumed dead, declared the creation of his own Neo-Zeon movement. After crashing Luna V into the Earth, he tricked the Federal Government and nearly caused a nuclear winter by crashing the asteroid Axis into Earth. However, his plans were foiled by Londo Bell.

Of course, no one was paying attention at Bancroft's long lecture: Banagher was looking at nowhere (as usual), while holding a Haro in his arms; Micott Barscht was gazing at him; Takuya Irei was more interested in his mobile suit illustrations; and their many other classmates were simply whispering with each other about pointless things.

Bancroft was clearly pissed, and using his little stick, he struck his desk with it. "Students!" he called as he struck the desk: this made everyone to quickly "repay" attention at him. "Don't think that History won't get you a job!" said Bancroft, "Even the most mundane worker must know what a college graduate would learn to actually get a job at Anaheim!"

Suddenly, a door behind the class opened, and an Anaheim technician came in.

"Teacher!" he said, "The shuttle has malfunctioned!"

Bancroft frowned: this was the third time it happened. And it was all because the cheap higher ups of the company wouldn't give them a newer model. Even the students started to complain.

Eventually, Banagher and his classmates were dismissed. Passing by a mobile suit museum, Takuya noticed an old, One Year War-era Zaku. He got all hyped up for this, but most of his classmates just ignored him: even Banagher, who was considered an MS-Enthusiast, just looked blankly (as usual) towards the horizon. Micott, of course, would always try to get Banagher's attention when this happened.

As Takuya protests his classmates' lack of interest in the museum's contents, Banagher held Haro and looked at the Zaku. "Sometimes, it looks like you're looking deep into the distance sometimes." said Micott. Banagher turned towards her and smiled, "Do I?" he asked. "Yeah," answered Micott, "like back in Bancroft's class." Banagher smiled, and turned towards a large window nearby, "It's not that I'm looking 'somewhere'." he said, "It's more like I'm thinking about where I am."

"Don't you mean your father?" she asked.

"No. Where I am." he answered.

"Oh, sorry." Micott said, a little embarrassed.

"I sometimes feel like I haven't done anything in the first place." Banagher said.

"Oh, don't worry." said Micott, "I sometimes feel exactly the same. You feel like if you had some greater purpose in life, don't you?"

"Yeah, maybe…" he trailed off. He then suddenly noticed a small flash in the distance. Micott kept talking, but he didn't pay attention at what she was saying, as he saw two more flashes in the distance. Banagher tried to distinguish it, and he felt he could actually see it up close: a white mobile suit with a large "horn" object in its forehead. Suddenly, he started seeing an image of an old painting, with a Unicorn, a lady and a lion, along with several people he wasn't able to recognize.

By the time the vision finished, however, the flashes stopped as well.

"Hey, are you listening to me?" said Micott, annoyed. Banagher just turned towards her, but didn't say anything, and once again tried to find what he thought was a mobile suit.

Was that a mobile suit?, he thought. Micott just looked at him, annoyed and feeling a little embarrassed.

Outside Industrial 7. Banagher was not hallucinating: what he had seen was a mobile suit manufactured by the Vist Foundation and Anaheim Electronics. It was pure white, and has a horn in its forehead. Its propellers released a blue streak, and it was incredibly fast. This mobile suit was capable of making high speed maneuvers with enormous precision.

Inside the cockpit, two men, a pilot and another one standing besides him, were keeping record of the mobile suit's performance. "Go faster." said Cardeas Vist, the man standing besides the pilot. The pilot was panting: even with his pilot suit, he could still feel the Gs affecting him. The pilot, however, could not worry of such things: his duties were first. And so he pressed the pedal with his right foot, and the mobile suit went straight into a debris zone nearby. The pilot's endurance was reaching its limits. However, Cardeas couldn't even care less: he pointed towards a particular zone that was heavily filled with debris. "Ram this into that collection of debris." said Cardeas.

The mobile suit started to get closer: it would soon collide with said debris, which could cause the destruction of the mobile suit. The pilot turned towards Cardeas, but before he could say anything, Cardeas simply said "Not yet." The pilot's eyes widened, but he had no choice, and he kept on with his trajectory. "Mr. Chairman!" cried the pilot in desperation. Cardeas simply looked on. "Breakdown 060." he calmly said, and the pilot quickly veered the mobile suit away from the debris. The mobile suit dodged the debris zone with exact precision, as not even a small piece scratched it. The pilot sighed in relief. "Excellent work." said Cardeas. The pilot turned towards him, smiling in relief and joy. "Thanks, sir." he said.

"I meant the unit." Cardeas said coldly, "But thank you."

The mobile suit's AI informed them of their results: the final phase was clear; the psyco-frame's g-force was in expected parameters, and the pilot's life signs were stable.

"Let's go back, Gael." said Cardeas. One the screen, a bald man appeared: it was Gael.

"I'm terribly sorry, sir." he said, "It appears that Anaheim College's training facility wasn't completely vacant."

"But we checked their curriculum." said Cardeas.

"Their shuttle broke down at the last minute." retorted Gael.

"It still doesn't matter." said Cardeas, "If anyone saw this, they would say it looked like a mirage."

And so the mobile suit designated RX-0, began its return course to Industrial 7.

Near Industrial 7 space. Celestial Being's Ptolemaios mothership slowly cruised around Industrial 7 space. The overall commander of Celestial Being, Sumeragi Lee Noriega, had some zips from her alcohol bottle as she entered the ship's bridge. Operating the ship was: Christina Sierra at the communications panel; Feldt Grace as a tactical coordinator; and Lasse Aeon and Lichtendahl Tsery at the helm. Christina noticed Sumergi drinking, and gasped. "Miss Sumeragi!" she said, "I don't think it is appropriate to drink in the eve of an operation!"

"Oh, don't worry, Chris." said Sumeragi, "Its just to get some pressure off."

She sat in her chair as Lasse gave his report. "Ptolemy will arrive at the designated point in two hours." he said.

"The Zeon ship has entered Industrial 7." said Christina, "Several Londo Bell ships have also been sighted: one Nahel Argama-class mobile suit carrier and two Salamis Kai-class cruisers."

"Just like Veda predicted." said Sumeragi, "Once the Federals and the Zeon begin combat, the Virtue and the Kyrios will begin their intervention in the exterior of the colony. Exia and Dynames will enter the colony and retrieve the Key of Laplace."

"Wait a second." said Lasse, "Weren't we supposed to get the 'Box'?"

"According to Veda, the Vist Foundation will give the Zeon the 'Key of Laplace'." said Sumeragi, "I didn't explain any details. It just said that the 'Key' was the most important component."

"Oh great." said Lasse, "So what does this key look like? Is it just your conventional one, or is some kind of hardware?"

"It didn't specify." Sumeragi retorted.

"Great." said Lasse.

"I know it sucks we don't have that much information on the Vists." said Sumeragi, "But remember they are older than Aeolia Schenberg himself. Their secrets must be very well guarded."

"We also detected a high-speed unit nearby," said Christina, "but we were unable to properly identify before it disappeared."

"Most likely one of the Londo Bell scouts." said Sumeragi, "Full Frontal just couldn't have possibly come all the way here to personally make this transaction. Besides, Veda didn't mention any new Federal or Zeon units in its predictions. We just have to stick to the plan."

The Ptolemy continued its cruise around Industrial 7.

Industrial 7, Rear Block. Gael and Cardeas were in a large control room with hundreds of employees working hard in their computers. "I just contacted my informant at Luna II." said Gael, "Our Sleeve friends crossed paths with one of Londo Bell's Clop-class cruisers."
"Then our information is leaking." said Cardeas as he climbed at the highest stand in the room, "Was there a battle?"

"Yes." said Gael, "Londo Bell tells me that they lost their target and at least three or four mobile suits."

"Anything else?"

"I contacted Londenion, but their commander, Bright Noa, was very stubborn."

"Damn that man." said Cardeas, "Contact their supplementary units. We could figure out how their fleet moves from them."

With that, Cardeas grabbed a microphone.

"Everyone listen carefully: we have now completed operation testing of the RX-0. We will now delete the testing O.S., seal the NT-D and activate the La+ Program." he said.

The employees then began applauding at the success of their mission.

After this, Cardeas went to his office. Alone and in peace (for now), Cardeas began checking some files in his laptop, and opened a particular file: the Student Profile of Banagher Links. Looking at the picture intently, Cardeas remembered a conversation he had that very day with his father, Syam Vist: born prior to the Universal Century, Syam had been one of the terrorists who killed the first Prime Minister of the Earth Federation, Ricardo Marcenas. During this incident, Syam had managed to obtain an object that could destroy the Earth Federation: this object was commonly known as the "Box of Laplace". Being the subject of underground conspiracy theories, the Laplace Box was rumored to be what gave the Vist Foundation so much power during the Universal Century. By this time, however, Syam had decided to give the Box to the Sleeves. During said conversation, Syam had asked Cardeas if he could ever forgive him. Cardeas retorted that this event could bring the End of the World, and so he was the only one that could do so. And so Cardeas sat there, waiting for the meeting with the Sleeves.

The Garencieres arrived at Industrial 7's Docking Area. Before it actually entered the Area, a Geara Zulu managed to sneak away and position itself near one of the space gates.

At the ship's bridge, Marida arrives at the bridge. "What do you think this "Laplace Box" is?" says Flaste, the Garencieres' copilot. "If it really exists, then we will reclaim It." said Suberoa, smiling at Marida, "If it's a trap, then we'll break through it." As it slowly docked into the colony, a small hatch near one of the wings opened, and a pretty, sixteen-year-old blonde haired, green-eyed girl in a spacesuit emerged from it. Using her own body to impulse herself to the closest entrance, the girl reached her destination. Once she did, she checked no one had noticed her, took a deep breath, and opened another hatch, entering another area of the colony: the service tunnels. She headed to the restrooms. In there, she took off her spacesuit and made herself look "appropriate", brushing her hair down with her fingers. Once she was done, she checked her watch: she was on time.

The name was Mineva Lao Zabi, daughter of the infamous Dozle Zabi. She had been taken to Axis, where she was seen as a symbol for the rebirth of Zeon. However, she was eventually used as a simple figure tool by Haman Karn, so as to justify the war against the Federation and her own rule of the Neo-Zeon. After the War, however, she decided to disappear, pretending to be a fake when the AEUG/Federal officers came to arrest her and then wandering the Earth Sphere for many years, hiding and escaping the many attempts on her life, as many Earthnoid Supremacists saw her as a symbol of "spacenoid disobedience" and the daughter of one of the most notorious war criminals in history.

As she exited the restroom, she used a hand-rail to head outside to the colony. As she avoided security cameras and the gaze of workers, she finally found a corridor to the "Living Space" of the colony. Using the hand-rail, she was doing quite well: below her, the lights of the "city" were flaring. As she was in the Zero-G Zone, she was safe.

At first: getting distracted by the city lights, she failed to see large kart approaching her. She got scared, and she accidentally let go of the rail, the one thing that was keeping her from plummeting into the city. She started to fall down, and attempted to grab herself from a pressure lever: however, it broke due to her weight (and poor manufacturing), and she plummeted into the city…

Banagher was drinking some juice, when he suddenly felt something strange. He turned around to see his friends talking to each other, floating due to the zero-g they were in. "Damn I fell spacesick!" said Takuya, "And to think we're finally visiting the Snail!"

"I told you not to get overexcited and eat so much pizza." said someone.

Banagher looked around, as if trying to make out what the hell he was feeling: it was some kind of urge. He felt someone was in danger. And so he found it: something happened in the Zero-G Zone axis. His sight focused on said area, and he then realized it: someone was falling down. Banagher then started rush somewhere, and Micott, having observed him for a while, noticed his strange behavior. "Banagher, where are you going to?" she said. "Banagher, toilet?" asked Haro. Banagher ignored these two, and headed towards the mobile suit hangar. "That's dangerous!" he told himself.

He reached the hangar and found only one "Toroachi" mobile worker operational. To make it even worse, it was only 30% refueled. He jumped into this one and turned it on, closing its dome-hatch. The workers present noticed him. "What the hell are you doing, boy?" one of them asked startled.

"I'm just gonna borrow it." said Banagher.

"You can't!" said the worker. Banagher launched it outside. Due to the presence of gravity (as he was outside the Zero-G Zone), the Toroachi was hard to maneuver. Even so, Banagher was capable of maintaining himself on flight. Besides, mobile suit flight in colonies was reportedly much easier than on Earth.

He headed towards the exterior of the colony's axis, and soon saw what he was looking for: a girl was falling down. As he reached a sage distance, he opened the Toroachi's cockpit hatch, and held out his hand. The girl looked at him, and then reached for Banagher's hand, managing to hold it long enough for him to pull her into the mobile worker's cockpit. As soon as he did, he closed the hatch. Suddenly, an alarm beeped: the mobile worker's fuel was depleted. The Toroachi was now running on its battery, which would last for less than a minute at best. Mineva (the girl) looked at Banagher, but he simply said "I'll think of something."

He used what was left of the battery to make a hard crash-landing near his schoolyard.

The Toroachi literally dug a trench as its legs made friction with the soft ground. Finally, it abruptly stopped. Banagher and Mineva were shaken, and the Toroachi's air bag was deployed. They both lost consciousness temporarily as the bag retreated. Haro started talking to Banagher, asking how he was. Banagher woke up, and saw they had made it. He looked at Mineva and smiled, glad that she was safe. He opened the Toroachi's hatch and started to climb out, when suddenly Mineva grabbed him by his foot and caused him to fall down. She then twisted his arm behind his back and held him down with her knee.

"Who are you?" she asked. "What are you doing?" he asked in return. "Banagher, are you okay?" asked the Haro, "Banagher!" Mineva looks at the Haro and then turns to Banagher. "Are you a resident of this colony?" she asked. Banagher nodded, and Mineva let him go. She then started exploring the Toroachi, "I have something urgent to attend to." she said, "Could you please take me to the entrance of the Colony Builder?" Banagher stood up, "To the Snail?" he asked. Mineva looked at the mobile worker's controls, "Does this still work?" she asked. "It's out of fuel and battery." said Banagher. Mineva turned, seemingly desperate, "I don't have much time! Please!" she said. Banagher was surprised by this. "There's someone I must talk to no matter what." she said, "If I don't something irreversible will occur! It's not too late to stop it, so please!" Banagher was still confused, "To stop what?" he asked. "War" said Mineva in a fearful tone. Banagher then remembered Bancroft's lectures and the mobile suit museum. He noticed Mineva's tone: unlike his teachers and friends, the way she mentioned the word "war" was of dread; of fear. One could tell she wasn't kidding around. Mineva suddenly felt weird, and without saying anything else, started to run away, hoping to find a better way to get to the Colony Builder. "Wait!" said Banagher. Mineva turned. Banagher walked towards her, "You won't get there by yourself." he said.

They got into a linear train, which would take them near their intended destination. Banagher knew that some of his classmates might be on it as well, as their visit to the Snail was scheduled for today in a few hours. Banagher had Haro in his arms and looked at Mineva. She was looking away, as if thinking by herself. "Who is the person you want to talk to?" asked Banagher. Mineva simply ignored him. Banagher noticed her unwillingness to answer, and changed the subject, "'The Snail'…" he said, "That's what everyone calls the Colony Builder around here. But it's just a plant. I also heard rumors that a mansion of the Vist Foundation is located beyond it."

This last comment caught Mineva's attention. She turned to Banagher, curious. "You know about it?" she asked. "Well, I haven't seen it with my own eyes," he said, "but the chairman of our school is an important figure of the Foundation." The train stopped at a station, and the doors all opened. "May I have your attention, please." said the driver by the radio, "Authorities have issued a safety alert. The train will stop temporarily at this station. Once safety has been confirmed, we will resume normal operations."

Banagher noticed some policemen talking with the driver. Mineva and Banagher looked at each other, and he placed his hand on her shoulder. "Let's go", he said. Mineva nodded. They exited the train and proceeded on foot.

At the Toroachi's crash site, police and paramedics combed the area. They were surrounded by onlookers. A black car stopped by. In it, there were two of Zimmerman's bridge personnel, and Marida in the front seat. She was talking with Suberoa via cell phone. She was wearing a black, long coat and a black winter hat. "So you reckon that she was piloting the TOLRO-800?" asked Suberoa. "I'm afraid so." Marida answered, "The pilot appears to have abandoned the crash site."

"Nothing but trouble will happen if the Federation catches wind of this." he said, "We'll plan out steps according to what the Foundation does."

Marida then remembered how it happened: during docking, Gilboa had mentioned that one of the hatches was open. When she checked, she realized someone had exited the ship without permission. Marida then checked the security tapes, and realized that Mineva Zabi, who was supposed to be in Palau, had stowed aboard and escaped them. She apologized to Zimmerman, who told her that as captain of this ship, he was the one truly responsible.

Marida then returned to the present. "The place she wants to go to is predictable" said Suberoa by the radio, "Seize her before she gets to Cardeas Vist. Keep it low." Marida nodded. They subsequently left the scene.

Banagher and Mineva were in a lift that took them to the Colony Builder. They had previously eaten some hot dogs, and Mineva was cleaning her mouth with delicacy. As they reached their destination, she realized, to her despair, that Marida and two crewmembers of the Garencieres were waiting for her. "Marida!" she exclaimed. Marida noticed Banagher, but then ignored him. She turned to the Princess, "Please return to us." she said, "If you understand your own position-"

"I'm here because I understand that perfectly!" Mineva interrupted. Marida expressed shock at this, but then looked at Mineva seriously, "Please don't do anything pointless." she said. "Judging of how we are now, we cannot make good use of the Box of Laplace." Mineva said. As this was happening, Banagher was typing commands in a small panel in Haro. "Regardless the kind of item it may be, it'll be only used by Full Frontal to spark another pointless conflict. You should understand that very well."

"No, I don't." said Marida, "I only know that I must obey orders."

"No." retorted Mineva, "The power that has been bestowed upon you should not be used-"

She was interrupted as Marida's companions climbed into the lift. Marida followed suit. "Pardon our discourtesy, Your Highness." Marida said. As this happened, Banagher had Haro roll towards Marida and the Sleeves. Banagher then pressed the lift's button to descend. Haro rolled towards the two male Sleeves, who had previously failed to notice it. "Danger! Danger!" it said. The two Sleeves looked at it. They recoiled when it said that, not knowing what kind of device it might be. The lift started to elevate, and Banagher grabbed Mineva's hand. Marida noticed how Banagher interacted with Mineva, and then realized his plan. But it was too late, as the Haro opened its "ears" and emitted a high pitch sound. The Sleeves thought it was a bomb and covered themselves with their arms. And then Banagher made a run for Haro and tossed it above them. The Sleeves kept track of it, as Banagher and Mineva ran away and managed to reach their intended level in time. The lift continued descending, and the two male Sleeves tried to jump and reach Banagher, but he kicked both while catching Haro. Marida catched both Sleeves with ease, and then used the bigger one to jump towards the level that Banagher and Mineva had jumped to. Her jump was graceful, elegant and impressive. Mineva saw her and knew that she could easily reach them, as she was a Cyber-Newtype: an artificially enhanced human. "Hurry!" shouted Mineva. Banagher looked back and saw how Marida reached their level and started running at near-superhuman speed towards them. Marida's hat came off, revealing her long, red hair. Banagher and Mineva made a run to another lift that was ascending. They managed to reach it; Marida, however, reached them and pulled Mineva by her coat. Banagher tried to bring Marida down by kicking her in the leg, but she simply kicked back, trying to hit his head. Banagher miraculously dodged this and managed to grab Marida's coat: he then pulled her and threw her into the level below them. Marida once again made a graceful landing, unharmed.

Banagher was now on his knees, panting due to the effort. Mineva looked at him, somewhat stranged by the fact that a stranger had protected her so thoroughly.

Marida looked towards their lift, and then started walking back. On her way to her comrades, she snapped some workers she had incapacidated before, and then just walked away.

Finally at the Colony Builder, Banagher and Mineva could rest for a while, and sat down in a small bench nearby. Mineva was going to ask Banagher why he was helping so eagerly, but he interrupted her, "My name." he said, "I'm sorry, but I haven't introduced properly to you."

"Banagher." she said, "That thing was calling you like that before." They both looked at Haro, who then said "Banagher, good luck! Banagher!" Banagher turned to Mineva, "Yes, that's right. My name is Banagher Links." he said, "And yours?"

Mineva looked away, and then said, "Audrey: Audrey Burne."

"Audrey, huh?" he said, and he then grabbed Haro, "This is Haro. Do you know about ti? It's a replica of the pet robot created by the Federation's ace pilot of the One Year War. You don't remember?"

"I grew up in the countryside." Mineva said. "Where is that?" asked Banagher. "Well, I should say I'm a rootless person. It's like I was born that way." Mineva seemed a little down when saying this. "Then we're alike." said Banagher. Mineva was surprised by this and looked at Banagher.

Nearby, Setsuna was in his Exia, hiding in the colony's axis. He was on standby, as the mission would begin in twenty minutes. He looked at the colony's interior: he was amazed that such wonders could also bring so much death and conflict.

His HUD beeped: it was Sumeragi. He opened a channel, and her face appeared in a small window in the screen. "Setsuna, just as we had predicted, Londo Bell has sent three ships to surround the colony." said Sumeragi, "There are also some Sleeve forces nearby, but they aren't the primary threat here."

Setsuna kept looking at the colony: he saw several teenagers nearby. "What's wrong?" asked Sumeragi. "If we succeed in this mission, what will happen next?" asked Setsuna in somber tone. Sumeragi stared at him. "To be honest, not even our superiors know." Sumeragi admitted, "But rumors do say that the Box is capable of destroying the Federation."

"Is that our intent?" asked Setsuna. Sumeragi remained silent: not even she knew what they would do with it. To be honest, she might as well have it destroyed, as it didn't contribute in any way to their founder's plan. But Veda had given them a specific mission: to recover the Key of Laplace.

"Either way, it depends." said Sumeragi, "If it causes further conflict, we will have to destroy it; if it helps in the plan's overall accomplishment, we will use it. All we have to do now is wait for the meeting between the Sleeves and the Vist Foundation to finish and see how exactly this 'Key' is."

"Roger that." said Setsuna.

"Amazing!" Marco exclaimed as he saw the Colony Builder's machines work, "This looks much better than in those videos and simulations they show us at school."

Takuya looked at the Builder with his binoculars, and noticed that Miccott seemed somewhat down. He patted her in the shoulder, "Don't worry." he said, "I'm sure Banagher wasn't caught. We shouldn't be talking about it, though."

"Why?" she asked. "It's gonna suck if he gets expelled." he answered, "He has no place to live in."

Micott started to look at the Colony Builder again with her binoculars. She noticed two people walking alongside each other in the distance, and so she focused the lenses to see who it was. To her shock, it was Banagher, with a blonde haired girl. "Who the hell is that girl?" she suddenly asked, clearly annoyed.

Banagher and Audrey walked together towards their destination: the end of the Colony Builder. Banagher was intrigued about who were those people that had chased them earlier, and was also somewhat suspicious about Audrey. "Who were those people chasing you?" he asked. "They're friends." she said, "I sneaked out."

"Are you an activist?" he then asked, "Like, from a rebel group? Or like some spacenoid independence supporters or something?"

"You could say that…" she answered, "But I'd say that you are oversimplifying things."

"You said you want to stop a war, right?" he then asked as they reached the end of the Builder. At this point, they had to take another lift, which would finally take them to their intended level: the Vist Mansion. He noticed how Audrey looked at everything so interested; how amazed she was. "As more ground blocks are built, the colony's outer walls grow." he started to explain. She looked upwards, noticing how far they were from the ground levels. "Amazing!" she said, "The world is expanding."

As she looked upwards, Banagher couldn't help but to look at her with some kind of…warmth. He thought she looked pretty the way she admired the colony.

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:17 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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Beyond the Colony Builder lie the grounds of the Vist Foundation. Composed of a mansion and various secret "underground" levels, it was an ideal place to keep numerous things from unwanted people, like the Federation. One of these levels held a huge hangar, which in turn housed the RX-0 Unicorn. With its final tuning and launch preparations already in process, Cardeas knew now that it was only a matter of time before the Sleeves came to retrieve it. As he looked at the Unicorn, Gael approached him from behind, carrying a holographic panel. "Your Excellency, this was taken from the surveillance camera at Lift Two." Gael said as he gave the panel to Cardeas. Cardeas grabbed the panel and became shocked by the fact that the Princess of Zeon herself had come to Industrial 7.

"Why is she…" he trailed off.

"We still don't know." said Gael, "Early this morning, I received reports of an intrusion in the service route to the MicroSun. I wouldn't have thought that…"

"Any contact from the Sleeves yet?" Cardeas asked, interrupting him.

"Nothing."

Cardeas kept looking at the footage. "Is she acting alone?" he wondered outloud.

"This may badly affect the Box entrustment." Gael commented, "It might put you in greater risk when you meet with the Sleeves later."

Cardeas then noted something: a young man was besides Audrey. Cardeas searched for more footage and was shocked to see Banagher. "Who…who is this young man?" he asked. "They seem to be working together." Gael replied, "He looks to young to be a bodyguard."

Cardeas kept staring at Banagher, still shocked by this.

And so they finally arrived: a huge, green terrace with an enormous mansion in the end of the ring-shaped structure, the Vist grounds were quite beautiful. Banagher was a little shocked when he arrived here: the place seemed familiar. "That's it." noted Audrey, "Let's go."

They then approached the mansion. They arrived at the huge, wooden doors, which had a lion head-shaped door knocker respectively. Banagher knocked the door with one of them twice, but there was no answer. "Is no one home?" wondered Audrey. However, Banagher opened the door, which had been apparentaly left unlocked. Banagher barged into the residence. Audrey blushed at this, as per her education, this was inappropriate. She quickly followed him. "Excuse me…is anyone here?" she asked in an apologetic tone. Banagher continued into the house, opening each door that he found, until he soon found himself in a room with a piano and a huge wall tapestry. Audrey quickly followed him, embarrassed. "Banagher!" she called, "You don't just barge into someone's house like that!"

Her concerns, however, were cut short, as she noticed the tapestries. She noticed they all had a Unicorn and a in each one. Banagher was looking at one in particular, which had a small banner on it. "To my only desire…" he started reading. Audrey became surprised by this, "You can read Latin?" she asked him. Banagher regained his senses, and started turning around, confused. "What the hell is wrong with me?" he wondered, "It's like I know this place…It's like I've seen this before."

"Do you like it?" a voice asked behind them. As they turned around, they saw Cardeas Vist himself coming into the room, "The Lady and the Unicorn. A set of tapestries made in former France during the Middle Ages. These are not replicas. Before the One Year War, my antecessor went through a lot of effort to locate these."

He then made a slight bow towards Audrey, "I'm the head of this House, Cardeas Vist."

Audrey returned the slight bow, "I sincerely apologize for intruding into your residence like this." she said, "My name is…"

"I already know who you are." Cardeas interrupted her, "There's no need for you to introduce yourself."

"Then I'll refrain from doing so." she replied, "As long as you understand where I am coming from."

She made a slight pause, so as to take some breath, "I'm here to request that you reconsider your decision. The decision of handing the Box of Laplace to us."

Cardeas turned towards Banagher, "You may leave." he told him coldly.

Banagher became confused by this, but Cardeas ignored him, "It's dangerous that we are meeting like this." he then continued.

"Zimmerman is a cautious man." Audrey said, "He will not create any unnecessary ruckus."

"So protecting you is unnecessary, you say?" Cardeas asked.

"Why?" Audrey asked in return, "It is said that the Box of Laplace is the reason why the Vist Foundation has been so prosperous for so long. So why are you entrusting it to us?"

Cardeas then noted Banagher had not left, and became somewhat annoyed by his presence. "Excuse me." he told Audrey, and turned towards Banagher, "I said you may leave." he then said, this time in a more menacing tone.

Banagher became somewhat annoyed himself, "She's being hunted!" he replied, "I can't just leave her alone."

Do you know by whom? Do you know the reason, the why?" Cardeas asked him in return, "You come here with her without a reason, without a why."

"No, I didn't." said Banagher, "But those people are scary!"

"Scary?" wondered Cardeas.

"That's how I sense it." replied Banagher.

"You sound like if you're trying to be a Newtype." said Cardeas.

Banagher started to get fed up by this, "That's what she said!"

"You are sacrificing your future." Cardeas then said coldly, "And that isn't the reason that your father put you in Anaheim." Banagher was taken aback by the last commenraty.

"How do you…"

"I'm the chairman." Cardeas interrupted, "I know my students very well and I can expel them for being disobedient."

There was a brief moment of silence. Audrey knew that things might not turn out well: she knew that the Sleeves and the Federation would be willing to destroy everything to just get their hands on the Box. She didn't want any innocents involved.

"Banagher, you may leave." she said, breaking the silence, "I appreaciate your help until now, but I can handle the rest by myself."

"Audrey, I'll help!" Banagher said, "You're here to prevent a war, right? And he has the power to achieve that, right? When you mentioned war, it was different from how my friends or teachers do. It actually meant something…" He made a pause, looking at Audrey in the eye this time, "I felt fear…" he said, "Your tone…your expression…They all transmitted fear and dread to me. That's why… That's why I…!"

"Banagher…" she muttered.

"When I saw you falling from the sky, my heart throbbed." he said, "Everything meshed back into place, and I felt like I knew where I belonged for the first time. I don't care who you are! Just say you need me!"

Audrey changed her kind look to one of coldness, and directly stared at Banagher in the eye, "I do not need you." she said, in an equally cold tone. Banagher became upset by this, and moved back towards the wall. "You should better forget about me" she then added, equally cold.

Afterwards, Banagher was taken by a bodyguard outside. Banagher looked back towards the mansion, one more time, thinking about Audrey.

At the same time, Audrey looked at his departure from one of the dorms in the Mansion. Cardeas entered the room with some tea, "You made the right choice." he said as he left the tea in a table, "I've changed the meeting location with your comrades. You will see them when the time is right."

Audrey looked towards him, with a clearly upset expression, "Won't you at least consider?" she asked.

"I understand your concerns." he answered, "Full Frontal: the man who has been baptized by the masses and media as the 'Second Coming of Char'."

"Then why?" she asked, in an obviously desperate tone.

"Even if they obtain the Key, they cannot open the Box without the person of the right attributes." he said, trying to reassure her.

"A key?" she asked, somewhat confused.

"That is the type of mechanism, anyway." he said, "It's a restive horse, as you will see."

Banagher was taken by a lift back to the main structure of the Colony Builder. In the distance, he could see his friends waving their arms at him.

Elsewhere, the Sleeves' black automobile was parked near a playground. Since they had failed to get the Princess, Marida and her comrades had no choice but to leave. She called Zimmerman, telling him about their failure. "You're done." he said, "I want you all to return to the ship."

Marida was a little taken aback by this. "The Foundation contacted me." he said, "They want to change the location from the Central Port to the Colony Builder."

"What did he say about her?" Marida asked quickly.

"His mind never faltered." Zimmerman replied, "I don't know what he's thinking, but we'll also have to wear our poker faces. You come back and prepare for the worst case scenario."

In the outer walls of the colony, in a particular spot where there were many good hiding places such as indentations and service tubes, the lone Geara Zulu of the Garencieres was on standby, in case anything unexpected came up. The pilot was listening to the local radio, which was broadcasting some old rock-pop. Relaxed at first, his right sensors suddenly malfunctioned, and the music suddenly turned into static.

"What the hell?" he wondered, looking around, "Interferenece?"

He looked around and saw that in the distance, at least two D-50C Loto mobile suits came out of their dummy asteroids and approached the colony…

Suberoa and his men had taken an elevator to the Vist Mansion. As they finally arrived at their destination, they were greeted by Cardeas and Gael. "What an honor to have the Head himself to welcome us." Suberoa said.

"I am about to entrust the fate of the Foundation to someone else." said Cardeas, "I cannot let anyone but myself do this."

He then moved out of their way, allowing them to come in.

The Geara Zulu pilot was struggling with his sensors: as soon as the Lotos appeared, both the visual and radar sensors were practically dead: they all read as "NO SIGNAL". The pilot punched his monitor, "Cheap piece of ZOINKS!", he shouted. However, the only other sensors still working bleeped: as he turned to check what it was, he became terrified; there were ReZELs, Jegans, Stark Jegans, Lotos and even GM III units all around him. "Londo Bell?" he said, "Where the hell did they come from?"

At the Garencieres' hangar, Marida was about to mount in her mobile suit, when she sensed something weird. She then realized it: there were enemies nearby.

Suberoa was a little surprised: "A key?" he asked Cardeas, "You'll just give us the key and not the Box?"

"Is that not enough, Captain?" Cardeas asked.

"No, but rather, I don't understand" Suberoa replied, "We don't even know what this box actually is. The Box of Laplace is rumored to be able to overthrow the Federation as soon as its contents are released, and it is also known that it is precisely because of this that the Foundation has tightly kept it in the dark. A public corporation that transfers antiques and historic artifacts to space museums is only PR. Its true purpose-"

"Your superiors recognized the value of the Box." Cardeas said, interrupting Zimmerman, "That is why they sent a capable man like you here."

"Well, its not like we're in the best position right now." said Suberoa, "We cannot just stand to bite a bait before us. If said bait were poisoned, our superiors would be deeply disappointed."

"Do you believe in Newtypes, Captain?" Cardeas then abruptly asked.

"I have felt a type of power that can only be explained as such in the battlefield." answered Suberoa.

"Power…" Cardeas muttered, "Only those who've experienced it could have said it."

He stood up from his chair, "Those from Mankind that escaped to space gained a new ability to cope with its vastness and became capable of communicating with each other without misunderstandings. The Newtype theory of Zeon Deikun was of absolute conviction and infinite possibilities: a display of true power."

The Geara Zulu pilot was nervous: a ReZEL was right above him. While its back was turned from him, the pilot was sure they would spot him. He was sweating, trying to not move at all. He looked towards one of the camera feeds and saw another ReZEL, which apparently turned its head towards him. The pilot then panicked. "ZOINKS it!" he exclaimed, and he literally blasted his Zulu towards the ReZEL, drawing his machine gun, and started firing at it in full auto. Screaming in a combination of rage and terror, the pilot got to point-blank range and fired his rifle at the ReZEL in full auto. The bullets did damage the ReZEL, but they were still not enough to destroy it. The pilot then resorted to his grenade launcher, which finished the job, but at the cost of the element of secrecy for the Sleeves. The pilot quickly started to rush towards the space gate. "Garencieres! We got company!" he started calling by the radio, "Londo Bell's surrounded the colony!"

The pilot continued his way towards the space gate, while two more ReZELs began pursuit by transforming into waverider mode.

"Ever since the Federation won the One Year War, they've feared this invisible power. The power that indicts the privileged class on Earth. It is a power that undermines their ideals of democracy, capitalism and right to govern. The power that speaks to you to awaken into a spacenoid and leave said ideals to the past." continued Cardeas. Suberoa was listening attentively, and even his men were closely following Cardeas.

The Geara Zulu pilot soon found himself in reach of one of the ReZELs, which shot his mobile suit's leg off with its beam rifle. The impact caused much shaking, which caused his airbag to deploy and save him from any damage. However, he was not going to surrender, and instead he accelerated, intending to join up with Marida and begin extraction of the Garencieres' personnel in the colony. However, another ReZEL appeared, this time right in his path, accelerating towards him. The pilot started firing his machine rifle again, hitting the ReZEL, but only causing superficial damage. The ReZEL then dodged his shots, trying to get a good aim at the Geara Zulu's cockpit.

"The power that may overthrow the rule of the Federation that has lasted for almost one-hundred years. The Federation has wasted almost twenty years fighting that invisible power."

The pilot reloaded his rifle, and resumed fire. He saw the ReZEL directly, with rage, "The space…belongs to us, spacenoids!" he then exclaimed. The ReZEL transformed and drew out its beam saber. The Zeon pilot kept firing at it, but the ReZEL dodged each burst and finally got close enough to cut off the left arm of the Geara Zulu. Having lost his rifle, the Zeon pilot then made a war cry and drew his heat tomahawk. He then proceeded to chase the ReZEL. The same ReZEL, however, was to fast, and it turned around and slashed the Zulu, this time in the torso. While not destroying it, it managed to cut off the main links that communicated the limbs with the cockpit. The Zeon pilot vomited blood due to the G forces. And like bullies, the ReZELs then began to slash the Zulu, one at a time, doing it as if they were trying to give it a slow death. But the Zeon pilot's resolve was, however, not undone, and he made one last charge. "All Hail Neo-Zeon!" he cried. He knew there was no point at doing this: he knew he would be killed instantly by the Londo Bell pilots. However, he had to let the rest of his comrades know that they were set up, even if it meant by letting his own mobile suit explode.

And then, a miracle occurred: as the two ReZELs aimed their rifles at the Zeon, a large, long, thick and bright light suddenly surrounded them. The ReZEL pilots, unaware of another enemy force, were caught in the light, and were vaporized.

The Zeon pilot was dumbfounded: as were the other Londo Bell pilots. "What the…?" was the Zeon pilot, "Was that Marida…?"

He then saw it: a bulky, white-and-black armored mobile suit, unlike he has never seen before. It held what appeared to be two large double-barreled guns in its shoulders and a large mega-launcher in its arms. From its back, it emitted what to the Zeon pilot seemed to be heavenly light. "What is that beautiful thing?" he said, completely crazy with joy. This mobile suit, the GN-005 Virtue, was a heavy artillery assault unit. Piloted by Tieria Erde, it was powerful enough to destroy a Ra Cailum class by itself. Tieria, a beautiful young man, looked at the colony.

"Virtue, Tieria Erde, continuing intervention." he said. He saw the Geara Zulu, but as it was damaged, he ignored it. Besides, Veda had been clear: the Sleeves were the least of their concerns in this particular mission.

Marida felt somewhat warm: she felt the pilot's joy due to his saving. She had never felt this before, other than when she met a nice man in Palau two years ago. Immediately after that, she felt an explosion. Gilboa hailed her. "What was that? An explosion?" Gilboa asked her. "Gilboa, have you made contact with the Captain?" she asked.

"I've lost the connection!" he said, "The Minovsky Particles are getting denser and denser! And there also seems to be some kind of outside interference…"

"Are they going to attack inside the colony?" asked Marida; despite her usually stoic appearance, she was not without any humanity; she genuinely cared about the spacenoids. She cared, and she felt the pain of their deaths in every battle.

"It seems they surrounded the colony!" Gilboa said, "I also lost contact with out unit outside! We'll spring through the colony if we have to! We'll find the captain and get out!"

"Roger." she said.

Suberoa and his men continued to listen to Cardeas. "On one hand, they built official research facilities, but these were just research labs for mad scientists to scientifically increase their latencies as weapons."

This reminded Suberoa of Marida, and frowned.

"The Gryps Conflict, and the two Neo-Zeon Wars…The rise of the military clique, caused by extreme repression, led to the exhaustion of the Federation…And yet they still endure. They have the greatest ally that has assured them victory in the very end.

Do you know what this ally is?"

"Time?" asked Suberoa back.

"Indeed."

Marida launched five of her funnels and used them to destroy a Jegan outside. More Londo Bell units began entering the colony, and Marida began to open herself openings towards the interior of the colony to intercept them.

Inside the colony, the Dynames was hidden near the axis. Lockon was drinking some water, when his Haro, which was docked in his unit's computer, started to open its ears. "Lockon, enemies approaching! Enemies approaching!" it said.

Lockon chuckled, "Ah, so here they come!" he said, "I'll take down the first ones while Setsuna destroys the rest."

As he prepared his manual targeting module, he noticed the Kshatriya. "Oh look, its our Sleeve friend." Lockon said, and so he hailed Setsuna. "Setsuna! The Quad-Wing is out there, so be careful! It is armed with funnels!"

"Roger." answered Setsuna, "I'll fend it off and eliminate the Federation forces."

Setsuna started hovering towards the main service entrance, where the Kshatriya was waiting for the Londo Bell units to mow them down. "That Quad-Wing…" he said. His sensors then picked something: several mobile suits were literally coming out of the floor: apparently, they used their beam sabers to cut their way in. These mobile suits, Lotos, transformed into tank mode and began heading towards the colony builder. "Lockon, several tank-type mobile suits are heading towards the Builder!" said Setsuna, "I'm moving to engage."

"The public that only sought for results grew tired of Newtypes that only showed potential. The term Newtype then eventually became synonymous with 'ace pilot', something completely opposed to Deikun's theory of 'those who understand each other perfectly'."

Setsuna fired his GN Rifle, destroying one of the Lotos. The ECOAS captain in the lead Loto, Daguza Mackle, was shocked. "What the..?" he exclaimed, "Where did that fire come from?"

"Above us, sir!" said Conroy, his gunner, "Its an unknown!"

"The Quad-Wing?" asked Daguza.

"No, it's…I've never seen this kind of mobile suit…it looks like a Gundam!"

"A Gundam?" Daguza exclaimed, "Is it the Vist's unit?"

"No, sir!" Conroy said, "This one is completely different! I've never seen one like it!"

Daguza came out of his cockpit and saw it: the GN-001 Exia. Indeed, it looked like a Gundam, but its armor looked completely different; its head was shaped unlike anything he had seen before; and a light was emanating from its back.

Setsuna saw Daguza, and aimed his GN Rifle at him. Daguza quickly fired a blind shot with his bazooka and pulled Conroy out of the Loto. Setsuna covered himself with his GN Shield and proceeded to destroy the Loto.

Marida detected the explosions, and realized, to her despair, that enemy mobile suits were infiltrating the colony from somewhere else. She turned around and saw it: the GN-002 Dynames. She clenched her teeth: it looked like one…like a Gundam. The mysterious mobile suit began to move out, and then fired its GN Sniper Rifle at her position. She moved to dodge the shot, only to realize it wasn't intended for her: it was intended for the first ReZEL that was entering the colony. The Dynames began to move again and sniped four more Londo Bell mobile suits. "Dynames, Lockon Stratos, sniping targets!" Lockon said. He sniped two more Jegans, and the Londo Bell mobile suit force began to spread, only to be intercepted by Marida's funnels, which cut them down with ease.

"The Box of Laplace contains the power to alter the future." Cardeas continued, "No, I should say 'the power to retrieve the future that we were supposed to have.' However, not anyone can use it. If it's used in the wrong way, it can literally destroy humanity."

"And so you are handing the key to us to test us out?" asked Suberoa. Cardeas nodded, "If you're merely narrow-minded ideologists with only a single idea in mind, the Box won't display its contents to thee."

"What do you mean by 'narrow-minded'" Suberoa then asked.

"Reviving Zeon." replied Cardeas.

As soon as he said this, they felt a massive shake.

In her room, Audrey looked outside by the window, with a sad expression.

In the colony's interior, the Kshatriya finished off the last of the Londo Bell mobile suits with the help of the Dynames. Lockon chuckled to himself. "Who would have thought that the Zeon would be so helpful." he said.

"He got more kills than you!" Haro then teased, "He got more kills than you!"

However, unexpectedly, his sensors detected more units: at least ten more Londo Bell mobile suits were coming in. "Damn these bastards! They are persistent!" he exclaimed, and then began sniping them. Marida also detected them and redeployed her funnels, managing to partially destroy a Jegan: however, its wreckage fell on a populated area, killing many. Marida felt that horrible feeling again. Another Jegan was taken out, but its wreckage fell on civilians. This time, she felt as if she herself was being slowly cut by a razor. She started sweating. "I'll…" she muttered, "I'll…I'll take you all out!"

"Londo Bell is here." said Gael after making a phone call, "They surrounded the colony. In addition, the fighting has spread to the interior of the colony."

"So, I take it we have been set up?" asked Suberoa, drawing Zeon pistol and pointing it at Cardeas. Gael moved in front of Cardeas to cover him. "I'd say you have been followed, but it's a pointless argument overall." Cardeas said.

"Please give her back to us." Suberoa demanded.

"I had that very intention since the beginning." Cardeas replied, "She is staying in one of the rooms in the mansion."

Another explosion rocked them. Suberoa and Cardeas looked at each other.

"Trust between people is so hard to obtain." Suberoa then said, "This is unfortunate, sir."

"I feel the same, Captain." replied Cardeas.

Setsuna destroyed two more Jegans as he wondered where the Sleeves carrying the Box would be. He then saw three ReZELs fighting the Kshatriya. He accelerated towards the battle.

Despite being powerful, Marida's suit was unfit for true atmospheric combat, even in colonies. Its binders made it heavy and difficult to maneuver properly. The funnels were also particularly troublesome, as she had to constantly withdraw them to recharge them as they needed too much energy to actually remain in flight.

A ReZEL that had crashed into a building was firing its rifle at Marida. Another one behind her drew its beam saber and charged at her. It tried to slash her, but Marida evaded the hit. "Get off my tail!" she shouted, "Damn it!" She countered with her own beam saber, and they both clashed, while the fallen ReZEL continued to fire its beam rifle at her. Another ReZEL charged at her, but she luckily deployed one of her sub-arms and stopped it, while graciously cutting the other troublesome ReZEL in half. However, all of these maneuvers were too difficult, even for her. "So heavy!" she exclaimed as she turned to deal with the camping ReZEL in the ground. The ReZEL kept firing, but she difficultly evaded every shot. She then called upon her funnels and directed towards the ReZEL. "This'll shut you up!" she said, and fired then in unison. The ReZEL had been eliminated, but with a price: its Minovsky reactor went critical. Realizing in horror what she had caused, she quickly withdrew her funnels and tried to fly as far from the blast as possible. The explosion vaporized a portion of the city and many civilians. Marida recoiled from the deaths, and seemed to bleed from her nose.

Setsuna and Lockon watched this in horror. "This has gone too far…" said Lockon, "Setsuna! Can you hear me? Hold that Quad-Wing off! I'll keep searching for the people with the Box, but you have to prevent another explosion like that from happening."

"Roger!" said Setsuna, and he charged at the Kshatriya.

As she caught some breath, she detected the Exia charging at her. She drew her beam saber and began an all-out aggressive against it. Setsuna deployed his GN Blade and blocked her attacks. Marida started screaming in what appeared to be rage, and deployed her funnels against Exia. Setsuna pushed her away and evaded most shots, with a few hitting his GN Shield and his GN Armor absorbing a few other shots. Despite this, Setsuna knew that againt beam weapons his armor could only endure a few hits.

Far away in the Snail, Banagher and his classmates looked at all of this in horror. "There is a hole in the colony…" Marco muttered. "That's where our school is…" exclaimed another student.

"War." Takuya then said abruptly, "War has broken out."

"Really, Takuya?" Marco then said, "Do you really have to point out the obvious?"

Banagher thought of what Audrey told him. And he realized what he had to do.

"Move it!" he suddenly exclaimed, "Move to shelters now!"

They all then nodded, clearly shaken by what they had seen, and began running towards the nearest shelter. Is this the war that you mentioned, Audrey?, Banagher thought.

Vist Mansion. Two Lotos came out of the ground, and were positioned nearby. They opened some hatches in their sides and ECOAS commandos started to pour out. Armed with excellent assault rifles and well protected, these masked goons gunned down the Vist bodyguards outside. Their leader proceeded to kick the beautiful wooden door down, and a bloodbath ensued as maids, butlers, bodyguards and Anaheim employees in the Mansion were mowed down mercilessly by the Federation soldiers. As they checked one certain bedroom, they failed to realize that the Princess of Zeon herself was running away in the distance.

Audrey kept running, afraid for her life, and kept running towards the lift she and Banagher had used to reach the Mansion in the first place.

Cardeas and Gael were alone in the office, as the Sleeves had already left the building. Gael had brought some firearms for himself and Cardeas; Gael picked a submachine gun while Cardeas simply grabbed a small pocket pistol for himself. "An ECOAS team is currently exploring the mansion and will be here any moment now." said Gael, "In addition, I was able to pick up some reports from the Londo Bell forces outside of some unknown enemy attacking them. Whether this could buy us time or not…"

"A hundred year-old alliance broken so easily in just a few moments." mused Cardeas, "The Federation plans to take everything with this chance. Then again, it was us who tried to break it first."

He then looked at Gael to the eye, "Gael, we cannot the Federation get the unit!"

As they exited the room, the Vist Foundation's logo in Cardeas' office cracked…

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:45 pm
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The Nahel Argama: this ship had served the AEUG in the last period of the First Neo-Zeon War. Deemed to be a perfect warship, it was recommissioned after the Second Neo-Zeon War and issued to Londo Bell. Refitted with newer weapons and more mobile suit storage space, the Nahel Argama continued to be a fearsome ship. However, the captain, Otto Midas, was distressed: two of their squadrons had been wiped out by an unknown enemy with tremendous firepower. In addition, the forces sent to the interior were being wiped out by more unknowns and some new Sleeves unit. "We'll force the Sleeves' ship out!" he said, "Prepare to fire megaparticle cannon one! Aim it at the main space gate! As soon as we fire, launch the Romeo Squadron. And report any unknowns you see!"

He waited until the ship was in firing position. The megaparticle cannon turret was then turned towards the colony. Otto snapped his fingers, and the beams were then shot, hitting the space gate.

At the Garencieres, the crew was desperate to leave: but the Captain had not returned yet. Gilboa was checking for any news on the battle. Suddenly, their Geara Zulu was returning. Gilboa saw the damage, and hailed the pilot. "Are you alright?" he asked, "Are you injured?"

He instead heard laughter. Gilboa was confused by this. "Hey, what happened?" he asked. The pilot continued his joyful laughter. A small window appeared, revealing the pilot, laughing with tears. "What's wrong?" Gilboa asked.

"It was God…" said the pilot, "God sent me these angels to protect me…I'm alive! Yes I'm alive!"

"Angels?" wondered Gilboa.

"Yes!" the pilot exclaimed, "Angels with wings of light! They are ripping the Feddies apart as we speak!"

Riddhe Marcenas, pilot of one of the Nahel Argama's ReZELs, was waiting for his turn to launch. He put his gloves on and placed his hands on the controls as his commander, Norm, launched. Once Norm launched, his turn came up. The linear catapult accelerated him while his boosters allowed him to gain speed and launch in a more fashionable way.

At the bridge, Mihiro Oiwakken, one of the communications officers, gasps. "Captain, another unknown is approaching us!" she said. Otto's eyes widened. "Where is it?" he asked. "It's coming at us from the rear." she said, "It's a different one…"

"What?" he exclaimed "There are two of these things?"

One would correct him and say that there were actually four. However, with all the chaos, they barely knew of the presence of the Dynames and Exia, who were in the interior of the colony. That and the fact that the GN-003 Kyrios, which was currenly in waverider mode, was equipped with a GN Drive, like its three other sister units. Allelujah Haptism, the pilot, sighed.

"Nahel Argama class spotted." he said, "Commencing neutralization. Dear goodness, Sumeragi's predictions are always so accurate…"

"Launch more units!" said Otto, "That thing's gonna kill us!"

Two GM III units were launched, and accelerated towards the Kyrios. They started firing their machine guns at it, but Allelujah, despite being in Waverider mode, evaded every single shot. Once he did that, he used his beam rifle to disable the GM IIIs. As soon as he finished this, the Nahel Argama's megaparticle cannons started firing at him, but again he dodged these shots.

"I hate it when bullies torment those that are weaker…" said Allelujah. Immediately afterwards, he fired his beam rifle at the megaparticle cannons, destroying them. Some CIWS machine guns were also fired at him, but he ignored them.

"Neutralization of Londo Bell ship accomplished." he said, "Moving now to assist Virtue in the neutralization of remaining Londo Bell units outside the colony."

At an elevator leading to the surface, Suberoa and his men armed themselves with submachine guns, expecting Federation commandos in their way. As he loaded his weapon, he felt somewhat worried for Marida.

Marida was still clashing with the Exia, when suddenly two more Jegans appeared. Setsuna backed off as she used one of her binders to push it away. She then cut the Jegan down. She felt more pain, and recoiled again. The other Jegan fired its beam rifle at her, and she blocked these shots with her binders. By now at the edge of pure rage, she went berserker, and using her funnels, she destroyed the remaining Jegan, destroying it in a way that literally nothing was left of it. Setsuna suddenly felt weird in his head. "What is this...?" he asked to himself, trying to figure out what it was. He then charges at the Kshatriya. Marida, fully berserker now, starts using her funnels in a gracious and deadly form. Setsuna avoids the first shots, but Marida manages to hit him several times, scratching his armor. Setsuna withdraws his GN Blade and begins firing his GN Rifle, destroying one of the funnels. Marida screams in rage again, and directs a full scale attack against the Exia. Setsuna blocks some of the shots with his GN Shield, but it gets scratched.

"At this rate…" he says to himself. He deploys flares to blind her for a moment. Marida feels a burning sensation in her eyes, which forces her to pause for a moment. After regaining sight, she sees the Exia flying away.

"Funnels!" she calls out, intending to redirect them towards the Exia: however, three ReZELs enter the colony, and start firing at her. Already on a state of uncontrollable rage, she turns her funnels towards the ReZELs.

Setsuna hovers away as he sees the Dynames; it is sniping the last remaining Jegan. "Lockon!" Setsuna called, "More Londo Bell ReZELs are coming in!"

"I'll shoot them down!" said Lockon, and he aims at the other end of the colony.

Riddhe draws his beam saber and engages Marida in close-quarters combat. Marida pushes him away and tries using her funnels against him. She tries to hit his cockpit with one of her binders, but he barely manages to evade this, firing his Vulcans in the process. Another member of the Romeo squadron tries to attack Marida with his beam saber, but he is suddenly shot from afar. Riddhe turns around, surprised by this.

"Where the hell did that come from?" he said.

Marida also saw this and turned as well, and spotted the same green mobile suit from before. Somehow this gradually calmed her down, and her expression returned to the same old, stoic one. Having regained composure, she drew her beam saber out and cut Riddhe's ReZEL's right arm off.

"Damn!" shouted Riddhe as he started to use his Vulcans. Marida gave one last battle cry and cut off the left arm of Riddhe's mobile suit. He starts to retreat, and Marida, calm once more, flies away toward the Colony Builder, with her funnels closely behind her.

Suberoa and his men were running through the corridor, albeit with difficulty, due to the Zero-G environment they were in. One of the men was unexpectedly shot down, and Suberoa and the rest quickly took cover behind some pillars. Flaste peeked out and saw that it was a force of ECOAS Commandos. Suberoa and Flaste started to return fire, as they had no intention of dying here.

At the same time, Cardeas and Gael were also sprinting towards the hangar. "Damn ECOAS is killing everyone they find!" said Gael, "I fear that the main module has been captured."

"Then we'll have to launch it ourselves." said Cardeas, "The data on the tests was most likely deleted by now. All we have to do is-"

He is interrupted by gunfire directed at him: the shots barely grace his coat. Gael pushes him aside and begins suppressive fire at the ECOAS commandos, killing two in spectacular fashion.

"Your Excellency, go ahead!" Gael said, "You must get to the Unicorn at once!"

"Thank you, Gael." Cardeas said, "Come back alive!"

As the elevator's doors opened, one of Suberoa's men received a headshot as soon as he exited. Suberoa and his men quickly took cover, and Suberoa quickly realized that there were at least eight ECOAS commandos, in a phalanx formation behind their tactical shields. The commandos started to fire their automatic weapons and pistols at the elevator: luckily, no one else in Suberoa's side was hit. However, they were pinned down, and had nowhere else to go. It would be a long fight…

At the Colony Builder, Banagher and the rest of his class were desperately attempting to get the doors of one of the shelters open. Apparently, no one was willing to open them, and so the class had to wait in a long, thick line. Banagher, Takuya and Micott had no choice but to get to the control panel and try to open it manually. One of the students started to knock the large metal door. "Hey, open up!" the student said, "There are people stuck out here!" Many other students started to join in, massing towards the door and hitting it with their fists, palms and even some of the stuff they were carrying.

"Damn it!" Banagher then exclaimed, frustrated over the fact that he was unsuccessful in opening the shelter.

"By now, the other shelters might be closed as well!" said Takuya.

And then Banagher felt something: dread. He turned around and saw the Kshatriya heading towards them. And then, an explosion: a ReZEL used its beam rifle, attempting to shoot down the Kshatriya. However, it instead hit a wall right next Banagher's class. The explosion sent him and his two friends a few meters away from the control panel.

They remained down for a moment, waiting for things to get clear. Banagher then stood up and looked towards the shelter's door: a huge fissure, caused by beam weaponry, had been cut through the door and the entire floor in front of it. And to Banagher's horror, where his classmates had once stood, there was now only smoke.

"The others…" he said, "They're…"

His two other friends were catatonic at this view: Micott started walking towards the site, her eyes widened in horror. "Esther, Marco…" she muttered, "Dennis…Tom…Everyone… Where'd everyone go?"

She started running towards the fissure, but Takuya went after her and managed to stop her, grabbing her by the shoulders. "Micott!" he said. He hugged her as she started sobbing. All Banagher could do was look at the situation, in despair. He was pale, and couldn't move. He felt powerless: he felt useless, like he had throughout his entire life. He felt he had not done enough to prevent this: that the deaths of his classmates were his entire fault. And then he remembered Audrey: she was most likely alone in the Vist Mansion, possibly in danger. He saw her best friend, Micott, crying in despair and Takuya trying to comfort her. He was tired…tired of not being able to do anything: of not being able to prevent all of this. He clenched his fists, wiped off his tears, and placed his hand on Takuya's shoulder. "Takuya, take care of Micott." Banagher said. Takuya was surprised by this, "What are you going to do?" he asked.

"There is someone who is all alone and her life is in danger." Banagher said, "I have to go help her." He then handed Haro over to Takuya, who took it, still confused over what Banagher had just said. "Get to the other side of the Snail through the hole that was just opened." Banagher then said, "If you're able to, go to the center and wait for the rescue team to arrive."

And with that, Banagher pushed himself towards a lift that was nearby. Micott started calling to him, desperate, begging him not to leave her side; however, he ignored them, frustrated, and yet determined to save Audrey.

By now, Cardeas had escaped the firefights. He was in an elevator that headed down towards the Unicorn's hangar. He looked to the Anaheim Electronics logo imprinted in the elevator's panel, and punched it. "I can't believe we have been occupied by Londo Bell…" he muttered, "Does the Federation intend to just bulldoze the remaining legal issues?"

He then thought for a while, No, this seems internal…Someone tipped them off…but who?

The elevator reached its destination, and the doors opened. Cardeas backed off: three men, one with an ECOAS suit and two in Anaheim Electronics normal suits were suddenly right in front of them. The ECOAS soldier and Anaheim employee were both with their rifles aimed directly at Cardeas. Their visors concealed their identities, as they were polarized. The ECOAS soldier and Anaheim employee approached Cardeas, grabbing him from both arms. The third man then pushed a small button in his helmet's right side, revealing himself.

"Alberto?" exclaimed Cardeas. Alberto was simply unresponsive, with a slight smirk in his face.

Marida wiped off the blood in her lower lip as she continued to search for the Princess in the Snail. She then sensed something, and saw the unknown mobile suits below her. She noticed the light that they emanated from their backs. It looks like stars, she thought.

Setsuna saw the Kshatriya. "Damn it." he said, and then hailed Lockon, "Lockon! That Quad-Wing is right above us!"

"That pilot is persistent!" Lockon said, "At this rate, we'll never find this 'Key'!"

Lockon aimed his GN Sniper Rifle at the Kshatriya, but Marida used her binders to block the first two shots. Lockon fired another, and this time he managed to push the Kshatriya down. With its binders enclosing it completely, the Kshatriya fell to the ground and literally rolled through the floor, destroying some warehouses and gas containers nearby, causing numerous explosions.

And then out of nowhere, a Loto appeared, and started firing its missiles at the Dynames.

"Damn it!" exclaimed Lockon, "ECOAS suits!"

He then drew his GN Pistols and fired at the Loto; however, the pilot used its back thrusters and evaded most of the shots. The Loto's pilot then fired more missiles and a light machine gun in its shoulder, but Lockon's Gundam absorbed much of the impact. Even so, being hit wasn't the preference for the Gundam Meisters.

"Haro, direct all energy to weapons!" Lockon commanded, and soon his GN Pistols' barrels glowed more than usual. Lockon then began rapid-firing them, and this time he managed to hit the Loto several times, tearing it to shreds. Another Loto then appeared, and started firing its missiles at the Dynames. "Damn Feddies!" Lockon exclaimed, "They're so persistant!"

The ECOAS soldier handed over Cardeas' pocket pistol to Alberto, who promptly caught it. The Anaheim employee kept his rifle aimed at Cardeas. "I haven't seen you in quite a while, sir." Alberto then said, in a somewhat mocking tone.

"Did Martha put you up to this?" Cardeas then asked, suspecting the ones responsible for all this mess. Alberto simply smirked at this question, but remained unresponsive. Cardeas then looked at Alberto directly, "You may think that you are using the military," he then said, "but the one really being used…"

Unexpectedly, he grabbed the ECOAS soldier's head and snapped his neck in an instant. The Anaheim employee started shooting his assault rifle, but Cardeas used the ECOAS soldier's body as a shield. He then proceeded to grab the ECOAS rifle and shot an automatic fire burst at the Anaheim employee, killing him instantly. As soon as he did this, he put his weapon down and turned to Alberto.

"Listen to me Alberto," he said as he turned towards him, "You-"

And he then suddenly felt a bullet piercing his torso: Alberto, his own son, had shot him. Alberto looked at Cardeas directly, "You're a traitor."

"I have…no reason to listen to you…" Cardeas said, putting his hand over his wound.

"Laplace's Box is mine." Alberto then said, and he then promptly left, leaving the gun floating by. Cardeas fell to the ground: the injury was fatal. He knew there was no way to survive. His hopes now lied with Gael…

On another level, Banagher was pushing himself through the corridors, trying to reach the Mansion, when he suddenly found himself in the crossfire of a gunfight between ECOAS and the Sleeves. He quickly took cover as the Sleeves mowed down two more ECOAS soldiers. It's happening here too… he thought.

The firefight was over as soon as it began; the Sleeves had mopped the floor with the ECOAS commandos, but at the cost of two of their men. As Suberoa and Flaste pushed themselves forward, they spotted Banagher. Flaste pointed his rifle at him, but Suberoa stopped him from shooting.

"Forget about the kid." Suberoa said, and he then shot a full burst at the elevator's controls. Having used the last of his ammunition, he discarded the rifle and left it floating by. He drew his Luger-type pistol and joined up with Flaste.

"Have you contacted Marida?" he asked Flaste as they left off. Banagher sighed in relief and continued on his way.

Marida had managed to regain flight, but as soon as she did, the Loto that was engaging the Dynames had now directed its attention to her. It fired several missiles at her, which she blocked with binders. While not technically allies, the Meisters and Marida had one common enemy right now: the Federation. And so ignoring the Dynames, she deployed her funnels and directed towards them towards the Loto. The pilot tried to use his bazooka to fire a blind shot at her, but her funnels were too quick, and they vaporized him and cut his mobile suit in several pieces, which were sent flying all over the place once the mobile suit's frame exploded. That was when Marida then felt the Princess' presence below her.

Nearby, Audrey was using a handrail to get herself to the space gate. She saw the battle and noticed the unknown mobile suits. They look like… she started thinking, but her thoughts were interrupted by Haro, who suddenly started rolling towards her, calling her name repeatedly. Audrey was surprised by its appearance and grabbed it. "Haro!" she then heard a voice calling further away, and she saw a boy and a girl using a handrail and heading towards her. She at first thought it was Banagher, but she then realized is was someone completely different.

Takuya and Micott saw Haro with Audrey, and Takuya thought she was a civilian. "Hey you!" he called out, "Get out of here! It's dangerous!" Micott then saw Audrey and recognized her as the girl that was with Banagher at the Snail. "It's you!" she said. Takuya turned towards her, surprised, "You know her?" he asked her, but then Micott quickly shook her head. Audrey held Haro in her arms when they suddenly heard an explosion: a Loto had exploded nearby and its wreckage was falling over them. Takuya grabbed Micott and covered her with his arms. Audrey covered herself and Haro as well, thinking her death was now inevitable. However, the unexpected happened: the Exia, one of the unknowns, got in the way and used its GN Shield to push the Loto's wreckage aside. Its head then turned at the teenagers. Micott, Takuya and Audrey all looked at it with a mixed expression of relief and shock. "What…what is it?" Micott asked.

"It looks like some kind of…Gundam." said Takuya, "But its head design is so…different."

The Exia then propelled itself and clashed with the Kshatriya in beam saber combat. Marida used her megaparticle cannons to push the Exia away, and tried to use her funnels; however, Setsuna again dodged most of her attacks.

"You damn annoying thing!" she shouted, and felt that she would start loosing control of herself again. However, she managed to restrain from loosing it again, and simply withdrew her funnels and focused on close combat.

"Setsuna, you take care of that Quad-Wing!" Lockon said, "I'll keep looking for the Key!"

The Dynames went further into the Builder as the duel between Setsuna and Marida dragged on.

As Audrey, Takuya and Micott watched the battle, a heavily damaged ReZEL approached them. Takuya waved his arms at it. The pilot, Riddhe Marcenas, noticed them and closed towards them. When he was close enough, he opened his cockpit hatch. Takuya placed his hands around his mouth, "Hey! Pilot!" he called out, "We need your help! We've been caught in the battle! Please, help us!"

Riddhe nodded at this and then noticed Audrey. She looks familiar, he thought.

Setsuna's battle with Marida had by now reached the lower levels of the Colony Builder. They continued to duel, with each blow, each slash and each attack seeming almost eternal to them both. Setsuna withdrew his GN Blade and started firing his GN Rifle, but Marida used one of her binders to block his shots. Setsuna then drew one of his GN Sabers and charged at Marida. She started suppressive fire with her funnels, forcing him to stop his charge towards her and block them with his shield and evade them, giving her time to charge at her enemy. Setsuna then used his GN Rifle to shoot down two funnels, and then charged towards her. Their blades clashed and released huge amounts of energy.

Banagher suddenly found himself floating in a dark hallway, with small debris floating around him. Large pipes covered the floor and ceiling. Banagher was trembling: he feared for the worst. "Audrey…" he muttered. Suddenly, some lights in the ceiling turned on, and using them as a guide, he pushed himself forward.

He soon found himself in a huge hangar, with only one light on, which was directly on a white mobile suit. It was unlike anything he had seen before: it seemed to have been built by blocks, and its head had a large "horn". He noticed the cockpit hatch open.

Maybe the pilot could help, he thought. He then used his legs to push himself upwards towards the cockpit's level. As he used the mobile suit's hatch to hold himself, he found Cardeas inside, seemingly applying some maintenance to it. He gasped.

Cardeas hear him, and thinking it was Gael, he turned around; however, to his surprise, it was Banagher. "It's you…" he said. They both looked at each other, equally surprised.

"Where is Audrey?" Banagher then suddenly asked. Cardeas returned to his work, smirking. "I'm sure she's alive." he replied, "She has literally faced death throughout her entire life."

Banagher was shocked by this statement, "You left her alone in the mansion?" he asked, outraged, "Were you planning to save yourself with this mobile suit?"

Cardeas' expression then turned to one of calmness, "Even if I did, I wouldn't last long…", he then said.

Banagher became even more irritated, and punched the hatch's walls, "What the hell is wrong with you?" he said, "You talked to me from high above the clouds, and yet you couldn't do a single thing! Audrey went to talk to you in order to prevent a war…Didn't you have the power to do that? They all had plans for tomorrow, and even next week…That wasn't…That isn't how people are supposed to die! At least my mother's death was more dignified…"

Cardeas caught this statement, and realized it was time, "Humans are different from animals…"he said, "We are supposed to care for the lives of others. But we adults have allowed too much innocent blood to be spilled. And that's not all: we ate up the Earth and began to seek an outlet in space."

He then moved towards the linear seat, using it to rest his injured body, "Now it is time that we humans regulate ourselves and regain our dignity, in order to live up to the hope that was placed upon us one-hundred years ago."

And then Banagher realized something he had heard a long time ago, and said "He holds endless possibilities, and displays his kindness and strength to the rest of the world."

He placed his right hand on his right eye, and Cardeas looked at him, with a slight smile. "Only mankind has God." Cardeas then said, and he stretched his hand towards Banagher, "A 'God' by the name of 'possibility'. A power that allows us to go above and beyond."

Banagher took Cardeas hand, and Cardeas continued, "Do you have confidence that the feelings you've followed here will not falter?"

Banagher was a little surprised at this, and Cardeas looked at him directly in the eye, "What she shoulders is not light." he said, "To walk alongside her; you must be prepared to shoulder the entire world. So, do you still wish to go?"

Banagher thought about this, and thought about Audrey. "Neither do I have confidence nor am I prepared." he stated, "I just want her to need me."

Cardeas smiled at this, and moved aside from the linear seat, "Then take this."

He then pulled Banagher and placed his hand on a small panel in front of the linear seat. The panel seemed to analyze Banagher's fingerprints, and bleeped. It then withdrew, and Cardeas helped Banagher get seated as several control panels appeared along with manual controls. "As of this moment, this unit will only listen to you." Cardeas then said, "So long as the Unicorn thinks you're suited, it will display its incomparable powers to you. And the path to the Box of Laplace will open for you."

A holographic HUD surrounded Banagher, with several holographic controls displayed as well. "Box of Laplace?" asked Banagher. Several explosions suddenly rocked the hangar outside the cockpit.

"The chain that has restrained the House of Vist for one-hundred years." Cardeas answered, "But if its used appropriately, a ray of hope will shine upon this Universal Century."

Cardeas then felt more pain: his time was coming. "Anna…" he muttered, and Banagher knew he was referring to his mother. Cardeas moved closer towards Banagher, "She took you away from me because she didn't want you to be chained." he said as he placed his bloodied hand in Banagher's cheek, "Anna and you must hate me to the very bones. But go! Do not fear. Believe in the possibilities that lie within you. So long as you try your best, the path will reveal itself to you."

Banagher touched Cardeas hand, and a tear ran from his eye, "That's selfish of you to say now…" Banagher said.

Cardeas looked at him in the eye, with a sorrowful expression, "I hope you can forgive me." he then said. He then slowly pushed himself away from Banagher, without separating his view from him. "I wanted to talk to you for much…much longer…" he then said as he slowly got away from Banagher. He then slowly exited the cockpit, still looking at Banagher.

Banagher…, he then thought, My dream has come true, Anna.

And then, another explosion rocked the hangar, and he was engulfed in flames. The Unicorn's hatch immediately closed as this happened. "Father!" Banagher called as this happened. Banagher was completely shocked by this revelation. He sat there for a moment, and remembered the last time he saw the Vist Mansion when he was a child.

The Unicorn's panoramic view deactivated. Banagher laid there for a moment, thinking about all that had happened. Several tears came out of his eyes, floating due to the zero-g environment. As this happened, the panoramic screen showed the same tapestry Banagher had seen at the mansion: the Lady and the Unicorn. To my only desire… he thought, The beast of possibilities. The symbol of hope. Dad…Mother, I am sorry, but I am… heading out!

And with that thought, he grabbed the manual controls, and the panoramic view reactivated. The Unicorn's sensors activated; its restraints broke down. He then thought about Audrey.

Audrey, Takuya and Micott were breathing pure oxygen in the space launch Riddhe had retrieved from them. Audrey heard Banagher's voice, calling out to her.

Marida slashed at the Exia, and Setsuna dodged her attack. She then felt the Princess, and stopped her attack on the Exia. Setsuna was somewhat surprised. "What the...?" he said. He then accelerated towards the Kshatriya, but Marida accelerated her own unit. Suddenly, both of their sensors picked up something behind the large curtain of smoke. And then they saw it: a white mobile suit with a large horn in its head. Marida recoiled at the sight of it, sensing something negative from it. Setsuna readied his GN Blade when he saw it. "A new Federation model?" he asked himself.

Marida started to feel intense fear. "Funnel!" she called, and she directed her funnels towards the white mobile suit. The funnels fired their beams at the white mobile suit, but it simply came out of the smokescreen, evading her shots. Setsuna charged at it, slashing with his GN Blade; however, the horned mobile suit blocked his blow with its right hand and pushed it towards the Kshatriya.

Marida tried to deploy her beam saber, but the white mobile suit pushed the Exia at her, and started then pushing both towards the exterior of the colony. Both Marida and Setsuna were completely caught off guard, and their units were unable to move due to being on top of each other.

Banagher, inside the white mobile suit, accelerated.

"Get out!" he shouted, "Get out of here, both of you!"

He started to intentionally crash both against several pillars, intending to get them through a shaft; Marida used her funnels to destroy this hatch so that they wouldn't crash against it.

As they got through it, they reached the exterior, and the three units quickly separated. They then turned to face each other. Marida felt threatened. "Take it down!" she said, and her funnels accelerated towards the white one.

Banagher's eyes widened in fear, but then suddenly, a small screen appeared, with the letters "NT-D". The linear seat then changed its configuration, with several things grabbing his head, arms and legs and practically immobilizing him. The white mobile suit's external frame then began to glow, and its plates started to separate, revealing glowing components underneath. As Marida fired her funnels, an I-Field blocked her shots. The components inside the white mobile suit gave a reddish glow, and Marida's eyes widened in fear. In its back, two beam sabers appeared. The white one's head started to change as well: it was a sight Marida's mind had feared for her entire life.

The white one's horn was split in two, and its "face" became one of a Gundam. It was unmistakable: the "V-Fins" on its forehead, its faceplate and its sensors all indicated that it was a Gundam.

Everyone in the battlefield looked in awe: the crew of the Nahel Argama could not believe it; Setsuna was dumbfounded, "A Gundam…" he muttered; Tieria and Allelujah looked at the new Gundam, confused as to what it meant; as he exited the colony, Lockon saw the white Gundam, and his eyes widened in shock; Riddhe could not believe his eyes; and Audrey looked at it, and ominously feeled somewhat threatened. "Gundam…" she muttered.

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:26 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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The Unicorn Gundam had appeared; the Key of Laplace. It charged towards the Kshatriya as it drew out a beam saber, its body still glowing. Two funnels tried to shoot it, but the Unicorn's beam saber cut them down and pushed the Kshatriya. Marida managed to push it back and get it off her, and proceeded to accelerate away from it; however, the Gundam matched its speed and attacked her again, cutting a binder away. Marida tried to use two more funnels, but the Unicorn cut them down again.

"That thing is built with psycoframe throughout the body?" she asked herself, shocked.

Setsuna looked at the Unicorn, "That is no Gundam." he muttered, and charged at it, drawing his two beam sabers and sparring with the Unicorn.

"There's no doubt about it." said one of the Nahel Argama's bridge personnel, "The unidentified single-horned suit transformed into a Gundam!"

"A Gundam?" exclaimed Otto, in surprise.

Marida became nervous and started to sweat. "Gundam…" she muttered, "Gundam…Gundam…is the enemy!"

And so she drew her beam saber and clashed with the Unicorn. Their fight was then interrupted when the Exia slashed at both of them with its beam sabers. The Unicorn slashed back at it, but Setsuna blocked the blow with his GN Shield; however, it was heavily damaged. The Unicorn then pushed the Exia away and cut one of the Kshatriya's binders. Marida was going berserker again, but she suddenly felt the presence of Suberoa. She quickly turned away and saw Gilboa's Geara Zulu, carrying the captain in its hand: he was waving at her to pull back. She was suddenly caught off guard, however, when the Unicorn appeared out of nowhere and tried to attack her cockpit directly; she managed to deploy her magnetic field in time, blocking his blow. Setsuna moved in and sparred with the Unicorn with his GN Blade. Marida used this opportunity and left towards the colony. Setsuna kept attacking the Unicorn, trying to hit it with his GN Blade; however, it kept dodging his attacks. Suddenly, a GN beam hit its back: it was the Dynames.

"Setsuna, we're pulling back!" he said, "That thing's too powerful!"

The Unicorn then found itself under more GN beam fire; the Kyrios and the Virtue were firing their respective weapons at it. "Let's go!" said Lockon, and with that the Meisters retreated towards the Ptolemy.

As they retreated, the Unicorn returned to its original mode: the white, single-horned mobile suit. In its cockpit, Banagher laid in the linear seat, passed out.

A Federation ReZEL approached it slowly, piloted by Commander Norm. "Attention unidentified machine, reply if you can hear me!" said Norm, "Please identify your affiliation and combat objective!"

At the Garencieres, Suberoa and Marida meeting with Full Frontal and Angelo Sauper. Angelo, Frontal's most loyal soldier, had always seen the crew of the Garencieres (particularly Marida) as second-class soldiers. He despised them and always sought some way to make them look bad to the Commander. "A wretched fiasco, Suberoa Zimmerman." he said, in a mocking tone, "You were neither able to obtain the Box or retrieve the Princess." he said, "In addition, you were defeated by new never-before-seen mobile suits."

"None of these developments could have been foreseen." replied Suberoa, "For now we have no choice but to hear from the Princess. As for those new mobile suits…"

"Meaning you want us to sit around and do nothing?" exclaimed Angelo, angry at Suberoa.

"Lieutenant Angelo." Frontal then said. Full Frontal moved into the screen; blonde, white, tall and with a mask, the Second Coming of Char himself was now speaking to Suberoa.

"I hear that the enemies that drove off Marida were Gundams." he said, "And from what you've reported, only one seemed to be fighting for the Federation, and the rest trashed most of the Londo Bell forces in the area. That is intriguing. I might just need to go out there myself. Have the Garencieres track the movements of the Londo Bell forces, and keep an eye on the new units when they appear."

"Yes, sir." said Suberoa, "I will rectify this fiasco, even if it costs me my life."

At the Ptolemy, Sumeragi was shocked by the Unicorn's appearance. "Veda's predictions never said anything about a Gundam…" she said, "This is a mess: we were unable to find the Key, and instead we encounter a monster like that."

"Indeed it is a monster." said Lockon, "That Quad-Wing could be considered one of the most powerful mobile suits ever, and yet that Gundam destroyed many of its funnels and binders."

"Then we must destroy it." said Tieria, "We cannot let a unit like that running around. It will surely prove to be a problem in our interventions."

"Isn't it strange that Veda never said anything of a new Gundam in the Federation Forces?" said Lockon, "I'm sure it wouldn't have missed something as important as that."

"What if that Gundam is the Key?" Setsuna then said. Everyone turned towards him. "That Gundam being the Key?" retorted Lockon, "How could that be possible?"

"Well, of course!" Sumeragi then exclaimed, "The Vists needed some way to keep the real Key secure! Don't you see? They needed something to protect it. They couldn't just keep it somewhere in Industrial 7. This also confirms our suspicions: that the Key is some sort of system; perhaps that Gundam's OS itself is the Key!"

"Now that you mention it, it is quite logical." said Tieria, "After all, our Trial System is in the Virtue. It was placed there to protect the integrity of Veda."

"Then, we will have to capture that Gundam?" asked Lockon.

"If it is as we suspect, we will have to." said Sumeragi, "Right now, we can only wait to see what the Nahel Argama will do next. In the mean time, prepare yourselves for imminent combat."

The Meisters were then dismissed. As Setsuna headed to his dormroom, Lockon called him. Setsuna stopped, and Lockon reached him. "Setsuna, do not let your emotions get in the way of your performance in battle." said Lockon, "Remember that the Federation has rolled out dozens of Gundams of their own in the last decades, so in a way, it is not strange for it to have appeared." Setsuna held his same, stoic appearance. "I felt something from that Gundam." he then said. Lockon arched his eyebrow, "What do you mean?"

"I sensed something negative." Setsuna replied, "As if it were seeking to completely annihilate the pilot of that Quad-Wing."

Lockon chuckled to himself, "My friend, you are starting to sound like a Newtype."

And with that, Lockon left. Setsuna kept thinking to himself. Only Celestial Being holds the true Gundams. he thought, The Federation has always used theirs for injustice.

The Lady and the Unicorn: a tapestry created in the Middle Ages in former France. The meaning of its content is still unclear: however, it has inspired many works in many fields, ranging from art to science. Banagher was dreaming about it, seeing himself as a child, playing the piano. He was sitting in some kind of chair, and his right eye was covered with some kind of device. As he played it, he felt several, minuscule electric shocks in his covered eye. He tried to keep playing, but eventually, the pain of the shocks drove him to the edge, and he slammed his hands on the piano's board. He then felt like sleeping, and a pair of soft hands grabbed his face and removed the device from his left eye. He saw her: his mother. Behind her was the tapestry, with the shadow of his father. He then passed out…

In the wreckage of what had been a Stanford torus colony, Riddhe's squadron cruised by. His commander was right in front of him, leading the way. Riddhe was attentively cautious with his surroundings, when he suddenly heard his radio beep. "Riddhe, I want you to know you were lucky." the voice of Commander Norm said, "Surviving doesn't mean you're a coward. Any more than dying means you were brave. The only thing that separates the two is luck."

"Yes, Commander Norm." replied Riddhe. His monitor then bleeped: their target was in range. Apparently, they had detected an incoming vessel, and Otto ordered them to inspect what it was. "Attention, approaching vessel, you are ordered to halt immediately." said Norm by the radio, "This is the Nahel Argama of the Earth Federation Space Forces, Londo Bell. Your vessel has crossed our defensive perimeter."

Riddhe zoomed his sensors to the vessel and saw it was an old Salamis-class. "Damn terrorists!" he exclaimed.

"Wait!" Norm then said. They then saw it: the Salamis-class had its bridge completely cut off; in addition, its weapons and external hull were in terrible shape; however, its engines seemed to still be functioning.

When Otto was informed of this, he was surprised. "Its trash?" he asked.

"It appears to be a wrecked Salamis class." Norm said by the radio, "Its reserve power supply is still alive. It seems the thermal sensors misidentified it."

Everyone in the bridge was relieved: no combat for now. They all removed their normal suits' helmets and sighed. Otto put his cap back on, "Cancel the alert. Return to your stations. And recall the mobile suits."

Liam Borrinea, a Commander in the Nahel Argama, looked at Otto, "Are you sure?" she asked. "Is there a problem?" asked Otto.

"It was just misidentified debris?" interrupted Daguza's voice by the radio.

"Yep." replied Otto, "We're lucky it wasn't an enemy out there."

"Enemies will appear, though." said Daguza, "And it it's those new units the ones that appear, we will be in a lot of trouble. Especially if they are also after the Box and think we recovered it. And if that Zeon Quad-Wing is still kicking…"

"Then there is no time to await for reinforcements." said Otto.

"Exactly." Daguza said.

Daguza was at the hangar bay of the Nahel Argama, with Conroy and an Anaheim technician. The technician had been trying to hack the security systems of the Unicorn to force it open: however, it was taking too much time. "Have you gotten open yet?" asked Daguza. The technician became nervous, "Well…" he said, "I didn't expect the system to be so resistant to outside interference."

"Meaning that you weren't told anything outside of your specific department?" asked Daguza.

"Yes." the technician answered.

This entire conversation was being heard by the bridge of the Nahel Argama. All of them, even Mihiro, was listening intently.

"Once the UC Project was placed under the Vist Foundation's jurisdiction," the technician continued, "the entire picture was never…"

And then came in Alberto Vist: the obese member of the Vist family. As he entered the bridge, he noticed what the technician was talking about and panicked. "Hey!" he said, "Enough chatter! Shut your mouth!"

One of the bridge's crew pressed a button, "This line is closed."

Alberto turned and headed towards the hangar, mad.

Meanwhile, Daguza leaned towards the technician and touched his shoulder, "What's the UC Project?"

The technician simply looked at him, but Daguza wasn't giving up. "ECOAS can't investigate this by ourselves." he then said, "If we did, then our guest from Anaheim would meddle in it as if he were the top brass."

The technician nodded, and opened several files in his portable computer, "The UC Project is a top secret program, part of the EFSF Reorganization Plan. This Unicorn is its flagship. The entire body uses psycoframe technology, which supplements the psycommu, transmitting the pilot's psycho-waves directly to the drive system."

"Which means that the pilot can control it by thought?" Daguza asked, and the technician nodded, "But the pilot's body can't really handle that, right?" The technician turned to Daguza, "No." he answered, "But the NT-D is supposed to have a time limit of only five minutes once activated."

"This 'NT-D' is…" started asking Daguza, but then he heard an annoying, familiar voice: Alberto. "Daguza!" Alberto shouted, struggling with the zero-g environment, "I told you that I should be present when you're interrogating rescued staff!" However, his inability to properly handle himself in this particular environment caused him to drift away. Daguza clicked his radio, "Captain Otto," he said, "It would be wise to leave this sector with a single ship for now. Chances are the recovered Gundam has something to do with Laplace's Box! Please set a course for Luna II as soon as possible."

"That may be possible, but…" Otto trailed off.

"I agree, Captain!" meddled Alberto, "But we shouldn't go to Luna II. We should head to our Anaheim Electronics headquarters at Von Braun in the Moon."

Riddhe used a handrail, heading towards his dorm. He then heard Mihiro talking with someone. "Wait here for now." she said to someone in a room. The same young woman who he rescued earlier came out, "You still don't know who was piloting that Gundam?" she asked. "We don't." said Mihiro, "Apparently the cockpit hatch hasn't been opened yet." Riddhe approached them, and called out to Audrey, "It's you!"

He let himself go off the handrail and got close to them, "Are you alright?" he asked Audrey, who smiled at him. He smiled back, "I'm the pilot who rescued you guys." he said, "My name's Riddhe Marcenas."

"I am Audrey Burne." she then said.

"Want to check it out?" he then asked, "That Gundam."

Mihiro was a little taken aback by this, "Ensing Riddhe!" she said.

"We'll be alright, Ensign Mihiro." he retorted, "I know of a secret spot where we can sneak a look."

"That's not what I meant!" Mihiro then replied, "If you're going, I'm going."

"What?" Riddhe said, a little uncomfortable, "If it hadn't been for that Gundam, we would've been annihilated by the Zeon and the unknown types. I want to know who was piloting it too."

Despite what the Londo Bell people thought, the Ptolemy might as well had been directly behind the Nahel Argama: its GN Particles shielded it from any common detection systems, and was therefore able to travel anywhere it wanted, as long as it wasn't visually spotted. Sumeragi was studying the route of the Nahel Argama, and along with Veda, they traced the most possible route: the Moon. "So Anaheim is indeed involved in all of this." Sumeragi said, "Just like Veda predicted…"

Tieria came in, "What's our next mission?"

"Well, we still have at least two hours before the broadcast of Aeolia's message is executed." said Sumegai, "Veda and I figured the Nahel Argama will be heading to Von Braun in the Moon."

"Well, it was, in some ways, obvious." Tieria then said, "After all, Luna II is one the other side of the Earth. If Anaheim is really trying to cover things up, they'll be willing to take the most obvious route."

"The only problem is that the Sleeves might intercept them as well." Sumeragi said, "And if that Quad-Wing is still combat effective…"

"We will destroy any enemies that get in our way." Tieria abruptly said, "We are Gundam Meisters."

Sumeragi then got a call: it was Christina. She answered, "Christina, what is it?"

"Miss Sumeragi, the Nahel Argama is firing its weapons at a Salamis class wreckage!"

Sumeragi frowned, "With this, the Sleeves will surely come." she said. She stood from her seat and headed out along with Tieria. "Tell Lockon to ready the rest of the Meisters: we are going to be engaged very soon." she said. Tieria promptly left as Sumeragi approached the bridge.

The Garencieres was quite afar from the Nahel Argama: however, Suberoa had accurately predicted that they would head towards Von Braun. Indeed, their only problem, until now, was actually detecting the ship: then again, their problems disappeared when an explosion was seen in the wreckage of a Stanford torus colony.

"Got it." said Gilboa, "Enemy's position confirmed."

"Transmit the coordinates to the Rewloola." Suberoa said, and then turned to Marida, who was standing besides him, "Then let's wait and see what they do."

At the Nahel Argama's hangar, Audrey, Riddhe, Mihiro, Takuya and Micott looked at the Gundam from a balcony. "That's a Gundam?" asked Micott. Takuya was confused, "That's what they say, but it looks completely different." he said, "The other units, on the other hand, look much more like Gundams than this one."

Riddhe had been paying attention to Audrey for a while now, and decided to use this as his opportunity, "I feel like I've seen you somewhere before." he said.

Audrey became afraid; if they knew who she really was…

Riddhe started thinking (or rather, acting as if he were thinking…), and then said "I know!"

Audrey turned to him, ready to face the inevitable, when he suddenly said something that relieved Audrey from much stress: "Natsume Swanson, the actress! Do people tell you that you look like her?"

Mihiro frowned at this comment: this was ridiculous: Riddhe was obviously hitting on Audrey, but in a very clichéd, and somewhat disturbing way; he was 23; she was 16…but apparently, he didn't mind.

"I don't know much of the entertainment world, so…" she said. Riddhe was a little disappointed, and frowned a little. "I see…"

"Hey, Mr. Ensign!" Takuya then called. Everyone turned to where the Gundam was, and they saw that they had finally managed to open the hatch.

Down by the Unicorn, Daguza, Alberto, Conroy and the technician were all awaiting for the hatch to open completely. As it did, they all gasped in unison as they saw who had been piloting it: a 16-year old boy.

Micott gave muffled gasp, and Takuya was dumbfounded by this. "He doesn't look like a pilot!" said Riddhe. "Really, Mr. Obvious?" retorted Mihiro, annoyed at his obvious attempts to impress Audrey. Daguza and Conroy carried Banagher out of the cockpit and took him to the medical bay.

Banagher found himself in a bed and a respirator in his mouth. He heard Haro's distinctive voice, calling his name. He then saw that Micott and Takuya were besides him, smiling. Micott was particularly happy at being with Banagher again. "Banagher, are you okay?" asked Takuya. Banagher explored his surroundings and noticed Audrey in the medical bay's entrance. "Audrey…" he muttered. Micott noticed this and turned towards her. Audrey just stared at him with a somewhat cold expression. Dr. Hasan, the chief medic in the ship, entered. "Banagher, can you hear me?" he said, and he then placed his hands in Banagher's palms, "If you can hear me, squeeze my hands, okay?"

Mihiro quickly went to the nearest phone and contacted the Bridge, "The pilot has regained consciousness." she reported. As soon as she said that, Daguza and Conroy came in, with serious expressions. Everyone backed off from Banagher. "I'd like to ask some questions to him" said Daguza, "The rest of you leave, now."

"Yes sir, but…" Mihiro tried to reply.

"At least let me finish giving him his treatment." interrupted Hasan, "He still has no idea where he is."

As Daguza heard this, he noticed Audrey. She looks familiar… he thought.

"You understand he is injured, don't you?" then said Micott.

"What I understand is that this boy hijacked a military mobile suit and interfered in combat." he said, "It is a violation severe enough to warrant capital punishment, even at his age."

"Capital punishment…" said Takuya, scared at the mention of such.

"He saved us, didn't he?" said Mihiro.

"But with a stolen machine." replied Daguza.

The Rewloola was in range to intercept the Nahel Argama. Angelo was quite enthusiastic: he would finally prove himself to the captain. "We are ready to launch." he said, and then turned to the captain of the ship, "Sit here and observe, Captain." He then started to leave, intending to reach the hangar. "This has got to be related with the Box of Laplace, right?" said the Captain, "If this secret is so important that they even sent ECOAS to recover it…"

"There's a limit to how much the Federation can mobilize in secrecy." said Angelo, "Right now, the pompous fools are most likely in arguing about how to handle this. Talks between everyone responsible who doesn't want to take responsibility…that's democracy for you."

"I hope you're right." said the Captain.

"There's no sign of reinforcements, right?" said Angelo, "I assure you."

"And what about these new units the Garencieres encountered at Industrial 7?" asked the captain, "They managed to beat Marida…"

"Marida is a weak woman who does not deserve to be a Zeon pilot. The fact that these unknowns beat her is more proof that she is just another Cyber-Newtype." Angelo said in a mocking tone, "You just see, Captain; the Commander will easily take them down if they decide to interfere."

The Captain waited until he left, and rolled his eyes: Angelo was unbearable both as a person and a soldier.

Angelo, in his pilot suit, was saluted by two of his fellow Royal Guards. He saluted them back, "The Commander will be going out today." he said, "There won't be any work for us."

They turned around, and saw the MSN-06S Sinanju: the personal mobile suit of Full Frontal. As usual, it was painted red. Its resemblance to the Sazabi was uncanny; however, it lacked the funnel weapons of its predecessor. Even so, Frontal was still able to manage himself against multiple opponents by himself in this downgraded version of the Sazabi.

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:28 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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"Can't say I'm convinced by that story." said Daguza after listening to what Banagher had to say, "You say Cardeas Vist just handed that thing over to a random boy like you?"

Banagher didn't say anything; he just stared at the two ECOAS soldiers.

"And did he say anything else?" asked Daguza.

"Like I said, he told me to take the mobile suit and use it to protect everyone." Banagher answered, "That's all."

Daguza and Conroy turned away, and started heading outside the medical bay. "Would you believe me if I told you he was my father?" he then whispered. Daguza and Conroy, however, heard him and turned to him, surprised. Suddenly they felt a rocking explosion.

At the bridge, the crew, caught off guard, was sent drifting across the bridge. Liam managed to grab herself by her chair, and started barking orders, "Turn about, full speed!" she said, "Prepare to launch mobile suits!"

Mihiro, who had been the only one that managed to remain at her post, saw what was coming: four unknown units. "Captain!" she said, "Four unknowns are approaching the ship at high speed! They also seem to be jamming our communications equipment"

"What the hell?" he exclaimed, "Could it be..?"

Indeed, it was: the four new units; Exia, Dynames, Kyrios and Virtue, were all heading towards the Nahel Argama.

"Give me a damage report!" he said, "Quick!"

"Sir, it wasn't the unknowns who fired at us!" Mihiro then said.

"What?" Otto then asked, "How can that be?"

"It was missiles, sir." said Mihiro, "They're coming from the Moon's direction!"

To make matters worse for the Nahel Argama, the Rewloola had begun to fire its missiles at the Londo Bell ship.

At the Ptolemy, Christina saw the missile fire: while not hitting the Nahel Argama, it still hit the remains of the colony right next to it.

"Miss Sumeragi!" said Christina, "As you predicted, the Rewloola is commencing its attack on the Londo Bell ship!"

"Tell the Meisters that it is a go!" said Sumeragi, "Prepare for ship-to-ship combat and get the GN Missile launchers ready!"

At the Nahel Argama's bridge, Liam realized they had been set up: the Salamis class had been bait. Alberto's voice came in through the radio, "This is because it took you too long to make a decision!"

Otto got fed up by him, and ordered to cut the transmission.

"Intense heat sources approaching at high speed from the Moon." said Mihiro, "They're coming in from directly above! It's four of them!"

"Missiles?" asked Otto.

"Not likely." answered Mihiro, "Their movement is…I'd say mobile suits, but…one of them is going through the debris."

Indeed, the Sinanju was, like any other unit used by the Red Comet, "three times faster". Its AMBAC performance was also quite superb, which overall helped in it dodging the countless debris in the area. In fact, one could say he was toying with said debris, as his moves were elaborate and elegant.

"The lead unit is approaching...at three times the speed of the others!" Mihiro then reported.

"Miss Sumeragi!" shouted Christina, "A Sleeve unit is quickly approaching at the Nahel Argama. Its speed is…"

"Three times faster, I assume." completed Sumeragi, "It's as Veda predicted: the Red Comet himself has come…Tell the Meisters of the approach of this unit! Even if he isn't in a GN mobile suit, the Red Comet is… deadly, to say the least."

The Sinanju speeded towards the Nahel Argama, using its rear boosters to go at incredible speeds. "Let's see…" Frontal then said, "Let's test the performance of your new Gundam."

He then noticed something in his visual sensors: he zoomed in, and saw four mobile suits unlike anything he had never seen before. "Are these the units that fended Lieutenant Marida off?" he wondered, "Well, then, we'll take a bite from them as well."

Banagher sensed something: a presence. He felt danger, and so he quickly got out of his bed. Are these the same guys that attacked the colony? Banagher wondered. (Apparently, he didn't have his facts right…it was Londo Bell who attacked first, after all…)

As this happened, Daguza and Conroy traveled through the ship, intending to head towards the bridge, when they bumped into Audrey. She graciously evaded hitting them. "Hey, you!" Daguza said, "Where do you think you are going? Put on a normal suit and head to a safe room, now!"

As he turned away, he then noticed something on Audrey's face: the eyes. It's her! He thought.

"It seems that the Red Comet himself has come to the battlefield this time, Lockon." said Sumeragi via radio, "You will have to be extra cautious when trying to capture the Gundam."

"Understood." he said, and then he cut off the transmission, "Alright, guys, you heard Miss Sumeragi. It seems the big bad is here! I'll try to cover you guys while you deal with the rest."

"Roger." the other Meisters then said in unison, and they spread out.

As this happened, the Nahel Argama's CIWS weapons tried to shoot the Sinanju down; however, these pathetic little weapons were no match for the Red Comet. Frontal lowered his beam rifle's output, and aimed only at said CIWS turrets, refraining from damaging the ship any further. As he prepared to fire his missiles, he suddenly sensed something: a beam shot, directed at him. He quickly dodged it, and saw that one of the new units, the Dynames, was firing at him. "I see…" he said, "So you are Gundams, eh?" And so he fired his beam rifle. Lockon dodged Frontal's shot and fired again; however, the Red Comet evaded his shot. "What the...?" Lockon said, "He dodged it twice!"

At the same time, Tieria fired his GN Bazooka at him; Frontal again dodged the GN beam shots. Unexpectedly, the Exia charged at him and tried to hit him with its GN Blade. Frontal, slightly surprised, easily evaded the blow and drew his own beam saber, dueling Setsuna. "So the Gundams have returned to haunt me, it seems." said Frontal, and then smirked, "But such as bulky blade won't get me that easily."

He then managed to break off from Setsuna and gave him his signature kick at the cockpit, shaking Setsuna a bit. Setsuna changed to his GN Rifle and started firing, but Frontal again evaded all of his shots. "He's fast!" Setsuna said. Allelujah came in, and started firing his GN Rifle at the Sinanju in rapid-fire mode; however, Frontal evaded some of the shots and then took cover. As Allelujah prepared to transform the Kyrios, he suddenly felt a strong headache: it was the familiar sense of quantum brainwave interference. "Damn it…" he started saying, "At a time like this…"

He then turned around. Tieria fired his GN Bazooka and Cannons in unison, but only managed to destroy some debris. "These pilots are too reliant on their Gundams." said Frontal, "They are of no interest right now."

And so as if nothing, he continued to dodge the shots fired by Setsuna, Lockon and Tieria, all the while he eliminated the rest of the Nahel Argama's CIWS defenses.

Banagher finished getting dressed up and exited his room, when Riddhe passed by him. He then spotted a little watch floating by. He grabbed it and called at Riddhe, "Hey, you! Pilot!"

Riddhe turned around and saw Banagher waving his watch at him. Riddhe smiled, "Thanks!" He then headed towards Banagher, who then handed over his little watch. "You're awake, I see." Riddhe said, "Thanks, this little thing might save my life. This is my good luck charm. You stay here and rest up. There's nothing for you to do right now. We'll protect our own ship by ourselves this time!"

As he left, his expression was one of annoyance: A kid like that in control of a Gundam…he thought.

Banagher looked on as Riddhe was leaving, when he heard Audrey's familiar voice calling him from behind. She approached him, and pushed him into his room. "Banagher, listen to me…" she said, "That machine is registered to your biometric data which means it can't operate without you."

"That's what I was told, but…how do you know that?" he said.

She looked at him directly in the eye, "Escape with me."

Outside, Frontal managed to destroy the main megaparticle cannon of the Nahel Argama.

Setsuna drew one of his GN Sabers and charged at the Sinanju. Trying to cut the Sinanju's beam rifle, Setsuna slashed with his beam saber at it, but Frontal simply evaded his attack and then responded again with his own beam saber. Lockon tried to take advantage of this to shoot the Sinanju down, but somehow Frontal anticipated this move and instead kicked the Exia again, managing to evade Lockon's sniping shot. "Damn it!" exclaimed Lockon, "This guy is nothing but trouble!"

As all of this happened, Conroy and Daguza were at the main computer terminals of the Nahel Argama. Conroy was browsing the Federation's military network, researching the members of the Principality of Zeon's elite. "As long as they think we have the Box," Daguza said, "they'll try to neutralize our ship without hitting the engines. As for those unknowns…"

"I still find it hard to believe that there are mobile suits like that." Conroy said. He finally found what he was looking for, and gasped. Daguza narrowed his eyes, "This ship is carrying something almost as important to them as the Box."

Audrey turned to her sides, checking if anyone was around, "If we go now, we can get away." she said, "We can go back to Industrial 7. You sneak into a cargo ship, get to another Side, and go into hiding. And I'll figure out some way to dispose of that machine."

"Audrey…" Banagher muttered.

"If we don't," said Audrey in a grim tone, "That thing is just too dangerous. I can't let anyone get their hands on it."

Banagher then suddenly grabbed Audrey's shoulders, "Wait a minute…"

"I'll explain it to you later!" she interrupted him.

"If you won't tell me anything, how can you expect me to agree with you?" he said, "Don't try to sway me by talking like that. It's not fair."

He then looked on, with a somewhat melancholic expression, but then he looked into Audrey's eyes, "What do you want to do?" he then asked, "Don't tell me what you should do. Tell me what you want. Tell me what you truly want to do. And then I…"

Audrey seemed to think about this, but Banagher's door suddenly opened, and Daguza and Conroy came in, in full ECOAS suits. Conroy pushed Banagher aside while Daguza grabbed Audrey by one of her arms. "You know why I'm here?" Daguza then said, looking directly at Audrey. She looked at him coldly, and followed Daguza as he escorted her to the bridge. Banagher tried to get to her, but Conroy blocked his path.

"Catapult hatches one through four open!" reported Mihiro, "Mobile suit corps, get into launching positions!"

A ReZEL was positioned in each of the catapult launchers. Riddhe saw the unknowns, and remembered that they had killed many of his comrades. He then noticed he was being hailed by one of his comrades, Homare. "Are you getting scared, little man?" Homare asked.

"Nah," responded Riddhe, "but I heard a squeak in your voice just now, Lieutenant Homare." Homare chuckled at this, "There you go, trying to start something."

The four ReZELs then launched in consecutive order, with Commander Norm taking lead.

Tieria saw the ReZELs launching. "Virtue, Tieria Erde, eliminating waverider-type Londo Bell weapons." he declared, and he fired his Bazooka and Cannons in unison. Despite being a large burst, the three Londo Bell pilots managed to barely evade this attack.

"What the hell is up with this firepower?" exclaimed Homare.

"It's the same bastard that killed our comrades back in Industrial 7!" shouted Riddhe, and he charged at the Virtue, firing his beam rifle at it.

"GN Field!" declared Tieria, and the Virtue was suddenly covered with GN Particles, blocking the beam rifle shots of Riddhe's ReZEL. "What the hell?" said Riddhe, "Some kind of I-Field?"

As this happened, the fourth ReZEL was immediately shot down by Frontal, who was also dueling Setsuna at the time. The ReZEL's explosion caused extensive damage on the Nahel Argama's port side catapult.

As Mihiro reported this to the captain, Alberto came in, suited up. "Get out of here and go to the Moon right now!" he said. Otto frowned at his presence.

"Mr. Alberto," said Liam, "it's dangerous for you to be here!"

Alberto ignored her and pointed at Frontal's mobile suit, "That's the Sinanju!" he said, "The Red Comet! There's no way you can defeat it!"

Otto became somewhat afraid at this, but managed to refrain from expressing such fear.

"Two years ago, our experimental mobile suit MSN-06S was stolen by the Neo-Zeon while it was being transferred from Granada to Von Braun. We sent two Clop class cruisers to retrieve it, but instead they were wiped out in less that three minutes! The main culprit was Full Frontal, what many call the 'Second Coming of Char Aznable' the Red Comet."

As if hearing Alberto's comments, Frontal managed to push Setsuna off yet again and proceeded to use his beam rifle to literally cut off one of the launch catapults. As its explosion rocked the Nahel Argama, Liam turned to Otto. "I've heard similar rumors." she said, "'The Ghost of Char', who destroyed two Federation Forces ships with one mobile suit." Another explosion shook the bridge of the Nahel Argama.

"But Char went missing at the end of the Second Neo-Zeon War." Otto replied.

"Anyway, we can't expect to beat him with conventional mobile suits!" said Alberto, and he then headed towards Mihiro and handed over a small diskette with the Anaheim logo, "The Unicorn was made using data collected with the Sinanju. We've got to get out of here now!"

"If we run away, we'll be open for an attack from behind!" said Otto, "Transfer this data to each block of the ship! To the mobile suits as well! Tell them to use it to shoot that thing down!"

Alberto turned to Otto, enraged, "You're an idiot without a clue!"

"And you're the last person I want to hear from it!"

Suddenly, Daguza and Conroy came in with Audrey. Daguza was wielding his handgun.

Setsuna continued to try to get Full Frontal, but the ReZELs that had just launched were hampering his efforts to shoot the Sinanju down. Suddenly, the Kyrios came in, shooting its beam rifle at the ReZELs. "Setsuna, keep the Red One off!" Allelujah said, "We must wait for the Unicorn to come out!"

"Roger that!" replied Setsuna, and he continued to pursue Frontal. Meanwhile, Riddhe drew his beam saber and tried to cut the Virtue down, but Tieria drew his own GN saber and blocked Riddhe's blow. "Damn you!" Riddhe said, "You killed all of my comrades back in Industrial 7!" He then started to fire his vulcans at the Virtue's head, but its armor absorbed the impacts. Tieria just looked at the ReZEL. "Pathetic." he said, and he drew another beam saber, cutting Riddhe's beam rifle. Riddhe backed off, and Tieria fired his GN Cannons at him. Meanwhile, Norm and Homare were still trying to shoot Frontal and Setsuna down; however, Frontal evaded their shots while Setsuna blocked them with his GN Shield, returning fire with his GN Rifle. Homare then saw the Dynames resuming fire, and realized too late where it was heading. "Galom, below you!" he said; however, the Dynames GN beam pierced right through the Galom's Stark Jegan's cockpit, destroying it. "Who the hell are these guys?" exclaimed Norm.

Not too far away, the Royal Guard, composed of customized Geara Zulus, was on standby. These custom Zulus, with elegant ornaments and colors, were armed with a "Bruno Gun". Leading them was a purple one, which was Angelo's personal unit. Angelo looked at the distant battlefield with a look that could only be described as one of 'love'. Sergi, one of Guards, hailed him, "Lieutenant Angelo." he said, "There are multiple enemies. We should at least provide some cover."

Angelo simply smirked at this, "No, we need only to standby, Ensign Sergi." he replied, "We'd only get in the Commander's way."

"But sir!" Sergi then said, "Some of those are the new units! We should help him!"

"As you can see, Ensign Sergi," replied Angelo, "He is capable of handling himself because he is a perfect pilot. These unknowns are just a bunch of weaklings."

The three-way battle continued, as Norm and Homare continued to fire their beam rifles at both Frontal and the Meisters. Riddhe transformed into waverider mode and started chasing the Kyrios. As he transformed to cut the Gundam down, Allelujah made a spin and dodged Riddhe's blast; he then managed to get behind Riddhe and destroy both of his ReZEL's legs. At the same time, Frontal destroyed one of the ReZELs' legs. The ReZEL backed off from its pursuit of Frontal, while Setsuna started firing his GN Rifle once more. Lockon started focusing on the remaining Londo Bell Jegans, shooting them down. Riddhe saw this and frowned, "At this rate, we'll all be…"

And then suddenly, Daguza's voice came out of the radio: even the Meisters and the Ptolemy heard it, as it was in an open channel, "Attention, all attacking units from Neo-Zeon, do you read me?" Daguza said, "Cease fire immediately. We are holding Mineva Zabi captive aboard this ship."

Riddhe gasped at this, and his eyes widened in surprise.

"I repeat, we are holding the Zabi heir, Mineva Lao Zabi, captive aboard this ship." Daguza continued, "If you do not cease your attacks immediately, we cannot guarantee your safety."

Everyone was shocked to see who it was: the girl that had called herself 'Audrey Burne' was actually the Princess of Zeon.

"We are prepared to begin negotiations," said Daguza, "and await your wise response."

Even the Meisters had stopped fighting, as they very well knew who she was. Lockon was pissed, "Damn ECOAS!" he said, "Using civilians as hostages!"

Frontal and Setsuna stopped their battle, and Frontal checked the video feed sent by Daguza. He then saw her: the unmistakable hair, the green eyes and facial structure, it was indeed Mineva Lao Zabi.

"I have verified the image." he said, "I am Commander Full Frontal of Neo Zeon. Let's hear your demands."

At the Nahel Argama's bridge, everyone suddenly felt a sense of dread that they had not felt in their entire lives: Full Frontal's voice was exactly like that of Char Aznable. Otto's eyes widened, realizing that the rumors were true.

"This is Commander Daguza Mackle of the Earth Federation Space Force Special Operations Group, ECOAS." Daguza then replied, "We're requesting you cease all attacks immediately and withdraw from this area. If you do, we will guarantee the safety of Mineva Zabi."

"So we can't have her back?" said Frontal.

"It's negotiable," replied Daguza, "but only after our ship has reached a safe location."

"Then you're not holding her captive," said Frontal, "but rather hostage. Besides, we have no real proof that this is the Princess."

"Rather timid, for a man called the Second Coming of the Red Comet." replied Daguza.

"From your narrow point of view, we're merely terrorists." said Full Frontal, "Any group unrecognized as military and unprotected by international law must be cautious."

"We have the highest regard for human rights." said Daguza.

"That's quite a statement coming from those who send Special Forces into civilian colonies." replied Full Frontal, "Furthermore; you are using hostages as shields."

Daguza was a little taken aback by this: he was obviously aware of what they were doing, but the way Full Frontal said it was…

"Now it's our turn to make some demands." Full Frontal then said, "I request to hand over the materials you collected from Industrial 7 and all data pertaining the Box of Laplace."

Everyone in the bridge gasped: it was an impossible demand. No one wanted to see the Federation be overthrown, specially not the members of ECOAS and Anaheim Electronics. However, Daguza had to seriously consider the offer: the lives of everyone in the ship were at stake.

"In exchange?" he asked in a very grim tone.

"We'll guarantee safe passage." responded Full Frontal in a reassuring tone, "Unless, of course, you object to that agreement."

"I have no objections," replied Daguza, "but I am simply unable to comply. We don't have anything related to the Laplace's Box."

"Didn't you recover a Gundam type mobile suit?" Frontal then asked.

"That is property of the Earth Federation Space Forces." responded Daguza, "It has nothing to do with the Box."

"If you can't accept our demands," said Frontal, "we'll be forced to destroy your vessel."

Everyone gasped in fear, but Daguza and Conroy remained firm: they were unable to show any fear towards the enemy.

"You would ignore the life of our captive?" Daguza then asked.

"We can't conduct negotiations on an uncertain factor." Full Frontal then said, "So I'll give you three minutes. I hope you'll have come to a wise decision."

As soon as he said this, however, the Dynames and Kyrios began shooting at Frontal.

"As if we'll let you!" shouted Lockon. Frontal quickly dodged his shots, but was taken a little surprised by this; however, as usual he remained relatively calm. Drawing his beam rifle, he fired at the Dynames. Lockon managed to block his shot with one of his small shoulder shields, but this small window allowed Frontal to draw his beam saber and charge at the Dynames; however, a huge GN beam got in his way, and the heat undid some of the red painting in the frontal side of the Sinanju. To make matters worse for Frontal, Setsuna appeared behind him and tried to cut him with his GN Blade; however, Frontal quickly turned around and blocked his blow with his shield. He then tried to hit the Exia with his beam saber, but Setsuna blocked his blow with his blade. Lockon then aimed his GN Sniper Rifle at Frontal. However, Frontal had already anticipated this and instead ejected his two boosters, detonating them and blinding Lockon's line of sight. Frontal then pushed Setsuna away and flew towards the Virtue. Tieria saw him and fired his GN Cannons, but Frontal dodged his shots and withdrew his beam saber; he then drew his beam rifle and tried to destroy Tieria's GN Cannons, but Tieria quickly deployed his GN Field and blocked his shots in the nick of time. Allelujah then tried to close in on him, but he suddenly started to feel a headache, much worse than the previous one. He started crying in pain, hearing an all-too familiar voice in his head: Let me get this guy, it said, You'll only get killed if you don't let me take over.

However, Allelujah shook his head, "I won't let you take over again!" he said, and turned around to the Ptolemy.

"Allelujah!" called Lockon, "What the hell are you doing? The operation isn't over yet!"

However, Allelujah flew off, without saying a word.

Frontal, on the other hand, smiled. "It seems the pilot of the waverider type is mentally damaged." he said, "I would guess he was in one of the Newtype Labs."

He then flew to the thickest area of debris, turning his engines off and hiding as the Meisters tried to find him.

The crew of the Nahel Argama watched this with awe. Daguza however, was only slightly affected.

"Frontal is bluffing." he then said, "He wouldn't forsake the guiding star of the Zeon remnants."

Mineva then turned to him, "I don't know about that…" she said. Everyone turned towards her, confused. She then gave a slightly devious smile, "If full Frontal is really Char Aznable," she then started saying, "he'd be the son of Zeon Deikun. There's no reason an enemy of the Zabi family would care about their descendants." Everyone stared at her, thinking that she was either insane or simply disregarded her own life. Daguza looked at her, "The way you say it makes me believe you're the real Mineva Zabi." he then said, drawing his gun and putting it directly in Mineva's right side of her head. She turned her eyes towards to Daguza's small radio, and noticed it was still on, as she had expected. Daguza, however, continued staring at her, with his finger ready on the trigger, "And I'm certain a good number of those Sleeve soldiers believe in the Zabi family." he then said.

"If you truly believe that," she said, "then continue with these useless negotiations. But the soldiers of Zeon don't play as nicely as you do. If you were a Zeon soldier, you'd be figuring out how to dispose of anything related to the Laplace's Box." Alberto's eyes then widened, "She's right!" he exclaimed, "We should destroy the Unicorn's electronic systems while we have the chance." He then approached Daguza, "That thing is the key, isn't it?" he said, "It's not the actual Box, so if we destroy it, the safety of the Box will-"

However, Conroy suddenly grabbed him from behind and covered his mouth. He then signaled Daguza at his radio, and saw that the comm link was still open. Mineva turned towards Daguza, with a defying look, "Show me the pride of a Federation soldier," she then said, "Commander Daguza Mackle. If you have the nerve, then destroy the Key and kill me as well. Loosing the key and me will undoubtedly deal a blow to Neo Zeon. Other wise, you can keep doing nothing and let them take everything from you. There is no time to delay."

Daguza just stared at her, and prepared to pull the trigger…

"Audrey!" then a voice called. Everyone turned to the bridge's entrance, and saw Banagher there. "You can't talk like that." he said, approaching Audrey, "You're backing everyone into a corner, including yourself." She looked at him surprised, and Banagher tried to grab Mineva's hand, but she backed it off. She then looked at him with a serious expression, "I am Mineva Zabi." she then said.

"You're Audrey!" he replied, "Whether it's your real name or not, to me you're still Audrey Burne!" Daguza then got in his way, "Enough! This is no time for children arguing."

"'Children?'" Banagher then asked, "What about Audrey?"

"She's a Neo Zeon dignitary." he replied.

"But if I'm just a kid, Audrey is too!" Banagher then said, "And now you're holding this kid hostage! Is that how adults behave?"

This last comment silenced the bridge: everyone felt ashamed of themselves. The Federation was supposed to be righteous, noble: but so far, ECOAS had shown a different side, one that had not been seen since the days of the Titans: oppressive, a complete disregard for life, and destructive.

"Time's up." Frontal's voice then said, "Let's hear your answer."

Again, silence: no one knew what to do. Otto tried to say something, to buy some more time, but he just couldn't come up with anything.

As this happened, Lockon heard Frontal's transmission. He opened a channel to the Ptolemy. "Feldt, get me the red mobile suit's location ASAP!" he said. "Roger." replied Feldt, "Using sonogram to determine the location of the MSN-06S Sinanju." Feldt started scanning the area with the Ptolemy's sonogram, which was quite similar to those used by submarines.

As this happened, the silence in the Nahel Argama's bridge continued: no one knew what to do. Banagher turned his head, as if trying to see if anyone would say anything.

"Understood." Full Frontal's voice said, "Now we'll destroy your vessel."

As soon as he said this, the entire bridge crew started working on their controls.

"Here it comes!" shouted Otto, "Anti-air defenses, ready! Mobile suits, prepare to intercept!"

"And what about the unknowns?" asked Liam.

"They seem to be more occupied attacking Char than us." Otto said, "If they interfere, attack them!"

Banagher looked to the floor, with a frustrated expression, It's only a box, he thought. And he then got fed up with all of this, and turned to Daguza and Alberto, "Why don't you hand it over to them?" he then asked, "We don't even know what it is. Why do so many people have to die for it?"

Daguza looked at him directly, "So would you take responsibility?", he asked.

Banagher looked at him, and refrained from answering.

"They say that whatever is in Laplace's Box," said Daguza, "could overthrow the Federation. If you give that to Neo Zeon, and even more lives are lost, then how do you intend to apologize to the dead and their families?"

Banagher was again more frustrated: he knew how difficult the situation was. He gulped, trying to think what to do now.

Daguza handed over his radio to Conroy, "Continue.", he then said. Conroy caught the radio and clicked it, "Cease fire immediately!" he then said, "Otherwise we will execute Mineva Zabi. This is not an empty threat. Cease your attacks at once!"

The ship shook as a beam hit another megaparticle cannon of the ship.

Lockon saw the blast, but was unable to locate the origin of the beam.

"Damn!" he exclaimed, "Where is he?" Feldt suddenly appeared in his screen.

"We have found the Sinanju." said Feldt, "It is currently moving behind one of the former residential sectors of the colony forty-five degrees to above you."

"Thanks, Feldt." replied Lockon, "Well, let's see if we can hit Mr. Char now, Haro."

"Good luck! Good luck!" Haro said. Lockon then spotted something in the distance: there were at least eight Geara Zulus far away, immobile. Lockon zoomed in, and saw they were just there, as if observing. "Why aren't those moving..?" he wondered as he headed to where Frontal was supposed to be.

At the bridge, Banagher became more and more frustrated. He placed his palm on his cheek, thinking of what he could do. And then he came up with something.

"If we take down that red mobile suit," he said, "then you won't need Audrey as a hostage, right? I'll do it!"

And with that, he headed towards the bridge's exit. Daguza, Alberto and Audrey looked as he left: perhaps he was their best chance.

Riddhe fired his linear rifle at Frontal, but he was then interrupted when the Virtue arrived and fired at him. He then started firing the linear rifle at the Virtue, but the Gundam's GN Armor absorbed the impacts. Riddhe turned towards the Virtue, enraged.

"Withdraw!" he said, "Get out! If it weren't for you we wouldn't be…"

Suddenly, Frontal kicked Riddhe from behind, and was about to stab him with his beam saber when the Dynames fired its GN Sniper Rifle at Frontal, who evaded the shot again. Riddhe turned around and started firing his beam cannon at Frontal, "Trying to play hostage games with a bunch of terrorists!"

His constant babbling distracted him from Frontal's maneuvers; he dodged every single shot of his and drew his beam rifle, aiming it directly at Riddhe's cockpit. Riddhe panicked and tried to move out of firing range, but his unit's lack of legs impeded optimal AMBAC mobility. Just then, in the nick of time, Norm began firing his own beam rifle at Frontal, who blocked the shots with his shield. Norm then drew his own beam saber and charged towards Full Frontal, who did likewise. They both clashed in beam saber combat, as their saber released energy from the impact. Norm hailed Riddhe, "Ensigh Riddhe!" he said, "Get a grip!" This distracted Norm from Frontal's attack, who cut off Norm's right arm and then proceeded to slash off the ReZEL's head and wing binders off. Following that, Frontal then impaled the ReZEL directly in its chest. The ReZEL exploded as a result, and the only thing left of it was one of the wing binders that had been cut off. Riddhe could only look as despair as his beloved commander, who had helped him become a member of Londo Bell, die.

With a smirk, Frontal then proceeded directly to Riddhe's ReZEL. By now, Riddhe had become enraged. "You bastard!" he said, and he drew his beam saber and charged at Frontal. However, he suddenly sensed something familiar, and quickly turned to his left; Frontal did the same. Frontal then accelerated backwards, and Riddhe became confused. He zoomed his sensors to the Nahel Argama, and saw the Unicorn being launched by one of the catapults.

As Mihiro reported this, Alberto seemed to come back from somewhere. Daguza noted this and quickly punched him. "You bastard!" he said, "How dare you?"

"It was a necessary evil!" said Alberto, "The Unicorn's performance is rock solid. Even a novice pilot with no experience and no training can buy us enough time to get us out of here. I doubt that even those new units can beat it!" Daguza punched him again.

"You're practically giving away the Box!" Daguza exclaimed.

"But that's only the key!" replied Alberto, "If the key is open, the Box will never open and the Federation's interests will be protected!"

Daguza narrowed his eyes and looked at Alberto directly. Alberto smirked, "He'll fight for us and won't quit until the Unicorn is destroyed." he said, and then pushed Daguza way. He then approached one of the communication computer panels. He pressed a button, hailing the Unicorn, "You can hear me, can't you, Banagher?" he said, "You already know how to initiate the system, don't you?"

Audrey got closer to the monitors and looked at the Unicorn. Banagher, don't do this!, she thought.

Meanwhile, Banagher prepared the mobile suit controls as he heard Alberto explain the features of the Gundam, "That pilot suit has a system that pharmacologically reduces the strain on the body from G resistance." said Alberto, "Once the NT-D is activated, it'll work automatically."

"NT-D?" asked Banagher.

"That's the mode in which the Unicorn's limiter is disengaged." replied Alberto, "You've handled it before. You'll be fine."

Banagher finished preparing the controls, and grabbed the levers, "Preparations for launch complete!" he said. He then closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and reopened his eyes, "Detaching!" he then exclaimed.

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:35 pm 
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The Unicorn was then launched, and as soon as it left the catapult, a long range GN beam burst hit the launch catapult, destroying it. Banagher turned to see if the ship had not been hurt, and was relieved. However, he then saw the Virtue, and so, with his Beam Magnum in hand, he aimed at the unknown Gundam. He fired one shot, whose recoil pushed the Unicorn back considerably. Tieria saw this and quickly dodged it. "What the hell?" he exclaimed. However, Banagher had done what he intended; to fend the unknowns away. His sensors then detected the Sinanju, far away. He fired another Beam Magnum round, hitting an asteroid near Full Frontal. The Sinanju was pushed a little, but it wasn't hit; the asteroid, however, was completely pulverized. "Amazing…" said Banagher.

"What the hell is up with that Gundam's firepower?" exclaimed Lockon, who then started firing at Frontal, taking advantage of his enemy's exposure. He fired his GN Sniper Rifle twice, but again failed to hit the Sinanju; it was just too fast. "At this rate, I might as well stop being the one snipes beyond the stratosphere!" he exclaimed, firing another shot.

Banagher fired yet another round, which was dodged by Frontal with ease. Banagher fired two more times, and the shot reached the Royal Guard's position; Sergi's mobile suit was grazed by it, but it was still destroyed. Angelo got shocked by this. "It only grazed him…" he said. As this happened, Frontal continued to dodge every shot fired by Banagher, who was by now using his second E-Cap magazine. Banagher began to pursue, and Angelo saw this. "Commander!" he shouted, and aimed his Bruno Gun at the Unicorn. He fired three times, but the Unicorn dodged all of his shots. Angelo's expression became one of utter disappointment, "I can't believe it." he said, "I've ruined the Commander's perfect battlefield!"

He then looked at the Unicorn, with his eyes filled with rage, "You made me shoot!"

He then tried to fire another round, but his Bruno gun was unexpectedly destroyed: the Exia had spotted them and fired its GN Rifle twice. Angelo and the Guard dodged Setsuna's shots, and so Setsuna deployed his GN Blade and cut down one of the Royal Guards.

At the same time, Banagher continued his pursuit of Frontal. He was panting, but he continued to focus. "Gotta keep calm." he told himself. And then, he had another vision of the tapestry; of himself in the piano. He shrugged this off as some kind of combat fatigue and placed the next E-Cap magazine on the Beam Magnum, accelerating as he did. He searched for the Sinanju, and spotted, again, far away. He fired the Beam Magnum continuously, but failed to hit him at all. Suddenly, he lost the Sinanju's signal. As he again tried to search it, his sensors picked up a high-speed heat source directed at him, and barely managed to dodge Frontal's beam rifle shot. Some of the Royal Guards joined in, firing their Bruno Guns and machine guns at him. Banagher ignored them and continued to direct his fire at Frontal, who simply dodged each shot with ease and elegance. "As usual," he said, "it doesn't matter how powerful they are, if they can't hit me!"

He then drew his beam saber, and accelerated towards the Unicorn. Banagher started to panick, screaming in terror as the Red Comet approached him in high speeds. Unexpectedly, the Unicorn's thrusters activated on their own, and Frontal barely missed his slash as the Unicorn moved above him, far away. Banagher looked at the linear seat, "You moved for me?" he said, but he was interrupted by the Dynames, which fired its rifle at the Unicorn. The GN Beam reached the Unicorn, but Banagher quickly deployed his shield, which blocked the beam with an I-Field. Frontal was surprised by this feature. "I-Field, eh?" he said.

The Unicorn then clipped the last E-Cap magazine into the Beam Magnum and started firing at the Sinanju, which once again dodged every single shot. In the last shot, Frontal ejected his remaining boosters, and dodged the shots: however, the boosters were hit, exploding.

Banagher's eyes widened in surprside, "I did it?", he wondered.

However, his hopes for success were dashed when the Sinanju appeared right besides him, and it kicked the Unicorn directly in the cockpit. The kick pushed the Unicorn back towards a nearby asteroid, and the impact caused Banagher to bleed through the nose. Frontal then drew his beam saber yet again, and in a fencing position, charged at the Unicorn, intending to impale it directly in the cockpit. Audrey, Banagher then thought, and his cockpit started to glow. The linear seat changed its configuration, and the monitors started to glow a crimson color. The Unicorn started to morph, with its armor revealing the psycoframe beneath it, its head changing, its horn becoming a V-Fin, and two beam sabers emerging from its back: the Unicorn Gundam had changed from modes. It then quickly evaded Frontal's attack, whose beam saber instead struck the asteroid. Frontal turned around and saw the Unicorn go at incredible speeds. Frontal moved from the asteroid and began searching for it. After a few moments, he saw it coming straight at him. Both units matched each other's speed, and the Unicorn began firing its head vulcans. Frontal dodged the shots. However, instead of running away, he instead turned around, pushed himself by using an asteroid, and charged at full speed against the Unicorn, clashing with it with his beam saber. "So," said Frontal, "it seems the Gundams seem to not leave me alone at all."

"Withdraw now!" shouted Banagher, "If you don't withdraw from here, then Audrey will…" They then separated, and Frontal moved away.

At the same time, Setsuna finished cutting down the Royal Guard, forcing most of them to retreat. Angelo, enraged, charged at him, but Setsuna simply cut off its arms and kicked him away. He then saw the Unicorn engaging the Sinanju in the distance. "Target has been sighted." he said, "Proceeding with capture!"

And he accelerated towards the battle. Lockon continued to fend off Homare and some other Royal Guards that were left. "We leave what's left to you, Setsuna." he said, as he shot down another Royal Guard.

Setsuna went full speed against the Unicorn. Banagher saw him and fired the vulcans at him, but Setsuna used his GN Shield and blocked the shots. Banagher then saw the Sinanju and fired his Beam Magnum's reserve shot, grazing it and destroying one of its legs. Suddenly, the Unicorn charged at the Sinanju at full speed, not realizing that the Kshatriya, still badly damaged deployed its funnels and blocked his path. Banagher gasped, evading the funnel shots. The Kshatriya charged at him and Banagher tried to block it with his shield, but Marida used one of her binders and pushed it away. She then grabbed the Unicorn by its arms. Setsuna saw this, "That Quad-Wing again?" he exclaimed.

The Unicorn fired its vulcans at her, but the bullets simply bounced off the Kshatriya's heavy armor. Marida proceeded then to punch at the Unicorn directly in the cockpit, and Banagher, already feeling agitated by the G strain, spitted blood. Setsuna tried to intervene, deploying his beam sabers and accelerating towards the battle, but Marida, anticipating this, used her funnels to block his path. Riddhe tried to head towards the fight, but the Virtue fires its GN Cannons at him, forcing him to dodge. As Riddhe tried to effectively move, he then heard Banagher's voice on the radio: "Audrey, I'm sorry…"

Banagher, in his cockpit, passed away, and the NT-D was instantly deactivated. Marida looked at it, "Why is that boy inside a Gundam?" she wondered.

"Much appreciated, Lieutenant Marida Cruz." Full Frontal then said through the radio.

Setsuna again tried to charge at her, but Marida deployed her funnels and blocked his path as she, Frontal and the remaining Royal Guards began retreating. Setsuna looked on, feeling as a failure.

Riddhe punched his panel in frustration. "Damn it!" he exclaimed.

The crew of the Nahel Argama looked in horror, and heard Banagher's voice, repeatedly saying: "I'm sorry, Audrey…"

Fed up with all of this, Mineva left the bridge in a cold manner: however, deep in her heart, she felt guilty over everything that had happened; she felt guilty over his capture, as she felt she had dragged Banagher into this conflict.

As the Unicorn was taken to the Rewloola, the cockpit's panoramic screen suddenly faded to black. Suddenly, huge amounts of data appeared, and three large characters appeared in the screen: La+…

Two hours later. Mineva was sitting in her room's bed as she was closely watched by a security camera. Riddhe came in, and the camera was turned off. Mineva turned and saw him enter. She looked at him with a cold expression. He slowly approached her, with a disgusted expression in his face, "As a child, I remember seeing a Zabi family speech on TV…" he said, "Sieg Zeon, Sieg Zeon…It was a terrifying image. Thousands of people were shouting that in unison, incited by your uncle, Gihren Zabi."

Mineva kept staring at him, coldly. Riddhe's expression became more enraged, "I guess you, Neo Zeon, still do now." he said, "Sieg Zeon…GO AHEAD AND SAY IT NOW!"

Mineva wasn't intimidated: she just kept staring at him: to her, he was an overgrown, immature child. Riddhe was a little embarrassed and turned away, but he still held an expression of disgust, "Convince me that you're really the Princess of Zeon." he said, "Otherwise…Why did someone like Mineva Zabi slip aboard a Federation ship all by herself?"

He then turned towards her, in a somewhat scoffing tone; he said "Well, the professionals will find that out from you."

He then approached the room's exit, and looked at the door. "One thing you should remember, though," he said, "he was calling your name to the very end. 'Audrey', 'Audrey'."

Mineva looked away, "You don't understand a thing." she then said, causing Riddhe to turn back his head towards her, "And who could these 'professionals' be, I wonder…"

"We have official investigators." he quickly replied.

Mineva turned towards him, "Don't fool yourself." she said, "They'll never bring this to any judicial authorities. Nor will my presence be made public."

Riddhe arched his eyebrow, and Mineva continued, "Full Frontal stubbornly refused to accept that I am actually Mineva Lao Zabi. Why do you think that is?"

"That was just to negate our hostage tactics." he replied.

"Think about it and you'll see." she said, "How have I managed to avoid being captured for almost ten years? And how has Neo-Zeon once again been able to have bases around the Earth Sphere and build up its armaments?"

Riddhe's eyes widened, "You're saying there were backdoor dealings?" he asked.

"The incident in Industrial 7 will disappear from your new report; the unknowns' appearance will be refuted as some kind of urban legend; and it won't be easy for the families and friends of those who died to forgive it." she then said, "But we spacenoids have long been accustomed to these kinds of outrages. And the Federation has allowed us to exist as a scapegoat to their anger and frustration. At least, now…"

Riddhe's eyes widened even further, "Laplace's Box has upset the balance?" he asked.

"The Federation might be taking steps to resolve its relationship with Neo Zeon once and for all." she said, "That's why the Vist Foundation offered its precious Box."

Riddhe turned towards one of the holographic pictures of Mount Fuji in the room's walls.

"Sounds complicated." he said, "I am a pilot; I've always thought myself as being as such. I only followed my orders and completed missions. I knew there was corruption, but I believed that that the Federation had the ability to eventually correct itself. Except I was wrong: I was just trying not to see it; not to think about it; ever since I was with my family."

He turned towards Mineva, with a much more sympathetic expression, "Why have you acted alone?" he then asked. Mineva turned away, looking at the floor, "I too was born into a certain family." she said, "The family that shouldered the blame of the One Year War. I cannot consider myself separate from politics. And if the same mistakes are about to be repeated, I am obligated to prevent it, at the cost of my life."

Suddenly, a guard came in, with a shocked expression.

"Riddhe!" he said, "You better come look at this!"

Riddhe excused himself and followed the guard towards another room with a television set. They were seeing a broadcast of the unknowns intervention at Industrial 7.

"What the hell?" one of the Federation soldiers exclaimed, "I thought no one was supposed to know about this!"

The anchorwoman appeared, "I repeat: four unknown mobile suits were spotted in Industrial 7," she said, "attacking both Federation and Neo Zeon forces that were engaged in combat. It is unknown which faction they represent. Federation officials have denied knowledge of the incident."

Riddhe then thought about what Audrey, had told him about the cover-up, and felt disappointed. The anchorwoman then appeared to receive a paper from someone. As she read it, she gasped. "Breaking news." she said, "We have just received a video from someone claiming to be responsible for these intervention. I must clear out that this network is in no way responsible for any of its content."

Suddenly, the transmission changed: it now showed a bald man, with round glasses, with a cane in his hands, sitting in front of an open window which let the sunlight come in directly into the room. The man had a serious expression, and was looking directly at the camera. The man started to speak: "I would like to address this statement to every single human being born and raised in the Earth Sphere: we call ourselves simply Celestial Being. We are a private armed organization in possession of the original mobile weapons called Gundam."

Riddhe everyone in the room were shocked: the unknowns that had given them so much trouble were actually Gundams. They could not believe it: Gundams were supposed to be the symbol of the Earth Federation, but now someone else was using said symbol against it.

"The main objective of Celestial Being's activities is to completely eliminate acts of war from this world. We do not act for our own benefit or for personal gain. We have chosen to intervene for the greatest goal of all to rid ourselves of the scourge of war. As of this moment I make this declaration to all humanity. Territory, religion, energy… no matter what the reason or excuse, if there is an evident act of war being carried out, we will commence intervention with our force. Any country, organization or corporation that promotes war will also be a legitimate target for our intervention. We simply call ourselves Celestial Being. We are an armed organization that was established to eliminate all acts of war from this world. I repeat..."

Riddhe and the others were terrified and in some way confused. Riddhe then looked at the man in the transmission and closed his fist, "They are just terrorists!" he said, "They killed out comrades! We will face you, Celestial Being, even if it means our deaths!"

The bridge crew was shocked, watching the broadcast with a mixed sense of awe and fear. "What kind of joke are they?" Alberto then shouted, "Fighting war with war…ha!"

Otto looked at him, again uncomfortable with his presence. He then stared at the man, "Are they really serious…or do they have another objective?" he wondered.

Marida was having a panic attack: the mention of the word 'Gundam' was a trigger for this woman's mind. Suberoa tried to calm her down, hugging her. He looked at Gilboa, "Giboa, take her to the medic!" he said. As Gilboa carried the panicked Marida, Suberoa and his crew watched the transmission. "So another faction has come into play?" he said, "These people…Celestial Being…they were after the Box as well?"

Full Frontal simply looked at the broadcast, with an expression of amusement. "Their contradiction will be their undoing…" he said, "They will bring chaos to the world, and I'm sure they will be quite efficient at it."

Angelo looked at the Commander with a confused expression, "But Commander, were those really Gundams?" he asked.

"I'm surprised no one recognized them as such." he said, "They reeked like such: overpowered, their head design and weaponry all reeked with 'Gundam'. It will now only be a matter of time before we meet again in combat…"

At the Ptolemy, the crew and the Meisters were watching the broadcast as well. "Hallelujah," the muttered Allelujah to himself, "as if the evils of the world are being exposed."

Tieria simply looked coldly at the transmission, "Celestial Being will now truly begin change the world." he said.

Besides them, Sumeragi, with a bottle of alcohol in her hand, looked grimly to the floor. "We are Celestial Being," she said, "the tools to be used to change the world." She then had another zip of alcohol.

Lockon turned to Setsuna, "So, Setsuna, the entire world will become our enemy with this." he said, "Do you know what that means?"

"Exactly." responded Setsuna, "We are Gundam Meisters of Celestial Being. Our mission: to change the world."

And with that, the Ptolemy moved forward, with its GN Particles leaving a short trail as it did. It was time for true change…

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:22 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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Chapter 2

One's Light

The year is Universal Century 0096. Almost one-hundred years have passed since humanity nearly destroyed itself, and so it decided to move to space and create a brighter future, by creating habitats throughout the Solar System and solve the issues of overpopulation, war and disease.

In one particular region of the Solar System lies the Earth Sphere, composed of the Earth, the Moon and the space between them. Since the Second Neo-Zeon War of 0093, the Earth Sphere has been divided between several factions: the successor of the United Nations, and encompassing the Earth, the Moon and Sides 1, 2, 4 and 7, is the Earth Federation; the successor of the fallen Principality of Zeon and a state that has been under occupation of the Earth Federation Forces, encompassing Side 3, is the Republic of Zeon; and finally, the surviving elements of all previous Zeon revival movements, and the immediate successor of Char's Neo-Zeon, hidden throughout the Sphere, is the Third Neo-Zeon Movement, commonly known as the Sleeves.

Ever since the mass emigration of billions of 'citizens' to the space colonies, the Earth has so far managed to somewhat recover from the pre-Universal Century dark ages, and some of its natural habitats have been able to recover from humanity's parasitic nature.

However, despite this, a new rift was created within humanity, between those on Earth, considered the elite, and those in space, whose ancestors had been common, middle-to-low class citizens, was created, as the Federation became more and more corrupt. Eventually, this rift caused the many space wars that began in the One Year War, and ever since, the Earth Sphere has been divided between those that seek to create an independent nation in space, and those who wish for the continuing of the Earth's supremacy.

Yes, even almost one-hundred years beyond the Common Era, humanity has yet to become one.

There are those that have appeared to drive a wedge into such a world: a private armed organization that possesses mobile suits known as Gundams, Celestial Being. They, for the sake of removing conflict from humanity once and for all, are putting into action their campaign that transcends race, nationality, class, ideology and religion. Celestial Being will be the wind that brings true change to this world…

Banagher was being escorted by Marida and Suberoa through an elegantly decorated corridor. The place seemed to be a simpler version of the Palace of Versailles. There was a long, red carpet that covered the entire floor, and there were several guards in somewhat flamboyant uniforms and weapons that would remind one of the millenarian MP 40s used during the Second World War in the pre-Universal Century era. As they walked through the corridor, they spotted several doors open, many of them crowded by Zeon personnel looking at television screens: they were all watching the broadcast of Celestial Being's message. They haven't stopped talking about it for the last two days, thought Suberoa. Marida started thinking about the Celestial Being Gundam she faced, and remembered she felt something weird about the pilot, It felt somewhat…alike, she thought, As if the pilot had some rage inside him, and that bubbling anger would overtake him unexpectedly…

They finally reached a large, two-door entrance guarded by two soldiers. Suberoa and Marida saluted them, and guards did likewise. Banagher, on the other hand, seemed uncomfortable watching them salute each other. The guards then opened the doors, one each, and revealed a huge room, with what seemed to be a small garden of flowers and palms, a staircase and a holographic map of the Earth Sphere on one side; one the other, there was a holographic screen, showing Celestial Being's message. Banagher, Suberoa and Marida walked on the staircase, reaching another level of the room, in which lied a huge, highly decorated desk. Behind it, in a throne-like chair, sat Full Frontal himself, in full uniform and his signature mask. Besides him was Angelo, firm. Above Full Frontal was a large shield bearing the new symbol of Neo-Zeon, and below it two banners that displayed the symbols of the Principality of Zeon and Char's Neo-Zeon. As Angelo noticed Marida, he made a slight gesture of scorn. Marida, of course, ignored him.

"I wonder if there is such a thing as 'celestial beings'." Frontal said as Banagher and his escorts approached him, "It is hard to believe that there are people that would act without having any kind of personal gain."

Banagher then turned his head towards the holographic screen, and saw the bald man that was giving the message concerning Celestial Being's goals. Banagher seemed grim at the sight of it. "Tell me, Banagher," said Frontal, "what do you think of this new group of actors that has come to our show?"

Banagher just looked at the floor, unresponsive. Angelo stared at him, enraged. "Answer when the Commander calls you!" he said. Frontal raised his open hand, calming him. "Perhaps he still hasn't made up his mind about this." he said.

Banagher continued unresponsive. Frontal started looking around at the room, "I hear this is a replica of a room in the last fortress of the former Principality, A Bao A Qu." he then said, "The governor of Palau is an ardent sympathizer of the former Principality of Zeon. I must naturally accept a favor like this graciously, even if the décor isn't really of my taste. But I suppose that's one of the necessary traits as a leader."

He then gave a look at Suberoa and Marida, "Good job, Captain, Lieutenant Marida," he said, "I'll take it from here."

Suberoa saluted Frontal and started to leave, but Marida stayed there, firm, "Commander…"

"I know." Frontal then interrupted, "That Princess Mineva would be held in that ship was unexpected. But there will be other chances of rescuing her, including political methods. We'll have to deal with her loss for now."

"Yes." she then replied, saluting him. She then left with Suberoa, leaving Banagher alone with the Red Comet and his personal guard. Frontal and Banagher then just stared at each other, and Banagher seemed a little uncomfortable.

"Char Aznable…" muttered Banagher.

Frontal pointed at a couch that was by the holographic screen, which was still showing Celestial Being's message. "What are you doing?" Frontal asked Banagher, "Have a seat."

Banagher looked at the couch, and complied, unresponsive. "How are you feeling?" Frontal then asked as Banagher sat down, "I hear we went through a lot to get you safely out of that Gundam."

Banagher felt how comfortable the couch was: 'synthetic leather' the material was called, although the term really didn't make much sense. "Well…" Banagher replied. Frontal made a confused hum. "Were you the pilot of that red mobile suit?" Banagher then asked. Angelo had by now an expression of utter rage, but managed to control himself from punching Banagher dead right there. Frontal, however, smirked, "You can't drink tea with a mortal enemy, Banagher Links?"

Banagher then looked at a small, wooden table in front of him and grabbed one of the cups there. He gave a zip; its ingredients were apple, cinnamon and cranberry. Frontal stood up from his chair and began walking towards Banagher. "Good reflexes." he said, "But a little reckless. A temperament befitting a pilot. Like those Gundam pilots of Celestial Being: however, like them, you rely too much on your Gundam's abilities. Otherwise, you would have killed me."

Frontal then reached to where Banagher was and stretched his hand. Banagher saw this and, being a courteous man, stood up and stretched his own hand up: however, he then stopped, closing his hand. Banagher then looked towards Frontal's mask, "If you don't mind asking…Do you wear that mask to hide some kind of scar?"

Angelo gave a few steps forward: he was being driven to the edge.

"Because if not," Banagher then continued, "I'd like you to show me your face."

"You-!" Angelo then began, but Frontal raised his hand, open, calming him down once more. Frontal smiled at Banagher, "Its fine, Lieutenant Angelo," he said, "Banagher's simply talking about basic etiquette."

And with that said, Frontal then slowly slid his mask off his head. Banagher was shocked at the sight in front of him: the blue eyes, the shape of the nose…they were all exactly like that of Char Aznable. Banagher gasped at this sight, and backed off a bit. Full Frontal looked at his mask, "I only wear it because it's my style." he said, "Or you could say it's rather a tool for propaganda. Without someone like you to point it out to me, I usually forget I even have it on. You see, most of my life has been behind this mask."

He then stretched his hand again to Banagher, "My apologies." he then said.

Banagher then stretched his own hand, and soon they shook hands.

"I've heard about how you met Princess Mineva." Frontal said, and he began walking towards his desk, "But as for how you obtained that Unicorn Gundam from the Vist Foundation remains unclear."

He then sat on his chair, and looked directly at Banagher, "And then there's the issue of Celestial Being."

Banagher recoiled a little, and turned towards the screen: the Federal News Network was still broadcasting the message. "I've told my escorts everything I know about the Unicorn." he then said, "As for those new so-called Gundams…"

"Those are Gundams, Banagher." Frontal then replied, "They reeked like Gundams. I can tell: seventeen years of experience, fighting them, has allowed me to detect their particular stench. Even if they are not of the Federation military, I wouldn't be surprised if there were people that saw these machines as symbols of freedom."

He put his mask on top of his desk, "The glory of the Vist Foundation was built on its secret possession of the Box." he then said, changing the subject, "That machine was supposed to be entrusted to us, and yet you were the one who received it. I wonder why?"

Banagher remained unresponsive again, but Frontal then smirked, "My best guess," he said, "would be that you have some relation with the Vist Family."

Banagher's eyes widened a little, but he managed to maintain himself calm, "Am I obligated to answer that?" he asked.

In a blink of an eye, Angelo suddenly approached him and grabbed him by his jacket neck. Angelo looked at Banagher directly to the eye, with an expression of utter contempt and rage.

"I told you to stop it, Angelo." Frontal said. Angelo then closed his face to Banagher, intensifying his expression of contempt even further, "You'd better realize who you're talking to, punk." he said, and he then promptly let Banagher go, walking away from him.

"You're not obligated to respond." said Full Frontal, "What we simply want is information on the Box. Since it seems that there is a third player in this game, it is of even more importance that we manage to secure it as soon as possible. We're only asking you nicely because you're acquainted with the Princess. Keep that in mind."

"This 'Mineva'…" said Banagher, "Audrey is the one who told me that the Neo-Zeon should not get their hands on the Box. She said it would lead to another great war. And after what happened to Industrial 7, anyone would feel the same way. She is the Princess of Zeon, right? If Audrey is against it, why are all of you-?"

"Tell me," Frontal interrupted, "do you believe in it? In the existence in the Box of Laplace?"

Banagher was confused by the question.

"Do you believe there's a box no one has ever seen and whose contents are unknown but hides the power to completely destroy the Federation government?" Full Frontal then questioned.

"Well…" Banagher replied, "I really don't know."

"And yet," Frontal continued, "not only do we and the Federation seek it, but apparently, another group has come into play, seeking to capture what seems to be the only manifestation of said Box. Believe me, Banagher: whether it is a Box, a Gundam or a 'Key', this thing is very real; and it could mean the birth of a new Era, or the literal end of humanity."

"I believe there's such a thing as knowledge," Banagher replied, "which can change the world in an instant."

"Such as?" Frontal asked. Banagher seemed to doubt at first, and glanced at the Earth Sphere map; he noticed Side 2, and remembered one of his teacher's classes.

"For example, like Zeon's first colony drop," he said, "or dropping an asteroid to freeze the Earth, or in the older eras when nuclear bombs were created, or when Minovsky particles were discovered or mobile suits created. Even though it seems stable, the world changes little by little. If something, whether artificial or natural, has that kind of power and the timing is right…"

Frontal seemed to think about what Banagher said, "You're right about that." he said, "For example, those new Gundams, from what we were able to observe, seem to not use Minovsky reactors. Whatever it is that powers them seems to rival, if not surpass, even the newest Minovsky-based energy plants. Someone created these machines with the intention of surpassing any past, present and future military technologies. Like the atomic bomb, it will revolutionize warfare; either for better or for worse. Progress is like a coin with those two faces."

He then pointed at the holographic map of the Earth Sphere, "Take the space settlement policy as another example." he said, "That policy was at first designed by the predecessors of the Earth Federation to relieve the Earth from its excessive overpopulation, right? But then the Earth Federation exiled those it deemed undesirables or too poor. Sometimes, the very people that made the space colonies possible were exiled as well."

He then approached Banagher, again, "You probably realize that even when a Side is granted the so-called 'autonomy', the Federation government still retains the right to appoint its leaders." Frontal said, "And since they are technically not citizens of the Federation, the Spacenoids may as well have no suffrage. There then is the true face of democracy: unjust, unreliable, corrupt and monolithic. Neo-Zeon is not a monolithic society, but one thing we all have in common is the desire to change this distorted system. In order to break the chains of the Federation and realize Spacenoid autonomy, we must-"

"But it's wrong to resort to terrorism!" Banagher suddenly interrupted Frontal. Angelo's body twitched in reaction, but he managed to control himself.

"Whatever your reasons," he said, "you can't arbitrarily take lives! No one has that right!"

"Then that goes for you too!" Angelo suddenly shouted, and in the blink of an eye, Angelo was suddenly right in front of Banagher and punched him to the floor, "You killed Ensign Sergi, one of our most loyal soldiers! If force is always wrong, then you are just as equally guilty! No wonder you are a Federation soldier: you are just like their leaders; hypocritical, corrupt and evil!"

He then kicked Banagher in the stomach, who felt like puking, "It may have been a stray shot," he said, "but you still killed him!"

"I don't think Banagher has been able to make that realization yet." Frontal said calmly, and he started returning to his desk, "He probably acted out of desperation. Ensign Sergi was unlucky."

Angelo stared at Banagher for a moment and then kicked him again, leaving him there, in the floor. Banagher was shocked, but not by Angelo's beating; rather, he was shocked by the fact he had killed; throughout his entire life, he had been taught that killing was the most heinous act a human could do to another. "I…killed someone…" he muttered.

"Call for Zimmerman." Frontal then told the Guards, and he then turned to Banagher, who started to stand up, trembling, "You have a lot to learn yet. I just want you to understand who we are and why we do this. And I hope that eventually, we can work together."

Full Frontal then picked his mask on and left it in his hands as Marida and Zimmerman came in. Both Zimmerman and Marida made a small gasp as they saw the man behind the mask. He smiled at them. Marida and Zimmerman then grabbed Banagher by the arms, with him struggling to turn to see Frontal, "Are you…" he then shouted, "really Char Aznable?" Even Marida turned her head; her mind was somewhat intrigued by this; she had heard the rumors; his voice was identical to the one of the Char she had seen in television; she wanted to know who her Master was fighting for. Suberoa turned his head around as well, but he already knew the answer…

"As I am now," responded Frontal, "I consider myself a vessel. A vessel for those abandoned in space, and the heirs of Zeon's ideals." He then put on his mask, "And if that is what they want me to be, I will be Char Aznable." he then added, "That is why I wear this mask."

Marida then continued pulling Banagher out, and Suberoa followed her lead. As they took him outside the room and the guards closed the doors, Banagher turned his head one last time to see the masked man, who stared at him with a slight smirk in his face.

Brussels, Federation Military Headquarters. Never be fooled when visiting the Earth; if you want to visit the true capital of the Earth Federation, go to Brussels. This European city was not only one of the first cities of the Federation, but after the destruction of Jaburo in 0087, the occupation of Dakar by Neo-Zeon and the destruction of Lhasa, the Federation began moving its most important officials to this city. While just the Military Headquarters of the Federation Forces, in reality it was the seat of many important organs of the Federation, most notably, the Security Council.

While not in session, the most powerful officer of the Federation, Admiral Arthur Cole, was watching the message of Celestial Being. As it finished, he turned off the holographic screen, and turned to his aide. "You can confirm then that these new mobile suits our Londo Bell forces encountered were Gundams?" he asked.

"It seems to be the most likely." his aide said. His aide then proceeded to give Cole a panel showing a picture of the Exia as it flew by the colony's axis, "This was taken by a security camera during the battle. If we zoom in, you can see a word in its forehead."

The aide then zoomed in to Exia's forehead, and Cole saw only one word: "Gundam…" he muttered.

At the same time, several members of the Federation Assembly in Dakar were at the house of Ronan Marcenas, watching a recording of the Dynames shooting at least a dozen Londo Bell mobile suits down.

"I can't believe our newest suits were so easily shot down." one of the assemblymen, Leung, said.

"It appears that they were specifically targeting our suits," said another assemblyman, Rogers, "because according to the reports given by ECOAS, the Sleeves were only engaged until nearly the end of the battle."

"This is the least of our worries." an assemblywoman, Swanson, said, "The worst part is that video of the battle was leaked throughout the entire net. Now everyone knows that we were the ones who began fighting inside a civilian colony, unlike what we have tried to report earlier about the Sleeves provoking the attack. And disclosure of information about the reason why we sent troops there is being pressed by the civilian sector."

"We've gotten reports that this could some kind of scheme by the Republic of Zeon," an assemblyman, Wilson, then said, "but in order to develop a brand new mobile suit, the level of secrecy required is impossible with our intelligence services constantly combing the Side daily."

"Indeed." said Rogers, "This armed organization must have some serious and influential financial backing."

"Every single intelligence agency is trying to obtain info on said influence." Swanson then replied.

"I will say one thing." Ronan then said, and everyone turned towards him, "The reality is that an armed organization called Celestial Being possesses Gundams that are on par, if not surpass, our own."

He then looked at an image taken of the Exia as it engaged the Kshatriya. "Mobile suit Gundam…" Ronan then muttered.

At the Republic of Zeon's capital, formerly known as Zum City, now simply known as Cloud 8, the Chairman of the Republic, Gilbert Clyne, looked out at the window of his 'Presidential Palace', which had been formerly the Zabis' residence during their reign. Behind him, his aide, Michelle Kepler, stood, looking at Gilbert.

Gilbert was considered the first ruler of the Republic to be able to hold the Federation in check as much as possible, as thanks to him, 30% of the Federation's Occupation Forces had been withdrawn due to his diplomatic efforts. However, despite this, Clyne still believed there was still a long road ahead to complete Zeon's independence.

"The eradication of war through force, huh?" he said, "Michelle, it seems as if they are working to undermine our efforts."

"Mr. Chairman, do you really think they are serious?" Michelle then asked, "They have no incentive."

"The reason why the nations of the ancient times intervened in other nations' conflicts was to ensure the safety of their own people and interests." Gilbert replied, "It is in no shape or form anything philanthropic."

Michelle then smiled, "The demon will be unmasked shortly." she then said, "When it is, it will be our duty to pass judgment."

Gilbert smiled at her statement, "Indeed." He then looked at a memorial erected by the Federation, where the statue of Degwin Zabi had once stood.

"It has been almost two years since we managed to progress in our efforts of greater autonomy from the Federation." Gilbert said, "But this…"

Several thousand kilometers outside Palau, the Ptolemy was in standby, hidden by its GN Particles, which shielded it from conventional detection. The containers, mounted on a ring-like structure, were rotating around the ship's main body. Setsuna was at the hangar, looking at his Exia, while Lockon, who had been tuning his Dynames, approached him with a small portable TV in his hand. "All of the news stations are talking about nothing but us." Lockon said as he approached Setsuna, "They say we're a mysterious armed force; that we've declared to oppose all conflict across the world." He then chuckled, "That may be true, but most people just don't believe it."

"Then let's make them believe, don't you think?" Sumeragi's voice then said from behind. Lockon and Setsuna turned towards her, and they saw her in her civilian outfit. "Don't you think it's a little risky to not have your normal suit on in the hangar and so near enemy territory, Miss Sumeragi?" asked Lockon.

"Oh, don't worry." she replied, "Knowing the people at Palau, they might not even be able to difference us between mirage and an actual spaceship."

"A mission?" Setsuna then asked dryly.

"Yes." Sumeragi said, "And you are the main actors. But I need you to come to the conference room at once."

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:24 pm 
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At the Nahel Argama's briefing room, Alberto was showing several Londo Bell and ECOAS captains and officers a computer image of Palau, showing its three component asteroids and their interior. Otto was besides him, much to his chagrin.

"Palau." said Alberto, "It's a civilian mining asteroid belonging to Side 6. Our intelligence agency has concluded that the RX-0 was taken here."

"The Nahel Argama is supposed to break into that fortress alone?" shouted one of the officers, "Not possible."

"This operation is under ECOAS jurisdiction." Alberto replied, "Reinforcements have already arrived for that purpose. It's unprecedented for two ECOAS squadrons to join forces like this."

"What are our odds?" asked another officer, "If we're supposed to recapture the RX-0, seizing control of one area won't cut it. We'll need to sabotage a wide area to prevent enemy pursuit."

Another officer looked at Otto, "Captain, do you agree with this plan?"

Otto remained unresponsive, but his face clearly showed his discomfort.

"It's going to take all of Londo Bell's forces to attack a stronghold!" another officer then said, "It's as if you and the higher ups want us to go straight into a suicide mission."

"Do not worry!" said Alberto, "From what we've been able to gather, the majority of the Sleeve forces use seriously outdated mobile suits! Cutting through them will be a piece of cake for your pilots."

Suddenly, an officer slammed his palm into his table and stood up.

"Mr. Vist," the officer said, "maybe you are avoiding it, but you haven't mentioned the possibilities of Celestial Being intervening in this operation."

Alberto's expression turned to one of nervousness, "It is highly unlikely-"

"Even if it sounds ridiculous," the officer interrupted, "these people have mobile suits that are on par with this RX-0 you want to recover so much. They are faster and much more powerful than anything we have encountered before. How do you expect us to survive against such powerful weapons?"

"That's why we're sending in two expensive teams of Special Forces!" Alberto replied, "That's the best we can manage for a cover operation!"

"You seem to be avoiding the issue at stake here, Vist!" the officer said, "Celestial Being's Gundams managed to wipe out the MS corps of three Londo Bell ships! Even if we have fifty mobile suits, not only we'll we be dealing with veteran Zeon soldiers who have much more experience than even your precious ECOAS pilots, but there is a high probability of encountering Celestial Being and be wiped out!"

"Besides, you're just a civilian!" an officer shouted, "We don't have to ask you!"

"This whole mess about the RX-0 was all because of what you did!" one of the Captains then said. As soon as this was said, every single Captain and officer started shouting at Alberto, who suddenly found himself assailed by twenty-some Londo Bell officials.

"The situation sure developed in a much unexpected way but, if it hadn't been for that, our ship would have been destroyed!" he said. Suddenly, everyone heard a door being violently opened, and Otto was last seen walking out of the briefing room.

Otto went into an elevator, grabbed two handlers, and started kicking the wall: he had had it with Alberto and Anaheim. "Damn it!" he exclaimed as he kicked the wall, "You call those reinforcements?" He then punched the wall, "You call this a covert operation? Spouting desperate excuses to make up for his own failure!"

He then turned towards the door and swung a punch at it, "Damn you!"

However, the doors suddenly opened, and his own punch sent him out of the elevator, right in front, to his embarrassment, of Daguza and Liam, who were waiting for it to get to the briefing room. They both arched their right eyebrows, confused at Otto's unusual behavior. Otto managed to stop spinning and calm himself down. Daguza and Liam saluted him, and Otto saluted back. "We have heard of the orders from Headquarters." Liam said, "What do you intend to do?"

"We have no choice but to go." Otto responded, "Because it's related to that Box that will supposedly determine the fate of the world."

"I have no objections to our orders either." Daguza then said, "But we consider it a hostage rescue mission."

Otto arched his own right eyebrow at this.

"We owe it to him." said Daguza, "And I know of a way: the Nahel Argama's hyper mega particle cannon."

Otto widened his eyes, and somehow knew what Daguza was planning.

At the Ptolemy's conference room, the Meisters were standing around a large floor-screen along with Sumeragi. "The purpose of this mission is to both intervene in the upcoming battle of Palau and the capture of the Unicorn." said Sumeragi, "We have been able to analyze the data we obtained from your previous encounters with it, and it seems that its OS is highly advanced; we suspect some kind of AI helps its pilot manage the strain of its amazing maneuvers."

She then showed an image of Palau, "Due to Wang having no contacts in this particular location, two of the Meisters will have to infiltrate it, locate the target, and give me a layout of the place so that I may give you an effective battle plan."

"Who will be going in then?" asked Tieria. Sumeragi stared at Lockon, who smirked.

"I'm always the one who stays away from this ship most of the time, don't I?" he said. "We will need someone else to go in case anything unexpected happens." Sumeragi said. She then turned to Setsuna, who simply stared back, "I'll go." he then said.

"Miss Sumeragi, I think I'll have to object to this plan." Tieria then intervened, "We are risking the safety of two of our solar reactors to the enemy; also, Setsuna is very inexperienced and could compromise the mission's integrity."

Lockon stepped forward, "I will make sure the boy doesn't ruin things." he said, "Besides, I trust him, and I assure you he will not fail us."

"If anything compromises the integrity and safety of Celestial Being," said Tieria in a menacing tone, "I will make sure Veda expels you both."

Sumeragi stepped forward, "Tieria, that's enough." she said, "I have made my call, and both Lockon and Setsuna will infiltrate the asteroid." She then took out a small, squared-shaped flash drive and handed it over to Lockon, "In case we are unable to capture the Unicorn, I have a backup plan."

Lockon raised an eyebrow, "What backup plan?"

"Once you locate the Unicorn," Sumeragi said, "you will install this into its mainframe. The drive will link directly to Veda, which will start downloading the entire OS of the Gundam. In addition, any other programs installed in the mobile suit will also be downloaded. That way we will be able to figure out by ourselves this whole mess if we can't physically obtain the Unicorn."

She then turned to the floor monitor, "You will use your Optical Cloaking and hide them in some remote corner of the surface." she said, "Veda suspects that ECOAS will also try to somehow infiltrate the fortress as well, so make sure to hide your Gundams in 'creative' spots."

"Roger" they both said, and with that, everyone was dismissed.

At Palau's residential district, Suberoa and Marida were escorting Banagher to Gilboa's home, who had agreed to take Banagher as a "guest". As they did, Suberoa recognized a familiar person nearby: Langley Asher. A young, black haired, green-eyed white man, Langley had known Suberoa since the end of the Second Neo-Zeon War. Langley had grown huge respect for the Captain, who he considered the closest he had to a father. He was also very kind to Marida, something Suberoa was very grateful for. "Don't you think it is a little unorthodox to carry prisoners around like that?" Langley asked in a teasing tone, "After all, this guy managed to be on par with the Red Comet himself."

Suberoa smiled at him, "Langley, how is your new model doing?"

"Quite good, actually." Langley responded, "The Rick Dias II is the best mobile suit I've ever piloted; even better than that cheap Geara Zulu I customized some time ago."

Langley then saw Marida and smiled at her, in a kind and gentle way. "Good afternoon." she said. Langley then turned to Suberoa, "This whole thing about Celestial Being…" he said, shaking his head, "as if we needed more of those wretched things…"

"Eventually, we'll find a way to deal with them." said Suberoa, "For now, we must focus on the Box."

"I think the Box is irrelevant with what I discerned from the footage you sent me." Langley then said.

Suberoa was a little surprised by this, "Are you saying you actually managed to find out something about those things?"

"Well, not as much as I would have liked," said Langley, "but let's keep it this way: Minovsky reactors will become fossils once we find a way to replicate their power source."

Even Marida expressed some surprise at this. Suberoa's expression became one of total surprise, however. "You're saying they don't use Minovsky particles at all?" he said.

"I can't reveal it to you guys just yet, unfortunately." Langley said, "Once I give this data to the Commander, I'll pass it to you online."

Langley and Suberoa then shook hands, and as they did, Langley looked at Banagher, and his expression changed to one of utter seriousness. He started approaching him, "So I believe you're the devil's new advocate, huh?" he said in a scornful way. Banagher looked away, sensing his anger. "Well, let me tell you this:" Langley then said, grabbing Banagher by the cheek aggressively, "once we find out the secret of these new units, the age of the Gundams and your precious Federation will come to an end. And I'll make sure it is slow and painful for you and those bastards."

He then gave a slight slap at Banagher's cheek, and stared at him, "Pathetic little being."

"Langley, that's enough!" Suberoa said, "There was no need for that."

Langley's expression then suddenly changed to his usual, gleeful one, "Excuse me, Captain." he then smiled at Marida again and slightly bowed his head, "Lady Marida."

He then left, looking at a small holographic panel. Banagher stared at him, somewhat bitter.

The Ptolemy stopped its course towards Palau, keeping its distance from it. Its containers continued to rotate. "Twenty-nine hours until mission starts." announced Christina to the rest of the ship, "Dynames and Exia are to prepare for launch."

At the hangar, Setsuna and Lockon were each in their respective cockpits, checking controls and systems. "So, young one," said Lockon, "are you ready for some scouting today?"

"I will do what it takes for this mission to succeed." Setsuna replied.

"You know," said Lockon, "if you really want to blend in with people, you gotta loosen up a bit."

Setsuna remained unresponsive, and instead continued checking the Exia's systems.

The Ptolemy's containers stopped rotating. "Ptolemaios, container rotation stationary." reported Feldt, "Dynames, proceed to catapult deck."

"Roger that, Feldt." said Lockon. The Dynames proceeded to install itself in a particular spot. It was then moved downwards towards the launch catapult.

"Switching Ptolemy to catapult mode." Christina reported.

The Ptolemy's nose was then horizontally bisected. In the interior, several coils were opened. Haro started opening its ears, "On schedule! Just as planned!" it said.

"Dynames fixed to linear field." reported Christina.

"Prepared to launch." Feldt then reported, "Transferring timing to Dynames."

"I have control." replied Lockon, confirming Feldt's report, "Dynames, Lockon Stratos, beginning infiltration mission."

He then pushed one of his controls forward, and the Dynames was launched, aided by both its own GN Drive and the linear catapult. It was sent in full speed towards outer space, and Lockon then adjusted orientation, heading towards Palau.

The Exia was then taken to the catapult deck as well.

"Exia fixed to linear field." reported Christina.

"Prepared to launch." Feldt reported, "Transferring timing to Exia."

"Roger." replied Setsuna, "I have control. Exia, Setsuna F. Seiei, beginning infiltration mission."

The Exia was then launched. Lockon had slowed down to allow Setsuna to catch up with him, and as soon as they rendezvoused, they then proceeded towards Palau.

Full Frontal looked at a report he received from one of his contacts in Brussels. "The Federation's movement has me concerned." he commented, "Depending on the situation, we might have to abandon this place."

Angelo changed one of the flowers that were in a vase in Frontal's desk. "Commander," he said, "is there a possibility that Celestial Being might actually intervene?"

Frontal turned, with a smirk, "If they are true to what they declared, then yes." he said, "Unless they want to be the punch-line of every joke in the Earth Sphere, they will carry out their interventions, until someone stops them."

"So they will come here?" Angelo then asked, "If they do…"

"There's nothing to fear, Lieutenant Angelo." Frontal then said, "I am actually counting on their intervention, if our plan is to succeed."

Suddenly, one of the Guards came in. "Commander, Lieutenant Langley Asher is here."

"Send him in." Full Frontal said, and the Guard then let Langley come in.

Langley and Angelo stared at each other with utter and obvious contempt, but refrained from saying anything. Instead, Langley saluted Frontal immediately. "Lieutenant Langley Asher of the Neo Zeon Mobile Suit Carrier Ceres reporting, sir." Langley said. Frontal saluted back, "I appreciate your help, Lieutenant Langley." he then pointed the couches in the room, "Please, have a seat."

Langley complied, and Frontal left his desk and sat in the couch in front of Langley. "I hope you found something of our use in your analysis, Lieutenant." Frontal said.

"The data is still sketchy," Langley replied as he took out his holographic panel, "but from the footage I was given, it seems that these Gundams have some kind of energy source that surpasses our Minovsky fusion reactors by… a lot."

"Something that surpasses Minovsky reactors?" Angelo asked in a mocking tone, "Not possible."

Frontal raised his hand, silencing him, "Tell me, Lieutenant, what is that stream of light these new Gundams seem to emanate from their backs?" he then asked.

"I am not entirely sure either," he said, "but I would guess it is a special particle of sorts."

"Particle?" Frontal asked, "Like Minovsky particles?"

"Well, their properties seem to be very similar." Langley then replied, "From what I was able to gather, these particles jam communications, radar and many electronic devices. But to be honest, that's the only relationship I have been able to link between these two systems."

"You are saying visual analysis is not enough?" Frontal asked.

"I'm saying that the capture of one of those units would be much appreciated." Langley replied, "I haven't been able to determine what kind of material their armor is, nor how they can propel themselves without additional thrusters like our own suits. That would only be determined by physically inspecting the unit."

Frontal then looked at the panel, and saw a minimized file, entitled 'UNICORN'. He then turned to Langley, "How's the analysis of the Unicorn Gundam going?"

"It is a simple machine." Langley said, "But there is a certain system that I might be worried about…especially for certain individuals that have been labeled as 'Newtypes'…"

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:24 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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Posts: 343
"It is a simple machine." Langley said, "But there is a certain system that I might be worried about…especially for certain individuals that have been labeled as 'Newtypes'…"

The Exia and Dynames, using asteroids, closed into Palau, landing on its surface. As soon as they did, they searched for fissures and narrow spots. Soon, both Gundams were positioned in well concealed locations. Setsuna and Lockon, with several backpacks, exited their Gundams and activated their mobile suits' Optical Camouflage. An EyeZack was nearby, but its sensors failed to see the Gundams or their pilots.

Setsuna and Lockon then found a small hatch on the surface. Lockon took out some tools and forced it open. Using some verniers in their backs, they travelled through some service hallways. Evading some locals, Setsuna and Lockon then spotted a locked room. Proceeding inside, they found what they were looking for: civilian clothes. They grabbed what they needed and left the area.

Reaching an air vent duct, Lockon and Setsuna start crawling towards the interior, or 'Living Space', of Palau. Quiet and dark, the ducts are the perfect way of infiltrating a colony, even if it has a heavy military presence.

Finally, after travelling for at least a half-hour, they reached an exit. Setsuna kicked the vent off, and saw before him an endless ghetto: brick apartment blocks, filthy and dim. Some people were sitting in the corners in coats or filthy clothes. Setsuna jumped out of the vent, and Lockon followed. Lockon looked around him, "This looks worse than the neighborhoods back in Ireland!" he commented. Setsuna just stayed quiet, but several of the residences reminded him of a certain place…

Managing to sneak into a 'hotel', the two Meisters changed into the worker clothes they had stolen: a simple, platinum-colored helmet and a sky blue uniform. They came out of the restroom, and saw that the motel's receptionist was conveniently asleep in his chair behind the desk. Grabbing some water and food, the Meisters then exited the motel.

"We should get going to the military area." said Lockon, "I just hope that they let workers like us inside their hangars."

Marida was taking a bath, and was laying in the soapy water, with her eyes closed, in peace. Marida always felt comfortable in a bath; she always felt clean. She felt calm, as the water touched her skin and soaked her hair; it was the only thing that she considered pure.

She suddenly opened her eyes: she had felt something; something similar; a similar presence nearby. This feeling…, she thought, Could it be?

She grabbed a very long towel and covered her entire body with it as she came out of the tub. She then remembered the Exia: how it had managed, by itself, to fight with her and evade each and every single of her funnels. Suddenly, someone knocked the bathroom's door. "Marida," Gilboa's familiar voice then said from the other side, "dinner is ready. Hope you can join us."

"I will be there, Gilboa." she replied. She looked at herself in the mirror. The feeling is gone, she thought. She grabbed another towel and started drying her hair…

It had been a long road, but they finally reached it: the military district. Unlike the previous, civilian sector, the military area was basically an enormous, zero-gravity hangar bay, with dozens of mobile suits and ships docked and in standby. Both Lockon and Setsuna could easily recognize the many models from their database: Dra-Cs from Operation Stardust; Gaza-Cs from the Gryps Conflict; Gaza-Ds from the First Neo-Zeon War; and Geara Dogas from the Second Neo-Zeon War; to name a few. Lockon even gasped in surprised when he saw a Chivvay-class docked. "These things are…millenarian!" Lockon commented. Setsuna simply scanned the area around him, hoping to find the Unicorn. Finally, he found it: surrounded by several Gaza-Ds and a Geara Doga Heavy Armed Type, the distinctive, white-colored mobile suit, the Unicorn 'Gundam' behind several restrains. Its cockpit, however, was open, as several technicians were, with their laptops, seemingly getting all the data they could. Setsuna signaled Lockon, who then approached him. "So, what do you think?" Lockon then said. "I think one of us will have to be a distraction." said Setsuna, "There are too many personnel here."

"I agree." said Lockon, "I think you should be the one installing this on that thing."

As Lockon handed the flash drive, Setsuna raised an eyebrow. Lockon chuckled, "You're the best at sneaking around." he said. Setsuna took the flash drive and simply stood there, as Lockon went to the other side of the military district. He got close to a large window, and pointed his finger outside, "Hey! Look!" he shouted, "Its one of those new Gundams!" The workers and guards around quickly caught attention of this, and headed towards where Lockon was. "I'm serious! I just saw a trail of light just like the one that appeared in the news!" he kept shouting. The Zeon pilots in the area were distressed by this, and two even launched their Gaza-Cs to see if it was true. As all of this happened, Setsuna got into the Unicorn's cockpit and admired the composition of its structure. He located a port and, without hesitation, he plugged it in. The drive started blinking, meaning that the data was being downloaded. As he exited the cockpit, he saw a pilot outside. The pilot, Langley, noticed Setsuna. He raised his eyebrow in surprise, "Hey you!" he called, "Civilian workers aren't supposed to be near that thing!"

Setsuna came out with his hands up, "I'm sorry," he said, in a boyish voice, "It's just that I heard that you guys had captured a Gundam, and I had to see it to believe it."

Langley looked at him with a straight face, not sure what to think, "You are from the Middle East, aren't you?" he then said. "Yeah." Setsuna replied, "I came here to work so that my parents could have a better life."

"It isn't common for Middle Eastern people like you to be here in space." Langley then said, "From what I've heard…"

"Precisely that's why I'm working here." Setsuna interrupted him, "To get myself and my family out of that hellhole."

Langley looked at him and smirked, "Just don't expect much from this colony." he said, leaving, "It really isn't much different from down there."

Sumeragi was zipping some alcohol at her personal dorm room, looking at Veda's monitor. She started typing some commands, "Veda, give me thy predictions." she said. The monitor showed a world map, showing several large, red dots in several points in the world. She confirmed them: one was in Western Africa, another one in South Africa, and finally one in what had been former Sydney. "I see," she said, "just like mine." She then turned towards a small screen to her right, showing a list of countermeasures, "Any of the countermeasures we take will be risky." she said, sighing. Suddenly, a small message appeared in the lower right corner of the monitor; as she opened it, her eyes widened: the Meisters had managed to infiltrate Palau and Veda was downloading the Unicorn's OS, data and programs to its mainframe. "My, my." she said, "I guess those two managed to make one heck of an operation." She sighed again, in relief, and took another zip.

It's all up to that place's schematics, she thought, and the battle plan of Londo Bell.

She then smiled, That, I'll leave to Wang…

As Setsuna left the military district, he noticed Lockon sneaking out of the foolish crowd that had bought his distraction. As the Gaza-Cs returned, Lockon literally ran towards the district's exit, as he knew the locals would be seriously questioning his claims. Setsuna waited for him at the exit. As Lockon reached him, they could hear the exclamations of both relief and confusion after the Gaza-C pilots announced it had been a false alarm.

They arrived at the civilian sector, and Lockon spotted a rusty Lancia Rally 037, and suddenly remembered his last days in Ireland: the last days as a 'normal' person he had before becoming a Meister; the days he was Neil Dylandy. He remembered the last time he had dinner with his family: Amy, his little sister; Owen, his father; Lyndsay, his mother; and Lyle, his twin brother. He remembered that the same day his father had bought him a car, which had been a Lanci Rally 037, Middle Eastern anti-government terrorists made a massive bomb attack in Belfast, destroying much of the residential district of the city, resulting in the deaths of 2000 people, among which were included his parents and his little sister he loved so much. Lyle and Neil then ceased further contact after this incident; they didn't even talk to each other during the funeral. After that, he witnessed the colony drop on Dublin, the end of the First Neo-Zeon War, and Char's attempt to drop Axis on Earth. A year after the Second Neo-Zeon War, he was then contacted by them: Celestial Being. Apparently, they were interested in his superb sniping skills and saw his hatred for terrorism as a good incentive. And they were right: three days after being contacted by them, he erased all ties in his past, and left to Lagrange 3, where he became part of the Ptolemaios crew. Even now, however, he has not lost his love for his family; every day, he prays for them. Whenever he is on Earth, he goes to the nearest church and prays for them; Lockon considered this a duty. As they walked through the street, Lockon approached a man that was sitting in a corner. "Hey, lad." Lockon said as he kneeled at the man, who slightly turned his head towards him, "Do you know if there is any kind of church in this colony?"

Setsuna heard this and stared at Lockon. He still believes in his 'God' after everything, I see…, he thought.

The man pointed towards the end of the street, "There is a long tunnel that leads into the oldest part of this colony." he said, "There'll you'll find a nice, cozy chapel of your liking."

"Thank you, old man." Lockon said with a smile. Lockon then went back with Setsuna, and they both resumed their pace. Lockon then remembered: Setsuna might as well be an official atheist. "You can get to the Exia if you want." Lockon then said, but Setsuna just kept walking besides him, with the usual expression. Lockon just made a slight smile.

As all of this had been happening, Gilboa, his family, Marida and their 'guest', Banagher, were dining a delicious and literal banquet Ms. Sant had prepared with the eldest son, Tikva: it consisted of Paella, fried beans, bacon stripes, brown bread, salads (both fruit and vegetable), and some cherries. Gilboa and Ms. Sant drank some wine; the children and Banagher drank apple juice. Marida despised alcohol, and preferred to drink milk in her meals. As everyone ate their meals at different rates, Tikva stared at Banagher, who seemed to be completely depressed. "Hey," Tikva called Banagher, "are you from the Federation?"

"Tikva," Gilboa then said, "be quiet and eat."

The youngest child of the Sants, a little girl that was no more than three-years old, ran around the table, laughing. Banagher looked blankly at his food, "These guys forced me to come here." he said. The little girl continued to run around, and Ms. Sant turned towards her, "Sit still and eat properly, young lady." she then said. The little girl stopped and went into the space between Marida and Banagher's seats. Tikva kept staring at Banagher, "You're a prisoner?" he then asked. "Something like that." Banagher then replied. "Oh!" Tikva then exclaimed, "Then you're lucky to be our prisoner!"

Marida then grabbed the little girl by her coat, turned her upside down, grabbing her by the legs, and handed her over to Ms. Sant, who grabbed her, smiled at Marida, and then sat the little child in her place. "If you were a Federation prisoner," Tikva continued, "they wouldn't give you anything to eat. You'd be tortured!"

Ms. Sant looked at Tikva, uncomfortable at the subject, "Tikva, don't talk while you're eating."

Banagher continued to look at his meal, blankly, "The Federation doesn't do things like that." he then said.

"Yes they do!" Tikva replied, "My dad says so. He was held in a concentration camp for five years, and the Commander helped him!"

Banagher turned his head towards Tikva, looking at him, "Well, there are many people whose friends and family were killed by the Zeon." he then said. Everyone stood silent at this: one thing the people of Zeon would always have to live with, along with their descendants, would be the horrors that Gihren Zabi unleashed during the terrifying "One Week War"; despite their best efforts to overcome this, the Zeon seemed to be haunted by the atrocities they committed under the Zabi regime. Marida simply continued eating, slowly chewing each bite and savoring each flavor. Tikva slightly slammed his fist on the table, "Yeah, the same goes for us, obviously. This is war." he then said, "But Zeon was fighting for the Spacenoids. And you're a Spacenoid, aren't you? How come you're on the Federation's side?"

Gilboa turned towards Tikva, clearly annoyed by now, "That's enough." he said, "You'll make your dad angry."

"No war is ever justified." Banagher then suddenly said, catching everyone's attention, with the exception of Marida, who simply continued to eat, "Even if what you're saying is 'right'. It doesn't matter who…The Federation, the Zeon, Celestial Being…"

Gilboa cringed a little at the last's mentioning; their broadcast about ending war through force had made an impact on him; he honestly believed that, to some extent, they were the least wrong of the three factions in this conflict. "It doesn't matter:" Banagher continued, "the Zeon dropped colonies which killed millions; the Federation gassed millions; and Celestial Being is only escalating the conflicts with their so-called 'armed interventions' which in their view stop war. It doesn't matter because they have all killed, and those killed never had a chance to think about what was 'right' or not."

Gilboa then remembered: Operation British, executed by Cima Garahau's Marines, who gassed an entire colony from Side 2, which was consequentially dropped over Australia, wiping out its population and causing irreversible climate changes in the Earth, killing almost a billion people. His family listened intently to Banagher's words; Marida continued eating her food in the same pattern. "The people who were killed didn't know anything about it," Banagher continued, "and then one day, suddenly…It wasn't fair. That's right, not fair at all."

Banagher then remembered what he head learned during his meeting with Frontal: he had killed; he had killed another human being. "There was nothing I could do." he then said, "I never intended to kill, but…I was about to be killed." Tikva stared at Banagher with frustration. "I am not a murderer." Banagher suddenly said. As soon as he said this, Marida stepped from her chair, and looked at Ms. Sant, "Thank you for the meal." Marida then said, "It was delicious."

Marida then turned towards Banagher, "Come with me."

A few minutes later, they were traveling through a long, red-lighted tunnel. Marida was being followed by Banagher, who looked at her with slight contempt. "What you're saying is not wrong." she then said, "There is no truly justifiable war. But, simple righteousness does not always save lives."

They continued their pace until they found themselves in what appeared to be some kind of church: a large, iron Christian cross was standing in a stone-carved altar. Candles were lighting the stone room, giving it a somewhat reddish tone. They approached the altar, and Marida stopped before the cross, looking at it, "This was built back when Palau was in the asteroid belt." she said, "When you think of the earliest space pioneers, they were mostly poor beggars or political prisoners without any other way of life."

She then stared at the cross, and felt something: the presence of before. That feeling again…, she thought. She turned around towards the chapel's entrance, and they saw two men coming in: one in his mid-teens, and the other in his mid-twenties. Lockon noticed Marida and Banagher and waved his hand as a form of etiquette. Setsuna simply stared at Marida, who seemed to be looking at him. Marida slightly shook her head, It is nothing…, she then thought. She turned back towards the cross as Lockon kneeled behind one of pews; Setsuna just stood there.

"I hear when the Universal Century began," Marida then continued, "the Prime Minister stated in his speech that we were 'bringing an end to the Era of God'."

Setsuna turned his eyes towards them, and the last statement also caught Lockon's attention. "However," Marida then continued, "the people living in the asteroid belt, where the Sun is indistinguishable from any other stars, probably needed a light to guide them."

"Then they were foolish." Setsuna suddenly intervened. Marida and Banagher turned towards him; Marida was slightly surprised. Setsuna then looked at them both, "There is no God in this world." he then said, "Something so intangible is for those that are weak and unable to truly see the world's reality."

Lockon stood up, I hope he doesn't give away our identities as well…, he thought, concerned.

"No one can live without light." Marida replied to Setsuna's statement. "Like your people found their light in Zeon?" Setsuna asked in return. Marida looked at him directly, "Exactly." she then said, "The people abandoned in space eventually found a light to replace God. It is what we needed. So that we could resist despair and keep living in this cruel world."

"And yet," Setsuna intervened, "the world continues to be cruel. Furthermore, no matter the nature of one's light: religion, ideology…conflict arises. This light becomes the center of one's thoughts, replacing rationality and any hopes of true understanding. People become blind, and eventually, this light, which was supposed to bring good and hope, becomes another breeder of hatred."

"That may be true." Marida then said, "But one's light is something that makes us feel there is room for improvement: for oneself and the world. You say you can live with that. If you are so sure of that, you are either a true optimist or completely detached from reality." Setsuna blinked at the last statement, but maintained his expression, "Then it is unrealistic to believe in possibility?" he said. Banagher turned his head towards Setsuna: he remembered what his father, Cardeas, had told him before his death. "If there is anything akin to what you describe," Setsuna continued, "it is possibility: possibility for one to change oneself and the world. Indeed, one's light should not be something external; something that is created by someone else; an image or ideal; it should be one's capability of going beyond what one is now; if not, then this light will instead drag you down to the endless cycle of negativity."

Lockon stared at Setsuna and shook his head a little bit, Setsuna, do not give away our identities…, he thought. Setsuna saw him and nodded. Marida stared at Setsuna, and gave a slight smile, "You seem to be a romantic." she then said, "Only someone with true hope for humanity would say something like that."

Banagher looked at Setsuna, My father said something similar, he thought.

"You seem to be a nice person." Marida then said. Lockon smirked a little, The little boy has found his perfect friend, I see, he thought, They both got the same attitude.

Lockon then waved his hand to Setsuna, and they both began to leave. Banagher turned to them, "Who are you?" he then asked. Setsuna and Lockon turned towards them. "Kamal Najirif." Setsuna then replied dryly. Marida looked at Setsuna, "Marida Cruz." she said, "Pleased to meet you."

"I am Smith Johns." Lockon then said, "We are both workers from Earth."

"I am Banagher Links." Banagher then replied, "I am…"

"He is a guest for us, Zeon." Marida then completed, and she then turned to Setsuna, "It was a pleasure to speak with you."

Setsuna kept his usual expression, "I believe so." he then replied in a low voice. He and Lockon then left the chapel. Marida looked at them both, They seem so familiar…, she thought, And this 'Kamal'…I feel sorrow in him…

She then turned towards Banagher. "Let's go." she said.

Lockon and Setsuna headed towards the 'motel', and, to their relief, saw that the receptionist was still asleep. Again using the bathroom, they changed into their pilot suits and sneaked towards the air vent. Crawling through it, they eventually reached the exterior of the colony and found their Gundams under Optical Cloak. They both climbed into their respective mobile suits' cockpits and immediately left. As they uncloaked their Gundams and started moving from the asteroid colony, Lockon couldn't help but to hail Setsuna.

"Setsuna," he said, "she seems to be the female version of you."

Setsuna stared at Lockon, "What are you talking about?" he said.

Lockon chuckled, "Nothing." he replied.

They then left the colony, heading towards the Ptolemy, which was waiting for them several kilometers away…

As the Gundams left, several asteroids seemed to approach Palau, and while this was of no concern to the scouts outside, the fact that they were actually dummies containing ECOAS Lotos would have been, had they seen them, of course.

The dummy asteroids suddenly 'popped', and the Lotos then landed on Palau's surface. As soon as they did, several ECOAS commandos exited from the mobile suits' side hatches and, using verniers, infiltrated several central structures. These commandos then planted several explosives, programming them to standby. After all explosives were well planted, the commandos then returned to their respective Loto mobile suits, which then remained hidden throughout the surface.

Banagher followed Marida through the streets, heading back to Gilboa's place. Banagher was thinking of what 'Kamal' had said. Marida was also thinking of this 'Kamal': she agreed with what he said, and she also suspected him; the way his presence felt was similar, but she just wasn't sure…

Unexpectedly, a man in a long coat, with his legs dangling, suddenly approached Banagher. The man grabbed Banagher's left arm and introduced a pen and a piece of paper in Banagher's pocket. The man then just ran off. Banagher tried to chase him, intending to give the man his paper and pen back, but by the time he reached an alley the man had gone into, the man was gone. Marida noticed Banagher had stayed behind. "What is it?" she then said. Banagher turned towards her, and shook his head, "It's nothing." he replied.

A few minutes later, they had arrived at Gilboa's home. Marida had been ordered to stay at Gilboa's to keep an eye on Banagher, and so she decided to stay in the living room and sleep in the couch. Banagher, on the other hand, was given a guest room. After he was left alone, he checked the little piece of paper and the pen. When he opened the little piece of paper, he realized it was a holographic schematic of Palau, with a small note attached in the lower right corner:

Banagher, Operation starts in approximately fourteen hours.

Head to the 14th Space Gate as soon as possible.

We will be covering your escape from outside.

Stay sharp!

Banagher widened his eyes, and he realized what was about to happen: Palau would become a battlefield. He knew he had to escape now: otherwise, more lives would be pointlessly lost. Moreover, he then thought of the possibility of Celestial Being appearing, and knew that unless the conflict ended quickly, they would continue their mindless destruction. He had to stop them.

The Ptolemy's containers stopped rotating, and two opened as the Exia and Dynames docked in one each. After docking, Setsuna and Lockon exited from their respective cockpits. As they entered the ship proper, Sumeragi, Tieria and Allelujah were waiting for them. Sumeragi smiled as they entered the hallway, "Great job." she said, "Veda is downloading everything the Unicorn might have in its systems. Do you have the schematics?"

Lockon reached for something in his helmet and revealed a small belt, in which there was a small camera. Setsuna looked at it as Lockon handed it over to Sumeragi. "When did you get a camera?" he asked. "Right before going out." Lockon then said, "It was in my belt the whole time."

"I'll go check on Veda and see if there has been any progress on the download." Tieria then said, leaving. Sumeragi handed the little camera to Allelujah, "Take it to my dorm and leave it there." she said. Allelujah complied and left. After that, Sumeragi got paged: it was Christina. Sumeragi turned her little pad on, and saw that Ian Vashti, their chief engineer, had arrived from L3 with new upgrades for the Exia and the Dynames. Sumeragi turned to the two Meisters, "Come with me."

It was midnight now in Palau local time, and Banagher, having now planned things through, opened the door and peeked outside into the hallway: everyone's rooms had their lights off. Presuming that everyone was asleep, he started sneaking out of his room. Making small, silent steps, he approached the living room, only to find Marida sitting in the couch: however, to his relief, she was asleep. However, not willing to risk it, he decided to take another escape route: the windows. He went back to the hallway and went to the bathroom. Opening the small window in the bathroom, he looked outside and saw a conveniently placed fire escape. He then proceeded to jump into the fire escape's ramp, checking his back in case someone had heard him. After sighing in relief, he then started climbing the ladder that lead to the ground. Despite his nervousness, he managed to reach the ground, and started to run as he noticed that the apartment's rooms turned on.

The Setsuna, Lockon and Sumeragi, in their respective suits, waited as Ian's shuttle docked at the Ptolemy's hangar. As Ian's shuttle finally docked, its cargo hold started to open, revealing two sets of equipment: the GN Fully Shield, colored in green; and the Seven Swords, which were actually two GN Blades and two GN Beam daggers intended to compliment the Exia's melee weaponry. Ian exits the shuttle's cockpit in his normal suit and waves his hand at Sumeragi and the two Meisters. "I finally got these upgrades finished, and I also brought a stronger shield for the Exia." said Ian as he approached them. He then shook hands with Sumeragi, "I also brought some new condensers for the Ptolemy." he said, "They will increase the combat performance of the ship."

"I appreciate your help, Ian." said Sumeragi, "You should present the Meisters with their new equipment."

"Oh yeah." Ian said with a grin. He then pointed at the GN Fully Shield, "This, Lockon," he said, "will make virtually invulnerable against most MS-carried beam weapons and projectile weapons. Your Haro should be able to coordinate the Fully Shield while you snipe your targets with ease."

Lockon placed his hand on his chin, "It will be interesting." he said.

Ian then turned to Setsuna, who simply looked with his usual stoic expression at the Seven Swords, "For you, Setsuna," Ian then said, "I brought four new melee weapons specifically designed for the Exia: they are two GN Blades and two GN Beam Daggers. They are strong enough to cut up to eight centimeters of gundarium armor."

Setsuna just looked at the Seven Swords and then walked away, headed towards the containers. Ian seemed a little disappointed at Setsuna's 'gratitude', and just stared at him with an annoyed face as he left. "What the hell is with him?" he said, "I bring him these weapons all the way from L1 and that's how he thanks me?"

Lockon patted him in the shoulder, with a chuckle, "The Exia is everything to Setsuna." he then said, "He may not seem like it, but he is very grateful."

Setsuna headed towards the Exia's containers and looked at it, with a subverted expression of adoration. Exia, he thought, my Gundam…

The Ptolemy stopped moving. At the distance, a group of several lights approached Palau. It was time…

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:27 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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For the record, Langley was initially going to replace Graham and Sergei, acting as a Zeon amalgamation of those two characters. Instead, he's more of an amalgamation of Graham and Billy, and will serve as the Zeon counterpart for Graham (yes, Mr. Aker will be in this fic too).

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:28 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:45 pm
Posts: 343
Chapter 3:

Setsuna: True Gundam

The Nahel Argama cruised through space as it started its approach to Palau, escorted by two Irish-class ships, three Clop-class cruisers and the recently re-commissioned Pegasus III. Mihiro, in the bridged, received a message from ECOAS, "ECOAS team reports." she told Otto, "'Object ball placed in pyramid spot', sir." Otto nodded at this and took a phone at his side, "Attention!" he said by the phone to the rest of the ship, "We are now entering Phase 3! This ship will enter enemy airspace at maximum combat speed and attack the Neo-Zeon stronghold with our hyper mega particle cannon. This one strike will determine the success of the mission. I expect all crew members to do their utmost."

At least a kilometer in front of the ship, a ReZEL in waverider mode cruised towards Palau, as a scout.

The Ptolemy's containers stopped rotating. The nose hatch opened. As this happened, Lockon and Setsuna started mounting on their respective cockpits. Carrying Haro in his arms, the small machine bleeped as its eyes glowed, saying "On time! Just as planned!", like that last time they sortied. They both passed their biometrics and then activated their machines, with their condensers and sensors glowing. Exia and Dynames had their respective upgrades mounted on their frames. Lockon then headed to the hangar bay and was lowered to the catapult deck. He docked the Haro into its terminal in the Dynames' panel. "All right." he said with a smile, "Let's go, pal."

After being notified that his mobile suit was aligned to the linear field, Lockon launched. The Dynames' GN Drive released a large quantity of GN particles as it exited the Ptolemy.

Now it was the Exia's turn. Setsuna checked his systems and was then lowered into the catapult bay. After being checked and notified of all statuses by Feldt and Christina, he launched.

Kyrios was now next. With a large multiple rocket launcher system attached to its tail, the Kyrios, in waverider mode, was lowered to the launch catapult. "I have control." said Allelujah after being notified by Christina and Feldt of their status, "Kyrios, Allelujah Haptism, beginning intervention procedure."

And with that, the Kyrios was launched. After exiting the Ptolemy, Allelujah accelerated, catching up with Lockon and Setsuna.

Tieria was now left. With his usual, serious face, Tieria waited as his Gundam, the Virtue, was being lowered into the catapult deck. Another linear field was created as soon as he arrived, which meant the launch catapult was ready to send him out. "Timing is given to Virtue now." Feldt reported to Tieria.

"Understood." he replied, "Virtue, Tieria Erde, moving out."

And he hit the accelerator, launching with the help of the linear catapult.

The Meisters were now together, and they all together accelerated towards Palau. It would take some time to reach, but it was intentional: they had to allow the Federation and the Neo-Zeon to fight each other for a short while, so that their intervention would be truly legitimate to both their own eyes and those of the world.

Palau was quiet. Several Neo-Zeon units were ever vigilant, expecting some sort of Federation attack at any moment now: since most of the pilots in Neo-Zeon were veterans that had been fighting the Federation for virtually their entire lives, these pilots had much experience in the Federation's sleazy tactics. An Eye-Zack unit scanned its surroundings, checking if the asteroids nearby weren't dummies. In front of Palau's Space Gate, two Gaza-Cs and a Zaku F2-type were vigilant at any intrusion. However, they somehow failed to notice that, on the other side of the colony, a small force of ECOAS Loto mobile suit units were positioning themselves. Most of them were armed with double-barreled cannons, although at least one was armed with a large "gatling cannon" in its shoulder instead. One of the Lotos was being piloted by Daguza and Conroy, who were in their usual ECOAS combat suits. "Nashiri Team is moving to Phase 2" Conroy reported. Daguza nodded, "Right. Now proceeding to target retrieval point." he then said. "Once Banagher Links' retrieval has been confirmed, we'll rejoin with Team Alpha to recapture the Gundam." another commander said through the radio.

A trio of Lotos then separated from Daguza's group.

Audrey was at her dorm room, looking at the floor. Suddenly, somebody knocked at her door. A plate full of food was slipped into it via a little slidedoor by the guard, "Hey you!" the guard said, "You better finish this quick! Things will soon get bumpy."

Suddenly, she heard several thumps, and the guard seemed to struggle with someone. Audrey quickly jumped from her bed and went to the wall: she feared the worst. As soon as the struggling ended, however, she saw a pair of two blue eyes she could easily recognize: it was that man, Riddhe, from before. She was quite surprised, but Riddhe hushed her from behind the door before she could say anything, "I've turned off the camera." he said, "Come out now."

Using the guard's special clearance card, he opened her dorm's room and let her out. He then handed her a normal suit. "You're coming with me." he then said. Audrey made a little gasp, "What do you mean?" she asked. "I want you to come with me to Earth." he then said, "You can talk to my father, who is a Federation official with much influence in the government, and put an end to all of this."

Moments later, they were both using handrails, heading towards the mobile suit hangar. She had agreed with Riddhe and had put the normal suit on. "This will be a hit-and-run operation." said Riddhe, explaining the operation to Audrey, "After the ECOAS Advance Team separates Palau's four asteroids, we'll fire the hyper mega particle cannon to seal off the military port. The plan is to retrieve Banagher Links and the Unicorn while this happens."

Audrey looked at Riddhe, with a slight expression of mistrust, "I take it you will not attack the civilian sector of Palau." she said. "Yes." Riddhe replied, "The Federation has spies there as well, so they wouldn´t risk losing them." He then turned at Audrey, who was still looking at him with mistrust, "That look on your face says you'll go back and tell your people by yourself if you have to." he said, "You will have to take my word for it."

"And what do you intend to do if Celestial Being appears?" she then asked.

Riddhe did not answer to that: they had obviously not come with a plan for that, as the higher ups were too worried about the RX-0. They're just damned terrorists, he thought, If they get in my way, I swear…

They finally arrived at the hangar, where several technicians were prepping the many Jegans, Stark Jegans, Prototype Stark Jegans and ReZELs for the impending combat.

"We may be at our closest approach," Riddhe then said, "but it's still two days to Earth. I could only scrounge the minimum of water and food."

"I'm prepared to do what it takes." Audrey then replied.

"What's going on, Ensign Riddhe?" a voice suddenly said, behind them. They turned around and saw Miccott, staring at them with shock. "Why are you helping the prisoner escape?" she then asked, "Where are you taking that girl?"

Micott then approached a phone that was besides her in the wall, grabbing it.

"Wait a moment!" Riddhe then shouted, "I can't tell you exactly what's going on, but-"

But Miccott was already pressing a few dial buttons in the phone. Riddhe approached her, menacingly. "Ensign Riddhe!" Audrey then called, and Riddhe turned his head around and stopped. Audrey then approached Micott, "We are going to Earth." she said, "Just because the Ensign is coming with me does not mean in any way that he is betraying the Federation, you or your friends."

Micott stared at Audrey for a moment with an expression of mistrust, but she then hanged the phone up. "At this point," said Audrey, "I see that under these circumstances, I have a heavy responsibility to do something about this."

"As if I would believe anything the Princess of Zeon would say!" Micott then replied.

Audrey made a slight, assuring smile at her, "I promise to you," she said, "I will only try to prevent this from escalating. So please…"

Micott stared at Audrey for a moment again, but eventually turned away and started walking away. "Ms Micott…" Audrey then started to say, but Micott turned around and stared at Audrey with a somewhat scornful expression, "This doesn't mean I have forgiven you or your people." she said, "You owe me one."

Micott then left, using the handrail. Riddhe made a slight sigh of relief. He and Audrey then headed towards the Delta Plus, a new unit that had been assigned to Riddhe for the operation.

It was still "nighttime" at Palau's civilian sector. Gilboa exited his apartment with Suberoa and Marida waiting for him besides a jeep-like vehicle. As Gilboa approached his comrades, his son, Tikva, suddenly shouted at him, running at him. "Dad!" he shouted, reaching his father and hugging him, "What's this about sudden orders? I don't understand! You just came back!"

Gilboa hugged him back and smiled at him, "Don't worry." he said, "It's all right. Look after your mother and siblings." Gilboa then turned away and sat in the driver's seat, leaving Tikva to his own thoughts. Suberoa and Marida sat in the back. "The kid made a run for it?" Suberoa then asked Marida. "I'm sorry." Marida then replied. "He won't be able to leave Palau." Suberoa then said, "Still, I had no idea he had it in him."

On the other side of the civilian sector, Banagher was running as much as he could, hoping to reach the Unicorn in time and prevent any further in time.

In the external surface of Palau, the several bombs installed by ECOAS suddenly detonated, destroying the joints that held Palau's four asteroids together. The crew at the Nahel Argama's bridge saw this, "Explosion flashes seen in Palau!" Mihiro reported. The Nahel Argama then immediately accelerated, and several small fragments hit the ship; however, its heavy armor and polarized glass resisted them. "Entering enemy airspace!" Mihiro then reported. "Engines off!" Otto then ordered the ship's pilots, "Begin inertial coasting! Transfer all power to the hyper mega particle cannon!"

"Dispersing Minovsky particles at combat density!" Liam then reported, "Mobile suit corps ready for launch!"

At the launch catapults, the Delta Plus, a Prototype Stark Jegan and a Jegan [ECOAS Type] went on standby, preparing themselves to launch. A fragment hit a side of the bridge. Alberto jumped in fear, "This is insanity!"

"Hyper mega particle cannon, ready to fire, sir!" a crew member then reported.

"Commence attack as soon as we reach the planned point!" Otto then said, "Remind friendly units to remain out of the line of fire!" Mihiro nodded and began notifying the units of the Nahel Argama. A crew member began the countdown: "50, 49, 48, 47…"

Inside the Delta Plus, Riddhe turned his head to Audrey, who nodded at him. He then nodded back, and activated the Delta Plus' systems. The mobile suit's sensors flashed, fully activating. As soon as this happened, all mobile suits began launching: from the Nahel Argama, Riddhe's mobile suit, alongside several Jegan-types, ReZELs and a Loto; from one of the Irish-classes, several GM IIIs, Stark Jegans, Prototype Jegans and even a GM II; from another Irish-class, several Jegans [ECOAS Types] launched alongside several ReZELs; and finally, the Pegasus III launched several Stark Jegans, Prototype Stark Jegans, ReZELs and a pair of Lotos armed with cannons. As the countdown continued, Riddhe transformed the Delta Plus into waverider mode, accelerating towards Palau. The countdown continued.

Banagher went to one of the military sector's locker rooms and took a vernier pack. Many of the pilots seemed to be rushing to their respective mobile suits, while the ships were being hastily undocked and prepared to launch. Banagher packed his vernier into his back and began searching for the Unicorn.

The countdown continued. Daguza and his squadron landed on a spot in Palau's surface. The countdown continued. The Nahel Argama continued to cruise towards Palau, and the hyper mega particle cannon's linear coils were opened and activated, forming a linear field. The cannon was then enlarged, and its main component began spinning, while several electrical charges were created.

"Four, three," the crew member continued, "two, one."

"Fire!" Otto then shouted.

As soon as he shouted, the hyper mega particle cannon suddenly released a huge, linear beam. The beam reached Palau in seconds, vaporizing two unfortunate Gaza-Cs and grazing the Eye-Zack, causing it to explode. The beam then hit Palau's military asteroid, and the impact caused much debris to be thrown around, hitting some mobile suits. The beam's impact was so powerful that it managed to push the military asteroid towards the civilian one, causing them to collide with each other. A large surge of dust was then caused by this, which reached Daguza's squad. "Give them the slip!" he said, "I'm on my way to get you!"

Hundreds of explosions rocked Palau. Knowing full well this wasn't a false alarm, Dreissens, Geara Doga-types, Geara Zulus, Gaza-Cs, Gaza-Ds, Dra-Cs, Zaku F2-types, and Hizacks were all launched from hangars and ships. The Endra II, one of the few surviving ships of the First Neo-Zeon War, attempted to launch as well, only for its bridge to be crushed by debris. Despite the loss of this powerful ship, the Neo-Zeon soldiers were not yet ready to give up, and instead headed outside with the intent of fighting the Federal Forces to the death. However, as soon as they exited, they suddenly found themselves under fire from the rear: an ECOAS squadron started firing its heavy weapons at them, destroying an unfortunate Geara Doga whose pilot had decided to take point. A Loto fired its gatling cannon at a Dra-C, literally tearing it to shreds. The rest of the Zeon tried to return fire, only to find themselves attacked from the other side of Palau: the main Londo Bell force had arrived. Jegans started firing their beam rifles, destroying a Geara Zulu and grazing the shoulder of one of the Dreissens, which fired its bazooka and destroyed one of the Jegans. As all of this happened, Daguza and Conroy's suits were waiting right outside the military district's entrance. "Two minutes beyond schedule." reported Conroy, "No signal detected from the target."

Daguza looked at the asteroid's entrance, What the hell are waiting for, Banagher?, he thought.

Banagher continued cruising through the military district, which was by now in chaos and surprisingly understaffed: Banagher expected the entire Neo-Zeon military to be here by now; instead, only a few pilots and technicians were desperately trying to reach their command. Banagher looked at the map and then recognized it: the 14th Space Gate. He turned his vernier pack to its direction, and quickly scanned his surroundings. To his surprise, the Unicorn was right there, deactivated but with its cockpit open. "What the…", he muttered. There it was, the Unicorn Gundam. "It'll take more than just retrieving me to end this fight." Banagher said, "We cannot stay here." He then headed towards the Unicorn's cockpit.

The Nahel Argama's bridge had a tone of utter seriousness: this was a do-or-die mission. As Otto looked at the battlefield, he couldn't help but think about Celestial Being. What's taking ECOAS so long?, he thought, If we don't get out of here quick, those Gundams will wipe us all out!

Mihiro looked at the sensors, and her computer beeped: four unidentified signals were coming into Palau airspace at full speed. "Captain!" she shouted, "Four unknowns are approaching Palau!"

Otto's eyes widened: Speak of the devil…, he thought. "Prepare for intense anti-MS combat!" he ordered, "Send out the reserve units! Prepare CIWS and beam weapons at once! And inform all mobile suit squadrons and friendly ships at once!"

Outside, in front of the military main gate, a Loto, two Stark Jegans and a Prototype Stark Jegan fired their respective artillery weapons at it, blowing the entrance up. From the flames, two Gaza-Ds in mobile armor mode and a Dra-C came out in full speed. The Gaza-Ds fired their beam cannons at the Stark Jegans, who blocked them with their shields. The Dra-C flew past the Loto, which began firing its gatling cannon at it and tore it to shreds. One of the Gaza-Ds turned around and tried to fire its beam gun at it, but the Loto fired some missiles and destroyed it. A Zaku F2-type started firing its bazooka at the Loto, which evaded its shots. A Jegan then moved in and shot the F2 directly in the cockpit, destroying it. A Geara Doga and a Gaza-C then moved in, firing at the Feddies. Another Loto, armed with cannons, fired, destroying the Geara Doga. The Gaza-C fired its beam rifle at a Jegan, which blocked the shot with its I-Field-equipped shield. The Jegan and a GM III then fired their beam rifles, destroying the Gaza-C "We have destroyed thirty percent of the enemies here!" one of the Loto pilots then said, "At this rate, we´ll wipe them all out!"

"Sir, a message from the Nahel Argama!" a Jegan pilot then said. "What do they want?" the Loto pilot replied, annoyed. "Celestial Being is coming here!" the Jegan pilot then said.

"So, they are coming here after all." the Loto pilot muttered, "Inform the rest of the squadrons at once!"

As soon as he said this, he moved his Loto towards the Londo Bell fleet alongside his partner, destroying a Geara Doga Kai on the way.

The Meisters were close to Palau now. Cruising at high speeds, the Gundams emitted GN Particles from their Drives in their backs in very long "streams". Setsuna stared at the flashes of the battlefield in the distance, and remembered the last briefing they had before heading out…

In it, Sumeragi explained that Veda had been able to decrypt 20% of the Unicorn's systems. She then explained that the Neo-Zeon were currently concentrated in the military sector of the colony, and that while the Federation would most likely attempt to separate the military sector from the rest, there was a high probability of civilian casualties.

"Civilian casualties…" he muttered. The Meisters were suddenly hailed by Lockon. "Proceed to your respective mission objectives according to Sumeragi's battle plan." he said, "I expect everybody to give their best performance, good luck."

"That depends on the individual." Allelujah replied, staring at the Virtue.

"I will do a thorough job." Tieria then said.

"Do as you wish." Lockon said. He then noticed Setsuna staring blankly, unresponsive. "Hey, did you read me, Setsuna?" he called, "Setsuna! Setsuna!"

Setsuna didn't respond: he was looking at the battlefield. He saw how several Federation mobile suits were tearing a Geara Zulu to shreds with their beam weapons, and then remembered…

He was five when he was recruited into the Jihadist militias. At first fighting for their lives, eventually, a man called Ali Al-Saachez had come out of nowhere, rescuing them from Federation Forces during the Gryps War and training them for guerrilla and anti-MS combat. After a year, they fought against both Neo-Zeon and Federation Forces in the region. After the retreat of Neo-Zeon from Earth, however, the Federation, resolved in retaking control of the Middle East once and for all, began a systematic campaign of literal extermination of both Zeon and resistance groups in the region. Abandoned by their beloved leader and hopeless against the Federation's GM-types, the child guerrillas were mowed down; the civilians were exterminated, accused of supporting the Zeon. Setsuna remembered: the last day as a child guerrilla, when he thought his end had come; when a GM III was aiming its head Vulcans directly at him; he remembers, as if it were yesterday, when it appeared: the Gundam. This Gundam destroyed every single Federation mobile suit in the area, saving Setsuna. With its GN Particle emanating like wings, Setsuna thought at first it was an angel that had come to save him…

Setsuna was back in the present. "Setsuna!" Lockon said, "Can you hear me, Setsuna?"

Setsuna remembered Marida's words: No one can live without Light: we all need a light to guide ourselves through this cruel world. Something that shows us there is hope for change…

He finally understood her words: the Gundam was his Light.

"Light." he muttered. "What did you say?" Lockon asked, confused. "The Gundam is my Light." Setsuna then said.

"What are you talking about?" Lockon then asked, even more confused. Setsuna then unexpectedly pushed the lever, accelerating the Exia towards the battlefield and moving away from the other Meisters.

"H-hey! Setsuna!" Lockon called.

"I'll leave his babysitting to you!" Allelujah then suddenly said, moving away towards the Londo Bell fleet. Lockon gasped. The Virtue then began moving away as well, "Beginning combat operations." Tieria said.

"H-hey!" Lockon called, "You guys!"

"Bad luck!" Haro then said, flashing its eyes, "Bad luck!"

"Hush!" Lockon replied, "I know that! In that case, we're beginning operations as well. I'll leave the evasive maneuvres and shielding to you, Haro!"

Lockon then accelerated, trying to reach Setsuna. He deployed his targeting visor, heading straight towards the battlefield.

A Geara Doga's leg was cut off by a ReZEL's beam rifle. Without it, the Geara Doga was unable to move properly. The ReZEL drew its beam saber and started approaching the Geara Doga, when unexpectedly, a GN beam cut the beam saber off its hand. "What the..?" the pilot said. He then turned, and saw it: the Exia. "So you've come!" the pilot said, "Celestial Being!"

Setsuna deployed his GN Sword. He looked directly at the Federation mobile suits, "Exia," he said, "conflict confirmed. Beginning eradication."

And with that, Setsuna accelerated towards one of the Lotos, cutting it directly in its cockpit and kicking it away. As the Loto exploded, the ReZEL fired its Vulcans at the Exia, which evaded its shots and cut off its remaining arm. The ReZEL tried to kick the Exia, but Setsuna evaded this and instead cut it horizontally in the cockpit. As he did, he moved away as the Londo Bell mobile suit exploded. As he moved away from the explosion, his sensors picked up a capital missile heading straight to him. Using his GN Shield, he blocked the impact, which sent him several meters away. The perpetrator, a Prototype Stark Jegan, remained in its position, escorted by several Lotos, two ReZELs and a Jegan. The pilot gave a little smile, "I got it!" he exclaimed. However, to his horror, the smoke dissipated, revealing the Exia, unharmed.

"Not a scratch?" the pilot exclaimed, "What kind of freak armor is that?"

He then screamed as his cockpit exploded: the Dynames shot him and several of the Lotos down. "Dynames," Lockon said, "sniping targets!"

The Jegan, ReZELs and the remaining Lotos fired their weapons at the Dynames. Preferring to evade them, Haro managed to dodge all of these shots. Lockon then fired his GN Rifle, picking the remaining enemies down. "Annihilated!" Haro said, "Annihilated!"

Lockon withdrew his targeting console for a while and turned to his right: in the distance, he saw the Exia cut down three Jegans down. After doing so, the Exia then withdrew its GN Sword and shot several Lotos and Stark Jegans with its GN Rifle. Lockon sighed. "You're overdoing this, Setsuna!" he said, moving to Setsuna's position.

Otto and Alberto were terrified: in a few minutes, their entire Task Force 3 had been wiped out, and Celestial Being was essentially mopping the floor with their forces. Mihiro's computer bleeped, and she gasped in horror, "The waverider-type is approaching!" she said. "Star firing the CIWS!" Otto barked, "Have the remaining mobile suits and escorts shoot it down!"

As the Nahel Argama began firing its weapons alongside three ReZELs that were tasked with escorting the ship, the Kyrios simply cruiser towards the Londo Bell fleet: it was just too fast for any of the Feddies' shots to actually get him. "Kyrios, neutralizing combat capabilities of the Londo Bell Fleet!"

As soon as he said this, he unleashed hundreds of cluster missiles from his tail unit. These missiles impacted against the Londo Bell's ships weapons and hangars. While most of the guns were automated, the hangars were full of technicians, who were burned alive due to the napalm contained in the Kyrios' missiles. The Kyrios moved away from the fleet.

Allelujah sighed, "With this, I am nothing more than a mass murderer…" he muttered, "Even so!"

He turned around, ejecting the MRLS unit and transforming in a flash to MS mode. Otto saw this, "A Zeta-type?" he said. Suddenly, the crew had to grab ahold of themselves from whatever they could, as the ReZEL besides the Nahel Argama exploded: the Kyrios, using its beam rifles, shot it down. Another ReZEL started firing its beam launcher at it, but Allelujah dodged the slow attacks and destroyed the ReZEL with his beam rifle. After this, Allelujah flew away.

"This is what Celestial Being is!" he exclaimed.

Nearby, the three ECOAS Clop-class cruisers were attempting to flee, while two Lotos fired their weapons at the Virtue, which was at the distance, preparing its GN Bazooka. One Loto fired its cannons while the other fired its gatling cannon. The impacts, however, were absorbed by the Virtue's heavy GN Armor.

"Virtue, proceeding to eliminate ECOAS infiltrators." Tieria said. The Lotos continued to fire at the Virtue. Tieria then saw his timer: the GN Bazooka was ready. Narrowing his eyes at his targets, he fired a long GN Beam burst, vaporizing the Lotos and destroying the two Clop-class cruisers.

Otto looked at the battlefield. "Damn Full Frontal…" he said, "The bastard…he was hoping we would come…"

"What do you mean, sir?" Mihiro asked.

"The bastard…" he said, "He knew this would happen…That's why their resistance was so light: I'm sure the rest of his forces are retreating right now from somewhere else!"

Daguza's squadron saw the battle in horror: what had seemed like a walk in park had turned into a one-sided battle. Celestial Being had virtually wiped out two-thirds of the Londo Bell forces, and the ECOAS motherships were completely destroyed. One of the Loto pilots detected something in his rear and turned around: to his horror, the Sinanju, beam saber drawn, suddenly started to cut off the Loto's cannons and part of its cockpit, slowly and with the beam saber in its lowest output. The pilot of another Loto nearby saw this and attempted to fire at the Sinanju, only to find himself vaporized by Angelo's Geara Zulu's beam saber, which impaled the Loto directly in the torso. Kicking the Loto away, Angelo moved out as Frontal finished disabling the Loto's cockpit. However, the pilot tried to use one of the arms and pierce the Sinanju with a beam dagger, but Frontal quickly grabbed the arm and crushed it. As Frontal stared at the Loto, he was hailed by Angelo, "Commander, your plan has worked!" he said, "Celestial Being did your bidding!"

"Do not chant victory just yet, Lieutenant." Frontal replied, "We still have one last phase to execute…"

Frontal turned around and saw the Ceres lead the rest of the Neo-Zeon Fleet away. Frontal was suddenly hailed by Langley. "Sir, the fleet is moving out." Langley said, "We will rendezvous with you and the Garencieres after the battle is over."

"Indeed, Lieutenant Langley." Full Frontal said, "We will take things from here now."

"Roger that." Langley replied, saluting Frontal. Frontal and Angelo then moved out, and destroyed several Jegans nearby that were approaching the retreating Neo Zeon Fleet.

As the Delta Plus moved away from the battle, Riddhe looked in horror at the scene. "Our entire force…" he muttered. "We must go." Audrey then said, "I know this might be difficult, but there is no point in fighting a losing battle."

Riddhe seemed frustrated, but complied. "I hope you know what you're doing." he said. And with that, the Delta Plus accelerated at full speed towards the Earth.

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:30 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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The Exia stood motionless before the wreckage of a GM III Setsuna had cut down earlier. Two Jegans hovered nearby. The pilots, terrified at the sight of the Exia, began to retreat back towards the fleet. Setsuna looked at the GM III's wreckage, with a stoic expression. Lockon sighed and smiled, "That's enough." he said, "You have done enough for now, Setsuna."

Their sensors suddenly picked something up: two Geara Zulus were approaching them. "Thanks for the help!" the voice of one of the Geara Zulu pilots said, "It's now our turn! We'll pay them back for what they did!"

Lockon grinned in anger, "You idiots!" he exclaimed, reaching for the GN Sniper Rifle. The Geara Zulus approached the Exia, and Setsuna remained motionless. Lockon feared that Setsuna would let the Zeon continue the fight: it was against the principles of Celestial Being. As the Geara Zulus seemed to pass by the Exia, Setsuna suddenly deployed his two GN Blades and cut both Zeon suits down, which exploded in spectacular fashion. Lockon sighed in relief, "Setsuna…"

Setsuna, keeping his stoic expression, looked at the Dynames, "This is what we, Gundam Meisters, do."

As the Nahel Argama continued to shake due to the damage caused by the Kyrios, Mihiro saw her computer: several signals were being lost on the other side of the colony. "Juliet 005, laser signal terminated!" she reported, "Multiple trailing enemy suits! Remaining friendlies are being surrounded!"

Otto was frustrated: they had lost most of their escort and reserve mobile suit forces; contact with Daguza's squadron had also been lost; they had also lost three ships and the rest were unable to combat properly. Alberto slammed his fist into his armchair, "We walked right into it!" he shouted, "They anticipated what we were going to do!"

Otto felt worse: they had truly walked into a trap.

"Captain!" Mihiro then shouted, "New comm signal coming from Palau!"

Liam turned towards Mihiro, "Is it ECOAS?" she asked.

"No, this is…" Mihiro muttered, "the Unicorn Gundam!"

The Unicorn was exiting Palau. As Banagher looked at the battlefield, he saw the decimated Londo Bell Forces and the heavily damaged ships. He gasped in surprise, "Who the hell did this?" he exclaimed. And then he saw them: Celestial Being. "But…why?" he said. Suddenly, his sensors picked up something above him: a Dreissen had started shooting its bazooka at him. Banagher dodged the missiles, which exploded nearby; however, the Unicorn's durable armor absorbed the explosions' force. Banagher tried to aim his newly-acquired beam gatling gun, but when he pulled the trigger, it just clicked. Checking his screens, he noticed that the weapon's energy was barely at half percentage of charge. The Dreissen fired the last missile, and discarded the bazooka. Afterwards, the Dreissen drew a beam saber and deployed its tri-blades. One managed to hit the Unicorn, and Banagher blocked the other two with his shield. "Please, let me go!" he shouted at the Dreissen,, which then deployed its auto-cannons, "If you don't, the Federation won't pull back!"

The Dreissen began shooting its auto-cannons at the Unicorn, and Banagher blocked the shots with his shield. "Do you people want to turn Palau into a battlefield?" he shouted. His attempts were futile, as the Dreissen continued to fire its auto-cannons at him. Banagher then started screaming, and pulled the trigger, firing the beam gatling gun and tearing the enemy mobile suit into shreds. Banagher was in dismay: he had killed once more. "Why did this have to happen…?" he muttered.

Setsuna and Lockon sighted the Unicorn destroying the Dreissen. "There it is!" Setsuna said. Lockon tried to follow, but he was suddenly being shot from afar: several Dra-Cs were approaching him at full speed, along with several Geara Dogas and a Gaza-D. "Damn it!" he exclaimed. Lockon destroyed one of the Geara Dogas, and moved in to engage the rest. Lockon sniped off one of Dra-Cs' propellant tanks, as another one tried to move in with its beam saber. Lockon drew one of his GN Pistols and shot its beam saber off. The Dra-C continued to charge at him, shooting its gatling cannon at him. Haro luckily blocked these shots with the GN Fully Shield. "Won't happen twice." Lockon said.

As Banagher cruised towards the Nahel Argama, he suddenly sighted the Exia. "That one…" he said. Setsuna looked at the Unicorn, "Exia, Setsuna F. Seiei, beginning capture procedure." he said. Setsuna fired his GN Rifle three times, and Banagher blocked these shots with his shield. Realizing the futility of long-range attacks, Setsuna drew the GN Sword and charged at the Unicorn. Banagher started firing the Beam gatling gun at the Exia, but Setsuna dodged the beam shots, while he blocked a few others with the GN Shield. Banagher switched to the Vulcans, hoping to push the opponent away. Setsuna charged at the Unicorn, as the bullets bounced on his GN Armor. With his GN Sword ready, he slashed at the Unicorn. Banagher discarded the gatling gun and drew a beam saber, clashing with Setsuna. As their blade were held together, Banagher suddenly had a "flash": he recognized the pilot. "It's that guy…" he said, "That guy from the church…"

He activated the open channel, hailing the pilot of the Exia, "Pilot! Is it you?" he said.

Setsuna received the hailing and recognized the voce: it was that boy, Banagher, from Palau. "Banagher…Links?" he said. He opened the channel and confirmed it: it was that same guy. "What are you doing in that thing?" Setsuna asked.

"It's you, isn't it?" Banagher asked in return, "Kamal Najirif? Why are you doing this? Your interventions will only make things worse!"

They both separated, and Setsuna fired his GN Arm Vulcans at the Unicorn. Banagher blocked these shots with his shield. "You will only make things worse for both sides and cause wars to escalate!" Banagher said, "Haven't you thought about that?"

"You are deluded, Banagher Links." Setsuna then replied, firing his GN Rifle at the Unicorn, "My Light, my Gundam, will purge the scourge of war from humanity."

"But that is unrealistic!" Banagher then said, blocking Setsuna's shots, "What you are doing is terrorism! You can't possibly truly believe that your actions will put an end to war!"

Banagher grabbed his beam gatling gun and aimed it at Setsuna: however, as he was preparing to pull the trigger, several funnels surrounded them both. Setsuna started looking around, "The Quad-Wing?" he said. Setsuna looked above him, and the Kshatriya appeared, deploying more funnels. The funnels began firing at both the Unicorn and Setsuna. They both evaded the multi-directional shots, while Marida closed into them, drawing her beam saber. Using her funnels to keep the Exia away, she clashed with Unicorn in beam saber combat. However, Setsuna was prepared for this, and using his mobile suit's optimal AMBAC system, he evaded her funnels and closed into the duel, clashing with Kshatriya as well. As he clashed with the Kshatriya again, Setsuna felt something, It's familiar…, he thought.

As they separated, Marida turned to the Unicorn, "Securing the suit is top priority." she told herself, "As long as cockpit core is intact…"

She then turned to look at the Exia, "I guess no war is ever justified, is it?"

The three of them then closed into each other, clashing in sword combat and separating from each other. Banagher fired his beam gatling gun at the Kshatriya, which evaded every single shot. Banagher then had another "flash", and recognized who it was. "That's you, isn't it, Ms. Marida?" he said, hailing her. Marida received his hailing, "How did he..?" she wondered. "It's me, Banagher Links!" Banagher then said. Setsuna also heard this, and seemed a little surprised. It's that woman…, he thought, Marida Cruz…

Charging at the Unicorn this time, he clashed with it with the GN Sword, pushing it away. "Both of you, listen!" Banagher then shouted, but he was interrupted when Marida suddenly charged at him, grabbed his limbs with her binders' sub-arms, and held her beam saber directly at the cockpit. Setsuna tried to separate them both, but Marida deployed her funnels to keep him away. Setsuna dodged her shots, blocking a few others with his GN Shield. "Damn it, she's strong!" he muttered.

Marida turned to the Unicorn, "Surrender, Banagher Links." she then said, "If you don't, I'll fry your cockpit."

Banagher looked at both the Kshatriya and the Exia, "What are you two doing here?" he then said. Setsuna dodged more of Marida's attacks.

"Who I am does not matter." Marida replied, "Right now, you, me and that Gundam pilot are just combat units called pilots. Cut your main generator now, and-"

"Even so!" Banagher then interrupted, "Even so, you are still Ms. Marida! And he is still Kamal Najirif!"

Marida gasped at this and turned towards the Exia: her suspicions were right; that young boy from the church was the pilot of that Celestial Being Gundam. "Kamal Najirif?" she muttered.

"That's how I sensed you!" Banagher then continued, "That's how I sensed him as well."

Marida paused for a moment, stopping her attacks, thinking. Setsuna also made a pause as well, listening. "Palau is your team's home, right?" Banagher then asked, "If they get the Unicorn back, then the Federation will leave this place!"

He then turned to Setsuna, "And you!" he called, "Think about your actions! As long as you continue your attacks, the Federation will see you as terrorists and seek to exterminate you! So I ask you, please… both of you…"

"That's just an enemy's rationalization." Marida then replied.

"Indeed." Setsuna then said, "You say you want to stop the fighting, and yet you are on the Federation's side!"

"I must admit I agree with you, pilot of the Exia." Marida then said, "Banagher, you think by the Federation's point of view! You are naïve!"

"No!" Banagher replied, "I'm not on their side, Ms. Marida! Kamal!"

"No!" Setsuna then said, "I am Setsuna F. Seiei!"

Banagher gasped, "Setsuna..?" he then whispered. "Gundam Meister of Celestial Being." Setsuna then said, "My light is the Gundam! I will use it to eradicate all conflict in the world! Surrender now!"

"You two are too simple-minded!" Banagher then replied, "Audrey made it specific she did not wanted you to get the Box, Marida! And you, Setsuna, will only use it to escalate this conflict! Why can't you see that your actions will only bring more violence?"

"Like I said," Marida shouted, "an enemy's rationalization!"

Marida continued to hold the Unicorn down. Setsuna started to slowly move closer, GN Sword ready. As they both prepared to fight over the Unicorn, Banagher was fed up with them: he was tired of their single-mindedness.

"You stubborn idiots!" he suddenly exclaimed. Enraged, his negative emotions activated the NT-D System, and the Unicorn suddenly pushed the Kshatriya away, breaking the sub-arms and flying away, transforming into Destroy Mode.

Sumeragi was at the bridge, looking at the battle, when Ian suddenly came in, panting. "Miss Sumeragi!" he said, seemingly in shock, "You must see this at once!"

Sumeragi turned around and followed him to the conference room. In it, there was a large schematic of the Unicorn Gundam. Ian seemed to be enraged. "Those bastards…" he said, "They actually did it this time…"

"What are you talking about, ian?" Sumeragi asked, confused.

"The bastards…They completed it!" he said, "Those sick bastards! They actually created the Newtype-Destroy System!"

Sumeragi gasped at this, in shock: their worst fears had been realized.

As the Unicorn showed its true face, Marida recoiled a little, "Gundam!" she shouted. Moving away from it, she redirected all of her funnels to the Unicorn, which blocked her shots with its shield. The Unicorn, Kshatriya and Exia then charged at each other…

Nearby, at the bridge of the Rewloola, Full Frontal, Angelo and the crew watched the battle. "NT-D activation confirmed!" one of the crew members reported, "Enemy has engaged the Kshatriya! Celestial Being is engaging both as well!"

Suberoa, with his arms crossed watched the battle with discomfort: Marida had been sent alone, without support. Even though she was a superb pilot, facing two Gundam units alone was too risky for her life.

"Our psycho-monitor receptor might force us to come out from behind Palau." Full Frontal then said, "Keep an eye for those other Gundams as well. Angelo smirked, "A job fitting a Cyber-Newtype like her, don't you think?" he then mockingly said.

"Why are you leaving Marida to fight alone?" Suberoa then asked. Angelo turned at him, annoyed. "This is a job that only the Lieutenant can do." Full Frontal answered, "The only way to activate the NT-D is to get him to fight someone who could be a Newtype. We've installed a psycho-monitor aboard the Unicorn Gundam. We'll intercept any data concerning the Box disclosed by the activation of the NT-D. Since we cannot analyze the La+ Program itself, the fastest way is to gradually break the seals on the system. To accomplish that, we used the Federation's inside man to lead that boy, Banagher, back to the Unicorn. I regret leaving you in the dark, Captain."

"But Marida is-" Suberoa tried to say.

"Yes, I know." Frontal interrupted him, "A Cyber-Newtype can't be said to be a pure Newtype."

Frontal then turned to Suberoa, "Then again, captain, what is a 'true' Newtype?" he asked. Suberoa remained silent, and Frontal turned back to the battle, "No one has the answer to that." he then said, "What we need at the moment is a 'phenomenon' that will trigger the NT-D. That Unicorn has yet to show its true colors. We're going to have Lieutenant Marida draw out its true nature."

At this comment, Suberoa felt like going to Full Frontal and snapping his spine himself, but refrained from doing so.

Marida deployed her funnels against the Unicorn, firing them continuously along with her mega particle cannons: however, the Unicorn dodged most of her attacks and destroyed two of her funnels. Marida redeployed them again, while Setsuna fired his GN Rifle at the Unicorn: however, the Gundam was too fast, and it dodged every single of their attacks. Finally, Marida was able to destroy the Unicorn's beam gatling gun. As this happened, the Unicorn then seemed to release a "wave". It reached Marida, and she felt a huge sense of fear. "Funnel!" she called: however, her funnels were unresponsive. Suddenly, to her horror, her sensors began picking her funnels, one by one, as enemy units. Her blue eyes widened in fear as the Unicorn's psycho-frame glowed intensely and its sensors flashed. Setsuna saw this, "What the hell is that thing?" he said, with a slight sense of fear in his voice. The Unicorn then lifted one of its hands and opened it. As if responding to this, the funnels turned towards the Kshatriya and started mercilessly shooting at her. Marida quickly blocked some of the attacks with her binders, dodging the rest. Setsuna seemed shocked by this, "Those funnels…" he muttered, "Is that the Unicorn's doing?" Setsuna drew his GN Sword once more and charged at the Unicorn, which then directed the funnels to fire at the Exia. Setsuna began dodging the attacks, but he suffered several hits, and some of them destroyed his GN Shield. Setsuna seemed a little shocked by this, but he continued his maneuvres. Marida was also dodging her own funnels' attack on her, "Don't you recognize me?" she exclaimed. Closing herself with her binders, she blocked the beam attacks. She then looked at the Unicorn, in horror, "Who are you?" she said. She sensed something: something evil; something that sought the extermination of everything. The Unicorn drew a beam saber and charged towards Marida. Setsuna saw this and charged at the Unicorn, and they both clashed in close combat. Marida saw this and was a little shocked by what she sensed now: on one side, was the Exia, which felt warm and noble; on the other side was the Unicorn, which felt cold and demonic.

"So the Federation bastards actually created that…monster?" Sumeragi asked, shocked by Ian's revelation. "Yes." Ian responded, distressed, "During the One Year War, a similar system known as the 'EXAM' was created to specifically allow what the Federation higher ups acknowledged as 'normal' humans to fight Newtypes. The two mobile suits that used the EXAM, the Blue Destiny and the Efreet of the Zeon, were destroyed."

He then turned towards an image of the Unicorn, "However, with the dawn of the Universal Century, it seems like the Federation wants to completely take over once and for all." he said, staring at the Unicorn with horror and disgust, "That thing…is no Gundam…"

Setsuna managed to fend the Unicorn off for a while, but the white mobile suit resumed its aggressive attack and managed to push the Exia far away. The Unicorn then started slashing the Kshatriya with a bestial aggressiveness. Setsuna fired his GN Rifle, hoping to get the Unicorn off Marida: she may have been a stranger, but somehow, he felt that the Unicorn was evil; it seemed like it was seeking to exterminate her. The Unicorn redirected its attention towards him and sent several funnels towards him, forcing Setsuna to go to the evasive.

"That thing…" Setsuna said, "It's no Gundam…It's a…It's a monster!"

Suberoa was shocked by what he was seeing: a seemingly novice pilot was fighting both Marida and the Celestial Being Gundam in a way he had never seen before. "Is it the boy?" he asked.

"Not exactly." Full Frontal then replied, "Right now, the pilot is just a processing mechanism for converting received psycho-waves into hostility."

"Then what is it that is driving that Unicorn?" Suberoa wondered.

"The NT-D." Full Frontal answered, "Or rather, the Newtype-Destroyer System."

Sumeragi rushed towards the bridge, and as soon as she reached it, she patted Feldt's shoulder. "Get me a link to Lockon immediately!" she said. Feldt complied and opened a channel. Sumeragi quickly grabbed the radio, and Lockon answered. "What is it, Ms. Sumeragi?" Lockon said; he had just finished fending off the Zeon mobile suits. "Go help Setsuna at once!" she said, "You are not facing any Gundam right now!"

"What do you mean, Ms.?" Lockon asked, confused.

"Those genocides…"Sumeragi muttered, "They created a Newtype exterminating machine! It's that Unicorn!"

"A Newtype exterminator?" Lockon exclaimed, shocked, "How can that be?"

"We mustn't waste any more time!" Sumeragi replied, "Get the rest of the Meisters and help Setsuna! He is in danger!"

"Roger that, Ms. Sumeragi!" Lockon then said, cutting the comm off.

The Unicorn pushed the Exia away and then cut two of the Kshatriya's binders off. Marida was shaken by this, and drew her beam saber, barely blocking the Unicorn's slash at her cockpit. Setsuna fired his GN Rifle and Vulcans at the Unicorn, but they didn't harm it at all. Setsuna switched to his GN Sabers and began to charge at the Unicorn as it began cutting the rest of the Kshatriya's binders off.

Suberoa stared at Frontal, with a clearly enraged expression, "So you just threw Marida out there as bait?" he said.

"Ple Twelve." Frontal suddenly replied, "That's her real name. An Artificial or Cybernetic Newtype created by cloning and genetic modification. The twelfth prototype."

Suberoa turned away, feeling helpless and guilty.

The Unicorn pierced the Kshatriya's head with its beam saber, destroying the main sensors. Setsuna then clashed with the Unicorn, which then pushed him away. The Unicorn then began kicking and punching the cockpit of the Kshatriya repeatedly, shaking Marida even further, knocking her unconscious as her helmet's visor broke. The Unicorn then moved away, drew a beam jutte and then charged at the Kshatriya, aiming directly at the cockpit. Setsuna saw this and, drawing his GN Blades, charged as well, intending to block the Unicorn's blow.

As Setsuna approached the Kshatriya, he thought he was seeing the Zeon mobile suit's cockpit shine…

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:30 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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He suddenly found himself in what seemed to be another plain of existence: it was green, full of light. In the distance, he saw a little girl, whose age he calculated to be of eleven, in fetal position. She unfolded herself and stretched her palm towards him. Setsuna was confused, and then saw the girl's face: she resembled someone…

He now found himself from the girl's point of view, with her arm stretched forward, hand open. A man's silhouette could be seen in the distance. Setsuna then heard the little girl's voice: "Master, you died! Why?"

The man's silhouette then changed into that of outer space, and he saw several black mobile suits with the insignia of Axis fighting a gigantic red mobile suit. As the red mobile suit exploded, so did the black ones. "What should I do, Master?"

As they all exploded, it now changed into a street: a red light district, full of advertisements of brothels, strip clubs and bars. He saw the shadows of several men walking by. The little girl's arm continued to reach forward. "What a smelly girl!" an old woman's voice was suddenly heard. "What will you do with a child like this?" a man's voice then said.

"Some of our clients are into that sort of thing, right?"

Setsuna felt disgust, and everything changed now, as the point of view was now of that lying on a bed, in a somewhat elegant room. "Starting today, these men are now your Master, understood?" the woman's voice said.

This then changed into another view, in which two doctors stared at the little girl, with several surgical tools, like scalpels and speculas, in hand. "She is so young…" one of their voices said.

Setsuna then suddenly felt pain: extreme pain; sadness and emptiness; as if something precious had been suddenly taken from him. He saw as the girl's hand, which seemed to be paler than before, reached for her womb. The hand touched it, and there seemed to be blood under the sheet…

"You've had that dead weight removed right? Come on!" the woman's voice then said.

It all now changed to another view: a man appeared in front, with his eyes closed. "Army? What army? If you're some Zeon fugitive I'm calling the police!" the woman's voice then said.

Suddenly, everything became quiet: the girl's hand caressed the man's cheek; however, the man grabbed her wrist, and opened his eyes, with an expression of sorrow.

"That's enough!" the man's voice said, "I'm sorry."

Setsuna was horrified by now, and the phenomenon stopped.

As if time had stopped, Setsuna, feeling as worse as he could have ever felt in his life, started thinking: when he was at his worst moment, the Gundam had saved him. He had always thought of the Gundams as the symbols of justice; but now, he no longer knew what to think. This poor woman…no Gundam had come to saved her when she needed to be. Too late was she taken away from a world that held the lowest of humanity. He felt guilty; he felt anger; he felt hatred. He felt compassion: he saw Marida in her cockpit, unconscious. He thought how the world could be so cruel…He thought about how a woman who had suffered so much could still believe in the existence of a God... and he then saw the Unicorn, continuing its charge, with its beam jutte still activated and directed at the Kshatriya's cockpit.…

Gundams… Setsuna then thought,Gundams…ARE SYMBOLS OF JUSTICE!

And he snapped: with a scream of rage, Setsuna kicked the Kshatriya away and blocked the Unicorn's blow with his GN Blade. Banagher snapped back to reality, and saw how he was suddenly engaging the Exia. "What the…" he muttered.

"Destroy…" he suddenly heard by his comm. He opened the channel, and saw Setsuna, looking at him with eyes of rage he had never seen before: they scared him. "I'll destroy you…" Setsuna then said, "You and your monster!"

Swinging his blades, he increased the GN Particle output and managed to break the Unicorn's jutte's field, piercing it and scratching the Unicorn's psycho-frame. "Wait, Setsuna!" Banagher shouted, but Setsuna ignored him and instead kicked him in the cockpit.

"Don't you think you've done enough?" Setsuna then shouted, "Don't you think she has suffered enough?" Setsuna then swung his GN Blade, nearly cutting one of the Unicorn's legs off. Banagher tried to draw his Beam Magum, but Setsuna drew a GN Beam Dagger and cut if off. The Exia's GN Condensers and sensors began to glow, and Setsuna, with a calm and yet rageful voice, said, "I'll destroy you…You are a distortion…AND I WILL DESTROY YOU!"

Swinging his blades, he cut the Unicorn's shield in half, and kicked the pieces away. Banagher fired his Vulcans in desperation, but the rounds just bounced off the Exia's armor. Setsuna then slashed at the Unicorn. Banagher tried to block his blow with his beam saber, but the GN Blade's output was too much, and it bypassed the saber's field: by doing this, Setsuna cut off the Unicorn's right arm. "This is for us, children of war!" Setsuna then shouted. He then swung his GN Short Blade at the Unicorn's head, damaging it. Discarding his blades, Setsuna then drew his two GN Sabers, "As a distortion of this world, I shall destroy you…" Setsuna then declared, "As the Light of Justice, my Gundam will overcome your symbol of war!"

"Setsuna, wait!" Banagher cried, "I saw into you! You are not like this!"

"Shut up!" Setsuna shouted back, "People like you…all-talk but incapable of doing anything…Unwilling to do anything…Blinded by their ego and their sense of so-called righteousness…It is because of people like you that the world is so twisted…Why it doesn't change…Why people like Marida…children like her…are dragged into this and suffer all of these injustices…"

Setsuna then fired his GN Rifle at its maximum output and managed to hit the Unicorn's cockpit directly, shaking Banagher and causing him to bleed from the nose. Setsuna then looked directly at the Unicorn, whose Psycho-Frame's glow was by now fading. Increasing the output of the GN Sabers to their max, his expression became one of determination.

"I shall show you…" he then said, "WHAT A TRUE GUNDAM IS!"

Charging directly at the Unicorn, Setsuna slashed off the Unicorn's left arm. Banagher gasped in shock: this wasn't supposed to happen; he did not intend for this to happen. Setsuna then fired more GN Rifle shots at the cockpit, and the endless shaking caused Banagher to finally fall unconscious, deactivating the NT-D as a result. Setsuna then positioned his Gundam into a fencing position: he didn't care about the mission anymore; all he wanted was to get rid of this demonic, so-called 'Gundam'; he didn't care if Tieria or Lockon berated him for his actions; for some reason, he felt that by destroying the Unicorn, he would give Marida justice…He identified with her…Having seen the horrors of war himself when he was a child, he could relate with her…

As Setsuna moved in for the killing blow, aiming his GN Sabers directly at the cockpit, he suddenly detected two enemy units coming from behind: two Lotos, each piloted by Daguza and Conroy, fired their cannons at him. As Setsuna dodged their shots, he saw the Dynames coming right at him in full speed, "Lockon!" he said. Lockon answered the call, "Setsuna, are you alright?" he said, "We thought you'd be killed by that monster!"

"Take the Quad-Wing back to the Ptolemy!" Setsuna then said. Lockon raised an eyebrow, "What the..?" he said, "What are you talking about?"

"It's Marida!" Setsuna then replied.

"Marida?" Lockon then said, somewhat surprised, "The red-head from the chapel?"

"Yes." Setsuna, "Please, take her Ptolemy! She needs medical assistance."

Lockon was confused: it was just so out of character for Setsuna; in any case, he would have left her for the Neo Zeon to retrieve. Lockon felt, however, that it was the right thing to do. I hope you know what you're doing, boy…, he thought. Lockon grabbed the Kshatriya by one of its binders' remains and started cruising towards the Ptolemy. Setsuna then fired his GN Rifle at the Lotos, destroying their limbs and disabling them. He then grabbed the Unicorn and its pieces, and started taking them towards the Ptolemy.

Otto, Alberto and the Nahel Argama's crew watched in horror: the Unicorn was being taken by the unknown Gundams. All of their efforts were for naught; all of their losses amounted to nothing. All Otto could do was sit back: there was no point in complaining. Not even Alberto had the strength to whine: he was afraid of what his sister, Martha, would have to say…

Daguza slammed his fist on the control panel: he had failed his duties again. "Damn Celestial Being!" He tried to chase the Gundams, but due to the lack of limbs, his Loto could only advance a few meters before finally malfunctioning.

At the Rewloola, everyone, even Full Frontal, stood there, in shock: they had not expected this. Full Frontal was completely confident that the Unicorn would be superior to Celestial Being's Gundams thanks to the NT-D: instead, somehow, these new Gundams had surpassed it. He then remembered what he felt during his encounter with the Exia: he had felt something from the pilot. Angelo clenched his fists: he was furious that Celestial Being had interfered in his beloved Commander's plans. I swear…, he thought, I swear I will destroy these Gundams, even if it is the last thing I ever do!

Suberoa was also shocked and, to some extent relieved: while Marida had not been killed or captured by the Federation; however, the still relatively-unknown people of Celestial Being had captured her instead. He could now only hope for the best…and that the people of Celestial Being, whoever they were, were decent…

As the Gundams returned to the Ptolemy, Tieria hailed Setsuna, who was carrying the disabled a deactivated Unicorn. Setsuna opened the channel. "Setsuna F. Seiei." Tieria called. "Tieria Erde." Setsuna replied. "If Lockon wouldn't be have agreed with this," Tieria said, "I would shoot that Quad-Wing right here."

Lockon interfered in the channel, "Cut it out, Tieria." he said, "This was my call. Besides, this unit might prove to be useful."

"In what sense, Lockon Stratos?" Tieria then asked, "This unit is completely inferior to any of our units. It is just empty weight…"

Lockon and Setsuna just ignored him, and the Meisters continued their approach to the Ptolemy.

At the Ceres, Langley looked at the Earth. "So pure…" he mused, "So fair…"

A female officer came in and handed a report to him. As he read it, his eyes widened: the Kshatriya had been captured. He then started thinking about Marida. "How come…" he started saying, and then he realized: Full Frontal had said that the Garencieres and the Rewloola would remain behind to test the NT-D of the Unicorn. "That bastard!" he whispered, thinking about Full Frontal. As he left the report aside, he headed towards the hangar bay. Reznov, one of his loyal wingmates, saw him. "Lieutenant!" he said, "Where are you going?"

"I must clear a few things out!" he said, "Tell the bridge to open the hatch at once!"

Reznov quickly saluted at this order and grabbed a phone nearby that linked directly to the bridge, "This is Reznov! The Lieutenant is going to launch!"

A few minutes later, Langley was launching in his Rick Dias II. Langley's expression was grim. "Damn Full Frontal!" he said, "As expected from a fanatic like him!"

He turned around, intending to get to the Rewloola's position, only to see that said ship and the Garencieres were already reaching the fleet. "There you are!" Langley said, accelerating towards the Rewloola.

At the bridge, Full Frontal kept his pose of calmness and total control. However, in his mind, he was troubled: at first, he thought of Celestial Being as just another faction in the game; when he first saw the transmission, he thought they were a joke, albeit a useful one. However, after seeing the display of power of the Exia, Frontal had felt fear, for the first time: from what he had known, the NT-D would have been the ultimate weapon; something that could finally realize his plans…

And now, these people were meddling in, interfering in his ultimate plan. Not only that, but the damage done on the Unicorn would delay the finding of the Box for at least six months…perhaps more: for all he knew, the psycho-frame could be permanently damaged.

Even so, if the Box didn't work, then perhaps if they captured one of those new Gundams…

"Commander." The Rewloola's captain suddenly said, "Lieutenant Langley is hailing us, sir."

Angelo became annoyed, "What does that guy want now?" he asked. "Put him through." Full Frontal then said. In the ship's main screen, Langley appeared. "Sir, I request permission to land in the Rewloola." he said.

"Permission granted, Lieutenant." Frontal replied; he then signaled the captain of the ship, and the crew members began opening the hangar hatches for Langley.

As Langley entered the hangar, he was received by some of the Royal Guards, who saluted him. He saluted back, and he traveled to the bridge. When he entered the bridge, he saw Full Frontal, in his same pose. "Commander!" Langley said, saluting Full Frontal. Full Frontal saluted back, "Lieutenant."

There was an immediate, tense interaction between Full Frontal and Langley. "Are you here because of Marida, Lieutenant Langley?" Full Frontal then said. Langley turned to see Frontal, and his expression seemed to be one of repressed anger. "Sir, with all due respect," Langley then began saying, "why wasn't it you the one fighting the NT-D?"

Full Frontal turned to see Langley , "I think you already know the answer to that, Lieutenant Langley…" he said, "Besides, it was you who proposed the idea of sending out a Cyber-Newtype to test the NT-D out."

"Then you misinterpreted what I said." Langley retorted, "I was fully expecting you to go out there and face the Unicorn. Had I known you would let Marida go out alone…"

"You would have abandoned your duties, Lieutenant?" Frontal then interrupted, "Do not let your emotions get in the way: besides, now that we know more about the Gundams' abilities, I'm sure you will be able to plan your vendetta more carefully."

"I have left that far behind me." Langley then replied, "What matters now is the lives of our soldiers! If we just throw them away…"

"That's expected from the one known as 'Papa Wolf'." Angelo then interrupted him in a mocking tone, "Your abilities as a pilot may be above average, but if you are unwilling to make sacrifices…"

Angelo suddenly found himself being punched to the floor by Langley. Angelo drew a small pocket knife and tried to fight back, but Langley dodged his attack and kicked Angelo in the leg, causing him to fall down. Full Frontal gave a step forward, "Stop this nonsense, Lieutenant Angelo, Langley." he said. He then turned to the view outside, "Imagine if we risked all of our resources on one single soldier." Frontal then said, "If we were to do so, then we might as well start digging our own graves."

Angelo was by now standing up, using one of his sleeves to clean off some blood that was coming from his nose. He looked at Langley with eyes of complete hatred, but refrained from doing anything else.

Langley stared at the Neo Zeon Fleet: since his childhood, he had believed in the righteousness of Zeon and its ideals; he admired his comrades and leaders; people like Haman Karn, who had allowed him to begin training since he was eight years old; Mashymere Cello, who had taken care of him and his four other 'siblings'; and Elpeo Ple, his only true childhood friend. Langley held deep hatred for the Federation and the Gundams; it was because of the Federation and the Gundams that Haman Karn committed suicide at Core-3; it was because of the Federation and the Gundams that the schism in Neo-Zeon occurred, causing the death of his foster father, Mashymere Cello; and it was because of the Federation and the Gundams that his childhood friend, Elpeo Ple, was killed protecting an enemy from one of Glemy Toto's clones.

Right now, the only ones he considered true friends were his squad members, and the crew of the Garencieres. And he had failed the crew of said ship by not seeing through Full Frontal's deceit and allowing Marida to be captured by Celestial Being.

Langley saluted Full Frontal, "Sir, the Ceres will move forward and enter Earth orbit." he then said, "We will cover your approach to the planet."

Full Frontal saluted back, "I wish you luck, Lieutenant Langley."

Langley exited the bridge and headed back to the hangar. Launching in the Rick Dias II, he began thinking of the new data he ha acquired about the Celestial Being's Gundams…

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:32 pm 
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There seemed to be a sense of depression in the Nahel Argama: everyone was down due to the heavy losses their forces had suffered during the Battle of Palau. Otto in particular was depressed, drinking some tea to calm himself down. Drinking tea with him were Daguza and Conroy, who also felt somewhat depressed: after returning to the Nahel Argama, they found out they had been the only survivors of the ECOAS forces that had participated in the battle. Conroy in particular did not like to think that their losses had been for nothing, but he had to be honest with himself: not only had they lost two-thirds of their forces, but their overall mission of recovering the Unicorn had ended in failure. Otto zipped a little more of his tea, and thought about the tactics used by the Gundams. He then remembered a particular battle of the Second Neo-Zeon War, when one of his prodigies, Leesa Kujoh, had, to his surprise, made a miscalculation of the Neo-Zeon Forces, causing the destruction of most of her flotilla. After that, he had lost contact of said prodigy. She was one of two prodigies he had instructed during his early years in Londo Bell: besides Leesa Kujoh, there was another one from Europe, called Kati Mannequin. After the Second Neo-Zeon War, Kati became a first officer for Bright Noa, before she was given her own ship a year later.

Zipping more tea, Otto looked at Daguza, "You shouldn't feel guilty for what happened." he then said. Daguza turned his head at Otto, and seemed to still be somewhat depressed. "Even if we had brought all of Londo Bell and ECOAS," Otto then said, "we would still suffered heavy losses."

"I have failed as a soldier." Daguza then said, staring at his tea, "I have always done everything required for a mission to succeed. Surely, we suffered losses, but we could always comfort ourselves by saying 'We mustn't worry: the success of the mission will make up for our comrades' sacrifices'."

He continued staring at his tea, "But after what happened in Palau…"

"Worry not." Otto suddenly said, standing up. Daguza stared at him, "How don't you want me to worry?" he then said, "We lost all of our comrades!"

"Get a grip, Commander Daguza!" Otto then replied, "We must now focus in getting him back! Otherwise, we will be facing a true crisis."

Otto then left the room, leaving Daguza and Conroy to their own thoughts.

The Delta Plus was by now half-way to Earth. With a tail booster attached, the variable mobile suit was capable of cruising long speeds in short time. Riddhe turned his head around and saw that the flashes in Palau had ceased: the battle was over. "Looks like it's over." he said, "I have lost contact with most of our force, and it seems that the Nahel Argama is damaged."

"Did they retrieve the Unicorn?" asked Audrey, and Riddhe shook his. Audrey seemed a little down by this: a few hours ago, she had felt him. She was worried. Riddhe then checked his computers and got the report: the Unicorn and the enemy Quad-Wing had been captured by Celestial Being. His eyes widened in horror: his fears had been realized. Audrey noticed this, "What's wrong?" she asked. Riddhe looked away, "It seems that your Quad-Wing friend and the Unicorn were captured by Celestial Being." he said. Audrey was shocked by this, and remained silent. "I'll probably be designated as KIA once they notice I'm missing." Riddhe then said, "It doesn't matter: all we have to now is forge ahead."

He then ejected his tail booster, and activated the Delta Plus' own thrusters, going full speed towards Earth.

Besides the four containers, the Ptolemy had storage space for at least four more mobile suits in its hangar bay, which was right behind the catapult deck. Lockon, Sumeragi, and Lasse were watching the heavily damaged Kshatriya, while Ian inspected it. "The NZ-666 Kshatriya." he said, "According to Veda, it was made by Anaheim Electronics for the Neo-Zeon. It was based on an older mobile suit used in the First Neo Zeon War, the NZ-000 Quin Mantha, and one can see the resemblance."

"Judging from what we've seen," said Sumeragi, "I assume it has a psycho-frame installed in it's cockpit?"

"Indeed." replied Ian, "It is installed throughout the entire cockpit. That's why it was so troublesome."

"But I thought that only the Federation's facilities in Granada were capable of producing psycho-frame." Lockon said.

"That's just the official statement." Ian then replied, "If one has the enough materials, a psycho-frame can be produced with relative ease."

Sumeragi stared at the Kshatriya's head: the Unicorn's beam saber was still latched there. "Miss Sumeragi?" Ian then called. Sumeragi turned to him, blinking: she had become distracted. She shook her head: she had been thinking of the incident three years ago.

She then returned to the current topic, "Why was production halted of the psycho-frame?" she suddenly asked Ian. "According to Veda, there were many reports of unknown phenomena." he said, "Take that Unicorn monster, for instance: when the armor separates and the NT-D is activated, the psycho-frame seems to glow. One might say that Anaheim knows why, but when you ask Veda, it seems as if not even the people of AE know themselves."

Sumeragi began thinking about everything so far: the Federation was using Newtype-related technology to exterminate Newtypes. She then thought of consulting Veda…

"Miss Sumeragi!" Christina then said as she entered the hangar bay, "The Zeon pilot has awakened." Christina reached Sumeragi and handed over a holographic panel to her. As Sumeragi looked at it, she noticed the medical report, and noticed that the prisoner had many burns and scars throughout the body. She seemed a little distressed by this, "Christina," she said, "why does she have all of these scars."

Christina seemed a little uncomfortable, and looked down, while touching her stomach with one of her hands, "Well, some of the burns were cause by beam weapons. Dr. Moreno believes they were caused by exposure from an early age." Christina's expression them became one of complete discomfort, "But the other burns and scars…they seemed to torture her throughout her late childhood and adolescence."

Sumeragi stared at Christina, who continued to stare at the floor. "Tortured?" Sumeragi wondered. A tear ran down Christina's cheek, "Yes." she said, "In addition, her reproductive organs seem to have been…removed."

Sumeragi's eyes widened, "A hysterectomy?" she said, shocked, "Why?"

Lockon grabbed the panel from her, and checked the report: a total hysterectomy and oophorectomy had been done on Marida in her early teens. Lockon covered his mouth.

"She seems to have been sexually abused for at least five years." Christina then said, clearly distressed, "From what Dr. Moreno has been able to deduce by her age, it seems she was one of the Cyber-Newtype clones that fought in the Neo Zeon Civil War."

Sumeragi turned to stare at the Kshatriya, "And she ended up like…"

Dr. Moreno was at the medical bay, in his computer. Setsuna was besides him. "How is she doing?" he asked. "She is quite weak right now." Moreno answered, "The hysterectomy and oophorectomy have caused her to acquire several heart diseases. In addition, if it weren't for her modified genes, the sexual diseases she had contracted would have killed her by now…"

He then switched the image to the biopsy report, "She seems to be emotionally stable." Moreno then said, "Probable due to her being a Cyber-Newtype that was made into such since embryonic stage. And those injuries throughout her body are severe…"

Setsuna turned around and headed towards Marida, who was quietly sleeping in a bed. Setsuna stared at her for a moment: all he could feel was compassion. No child should go through that…, he thought, Why is that people consciously hurt other people, inconsiderate of their consequences? Incosiderate of their suffering? Why do people continue to want to live in a world like this?

He then noticed Marida had woken up. Opening her eyes, she recognized Setsuna as the nice boy she had met at Palau. "It seems my sense was right." she suddenly said. She noticed how he stared at her. She gave a slight smile at him and looked at him, "Don't stare at me like that."

"What do you mean?" he asked in his usual tone.

"You may not show it," said Marida, "but you seem to take pity on me."

They stared at each other, and Marida smiled at him again, "Please, don't."

Setsuna looked away for a moment, "What happened back there?" he asked her, "When I got close to your mobile suit…"

"The pilot of the Unicorn got swallowed by the machine." she said, "Our psycho-frames reacted with each other and caused a psycommu backflow. I guess you were caught in it as well. One thinks it's controlling it, but it's actually controlling oneself."

The doors them opened, and Lockon came in with some juice and a sandwhich. "Good morning, Ms. Marida." he said, "I think you remember me, right?"

She looked at Lockon, "Smith Johns." she said.

"I see you remember my name." he said as he placed the small plate and juice bottle in a table besides Marida. There was a brief moment of silence, and Marida turned to look at the ceiling. "You could sense it, couldn't you, Setsuna?" she then said. Setsuna turned back and stared at her again. "I felt something from that Unicorn…" he said.

"A powerful negative intent." she said. Setsuna nodded, "I felt the same thing." he said, "As if it's sole purpose was to destroy…to destroy you…"

"A Newtype exterminator." Lockon then said.

Setsuna and Marida both turned towards him. "How do you know that?" she asked.

"Well…" he said, realizing he had talked too much, "We have an expert technician who determined that…"

"Indeed, you are right." Marida then said, "It's an instinct embedded in that Gundam's systems; to seek out and destroy Newtypes. Even artificial ones."

Setsuna continued to look at her. "A machine doesn't have the capability to discern natural from artificial." Marida then said, "But people are another story. They can sense the difference."

"If you are comparing yourself to some machine, then you are not the woman I thought you were." Setsuna then said. Marida turned to look at him; even though she didn't express it, she was confused. "I have a Master." she said, "I am bound to his will…"

"You are wrong." he said, "If one does not value oneself self as a person, then there is no point in living. You will only kill yourself slowly."

"I saw inside you." she then suddenly said.

Setsuna seemed a little surprised by this. "We're not so different from each other when you start thinking about it." she said, "Just like I am devoted to my Master, you are devoted to your cause…However, unlike me, you are a true individual."

Marida then turned to see Setsuna, in the eye, "You could have let that Gundam kill me," she said, "and yet…"

She started feeling bad, and she started trembling. As the trembling began to become more intense, Marida struggled to focus her sight on Setsuna. "Setsuna F. Seiei." she said, "Your will…your foundation…what makes you into who you are made you stop that Gundam…"

Marida's body began to twist, and Setsuna, impulsively, grabbed her hand. Marida, as she twisted herself, noticed this, and was a little surprised. Setsuna looked at her, "You may think you don't have that," he said, "but it doesn't matter how you are brought to this world: what matters is your deeds."

Marida seemed to calm down for a moment, and she focused her sight in Setsuna. And then, perhaps for the first time in her life, she gave a true, very genuine smile.

"No one has ever talked to me like that…" she said. However, the trembling resumed, this time with much more intensity. She began to twist herself in pain, crying. "Setsuna…" she said, "…I implore to you…do not change from who you are…even if you are confronted with the worst of humanity…Please…"

The pain in her body now became unbearable, and she turned away from the two Meisters. Her heart beat went to the roof, and an alarm beeped. Lockon realized what was happening and rushed outside, calling for Moreno. Moreno rushed in, "What's happening?" he asked. "She seems to be convulsing." Lockon replied. Moreno grabbed several sedatives and approached Marida. However, Setsuna stopped him. Setsuna then slowly placed his hand on Marida's shoulder. She reacted to this, pushing him away; however, in a rare display of emotion from his part, he hugged her. Marida continued to tremble and convulse, but Setsuna kept holding her with his arms. Lockon was completely surprised by this: this wasn't the Setsuna he knew; the Setsuna he was seeing now was showing emotion; he was actually, truly caring for someone in an open way.

Lockon and Moreno looked at what unfolded next: as Setsuna held Marida, she began to calm down. The convulsions began to slowly cease, and the trembling decreased. Eventually, Marida closed her eyes, and she gradually fell asleep. Once she did, Setsuna gently placed her back into her original position. Without a word, he left.

Lockon and Moreno just stared at him as he did.

Banagher was at the Ptolemy's 'brig', which was essentially an empty, claustrophobic-inducing room, with nothing in it. Am I really like that?, he thought, remembering what Setsuna had told him in the recent battle, Do I really make things worse? Am I a monster?

The door suddenly opened, and Tieria came in. "Banagher Links." he said, "Once we repair your Unicorn, you will pilot it."

"You want me to join your group?" Banagher then replied, in a monotone, depressed tone.

Tieria seemed to look at him with some kind of scorn, "You wouldn't even be able to pass the basic tests." he said, "However, since that machine only responds to your biometrics, we will have to use you for now."

Banagher didn't respond at this, and instead stared blankly, with a sad expression, at the wall. Tieria noticed this and stared at him. "Pathetic." he muttered, leaving the brig.

The Delta Plus was now reentering the atmosphere. Despite the shaking, Audrey managed to hold herself and not fall down. Below them, they could see the lineup of the continent below them. Riddhe seemed very determined, almost as if trying to impress Audrey.

After a few minutes, the Delta Plus finished reentry and began flying towards the Western African coastline.

The Marcenas Estate, located in the outskirts of Casablanca, seemed out of this continent: with huge gardens full of beautiful flowers, pools and trees, it seemed more like a place that should be in Southern Europe rather than North Africa. It was enormous: larger than even the Vist Mansion, at least. Ronan Marcenas, the current head of the Marcenas Family, was reading some papers in his office, when one of his servants suddenly came in, excusing himself.

"Mr. Marcenas, we have received an urgent communique from the military." the servant said, catching Ronan's attention, "You Master Riddhe has…"

Ronan took his glasses off and sighed. Running away again, aren't we, my son…

Angelo widened his eyes in surprise, "Princess Mineva has gone down to Earth?" he asked to one of the crew members. "The information comes from a sympathizer in the Federation government." the crew member replied, "He says that a transformable mobile suit used Assembly privilege to bypass airspace regulations. She was most likely aboard."

"You don't think it was a diversion?" Angelo asked.

"Have you been able to locate Celestial Being's mothership?" Full Frontal then asked the captain of the Rewloola, who turned towards him. "If they follow the RX-0's coordinates, they are most likely approaching geosynchronous orbit." the captain replied.

"Perhaps they were able to repair the Unicorn after all." Full Frontal then said, "If they have, then they're headed for the designated coordinates."

The screen of the ship showed the Earth, with the letters "La+" besides it, and several coordinates below them: 0.00° NS, 0.00EW / ALT 200 Km.

The Rewloola and the Garencieres fired their engines up and accelerated towards the Earth.

Zimmerman and his bridge crew looked at the Nahel Argama's trajectory: based on their projections, it would rendezvous with a civilian shuttle, the Klimt, in Earth Orbit.

"What do you suppose they'll do with a civilian shuttle?" Flaste said.

"They are most likely going to exchange something." Suberoa then said, "Or perhaps one of the Vists is in that ship and they are taking him back to Earth."

"The Nahel Argama shouldn't be a concern." Gilboa said, "We should instead focus on rescuing Marida."

"And how do you intend to do that?" replied Flaste.

"I'm sure that if there is a battle in orbit," Gilboa then said, "they, Celestial Being, will surely intervene. We can use that moment to retrieve her. On top of that, we might even be able to get that white Gundam as well."

Alberto would have cried, had he been younger: Martha, in a rare moment of discontrol, was berating him for the recent failures. "So you first loose the Unicorn to the Sleeves…" she said, "Then you fail to not only retrieve it, but you also make me pay the Federation for all of the losses they suffered at Palau? Do you know how much money we lost due to these losses?"

"Martha…" Alberto began to say, "We may have lost the Unicorn, but we still…"

"You accomplished nothing!" she said, "All you did was waste resources! You didn't even get to capture at least one of those new Gundams!"

"We…uh…we didn't expect them to be so powerful…" he mumbled.

Martha sighed, regaining control and reverting to her usual, cold and elitist demeanor. "Well, it really doesn't matter." she said, "Once you get back here, I want you to make arrangements with the Severnaya Super Human Insitute."

"The Severnaya Institute?" he said, "Don't tell me that…"
"Yes, apparently, the Federation continued former Russia's work on super-soldiers." she replied, "My people at Augusta already have the tools, and we just need people to use them."

"What do you intend to do, Martha?" he asked.

"If grandfather had simply told me the location of the Box," she said, "I wouldn't have to resort to such underhanded methods. I don't care what grandfather and Cardeas' goals were, but if the box is lost, then so are the fortunes of the Vist Foundation. And there is activity in the Security Council that can only mean one thing."

"What?" Alberto asked, fearing the worst.

"Total war against the Republic of Zeon." she answered.

Alberto gasped: his fears were being realized. As much as he cared for his own profit, another, total war like the one of 0079 was counterproductive, even for him.

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:34 pm 
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Banagher slammed his fist on the brig's wall, "I won't do it!" he said. Sumeragi, Tieria, Ian and Allelujah all stood before him. "This isn't a request." said Sumeragi, "If the Unicorn is taken to the coordinates given by the La+ Program, another seal of the Program will be broken."

Setsuna and Lockon came into the brig, and Banagher noticed Setsuna. "Kamal!" he called out, trying to reach Setsuna: however, Lasse got in his way. Banagher stared at Setsuna, who stared back. "The Meisters will escort you, if you fear for your safety." Sumeragi continued, "We will guide you to the appropriate coordinates."

"Kamal!" Banagher then called, "You saw what happened at Palau! You managed to stop me from killing Ms. Marida! Tell her how dangerous this machine is!"

Setsuna simply stared back, with a glare that made Banagher felt fear. Setsuna then walked towards Banagher, and looked at him directly in the eye, "You babbled so much back there about wanting stop all of this," he said, "but you are unwilling to do what is right."

"Nothing is right in this sort of thing!" Banagher then replied, "No war is ever justified!"

"And yet you fight." Setsuna retorted, "You fought for the Federation back there. For someone who preaches that violence and killing is wrong, you surely have done the opposite of that."

"I had no choice…" Banagher muttered.

"That is just an excuse." Setsuna then said.

Banagher looked down at the floor, "It's not fair to say that…"

"The world is not fair, Banagher Links." Setsuna then replied, catching Banagher's attention, "You saw that clearly during the psycommu backflow at Palau. In order for the world to be fair, one must make it so."

"Just because you've lived hell," Banagher suddenly cried, "it doesn't mean you have the right to force that hell upon others!"

Banagher suddenly found himself being punched to the floor by Tieria, who had become fed up by his uncooperativeness. As Banagher lied on the floor, staring at the effeminate boy, he touched his bruised cheek. Tieria just stared at him, "You are going to pilot the Unicorn, Banagher Links." he said, "And if you refuse to cooperate, I will personally leave leave drifting in space with the minimum of air, food and water. If you are lucky, you might be found by your Federation. I am willing to wait six months until we have finally decrypted the Unicorn's missions: however, our plan requires the finding of the Box as soon as possible."

Banagher stared at the wall, "Why would you even want the Box?" he wondered, "What is your interest in it?"

"None, actually." Lockon replied, "We just want to know what it is. After that, we will determine whether it must be destroyed or not."

"Destroy it?" Banagher wondered, "Why?"

"It all depends on its purpose." Sumeragi then said, "If we deem it harmful for the ultimate goal of our organization, we will destroy it."

"Your ultimate goal?" he asked, now more confused, "What goal is that?"

"The complete unification of Humanity." Tieria said. Banagher made a muffled gasp.

"But hasn't the Federation already done that?" he said.

Sumeragi sighed, "Banagher, you are much more naïve than I expected."

And with that, they all left, with the exception of Setsuna, who stood in front of Banagher: however, he didn't look at him. "You must take responsibility." he said, "You must realize by now that you are involved in this situation. If you truly want to prevent more tragedies…"

He then left the brig. Banagher stayed there, thinking. My responsibility…

The battered Nahel Argama was now close to the ruins of Laplace. A grim tone dominated the bridge, and Otto stared at the wreckage of the Stanford torus colony.

"I've never been this close to that thing ever since that school trip." commented Otto.

"The first thing I think about every time they say 'Laplace's Box'" Liam then replied.

Otto placed his hand on his chin, "The coordinates all lead here." he said, "The First Prime Minister's residence passes that point once a day without fail. I don't think we overlooked something that was right under our noses."

"In my day, I had already been removed from the school tour list." Alberto said, coming into the bridge. He turned to both the captain and Liam, with the unusual expression of respect, "I thank you both for looking after us." He then stretched his hand to Otto, who seemed a little surprised by this. Otto then stretched his own hand, and they both shook hands, "I won't play nice and say the pleasure was all ours." Otto said as he shook hands with Alberto, "You brought us nothing but trouble. We won't be forgetting that face of yours anytime soon."

Alberto seemed to make a slight smile, "I regret I won't be able to stay here…" he said, "To be honest, I wanted to stay here when you recovered the RX-0."

Otto raised an eyebrow at this. Alberto then saluted Otto, "May fortune smile upon you in battle." he said, and as soon as he did, he left. Both Otto and Liam stared at him, somewhat confused at his sudden change of behavior. "That's odd." Liam then said, "He was always obsessed with the Box."

Otto chuckled, "Well, in the end, he's just a lackey to the snobs in Brussels." he said.

"Still," said Liam, "I wonder if Celestial Being will get here as well."

"What?" Otto asked.

"We were led here because that Anaheim technician had managed to decrypt a small part of the La+ Program," she said, "but unless they have some 'hyper-computer' that surpasses those at Luna II, I doubt they'll be able to decrypt the Program. Unless…"

"They have someone that has deep knowledge in our mobile suits' capabilities?" Otto said, "It's possible. I wouldn't doubt that their organization has former members of the Federation Forces."

"Indeed." Liam then said, "I wouldn't be surprised if there are people like Commander Bright in it. Speaking of which, I'm actually surprised he is still in the military, even after all he's been through…"

"Well," Otto replied, "he is a man who still believes in the Federation's ability to change. To be honest, I admire him a lot due to that aspect of him. He could've given up after the Gryps Conflict, but instead he held on and continued to fight on, despite all of the things the Federation tried to do to him."

They both looked then at the ruins of Laplace, or rather, the 'Ghost of Laplace'.

Daguza and Conroy then came in, and they both saluted Otto and Liam, who saluted back. "Captain, "Daguza then said, "since out mobile suits have been repaired, I ask your permission to conduct a rescue operation of the missing pilot, Banagher Links."

"Well, it will be difficult…" Otto replied, "We were barely able to repair the main weapons of the ship, but the hangars and close-combat weapons are still a mess. And with Ensign Riddhe's desertion…"

"We are members of ECOAS." said Daguza, "We do not need the support of a rookie pilot in an overpowered mobile weapon to accomplish out missions."

"Even so, you were there when those Gundams attacked us…" said Otto, "We only have a Jegan left to support you, and it's only armaments are a machine gun."

"It won't matter." replied Daguza, "We can manage on our own. Instead of worrying on how to support us, you should instead worry on protecting yourselves, because, as you said, the Nahel Argama isn't fit for extreme combat."

Otto seemed to smirk a little, "As expected from the apprentice of the 'Wild Bear of Russia'." he said, "In that case, you have my full permission and blessing."

They both saluted each other, and then the two ECOAS soldiers left.

Banagher was still sitting in the floor of the brig. The door opened, and Sumeragi came in. "It is time." she said. Banagher, having thought about what Setsuna had told him before, decided to stand up and do it: his only wish was for all of this to end as quickly as possible.

As they walked through the hallway, Banagher looked at Sumeragi, and wondered why she was doing all of this. "Um…" he said. "Sumeragi." she said, "Call me Sumeragi."

"Um…Ms. Sumeragi…" he said, a little nervous, "Why are you all doing this? Don't you think all of this will just make things worse?"

"Have you ever experienced war in such nature, that you sometimes wish humanity would just end, Banagher?" she then replied. Banagher seemed a little shocked by this statement, "I have experienced war, Ms. Sumeragi," he said, "but I believe that humanity has the capability of change."

"Indeed, that's something I believe as well." she said, "However, when you see what humans do to other animals, to the environment, and to members of their own species, you sometimes despair."

She then stopped walking, and seemed to stare blankly, "I was like you," she said, "a long time ago: the reason I became a tactical forecaster and pursued a military career was because I believed that by ending conflicts quickly, I would be able to prevent casualties or at least diminish them."

She then turned to Banagher, with a somewhat melancholic-yet-smily expression, "But after the Second Neo Zeon War, I then realized…it wasn't that simple…"

She shook her head a little, and started walking again, signaling Banagher to keep up the pace with her. "In one way or another," she then said, "we, the members of Celestial Being, have all been involved in war. Many of us have lost family, friends, comrades and eventually, our faith in our respective beliefs. But not hope."

They reached the hangar bay, where the now-repaired Unicorn stood, with its weapons mounted. "You repaired it?" Banagher asked, a little surprised, "But I thought…"

"Our chief engineer knows more about mobile suits than all of the Anaheim employees together." she said, "Besides, it helped that Setsuna made clean cuts: otherwise, it would have taken much longer."

As Banagher looked at the Unicorn, he noticed the Meisters with their respective Gundams, preparing them for the eventual deployment. Lockon, with Haro in one of his arms, noticed Banagher, and went to him, waving his hand. "Hello, boy." he said. Banagher recognized him, "You are that guy from Palau!" he said, stretching his hand. Lockon smirked and they shook hands, "I see you remember me." he said. Sumeragi placed her hand in Banagher's shoulder, "I'll leave you here with the Meisters." she said, "They'll accompany you to the destination and help you in case any enemies appear."

She then left, and started thinking of a certain incident three years ago…

Banagher then went with Lockon to look at the Dynames. Banagher had to admit: he was quite excited: he had never seen mobile suits like this: their design was sleek and very aesthetic; their armor shone in a very pretty manner. ""A piece of art, don't you think?" Lockon then said, noticing Banagher's expression of awe, "Designed for long-range combat, the GN-002 Gundam Dynames."

"Amazing…" Banagher muttered. Banagher then noticed, until now, the Haro that Lockon was carrying. "Haro?" he said. "Oh yes," Lockon then said, handing Haro over to Banagher, who grabbed it, "They serve as terminals and other stuff like that."

"It's smaller than the one I used to have…" he said.

"You refer to the commercial ones." Lockon then said, "Those were just for show; like a test."

"You mean you actually created these toys?" Banagher then said, surprised.

"Yeah, well…Let's say part of our investments come from these products…" he whispered.

"Lockon Stratos!" Tieria then suddenly called out in annoyance, approaching them both, "You have told the prisoner enough."

"If we want him to work with us," he said, "I think we should make him feel a little bit home, at least."

"He is not a formal member of our organization." Tieria then replied, "We only need him to break the seals of the Program."

"Do you think that such hostility will convince him to work with us?" Lockon then asked, "Besides, he should familiarize with our units, now that he is going to work with us from now on."

Tieria looked at Lockon directly in the eye, "I hope this doesn't hamper our mission," he said in a serious tone, "for your sake."

Tieria then left. Banagher just stared at him, "What's with him?" he said.

"He's always like that." Lockon then said, "He is devoted to the cause."

Banagher noticed Setsuna exiting the Exia's cockpit. "I'll be right back." he told Lockon, and he proceeded to approach Setsuna. Setsuna noticed this but continued checking his Exia. "Um…Kamal?" Banagher said as he reached Setsuna, who simply turned to him. "Setsuna." he replied, "Setsuna F. Seiei."

"Setsuna…" Banagher muttered. Banagher then stared at the Exia, and remembered what happened at Palau, and then remembered what he saw: the phenomena he had experienced before had shown him both Marida and Setsuna's pasts. This is all too sad, he thought.

"Kindness doesn't always save lives." Setsuna suddenly said. Banagher turned his head to Setsuna, who by now was checking the GN Condensers. "It does not wash away sin or the impurities." he said. Banagher looked down to the floor, "But even so…"

"Indeed, even so…" Setsuna replied, "Kindness allows one to understand others. I learned that in Palau."

An alarm then began sounding, and Sumeragi's voice began speaking to the rest of the ship: "Attention, all hands! Prepare for combat! Gundam Meisters, prepare for launch! Launch of the Unicorn will be done as soon as the Meisters have left the ship."

Ian came into the hangar deck and waved one of his hands at Banagher, "Hey, you! Pilot of the Unicorn!"

Banagher noticed him and went to him. Ian handed him a new pilot suit, which resembled the one used by the Meisters, with the exception of the helmet, which resembled more like the ones used by the ECOAS pilots. "This one's much better than the one Anaheim designed for you." he said, "It is light, fitting and is much better in resisting the extreme G Forces. Also, if you find yourself in the need of abandoning your mobile suit and under small arms fire, the chest plate is capable of resisting up to fifteen 12-gauge shotgun shots."

Banagher grabbed the suit and noticed how light it felt. "Thanks, umm…"

"Ian." he said, "Ian Vashti. I am the head engineer of the ship."

"Oh." Banagher then said, "So you were the one who repaired the Unicorn."

"Yeah." Ian then replied, turning to look at the Unicorn, "Due to Setsuna's clean cuts, I was able to weld the joints easily. And I replaced the little missing pieces of psycho-frame with GN Condenser material."

The Dynames was now being taken down to the launch catapult. "Good luck." Ian then said, leaving.

After the Dynames had launched, the Kyrios was next. Allelujah turned to see the Unicorn, and he heard an all-too familiar voice in his head. That machine is going to be the end of us, it said, Better stay away or destroy it.

Alleujah shook his head and ignored it. "Kyrios, Allelujah Haptism, launching." he then said. The Kyrios, in waverider mode, was then launched.

Next was Setsuna in the Exia. As he finalized launch procedures, he thought about how his actions at the medical bay. I let my emotions take over… he thought, Even so, I do not regret anything.

He then launched.

Now it was Tieria's turn. After checking his condensers were fully charged, he launched.

Now Banagher was left. After suiting up, he mounted up and activated the Unicorn's systems. He checked if everything was ready, and saw he was being hailed. He opened the channel and saw a red-haired girl, Feldt. "Transferring timing to RX-0." she said, "Confirming RX-0 ready for launch."

"This is Banagher Links." he then replied, "RX-0 Unicorn Gundam; I'm heading out!"

He pushed the accelerator forward, and with the help of the linear catapult he was launched. He saw the other Gundams in the distance, and Banagher accelerated towards them. As they rendezvoused, he noticed he was being hailed by one of the Meisters. He opened the channel and saw it was Tieria. "Banagher Links." Tieria then said, "If you become an obstacle to our general objective, I will shoot you down, understood?"

Banagher, iintimidated by Tieria, simply nodded. Tieria closed off the channel.

The five Gundams then accelerated towards the ruins of Laplace.

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:36 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy
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Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:45 pm
Posts: 343
Flaste was now at the helm of the Garencieres, with Alec as his copilot. "Our sensors detect unidentified units in the distance." Flaste then reported. "Is it Celestial Being?" Suberoa then asked. "Presumed to be." Faste then replied, "Our more accurate sensors seem to be jammed when we direct them at these unknowns."

"Then the Unicorn is among them." Suberoa then said. He grabbed a small radio, "Gilboa, as confirmed, Celestial Being does have a mothership and they have launched all of their mobile suits." he said.

In the cargo bay, Gilboa was preparing himself and his Geara Zulu for combat. "Alright then." said Gilboa, "The rest of my squad will create a diversion, while I'll try to infiltrate the ship and recover Marida."

"I'm counting on you." said Suberoa. While he knew it was risky, perhaps even suicidal, he was truly worried about Marida, who to him was like a daughter. He reached for a picture he had of her in his breast pocket, only to refrain himself from further distractions: he had to concentrate in the operation.

Daguza and Conroy launched in their respective Loto mobile suits. Approaching the wreckage of Laplace, Daguza couldn't help but wonder about the incident that occurred here. He then remembered what his former teacher, Sergei Smirnov, had told him when they were making several training exercises in this area. Sergei had once told him that he certainly believed that the terrorist attack on Laplace had been actually been orchestrated by several Earth Federation politicians that desired to retain control of the entire Earth Sphere, as Ricardo Marcenas had constantly talked about "space autonomy" during his tour around the Earth.

Daguza, of course, didn't usually think about all of these things, as he considered himself 'a cog', a part of what he considered a machine; that machine being the Federation. He had always followed orders, without thinking much about the consequences. However, with recent events, there was a constant question in his head: What should we be fighting for?

After reaching the wreckage, he noticed the symbol of Ricardo Marcena's political party: a symbol of humanism; a person with its arms raised to the sky. To everyone back then, in the final years of Anno Domini, it was a symbol of hope…

Daguza and Conroy separated and positioned themselves in key locations that hid their presence. "Conroy," he said, "if you see any sign of the target, give me an heads-up."

"Roger, sir." Conroy replied.

The Rewloola, nearby, launched the Sinanju and the Royal Guard, along with a Geara Doga Heavy Armed Type and two Geara Zulus, intended to support the Garencieres' rescue operation. "Angelo," said Full Frontal, "you and the others stay outside. Do not let yourselves get detected. Just follow our simulations."

"Understood, sir." Angelo replied, "I'll get that sword-type Gundam for your sake, Commander."

"Do not make anything rash, Lieutenant." Frontal then said, "Remember that our top priority is recovering the single-horn type. However, if you can capture one of those Gundams as well, I will truly be grateful."

As the Zeon mobile suits scattered, Full Frontal deactivated most of his mobile suit's systems and waited…

The Meisters and Banagher decelerated their units and finally reached the wreckage. "Tieria!" Lockon then said, "You and I will stay outside and keep an eye for any hostiles! Allelujah, you will cover Banagher's rear! And you, Setsuna, will escort Banagher until you reach zero point! As soon as that happens, keep an eye for any enemies."

The Meisters scattered, while Setsuna and Banagher entered the ruins. As they did, they saw the podium that Ricardo Marcenas had used in his speech. Setsuna noticed the state of the space station: it seemed 'dead', to put it in a way; a grim color dominated the place.

Banagher looked at one of the holographic screens: the counter was close to 0 now. "Setuna," he then said, hailing the Meister. Setsuna opened a channel. "What is it, Banagher Links?" he replied.

"How is Ms. Marida doing?" Banagher asked.

"She is in good hands." Setsuna replied, dryly.

"You care for her?" Banagher then asked.

Setsuna didn't respond; he just held his usual, stoic expression. Banagher noticed this and remained silent. He counter finally reached zero. "Here we are." he muttered.

Both pilots then stopped their Gundams as soon as this happened. Banagher checked if there were any changes in his systems, but nothing seemed to have changed. "Suit systems nominal." he then reported.

Feldt received his report. "Everything normal with the Unicorn." she then reported to Sumeragi. Sumeragi seemed quite concentrated this time, "Any changes in the wreckage?"

"Negative." Christina answered.

An ominous silence then dominated for several minutes, until Banagher suddenly caught something: a transmission.

Greetings, citizens of Earth and space, it said.

Daguza and Conroy were also receiving the transmission in their respective suits. "Where the hell is that coming from?" he wondered, "Conroy! Can you pinpoint the origin of the transmission?"

"It is coming from the other side of the wreckage!" Conroy then responded.

The Ptolemy was also receiving this transmission. "Radio waves emanating from the Unicorn!" Christina reported, "Please advise!"

Banagher made a slight gasp, "It's coming from this unit?" he said.

Setsuna was equally surprised, "Is it certain?" he asked Christina.

"No doubt about it!" she replied, "The radio waves are strong! They can pierce the GN Particles' jamming!"

I'd like to first express my sincere gratitude for having the opportunity…

Marida opened her eyes. Noticing that Dr. Moreno was busy in his computer, she took the IV in her right arm off and got out of her bed. In stealthy fashion, she grabbed Moreno by his shoulders and, using some sort of technique, she caused him to pass out. "I'm sorry, doctor." she said, "I am grateful of your treatment."

Softly placing him in the chair, she then exited the medical bay. However, as soon as she passed by the door, an alarm started to sound. She then noticed something in her leg: they had installed some kind of device. Ripping it from her leg, she started running, intending to find the hangar bay and escape.

Christina noticed the alarm. "Miss Sumeragi!" she said, "The prisoner has escaped from the medical bay!"

Sumeragi widened her eyes. "Damn it!" she exclaimed. She grabbed a phone in her chair, and dialed the hangar bay, "Ian! The prisoner is trying to escape! Disable the captured unit and begin searching for her! Lasse and Licht will be there to help you."

"Understood." he said. As soon as he said this, he reached for his laptop and plugged it into the Kshatriya's panel. Introducing some commands, he started deleting the Kshtriya's OS. Afterwards, he ran off towards the interior of the ship.

Sumeragi turned to Licht and Lasse, "Do not worry about us." she told them, "I'll take care of the weapons while you search for her."

Licht and Lasse nodded and exited the bridge.

The Nahel Argama was near the wreckage, and was also receiving the transmission. "Minovsky particle density increasing!" Mihiro reported, "Unable to pinpoint source direction! In addition, there seems to be some kind of jamming! Source is unknown."

Liam turned to Otto, "You don't think…"

Otto quickly grabbed the phone, "All stations, Level 1 battlestations!" he said, "Launch whatever mobile suit forces were have left!"

The only two weapons that had been able to be repaired, which were some mega particle cannons, were activated. A Jegan was launched from one of the launch catapults. The Jegan positioned itself in one of the ship's flanks.

…and each and every one of us must be willing to change our way of thinking. To identify with humanity as a species,…

Banagher suddenly found himself visualizing the tapestry he had seen in the Vist Foundation: the 'Lady and the Unicorn'. On it, the shadow of his father, Cardeas, was suddenly projected. He shook his head, coming back to reality. All of the sudden, he accelerated the Unicorn and exited the wreckage. Setsuna was surprised by this and followed him. This action revealed their location to Daguza and Conroy, who started to pursue them.

Tieria saw this and stared at the Unicorn, "I told you what would happen if you got in our way." he said. He then activated his GN Bazooka and began charging it, intending to fire at the unicorn. Lockon noticed this, "Tieria!" he shouted, "What the hell are you doing?"

Setsuna followed the Unicorn and hailed Banagher, "What are you foind?"

"Your ship!" he said.

"What?" Setsuna asked, confused.

"Your ship is in danger!" Banagher replied, "It is being targeted!"

Otto and Liam saw the Unicorn and the Exia. "Captain…" she said.

"Prepare for intense anti-MS combat!" he then barked, "Recall Daguza and Conroy!"

"What about the Unicorn?" Mihiro then asked.

"We'll deal with that later!" he replied, "The safety of our ship is top priority! Or have you forgotten what happened in Palau?"

"Roger, sir!" she then said.

The Jegan prepared its weapons, ready for combat.

Banagher looked intently to the distance. Setsuna stopped besides him. "Can you tell how many they are?" he said.

"They are two formations." Banagher replied, "One is behind them."

Suddenly, a long, beam burst came from the distance. Banagher and Setsuna dodged this.

Several kilometers away, the Royal Guard was firing its Bruno Guns at the Gundams, while Gilboa's squad accelerated towards the Ptolemy's direction.

Flaste finally managed to make a visual of it. "Captain!" he said, "I have a visual of the Celestial Being ship!"

He then displayed it in the main screen of the bridge. Suberoa noted its unusual design. "Doesn't seem like a combat ship to me." he muttered, "Most likely a transport like our own ship."

"You don't think that the speech will just play, right Captain?" Flaste then said.

"Most likely, the NT-D needs to be activated." he said, "Thankfully, the Commander himself will have the 'honor' to cause a 'phenomena' as he put it in Palau."

Gilboa and his squadmates rushed towards the Unicorn. Banagher fired his giant bazooka at the Geara Zulus, which simply dodged his attack and fired back. Setsuna fired his GN Rifle back, but his shots were also dodged by the Neo Zeon pilots. Gilboa fired some missiles at Banagher, who blocked some with his shield and then dodged the rest. "Banagher!" Setsuna then said, "I will take care of these guys! You go back to Laplace and get that seal broken!"

"But you won't be able to fight these guys alone!" Banagher replied.

"Me and my Gundam will take care of them." said Setsuna. And with that said, he deployed his GN Sword and charged at one of the Geara Zulus. He tried to slash its weapons off, but the Zeon pilot was faster. Being concentrated with this one, he failed to notice when Gilboa drew his beam tomahawk and charged at the Unicorn, reaching it. Banagher blocked Gilboa's blow with his shield. He then suddenly noticed he was being hailed by him. "Banagher, stay back!" Gilboa then said. Banagher gasped, "Mr. Gilboa?"

"We won't destroy the ship." said Gilboa, "We are just going to take Marida back. Just stay back and watch. And don't get killed!"

Setsuna had finally noticed Gilboa by now and tried to shoot him down with his GN Rifle, but Gilboa instead ejected his Bruno Gun and flew away. Banagher kept Gilboa's plan to himself…

Suddenly, another beam shot was fired from the distance. Banagher managed to block it with his shield. "Reinforcements?" he wondered.

"No." Setsuna then said, "It is…the Red Comet."

Indeed, in the distance, the Sinanju, at full speed, was approaching the two Gundams. "Leave the Mock Trojan Horse to the Garencieres." Full Frontal then told the Rewloola and his Royal Guard, "As for us, we will attack the Unicorn and activate the NT-D. We will also capture one of those new Gundams."

"Understood!" his men replied in unison.

Angelo then noticed the Exia, and his expression became one of pure hatred. "There you are, Gundam!" he shouted, firing his beam scatter gun. The rest of the Royal Guard fired their Bruno Guns as well. Banagher and Setsuna blocked and/or dodged their shots, but they didn't unfocus their attention on the Sinanju, their greatest threat. Setsuna hailed Lockon, "The Neo Zeon are attacking in the other side!"

"Alright!" Lockon replied, "Allelujah is heading there as we speak! Tieria and I are going to take care of some enemies on our side and we'll join with you later, ok?"

The bridge crew of the Ptolemy soon noticed Gilboa and his squad approaching them, and Sumeragi started firing the GN Missiles at them. Hitting one of the Geara Zulus, the missiles then released much 'GN pressure' into the mobile suit, causing it to explode. Gilboa and his other squad mates were more lucky, managing to dodge many of the missiles.

Lasse and Licht were running through the corridors, tasers in hand. "Is she really a Cyber-Newtype?" Licht then wondered, "Because if she is, then we are so…"

"It doesn't matter!" Lasse said, "For both our own safety and hers, we must get her back to the medical bay."

At the same time, Ian was running through a corridor that was on the right side of the Ptolemy. Ian finally spotted Marida. Noticing him, she tried escaping through another corridor, only to find Licht and Lasse in her way. Even though she knew that she could take them on, she instead opted to go through the other corridor, as it was easier to deal with one person rather than two. By the time she reached the corridor, Ian was there, waiting for her. He was panting. "Alright," he said, "we don't want to hurt you. We just want to get you back to the medical bay. You are still injured."

Marida prepared to knock him down, when she suddenly felt dread. Suddenly, an explosion occurred near them, blasting a hole in the corridor. As they were being sucked into space, Marida managed to grab herself from a handler. Ian wasn't as lucky: however, just when it seemed it was all over for him, Marida suddenly grabbed him by his wrist, preventing him from being sucked out into space. Ian stared at Marida with disbelief, while she stared back, with an incomplete, reassuring smile.

Full Frontal and his Royal Guard continued firing their heavy beam weapons at Banagher and Setsuna, who simply dodged their shots. Banagher finished his bazooka rounds and drew his Beam Magnum. Finally, Allelujah arrived in the Kyrios, and started firing his beam rifle at the Neo Zeon, destroying one Geara Zulu. In the distance, Daguza saw this and was shocked to see Banagher fighting alongside his captives. "What the hell are you doing, Banagher?" he said. He accelerated his Loto towards the battle, firing his cannons at the Neo Zeon. He managed to hit one of the Geara Zulus, disabling it and forcing it to retreat. Conroy started firing his missiles as well, but Frontal and his men dodged them. Daguza hailed Banagher, "Banagher! Why are you with Celestial Being?" he said.

"Commander Daguza?" Banagher then said.

"You must go all out on him!" Daguza then suddenly said, "If you fight Full Frontal, you'll activate the NT-D and break the seal of the La+!"

"I know that, Commander!" he said, "That's what we're trying to do!"

"We?" Daguza then asked, "'We'? Are you now suddenly part of Celestial Being?"

"This is not the time to discuss this, Commander!" replied Banagher.

He then accelerated back towards Laplace. Daguza followed him, while Conroy and Setsuna were in a stand-off. However, this was cut short as the Royal Guard continued to fire their weapons at them. Forced to work as a team, Setsuna and Conroy fired back at the Neo Zeon. Setsuna then drew his two GN Sabers and charged at the Royal Guard, disabling two Geara Zulus and disarming another one, which fled. Angelo started firing his beam scatter gun, "I'll take you down, Gundam!" he shouted. Setsuna blocked the first shot, and then he dodged the rest. Full Frontal slipped away as Setsuna got right in front of Angelo. Angelo became frightened, thinking his days were over: however, Setsuna simply cut Angelo's limbs off and kicked the custom Geara Zulu's torso away.
"Is he toying with us?" Angelo wondered, enraged.

Banagher and Daguza got to a safe spot. "Commander Daguza!" Banagher called, "Leave it to me! I'll break the seal!"

"You fool!" Daguza then replied, "You can't do it while you're being fired at from everywhere! I'll cover you."

Daguza began to move out. "Wait!" Banagher then shouted, "You can't handle the Red Comet by yourself!"

"Banagher," Daguza then said, "I believe in you. When I saw you piloting the Unicorn, it seemed as if the machine were answering to you personally. This machine wasn't created to just eradicate the Zeon. Something else entirely is incorporated into the Unicorn. And that thing is probably controlled by a human heart. That might be what the La+ truly is. Some kind of guide and test that eventually leads someone who is righteous enough to the Box."

Daguza then moved away. "Once I go outside," he said, "you move further in and wait for my signal."

"What are you planning?" Banagher asked.

"Even a cog in a machine has pride." Daguza replied, "You go fulfill your role. And even if it means to fight with Celestial Being, then so be it. As long as you follow your heart…"

Daguza then positioned himself far away and exited his mobile suit. With a large package full of military explosives, he began planting these devices in a small area.

The Geara Doga Heavy Armed Type, a Geara Zulu and Gilboa continued to fire at the Ptolemy. Suddenly, the Geara Doga was destroyed by a GN Beam shot by Lockon, who had finally arrived to relieve the Ptolemy. Gilboa and his remaining squadmate fired back, only for Tieria to fire his GN Cannons and vaporize Gilboa's partner. Sumeragi took this chance and fired some GN Missiles at Gilboa, who managed to block her shots by ejecting his remaining extra equipment. He then retreated.

At the bridge, Sumeragi sighed as she was called by Lockon. "Miss Sumeragi!" he said, "It seems we arrived in the nick of time."

"Go and help the Unicorn!" she then said, "We cannot keep fooling around here!"

"Understood." Lockon replied, cutting the channel off. He and Tieria then went back to the wreckage. Licht then came in. Sumeragi noticed him, "What happened with the prisoner?" she asked him. "I am fine, thank you very much." he replied, "Ian and Lasse are taking her back to the medical bay. I think they are going to sedate her for now."

"She didn't offer any resistance?" she then asked.

"Well, she saved Ian from that breach a few minutes ago." said Licht, "After that, she seemed to simply just…give up. I don't know, it was all weird."

"And what about Dr. Moreno?" she asked.

"He was passed out, but again, the prisoner used some weird technique to bring him back conscious." he said.

Licht then sat at the helm.

Despite his best efforts, Conroy's suit was disabled by Full Frontal. Forced to retreat, he rushed back towards the position of the Nahel Argama. Setsuna saw this, and continued to fight the Royal Guard. Full Frontal, however, ignored him, and instead went to the wreckage of Laplace. Setsuna tried to follow him, but the remaining Royal Guards had him pinned down.

May the future of humans in space be a peaceful one.

Daguza had finished planting the explosives and returned to his mobile suit. It's not out of pride or to repay a debt, he thought, I listened to my heart, that's all. I guess even cogs have them. Hopes, that is…

The transmission continued. …with faith in the god known as Possibility.

Full Frontal moved in, and saw the Unicorn positioned in the distance. Banagher noticed him. "He's here!" he told Daguza. "Use your Vulcans!" said Daguza, "Potshots are fine, just fire!"

Banagher pulled the trigger and started firing his Vulcans. Frontal didn't bother to dodge them, and he simply covered himself with his shield. He moved forward and tried to land in a certain area, but he was suddenly caught in the middle of three massive explosions. He continued to move forward, only to find himself face-to-face with Daguza's Loto. Daguza fired his cannons and missiles directly at Full Frontal, who barely managed to block the shots with his shield. "Now!" Daguza then shouted, and Banagher drew a beam saber, ready for close combat. After running out of ammo, Daguza rammed his Loto at the Sinanju; however, Full Frontal deployed his beam blade in his shield and impaled the Loto directly in the cockpit. "Banagher!" Daguza then called, smiling and saluting at the Unicorn as he was vaporized by the beam blade. As soon as Full Frontal withdrew the blade, the Loto exploded.

Banagher's eyes widened in horror, "Dagu…"

You are my hope., Daguza's voice then resonated in Banagher's head, I entrust them all to you, Banagher…

Banagher's eyes widened at the Sinanju, and he became enraged. "You killed him!" he shouted. This rage activated the NT-D: the Unicorn's armor separated; its horn became a "v-fin", and its head became one of a Gundam. As soon as the morphing sequence finished, Banagher shot his Beam Magnum twice, and Full Frontal was barely able to dodge his shots. Full Frontal fired back, as Banagher's shots started to break Laplace apart due to their power.

Angelo, from the Rewloola, watched in horror. "Commander!"

Outside of Laplace, Setsuna had finally finished with the Royal Guards with the help of Allelujah, and saw how the Unicorn, in its Destroy Mode, chased the Sinanju. "Banagher." he said. He and Allelujah then rushed towards the Unicorn.

In the distance, Lockon spotted the Unicorn and the Sinanju. "There is the Red One!" he exclaimed as he started firing his GN Sniper Rifle at Full Frontal. Frontal dodged his shots and fired back, but Lockon used his GN Fully Shield to block the beam fire. Tieria fired his GN Bazooka, but the slow and massive attack was easy for Frontal to evade. Banagher drew his beam jutte and swung it against the Sinanju; however, Frontal blocked his blow and proceede to kick the Gundam in its face. Moving away from it, he suddenly found himself assailed by the Exia. Setsuna drew a GN Saber and tried to slash the Sinanju with it, but Frontal instead used his beam rifle as a shield. After it exploded, Frontal then drew his own beam saber and engaged the Exia in close combat. However, he failed to notice the Unicorn coming from behind with its beam saber. Frontal pushed the Exia away and moved closer to Earth; however, the Unicorn gave chase. Their proximity to Earth caused the inevitable: they were now being dragged into the gravity well. Even so, the Unicorn and the Sinanju clashed their beam sabers and then separated, while the recognizable reentry burning started to surround both units. Setsuna went after them both. "Setsuna!" Allelujah shouted, "You'll burn up!"

"We have to retrieve the Unicorn!" Setsuna replied, "Help me!"

Allelujah frowned, but he eventually complied, transforming into waverider mode. The ruins of Laplace started to burn up.

Nearby, the Garencieres approached the battle. "Laser contact with the Sinanju has been lost!" Flaste reported, "We can't pick it out of the debris!"

"And the Unicorn?" asked Suberoa.

"Psycho-monitor is still online!" Flaste responded.

"If we track that, we can get ahold on him." Suberoa then said, "Alter heading and trajectory at once! We'll retrieve both units before they burn up!"

"With me at the helm sir?" Flaste asked scared: while he was a capable pilot, reentry maneuvres were Gilboa's specialty.

"It's an atmospheric assist maneuver!" Gilboa then suddenly said by the radio, "You'll manage, Flaste!"

"Gilboa, time's up." said Suberoa, "You'll never be able to infiltrate Bogey One in this situation."

"But sir, if we pass up this chance…" Gilboa started saying.

"Abort the operation!" interrupted Suberoa, "Gilboa Team, redeploy to rescue Frontal Team."

The Unicorn kept fighting the Sinanju in beam saber combat. Frontal tried using his shield beam blade, but Banagher blocked his attack with his shield. Frontal then tried to get away, but Banagher grabbed the Sinanju by one of the legs and ripped it off. Banagher threw the leg aside and continued to chase Frontal. "I'm going to take you down!" he shouted, "Even if it is the last thing I ever do!"

"Banagher!" Setsuna suddenly said through the comm. Banagher turned around to see the Exia coming. "You will burn up at this rate!" Setsuna then said, "The mission has already been accomplished! We must go back now!"

However, Banagher ignored him and drew his Beam Magnum, intending to shoot Frontal down. As he shot it, however, Setsuna suddenly pushed the Unicorn's arm away, causing Banagher to miss. Banagher turned towards Setsuna, "What the hell is wrong with you?"

"Get a grip, Banagher Links!" Setsuna then shouted. Banagher made a little gasp. Somehow, he suddenly became shocked of how he had acted throughout the battle, and realized he had become the same thing he hated: a bloodthirsty soldier. He stopped moving. Setsuna grabbed the Unicorn and placed it in the Kyrios' back. "Setsuna!" Allelujah called, "We have reached the point of no return! Hop on top!"

As the Unicorn was placed in the Kyrios' back, Exia noticed a lone Geara Zulu nearby, struggling to escape the Earth's gravity. Setsuna waved the Exia's arm at it, signaling it to get to them. Gilboa, the pilot of the Geara Zulu, saw this. "He is…helping me?" he said, confused. Of course, he couldn't pass up a chance like this, and so his stretched his mobile suit's arm, and Setsuna managed to grab the Geara Zulu. Placing it on top of the Exia, the four mobile suits, using the Kyrios, began reentry.

As Banagher looked outside, he noticed Daguza's Loto's head burning up…

The Marcenas Estate closed its gates as Audrey, or rather, Mineva Lao Zabi, entered the premises escorted by at least a dozen secret service agents. Nearby, the representative of the Middle East, Marina Ismail, who had come to speak with Ronan about the deteriorating situation in her region, noticed her. Could she be…, she thought. She then noticed something in the sky: something was burning in the atmosphere. Audrey noticed Marina looking at the sky and did likewise, and saw how the ruins of Laplace were burning…

"Banagher…" she muttered.

The Garencieres began reentry. As Suberoa ordered Flaste to accelerate, he noticed the Kyrios, Unicorn, Exia and Gilboa's Geara Zulu nearby. He and his crew were all surprised by this sight, especially since their supposed enemies were actually helping one of their men survive reentry.

The Unicorn's NT-D deactivated. Setsuna then noticed the Garencieres nearby, and saw that it started approaching them. He then saw that the Garencieres began communicating with them via morse code, using its lights. Get ahold of us, he thought, So they're here to help, I see…

Setsuna used his optical sensors to respond at the Garencieres.

Suberoa saw, in surprise, how the Exia responded. "We will get behind you and make reentry with you…" he read, "Flaste! Get the Garencieres in position! Let them ride on our roof!"

"Are you sure about this, sir?" Flaste asked.

"They saved our man out there." he said, "We can only help them back as gratitude. Besides, they might tell us about Marida…"

The Garencieres sent out another message, and Setsuna nodded. He then opened a channel with Allelujah.

"Allelujah, keep the Unicorn in your back!" he said, "Me and the Geara Zulu pilot will ride in that freighter ship!"

"Are you sure, Setsuna?" Allelujah then asked, "They are Zeon…"

"We don't have choice." replied Setsuna, "Besides, there is a greater possibility of you breaking down due to our weight. But with me and the Zulu off your back, you'll be able to make reentry safely."

"Roger that." Allelujah then said.

Setsuna then grabbed the Geara Zulu and detached from the Kyrios. After much effort, he managed to grab ahold of the Garencieres, right in its back. Gilboa also grabbed himself from the ship.

Above them, Full Frontal watched the scene unfold, and smiled in a malicious way.

Everything will now truly change, he thought. He then moved away, rendezvousing with the Rewloola.

Lockon and Tieria returned to the Ptolemy. Lockon was frustrated: they had lost two comrades and the Unicorn. He was mad at himself, believing he had failed as a leader. As they exited their cockpits, they were received by Sumeragi, who had a somewhat disappointed expression. "I'm sorry, Miss Sumeragi." said Lockon, "I lost two of our solar furnaces and the Unicorn."

"It is unfortunate." replied Sumeragi, "But right now, we must focus in retrieving them."

She then placed her hand in Lockon's shoulder, "For now, rest."

Lockon left, but Tieria remained there and stared at Sumeragi. She noticed his look in his face. "What is it, Tieria?"

"I am disappointed in you, Sumeragi Lee Noriega." he said, "You have shown that you are an incapable commander."

"Not only have we lost the Unicorn which we struggled so much to capture," he said, "but now two of the solar furnaces are at risk of being captured by the enemy, and all thanks to your errors as a tactical forecaster."

"That attitude won't solve anything." she then said, "We must focus on retrieving them as soon as possible."

Tieria simply stared at her for a few seconds and then promptly left.

Insolent brat, she thought.

_________________
Reinhard: "Of course, grades in school aren't a good indicator. They focus too much on memorization and imitation, and don't foster imagination."
Kircheis: "What you find important are imaginative and conceptual capabilities, right?"
Reinhard: "That's right."


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