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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:01 am 
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Retconned MSV Ace

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Posts: 1681
Location: Finland
Hi guys, episode 62 - The Chase is up, much like the chase itself. The final battle is starting, around a colony headed for Earth on a crash-course. So everyone is setting up for yet another massive smackdown, and you can pretty much guess that many of those going out won't be coming back home to mom/loved ones/pets/etc.

Here is a comedic scene in bad taste about how the pilots try to cope with the stress of yet another horrible fight ahead, and a fight against time too at that. Not everyone can be a hero. :P
Quote:
An Enforcer is set in its struts, with the armor casing on its right shoulder open.]
Jerry: You better make sure that arm joint holds, you got me?!
Mechanic: Sir, it will hold. I will bet my life on it.
Jerry: Funny you should say that because it is not really you who is betting their life on it, is it?
Mechanic: I’ve opened the joint twice now sir, and there is nothing there. I am needed elsewhere…
[Annoyed, Jerry pulls on the controls, lifting the right arm of his Hawk Enforcer and nearly dislodging the gantry next to it. The mechanic holds onto the railing for dear life, screaming.]
Jerry: [on the loudspeaker] When I raise the arm over shoulder height, there is a distinct tug on the controls. The bearing of the joint does not move smoothly, which means it might get stuck.
Mechanic: Sweet Jesus, alright, I will take it apart again!
Woman: Stop molesting the crew and making a scene!
[Jerry moves his camera to pinpoint Ash, standing in front of his unit with her hands on her hips. He gets out of his seat and moves to his hatch.]
Jerry: I’m not gonna face the backpacked bastard who killed Fu, Kai and Elthmann one-armed!
Ash: [waves her finger] Fighting for vengeance will only get your hot head blown clear off. We need to work as a team, like we did against the red one.
Jerry: [grumbles] Thanks for the lecture. Now climb into your unit or keep it up and I might smack you one.
Ash: [incredulous] You would hit a woman?
Jerry: Hey, when you’re in a mobile suit it’s pretty pointless how you pee. As long as you don’t have flowing hair and boobs slapped onto that thing, I reserve the right for an educational backhand!
Ash: You ZOINKS Neanderthal!
Jerry: Making up fancy words won’t help you win this argument!
[Behind them Kurogawa is burying his face in his palms. The Orb pilots are eyeing the spirited, half-joking exchange with amusement whereas the UPA pilots wish they had been accommodated on the ZAFT ships.]
Orb pilot: Hey, come on, just kiss and make up, will ya?
[Kurogawa steps in, voice is filled with authority.]
Kurogawa: Shut up, the lot of you! If you have to be witty, keep it down. We’re going to a battle people, and I realize you feel like letting out a little steam beforehand, but get serious! Get professional! If you can’t do that, I don’t have any problems with making you sit this one out!
[Kurogawa gives a stern glare at Jerry and Ash both, both of whom feel like the usually friendly family dog has just bitten them. But the order works, at least for a second.]
Orb pilot: Excuse me, did you just say that if I shout and dance about, I won’t have to go out to get shot at?
[The hopeful gleam in the man’s eyes makes Kurogawa hesitate.]
Kurogawa: Errr…
Orb pilot: I do a fantastic ‘Lord of the Dance’.
Kurogawa: I will ground all pilots of they don’t behave. Except you. You’re going out no matter what.
Orb pilot: [disappointed] Aaaaw. [pause, quietly] Racist.


The launch scene in this one is directly inspirated by the scene in Gundam Seed, Phase 46 (or was it 47?) where the good guys all launch in turn with suitably heroic music in the background. I absolutely love that scene as a set-up for the final battle and wanted to recreate it. I guess it doesn’t work as well on paper. :) Here it is regardless:

Quote:
Lacus: Commander Waldfeld, you can launch now. Good luck.
Waldfeld: Andrew Waldfeld, Gaia, heading out!
[The Gaia flies out of the catapult, its red colors making it easy to spot. The launching sequence has begun and the camera moves next to the Valkyrie: The Enforcers take off.]
Kurogawa: Hawk Enforcer, Kurogawa-unit, taking off!
Miriallia: Kurogawa-unit, please launch!
[Kurogawa is pushed against his seat as his Enforcer is propelled out. Ash’s Enforcer is next.]
Ash: Hawk Enforcer, Imiz-unit, let’s go!
Miriallia: Imiz-unit, please launch!
[Ash flies out like Kurogawa, and takes up formation next to him. Jerry is next.]
Jerry: [bored] Can I go now?
[Miriallia stammers a little, then speaks quietly and a little resentfully.]
Miriallia: Saber-unit, please launch.
Jerry: [cowboy-style] Yeeeeeee-haaaaaw!
[The hangar is now clear, only the Final Justice remains. Athrun takes the elevator up with Cagalli and pauses at the cockpit and gives Cagalli a little kiss, and then pushes himself inside and closes the hatch. Blushing, Cagalli does not realize immediately that there is no mobile suit left for her. The Justice moves to the launcher.]
Cagalli: Hey! HEY! You ZOINKS!
Athrun: [on the loudspeakers] I only promised to take you with me, but I never promised a mobile suit. You wrecked yours in Orb.
Cagalli: You blue-haired bastard, open the hatch if you dare! I thought you shared in a relationship!
Athrun: Go ahead and ask Kira if he lets Lacus roll around in the Freedom.

_________________
-We will not be caught by surprise!
*Almost everyone I've killed uttered similar last words.
-Then I am glad once again that you are on my side.
*They've often said that too.


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 Post Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:23 am 
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Retconned MSV Ace

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Posts: 1681
Location: Finland
BANG!
Are we there yet, some impatient kids might ask. Almost, I would reply, almost. About 2 episodes to go, so if you're tuning in now, you're way too late. Go back and ready from the start! :D

The most final of all final battles still rages, with Shinn, Athrun, Kira, Maverick/Nightfall and a whole bunch of others. The gods of the plot demand more blood to be sacrificed on the altar of poor imitation of kill'em-all-Tomino. So here is the excerpt to show I mean business:

Quote:
Maverick: [voice booming] Go! Kill!
[Mahadi flinches, feeling pressure of the command. His eyes are bloodshot and fixated on the Phoenix. He can sense the aura of the pilot, and his instincts tell him to kill the monster. Viktor, on the other hand, is in no condition to rationalize the situation but shrieks and turns around, blasting away from the Phoenix as fast as he can. Viktor can see the blaze of battle ahead; there he would not have to be alone. There he could make the voices go away. Maverick is, quite frankly, surprised to see the Eclipse go.]
Maverick: [looks at the Triton] Well, 50% is not bad. [clears his throat] You, pilot! Go! Kill! Obey!
[His best impression of an evil voice does not have the desired effect as the Triton ignites its boosters and charges directly for the Phoenix with claws open and beam sabers up. Maverick backs off, and moves the extensions on the backpack to the shield configuration, but a quick burst from Mahadi’s machine gun to the topmost extensions breaks the symmetry and shield does not form. The Triton bridges the gap between them with a speed that seems unbelievable to an older Gundam not meant for space-use. The shield starts to re-form but Mahadi pushes the beam sabers into the forming shield and uses the plasma to push back the energy. Once established, the barrier shield cannot be breached, but it seems that its formation can be interrupted, Maverick sourly notes. The Phoenix keeps on backing away without giving the Triton a chance to push the sabers in deeper.]
Mahadi: You! You are the distortion! You are the distraction! It’s you!
Maverick: [concedes] You are probably right.
Mahadi: I have to end you! If I end you, then the fighting will end too!
Maverick: Touching, but no. It would be wonderful if the death of one person made the world sane again.
[Mahadi gives a wordless scream of anger and presses in. Maverick realizes he is in trouble with the tenacious Extended, and draws back the left control and turns the handle upward. The shield stops forming and the extensions’ tips flare a beam edge. The Triton’s claws catch the two top ones, and his beam sabers bat aside the two from the middle. The Triton kicks up to push the Phoenix’s arm-mounted heavy blade.]
Maverick: A brave battle, but I have to two more arms. You, on the other hand, have run out.
[The two lowest beam-tipped extensions on the backpack flick forward, one into the upper thigh of the Triton, the other into its groin. Mahadi gasps as his mobile suit rocks. The claws snap the topmost extensions off but the ones in the middle slip past the beam sabers due to the Triton’s damaged stance. The two extensions stab into the chest and the side, nearly breaching the cockpit from both sides. The claws cannot move fast enough on the offensive; they are blocked by the Phoenix’s arm-mounted beam shields. The Phoenix turns its right arm over, shearing off claws with its heavy blade. The Triton flails with its beam sabers, but the Phoenix slaps them wide. The extensions dig in a little deeper; the Phoenix seems to draw the Triton closer. The wall of Mahadi’s cockpit is broken and the beam tip pushes into his arm. Mahadi recoils, swathing his arm being cut off. The air in the cockpit starts to boil. The Phoenix leisurely draws its right arm back as the beam sabers deactivate in the Triton hands, and pushes the heavy blade into the cockpit. The tips of the blades come out from the back of the impaled Gundam. Maverick gives a sad smile, and pulls on the left control. The embedded extensions flex, strain for a moment, and then rip the Triton into pieces. The broken leg is pulled out as is the groin, and the chassis is broken in two.]


And because it has to have some funnies:
Quote:
Kira: [frustrated] Damn it, why won’t you go down?!
Shinn: [jeers] Yeah, not so fun when that happens to you, is it?

_________________
-We will not be caught by surprise!
*Almost everyone I've killed uttered similar last words.
-Then I am glad once again that you are on my side.
*They've often said that too.


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 Post Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:35 am 
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Retconned MSV Ace

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Posts: 1681
Location: Finland
Hello readers or occasional people who have wandered by. It’s almost time to close the curtains on this show, and quite clearly on some members of the cast, too. It was to be expected, I suppose, because those people I had slotted for a dramatic death needed to get theirs. Possibly some still need to get theirs at a later moment.

This is the last “whole” episode; the next one will be a concluding chapter that is only half of the usual length, and then there is an epilogue as well. Hope you’ve enjoyed the ride, it’s really great to see this project through, mostly because it gives me energy to continue on the rewrite into a classic novel-format. That is progressing too.

If you have questions or comments on the way I’ve handled some characters, or how I’ve written them out, feel free to comment. Shinn, in particular I think, is a character that divides people and as such my treatment of him may give cause for comment.

Here are my delicious excerpts for your expert tastings:
Being an UPA pilot fighting to save the world is evidently very hard.
Quote:
Jerry: ZOINKS this is hard with only one arm!
UPA pilot: Sir, how much longer to the point of no return?
Jerry: I think we’ve crossed it! I don’t know how we will survive this ZOINKS!
UPA pilot: I meant the colony and Earth!
Jerry: Oh. Dunno, really. Maybe we’re past that one, too?
UPA pilot: [incredulous] You don’t know?!
Jerry: What, you think I have some sort of ominous counter in the middle of my console telling me when it is time to give up? ZOINKS no! If you need the time, we can read it off the Big Ben soon enough!
[Jerry doesn’t need to add that people tend to react irrationally to numbers ticking downwards. He shoves a beam saber into the root of one of the thrusters with anger, and is thrown back by the explosion of the beam saber meeting the superheated exhaust.]
Jerry: Get to work you slacking slackers! We have our world to save!
UPA pilot: Erm, sir. The Terranist mothership is heading this way…
[The head of Jerry’s Enforcer turns to affirm this unfortunate turn of events: his squad is completely exposed on the hull of the colony.]
UPA pilot: But surely they won’t shoot at their own colony?
Jerry: [dryly] Wanna bet your life one that?

Also, it wasn't my intention as such to overload censoring. Quite a few ZOINKS there; I do apologize for my French (which I don't actually speak at all :P ).

Quote:
Arthur kicks his feet over the edge of the deck while Frost hangs over a railing in his spacesuit, managing to look thoroughly bored, which he is.
Arthur: We could bust out of drydock and go after them?
Frost: We would never make it. Too far. Not enough boost.
Arthur: How about hijacking some other ship?
Frost: What, with the two of us? Do you even know how to shoot a gun?
Arthur: [flustered] Of course! I was on the Minerva! We were ZAFT’s finest!
Frost: Now, when you say finest…
Arthur: Point taken.
Frost: Damn, I am so bored! I want to be up there with everyone else! We’re fighting to save the world!
Arthur: [quietly] In my experience those chances do come up quite often, so don’t fret.
[Frost is oblivious to Arthur’s mumbling, determined to make the worst of being left behind.]
Frost: There are heroics to perform and legends to forge! I want to be there!
Arthur: [calmly] The way I see it, sitting here might be boring, but this is mostly so because we’re not being shot at. You confuse excitement with mortal peril.
Frost: I… Point taken. [silent for a moment.] Should we go to the bar to pick up chicks and get sloshed?
Arthur: Now that sounds like a plan, ill-advised as it is.

Oh sure, it isn't exactly natural, but I can't help myself. Maybe they talk stupid like that all the time when the camera's aren't rolling. :P

and last one, this with a bit more action:
Quote:
Shinn: Don’t you think you can just run away from me!
[The Despair makes it through the Dragoons’ web of beams and launches itself fully at the Freedom. Kira swings the anti-ship sword around in a wide arc to discourage Shinn from using the beam claws on him.]
Shinn: Give me back my sword!
[Maverick pauses again, glad to find a moment of relief, only to have the Dom smash into his shield. Maverick slashes back with his blades, forcing Hilda to back off and fire her scattering beam gun ineffectually against the shield. Maverick looks back at the Infinity, thinking hard. He changes the configuration of the shield and sets up a new reactor cycle for a beam barrage. As inaccurate as they are, it would not take much to sink the Infinity for good. However, the ship is not sitting idly by.]
Infinity captain: Missiles?
Weapons officer: Uh, we still have some. The fires are just next to the launchers though…
Infinity captain: [sardonically] So we better launch before the fires blow up the missiles in their tubes, eh?
[The weapons officer offers a dry laugh.]
Weapons officer: Guess so. Hold on. Setting the warheads on independent homing. The backpacked Gundam is hard to miss. [pause] Firing!
[Eight missiles exit their tubes near the rear of the Infinity, and two of the tubes shoot out fire immediately after the launch as the fire spreads there. The firing teams are incinerated at their posts. The missiles head for the rather surprised Phoenix and instead of completing the reactor-cycle Maverick lashes out with the stored-up beams uncontrollably, trying to intercept the missiles. He even uses the CIWS guns on the head of the Phoenix and slashes wildly with the beam saber to intercept all eight, but the explosions rattle the suit and pilot alike. His cool finally breaks.]
Maverick : Damn it, fine then!
[The reactor-cycle starts again and steam is expelled from the vents of the backpack. Kira sees that the Phoenix is distracted, with its shield down and quite still but the Despair demands his attention as Shinn slashes across vertically and diagonally with his beam blades, trying to sidestep the anti-ship sword. When he fails to do so, he opens fire with both palm beam cannons. The Freedom dodges one and blocks the other with its beam shield. The Dragoons swarm the Despair, but are nearly out of charge. Shinn manages to down one with his beam claws, slashing violently as it passes to recharge. With the four remaining Dragoons out of the way, Shinn attacks with renewed vigor. The Despair’s face, ripped open to show diodes and circuitry, is perversely fitting of the dark Gundam. Kira fires the chest-cannon to force Shinn to block the blast and while he does, Kira hits the throttle and flies past the Despair. The Freedom strikes with the anti-ship sword and Shinn reacts by cutting it off with the beam claws from two different points.]
Shinn: I… I broke my sword. Again.
[Kira had been ready to sacrifice the sword either way, already letting go as it was cut and takes out his beam saber instead. With a quick slash the Despair is decapitated and the Freedom kicks it away to gun for the Phoenix. Maverick sees the Freedom coming and curses.]
Maverick: [opens the link] Shinn, keep him off me!
[The Despair needs a moment to regain its bearings, and Shinn is livid due to being constantly beaten down. Shinn sees the Dom Trooper now suddenly picking on him, taking out its beam saber from its backpack.]
Shinn: Do it yourself! You’re not my boss!
[The Despair manages to get its secondary sensors online and the headless Gundam first dodges to the side to avoid the Dom and gives it a solid kick in the back to send it on its way, and then charges stubbornly after the Freedom. Maverick blinks and reconsiders. He looks at the Infinity, addressing Lacus.]
Maverick: You are no longer important. Not even you can counteract the momentum I will attain for chaos, for the end to come, by successfully dropping the colony.

_________________
-We will not be caught by surprise!
*Almost everyone I've killed uttered similar last words.
-Then I am glad once again that you are on my side.
*They've often said that too.


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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:55 am 
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Retconned MSV Ace

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Posts: 1681
Location: Finland
Oh dear, have I made it this far? Episode 64.5 – Last episode is called “The Path Least Trodden” is up in the usual place.

So here it is, finally.

I hope you’ve been waiting for it, but in a good way. :)

So yeah, a lot of stuff but in very little room; there are only two scenes (as in, not four) this time. But this isn’t exactly perfect, I have to admit. ;) It’s the pacing that gives me concern; like with the ending to 64.5; I am wondering if it would be better to end with the detonation of Beowulfe. I don’t know if I should’ve given Nightfall the last moment but it didn’t fit the epilogue either (you will see why). I do aim for maximum dramatic impact there if I can, and I do hope it works. I also know I have a problem with setting the tone which has gone on throughout the story. I seriously tried to write a story, but I couldn’t always write it seriously, if you know what I mean. And I definitely didn’t want to go grimdark, even if I did off a whole lot of people even from the canon and my own cast.

A shorter instalment requires a shorter excerpt:
Quote:
Maverick: [sourly] A little late to butt in, don’t you think?
Athrun: Can’t be everywhere at once, being this cool! Kira, hang back! I’ll take care of this!
Kira: Hey what the… you can’t treat me like Shinn!


So where are we know? Almost done, only the epilogue to go which is something I am still figuring out myself. I’m definitely not aiming for a sequel, but you never know. And speaking of aims, it seems to me that this project has taken close to five years (four of which on Mechatalk forums, no less). Seriously, a four year anniversary barely avoided? Back in the day when I first started this I was certain I would be done in a year, with 12 episodes, tops. Fantastic, I will never make any estimations about my writing ever again. :D

Anyway, once more, here is the last official episode to Gundam Seed Phoenix. It’s been a fantastic ride, and I hope you’ve been at least entertained. Stay tuned for the epilogue.

_________________
-We will not be caught by surprise!
*Almost everyone I've killed uttered similar last words.
-Then I am glad once again that you are on my side.
*They've often said that too.


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 Post Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:58 am 
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Retconned MSV Ace

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Posts: 1681
Location: Finland
Oh, and a quick addition, I do have to give massive props for CHASER for sticking with this project to the end with me, carefully and diligently proofreading my stuff. He hasn't visibly around Mechatalk that much of late, but his help has been invaluable; having a beta-reader keeps you so much more motivated. :)

_________________
-We will not be caught by surprise!
*Almost everyone I've killed uttered similar last words.
-Then I am glad once again that you are on my side.
*They've often said that too.


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 Post Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:07 am 
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Retconned MSV Ace

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Posts: 1681
Location: Finland
Dun-dun-duuuuuuuun!!!

All done now; episode 65 (epilogue) is up. Here it is, then.

Some of the comments that follow will be spoilers of the story itself, mind.

I figured that pretty deep into the story the whole purpose of the Phoenix was to offer a clean(ish) slate for it to end; my argument was that Athrun and Kira had achieved such power and prowess that regardless of what they did with it, they were perceived as a threat. Nightfall was the existential opposite of them, trying to argue that with only a few pushes and prods, violence would descend again, and when he challenged Kira and Athrun directly, he wanted to claim that a world that relied on a few individuals would be only postponing its destruction.

It seems like a lot important people buy the farm, including a few additional acres. I tried to add a little more drama to make the ending, dare I say, even touching. The scene at the beach and Nightfall floating alone in space, embracing the universe as his body floated towards the sun. It was crucial to write his end in the way that he didn’t even get to die in battle against his “fated” adversaries to underscore the futility of his agenda. In the rewrite into novel-format, if I ever manage to complete it, I might make him even more of a tragic hero, like Milton’s Satan in Paradise Lost, who feels he is simply acting out the part that had been given to him, not really believing in it and knowing he would lose.

Oh yeah, and Shinn has orange eyes, in case you forgot. ;) That one scene, if nothing else, seems to undo everything Kira and Athrun sacrificed for, so that’s why I am a little hesitant about including it, and in fact finishing off with it. What do you think? Shinn gets to live, but could this be better included somewhere else, or is it actually better to completely pull the rug from underneath a vaguely optimistic ending? :mrgreen: I could be persuaded both ways.

No excerpt, the epilogue is very, very short.

It’s been a long, splendid ride. Thanks again for all my supporters, even though some of them have fallen off the wagon in the long drudgery that was this project. Thanks to the quiet readers too, I hope this was interesting and even a bit entertaining for you. Now, if I can make a final request, let me know if you think I should rewrite it at all. Would you like to see this story, updated, on e.g. FF.net? It would make me feel motivated if you said yes. ;)

_________________
-We will not be caught by surprise!
*Almost everyone I've killed uttered similar last words.
-Then I am glad once again that you are on my side.
*They've often said that too.


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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:55 am 
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Retconned MSV Ace

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Posts: 1681
Location: Finland
This is not just a shameless bump back on the first page! I assure you, no, it is not!

I am actually down up to episode 32 in the rewrite-effort of the Phoenix, and it's shaping out quite well, even if I do think so myself. Needless rambling is cut down and the story is a bit more lean with all the stage directions removed and descriptions cut down to a bare minimum. I also did some reorganizing of the plot so that one event is followed more closely by another and I try to stick to a single event from beginning to end. In the script-version I liked to play around with several locations with stuff happening in each all at once, but I got some feedback that it was quite difficult to read and follow. The story should be more user friendly now. :)

But no, I haven't started posting it yet since I'm thinking of finishing it all the way and then posting at the usual site an episode per week. With the reductions in text I might actually make it under 60 episodes this time! ;)

If you read the previous fic and liked it in general or even if you didn't much care for it, you can let me know if there was something in particular you remember that didn't work for you, let me know and I can try to improve that. Similarly, if you had something you really liked and left a good impression on you, mention that too so I won't accidentally remove it. ;)

I've also got new, fresh ideas on yet another rewrite of the story and am seriously toying around with it. This one would follow Destiny's lead a bit more and perform a smaller "correcting" measure in the OVA, leaving the series to start with Lacus as the chairperson of PLANT, Kira still missing, and Athrun trying to balance somehow between Orb and PLANT without any official UPA organization. Yes, the blue-haired one would be in the middle of it (and knee-deep in it, too) again but give some previous actors a bigger role, that would also make it possible to have more fights. My fic, as once undeservedly praised, was and is more like Legend of the Galactic Heroes in the sense that I tend to go for the big picture, and the fights should have some meaning directly for the plot rather than set them up as random engagements where the other side withdraws conveniently. But I don't know if I have the energy for yet another rewrite...

_________________
-We will not be caught by surprise!
*Almost everyone I've killed uttered similar last words.
-Then I am glad once again that you are on my side.
*They've often said that too.


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