(This is an alternate universe story with many similarities to the CE universe, but UC similarities abound as well. It's my part of a larger story called "Gundam War" on ublot.com, but my story arcs get so long and so untampered with that they are pretty much stand alone stories.
Some terms you should know:
An "E-Gin" is similar to a coordinator, only a coordinator made almost expressly for military combat. E-Gin is short for "engineered"
The "Omega Phase" is the closest thing this story comes to newtypes. The main difference is that is completely random, and there is no realy way to create artificial Omegas or predict whose child will become an Omega.
And now, without further ado, my fanfic. This is the first half. I'll post the second half later.)
"Hahahaha! I FOUND YOU AT LAST TRAITOR!!!!" a voice screamed over Marlene's comm system.
"It can't be... no... not you!" Marlene gasped.
"You thought I died when you made your attempt to escape O.R.A.C.L.E! Well, I, Alan Ross, have a life lesson for you, Number Three! Make all the plans you want to in life, they'll never turn out how you want them to! Now, surrender yourself and that Gundam you stole, Number Three!"
Number Three used to be the only name Marlene knew. It wasn't even a name. It was her designation, back when she was a disposable test pilot for the corrupt military organization O.R.A.C.L.E. She had since taken the name "Marlene", both to give her an identity and to protect her from pursuers. The Gundam she stole from them to make her escape was identified as the RPX-0705, but she called it "Friend". After all, the machine was the only friend, the only family she had ever had. Marlene was aware that her friend could never understand her, never hear her, never speak to her. But it protected her, and that was enough. She wasn't about to let O.R.A.C.L.E take her only friend away from her. She wasn't going back down to that hellhole the military called a "lab". Not now, not ever.
"JUST DIE!!!!" Marlene screamed, firing her Beam Rifle.
Alan's Gundam, the Silver Bullet, so named because of it's distinctive silver paint scheme, easily dodged the flimsy attack. Alan Ross was a veteran pilot, having served in three different wars, and was not going to be an easy kill.
"Why do you resist, Number Three? I'm here to take you back home to Earth. Don't you want to go home?" Alan asked.
"I am home! Space is my home! And you are not welcome here, SO DIE!!!" Marlene responded by firing her beam rifle with surprising accuracy.
Marlene was in big trouble. Alan's Gundam had her unit severely outgunned. She desperately attempted to dodge Alan's beam rifle shots, but even an enhanced human such as herself would wear out eventually, and she knew how long Alan could keep shooting.
A beam rifle shot whizzed past the RPX-0705's head, singeing the armor. Another shot tracked the gundam to it's current location, and blasted through Marlene's backpack, disableing her Mobile Suit.
"IT'S OVER!!!" Alan laughed, "HOW ABOUT YOU JUST COME ALONG QUIETLY?!"
"ALAN!!!!!" Another pilot's voice roared over both Alan and Marlene's comm system as another Gundam approached and fired it's plasma cannon at the Silver Bullet, causing Alan to have to turn his attention to the newcomer. "GIVE YUIRA BACK TO ME YOU BASTARD!!!!!!"
A smug smile crossed Alan's face. He had not expected THIS pilot to show up; this was a pleasant turn of fortune.
"HOW GOOD OF YOU TO JOIN US... LIEUTENANT KRAIS!!!!" Alan laughed, "SHOUT ALL YOU WANT, IT WILL MAKE NO DIFFERENCE NOW!!! NOTHING YOU DO WILL CHANGE THE FACT THAT YUIRA ABANDONED YOU FOR ME!!!"
"I'LL MAKE YOU PAY!!!!" Krais screamed, firing his plasma cannon again, "GIVE HER BACK!!!!"
The ZMGS-2X70 Cerulean Gundam that Zelngor Krais piloted was a good machine, but it was a little outdated, having been top of the line about three years prior, which meant that Lieutenant Krais would have to use all his skills to delay Alan's victory. Krais couldn't win against an opponent this skilled, so his only option was to distract Alan.
Firing his plasma cannon repeatedly, Krais made his way over to Marlene's Mobile Suit.
"HEY YOU!!!" Krais began, "get out of your Mobile Suit! I'll take you someplace safe!"
Marlene had no reason to trust this stranger.
"Are you with O.R.A.C.L.E?" she asked.
"No, I'm with Fatal Ignition!" Krais responded.
Marlene had heard about Fatal Ignition while she was with oracle. From O.R.A.C.L.E's perspective, Fatal Ignition was a group of terrorists. If the enemy of her enemy was her friend, then she would have no greater friends than this organization.
"alright!" Marlene opened the cockpit of her Gundam and climbed into the hand of the Cerulean Gundam. "Take me away from him!"
"hang on!" Krais fired his plasma cannon again, and flew off at top speed.
"Very well Lieutenant... we will finish this another time." Alan said smugly as he returned to his ship.
A few hours later, Zelngor Krais landed the Cerulean Gundam in the hangar of his ship, the Mobile Battlecruiser "Horatio". After lowering Marlene to the floor, he opened the cockpit of his gundam and floated down to the hangar floor, something made possible by the weak artificial gravity present in the hangar.
"I see you brought home a new pet lieutenant." a green haired technician said as Krais escorted Marlene out of the hangar.
"Very funny Anna. Just fix Cerulean back up." Krais said dryly as he and Marlene entered the Officer's lounge adjacent to the Hangar bay. "have a seat." Krais motioned for Marlene to sit on one of the couches.
Marlene sat down, and took off her helmet, revealing her face. her eyes were unusual: her right eye was violet and her left was blue. Her hair was an very unusual shade of sea green, and was braided in several locations.
Krais was dumbstruck. Marlene looked identical to Yuira when he first met her! Everything was the same, her build, her hair color, her eyes, her skin, absolutely everything was identical!
While Krais was busy being confused, marlene looked over her rescuer. Krais' hair was platnium blond, his eyes were blood red, and his skin was white. His turquoise uniform was distinguished by a silver pin on the left side of his uniform. The pin looked like an "F" in the shape of an angel wing.
"What does that mean?" Marlene asked, pointing at the pin.
"I'd... rather not talk about that..." Krais whispered, "It's... complicated..."
"I see... my name's Marlene." Marlene said.
"Zelngor Krais. Just call me Lieutenant Krais. There's no need for anything else." Krais said blandly, "Follow me. I have to report you to security. They'll decide where you'll sleep tonight." Krais took Marlene by the arm and escorted her to the Security Center, where she met Commander Anita Kyral. Anita was much older than Zelngor, probably in her fourties, with long brown hair and blue eyes. From her appearance, Marlene guessed Anita had a more caring side than the lieutenant.
"So... you're our esteemed guest." Anita said with a voice that could only be described as "motherly".
"Yes ma'am. My name is Marlene."
"Do you have a last name?" Anita asked.
"No ma'am. Just Marlene."
"Just like Jonathan..." Anita muttered.
"Commander, if you won't be needing me, I would like to report to the bridge." Krais said, standing at attention.
"you are dismissed Lieutenant." Anita said.
"yes ma'am." Krais said as he left.
"Now... what to do with you?" Anita said, looking at Marlene. "You're an enhanced, aren't you?"
Marlene's expression changed to display her shock.
"Yes! I am! How did you know?" she asked.
"Jonathan was an enhanced too. he had the same eyes."
"Jonathan?" Marlene asked.
"He was an ensign under Krais' command. The two were like brothers. A few months ago, Jonathan was killed while on a mission. The lieutenant hasn't ever really gotten over it."
"Well, I guess you'll have to stay in the brig, unfortunately. We really don't have anywhere else to put you." Anita said, changing the subject.
"Well, I guess it can't be helped. But I'm used to this sort of sleeping condition." Marlene said, staring at the ground.
"Let's get you to the infirmary first. I think that doctor Haschen will want to look you over."
"NO!!!" Marlene shouted.
"But... we don't know if you're injured or not!"
"I'm not hurt!" Marlene said as she ran to the other side of Anita's office and hid underneath a desk.
"What did they do to you?" Anita wondered out loud.
"They... they..." Marlene began.
"Report Lieutenant." Captain Reese instructed.
"Nothing unusual out there sir. The Earth forces are continuing to try and stamp out the rebels here in space, except now there are many other interested parties seeking to get something out of this conflict." Krais said.
"I predict that there will be serious gravitation towards the Earth Forces among the numerous unalligned pilots, due in part to O.R.A.C.L.E's strength and numbers."
"This bodes ill tidings..." Reese said.
"I agree sir. I reccomend that we obtain a government backing before we proceed with the next operation." Krais suggested.
"But who would side with us?"
"There are many nations and factions in space that are already strong enemies of Earth; For instance, L.U.N.A.R has already offered us their assistance." Krais explained.
"The Lunar Unified Nations Assembly of Representatives?" Reese asked.
"Yes sir. The Martian Armored Reserves Section has also offered aid, in addition to the governments of at least 8 colonies."
"I see. I will inform the Chairman of this development. Dismissed."
Krais walked out of the bridge and into the Zero-G coridoors of the Horatio. Only the key sections of the ship had artificial gravity, as an A-G system was very expensive to maintain. Floating down the hallway, Krais encountered Anita , who looked very concerned.
"Lieutenant, there's something I need to ask you." Anita said.
"Go ahead commander."
"Marlene.... doesn't she remind you of Yuira?"
Krais had sworn at Jonathan's funeral that he would never cry again, and yet he found tears floating near his face; despite his oath, he still was crying.
"Yeah... she looks exactly like Yuira did 2 years ago. Why do you ask?"
"Do you have any DNA records from Yuira?"
"Do I look like a blood bank? Why would I keep any tissue or blood samples? And why would you want them, anyway?" Krais asked.
"Call it a hunch, but I think Marlene is a clone of Yuira."
"That's... impossible... Cloning is illegal, even on Earth!"
"When was the last time O.R.A.C.L.E actually did anything legal?" Anita asked. "Assume that, since you spotted Yuira in an O.R.A.C.L.E base, the Earth Forces have ready access to her DNA. They've already cloned you without similar access, so wouldn't it be natural for them to clone Yuira?" Anita asked.
"I suppose it is possible..."
"That means Earth has a ready supply of E-Gins!"
Krais' face turned even more pale than usual. He was an E-Gin, which was why he was able to pilot a Gundam as complex as the Cerulean, which had an OS that would reduce an Enhanced human to tears. An E-Gin was a special brand of genetically enhanced human that was further augmented with bio-technology, cybernetic implants and prosthetics, and rigid mental conditioning, all to make the most skilled and powerful pilot possible. Only the space borne nations could carry out the genetic enhancements, but the Earth Forces could implement the rest of the procedure with relative ease, which meant if they ever got their slimy hands on an E-Gin's DNA, they could mass-produce their own E-Gins, which would mean that their victory in this war would be assured. In a war these days, typically the side that has the most E-Gins wins, and since only the space nations could carry out the genetic engineering, the space governments always won; but since the Earth Forces now had the ability to mass produce E-Gins that could pilot their superior mobile suits, another victory for the colonists seemed an impossibility.
"If they can mass-produce E-Gins, then we could very well lose the war!" Krais exclaimed.
"You'd better launch immediately. I'll go tell the Captain, and then I'll send you some support units as soon as I can."
Krais went to the locker room, donned his red flight suit, put on his helmet, and dashed to the hangar.
"SIR?! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" Anna exclaimed.
"Emergency launch. Commander Kyral's orders."
"Cerulean's not ready sir! It hasn't been recharged fully!" Anna said.
"Then I'll take Thanatos out."
"Thanatos?! You do remember what happened to George when he piloted that thing, right?"
"I don't have any other choice! Ready the launch catapult Anna!" Krais ordered.
The FIGPOX-83 Thanatos was an experimental gundam designed for high speed stealth operations. Its OS was designated G.T.X, short for Gundam Thanatos Experimental, a brand new OS that was connected to every military network in existance, allowing for simultaneous analysis of any and all military activity going on in the Earth Sphere, but at the cost of having a severe strain on the pilot's mental stability. Thanatos itself was about 19 meters tall, jet black, and its shoulder armor resembled devil wings. Its primary weapon was a large metal scythe that drained the power out of any machine it came into contact with while routing that stolen energy into Thanato's own battery.
As Krais booted up the mobile suit, the OS came online. As it did so, some words were displayed on the screen of his control console:
"Here I go!" Krais said as he launched in Thanatos out into the deep black of space.
Alan waited on the surface of the Earth aboard the Naval MS Carrier "Regalae Lee". He was already dressed in his white flight suit. The sight of a fireball in the sky brought a grin to his face. Zelngor was coming.
Krais knew the Earth Forces were waiting for him, courtesy of using the GTX to listen in on O.R.A.C.L.E radio signals.
"Let's see how you like this unit!" Krais laughed, "I'M COMING FOR YOU ALAN!!!!"
Alan quickly climbed into the Silver Bullet's cockpit and launched his Gundam into the sky, with a pair of black mobile suits tailing behind him.
Krais felt it. That "ping" in his head that happened whenever an E-Gin got close. This time, it was two seperate pings. Two E-Gins were coming, along with Alan.Whether or not he defeated the E-Gins didn't really matter anymore. Alan was there, and today was the day Krais was going to kill that bastard.
"HOW ABOUT THIS?!" Alan shouted, firing a beam rifle shot at the Thanatos as soon as it entered his firing range.
Krais easily dodged the attack and manuvered Thanatos behind Alan's gundam. He felt the familiar ping again, and pulled his MS back just in time to dodge an attack by one of the two black Mobile Suits, which had drawn it's beam saber and had begun a rather botched attack attempt. Krais flew his new gundam in circles around the three enemy mobile suits with his superior mobility. Alan fired blindly, barking orders at his two subordinates. Krais had been easily avoiding the blasts until he heard the name of one of his opponents. Yuira. Krais froze, and Thanatos followed suit.
"GOTCHA!!!" Alan shouted, knocking Thanatos out of the air and onto the deck of the Regalae Lee, where it was immediately surrounded by enemy soldiers and Mobile Suits. Krais had been captured.
As Krais opened the cockpit of his mobile suit, he merely thought about Yuira. He came to Earth to get her back. Alan had always been the reason he wanted her back, and Krais wanted to kill that man for seducing Yuira, causing her to turn against her own husband; he had made up his mind long ago. Alan was going to die, and Yuira would be brought back home. That was how everything would go. If Yuira wouldn't come back with him, Krais decided that he would join HER instead. In fact, he detested fighting in the name of a nation. He fought for his family, and would do anything to protect them. If he had good reason, he would switch sides in a heartbeat. He predicted that this would happen very soon.
"I want to see your captain!" Krais shouted at the troops who swarmed around his gundam, "I have to speak with him!"
"YOU CAN SPEAK WITH THE CAPTAIN IN THE BRIG!!!" one of the soldiers yelled.
"Very well." Krais sighed as he allowed the handcuffs to be placed on his wrists.
he waited for hours in the brig. Eventually, a man wearing a black and red uniform approached the cell and opened the door.
"Questioning or excecution?" Krais asked.
"Which would you like?" the officer replied.
"I haven't decided."
"Then you're going in for questioning. Get moving!"
The captain was tall, with features that looked like they were carved out of granite. his hair was in a traditional military haircut, and his chin had a one day old stubble.
"Name?" the captain asked.
"Krais, Zelngor." Krais responded.
"Hmmm. Pretty young to be an ace... Hometown?"
"Tell me lieutenant, why did you come here?"
"I can think of a few reasons. Which would you like to hear?"
"All of them."
"Reason one: Alan Ross."
"Lieutenant Junior Grade Ross? What business do you have with him?"
"I'm going to kill him."
"Why? From the tone of your voice, I can tell without need for a screening that there's something personal between you two."
"That's the second reason I came. Yuira Krais."
"She's my wife. I was under the impression that she was kidnapped by your forces until she told me otherwise at your base in Belfast. She abandoned me and started screwing Alan. THAT is why Alan will die. I will allow no one else to kill him! THAT satisfaction will go to me and me alone!" Krais explained.
The captain motioned for Krais to lean in closer.
"If you want to kill him, he's all yours. To tell the truth, I don't like him either. Yuira's the only officer he's respectful to. If you want, I'll even give you a gun to shoot him with." The captain said.
"Why are you doing this for me?" Krais asked, more than a little confused by the kindness of the enemy captain.
"I can't stand a man who steals anything, be it money, food, or wives. It's a despicable thing to do, and I won't allow it to happen on my ship. Add my dislike for Alan, and you have a bona fide reason for me to help you out."
"What's the catch?" Krais responded.
"If Alan dies, someone has to take his place. I'm hoping that person will be you."
Krais considered the offer very carefully. He figured things would turn out like this.
"Okay. You'll need a new identity to blend in on this ship."
"How about Zeta as a name?" Krais suggested.
"Zeta? Fine. You will be Lieutenant Commander Zeta Askir, who will be in charge of the captured Gundam suit." the captain said.
"I'll also need a uniform."
"True. I'll have a special one brought to you in the brig."
"What if the crew figures this out?"
"You're defecting! They won't care!"
Krais altered his role in the war forever when he put on that uniform and became Lieutenant Commander Zeta Askir. After being released, he calmly strode around the ship looking for Alan.
"Hey you!" 'Zeta' commanded, pulling a young officer aside, "Where's Alan Ross?"
"I think he's up on deck."
"Thank you. carry on." Zeta wandered up to the deck of the ship, an action that was aided by his knowledge of this class of vessel. He knew the blueprints by heart, a result of his fascination with war when he was younger.
There he was. Alan Ross. The man who had stolen Krais' whole life. Zeta calmly strode over next to Alan, who was inspecting the Thanatos.
"Lieutenant." Zeta said calmly, fingering the 9mm semi-automatic pistol that rested underneath the trench coat like tunic of his new uniform.
"Commander." Alan replied.
"say, lieutenant..." Zeta began, "how is Yuira? Is she any good... in bed?"
Alan turned saw Zeta's face, and realized that this "officer" was not in the crew. Alan fumbled for his gun, but was quickly knocked over by Zeta, who had already drawn his firearm and aimed it at Alan.
"Haven't you ever learned about the Seven Deadly Sins? Remember, adultery is one of them!" Zeta laughed.
"NO!!! DON'T!!!!!" Alan screamed as Zeta pulled the trigger, firing the bullet which pierced Alan's brain, ending the soldier's life in an instant.
It was immensely satisfying. Not only removing the competition for his wife's affections, but killing the man who had wronged him, and then taking his job as well. Zeta sat in Alan's quarters with a smug expression on his face. Indeed, his new identity had already been forged into the Regalae Lee's memory banks. He was now the MS commander on the ship. After searching through the ship's registry, Zeta discovered that Yuira was set to pilot Alan's old Silver Bullet gundam. He had also secured his own position as the pilot of the Thanatos, thanks to some helpful maneuvering of the ranks from the captain. He was set.
"Ensign Yuira?" Zeta asked his wife, who was oblivious to her new commander's true identity.
"I'm new on this ship, so I need to test your skills with your Mobile Suit. Report to the hangar in ten." Zeta ordered.
"Yes sir." Yuira said as she ran off to the locker room.
Zeta couldn't help but smile. He had obtained the ultimate revenge on Alan. Not only that, but he no longer needed to burden himself with that girl Marlene. He never did appreciate her at all while she was around. Her face invoked too many terrible memories in him. Now, he was rid of his past. he could start fresh. Zeta suppressed a maniacle laugh, but a malevolent chuckle managed to escape.
Seven minutes later, Yuira met Zeta in the hangar.
"Are you ready?" Zeta asked.
"As ready as I'll ever be."
"In that case, launch immediately."
Glaivia Richards climbed into the cockpit of his Z3 Gundam, the first of three units that were constructed for use by the neutral faction "Dark Crown", a former terrorist organization that had risen to great levels of political influence, such that they had at least one formal representative in every governmental structure, which gave them connections everywhere. Glaivia was the younger brother of Vreese Richards, a battleship commander whose reputation as a quick thinker was well deserved. Glaivia's Z3 was painted a bold shade of blue, and was equipped with two folding plasma cannons on it's hips aa well as a beam rifle, two 75 mm vulcans in the head and two beam sabers located just above the plasma cannons. It was a good unit, and had never failed Glaivia before.
Alexis Ross activated her Z3 Gundam. She would avenge her brother's death. She never could say that she agreed with her brother's views on Earthling superiority, but her brother was her brother. She didn't even know the name of her brother's killer, but whoever it was, they would pay.
As soon as Glaivia and Alexis launched, their cruiser, the Arondight, moved into the debris belt orbiting Earth and disappeared from radar.
Zeta couldn't beleive it. Yuira was a terrible pilot. He managed to defeat her ten times in a row.
"Ensign," Zeta began, "If you want to serve under my command, you'll need to meet my standards."
"I'm sorry sir. I did try my best though." Yuira said sadly.
"The effort that you put in doesn't matter. What matters is the results of your efforts. A man could pound a stone with a hammer until it turned to sand, but what would come of that effort? Wasted time. If I wanted sand, I would do something requiring a little less effort. I would get in my car and drive to the beach. I wouldn't pound a stone with a hammer and waste hours of my life! I have better things to do! Do you get what I'm saying?"
"Good. Once you've changed back into uniform, I'd like to see you in my quarters."
"Right away sir."
Glaivia and Alexis landed their mobile suits in Hangar number 2 of the Horatio, where they were met by Captain Reese and Commander Kyral.
"Greetings Captain," Glaivia began, "I am Lieutenant Glaivia Richards, commander of the Arondight's Mobile Suit team."
"The Arondight?" Reese asked, "That's a Dark Crown ship, isn't it?"
"Yes sir. We've picked up some information that you might find interesting." Glaivia said.
"What is it?"
"About 2 days ago, we received word from our embassy in Washington D.C that a defector from Fatal Ignition had joined the ranks of O.R.A.C.L.E, and he brought with him a black gundam."
"It can't be..." Anita whispered.
"He calls himself 'Zeta', though we doubt that is his real name, and he killed Lieutenant Alan Ross and took over his job." Glaivia explained.
"You say he's called Zeta? That doesn't sound like anyone from my ship, but assuming that the gundam is in fact the Thanatos, it's probably one of my men." Reese pondered.
"He's also bringing an armored Mobile Suit Carrier here, to the Horatio."
"So... I assume you are not bringing us this information out of the goodness of your hearts, correct?" Anita asked.
"My brother wants Zeta captured and brought to the Arondight."
"I'll see what I can do." Reese said, walking off.
"Captain, we have the Horatio within firing range!"
"Close the gap." Zeta ordered, "And ready my mobile suit."
Zeta smiled. It had been almost 3 months since he joined O.R.A.C.L.E, and now he was returning to space to hopefully end the war. He had recieved a promotion to Captain, and was now in command of the newest ship in the fleet, the black painted mobile battle cruiser, "Kaladbolg". He suppressed a chuckle as his new ship closed in on the Horatio and prepared to carry out the next phase of the operation.
"What is it?" Reese asked.
"An unidentifed battleship has just began approaching us from the north!"
"Understood. Switch to Condition Red and launch the mobile suits!" Reese ordered.
"It's stopped moving, and they've sent out two mobile suits! One of them is carrying a white flag!"
"Can we identify the mobile suits?"
A voice over the bridge's speaker system answered Reese's question.
"Attention crew of the Horatio! This is Captain Zeta Askir of O.R.A.C.L.E speaking. We are here to open negotiations with your captain! I repeat, we do not seek a battle! Allow us to land and commence discussion!" Zeta's voice demanded.
"I guess we have no choice. We know nothing about the strength of that new battleship, so we have to stall for time." Reese sighed, "Allow them to land in Hangar Number 1."
As Zeta and Yuira walked into the conference room of the Horatio, Zeta began to remember all the memories he had abandoned on this ship; after all, the Horatio had been his home for the past year!
Zeta examined the conference room. The floor plan was a simple trapezoid, with the only door located on the short side, facing the longer side, which was a set of very large windows that ran parallel to the large oval shaped conference table. the floor, ceiling, and side walls were also made of glass, which provided a sparkling view of Earth, the Moon and the inky blackness of space.
After Zeta, Yuira, Reese, and Anita had taken their seats, the negotiations began.
"So, what exactly do you wish to negotiate?" Reese asked, having already recognized Zeta's true identity.
"We want an end to this war. It's quite simple really: what we're offering is freedom for you. My government is willing to grant you a clean slate in exchange for your immediate and unconditional surrender, followed by your enlisting in the ranks of O.R.A.C.L.E."
"Enlistment in the military?" Anita asked, "How is that freedom?"
"Yes. I had my own questions about this, but you know how military politics work; you spend three months asking about your orders, trying to get an answer out of the top brass, and when you finally get an answer it's always 'don't ask'." Zeta explained while silently pressing a button on his watch underneath the table.
"You say they're offering us a clean slate?" Reese asked.
"Yes. That is what they are offering." Zeta responded.
"tell me..." Reese began, "what did they offer you in return for betraying us?" Reese produced a gun from his uniform, but was thrown off balance by a blast that rocked the whole ship. Zeta's other teammate, Neo Ronginius, Zeta's clone (who looked just like a slightly younger Zeta with longer hair); who had concealed his new gundam, the black painted Noir Gundam, behind a large rock that was floating in the same vicinity as the Horatio, had fired two well aimed beam rifle shots at the Horatio, crippling its propulsion systems. The Horatio was "dead in the water", to use the old saying.
In the chaos that ensued, Zeta and Yuira made their way back to their Gundams, and they blasted off into space, returning home to their vessel.
"Mission accomplished." Zeta said with a cold voice, "Now, the time has come to finish those rebels off."
Marlene rushed to the Cerulean Gundam after donning her White Pilot suit, which was only adorned by some pink lightning bolts that ran the length of her suits sleeves and legs. After Zelngor had left, Marlene had volunteered to pilot the Cerulean Gundam in his place, and had become quite a capable mobile suit pilot.
"This is Marlene in Cerulean! I'm launching!" she announced to the bridge after stepping onto the launch catapult.
"Go ahead Cerulean!" came the confirmation.
Marlene flew once again into battle, though this time, she wasn't going to run. She was going to face her enemy head on.
"Captain!" Neo shouted, "We have an bandit in pursuit on your six!"
"Thanks for the tip!" Zeta said, pulling Thanatos out of formation, "Yuira, Neo, scramble! Kaladbolg, launch all the mobile suits!"
Thanatos was a more than a match for Cerulean. It had superior abilities and a superior pilot. Zeta easily dodged the Cerulean's plasma cannons repeated vollies, and countered with quick bursts of fire from its head vulcans.
"Time to finish this little dance!" Zeta laughed, activating the scythe of Thanatos, "YOU'RE FINISHED!!!"
As Zeta closed in for the kill, another "ping" went off in his head.
"What the?! From above?!" Zeta quickly darted the Thanatos out of the way just in time to avoid a beam boomerang that had been thrown by a mobile suit Zeta had never seen.
Consulting the G.T.X system, he pulled up records of a new Gundam Unit's manufacture in a hidden factory asteroid. This unit matched the profile of the unit that had just thwarted his attack on the Cerulean.
"The FIGPOX-38 Liberty?" Zeta wondered out loud as he reviewed the records, "I wonder who's piloting it?" Zeta didn't have enough time to do much more digging, as a shot from the Cerulean's plasma cannon diverted Zeta's attention.
"Neo! Cover me! I'll take the newcomer! You handle the Cerulean!"
"Aye sir!" Neo responded, drawing his Gundam's beam saber and launching numerous remote attack drones, codenamed "The Legion".
Neo flew circles around the Cerulean, while leaving all the attacking to his thought-controlled Legion drones, which swarmed all around Marlene's gundam, firing off an unstoppable barrage of beam cannon blasts, which quickly disabled the Cerulean by destroying its backpack, arms and legs.
"Mobile suit captured!" Neo smirked as the Legion reattached themselves to his gundam. Grabbing the wreckage of the Cerulean with his mobile suit, he headed back to the Kaladbolg with his new prize.
Zeta was actually being pressured by this new gundam, something that took him by surprise. Another thing that surprised him was that a terrible headache was now wracking his head. The G.T.X OS kept Zeta one step ahead of this "Liberty" gundam, but only one step ahead. His Vulcan guns had run out of ammo about three minutes ago, and Zeta now had to rely on his speed, skill, and the Scythe that was his Gundam's only other weapon.
"WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?!" Zeta screamed at the other pilot as soon as the scythe was cut in two by the Liberty's beam saber.
"Zelngor? Is that you?" the Liberty's pilot asked.
"It can't be... Jonathan?!" Zeta gasped, halting his attack.
"Commander, what are you doing on the side of the Earth Forces? I thought you hated them!" Jonathan asked, stopping his offensive as well.
"I defected to find Yuira!"
"Yuira?! Did you find her?"
"Yes. But what are you doing here? I saw you die in the invasion of Berlin!"
"I was badly injured, but a reverend found me and took me to a hospital, where I recovered. Commander, come back to Fatal Ignition!"
"I can't! I won't leave Yuira!" Zeta answered.
"ZELNGOR!!!" Jonathan shouted.
"IT'S ZETA NOW!!!" Zeta began, "I LEFT MY PAST BEHIND!!!!" Zeta shouted as he turned the Thanatos towards the Kaladbolg and flew away at top speed.
"DAMN!!!" Zeta pounded his helmet on the table of the pilot's lounge, "WHY DID HE HAVE TO SHOW UP?!"
"Something wrong captain?" Yuira asked as she walked up to Zeta.
"DAMN HIM!!!" Zeta repeated.
"The Captain shouldn't be this angry. If people see you getting flustered, it could really damage morale."
Zeta let out a huge gasp, then regained his composure.
"He's an old comrade of mine." Zeta said.
"The pilot of that new Gundam. His name is Jonathan Travis. I was his superior officer several months ago, before I joined the Earth forces."
"While you were in Fatal Ignition, right?" Yuira asked.
"Yes..." Zeta replied.
"Captain, there's something I think you should see." Neo said, interrupting the moment.
"It would be easier on us both if you just came with me to the brig. We have a prisoner."
"A prisoner?" Zeta asked.
"A girl, who looks suspiciously like Yuira. She was piloting the captured gundam." Neo explained.
"So... this is the prisoner?" Zeta asked as he looked at Marlene, who was sitting on her cot in the brig.
"Yes sir." Neo stated.
"Lieutenant... how could you?" Marlene asked Zeta.
"I have nothing to say to you." Zeta said coldly, walking out of the room, followed by Neo while Yuira remained behind with her mysterious doppleganger.
"You're the one... the one I was based on, right?" Marlene asked.
"It seems so." Yuira said, "Tell me, who is Zeta? You must know something."
"His real name is Zelngor Krais, and he cares a great deal about you."
"My... husband? Zeta is my husband?"
Marlene nodded quietly.
"He came to Earth to be with you." Marlene said, "Now, you must answer my question. What kind of wife would so injure her loving husband like that?"
"It's true. It is really my fault things turned out this way." Yuira began. "My marriage to Zelngor had been arranged by our parents while we were both infants. When I was fifteen, I met a boy named Alan Ross and we hit it off right away. When I was 19, the day came when I was to be married, but even after the marriage, I still was with Alan a lot. Eventually we faked a kidnapping and ran off to Earth together." she explained.
"So, you continued your affair even after you were married..." Marlene mused, "I can't claim to be an expert on anything pertaining to feelings, no thanks to your 'scientists', but I'd say that when you vanished, Zelngor was heartbroken. I know he spent years looking for you. On the outside, I know it looks like he's cold and heartless, but deep down, he really does care for you. He gave up everything to find you, including his pride and his nation. he left it all behind."
Yuira felt a single cold tear trickling down her cheek. Now she realized that, though she had never really cared for her husband, he cared for her; enough to forsake his whole past so he could be with her. The realization of this simple fact brought more tears to Yuira's face, and she collapsed on the floor, sobbing.
"HOW COULD I HAVE BEEN SO BLIND?!" She screamed, no doubt labeling herself as a whore in her own mind.
"Don't cry." Marlene whispered, "You are not a whore. You never were. You are you; there is no one else you could be!"
Yuira's gaze darted back to Marlene. Had the girl just read her mind?
"Sir, do you know that girl?" Neo asked as he and Zeta walked down the hallways of the Kaladbolg.
"Yes. I believe she was one of our government's experiments. A clone of Yuira." Zeta answered.
"Part of the Omega Project? I was part of that too!"
"The Omega Project?"
"It's supposed to uncover the secrets behind the Omega Phase." Neo replied.
Zeta had done reading on the mysterious Omega Phase. it was a randomly occuring factor in humans that led to telepathy and extreme spacial awareness. The reason the Omega Project was started was not mentioned in the report, but Zeta guessed it was for military applications. So far, no leads had been found. Zeta had read in Neo's profile that Neo was a confirmed O.P; a person who could use the Omega Phase, a fact Zeta found interesting, as Neo was Zeta's clone, and yet Zeta did not have the Omega Phase factor.
"Hmm...." Zeta mumbled.
As soon as they entered the crew quarters area, Neo and Zeta parted ways and went to their respective cabins.
When Zeta entered his quarters, he noticed that Yuira was sitting on his bed, looking at the silver angel wing shaped pin that Zeta used to wear on his old uniform.
"Ensign, what are you doing here?" Zeta demanded.
"Captain, when were you going to tell me the truth?" Yuira asked, a sorrowful look in her eyes.
"What truth?" Zeta asked, his expression softening.
"Why didn't you tell me... who you really are; that you're really my husband, Zelngor?"
Zeta looked like he'd seen a ghost; and in a matter of speaking, he had. He couldn't believe that he had almost forgotten why he had defected in the first place!
"Were you ever going to tell me?" Yuira prodded.
"I'm sorry. It looks like you're not the only one guilty of deceit." Zeta mumbled.
"Captain, I--." Yuira's sentence was interrupted by a very sudden kiss from her husband, who had quickly moved over to her and now held her in a tight embrace.
"I missed you." Zeta said.
"What's our status?" Captain Reese asked as he sat in his chair on the bridge of the Horatio.
"We still can't any thrust from either engine block 3 or 7!"
"never mind that! can we move?" Reese demanded.
"We can, but we'll move like molasses on a cold winters day!"
"Fine. Fire up the engines. We're getting out of here!"
"Commence operation Blade Breaker!" Zeta commanded.
"Aye sir! Signaling the fleet!"
"Cancel that signal. The Horatio is wounded and crippled. they're not going anywhere. We can take them out ourselves." Zeta grinned, "Tell the flight crews to prep my Mobile Suit."
Glaivia Richards stood by in his Z3 Gundam's cockpit on the Arondight, waiting for the order to launch. Alex Ross did the same. They were ready to punish the Earth Forces for opressing their people.
"This is Zeta Askir! Thanatos moving out!" Zeta shouted as he launched his mobile suit towards the Horatio, "Hm! Now I'll get rid of them all!"
Neo boarded the Noir gundam. His red eyes moved about the cockpit, checking all the screens and displays while his fingers rapidly typed in commands on the system control keyboard.
"Nuclear drive, active. Linear Thruster array, operational. OS is booted." Neo ran through his launch checklist with inhuman speed and surgical precision. "Neo Ronginius, Noir Launching!"
Yuira checked over every last thing on the Silver Bullet. She had to make sure that everything was in working order before she launched. The last thing she wanted was a malfunction in the middle of the battle that they were about to enter. At last, when everything was satisfactory, she made her vow.
"I will never leave him again. I swear on my life I won't ever leave him." Yuira vowed, "This is Yuira! I'm going now!"
Jonathan Travis was already suited up. As the last Mobile suit pilot on the Horatio, he had an obligation to protect the ship. He looked up at the Liberty Gundam.
"Well buddy," he began, "This could very well be our last battle together."
The alarm blared.
"ALERT!!! ENEMY UNITS APPROACHING!!! LIBERTY GUNDAM SCRAMBLE!!!!" announced the bridge over the PA.
By the time the announcement was finished, Jonathan was already ready to launch.
"John Travis, Liberty! Here I go!"
"Here he comes! Yuira, Neo, take out the Horatio! Liberty's mine!" Zeta ordered, pulling out the Thanatos' scythe.
"Copy that!" Neo said, deploying Legion and activating the Noir's beam saber.
"Captain, let me help you!" Yuira pleaded.
"Negative Ensign. Your target is Horatio. Carry out the operation and don't get involved in a battlebetween men!" Zeta said sternly.
"Yes sir..." Yuira muttered as she flew the Silver Bullet towards the Horatio.
"ALRIGHT!!! LET'S GO!!!!" Glaivia shouted as he fired a volley at the Noir.
Neo felt a pulse in his head that seemed to come from below.
"Not so fast!" Neo shouted, dodging the shot and redirecting the Legion towards Glaivia's Z3 Gundam, "YOU WON'T GET ME THAT EASILY!!!"
"You're dead!" Alex Ross screamed as she fired her beam rifle at the silver bullet. "JUST DIE!!!"
The beam rifle shot caught Yuira by surprise, managing to destroy her gundam's beam rifle. Yuira silently drew her gundam's beam saber. She was outmatched, but she had to do this. It was her penance. Letting out a angry scream, Yuira charged at Alex' Z3, which quickly drew it's own beam saber. The clash of the blades released arcs of energy everywhere. Slash after slash the battle went on, with each attack being parried by the oponent.
"C'mon! You've got to hit him!" Glaivia groaned as the Noir dodged every one of his shots.
A shot from one of the Legion drones hit it's inteded target, destroying Glaivia's gundam's left arm, while another shot destroyed the head, and still others blew off a wing, a leg, and shattered the backpack.
"I'M NOT FINISHED YET!" Glaivia shouted, using the thrusters in his remaining leg to propel him towards the Noir Gundam in a suicide rush. "ALWAYS REMEMBER VREESE!!! ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR LITTLE BROTHER'S HEROIC SACRIFICE IN THE NAME OF FREEDOM!!!!"
"Is he completely insane?!" Neo shrieked, instictively raising his beam saber to destroy the attacker.
"FREEDOM TO THE COLONIES!!!!" Glaivia screamed as his gundam was impaled on the Noir's beam saber blade, which went straight into the cockpit, vaporizing Glaivia in an instant.
"What was he thinking? Only an idiot would try that kind of maneuver..." Neo whispered.
Recalling the Legion units, which reattached themselves to the Noir's backpack, Neo decided to return to the Kaladbolg for resupply.
"ZELNGOR!!!!" Jonathan screamed as he fired a blast from his plasma cannons, "WHY DID YOU BETRAY US?!"
Zeta easily dodged the blast using the Thanatos' superior mobility and fired a quick burst from his head vulcans.
"I don't care about politics. I don't care about hidden agendas. My interests and my allegiance lies with my family, and no one else!" Zeta said coldly.
"So you don't even care about friends?"
"I do care about my friends. They are like family to me. That's why I won't kill you."
"So you won't fight me then?"
"I didn't say that. I said I wouldn't kill you." Zeta stated dryly. "I will however, capture you and that Mobile Suit you're piloting right now." Zeta readied his Scythe.
Jonathan chuckled. He vowed this would be the final battle.
"No guns. We don't need them." Jonathan said, activating his beam saber and tossing his beam rifle and plasma cannons.
"Agreed." Zeta replied. "Let's settle this."
Yuira slashed her beam saber at Alex's Z3 gundam, which parried the attack and launched a counterattack. Yuira blocked Alex's beam saber with one of the Silver Bullet's shoulder shields, then managed to slice off the Z3's left arm. Alex's beam saber, unfortunately, was located in the Z3's RIGHT hand; and quickly countered by cutting off the Silver Bullet's saber arm.
"Ha! You've lost!" Alex laughed, angleing her beam saber to impale Yuira's cockpit.
Yuira wasn't ready to die. She hadn't been able to properly apologize to her husband for her faithlessness. She hadn't been able to mend the wounds in Zeta's heart. Then it hit her. Was that why Zeta was fighting so desperately? Was he trying to prove himself to her? That had to be the reason. His own pride, his honor was on the line in his mind, and he was trying to salvage it!
"I have to fix things. I have to make everything right again." Yuira vowed, "I WON'T LET THIS BITCH DEFEAT ME!!!!" Yuira broke off her right shield and hurled it like a frisbee at the Z3.
"What the--?" Alex gasped as the shield's edge smashed into her gundam's cockpit and shattered the inside of the cockpit, breaking off millions of razor sharp shards of metal and glass which stabbed Alex's body like a thousand knives all over her body. As the air escaped from her pilot suit and her blood poured out of her body and floated in perfect spheres in the space around her, Alex's vision began to blur and fade into darkness.
"I... I can't... die... yet..." Alex gasped as her life bled away.
Yuira gasped for air. That had been quite the ordeal! And she had survived it. She could now make things right between herself and Zeta. But first, she had to return to the Kaladbolg and repair her damaged mobile suit.
"Is that all you have to give?" Zeta taunted.
Jonathan gasped for breath as he recovered his strength. Zelngor was an E-Gin! How could he beat him? He knew that Zelngor would never aim for his cockpit, so maybe there was a chance at victory there... Jonathan studied the enemy machine intently. There were no flaws in it's frame, though in order to acquire its speed and maneuverability it had to sacrifice a lot of armor. If he could land a hit on it, he could critically affect the Thanatos' performance.
"Heh..." Jonathan said confidently, "You know, I'm just FULL OF SURPRISES!!!!" he shouted as he rushed at the Thanatos.
"Don't push it John!" Zeta laughed, swinging the scythe of Thanatos, which easily sliced into the left leg and foot of the Liberty gundam, paralyzing the suit in mid-flight. The beam saber of the Liberty, however, slipped from the Liberty's hand and flew straight into the Thanatos' abdomen and plowed through to the battery coolant, which began to cause the power systems to overheat.
Zeta quickly undid the straps that held him in his control seat, opened the cockpit hatch and jumped away while activating his signal beacon. The Thanatos exploded violently, throwing the Liberty towards the Horatio while simultaneously causing the paralyzed left leg to snap off, which collided with the left arm of the gundam, causing it to break off as well. Zeta was hit by a shard of metal that buried itself deep in his leg, causing his suit to depressurize very slowly as well as extreme pain.
"ZELNGOR!!!" Jonathan cried, activating the Liberty's remaining thrusters and racing to his friend's side, "let me help you!"
"DO IT!!! Take me to the Horatio!" Zeta shouted.
The Liberty gently took hold of Zeta's wounded body and carried it to the Horatio, where a medical team, and Captain Reese, were waiting.
"Permission to come aboard sir?" Zeta asked.
"Granted Captain." Reese said, "medic, get him to the infirmary right away!"
"No! First, open a channel to my ship, the Kaladbolg! I have to speak with my crew!" Zeta commanded.
"Do it!" Reese demanded, handing Zeta a transmitter.
"Channel open sir." Anna reported.
"Attention, crew of the Kaladbolg! This is your Captain! The Captain of the Horatio and I have negotiated a truce, and you are to cease all combat activities and accompany it to Lindenburgh Colony!" Zeta ordered.
There was silence over the speakers for a few minutes, but then the audible signs of a reply started to be heard over the speakers.
"Adknowledged Captain. Do you have any further orders?" came the voice of the Deputy Commander of the Kaladbolg.
"Send Yuira and Neo over to serve as my guards."
"Aye sir. I'll have them sent over immediately."
The truce was reached as soon as the two ships reached Lindenburgh colony.
"You do know that what you are doing is technically treason, right sir?" The Deputy Commander of the Kaladbolg asked.
"We all know what we're doing Commander." Neo said, "We're doing the right thing."
"Commander, my final order to you is to report the Noir as missing in action and Yuira and Neo also as MIA. I was killed in action when the Thanatos exploded, you understand?" Zeta asked.
"Yes sir. I just hope they don't figure it out."
"The top brass has never been known for it's intelligence. They can't tell a rock from a colony." Neo said with a laugh.
"That is true." Yuira smiled.
"Good luck to you all!" the commander said as he boarded the Kaladbolg.
"see you later!" Zeta waved goodbye to his old ship and crew as they lifted off, leaving him, Yuira, Neo, and the Noir Gundam on the Horatio.
"What now?" Neo asked.
"We live our lives. It's that simple." Zeta said.
Last time I checked, a five star admiral outranked a one.