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|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
A quick Authorâ€™s Note: This fanfic is simply a retelling of Gundam SEED with the addition of several new characters, retooled dialogue, and some characters having their fates changed. I have used the TV series, manga adaptation, movies, and novels to piece this together. Iâ€™d also like to take this time to thank an individual, ZGMF-X28A Nu-Liberty, for assisting me in this project. Several of the changes added to the story must be accredited to him. With that said, read on and I hope you enjoy it.
New Phase 01
â€œIn the past twenty-fours, ZAFT forces have continued to advance on space port. Stay tuned for all late breaking developments.â€
Kira Yamato sighed as his attention wandered back to his laptop. With a swift stroke of the keys, he closed the news window. He grew tired of hearing about the war nonstop. He readied himself to begin working again, except he was now distracted by his robopet, Birdy. It was an emerald and golden colored robotic bird, and it swooped all around before perching itself on the computer and cheerfully chirped. Kira had to smile at the tiny robot. Whenever he looked at it, he was reminded of the friend whom built it, and that day on the moon four years earlier.
Kira looked up to Athrun Zala, his best friend. It had been a sad day, for both Athrun and his mother had been told to leave for the PLANTS. Kira was concerned for his friendâ€™s safety, yet Athrun had insisted that a war between Earth and the PLANTS would never occur, and that his father was merely being precautious. As Coordinators, Athrun and his family faced discrimination from the Naturals, those who had never undergone genetic alterations. Kiraâ€™s parents were Naturals yet he was born a Coordinator himself. Now thanks to political reasons, his friend had to evacuate. Before they parted ways, Athrun gave Birdy to him and made the promise that theyâ€™d someday meet again.
â€œHey, Kira, any breaking news?â€
Kira was snapped back into reality by his friend, Tolle Koenig, who had suddenly appeared. Tolle took a seat next to him. Miriallia Haw, Tolleâ€™s girlfriend, leaned in as well.
â€œWhatâ€™s all this?â€ she inquired, pointing to the pile of work laid about the picnic table.
â€œLetâ€™s just say Professor Kato dumped some extra stuff for me to look over.â€ Kira replied, â€œI havenâ€™t even gotten Kiraf of it done.â€ He jabbed a key, bringing up the news window once more. This time, the screen showed the terrible battle. ZAFT mobile suits decimated Earth Alliance forces and laid waste to the surrounding. The report indicated that the Kaohsiung space port in Taiwan was close to falling.
â€œGreat, after only one week, and South Chinaâ€™s already falling to ZAFT?â€ Tolle said.
Kira did find Tolle annoying at times, yet he admired him for his honest though blunt demeanor. Both he and Miriallia were his closest friends, and he enjoyed spending time with them. Yet there were times that they all grew weary of hearing about the war.
â€œWith all this, what will happen to Orb?â€ Miriallia asked nervously.
Tolle shrugged. â€œThereâ€™s nothing to worry about.â€ He insisted. â€œI donâ€™t see this place ever becoming a part of the war.â€
His optimism reminded Kira of what Athrun said. He had said that a war such as this would never take place, and he had been wrongâ€¦
â€œIâ€™m telling you, it isnâ€™t true!â€
As Kira and the others made their to the electric car rental platform, they noticed a pair of young women clustered next to Flay Alster, another of Mirialliaâ€™s mutual friends. She, Miriallia, and the other began to chatter away about topics that didnâ€™t interest Kira or Tolle. However, in Kiraâ€™s case, it was Flay herself that interested him. She indeed possessed exotic beauty and had a personality to match. He didnâ€™t know much about her, apart from what Miriallia told him, but he couldnâ€™t muster up the courage to speak to someone like her. Apparently Flay had received a love letter from Sai Argyle. Everyone was so absorbed in the conversation that no one noticed when an electric car pulled up to the platform.
â€œExcuse me.â€ A calm voice said from behind, â€œIf youâ€™re not going to use this, may we?â€
Kira and the others spun their heads back and saw a woman in sophisticated clothing and her raven hair cut short. She looked to be in her mid to late twenties. A pair of taller men stood behind her. Though her words were polite, her voice had an authoritative tone to it. She and her companions were slightly imposing, and even intimidating.
â€œSure, go ahead.â€ Kira said, stepping aside. The three strangers stepped into the available car and sped off.
Flay and her own companions immeadatily took the next available car, leaving Kira and his friends alone on the ramp. Kira couldnâ€™t shake off a strange vibe he got from the woman they briefly encountered. She seemed like a business type woman, yet seemed to act secretively. When the next car pulled up, Tolle and Miriallia jumped into the front seat, and Kira slumped into the back.
â€œWell, looks like youâ€™ve a little competition.â€ Tolle chuckled. When Kira didnâ€™t answer, he added, â€œDonâ€™t give up just yet.â€
Natarle Badgiruel removed her sunglasses and watched the scenery at the car traveled down the Central Shaft of the colony. She envied the civilians sheâ€™d seen on the platform. Their home had been completely untouched by the war. As an ensign in the Earth Alliance military, Natarle had seen many horrific battles. In some ways, Heliopolis reminded her of her own home, before it was brutally attacked by the ZAFT.
Chief Petty Officer Arnold Neumann sensed her mood, and the last thing both of them wanted was bring Heliopolis into the conflict. However, this mission was vital.
As an industrial colony for the neutral Orb, (a country comprised of a group of islands located just below the Equator) Heliopolis primarily served as a supplier of valuable interstellar raw materials. Even as war dragged on, Orb had outwardly maintained its neutrality. It was for that very reason why the Earth Alliance officersâ€™ recent arrival had to be in the utmost secrecy.
The car drove to the rear entrance of Morgenroete, a business owned by the government of Orb. Beneath the surface was a secret complex, complete with a factory capable of producing vast amounts of goods. The car parked at an underground hanger near the factory, and Natarle and her companions got out and walked to an observation platform, leaned over the railing, and finally saw it, a large white battleship.
Its length spanned to the total of three football fields. Numerous cannons lined its body and wings spread out. This new ship could fly in Earthâ€™s atmosphere as well as space. Its armor made it like a fortress. This was the Archangel, a new battleship part of a secret project being completed within Morgenroete. Ensign Natarle Badgiruel, Petty Officer Arnold Neumann, and Petty Officer Jack Tonomura were soldiers of the United Earth Allianceâ€™s 8th Fleet; they had come to Heliopolis to board the Archangel as crewmembers. With the new ship, they hoped their prayers would be answered, and the stalemate, and eventually the war would end.
Above the underground complex, Morgenroete construction site was buzzing with activity. Lieutenant Murrue Ramius, twenty-six, gave the last minute orders to her subordinates. Even though she was the highest ranking officer on site, there were a few troublemakers who saluted with pickup lines and catcalls.
â€œLieutenant!â€ She turned to find Petty Officer Murdoch, one of the primary mechanics, sticking his head out the window of one of the several trucks parked off to the side. â€œWeâ€™ve finished our work here. If itâ€™s all right, weâ€™ll go on ahead to the ship.â€
Murrue nodded. â€œThatâ€™ll be fine, excellent work.â€ She waved as two trucks pulled away and disappeared around a corner.
â€œHey Lieutenant, what do you say you treat us all to drinks later? After all, itâ€™s our last day here at Heliopolis!â€ One of the young officers called.
She cocked a brow. Immeadatily the officer sheepishly averted his attention and went back to work. Several other officers chuckled at the exchange. Murrue brushed a lock of her chestnut hair from her face and looked around. Everyone was indeed in high spirits, she knew, what with the operation drawing to a close. They only now had to load the new weapons onto the Archangel and their work would be completely finished. She was also relieved to have the burden of command taken off her shoulders soon.
Outside the colony, a freighter the size of a small building slowly eased into Heliopolisâ€™s port, and its presence was in absolute secret. On the bridge, the shipâ€™s
Captain heaved a sigh. His task was nearly done. â€œYou have done an excellent job, Lt. La Flaga.â€ He said, turning to the pilot standing at attention.
â€œI appreciate the compliment, sir.â€ Lieutenant Mwu La Flaga replied, â€œI'm just glad we had no difficulties while on route to here.â€ He was a slim man with chestnut colored hair in his late twenties. His handsome features belied his commanding demeanor. He was an ace pilot in the Earth Alliance Space Force and his exports were renowned. Are there any ZAFT vessels around?â€
The captain chuckled at the question. â€œThereâ€™s no cause for alarm.â€ He assured, â€œThey have no knowledge of our presence here. Even if they did, they know that they cannot start any hostile actions here.â€
â€œCaptain.â€ A new voice called. The captain shifted his attention to a group of young pilots. They all saluted, which the captain returned. They then left the bridge as quickly as they had entered.
â€œDo you think theyâ€™ll be all right?â€ Mwu asked.
â€œThey may be young, but they all are top guns selected to be pilots for the prototypes.â€ The captain said, â€œTheyâ€™ll be just fine.â€
Mwu was a seasoned veteran, and even though the trip had gone off without a hitch, they wouldnâ€™t relax until the entire operation was completed.
Athrun waited anxiously for the order to disembark. He looked to his fellow ZAFT soldiers. Yzak Joule, a top rate pilot, wore an icy expression on his face. He considered himself a rival of Athrun; ambitious and eager earn the rewards of victory. At many times, Athrun did what he could to keep his distance from him. Next was Dearka Elsman, a cynical, sometimes hot-blooded pilot who made the perfect counter-balance to Yzak. The pair of them was a deadly combination. He then shifted his gaze to Rusty McKenzie and Nicol Amalfi. Rusty acted as the glue that held the group together at times, and Nicolâ€™s gentle features belied his fighting abilities. Then there was Cade Fenix, the odd man out of the team. He just sat quietly and pushed his glasses back on his nose, and ran his fingers through his tan hair. Athrun didnâ€™t know much about him, apart from that he was the sole survivor of a team that was wiped out earlier in the war, and then eventually got transferred to their team. Cade was also cynical at times, but his technical knowledge, piloting abilities, and computer hacking skills did make him an asset. However, his attitude presented him as a slacker to some, especially Yzak and Dearka. Also he followed a lifestyle called Straight Edge, and that only made seem more unusual at times. It was indeed a diverse group, yet the all made up the Le Creuset Team.
â€œSomething wrong, Athrun?â€ Yzak asked, â€œYou look nervous.â€
â€œI donâ€™t see why any of us should be.â€ Dearka declared, â€œInfiltrating an Orb colony will be all too easy. They wouldnâ€™t even suspect that weâ€™d launch an attack.â€
â€œDonâ€™t be overconfident, Dearka.â€ Nicol spoke up, â€œWe canâ€™t let our guard down, even if Orb controls Heliopolis.â€
â€œNicol is correct.â€ A voice said. Everyone looked up to find Commander Rau Le Creuset, known to enemies and allies alike for his ferocious fighting abilities, standing before them. His face was concealed by a mask, giving him an enigmatic aura. â€œThis operation is of great significance, the very outcome of this war may depend on your success or failure. ZAFT is counting on you all.â€
It was then they received the order to move out. Opening the hatch, they and their support troops stepped out into the vacuum of space and straight towards Heliopolis.
On the bridge of the Nazca-class ship, the Vesalius, Captain Ades watched the troops make their way towards the colony. â€œAre you sure we should proceed without the Council's approval?â€
Le Creuset looked over to Ades. â€œPatrick Zala gave us his personal approval.â€ He answered, â€œShould there be any problems with the Council, heâ€™ll take care of it. Besides, the operation is already in motion. What we must focus on now is what is happening inside that colony.â€ He gazed upon a fuzzy photo of what appeared to be a mobile suit. â€œMy intuition tells me that if we donâ€™t act now, weâ€™ll come to regret it later.â€
Kira and his friends took the automatic electrical car through the front gate of the Morgenroete complex. Even though they didnâ€™t know it, their department was involved in the research of military technology. They did enjoy their work in cutting-edge technology, all the while not realizing what their projects were tied to. They entered their lab, they expected to find their supervisor, Kato, but he wasnâ€™t there. Instead, Sai Argyle looked up from his work and grinned.
â€œGood to see that you finally made it.â€ He happily greeted. Sai was the serious person of the group, often finding himself as mediator among his friends. He was also the young man Flay was attached to.
Kuzzey Buskirk, the final member of the group. He was seated in his usual spot at the far end of the table. Standing in the corner near him was a person that Kira had never seen before. He appeared to be a slim boy with brownish gold hair, but his hat obscured his face.
â€œWhoâ€™re that?â€ Tolle whispered to Kuzzey.
Kuzzey only shrugged. â€œApparently heâ€™s Katoâ€™s guests. He said he was told to wait here.â€
Kira looked over the stranger. What could he have had to with a robotics engineer like Kato?
Sai held up a disk. â€œHey Kira, Kato told me to give you this.â€ He passed it along. â€œHe said youâ€™d know what it is.
And indeed Kira did know what is was, and he rolled his eyes. â€œGreat.â€ He whined, â€œMore workâ€ Over the past several months, he had been Katoâ€™s personal assisstent in a number of projects. He swore that Kira was the best in processing data. Kira did enjoy the praise, but not the extra workload.
â€œSo what is it?â€ Kuzzey asked, â€œSome new program?â€
â€More or less.â€ Kira answered, â€œItâ€™s just a simple program upgrade for the mobile frame.â€ Simply put, what the mobile frame was, was a sort of prototype for the research in new models of cybernetic devices.
â€œNever mind about,â€ Tolle said, â€œwhatâ€™s this about a letter?â€
Kira placed his hand over Tolleâ€™s mouth, insisting to Sai that it wasnâ€™t important. Of course, Kuzzey and Miriallia found themselves in the middle of it.
As Kira and the others went on with their talk, the newcomer saw his chance. He cautiously snuck over to the door that led to Katoâ€™s office. He had just reached out his hand and grabbed the knob, only to find it locked. Exasperated, he dropped his hand and returned to the corner. Kira looked over his shoulder at that time, glancing at the stranger. His eyes were like a brown-gold, but his expression was harsh. Kira didnâ€™t know why, but couldnâ€™t tear his attention away.
Athrun and the others stealthily approached a large exhaust port. He looked at his watch and calmly waited. The monitoring device on the exhaust port switched off right on cue. Athrun gave the signal and the team swiftly moved inside the shaft. Each of them scattered and planted several black boxes at various strategic points around the underground hanger. Athrun set the timer and watched the red light begin to pulse.
The Vesalius, followed by the Laurasia-class transporter, the Gamow, sped towards the colony at top speed. They were instantly detected.
â€œAttention ZAFT vessels! Your present actions are in violation of your treaty with the Orb Union! Cease and leave the area immeadatily!â€ a communication officer ordered, but his words went ignored.
Other officers hurried about the control room overlooking the Archangelâ€™s docking bay. They rushed frantically in the anticipation of battle. Abruptly, all communication channels spat out nothing but earsplitting static.
â€œThe ZAFT vessels are broadcasting electronic interference waves!â€ the communication officer called out.
Everyone froze at the news. The Captain of the Archangel made the call. â€œThis is a hostile act, without a doubt.â€
Back on the bridge of the freighter, a chill swept through. Multiple targets had been detected as Mwu rushed back in.
â€œEnemies?â€ he asked, even though he already knew the answer.
The Captain nodded. â€œConfirmed, we detected one Nazca-class and one Laurasia-class. Multiple mobile suits are approaching as well.â€
â€œWhat about the recruits?â€ Mwu asked.
â€œTheyâ€™ve arrived and should be boarding the ship about now.â€
â€œThereâ€™s a bit of good news.â€ He replied. With the recruits on the new ship, theyâ€™d at least be safe for now. â€œHave Luke and Gale board their Moebius units, but wait before deploying them.â€ He calmly told the Captain before he made his way to the freighterâ€™s hanger bay.
Back in the hanger that housed the Archangel, the crew and factory workers scrambled to finish preparing the ship at the news of the ZAFT incursion. The shipâ€™s captain, other senior officers, and the recruits all stood inside the control room, waiting for any developments.
â€œDonâ€™t worry, weâ€™ll let Heliopolis defense worry about this.â€ He said, but quickly added, â€œWeâ€™ll launch if we need to.â€ He turned to Natarle. â€œGo find Lieutenant Ramius, have her commence complete transfer of the G weapons and assist in any way you can.â€
Natarle acknowledged and she and one another officer left. She immeadatily contacted Murrue and informed her of the present situation.
Back at the construction site, Murrue relayed the message to her subordinates and what was calm and orderly became a mad dash to get the new weapons to their destination.
â€œBegin loading the G weapons!â€ she shouted, â€œOn the double, people!â€
Above on the upper deck of the Morgenroete factory, Athrun and the others observed the activity below them. Yzak looked through a pair of electronic binoculars and smiled.
â€œThere they are.â€ He murmured, â€œJust like Commander Le Creuset said.â€
Dearka snickered at the sight of things becoming chaotic below them It seemed that their ships had done their first task in stirring up panic among the Earth Forces officers. â€œThe vermin have been prodded out.â€
They watched as a female officer gave orders and motioned to trailers loaded with enormous containers.
â€œThereâ€™s our targets.â€ Athrun said, pointing.
â€œOh, could the Naturals be anymore stupid?â€ Yzak said and pressed a transmitter button, calling their mobile suits to their position.
â€œItâ€™s time.â€ As if on cue, the timers counted down to zero and the bombs detonated, explosions tore apart equipment and the ensuing inferno engulfed everything, killing all those in the path.
Kira and the stranger had just locked gazes with one another. Without warning, a thunderous roar swept through the building, followed by tremendous and violent shaking. Everyone nearly lost their footing and struggled to keep from tumbling over.
â€œWhat was that?â€ Kuzzey shouted, grasping on to a table, â€œA meteoroid collision?â€ Such accidents were known to occur, but everyone had the sense that it was no accident. They all made a dash out of the lab and into the hallways.
Back in the docks, Mwu hurried to board his Moebius Zero. The Earth Alliance Space Forces boasted impressive numbers of these single pilot mobile armors. Although they were powerful in traditional ship-to-ship battles, they rarely were a match for mobile suits. Mobile suits were nimble and possessed great firepower. The entire outcome of the war now hinged on these machines. As the freighter cruised back out into space, the fighters werenâ€™t far behind. It had been Lieutenant La Flagaâ€™s job to escort the recruits, now it was time to show the rookies how to fight.
Everyone at the construction site was caught in near pandemonium. Murrue did what she could to regain order, but had little success. They needed to know what caused the tremor and what their next move had to be. Just then, one of the workers rushed up to her.
â€œLieutenant!â€ he panted, â€œIâ€™ve lost all contact with the ship!â€ Before he had the opportunity to go on, and loud rumble shook the ground again. Everyone looked up to see that two of the GINNs were heading right for them. They all leapt for safety as the towering mobile suits began to open fire on the convoy, disintegrating vehicles and damaging the surrounding buildings. Murrue threw herself facedown until the explosions subsided. She looked up and the GINNs were gone, but she knew theyâ€™d soon be back.
â€œThose were ZAFT.â€ She muttered and stood. â€œPrep the X303 and X105 for immediate combat!â€ She then shouted to her group.
As Kira and his friends scrambled to safety, they headed for the emergency stairs, as the elevators were now inoperable. They pulled the door open, finding several workers running up the stairwell.
â€œWhatâ€™s happening?â€ Sai yelled.
One of the stopped and looked over his shoulder. â€œWeâ€™re under attack by the ZAFT!â€ He shouted back, â€œSome of their mobile suits are now inside the colony!â€
Kira suddenly stood still, shocked by the news. The worker motioned to them to follow him and he was off once more. Kuzzey and Sai were the first through the door, when the stranger abruptly turned the opposite direction and ran down the hall.
â€œWait a minute, you!â€ Kira shouted. Disregarding his own safety, he spun around and took off after them.
â€œIâ€™ll be right back!â€ he called back. He tailed the stranger, finally catching up to him near the factory area. He grabbed hold of his arm and tugged back. Another blast shook the building, blowing the strangerâ€™s hat off, revealing delicate and feminine features.
â€œHey, youâ€™re a girl.â€ He gawked.
The woman glared at Kira. â€œYeah, whatâ€™d you think?â€ She tired to break out of his grip.
â€œWhat do you think youâ€™re doing?â€ she demanded, â€œJust leave us alone and go back!â€
â€œAre you insane?â€ he countered, â€œItâ€™s too dangerous to just run around.â€
â€œI mean it.â€ She growled, â€œThereâ€™s something I need to check on my own.â€ She had now wretched her arm free. â€œNow go back to the others.â€
â€œI canâ€™t do that now.â€ Kira told her, pointing behind him. The corridor had now collapsed behind them, cutting off that path. He thought quickly. â€œI know, just follow me.â€ He grabbed the womanâ€™s arm again and took off running, pulling her along.
â€œLet go!â€ she yelled, and then muttered, â€œIdiot.â€
â€œIdiot?â€ he repeated, tugging her even harder so sheâ€™d keep up. When he looked back, he was surprised to see that her eyes were now tearing up. He loosened his grip and stopped.
â€œPlease, thereâ€™s something I have to see.â€ She insisted, and then hung her head down. â€œI was afraid that this would happen.â€
Kira frowned at her last comment. Howâ€™d she know that the ZAFT forces would attack? There wasnâ€™t any time to worry about that right at the moment. The entire building was falling in all around them. â€œLook, donâ€™t worry, we have to find shelters. There should be some near the factory.â€ He gently interlaced their fingers and hurried towards safety.
Outside, all hell was breaking loose. The Earth Alliance forces deployed trucks loaded with surface-to-air missiles and mobile artillery, but they were greatly outmatched by the GINNs, and were destroyed them with ease. All the trailers loaded with undefended equipment were blown to smithereens. The firefight between the Alliance troops and ZAFT soldiers within the factory continued fiercely. Bullets and smoke filled the air.
Athrun and his team had infiltrated the factory and quickly headed for the four trailers carrying the Earth Forceâ€™s new weapons that were parked directly ahead of them. Loaded on each was none other than the prototype mobile suits of the Earth Alliance. The ZAFT marksmen picked off the soldiers guarding the suits. Yzak leapt onto the rear trailer and ordered, â€œDestroy any and all equipment we canâ€™t take! Intel said that there are a total of six.â€ He looked around. â€œWhere are the other two?â€
â€œThey may be still inside the factory.â€ Athrun said, â€œIâ€™ll take Rusty and check it out. You guys secure these four and weâ€™ll meet up with you later.â€
â€œAll right, weâ€™ll leave it up to you guys.â€ Yzak nodded. He turned to Dearka, Nicol, and Cade, who were already preparing to board the mobile suits. â€œMake sure you disable the self-destruct devices first!â€
Kira and the girl finally made it to the passageway that lead to a hanger inside the factory. Ahead of them was a narrow catwalk stretched above the floor. He could see where the emergency shelter was. He held the girl close and ran across. Below them, the firefight only intensified. Explosions made the catwalk tremble, but it held. They were able to get safety across, when Kira saw something that made him stop dead in his tracks.
A pair of mobile suits lay down on the floor below them. Each was impressive and almost regal in appearance. Kira had never actually seen a mobile suit expect in news bulletins and pictures. The one nearest them had reflective grey armor, and he stared in awe.
The woman however, was distraught at the sight. â€œSo the Earth Allianceâ€™s new mobile suits are here!â€ She was trembling and she grasped the railing until her knuckles had turned white. â€œFather, why did you betray us?â€ she shouted at the top of her lungs. Her cry echoed loudly.
Kira tackled her down just before bullets whizzed passed their head. He had to drag her along as he lead the rest of the way to the emergency shelter. He hit the intercom and a voice came through the speaker. â€œHello, is someone out there?â€
â€Yes!â€ Kira quickly answered, â€œMy friend and I need inside! Please hurry and open up!â€
â€œTwo of you?â€ the voice asked with a clearly worried tone.
Seconds anxiously passed. â€œThatâ€™s not good; we can only take one of you.â€
â€œThen let my friend in, sheâ€™s just a girl.â€
â€œAll right, there should be another shelter in the 37th Block.â€ The shelterâ€™s door unlocked, its light flashing from red to green. The door opened with whoosh.
â€œAll right, get inside!â€
But the woman hesitated. â€œWait, what about you?â€ she frowned.
â€œIâ€™ll go find the other shelter. Iâ€™ll be fine.â€ Kira hit the button, slamming the door shut. The woman said something, but he wasnâ€™t able to hear her as she and her companion were taken to safety in the underground shelter.
Now all he had to do was get to a shelter himself. The 37th Block wasnâ€™t too far away from his current location, but heâ€™d have to get close to the crossfire to get there. Turning on the ball of his foot, he headed back into the factory. He dashed in quickly and could make out several voices.
â€œLt. Ramius!â€ cried a voice.
â€œHamana, Brian! Hurry and get them online!â€ shouted a woman. Kira looked down and saw her, chestnut hair, wearing a factory uniform, and carrying an assault rifle. She stood atop the fuselage of one mobile suit, taking heavy enemy fire. She hadnâ€™t noticed that one of the ZAFT soldiers had slipped behind her and now was aiming his weapon.
â€œLook out, behind you!â€ he yelled.
She reacted without hesitation, spinning around and firing, sending a bullet right into the gunmanâ€™s heart. She looked over her shoulder to her rescuer. â€œHey, you!â€ she hollered, â€œCome down here!â€
â€œDonâ€™t worry; Iâ€™m going to the 37th Block!â€
â€œThat pathâ€™s been cut off! Weâ€™re moving out!â€
Another explosion rocked the factory, and Kira knew he had to go with his instincts and trust her. He leapt down from the catwalk, dropping at least fifteen feet to the floor. With the agility of a cat, he landed swiftly atop the mobile suit and stood next her. She only blink at his display of athleticism.
A lone Alliance soldier fended off the attackers. He bulls-eyed one of the ZAFT
The bullets hit their mark, and the soldier fell dead.
â€œRusty!â€ Athrun cried and he leapt out, spraying bullets at the soldier who killed his teammate. The Earth Forces soldier was shot dead.
â€œHamana, no!â€ Murrue screamed and aimed her weapon. The ZAFT soldier fired first, striking her in her left shoulder. She cried out in pain and dropped.
Athrun had emptied his ammo clip, tossed his rifle away, and drew his combat knife. He raised the blade high and rushed forward.
Kira jumped to Murrueâ€™s aid, putting himself between her and the enemy. He gazed at the soldierâ€™s face and couldnâ€™t believe what he thought he saw. â€œAthrun Zala?â€
Athrun stopped short. â€œKira?â€
Time seemed to freeze momentarily before Murrue took the advantage and pulled out her pistol and fired. Athrun dodged and hurried over to the unguarded mobile suit.
Murrue grabbed Kira and tossed him into the cockpit, following behind. Her shoulder ached, but she had to fight through the pain. â€œJust get behind the seat.â€ She ordered, â€œI should be able to operate this, so we wonâ€™t be completely defenseless.â€ While she was no pilot, she knew the controls.
Kira did as he was told, watching as numerous gauges lit up, and the mobile suit was coming to life. A monitor activated, and they were able to see outside. He looked and saw Athrun dive into the second mobile suit. This was unbelievable, Athrun as a ZAFT soldier? He had always hated war, so now why was he fighting?
His thoughts went back to the controls as the mobile suit began to move. A series of words appeared on the monitor:
The acronym spelt out GUNDAM, the nickname of this new class of mobile suit.
Its visor shown on, its engine powered up, and large limbs torn away the restraints that fastened it to the trailer. It then stood among the flames and took its first steps.
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:49 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 02
In space, outside of Heliopolis, the ZAFT mobile suits battled the Earth Alliance mobile armors. Mu La Flaga piloted his own Moebius Zero, bringing a GINN into his crosshairs. He then deployed his Zeroâ€™s gun barrels, tracked his target, and opened fire, taking down the mobile suit. Only La Flaga could utilize those weapons and shoot down multiple targets simultaneously. During the fighting at the Grimaldi Front of the Endymion Crater on the moon, he was able to destroy five GINNs and disable another all by himself. His actions that day granted him the nickname Hawk of Endymion.
Another GINN blasted the escort ship, knocking out its navigational system. It collided with the side of the colony and exploded. As the mobile suit spun around, La Flaga squeezed the trigger and scored a hit, taking the GINNâ€™s arm off. He then caught sight of a quartet of unusual looking mobile suits exiting from the space docks. He couldnâ€™t believe seeing the four X Numbers, or G Weapons, approaching the ZAFT warships. They had been built in absolute secrecy, yet they had now been stolen just as quickly. He couldnâ€™t worry about them at that moment. He swore and raced forward.
On the bridge of the Vesalius, Ades was dumbfounded. â€œWe lost a GINN in such a minor sortie as this?â€ Even ZAFTâ€™s basic pilots were superior compared to the Earth Forcesâ€™, and this was an elite unit. How could they be defeated by a single mobile armor?
Le Creuset looked out into space and chuckled at the sight of the Zero. â€œIt appears there is an irritant that must be dealt with.â€
Le Creset squared his shoulders and stood. â€Prepare my CGUE. Iâ€™m going out there.â€
Deep within the mining shaft, Natarle was regaining consciousness, now her head throbbed. An explosion had thrown her against a wall, knocking her out cold. Smoke clouded around her. Debris and corpses eerily floated in the zero gravity. She tired to remember all that happened. She could recall hearing about the invading ZAFT forces, receiving the orders from the captain, and then running from the command booth. Alarms had been blaring and there was some confusion. Now there was only darkness and surreal silence.
â€œThe Archangel.â€ She gasped. She had to find out what had happened to it. She kicked off a wall, propelling her towards the command booth. Upon arriving, she found it was completely destroyed. The glass panel was entirely shattered, and faint lights blinked in the dark. The dock outside was in ruin as well. Catwalks were in pieces, cranes had been twisted and toppled, and even the ship had shifted to an awkward angle. Natarle glanced over the captainâ€™s lifeless body. She felt disheartened at all that she was seeing.
Natarle turned around and found Chief Petty Neumann, alive and well, standing behind her. She breathed a sigh of relief, grateful there was at least one other survivor.
â€œIâ€™m afraid the few of us who were on board the ship made it out alive.â€ Neumann said, answering her question before she could ask it. â€œIt looks like all the factory workers were killed.â€ He led her down to the ship, then to the bridge, where the other survivors were gathered. There were no other officers besides Natarle, and she was merely an ensign.
She went to the pilot seat and flipped on various switches. Her tension slightly eased as consoles, lights, and screens activated without trouble. Every operational system worked perfectly in spite of the damage. â€œThis is an amazing ship.â€ She muttered.
â€œIt looks like weâ€™re completely sealed in here, what with all the debris around the harborâ€™s entrance.â€ Neumann said, his tone was one of worry.
Natarle nodded and tried to open a communication channel, but ear-splitting white noise was spat from the speakers. That meant that the electronic inference was still strong. That made her think, had the ship been the target, then ZAFT soldiers wouldâ€™ve been all over it by now. Yet, nothing had happened after the initial explosions. With the electronic inference still being broadcasted, that meant that they were under attack somewhere. Was it Morgenroete that was the target, or was itâ€¦
â€œThe ZAFT arenâ€™t here for the Archangel.â€ She gasped, â€œTheyâ€™re after the Gundams!â€
Loudspeakers continually repeated the same message. A Level 8 evacuation order was now issued, ordering all citizens to the nearest shelter. Crowds of people frantically scrambled through the streets as the fighting continued. Athrun powered up the stolen mobile suit and escaped from the burning factory. The face of his childhood friend flashed in his mind. Could it really have been Kira? If it was, what did he have to do with the Earth Forcesâ€™ mobile suits? He landed a distance from the ruins of the factory and stood face to face with a familiar orange GINN. The face of its pilot, Miguel Aiman, appeared on the monitor.
â€œI have bad news.â€ Athrun replied, â€œRustyâ€™s been killed. The last machine is still in the Allianceâ€™s hands.â€
â€œWhat?â€ Miguel couldnâ€™t believe it. He frowned in anger. â€œGet back to the ship.â€ He told Athrun, â€œIâ€™ll go deal with that last mobile suit.â€
Murrue did what she could to safety land the Gundam. Its feet touched the ground, but it nearly toppled over. Kira had to cling to the back of the seat to keep from tumbling about the cockpit. In spite of her shoulder injury, Murrue feverishly adjusted throttles, levels, and other controls, but the mobile suitâ€™s movement were still rugged. On the monitors, shots of Heliopolis changed every few seconds, each image worse than the last. Streets, parks, and shops were now turned into piles of rubble and smoke and ash filled the air. On one screen, he instantly recognized a group of people running for their lives. He leaned in to look closer.
â€œTolle, Miriallia, Sai!â€ he exclaimed. He didnâ€™t know why they hadnâ€™t made it to a shelter yet?
An orange GINN suddenly appeared before them, its machine gun blazing. The rounds dug craters around them. The Gundam almost lost its balance and lurched forward, and Kira was flung over the seat, with him landing in Murrueâ€™s lap.
â€œGet out of the way!â€ she yelled at him. â€œYou want to be killed?â€
â€œSorry.â€ He moved over.
The GINN charged, brandishing its sword. Kira screamed and closed his eyes. Murrue acted fast, pressing a button on the panel, turning the grey reflective armor into a shiny blue, ivory white and red. The GINNâ€™s sword swung down, but instead of dealing damage, the blade was caught in between the Gundamâ€™s hands.
â€œDonâ€™t worry; the GINNâ€™s weapons wonâ€™t work against the Strikeâ€™s Phase Shift Armor.â€ Murre declared.
â€œStrike? Is that what this machine is called?â€
Murrue nodded. â€œThe Phase Shift Armor renders gunfire, missiles, and close quarter weapons practically useless while it activated.â€
The GINN pressed another attack. Murrue pulled the trigger, firing the Strikeâ€™s head-mounted Vulcan guns. However, the shots missed completely. The enemy used this opening to knock the Strike down. They stumbled back, coming close to crushing a building behind them. The GINN rushed in again, battering the cockpit with its sword, over and over again. Murrue cursed and tried to get the controls to work as Kira could only watch on helplessly. Outside, Tolle and the other hurried to seek shelter among the debris as the two titanic machines battled. He had to grab Miriallia out of harmâ€™s way and run.
After witnessing their plight, Kira decided to take action. He shoved Murrueâ€™s hands away, pulled a level, causing the Strike to duck and then thrust forward, sending the GINN flying back.
â€œIf youâ€™re going to pilot this thing, make sure youâ€™re careful.â€ He told the female officer, â€œThere are people down there, you know.â€
She grimaced, but before she could retort, he was already tinkering with the controls.
â€œLook at this operating system.â€ He groaned, â€œNo wonder this thing maneuvers like a dumpster.â€
â€œBut the new OS hasnâ€™t been fully installed yet.â€ She explained.
â€œIâ€™ll take care of that.â€ He muttered, â€œLook, please move aside, and hurry.â€ The enemy GINN was beginning to stir.
Murrue slid out of the seat, and Kira took her place. After pulling out the programming keyboard, he typed away at a fantastic speed. With one eye on the GINN and the other on the monitorâ€™s screens, he radically began to rewrite the OS. Within a short time, the entire system was up and running.
The GINN got back to its feet and swung the sword again, but Kira was ready this time. He squeezed the trigger and the Vulcan gunsâ€™ rounds hit their mark and the sword was shattered. It then retrieved its machine guns, so he then pressed down hard on the pedal. The Gundam responded with fluid motion, jumping into the air, with the GINN giving chase. Kira kept a lookout for people and building as he pulled up the weapon specs.
â€œOkay, weaponsâ€¦Armor Schneider.â€ Blueprints appeared on the screens. Apart from the Vulcan guns, there was also a pair of assault knives stored in the hips. â€œIs that all?â€ he exclaimed. He pressed a random button and the large knives sprang out. He took hold of them and rushed the GINN. The ZAFT mobile suit responded with a burst from its machine gun. â€œYouâ€™re going down!â€ He charged at the enemy.
â€œWait, stop!â€ Murrue cried as the pair of machines closed in. With a powerful thrust, the sharp blade into the GINNâ€™s weapon, destroying it. He swung about again, driving the blades into the mobile suitâ€™s neck and torso. Sparks flew wildly and the suit began to jolt.
Miguel tired frantically to move his GINN, but his controls wouldnâ€™t respond. Gauges overloaded and alarms blared. He only had little time left. He contacted the Vesalius and reported on the current situation and the last Gundam. The last thing he thought was his mother and younger brother.
The Strike barely escaped the blast radius of the exploding GIIN. Murrue stared at Kira in astonishment. Who was this young man, and how was he able to rewrite an entire OS in such a short time? She suddenly felt lightheaded and her shoulder was going numb. Her vision was turning dark and the last thing she saw was the youth grab hold of her. She then fell unconscious.
Athrun had successfully returned to the shipâ€™s hanger of the Gamow and landed his new machine. He exited the cockpit and waved to his comrades.
â€œAthrun, you made it!â€ Nicol brightly said.
Dearka rolled his eyes. â€œYeah, yeah, yeah, group hug everyone.â€
Yzak looked about. â€œAll right, whereâ€™s Rusty?â€
Athrun face turned grim. â€œHeâ€™s dead.â€
â€œWhat?â€ Nicol chocked.
Athrun nodded and bit his lower lip. He heard Cade mutter something. Rusty had always been the cheerful one of the group, always optimistic no matter the circumstance. Now he was gone.
Meanwhile, Le Creuset listened intently to Miguelâ€™s final report as it was replayed. He hadnâ€™t anticipated this sort of resistance. That only meant that the mobile suit theyâ€™d failed to acquire was indeed powerful. He now readied to leave in his personal CGUE, a mobile suit that was stronger than the standard GINN. It boasted impressive weaponry and could maneuver at incredible speed.
â€œRecall all our forces after I launch.â€ He ordered Ades. He then took off.
He immeadatily located the Moebius Zero as it turned back towards Heliopolis. He slowly approached, his nerves quivering. â€œJust as I can sense you, can you sense my presence, Mu La Flaga? It is like we are linked by a call of vengeance.â€ His tone was venomous and filled with hate, yet there was a hint of joy in it as well.
Muâ€™s intuition told him of the approaching danger. He turned his Zero around and saw the CGUE. He knew that it had to be him. Like warriors destined to do battle, they always seemed to find one another. This time would be no different.
Aboard the Archangel, Neumann shook his head in protest. â€œWe simply cannot launch the ship. Itâ€™s impossible with such a small crew.
â€œMorgenroete may still be under attack!â€ Natarle shot back, her eyes not leaving her monitor. â€œDo you want to simply sit back and do nothing?â€
Petty Officer Tonomura returned with additional personnel. Natarle gave a quick glance. â€œTake your seats; just follow the computerâ€™s instructions.â€
â€œBut if there still a ZAFT ship out there, weâ€™re in no condition to fight at all!â€ Neumann said.
â€œIâ€™m aware of that.â€ She replied, her tone icy. â€œBut we must do something.â€
Neumann admitted defeat, and took his seat. â€œPrepare launch sequence, omit C30 and L21. Main motive power coming online.â€
Tonomura sat at his own console and reported. â€œOutput is rising, all systems are normal. Four hundred fifty until nominal.â€
â€œNo, thatâ€™s far too long.â€ Natarle growled, â€œWhatâ€™s the current status of the colonyâ€™s power conduits?â€
Tonomura was surprised when the checked the readings. â€œTheyâ€™re still active!â€
â€œConnect to it and siphon power from there.â€
â€œConduit is online.â€ He said, â€œConnecting to the accumulator now.â€ The launch sequence was now rapidly quickening more than he wouldâ€™ve imagined. â€œEngines normal! All systems are online, we have contact!â€
Neumann turned to Natarle. â€œAll launch preparations are complete.â€
â€œSeal off all bulkheads!â€ she ordered, â€œEase out of port; I want full combat speed once weâ€™re out! Launch the ship!â€
The CGUE found itself surrounded by red gun barrels. Multiple rounds shot all around it at various angles, but it managed to dodge. â€œYou seem to always stand in my way, Mu!â€ He feint an attack and abruptly changed course. He felt like he could hear La Flaga cursing. The pair of them recognized the otherâ€™s fighting style. There was also a strange sensation whenever they fought. Rau decided to take the battle elsewhere and headed for Heliopolis, with Mu in close pursuit.
Murrue thought she could several voices as she regained consciousness. She found herself on a park bench, her wound dressed, and a young woman and the young man who piloted the Strike kneeling next to her.
â€œYou all right?â€ he asked anxiously.
She nodded. He handed her a bottle of water, which she drank nearly half down.
â€œThis â€˜Gundamâ€™ is amazing!â€ she heard a cheerful voice ring out. She twisted her head to see the Strike kneeled down and several kids climbing on it and looking inside the cockpit.
She brandished her pistol. â€œGet away from that mobile suit!â€ She fired a warning shot over the youthsâ€™ heads.
â€œHey, what you doing?!â€ the young man shouted. Murrue aimed directly at him now.
â€œThat machine is a highly classified military project.â€ She informed them. â€œItâ€™s not to be tampered with, especially by civilians like you.â€
They all blinked at her. They didnâ€™t understand the dynamics of the situation. Murrue blamed herself, for in a moment of weakness, she blacked out, and lost sight of the valuable machine. She looked to Kira, recalling his ability to pilot the Strike was unbelievable. Something told her that there was something special about him. â€œIâ€™m Murrue Ramius, a lieutenant of the Atlantic Federation. Youâ€™ve all seen a sensitive top secret project, so you now must accompany me until I can file a report and decide what is to be done with you.â€
The youths didnâ€™t take that well.
â€œYou canâ€™t do that!â€
â€œWhat about our parents?â€
â€œWeâ€™ve got nothing to do with the military!â€
â€œWeâ€™re still citizens of Heliopolis, lady, which means weâ€™re neutral.â€
Murrue was losing her patience. She fired another shot into the air. â€œShut up!â€ she now glared harshly at them. â€œCan you really say that youâ€™re still a neutral state, that the war has nothing to do with you? Just look around you!â€ They did and saw the destruction surrounding them. â€œYouâ€™re now a part of this war, whether you like it or not.â€
At that time, introductions were exchanged and Murrue got to work. She had Kira attempt to reestablish contact with the Archangel, while the others ventured out in search of trailers she said contained additional weapons for the Strike.
La Flaga kept pace with the ZAFT mobile suit as it swooped into the spaceport. In one instant, Le Creuset was within the colony, flying along the Central Shaft. His CGUE dashed in between the building, uses them as makeshift shields. He twisted about at irregular intervals to take cheap shots at the Zero. It was a cowardly tactic, but Mu couldnâ€™t do anything about it. If he fired back, heâ€™d risk dealing damage to the Shaft. Taking the unfair advantage, Le Creuset fired, taking out the Zeroâ€™s gun barrels one by one. Mu gritted his teeth in rage. He was horrified when the CGUE opened fire on the Shaft itself, blasting a hole in it, and the slipping into the colonyâ€™s interior. He dove in after it, flying out to the surface. He found a strange looking mobile suit.
â€œThatâ€™s the last machine.â€ He thought to himself. Le Creuset saw it as well, and he zipped down towards it. Mu was determined not to let the ZAFT get hold of it. His Zero buzzed around the CGUE until a lucky shot pierced the mobile armor. A trail of smoke spewed from the fuselage and he had no other option but to retreat.
On the ground, Kira and the others saw the enemy machine heading straight for them. Murrue gasped at the sight of the CGUE and the others froze. Kira operated the Strike to open one of the trailers and retrieve the Launcher Strike Power Pack. He strapped it to the Strike and activated the Phase Shift. As the pulled up a long barreled gun, the ground below him shook. A large section collapsed and the spectacular Archangel emerged out in the open, ready to join the fight.
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:52 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 3
Kira stared in awe at the sheer scale of the ship. It was unlike any class of ship heâ€™d ever seen before. Multiple missiles fired and streaked towards the CGUE. It released decoys to throw off the missiles, while shooting down several others. One broke through, but missed the ZAFT mobile suit, instead striking the vulnerable Central Shaft. The ground quaked.
He called up the data, swiftly reading the information before him. He adjusted the scope, bringing the CGUE in his sights. His finger went to the trigger.
â€œNo, donâ€™t fire that!â€ Murrue warned, but it was too late.
A blast of ruby and shapphire colored energy shot out as a large beam. It melted the CGUEâ€™s right arm, then puncturing a hole in the colonyâ€™s outer wall. Kira felt his face go pale as he looked at the gaping hole that he unintentionally made. He never imagined that a single mobile suit could possess such power and do this sort of damage. He quickly shut down the Strike, letting the enemy escape.
Le Creuset zipped out of the hole that the Strike had made. He contacted the Vesalius. â€œAdes, prepare our forces for another attack.â€ He said, â€œReady the type D equipment.â€
â€œType D?â€ Ades stammered. It was the heaviest weaponry in their arsenal, specifically designed for attacking large fortresses. Using such weapons on a colony meant that it was now a different scenario that anyone had thought.
Meanwhile, Athrun busily typed away, gathering all the data on his new machine. He was almost done when he heard that all GINNs were ordered to be loaded with Type D equipment. He thought of Kira, trying to deny that it was actually him he saw. He had always hoped to see him again, but not like this. However, he recognized those eyes and his voice. There was only one way to find out for certain, he had to go back inside the colony.
Elsewhere, Izak, Dearka, Nicol, and Cade sat back in the changing room overlooking the mobile suit hanger, watching as the GINNs were aimed with heavy missile launchers and long barreled particle guns.
â€œDefine overkill.â€ Cade said, â€œUsing type D equipment to attack a lone battleship and its single mobile suit. Thatâ€™s just a waste of material and too much trouble.â€
â€œAccording to you, slacker.â€ Izak retorted.
â€œHe has a point.â€ Nicol spoke up, â€œWhatâ€™ll happen to Heliopolis?â€
â€œIt cannot be helped at this point.â€ Dearka muttered.
â€œRight, theyâ€™re going to get whatâ€™s coming to them.â€ Izak smirked, â€œServes them right for claiming false neutrality.â€
Natarle rushed down the ramp, trailed by the other survivors. â€œLieutenant Ramius!â€ she called, â€œItâ€™s a relief to see youâ€™re right all.â€
â€œLikewise, Ensign.â€ Murrue replied. â€œExcellent work in safeguarding the ship; and thank you. You helped us greatly.â€
Natarle was about to explain what had happened, when she spotted the group of civilian youths, especially the young man exiting the Strikeâ€™s cockpit. Before she could ask what it was all about, another man stepped forward.
â€œI hope Iâ€™m not interrupting anything.â€ He grinned. â€œI am Lieutenant Mu La Flaga of the 7th Mobile Fleet. Itâ€™s an honor to meet you all.â€
â€œThe honorâ€™s ours, sir.â€ Murrue saluted. She felt excited to meet someone with the Hawk of Endymionâ€™s fame.
Mu returned the salute then turned to Natarle. â€œIâ€™d wish to request permission to come aboard, as my ship was destroyed by the ZAFT forces during the last battle. Who would be in charge here?â€
Natarle looked down. â€œThe captain and the senior officers were all killed. Therefore, I believe that Lieutenant Ramius is the one whom should assume command.â€
Murrue couldnâ€™t believe what she heard and just froze. A few hours ago, she was eager to be finished with her task of transporting the prototypes, and now she had to take on the burden of having the responsibilities of captain.
â€œI was also escorting the recruits who were assigned to pilot the prototypes.â€ La Flaga went on, â€œAny chance that theyâ€¦?â€ Natarle shook her head, and that answered his question. â€œI see.â€ He then turned his focus to the youths and walked up to Kira.
Kira unknowingly took a step back. â€œYes?â€
â€œThat was impressive, young man.â€ La Flaga complimented, â€œYou wouldnâ€™t happen to be a Coordinator, would you?â€
â€œYes, I am.â€ Kira felt his chest tighten as a number of soldiers raised their rifles and aimed at him.
â€œWhat do you think youâ€™re doing?â€ Tolle demanded, throwing himself in front of Kira. â€œWerenâ€™t you all watching just now? Kira is a Coordinator, but heâ€™s not an enemy! He fought off the ZAFT guys, you know!â€
Now the soldiers aimed at him.
â€œLower your weapons.â€ Murrue order, her tone matching her new authority. Slowly, the soldiers obeyed, but it was clear they were untrusting of Kira. â€œHelioplois is a neutral colony, so itâ€™s no surprise that Coordinators who wanted to escape the war would end up here.â€
â€œThatâ€™s right, however my parents are Naturals.â€ Kira explained, though he didnâ€™t why he felt he needed to.
â€œOh, so youâ€™re a first generation, then.â€ La Flaga said, scratching his head. â€œWell, Iâ€™m sorry if I stirred up a hornetâ€™s nest, I was merely curious.â€ He gave Kira a pat on the back. â€œI watched many cadets work hard to become mobile suit pilots, but in all the simulations they hardly could get the thing to stand. â€œYouâ€™re a damn good professional, kid.â€
Later, Murrue, Natarle, and La Flaga gathered on the bridge to discuss the current dilemma. With all the shelters sealed off, there was nowhere for the civilians youths to go. There was also the question of what to do with the Strike and the ZAFT forcesâ€™ next move.
â€œAre you kidding me?â€ Mu asked in response to Murrueâ€™s suggestion that he take charge of the Strike. â€œThereâ€™s no way I could even hope to operate that thing. The kid completely rewrote the OS.â€
Murrue had to agree if that statement. It was almost confounding the way Kira had revised the Gundamâ€™s operating system. He worked calmly and with lightning speed under extreme pressure. The fact of the matter was that the second he touched it, the Strike was like an entirely different machine all together.
â€œWell then, make him change it back to its original state.â€ Natarle said, â€œWe cannot let a civilian, let alone a Coordinator take responsibility for the mobile suit.
There was no mistaking the scorn in her voice. She no doubt had a deep hatred of Coordinators, as did many Naturals. Murrue really didnâ€™t have an opinion on it, as she viewed Coordinators as people with amazing capabilities. Still, she did understand the views of her fellow Naturals.
â€œSo, what would you like for me to do?â€ La Flaga spoke again, â€œGo out there and hope I donâ€™t get my ass shot up?â€
Murrue and Natarle were slightly stunned by an ace such the Hawk of Endymion talk down his own fighting abilities; however he had a valid argument.
â€œLook ladies,â€ he sighed, â€œthe kidâ€™s got more than just technical knowledge and he isnâ€™t a mere engineering protÃ©gÃ©. Heâ€™s got mechanical instincts to boot, and he can manage programming and possible maintenance. In my opinion, without him, your precious mobile suit is a piece of junk.â€
Meanwhile, Kira and the others sat in the mess hall; there wasnâ€™t much else they could do. However at that moment Murrue and La Flaga entered.
â€œExcuse me Kira.â€ Murrue said, â€œWe need to discuss something. Could you please step out here for a moment?â€
Kira slowly crept out behind the Captain. The other waited, wondering what it was about.
â€œNo, I wonâ€™t do it!â€ Kiraâ€™s voice boomed outside, and the filed out to see what was happening.
Kiraâ€™s features hardened and he clenched his fists. â€œWhy must I pliot that mobile suit again? Sure, youâ€™re right when you say that weâ€™re now part of the war, but we didnâ€™t choose it. Thatâ€™s the reason we decided to live here! Please donâ€™t involve more than you already have.â€
Murrue looked into the boyâ€™s eyes for a short moment. She then took a deep breath. â€œKira, youâ€™re the only one capable of operating the Strike.â€
â€œBut I am not a soldier.â€
La Flaga then got right up to his face. â€œSo when the next battle begins, you and your friends will die because you were too scared. Is that what you want?â€ When the boy didnâ€™t answer right away he added, â€œAs it stands, you and I are the only ones who protect this ship and those on board.
â€œI know, butâ€¦â€ Kira wavered. Murrue could see the conflict within him.
â€œListen, you have an amazing ability.â€ She told him, â€œJust trust yourself and youâ€™ll make it through. I know this is asking a lot of you, but will please help?â€
Kira thought about it, he knew that she was right. He looked to his friends, knowing that he could protect them. He had to. â€œYes.â€ He nodded, â€œIâ€™ll do what I can.â€
Murrue smiled and La Flaga breathed a short sigh. The mood was broken by a nearby intercom squawking. Murrue rushed to answer it.
â€œCaptian,â€ Natarle reported, â€œenemy mobile suits are closer in fast! Youâ€™re needed on the bridge to assume command immeadatily!â€
â€œIâ€™m on my way.â€
She ran to the bridge, La Flaga right on her heels. Kira quickly made his way to the hanger to board the Strike once again. Murrue dropped into her seat and La Flaga took control of the shipâ€™s CIC. On the monitors, everyone saw a group of GINNs swarm into the hole in the colonyâ€™s wall. Murrue gasped when she saw the weaponry the mobile suits carried, each was equipped with either heavy missile launchers or long barreled particle guns.
â€œTheyâ€™re using the kind of gear against us?â€ La Flaga gawked, â€œHavenâ€™t those guys heard of moderation?â€
Another shape appeared behind the formation of GINNs. Tonomura looked at the readins and blinked. â€œItâ€™s the X303, the Aegis!â€
Gloom spread among the bridge crew at the thought of one of their weapons being used against them. Murrue was concerned for the crew. They were all untested; the only person who had experience was La Flaga.
â€œTheyâ€™re already sending it out into combat?â€ Natarle gasped.
â€œWell, itâ€™s their now, so they can use any way they wish.â€ La Flaga commented and then turned to the others. â€œAll right, it may be an enemy machine now, but most of us know it well. So use that knowledge to take it down!â€ His defiant words spurred the crew into action.
â€œReady the Corinthos cannons to fire; align laser sights!â€ Natarle commanded.
â€œProjectile weapons wonâ€™t be effective against Phase Shift armor!â€ Murrue reminded her, â€œLink the main guns to radar and utilize the scattered focal points! Our objective is to escape, but do all possible to not damage the colony!â€
Kira anxiously waited inside the Strike, ready to launch when he was ordered. His attention was fixed on the oncoming GINNs and their weapons. If they hit the already weakened Central Shaft, it could spell disaster. He watched as the Sword Striker equipment was attached. The main sword was close to fifty feet long, powerful enough to tear through the armor of a battleship. With this melee weapon, at least thereâ€™d be less of a chance of dealing serious damage to Heliopolis. He launched quickly, ready to defend himself and the colony.
An alarm warned him immeadatily of the approaching GINN. It was aimed with a particle gun, a weapon strong enough to punch holes in the Central Shaft. It fired shot after shot at him, yet he was able to instinctively evade them. Another fired two heavy missiles, the projectiles racing straight for him. Kira shifted the Gundam around, streaking away. The missile pursued him shortly, before abruptly looping about and colliding with an axial shaft. The resulting explosion tore the shaft, sending it crashing down and crushing several buildings. Kira couldnâ€™t bear seeing the destruction, the colony wouldnâ€™t be able withstand such abuse for much longer. He had to act fast. He drew the Schwert Gewehr and went after the closest GINN. Narrowing his eyes, he charged at the enemy, bringing his weapon down, taking off its arm. He reeled back and swung once more, this time slicing the GINN in half. The second enemy mobile suit launched two more missiles, but Kira cut them down. He pulled out the Midas Messer beam boomerang and hurled it. The GINN dodged it, but the Midas Messer looped around and decapitated the mobile suit from behind. Kira took the opportunity to heave the Schwert Gewehr and brought it down, splitting the GINN down the middle, its fuselage exploding immeadatily. Kira was now panting as he looked up to see the same red mobile he first saw in the factory coming towards him.
Over his radio, he heard a familiar voice. â€œKira? Kira Yamato, is that you?â€
Kira couldnâ€™t hold back his shock. â€œAthrun?â€
â€œSo it really is you, Kira.â€ Athrunâ€™s voice replied. He almost sounded sad.
The Archangel was having no better luck with the battle. The remaining GINNs surrounded it and swarmed around like hornets. The ship shook violently as weapon blasts mercilessly impacted its hull.
â€œFire Gottfrieds and Igelstellungs!â€ Natarle shouted, â€œAutomatic track and fire!â€
The air defense weaponsâ€™ barrage was sloppy, as the mobile suits avoided the onslaught. One streaked along the Shaft, an underhanded move. The Archangelâ€™s guns blasted the Shaft as their target continued to maneuver along. Axial shafts crumbled from the damage inflicted to them.
â€œYouâ€™re hitting the Shaft!â€ Murrue cried to the crew.
â€œIf we donâ€™t fire, weâ€™ll be the ones shot down!â€ Natarle countered, â€œThe ZAFT forces arenâ€™t holding anything back for the sake of the colony!â€
Another volley was launched, this time catching one GINN in midair, but its propulsion fuel sparked, and the mobile suit was engulfed in a fireball. It crashed into a nearby axial, dismembering the structure. The remaining GINN was caught in the crosshairs, a beam cannon shot blasting through it, tearing it apart. The shock unintentional set off the four missiles. Each flew erratically, but all hit the Central Shaft with thunderous force. The damage was now too great.
â€œOh, ZOINKS!â€ La Flaga yelled, seeing the Shaft begin to warp and the entire structure shudder.
The Central Shaft finally gave way, the few remaining axial shaft snapping one after another. The Shaft frame rapidly twisted as the colony walls started to break under the weight of the spinning centrifugal force. Fissures resembling spider webs ran through the entire structure.
The Strike and Aegis stayed in midair amidst the spreading carnage. Kira was horrified to watch the tragic event unfold in front of him.
â€œWhy, Athrun?â€ he yelled, â€œHow could you do this to a neutral colony?â€
â€œWhat about you?â€ Athrun countered. â€œYouâ€™re a Coordinator, so why have you sided with the Earth forces and now pilot that Gundam?â€
The atmosphere inside the cylinder blew out of openings in the walls, picking up large pieces of debris and entire buildings. Houses, shops, and vehicles were swept away. Roofs blew off and glass windows shattered. The size of the holes increased, drawing more debris out. Explosions erupted, but were quickly extinguished as they too were blow out into space.
Various chucks of debris pelted the Strike Gundam. Below him, Kira saw many of the shelters eject like small lifeboats. The colony had broken in half. The increasing force pulled the Gundam up, and Kira lost all control. Screaming, he tumbled helplessly among the ruins of Heliopolis. He heard Athrun call out his name, briefly watching the Aegis being carried off in another direction. The Strike was swept out into the cold vacuum of space.
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:53 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 4
â€œX105, Strike, respond. Strike, do you copy?â€ Natarleâ€™s voice emitted from the radio intercom. Kira hadnâ€™t answered back right away, for he only saw and gripped the controls. His breathing was sporadic at the sight of the ruins of Heliopolis. Only large sections of colony outer structure and debris remained. The Gundam was now amide various litter. â€œX105, Kira, can you hear me?!â€
He snapped back to reality and switched on the intercom. â€œIâ€™m here.â€
â€œThank goodness.â€ Natarle said, â€œAre you all right?â€
â€Yeah, I think so.â€
â€œCan you find your way back to the ship?â€
He adjusted the controls and traced the Archangel. â€œYeah, Iâ€™ll be able make it.â€ He was about to move his Gundam, when the control panel lit up like a Christmas tree. There was an incoming electronic distress signal. He also found a strange blip on his radar, whatever the object was, it was close. He looked ahead and found a cylinder-shaped capsule drifting aimlessly. It was one of the emergency shelters that eject just prior to the colonyâ€™s destruction.
He tuned in to the frequency of the signal. â€œHello, anyone there?â€
The response was quick. â€œYes! Help us, our propulsion system have malfunctioned!â€
Kira wasted no time in moving towards the disabled pod. As he did, he thought about his parents. Were they able to escape? If so, how many others were able to do the same as well?
The Archangelâ€™s hatch opened and the Strike landed safety in arrival deck, the pod in tow. Murrue grimaced at the news of Kiraâ€™s actions. True, he and the Strike had returned in one place, but the addition of a lifeboat full of civilians could spell even more trouble for them. She then contacted Kira and started to reprimand him, needless to say, he didnâ€™t take it like a soldier. It took it like a concern teenaged boy, which didnâ€™t surprise her, for that was what he was in the end.
â€œSo youâ€™re saying I shouldâ€™ve just left it out there?â€ he counted over the intercom, â€œThey were helpless, I had to do something.â€
It was a naval tradition to assist those in distress, but Earth Alliance military protocol insisted that in such an event such as the one the Archangel was presently in, civilians had to fend for themselves until a rescue ship could locate and retrieve them. Of course, Kira wouldnâ€™t have known of that particular fact. â€œAll right.â€ She sighed, slightly defended, â€œIâ€™ll allow it just this one time.â€
One of the subordinate officers objected. â€œWe arenâ€™t supposed to bring refugees on board while in the middle of a battle.â€
Murrue narrowed her eyes at him. â€œIâ€™m aware of that, but they cannot be helped if they remain stranded. Nor can I waste time arguing with you. Now seal the hatch!â€
With the hatch fully closed behind him, Kira slowly entered the primary hanger. He found La Flagaâ€™s battered Moebius Zero mobile armor to the side. He gently sat the lifeboat down and opened the Strikeâ€™s hatch and stepped out. Some of the crew whispered among themselves right away. Maintenance Officer Murdoch came forward.
â€œGlad to see you made it back in one piece, kid.â€ He said, scratching his stubble covered chin.
Murdoch leaned in closer and whispered, â€œListen, I canâ€™t speak for everyone, but I really admire your courage. And it doesnâ€™t matter to me whether or not you are a Coordinator. Either way, youâ€™ve got my respect.â€
Kira brighten at the praise. At least now there was another person who didnâ€™t care at the fact he was a Coordinator. At that moment, his friends ran into the hanger. Each took turns hugging him, patting on the back, and complimenting him.
â€œYou had worried there for a while there!â€ Tolle exclaimed.
â€œItâ€™s great to see that youâ€™re fine.â€ Miriallia added.
Sai just ruffled Kiraâ€™s hair and laughed. Then, a familiar voice cried out his name. Everyone turned to find Flay among the group of refugees. She dashed from the crowd and across the hanger, leaping into Saiâ€™s arms. He was certainly surprised to see her, but was obviously pleased that she was safe. He wrapped his arms around her for a hug and whispered something in her ear. Kira was envious of their intimacy, but everyone was safe, and that was what mattered most.
Murrue, Natarle, and La Flaga stood on the bridge, carefully watching the monitors for any sign of danger. â€œCan you track any of the ZAFT ships?â€ Murrue asked.
Petty Officer Pal studied the screens. â€œItâ€™s no use.â€ He shook his head, â€œWith all the wreckage and heat given off by the explosion, radar and infrared is practically unreliable.â€
â€œWell, the same can be said for the ZAFT guys.â€ La Flaga said, â€œThey canâ€™t find us at least.â€
That offered limited encouragement. â€œIf they were attack now, we wouldnâ€™t last long.â€ Murrue muttered.
â€œYouâ€™re right on the dot there.â€ La Flaga replied, â€œAll we have now is the Strike and my Zero. It wouldnâ€™t be a long battle.â€ He paused. â€œThis ship is fast, right? Could we outrun them if we hit maximum speed?â€
â€œIts speed matches that of a Nazca-class, so I donâ€™t know if weâ€™d make it.â€ Natarle said.
La Flaga looked to Murrue. â€œSo whatâ€™s left now?â€ he asked her, â€œDo we surrender?â€
Murrue returned his gaze, aware that he was testing her. True, she had been placed into the captainâ€™s seat with no actual battle experience. It was also true that she was more than likely over her head, and she was sensing the crewâ€™s wavering hope. However, she was no coward. â€œSurrender is out of the question.â€ She boldly declared, â€œWe shall not give up either this ship or the Strike to ZAFT. No matter what it takes, we must get to the lunar baseâ€ That would be quite the endeavor, seeing as they would have to make their way across space with ZAFT at their heels.
La Flaga nodded. â€œI agree, but what if weâ€™re unable to make contact with the lunar base? Your enthusiasm is commendable, but that wonâ€™t help us.â€ So he was truly at a loss, and not just testing her boundaries.
Natarle suddenly had a thought. â€œCaptain, what if we go to the Port of Artemis?â€ Both Murrue and La Flaga broke eye contact and turned their attention to her. â€œFrom our current position, itâ€™s the closest allied base.â€
That was indeed true, however Artemis was the property of the Eurasian Federation, while the Archangel belonged to the Atlantic Federation, and there existed a rivalry of sorts between the two military forces.
La Flaga wasnâ€™t all that optimistic of the idea. â€œNeither this ship nor that mobile suit have been made public. They havenâ€™t been assigned recognition codes, so the guys at Artemis may not even allow us to dock.â€
â€œBut even you have to acknowledge that thereâ€™s no way for us to avoid battling the ZAFT, even if we took the most direct course to the lunar base.â€ Natarle quickly countered. â€œAnd we donâ€™t have sufficient supplies, and weâ€™ll need them very soon.â€
Murrue knew the decision had to be hers. â€œIâ€™m certain that the Eurasians will assist us once they know the circumstances. First and foremost, we must avoid confronting the ZAFT forces. From there, weâ€™ll restock at Artemis and then travel to the lunar base.â€
La Flaga looked to her, then nodded. â€œAll right, to Artemis we go.â€
As part of the plan, Murrue ordered the launch of a decoy towards the lunar base in an attempt to throw the ZAFT ships off the trail. She then ordered the engine room crew to go to inertia navigation, sparingly using the thrusters, and keeping the engines quiet, as to avoid detection by the enemy.
La Flaga watched the crew anxiously work. â€œItâ€™ll take about two hours to reach Artemis at a silent-run speed. Letâ€™s hope lady luck is on our side today.â€
Captain Ades gazed out of the large window paneling of the Vesaliusâ€™ bridge. Fear gripped him as he stared at the wreckage of Heliopolis. â€œWhatâ€™ll we do now, Commander? We destroyed a neutral nationâ€™s colony. Once the Supreme Council learns this, weâ€™ll never hear the end of it.â€
Le Creuset didnâ€™t even a trace of remorse. â€œHow can they call themselves neutral when they helped build the Earth Allianceâ€™s new weapons?â€ His demeanor was eerily calm, like the eye of a hurricane. â€œMost the civilians were able to escape unharmed, and this is nothing like what happened to Junius Seven.â€
His words were true. February 14, CE 70, the day of the Bloody Valentine, was when the Earth Alliance mercilessly attacked an agricultural colony with nuclear weapons. Civilian men, women, and children had no warning and were massacred.
Le Creuset stepped forward. â€œAdes, can you find the enemy ship?â€
Ades was surprised, but hid it. â€œYou want to continue pursuing them, sir? Weâ€™ve already lost most of our mobile suits, including your own.â€
â€œBut we have five new acquisitions, donâ€™t we?â€ Le Creuset smiled.
â€œThe stolen X weapons, you want to send them out?â€
â€œOf course, the data extraction is now complete and the operating systems have been rewritten. He locked eyes with Ades. â€œWe mustnâ€™t allow the enemy ship to escape.â€
A communication officer spoke up. â€œWeâ€™ve detected a large heat source, it could be a battleship.â€ She informed Ades and Le Creuset. â€œJudging from the coordinates, it looks like its taking a course to the Earth Alliance lunar base.â€
â€œNo, itâ€™s a decoy.â€ Le Creuset immeadatily said. He quickly brought up a map of space on the monitor and studied it. â€œAdes, weâ€™ll cast a net.â€ He said, â€œThe Vesalius will move ahead and wait here.â€ He traced a course towards Artemis. â€œThe Gamow meanwhile will follow them at a distance and take this course.â€ He indicated another arc across the map. â€œThe Naturalsâ€™ new ship will be caught and have no way to go.â€
This confounded Ades. â€œBut sir, what if theyâ€™ve indeed gone to the moon?â€
â€œThe distance is too great for them to make the trip. I sense theyâ€™re going to Artemis. Ready the Vesalius and contact the Gamow.â€
Ades couldnâ€™t understand the way his superiorâ€™s mind worked, but nevertheless, he followed his orders.
Inside the cafeteria, the students sat together. They were still in shock over the destruction of Heliopolis and the mood was heavy. They were concerned over their familiesâ€™ safety as well as what would happen next.
â€œSo now whatâ€™ll happen to this ship?â€ Kuzzey asked.
â€œThere are still enemies around, right?â€ Sai replied, â€œThat means we may go into another battle.â€
Flay was stunned by the comment. â€œWhat, do you mean weâ€™ve more unsafe now that weâ€™re on board? Say it isnâ€™t so.â€
â€œWell, would you rather still be in that stranded lifeboat?â€ Miriallia countered.
La Flaga then stepped inside. â€œHey, Kira Yamato!â€ he called, â€œWe need to chat.â€
Kira stood and walked over to La Flaga. â€œYes, what is it?â€
â€œYou and I need to be on standby.â€ The Lieutenant explained, â€œOur impromptu escape plan is already underway and there maybe trouble along the way.â€
Kira was dumbfounded. â€œAre you saying you want me to pilot that thing again?!â€
La Flaga nodded. â€œLook, I understand your feelings, but as it stands, you and I are the only ones capable was defending this ship.â€
â€œI know that, but-â€œ
An interruption came in the form of a junior officer sticking her head in the doorway. â€œExcuse me; are there any doctors or nurses in here?â€ An older gentleman and a young woman stood. The first was full fledged doctor and the second was an intern. â€œWe need your help; we have a lot of injured people on board.â€
The pair immeadatily obliged and followed the officer. Kira was surprised at the sight of civilians so eager to assist.
â€œAs you can see,â€ La Flaga commented, â€œwe all can do our part, no matter what it may be, and no matter whether soldier and civilian. To speak the plain truth, Iâ€™d be happy if I could run away from this mess myself, but I canâ€™t and thereâ€™s nothing I can do to change it.â€ He paused momentarily. â€œSo whatâ€™ll you do? The choice is yours, but make sure you donâ€™t regret whatever you decide.â€ With that said, he walked off, leaving Kira with an enormous decision to make. He looked to his friends, whom also seemed to contemplate the Lieutenantâ€™s words. He then left to think over what he wanted to do.
After he had gone, Flay looked confused. â€œThat Kira guy was piloting that thing?â€
Sai nodded. â€œYes. You know how the lifeboat you were on was carried in by a mobile suit? Well, my friend Kira was the pilot.â€
â€œThe truth of the matter is that Kiraâ€™s a Coordinator, thatâ€™s why he was operating it.â€ Kuzzey spoke up.
Flay was startled by what she had just heard. â€œHeâ€™s one of those freaks?â€
â€œKira may be a Coordinator, but heâ€™s not a freak!â€ Tolle shouted, coming to his friendâ€™s defense. â€œAnd he isnâ€™t with ZAFT, heâ€™s one of us!â€
Everyone was silent, not saying a word after the outburst.
Le Creuset sat behind his desk within his cold and dim office. He looked up only when Athrun suddenly entered.
â€œAthrun Zala, reporting as ordered, sir!â€ he saluted.
Le Creuset motioned him to be at ease. â€œIâ€™ve wanted to speak with you for a short time.â€ He coolly said, â€œI suspect you do know why youâ€™re here?â€
Athrunâ€™s back went stiff. â€œYes sir, for ignoring my orders and going into battle without permission.â€ He replied. â€œIâ€™m deeply sorry, sir.â€
Le Creuset nodded and leaned forward. â€œI wonâ€™t punish you, but I would like an explanation for your actions. This behavior isnâ€™t like you, Athrun.â€
Athrun swallowed hard before he explained. â€œIâ€™m sorry sir, but I was upset at somethingâ€¦unexpected.â€ He began, â€œThe last machine we werenâ€™t able to capture was piloted by a boy named Kira Yamato. He was my friend; we actually went to the same prep school on the moon several years ago. I never thought Iâ€™d see my on a battlefield, so I went back to make sure it indeed was him.â€ He paused. â€œHeâ€™s a Coordinator as well.â€
Le Creuset was surprise by this interesting tidbit. â€œSuch ironies do occur in war sometimes.â€ He leaned back. â€œI donâ€™t blame you for what you did; I trust you were good friends?â€
â€œThe best.â€ Athrun admitted.
â€œI understand completely.â€ Le Creuset then stood. â€œKnowing that now, I want you to stay out of the next battle.â€
Athrun looked shocked.
â€œI wouldnâ€™t want to make you put a gun to your friendâ€™s head, Athrun.â€
Athrun shook his head. â€œNo Commander, I want to try to persuade to come to our side. Kiraâ€™s kind, but heâ€™s naÃ¯ve. The Naturals are using him, but he doesnâ€™t realize it. I know I heâ€™ll listen to me.â€
â€œAnd what he doesnâ€™t? What will you do then?â€
Athrun seemed reluctant, but answered, â€œThen Iâ€™ll shoot him down myself.â€
On the bridge of the Archangel, the crew was in near panic and tracking the two ZAFT ships closing on them. They knew their ruse hadnâ€™t work, and the mood was tense. It was then that La Flaga requested that a map of the surrounding space and data on the two enemy ships and their positions be brought up. He looked and smiled.
â€Do you have a plan?â€ Murrue asked.
â€œI sure do.â€ La Flaga answered. â€œIâ€™ve been known to make the impossible possible. Hereâ€™s what Iâ€™m thinking.â€ He began to detail his plan.
The intercom blared: â€œEnemy ships incoming! All personnel man your posts immeadatily!â€
Kira heard announcement, but went uneasy as he headed for the bridge. If he didnâ€™t fight, the Archangel would most likely be destroyed, and everyone on board would die. But if he did go out and fight, he may have to battle Athrun. Rounding a corner, he could hardly believe what he saw. All of his classmates were now dressed in Earth Alliance uniforms and were escorted to the bridge by Officer Chandra. â€œWhatâ€™s all this?â€
â€œItâ€™s the only way theyâ€™d let us on the bridge.â€ Kuzzey said.
â€œWe talked about it and we want to help out too, seeing as how the crewâ€™s short-handed.â€ Tolle added, â€œAt least we can handle the computers and controls.â€
Kira didnâ€™t know what to think. â€œYou guysâ€¦â€
Tolle smiled. â€œLook, if youâ€™re going out to risk your neck, the least we can do is have your back.â€
â€œAll of us.â€ Miriallia said.
As he watched his friends continue on, Kira knew what he had to do. He quickly rushed to prepare. He donned his new flightsuit and went to the hanger, where La Flaga waited.
â€œWell, Iâ€™m glad to see youâ€™ve decided to fight.â€ He said.
â€œAs you said, sir, only you and can I protect this ship.â€ Kira said, â€œI donâ€™t want to fight, but I want to protect my friends.â€
â€œThatâ€™s understandable, no one here really wants to fight, but we must to survive.â€ La Flaga nodded, â€œOkay, Iâ€™ll give the details of the plan.â€
Kira had boarded the Strike and watched La Flagaâ€™s mobile armor launch. He had to remember that all he had to focus on protecting the ship and himself, but that would be easier said than done. Mirialliaâ€™s face appeared on the monitor and she explained the Aile Striker equipment would soon be attached. After it was put into place, Kira took the Strike to the catapult, and was soon launched. This was going to be a difficult battleâ€¦
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:54 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 05
The Strike streaked from the Archangel, its dull grey armor turning a vivid red, blue, and white as the Phase Shift was activated. Kira anxiously watched the radar screen, waiting to see if there was any trace of the Aegis.
Murrue felt a knot in her stomach as she sat, watching the events unfold. A quartet of heat signatures had been detected approaching rapidly from behind them. She knew they had to be mobile suits.
â€œLoad Corinthos into missile tubes!â€ Natarle commanded, â€œReady Valiant cannons on both gunwales! Officer Pal, hurry and input target data! The enemy is sending more GINNs our way!â€
Tolle and the others followed their orders and busily worked on their tasks as the weapons were primed.
â€œEnsign Badgiruel,â€ Chandra called, â€œheat patterns have been identified, but theyâ€™re not GINNs.â€ Murrue and Natarle were baffled. â€œItâ€™s the X Numbers: X102 Duel, X103 Buster, X207 Blitz, and X619 Panzer.â€
Murrue felt a chill travel up her spine. â€œAll of the stolen G weapons?â€ This indeed was turning into a dire predicament, as the four Gundams were now piloted by Coordinators, and each Gundam boasted its own power.
Kira felt grim at the news of the incoming Gundams, but he knew that he had to fight. He fired his vernier thrusters and took aim in the direction of the approaching Aegis, streaking past it.
Athrun contacted him. â€œKira, hold your fire! We arenâ€™t your enemies!â€
Kira sighed in relief; he knew Athrun wouldnâ€™t try to kill him.
â€œYouâ€™re a Coordinator, so why are you siding with the Earth Forces?â€ Athrun went on, â€œWhy are fighting alongside with the Naturals?â€
Kiraâ€™s mind went back to the sight of Heliopolis breaking apart. â€œIâ€™m not with the Earth Forces!â€ he countered. â€œBut I have friends on board that ship! Thatâ€™s why-â€ He broke off when he noticed three of the Gundams moving in to attack the Archangel. This was no time to argue, he had to defend the ship. He maneuvered the Strike towards it, only to be blocked by the Aegis. â€œGet out of the way, Athrun!â€
â€œNo, not until you fully explain yourself.â€
Kira was losing patience. â€œYouâ€™re to talk, why are you even with ZAFT? You always said that you hated war all together.â€
Athrun didnâ€™t have the chance to reply, as a particle beam shoot in between them, just missing the Strike.â€
â€œWhy arenâ€™t you fighting, Athrun?â€ Yzakâ€™s voice emitted over the radio. â€œWhat do you think youâ€™re doing?â€
Kira quickly brought up the data on his screens. Of all the six Gundams, the blue and white colored X102 Duel had the most basic construction. It was similar in appearance to the Strike, aimed with a pair of beam sabers, one mounted on each shoulder, a beam rifle with a grenade launcher. And it possessed incredible speed almost equal to the Strike. Kira did all he could to evade the Duel as it pursued him.
â€œIf this is too difficult for you, then Iâ€™ll shoot it down!â€ Yzak yelled as he continued to target the Strike.
The other three X Numbers, the Buster, the Blitz, and the Panzer, ruthlessly assaulted the Archangel. The ship may have been large and indeed powerful, but against three agile and heavily armed Gundams, it was going to be a daunting battle.
Murrue barked out orders. â€œFire anti-beam depth charges; use the Igelstellung guns to hold those Gundams at bay! Fire the Helldarts on my command!â€
The depth charges were let loose and detonated, scattering anti-beam particles which then surrounded the ship. The Igelstellungs unleashed a vicious barrage as they tracked the enemy mobile suitsâ€™ movements. Numerous Helldarts anti-air missiles shot out from behind the bridge.
The red and khaki colored Buster answered back with a shot from its beam rifle. The anti-beam particles did help weakening the beam, but part of it struck the shipâ€™s port side. The olive and ivory Panzer assisted with a burst from its beam gatling gun. The anti-beam particles had little effect on the shots due to their size and velocity. The Panzerâ€™s shoulder mounted cannon was aligned and fired a powerful mortar round. The projectile spun in a corkscrew pattern, striking the starboard side of the shipâ€™s hull. The Archangel rocked violently from the impact.
The dark Blitz meanwhile moved in underneath to attack the underbelly of the ship. The lower Igelstellungs tracked it and fired a volley. The Blitzâ€™s agility made it easy for it to dodge, and it opened fire with its own beam rifle.
â€œUse the Gottfrieds! Roll thirty degrees to starboard, then twenty to port!â€ Murrue shouted.
The ship rotated so sharply that it caused the gravity in the living quarters to disappear. Many of the civilians were literally taken off their feet. Flay had to cling to a bed frame so she wouldnâ€™t go flying off wildly.
The Gottried guns laid down a barrage, but the Blitz was able to just barely avoid the beams. It was obvious to Murrue that her crew and the Archangel were actually able to hold their own against the Coordinators, but they werenâ€™t safe yet.
Kira desperately tried to shake off the Duel. He had to go assist the Archangel, but he had a full plate against the Duel. He had taken several grazes from its beam rifle and he couldnâ€™t afford to lose power. This whole time he had been on the defensive end and that wasnâ€™t working at all. He aligned the targeting scope, took careful aim, then squeezed the trigger, but Duel effortlessly dodged his shot.
He was losing his few remaining ounces of patience, and he foolishly began to fire at random. Before he realized it, the Duel had zoomed in with its beam saber drawn. Kira screamed and almost didnâ€™t get his shield up in time, but he managed to hold back the saber. The pair began to tangle in close quarter combat, though closing in on the Archangel with each exchange of blows. By that time Dearka had spotted them and broke away, leaving the ship to Nicol and Cade. He aimed right at the Strike and fired a swarm of missiles.
Alarms whined and warning lights flashed within Kiraâ€™s cockpit. He had some difficulty in getting clear of the missiles. Now it was two Gundams against one, he was at a serve handicap. He couldnâ€™t tell which direction he was facing, or whether or not he was upside down. He start panic and opened fired at anything in sight. He took hits to his armor. He hadnâ€™t looked at his energy gauges, so he didnâ€™t realize that his power supply was dwindling and was now dangerously close to the red zone.
Aboard the Vesalius, the ZAFT officers monitored the ensuing battle.
â€œWe have a message from the Gamow, sir!â€ one announced, â€œThe enemy unit has been confirmed as X105 Strike Gundam.â€
Le Creuset felt bewildered by the apparent absence of the Zero mobile armor. He knew it was still operational despite having received considerable damage. And yet the new Earth Alliance ship was relying its safety to a single mobile suit whose pilot was flying about in a frenzy and firing his weapons blindly. It didnâ€™t make any sense. He wished he could go out and find out for himself, but his CGUE was still not fully repaired.
â€œSir, weâ€™re soon be within firing range.â€ Another officer said.
Le Creuset nodded and turned to Ades. â€œPrepare to fire.â€
But Ades was concerned. â€œSir, our mobile suits are out there still. They may get caught in our line of fire.â€
â€œGive our boys some credit, Ades.â€ Le Creuset said, his lips forming a sinister smirk. â€œThey know better than to let themselves be killed by friendly fire.â€
Ades, being an obedient subordinate, nodded and faced the crew. â€œTarget enemy battleship and ready the main guns.â€
The bridge of the Archangel was abuzz with activity. Officer Chandra was transfixed to his console. â€œCaptain, Iâ€™m detecting laser designators from the Nazca-class. Theyâ€™re locking on to us!â€
Murrue could feel the color draining from her face. The Strike was having enough trouble trying to hold off the five enemy Gundams. Now what were they going to do?
Natarle disregarded orders without a momentâ€™s hesitation. â€œReady to fire the Lohengrins, target the Nazca-class!â€ The Lohengrins were powerful positron cannons and had the strength to easily destroy a battleship with a single shot.
â€œNo, belay that order!â€ Murrue countered, â€œThe Lieutenant is still approaching the enemy ship.â€ If they fired while he was still in the path, he wouldnâ€™t stand a chance at surviving. She couldnâ€™t let that happen to him.
â€œIf we donâ€™t fire, weâ€™ll be an easy target!â€ Natarle said, trying to persuade the Captain.
Murrue remained absolute. â€œMy orders are not to fire. All hands, prepare to take evasive action!â€ Sweat dripped from her brow and she wiped it away. They were outnumbered and outgunned. If they didnâ€™t follow La Flagaâ€™s plan, theyâ€™d be dead. But if his surprise hit-and-run attacked failed, they wouldnâ€™t make it to Artemis. Still, she put her faith in him.
Back aboard the Vesalius, Le Creuset felt a sensation, as though someone whispered his name. The hair on the back of his neck stood, and his sixth sense warned him of the oncoming danger. He knew La Flaga was near, and he knew what was coming.
â€œAdes, bring engines to full throttle! Lower the bow and pinch sixty degrees! Now!â€
Ades wondered if his superior had lost his mind, but before he could say anything, a controller stood.
â€œA heat source is coming in directly from below! Itâ€™s a mobile armor!â€
â€Captain, quickly!â€ Le Creuset bellowed, but it was already too late.
La Flaga let out a battle cry as he barreled in at high speed towards the enemy ship. Dodging the automatic defenses, he deployed his Zeroâ€™s gun barrels and unleashed hell. He blasted the shipâ€™s engines until fire and smoke shot out from them.
He then streaked up and past the bridge of the Vesalius and fired grappling wires into the shipâ€™s hull. â€œYee ha!â€ he shouted in triumph as he swung away. He detached the wires, soaring back safely back into space.
On the bridge, chaos reigned. Alarms blared and crewmembers clamored as damage reports came in. Amidst the confusion, someone yelled, â€œThe enemy mobile armor is escaping!â€
â€Shoot it down!â€ Ades shouted, but that was impossible. The guns sights couldnâ€™t be aligned and the ship was now tilted at an abstract angle. The mobile armor had changed the dynamics in an instant.
â€œLa Flaga, you bastard!â€ Le Creuset roared, tearing at the armrest on his chair.
Ades and the other crewmembers had never seen the Commander lose his temper, and they were shocked to see him lose his composure in such a manner. Ades cautioned studied the Commanderâ€™s face. Part of it was twisted in great anger, but it was also like he was in some sort of pain.
â€œMessage from Lieutenant La Flaga!â€ Officer Tonomura said, â€œIt reads, â€˜Operation was successful, returning to ship.â€™â€
Cheers were mixed among sighs of relief. Tolle and the other students smiled and exchanged high fives. Murrue relaxed her fists, knowing now that La Flaga was safe. She immeadatily issued the next orders. â€œWe canâ€™t let escape. Aim the Lohengrins and prepare to fire!â€
The enormous gun muzzles opened and the Lohengrins extended out. Natarle took her cue and gave the order to fire. Whirls of crimson plasma shot forward, grazing the Vesalius, crippling the Nazca-class, leaving it no other option but to withdraw.
Athrun wasnâ€™t able to intervene in the fight between Kira and other ZAFT soldiers, nor had been able to get past the Archangelâ€™s defenses. This battle was now futile. A laser communiquÃ© came from the Gamow, reporting on the damage the Vesalius. A signal flare shot up and exploded. The X Numbers were now ordered to retreat as well.
Yzak, on the other hand, wasnâ€™t ready to leave in spite of the orders. He continued his assault on the Strike.
â€œYzak, weâ€™ve been ordered to fall back!â€ Athrun shouted, but it was no use.
The Strike was cornered by the Duel and the Buster, with no way to escape to the Archangel. On the bridge, Miriallia could only watch on as Kira took hit after hit.
â€œCover him!â€ Murrue hollered.
â€œWe canâ€™t!â€ Natarle shouted back. â€œA misplaced shot at close range would be hazardous! But we have a graver problem, the Strikeâ€™s remaining power supply is near critical!â€
La Flaga had been watching the battle via laser communiquÃ© and shook his head. The kid had gotten himself boxed in. â€œDo I have to do everything here?â€ he muttered as he rocketed off to Kiraâ€™s aid.
Kira gasped for breath, his heart pounding. He pulled the trigger for the beam rifle, but nothing happened. He broke into a cold sweat as the alarms and gauges died. His power supply had now run out. The Strikeâ€™s armor turned grey as the Phase Shift went down. The Duel was moving in fast, its beam saber held high. Out of the corner of his eye, Kira saw a red object swoop in. Before he knew it, the Aegis had transformed into its mobile armor configuration and grappled him, and was now carrying him off.
On the Archangel, everyone was horrified at the sight of the Strike in the Aegisâ€™ claws. Murrueâ€™s eyes widened, her worst fear was becoming reality. Now ZAFT had all the Gundams, and Kira as prisoner. She shut her eyes, unable to look.
â€œKira, answer me, Kira!â€ Miriallia yelled into her microphone. But there was no reply.
Kira sat tight as he listened to a fierce exchange between Athrun and the pilot of the Duel.
â€œWhat the hell are you doing, Athrun?!â€
â€œIâ€™m capturing this machine, Yzak!â€
â€œOur orders are to destroy it, you idiot!â€
â€œItâ€™s better to capture it!â€ Athrun countered, â€œNow letâ€™s retreat!â€ He switched to another frequency. The Aegis continued on, while the other Gundams followed behind.
â€œWhatâ€™s going on, Athrun?â€ Kira demanded.
â€œIâ€™m taking you to the Gamow.â€ Athrun answered.
â€œNo, I wonâ€™t go to a ZAFT ship! Let me go!â€
â€œShut up!â€ Athrun bit out, â€œIf you want to live, just come with me. I donâ€™t want to have to shot you down, Kira.â€
â€œAthrun, why are you doing this?â€ Kira wanted to know, â€œWhy are you with ZAFT?â€
â€œMy mother was killed at the Bloody Valentine. Thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m here.â€
Kira couldnâ€™t believe it. Mrs. Zala was dead. She had been one of his motherâ€™s closest friends.
A sudden blow blasted the Aegis, and Kira saw La Flagaâ€™s Zero on his monitor. Its four gun barrels were deployed and were firing on the Aegis. Athrun was forced to release Kira so he could transform back into mobile suit form.
La Flagaâ€™s voice filled Kiraâ€™s ears. â€œThe Archangel is sending out the Launcher Strike Pack! Hurry and get over there!â€
â€Just use your navigational computer and be ready to exchange equipment, kid!â€
Kira glanced back to see that the Aegis was now on the defensive. â€œAll right!â€ He fled, leaving the Zero and Aegis to battle one another. He fired the vernier thrusters, and made a break for the Archangel.
The ship provided covering fire for him, but the Duel was again in hot pursuit. It was gaining on the Strike fast, and Kira was almost thrown into a panic once more. Suddenly, he saw the Launcher Strike Pack being flung from the shipâ€™s catapult. He jettisoned the Aile Striker Pack to accommodate the new weapon. As he closed in, the target-lock alarms flashed. He was caught in the Duelâ€™s sights, and he saw a missile sailing right at him. A tremendous explosion followed.
Everyone cried out as the fireball enveloped the Strike. Tension filled the air until a ruby and sapphire colored energy blast shot out, nearly taking the Duelâ€™s right arm off. The Strikeâ€™s armor shone in a vivid red, blue, and white. A cheer spread through the bridge. The shipâ€™s guns unleashed intense fire against the five enemy Gundams and their only choice was to fully retreat. After they had disappeared, everyoneâ€™s adrenaline rush died and relief settled in. They had survived and were now in the clear.
The pilotsâ€™ locker room on the Gamow, a brawl seemed inevitable. Yzak had Athrun pinned against the lockers and held him by his collar.
â€œYou idiot!â€ he growled, anger flashing in his eyes. â€œWhat were you thinking? Thanks to you, the mission was an utter failure!â€
Dearka stood by, muttering and swearing, egging on Yzakâ€™s tirade. Cade meanwhile stood aside, not saying anything, but seemingly ready to interject himself if things got out of hand. Athrun kept silent and averted his eyes from Yzakâ€™s glare. Yzak had a grudge against Athrun and he and Dearka had ambitions for glory on the battlefield. Athrun on the other hand merely wanted to avenge his motherâ€™s death. None of them knew Cadeâ€™s reason for being in the military, but it was obvious he too didnâ€™t care for medals and promotions. Yzak was ready to lash out once more, when Nicol entered.
â€œWhatâ€™s going on here?â€ he demanded. â€œLet him go, Yzak!â€
â€œWe had five machines, damn it!â€ Yzak shot back, â€œThanks to him, we couldnâ€™t take out a stupid Natural!â€
â€Look, thereâ€™s nothing we can do now.â€ Cade countered. â€œWhatâ€™s done is done, thatâ€™s it.â€
â€œOh, is that some of your Straight Edge hippie philosophy?â€ Dearka sneered, â€œDo you â€˜go with the flowâ€™ and good vibes no matter what?â€
Cade rolled his eyes at the remark. Dearka didnâ€™t know or understand the aspects of Straight Edge, nor did it appear that he was interested to learn about it. Cade didnâ€™t care either way.
â€œCadeâ€™s right.â€ Nicol retorted, coming to his comradeâ€™s defense. â€œThe battleâ€™s over and thereâ€™s no use in arguing.
Despite his demeanor, Athrun knew Nicol was a courageous young man. Now that Rusty was dead, it appeared that heâ€™d fill in the role of moderator. Yzak huffed and pushed Athrun aside as he stormed out, Dearka following behind. Nicol relaxed after the two pilots had left.
â€œI hate to say it, but Yzak has a point, Athrun.â€ He said, â€œYou werenâ€™t yourself out there.â€
Athrun could only look away. â€œI know. Look, I just need some time alone.â€ With that, he exited and walked the halls. He had lost the chance to try and persuade Kira into coming with him. He was afraid that now heâ€™d have to keep his promise to Le Creuset. He now had to shot his friend down without hesitation.
Meanwhile, Le Creuset and Ades glimpsed at the communiquÃ© they had received. It called for them to return to the PLANT homeland at once. The Supreme Council certainly now had heard about the destruction of Heliopolis. They had no choice but to appear before the Council and report on all that had occurred. The decision was made to have Athrun accompany them while the others remained on the Gamow and continue pursuit of the new enemy battleship.
La Flaga had safely landed back in the Archangelâ€™s hanger to find the Strikeâ€™s hatched sealed tight, despite it being docked for some time. â€œHey there,â€ called to Maintenance Officer Murdoch, â€œwhatâ€™s the trouble?â€
Murdoch shrugged. â€œThe kid just refuses to come out.â€
La Flaga climbed up and punched the exterior lock, forcing the hatch open. Inside he found Kira, sitting motionless and panting, his hands still grasping the controls tightly. The Lieutenant eased his head inside. â€œHey kid, you all right?â€ Kira didnâ€™t answer. â€œCome on, snap out of it.â€ The youth started to shiver like he had waking up from a terrible nightmare. He felt pity for the kid. True, he had amazing piloting skills, but he was still a mere teenager. He eased Kiraâ€™s grip on the levers off slowly. â€œItâ€™s all now, kid. You did well out there. You and I made it back in one piece and the ship is safe.â€
Kira began to slowly calm down, but still shuddered. La Flaga gave him a pat on the back and helped him out. Even though he had abilities many would call superhuman, Kira didnâ€™t feel like one. Later, he slowly roamed the halls, only to bump into La Flaga again.
â€œI forgot to mention this earlier.â€ The Lieutenant whispered, â€œBe sure to place a lock on the Strikeâ€™s OS. See to it that no one but you can pilot that Gundam.â€
Kira wasnâ€™t quite sure of what to make of the request, but he obliged.
The Archangel and its crew welcomed the Eurasian officers that were sent to oversee the docking of the unregistered ship. Artemis itself was what many called a backwater base of little strategic importance. Its only claim to frame was its lightwave barrier defense system nicknamed the Umbrella of Artemis. It was a field of pure energy that object or weapons, including the most powerful lasers could penetrate. It was the pinnacle of defensive technology.
Murrue had feared that the Eurasian forces wouldnâ€™t allow them to dock, what if the lack of recognition codes, however, their allies were very eager to welcome them. The umbrella was lowered and the ship coasted into the docking bay. No sooner had they landed, numerous armed soldiers and mobile armors surrounded the ship. It looked like they were ready to open fire at any time.
â€œWhatâ€™s all this?â€ Tolle asked, standing to get a better look.
â€œCaptainâ€¦â€ Natarle whispered.
Murrue spun to the nearest Eurasian officer. â€œWhatâ€™s the meaning of this?â€ she demanded.
The officer narrowed his eyes at her. â€œI have to advise you to keep silent, Captain Ramius.â€
Murrue was speechless. They had barely escaped a dangerous situation, now it looked like they were in another.
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Last edited by Charismatic Enigma on Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:33 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 6
Numerous armed Eurasian soldiers boarded the Archangel, rounding up the crew and civilians like cattle, then lead them over to the mess hall. Everyone was forced to sit quietly as armed soldiers guarded the entry. Murrue had demanded to know why this was happening and the answer from the Eurasian officers was that without proper recognition codes, the ship and its crew could not be verified. It was simply a matter of security measures, according to them. Murrue couldnâ€™t believe what she had been told. If commanders at Artemis truly thought the Archangel was an enemy ship, they wouldnâ€™t have even granted them the authorization to dock. She, along with Natarle and La Flaga, were then escorted to the office of Commander Gerard Garcia, the Commander of Artemis.
Garcia was a stout, thickly built, bald man, but he spoke politely. â€œGreetings and welcome to Artemis.â€ He said, â€œTo whom do I have the honor of hosting?â€ Murrue, Natarle, and La Flaga each introduced themselves. Garcia nodded and took a glance at the computer on his desk. â€œWell, your IDs verify that you are indeed officers of the Atlantic Federation.â€
â€œWe apologize for putting through any inconvenience, sir.â€ La Flaga said, a note of sarcasm in his voice.
Garcia didnâ€™t seem to catch the sarcasm, but if he did, he didnâ€™t show it. â€œNot at all. Weâ€™re honored that the Hawk of Endymion happened to come across our out of the way base. And that ship is quite impressive looking.â€
â€œWeâ€™re on a special assignment.â€ La Flaga quickly replied. â€œAs such, weâ€™re not at liberty to discuss certain circumstances.â€
â€œBut of course, however I feel that â€˜certain circumstancesâ€™ may play a critical role in our alliance. Would I be wrong?â€
La Flaga didnâ€™t have an answer for that.
Murrue stepped forward, doing all she could to keep things moving along without trouble. â€œWeâ€™ll need to stock supplies and move on to lunar HQ whenever possible. As you may know already, Commander, the ZAFT could still be pursuing us.â€
Garcia smiled. â€œOh, is that so? You like this ship?â€ He pressed a remote, bringing up a monitor mounted on the wall. On the screen was displayed the Laurasia-class Gamow. The ZAFT ship was not too far from Artemis. Murrue heard herself gasp.
The Eurasian Commander simply leaned back in his chair. â€œThey have been there for some time, just circling the base. Itâ€™s all they can do when the Umbrella is activated.â€ He smirked at the nervous expressions on the face of his Atlantic Federation counterparts. â€œHowever, you do realize that you canâ€™t leave as well, even if receive supplies.â€
â€œBut theyâ€™ve been chasing us, and theyâ€™re determined to catch us.â€ La Flaga explained, â€œIf we stay, weâ€™ll be putting Artemis at risk for attack. Your lives are in danger.â€
Garcia responded by throwing his head back and laughing. â€œYouâ€™re not serious, are you? The ZAFT know that they cannot get past our defenses and will eventually withdraw like they have before. Theyâ€™ll never strike at Artemis; Iâ€™d stake my life on it.â€
Murrue couldnâ€™t believe the way Garcia carried on. It was like this was all a mere joke. He wasnâ€™t taking the threat seriously.
The Commander sat up straight. â€œAfter they have left, weâ€™ll give you whatever supplies you need, contact lunar HQ, and send you on your way. For the time being, please make yourselves comfortable. After all youâ€™ve been through, you look you could use a rest. Iâ€™ll make arrangements to have rooms prepared for you.â€
La Flaga stood. â€œAre you certain that Artemis is as safe as you say it is?â€
Garcia locked glazes with the Lieutenant. â€œI assure you; nothing has never gotten past the Umbrella and never will. This base is as safe and secure as a sleeping infant in its motherâ€™s arms.â€
Aboard the bridge of the Gamow, Yzak, Dearka, Nicol, and Cade were briefed by the shipâ€™s commander, Captain Zelman. Even though he was called Captain, the military ranks between the Earth Alliance and ZAFT Army. In ZAFT, there was no military hierarchy, and posts such as Captain or Commander were broad-based in some ways. Every soldier was given high intelligence clearance and they blindly followed any outlandish orders. It was true that they worked within one single cohesive group; however there was a need for brilliant, independent thinkers and strategists to be on the battlefield.
Nicol studied the graphic reading of Artemis on the strategy panel. â€œThere isnâ€™t any method to break through the Umbrella.â€ He murmured, â€œWhat a mess it has become.â€
Dearka crossed his arms. â€œWhat should we do now, just sit back and wait until they feel like coming out?â€ He snickered at his own sarcasm.
However, Yzak wasnâ€™t having any of it. â€œThis is serious, Dearka.â€ He scorned, â€œDo you want us to report to Commander Le Creuset and tell him we werenâ€™t able to accomplish a damn thing? Itâ€™d a shameful disgrace.â€
â€œWell if there really was a way for us to get past the Umbrella,â€ Cade said, â€œweâ€™d find it.â€
A sudden thought struck Nicol. â€œIs the Umbrella always up?â€
â€No,â€ Zelman answered, â€œintelligence has reported that itâ€™s only activated when thereâ€™s an immediate threat. Most of the time itâ€™s down in order to conserve energy. But even if weâ€™d attempt an attack, theyâ€™d spot us and activate it before we could close into firing range.â€
Nicol rubbed his chin. â€œCade, you said that if there was a way for us to get past the Umbrella, weâ€™d be able to find it. Well, my own Gundam, the Blitz, may be just the thing we need.â€ For the most part, Yzak and Dearka hadnâ€™t fully paid attention to him, but now he had their attention. â€œIt has the Phase Shift like the others, but there is another intriguing feature.â€
Meanwhile, back on Artemis, the crew of the Archangel and the civilian refugees still hadnâ€™t been informed of what was happening. People were becoming nervous; unrest was starting to settle in. Kira and his friends huddled together at a table inside the commissary.
â€œI thought that Eurasia was an ally.â€ Sai whispered, â€œYou donâ€™t suppose thereâ€™s been a falling out between them and the Atlantic Federation.â€
Kira didnâ€™t have an answer.
â€œThat isnâ€™t it.â€ Officer Tonomura said, â€œThe problem is that we donâ€™t have clearance codes for this base.â€
Murdoch huffed. â€œI think that should be the least of their concerns right now.â€
Officer Neumann agreed. â€œI know, I think that these Eurasians are up to something.â€
The name Earth Alliance was, in truth, misleading. The Alliance was formed in CE 70, comprising of the Atlantic Federation, Eurasian Federation, Republic of East Asia, and the South African Union. Their combined military forces was named OMNI (Oppose Militancy and Neutralize Invasion) Enforcer, with a single goal, defeat the ZAFT Army. It was suppose to be a unified alliance, but it hardly acted as a cooperative unit. Other nations, such as Orb declared their neutrality and potions of Northern Africa, and all of the Oceania Union and parts of Asia were under ZAFT control. The political environment was utterly complicated.
Both the Archangel and the Strike Gundam were the newest weapons in the Earth Alliance; the problem was that only the Atlantic Federation had knowledge of them. Eurasia was an ally, but they had their own separate budgets, goals, and ultimate ambitions. The Eurasians were very anxious to acquire technology developed by the Atlantic Federation, that much was obvious. It was then additional armed guards entered the mess hall, with Garcia following them.
He looked around the room. â€œI am Commander Garcia, commanding officer of this base.â€ He announced, â€œWhere is the pilot of the new mobile suit?â€
Kira was about to stand, but Murdoch placed a hand on the youthâ€™s shoulder, pressing him back into his seat.
Neumann stood, bringing Garciaâ€™s attention to him. â€œWhy ask us? Didnâ€™t our Captain want to tell you?â€ It was a malicious comment. â€œWhat do you want with the Strike?â€
Garcia seemed offended, but simply chuckled. He stepped up to Neumann. â€œThereâ€™s no particular reason, we only feel privileged to have to opportunity to see the new mobile suit before itâ€™s officially unveiled. We have some questions weâ€™d like to ask. Soâ€¦who is the pilot?â€
Kiraâ€™s heart began to pound. He now understood why La Flaga told him to lock down the Strikeâ€™s OS. The Eurasians had tried to seize the Gundam, but found they couldnâ€™t move it.â€
Murdoch cleared his throat. â€œYou should speak to Lieutenant La Flaga if you have any questions. He is our ace pilot.â€
Garcia wagged his finger like he had caught a child lying. â€œWe were observing the last battle, and noticed the Moebius Zero was engaged in combat against one of the ZAFT vessels and damaged it by using its gun barrels. La Flaga is one of the few who can effectively operation those weapons.â€
Neumann and the others were dumbfounded. The Eurasians had witnessed the pervious battle, knowing their predicament, yet didnâ€™t offer assistance?
Garcia glimpsed around at the faces in the crowd. It was clear that his patience was wearing thin. He stepped over to Miriallia and took her by the arm, hoisting her from her seat. â€œI doubt the pilot is a woman, but then again, the Captain of ship is also a woman.â€ He scanned the faces of the other students. â€œThis is indeed an unusual ship, being manned by children.â€ He turned to Miriallia. â€œSo tell me, girl, do you know who is the mobile suitâ€™s pilot?â€
Kira sprang up. â€œLeave her alone! Iâ€™m the pilot!â€
Garcia released Miriallia from his grip. â€œI admire your chivalry, but no brat like you could operate that machine.â€ He reeled his hand to smack Kira across the face, but the young Coordinatorâ€™s reflexes enabled him to dodge. He then twisted the Commanderâ€™s arm back, nearly breaking it, and tossed him aside. â€œDonâ€™t try that again.â€ He warned.
Garcia growled, and with a flick of his wrists, his soldiers surrounded Kira. Sai tried to intervene, but only received a pistol whip from one of the guards. He stumbled to the floor.
Flay ran to his side. â€œSai!â€ She then turned to Garcia. â€œThatâ€™s boy telling you the truth!â€ Her eyes flashed in anger, and she pointed to Kira. â€œAnd for your information, heâ€™s a Coordinator!â€
There was a collective grimace from Neumann, Murdoch, and the other crewmembers. Garcia was speechless, but smiled wickedly. He rose to his feet, motioning to his troops to escort Kira out.
Tolle glared at Flay. â€œWhy the hell did you say that?â€
â€œWhy not, itâ€™s the truth.â€ Flay countered, justifying her actions, â€œWhatâ€™s wrong with telling that heâ€™s a Coordinator?â€
â€Well, who do you do think the Earth forces have been fighting all this time?â€
Flay didnâ€™t reply, not even appearing to feel guilty for ratting Kira out to the Eurasians. Tolle wanted to just strangle her at that moment.
Kira stood in front of Garcia and his little entourage as he was taken to the Strike that was still inside the hanger bay. â€œYou want me to remove the lock on the OS, right?â€
Garcia smiled. â€œOf course, but thereâ€™s more you can do. You could easily analyze this machineâ€™s data and help develop more, or even create a weapon that could be effective against its armor.â€
â€œLook, Iâ€™m no soldier, engineer, or military contractor, Iâ€™m just a civilian.â€
Garcia frowned. â€œBut youâ€™re now a race traitor, arenâ€™t you?â€
Kira was stunned. â€œA race traitor?â€
Garcia looked down to Kira. â€œI donâ€™t know why, but youâ€™ve decided to fight against your fellow Coordinators. A Coordinator who sides with the Earth Alliance could be a valuable ally. Tell me, would you be interested in enlisting in the Eurasian Federation?â€
Kira didnâ€™t like to offer. â€œLook, I-â€
â€œRest assure, Eurasia would take great care of you.â€ Garcia smiled.
Kira never thought of himself as a traitor until now. The war had seemed far away, now he found himself having to choose a side. No matter what, heâ€™d hurt someone close to him. Whatever his choice, heâ€™d end up as someoneâ€™s ally, and someone elseâ€™s enemy. He then climbed into the cockpit, typing away on the keyboard to remove the lock. The technicians stared in awe at the speed in which he typed, and armed guards stood by, weapons at the ready, as if waiting to see if heâ€™d try anything suspicious. He recalled the day when he revealed the truth to his friends. They had been surprised, but said that it didnâ€™t matter to them whether or not his genes had been altered. Theyâ€™d occasionally tease him, ask for his help on homework, and accepted him. Tolle and Miriallia were especially protective of him. He then glanced back to Garcia, who stood back, watching him eagerly as he worked. His demeanor reminded Kira of a predator closing in on its prey. Kira felt like a tool. Being a Coordinator had sometimes been a blessing, but now he felt like it was a curse.
Inside the control room of Artemis, the monitors showed that ZAFT Laurasia-class ship was withdrawing. An officer skimmed the report. â€œInform the Commander that there is no longer an enemy presence in the area. All is now clear. Switch off the Umbrella and switch over to Level Two alert.â€
The Gamow was backing away from Artemis, but was still in visual range to see when the Umbrella would deactivate. Nicol waited to launch in the Blitz Gundam. He had to be cautious, as he would be entering combat while using an untested stealth system.
Dearka, Yzak, and Cade stood by and watched, waiting inside pilotsâ€™ locker room overlooking the hanger.
â€œThose guys in the Earth Forces sure built quite a defensive system.â€ Yzak shook his head.
â€œYeah, but it suits Nicol.â€ Dearka said, â€œThe perfect weapon for a little coward.â€
â€œSay what you want about Nicol,â€ Cade spoke up, â€œbut heâ€™s sometimes more clever than the two of you put together.â€
â€œWhatever, slacker.â€ Dearka retorted.
The word then came that the Umbrella had gone down and Nicol launched. As the Blitz moved out, gaseous streams sprayed from its jets, swarming around the fuselage. The particles surrounded the Blitz, and it began to disappear. Nicol checked the readings and found the Mirage Colloid was working perfectly. The Mirage Colloid was a specialized stealth system that bent and warped all electromagnetic waves, radar waves, and visible light by using magnetic fields to render the Blitz invisible to all sensors, even the naked eye. Nicol made his way to the rocky surface of Artemis and searched around. Amidst the antennas and airducts, he found the reflectors used to create the Umbrellaâ€™s light wave barrier. He had to destroy as many as he could so that the others could join in the attack. He hefted the Trikeros (a combo beam rifle, beam saber, and lancer darts) attached to his shield and took aim.
Kira had just completed booting up the Strikeâ€™s OS, when there was a slight rumbling sound, followed by a dull tremor. Soon another and another followed.
Garciaâ€™s deputy called over an intercom. â€œControl room, whatâ€™s causing these tremors?â€
â€œWe donâ€™t know!â€ a bewildered voice answered. â€œThereâ€™s nothing on any of the sensors!â€
â€Well, something has to causing them!â€ Garcia shouted.
Another tremor shook the ground. Kira knew that whatever it was, it had to be very close.
A new voice screamed over the intercom. â€œSir, the reflectors are being destroyed! Weâ€™ve lost the Umbrella!â€
Garcia couldnâ€™t believe it. How could the enemy have launched such an attack? His entire sense of security had now been shattered.
Kira saw his chance and kicked the armed guard away from the cockpit. He then closed the hatch and prepared the Strike for battle.
â€œWhat are you doing?â€ Garcia demanded, his voice coming from the radio.
â€œItâ€™s obvious weâ€™re under attack!â€ Kira shouted back, â€œThis is no time to argue!â€ He switched over to another channel.
Elsewhere, Murrue, Natarle, and La Flaga had been sitting in a guest room, when they too felt the tremors. La Flaga knew that it could only mean that the enemy was attacking.
â€œHelp, that last explosion opened a large crack!â€ he then yelled like a madman, â€œThe airâ€™s in the room leaking out!â€ Needless to say, the others were confused by his performance and were unsure on what to do. â€œWell come on, get on with it.â€ he told them waving his hands around to indicate they should scream as loud as possible. They really didnâ€™t know what he had in mind, but they knew that if they wanted to escape, theyâ€™d have to have some faith in his plan.
â€œAhh, weâ€™re all going to die!â€ Murrue screeched.
â€œSomeone please help us!â€ Natarle yelled at the top of his lungs.
They continued to holler and shout as La Flaga hid by the door. A guard entered, only to be knocked unconscious by the Lieutenant. With their path clear, the trio rushed out and hurried back to the ship.
Back in the commissary, Neumann had the same idea. Taking advantage of the confusion, he and the other officers jumped the guards, and after a short scuffle, they ran to the bridge.
â€œStart up the engines!â€ Neumann ordered.
â€œBut what about the officers?â€ Tonomura asked.
â€œIf we stay around, we may not make it out alive.â€ Neumann told him. â€œYou know that theyâ€™d make escape our top priority.â€
â€œYouâ€™re correct, Petty Officer.â€ A voice said from the doorway. The crew looked and cheered at the sight of Murrue, Natarle, and La Flaga entered. Everyone took their posts and powered up the ship.
Kira, meanwhile, approached the launch pad. The large gantry crane attached the Sword Striker and he activated the Phase Shift. Suddenly, he remembered heâ€™d be fighting against Coordinators, his own people. Garciaâ€™s words echoed in his mind: â€œBut youâ€™re now a race traitor, arenâ€™t you?â€ Kira never thought that until now. He had been fighting to protect his friends. Could he kill another of his fellow Coordinators? He shook the thought away as he was launched out to engage the enemy.
Artemis had deployed every mobile armor units available against the Blitz. However, its agility outclassed them and Nicol easily disposed of many. Outside, the Duel, Buster, and Panzer had joined the fighting and stormed the fortress as well. Earth Alliance mobile armors and docked ships fell victim to the onslaught. The Duel and Buster easily laid waste to the Moebius mobile armors that came their way. The Panzer had to dodge a flaming Moebius careening towards it. Cade fired his gatling, destroying several more enemy units before he targeted a Nelson-class warship. After two shots from the mortar, the ship tilted and numerous explosions burst from its hull.
Cade had to smile at his handiwork. â€œThat shipâ€™s going nowhere now.â€ He said to himself.
Dearka blasted another target, a Drake-class escort ship. The battleship exploded into several large fragments. Yzak destroyed a row of mobile armors yet to be deployed, and then sliced another in two with his beam saber. However, they didnâ€™t want to fight these units, they wanted only their present target.
â€œWhereâ€™s that damned ship?â€ Dearka growled.
â€œI donâ€™t see it.â€ Yzak answered, then switched radio frequencies, â€œNicol, where are you?â€
Nicol couldnâ€™t respond as he was now battling the Strike. He launched his Gleipnir weapons, only to have it knocked back by the Strikeâ€™s Panzer Eisen rocket anchor. Kira pulled out the Schwert Gewehr, cutting down the Lancer Darts the Blitz shot.
Meanwhile, Garcia tried to regain control of the situation. He stood in a control room with a number of his subordinates. â€œWhat are you doing, you imbeciles?â€ he growled. â€œA handful of enemies cannot take out this entire base!â€
â€Commander!â€ one officer screamed, pointing out the window.
Garcia and the others looked to see a flaming mobile armor spinning out of control are for them. In a cowardly move of self-preservation, Garcia fled as the unit smashed into the window. He was knocked violently by the explosion, but would survive. Some of his fellow officers, however, were not as fortunate.
Back at the port, the Archangel turned to launch. Murrue gave Kira the order to return, and he broke off his duel with the Blitz. Nicol attempted to give chase, but was cut off by an explosion. Kira landed on the ship and the Archangel surged forward, escaping the all but ruined Artemis. The Blitz, Duel, Buster, and Panzer escaped as well, but they had to let their prey go, much to the pilotsâ€™ frustration.
Later when Kira safely brought the Strike back into the hanger, he exited the mobile suit. Mu and Murdoch were there to greet him, but he ignored and brushed past them. He headed straight for the first available bed and curled into it. One word echoed inside his head, traitor. It was but a word, but it stung him deeply.
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Last edited by Charismatic Enigma on Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:33 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
*Double posted chapter by mistake*
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Last edited by Charismatic Enigma on Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:38 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 07
Kira found himself in an inescapable and dire situation. The X Numbers had him completely surrounded. The Blitz pressed a close quarters attack, followed by the Duel. He could see the Buster providing long-range support, and the Panzer laid down a barrage. He couldnâ€™t see the Aegis anywhere; Athrun was nowhere to be found. Suddenly, alarms sounded loudly, but then fell silent. He realized his Phase Shift was gone once more and the enemies took full advantage. The Panzerâ€™s gatling decimated the Aile Strike Pack, rendering it useless. The Buster unleashed a volley of missiles, blowing away the Strikeâ€™s left leg and arm. The Blitz came in with its beam saber drawn and severed the Strikeâ€™s right arm. The Duel then appeared and Kira tried to scream but couldnâ€™t when the Duel raised its beam rifle. The last thing he saw was a bright green flash.
He then jolted straight up, now finding himself alone in the dark. A cold sweat dripped from his brow as he felt himself over. It had all been a vivid and horrifying nightmare. He knew he was safe, but he couldnâ€™t shake off the fright. He the laid back down and tried to go back to sleep, but couldnâ€™t. He finally gave up and got dressed. He decided to go down to the hanger and work on the Strike. Maybe that could help him get his mind off other things.
Out in space, the New Century colony looked like a giant hourglass suspended in the vast darkness. A structure called the yoke spun around the slender center, with two pyramid-like cones slowly revolving around it. Each cone was built out of a series of mirrors which were used to gather sunlight. Within the bottom cone was housed the residential areas, where the inhabitants lived and tended to the colonyâ€™s organic farms. Arcs of self-repairing glass panels lined the exterior of the colony and reflected the sunlight, making the colony shine brightly against the dark surroundings. This colony was a PLANT, a home for the Coordinators.
Le Creuset and Athrun disembarked from the Vesalius, and made their way to the military station, where a shuttle was waiting for them. Inside the craft was a lone passenger, a middle-aged man with sharp features and an imposing gaze. Athrun recognized him immeadatily and stopped short in surprise.
Le Creuset saluted the seated man. â€œItâ€™s an honor that you will be accompanying us, Defense Chairman Zala.â€
The man gave a brief glance to Athrun. â€œYou may disregard the formalities, Commander. As it stands, I was never officially here, understand?â€
Le Creuset nodded and took a seat across from the Chairman.
Athrun brushed his hair back. â€œItâ€™s been some time, Father, I mean, Chairman Zala.â€ His father gave him a second short glance before turning his attention back to the papers in his lap. He was still as cold and distant as Athrun had remembered him. His father, Patrick Zala, was the National Defense Committee Chairman of the Supreme Council for ZAFT. His duties often took precedence, and as such,, Athrun had hardly seen him while he was growing up.
Le Creuset secretly was amused by the exchange. Even in a private setting, it appeared awkward for the two to acknowledge the fact they were father and son. As the shuttle began to take off, Zala held up the set of papers he had been reading over.
â€œI agree with your opinions in this report, Commander.â€ He said, â€œHowever, Iâ€™ve deleted mention of the fact that the pilot of the final machine is a Coordinator. Instead, weâ€™ll say that the Earth Forces have constructed a mobile suit which performs beyond our initial expectations, even with a Natural piloting it.â€
Athrun was stunned by this, and his father took notice.
â€œIf the information that a Coordinator had sided with the Earth Forces and is now piloting an enemy mobile suit, the Moderate Faction will continue to endlessly argue.â€ He turned to his son, â€œAnd I imagine itâ€™d be difficult that your former friend is now an enemy. Therefore, we will state that an exceptional Natural is piloting the last machine and leave it at that. Do you understand?â€
Athrun nodded and turned his head away. He did understand his fatherâ€™s position, but underhanded political scheming didnâ€™t make him feel any better about joining ZAFT. He felt like a hypocrite when Kira confronted him about being a solider, seeing as how he had always spoken out against the idea of war. Kira was right to criticize him. Kira had said he was fighting to protect the Naturals who were his friends, but Athrun wondered why he was fighting. He wasnâ€™t really protecting anybody, and he had thought he was avenging his mother, but nowâ€¦
The shuttle decelerated as it approached Aprilius One, the city where the Supreme Council was housed.
A great distance away, the Archangel coasted through space. After escaping from Artemis, everyone was on edge at the thought of another enemy attack.
â€œItâ€™s confirmed, Captain.â€ Tonomura reported, â€œThere are no enemy units within a five thousand kilometer radius. It looks like weâ€™ve finally lost them.â€
â€œWell, it looks like the pandemonium at Artemis covered our escape.â€ La Flaga said, â€œWe can at least be thankful for that.â€
That didnâ€™t settle any of Murrueâ€™s concerns. The ship already had a fair share of problems and none had been resolved. The issue of supplies was the direst. It was still a long trek to the Moon. They were sure to run out of water before then. However, she did what she could to hide her worries.
La Flaga took notice and quietly went to her side. â€œIs it as bad as it looks?â€ he whispered.
Murrue knew that the Lieutenant could see right through her. â€œWe do have some emergency rations, but the main problem is ammo and water. If the refugees cooperate, we ration, and conserve what we can, we maybe fine.â€
He nodded knowingly, but both knew better. They needed to reach the Moon as quickly as they could manage. Murrue called up the navigational course on the monitor, disappointed by what she saw. She asked if there was a more direct course available.
â€œNo,â€ Neumann shook his head, â€œif we orbit any closer to Earth, weâ€™ll drift into the debris belt.â€
Not really thinking before she said it, Murrue blurted out, â€œIt seems like we could save time by just going straight through it.â€
Natarle and the other crewmembers were surprised by the comment.
â€œIf we coasted in at our current speed,â€ Neumann said, â€œweâ€™d just end up as another piece of space junk.â€
The debris belt was the location where Earth and the PLANTs dumped their garbage. Ever since humans began interstellar travel and abandon orbiting satellite stations, shuttlecraft, spare booster engines, and other manner of refuse had been tossed away to simply drift in space. This collection of junk floated around Earthâ€™s orbit and presented a danger to anyone who dared to enter it. Normally, only members of the Junk Guild and other scavengers braved the risk to salvage anything seemingly of value.
La Flaga looked to Murrue, when suddenly an idea came to him. â€œDebris.â€ He muttered and a smile spread across his across. â€œAm I a man who make the impossible possible or what?â€ He winked to the Captain.
Athrun and Le Creuset rode a glass elevator from the docking bay down a thirty-seven drop into the interior of the PLANT. The Commander skimmed over the data on his computer while Athrun looked out to the scenery. When they passed the clouds, a sparking blue sea dotted with green islands came into view. The city of Aprilius One was a beautiful sight to behold, especially after being on a battleship for weeks on end. Athrun felt good to be home.
The monitor inside the elevator switched from a music video to a news broadcast. â€œChairman Siegel Clyne has announced that memorial ceremonies for Junius Seven shall be held within the next week.â€ The reporter detailed.
Athrun and Le Creuset looked to the screen, seeing the footage of Chairman Clyne, a man in his late forties, a long jaw, gentle features, and a calm demeanor. Next to him stood his young daughter Lacus, a beautiful girl whose hair was dyed a light pink, at suitable contrast to her fair skin. She was well known both for being a Chairmanâ€™s daughter and the famous pop idol of the PLANTs. Athrunâ€™s eyes were drawn to her immeadatily.
â€œShe is your fiancÃ©e, correct?â€ Le Creuset inquired.
Athrun shifted his gaze. His engagement to Lacus was well publicized, but it still felt odd to talk about it. Everyone just assumed that the pair would eventually marry. It was that he disliked her, she looked so delicate and Athrun would certainly wish to protect her. But he couldnâ€™t envision marrying her.
â€œHow wonderful.â€ The Commander commented, â€œThe families of Zala and Clyne united by the bond of marriage. The next generation of Coordinators will indeed have a bright future.â€
â€œThank you, sir.â€ Athrun said. But the compliment felt hallow, as did he.
Within the Archangelâ€™s hanger, Kira finished making some minor adjustments to the Strikeâ€™s OS. He heeded the advice La Flaga mentioned to him earlier, a pilot takes responsibility for his machine. After he had finished he went to the mess hall to eat before taking a rest. Rationing was troublesome, what with the minimal portions and bland food options, but there was at least enough for everyone. He found Tolle and Miriallia sitting at a table, chattering and laughing. Sai and Flay were seated next to them, eating silently. Kira walked in, when he caught a glimpse of Sai nudging Flayâ€™s shoulder. She then stood and turned to Kira.
She seemed reluctant, but she cleared her throat. â€œUh, Kira, sorry about before.â€
â€You know,â€ she muttered, â€œBack at Artemis, we I told them that you were a Coordinator.â€
The memory came back in a flash. It did upset him when she blurted his secret out to the Eurasian soldiers. However, he forced himself to smile. â€œNo, itâ€™s all right.â€ He insisted, â€œIâ€™m not angry. Itâ€™s the truth after all.â€
Flay breathed a sigh of relief. â€œThanks.â€ She then smiled to Sai. The pair of them had certainly intimate recently.
â€œAh, there you are!â€ Maintenance Officer Murdoch said, stepping inside. â€œThe Captain wants to speak with you all.â€
La Flaga knew it wasnâ€™t going to go over smoothly. He felt sorry for Murrue, what with the position she was in. The student refugees werenâ€™t very excited at the idea that they had to gather supplies themselves.
â€œWhere are we going to get them?â€ they wanted to know.
It was awkward. â€œWell, by â€˜getâ€™, we really mean â€˜findâ€™.â€ He said.
Murrue didnâ€™t mince words. â€œWeâ€™re now heading for the debris belt.â€ She explained, â€œHopefully weâ€™ll find what we need from there.â€
The students were confused at first, not understanding the Captain. That was until Sai realized what they had in mind.
â€œWait, you canâ€™t mean-â€ he said.
â€œYou catch on fast, kid.â€ La Flaga said, patting Sai on the shoulder, â€œItâ€™s time for some dumpster diving.â€
Murrue frowned at the Lieutenant. In La Flagaâ€™s mind, she looked very cute when she was annoyed. â€œIt isnâ€™t simply trash, there are many things in there we can use. For example, there are fully stocked ships that were sunk in battle, but some of their parts may still be operational.â€
Kira looked a bit disturbed. â€œYou really want us to out and search those ghost ships?â€
â€Well, what else is there that we can do?â€ La Flaga asked, becoming serious. â€œUnless you have a better plan, we wonâ€™t be able to hold out for long.â€
The look on the studentsâ€™ faces clearly expressed their thoughts at the idea.
â€œWe need for you to help in piloting the pods.â€ Murrue said to them. She wasnâ€™t very keen on the idea as well, it was the only plan they had. â€œWe wonâ€™t disturb the dead, nor take any personal affects that belonged to others.â€ She went on. â€œWeâ€™ll only take what we need in order to survive.â€ Underneath her tone of authority, there was a hint of self-doubt. Such actions were unorthodox from standard military procedures.
Of course, La Flaga didnâ€™t have a problem with being a â€œtrash collectorâ€ for the time being if it helped both the ship and the crew survive the present ordeal.
The PLANT colonies were composed of twelve capitol cities, each specializing in a specific research field. Each of the capitols elected one member to sit on the Supreme Council. These twelve individuals determined the fate of the PLANTs and their inhabitants. Athrun and Le Creuset were now before the council. He looked to where Chairman Siegel Clyne sat, then to where his father was seated. Just as Patrick Zala was a member of the Council, so was Yzakâ€™s mother, Ezalia Joule, Dearkaâ€™s father, Tad Elsman, and Nicolâ€™s father, Yuri Amalfi. Everyone one the Council closely listened to Le Creuset as he gave his report.
â€œI believe that you understand,â€ the Commander said, â€œthat after hearing the facts on the course of events that transpired prior to the collapse of Heliopolis, it was never our intention for the destruction of the colony. Rather, the blame goes to the Earth Forces, for it was their weapons that damaged the Central Shaft to the breaking point.â€
Athrun did doubt that the Commander really believed what he was saying. He did, after all, order the use of Type D weapons. How could he have not expected such damage to occur? It may not have made sense, but several Council members jumped right on the bandwagon.
â€œAfter all, Orb was secretly in league with the Atlantic Federation!â€ Orson White said, â€œThey violated the treaty first! I say we declare war on them next!â€
Eileen Canaver raised her hand. â€œBut Councilor White, is this the image we Coordinators want to project?â€ she asked, â€œThat we are vengeful warmongers?â€
Councilor Louise Leitner stood. â€œSo youâ€™d talk the word of a Natural over one of your comrades?â€ he accused.
The debate spilled over, with every Council member bickering and arguing with one another. It was then when Clyne called for order, beseeching them to settle down. Then Patrick Zala stood.
â€œTell us, Le Creuset, was the capture of the Earth Forcesâ€™ new mobile suits worth the losses our ZAFT forces endured?â€ he asked.
Le Creuset obviously was waiting for that particular question. â€œIn regards to the captured mobile suits, Iâ€™d like to call on Athrun Zala to give his report.â€
Athrun rose to his feet, feeling nervous. He cleared his throat and stood up straight as an image of his Gundam appeared on the small screens before each Council member. There were murmurs of interest at the sight of the mobile suit. Though starting out nervously, he gained more confidence as he continued with his report. He gave details on the Aegis, Buster, Duel, Blitz, and Panzer. He explained their capabilities, weapons, and other features. He then briefly discussed the Strike and its respective capabilities.
â€œAfter examining the data, weâ€™ve determined that the Gundamsâ€™ capabilities overshadow those of our mobile suits, including the new model GCUEs.â€ He said, concluding his report. After he finished, he returned to his seat.
â€œTo build such machinesâ€¦and Naturals at that.â€
â€œBut theyâ€™re still in the experimental stage, correct? And there are only six.â€
â€œIf theyâ€™ve already gone this far, they must be preparing to move to the next phase, mass production.â€ Ezalia Joule said. â€œShould we just sit back and wait before act?â€
Athrun watched and knew what was happening. The Council had fears, and those fears were fanning the flames of war. Whether it was because that Coordinators were persecuted for years, or if it simply due to Naturals and Coordinators not trust one another. Whatever the case, Athrun knew that the war wasnâ€™t going to end anytime in the near future.
â€œSilence! Silence, please!â€ Patrickâ€™s voice boomed over the others, quelling the bickering. â€œNo one here wishes to fight, for peace is our absolute wish.â€ The Council members nodded in agreement and continued listening. â€œBut remember who it was that shattered that dream! The greedy and arrogant Naturals brought us to this war! They are to blame for the massacre at Junius Seven, the Bloody Valentine!â€
â€œWell, I think thatâ€™s a destroyer over there.â€ Sai said, looking at the screen inside his pod. â€œIt looks like the engineâ€™s totaled.â€
â€œItâ€™s a pity.â€ Officer Pal muttered, â€œBut maybe could salvage any leftover ammo.â€ While the students were now treating this like a treasure hunt, he and the other officers felt differently. â€œI hope those people on board were able to escape.â€
A short distance away, Natarle and Neumann and Tolle and Miriallia maneuvered their pods deeper into the field of debris. They all gasped at the sight of fragments of farmland scattered about, now frozen. It was the remains of a destroyed PLANT, with plantation houses and agricultural equipment floating around the ruined Central Shaft, which had broken in two. They gently sat down on the ground and exited the pods to investigate. They slowly entered what appeared to be a shelter. Natarle and Neumann began to search one hallway, when Miriallia let out a bloodcurdling scream of fright. They rushed over to find Tolle holding and comforting her. They then looked inside the partly opened door to uncover a terrible sight.
Seemingly dozens of corpses of men, women, and even children floated about the room. The most upsetting was that of tiny infant held close to its motherâ€™s chest. Neumann checked two bodies, finding one holding a gun. Both had fatal and self-inflicted gunshot wounds. These people must not have been able to reach the shelter in time and committed a mass suicide before the oxygen ran out. Natarle reported the findings, and Murrue knew exactly what they had stumbled upon. They were at the ruined Junius Seven.
Patrick Zalaâ€™s went on with his rhetoric. He spoke passionately of the 243,721 men, women, and children who died as a result of the Bloody Valentine. Among the dead was his beloved wife, Lenore. As a response to the nuclear attack, the Coordinators deployed the Neutron Jammers to prevent further use of the weapons. But the fear of another direct assault on the PLANTs still remained.
â€œInstead of giving what we need to survive, which wouldâ€™ve ended this conflict, they instead continue the bloodshed! But the evil Naturals have acted in vain! They may try to break our hearts, but the will never break the spirit and resolve of we Coordinators! We fight in order to protect ourselves! We fight for our freedom, and our survival!â€
Ezalia Joule and other members stood and applauded Zalaâ€™s words. One after another, the Council members joined the standing ovation. Clyne and Eileen Canaver seemed reluctant, but finally took part as well. Athrun saw the grim expression on Clyneâ€™s face and it spoke louder than words.
La Flaga stood by as Natarle and Kira spoke to Murrue about situation. Kira looked like he thought that Natarle was being irrational.
â€œThe water out there?â€ he asked, â€œAre you crazy?â€
â€œThere is nearly one hundred tons of ice,â€ she told him, â€œAnd we havenâ€™t located any other sources of H2O.â€
Murrue had already decided to gather the frozen water. But she saw both sides of the issue. She had to let La Flaga convince Kira and the others on what needed to be done.
â€œLook Kira-â€ the Lieutenant began.
â€œYou saw all of them, didnâ€™t you?â€ the youth shot back, â€œHundreds of thousands of people died there!â€
La Flaga knew this wasnâ€™t easy on the kid, seeing the corpses of his fellow Coordinators, but he wasnâ€™t going to let the crew disregard a viable source of water. â€œNobody wants to intrude on their memories, but there is no other way. Weâ€™re the ones alive and need to keep it that way. To do that, we need your help.â€ He hoped that the kidâ€™s protective nature would drive him once more.
Realizing that La Flaga and the others were right, he nodded in agreement. Everyone prepared to go back out to collect the ice.
After the meeting was concluded, Athrun strode down the corridor, taking a moment to look at the monument of Evidence 01. The massive fossil, nicknamed the Whale Rock, was mounted like a piece of art. It was the remains of an unusual creature that resembled a winged whale, hence the nickname. It had been uncovered in CE 18 near the planet Jupiter and was credited as the first piece of evidence that proved the existence of extraterrestrial life. However, it was also a source of great controversy and debate.
â€œHello, Athrun.â€ A gentle voice called out.
Seeing that it was Chairman Clyne, Athrun stood at attention out of habit. â€œYour Excellency.â€ He saluted.
Clyne chuckled. â€œThereâ€™s no need to greet me like a stranger, son.â€ He smiled. He looked at the Whale Rock for a brief time before turning to Athrun. â€œThis is a shame, youâ€™ve finally returned, but now Lacus is away on business. When will you two find the time to spend it together?â€
â€I know, and Iâ€™m sorry about that.â€
â€Now, now, donâ€™t apologize to me; youâ€™re just doing your duty.â€ Clyne took a deep breath. â€œThis war will undoubtedly become worse before things become better. Now, I do understand your fatherâ€™s stance, butâ€¦â€ He trailed off. As a Moderate, Siegel was the polar opposite of Patrick Zala. For much of the war, he and his fellow Moderates had clashed with Zala and the other Radicals, hoping to negotiate with Earth. It was a grave burden.
Le Creuset exited the chamber, accompanied by Patrick. Athrun could just hear their conversation.
â€œFollow the new Earth Forcesâ€™ battleship and mobile suit.â€ His father told the Commander, â€œIâ€™ll put you in command of the Lacorny and Porto teams. You will leave port in seventy-three hours.â€ He narrowed his eyes. â€œAnd donâ€™t fail to destroy them this time.â€
â€œYes, sir, Chairman.â€ Le Creuset said, saluting. With that, he turned to leave. Athrun gave a final salute to his father, and then followed the Commander out.
A warning flash inside the Strikeâ€™s cockpit caught Kiraâ€™s attention. He looked at the monitors and was startled to find a new heat source nearby. The readings showed that a Reconnaissance-Type GINN was very close. Kira soon spotted it among the debris. The mobile suit wasnâ€™t removing, but it still posed a threat. The salvaging wasnâ€™t completely yet, and if the GINN pilot found them and reported back, thereâ€™d be more ZAFT forces waiting for them. He aimed his beam rifle and targeted the enemy mobile suit. He suddenly noticed movement, seeing a figure emerge from the wreckage of a civilian ship. Kira magnified the image and could make out feminine features on the pilotâ€™s face. It was a woman piloting the GINN. He took his finger off the trigger. The enemy pilot only reminded him that there had been living people in the mobile suits he had and fought and the ones he had destroyed. He gripped the trigger again; silently pleading the pilot would leave. She entered her GINN, and began to pull away. That was until one of the work pods came into view. The GINN turned around fired at the pod, grazing it. Kira didnâ€™t hesitate. He squeezed the trigger and a beam pierced the GINN in the chest. It damaged, but not incapacitated. He fired another, scoring a direct hit to the cockpit. The GINN spun back and exploded.
â€œHey, thanks for the save, Kira!â€ Kuzzeyâ€™s voice sounded from the intercom. â€œI thought we were goners.â€
â€Strike, what happened?â€ Natarleâ€™s call cut into Kuzzeyâ€™s.
Kira didnâ€™t answer; instead he switched off all communications off. He had killed another Coordinator, and it wasnâ€™t just that. He had killed someoneâ€™s daughter, someoneâ€™s sister, maybe even someoneâ€™s lover. Commander Garcia was right, he felt like a race traitor, but if he didnâ€™t fight, how could be protect his friends?
Another alarm sounded, but it wasnâ€™t a mobile suit or a ship. Kira looked and found an escape pod drifting nearby, its distress beacon lights flashing. What could an escape pod be doing just drifting around? He cautiously moved in and took hold of the object, taking it back to the Archangel.
After he got back, Natarle glared at him as he stepped out of the Strike and onto the floor of the hanger. â€œYou certainly have a habit of picking up strays.â€ She scorned, but Kira didnâ€™t care.
Murrue and La Flaga both exchanged nervous glances as Murdoch worked on opening the podâ€™s hatch. If it was booby trapped or if there were any other surprises inside, theyâ€™d find out soon.
â€œOkay,â€ Murdoch said, â€œIâ€™m about to open it up.â€ Armed soldier raised their weapons as he typed the finals keys to unlock the hatch. It opened with a hydraulic whoosh.
A pink, round, and tiny robot fluttered out, flapping a pair of panels on its sides as though they were wings. â€œHaro, haro!â€ it chirped happily. Everyone stared in bewilderment, when a new voice broke the silence.
â€œThank you very much.â€ The soft voice said.
Everyone looked and saw a young girl with pink hair drift out of the pod. Her beauty and kind smile were captivating. Kira was instantly mesmerized by the mysterious girl.
(Note: If you'd like to send feedback, please send a private message to myself or ZGMF-X28A Nu-Liberty.)
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:46 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
Please disregard this. I double posted by accident.
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:35 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 08
The mysterious girl hovered in the zero gravity. She wore a majestic white and lavender dress, and she looked the same age as Kira and the other students. She was so enchanting that Kira had to snap back to reality to help her. He leapt up, taking her wrist, and then gently bringing her down to the floor.
â€œOh, why, thank you.â€ She smiled, her icy blue eyes seemingly shining. Her expression then abruptly turned to one of confusion. She had glanced at the Earth Alliance insignia on Kiraâ€™s uniform, then to the other crewmembers and officers. â€œSo this isnâ€™t a ZAFT ship, I take it?â€
Natarle let out a grave sigh, and Murrue and La Flaga were simply puzzled.
Athrun knelt silently at his motherâ€™s grave and placed the bouquet of flowers next to her headstone. It read: Lenore Zala, CE 33-70. She had been an agricultural researcher working at Junius Seven at the time of the nuclear attack. Athrun had seldom spent time with her, but she always gave him affection when they were together. He missed those research trips. It was the same story with his father, as he was hardly around, but Athrun knew their duties were crucial. He recalled his fatherâ€™s words at the last meeting of the Supreme Council, â€œwe fight to protect ourselves, we fight for our freedomâ€. If they just sat around and waited for it, peace would never come, as the Naturals wouldnâ€™t simply give it to them. Would the conflict end if he shouted from the top of his lungs and he hated war and wished for peace? No, of course it wouldnâ€™t. He needed to fight, and ZAFT needed to fight this war.
A group gathered at the interrogation roomâ€™s door. Kira and Tolle shoved at one another to get an ear against the door to listen to the conversation within. Sai and Kuzzey pushed from the back, while Officers Tonomura and Pal hovered from behind. Each one was curious of the young girl.
â€œCome on, donâ€™t shove.â€
â€œCan you hear anything?â€
â€Whatâ€™s going on in there?â€
The door suddenly flew open, and they all tumbled to the floor. They looked up to see the icy stare of Natarle glaring down at them.
â€œYou still have supplies to restock!â€ she harshly reminded them, â€œGet back to your posts!â€
The group stood and hurried off, but not Kira. He lingered momentarily, getting a glimpse of the pink-haired beauty. She noticed him, and gave him a smile and a wave. He blushed and turned about face, taking off.
La Flaga closed the door, grinning at the little exchange. But the atmosphere became serious once more when Murrue brought the conversation back to where it had left off.
â€œPlease pardon my crew, theyâ€™re young and new at this.â€ She said, â€œNow, you were saying?â€
â€œMy name is Lacus Clyne.â€ The girl said. The tiny pink robot in her lap twitched and chirped. â€œAnd this is my friend, Haro.â€
Natarle sighed at the robotâ€™s display, thinking it absurd. La Flaga palmed his face, when something came to him. He looked sharply to the girl.
â€œClyne, you say?â€ he asked her, â€œAs in Supreme Council Chairman Siegel Clyne?â€
The girlâ€™s face brightened. â€œWhy, yes!â€ she exclaimed, â€œSiegel Clyne is my father. You wouldnâ€™t happen to know him, would you?â€
All three Earth Alliance officers slumped their shoulders in disbelief. How could the girl assume that they personally knew her father simply because they knew his name? Was it all a tease?
La Flaga stood up straight and crossed his arms. â€œSo tell us, what happened out there? Why were you in that escape pod?â€
Lacusâ€™ smiled turned to a frown. â€œI was with a small crew to survey Junius Seven prior to the official memorial services.â€ She appeared to be reluctant to continue, but Murrue ushered her on. â€œWe came across an Earth Forces vessel, but not like this one. They claimed they were there to make an inspection, so I assumed itâ€™d be all right for them to come aboard.â€
Murrue had a feeling that the story was going to take a terrible turn.
â€œA number of Earth Forces officers seemed to take great offense to our mission when we explained the situation to them.â€ Lacus continued, â€œAn argument started, then followed by a scuffle, and then a fight broke out. It was just awful.â€
Murrue and La Flaga exchanged concerned glances, but Natarle remained indifferent.
â€œYou must understand, no one had done anything.â€ Lacus said, â€œHowever, the Earth Forces officers shouldâ€™ve remained calm, but they did not. Before I fully realized it, I, along with several others, were shoved into personal escape pods. I only hope that everyone on the ship is still all right.â€
La Flaga bit his lower lip. Kira had mentioned the wrecked civilian ship and he wasnâ€™t about to upset her further with that news. With their primary questions answered, they decided to give Lacus some privacy. La Flaga watched as she stepped to the window, gazing out to the ruins of Junius Seven.
â€œLet us pray, Haro.â€ She whispered to her robot, hugging it. â€œLet us pray for those souls so that they may now rest in peace.â€
Suddenly feeling ashamed, La Flaga slipped out quietly, closing the door behind him. A few hours later, the Archangel finally had gathered enough supplies to sustain the remainder of the trip and was ready to launch again. Before that, however, La Flaga had pressed that they should at least have a moment of silence for those killed in the Bloody Valentine. Miriallia released several dozen origami flowers that she and some of the refugees had made among the litter of the debris. The crew gave their respects for the dead, and then headed off on their trek once again.
As Athrun approached the dock where the fully repaired Vesalius lay, when was surprised to find his father standing with Commander Le Creuset. He wondered why his father was there, and then concluded it was probably due to some last minute additions to their orders.
Patrick Zala saw his son. â€œAthrun,â€ he said, â€œHave you heard the news on Lacus Clyne?â€
Athrun was slightly confused. Did it have to do with the ceremony or maybe some new album of hers? â€œUh, no I havenâ€™t.â€
His father nodded, but said nothing. Instead, Le Creuset stepped forward.
â€œThe survey ship that was sent out to the ruins of Junius Sevenâ€¦has been destroyed.â€ The Commander explained.
Athrunâ€™s eyes widened in shock at the news, as he knew that Lacus had been aboard. â€œCommander, will the Vesalius take part in any rescue mission?â€ he cautiously asked.
â€œBut of course.â€ Le Creuset told him. â€œThat much should be obvious.â€
Athrun frowned. â€œBut we donâ€™t even know if there any survivors. Isnâ€™t it a bit much to send out a Nazca-class for-â€
His father raised his hand. â€œAthrun, thereâ€™s something else, something that the public doesnâ€™t know about.â€ He said, â€œThe Yun Lo Team sent out one of their Reconnaissance GINN, but it never returned. Weâ€™re assuming the worse.â€
â€œJunius Seven has been pulled into the debris belt thanks to gravitational forces.â€ Le Creuset added, â€œIt is a very dangerous place where anything could happen.â€
Athrun did agree with them. Junius Seven was very close to Earth, but it didnâ€™t necessarily mean that Earth Forces were around laying wait for civilian ships to ambush. It didnâ€™t add up.
â€œItâ€™s also well known in the PLANTs that you and Miss Lacus are engaged.â€ His father spoke firmly. â€œThere is no reason to delay.â€ He put a hand on his sonâ€™s shoulder. â€œShe is indeed one of a kind, Athrun. Go take care of her.â€
Athrun watched his father leave before turning to Le Creuset. â€œSo now Iâ€™m supposed to the damsel and play the role of the returning hero?â€ he muttered.
â€œThat, or else return with her corpse and grieve her loss.â€ He said, â€œEither way, itâ€™s better than doing nothing at all. And if not for her sake, then do so for her fatherâ€™s.â€ It was then he and his subordinate climbed aboard the ship.
Kira was walking towards the commissary, when he heard the sounds of some sort of argument. He stepped to find Flay and Miriallia bickering.
â€œNo, I wonâ€™t do it!â€ Flay shouted, â€œAnd thatâ€™s final!â€
â€œWhy not?â€ Miriallia countered.
Kira nodded over to Kuzzey. â€œHey, what happened here?â€ he whispered.
â€œMir asked Flay to take some food to that girl you found. It set her off for some reason.â€
â€œIâ€™m not doing it!â€ Flay stamped her foot down. â€œIâ€™m not going anywhere near one of those Coordinators!â€
â€œFlay!â€ Miriallia scowled, pointing to Kira.
Flay then noticed him and began to stammer. â€œW-well, youâ€™re, uh, youâ€™re different, Kira. But that girlâ€™s from ZAFT! And Coordinators have fast reflexes. What if she attacked me?â€
Strangely enough, Kira did agree with her to a small degree. Flay could have her neck snapped by her if Lacus really wanted to. But he didnâ€™t say anything.
Kuzzey shrugged. â€œLook, I donâ€™t think sheâ€™ll just come at you like some wild animal.â€
â€œBut how would you know?â€ Flay demanded.
â€œExcuse me.â€ A soft voice said, â€œBut who might this person youâ€™re talking about be?â€
Kira twisted about to find Lacus standing at the door. Everyone froze in bewilderment.
â€œI apologize if I startled you.â€ Lacus bowed politely. â€œIâ€™m just thirsty, and to be honest, though I know itâ€™s very unladylike, I have to confess that I am rather hungry. Would this happen to be the commissary?â€
â€œWait.â€ Kuzzey said, â€œI thought your door was locked.â€
â€œHow does someone from ZAFT just get to wander about as they please?â€ Flay demanded.
Lacus remained her politeness. â€œI did ask properly if itâ€™d be all right if I came out.â€
â€œAnd someone gave you permission?â€ Kira asked.
â€œWell, I did call out three times, but no one answered.â€ Lacus said, â€œI assumed that itâ€™d be fine.â€ She then stepped up to Flay and offered a handshake. â€œAnyway, Iâ€™m not a part of ZAFT, thatâ€™s the army. Iâ€™m just a civilian.â€
â€œBut it doesnâ€™t change that youâ€™re a Coordinator!â€ Flay shot back.
Lacus nodded. â€œYes, I am a Coordinator,â€ she conceded, â€œbut Iâ€™m not in the military. I mean, youâ€™re a Natural, but youâ€™re not in the military either, right? Itâ€™s the same thing, so we arenâ€™t all that different.â€ She offered her hand again.
But Flay smacked the hand away. â€œWhy would I want to shake hands with one of you?â€ she growled, hatred streaming from her voice, â€œI donâ€™t want to be friends with any of you freaks!â€
Kira felt like a blade had pierced his chest. The way Flay lashed out at Lacus simply because she was a Coordinator was terrible, and her words stung him as well. He and Lacus couldnâ€™t change who they were, but no act of kindness towards Flay would change her mind. A hint of despair panged his heart.
Murrue watched as La Flaga came onto the bridge. It looked like he had a lot on his mind.
â€œJust when we think weâ€™re in the clear,â€ he said, rubbing his temples, â€œwe go and find a little pink princess. Thatâ€™s the last thing we need.â€
Murrue bit her lower lip. The way he talked to her made her feel like she was the subordinate officer, but it was a part of his casual personality. At times, he looked to be irresponsible, but in reality he was the most dependable person she had met in her life. He had helped them out of tight situations one after another, and she was grateful for that. She did wonder if his attitude was just a front so that she and the crew would remain relaxed. If it was, she really appreciated it, for it mustâ€™ve been tiring for him.
â€œI guess weâ€™ll just take to the lunar base with us.â€ She shrugged.
â€œIsnâ€™t there some other port we could drop her off at?â€ he asked.
â€œYes, but at the base, we can-â€
â€œCaptain.â€ He politely interrupted, â€œDo you really believe that sheâ€™ll be given a warm welcome?â€ He cocked a brow. â€œThe daughter of ZAFTâ€™s political leader would only be seen as bargaining chip.â€
Murrue understood his point. â€œI donâ€™t want anything like that to happen to her, of course.â€ She clarified. She hated to have La Flaga get the wrong impression of her. â€œAfter all, she is only a civilian and a child.â€
Behind them, Natarle loudly scoffed. â€œSo what about them then?â€ She pointed to Tolle, who sat in the co-pilot seat. â€œTheyâ€™re only children and civilians, yet we plucked off from Heliopolis and now have them fighting aboard a battleship.â€
Murrue suddenly felt exhausted. â€œThatâ€™s enough, Ensign Badgiruel.â€ She didnâ€™t want to put up with her ramblings of military protocol and regulations.
But Natarle didnâ€™t let up. â€œWe have children serving as soldiers, but you want to exclude that girl? She is Chairman Clyneâ€™s daughter, after all. Sheâ€™s not the average Coordinator.
Murrue acknowledged that Lacus could be instrumental in stopping the entire war, but her instincts told her it was still wrong. However, Natarle was the seasoned officer and was very persistent. Maybe she did know better.
Kira took Lacus back to the interrogation room she had originally been held. He hated seeing the sad expression on her face as he led her inside.
â€œMust I really stay in here?â€ she frowned.
â€œIâ€™m afraid so.â€ He forced a smile and gave her a tray of food.
â€œI feel so lonely.â€ She pouted, â€œI wish I could eat with the others and get to know them.â€
â€œI know, but this is an Earth Alliance ship. That being the case, there are those who donâ€™t care for Coordinators. Iâ€™m afraid it cannot be helped.â€
â€œIt is a shame.â€ She sighed, â€œHowever, youâ€™ve been very kind to me. Thank you.â€
â€œWell,â€ Kira muttered, â€œthe truth is that Iâ€™m a Coordinator as well, so I kinda know what itâ€™s like. Itâ€™s because of that.â€
She smiled sweetly. â€œNo, youâ€™re kind because thatâ€™s the person you really are.â€ The boy smiled for real this time. â€œWhatâ€™s your name?â€
â€Kira, my names Kira Yamato.â€
â€œThank you, Mister Yamato.â€
â€œOh, feel free to just call me Kira.â€
She giggled. â€œAll right, thank you, Kira.â€
Kira felt himself blush and he left her so she could eat in peace.
Back in the commissary, no one had said anything following Flayâ€™s outburst. It was an awkward situation. Flay just sat with a frown on her face, not feeling sorry for what she said.
â€œAre you a member of Blue Cosmos?â€ Kuzzey finally asked. Originally, Blue Cosmos was an environmental pressure group, but now were the most radical of anti-Coordinator activist group. Their tactics even included piracy and terrorism.
â€œNo, Iâ€™m not.â€ Flay retorted, â€œBut I donâ€™t think their cause is completely wrong. People who have altered genes when they donâ€™t need them are against nature. Theyâ€™re abominations!â€ She paused and peered to the others. â€œDonâ€™t you agree?â€
Miriallia got up and left, while Kuzzey just stared at his food. â€œYou know, youâ€™re forgetting one thing.â€ He said, â€œKiraâ€™s a Coordinator and if he hadnâ€™t piloted that Gundam, weâ€™d all be dead.â€ He spoke the truth, as Kira had saved his life hours before when the ZAFT Recon GINN opened fire on his collector pod. â€œJust think about all that heâ€™s gone through.â€
Suddenly, Flayâ€™s argument lost its validity. She recalled that it was Kira that retrieved the lifepod that she had been on. Now she felt like she had alienated herself.
Kira had locked the door to Lacusâ€™ room and was ready to head down the hall. However, before he even took a step, Sai caught up to him.
â€œKira.â€ His friend said, â€œMiriallia told me what Flay said. Iâ€™ll go talk to her later about it.â€ With the way he had to defend her, he sounded more like her attorney and less like her boyfriend. The two of them seemed an unlikely couple to Kira until he had learned about the letter.
Just then, a soft, soothing voice drifted from the room, and Kira and Sai listened closely. It was Lacus and she was singing. It wasnâ€™t all that surprising, for she was a pop idol after all. Kira could easily understand why she was well known in the PLANTs.
â€œThatâ€™s so beautiful.â€ He murmured, enchanted.
Sai nodded. â€œYeah, I bet she got that voice from her altered genes.â€ He chuckled and headed down the hall.
Kira blinked and followed after Sai. His friendâ€™s remark may have been a joke, but it certainly killed the magic of the moment.
Officer Pal sat at his communications station on the bridge, sipping at his water bottle, when a message appeared to be breaking through the interference. He tossed the bottle away, and then checked the instruments. â€œCaptain!â€ he shouted. There was no mistaking the excitement in his voice.
â€œWhat is it?â€ Murrue asked. She and Natarle dashed over to him.
â€œItâ€™s an encoded message from the Eighth Fleet!â€ Pal said.
â€œAdmiral Halberton.â€ Murrue muttered. â€œCan you trace it?â€
â€œIâ€™m already on it.â€ Pal said, his fingers flying over his keyboard. Moments later, a voice crackled through the speakers.
â€œThisâ€¦Eighth Fleet vanguardâ€¦Mongomeryâ€¦comeâ€¦Archangel. Come in.â€ Though it was coming trough jumbled, the message made everyone know that friendly forces would soon be joining them. Excitement built within the bridge.
â€œWhatâ€™s their position?â€ Natarle asked, peering at the monitor.
â€œTheyâ€™re still a fair distance away.â€ Pal answered.
It didnâ€™t matter, for theyâ€™d soon meet with the allied ships. Neumann and Tonomura even exchanged a high-five due to their excitement. The crew and its crew had been on their own from the start, and there was hope finally. The initial excitement subsided soon. All they had to do now was be patience for a while longer, meet with the ships from the Eighth Fleet, and then reach the moon. Hopefully then theyâ€™d have news on their families.
As the news spread, the refugees cheered. Now theyâ€™d be happen to leave the ship and reunite with their loved ones eventually. Sai had a particular piece of delightful news for Flay.
â€œMy dad, really?â€ she beamed.
â€œHeâ€™s with the ships thatâ€™ll meet us.â€ Sai told her. â€œHe went over the shipâ€™s roster and found your name, so he personally requested to make the trip. Youâ€™ll see him soon.â€
Flay just smiled and hugged Sai. She had never felt so happy in quite some time.
However, one person wouldnâ€™t be rejoicing once the ships from the Eighth Fleet arrived, Lacus. She sat in her room, playing with Haro.
â€œSo where you do think weâ€™re going, Haro?â€ she asked her robotic companion. Haro simply rolled about, chattering on. She giggled, feeling so carefree.
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:37 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
*Double posted by accident*
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:19 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 09
Miriallia was relieved to have some free time before her shift on the bridge was to begin. She strode through the halls on her way to the showers. With all the ice that the crew had collected, there was no need to ration any further. She happened to pass by the commissary and could just overhear a number of different conversations. However, the topic was the same for all of them; everyone talked about seeing their families again. She reached the showers and went inside to find a person with familiar red hair, but an unfamiliar pale face. She shuddered in surprise.
â€œOh, come now, Mir.â€ Flay groaned, â€œWhat is it?â€
â€What you mean?â€ Miriallia countered, â€œWhat is with that stuff?â€
â€Itâ€™s just a facial mask.â€ Flay answered as she peeled it off, â€œCanâ€™t you tell?â€
â€It figures youâ€™d have that, but whyâ€™d you even bring it along?â€
â€Well, my dad is coming with the advance fleet, and the daughter of a Vice Minister of the Atlantic Federation has to keep up appearances. Besides, I own it to him since I havenâ€™t seen him in a long time.â€
â€œYeah, whatever.â€ Miriallia shrugged as she disrobed and stepped into one of the showers.
Flay continued to look herself over in the mirror. â€œNow if there only something I could do with my hair.â€ She sighed, tugging at it. â€œOh well, I guess itâ€™ll have to do, this is a crisis weâ€™re in after all.â€
Miriallia would have rolled her eyes had seen she not been shampooing her hair. The way that Flay carried made it seem like she was preparing for some beauty contest and not in a combat zone.
Meanwhile on the bridge, the signal from the Montgomery came in clear, free from interference. Her captain, Captain Copeman, appeared on the screen. â€œOur ships will wait here for you to rendezvous with us. At that time, the Archangel will fall under our command. We will then rejoin the rest of the fleet and escort you to the moon.â€
Murrue was relieved at the thought of finally being back in the fold. She looked forward to accepting orders, not give them.
Another man appeared on the screen next to Copeman. He was middle-aged, dressed in an expensive looking business suit. â€œI am George Allster, Vice Minister of the Atlantic Federation.â€ He self introduced, â€œI must thank you all for rescuing the stranded civilians from Heliopolis. I must understand my surprise when I had gone over the roster and found my daughterâ€™s name on the list. I was wondering if I might be able to speak to her now.â€
Copeman raised a hand. â€œNow Vice Minister, thereâ€™ll be enough time for that after the rendezvous.â€
Sai cracked a smile from his operation seat. â€œNo doubt about it, thatâ€™s Flayâ€™s father.â€ He whispered.
Down in the hanger, Kira busily typed away on the keyboard, continuing to modify the Gundamâ€™s OS. He only paused when he saw Murdoch appeared in front of him. â€œYes, is something the matter?â€
â€No, I was just checking on you.â€ Murdoch answered, â€œIt looks like weâ€™ll join the Eighth Fleet soon, so you wonâ€™t have to worry about this machine. That is, unless you decide to stay on.â€ He then left.
No way in hell Iâ€™m staying. Kira thought to himself. Once everything was said and done, he was going to return to civilian life. He thought about his time piloting the Strike up to this point. Soon itâ€™d be over.
Meanwhile, the Vesalius, still on its search and rescue mission for Lacus Clyne, detected the group of Earth Alliance ships on the radar screens. It indeed wasnâ€™t expected and it caught the ZAFT soldiersâ€™ curiosity.
â€œWhat could the Earth Forces be doing all the way out here?â€ Ades wondered.
Le Creuset rubbed his chin as he gazed at the readings. â€œPerhaps the legged ship is planning to rendezvous with these before it reaches the moon.â€ The term legged ship was what the ZAFT forces gave the Archangel thanks to the image of the shipâ€™s design looking like a crouching beast.
â€œBut then what?â€ Ades asked, â€œWill they re-supply, or maybe rejoin their fleet?â€
â€œThe Lacony and Porto Teams are unfortunately behind schedule and wonâ€™t be joining us for some time.â€ Le Creuset said, â€œHowever, if the Naturals intend to re-supply, we simply cannot let them go.â€
â€œWe canâ€™t?â€ Ades asked. They were only one ship up against a small fleet, so this was a matter that shouldnâ€™t be taken lightly. He wondered what the Commander was thinking as he looked at the thin smile on his face.
â€œWe are soldier, first and foremost.â€ Le Creuset said, â€œWe cannot overlook the chance to deal a blow to the enemy for the sake of one girl. Weâ€™d be remembered in history as laughingstocks.â€
Excited mutters filled the bridge as the Montgomery appeared on the radar screens at last. However, Officer Pal frowned at his own screen. He tried to adjust the gauges, but nothing changed. â€œWhat is thisâ€¦?â€ he murmured.
Murrue twisted her head. â€œWhatâ€™s wrong?â€ she asked, concerned.
â€œN-Jammers!â€ Pal shouted, â€œThe interference is increasing!â€
The merriment turned to despair, the crewâ€™s excitement dashed. The enemy had found them and was closing in fast.
The Montgomery also detected the approaching ZAFT ships. The crew was thrown into a frenzy as Copeman barked orders. â€œContact the Archangel, tell them to withdraw.â€
Vice Minister Allsterâ€™s jaw dropped. â€œWeâ€™re canceling the rendezvous? Then I came all this way for absolutely nothing!â€
â€œIf this ship is sunk,â€ Copeman told him, â€œthen it will have been for less than nothing.â€
Murrue couldnâ€™t believe what was happening. It was like a recurring nightmare when the crew detected the Aegis along with several GINNs. That meant that the one Nazca-class had crossed paths with them again. She clenched her fists.
â€œCaptain, thereâ€™s an incoming message from the Montgomery.â€ Pal called. â€œIt reads â€˜Rendezvous has been cancelled, Archangel is to withdraw immeadatily.â€™â€
Sai stood up. â€œBut we have to join that fleet! And Flayâ€™s father is with them!â€
Murrue bent her head down, unsure of what to do. Right now, the crew depended on her judgment. She had to make the call. â€œEven if we withdraw, thereâ€™s no guarantee that weâ€™ll escape. All hands, level one battle stations! Weâ€™re going to continue the advance!â€
Klaxons blared loudly, and Kira dashed for the locker room. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed that the door to Lacusâ€™ room was open once more. She poked her head outside and saw him coming.
â€œWhatâ€™s going on here?â€ she asked, â€œWhatâ€™s with all the noise?â€
â€œItâ€™s an alert.â€ He answered. â€œYou really need to stay inside.â€
â€œIs there going to be another fight?â€
He nodded. â€œYes, but it may have already started.â€ He gently pushed her back inside her room.
â€œAre you going to fight as well?â€
Kira looked into her ice-blue eyes, trying to find the right words to say. â€œLook, itâ€™s important that you stay inside, all right? Please just stay right here.â€ He nudged her back and locked the door, momentarily wondering what the problem with the lock actually was. He then felt someone tug at his arm. He turned to find Flay.
â€œKira, whatâ€™s all this about a battle?â€ she nervously asked. â€œIs my dad all right?â€
He could hardly think straight with her clinging to him, and to make things more uneasy, her eyes were welling up.
â€œMy dad will be fine, right? Nothingâ€™s going to happen to him?â€
He didnâ€™t have the time for this; he had to get out there to fight. Taking a deep breath, he said, â€œYes, everythingâ€™s going to be fine. I promise you that.â€ He smiled reassuringly and gently pulled her hand away. Then he ran down the hall once more, practically undressing as he went. Once he made it to the locker room, he changed in record time and rushed down to the hanger. He had just enough time to see La Flagaâ€™s Zero take off.
â€œHey youâ€™re late, kid!â€ Murdoch hollered.
â€œI know, I know!â€ Kira answered, almost apologetically as he leapt into the cockpit. He started up the Strike as Miriallia briefed him on the situation.
â€œItâ€™s the Nacza-class, five GINNs, and the Aegis. Be careful out there.â€
His hands paused slightly at the news of the Aegis. That meant Athrun was back.
Saiâ€™s voice came from the intercom. â€œKira, remember that Flayâ€™s father is aboard the Montgomery. Please make sure that nothing happens to them.â€
That only put more pressure on him. Fighting Athrun while trying to protect the Montgomery would be daunting. With a sense of foreboding over him, he moved the Strike to the launching pad.
Athrun flew his Gundam in between the ships. He felt preoccupied with the fact he didnâ€™t know whether Lacus was alive or dead. He wanted to find her and be done with it. He hoped that he wouldnâ€™t have to fight Kira this time.
â€œHey, Athrun!â€ the pilot of the GINN nearest him hailed, â€œLetâ€™s see what that mobile suit of yours can do!â€ There was no mistaking the excitement in his voice.
A trio of Moebius streaked from one of the Earth Forcesâ€™ ships and immeadatily fired a barrage of missiles. The Aegis effortlessly evaded and shot down the missiles, then went to work on the mobile armors. A single shot from the beam rifle brought all three mobile armors down. With them out of his way, Athrun set on his sights the closet enemy ship. He came within range, targeted the engines, and opened fire. With its engines out of commission, the ship was venerable
On board on the Montgomery, a controller called out, â€œSir, escort ship Bernard has been hit! X303 is now engaging the Law!â€
Vice Minister Allster gawked in disbelief. â€œWeâ€™re being defeated by one of own machines?! This is simply absurd!â€
A GINN closed in the disabled Bernard. A Moebius attempted to flank it, but it was shot down. Suddenly, a burst of cannon fire tore through the ZAFT mobile suit. Everyone looked to find the Archangel charging right into the battle.
Allster was overcome with a sense of relief. â€œTheyâ€™ve come to help us!â€
However, Copeman didnâ€™t share his joy. â€œThose fools.â€ He growled, clenching his fists. â€œThey shouldnâ€™t have come.â€
Athrun maneuvered to the next ship and switched the Aegis to its mobile armor mode. The front claws opened, revealing the Scylla multiphase energy cannon, and a blast of blinding light shot forward, eviscerating the Lawâ€™s hull. From the side, Athrun saw the approaching Strike. He returned his Gundam to its mobile suit form and opened fire.
La Flaga had already shot down one GINN right from the start and took out the second right after. The final two were now double teaming him, trying to box him in. He deployed his gun barrels, trying to at least take one down. However, the ZAFT pilots took the advantage and fired on the Zero. A single missile struck the mobile armor.
â€œCrap!â€ La Flaga shouted. That last hit all but crippled his mobile armor. He now had no choice but to withdraw.
Through the mayhem, Flay had managed to sneak onto the bridge. She stepped inside in time to hear Miriallia report that the Zero was returning to the ship. Murrue was shocked, knowing only the Strike and the remaining Moebius units were left to fight now.
â€œMissiles from the Vesalius are heading for the Law!â€ Pal shouted.
â€œAlign Gottfried number one!â€ Murrue ordered, â€œFire!â€
Fear gripped Flay as the screens flashed, people shouted, and weapons fired. Everything was happening fast, but only one thing had her primary concern. She ran to Kuzzey at his station. â€œMy dad! Whereâ€™s my dadâ€™s ship?â€
Kuzzey nearly did a double take. â€œWhat are you doing here?â€
Natarle craned her neck back. â€œWeâ€™re in the middle of a battle!â€ she growled, â€œLeave the bridge now!â€
But she refused. â€œNo, what about my dad? Whereâ€™s the ship heâ€™s aboard?â€
On the screen, the Law took numerous missile hits, and the ship shook before exploding into a fireball. Flayâ€™s face went pale at the sight.
Copemanâ€™s face appeared on the monitor. â€œArchangel, leave here immeadatily! Thatâ€™s a direct order!â€
â€œBut, sir-â€ Murrue began to protest, but was interrupted by Flayâ€™s cries when she saw her father sitting behind Copeman.
â€œCaptain, this is unthinkable!â€ Allster yelled, â€œIf they leave us now-â€
Copeman cut him off. â€œArchangel, get out of here, understand?â€ He switched off the communications, turning to a subordinate officer. â€œGet Vice Minister Allster to an escape pod, quickly!â€
Back on the Archangel, Flay was even more hysterical as Sai tried to get her off the bridge. She had grappled to the railing, but he overpowered her and dragged her out.
â€œCaptain, mobile suits are heading for the Montgomery! They only have one mobile armor left!â€ Pal reported.
The doors closed and Flay fell to her knees, whimpering. Sai did what he could to comfort her. â€œKira. Whatâ€™s he doing?â€ she whispered.
â€He told me everything would be all right.â€ She looked up in despair. â€œWhere is he?â€
â€Heâ€™s fighting the Aegis.â€ Sai explained, â€œBut itâ€™s a tough fight. Donâ€™t worry, everything will be all right.â€ He kept repeating that as he got her to her feet and walked her down to her room.
Further down the hall, they could hear the faint sounds of singing. Sai recognized the gentle voice; it was the girl, Lacus. A dark frown formed on Flayâ€™s face and she tore herself from Saiâ€™s grip. She dashed over to the door and threw it open, finding Lacus and her little robot.
â€œYes?â€ she smiled, â€œWhat is it?â€
Malice and detest filled Flay as she gripped Lacusâ€™ arm. â€œCome with me.â€ She growled.
Natarle watched the horrifying battle continue. The last of the mobile armors had been shot down, and now the GINNs concentrated on the Montgomery. They were being backed into a corner. â€œPrepare to fire the Lohengrins!â€ she shouted, â€œWhere the hell is the Strike?!â€
La Flaga suddenly entered the bridge, looking tired, but unharmed. â€œDonâ€™t worry about the kid, heâ€™s fine. Letâ€™s just pull back or we wonâ€™t make it.â€
The Strike was so preoccupied with the Aegis, that Kira couldnâ€™t support the ship. After Flayâ€™s outburst, Murrue couldnâ€™t concentrate on what to do. Her lack of experience annoyed Natarle. Everyone watched as a GINN hefted its bazooka and fired, its round destroying the Montgomeryâ€™s main gun. The doors open and Flay entered once more, only this time she dragged Lacus behind her.
â€œTell them that this Iâ€™ll kill this girl if they destroy my dadâ€™s ship!â€ she screamed, her eyes crazed, â€œTell them now!â€
Natarle liked the way Flay thought, but it was already too late. On the screen, the Vesalius fired its guns and scored a direct hit. The hull of the Montgomery split open and the ship was engulfed in an orange explosion. Not a single escape pod was launched. All that remained were fragments.
Flay stood motionless for a moment before completely breaking down. She fell to the floor, screaming and sobbing. Sai and Flay stared at her as she quivered. The ZAFT forces now had their sights set on the Archangel. Murrue froze, not knowing what to do next.
â€œCaptain!â€ Natarle said, but she didnâ€™t wait for an answer. Instead, she leapt up to upper level, and snatched Kuzzeyâ€™s intercom. â€œAttention ZAFT forces, this is the Earth Alliance ship, Archangel. We presently have custody of Lacus Clyne, daughter of Supreme Council Chairman Siegel Clyne. Hold your fire.â€
Murrue blankly stared at her, wondering what she was planning.
On the Vesalius, Ades saw the pink haired girl on the screen. â€œIt is Miss Lacus.â€
Natarleâ€™s broadcast continued. â€œWe discovered her lifepod and rescued her as a humanitarian gesture and she has been under our care. Should you attack this ship, we will see it as an insult to our goodwill.â€ She paused before coldly adding, â€œFurthermore, it will be seen as abandonment of Miss Clyne and we will act accordingly.â€
It was easily to see through the minced words, if they attacked, Lacus would be executed. Le Creuset sneered. â€œThey claim it to be goodwill, yet they use her as a shield when backed into a corner.â€ He turned to Ades. â€œRecall our remaining forces and withdraw.â€
The mobile suits had heard Natarleâ€™s broadcast too. Kira couldnâ€™t believe what he heard.
â€œBastards!â€ Athrun spat. â€œYou call this justice, using a civilian hostage as a shield? Are these cowards the friends youâ€™ve chosen to fight along side, Kira?â€
Kira couldnâ€™t answer. There was nothing he could say.
Athrun and the remaining GINNs began to pull back. â€œI swear that I will rescue her.â€ He said before the Aegis streaked away.
Kira had never felt so ashamed.
Back on the bridge, tension filled the air. Murrue violently switched off the intercom and she and Natarle exchanged a harsh stare down.
â€œI couldnâ€™t allow this ship and the Strike to be destroyed.â€ Natarle said, defending her actions.
â€œIâ€™m aware of that, Ensign.â€ Murrue stiffly replied, harshly reminding Natarle of her rank.
Elsewhere, Sai watched over Flay as she slept. She had to be given a sedative to calm her down. Meanwhile, Lacus was escorted back to her room. She didnâ€™t know why, but she felt horrible about what had happened.
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:49 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 10
Murrue watched as the ZAFT mobile suits withdrew. She glared at Natarle, sickened by what she had done. She had threatened the safety of Lacus Clyne in order to protect the Archangel and everyone on board. Her present actions made her seem hypocritical, what with her attitude about military regulations. Just hours ago, they swept through the remains of Junius Seven like scavengers and now had used a civilian girl like a human shield. This was dishonorable, even if it kept them alive. With the fate of the crew and refugees resting on her shoulders, she grew more and more frustrated.
â€œWeâ€™ve only avoided this crisis temporality.â€ She said. â€œThey have left for now, but theyâ€™ll be back.â€
Natarle straightened her collar. â€œAt least Iâ€™ve given a chance to reorganize.â€ She said, â€œWe need to get done what we need to.â€
â€œYes.â€ Murrue sighed. Right now, she knew exactly what felt right to do. All we had to do now was to speak with La Flaga and Kira in private.
Kira landed the Strike back in the hanger and wasted no time in jumping out of the cockpit and stormed right up to La Flaga. â€œWhat the hell is going on here?â€ he demanded.
â€œItâ€™s just as it looks like.â€ The older pilot said, â€œWeâ€™re trying to stay alive.â€ He turned away and headed back to the bridge.
â€œDonâ€™t you mean that we used an innocent girl to protect our own skins?â€ Kira asked, furious. â€œIs this an army or a band of thugs? What was the Captain thinking, letting Natarle do that?â€
La Flaga turned about face and leaned over Kira. â€œThe Captain had nothing to do with this!â€ he shouted, making the boy flinch. â€œThe first mate did it because she thought it was best to keep us alive, it may be sad, but war can drive people to do wicked things. In the end weâ€™re weaklings.â€
Kira said nothing as La Flaga left. He heaved a heavy sigh and headed to his quarters where he hoped to get some rest. But as he turned the corner, he heard frantic screams and recognized the voice as Flayâ€™s. He went over to the infirmary slowly. With the door open, he could see Sai, Tolle, and Miriallia trying to calm her down. She looked crazed as she shook, cried, and screamed. Her face and hair were a mess. Sai held her.
â€œThis canâ€™t be true!â€ she wailed, â€œIt just canâ€™t be!â€
Kira gulped and cautiously stepped inside. â€œFlay?â€
Her head snapped and bloodshot and hate-filled eyes fixed on him. â€œYou lying bastard!â€ she screamed, â€œYou promised that everything would be all right because youâ€™d be there! So why didnâ€™t do anything?!â€ Her eyes narrowed. â€œYou didnâ€™t even put up an effort, didnâ€™t you?â€ she accused. â€œItâ€™s all because youâ€™re one of those damned Coordinators!â€
Her words cut deep into him. The entire reason he was fighting was that he was the only one who could pilot the Strike and that was because a Coordinator. He now felt like everyone thought of him as a traitor. He couldnâ€™t think straight and just ran. Tolle and Miriallia called after him, but he ignored them. No one understood what he was feeling. He had been fighting as hard as he could to protect them. It was true that he didnâ€™t want to end up killing Athrun, but perhaps it really was that mindset that ultimately led to the death of Flayâ€™s father. He eventually found himself in the zero gravity observation deck and tried to clear his thoughts. His mind was filled up confusion, rage, and fear and tears dropped from his eyes.
â€œWhatâ€™s the matter?â€ a soft voice asked.
He snapped his head up to see Lacusâ€™ face. She reached out her hand to stroke his hair, but he dodged her touch. â€œWhy are out here?â€ he asked.
â€œTaking a walk.â€ She innocently answered.
He sighed. â€œLook, you canâ€™t just keep wandering out when you feel like it.â€ He told her, â€œPeople might start thinking that youâ€™re a spy.
â€œBut Pink loves to go on walks.â€ She said, pointing to her robotic pet, â€œHe hates being confined. Whenever he finds a locked door, he just finds a way to open it.â€
Kira couldnâ€™t believe that the little pink thing was the reason she kept getting out of her room. He watched Lacus lightly kicked off the floor and floated closer up to the window.
â€œIs the fighting over?â€ she asked.
â€œYeah, for now anyway.â€ He answered, â€œBecause of you.â€
â€œMe?â€ She then remembered how everything happened. â€œOh, yes.â€ She paused before looking back to him. â€œYou seem sad, but Iâ€™m sure that whatever happened wasnâ€™t your fault.â€ She smiled.
Kira felt flustered. â€œYou see, Iâ€¦I really donâ€™t want to fight, since Iâ€™m a Coordinator. And since Athrun is my friend, soâ€¦â€
â€œAthrun?â€ she suddenly asked, â€œDo you mean Athrun Zala?â€
Kira nodded and explained everything to her, omitting no detail. She listened intently as he told the story. After he finished, she floated over to him and took his hand. â€œI understand completely.â€ She said, â€œBoth you and Athrun are good people. This is so sad that itâ€™s turned out this way.â€
â€œYou actually know Athrun?â€
â€œYes, Athrun Zala is in fact my fiancÃ©e.â€ She revealed, â€œHeâ€™s very kind, and he is the one gave me my Haro. When he first gave Pink to me, I told him that I loved it so much that I wanted another every time we would meet.â€
Kira could envision the sight of Athrun going to Lacusâ€™ home carrying an armful of little Haros and then seeing Lacus accepting them, leading to the little things bounding about and chirping as they went. He let out a short laugh. â€œSo Athrun hasnâ€™t changed a bit.â€ He said, â€œHe even made me a robotic pet too.â€
â€œReally?â€ Lacusâ€™ eyes gleamed in interest.
â€œYeah, its name is Birdy. It followed some people to an evacuation shelter and is now on this ship. I could show you it sometime.â€
â€œIâ€™d love that.â€
Kira suddenly missed Athrun more than ever. With Lacus to connect them, maybe they hadnâ€™t drifted apart as he had feared. But that would make the next battle between them would only be more difficult. This all was too agonizing, what with taking Lacus hostage and threatening her life when she had done nothing wrong. He couldnâ€™t stand by and watch her be used like a pawn again. â€œThis is just wrong.â€
Lacus tilted her head, not quite understanding what he was talking about.
â€œPlease come with me.â€ He said, abruptly taking her hand. She nodded, trusting him.
They didnâ€™t even get off the observation deck, when La Flaga suddenly appeared. â€œWhere you heading, kid?â€
Kira stopped short, nervous. â€œLieutenant, how long have you been there?â€
â€Long enough to hear the whole story.â€
Kira knew that La Flaga heard everything that he told Lacus. He grimaced at the thought that the Lieutenant would now go to the Captain.
â€œDonâ€™t worry; I didnâ€™t come here to spy on you.â€ La Flaga said, â€œIn fact I agree with you, as does the Captain. I just spoke with her and we discussed what we have to do with the girl here. It seems that you already have an idea, so Iâ€™d like to assist in any way possible.â€
Kira was surprised. â€œReally? Do you mean it?â€
â€Yeah.â€ The Lieutenant said, â€œUsing a girl as a shield is something that the bad guys in movies do. So I take it that you have an idea to sneak her back?â€
Kira nodded and gave La Flaga a rundown as they went down the corridor towards the pilotsâ€™ locker room. Kira and Lacus slipped inside as La Flaga served as lookout.
Kira pulled a spare spacesuit out of one of the lockers and held it out to Lacus. â€œHere, put this on over what youâ€™reâ€¦wearing.â€ He looked her over, knowing that thereâ€™d be no way possible to slip the suit over such an elaborate outfit.
She saw his confusion and knowingly grinned. As she quickly disrobed, Kira blushed and had to avert his eyes. Once they had suited up, they rushed to the empty hanger. The plan was that La Flaga would come in later should anyone else notice their exit and pretend that he had no knowledge of what was happening. He would then board his mobile armor and be ready to take off should the need arise.
The two entered the Strikeâ€™s cockpit and Kira started up the OS. It was going to difficult to pilot the Gundam with Lacus inside the cockpit as well, so he hoped he wouldnâ€™t have to fight.
â€œWhatâ€™s going on here?â€ Murdochâ€™s voice shouted through the intercom, â€œWhat are you doing, kid?â€ He and other mechanics and several soldiers had rushed in the hanger.
Kira switched on his external speakers. â€œIâ€™m going to open the hatch. Everyone evacuate the hanger right now.â€
Murdoch and the others immeadatily turned about face and made a mad dash towards the exits. Kira strapped the Aile Striker Pack to his mobile suit and stepped to the launch pad.
On the bridge, klaxons blared and everyone jumped out of their seats. On the screen everyone saw the Strike bolt out from the ship and streak away.
â€œKira!â€ Natarle yelled into the intercom, â€œWhat do you think youâ€™re doing?â€
La Flagaâ€™s face appeared on one of the monitors. â€œIt looks like the kidâ€™s taken the girl.â€ He said, playing innocent and combing his fingers through his hair. â€œWe canâ€™t go after him yet, as the airlockâ€™s still open.â€
â€What?!â€ Natarle gritted her teeth and clenched her fists under they hurt.
Among the confusion and noise, Murrue grinned. La Flaga combing his fingers through his hair was the signal that he and Kira had thought of a plan to get Lacus safety back to ZAFT. â€œWay to go, you two.â€ She whispered.
Le Creuset had stepped out of the shower and was drying his hair when a summons sounded from the bridge. He switched on the radio. â€œYes, what is it?â€
â€œSir, weâ€™ve detected the mobile suit from the Earth Forces ship, Archangel. Itâ€™s heading this way.â€
This was an unexpected move, one he hadnâ€™t foreseen. â€œIâ€™ll be there right away.â€ He switched off the radio and swiftly dressed in his uniform. He then went over to his desk, pulled out a bottle of pills, and took two. The pain was numbed away as he put on his mask. With his composure securely in place, he went to the bridge.
Kira put his radio on all frequencies and switched on his intercom. â€œThis is the mobile suit Strike of the Earth Allianceâ€™s battleship, Archangel. I have Miss Lacus Clyne with me and I am willing to hand her over.â€ He paused, â€œHer release will come under two conditions, the first being that the Nazca-class will halt, and the second being that only the Aegis and its pilot will come to meet with me.â€ He hesitated before adding, â€œIf both conditions are not fulfilled, then I cannot guarantee her safety.â€
Lacus knew that it was an empty threat. She understood what Kira was doing, and she trusted him to not harm her.
On the Vesalius, Ades and Le Creuset carefully listened to the message.
â€œWhat could they be up to?â€ Ades pondered.
Before the Commander could offer an opinion, Athrunâ€™s face suddenly flashed on one of the screens. He was currently standing at one of the communication stations within the hanger. â€œCommander, please allow me to go out. I know I can handle.â€
â€œWe still donâ€™t know what their intentions are.â€ Le Creuset cautioned. â€œNor do we really know if Miss Clyne is in fact aboard that mobile suit.â€
â€œPlease Commander, Iâ€™m asking you to trust me on this.â€
Le Creuset seemed to contemplate the matter momentarily. â€œAll right Athrun, you may go.â€
â€œThank you, sir.â€ Athrun saluted and the monitor then went dark.
â€œAre you sure of this, Commander?â€ Ades asked.
â€œNo, I am not.â€ The Commander twisted his to the side. â€œStop the ship and prepare my CGUE just in case.
Ades nodded and saw to it.
Back on the Archangel, everyone watch intensely as the events unfolded.
â€œCaptain, theyâ€™re actually doing as he says.â€ Natarle said to Murrue, â€œThis would the perfect opportunity to launch an attack.â€
La Flaga chimed in on the intercom. â€œIf we were to do that, missy, Kira may just turn around and attack us. But then again, maybe not.â€
Natarle was speechless. As a military officer, couldnâ€™t fathom someone like La Flaga regarding such a serious matter as though it was a simple joke. The ace pilot just smirked at her stupor and winked to Murrue.
Murrue let out a small chuckle. Of course, she had to outwardly appear displeased, but she secretly congratulated Kira on this. As she continued to watch Natarle go on and work herself into more of a frenzy, she had to bite her lower lip in order to keep from laughing outright. Officer Pal reported that the Aegis was closing in on the Strike, and Murrue hoped everything would go according to Kiraâ€™s plan.
The Aegis slowly approached the Strike, and Athrun stopped a short distance from Kiraâ€™s cockpit.
â€œAthrun Zala?â€ Kira hailed over the radio.
â€œOpen your hatch.â€
Athrun obliged. His flightsuit protected him against the vacuum of space, but the Strikeâ€™s weapons could easily pulverize him. However knew Kira well enough and had faith that his old friend wouldnâ€™t do something that deceptive. He watched as the Strikeâ€™s hatch opened as well and he saw Kira and another person inside.
â€œGo ahead and say something.â€ Kira told his passenger.
â€œHmm?â€ a female voice muttered.
â€œHe canâ€™t see your face from here. Let him know that itâ€™s really you.â€
The figure waved. â€œHello Athrun, itâ€™s wonderful to see you again.â€
Athrun recognized the voice right away and breathed a sigh of relief. â€œConfirmed, it is Lacus.â€ He radioed the Vesalius.
â€œIâ€™ll hand her over to you.â€
Athrun removed his restraints, climbed out of the cockpit, and stood up next to hatch. Kira eased Lacus out of the Strike and gently nudged her to Athrun, who caught her. They both exchanged a smile before turning back to Kira.
â€œThank you for everything, Kira.â€ Lacus said.
By her tone, Athrun knew that Kira had treated her well. As far back as he could remember, Kira had been the kind who was shy, sweet, and could be friends with practically anyone. And Lacus was no different. He decided to take one last chance.
â€œYou can come with us, Kira.â€ He offered, â€œWhat other reason to you have to stay with the Earth Forces?â€ He hoped he could reason with his friend.
â€œI donâ€™t want to fight you.â€ Kira said, â€œBut I have friends on that ship, and I have to protect them.â€
Athrun knew that any other argument would be futile. â€œSo be it. The next time we meet, itâ€™ll be to fight.â€
He and Kira stared each other down for what seemed like the longest time before Kira nodded and shut the Strikeâ€™s hatch. Athrun just watched as his former friend turned and began to leave.
On the Vesalius, Ades reported that the Strike was leaving, and Le Creuset ordered the ship to start its engines and attack as he launched in his CGUE.
The Archangelâ€™s crew immeadatily detected the oncoming enemy mobile suit. Officer Pal informed Murrue of the Vesaliusâ€™ movement as well.
Through the intercom, La Flaga grumble, â€œCrap, I was afraid thisâ€™d happen!â€ He was ready to take his Zero out, â€œPermission to launch, Captain?â€
â€Granted.â€ Murrueâ€™s voice replied.
The ace pilot didnâ€™t waste a moment and shot out of the hanger.
Kira radioed his fellow pilot. â€œLieutenant, whatâ€™s happening?â€
â€œIt looks like theyâ€™re going attack, now that they have the little princess back.â€
Le Creuset contacted Athrun and informed him to take Lacus back to the Vesalius. Athrun obeyed but was disheartened, as the Commander had planned to attack the enemy from the very start. By seemingly accepting Kiraâ€™s stipulations, it actually tipped the scales in their favor now that the Strike was a sitting target. But there was nothing he could do, not without putting Lacus in harmâ€™s way.
But he was surprised when she suddenly leaned forward and grabbed the microphone.
â€œCommander Rau Le Creuset, stop this at once!â€ she ordered, â€œDo you really intend to start hostile actions while I, the official representative of the Junius Seven memorial service, am in your custody?â€ Her voice displayed a tone of authority and maturity the likes of which her fiancÃ©e had never heard before.
After a short pause, the Commanderâ€™s voice replied, â€œUnderstood, Miss Clyne.â€
Athrun was astonished by her sudden actions. She reminded him of her father as he watched her put the microphone down and just sweetly smile.
Kira and the Lieutenant watched as the CGUE abruptly spun around and left with the Aegis. They didnâ€™t know how or why, but thankfully they were spared what probably wouldâ€™ve been a dire battle.
â€œLetâ€™s get out of here before anything else happens.â€ La Flaga said.
Kira obliged and followed the Zero back to the Archangel. His mind was on Lacus. She was so beautiful and kind. But then there was Athrun as well. When he offered to have Kira join him and Lacus, Kira did in fact wish to go with them. However, he had made his choice and it was to stay with his friends on the Archangel.
â€œThat girl was quite an extraordinary little princess, wasnâ€™t she?â€ La Flaga asked, but Kira didnâ€™t answer. â€œHey, something wrong, kid?â€
â€œNo.â€ Kira lied. He switched off the communications as they reach the ship. He didnâ€™t want La Flaga to see his eyes well up and him sniffling.
Authorâ€™s Note: All right, with the first ten chapters of this rewrite complete, ZGMF-X28A Nu-Libery and I, Charismatic Enigma, would like to hear any and all feedback from you, the readers. Whether positive or negative, we want to hear your opinions. So please contact us via private message and tell us what you think of Gundam SEED: The Rewrite.
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:54 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
*Double posted chapter*
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 11
Kira stood in the interrogation room, getting the third degree. Natarle was serving a prosecutor while La Flaga served has his defense. While he and Murrue knew that Kira was secretly working under their orders, Natarle had to be kept in the dark.
â€œThe course of action taken by the defendant, Kira Yamato, was not only foolhardy, but it endangered the ship and the entire crew.â€ Natarle said, shifting a cold glance to the boy.
â€œCaptain, I mean, your honor!â€ La Flaga stammered. â€œThat is an over exaggeration of the facts! I move that it be stricken from the record!â€ Although he knew the right terms, he clearly had never done this before.
â€œGranted.â€ Murrue said.
â€œIt is also stated that taking a civilian hostage violates Article 4 of the Corsica Treaty.â€ La Flaga continued.
â€œBut the actions taken clearly fall under Exception Section C of the same article, â€˜Measures Taken During Wartimeâ€™.â€ Natarle countered.
â€œException Section C?â€ La Flaga stammered. â€œI donâ€™t know that oneâ€¦â€ He frantically flipped through the pages of his copy of the OMNI military rules and regulations manual. While he had trouble with it, Natarle clearly had the entire document memorized. â€œWell, it has to be acknowledged that the Nazca-class withdrew and we escaped a difficult situation thanks to the release of said hostage.â€
â€œThe outcome couldâ€™ve easily turned out differently.â€ Natarle coldly retorted.
Murrue decided it was time to bring the argument to a halt. â€œKira Yamato, is there anything you would like to add?â€
Kira stood up straight. â€œI didnâ€™t rescue her in the first place so that certain others could use her as a hostage.â€
La Flaga smiled. â€œThatâ€™s right, if anything, youâ€™d want her as your girlfriend.â€
â€œObjection!â€ Natarle shouted, standing up. She couldnâ€™t believe that someone like La Flaga was acting in such a manner during a hearing.
Murrue twisted her head. â€œWill the defense please refrain from such comments?â€
La Flaga only shrugged and Natarle returned to her seat.
â€œNow then,â€ Murrue continued, â€œKira Yamatoâ€™s actions are in violation of Article 3, Section B, Article 10, Section F, and Article 13, Section 3 of military law. Under such circumstances, the offender would be subject to the death penalty.â€ She froze briefly when the look of horror appeared on Kiraâ€™s face. She hated doing this, but needed to keep the act up. If it was revealed that she secretly issued orders without the Executive Officerâ€™s knowledge, her military career would be over quickly. â€œHowever, this would only apply to those in the context of a court martial, and not to a civilian. As such, I now adjourn this court case.â€ She then subtlety winked at Kira.
With that, La Flaga patted Kira on the back, while Natarle let out an exasperated sigh and left in a huff.
â€œGood work, kid.â€ The Lieutenant said, â€œSorry about all this, but had to be done.â€
â€œI know.â€ Kira nodded, but it was still nerve racking, what with the mention of a possible execution. He stepped of the room to find Sai and Miriallia waiting.
â€œYou okay?â€ Miriallia asked, â€œWhatâ€™d they say?â€
â€œThankfully I only got a warning this time.â€ Kira answered, â€œIâ€™m not being punished.â€
â€œThatâ€™s good to hear.â€ Sai said, â€œThe truth is that we were worried.â€ He licked his lips, seeming uneasy to continue. â€œWell, the fact is that Tolle and Kuzzey overheard you talking to Lacus and they heard about how your old friend is the pilot of the Aegis and then told us.â€
Kira tripped slightly at the revelation. What would everyone think of him, now that they knew the truth?
â€œAnyway, I for one am glad that you came back to us.â€ Sai then said. He spoke genuinely and Kira could tell.
Kira knew he made the right decision and finally felt good about himself for the first time in a long while. They continued on, chattering away, though none of them realized that Flay had been hiding around the corner. She had been eavesdropping on them and she narrowed her eyes as she watched Kira. Her glare was like a look that could burn though lead. She swore that sheâ€™d somehow get even with him.
On the bridge of the Gamow, Yzak, Dearka, Nicol, and Cade stood by the strategy panel, contemplating any possible attack. With the Vesalius on its way to transport Lacus Clyne and hand her over to the Lacony Team, the Gamow was the only ship pursuing the Archangel.
Nicol studied the panel intently. â€œWe can still certainly follow the legged ship before it reaches the 8th Fleet.â€ He did several calculations. â€œHowever, weâ€™d only have a window of ten minutes at best.â€
â€œSo then letâ€™s not waste those precious minutes.â€ Yzak said. Nicol and Cade exchanged a concerned look.
â€œWhat, have the coward and slacker gone silent?â€ Dearka mocked.
Izak ignored them all. â€œIf we have the chance, we cannot overlook it.â€
â€I agree.â€ Dearka added, â€œWe wonâ€™t know if a surprise attack would work until we try it.â€
â€œPerhaps, but something could go wrong in those ten minutes.â€ Cade cautioned, â€œThere may end being some variables that we would never anticipate.â€
Yzak shot a harsh glare at his fellow pilot. He wondered how somebody with Cadeâ€™s attitude had ever graduated the academy, let only became an elite pilot. â€œWhen the Vesalius returns, we shall greet them with the news that we sunk the legged ship.â€ He was growing excited and eager for glory. He saw this as his chance to finally step out of Athrunâ€™s shadow. â€œSo, are you all with me?â€
â€œAlways.â€ Dearka grinned, giving a thumbs-up.
Both Nicol and Cade nodded slightly and the plan was put into action.
Meanwhile, aboard the Vesalius, Athrun went to the door of Lacusâ€™ quarters tapped the intercomâ€™s switch. â€œIâ€™m here to visit you.â€
The door opened and a pink ball flew at him. â€œHaro! Haro! Hello, Athrun!â€
Athrun caught the tiny robot in midair.
Lacus was watching and laughed. â€œHaro must be very happy to see you again.â€
â€œIâ€™m pretty sure he canâ€™t display emotions.â€ He said dejectedly. Every time heâ€™d see Lacus smile at him so innocently, he always felt insignificant. It was so long since the two had spent time together, it was now awkward.
She mustâ€™ve seen his despondent expression. â€œAthrun?â€ She looked worried.
â€œAhem, I just wanted to check on you, what with all you went through.â€
She only shrugged and smiled. â€œOh, Iâ€™m doing fine. Your friend on the Earth Forces ship took good care of me.â€
That was no surprise, giving Kiraâ€™s nature. â€œI see.â€ Despite his efforts, there was no hiding the bitterness in his voice.
Lacus only smiled sadly. â€œKira is a very strong person, and heâ€™s very kind.â€
â€œHeâ€™s a fool.â€ Athrun blurted out. â€œHe says heâ€™s not a solider, but he still pilots the mobile suit. The Earth Forces are using him, but heâ€™s too naÃ¯ve to realize it. Even if you say that heâ€™s, it doesnâ€™t change that his parents are Naturals, so-â€
Lacus ran her fingers through his hair. â€œHe told me that he wishes he doesnâ€™t have to fight you.â€ Her tone was serious.
His anger faded away. â€œI feel the same way.â€
Lacus looked at him with those mesmerizing eyes of hers. She reached to touch his cheek, but he pulled away. He had never been this open with his fiancÃ©e and he felt ashamed at his display of unruly emotion. He regained some of his composure. â€œThe Lacony Fleet will arrive soon. We should head down to the hanger.â€ He then turned for the door.
â€œYou look so bitter, Athrun.â€ Lacus said.
He didnâ€™t look back at her. â€œWhat sort of creature smiles while waging war?â€
â€œItâ€™s been difficult, but we only have a bit further to go.â€ Sai told Kuzzey. The two sat in the mess hall, able to finally relax and eat. Soon the Archangel would join the lunar fleet. This little nightmare would be over and the students would be reunited with their families.
â€œI hope we get to go to Earth after we get to the fleet. Iâ€™m getting tired of this military stuff.â€ Kuzzey said.
â€œBut remember what Miss Ramius said about us maybe having to wait we make contact?â€
Kuzzey shrugged. â€œWell, that shouldnâ€™t take much longer, right?â€ His expression then turned solemn. â€œSo, what do you think will happen to Kira?â€
Sai shook his head, unsure of the answer. Everyone had taken for granted that he was one of them. But the Earth Alliance wouldnâ€™t overlook the facts that he was a Coordinator and the only one capable of piloting the Strike. Would they just allow him to go?
Kira entered the mess hall then and Sai and Kuzzey looked away. Kira had the suspicion they had been talking about him, but didnâ€™t go into it. He was getting a drink of water, when Flay wandered in.
Sai stood up and said, â€œFlay, you all right? You should be resting.â€
She didnâ€™t reply, instead looking straight at Kira. He took a small step back, but all she did was stand still, her head hung down. â€œKiraâ€¦â€ she finally said, â€œIâ€™m sorry about everything.â€
â€œI was panicking and I said all those terrible things.â€ Tears began to stream from her eyes. â€œCan you ever find it in your heart to forgive me?â€
â€œFlay, you donâ€™t need to worry about that.â€ He softly said.
She shook her head. â€œBut I do. I knew that you were out there, fighting as hard you could, but I still said-â€
A small smile came to Kiraâ€™s face. He stared at her with compassion. â€œItâ€™s okay, Flay, and thank you. I only wish that I was able to save your father.â€
â€œI hate this war.â€ She spat suddenly, â€œI wish itâ€™d end soon.â€
The conversation was ended abruptly by the blaring of alarms that signaled all hands to go to Level One battle stations. Kira downed his drink and rushed after Sai and Kuzzey. He ran out into the corridor, when a small girl from Heliopolis tripped into him and fell.
â€œSorry!â€ Kira knelt down to pick her. â€œYou okay?â€
Flay suddenly stepped right in front of him and got the child to her feet. â€œHeâ€™s in a hurry.â€ She told the girl, â€œThereâ€™s another fight, but weâ€™ll be okay. Heâ€™s going to go and protect us.â€
â€œReally? The girl timidly asked.
â€œThatâ€™s right; heâ€™s going to take care of all the bad guys.â€
Kira, hurry!â€ Sai called up ahead.
Kira smiled kindly at the girl and took off once more. He took one last glance over his shoulder, and saw Flay and the child holding hands. He rounded the corner and what he didnâ€™t see was Flay squeeze the girlâ€™s hand so tightly that she had to pull it away. The cold smile and wicked glare frightened the girl and she ran away.
â€œHeâ€™ll kill them all.â€ She whispered in a disturbing tone, â€œOtherwise, Iâ€™ll never forgive him.â€
On the bridge, Miriallia radioed the Strike and informed Kira of the situation. â€œThereâ€™s only on Laurasia-class ship, but thereâ€™s also the Duel, Buster, Blitz, and Panzer.â€ She checked the readings, â€œAll systems go! Strike, youâ€™re cleared to launch!â€
Kira launched in the Strike as Murrue watched. â€œWe only need to hold on until the 8th Fleet arrives. Theyâ€™ll be here soon.â€ Their enemy had continued this relentless pursuit, but she swore that the ship would not be sunk, not here and not now. â€œReady the Igelstellungs and anti-beam depth charges! Load all stern missiles!â€
The four enemy mobile suits came at them in a close formation. Suddenly they scattered and the Gamow fired a shot.
â€œTake evasive action!â€ Murrue ordered. The Archangel dodged the first shot, but not the second. The hull shook and she struggled to keep in her seat as well as keep her composure.
Their own strategy was simple. La Flagaâ€™s Zero would take on the Buster, Kira in the Strike would engage the Duel, and the Archangel itself would fend off the Blitz and Panzer. As the two Gundams closed in, everything was growing tense.
â€œValiants, fire!â€ Natarle shouted.
The enemy Gundams evaded the shots, when the Panzer opened fire and the Blitz suddenly disappeared.
â€œIâ€™ve lost the Blitz!â€ Tonomura shouted, â€œItâ€™s deployed its Mirage Colloid!â€
â€œFire the anti-beam depth charges and ready anti-air shrapnel!â€ Murrue ordered, â€œAnd keep firing on the Panzer!â€
The depth charges were fired and dispersed, scattering a cloud of charges. Natarle knew they could calculate the Blitzâ€™s position by using watching the firing points when it would take a shot. Once the data was gathered, it was loaded into the stern missileâ€™s computer.
â€œFire anti-air shrapnel!â€ Natarle commanded.
The missiles exploded, sending their deadly projectiles in all directions. The Blitz had to disengage the Mirage Colloid and reactivate the Phase Shift, as both systems couldnâ€™t be used simultaneously. The Archangelâ€™s Igelstellungs opened fire continuously at the Gundam.
It was a temporary countermeasure, as the Blitz and Panzer combined their attack with their full arsenals.
Kira shouted as he fired at the Duel. The enemy blocked his shots, the deflected beams dispersing like an explosion of fireworks. He could see that La Flaga had his hands full with fighting the Buster. Even with deploying his Zeroâ€™s gun barrels, the enemyâ€™s Phase Shift protected it. The Gamow fired its guns once more, scoring another hit on the Archangel. The Blitz and Panzer were relentless as well.
Mirialliaâ€™s voice crackled through the electronic interference. â€œKira! Returnâ€¦ship! Weâ€™veâ€¦hit! Blitzâ€¦Panzer areâ€¦!â€
Barely dodging the Duelâ€™s saber, Kira turned to see the ship was in mortal danger. The Blitz and Panzer were strafing the ship at point-blank range, and the Archangelâ€™s armor was becoming overheated. He suddenly recalled Flay telling the girl that heâ€™d protect everyone on board. He couldnâ€™t allow them to die. He saw the Duel bringing its saber down again, but this time in what was like in slow motion. It was like his focus suddenly sharpened and he could simultaneously perceive things. He swung his own saber and cut into the Duelâ€™s side, sending sparks shooting as though it was blood. He then fired his thrusters and rushed to the Archangelâ€™s aid. But it was strange, for it was like he could sense the Duel chasing him. It fired its rifle, but Kira easily avoided the shot. He was dead-set on the Blitz and fired on one of the attackers.
The Blitz tried to spring back, Kira was quicker, and he maneuvered the Strike to knee the Blitz in its torso. He charged the Panzer next, drawing his beam saber. He was abruptly taken off guard when the Panzer drew its own, but after a brief yet relentless scuffle, he forced it away from the Archangel. He turned back to the Duel, which closed in fast. It had its saber and Armor Schneider knives at the ready. Kira suddenly grasped one of the knives from the Duelâ€™s hip and then jabbed it into the damaged armor. Sparks flew and a small explosion in the cockpit followed. Yzak felt as something tear into the flesh of his face and cried out in pain.
The Blitz rushed in and carried the Duel away, followed by the Panzer.
Nicol contacted the Buster. â€œDearka, we need to withdraw! The enemy fleet is closing in fast!â€ The ten minute limit had no expired.
â€œDammit!â€ Dearka cursed, slamming his console. The enemy ship had remarkable armor that withstood the Panzerâ€™s firepower and its crew found a way to overcome the Blitzâ€™s Mirage Colloid by using shrapnel volleys. And the Strikeâ€™s pilot was formidable.
â€œCome on, hurry!â€ Cadeâ€™s voice suddenly shouted. â€œI think Yzakâ€™s hurt!â€
Dearka switched the channels. â€œYzak, are you all right?â€ The only answer was a shuttering groan followed by whispers of swearing.
Kira watched as the enemy Gundams retreated. He let out a sigh and closed his eyes.
â€œHey, kid!â€ La Flagaâ€™s voice said.
â€Well,â€ the Lieutenant seemed to be at a loss for words. â€œWow, youâ€™re amazing, kid. Thatâ€™s all I can say.â€
Kira grinned at the compliment.
Suddenly a new voice came through. â€œThe 8th Fleet is here!â€ Tonomura said.
Everyone cheered as a vast number of allied ships came up to the Archangel. That is, everyone but Flay. She had been sitting in her bed during the fighting. Her face had a cold and darkly calculated expression on it. â€œThatâ€™s right; heâ€™ll have to kill them all. Otherwise, heâ€™ll never be forgiven.â€ She had devious plans for Kira and waited for the right time to put them into action.
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:13 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 12
Inside the hanger of the Vesalius, Le Creuset and the pilots assembled to see Lacus Clyne safely off. While the Commander wasnâ€™t keen on her prior interference with an earlier encounter with the Strike Gundam, he hid it well.
Lacus gave him a respectful nod and said, â€œCommander Le Creuset, thank you for everything.â€
He responded with a smile. â€œThe Lacony Fleet will be responsible for your safety and will see you back to the homeland.â€
â€œWill the Vesalius be able to return in time for the Memorial Service?â€ she asked.
â€œItâ€™s difficult to say.â€ He answered. This was typical of her, asking about other things he viewed as trivial when he had battles to fight. Yet he needed to continue being diplomatic.
â€œI suppose that it cannot be helped.â€ She said, â€œI agree that some battles are important, but we must never forget the victims.â€
â€œIâ€™ll take that to heart, Miss Clyne.â€ Le Creuset smiled. Diplomacy aside, this was like a verbal sparring match. It surprised him to find that Athrunâ€™s fiancÃ©e had an iron will and a steel spine. He reminded himself not to ever underestimate her.
Lacus turned to Athrun and grinned. â€œI look forward to the next time we see each other.â€ She then gave him a peck on the cheek and then boarded her ship.
After the shuttle departed, Le Creuset took Athrun aside for a serious talk.
â€œYou heard about Yzak?â€
Athrun nodded. Indeed he heard the news of Yzakâ€™s injuries. Thankfully they werenâ€™t life threatening.
â€œHeâ€™ll survive, but next time we not be as fortunate.â€ The Commander said, â€œNext time it could be Dearka, Nicol, Cade, or even you. Remember your promise, Athrun.â€
He remembered that promise all too well. He had promised that if he not been able to convince Kira to join him and ZAFT, he would personally shoot his friend down.
The ships of the 8th Fleet slowly gathered around the Archangel, with its flagship, the Menelaos, leading the way. The various battleships and destroyers encircled the Archangel. On the bridge, Murrue gave the order to match the Menelaosâ€™ speed. Admiral Halberton himself personally arranged their navigational course in order to conduct a visual examination of the newest ship.
The Admiral had backed the development of the Gundams and the Archangel fully right from the start more than other high ranking officers in the Atlantic Federation. It was his belief that those new weapons would change the course of the war, which Murrue also agreed with. She had nothing but utmost respect for her commanding officer and looked to him as a mentor.
With the ship now on basic inertial navigation, Murrue could leave the bridge in the care of the crew. â€œWatch over things here for now.â€ She told Tonomura and Chandra, â€œIâ€™ll be back shortly.â€
She exited, Natarle following behind her. The pair entered the elevator and once the door shut, Natarle decided that the time had come to ask the Captain a vital question.
â€œWhat do you intend to do with the Strike now that weâ€™ve rendezvoused?â€
â€œWhat do you mean, do?â€ Murrue inquired.
Losing some patience, Natarle cut to the chase. â€œYou, as well as everyone on this ship, knows that the only reason we were able to survive this long is due to that boy and his abilities. Are you just going to allow me to simply leave?â€
Murrue grimaced. Only days ago, Natarle protested the very thought of a Coordinator even looking at the Strike. Now she couldnâ€™t wait to get Kira back in the cockpit. Her logic sometimes was baffling.
â€œI see your point.â€ Murrue said, â€œHowever, it changes nothing. Kira Yamato is not a soldier in OMNI Enforcer.â€
â€œBut his abilities are far too valuable to allow him to just be let go.â€
Murrue locked eyes with her. â€œAbilities or not, the Atlantic Federation cannot simply draft a citizen of Orb. You realize that, correct?â€
Natarle said nothing and they rode the rest of the way without another exchange of words.
â€œI really canâ€™t see what the fuss is all about. Weâ€™ve joined with the 8th Fleet, right?â€ Kira said, looking into the Zeroâ€™s hatch. All around him, Murdoch and the other mechanics worked like there was no tomorrow.
La Flaga looked up at the kid. â€œIf thereâ€™s anything thatâ€™s not at one-hundred percent, I canâ€™t relax. And if Iâ€™m not able to relax kid, then you arenâ€™t able to relax.â€ He grinned.
Kira had been looking forward to taking a break, but instead now worked harder than ever to get both the Zero and the Strike in topnotch working order. It all seemed absurd to him, as he thought that no enemy would dare take on a fleet of such a size. With all the ships and mobile armors, he thought that they were adequately protected. And yet the Lieutenant wouldnâ€™t relax a bit.
Kira asked Murdoch about La Flagaâ€™s behavior, and the officer laughed.
â€œSure, the 8th Fleetâ€™s big,â€ he said, â€œbut a lot of their pilots are just amateurs. If things were to get dicey, theyâ€™d probably call on us to help out.â€
Kira glanced again at the Zero. After seeing La Flaga in action, he could see why he earned the nickname â€œHawk of Endymionâ€. With his mobile armor, La Flaga had taken out several GINNs and held his own against the Buster. Kira on the other hand had trouble with taking just one enemy Gundam on. His thoughts then went to the Strike and the work he had done on its OS.
â€œSo whatâ€™ll happen with it now?â€ he asked. â€œWill the OS be left as is?â€
La Flaga climbed out of his mobile armor and wiped his hands clean on a towel. â€œI donâ€™t know.â€ He shrugged. â€œIf we change it back to the original settings, itâ€™ll lower the specs for sure.â€
â€œWell then,â€ Murrue said from the upper deck, â€œweâ€™ll just have to find a pilot thatâ€™s skilled enough to operate it.â€
Everyone looked up to find the Captain walking along the catwalk before she hopped down to the hanger floor.
â€œSo what brings you down here?â€ La Flaga asked, â€œYou want to get your hands dirty with the rest of us?â€ He then winked.
Murrue smiled. â€œNo, I just need to barrow Kira for a moment. Would that be all right?â€
â€Fine by me.â€ La Flaga answered, â€œJust give him back when youâ€™re done.â€
Murrue led Kira through the hanger, eventually making their way to the corridor which would take the Captain back towards the bridge.
â€œWith all thatâ€™s happened lately,â€ she kindly said to Kira, â€œI havenâ€™t had the proper chance to have a chat with you.â€
â€œI just wanted to say thank you for all youâ€™ve done for us.â€
This surprised Kira and Murrue put a gentle hand on his shoulder.
â€œWe forced out into facing extreme perils, but you faced them head-on.â€ She continued, â€œEven though they might not say it, everyone here is very grateful for your help. Thank you for everything, Kira.â€
He never expected this kind of praise. â€œOh, itâ€™s quite all right, Miss Murrue.â€
â€œI only now worry that you might get into some predicament once you get to Earth.â€ She patted his shoulder. â€œKeep strong, okay?â€
He nodded. Murrue then left to return to the bridge and Kira went back to his work on the Strike.
Later, the crew gathered inside the hanger and waited as a regal looking shuttle docked. Admiral Lewis Halberton was a man whose very presence commanded authority and respect. He glanced over the Archangelâ€™s crew before he stepped towards the dock. Everyone saluted simultaneously.
He first came to Murrue. She had been a memorable student during her time in the academy and he had trusted her fully that he personally selected her to lead the development of the Gundams. â€œItâ€™s good to see you again, Murrue Ramius.â€ He said, â€œWe feared the worse once we heard the news about Heliopolis. But youâ€™ve done an extraordinary job in reaching here.â€
â€œThank you, sir.â€ Murrue replied.
Halberton stepped then to La Flaga and saluted back.
â€œLieutenant Mu La Flaga of the 7th Mobile Fleet, Admiral.â€ La Flaga said.
Halberton smiled. â€œIt certainly was a stroke of luck that you happened to be at Heliopolis right when you were needed.â€
â€œWell, Iâ€™d prefer another form of luck, sir.â€ The ace pilot joked.
The Admiral went on down the line of officers, greeting every last one. When he came to Kira and the other students, they only stood up straight and didnâ€™t say anything. They had no idea how a civilian was to properly regard a high ranking military officer.
Murrue came over and stood next to Halberton. â€œThese are some of the student refugees that escaped Heliopolis.â€ She introduced. â€œThanks in part to their efforts; we were able to arrive here safely.â€
The Admiral nodded kindly. He understood what troubles these civilian youths had faced in the recent weeks. â€œIâ€™d like to information you youngsters that your parents have all safely been taken to Earth. They should have reached Orb by now.â€
The students fought the urge to loudly cheer at the news. Knowing that their parents were safe lifted a great weight off their shoulders.
A stout man slowly approached Halberton from behind. â€œPardon me, Admiral, but we have vital business to discuss with the officers.â€ He politely reminded him.
â€œVery well.â€ Halberton turned to the students again. â€œI hope we are able to have a decent conversation later on today.â€ He had always preferred to be an officer who spent time with the common soldier, personally acknowledging their efforts and letting them know that they were appreciated. He left in the company of Murrue, Natarle, and La Flaga and one of officers in his staff.
Captain Adesâ€™ eyes scrolled across a communiquÃ©. â€œCommander, the Gamow and Ziegler have both rendezvoused.â€
â€œDo you the Naturals know of our presence?â€ Le Creuset asked.
â€œTheir fleet has significantly pulled back, so they more than likely unaware of us.â€
Le Creuset, sensing his prediction hadnâ€™t been correct. â€œI was certain that theyâ€™d return to their lunar base. But it now appears that they are indeed moving towards Earth.â€
â€œDo you believe they plan to land at JOSH-A?â€ Ades questioned. JOSH-A, (Joint Supreme Headquarters-Alaska), located in the Yukon Delta, was the primary headquarters of the Earth Allianceâ€™s Atlantic and Eurasian Federation military forces on Earth. If the Archangel made it that far, ZAFT would never be able to destroy it then.
â€œItâ€™s highly probable.â€ Le Creuset answered. Iâ€™d like to sink the enemy ship while we still have the chance, but how?â€
â€œThe Ziegler has six GINNs, and we have five mobile suits including the Aegis.â€ Ades said, â€œAnd the Gamow can send out the Blitz, Buster, and Panzer.â€
Staring out the window, Le Creuset began to calculate a battle plan. With fourteen mobile suits, four of them being the captured Gundams, at their disposal it would be likely that they indeed launch an attack on Halbertonâ€™s fleet. A sinister smile crept on his lips at the thought.
Admiral Halberton was now seated at the large desk within the captainâ€™s room, with Murrue, Natarle, and La Flaga standing at attention before him. To his side, Halbertonâ€™s staff officer, Captain Hoffman, stood as well.
â€œItâ€™s hard to think that this ship and the Strike allowed the destruction of both Heliopolis and Artemis.â€ Hoffman said bitterly.
â€œIt couldnâ€™t be help.â€ Halberton countered, coming to Murrueâ€™s defense. â€œIn regards to Artemis, we can be thankful that Commander Garcia survived, even though heâ€™s had recent trouble with mercenaries. But above all, it is fortunate that this ship and at least one of our mobile suits are still in our possession.â€
â€The officers at Alaska would beg to differ on that opinion.â€ Hoffman replied.
Halberton snorted. â€œWhat do Sutherland and the rest of those paper-pushers know about warfare in space? Lieutenant Ramius delivered both the Strike and Archangel safely relying on mere ingenuity on her part. There is no room to criticize.â€
Murrue could feel the knot in her stomach loosen. The Admiralâ€™s praise was reassuring. She shifted her eyes to La Flaga and judging from his expression, she too had his full support no matter what.
Hoffman changed the topic. â€œSo what about this Coordinator boy, Kira Yamato? Ingenuity aside, this is a rather delicate situation weâ€™ve are in.â€
Murrue then spoke. â€œKira Yamato only piloted the Strike in order to protect his friends aboard this ship. I must admit that had it not been for his abilities, we certainly would be dead right now. However, it has been difficult for him to be forced to fight against his fellow Coordinators, but he did so unselfishly. He has earned our trust.â€
â€œBut to allow him to simply leave would be unthinkable.â€ Natarle said, interjecting herself. â€œBegging your pardon, Admiral, but I do agree with Captain Hoffman.â€ She knew Murrue and La Flaga were glaring at her, but she chose to ignore them. â€œHe does possess remarkable abilities, yes. But now that heâ€™s seen and piloted the Strike, letting him go would pose a threat to security.â€
Halberton steepled his hands and leaned forward. â€œZAFT already has the other five mobile suits.â€ He reminded Natarle, â€œAnd I donâ€™t if youâ€™re aware of this, but news of their existence has been circulated around the PLANTs. Even civilian children know about the Gundams now.â€
Natarle didnâ€™t let up. â€œBut his abilities alone should remain at this armyâ€™s use, if at all possible.â€
â€œAnd how do you propose that, Ensign Badgiruel? What if he doesnâ€™t wish to enlist? We cannot just draft an Orb citizen after all.â€
â€œHis parents are Naturals who escaped Heliopolis and are now on Earth.â€ Natarle said, â€œMaybe if we were able to bring them into our protection, heâ€™ll be persuaded.â€
Murrue couldnâ€™t believe what she was hearing. It felt underhanded to even suggest using a boyâ€™s parents as a means to get him to join the military. Natarleâ€™s own ambitions and blind loyalty to the military was disheartening. This was worse than her act of hostage diplomacy with Lacus Clyne.
Halberton suddenly slammed his fist down on the desk. â€œHow can you suggest such an outlandish idea?â€ he demanded, â€œNot even ZAFT would use a coerced soldier.â€ His polite demeanor was replaced with one of stern and unquestionable authority.
Natarle stepped back, startled. â€œForgive me, sir.â€
The Admiral stood. â€œNever mind that, we have more pressing matters to attend to.â€ He turned to Murrue. â€œFrom here on, the Archangel will set course for JOSH-A. Youâ€™ll have to maintain your present crew.â€
Before Murrue could protest, Hoffman spoke. â€œIâ€™m afraid that thereâ€™s no other way. The supplement crew as lost allow with the vanguard we sent out. That means that there are no other personnel to spare.â€
â€œWe also need to get the Strike to Alaska as quickly as possible.â€ Halberton added, â€œMost of our data was lost at Heliopolis, but we must do all we can to expand development of our own mobile suits. ZAFT is continuing to roll out new models onto the battlefield and we must catch up to them.â€
That would be a daunting task; what with various military bureaucrats pushing money into useless projects and the only battlefield experience they had was making casualty lists. Halberton explained that the 8th Fleet would escort the Archangel to the orbital separation point, and then the ship would descend straight to JOSH-A.
â€œUnderstood, Admiral.â€ Murrue said, and saluted, â€œIn accordance to your wishes and on the behalf of the Archangelâ€™s crew, we accept the mission to Alaska.â€
Halberton smiled and wished them the best of luck.
Later, Kira had changed back to his civilian clothes and walked into the hanger to take a final look at the Strike.
â€œDo you think youâ€™ll end up regretting your decision, should you leave?â€ Admiral Halberton was walking across the catwalk next to where the Strike was docked. â€œYour name is Kira Yamato, correct? I read the report on you and I must say that I am impressed by all you did.â€
Kira only shrugged.
The Admiral looked over to the Strike. â€œWe originally built these hoping to make them a match to ZAFTâ€™s GINNs, but thanks to you itâ€™s now a very powerful weapon indeed.â€ He paused before then asked, â€œYour parents are Naturals, right?â€
â€œGiven all thatâ€™s happened to our world in recent decades, they mustâ€™ve envisioned a peaceful future for you, since they made the choice to make you a Coordinator.â€ Halberton then sighed. â€œMy dream is to bring an end to this terrible war and perhaps user in an era where both Naturals and Coordinators can live in peace.â€ At that moment, another officer came up to the Admiral and whispered something to him. â€œI must be off now, but itâ€™s a shame I couldnâ€™t have a longer conversation with you. Before I go, I must thank you once again for protecting this ship.â€ He turned to leave.
â€œExcuse me sir, but whatâ€™ll happen with Miss Ramius and this ship now?â€ Kira asked.
â€œTheyâ€™ll head to Earth along with the remainder of the original crew.â€ The Admiral answered, â€œFrom there, theyâ€™ll continue onward to the next battlefield.â€ He then noticed the youthâ€™s expression. â€œI imagine that youâ€™re concerned for them, arenâ€™t you?â€
â€œYes.â€ Kira said, thinking about something La Flaga told him early on. â€œIf I have the ability to make a difference, I should put it to use, right?â€
Halberton nodded. â€œPerhaps, but only if the will to do so.â€ He said, â€œRemember, itâ€™s your choice, lad.â€ He then left to make his way towards the bridge, leaving Kira alone with his thoughts.
Meanwhile, Natarle and Hoffman had gathered the other students and now passed out a series of military discharge papers. They had explained that even in the case of an emergency, civilians were not legally allowed to perform military duties. So, in order to avoid a legal mess, the students had all been listed as enlisted personnel. Suddenly, Flay, who had been listening in, stepped forward.
â€œExcuse me.â€ She said.
â€œYou werenâ€™t involved in any of this, so you have nothing to worry about.â€ Natarle said.
Flay shook her head. â€œNo, thatâ€™s just it. I want to enlist.â€
Everyone was stunned by what she had said. None of them ever imagined someone like her wanting to join the military. They listened as she went about how had thought about it ever since her father was killed. She claimed to feel guilty if she went to Earth where she would be safe, despite the ongoing war. She said that none of it mattered until she saw her father die. Simply put, she said she wanted to carry on his work in any way possible.
Natarle nodded and was ready to assist her with the enlistment process, when Sai abruptly tore his discharge papers in two.
â€œSai?â€ Tolle asked.
â€I feel the same way Flay does.â€ He said, â€œBesides, I cannot leave her behind like this.â€
The others looked at their own papers, then at each other. They knew that the Archangel was short on staff and that they could fill in. One by one, they each tore apart their papers until only the ones for Kira remained.
When the Menelaos sent word to the Archangel of the incoming ZAFT ships, the crew hurried to track their movements. A single Nazca-class accompanied by two Luarasia-class ships, would arrive within the next fifteen minutes.
â€œItâ€™s Le Creuset.â€ La Flaga whispered.
â€œHow can you be sure?â€ Murrue asked.
â€œI can tell.â€
Murrue shivered as La Flagaâ€™s tone. She did agree that the enemy commander had the habit from striking from the shadows. She then started to give out orders for the approaching battle.
When Kira reached the landing deck, he found almost everyone was in a state of frenzy. The refugees from Heliopolis were being sent over to the Menelaos, where theyâ€™d board a shuttle for Earth. Various pieces of equipment were quickly being unloaded and secured down. He could overhear Murdoch going on about a pair of Skygraspers, a new model of fighter plane.
â€œHi!â€ a tiny voice suddenly said.
Kira looked to see the little girl he had bumped into before, only now she was accompanied by her mother.
The child held up a tiny origami flower. â€œHere, this is for you.â€ She said, â€œThank you for protecting us.â€
Kira smiled as he accepted his gift and bid the girl and her mother farewell. He turned around and saw Tolle and the others coming over to him.
â€œKira, these are yours.â€ Tolle said, handing over the papers.
â€œWhatâ€™s all this?â€ Kira asked, pointing to their uniforms.
â€œWeâ€™re staying.â€ Sai explained, â€œThe funny thing is that Flay was the first to volunteer, so we all decided to stay as well.â€
Kira could hardly believe it. At that moment, alarms blared, and everyone had a brief time to say their good-byes to him. As he watched them leave, conflicted thoughts swirled in his head. There was the chance to finally leave, but his friends chose to stay and he had realized how deeply be became attached to the crew on the ship.
â€œHey, there!â€ a guard shouted to him. â€œAre you coming?â€
Kira looked down to the origami flower in one hand and the discharge papers in the other. He made up his mind and knew what his decision would be. He crumpled the discharge papers and threw to the floor. â€œGo on without me!â€ he yelled to the guard, â€œIâ€™m staying too!â€
As he dashed off to the hanger, he couldnâ€™t help but think that it felt like this was something that he was destined to do.
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:34 pm
|Retconned MSV Ace|
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Good to see you keep on writing. I have to say that the changes you've made so far have been rather mild; I was reading through the last three eps and aisde from a few points I didn't find anything amiss (well, the Panzer is one). There are two things about Phase 12 though; Kira changed his mind much faster in your version, and I am curious to see if that signifies a larger change in him. He seems more decisive. Also, the exchange between Murrue and Mwu about him being able to spookily sense Le Creuset's approach was good. Gives Le Creuset more bad guy -vibe if good people shiver when he nears.
-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.
Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:16 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 13
The sound of klaxons blared at near ear-splitting decibels, and pilots scrambled to board their mobile suits. Yzak himself burst from the infirmary. Part of his face had been wrapped with bandages and his wounds still throbbed, but he swore he wouldnâ€™t sit on the sidelines in this battle.
The doctor and one nurse tried to hold him back. â€œPlease, you need to rest!â€ he pleaded, â€œYouâ€™re not fit enough to even think of going out!â€
â€Shut the hell up and let me go!â€ Yzak growled, fighting out of the medicsâ€™ grips. Once free, he ran to the hanger bay like someone possessed.
It was true he was still in pain, but it was nothing next to his psychological wounds. When the Strike dealt the last blow to the Duelâ€™s damaged side, it triggered a small explosion inside the cockpit. The force of the blast had sent bits of his visor cutting into his face. If the cockpit itself had been breached, he would have died. Instead he had survived to face an insult that fared worst than death in his mind. The fact he couldnâ€™t shoot down someone he thought to be a Natural tormented him to the core. Both his familyâ€™s honor and his own reputation were threatened to be tarnished. Throughout his time piloting, he had scored many victories on the battlefield; that was until recently. Before now, he had been able to point the finger of blame at Athrun whenever the Strike had slipped out of the teamâ€™s grasp, but the last time Athrun wasnâ€™t present for the battle. The Strike was somehow miraculously able to counter the Duel, Blitz, and Panzer at nearly the same time.
He quickly changed into his flightsuit and was ready to board his Gundam. The Duel was now repaired and equipped with extra weaponry called the Assault Shroud, which increased its firepower and mobility. These new weapons had been salvaged and slapped together from extra GINN components. A powerful Shiva gun was now mounted on the right shoulder, with a missile pod on the left. The Duelâ€™s firepower now rivaled the Panzerâ€™s, at least in his estimation.
â€œHey, what are you doing?â€ a deck officer questioned, â€œHave you been given medical clearance?â€
â€Just do your damned job!â€ Yzak yelled, not looking up. â€œGet back and let me do mine!â€ he shut the cockpitâ€™s hatch.
â€œGentlemen,â€ Commander Le Creusetâ€™s voice hailed, â€œour primary target remains the legged ship. Do not waste time on the other ships and mobile armors.â€
Yzak wasnâ€™t about to waste time. He wanted the Strike and he would get it, even if it meant disobeying the Commanderâ€™s orders.
The mobile suits shot forth from their ships, ready to engage the oncoming enemy mobile armors and destroyers. Admiral Halberton had given the orders to all ships in the fleet to keep in a tight defensive formation and to protect the Archangel at all costs.
All hands on the bridge intently watched the battle taking place in front of them. Indeed, the 8th Fleet boasted a large number of ships and Moebius mobile armors, but the Nazca-class Vesalius, along with the Aegis and a handful of GINNs had overwhelmed and annihilated the Montgomery and its escort ship in a pervious sortie. Natarle ordered every weapons system to be readied, from the Igelstellungs to even the Lohengrin. If any enemy unit got too close, they would shoot it down. But they had their hands full with their present task. The bridge crew was now at the bare minimum, and the descent sequence hadnâ€™t even begun.
â€œHey, sorry weâ€™re late.â€ A voice said.
Murrue and the other officers craned their necks to see the students had not only stayed on board, but now returned to their posts. This was truly a surprise.
â€œYouâ€™ve all came back?â€ Murrue was in disbelief.
â€œThatâ€™s right,â€ Natarle said, looking up from her post, â€œI gave approval after Captain Hoffman had them go through enlistment. â€œAs of now, theyâ€™re our newest recruits.â€
â€œIâ€™m afraid that Kira has left.â€ Sai informed them, â€œBut at least this is better than leaving the ship undermanned.â€
Tolle and Neumann exchanged a high five as the youth took his spot. The crew was glad the students had returned, since they not had sufficient numbers to effectively man the Archangel. Although she was initially happy at first, Murrue feared if the students would later regret their decision.
Kira rushed into the pilotâ€™s locker room, he came to a halt when he saw someone staring at his pilot suit. Only it was the last person heâ€™d ever expect.
With a gasp, she twisted around to see him. â€œKira!â€ Suddenly, for no apparent reason, she all but leapt into his arms and embraced him. â€œI thought you had left.â€ She said, clinging on to him tightly. â€œEveryoneâ€™s doing their part, so I just thought that maybe I couldâ€¦â€
Kira looked at the suit in the locker and knew what she was saying. â€œNo way!â€ He grabbed her by the shoulders. â€œThereâ€™s no way youâ€™d be able to pilot the Strike.â€ He suddenly felt guilty about wanting to leave and looked her in the eye. â€œDonâ€™t worry, Iâ€™m not going anywhere and Iâ€™ll pilot it. I promise that Iâ€™ll protectâ€¦â€ He wanted to say heâ€™d protect her, but decided against it for now. â€œListen, weâ€™ll talk later. My mindâ€™s made up and I know what I have to do.â€
â€œWell thenâ€¦â€ Flay planted her lips onto his. â€œMy thoughts will be with you always.â€ She whispered softly.
Explosions erupted as the ZAFT GINNs and Earth Forces Moebius mobile armors exchanged fire. Many of the mobile armors were brought down by machine gun and bazooka rounds. In the middle of the scuffle, the Aegis swooped in like a bird of prey. It transformed into its mobile armor mode and fired its Scylla cannon. All Moebius units in the path were destroyed. Meanwhile, the Duel and Buster took out more of the mobile armors as the seconds ticked by.
On the bridge of the Menelaos, Admiral Halberton could only watch. â€œDammit all.â€ He swore, â€œThe X Numbers are here after all.â€
Captain Hoffman was standing beside him. â€œThey truly are impressive machines.â€ He grumbled bitterly. â€œI only regret that they are now in enemy hands.â€
The Panzer dove in on a Nelson-class and strafed the ship, unleashing its beam gatling. The rounds tore into the shipâ€™s hull and gun turrets before a massive explosion was triggered. The ship was broken in half by the blast. Next the Panzer got alongside a Drake-class and brought it down with a two shots from its mortar launcher. The ship began to list to on side and was then engulfed in flames. Three Moebius units tried to concentrate an attack on the mobile suit, but two were blown away by the gatling and the third was cleft in half by the Panzerâ€™s beam saber.
Another Nelson-class fired on the Aegis, but the Gundam easily evaded the volleys and grappled the shipâ€™s bow and fired the Scylla. Numerous blasts followed and the ship was paralyzed. Meanwhile the Blitz engaged its Mirage Colloid and disappeared from sight. It suddenly remerged directly in front of a Drake-classâ€™ bridge. A hit from the Gleipnir anchor crushed the bridge.
The Buster came in then and raised both its weapons. In quick succession, an anti-armor blast was followed up by a hyper impulse shot. The resulting explosion tore the ship into several pieces. The Duel attacked from the rear flank, unleashing its weapons at the unprotected sides of nearby ships. Another Earth Alliance warship was taken out.
Back on the Menelaos, operators scrambled to keep track of the ships and mobile armors that were being destroyed. They constantly were calling out and reporting.
â€œAdmiral, the Syracus is hit and incapacitated, as is the Cassandros!â€
â€œThe Lafayette and Cornwallis have been sunk!â€
â€œSir, weâ€™ve lost both the Antigonos and Ptolemaios!â€
Hoffman was flabbergasted. â€œThe battleâ€™s barely started and weâ€™ve already lost that many ships?â€
â€œAdmiral, enemy Nazca-class and Laurasia-class are approaching from dead ahead!â€ an operator called out.
â€œTheyâ€™ve locked onto the Syracus and Cassandros!â€ another reported.
Halberton couldnâ€™t believe what he was hearing. They were planning to destroy two disabled ships that couldnâ€™t fight back? It was a brutal and merciless slaughter in his eyes.
â€œLe Creuset, you sadistic bastard!â€ he sneered.
On the bridge of the Vesalius, Le Creuset observed his mobile suit forces as they demolished the enemy fleet. Once the crippled enemy ships were in the crosshairs, both the Vesalius and Gamow opened fire. The damaged ships disappeared in a blinding flash of light and were reduced to wreckage. As the battle unfolded, Earth Alliance ships were destroyed, on after another. However, the 8th Fleet kept up the defense and didnâ€™t back down.
â€œIt appears that Halberton believes he and his troops can protect the legged ship every step of the way.â€ The Commander said, â€œItâ€™s very noble and unselfish of them, though incredibly foolish.â€
â€œPerhaps itâ€™ll make the task easier for us should they keep the Strike out of this battle.â€ Ades replied.
Le Creuset laughed. â€œYes, perhaps.â€ He continued to observe the battle, taking a twisted delight in watching the enemy soldiers threw away their lives in a vain attempt to safeguard the Archangel.
Everyone on the bridge of the Archangel grimaced at the sight of the destruction in front of them. Mobile armors and ships, outmatched by the ZAFT machines, were dropping like flies. Suddenly the intercom on the Captainâ€™s chair buzzed, breaking the silence. Murrue quickly answered.
â€œHey, why am I still just on stand-by down?â€ La Flaga asked, â€œThose guys out there have their hands full with those GINNs, let alone the Gundams!â€
â€œLieutenant La Flaga,â€ Murrue calmly replied, â€œwe havenâ€™t been the permission to engage. Just wait on stand-by until we have further orders.â€ She knew that the Zero was fully repaired and that La Flaga was eager to fight, but she didnâ€™t like the idea of sending him out into a fierce battle like this one all by himself. Above all else, she had her orders. She had to get both the ship and the Strike safely to JOSH-A. Otherwise, the lives loss today would all be in vain. As the minutes passed, more and more ships were sunk. It was terrible just watching the destruction in front them and not being able to do anything to help. Soon she knew need had to make a quick decision if the 8th Fleet was to survive.
â€œPull away from the Menelaos and begin descent!â€ she shouted.
The moment the ship started to move away, Halbertonâ€™s face flashed onto the monitor. â€œCaptain Ramius, what are you doing?â€
â€œWith your permission, I want to separate from the fleet and prepare the sequence for descent, Admiral.â€
Hoffman appeared next to Halberton. â€œDo you people aim to escape alone?â€ he demanded.
Murrue was defiant. â€œThe ZAFT forces want only us. As long as we remain here, the fleet is in danger.â€
â€œWeâ€™d never reach Alaska.â€ Halberton reminded her, â€œHowever we can still drop down into Earth Alliance territory. We should be able to lose the GINN during reentry.â€
Murrue shook her head. â€œNo, Admiral, we have to go alone.â€
The Admiral cracked a smile. â€œYou can certainly be unreasonable at times, Murrue Ramius.â€
â€œI had a good teacher.â€ She grinned.
â€œVery well, you are to commence your landing sequence immeadatily. Weâ€™ll take to as far as the coordinating point. After that, youâ€™ll have to fend for yourselves.â€
â€œYouâ€™re kidding, right?â€ La Flaga exclaimed at Murdoch, â€œWeâ€™re going to descend during all this?â€ He sighed. Perhaps he shouldnâ€™t have been so rash with Murrue. â€œWell, itâ€™s better than just sitting around, I suppose.â€ He smiled.
â€œEven with we shake the mobile suits,â€ a voice said from behind them, â€œwe still need to worry about the enemy battleships.â€
La Flaga and Murdoch spun around to find Kira dressed in his pilot suit.
â€œYou stayed behind?â€ Murdoch asked, his jaw dropping.
La Flaga didnâ€™t seem surprised. â€œI take it you couldnâ€™t stay away, huh?â€
Kira smiled. â€œIâ€™ll board the Strike, just in case. After all, we are on level one battle stations, right?â€
The ace pilot smiled and slapped the youth on the back as he went to his Gundam. His expression changed when Kira closed the hatch. He hoped the kidâ€™s decision wouldnâ€™t come back to haunt him. This war would no doubt change him.
Halberton hailed all the remaining ships in the fleet. â€œAttention all ships, our primary objective is to defend the Archangel until it reaches Earthâ€™s atmosphere. Protect it at all costs!â€ He briefly paused. â€œWe mustâ€™ve loss that ship, for the very future of mankind may depend on its survival.â€
As the Archangel started to descend, the GINNs and Moebius units continued their violent struggle. Gunfire and bazooka rounds brought down many of the mobile armors, but the 8th Fleetâ€™s ships answered back with their main guns, blasting the mobile suits to bits.
Yzak had destroyed another two mobile armors, when he received a laser communiquÃ© from the Vesalius. The message informed him and the other pilots of the Archangelâ€™s attempt to flee. He grinded his teeth and swore he wouldnâ€™t let it escape. He took the Duel straight into the enemy fleetâ€™s vanguard, with the Buster following close behind. They dodged oncoming fire, all the while slicing into shipsâ€™ hulls and blasting their engines. Despite the onslaught, they pressed on.
Kira sat in the Strikeâ€™s cockpit and gently placed the origami flower on his console. It would serve as a reminder to his vow to what he had to do to protect others.
On the bridge, the crew made their preparations for reentry. Systems checked out and everything was nearly ready.
â€œCaptain!â€ Officer Chandra shouted, â€œThe Duel and Buster are breaking through the defense lines!â€
Tonomura added, â€œThe Menelaos has entered combat!â€
Kira heard everything over his intercom and radioed La Flaga. â€œLieutenant!â€
â€œI heard it, kid.â€ The older pilot said and he then hailed the bridge, â€œCaptain, please let us go out there while we still have time!â€
â€œWhat do you mean by â€˜usâ€™?â€ Murrue asked.
Kira then spoke into his microphone. â€œAccording to the data, it may be possible for the Gundam to descend into the atmosphere safely on it own.â€
â€œKira, is that you?â€ Murrue asked, â€œI thought you had left!â€
By her tone, he realized she was shocked by the fact he remained. It sounded like she had hoped leave the war and get back to a more peaceful life. However, as long as people he cared for were fighting, heâ€™d stay right beside them.
â€œThe Menelaos is in danger!â€ he said, â€œDo we have permission to engage?â€
Murrue was uncertain. True, she had great faith in Kiraâ€™s skills, but if they lost the Strike during reentry, everything would be all for nothing.
â€œAll right, you can go!â€ Natarle suddenly interrupted, â€œBut return by Phase Three.â€
â€œRoger that.â€ La Flaga said and signed off.
Murrue stood up. â€œEnsign Badgiruel!â€ she scolded.
Natarle matched her glare. â€œWe cannot allow Halbertonâ€™s forces to be decimated if we can do something to prevent that!â€
Murrue glared at her executive officer. Time after time, she had overstepped her authority. This time however, her decision may prove costly. She watched as the Strike and Zero were catapulted out and joined the fray.
The Menelaos continued its assault and was under heavy fire. Various operators called out changes in the status of allied ships.
â€œThe Belgrano is gone!â€
â€Sir, thereâ€™s only five minutes before reentry!â€
â€œAdmiral, we must pull back!â€ Hoffman shouted, â€œThe ship canâ€™t much more damage!â€
â€œNo, not yet!â€ Halberton yelled back. Just then, the bridge shook after a hit from the Buster.
â€œAdmiral!â€ a communications officer called out, â€œThe Strike and Moebius Zero have just launched from the Archangel!â€
â€œWhat?â€ The Admiral stood to see the triple colored fuselage of the Strike as it battled with the Duel. He knew that only one person could pilot the mobile suit with such skill.
â€œKira Yamato, perhaps it really is your fate.â€ He thought to himself.
â€œAdmiral, a Laurasia-class is closing in!â€ Hoffman cried.
On the Vesalius, Ades watched the Gamow shoot straight forward. â€œWhat are you doing, Zelman?â€
A communications channel opened and Zelmanâ€™s face appeared amidst the static. â€œWeâ€™ve come this far, and Halberton is willing to do what it take to protect the legged ship. Iâ€™m only doing what itâ€™ll take to ensure its destruction.â€ His tone was calm and unafraid.
The line went dead as the Gamow charged forward. Ades couldnâ€™t understand why Zelman was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice as though it was his fault for allowing the legged ship to survive this long. Le Creuset watched the screen, a chilling expression on his face. Ades shuddered as the Gamow plunged right into the enemy lines at full speed. When he glanced back at the Commander, it was very disturbing that he saw that Le Creuset was actually smiling.
Seeing the ZAFT ship was heading right for the Archangel, Halberton ordered the Menelaos to block the path and intensify fire on the enemy Laurasia-class. Despite the pounding it was sustaining, the Gamow didnâ€™t let up. La Flaga inflicted further damage by unloading the remainder of his ammo in the enemy ship, but nothing changed. Explosions burst from its hull, but it opened fire on the Menelaos.
â€œWhat are they doing, a kamikaze run?â€ Hoffman exclaimed.
â€œHurry and launch the escape shuttle!â€ Halberton ordered, â€œThose refugees made it this far and we canâ€™t let them go down with us!â€
Both the Menelaos and Gamow were badly damaged as they continued to be pulled in by Earthâ€™s gravity. The Menelaos was beginning to list to one side as the escape shuttle launched and streaked away to safety. The mighty flagship of the 8th Fleet would soon be sunk, but at least the civilians would escape.
Murrue froze in horror as the pair of ships fought all the while their hulls were being enveloped in flames.
Natarle watched the readings. â€œCaptain, we have two minutes before reentry! The ablation gel is ready to be deployed!â€
â€œRecall the Zero and Strike!â€
Suddenly, the Gamow slammed right into the Menelaos. The ZAFT shipâ€™s armor broke away and was incinerated. The Menelaosâ€™ hull glowed white in the intense heat and began to crack apart. Both ships disappeared in flames and were reduced to nothing.
Murrue drew her hand up for one final salute. â€œThank you, Admiral.â€ She whispered as a tear rolled down her cheek.
â€œCaptain Zelman!â€ Nicol cried, unable to believe what he had seen.
Athrun watched the Gamowâ€™s suicide attack on the enemy flagship. It seemed so pointless that its crew would give their lives for something that wouldnâ€™t help in their cause. He didnâ€™t understand why it happened.
â€œGuys, weâ€™ve been ordered to pull back!â€ Cadeâ€™s voice called over the intercom.
â€œWait, whereâ€™s Yzak and Dearka?â€ Nicol asked.
â€œTheyâ€™re too far in!â€ Cade answered. â€œTheyâ€™ll fall right in the atmosphere!â€
The Zero fired an anchor into the rear deck of the ship and reeled itself in. When the hatch safely shut behind it, La Flaga jumped out of his mobile armor. â€œHey, whereâ€™s the kid?â€
â€œHeâ€™s not back yet!â€ Murdoch shouted.
La Flaga came to a complete halt. The descend sequence was in the final phase and the bridge crew rushed to complete the last operations. Miriallia tried to contact the Strike, but there was no reply. Reaching the atmosphere, a transparent gelatin substance was released and coated the exterior of the Archangelâ€™s hull, protecting it from the heat and friction.
The Strike and Duel still battled fiercely, the beam saber clashing. Kira pushed the Duel away and dodged the shots from its rifle. When they charged each other again, Kira kicked the enemy Gundam back and retreated. Suddenly a familiar shape came into view. Kira looked to see the escape shuttle that held the refugees was flying right for them. Yzak saw the shuttle too and saw its model was similar to the ones used by high ranking officers of the Earth Forces. He believed that Halberton and his staff escaped the flagship before it burned up. He was determined that he wouldnâ€™t allow the enemy officers to escape. He took aim and fired.
Kira heard himself cry out and he fired his verniers, rushing forward. He could see the frightened faces of the refugees looking out the windows. Two faces stood out, the girl who gave him the flower and her mother. The beam struck the tiny shuttle and the hull cracked open as it spun out of the control before it exploded. The blast knocked the Strike back so violently that it tumbled right into the atmosphere uncontrollably.
Those one the bridge saw on the monitors that the Strike was plummeting erratically.
â€œKira!â€ the students all shouted.
â€œDoes he think he can land in that form?â€ Natarle asked.
It was already too late to dock the Strike, for if the hatch was opened, the Archangel would burn up. It looked like Kira would have to be on his own.
â€œThe Strikeâ€™s on a different entry angle!â€ Pal shouted, â€œAt this rate, itâ€™ll land in a completely different area!â€
â€Kira, can you make it back to us?â€ Miriallia called over the radio, but there still was no answer, â€œKira, can you hear me?â€
â€Itâ€™s no use.â€ Natarle said, â€œEven if he could hear us, the Strikeâ€™s propulsion isnâ€™t strong enough.â€
â€Then bring the ship over to him!â€ Murrue ordered, â€œUse the thrusters so we can maneuver ahead and catch the Strike!â€
â€But weâ€™ll be thrown off our course!â€ Neumann protested.
â€œIf we were to reach JOSH-A without the Strike, then the 8th Fleetâ€™s sacrifice will have been in vain!â€ Murrue shouted, â€œNow do it!â€
Neumann obliged and moved the ship over and ahead of the Strike. Slowly, they were able to catch the mobile suit, but there was no word from Kira still.
â€œCalculate our landing point.â€ Natarle ordered Pal.
After some quick figures, Pal looked horrified. â€œEstimated landing point is Northern Africa!â€
Everyone on the bridge froze and fell silent. They would land right in the middle of ZAFT territory.
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:18 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 14
It all began with a man named George Glenn, whom was considered a hero once, but is now remembered as the man whose existence set the stage for the greatest conflict humanity had ever seen. Glenn had born when the years were still recorded as AD. He had humble beginnings, but he seemed destined for greatness. At the age of seventeen, he had completed his doctorate at MIT, and his physical attributes made him a star athlete in American football, and he would later win a silver medal in the Olympics for track and field. He then became an ace Air Force pilot before moving into aerospace engineering. He greatly excelled in the field and would be nominated for the Nobel Prize in the year CE 4, for the design for an interstellar ship he christened the Tsiolkovsky. With it, he hoped to travel to Jupiter.
The Tsiolkovsky was completed and launched in CE 15, with Glenn captaining it. The journey to Jupiter would take seven years, and another seven to return, minus the time for exploration. As the trek was about to commence, Glenn made a remarkable announcement that stunned the entire world. His words were:
â€œMy fellow humans, Iâ€™m now revealing a secret I have kept from all. I did not come into the world through natural birth. My genes were artificially operated on during the early embryonic stage. I will now send the information on this specific technology on the worldwide network. Thanks to these enhancements, I have a body capable of greater strengths and a brain capable of more knowledge than a human being born naturally. The scientist who created me told me that mankind has much untapped potential and that if we could unleash the maximum possibilities, it can open the door to an infinite number of paths to our future. As I now look upon the Earth from orbit, Iâ€™m reminded of thought I had. I am a bridge connecting our world Earth and the great unknown of outer space that we do not yet understand. I also stand between the present world and the future. I am the regulator, the coordinator, which shall lead the way. It is also my wish that others will continue in my footsteps.â€
With those words said, he departed into space, leaving behind on Earth both his legacy, but also great turmoil. The world was divided, there were those shunned genetic engineering and those who embraced it. Glennâ€™s words were intended to drive change Earth during his absence, and thatâ€™s exactly what they did; but not for the better. Many of the world governments banned all forms of human genetic engineering outright until further research could be conducted. However, those with money and influence helped establish secret labs so that their children could have similar attributes that George Glenn possessed. These altered children were dubbed â€œCoordinatorsâ€, the first generation of a new race of humans. They were coming of age by the time Glenn returned from his fourteen year trip.
While his confession shook the world, his latest discovery was even more unbelievable. He had brought back undeniable proof of the existence of extraterrestrial life from Jupiter. It was the fossilized remains of a winged whale-like creature, labeled â€œEvidence 01â€ and the news of it set off an uproar once more. There were those who called Evidence 01 an elaborate hoax and Glenn a fraud and a conman. There were others who had religious objections to everything associated with him. However there was a new wave of groups who wished to use genetic engineering to breed humans capable of traveling in deep space and possibly even live their lives in that environment. Eventually, globally approved use of genetic engineering was put into effect, but not until after strong and heated debate.
The next generation of Coordinators would live in research facilities on the moon and in Earthâ€™s orbit. These orbital facilities were the ancestors of the modern-day PLANTs (Production Location Ally on Nexus Technology.)
However, the majority of Naturals, those individuals who never had their genes altered, became intensely jealous of Coordinators. No modifications made to the body after birth couldnâ€™t match those of a Coordinatorâ€™s. Jealousy became resentment, resentment turned to anger, anger led to hate. That hate had a common target, George Glenn, the â€œFirst Coordinatorâ€.
In CE 53, Glenn was assassinated by an angry teenager, jealous that he was born a Natural. Glennâ€™s death caused a ripple effect of violent persecution of Coordinators, who eventually had to flee into outer space. The nations that owned PLANTs soon monopolized valuable natural resources found in space, increasing the tension between them and those nations who had no PLANTs. A new twist came about when the PLANTs began to seek independence and launched attacks on their manager nations, and non-manager nations supported the PLANTsâ€™ fight for sovereignty. The strain between Naturals and Coordinators only increased, with no compromise seemingly possible. The conflict took a tragic turn in CE 70.
On February 5th, CE 70, a terrorist attack during a peace conference on the Moon killed the entire leadership of the United Nations. This would be called the Tragedy of Copernicus. On February 11th, the Earth Alliance declared war on the PLANTs. Three days later, the agricultural PLANT of Junius Seven was obliterated by a nuclear warhead. The attack left 243,721 civilians dead. This incident was named the Bloody Valentine and it sparked an all-out war.
To counter the threat of another nuclear attack, ZAFT decided to employ Neutron Jammers (N-Jammers), devices that nullified nuclear fission reaction via blocking the movement of neutrons. These devices were dropped onto Earth during the initial phase of ZAFTâ€™s Operation Uroboros on April 1st, CE 70. As a result, a massive energy crisis unfolded thanks to nuclear reactions in power plants being unable to function thanks to the devices. During the second phase of Operation Uroboros, the real offensive on Earth took place. The African Community and Oceania Union sided with ZAFT, allowing them to gain a solid foothold on Earth.
Many battles were fought in space as well. One such was the Battle of Endymion Crater on the Moon which took place between May 3 and June 2, CE 70. The battle ended following the baseâ€™s destruction when Allianceâ€™s own ice-melting microwave-emission device, known as the Cyclops System, had reportedly malfunctioned, resulting in heavy casualties on both sides. One notable loss for the ZAFT forces was the destruction of the elite Baird Team, led by Jefferson Baird. All team members, save for a pilot by the name of Cade Fenix, were killed. The sole survivor of the Earth Alliance was ace pilot Lt. Mu La Flaga.
Another significant battle was the Battle of Nova, in which ZAFT launched raids against Nova, a resource satellite belonging to the Republic of East Asia. After several weeks of fighting, the Earth Forces abandoned Nova, thereby allowing the ZAFT forces to claim it. After it was moved to Lagrange Point 5, it was renamed Boaz.
After nearly one year of fighting, the war went to a stalemate. Many nations were affected. However, others, such as the Orb Union, remained seemingly untouched by the conflict thanks to a declaration of neutrality. But current events seemed destined to set the course for renewed fighting and possibly a swift end to the warâ€¦
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:07 pm
|Newtype Emo Guy|
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 15
â€œHas his fever gone down any?â€ Miriallia asked, staring down at Kira.
She along with Tolle, Sai, and Flay were inside the Archangelâ€™s infirmary where Kira was immeadatily taken to when the ship touched down. When some the mechanics pulled him from the Strike Gundamâ€™s cockpit, he was unconscious and his body felt hot to the touch. The temperature inside the cockpit inside the cockpit during reentry must have been excruciating.
Flay gently wiped away sweat that was dripping down Kiraâ€™s face while Tolle and Sai just stood by and waited for the doctorâ€™s answer as he checked Kiraâ€™s vital signs.
â€œThis fever isnâ€™t caused by any infection, so the only thing I can do for him is keep him well hydrated and monitor his temperature.â€ The doctor told them. â€œThough I must admit this is the first time a patient of mine has been a Coordinator.â€
Everyone exchanged nervous glances to one another.
â€œBut thereâ€™s no cause for worry.â€ The doctor assured, â€œAs you are aware, Coordinators are physical more durable than us and their immune systems are stronger as well. Iâ€™m certain heâ€™ll pull through.â€ He noticed that the youths didnâ€™t seem sure of that. â€œTell me, do you know exactly how high the cockpitâ€™s temperature reached?â€
â€A Natural wouldâ€™ve died, but your friend survived.â€
That indeed was true. But it was still chilling to be reminded how different Kira really was from the rest of them. Outwardly, they all looked the same, but thatâ€™s where the similarities seemed to end.
Tolle stepped up beside Miriallia and Flay. â€œYou two should get some rest. Iâ€™ll stay and watch over Kira for now.â€
Flay shook her head. â€œNo, I want to stay.â€
â€œIt wonâ€™t do you any good if you get exhausted. Besides you have a duty on this-â€
â€œI want to stay with him.â€ Flay repeated, more curtly this time.
Tolle nodded and he and Miriallia left the infirmary. For the most part, they remained quiet as they walked down the hallway.
â€œYou know,â€ she finally said, â€œIâ€™m something really glad.â€
â€That Kiraâ€™s a Coordinator.â€ Miriallia told him, â€œIf he wasnâ€™tâ€¦â€
Tolle understood what she was saying. If Kira was a Natural, heâ€™d now be dead. He put his arm around her and held her close. â€œIâ€™m glad too.â€
Night was falling around the Archangel, which now rested somewhere in the desert. It was a far cry from its original destination.
â€œHereâ€™s Alaska right here.â€ Murrue said, pointing at the map. Her finger moved over to the African continent. â€œHere is our current location.â€
â€œWonderful.â€ Natarle sighed, â€œWeâ€™re right in the heart of ZAFT territory.â€
â€œIt canâ€™t be helped.â€ La Flaga told her, â€œIf we hadnâ€™t landed here, we wouldâ€™ve lost the kid and the Strike.â€
During reentry, they were forced to change their landing trajectory in order to catch the Strike. Now their course had put them somewhere inside the Sahara Desert. With Kira and the Strike recovered and safe, they had to find any way possible to escape undetected and reach JOSH-A. From there, they hoped that the data from the Gundam could be used to speed up production of the Earth Allianceâ€™s own mobile suit forces.
However, that wouldnâ€™t be easy. Thanks to ZAFTâ€™s use of the neutron jammers, electromagnetic waves were disrupted, so there was no way to get an SOS out to any friendly forces. That and radar was unreliable, but at least nuclear weapons couldnâ€™t be used against them.
Murrue stared at her executive officer. She secretly blamed Natarle for their present predicament, all because of her overstepping her authority and ordering the Strike out into battle. She hadnâ€™t considered the risks in making such a decision, and now she remained quiet for the most part of this briefing. She understood that Murrue could easily discipline her for her actions, but the Captain had been tolerate of her behavior for now.
Murrue heaved a heavy sighed and sipped at her cup of coffee, which had gone cold.
â€œOur mission hasnâ€™t changed.â€ She said, â€œWe must deliver the Strike to Alaska, by whatever means necessary.â€
â€œAll right.â€ La Flaga and stood up, â€œIâ€™ll go check on the kidâ€™s status and then get some rest. I suggest you two ladies do likewise. It wonâ€™t do any good if you both are exhausted.â€ He then winked at Murrue and walked out, followed by Natarle.
Murrue poured what remained of her coffee down the sink, and then began to undress. She climbed into her bed and took one last look at the map. They had to find some way to reach Alaska. Hopefully theyâ€™d find the solution soon.
â€œAh, there you are, Athrun.â€
Nicol found his fellow pilot sitting in the ready room. He was accompanied by Cade as he stepped inside. â€œI heard from the Commander that both Yzak and Dearka were able to safely land on Earth.â€
Athrun nodded idly. He had been wondering if Kira had survived the fall through the atmosphere. It seemed logical, since his Gundam had similar specs to the Duel, but he couldnâ€™t stop worrying. He grew more worried knowing that his old friend was in the middle of hostile territory. The rest of the ZAFT military wouldnâ€™t hold back as he had done.
â€œIs there any information on Yzakâ€™s wounds?â€ he asked.
â€œThereâ€™s nothing absolute.â€ Cade answered, â€œBut it couldnâ€™t have been too severe if he had been able to pilot his mobile suit.â€
Nicol and Cade glanced out the window overlooking the hanger. Their Gundams, the Blitz and Panzer, now stood along side of Athrunâ€™s Aegis. After the Gamow had been lost, Nicol and Cade were taken aboard the Vesalius.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t make sense.â€ Nicol sighed, â€œThe legged ship is indeed strong and the Strikeâ€™s power is impressive, but they arenâ€™t invincible. How could they have escape when we had five of the same machines?â€
Athrun shrugged. â€œI suppose that theyâ€™ve been lucky.â€
Cade shook his head. â€œLuck isnâ€™t the reason; luck has nothing to do with anything.â€ He turned to his fellow pilots. â€œI donâ€™t know about you guys, but I believe that everything happens for a reason. All we can do is hope our actions can alter the end result somehow.â€
Athrun looked at Cade. He really didnâ€™t know much about him, given the fact he never had talked to him apart from discussing mobile suits and battle strategies. His philosophy was unique to someone like Athrun. Was it a part of Straight Edge? Maybe heâ€™d ask him about it someday.
â€œWhat do you think will happen to us now?â€ Nicol asked, â€œDo you think the Council will issue a recall order?â€
â€œI doubt it.â€ Athrun told him, â€œWeâ€™ll more than likely get new orders any time now.â€
â€œYes, I guess youâ€™re right.â€ Nicol smiled, â€œAnyway, Iâ€™ll see you both in the dining hall.â€ He then left, as did Cade.
Athrun was alone once more and became lost in his thoughts. The one person he found himself the most concerned for was now an enemy. This was a mess.
â€œIâ€™ve studied the manual and it looks easy to operate.â€ La Flaga said as he looked over one of the two new Skygraspers. With his Moebius Zero mobile armor unusable in Earthâ€™s gravity, it had been stored away. â€œBut its main function is to carry the Striker Packs. Am I just now going to be a delivery boy?â€
The Skygraspers were able to utilize any of the Striker Packs as well, but primarily they were support units for the Strike Gundam.
Murdoch had to laugh. â€œI wouldnâ€™t count on it, Lieutenant. Or I should say, Lieutenant Commander.â€
La Flaga found his new rank a major annoyance. The late Admiral Halberton had given the entire crew field promotions. The young former students turned volunteers were now Crewmen, Second Class, while Kira had the rank of Ensign.
â€œIâ€™ll admit the higher pay is a nice bonus.â€ La Flaga said, â€œBut what good is it if I canâ€™t spend it?â€
Murdoch shrugged. â€œThereâ€™s always away you retire.â€ Making idle jokes was his way to lighten up any difficult situations.
â€œSure, if I happen to live that long.â€
â€œAnyway, howâ€™s the kidâ€™s fever?â€
â€Oh, I heard itâ€™s gone down.â€ La Flaga replied, â€œHe should be fully recovered by this time tomorrow.â€
â€œThatâ€™s good to hear.â€ Murdoch nodded.
â€œIâ€™ve been meaning to ask this.â€ La Flaga mentioned, changing the subject, â€œKiraâ€™s been calling that mobile suit a â€˜Gundamâ€™. Why exactly does that come from?â€
â€œItâ€™s what comes on the start-up screen.â€ Murdoch explained, â€œIt stands for General Universal Neurolinkâ€¦something or other. Put it together and you get an acronym. Itâ€™s a catchy name.â€
â€œExcuse me, sir.â€ One of the mechanics said, â€œI found this in the Strikeâ€™s cockpit. Do you know what it is?â€ He held up a small object. Mechanics had to be cautious with items they found inside of cockpits. What looked like a piece of litter could be a pilotâ€™s little good luck charm.
â€œIâ€™m not sure.â€ Murdoch answered, â€œYou should ask the kid when you get the chance.â€
The mechanic nodded and slipped the object into his pocket.
â€œSo Kiraâ€™s awake?â€ Miriallia asked in between bites. She had been eating her dinner and sat with Sai in the dining hall.
â€œYeah, heâ€™s been moved back to his own room now.â€ Sai replied, â€œFlay took him some food a little while agoâ€¦well, here she comes now.â€ He waved to her, â€œHowâ€™s Kira doing?â€
â€œMuch better. Heâ€™s eaten, but apparently the doctor told him not to overexert himself.â€ Flay paused, â€œIt really is remarkable the way his body recovered. He is truly is different from the rest of usâ€¦â€
â€œThatâ€™s great news.â€ Miriallia suddenly said, â€œIâ€™m glad that heâ€™s going to be all right.â€
â€œFlay, you should get some rest for now.â€ Sai told her, â€œYouâ€™ve been watching over him all this time.â€
â€œNo, Iâ€™m fine, I really donâ€™t mind.â€ She got another drink of water and turned to walk out.
â€œHey, Flayâ€¦â€ Sai then tried to take her hand.
â€œWhat do you want?!â€ she shot back. She then averted her eyes. â€œSai, please understand our â€˜relationshipâ€™ was put together thanks to my father. But now that heâ€™s dead, I cannot be obliged by his promise.â€ She hurried and left.
This was bewildering to say the least. From the time she was brought on board the ship, she all but clung onto Sai, but something changed that. Of course, no one knew what that something was.
Flay had her reasons for her outburst. She had plans for Kira and couldnâ€™t afford for anything to get in her way. If that meant breaking a couple of hearts, so be it. She turned the corner that would take her back to Kiraâ€™s room. But now one of the mechanics blocked her path.
â€œPardon me, this is the boyâ€™s room, right?â€ he asked.
â€œWell, I found this in his cockpit. Could give this to him?â€ He handed her the item and left.
Flay just placed the item on the dinner tray and stepped inside his room, where she found him drying his hair. â€œDid you just shower?â€ she asked, being friendly.
Kira avoided her gaze, not sure what think of her. She had been very vocal of her detest of all Coordinators, but he had been told that she sat with during his time in the infirmary. He wondered why she was being so nice to him now. He told himself to accept her kindness, but also to be cautious.
â€œOne of the mechanics asked me to give you this.â€ Flay held out the item, â€œHe said you left it in the cockpit.â€
Kira froze when he saw the tiny origami flower in her hand. He remembered seeing the beam penetrate the shuttleâ€™s hull and the following explosion. He could vividly remember the girlâ€™s face right before she was consumed by the flames.
He looked up. â€œAhâ€¦thank you. I thought I had lost that.â€ He pretended that nothing was wrong, but the second he took back the tiny flower, he began to shiver violently. He then fell onto his bed, unable to hold back the tears. He started to sob.
â€œKira, what is it?â€ Flay asked, sitting next to him.
â€œItâ€™s my fault!â€ he cried, â€œShe died because I couldnâ€™t protect her!â€ He continued to sob when gentle arms wrapped around him. He looked back up to see her kind eyes and smile. He held her close.
â€œItâ€™s all right, Iâ€™ll be here to take care of you.â€ She softly whispered as she combed her fingers through his hair. â€œItâ€™ll be the two of us for always.â€ She then lifted his head up and pressed her lips to his.
Kira felt a rush as their tongues intermixed. He laid back down, with Flay on top of himâ€¦
Out in the desert, a small group of people laid in hiding among the dunes. They had observed the unidentified ship fall from the sky and now were on reconnaissance to find out what they could. The only female in the group zoomed in on the ship with a pair of night vision goggles.
â€œIâ€™ve only seen photographs of it before, but Iâ€™m positive.â€ She said to the others, â€œThat is the new Earth Alliance ship that was built in secret at Heliopolis. If I remember correctly, its name is the Archangel.â€
Just then, the communication equipment in one of the groupâ€™s ATV buzzed. One of the others pressed a switch.
â€œWhat is it?â€
â€The Desert Tiger is on the move.â€ The voice somberly said. â€œI repeat, the Desert Tiger is on the move.â€
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.
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