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 Post Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:42 am 
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Retconned MSV Ace

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Posts: 1681
Location: Finland
Action-time! I first didn't think you'd include the Blitz blowing up in this one. It is a bit fast-paced, especially given how quickly Panzer, Buster and Duel were written off. But Tolle didn't get head-less. :shock: And Kira used the Launcher rather than the Sword. A bit of variation is indeed good, waiting to see more. Oh and I also liked how you linked Cade to the CE world a bit better by giving him some history.

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


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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:48 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Posts: 302
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 28

Both Athrun and Kira stood in bewilderment at the sight of the now destroyed Blitz. Athrun’s cry rang through Kira’s ears and he stared blankly at the ruined Gundam.

“Athrun, what was that explosion?” Cade’s voice emitted from the radio, “What…”

The Duel, Buster, and Panzer appeared and immeadatily their pilots saw the remains of what used to be the Blitz.

“Oh my god.” Cade said.

“Nicol…” Dearka muttered.

“I-it can’t be!” was all Yzak could say.

Even Kira had trouble with realizing what he had done. He had acted purely on instinct. His reflexes reacted to danger immeadatily and he destroyed the enemy mobile suit without thinking. It was like it had become second nature. He was abruptly brought back to reality by the Duel, Buster, and Panzer unloading their weapons his direction. Their barrage was cut short by a new attack from above. The Archangel swooped down to provide him cover.

“What are you doing, Ensign Yamato?” Natarle’s voice barked over the comlink, “Hurry and fall back!”

The enemy Gundams were being held at bay for now, but Kira had to move quickly. He took one last glance at the remains of the Blitz. He then fired his thrusters, leaving the battlefield and rejoining the Archangel. Once he had safely returned, Murrue ordered the ship to withdraw at maximum speed. At the same time, the remaining members of the Zala Team retreated, leaving the tiny island behind.


Once he had docked the Strike securely in the hanger, Kira shut down the Gundam’s OS and then the power supply. As he opened the hatch and stepped out, he found himself greeted by cheers. Murdoch and other mechanics gathered around him.

“Great job, kid!” Murdoch said, “You finally got one of them!”

The others greeted him with handshakes and pats on the back.

“You blasted the Blitz straight to Hell!” yelled a voice in the group.

“Yeah…” Kira’s expression was blank and his body began to quiver. He shivered and suddenly began to sob. “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. I just killed somebody.” He covered his face. He was filled with self-loathing.

Murdoch and the others were puzzled by Kira’s behavior. Surely he should’ve been used to fighting by now.

At that moment, La Flaga pushed his way through the group and pulled Kira close to him. “All right, guys, give the kid some room. Kira’s just been in a rough battle and is feeling a little unwell right now.” He then escorted Kira out of the hanger.

Once out, Kira broke free of the older man’s grip and tried to run, however La Flaga quickly caught him again. “Easy, kid, what was all that about in there? They were only congratulating you. I mean, that’s what friends do, and everyone here thinks of you as such.”

“Yeah, whatever.” Kira muttered. That was true, but it was also a joke, as he knew that he was a Coordinator among Naturals. He’d never be one of them. Right now he felt like a murderous race traitor.

La Flaga spun Kira around and pinned him again a wall. “Look, we aren’t murderers; we’re soldiers fighting a war! If we don’t get them first, they’ll get us!”

“I know that!” Kira shouted back. He had heard that statement so many times already that he had lose count.

“Then don’t hesitate, or else you’ll be the one dead.”

Kira couldn’t stand the lecturing anymore. If La Flaga had gone through simply half of what he had experienced, then he’d know what was running through his mind. “That’s easy for you to say!” He shouted, months of bottled up frustration finally spewed out. “All this time you’ve never had to kill any of your fellow Naturals or kill one of your best friend’s comrades! But I have, and you don’t understand what it’s been like for me, and you never will!” He finally shoved La Flaga away and stormed off.

La Flaga didn’t follow, but just rubbed his temple as Kira ran off. The kid did make a few points. He had been through many things that most adults had never had to put up with and maybe the stress was just finally catching up to him. His abilities were something he did consider a burden after all. He hoped that after a while he could talk to Kira again in private.


Back on the Cousteau, the remaining members of the Zala Team were in the ready room, unable to believe that Nicol had been killed. Athrun and Dearka were the only who changed back into their normal uniforms. Cade just sat quietly, even more than usual and Yzak was so angry that he punched the lockers repeatedly as he cursed. Finally, one of his blows caused one locker’s door to swing open. Yzak stopped when he saw that it was the locker that had been Nicol’s and that the uniform inside had fallen out.

“Yzak.” Dearka said.

But Yzak hung his head down, his anger suddenly replaced with sorrow. “Why did this happen?” he asked, “Why here of all times and places?”

Athrun then grabbed Yzak by his collar and slammed him against the lockers. “It’s obvious you’ve got something to say Yzak, so why don’t go ahead and say it?!” His comrade’s abrupt silence only fueled his anger. “Nicol’s dead, and it’s my fault, right?!” A fistfight seemed inevitable.

Suddenly, Cade forced himself in between them, pulling Athrun off while Dearka held Yzak back. “Knock it off, both of you!” he shouted, “I know what you guys are thinking, all too well, and fighting each other will solve nothing!”

Yzak fidgeted, but Dearka held his grip. “He’s right; we have to remember that it’s the Strike that’s our true enemy.”

“I’m aware of that!” Yzak retorted, “That pilot killed Miguel and gave me this damn scar! The next time we face him, I’ll be the one who kills him.” He then dashed out of the room.

“I’ll go keep an eye on him.” Dearka told the others as he left as well.

There was only silence then as Athrun picked up the uniform. As he did, he felt something inside and pulled out several pieces of paper. They turned out to be sheet music that Nicol carried with him. Seeing them feel Athrun with so much grief and guilt that he couldn’t hold it back. He dropped to his knees and tried to fight back tears.

“This is all fault.” He said, “It should’ve been me that died. Nicol’s dead only because he was trying to save me.”

Cade put a hand on Athrun’s shoulder. “Athrun, this isn’t your fault. You didn’t know that this would happen.”

But Athrun knew that he had let it happen. His weakness had been showing Kira mercy and avoiding killing him. Now those actions had cost the life of a dear comrade. He knew there was only one thing that had to be done now. “I promise, the next time we fight, I will kill him.” He muttered.

Cade saw the gruesome look in Athrun’s eyes, and it frightened him.


Inside the Archangel’s mess hall, Natarle had just picked up her meal tray, when La Flaga waved her over. She took a seat across from him.

“Care to have a drink?” he offered.

Natarle shook her head. “I can’t, I’m on duty in less than an hour.” She had never been a drinker herself, and she wondered where La Flaga had received the bottle of alcohol.

“Well, to honor and duty.” He smiled before downing his glass. “We should arrive in friendly airspace sometime tomorrow, right?”

“I certainly hope so.” She answered, “I’ll be relieved once we’re rid of the Le Creuset Team for good.”

“Those guys are Le Creuset’s team.” La Flaga absently muttered.

“What?” Natarle said, puzzled. “What do you mean?”

”Oh, they’re still the same guys we fought back in space, but it’s just that they aren’t Le Creuset’s troops anymore.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“I just am.” He shrugged, “Anyway, it’d be good once we reach JOSH-A.” But he secretly worried about Kira’s future.

He had the chance to speak with him again after their argument and Kira told everything that happened in recent events, such as his break-up with Flay. Ever since he first he piloted the Strike, his resolve had surrounded around the Archangel and all those on board. Combat had truly changed him, as he had grown quiet, introspective, and morose. He had withdrawn from his friends as of late. There was another concern of the possibility that he’d be transferred to another unit. Such a move to an unfamiliar setting would be terrible for Kira. There also was the chance he’d be discharged once they arrived at Alaska, but that was slim. The military wouldn’t likely let somebody with Kira’s abilities just leave. La Flaga downed another drink and thought over something else.

“When we get there, could you please not be so hard on the captain?”

”If you’re referring to the report I’ll make once we arrive at HQ, let me remind you that I’ll only be doing my duty as the XO.” She responded.

La Flaga huffed at the text book answer. “I take it you don’t think she’s fully fit to lead?”

“Are you trying to bait me?”

”No, I’m serious.” He said, “What do you think of her leadership?”

Natarle sighed. “I feel that sometimes she’s too…naïve.”

“Maybe, but perhaps our survival up to this point has been due to that.”

“What do you mean?”

”Well, if you had been in her place back on Heliopolis, would you have allowed Kira to operate the Strike?”

“No, but…”

”And if he hadn’t, we’d more than likely would’ve been killed a long time ago, right?”

She glared at him. “Maybe so, but it doesn’t justify the numerous violations in regulations. Without rules, how can we hope to maintain order in the military?”

La Flaga shrugged. “Sometimes rules and regulations are too rigid and need to be bent or broke in order to simply survive.”

“Give me one example.”

He locked eyes with her. “How about every obstacle we’ve faced so far?”

Natarle knew she didn’t have a counter to that question. Instead she picked up her tray and stood. “I have to prepare for my shift.” With that, she left.


A short while afterwards, Natarle stepped onto the bridge and approached Murrue. “I’m here to relieve, Captain.”

Murrue quickly noticed that she was precisely five minutes early. “Thank you.”

Natarle then turned to Kuzzey. “Has there been any word from Alaska?”

”No, the electromagnetic waves are still blocking everything.”

“As long as we keep our current heading and speed, we’ll cross the Tropic of Cancer by tomorrow evening.” Murrue said, “After that, we should be able to contact them.”

“I hope so.” Natarle muttered. “The Vosgulov-class submarines are disturbingly fast.”

Both Murrue and Natarle were fully aware that the enemy was still out there somewhere, waiting for the chance to pounce once more. Even though Kira had destroyed the Blitz, there were still four other Gundams.

“Le Creuset is a very tenacious soldier. It’s to be expected that he won’t give up easily.” Murrue sighed.

“Commander La Flaga mentioned that those pilots may not be under Le Creuset’s command anymore.”

“He did?”

Natarle nodded. “Yes, he has a strong certainty about it.”

“I see. In any event, please inform me of anything shows up on the scans.” Murrue ordered. “And I mean anything.” She then exited the bridge, wondering how La Flaga was able to know so much about Rau Le Creuset.


Elsewhere, Flay was walking around, since she hadn’t anything else to do. She happened to be near the mess hall when she heard what sound like Tolle’s voice nearly shouting. She crept to the door and listened in.

“Boy, I got to say that it was scary at first.” Tolle bragged, “Right when I launched, the Duel was right in front of me!” He waved his hands to emphasize the drama in his story-telling. “But thanks to all that practice, I dodged like it was nothing.”

”Yeah, you did great for a first fight, kiddo.” A mechanic praised.

Flay rolled her eyes as she listened. The way Tolle carried on, she thought, it was like he had been the one who shot down an enemy machine.

“You’ve been doing those simulations so much that I’m starting to miss you.” Miriallia teased with a hint of playful jealousy in her voice.

“Yeah, but practice and studying makes us better soldiers. Isn’t that right, Sai?” Tolle had picked him out since everyone knew that he had been brushing up on the tactics used by many strategists in the past.

“Yeah, but you got a little carried away, Tolle.” Miriallia continued, now voicing her concern. “I was worried for a minute there.”

”Oh relax, Mir.” Tolle said, “I’m only flying support.”

”That doesn’t mean the enemy won’t try to shoot you down!”

Tolle put his arm around her and gave her shoulder a gentle squeeze. “All right, I promise I’ll be careful the next time.”

Flay grew bored of eavesdropping and walked away. She realized that they had been her friends at one time, but now she knew she didn’t fit in anymore. Ever since they landed on Earth, she’d shut herself in the room she had shared with Kira whenever she wasn’t on duty. In that time, the others had integrated with the crew and became part of the group. In fact, even Sai didn’t miss her anymore. She was angry at that fact, despite that it was she who so rudely dumped him and broke his heart. When she had done so, she had only had slept with Kira in order to manipulate him into killing the rest of his own kind. Now, that he had broken up with her, the tables had turned. And also in spite of the fact she didn’t truly love him, she still cared for him for some reason. There had been times that she had wished that they could’ve been like Tolle and Miriallia. Had she had a mistake? When that thought entered her mind, she quickly disregarded it, assuring herself that everything was all Kira’s fault. But she didn’t believe that either. All she knew was that she cared for him.


Kira sat in the hanger alone, apart from Birdy, and stared at his mobile suit. His mind was plagued with the pervious day’s battle. The moment of the Blitz’s destruction played over and over again in his mind, and Athrun’s cry still seemed vivid. He wondered exactly who Nicol was. He thought that he was a part of the group that was with Athrun at Orb, but which one had he been? When Birdy landed on his shoulder, he glanced at the robotic bird. The day Athrun had given the gift was but a distant memory from a time when they still kids. Now, they were nearly adults, both having taken lives in this bloody war. He just knew that Athrun would never forgive him for killing his comrade. He knew that was now truly a hated enemy of his. He feared what would occur the next time they fought. It was not a matter of if, but when.


The next day, the crew of the Cousteau performed the sole task on tracking down the Archangel. After the death of Nicol, the other members of the Zala Team had now become bloodthirsty, and the crew knew that.

One of the operators thought he spotted something, but checked again to ensure that it wasn’t a glitch or civilian craft. After a swift check, he knew that it was indeed the target. “We have contact! It’s the legged ship!”

Athrun and the others dashed over to the console and saw the point of light on the screen. Monroe joined them and studied a map of the surrounding area.

“There are numerous small islands nearby and it’s nearly sunrise.” He said, “If we attack now, we’ll have the advantage.”

”Then let’s do it!” Yzak exclaimed.

“Right, today’s the day we repay the Strike tenfold for everything.” Dearka added.

Cade silently nodded.

As they left to prepare for battle, Athrun remained quiet. At that point, he didn’t feel angry, upset, or nervous at all. Right now he was so calm that it surprised him. He had detached himself from any emotions that would hold him back in the next battle. He couldn’t hesitate any longer. Kira was no longer a friend, but rather an enemy who had killed Nicol. Today was the day that he would die.


On the Archangel, alarms rang and awoke the crew with a start. Kira knew the routine and dove out of bed and went for the hanger. He had to weave past and dodge oncoming crewmates who hurried to their own stations.

“Kira!” someone called out.

Kira spun around and was shocked to see Flay standing nearby.

“Kira, I just wanted…” She started to say, but trailed off. After their argument on Onogoro, the two had barely seen each other, let alone talked. She desperately wanted to apologize, but didn’t know where to begin. After all, she’d lie to him, used him, and mistreated him. How could he ever forgive her for doing all that to him?

Hearing the alarms, Kira couldn’t wait any longer. “Sorry, Flay, but I have to go.” He smiled kindly at her. “We’ll talk when I get back.” He took off down the corridor.

Flay did all she could to hold back tears. Even now, he was still kind to her. She promised that she’d tell him everything whenever he got back. And of course, he’d forgive her. She knew he’d forgive her, since that was his way.


The bridge crew worked fast to identify the oncoming enemy units, though they already knew who they were.

“Four enemy units approaching from heading one-five-zero!” Tonomura yelled, “It’s the Aegis, Buster, Duel, and Panzer! Distance, three thousand meters, and closing rapidly!”

“I’m detecting a large heat source as well!” Sai added.

“Evade to port!” Murrue ordered.

The Buster had fired a long range shot from its weapons which only harmlessly grazed the ship’s hull. The Archangel quickly returned fire.

“Get Ensign Yamato and Commander La Flaga in the air immeadatily!” Natarle shouted.

In the hanger, Kira was already inside the Strike. As he powered up the OS, he thought about Athrun. He knew that there was no way he’d let the Strike and the ship escape without a fight.

“Hey, Kira?” La Flaga said over the comlink.

“Yeah?”

”You going to be okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.” Kira reassured. But that was lie. He wasn’t sure he’d be fine ever again. Once the Aile Striker Pack was attached, he took off.

He headed for the rear deck first, where the enemies would reach first. He watched the four Gundams close in and took off. The Aegis was the first to open fire, but Kira blocked the shots with his shield. The Duel came in from the side, so Kira had to shift his attention between it and the Aegis as he fought both. He then saw the Buster and Panzer advance on the Archangel. It was a pinpoint strategy. The Duel and Aegis would focus on Kira and the Strike while the Buster and Panzer would attack the ship with their heavy weapons. But where was La Flaga?

As the Buster and Panzer got closer to their target, they each opened fired, shooting down oncoming missile fired from the ship. Suddenly the Skygrasper swooped down and fired on the Buster. The mobile suit switched its target to the fighter plane and launched missiles. They locked on their target and La Flaga made a hard dive towards the ocean. At the last possible moment, he pulled up quickly as the missiles still went on and harmlessly hit the water’s surface.

While the two machines fought, the Panzer pressed its attack. Its beam gatling, missiles, and mortar was wrecking havoc on the ship’s hull. Damage reports poured in.

“Captain, Helldarts tubes have been hit!”

“Igelstellungs one and two aren’t responding!”

An explosion shook the ship, nearly throwing Murrue from her chair. “Has there been any word from Alaska?”

”No, there’s still nothing from them!” Kuzzey informed her, his voice panicked.

“The Panzer’s coming around!”

”Ready the Valiant!” Natarle shouted. “Blast that Gundam out of the sky!”

The cannon was aimed as the Panzer moved in. Once it was locked on, the Valiant fired, the yellow energy beam hit the Gull. The explosion blinded everyone and they anxiously waited to see if the enemy unit had been shot down. There was no trace of it, but suddenly something impacted the hull; however it wasn’t a missile or cannon hit.

“What was that?”

Chandra checked his console and gasped. “The Panzer’s on the ship!”

Everyone gasped and tried to figure out what to do. Murrue checked the monitor that showed the exterior of the ship. The Panzer aimed its beam gatling and fired on the right Valiant. The shots tore into the cannon and it exploded. The damage to the Archangel was mounting and spreading.

“Plasma drive’s been heavily damaged and the levitator’s down!” Pal shouted.

Neumann struggled with the controls. “We can’t maintain lift!”

”Switch emergency power to auxiliary levitator connection!” Murrue ordered. It was a temporarily measure, but if it kept them airborne.

Suddenly, Tolle leapt from his seat. “I’m taking Skygrasper 2 out!”

”Wait, Crewman Koenig!”

However, another explosion rocked the ship and it began to list. Tolle hurried down the corridors towards the hanger and quickly scrambled the Skygrasper. After a quick reassurance to Murdoch, he took off.


Kira was in trouble. The two on one attack was overwhelming him and it prevented him from aiding the Archangel. He decided to take a chance and charged the Duel. He used the beam rifle, which the Duel blocked, but then fired the Strike’s head mounted Igelstellungs. The rounds blasted the Gull the Duel stood upon and the craft was destroyed. Even as it plummeted, the Duel wasn’t out of the fight just yet. Yzak fired wildly, with one of his shots hitting Kira’s rifle. He threw the weapon away as it exploded and Athrun saw his opportunity. He charged forward and slammed into the Strike full force. The Gundam fell and crashed onto one of the islands in the region. Kira was stunned from the impact and couldn’t move right away. He then saw the Aegis land near him and ran towards him, beam saber ignited. He got the Strike back to its feet in time to block the Aegis’ saber. He then was pushed back by the relentless attack. Kira realized at that moment that for the first time he fought his old friend, Athrun was truly trying to kill him.


All the consoles on the bridge flickered with warning lights and some sparked. The ship was losing attitude and there wasn’t anything anyone could do. A shrill warning alarm rang.

“The engines are dead!” Neumann cried, “We’re going down!”

“All hands, prepare for crash landing!” Murrue shouted, bracing herself.

Seconds later, the Archangel skimmed across the ocean’s surface before crashing into the soil of the island. The ship was jolted violently as it plowed along over rocks and trees. When it grounded to a halt, everyone looked to find that they all were uninjured. Neumann peeked out the window and pointed.

“Look!”

Everyone turned their heads to see the Panzer laying on the ground in front of them. The mobile suit must’ve been thrown off during the crash. But there was no little to relax. Thick storm clouds began to unleash a downpour as a shadow loomed over. The Buster suddenly appeared and aimed its weapons at the bridge. Everyone on board was a good as dead it seemed.

“Oh no, you don’t!” a familiar voice said over the radio.

La Flaga’s Skygrasper streaked down, his guns blazing. The Gull the Buster rode was shot down and the Gundam turned its focus to the aircraft. Both machines fired simultaneously. The Buster’s right arm was blown off and the Skygrasper’s left wing was hit.

Murrue almost cried out as the aircraft waved from side to side. She held her breath until it too made a safe crash landing near the ship. She then heaved a heavy sigh of relief.

The Buster now lay motionless after it collapsed to the ground. Dearka checked saw that numerous systems had been knocked out. He groaned as he tugged at the unresponsive controls.

Cade was in the same boat. The Panzer’s balancers had taken been strained in the impact, so he couldn’t even get the Gundam to stand. The arm motors were damaged, he had no missiles remaining, and the mortar launcher was inoperable.

The crew stared at the two fallen Gundams. After seeming so invincible for all this time, they had now been brought down, and some wanted to finish them off.

“Aim the Gottfried!” Natarle ordered, “Destroy those two mobile suits!”

”Wait, look!” Sai pointed.

Everyone watched as the hatches of the Buster and Panzer open and the red-clad pilots stepped out. They zoomed in on the ZAFT pilots, shocked to see the pair immeadatily raise their arms over their heads.

“They’re actually surrendering?” Natarle spoke out, her voice filled with surprise. At the same time, she felt frustrated. This would’ve been the perfect opportunity to destroy the enemy units. She secretly wished that the pilots hadn’t surrendered.


On a nearby island, a man listened as the storm rolled on. Reverend Malchio stood on the porch of small orphanage he oversaw. Though blind, he was a distinguished peace activist, a very capable man, and was well respected on Earth and the PLANTs. Right now he was waiting as he was expecting a visitor, but traveling in the current weather would be risky. He heard a rumble of thunder off in the distance. But then there was another sound, like thunder, but he knew that it wasn’t. It was the sound of something crashing mixed with the sounds of gunfire.

“Reverend?” a voice behind him said, “What is it?”

Malchio turned his head towards another visitor. Kisato Yamabuki, a member of the Junk Guild, had arrived earlier to await the arrival of her friend, who was the same person that Malchio was expecting. “I think there’s a battle nearby.” He whispered, “Could you please gather the children and get them to the basement? But make sure not to frighten them?”

”But what about Lowe? He’s somewhere out there.”

”I’m certain he’ll be all right.” He assured her.

Kisato then nodded and helped getting the orphans down to the basement. Malchio followed closely, making sure that no one fell behind. As he shut the basement door, he heard the sound of something clashing. And it was very close.


The Strike and Aegis clashed back and forth with their beam sabers. As they battled, they were equally matched. Parries were blocked and counterattacks were in turned countered. Athrun was now desperate, his calm now replaced by blind rage. No matter how fast or hard he struck, he couldn’t deal a deathblow. Kira evaded all of his attacks.

Kira meanwhile did all he could to defend himself. However, he knew that Athrun would never forgive him for what had happened and he was aware that he wouldn’t be allowed to retreat. This was going to be their last battle, and in the end, only one would stand and the other would fall. But he couldn’t bring himself to kill Athrun and he couldn’t lay down his weapons. How would the battle end?

“Kira!” Tolle’s voice sounded over the comlink.

Kira looked up to find Skygrasper 2 coming in from above and heading straight for the Aegis. Missiles suddenly fired from the aircraft, striking around the feet of the mobile suit. The machine stumbled slight as Skygrasper flew past and buzzed around for a second pass.

“Tolle, don’t!” Kira warned, “Stay back!”

It was already too late. The Aegis morphed into its mobile armor mode and fired the Scylla. There was no way that Tolle could dodge it. The beam burned through the aircraft. Kira saw every vivid detail. He saw Tolle’s frightened and panicked face right before the Skygrasper was vaporized.


On the bridge, Miriallia had a pair of monitors, one for each Skygrasper. The second abruptly went to static and the words “SIGNAL LOST” flashed in the corner. She gasped. She had her eyes focused on the screens, so she hadn’t seen what happened. She hoped that it was a technical glitch. After all, Tolle had promised her that he’d always be careful.


After witnessing the brutal destruction of Skygrasper 2, Kira began to scream in a fury. Drawing his second beam saber, he rushed the Aegis without thinking of personal safety. He no longer saw a former childhood friend, but rather an enemy that had to die. The Strike and Aegis brawled, tore into one another, and hacked until Kira severed the left arm of the Aegis. He then leapt and delivered a hard kick.

Athrun was tossed back. He couldn’t cope with the sudden ferocity of Kira’s attacks. But then, he felt an abrupt calm come over him. No longer blinded by sheer rage, his new clarity told him what to do. Quickly activating the beam sabers on the Aegis’ three remaining limbs, he struck and burned off both of the Strike’s arms. Switching back to the mobile armor mode, he grappled the helpless Gundam, bringing it down to the ground. He had the Scylla ready to fire and now all he had to do was pull the trigger. But when he did, nothing happened. He squeezed it a second and third time, but the weapon didn’t fire. It was only then he realized that alarms were ringing inside the cockpit. He was so focused on the fight that he hadn’t paid attention and now wasted the Aegis’ power supply. And without power, the Phase Shift, weapons, and other systems ceased functioning. He slammed his fist against the console. He was so close to finishing off Kira once and for all, but now he couldn’t do it. However, he suddenly remembered there was one other device he could use. His fingers flew across the keyboard and he flipped several switches. The small monitor read, “00:10”. He had set the Aegis’ self-destruction mechanism. He opened the hatch and fled, hoping to escape the blast radius. He then heard a loud rumble and felt blast of heat behind him as he was thrown and everything went dark.


On the Archangel, the explosion caught everyone’s eyes. The roar was the blast was audible even on the bridge. Miriallia looked back to the monitors only to find that the Strike’s had gone to static now as well. Then the red letters of “SIGNAL LOST” flashed across the screen.

“No, it can’t be.” She whispered, “It just can’t be.”

_________________
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:48 am 
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Retconned MSV Ace

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Posts: 1681
Location: Finland
Very well written, I must say, although admittedly being familiar with the scene made it easier to visualize. Still you kept my interest up very nicely. Cade and Dearka surrendering together was an interesting call, and also you made Athrun fight seriously back against the Strike, I felt, and the shorter explanation worked better than the slide-show. And you also slipped in a tie-in with ASTRAY, so points for that as well. :)

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


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 Post Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:41 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Posts: 302
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 29

Everyone on the Archangel then tried to piece together what had happened to the Strike. Following the explosion, communication with the Gundam had ceased. In addition, they had lost contact with Skygrasper 2.

“Kira, Tolle!” Miriallia cried into the comlink, hoping for an answer. “Come on, please respond!”

Natarle then stepped over to the console and pressed a switch, cutting off the channel. “There’s no point.” She told Miriallia. She then turned to Murrue. “Captain, what are the damages to the ship?”

Murrue switched channels. “Chief Murdoch?”

”The damage’s not as serious as we feared.” He replied, “We ought to be able to fly after repairs are finished on the Force Blanket.”

At that moment, sensors lit up and an alarm rang. Everyone’s eyes went to their consoles, seeing what the danger was.

“Captain, I’ve got four DINNs approaching quickly! They’ll be on us in less than fifteen minutes!”

“Captain, we must escape immeadatily!” Natarle shouted, “In our current condition, we wouldn’t stand a chance against four DINNs!”

“But what about Kira and Tolle?” Miriallia asked. “We can’t leave them.”

“Both Ensign Yamato and Crewman Koenig are now listed as MIA.” Natarle told her.

Miriallia remembered that term when Cagalli went missing. We also recalled that it also meant that they most likely dead, what if the lack of communications. “But that can’t be.”

“I’m afraid it is.” Natarle mundanely replied, “If we dwell on it, then we’ll only put ourselves in harm’s way.”

Miriallia shook her head. She couldn’t accept Tolle was MIA. There just couldn’t be any way that was true. Overcome with a flurry of emotions, she leapt out of her seat and dashed off the bridge.

Murrue looked to Tonomura. “Do we have the last known locations of the Strike and Skygrasper 2?”

“They were near an island seven o’clock to our current position.”

“We can’t possibly conduct a search now.” Natarle said.

“I know that, that’s why we’ll send a message to Orb.” Murrue told her.

Natarle was surprised. Even after the secret repairs that Orb carried out on the Archangel, she didn’t trust the nation. “We can’t rely on…”

“They’ll be asked to save lives, so I’m sure they won’t object!” Murrue interrupted, “If you have a problem with that, then put it in your report!”

Natarle shut her mouth.

In the hanger, Mu stared at the newly recaptured Buster and Panzer. Both units had taken extensive damage during the battle and had been ordered to be brought on board the ship. It really wasn’t a bad idea since at least they’d deny ZAFT the chance to use them again. He then heard the engines roaring to life and felt the ship moving. He rushed over to a communications station. “Captain, what’s going on?”

“ZAFT reinforcements are approaching, we have to retreat before they arrive!” Murrue answered.

“You mean we’re not even going to look for them?”

“Commander, I don’t like it either, but we have no other choice. Understand?”

Mu nodded. He hoped that both were still alive out there and could hold out until help arrived. Now the question was when it would, or even if. Just then, he looked back to find Miriallia standing next to the simulator that Tolle had spent so much time in. He slowly went over to her, hearing quiet whimpers. “Hey, miss…”

Miriallia turned to the older man. “Where’s Tolle?” she asked, tearing coming down her eyes.

Mu clenched his fists. It stung to see this young woman in this state. He’d seen that face on those who’d been the loved ones of soldiers killed.


Back on the island, the battered Strike lay motionless, its dull grey and burnt armor being pelted with rain. Suddenly, the hatch was jettisoned, exposing the cockpit. Kira mustered all his strength to pull himself out. Losing his balance, he tumbled out moments before a fire spread through the cockpit. He got to his feet and tried to find his bearings. He removed his ruined helmet and tossed it away. He was losing his strength quickly, and felt himself collapsing. But he didn’t hit the ground. Someone had caught him and lowered him down.

“Hey, kid, you okay?” the stranger asked.

Kira tried to look at the face of the person, but his vision was fading. “Who…are…you?” He got out before he slipped into unconsciousness.

Lowe Gear hoisted Kira’s body onto his back. He promised himself that he’d get find the kid some help. Malchio’s home wasn’t too far away, so that’d be the place. He took a last glanced at the mobile suit. “I’ll make sure your little buddy gets some help.” He told the machine, “As for you, I’ll see to it that you get repaired back at Orb.” With that, he left to take Kira to safety.


On the Cousteau, Yzak had found out that he’d been the only member of the team to safely return to the submarine and went to find out what had happened. “What do you mean that Athrun, Dearka, and Cade are MIA?”

“Exactly as it sounds.” Monroe told him. “We lost the signals for the Buster and Panzer almost at the same time. After that, we detected a massive explosion and that’s when we lost the signal for the Aegis.”

Yzak couldn’t believe it. All three had gone down? If so, that meant that he was possibly the last one alive. At the thought of being the sole survivor, he understood now what Cade had once said. But he had to make sure. “We need to head back! I’ll go look for them myself!”

”I’m sorry, but that can’t be done.” Monroe informed him, “We’ve been ordered to return to Carpentaria. Besides, we’re dangerously close to enemy territory so a search would be too risky.”

Yzak felt so frustrated, but he knew that Monroe was right. All he could do now was hope that all three weren’t dead, but that hope was fading fast.


At Orb the next morning, news of the Archangel’s request quickly spread. A search party was swiftly assembled, with Kisaka placed in charged. As the Orb aircraft slowly began to take off, Michael, Asagi, Mayura, and Juri watched from a monitor.

“I sure hope they find those guys.” Michael sighed.

The girls nodded in agreement. They all sat and watched the aircraft soar into the sky.

Cagalli sat silently as the plane rose into the air. When she heard about Kira, she had to accompany the search party. Now all she hoped was that Kira would be found. After several seeming slow passing hours, they reached the island where the Archangel said the Strike and Skygrasper were last located. The search party went straight to work, combing through the debris. Cagalli stood by Kisaka, watching the work take place. Dozens of dull grey fragments littered the beach and she recognized the head of what was once the Aegis.

“It looks like the Aegis self-destructed.” Kisaka muttered.

Cagalli suddenly felt sick to her stomach. If that was what had happened, did Athrun kill himself? At that moment, she twisted her head to see a pair of technicians looking over the remains of the Strike. She gasped when she saw the state it was in and rushed over to it. She heard Kisaka call to her, but she ignored him. Shoving her way in between the techs, she peered into the ruined cockpit. The interior was a mess of burned, twisted, and warped material. But there was one thing missing. She hoped down back to the sandy beach.

“Cagalli.” Kisaka whispered.

“It’s empty.” She muttered.

“What?”

”The cockpit’s empty. That has to mean that he could have gotten out somehow.”

“Colonel Kisaka!” a voice called out, “We’ve found someone!”

Both Cagalli and Kisaka dashed over to where a small crowd was gathering. She pushed her way through and reached the front. “Kira!” she cried, but she saw that it wasn’t him. But she quickly recognized the telltale red flightsuit and the face behind the shattered faceplate. “Athrun.”


Hours later, Athrun began to stir. He opened his eyes, only to briefly close them again when a ray of direct light shone into them. He found his arm was in a sling. He leaned up to discover that he wasn’t on the island anymore. Rather he was now inside of what appeared to be an infirmary. But who had found him?

“You’re on board an Orb aircraft.” A voice he knew said, answering his question before he asked it. “We found you on the beach and treated your wounds.”

Athrun looked to find Cagalli standing across from him, a gun in her hand. “Oh, and what would a neutral nation like Orb want to do with me?” he asked, “Or has it joined the Earth Forces?”

Cagalli was angered by the question, but retained her composure. “There’s something I need to ask you. Were you the one who destroyed the Strike?”

Athrun stiffened and waited to answer. “Yes, I was.”

“What about the pilot? Was he able to escape like you did?”

Athrun shook his head. “No, I made sure there was no way he could.” He grimly answered, “I grabbed the Strike with my Aegis and hit the self-destruct. And I killed him.”

Cagalli shook in anger, not at Athrun’s confession, but at the nonchalant attitude he had. She grabbed him by the collar and pressed her gun to his neck.

“It was the only thing I could do.” He went on, “It was the only way that I could finally defeat him.”

Cagalli couldn’t find the words to express with anger, but then she saw something she never expected. Athrun’s eyes were tearing up. “You bastard!” she shouted, shoving him down. She then slammed her fist into the wall, ignoring the stinging pain.

Athrun sat back up. “But why am I still alive?”

“Shut up!” Cagalli spun back and raised her gun again. “You may not know it, but Kira always took too many risks, didn’t always know what he was doing, and cried easily. But he was kind. He was a great guy!”

Athrun smiled. “Yeah, I know. I guess he hadn’t changed a bit at all. He was like that always.”

Cagalli was dumbfounded. “Wait, are you saying that you actually knew Kira?”

”Yeah, since we were just kids. He is, I mean, was my best friend.”

“But then why the hell did you kill him if he was suppose to be your best friend?” she demanded.

“I don’t know!” he shouted, “The last we saw each other, we were friends, but the next time, we met as enemies. I tried to convince him to join with me over and over, but it was useless.”

”But why-?”

“He was a Coordinator!” Athrun interrupted, “He was on the wrong side, fighting for the Naturals! Time and time again, he fought against us! He killed many of his fellow Coordinators! And then he killed Nicol!”

“That’s the reason you killed Kira?”

“I had no other choice but to kill him! He was my enemy!”

Cagalli grew more furious. “You idiot! How could you come with that kind of conclusion? What kind of reason is that to kill your friend?”

“He killed Nicol, that’s why! Nicol was only fifteen, he loved to play music, and he only fought to protect the PLANTs!”

“Kira fought to protect others, too!” Cagalli countered, “But that doesn’t explain why he had to die and by the hands of a friend!” Suddenly, something her father recently told her came to her mind. “Someone kills because another is killed, then gets killed because he kills! How the hell can that twisted justification bring peace? It won’t solve anything!”

Athrun couldn’t stand it anymore and began to cry openly He knew that she was right and he also realized that he had lost not one, but two close friends. Cagalli ran out of the infirmary, sobbing.

Outside, the Orb personnel hurried to load the recovered Strike. The Aegis couldn’t be salvaged due to its destruction and it was decided to simply leave the fragments were the lay.


During the night, the Archangel neared friendly territory and was at last joined by allied aircraft. It should’ve been a time of relief and joy, but that wasn’t the case. Everyone from the technicians to the bridge crew was saddened by the loss of Kira and Tolle. All anyone could do was sit around and sulk.

At dawn, the escort departed, leaving the ship alone once more. However, the crew was safe now that they were inside JOSH-A’s airspace.

“Excuse me, Captain.” Kuzzey said, “But a Radar Station 18 is trying to I.D. this ship.”

“Of course, this is our first time at Alaska.” Murrue replied, “Please send them our data and there shouldn’t be a problem.” As an afterthought she added, “We’ll go to half watch since we’re now in friendly territory.”

That was a relief for the crew since they’d all been on edge for the past couple of days.

“I’m amazed how fast those DINNs retreated once we entered Alaskan airspace.” Sai said, flexing his sore neck.

“Well, it wouldn’t have been wise for them to continue pursuit with such a small number of mobile suits.” Tonomura replied, “They’ve wouldn’t have had a chance against JOSH-A’s defense forces.”

“So JOSH-A is that powerful?” Sai asked.

“It has to be. After all, it is the general HQ of the Earth Alliance. A lot of high ranking officers from both the Atlantic and Eurasian Federations are stationed there.”

Murrue listened and was disappointed. She kept thinking to herself that if the ship had been able to put some extra distance between them and the enemy, JOSH-A’s air corps could’ve possibly come to the aid in the last battle.

“Captain,” Pal suddenly spoke up, “I’ve received a message from Orb.”

Everyone looked up in hope and anticipation. The search team must’ve found the Strike and Skygrasper 2 if they made contact this early.

“It reads, ‘We’ve conducted our search of the area and located the Strike.’”

There were whispers of excitement.

“’However, it was heavily damaged and we weren’t able to find any sign of the Skygrasper 2.’” Pal grimly read, “We were unable to find either Ensign Kira Yamato or Crewman Tolle Koenig. We found no evidence of possible survival.’ The message ends there.”

Murrue hung her head and there was a collective sigh of disappointment and grief. Whatever shred of hope was now dashed.

An hour later, Sai was off duty and he checked on Miriallia and how she was doing. He found her sitting alone in the dark of the room she and Tolle shared. “Mir?”

She looked up. “Any word on Tolle?”

Sai looked at her and hesitated. He couldn’t bear to tell her the truth right now. “I’m afraid not.” He lied, “But I’m sure there’ll be news on him soon. After all, Orb sent a team to find him and Kira.”

Miriallia smiled slightly. “I guess you’re right.” She muttered, “Tolle just has to be okay.”

Sai hated to see her in such a state. “Come on, how about we go to the mess hall?” he offered, “You shouldn’t be sitting here all by yourself.” He put a gentle hand on her shoulder.

“Okay.”

Meanwhile, Murrue sat with Natarle in her cabin to discuss their recently captured prisoners.

“We pulled these off the prisoners.” Natarle then said, handing over a pair of ID tags. “And one was carrying this photo.”

Murrue examined them. “Dearka Elsman and Cade Fenix.” She muttered. She then glanced at the photo, recognizing the one pilot, but not the others. “Have them placed in the infirmary under close observation until it’s been cleared by the medics that they can be safety placed in the cells.”

Natarle nodded, “Understood, Captain.” She saluted, though she wondered why Murrue was being so courteous towards the ZAFT pilots. She came out of the room, giving both of the ZAFT pilots a hard, cold glare before moving on. The guards then forcibly prodded Dearka and Cade to follow her.

At the same time, Sai and Miriallia met up with Mu and Neumann just in time to see the prisoners being escorted down the hall.

“Hey, watch it.” The blond male complained, “We’re injured, remember?”

“Shut up.” One of the guards retorted, jabbing him in the back with the muzzle of his rifle.

“We’ve going to remember this.” The pilot muttered.

“Those are the pilots of the Buster and the Panzer.” Neumann murmured.

Mu was shocked to see both pilots were barely over the age of Kira and the other youths. As they were brought past, he stepped forward and faced the ZAFT pilot who wore glasses. “So you two were members from the Le Creuset Team, weren’t you?”

Cade locked gazes with him. “Yeah, that’s right, jackass.” He spat, “So who are you?”

Though neither of them realized it, the two pilots had crossed path early in the war. It had been Mu who damaged Cade’s GINN at Endymion.

Dearka rolled his eyes at the display. Naturals are only tough when they have us tied up. He thought to himself. He then spotted Miriallia. “I’m amazed there are even girls on this ship.” He smirked, “But what’s with the tears? If anybody ought to be crying, we should be us.” He then was led away along with Cade.

Sai clenched his fists and looked ready to take a swing.

Mu put a restraining hand on his shoulder. “No, Sai, violence against POWs is prohibited.”

“But that loudmouth-”

“I know, but that’s no excuse.” Mu replied, “They’ll be dealt with when we finally reach Alaska.”

That was true enough, but Natarle would’ve preferred it if they didn’t have to worry about their prisoners. Part of her deeply wished that they hadn’t of surrendered, that way they could’ve finished them off back on the island. Then there’d be two less ZAFT soldiers to worry about.

Miriallia leered bitterly at the pair of ZAFT pilots. Why was it that Kira and Tolle were missing, maybe dead, but these guys were safe?


Elsewhere, many miles away, the Orb aircraft came to a stop and now waited. The reason was that they claimed they couldn’t allow a ZAFT soldier into Orb territory. But they did secretly worry that if they did and he found out about the recent aid they gave the Archangel and its crew, it would spell trouble for the nation. They had sent out a message to all nearby ZAFT vessels about Athrun and once a reply had come, they waited for a vehicle to arrive and pick him up. The wait was too long and a VTOL craft arrived and landed next to the Orb craft. Cagalli took it upon herself to inform Athrun and went to the infirmary.

“A ZAFT vessel is here to take you back.” she said, not looking his way. “You can go whenever you’re ready.”

Athrun got to his feet. “Thank you.” He then walked past, but was stopped.

“Wait a minute.” She took a necklace from her neck and placed it on Athrun. “It’s a Haumea pendant. It’ll protect you from the dangerous life you’ve chosen.”

Athrun couldn’t understand why she was doing this. “But I killed Kira.”

She turned away from him. “It’s just…I don’t want to see anyone else die, that’s all.” She then left.

Athrun then headed out and reached the tiny boat that would be used to ferry him the short distance to the ZAFT VTOL craft. As he was carried over, he saw the familiar face of Yzak waiting for him.

“Well, look you decided to show up.” Yzak said as Athrun stepped on board.

“I destroyed the Strike just as I promised.” Athrun replied, irritated at Yzak’s complaining and retorts.

Yzak had to smile. While he was envious that Athrun completed what he swore by the scar on his face, he was proud of his comrade’s accomplishment.

“So where’s Dearka and Cade?” Athrun then asked, “Did they choose not to be here?”

Yzak frowned. “We…we don’t know where they are.” He explained, “We lost the signals for the Buster and Panzer during the last battle and there have been no S.O.S. or other distress signals from them.” He paused. “A team of DINNs searched the area, but they didn’t find either mobile suit. We fear they’re dead.”

Athrun said nothing and sat. The ZAFT vehicle soon took off to return to Carpentaria.


In outer space, inside Aprilius One, Lacus played with her numerous Haros. The tiny robots hopped all around her, chattering away as they went. Then her pink Haro decided to bound away and towards the glass covered gazebo.

“Pink, come back here!” Lacus called, giving chase.

Pink didn’t listen and continued on. Once inside, it leapt onto the bed placed inside and rolled about. Lacus stepped inside and scooped the tiny robot in her hands. The person in bed began to wake up. He slowly opened his eyes.

She giggled and smiled. “Good morning, sleepy head.”

Kira couldn’t believe who he was seeing and wondered if it was a dream. “Lacus?”

_________________
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.


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 Post Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:55 pm 
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Mysterious Masked Dude
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 7:45 pm
Posts: 554
Well, here's another chapter for your (possible) enjoyment.

New Phase 30

The Archangel cruised towards land, surrounded by several Eurasian battleships. At long last, the ship had reached JOSH-A. It slowed its speed as it traveled straight through a waterfall that concealed the entrance. Soon, it would be docked.

Elsewhere in the base, a group of high ranking officials watched, some very displeased with seeing the ship. “So they made it after all in spite of everything that got in their way.” Captain William Sutherland muttered.

“They must’ve been protected by the spirit of the late Admiral Halberton.” Someone jokingly remarked.

“No, it was this young Coordinator, Kira Yamato, who protected it.” A second officer said with a hint of detest in his tone

“We can take the Strike’s loss as fortunate for us.” A third officer weighed his opinion, “If word got out to the general masses that a Coordinator piloted a machine of our making, it’d only show further our limitations.”

“However, you must admit that it did accomplish something of great value, killing Andrew Waltfeld. Without his leadership, it’ll be much easier for us to retake Victoria once the time comes.”

Sutherland raised his hand, silencing his peers. “Regardless of that young Coordinator, the GAT series is something that we must be using front and center.” He continued, “The GAT-01 production lines at Panama are running at full capacity and the GAT-01BD project at Heaven’s Base is near completion. And of course, the new special models are close to being ready for deployment.”

On each of the tiny screens in front of them were the specs of the newest models of the GAT series, the GAT-X131 Calamity, the GAT-X252 Forbidden, the GAT-X370 Raider, and the GAT-X626 Scorpio.

“With these new technologies, we will be the ones who’ll benefit the most.”

“What about Azarel?”

A new figure sat up in his seat. Simon Parallax, a close associate of Sutherland, cleared his throat. He was a man with porcelain white skin, neon-green eyes and a voice so deadly it would strike fear into even the most resilient of souls. His rank badge made it perfectly clear that he was a Lieutenant Commander. “I’ve kept him informed of the most important details that our informant has provided.” He said, “Azarel has given us his personal authorization to make the final preparations for the plans for this base.”

There were some murmurs before Sutherland raised his hand once more. “Gentlemen, we must always remember everything we do is for the preservation of our blue and pure world.” As well as being a high ranking officer with vast influence, he was a member of the radical group, Blue Cosmos, as was every officer in the room.

Down in the hanger where the Archangel had docked, everyone waited for their new orders. Murrue was anxious seeing how that she would be dealing with Captain Sutherland. He differed from the late Lewis Halberton in that he was one of the “paper-pushers” that the late Admiral thought only cared about various military bureaucrats pushing money into useless projects and the only battlefield experience they had was making casualty lists. She was nervous when she thought about when the time would come when she would meet with him.

Natarle on the other hand, was more than eager to meet with Sutherland. She always thought of him as the model of an officer, loyal to the cause they fought for, and followed military protocol no matter what. She was also more than ready to present her report to him and the other commanding officers that stated her grievances with the manner that Murrue captained the ship.

The crew on the bridge waited for a response from command, when the face of a young officer finally came onto the screen. “Welcome to JOSH-A. I have a prepared message from Captain William Sutherland. It reads, ‘We commend you on surviving the long trek here and the many battles you’ve fought. At this time, we must also have you report on your activities so all crew members on your ship are on standby until further orders.’”

“Standby?” Murrue asked.

“That is correct.” The officer replied, “With all the rumors of an impending attack on Porta Panama, things are somewhat hectic around here. So for the time being, sit back and relax.” With that, the screen switched off.

Murrue and Natarle exchanged baffled looks. Both had expected to begin debriefing right away, but now they weren’t sure. What was command thinking?


At ZAFT’s Carpentaria Base, the last wave of preparations for Operation Spit Break were underway. Technicians and mechanics worked on the many mobile suits that were going to be used so they were in top condition for battle. Base personal keep close watch on the Earth Forces’ movements and made observations on every possible contingence, including weather.

Yzak slowly past a line of GINNs and glanced up at the machines. Normally, he’d be eager for an operation such as this, but several thoughts had him preoccupied. He couldn’t stop thinking about Nicol, Dearka, and Cade. He never thought that he’d lose three comrades right before the decisive battle that many predicted would at last bring the war to an end. He glanced up again at a line of DINNs, finding a mechanic peering into the cockpit of one, as though he was speaking to someone inside. Yzak was able to overhear the conversation.

“So what do you think of the controls?” the mechanic asked.

“It’s different from the GCUE D.E.E.P. Arms.” The pilot answered, “However, I can learn fast.”

Yzak stopped short. He thought he recognized the pilot’s voice and climbed up to the DINN and approached. Stepping next to the mechanic, he looked inside. He saw a familiar face. The girl was his age, wore the red uniform of the ZAFT elite, and had long dark brown hair and icy blue eyes. “Shiho?”

The girl, Shiho Hahnenfluss, looked up in surprise. “Oh, hello, Yzak.” She said, her eyes darting in his direction before the quickly looked away. The last time she had seen him was when she was researching the beam weapon systems on the new CGUE Deep Arms because there had been many problems and with help from Yzak she was finally able to complete the mobile suit. She was even given the nickname of the "Housenka" (Balsam) by Yzak due of her combat skills. He had told her that it was because the beams would shoot out in all directions, thereby resembling a blossoming flower, and she now wore the balsam as her personal mark. She had deep respect for him, as well as other feelings.

“I see you two know each other.” The mechanic said, “I’ll leave you two alone.” He then walked away to work on whatever needed his attention next.

Shiho shifted to exit the DINN’s cockpit, when Yzak offered her a hand. She almost blushed, but hid it as she took his hand and allowed him to help her out.

“I never expected to see you here on Earth, Shiho.” Yzak said, “What brings you here?”

“Well actually, I’ve been transferred to the Le Creuset Team.” She answered, “I arrived here just last night.” She hesitated to continue. “Yzak, I heard about your teammates. I’m sorry.”

Yzak lowered his head. “Thanks, Shiho.” After everything that had recently happened, it was good to have another friend around.


In the infirmary, Athrun lay in bed and stared out the window. Rather than all the activity taking place outside, his gaze was fixed on the sunset. His thoughts were plagued by everything he had gone through over the past several days. Nicol’s death, his last battle with Kira, and his argument with Cagalli were all he could think about, not matter how hard he tried not to. This war had taken a personal toll on him. He had lost his mother, comrades, and the person who had been his best friend. Why did all this have to happen? Then, the buzz of an intercom broke the silence.

“Le Cresuet here.” The voice said, “I’m coming in.

Athrun tried to sit up as he watched Le Cresuet enter the room.

“You needn’t get up.” The masked man said, raising his hand.

Athrun leaned back and sighed. “I’m sorry for everything, sir.” Under his leadership, he lost three comrades and felt himself as unfit to command.

“Nonsense.” Le Cresuet said, “I read your report and you did splendidly.”

“Hardly.”

“Athrun, I should be the one to apologize. I wasn’t able to help you sooner. The sacrifices made were significant, but it can’t be helped. It only goes to show how truly strong the enemy…your friend really was.” He paused. “I know that it’s been a difficult string of battles and many comrades have fallen. Miguel, Nicol, Dearka, Cade, they and many others have lost their lives in this conflict. Your skills, to have been able to defeat him, are highly valued in the homeland. It has been decided that you will receive the Order of the Nebula for your efforts.”

Athrun was surprised. The Order of the Nebula was a high honor given to those soldiers for their valient actions in battle. He never expected to be such a decoration.

“In addition,” the Commander continued, “this is sad news for me, I have received word that as of today you are being transferred to the special forces and will be reporting directly to the National Defense Committee.”

“A transfer?” Athrun felt that this was way over his head. “But, Commander…”

“You are now a top gun, Athrun.” Le Cresuet praised, “You will be the pilot of our latest machine. Futhermore, you are to return to the homeland to receive the machine.”

”Yes, but…”

”I presume you’ve heard the news that your father has been appointed as PLANT’s Supreme Council Chairman?”

“Yes, I have.” Athrun wondered if it was due to his actions, as the Commander said, or rather his father’s influence that made his decoration, transfer, and new orders a reality.

“Chairman Zala has been pressing for a quick end to this war.” Le Creuset put a hand on Athrun’s shoulder. “I myself would like nothing more than to see this entire conflict cease. For that very reason, I want you to do all you can to achieve that goal.”


In outer space, at the Cylne Estate in Aprilius One, Kira looked up, not believing what he was seeing. There was the lovely face of Lacus Clyne staring back at him. “Lacus, where am I?” he asked.

“My home.” She answered, “I must say that I’m surprised that you remember my name. It’s such a long time since we saw one another.”

“I take it the boy has awaken?” a voice asked.

“Yes, Reverend Malchio.” Lacus said.

Malchio smiled. “You must be surprised, waking up here, Mr. Yamato. Miss Lacus did strongly insist that your bed be brought outside.”

“It’s because it feels better out here than being cooped up inside, don’t you think so, Kira?”

Kira was so confused. The last thing he remembered was that he was on an island and someone found him before everything blacked out. Now he was at Lacus’ home. How was that possible? “How’d I get here?”

“You owe your life to a young man named Lowe Gear.” Malchio said, “He found you while he was on the way to the orphanage I oversee. You were injured and needed help. I remember Miss Lacus telling me something about you, so I decided to bring you here with me.”

As he listened, Kira’s mind went back to the battle. Memories flooded back and he recalled every horrible detail. He was like an animal when he fought against Athrun. The only thing that had been on his mind was to see his friend dead. Then he remembered the Aegis grappling the Strike and the explosion that had followed. That only could’ve been done by a kamikaze attack. That probably meant that Athrun had done the unthinkable in which he took his own life in an attempt to kill him. But somehow, he was still alive? Why, why was it that things turned out that way? He started to breath sporadically.

“Kira?” Lacus asked, concerned.

He started to sob and she placed a soft hand on his.

“I fought against Athrun.” He said, “There shouldn’t have been a way for me to escape death.”

Lacus leaned over and put her arm around him, comforting him.

“I suppose there wasn’t anything that could’ve been done.” He continued, “Not after I had killed his friend. And then Athrun killed my friend. After that…”

“You wanted to kill him, right?” Lacus said, “And he wanted to do the same to you.” She paused, “But you’re right, nothing could be helped. That’s the way war is and you both fought against another who was your enemy.”

Kira knew that she was right. It pained him to think about all that had happened ever since he began fighting. The people he had met, those whose lives he took, and every last battle he fought in weighted heavily on him. Did it have to by that way?


Elsewhere, at the PLANT Supreme Council conferred in quick a session. This would be the last that Siegel Clyne would sit in on, so he had to do all he could to press the proposed peace treaty. If he was able to, there would be no more bloodshed and Patrick’s Operation Spit Break would not have to take place. However, he doubted he could get it passed without arguing with the Radicals.

“The Olbani compromise plan?” Orson White sneered, “What is the point of bringing something like this to the table now?”

“Right, Operation Spit Break has already been approved.” Louise Leitner added.

“I’m not saying that we accept this as is.” Siegel said, “But I am concerned that if we go ahead in battle, there will be massive causalities on both sides.” He took a quick glimpse at Yuri Amalfi. At another time, he would’ve likely had his support, but after the death of his son, Nicol, Yuri now backed Patrick’s policies fully. “We have the chance to avoid that, so shouldn’t we make the attempt?”

Ezalia Joule leered at the papers in her hand. “Your point is slightly valid, but you cannot expect us to agree to these outlandish conditions. It’s as though they believe that they’ve won the war.”

“The Naturals know they shall lose after Operation Spit Break.” Yuri then said, “They’re trying to save face by pushing this proposal.”

“But if we reject this outright,” Eileen Canaver interjected, “it may be impossible to attain peace.”

“The Olbani plan doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinions of all their member states, now does it?” Ezalia coldly countered. “Your arguments to open discussions aren’t persuasive enough.”

“Then are you suggesting that we forgo any attempt to negotiate and rely on our weapons to do the talking?” Siegel boldly challenged.

“That’ll do, Former Chairman Clyne.” Patrick broke in, “Your last few comments were out of line. We are proceeding with the general consensus, and I suggest you refrain from making remarks based solely on personal feelings.”

“My apologizes.” Siegel politely said.

“While your opinions on this matter are greatly respected,” Patrick went on, “it is up to the rest of us, the present Supreme Council, to consider and decide.” He paused, “In the meantime, please give my regards to Reverend Malchio and tell him that I thank him for personally traveling here as a special envoy.”

“I shall tell.” Siegel replied. “I hope that the Supreme Council will choose the right path, with an eye towards the future.”

“That we shall.” Patrick said.

As he left, Siegel gave one last look at Eileen Canaver and Tad Elsman. If things were going the way he feared, he was certain that they too would soon be ousted from their places on the Council, replaced by more Radicals. With Patrick Zala now at the helm, Siegel feared for the future. There had to be something he could do.


Back on Earth, Le Creuset sat in the briefing room of the Vosgulov-class submarine, Cousteau, facing a group of pilots. Behind him was a map of Alaska. While the widespread rumor of Operation Spit Break’s target was Porta Panama, the real siege would be against JOSH-A.

He pointed to a section on the map. “JOSH-A is supposedly designed to withstand anything up to and including a nuclear attack. However, even it were possible, we would not use nuclear weapons.” The mindset of many Coordinators was that is was beneath them to use nuclear weapons, something they saw as barbaric. “It will not be easy, but our single chance for a successful attack is to concentrate on an interior section called Grand Poro. It’s not the kind of place we can take without preparations. We must gather all available information of the base’s activities at all times. However, since this reconnaissance is a special assignment, you’ll are be bound to strict confidentiality.” He paused for a moment. “There is no telling what could happen if even a single piece of critical information was leaked.”


At JOSH-A, the Archangel remained docked and the crew was still on board. It had been several days since they had arrived, yet they had not been given any new orders. On the bridge, Murrue was growing more anxious, wondering what was going on. She opened a channel and hoped someone would answer.

“Joint Operations Room here.” The officer answered.

“This is the Archangel of the 8th Fleet calling.” Murrue said, “I have some questions about the orders given to our ship.”

“All orders concerning your ship come from Captain Sutherland.” The officer replied.

“Then may I please speak with him?”

The officer shook his head. “I’m sorry, but Captain Sutherland is presently at a meeting, so I cannot put you through to him.”

Murrue frowned. Every time she had requested to speak with Sutherland, it was one excuse after another. “As I said earlier, we have prisoners on board this ship, a pair of ZAFT pilots. That’s only one of the things we’re still waiting for orders about.”

“As before, the order remains the same, “’ All crew members on your ship are on standby until further orders.’ That’s all I can say at this time.” The screen flashed off.

Murrue sighed in frustration.


In the mess hall Sai sat and slowly eat his meal. He had managed to get Miriallia to come out of her room, but she hadn’t touched her food. Her depression only continued, not surprisingly. She only sat still, not saying anything.

“Mir?” Sai said, “You really should try to eat. Have you been able to sleep?” But he already knew the answer.

Then a group of mechanics entered the commissary. They were in the middle of their own conversation.

“It’s odd that we’ve been docked for five days now, but they won’t let us disembark.” One of them said.

“I know.” Another added, “They tell to just keep busy, but our only working machine is that one Skygrapser we still have.”

The mention of the word “Skygrapser” visibly shook Miriallia, sending her on the verge of sobbing. Sai saw it and quietly but quickly took his and her trays away. She then slowly led her out. It hurt to see her like this, but it was understandable. Tolle had been the first and only boy she ever loved. He also knew what it was like to lose someone he cared about. She could feel her shuddering as they walked.

“Sai?” a voice said.

He turned to see Flay standing behind them. She looked like she had been wandering aimlessly for some time.

“What is it?”

”It’s just that, uh… Well, um…”

“Look if it isn’t important, then forget it.” He went on walking Miriallia towards the sick bay.

“Sai, wait a minute!” Flay called, “Where’s Kira and Tolle?”

Miriallia froze and Sai turned angrily to Flay. “Hold on a minute!” he growled. He then stepped inside the sick bay with Miriallia. “Just wait here and we’ll get you some medicine from the doctor. Something to help you sleep, all right?” He then stepped back out, the door shutting behind him.

Miriallia then sat down on a stool to wait.

“Hey, doc!” a voice called.

Miriallia turned and came nearly face to face with one of the ZAFT pilots that had been captured! She gasped and bolted out of her seat.

“What brings you here?” another voice asked, “You don’t sick.”

She turned again and saw that the other pilot was there too. She slowly backed away from them.

Outside, Sai returned to where Flay waited to see what she need to talk him about.

“What is it?” he asked.

Flay looked like she didn’t know where to begin. “Well, I…” She trialed off.

Sai frowned. “Look, Kira and Tolle are MIA and no one knows what really happened to them.” He said, “Everyone here is really upset right now, and that includes me. The truth is that I’m in no mood to comfort you if that’s what you want. I’m sorry, but go look for another shoulder to cry on.

“But Sai,” Flay said, “the truth is…I still have feelings for you.”

“Just stop it, Flay.”

”But it’s true!” she insisted, “All along, Kira was never the one I really wanted!”

“Shut up!” he snapped at her, startling Flay. “You did have feelings for Kira! You might’ve felt differently at the beginning, but he was a good person! That was just how he was.”

Flay tried to insist otherwise, but her words fell on deaf ears.

Back in the sick bay, Miriallia stood away from the ZAFT pilots. Her fear of them was obvious from her expression.

“Are you sacred of us?” Cade asked, “Why? It’s not like we’re bloody lepers or something.” He turned to face away from her and shut his eyes. All he wanted to do now was take a nap. Being stuck alone with Dearka made him feel worn out.

“We couldn’t be any more tied up, so relax.” Dearka said, “It’s amazing that someone like you is aboard this ship.” He went on, “You’re too emotional to be a soldier, what with the way you carry on. You’ve been crying every time I’ve seen you.” He smirked, “What happened, did your boyfriend go off and die or something?”

A shadow loomed over him, and he looked up to see a sharp object coming down at his throat. Dearka sat up in time to dodge the knife in Miriallia’s hand as she stabbed at him. “What the hell’s the matter with you?” The murderous glint in her eyes frightened him.

Cade sat up just as Miriallia lunged a second time. “Dearka!” he shouted, “Hey, someone help! Hey!”

Both crashed to the floor, with Dearka bleeding from the forehead. Cade kept shouting for he couldn’t do anything else. It was then the door opened and Sai rushed in, while Flay stayed at the doorway.

“Miriallia!” Sai cried as he pulled her back and restrained her.

“Let me go!” she screamed, trying to fight out of his grip.

“Psycho bitch here just went after him!” Cade exclaimed.

“Shut up!” Sai yelled at him before turning his attention to Miriallia. “Calm down, Mir!”

Miriallia still shrugged. “It’s not fair!” she screamed, “These guys should be the ones dead, not Tolle and Kira!” At that moment she completely broke down, dropped the knife and cried. “W-why is Tolle dead?” She fell to her knees, sobbing uncontrollably and Dearka just got back to a sitting position. Watching Miriallia, he realized that she did lose her boyfriend and he unknowingly taunted her about it. “Why is Tolle dead?”

“I don’t know.” Sai said, trying to comfort her.

Flay was speechless. Kira was dead? She looked angrily at two enemy Coordinators that had been left unattended. To her, these “freaks” had done nothing but cause pain and heartache. Watching Miriallia sob, she remembered seeing the ship her father was on brutally destroyed and the sight of Kira crushed by the death of the child who gave him the origami flower. Kira told her that the shuttle was destroyed by the Duel. She then thought to the times when Kira was with her, watched over her, and took care of her. Now he was gone, and she’d never see him again, and it was the Coordinators’ fault. She happened to glance over to see a gun that had been left inside a slightly opened drawer. Her eyes narrowed as a wicked thought entered her mind. She was going to take care of the two enemies in front of her herself.

The sound of the gun cocking got everyone’s attention. Sai and Miriallia and Dearka and Cade looked up to see Flay with the gun in hand, aiming at Dearka’s chest.

“Flay?” Sai cautiously said. He had never seen her look so angry and malicious before.

“None of you Coordinators,” Flay growled, “deserve to live!” Her finger began to squeeze the trigger. There wouldn’t be enough time for Dearka to try to dodge.

“No!” Miriallia suddenly cried out, breaking out of Sai’s hold. She dashed forward, tackling Flay and knocking the gun upward as the shot fired. The bullet shot out a light, sending a shower of glass fragments down.

Everything had gone by in an instant that no one really could grasp the last few moments. Sai stood by silent as his ears rang for the sound of the gunshot, hardly believing what had just happened. Flay laid motionless on the floor, a bewildered expression on her face as Miriallia held her down and sobbed. Dearka and Cade didn’t know what to make of it all as well. First the one girl wanted to kill Dearka, but then ended up saving him. Everything seemed so…confusing.


Back on the bridge, the finally was word from Sutherland regarding the orders for Murrue and the rest of the crew. She and Natarle looked up at the Captain’s face on the screen and saluted.

“Beginning tomorrow, we will hold an inquiry into the service record of the Archangel of the 8th Fleet up to this time.” Sutherland said, “Lieutenant Commander Ramius, Lieutenant Commander La Flaga, and Lieutenant Junior Grade Badgiruel are to arrive here tomorrow at 0700.” With that, the screen flashed off.

Natarle looked over to Murrue. It appeared that Sutherland had gone through the report she provided on the Archangel’s Captain’s decisions. While she was looking forward to the inquiry, Murrue thought differently. She was gravely nervous about the approaching time of the inquiry. She had a feeling that it wasn’t going to be friendly.

_________________
"That's the problem with plutonium, Craven; it's limited in its application. It's not user-friendly. But as a vehicle for regaining one's self-respect; oh, it's got a lot going for it!"
- Darius Jedburgh, Edge of Darkness, Episode 6, Fusion


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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2007 3:23 am 
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Retconned MSV Ace

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Posts: 1681
Location: Finland
Works well, I think. Slight hints of the new players (and new Gundams no less) dropped while the general plotline is presented quite true to the original. I can pretty much keep the actual episode in my mind as I read this. Linking other people in (i.e. Shiho) alongside places (i.e. Heaven's Base) is also good because it makes this seem like it is really connected into the CE timeline as we know it from the anime.

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


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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:33 am 
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Newtype Emo Guy

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Posts: 302
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
Sorry for the wait, patient readers, but the newest chapter is here at last.

New Phase 31

In the sick bay, everyone tried to grasp what had just occurred moments ago. Flay had gotten hold of a gun and was nearly successful in killing Dearka, but was stopped Miriallia. The strange thing was that she herself had attempted the same thing. Sai slowly picked up the gun and it aside.

Flay sat up and glared at Miriallia. “Why’d you stop me?” she demanded, “You tired to do the same.”

But Miriallia said nothing.

“These guys killed Tolle!” Flay exclaimed, pointing an accusing finger at Dearka and Cade, “Don’t you hate them?”

“No.” Miriallia whispered, shaking her head.

”Oh, don’t give me that! You and I are exactly the same now!”

“Stop it, Flay.” Sai told her.

“No, I’m nothing like you.” Miriallia denied, “We’re not the same at all.”

The door then opened followed by the sound of footsteps entering. Pal and Chandra had heard the gunshot and rushed in to investigate.

“What’s going on in here?” Pal asked, “Explain yourselves.”

Everyone was somewhat reluctant to answer and didn’t speak up right away.


Later, word of the incident had reached Murrue and Natarle. The captain was upset that something like it had ever occurred, but now she was getting an earful from Natarle.

“It was a mistake leaving them alone in sick bay for so long.” Natarle rambled, “Firearms management is lax as well. We have no choice but to report this incident.”

Murrue grimaced. She thought she’d somehow get blamed for this, but in her mind it wouldn’t have happened had the prisoners been taken off the ship, as she had requested. “All right,” she grimly replied, “Add it to your report.”

“Captain.” Natarle said, “understand that I’m not personally criticizing you. I’m only making the point that it’s vital to maintain some form of order, and whether or not we’re appointed to field operations on placed in emergency situations.”

It sounded like a personal jab to Murrue, since an ‘emergency situation’ was exactly how she became captain in the first place. She hadn’t asked for the position, but she did all that she felt was the right choice, even if it did bend some military regulations. “I wish I could say that I understand.”

”It’s simply a matter of military regulations being complied by soldiers who follow the orders of their superiors and commanders who can see the larger picture and make appropriate decisions.” She paused, “Otherwise the ship cannot be victorious or hope to survive battle.”

“Yes, some of us know that, but still can’t do it.” Murrue said, “I am fully aware that I’m not suited for this position.”

“Captain, I only meant that…” Natarle began to object, but Murrue raised her hand.

“It’s all right; I already know the truth, Natarle.” Murrue assured, “A lot has come between us, but I am truly grateful for all your help. I have no doubt in my mind that you’ll make a superb captain someday.” She then walked away slowly.

Natarle sighed. Murrue’s unwillingness to put up an argument and just take things upset her. “Your problem is that you’re too soft.” She whispered before leaving another way.


In the brig, Dearka laid in the bed within his cell, with Cade in one directly across from him. The now bandaged wound on his forehead still slightly throbbed, but it hurt him worse as he thought about all that happened earlier. All his taunting pushed that girl over the edge.

“Well, you certainly have a way with women, Dearka.” Cade commented. “Almost getting killed by two in the span of five minutes is certainly a feat.”

“Oh, how was I supposed to know?” Dearka grimaced.

“What about?”

“That girl’s boyfriend; I had no idea he was killed.”

Cade wasn’t too sure what to say. He just sat back and sighed. “Look you didn’t know and I think that she fully aware that you weren’t purposely trying to upset her.”

Dearka thought about, and hoped Cade was right. Now he only hoped he’d get the chance to apologize. “Anyway, since we have time on our hands, I did want to ask you something.” he said.

“About what?”

”What exactly is this ‘Straight Edge’ thing that you follow?”

Cade was surprised by the question. Early on, Dearka had mocked him for it, but he truly seemed interested in actually learning about. “Well, it’s basically this.” He began.

Meanwhile, Miriallia sat alone in her room. She was upset at herself for the way she behaved and had never before tried to kill anyone. It made her feel sick that she was capable of doing something like that.


The next morning, the officers of the Archangel had gathered in JOSH-A’s briefing room and awaited for the arrival of Captain Sutherland. A group of other personnel were with them as well, as they would be witnesses to the proceedings. The door slid open and the Captain stepped in along with a trio of his closest associates. Everyone stood at attention and saluted. As the line of officers walked past, one wearing a Lieutenant Commander’s rank badge, with a short military style haircut and neon green eyes glanced over to the Archangel’s crew. Mu caught a glimpse of those eyes and felt a shiver run up his spine. For an unknown reason, there was something familiar about this officer, though he didn’t know what it was. Sutherland and his fellow officers took their places in front and then returned the salute.

“I am Captain William Sutherland of the general staff.” He self introduced. “I’ve been put in charge of all instructions and deliberations related to the Archangel of the 8th Fleet.” He indicated to the officer on his left. “This is Commander Raphael Tucker.” He then motioned to the officers to his right. “This is Commander Victor Sherman and Lieutenant Commander Simon Parallax. Everyone be seated.”

Everyone took their seats and Sutherland browsed through a number of files in front of him. “We’ve already retrieved the log data from the Nav-com and it is being analyzed as we speak.” He tented his fingers and leaned forward. “I must say, Captain Murrue Ramius, that your combat record is impressive.” He paused briefly. “Now I wish to have you report on the details up to this point in time and listen to your testimony. I also must mention the this inquiry if being held according to the regulations pertaining to a court martial, and as such anything said here today will be recorded as an official statement. I trust that you all will refrain from untrue comments.” He stopped to allow it to sink in before continuing. He then manned a switch which darkened the room and illuminated the large screen behind him. “We shall begin first and foremost with the situation surrounding ZAFT’s surprise attack on Heliopolis. Let us first hear from then Lieutenant Murrue Ramius.”

Murrue stood and was ready to give her testimony.


Elsewhere, in the PLANT Aprilius One, Lacus wheeled a cart with tea and cookies placed on it towards the gazebo. Pink followed her, bounding around and chirping as they went. When she arrived, she was surprised that Kira wasn’t in bed where she had left him. She looked around to see if she could find where he had gone to.

Kira stood at a railing and stared out at the water that was the artificial sea. While it was indeed beautiful, it somehow couldn’t compare with the splendor of Earth’s oceans. His memories flashed to when the Archangel first made it to the Red Sea. He and all his friends marveled at the sight of the ocean. He suddenly thought of Tolle. Ever since he first met him, Tolle always gave moral support to him and everyone else. His laid back attitude had overshadowed his seriousness much of the time. He thought of what happened recently when his friend had been killed. He hadn’t been able to prevent his death.

“Why are standing here all alone?”

Kira looked back to see Lacus coming up behind him. He didn’t answer her and looked back to the crystal blue water. Lacus joined him and looked at the sulking expression on his face.

“Kira, you look so sad.”

“It’s because I am sad.” He quietly replied. “In this war, so many people have lost their lives and I have killed many people.”

Lacus lightly ran her fingers through his hair. “You had no choice, since you were in battle, and you fought as hard as you could.” She said softly, “You were doing so because there many thing precious to you and you were protecting them. I’ve positive of that.”

Kira looked to her and her sweet smile. He already was starting to feel somewhat better. Lacus always seemed so uplifting and he enjoyed being with her.

“Let’s have something to eat, shall we?” she abruptly said. She tugged Kira along. “And besides, it is still important for you to have your rest.”

Kira didn’t argue with her.

“You needn’t worry.” She then said, “This is still a peaceful place.”

Kira couldn’t be too sure, but he thought that he detected a hint of relief in her voice. Was she worried about what course the war would take and how it’d affect her home?


Back on Earth, in a tiny Alaskan town along the coast, a figure walked through the sparsely crowded marketplace. His face was hidden behind a hood and dark sunglasses. While he had no interest in buying anything, he still came to the marketplace for a reason. As he made his way through, he at last spotted what he was looking for. The man motioned to him and he followed him to a less crowded area, away from the prying eyes and ears of bystanders.

The man reached in his pocket and pulled out a small disk. “This is the latest data on base activities. Everything is going accordingly.” He handed the object over. “Also, Parallax sends his regards.”

Rau smiled as he held the disk and looked at it. “Tell him that I appreciate this.”

The Alliance officer nodded and the two went their separate ways. Rau placed the disk in his own pocket and smiled. The information it contained was indeed vital, however he had no plans to share it with his fellow ZAFT soldiers.


At JOSH-A, Murrue had finished her testimony regarding what had occurred at Heliopolis the day of the ZAFT surprise attack and how she and Kira had boarded the Strike. She then went on about how he had been able to modify and in fact rewrite the Strike’s OS almost instantly with little effort.

“So at the time you had a speculation that Kira Yamato was in fact a Coordinator?” Sutherland then asked.

“Yes, sir.” Murrue answered.

“Tell me, what was your impression when you witnessed his abilities?”

“I thought that it was miraculous.”

At that answer, Sutherland gave a disturbing smile. Mu didn’t like the looks of it.

Simon Parallax then leaned forward as well. “It says here,” he said, reading a file, “that following the destruction of the GINN, you lost consciousness due to your injuries and for a time the Coordinator and the other civilian students saw to your safety, yet later detained them.”

“Yes.”

“That was the proper course of action under such circumstances.” Sutherland said, “We know that there was a need to regroup and assess the situation happening around you. However, before you could make contact with allied forces, a ZAFT mobile suit engaged by Mu La Flaga had slipped away and into the colony interior, that much can be summed as bad luck. But at the time, the Strike was put in the hands of ignorant civilian child who happened to be a Coordinator.” He narrowed his eyes. “You had failed to maintain control of the situation, isn’t that right?”

Mu stood up in Murrue’s defense. “But sir, during that-”

“Right now we’re only confirming the facts, Commander La Flaga.” Sutherland interrupted. “Please refrain from any further outbursts.” He got back to the subject at hand. “Unknowing of its destructive power, Kira Yamato fired the 320-millimeter hyper impulse Agni cannon. Though he succeeded in driving away the ZAFT mobile suit, he ended up causing tremendous damage to the colony’s structure. Moreover, this display of firepower alarmed the enemy forces and instigated them to attack once again.”

“With all due respect, sir, that all is simply conjecture.” Mu argued.

“Perhaps, but your experience as a commander on the battlefield should help you understand. If you were the leader of an assault force and were given a demonstration of an enemy’s new weapon and its strength, would you choice to ignore it?”

“No.” Mu conceded. He didn’t like where this way heading. It was like Sutherland and the others were twisting the facts and ignoring other details.

“Are you implying that fighting back was the wrong decision?” Murrue straightly asked.

“No, of course not.” Parallax answered, “It’s only unfortunate that you came across that Coordinator in the first place.” His answer stunned the Archangel’s crew, but it didn’t end there. “After reviewing the report provided to us, we agree with Lieutenant Natarle Badgiruel’s assessment that the destruction of Heliopolis was ultimately the fault of Kira Yamato.”

Murrue shot a brief glance back at her XO. How could Natarle put such things in her report when she had been aware of the full facts? “But, that’s nonsense!” she exclaimed, “If he hadn’t been there, we wouldn’t have survived!”

“Now that is speculation.” Sutherland countered. “It’s meaningless to ask yourselves ‘what if’ questions after the fact, but let’s imagine that he was a perfectly normal Natural child, incapable of reprogramming an OS. Or if he hadn’t been on board the Strike at the time of the enemy attack. Clearly, the results would’ve turned out differently.” He narrowed his eyes again. “However, he was there and it was your decision to allow him access to the Strike, am I right, Commander Ramius?”

Murrue clenched her fists together so hard that they began to ache. “So all of this was an error of judgment on my part?”

“Not entirely.” Parallax said, shaking his head. “But the facts were in front of you, Commander.”

Murrue and the others couldn’t understand why an officer of such rank was allowed to bring up his opinions so freely

“Remember that the Coordinators are our enemies in this war and their existence is the reason for the world being plunged into chaos.” Sutherland added, “Following the Heliopolis incident, the Archangel and Strike were involved in the near destruction of the Eurasian military base Artemis, and failed to prevent the destruction the advance vanguard of the 8th Fleet, in which Vice Minister George Allster was lost. However, I applaud Lieutenant Badgiruel’s use of Siegel Clyne’s daughter as a deterrent. Furthermore the Archangel led the entire 8th Fleet to its doom.”

“That’s not how it was!” Murrue claimed, “We were only following Admiral Halberton’s orders!”

“And when did he start setting policy for the Earth Alliance?” Sutherland shot back coldly, “I must’ve missed that.” Then he leaned back. “Commander, please understand that we are not saying you are to fully blame for every small thing, in fact we applaud the way you managed to push through every obstacle that stood in your way.”

“However,” Parallax said, “there are several matters we have grievances about. Mainly it is the supposedly precious Strike, the reason for this mess. You have kept insisting that having everything that occurred was for the goal of safely being it here. However, in the end, not only was it destroyed, but you instead drag along a pair of damaged enemy units as well as two more of those inhuman abominations. This present situation with those prisoners you’ve been fussing over could have easily been resolved beforehand had you executed them the moment they surrendered!”

Murrue and the others shuddered at Parallax’s words, but it didn’t end with him.

“How do you expect those who gave their lives to rest in peace thanks to this regrettable end result?” Sutherland pointed an accusing finger at Murrue.

Natarle couldn’t bear to look in the direction of Murrue, for it was her report that was resulting in this scathing review. She almost regretted putting in the details, but she had felt them necessary. Although, she secretly admitted to herself that she never expected that her report would be used in this way. She could feel the resentful glare of the rest of the Archangel’s officers on her.

“We must always make everything clear regarding the end results of whatever situation and who is responsible for them, in a manner that satisfies everyone.” Sutherland stated. “Shall we continue?”


In the mess hall, Sai and Kuzzey gathered the food trays that had been set aside for Miriallia and Flay. After what happened in the sick bay, both had been ordered to remain in their quarters and not leave without permission.

“I can’t believe Mir was capable of doing something like that.” Kuzzey said. He had heard about what had occurred.

“It was that ZAFT guy’s fault.” Sai replied, “He said something that upset her.”

“I think I overheard that his name’s Dearka Elsman or something, but I don’t know about the other one.” Kuzzey said, “Do you have any idea what he said?”

“I really don’t know.”

“Oh. So, what’ll happen with this ship now that we’ve arrived?” Kuzzey asked, changing the subject. “Do you think that we’ll be allowed to ask for a discharge or something?”

“How should I know?” Sai said, “Ask the Captain about that.”

They reached the door to Miriallia’s room and knocked. “Mir, we brought some food.” There wasn’t an answer, so they slowly stepped in and looked. Miriallia wasn’t there.

Inside the brig, Miriallia crept quietly along. When she reached the next cell to where Dearka was being held. Now that she was there, what was she going to do now? She hadn’t thought of that when she made the decision. She grew nervous, breathing heavily, as she wondered what to do. She peered around and into the cell.

Dearka happened to look up and see Miriallia at his cell. She gasped and turned to run.

“Hey, wait a minute!” he called.

Miriallia stopped and looked back. Dearka appeared hesitant to say anything, but he had to find out.

“So, um, where exactly was your…boyfriend when…?”

“He was flying a Skygrasper at the island when you guys made that last attack on us.” She answered.

“What’s a Skygrasper?”

“A blue and white fighter plane.”

”Oh. Was it carrying the large cannon?”

”No.” she shook her head, then taking a glance at Cade in his cell. He hadn’t said anything and only sitting silently.

“Then it wasn't either of us.” Dearka muttered.

“I know.” She then left, not certain of if her visit had done any good.


Back inside the briefing room, the inquiry was close to being concluded. Sutherland thanked everyone for answering the panel’s questions, but Murrue was fully listening. She was simply relieved that it was now over.

“We’ll be in touch with you concerning the Archangel’s next assignment.” Sutherland continued, “With the exception of Commander Mu La Flaga, Lieutenant Natarle Badgiruel, and Crewman Flay Allster, all crewmembers are ordered to remain on stay-be aboard the ship.”

The crew was surprised by the news of this development. Mu stepped forward.

“Sir, what about the three of us you’ve mentioned?”

“Orders are that you three are to be transferred.” Sutherland responded, nonchalantly. “You are to report to the Personnel Office at 0800 hours tomorrow morning.”

“Pardon me sir, but why is Crewman Allster being transferred?” Natarle asked.

“You were there when she volunteered for the military and heard what she said at the time, correct?”

”Well, yes, sir.”

“Seeing as how she is a member of the esteemed Allster family, I’m certain that her words will touch the hearts of many people and inspire them. Along with her motives for joining the military.” Sutherland smiled, “Her contributions don’t necessarily have to be on the frontlines.”

Murrue understood all too well what Sutherland was saying. He planned to have Flay become the poster child of anti-Coordinator propaganda.


Meanwhile, back at the Clyne home, Kira and Lacus returned to the spot he was earlier and watched the reddish-gold colors of the simulated sunset reflected on the water. It was so tranquil and Kira couldn’t remember the last time he had felt this relaxed. It was even more relaxing knowing that Lacus was with him. He looked at her and she turned to him and smiled.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we could stay like this forever?” she asked.

Kira had to admit that he secretly wished for the same thing. He looked back to the water. Something told him that things were going to happen, but not for the better. But for now, he was going to enjoy this peace, for it might not last much longer.

_________________
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.


Last edited by Charismatic Enigma on Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:56 am 
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Retconned MSV Ace

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Posts: 1681
Location: Finland
Quote:
Lacus wheeled a cart with tea and cookies placed on it towards the gazebo

And this is why I can never take Lacus seriously as a leader of any military force. :D

Nicely done, guys. I especially liked the detailed hearing which seemed to fit the mental image I had and what the anime showed very well (as in unfair and completely biased). It's nice that you added another bad guy (Parallax), and he played his part well enough (seems like a cross between Sutherland and Azrael). Although, it also makes the EA (or AF) a more monoblock community of evil. I suppose this depends on how much you want to stay true to SEED and how much you want to rewrite.

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


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 Post Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 1:04 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Posts: 302
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
Sorry, it's taken so long for a new chapter to be posted. School, my job, and family events have left me little time to work on this.

New Phase 32

At ZAFT’s Carpentaria Base, there was a serious mood in the air, as it was the evening before Operation Spit Break would be underway. Athrun stood in his room and had just finished packing the last of his belongings. He took one last outside, knowing that his time on Earth was nearing its end. So much had happened in that time that he could hardly believe it. He then looked at the Order of the Nebula award that he given to him. He wondered about his new orders, transferring to the ZAFT Special Forces, and apparently receiving some new model of mobile suit. He didn’t want to let it weight down on his mind right now, there’d be time for that during the trip. He took his suitcase and stepped out. And then right there was the scowling face of Yzak. Athrun grimaced as he walked towards his now former teammate. The two often clashed on almost anything, now Athrun wondered what Yzak wanted. Much to his surprise, Yzak hadn’t actually said anything. That was until he was side by side to him.

“I can’t believe that you were transferred to the Special Forces.” He said in an envious tone of voice. “I’ll be taking part in Spit Break, so don’t be surprised that everything I get accomplished there gets me a promotion of my own.”

Athrun sighed. Even since he first met Yzak, he had gone on about awards and promotions. At the same time, he was going to miss his former teammate. He sat down his suitcase and extended his hand. “Sorry for everything, Yzak.”

Yzak seemed reluctant, but then took Athrun’s hand and shook. “Someday I just might become your superior. Make sure you live long enough for that.”

Athrun smiled. “Same to you.” After that, he grabbed his suitcase again and left.


At JOSH-A, the crew gathered to see off Mu, Natarle and Flay. Their transfer orders were indeed a grave disappointment, but that had to be followed. However, some were resistant of it all. Flay struggled as Natarle literally dragged her.

“No. let me go!” Flay cried, “I’m not going!” She reached the exit and faced Murrue, “Captain, do something!”

Before Murrue could reply, Natarle turned around. “Will you just knock it off?” she snapped, irritated at Flay’s whining, “These orders are from Headquarters. You don’t have a choice.”

Flay narrowed her eyes and pulled her arm away.

“I’m sorry, but she says is true.” Murrue explained, “Since the orders are have Headquarters, there is nothing that I myself can do. However, you could file an appeal with the Personnel Office.”

“It won’t do her any good.” Natarle bluntly said. She then turned to Murrue and saluted. “Farewell, Captain.”

Murrue returned the gesture. “I’d like to thank you for everything you’ve done, Lieutenant.”

“You’re welcome.”

“I hope that our paths will cross again someday.” Murrue smiled, “Someplace other than the battlefield.”

“I’m sure of that once this war is over.” Natarle said before shifting her glance towards Flay. “I promise to take care of her.” After that, she took Flay by the hand and lead along, despite Flay’s continuing objects.

Mu stepped forward. “Maybe I should go down and give the guys at the Personnel Office a piece of my mind.”

Murrue shook her head. “It’s as Natarle said, it wouldn’t do any good.”

Mu sighed. “Why of all things is it that I’m being sent to California Base to serve as an instructor, especially now?”

“I’m certain that with you teaching, there’ll be fewer rookie casualties on the frontline.” Murrue suggested. “Well, you should get going. Thank you for everything you’ve done, sir.”

Mu grinned. “It was my pleasure, ma’am. Good-bye.”

Once his back was turned and he was walking away, Murrue wiped a tear that welled up in her eye. He had the utmost respect for the man, as well as other feelings towards him. She wondered if she’d ever see him again.

Inside the deeper underground levels of the base, Sutherland and much of his staff made the final adjustments to the massive Cyclops System that lay below them. The Cyclops System itself was a very powerful microwave weapon made up of a massive array of dish shaped emitters. This sort of weapon was used only once before in the destruction where the entire Endymion Carter lunar base which was being overrun by invading ZAFT forces. If Sutherland’s plan went accordingly, then this time this second Cyclops System would be equally destructive, if not more.

Parallax looked up from a console. “How goes everything?”

“Everything is on track.” Sutherland answered, his lips curled in an evil smirk. “I’m certain that everything will begin and definitely end as we have planned. After all is said and done, our major irritants, those Eurasian imbeciles and especially the Archangel, will be out of the picture and out of our way.”


Back in the docks, the Archangel and its crew were given new orders. In spite of it being primarily a space battleship, the Archangel was ordered to temporarily become part of JOSH-A’s 5th Escort Group of the defense forces.

“What are these guys thinking?” Pal whispered.

“I don’t know.” Tonomura replied.

“As part of this announcement,” the officer further explained, “the restocking of supplies for your ship will commence at 1400 hours. That is all.” He and his fellow officers turned to leave.

“But, sir…” Murrue said.

“What is it; do you have any complaints about the orders?”

”No, sir, it’s just that I have to ask about our requests for soldiers wishing for time off and others to be discharged.” Murrue said, “Not to mention that we still have two prisoners on board.”

“Look, we’re busy dealing with the threat to Panama.” The officer rudely answered, “But if it’s that important to you, I’ll try to pass it along to Captain Sutherland.”

Murrue sighed in frustration. She still didn’t understand what the higher-ups were doing, or why they seemed to ignore her.


Elsewhere, at the Clyne home, Kira sat with Lacus and Reverend Malchio. It was quiet save only for the soft sounds of the falling artificially generated rain. As the droplets traveled down the roof and walls of the gazebo and caught the light, it caused the illusion of liquid crystal streaming down.

“Do you like the rain, Kira?” Lacus asked.

He continued looking outside. After all the time he had spent on Earth, he almost had forgotten how life inside a colony was like. That and others thoughts swirled in his mind. “I was thinking about how strange this feels.” He answered, “I was thinking, ‘What am I doing here?’”

“Do you dislike this place?”

”Oh, no. I guess I feel like I’m not sure if it’s okay for me to be here.”

“You’re welcomed to be here.”

“That’s not exactly what I mean. I guess what I’m trying to say is that since I’m alive after everything that’s happened, what should I do now? Where do I go from here?”

“The time will come when you realize those answers.” Malchio said, “You will know what you need to do and where you must go soon.”

“There you go.” Lacus smiled.

Kira looked to her. He didn’t know why, but something told him the he indeed would get all the answers that he sought.


Meanwhile, in Earth’s orbit, numerous ZAFT Nazca and Laurasia class ships waited above the planet’s surface. Mobile suits were being loaded into descent pods as the ships moved into positions. The operation timetable was on schedule, but all crews were reminded to finish preparations as quickly as possible. The landing teams would soon be ready.

Simultaneously, ZAFT forces from Carpentaria commenced moving out. Air transports took off with the DINN escorts. As they took to the sky, base personnel and officers saluted and shouted cheered cries offering good luck and hopes of victory. Not wasting time, a fleet of Vosgulov-class submarines was launched as well. The attack force was now on its way, ready to commence Operation Spit Break once the order was issued.


At the ZAFT National Defense HQ, on nearly every screen was a map of Porta Panama and the surrounding area.

“Report from weather unit as of 0300 hours local time. District 25, sunny. All conditions are favorable.”

“Scout units report that all sectors are green.”

After several more reports were given, Patrick Zala stood and looked down to his personnel. “My courageous ZAFT soldiers, as we embark on this operation, it is my strongest wish that the war will be brought to a swift conclusion. Inspired by the hopes and dreams in us all this shall lead towards true freedom and justice for our race. Let Operation Spit Break now commence!”

With the order, the message was sent out to all officers and soldiers standing at the ready. The following message reported, “Message for central command. Operation number six, call sign Spit Break, the target is the Earth Alliance’s base, Joint Supreme Headquarters Alaska.”

Immeadatily all the screens simultaneously flashed from maps of Panama to Alaska. Nearly all controllers and other personnel were caught off guard by this, as well as a majority of the ZAFT forces en route.


On the Cousteau, Yzak and other pilots gathered as the news broke. As it was with nearly all the troops, the group was surprised and dumbfound.

“We’re attacking the Earth Alliance Headquarters?”

“I thought that the target was supposed to be Panama.”

While the others were surprised, Yzak found that he himself wasn’t. He suddenly remembered an old saying about the quickest way to slay a beast was to sever the head from its body. “This certainly is a creative move.” He smirked, “I can see now why Chairman Zala was put in charge. I’m impressed.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because they expected us to attack Panama, so that’s where they gathered their main forces. This thereby leaves JOSH-A vulnerable.”

Another pilot spoke up. “But isn’t the immediate threat Porta Panama? It is a spaceport after all.” He was referring to the base’s mass driver, which allowed the Alliance to send supplies to their forces stationed in outer space.

“You’re not getting it.” Yzak said, “Once we destroy their general HQ and eliminate their highest ranking officers, the Alliance will no longer be in a position to continue fighting. This battle will finish the Naturals once and for all.”


Back at the Clyne home, Siegel joined Lacus, Kira and Malchio. He wore a grim expression on his face as he stepped inside.

“I’m afraid that it won’t be possible, Reverend.” He said, “Zala has limited all flights to and from Earth.”

At that moment, there came a beeping from a panel on the wall. “There’s a call for Mr. Siegel from Ms. Eileen Canaver.” The voice said.

Siegel stepped forward and answered. “Clyne here.”

“I have terrible news, Siegel.” Eileen said, “Patrick Zala have deceived us all.”

“What do you mean?”

”Operation Spit Break’s target isn’t Panama, it’s JOSH-A.”

“What?”

Kira froze when he heard the news. Lacus saw it and rushed over to his side.

“Patrick hopes to crush the entire Earth Alliance Headquarters with a single attack.” Eileen continued, “The Council had no knowledge of this.”

Kira began to shiver as he thought about the Archangel and everyone on board. What made him feel worse was that there wasn’t any way for him to warn them. He didn’t know what to do.

“Kira, are you all right?” Lacus asked, but she didn’t get an answer.


At JOSH-A, down deep in the base’s submarine pens, Natarle, Mu, and Flay watched as a large number of soldiers moved along to board the submarines that would soon be departing.

“It looks like they’re still sending troops to Panama.” Natarle noted. She then glanced at the papers that Flay carried. “The vessel you’ll be on will be heading. How about you Commander La Flaga?”

“I’ll be going with this little lady, but I get off at California Base.” Mu said.

“Is that so?” Natarle knew that she’d most likely never serve along side with the Commander, so she wanted to part on at least somewhat good terms. “Well, I guess this is goodbye, sir.” She then saluted.

“Yeah, I guess so, too.” Rather than return the salute, Mu extended his hand. “You take care, Lieutenant.”

Natarle was surprised, but took his hand and shook it. After that, Mu said his farewells and took Flay with him to the sub they would be soon boarding. Natarle took one last glance at them and went on her way.


Deeper down in the sub pens, Sutherland and his colleagues were already aboard their vessel and waited. They had no intention of standing at the base once the impending battle they expected began.

“How’s everything coming along?” Tucker asked, his tone sounding impatient.

“The last three subs are nearly boarded.” Parallax answered, “Once they’re finished, we’ll launch.”

“Will we have enough time?” Sherman asked.

“The ZAFT forces won’t penetrate the deepest levels right away.” Sutherland assured, “Let’s give the Eurasians some credit at least.”


Back at the last trio of submarines, Mu glanced over the papers for Flay and gave her a specific page. “Just show this form when your turn comes.” He then turned his back and began to slowly slip away.

“Wait, where are you going?” she asked.

“Oh, I forgot something.” He lied, then broke into a full dash, leaving Flay behind.

She suspected something was amiss and took a glance back. Seeing that no one was paying attention to her, she dashed off after Mu.


In the horizon, numerous dark shapes came into view, and they were approaching rapidly. However, none of the early response stations were being manned, so no warning was sounded immeadatily. It wasn’t until the incoming objects were right at the outskirts of the base’s perimeter that they were detected and an alert was raised. Alarms shrilled loudly, spurring everyone. Then the base around reverberated from the impact of explosions.

On the bridge of the Archangel, everyone wondered what was happening until a signal indicating an incoming message sounded.

“We have an incoming message from the joint operations room.” Tonomura said, as he patched it through. Sutherland’s face appeared on the screen.

“Captain Sutherland, what is it?” Murrue asked.

Sutherland’s grim expression didn’t look her in the eye. “They tricked us. At the last moment they switched their target here to JOSH-A. All defense forces are ordered to launch an immediate counterattack.”

“Understood. All hands, prepare level one battle stations. We’ll launch as soon as possible.”

“What?” Kuzzey asked, bewildered, “How can we fight without Kira or the Commander?”

Murrue knew what he meant. Without the power of the Strike or an experienced pilot like Mu, it all seemed borderline suicidal. “Fighting under such conditions may be unfavorable, but we’ve been given our orders and we cannot allow headquarters to fall.”


Back in another part of the base interior, Mu hurried down the barely lit corridors. As he moved to round a corner, he thought he heard someone behind him.

“Commander, wait for me!”

Mu stopped and saw Flay coming down the corridor, panting heavily after she stopped once she reached him. “What are you doing?” he asked.

“I could ask you the same thing.” She countered, “Why’d you just take off like that?”

”I’m trying to get back to the ship.” He told her, “There’s something strange going on here. It’s too late for you to go back now so you might as well come with me, but stay close and keep behind me.”

She nodded, and Mu took her by the hand, and they were off.


As the invading ZAFT forces pressed forward, the defenders were being overwhelmed. The situation was becoming direr as the battle continued. The Eurasian naval forces were assaulted by seemingly countless GoohNs, ZnOs, and GINN Wasp types. One ZnO climbed onto the deck of an unfortunate ship and proceeded to smash the bridge as though it was a tin can.

In the sky above, the battle wasn’t going any better for the Earth Forces fighter corps. Some of the jets were being shot down as they launched from their hangers. Those that did make it into the air had to contend with DINNs and they were outmatched by the aerial mobile suits.

On the ground, lines of Eurasian linear tanks were having some success against the enemy. They were able to target the slow moving ZuOOTs and immobilize them by destroying their caterpillar treads before destroying them completely. However, as soon as the ZuOOTs were dealt with, a line of swift moving BuCUEs charged, destroying the tanks by either use of missile launchers or cannons, or by getting in close and slicing the enemy vehicles apart with beam sabers.

Even when the Archangel joined the fighting, the enemy forces continued to advance. A single silver colored Dinn, piloted by Le Creuset, broke away from the main attack force and entered a shaft concealed by a small waterfall. Parallax’s information was of great use as he proceeded further. Once inside a section of the base interior, he landed his mobile suit and made his way on foot.

Back down in the dark corridors, Mu and Flay hurried along in the unsettling environment. What was more disturbing than the rumble of the seemingly nonstop explosions was that in the entire they had been running, they hadn’t come across a single member of the base’s personnel. Everywhere they had gone, it was deserted. Mu suddenly stopped abruptly and looked around.

“What is it?” Flay asked.

Mu didn’t answer right away. He could feel a chill that he had felt several times before. And at every one of those times, Rau Le Creuset was somewhere nearby. “He’s here.” He turned to Flay. “Listen, stay close and keep behind me no matter what.” He crept along until he reached a doorway. Once there, he quietly removed his gun from its holster.

Inside, there was Le Creuset staring at a control panel. Whatever it was he was looking at, it took great interest in it. But his attention wasn’t fully diverted, as the second he saw a shadow in the corner of his eye, he spun around and fired.

Mu dodged then jumped in, shooting. Flay was close behind, but she ducked off in another direction.

“It’s certainly has been some time, Mu La Flaga.” Le Creuset chuckled, “But although our paths have crossed again, I’m afraid I don’t have the time to deal with you.”

Upon hearing the voice, Flay gasped and peeked out. “Daddy?” It didn’t seem possible, but the voice was very close to her deceased father. She crept from her hiding spot and slowly walked in the direction the voice came from.

“What the hell are you doing?” Mu called out, “Get back here!”

Too late, Le Creuset leapt and grappled Flay, spinning her in front of him. Gripping her by the throat, he used her as a human shield. “Should you try anything, this girl dies.”

Mu looked up and right into Flay’s eyes which had tears forming in them. He could also her quivering lips form the words “Help me”, but there wasn’t anything he could do at the moment.

“Seeing as you are still here,” Le Creuset said, “it would appear your usefulness to the Earth Forces is at an end.” He smirked. “The mighty have fallen, Hawk of Endymion.” The second he finished his sentence, he darted out, taking Flay with him.

Mu jumped up and squeezed the trigger, getting two shots off before the ZAFT officer disappeared. He growled, angry with himself that he couldn’t save Flay. He figured that Le Creuset would keep as a hostage, especially if he found out her background. He prayed that she would be safe. He then looked at the console his enemy had been studying. One the screen was only a single word: CYCLOPS.

He shuddered. “They’re actually going to use one of those again?” It at last hit, the reason the base was all but deserted. And he personally knew the scale of destruction the Cyclops would do. He had to find the Archangel and warn the crew.


Elsewhere, Le Creuset had returned to his DINN and loaded the unconscious Flay into the cockpit. Though he didn’t know how yet, but he had a suspicion that the girl could be very useful in his own personal agenda someday. He climbed inside and soon exited the base.


Back at the Clyne Home, Lacus decided to check on Kira. He had barely spoke after hearing about the ZAFT attack on JOSH-A. He was still standing where she had left him. “Kira?”

He turned and there was an odd expression on his face. It was a look of resolve and of certainty. “Thank you, Lacus. You’ve been so kind to me, but I feel it’s time I leave this place.”

“Where will you go from here?” she asked.

“I’m going back to Earth.” He answered, “I’m going back to the war.”

“But you won’t be able to end the war all alone.”

“Perhaps, but sitting back and watching won’t accomplish anything.”

”So you’ll be fighting against ZAFT again?”

”No.”

“Then the Earth Forces?”

He shook his head again. “No, I believe I have a better understanding of what we really need to be fighting against. The root of this entire conflict must be found and put an end to. That’s what I feel.”

She smiled. “If that’s how you feel, then please come with me.”

She took him inside and went to a secluded room. There one of her servants brought up a suitcase that contained a red uniform of the ZAFT elite. She explained to Kira that it was part of a plan and would give more details after he switched to his disguise. Kira wasn’t sure of what she had in mind, but he did as instructed.

After he had switched clothing, Lacus then led him to the back of the house where a small black car waited. They stepped inside and the vehicle drove off. As they waited to reach their destination, Lacus gave Kira a quick lesson in ZAFT military etiquette.

After several minutes passed, the car slowed and finally came to a stop. Kira stepped out and saw that around him was some sort of military complex. Lacus motioned to him and they headed inside through a small door. As they made their way through the corridors, Kira wondered where they were going now. When they rounded a corner, they came face to face with a pair of soldiers and Kira almost froze. But the soldiers gave him a salute and he returned the gesture as they passed by. They then went down a shorter hallway which led to a sealed door that was guarded by two men in technician uniforms. The one on their right approached them.

“Miss Lacus, everything is ready.” He said, “The security system has been bypassed and the mobile suit is prepped and ready to go.” He then looked toward Kira. “I take it that he’s the young man that you and your father mentioned?”

She nodded.

The two technicians then pulled out keycards, slid them through slots on a control panel and the door slowly opened. A small scale hanger of sorts was revealed and Lacus led Kira inside. They stepped across a catwalk until Kira saw a mobile suit of a very familiar design and stared in awe.

“A Gundam.”

Lacus turned to him. “Not quite, this is in fact the ZGMF-X10A Freedom. Under orders of Chairman Zala, new machines were developed using information initially taken from the captured Earth Forces mobile suits, but integrated with the most state of the art technology. It has a device called the N-Jammer Canceller.”

“You’re not saying that this runs on nuclear power?”

“It does, but that’s not the only concern.” Lacus told him, “Chairman Zala may be plotting to eventually use nuclear warheads against Earth in retaliation for Junius Seven, even though the people in the PLANTs shun nuclear power of any kind. My father and I share the same goal as you in seeing this war brought to an end. Perhaps this machine will take you where you must go and its power will help you once you get there.”

Kira looked to the mobile suit, then back to Lacus. It seemed that there was more to her that met the eye. She had one surprise after another, and it was hard to imagine that a girl such as her was capable of such things like what was happening now. “Who are you really?”

She smiled sweetly. “I’m merely Lacus Clyne, as you are merely Kira Yamato.” She said.

Kira thought over what he could do if he accepted Lacus’ offer and took the Freedom. It didn’t seem like an easy decision to make. He suddenly remembered the words of his brief conversation with the late Admiral Lewis Halberton.

“If I have the ability to make a difference, I should put it to use, right?”

“Perhaps, but only if the will to do so. Remember, it’s your choice, lad.”


Kira knew what he needed to do. He didn’t know yet how he would do it, but if he could return to the Archangel, he thought the others could help him. “Thank you, Lacus.” He said, “I’ve made up my mind and I’ll take this machine to Earth.”

Lacus smiled. “Good luck then, Kira. My thoughts and prayers will go with you.” She then leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.

Kira blushed and was surprised by the kiss. He was given a flightsuit and watched as Lacus was escorted out of the hanger by the two technicians. After they had left, he changed and boarded the Freedom. True to their word, the technicians had the Gundam fully prepared for departure. As he glanced over the controls, Kira was amazed by the machine’s capabilities. With its power supplied by a nuclear reactor and its weaponry, it easily had four times the power of the Strike. Above him, the series of hatches opened and he saw the blackness and star laden sight of outer space. He fired up the vernier thrusters and shot clear of the facility. He spun back and rapidly accelerated away in case that ZAFT units had detected him.

He could see the blue sphere that was Earth becoming larger as he sped towards the planet, and had his course plotted. He now only hoped that he would arrive in time.

_________________
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:07 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Posts: 302
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 33


The battle at JOSH-A continued to be a struggle for the defending Earth Alliance forces. The ZAFT forces battered their enemies and pressed forward. They had the tactical advantage and they were making full use of it.

The Archangel, along with the rest of the defense forces did all things possible to mount a counterattack against the invaders, but they were dangerously close to being overwhelmed. The ship took a severe beating and the starboard flight deck was bombarded, rocking the vessel and leaving a massive hole in the hull’s armor.

“Captain, the Oleg’s bee sunk!” Chandra called from his station.

Murrue gritted her teeth. “Move to port. We’ll take over their spot in the defense line.” She suddenly thought about something that she had momentarily forgotten. “Have security check on the prisoners.” She didn’t know why, but she had a strange feeling that concerned them. She didn’t like the fact that enemy combatants were onboard during an intense battle, even if they were in the brig. After her order was sent, she focused back on the situation at hand. Chatter filled all around.

“Six more DINNs are incoming!”

“We won’t be able to hold out for much longer at this rate.”

“Command was completely taken off guard this time.”

“Were all the main forces sent to Panama?” Sai asked.

“Yeah, that’s the bottom line.” Tonomura answered.

“But they’ll came around and return once they know what’s happened, right?” Miriallia asked.

“Sure, but by the time they get back it may already be too late.”

That was a thought that everyone hoped wouldn’t happen. The ship was suddenly jolted by a barrage, which left a gaping hole in the starboard side hanger.

“Is there any word from command?” Murrue then asked.

“I’m not getting through to them!” Kuzzey nearly screamed, “It’s the same message on all channels! ‘All units are to continue defensive actions as the situation dictates.’”

“Captain, if it’s on all channels, then the chain of command has been broken somewhere.” Neumann said.

Murrue groaned and wondered what else could happen.


Down in the brig, Murrue’s order was relayed and the guard sent peered into the cells of the captured enemy soldiers. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary, but he had his orders and fully intended to carry them out. If he spotted unusual behavior, he’d report it. However, the prisoners only wore agitated expressions on their faces.

“Hey, what’s going on here?” Cade asked. “What with all the commotion?”

The guard scoffed. “Your ZAFT buddies are attacking if you really need to know.”

Dearka sat up in his cot. ”Oh, is that so?” He smirked, which worried the guard.

He turned to face Dearka, unwisely putting his back towards Cade. “Don’t get any ideas, punk. If you think-” He suddenly felt an arm wrap around his neck, constricting his throat. His vision went dark as he began to lose consciousness. He finally slumped to the floor.

“Sleep well.” Cade said and he felt around the guard’s pockets, hoping to find a cardkey. He found what he was looking for and carefully slid it through the electronic lock’s slot. Immeadatily the door was unlocked and Cade pushed it open. Stepping over the downed guard, he unlocked the door to Dearka’s cell.

He stepped out and stretched. “Well, that was fun. Now how about we get the hell off this ship somehow?”

Cade raised his hand. “Hold up a moment. This guy said that ZAFT was attacking.”

“Yeah, so?” Dearka asked.

“Well, you know what today is?”

Dearka thought about it when it hit him. “Operation Spit Break. But I thought it was supposed to be Panama.”

“So did I, but we can’t worry about that. We need to find a way out of here.

The two ZAFT pilots crept out of the brig and into the corridors.


Meanwhile, just beyond the battlelines, Le Creuset watched the intense fighting below. “Well, it appears they’re using the Eurasians and the legged ship as sacrificial lambs for the slaughter. It is quite dramatic; I wonder what role Parallax played in this.” After seeing what he needed, he boarded his DINN and took off.


Inside JOSH-A, Mu had at last found an elevator that would take him all the way to the surface. As he traveled up, his mind was squarely on the console and the Cyclops System. Would the Alliance really use one of those devices again? It would be Endymion all over again. The elevator stopped and the doors slid open. Mu stepped out, finding himself in a heavily damaged hanger that had plunged into chaos. Soldiers were running all about and the few aircraft that had remained intact were left unmanned. He rushed around in the hope of finding the officer in charge. He spotted a soldier who was standing by a communications station and could just hear part of the exchange.

“Wait a moment.” The soldier exclaimed, “What do you mean the 11th Air Defense Squadron has been wiped out?”

Mu hurried over and interrupted him. “Hey, who’s in command here?”

Before the solider could give an answer, a large explosion shook the hanger and killed a number of the other soldiers. A GCUE had arrived and blasted a number of the parked aircraft. When the explosion subsided, the mobile suit’s mono-eye flashed as it looked about before it turned halfway around and waved its arm. Three DINNs appeared and followed the GCUE as it headed on a path that would lead to the heart of the base.

Mu looked up and waited for the enemy machines to pass by before he stood. He spotted another Eurasian soldier nearby. By the look on his face, he was in a state of shock. He went over and shook his fellow soldier. “Hey, buddy, snap out of it. Listen, there’s not much time left. The base is being abandoned. You’ve got to gather as many of the others as you can and get at least twenty miles away from the base as quickly as possible.” He didn’t waste time after that to board the last intact aircraft and fire up the engines. As he readied to taxi, a lone GINN armed with a heavy bazooka landed. Immeadatily he opened fired, blasting the mono-eye, following that with a pair of missiles to the mobile suit’s torso. The GINN tumbled back and crashed well away from the hanger’s entrance. Mu hurried to take off. He hoped he’d find the Archangel before time ran out for everyone.


Off the coast of the North American continent, the fleet of submarines cursed along toward their destination. The plan was to fulfill the operation that was already in motion and then continue on to Heaven’s Base in Iceland. Inside the lead vessel, Sutherland and his fellow officers waited for whatever news came from the battle currently underway at JOSH-A. The door slid open and Parallax stepped inside.

“They’ve breached the fourth gate.” He said, “They’ll soon be making direct assaults on the base interior.”

“Can we use the Cyclops now?” Sherman asked.

Sutherland checked his watch. As arranged, the Eurasians were undermanned and not properly equipped for such overwhelming enemy numbers. “Let’s wait a bit longer. I’d like to ensnare nothing fewer than eighty percent of the ZAFT forces. Anything less is unacceptable.”

In the submarine towards the rear of the fleet, Natarle sat in the cramped space along with many other officers. When the first alarms were raised, she and the others were rushed onboard and forced to find seating where available. She was wondering what was happening at JOSH-A at the moment. She thought about Murrue and the crew of the Archangel, wondering how they were faring in the battle.

“Keep it down.” A whisper echoed, “Don’t you realized how serious this is?”

The whisper caught Natarle’s attention and she leaned closer so she could hear what was being said. She saw two more officers seated back in an almost secluded corner.

“Then what about everyone that remained behind?”

“They’ll keep fighting desperately until they’re completely overrun or wiped out. Once the time comes, that’s when the higher-ups will use the trump card. And then, ka-boom.”

Natarle gasped and bolted to her feet. “You! What are you talking about?”


In Earth’s orbit, the Freedom began its descent into the atmosphere. Kira could make out the shape of Alaska and he double checked the coordinates to be certain he would arrive precisely at JOSH-A. He would be there soon, but would he be too late?


Back on the Cousteau, Le Creuset landed his DINN inside the hanger. Around him were other mobile suits undergoing repairs and resupplying. Right next to him was the Duel, and as soon as he stepped out, Yzak and Shiho saluted. He returned the salute. “How have you two been faring?”

“We managed to get past two gates, Commander.” Shiho answered, “With luck, we’ll bring down the main gate with the next attack.”

“Yeah, but the enemy has hardly put up a fight.” Yzak said, not hiding his disappointment. He had hoped for an intense battle in which he’d score numerous kills, yet all he had Shiho had to contend with were gun batteries and slow moving linear tanks. “It’s not even a challenge.”

Le Creuset stroked his chin. “If you fancy a challenge, it turns out the legged ship is defending the main gate. We’ll be concentrating our forces there soon, so I want for you both to take part.”

Yzak’s face brightened with excitement. “Yes, sir! We’ll move out right away!” He then dashed off, followed by Shiho.

When their backs were turned, there came a soft moan behind him and looked back to find Flay was regaining consciousness. “So you’re awake now.” He leaned in close to her, gazing at her frightened expression. “Don’t worry; I’ll see to it that you’re taken good care of.” His lips twisted into a sinister smile.


In the sky above the battle, Mu looked all around for the Archangel. It wasn’t easy, what with the ZAFT mobile suits that kept getting in his way. Whenever one did, he’d shoot it down, but he didn’t have a limitless supply of ammo nor did he have time to waste. He had to find the ship quickly. He then spotted a familiar shape among the other vessels. The Archangel had indeed taken a severe beating, that much was obvious from the visible damage. He began to work the radio.

“Archangel, this is La Flaga. Do you copy?” He didn’t receive an answer. He tried once more, but the same thing happened.

Suddenly, a pair of GINNs riding atop Gulls swooped in behind him and fired on the aircraft. He weaved one way, but the enemy fire caught the aircraft in its fuselage. It began to shake as Mu did what he could to maintain control. He was losing altitude rapidly and there didn’t appear to be a suitable location to crash land. That is, except for the Archangel’s exposed hanger. He stirred the aircraft, keeping it as straight as he could manage, praying that everyone would get out of his way.

The aircraft slammed into the hanger floor, skidding along until it was tangled in the safety net. As soon as he came to a full stop, Mu leapt out and ran to take the quickest path to the bridge. He dashed the entire way until he rounded a corner and slammed right into someone. He looked and saw the two familiar faces of the ZAFT pilots. “What are…?” he began to asked, but he stopped himself and grabbed them by their collars and dragged them along. Once he reached the bridge, he shoved them inside.

The abrupt commotion startled the crew and even more so when the saw Dearka and Cade. Murrue looked back and saw Mu come alongside her. “What the hell are you doing here, Commander? What about your transfer?” She pointed to the ZAFT pilots. “And what are they doing out of the brig?”

“Never mind any of that!” Mu told her, “We need to get out of here immeadatily! This is one screwed up plan. What orders have the Defense Corps been given?”

“What are you talking about?”

”Listen carefully, there’s a large Cyclops System underneath headquarters.” He explained, “That thing has the power to turn the entire area in a ten kilometer radius into a blast furnace! It’s impossible to defend the base with the forces stationed here and reinforcements from Panama wouldn’t arrive in time. Soon, the defenders will be annihilated and the main gate will be breached. Once that happens, command will make the decision to activate the Cyclops to destroy the base, an in turn, eliminate over half of ZAFT’s fighting strength! That’s the scenario thought up by Sutherland and his staff!”

The crew was taken aback by the revelation.

“But that can’t be!” Murrue exclaimed, “There has to be some kind of mistake.”

Mu narrowed his eyes. ”It’s no mistake, Murrue. I saw it myself, the base is all but deserted. The only ones left the defend JOSH-A are the Eurasians and this ship. Why, because they’re expendable in command’s eyes!”

“He knows what he’s talking about!” a voice shouted. Everyone turned to see Cade now standing. He and Dearka had been listening to everything. “That’s what the Earth Forces did at the Endymion Crater and I lost my entire team there!”

Mu was surprised to say the least. So the youth had fought at Endymion, therefore he too knew firsthand of the destructive power of a Cyclops.

“So they left here to die?” Neumann asked.

“Right, but only after a desperate fight so that the enemy doesn’t realized anything until it’s already too late.”

The crew couldn’t believe what was happening. The military they all served had basically turned its back on them and put them in a situation with no hope of surviving. Why was this happening?

”W-what the hell kind of strategy is this?” Miriallia asked, “It’s because this is a war and we’re soldiers, right? And good, obedient soldiers follow their orders. So if they order so, I guess we’re just supposed to throw away our lives?” She looked up, tears falling from her eyes.

Murrue had never been so enraged until now. She had never fully trusted Sutherland and this was the last straw. “If the objective of this battle was to lure the ZAFT forces closer, then I believe in my opinion we have accomplished our mission! I make this decision by my own judgment and no other personnel will be held responsible. This ship will now abandon the battleground and retreat!” She turned to communications. “Alert all remaining allies and inform them they are to follow us! Bring engines to maximum!” Turning to Neumann, she ordered, “Head to port! We’ll escape towards the left side of the bay.”

“This isn’t going to be easy, so I’ll launch and provide back-up.” Mu said. He then to Dearka and Cade, “And you two, if you want to live I suggest you stay put and don’t interfere in any way.”

”You won’t get any arguments from me.” Dearka replied.


A short time later, the Archangel began to make its retreat. As expected it wasn’t easy as the ZAFT forces didn’t let up their attacks. Mu launched in the remaining Skygrasper armed with the Agni and did what he could to at least clear a path for the ships. Behind him, there came a massive series of explosions and the large waterfall behind the broken defense lines appeared to collapse. He knew what had happened. The main gate had finally fallen and now ZAFT forces shifted their attention and began to pour into the base.

“Okay, you’ve got the main gate, so how about you guys just let us leave now?” he sarcastically muttered.

Below, the Archangel and the few surviving Eurasian ships hurried to break through, but blocking their path was a line of ZAFT submarines. They launched a barrage of missiles at the fleeing vessels. While the Archangel’s maneuverability made evasion for it easy, the Eurasian ships weren’t as fortunate. They were decimated by the onslaught.

“Captain, the Rollo has been sunk!” Chandra called out, “And the Rurik is dead in the water!”

Murrue gritted her teeth, for there nothing they could do to save the crippled ships and their crews as time was limited. Another impact shook the ship.

“That’s it, we’re dead!” Kuzzey cried out.

“Shut up!” Pal shot back.

“More mobile suits are coming in from ten o’clock!”

“Captain, which way are we taking?” Neumann shouted.

“Twenty degrees to port!” Murrue ordered. “Get us out of here!”

More and more enemy pelted the ship as it struggled along. Only able to sit back and watch everything around them, Dearka and Cade remained silent and flinched with every impact.

“Dammit, I never thought we’d be killed by our own guys.” Dearka grumbled.

“We aren’t dead yet.” Cade countered.

“Additional enemy units coming from behind us!” Tonomura yelled, “Three DINNs and the Duel!”

A simultaneous gasp sounded through the bridge.

“Yzak.” Dearka whispered.

“Valiants, Igelstellungs, fire!” Murrue barked, “Don’t let them get any closer!”

A mighty barrage of missiles and anti-air fire was launched. Two of the DINNs exploded in flames quickly, but Yzak and Shiho dodged effortlessly. As Shiho blasted the Archangel’s weapons, Yzak looped around to attack the bridge. However, he hadn’t noticed the Skygrasper until a crimson energy beam came at him. He almost didn’t evade it in time, and streaked past the aircraft.

Mu readied to swing around for another pass, but Shiho opened fire on the Skygrasper, hitting the mounted Agni, critically damaging it. Mu was forced to drop the equipment, but the explosion still knocked him around.

Yzak took the advantage and charged. He had the Archangel’s bridge in his sights and all he had to do was pull the trigger. After so long, he was now so close to accomplishing destroying this enemy ship at last. He smiled and his finger went for the controls.

Suddenly, a green flash came from above and shot through the Duel’s beam rifle, destroying it. Yzak looked up to see something coming straight at him and the gleam of a beam saber. He reeled back, the saber slicing away the Duel’s Shiva gun. There before him was a blue and white mobile suit the likes of which he hadn’t seen before. He pulled back and rejoined Shiho.


The bridge crew stared in awe at the magnificent mobile suit. Blue and black wings were attached to the body and they could see some of the weaponry it held.

“This is Kira Yamato.” The voice sounded over the radio, “I’ll provide cover for you, Archangel.”

The crew was shocked to say the very least. They all knew the voice speaking to them, but there couldn’t have been any way that it was for real.

“Kira?” Miriallia whispered.

Sai’s face lit up. “It is Kira!” he shouted excitedly, “I’d know that voice anywhere!”

Murrue almost couldn’t say anything. “It is really you, Kira?”

Then a face appeared on the monitor, a face everyone recognized. “Hurry and withdraw to safety!” Kira yelled, “We need to regroup!”

”But we can’t, Kira!” Murrue said back, “There’s a Cyclops System under us and it could be activated any time now! Command planned this from the start; we had no knowledge of this!”

Kira froze. If he didn’t do something, many people would be slaughtered. “Go on ahead! I’ll catch up!” The Freedom sped forward and Kira switched to an all channel frequency. “All ZAFT and Alliance soldiers, there is a Cyclops System and it will activate at any moment! Everyone retreat!”

Mu listened to Kira’s message and fought the urge to roll his eyes. “Come on, kid.” He mumbled, “There’s no time to try and save everyone.” He had no idea how right he was.


At that very moment, Sutherland and Sherman were ready for the final move in their plan. Simultaneously, they each pulled out a key and inserted them into a control box. The device would trigger the Cyclops System and unleash its destructive power.

“It is my deepest that this action brings the war to an end at long last.” Sherman said.

Sutherland nodded and added, “For the preservation of our blue and pure world. Now, 3, 2, 1.”

Upon the end of the countdown, the keys were turned and the control box flashed red.


Beneath JOSH-A, the Cyclops’ arrays began to glow as energy surged through them. The ZAFT forces who had penetrated the deepest levels of the base were the first to be killed. The intense radiation heat caused the mobile suits to explode when the waves engulfed them. The remaining Eurasian soldiers share the same gruesome fate as they themselves exploded like bombs, their remains vaporized an instant later.


On the Archangel’s bridge, instruments wailed as the microwaves approached.

“The Cyclops has been activated!” Sai called.

“Engines full speed!” Murrue shouted.

The ship’s thrusters fired and the Archangel was propelled forward. The crew sat in fearful silence as the ship sped faster and faster.

“Come on, you legged ship.” Dearka muttered, “Show us what you’ve got.” At one point he wanted to bring down the Archangel, now it appeared that he’d actually go down with it.

Cade sat, memories of the eerie red glow that day at Endymion flash through his mind. Survival now rested on the speed of the ship.

Outside, the microwaves were swallowing up the outlaying area. Eurasian ships were violently destroyed in the boiling water. The ZAFT units were had heeded Kira’s warning now were in full retreat, Yzak and Shiho among them. However the unfortunate stragglers were caught in the microwaves and were turned into fireballs.

The Cyclops’ output reached its highest and with a last eruptive surge, the microwaves began to break away JOSH-A’s structure and even the arrays themselves. Buildings crumbled, the ground shook and split apart and sections of the base collapsed. A blinding red glow enveloped the radius around the base and when it finally dispersed, all that remained was a black mushroom cloud billowing above a crater.


On the Cousteau, Monroe and the crew stared in horror at the devastation before their eyes. Victory had been snatched away, replaced by cruel and utter defeat.

“This can’t be.” Monroe said, “It just can’t.”

Rau stepped in and stood by the captain. “It seems our enemy led an ingenious trap and we stumbled right into it.” Knowing no one was watching him, he smiled sinisterly. He had performed his role, now all that was needed was to prepare for the next act.


Meanwhile, Athrun at last arrived at Aprilius One. He reached the military headquarters, but as he entered, he found everything in near chaos and confusion. Personnel ran back and forth, each of them receiving reports and passing them along. He could overhear various exchanges.

“What do you mean the attack failed?

”How much of the invasion force was lost?”

”Has there been any word from Carpentaria?”

Athrun made his way through until he saw a familiar face. “Commander Yuki!”

The officer turned and approached. Yuki was one of Patrick Zala’s closest associates and a part of the Special Forces. “Athrun, what are you doing here?” He hadn’t been informed of Athrun’s transfer.

“Well, it’s a long story.” The youth answered, “But what’s going on around here?”

Yuki’s face darkened and he leaned closer to Athrun. “Operation Spit Break has failed.” He whispered. “Nothing’s been confirmed yet, but it looks like the Earth Forces used a Cyclops System. Over half of our forces were obliterated.”

Athrun gasped. Yzak was a part of the attack force. And if over half had been lost…

“But there’s something else.” Yuki continued. “One of newest mobile suits was captured and we have no idea where it could’ve gone. However, we discovered that Lacus Clyne played a part in the theft.”

Athrun was almost floored. He refused to believe something of that nature. Lacus wasn’t capable of such actions. What in the world was going on?

_________________
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:52 am 
Offline
Retconned MSV Ace

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Posts: 1681
Location: Finland
Cheers, man. A good rewrite of that scene. One gripe though; why would Dearka and Cade come up to the bridge rather than lay low someplace and then try to jump ship the first moment they got? They seemed to be getting away pretty nicely.

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


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 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:24 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Posts: 302
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 34

As he hurried towards his father’s office, a flood of thoughts rushed through Athrun’s mind. He could overhear nearly all the surrounding personnel relay messages and reports. He rounded the cornered and slowly entered as the doors slid open. He stepped inside, but kept silent when he saw his father speaking with a number of high ranking officers.

“It’s been confirmed, sir.” The first said, “They did use a Cyclops System.”

Patrick nodded. “Where is Le Creuset?”

”We haven’t been able to contact him yet, but we do know that he is alive and well.” A second officer reported.

“When he’s contacted, I want a full report from him about this catastrophe.” Patrick ordered.

At that moment, another officer entered and stepped alongside Athrun. “Excuse me, Chairman Zala.” He said, “We’ve received word that Eileen Canaver and other council members have gathered and are demanding an emergency session regarding this…incident.”

Patrick’s eyes narrowed. “I’ll deal with them later.” He growled, “What of the troops we dispatched the Clyne residence?”

”Sir, they reported that no one was found.” The officer answered, “It appears they managed to slip away only minutes before the troops arrived.”

Patrick clenched his fist. “All right.” He sighed, then turning to a female officer, “Send word that all surviving forces are to hurry back to Carpentaria. I want details on all remaining troop numbers and mobile suits that are still operable.”

”Yes, sir.” The officer replied as she scribbled notes on her clipboard.

“As for Eileen Canaver and the other Moderates, have them detained until further notice. I want Ezalia Joule to appoint replacements for the vacant seats on the council.”

“But sir, isn’t that extreme?” one officer cautiously questioned.

Patrick slammed his fist on his desk. “Lacus Clyne consorted with a spy, one of the new mobile suits was stolen, and Operation Spit Break was an utter failure!” he roared, “It’s obvious that the ones to blame for all these events are Siegel Clyne, Canaver, and the entire Moderate faction! They must be dealt with before we suffer any more setbacks! I want results!”

The line of officers threw nervous glances to one another, but quickly nodded. “Yes, sir.”

With that, they left quickly and the door shut behind them. Athrun then slowly stepped up to his father’s desk. “Excuse me, father, I mean, Chairman Zala.”

Patrick was now seated and leaned forward. “You understand the situation?”

Athrun nervously fidgeted. “Yes, I’ve heard but I must be honest and say that I’m having trouble believing everything.”

His father leaned back and punched a keypad next to him. “Perhaps this’ll change your mind.”

A section of wall paneling slid open, revealing a large video screen. On it was Lacus and a figure in a red uniform, both clearly visible.

“This was shot by a hidden camera inside the military factory.” Patrick explained, “The Freedom was stolen shortly after. We’ve yet to identify the enemy spy, but this proves that Lacus Clyne is indeed a traitor. Furthermore, your engagement with her is over.” He paused while he punched another series of numbers and a new image was brought up. “I want you to recapture the X10A Freedom as well as kill the pilot and destroy whatever facilities he may have traveled to. Also, you are to eliminate all witnesses.” He then stood. “You’ll be given the X09A Justice for this mission and it’ll be waiting for you in the armory. Once preparations are complete, begin your mission at once. Lastly, should you not be able to retrieve the Freedom, you are authorized to destroy it.”

“But wouldn’t destroying all possible facilities and eliminating all witnesses be overkill?” Athrun asked.

“To a certain degree, yes, but it’s also vital.” Patrick said, “Those two machines, the X09A and X10A are equipped with our newest N-Jammer Cancellers.”

Athrun froze. “N-Jammer Canceller?” That could only mean one thing. “But why? The PLANTs made the decision to abandon all forms nuclear technology!”

“If we want to win this war, we must use that very power.” His father coldly told him, “Your mission is crucial and you must put your full effort into it.”

This was feeling so overwhelming for Athrun that he nearly couldn’t think straight. However, he had his orders and he had to now follow them. “Yes, sir.” He saluted and left for the armory.

A short time later, he arrived at the armory and met with Yuri Amalfi. They began to discuss the specifications of Justice’s equipment and operation, going over all details carefully.

“It’s truly is sad.” Yuri suddenly said, “Nicol had always enjoyed her singing.”

Athrun froze momentarily. He had nearly forgotten that he was speaking with Nicol’s father. He could see the sadness in his eyes and could only imagine what his wife had gone through.

“But that’s also what upsets me most.” Yuri continued, “The fact she’d do something like this when other young people, like you and Nicol, are fighting and giving their lives for our cause.”

The words struck a nerve in Athrun. “I’m sorry for Nicol, sir.” He said, “I only wish that…”

Yuri raised his hand. “There’s no need for such talk. You avenged his death, and that’s what matters most.”

“I suppose.”


Somewhere among the Aleutian Islands, the Archangel finally landed after the harrowing experience at JOSH-A. The crew could see the faded black mushroom cloud on the horizon. But more importantly their attention was on the mystery mobile suit and the red clad pilot walking toward them. The figure removed his helmet and everyone gasped when they saw that it was indeed Kira in front of them. Miriallia was the first in no wasting time and she rushed to greet him, followed by Officers Pal and Chandra, and at last Sai and Kuzzey. Soon everyone hurried over towards him.

“Kira!” Miriallia cheered happily, embracing him, “It’s really you!”

“It’s great to see you alive, Kira.” Sai said.

“How’d you make it out of there alive?” Pal asked.

“And where’d you get that mobile suit?” Chandra added.

Murrue came in the started to push the crew out of the way. “All right, everyone, let’s give Kira some room here.” The crowd stepped back. “I guess there’s a few things we need to talk about.”

“Yeah, that’s right.” Kira nodded.

Mu stepped forward and crossed his arms. “So, you were at the PLANTs?”

”Yes, but I haven’t joined ZAFT.” Kira explained, “However, I’m not with the Earth Forces anymore either.” This spurred some mutters from his crewmates. “As for this mobile suit, there won’t be any need for supplies and maintenance, since it has an N-Jammer Canceller. I can’t go into specifics, but I can only tell you that this machine was entrusted to me and I promise to safeguard its secrets, by force if necessary.”

Murrue and Mu weren’t sure if the warning was really sincere, but the look in Kira’s eyes said a lot.

“Very well,” the Captain said, “you’ll be in charge of maintenance of this mobile suit. Right now, we must get to business in planning our next move and where we need to go from here.”


Wasting no time, Murrue gathered the bridge crew, Mu and Kira, and Dearka and Cade onto the bridge to discuss the recent events. Kira listened closely as it was explained about Sutherland and his staff, what happened to Natarle and Flay, and everything leading to the usage of the Cyclops System.

“I see.” He said after it was finished.

“Right, Sutherland and his guys must’ve known for some time that ZAFT was targeting Alaska.” Mu said, “If they hadn’t, they wouldn’t have known to set up the Cyclops under the base and make their getaway.”

Kira then remembered the talk between Lacus’ father and the woman whose name he didn’t know. “The people in the PLANTs had no idea of it either.” he said, “I overheard a conversation between Lacus’ father and one of his colleagues. She had said that Patrick Zala had even the invasion force believing that the target was Panama until the last minute.”

Hearing this, Dearka and Cade threw shocked looks to each other. Was there in fact turmoil in ZAFT? How else could such delicate information reach the ears of the Earth Forces?

“So what now?” Kira asked, “Any ideas on where we go from here?”

“Well, due to the N-Jammers and magnetic fields, we haven’t been able to establish any communication at all.” Chandra answered.

Neumann turned to Murrue. “Should we then make field repairs and head to Panama on our own, Captain?”

“You really think they’d be happy to see us?” Mu interjected. “We know far too much for our own good here.”

Murrue nodded. “They’ll probably say that we disobeyed orders and fled the battle. We’d be treated as deserters who ran away.”

The crew gave a collective sigh of concern at the realization of that. Even if they were to make it to Panama, they no doubt face a court-martial, and another black mark would be added to the records.

“It’s all starting to become difficult to remember what we’re fighting for.” Murrue continued, “Or exactly who our enemies really are.”

“That being the case, I can think of at least one place that’d maybe welcome us.” Mu said, “Orb.”

Everyone looked to him and began muttering. Orb had helped them already, but would they want to do so again?

“If we explained what happened, I’m sure that something can be arranged.” Kira said in agreement. He defiantly thought so, especially if Cagalli had any say in it. She’d likely pester her father into doing so.

“That’s a plan at least.” Murrue said, “Once we’re ready, we’ll disembark for Orb.”

”Well, that’s certainly good for you.” A voice said. Everyone turned their attention to Cade and Dearka, who had remained silent for the most part.

“So what about us then?” Dearka asked. “What will the two of us do once this ship gets there?”

“Once we’ve arrived at Orb, you’ll be free to go.” Murrue explained, “There’d be no need to keep you two on board.”

“What about our mobile suits?”

”They’re ours.” Murrue said, “They’ll be turned over to Morgenroete.”

Dearka and Cade grimaced.

“We won’t send you back to the brig, but on one condition.” The Captain went on, “You are not to interfere with this ship’s operation in any way, shape, or form. Understood?”

“No problem.” Cade muttered. “You just make sure that we actually get there.”

Murrue nodded and ordered them to the barracks under the watch of a guard just in case. They were sent to one of the remaining unoccupied quarters and were left. They were told to contact the crew if they needed anything or would be stepping out.

“It’s better than the brig, but we’re still basically prisoners until we reach Orb.” Dearka said, “Well, maybe we can somehow make contact with Carpentaria and they may send transportation for us.”

”Actually, I don’t think I’d want to go back to ZAFT.” Cade said.

“What?”

”Hear me out.” Cade said, “Even if we did get to Carpentaria, when it was found out that we surrendered and allowed the Buster and Panzer to be taken back by the Earth Forces, we could be court-martialed, possibly charged with treason and perhaps face a long time behind bars, maybe even the death penalty.”

Dearka thought it over. Indeed, it would appear to ZAFT that they had apparently cooperated with an enemy ship and in return were released. He knew that he what he would think if someone else was in the same situation. This situation was all too similar with this ship’s crew and their dilemma.


Back at Aprilius One, Athrun snuck onto the grounds of the Clyne estate and searched around. The entire place looked like it had been ransacked, with windows smashed and doors broken down. Even the enclosed gazebo had been part of the demolition. As he surveyed the damage, he wasn’t sure what to think. Everything seemed to be spiraling out of control. The Moderates had been placed under house arrest by his father’s orders, Lacus and her father were now wanted criminals, and the ZAFT armed forces now were using nuclear powered mobile suits. When was this going to end?

Suddenly, there was a rustling in the brushes nearby. Instinctively he reached for his sidearm and aimed towards the source of the noise. Much to his surprise, a familiar round shaped and pink robot leapt out.

“Hello, Athrun!” Pink chirped, rolling around.

“Haro?”

”Want to see Lacus?” the robot asked, “Come look.” It then bounded off in the opposite direction.

Athrun wondered what the tiny machine meant and quickly followed. The robot led him to a large bush of flowers that somehow had remained unharmed from the raid. Large white flowers dotted the dark green branches and he knelt down to look closer.

“See the flowers.” Pink said, “See Lacus.”

He didn’t understand what the robot was talking about. It was obvious that Lacus was in hiding, but what did these flowers have to do with it? He felt one of the petals, when a memory flashed in his mind. He remembered a conversation Lacus had with him on one of their first dates and it was about these flowers. She had explained that this type had been given to her after her very first public concert and it was a joyous moment for her. She went to say that the flowers always reminded her of that day and had a special place in her heart. That’s when it hit him; he knew where he could find her. He scooped up Pink and took off.


It didn’t take too long to find the opera house, which wasn’t difficult to pass since it was recognizable due to it had fallen into disrepair. Windows that were broken had been boarded up. Faded posters were spread across the front of the building. Athrun then saw something out the ordinary, the doors were cracked open.

He slowly crept inside, surprised to find some light fixtures glowing dimly. Suddenly Pink leapt out of his hand and rolled away. Athrun watched where the little robot went and saw a figure sitting in the center of the empty stage.

“I brought Athrun.” The pink Haro said as it leapt into her lap.

“Good work.” She smiled. Then she looked to Athrun, who had stepped on the stage. “I was hoping you would be able to figure it out.

Athrun didn’t respond. Instead he took his sidearm and pointed it at her. “Is it true, Lacus? Did you really give the Freedom to a spy?”

Lacus didn’t appear the slightest afraid of the weapon. ”Yes, it is true.” She answered, “But I didn’t give to a spy, I gave it to Kira.”

Athrun was shocked by the claim. “That’s impossible. Kira’s dead and I should know.”

Lacus shook her head. “No, Kira survived and was brought to me by Reverend Malchio.


”Do you know what you’ve done? With that mobile suit in the Earth Forces’ hands…”

“Kira isn’t with the Earth Forces any longer.” Lacus interrupted, “However, he isn’t fighting ZAFT either. He’s decided to fight for his own beliefs.” She stood. “I wanted to ask you about your reasons for fighting. Is it simply because you’re ordered to do so, or to earn medal and so-called honor? Because if so, then perhaps Kira may still be your enemy. And I as well.”

“Lacus…”

”If you see me as an enemy, then you might as well kill me now, Athrun Zala of ZAFT!”

Athrun knew he couldn’t just kill her outright and she hadn’t done anything that would justify as such. He lowered his weapon and hung his shoulders.

“Miss Lacus.” A voice came from behind them. A red haired man in a military uniform emerged from the shadows. “We must be going. The longer you stay, the more dangerous it becomes.”

“Yes, thank you Mr. DaCosta.” She said. “Good-bye, Athrun.” She turned to leave, but stopped. “Kira is on Earth right now. We you find him, you should talk to one another. That’ll be for the best.” With that, she and her escort disappeared, leaving Athrun alone.


Two hours later, he now sat the cockpit of his new mobile suit. Above him, the series of hatches opened. He began to fire up the vernier thrusters. So many thoughts ran through his head, his orders, what Lacus had told him, and all the recent events. Of course, he knew fully that he would eventually find the Freedom and Kira. He knew what he was supposed to do, but he had no idea of what he would actually do once the time came. He launched at last and as soon as he was clear, he made a straight path for Earth. He knew that he would have to decide once and for all.

_________________
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.


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 Post Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:10 pm 
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Mysterious Masked Dude
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 7:45 pm
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(posted with Charismatic Enigma's consent)

New Phase 35

Cagalli paced anxiously as she waited for the Archangel to dock. She had only become more so anxious after hearing the news that Kira was in fact alive. She was losing patience when word came that the ship and docked at last. She immeadatily ran down, hoping to find Kira. As she boarded the ship, the compliment of mobile suits was being unloaded. She recognized the X103 and X619, but not the final one. She sped down several corridors, looking around every corner. She was moving so fast everything was almost a blur to her. Out of the corner of her eye, she at last saw a familiar face. She spun back.

“Kira!” she called out.

Kira turned around and suddenly was all but tackled by Cagalli. Both crashed to the floor and she embraced him tightly.

“You are such an idiot!” she cried, “I thought you were dead!”

Kira only could smile. “I’m sorry.”

"Okay, you two, break it up," another familiar voice said playfully.

Kira and Cagalli looked up, and saw a familiar face looking at them. He was wearing red-shaded Aviators, that cream-colored mechanic's uniform, and still had the silvery blue hair.

"Michael?"

"Hey, Kira. Haven't seen you in a while, buddy," Michael said, extending his hands to help both the teenagers up. Taking his hands, both of them managed to get back up, but Cagalli gave Michael a small punch on the shoulder.

"Michael, you shouldn't sneak up on people like that!"

"Cags, when will you ever learn to not act like a brat?" Michael said playfully to the arrogant teenage princess.

"When you stay out of that shop of yours for a whole day!" Cagalli retorted in the same playful manner.

Michael chuckled and decided that it was time to catch up with his newfound friend.
"Cags, would you excuse us?"

Looking on understandingly, Cagalli nodded and left the two alone as she began walking away. Looking at Kira, Michael said to him,

"Come on, Kira. I have something to show you."

Sliding down a ladder, Michael motioned Kira to follow. As he quickly studied how Michael did it, Kira did it in the same fashion, and he soon caught up with Michael. The two began walking towards a hangar, talking about their experiences after the Archangel had left Orb. Once Michael heard what was happening in the PLANTs, his face whitened into a ghostly color.

“So, ZAFT has developed Gundams of their own, with operational nuclear fission plants, no less. That can only mean that Zala intends to up the ante in this war.”

“Yeah, that’s what Lacus said.” Kira said sadly. “I hope she’s all right.”

“Don’t worry about her, friend. If she was willing to risk her safety to give you that suit over there, she’s got a stronger will to survive,” Michael said.

“I guess. What do you want to show me, anyway?” Kira asked with curiosity as the pair reached the open hangar doors. It was as dark as dark could get, but not for long.

Michael walked inside a few feet, and then reached for a small lever. He pulled it straight down; turning on a set of lights that illuminated the area. Kira looked up, and saw something that nearly made his eyes boggle.

“What do you think of my baby? Kira, say hello to the MBF-M1S Silver Astray,” Michael said, beaming with pride as Kira looked over the mobile suit carefully.

It was an M1 Astray, painted in shades of gray and silver with markings painted on the shoulders. Taking a closer look, Kira recognized the markings as that of an Egyptian ankh and a jackal’s head. However, he also noticed that the joints looked unusually smooth and gleaming.

“Is there something special about this suit, Michael? It just looks like a normal M1 Astray with a new paint scheme and personal markings.”

“Just a normal Astray?! Boy, Kira, you must not have remembered our conversation about technology when you first stopped here, do you?” Michael said as he began to climb up a ladder to a platform just below the entrance to the cockpit.

Following him up, Kira began to wonder if there was something more about this suit than what he was seeing. As he began to recollect the conversation between him and Michael about the latter’s ideas for overall mobile suit improvement, Kira suddenly realized that he was standing outside the open cockpit of the Silver Astray.

Stepping inside after being motioned by Michael, he slowly began to power up the control systems, but he was in for a real big surprise. Instead of seeing the normal monitors, he saw what seemed like pieces of a bubble of visual screens begin to form around him. After a few moments, those various screens converged to form a nigh complete field of vision around him. He could see almost everything around him. It was then that he realized that this was indeed a special machine.

“Is this…?”

“Yes, Kira. This is the first operational prototype of the panoramic cockpit, though I’m still working on the fine tuning. I also managed to apply the electromagnetic joint coating idea, as well. The Silver Astray is the embodiment of my applied ideas. I know it’s still in the early stages, but you think I just upped the ante?”

“Yeah, I think you just did,” Kira said with a grin on his face. In a short span of time, Michael had just outdone many of PLANTs finest scientific military minds. That had to be a good accomplishment.


At the same time, Murrue and the bridge crew welcomed Lord Uzumi aboard the Archangel.

“Thank you for coming to our aid once again, sir.” She said, bowing politely. “We are in your debt.”

Uzumi nodded. “Given the circumstances, your crew will closely watched for the time being.” He said, “For the sake of security, we cannot make you too welcomed just yet.”

”I understand.”

“With the destruction of JOSH-A, things are shifting in a new direction. Once you’ve had time to rest, I shall provide you of what we know of the latest news reports.” Uzumi went on, “But I’m afraid that it is possible that once you hear them, you may end up questioning why you even chose to become part of a military.”

That indeed was something for the crew to think about. Things appeared to be direr than they had already thought.


A short while later, the handing over of the Buster and Panzer to the Orb personnel was finished. The two flatbed trailers that carried the mobile suits now were parked off to the side next to a line of M1 Astrays. Cade and Dearka wandered around for the time being, as it was determined that they posed no viable threat, but they couldn’t go very far. Cade stared at the mobile suits, almost straining his neck as he looked upward. Orb certainly housed an impressive number of the units. He could clearly see the resemblance to the Strike. This entire nation held one surprise after another, even more than what he had previously thought. He turned about face and took several steps back. He could only imagine what Mara would think if she saw him now. The next thing he knew, he felt someone bump right into him. He staggered slightly, but kept his balance.

“Hey, pal.” He said, “Why don’t you watch where-?” He stopped when he looked and saw that a young woman had been knocked down. “Oh, I’m sorry.” He bent down to pick up her pink-framed glasses, which had fallen off. “I take it these are yours?”

“Yes, thanks.” Juri took her glasses and put them back on.

Cade offered her a hand and helped her to her feet. “Sorry, I should’ve been watching where I was going, but I couldn’t help admiring these mobile suits.” At the same time, he saw that she had lovely dark blue hair and beautiful hazelnut eyes.

She brushed some strains of hair out of her face. “Oh, you’re interested in mobile suits?”

“Well, you can say that.” He pointed to the Panzer. “In fact, that one right there is my mobile suit. Or, at least it was.”

Her eyes widened. “You’re not saying that you’re ZAFT?”

“I’m actually kind of former ZAFT.” He corrected her, “Let’s just say that I’ve seen some upsetting things and I may never go back. It’s a real long story, if you’re willing to hear it.”

Before she could reply, Asagi and Mayura appeared.

“Juri, Erica needs us for another test!” Mayura yelled, “Hurry!”

Juri turned to Cade. “I have to go now.” She said, “Later.”

“Hope to see you around.” He watched Juri sprint off to join fellow pilots before he realized something important. “Hey, what’s your name?”

“I’m Juri, Juri Wu Nien.” She said.

“My name’s Cade Fenix.” He told her. He sighed as watched her leave. She had a nice name.

“If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you look a little smitten.” Dearka said. He had seen the entire brief conversation. “And that girl seemed a little taken to you as well.”

Cade nodded then shrugged. “Yeah, she’s cute, but what makes you think she’d be interested in someone like me?”

”Oh, I think it’s because she’s now glanced back at you twice.” Dearka answered, looking over Cade’s shoulder. “Make that three times.”

Cade twisted around in time to see Juri quickly avert her eyes. The other two girls seemed to giggle at the exchange. He decided to take the chance and go talk to her some more when the time came.

“Excuse me.” A new voice said.

Cade and Dearka turned around. “Can we help you?”

”Yes, my name is Michael Starling.” He said, “I was hoping for an opportunity to speak to you.”


That evening, Murrue and Mu, Kira and Cagalli, and Kisaka gathered to speak with Uzumi about any new word on what was happening elsewhere in the world. They explained what had transpired at Alaska.

“So they used a Cyclops System.” Uzumi murmured, “Even if information was leaked and they learned that JOSH-A was the target, using such a weapon was an extreme measure.”

”It cannot be argued that what they did wiped out eighty percent of ZAFT’s forces.” Kisaka said, “However, Eurasia has been cripple thanks to the fact that many of their military leaders were there as well. In the end, it was all about calculations on paper to those who planned it. They eliminated a massive number of enemy soldiers and secured control of all the Earth Alliance in their hands.”

”And the result is this.” Uzumi added, “The Atlantic Federation is placing all blame for the base’s destruction on ZAFT and using it as a rallying cry. To add to its rhetoric, it is also pressuring all neutral nations to unite against ZAFT. Any nations that does not do so will be declared a ZAFT supporter and therefore and enemy. Orb is no exception.”

”All they want is Orb’s power!” Cagalli exclaimed. That much was certain, as the nation was a forerunner in many of the latest technology.

Uzumi nodded and continued. “As you all are aware, our nation is one of the few that accepts Coordinators, as we don’t believe people should be judged on whether or not their genes have been augmented. Adding labels only reinforces friction between the two.” He turned to the youths. “Take Cagalli and Kira, she is a Natural and he is a Coordinator. These facts are something they themselves have no control over.” He turned his attention to Murrue. “I don’t believe in the policies of the Atlantic Federation, as it labels every Coordinator as an enemy and promotes violence against them for that lone reason.” He paused briefly. “So the question is who is really fighting who and what is the real reason for this war?”

“With all due respect, sir,” Mu said, “isn’t your position just idealistic? I mean, there will always be Coordinators who look down on Naturals and Naturals who will be jealous of Coordinators. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is.”

“I know that.” Uzumi said, “However, if we were to simply give up on trying to improve our situation, it could lead us to destroy one another. At which point, all that could be done is look back and regret.” He stood. “Is it that you want to do just that because the rest of the world is? I understand if you feel you are betraying those whose uniforms you are wearing, but you should make whatever decisions carefully and live with them.”

Everyone was silent, considering what Lord Uzumi had said. He made many points, but the choice was still going to be difficult to make in the end.


In the early light of the following morning, the fleet of ZAFT ships had at last entered the perimeter of Porta Panama. Final checks were made and the first wave of the attack force was more than eager to disembark. After what had happened at JOSH-A, the ZAFT soldiers had only one goal, revenge. DINNs took to the air first, and ZnOs and GOOnHs were launched from their carriers.

“Command has put a grave burden on our shoulders.” Captain Monroe said as he watched, “Given our numbers, I really don’t know how we can pull this one off.” He had a valid point. Most of the force was comprised of survivors from JOSH-A, with several reserve units pulled in from Carpentaria. Still, a task force of such numbers would have difficulty storming Porta Panama, which was now heavily fortified.

Le Creuset was indifferent. “All we must do is fight until the Gungirs are deployed. Once they’re in place, they’ll take care of the rest.”

The Gungris were electromagnetic pulse weapons. When they would be activated, the deadly waves they’d emit would undoubtedly paralyze the entire Alliance base and destroy the nearby mass driver, cutting off the Earth Forces’ access to outer space. Should this battle end in victory for ZAFT, the Alliance’s recent momentum would come to a grinding halt.

The next wave was launched, now with Yzak and Shiho heading out. Shiho was ready to gain retribution for her comrades who had lost their lives, as was Yzak. The shoreline was in sight and they readied their weapons.


Back at Orb, Kira and Cagalli stood in front of the Freedom. They had been talking about the recent events and explained what happened to one another after the Archangel left Orb.

“So you met Athrun.” Kira muttered.

“Yeah, we had gone out to search for you, but found him instead.” Cagalli answered, “It was strange, but he was devastated. He kept saying that he had killed you and it hurt him deeply.”

Kira sighed. “Did he tell about the battle before that, when I had killed his comrade?”

Cagalli nodded.

“During the last fight, he had killed Tolle, and things just exploded between us.”

“He mentioned that you had been friends since you were kids, right?”

”Yes, we did.” Kira smiled. “Athrun had always been someone I could count on.”

”You must’ve realized that you two have to fight eventually,” Cagalli then said, “so why’d you remain on the side of the Earth Forces?”

Kira hesitated for a moment. “I thought that if I didn’t keep fighting…my other friends would die.” He turned to look up at the Freedom. “But the honest truth is that I never thought that I’d have to kill Athrun, or that he’d have to kill me. I was foolish to think that.”

Suddenly, Kisaka came over to them. They could see by his grim expression that something was defiantly wrong. “We’ve just heard that Porta Panama is under siege by ZAFT. Apparently the fighting started at dawn.”

Kira and Cagalli look to one another. They feared that things would become worse very soon.

It didn’t take long for word of the attack to reach the rest of the Archangel’s crew. Everyone sat around silently. They anticipated that ZAFT would somehow strike back after Alaska, but they hadn’t thought that it would be this soon and against Panama.

“ZAFT is really pulling out all the stops on this one.” Mu sighed, “They must be desperate.”

”But why?” Miriallia murmured, “So many people were killed at Alaska, so why does more blood have to be shed?”

No one had an answer.


Back at Panama, the battle raged, with neither side having a decisive edge. From the command center, the Alliance officers watched as GINNs demolished bunkers, ZnOs climb onto the shore, and the Duel and a group of DINNs shoot down enemy aircraft.

“This isn’t looking good, sir.” One officer muttered, “What should we do?”

The commander looked up, his expression neutral. “There is only one thing to do.” He said, “Deploy the 13th Autonomous Corp.”

”You want to use the Daggers?” his colleague asked, “But sir, they haven’t had all their equipment completed installed.”

The commander’s eyes narrowed. “I said deploy them. After all, this is the perfect time to surprise those Coordinators.”

”Yes, sir.”


As the day passed along, everyone waited anxiously for any news of the battle. The Archangel’s crew, Dearka and Cade, and Cagalli and Michael gathered, wondering when the next update would be and how things were turning out. Panama was heavily guarded, but ZAFT was being propelled by zeal. The odds seemed to favor the Alliance, but the opposite was thought at JOSH-A. Everybody drew their attention to Lord Uzumi and Kisaka when they entered.

“Everyone,” Uzumi solemnly said, “we’ve learned that Porta Panama has fallen.”

A ripple of shock spread through those who heard the news and a stunned silence followed.

“How could ZAFT have pulled off that after their losses at Alaska?” Cagalli asked.

Kisaka stepped forward. “We don’t know exactly all the details, but it seems that during the battle, the Earth Forces gained the upper hand temporarily when they deployed their own mobile suit teams.” This was another piece of shocking news. The Earth Alliance now had developed mass production models of mobile suits. “Everything was going in their favor until the ZAFT forces used some kind of EMP weapons against the Alliance. It disabled all their machines and wiped out the mass driver.” He paused briefly. “What’s more, there are reports that the ZAFT soldiers massacred surrendering Earth Alliance troops in retaliation for Alaska.”

That was sickening to hear. Dearka and Cade, in spite of hardly ever agreeing on much, both hated the thought of defenseless soldiers being slaughtered. They would’ve never done a vial act, no matter what the circumstance. Dearka thought then of Yzak, wondering if he had been at Panama. If he was, did he take part in killing the Earth Alliance soldiers as well?

Murrue didn’t know what to think now. First JOSH-A and now Panama. The world was spiraling out of control and so many lives were being lost as a result. She couldn’t begin to imagine what was going to happen next.

Just then, engineer Erica Simmons entered. “I know that this may be a turbulent moment right now, but there’s something I’d like to show you. Let’s just say that it’s something that belonged to you.”

She led Kira, Mu, Murrue, and Cagalli to another level of the facility and down into one of testing sites. Her fingers flew across a keypad. “When we repaired this, I thought you’d need it, but I’ve seen that isn’t the case.”

The massive doors slid open and everyone gasped at what was inside. Standing before them was the GAT-X105 Strike Gundam, fully repaired and restored to its former glory.

“I’ve just finished installing the OS you developed for us.” Erica explained, “Now even a Natural can pilot it with little effort.”

Cagalli was immeadatily excited. “All right, when can I try it out?”

”Sorry, missy.” Mu smiled, “I’d hate to disappoint you, but I’m going to pilot that machine.”

Murrue was shocked. “Commander La Flaga?”

”That title doesn’t mean anything anymore.” Mu said, “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and I agree with Kira.” He grinned. “Besides, the kid can’t fight all by himself, so I think I’ll lend a hand.” He then turned to Kira. “So how about we do some sparring?”

Kira cocked an eyebrow. “You sure about this, sir?”

“Of course I am.”

Murrue couldn’t believe what she was seeing. A hero like Mu just casting his allegiances aside like it was nothing. Secretly she admired his taking a stand for what he believed in. She then realized that she needed to make up her mind as well and soon. Time was running out, and soon it might too late.

_________________
"That's the problem with plutonium, Craven; it's limited in its application. It's not user-friendly. But as a vehicle for regaining one's self-respect; oh, it's got a lot going for it!"
- Darius Jedburgh, Edge of Darkness, Episode 6, Fusion


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 Post Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:14 pm 
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Retconned MSV Ace

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Posts: 1681
Location: Finland
I bet it is hard to write a very compelling episode about something that is just basically people chatting. I was a little surprised though to see the Panama incidence brushed aside so quickly. On the other hand, I was slightly interested by the apparent new links your original characters make with the old, but it somehow feels... not right, you know? They are additions, and basically you get the feeling that they are going to die eventually (it is, however, amusing to fantasize about how they will croak and how much tears and suffering that will cause all around. I know, I'm weird that way :P ), so you don't necessarily develop a very deep bond with them. Hope you guys can churn up more episodes to get to the Battle of Orb soon, because I am interested to see how that will play out. :)

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


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 Post Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:21 am 
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Newtype Emo Guy

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Posts: 302
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 36

Around the table, every person glared angrily at the screen before them. They saw the remains of Porta Panama. The entire complex was in ruins, with every building demolished and the mass driver collapsed in a twisted and broken heap. The wreckage of many of the new Strike Daggers was visible as well.

“This is an utter embarrassment.” One said, shaking his head, “Our victory at JOSH-A is meaningless now that we’ve lost Panama.”

”At this rate, our lunar base will exhaust its stores now that the supply route has been cut off.” Another said, “If that happens, how are we supposed to launch a counter offensive against the PLANTs themselves?”

A third official leaned forward. “What about Heaven’s Base?”

”They’re accelerating their schedule for the operation to recapture Victoria.” Another explained, “And the GAT-01BD models can be deployed when everything is ready.”

“The problem will be securing the mass driver undamaged.”

“That’s why we have the GAT-01BD models. I can assure that our special ops will do their job.”

”And what about Orb? What’s the latest on them?”

“We’ve made several pleas for their assistance, but Uzumi Nara Attha won’t budge.”

A young blond man impatiently tapped his fingers on the table. “Is that so? Is it because they’re…neutral?”

Everyone turned to the young man seated among them. While younger than everyone else, he by far had the most influence. He was Muruta Azrael, the leader of Blue Cosmos. From a young age, he had a deep hatred of all Coordinators and openly advocated any and all violence against. He had even praised the destruction of Junius Seven and was the one who gave the final authorization for the use of the Cyclops System at JOSH-A.

“His way of thinking is unacceptable.” Azrael continued, “Not with our people risking their lives in the fight against humanity’s greatest enemies, the Coordinators.”

“Mind how you phrase things here, Azrael.” One of the officials warned, “Remember that this isn’t anything related to your organization.” That much was true and even most of the people seated resented Azrael for the authority he could wield.

Azrael shrugged dismissively. “I meant no offense, but I cannot understand why it is you continue to tolerate a nation like Orb which hides behind its own ideological rhetoric. Their policies are just flimsy excuses and I believe the time has come when claims of neutrality aren’t an option.”

“But sir, the Orb Union is an independent sovereign nation.” An official reminded him, “We have to acknowledge that.”

”But it is a nation of Earth,” Azrael countered, “so shouldn’t it be obligated to at least cooperate with the Alliance? It only seems fair.”

The officials muttered nervous and looked to one another. They knew that Azrael often got his way mainly through dubious tactics.

“If you prefer,” the Blue Cosmos leader said, “I’ll personally lead the negotiations with Orb.”

”What are you getting at, Azrael?”

”Our top priority is acquiring a mass driver and as quickly as possible, right? So why should we settle for one when we can have two?” Azrael said, “You’ll be busy with the Victoria operation, so it’d only be logical to divide these…responsibilities. And besides, this could be the perfect chance to test out the new toys.”

”You mean four newest X units of the GAT series?”

Azrael smiled wickedly. “It’ll all just depend on how our esteemed counterpart reacts. If the rumors of Mr. Attha’s stubbornness are true, we may find ourselves in for a bit of excitement.”


Meanwhile, a lone object flew over the area where JOSH-A once was. Athrun chose to head to the location first since he thought he could find clues as to where the Freedom could’ve gone from there. The Justice swooped down and Athrun saw the massive crater that had been left behind following the use of the Cyclops. He shuddered to think of the number of people who had been killed in only in a matter of minutes. Seeing he wouldn’t find anything here, he decided to move on. The next area he thought would be the likely one would be Orb or somewhere near there. Firing his thrusters, he left JOSH-A behind him.


Two days later, the Atlantic Federation gave Orb its ultimatum. Orb’s Security Council, each province’s lords, and other close associates each had a copy of the document. Uzumi looked to his younger brother Homura as it was read. In what was called Orb’s final warning, the ultimatum stated that Orb had neglected its responsibilities as a nation of Earth in favor of its own domestic peace. The list of demands was very extreme. First, it called for the immediate resignation of all of Orb’s current government. Second, it called for the disarmament and dissolution of Orb’s entire military. The document went on saying that if Orb didn’t comply in a forty-eight time limit, the Earth Federation would Orb an ally of ZAFT and act accordingly.

Homura tossed the document aside. “This is intolerable.”

“What a complete farce!” Uzumi exclaimed, his anger obvious. “Damn the Atlantic Federation! Have they decided it isn’t worth any effort to hide their true colors now that they’ve lost Panama?”

“It appears as so.” Another province’s lord said, “An Alliance fleet is already heading towards. It seems they’re from the Atlantic Federation’s California Base.”

“Morgenroete and the mass driver are what they really want.” Homura said.

Unato Seiran stood. “However unjust these demands may be, what other country would dare challenge the Atlantic Federation at this point in time?” he asked.

From there, other members of the cabinet voiced their opinions and concerns.

“Eurasia has been shattered and even the Equatorial Union and the Kingdom of Scandinavia are now member states of the Alliance, despite their efforts to stay neutral.”

”It’s beginning to look like we must indeed choose one side or the other.”

“ZAFT’s Carpentaria Base has heard of our situation and is requesting a meeting as well. Perhaps we should consider siding with the PLANTs.”

Uzumi slapped his hand on the table. “If we side with the Alliance, we’ll be destroyed as Porta Panama was. And if we side with ZAFT, we’ll suffer the same fate as JOSH-A.” he said, “Why should we cast aside our own principles in order to fight whatever enemy we’re told to? If we give into these demands, we’ll give up any chance of avoiding a war, no matter who it’d be against.”

“With that being the case,” Homura said, “we should begin the evacuation orders and prepare to mobilize our military forces for the worst case scenario.” He looked to his colleagues. “It is my utmost wish that our citizens not suffer during this turbulent time.”

It wasn’t long before news of the Atlantic Federation’s demands was broadcasted. As it was being done, Murrue called together the Archangel’s crew to inform them of the situation. She explained the details of what Atlantic Federation was planning, and that Orb was pressing for a diplomatic solution, even though it wasn’t likely. She then told her crew that all civilians were advised to be evacuated and that they too could leave if they chose to, as they were no longer obligated to remain on the ship. She reminded them the deadline would be forty-eight hours and they had to make their decisions as quickly as possible. After that we thanked them for all their efforts and wished them the very best.

Inside a military hanger, Cagalli and Kisaka made their way through. Cagalli looked up to the rows of M1 Astrays with dread. Her worst fear of Orb becoming a battlefield was starting to be a reality. She only hoped that her father could somehow figure something out.

Cagalli then noticed someone she didn’t recognize standing next to the Panzer. He was a wearing a navy blue long-sleeved shirt, brown vest, and dark pants. When she looked closer and saw his profile, she recognized him as one of the ZAFT pilots that had been a prisoner on the Archangel. She wondered why he was even allowed to get so close to the Panzer unsupervised. She rushed off to confront him.

“Cagalli, wait!” Kisaka said, following her. “There’s something you need to know!”

She ignored him and hurried to where the Panzer was parked. “Hey, what are you up to?” She climbed up, surprised to find Asagi, Mayura, Juri gazing inside the Panzer’s cockpit. She was even more surprised to see that Michael was in the pilot’s seat, examining the controls.

“Was it difficult for you to initially pilot this?” he asked Cade.

“Somewhat, but the real task was rewriting the OS in order to properly compensate for the gatling’s weight and the mortar launcher’s recoil.”

“What about other functions?” Juri asked.

Cade shrugged. “Oh, I didn’t have much trouble with the Panzer’s systems after I acquired it.”

“Don’t you mean stole it?” Cagalli countered. It was then the group noticed her presence.

“Oh hi, Cagalli.” Juri said, “What’s up?”

Cagalli pointed to Cade. “Why is he here? Why is he allowed to even be near the X619?”

“Well, for you information, I was planning to use it to defend this country should the Earth Forces decide to attack.” He said.

Cagalli was stunned and her expression showed it.

“That’s what I wanted to tell you.” Kisaka said, coming up behind her. “Both Michael and Cade have volunteered their services as part of the defensive forces.”

This was a surprise to Cagalli. “I understand Michael’s reasoning, but why would a former ZAFT soldier just join another nation’s army?”

“Look Cags, even though you think you’re the only one with the guts to fight, it doesn’t mean we don’t.” Michael teased.

Cagalli hated that nickname he had given her, even more than being called ‘Princess.’
“That doesn’t answer my question.” she retorted.

“The truth is that it’s because of my guardian, Mara.” Cade explained, “She originally came from Orb and she has told me wonderful stories of this country. Everything she told me made me want to visit it someday. After seeing it for myself, I knew I couldn’t sit back and do nothing when I have the ability and the desire to defend it. I’d like to hopefully call this place my home someday, because I like this place and the ideals it stands for. That’s why I chose this.”

Cagalli smiled and really could say only one thing. “Thank you.” With that, she and Kisaka headed off to resume their duties.

“Well, thanks for allowing me to look at the Panzer.” Michael said, climbing out of the cockpit.

“No problem, now what’s this M1S you need some help with?” Cade asked.

Michael led him and the girls over to where his own M1 Astray was. Cade immeadatily took notice of the silver paint job.

“Basically what I need is some help with the cockpit’s monitor.” Michael explained, “It’s an experimental prototype and I just need to get the last few glitches taken care of.”

Cade nodded as Michael gave the details of needed to be done and they and the girls went to work. The work on the M1S’ cockpit progressed smoothly. With Cade and girls’ help, Michael soon had his invention working even better than he had originally hoped. Juri sat in the pilot’s seat when the monitor was tested, and she was impressive with the field of view. She then inputted some data she had gathered during her very brief time piloting the Astray Red Frame. With the few minor adjustments to the OS, and nearly an hour of work, everything was complete.


Afterwards, Michael went off to discuss something with Erica, and Juri rested in the factory lounge, when Cade came in with two drinks and joined her.

He handed her a cup. “Here.” He took the seat next to her. For a short while, neither said anything and merely sipped their drinks.

“What do you think will happen?” Juri suddenly asked. There was no mistaking her nervousness, what with the present situation. The Earth Forces had made their intentions known and Orb was now backed into a corner.

”I’m not sure.” He told her, “All we really can do now is do what we are able to and hope that our actions can affect the ultimate outcome.” Even though those words were supposed to be reassuring, he had trouble believing them.

“That almost sounds like something Cagalli says.”

“Really?” He craned his sore neck. “Hey, you mind if I lean…”

“Sure.” Juri answered, not letting him finish. Much to her surprise, he leaned his head right on her shoulder!

“Hey, you’re pretty comfy.” He commented.

Juri blushed at the compliment, not knowing what to say or even if she should reply. Instead she took a long sip of her drink. Right outside the lounge, Asagi and Mayura watched from a safe distance.

“I really envy Juri.” Asagi sighed, “She seems to have the most luck with guys.”

Mayura nodded, “I know, first that cutie Lowe and now this guy.”


The Justice soared over a group of islands, when Athrun thought he spotted something. He slowed and landed his mobile suit. He stepped out and stared at the debris field. He immeadatily recognized the pieces as the remains of his former mobile suit, the Aegis. The torso was nothing but a twisted hulk and an arm lay nearby. The only other intact piece was the head. He took two steps, when a pair of eyes peeked out from behind the discarded arm. Then there was a second and a third.

“Children, what’s the matter?”

”Reverend Malchio!” The children ran over to their caregiver.

Athrun was surprised to actually see Malchio. He had heard Lacus talk about him on numerous occasions, but he never expected to actually meet him.

“Excuse me, sir.” He bowed politely.


The fleet of Earth Alliance navy ships coasted towards their target at top speed. On Azrael’s ship, the four latest mobile suits were housed inside the hanger bay. According to their designers, these new Gundams were far superior to the ones that had been developed and constructed at Heliopolis. The quartet of pilots sat below deck, each absorbed in their respective pastimes. Clotho Buer, who was selected to operate the GAT-X370 Raider, sat back, his eyes focused on the portable video game consol in his hands. Orga Sabnak, who had been selected to operate the GAT-X131 Calamity, sat as he read. Shani Andras, who had was selected to operate the GAT-X252 Forbidden, sat as the music in his headphones blasted, cutting off the noise of the rest of the world. Gren Pishacha, who had been selected to operate the GAT-X626 Scorpio, sat still as he watched a variety of mixed martial arts competition on the handheld video player he always had with him. Each of them expressed no emotion, which frightened many of the other Earth Alliance soldiers. And if the rumors about those pilots were true, the soldiers knew not to trifle with them.

Other ships in the fleet carried additional experimental mobile suits as well. On one ship stood Simon Parallax, and carried a custom GAT-01A1 105. Following the destruction of Porta Panama, he had been ordered to immeadatily head to the California Base to receive the mobile suit. It was no secret that the mobile suit had capabilities that only a select group of pilots could master. And Parallax was very eager for the upcoming invasion.


Back at Orb, Sai and Miriallia watched as Kuzzey and several others of the Archangel’s crew walked down to board the ship that would take them with other evacuees. Kuzzey turned back one last time and waved good-bye to his friends. Initially he had been ashamed to be leaving, but Sai and Miriallia assured him that it was his own decision and not to worry about what others would do. They continued watching until the ship’s hatch was sealed and the vessel departed.

“So you two are staying?” a voice from behind them said.

They turned to find Dearka standing there. He leaned against the wall, arms folded, and a bewildered look on his face. Whereas they were going to stay on with the Archangel, he planned to leave soon.

“That’s right.” Sai said, “At the moment Orb’s in trouble and I feel that I can do something about it.”

“But that’s crazy.” Dearka said, “You two are really going to fight?”

Miriallia turned to him. “Yes, I’d better since I’m in charge of the CIC now.” She had volunteered to take over the duties that Kuzzey had been responsible for.

Dearka rolled his eyes. “Man, there are some things about Naturals I’ll never understand.”

”Who cares what you think?” Miriallia sharply retorted. At moment later she calmed and sighed. “Everyone has their reasons. We’re doing this because Orb’s our homeland. And from what I’ve heard, your friend Cade is fighting as well.”

Dearka said nothing as he turned to walk away. He had his mind up and he planned to see it through. Or at least he thought he knew what he wanted to do.

At the same time, Murrue and Mu watched the vessel with those who chose to leave depart.

“In all only eleven decided to leave.” Mu informed the Captain.

“I see.” Murrue meekly said. She had expected a higher number, but was glad to see nearly all her crew remain by her. However she feared for their welfare once the fighting started.

Mu saw her expression and took a step closer over to her. “You know, this situation sort of reminds me of a story I heard back when I was at the academy.” He leaned up against the wall. “There was an officer named General Anthony McAuliffe. Now, during a battle, he and his forces were in a town called Bastogne and they were outgunned, outmanned, and surrounded by the enemy. When they were given the chance to surrender, do you know what his answer was?”

Murrue shook her head.

“McAuliffe’s answer was only one word, ‘nuts’.” Mu smiled.

“Well, why did he say that?”

“In a certain context, he was telling the enemy forces to go to hell.”

“I see.” Murrue had to admire an officer who remained strong willed even when facing incredible odd. Even after all that had happened when she first assumed command, she didn’t have full confidence in her abilities. At least she had Mu’s support. “Commander, I have a question. Back at JOSH-A, why’d you decide to come back?”

”That’s easy.” Mu smiled. Suddenly he reached over and softly planted his lips to Murrue’s.

She was caught off guard by the brazen display of affection. And yet, she enjoyed it. Truthfully, she had slowly developed feelings for him, but she denied them as she thought they were inappropriate, but not anymore. When they pulled away from one another, she blushed. “You know, I’ve never been fond of mobile armor pilots.”

Mu smirked. “Good thing I’m a mobile suit pilot now.”

Murrue laughed and before she knew it their lips were planted together again. In light of the serious situation, this was a moment of peace for the both of them.


In the early morning hours of the next day, the Earth Alliance fleet paused just outside of Orb’s territory. Everything had come down to what Orb’s response to the demands was. Azrael waited impatiently until an officer came forward with a message in hand. He passed it over and Azrael looked at what it said.

“’Your demands are unjust, and therefore we cannot accept them.’” He read aloud, “’The Orb Union has no intention of changing its position as a neutral nation.” He crumpled the paper and smiled. It was exactly the answer he was hoping to hear. Now he would have his chance for a military takeover of Orb.

Meanwhile, at Malchio’s orphanage, Athrun and the reverend listened to a news bulletin of the impending invasion of Orb.

“It appears it can no longer be helped.” Malchio said sadly. “It doesn’t take much for people to become enemies.”

Athrun didn’t know what to think. “I just don’t understand it, a battle between two nations of Earth.”

“Wars are easy to spread, but very difficult to end.” Malchio said.

Athrun thought over what he just heard. He knew that the war had gone on longer than he ever expected. It was like no matter what, it didn’t bring the end any closer. And after his last talk with Lacus, everything he ever thought had become clouded. He looked back to the TV screen and at the number of Earth Alliance ships. Something told him that he needed to reach Orb and as quickly as possible.

“I’d hate to seem rude, sir.” He said, “But I must be going.” He then ran out of the house and returned to where he left the Justice. It didn’t take long for him to be on his way. He had to reach Orb as fast as possible.


At Orb, the Earth Alliance fleet was in position. In response, the Orb forces gathered near their border and prepared for battle.

Azrael checked the time, smiling when he saw everything was on schedule. He turned to the officers. “It’s time.”

With that, the orders were issued to begin the bombardments. Swarms of missiles launched and sailed through the sky. The Battle of Orb had begun.

_________________
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.


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 Post Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:24 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Posts: 302
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
New Phase 37

With the battle underway, the Earth Alliance ships crossed into the nation’s territorial waters. The attack had commenced with a barrage of missiles. Those that weren’t shot down by Orb’s defensive forces wrecked havoc, destroying linear tanks and artillery batteries. Orb’s navy moved out first to engage the invaders. M1 Astrays were deployed to defend the coastline, as was the Panzer.

Asagi, Mayura, and Juri’s squadron were the first to enter the fray. Initial targets were Earth Forces fighters and VTOL aircraft, which were being easily brought down. But what came next was greatly different.

Mayura narrowly sidestepped a green colored beam and looked in the direction it had come from. There she spotted a mobile suit, colored blue, red, and grey, and it bared a slight resemblance to the Strike. “It’s the Earth Forces’ mobile suits!”

Not far away, Cade, Michael, and other Orb pilots had sighted the enemy mobile suits as well. Cade zoomed in on the oncoming enemies. The Strike Daggers rode towards the shore on craft that reminded him of Gulls, only these were aquatic units. They skimmed across the water’s surface like oversized jet skis.

“Listen up!” the MS Commander shouted to Michael, Cade, and the other M1 pilots, “Aim for the carriers! The more that we take out there now; there’ll be less to make trouble for us here later!”

Every pilot took aim and fired as ordered, striking the carriers. The explosions tossed the mobile suits into the sea, where they sank. However, large air transports appeared above and additional Strike Daggers parachuted down. Their allies on the water had been a diversion.

At that very moment, the Archangel and its mobile suit complement joined the fighting. The Freedom soared ahead, incapacitating any Strike Dagger in its path. Kira was ordered to assist the Orb navy and paused only when he targeted a swarm of incoming missiles.

Mu took the Aile equipped Strike and immeadatily started blasting. He was almost was having fun, now that he was piloting a mobile in an actual battle. He went in to support Asagi, Mayura, and Juri, who were just barely holding their own. He opened fire and caught a Strike Dagger in the lower back, destroying the machine. After a second and third kill for himself, the girls rallied and took out the remaining mobile suits.

“Not bad, but keep alert, girls!” Mu called, “More enemies are on their way!”


Further inland, Dearka watched the battle from a distance. He knew somewhere Cade was fighting, as was Miriallia. He couldn’t stop thinking about them and how they were willingly putting themselves in harm’s way after an offer to flee. He suddenly felt like if he could, he’d do at least something. But what?


On board Azrael’s battleship, the four “biological CPUs” snapped the tops off the vials containing their respective dosages of Gamma Glipheptin, a performance enhancing drug. After downing the doses, they climbed into their Gundams. These new units were equipped with a new feature called Trans Phase Armor. This is system was more advanced than Phase Shift Armor, as it was designed to only activate right at the moment of any impact. Also equipped were newer powerful weapons and other defenses.

“Hey, boys.”

”What do you want?” Orga rudely asked. The other three looked up at their monitors to see Azrael’s face.

“I just wanted to remind you that you cannot damage Morgenroete or the mass driver.” The Blue Cosmos leader said.

“But we can still do anything we want, right?” Shani asked, a disturbing smile on his face.

“Oh, yeah.” Clotho smirked.

“Why don’t you guys shut up?” Orga growled.

Gren sneered. ”All right, knock it off. Save it for the Orb forces.”

The hatches opened and the four Gundams were ready to launch. The first to deploy was the Raider, which immeadatily transformed into a bird-like mobile armor mode. Next was the Calamity, which leapt atop the Raider and rode its counterpart. The Forbidden followed, and then the Scorpio. The sinister quartet made a straight line towards the shoreline.

Not far behind, Simon Parallax was ready to launch in his GAT-01A1 Gunbarrel Dagger. While he planned to do what he needed in this operation, he thought he wouldn’t face any enemy that’d give him a challenge. With the Gunbarrel Dagger’s weapons, he estimated that the task would be easily accomplished.


The Archangel was engaging Earth Alliance fighters and VTOLs, when a new blip appeared on sensors.

“It looks like a mobile armor!” Chandra called out, “It’s headed right for us!”

Everyone looked and saw the approaching Raider and Calamity duo.

“Take evasion action!” Murrue ordered.

The Archangel moved to the right in the exact moment the two mobile suits fired. The shots just grazed the ship’s hull on the port side.

Clotho and Orga flew past, seeing what damage, if any, their run had done. Much to their disappointment, they saw that it was only a graze.

“That figures you’d missed.” Clotho huffed.

“Well, I didn’t see your shot do any better.” Orga retorted.

The Raider made a sharp turn and the Calamity leapt off, landing close to a squad of M1 Astrays. Orga took aim and destroyed two with a shot from his Gundam’s Schlag backpack mounted beam cannons. The remaining M1s fired back, but the Calamity dodged and unleashed more of its devastating firepower. The Orb mobile suits quickly fell.

At the exact moment, the Raider began an assault on the Orb navy. Cannons tore into the ships, explosions ripping them apart. The Raider swung its mace-like Mjolnir hammer weapon. It shot forward, crushing the bridge of an unfortunate ship. Before it could move on, the Raider was slammed hard and nearly crashed into the sea. The Freedom stayed still momentarily as Kira checked the condition of the Orb navy. Several ships were heavily damaged and one was incapable of continuing on in the battle.

A warning alarm rang and Kira saw the Raider was coming back. He blocked the Mjolnir and fired several shots at the enemy mobile suit. The Raider transformed back into its mobile armor form and streaked towards the Freedom, its weapons firing.


Meanwhile, Mu and Asagi, Mayura, and Juri almost had their sector secured at last, when a new mobile suit approached. Another team of M1s surrounded the Gunbarrel Dagger, but they didn’t realize what armaments it possessed. Parallax looked around, locked onto the nearby targets, and deployed the gunbarrels. The four pod-like weapons shot up and opened fire. The rounds blasted right through the Astrays and destroyed them.

Mu was stunned by the display. It was just like when he had operated his old Moebius mobile armor. Of course, many of his former Earth Alliance comrades had said he was one of a select few who could use those weapons with such skill. He wondered who the pilot could be.

Asagi brought her M1 up next to the Strike. “Commander, what is that?”

“Girls, stay back! This guy’s different from the rest!” he exclaimed. He then charged at the new enemy.

He fired the beam rifle at the Gunbarrel Dagger, which was blocked. The Gunbarrels were launched again and circled around the Strike. Mu barely got out the way as the rounds came seemingly from every direction. One after another he dodged incoming fire from each of the barrels. He pulled away to a safer distance.

As he stared at the enemy mobile suit, a strange sensation of familiarity suddenly crept on him. Mu couldn’t understand it. He only felt such a presence whenever Rau Le Creuset was nearby. How was it possible?

Parallax began to breathe deep as the gunbarrels were drawn back. He had to admit that the Strike’s pilot was very skilled, but he was certain the enemy would make an error soon. He brought up the beam rifle and fired. The Strike dodged and rushed forward, drawing a beam saber. Parallax tossed the rifle away and brought out his own saber and ignited it. The two weapons clashed in the back and forth melee.


Further away, the M1 team, Silver Astray, and Panzer kept up the defensive against the landing forces. In spite of numerous Strike Daggers being taken out, more would appear. Suddenly two dark shapes appeared overhead and landed. The Orb forces looked to find a green mobile suit wielding a large scythe and a dark gray and white mobile suit that carried a battleaxe weapon.

“What the hell are those?” an Orb pilot asked.

Cade’s eyes were widened in surprise. “New Gundam models.”

The duo started their attack on the group. The Forbidden went in first, firing its railguns. The shots hit an M1, blasting away its right arm. Another volley tore through the chest, destroying it.

The other M1s opened fire on the Forbidden. However, the green beams sudden curved away in an entirely different direction, as if the Gundam had some device that shielded it. That was thanks to the Geschmeidig Panzer system, and none of the shots hit their mark.

“Oh crap, it just deflected the beams.” Michael said as he saw every shot being redirected.

Suddenly a long object appeared out of a blind spot and impaled an M1 directly into the cockpit. Cade looked to see the second Gundam’s arm was extended. The Scorpio drew back its arm, revealing a clawed weapon where its hand was. A second later, the weapon shot a pair of green beams and Cade maneuvered out of their path narrowly.

“Great, what else does that thing have?” he thought.

He got an answer in the form of another weapon, this time a tail-like beam weapon mounted on the Scorpio’s back. The twin guns unleashed a rapid fire assault. The Panzer took a number of hits, but it still stood, returning fire its gatling.

Gren sneered and unfolded the claw back into its original hand form and gripped the Kazarian axe. He launched his Gundam forward, taking a swipe at the Panzer.

At that moment, Michael and the last M1 were having their hands full against the Forbidden. With beam rifles all but useless, they had to try something else. The problem was that they didn’t know what to do.


The Calamity continued its path of destruction against the section of the Orb base where it had landed. Soldiers scrambled and what M1s hadn’t been already destroyed were falling to the Gundam’s intense weaponry or to the few Strike Daggers that had snuck in to aid it.

In the confusion, Dearka found himself running to find cover wherever. He took refuges behind the wreckage of a crashed VTOL. He realized he couldn’t just stand around anymore. Looking around, he spotted a familiar mobile suit head visible inside one of the hangers that were left standing. He took a deep breath and ran with all his might to the hanger. He made it inside before another nearby explosion rocked the ground. He them climbed into the cockpit and hurried to power up the OS.


The duel between the Strike and Gunbarrel Dagger was all but stalemated. The melee was swift and fierce, beam sabers slashing and being blocked and countered. Mu was having the most difficult time, seeing as his mobile suit piloting skills weren’t those of an ace. His opponent seemed to at an equal strength, but he didn’t know how long it’d last.

Parallax thought he saw an opening and launched the gunbarrels. Mu immeadatily saw this and pulled back. Blasting one with the Strike’s Igelstellungs, he leapt and swiped at another, slicing it in half.

Parallax drew the remaining gunbarrels back, when something unforeseen happened. His head began throbbing and the lower part of his vision seemed to be turning red. Opening his visor, his fingers felt around his eyes. There was something wrong and when moved his hand back and looked he could see blood on his gloved fingers. He was bleeding from his eyes. He didn’t know why this was happening, as it never occurred before.


The Archangel was under fire from a wave of Earth Forces fighters. Missiles and gunfire battered the hull. The aircraft flew past and circled around for a second pass. Suddenly, a green beam shot out and blasted two of the fighters. A swarm of missiles took out over half of the others. Those that remained swung back and retreated for the moment.

The crew looked to see where the shots came from. On the screens was a very familiar mobile suit.

“I can’t believe it.” Sai said, “It’s the Buster.”

“But why would he want to help us?” Pal asked.

No one answered before Dearka’s face appeared on the monitor. “Archangel, pull back for now. I’ll cover you.”

Murrue gratefully obliged and the ship backtracked closer to the shore.


The Calamity had now moved on to seek a new target, when a proximity alarm sounded. Orga zoomed in and caught sight of the Freedom being pursued by the Raider. As it the enemy Gundam was driven closer, he took aim with his Todesblock bazooka and got the Freedom in his crosshairs.

A warning flashed inside the Freedom’s cockpit as Kira spotted the second enemy machine. A moment later he found himself in a deadly crossfire. With the Raider firing at his back and the Calamity’s barrage below him, there was nothing he could do besides dodge. Projectiles flew past and beam rounds were being blocked. He then maneuvered quickly, dropping out of the line of fire from the Raider. The rounds streaked down and pelted the Calamity’s body. The Calamity toppled and the impact of its fall inadvertently set off the Todesblock. The projectile launched and struck a wooded hillside. The explosion tore through, leveling it.


Back at the beach, the fight wasn’t going well for the defenders. Apart from the Panzer and Silver Astray, only a single M1 remained. It was now trying whatever to at least damage the oncoming Forbidden. Drawing a beam saber, the Orb pilot charged. The Forbidden’s Nidhogger heavy scythe slashed across the M1, separating its torso and both arms from the elbows in one swipe. The pieces peeled away and fell before the unit exploded.

Now it was a two-on-two battle. Shani turned his attention to the Panzer, which still engaged with the Scorpio. He fired his mobile suit’s railguns, the beams zipped by the Panzer and nearly hit the Scorpio as well.

Gren turned his machine towards his follow pilot. “Damn you, Shani! This one’s my kill!”

”Not if I get it first.” With that Shani fired his Gundam’s Hresyelgr cannon, the powerful crimson and sapphire beam traveling in an arc.

Cade saw the beam coming at him and he jumped back out of the way. A second shot was fired, but this time the beam arced and nearly decapitated the Scorpio.

“Shani, you idiot!” Gren growled. He retaliated by firing several missiles at the Forbidden, one of which scored a hit. The Gundam was knocked back and Shani was losing his temper.

“What the hell is wrong with you, Gren? If anything, you’re the idiot!”

“Shut your mouth!” Gren countered, “You’re a jackass who can’t aim straight!”

“Take that back or I’ll kill you!”

”Just bring it!” Gren challenged, rushing forward and raising his Kazarian axe.

The Nidhogger and Kazarian slammed into each other. The Forbidden and Scorpio clashed, their pilots seemingly forgetting the present battle. Cade and Michael were dumbfounded by the duel.

“What is wrong with those guys?” Cade asked.

“I’d say a lot.” Michael replied. However, if the enemy units wasted time fighting each other, then there’d possibly be the chance to strike while they were preoccupied. He took aim at a pair of Strike Daggers that landed nearby and blasted them.


Back in the air, Kira was in a dire situation. For several moments he could focus strictly on the Raider, but now the Calamity had gotten back to its feet and resumes its attack. Kira evaded a shot from the Calamity’s Schlag beam cannons, but it left him open. The Raider’s Mjolnir hit the Freedom from behind, sending it spinning down.

Orga saw his chance and fired the Calamity’s chest mounted Scylla cannon. The beam looked like it would score a direct hit, but then a new shape appeared. A new mobile suit suddenly was in front of the vulnerable Freedom and blocked the shot.

Kira looked to the mobile suit and wondered who it could be.

Athrun looked the Freedom. In spite of his orders to capture it and kill the pilot, he knew he wouldn’t be able to do so. With Lacus’ words still fresh in his mind and after his brief conversation with Reverend Malchio, he knew what should do for that moment at least.

_________________
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.


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 Post Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:20 pm 
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Mecha Flunky

Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:15 pm
Posts: 22
... Sorry but after reading through this for some days, i have to say that this is not pretty groundbreaking in terms of changes.

Sure you smoothed it a bit on the edges changed a few minor tweaks and explained a bit more, not to forget build in the side characters from the spin offs like Lowe Gear and Shiho.

But in the end its still the same kick between the legsk, a kick between the legs with best intention and nice writer, but at the end of the day you still walk funny.

One major point of critic i have are the original character. Don't worry i have nothing against original character, as long as they don't be mary sues, but of all factions you gave the ZAFT boys an additional character. Making them not 5 cool young pilots but 6.

Another is that you didn't changed the fact i loathed the most about Seed. There are pratically no skilled or named Natural pilots except Mu and he is a Newtype, so he doesn't count as normal Natural.

There is still that subtle feeling that only Coordinators are the only ones worth having mobile suits and that Naturals are nothing but annoying little bug you squish with your boot.
Its still this Coordinators are better humans feeling that is in here.

So why didn't you created one or two natural pilots for the AA, instand of a another one for ZAFT (Not that he is badly made, he just feels as if he is to much already)? Why not make Luke and Gale (the two MA pilots who fly with Mu at the beginning) real character? Make them survive theire fight at the beginning, build them out and make them and Mu, Kiras version of Athruns team?

Its not hard, i would have made Luke a young rookie who has been dating a Coordinator girl before the war and still loves and her and Gale would have been a female Mobile Armor pilot with scars in the face, who fights to proof that Naturals are equial (of course they wouldn't have been the same as the original two anymore, but that was the point of a rewrite, i thought?). See not very hard to make basic characterisations with them.

Amuro Ray had two normal guys alongside the whole MSG series long in theire Guncannons. Why not Kira? Because Naturals don't make intresting MS pilots?

Which leads me another point of critic, of what should have been changed. The OS problem. This stuff never made sense if you look at the GAT-X series? Those are Mobilsuits are more powerfull than anything ZAFT had, equicked with awesome new technology.
But as stupid as the Naturals are they made them before being able to pilot them. This makes no sense. The Phase Shift armor alone would be more troublesome than an OS to pilot those damm thing.
Oh and of course the Naturals are still so stupid and have all six of those new Mobilesuits, which they cannot use at all, at the same place.

Lastly the EA becomes the same stupid (in terms of averange intelligence of the leading officers) ultra evil group, which ZAFT becomes the lesser evil against.

With so much stupidy how could the EA have survived the war so long?

Sorry but i just would wish for more change in a Seed rewrite. But it seems i'm the only one with this problem, so keep on writing anyway.


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 Post Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:53 pm 
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Retconned MSV Ace

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
Posts: 1681
Location: Finland
Grunty said:
Quote:
But in the end its still the same kick between the legsk, a kick between the legs with best intention and nice writer, but at the end of the day you still walk funny.

I see someone follows Yahtzee's reviews too (or you just used the exact same phrase by conincidence). :wink:

This is not my story and as such I should not rush in to defend it, but I do have a few notes here. First off, I agree that both GS and GSD lack Natural antagonists/protagonists, who are any good especially when compared with Coordinators. However, the Naturals were heavily outgunned at the beginning of SEED, and the superiority of Coordinators in and outside the cockpit was more pronounced (which is odd given the way it deteriorated in the main series later too).

But there were no Natural MS pilots because 1) they had no MS in the beginning, and 2) the OS was too complicated for them to manage. Now, additional characters could've stayed on as MA pilots, but they would've really needed to shine considering that even Mu didn't always survive with his MA with all parts intact. The reason for the OS and the location of the GUNDAMs was that EA, in its infinite wisdom, decided to go for super robots straight away. Bear in mind that those were not built by the EA, but by Orb, which had a lot of Coordinators working for it. This might explain why the original OS version was not dumbed down for regular Natural Joes. And that was why they were in the same place, where they were constructed and tested by, well, outsourced R&D. I appreciate your ire over this, Grunty, but as such it is misdirected at Enigma's fic, which has been a conservative rewrite from the start, meaning to maintain the basic plot but liven it up.

A more radical rewrite might turn the tables more strongly on ZAFT, making EA more competent (there are several threads bemoaning this very issue elsewhere on this forum). It would be an interesting fanfic to be sure, even if not a complete rewrite. ShadowCell has a competent even if undeniably evil EA in his fic, for example. And finally, Grunty, it is also very nice to have fresh faces here commenting on the fic posted, since we usually don't get that many comments. :P I am sure Enigma won't mind at all, since feedback is always welcome. :)

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


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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:54 pm 
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Mecha Flunky

Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:15 pm
Posts: 22
Thanks for pointing that out. I guess i was just a bit frustrated to see someone putting so much effort in it without changing the point i disliked the most in Seed.

By the way, yes i'm regulary watching Zero punctuation. Ironical i'm german (can be really funny to read all those badly named Gundam equipment names). So i guess my english skills must be quite good to understand his high speed review.

So enough offtopic.


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 Post Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:08 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy

Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 5:07 pm
Posts: 302
Location: Somewhere in Kansas
Thanks for the input. Nu-Liberty and I always appreciate feedback, not matter if it's praise or criticism.

_________________
"Aaahh!"-The last words of many a mobile suit pilot.


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