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 Post Posted: Wed May 02, 2007 8:08 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy

Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 7:43 pm
Posts: 263
Location: Illinois, USA
This is meant to provide an alternative to the non-canonical drivel known as Gundam SEED Destiny. The first twenty chapters have a plot that's a mixture of Destiny and Zeta Gundam and then it takes its own path around the time when Destiny began to suck. The goal was to write something special and transcendent despite it carrying the stigma of 'fanfic', it's up to you whether I have succeeded or not.

I also messed around with personalities and characters, as a result several characters (mostly the ones from Destiny that I imported like Shinn, Lunemaria, and Stellar) will seem different from their Destiny counterparts. On second thought, is that really a bad thing?

There are multiple differences and shifts from canon (mostly because I'm trying to tell a story and not trying to sell model kits), I'll explain them as we go on.

Right now, let's open it. It's C.E. 74 (in other words three years after the end of Gundam SEED). Thanks for letting me share this.

_____________________________________________________________

Chapter One: Relapse

When you're alone in the middle of the night and you wake in a sweat and a hell of a fright . . .
-T.S. Eliot, Fragments of an Agon

The sky was dark and clear, but starless. In front of him, however, only red filled his vision. A disgusting iron-like smell overwhelmed his nostrils, giving him a powerful urge to vomit. He stumbled across the field, his hands and legs out of control, his mind in a daze. He faintly heard voices screaming to him, begging him to spare them, but he silenced them with swift movements of his arms.

He was killing. Killing them all. He couldn't stop. Even when he cried for help he killed. He stabbed. He shot. He crushed. Friends and people he had never seen before were equal victims. Tears filled his vision when his friends, his family, all died at his hands. Even when they rushed him he slaughtered them all. No bullet could penetrate him, nothing could make him stop.

He was an invincible, unstoppable murderer.

Nothing could stop him nor the process of eliminating everyone. He crushed the bones of those he first slain, threw away the decomposing corpses that remained of those slain. Those who knew him tried to stop, to reason, but their words were slurred, were unintelligible. It was like they were aliens, or even
he was an alien. He was alone, it seemed. Lost.

He traversed the whole world, unbelievably. No one could stop him. Flashes raced by him, impacted him, but he scarcely felt it. He felt flesh tearing away, his appearance becoming more hollow, more hideous, but he felt no pain. There weren't any protests from his soul, if he still had one,

He just wanted to
stop but nothing would let him. No matter how much blood filled his hands and covered his body, he couldn't stop this nightmarish scene. Soon, there was no one left. He was alone, abandoned, feared. People fled from him, calling him a monster. Pictures flashed in front of him, pictures unveiling the slain to his eyes.

Stop. Please stop. I don't want to keep doing this. I'm not this. I don't want to see it anymore.

Burned cities, monstrousities crushing, slashing each other and everything else. He was in one of them now, rampaging across the landscape. He tore through each of them with a scimitar forged with stygian markings, and a brimstone covering. He was condemned, a killer from Hell itself, a force beyond human understanding.

For he was no longer human.

Stop! Just make it stop!

Then an ethereal voice entered his mind, a voice that halted him in his
footsteps. Something tugging at him, shaking him, the voice whispering and screaming all at once. Who was it? Was it someone he had killed? Was it one of the many souls he had crushed?

Wake up!
* * *
His vision was blurry, but he saw something dark, with faint blue spheres, right in front of his face. There was a faint light behind the dark figure, a crack that gave a miniscule glimpse at the world behind whatever was enclosed all around him.

"Kira, it was just a nightmare. Wake up." The voice was firm, feminine. He blinked several times, and saw a distorted visage of Lacus Clyne staring at him. Her flesh was rotting, blood seeped from her several injuries.

Her voice suddenly took on a demonic air. "Kira . . . "

He lashed out at this hideous monster or whatever was masquerading as Lacus and leapt off of the bed, backing away from the downed figure. He stared at his hands. Full of blood. He could see the blood pouring from his hands. He blinked several times, trying to wish it away. He could almost hear the blood beginning to splash into the ground.

"Kira, stop! Shake it off!" the voice said, sounding much more like Lacus than before. Kira blinked several times, trying to see whether this was true, whether he was hallucinating.

"Calm down. It's okay." Kira looked up from his bloody hands to see a normal Lacus Clyne approaching him, her light pink hair unusually disheveled, her famous pin missing from her hair. Her blue eyes gleamed with concern, and, much to Kira's momentary relief, she looked normal. Like he was back in reality, or whatever reality was, anyway.

He looked at his hands. They glistened with sweat, but there wasn't anything else. Certainly no blood. Clearly, he had been hallucinating. A leftover from his nightmare had plagued him upon being woken up. The images he had seen had been elements of the nightmare, and he had transferred it to the reality. This was real. Lacus was real, she was here, flesh and blood, alive, without possession, without being a reanimated corpse. He hadn't been crushing people. He wasn't an unstoppable berserker.

Or perhaps the reality was hideous and he was dreaming right now. But before he could think about that possibility, even consider it, Lacus had wrapped her arms around him. Her head rested upon her chest, and stray strands of her hair tickled his chin and lips. "Calm down. Calm down. It's just a nightmare, okay? It's okay. Calm down before you wake up the kids."

Kids? Kira searched his mind for a moment, and remembered that Lacus was running an orphanage right now. Reverend Malchio had gone away on an errand to one of the PLANTs, leaving Kira and Lacus temporarily in charge.

Oh yeah. The kids. Kira took a deep breath, and exhaled. His shaking arms gripped Lacus in a tight embrace. The kids didn't know about his nightmares and visions. They shouldn't know, they were too young to understand what Kira had gone through. Not to mention that if people found out that a sufferer of Post-Truamatic Stress Disorder was helping run the clinic, it would most likely would be shut down. People would find out inevitably if Kira hurt one of the children, and Kira couldn't bear doing that to Malchio. He had been too kind, giving a jobless wanderer a job here so he didn't have to continue siphoning money away from the Clyne account.

"That's right, calm down. Deep breaths." Lacus sounded tired, more exhausted than she used to. The last three years, since the final battle of the Bloody Valentine War, had universally been spent giving Kira makeshift therapy. He hadn't made a lot of progress and frequently relapsed into delusions and insanity, and it was starting to wear on her. Kira wished he could do something to improve, so Lacus' patience and compassion would finally be rewarded, but the nightmares continuously erased every amount of progress he made.

He suddenly realized that Lacus sounded injured, too. "Did . . . did I hit you again, Lacus?" he asked, fearing the worst.

"Just a blow to the stomach. You weren't yourself, don't worry about it." Despite the reassurance, Kira sensed Lacus' physical pain through the tone in her voice, and he looked away, stared at a random point in the wall.

I hurt her again . . . I'm no better than a wife-beater, am I? She doesn't deserve this. She doesn't deserve me.

"I-I'm sorry, Lacus. I-I didn't m-mean to . . . God." He buried his face into her shoulder, letting her nightshirt absorb his release. It quickly became soaked with his hot tears, and only more poured out with each pat on the back Lacus gave him.

It was a miracle she had remained this tolerant. Why she had sacrificed so much of her political influence, why she had ignored her musical career in favor of helping an orphanage and trying to keep him sane was beyond Kira's comprehension. She constantly told him why, but he wasn't sure whether he believed it or not. She seemed sincere, but a small part of him remained suspicious. Perhaps she was punishing herself for sending him into more and more battles long after he had been pushed beyond his limit.

He was never sure with Lacus Clyne. After all, when he had first met her, she had seemed to be an innocent, somewhat loopy songstress. But she was slowly revealed to be far more than she seemed, and Kira felt that there were still layers to this young woman he had yet to see.

Am I going to break her? What if I go crazy and kill her? Kira asked himself, as he did every time he had one of these nightmares. He wondered if the nightmare would continue to stick with him, long enough that he would change his reality into something like his dreams. And Lacus then would really be a corpse.

"Take a deep breath, Kira. You can do it. It's all right." Kira obeyed, forcing oxygen through his nose and down his constricted throat. He coughed as his throat protested against the surge of dry air, and Lacus told him to breathe like that again. And repeated it once more. Eventually, his heartbeat slowed to a halt, and his frantic grip slowly loosened.

Probably ten minutes passed in this deliberate, cautious dance of sorts. There was no way for Kira to tell the time, but when he had inquired once Lacus had told him it usually took anywhere from five minutes to two hours to get him calmed down. To Kira, this felt like one of the shorter ones. The nightmare hadn't been as long, and hadn't been as explicitly detailed as some of the others. Or perhaps it was the worst one of the lot and Lacus had simply improved at comforting him.

At least the fact that he still cared what happened to Lacus, and that he was afraid of hurting her reminded him that he was still human. Despite everything since the Bloody Valentine War, he had managed not to regress into something less than human. That was only mild consolation, but it was something that he could hold onto. And reason for Lacus not to give up yet.

Finally, his eyes dried. Perhaps sensing this, Lacus' embrace loosened and Kira was able to stare into her teal eyes. "You all right now, Kira?"

Kira nodded slowly. "Yeah. I guess."

One of her famed, dazzling smiles crept across her face. "That's excellent. This one was shorter than usual. Maybe you will get better, Kira. Just stay strong, all right? You're gonna get through this."

"I hope so." Kira couldn't think of anything else to say.

Lacus' hands curled around his own, and she led him to the bed. They sat down on it, and the bed creaked softly underneath their combined weight. "Just rest right now. Remember that I'm here. We've both got a bit of work to do, tomorrow, getting this place ready for the Reverend to come back."

"Yeah. You are okay, right? I don't want to-"

"I'm fine. Now lay back, and try to fall asleep. I'm with you if anything happens, okay?"

Kira rested back, pulling the blanket above his body, He felt Lacus' left arm curl around his midsection, and after an initial moment of awakward silence, he realized he had a question to ask. It was one he asked frequently, for he was never sure what was the real answer. It was the same one, but he could never bring himself to trust Lacus. He didn't know why. Perhaps all the betrayal and misdirection that happened to him in the war still affected his mindset. There was no real answer. His memories back when he was happy, back when he had a small group of friends and lived in peace seemed so distant now, almost like an alternate reality or alien society.
"
Why do you do this, Lacus? Why do you bother?" he asked, in an almost-daily ritual.

"Because I love you. You know that," she whispered. Kira felt a small, moist, warm sensation touch his cheek for a second, and his cheeks instantly heated up.

"T-Thanks," Kira managed despite his suddenly limp throat. But by then Lacus was already asleep peacefully next to him. Even in this darkness there was a faint smile etched across her face.

Remember that I'm here, she had told him. Kira knew that much. She was always with him. She had lived with him since the end of the war, for God's sake.

Suddenly, Kira realized that Lacus was sharing a bed with him. Right here. Suddenly he became more aware of her soft, warm breaths as they tickled his chest. That arm she had wrapped around him felt firm, strong, more secure than any blanket or sheet. He wasn't sure whether to feel embarrassment or to let her serene presence calm him into sleep. What Lacus was doing right here . . . was unprecedented since the end of the war. Even though they kissed sometimes and held hands, they had never progressed to sharing a bed together . . . was Lacus trying to comfort him, or was she trying some new strategy to keep his dreams tranquil? Maybe she had merely been so tired she had just collapsed on the bed without realizing what the implications of what she just did were.

It was almost automatic, how he brought her prone form closer to him. She was putting so much trust in him now, risking the wrath of his inner demons just for the slim chance he'd find serenity. He leaned in and kissed her forehead through her pink bangs. "I love you too."

Then he let sleep take him away. For once, he wasn't worried about what kind of phantams waited for him in sleep's realm. Maybe, just for once, he'd have a bona-fide dream. He wouldn't hallucinate about Lacus either, then.

He'd like that a lot.
* * *
The next morning was somewhat eventful. Kira had waken up looking more refreshed than he had in years. There were still large, dark bags under his eyes, but they had shrunk just a little bit. Just enough to be significant. There was even a small spring to his step when he woke the kids up. Lacus had learned to appreciate such moments. They usually weren't permanent and Kira had always relapsed sooner or later.

She wasn't sure what else she could do, though. She was running out of options. Trying to coax the memories out of Kira only seemed to worsen the condition. And if left by himself for too long Kira began to entertain suicidal thoughts. He clearly needed professional help, but when she had tried that Kira had proven to be a threat to both himself and the psychiatrist. And he would have killed the psychiatrist if Lacus hadn't intervened at the last second. Even on his worst days it seemed that she was enough to halt his nightmares and memories from taking over.

Perhaps sharing a bed with him would work. It was a method she had thought of but had never intentionally attempted. She had just been so exhausted last night that the moment she had felt the soft covers she just needed to close her eyes. And of course that meant she had fallen asleep in Kira's bed. With him in it. At least, judging by her appearence in the mirror right now, Kira didn't have a resurgence of the nightmares. No bruises around the neck, arms, or legs.

In fact, the only thing Kira had done to her was kiss her on the cheek when she woke up this morning. He had never taken the initiative in this relationship ever before. Maybe sharing a bed with him had some merit. Maybe he would force his nightmares into somewhere deep inside himself and lock them up just so he wouldn't hurt her again.

She lifted up her top and looked at the growing bruise on the right side of her abdomen. Sometimes, still shaking off the dreams, he would see her as a monster, mutant, zombie, demon, or something else equally horrid. He had even claimed her voice sounded distorted to him when he woke sometimes. When Kira was that far gone the only thing she could do was back away and hope he woke up completely before he caused serious harm, which he usually did.

With all of those issues, Lacus would have been tempted to admit Kira to an asylum or have him take his chances at a care center if it weren't for several factors. One was the fact he showed genuine remorse, and lots of it, for everything he did. He hated himself for injuring her. Another was what Kira had shown her this morning. The kiss told her that he truly did love her, and that he hadn't given up just yet. He was still fighting the demons, he was determined to live a normal life with her.

As long as Kira kept resisting, she would help him combat his demons as long as it took. That was a worthy battle to fight.

"Is it bad?" Lacus spun around to see Kira standing at the entrance to the bathroom. He was wearing synthetic khaki-colored pants and a black robe-shirt combination that was loose on him. It gave Lacus a good glimpse at how underweight he was. He desperately needed more nourishment than he allowed himself to have.

"Uh, no. Not really," she lied. Thankfully, she had managed to disguise the bruise quickly enough so Kira didn't see too much. That was the last thing the two of them needed, just when Kira was finally smiling.

Kira didn't look completely convinced but he let it drop. "The older kids are sitting down in the classroom doing their arithmetic. It was kinda difficult to remember who's in what grade. I almost told Fletcher to head to the elementary-school room."

"Fletcher's small for his age. He can't help it. But you did let him stay there, right?"

"Why do you think I said almost?" Kira replied. He looked in the direction of the classroom. Generally, Kira taught science, Japanese, and mathmatics while Lacus handled English, writing, and the arts. Malchio himself took care of everything else.

"Sorry. I'm just a little tired right now. Which Malichio gone I've been doing most of his work. Could you handle social studies and Spanish for me today? History, social studies, Spanish, and Latin . . . I can't handle it all."

Kira nodded. That pleased Lacus, for he usually whined for a while before finally surrendering. Perhaps he was still riding on the waves of the kiss. Suddenly, he broke out into a wide smile and began speaking in Spanish. "I'm pretty decent with Espanol, aren't I?"

"You have a heavy accent but you're all right otherwise," Lacus answered in Spanish. Language came easily to her, being the daughter of a former head of state she had to learn the multitudes of the languages Coordinators used.

Kira reverted to his natural tongue then. "I'll try my hardest," he said, before turning to his right, probably to head back to the classroom.

"Hey, Kira." Kira stopped when he heard her voice. "Susan despises Spanish with a passion. Try to make it interesting for her."

Kira smiled. "I know. Your battles with her are legend among the younger kids."

Lacus laughed. "Yeah. She's a real spitfire that way."

Kira vanished then, and Lacus added a little extra eyeliner to her face, to disguise the bags under her eyes more. There was no need for the kids to know that she was exhausted. It was already bad enough they already knew Kira was having bad dreams and could be cranky, to say the least.

Lacus yanked out her schedule then. She had the younger children today. That meant that she could bring out Haro for them, they loved that little pink robo-ball. And when the kids laughed and were enjoying themselves it was far easier to teach them, she had discovered after two years on the job.

Suddenly, one of her devices beeped. Lacus reached for it, and opened it up. A holographic screen emanated in front of her. The almost-translucent static gave way to a two-dimensional likeness of Athrun Zala. Actually-it took her a moment to-remember, the resemblance wasn't perfect. Athrun had cut his hair and dyed it brown years ago to help forge his identity as 'Alex Dino'.

"Oh! Athrun! I didn't know you would be calling right now."

A small smile spread across Athrun's lips. "Sorry. I just wanted to check on you and give you an update on what we're doing. How's the schoolteaching thing going?"

"It's doing fine. I have a larger workload because Malchio's off in Orb trying to find other employees. We can finally afford a fourth teacher and it'll make our lives easier," Lacus answered. She knew Athrun had fairly major news, why else would he call when he knew she had to be preparing for school? But at the same time, she liked that he opened with small talk and wanted to know about her life. He still cared for her and wanted to remain her friend.

"Oh, I'll make it fast, then." Athrun cleared his throat. "Cagalli and I are heading the Dual-Alliance base to try to get Orb's citizens to return to their country."

After the Orb War, roughly half of the small country's citizens had emigrated to other countries, trying to find employment. The remainder, however, had helped rebuild Orb the last few years. It was a goal of the Orb prime minister to persuade as many of Orb's citizens as possible to return to their country, and Cagalli had recently become the face of that policy.

"I've heard the Dual-Alliance base is always under attack by Earth and ZAFT terrorists. You sure you'll be all right by going there? And Cagalli?" Lacus asked.

Athrun dropped the optimistic face he had been wearing, and now he looked far more melancholy. "I don't know. Most of the Earth terrorists are Islamic and the ZAFT are mostly hard-liners, we know that much. But they both seem determined to annihiliate the base. It's a miracle the alliance has remained this strong after so many attacks."

Athrun took a deep breath. "Orb's heard of arguments between the heads of the alliance over who's to blame. ZAFT is blaming the Earth Alliance for the Islamic terrorists and the Alliance is blaming the ZAFT for the hard-liner strikes. Basically, the real reason why we're here is to get as many of Orb's citizens out of the base as possible in case there's a war. We're also hoping to serve as a mediator of sorts to keep the two sides from killing each other. That means we've had to committ the Kusanagi to the anti-terror expedition as a gesture of good faith. Admiral Kisaka's in command of it, and you know he's a good man."

Lacus nodded. Standard politics at work here. Even though both sides had signed a treaty two years ago to reconcile and ally against terrorist movements, they still deeply distrusted each other and Lacus wasn't the only person wondering whether there would be another war. Considering the casualties of the last one, there would be teenagers and children committed to this one, and that would be a tragedy that would ensure this period would live in infamy.

"How's Cagalli? It sounds like she has a lot of responsibility," Lacus asked.

Athrun smiled. "Cagalli can handle it. She's really good at this."

That's what I'm afraid of. Cagalli was transforming into a politician, and considering her experiences with the profession, Lacus wasn't sure whether there were any decent politicians left on either side. She knew that Cagalli was better than most others, because of her morals and committments, but what kind of choices would she make if she was faced with a truly ambigious situation?

That was why she had stepped out of the political arena. She was sickened by the power games and pawns, aggravated by the corruption and manipulation. She wanted to just spend the rest of her life in anonymity, in peace. Once Kira was healed, she would finally have that peace, and she would be satisfied with her life.

Keeping a polite smile on her face, Lacus said "I know. If there's someone who can keep the Earth Alliance and the ZAFT from killing each other it'll be her. She's gotten a lot of experience."

Athrun nodded. There was a big, stupid grin fighting to break out on his lips, and Lacus was starting to wonder just what was on his mind. "Okay, Athrun, what did you do?"

Athrun's eyes lit up with joy. "I proposed to Cagalli last night and she accepted!"

"Oh." Lacus tried to feign surprise, but she knew that Athrun had wanted to marry Cagalli for a long while. It's about time.

"Congratulations," she offered. "I can't wait to tell Kira."

His words were fast, so fast they almost slurred together into one gargantuan word. "We're still trying to work out the details, plus there's the fact that Cagalli will be marrying out of the royal family . . . lot of complications, there. We're going to spend the next few days after Cagalli's speech to the Orb citizens and her meeting with the Dual-Alliance leaders. I heard the Earth Alliance's leader and the ZAFT Chairman will both be present, as well. So we're going to wait until after all of this is over to plot our plan out."

Lacus nodded. She had managed to identify every word despite the speed of Athrun's speech. "Smart thing to do. Can't distract yourselves right now."

Athrun nodded, but suddenly the grin lapsed. He was serious again, and Lacus already knew why. "How's Kira? Last time we talked you said he hasn't improved."

"He's doing a little better. He's been smiling today. Real smiles too, not the sad or fake ones he usually wears," Lacus answered.

Athrun nodded and smiled again. "That's good. Is he available? I haven't talked to him for a month."

"He's teaching the older kids mathmatics right now. And I have to get going myself. The younger kids are going to tear the classroom apart unless I'm there."

Athrun laughed and said "I personally couldn't stand math myself. I was lucky Kira was pretty good at it when we attended the academy together."

He sighed then. "Okay, if there isn't anything else to say, Lacus, I have to get going. We're about to dock and Cagalli's going to give her speech outside . . ."

Lacus nodded, understanding. The threat of assassination was always serious. "Go on. Make sure she stays all right. There's enough pain in the world, we can't lose Cagalli right now."

"Especially since her cousin's an idiot," Athrun said. There was more than just normal hostility in his face and tone-perhaps Cagalli's cousin Yuna fancied himself a suitor as well. That had to be it. Athrun normally didn't get riled up like this just because Yuna happened to be, in Athrun's eyes, an "idiot".

Lacus nodded again. "I'll talk to you later, all right?"

"Yeah. See you later. I'll tell you how it went when this whole thing's over with." Athrun replied.

The projection winked out of existence then, leaving Lacus alone once more. She looked up towards the ceiling, imagining the sky above, and the deep black of space, where Athrun was. Somewhere up there, in one of the PLANTs in orbit around Earth, just beyond the Moon, he was there. Still trying to save the world, like he always wanted to do.

Somehow, he hadn't managed to lose faith in humanity and his ideals. She folded her hands together, as if in prayer. Athrun, keep going. You know I believe in what you can do.

Then, without any further thoughts, she walked out of the bathroom to teach those that would inherit the Earth from people like her.
_____________________________________________________________
I picked a bad time to post this for my time will be limited because of college. Once final exams are over updates will become more frequent.

_________________
MURRUE: Infallible accuracy?? I thought you just usually shot all your weapons at random and they just happened to hit stuff.

KIRA: What do you think this is; a cartoon?


Last edited by rebel_cheese on Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:44 am, edited 57 times in total.

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 Post Posted: Thu May 03, 2007 7:59 am 
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Kira has some severe emotional baggage, which is good. Some might be glad that he got most of his emo over with, but you seem to hint that he has been repressing quite a lot of his angst and it is now bubbling out of him in his subconsciousness. It certainly seems plausible enough.

Quote:
Lacus handled English

At least it's not Meer. :D

Quote:
Athrun had cut his hair and dyed it brown years ago to help forge his identity as 'Alex Dino'.

What, are you saying just putting on big shades wasn't clever enough? :P Well, just as long as he lets the "natural blue" grow back.. And he seems to have some interesting times in front of him as well by judging very he is.

Quote:
Earth terrorists are Islamic

Take care with that. Not that you can't have it, but just use it consideringly.

All in all, and interesting set up you got here. Reminds me of my early plans to redo Destiny as well before I decided to go for a whole new storyarch. We'll be waiting for the updates.

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 Post Posted: Fri May 04, 2007 1:28 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy

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Quote:
Kira has some severe emotional baggage, which is good. Some might be glad that he got most of his emo over with, but you seem to hint that he has been repressing quite a lot of his angst and it is now bubbling out of him in his subconsciousness. It certainly seems plausible enough.


That's pretty much it. One of the things I found unrealistic in Destiny was how Kira suddenly became this stoic hero. After everything that happened to him in SEED I felt he should be haunted by the things he did.

Quote:
At least it's not Meer.


:lol: Yeah.

Quote:
What, are you saying just putting on big shades wasn't clever enough? Well, just as long as he lets the "natural blue" grow back.. And he seems to have some interesting times in front of him as well by judging very he is.


Yeah, that's what I was saying. Sunglasses aren't exactly enough. He'll have his long blue hair back before the end of the fic. And yes, his situation is interesting indeed.

Quote:
Take care with that. Not that you can't have it, but just use it consideringly.


I am being extremely careful with this point. It's minor and doesn't really have any bearing on the story after the first few chapters, but I have to step gingerly here. I'm not prejudiced or bigoted and I don't want to seem like I am.

Quote:
All in all, and interesting set up you got here. Reminds me of my early plans to redo Destiny as well before I decided to go for a whole new storyarch. We'll be waiting for the updates.


Thanks for the R&R, man. And yeah, this is essentially a Destiny redo . . . initially. It will take its own path after Cahpter Twenty if my outline remains the same.

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MURRUE: Infallible accuracy?? I thought you just usually shot all your weapons at random and they just happened to hit stuff.

KIRA: What do you think this is; a cartoon?


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 Post Posted: Fri May 04, 2007 1:40 pm 
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rebel_cheese wrote:
I am being extremely careful with this point. It's minor and doesn't really have any bearing on the story after the first few chapters, but I have to step gingerly here. I'm not prejudiced or bigoted and I don't want to seem like I am.


If you're going to screw around with Islamic fundamentalism, read up on the Islamic fundamentalist groups in the real world, from bona fide terrorist groups like al-Qaeda to not-quite-so-terroristic-but-politically-active parties like the Muslim Brotherhood. And read up on Islam itself too, so that you don't wind up perpetuating stereotypes or something.


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 Post Posted: Fri May 04, 2007 2:08 pm 
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Two things:
One, I love this story so far. I can't single out anything, because I love basically everything about it.
Tow, I love the use of "Kismet" as a title...IIRC, doesn't it mean "Fate", or something akin to that?
For an alternative to "Gundam Seed: Destiny", it seems appropriate.

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 Post Posted: Fri May 04, 2007 3:35 pm 
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Retconned MSV Ace

Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:44 am
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Location: Finland
Quote:
I love the use of "Kismet" as a title...IIRC, doesn't it mean "Fate", or something akin to that?

It should. Unless they've gone and changed the meaning.
I think ShadowCell put it well; I was even thinking that you might be prejudiced or such, but just that there are a lot of stereotypes and other misconceptions around that topic, as there are with many others. If you bear that in mind, I don't foresee any problems for you. :)

_________________
-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: Sat May 05, 2007 4:39 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy

Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 7:43 pm
Posts: 263
Location: Illinois, USA
Shadowcell:

Quote:
If you're going to screw around with Islamic fundamentalism, read up on the Islamic fundamentalist groups in the real world, from bona fide terrorist groups like al-Qaeda to not-quite-so-terroristic-but-politically-active parties like the Muslim Brotherhood. And read up on Islam itself too, so that you don't wind up perpetuating stereotypes or something


I've actually read up on it, and have read the Quran, but it's not religious reasons why the terrorists are doing this. They're attacking the ZAFT because the ZAFT kinda ran roughshod over them in the Bloody Valentine War and a lot of their people got killed. They feel the ZAFT got off way too easy and they won't rest until the ZAFT feels as much pain as the Middle East and North Africa has felt for the last couple of years. Most of the terrorists are people who've lost their family members and wish to join them in the afterlife. Blue Cosmos, of course, is fanning the flames from behind the scenes.

Dark Duel:

Quote:
Two things:
One, I love this story so far. I can't single out anything, because I love basically everything about it.


Thanks. Though I think I could have handled the nightmare a lot better, even though I censored it for this site. The fanfiction.net version to come is a lot more graphic (and I'll likely have to slap it with a 'MA').

Quote:
Tow, I love the use of "Kismet" as a title...IIRC, doesn't it mean "Fate", or something akin to that?
For an alternative to "Gundam Seed: Destiny", it seems appropriate.


Yeah, 'kismet' literally means destiny or fate according to the 1998 Oxford Dictionary. I discovered it while desperately looking for something besides 'Fate' to replace 'Destiny'. It has origins in Turkish, believe it or not.

Quote:
I think ShadowCell put it well; I was even thinking that you might be prejudiced or such, but just that there are a lot of stereotypes and other misconceptions around that topic, as there are with many others. If you bear that in mind, I don't foresee any problems for you.


Trust me, I am. If I begin straddling the line please yank me back before I cross it, please. I'm not prejudiced and I've tried hard to avoid stereotyping but I could see myself falling prey to a misconception.

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MURRUE: Infallible accuracy?? I thought you just usually shot all your weapons at random and they just happened to hit stuff.

KIRA: What do you think this is; a cartoon?


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 Post subject: Chapter Two
 Post Posted: Sun May 06, 2007 12:51 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy

Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 7:43 pm
Posts: 263
Location: Illinois, USA
All righty then, with the completion of Chapter Twelve I will now present Chapter Two (never post anything unless you're ten chapters ahead, my experience with SW fanfiction has taught me this).

Like the last chapter, this one went underneath the censor's knife, though unlike the last one, censored because of graphic imagery, this one was cut due to strong language and a hint of an attempted sexual encounter.

This is the only chapter with any hints of fan service, so if you like that sort of thing, enjoy it now, because there won't be any more after this.
_____________________________________________________________
Chapter Two: Gathering

And now you live dispersed on ribbon roads,
And no man knows or cares who is his neighbour
Unless his neighbour makes too much disturbance,
But all dash to and fro in motor cars,
Familiar with the roads and settled nowhere.

T.S. Eliot, Choruses from "The Rock"

Athrun could never get used to the crowds. There they were, all standing at the sides of the road, with only a strong line of security personnel on either side keeping them from swarming Cagalli Yula Athha and her personal bodyguards. He couldn't help but notice that the security guards were wearing ZAFT uniforms. He wondered how many of them secretly wished to let an assassin through so Cagalli could be slain. Most of the extremists were isolated politically, so they had to be getting pretty desperate. The fact that many of them had turned to terrorism was a sign of that.

He looked out over the artificial horizon. Despite the convincing illusion of gravity and sunlight, as well as weather, Athrun could still see the faint halos of bright inorganic lights shining above. And there was no disguising the stability shaft placed strategically at a halfway point above the ground and from the ceiling. Otherwise, this could be a convincing facsimile of Earth. The soft breeze flying past his ears reminded him how much control the ZAFT had over their colony, and he doubted it would be long before a PLANT internally could resemble a planet.

Cagalli was nearly one step ahead of him now, and Athrun gingerly caught up so he was walking step by step with her. As a bodyguard he needed to be there, not just to take Cagalli's head down or cover her body with his own, but because he might need to take a bullet for her. He knew that Cagalli would likely be heartbroken if he died because of an assassin's bullet, but at least she wouldn't die, and he would have done his job.

His sunglasses had begun to loosen some, the lenses starting to fall down his nose. He quickly readjusted it before people saw his all-too-familiar eyes. All the effort he had put into disguising himself meant nothing if people saw his eyes. Everyone here knew who he looked like. His face had been plastered all over ZAFT news, and the majority of the people regarded him as a traitor, albeit for different reasons depending on who it was.

On one hand, some considered him a traitor because he had betrayed ZAFT to fight alongside the Three Ships Alliance. Despite the fact that he had done that to stop the war, and prevent a cataclysm from taking place, some still believed for some reason that Athrun had sold ZAFT out. And others made Athrun guilty by association. His father had nearly killed everyone on Earth, and had almost annihiliated a ZAFT fleet to do so. The moderates had not forgiven Patrick Zala for the war crimes he had committed or attempted to do, and many considered Athrun at least a potential radical.

And yet he still came here. If he could've smiled a sardonic grin at himself, he would have. But the role of the bodyguard was show no external emotion, and remain focussed upon his surrounding and the person he was protecting. That's why his eyes batted about behind the sunglasses, eyeing out as many people in the gigantic crowd as possible.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Cagalli waving towards the cheering masses, undoubtedly smiling a politician's cordial, fake grin. At the end of the well-maintained, gold-trimmed red carpet was the tall, kindly figure of Gilbert Durendal. He was walking forwards toward Cagalli and her four bodyguards. His politician's smile was convincing, almost honest. The kind, almost fatherly manner he conducted himself with was offset by an intimidating small cadre of bodyguards who looked as elite as any special force unit in either ZAFT or the Earth Alliance.

"Welcome, Princess!" he exclaimed, offering his hand out. "Thank you for being here. I know you had to travel extremely far to make it here."

Cagalli shook Durendal's right hand briefly, before taking it back. For once, she was in complete control of herself, showing no signs of her ferocious temper. But Athrun could tell already by the way her left hand was twitching that Cagalli was already feeling impatient and wished to get to the matters at hand.

"Not all. I know you've been extremely busy yourself. Getting the Earth Alliance Secretary-General to come here was a breakthrough I thought impossible. Congratulations on that," Cagalli replied.

Durendal offered a short, self-deprecating laugh. "I can't take all of the credit. I was lucky that Naomi Mitsuda wants to stop this outbreak of terrorism and normalize relations as much as I want to."

Cameras flickered all around, annoying Athrun slightly. He half-wished there was something different for the press to do; before he realized it would take another war to get the press to ignore the meeting of two chiefs of state. He quickly decided he'd take the cameras.

As if noticing the cameras for the first time himself, Durendal looked around, and then motioned to his private limousine. "Let's leave this tsunami of paparazzi behind, shall we? I believe we have quite a bit of business to take care of, if we don't want to deviate from the plans of the meeting."

He talks like a doctor. More specifically, like a brain surgeon, Athrun thought. Gilbert Durendal seemed to be the opposite of Patrick Zala in many ways, first of all in cordiality. Zala was known for his blunt methods and flamboyant, fiery speeches, while Durendal was comparitively soft-spoken and thoughtful. Considering that that Athrun's father had almost led the country into ruin perhaps it was to be expected they would find the best match for Zala's opposite.

Cagalli nodded appreciatively. "Thank you," she said, with a hint of actual gratitude in her voice.

"Come on, then. Let's get away from the cameras," Durendal replied, and began walking towards the limousine. Cagalli walked at his right side, and Athrun reluctantly shifted his position to directly behind her.

Two of Durendal's bodyguards opened the dual-door into the limousine. Athrun was surprised by its spartan appearence. There were cupholders, red bench seats that appeared to have healthy cushions, but nothing else other than a bolted-in wooden desk. Apparently Durendal liked traveling without frills.

Durendal stopped outside the limousine, before pausing. He turned to Cagalli with a slightly sheepish look on his face. "Unfortunately, Princess, I don't have enough room for all of your bodyguards. We'll each take two with us, and everyone else can get inside the secondary limousine. That sounds all right to you?"

Cagalli nodded. There was scarcely a pause before she made up her mind. "Alex, Tomas, you two come in with me. Tomas, you first."

It took Athrun a moment to remember what his assumed name was. He realized it before his next turn and followed Cagalli gingerly into the limousine, nearly stubbing his toe on the wooden desk. Why the hell Durendal wanted a piece of wooden furniture in a vehicle was beyond Athrun's understanding.

Durendal summoned his two bodyguards, whose names were Laura and Mikhail. Laura sat on the far side, and Mikhail was directly across from Athrun, with Durendal in the middle facing Cagalli. Athrun struggled not to blush a bit when he found himself compressed against Cagalli when the dual doors slammed shut, leaving him locked in a door with the ZAFT leaders and the Orb heir.

"By the way," Cagalli suddenly said, "Could you please stop calling me Princess? I'm here as the Orb Representative. My lineage doesn't really count until I'm twenty-one."

Athrun nearly admonished Cagalli for saying that, before remembering he was supposed to be the dutiful, silent bodyguard, like a machine. He bit his lip slightly and looked outside, through the tinted, undoubtedly bulletproof windows. Dammit, Cagalli, don't blow this because of your temper.

Durendal held up his hands. "My mistake. I didn't mean anything serious, Representative Athha. It is hard not to call you that after seeing your name with the 'Princess' moniker in front of it for so many years."

"I understand that. But please, as I said, my title and lineage doesn't really count anymore."

Does Cagalli sound rueful? Athrun thought. She had disliked the title as long as he had known her. Kira had told Athrun once about how Cagalli had run away from Onogoro Island to fight the ZAFT because she was sick of the ceremonies and shelter. She had been chafing back home as well. Maybe it was just because the Seiran branch of the family was in control until Cagalli came of age.

Durendal nodded again in affirmation, and then stared at Athrun. "You know, Alex, you don't need to wear sunglasses in here. You'll find that this is a well-tinted section, here."

Athrun tried not to look as nervous as he felt when he turned to look at Durendal. "I apologize. Personal preference, nothing more, sir."

"Mmm." Durendal's thin lips contracted slightly, and said "If you wish to have a more convincing disguise, Athrun Zala, it'll take more than an unfamiliar haircut, hair dye, and sunglasses to fool someone who's seen you on television so many times."

Now Athrun was shocked. "I-I-I don't know what you're talking about, sir! You must be mistaking me for someone else."

"And practice lying a little more. You are obviously unaccustomed to it. If you want to be more convincing I suggest actually using your false name more often," Durendal added.

Athrun leaned back against the seat in defeat. Dammit. Just like that, all of this effort is worthless.

Cagalli quickly changed the nature of the conversation. "The identity of my bodyguard is inconsequential. He needed a living and he passed all of my tests and he's an excellent bodyguard. Now, about the fact you're having Morgenroete personnel for military purposes . . . and using our Slants as pilots."

"We can discuss business when we arrive and can include Mrs. Naomi in the conversation," Durendal said. "I doubt she'd be pleased if we began our talks without her involvement."

He peered down for a moment. "You're wearing a marriage ring, Representative Athha. Congratulations. Your suitor is lucky man . . . he's sitting right next to you, isn't he?"

Both Cagalli and Athrun jumped at those words. Athrun was about to protest but Cagalli spoke first. "Chairman, my personal life is none of your business. Yes, someone did propose to me recently, and thank you for your favor, but I'm not much for small talk."

Durendal leaned back against the seat bench. "It's a simple deduction. Your bodyguard made numerous, if tiny, errors in escorting you down the carpet to the limousine. Unless he meant something to you in a personal way I couldn't see how you'd continue to include him on your missions, much less bring him here as a member of your detail."

Cagalli sighed in defeat. "Please don't give me a lecture, Chairman. Please remember we're meeting as equals. I don't appreciate your intrusions on my personal life and choices."

Durendal held up his hands. "You're correct, I am trepassing too far. I apologize. Perhaps we can discuss something else until we meet Mrs. Naomi."

Thank God, Athrun thought, sighing in relief. Realizing there was no point in a disguise right now, he took off his sunglasses and stared outside. Hopefully this would take his mind off matters for the moment.

Despite his best efforts, he began to stew in frustration. He had underestimated Durendal. Within a couple minutes of entering the vehicle, he had successfully deconstructed his identity and discerned his relationship with Cagalli. If Durendal could do that there was no telling what else the man was capable of.

It occurred to Athrun that he had scarcely heard of Gilbert Durendal until he had taken power a year ago. He had risen virtually out of nowhere. Athrun looked at Durendal slightly suspiciously as the man chatted something far less penetrating and light-hearted with Cagalli.

What exactly are you, Gilbert Durendal?
* * *
Years ago, there would never have been Earth Alliance personnel wandering throughout a PLANT. More certainly not on shore leave. But that exactly was what Shinn Asuka was seeing as he walked down the shopping mall's pristine concrete sidewalks. He could tell. They looked to be more in a state of either surprise or utmost joy.

He had once been like that himself. PLANT environments were definitely glorious. It took a while to get used to the fact that, externally, the PLANTs seemed almost utopian in comparison to the urbanized, post-industrial societies making up most of the Earth Alliance. When there weren't any trash littering the sidewalks, and when the trees were real and looked lavish, when the buildings were elegantly designed spires, it was difficult not to be in awe.

Perhaps he would take more time to enjoy the sights if he wasn't carrying so much baggage, literally. Why he had to carry all of the bags was beyond him. Still, it was apparently a sign of being a good boyfriend, and he would follow it. At least for now. But if he had to carry a seventh bag full of random stuff, especially if it was purchased from his account, he would be close to screaming.

"Hey, Shinn! Shinn! Look at this one!" Stellar Loussier shouted in front of one of the storefronts. Shinn ran over as fast as he could, sweltering from a mixture of the heat and from carrying bags that felt like they were fifty pounds.

"What?" he gasped. He looked up towards what Stellar was pointing at. It apparently was some kind of classy skirt/robe-shirt combination, with primary navy and white colors with yellow trim on the skirt and the loose sleeves on the robe-skirt.

Not more clothes, he silently groaned. That one looks like a small fortune to have! And I have to buy it all! It's not like she can actually wear these most of the time!

"Do you think it'll look good on me?" Stellar asked with a wide grin on her face.

Do I really want to answer that? Shinn thought. He looked at the robe-shirt and skirt and looked at Stellar. It probably would, but he certainly didn't want to buy it.

"I think it would it look beautiful on you," he offered.

Her brown eyes appeared to glisten with joy then, and her smile became wider. She rushed forward and planted a kiss on his cheek. "Thank you, Shinn. Let's go inside and see if you're right!"

She opened the door and rushed inside, leaving Shinn standing outside, stunned. "Right. You go do that. I'm just going to collapse out here."

He lurched over to the nearest park bench and collapsed onto it, staring up at the distant ceiling. The birds and artificial clouds lent the sky an ambivalence that almost seemed natural. As he attempted to stretch out he thought he heard people giggling at him. Rising to his feet he saw two peculiar people dressed in civilian clothes standing over him.

Shinn guessed they were either Slants or Coordinators. "Okay. What is it? What're you two laughing at?" he asked.

The blue-haired one laughed. "ZAFT dude, you had no idea what you were getting into when you became Stellar's boyfriend. Classic test of hers."

"She certainly likes to dump stuff on her boyfriends. Probably the reason why she doesn't hold onto one for very long," the one with the buzzed green hair added.

"Are you two Sting Oakley and Auel Neider?" Shinn asked.

The blue-haired one froze mid-laugh and stared at Shinn dumbstruck. "How did you find out Auel's name?"

"Uh, she told me them and what you guys looked like. She doesn't just talk about shopping, you know. And why're you referring to yourself in the third person?"

"It's one of Auel's things," Sting Oakley said. Unlike Auel, he seemed reserved about Shinn discovering their identities. He looked towards the storefront, looking almost wistful. "So, Unlimited Girl, eh? Been Stellar's favorite place to shop since she first came here. Has blown out many boys' bank accounts in the process."

"Including Auel's," Auel Neider added as an afterthought. "But Auel Neider's heard you're a loaded man, Shinn Asuka. Lucky you."

Shinn looked away towards the ground, thinking back to how he had achieved such access to his money. "No, not really," he said.

"Auel, do yourself a favor and stop the third-person crap. You're weirding him out," Sting growled, misreading Shinn's face. Suddenly Shinn felt someone sit on the bench and he heard Sting talk to him. "Stellar only does this to a person once. You survive this and you're in the clear . . . for now."

"Now? Clarify that."

"Well, you see, this is just the first test of several for her boyfriends, to test their physical and mental capability. This is a combination of strength and patience," Sting said knowingly.

"And why does she do this? Wouldn't it be easier for her to-" Shinn asked, looking up at a certain young woman coming out of the Unlimited Girl shop.

Not noticing the certain young woman's approach, Sting continued on. "It's not Stellar's way. She likes testing people. Very suspicious woman."

"Only with you two vultures trying to scare another boyfriend away. Wasn't the last four good enough for you two?"

The sound of Stellar's voice made Auel let out a short scream and Sting literally leapt a few inches off of his bench. Meanwhile, Shinn, who had seen Stellar coming the whole time, smiled knowingly. It seemed Stellar's two friends were quite the unintentional entertainers. Maybe he would have an easier time getting along with these two than he originally expected.

"Where did you come from?" Auel shouted.

"Scar-ee." Sting added.

"Were you two trying to convince my boyfriend that I'm trying to test him again?" Stellar asked, her hands on her hips.

"Um, uh . . . yes. Sorry," Auel mumbled.

Stellar sighed, then turned to Shinn. "Classic trick of these two idiots here. They try to scare my latest boyfriend out of the relationship by saying I'm going to run him through hoops and that sort of thing. Usually works."

"Is that so?" Shinn glared at Sting and then at Auel. "So you two were just trying to get me away from Stellar so you could have her to yourselves, that it?"

"Uh, no. Auel and Sting just want to make sure Stellar's dating someone worthy of her impeccable beauty." Auel looked towards Stellar imploringly. "Isn't that right?"

"Nice try." Suddenly, Stellar picked up one of the handled boxes she had been making Shinn carry and shoved it into Auel's arms. "Here, take this. I've been making Shinn carry far more than he should."

"Oof . . . what'd you put in here, rocks?" Auel groaned.

"Weights. Since we've been put here I've been wanting to get some muscle mass back on. By the sounds of you groaning, you could use to build some some muscle, too," Stellar replied.

"Auel still swears it is rocks . . ." Auel mumbled as Stellar leered at Sting. The green-haired, dark-eyed young man held up his hands in surrender.

"Okay, okay. We won't do it again! I swear!" Sting said.

"Good. Then maybe I'll be able to hold onto this one more than a few weeks." Stellar handed her bag to Sting. Just as Sting was sighing with relief she handed him two more bags, leaving Sting looking quite flustered.

"Pay them no mind," she told Shinn as he got up from the park bench. "They've got really bad senses of humor, especially Auel. Sting at least tries to be serious sometimes."

Perhaps as if remembering something, she suddenly turned back towards Sting. Perhaps expecting to be swarmed by more boxes and bags, Sting held up his occupied hands and exclaimed "I said I was sorry!"

"No, not that. Why're you two here for real? Usually when you two try to scare a boyfriend away you guys don't go through all of this effort. What's going on?" Stellar asked.

Sting, relaxing, said "We were sent to get you back. The squadron is going to be running live drills within two hours, and the commander wants everyone to be at the base in the hour. Since your radio was switched off we were sent to get you back."

"Oh," Stellar said, looking downcast for a moment. "I was hoping to . . . ah, can't be helped." She looked towards Shinn and smiled apologetically. "Looks like this is going to end earlier than we thought. Here's your card back. Thanks for letting me use it."

Shinn gratefully accepted tbe card and pocketed it. "I think the ZAFT base is along the way to the Earth Alliance's. That way we can all travel back home. I'm sure my squadron's wondering where the hell I am too," Shinn said.

"Sounds good." She turned towards Sting and Auel, who both flinched promptly. "C'mon, you two. Let's head back. I don't want to give the commander a reason to single us out."

Shinn nodded, looking down towards the ground. "Yeah. I know that feeling."

Stellar turned towards Shinn, and smiled calmly, as if sensing his churning emotions at the reminder of how their kind was treated. "It's the fate of the Slants. We're targeted 'cause we're superior on Earth, targeted 'cause we're inferior to the ZAFT."

She sighed. "C'mon, let's go. If we don't get going Auel's gonna collapse before we get back to base."

Gladdened by the distraction, Shinn looked up to see Auel stumbling back and forth, his face beginning to turn beet red. "Auel can do it! Auel can do it! Auel can't do it . . ." he said, before falling backwards on a patch of bushes.

Stellar's lips contracted and she flicked a few strands of her blonde hair away from her eyes. "Okay, we got problems now."
* * *
"Look at them, Saburo. So carefree. So glided. They run rumbunctiously around without a worry, thinking the war's before, that there will be peace before long," Frederick Coolidge, ex-Commander and GINN pilot, said. He was a balding individual, who once had dark, slicked back hair, but it had begun to grey and thin out on top. His voice was gravelly and worn from decades of screaming orders at his pilots.

"Yeah, I see," Saburo Uzumaki, by far the younger of the group, said, as he stared as three of them frantically struggled to revive the one that collapsed. They look more like high schoolers than military pilots, he noted.

"I'd never thought I'd see the day when Earth and ZAFT would willingly talk to each other so casually. I even think the ZAFT person is in love with the female Earth pilot, judging by their interactions," added the sultry voice of the third and final member of their trio, Indira Mehrvash. She was younger than Coolidge at twenty-five. She had dark, long violet hair, and knowing, lively teal eyes that Saburo constantly spotted staring at him.

Coolidge took a deep breath, and glanced at his watch. "Almost time. Then all of this will be over with." He looked towards Saburo, his dark eyes looking like they could pierce through Saburo at a moment's notice. "You are ready to do this, correct?"

"Of course," Saburo said, trying to keep all signs of his nervousness well away from his two partners. "I've been ready for this for a long while."

He nearly began fingering his 9-mm pistol, tucked neatly underneath his loose shirt. Thankfully, he resisted the temptation in time before he revealed the three of them for what they really were. At nineteen, with similar dark hair to the two adults and with sky-blue eyes, Saburo appeared to be of reasonable likeness to the two people older than him, allowing the trio to pose as family.

They were, of course, much different than that. Coolidge had served with the ZAFT up until after the battle of Jachin Doe. Chafing under the moderates, and infuriated further when he discovered that his two teenage children had been killed during the final battle, he had sought out the radical exile, Ezalia Joule. He had spent nearly the last three years sabotaging and attacking both the ZAFT moderates and Earth representatives and military personnel.

Indira Mehrvash had kept her reasons close to her, and it was said that not even Ezalia Joule herself knew why Mehrvash had joined up with the Coordinator Liberation Front. Mehrvash had apparently said she was bored and wanted something else to do besides mercenary work. Hard-pressed for recruits, Ezalia had allowed her to join, albeit after passing numerous loyalty and competence tests.

Indira stared longingly at the menu. "God, this beer is so freaking good. Couldn't I have just one glass?"

"No. First you'll want one, then another, and another, until you've passed out like usual. I need you sober for this, Indira. Don't blow this because of your impluses," Coolidge responded.

Indira made a small whimpering noise as she continued to stare at the menu. "Damn."

Considering what this woman is like sober I don't wanna know what she's like drunk, Saburo thought. He had only known her for the past week, and his best impression of the woman was 'quirky' at the moment. Apparently she was even weirder and had no inhibitations at all when she was drunk. Considering Coolidge had to fight a long argument with her just for her to put jeans and a tank top on instead of her usual cargo shorts and sports bra Saburo didn't want to see what Indira was like even with one glass of beer down her throat.

She leaned back against her chair, and looked upwards at all of the memorabilia stacked all around the ceiling. "Look at all of this old stuff. Some of this has to date back before Coordinators even existed. Why do they bother even holding onto this old crap?"

She yawned. "Makes no freaking sense to me. We've evolved past any of this Natural crap."

Coolidge sighed. "Whether we've evolved past this point or not doesn't mean anything to me. Without the Naturals the Coordinators wouldn't even exist. We may not need or want the Naturals around anymore but their histories have shaped and influenced our own existence. That's why those of us with vision aspire to being far more than the primative Naturals and the pretender Slants."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Save your propaganda about justice and superiority for someone who cares." Indira yawned again. "I just want to get this over with. The longer we spend here the more I'm being driven nuts by these jeans. So constricting and annoying."

"The goal of this is to not draw any attention to ourselves, Indira," Coolidge growled.

"What's the point of being blessed with a body like mine if no one can see it?"

Didn't they have this argument back at the safe house? Saburo thought, trying to keep his left eye from twitching and failing.

"You're still not leaving much to the imagination. Now stop trying to wreck this before it even begins," Coolidge said with finality.

Mehrvash suddenly turned towards Saburo, and Saburo felt a sinking feeling pass through him before the woman spoke. "Saburo, darling, please tell me you're not siding with the grumpy old man on this one. Wouldn't you like to see your 'mommy' happy?"

Saburo knew what the right answer was to this, but was so nervous he babbled for a bit before he finally replied. "Uh, 'Mom', I think 'Dad' is right on this one. No point in drawing attention to ourselves."

Indira gave him a disgusted look. "God, you're as bad as ole` baldy over there. No senses of humor or fun. You're a young man. Learn to live a little."

Coolidge buried his head in his right hand. "Indira, you continue to do this I'll-"

Suddenly Coolidge's cell beeped. With a sigh, of either exasperation or relief, he answered the phone. "Yes?"

Pause. Coolidge's eyes widened. "Already? Why's it moving ahead of schedule already? Possibly? What'd ya mean you don't know? Then I suggest you get on it."

Indira leaned across the table and whispered to Saburo "Betcha something's already been botched in the grand plan, here. We might have to get moving in a little bit. Might want to get ready to get moving really fast."

Saburo nodded as Coolidge continued to argue with the caller. "Listen, none of us are . . . okay, okay. Rendezvous point in a half hour. Understood. Yes, she's under control but driving me nuts. Okay. Bye."

"I'm going to kill that man after this is over," Indira grumbled. Saburo didn't know whether she was joking or was really planning on going through with it, there was no telling with Indira.

Coolidge flipped the phone shut and stared at the two of them. "All right. They think we might've been compromised, they want us to get out of here and to the backup point within a half hour. We've lost contact with one of our cells and another has taken casualties from a ZAFT attack. Let's get out of here before something else happens."

He quickly yanked out his chit card and swiped it and entered his PIN number. After paying for the meal by pressing numbers on the keypad he announced "Okay, done. Let's move. They'll give us backup supplies at the point, they think they might've gotten all of the safe houses. C'mon, Saburo."

Indira sighed, and much to Saburo's surprise sported a wide grin. "Maybe this will be more exciting than I thought," she said.

Why is she on our team, again? Saburo thought.

Somehow, Saburo was the one who left the restaurant first. He opened the glass door, and didn't see it coming. Suddenly, he found himself crashing against someone and he felt his skull bang against something hard. For one dazed, horrified moment, Saburo thought he had been shot.

But he quickly discerned he hadn't. As he opened his eyes and rubbed his pounding forehead, he found a young man, close to his age, sprawled on the ground holding his head in his hands, groaning. He had tanned skin that looked either Latino or Arabic, and sand-colored hair and blue eyes that hinted of mixed ancestry.

"Khalid, where the hell did you-oh." Saburo looked up to see a tall, breaded man who appeared to be in his mid-forties rush over. "Watch where you're going next time," the man said.

"Yes, Dad. Sorry." Khalid looked towards Saburo. "Sorry, I wasn't looking where I was going. Are you okay?"

"He's not dead, is he Khalid? Now c'mon get up." The man hauled Khalid to his feet and brushed off his shirt. The breaded man then looked at Saburo, then at Coolidge and Mehrvash, trying to look polite but Saburo could see the annoyance in his dark eyes.

"I apologize. Khalid doesn't always look where he's going. It's something he hasn't grown out of yet."

"That's okay," Mehrvash said with a forced laugh. "Saburo doesn't pay enough attention to the world himself. He'll be okay."

The man looked relieved at that. "All right, Khalid. Let's get out of here before we cause these people any more trouble."

"Uh, yes Dad." And just like that, they walked down the sidewalk, walking extremely quickly.

Saburo rose to his feet as he watched them walk away. Strange people, he thought as he still rubbed his head. They seem to be in quite a bit of rush like us.

Coolidge breathed a sigh of relief. "All right, we lucked out there. I was worried we'd be blown. Now let's move before anything else happens."

"Yeah," Saburo said, as he followed Coolidge and Mehrvash down the parking lot. After all, he still has a mission to follow through on, and people to avenge, much like Coolidge. The Earth Alliance had robbed him of Satoshi, his older brother, and had murdered Kasumi, his younger sister, not to mention the uncle who had raised him. And the ZAFT did themselves no better by executing his mother for treason.

That was why he was here today. That was why he was going to fight. He would never let himself forget those deaths, even if someday everything was rightened. They were all gone, and nothing would bring them back, but at least he would help bring his mother's goals to fruition. Now that was a worthy cause. That was why he had joined the organization, took all of the required training, and was ready to fight for the Coordinator race.

He looked one more time at the vanishing father and his son. They were probably Coordinators like him. He hoped he wouldn't accidentally kill them in the upcoming conflict, but then war caused casualties on both sides. He had seen that during the last war, and it would likely repeat himself in the new one. However, despite it all, if Ezalia Joule's plan worked, this war would be a lot briefer than the last one.

Because then all that would be left would be the ZAFT. And wasn't that the goal of every Coordinator. Saburo looked to where those arrogant Earthians and their ZAFT collaborator had been hanging around.

I'll have you people know this war hasn't ended yet. It will just be won by people you idiots never expected, he thought. He then ran after Coolidge and Mehrvash, intent on accomplishing the righteous mission.

_________________
MURRUE: Infallible accuracy?? I thought you just usually shot all your weapons at random and they just happened to hit stuff.

KIRA: What do you think this is; a cartoon?


Last edited by rebel_cheese on Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:11 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post Posted: Mon May 07, 2007 5:59 am 
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This is really good stuff you got going here.
Good laughs from Shinn the bodyslave and women & shopping. Stereotypical, I know, but still funny. The whole Extended possee was somehow more human in their way. Auel thought Auel was also funny. :P And Stellar is not a basket-case, who would've thought?

Also Dullindal/Durendal gets high points too for being a capable and observant man, as a politician should be. He might have wanted to hold on to that piece of Athrun-knowledge a bit longer, but then again I can't be sure what his motives are in your fic. Go Gil!

I have one question as well though: who or what are "Slants"?

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 Post Posted: Mon May 07, 2007 8:20 pm 
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I’ve read the first chapter and I’ll get around to the second soon-ish. The ideas seem interesting enough but I’m having some difficulty accepting the characters. This is probably in part to my personal interpretation of Lacus and Kira differing from yours.

I see Kira as someone who’s too afraid to face the reality of the world that he rejects it outright and covers it with the delusion of his ideals. His ideals, although not bad in themselves, have warped his perspective, making him seem self righteous.

Lacus is similar, only her delusion is reinforced by the fact that she is undefeated. Equating her victories as vindication of her ideals.

Your portrayal of Kira as a young man suffering from Post Traumatic Stress is an interesting choice, but I personally don’t think he’d be quite that deep in it. As much as I don’t care much for Kira, I don’t think he’d be quite as self deprecating as you show him. I think he would have fought it harder, doing whatever he could to hold his daemons back.

He comes off more messed up than the main character of my fic, GS: Orphan. And my character would actually have more reason to be an emotional wreck.

One thing that bothers me about your portrayal of Lacus is that in the narrative you describe her as having uncommon dedication to helping Kira recover. But she says things like “Maybe you’ll get better.” Is seems like a contradiction to me, if her dedication was as you described, I would think there would be no doubt in her mind that Kira would recover, would be seen in how she spoke to him, “You will recover.” Instead of “maybe”. That kind of strength in the face of adversity is what would cut through Kira’s despair. Sometimes, a strong heart can make all the difference in a person’s life.

Don’t mind me; I’m rambling instead of finishing chapter four or my story. Unlike you, I don’t write chapters in advance, I just dive forwards.

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 Post Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 9:37 am 
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Its a good fic :mrgreen:
Have you read WoT? Cause you writing style reflects that of Robert Jordan's, lots of detail and focuses on one person's perspective.
Or am I just delusional?

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 Post Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 1:09 pm 
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Antares:

Quote:
This is really good stuff you got going here.


Thanks. :D

Quote:
Good laughs from Shinn the bodyslave and women & shopping. Stereotypical, I know, but still funny. The whole Extended possee was somehow more human in their way. Auel thought Auel was also funny. And Stellar is not a basket-case, who would've thought?


I know it was stereotypical fan service, but since this story cuts fan service out entirely otherwise, I thought it would be nice to have some comic relief.

I wanted the Extendeds to be more human, definitely. I wanted Auel to still be a little crazy but surprisingly he came out more sane and good-natured than I intended. Sting especially was a bit of a surprise. Stellar . . . I felt she had a lot of wasted potential and I wanted to see if I could give her some more.

Quote:
Also Dullindal/Durendal gets high points too for being a capable and observant man, as a politician should be. He might have wanted to hold on to that piece of Athrun-knowledge a bit longer, but then again I can't be sure what his motives are in your fic. Go Gil!


Durandal (just realized I've been misspelling his name :oops:) was trying to put Cagalli off guard, as a warning of sorts. He's showing Cagalli he is observant and effective and not to underestimate him.

Quote:
I have one question as well though: who or what are "Slants"?


They are essentially Coordinators, except with Natural blood intermingling. A Slant usually has a Coordinator and a Natural parent Those who are either three-quarters Coordinator or three-quarters Natural have so little differences between full-bloods they are essentially either Coordinators or Naturals, respectfully. That's it in a nutshell without me spoiling anything.

Heretic:

Quote:
I’ve read the first chapter and I’ll get around to the second soon-ish. The ideas seem interesting enough but I’m having some difficulty accepting the characters. This is probably in part to my personal interpretation of Lacus and Kira differing from yours.


Perhaps . . . what you've been saying is extremely interesting. And I'm sorry if the second chapter is a little goofy.

Quote:
I see Kira as someone who’s too afraid to face the reality of the world that he rejects it outright and covers it with the delusion of his ideals. His ideals, although not bad in themselves, have warped his perspective, making him seem self righteous.


Ah. I don't really see him that way. I mostly see him repressing it and trying to forget what's happened, I think he would have buried it in his subconsciousness.

Quote:
Lacus is similar, only her delusion is reinforced by the fact that she is undefeated. Equating her victories as vindication of her ideals.


Lacus has been in a stalemate with Kira for the last couple of years, so I thought she would have worn down some and be a bit more cynical and world-weary. As you'll find out, she is less optimistic but she will do the right thing no matter what the odds. This is probably the closest I could get to crafting a 'dark Lacus' without her going completely OOC.

Quote:
Your portrayal of Kira as a young man suffering from Post Traumatic Stress is an interesting choice, but I personally don’t think he’d be quite that deep in it. As much as I don’t care much for Kira, I don’t think he’d be quite as self deprecating as you show him. I think he would have fought it harder, doing whatever he could to hold his daemons back.


Kira has been fighting it, but he has no control over what his subconscious shows him. Kira is self-loathing, but it's mostly because of the way he attacks Lacus after he wakes up. He wishes he could shake off his dreams and see Lacus for what she really is instead of attacking her when she loves him the most. He is doing whatever he can, but he's being worn down. But he is fighting still, and I tried to show that.

Quote:
He comes off more messed up than the main character of my fic, GS: Orphan. And my character would actually have more reason to be an emotional wreck
.

*shrugs* Judging from his ordeal in SEED I felt that some of what he saw would come back to haunt him. Especially from the way he massacred people in SEED mode. He's afraid of that side of him, the one that would tear through and kill people in a heartbeat, and I wanted to show that.

Quote:
One thing that bothers me about your portrayal of Lacus is that in the narrative you describe her as having uncommon dedication to helping Kira recover. But she says things like “Maybe you’ll get better.” Is seems like a contradiction to me, if her dedication was as you described, I would think there would be no doubt in her mind that Kira would recover, would be seen in how she spoke to him, “You will recover.” Instead of “maybe”. That kind of strength in the face of adversity is what would cut through Kira’s despair. Sometimes, a strong heart can make all the difference in a person’s life.


That was a definite characterization error on my part. I'll definitely go and fix that and strengthen some of Lacus' dialogue. But she is forming minor doubts in her mind, she needs more of a sign that Kira will get better.

Quote:
Don’t mind me; I’m rambling instead of finishing chapter four or my story. Unlike you, I don’t write chapters in advance, I just dive forwards.


I ramble all the time, no big deal. And I initially dove forward before I wrote an outline and coalesced all of my wayward plot points together.

And I'll check your story out sometime! :D

SolidSpidr:

Quote:
Its a good fic
Have you read WoT? Cause you writing style reflects that of Robert Jordan's, lots of detail and focuses on one person's perspective.
Or am I just delusional?


I have read Wheel Of Time but I don't think my style is that similiar to Jordan's. In truth, I'm more influenced by Orson Scott Card, who also writes in detail and concentrates on one person's perspective, himself.

Thanks for reading.

After looking through Chapter Three, I noticed there's actually nothing that needs censoring, so there won't be anything sliced out. I did, however, notice typos galore and I'm fixing them. When Chapter Thirteen is completed Chapter Three will be posted.

Because finals are approaching I don't have a lot of time to write, so it could be a while before there's a post. I'll definitely post Three by this weekend regardless of whether Chapter Thirteen's finished or not.

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MURRUE: Infallible accuracy?? I thought you just usually shot all your weapons at random and they just happened to hit stuff.

KIRA: What do you think this is; a cartoon?


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 Post Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 2:54 pm 
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rebel_cheese said:
Quote:
Quote:
Heretic:
He comes off more messed up than the main character of my fic, GS: Orphan. And my character would actually have more reason to be an emotional wreck


*shrugs* Judging from his ordeal in SEED I felt that some of what he saw would come back to haunt him. Especially from the way he massacred people in SEED mode. He's afraid of that side of him, the one that would tear through and kill people in a heartbeat, and I wanted to show that.

Considering the way you put it, there might be interesting common ground between between my fic and yours, at least when Kira stops doing the dishes in mine and gets some airtime. A warning in advance. :wink:

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*Almost everyone I've killed uttered similar last words.
-Then I am glad once again that you are on my side.
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 Post Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 4:14 pm 
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Antares wrote:
rebel_cheese said:
Quote:
Quote:
Heretic:
He comes off more messed up than the main character of my fic, GS: Orphan. And my character would actually have more reason to be an emotional wreck


*shrugs* Judging from his ordeal in SEED I felt that some of what he saw would come back to haunt him. Especially from the way he massacred people in SEED mode. He's afraid of that side of him, the one that would tear through and kill people in a heartbeat, and I wanted to show that.

Considering the way you put it, there might be interesting common ground between between my fic and yours, at least when Kira stops doing the dishes in mine and gets some airtime. A warning in advance. :wink:

The thing is, in my fic, the main character Cassidy actually does blank out and kill people. She’s a berserker in the truest meaning of the word. EVA 01 style. :twisted:

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 Post Posted: Tue May 08, 2007 9:24 pm 
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Antares:

Quote:
Considering the way you put it, there might be interesting common ground between between my fic and yours, at least when Kira stops doing the dishes in mine and gets some airtime. A warning in advance.


Hmm . . . you seem to be a fan of the alliance plot yourself. I don't know what you mean by Kira doing dishes, though . . . where I'm at Shinn just blew him up. But yeah, Kira is basically afraid of himself here.

Heretic:

The thing is, in my fic, the main character Cassidy actually does blank out and kill people. She’s a berserker in the truest meaning of the word. EVA 01 style

Sounds awesome. Nothing like shredding a bunch of redshirts into little pieces. :twisted:

BTW, Yoko is awesome. 8)

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MURRUE: Infallible accuracy?? I thought you just usually shot all your weapons at random and they just happened to hit stuff.

KIRA: What do you think this is; a cartoon?


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 Post subject: Um, sorry . . .
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:28 pm 
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Okay. I apologize for the severe lack of an update throughout the whole summer. The honest truth was that I reimmersed myself in the Star Wars fandom and sacrificed my Gundam fanboyism. I'll try to get something up soon, once I can locate my Kismet file on Word (and actually have time post).

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MURRUE: Infallible accuracy?? I thought you just usually shot all your weapons at random and they just happened to hit stuff.

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 Post Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 7:44 pm 
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Chapter Three: Kindling

Does anything happen to me? I take what comes . . .
-Marcus Aurelius


"See, look, there it is," Shinn said, pointing to the spiral-shaped control tower. Hangars and large building populated the whole base, and periodically a Mobile Suit would return to launch to go on patrol throughout the region. At the gates a heavily-armed guard post stood, awaiting any would-be attacker. There were also dozens of patrols with dogs wandering the base, searching for bombs set by infiltrators.

"Wow," Stellar said. "ZAFT works really hard at security. Makes me wish I was with them."

"Why? How's Earth's security?" Shinn asked.

Stellar gave him a look. "I'm not at liberty to say."

"C'mon. Like I'm going to tell ZAFT what your security's like."

"It's high. Perhaps not as involved as yours but it's pretty good, I think," Stellar replied.

Shinn nodded. "Can't have enough security with all of the terror attacks. It's terrible. I almost had to shoot someone a week ago. My commander got him, though, before I had to do it."

Stellar casted her eyes down towards the ground. "I did have to kill someone. Two months ago. One of the hardliners got in to my bunk and I was the only one who had a pistol ready."

Shinn paused, thinking about this. Stellar had never told him about this. Then again, it wasn't exactly dinner or dating conversation, but . . . he thought why she thought to hide this from him. They had been dating straight for two months, and in his eyes were growing close. He gazed at Stellar. "Why didn't you tell me this?" he asked.

"I didn't want you to know you're dating a killer." Now there were tears starting to appear in Stellar's eyes. "I was thinking what you would think of someone who shot somebody-"

"Stellar, stop it." Stellar looked at gazed directly into Shinn's eyes at the sound of his voice.

Shinn tried to smile comfortingly. He had never thought of Stellar as someone who would, or in this case, did kill somebody, but right now he wasn't going to let that knowledge alter his opinion or perspective of her. "You really think I'm going to break off the relationship because you did something soldiers have to do? From the sounds of it you fired the gun out of self-defense, and to protect others to boot. I would've done the same in your position."

"I don't even know why I told you this," Stellar said.

"You told me because you trust me, that's why." Shinn lifted his left hand, shook the bag down to his arm, and pressed it against Stellar's cheek. "We shouldn't be hiding anything from each other. You did what you had to do. I would shoot a gun to protect my friends or you, and what you did is nothing to be ashamed about. It's not like you did it in cold blood or are bragging about it, right?"

"No," Stellar said. A small smile spread across her face. "Thanks, Shinn. I'm glad you care. Really."

"That's great." Shinn was thinking of something touching to say when unfortunately one of their accidental companions decided to insert himself into the conversation.

"That would be really touching . . . if you two weren't such dirtbags to leave us with all of the heavy bags! My arms hurt!" Auel shouted.

"Yeah! Mine too!" Sting added. Then he turned towards Auel quizzically, his voice almost low enough to be inaudible. "Hey, you dropped out of third person!"

"I'm too tired to do that right now! I just wanna go to base and flop on the bunk and snooze," Auel replied.

Stellar looked towards them and repeated the hands-on-hips pose she had adopted when she had spotted them talking to Shinn. "If you two weren't such jerks and tried to scare my boyfriend away I wouldn't be making you carry all of the heavy bags! He's the best one I've ever had, so you two deserve it."

The best one she's ever had? Shinn thought. He thought about what Stellar had said earlier. She said she had four others before me . . . hey, I must be awesome or something to beat out four other guys!

He immediately began to blush as he thought about what Stellar had said, but quickly froze when Stellar turned around and looked at him in the eyes. He instantly felt his throat constrict as she walked towards him. "Those two are harmless . . . once you get around their mouths. They have no bite but their barks are misleading."

"You're lucky we have a 'no-hitting-girls' policy!" Auel shouted.

"Even if you two didn't I'd still kick both your butts, and both of you know it," Stellar responded.

She sure seems to hang around strange people. Wonder if that makes me weird too, Shinn thought. He looked at her as she continued her taunting match with Auel. Hard to believe she's really shot somebody . . . she doesn't seem like a killer to me. She just rolls with it and only reflects when she has time to.

When Auel finally ran out of verbal ammunition, Stellar finally turned to Shinn as Sting placed a hand on Auel's shoulder, congratulating him for a good effort. "See what I mean, there? They're a lot of fun to hang around, though they're basically grown kids."

"Right. Well, let's get out of here. I'll hand you the remaining bags when we get down there," Shinn said.

Suddenly, Stellar looked melancholy, and she glanced down towards the ground again. What'd I say? Shinn thought in sudden alarm.

She looked up, and gave him a sad smile. "I don't think it's a good idea for the two of us to be seen together right now. If ZAFT is anything like us they're going to keep records of whoever passes by. If they cross-check me, Auel, and Sting they'll find out we're from Earth, and you're going to be in trouble for hanging around with Earthians. I really don't want to be the cause of you being questioned by some idiot with a score to settle against Earthians."

"Oh. Yeah," Shinn said. He looked towards the base. We definitely do that, too. And if the information somehow gets to Earth . . . Stellar could get hurt, too.

"I understand," he said. He looked towards Stellar, trying to hide his mixed feelings with a grin, but he realized that she knew nevertheless. "I guess this is goodbye until we can both get leave at the same time, right?"

"Yeah. We can call each other and arrange to have our leaves at the same time, though. We'll see each other before long," Stellar said reassuringly. "I promise I won't yank as much off your card, either. I wouldn't think your parents will be too happy if I keep making you pay for stuff."

Oh. I haven't told her yet. Speak for yourself about trust. She has no idea, no idea at all, Shinn thought. Three years ago was still burned in his memory, what remained before was imprisoned somewhere in his room to remind him of happier times. Back when he wasn't alone.

But I won't be, right? If I get this to work I'll be with Stellar. I won't be alone anymore. Maybe I'll even have some friends in the people she hangs out with. It was a tempting thought, filled with promise, but if he screwed up he would definitely be alone again. That was something he was desperate not to have, not when he had an opportunity to escape from it.

Sure, there were the mechanics he could joke around with, but they weren't really friends. More like envious fans if Slants, intolerant backstabbers if Coordinator. After all, how many Slants had managed to make it to being a Mobile Suit pilot? Most ZAFT Slants were stuck doing monkey jobs, grunt work, labor. He actually had managed to become a pilot, a rarity among his kind.

"Uh, okay," Shinn said, trying to be noncommittal. He could tell Stellar about his situation later. "I'll see you later, all right?"

Stellar nodded. "Okay. I had a wonderful time."

She suddenly pulled Shinn in and kissed him on the mouth for five seconds. After they separated Stellar took Shinn's bags and said "I'll talk you later, Shinn."

Shinn, still feeling the aftereffects of the kiss, merely mumbled "Yeah, okay. Thanks for everything."

Stellar and her two friends left him then. Auel and Sting both looked a little jealous of Shinn, the ZAFT pilot momentarily wondered if either, or both, of the Earth pilots had feelings for Stellar. Suddenly, Shinn smiled knowingly. Of course they did. That had to be their motives for scaring her boyfriends half to death.

Suddenly, he heard a horn beep behind him. Shinn nearly leapt into the air, but as he turned around he saw a open-roofed vehicle crammed with four ZAFT personnel there.

He saw, and heard, one of the occupants give a wolf whistle. "Way to get some, Shinn!" Vino Dupre said. He was sprightly, energetic young man with brown hair that had a patch of red in it. He was also the most hardcore fan of Lacus Clyne's music Shinn had ever met.

"Does she have any cute friends! I want some, too!" Yolant Kent, a tall, relatively muscular man who was a little older than both Vino and Shinn, added.

Shinn instantly flushed. Did they see that? he thought with fright. Seeing the sly, fox-like grins on Yolant's and Vino's faces, the look of disdain of the lone woman in the car, Lunamaria Hawke, and the quiet, annoyed appearance of Shinn's commander, Rey Ze Burrel, they probably had.

"Get in the car, Ensign," Lunamaria finally said. She was around Shinn's age, with violet-red hair and blue eyes. "We were sent to find you. You're supposed to be getting ready for patrol. I was hoping you'd be doing something useful but instead you're running around kissing a girl."

"Lunamaria, that's enough," Rey Ze Burrel interjected. He was a deadly serious man of around twenty years of age, with long blonde hair that definitely flouted military regulations and blue eyes. However, ZAFT commanders could disregard some aspects of hair regulation, and perhaps the long hair showed that Rey had stronger opinions than his nature let on.

He looked at Shinn then. "Get in the back. We're running behind schedule."

"Uh, yeah, understood," Shinn replied and he ran towards the back seat of the car. He opened the door and Yolant moved into the middle of the back bench.

The moment they got off Shinn found himself bombarded with questions from both Vino and Yolant.

"So, how old is she?"

"Slant or Coordinator?"

"Is she from the Earth Alliance base?"

"Please tell me she's got a cute friend who's available."

"Was that your first kiss?"

"Were those two guys her ex-boyfriends?"

Help . . . Shinn thought. It seemed Lunamaria was too amused to butt in, and Rey was being his usual quiet self, letting Shinn be hung out to dry under the barrage of questions.

Still being flooded by questions as they made the left towards the ZAFT base, for the first time in long while, Shinn was actually looking forward towards getting into a Mobile Suit. It couldn't be any worse than what he was facing now . . .
* * *
"You almost got us in a lot of trouble, Khalid," said Omar al Tariq, the leader of the operation and the one acting as Khalid's guardian until the battle actually began. "If they had seen your pistol the whole operation would have been compromised."

"Yes, sir, I apologize," Khalid replied. He was seventeen years old, with dark brown eyes and hair and a tanned complexion. He was from the Middle East, specifically from the Arab Caliphate that extended from the Middle East into much of northern Africa. It was considered to be the weakest member of the Earth Alliance, but if there was anything these attacks were proving, it was that the Caliphate had the most fighting spirit.

The ZAFT had conquered nearly of the Caliphate in the previous war. Even though the peace treaty had required them to pull out, and they had, they had done nothing to help the Caliphate rebuild itself. No, they had left everyone behind to starve and suffer. They had killed Khalid's family and fiancee`. The country was lying in ruins and poverty because of the war, and it had been all the ZAFT's fault.

The Earth Alliance wasn't being much better. Their paltry attempts at aid were far too meager to do anything than enrich the once-ZAFT collaborators that had been left in power. The EA was also far too reluctant to make the ZAFT pay for their role in the war. If anything, the EA was acting like a defeated country, cowering in front of the ZAFT.

But Khalid was still willing to fight for justice and to stop these Coordinator bastards from continuing to dominate the Earth, and to exact his revenge on them for killing his people, his family, his beloved . . .

"Ah ha," Omar said. "There we go, Khalid. The rendezvous point. I am sure Lord Djibril had ensured our supply of weapons. In just a short time, Khalid, we will have struck the ultimate statement to the Coordinators. They will learn what it is like to be attacked on their own artificial soil like never before."

Khalid looked at the building. It looked ordinary enough, like an average apartment. But it was secretly owned by Blue Cosmos, one of the few organizations of Earth that was still willing to fight the Coordinators. The name of their leader, Djibril, meant 'angel' in Arabic, and this made several of the older members of the group think that this was a sign that they were doing God's work.

Khalid personally remained uncertain about that reasoning. He wasn't doing this for religious reasons like a few of the true fanatics here, or for ideology like some of the others. He was simply doing this so some ZAFT bastard felt what it was like to lose a loved one. He hoped he would get to kill a wife or husband today. That way, the survivor will know what he felt like everyday, he or she'd know what it was like to be in agony over a lost love.

Omar walked forward towards the door and knocked four times. That was part of the identification system. It reminded the occupants to treat the guests differently than an ordinary person.

The shutter in the door opened, and Khalid saw dark eyes staring out at him. "Password?"

"To purify today."

"Second?"

"For greener pastures."

"Third?"

"In a brighter tomorrow."

"Good. You must be Cell 9, then. Come inside. Quickly. Lord Djibril wishes to speak with all of us." The man opened the door and quickly ushered Omar and Khalid inside the apartment, and across the thin hallway.

Khalid didn't recognize the man leading them. That was not surprising. Cells weren't supposed to know the identities of other cells, in case of a compromise like the one Omar had been referring to.

The man said, brushing a brow filled with sweat, "It's been a mess. ZAFT's been wiping out cells left and right. We barely have enough men left to assemble a strike force capable of achieving our objectives."

Omar nodded. "How many people do we have left?"

"Including you, the boy, and myself, ten."

Khalid's eyes widened. There initially was supposed to be twenty people involved. And Omar had known of only a couple of cells being compromised. What was happening to the plan?

Omar seemd equally surprised. "How many cells have been intercepted."

"Far too many," the man growled. "Not much I can do about it. Barely made it here myself with my skin intact. The rest of my cell went down in a gun battle ten miles from here. I had to steal a motorbike and jump a barricade. "

Omar nodded. "I understand. But we must do this. For our people. For those who were martyred by these creatures. They masquerade as humans, no, something superior to humanity and yet they are even more falliable to our worst impluses than we are. It's time they knew some terror instead of us."

It was a typical speech that described what all of the cells felt like. But right now, Khalid was too terrified of being caught by the ZAFT to listen to another version of the speech. "What happened? What compromised us?"

"I dunno. It's not an infiltrator, we all did blood checks when we first came here to make certain we weren't Coordinators. Dumb luck? Some bug that was hidden? I have no idea." Then they came upon a door on the first floor, to the right of the stairwell. "This is it, my comrades. Djibril knows of our struggles and he has still managed to provide us with a contingency."

Without another word, Omar and Khalid walked inside the door, while the man walked back outside, presumably to check the front door of the apartment. Much to Khalid's surprise, it was empty.

"Omar, what are we-"

"Shush. Look around with your eyes rather than waste your time with talk." Omar suddenly walked towards the small brown ottoman on the living room floor, arrayed in front of a typical plasma television. It was a small, cube-like device that shone like a prism when exposed to light. Omar found a switch and activated it on the cube, and set it down as the image flickered to light.

Djibril, despite his Arabic name, was a pale, violet-haired man with a strong, imposing appearance. He was also quite handsome in the classical way, making him look like a human counterpart to his namesake, "angel".

It was clearly an automated message, one he had crafted in the case of a problem. "Welcome, occupants-or occupant-of Cell 9. If you are watching this message then the mission or a cell involved in the mission has been compromised, whether through infiltration, attack, or perhaps something else.

"Regardless of the circumstances, you and our comrades must succeed in this mission! In the case the ZAFT perversions had managed to penetrate the cells, I have stashed secret munitions in houses filled with sympathizers to our cause. They are deep black operatives, serving as double agents, and some are even Coordinators who have forsaken their fellows. They will provide your cell with the munitions you need to accomplish your task."

Djibril then laid out the apparent coordinates, before Khalid could react, Omar was already writing them down with a pen on a small memo notepad. He was a remarkably quick writer, Khalid saw. He was keeping up almost precisely with the words spoken by Djibril.

Then, once the coordinates were revealed, Djibril began to speak again. "Now that you have your secret house's coordinates, I will tell you your task: it hasn't changed. It remains the same as when you arrived.

"You will strike the ZAFT base codenamed 'Hawking'. Located inside that base, as previous briefed, are highly advanced technological weapons of mass destruction and genocide. These machines fall under the 'GUNDAM' designation and are code-named 'Impluse', 'Saviour', 'Abyss', 'Gaia', and 'Chaos'. Their appearances have already been shown to you on your initial briefing documents. There are also new Mobile Suits called the 'Zaku' and the 'Blaze Zaku Phantom', but these are secondary targets and must remain so.

"Destroying the five GUNDAMs are absolutely imperative and must not fail! Succeed in your task and survive and you will receive a most generous, if Earthly, reward. If you perish as martyrs your beliefs have taught you what happens to you. Now go on, brave soldiers for the purity and sanctity of Earth. For a blue and pure-"

Omar switched it off then. "Blah," he said. "He has provided much for us, but I'm sickened of his propaganda. He thinks of us as slaves, peons to throw out and do all the fighting for him."

Khalid was surprised. It wasn't like Omar to be this cynical. "But he is right. The Coordinators are-"

"They are sentient, have feelings and minds, and look almost exactly like us save for their usually peculiar hair. They have been created by science, but it's been largely forgotten that it was we, humans, that created the Coordinator.

"I could care less about the propaganda. All I know is that I'll be able to kill some Coordinators and destroy the worst weapons they made. That is the right amount of payback they deserve for taking my entire family from me. Everything else is unnecessary and I don't care about it right now." He looked at Khalid then. "You haven't allowed yourself to be taken in by Djibril's crap like the man at the door, have you?"

"Um, no!"

"Then let's get going. We do not have much time. We have to do this under rushed conditions, under less than desirable circumstances . . . never mind. Hurry. We must go and attack before 'Hawking' is alerted that we haven't been crushed yet."

And then Omar got up and left, and Khalid following, trying to discern the difference between Omar and Djibril. What he could tell was different, he wasn't sure he liked.

What if Omar was right? And if he was right, what exactly was Djibril, and what were his motivations. Was this a much bigger game than Khalid expected, and he was just some pawn on a chessboard?

Khalid was shivering all the way to the safe house.
* * *
Naomi Mitsuda surprised Athrun immediately. She didn't seem much older than Murrue Ramius, at least in external appearance. She had dark, Oriental-shaped eyes and dark, straight hair. She was also small, even Cagalli seemed to be taller than her. Despite this, Naomi looked like a woman to be respected, and had the eyes of an experienced politician.

"Hello, Chairman Durandal, Princess Athha," she said, in a smooth voice undoubtedly trained to sound that way.

"Please, don't call me 'Princess'. The title means little to me right now," Cagalli said.

"My apologies." Naomi bowed then, and then sat down at the small table. She and Durandal were sitting across from each other, while Cagalli sat at the other end. Athrun found himself standing by the doorway, watching the conversation from behind Cagalli.

Naomi said "I must apologize again. Like Prin-I mean, Representative Athha, I am not much for small talk. May we proceed to business?"

"Of course," Durandal responded.

"Gladly," Cagalli said.

Then, Athrun watched the game of politicians as they forced their emotions internally and maintained their polite facades. Making proposals, trying to structure deals, discussing an incident here, a rogue group there, trying to think of something that all three could build upon.

Of course, Cagalli's mind was already made up on one aspect. At one point, she said "It seems that the two of you have forgotten this, but there are Orb workers situated here at the military bases in the area . . . and in Earth Alliance federations. Part of any deal must contain the condition to allow me to bring them back home so they do not have to keep toiling in foreign lands.

"Morgenroete is an Orb corporation. They are not mercenaries to use in a military technology race, and to use them in that manner is something my country, including the Sierans, find intolerable."

Cagalli, temper the language . . . Athrun silently warned her.

Naomi looked faintly annoyed, but Durandal's facade remained unchipped. "Of course, Representative Athha. I realize that we have been using Morgenroete personnel and information for military purposes. This is nothing less than to maintain our military strength."

"And we do the same, so we can maintain our military strength." Naomi cocked an eyebrow at Durandal then. "It's well known that the ZAFT have been constructing new Mobile Suits that are superior to the current models, yet barely miss straddling the lines outlined by the Junius Treaty."

Durandal gave Naomi a sly smile. "ZAFT intelligence, of course, has discovered the same about you."

Naomi responded by briefly sputtering, the first time she seemed completely off guard. Even though Athrun could not see Cagalli's face, he could tell by her fists clenching that she was rapidly losing her patience.

Naomi was about to say something, but then Cagalli interrupted with an "Enough!" that would have made her father proud.

Cagalli took a deep breath, and said "This is not going to solve anything. All the two of you are doing is squabble like children while my country's citizens are used to create new war weapons! This is supposed to be a meeting to promote peace! Understanding! The new weapons being constructed, and the usage of Orb's military information and personnel to create these weapons is unacceptable, and both of you know it."

Naomi finally snapped, which Athrun had been expecting for a while. "Silence, child. From what I understand, your country's not any better. Or do you have a way to explain your new 'Murasame' models?"

Cagalli from the back looked frozen in time and Athun guessed that she had been caught completely off guard and her face showed it. Earth Alliance intelligence is as adept as ever. he thought.

"That . . . that wasn't my idea. I was overruled by the Sierans," she said.

Durandal, to his credit, looked sympathetic, but it easily could be a disguise to attempt to drive Cagalli into his camp. Athrun couldn't be certain. "I understand your predictiment, Representative. There was a long period where the moderates in the ZAFT . . . and the Earth Alliance, were both shafted in favor of the radicals. Unfortunately, the distrust between all three powers here seems to be much for the moment."

He stood up then, and Athrun guessed he was going to make some dramatic gesture. However, he hadn't been remotely guessed what Durandal was about to say. "That is why we will return the Morgenroete personnel and information unilaterally, effective one week from today. I discussed this with my council yesterday and they agreed and the resolution has been signed with the required three-quarters majority and then some."

Nice move, Durandal, Athrun thought. With this ZAFT could reach out to Orb, and making such a move made them look more benevolent to all sides of the conflict. However, nothing would halt the fact that the Orb information had undoubtedly been copied and memorized, and that the personnel had passed on their knowledge and expertise to the ZAFT. And unless the Earth Alliance had made a similiar move they would lose the moral ground.

From the look in her eyes Naomi Mitsuda realized this. She finally spoke after several moments of silence. "How can we confirm, Chairman, that this will go into effect?" Naomi asked.

"I will be sure to have it broadcasted via satellite and have Orb supervise this operation. If Representative Athha approves of course."

"It is. Well, at least until I discuss it with my uncle and cousin. But they probably won't reject it," Cagalli said.

Mitsuda said "If ZAFT follows through on this then the Earth Alliance will release their share of Morgenroete personnel and documents a full week after ZAFT releases theirs. No exceptions, and of course this must be discussed with the Earth Alliance Security Council and the various heads of states that have Morgenroete personnel and/or documents."

Her face became kinder then. "But, if the ZAFT releases theirs as a show of good faith there is no doubt that the Earth Alliance will follow through. Moderates dominate most of the federations and countries, now, and same with the security council. Other than Asia, which has become notably more hard-line save the Korea and Japan sectors, I can safely guarantee that Orb will have their people and information returned."

What do you know. A success. Sort of.

Cagalli nodded. "As Representative, I accept these conditions and will present them to the current ruling family. It should be accepted and then this will be settled."

"Good," Naomi said.

Durandal nodded. Then he looked at Cagalli and said "I believe one of your wishes, in our conversations before you arrived, Representative, was to see what exactly the Morgenroete personnel have been building?"

"Yes," Cagalli said.

"Then let's take a break. After such a breakthrough after such a tiring argument, a walk should do us some good before we continue our talks. We have counter-terrorism arrangements to settle as well as Representative Athha's proposal of a common currency to discuss before the summit can end."

"You're going to show us your new weapons?" Naomi asked suspiciously.

"It is only fair," Durandal said. "Of course, if you show me yours. Doesn't need to be a personal tour. Photographs would be fine."

Athrun realized this was all for show. Both heads of state knew about the weapons and Mobile Suits being created by both sides. This would be redundant. Then why . . .

Athrun realized then that Durandal was trying to woo Cagalli, and thus, influence the Orb Union. By seeming to be this reasonable, kind, knowledgeable and honorable individual, he spoke well to the Orb traditions. And by the look on Naomi's face she knew it. To refuse such an invitation and shut it down would undoubtedly annoy, if not anger, the Representative and drive her further towards Durandal. Either way, it was completely lose-lose.

Naomi finally stood up. "Fine then. We will take a tour and see the new Mobile Suits for ourselves. And Durandal, you will have your desired photographs wired to your computer within the hour. I have brought multiple staff, I will have them comply."

Durandal nodded. "Good. Then let's take a tour of Hawking MS Base, then. It's a modern facility, and quite safe. It is also fairly close to the Earth Alliance outpost we allowed you to assemble, so if there is trouble there will be EA backup. You will also see that Mirage Celloid and Neutron Jammers are not being equipped to the new Mobile Suits, either. So you will see there is nothing to worry about when it comes to the ZAFT."

Athrun wondered if Cagalli realized Durandal's tactics. When she briefly turned around, he got a glimpse of her face. She had a most familiar look in her eyes. She definitely knew what Durandal was trying to do.

"Okay," she finally said. "Let's go, then. Let's see what you have done using my country's citizens."

_________________
MURRUE: Infallible accuracy?? I thought you just usually shot all your weapons at random and they just happened to hit stuff.

KIRA: What do you think this is; a cartoon?


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 Post Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:08 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy

Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 7:43 pm
Posts: 263
Location: Illinois, USA
Small note: I have retroactively altered Indira's age. Due to some of her rather "Misato-crushing-on-Shinji"-esque actions towards Saburo later in the fic I decided that it would be best for this fic that I knock her down about twelve years. So she's twenty-five in this version.

Chapter Four is being altered to fit TOS, again it's because of Indira's language. It is also when the explosions begin, so I bet you guys are going to have a lot of fun reading it. :wink:

I've also decided it will be for the best that the uncensored version should not see the light of day, for it wouldn't exactly be Gundam anymore. After about Chapter Ten, other than Indira's "Misato-crushing-on-Shinji"-ness, the f-bombs and somewhat-graphic violence that made this fic MA is missing, so this IS the full, canonical fic.

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MURRUE: Infallible accuracy?? I thought you just usually shot all your weapons at random and they just happened to hit stuff.

KIRA: What do you think this is; a cartoon?


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 Post Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:14 pm 
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Okawara x Katoki Love Child

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:52 pm
Posts: 1116
Location: Athens, GA
The idea of Slants cuts against the grain.

Coordinator genes are always dominant. Always.

Even if a child has a Natural parent who coupled with a Coordinator, the offspring will be a Coordinator, no exceptions. That's how we get second- and third-generation Coordinators. I know that spits in the face of biology, but them's the breaks.

It's impossible to be three-quarters Coordinator or Natural. It's all or nothing.

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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:07 pm 
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Newtype Emo Guy

Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 7:43 pm
Posts: 263
Location: Illinois, USA
You bring up an interesting point. Maybe I just have a poor memory of SEED and Destiny but I don't remember anything like that being said in either SEED or Destiny. And, as I've said, I'm essentially ignoring Destiny here, so if it was Destiny that said that it does not matter.

And I did mention that three-quarters Coordinator or Natural is essentially the same as being a full-blooded Coordinator or Natural. The difference is almost negligible. In fact, they are referred to as Coordinators and Naturals anyway, they are so close. Only the "half 'n' halfs" are Slants. And if Coordinators bred with Naturals and got Coordinators as much as you say, I don't think they would've had as much of a population problem in SEED, and I DO remember that being said.

In any case, I wanted this fic to make more concessions to the laws of science, and that includes biology. Some of what happened in SEED and Destiny (especially Destiny) was too out there frankly, and I wanted to yank Gundam SEED back into reality.

Slants are something I thought up because I felt it would be an interesting and thoughtful philosophical, social, and political element to inject into the proceedings, plus something that would make this fic stand out among the others in terms of ideas and plotting.

Regardless, I like cutting against the grain. If this fic ever gets close to the ending that will become evident.

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MURRUE: Infallible accuracy?? I thought you just usually shot all your weapons at random and they just happened to hit stuff.

KIRA: What do you think this is; a cartoon?


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