Just something I thought up. I apologise in advanced for any OOCness. Yes, I know itâ€™s supposed to be â€˜Feldtâ€™, but I have a habit of pronouncing silent letters in my head and it just sounds wrong.
Felt Grace sat inside the cockpit of the GN-001 Gundam Exia. She glanced around at the blackened screens. She closed her eyes and imagined what it would be like to be basked in their glow as the mobile suit flew through space. Outside the open cockpit door, several Haros floated around, finishing up their work. The Exia had returned to the Ptolemaios for its routine diagnostic. It was the only Gundam onboard at the moment. Exiaâ€™s pilot, Setsuna F. Seiei was currently in a meeting with tactical planner Sumeragi Lee Noriega. She knew it was a bad idea to be where she was, but she wanted to feel what it was like to be in a Gundam. To pilot such a powerful machine.
She wanted to know what her parents had felt like.
The parents she never knew. The parents that had lived, and died, as Gundam Meisters. She had joined Celestial Being in hopes of understanding them. What they fought and died for. She wanted to use her mechanical knowledge to be close to the machines her parents helped refine. Unfortunately, she was assigned to be a communications officer. All she could do is watch as others risked their lives. As others experienced the same things her parents did. The biometrics scans prevented her from actually piloting the Exia, but she thought that at least sitting in the cockpit might give her something.
She sensed a shadow cast over her, and her eyes snapped open. Standing above her was Setsuna. He looked at her with his usual blank expression.
â€œWhat are you doing?â€ He asked in his usual subdued voice. Felt panicked a bit. Out of the four Meisters, the boy seemed to be the most attached to his Gundam. She wasnâ€™t sure how heâ€™d react to some one else touching it.
â€œIâ€¦ uhâ€¦ I justâ€¦â€ Felt climbed out of the cockpit, unable to meet Setsunaâ€™s gaze. He continued looking at her, waiting for her explanation. Felt figured she owed him that much for getting into the Exia without his permission. â€œâ€¦ The truth is my parents were both Gundam Meistersâ€¦â€ A flicker of what could have been surprise flashed in Setsunaâ€™s eyes. â€œThey died shortly after I was born. I just wanted to know what they had felt like being in a Gundamâ€¦â€ Felt braced herself, expecting Setsuna to lash out at her.
Setsuna only looked at the younger girl. He could understand where she was coming from. After the Gundam saved him when he was younger, he spent the next few years seeking it out. The Gundam was his saviour, and he wanted to be like the Gundam as well. For Felt, she wanted to seek out her parents, looking for something to connect her to them. For her it was the Gundam. The Gundam was as important to her as it was to him. Lockon Stratos was always telling Setsuna that he should get along with Felt since they were close in age. Setsuna decided to give it a try.
â€œI see.â€ He finally said. Felt was still expecting an angry response, so his next words surprised her. â€œGet in.â€ Felt blinked, wondering if the audio on her normal suit was functioning properly.
â€œExcuse me?â€ She asked.
â€œGet in.â€ Setsuna repeated. He entered the Exia first and sat in the seat. Felt just looked at him. â€œAre you coming or not?â€ Setsuna activated his machine; a red beam of light confirmed his retinal pattern. Still slightly shocked, Felt climbed in as well. She managed to squeeze in behind the seat.
â€œIsâ€¦ this alright?â€ She asked. Setsuna didnâ€™t reply and just hit a switch on his console.
â€œSetsuna F. Seiei to the bridge.â€ He said.
On the bridge, Christina Sierra answered Setsunaâ€™s call. She was a little perplexed when the screen displayed SOUND ONLY, but she decided to ignore it. â€œThis is the bridge. What do you need Setsuna?â€
â€œRoutine maintenance on Exia is complete. Requesting permission to head out on reconnaissance to make sure all systems are functional.â€ He said. Christina glanced at Sumeragi, who had undoubtedly heard Setsunaâ€™s request. The older woman pondered it for a moment. Something seemed odd about the request, but she failed to see the harm.
â€œOk Setsuna. Go head.â€ She said. â€œItâ€™s been pretty quiet in this area recently though. You probably wonâ€™t run into anything. Be careful though.â€
â€œRoger.â€ The Exia was moved to the launch pad. â€œHold on tight.â€ Setsuna said under his breath. Felt gripped the seat as hard as she could. â€œGundam Exia, Setsuna F. Seiei, launching!â€ Exiaâ€™s back sparkled as GN particles were emitted and the catapult flung the mobile suit into space. Despite her efforts, Felt still felt herself being pushed against the rear of the cockpit. The pressure eased as they cleared the ship and flew into the abyss of space. Setsuna steered the Exia away from the Ptolemaios. Felt watched as the distant stars raced across the monitor. She could barely notice the movement of the suit as Setsuna manoeuvred effortlessly around various forms of space debris. Simply watching it on the monitor was nothing compared to being there first hand. Felt could almost feel just how powerful the Gundam really was.
They flew on in silence, but it was a comfortable silence. Felt had always liked that about Setsuna. On several occasions, it had been just the two of them in the lunch room, but they had just sat quietly and ate their meals. Being a person who canâ€™t communicate that well with others, Felt had always felt a bit pressured by the more social members of their organization such as Christina and Lockon. It was almost as if she had no choice but to speak back. While she did enjoy Christina and Lockonâ€™s company, with Setsuna she knew she could just relax and be herself. She didnâ€™t have to push herself to speak unless she really needed to.
Setsuna was far more wasteful in his movements than he needed to be. He figured that just flying around wouldnâ€™t be much of an experience, so he did various loops, spins, sudden drops, and sudden ascents. From the corner of his eye, he could see the awe on Feltâ€™s face. He wondered if his face had looked like that when he first took the controls of the Exia. The feeling of being in something so powerful was invigorating, yet knowing that you get to use this power for the benefit of the world was humbling. Setsuna wondered if Feltâ€™s parents had experienced the same. He couldnâ€™t help but think of his own parents. How they cowered in fear and confusion as he pulled the trigger. Setsuna didnâ€™t believe in an after life, but he was still curious as to what his parents would think of him and what he was doing now. He knew that in the end it didnâ€™t matter. He had joined Celestial Being of his own will to find the source of the distorted world and eliminate it. He was going to become the Gundam itself.
Setsuna turned his thoughts to his passenger. The two of them were the youngest members of their crew, yet he never associated with her outside of their communications during battle. They had passed a few quiet meals together, and they certainly werenâ€™t unpleasant experiences. Feltâ€™s love for the Gundams was real, so Setsuna had no reason to dislike her. Lockon was always pestering him to talk to her. The older man always had a big goofy grin on his face when he did. Goofier than normal anyways. Setsuna was never one to say anything unless he had something to say. He was the opposite of his neighbour, Saji Crossroad. Saji would always try and strike up conversations when they had nothing to discuss. It never lasted very long. This time though, there was at least something to say.
â€œHow is it?â€ He asked. Felt was caught off guard by the sudden question.
â€œItâ€™sâ€¦ amazing.â€ She answered. â€œBut I know thereâ€™s more than just this. Being able to change the world takes more than just flying a machine around.â€ Setsuna nodded. As expected, she understood what the Gundams are for. His opinion of her increased.
â€œWhy did you join Celestial Being?â€ He inquired. Felt was confused by Setsunaâ€™s sudden talkativeness, but his voice had the underlying tone that she didnâ€™t have to answer if she didnâ€™t want to. Because of that she didnâ€™t mind answering.
â€œI suppose itâ€™s because of my parents. I wanted to believe in the cause they did. I wanted to carry on where they left off.â€ She said. â€œHowever, Iâ€™m not doing it because I feel obligated to. I chose this for myself.â€ Setsuna nodded again. She chose her path by her own will. He respected that. The cockpit was quiet for a bit when Felt asked â€œWhat about you, Setsuna?â€ Setsuna was silent for a moment.
â€œFighting is all I know how to do.â€ He said at last. â€œIn Celestial Being, I can at least fight to better the world. I was once saved by a Gundam. I want to do the same to others.â€
â€œâ€¦ Youâ€™re a good person, Setsuna.â€ Felt smiled.
â€œI wonderâ€¦â€ Setsuna muttered. The silence that followed was shattered by the blare of alarms. â€œAn enemy?â€ Setsuna checked his radar. It had picked up five enemy units that were identified as Union Flags. While the five suits would miss the Exia, they were headed in the direction of the Ptolemaios.
â€œSetsuna!â€ Felt said.
â€œI know. Exia to Ptolemaios. Come in.â€
SOUND ONLY appeared on Christinaâ€™s terminal again. â€œThis is Ptolemaios, go ahead Exia.â€ She answered.
â€œFive Union Flags are heading your way.â€ Setsuna reported. â€œRequest permission to intercept.â€
â€œGranted.â€ Sumeragi nodded. â€œAll hands, battle stations! Chris, call Felt up to the bridge.â€
â€œIâ€™ve actually been trying to reach her for awhile.â€ Christina said. â€œBut I havenâ€™t gotten an answer.â€
â€œUmâ€¦â€ The bridge crewâ€™s eyes snapped to the SOUND ONLY screen when they heard the second voice. The SOUND ONLY disappeared and was replaced by two normal suit clad figures in one mobile suit cockpit. The four people on the bridge let their jaws hit the floor.
â€œFâ€¦Felt!? What are you doing in Exiaâ€™s cockpit?!â€ Sumeragi demanded.
â€œUhâ€¦ umâ€¦â€ Felt mumbled.
â€œThat doesnâ€™t matter.â€ Setsuna cut in. â€œGundam Exia, intercepting the targets.â€
â€œâ€¦ You two have a lot of explaining to do when you get back!â€ An irritated Sumeragi said. â€œâ€¦ And Chris, wipe that smile off your face!â€
â€œYes mâ€™am!â€ Although Christina said that, she didnâ€™t comply. â€˜I knew those two would be cute together!â€™ She chuckled inwardly.
When the five Union pilots decided to ditch their patrol route and go joy riding in their new Flags, they never expected to run into a Gundam. They figured it was their big chance to make names for themselves, so they engaged in combat.
â€œWill we be fine like this?â€ Felt wondered aloud.
â€œYouâ€™ll bite your tongue.â€ Setsuna warned.
The Flags flew at Exia in a V formation, firing their rifles. Setsuna blocked with his shield and let the Flags pass. When they did, he fired at them from behind with his GN rifle. He clipped the wing of one of the Flags, but it didnâ€™t hinder its performance. The Flags circled back and repeated their attack. This time Setsuna charged at the lead unit. The two suits drew closer and closer, neither turning away. At the last moment, the Flag changed its course and flew under the Exia. When it did, Setsuna pulled out his GN Daggers and threw them into the top of the Flag. The Flag lost control and crashed into the Flag next to it. Both suits exploded.
One of the remaining Flags transformed into mobile suit mode and turned around. It drew its plasma blade and swung at the Exia. Setsuna countered with his GN Sword. They locked blades for a moment, until Exia kicked up, knocking the Flag away. The blow disorientated the pilot, allowing Setsuna to easily kill him with a shot from his rifle. Setsuna turned his attention to another Flag, which had also turned into mobile suit mode. It fired its rifle, but Setsuna blocked the shots with his shield. This gave the final Flag an opening. It fired its rifle and managed to hit Exia from behind. Exia only took minor damage, but the impact had caused Felt to fall from her position behind the pilotâ€™s chair. She let out a small yelp as she landed on Setsunaâ€™s lap, completely pinning down his right arm.
The Flag that had attacked from behind was now charging in with its plasma blade. As it closed in, Setsuna used his left hand to swing Exiaâ€™s left arm around. The motion knocked the Flagâ€™s blade away. Setsuna lined up Exiaâ€™s arm with the Flagâ€™s cockpit and fired his GN Vulcan at point blank range. With that Flag dispatched, only one remained. It had charged at Exia with its plasma blade as well, but it was attacking from the right side. Only a few seconds had passed since Felt had fallen over, so Setsuna still couldnâ€™t use the right hand controls.
Felt watched as the Flag prepared to strike. Almost on instinct, she reached over and pulled the right hand control stick down. The Exiaâ€™s right arm swung up, catching the Flag between its legs and cutting it in half with the GN sword. The Union suit exploded and all was quiet once again, save for Feltâ€™s heavy breathing.
Felt waited for a few moments until her breathing settled. Then she realised where she was and sat upright. â€œIâ€™m sorry!â€ She said. Setsuna just glanced at her for a moment before turning back to his monitor. She didnâ€™t see any anger in his eyes.
â€œExia to Ptolemaios.â€ He called. â€œTargets eliminated.â€
â€œAre you both alright?â€ Sumeragi asked.
â€œNo major damage to report.â€ He answered. â€œReturning to the ship.â€ When Setsuna cut the communication, Felt spoke again.
â€œIâ€™m sorry.â€ She repeated. â€œI almost got us killed.â€ Setsuna didnâ€™t answer. â€œButâ€¦ but I understand it better now. Being a Gundam Meister means having to put your life on the line, having to take the lives of others. It must be tough, but you do it for the sake of eliminating war. You have to be strong.â€
â€œâ€¦ Iâ€™m sure your parents were strong people.â€ Setsuna said. â€œThey were chosen to be Gundam Meisters after allâ€¦ Youâ€™re a strong person as well, Felt.â€ Felt blushed slightly.
â€œThank you, Setsunaâ€¦â€ She whispered. â€œI think I know now what kind of people my parents were, and now that Iâ€™ve experienced the same thing they did, I feel much closer to them.â€ Setsuna allowed himself a small smile.
â€œGood for you.â€
Upon returning to the ship, the two teens were thoroughly chewed out by Sumeragi for a good twenty minutes. After finishing her lecture, she smiled impishly.
â€œThe next time you two want to go out on a date, ask permission first.â€
From the abyss blacker than darkness, it is the shadow cast by the light of science.