Renascent SEED

Your own tale of two mecha.

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Kenji
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Renascent SEED

Post by Kenji » Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:21 am

Renascence - rebirth, renewal; an English word derived from renaissance and, ironically, is used only among academics.

Mecha and fanfiction has always been a rather... um... periodic thing for me. Back when I was younger, I'd write all manner of Evangelion fanfiction, but the truth is that Eva isn't very fertile ground for that kind of thing, mostly because there's a very distinct finality to it. Eventually, I moved on to Gundam, starting out by trying to create AUs of my own, then falling in love with Yoshiyuki Tomino's novelizations of the original series (it was actually an old copy of the second volume, Escalation, that was my first exposure to Gundam; it was in a used book store). I attempted to take how that novel series ended and continue it into the Zeta continuity. I had a lot of ambition there, but it didn't work out for various reasons.

This one, one that I'm hoping to push quite a ways, was born from a few factors. The first was when I saw a conversion kit for the Evolve 8 version of Strike Gundam (this), which I thought was awesome because of its patchier design, a far cry from the too-perfect designs of the animation. I then thought of what sort of world would produce such a (relatively) ugly mobile suit, then fused that with my current fascination for Jupiter, then started thinking about things that the SEED continuity already introduced that could've been used to branch the series out into more interesting, non-formulaic territory.

Renascent SEED is the result.

It's not my aim to "fix" Gundam SEED... that would take a bit more ego than I'm comfortable having. :P Instead, I'm just taking it and tuning it to my likes and dislikes, focusing on the things I want to focus on, changing the things I want to change. It's really quite self-indulgent. I decided to set this in the Jovian system - Jupiter and its moons - because setting a Gundam around Earth is too obvious. I then retooled the organizations of the CE universe accordingly: the Earth Alliance has become the Galilean Alliance, for instance. The lovely byproduct is that it gave mobile suits a reasonable excuse for existing: the extreme radiation levels around Jupiter. I've also included my admittedly pessimistic estimation for the future of human space travel: it takes about 300 years before humans start colonizing off-world, shortly after which they promptly knock themselves back down and have to try again later. The story itself takes place over a thousand years after humanity returned to space (the Renascence).

I've also altered names and their spellings based on personal preference. Therefore, I don't need to be reminded that I've done that. :P Other than that, I welcome any criticism that can be offered, as it'll help me improve, and I'll try to take this all the way to the end... even if it takes awhile.

The first chapter will be uploaded shortly. I hope you enjoy it! :D
Last edited by Kenji on Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
"This is the truth! This is my belief. At least for now."

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First Phase - Chapter One

Post by Kenji » Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:00 am

Chapter One

It was the 1236th year of the Renascent Era or, depending on who was asked, the 71st year of the Coordinative Era. Specifically, it was the third of Eu Januarius, mere days after the gift-giving holiday of Ex-Mass. For the students of the Heliopolitan Branch University of Orb, that also meant the first day of classes. For freshmen like Kira Yamato, this was the second semester toward the rest of their lives, as the vast majority of them were being trained for company positions effectively reserved for them. Of the five colleges in Heliopolis, this was by far the most prestigious, offering all but a guarantee of stable employment.

Though the transition was a bit rocky, Kira quickly adapted to his new life. Befriending his roommates was easy, despite his tendency towards quietude, and he thoroughly enjoyed the Computer Science program. However, along with the more interesting major-specific classes came the dull gen-ed requirements. One of these was JHST-101, an entry-level class in Jovian History.

The instructor, a dry graduate student whose name Kira had already forgotten, seemed to be in a hurry to get out. As soon as the syllabus was read, word-for-word, he jumped into the first lesson on the schedule.

“During the late tenth century R.E., the Saturnian Wars created an energy crisis throughout the solar system. With dictatorships rising and falling all over the newly formed nations, there was no longer a reliable supply of fuel gases to meet the needs of humanity. Therefore, plans to colonize Jupiter, which had been long delayed because of numerous technical difficulties, were finally pushed forward.”

The instructor pressed a button on his remote. The image on the front wall of the classroom changed to that of a converted fuel tanker, “In 991, the Tyrell Foundation, which sought to expand into the energy business, funded a scientific expedition to investigate the feasibility of Jovian exploitation. This long process, a repeat of what happened to Saturn five centuries earlier, would eventually include the construction of orbital refineries and colonies for the workers to live in. George Glenn, known to many even then as the ‘Renascence Man,’ was chosen to lead the Tsiolkovsky expedition.”

Another button press revealed a very peculiar image. It was an elongated object that looked like it was made from porous rock, peppered by the glimmers of reflected light. From its back, or “top” depending on one’s point of view, spread a pair of stony formations that bore a striking resemblance to skeletal bird wings. Kira had seen it many times before, referred to by many names.

“The Foundation was successful beyond its wildest dreams, earning itself a place in history when Glenn found the specimen that came to be known as ‘Evidence-01.’ Scans showed that there was a full skeleton inside the silicate shell, proving that it was the first evidence ever obtained of extraterrestrial life. Interest in Jupiter exploded overnight, with both the public and the scientific community clamoring for more information. This led to the building of the first research satellite in Jovian orbit, Yggdrasil, and the speeding up of the colonization campaign.”

Thus the instructor droned on. Kira turned his eyes to the window, gazing at the Heliopolitan concave, the ground curving upward and taking the buildings with it. It was an interesting sight to him, having never lived on the inner wall of a cylindrical colony until the beginning of last semester. The physics were easy enough to understand: the cylinder’s spin provided the inertia required to simulate gravity on the inner walls, allowing the Heliopolitans to walk about and carry on life as naturally as possible. Still, the spectacle of seeing the ground curve over one’s head was still awe-inspiring. He still couldn’t quite get over it.

“To understand our time and place,” continued the instructor, “It’s important to understand the two hundred-year history of the Jovian system. Everything from the colonization efforts, the wars between corporations over the precious gases in Jupiter’s atmosphere, the rise of nations like Ganymede and Callisto, all of it will allow you to better understand our current world. The current conflict, especially, can be traced all the way back to George Glenn and his pioneering voyage.”

Before long, Kira was asleep.

--

“Must you really return to the PLANTs?”

Five years ago, Kira posed that question to his closest friend, Aslan Zala. Back then, they were students in the Kato Municipal Junior High in the Callistan city-state Asea. It was back in the days when the nations of Jupiter were still attempting to bridge the gap between ideologies, when trade lines were being renegotiated and students were exchanged as expressions of goodwill.

These two had been perfect examples. Kira was from Orb, which orbited Europa, while Aslan was from the PLANTs, a nation made up of thirteen colony clusters that orbited just over Jupiter’s atmosphere. The PLANTs had waged war with the Galilean Alliance over the last four decades, while Orb maintained its neutrality from the conflict, opting to keep relations with the warring parties at a minimum. By all rights, these two should never have met. Yet, here they were, the best of friends in a city of the Alliance.

However, it wasn’t to last. No more than two weeks before this moment, the meeting room where delegates from the warring nations were to advance peace talks was bombed. The PLANT delegate, Siegel Klein, happened to be late to the meeting and escaped death. Believing him to be involved, the Ganymedean Federation, a key member of the Alliance, launched a nuclear attack on Junius Septimus, a PLANT devoted entirely to agriculture. Aslan’s mother had been there, when the missiles hit on Valentine’s Day. Now, after two weeks, the Alliance and PLANTs were going to full-scale war.

To Aslan, the coming separation from his friend amounted to salt being added to his wounds. Yet, as Kira had marveled, he still managed to smile, even though it must’ve seemed as though everything was being taken away from him. The last two weeks of trying to console his friend had shown Kira what powerlessness really was, and now what little power he had left was slipping away.

Yet Aslan was still smiling. He put his fingers to his lips and gave a shrill whistle. Kira watched, puzzled, as a small green bird glided down and landed on his friend’s shoulder. Aslan extended his arm toward Kira, and the little bird hopped down its length.

On closer inspection, Kira was surprised to see that the bird was mechanical. Aslan chuckled at his amazement, then spoke, “This is Torii. I made him for you, so you won’t be lonely while I’m gone.”

Kira’s eyes shot to Aslan’s. This boy, who had lost his mother and was being forced to retreat to his homeland, was worried about his loneliness? He could’ve cried then, but the look in his friend’s eyes told him it wasn’t necessary. More than that, it would’ve been inappropriate. So, Kira did the only thing he could, extending his hand for the small bird to hop into.

Torii climbed its way up to Kira’s shoulder, forcing its new owner to smile. Aslan laughed. In the end, Kira’s question was never answered. Perhaps this was because it wasn’t necessary. Or, perhaps, they had hoped that, by not acknowledging the inevitable goodbye, the reality of their parting wouldn’t catch up to them. Vain hopes, Kira would muse later in life, were the stuff that childhood was made of. After all, the PLANT consulate’s car still came. Aslan still left for his homeland.

--

“Kira, wake up! This is important!”

Blinking and stretching, Kira arose from his nap, causing Torii to flutter off in something akin to panic. Classes had been over for half an hour, and he was seated in a gazebo in the quad with Toru, Miriallia, and Kazui. It was Miriallia Howe who woke him up. Evidently, she was sharing something she thought was important.

Kira had known Toru Koenig and Kazui Baskirk since last semester. They, along with Cyrus Argyle, were all roommates. However, only Kira and Cy belonged to the Computer Science program. Toru was a Mechanical Engineering major, while Kazui was in the Mathematics program. They all, therefore, attended class on the “north side” of the street that bisected the campus. Considering the similarity in their interests and prospects, it was only natural that they’d be grouped together into the same apartment.

Miriallia, Toru’s girlfriend, was in the Journalism program. What, exactly, an aspiring journalist was doing in a university that catered to engineers was something that Kira was never able to figure out. Still, he was accustomed to seeing her, and he hardly disliked her, anyway.

Once she was convinced that she had his attention, Miriallia pointed at her boyfriend’s laptop, which was showing the image of a colony similar to Heliopolis. It was a large metallic cylinder, rotating slowly on its polar axis, providing artificial gravity to its inhabitants. It was approximately thirty kilometers long and six wide, with enough space for the population of a small city. Looking closely, Kira could see strange and intermittent flashes of light around it.

“It’s Kaohsiung,” she said.

Kira leaned back against his seat. Kaohsiung was one of the last refineries in the Galilean Alliance’s possession. If ZAFT was able to get this close to the colony, it meant they were on the verge of capturing it. Once it fell, it would further cripple the Alliance’s ability to refine fuel from Jupiter’s gases, further worsening their economic situation. Certainly, the PLANTs knew how to hit where it hurt. It only served to increase their wealth, as each and every PLANT colony doubled as a new-generation refinery, and bring their enemies that much closer to starvation. However, Kira wondered, wouldn’t that just make the Alliance more desperate?

Kazui had been watching, too, “Do you think ZAFT will attack Heliopolis next?”

“Are you serious?” Toru snorted, “Most of their trade is filtered through Orb markets, since the Belt cities and Earth are already on the verge of boycotting their goods. Attacking us would only isolate them and destroy their economy.”

“That’s not the point!” Miriallia exclaimed, bringing her right palm down upon the table, “Don’t you guys think the war’s starting to go a little too far? If things continue like this, it’ll cause a system-wide collapse!”

Toru raised his eyebrow as a lazy grin spread across his face, “Since when did you worry about numbers? I thought you liberal artsies didn’t go for stuff like that.”

This caused her eyes to blaze, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

The boyfriend laughed and grabbed Miriallia around her waist, pulling her towards him, “Sorry, baby.”

However, it seemed that she’d had enough of his prodding, shoving him back against his seat and turning away, crossing her arms and muttering under her breath, “Go ZOINKS yourself, Toru.”

Kazui shook with barely restrained laughter. Kira, however, gazed up to the gazebo’s roof, his arms folded behind his head. Miriallia’s comment about the war ricocheted in his mind. She had already forgotten, instead concentrating on burning a hole through the back of her boyfriend’s skull with her eyes. Still, there was something to consider on how the character of the war changed, ever since Ganymede launched those missiles on the Bloody Valentine, the day Aslan’s mother died. Although the war hadn’t lacked seriousness throughout its nearly fifty-year history, there was something different about the way it was being waged now. All sides, it seems, were playing for keeps.

And Aslan? Thanks to the war, the PLANTs were shrouded in a haze. No news came out and it was doubtful that any got in. It hadn’t been long until Kira realized that the main reason Aslan built Torii was because he knew that there’d be no way for them to keep in touch. Still, Kira had tried many times and, as the unanswered letters piled up, he began to try less. Eventually, he stopped writing Aslan altogether. As time wore on, he even began to think of him less. Looking back, he couldn’t help but be appalled at how he had nearly forgotten such a close friend. It was with a pang of shame that he realized, if it weren’t for that daydream, he wouldn’t even be thinking of him now.

“You’re not sleeping again, are you?”

Kira’s attention returned to his friends, who had quit their antics and were now staring at him. Miriallia placed her hands on her hips and stared him down, “You’ve been real spacey today, Kira. What’s going on?”

“Huh? Nothing.”

A grin spread across Toru’s face, as though he were having an epiphany, “I get it. It’s about Freya, isn’t it? We’re going with her to see Cy and you’re getting all squirmy, aren’t you?”

Miriallia frowned at her boyfriend, “Oh, c’mon, it’s not like
that! Kira’s not the type of guy to lust after off-limit girls,” her too-inquisitive eyes suddenly turned to Kira, “Right, Kira?”

He wasn’t squirming before, but he sure felt like it now, “Of course.”

“Besides,” the girl said with a grin, “If he were gonna lust after anyone, it’d most certainly be me.”

Toru opened his mouth to retort, but thought better of it.

“You look like you’re all having fun,” cut in a voice that was light and delicate like glass. All eyes turned to the entrance of the gazebo, where a pretty, fashionable brunette was standing. It was Freya Alistair, Cy’s fiancée. Kira could feel his face growing hot. Had she heard Toru harassing him about her? Quickly, he rose and turned to the railing, whistling for Torii to emerge from the trees where it was undoubtedly hiding.

Freya’s eyes, meanwhile, were trained on his back. The tension in his muscles was obvious to her, not to mention amusing. Returning her attention to the others, she said, “Cy called. He just got Dr. Katz’s approval. So, what are we waiting for?”

With those words, everyone broke for the parking lot. Kira, meanwhile, was still standing in the gazebo, scanning the skies for Torii, which hadn’t responded to his call. Mirialla returned to the gazebo, patting him once on the back.

“C’mon, what are you waiting for?”

Kira turned to her, “Nothing. Nothing at all.”

He followed her to the parking lot, where their friends were waiting.
"This is the truth! This is my belief. At least for now."

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Post by assault gundam » Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:59 am

This is.....amazing actually. Very original and well made, you did a very good job here Kenji
"The person who said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons"

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First Phase - Chapter Two

Post by Kenji » Sat Sep 22, 2007 5:15 am

Thanks for the compliment. :) Anyway, sorry this took so long, but here's the next chapter. Enjoy and don't be afraid to leave comments!

Questions are also welcome, of course.

--

Chapter Two

The rations tasted like ZOINKS and had the consistency of paste. This was the character of standby in zero-gee, boredom and terrible food. At this point, Mu la Flaga wished he had ducked out of this assignment. After all, he was one of Ganymede’s few surviving aces, with nearly double the kills of any other. One would think he could’ve been afforded some decent treatment, at least.

Yet, here he was, floating in the helmsman’s cubbyhole, a poor excuse for a cockpit, in the Orb-registered freighter Marseille, sucking toothpaste for breakfast. All of this for an objective that was never explained to him. All he knew was that there were five guys who needed to be transported to Heliopolis for some reason, and that he was tagging along to make sure they didn’t get killed. Considering that his Moebius Zero, an expensive piece of customized hardware, was hidden in the freighter’s cargo hold, it would seem that whatever these guys were doing here was deemed worthy enough.

The docking bay doors, which separated the Heliopolitan port from the heavily irradiated Jovian space outside, were still open, affording a charming look out to the stars. The freighter’s helmsman, who also doubled as the skipper and mission commander, was seated in the single chair in this cluttered coffin. Without turning to Mu, he remarked, “I don’t think I’ve seen the sky so peaceful in a long time. What do you think, Lieutenant?”

Mu shrugged, “Guess so, sir,” squeezing another disgusting mouthful down his throat. Grasping at one of the many pipes jutting from the ceiling, he tried to look further out into the darkness. He had always loved space; it was the ego-breaker. That love was the very reason he had joined the Federal Navy as a pilot. Flying into combat, ironically enough, was the only sure way he could think of to see the stars without getting blown away by ZAFT or pirates. With guns, at least he would have the chance of living long enough to glimpse the stars again.

It was said that the space near Mars, Earth, or the far-flung asteroid colonies was nowhere near as dangerous as that of Jupiter. Of course, the sun’s rays would fry an unprotected man, no matter where he was, but even the ancients who sent chemical rockets into space before the Renascence were able to handle that. Jupiter, however, was a different beast altogether.

The Jovian magnetic field was, by far, the strongest of all the planets, stripping charged particles off its own moons to fuel the incredible dynamo. It’d taken years of advancement in radiation shielding, pioneered by the Saturnian colonies, before humanity was ready to tackle this challenge. Even then, it was still impossible to go outside with a mere spacesuit. A gust of supercharged ions would sweep right through one’s body, ventilating and boiling them from the inside almost instantly. If one ever had to leave a ship for any reason, they had to do it in a mobile suit.

A mobile suit was like an extension of a spacesuit that benefited from modern radiation shielding. The cost for this, though, was that each suit had to be at least fifteen meters tall for the torso block to have adequate protection. That, of course, meant that it had to be operated through indirect controls. Everywhere, mobile suits were being used to aid in construction and repairs throughout the Jovian system. Unfortunately, they were also being used in its warfare, as all technologies eventually are.

In the end, Mu thought, perhaps the danger of Jovian space added to its allure. He couldn’t deny that, in his heart, he desired to go out there in just a spacesuit, to feel the cosmos wrapping around him like the ancients did, even though he knew it was impossible.

A faint hiss interrupted his thoughts. No, not a hiss, more like a whisper. It was barely intelligible, but he could still hear it, the faintest hint of suggestion. It was a whisper he remembered from his childhood, a source of fear and loathing. Once he realized that, his features hardened. Pulling himself closer to the helmsman’s chair, he placed a hand on his commander’s shoulder.

“I’m going to the cargo bay to check on the Moebius.”

The helmsman was confused, “What for? We had absolutely no trouble during the transit here. You think something’s gonna happen?”

Mu shook his head, “No, just a feeling,” and launched himself toward the airlock, just behind the cockpit. Grabbing his helmet, he fixed it onto his suit, sealing and pressurizing it.

The helmsman shook his head, returning his attention to the starry vista, “Oh, you’re that kind of guy. Go ahead, if it makes you feel better.”

Mu glanced back and thrust his middle finger in his superior’s direction, then disappeared into the airlock.

--

On the opposite end of the Heliopolis colony, the metallic cylinder sunk into a small asteroid that was mined for resources. It was nothing to guess at, since the colony not only served as a refinery for Orb, but also housed several factories for a wide assortment of products. Since Heliopolis was just over a century old, that asteroid was a honeycomb of confused tunnels. To keep workers from getting lost and running out of oxygen, a few of those tunnels had been sealed off until some undisclosed time in the future.

One of those sealed tunnels opened into space, possibly due to a tunneling miscalculation that had cost the lives of several miners operating without mobile suits. In any case, the new users of that tunnel didn’t care how it was formed, merely that its existence was convenient to them.

A group of three human shapes descended upon the rocky surface, just over the tunnel. However, it was soon clear that these giants weren’t human in the least, as evidenced by their patchwork gray armor, metal skeletons, and the single red eyes that glowed from beneath crested helmets. Two of them gripped artillery cannons that resembled massive machineguns, while the last was clutching at a large metal crate as though it held the secrets of the universe.

The leader of the group, one of the two metal giants that held machineguns, cast its cyclopean eye around, seeking out possible threats. When it was satisfied, it raised two fingers of its left hand in a signal, and the other two descended into the tunnel, carrying their precious cargo. The leader cast one more glance around the perimeter before following with a kick and a burst of propellant.

--

Kira looked at his watch. Thirteen minutes until the train arrived, all because Freya drove too fast. Of course, who could blame her, since she drove such a sexy red machine? That was one thing he had to become accustomed to, that the children of the rich and powerful peppered the Heliopolitan Branch campus, freely displaying their wealth. Freya, in particular, was the daughter of Ganymedean Vice Foreign Minister George Alistair, certainly a member of that powerful elite. How a girl like her was allowed into the borders of decidedly neutral Orb was something known only to the aristocratic circle. After all, as Kira had repeatedly noted, different rules applied to them.

Still, from what he knew of her, he thought well of her. Freya was an intelligent girl, dead serious about her Corporate Law major, even if she treated everything in a light manner. She was always courteous to him, even though the majority of the time he spent around her was when she was with Cyrus. Besides, and he could only admit this to himself, he found her very pretty and, possibly because of that, had absolutely no problem with her hanging out with their little group.

That admission, of course, did make it somewhat difficult to talk to her.

“So,” Freya started, leaning back and peeking around Toru and Miriallia, “What have you and Cy been up to? He’s been shut up in his work, recently, so I can’t get much out of him.”

Out of the corner of his eye, Kira could see Toru snickering. Coughing, he regained his composure enough to answer, “Well, we’re not collaborating on this project, so I’m not entirely sure. Maybe that’s what he wants to show us, today?”

It wasn’t surprising that Freya assumed she could get information out of him. Kira was a gifted programmer, with a sharp mind and an incredible typing speed, but he only shined when it came to revising and correcting code, as well as finding more efficient means to perform certain functions. It was Cyrus who was the creative genius, who was constantly dreaming up new and interesting programs. It was this gift that landed him an internship at Morgenroete, a leading software firm whose R&D division was centered in Heliopolis. When the two of them worked together, though, the results were pure magic.

“I wonder what it could be,” Kazui said, “He never said much, aside from calling it a surprise.”

The students continued to brainstorm on the possibilities of Cy’s surprise. Perhaps, Miriallia mused, he was putting together something special for Freya. The other girl laughed and put that suggestion down, stating that Cy was almost completely incapable of that kind of romance, which elicited jesting protests from the others. Having so much fun, why would any of them have noticed the twenty-something woman and her suited entourage passing behind them on the platform?

Natalie Badgiruel noticed the students, but it was only in-passing. She had other matters on her mind, even before she had arrived at Heliopolis the day before. Her mysterious assignment, passed down through the Ganymedean military hierarchy, bothered her immensely. It only told her to go to this neutral colony, meet a representative at Morgenroete, and then receive further instructions. The whole affair was uncomfortably cloak-and-dagger, filling her mind with all sorts of possibilities about what this might actually be about.

Glancing once more at the students through her sunglasses, she wondered if they might also be headed for Morgenroete. After all, she had heard that the company often picked up their interns from the student body. It must’ve been a very convenient arrangement, one that militaries could only dream of.

“Would you look at that?” said Arnold Neumann in a low voice, “I can hardly remember the last time I was so carefree.”

Natalie glanced at Arnold, who was also a Ganymedean officer. Returning her gaze to the empty tracks, she replied, “That’s because you never were. Don’t forget that these kids live in a neutral nation. They didn’t have to grow up with the same ZOINKS over their heads that we did.”

“Our clothes were nowhere near as nice as theirs, either. I still remember the faded t-shirts and tattered sneakers I would wear for weeks on end. I expect I’ll have to wait until my discharge before I can lay my hands on designer labels.”

“No use complaining about it now. Besides, the military takes care of our needs.”

Arnold raised his eyebrows and gave a noncommittal grunt as he looked away from his superior. The question he couldn’t voice was ‘yeah, but at what cost?’ It was never a good idea to voice concerns like that around personnel you’ve never worked with before. You never knew if you might be turned in for that. Still, that didn’t change the fact that he was running out of things to talk about, a mere half-hour since they left the hotel. Lieutenant Badgiruel would give a short reply and that would be that. At this rate, the train ride to Morgenroete would be very boring.

“Anyway,” he continued, “I’d like to get this over with as soon as possible and return home.”

“Why?”

Arnold was surprised. This was the first question she had asked him, all day.

“Well,” he replied, not expecting to have to back his statement up, “Places like this just make me uncomfortable. I mean, it’s a nice colony and all, but it just doesn’t feel right.”

Natalie smiled, “The weight’s missing. There’s something frightening about being in a place so filled with lightness. That’s what it’s like to go to where there’s no war. Don’t worry, Petty Officer, I feel the same way.”

With a screech of brakes against metal wheels, and those wheels against the railing, the train arrived at the station.

--

“So,” began Cyrus Argyle, “You’re Dr. Katz’s guest. Are you a relative, or something?”

The girl he was addressing, an elfin blonde, was dressed in black and never looked at him directly. He really didn’t feel like her identity was any of his business, but since she had barged into the lab without any accompaniment, the question just had to be asked. If she was Dr. Katz’s guest, then why wasn’t he showing her around? The doctor could be a bit impersonal, but by no means was he so rude that he’d leave visitors to get lost in the R&D building.

“Look,” she finally replied, “If I’m getting in your way, I can leave, y’know.”

Cy frowned, “Don’t bother. I’m sure the doctor will be back soon.”

With that, his attention returned to the monitor. Periodically, he’d venture a glance in her direction, just to make sure she wasn’t trying to sneak away. She never moved from where she was, though her eyes wandered all over the lab, its computers and equipment, with no attempt to disguise her curiosity. Soon, the soft sounds of Cy’s fingertips striking the keyboard were all that could be heard.

After awhile, he ventured to break the silence, “You haven’t told me your name, have you?”

He didn’t actually expect her to answer, but he didn’t want to come off as rude if she was indeed Dr. Katz’s guest. From the corner of his eye, he watched her turn toward the windows that overlooked Morgenroete’s well-manicured park. Convinced that she was going to ignore his question entirely, he returned his attention to his work, debugging the lines of code he had noted in his journal.

“Calgary.”

“Huh?” the response had surprised him.

The girl glanced at him from the corner of her eye, “My name. It’s Calgary,” then immediately returned her gaze to the window.

Now that he thought of it, she bore a little resemblance to Chancellor Atha’s daughter, who shared the same name. At least, she resembled her insomuch as she had a small frame and blond hair. Of course, many girls in Orb were named Calgary, so he put it out of his mind and returned to work.

“Pleased to meet you. I’m Cyrus.”

She grunted and the introductions were finished. However, just as it looked like the next few minutes were about to become extremely awkward, the door to the lab opened, admitting his fiancée and their friends. Calgary was taken completely off guard, taking a step back against the window.

“There you are,” chirped Freya, “Sorry we’re late, but the train had some ‘technical difficulties.’”

Toru gave an exaggerated shrug, “At least, that’s what they called it. We were sitting at the station for half an hour. You should’ve seen the woman who was riding the same car as us. She didn’t say anything, but she could’ve set the whole thing ablaze with her eyes. Talk about scary!”

“It’s okay,” Cy said with a smile, “Just as long as you guys got here alright. Hey, Kira, what’s up?”

“Not much, just anxious to see what you’ve got in store for us.”

Cy’s smile widened into a grin. Freya’s eyebrows, meanwhile, arched at the blonde who had just recovered her composure, “Cy, would you mind telling me who that is?”

“Oh, her? She just showed up about ten minutes before you did. Her name’s Calgary; she’s a guest of Dr. Katz’s.”

Freya’s lips pursed, “Calgary, huh?”

Rising from his chair, Cy pointed to a metal seat set inside a thick vertical ring lined with monitors, “Kira, why don’t you have a seat over there?”

Kira pointed to himself, “Why me?”

“Just do it!”

It wasn’t difficult to remember the Cyrus was a man with very little patience so, rather than annoy him any further, Kira walked over to the simulator and had a seat. His hands absently touched the control sticks at the ends of the armrests, his forearms lifted so they wouldn’t press down on any of the other switches. He was quite familiar with this setup: it was just like a mobile suit cockpit, specifically the simulation seats used in the mandatory high school training classes.

Orb was a nation that was supported primarily through fuel exports, a business that had flourished considerably due to its non-participation in the war. Because of this, among many other factors, mobile suit training was a part of mandatory education. After all, a mobile suit was required to leave the protective shielding of ships and colonies and do whatever work was necessary out in Jupiter’s powerful magnetosphere. However, operating such a complex machine was often difficult work, requiring either a high degree of skill or a powerful operating system to handle the minor details. The line dividing those who operated manually and those who relied on programs was largely genetic. Specifically, those who were the product of genetic engineering, the Coordinators, and “natural” humans.

“Now,” Cy said as he began typing in commands to activate his surprise program, “I’m sure we all remember those old MS simulation programs, right? All of the same old ‘pick up this,’ ‘put down that,’ ‘go from here to there,’ and all that ZOINKS, right?”

Everyone present nodded. Toru’s sentiments were widely shared, “Yeah, it was real boring. What’s your point?”

“Well, then this is for you.”

With that, Cy hit the last key with a flourish and the monitors in the simulation ring sprang to life. Kira could see, through the main monitor, an airstrip in the midst of grassy fields. Toggling the right stick to search mode, he turned this mobile suit’s simulated head, getting a feeling for his surroundings. Above, he could see another ground, covered in tiny buildings and roads that cut through serene greens. To the left and right of that strip of ground were large windows that stretched down the length of the cylinder. No doubt, it was an “Island Three” colony, a type that simply wasn’t present in the Jovian system. Because of the need for complete radiation shielding, no colony or ship had actual windows, instead relying on monitors that masqueraded as windows to provide a view.

On the upper-right corner of the main monitor, a small window opened, displaying a young woman with short red hair, dressed in a blue and white military uniform with a red collar. She waved to Kira and grinned, “Hi, there! I see you’re getting used to Alphonse’s controls. I’m Noa Izumi and I’ll be giving you a few pointers so you won’t mess up my precious mobile suit.”

Kira leaned out of the ring and raised an eyebrow at Cy. Freya shook her head slowly and sighed. The others turned away and fidgeted, not wanting to be the first to say it.

“Don’t tell me,” Kira said flatly, “You made a game based on Mobile Suit Gundam.”

Kazui had a nervous look on his face, “Won’t that get you in trouble? I mean, this is company property: you can’t just use it for whatever you want!”

Cy frowned, “It’s not a game. It’s a simulation. Go on, Kira, try it out.”

Sighing, Kira returned his gaze to the monitor, where the digital Noa was looking rather impatient, “Hello? I handed Alphonse over to you and you’re not even gonna be polite?”

Freya approached the simulator as Kira fished around for the headset. As his fingers curled around it, he could feel her warm hand pressing against his shoulder, her hot breath across his ear as she whispered, “I guess he’s been pestering you about his hobbies, too. He made me watch that whole series, once, seven hours at a time. You have my condolences.”

She patted him a couple of times, then returned to her fiancée. Really, Kira didn’t mind. It was true that, last semester, he and the rest of the roommates were forced to sit down and watch all fifty episodes of Mobile Suit Gundam, a series based on an ancient airwave telecast from Earth. It followed the adventures of Lieutenant Junior Grade Noa Izumi and her combat MS, the RX-78 Gundam Alphonse, throughout a war between the Earth and the colonies that orbited it. Although he found it interesting, he wouldn’t have considered himself a fan by any stretch of the imagination. The series itself got low ratings, probably because of the unglamorous portrayal of war that was hitting a little too close to home for many throughout the Jovian system. Thus, it never got past the first two seasons. That didn’t matter to Cy, as he was very enthusiastic about it, spending much time, effort, and money to track down rare merchandise.

What exasperated Kira was that it must’ve taken him weeks, maybe even months, to construct this simulation. Was it really worth that much time and effort? Putting aside those thoughts, Kira spoke into the headset’s built-in microphone, “Sorry, ma’am, I spaced out. Please, give me some pointers.”

Noa crossed her arms and pouted, “Geez, took you long enough.”

As Kira was instructed in the basics of mobile suit movement by a digital Noa Izumi, Miriallia snickered, “I wonder if Freya will be asked to wear Noa’s uniform for the honeymoon.”

Freya raised her hand to her face to hide the tinge of red. Cy’s blush, meanwhile, was far more visible, “Oh, come on! I’m not a freak, y’know.”

Miriallia laughed silently from the corners of hooded eyes, “Yeah, Cy. I believe you.”

Calgary, meanwhile, continued to stare out the window, trying to ignore the geekery going on around her.

“As you can see, Alphonse has three weapons. There’s his BOWA-XBR beam rifle, which can put about two megawatts into each shot: that’s your main weapon. For close-range arms, you’ve got the head-mounted sixty-millimeter vulcans and a pair of point-five-megawatt beam sabers. Look down to your control panel to see the weapons mode toggle and assign the beam rifle to the right stick.”

“Actually,” Cy admitted, “The control scheme wasn’t really my idea. The data was already present in the mainframe, though I had to crack a few security passwords to get to it. It’s pretty interesting stuff, so I just took that data and built the Gundam around it. I was feeling pretty inspired, so I just kept going until I had this simulation. Pretty cool, huh?”

That got Calgary’s attention. The interest was plain in her face, though no one was willing to ask why. Besides, they had more immediate concerns.

“You hacked into the company mainframe?!” exclaimed Kazui, “Do you have any idea what’ll happen if they find out? Their net technicians aren’t exactly stupid, y’know, mostly ‘cuz they hire guys like you!”

Cy waved him off, “Don’t worry, I covered my tracks.”

“Look out, it’s a Zaku! Seems like you’ll have to go into combat a bit early. Sorry ’bout that. Assign combat movement to your left stick, and keep your right stick on weapons mode. Of course, if you’re left-handed, feel free to mirror what I just said. You’ll have to take him out yourself, I’m afraid. The Pegasus just can’t spare reinforcements, right now.”

“I wasn’t able to access much,” continued Cy, “But I did learn that it’s connected with some mystery project in D-Block, one of the restricted R&D labs. Something called the ‘G Project,’ or some cryptic name like that.”

Toru raised an eyebrow and grinned, “G for ‘Gundam,’ perhaps?”

Cy rolled his eyes, “Yeah, like I’m stupid enough to believe that. Morgenroete’s a software company, which means the only thing it has to do with mobile suits is operating systems. Besides, what idiot would get their design concepts from a webcast, anyway?”

“Do you know anything else about this ‘G Project?’” cut in Calgary, much to the surprise of everyone else.

“Not that it’s any of your business,” Cy began, once he recovered, “But there’s supposed to be some kind of test today at Restricted Area Zeta. That’s a bit far-off and accessible only through a tram underneath the building. It’s nothing we’d be allowed to see for ourselves.”

Kira had taken a few hits from the enemy mobile suit’s machinegun, but the parameters were pretty tolerant and the Alphonse hadn’t been critically damaged yet, even though Noa saw fit to berate him for injuring her beloved. Actually, he was getting used to the interface and was now dodging most of the fire and taking cover behind the corner of the hangar. All of his shots had missed, but he was starting to correct himself, with each beam missing by an increasingly narrow margin.

“How are you doing, Kira?” Cy called to him.

“I’m getting the hang of it. I think I’ll be able to land a hit in the next couple of moves.”

Cy whistled. When the others looked at him quizzically, he explained with a bit of embarrassment, “See, I’d been trying this thing out for the last couple of days. Testing is part of the debugging process, after all. Well, that Zaku has always killed me.”

“I think the problem is something else,” Kira replied, “Perhaps it has to do with the data you found. I’d like to have a look at your copy of the original, if I may.”

The moment that Cy opened his mouth to answer, the entire room trembled. That trembling was accompanied by the sound of an explosion, far in the distance.
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Post by assault gundam » Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:36 am

Dear God man, Why didn't you just make your own original gundam instead of gundam seed? Anyway It is amazing, I see you've been toying around with the names eh(yeah i'm canadien)?
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Post by Kenji » Sat Sep 22, 2007 5:58 pm

Well, I gotta admit I'm not so fond of the way that Bandai gets kooky with their English spellings. I mean, it's one thing if we're talking about Star Wars, but Gundam has never been far removed from current human culture. Thus, I always felt it would make more sense for the names to be more based in current names. After all, we still use names that are well over two thousand years old.

I try to stay as close to the pronounciation as possible ("Athrun" and "Aslan" use the same Japanese phonics) though I've added or subtracted a syllable when I felt it was needed.

I have to say, though, working on SEED is actually quite a bit of fun. There's a lot to work on, especially since I'm gravitating a little more toward the hard sci-fi elements. I have to create explanations behind a lot of the more... er... fantastical technologies. I'm also looking forward to playing with a lot of the more interesting plot points and character interactions that I feel weren't quite capitalized on in the series. Yet, at the same time, there's a sturdy enough framework that I don't have to brew everything up from scratch... and so I can do this without it interfering with my schoolwork. :P

Who knows? As it goes on, it may start to become more and more original... I don't wanna jinx myself, but I have ideas regarding Destiny that only share a few basic events with the TV series... and a few ideas floating around the history of the Saturnian Wars may turn heads, indeed. But let's forget I said that for now, or else I may never get to it... :wink:
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Post by jam! » Sat Sep 22, 2007 6:18 pm

I do enjoy your vision of Seed especially moving it to the Jovian systems as well as your more-realistic reasoning behind mobilesuits being due to the need to survive the magnetosphere of Jupiter. Quite interesting.

This does however change the fact that the Galilean Alliance (i.e. the Earth Alliance) would've started without mobile suits. That said, is Mu's Mobius Zero still a mobile armour or is it a mobile suit now? I ask based on your description of the necessity for a 15 metre long vessel to provide enough radiation protection for the pilot.

The only thing that raised an eyebrow so far was the inclusion of 'Mobile Suit Gundam' being a cartoon with low success. It's kinda a jarring case of "breaking the fourth wall" here and I don't think it works very well especially since, in my opinion, you're kinda ridiculing your own work with Cyrus' comments about who'd fashion military hardware off of a cartoon. However I digress because you may have plans for the inclusion of that easter egg beyond simply putting it there.

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Post by Kenji » Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:58 pm

Your reasoning's correct. Since mobile suits were an integral part of Jupiter's two-hundred-year development, the Galilean Alliance has access to them, too. However, due to various difficulties regarding control (the Natural vs. Coordinator problem) and dissenting opinions on just how useful MS are in combat when compared to space fighters and MAs, development hasn't been anywhere near as coordinated as in ZAFT, nor are the GAT-01 Daggers (I switched the names of the Dagger and Strike Dagger to reflect the presence of the GAT-X105 in their family tree) as widespread as they ought to be.

To be specific, there are major design differences between Ganymede and Callisto. Ganymede pursued mobile suit technology, rolling out the Dagger, which has some critical flaws. The Callistans, meanwhile, produced the Moebius series. Since the Galilean Alliance does exist, there has been some inter-military exchange in regards to equipment, since the GAT-01 and TS-MA2 are both aged, but each side tends to have a majority of their own weapon. Mu's Moebius Zero was a part of that exchange, modified for the sake of some other side-projects that Ganymede is interested in.

I'll have to tweak my "15-meter" statement, since that's in reference to the total size of an MS... which isn't really relevant. An MS with stumpy legs, for instance, would break that rule. It's only the size of the torso that matters (and a misinterpretation would mean each MS would be around the size of Psycho Gundam, if not larger). Thanks for pointing that out. :)

I must admit that the "Mobile Suit Gundam webcast" dig was conceived as primarily that, a dig about us mecha fans' dreams of a giant robot future, that and an acknowledgement of the presence of this franchise in Earth's history (no Gundam has done this yet). Also, I really, really wanted to avoid that terrible acronym on the OS (mostly because I couldn't figure out how to make it smoother... PLANT is bad enough!). That said, I would like it to be more than a one-shot reference, especially since that kind of surreal self-awareness among the Heliopolitan kids can have a value of its own.

Also, the presence of Patlabor's Noa Izumi as the Gundam's pilot has its own significance, though it's not terribly complex.
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Post by assault gundam » Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:00 pm

Instead of editing my last post I will post this so you notice.

The beginning of Renscent SEED is MUCH better than Gundam SEED
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Post by Kenji » Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:00 pm

Hehe, well, not much I can say to that other than "thanks!" :lol:

As I noted before, this is like a practice novel for me, so I'm putting in as much professional effort as I can muster, while trying to have fun at the same time. So far, it's been quite a bit of fun.

I'm currently working on Chapter Three, and I'm hoping it'll be ready within the next week. Sorry it's taking so long, but I notice that these chapters are getting longer and longer... also, I should probably PM the mods and see what their stance is on certain issues... after all, as the story begins to wind more into the military atmosphere, language will get worse and, as the stress mounts on the characters, situations unsuitable for children (by most people's reckoning, at least) will develop. I don't wanna risk getting banned or having the posts deleted, of course, so it'd be best to find out before I get in trouble by accident. :P

I have been intending on creating a website, but I have no experience and I'm also trying to beef up my artistic skills to I can add maybe a couple of character designs. That's not so high on the to-do list, though... it probably won't be finished before the First Phase is.

Oh, since I just mentioned it, the model I've pretty much concluded on for the way the story will be presented is that chapters will be bundled into Phases that focus on a major event in the story. The First Phase, for instance, will focus entirely on events surrounding Heliopolis. The Second Phase will focus on the next major event, and so on. This'll help me organize the story and, if nothing else, allow me to split it up between Word files with some kind of logic.

The First Phase, which I've purposely created an obtuse title for, is currently known as "What Began as Sol Passed Over the Horizon for the Last Time"
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Post by assault gundam » Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:03 pm

well just so no "children" see this you could just cange the title to "not suitable for children"?
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Post by rebel_cheese » Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:25 pm

Wow. And I thought my own ideas were out there for Gundam. :shock: Major creativity points here, Kenji.

I actually don't mind you renaming many of the characters. I never saw the reasoning behind names like "Kuzzey" and "Cagalli", anyway. Still, "Calgary" isn't a name you'd expect a girl to have but it technically is one, so I'm not going to say much. Gundam's supposed to based in reality, it doesn't need the Star Wars-y names, as you've said.

Sounds fairly interesting, and you're even giving Kira a rationale to be able to pilot Strike in the first place with the simulator. Should be interesting to see "Aslan" and company soon.

As for the curses, the f-bombs and s-words tend to be censored as "ZOINKS" here. I recommend finding substitutes for those words if you don't want "ZOINKS" popping up in your posts. I tend to use "fricking", and "crap" respectfully, except in the case of "f-bomb off" where I substitute "kiss off" instead. For the f-bomb solo, I go with the all-purpose "damn".
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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First Phase - Chapter Three

Post by Kenji » Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:37 am

Actually, I don't have a major problem with the ZOINKSing, since the majority of instances can be deduced through context. It's just that the way I sometimes mash words together may get through the filters, so I'm not quite sure how to deal with that. Naturally, if one of the mods asks me to edit it manually, I'll be more than willing to. Hell, I'll even put in the ZOINKSes, myself. :P

--

Chapter Three

This was his first time in Orb territory, the first he had ever stepped into a nation so untouched by war, and he couldn’t even look outside to behold it. Instead, a view of corrugated steel sheets, interrupted only by sparse metal crates, was the only vista available to him. It could be described as depressing. However, he knew that he’d be heckled for voicing this, so Niccolo Amalfi pulled the faded green visor of his cap over his eyes and kept his mouth shut.

His comrades seemed far more animated. Or, to be accurate, they were more eagerly anticipating what was coming next. Even though they were sitting just as still as he was, dressed in green coveralls bearing the stamp of the “Steiner Transport Agency,” there was a different sense of tension about them. Perhaps that was why there was always a divide between the group made up of these two, Isaac Joule and Dearka Elsmann, and the group of three that Niccolo was part of.

Isaac was the first to break the silence, “I wonder if any of them knew this day was coming.”

“Probably,” replied Dearka without even lifting his head, “That’s one of the risks. Of course, we’re counting on them not knowing their payment would be due today.”

With a chuckle, Isaac pulled off his hat and smoothed out his platinum blonde hair. Niccolo fidgeted. Isaac’s laughter always made him uncomfortable. It was like a punch line to some really nasty joke.

They were members of the Zodiac Alliance of Freedman Troops, the all-volunteer militia of the PLANTs. For the last five decades, ZAFT had been dedicated to keeping the Galilean Alliance, made up of the most powerful nations in the Jovian system, at bay. It was an effort fueled not only by national pride, but also by the fear of what would happen if the Alliance overtook their defenses and gained a foothold on their territory. A return to servitude would be getting off “light.”

Everything began, nearly fifty years ago, when the Coordinators cobbled together a meager fighting capability from the Natural security force’s confiscated weapons and the mobile suits they had been assigned for their slave labor. On the day of the Coordinators’ emancipation, a fledgling ZAFT that had introduced those mobile suits as weapons of war and proved their worth against a surprised and horrified Galilean military. Even after that terror subsided, the Naturals remained unable to regain their lost territory, and so the line held for five decades.

Until the Bloody Valentine, a nuclear assault was thought unlikely, since the Galileans’ aim was to reoccupy the PLANTs and their economic promise. One missile changed that. Immediately, plans were set in motion to prevent such an attack from happening again. Using a modified reactor containment field amplified a thousand times over, the PLANTs were engulfed in a field that would prematurely detonate any nuclear weapon. It was an imperfect system, one that would prove useless should the Alliance get close enough to the PLANTs to activate a bomb in close proximity. Preventing that merely became an additional objective for ZAFT, an easy one so long as Galilean combat capability didn’t make too many advances.

“I must say, it was ingenious of them,” Dearka mused, “Of all the places they could’ve staged a project like this, a neutral colony would be least suspected. I wonder how much they had to pay those Orb bureaucrats to use their facilities.”

“Really, Dearka, who gives a ZOINKS?”

Not long ago, the Intelligence Division had picked up on rumors of the G Project, the development of a new generation of mobile suit capable of wielding incredible power. After contacts in Morgenroete were paid and the information started to trickle in, the situation changed from something vague into something frightening. Supposedly, these new mobile suits had armor capable of deflecting any and all concussive and explosive weaponry. This amounted to the entire ZAFT mobile corps arsenal. In addition to being virtually invulnerable to all but a battleship attack, they were also capable of wielding beam weaponry – particle accelerators and the like – giving them destructive power equal to a small cruiser. Frightening stuff, indeed.

That was why the le Creuset team was sent in. The intelligence had already been gathered; they were here to do something about it.

“Hey, Amalfi, you’re awfully quiet,” Isaac was looking at him from the corner of his eye.

“Maybe the chickenZOINKS’s scared?”

“Maybe,” Isaac sneered, hurling his hat at Niccolo, who flinched, “Guess he’d rather be with Mackenzie and Zala, eh? ZOINKS, how do these fucking babyface kids end up in the military, anyway? Brass must be getting desperate.”

Dearka bared his teeth, lying back, “Maybe.”

Niccolo lowered his head. Isaac’s hunch was right: he would rather be with the others. Unfortunately, his target was being carried in the same truck convoy as those of these two. Nothing could be done about it; Commander le Creuset assigned objectives based on tactical efficacy, not his subordinates’ personal preferences.

Right on schedule, a large explosion sounded in the distance, causing the corrugated walls of the trailer to tremble. Isaac looked to the ceiling and back in the direction the truck had come.

“Sounds like the party’s started,” he said, completely sober.

Dearka looked to Niccolo, “Time to get to work. We can count on you, right?”

Niccolo nodded. Isaac grabbed one of the crates, pulling off the lid. He retrieved a bullpup assault rifle, jamming a magazine into the stock and pulling back the lever to load the first cartridge. Dearka, meanwhile, was gazing through the scope of a long-barreled sniper rifle. Niccolo also grabbed his weapon, a rifle like Isaac’s, not wishing to be left behind in their quick preparations.

As the truck slowed down, nearing its target, Isaac rose to his feet. He sniffed, resting his weapon on his shoulder, “Showtime, boys.”

--

Kira ran down a darkened hallway, cursing himself. Bad decisions were commonplace in life and usually had little consequence, but sometimes they determined whether one lived or died. At the moment, he was starting to wonder if his fate was winding more towards the latter.

After the siren began to wail, the students had piled out of the lab to make for the shelters. In all their lives, the last thing they would’ve expected was an enemy attack, the very thing the siren was warning of. Cy was the first to move, pulling his nearly catatonic fiancée along with him. Freya, whose pretty gray eyes were wide with terror, could only repeat in a small voice, “They’re coming… oh, god, they’re coming…”

It was just as well that Cy was the first one out, since he was the only one who knew where the nearest shelters were. Taking a left from the lab, they were to go down the hallway until they reached the stairs. Once they hit the first floor, they would leave the main building and approach any of the shelters that had been built for Morgenroete’s employees. As far as Cy and the others were concerned, this plan was going perfectly.

Kira, on the other hand, turned just in time to see blonde Calgary taking off in the opposite direction. Without giving it much thought, he followed her, trying to call to her, letting her know that she was going the wrong way. She didn’t respond, instead persisting to run whichever way she would, darting around random corners in the maze-like office complex. Was she lost, or was she trying to lose him?

At this point, though, it didn’t matter. Aside from the fact that he was still following Calgary, Kira knew quite well that he was lost. His mind had lost track of the number of turns and the direction he was facing long ago. Now his hopes rested on the possibility that the girl knew at least where she was going.

Finally, he could make out her shape standing at the end of the hallway, just in front of a pair of stainless steel doors. An elevator? Kira stooped and grasped at his knees, gasping for breath. Calgary didn’t react to his presence. After he had sufficiently caught his wind, he approached and grabbed her shoulder.

“Hey, it’s not—”

Calgary grabbed his hand and twisted it, shooting raw pain up his arm. As he started to cry out, the girl’s fist connected with his cheek, sending him sprawling across the floor. This was followed by a sharp kick to his gut, blasting the air out of his lungs.

As he lay there, gasping for breath, he could vaguely hear the chime of the elevator and the smooth sliding of the doors as they opened. Forcing his head up, he could see Calgary stepping into the stainless steel box, a far cry from the plush elevator that he and his friends had used to get to the lab. Against the pain ricocheting around his nerves and his collapsed lungs, he willed himself to scramble forward, even as the steel doors began to slide shut, and shove his hand in the doorway.

The doors closed on his hand, then reopened. She looked down upon his prone form, a frown set upon her elfin face.

“Hey… you can’t just… leave me here…”

Grinding her teeth, she reached down and grabbed the back of his collar, dragging him roughly into the elevator. As the doors slid shut, Calgary slid a keycard into the slot and pressed one of the buttons. With a slight jolt, the elevator began to descend. Kira, meanwhile, was finally regaining his breath and sense, pulling himself up by the steel railing around the elevator’s perimeter.

“You should’ve stayed with your friends,” she said without turning.

Kira’s glare smoldered in her back, “That’s no excuse for hitting me like that.”

“How the hell was I supposed to know who you were? Besides, I’ve come too far to be stopped now.”

His stomach throbbed, but he decided to let the flimsy explanation slide. The girl clearly wasn’t sorry about knocking him down, nor did she seem against doing it again. Averting his eyes, he waited for the elevator to reach its destination.

--

Everything was going according to plan. Right on time, Miguel’s GINN team attacked three separate locations in Heliopolis, diverting the attention of the colonial defense forces. Shortly before then, a well-placed roadblock stopped the three heavy-freight trucks that were headed for Morgenroete’s Restricted Area Zeta. As soon as Miguel’s team began their attack, ZAFT marines disguised as road crew workers opened fire on the cab of the lead truck, cutting off their escape by taking out the driver. At the same time, the three members of the le Creuset team and the two marines who sat in the driver and passenger seats of the Steiner Transport vehicle started their attack from the rear.

Niccolo and Isaac, the point men, were able to make significant advances before Morgenroete’s security figured out what was going on. That they were so impressively armed, having assault rifles themselves, only served to underscore the intelligence that had already been gathered. Perhaps, Niccolo began to wonder, these security guards were Galileans. They were certainly competent enough to suggest so, firing short, quick bursts and then taking cover around the corner of the truck’s gigantic cab.

However, the support from the marines was more than enough to compensate, their well timed showers of bullets providing ample windows for Niccolo and Isaac to advance, one abandoned car at a time. Eventually, they both took up position against the back of the trailer, just behind the right corner. Without looking, Isaac stabbed his index finger in Niccolo’s general direction. He understood and moved into position at the left corner, pressing the frame of the assault rifle against the armored vest wrapped around his torso, just underneath green Steiner coveralls.

On top of the Transport Agency truck, lying on his stomach with his eye watching carefully through his scope, Dearka noted that his comrades were in position. Zooming in on the three men crouched behind the heavy-freight’s front end, he squeezed off a couple of rounds, tearing the air apart with the report of his sniper rifle. The first round missed, ricocheting off the corner of the cab, while the second pierced through the shoulder of one of the Morgenroete guards. It wasn’t clean, but it would suffice, the massive shock of the bullet tearing the unfortunate man’s shoulder joint apart, shredding muscle fiber and throwing his body back against the ground. As that man fell back, his body twisting due to angular momentum, exposing the dome of his skull. Dearka instinctively took advantage of this, splattering brain matter over the asphalt with his third shot.

Niccolo and Isaac were already moving quickly up on opposite sides of the truck, the stocks of their rifles pressed against their shoulders and their eyes trained down the barrels. As Niccolo neared the cab, he pulled a grenade from his belt, primed, and tossed it. It bounced against the back of the second heavy-freight trailer, sending it back to the cab and its defenders. The guards dived as the grenade spent its short fuse and exploded, peppering their flesh with shrapnel. Isaac and Dearka took no chances, empting a satisfactory amount of rounds into their bodies as they landed.

The first target had been captured. Niccolo quickly took position against the back of the second truck while his comrade ascended the ladder to the top of the conquered target’s trailer. Dearka fired a couple of shots down the line, forcing the defenders of the second truck to take cover while Isaac cut a long slit into the tarpaulin covering the top of the trailer.

Niccolo, also taking advantage of Dearka’s covering fire, advanced down the length of the second truck. Priming a second grenade, he bounced it off the back of the trailer ahead, that of the lead truck, like before. He knelt, pressing the stock of his rifle against his shoulder and gazing down the sight. The grenade exploded, blasting smoke and shrapnel from the front of the cab.

Slowly, Niccolo approached the cab, his finger on the trigger. He turned the corner and, to his surprise, there was no one to be found. None of the defenders were there, alive or dead.

Suddenly, the air erupted with the ear-splitting report of Dearka’s rifle punctuating Isaac’s quick bursts. Niccolo turned to see that the Morgenroete defenders were in the process of circling the second truck from the back to ambush him. However, his comrades had spotted them, lain in wait, and sprung an ambush of their own, decimating them as they rounded the back corner.

“Pay attention, you stupid ZOINKS!” Isaac’s voice snarled through Niccolo’s headset, just before its owner disappeared into the slash he had opened in the tarpaulin of the first target.

“Get on top, Amalfi,” came Dearka’s flat tone, “I’ll need you to cover me.”

Niccolo quickly scrambled up the ladder, taking a kneeling position and surveying the ground near the lead truck. The ZAFT marines who were operating the roadblock had stopped firing, likely indicating that the enemy had been neutralized. Still, there was no telling if there’d be any nasty surprises, so he kept surveying the path as Dearka dashed forth into his line of sight. It wasn’t until his comrade had climbed the final truck’s ladder and opened the tarpaulin that Niccolo lowered his rifle and proceeded to find his own way through the canvas sheet to the target.

As he slashed open the tarpaulin with his combat knife, his headset relayed the marines’ confirmation that they would return to the rendezvous point for extraction. The glorified crate that he and his comrades had been transported to Heliopolis in, like livestock, was cramped and uncomfortable. Niccolo, for one, was happy to not have to return to the Vesalius in it.

Sliding underneath the canvas, he fished out a flashlight from his breast pocket, shining it along the inert mobile suit’s sable armor. The coverage of that armor betrayed the Galileans’ economic condition, as it only partially covered the frame. The result looked rather ugly to him. Of course, ZAFT had also been forced to cut armor coverage on the GINN series as the war dragged on, as functionality superseded form. Over the years, the militaries of both sides became less and less polished as the death tolls mounted and resolute victory became an increasingly foreign and coveted flavor.

Crawling to the torso, Niccolo found the black cockpit hatch, the most heavily armored section of the suit, both against enemy assault and radiation. Tracing along the edge of the smooth panel with his fingertips, he found a small groove that wound around in a rectangular shape. Pressing down on the lower part of it, he popped the access panel open, revealing a numerical keypad. Taking a moment to recall the sixteen-digit code he had memorized, he inputted it deftly, hearing the cockpit locks disengaging to his satisfaction. The armor protecting the cockpit block opened, pushing up against the tarpaulin. Niccolo entered the cockpit and closed the hatch, sealing himself in a coffin illuminated only by dim blue emergency lights.

Drawing from the information he had memorized prior to the operation, he pressed the correct switches on the armrest keypads, the keyboard on the swivel arm in front of him, the keyboard to his right, and two toggle switches over his head. The main monitor flickered to life with a password prompt. Niccolo input a memorized answer on the forward keyboard. A second password prompt appeared, which he disarmed with yet another memorized sequence. After a total of seven passwords, the mobile suit’s operating system activated.

“Amalfi, you’re slow!” barked Isaac through the headset, “Get your ass in gear, or we’re leaving you in this ZOINKShole!”

“R-Right!”

The startup screen was running through its various system checks at lightning speed. However, as Niccolo noted the redundancy of certain startup procedures, he could see what their informants in Morgenroete had already established, that the OS was still in its early stages. This was worth a sigh of relief. Mobile suits, after all, were complex machines, featuring subsystems embedded in subsystems. Essentially, the pilot was required to act as the machine’s brain, regulating each and every action. With few exceptions, Coordinators were the only ones capable of managing such a high degree of data adequately. It had to do with most of them having been modified to be better mobile suit pilots, to be cheaper and more efficient workers in the refineries. There was no lack of irony in how that had come back to haunt the Naturals.

When the Coordinators rebelled against their enslavers and captured the PLANTs for themselves in the synchronized sweep of Planta Aprilis 1st, C.E. 24, they used their ability to pilot mobile suits manually to their advantage, employing creative combat maneuvers to confuse and eliminate their opponents. That trend had continued even to this day, despite the Naturals’ fervent efforts to close the gap. Unfortunately for them, they weren’t able to control a mobile suit directly, instead relying on a complicated string of programs that handled all of the minor operations for them, leaving them with a catalogue of stock commands to choose from. This inevitably resulted in each and every Galilean suit performing its maneuvers in the exact same way, making things very easy for the more skilled ZAFT pilots.

One of the most frightening aspects of the G Project, even more than the reactive armor and beam weaponry, was the new generation operating system that could make the Galilean suits unpredictable, complete with dynamic learning systems to create individual combat styles in an AI protocol. Thankfully, the OS was still nowhere near completion.

Accessing debug mode, Niccolo went through the lines that he had memorized, eliminating each and every automatic control program. His fingers flew over the keyboard with astounding accuracy as he replaced code lines, as per instructions, at blinding speeds. Within less than a few minutes, the mobile suit was set to manual operation, almost as though the control programs had never existed. After rebooting the system and inputting the seven passwords again, Niccolo smiled to see the main OS screen. To his relief, he hadn’t erased any essential code lines by accident, which could have crippled the system completely. The operation had been performed successfully, as evidenced by the main monitor greeting him with the mobile suit’s model number and codename: “GAT-X207 BLITZ.”

“I’m ready,” Niccolo spoke informed his comrades via headset.

“About damn time,” Isaac muttered, “You ready, Dearka?”

“Yeah.”

Niccolo could imagine Isaac grinning inside his own unit, the GAT-X102, “Excellent work, boys. Let’s wipe the smirks off those bastards’ faces, once and for all.”

Unable to suppress a smile, Niccolo simultaneously keyed in commands on the right keyboard and pressed the left stick forward. The motion was gradual and smooth as the Blitz began to sit up, tearing through the tarpaulin as though it were paper. The visual filters activated the moment light hit the mobile suit’s sapphire eyes, allowing its pilot’s own eyes to adjust to the change gradually.

Through the monitor, he could see Dearka’s green and beige-armored monstrosity, the GAT-X103 Buster, climbing out of its trailer. Its weapon, for which the suit was specialized to use, was divided into two parts and attached to the backpack. Niccolo was sure that Dearka would know what to do, if he ever had to use it. According to the intelligence, the Buster’s long-range beam rifle had power comparable to a battleship’s main cannon. How such a fearsome weapon could be used by a mobile suit was simply beyond understanding.

Assigning the small top monitor to the rear head camera, Niccolo could see the GAT-X102 Duel standing tall behind him. Its polished blue and white armor only covered the torso, shins, and forearms, giving the suit a lean appearance. According to the reports, this suit was the initial prototype and was therefore not built to combat spec, possessing only melee weaponry. Still, that scant armament included the Alliance’s new beam sabers, a technology that ZAFT was eager to get its hands on, hoping to replace the GINNs’ inefficient heavy swords, really more like blade-shaped hammers, with something that could cut more effectively.

With some precise juggling of drive modes and proper application of force on the pedals, the Blitz leapt from its trailer, landing on the asphalt and sending a web of cracks through its surface. The three stolen Galilean mobile suits stood together, their very existence a shock to the Heliopolitan onlookers, who had never imagined the war visiting their homes quite like this.

Isaac’s face appeared on the comm. monitor, “Return to the rendezvous point. Try not to get tangled up in engagements. Our highest priority is to return to the Vesalius with these things intact. Understood?”

“Understood.”

Niccolo divided the assignment of the suit’s thrusters between the pedals and left stick, then pressed down on the pedals. The thrusters in Blitz’s backpack and legs fired as it leapt high into the air, landing with minimal shock on a grassy hill. Another leap, and then another, accompanied by both of his comrades, each leap taking them closer to the hollowed-out asteroid from whence they came.

--

“Shit!”

Another, similar firefight was raging in the gigantic Restricted Area Zeta, where the other two prototype mobile suits were waiting, lying on their backs in uncovered trailers. Lieutenant Commander Maria Ramius, assigned to preside over the G Project tests that were scheduled to occur within the next two hours, was pinned behind the armored chassis of the GAT-X105. She and a scant cadre of mechanics, lightly armed with pistols, were facing ZAFT marines with assault rifles.

She frankly couldn’t remember the last time she’d been blessed with such wonderful odds.

Even so, there was no point in surrendering. Coordinators never took prisoners. Besides, all that rhetoric about keeping the Alliance’s dirty little secrets secret aside, there was nothing she wanted more than to go home to Aquarius City, the capitol of the Ganymedean Federation, and see her friends and family again. Hell, just seeing tomorrow would be good enough, at this point. So, despite the odds, she continued to fire a couple of shots to keep the enemy pinned, drop down before the payback with interest, rinse and repeat.

One of the mechanics, a man named Herman, propped his elbows on the locked cockpit hatch of the GAT-X105 and squeezed off three carefully aimed shots. One of the ZAFT soldiers, a redheaded kid, fell. He had just enough time to have a single thought, that these soldiers were getting too young, before a hail of retaliatory fire met his face. His body fell back, slipping off the mobile suit’s crimson armor and collapsing into a broken heap, headfirst, in the trailer bed.

Maria was oblivious to this, as all of her attention was focused on keeping herself alive. She also failed to notice the two young adults, a blonde elfin girl and the brown-haired boy she let tag along, who emerged on the catwalk overlooking the concrete floor that stretched impossibly far, fit to belong to a warehouse, where this carnage was taking place.

Kira and Calgary, meanwhile, observed the bloody tableau with a sense of abject horror. The boy, who had lived in peaceful Orb for his entire life, swept his eyes across the battlefield, among the participants firing weapons desperately at each other and the dead that lay littered at their feet. He noted the way the blood pooled on the laminated concrete, gaining an almost gritty texture in the process. He noted the two mobile suits lying face-up in their trailers, with their gemlike eyes staring coldly from stern iron masks set in war helmets, warrior giants from a bygone era.

For a second, just a second, his disbelief at the appearance of the mobile suits superseded the horror of the violence as he mumbled, under his breath, “Gundam? What the hell are Gundams doing here?”

Calgary fell to her knees on the steel grating, her knuckles whitening as she clutched the railing. Her teeth ground as she hissed, to no one in particular, “You betrayed us… bastard…”

Returning to his senses, Kira placed a hand on her shoulder, shaking her, “C’mon, get up! You wanna die here?”

Wordlessly, Calgary rose to her feet, following Kira as he led her down the catwalk, which ran down the length of the massive room before turning at the corner. Far away, seeming all the further with the maelstrom of noise swirling around them, was a door. There was the possibility that it led to a stairway, which could take them down to the floor below. As long as they could slip by unnoticed, they could make it to the large freight doors, which were open to the Heliopolitan air. Trying to put the carnage out of his mind, Kira ran for that door, his right hand gripped around Calgary’s arm, pulling her along.

Down below, a young man with dark hair shouted over the rifle bursts into his headset mic, “Cover me!”

The ZAFT marines switched their rifles to automatic and laid down suppressive fire as he leapt over the cover of the steel crates, dashing toward the prototype mobile suits with the fury of intent.

Meanwhile, Maria was having an epiphany. In preparation for the tests, unmarked canisters of protium, a byproduct of the refining process, had been brought delivered. It was their intent to flood the chamber with gas and then ignite it to test the effectiveness of the new phase shift systems. This chaotic assault occurred before the canisters could be properly arranged. So, they had been left near the entrance where they were delivered, the same entrance through which the attackers had come in.

With a desperate cry, she threw her arm over the cockpit hatch of the GAT-X105, aiming as best she could under the full-auto suppressive fire, and squeezed the trigger repeatedly. One of the bullets, it didn’t matter which, managed to puncture the canister, exposing the protium to the air outside.

The canisters of volatile gas erupted in a bloom of blue flame, ripping into the other canisters and feeding the fire further. Blown back by the shockwave, Maria thrust her arm out to catch the inner wall of the trailer, her upper torso hanging upside down over the trailer bed, four meters below. From the corner of her eye, she could see Herman’s corpse lying crumpled on the floor, which looked more like a ceiling at the moment. Her feet scrabbling against the surface of the GAT-X105’s armor, she pushed herself back up and away from the crevice.

Part of the overhead catwalk was caught in the blast, tearing the structure from the bolts mooring it to the wall. Sections of metal grating over the explosion were thrown violently into the air, while the rest of the catwalk began to collapse under the tumult. Kira and Calgary, who were just about to reach the corner when the blast erupted, were thrown into the wall, their crossed arms shielding their faces from the impact. As the catwalk collapsed, its remnants being dragged against the remaining support bolts by the Heliopolitan inertia, the dazed college student and his blonde companion tumbled down the grated ramp. As they approached the tattered end of the catwalk, regaining their senses, they flailed out to catch the grating or railing with their fingers, but it was too late. Falling from the edge, they were met by hard concrete below.

The dark-haired ZAFT soldier, who had almost reached the heavy-freight trailers, was blown forward by the blast, his face cracking against the metal wall of the target vehicle. Stars exploded in his vision and his senses reeled around him in a confusing kaleidoscope of light and heat. As he lay on the floor, his legs pumped automatically, instinctively trying to carry him away from the threat, he struggled to dash the unreality from his mind.

On the other side of the trailer, Kira raised himself from the ground with his arms, the whole world muffled around him. As he struggled to rise to his feet, he felt pain shooting up his left leg. He must’ve landed on it when he fell. Calgary was nearby, lying facedown on the concrete. Grasping at his bruised side, he limped over to his companion, kneeling at her side with considerable effort.

“Hey, Calgary, you okay?”

She didn’t answer. Kira shook her and, when she didn’t respond to that, he turned her onto her back. Her brow was bleeding profusely, oozing down her face and matting her short blond hair. The moment he saw this and felt her limp form, his blood froze.

His frenzied eyes shot throughout the smoldering ruin of Restricted Area Zeta, desperately searching for someone, anyone who could help. His whispered self-condemnations escalated into frightened gasps as he gripped at his hair, warm and wet with blood, in frustration. Then, by chance, he spotted Maria Ramius rising to her feet on top of the heavy-freight trailer.

“Hey!” Kira gasped, hobbling toward the ladder that led to the top of the trailer where the woman was standing, “Hey, I need your help! This girl… my… please, help me!”

Back on the other side of the trailer, the dark-haired boy soldier was rising to his feet, wiping away the blood that was thick in his eyes. Looking back, he could see the steel crates that his comrades had been taking cover behind had been scattered far down the laminated concrete floor, scorched by the explosion. He pulled off his headset, knowing from the blast and the heat he had felt that it was pointless to look for them. They were dead, all of them.

He looked to the trailer. Somewhere on top of that thing, on one of those Galilean prototypes, were the ones who killed his comrades. His assault rifle had been knocked away by the blast; it was probably underneath the heavy-freight trailer. Wasting no time, the youth drew his combat knife and began to ascend the ladder to the top of the trailer, where his enemy was lying in wait.

On the other side, Kira was also climbing a ladder to meet the Ganymedean officer, on the slight chance that she could help Calgary. Maria’s finger was tight on the trigger as she silently reviewed her options, unsure of how to deal with the young man begging her for help. Fate would have it that these three would meet face-to-face at the same time as both young men reached the top of the trailer, where the GAT-X105 was lying. The young ZAFT soldier leapt at Maria with his knife. She, by the time she heard his bloodcurdling scream, could turn and catch him in the corner of her eye as he closed the gap. Kira’s face blanched as he watched this from the top of the ladder, not because his sole chance for helping Calgary was on the verge of death, but because of the ferocious eyes, round face, and cropped dark hair of the young man who was poised to kill her.

Kira’s throat, already dry as cotton, seemed to crack as he moved his lips. His exclamation blew past the Ganymedean and pierced the other young man square through his very being, stopping his assault dead in its tracks. His eyes focused on Kira’s face and, for a moment, they lost their hardness. His lip could almost be imagined to tremble, if only once.

“Aslan…!” Kira repeated.
Last edited by Kenji on Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by assault gundam » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:22 pm

you're finding ways to bypass the swear word blocker. The mods are going to hound you for that, I think.
Anyway, i like how you've made it so it focusses on the ZAFT Le Creuset Team. Question: is the gundam always it's normal color even when the Phase-Shift, if that's what its called, is off?
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Post by Kenji » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:39 pm

Well, rather than bait possible trouble, I went back through and ZOINKSed myself (ZOINKS for consistency's sake :P ). I think there were only two instances in which the filter missed, but I could be mistaken.

Yeah, I'm actually looking forward to playing around with the le Creuset team when the action cools off again. They're a fun group, especially since they have pretty different personalities. They'll also provide a nice, professional foil against the Heliopolitan bunch.

To answer your question, yes, the Gundams are the same color whether phase shift is on or off. I happen to like paint. :D


EDIT: Ah, yes, I'd also like to make a request. I don't often write action or scenes of violence in prose. My initial works have always been in script, so I'd go with basic descriptions, play-by-play, of what happened. This chapter reminded me of how difficult such scenes can be, so I'd appreciate it if anyone could tell me their effectiveness and/or how confusing they are.

Thanks.
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Post by rebel_cheese » Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:58 pm

Fascinating post. It looks like Cagalli/Calgary is going to be with the group from the beginning this time, instead of being shoved into a shelter. That is, if you even allow her to live. I wonder where else you're going to deviate from the anime.

It looks like you blew Rusty Mackenzie's brains out though. Maria still got him in your version. Hope that if Aslan ever does reminisicing he'll gives us some insights into Rusty's personality.

Looks like this is going to be pretty exciting.

I tend to stick to tight third-person in my battles as well as my general prose. I use communications from allies (and occasionally enemies) to give the reader more insight in the battle. Sort of like a quick update while I'm concentrating on the POV character's battle. In other words, on the general channel, the POV character can hear the opponent scream at the POV character and the reader can guess at the opponent's facial expression, and the reader will be accurate.

A fully detached narration has its uses but so few people use it at this moment it comes out a bit awkward nowadays. At the same time, the other alternate, frequently used method, frequent POV breaks, can get annoying. The nature of the TV series makes Gundam a bit more difficult as a fanfiction than, say, Star Wars or Lord Of The Rings, where you can stick with a POV for pages upon pages.

It's difficult but I'm sure you'll find a way.
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 by Kenji » Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:09 pm

Yeah, I've definitely got plenty of time to experiment with different narrative styles and find what works more smoothly. I'm also pretty sure that each battle would be better served by a different narration. I'll definitely have time to practice now, since it looks like the battles will be ramping up through the rest of this Phase, though I've been making an effort to focus more on the characters. :P When it hits the fan, sometimes it's just all you can do, I guess... hehe...

As for changes from the established plot, I originally conceived this merely as shunting off the series to Jupiter, going into detail on certain plot points, and altering the ending. However, I only had the general progression planned out and it's already starting to make turns toward increasingly different things. As I start making links and small plans for expanding this concept into its own universe, the differences expand even further. This may even be a running project for me over the next few years, but I won't jinx myself by saying that it will be. :)

The next chapter is still being written, currently at about six pages and counting. I actually had to delete a page and a half of work, early in its development, because it just wasn't flowing properly. This time, I'm gonna try and restrict the POV and see how that turns out, though I do like making the POV pan around like a camera (namely the train station scene of Ch.2 and the Restricted Area Zeta battle of Ch.3), but I can't let it get out of control.

Anyway, thanks for the comments!
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Post by rebel_cheese » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:13 am

Hey, going to have a new chapter up soon? I've really enjoyed the story so far and I'd like to see where else you're going with the story. I wouldn't mind hearing more about your AU too.
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 by Kenji » Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:04 am

Ahh, sorry it's taking so long. School's been kicking me around lately, what with the Latin midterm and several papers. Don't worry, though, I'm still working on it. I'll get it on here as soon as I'm able.

To update, my creative writing instructor has read up to Chapter Three. She has absolutely no experience with Gundam, so it was interesting to hear from someone who isn't aware of the shorthand. She though it was interesting, noting the highly plot-driven nature of the work and the importance of the Kira-Aslan friendship. She also was interested by the mystery of Calgary and wonders what could be on her mind, suggesting that I hold off from getting into her head for as long as possible (which I was intending to do, anyway). Also, she suggests that I slow down on some sections and fill out the scene details, since it seems to go at breakneck speed.

Beyond that, she seemed to have few complaints. Since I wanted this to also stand as a work that non-fans could understand, it was good to hear. :) She also made me notice some of my own style, such as how I'll fill out details on events retroactively, constantly referring back to fill in the blanks. She thinks it's an interesting tactic, but cautions me not to go too wild with it.

But, yeah, I'll get Chapter Four up as soon as possible. Thanks for the reminder and interest. :D

Oh, and which AU? You mean the one I thought up looong ago?
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Post by rebel_cheese » Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:28 pm

Ah, yes, school, the bane of fanficcers everywhere. That's what been preventing me from prepping Chapter 6 of my own Gundam story (and chapter forty of a long-running Star Wars story). I still got to finish writing and rehearse a speech, got two more tests, and just finished midterms myself. And I still got more work to do in the coming weeks.

I'm curious how you'll change Calgary's relationships with everyone else considering you're deviating from Cagalli's path in SEED considerably. Will Calgary grow closer to Kira? Will she remain stand-offish towards everyone? Will she demand to become a pilot? There's a lot of places you can go with her just by changing one little detail.

I try alternating between "rest" stretches for characterization and plot, and "breakneck" stretches for the action, death, and twists. Best to give the reader a chance to breathe and get immersed in the story, though throwing your characters into trouble early can also get the audience attached to them.

Whatever works for you, though. You are the writer here. I'm just part of the audience.

And I meant this AU. I wasn't aware you had written another. And I just realized I was being redundant in the last post too. :oops:
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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