Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (COMPLETE 10/26/16)

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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (Chapter 85 9/6/16)

Post by The Green Flame » Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:00 am

I gotta say, I like where this is going. Full-scale civil war in PLANT and jumping in the middle to kill the more jerky side. It's one of my favorite things in fiction and especially in Gundam. Shame about all those folks in Boaz though...

Clotho is dead right? I want to believe he'll be back in the next story but ya know haha.

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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (Chapter 85 9/6/16)

Post by rebel_cheese » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:21 am

The Green Flame wrote:I gotta say, I like where this is going. Full-scale civil war in PLANT and jumping in the middle to kill the more jerky side. It's one of my favorite things in fiction and especially in Gundam. Shame about all those folks in Boaz though...

Clotho is dead right? I want to believe he'll be back in the next story but ya know haha.
Boaz can't escape its fate no matter what the continuity is, I guess. Plus I just had to adapt the infamous scene where people inflate and pop like fleshy balloons. ;)

Clotho is gone, yeah. I tried to make his death even more crazy than the canon, with him screeching a twisted version of a children's song and then having him scream "WHEE!" as he spirals out of control until he explodes. Clotho was a dead man anyway due to withdrawal symptoms, so I decided to go the more exciting route to kill him off.
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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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (Chapter 85 9/6/16)

Post by rebel_cheese » Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:29 pm

Chapter Eighty-Six: The Unforgiven

You ever get the feeling that you’re about to crash into something you’re not seeing?” Dearka asked as we flew to GENESIS.

“Yes, Dearka, and now is not the time to remind me of those feelings,” I replied, rolling my eyes. I was already feeling trepidation at this final battle, and he was definitely not helping.

I’m serious. No one’s seen Asta or anyone remotely like her at Boaz. I keep thinking she’s lurking around here somewhere.

So Dearka was thinking the same thing I was. I wasn’t sure if that made me feel better or worse. “Why? Have the feeling she has access to some crazy super weapon and is going to launch it at us at the last second?”

Very funny. But you know there’s still a machine called the ‘Providence’ out there and we haven’t seen it yet.

“Doesn’t mean Asta will be flying it,” I replied.

Outside of her coughing fits she’s the best pilot they got left. I’d say chances are 50/50 we’ll see her flying the Providence if it’s ready.

That made my heart sink. There was a logic to what Dearka was saying that bothered me immensely. Asta, poisoned mentally by Rau Le Creuset, flying a machine that was on the Justice or Freedom’s level? That was a recipe for disaster right there.

We’ll worry about it if that happens,” Flay said. “Right now, we’re approaching the GENESIS, and it looks like they’re shooting at each other.”

Flay wasn’t wrong. It wasn’t pronounced, and one side was clearly outnumbered by the other, but there it was: clear-cut proof of the civil war cutting through ZAFT. Problem was, they were all coming up as hostiles, which means I had no idea what to shoot at.

Feldt spoke then. “Cagalli, Flay, Dearka, you are being backed up by La Flaga’s and Caldwell’s units for this battle. Switch over to their channel and I will do the same.

“Who’s guiding Athrun then?” I asked, as the panic of Athrun being cut off from help gripped me.

The Minerva is going to take control over him, since it’s an all-ZAFT team anyway,” Feldt replied.

“All right,” I said. At least that meant Athrun wouldn’t be without support. “Switching over.”

I did so, wondering if I had spoken my last words to Athrun.

I shook off the thought. No. That wasn’t going to happen here. I was going to get out of this battle alive and then Athrun about the baby and we’d sort our lives out from there.

That’s what I wanted. All I wanted.

Hiya, princess! Ready to go into a situation we don’t completely understand?” Mu asked the moment I switched over.

“Very funny. And… you know what, forget it. You’re never gonna stop.”

Mu just laughed. “Just getting you to loosen up before we go in there. We can’t have you twitchy at the control stick.

“Gotcha.” We were almost within attack range, and I still had no idea who I was supposed to shoot at. Unless I knew who were my allies, the METEOR would target everybody, friend and foe. I didn’t want to kill people on my own side.

“I got a lot of targets shooting themselves, and I don’t know who the good guys out there are,” I said then.

I’m working on that. Hold your fire unless they shoot at you first,” Feldt said.

Great. So we could already be dead before we can get a shot off.” It took me a moment to realize that was Asagi Caldwell.

Don’t say that, Asagi. Maybe we can try to fly around the battle towards GENESIS?” Mayura Labatt, one of her wingmates, replied.

“[i}Easier said than done. We’re working on getting those allied with Eileen Canaver to transmit a signal to us so we can mark their ships and Mobile Suits as allied. It might take a few minutes.[/i]”

Suddenly, some of the Mobile Suits broke off from the scrum in front of us and rushed towards our group. “I don’t think we have that long!”

I ditched the METEOR, which might seem like a foolish choice, but considering I didn’t know who I was supposed to be shooting at, it was the only choice I could make. The METEOR is great for clearing out Mobile Suits left and right, but not so good when I’m in the middle of a scrum where I don’t know who my allies and enemies are.

“Should we shoot?” I asked.

Not unless we’re fired upon,” Mu replied.

Suddenly, I heard alarms going off. I was in a bit of trouble. “Is being locked on good enough?”

A pause of maybe a second. “Screw it. Yes. Light ‘em up.

“Copy that, sir!” Just as they opened fire, so did I. And everyone else.

The twelve or so opposing Mobile Suits were wiped out to maybe three or four of ours.

I positioned METEOR to bring up the rear of our formation, so if I needed it, I wouldn’t have to wait very long to have its services. “That takes care of those guys, but what do we do about the battle in front of us?”

Dammit. We need to know who we’re supposed to shoot!” Mu growled.

Still working on it,” Feldt replied.

Suddenly, I had another bogey appear, separate from the group. “I think we may have somebody who’s a guaranteed target.”

Running analysis,” Asagi Caldwell said. “It’s a GUNDAM of some kind!

So it was. This was the fabled Providence that I had heard of.

“Dearka, Flay, on me! The Providence is our problem!”

I’ve got a GUNDAM too, kid. The Providence is my problem too!” Mu replied.

I realized the symbolism behind this then. All four of us (though Dearka only somewhat) had been involved in the incident in the secret laboratory along with Asta. So we would all be teaming up to finish what had started in the laboratory with Rau Le Creuset.

Assuming this was Asta flying the Providence anyway.

Careful. This looks like the machine is carrying a new weapon we haven’t seen yet,” Mu said.

“Copy that.” I summoned the METEOR back to me, and it hooked back up.

Just as it did, though, the Providence suddenly launched a lot of things from its back and they split off into seemingly every direction imaginable.

“What the hell is that?” I yelled.

This reminds me of the Moebius ZERO!” Mu replied. “Everyone, pick a section and blast it!{/i]”

Trying to lock on! These things are fast!” Dearka yelled.

They were. They are flying around like little mosquitos all around us, taking potshots at both us and our allied Mobile Suits. Two of them got hit as we flew around, right in the chests, exploding into brilliant purple fire.

This couldn’t go on. The Providence would decimate all of us before long.

“Mu!” I yelled. “I’m going to engage the Providence directly! Keep those things off of my back!”

Get started then! And make it fast!” Mu replied.

“I will,” I said. I accelerated them with the METEOR still attached, drawing the METEOR’s beam swords. I was going to engage the Providence at point blank range and cleave it in half.

I was surprised Asta had stayed silent so far. She hadn’t said a word to any of us since the battle began. You would think she would, considering the usual patterns I had noticed so far with enemies trying to chat up with me.

Considering our history, considering the significance of this final battle, why wasn’t Asta trying to engage?
Or should I try to engage with her instead?
Maybe this was a test by Asta. To see what we would do when we fought her. Maybe fighting her without trying to talk with her would prove Rau Le Creuset’s words to her or some twisted crap like that.

I sliced at her and the Providence dodged. The silence was indeed deafening.

I chased the Providence closer to GENESIS, my machine and the Providence spiraling around each other as I tried to get closer, dodging the Providence’s attempts to shoot me.

I couldn’t flip the channel to the ZAFT one if I tried. It was difficult just to avoid the Providence’s attempts to shoot me, much less try to talk with her.

I got close enough and swiped at the Providence then, and I grazed the right leg. The Providence shot off in a different direction then, farther away from not only GENESIS, but the battle in general.

Finally, I got contact from what seemed to be the Providence. “Hello, Cagalli.”

It was Asta, I’d recognize that voice anywhere. “Hi, Asta. Been a while.”

The Providence aimed at me and I dodged it, but it had gotten too close to the METEOR for comfort. I aimed one of my missiles pods at the Providence to lock onto her. “You don’t seem interested in having a talk.”

There’s nothing to talk about.”

I knew she was going to shoot me, so I fired my missiles first, just the one pod. The missiles started chasing the Providence then, and the Providence was forced to turn its guns away from me and towards the missiles, retreating as it fired at them all.

As that happened, one of the autonomous guns tried to ambush me, but I quickly shot it with my rifle before it could, and it exploded.

Unfortunately, the Providence had done the same with my missiles. They hadn’t landed a single scratch on her.

“I see we both have new weapons too. I just introduced you to METEOR,” I replied.

And that was the DRAGOON system,” Asta softly replied.

I still didn’t have a visual of Asta, just her voice. But something didn’t seem right about this. It really didn’t feel like a final confrontation between us. More like it was just the beginning.

The paranoia was already beginning to eat at me, that things weren’t quite like how they seemed.

“Asta,” I said. “I don’t know what your motives are, but your side has lost. Please join us.”

No.”

“Asta, I don’t want to shoot you down. We don’t have to be enemies.”

Shut up.”

The Providence took aim at me again and I had to dodge a potshot. “Asta, you don’t have to do what Rau Le Creuset says! He sold you a bunch of lies! I have proof that your mother loves you!”

I said shut up!{/i]”

I played the audio recording then, the full context of Ezalia Joule’s words.

I feel like I made a mistake . . . doing this. Maybe Asta would’ve been born if I kept her. Maybe she would’ve miscarried like they predicted. It’s hard to think that I’m holding her, and in less than a decade she’ll be too weak to stand upright.

What is this?” Asta yelled. I had rattled her.

I heard the mysterious man speak again. “What do you plan to do with her?

I’m going to give her the best life she can. I’ll make sure she never wants for anything, and give her the best care I can. She’s already been punished enough for my mistakes. She’ll be loved and cherished until the day she dies.

I heard a soft squeal in the background, and I heard Ezalia’s voice again, softer. “That’s right, you heard me, didn’t you? I love you, Asta. I always will.

“Did you hear that, Asta! Your mother never viewed you as anything-“

SHUT UP! How dare you use my mother this way!

Suddenly, it was as if the Providence had gone berserk. Every gun that it could fire did, and all of a sudden I was on the defensive as it chased me around GENESIS.

My mother, if she loved me, would never have put me into that insane experiment! She let them play God with me!

“My own birth father played God with me personally and you don’t see me complaining about it!” Of course, I had complained about it, before I got over myself, but that wasn’t the point. “It doesn’t matter how we came into being, Asta, what matters is that we do the right thing for humanity regardless of what we are!”

I fired another missile salvo from the other pod, but it was blind and without locking onto the Providence. I was wasting missiles but it didn’t matter, I needed the Providence to back off and stop breathing down my neck.

You don’t get it, do you, Cagalli? We’re not like the others! We’re science experiments! We’re not even like other Coordinators! We didn’t come from a womb!

I heard Asta coughing then as she dodged my missiles, who went wide and exploded behind her. I half-expected a rant about how the two of us were somehow superior, but I didn’t get that. “We were born in machines, Cagalli! Don’t you get it? Mankind’s decided to play God and we’re the creations of people who can’t even come close to God!

“Dammit, Asta, stop spewing what Rau says and get ahold of yourself!” I yelled back.

Asta chuckled bitterly. “I can’t forgive them, Cagalli. I can’t. None of them, I don’t care if they’re living or dead. I’ve kept all of this for myself for so long. Not saying a word to ZAFT, or my mother. I can’t hold it in anymore. Seeing you… it just makes me want to kill everything in sight!”

Lovely sentiment, right?

“Don’t make me shoot you down, Asta. Just turn your weapons on ZAFT and end the war!”

Another bitter chuckle. “Oh, I’m ending the war, all right. You have no idea. No idea at all. Not even ZAFT knows what I’ve done.

That was even lovelier. “What the hell are you talking about, Asta?”

Have you ever wanted to know our purpose, Cagalli? Why they went through the effort to breed us? Why Blue Cosmos wanted us dead so bad?

I thought about what Rau said, that my birth mother had helped found Blue Cosmos due to her disillusionment with my birth father’s research. Then there was Doctor Malcolm in the Blue Cosmos base, who had started telling me how I was related to some big secret before Stellar shot him.

I was curious, I had always been curious, but on some level I didn’t want to know.

“How about we find the answer together, Asta? Stop fighting me and help me instead. We could use the Providence and the DRAGOON system to end the battle.”

Gonna keep going on and on about that like a broken record, aren’t you?” Asta asked.

All of a sudden, she stopped moving, and the Providence’s arms stretched out wide. “How about you shoot me?

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing or hearing. “What are you doing, Asta?”

I’m not going to stop, Cagalli. I’m going to give you one chance to decide what to do. I want to see what kind of person you really are.

The Providence came closer to me, its arms still wide. “Well, Cagalli? I’m right here. Make up your mind. What’s the best choice? Shoot me and end the battle, or don’t shoot me and we continue dancing around like stupid idiots with left feet trying all kinds of crazy ZOINKS we don’t understand.

It occurred to me that Asta had to be suicidal to make this decision. Why else would you basically come as close as possible to prostrating yourself in space? Why would you let yourself become this vulnerable, just for a test to see what I would do?

Come on, Cagalli. You got ten seconds. Make up your mind.

Shooting Asta now would end the threat once and for all. But what if she was thinking of defecting, but she wanted to see what kind of person I was before making that decision? A test of character to see if her life was worth living or not.

I made up my mind. I wasn’t going to shoot. If Asta decided to come charging at me, however, I wasn’t going to show any mercy.

Five seconds, Cagalli. What are you-”

Suddenly, a shot from the Buster rushed through space and went right through the torso of the Providence.

I stared at the hollowed GUNDAM in shock. I had not expected anyone from my team to break out from that scrum and try to help me.

Dearka had taken matters into his own hands.

Sorry, Asta, but after all that crap you just said, you gave me no choice,” Dearka said softly.

Asta didn’t answer. Instead, the Providence exploded.

I didn’t yell at Dearka. I didn’t even lecture him. I fully understood why he did what he did. The primary emotion was… disappointment, I guess. I wanted to help Asta, but she wasn’t willing to help herself.

I lowered my weapons. “I guess that’s it then.”

We need to concentrate on destroying GENESIS,” Mu La Flaga said. “The Kusanagi is in range and took a couple of shots at it, but it seems to be defended by some sort of Phase Shift armor. We have to find another way to-

The white wings of moon butterflies flicker down the streets of the city,” a highly familiar voice suddenly said, interrupting Mu.

What the hell?” Dearka asked.

Blushing into silence the useless wicks of sound-lanterns in the hands of girls.

Let me tell you one thing. When somebody starts quoting H.P. Lovecraft on you, particularly a pilot you thought had just died, you’re in big, big trouble.

“Asta?” I asked in shock.

She laughed then. Actually laughed. This was more than just her bitter, sarcastic chuckles. It was full-blown laughter, like someone playing the biggest practical joke in history. “You all thought I was dead, didn’t you? Especially you, Dearka?

What’s going on here?” Dearka asked, and he couldn’t keep the fright out of his voice. I was feeling my heart pound against my chest too. It was like a ghost was literally talking to us from the grave, except all of us were hearing it.

I was flying the Providence by remote. I’m not dead. Not yet. Not when I have so much work to do.

Suddenly, my alarms were going off and my radar was spazzing out. “Mu! My radar’s going crazy!”

I know, kid! Mine too! It’s like it can’t process this information!” Mu replied.

It’s like our software is overloaded trying to figure out what’s going on!” Flay added.

Suddenly, out from behind GENESIS, I saw it.

It was a pale white Mobile Suit unlike anything I had ever seen before.

It didn’t even look like anything produced in Cosmic Era. It looked like it had come from another reality altogether. Another time, another place.

This is what we were created for, Cagalli. All of the deaths, all of the abortive fetuses, all of the treasure and technology and manpower spent. We were created for one purpose and one purpose only: to fly this machine.”

This was it? This was what I had been modified for? Why I was taken from my birth mother's womb and put into an artificial one?

This was the secret Rau was alluding to, that Doctor Malcolm was going to describe to me, that the ‘Lord Djibril’ person was hinting at in all of the conversations I’ve heard over the course of this year or so?

To fly this?

The strange, ghost-like Mobile Suit put itself between GENESIS and the rest of us then, floating alone. Somehow, I had a feeling that it could take all of us on by itself.

Our precursors, the only people capable of flying this machine, were rendered extinct. But they had to keep trying, Cagalli. They had to find someone capable of flying the machine that George Glenn found at Jupiter. And if they couldn’t find someone… they would have to make that person.”

I wouldn’t let her manipulate me. I wasn’t going to join her in despair, no matter how overwhelmed I felt.

I looked at the data as I tried to scan the machine. It didn’t make any sense. “Feldt,” I half-asked, half-begged. “Please tell me you know what this thing is.”

Feldt didn’t answer. Maybe she was frozen in shock. I didn’t know, but it was terrifying me.

“Feldt!” I yelled.

Mission control can’t help you. Your ships can’t help you. No one can help you. Not against what I have,” Asta replied softly.

Oh, go to hell!” Mu growled, and he fired a shot right at the strange Mobile Suit.

Asta didn’t even try to dodge. It just reflected off, like there was a barrier surrounding it. This was more than just Phase Shift armor, it was like the space around the strange Mobile Suit had become Phase Shift armor itself!

Asta laughed sharply at the shot bounced away into space. “You didn’t think it was that easy, would you? This machine comes with a barrier, the I-Field, that will deflect all beam rifle shots! You’re not going to kill me with simple weapons like those!

“Feldt,” I asked again. “Please tell me what that Mobile Suit is and tell me now.”

Feldt’s voice finally, softly, came over the radio. “I saw this machine’s design. It was just a prototype the final time I was awakened. Celestial Being was concerned about it, because it had capabilities far beyond any Mobile Suit or battle cruiser in existence. It was considered a potential xenocidal weapon, something that can wipe out an entire culture, species, world, from existence.

Oh, that makes me feel so much better!” Dearka said.

It was said that this machine could turn all opposing technology into grains of silicon dioxide using a newly invented set of nanomachines,” Feldt continued, ignoring Dearka. “It was built to destroy what lived at Jupiter, and I assume that’s what this machine did, along with destroying Anno Domini in the process.

A couple of soft breaths. Then she spoke again. “This machine was designated as CONCEPT-X 6-1-2. It was also known… as the Turn X Gundam.

A deafening silence hung out over the radio.

And for the first time since I had begun flying a Mobile Suit…

I had no idea what I was going to do.

Or even if I would survive.
____________________________________________________________________________________
You may want to cue up "Heavy Duty" or "Black History" from the Turn A Gundam score. Just a suggestion.

Only one person realized what was going on in chapters 41-42 when I alluded to the Turn X Gundam existing in Cosmic Era (it was purposefully vague) but it was there.

Of course, is this the same Turn X Gundam from the Turn A Gundam series? Or is it different from that machine? And does this place Anno Domini and Cosmic Era into continuity with Turn A, Universal Century, and all of that? Or am I J.J. Abrams-ing things a bit?

I'll eventually answer those questions... someday. I'm not entirely sure of the final answers to a couple of the questions myself.

Anyway... next chapter, expect a lot of people to die too. Time to uphold the Gundam tradition of cast carnage.
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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The Green Flame
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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (Chapter 86 9/11/16)

Post by The Green Flame » Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:27 pm

Wat. WAT.

I admit it, ya got me good. Ya got me real good. Didn't expect Turn X (why I thought it was some weird super Quanta at first) but I love it. This actually does remind me though of the theory (or just random fan talk) of Seed being post-Turn A and what have you so it's interesting to see it actually be a thing.

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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (Chapter 86 9/11/16)

Post by rebel_cheese » Fri Sep 16, 2016 12:36 am

I'm operating more with the assumption we're either way before Turn A or I'm pulling a J.J. Abrams-Star Trek here with using elements of older properties to start a new continuity all together.

I'm glad it accomplished its goal of being a surprise. Its a twist I've been waiting to show for nearly five years. Yes, the twist has been planned for that long. God, I wish I could've gotten here faster.
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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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (Chapter 86 9/11/16)

Post by rebel_cheese » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:08 am

Chapter Eighty-Seven: The Unforgiven II

Surprisingly, the first person who spoke was Dearka. “What did you just call this thing?

It’s called the Turn X Gundam, Dearka,” Feldt replied softly.

I was stunned when Dearka chuckled. “Dammit, Feldt. And you were trying to make this thing sound so scary. You do realize that an upside-down X is still an X?

It hit me that he was right. He was absolutely right. The opposing machine had the most pointless name in existence and I felt this wild, stupid smile cross my face. Some of the other pilots even started laughing at what Dearka had just said.

Dearka, the Turn X name is not meaningless. It means an undetermined or unanswered variable. It’s no laughing-

Shut it, bridge bunny. I have my own something to say to Dearka,” Asta growled.

Huh?” Dearka asked, clearly surprised.

After the way you were a constant pest when we served together, and after the callous way you shot Providence down, I considered killing you first. After this ignorant mockery, I’m definitely killing you first, you lackadaisical piece of ZOINKS!”

Suddenly the Turn X whipped out a beam rifle and shot right at the Buster before Dearka, or any of us, could do anything.

Oh my God,” was all Dearka could say before the shot rammed right into the Buster’s chest, blowing the entire machine up in the next instant.

It had been done so fast. Dearka, who had made it through the whole war up to this point, faithfully piloting the Buster the whole way, and even shooting down two GUNDAMs in this final battle alone. And Asta had killed him like it was nothing.

Asta laughed callously. “That felt so good! He’s dead! The idiot is finally dead! He should have been dead months ago! How he made it this far is beyond me! Well guess what, he’ll just be the first of all of you to be judged by me!

I immediately decided Asta was far too gone to be saved. She had served with Dearka for months. Fought alongside him. He had undoubtedly protected her and helped her as much as he could. For her to kill him and then laugh about it like she squished an ant…

I may not have been a close friend of Dearka, but he was a friend of Athrun’s, and I just let Asta get a cheap shot off and kill him.

I was pissed off and ready to kill the bitch for what she did.

“Everyone, light her up!” I yelled as I aimed my weapons at her. All of them.

Asta laughed. “You think that will work?

Try fighting all of us, you insane bitch,” growled a woman, I recognized the voice as belonging to Juri Wu Nien, one of Asagi Caldwell’s wingmates.

Oh, I think I will,” Asta replied.

Everyone shot at her, then, including me. But that’s when the Turn X did the most unexpected thing, or so we all thought when it happened.

The Turn X broke into nine pieces.

Nine autonomous pieces, or perhaps somehow controlled by Asta all at once. I’m not sure I’ll ever know how she was able to control them all.

What the hell?” one of the pilots yelled, speaking for us all when the Turn X split, causing all of our shots to hit absolutely nothing.

The pieces flew among us then, faster than I expected. And each one of them was armed, shooting particle beams at us as they flew on by, blasting several of our Mobile Suits out of the way like they were nothing but stationary obstacles.

The METEOR, for all its power, could not stop the Turn X from moving at its will. And I couldn’t use METEOR at its full capability, not when surrounded by my own allies. There was no way I could risk the possibility of hitting any of them.

The individual pieces of the Turn X all of a sudden converged on an Astray, and I realized it was Juri Wu Nien’s. Just like Dearka, Asta was taking a personal revenge on someone who had slighted her in this battle. Except she didn’t even know Juri. Hell, there were so many Astrays in this battle I couldn’t tell them all apart. So how did Asta know which Astray housed the pilot that called her out?

The Turn X reformed into its original shape and then slammed its right hand right into the chest of Juri’s Astray. It quickly became apparent what the Turn X was doing; the hand was microwaving the cockpit of the Mobile Suit, so Juri would be cooked alive.

Melt away, melt away! Your brain’s gonna melt away!” Asta shouted above Juri’s pained screams.

Suddenly, Juri stopped screaming, like she had finally broiled. The Turn X let go of the Astray, which floated in space listlessly for a couple of seconds, before it finally exploded.

It wasn’t like we were doing nothing. The Turn X was getting hit. It was getting hit a lot. But it was like everybody was only hitting an invisible barrier. The Turn X wasn’t even flinching at the attempts to damage it. This thing was so above our level that I couldn’t help but feel a burgeoning dread that we were all going to die.

Literally, that was what I was thinking. We were all going to die, and this infernal machine out of nowhere was what was going to do us in.

Asta laughed again, before coughing a few times. “I can’t believe what I can do in this thing!

“Everyone, get out of my way, I’ll take care of her,” I said, and I primed my missile pods. I wasn’t going to let Asta fly around and massacre us, not before using everything my machine was capable of, anyway.

You will take care of me, Cagalli? Just like you took care of my brother?

She still remembered what I had done to Yzak, not that I expected her to forget. “Yzak gave me no choice, and now you’re doing the same.”

A soft chuckle. “All this war, you’ve had all of the power. You’ve piloted a GUNDAM. You picked people off whenever you felt like it. Hell, isn’t that what you did in Boaz? Now there’s finally something stronger than what you have, you change your tune. Are you afraid, Cagalli?

I was afraid, but I wasn’t going to give her the satisfaction of knowing. “I haven’t changed my tune at all. My only interest is to prevent the deaths of as many innocent people as I can.”

Oh, you’re such a hypocrite.

I locked onto her. “I think you have other things to worry about right now.”

After a moment of careful consideration, I decided to fire everything.

The Turn X immediately split into the nine pieces again to evade my missiles and my beam cannons all converging on her. The missiles immediately changed course to chase after her, but several of them crashed into each other in the process, causing a series of explosions that caused me to lose track of Asta.

I switched to the METEOR’s beam rifles to chase after the Turn X the moment I saw it and slice it in half. “You can’t dodge me forever, Asta!”

I find it interesting that your solution to my violence is more violence!” Asta yelled.

“It’s not interesting. It’s war,” I replied as I searched for her.

Suddenly, I heard another pilot shout on the radio. “She’s coming out from behind those explosions!

I turned towards the newest set of missiles exploding to see the Turn X flying through the remnants of the explosions, now armed with a beam rifle and firing it at the METEOR, cutting apart an Earth Alliance Mobile Suit in the way.

The METEOR’s right side exploded, and I immediately knew the METEOR was junk and I was going to be a sitting duck. What amazed me was how fast it had happened. The Turn X had only just begun to fight, I had already lost my most potent weapon, and would have to fight with what the Freedom was equipped with from this point onward.

I disconnected from the METEOR before I could lose control, and blasted off. Seconds later, the METEOR disappeared from my radar screen. “Is the METEOR gone?” I asked.

Yeah. It just blew up,” Flay replied.

“Thanks,” I said, not that I had anything to be thankful for.

The Turn X’s attention had turned from me to the rest of our group, and I was watching multiple Astrays, GINNs, and Daggers getting blown up like they were stationary targets on a gun range. Quite a few of these pilots were veterans in their own rights and their lives were ending in a blink of an eye.

“Feldt,” I said, “We’re gonna need some help.”

I’ve already told the captain of the dire straits. We and the Kusanagi and a few other ships are inbound towards your position. Try to hold on.

“Not sure if we can last until you get here,” I replied.

Please try,” Feldt said. It sounded more like she was begging me than ordering me.

The only way I was going to be able to keep our group from getting slaughtered was getting Asta’s attention turned back to me. Considering how quickly she had destroyed the METEOR it was not something I particularly wanted to do.

At the same time, I couldn’t just float around and watch her cut and shoot through so many people.

The Turn X and its capabilities was something the GUNDAMs would have trouble matching, and no ordinary Mobile Suit could hope to stop.

I raised my beam rifle and shot at the Turn X, which made it change direction. “Damn it, Asta! It’s me you want, right? Leave everyone else alone and fight me!”

Asta laughed. “You want to make this a duel then, Cagalli?”

I immediately realized that she was suckering me into a suicidal agreement. The Freedom was not likely going to survive long against the Turn X, especially without the METEOR.

“Yeah,” I said. “On one condition.”

Oh?”

“I get a helper. Think it’s kind of unfair to have something like your Mobile Suit fight an inferior one like the Freedom one on one.”

Asta laughed uproariously, followed by another coughing fit. It was then, and only then, that I saw her face appear on the Freedom’s monitor, crystal-clear. Her visor was becoming stained with blood. She clearly didn’t have much time left, and she was trying to enjoy it while she still could.

Sure, why not. One helper at a time. Pick the first death you want on your conscience.

So she had agreed. I wasn’t sure if I was to be happy about this or dismayed. “Everyone, back the hell off. Worry about GENESIS or Jachin Doe. I’ll hold her off as long as I can.”

I’m not going anywhere.” That was Flay, and I felt my heart sink. She was going to try to be the hero. I had made her mindset change too much.

I promised Kira you would be coming back, and I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure you do. I’ll fight her with you.

A volunteer, huh? Suit yourself. It’s always the brave that die first in war. Like my brother, like all of my friends.

A smile slashed its way across her face, and it became painfully clear that Asta was truly lost in madness. Or despair. Or both. “I lost anyone I still cared about in Alaska. Did I ever tell you that, Cagalli?

As long as she kept talking, it was less shooting, and that meant extending my lifespan, however long or short that was at this point. “No, you didn’t. You hardly told me anything.”

I looked at my radar. Some of the Mobile Suits were scattering, but not all of them. Mu La Flaga and Asagi Caldwell in particular were hanging in the vicinity.

Damn it guys, get out of here. Don’t be stupid, I found myself thinking.

Alaska. What a trap that was. So many brave people heading to the front line, believing they were going to win the war, only to die to a cowardly trick. Microwaved alive. I’ve heard GENESIS does much the same thing to a human being. Why do we make weapons that create such horrible deaths, Cagalli?

“Both sides have been taking this to the point of no return, Asta. That’s what I’m trying to stop.”

Stop with brute force?

“Pacifism is a great ideal and all, but it’s not really a good way to win a fight when your back is against the wall, Asta.”

So you admit your own hypocrisy. You want to save humanity so they can keep building these weapons, keep experimenting on human souls, keep exterminating each other. You want to save people so they can kill each other some more in even worse ways.

I knew what Asta was saying. This was an endless, vicious cycle, that would never truly end. No matter what people did, war would never change.

There will never be a truly lasting peace, Cagalli! Humans can be reduced to hunter/gatherers and there will still be war, rape, mutilation, murder, deception! All the way back to Cain and Abel people betrayed, deceived, and murdered each other! It will never end unless the human race is exterminated!

“So your solution to humans killing each other is to kill them all yourself. Lovely philosophy,” I replied.

Humans have ruined the Earth, spread like a virus to other planets, playing God with themselves, and are intent on killing their own species off slowly. I’m just going to speed up the process a little, or at least reduce the human race to a point where the only things they can hurt is their own planet!

“Wonder how ZAFT feels about this,” I replied. “I highly doubt this is with Patrick Zala’s blessing, considering the implications.”

Asta’s smile reappeared again. “ZAFT didn’t even realize I had this thing until about ten minutes ago. They didn’t even bother erasing Rau Le Creuset’s clearance to this machine because so few people knew about it.

Now I knew how Asta had gotten access, and what Rau’s plan was if he had died in Mendel. He had passed this information on to Asta somehow, giving her the tools to enact his revenge for him.

“I don’t think ZAFT appreciates the implied threats you just made against their colonies,” I said.

Asta laughed. “Want to see how much I care?

I quickly realized that I had made a big mistake pushing the conversation in this direction. “Asta, what are you doing?”

There is just enough energy left in this machine to use this attack maybe four or five times at moderate strength. I’m going to give you a demonstration of it. Witness how I’m going to put humanity right back to where they were after their foolishness at the end of Anno Domini. Witness how we exterminated an entire alien species. Witness the Moonlight Butterfly.

Suddenly, I saw it.

Translucent butterfly wings emerged from the back of the Turn X, glowing brilliantly.

They sent a chill down my spine even though they looked so innocuous.

I heard Feldt’s voice then, trembling. “Cagalli, whatever you do, don’t let those wings touch you. It will turn the Freedom and all technology in your spacesuit both into sand.

“You know this for sure or it’s just theory?” I asked.

It doesn’t matter.” That was Natarle Badgiruel’s voice. “Cagalli, Flay, clear out of the way! Do it now!”

It was then that it hit me that the Archangel was about to fire its Lohengrin cannons at the Turn X.

“Dive, Flay!” I shouted, and I immediately put the Freedom into a spiral out of the way of the Archangel’s cannons.

The next moment, I heard Natarle Badgiruel utter two fateful words. “Lohengrins, fire!”

The cannons both shot directly above Flay and I, heading right for the Turn X. Much to my shock, the Turn X simply twisted itself out of the way of the cannon shots, and the missile salvos fired by the Archangel simply vaporized upon hitting the Moonlight Butterfly’s wings.

How dare you.” There was no amusement in Asta’s voice anymore. This was something much worse.

The worst thing you can do is make a crazy, power-drunk person enraged.

I heard Natarle make a frustrated snarling sound in response to the Turn X’s acrobatic feats. “All batteries, keep firing! We can’t let the Turn X have any opportunity to attack!

Too late!” Asta suddenly shot above us, barely missing scraping Flay and I with the Moonlight Butterfly. The wings suddenly shifted from translucent to golden, and I had a feeling the Turn X’s Moonlight Butterfly had shifted into some sort of attack mode.

Archangel, watch out![/i]” I shouted.

I had never felt so helpless before as when I had seen the Moonlight Butterfly shine over me, just so barely missing from striking me.

Any attempt to save the Archangel would involve flying right into the Moonlight Butterfly and immolating the Freedom, killing myself in the process.

Shoot her down!” Natarle yelled. “All non-essential personnel get into the lifeboats immediately! That means you too, Feldt, don’t argue with me!”

The Moonlight Butterfly finally left my field of vision and I re-adjusted the Freedom in order to spin it around.

The Archangel wasn’t the only one shooting at the Turn X. There were other ships, the Archangel had bought escorts, two of them immediately trying to get into the Turn X's way, firing missiles and flak without any regard for saving energy or ammunition.

The Turn X just blew right through the escorts, the Moonlight Butterfly stretching enough across to blow the front ends of both ships right in half, causing dust plumes to cover up my line of sight. The back ends of both ships fell away, smoking with dust. Electrical sparks crisscrossed through the dust, like the Turn X had turned the ships into little lightning storms.

My heart skipped a beat. It had sliced through those two ships so easily. It didn’t take an active imagination to know what it could do to the Archangel.

“Flay, follow me! We have to try to stop her!” I shouted, and I blasted after the Turn X, flying right through the dust plumes.

We can’t get too close, Cagalli! What can we do?” Flay asked.

Whatever the case, I don’t think this is gonna be an honorable duel anymore,” Mu replied. “Let’s all converge on her again without getting into each other’s way and take her out.

The Archangel’s defensive batteries forced the Turn X to angle away from the ship, instead beginning a circling motion around the Archangel, wiping out a former ZAFT ship acting as escort in the process. This one was more or less a head-on collision with the Moonlight Butterfly, by the time the Moonlight Butterfly was finished passing through, there was nothing but dust remaining of the escort vessel. Dust and human bodies.

An ad hoc squadron of Mobile Suits and Armors attacked the Turn X, but the Turn X didn’t even hesitate. It just blew right through them, leaving at least ten little smoke explosions in its wake.

The Turn X wasn’t just flying around vaporizing everything with the Moonlight Butterfly. It was shooting at the Archangel, and moving much too fast for me to get any lock onto the Turn X, especially from the range I was at. All I was doing was useless potshots that the Turn X was simply ignoring, especially with the Moonlight Butterfly seeming to effortlessly absorb every shot I made that did connect.

None of our shots are getting through!” Asagi Caldwell yelled, as if giving voice to my thoughts. “They’re just getting vaporized by those wings!

How can we shoot something down that we can’t even hit?” Asagi’s remaining wingmate, Mayura Labatt, asked.

There has to be some way we can,” Mu said. “We have to make the impossible possible here[/i].”

We have to try to at least deter her from the Archangel. If we can’t do that…” Asagi trailed off.

Suddenly, I saw one of the Archangels engines explode from a few shots from the Turn X, and the ship immediately began to list. “Archangel!” I yelled, by sheer reflex.

Neumann, keep control the best you can. Everyone, prepare to abandon ship. Fire one last salvo. Everything this ship has, put it into destroying this Mobile Suit,” Badgiruel ordered.

The Turn X made a longer looping motion than before, and that’s when it hit me.

The Turn X was going to make a charge right for the Archangel, aiming to immolate it by having one of the Moonlight Butterfly’s wings crash right through the ship.

I couldn’t let the Turn X do it. I refused.

I would not lose my home for so many months to Asta and her monster of a Mobile Suit.

The Archangel was the reason why I was still alive, more than anything. It was a place where a bunch of people from different countries had come together and bonded under strenuous circumstances. It was a symbol of humanity’s understanding, of how our common causes can unite us, and I could not let that ship be destroyed.

The Turn X prepared itself for its charge against the listing Archangel. I knew the only thing I could do, and I prepared myself to do it, by accelerating down from where I was, and stand right in the Turn A’s way.

I would stop it right in its tracks with my swords or die trying.

Asta’s attention turned towards me then, and my eyes couldn’t help but peel away from the battle towards her image on my screen. “You’ve taken everything away from me Cagalli. If I had never encountered you I would never have lost it all. So I’m going to take everything away from you.”

“Good luck with that,” I said as I prepared to make my charge, but then I realized Asta’s trick.

All of a sudden, the Turn X had turned itself away from the Archangel and had its beam rifle aimed right at me.

My heart skipped a beat. It hit me, all of a sudden, that Asta had only said that so I’d distract myself for a few precious seconds so she could get lock on me.

I had hit her dozens of times to no effect. But she only needed to hit me once to annihilate me.

Then, to complete the shock, all of a sudden the Strike Rouge put itself between me and the beam rifle.

Blam.

The Strike Rouge fell away smoking with much of its right side blown off.

It took me a moment to realize what had happened. And when it did, I felt a wave of emotion I never thought I would have felt if it had happened to this person.

“Flay!” I shouted.

I grabbed the Strike Rouge by the arm before it could fall away completely. It left me completely exposed, but the Turn X had already turned its attention back to the Archangel, sparing Flay and I from dying together.

Flay coughed on the radio, which nearly made me panic. “Damn, that one hurt.

“Why did you do that, Flay?” I asked.

I promised your brother you would return. I never made that promise about myself.

My eyes began to water. “Dammit Flay.”

Flay chuckled softly. “You sound like Mu did when he was teaching me how to fly.”

Suddenly, flashes of light from up ahead turned my attention from the badly wounded Strike Rouge to the Archangel. I saw extensive damage on one of the Lohengrin cannons as the Archangel continued to list, hinting that Arnold Neumann and Miriallia, if she was still there, were losing control over the vessel. The Archangel was a dying ship making its final stand against the Turn X, and I was too far away to try to prevent the inevitable.

As if sensing my thoughts, Flay said “Don’t go. You can’t stop it. None of us can.”

She was right. I knew she was right. But it didn’t make what was happening less painful to watch. An ache swelled in my chest as the Archangel took another explosion on its left side this time, putting it, ironically, back on course for the briefest of moments. A series of explosions erupted around the Archangel as the final of its Mobile Suit guards all went down in succession, leaving the Archangel without any help at all.

Badgiruel spoke then. “Listen to me. Don’t let it win. Find some way to shoot it down. Don’t give up, understand? All of you out there.

She was going to go down with the ship. It was the captain’s duty to, to be the last one to be on the ship, but that knowledge was no solace to me. “Captain Badgiruel, I’m sorry.”

Take care of yourself, Cagalli. Same goes to all of you.” It was such an unexpected response that I wasn’t sure how to interpret it.

Nowadays, I wonder if she somehow knew that I was pregnant.

The Turn X made its charge then with the Moonlight Butterfly brilliantly glowing in the darkness of space, and its wing slammed into the damaged Archangel.

The light gave way to the darkness of smoke and dust.

The Archangel was gone.

And with it came the realization that any chance of Asta finding forgiveness for her actions, especially from me, was gone forever.

I saw the seed flash in my eyes again, and I sensed it would be for the final time.

The seed shattered, and I did not allow myself to cry as I saw the dust that had once been the Archangel dissipate.

I’m going to kill you, was the only thought that flashed through my mind.

There would be no forgiveness from me, not for what Asta’s done.

Maybe it made me a hypocrite. Maybe this proved Asta right about humanity. I didn’t care.

She was going to pay for everything she had done. Somehow, some way.

The Turn X stood, surrounded by the dust of the Archangel, as if looking at me in defiance, or perhaps in triumph.

It was going to come down to just me and her for the fate of us all.

Both of us having completely given up on the other.
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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The Green Flame
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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (Chapter 87 9/19/16)

Post by The Green Flame » Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:27 pm

*hope Natarle makes it through alive, hopes are promptly deleted* ;___;

Pretty sick though, throwing a ship at the MB. You'd think it would've happened in Turn A but at most they only used I-Fields to keep it at bay.

rebel_cheese
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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (Chapter 87 9/19/16)

Post by rebel_cheese » Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:05 am

Heh sorry. You can count the majority of the bridge crew among the casualties, but chapter 88 will reveal who's still alive.

I did that precisely because it never happened in Turn A. I thought it would be really awesome and also more terrifying due to the ships getting massacred by the Moonlight Butterfly.

Speaking of chapter 88, I'm having some difficulty with writing it due to both creative and personal difficulties and distractions. It should be out Sunday or Monday though.
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?

JediMasterDraco
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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (Chapter 87 9/19/16)

Post by JediMasterDraco » Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:43 pm

I'm guessing the chapter was a bit trickier than you predicted. Oh well. I'm just going to say my prayers that Athrun survives and head to bed. I'll send a review your way tomorrow if we do get an update while I'm sleeping.

JediMasterDraco
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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (Chapter 87 9/19/16)

Post by JediMasterDraco » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:35 pm

w
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rebel_cheese
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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (Chapter 87 9/19/16)

Post by rebel_cheese » Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:38 am

New chapter will be up in hours. It was an exceptionally hard one and I still need to look at it one more time to make sure its good to go.

I hope it lives up to the grand traditions of Gundam final battles.
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?

rebel_cheese
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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (Chapter 87 9/19/16)

Post by rebel_cheese » Sun Oct 16, 2016 12:27 pm

Chapter Eighty-Eight: The Unforgiven III

I took a deep breath as I sized up Asta and the Turn X.

I wasn’t going to come back from this. The sooner I accepted that, the harder I’d be able to fight. And maybe I could win this without everyone losing their lives. “Everyone” as in the entire planet as well as the PLANTs.

I didn’t want to think about that, of course. And I knew Flay, who had literally just taken a shot meant for me, wouldn’t like it either. But what did it matter if I lived just for everyone else to die?

I’d just die after they all did. Or maybe I would die first.

It didn’t matter. I needed to accept my life no longer mattered if I was going to summon the courage to fight the Turn X and take it out.

I heard Murrue again, from the previous battle.

You have life inside you, Cagalli. You are responsible for more than just your own life now.

I knew that. I hadn’t forgotten one bit. But if I didn’t destroy the Turn X, my baby would have no future, because neither would I.

I would not bring a child into a world where there was no future for it.

Either I would live and there would be a future, or I would die and there would be a future. I was not going to go down without taking Asta with me.

“Flay,” I said. “You can’t do any more staying here. Get out of here. Get to the Kusanagi.”

I know. Please be careful.

“I’ll do what I can to come back to Kira. Just make sure you do the same in case I can’t.” With that I let Flay go and stood my ground in front of the Turn X.

Cagalli!” Flay yelled.

“Get out of here, Flay!” I ordered.

Asta chuckled. “You can protect your friend all you want, it won’t matter because you’ll all be dead.

Suddenly, the Turn X prepped itself to make a charge. “But I’ll start with her first!

I drew my sword and immediately got in her path. The Turn X slammed into the Freedom, shaking the cockpit with a vicious force that felt like the Freedom was having its own private earthquake.

Asta laughed. “I knew you’d do that! You can’t help yourself!

No sign of the Moonlight Butterfly yet. The moment she unleashed it, things were going to get infinitely more dangerous.

I could kill you right now, Cagalli! I have enough energy left for another Moonlight Butterfly! It is so tempting!” Asta yelled, clearly still drunk on her power, as we continued to clash with our swords.

The next deadlock was so intense that the head of the Turn X came forward and headbutted the Freedom, which shook. “But I won’t do that. That’s too easy. Besides, after everything you’ve done to me, after all of the pain I’ve gone through… I want to hear you scream.”

The amusement in her voice was gone by that final line. It was serious, chilled, filled with a hatred and venom that somehow I had earned in Asta’s mind.

I won’t be happy until I hear you scream in agony, in despair, in fear. Nothing less will satisfy me, Cagalli. And you deserve nothing less.

She tried to break the deadlock and then slice me in half horizontally, but I was able to block it in time. We spun around once, before she separated from me.

I saw one of the Astrays start shooting at the Turn X. The shots fizzled out with no apparent damage. “Dammit, stay back! This is between me and Asta!” I shouted in desperation, knowing full well what the Turn X would do in a few moments.

I recognized the voice that spoke to me then. It was Mayura Labatt, Asagi’s other wingmate. “I can’t let her fight you alone! Maybe all of us together can-

She never got to finish that sentence.

Asta lined up a shot with her rifle right away and fired a shot that went right through the Astray’s chest area, cutting Mayura off mid-sentence. The Astray promptly exploded, annihilating any chance of Mayura miraculously surviving that shot.

I immediately got on the horn before anyone else got that bright idea. “Everyone, stay back! Do something about GENESIS! Leave Asta to me!”

You can’t fight her on your own, princess!” Mu yelled back.

“I have no choice. Everyone else is just going to get killed,” I replied. “Please, get out of here. They’re trying to send reinforcements to block us from getting through to GENESIS.”

Cagalli, wait!” Mu shouting my name instead of ‘princess’ should have resonated with me more than it did. It would have made me freeze up momentarily in most other cases, I think.

And I think it did affect me, as I did feel my eyes moisten just a bit as I rushed the Turn X and collided with it, driving it away from my remaining friends and allies.

“Please get out of here. This is my fight. No one else’s.”

I switched off the main channel before anyone else could respond. I wanted this just between me and Asta Joule. No more parties involved, and I didn’t want to hear them try to convince me to change my mind.

I attacked the Turn X again, forcing it backwards, away from the other Mobile Suits.

How brave of you, Cagalli!” Asta yelled with savage glee. “It is a senseless sacrifice, though! You can’t possibly beat me!

She coughed then, repeatedly. “Sounds like I can. You’re probably on death’s door, aren’t you?”

Shut up!” she screeched.

I could see more blood on her helmet visor, though. If she coughed a few more times; she probably wouldn’t be able to see. Maybe that was all I needed in order to survive this, or at least beat her.

In every Mobile Suit I ever encountered, the cockpit was always in the chest area. In order to end this, I needed a clean shot at the chest and blow it wide open like Asta had just done to Mayura.

Asta counter-attacked, screaming bloody murder as slashed at me. She, if anything, had become even faster than she was before, so much that I couldn’t think of trying to switch to a different weapon and sneak a shot point-blank at her.

You’re nothing but a stupid bitch who got all of the luck and all of the good genetics!” Asta screamed. “How come you were the one who got the perfect body? How come you were the one who wasn’t born ill? How come you weren’t born with a clock ticking down to the day you die?

“I had no control over that and you know it, Asta!” I replied.

What gives you the right to act so ZOINKS perfect?

A random Mobile Armor tried to fly by us, and one of the Turn X’s legs pivoted and shot it up without Asta so much as paying it a second thought.

We are nothing but science experiments, Cagalli! Just science experiments grown in a lab! Created by people with delusions of grandeur who thought they could play God!

“For someone who comes from a culture of atheists, you sure like to reference Him, don’t you?”

SHUT UP!” My provoking of Asta wasn’t the best idea, considering she had the obliterating Moonlight Butterfly in her arsenal, but I couldn’t help myself. I was so lost in the moment, in my combination of fear and adrenaline, that I was just rattling crap off the top of my brain.

Suddenly, Asta overreached, and I was able to do more than block her strikes. I was actually able to parry, and in turn expose one of Asta’s legs.

I quickly took my sword and chucked it at the leg.

Asta screamed, more in surprise than pain, as the Turn X’s right leg began sparking. I flew down then and grabbed the sword embedded in the leg and completed the slashing motion.

The chunk of the right leg came right off and floated away from us.

Damn you!” Asta shouted as she rushed me again, this time aiming to use that glowing hand of hers to fry me.

I slashed at her hand and sent the Turn X backwards, the hand sparking uselessly. I had removed one of the ways she could try and kill me, but that still left about ten, twenty others.

A lot more work to do, but it was a small victory.

Why?” Asta screamed. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t just rage in her voice this time, but it sounded like she was choking up. Like she was about to cry. “Why do you keep fighting? Why don’t you just give up and die?

“Because I don’t,” I replied.

That’s not an answer! Why, Cagalli? You know you can’t win this! You’ve seen what this machine can do! You think you can honestly beat me with a machine that isn’t remotely close at the Turn X’s level?

“I’m doing a good job of it now, aren’t I?”

AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGH” Asta’s scream of rage was punctuated by another coughing session and I seized the opportunity immediately.

I immediately took my rifle and shot at the Turn X while flying straight at her, my sword aiming right for her chest area where the cockpit should be, just like all other Mobile Suits.

Right before I struck, I saw the field give up and one of the shots actually hit the Turn X’s left shoulder. I was finally causing damage to this ancient, powerful machine.

Asta spun the Turn X away from me and I had to re-adjust, bringing up the Freedom’s physical shield to block her attempts to shoot me.

I saw Asta throw her helmet off in the next moment, her dark eyes glaring at me with not just hatred, but a melancholic bitterness that I had never seen from her before. “I’ve had enough of this! You’ve stalled out your death long enough, Cagalli!

Suddenly, the Turn X split into several pieces again, only this time, what remained of the damaged right leg uselessly fell away. Clearly, when I had damaged it, I had removed its ability to operate autonomously, but that was a small comfort when I was looking at what I was up against, completely on my own.

It occurred to me right then and there that I was staring at my own death, and that this could have happened to me already, from the very start.

She could have done this right away and killed me immediately, and didn’t do it because she wanted the most satisfying death possible. And since I wasn’t giving it to her, she was taking it a step up. She was going to hit me with everything she had from eight different pieces, good luck to me on trying to stop all of that.

Tell me, Cagalli, have you ever seen a seed shatter in front of your eyes?

The question nearly jarred me out of my focus. “W-What?”

You have, haven’t you? The way you’ve been able to fly before… you have the same abilities I have, don’t you? The ability to see the seed… and make it break.

The many surviving pieces of the Turn X sortied then, and I forced myself to block out the implications and just concentrate on surviving.

It made a certain, cruel amount of sense. Asta was my ‘prototype’, after all. Anything I could do, any weird ability I had, she most likely could do those too.

No answer, huh?

I flew away, trying to dodge the several pieces of Turn X all firing me all at once.

One of the shots clipped my legs and another burst destroyed my shield as I had to block them. I used the smoke as a cover to fly away, but quickly saw I was going to take Asta into the midst of a nearby mobile suit battle.

I didn’t know what to do. If I flew into the battle surely Asta would kill everyone to try to get at me. But if I stayed out in the open, there was no way I was going to survive for much longer.

I aimed at Asta and fired at the Turn X’s pieces wildly, and as if in response, they reformed back into the Turn X, sans the lower half of one leg. “You like to drag this out, don’t you?

She coughed some more. I wondered how much she was stressing her body out. She had to be pushing herself to the limit, and her body was not a strong one to begin with.

All I want is to hear you scream when I kill you… so I can finally get some satisfaction… and you won’t even give me that.

“What makes you think I should?” I asked. “What makes you feel so entitled that I should just give you what you want?”

Because I have never gotten one nice thing at all in my life! All I ever get, all I ever have, it all gets taken away from me!” Asta screamed.

She was sobbing now. “All I wanted… all I wanted was to see my baby brother grow up… I was living for Yzak, I was forcing myself to stay alive just to see him become a man, and you robbed me of that. And now you’ve robbed me of everything else too!

It was clear what had happened. She had internalized all of her hatred into a single hideous mass, and I was the boogeyman that represented all of her suffering. That’s why it all centered on me. I, directly or indirectly, had involvement in everything that had happened in her life.

“So you blame me for it all, huh?” I asked.

Yes!”

“Even though you were the one who decided to get in Turn X, decided to listen to Rau Le Creuset, decided to-”

If you hadn’t interfered in my and Rau’s battle against Mu La Flaga I would have never gone inside that building and found out everything!” Asta shouted. “I didn’t want to know any of this! I didn’t want to know, and yet you forced me to by shooting me and Rau down and sending us running into that building like rats!

So even getting the truth from Rau and deciding to follow Rau’s ideology was somehow my fault.

“Well, then I don’t know what to tell you, because you clearly decided feeling sorry for yourself was the most important thing in the world.”

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!” The Turn X split itself apart again as Asta screamed, and I braced myself for another attack.

Damn you, damn you, damn you, damnyoudamnyoudamnyouAAAAAAGH!

Giving her the ‘stop feeling sorry for yourself’ treatment was clearly the worst decision I could have made, I think.

Despite her screaming and rage, Asta actually had a better plan than the last time. She was trying to surround the Freedom now, so she could hit me from all sides.

Why won’t you just die?” Asta screamed.

The pieces surrounded me despite my best efforts to fly away. There was no getting out of it this time.

I realized Asta actually would get her wish this time. The best I could do was aim at the chest piece and hope I could kill her as she took me out.

But that’s when shots fired past me and around and started hitting the pieces.

Asta screamed again as two of the pieces blew up. She withdrew the remaining ones, and they grouped up in front of me. Her entire left arm was obliterated now.

I knew who had fired that before I even checked. “Dammit, Athrun!” I shouted.

Cagalli!” Athrun replied. “Are you okay?

The Justice, escorted by both the Blitz and Aegis, joined me then. I had wanted to fight alone, but having the three of them by me nearly made me cry. As much as I desired fighting alone, having any sort of companionship took a burden off of my shoulders I wasn’t even aware of having.

I wanted them here.

“I’m still alive, aren’t I?” I asked.

ATHRUN!” Asta screamed. “How dare you interfere!

Shut up, brat,” Hilda replied. “I am sick of people screaming at me today.

Aegis shot at the Turn X then, and the Turn X blasted away a short distance, both Aegis and Blitz chasing after it.

Where’s Dearka? And Flay?” Athrun asked me then.

“Dearka’s gone, and Flay had to fall back, there was barely enough left of her machine.” I saw the Blitz and Aegis continue to chase the Turn X in front of us. The element of surprise was allowing them to keep the Turn X on its heels, but it wouldn’t last for long. “Do you have any idea of what you’re up against?”

I got in touch with Feldt while flying here. She gave us enough information to go on.

“What’s the situation in Jachin Doe? And GENESIS?” I asked.

My father… is secure. His forces aren’t surrendering completely, though,” Athrun replied. “GENESIS should fall any minute now from what I’ve heard.

From the sounds of it, it must have been really personal for Athrun. I made a mental note to talk to him about it later, I had a feeling he was going to need it.

Suddenly, the Blitz was knocked back by a counter-attack. “Athrun, we’ll have to talk later. The Turn X is going to kill Nicol and Hilda if we don’t do something.”

Right,” Athrun replied softly.

We blasted towards the battle, and I aimed my rifle and joined Athrun in a barrage of shots that grazed the Turn X as it tried to dodge.

You had to ruin this, Athrun? My chance at revenge?” Asta screamed.

You are trying to kill the girl I love. I won’t let you do it,” Athrun replied. “I had to assist in the arrest of my own father! I have had enough pain for today, and so have you! The best thing you can do right now is surrender!

That confirmed one of the things I had meant to ask Athrun. Arresting his own father… I couldn’t imagine trying to arrest anyone I loved. It had to be such a weight on him, and why he had made a beeline to find me so quickly.

I haven’t gotten one thing I wanted. I’m not surrendering until I get it! Even if I can’t punish humanity for making me, for making Cagalli, I am not dying until I kill Cagalli and hear her scream in agony for all of the pain she has caused me!

So small,” Hilda replied quietly.

What?” Asta asked.

All of this over a petty, childish tantrum. All of this out of misplaced anger. Asta, just stop.

You can die too, I don’t care!” Asta shot wildly at Hilda, who tried to dodge. Hilda, however, was clipped pretty badly and spiraled out of control, crying out in pain.

Yes, just like that! I want you all to die just like her!” Asta yelled as she gave chase to the smoking Aegis.

Stop, Asta!” Nicol yelled.

“I’ll make her stop,” I said.

I chased after her, firing more shots at the chest area and made the Turn X smoke in turn as I damaged the thrusters. Asta screamed as the Turn X was knocked off-kilter, and she barely turned around in time for me to get in the kill shot.

Or, in this case, a stab.

I ditched the rifle, drew my sword, and plunged it right into the chest.

Asta screamed, and I waited for the end of her life as well as the Turn X’s.

And it didn’t happen.

There was just silence.

I paused. Something was wrong. It should have ended by now, but why wasn’t Asta dead? Why wasn’t the Turn X exploding? And why couldn’t I extract my sword from the machine?

Then came the laughter. Wretched, horrible laughter of a despondent person who had finally given up on everything and just wanted to die already. “You really thought you were going to kill me with that, Cagalli?

I gasped in surprise and horror. I was wrong. I had made an assumption, an assumption based on all of the Mobile Suits I had encountered, and…

The Turn X’s cockpit is in the head, you stupid bitch.”

Suddenly, the Turn X’s remaining arm wrapped around the Freedom and slammed it directly onto the Turn X, locking our machines together in an eternal death spiral.

Asta laughed morbidly as we spun. “You keep taking things away. I’m never going to hear you scream now. But at least I’m still going to take your life.

Suddenly, I saw the Turn X’s golden wings explode from behind the Mobile Suit, signifying the ignition of the Moonlight Butterfly.

It didn’t make sense to me when I saw it. The Moonlight Butterfly can’t hit anything in front of the Turn X. It was a useless gesture, unless it was to keep Athrun and Nicol from rescuing me.

Then I saw it. And it made far too much sense then.

Through the gap where I had stabbed the Turn X, bright white tendrils were sneaking through the gap, eating the sword and turning it into sand.

The Turn X was cannibalizing itself, and it was going to devour me in one final Moonlight Butterfly in the process.

I tried to break away from the Turn X, but the bright white tendrils were beginning to grab the Freedom, and they had more force than anything I had ever felt. It was like trying to break free of quick-drying cement, those tendrils were locking me into the Turn X, ensuring my death as well as Asta’s as the two Mobile Suits would be destroyed.

Nothing would break me free. I lost sight of the seed then, as despair gripped me. This was really it. After everything I had been through, after this whole war, after getting pregnant of all things…

I was going to die like this?

Killed by Asta over reasons so petty and pointless?

Asta must have seen the realization hit me because she laughed. Laughed cruelly, like a sadistic executioner at the guillotine must have sounded like before yet another beheading. “That’s right, Cagalli. You may have saved this world from meeting the destiny it deserved, but you won’t get to have the satisfaction of living in it. We can both die together, and humanity can live blissfully unaware of its monstrosities until they make the same damn mistakes all over again.

That’s not going to happen!” Athrun shouted.

I felt a vicious force pulling at me then, and I realized it was Athrun. “Athrun, what are you doing?” I yelled.

My heart cried out in panic and fear as the Justice pulled on me. “Athrun, don’t try to save me! Please don’t!” I begged.

I am not letting you die here! You’re going to live, Cagalli! You have to!”

I froze then. Judging by the way he was speaking… did he know? Had he found out somehow that I was…

There was a vicious cracking sound that made me think the Freedom had been pulled in two, but it had merely broken free of the tendrils, other than the right leg, which had snapped off and was promptly becoming engulfed. The Justice had me, but as the tendrils tried to grab ahold of me again the Justice threw me away, behind it, out of the tendrils’ reach.

The only thing the tendrils could still grab was the Justice.

And they did, wrapping themselves around the Justice and pulling it into the gyrating, pulsing Moonlight Butterfly.

After all of this talk about me taking everything from Asta, she was taking something away from me.

Athrun.

She was going to take Athrun away from me.

No!” Asta screamed, as of not realizing that she had finally succeeded in causing me certain pain. “This wasn’t how I wanted it, not like-

Asta vanished then, as presumably the cockpit was absorbed into the Moonlight Butterfly, killing her in the process. I still wonder sometimes if she ever did realize the reality of what she had done, and if had gotten any of her precious satisfaction from it.

“Athrun!” I screamed, and I immediately felt something grab me from behind, preventing me from getting closer to the Justice and the enormous glowing thing that the Moonlight Butterfly had become.

Don’t go,” Nicol said softly, his voice borderline ethereal as the Blitz held onto me. “We can’t save him, not without being pulled in ourselves.”

“No!” I yelled. “We have to try to get him out of there! We have to! Let go of me! Let go!”

The Freedom was more powerful than the Blitz, but the Blitz was plenty strong enough to slow the Freedom to a crawl. I wasn’t making enough progress towards the Justice to even have a shot at reaching Athrun.

“Athrun!” I begged. “Athrun, don’t leave me! Please!”

I heard Athrun then, his voice grave. “Cagalli, please don’t talk like that.

“Athrun, I love you! I love you more than anything, please!”

I love you too, Cagalli,” Athrun said softly. “Just take care of yourself. I want you to live a long life, okay? I don’t want you dying until you’re an old lady, understand? You’ve got too much relying on you.

“Athrun, just let me reach you! I can pull you out just like you did me! We can grow old together, just please, Athrun!”

All I want for you is… to live your life in peace, okay? Nicol, please take care of Cagalli for me. That’s all I want…

The communication went out then, and it didn’t feel like enough. It felt far too short, and too pointless. It felt like a useless attempt to compact a lifetime into a few short sentences, as he vanished from me.

The Justice was absorbed into the Moonlight Butterfly, and Nicol and I could only stare at it as just stayed there, like some implacable monolith, daring us to get closer.

And I wanted to. I so desperately wanted to, like I could somehow get in there and pull him out.

But I knew I couldn’t. I knew, deep in my heart, that Athrun was gone.

And I didn’t even have a body.

In the end, Asta had gotten her wish, even though she had never realized it. She had gotten even with me, because the one thing I did do to her, kill her brother, she had gotten revenge for.

She had killed the young man I loved by making him sacrifice himself to save me.

This had happened because neither of us could forgive each other for what we had done, to both each other and to the world. But now… as the only survivor…

I knew something else then, something that would be for me for the rest of my life.

I would never forgive myself too.

Athrun’s death, as well as Asta’s death, and all of the other deaths in this battle from her rampage…

That was all on me.

I took off my helmet then and just let myself cry.

The war was over, and I still alive, but…

It felt, in a way, that I had still lost my life in the process.

He had become such a deep, intertwined part of my life that there would just be this emptiness now, and it would never go away.

And I would never forgive myself for that either.

Because if I had just attacked Asta differently in that final moment…

Athrun wouldn’t have had to die so I could have lived.
____________________________________________________________________________________

I'm sorry this took me so long. Writing this exhausted me completely. I hope it was worth the wait.

Two chapters and maybe an epilogue remain.
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?

rebel_cheese
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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (Chapter 88 10/16/16)

Post by rebel_cheese » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:43 am

Here, I hope this is a pleasant surprise for you all. Consider this a token of appreciation for the struggle in getting chapter 88 posted.

One chapter will remain after this. My full thoughts on completing the fic will be attached to that post.
______________________________________________________________________________________

Chapter Eighty-Nine: Something Different

Eileen Canaver was fairly displeased as she walked down the tunnel.

“I don’t understand why I’m needed here,” she said as she eyed the fairly dim lights in the tunnel. Something told her that there weren’t adequate resources being diverted to the lighting in the whole entire building. There was a noir feel to it that made everything feel gloomy and haunting, and she wasn’t sure whether to be nervous or merely apprehensive.

“You are, because you are the new Chairman of the Supreme Council,” said Yuri Amalfi. He was a beleaguered man at the moment, which made Eileen distrustful of him. He had worked on the N-Jammer Canceller used in the Justice and Freedom, and had not participated in the coup against Patrick Zala. However, his son had, but unlike many of the Coordinators who had taken the side of the ‘Orb Alliance’ as it became known, Nicol Amalfi had yet to report back to his post.

The result was that both Zala loyalists and Canaver’s revolutionaries were against him, and his days of being a man of power were numbered.

“That doesn’t answer my question,” Eileen replied. How long did this tunnel go down, anyway? She felt the end should had arrived at least a couple of minutes ago.

“This is classified beyond measure, and you do have a need to know, especially considering what occurred in the last battle,” Yuri replied.

Eileen knew what he meant. What had happened was public knowledge, but what caused it to happen had remained in the dark. “The ‘Turn X’ that caused so much damage,” she said.

“Yes. And this relates to it.”

Eileen’s heart nearly skipped a beat. As it was, she felt her body completely tensing up. Oh no. Don’t tell me…

But the lights turned on in the main room, and she saw the truth.

Oh my God.

There wasn’t just another Turn X. Or even two.

“We have three more of them?” Eileen cried as she stared upon the sight of the ancient, stupidly powerful GUNDAM machines.

“When the PLANTs went into being, we sent out secret expeditions to see if we could uncover more of the machines,” Yuri replied. “Asta Joule went out there mistakenly believing she had the only one. In truth, she has the only one that was completely operational. The others have issues to varying degrees.”

Yuri pointed at the one in the center. “That one is the machine George Glenn found. However, it’s imperfect. It has the sufficient amount of energy to engage the Moonlight Butterfly that Asta used in the battle. However, it is missing both the nanomachines and the program to use it, and, before you ask, we have no idea how to restore both functions to the Moonlight Butterfly attack.”

Eileen bit her lip. I don’t know whether I should feel better that it can’t use the Moonlight Butterfly, or even worse.

“The others have similar issues?” she asked.

“Yes,” Yuri said.

“So they’re essentially paper tigers if they were to be unveiled. Bluffs.”

Yuri shook his head. “As Asta demonstrated, they can still cause a rather significant amount of damage even without the Moonlight Butterfly. Were it not for her declining health… physically and mentally, she could have severely crippled the Orb Alliance if not completely annihilated it on her own. If she had succeeded in shooting the Freedom down, odds are we would not be having this conversation now.”

“Yes, somehow I doubt anyone would be having a meaningful conversation at all,” Eileen sighed.

She eyed those machines. They seemed to stare back at her, soullessly, blankly. Like the proverbial abyss after one had stared into it for far too long.

They hadn’t fully figured out Asta’s complete mental breakdown while flying the Turn X, which she wasn’t supposed to know about anyway. She had not participated in the battle on the ZAFT main battle channel, so the amount of quotations from her was scarce, and most of them hinted at an absurd hatred for the pilot of the Freedom. Perhaps realizing the significance of the Turn X was enough to drive one mad on its own.

The only one with any elaboration was Ezalia Joule, Asta’s mother, who had noted Asta had returned from a sortie at L4 remarkably distant, and she had remained quiet for the weeks up until the final battle. Something had happened in L4, but Eileen doubted she would know. Orb owned that space colony now, and they weren’t going to be inclined to share L4’s secrets with anyone.

She understood what had driven so many people to keep these machines. But considering how close they had come to catastrophe, how could she…

At the same time, there could be other Turn Xs out there. Sure, the one George Glenn had found was stolen and brought to the PLANTs, but who said that Earth didn’t have a Turn X or two anyway? Mutually assured destruction was a tactic all on its own, and especially considering how things had escalated in the war.

I shouldn’t have to compromise like this so early into my administration. Not over something like this.

“I want whatever security measures you have on the Turn X machines tripled. I don’t want anyone able to access these without my explicit permission. I don’t want anyone else in my administration knowing about these other than me and my defense minister. And my defense minister can’t authorize these weapons to be used.”

“Not like we can,” Yuri said. “Not at their full capability. Doctor Hibiki’s work was continued after his death, but only to a limited, and brief, extent, and we don’t know whether any of the children still live.”

Eileen knew about the attempts to continue Hibiki’s work, and what they had wrought. “None of them were complete successes, but… I believe the Asuka children might have come the closest?”

“The Asuka children were taken to Orb by their parents after the gravity of what they had done hit them,” Yuri Amalfi says. “And Orb was invaded by the Earth Alliance. They’re not alive barring a miracle.”

Eileen Canaver hid a smile. She actually knew the truth about the Asuka children, but there was no way she was going to put either one of them into the Turn X. Especially since the older one was apparently missing an arm.

You won’t get to find out whether the Asuka children will be able to fly these machines, for the good of the PLANTs, and the world.

She nodded to the bodyguard on her left. The bodyguard immediately pulled his gun and shot Yuri Amalfi in the head, dropping him to the ground.

“That’ll hopefully be the only execution we’ll have to do,” Eileen said. “Please give Romina the coordinates to L4 and to Orb, she will have permission to leave to be with her son if she chooses to.”

“Yes, ma’am,” the bodyguard said.

“No one puts the Asuka children into any Turn X without my explicit orders,” Eileen said. “They have only just arrived in the colony, and I will not have any of our Turn X machines used unless it’s an absolute last resort. We will let them choose the path they walk here in the PLANTs.”

“As for the Turn X themselves…” Eileen gazed back at the pale white machines. How they seemed to be ghouls of a long-ago, more advanced time.

“I want them buried and forgotten. No one gets in here without my orders. Anyone breaks in, they will be shot. That order stands until further notice.”

“Yes ma’am,” said the official in charge of actually guarding these machines, since Eileen had thoroughly sacked the previous officer after what Asta had pulled.

“Good.” Eileen took a deep breath. Hopefully this was the last of the ugly things she would have to do while she was in charge.

A chill went down her spine telling her she was wrong. She tried to ignore it to no avail.

All I want is to do things better than before. For the Clyne family’s sake, as well as the PLANTs. Why does it have to be such a battle?

Such seemed to be the fate of the world, one governed by the GUNDAM machines.

And Eileen knew she was going to have to make some more.
***
“It’s beautiful!” the angel cried, as he saw his vision coming closer and closer to reality in front of his eyes.

“It is only half-complete, Lord Djibril,” said the woman. She had aged gracefully over the years, still with the violet eyes and brown hair that the angel knew quite well. Only a little bit of crow’s feet around her eyes belied her true age. "Still have a way to go here."

“It doesn’t matter. We have made rapid progress over the last two weeks,” the angel replied. “We could have this complete by the end of the year!”

“We still need the two things that which we do not have,” the woman replied. “We have the program due to copying it off of the Turn X before the Coordinators stole it years ago. However, we do not have the energy or nanomachines to trigger this GUNDAM’s version of the Moonlight Butterfly. And we will need that weapon in order to destroy the PLANTs swiftly, do we not?”

The angel chuckled. “We need three things, I’m afraid.”

“Three?” the woman’s violet eyes widened. She knew, and didn’t want to say it aloud. It annoyed the angel, but he understood to an extent. After all…

“We need a pilot, Via. And the only one left who can pilot the ‘For All’ project is your daughter.”

The woman froze up, just for a moment. Even though the girl was a Coordinator, the Ultimate one, rather, there was still love there, the angel saw. He had hoped not to have to do anything about it, Via Hibiki had been a much-needed gear in the LOGOS machine since she had joined them.

“Can’t we use an Extended?” Via asked, only a slight quivering in her voice betraying her emotions. “Surely one of them could do the job.”

“The Extended have been greatly reduced in number and they are not reliable as what happened to Azrael’s darlings,” the angel replied coldly. “The best option is to bring your daughter in.”

Via looked down. “Please, Lord Djibril. We need only look at what happened in the Indian Ocean to see why that would be a bad idea.”

The angel shook his head. “I know exactly how to convince her to fly this machine, Via.”

She stared at him, her violet eyes wide.

“You will need to find your daughter and help manipulate things so she will have no choice but to fly the ‘For All’ project. Ideally, you will be able to do it so she will pilot out of her free will, not under coercion or brainwashing. After all, you are her biological mother.”

“She… she may not trust me. We know she was in the Orb Alliance, we know they were based out of L4. If… If she’s found out enough....”

“I have already taken care of that. I have ordered my best people to scrub away all traces of you being at Blue Cosmos. You will have a new past, completely free of what you have done for us… until the time is right, of course.”

The angel then pulled out a tranquilizer and stabbed it into Via Hibiki’s shoulder, and the woman cried out in surprise and pain. “This also means suppressing your memories, of course.”

“Why… why would you…” She said no more as she collapsed at his feet, a limp body.

“Forcefeed the mission objectives into her brain,” The angel ordered his men as they picked up Via Hibiki’s body. “Along with her new memories. She won’t have any idea about Blue Cosmos, and any suspicion will vanish with her new past on the public record.”

“Yes, Lord Djibril,” one of the men said, before they carried Via away.

The angel smiled. Perfect. She will bring Cagalli Yamato to me, and she won’t be the wiser.

He looked at the ‘For All’ project. It would be delayed a bit without Via’s versatile expertise, but he would still have it done in time when Via was finished with her mission. Still, though, he needed a name for the GUNDAM that would put an end to the Coordinators for good.

Well, this is supposed to be more powerful than all GUNDAMs, past or present, by using pieces of every Mobile Suit that's ever existed. Like all items in a set, so…

“The Turn A Gundam,” the angel said softly. “That will be the perfect name for you. The perfect war machine…”

That would be in operation soon enough.
***
Mayu held her brother’s remaining hand as they stood in the spaceport.

Neither of them had any idea where they were going with their lives. All they knew was that they didn’t want to stay in Orb. They were going to go back to where their parents had come from, and try to build new lives away from the tragedy.

“Shinn,” Mayu said softly. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. Fine as one can be for only having one arm.” There was a guilty expression on his face. Mayu was stuck with all of the bags besides a backpack due to Shinn’s disability and Mayu’s assistance that they kept holding hands until they left the spaceport.

“I will be as strong for you as I possibly can,” Mayu said. “I have two good arms. I will make them better. I will become strong enough to carry the whole world if I have to, Shinn.”

She took a deep breath and exhaled. It was hard, suppressing the anger she felt over what had happened. And she could only blame herself.

It was her insistence on material possessions that had cost their parents their lives and Shinn his arm. Well, no more reliance on material possessions other than what she needed to live and be presentable. Especially not a cell phone. She had smashed it a couple of weeks ago, which was even before they decided to head to the PLANTs.

She knew the quickest and easiest path to obtaining living quarters as well. She was to volunteer for the pilot’s academy, and Shinn would volunteer for officer’s. There would be high demand and low submissions for both due to the viciousness of the war. The military would be desperate for anyone who at least had started puberty to join their ranks. And then they would rise and graduate together, ideally.

And maybe they would give Shinn an artificial arm so he would no longer physically bear the consequences of… of…

Her remaining hand gripped the suitcase so hard she nearly broke the handle.

I’ll make them pay. Both of them, for what they did. It was my fault why they got killed, but it wouldn’t have happened in the first place if they hadn’t fought right in front of us!

She fought the hot tears she had cried so many times since that day. I will hunt them down and kill them both, if they’re not already dead. I’ll track them to the end of the universe if I have to.

No more tears. She needed to be strong. She would be strong.

What happened to them would never happen again, to them or to anyone else out there.

She turned to Shinn, and forced a warm smile to comfort him. “Shinn, let’s go. I’ll walk in front.”

“Mayu, I’m not even sure-”

“I insist.”

He gave her an embarrassed smile. “Okay.”

He probably thought she was just being overprotective, and maybe she was, but until she knew they were safe, that was how things were going to be.

“I love you,” she said softly, so softly it sounded more like air from her mouth than her actual voice.

“Hmm?” Shinn asked.

“Nothing. Just follow me.”

Mayu led Shinn out of the spaceport then, and towards their new lives, whatever they would be.

PART 4: REALIZE FINIS
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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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (Chapter 88 10/16/16)

Post by The Green Flame » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:46 pm

Dayum, Eileen got some bite. Great stuff, both chapters. Hard to believe it's finally coming to an end though!

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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (Chapter 88 10/16/16)

Post by rebel_cheese » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:19 pm

Final Chapter: Elegy

It’s occurred to me that if I actually published everything I’ve written down so far, you’ve actually made it this far. Or maybe you’re just some special ops agent who’s raided my house and found this, and have been reading this since the mission. If so, screw you. Especially if you killed me and my family.

But let’s assume I published all of this. Or you’re part of my family and you’ve stumbled on this.

As I write this, it’s been eighteen months since the war. It shouldn’t have taken me this long to write all of my memoirs about the war down, but, the truth is, I can’t bring myself to write about the aftermath of the war. It’s a blur, to be honest. I don’t think I was completely there as they drew up the peace treaty.

I think, more than anything, I had just had enough of everything and wanted to go home. So that’s what I did.

The Kusanagi picked up all of the survivors from the Archangel and my body. It was then I learned who Badgiruel had ordered off the vessel. It turned out all junior grade officers and nonessential personnel had been ordered to evacuate, they had gotten away mere seconds before the Turn X was able to reach the Archangel and destroy it.

Sai and Miriallia were on the shuttle. So was Feldt. So were much of the maintenance crew. Who didn’t make it were the officers. Arnold Neumann didn’t make it. Natarle Badgiruel died as well. Their corpses were collected frozen in space.

I didn’t see the bodies or the burials. More on that in a moment.

I couldn’t bring myself to fly the Freedom again after bringing it to the Kusanagi to park it. I had briefly considered flying it to the Eternal, but I realized at the last minute that the Eternal was likely going to return to ZAFT. Talia Gladys was a nice woman, but she didn’t strike me at the type of woman who’d want to remain in Orb, she’d want to return her crew and ship back to a ZAFT run by someone sympathetic like Eileen Canaver. So I changed course and parked the Freedom in the Kusanagi instead, so the ZAFT wouldn’t have the Freedom. Thankfully, Gladys didn’t complain about my decision.

I had done my duty. As far as I was concerned, I was done and I wanted to go home.

Especially after watching my brother kiss Flay.

Kira wasn’t trying to hurt me, and neither was Flay. Those were, and still are, real feelings. I get why they did what they did. But all it did was remind me that I didn’t have anyone waiting for me. Athrun, who was supposed to come back with me, was gone, and I couldn’t stand it.

I guess to everyone, one day I was there, and one day, I was not. Which was how I wanted it. No one had any idea I was pregnant when I left. I hitched a ride back to L4 in civilian clothes, hiding in plain sight. There, I went back to my family, and told them the truth.

They took it pretty well, all things considering.

Though I had to fulfill my promise to Elle to grow my hair out. Oh, and the baby didn’t wind up being just one baby.

It wound up being two.

A boy and a girl. How fairy tale, right? Except my would-be prince was gone.

Let’s put it this way. Dealing with strange cravings in the middle of the night, with the odd sensation of long hair, and then dealing with the joy of childbirth twice… it wasn’t fun. And I regretted keeping the babies more than once along the way. Maybe if Athrun was still alive maybe I wouldn’t have. But those two kids were all that was left of him, and… I couldn’t sacrifice those last pieces of him, even if they were inconvenient, and then, once born, were loud and noisy and pooped and sneezed and…

I think I would have gone insane if my mom and dad weren’t around to help me, especially since I really suck at breastfeeding. No pun intended.

I’ve gotten used to the long hair now, and the strange cravings are gone. I’m told my hair is quite beautiful now, it goes all the way down my back. I’m not so sure it is, but that’s what everyone says, especially Elle. I think it’s everyone’s way of encouraging me never to fight again, since long hair is such an inconvenience on the battlefield. Honestly, I don’t need any encouragement to stay away from fighting. I truly have had enough.

The only things I can’t get used to are the children.

I suppose I should reveal their names. Hikari and Kevin. Eclectic, I know, so I’ll explain it quickly: Hikari is named for Kira, my brother, and Kevin is an Irish-originating name that caught my eye when I was searching for names that had any similarity to Athrun’s. So I decided on that name.

I’m not sure if I picked good names. They just felt right to me at the time. I hope when they get older they’re happy with them.

I hope before they get too much older their father comes home.

I really should be letting this, no, him go by now. It’s been eighteen months since he vanished into that ethereal light. The light has crystallized and floats in space in front of the Jachin Doe base.

But I just can’t. I’ve tried to move on, I really have. I tried to hit it off with Nicol for example, but there’s no spark which I desperately need. I don’t think being pregnant when I tracked him down and then dealing with newborns helped in that situation either. I can’t really blame him.

One of my biggest regrets was keeping Athrun at arm’s length for all of those weeks after we had sex. Especially knowing what I know now. If I had known that all it would take was one bout of unprotected sex between two Coordinators, who are supposed to be less fertile than Naturals by the way…

There’s no way I would have kept him at the distance he was.

I shouldn’t have done all of those things to hurt him. And now he’s gone, and I didn’t even properly say goodbye. And all of the common sense in me is telling me that Athrun is dead, that he’s just a part of that floating nanomachine crystal, but I just can’t let it go, and I think it’s because I don’t want to believe it’s the end.

That after everything, this is it.

That I’ll never be able to fix things with him.

That my children will grow up without their father.

That it’s like one of those old science fiction books and he’s frozen in time in there, and when he gets out I’ll just be a frail old lady. Or long gone.

I shouldn’t keep waiting for him. I know what I have to do.

Feldt needs me. She wants to go find out why so much of the Anno Domini era has been buried. The limited amount of information on L4 is not good enough, it lends credence to Feldt’s story but isn’t enough to prove it when put up against everything Blue Cosmos or whoever would do to discredit it.

Kira needs me. He’s in the middle of a great political battle against his cousins in the Seiran family. He needs my support, he needs to hear me, he needs to know that I’m behind him completely as he tries to keep control of Orb. It’s more complicated than ever now, with the Earth Alliance relinquishing their occupation of Orb, but leaving a shattered country behind that now owns a giant space colony much bigger than Heliopolis.

Speaking of that, L4 needs me too. L4 needs people in general. Many of the Coordinators have returned home to the PLANTs, leaving just a handful behind. Much of L4 is just empty and will fall into ruins without proper maintenance.

My family needs me. Not just the kids. I’ve been away from them for so long, and I just want to live in peace with them. Our location is on the outskirts of where civilians have settled in the Mendel colony. A few have gone off to live alone completely, but I don’t have that desire, to just ride off and vanish somewhere in the dust, empty land, and ruined buildings that make up much of the colony. I want to live where there’s at least a few people around, so I’m not alone.

I have a fear of being alone in the dark that’s been gripping me since my return. I think it might be the memories from Tassil re-emerging. I have nightmares of the people stomped on by that GINN attacking me on occasion too. Sometimes the colony creaks and I picture the colony coming apart like Heliopolis did.

I look in the mirror, and I’m reminded of how people compliment me about my hair, and how Elle seems so happy, because it means to her that I’m never going to go off to fight again. Yet I wonder why I deserve to be alive, why I deserve to be, in the eyes of others, beautiful. I’ve killed so many people, why do I look like I’m as harmless as ZOINKS Rapunzel? Why do I get to be alive, without the physical scars of so many others? Why do I get to be here, in safety, when so many people are struggling because of this war?

Why do I get to be alive instead of Athrun?

It’s at its worst when someone comes to the door. I know I shouldn’t hope, I know it’s unreasonable, I know it’s stupid, but I just can’t help it. I dream, just for a few seconds, that it’s Athrun behind the door, and when I open it, he’ll be there, and we’ll embrace, and it’ll be like the separation never happened.

But it’s never him. He’s never there. And reality gets in another punch to my chest, to my lungs, to my heart.

The war will always be here, with me, with the constant reminder through our children.

Kira’s going to be heading to the PLANTs soon, to take part in formal negotiations with both the Earth Alliance and the PLANTs. I assume it involves a whole bunch of formalities I’ll need to study up on, because I’ve been pretty out of politics lately. He wants me to come with him when it’s time to make the trip. As much as I want to say no, I know I have to say yes. I can’t keep hiding here for the rest of my life, especially as disaster could befall L4.

So I know I have to go. For him. For Orb. Do one last final service and be away from L4 for a while, and go back home and try to live my life in peace again.

I just hope I never have to fight again.

I hope that if the crystal shatters Athrun still lives, and that it happens before I get old.

Athrun, I…

I love you.

Please don’t keep me waiting.

Please don’t keep your son and daughter waiting.

Please come back to me before I no longer resemble the girl you loved since our academy years.

Please come back so I can finally give you what you deserve.

I can only wait for so long.

The world can only wait for so long.

The bloodlines can’t keep running forever.

And neither can I.

Please, Athrun.

For me.

And for all of us.

GUNDAM SEED: BLOODLINES FINIS
___________________________________________________________________________________

Yep, it's over. I can hardly believe it.

This is a fic I have been writing since December 2010, if you can believe it. It's been part of my life for nearly six years, and it's finally over.

I feel really mixed emotions about this. There's been so many ups and downs, so many worries, and a lot of crazy personal stuff and lost inspiration over the years that have dragged out the release much longer than I wanted it to.

But now, it's over. The story is complete. I decided to leave a few doors open in case I do write the sequel. I think chances are 50/50 that I will, but more than anything, I just need a break from Gundam.

It could be a year or two before you see a sequel start popping up. I dunno how long I need before I can bring myself to write another long story, one that hopefully won't take almost six years to complete.

But regardless, thank you for reading this. Thank you for enjoying my story. The readership behind this fic is the only reason why I kept pressing on, edging closer and closer to the finish line.

Speaking of open doors... I did think of having Athrun walk through Cagalli's front door. Or maybe Via Hibiki. But neither felt right. The former too optimistic, the second... well... yeah.

So this ending will have to be what suffices. I hope it works.

Thank you again. Please have a good 2017, and we shall see when, or if, this story begins again.
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?

Golos
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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (COMPLETE 10/26/16)

Post by Golos » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:31 pm

Excellent work, rebel_cheese.
Hopefully, the sequel will be realized.

What is going to happen to the EA?
I thought it was unfortunate that so many high-ranking EA members, defectors and loyalists, were killed in the finale.
They are supposed to sign a peace treaty, but the sequel hook in the previous chapter seems to suggest that it is impossible for any lasting peace with the EA.

Is L4/Mendel colony the new center of Orb?

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The Green Flame
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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (COMPLETE 10/26/16)

Post by The Green Flame » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:42 pm

Wow, has it really been almost 6 years? What a road it's been.

I remember way back when you did the first Destiny fic (elements of which still crossed over into Bloodlines) and though you haven't done a sequel to that one, it's still been an enjoyable ride. Some parts I saw a mile away, others still took me by surprise but in the end, it was a damn good read cheese. Kudos to ya.

HOW HYPE WILL PILOT MAYU BE?! :D

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Re: Gundam SEED: Bloodlines (COMPLETE 10/26/16)

Post by Vent Noir » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:30 am

Great work, and thank you for sharing all of this with us.
Vent Noir

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April 7, 1979: The first episode of Mobile Suit Gundam premieres. Fanboys declare Gundam "Ruined FOREVER".

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