Gundam Seed Ragnarok

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JediMasterDraco
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Gundam Seed Ragnarok

Post by JediMasterDraco » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:15 am

Phase One: Launching
Two things guaranteed that Lieutenant Alfrid Dreka wouldn’t be getting anymore sleep that night. The first was an increase in the loud droning in the other bunk of his quarters. Said droning came from the gaping mouth of Dearka Elsman.

“Damn it Dearka! Would you shut the hell up already,” the exhausted pilot snarled, having been drifting in and out of consciousness all night thanks to the dulcet sounds of his roommate’s snoring.
Finally giving in to his sleep-deprived temper, Alfrid picked up his pillow and tossed it with all of his coordinator-enhanced strength. It also helped that ZAFT-issue pillows weren’t exactly clouds. A loud thump filled the room and annoyed grumbled followed as the tanned blonde found himself being rudely awakened by the roommate he had been giving a private concert to.

“Alfrid, what’s your problem?” he yawned sitting up and leaving the room in relative silence.

“Your snoring is enough to wake up Junius Seven,” the younger pilot pointed out with a small scowl.

“Yeesh, everyone’s a critic. Miriallia never complains.”

“First off, I don’t want to hear about the details of your sex life,” Alfrid rattled off. “Second if she didn’t complain, she’s either the nicest person on earth, or completely deaf.”

“Neither, she just sleeps like the dead,” Dearka shrugged.

“Still doesn’t explain why you never woke her up,” Alfrid deadpanned.

“Ha, ha.”

Then the second sleep prevention kicked in as a sudden scream rent the air and caused both pilots to turn their attention to Alfrid’s wall. Or rather what was beyond the wall.

“Huh, five o’clock already,” Alfrid remarked not even fazed by the desperate wails.

“You ever think about showing compassion?”

“Considering Shinn’s so full of hot air when he’s awake that he could power this ship? No. Besides sometimes the way he carries on, you’d think he was the only one who lost family in the war.”

Shaking off the reminder of first his mother’s and unborn sisters’ and then his father’s deaths, Alfrid climbed out of bed and headed for the bathroom. He ducked into the shower and relaxed for about ten minutes before stepping back out. With a yawn he gazed at the mirror and found one dark blue eye and one emerald green eye staring back at him.

At about five-foot-six, he was fairly short for an eighteen-year-old male coordinator, but he was still tall enough to pilot a mobile suit. His brown hair was so dark that many thought it was black. Like most coordinators, his skin was fairly pale, owing to the lack of natural sunlight in the PLANTs.

After a brief inspection for facial hair, Alfrid dressed himself in his flightsuit undergarments and crossed back into the room. Dearka didn’t appear to have done much more than sit-up and yawn, but for all Alfrid knew he might have found a cure for being a jerk. Given that Rey Za Burrel wasn’t in the room as a test subject he highly doubted it though.

“Anything on your schedule for today?” Alfrid asked his roommate as he got his red flightsuit out.
“Probably just annoying the happy couple,” he answered finally getting to his feet.

“Somehow I doubt the ‘happy couple’ will be overly pleased with that idea.”

“Their loss.”

“The only loss around here is likely to be your head if you piss off the commander,” Alfrid rolled his eyes.

Alfrid opened the door and proceeded to navigate himself down to the hangar of the Minerva, ZAFT’s newest warship, due to be formally commissioned the next day. Its crew was drawn from both from a handful of veterans of the Bloody Valentine War and the best of a new wave of volunteers that had emerged with an increase in tensions between the PLANTs and the Earth Alliance, and the Atlantic Federation in particular. Less than a week ago those had only mounted when a group of religious fanatics associated with Blue Cosmos had attacked ZAFT’s San Diego base.

Lost in thought, Alfrid soon found himself gazing up at his mobile suit, a ZGMF-1001 ZAFT Armed Keeper of Unity, or ZAKU, Phantom. He privately thought that there was at least one person in the military with way too much time on their hands. While veterans from the war often customized their suits to fit their personal fighting style, this was much rarer among new pilots. But having served as his father’s mechanic, Alfrid knew his way around modifying a mobile suit and was fairly knowledgeable about where and how to get supplies. The main difference between his ZAKU and a factory-fresh model, was the shields that could either stay mounted on the shoulders or be wielded like normal shields. They also weren’t the type of shield usually equipped to a ZAKU; instead they were self-made combinations, forged between the standard-issue shields and those scavenged from scrapped GOUF Ignited prototypes, meaning they carried the GOUF’s composite beam swords in addition to the ZAKU’s beam tomahawks. He also added the beam claw emitters of a first generation GuAIZ’s beam shield. The second major modification was the addition of four beam sabers stored at the waist and capable of pairing off and forming extended double blades. While Alfrid’s piloting and shooting skills were a little above average, he was incredibly gifted at melee combat, having actually defeated Yzak Joule in one memorable simulation. Admittedly that had been a combination of luck and his modifications. His final obvious modification was more for his aesthetic sense, having shaped his ZAKU’s head into something reminiscent of a dragon, admittedly it had proven to be more streamline than previously.

“Hey kid, heading out?” the ship’s chief mechanic, Commander Aves, inquired as Alfrid rode his suit’s zipline up to the cockpit.

“Yep, I just want to make sure everything is in tip-top shape for the launch tomorrow.”

“You and everyone else. Hell we could probably launch today and go straight into a battle.”

“Let’s hope not, the only Gundam we currently have on board is Shinn’s Impulse. Odin help us if we have to depend solely on him.”

That got a round of chuckles ringing around the sparsely occupied hangar.

“I’m guessing you’ll want a Wing Wizard Pack today.”

“If you don’t mind,” Alfrid nodded as he sealed his cockpit and brought the mobile suit online.

“Hey Alfrid heading out,” the cheerful voice of First Lieutenant Meyrin Hawke asked.

“If you don’t mind Meyrin.”

“You’re the pilot.”

While Meyrin went through the pre-launch checklist, Alfrid gave a cursory glance of his controls, running a couple of randomized tests to ensure everything was functioning normally. Finally the launch signal snapped him out of his reverie.

“Course clear. ZAKU Phantom launch.”

“Alfrid Dreka, ZAKU Wyvern. Into the sky, to live or to die!” With a shout of his father’s former launching confirmation, Alfrid zoomed out of the Minerva’s port catapult.

“Quit calling it that,” her scolding pursued him.

“We have two dozen ZAKUs onboard. I’m just trying to minimize the confusion.”

Alfrid would always love the Wing Wizard Pack because of its ability to grant atmospheric flight. It also came equipped with two railguns. Though they didn’t have the power to punch through the thick armor of spaceships, most ocean-going vessels could just rename themselves the SS Target.

“Right let’s start off testing the latest modifications with some basic maneuvers and go from there,” he muttered to himself as he arrived at the test field.
________________________________________
Making her way down a zero-gravity connecting corridor in ZAFT’s Armory One PLANT-type military colony, Cagalli Yula Athha took several deep calming breaths in anticipation of her meeting with the Supreme Chairman of the PLANT Supreme Council. She knew from various diplomatic reports that he was a canny politician, a breed of human that she had grown to hate since taking office almost four years ago. She could only hope that he would be at least moderately honest with her.

“Please tell me that you brought at least one dress with you.”

Directing a scowl over her shoulder, Cagalli let her ire show at her bodyguard Athrun Zala, known to the majority of the world as “Alex Dino”, who was currently examining the burgundy suit of an Orb government official that she was wearing.

“What’s the matter with what I wear?” she demanded. “Don’t you think this is good enough?”

“It’s not that,” he backpedalled, trying to escape her infamous temper. “But there is a high probability of being invited to that banquet to celebrate the launching of the Minerva. Unfortunately ZAFT is relatively archaic in that even the highest ranking women are pretty much required to favor dresses over uniforms.”

“OMNI’s the same way,” another voice chimed in, “at least it was before our… disagreement.”

Cagalli now directed her attention towards her second bodyguard, the former Earth Forces ace and current Orb Union Military Flight Instructor and Test Pilot, Captain Mwu La Flaga.

“I’m just saying Princess,” he remarked with a careless shrug as he demonstrated his unique ability to withstand her withering gaze.

“Whatever,” she snapped. “I have my dress uniform as head of the Orb armed forces, so that should be enough for them.”

The two male pilots exchanged glances that spoke volumes.

“Look, don’t pretend to be someone you’re not,” Athrun began hesitantly. “But a little bit of acting and tact never hurt. Especially since we’ll basically be accusing them of violating the Junius Seven Treaty.”
“Humph,” was the only response.

As the trio and their escorting ZAFT officers entered an open area, they received their first look as the Minerva. Like most warships, it was a single-hulled vessel with the bridge rising out near the engines. There wasn’t much else to see because the view was greatly obscured by a large crowd of ZAFT personnel and civilians. Snatches of conversation drifted up towards them, with many of them unfortunately showing the casual prejudice that was still exhibited in the PLANTS, despite the four years that had passed since the Bloody Valentine War.

They arrived at a lift that would take them down to Chairman Durandal’s temporary office, where Cagalli hoped that they would at least begin a preliminary discussion. As they descended the two naturals gaped in wonder at the natural beauty that had somehow been replicated, even in a colony primarily devoted to military production. Cagalli glanced briefly to her right and saw a nostalgic look on Athrun’s face. She felt a pang of sorrow, recalling his unofficial banishment from the PLANTs in the aftermath of the Bloody Valentine War.

Finally their ride came to an end and they were escorted into a relatively modest building. They were marched through a series of security checkpoints before finally being admitted to the Chairman’s office.

“Ah, Princess,” a black-haired man in a white, purple, and black coat with a red diamond in the center greeted them. “How nice it is to finally meet you. I’ve heard great things about you, many from my predecessor, Eileen Canaver. I’m glad you accepted my invitation to tomorrow’s ceremony.”

“Chairman Durandal. I’m also grateful, it gave me the opportunity to talk to you personally,” Cagalli returned, suppressing her irritation at being addressed as “Princess”.

“You honor me Princess. May I enquire as to who the gentlemen escorting you are?”

“My bodyguards, Alex Dino,” she paused minutely, hoping the next name would not provoke any incidents, “and Captain Mwu La Flaga.”

The name of the former Earth Forces Ace indeed sent a ripple of surprise through the ranks of the Chairman’s staff, but his only action was to offer a smile.

“One of Earth’s great war heroes, a pleasure to meet you,” he greeted offering his hand.
“Thank you Chairman,” Mwu acknowledged taking the Chairman’s hand.

Suddenly a mental flash echoed through his mind, eerily reminiscent of the feeling he always had whenever Rau Le Creuset was near. The Newtype Sense, Reverend Malchio had claimed, an ability to anticipate attacks and even sense others with the ability. Fortunately his military training allowed his body to go through the motions of shaking hands, while his mind pondered what it could mean. The Chairman’s lack of a reaction had him convinced the politician wasn’t the source of the mental echo, but that left the question of who was.

“Your war record speaks for itself Captain La Flaga. The only survivor of the famed Moebius Zero squadrons. A crewman aboard the invincible Archangel. And the pilot of the Strike after it’s defection from the Earth Alliance.”

“You flatter me sir.”

“You deserve the praise Captain. Few men are willing to fight against all they’ve been taught in the name of an ideal. But I’m afraid further discussion will have to wait in favor of your royal charge. Tell me Princess, how is Orb recovery from the Oceania War?”

“Rebuilding is almost complete. In fact the majority of the remaining damage is from the Atlantic Federation’s Invasion during the Bloody Valentine conflict,” Cagalli replied recalling the Second Battle of Orb that had begun after the Republic East Asia had refused to pay a sizable debt it owed the Orb Union and had instead declared war.

The Republic of East Asia had called in an even larger debt that the Atlantic Federation owed, accepting large amounts of military surplus, in particular mobile suits, as payment. They had even built a squad of three deadly Gundams. The massive invasion fleet had set sail with every intention of conquering Orb.

But for them, things went horribly wrong. Orb had managed to begin production of the Murasame transforming mobile suit and Tsunami amphibious mobile suit, models that were still the technological equals of ZAFT’s ZAKU Phantom. Combined with Cagalli’s personal Gundam, the Strike Rouge, and the original Strike, these new forces mounted a series of raids that chewed up the attacking force before it even had a chance to make landfall. And when the invasion force arrived at Orb itself, the nation unveiled Flight Rotor Shriker-equipped Astrays that intercepted the mainly ground-based East Asian mobile suits as they were being deployed. A series of climactic dogfights saw Cagalli, Athrun, flying a customized red Murasame, and Mwu in the Strike each defeat one of the enemy Gundams. Once the ace pilots’ machines had defeated their opponents and joined the general melee, it was over. The East Asian armed forces were decimated, suffering more than seventy percent casualties.

The loss was a total humiliation, costing them most of what respect the “little brother of Eurasia” had possessed. The treaty forced an even greater debt on the country, rigorously enforced by a seething Atlantic Federation and leaving what had formerly been the richest member of the Earth Alliance on the border of impoverishment.

“I must say Princess that your accomplishments in both a mobile suit and in ruling your nation astound me. I would be lying if I said I did not envy you to some extent.”

“Thank you Chairman, but if you don’t mind I would prefer you use my proper title or at least ‘Ms. Athha’.”

“Very well, Chief Representative.”

His voice was perfectly measured and gracious, but four years of political clashes with the Seirans allowed her to pick up the slightest edge of condensation. She clutched her hand in to a tight fist, but released in with her next exhalation.

“But I understand the PLANTs have also prospered in these peaceful times.”

“Yes they have, but I personally dedicate much of the groundwork having been laid by Chairwoman Canaver,” he shrugged waving an idle hand.

“That’s nice. But I also understand the PLANTs have seen problems with the Zalaist movement.”
Out of the corner of her eye, Cagalli saw Athrun give an almost imperceptible wince. The anti-natural movement formed from his father’s supporters was a sore subject for him, taking the words Patrick Zala had roared in the grip of his deepest malice, and expressing them, often violently and remorselessly.

“I’m afraid you are correct, but the group has seen a fair decline of late, mainly because of purges in the military structure to guarantee that there are no incidents with the nations of Earth. But I’m afraid this little greeting must come to an end. If you do not have a previous reservation in any nearby hotel, I insist you stay here. We can always continue this discussion tomorrow before the launching ceremony.”

“Thank you, we will take you up on that offer,” Cagalli accepted.

“In fact why wait until tomorrow? We are having a celebration to mark the official commissioning of the Minerva, I ask you to attend as my guests. There will be a number of council members, but the majority of the guest list consists of the ship’s officers and pilots. In fact, you are acquainted with several of them I believe. Yzak Joule, Shiho Joule, and Dearka Elsman.”

Athrun started at the mention of his former teammates, but managed to disguise it as a light cough.
“We would be happy to come.”

“Excellent, I’ll have someone escort you to appropriate quarters where you can unpack and prepare. The celebration itself will start in about four hours, but guests will likely start arriving sooner than that.”

“Thank you Chairman.”

“That went almost too well,” were the first words out of Mwu La Flaga’s mouth as soon as they were secured in their quarters and Athrun had swept for bugs.

“Agreed, do you think he knows what you want to talk to him about?” Athrun asked turning towards Cagalli.

“Maybe about the Orb refugees, but I don’t see how he could know about what you overheard last night.”

The previous evening, Athrun had gone down to the bar of their hotel, where they were staying under assumed names, and had overheard several ZAFT officers talking about a nuclear-powered mobile suit, supposedly named the Legend. But nuclear-powered mobile suits were expressly forbidden by the Treaty of Junius Seven along with other specific weapons such as N-Jammers and their Cancellers and the application of Mirage Colloid in stealth technology. And ZAFT was already testing the limits with a whole host of Gundams based on the Heliopolis series that the Le Creuset Team had stolen during the previous war. According to the official Gundam registry, an international committee set up to monitor the production of the especially powerful class of mobile suits, the redesigned mobile suits were designated Diamond Strike, Ruby Aegis, Sapphire Duel, Emerald Buster, and Onyx Blitz.

“Well, there’s no sense worrying about it now,” Mwu commented. “Let’s just get ready for this little party.”

“Agreed.”

“Oh, alright,” Cagalli grumbled. “I’ll bring up the refugee situation during dinner though.”

“That may actually work,” Athrun said, struck by inspiration. “You could ask to talk to them tomorrow and while you are in the shipyard, you can mention the Legend.”

“Very well. Now if you two don’t mind leaving so I can get dressed.”

“I don’t really see the point in asking him to leave considering that neither of you would probably mind the view…”

“OUT!”

Both males scrambled out the door, the Lioness of Orb’s temper fully roused.

“Why exactly do you feel the need to do that?” Athrun asked as the door slid shut behind them.

“Just checking to see how ready she is for tonight’s publicity stunt. I hate these kinds of things.”
________________________________________
A black ZAKU Wing Phantom came screaming out of an eighty degree dive and leveled off less than two hundred feet above the ground.

“Well that was enjoyable,” Alfrid Dreka laughed as he exited the training grounds and headed back towards the Minerva. “Let’s see, energy expenditure down approximately three percent from last Tuesday making for a cumulative drop of seventeen percent overall. I think that’s as good as I’m gonna get without taking off a few chunks of armor.”

Over a year serving as his father’s mechanic during the Bloody Valentine War had given Alfrid an instinctual feel of exactly what parts of his mobile suit could be changed to improve its performance. However, he was barely competent enough to rewrite his o.s., which was why he constantly had Lunamaria look at it after he was done with any adjustments whatsoever.

As he moved back towards the Minerva, he realized that in his rush to take out his mobile suit for a run, he had forgotten to use deodorant. Meaning that his flight suit smelled like a herd of elephants. Which meant he’d have to take another shower, leaving him with an ever-shrinking window to get into his dress uniform.

“Hey Alfrid, cutting it kind of close aren’t you?” Meyrin’s cheerful voice came over the comm.

“Tell me about it. I have to take another shower and then get into my dress uniform.”

“Good luck doing that in the thirty minutes you have until you pilots have to be ready to go to the banquet hall.”

“Mock my failings,” he sighed dramatically. “Keep that up and I won’t bring you a souvenir.”

“Luna has you covered,” she countered effortlessly. By that time Alfrid had slipped into the hangar and was preparing to dock his mobile suit.

“I still have the satisfaction of going,” Alfrid grumbled, frustrated that he had lost their verbal spar.
“And I have the satisfaction of winning.”

With that Alfrid powered down his ZAKU and opened the cockpit, quickly rappelling down.

“Hey Vino, Yolant,” he called across the hangar to the mechanics on duty. “Mind giving my ZAKU some juice and making sure nothing’s gonna blow up.”

“Sure,” Yolant replied with a nod, knowing that Alfrid regularly did his own maintenance unless he was in a hurry. If nothing else they owed him the countless hours they would have been working on it if the pilot hadn’t used to be one of them.

Without another word, Alfrid rushed out of the hangar and hurried down the Minerva’s well-lit corridors. His progress was relatively unimpeded until he found himself flying backwards and colliding head-first with a wall.

“Hey what’s the big idea?” an outraged and familiar voice demanded.

Alfrid blinked away an onslaught of dizziness and looked in the direction of the complaint to see his friend and fellow pilot Lunamaria Hawke, Meyrin’s older sister, rubbing her shoulder which she’d landed on after their collision.

“Oh gods. I’m sorry Luna. Are you okay?”

“Peachy.”

Alfrid took a quick stock of both of them to see if they were both unharmed and realized that Luna was wearing a nice indigo dress that complimented her magenta hair. Fighting back a blush, he opened his mouth and voiced his opinion.

“You look very nice. A neat idea combining red and blue.”

“Thanks, I think. Meyrin helped me pick it out.”

“I guess this is why sisters are so trustworthy.”

“Yeah. Hey you aren’t planning on wearing that to the party are you?” she gestured up and down to Alfrid’s dirty and sweat-stained flightsuit.

“What? Oh, crap. I still have to change I’ll see you later.” With that Alfrid was once again heading full speed for his room, only to berate himself for not helping her up. Mentally shrugging his shoulders, he ducked into his quarters and pulled his red dress uniform out of his closet.

With a self-satisfied smiled, Alfrid hopped into the shower and quickly ran the water over his sweat-stiffened skin. A quick scrub of his hair and he was back out, cramming on his under clothes. With gentle reverence, he spread out his new dress uniform and slipped it on. Perfect fit. Gazing at himself in the mirror, Alfrid hoped that while feasting away in the hall of Valhalla, his dad still had time to look in on him and be proud.
________________________________________
Yzak Joule was in a relatively decent mood as he inspected the assembly of Red Coat pilots before him. Only one of them had any combat experience in a mobile suit, but overall they had some skill and could one day be a veritable threat on the battlefield. As it was, he was just hoping they could get through the evening without incident. He noted Dreka entering the assembly room with less than perfect punctuality, but he would let it slide. Once. The next time he’d be on KP duty for two weeks.

“Alright everyone, the Chairman has invited the Minerva’s officer corps to the celebration of tomorrow’s launch. You will be eating dinner with the political elite of the PLANTs so you had best be on your best behavior. Asuka, I’ve been informed that Chief Representative Athha will be dining as well.”

The hot-headed young pilot, who gave Yzak an uncomfortable feeling of familiarity, instantly turned stormy at this revelation. “What the hell is she doing here?”

“I don’t and I don’t care. But whatever your opinion of Orb is, if you embarrass ZAFT tonight I will personally ensure that the Impulse is scrapped and that your first combat launch will be outside of a mobile weapon. Am I understood?”

“Yeah, whatever.”

“The proper response is: Yes sir.”

The Impulse’s volatile pilot looked like he would rather eat dirt but managed to force out his next words out through gritted teeth. “I understand Commander.”

“Good.”

“Watch out folks. Yzak’s death glares can make you wish GENESIS was aimed at you.”

“Shut up Dearka! If everyone is done with their stupidity, move it!”

The Minerva’s Red Coat contingent tromped out of the ready room and proceeded down the straight hallways to one of the exit hatches. They made their way quickly down the gangplank and boarded the two military transports that had been requisitioned for their use. He and his command crew boarded the first one while the rest boarded the second.

Dreka immediately got out his datapad and appeared to be making last minute checks to their supply manifest. The younger man had shown a fair amount of skill with logistics at the academy. Along with prior experience serving as a member of his famed father’s maintenance crew, his contacts on the ZAFT supply black market made him an obvious choice to serve as the unit quartermaster. He was also known for minding his own business unless you annoyed him.

Dearka, for his part, appeared to be sleeping. His friend had had a rough time upon coming back into ZAFT, even with the backroom deals Yzak had cut while filling his mother’s shoes on the PLANT Supreme Council. Fortunately, he was well-admired by the new generation of pilots for “doing the right thing” and had reestablished himself as a Red Coat by going through the academy’s accelerated program.

Finally he looked over at the seat beside him at the transport’s fourth passenger and his companion for the evening. His wife, Shiho Joule. Part of the deal he had cut that had given his mother a limited prison sentence and rehabilitated Dearka was his marriage to his closest genetic match. Fortunately that had turned out to be Shiho Hahnenfuss, a skilled pilot who had transferred to the Le Creuset team in the aftermath of Operation: SPITBREAK. She had honestly impressed him with her abilities, culminating in the destruction of one of the Earth Alliance’s Extended pilots and going toe-to-toe with the Freedom at Jachin Due.

While their wedding had been a relatively private affair, he knew full well that they were under strict observation by the council. Their status as third-generation coordinators meant their odds of having children were predicted as very low, but still higher than several other projected couples. It was hoped that if they could prove their fertility, then there would be hope for coordinators. Of course he knew full-well that they would not be the first parents to a fourth-generation coordinator.
Lost in his thoughts, Yzak was jarred back into reality by their transports coming to a stop outside a relatively lavish building. It appeared that the celebrations had already begun, with the view in the windows looking warm and comforting.

“You coming dear or heading back to the ship?” his wife teased with that smirk that in equal parts infuriated and relaxed him.

“Funny.”

The four members of the command crew disembarked and their fellows followed from the second shuttle. Taking a deep breath, Yzak led them up the stairs and into the ballroom. The Minerva’s top officers were mingling with various PLANT politicians and ZAFT officers. He even saw a member of the Eurasian Confederacy diplomatic corps talking with a Supreme Council member. A good sign if one was interested in peace, something Yzak had grown appreciative of after he realized just how far he had fallen during the war.

But the biggest surprise was waiting for him at the table reserved for his pilots. Miss Representative herself was sitting in one of the chairs, dressed not in a ballgown as most of the traditional members of the military would have preferred, but in her official uniform, indicating her position as commander-in-chief of the Orb Defense Forces. On her left was the ever-smug Mwu La Flaga, an arrogant smirk already gracing his face. The second bodyguard was harder to place, at first. When he did, it took all his willpower not to smack himself in the face. Despite the dye-job, the colored contacts, and a few cosmetic adjustments, he recognized his old comrade, Athrun Zala.

“Chief Representative,” he greeted extending his hand. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Dearka and Alfrid subtly placing themselves between the Orb ruler and his most reckless pilot. The last thing they needed was to cause a diplomatic incident with one of the few countries that had never had a desire to nuke the PLANTs.

“Commander Joule, it’s been awhile. Nice to see you again Shiho. You too Dearka.”

“Princess,” Dearka greeted with a smirk and was rewarded with a wrinkling of her brow.

“Cagalli,” Shiho greeted warmly, giving her a brief hug. The two women had built a friendship over the years of peace since Yzak had inducted her into their informal group, bonding over the latest mobile suit designs and enjoying friendly debates over the merits of various Gundams.

“Allow me to introduce my bodyguards. Captain Mwu La Flaga and Alex Dino,” Cagalli said gesturing to La Flaga and Athrun respectively.

Yzak rolled his eye briefly at the idea of anyone being named Alex in their day and age. It was pretty obvious to him why she had brought along the natural ace. She was hoping to use him as a distraction, with Athrun hiding in the shadows. By the looks of stunned adoration on his pilots’ faces, she was succeeding.

“A pleasure. The pack of half-trained idiots behind me are supposedly ZAFT’s pride and joy.”
“Alfrid Dreka.”

His quartermaster saluted smartly, but he also saw that the younger man was practically bouncing on his toes at being introduced to a hero of the Bloody Valentine War.

“Lunamaria Hawke.”

The Minerva’s sole female Red Coat, aside from Shiho, appeared to be torn between saluting like Alfrid or extending her hand. In the end she just straightened and nodded in acknowledgment.

“Sean and Dale O’Conner.”

The arguing carrot-haired twins spun towards their commander, narrowly avoiding clunking heads. They gave brief waves of greeting then went straight back to whatever inane subject had gotten their interest. The pair were eternally frustrating, but in combat, they had a level of synchronization that could surprise even a veteran.

“Samuel Barthrop.”

An older coordinator saluted crisply, before turning to try and break-up the O’Conners’ spat. He was one of the oldest people to ever graduate the ZAFT pilot academy, but even in his mid-forties, his abilities were unquestionable.

“Adrian Sharp.”

The most diminutive of the Minerva’s pilots, standing at a bare four-foot-nine, gave his usual happy and honest smile. Normally, Sharp was the kind of person who Yzak would call a little too cheerful, but since the fifteen-year-old didn’t have a dishonest bone in his body; not to mention the worst poker face in the unit; he tolerated the boy.

“Gregory Benedict.”

The second choice for the Impulse gave their visitors a welcoming smile and went to help Samuel. Truth-be-told, Yzak would have preferred that the dark-skinned man be given the Gundam on account of his more controlled nature, even if his discipline off-duty was lax even by ZAFT’s standards.

“Chris Barton”

The scarred veteran nodded his head in acknowledgement. Although only a year or two older than Yzak, he looked closer to his late forties, a side effect of the wounds that had left him unable to talk with the mechanical implant. Of course, he rarely used the device outside of the simulators.

“Elard Keyes.”

The Minerva’s youngest pilot glanced up and went right back to fiddling with his pocket knife. At only fifteen, his age would have prevented him from graduating, were it not for his skills in a mobile suit. However, losing his entire family at Junius Seven hadn’t done many favors for him. Yzak was just hoping that when the midnight blue-haired pilot did act out, it would cause little harm.

“Rey Za…” the name died in his mouth as he realized that both Rey and Shinn were on the opposite side of the room. On the one hand, it was nice to see the Red Coat keeping his friend’s infamous temper from exploding. On the other, he felt like strangling the both of them for leaving without giving proper notice.

His anger must have been pretty plain to judge by Shiho and Dearka’s muted laughter. He even saw Athrun’s lips form an instinctive smirk. The worst part was he couldn’t even yell at the bastard without blowing his cover. Something that was inadvisable considering he was still wanted by the PLANTs. Ostensibly, it was for treason. In reality, the Zalaites saw him as a traitor to his father’s mission while the moderates saw him as Patrick Zala’s son. Either way, Athrun’s life was virtually forfeit if he came back to the PLANTs.

Apparently feeling he had suffered enough, La Flaga stepped forward with a broad grin. “Well I’m hungry, let’s get down to eating.”

This statement was agreed by a small chorus of cheers and the pilots sat down.

Yzak had the “pleasure” of sitting next to his old comrade and got a good look at him. It was probably only thanks to the fact that he had known Athrun from childhood that he recognized him. His hair was dyed and styled so that he looked more like the princess’s brother. The contacts were a nice touch, changing his eyes to only a blue-green instead of trying for a completely different color. There was even a fake scar that, combined with something in his cheek, looked like it could fool most facial recognition scanners. Overall, it was a good disguise.

“Oh, I’d be careful if I were you Miss Representative, Alfrid here is liable to start kissing the ground you and Captain La Flaga walk on,” Lunamaria spoke up from the other side of the table.

“Shut up Luna,” the quartermaster growled, turning crimson in a heartbeat. “Just because I admire their skills as pilots doesn’t mean I’m devoid of sense.”

That merely provoked a round of chuckles at the table. Athrun however looked curious.
“Dreka, as in Kevin Dreka?”

“Aye, my father,” Alfrid nodded with obvious pride. “He ended up biting it at Jachin Due. A nuke got past the Freedom and the Justice and nearly hit Marius 5. His weapons were out of power and he had to ram it.”

“I’m sorry,” Athrun bowed his head, a brief look of regret passing over his face at the thought of him and Kira failing.

“I’m not,” Alfrid smirked. “He went out exactly how he would’ve wanted: With the biggest bang possible. And with one of the largest kill counts in ZAFT despite being a natural. If the gods are kind, he’ll be waiting for me in Valhalla, seated at the table of the All-Father.”

When asked what he meant, Alfrid gave a brief explanation of his family’s traditional religious views before rising from the table to go refill his drink and managing to face-plant himself via his chair.

“Ya know, for some called a coordinator, you have really bad balance. By my count that’s the second time you’ve tripped today.”

Alfrid muttered something about ballet before a smile broke over his face. “Alright then Luna, if I’m such a klutz then obviously I need someone as skilled as you for a dancing partner later.”

Now it was the redhead’s turn to blush, letting out a strangled sound that Alfrid took as a yes.
“Okay then, I’ll request something special when the music starts up.” With that he turned and strode off towards the refreshment stand.

Realizing something he had forgot, Yzak rose to follow him.

“I’ll be right back,” he excused himself. “Dreka!”

Alfrid turned back to his commander at the sound of his name and slowed so Yzak could catch up. “Commander, I’m assuming that you’re not following me to make sure I’m not dying of embarrassment.”

Ignoring the joke, Yzak fixed the younger man with a stare. “I’ve just been informed that myself, Shiho, and Dearka will not be at tomorrow’s launch ceremony.”

That bit of info took Alfrid off-guard and caused him to stop in his tracks for a brief moment.
“As the unit quartermaster, you’ll be in command of the Minerva’s pilot compliment until we return.”
“Where are you going?” he demanded.

“We’ll be assigned to the Voltaire and we’ll be taking the Sapphire Duel, Ruby Aegis, and Emerald Buster to give them some real field testing. At least that’s what the Captain will write in the report as to why they aren’t loaded onto the Minerva.”

“Sounds like a plan. When do you ship out?”

“Oh-eight-thirty.”

“Pretty early considering the party is supposed to go on till two in the morning.”

“Lieutenant-Commander Joule and I will be retiring after dinner and Dearka will most likely be drunk. Consider returning his sorry ass to sleeping quarters to be your first assignment as unit head.”

“Yes sir,” Alfrid acknowledged, saluting Yzak and returning to his former task of getting a new drink.
________________________________________
Shinn was grateful to Rey for finding them a seat at the head table with Captain Gladys and even the Chairman, himself. Although if he was honest with himself, he would have preferred sitting with the Eurasian Confederacy diplomat instead of with her. He had lost his entire family because of the Athhas’ hypocrisy and he was glad that at least the so-called Lord Uzumi had perished for his stupidity. They prattled on about Orb’s ideals of peace, but the two Athhas had vastly expanded Orb’s military, especially in the years since the Bloody Valentine War.

His hate filled thoughts were jarred away by Rey nudging him in the side to get his attention. He realized with embarrassment that Chairman Durandal himself had been asking him a question.
“I’m sorry Mr. Chairman I wasn’t paying attention.”

On the Chairman’s other side Captain Gladys was rubbing the bridge of her nose at Shinn’s lack of attention, while Vice-Captain Trine looked about ready to explode. Fortunately the Chairman gave an understanding smile.

“Of course, I could understand how someone could have other thoughts with all of the excitement over the past few days. You are the pilot of the Impulse correct?”

“Uh, yes Mr. Chairman.”

“A marvelous machine from what I’ve been told. Rey tells me that you are an exceptional pilot. I hope to see great things from you.”

“T-t-thank you sir,” he stammered, overawed by the praise from the head of the council.

“Ah speaking of great things. Princess, thank you for joining us.”

Shinn’s good mood evaporated in an instant, his face losing the bashful red and going stark white with barely contained rage. It must have shown on his face because Rey placed a calming hand on his shoulder.

“Don’t embarrass the Chairman,” his friend quickly whispered. Reluctantly, Shinn took a deep calming breath and restricted himself to simply staring at the woman whose father had let his parents die. Ready to snap at her if she crossed any line whatsoever.

“Chairman, thank you again for inviting me,” the blonde bitch returned.

“Yes well, it would be a shame for you to miss this little get-together when you have a number of friends attending.”

“Yes, it was thoughtful of you. I haven’t seen them since their deployments to Carpentaria ended. I also wanted to speak on a certain matter and felt it would be more appropriate in a less formal setting than our brief meeting earlier.”

Shinn let out a low snort. So that’s why the commander had been such a hardass. Turns out he was buddy-buddy with Orb’s little princess. He had thought the no-nonsense officer was a better judge of character. Or at least someone who wouldn’t be able to stomach that worn-out line about Orb and her so-called ideals.

“Oh, what is it?” the Chairman asked, looking quite curious as to what Athha wanted. Shinn didn’t really see why he bothered.

“The matter of Orb refugees living in the PLANTs, among them several Morgenroete engineers and designers.”

Shinn just rolled his eyes at that. He and everyone else from Orb were lucky to be living in the PLANTs instead of existing under the Athhas’ tyranny. The debacle with East Asia was proof enough that the country was far from safe.

“Ah, I suppose you resent that we are using them in our own mobile suit industry.”

“Among other things,” Athha tersely replied.

Shinn was about to snarl at her that anyone was better off in the PLANTs than living in Orb when an elbow subtly nudged his ribcage. His platinum-haired teammate shook his head and glanced deliberately back to their table. Shinn nodded, anything was better than sitting and listening to that damned woman.
________________________________________
Athrun watched the two ZAFT pilots walk away from the table. They were the two that Yzak had obviously meant to introduce but hadn’t been able to. Privately, he thought that was for the best. When he and Cagalli had first arrived at the high table, the black-haired pilot had flashed a terrible and potent look of pure hatred at Cagalli, something that made Athrun fear that he would have to step in. But it was his friend who had truly begun to unnerve Athrun.

The younger man had managed to control the other pilot merely by placing a hand on his shoulder. He had then proceeded to glance at Cagalli as though trying to judge if she was a threat or not. But what had unnerved Athrun the most was the way he had stared intently at him, as though he was able to see through the levels of his disguise and knew exactly who he was. Those icy eyes had caused his skin to crawl in ways that he hadn’t felt since he last saw his old commander. When he had directed the other boy away from the table, Athrun nearly let out a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding. Instead he released it subtly in measured bursts. Alex Dino had no reason to be nervous.
“Well Princess, it is necessary for these people to earn a living. It is best if they use the skills they are most proficient with. They have obviously felt the desire to stay in the PLANTs and they must be able to provide for their families.”

Athrun turned his attention to Cagalli’s and the Chairman’s conversation. He honestly didn’t like the man. He was almost too perfect, too cultured. Even the media of the Earth Alliance had very few negative things to say about him. He should have been a welcome respite for Cagalli from dealing with the Sierans. But almost every word out of the man’s mouth seemed calculated, as though he were a chessmaster planning for a checkmate that could come from anywhere. Or maybe it was just the eyes.

Like Cagalli’s they were a golden brown, rather subtle for a coordinator. But while Cagalli’s were a warm brandy tone, the Chairman’s eyes were closer to frozen metal. At first glance they seemed almost wolflike, an idea emphasized by his face and bearing. Observant, proud, distinguished. But the more he watched, the more they seemed more sly and calculating, like a serpent’s.

“Agreed, but there are disquieting circumstances that make it seem as though you are committing industrial espionage. I’ve had the data analyzed by a trusted source and the coding of the operating systems for your new GOUF line and that of the coordinator-variety Murasame o.s. are virtually identical.”

“Oh. Truly? In that case you have my sincere apologizes, no offense was meant towards you or your government. If you would like, I could have the persons responsible brought to justice.”

“No, if it as you said and this was done as a means of providing for their families. However many of the refugees that fled to the PLANTs have family members who have since returned to Orb. A large portion of these people have made protests that their relatives are being kept here against their will.”

“I promise you Princess that is not the case. I have heard of the rather harsh repercussions that the Atlantic Federation was forced to undergo to compensate those Orb citizens that were captured and enslaved for all intents and purposes. I would be a great fool if I allowed such a thing to happen by even the most remote definition.”

‘More like you would be a great fool if you were caught,’ Athrun thought. While it was true that there had been no outcry in the communications between the Orb citizens who had returned and those that were employed in the PLANTs, that didn’t mean they weren’t being discouraged from leaving.

“Of course Chairman. Considering how captured coordinator civilians were often used as slaves by member of the Earth Alliance, I doubt such a thing would occur. Nonetheless there is still the issue of how their families do still represent a vocal minority within Orb. I would like to be able to prove to them that their loved ones are free to come and go as they please.”

“That is a splendid idea Princess,” Chairman Durandal complimented with that odd half-smile he seemed to be always wearing. “In fact, I could easily arrange a trip to the production facilities tomorrow. Would ten hundred hours be an acceptable time for me to send for you?”

“That would be just fine, thank you.”

“Then I feel it is best that I retire for the evening. I look forward to tomorrow and diffusing this situation without any problems.”

The Chairman and a number of his staff rose from the high table and proceeded to exit the ballroom, exchanging pleasantries along the way. Cagalli let out an exhaustive sigh and leaned back in her chair.
“You did well,” he complimented under his breath.

“I don’t know. There’s something going on here that I didn’t like. Is it possible that Orb’s refugees really do wish to be here?” she asked, weariness etched in her every word.

“It wouldn’t be the first time refugees preferred settling and staying in the country they fled to,” he pointed out.

“I know, but I feel like he caved in too easily. And it felt like he was holding something back in that conversation.”

“Perhaps we should leave as well,” he suggested, noting how her eyes were already half-closed.
“In a little bit,” she waved off his concern. “I want to talk to Shiho for a while. Maybe I’ll convince Mwu to get into a drinking contest with Yzak.”

Athrun smirked at that. His old friend and comrade’s uptight nature was in sharp contrast to the laid-back attitude of the former Earth Alliance ace. But both had been extremely competitive in a series of mobile suit simulations they had challenged themselves with in the aftermath of Jachin Due. This had eventually expanded to the point where if anything could be a competition, they would make it into one.
________________________________________
Several hours later, the celebration had started to wind down. Yzak and Shiho, along with the vast majority of their pilots had gone back to the Minerva. Most of the ZAFT officers had also left leaving only a couple dozen people making small talk, indulging in some drinking, or dancing.

The music had started up only a few minutes after the conversation with the Chairman and he recognized most of it as Historia, an interesting genre of music that had its origins in a recent archeological find from the twenty-first century of the Anno Domini Era. Aside from a number of important pieces, the majority of songs prior to the Reconstruction Wars had been lost in that turbulent time. However, an old “I-pod” dated from approximately the middle of the first decade had been discovered with a functioning battery and the myriad songs, so different in some ways from modern music, had been loosely defined as Historia. A great many of these songs had become popular in the aftermath of the Bloody Valentine War, especially among the youth.
He looked over to the request station and saw the overly-eager pilot that they been introduced to earlier making a musical selection. He then strode back towards the table and waited expectantly. He briefly considered making a request himself, but quashed that urge in an instant.

“Luna?” the pilot offered his hand to a fuchsia-haired woman in a midnight-blue dress. “I believe you owe me a dance.”

“Fine but don’t step on my feet.”

“Won’t happen,” he said confidently as he led her in beginning a waltz.

He recognized the song the boy had selected, ‘I Hope You Dance,’ a song that had played that night. The last song they had dance to. He glanced over at Cagalli and found those beautiful golden eyes staring back at him, almost pleading, but clouded by so many doubts. They couldn’t.

“Aw come on,” Mwu drawled. “Just go dance you two. I doubt many people would care and any that would are likely too drunk like this one.” He punctuated that statement by yanking Dearka’s head up by his blonde hair and letting it slam back on to the table.

“Mir,” he muttered in his drink-induced sleep.

A rather flat expression stole over Mwu’s face. “You know what? I think I’ll join him,” he remarked, taking a deep drink from his glass.

He turned back to Cagalli and slowly proffered his hand. She accepted and he led her out. In that moment, with her in his arms, everything felt right. Even as tensions built up, they were still thankfully at peace. And that was what mattered.
________________________________________
Alfrid woke up even earlier than usual the next day. He blinked wearily and saw Dearka up, alternating between dressing and cursing, obviously having a bad hangover.

“Not a good day?” he remarked with a smug note.

“Laugh at my pain,” he moaned back, banging his head on the wall and then letting loose an additional volley of curses.

“Better you than me,” Alfrid volleyed back.

“Yeah, well,” he yawned widely. “I’ve got to go get the Buster. And just saying that makes me slightly happier.”

“Have fun on your patrol.”

“Have fun keeping Shinn under control, Commander.”

“Oh hell,” Alfrid gulped, sitting up like he’d been hit by a thunderbolt from Mjolnir and realizing that his new position was now looking less like a blessing from Odin and more like one of Loki’s tricks. “Switch?”

“Better you than me.” With that last mockery, Dearka walked out of the room, laughing his head off, his good humor restored.

With a sigh, Alfrid got out of bed and went through his morning routine, praying for a few extra minutes to make up for neglecting to do so the previous day. His religious tendencies were an odd blip in the PLANTs, a nation primarily made up of people with atheistic or agnostic views. Religion was looked upon with suspicion by many coordinators, due to their very creation being seen as a violation of many codas. It didn’t help that many fanatics, especially of the Christian and Islamic persuasions, were members of Blue Cosmos or other anti-coordinator groups. Though there had grown to be an amount of tolerance among some denominations.

However, Alfrid didn’t face any internal moral debate over whether or not some greater force disapproved of his existence. He followed the Norse pantheon, the great war gods of antiquated northern Europe. Wise Odin, mighty Thor, cunning Loki, and many more. They were the gods his family had followed for as long as they could trace back. They never denied this part of themselves, even at the height of Christianity during the Middle Ages. The gods had given them strength, represented by the ancient sword, Draugr, a blade who had been dated by numerous generations of Drekas, each test proving that it had been around since at least the first century B.C. Even their name, Dreka, was a Norse word. The word for dragon; fierce, strong, cunning, swift, proud, and ageless. Though their line had dwindled before, it had never broken.

His beliefs raised many eyebrows and it was widely whispered that he was a raving lunatic (by the standards of coordinators, it was an accurate assessment). But his father’s reputation meant they would at least give him a chance to prove himself before they judged him. Finishing with his prayers, Alfrid decided to do just that, heading towards the hanger to take out his ZAKU one last time before the launching ceremony. The virtue of being woken up early.

JediMasterDraco
Mecha Flunky
Posts: 4
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Re: Gundam Seed Ragnarok

Post by JediMasterDraco » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:15 am

A knock at her door alerted Cagalli that their escorts had arrived. She lead Athrun and Mwu out of her room, dressed immaculately in her Orb official suit. Mwu wore the uniform of an Orb Forces Captain and Athrun was dressed more informally, a black fleece over a green olive shirt and khaki pants. The door slid open to reveal their purple-coated escorts from the day before.

“Representative Athha,” the elder, grey-bearded, gestured for her to accompany them.

“Thank you,” she nodded, leading Athrun and Mwu out. They followed the two men down the corridor and out into the sprawling military base.

Everywhere they looked, the next generation of mobile suits strolled around. The vast majority were ZAKU Warriors and Phantoms. Others were the new GOUF Ignited prototypes. But there were also a scattering of updates of older models, GuAIZ Perfects and GINN High-Maneuver Type IIs. Artillery-based GAZuOOTs, the larger more heavily armed successor to the ZuOOT, loomed ominously over the smaller mobile suits. Aerial BABIs and, in very few numbers, DINNs flew in small groups overhead. A number of aquatic GOOhNs, ZnOs, and a few of the new ASSHs were being tested in a lake. Armory One seemed to almost breath power as the massive war machine of ZAFT was planned, built, and tested with its bounds.

At last, they spotted the Chairman conferring with a number of his staff members. He offered a small smile as they approached.

“Princess,” he acknowledged with a nod.

“Chairman,” she replied, holding back a surge of irritation at the condescending that she instinctually knew was meant to needle her. “Thank you for arranging this tour. I’m sure it would set the minds of my people at ease to know their loved ones are safe.”

“And too prove to the Atlantic Federation that Orb is not providing military aid to the PLANTs in violation of the Treaty of Junius Seven?” he inquired with a knowing smirk.

Cagalli shrugged non-consequently. She would have been more shocked if the Chairman hadn’t known about the pressure being exerted by the Atlantic Federation. In the aftermath of East Asia’s defeat, the AF’s ambassador had made overtures saying that if Orb joined the Earth Alliance, then they would ensure Orb’s citizens were safely returned. However the same message had contained a veiled threat that Orb would be attacked if the Orb citizens were there by their country’s command. Yuna, attempting to sway public favor towards the EA had promptly released the terms to the public. Instead, there had been huge backlash over Orb possibly allying with the very country that had nearly destroyed it. Of course the question over whether Orb’s refugees were staying in the PLANTs willingly still festered.

“It would solve some diplomatic niceties if we were able to confirm that Orb’s citizens are here of their own free will.”

“Very well then. If you’ll follow me,” he led them towards a hanger with a large number of people.

For the greater part of the morning, Cagalli interviewed and talked with numerous workers who had fled from Orb to live in the PLANTs. They expressed satisfaction, even pride, at designing and building the new models. There was even a rumor going around that there was a young man who was one of ZAFT’s elite pilots. However there seemed to be an air of nervousness, and Cagalli saw that at least a couple of the “Orb citizens” were fake. At last, the process was complete and she walked out to the Chairman.

“Everyone seems relatively happy with working for you. I would wonder if it would be possible to talk to their families though.”

“I believe it could be arranged.”

“Thank you. I’m sure that if their families wish to return to Orb, we could arrange for adequate transportation to ensure they could spend time in both countries.”

“I think that would be an appropriate compromise. You’re people would be able to see their loved ones are content. The refugees would have the opportunity to see a rebuilt Orb and return if they wish. Of course the downside is that it could easily be constructed as an agreement between ZAFT and Orb.”

“My uncle Unato has enough diplomatic clot that he could arrange complete transparency. I believe it would even be possible to allow an Earth Alliance agent, possibly from the Atlantic Federation itself, to be part of the program.”

“You surprise me Princess. A cunning move of a veteran politician. I would wonder though; why not a more neutral standpoint, say from Eurasia?”

“Thank you,” she accepted the compliment before taking a deep breath. It was a huge gamble, but it could pay off. “Unfortunately, with the rise in tensions between the Atlantic Federation and the Eurasian Confederacy, taking the moderate path…”

“Yes, I’ll admit I was not surprised by the falling out. The Atlantic and Eurasia have been opposed to each other for decades. If war had not broken out as the Bloody Valentine conflict, I suspect it would only have been a matter of time before violence erupted between the two nations.”

“There are rumors going around that a high-ranking person in either the PLANT government or ZAFT revealed the true nature of what occurred at JOSH-A,” she pressed, ignoring Athrun’s subtle headshaking. Even Mwu’s eyes were widening at her daring.

“I hope…” the Chairman began, but Cagalli cut him off.

“I misspoke. I did not mean a current member. I could easily see a Zalaite removed from office trying to provoke a war between the two natural nations.”

The Chairman appeared to be appeased by this. “Yes a great portion of the radical party would find a grim sense of irony in the two superpowers of Earth destroying it.”

Cagalli didn’t even try to resist shuddering at the very real possibility of the titanic clash. Earth was standing on the edge of a knife, another war so soon could do irreparable damage to human culture and even humanity itself.

“I myself confess to shedding no tears as the Earth Alliance has begun its near inevitable break-up. Such an organization, built on hate, finds itself unable to be sustained without a war to be fought,” the Chairman continued. “I suffered loss during the war, though nowhere near as much as many in the PLANTs or you, yourself, Princess. But I think even your great father would have acknowledged the end of the Earth Alliance as something good that came out of the war.”

“Only if such an end comes in its time and with peace,” Cagalli corrected him. “I have no feelings towards the Eurasian Confederacy, save admiration for those who worked to affect change during and after the war.”

“Yes it is always hard to change minds when it seems as though you fight for your very survival.”

“Indeed. And it was the Atlantic Federation that burned Orb for no reason other than to gain our mass driver as a weapon to use against ZAFT. But I would not wish to see a war come to either of them. Like the last war, it could stand too great a chance of spiraling into another conflict that consumes the entire Earth Sphere.”

“Precisely. And how should we in the PLANT react to the unrest on Earth. I feel it is best to strengthen ZAFT, to make sure that we can stay neutral or intervene as we need. Your father understood that Orb would be attacked and he bought as much time for his country as he could. And when this time ended, Lord Uzumi continued following Orb’s ideals rather than be a puppet for others.

“We will not attack another nation,” the Chairman began, reciting the founding creed of Orb, announced more than a century before the beginning of the Cosmic Era. “We will not allow another nation to attack us.”

“And we will not intervene in the conflicts of other nations,” Cagalli finished, wincing internally at the reminder that Orb had done precisely that during the Bloody Valentine War.

“And yet without all but the greatest strength, it is impossible for one country not to be drawn into the struggles of the superpowers that surround it. After all, that is the reason Orb maintains possibly the most technologically advanced military in the Sol system, and certainly one of the largest in comparison to its population.”

“I agree, but I also feel that too much strength would invite others to desire that strength. It is the reason why I opposed the construction of the Takemikazuchi. It was an unnecessary waste of resources. Orb had no need to create such a warship.”

“I am afraid that we must disagree Princess. Strength, complete strength is a necessity; in war and in peace. Your new ship is a testament to Orb’s strength. A signal to the world that your military is every bit as capable as the Earth Alliance. Now is there anything else you wish?”

“I would like to see the Legend.”

The poleaxed expressions on the faces of the Chariman’s staff would have been hilarious at another time, if the matter had not been so serious. In her mind it all but confirmed the Legend was nuclear.
________________________________________
Lieutenant-Commander Ahab Wallace had decided to swing by the hanger and give his mobile suit one last look-over before readying it for being added to the Minerva’s arsenal. The Diamond Strike was a beautiful machine and he pitied anyone who was on the receiving end of its numerous weapons.

He looked over and saw a group of five teenagers in civilian garb with an escort admiring the two redesigned G-series Gundam-grade mobile suits. He was willing to bet that they were the brats of some politician or other and figured they were being given some kind of special treatment. To see the newest weapons of ZAFT and convince them to join. He didn’t really care about that. Especially considering the last group of political kids had been the Le Creuset Team.


That particular group had proven itself competent, but their loyalty had been, and still was, questionable. The Chairman’s own son had turned traitor, and his surviving teammates had more or less joined him. Sure Elsman and Commander Joule had returned to ZAFT, but considering the former was dating a natural from Orb…

Wallace was no Zalaite, but there was no denying the fact that coordinators were inherently superior in every way to naturals. Even the fact that the children of the relatively few unions between coordinators and naturals were always coordinators seemed to just confirm this. And until he proved otherwise, Wallace wasn’t going to just to pretend that Elsman wasn’t fully capable of deserting again when he was needed.

Suddenly a commotion caught his attention and the sound of gunfire introduced the horrifying spectacle of the five teenagers massacring the various guards. They moved like lightning, striking with long knives and gunning down anyone out of immediate arms’ length.

He saw Elana, the Onyx Blitz’s pilot go down with a hole in her head. He whirled around and tried to climb into the Strike’s cockpit, but a bullet winged him and sent him crashing to the hanger floor.

A black-haired young girl with cold eyes walked over and gazed down at him. “Night, night space freak.”

She brought down a pair of knives, with a roar of rage echoing in his head, demanding, “where are the other three?”

And he knew no more.
________________________________________
Suddenly a loud, deep siren began to sound across the base. ZAFT personnel immediately reacted running here and there, unarmed technicians began to aid pilots in preparing mobile suits for launch. Armed guards raced en masse towards a hanger with a large “6” on it. Suddenly the building exploded under streams of green energy, lancing out to strike into other hangers. Athrun tackled her to the ground as a wave of smoke and dust washed over the group.

“Mr. Chairman,” a soldier in ground forces armor with a captain’s insignia ran up to the group. “It’s the new models sir, someone’s taken them.”

“They what?” the Chairman demanded, shock playing across his face like electricity.

Three mobile suits rushed forward out of the crumbling building in a well-orchestrated formation, decimating the first sign of a counterattack and turning close to a dozen mobile suits into scrap. The central one was green and gray, highlighted with orange, possessing what appeared to be massive thrusters placed on its back. The one on the right was mainly black, detailed by yellow and red, and appeared to follow the standard human-like configuration of most mobile suits, until it transformed into a quadruped form and took off. The third, in several shades of blue, appeared more suited for long-ranged combat as it opened fire with a massive array of weapons.

The three mobile suits were too powerful. The moved with too much efficiency and reacted to threats with ease. They could only be one thing.

“They’re… they’re…” Athrun muttered, unable, and unwilling, to voice what they were.
“Gundams,” Cagalli concluded as the trio of war machines fired their weapons into the rows of hangers. She fought back tears as she realized what was happening. Only the Earth Alliance, almost assuredly the Atlantic Federation, would be daring enough and have the resources to attack the great stronghold of ZAFT. It would be war.

“I’m going to go get our little surprise,” Mwu La Flaga shouted careening recklessly over the rubble and making a beeline for the central pylon.

“Ma‘am, this way,” one of the Chairman’s bodyguards ordered leading them to what would hopefully be shelter.

They followed the ZAFT soldier across the rapidly disintegrating base, watching horror as the three Gundams unleashed their fury. The earth itself shook as explosions rang out as the three awesomely powerful weapons were joined by three more. Two were obviously the new evolutions of the Strike and the Blitz, but the third moved with a precision and attacked with the power that only three other mobile suits had ever displayed. Freedom, Justice, and Providence. In some respects, it resembled the old Perfect Strike module, with a massive anti-ship sword and plasma cannon. It differed in others with massive red wings and a much darker color-scheme. And there was one other key difference, unconfirmed, but what she knew instinctively to be true: it was nuclear-powered. A tear leaked from her eye as she witnessed the first battle of a new war.

The new arrivals joined their stolen fellows and continued to lay waste to the base. The green mobile suit slashed a GuAIZ R in half with its beam saber, shoving the dying mobile suit down the alley they were running. A massive wave of heat and force swept over them forcing Athrun to thrust her behind a doorway. When the air cleared, their escort had disappeared.

“This way,” Athrun grabbed her hand and they ran. But their course was cut off by another Gundam, this one the black quadruped, which leaped into the air to slash at a DINN with wing-mounted beam sabers.

The ZAFT mobile suit fell from the sky and came down on a hanger, destroying it. A heavy blow rang out near them as two ZAKUs crashed to the ground less than a hundred feet from them. As she watched, the six mobile suits continued to fight their way across the sprawling base, slaughtering all opposition without any true difficulty. Turning back to the ZAKUs, an idea formed in Cagalli’s mind as she stared at them, she turned to Athrun and was about to ask for his help.

“No,” he cut her off. He knew her too well. She knew she could be reckless, but their skills could help fight those monsters, maybe give ZAFT time to organize a full response.

“I’m the Chief Representative. If you want to keep guarding me, you need to follow me.”

Without another pause, she scrambled to her feet and ran over towards the mobile suits. A low groan and movement in the corner of her eye let her know that Athrun was with her. A quick once-over of the ZAKUs made her realize that they didn’t have anything more than cosmetic damage and even better, both hatches were opened. She just hoped that no one had been attempting to board them when they’d been ejected from their hangers.

“This is insane,” Athrun shouted to her as he boarded one of them.

“Shut it. I’m not going to stand by and watch a bunch of maniacs start a war. Set your frequency for Orb Standard,” she ordered.

She climbed in, breathing a sigh of relief that there was no evidence of someone trying to get in and perishing. The mobile suit’s cockpit hummed to life around her and she inserted a flashdrive into a slot and allowed it to work its magic. It was a gift from Kira, a portable natural-oriented o.s. that was attuned to her style of combat. She made a note to get him something nice for their next birthday. A quick scan of the weapon systems revealed a beam rifle and a beam tomahawk, which if she recalled was an attempt to combine a bean saber and a beam boomerang. No heavy equipment, but it would have to do. She saw Athrun’s ZAKU rise to its feet revealing a crushed rifle.

“Great,” Athrun’s voice came over the comm system.

“I still have mine, I’ll give you covering fire,” she assured him.

She looked up to see a black ZAKU engaging the Gaia. Strangely, this one had beam sabers when she knew that the standard ZAKU lacked that weapon. Falling back into the patterns they both knew instinctively, Athrun charged to help the beleaguered ZAFT pilot while she scanned the skies for other threats.
________________________________________
Alfrid had been flying back to the ship after one last test flight before the day’s festivities. Just as he had flown over the main storage facility, everything had started going to Helheim in a hand-basket. His comm system had gone wild with dozens of overlapping messages, warnings, orders, and worst of all screams as explosions rang out. He went to ground and tried desperately to find out what was going on.

As near as he could tell, the Gundams still in the test yard had been captured by unknown hostiles and had proceeded to unleash Muspelheim on the ZAFT base. It was complete chaos as the six high-tech mobile suits destroyed everything sent against them. Terror flowed in his veins as he realized the depth of the attack. Their attackers were forcing ZAFT to commit units to the fight as soon as they were active in order to contain them. But this also prevented them from gathering for a single massive counterattack that could feasibly bring down the Gundams. ZAFT was being destroyed piecemeal.

Raw fear flowed in his veins, paralyzing him and leaving him to ponder his options. As strong as his mobile suit was for a mass-production model, it was no match one-on-one for a Gundam. He took a deep steady breath. He could run, his batteries were drained from the day’s exercise. But he also knew what his duty and honor demanded. What his father would have done. He had to fight.
“For ZAFT and the Hall of Valhalla,” he roared boldly as a challenge, activating a beam saber in each hand, and charged.

The Gaia dashed out in front of him and seemed to regard him as though it thought a lone ZAKU charging it was cute or something. It activated the beam sabers mounted on each of its wings and came roaring towards him. A really stupid plan formed in his head. One that would have been pointless if the beam sabers had been old models which would pass right through each other. Right before the Gaia ran him down, he thrust the tips of his energy swords into the ground and braced himself.

The force of the collision sent his mobile suit skidding backwards, barely holding its footing as the Gaia drove forward. But it had worked. The clashing beam sabers were keeping it from just bowling him over and turning his machine to scrap. Now came the hard part. He managed to steady himself and shoved upwards. The Gaia’s forward momentum sent it flipping through the air and smashing into a now-collapsing building.

Unfortunately, the damned thing’s phase-shift armor was still up and running, although it seemed to have overloaded in places to judge by a series of dents, including a rather prominent one that had collapsed the left side of its head. All he could do was smile sheepishly as the machine seemed to be sending him a death glare worthy of Hel herself. Swallowing nervously, he raised the beams sabers into a defensive stance as his comm crackled.

“You damn bastard. How dare you do this to me,” a guttural, female voice snarled.

With a burst of speed the Gaia hurled itself towards him again, pausing for only an instant to change into its mobile suit mode. Sending off a quick prayer, Alfrid stood his ground as the superior machine closed with his. And as though in answer, an unadorned ZAKU slammed into Gaia, sending it crashing to the ground. Within an instant, the newcomer was back on the transforming mobile weapon, hacking and slashing with a beam tomahawk, swiftly, and almost effortlessly, depriving the black war machine of its rifle and even knocking its shield out of its hand.

The Chaos suddenly appeared overhead and was maneuvering in to give support when a volley of beam rifle shots stopped it cold in its tracks. With awe-inspiring ability, another plain ZAKU came in, firing a tight circular burst of beam shots at the Chaos. The pilot then followed up with a near-perfect prediction of which way their opponent would move, spraying a smaller string of more precise shots that melted away part of the Chaos’s armor.

“What are you doing just standing round like that? You’re a sitting duck if the Blitz attacks,” Alfrid looked up to see a youthful but scarred face, instantly recognizing the less prominent of Representative Athha’s two bodyguards. The transmission was coming from the first of the two ZAKUs, leading him to guess that the other was being piloted by Mwu La Flaga himself.
“Right sorry,” he corrected himself already moving his mobile suit from where he had been standing for far too long.

Shaking off his amazement at the two mass-produced mobile suits completely going to town on their Gundam opponents, he began searching for the other mobile suits the interlopers had gotten their hands on. He was also thanking whichever god or goddess was responsible for Commander Joule and the others taking their Gundams with them onboard the Voltaire, otherwise the current disaster might well have been a catastrophe. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the Abyss plowing towards the ZAKU that had driven off the Gaia, beam lance raised for a devastating sweep. As though the pilot had eyes in the back of his head, the ZAKU raised its shield and easily caught the blow. A follow-up blow with the beam tomahawk clove the polearm in two, robbing the Abyss of its only close-quarters weapon. The pilot began backpedalling, unnerved by the skill of its opponent.

Suddenly an explosion sent Alfrid’s ZAKU tumbling to the ground, alarm bells howling in outrage. He turned himself around and briefly saw the air blur as the Onyx Blitz repositioned itself. The cloaked Gundam utilized a new light-bending coating that caused it to mimic its surrounding in a chameleon-like fashion. It even offered a measure of protection against grazing shots from beam weapons. Its downside was that it wasn’t efficient enough to keep up at speeds anything other than a fast walk (by mobile suit standards), meaning a blur gave away its position when in motion.

Even with that handicap, it was a deadly opponent. The two “Trikeros II” shields were each armed three “Lancer Darts” and a high-velocity rifle. Each was also edged with experimental “Hoplon” beam emitters, effectively making the shields into over-sized beam sabers. Mounted on its back was the “Gleipnir II” rocket claw. It possessed not only the grappling hook of its predecessor, but also a beam cannon, effectively making it into a super-powered DRAGOON pod.

Caught off-guard, Alfrid’s only real option was to fall back and try to reorient himself. Unfortunately the retreat caused him to run right into the Gaia. The Gundam had changed into its mobile suit mode and had its beam saber poised for a strike. Alfrid’s response was to fire his thrusters and smash his ZAKU backwards into a nearby building, draining his phase shift even more. A quick check of his power levels saw that he only had about twenty minutes of combat left. After that, he was a sitting duck. The Gaia, however, didn’t seem to be inclined to give him even that long, as it stalked forward. Unable to rise fast enough, all Alfrid could do was watch as the Gaia aimed its beam saber right at his cockpit.

Without warning, the black machine threw itself to the side to avoid an intense volley of missiles. Although the physical weapons inflicted little, if any, damage, they did buy Alfrid the time to regain his footing. He looked up and found himself grateful towards Shinn Auska for once in his life. Quick as lightning, the Core Splendor linked up with the Chest and Leg Flyers. The Sword Silhouette connected with the modular Gundam, turning its phase shift armor into a brilliant red. The powerful machine landed on the ground with a resounding crash and drew its twin anti-ship swords.

“Why is this happening?” Shinn demanded. “Are you trying to start another one? Another war?”

There was only one response Alfrid could muster as he opened a comm line. “No Shinn, these are old chums of mine here for afternoon tea.”

Before Shinn could reply, a plasma cannon blast hit the ground beneath his fleet and sent the Impulse cartwheeling, with Shinn providing a litany of curses. His attacker soared downwards, revealing itself to be the ZGMF-42S Legend. The nuclear-powered Gundam, according to rumors. If those were true, then they were in big trouble.
________________________________________
As the Girty Lue slipped through space, Neo Roanoke wore a confident half-smile. None of his operatives had activated their abort signals, meaning if all went according the plan, ZAFT would be distracted with nearly half a score of new Gundam mobile suits tearing through their, previously, most secure military complex. And now he would throw them into even greater chaos.

The new Girty Lue-class battleships were based on the Archangel-class assault carriers, but traded maneuverability for increased speed and mobile suit capacity, boasting a formidable forty-eight unit hanger. They also traded the Lohengrin positron cannons in for an increased number of Gottfried turrets. The result was a less volatile weapon system with nearly equal, if not as concentrated, damage output. Girty Lue also carried an experimental laser-based point-defense system meant to replace the Igelstellung gatling guns. Overall, it was the most advanced ship currently in existence, with the possible exception of ZAFT’s new Minerva.

Nonetheless, none of Girty Lue’s current opponents were the Minerva. They were mainly patrolling Nazca-class with a couple aging Laurasia-class and more Nazcas in the dockyards.

Neo glanced down at his watch and smiled as the seconds ticked down. The mirage colloid-equipped Slaughter Daggers should have reached their destination and were on station to devastate any ZAFT ships that launched. And then the countdown finished.

*beep beep* *beep beep*

“Okay let’s go. Carefully. Keep an eye out for any approaching ZAFT vessels that we haven’t identified.”

All around him the ship roared to life. Crewmen hurriedly shrugged off their space suits to give themselves a greater degree of movement and reaction. Girty Lue’s mirage colloid system had been meant to be used in fleet engagements, when the variety of explosions and other distractions meant that sensors were being overloaded. Alone as it was on this mission though, even with the advanced stealth technology, any basic heat sensor would have instantly identified the ship had it been running at full power. Instead the reactor had been cranked down to virtually no output and almost every system had been powered down. Their movement had come exclusively from the external engine pods. And now they were going active.

“Activate Gottfrieds One, Three, and Five. Target the port-side Nazca-class,” Ian Lee ordered from the seat on his left. The older man was one of the Atlantic Federation’s best, serving through the entirety of the Bloody Valentine War, never losing a ship under his command, save a Drake-class escort ship at Jachin Due. “Load all missile tubes with Korinthos, designate the starboard Nazca for targeting by Tubes One through Eight. Fire on my mark.”

Several tense seconds crept by as the Girty Lue slipped closer. “FIRE!”

Six beams of green light lanced out and obliterated one of the two nearby ZAFT warships. The other apparently had an experienced captain as the missiles launched at their ship were stopped without incident.

“Launch all mobile suits.”

Neo received a quick communication from his advanced party. The attached imaged showed the dockyard in shambles, with the command post smashed by an out-of-control Laurasia-class. He offered up a brief smile. Everything was going according to plan. The destruction of the second nearby Nazca confirmed that sentiment.

“Three incoming Nazca-class vessels supported by one Laurasia-class.”

‘Now this is a battle,’ he thought as the Girty Lue’s mobile suits began engaging their opponents. A volley from the ship’s Valiant linear cannons signaled the full commencement of the ship-to-ship engagement.
________________________________________
Shinn was without-a-doubt, one-hundred-percent, pissed off. Someone damn lowlifes were ripping a hole through the ranks of ZAFT and all that damned Dreka could do was crack jokes. Not helping matters was the fact that he was being engaged by the Legend, which was supposedly nuclear powered. Considering the strength behind the attack, Shinn wouldn’t be particularly surprised. He raised the Gundam back to its feet and connected the two “Excalibur” anti-ship swords, which he had somehow maintained a death grip on. And then he did exactly as he was taught; he attacked with a ground-shaking charge.

His opponent was good, closing the distance before Shinn could bring the “Excalibur” down, and intercepted the blow, knocking him off balance. Fortunately, one of the ZAKUs that were engaging the Gaia, Chaos, and Abyss noticed long enough to send a spray of beams and drive the Legend back. He was honestly pretty impressed with the two ZAKU pilots. They were moving in perfect synch and dealing damage to all three Gundams, despite being only standard ZAKU Warriors without Wizard packs. The detonation of a grenade somewhere behind him let him know that Dreka was holding off the Onyx Blitz, though for how long he didn’t know.

He turned his attention back to the Legend just in time to dodge a blow from its own anti-ship sword. Fortunately, blocking with the upper blade of the dual sword allowed Shinn to deliver a punishing thrust downwards. But a sheet of energy expanded right in front of the point, blocking the near-perfect blow. Shinn cursed, remembering that the Legend supposedly had a new shielding technology. Or rather did have them.

“Shinn what’s the situation?”

The captain’s question was curt and demanding, but he knew that he’d better answer so that anyone else who launched knew what was going on.

“It’s a fucking mess,” he swore without thinking. “I am engaging the Legend and it is as tough as scuttlebutt says.” He took time to dodge the blast from the plasma cannon as the red stream of destruction plowed across the base. “Two ZAKUs are holding off the Gaia, Chaos, and Abyss. Alfrid is fighting the Blitz and getting his ass kicked.” He smiled at the thought of the self-righteous prick losing his mobile suit in their first battle. “And the Strike is somewhere.”

“Remember those mobile suits belong to us,” the Vice-Captain interjected. “Your orders are to recapture as many as possible intact.”

“I know that,” he snarled, “but I’m not taking chances and being gentle when they’re trying to kill me. How the hell did this happen anyway? Did we just let the enemy walk in?”

“That’s enough,” Captain Gladys silenced him. “We don’t have time for any arguments. Try to hold them off as long as possible. We’ll scramble the entire mobile suit contingent to deal with them.”

“Roger.”

“Pilot look behind you,” a rather rough, female voice ordered.

He glanced behind him and saw the Diamond Strike bearing down on him with its anti-ship swords drawn. Frantically he disconnected the linked “Excalibur” and intercepted the two blows. Another blast from the Legend’s plasma cannon struck the ground between them and both he and the bastard’s buddy were catapulted through the air. An open frequency gave him the idea it hadn’t been planned or appreciated.

“Bask, you fucking moron, watch where you aim that thing.”

“Stay out of my way then.”

While the two pilots snapped at each other, Shinn saw another Gundam-identified contact appeared on the sensor. “What now? Who the ZOINKS is this?” The screen’s only reply was to identify the new arrival: GAT-X105 STRIKE. Shinn’s jaw nearly fell off.

The Strike was possibly the only mobile suit as famed as the Freedom and Justice. The Gundam, piloted by a guy named Kirey Yamago or something, had defended the Archangel for more than two months before being defeated. It had then been rebuilt and was piloted by Mwu La Flaga after the Battle of JOSH-A, fighting for the so-called Three Ship Alliance. It had then passed into Orb’s possession, fighting again during the Oceania War.

The veteran mobile suit zoomed in and engaged the Legend. The newer Gundam easily avoided its attacks, but the Strike was just at successful in dodging the return blows. The Strike had some new equipment pack on its back, looking very similar to the Aile pack that gave it atmospheric flight. He could grudgingly admit that Orb knew what it was doing when it came to mobile suit design.
Suddenly a voice came over the comm, “Shinn we are closing in on the battle, our sensors detected a new mobile suit entering the fray, please identify it.”

“It’s the Strike Rey, the original. I guess Athha felt the need to show-off or something.”

“Very well. Our ETA is ninety seconds.”

Shaking away the distracting thoughts, Shinn turned his attention back to the battle, only to realize something.

“Rey I don’t know what’s going on, but it looks like they’re trying to run away.”

“They probably are. An unknown warship just destroyed the Armory One Defense Fleet’s first squadron. We will likely need to pursue it and recapture the Gundams.”
________________________________________
As he made his way to the Minerva, Durandal watched the video feed of the mobile suits clashing and the thieves fleeing. Yzak Joule and his fellows taking their Gundams with them on patrol was unexpected, but with any luck, they would not retain them for long. But, perhaps it was a mixed blessing given the recent intelligence from Lodonia.

Orb’s little chief-of-state was much more adept than he initially gave her credit for. Heads would roll for whoever had allowed the leak that resulted in her discovery of the Legend. He could also recognize nebulous but relatively skilled efforts at manipulation. It was possible he had fooled her, but there were no guarantees. Perhaps she would die in the attack. That would likely enable Orb to be more easily manipulated.

Nonetheless the die was cast.

“And so it begins again. But this time, Destiny will have its say.”
________________________________________
A/N: Well, welcome to my rewrite of Gundam SEED Destiny. To be honest, I felt that SEED had a great story (after all, it’s the second highest rated season in the franchise’s history), but Destiny fell flat on its rather idiotic face. So, I’m going to try my hand at adjusting it into a worthy successor to SEED. You’ll notice that the Minerva has a lot more pilots than in canon, and let me tell you, there’s going to be a horrendous turnover rate. I’m also going to expand the war a bit and add some politicking to explain why the Earth Alliance ends up getting its ass kicked. The reason Mwu La Flaga is here is because he got his butt on the Archangel quickly and Natarle self-destructed the Dominion after evacuating it. A quick note on the song choice during the party: I saw my first glance at Gundam SEED Destiny through an AMV of that song, hence why I decided to throw out that little nod. Oh and before I forget, here are some descriptions for the various ‘new’ mobile suits that were mentioned or appeared in this chapter. I also did my best to apply the ZAFT numbering designations to the updated G-weapons. All of my current invented mobile suits are capable of true atmospheric flight (like the Force Impulse) as opposed to limited flight like the Calamity.

ZGMF-X42s Legend: Essentially, it’s the same thing as the canon Destiny, save for the fact that it has a back-mounted thruster and the “Wings of Light” are specifically meant to generate the blur motion rather than provide propulsion. Don’t worry, I have something special in mind for Mr. Asuka.

ZGMF-21G Diamond Strike: Essentially, the Strike Noir with the addition of the IWSP equipment module and shield (which mounts a rapid-fire laser as opposed to a gatling gun) and the ability to transform into a mobile armor shaped like a B-2 stealth bomber with an extended fuselage which resembles that of an F-18.

ZGMF-43G Sapphire Duel: The Blu Duel with the original Duel’s railgun bazooka, Assault Shroud, and two shields.

ZGMF-22G Ruby Aegis: Rosso Aegis with four shields attached to the arms that also mount beamrifles.

ZGMF-85G Emerald Buster: Verde Buster without the shoulder-mounted weapons. Instead it is equipped paired versions of the original Buster’s main weapon that can either combine to be dual-wielded or be mounted on the shoulders (gun launchers) and waist (high energy rifles). The bayonet mountings on the M9009B beam rifles are also beam blades.

ZGMF-74G Onyx Blitz: A Blitz that dual-wields two “Trikeros II” shields and has a backpack equipped with a rocket-powered grappling hook that can function as a DRAGOON pod. The Trikeros II shields are equipped with three lancer darts. They are also edged with beam emitters that basically allow it slice opposing mobile suits. Because it was a “public” project, it was equipped with a chameleon-like system as opposed to mirage colloid.

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