Reviews for Brothers in Arms: A Call to Arms
Ominae chapter 24 . 10/21/2007
Nice to hear from you, mate.

I don't blame you if there's something that you have to take care of. After all, that's what makes up human.

I'll look forward to COAF. Interesting things you got there regarding Dynarios. I hope Gundam 00 was interesting to you though.
FraserMage chapter 24 . 10/21/2007
Nice chapter.

Hopefully Luna actually wises up earlier then in canon.
Storm Wolf77415 chapter 24 . 10/21/2007
Well, not much action. But this does help to drive the story. Liked Invictus's transformation. Carnehan knows about the ZERO system now. That's not good.
Sir Darklight of Draken chapter 23 . 8/17/2007
Ive read Brother in Arms and this, and they are the best fanfictions ive ever seen. Been cruising around just reading stuff, but ive had a itch to start reviewing good fics like this. Keep up the good work!

Best Regards,

Sir Darklight of Draken
Shinji Ikari chapter 14 . 8/3/2007
Since you said you're not likely to have the next Chapter in A CALL TO ARMS any time soon, I think I'll continue this now. This one may or may not turn out to be another large-sized Review. Because of that, I'll address the second-to-last point in your Review Response first.

My concern was not how long I had to wait after making the Reviews for you to respond, but rather that our argument about the quality of DESTINY versus the original SEED had caused you so many headaches you wouldn't be in the mood to respond to the other matters for a *very* long period of time, and that you were even avoiding writing this story to avoid the potential headaches. Now that you've made it clear that isn't the case, however, I have no reason for concern. If my large-size Reviews are difficult to wade through, would you prefer to discuss them piece by piece via regular Electronic Mail communication, then, so its easier to avoid big Reviews after today's? Prior to the argument about DESTINY's quality versus SEED 1's, I was actually beginning to consider asking if you'd be willing to open regular Electronic Mail communication. We seemed to be getting along enough for that, and besides the friend I keep mentioning, you're the only other person I can really discuss DESTINY with. I'm still not sure if its a good idea to bring it up even now, since this is your first response in a while, but you don't sound like the stuff from a while back is still causing many (if any) headaches, so I guess there's no harm in asking at the moment after all. If I'm wrong, I apologize. And if you'd rather just stick to Reviews, I don't have timetables for when I expect replies or anything. And for that matter, I don't mind if you read this piecemeal so you don't have to "wade through anything" either.

A shame about your old writing computer. Do you know where the hack came from so you were able to report it? No need to apologize about something like *that.* As for not responding to all the exact details... all right. With one exception, your response seems to have covered everything (including, actually, two things I'd already dropped, as requested, from the stuff you *did* discuss in the last few Review Responses). That said...

1.) All right, I see what you mean about why most of the stuff I've pointed out hasn't yet been edited, and I'll just wait for the edits, then. However, if you're not planning on making any of the edits any time soon, there's something about the Shinn/Stella interaction in your Chapter 21 you should perhaps be aware of. In the anime version, Shinn's final words to Stella when he reassures her he'll see her again are, "I'll come see you!" These words are significant later on because of what they say about Stella's mindset in regards to her running into Shinn again. When Stella wakes up and finally remembers Shinn in Phase 26 she asks Shinn something like, "You... came to see me?" And then she asks him the same thing again when Shinn's holding her after she's been mortally wounded by the breaking Destroy. If you're not going to add your own version of these words into Chapter 22 any time in the near future, I recommend you at least decide how you're going to approach this part when you make those few edits to Chapter 22. If you're going to approach Stella's attitude towards meeting Shinn again differently in regards to this, never mind.

I'll bring up the "one exception" I mentioned above here, since it perhaps fits in best here... The matter of the exchange between Athrun and Shinn you didn't fit in somewhere before the end of Chapter 22. How are you planning to approach it now? To recap what I'm talking about, I'm referring to the part about how, in the original SEED DESTINY 17, Athrun says something like, 'Because you don't understand the way someone thinks, that makes them wrong?' I pointed out Athrun didn't bring it up in your version of that exchange and you said that, due to how your version of the conversation went... or something like that, I think... you'd slip it in at a later part of the story as opposed to adding it into your version of the conversation in Chapter 18.) I recommended you slip it in before the end of Chapter 22 or his conversation about Orb with Athrun might not be believable. However, as I said in the Chapter 22 Review, I might find your version of the Chapter 22 Orb exchange even though Athrun still hasn't hit Shinn with this reality check. I still recommended you consider editing it into Chapter 22, perhaps, but at absolute latest, I recommend you find some place to slip it in before the events of Phase 30. If Shinn hasn't been faced with this by then, it could significantly change things in regards to how Shinn reacts to the Minerva's treatment of Stella. (On the other hand, if you're planning on developing Shinn in a different direction at this point anyway, never mind. This is still arguably something Shinn needs to face some time.)

Although actually, I disagree now with the remark that you write Ken's stories better than Kevin's. I think I might've discussed this in the early Reviews of this story and mentioned I was reserving judgment about the writing quality of this story compared to BIRDS OF A FEATHER until you'd completed a lot more of A CALL TO ARMS. (Or maybe I'm just imagining it, because this *really* was a while ago.) I think you're far enough along in A CALL TO ARMS for me to not have to reserve judgment anymore, and (at least in the most recent several Chapters) now I'm almost certainly of the opinion that, excluding certain parts more closely similar to the actual DESTINY versions, much of A CALL TO ARMS *does,* at the least, match BIRDS OF A FEATHER quality. (But like I always say, people can always improve more... as Chapter 23 shows. I'd argue that one in some ways might be beyond anything you've accomplished in BIRDS OF A FEATHER, and I hope to see you only continue to get better.) But yes, I'll wait for the edits to happen.

2.) Umm, I very much disagree what Kira did to the Minerva constitutes an out-of-character, and that actually is pertinent, I think. I think that's part of the point. Athrun himself is wondering what the heck Kira and the Archangel are doing interfering with the battle. Even before Heine dies, Athrun is going gets so upset to the point he actually opens fire on the Freedom for a little, although the Freedom just dodges and that's pretty much the end of it. At one point he goes, "What are you doing, Kira?" in a way that suggests he wonders what the heck is going on. This is a major point of contention between them in the argument in Phase 24-Phase 25. Athrun maintains that this battle isn't at all like Alaska and Jachin Due and Kira and the Archangel had no place to interfere. Kira replies by asking Athrun if he's sure about that. "Do the PLANTs really feel that way? Then what's with that other Lacus back at the PLANTs?" And why did they try to assassinate the real Lacus? Kira wrecked the Tannhauser because one, the Tannhauser was about to blast the Orb fleet, and two, because he saw ZAFT as acting the same as they'd been at Jachin Due. So no, I don't see this as out-of-character. Kira thought he was doing the same thing he did at the end of SEED.

Later on (I think it was in Phase 30, although I'm not sure), Kira has doubts about whether he's been doing the right thing, thinking that maybe Athrun was right about Durandal after all and it was just some faction within ZAFT that went after Lacus. When Durandal even shows up on a communications screen, if I remember correctly, Kira usually glares or at least frowns or gives some expression of disapproval or something. I think your digression may be pertinent because I'm now skeptical about how good a job your summaries did depicting the argument between Kira and Athrun. Since Kira has even more reason to distrust the PLANTs in your version of events, thanks to Lacus almost getting killed, I figured I should point out how much he distrusts the PLANTs in the *original* version. (On the other hand, given what you just said, I can't help but wonder if the reason you had Lacus stabbed in the first place was because you *did* know about Kira's distrust of the PLANTs from the summaries, so you had her stabbed to make his distrust, in your opinion, more believable. If that's the case, never mind.)

As for the body bags... yes, that'd be an odd one to get wrong, so I'll take your word for it on this one. (I suppose the deaths could have happened at some other point in the battle, though.)

3.) Cheers that there'll probably be more divergences from canon at this point! And its very nice to know how CRY OF THE FALCON is treating canon. The last Volume of DESTINY will probably be out in January, maybe even late December, so I shouldn't have too much longer to wait until I can read it. (I already replied to the bit about why there's two Chapter Updates for CRY OF THE FALCON, so next...)

4.) Your opinion may be shared by great many fans in Japan, but it seems rather strange to me, seeing as that's what Sunrise always does, from what I've read about Universal Century. Whenever they start a new GUNDAM in the same canon, they create a new main character. The surviving main characters from earlier on still have important roles, but there's always a new central character. Then again, for all I know, the fans in Japan took issue every single time a new GUNDAM series came out in Universal Century with a new main character. *Shrug.* Although its very arguable that Athrun, at least, is as central as Shinn as SEED DESTINY.

But anyways, while Shinn might not yet be reasonably close to Kira's skill level, he's still pretty darned good, and I might at least argue he's better than everyone *but* Kira. To me, he doesn't have to be reasonably close to Kira's skill level if he's still second place, even if the gap between second and first is rather large. Even outside Berserker, given a few of the things you see him do in Volume 8, I'm beginning to wonder if he could at least match, if not overmatch, Rau Le Creuset, and might even be as good, or better, than Ken DiFalco. I was planning on bringing this up next Review anyway simply so you have a good idea of Shinn's skill level *outside* of Berserker pre-switching to the Destiny Gundam, since most of our discussions have usually been about Berserker Shinn, but perhaps this can also serve as evidence in favor of Shinn at least being better than Rau (or maybe even Falcon, if not at least equal to him). Example 1 is from Phase 32, which, by now, I've seen four times. Perhaps due to how much happens in that Episode, even after four watches I *still* don't remember it as well as the Kira/Shinn Berserker fight, but I'm still almost sure I know what I'm talking about here, or at least almost entirely all of it.

In Phase 32 Shinn weaves his way through a firestorm of three simultaneous positron blasts followed by a firestorm of simultaneous attacks from all ten finger laser cannons of the Destroy at *once,* (and, if I remember correctly, the hands were not currently attached to the Destroy at this point), performing a bunch of very agile and tight, precise, economized maneuvers to cross a very large distance to get close enough to slash open the Destroy's cockpit. And Shinn *isn't* in Berserker form. He weaves through three positron blasts followed by a firestorm from *all ten finger laser cannons, and at one point, when the lasers were first opening fire, he might've had thirteen blasts coming at him. He weaves through all thirteen while crossing a great distance without taking a single hit. This pales in comparison to Freedom versus Providence, but how many other pilots can you name who could pull that off? Especially since, if I remember correctly, this is the very first time the Destroy even uses the ten finger lasers against Shinn so he might not have even *seen* this attack before. Yet he doesn't just dodge it without a scratch; he gets *through* it to attack the Destroy.

Secondly, in Phase 34, just before Shinn goes Berserker (I don't remember this part as well because I was paying much more close attention to what happens once Shinn goes Berserker, plus its now been a while since I've seen that Phase), Shinn successfully dodges a shot from Berserker Kira. Possibly a few or two, although I can't recall for sure. (One of them he might block with a shield.) The only part I remember for sure is that Shinn dodges one shot; perhaps that's all he dodges before he goes Berserker. And even though, again, Shinn is able to greatly reduce the variables of where Kira will attack to either the arms or the head, the ability to react quick enough to even realize which of the targets *Berserker Kira* is firing at, and dodge the attack, while not a Berserker himself, is impressive. And this wasn't any desperate twirl to the side. Like I said, this is the only part before the Beserker versus Berserker fight I remember for sure. Berserker Kira fires, and non-Berserker Shinn reacts by, in a very economized, precise fashion, simply shifting the Impulse's head to the side, allowing the beam to scorch by harmlessly perhaps less than a few meters, if not less than even one meter, away.

Need more than that to convince you that Shinn might at least be second place? Even if not, again, this is also so you have an idea of where Shinn's at in terms of skill in his last Phases of piloting the Impulse. But yes, I concede that Shinn isn't yet anywhere near Kira's ability. I'll have more to say about Shinn's skill later in the Review, but I'm convinced.

5.) Kira... this was one of the things I said I'd drop until I'd seen the rest of DESTINY, as requested, since I'd given my closing remarks. I still disagree (although for different reasons now, but I'll save further discussion until I'm done with DESTINY), but I *can* assure you it doesn't last. By the time of Phase 32, at the least, he's more of the Kira we know from the original SEED in regards to atrocities. When Stella is freaking out and wrecking Berlin, he flies at the Destroy, desperately, anguishedly, and/or angrily (not sure any of the three are good words or any of this description fits) crying out, "Stop it! Stop it *now!*" Or something like that.

Cagalli... You asked me to drop this, Kira, and some other things until I'd seen the entirety of DESTINY and you could completely explain your reasoning against it. Likewise, I'd appreciate it if we could please leave it at that without tabling the discussion even further. Is it okay with you to continue to debate this for a few more founds after I'm done with DESTINY, since even now I still have more to say? And then, after that, if it becomes apparent neither of us will convince the other, *then* we agree to disagree?

6.) Yep, this is definitely gonna' be another large-sized. But like I said, if it takes a while for you to Reply, I don't mind waiting. All right, Shinn and Point 8 first. Yes, I noticed that in Chapter 23, although I wasn't sure if that was only because of the new stuff I told you about Shinn concerning the "clip Episode" of Phase 20 a while back. Although Phase 20 does a good job of showing how strong that drive is, as we've discussed. As a matter of fact, given how he goes, "And this time, I'll protect *everyone* important to me." I'm not even sure "vow" is an accurate enough word, at least in all senses. Given that, the Phase 30 Preview, and stuff in a lot of the recent Episodes, right now Shinn and his vow as one of those kinds of in-spite-of-all-reason, in-denial "I will *never* fail anyone again!" -type things. If I'm making any sense. Which might explain the, "Going off on his own initiative to be the hero instead of following orders." attitude a lot better than simply him impulsively acting to correct what he perceives as something wrong. I'm not entirely sure of this, at this point, however. (Just to make it clear, I've never tried to argue Shinn's anger isn't a factor at *all.* Heck, the title of the first Episode - which you'd already know as you did see that one - is "Angry Eyes." Considering the Phase where he first meets Stella also uses the "Eyes" motif, I'm fairly sure the title "Angry Eyes" was referring to Shinn. And Athrun does mention in Phase 5 that vengeance is a driving force behind Shinn's motives, even though Athrun might or might not be assigning too great an importance to it.)

7.) Hrm. I'm not really sure what to say to that. I guess there really isn't much too say, other than these two things. First, do you think you could quickly list (not in detail, and I'm not asking you to wrack your brain for every little scene primary featuring Stella you've watching) all the scenes concerning Stella you can recall off the top of your head, please? That might help me figure out how to critique anything concerning her in the future. Secondly, some advice from my personal experiences as a writer: Years ago, when I was writing sequel Fanfictions to Role-Playing Games, there were occasions when I ran into situations where I had to choose between writing certain things that didn't sit well with me (I'm not talking about stuff such as gruesome violence or language or stuff such as what Meer pretended concerning Athrun in Phase 23, but simply certain emotional stuff I wasn't comfortable with and how the characters react to those emotions), or avoiding them and thus copping out and not making the story as good as it could be. I chose to write the stuff that didn't sit with me, and at first I had to force myself. Eventually, however, it became easier, as natural as writing anything else. I'm not advising you to take the plunge if you don't want to, but, from personal experience, it does grow easier. If you tried to write Stella correctly, maybe even as soon as after the first few times of this it might not be as much trouble... at least in terms of your personal liking or disliking of writing Stella. I can't say anything about your difficulties actually *characterizing* her correctly.

That's all in regards to your Review Response, but while we're on the topic of Stella, I suppose this is as good a place as any to address my revised opinions on who was truly responsible for Stella's death. My friend argued that Shinn returning Stella to the Earth Forces was really the only thing he *could* have done to save her life. She also argued that she doesn't see anything wrong with Shinn believing that in such a hard, cruel world at least *one person* might be able to have the chance to find happiness. (This much I don't disagree with. There's nothing wrong with Shinn believing that, although after everything Shinn goes on about in the early Episodes about what's wrong with ideals or "trying to run a country on emotions alone," one has to wonder if Shinn's change of heart is a particularly stable one. I still think Phase 31 might be showing how wrong Shinn's actions were, if nothing else from the part where Athrun and Shinn are getting along when Shinn's in the cell, then Athrun points out that returning Stella might've just gotten her forced to fight again, and only then does Shinn get upset with Athrun, arguably as if he knows deep down Athrun might be right and is trying to escape from it. And I still the way Shinn went about returning Stella might not have been the best way to do it, although I'm not as certain about that one.)

However, perhaps my belief that returning Stella to the Earth Forces was based on an unrealistic belief Shinn had other options to save her life. What else was there? Yeah, he could've taken Stella and went on a one-man mission to raid the Earth Forces for the equipment and whatnot Stella needs to keep her alive. But he doesn't know how to work the equipment or how to safely distribute the drugs, and even being a Coordinator, its arguably very unrealistic to think he could learn how, which would probably require somehow gaining classified information all by himself in time to save her, as well as finding some way to keep her on life support outside the Minerva until he can learn how to use the drugs/device(s), and even if he could do all *that,* it may not even be possible to healthily withdraw Stella from the drugs without recourse to far more advanced technology which he almost certainly couldn't acquire or create by himself. The Impulse can't run indefinitely, and even if he found a way to keep *that* from being a factor, a devoted effort to save Stella himself would mean abandoning Luna, Rey, and everyone else important to him on the Minerva. Part of me wonders if he should've asked Athrun to entrust Stella to the Archangel,, and if he hadn't been so caught up in his misinterpretations of Orb and the Archangel they or Morgenroete might have been able to save her. But would even *they* really have much of a chance of finding a way to safely get Stella off the drugs, or keeping her on the drugs and devices indefinitely? I'm really not sure its likely. Et cetera.

So I'll concede maybe my friend was right, and Shinn did the only thing he could. But I'm not sure this changes anything, because of what happened after Shinn found out Stella was the pilot. As you probably know from the summaries, he just loses sense of reality and hovers there, or something like that (even after four times watching the Episode I'm very unsure how to describe Shinn at this point; "loses sense of reality" may be only partially, or slightly accurate, or maybe not accurate at all). However, this immediately puts Shinn in tremendous danger. Members of the Minerva start worrying because they don't know why the Impulse isn't moving, and Kira presses the attack to try to *save* Shinn, shouting at him saying things like, "You're a sitting duck like that!" (although the only words I'm sure of, or that I at least remember right, are "sitting duck"). Shinn finally snaps out of it and goes after the Freedom to protect Stella, but he's so overcome with emotion that even though both the Minerva *and* the Freedom hear him over the comm, the Minerva can't understand what Shinn's trying to say (although the body language from one or more of them could be interpreted to indicate some might have gotten it, or at least suspect). And Kira, of course, doesn't even know what the heck Shinn's even talking about. After this Shinn spins around and starts talking to Stella by name, and I can't recall if he switched the channels, so perhaps the Minerva does get it at this point. However, since Kira doesn't know who Stella *is,* he can't be expected to. (And if he switched the channels, then, in my opinion, its up in the air if Minerva has any idea whatsoever why Shinn's acting this way.)

Because after watching this four times, I'm pretty sure (I think) that when he strikes the blow that beats the Destroy, he did that to save the Impulse. When Shinn's attempt to talk to Stella fails and she starts charging the positron cannons, Shinn just remains hovering right there in front of the Destroy urging Stella not to do it. The bridge of the Minerva starts freaking out, so to speak, and they start charging their weapons or somesuch in a desperate attempt to hit the Destroy, then Kira rushes in and rams his sword into one of the turrets. (However, I'm trying to figure out if Stella had figured out Shinn was in the Impulse. She sees the Freedom moving in behind the Impulse, remembers it destroying Neo's Windam, and *then* freaks and starts charging the positron turrets. I also can't recall if the Impulse was actually in the line of fire or just close enough to the line of fire that Stella could have hit Shinn with very little effort had she shifted the Destroy a little. Even if Stella was trying to save Shinn she might not have realized the Impulse was in the line of fire.) I'm fairly sure that Stella only died because Kira was *saving* Shinn.

So even if Shinn didn't get Stella killed from what he did in Phase 30, I still very much argue he did get her killed by what happened in Phase 32. If he hadn't acted that way, Kira probably wouldn't have rushed in like that and jam the positron turret, and Stella would still be alive. The question, of course, seeing as Shinn already does blame himself for failing to protect Stella, is whether he's already aware of this.

I also still think there were romantic tones to the relationship, even if they weren't grounded and, had he survived, while I'm sure the two would've continued to care deeply for each other, I very much question as to whether or not they could've formed a romantic relationship. Again, I think the point was, among other thins, just to have Shinn care extremely deeply for someone. So I've no other changes to make.

One last little tidbit about Stella I *do* have reason to believe you might find interesting, despite how you feel about Stella and her relationship with Shinn. I'm fairly sure the summaries would have mentioned that Stella's last words were her telling Shinn she loved him. But did the summaries also mention what she said right before this? Her second-to-last words were a pained, "Shinn... You said you'd protect me." I don't think Stella was blaming Shinn (although she might have been) so much as wondering why she's lying there with her body broken or whatnot. (Whether or not Shinn was in any condition to distinguish between how she meant those words is also very questionable, of course.) Nor do I have a clue how these words in particular affected Shinn at the moment. You do see him react to them, but in light of what she says next and then the fact that she dies, for all I know Shinn might even have completely forgotten those words. (Although that may not be very likely, but there's really no way to be sure as of Phase 38 either way, in my opinion.) However, considering Kevin's and Ken's backstories... well, did Rachel or Laura say anything like *that* to Kevin or Ken right before *they* died?

8.) Now for something somewhat new. After watching Volume 9, I don't particularly think you need to worry about your mobile suits being too "overpowered." (I've seen Phase 35 and Phase 36 twice, as well Phase 37 and Phase 38 four times already each, by the way, so again, I'm fairly sure I know what I'm talking about here for the most part.) The Destiny Gundam is *ridiculously* overpowered. Anything that can singlehandedly defeat three Destroys, two of them arguably with ease and in the space of a few seconds of Episode time, and one of them *with a single blow by slicing it in half from top to bottom with an anti-ship sword,* and without getting damaged at all in the process, is insane. Not only that, it moves so quickly it leaves afterimages. If its energy wings are active it can move so quickly that it appears to be in multiple places at once. And this doesn't affect its maneuverability whatsoever. Actually, I'm not sure I recall seeing a single afterimage when it moves in a straight line, although I may just be forgetting. In Phase 38, maybe I haven't even noticed yet. A lot of stuff was happening very very quickly... I didn't even notice the Destiny was doing the afterimage thing in that Phase until, I think, the third watch. But when its slipping to the side or contorting or twisting or doing a u-turn or something, *that's* when I recall seeing the afterimages. What I described above about Shinn versus the Destroy... Shinn pulls the same thing off in the Destiny Gundam, weaving through a firestorm of ten or more laser blasts to them while pulling agile, tight, precise, economized maneuvers and whatnot (although here his energy shield might have helped; I can't remember. However, if I remember correctly, this isn't the only example of the Destiny being at least as agile in the sense of the Impulse versus the Destroy) to get right up to the Destroy, then he slices it in half from top to bottom with a single blow of the antiship sword. I don't know if that's because of the strength of the antiship sword, the velocity of the Destiny, both, or what. But whatever the case, the Destiny is absurd. After seeing what that thing can do, trust me, you don't have to worry about overpowered Gundams. Short of something with a lot of DRAGOONs, right now the only pilots I suspect have a chance against the Destiny are Kira (who I expect to see defeat it sometime in the next four Phases, but please don't spoil or even hint whether I'm right, of course) and Ken DiFalco. The Destiny is arguably by far the most maneuverable Gundam I've yet seen in the series, perhaps the fastest as well, and, depending on exactly why Shinn was able to slice in half a Destroy in one blow, if it was due to the weapon itself, the thing also packs quite a punch.

And the Destroys themselves are monsters. This much I imagine its safe to assume the summaries made clear... but were they specific about just how *much* these things are monsters? In Phase 38, a simultaneous blast from all the positron cannons when a Destroy isn't in mobile suit form vaporized multiple battleships at once. I couldn't count the exact number but I'm almost certain it was more than five, although I'm also almost certain it wasn't ten. The beams were so enormous they washed over an area as large as between five to ten battleships as well as the space between them, which was quite significant. And that's just the positron attacks. Did the summary of Phase 31 mention how many mobile suits Stella was effortlessly destroying en masse? She was annihilating goodly numbers of them each time she went after a city, if I remember correctly, without taking any damage. It might not be an exaggeration (although it very well might) to say each force she fought was at least the size of Waltfeld's Banadiya forces.

And like I said, the Destiny defeated three all by itself, two arguably with ease, and one in a single blow. Not only that, the Destiny was specifically customized according to Shinn's battle data, and one of the things it was customized for was his Berserker speed. (About that... In yet another moment of irony, while Durandal is discussing how Shinn's speed has advanced to the point that it greatly surpasses all other opponents in the battlefield, it flashes back to two things. First, the part around where Berserker Shinn dodges Kira's attack in Phase 28; although given what we see the Freedom doing at this point, and we don't see the actual dodge itself, this might not really support Durandal's remark. However, immediately after this, the scene flashes back to the moment where Freedom, in that part of Phase 34 that I said takes place perhaps *literally* less than a second - one wonders how fast it would've happened if it the event was real; slower or faster? *Shrug.* - descends under Shinn's beam saber swipe, rises up, and decapitates the Impulse. And Kira doesn't just duck the Freedom's head. He moves the entire mecha down under the slice and then rises up to decapitate the Impulse. So much for Shinn's speed surpassing everyone else's.) At one point Durandal mentions that Shinn must have been frustrated not being able to use all his abilities to their fullest, or something like that. One could perhaps even say the Destiny is the very first Gundam specifically customized for a Berserker pilot. I haven't yet seen anything to indicate the Destiny is particularly exceptional when Shinn isn't Berserker, but when he *is*, that thing is so "overpowered" I don't think you need to worry about your own mobile suits.

While, thus far, the Destiny's feats are perhaps more due to the mobile suit than Shinn, how Shinn's Berserker reflexes can keep up with making very tight, economized, ditto maneuvers at speeds so fast he leaves afterimages is also a credit to Shinn's skill. On second thought, if he's capable of that, I have to wonder if, by the end of Phase 38, Shinn is still as far below Kira as he was in Phase 34.

Well, according to my Microsoft Word File, where I've been Saving this as I type it in case of a crash, this isn't yet *quite* as large as, I think, the Chapter 22 Review. There's still a few more things I have to mention, but I'll save them for next time, so I guess this'll be a bit shorter than before after all.
NukeDawg chapter 23 . 7/19/2007
Very Nice Chapter Solid. I liked this, A lot better then the Canon Version. (Even though I haven't seen the Dub version yet) But still rather good.

Also I did some re reading of chapter 22, you sneaky devil you, I wonder what will continue from that part.

See you next time.

~NukeDawg~

PS, still waiting for your Review.
Blacklight 88 chapter 23 . 7/19/2007
Good I've been waiting on this to be updated. More Destroyers involved now and an explosive battle. Also is Onishi's Storm Hawk different then Kevin's machines? Features and or color scheme specifically. Looking forward to the next update.

Rau Le Creuset 88
Knives91 chapter 23 . 7/18/2007
Very nice update. A little chaotic, but hey, that's what it's all about. Keep it comming.
Shinji Ikari chapter 23 . 7/18/2007
Well, this Chapter has the honor of being the first Chapter in a while - if not this entire story - to not really need any particular criticism. As a matter of fact, if not for certain other issues, this might be the first Chapter - sans the ones I read when catching up - I wouldn't need to Review. However, since I am Reviewing, there are a couple of tiny errors I mayaswell point out. First of all, both in this Chapter and the last one, you've spelled "Dardanelles Strait" as "Straight." Secondly, during the exchange between Stella and Neo when he orders her to keep the Freedom off the deck, you have a "1" in place of an exclamation mark.

Beyond that, though, there's nothing to criticize about this Chapter. And just for the record, if anyone else criticizes you on all the changes you made in this Chapter, I beg to differ. I've been waiting over two stories for you to actually write a Chapter with major changes in events earlier on in the story, as opposed to only in the second half. It was a shame not to see Kira being completely awesome, but oh, well.

Also, if Athrun blames the Archangel's inference for what his shot did to the Minerva and the crew, considering how much more badly Minerva got damaged and how many more lives were lost in this version than in the actual Phase 23, I'll now also say I might be able to see Athrun getting heated with more people than just Kira after all when he confronts the crew of the Archangel. In the original version of Phase 23, the only casualty of the Minerva crew, if I remember correctly, was Heine, and the only damage was to the Tannhauser turret itself, not any of the ship. Hence, if Athrun blames what happened on the Archangel, its possible he might be a lot more... irritated... than he was in the actual anime. (Not that Athrun, of course, is the only person who might react differently and/or of a greater degree to the greater damage and casualties if anyone besides Athrun blames the damage, fatalities, injuries, et cetera on the intervention.) If Athrun (and/or anyone else) doesn't blame the "friendly fire" incident on the Archangel's interference, never mind, though. But if he *does,* while I'm still not entirely certain he'd be heated with anyone but Kira (who seems to be the exception in terms of him keeping composure, as I discussed before), I now see it as a definite possibility and I'm not going to criticize it if you *do* decide to have him heated with Kevin or anyone else.

It's good to know this Chapter's lateness was due to the length and how much effort you put into it. Since the double Updates to CRY OF THE FALCON started two Chapters ago, when you were getting particularly driven up the wall over the DESTINY debate, and you hadn't yet even responded to my Chapter 22 Review, I'd begun to worry that our recent debates were to blame and things had gotten so exasperating you were avoiding writing A CALL TO ARMS or something. It's good to know that wasn't the case... or if it was, that wasn't the only problem. In case you *are* still exasperated over the issues, however, I conceded the point about Shinn not becoming as good as Kira (pending events in further Phases that might provoke another reversal of opinion). I disagreed perhaps even more strongly about certain issues concerning how Shinn fights when Berserker, yes. But as for Shinn and Stella, I'd disagreed that their relationship was truly romantic (or at least that it wasn't romantic in a sense of one having a firm foundation and being grounded), but that was not a criticism. I was pointing out that their relationship might actually be plausible after all since it may not be what you think, and (if that is your chief issue with their bond, a la your feelings about Kira and Lacus) trying to offer an alternate perspective you could see them by that might make it less of an irritant to write about them. Which is also my personal interpretation and I'm not asking you to agree with me here either.

(Speaking of which, I also discussed some of this with my friend a while back - the stuff about Shinn making a mistake in returning Stella to the Earth Forces or lack thereof, and whether or not *he* was responsible for Stella's death. My friend disagreed with me in certain ways, so now I'm not as sure what to think, but I'll save that for whenever you're ready to finally respond.)

If you haven't written a Review Reply yet simply because you don't yet feel like answering around one-and-one-third "large-type" Reviews and still don't feel like touching upon certain issues again yet because of the trouble we already *had,* and its not that I'm still coming across wrong, never mind, and I don't have any problems waiting for whenever you're ready. If again I wasn't clear about what I was trying to say, however, I apologize again.

Lastly, first, there's something I think I forgot to mention last Review. Another tidbit about Shinn's character and/or his bond with Rey which the summaries may have missed. In Phase 31, while they're in prison, even though Shinn never asked Rey to help him get Steall out and he'd even tried to hide what he was doing from Rey and hadn't expected Rey's involvement, Shinn apologizes to Rey for getting him in trouble and Rey has to point out to Shinn that he chose to do this himself and it isn't Shinn's fault.

Secondly, I don't suppose this time you *will* give us two CALL TO ARMS Updates in a row, please, since we've had two occurrences of two CRY OF THE FALCON Updates in a row?
bloodyknight85 chapter 23 . 7/18/2007
'The battle between Orb and ZAFT has been thwarted by the sudden emergence of the Archangel, Dominion and their mobile forces including Freedom, Nemesis and much more... Shinn is still as enraged as ever... Attacking Kevin is certainly crazy... especially at a time like this... He's basically fighting his own battle right now... Serve him right in suffering the defeat by Kevin... It seems that the true Destroyers are about to gather... What will surface from this? Perhaps it will be too late to say that...'

Keep up the good work, dude... Update sooN!
Anonymous chapter 23 . 7/17/2007
Excellent chapter as usual! I like this mentality of yours to chuck out some of the canon events of GSD in favor of your more creative writing...and it does not disappoint! What really impressed me was how you depicted the humanity of all of the characters; they all have self-doubts about their role in the battle, face tough choices and more importantly, make mistakes; Kira's incident with Heine and Jack Carter as well as Athrun's "friendly fire" incident are but a few examples. But at least it makes it easier to believe in these character's skills and capabilities. Not like in GSD where Kira owned the battlefield and then suddenly gets brought down by Shinn (though I don't know if that will even come into play given how you are changing the story's course).

As a self-prclaimed Athrun fan, ladies and gentleman, Athrun's back into the fold baby! Making him go SEED mode this early is awesome...I never figured out how in the anime, they had him incapable of going SEED mode until what, episode 42, 43? Maybe had something to do with the constant internal struggle with his own convictions that he had throughout the series. Nice to know that seems to be less of a hinderance in this story. Suggestion - make it that he is able to make it to the battle of Berlin intact; imagine Kevin, Kira, Athrun, Shinn and company trying to take down the destroy, talk about a clash of the titans!

Interesting ploy you have going on with more and more "vintage" Destroyers coming into the fold. Now that's a huge furball that's gonna erupt when "the Call" is made. I can't wait to see how this is going to progress.
speaker4thesilent chapter 23 . 7/17/2007
Excelent as usual! I like how you're developing all of the Destroyers. It's interesting to get inside their heads a bit. Also, loving the fight between Shinn and Kevin. I like that Shinn was able to damage Nemisis, even if it wasn't very badly. And especially the way he did it, using Kevin's unwillingness to kill him against him. It sets the groundwork nicely for the events of Nightmare. Keep up the good work!
charles ho chapter 23 . 7/17/2007
Great chapter!I like how Kevin reaction on Yuna statement Cagalli being his wife which although he manage to control himself, he was so angry that MS is to i like battle at the Red Sea and i glad that Heine is alive in this fic.I also glad that Cagalli is stronger will than in job!

I hope that you heard about new Gundam Sunrise(anime company make Gundam series) has annouce that the new Gundam series known as Mobile Suit Gundam 00 which gonna be out in this year October.I hope you will watch the newest gundam series though torrent fansub.I hope you consider it and write future Gundam 00 fic.

I wonder what future role of Heine?Also whos Alan and Mark in this latest chapter and what their role in this what Heine next Ms after his GOUF?Also how Kevin would react when he heard about Orb soldier who defected to Archangel about their bad opinion on Seiran rule after second battle between Minerva and Orb?I also wonder how Kevin reaction on Destroy Gundam attacking Berlin?Also who will disable Saviour during second battle between Orb and Minerva?Is it Kira like in canon or someone else?

Continue your great work and update soon?
Storm Wolf77415 chapter 23 . 7/17/2007
You won't get any complaints from me about you throwing canon out of the window on this one. I prefer this verison of the Battle of Crete to canon. Great job man.
Infinite Freedom chapter 23 . 7/17/2007
Another great chapter. Cagalli should know that Kevin would hold back enough to not destroy the planet. Wait why didn't Leona scare Yuna like she said she was going to? Finally I am glad to see that someone has finally broken the mold about having Heine die.
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