Mithril and the Bloody Valentine War

Chapter #1: The Bloody Valentine Tragedy

February 14, year 70 of the Cosmic Era, 3 days into a full scale war between Zaft and the Earth Alliance Forces.

Mithril now finds itself unprepared and caught in a world where humanity becomes divided following the revelation of technology used to enhance human beings, throughout the next fifty-five years on earth, mistrust and discrimination occurred between unmodified human beings also known as "Naturals" and genetically enhanced humans also known as Coordinators until the majority of Coordinators decide to leave the earth in order live independently in outer space colonies, thereby escaping prejudice and persecution. However, such actions weren't enough to bring a peaceful end to the tensions which were still very much in existence, the nations of earth wouldn't allow these outcast humans to have their own independence or sovereignty and a full scale war eventually broke out.

Merida island, Mithril's Pacific base where the Tuatha de Danaan submarine is presently located, the top brass and leaders met in an office where they are discussing the international conflict which has just escalated by an unexpected nuclear missile attack in outer space, the youngest of the uniformed officers and leaders was a young female officer who looked not much older than a teenage girl. In contrast to herself, the other members present at the meeting were all adult men, some were middle aged while others were even older.

The young teenage girl was named Teletha Testarossa and she was a high ranking officer of Mithril's Tactical Division as well as Captain of a Technologically advanced amphibious submarine which she herself had designed and built, being a member of the "Whispered" gave her an invaluable amount of knowledge regarding Black Technology which is why the gifted girl had achieved so much so fast at such a young age, earning her an immense amount of respect from all those who worked with her from Mithril including the entire crew of the submarine she commanded. Although her first name was Teletha, she went by the nickname of Tessa and she shared a great friendship with her subordinates who were closest to her in age, namely Melissa as well as Kurz and Sousuke who had been deployed in Tokyo to act as bodyguards for Kaname.

Tessa had grey eyes, ash blond coloured hair in a long ponytail with a dark blue ribbon tied on the back of her head. Her creamy white skin was too difficult to ignore, she truly looked like a goddess; she would make all the girls at Kaname's school look at her with envy while all the guys would be hypnotized by her beauty. Her military uniform that she wore was a golden coloured dress uniform obviously not for combat, a jacket complete with the Mithril insignia badge sown on each arm and her rank epaulettes which confirmed that she was indeed a Captain, a matching golden skirt clung to her legs and reached down just above her knees, allowing more freedom of movement.

Although Tessa was a whispered candidate like Kaname in addition to being Captain of her own ship, she herself had to bear a heavy amount of responsibilities as a fellow officer of Mithril's Tactical Division and like many members belonging to that same Division; she found herself in conflicting disagreements with members of Mithril's Intelligence Division who neither understood the realities of combat or of the moral values and principals which Mithril stood and fought for. In addition, the ash blond haired girl felt as though the other members, who were all grownups; only viewed her as nothing more than a young teenager despite the achievements she had accomplished as a whispered and as a commander of the Tuatha de Danaan as her amphibious submarine was so named.

Tessa was presently seated by herself inside of a private dark room; with a massive round metal table in the middle which had a bright holographic projector built in it. The device emitted a faint holographic image of the globe perfectly mapped out with every detail to show all the land masses and islands on surface of the world; this image slowly rotated and helped to light up the dark room which looked like a council chamber because of the seated arranged around the circular table. In the other empty chairs seated around the table, there were projected holographic images of military leaders and intelligence officers belonging to Mithril's High Command; they were all gathered together in this meeting to discuss the incident regarding the nuclear attack which had taken place in the last few hours as details of the tragedy being broadcasted through television and radio stations all over the globe as well as in outer space.

"This is serious, deadly serious indeed." Admiral Borda said softy to Tessa who was seated beside him as the other members of Mithril's High Command were still overlooking all of the data collected thus far before the meeting could officially begin. "I never thought I would see the day when Mithril would find itself unable to prevent an international conflict such as this, let alone a nuclear attack on an outer space colony with so many innocent civilian inhabitants."

"I was afraid of something like this Uncle, I always stressed that Mithril cannot focus its full attention on researching Black Technology, we must also keep watch on world affairs to ensure that such horrific attacks cannot happen again." Tessa replied quietly, briefly reading through the available data on the nuclear attack submitted in a report which sat on the round table. "What were the casualties Uncle?"

"I'm afraid I don't know that yet" Admiral Borda answered before he noticed that Lord Mallory was ready to address everyone. "Hold on."

"Everyone, as all of you are undoubtedly aware, a surprise nuclear attack was launched against an outer space colony belonging to Zaft which has declared its independence in order to establish its own sovereignty and live free from the nations of the Earth as a result of the prejudices that her citizens suffered from while they were still living on earth." Lord Mallory begun. "It has just come to our attention that the total number of casualties from this unprecedented nuclear attack are 243, 721 people, all of whom were inside of that settlement which was destroyed at the time of the attack."

"Th-That…m-many?" Tessa replied, both eyes widening while her throat went dry, sitting paralysed with shock and disbelief just like everyone else present at the meeting.

"The Zaft Supreme Council has just made a political statement condemning the attack as an act of murder despite the fact that war was already declared three days ago before the nuclear attack was launched, however, no one can blame them given that nuclear weapons were used in the attack." Lord Mallory continued. "The casualties were all civilian inhabitants and although the Earth Alliance Forces initiated the conflict from the start, I must point out an equally disturbing matter which was included in the live video footage today, the Zaft military forces appear to have designed and built their own Arm-Slaves which are unlike any that we've seen or encountered before."

"What are the specifications of these Zaft machines and how are they different from our own?" Tessa asked curiously with concern.

"We don't know, but what we've all been shown here today is that Mithril has fallen behind in space exploration and as a result, we are presently powerless to extend our operating reach to the stars in order to prevent international conflicts such as the war which began three days ago." Lord Mallory pointed out, much to the regret of the Mithril High Command who thought they were stronger and superior than of all the nations of the world until the events of today proved them hauntingly incorrect. "The Earth Alliances Forces have made the first move, striking with nuclear weapons I might add which makes Zaft even more likely to launch a nuclear retaliatory strike themselves, their orbital position gives them such an advantageous capability with no means of stopping them should they decide to do so. We're now every bit as vulnerable as the nations of Earth, despite our leading edge in Black Technology and our knowledge of the "Whispered" which it has been derived from, all of the "Whispered" are in danger as well given how much more valuable the knowledge that they possess will be to the nations fighting against each other as this war continues."

"Pardon me, Lord Mallory…" Tessa asked, politely raising her hand in order to speak. "If Zaft retaliates at all, wouldn't they likely strike at the Lunar bases located on the surface of the moon instead of attacking the Earth? Otherwise, Zaft would be fighting a two front war against all the nations of the world, never mind the fact that the Earth Alliance Forces could still launch another attack from their lunar bases."

"One would think that option as the simplest and most likely at a glance Captain Testarossa, however, the settlement known as Junius Seven which was destroyed in today's nuclear attack was an agricultural settlement used for growing and sustaining their own food." Lord Mallory explained. "Without any immediate food sources to draw on in order to feed its own people, I believe that Zaft will be forced to attack and invade the earth out of necessity which will turn what everyone believes will be a short war into a long drawn out war of attrition in which all combatants will be pushed beyond their limits, as will we if Mithril finds itself targeted."

"What is it that you propose we do if Mithril is presently incapable of bringing this conflict to an end Lord Mallory?" Admiral Borda asked.

"We prepare for any eventualities where ever they may occur as we monitor all the fighting as best as we possibly can while maintaining our efforts to protect all of the "Whispered", if any of them fall into the hands of either Zaft or the Earth Alliance Forces, our fate and that of all humanity along with the world as a whole will be in even greater danger. Lastly, we must upgrade our military capabilities and arsenals so that we can extend our influence to outer space in order to bring this conflict to an end before our worst fears become a reality."

"But Lord Mallory, with all due respect, we haven't enough time." One of the intelligence officers objected. "Zaft could launch an invasion or a retaliatory nuclear strike in a matter of weeks, days or even hours if they wished. She's strategically placed above us in Earth's orbit where she's well out of our striking range, if she also possesses Arm-Slaves which we're unfamiliar with, we won't know how our own pilots and Arm-Slaves will perform against them until we encounter them in battle should any inevitable conflicts arise. Never mind the fact that Zaft's population is made up entirely of Coordinators who are genetically engineered with better learning skills and other advantageous abilities which we ourselves do not possess, even though our weapons are enhanced and equipped with Black Technology, that alone might not be enough."

"I have to agree sir, while the Tuatha de Danaan and its complement of various military craft are formidable, this is an international confrontation on a scale which we've never seen or dealt with before." Tessa added with concern, she dreaded the thought of sending her fellow soldiers into a battle from which they would never return from, especially those nearest to her in age whom she had befriended and grown so close too. "Having technological superiority isn't necessarily enough to ensure survival or victory for our forces on the battlefield."

"I understand all of your concerns and you are indeed correct, but as the matter stands, we have absolutely no other choice." Lord Mallory reluctantly stated. "Mithril has fallen behind in space travel, space exploration and most importantly, Arm-Slave combat adapted to space warfare. Humanity is at war with itself and despite our vulnerability, we must attempt to catch up and surpass both Zaft and the Earth Alliance Forces before this conflict threatens to destroy the earth and humanity along with it, either we do it or be destroyed along with them. That is our first priority at the present time, we'll worry about taking sides and choosing who to fight against should we find ourselves attacked as the war wages on, please conduct an evaluation of our current military weapons and propose design modifications and upgrades adapted to outer space warfare as soon as humanly possible. Thank you, that is all."

The holographic images of the people vanished as the projectors retracted themselves into the seats around the table except for those which Tessa and her Uncle sat in, now that the two of them were alone without any of the other officers to hear them, the two relatives could finally speak freely without being forced to keep some comments to themselves.

"I know how uncertain and afraid you must be feeling right now Tessa, this new international conflict is beyond anything Mithril as ever seen or dealt with before, you're still allowed to step down from commanding the Tuatha de Danaan if you feel unable to cope with the heavy responsibility that will be even heavier than before." Admiral Borda pointed out even though he already knew the reaction his young niece would give him in response, but he had to mention it anyway, both as her superior officer and as her Uncle who cared for her.

"I'm NOT relinquishing MY ship to someone else just because there's a world war Admiral!" Tessa blurted out, feeling momentarily insulted for being treated like a young child even though she knew deep down that her Uncle only suggested it out of concern for her. "I'm sorry Uncle, every member of my crew is important to me, I can't consider leaving…especially at a time like this with a world war starting."

"I know, I know, I just thought I'd mention it so I could express my concern." Admiral Borda replied, nodding in understanding. "I for one, wouldn't trust anyone else either to command your submarine in such difficult times, especially some bureaucratic buffoon from the Intelligence Division who has no combat experience or respect for the soldiers who operate and fight on the battlefield."

"Let's just hope and pray that Mithril won't become divided in half like humanity is right now, things are bad enough already a-and…I don't want to see another incident like this ever again for as long as I live." Tessa said softly, reading the data on the report before her again.

"Nor do I Tessa, but unfortunately, its just as Lord Mallory explained." Admiral Borda pointed out. "The Earth Forces have attacked Zaft first and with nuclear weapons as well, Zaft has the next move, so we'd better hope and pray while we get to work as fast as possible if we're to bring this war to an end before our worst fears are realized."

"Yes, we should." Tessa said in agreement, even while the reality of the whole situation seemed to close in all around her, putting the poor girl under even more strain than what she was already forced to endure.

Meanwhile, inside the Plants hourglass shaped settlements which were owned and built by Zaft, all citizens were shocked and traumatized by the news of Junius Seven's destruction, today was February 14 after all and was supposed to be a special occasion instead of the horrific tragedy that it had turned out to be. For many of the people, both friends and family members had been present inside of the settlement during the surprise nuclear attack which resulted in the deaths of so many loved ones and fellow citizens. From this day forwards, this terrible event would be known as the Bloody Valentine Tragedy.

All of Zaft's soldiers, regardless of age or rank had been deeply affected by this event and their lives would be changed forever, possibly even more than those of their fellow citizens who weren't wearing the uniform of Zaft's military. They were Coordinators and were considered to be the best soldiers in all of humanity with incomparable standards and they prided themselves on performing as such to keep that belief alive, they were armed with the best equipment and weaponry designed and built by the most highly efficient engineering specialists in existence as well. Yet, on this tragic day, a surprise attack by Earth Alliance Forces armed with nuclear weapons had struck a devastating blow from which Zaft might not ever recover from. Mournful tears coupled with cries of anger and vengeance soon pierced through the lips of all Zaft citizens and soldiers alike, especially those youngest who wanted nothing more than to ensure such a tragedy would not ever happen again.

Inside all the hourglass shaped settlements throughout the homeland, the call went out for new young men and women to enlist and become volunteer soldiers, no matter what their skills or which postings they would eventually be assigned too. On Aprilius One which was the capital of the Plants settlements where the Plants Supreme Council members meet to discuss politics and other great matters of importance, a group of young soldiers stood at attention on one of many training bases, ready to receive deployment orders now that the homeland was threatened even more than before. Each rank consisted of seven young teenage boys all in standard army green uniforms and at the front rank, five young teenagers at the centre all wore red uniforms, this showed that they were more talented and that they would eventually be trained to a higher standard which made them members of Zaft's elite military mobile suit pilots.

One of the five youngsters was a young fourteen year old teenage boy named Nicol Amalfi, he had short messy green hair, amber coloured eyes and a handsome face; he was kind hearted and good natured. Standing to his left were his four friends and fellow Zaft soldiers who also wore the same red Zaft uniform as himself. Yzak Joule, an aggressive individual with a short temper, he had blue eyes and short grey hair. Athrun Zala, a handsome young man with excellent leadership and analytical skills, he had emerald green eyes and short black hair. Dearka Elsman, a young man of action who's always up for a fight on the battlefield, he had tanned skin along with short messy yellow hair and purple eyes.

The dress uniforms in which all five of them were wearing consisted of red dress uniform pants, white nee length boots, a red uniform jacket which when put on, felt more like an overcoat given that the sides buttoned up over top of each other instead of together at the middle. The jacket sleeves from the elbows down were thicker and black and the same could be said with the top of the jacket above wear the person's neck and shoulders were located, various Zaft insignias were sown in at the front on both sides of the jacket's collar and on each of the shoulders as well at the top of both sleeves. This was the standard pattern for all dress uniforms worn by soldiers of Zaft, though the colours for some uniforms differed depending on the rank and combat experience a soldier possesses, green and red uniforms were mainly what soldiers and pilots wore, but commanders usually wore black or while uniforms with the same basic pattern which showed that they were in command of a warship, a naval squadron or even a entire task force.

The senior officer in command who stood on the podium was a man about in his very early thirties, he had long yellow hair and wore a white Zaft uniform which showed he was the elite of the Zaft military, both in piloting skills and as a military commander. His name was Rau le Creuset and his background was shrouded in mystery in the same way that his eyes were concealed by a small white mask which he wore on his upper face.

"Fellow Zaft soldiers, as all of you are undoubtedly aware by now, our homeland has been attacked by the Earth Forces." Commander Rau Le Creuset stated, standing on top of a large podium dressed in a white uniform with black around the shoulders, neck and lower sleeves, several senior officers who stood further back on either side of him were dressed in black uniforms with light purple on the shoulders, neck and lower sleeves. "Junius Seven was attacked and destroyed by a nuclear missile strike which was launched during the attack, all of its inhabitants were killed in the aftermath of the devastating explosion, no words can comfort or console all those who have lost loved ones and friends. However, it is our duty as soldiers of Zaft to ensure that this terrible tragedy does not ever happen again, I ask that each and every one of you does your utmost for the sake of your fellow citizens and for the homes in which we all live. I have just received word from the Plants Supreme Council and the National Defence Committee that plans for a counterattack are presently being planned, once they are ready to be put in motion, we will strike back and take the fight to the Earth so that our homeland will be protected from any further attacks from this day forward!"

Without warning, cheers and shouts of encouragement and patriotism burst from all of the young teenage soldiers standing at attention, although this broke the protocol of standing still at attention while remaining silent in order to listen for the commander's statements, the senior officers let the minor incident pass given how effected everyone was at this time on this particular day because of the Bloody Valentine Tragedy. After about a minute, all of the young teenage soldiers returned to standing at attention and shut their mouths so that Commander Rau le Creuset could continue with the matter of giving deployment orders so each of them would know the dates, departure times and destinations of their new postings.

"Please listen for your names as each of you are called up, upon hearing your name called, please step forward to receive your deployment orders. Each of you will now be called up to receive orders detailing where you will be deployed throughout the homeland and who's command you will be fighting under." Rau le Creuset instructed, before saluting all of the young teenage soldiers who in turn, raised their right arms to salute him. "Allow me to wish you the best of luck in your efforts and experiences to come until this war can be brought to an end, I sincerely hope that each and everyone of you will return home to your families afterwards."

Rau le Creuset left the stage and allowed one of the other officers to step forward and read off the names of the soldiers one at a time, each soldier answered "sir" in response, he then marched forwards to exchange salutes and receive an envelope containing his deployment orders before returning to ranks. One by one, each of the soldiers were handed their orders and once everyone in the formation had received them, the whole group of teenage soldiers were all dismissed and allowed to march off the parade square where they could talk freely amongst themselves and open the envelopes containing the orders that they were given. Nicol immediately opened his envelope, removing and unfolding the piece of paper inside to read his deployment orders, Athrun, Yzak and Dearka all did the same.

"I'm being assigned to Commander Le Creuset's Team, it looks as though I'll be onboard a Nazca-class cruiser, the Vesalius." Nicol stated after briefly reading over the details of his orders, his words catching the attention of his other friends who had also read theirs.

"That's what my deployment orders say as well, it looks like we're both part of the same team." Athrun replied, glancing at Nicol.

"Same goes for me." Yzak stated with a grin.

"Looks like we're all on the same team, I guess being such skilled soldiers allows us to be deployed together so we can use our combined efforts as a team when the time comes for Zaft to strike back at the Earth Forces." Dearka remarked excitedly with a grin.

"That's great, now we won't be separated from each other, we'll be together on the same ship and on the same team." Nicole said.

"I wonder how long we'll have to wait before we can go into action and get our share of combat experience? Dearka asked excitedly.

"That depends on how well each of you progress with your training, while I have faith in your abilities, you'll still require a couple of weeks or months before all of you are ready to see combat." A grown man said as he walked towards the group of teenagers, wearing a black and light purple officer's dress uniform, causing the lot of them to stand at attention and exchange salutes with the man. "At ease, my name is Captain Ades and I'm the executive officer in command of the Vesalius of the Le Creuset Team, please pardon me for interrupting your talk and walking in on you uninvited."

"No apologies necessary…sir." Nicol replied politely, answering on behalf of all of his friends. "I'm Nicol Amalfi, this is Athrun, Dearka and Yzak, we're all friends and we've just become enlisted as volunteer soldiers sir."

"Where has Commander Le Creuset gone if you don't mind my asking Captain Ades?" Athrun asked curiously after noticing the Commander's sudden disappearance. "Please excuse my rudeness, but I thought he'd be here with you to get acquainted with all of us."

"I believe Commander Le Creuset's presence is required at the National Defence Committee Headquarters, something to do with the counteroffensive operation that's being put in motion or so I've been told, therefore, he asked if I could welcome you in his stead now that you're officially part of the Le Creuset Team." Captain Ades explained. "I know all of this sounds premature given that you're already being assigned to the Vesalius and all before you've graduated and completed your training, but Commander Le Creuset has a talent for selecting the best likely candidates and he values the skills of all soldiers regardless of rank or age, all of you should feel honoured for being chosen by him and I have no doubt that all of you will make great soldiers judging from those red uniforms you're all wearing."

"Alright, all we have to do now is complete our training and then we'll have our chance to fight the Earth Forces pay em back for what they did to Junius Seven." Dearka said excitedly with a thumbs up and a grin while winking at Nicol and the others. "What'da say guys?"

"Sounds good to me Dearka, hopefully our training will be over before the war is." Yzak commented, grinning excitedly as well.

"That you can be sure of, we're outnumbered and undersupplied, the next couple of months are going to be difficult for all of us now that the homeland has lost its self sufficiency in growing its own food with Junius Seven destroyed." Captain Ades stated firmly in order to remind the eager young soldiers how serious the situation truly was for all citizens of the Plants. "However, its our move next and we intend to strike a blow so devastating that the Earth Alliance Forces won't dare underestimate us ever again, then the real war will begin."

"We understand the seriousness of today's tragedy sir, even though we're all still young and haven't seen or experienced combat yet." Nicol replied with a serious tone of voice in the hopes that Captain Ades would see that none of them were acting overly anxious or foolish which was only natural for grown ups to do given that all of them were still young teenage boys. "But we all want to do our part and protect our friends, families and fellow citizens so that our homeland will be safe from attack from now on."

"I'm very glad to hear you say those words young man, its rare to hear such words of wisdom and devotion from someone as young as you are, I'm confident that the safety and security of the homeland will be assured with so many young people such as yourselves stepping forward to do all that you can to see that goal fulfilled." Captain Ades stated admirably as he shared a handshake with the young teenager before shaking hands with the rest of Nicol's friends and companions. "I know how excited all of you must be feeling right now and that you're anxious to get your training over and done with, but that won't happen until your first day of training arrives…so go home and enjoy the time off you have left with your families while you still can, for it will be a very long time before this war ends and all of us can return home to live our lives peacefully as we've always wanted to do."

"Thank you for your kind words sir, good luck until we meet again." Nicol said politely.

"And the same to all of you as well, goodbye and good luck." Captain Ades replied, exchanging salutes with the boys before departing.

"We're all still young?" Dearka commented sarcastically while momentarily locking an arm around Nicol's neck to put him in a chokehold. "Speak for yourself Nicol, we're all older than you are. Ah! Ha! Ha! Ha!"

"Get off of me Dearka!" Nicol demanded while struggling to break free of the guy's hold even though Dearka's arm wasn't tight enough to hurt him or cut off his breathing.

"Ha! Ha! Ha! Looks like you'll need a hell of a lot of training if you want to match us in battle Nicol." Yzak laughed before adding his own remark as Dearka released Nicol from his chokehold and allowed the young boy to defend himself.

Although Athrun would have intervened on Nicol's behalf from the start, he knew Dearka was only messing around and that Nicol hadn't been hurt despite the fun that Dearka and Yzak were both having at the expense of their friend. Besides, after losing his mother during the destruction of Junius Seven, Athrun needed every moment of laughter or joy that he could in order to recover even though he was still very much in emotional pain from such a tragic loss. Athrun's train of thought was interrupted when he recognized the faces of several other young teenagers also in Zaft uniforms racing over to them, two of them tackled Dearka from behind and the third surprised Yzak. Miguel Aiman was slightly taller than everyone else, but he had a short messy yellow hair and wore a Zaft army green uniform with white around the shoulders, neck and lower sleeves which was customary for regular Zaft soldiers. Rusty Mackenzie and Olor were about the same height as Athrun and the others, though Rusty wore the Zaft's elite red uniform and had short orange hair while Olor wore the same regular army green uniform and had short light brown hear.

"What the heck?" Dearka responded as he found himself in a friendly chokehold as he suddenly recognized the voices of his attackers who were laughing until they released him from their combined hold a moment later. "Rusty! Miguel! Where have you guys been?"

"Just catching up with the other volunteer soldiers, oh, and we all grabbed a bite to eat before coming to see all of you." Olor answered.

"The three of us have been assigned to the Le Creuset Team." Rusty recalled. "What postings and deployments have you guys got?"

"We've been given the same as you guys have." Dearka stated proudly, causing the three additional friends to gape wide eyed.

"No way! That's awesome! Now all of us can fight along side each other and as members of the same team as well!" Miguel stated, feeling as excited as everyone else was.

"How did you manage to get selected as part of Le Creseut's Team?" Yzak asked curiously just for laughs.

"Hey, just because Olor and I aren't wearing the same red uniform as the rest of you doesn't mean Commander Le Creseut can't spot a talented soldier who just happens to be dressed in green." Miguel stated with a grin, making everyone chuckle to themselves.

"Well, I think I'll head home now, my mom's been wondering where I am and I have to tell her that I've enlisted as a volunteer soldier." Nicol stated, wanting to go home and relax as soon as possible, that and to avoid being teased or taunted by any of his friends any further.

"Aww, come on Nicol, we've just been selected to be part of the Le Creuset Team!" Dearka whined, not wanting the group to break up and scatter just yet. "We should be celebrating man, we haven't even started our training yet and we've already earned these red uniforms, not to mention the opportunity of fighting against the Earth Forces under the leadership of Commander Le Creuset!"

"Quit complaining Dearka, we'll have plenty of time to do that once we've begun our training and I'm not leaving right this second until after I've called a taxi to drive me home." Besides, you heard what Captain Ades said, we'd better enjoy the time we have at home with our families while we still have it before we're deployed in combat after our training is over." Nicol stated, neither Yzak, nor Dearka could reply with an appropriate comeback after hearing those words from his mouth.

"Nicol's right guys, besides, not all of us are fortunate to have a whole family to return home too after all the lives which were lost on Junius Seven." Athrun stated, everyone wore apologetic looks on their faces and remained quiet, but the fact that all of them would be training together and then fighting together on the same team had given him the strength to move forward which is what he needed right now. "Let's make a vow, no matter what, we'll fight together and one day come home together once this war is over and we've all won."

"Sounds like a plan to me, I couldn't have thought of a better vow at a time like this." Miguel stated as all of the teenagers put their hands on top of each others like how sports players would do to get their spirits fired up before a game.

"Let's work hard to complete our training, the sooner we get sent to fight in combat, the better." Yzak stated with a grin, clenching a fist.

"We'll fight to protect the Plants together until the day comes when we can come home together, that's a promise." Nicol said with a smile, afterwards, he took the opportunity of calling a taxi cab on his cell in order to catch a ride home.

Down on earth somewhere in Hong Kong, two men were talking amongst themselves as they walked down a dimly lit street which was nearly deserted since it was now evening, the few people on the street aside from themselves were drug dealers and prostitutes. Both of them were respectably dressed like gentlemen, wearing fine black dress pants along with a black suit white shirt and a tie, complete with expensive black shoes to compliment their appearance. The first man who was named Gauron looked to be in his late thirties and judging from the scar on his forehead along with the merciless look in his eyes and his cruel looking face, this man was a mercenary who was hired for killing and other such dirty work for which his skills and sadistic personality were particularly suited.

The other man who was much younger, anywhere from eighteen to twenty-one in age was named Leonard Testarossa, Tessa's twin brother despite being older in age than she was. He had very much in common with Tessa, he was a "Whispered" just as she was and he also had the same long ash blond hair and grey eyes, however, he was a member of Amalgam which was basically the same sort of secret mercenary organization as Mithril was even though both had different morals and goals that they followed or sought to achieve. To complicate things even more, Tessa along with her Uncle and her entire family at present had no idea that Leonard was a member of Amalgam, nor did they yet know of Amalgam's existence or its aims and achievements in relation to researching and developing Black Technology for its own use on the battlefield.

"And people say that nuclear weapons are an absolute waste of time and money, this is probably the first time in a very, very long while that any nuclear weapons have ever been used in battle or in a world war even though this technically happened in outer space somewhere in Earth's orbit." Gauron remarked, reading a newspaper article about the surprise nuclear attack on Junius Seven while he and Leonard kept walking side by side down the dimly lit street in Hong Kong. "Things are getting interesting…wouldn't you say?"

"Hmm, I always thought Muruta Azrael was a foolish person, but he's proven to be very useful." Leonard commented with chuckle.

"Its Zaft's turn to make the next move and what ever that move might be, you can bet that Mithril won't sit idly by now that this so called "Bloody Valentine Tragedy" has happened." Gauron remarked.

"Old Lord Mallory thinks Mithril can extend its influence to the stars even while a new world war has just started, he should have thought of that idea years earlier while Mithril had a better chance of success because what ever chance he has now will soon be gone." Leonard explained humorously in amusement. "Zaft is about to take on the whole world in this war which will work to our advantage while creating additional problems for Mithril and if Zaft falls…Amalgam will be able to force the remaining powers left on the globe submit to its will."

"Mithril wants to establish its presence in outer space just as Amalgam does, until one side or the other achieves that goal, then Zaft is still in a position to exactly the same thing should they defeat the Earth Alliance Forces in a quick decisive campaign." Gauron stated.

"There won't be a quick decisive campaign, Azrael's already seen to that by destroying Zaft's only agricultural settlement which means her people will soon starve unless they attack the earth and establish a foothold on it so that they can seize apple food sources before that happens." Leonard countered. "Despite having armaments similar in structure to Arm-slaves as well as Coordinators to pilot them, Zaft still has to fight a two front war against the Earth Alliance Forces based on the Earth as well as on the moon, Zaft will be defeated by superior numbers and resources used against her and if that isn't enough, Amalgam will have to deliver the killing blow if necessary."

"Is that your contingency plan if the Earth Alliance Forces take too long to defeat Zaft with or without Amalgam's help?" Gauron asked.

"In a manner of speaking, yes." Leonard answered. "But for the time being, until Zaft becomes a threat to us, we'll continue to focus most of our attention on escalating international conflicts in order to keep Mithril preoccupied while we attempt to research and develop more Black Technology from the "Whispered". Mithril's bound by its morals and ideals to abide by the rules of war, Amalgam on the other hand, isn't held on a leash like that which is why we'll succeed."

"There's no doubt of that, Mithril's already made enemies with most if not all of the major superpowers within the Earth Alliance, Amalgam as avoided that by creating and escalating international conflicts in order to test new weaponry and equipment on the battlefield which is profitable to itself and to some members of the Earth Alliance Forces." Gauron said in agreement, before pulling something from his pocket and holding it out for Leonard to look at. "If you want to do further research and develop more Black Technology, you'll need some more "Whispered", bodies are hard to come by these days and I imagine that they'll be even harder to acquire now that the world's at war. Here's a photo of a "Whispered", just say the word and I'll make the arrangements to kidnap her. Quite a lovely one isn't she?"

"Yes indeed, oh pardon me, I wasn't paying attention." Leonard said, taking the photo and looking at it, his eyes widening. "Gauron, look at your photo and then look at that young woman about thirty feet ahead of us, she has a remarkable resemblance to that young girl."

"Yes, she does, what are the odds of that?" Gauron said in agreement with a grin. "Well, I'm heading back to my apartment, my two lovely assassins are waiting more me and I don't want to keep them waiting any longer than I have already. Will I see you at the arranged location and time we discussed earlier?"

"Yes, until we meet again Gauron." Leonard answered before parting, walking down the street as he was doing before during their talk.

"Until we meet again Mr. Silver." Gauron replied with a wave before wandering off in a different direction, grinning with amusement.

The young woman Leonard had been looking at before Gauron had shown him the small photo of another young woman was tall with an attractive female figure, she had long dark navy blue hair which came down to her waist, her eyes were amber coloured and her lips were very red from the lipstick she was wearing. She wore a dark navy blue skirt held together with a white belt, white boots that came up just below her knees and a black sleeveless vest without spaghetti straps which meant it was either buttoned or tied in place from behind at the back which was partially revealed by the undone pink jacket that she wore over top.

"Hello there handsome, wanna have a good time?" The young attractive prostitute asked flirtatiously while speaking in a Chinese dialect.

Author's Note: I'm a very huge fan of Full Metal Panic and Gundam Seed so creating a cross over was inevitable, I hope the plot works and that those of you who took the time to read the first chapter enjoyed what's been written so far. I'm still divided about continuing the story from where its at right now or to fast forwards eleven months so that the story can officially take off at where the Gundam Seed series begins, but I'll figure that out eventually. Tessa and Nicol will both be the main protagonists for this story, however, I do plan for Kaname, Sousuke and the others to appear as the story progresses.

I had originally planned for Nicol and Tessa to be paired together, but I'm also toying with the idea of pairing Nicol with Kaname just because Nicol won't be as much of a headache for her as Sousuke usually is, that and the fact that Tessa already has feelings for Sousuke as well. But nothing is set in stone as of yet, please review this story if you want it to continue, any thoughts suggestions and ideas are welcome and will be taken into consideration should the opportunity arise to insert them into the story without interfering with the main plot. If anyone wants to chat using private messages, that's perfectly fine as well, thank you very much for those of you who have taken the time to read and review this story or any other stories which I'm writing online.