Disclaimer: Gundam Seed Does not belong to me


"We're the only ones who can protect the Archangel. If we can't do it, everyone will die," Kira whispered to herself, her eyes lowered, as Chief Murdock tugged on her seat straps making sure that they were tight before rapping the top of her helmet. Kira jerked her head back, holding her helmet.

"You all right, kid? You look a bit distracted. We're getting ready to launch to Strike."

She's scared. Kira gripped the controls tightly as she stared at the chief mechanic with bewildered eyes, her heart thumping loudly against her tight chest. She was so afraid.

"Kid?"

"Mr. Murdock, can I ask a favor?" her voice came out in a soft whisper. Murdock had to duck back into the cockpit just to hear her. "Torii- my robot. Can I bring it along?"

"Robot bird?"

"Yes. I placed him in the locker room. You can deactivate him. The power switch is under his right wing. I-," Kira paused and bit her lip, "I kind of need him. Can someone get him for me?"

"Sure, kid." Murdock grinned at her before ducking out of the cockpit to shout at one of the younger mechanics to get it. "Don't worry, kid," he patted her head. "Just keep that Laurasia-class ship busy and protect the Archangel."

"I know," Kira nodded as a mechanic handed the robot bird to Murdock. With Torii safely clipped at her side, Kira closed the hatch, catching the encouraging smile that Murdock threw at her before he disappeared out of sight, and took a deep breath, waiting for the OS to finish booting up.

"Kira!"

The said girl jerked forward and stared at the brown-haired girl smiling back at her from a small screen on top of her monitor as a loud hissing sound she identified as that of the linear catapult's locks engaging reached her ears. "Miriallia? What are you-?

"I'm taking care of the battle control for the Mobile Suit and Mobile Armor from now. Pleased to meet you," Miriallia winked at her, dissolving some of her nervousness with the casual gesture.

"It's good to be of service," an off-screen soldier scolded her friend as she felt the tell-tale shudders of Strike being armed.

"Kira, what you're going to use is called the Aile Striker pack."

"Got it," she nodded, lowering the visor of her helmet. "Kira Yamato, Strike Gundam launching," she announced.

The sheer force of the catapult launch had pressed her against the seat. Gritting her teeth, she quickly pulled Strike to a straight flight, switching on the Phase-Shift Armor as she did. Her proximity alarm immediately went off as her radar picked up a rapidly-approaching object coming from the direction of the Laurasia-class warship blocking Archangel's way. Ignoring the loud alarms, she gripped the controls harder, calming her racing pulse.

"One unit," she whispered, her eyes darting toward the monitor showing Archangel. "Just protect, he said. That lieutenant-"

She was pulled out of her musings when her camera panned in on the incoming object from the Laurasia warship, a small gasp escaping her lips when she recognized the object.

"That Mobile Suit... Athrun!" She cried out, putting away Strike's rifle, and pulled out its beam saber. She didn't want to fight him. Her heart skipped a beat when Aegis passed by her, eyes wide with shock.

"Kira!"

"Athrun?" Her eyes were drawn to the small screen showing her childhood friend.

"Stop this already! Put your saber away, Kira! We're not enemies, right? Why do we have to fight?"

He thought they were enemies? She was just as confused as he is. She didn't know why they needed to fight one another.

Kira lowered her eyes for a second before turning back to the Aegis pilot. "Athrun-"

"You're also a Coordinator!" Athrun shouted at her as Strike and Aegis circled one another, oblivious to the ongoing battle between Archangel and the other three stolen EA Mobile Suits. "Why do you have to fight against us?"

Kira flinched. Did he really think she's fighting them because they're Coordinators? Why did he have to think it that way?

Sounds of explosions behind her brought her out of her musings, and she glanced at the monitor showing Archangel, her eyes widening at what she saw. "Archangel is-", she gasped loudly, quickly turning Strike about, only to jerk back on her controls when Aegis suddenly appeared in front of her.

"Stop it, Kira!"

"Athrun!" She stared at her childhood friend's face, her chest constricting painfully at his angry expression.

"Why are you in the Earth Alliance? Why do you ally yourself with the Naturals?"

"I'm not with the Earth Alliance!" Kira shouted, pullingStrike away from Aegis. She needed to go back to Archangel. She had to go back. She has to protect everyone.

Athrun was surprised by Kira's loud declaration, following her mobile suit around.

"But my friends- my friends are on board that ship!"

"Kira-", the Aegis pilot whispered, staring at Kira's face.

"You too! Why ZAFT? Why are you in the war?" Kira shouted as she tried to return to Archangel, only to find Aegis blocking her way the entire time. " 'I hate war,' you said that, didn't you? Why did you attack Heliopolis?"

"Because Naturals who don't understand the situation built this thing."

"Heliopolis is neutral! Even I, but-"

She was cut off when her proximity alarm went off again, dodging several rifle shots from another mobile suit. "X102, Duel?" She panted softly, her heart hammering painfully in her chest. "Then, that also-" She raised her shield just in time to block another shot.

It took her everything to keep on dodging Duel's shots, her seat straps digging painfully into her shoulders at every sudden turn she made. She simply didn't have anything left to use to attempt to return to Archangel. Where is Lieutenant La Fllaga? She's getting worried. Things are getting difficult minute by minute, and she might even get hit if things continue as such.

Putting her beam saber away, Kira brought out Strike's beam rifle, a targeting monitor sliding in front of her. To survive, she's going to need to fight back. Aiming for Duel, she fired shot after shot at the Mobile Suit. She just needed to distract them a little more.

She flinched when Duel dodged her last shot with ease taking out its beam saber. She quickly blocked his sword strike with her shield, pulling back Strike from Duel's strike range. She continued firing at Duel keeping her distance from the said mobile suit. She couldn't afford to get into a close combat fight with a more experienced pilot.

"What the-!" She shouted, ducking from a series of gunfire. Her fear returned when she found herself surrounded by four mobile suits, Duel and Aegis included, fear constricting her chest. She spent every last power she had dodging and evading the three mobile suits attacking, somewhat thankful that Athrun hadn't move at all.

A message from Archangel caught her attention and a small smile of relief lit up her face as she dodged another attack. Lieutenant La Fllaga was successful, and her gut feeling tells her that her opponents just got the news. She had just turned Strike around when Archangel fired a retreat signal.

But Duel's pilot wasn't just about let her go so easily. Kira dodged another of his attacks, firing back as she pulled Strike into reverse, gritting her teeth when the two other mobile suits rejoined Duel in its attacks.

"Damn it! At this rate-!" Kira didn't have time to finish her rant as a loud alarm blared behind her head. She quickly turned Strike around and took a shot at the fast-approaching Duel, only to feel her throat constrict painfully in fear. There was nothing coming out of the barrel.

"Power's out," she cried out just as the low power alarm went off. "Then, the armor-"

She was afraid. She had to get out. She didn't want to die. She didn't want to die just yet.

Tears were running down her cheeks as Duel chased after her. She tried flying off, but he was too close. She's not going to make it.

It was just pure instinct. She had let go of the controls, curling up into a ball, covering her head with her arms, sobbing loudly. Strike dipped slightly in its flight but she didn't care. She was afraid.

A bone jarring jolt, then a loud shout over her radio.

"Kira!"

She was going to die. Her chest constricted painfully.

"Kira! Can you hear me?"

She's going to die. She couldn't breath.

"Kira!"

She didn't want to die. She couldn't move.

"Kira!"

"I don'twant to die!"

Athrun was stunned by the panic-stricken scream that came over his radio. "Kira!"

"I'm afraid! I'm afraid! I'm afraid! Otousan! Okaasan! I don't want to die! I'm afraid!"

"Kira! Answer me!" Athrun felt a lump grow at his throat at the sight of Kira's curled form on his monitor as he continued to ignore Yzak's shouted demands. "Kira!"

"I'm afraid. I don't want to die, Athrun!"

"I'm not going to let you die, Kira!" Athrun shouted, gripping his controls harder. "So stop crying. I'm not going to let you die."

"I'm afraid. I'm afraid. I'm afraid," Kira continued to chant in between her sobs.

"Kiddo!"

Athrun swore loudly as his proximity alarm went off and a strong shudder ran through Aegis' entire frame. It was the Mobile Armor from before.

"I don't want to die!"

"Then get yourself together, kid! Do you want your friends to die? There's still another big ship behind us," shouted Mwu La Fllaga, continuing his attack on Aegis. "Archangel's launching the Launcher Pack! Retreat and get to it!"

She didn't stop crying even when she uncurled herself from her seat, grasping the controls with shaking hands, tears floating around her helmet. She cried even harder when she felt her stomach drop when Aegis let Strike go to attack the Lieutenant's Moebius Zero. She flew toward Archangel ignoring the shots flying past her. She was still crying when she disengaged the Aile Pack in preparation for receiving the Launcher Pack, her sobs increasing in intensity when an alarm went off.

"Kira!"

Athrun's loud scream over the radio was the last thing she heard before she was slammed forward against her straps, sparks flying all over the place and darkness enveloped her consciousness.


Ohhhhh, cliffie...

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