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Kido Senshi Gundam: Char's Counter Attack

The Last Stand, Prologue


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It was quiet now. Hours prior a battle for the Earth itself had transpired between the forces of the Earth Federation's Londo Bell Task Force, and the Neo Zeon movement. The actions of many brave soldiers, including the living legend known as Amuro Rei, had saved the Earth from the giant falling asteroid known as Axis. The will and hope of humanity had manifested through the help of the experimental construction material, psycoframe, and had saved the planet.

Hathaway Noah sat curled in the cockpit of a Londo Bell Jegan. Reality seemed to crumble around him. Quess... the young boy thought silently. Quess Paraya had died trying to save him. The death of Londo Bell's Chan Agi weighed on his own young shoulders. He was alone now, in the emptiness of space, unable t hide from the guilt. His monitors showed nothing but the endless expanse of black, and that ring of colors encircling the Earth. Hope – it was the only break in the darkness, the light of the Abyss.

He was scared, afraid. What had he done?

He knew the answer. He had killed his friend in anger.

His eyes squinted in reaction as bright lights flashed on screen. The Londo Bell unit recovery crew had found the Jegan. Hathaway curled a bit tighter. Did they know what he did? What was going to happen to him now?

He turned away from the intruding light, trying to block out the sounds and images. He tried to find relief in the recesses of sleep. Anything would better than this to the young man. Everyone's souls were so corrupted and polluted. They were saturated with the atrocities of war and mankind, and cold to understanding. That's how grown ups always were... If only they could break away from the gravity that binded them they might change. If they come to the frontier without the history of bloodshed and sin it would be different.

He would make them see. He would free them of the gravity that weighed on their souls and kept them eternally in the filth of the Earth. He would break the bonds of ignorance. Never again would people make the same mistakes. There'd never be another Quess.

His consciousness had slipped away just before the crew arrived at the hi- jacked Jegan.

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Hathaway landed on the ground, hard, on his right side sliding a bit on the cold tile floor. His hands clutched his left cheek, marked red with his father's hand.

Bright Noah stood over his son and lowered his open palm. "What the hell were you thinking?" Bright questioned. There was an easily discernable angry edge in his normally controlled voice. "Amuro told you that girl was dangerous, but you still risked you life over her! Do you realize what you have done? What could have happened to you? Do you?!"

Hathaway stayed silent, looking away from his father. One side of himself told him that his father was right, that he was acting completely out of line, and that if he hadn't been so stupid Chan would still be alive. But another side of the boy burned with anger. It made the young Hathaway want to scream back at Bright about the injustice of Quess's death. In the end he returned his father's demand for an answer with mere silence.

Bright could not maintain the stiff image as he saw a teardrop stain the ground below Hathaway's turned face. He knelt down next to his son, and put his hand on the boy's shoulder. Hathaway shrugged off the hand, turning away from his father. Bright set his closed eyes down to the floor.

"Look Hathaway... Amuro, Chan, and Kayra all died out there... I don't know I would have done if you had died too," Bright explained, his voice much softer, even... vulnerable? "We don't get to choose who dies out there."

No you don't... Your misunderstanding kills everything... Hathaway thought angrily. It'll never end until humanity changes.

Sighing, the Londo Bell Captain stood up and walked to the door. "I don't know if I could have buried you..." The door whirred as the heavy metal slab slid open, and the man slipped into the hallway. It shut automatically and left Hathaway alone with his burden as his father strode down the halls with his burden.

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The Ra Cailum crew breathed heavily and muttered some curses as he watched the Re-GZ's wreckage being towed into the Ra Cailum's hangar. It was barely recognizable. The metal armor was crushed in some places, and charred black in most. None of the limbs were intact. But it was the Re- GZ, no doubt about it. The lifeless green eyes seemed to stare emptily into their souls.

Kayra was captured and killed while in that suit. Now it seemed that Chan Agi had met a similar fate in the same MS. It was nothing more than a coffin as far as the crew was concerned.

"Damned suit," Timothy Sullivan whispered harshly. He punched a support post, his head slumping against his arm. For all his frustration he would never know what god forsaken curse there was on this suit – everyone who had piloted it was dead now. He took a deep breath. Cracking his knuckles, he started over to begin the repairs on the Re-GZ.

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Nanai Miguel gazed out at nothing. She lifted her glass to her lips and took a long drink of the vodka inside of it. The liquor almost seemed to knock her back against the large velvet chair she sat in. She noticed idly that the glass was now empty. She hurled it across the room, the glass shattering and falling like drops of rain on the carpeted room.

Just like our life... Nanai thought silently, watching the glass break. It was separated forever, never to be repaired.

She was crying again. She had been crying almost non-stop since Char had perished.

Why did you have to leave? Nanai thought. It was so unfair and so utterly wrong to the woman. It would have been over soon. If not for Amuro and the Londo Bell they would have been together.

"Nanai..." came Lyle's voice from the doors, "What are your orders for the fleet?"

Nanai stifled her tears and cleared her throat. "Repair Quess's Jagd Doga... and paint it in the Captain's colors. Continue repair work on the Geara Dogas. We should plan to attack the Londo Bell and Side 1 when preparations are complete."

"Yes ma'am." Lyle's footsteps faded away. Nanai slumped in her chair, tears streaked across her face with her hair matted against the chair. She returned to her grief.

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"Is he all right?" Mirai asked her husband. She gripped her own forearms in her slender hands leaning against the wall in shock of hearing that her son was at the battlefield during the fighting. She looked into the screen that displayed Bright's image with her worried brown eyes. After the Axis crisis had been averted the roads cleared up and Mirai and Chemin had been able to return to Hong Kong.

"Yeah he's fine dear," Bright said reassuringly. "He's probably a bit shaken but that's to be expected. And what about you?" Bright questioned, referring to his wife's car accident.

"It was just a minor spill," Mirai explained. "You look awful though Bright, you should get some rest honey," Mirai told the British man. And she was every bit right; dark circles had appeared under the Londo Bell Captain's eyes, which were also drooping quite a bit. His hair was disheveled, and his posture showed heavy fatigue.

"I'm fine," he said, shrugging away the concern. "We'll be docking at Londenion in a bit," the man explained with a heavy sigh of weariness. "We'll probably be there for a while. When are you planning to arrive?"

"What?" Mirai questioned, tilting her head a bit. "Arrive where? Londenion? I'd thought I'd give everything a bit of time."

"It's still not safe on the Earth, Mirai. Not for you, and not for Chemin. The recommendation should still be valid if you have any trouble getting a flight. You need to try to get to Londenion as soon as possible," Bright explained. "It's not over. The Neo Zeon haven't surrendered or disbanded yet like we thought. They just pulled out from the battlefield."

Mirai digested the news slowly. She, like everyone else had assumed the war was over now that Axis was gone. She nodded. "Okay I'll try my best. Now that Char's Asteroid isn't in the sky it should be easier to get a flight."

Bright nodded his agreement. An aide tapped him on the shoulder and whispered something. "Okay then, get everyone to the briefing room," Bright instructed the aide. He turned his attention back to his wife. "I have to go now Mirai," he explained. "I love you. Take care,"

"I love you too Bright," Mirai responded. Bright's finger pushed and button and the screen buzzed out into the white snow of static.