This is the extension of an idea I've had zooming around my head for a couple of years now. The 'Tale from the Cockpit' concept dates back from when I felt I couldn't write a full fan fic and was just going to write a series of 'short' fics from all over the Universal Century and the other Alternate Universes. Although my writing ability has moved on a little bit from then I still think the concept is sound. Therefore I present to you:-

Tale One: Ensign Anthony Curran – MS-06C Zaku II – Battle of Loum

There was a sickly feeling in Ensign Anthony Curran's stomach as his mobile suit squad was brought up to the frontline. This was the first time he'd been to Side 5 since he left to join the Zeon Military Force four years previously. He'd always hoped for a peaceful return to his home colony but he knew the whole Side had to be purified of collaborators. The sight of the Earth Federation Space Forces fleet was proof enough for him that Side was now rotten to the core.

Anthony's unit had been placed in the reserve formation since few in the command structure expected the Federation to attempt to defend Side 5. However the Federal Fleet had appeared and the fighting had, thus far, been vicious therefore the reserve had been called up. The Musai cruiser that Anthony had been assigned too deployed its trio of Zaku IIs before moving up to plug a gap in the Zeon battle line. The orders Anthony had received were simple enough 'Eliminate Enemy Capital Ships'.

For Anthony and his two wingmen this was their first combat mission and as they cross the Zeon battle line into the space between the two fleets he realised that it was going to be one hell of a baptism of fire. Anthony was immediately forced to throw his Zaku II into an evasive climb as a quartet of Federal Sabrefish fighters raced past. The broiling melee between the two fleets was full of nuclear torpedoes, mega particle beams, Federal fighters and Zeon mobile suits. Even the colonies themselves were taking damage from the battle. Anthony barely knew where to manoeuvre since it seemed no matter where he went he forced to avoid some sort of danger. To their credit his wingmen managed to stick with him without receiving much damage. Out of the corner of his eye Anthony spotted a Jicco missile boat ripped apart by explosions, it'd been gunned down by a Salamis cruiser.

Through the melee Anthony spotted the responsible cruiser and set his course towards it. Almost straight away the cruisers guns opened up on the approaching trio of Zaku IIs. He didn't let that faze him though and continued on, he brought up his bazooka and tried to aim best that he could. Then he pulled the trigger. The nuclear tipped bazooka round shot through space and as it pierced the armoured hull of the Salamis cruiser time seemed to stop for Anthony. In a bright white flash the rear half of the cruiser disappeared, the expanding nuclear blast vaporised some of the cruisers escorting fighters as well while others quickly evaded.

Even as the rear of the cruiser disappeared the front batteries kept firing for a few seconds before secondary explosions spread throughout the shattered hulk. A lucky shot struck one of Anthony's wingmen; the mega particle beam tore through the Zaku II just above the right leg severing it. The Zaku II span off in an uncontrollable spiral, the sacrifice the pilot made was not in vain however as the out of control Zaku II piled into the command tower of another Salamis cruiser.

The eight of the fighters that had been escorting the cruiser Anthony destroyed quickly rallied and moved to attack to two remaining Zaku IIs. The Sabrefish's vulcan guns spat bullets out a ferocious rate and Anthony was forced to position himself so that he could use his arm shield as cover. He knew he had to time his counterattack carefully or risk getting caught by how own nuclear attack. He waited for the first flight of four zoom past his before training his bazooka on them, he waited before the display on his monitor showed that he was clear of the blast range before pressing the trigger. All four of the Sabrefish vanished in the white flash.

The other four Sabrefish had gone off after Anthony's wingman, who hadn't been anywhere near as successful as Anthony with his bazooka. The other Zaku II pilot had let himself get caught in his own blast radius and even let two of the fighters escape. Anthony watched as one of the Sabrefish pumped a pair of missiles into the Zaku II's head. Without the main cameras that were mounted in the head the Zaku II started to turn violently, in desperation the pilot fired off a couple of rounds from his bazooka but failed to hit the fighters. Anthony could tell the Sabrefish pilot was highly skilled as he swung his fighter around the flailing Zaku II and fired off another salvo of missiles into its backpack. The Sabrefish preformed a snap roll to zoom over the Zaku II as it exploded; the second Sabrefish was not so lucky and got caught up in the Zaku IIs explosion.

Anthony cursed under his breath as the Sabrefish zoomed towards him. At this close range the bazooka was out of the question. Already the reckless Sabrefish pilot was blazing away with his Vulcan guns, too late Anthony realised what the pilot's intension was. The hail of bullets raked up his Zaku IIs chest before they reached the head, the piping that connected to the snout was severed in an instant and the mono-eye was also damaged but not quite to the extent that he was totally blinded. The monitors in Anthony's cockpit flickered in and out of life he couldn't get an accurate picture of where the Sabrefish was. Rather than risking nuclear death by using his bazooka wildly Anthony simply swung it outwards, using it more like a novelty shaped club than a weapon of mass destruction. It did the job however as he felt the jolt of the Sabrefish smashing into the bazooka.

The Sabrefish span violently as its pilot attempted to regain control. As he fought with the controls he accidentally fired off a pair of missiles before the fighter slowly began to disintegrate. In a million to one shot the missiles hit Anthony's Zaku II sheering off the left leg at the knee however the leg piping prevented the leg from drifting far. Through the flickering of his monitors Anthony saw something amazing, from the wreckage of the Sabrefish he could see that the pilot had survived. It was strange but he felt a degree of relief seeing that the pilot was still alive.

The Earth Federation Space Forces were retreating they had succeeded in preventing a second colony drop but at a terrible price. Anthony's Zaku II drifted through what had once been the battle zone. Tears were rolling down Anthony's face, the whole Side was gone. He never wanted this; this wasn't how it was supposed to be. He'd betrayed everyone he held dear. He was the worst kind of traitor.

End of the Tale.