SUMMARY CONT... This story will focus on an alternate universe version of the characters from GUNDAM SEED. In this story, Kira, Yzak, Athrun, Nicol, and Dearka are all members of a rock band known as Iron Fist. They are each in their mid-twenties and have been together as a band for five years. So far they've released three albums, the latter two have each gone platinum respectively. It has been a year and a half since the last album was released, the band took half a year off to get their personal matters situated. But at this time, the group is working on their newest album, titled Rocket! This story will take you with the guys from the recording studio to the opening tour concert and beyond. Other characters from SEED will also be making appearances in the story. I've already mentioned that Mwu is the band's manager, but others will also be featured in this story. ENJOY!

And also, to give you a sense of scale on to who exactly is singing what portions of the song...

Words in standard italics mean that just Kira, the lead vocalist, is singing.

(Words in parenthesis mean that the background singers, Yzak and Athrun, are now singing. Kira on the other hand, is not.)

Words in bold mean that all three, Kira, Yzak, and Athrun, are singing.

Once again, ENJOY!

Darkness dominated the moderately-sized, but spacious room. You could not see anything except from the dim lights shining through the window into the next room where several individuals were situated. One was a blonde haired man of about thirty-five with deep blue eyes and a playful smile. Next to him was an older gentleman with brown hair and a small pair of glasses covering his eyes. He was also taller than the first man and his face was serious as he glanced into the room. The third individual situated in the dimly lit room was a woman. A woman with short black hair and fiery violet eyes. She worked the controls of a large machine situated in the room, punching buttons and flicking switches so quick that it almost seemed as if she was in a trance.

None of these three individuals said a word as they waited patiently for the right time. Then the chorus began to sing. "Sound check and mikes, all green."

"Lights, all green."

"Amps and readers, all green."

"Guys are ready. Just waiting for the go," the blonde haired man said steadily. The woman turned a switch and at the top of the machine she worked, two broad circles began to rotate as a strip of black fabric turned inside of them. She turned to the tall man behind her and nodded her head. He reached forward and pressed a large, oblong red button that glared brightly as he pushed it down into the machine. Above the window, words in large capital letters were illuminated in bright red lights. They spelled out, NOW RECORDING. The tall man extended his right arm slowly towards the window and stopped when it was perpendicular to the glass. The signal had been given. It was time to go to work.

Inside the dark room, no lights went on. The room stayed in dead silence and total blackness for what seemed like an eternity. Then suddenly, slowly, barely even recognizable at first, a sound began to emulate through the darkness. The sound picked up energy the longer it played, growing louder and louder as it stretched on through the seconds. It was like a strong wind had suddenly blown into the complex of rooms. But no door was open. No window ajar. The room was cut off from the outside world, but the sound grew louder and seemingly more beautiful as the time pressed on.

The sound kept expanding until for the first time a light flickered on in the darkened room. The light was colored a simple bright white as it shone down, cutting through the darkness like a knife through a tender piece of meat. What the light illuminated was a beautiful sight to behold, finally being able to shine through the darkness that had masked it. The large full half of the object was colored a beautiful mix of white and blue, while the smaller, slender half was coated a bright red. The strings that were splayed from the tip of the slender end to almost the end of the larger half were glowing yellow in the bright light, seeming to be basking in the shine that had finally come to deliver it out of its misery. Two strong hands held the guitar, the left wrapped half-way round the slender end, the right not even touching the guitar, but allowing its fingers to dance across the glowing strings. The instant the light shone on the guitar, the fingers began to move in a perfect pattern. Up and down, side to side the left hand moved, playing with the strings over the red end, while the fingers of the right hand plucked the strings on the blue and white half. A beautiful course of notes began to sound from the guitar as the fingers danced across the strings. The melody was kept pushing forward for several seconds, a pleasant sound of only a few light notes that were fantastic in the way they felt to the ears. Behind the guitar's gentle melody, the sound of the wind blowing had been replaced by something else. Another light shown upon the source of the sound. This light was also a simple white, but it was much larger. It illuminated not only the source of the sound, but what was responsible for the sound. The light revealed a human of modest height, slender built, and a gentle face. His hair was green and at just enough length to be considered long. His eyes were closed and his lips smiled as he gently pressed down on the bright white keys of the keyboard below him, causing a new sound to escape from the darkness and into the room. This new sound reflected a chorus of gallant singers, holding out a low, but heavy note in a chain of deep, bellowing voices. This process of a chorus, underplaying the guitar's sensual melody, went on for several more seconds. Then the light that shone upon the multi-colored guitar expanded, revealing the source of the fingers that produced the sweet melody being brought to life. The individual was much like the one making the sound come from the keyboard beneath the guitar. A bit taller, slender, and an equally gentle face. The differences began with this individual's brown hair, which was considerably shorter than the former's. His eyes were open, a dazzling violet that sparkled in the lights as they expanded across his figure. A smile was also upon this man's face and the light revealed something else, seeming to float in the air directly in front of the man's mouth. It was cylindrical and black, with a soft, puffy end connected to a hard metallic end that was in turn connected to a series of slim girders that held it in the air. It was then that the brown haired individual opened his mouth, his full lips opening enough to allow his vocal chords to begin to vibrate inside his throat. With the guitar melody and chorus group still sounding all around him, the individual began to provide his voice to the melody that was growing increasingly mysterious and beautiful by the second.

Lady luck never smiles

So lend your love to me, awhile

Do with me what you will

Break the spell take your fill

At that moment, a new sound joined the mix. This one was quieter than the guitar's pleasant melody and the serene voice of the man singing into the microphone, but it was sharper and simpler than the ongoing bellows of the keyboard. A quiet, steady da, da-da, pulsated from the new object, or more precisely objects, being illuminated through the darkness. The light also revealed the blonde haired, dark skinned individual sitting comfortably upon a small stool, two skinny, tan colored sticks grasped in his nimble hands as they gently struck the white drum heads below him. This individual's face was more serious than the two others, no smile was displayed on his face, and his eyes showed a passion and a commitment that was light-years away from the other two. Nevertheless, the steady, pulsating beats coming from the drums before him, added only to the beauty of the sound that was quickly filling not only the darkened room, but the room next to it in which the two men there was slowly bobbing their heads up and down to go with the beat of the song. The woman on the other hand, was more worried about the machine in front of her. She too felt the beauty that the song was emulating, but it would be for naught if she didn't make sure the machine was working throughout it all. The voice continued to sing the moment the drums joined in, continuing the song.

On and on we rode the storm

The flame has died, the fire has gone

Oh, this empty bed is a night alone

I realized that long ago!

As the last verse began to escape from the singer's throat, the pulsating beat of the drums began to change. As the words came spilling out into the song, the drum beat became a steady force of single beats, growing more and more powerful the further they went along. As the drum sound picked up momentum, so did the song overall. The pleasant guitar melody suddenly was gone as the drums escalated, as did the chorus of bellowing sound coming from the keyboard. The singer's voice began to become sharper and more intense as the words escaped from his throat. Just before he sang the final words of the verse, the crescendoing drum beat was joined by another sound. Two sounds to be more precise, one with a lighter tone than the other. They were new guitars, one a lead and one a bass. Together, these new sounds joined the drum beat, escalating into a crescendo that exploded into a riveting guitar riff at the end of the verse. Then, the single voice was joined by others as all the lights in the once darkened room flickered on, revealing the room in all its glory.

Is anybody out there? Anybody there?

Does anybody wonder? Anybody care?

The lights revealed two more individuals. The one with long, silver hair held the lead guitar, a blast of blue, white, and gray all mixed together on both ends of the instrument. His voice was hoarse and loud as he sang into the microphone in front of his lips. He played out a stirring symphony from his guitar as he blurted out the words, adding a small riff in between lyrics. The individual to his right had long, blue hair that was slightly more bushy than his, and a small pair of sunglasses covered his eyes. His voice was pure and deep as he sang into the microphone before him, his fingers playing with the simple white strings on his bright red bass guitar, which kept the beat of the song in a driving pattern of ground shaking beats and rhythms. These two guitars, added to the first guitar, keyboard, and drums, produced a melody that literally shook the ground the room stood on. The song pushed on.

Oh, I just gotta know

If you're really there! And you really care!

'Cause baby I'm not!

The white, blue, and red rhythm guitar thrummed out a loud, DA-DA-DA! and then it was gone, leaving just the bass, drums, and keyboard ringing as more words left the throats of the singers and shouted into the microphones.

(F-F-F-Foolin',) Ah! (F-F-F-Foolin')

Not! F-F-F-Foolin' Ah! F-F-Foolin'

Suddenly, the loud, obnoxious blares from the guitars changed into subtle notes that stretched onwards, mixing with the reborn sounds of the bellowing chorus from the keyboard. The pleasant guitar melody began again, piping its strands of notes as it played on into the next verse.

Won't you stay with me awhile?

Oh, Ohhh, Oh-oh

Close your eyes don't run and hide

Easy love is no easy ride

Just wakin' up from what we had

Could stop good love from goin' bad!

The drum beat quickened again, signaling the entry of the loud bass guitar and lead guitar as the fingers once again danced across the strings in a bright fury. Once again, the voices of all three singers were broadcast into the black microphones before them.

Is anybody out there? Anybody there?

Does anybody wonder? Anybody care?

Oh, I just gotta know

If you're really there! And you really care!

'Cause baby I'm not!

(F-F-F-Foolin',) Ah! (F-F-F-Foolin',)

Not! F-F-F-Foolin' Ah!F-F-Foolin'

Just then, the rhythm guitar, gripped firmly by the lead singer with brown hair, hummed out the DA-DA-DA!, but this time it was followed by a sound that seemed to be ripping through the atmosphere by itself. It was the lead guitar, played by the silver haired man, and the sound that came from it seemed to tear through the room like nails on a chalkboard. After each successive DA-DA-DA!, that went on three times more before the lead vocalist screamed into the microphone a loud shriek that signaled the beginning of the lead guitar's solo. As the bass, rhythm guitar, keyboard, and drums kept the beat going, the lead guitar soared above them all, ringing out a solo that streamed from high notes to low notes over a period of about fifteen seconds. The man with the silver hair's expression never changed as he played the screaming solo, still remaining in its serious state, though this time his eyes were ground down in a glance of concentration. Finally, he let the solo reach its peak and then it dropped out almost as quickly as it had come, allowing the player to add his voice to the two others who once again belted into the microphones.

Oh, I just gotta know

If you're really there! And you really care!

'Cause baby I'm not!

(F-F-F-Foolin',) Ah! (F-F-F-Foolin')

Not! F-F-F-Foolin' Ah! No! I'm not Foolin' myself

(I'm not Foolin' myself) Na-na-No!

(I'm not Foolin' myself) Oh-no-No!

(I'm not Foolin myself) I'm not Foolin'!

(I'm not Foolin' myself) NO!

As the voices died, the rhythm guitar once again let out its pleasant melody for a span of no more than three seconds before it mutated into the harsh, DA-DA-DA!, joined this time by the lead, bass, keyboard, and drums. When that happened, everything stopped. All the sound and rhythm disappeared. The only thing that remained was the low, bellowing voice of the keyboard chorus, fading gently away into the darkness as the lights dimmed once again, shadowing the room in total darkness.

Outside the darkness, in the dimly lit room beside it, the woman pressed a button and the spinning circles above her head stopped. The red letters above the window dimmed out and everything was quiet. The tall man with brown hair closed his eyes and smiled. "Can't believe it, but after all this time, they're still that good."

"It hasn't even been five years yet, Andy," the blonde haired man, the band's manager Mwu la Flaga responded. In front of them, the darkness in the next room evaporated and the five members of the band were revealed in their entirety.

Andrew Waltfeld, the band's producer, reached above him and brought down the microphone that connected him with the next room. "Okay, you guys, that was great. Take five for now, guys, then we gotta get back to work. Kira can you come in here for a sec? Just need your input on what we got."

With the recording over, the crew and technicians employed at the recording studio began to file into the on air/recording room where the rock group Iron Fist had just finished putting the finishing touches on one of their new songs to go with the upcoming album they were planning on releasing later that Spring. While fellow band members Yzak Joule, Athrun Zala, Nicol Amalfi, and Dearka Elsman filed out of the room quickly, the former two taking their guitars with them, the band's lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Kira Yamato, made his way into the room next door where the recording equipment and other monitors that captured the sound and feel of their recordings were located. As Mwu opened the door for Kira to enter, Kira wiped his sweat covered brow with the back of his hand, feeling the perspiration still dampening his skin and stinging his eyes. Five straight hours in the studio would do that to you.

"Did it come out like we wanted?" Kira asked as he came beside Andy and the band's chief engineer, Natarle Badgiruel. "That one portion you said we needed to rework that is?"

"From it sounded a lot smoother than it was, Kira. That bass line felt and sounded a lot smoother," Andy told him as the circles above them began to move in the opposite direction as the recording tape was rewound. "Think we may be able to work that into the album after all."

"What's that put the track number as?" Kira asked inquisitively. "I mean we pulled the two off yesterday and with Foolin' added on, that makes eleven, doesn't it?"

"Eleven or twelve," Andy answered. "It depends on whether or not we can get that one portion of number seven smoothed out. If we get it working right, that'll make twelve. If not, we'll stick with eleven." Andy looked up and saw the circles stop moving and begin to roll forward again. "Yeah, can you just fast forward to that one portion at the three minute mark, Natarle?"

"Hang on," the quiet woman answered quickly. She pressed some buttons and soon the newly recorded song was playing over the room's smaller speakers. Kira looked up at the speakers as he heard his voice come over, singing the words that he himself had written. Soon they were at the part Andy had requested and when it was over he snapped his fingers in enthusiasm. "That's it. That's how we gotta have it. Nice job, Kira."

"Thank Athrun, he's the one that wrote the part," Kira reminded him. When it came to the group's songs, it was Kira who put in the concept and vocals for the songs, while Athrun and Yzak handled the instrumentals. Together, they had created such hit songs over the past three years as Let's Get Rocked, Hysteria, and their recent hit from their last album, the still chart topping Armageddon It. It had been almost five years since the group had been formed and three hit albums. The first, Let Us Get Rocked, had reached the gold mark and had two hits in the top 20. But it was their last two albums, Love Bites and Stand Up, that had garnered them all the fame and media attention that the group now found themselves in. Both had gone platinum, Stand Up reaching the plateau just a month before. This was surprising to the group, most of all because all five were Coordinators, and the sales of records by Coordinators hadn't been exactly successful on the Earth. But, times had changed. Now they were one of many artists, both Coordinator and Natural alike, who were topping the charts. For all three albums it had been Kira, Athrun, Yzak, Nicol, and Dearka in the band, with Mwu as Manager, Andy as Producer, and Natarle as Engineer. Together, they had found success as a cohesive unit and they were now among the biggest names in the music industry. But it had been almost two years since their last release and the public was drooling over the news of the new release when it was announced just about a week ago.

"We'll be able to use the equipment on certain sections to beef up the sound and smooth over some parts, but otherwise the thing should be ready by release date," Andy explained. "In the meantime, Mwu I believe you have something to the guys."

"Yeah..." Mwu said, trying not to sound uneasy. "Come on, Kira."

In the back of the studio building, the other members of Iron Fist were lounging in a room they liked to call, the Breath Easy Studio, where they didn't have to worry about anything regarding the record or the public. It was just casual in here. It was displayed in the easy going manner of the group, Yzak calmly puffing on the cigarette in his mouth, Dearka flipping through the pages of a popular magazine, Athrun silently putting away his red bass guitar, and Nicol gently working the remote to the small television propped up in the corner. Not much was said when Kira and Mwu entered the Breath Easy, just some hellos and whazzups.

"Sounded good in there guys," Mwu acknowledged as he shut the door behind them. He prayed that it would still be there after he told them. "Very good."

"When aren't we?" Dearka asked sarcastically.

"It was a lot easier in there today with the revamped tempo and stuff," Nicol said. "Sounded a lot better too."

"How can you tell? You can barely even hear yourself in the background, Nicol. People probably will think that the sound is you singing," Yzak said.

"Very funny, Yzak," Nicol chuckled.

"Settle down, guys, settle down," Mwu said calmly as Kira plopped down next to Athrun on the single red sofa the Breath Easy sported.

"How's she doin'?" Kira asked, popping the top on a can of beer as he sat down. "My sister that is."

"Great, she's doin' fine," Athrun answered. Kira's sister Cagalli was Athrun's new wife. That was one of the reasons why the band hadn't released an album in almost two years. Both Athrun and Kira had gotten married in the lull after the tour last year and the band had cohesively decided to put off on a new one until their personal lives had gotten settled. "Keeping an eye out for the press and the glamour girls all the time, though. Doesn't want any of 'em getting near her husband," Athrun admitted.

Kira smiled. "That's my sister."

"Guys come on, work with me here," Mwu said, finally managing to get all five pairs of eyes centered on him. "Look...I don't want to be the one that has to tell you this, but Andy and the record company are making me, so here goes." He took a deep breath and leaned against the door, just in case he would have to use it to shield himself. "The record label hired a journalist to accompany you guys on the next tour."

"What!" Yzak thundered.

"Aw, you gotta be kidding me!" Dearka chimed in.

Both Kira and Athrun groaned heavily and sank back into the cushioning of the sofa. "Don't tell us we're gonna have a camera shoved in our face every waking hour of the day," Nicol pleaded.

"No, no, no," Mwu said quickly, thankful that at least nothing had been thrown at his head. "It's not that reality tv shit that's big now. No camera's you guys, I guarantee it." That got some sighs of relief from the five men, but not complete relief. "It's just a journalist, like one of them magazine or newspaper people, you guys."

"No cameras?" Kira asked.

"No cameras," Mwu confirmed. "The person's just going to interview each of you and accompany us on the tour when it gets going. They'll be in here tomorrow to start, so I wanted to let you know now."

There was a long pause. "That's it?" Yzak wondered out loud.

Mwu nodded. "That's it." He walked over to the cooler where the band's beer was stored and quickly withdrew one. "But I can guarantee you one thing. If a camera is brought in here, I'll be the first one to beat the crap out of the guy that brought it in."

Kira raised his eyebrows. "Your wife?" he asked quietly.

"Uh-huh," Mwu murmured, taking a seat in one of the easy backed chairs. Like Mwu, his wife was also in the music industry. In fact, she was a record producer which outranked him. On another note, Mwu's wife Murrue was the producer for Kira's wife Lacus' albums when they came out. And it had also been Murrue who had been put on one of those stupid reality shows that follow celebrities around and she had come out so embarrassed by what had been put on television that it had taken almost three guys to pin Mwu to the ground before he would have killed the bastard that was responsible for it. That had happened to several musical groups in the past, which was the main reason why bands were so reluctant to allow even a few cameras backstage during their shows or in the studio. But back in reality, Mwu shrugged. "Like I said, it wasn't my decision. The execs at the label decided on it."

"So if we hate this guy's guts by the end of the first day we can shove it back in the face of the execs?" Dearka asked.

"Hell yeah," Mwu said quietly. "I wouldn't blame you."

"Nice," Yzak confirmed.

AN: That's the first chapter. To let you know, Foolin' is a song recorded by the rock group Def Leppard, a property of the Universal Music Group. I do not own the rights to the song or the group. And on a side note, in my opinion, Kira's voice sounds pretty similar to the lead singer from Def Leppard. Listen to the song and tell me what you think. And one more thing. All the songs mentioned in this fic will be songs by Def Leppard. THANKS!