Chapter 0ne: Our Destiny
This story happened seven years after Seed Destiny. Kira is still in the Orb military and has become Cagalli's guardian along with Kisaki. Athrun is now PLANTs Chairman and Mr Amarfi his deputy, Dearka his homeguard. (sort of) Lacus started a little lounging business in Orb which became a hotel and later a multi-million company that has its share of Coordinators and Natural costumers. But acts as Cagalli's political advisor…The rest, read.
Spencer Gladys propelled himself forward effortlessly through the zero-G space, sweeping aside the grey debris that hit his helmet visor. It was an irritant and nothing else, and he wasn't about to allow it to disrupt his singular intent. He was now a fully trained Zaft soldier, a graduated red from the special forces, and he had an important responsibility, one delegated to him by none other that Chairman Zala and Representitive Yula Athha. He took pride in that fact, for he was lucky that he was entrusted with such a task at such a young age. As a fifteen year old soldier, the highest honour had been showered upon him to be the representative of PLANTs in the space development project, better known as the DSSD, the Deep space research and development project. It is the only thing that the PLANTs, Orb and EAF all agree on, to further explore space and to fully exploit its resources.
He works with people from a myriad of origins, the captain of his assigned vessel was an officer from Orb union, his partner (A middle age man beside him, checking the map.), was the legendary Mwu La Fllaga, also from Orb.
He glanced at the man beside him at this point, "Uncle La Fllaga, where are we…?"
Mwu scratched his helmeted head, and Spencer smiled most uncharacteristically. It was always interesting to watch Mwu in action, he always seemed so relaxed and poise, but Spencer knew he was always alert, and could be counted on in times of need. He was experienced in the field and the leader of the team. Spencer never told him, but he could never quite perceive Mwu as his adoptive father, the ones who took him in after his mother, Talia Gladys perished on the warfront.
Turning his attention back to the task at hand, Spencer raised his torch light to better see what is ahead of him. They were floating down a metal corridor, as deserted as every other part of this facility, a remnant of something big, buried deep beneath layers of rock of an asteroid. The man-made atmosphere had long gone, leaving behind vacuum and a dreadful silence that pricked at his ears. There were glass cylinders about his size lining the corridor, and it suggested that the place was a research facility of some sort, some origin; a disassociated piece of the past- that was waiting to be found.
They reached an opened door, and on the door frame Spencer caught sight of some letters that could be the clue to what they were looking for. Mwu saw it too, and he pointed his torchlight at the direction. Embossed on the metal door frame, was a word that made no sense to Spencer's mind.
He frowned as he allowed the enuciation to roll instinctively off his tongue, "Sy…Sy-sir-nag.", and he turned to Mwu "What's it mean?" Mwu shrugged impatiently, "How should I know? Let's go find out…"
Spencer nodded as he and Mwu ventured through those doors that lead into darkness…
It was a day like any other day, with a medical checkup according to schedule; only that day he was so happy that nothing was about to spoil his mood. Even the evil doctor Saspuri, armed with his cynical nature and sadistic sense of humour, and would send most people packing within minutes. Not Athrun Zala though…
"You're fit…As fit as a fiddle…but…" The doctor proclaimed almost sourly as the Chairman sat opposite him, sipping a cup of Earl Grey. Athrun smiled and asked, "Anything else, doctor?" and he waited for the usual prescription of dietary and health supplements that Athrun never takes …and had left rotting at one corner of the house for the past seven years since he stepped up as Chairman….
"I would recommend you do something to lower your anxiety level though…Chairmen all have the same problem…" He spat and he studied Athrun for a time through narrowed eyes, which was surprising as Dr Sas normally never does that. "You could use more of something traditionally known as sex…" and he was abruptly cut off at this point, for Athrun couldn't help but spat a faceful of tea at him.
Athrun face was reddened and he was trying very hard not to laugh as he whipped tissue from the desk and attempted to wipe the fifty-year-old doctor's sullen face. Dr Sas merely snatched the tissue from him with a threatening sneer that instantly reminded Athrun of a bull dog, and Athrun chuckled as the doctor took off his glasses and cleaned his face. "Mr Zala, I'd expect you to be more hygienic in my office…"
"Sorry…" Athrun apologized.
"The politically correct response will be 'I do beg your pardon…'" He replied coldly, glaring at Athrun as if he would pounce anytime. "Chairmen don't say sorry."
"I beg your pardon then…" Athrun replied with a sigh, he never told the older man, but Mr Sas really reminded Athrun of Patrick Zala, his father… Always attempting to correct him in this matter and that, from the smallest of issues to the most important of things, the ever cold glare and bad sense of humour were all traits of Patrick Zala. The similarity is uncanny and unnerving at first. Especially on the very first day when he went for the routine health examination. Mr Sas peered at him through those rimless glasses and told him to strip. (It was a joke, a rather bad one though. He later dismissed it with an uncommitted, 'Kidding.' But Athrun wasn't about to forget the panic he felt anytime soon…)
Today, Athrun felt like getting back at the doctor who insists on making his life difficult. He stood up, rearing to his full 1.82cm height and asked carefully, "About the 'prescription' you suggested…" and he paused deliberately, allowing the doctor to scrutinize his intend, "…you want to help me with that…?"
The doctor's eyes widened and looked so shocked as if he was going to have a heart attack. Athrun smiled sweetly as he walked towards the door, "Kidding." And left with the victory in his pocket…
Deraka Elthman was just doing his job in the first floor office, through the piles of papers on the desk by the window; he turned just in time to catch sight of the shadow of a figure leaping down from above and swiftly zipped into the bushes. He raised an eyebrow, and chuckled as he went back to his position, giving him the usual three minute head-start. When he counted to hundred and eighty, he pressed the intercom button on the desk almost lazily and spoke with just a slight tinge of humour, "To the gulls, the eagle's on the loose."
"Roger." Replied a female voice, and Dearka could tell which of Yzak's bodyguards picked up the message. There was only one female under his command…
"Annoucing the arrival of Orb Union representative Cagalli Yula Athha, and the little envoys of peace between PLANTs and Orb, Maximillon and Marlene!", Kira and Shinn watched the live telecast from the security booth with a bemused smile as the commentator overdid it a little. On screen, Cagalli, who was wearing a formal midnight blue gown, got out of the car with two children in tow, onto the red carpet and stepped up the stairs of the grand ballroom as Chairman Zala shook her hand with a professional, photogenic smile.
"The collaborative effort between PLANTs and Orb to raise awareness about the presence of a small but significant group known as the 'Halflings' amounted to this day. Through the adoption of two children, a pair of twins of both Coordinator and Natural genotypes from the orphanage of Orb, PLANTs had presently stretched a hand out to those in the society who needs our attention. And it only serves to prove that a peaceful relationship between Coordinators and Naturals are more than possible…" The commentator lowered her voice dramatically and winked at the camera, "…even a more intimate one is possible, and now let us look at the fruits of such an intimate relationship.
(The camera view focused on Max and Marlene…both blonde little ones) Lovely, aren't they? Little prince Maximillion and Princess Marlene, who are both six this year and are looking more adorable by the minute!"
Kira thought it was weird to see kids in a suit and gown, and he sighed. He knew they were not just children orphaned by war, they are being used by the consequences. Lacus didn't agree at first. But she relented, knowing it was the only way to protect them. It was a well known fact that halflings are not without enemies, just like Coordinators. And recently there just seemed to be more groups persecuting halflings and the act of reformation in PLANTs to introduce Natural and half-blood kids into the community.
"The press conference will now commence." Athrun and Cagalli proceeded together to the table, Athrun's Chairman uniform trailing slightly behind his lanky form every time he moved. He had gotten taller over the last few years and so has Kira, but he was still a few centimeters short of Athrun.
On screen, the commentator tried to occupy the audiences by shifting her attention onto Athrun and Cagalli instead. "A little introduction about our Chairman in action…perfect for those who had been living under a rock for the past seven years. Chairman Athrun Zala, son of Ex-Chairman Patrick Zala, red uniform in Zaft who rose through the ranks to join the Special Forces within six months. Next made legend by being enlisted into the mystical Faith squadron…Now the youngest Chairman in PLANTs history, and the voted most eligible bachelor in the PLANTs fifteen million strong population by the women's magazine…"
The crowd cheered and Athrun cringed visibly at this point, fighting the urge to roll his eyes, Shinn growled irritably and Kira chuckled.
"Orb Union Representitive Cagalli Yula Athha, now leader of over twenty countries…
Yzak ran and stopped, for he had reached another section of the place. And he knew that if he wanted to get past unnoticed. All he had to do was be himself…
'Unnoticed' is hardly the word to describe the twenty five year old Supreme Councilor…The corridor was lined with people, and all activity seemed to come to a stand still as Yzak Jule waltzed by.
He had that general effect on people; his straight silver hair trailed elegantly behind him, like a gentle water fall. Somehow he always managed to keep the whole length neat yet loosely worn, some strands rested on his shoulder and the rest hung gracefully down his slender back. He had grown in stature through the years and now more than a head over Shiho, and his features were well-defined and masculine, yet delicate at the same time. Like a statue carved out of marble, expressionless and beautiful. His brilliant blue eyes scanned the crowd as he walked past, like a general examining his troops, only without interest. He was watching, he was always watching, always alert and on the lookout for signs of danger…
Some called him the phantom necromancer behind the scenes, Shiho disagreed. She said that he should have become Chairman and get the right to act openly.
He was well aware of those gaping stares and muffled whispers, but he was used to them as long as no one gets in his way and he continued looking straight ahead, walking as if he owned the world. The final door drew open for him the moment he was close enough and the guards greeted him with a low bow. He merely nodded, they saluted again and went their way, after a few minutes, when he was sure they were gone, he bolted again……
They were in the grand ballroom, Athrun waited for his chance to take Cagalli's hand in dance and once the representative of Scandanivia took his leave, Athrun swiftly stepped up in the place, right in front of Cagalli.
The next tune, which was slow and soothing, started. Athrun looked at Cagalli and she looked back, both of them expressionless, and showed nothing of the emotions left churning inside. For a full minute, the just kept to gazing at each other silently, as if contented with just standing there and looking, which was the case for Athrun.
He examined her from top to toe, she was dressed in …surprisingly, a dress. Showing her collar bone and arms.
She had become if anything, more beautiful over the last seven years. Her golden hair now reached her waist and she had it braided and wound over her head like a crown. She carried herself well, as well as a head of a nation should.
"Please to meet your acquaintance, Representative Yula Athha." He greeted as he bowed formally.
"The pleasure is all mine, Chairman Zala…"
"You lost weight…." He uttered hesitantly, looking at her shoulders.
"…That's good to hear." Cagalli replied with a quick smile and she demanded, "And now are we gonna dance or what?" Athrun gasped softly, but recovered quickly enough to step forward and took her waist and hand. She in turn gripped his gloved hand firmly and rested her other hand on his broad shoulders. They started waltzing around on the dance floor, trying to look as normal as possible. And at the quietest part of the tune, Cagalli leaned her head on his shoulder and whispered, "Hug me…" Athrun complied swiftly, throwing his arms about her and held on tightly but discreetly…
It felt good to be found in his embrace again; Cagalli never told him, but she liked his hands. His hands are large, warm and comforting, and seemed ever ready to come to her when she needs him. She liked the way those strong arms draped about her bare shoulders, and was grateful for the security it provided. She closed her eyes as a small contented smile stretched across her lips, feeling him close beside her and enjoying every second of it…
Athrun Zala sighed softly and apologized, "I'm sorry."
"What for?" She asked without opening her eyes…
"That I haven't been able to see you in three months... And that I can only hug you for one song…"
"Then you're gonna make up for it three months after the elect…" she caught herself, knowing it's pretty sensitive to mention that E-word in front of Athrun. As the Orb Representative, she will never have to go through that… Especially when now that Orb has become strong, stronger than it was seven years ago. For after the conflict with Chairman Dulliandal and his idiotic plans, more countries had joined Orb course to neutralize the situation between Coordinators and Naturals. And the country is now collectively called the Orb Union.
"It's okay," He said, sensing her reservation, "…Do you think I'll be re-elected?"
"The people likes you and you know it."
"Not those who still think Naturals are scam." He said jokily.
"Minority, insignificant." She dismissed his comment off-handedly. "Do you think I'm scam?"
"…Why would I hold a scam in my arms?"
"Precisely…those people have no common sense, no experience and no taste at all." Athrun laughed at her witty answer and she smiled weakly. "Where're the little ones?" he asked her, "I miss the way Max calls me 'big brother Athrun' and jumps around destroying the office."
"His name is Maximillion, not Max…" She insisted, "They'll be joining you tonight…properties of PLANTs and Orb…"She sighed at this point, and stopped dancing.
"Marlene." she answered as she pulled away. "She's still not speaking, Lacus reckons its autism…"
Athrun remained silent, not knowing how to reply as he held Cagalli's hand and led her away.
"Shhh…" he replied softly as the two melted through the crowd and passed through the backdoor…
Shinn Asuka watched the representative and his former commander leaving quietly through the backdoor and he sighed irritably. More work for him…
He had spent the last seven years in Orb as an Orb military personnel and as protector for…children of the Lacus's orphanage. He marveled at himself, and wondered why he agreed to take up the job. It involves looking at kids and at the same time looking out for his least favourite someone-s, namely Cagalli Yula Athha and Athrun Zala, sometimes even the haughty, arrogant, humongous big-head Supreme Councilor named Yzak Jule. The job was fulfilling in more ways than one, for example, he gets to travel around between the moon, earth and PLANTs with Marlene and Maximillion wherever they might be needed as peace envoys, and he gets to meet her every now and then…like now…
A woman in white uniform appeared and ran up to him, darting through the crowds agilely. She halted in front of Shinn and panted. She doubled over and appeared to be trying to catch her breath. Shinn frowned slightly at the unkempt nest of short red hair, and a smile lit up his face as he realized who it was…
She stood up and grinned broadly, and answered him by pressing her lips onto his…
Yzak walked towards the study, a faint smile forming slowly on his face. He was home, and so was his special someone…As he pushed open the varnished oak doors, he looked in, and found what he was looking for immediately…
He treaded his way carefully to the sofa where someone was lying on, trying not to make a single sound that would wake her up. Sedna was wearing a pink dress that ties in round the stomach, napping peacefully in the nest of books and tapes, and looked like she was sorting them out before she fell asleep. And in her arms was a meter tall baby Pooh bear, dusty and worn. He thought he had seen it before somewhere, but couldn't really put a finger to it…He sat down on the little space left on the edge of the sofa and his fingers reached to stroke the stray fringe off her face.
She was beautiful by any standards, even though her shiny black hair had been cropped to the neckline, a trail of long silver fringe fell down and curtained the right side of her face. It wasn't her beauty that attracted him, it was her person, her very existence that seems to light up the world. He marveled at himself, before he met her, he couldn't imagine what it will be like to spend a lifetime with one person. It would be totally unbearably even for a minute, especially if that person is Athrun Zala. But now he knew, she taught him…
And though he never told her just how much, he loved her more than when he first met her. It was beyond his comprehension as to how much you can love one person, and it was still a mystery. Now she was no longer the military woman she used to be, and he was no longer a front line commander, but a Supreme Councilor, like his mother who has been reinstated.
His mother never liked her, she claims that she…erm 'snatched her son away'… But even Ezaria Jule behaved like a doting grandmother-in-the-making when Yzak announced that her she's pregnant.
Sedna however, says that pregnancy doesn't agree with her, she says it makes her nauseous, drowsy and temperamental. Yzak disagreed, seven months into her term and she's looking happier day by day, in anticipation of the child that will be born into this world…
Yzak refused to admit to her that he was very much excited about it as well. It was interesting to hear her say things like, 'He kicked me…!", or 'Yzak, your kid's bullying your wife.' He didn't know how true it was till this day for he wasn't on the receiving end of the abuse.(Thank God for that.) To make up for it, he had promised to be in the maternity ward right beside her when she gives birth…
He regarded her bloated stomach intently with a slight frown, like a cat studying a piece of fish. Marveling that firstly there was actually a little person inside, and secondly the little person is actually capable of causing Sedna so much distress. He checked one last time to make sure she was still sound asleep before he made his move…He gingerly laid a hand on her stomach, and miraculously he did feel a weak throb beneath his fingers. Thoroughly amazed, he leaned forward slowly, and adhered his ear to the site and listened carefully for any further movements. He was marveled to hear a little steady throbbing sound, and he thought this is… fun. He probed further, carefully trying not to wake her as his senses searched for the sound and he caught it once again, a small, weak, but significant sound…monotonous but oddly intriguing to his ears.
It was rhythmic like a song, the melody of life. It indicated that there was indeed a little being inside, and the little being is waiting to be born into the world…
Yzak smiled as he started counting off 1,2,3,4,5,… and he relaxed, allowing himself to be absorbed into task of infinite counting, slowly getting mesmerized and he drifted off to sleep…
--- Chapter One, complete. How'd you like it? To all who did read Beyond Destiny and is now reading this, congrats, cause you'll probably know more of what's going on. To those who haven't, no harm done. But if you're bored you can go check out Beyond Destiny as well, it's good reading, (I think) Hee, till then, chapter next…