Thomas Spencer wondered whether someone set out to play a rather cruel trick on him as his mobile suit, Strike Freedom arrived at the designated vector. That was the only way to explain why he, a former pilot of a battery-powered Strike LANCE was given the control of such a powerful mobile suit. Despite both bearing 'Strike' in their names, saying that they're similar is like insisting apple and orange belong to the same plant genus.

He ran a full scan of the area. There was nothing but space dust. Muttering a soft curse, he wondered about the original pilot's whereabouts. Despite his rather shy demeanor, Kira Yamato stuck out like a sore thumb among the Second War veterans; preferring to maim or disable his opponents' mobile suits rather than annihilating them. In fact, he had heard along the grapevine that the newly formed United Nations Integration Treaty government or simply known as UNITY, wanted to elect him as a senator. Such a move was of course politically motivated to bolster support for the fledging coalition. Heck, they'll probably have the students study about him in one or two chapters in schools in few years time.

However, Kira had surprised them by declining the post. He had simply vacated the post of ORB military commander, to the chagrin of his sister, the representative of ORB. Some had claimed he had left to join ZAFT but Tom couldn't see the real logic behind that. Since PLANTs, ORB and the majority of world countries formed and joined UNITY, Kira Yamato would end up serving the same government. Of course, the man was yet to be seen to disprove Tom, so the man probably didn't join ZAFT as well. In fact, he probably decided to retire.

If that was the case, in Tom's opinion, Kira Yamato was wasting his talents away.

Take piloting Strike Freedom for example. While the Super DRAGOON's control system had been fine tuned so that even a Natural with a normal awareness of space would be able use it, it would require someone of Yamato's caliber in order to bring its best.

He would have continued on with his musing when an alarm suddenly became live; an unknown was approaching him and introduced itself via a beam shot clearly aimed at Strike Freedom. Thomas blocked the attack and narrowed his eyes. Something wasn't right. He was ordered to patrol the area because Intel suggested that a small band of pirates armed with antiquated GINNs would lie in wait for a convoy that was supposed to pass there the day after tomorrow. But instead of that, he was attacked with… Tom racked to find a suitable description… a slender looking DOM Trooper with Voiture Luminaire system. Slender or not, there was no mistaking the myriad of weapons it was carrying.

He hit the radio. "This is Strike Freedom, I…," he stopped as he realized that he was talking to a static noise. Somehow or another he was cut off from his mothership.

The 'thin' DOM continued with its attacks.

"Fuck…," Thomas cursed. "You're really trying hard to ruin my day, aren't you?" he asked despite knowing that no answer would be forthcoming.

Both Strike Freedom and its adversary traded attacks, gauging each other's reaction until finally, Tom had gotten into a very favorable position. "Eat this," he said, grinning as Strike Freedom's Super DRAGOONs launched.

Unfortunately, he wasn't able to see that his enemy was also grinning.

It was already too late when Tom realized that rather than blasting his enemy to smithereens, the Super DRAGOONs turned toward Strike Freedom and destroyed it.

Inside the thin DOM, a man was laughing at what happened when a woman's face appeared on the screen, causing him to snap to attention.

"Did you get Yamato?" the woman asked.

"Judging from the battle data that we have, it's not him."

"Zala, or is it Asuka? I know for certain that Fllaga had retired."

"I'm not sure. Since the ARES system didn't kick in, probably a normal Coordinator or Natural." The pilot noted that he could see the dissatisfaction on the woman's face even though it was being displayed on a very small screen.

"Very well. Regardless of the disappointment, we have at least achieved Strike Freedom's destruction." She stopped for a while. "Are you able to use the DRAGOON Scrambler?"

"Yes, despite a slight lag time when activated, I've managed to take control of Strike Freedom's Super DRAGOONs."

"They're still intact?"

"All eight of them."

"Good. Bring them to me. We need to hasten our next plan."

"Understood."

The woman signed off.

The pilot let the Super DRAGOONs attached themselves at ports prepared specifically for them. The field test was successful and the poor bugger never knew what hit him. He felt a tinge of excitement as he remembered the next stage of the plan.

He would finally get the chance to avenge his sister's death at the hand of that murderous Shinn Asuka two years prior.


1


Author's note (19 July 2008)

1. Logically and chronologically, this story is subject to the respective copyrights holders exercising their rights.

2.I'm just putting the status as complete as I don't know whether I'll continue on with it or not.

3.In case you wonder about the pairing, see the category above.

4.Following my previous fic Fallen Angel, this story's acrostic will also reflect the main character of the story. That said, it doesn't mean that other characters wouldn't play important parts; the focus will be more to him.