CHAPTER 2

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The vast space stretched out around them. It was a midnight blue color and had specks of little lights glittering from time to time. Various scraps and wastes of metal, asteroids, ships and mobile suits littered space and floated as if subdued in time. Past all of those scraps was a huge memento of a very special event. The remnants of Junius Seven.

The huge abandoned colony was still and looked as usual on its orbit until Minerva was sent to address to a problem. The remaining supporters of the former chairman Patrick Zala conspired to blow up Junius Seven and send it crashing towards the Earth.

"Captain Yzak Jule and his squadron were sent earlier to take care of the situation but it seems they are in need of reinforcements. That is where we, Minerva, will come in.

We are to help Captain Jule's ship in the subduing of these rebels. Your main priority is to keep the Junius Seven Colony on its orbit and destroy the installed flare motors. Do whatever it takes to prevent the collision of Junius Seven and the Earth." Captain Tallia said to the pilots via TV communicator.

Shinn, Lunamaria and Rey were in the pilot's waiting room and were dressed in their flight suits with Shinn and Lunamaria's being red and Rey's a lavender one. They floated in the anti-gravity room and listened to their superior's orders and answered with a curt, "Yes ma'm!"

Then they noticed that the Chairman Durandal was standing behind her.

"Chairman?!"

"Please do your best in protecting Earth. If Junius Seven were to fall, it would cause great destruction and many people will die in the process. You have my hopes, pilots." Mr. Durandal said in his military voice as he dismissed them and ended the TV conversation.

"We will..." Shinn said into the air just remained still for a few moments when he noticed something.

"Where's Athrun and Kira?"

Right at that moment, Athrun entered the room in his purple flight suit. "Kira will have to depart at another hangar than the rest of us." He said as he configured his portable monitor of the ZGMF-X23S Saviour. "His mobile suit was brought in at the Chairman's private ship and was not transported due to untimely causes so he will join us a while later at the battlefield after he has finished talking to the chairman."

"Why would he need to talk to the chairman?" Lunamaria asked.

Athrun stopped whatever he was doing as if he remembered something important. "That's right, you don't know..."

"We don't know what?" This time it was Shinn who was surprised along with Lunamaria but it seemed that Rey knew what Athrun meant.

"I..."

"All pilots to your units! All pilots to your units!"

This stopped whatever Athrun was supposed to say as they all hurried to put on their helmets and entered the elevator that lead to the gundam hangar. Shinn cast a doubtful look at the FAITH member but bit back his question for later. He had a planet Earth to save.

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Kira was once again in his personal suite as he stared at the man in front of him. The only light was from the lampshade near the bed. The other man was sitting behind the desk nearest the window, his yellow eyes glowing in the dark.

"Before I go, tell me why."

"Tell you what?"

With a loud bang, he placed his palms on the table and glared at the man. "Why did you recruit me into ZAFT?"

"The same reason you agreed to join, didn't I tell it to you before? It is to prevent anymore wars to occur so Earth and the PLANTS will be at peace." Gilbert Durandal was a very loathsome man as he smiled his creepy smile.

"Then explain to me why you were developing new mobile suits in ZAFT's Armory One base? Why do insist on making more of those killing machines?!" He almost screeched the words out in frustration but the chairman just accepted his accusations and said.

"I only want peace. And so does PLANT. That is why we want you, Kira Yamato to be our symbol for peace."

"What?" the ultimate coordinator was surprised.

"No one can ever forget what happened in the past war and most importantly, no one can ever forget the person that ended it. Well, the gundam anyway... but that is beside the point, Mr. Yamato. It is in everyone's minds that it was the Freedom that saved them. Everyone thinks that the Freedom is their hero.

"By taking you into PLANTs as a coordinator of ZAFT, you can facilitate and keep at bay our actions as a ranking official. Hence, I gave you the FAITH membership. Being a member of FAITH alone situates you into a rank that is almost as powerful as a captain. You can make a change within ZAFT if you wish." The man stood up and Kira took no notice.

Gilbert found place behind Kira's back as he stood there with a hand on the pilot's shoulder as the violet-eyed man stared at the floor in shock. "So isn't it better that I had done what I did? I will admit that ZAFT had created new mass-destructive weapons but they are for the sake of protection. With you at our side, you can prevent the abuse of these powers with your own. Speaking of which... are they still there?"

Kira's eyes widened when he felt large hands rest on his mid-back and blindingly traced two well-hidden scars on his clothed back. He jerked away from Gilbert and tried to back off as far as he could. "How do you know?" he was in near hysterics as previous images and nightmares flashed again in his eyes as it did earlier that day. "TELL ME HOW DID YOU KNOW!!!"

The chairman had not moved from his place but sent an assured smile to Kira, "Do not worry. I will not tell your secret, Mr. Yamato. I just happened to have come across information in the past and found out by luck. But I am curious... are they real? Do you think I may ever see them? Or will any other person see them, for that matter?"

"Mind your own business, chairman." Kira spat out with venom. "I appreciate your concern for my secret but I still have some doubts over my immediate recruitment. The coincidence that you took me and Athrun at the same time and opportunity is a bother that one might think an evil plot is brewing in your egoistic head." He said without holding back- respect be damned. "I'm warning you Durandal. If you ever think of destroying the peace me and my friends had tried so hard to build then you will regret having taking me as your ally."

The brown haired pilot walked swiftly past the chairman and grabbed his flight uniform from his cabinet and exited his room as swiftly as he could but not without saying, "Leave my room, I don't like you here any longer as I would want to leave ZAFT."

Kira left with a soft whoosh of the electronic doors and Gilbert let out a small smile to grace his features.

"Kira Yamato... what a very interesting boy."

After his little spat with the captain, he immediately heard the announcement. "All pilots to your units! All pilots to your units!" Kira ran through the corridors with his flight suit flying behind him and his helmet tucked underneath his arm. He quickly headed to Hangar 6 which was a special envoy hangar for VIP/cargo/emergency purposes and in it was the ZGMF-X10A Freedom.

He changed from his red military uniform into his red pilot suit and noticed that it was more form-fitting than the EA's. He immediately zipped it up and placed on his helmet and went down to the hangar, ready for battle.

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"Shinn Asuka, Impulse, launching." With a thrust to the launchers, Shinn's gundam flew out of the Minerva and into the battle zone followed closely by Rey and Lunamaria's ZAKU units.

Athrun was in his cockpit and adjusted his controls a bit before hearing the 'go' signal from the control room in his helmet radio. "Saviour, you are free to launch."

But before he left, he asked. "Where's pilot Kira Yamato?"

"Pilot Yamato is in Hangar 6 under special take-off sequence. Control is not responsible for his launching, commander." Meyrin Hawke, the control room's communications expert and Lunamaria's sister said through the radio.

"I see..." he pressed the button at the side of his helmet and brought down the lens. "Athrun Zala, Saviour, taking off!" The red mobile suit launched smoothly off the hangar and sped to the main battle field, its beam saber open and ready for attacking.

There were a few Nazca-class destroyers floating in space, sending out many mobile units to battle and occasionally shooting out beams and lasers to attack the enemy when Athrun arrived at the scene. He charged into the battlefield and intercepted an incoming missile coming on the ship with his beam saber. He slashed it in one graceful arch in front of him and the pink smoke covered its surroundings as the bomb exploded mid-way to the target.

After shifting the radio frequency, he tried contact with the ship. It took a short while but he was immediately connected with the ship's servers and was viewed in the control room's communicator.

"This is Commander Athrun Zala of the military ship, Minerva, I am here with my comrades and we will offer our aid when needed. What is the status, captain?" his tone was clipped and alert as it always was in the midst of battle as he addressed the commanding officer present in the room.

Over the radio, he heard soft murmurs of surprise from the crew in the control room. They must be shocked to have the Athrun Zala talk to their ship. It was a full-grown male that answered him and judging by his purple uniform, he was one of the ranked officials on board. "A group of mobile suits have started attacking the remnants of Junius Seven, commander. There are currently 8 Zaku units from our ship, engaging the enemy as we speak. No progress has been made on our side, commander but we had detected advance from the enemy."

"What kind of advance?" The battle was still going on and this little conversation, in Athrun's opinion was getting quite long. He needed to hurry to join in to help the others.

"Flare motors had been continually placed up around and they're all over Junius Seven. We're not sure how they installed them so fast but I believe that they're soon thinking of using them soon, Mr. Zala." As soon as the uniformed man finished reporting, the door to the control room opened with a soft whoosh and everyone in the room saluted to the men who entered.

"Zala! How dare you come back to ZAFT, you bastard!" Yzak Jule spit onto his face, typical, typical Yzak. Always the tantrum thrower. He was wearing the official ZAFT white captain's uniform and the scar on his face from the previous war was gone and his face flawless. Athrun had heard earlier that Yzak was this ship's captain, remembering that just now.

"Yzak? You're still in ZAFT? Where's Dearka? Is he still with you?" the blue-haired pilot asked in one blow as he eagerly waited for his friend's response. Even though it was in the middle of a battle, he just can't stop himself from asking since he hadn't seen the two for so long.

Another man appeared into Saviour's communicator and in the small screen, he could recognize those sandy hair. "I'm well and alive, Athrun." Dearka said with his usual grin; he was wearing the green ZAFT uniform. "Everything's been fine. Why don't you go fight now, and me and Yzak will catch up later with you, okay?"

"Sure." And with just that, Dearka turned the communication off at the same time Athrun did as he flew away from their ship and joined the other fighting mobile suits. Athrun had a lot of questions to ask but he guessed they could wait until this was over. The pilot pulled out once again his beam saber and with a powerful thrust swept into the battlefield.

Dearka Elthman, on the other hand, was not let go easily.

"Why the hell did you turn it off?! As you had seen, I was talking with Athrun!" Yzak had screamed into his ear but Dearka point-blankly ignored him as he drifted lax in the control room. After deciding that the silver-haired man had stopped shouting, he reminded, "We're going to help him Yzak. So get your lazy butt to start moving or I'll drag it down the battlefield myself if I have to. Athrun is expecting a nice, warm reunion."

The blonde tan man left the control room and headed for the pilot's preparation area, with their silver-haired captain trailing behind him, shouting insults, complaints and whatnots in to his ear. The crew sighed at this. They were never going to get a decent captain and vice captain. Oh well, at least they were reliable leaders... sort of. Both were capable leaders of their ship but they didn't seem to act their roles. Thank god they had at least one reliable strategist in their room.

"Okay men, prepare launch sequence for the captain and vice captain's suits and standby for attack."

"Yes sir!"

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"Aah!"

Shinn was thrown back by the other suits massive power and the pilot immediately acted to regain control on his mobile suit. He hadn't expected that their attacks would be so strong; apparently, the rebels had been busy.

Over the communicator, Rei called in. "Shinn, are you okay?"

"Y-Yeah..." he said in a shaking voice, not fully recovered from the impact. "Their attacks just caught me by surprise."

"Well, be careful." The blonde ended their short conversation and just in time too. Immediately afterwards, a charging mobile suit came at him, laser beams out and ready for slicing. He evaded it just in time and with the Zaku unit's back faced at him; he used the Impulse's laser beam to shoot the pilot from the back.

He got one down but another one followed his fallen comrade, most probably in revenge. "I'll get you for that!"

The Impulse was directly at the incoming suits range and Shinn couldn't move his mobile suit in time and he though that he was going to be hit, right then and there until his radar picked up another incoming mobile suit, a ZAFT mobile suit.

"Shinn!" the voice over the communicator was familiar and when Shinn looked to see what it was he saw a speeding red gundam, a gundam who held a stark similarity with one of the legendary gundams of all time, Justice. It really looked like it but held new features. It seemed to have a phase-shift design and had newer weapons attached.

The red gundam thrust at them with incredible speed and intercepted the incoming attack on Shinn by neatly slicing the enemy gundam's head part. This stopped whatever movements the gundam will do as its video head piece was destroyed.

"Shinn, you should be more aware of your surroundings." The video communicator finally activated and he was shocked to see Athrun's face sprawled in the screen. "You're flying the new unit?"

"Yes, now we don't have much time. From the reports of the previous ships, flare motors are installed everywhere around Junius Seven and the rebels are close to using them."

"So what are we going to do?" Lunamaria asked as she, too, joined in the video conference.

"Disable all flare motors; destroy any complications in your way. We must eradicate Junius Seven of those machines or it will be plunged into Earth." Athrun instructed them.

"I've got it."

"Yes, sir."

All communication between them was cut off and Shinn was left in the darkness of his cockpit. It was silent except for the commotion outside the confines of his mobile suit. He recollected his thoughts and fixed his composure and with a relatively clearer mind, he returned to the battlefield.

There were many rebels but as the battle progressed, they became fewer and fewer. Shinn slashed and shot from one point to the other and weaved his way around his enemies. All of them died instantly with one hit to the cockpit and the pilot took no second glance.

Rei and Lunamaria, on the other hand was focused solely in destroying the flare motors while they had Athrun as their support. Currently, they had already destroyed half a dozen but they knew there were more others farther away. They worked swiftly and efficiently until one particularly gifted pilot chased them away along with dozens of others.

"These guys are delusional!" Lunamaria exclaimed as they heard through the comm., the shouts of their enemies.

"The way of Patrick Zala is the one, right path! Naturals have no place in this universe, Coordinators are the superior beings! Along with the grave of my beloved daughter, I will carry on our dreams!"

Athrun felt dread seep into him at hearing his father's name, bringing long forgotten memories resurfacing. These rebels wanted to destroy Earth and most probably kill half of the living population. All of them stuck to the idea of his father's belief and by sending Junius Seven to a crash-collision against Earth, would most probably fulfill their goals.

The short stupor that Athrun was into was an open window for our rebels and they took it. All together, they charged at the Saviour full force but even though Shinn, Rei and Lunamaria came in to shield him, some pilots managed to slip past.

"Fuck..." Shinn cursed in his cockpit at seeing their stationary commander doing nothing despite the numerous machines advancing towards him. He shouted in frustration, "SNAP OUT OF IT ZALA!"

But it was too late, the enemies were too close to the commander and he didn't seem close to moving his mobile suit. They all thought he was going to die when suddenly, another mobile suit appeared.

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A/N: How do you like that? Sorry if I'm still holding out Kira but don't worry! In the next chapter... promise.

I think I got some terms wrong, please feel free to correct me. And do you think that that was what happened in GSD? The facts are a bit hazy...