Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: Fated Shift
Disclaimer: Listen closely, everyone, 'cause I will only say this once! I don't own Gundam or anything having to do with this franchise. Keijiro Mishima, Testament Corp., and Dante Cipher are the intellectual properties of my padawan learner Riax Tsoni. Ken Difalco and his Gray Demons are owned by my mentor Solid Shark. Sebastian Connor and his pack belong to my good friend and co-coconspirator Storm Wolf77415. My only properties are the original characters that come from the depths of my disturbed psyche. *Strikes Nice Guy Pose* Now onto the story!
Chapter One: Shadows on the Sun
Alarms and klaxons blared all around the ship; it was the signal to let loose the dogs of war. "Level one battle stations! All pilots and crew must report to their assigned posts!"
The feminine voice beckoned over the intercom. The entire ship bustled with people floating to and fro. As troublesome as it was in zero gravity, they gave way to each other in the most hurried way. No one let panic strike them paralyzed, the trained soldiers of ZAFT of were too proud to let any messily executed Natural attack do that.
Uriel Yayal was one of those proud men, a twenty something Red Elite of ZAFT fresh from Key Point Academy. Yes, he was the cream of the crop. The very best the PLANTs had to offer. The very pinnacle of…
"Nice ass, Shirley!"
Manly Coordinator evolution.
A hand print about as red as his flight suit marked his handsome naturally tanned cheek. He considered that handprint a badge of courage and honor.
A white helmet collided with his face faster than any pitiful Natural could toss. "Stop screwin' around, Uriel!" His commander bellowed at him, darting down the hallway past Uriel. The helmet vanished along with his commanding officer, leaving blood from his bleeding nose floating all around.
"You didn't have to hit me!" Uriel whined, kicking off the floor to follow the commander. He didn't have time to nurse his newly earned badge of pain. The battle was already raging!
"There will be more of the award winning Soldiers of Passion after these important messages from our sponsors!"
"Everyday's a great day at your Junes!"
Today wasn't a great day… As a matter of fact, it was sucking rather hard. Incredibly hard for Keijiro Mishima, the self proclaimed baddest Yakuza kid in and around Heliopolis. By Coordinator standards, he was an adult at sixteen years old. This asshole of a guard didn't seem to recognize that fact. The fat pig of a police man was sitting at his desk laughing his ass off to some commercial about chimps in bikinis. Keijiro didn't give a shit about whatever the hell that was selling. He only cared about getting out.
"Hey pig!" Keijiro called for the officer's attention as he pounded on the bars. "When can I get somethin' to eat?"
"Shaddup, ya dumb brat!" The fat man snapped back at Keijiro. His attention went totally back to the television. The man switched the channels with the lazy push of a button. Now the TV was showcasing a game show, the object of the contest was to throw up in the orange bucket before any of the other contestants had the chance to purge themselves. Keijiro grimaced at the sight of one of the jackasses losing their lunch.
The pig let out a characteristic disgusting squeal through a mouthful of hoagie. It evolved into a series of choking and sputtering noises that sent him storming into the bathroom. He would've been a star candidate for the game show.
"Dumbass…" Keijiro sneered, going to plop down on his lumpy cot. He only stared at the drab ceiling for a long time until his tired body finally dragged him into unconsciousness.
That asshole Daisuke better bail me out…
Daisuke Ikari sneezed that very moment; he had a feeling who was talking about him… Whatever Keiji said or did usually meant trouble for Daisuke. And that was the last thing he needed or wanted. He moved from the PLANTs back to his homeland to have a normal life. Then again, his life had hardly ever been "normal".
Daisuke was a seventeen year old native son of Orb. His pale skin greatly contrasted his dark neck length hair. Even after he got out of bed, his hair always ended up becoming a wild bush. It was a typical thing… No matter how much he tried to blend in something about him always made him stand out amongst the crowd. He tried taking up the typical teenage loose clothing look, that didn't work either. The look eventually grew on him like every other seemingly normal thing he tried. Daisuke often wondered if his parents had intended to make his life abnormal by making him a Coordinator.
I was doomed from birth… He griped mentally. He was so deep in his reverie that he didn't notice the forest green and gold robotic bird perched on his head. "Torii!" The little bird brightly chirped. His attention finally was caught by the bird's cheerful cry. "You really think my hair is your one of your nests don't you, Birdie?" He said flatly, his small smile told the exact opposite about his mood. If the Birdie was here it meant his owner wasn't far away.
"Torii!" The free bird exclaimed, taking off for the wild blue yonder. That yonder was rather limited; the mining colony of Heliopolis was a decent imitation of his home. This place lives up to its name… Like the Pacific island nation of Orb, its weather was a brutally eternal summer. It was always hot and humid. It was one of the many reasons why he preferred the PLANTs to Heliopolis.
Birdie must've been very in tune with his feelings; he followed it until it swooped into a gazebo. His friend, Kira Yamato, sat with his laptop lying in his lap. Kira typed away at his machine like a master pianist… More like a hurried guy who didn't want his average to explode in a fiery blaze of failure.
"Hey, man!" Daisuke greeted cheerfully, slipping into the gazebo to take a seat. "Kato running you ragged again?"
"Yeah…" Kira sighed looking up at him with his amethyst eyes, looking a bit bleak about his situation. He didn't know Kira to worry about his grades. Out of their clique, he had to have the best GPA. Kato was known to break even the best of his students. "But I won't be another victim!" Kira declared once Birdie landed on his computer with a seemingly supportive cry.
"Let's kick his ass!" A feral smile crept up on Daisuke's face, scooting closer to Kira to get a better look at his work. "Figuratively speaking…" Kira chuckled, smiling at his friend's joke. It was moments like this that made their friendship.
"THOSE DAMN NATURALS!"
"What the hell?" Kira flinched; he was totally caught off guard by the familiar barking. Daisuke had a hard time holding back his amusement. "Sorry 'bout that." Daisuke tried his best to sound apologetic though series of chuckles. "That's my new Patrick Zala ring tone. Hilarious isn't it?"
"I guess…" Kira gave him a strange look. Patrick Zala wasn't exactly a figure you associated with comedy.
"I'll explain after I take this," He smiled at his friend's confusion. Daisuke walked off, and flipped open his cell. "Talk to me."
"It's been a long time, Yukimasa Ikari Sahaku..." The feminine voice's greeting caused a chill to run down his spine. Nobody from around here was suppose to know that name. It reminded him too much of a life he left behind a long time ago. A life that was too abnormal for his taste.
"Hello...?" The voice that vied for his attention had a edge of familiar irritation to it. Recognition clicked into place in his mind. "Oh..." Daisuke sighed in relief, he was glad that it was only Cagalli and not one of his weird relatives. "It's just you, Cagalli."
"Only me?" Cagalli questioned, he heard the irritation rising in her voice. He knew irrtation was only the beginning for this girl. In the most extreme cases, she'd be playing Godzilla and he would be thousands of screaming Japanese.
"Better for you to call than some other people I know..." Daisuke said awkwardly, he knew he had to diffuse the situation some how. He wasn't sure how to... He was taken a little off guard by her out of the blue call. It was a sign her impulsiveness hadn't changed...
He knew that wasn't in his favor.
"When were you going to tell me you were here?"
"Things got a little nuts in the PLANTs for me after the Bloody Valentine." Daisuke told her half the truth. He knew if he contacted somebody on Earth there would be a slim chance of his family tracking him down. Those people finding him was the last thing he wanted.
"Your family's been searching."
"Figures Ghina would try..." Daisuke scowled, his voice was filled with equal distaste. Out of all those pompous elitists, he despised that man the most.
"Mina...does miss you a lot." Cagalli admitted, "But she'd never say it directly."
Daisuke's frustraited sigh went off inwardly, guilting him into coming back didn't work in the past and it sure as heck wasn't going to succeed now. Now they're sending my friends, his thoughts were ripe with disdain and a good bit of anger. This is a new low for them...
"Don't tell me you came all this way just for little old me?" Daisuke teased only to change the subject. Despite not seeing Cagalli for years, he still knew just what pushed her buttons. Those buttons produced crackles and sparks when pushed the right way. Cagalli was a volitile spark in her own right.
"Don't flatter yourself..." Cagalli snorted, he was surprised to find there was humor in her voice. It wasn't the reaction he expected. Maybe she had changed... And probably not in a good way. "Listen Yuki." Cagalli became serious, he didn't like the sound of it one bit. "I want to show you something... Come to Morgenroete, I'll be waiting in Doctor Kato's lab. You better not keep a lady waiting!"
"Don't worry about it. I'll see you there!" The meaning behind her words hit him only after his phone clacked shut. What were the first things to come to a male teenager's mind after a girl tells him to meet her somewhere? The answer should be quite obvious. That can't be it, Daisuke's mind tried rationally to dismiss the perverted possibility. But after all these years... Could there be a chance? No... Cagalli most likely wants to knock my block off for not keeping in contact with her. Then again...
A familiar voice from behind shattered his mental debate. "Is that a sword in your bag or are you just happy to see me?" Daisuke turned to see his friend Tolle Koenig with his girlfriend Miriallia Haw in tow. Tolle smiled victoriously at him, unfortunately he did have Daisuke in check. Milly on the other hand rolled her big blue eyes. Her boyfriend was known for his raunchy sense of humor and his shoot from the hip attitude. Daisuke had a appreciation for both, but there were certain limits even for him.
"Don't joke like that, dude!" Daisuke rebuked. "It's seriously creepy!"
"You know I can't resist, Dai." Tolle was enjoying himself a little too much. "Your reactions are simply classic." Tolle chuckled, playfully nudging his girlfriend. "Ain't that right, Miri?"
"No." Miriallia said sternly, punching Tolle in the arm with less affection. "You know how uncomfortable those stupid jokes make Dai." Daisuke gave her a grateful look and Milly smiled kindly back. They went a ways back, not quite as long as Cagalli or Kejiro. Daisuke and Milly were an item at one point... Let's say she's protecting one of his greatest secrets.
"Aww... c'mon, Miri!" Tolle protested, faking hurt the entire time. "Do you actually see how easy he makes it!" He gestured to the crimson wrapped bundle that stuck out of the school bag at Daisuke's side. "He carries around a sword in public for cake's sake! It's like something out of the pages of a manga! Who does that in real life?! It's like the comedy gods willed it!"
Daisuke tried his best to ignore his friend's rant. Tolle did have a point... Too good of a point, actually. What person in their right mind, Natural or Coordinator, carried around a sword in this day in age? It wasn't the hobby of a normal guy either. Normal teenage males collected manga, hid erotic magazines under their beds, and smoked illegal substances like it never had been outlawed to begin with. The third one is more of Keijiro's hobby...
"So what if I have some weird hobbies?" Daisuke challenged, even though he knew how pointless arguing was. Tolle wasn't the type of guy who let even the most inane things get away easily. "It's important to know how to protect yourself in today's chaotic world. Besides, I do have a permit to carry this thing." Daisuke patted the sword's hilt lovingly. That last part was a lie... Being related to those elitists had its perks.
"Please," Tolle drawled, not impressed at all with his arguement. He just had to be the winner in this one no matter what. "With that Kejiro dude as your friend, the entire Mishima Yakuza is in your backpocket. All of those guy practically know you by name alone. They probably payed off the police so you could carry that thing without worries."
Now Tolle went from a comedian to a conspirasy theorist in under a minute. It was a new record. Miriallia rolled her eyes in concert with Daisuke.
"THOSE DAMN NATURALS!"
Miriallia and Tolle despite being the "damned" shared a laugh. They got the joke. The man behind voice that was the joke was also a viral video sensation the world over. The slip of one politician made both Naturals and Coordinators forget about their differences for a moment and laugh. It was a beautiful thing.
"Speak of the devil..." Daisuke muttered absently, taking in the name that flashed repeatedly on his cell's caller id. "...Wassup now, Keiji?" Daisuke asked flatly. Daisuke hadn't bothered to flip it open, he instead opted to set it on speaker. He knew that Tolle and Milly were guaranteed to get a kick out of it.
"Dude!" Keijiro's voice boomed on the speaker, like he'd found his messiah. Daisuke knew where this conversation was gonna lead. It was the same old song and dance that never ceased to irritate him. "You gotta bail me out! Listen, this time it ain't my fault! I was mindin' my own business, walking home from last night's party, when these goddamn pigs pull up next to me in their squad car and start harassin' me. We traded a few words then all of a sudden I'm bent down over their car being pat down for stuff. The next thing I know I'm thrown in jail for some bogus charge. 'Drunk in public' my ass, man. I only pounded ten back at the party! It takes normally thirteen to get me buzzed, and you know that as well as I do. It's profilin', Dai. I'll tell you, these bacon scented soap using bastards are doin' this just 'cause I'm a Mishima!" Kejiro's monolouge contained a few more explatives that made Daisuke's friends flinch.
Daisuke sighed. This was exactly what he expected from Keiji. Getting himself in trouble and asking him to use his influence to save him. They were friends... it was what he was suppose to do, apperantly. He was getting tired of doing this. Getting tired of being used as a get out of jail free card. "You've made your bed, Keijiro." Daisuke said slowly, harshly into the phone. "Now sleep in it for once..."
"Screw you, man!" Keijiro snapped, he didn't sound as angry as Daisuke thought he would be. He had the inkling that all his friend's brain power was devoted to a messy, dastardly Plan B. "Just because you decided to play the self righteous douche today doesn't mean I'm not getting out! You'll see! I'll bust outta here and find your-" Keijiro's voice cut off at the press of a button. He didn't need to hear his ranting to know what was gonna happen next. He hoped there wouldn't be too much collateral damage. I'll probably hear it on the news later...
"Wow!" Tolle laughed. The mischevious smile on his face told him that his overactive imagination was hard at work brewing up some utterly impossible scenario. "I wonder if he'll steal a police car or a mobile suit this time?"
"Don't be ridiculous..." Miriallia dismissed, her elbow to her boyfriend's side drove away his awesome video game worthy fantasies. "It's good that you're not enabling him, Dai. If he keeps this Yakuza fantasy of his up, there's no way he's going to be able to function in normal life." Miriallia lead the way to the gazebo. She didn't know the half of it. Keijiro's entire life was like some cheesy mafia themed action video game. He started extorting 'protection money' out of helpless Naturals when he was only eight. Those were the good old days... He missed the times when Keijiro wasn't applical for arrest.
"Speaking of delusions..." Tolle gestured to a certain dark haired boy. Kira Yamato was staring out into space with dreamy amethyst eyes. He wasn't paying the slightest mind to the dirge of violence that played on his computer. The news was going on about the newest bit about the war raging planetside. It was a situation Daisuke was glad to have escaped.
"Who ya dreamin' about, Kira Yamato?" Tolle leaned into whisper in his friend's ear suggestively. Kira flinched, breaking away from his day dreaming with a blossoming blush. They all knew who Tolle was hinting at.
"It's not like that!" Kira protested. They all decided to share a laugh at Kira's expense and leave it at that. The pervy ringleader's interest shifted to the news, strangely enough. Kira would have his reprieve... for now...
Tolle and the others squeezed in next to Kira to get the best view of the carnage flashing on the tiny screen.
Smoke billowed and fire flared all from buildings all within camera shot. Throngs of people fled in the streets, trying to take cover from the fighting. All screaming their heads off in horror. It was like the apocalypse unleashed on Earth, if Godzilla suddenly got bored with Japan. Only it wasn't that classic radioactive lizard... it was invaders from space! That was how the news media painted it...
Two strange humanoid machines clomped into view, wielding huge guns that could make tanks feel like they needed to compensate. They were many meters tall. So much so, that they could literally stamp out any resistance. And they did, one of the machines kicked a miltary truck that was desperately trying to get away. The truck crashed into a house with horrible force. The mobile suit decided it wasn't over yet. Ship killing shells fired from its titanic rifle, ripping into the pitable truck with explosive fury.
The camera turned over to the source of a girlish scream. A reporter clad both in a bullet proof vest and helmet was ducked down, perhaps muttering a quick prayer to whatever god he worshiped. He straightened himself up once he realized he had eyes on him. "T-This, This i-i-is B-Bill Bitzer!" The man stammered frightfully, he still looked about ready to curl up into the fetal position and call it quits. "Reporting from South China where ZAFT forces are attacking the Alliance military ferociously! Just one week ago, ZAFT conquered the base that safe guarded the Kaoshung mass driver!"
One of the humanoid giants boosted past them and over them, its wing mounted thrusters roaring like hurricanes. The reporter let out a embarassing screech once again. "It's game over, man! Game over!"
"'Game over'!" Tolle mocked, cackling like the funniest thing had finally decided to slug him. "Big surprise," he remarked sarcastically after his Wicked Witch impression was finished. "What can a buncha choppers and tanks hope to do to mobile suits? The Alliance will hafta change up their game plan in a big way if they wanna survive!"
Daisuke rolled his eyes, he was gonna keep his opinion to himself on this one. He didn't feel the need to debate about this one. They all knew his feelings on the subject, anyway. He supported the PLANTs one-hundred percent. Not because he was a Coordinator, or even for the time he lived there before he escaped to Heliopolis. He felt the Sponsor Nations, the largest and most prosperous nations within the Alliance, were getting their just desserts. They used them for their talents, abused them for being different, and finally tossed a nuclear missle Junius Seven's way just because the PLANTs wanted some freedom. For the Earth's sake, Daisuke hoped the Sponsor Nations learned their lesson before the situation got too messy.
Miriallia didn't share Tolle's joking attitude about the war. It was a possibility that seriously worried her. "China's pretty close to the homeland, isn't it?" She asked in a nervous way. "Do you think we'll be alright?"
"Of course!" Tolle said enthusiatically, wrapping a reassuring arm around his girl's shoulder. "This is Orb not Sparta, Miri. We're neutral down all the way through!"
Two pairs of red and purple eyes shared a look. Their owners both hoped that was true...
One man knew it wasn't true. Was the promised peace emphatically guaranteed by this nation's motto a bold faced lie? Perhaps and perhaps not. There wasn't enough evidence to draw any real conclusions from. The mission's objective didn't require any digging beyond what was already needed. He'd "dug" a hole deep enough to fit an entire PLANT. If he didn't grab the rope while he still could... it could be his grave.
Kenneth "Falcon" DiFalco wouldn't let that happen, not as long as he had his mission. Too much was at stake to let even the slightest bit go wrong. Still, he was going to take a chance. It wasn't too much of a gamble. He knew all the variables abounding and figured them in accordingly. If things did go to hell... There was always a Plan A, Plan B, and so on.
Some people said he thought too much. They were perhaps right and wrong. He only knew from experience that men who thought too little about their actions were the first to go. For now, he'd have to worry about the here and now. I'd better get going or else that blonde will keel haul me...
Falcon headed out the door without giving any kind of farewell. He knew inanimate objects couldn't consider them.
The journey wasn't strenuous in the least. It was more conveniant than anything else. The elecar transportation system had stations on about every street corner. At the press of a button, a car could be summoned instantly to take you anywhere within the colony. A truly amazing experience to those who hadn't used it before. Like anything else, it was something that would eventually be taken for granted.
The real piece of wonder was the colony itself. He admired the men that designed it and built it. To think over a hundred years ago the concept of space colonies were considered a far away dream. Humanity during that time was too divided back then to even consider undertaking such titanic projects. As always, it seemed to take the possibility of the world ending to actually call them to peace.
Irony was that world's end might be coming soon again. It was strange, almost like clockwork how it happened. Over a century and it was so close to happening once more. Maybe what he did had the possibility to stop all the fighting?Maybe if they saw what it was capable of they'd be willing to put their weapons aside? Like with what happened with the nuclear bomb centuries ago.
No... That chance, in his mind, sailed for a black hole when he uncovered the knowledge as to who who was truthfully behind his conflict. Blue Cosmos were a lie, and the entire Earth Alliance that drove the war machine forward were a fraud. Madmen that manipulated everything from the shadows were...
"Mornin', Falcon!" A voice greeted him cheerfully. The source didn't surprise him, or knock him away from his ponderings. A lifetime of martial training and combat experience taught him how to think on his feet. This colony wasn't anything like the battlefields he'd fought on during his service. The peace couldn't deprogram what was already engraved on his very soul.
Old habits die hard, I guess...
"Tolle," Falcon turned to the boy and his friends. He reguarded them with a simple nod. That was about about as much as you could get out of him ever. "Miriallia, Kira, Daisuke..." His tone and the look you got out of his good eye were forever forbidding. As his sister put it: "My brother has all the warm feelings of cold, dead fish washed up on the Jersey shore." That was about the size of it. Dying had a certain effect on man...
"Going my way?" Falcon finished, gesturing to the station in question. He was alive now, in a sense, so why avoid the inevidable? He knew there would be a moment like this sooner or later. During the entire duration of his four month stay, he'd peaked the curiousity of these kids. They were his classmates and not anything beyond that. No room for anything of that nature in his line of work.
"Yeah." Mir answered. "Care to join us?" They had the same class at this hour. Not that it mattered, he was meeting a client there today before his final vanishing act. They'd say that not accepting a reward was insane. How could a man of his talent do something for charity? It was a waste of his talent. That's what he'd imagine them saying.
And who were they exactly? He wasn't sure... Falcon had the lion's share of detractors. Falcon shrugged. "Yeah. Why not?"
Miriallia's beaming smile was turned onto her boyfriend. He got the impression she was being smug. Falcon also gathered there was some sort of bet involved. Tolle wordlessly accepted his defeat. He'd have to pay up soon.
Daisuke and Kira didn't seem to notice or care. They seemed to be brooding over their own troubles. He guessed that Kato struck once again. Falcon was glad that anything beyond the mission didn't pertain to him nowadays. The mission alone was enough to handle.
Telltail school girl giggles caught his attention. He knew who they were, anyone who didn't either were brain dead or perhaps dead. Falcon would take a swift death over having to listen to that inane prattling. Flay Allster and her group were the campus darlings to those who wanted a two second distraction from their studies.
Falcon favored tuning them out this time. He forgot his classical music filled player back at the nest. He knew he forgot something... Maybe he'd find something of interest in one of the less brain dead people around him.
Miriallia's attention was consumed by Flay's "important news". He thought she was too intelligent to be bothered by it. Maybe it was more of her boyfriend's interest? Now he was a gossip hog. He'd seen him reading tabloids in between classes many times. Kira himself looked like it was the end of the world crashing on his head. What he saw in that Allster girl, he didn't know.
"THOSE DAMN NATURALS!"
If it wasn't for Falcon's incredible control he would've flinched some. He was all too familiar with Patrick Zala's barking. Fortunately, it was just Daisuke's cell phone. He was ready to whip out a pistol, thinking that Patrick had finally found him. All he did was throw Daisuke a look. Who in their right mind kept a Patrick Zala ringtone?
Daisuke ignored him and flipped his cellphone open. It apperantly was Kejiro Mishima... Local delinquent and self proclaimed Yakuza wunderkind. Daisuke Ikari did keep himself some strange company. The stranger thing was Ikari himself. He was anomaly in the system. A name and person that suddenly popped up from out of nowhere, There were no records of a Daisuke Ikari anywhere in Orb government's citizen registry. Stranger yet, a Daisuke Ikari popped up in the PLANTs four years ago to attend a technical college at Maius Three. He graduated a few years later within the top ten of his class and the top twenty of his school.
Ikari then went onto to work within the PLANT government's Integrated Design Bureau. He didn't do anything too amazing. He was a small part of the engineering team that produced the GINN, BuCUE, and finally the CGUE a little before the Endymion campaign. It wasn't too important, just a curiosity that caught his attention. He could let it rest as long as it didn't interfere with the mission.
Why did he dive into the backgrounds of these supposedly ordinary teenagers? Boredom held a large percentage in his reasoning. He wasn't much interested in the everyday activities of the day's teenager. It seemed a waste of his time to indulge like that. Especially when the fate of so many was on the line. So he told himself...
It also didn't hurt to know about your surroundings. Keeping yourself updated on people, places, and terrain were paramount to the mission. It was one of his many lessons. Which one it was escaped him at the moment.
A polite feminine voice cut into the chatter and gained Falcon's attention. "If you're not going to take this car, may we have it?"
The students spun on their heels to see a tall, sophisticated woman with a severely cropped haircut. The dark haired woman was flanked on either side by two even taller imposing men. The woman herself seemed to be in her mid twenties, students at that age in the college were a rare thing. The way the woman carried herself crossed off the chances of her being a student. She had a distinctly professional air about her. He could feel her hard stare on him behind the sunglasses she wore. He was waiting for her to break out her command drill sergeant bark. The woman and her friends were dead giveaways for military types.
"Yeah right, Keijiro!" Ikari's derisive snort wrecked the tension the strangers' presence created. "I'll pick you up the day ZAFT attacks!" He angrily snapped his phone closed. His statement had the eyes of everyone in the gaggle on him, Like he'd committed a horrible faux pas.
"Let's go already!" Daisuke called, totally ignoring their stares. It was clear he wasn't in a good mood as stomped past everyone and hopped into the convertible. Kira, Tolle, and Mirallia obediently filed in the car. Falcon decided to join in as well. He already did agree to go with them. His cycloptic gaze was focused on Daisuke Ikari. What did this guy know?
Daisuke didn't care about what he did or didn't know. Why focus on that when there was somebody's skull he wanted to cave in? Yeah, that sounded like a nice way to work off some steam. The number one problem would be he'd be sitting right next to the moron who caused all his frustrations in a nice, cool prison cell. That wouldn't serve at all. He landed himself in this wonderful situation because of his temper. His willingness to fight was also a problem he faced since he was a kid. It got him into a number of incidents over the years.
Now Daisuke wasn't a delinquent like Keijiro. The friends would consider it an insult to be compared like that. He was a contributing member of society like anybody else. He also was a fairly relaxed person that seemed to fit in well with almost any group of everyday teenagers. He taught himself how to unwind in the years after he abandoned all those cumbersome expectations back home where they belonged.
There were still guys who made it hard for him not to get enraged. His brother, a certain purple haired pedo he'd rather not name, Professor Kato, and Keijiro. Half of them weren't in his life, so it wasn't a problem. He had outlets like cheerfully flipping off guys he just cut off.
"Sit on it and rotate, pal!" Daisuke hollered over all the beeping horns and cursing of the other drivers. Yes, road rage was a very fun means of venting. He liked driving fast and blasting rebellious punk rock outta the convertible's powerful speakers. The music was more to pump himself up for seeing Cagalli. He needed a little courage if he was gonna face her.
"Slow down!" Tolle cries from the backseat contested with the loud music. "Pedestrians have the right away remember!?" Daisuke couldn't tell if Tolle was joking or screaming for his life. He decided to interpret it as a joke.
"Not while I'm behind the wheel!" Daisuke grinned toothily, seeing Tolle shrink in his seat some in the rear view mirror. The escaped noble got the reaction he so desired. He didn't forget Tolle's remarks from earlier.
"Slow down some, please!" Milly giggled, she didn't sound very convincing. She was mocking her boyfriend's cringing. She was having fun like Daisuke expected of her. He knew she loved living dangerously despite her good girl suburban upbringing. Falcon didn't look affected in the least. He got the feeling like this guy was expecting it. For some reason, his attitude always pissed Daisuke off. What'd he think he knew it all or something?
This person reminded him too much of his brother. Though Falcon didn't show anything, he imagined him smirking on the inside at his childishness. Just like that bastard did. Why the hell did he think he was so superior?
Daisuke purposefully swerved into the opposite lane right into oncoming traffic! He wanted to watch that mask shatter!
His smile big grin became savage in nature. Daisuke was intent on pushing this to the limit. Nobody looked down on him like that without paying dearly. Watching Falcon break down like a little girl would definitely sate him. He wanted to see the other driver's fear reflect in his.
"Watch out!" Kira hollered, grabbing onto the steering wheel quickly. His fast reflexes got them out of the other car's way. They could barely hear the driver's blaring horn and venomous cursing over the blaring stereo. Kira glared at Daisuke, it wasn't often he saw his friend angry. "What the hell was with that, Daisuke!?"
Daisuke realized he crossed the line. He could see Tolle and Miriallia trembling in their seat thanks to the rear view. Tolle had a comforting arm thrown around his girl's shoulder. His crimson eyes met with Tolle's narrowed blue ones. Miriallia's face was buried in Tolle's chest, she clearly expected the worst. Despite the wink Tolle threw him, he still felt ill about what he did.
Daisuke's own eyes narrowed dangerously once he saw Falcon shaking his head like a patronizing adult. His regret shifted into fury again. The car's pedal literally met the metal hard. Falcon was going on the list!
They reached Morgenroete's engineering department building in record time; not that there was a fire. Definitely, if Daisuke counted Cagalli. He knew not to keep the princess waiting. Oh god, she hated it when he teased her about her position. Daisuke smiled fondly to himself. Maybe he would start a riot for old time's sake? Not yet. It was best to get Cagalli a good kilometer away from his friends before she blew.
Speaking of them, they rest of them were there too, Sai and to a lesser extent his bespectacled buddy's friend Kuzzey. Sai sat there next to Kuzzey, going over whatever new project the old hack had planned for them. Their professor, Doctor Eugene Kato, back in his day was a darling of the engineering field. Either he improved or invented a single doohicky that was uber important to their everyday lives. He made enough money off of it to retire early and bother, Daisuke meant teach, the younger generation about proper engineering. It wasn't too important to him since he already possessed a master's degree on the subject. He was missing the piece of paper giving him confirmation of his complete mastery. In another three months, Daisuke Ikari could wave around the title doctor in the old fart's face.
He'd save the fantasizing for later on. Right now, Daisuke had a date with the princess. "Yo, Cagalli." Daisuke greeted casually, he tried to let it reflect in his body language. Acting completely relaxed and cool was what won him the date many times. He'd already planned out every scenario in his head. What places to go, what to say, what was in or wasn't in; especially in the eats department. Yes, he considered himself one smooth operator.
"Don't 'yo' me, Yuki." The familiar blonde he walked up to sharp golden stare burned into him. Her voice was equally pointed, she sounded disatisfied even angry with him. He expected it about as much as her choice in attire. He'd save the paperboy comments for later on... He couldn't blame her. Daisuke did some horrible things when he left. Hurting his best friend the most, topping the list.
"I, I know I d-deserved that..." Daisuke strained, trying to keep his composure. Her booted foot subtly came down on his poor foot. Grinding painfully the entire duration. "L-listen, I'm very sorry." He said his apology through gritted teeth. He had the instinctual urge to want to yelp out in pain, but knew he had to take his punishment like a man. "I-I shouldn't have left without telling you. I should have kept in contact with you like a friend is supposed to. Please forgive me..."
"And?" The blonde girl demanded, obviously being genuinely apologetic wasn't going to suffice. Her foot's increased pressure on his made it more painful. Good thing everyone was preoccupied, he knew he couldn't do it in front of them. Being manhandled by her wasn't the embarassing thing. Cagalli was the toughest person Daisuke knew. Daisuke couldn't handle the prying eyes. Daisuke wasn't the type of man who put his real feelings out there. His feelings for Cagalli ran deep, deeper than any previous fling of his.
"You absolutely rule me..." Daisuke lied, he didn't sound convincing. So, he wasn't as smooth as he believed. It may've been his foot being crushed... No matter how many excuses he thought up, he knew he couldn't escape from the fact that he sucked at deception. "And you don't look like a paperboy in your fetching ensemble."
"Give me a reason not to slug you." Cagalli's strikingly golden brown eyes narrowed into vicious slits. Damn his inability to pull off a proper white lie. Since never has he used words like 'ensemble' and 'fetching'. He sounded like that purple haired fag they both hated with a burning white passion.
"If you knock me out, you won't be able to partake in the absolutely awesome apology dinner I have planned for us." Daisuke felt the painful scuffling on his foot cease. Cagalli kept her harsh gaze on him, and crossed her arms. She was listening... Now that was progress. "I made reservations for tonight at this steak joint I know. It's not any place, y'know! Place's rated four stars, steak so juicy you won't even need a drink to wash it down! Every dish is super expensive, but you know you can't put a price on friendship! Especially ours... Did I mention I'll be paying for it?"
Cagalli let out an unladylike snort. "Okay..." Cagalli relaxed her intense gaze. Still, the hardness in her voice told him he wasn't off the hook yet. "That place better have some damn good food."
"I can guarantee it." Daisuke grinned widely, giving her a thumbs up. She didn't realize it was his victory pose. His foot ached and his new tennis shoes were scuffed. He didn't mind... Victory was worth a few sacrifices. "Why don't we get outta here?" Daisuke asked, gesturing to the exit. "We can catch up some."
"Excuse me, Ikari..." A quiet voice cut in. Falcon stood near them leaned against the wall in the corner. He blended in too well with the dim corner with his gray trench coat. He stepped forward, his hands shoved in his coat pockets. "I have some business with Miss Cagalli Yula. You might want to join as well, Lord Yukimasa. This concerns you as well..."
"How the hell do you know that name?" Daisuke demanded in a low growl. He stared down the unflinching youth coldly. His hand touched lightly on the crimson wrapped bundle peakng out of his bag. Falcon's hand slowly departed from his pocket and unbuttoned his coat.
Cagalli's hand fell on his quivering one. "Calm down, Yuki." She said firmly, guiding his hand away from his bag. "I'm the one who told him..." Cagalli's eyes meet didn't his at all. Her head was bowed in embarrassment. "I kinda blurted it out when I told him about you. We need your help, Yuki... There's something going on that I can't handle alone. Something big... I think it may involve my father..."
"You should've come to me sooner." Daisuke kept his now serious tone low. He checked over his shoulder to make sure they weren't being watched by his friends. They didn't need to get involved in his business. He had the feeling this was going to get intense.
Cagalli opened her mouth to say something, but Daisuke waved her off easily. "Don't worry about it!" Daisuke smiled big at her, adding a wink. "It's what friends are for."
"Thanks..." Cagalli flushed. She wasn't very good at dealing with her feelings either. She worked up the courage anyhow. "After we're done, I'd be glad to..."
"Ahem..." Falcon faked a cough into his fist. It was impossible to tell... Daisuke got the impression he was getting impatient. "If you don't mind, can we get onto the meeting?"
"Oh, right..." Cagalli trailed off, she'd totally forgotten the intensity of the situation. "Did you get the data?"
Falcon simply nodded, withdrawing a small computer from the inner depths of his coat. "The information you gave me was right on spot," he said in a hushed tone. They'd huddled in the corner Falcon appeared in. The two childhood friends made a wall so that no one could see the sensitive data Falcon gathered for them. Daisuke was the one who seemed to notice his and Cagalli's closeness.
Falcon didn't prattle about it despite the fact it was about the most obvious thing in the room. "Morgenroete is constructing five prototype MS for the Earth Alliance, and a new model of mobile assault ship to transport them." He held up the device for them to see. The screen flashed with disturbingly familiar images, each of the MS frames screamed right in Daisuke's face. All the pieces fell right in to place him. It all added up... Frighteningly well.
"There's no goddamn way..." Daisuke said in shocked disbelief. He tried laughing off his shaken state. "Please tell me this is cruel joke, Cagalli. Where are all the cameras, huh? You got me dead to rights. There's nobody else who'd think up using my class project for getting back at me. Is Tolle in on this...?"
"What are you talking about?" Cagalli blinked. She didn't have an inkling on what he was getting at. "What class project?"
"I'm afraid this isn't a jest, Lord Sahaku." Falcon shook his head regretfully. A serious edge crept up into his otherwise toneless voice. "This is what you presented in front of us two months ago for our winter break project. I thought you might have had a part in this, but I see from your reacton that is not the case."
"That copy cat bastard!" Daisuke cursed vilely, going straight for the door. His friends' gazes were on his back when the automatic door sharply hissed shut. They knew to stay out of his way when he entered his 'Avenger State'. That's what Tolle dubbed it because when he got mad he got even. And he wouldn't stop until the wrong on him was righted. They all wondered who earned them themselves such a distinctive award.
Cagalli followed with Falcon in casual tow. Now three on one wasn't... The building shook violently, knocking several of the students off their feet. Tolle inside the heavy exoskeleton was the most unfortunate. He was on his back, strapped in and unable to move.
"Now this ain't fair!"
Not at all, then who said anything was fair in war? Nobody did. The great thing about it was you could do anything you wanted in the name anything as long as the people deemed it just. Religion, ideology, land, resources, spite, or love. No matter how frivolous the reason, it was good enough as long as the people approved. And that was Commander Rau Le Creuset's job: to give the people what they wanted.
"Don't look so serious, Ades." The commander addressed his XO coolly. Captain Ades' expression darkened further. They were in disagreement over a small detail... One that wouldn't matter much in the long run. He already had the approval of the highest power of the PLANTs. Not the Supreme Council or even Chairman Clyne's say could shut out their cries. The people wanted justice for the atrocities committed against them, against their race.
Ades sighed. The captain was always one to by the books. Maybe it was why Le Creuset was wearing white and him black. Going by what the rules said seldom got results. "We can still contact the Supreme Council..."
The man wearing immaculate white shook his masked head. "Waiting for their answer will take much too long. My intuition tells me if we tarry... we'll die." He watched his captain shiver in his seat, he'd meant for his casual prophesy to be unsettling. Ades was also a superstitious man. Some would see it as a feature to look down on in this age of 'enlightenment', this age of science called the Cosmic Era. The masked man found it a useful one. Ades was an easy man to persuade.
"And you know my intuition is never wrong, Ades." Le Creuset said easily, passing a photograph to the subordinate officer. The picture was a blurry image of a humanoid shape. Inhumanly large, its white shape had golden horns sticking out of its forehead. The image was excuse enough let to do anything they wanted... He had the people on their side.
"Let's begin the operation..." Le Creuset smirked. He was never one to disappoint, not at all.
And Athrun Zala always delivered. As a ZAFT red it was his job to lead the charge against the enemy. The cream of the crop had to set an example for the other soldiers. Despite how wrong this all felt, he knew he had to take it in stride. This was for the sake of the homeland. If these machines got into Earth Forces hands... Athrun dreaded to think what might happen.
"It's like the commander said," one of his comrades noted coldly. Yzak Joule had an expression that matched his icy appearance. His hair was snow white like the coldest day on Earth produced. His intense icy blue stare could have frozen Athrun on the spot. Luckily for him, Yzak's stare was focused on the road below them. He held a pair of binoculars to enhance the range of his hateful sight. The road below them was connected to the factory district that housed their targets. If their plan worked, their pincer attack would have the Alliance trapped in their own hole at ZAFT's mercy.
Right next the white haired boy, Dearka Elsman let out a snicker. "If we poke 'em just a bit, they should come scurrying outta their tiny hidey holes." Dearka's cropped wheat colored hair clashed with his tan skin. It was like he'd been working in the fields all his life. Dearka's cynical, laid back attitude made a surprisingly good balance for Athrun's self proclaimed rival. Athrun kept his distance from the dangerous duo when ever possible. Whoever was Yzak's focus was also Dearka's target.
"Why don't we come to them instead?" Another young man said with an almost sadistic sense of amusement. The sound of Morinobu Sanada's silky voice sent chills up and down his spine. He never liked being near the pale skinned guy. He approached battle like it was kind of funhouse for everyone to enjoy. His reddish brown eyes sparkled playfully when he laid them on the green haired boy next to him. "It'd be much more fun that way." His lips were stretched thin into a preditory smirk. "Don't you agree, Nicky...?"
Nicol Amafi was the Le Creuset's team's youngest member. His fragile appearance and gentle nature made him the prime candidate for seniors pilots like Morinobu to pick on. Nicol froze up like dear in the head lights. Athrun could feel his little friend's fear. It was like he was being coiled around by a scaly serpent ready to take his prey into his gullet.
Athrun glared at his senior. "Leave him alone, Sanada. This isn't the time your head games..."
"Alright, alright!" Morinobu put up his hands defensively. His smile morphed in into the playful sort. "I'm just trying to get our little buddy here psyched up for his first engagement~" He clapped Nicol hard on the shoulder, pushing their most junior member towards Athrun. "You should prepare yourselves as well... I hear this will be your very first battle."
The other reds had harsh stares at the man clad in a black flightsuit. Yzak was especially perturbed. "Who the hell do you think you're talking to?! We wouldn't be trusted with such a sensitive mission if command didn't think we were capable!"
"Now, I didn't say that." He corrected, wagging his finger condescendingly. "I know you boys wear that red uniform for a reason. I'm just saying you should be prepared for the reality we're going to be facing..." He looked Yzak directly in the eye. His reddish brown eyes were hard as stone. "It's kill or be killed, my good man. If you don't give this your all you could... die."
Athrun knew the strange man was right. A soldier's realm was a harsh existence. Some people made an entire lively hood paved on the corpses of their adversaries. They fought their hardest to live just as Athrun would have to do a few minutes from now. He didn't want to live his entire life like that. After the conflict was over and done with Athrun would live a peaceful life.
The ground under their feet shook without pretext. Far off in the distance, explosions ripped through the factory district. It didn't matter who you were... Earth Alliance personnel, Orb citizen talking nice stroll, or an innocent child playing with your friends after school. The firey rapture indiscinminately took them away from this life in an instant. Their ashes fell like rain...
"So, it begins..." Morinobu muttered, walking off into the smoke filled horizon. His dark flightsuit blended him into the backdrop almost perfectly. He vanished like a wraith when he fell forward off the building's edge. The jetpack strapped to his back carried him far away.
Nicol stared in grim awe of the spectacular explosions. Athrun could not tear his eyes away either. The elder boy had a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. This was where his war started...