Mobile Suit Gundam:Sieg Zeon!

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"Major!" A young man in a Duchy of Zeon uniform ran to an older officer who was sitting near a window with a mug of coffee. The young soldier saluted before holding out a piece of paper. "New orders, sir!"

The Major, taking the paper, grunted. "Hmmmph," he muttered, his eyes skimming the message. "So, they're finally going to send us back in, huh?" A smile lit his face. He turned to the soldier. "Call in the rest of my Company." The soldier saluted smartly and went to carry out his orders, glad of having a chance to speak with the semi-legendary blonde ace pilot. The Major watched the boy run off. "Heh," he chuckled to himself as he finished his drink. "Not much younger than me..." His expression became serious as he glanced at his orders. "It's time we showed those Feddies how real mobile suit pilots fight!" He clenched his fist, crumpling the paper. "Soon they will all know my name!" he declared. "I am...Johnny Ridden!"

"Major!" "Hey, boss!" "Hiya, chief!" "What's up?" Major Johnny Ridden smiled as his men greeted him when he entered. He raised his hand for silence.

"At ease, troops, I've got a bit of good news for ya!" the blond pilot told them. "I just received," he began, holding up the message he'd received, "new orders!" The room became quiet as the assembled pilots listened intently to their commanding officer. "We are to deploy and report to A Baoa Qu to assist in bolstering the defenses."

"You mean..."

"Yep," Ridden grinned. "Boys, we're back in the war!" The roars of approval echoed through out the ship.

"Major Ridden, we're approaching A Baoa Qu," reported the operator on the bridge of the Zanzibar-class cruiser 'Chimera'. In his quarters, Ridden acknowledged the report and moved to make himself presentable. "Hmph," he mumbled. "Wonder what mother would say if she saw me now?" He looked at himself in the mirror. His blond hair was slicked back, and his green Zeon uniform was perfect. His medals and insignia were in place, as were his ceremonial sword and pistol. "Show time!"

"Major Ridden," Krishina Zabi, one of the esteemed Zabi family and commander of the Mobile Assault Force addressed him. "Thank you for arriving so quickly."

"No problem, ma'am," Ridden replied. "My boys and I were gettin' worried we would be able to try out those Gelgoogs of ours before the Feddies got here!"

"It's good to hear you are so eager for battle.I have an assignment for you."

"What're your orders, ma'am?"

"You are to assemble the Ace Corps and prepare to engage the Federal Forces," Krishina stood up and walked to the window which overlooked the docking bay. "If you refuse, I'll understand."

"Refuse?!" gasped Ridden. "Not on your life!" Regaining his composure he quickly added, "Ma'am." Under her mask, Krishina smiled.

"Then to your post, Major, and tell your men I wish them good hunting!"

"Yes, Ma'am!"

Not long after leaving Krishina's command centre, Ridden came across Char Aznable. 'This is awkward,' he thought. He'd always resented the way people confused him with the younger pilot, even though their personal colours were somewhat similar. His red and black Zaku moved so fast, it wasn't surprising people thought it was Char's red Zaku. However, he'd heard that Char's student, a Newtype girl called Lalah Sun, had been killed in battle with the Gundam not long ago. "Uh Colonel," Ridden spoke. The masked ace looked up at the older man.

"The Red...Lightning, wasn't it?" he said.

"Just call me Major Johnny Ridden," Ridden replied, "sir," he added, remembering that Char outranked him.

"Major Ridden," Char muttered. "So, they've brought back the Ace Corps at last, eh?"

"Yeah," Ridden replied. "About damn time too, if you ask me."

"I would think you would be sick of war, Major," Char said wistfully. "I know I am."

"Show me a man who isn't sick of this blasted war," Ridden agreed. "I've lost more friends than I are to think about."

"We all have, I suppose..."

Ridden was silent for a moment. "Colonel," he said uneasily. "I'm sorry to hear about Lalah Sun."

Char looked up at the older man. "She was just another casualty of war, Major," he said with a seriousness that belied his age. "I can't angst over every dead soldier I've known."

"Begging your pardon, Colonel," Ridden interrupted. "From what I hear, she wasn't just another soldier to you."

"Rumors, Major."

"Not from what I saw when I last met her." Ridden smiled sadly. "She really seemed to connect to people, you know? Damn cryin' shame. All because of that damn Gundam."

Char snorted. "Yes..." the Red Comet chuckled bitterly. "The Gundam. It's all his fault."


"The pilot. If it werent for him, this accursed war would be over...and Lalah wouldn't have had to..." He stopped, making a strangled choking sound. "I'm sorry. I'm rambling."

"No problem. We're all a bit edgy." Ridden turned to walk away. "Don't worry," he called over his shoulder at Char. "There won't be anything left of the Gundam but slag by the time we're done with it!"

"Federal Forces Fleet approaching," intoned the operators. "All mobile suit pilots to the launch bays!" Ridden, dressed in his trademark green-and-black pilot suit, walked up to his customised MS-14B Gelgoog High Mobility Type. He looked at the massive Mobile Suit, admiring the excellent red-and-black paintjob the crews had given it as per his instructions. Donning his black with his lighting bolt insignia, he leapt into his cockpit. Morale was high among the rookies following another of Gihren Zabi's flaming speeches, though the more level-headed officers knew Zeon had all but lost the war. 'But by God,' swore Ridden. 'We'll make sure we go out with a bang!'

"Alright, men!" Ridden spoke into his communicator. "This is the big one! We're gonna go out there, and we're gonna hit those Feddies so HARD they'll think the wrath of God was on them! Are you with me?"

"Yes,SIR!" declared the 1st Company of the Zeon Ace Corps, made up of the best of the best, the greatest pilots in Zeon.

"One more thing," Ridden said sadly. "This may be the last time we fly together as a team, boys. In case anything happens..." he choked back an unmanly tear, "it's been a pleasure flying with all of you."

"You too, sir," replied 1st Lieutenant Thomas Kurtz in his dazzle-camouflaged Gelgoog Cannon. Similar confessions echoed among the pilots as they prepared for what they knew would probably be the final sortie for many of them.

"Alright!" yelled Ridden. "Let's go out there, and kick some Feddie behind!" A chorus of cheers greeted his declaration as the 1st Company of the Ace Corps deployed to meet their destiny.

'This is for all our fallen comrades,' thought Ridden remembering the Black Tristars, Ramba Ral and the other heroes slain in battle. 'For all our dead,' he continued, thinking of the many shattered Zakus at Solomon. "For all our grief," he said aloud, broadcasting it so even the Federal Forces in their GMs and Balls could hear him. "Sieg...Zeon!" he yelled, leading the charge.

"Sieg Zeon!" And the battle began...

Author's notes: Poor Ridden spent much of his career being confused with Char Aznable, to the point where another ace pilot blurted out: "Char? What are you doing here?" Needless to say, Ridden wasn't happy about that.

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