It took much to long to get this done, but its finally here. This is the last chapter of Conflicted. Due to how much I want to cover from different perspectives, the start of this chapter will be in 3rd person perspective.
Well, on with the chapter...
Chapter 29: Requiem of Resolution
On the Archangel:
Murrue Ramius stood looking at the carnage before her; the entire base had been utterly annihilated, the only remains being the smouldering heaps that were once proud buildings of the Earth Forces base. It was hard for her to imagine how this could have happened when not even 48 hours previously she had been speaking with the members of the base to organise a safe place to dock and disembark.
Only carnage greeted her and the other members of the Archangel crew.
"How could this have happened?" The soft voice of Mir sounded out of place in the unnaturally silent environment.
"They were attacked." Mwu said equally as softly as his battle trained eyes scanned the area. "Well more like slaughtered."
Murrue finally turned to look at those with her. She could see the fear in all of the teenagers that had firstly accompanied Kira onto the Archangel, but they also stood strong in the face of the carnage as well, something that brought pride to both Murrue and Mwu.
Mir stood with Sai, Kuzzey and Flay as she tried to see any spark of life within the ruins before her. Her chest held a hollow ache that had not left her since she had found out about Tolly's death, the ache only made worse by Kira's absence and the scent and sight of death before her.
Will Kira come back? She thought sadly, How can he fight against this?...
Quite suddenly the warm atmosphere that had surrounded the bridge on the Archangel turned stale and frigid.
"What do we do?" Kuzzey asked.
Mwu and Murrue looked to each other, knowing that searching for survivors would be futile and useless. Mwu sighed before turning back to look at the teenagers.
"We leave. There is nothing we can do here, our best hope is to go to the nearest EA base and hope they are safe and managed to escape this fate." He said firmly. The blond haired mobile armour pilot was concerned that this had all happened so close to them without knowing, and also about how quickly it had ended.
His mind travelled quickly to Kira and hoped, not for the first time in the last few days, that the young brunette was ok and at very least alive.
"Prepare the ship to leave." Murrue said to everyone around her. The bridge crew moved quickly and quietly to their positions, preparing the Archangel for launch with practised ease. It was then that the transmission came through.
"Unknown ship. Identify yourself immediately or face being shot down for intruding on Earth Alliance airspace." It came through the speakers loud and clear and it also sent a spark of hope through the people assembled.
"Open the airwaves." Murrue commanded, moving to the captains chair and sitting down before responding, "I am Captain Murrue Ramius of the Earth Alliance Forces, this ship is known as the Archangel." There was a tense wait as everyone listened for the response.
"Captain Ramius, it is good to hear you and the Archangel are safe. We have heard of you and been informed of your ship, but we had feared that you had been caught in the attack here." Came the reply.
The ship turned out to be one of the stealth ships of the EA, that had come to investigate the sudden loss of communication with the base here.
"We're going to have to ask for your help." The captain of the other ship said, "The situation is bad in space and we're not sure how long we can keep a hold of the launcher to get our forces into space."
"Of course." Murrue replied, "We don't currently have our Mobile suit and pilot but we will do all we can."
Everyone on the bridge nodded silently in agreement. They were all to involved in the war to stop now, and they were needed else where. Everyone wanted to prevent the same thing that happened here from happening else where.
We were lost. I lost track of any sense of time a while back as we wound our way through the old area of the base, and I was extremely glad that we had brought he rations down with us as we had all had to stop and eat a while back.
"Let's try down here." Nicol said as we headed down another corridor, as he referenced the area around us with a map of the base above. I had no idea where he had gotten it from, but once we had figured out that we had absolutely no clue where to go he had pulled it out. Yzak was fuming silently behind us as we walked and I was sure that it was only the fact that Dearka was working to calm him down that kept him from raging at the rest of us.
Athrun and I were walking just behind Nicol who had taken us the front position. Conversation was worse than before with tempers being so high, and I was starting to wonder if it had been such a good idea to come down here at all in the end.
We kept walking on like this for a while before we came to another branch in the corridors and Nicol stopped.
"What is it?" Athrun asked, his voice seeming very loud after silence for so long. Nicol turned to look at us with a large grin.
"It should be just a little further down here."
"Finally!" Yzak grumbled, moving up to look at the map Nicol held. Athrun and I smiled at one another, excited at the idea of finally getting out of here. We followed Yzak and Nicol further down the corridor with Dearka ambling behind us, we were all feeling more up beat and it showed in our steps.
"Yo, do you hear that?" Dearka hissed suddenly, we turned around to see him stopped half facing the way we came.
"Hear what?" Athrun asked, he sounded tense. I took a deep breath and strained to hear whatever Dearka was hearing and only seconds later the sound reached my ears as well.
Footsteps. And lots of them.
"Crap." Dearka spat spinning to face us and moving quick, "Go!"
Had they found us already? I spun quickly and began running down the hall, Athrun next to, and slightly behind, me. Yzak and Nicol disappeared around the next corner and I quickly followed.
It was another dead end.
"What! Why now?" I asked as Athrun and I came to a stop. Nicol was looking over the map with a harried expression while Yzak drew a small hand gun and stood ready. Looking around I saw Dearka at the entrance to the corridor, also with a hand gun drawn and looking around the corner.
"Its should be just here..." Nicol muttered looking around. His eyes seemed to widen as he looked to the side in the corner. "There!"
I spun around, and sure enough in back corner where the dim light barely reached was the outline of the door we were looking for.
Athrun moved over first, hands reaching for the handle only to find it locked firmly.
"Dammit." He swore looking up to what I had already seen. "It's code encrypted." The small wall-mounted machine gave a soft glow as Athrun attempted to pry the door open by force.
"They're coming." Dearka called back softly.
Fear raced through me as we all spun to look back; sure enough the sounds of footsteps were indeed close and closing in. Why now? We were so damn close. I moved over to the door.
"Move." I said softly to Athrun, my voice much calmer than I was.
Things were steadily going down hill fast and of course we had found the door only to find it damn locked. Prying at the door proved useless, and it seemed that the lock had been placed in by the ZAFT forces after they had built the base over the top, most likely because it went to this hangar.
When Kira moved over I was surprised at just how calm he looked. He moved straight to the wall-mounted lock and studies it intently for a moment before he began tapping at he small touch screen with a speed impressive for even a coordinator.
The first of the gun shots sounded then, I spun around to see Dearka crouching behind the wall and bullets flying past and embedding themselves in the opposite wall. Yzak moved past me and down to Dearka where the two both began firing back whenever they had a chance.
Looking back to Kira he was still working furiously at the pad. Would he be able to crack it in time.
"Come on Kira, you can do it." I said, placing my hand on his shoulder in comfort. Nicol was standing on the other side of Kira looking like he was in shock as he watched Kira. It was quite amazing to see him work, but he had always been advanced in many things.
"Shit! They're closing in." Yzak yelled back.
Kira's hand faltered for a second before continuing to type at an even faster pace. Common'
Kira... I thought willing the lock to open under Kira's fingers.
The small sound barely audible over the sound of the closing in troops. I jumped for the handle and gave a cry of delight as the old handle turned and the door opened.
"Yzak, Dearka, get down here!" I yelled, holding the door open as the two sprinted down the hall and through the door, I quickly ushered Kira and Nicol in soon after before following and closing the door.
There was a flight of stairs which we all quickly ran up, the sounds of footsteps and bangs on the door came behind us.
"Faster, they're still coming!" I yelled.
Yzak burst out of a door at the top of the stairs, Dearka, Nicol Kira and myself following quickly. We came out among several crates and I thanked our luck that the heavy crates were not piled in front of the door, but I also knew that the people coming up the stairs would not be so lucky.
"Help me move some." I said as I moved over to one of the larger crates, Kira and Dearka also moving over while Yzak stood at the door listening and ready.
The crate was in place only seconds before the troops coming after us attempted to force the door open. We all waited with bated breath to see if the one large crate would hold the door closed.
"Come on, the sooner we get you out of here the better." Nicol said grabbing both Kira's and my own wrists and pulling us through the crates, Dearka and Yzak following.
Once out of the crates I looked up and gasped, my breath catching with what I saw.
"Nicol... You've really outdone yourself this time..."
Le Creuset's POV:
Those damn kids... Once they had set off the sensors in the old blocks it was easy enough to send troops after them, but they had still managed to evade me. To make it worse, something that I should have noticed much earlier, the rest of my team had sided with Zala and were helping them to escape! There would be sever consequences when they were caught.
"Commander!" I turned to face the officer before me, keeping my posture relaxed and sure.
"What is it?" I asked simply.
"They... They are in the hangar Sir." The officer said, stuttering slightly at first. I remained silent for a moment, letting the news sink in. At last check they had been no where near the hangar... Unless.
"Why were they not stopped before they were able to gain access to the hangar?" I asked calmly, inside I was furious.
"W-We tried Sir, they only just managed to escape us." The officer replied shakily.
"Hmmm, nothing we can do about that then." I said simply, it seems as though they were trying everything to escape. "Very well, use force and shoot to kill if necessary. All but the small Earth Alliance boy, I have need of him."
"Sir? Even... Even Zala?" The man asked. I could understand where the fear came from, few would want to cross the Chairman by killing his son.
"Yes, he is a threat to ZAFT and therefore must be disposed of." I replied. They had no one to blame but themselves, they refused to come quietly and easily.
"Yes Sir!" The officer snapped to attention before turning and leaving his voice fading as he shouted orders.
So that is where they were heading... Very smart, not only will they be able to escape if they are successful, but they will have great power...
Looking up when Athrun spoke I gasped. Before us stood to massive Mobile Suits, bigger than any I had seen yet. They were obviously powerful; probably the most powerful yet I guessed.
"The ZGMF-X10A Freedom and the ZGMF-X09A Justice... I figured you would need better than what you had... Especially to escape." Nicol said, a strange note in his voice. "As far as I know, these two are the best ever made."
"Nicol... Thank you..." Athrun said softly, "But how did you know about them? These must be top priority..."
Looking up I found it hard to believe what I was seeing. After fighting with the Strike I had come to appreciate the build and raw power of the Gundam machines, and seeing these I could only imagine what I would find inside.
"You should go and get set up, before they get in." Dearka said from behind us. Athrun nodded and began heading over to the cables that were ready to head up to the cockpits of the machines. I looked around at all three of Athrun's old team mates.
"What about you? They would surely know that you're here by now." I asked, I had come to like them all, even the cold, angry Yzak and I didn't like the idea of them getting in serious trouble to help us.
"Don't worry about us, we're not sticking around for long." Yzak snapped, his voice sharp and angry but this time his eyes were softer as he looked at me.
"Yeah don't worry yourself over us, we can look after our own asses. You just keep Athrun safe, ok?" Dearka said, his cocky attitude for once absent.
"Ok, I will. Thank you." I said meaning every word. I quickly made my way over to Athrun who was standing between the two Gundams eyeing off the one that Nicol had pointed out to be the ZGMF-X09 Justice, I grinned at him finding the name to be fitting to his personality.
"Go ahead, that ones yours." I said, earning a grin as well.
"Ok, you go grab the other one and get it ready, then lets get the hell out of here." Athrun said before moving off.
I took a minute to look up at the ZGMF-X10 Freedom, that had been the one I had been drawn to from the moment I saw it, I had a feeling like I was meant to have this Gundam; even if such thoughts and feelings were stupid. Maybe with these we can end the war... I thought as I grabbed a hold of the cable and held on as I was raised upwards.
Nicol, Yzak and Dearka stood over by the edge of the crates watching us and I really hoped we could meet again in the future.
One up the top I quickly climbed into the cockpit, and instantly felt awe at the complexity of the controls before me. Sitting in the seat I quickly booted up the OS knowing that Athrun would be doing the same thing. There wasn't much to do as the OS had already been designed for a coordinator and all too soon I had all the settings ready to launch. On one of the display screens I could see Nicol over by a control panel of some sort and figured that he would be opening the hatch so that we could escape without having to blow the roof open.
"You ready Kira?" Athrun's voice came through the intercom of the Gundam loud and clear.
"Yeah, all ready." I replied. I was looking forward to getting back to the Archangel and everyone there. I really wanted to there with Mir, Sai and Kuzzey after Tolle's death, after all I felt bed for leaving like I did.
There was a shudder above us and as the roof opened up to allow us both exit. I smiled slightly at the thought of freedom, my smile only growing as I was reminded that my new Gundams name was Freedom. Appropriate.
"Let's go." I said to Athrun, activating phase shift and preparing to leave.
"Sounds good." Athrun replied, his Gundams' phase shift also activating to become predominately a brilliant red in colour.
Looking once more at the monitors that showed Nicol, Yzak and Dearka I felt my heart nearly stop when I saw Yzak and Dearka crouched behind crates and under fire while Nicol was crouching behind the panel controls to the roof.
"Athrun!" I yelled, hoping to alert him to the danger.
"I know Kira..." He replied, his voice sounded conflicted and broken, like he wanted to help but couldn't.
"Athrun?" I asked softly.
"Nicol has a transcom and he told us that we need to get out of here now before it's to late... If we miss this chance Kira, we wont get it again." Athrun said. It sounded unfair, but a part of me knew that he was right. Could we truly leave them though?
"Just get your asses out of here already!" Yzak's voice was the next to come through the intercom. "They won't kill us if it's already to late to stop you, so the best thing you can do to help is leave."
"Be careful Yzak... We will come find you when this is over ok, so don't get yourself killed." Athrun replied. I could tell he still wanted to stay and help his friends.
"Whatever Zala." Came the reply, only this time the voice was almost soft and lacked its usual bite.
"Come on Kira... Time to go." Athrun said sadly.
We both fired up the machines and slowly flew out of the hangar, the machines had great atmospheric flight and soon we were well above the ZAFT base, from there it was quite simple to out run the few GINNs that attempted to follow.
"They had better stay alive..." Athrun muttered as we flew further away, the base becoming a small dot behind us.
"The sooner this war is over the better." I replied bitterly.
"I know Kira. Together we will end this war, and it was Nicol, Yzak and Dearka that gave us the power to hopefully do that." Athrun's voice was strong and determined.
"I just wish that we wouldn't have to leave anyone behind... It makes it harder... It makes us... Conflicted..."
That's the end of Conflicted. I would like to thank everyone that has stuck with me since I started this story, which is also my first ever full and complete story on FanFiction. I have plans for a sequel but I'm not sure if that will be started any time soon as I would like to work on my other major stories. The sequel will more or less continue where this story left off, and go over the events that the crew of the Archangel face, as well as what becomes of Yzak, Nicol and Dearka, and how the war progresses as a result of all these.
I hope you enjoyed the story. :)