Looks like I'm finally doing a Gundam story. I'm sure this has been done before, but this is a story set during the One Year War based on the video game "Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation vs. Zeon" for the PS2. I may change some things from the game or show to better fit the story or the medium. I'm pretty knowledgeable about Gundam, so if you see something that looks off, it was probably done on purpose. (Feel free to point whatever you like out though, just in case.) This is Mobile Suit Alternate Gundam.
Rhythmic footsteps echoed through an abandoned hanger in the Earth Federation Space Force underground HQ, Jaburo. The cause was a young man (he looked like he was only a teenager) wearing a military uniform and carrying documents. He looked over the orders again.
"Report to Federation headquarters in Jaburo immediately. There you will be assigned to the new Autonomous '1st Mobile Suit Unit'. You will engage the enemy independently on all fronts and test the new mobile suits in actual battle. Good luck."
"What a pain."
At the end of the hanger was a small room previously used by the maintenance crews when there were aircraft to be stored here. The Federation was going through some tough times. With the discovery of cold fusion, and the RADAR jamming "Minovsky Particles" the reaction gives off, long-range missiles became all but useless. When the war started seven months ago by the rebelling space colonists, the Federation's outdated arsenal got eaten alive by the giant "mobile suits", humanoid fighting machines. Even though the Principality of Zeon had only a fraction of the population and resources of the Federation, they were able to bring the battle to a stalemate.
The door opened to reveal about a dozen people scattered around the small room. "Good," an authoritative-looking woman sitting at a table in the center of the room said, "Everyone is here on time."
"I'm Lieutenant Ken Etto," the newcomer said, saluting. Ken looked very average, with brown hair and eyes.
"My name is Nicolas Rolin," said a boy in the corner. He looked far too young to be in the room. His sandy hair and bright blue eyes gave him an innocent look unbefitting a soldier. "Nice to meet you."
"I'm Rick Holdarin," another said. He looked much more like a soldier with his buzz cut, broad shoulders, and arrogant sneer.
"Pat Stevens," still another said, balancing himself in a reclined position on a wooden chair. He spoke calmly and quietly, a stark contrast from the bombastic Holdarin. He had a tall, thin frame and black hair. He kept his eyes mostly closed, only quickly glancing at the newcomer over his shoulder.
"Hello," a bubbly-looking woman said cheerfully and waved, "My name is Ashley Hanss." She seemed as out of place as Nicolas, seeming more like a collage freshman than anything else. He blond hair was cut short and she had mesmerizing hazel eyes.
"I am Tommy Valcos," a man with dark brown said. He was tall and muscular, with an intense expression.
More people introduced themselves to each other until the only one left was the woman who addressed Ken when he arrived. She was clearly the oldest in the room, and she couldn't have been more than thirty. She had long, striking red hair and emerald eyes. "My name is Major Suzan Marcan. I will be in charge of the 1st Mobile Suit Unit."
"Oh, fantastic," Holdarin groaned loudly.
"Excuse me," Ashley snapped, "You got a problem with a woman in charge?"
"Whatever," Holdarin scoffed.
"It doesn't matter if you like this arrangement or not," Major Marcan said before an argument could start. "We are going to be the Federation's first attempt at an organized mobile suit force. For all intents and purposes, we're guinea pigs. If this experiment works, we may finally close the gap with the Zeon forces and end this war. Until it does, however, our existence will be kept confidential. Etto, Hanss, Holdarin, Stevens, and Valcos. You six will be the Federation's first mobile suit pilots."
"But ma'am," Nicolas spoke up, "The Federation doesn't have any mobile suits…"
"Actually, that's why we've all been called here today," Marcan continued, "We are here for the final tests of the mobile suit GM (pronounced Jim). It's a preproduction model that can only be used on earth, but we intend to use them to combat the Zeon Zaku."
"When do we begin?" Tommy asked.
"Right now if you're ready."
Everyone agreed and filed out of the room. Soon the group was divided about in half. The six mobile suit pilots were taken to another hanger that contained a human-shaped light brown robot a few stories high. They were each given a quick lesson on how to pilot the mobile suit. Since each of them had experience operating complex computers and machines, they all picked it up naturally.
"Now that you're acquainted with how to operate the Ground Combat GM, we usually just like to call it the GM G, we'd like you to test its performance against some Zakus we've captured," the technician who taught them said.
Nicolas expressed the general reaction of the group. "But we've never even tried to make this thing walk, how can we use it in combat?"
"Both you and your opponents will be using simunitions," the tech said, "We just want to gauge your and this unit's combat effectiveness as quickly as possible. You can also move around in the unit as much as you like before the test starts to get a feel for it."
"You guys as a bunch of cowards!" Holdarin exclaimed, even though just a moment ago the idea seemed just as absurd to him, "I'll go first, and I'll take out every one of those Zakus!"
The other five pilots decided it would be better to let the loudmouth have his way for now and hope he gets knocked out by the first enemy. Those five were escorted away, since they might have an unfair advantage if they saw the practice engagement in advance. They relaxed in a nearby break room, some exchanging more introductions. Pat and Ken seemed to actively avoid the conversation, though Tommy didn't talk much either. That left Ashley and Nicolas to do most of the talking. At some point though, Ashley addressed Ken.
"Do you mind if I ask you a question?" she asked carefully.
"Whatever," Ken responded, never tearing his eyes away from a very interesting section of the plain white wall.
"Are you the same Ken Etto that defeated a whole division of Zakus with only a handful of Type-61 Tanks?" there was an inquisitiveness to her voice now, "The one they call the Blue Owl?"
"It was, like, five Zakus," Ken said, an impatient tone in his voice, "And we had them badly outnumbered."
"That was you?" Nicolas exclaimed, "No wonder you were chosen for this unit! All the officers are buzzing about you!"
"Yeah!" Ashley began, "I heard that…"
"You heard wrong!" Ken snapped. He got up and started toward the water cooler on the other side of the room, quietly saying "I don't want to talk about it…"
"Grouch…" Ashley complained.
One by one they took the test. When Holdarin returned he admitted to only getting two before he was tagged. Pat went next, but went to his quarters right after he finished. He had downed three opponents. Tommy went next, also getting three targets. Ashley went after that and was able to get four targets, Nicolas went fifth and accomplished the same. Since Ken was last, everyone watched him as he tested the GM G. Holdarin decided not to stick around to watch, leaving Tommy, Ashley, and Nicolas. Expectations were high.
On the surface of Jaburo, the lush jungle of South America, Ken quickly ran through the basic functions of his mobile suit. He remembered everything. He was ready. He stepped into the clearing that was the starting area, the Amazon River, which had been deepened to accommodate any naval vessels that needed to enter the base, roared nearby.
"When you hit your opponents with your machine gun, you'll see a splotch of red paint on them, they are out. You've been given a practice beam saber that will shut down your enemies' controls if you get a good hit," the controller informed, "But if you get even a drop of blue paint from the Zakus' guns on you, you've lost. Got it?"
Instantly a Zaku attacked from within the jungle. Ken easily avoided it and painted the Zaku red. Another one charged aggressively from another direction. Ken took to the air, easily avoiding the attack and dispatched the offender. A third attacked with a missile launcher while Ken was in the air. The thrusters easily pushed the GM G out of the way. Once landed, Ken drew the beam saber with the left hand and shut his enemy down. He trained his gun and fired at the next enemy before he was even a threat. That was tied with the best performance of the day so far. Suddenly, Ken noticed a flash on a distant hill on the other side of the river. He instinctively moved out of the way to avoid the incoming simulated artillery shell. Ken rushed for the river and submerged.
"I lost him!" the Zaku pilot gasped. He waited for the GM G to reappear.
Ken popped out of the water almost behind the Zaku. The Zaku's warning alarm wasn't fast enough and the sim rounds impacted. Another Zaku appeared from the river and fired at the GM's back, but again, Ken boosted out of the way and countered before his opponent could react. Next a pair of Zakus attacked from a small island covered in trees. One fired a long volley of machine gun shells, and the other launching missiles. Ken barely avoided the attack and sprayed the island with gunfire. Only a few rounds hit, but two more were down. Two more attacked, taking cover behind Jaburo's defenses. The three mobile suits exchanged gunfire, but quickly the two Zaku pilots noticed the GM G had stopped firing. Thinking he was out of ammo, the Zakus started advancing toward the riverbank, since Ken had landed on the island the other pair of Zakus had been on.
To their shock, the GM burst out of the water just in front of them. The Zaku pilots were too shocked to act. Ken blasted the closer one with the remainder of his clip and discarded his carbine while still in the air. By the time he landed, he had already drawn his beam saber. This broke the remaining Zaku pilot's stupor and he tried to fire, but Ken batted the rifle out of the Zaku's hand with the small shield attached to the GM G's left arm. Finally, he drove the harmless practice beam saber through the Zaku's cockpit, shutting it down instantly.
There was dead silence in the control center. "That's all of them…" the control officer finally said.
Ken reclined in the GM G's cockpit and sighed. "What a pain…"
I had the opportunity to make the main character in one of my stories a fighter pilot and I passed it up? Have I gone mad? Am I an imposter? What's going on here? Yeah, I could have made Ken a fighter pilot, but I can create a better backstory with this. I think this is a good start to Alternate Gundam. Obviously it's not my place to say, but I like it.