Glory to the Principality of Tristain
A collaboration by Harouki and Qwaar
A Gundam Universal Century and Familiar of Zero crossover
Chapter 1: Arrival
The battle was essentially lost at this point, both the S field and N field defensive lines had crumbled, and E field was only a formality being used to evacuate. Being stationed in W field, this meant that Steve was essentially doomed. His squad leader had kept most of them alive during the battle, and had pulled what survivors he could into some of the corridors of the space fortress A Baoa Qu.
Currently this left them in cover, with enemies having difficulty in rooting them out, but also without a means of escape. Steve, a still reasonably fresh recruit stood at the rearmost bulkhead of the passage they currently occupied, he had first seen combat at Solomon, one of the lucky few to have been near cover when the horror of the Federation solar ray system made its debut, and later to survive the ensuing battle for the fortress and make his escape along with the rest of the survivors. He might have attempted to resign after that incident were it not for the encouragement of a fellow survivor, an ace with a white Zaku.
He had survived, and fought on, with great veracity and valor trying to come even close to the glory displayed by the pilot of the white Zaku, but unfortunately, he was not blessed with the talent, experience, or even the same level of equipment as the ace. Steve's Zaku II F2 was rather modern in the conflict, but the Zaku series was simply falling behind the demands required of them against the dogged Federation and its new monstrous weapons.
There had been another squad that was going to rally with them as it pulled from S field, but they had all been wiped out by the notorious "White Devil" of the Federation, as they attempted to briefly assist Commander Char. Their screams resonated with Steve now, as the tired remainders of his squad recognized they wouldn't be able to escape this final blow to Zeon.
It painted a canvas pretty grimly for the members of squad 283, they would all die in this hallway, either to Federation beams, blades, and shells, or to the reactors of the fortress itself, as the Federation invaders severed the coolant and fail-safe systems, and blew the internal ammo dumps of the fortress. The fortress would be gutted, and immolate them. If they tried to leave, they would either be immediately be cut down by Federation mobile suits on the surface of the fortress that even now were moving in to mop them up. If they by some miracle made it past those suits, they would be overwhelmed and blown apart by Federation aerospace and cruisers.
They would have surrendered already if not for the reports that most parties that did stand down and surrender were immediately shot anyway by vengeful Federation grunts. The Geneva Convention had apparently died with the city of Sydney Australia in the initial colony drop of the war.
"That had been one year ago." Steve grimley thought to himself, sadly noting that even for all the efforts and soul crushing crimes his comrades had committed in the noble name of independence, they were still exterminated by the might of the Federation within a year. Steve knew Zeon would not survive to see tomorrow. The machinations of the cruel god of this realm had manifested in the deadly terrifying newtypes of the Federation, and broken the spine of Zeon. Of the Principality they served, only one surviving family member remained. The rest having been killed by traitors or assassinated by the Federation's "White Devil".
I beg of you...
"SHIT! Here they come again!" The squad lead yelled from the comm. Sure enough, as he said it a car sized canister was thrown into the corridor and started bouncing around, spraying aluminum shards and other particulates to blind both the optics and sensors of the squad members. Moments later however the magnetic sensors set previously alerted the pilots of the enemy presence and rough location. The suit in front was just about to clear the smokescreen when a hail of 120mm and 90mm rounds cut into him and pushed him back out the center of the bulkhead, the two suits flanking him however brought their shields to bear, blocking the brunt of the assault and retaliating.
One of them, the leader of this particular unit overclocked his beam spray gun, ruining it for further use, but accomplishing his task as he brought it alongside his shield, and fired one continuous stream into the bulkhead across from Steve, Piercing it and entering the abdomen of the Zaku 1 of his comrade Richard, his scream was cut off mercifully quick as he was vaporized, and his Zaku was rendered motionless.
My slave who lives somewhere in the universe!
"You son of a bitch!" Claude, the squad leader yelled, as he left his cover and quickly thrust himself forward, body slamming the other Federation suit, a standard GM, before withdrawing his beam naginata from his Gelgoog and activating it to swing at the commander, in a GM Command. The commander responded quickly, and discarded the useless beam spray gun and withdrew a beam saber and activating it in one smooth motion, making a vertical strike to block the naginata.
This left him open to Steve however, who in his free hand had retrieved Richard's shotgun and sighted down on it to the hostile GM Command and fired three times. The first shot ruined the shield and shattered the visor of the GM's helmet and some of the camera equipment beyond. The second shot perforated the torso of the GM, and ruined most of its motors, which allowed Claude to gain the upper hand, cleaving the GM in half through the cockpit. The final shot ripped away the shield of the other GM and staggering it.
Oh sacred, beautiful, and strong familiar spirit!
Unfortunately, the GM in its staggering was able to bring its machine gun to position and let off a quick burst that tore into Claude's Gelgoog, causing horrendous damage. Before it was finished off by the 90mm machine gun in the Gelgoog's free hand.
"Captain, are you alright?!" Steve frantically pleaded, having seen at least one of the rounds enter the abdomen of the Gelgoog.
"Fine, but my suit has about had it, we aren't going to survive another push like that... I'm sorry I couldn't get you boys out of this." he mournfully stated, with the tone of a man who had just had revealed to him all his sins and mistakes.
Steve said nothing in response, respecting the man that was his leader, but not really forgiving him, for all his zeal, Steve was not one who thought himself ready to die for much of anything, much less beliefs that would not be realized either way. Placing the shotgun on the torso of the ruined Zaku beside him, he closed the arms over the chest. Steve was at least sentimental, and this was the best he could do to pay his respects to Richard. Richard had a girl back on Side 2 Colony, he had been so happy a few days ago to tell the rest of the squad about his son she had apparently just birthed to him.
I desire and here plead from my heart!
"Oh crap! Magellan!" Claude yelled suddenly!
As the smoke from battle and the grenade cleared, sure enough, a Magellan Cruiser was a short distance outside the passageway, eclipsing their view of the stars, and bringing one of its main guns to bear, ready to blast the whole passage with its beam cannons, deeming the squad to not be worth any more risked mobile suits.
Both of the surviving squad members quickly turned and charged down the corridor, putting all their hopes on the crossroad up ahead to evade the massive 2 barreled beam cannon. The faster Gelgoog and Steve's closer Zaku made it at about the same time, only for the Gelgoog to suddenly stop at the intersection as Steve ducked the corner.
"Dammit! The AMBAC just locked up on me! I can't move! Help me!" Claude desperately screamed, himself not truly ready to die either.
Steve hesitated a moment in fear, not sure how long he had until the cannon fired and blew that passageway to hell, before gathering his resolve and reaching forward and grabbing the Gelgoog's gun wielding arm, and dragging him to the side. The fact that he couldn't use his thruster pack for fear of putting hot plasma down a breach in the armor meant it was slow going as actuators meant for the weight of a weapon strained to pull the weight of two mobile suits. Countless seconds seemed to go by in Steve's mind, though it probably took less than twelve, as he dragged the Gelgoog into the side passage, and placed it against the bulkhead, before a massive blast of plasma tore its way down the hall they just occupied, widening it slightly and making it cylindrical as plate boiled away down the entire hall. The barrel had apparently lined up perfectly with the hall, with the other impacting the fortress walls.
Steve and Claude had survived another brush with death. They brought their mono camera's to bear for a moment, before breaking out in quite chuckling that soon turned into full blown laughter.
"We made it! We fucking made it sir!" Steve said.
"Yeah, we did, thanks Lieutenant. I almost joined my parents for a moment there."
Steve reached back around the Captain for a moment to retrieve his 120mm Zaku Machine Gun, before settling back on his side of the bulkhead, further from the hallway. As he came around though, he stopped cold, not in fear or in realization, but in surprise.
Just next to him, on his side of the bulkhead, was a giant floating green oval.
"Uh sir... what the hell is this?"
"No idea Steve, not a goddamn clue, was that there a second ago?"
Answer my guidance!
"I don't thin-" whatever he was about to respond with was cut off as a second burst blast down the main passageway, followed a moment later by the wall behind Claude flash boiling from the second salvo from the Magellan outside, and being pierced, just before his own incineration. He didn't even get the chance to scream, and nothing was left but the outstretched arm dragged by Steve, which just escaped the blast from the elbow down.
Steve slowly turned with his mouth agape, and brought his camera to bear on where his CO had been a moment before. The man he had just brought out of the jaws of death had been killed anyway. Just like anything else, Steve's actions in the war were of no consequence whatsoever. His friends were dead, his CO was dead, and in moments another group of GM would come down that hall, and then he would be dead.
Steve closed his mouth, choked down a sob, before snapping back into reality and turning again to look at the ovoid.
It was smaller now, while before it might have easily fit the Gelgoog and then himself immediately behind if his science fiction theories were right about this 'portal', now it would only fit him if he carefully maneuvered through.
Taking a final look back, he gave a sad look to do what he could to apologize for abandoning his fallen comrades, before taking the only other option given to him.
He climbed through.
Louise, like everyone else in the field, was still hacking from the massive cloud of smoke and dust that had been produced. Once more, her magic had resulted in an explosion. This was her third and final attempt offered by Colbert for the summoning, and when she felt the familiar tug on her willpower before an explosion, as opposed to the flow one was supposed to feel she had begun to resign herself to failure, adding one last plea to her chant.
The explosion was surely the largest one she had produced to date, yet no one commented on it. One student had been about to ridicule her and imply she was attempting to kill them with that blast, but the massive sound of resonating steel coupled with a quaking of the earth beneath their feet cut them off.
Louise took a few steps back to clear the smoke and get some let hindered breaths, and looked to the center of the cloud, before glancing and smiling at Colbert. Surely her familiar lay within its depths, and she was eager to see it. Colbert was apprehensive but managed to return a look of encouragement. He wasn't as sure as she of the spells success, but surely something had happened to produce that crash. Just as he prepared the spell to clear the smoke, a single drumming tone played out, and a large red circle of light cut through near the top of the cloud, and a sound of moving steel heralded the exodus of a large steel foot taking a step forward and landing just in front of his students, one that may have crushed Louise, had she not backed away previously.
Thinking the familiar blinded, and possibly about to accidentally crush his students, he immediately cast his spell, and dispersed the smokescreen instantly.
And there it was, a massive seventeen meter golem, but no, it wasn't even so simple as that. Louise should be proud of such an impressive display of apparent earth affinity. The golem was either entirely made, or at least clad in armor of steel, and not the least bit deformed in any way. A typical square mage's golem was about twenty meters, but it wouldn't hold a candle to this masterpiece, a steel titan showing a mastery of craftsmanship, with a single glowing red eye. It was painted, a combination of greens and black, with a very light green used to mark a few places with a number, "238".
Colbert frowned a moment, the number implied a certain number of these golems, or at least attempts at creating them. What mage could have so much strength as to ever make so many of these in a lifetime of work? What's more, he could see that the Golem was ARMED! To the teeth! The golem had weapons, the most prominent of which being the strange, massive musket-like contraption with a strange drum on the top of it in its hands that even now was being swept back and forth as the eye rotated along tracks on the headpiece. On its hip on his side he could see another of the strange drums, and just above that a 'short' axe. From this side, he could also see the edges of two more of the drums, partially overlapping one another, and some strange vaguely club shaped objects.
This golem was made for war, a war so brutal that over two hundred had been produced at least. He shuddered at the implications, and breathed a sigh of relief as he watched Louise place the sealing kiss upon the edge of the golem's 'boot'. He looked again to the emblem across the bottom of the spiked shoulder piece on his side of the golem, the other side likely having another of the feathery emblem and a repeat of the number on the shoulder mounted shield.
He hoped never to see that emblem on a flag opposite him.
Show over, and most of the students now with sour expressions on their faces, having had their insults thrown in their faces most adequately, they began to file back into the main tower to prepare for evening activities, as the sun began to set. Tomorrow classes would resume and perhaps some modicum of normal would return to their perceptions of the one they called "Louise the Zero"
Steve felt his stomach lurch as it was suddenly was subject to the acceleration produced when one experiences the common sensation known as gravity on a scale of one gee. Common to an earth-born at least. Not half a second later, he was halted as his Zaku landed on its feet. Steve was now quite certain that he had entered some form of portal like displayed in so many science fiction pieces, though the mechanics of it bothered him somewhat. It was the little things really, like the fact that in order to land stably on his feet from a straight drop he had to be in a display position, when the last position he remembered was something akin to a diver cramming themselves into a cardboard box underwater without damaging the box, IE he was in an embarrassingly moronic position.
Discarding the somewhat disturbing implications of the mechanics of a portal that can instantly change the state of an object to be suitable for a new environment without any memory of such a process taking place, Steve reactivated his camera, and put a foot slightly forward to stabilize a combat ready stance with his machine gun. For a brief moment, all he saw outside was smoke, before it was cleared and showed a scene that took a long time to really click for his understanding. He continued through the motions of scanning for hostiles, but his attention wasn't really on what his sensors did and did not pick up.
First to come of note to him was the assortment of odd creatures present among a large number of what appeared to be students only a few years his junior. Being nineteen himself, it didn't take much to remind him of the apparent age group of a high school, with this probably being only a quarter of the total students, with an administrator looking over them to his left. The creatures too, could be related to something normal, as he had recalled, the advance in motor technology for the war had also allowed for the production of some rather high quality and unique Haro toys recently, while ridiculously expensive, they weren't unobtainable... to someone on a colony. Clearly these strange creatures were just the most recent line, though it was odd to see so many and so varied of models, as well as their workmanship making them almost like real animals.
Second to come of note, oddly, was how different this location was to his previous location. The battle scarred hallways had given way to open fields and expanses of trees, beyond this courtyard surrounded by stone walls, and a central tower to his left depicting this place as a castle. Herein lay the problem however. Last Steve had checked, the last true castle of any scale had been destroyed in a natural disaster in the 2030s CE, about a hundred years ago.
Alright, so the portal had plopped him down in front of some fantasy fair that he had never heard about, with a replica castle he had never bothered to remember the construction of. Furthermore he was on a planet, as he could see the direction of the curvature of the horizon, and it did not have the peculiarities of a colony's skies. So the portal had taken him down to the surface of earth, but oddly, the locals seemed rather calm with an active machine of war from their enemy being right in front of them. What's more, they seemed to have been expecting something to arrive, and while the scale seemed to surprise them, judging by the higher resolution images of their faces he brought up, they weren't alarmed by the sudden appearance.
That scratched earth off the list, he was a stranger in a strange land, a land without ravaged features, with unstained skies, and a bunch of strange creatures that may actually not be newfangled animatronic toys. "Lovely," thought Steve, as he took it all in "I'm in one of my sister's forte's."
Switching his computer back into a non combat mode, he immediately received a protesting tone along with a low resolution vid from a backup monitor, one of a child all of 3 feet from his forward foot, the tone a proximity caution, one meant to say "Hey dumbass, you almost squished this."
He was about to slide the foot back just to keep from having any incidents occur, when he witnessed the oddity of her apparently kissing the Zaku's foot. He reached forward to flick the switch for the suit's intercom, which to date hadn't been used due to having been deployed in vacuum, when his other hand began to burn agonizingly. He was rather pleased he hadn't managed to flick on the intercom for the series of profanities born of his own and his drillmaster's creativity as his hand felt as if he had touched the rim of an active jet engine. Moments later it was over, and as if the pain had never existed his hand was once again fine. Confusion and worry mixed to form a rather somber face behind the visor of his helmet, before he brought the Zaku to a kneeling position, taking care to avoid crushing anyone or anything.
After observing a ecstatic smile blossom across the pink haired girl's face, and odd reaction for being nearly crushed into paste, he noticed the administrator give her a nod and a smile of his own before saying something incomprehensible through the wall of armor of the Zaku. Steve at this point decided exiting the suit would be easier than activating the audio sensors, and reached to the panel to begin inputting the command when he observed another impossible act.
The children all FLEW! With no apparent effort or machinery these people all flew back to various places across what he tentatively called a campus. These people were Not Normal, and as Not Normal people they were now reclassified as DEADLY. His sister's novels may have one thing to say about fantastic individuals and creatures, but in the war reality had shown the face that he could not ignore. The only Not Normal he had anything concrete on was the "White Devil" who was rumored to be a psychopath, and known to be a killing machine that could not be stopped, would not accept reason, and didn't seem to recognize surrender or retreat as sacred.
If he revealed himself he could die, he could die very quickly. At the same time he couldn't quite bring himself to just reactivate his combat systems and deploy the S-mines to just wipe out a group of children. He himself wasn't much older, but something deep within him forbade his harming this group of children, and betray that look of bliss upon the face of the little girl who kissed his Zaku's foot.
Said girl was now an oddity in the mix, as he watched her on the main camera, she had not flown away, and even seemed somewhat irritated to see the others do so. She turned to give one more smile towards the camera, before walking in the same general direction the others took off in. As she passed the administrator, he seemed to say something encouraging as she gave a reply as she nodded, and seemed to have a little more haste to her step, rather than the morose speed she had previously taken.
Steve found it a little odd how much focus he was putting on the well-being of this entity who was likely no less deadly and Not Normal as the rest of the students, but discarded the thought process a moment later as unimportant. Instead, he focused on what was important.
He was getting hungry, and only had emergency rations to last for two days if he was very frugal with them. Not ever being a particularly light eater, this meant that he was going to acquire food locally if he was going to survive, and this would have to be done covertly. Thankfully, he was able to recognize that this was a school, and the students had dispersed in slightly different directions. Given what he could guess of the scenario, this meant that they had various tasks they needed to accomplish, but the time of evening likely meant they were soon to depart for dinner. Steve wasn't so suicidal to just follow the students into a mess hall, but at the very least he could determine its location, and, by proximity, the location of the kitchens.
Thus began Operation: Foodstuff.
Louise returned to her room after a meal in a still jubilant mood, her first successful spell, Brimir's sacred familiar summoning ceremony. What's more, it clearly was a magnificent example of an earth affinity, one well respected, and safely distant from any similarity to that barbaric Zerbst. Her familiar was clearly superior to a lowly salamander of "The Fire Mountains", a self sufficient seemingly self aware golem.
She had been worried briefly upon her recitation of the bonding spell, worried that it would fail and the immense opportunity presented to her by her summoning, would slip through her fingers as the golem simply walked away. Instead, immediately upon its binding, it knelt before her, clearly showing its loyalty.
Changing into her nightgown, she left the day's clothing for the servants of the academy to take to be cleaned, and set out her uniform for the next day, the last day of classes before she would be able to take maximum advantage of the day of void to familiarize herself with, her grand majestic and strong familiar.
Looking out the window, she noted her familiar's great red eye had gone dark. "Perhaps its self aware and self perpetuating spells make it need rest?" she thought. It seemed a limiting factor she would rather do without, but it was acceptable.
Who was she kidding, she was ecstatic over every single thing she knew about her new familiar. Flopping down on the bed with all the grace of a pleased child, she barely got the covers over herself before she was contently asleep.
Steve began his preparations to begin his self planned operation. with something representing an impossible amount of luck, the particular angle he spied on the students during their exodus to a particular part of the oddly constructed castle allowed him to view the service coming in through a particular passageway to bring additional food to the students. What's more, there was a boon, the service seemed mundane, perhaps these Not Normal individuals were not the sole people present in this odd fantasy realm right out of a novel. The servants, while still to be avoided, were less likely to exhibit the psychopathy present in the Not Normals of his own world. It was also unlikely they had additional ways to sense his presence.
So, the plan, he would exit his Zaku, with a satchel for keeping the food he pilfered in. Remaining fully in his uniform, would allow him a bit of extra anonymity, as if he was discovered, he could ditch it, and pretend to be some of the help who just got mugged for their clothing. It was weak, but it was the best he was going to get. Zeon hadn't particularly planned for covert ops in his training when he had joined, they had largely just rushed him through pilot training till he was ready for battle at Solomon.
Powering down the Zaku, Steve paused for a moment, then opened the hatch. Surveying the area with his pilot's sidearm, before dropping out and on to the ground. Quickly making his way to the hedges along the structure and thus out of the view of your typical window goer, he began moving to the external tower structure that contained the mess hall.
Colbert prepared himself to close his notes about the day's accomplishments, regarding the studies of his students, his own studies into his own progress into the fields of magic and his side projects, and finally the intricacies of the familiars summoned. Colbert's notes at this time were rather biased in their distribution towards the Valliere's familiar, even the magnificent dragon Tabitha summoned getting a much lesser mention. Currently, he was wrapping up the portion of the notes regarding the fact the familiar carried a definite armament designed solely for its use, including a musket, a musket with no real visible means of reloading, but with numerous replacements for a single component.
Perhaps it was some sort of magic musket? and the drums were pre-enchanted reservoirs for repeated fire? Colbert then realized, to his embarrassment, that he didn't have any recollection of the golem's runes to put in his notes. While not overly important, sometimes the runes had a direct relation to the nature of the familiar, and might give him more information about the nature of this giant golem.
Something else he noted, the golem didn't seem to flow from position to position like most did, but instead actually seemed to have parts that slid in and out and over each other to create its movement. It actually reminded him a lot of his little snake machine. Was someone else perhaps researching the same subject but with better support? Had they combined it with magic to make the massive war golem he saw? Questions ran rampant with Colbert, but they all required one task be completed in order to even begin answering them. He would have to re-examine Louise's familiar.
Siesta carried the load of clothes under her arm as she prepared to her last appointed task of the evening before she could go and rest for another day's labor, her mind in a bit of a daze. Earlier, while cleaning up one of the Noble's rooms at their request, she had glanced out the window in response to its rattling from the latest of Miss Valliere's spells, only to see a massive golem taking up her field of view. and, on its shoulder, underneath a feathery emblem, four letters of a script she had never thought she would see again since her grandfather's death.
The script had similarities in appearance to Albionese, but after being taught what had been called the English alphabet by her father and grandfather, she noticed the small differences and was able to read what it said with little trouble. Zeon. The name meant nothing to her, she had never seen it before, but something about it instilled a sense of dread, as if it would be an end to the peaceful days of her life.
She shook off the silly notion, and regained her focus and set about her task, but resolved herself to be more focused in the days ahead.
It would be the oddest thing she would consider a mistake in her entire life.
Steve realized now upon entering the kitchen there was a significant problem with his plan. Apparently, there was the possibility that if this was a school it was for the stupidly wealthy, and the possibility that it accommodated the students nightly needs with a 24 hour kitchen, namely one that was still staffed 5 hours after dark, and brightly lit with torches. He was counting on no one being present to note the pilot stuffing what he thought would last the longest in his mobile suit while still nourishing him, namely a sack of potatoes followed by a couple pineapples, for nutrition and hydration respectively.
Now that he was here, he had quickly gotten blocked off into the single dark crevice between food supplies in the room, the moment he left he would be spotted, and from here he couldn't make out the location of either of the food products he was looking for. He couldn't even check the supplies he was hiding in, as they were written in a language that he couldn't read. Oddly enough the "help" was speaking in perfectly comprehensible English, though there was an unidentifiable accent. He couldn't even open the supplies to check as it would ruin this place for future visits, and it would also be too loud to not be heard over the loud, boisterous, and vaguely annoying head chef. Steve didn't really put much faith in his ability to fight his way out of here while carrying a heavy bag of food. For all he knew of the local customs though, if he defeated the head chef in single combat he would become the new head chef and be able to just go native without the constant threat of a psychopathic Not Normal precogging him on fire for no reason. Maybe if he became head chef, he could also learn more about local customs and find out what was going on with the Not Normals here anyway.
Throwing away the notion as preposterous, Steve finally noticed an opening and one of his objectives, the location of the potatoes was left open and in clear sight of his position, and blocked most of the view of the other occupants of the room, if he just walked over and started stuffing his satchel, the noise might be drowned out and any noise that was made wouldn't be unusual enough to warrant notice.
Harouki: Some of you may be wondering: What is this? This is a collaboration fic with someone on fanfiction dot net known as Drunkenwerewolf, or Qwaar on the spacebattles forum. Started off as a little brainstorm thing that I spent seven hours on with him and we ended up doing it for real. The writing style may be a bit off because Qwaar is the one doing most of the writing. I start doing more during chapter 3, but until then, enjoy.