Pirates of the Earth Sphere

The Fegelein was a Colony Corporation transport ship, and it was quite outdated: using old-fashioned hydrogen fuel, this ship spent more space on fuel storage rather than actual cargo. In addition, it was slow for space travel, and it would take at least a week-and-a-half to reach the Moon from Earth, if its cargo was light, that is. In addition, it was heavy and incapable of entering the modern docking areas of colonies and such, and its tasks were therefore limited to delivering ore to the Lunar city Von Braun. However, it wasn't just 'ore' what this ship delivered: Anaheim Electronics also had them transport huge amounts of money in secret, so as to avoid Federal taxation and such legal procedures.

As the Fegelein cruised towards the Moon, its captain, Picard, looked at a news broadcast of the recent end of the Neo Zeon War and the execution of at least 800 Neo Zeon members. Picard frowned, "Stupid-ass Feddies." he said, "It's because of crap like that that we get attacked."

The pilot, Dodge, was instead looking at some kind of men's magazine, as he typed a few more commands into the computer. A beep then alerted him that they were close to the Moon, and Picard answered Von Braun's traffic control station. "This is Colony Corporation transport ship Fegelein." he reported, "We are now two-thousand kilometers from the Moon. We are preparing for docking."

"Roger that." the control station operator replied, "We will alert the local EFSF to stand down at your approach."

The operator then closed the channel, while Picard laid back and smirked, "This job is so easy."

As he and Dodge rested for a while, one of the alarms suddenly began to sound, causing Dodge to let go off his magazine and Picard to stop his very short rest. "What is it?" he asked. "I don't know." Dodge replied, as he noticed that the ship's sensors were being jammed, "Minovsky particle density is increasing!"

"What the hell?" Picard exclaimed, "Minovsky particles? I thought the Neo Zeon were done by now!"

"Could it be Federation Forces?" Dodge then asked.

"Don't be silly." Picard replied, "They only deploy it in combat operations. Check the visual sensors! Maybe they've picked something up."

Dodge simply nodded and then activated several monitors. Picard and Dodge's expressions turned to utter horror as they saw them: ships, of various classes and origins, all with human bones attached to their hulls and elaborate, one could say disturbing, decorations on them, and chimerical mobile suits escorting them.

It was the Pirates: the competitors and successors of the Cima Fleet; and perhaps the most terrifying thing any space traveler could ever see.

They had no actual designation; they were the typical nightmare of any ship captain; no one knew where they came from or who they were. They were only known as the Pirates.

And even the Neo Zeon feared them.

"Accelerate towards Von Braun at full speed!" Picard shouted, "Launch all the flares you can at once! I don't care if the Feddies find our cash: get them here ASAP!"

Dodge nodded again and began typing commands and pushing buttons in his panel, and three flares were launched from the Fegelein. However, the beastly mobile suits continued to approach the ship.

One of them, a Zaku/GM hybrid, with metal spikes on its armor and several human skulls that resembled some twisted form of necklace around the mobile suit's "neck", landed over the ship's hull and deployed its beam saber in the lowest output. It began cutting a small hole in hull, as a small space launch was detached from one of the grotesque ships of the Pirate flotilla, which resembled a very defiled, marred and violated Zanzibar-class ship. The space launch, which was equally grotesque, with a skin-peeled woman's corpse chained in the front, landed in the ship's hull as the Zaku/GM hybrid moved away and started blasting the Fegelein's boosters with its machine gun. From the space launch, men in grotesque space suits covered in blood and spikes protruding from them entered the ship, armed with machetes, cleavers, axes, tomahawks, knives…

To the eyes of many superstitious men, they were devils: they were evil incarnate.

And they were right to see them that way; for it was said that if they boarded your ship, you and your crew members would be raped, skinned, tortured and burned alive.

The fact that they usually never did it in that order made the Pirates more terrifying.

And the fact that it seemed that the Pirates enjoyed these kind of unspeakable acts more than the actual material reward made them even more terrifying to anyone.

To the small crew of the Fegelein, all that was left to do was to pray to whatever God they had, and to either take their own lives, or suffer the most hideous, the slowest and most painful death. In this case, no matter how nonsensical it sounded, it was better to die than be killed; at least by the Pirates.

The Vulcan began docking procedures in a certain colony of Side 1, while Ple, using the GM II, began picking scrap around the colony. Alongside her, and much to her chagrin, Naoto, using a recently-bought Petit Mobile Suit, helped her collect some scrap that had once been a proud Musai-class cruiser of the Principality of Zeon military. Ple, or rather, Elise, grabbed a charred armor plate of the Musai wreckage and placed it in a large container nearby. Naoto moved closer to her, "Need any help, Elise?"

"I'm fine." Elise replied, "This is easy for me."

"Sure?" Naoto asked, hoping to get her attention.

"I don't need help, thank you." Elise told him, "If I need any help…"

"…you'll ask me, right?" Naoto completed her sentence.

"No, actually, I was going to say that I was going to ask the captain to help me." said Elise, causing Naoto to feel somewhat depressed.

"You really know how to shoot me down, don't you?" he said.

Elise didn't say anything, and she continued to collect more scrap, grabbing what seemed to be a heavily-deformed Zaku's head and placing it on her container. Ignoring some thoughts about her sisters, she then grabbed some more floating armor plates of the wrecked battle cruiser and continued the same recollecting process again and again. This was easy for Elise, as her experience in piloting allowed her to coordinate her maneuvres with precission and do the job quickly and efficiently. This job also allowed her to keep her mind off a certain thought that had been troubled her for the last days: for some reason, and despite being sure she had seen them all die, Elise seemed to feel some kind of slight, distant, familiar presence. While she wasn't sure, she thought it could be one of her sisters, who could have survived.

However, Elise preferred to not think about it much: perhaps it was just some kind of memory that felt like a presence; or perhaps it was a similar person, and not one of her actual sisters…

Shaking her head, she checked her container and noticed that it was full: her work was done for today. Grabbing the box, she then proceeded towards the colony's docking area, while Naoto placed the last piece of scrap into his container and followed her. As they approached the Vulcan, which had by now docked, Naoto hailed his crush.

"How much did you get?" he asked her.

"About seventy tons of scrap." she dryly responded, "And what about you?"


"Well," Elise said, "how much?"

"…About twenty tons or so." he admitted, embarrassed: he thought he could impress her with that number, but after she told him how much she had collected, he regretted having asked her. He was pathetic compared to her.

"Nice." she unexpectedly commented, "You're better than I thought."

Naoto had a virtual Glasgow smile in his face of joy: he had been praised by his Elise. Yay, he thought, blinking repeatedly. This caught him off-guard, as he bumped into a freighter's rear. While no damage was inflicted to either due to his relatively-slow speed, he still felt a little shaken by the light impact. Elise turned her to see what had happened. "It's nothing." Naoto quickly parleyed before Elise asked anything.

"Watch where you're going, silly." she then told him, "If you had gone faster, you might've exploded with that ship."

Naoto smiled again, "Someone seems a little worried for me."

"Actually, I was worried that our ship's crew would have to pay the damages." she declared.

Naoto hung his head down, again in depression. Is she doing it on purpose or something?, he asked himself.

They both then entered the Vulcan's cargo bay and exited their respective suits and headed to the bridge. As they did, there seemed to be some kind of "friendly tension" between them, as Naoto was obviously smitten with Elise, while Elise found Naoto's attitude with her both annoying and amusing at the same time, albeit in a cute way: even she had to admit that she appreciated the things he usually told her once in a while. Even so, she didn't like showing any "weakness", as she put it: she instead wanted to be known as a strong girl and successful one at that; one that never failed.

Arriving at the bridge, they encountered Shiro and the rest of the bridge crew laying back for a while, after what Aina used to call a "long day of hard work".

Shiro noticed his two star pilots coming in and smiled, "So," he started, "how are my two favorite younglings in Earth Sphere doing?"

Naoto smiled at Shiro's remark, "Well, captain Shiro, its not like we actually had the easiest shift today."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, I was in my own business, right?" Naoto then began, "And then all of the sudden, Elise here suddenly loses control of her mobile suit."

Elise turned around to look at Naoto, with an expression that could only described as one of mixed of rage, surprise and complete indignation, "Excuse me?"

Naoto seemed amused, but ignored her, "And so she started moving erratically, right?" he continued, "And I was all 'Hey, Elise! Stop moving your suit like an amateur!'."

Elise felt the urge to grab Naoto and punch him death right there, but restrained herself, thinking that it couldn't get worse…


"And so I rushed towards her." Naoto then said, and he then made a sound as if trying to imitate the distinctive swooshes of mobile suit thrusters, "But I had then noticed that another, larger freighter was nearby, and Elise was going to crash right into it!"

Elise made a muffled gasp, by now completely resolved in giving Naoto a lesson. Just you wait, she thought, As soon as you finish your little fairy tale…

Naoto then continued his story, saying that he had managed to save Elise "in the nick of time", and how Elise had nearly lost all of her scrap as well.

By now, Elise had had it, and felt like going to Naoto and punching him in the gut: but she knew better than to act aggressively in front of the captain. And so she waited until Shiro dismissed them. As soon as they exited the bridge, however, she slapped Naoto in the back of his head. Holding his head with one hand, Naoto stared at Elise as she graciously floated towards her room, "What was that for?"

Elise turned her head around a little, looking at Naoto, "That's what you get for turning me into the damsel in distress."

Leaving Naoto in a state of shock due to her unexpected violent behavior, Elise headed to her room and tried to lie on the bed as best as she could, since the zero-g environment didn't help much. However, it wasn't a real issue, as she could lie "floating" and sleep; she didn't care.

As Elise slowly fell asleep, she began to hear a distant, familiar voice in her head, calling to her…

The Earth Federation Forces officers looked in horror at the last video transmission from the Fegelein: before its crew perished, they were able to confirm that the horrible rumours of the existence of the Pirates were true.

This was bad: bad for everyone involved not only in space trade, but in the supposedly-peaceful post-Neo Zeon era. Even though they were only Pirates, the Federation had just come out of two huge conflicts that had severely weakened it, and it couldn't risk getting into yet another crisis. However, the nature of these "Pirates" was disconcerting: from the small glimpses observable before the transmissions were killed off, they could discern the horrible nature of the Pirates.

They did not seem human at all.

One of the officers, Lee Jackson, placed his hand on his chin, "We just finished mopping up the remnants of the Neo Zeon in Lunar space."

"But we still haven't finished rebuilding our fleet yet." another officer, Lane, replied, "And from all we know, the top brass might just view this as an isolated, trifling matter."

"This is the fifth incident in this week." Lee Jackson then said, "And with the military not willing to send any ships out…"

"Well, we must do something." Lane declared.

He placed his hand on his chin, thinking: while the regular military might not participate, perhaps one of the former AEUG units that had recently been integrated into the Federation Forces would…

He headed outside, "I'm calling a certain captain." he then said.

Like a big family, Shiro, Aina, their little Ruki, Naoto and Elise were having a delicious dinner at one of the colony's restaurants. Being "morning" in the colony, they were all having the breakfast menu, and each had different choices: Shiro had a family tradition, miso soup, steamed rice and some grilled fish; Aina, whose ancestors had been from former Russia, also chose some traditional food from said ancestral homeland, such as blinis, boiled eggs and ham; Ruki tood from both, and since her favorite hobby was to cook with her mother, she would always experiment by combining plates from many backgrounds and see how well they "reacted"; Naoto, on the other hand, had a somewhat-bland choice, as he only chose a cheeseburger and a couple of fried eggs; Elise, on the other hand, having been educated by the Neo Zeon, chose very "high-standing" plates, such as French Toast with some Roast Apples, a plate known as "Eggs Benedict (which are simply poached eggs with ham and a special sauce), and Granola Bread. The rest of the crew was on other errands; Steel was looking for new materials to "weaponize" the ship; Derek was relaxing at the shores of a large lake, and was possibly hooking up with a good-looking girl…

Anyhow, as the crew enjoyed their little week-long "vacation", Naoto tried to take a bite from Elise's plate, hoping to tease her a little and catch her attention: however, as he reached his spoon for some of the egg yolk, she casually grabbed his arms and twisted it a little, while keeping her sight on her food as she had a good full of one of her Roast Apples. Naoto tried again, but Elise simply pushed his arm away, again in the same manner. Frowning, Naoto returned to his own cheeseburger, realizing that he had made one of the poorest decisions in food compared to Elise's.

If I'll ever make her like me, he thought, I should start thinking about what she likes. And she does have an excellent taste in food, by the way…

"Its quite satisfying to be so well rewarded after a hard day's work, isn't it?" Shiro commented.

"Oh yes it is!" his daughter replied enthusiastically, "Its been some time since we had anything like this!"

"You don't get these kinds of meals often?" Elise then asked.

"Well, we're constantly on the move, for one." Shiro retorted, "And we never usually get this much scrap to sell. We were really lucky to find you, little girl."

He patted with Elise's hair, who smiled in return. Naoto tried to do the same, using his "gratitude" as an excuse, but Elise changed to her usual serious expression and evaded his arm. Naoto frowned again, but kept his cool: he opted to quickly grab one of Elise's French toasts, which he then proceeded to literally swallow, without even bothering to bite it, as he was sure Elise would do anything, anything, to get it back, even if it was just a sticky paste full of his saliva. Infuriated, Elise proceeded to throw a little yolk in his hair, ruining it. "What the..?" he muttered, using a finger to take some of sticky, almost dry yolk in his hair, looking in utter horror as his "perfect" hair was now ruined. RUINED.

"That should teach you a little more respect." Elise said, sipping a little of her milk. Naoto, however, could only stare at her with a mixed expression of disbelief and, as ridiculous as it sounded, admiration. Whether it sounded appropriate for his age or not, Naoto seemed to be some kind of masochist: he enjoyed, or perhaps simply found Elise cute, when she became aggressive with him. That was the whole point of his teasing and bothering her: to get her aggressive with him and enjoy her "cute" expressions and the like.

"Knock it off, both of you." Aina then said, "Naoto, go wipe that off in the bathroom. Elise, I want you to come with me and Ruki."

"Where to?" Elise asked in return, as Naoto left off to the bathroom.

"It's a 'girls' thing'." Aina replied, "Something you and Ruki need. Since we can afford it, I thought I could take this opportunity and give you a little surprise."

The Mustache had been part of the Federation's Task Force Alpha, which had fought against several Titans-loyalists during the first half of the Neo Zeon War. Along with its sister ship, the Pegasus III, it had been severely damaged and therefore not seen action during the conflict. However, these two ships had been now repaired and, with a new compliment of mobile suits, the Mustache had now been assigned to hunt down these "pirates". Its new captain, Francis T. Kirk, however, was not amused: he was more eager to hunt down Neo Zeon remnants than to be handling some pesky space bandits. In his mind, all of these rumors about "cannibalism" and "savagery" were a bunch of crap, and all of this was just a show for the new Federation administration.

The Mustache was being escorted by six Salamis Kai-class cruisers, supported by three Colombus Kai-class transport ships and two Magellan Kai-class battleships. For Kirk, this was an exaggeration that, again, was just for show.

"The Salamis Kai-class cruiser Hohenzollern will take point and launch two EWAC-type Neros." one of the operators reported, "They will reach delivery point in twenty minutes."

"The ship's visual and thermal sensors haven't picked anything out of the ordinary." Another operator said, "Only two civilian shuttles and one of those isolated patrols from Lunar Headquarters."

"Which is it?" Kirk asked.
"It is an EFSF patrol fighter. A Wivern-type."

"If we need any assistance, make sure to call for it."

The ships continued to advance slowly, as the Hohenzollern launched two EWAC Neros in consecutive order. Unlike most mobile suits, these units were operated by two pilots: one to handle the suit itself, and other to operate the large radar and various sensors installed in the specialized reconnaissance unit. Although they were capable of carrying weapons, the EWAC Neros were not intended for combat, and as such, were never equipped with even beam sabers.

Fatal mistake.

While the fleet lagged behind, the EWAC Neros advanced several thousand kilometers forward and scanned their surroundings, while deploying their Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPVs), which were wired cameras that fed information to the suit's hard drive and the pilot's HUD. As they did, one of the EWAC Neros' pilots noticed a black mass in the distance. Using one of the RPVs, he zoomed in, but even with the cameras focused on the object could he really discern what it was, or how it really looked like.

"Sir, I think I found something." the EWAC Nero's operator said.

"What'cha got?" his companion asked.

"I can't say…Looks like some kind of ship, perhaps?"

"Well, you're the one looking at it. Unit 2, you see it?"

"Affirmative. We can't discern what it really is, but judging from its speed, its most likely a ship." The other piloted retorted.

"We'll approach carefully, just in case." The pilot of Unit 1 said, "If there's any trouble, we bail out."

The two units then slowly approached the large, unidentified object, as the pilots deployed all of their RPVs to begin scanning the object. Switching their view to infrared, the pilots saw, to their horror, that there were half-fleshed corpses over what was clearly a defiled, deformed Zanzibar-class cruiser with disturbing markings.

"Umm…Mustache…" the pilot of Unit 1 muttered, with a clear tremor in his voice.

"What is it, Unit 1?"

"We've established contact…"

"Hey, what is that mobile suit?" Unit 1's exclaimed.

The main pilot turned towards his right and saw how what could only be described as a Zaku/GM hybrid unit approached them in full speed, with a heat hawk that had several human bones decorated in its hilt. Lunging at them, the Zaku/GM hybrid cut off Unit 2's arms off and them stuck the heat hawk's blade right in its thrusters, immobilizing it. Two more units, a Gelgoog/Acguy hybrid and a Gaza-C-looking unit appeared out of nowhere and fired several jet claws at Units 1 and 2. Unit 1 managed to evade them, but Unit 2 wasn't so lucky, and as soon as it was caught by the claws, the terrifying mobile suits started pulling Unit 2 towards the equally terrifying ship, with the yells of terror from the pilots resonating in Unit 1's cockpit and the Mustache's bridge.

"Release the data pods!" Unit 1's pilot commanded.


"Do it now!

"Roger!" the sensor operator complied, pulling a small lever. This action then caused two small, spherical-shaped pods to be released from the EWAC Nero's backpack, which then started floating through the vaccum of space. The Federation pilots then tried to veer towards the fleet, but were then confronted by another Gelgoog/Acguy hybrid, which deployed what appeared to be claws in its hands and slam them right into the Nero's head. "This is Unit 1! Requesting reinforcements!" the pilot yelled.

"Reinforcements on the way!" one of the Mustache's pilots replied, as two GM IIIs and the Wivern fighter nearby headed towards the small battle. As this happened, the EWAC Nero pilot tried to kick the Gelgoog/Acguy hybrid off, but this hideous mobile suit deployed a beam saber from its hand and began to cut the EWAC Nero's cockpit off from the mobile suit's frame.

"Hurry, Mustache! Hurry!"

The friendly units were late, however, as the pirate mobile suit finished cutting the cockpit off and then began flying away towards its mothership. The Wivern fighter had managed to just reach them and began firing its 60 mm Vulcan guns at the enemy mobile suits, but the Zaku/GM hybrid deployed a large, arm-mounted, tri-barreled retractable autocannon and blasted a dozen holes into the large fighter, which wreckage then spun through the vaccum of space. The pirate mobile suits then began to retreat towards their ship, which itself then moved away from the airspace.

Kirk frowned and looked at the scene with distaste: he had been wrong all along; these "pirates" were a true threat. What disturbed him more was the fact that the pilots had been taken alive; to Kirks, only God knew just what the poor pilots would have to suffer.

Now it was a matter of rethinking their strategy and being as aggressive as possible with these "pirates".

I love you, Aina Amada, Elise thought as she was given a toe nail polish in a salon. Ruki and Aina were also getting the same treatment, and were equally enjoying it. In addition to this, the girls had received a relaxing massage and a hair treatment. Like Aina had said, this was a girls' thing.

After the nail polish, the women got a facial treatment, which was literal heaven for Elise, as she had never actually had one in her life.

After this, the girls then went shopping, with Ruki and Elise getting "girly" stuff for themselves, mostly clothes, but also a few other things. Of course, Aina had to always check their activities, in case they suddenly decided to buy anything too expensive.

"Nice!" Ruki yelled as she saw the dress Elise had chosen for her, a green-colored, long dress with a loose, long tube skirt. "Mommy, can I have this?" Ruki asked her mother enthusiastically. Aina looked at the dress for a moment, and gave a little smile, "Well, it does look good on good. And the color is pretty too."

"Thank you!" Ruki then grabbed the dress from Elise's arms and then hugged her mother, who hugged her back. Aina turned to the fiery redhead, "And what did you pick?"

"Nothing really significant." Elise replied, "Just a couple of nice-looking blouses. How about you, Miss Aina?"

"I already have enough dresses of my own." She said, as she looked at her small watch in her wrist, "Its time we went back to the ship. My husband must be a little impatient."

The three girls then exited the mall they were in, when Elise suddenly felt something: it was the familiar sense of danger. She turned to look towards one of the large glass panes high above, through which one could barely see the stars.

Something is approaching, she thought, I can feel it…

It was a chaotic sight near Lunar airspace: the Federation flotilla was struggling to keep its ferocious attackers at bay, as waves and waves of hideous and terrifying mobile suits just kept attacking their ships. Four of the Salamis Kai-class cruisers had already been sunken, and many mobile suits had been lost. Kirk recoiled at the sight of one of the GM/Zaku hybrids. One of their beam guns tried to shoot it down, but the pirate pilot was too skilled, as he evaded every single shot. The GM/Zaku hybrid then fired a full burst of its machine gun and destroyed the beam turret. A Nero mobile suit moved in and tried to shoot the GM/Zaku hybrid with its beam rifle, firing continuous streams of beams at it. The pirate pilot seemed to be an ace, however, as he evaded every single shot and then fired his own beam rifle at the Nero, managing to cut off the Feddie mobile suit's right arm along with its beam rifle. The Nero pilot tried to fly away for a moment, but the pirate managed to reach him and proceeded to draw a heat hawk. The Nero pilot could only scream in terror as the pirate severed the Nero's head off, and then proceeded to cut off the left arm of his mobile suit.

"Requesting assistance!" the Feddie pilot shouted through his comm, but it was already too late, as the pirate deployed a jet claw from his right forearm and proceeded to pull the Nero back towards the huge Pirate Fleet. As this happened, several GM IIIs were desperately trying to defend the other Salamis Kai, Columbus Kai and Magellan Kai ships alongside several Nero-types and even some C-type Ball mobile pods. Some support Wivern and Queenbee fighters tried to cover their respective ships and allies from the pirate onslaught, which seemed to be more willing to capture their enemies alive rather than to kill them: in fact, those lifeboats from the destroyed Salamis Kai cruisers had been captured by these pirates and taken to whatever fates the pirates had prepared for them. The Mustache deployed two Daggerfish fighters, but these were immediately captured by two Juagg/Hizack hybrids. Two GM III pilots tried to rescue these fighters, but one of the captors fired his Vulcan cannons and destroyed one of the GM IIIs and damaged the other. Taking this advantage, this Juagg/Hizack fired a jet anchor and proceeded to pull the GM III towards the Pirate Fleet.

Kirk was completely grim by now, desperate to resolve this once and for all: his head would be on a plate if he didn't do so. But they had lost too much, and with many of their ships already heavily damaged and having lost several of their support cruisers, the fleet wouldn't be able to give a good fight. He had only one choice.

"Contact all ships and mobile suits!" he barked, "We are retreating!"

"Retreating, sir?" one of the operators asked.

"At this rate, we will all get destroyed." Kirk replied, "We must retreat to the nearest safe zone at once."

"Sir, there is a colony nearby. We could dock there and rendezvous with reinforcements after we resupply."

"Nice idea." Kirk said, "We must first cover our friendlies. What colony is this again?"

"Its right outside Side 4, sir."

"Prepare the high mega-particle cannon. We'll fire a burst to allow the Bremen and the Takato to retreat alongside the others. Tell the mobile suits to get clear. The Magellan Kai-classes will also fire their mega-particle cannons as well to support us."

"Roger!" the operator replied to this command.

And so, as the mobile suits began to scatter to then begin to retreat to their respective ships, the Magellan Kai-classes moved to align themselves perpendicularly with the Mustache, turning their big mega-particle cannon turrets towards the large Pirate Fleet. As no friendlies were in the way, the operator began a countdown, while their pirate enemies began to close in.

"Five, four, three, two, one…"

"Fire!" Kirk then commanded.

As soon as he did, the Mustache fired its side-mounted mega-particle cannon, while the Magellan Kai-class battles ships by its sides, the Windsor and the Terrence fired all of their beam guns and mega-particle cannons in unison. The beams grazed and/or pierced several Pirate mobile suits, causing them to explode. The beams continued their way and then managed to hit three pirate ships, two that resembled disfigured Salamis/Chivvay hybrid cruisers and a defiled, blood-stained Zanzibar-class, with a disturbing symbol on its deck. While Salamis/Chivvay hybrids were destroyed, the Zanzibar seemed to have a strong anti-beam coating throughout its hull, and only scorches were visilble in the impact spots.

"What the…?" Kirk muttered, in disbelief.

"Fleet has successfully exited the battlefield." One of the operators then reported, "The Bremen and the Takato are heavily damaged, but they've rendezvoused with the rest of fleet."

"Mustache and companion ships will follow suit." Kirk then commanded, "Launch all of our flares. That should buy us a little time…"

The Federation fleet proceeded towards Side 4, heavily battered, and not noticing that single, horribly decorated Zaku Reconnaissance Type used a small asteroid to cloak itself and follow them…

Shiro and Naoto were at one of the colony's war museums, looking at the different mobile suits by the Zeon, AEUG, Federation, and the like, throughout the last ten years. Shiro would ocassionally go back to his days as a Federation mobile suit pilot in Southeast Asia, and remembered his comrades, Terry, Karen, Eledore, and even that local girl, Kiki, who helped a lot throughout their missions.

Naoto, on the other hand, was focusing his attention at the many Zeonic mobile suits, like the many Zaku-types and several Dom-types. He then found the large holographic recreation of the AMX-002 (AMA-X2) Neue Ziel, which he immediately recognized as the unit piloted by no other than the Nightmare of Solomon himself.

Naoto's views on the whole Federation/Zeon conflict were overall neutral; in fact, he was actually quite cynical with both of them when it came to "reasons". On one hand, he viewed the Federation as overall corrupt, but salvageable; on the other hand, he understood why there were people who believed in Zeon, but just couldn't fathom why they would kill so many of their own people, the Spacenoids, in colony gassings and biological attacks.

Then again, he thought, the ones ruling Zeon back then were the Zabis…

Naoto despised the Zabis: even though he hadn't lived the horrors of the One Year War, one of the many reasons his parents had left him was due to the post-War poverty that had ensued. It hadn't been the Federation who attacked first: rather, it had been the Zeon, during the infamous and devastating "One Week War".

The War had been caused by the Zabis: had it not been for their fanatical desire to rule the Earth Sphere, none of the recent tragedies would have occurred. And great men he respected, like Anavel Gato, the "Nightmare of Solomon", wouldn't have wasted their lives like they did.

I'm thinking too melodramatically, Naoto then thought, I should instead be thinking about making Elise like me better. I've been a little too teasing with her. Perhaps I should be nicer?

Shiro noticed Naoto trailing off, "Hey, Naoto! It's time to go!"

Naoto heard him, "I'll be right there!"

Shiro left the museum and went to see the local newspaper, while Naoto went to look at another holographic image: this time, it was one of the first Federation mobile suits, the RX-78-2 Gundam. A legendary combat machine, the Gundam was piloted by the equally-legendary ace, Amuro Ray, who had, in less than four months, perhaps surpassed pilots with even greater experience than himself, such as the equally legendary (but highly infamous) Red Comet, Char Aznable.

I want to be like him, Naoto thought, Like the great ace of the One Year War, Amuro Ray. Someone who believes in himself and that for which he fights for. I want to be hero…for Elise.

Shiro noticed Naoto distracted again, and approached him, "Is something wrong?"

"Oh, its nothing…"

Shiro then noticed the holographic image of the Gundam, and smirked, "You know, I used to pilot one of those back in the One Year War."

Naoto turned to Shiro, surprised, "Really?"

"Yeah, down on Earth. Of course, our units would never compare with the original one, but they were still Gundams."

"You fought for the Federation, then?" Naoto asked, curious.

"Yeah, for about four months or so." Shiro responded, "Actually, it must've been less, but anyway, I grew a little…disillusioned with them, and that's how I ended like this."

He then pointed at his left leg, and pulled the sleeve of his pants up, revealing a metal prosthetic arm. Naoto looked at it, "That's how you lost your leg? Fighting the Zeon?"

"You could say that." Shiro then said.

"I didn't know any of that…" Naoto muttered.

"Its better to leave that to the past." Shiro then declared, "Besides, I'm honestly better off with you guys and Aina than I ever was with the Federation Forces."

A little moment of silence. Both went into their own thoughts, and then started walking towards the space gate. As they did, Naoto began to again think about his desire of being a hero…

The Federation flotilla had just begun docking its ships in the colony, and their crews and pilots seemed exhausted and shocked due to the previous battle. Their ships battered, their mobile suits damaged, the Federation Forces sent to deal with what was at first thought of as a simple band of space bandits would then be forced to face a fight that quickly turned into a one-sided massacre. Kirk came out of the damaged Mustache, as the local governor, Wallace, came to receive him and the other EFF captains. "What brings you here, captain Kirk?" the governor inquired. One of his aides, a bureaucrat known by the name of Valerian, immediately drew out some papers, "You know this will cost you, captain?"

"Leave that to the high brass." Kirk said, "We need to get our ships repaired ASAP. The enemy might attack this colony at any moment…"

"Enemy?" the governor was confused, "What enemy? Weren't the Neo Zeon defeated? Unless there are still stragglers out there! This is all because you people in the military just can't seem to…"

"Oh, give me a break!" Kirk shouted back, "Its all because of you people who get in our way with all of your costs and complains that we aren't allowed to do our job properly! Do you know who's chasing us? Its not the Zekes: its freaking space bandits! Not some professional army, but a band of cannibals!"

"Regardless," the governor continued, yawning, "I want you out of here in an hour at least. I don't want the citizens of our peaceful colony all distressed just because some fleet decided to use our space dock as some kind of heaven from 'space bandits'."

"When those suckers come here, you will regret it." Kirk then said in a menacing tone. He then promptly turned around and returned to his ship, leaving the two local politicians on their own.

Ple lied in her bed, trying to rest, but that uneasiness she had felt earlier just wouldn't let her. She held her late sister's teddy bear tightly, trying to get some peace of mind. Closing her eyes at last, she started thinking about the great time she had spent with her new "family". As she did, however, that ominous feeling began to grow in her mind: it felt similar to when Judau was trapped in Moussa, which felt like it had been an eternity ago by now…

Still feeling uneasy, she went out of her bed and "floated" outside towards the ship's container, hoping to get some peace of mind. Moving through the corridors of the ship, she saw Steel right in the middle of the large "hall", floating and snoring in her own, deep sleep, with her arms crossed and a tool in her right hand. Smiling, Elise, avoided interrupting Steel's sleep and continued on her way. Afterwards, she went towards the cargo bay, and stared at the mobile suits held in storage there, thinking. That feeling from before, she thought, was it dread? Or is it just my nerves?

Elise sighed: she was worrying too much; she was overthinking stuff up. She had left all of that behind: now she was with a new, peaceful family. There was no way she would have to face those things again…right?


She heard someone approaching: it was the captain, Shiro Amada. He smiled at her, "Hello, Elise! Can't sleep either, huh?"

"Captain." She replied with a nod, "I didn't feel like it. Not yet, at least."

"Space doesn't let one sleep at times." Shiro commented, "Not even when one's in the safety of the colonies."

"You think they're safe, Captain?" Elise then asked him, "Colonies aren't as peaceful as they seem."

Shiro seemed a little distressed by this last comment, remembering what had happened ten years ago at his home colony in Side 2, which had been gassed by the Zeon Space Marine Corps to then be dropped on Earth. Indeed, he concurred in his mind, colonies are as dangerous as they are wondrous.

"Well, I'll give you that." He told her, "But right now, I feel like I could relax for the rest of my life."

"You're not from Earth, captain?"

"Nay, I'm from Side 2." Shiro replied.

There was a moment of silence. Distant noises of machinery could be heard, from the docks outside. Even the sounds of machinery were peaceful to Elise: for some reason, they gave her a sense of her surroundings being in order.

The Colony Corporation's Monet shuttle cruised right outside of the colony's airspace, inspecting a good stable gravity spot for any new colony. One of the Federation flotilla's Magellan Kai-class battleships, the Takato, scouted nearby, its weapons now fully repaired. A standard Nero mobile suit escorted the battleship, its pilot using the machine's sensors to pick up anything that would close into the colony's airspace. The pilot, however, failed to notice a large asteroid that seemed to drift near the colony. Focusing on the obvious route the pirates would take, the pilot instead saw a distant flash, and tried to focus his visual sensors on the spot. However, they picked nothing. The Takato's guns seemed to aim from one place to another, as if searching for targets. The asteroid suddenly "popped", and several hideous mobile suits, which resembled bastardized GMs and Zakus, drifted from what had been the interiod of the dummy asteroid. Along with them, a large cruiser, resembling a Zanzibar-class ship of the old Principality, rotated and drifted along with them. Suddenly, the mobile suits' sensors lighted up, and the mono-eye sensors in their heads and shoulders. Some of the sensors focused on the battleship, Nero and the shuttle in the distance, and slowly and silently proceeded towards them. As they reached a certain distance, the mobile suits began their assault: the two Zaku-look-alikes aimed their beam rifles at the Nero, vaporizing the cockpit before the pilot even knew what was happening. The GM-like mobile suit moved towards the Takato, whose underbelly guns began to fire desperate volleys of beams against it. The GM, however, dodged the attacks, and drew its heat rod. The CIWS machine guns, beam guns and turrets tried to shoot the GM down, but the barbaric pilot deployed a heavy shield and used it to block most of the shots, which bounced off it. The pilot then lunged at the Takato's underbelly bridge, stabbing it with its heat rod and then sadistically slashing at both sides with it, melting all crew members in it alive. The Takato's catapults launched another Nero, which immediately proceeded to fire its beam rifle at one of the Zakus, landing a hit in its cockpit and putting an end to the foul existence of its pilot. The other Zaku, however, fired a wire-gun, with a medium-sized harken in the end, stabbing the Nero right in the cockpit. The Zaku then retracted the wire back, closing the Nero towards it, while the pilot deployed a heat rod. The Nero pilot was powerless, as the pirate slowly and sadistically sliced the Nero's torso in half, burning the pilot alive in the process. As this happened, the GM then reached the Takato's bridge and proceeded to slam it with its hands, crushing the crew and leaving the rest of the ship commanderless.

Elise felt the familiar sting in her head: she was right, there was something approaching. Or rather, it had already reached them. She turned to Shiro, "Captain, I think we must leave at once."

"What makes you say that?" he asked her, curious.

"Something is coming." She replied.

As he was about to ask her what it was, they suddenly felt a huge shake, causing them to loose grip and "float" towards the ceiling.

"What the hell?" he exclaimed, "An explosion?"

An air raid alarm began to sound outside, and the two went to the bridge, where they found Derek typing commands and listening to transmissions intently. "What's wrong?" Shiro asked him.

"There seems to be some kind of battle outside." Derek told him, "Someone's attacking the colony."

"For the love of…Doesn't that get old by now? I mean, it always starts like that…"

"There seems to have been a Feddie flotilla docked here." Derek then said, "They're currently deploying as we speak."

Shiro frowned, "What the hell are they doing here?"

"Seems they were on a special mission." Derek replied, "Most likely in pursuit of Neo Zeon remnants. That's my best conjecture, captain."

"Well, then." Shiro mused, placing his hand on his chin, "Tell Steel to prepare our mobile suits and get that turret of her ready. And get your sidearms on the ready too!"

"Understood." Derek barked back, and he immediately sounded the ship's alarm, while giving the commands through the microphone to the rest of the ship.

Shiro turned to Elise, "I'm not comfortable with the idea, but we will need your skills."

Elise gave a slight smile back, "I was wondering when you were going to ask, captain."

"I'm sorry." He told her.

"There's no need to be." She then said, "Remember what I told you last time? It's in my blood."

She then promptly left the bridge, and Derek stared at her for a moment, and then turned to Shiro, "What's up with her?"

"Don't know. I think her background isn't what she told us…"

"A runaway?"

"Who knows." Shiro then said, "Right now, we must focus on the problem at hand."

The Vulcan's wings were released from the dock's automated constraints and fired its thrusters to the minimal level, as several other ships nearby began to do the same, heeding the colony's evacuation order. Steel, using a normal suit, went to the top of the ship and placed a gatling gun as a turret. She opened her comm, which was directly linked to the ship's bridge, "What kind of suckers are we facing now? Zekes again?"

"Derek thinks so, but we're not sure yet." Shiro replied, "Just stand by and target anything that doesn't look friendly."

"Understood, captain." She then prepared the aiming reticules and looked around. The ship began to exit the docking bay, and Steel saw the many Federation ships doing the same, coming out of the colony in unison, in a coordinated and ordinated manner. "Captain!" Steel called, "We got Feddie ships at our four!"

"I'm aware of that, Steel." Shiro replied calmly, "They might come in handy to cover our retreat."

Kirk looked grimly at the scene before him: the wreckage of the Takato, the Monet and the two Neros were a constant reminder of the unexpected horror of these "pirates". We should alert our headquarters at Von Braun and ask them for reinforcements, he thought, They might send an entire fleet.

"Captain!" one of the operators then barked, "Mobile suits are ready for launch!"

"Then launch them all!" Kirk barked back, "We'll need all of the fighting streghth we have available! Prepare mega particle cannons, turrets and CIWS! Get the high mega particle cannon on standby as well!"

"Aye, sir!"
Before the Federation Fleet, a rival force of thirty ships, decorated with human bones and blood on the hulls and disturbing symbols accompanying them. Along with them, the double of the number of mobile suits escorting the pirate fleet charged immediately towards the Federation. "Fire all weapons!" Kirk shouted. The Mustache and the other Federation ships fired their beam weapons in unison, hitting a couple of pirate cruisers and shooting down several mobile suits. ""Fire high mega particle cannon at once!" Kirk then barked.

The Mustache then fired its side-mounted weapon, destroying one of the bigger ships of the pirate fleet and grazing a GM-like mobile suit, melting much of its armor and exposing its naked pilot to the vaccum of space.

However, this wasn't enough: the pirates just kept coming, and the pirate ships seemed to generate dozens of more mobile suits by the minute. The Federation Neros, GM IIIs, Noveaus, EWAC Neros, GM IIs and fighters charged at the enemies, firing their beam rifles, machine guns, and missiles and with beam sabers drawn. One of the GM III Noveaus sliced a GM/Zaku hybrid horizontally in half, vaporizing its pilot, which wailed savagely like some mindless animal. The GM III Noveau pilot looked on. One down, a billion more to go, he thought. He then moved deeper into the enemy's ranks, firing his beam rifle right into one of the pirate ships' engines, causing them to overload and explode in a huge, nuclear fireball, engulfing three pirate mobile suits and damaging another of the pirate cruisers.

Shiro looked at the battle grimly: the Feddie may have the better equipment, but it seemed as if these pirates were more like mass murderers, trying to focus their attention on the civilian ships. He saw in despair as one of the Salamis Kai-class cruisers were ripped to shreds, and its crew taken alive by several mobile suits back to the pirate flotilla.

"They tend to take more prisoners, it seems." He deduced, "What for?"

One of the hideous mobile suits, what seemed to be a Z'Gok/Hizack hybrid, approached them at full speed. "Evasive maneuvres!" Shiro barked, "Have Steele fire her turret at once! Tell Aina, Elise and Naoto to launch in their units!"

"Sir, Miss Aina and Naoto will be using Junior Mobile Suits!" Derek then replied, "Is it wise?"

"Aina and Naoto will help Steel in the immediate defense of the ship with the linear guns." Shiro then said, "Elise will intercept any intruders!"

"Roger that, sir!"

Derek then began to bark these orders to the pilots.

Elise prepared herself in the mobile suit, her cockpit open, as one of the ship's technicians, Kloah Karma, began loading at least a dozen of hard drives into the cockpit. "What are those?" she asked. He smiled at her, "Well, Naoto told me to make sure your suit was as safe as possible, and so I brought the best software I could come up with."

"What kind of software?" she became intrigued.

"Some stuff I got from a tour we had on Pezun a few months ago." Kloah then grinned.

"Pezun?" Elise retorted, a little confused: back in her days in Axis, she had heard about a rebellion in a Federation Base called Pezun, which had been quelled, almost immediately after the end of the Gryps Conflict.

"Yeah, we were barely able to salvage anything really useful from the wreckage of that place." Kloah then told her, "But we did find an intact computer frame. In it, I found several MS Test Simulation data files that I myself modified, turning them into auxiliary programs to boost your piloting performance."

"Thanks, Kloah." Elise smiled at him. As Kloah finished installing the remaining programs, Elise looked at Naoto's Junior MS and gave a half-smile. She appreciated this kind of help from him: in fact, if he weren't such a dork, she might have actually found him cute.

Then again, Elise was never truly sure of her own feelings…

"Tell those civilians to move out of this area now!" Kirk barked, "Unless they want to be caught by our crossfire!"

"Sir, new contacts at forty-thousand!" one of the operators then shouted at him, "They're three: two mobile armor-like units and what appears to be a high-speed mobile suit!"

"Are they pirates?"

"Can't confirm that, captain." The operator then frowned, and Kirk frowned as well. If they're pirates, then we're screwed: our pilots can barely hold up against the ones we're facing now.

He then looked as several civilian ships and shuttles attempted to flee the area, and then stared in horror as a civilian shuttle was caught by one of the pirate mobile suits and taken to the terrifying-looking flotilla.

"Captain, a message from one of the civilian ships!" the operator then said.

"Leave it for tomorrow." Kirk replied, "I can't bother with what some bureaucreat has to say."

"Sir, they're saying they'll assist!"

"What?" Kirk then arched an eyebrow, "What good will civilians do here?"

He then saw the Vulcan deploy two Junior Mobile Suits and a GM II.

"A GM?" Kirk then wondered to himself, "These guys must've stolen, no doubt."

Antonio McKay was a cocky, elitist and excellent pilot of the Earth Federation Forces: he alone had shot down six Zssas mobile suits of Neo Zeon in the war only a few months ago. As a result, he had been issued a Zeta Plus C1 unit, which allowed him to show off his skills to his comrades, who piloted mere Neros and GM IIIs. He had wanted to pilot one of Anaheim's S Gundam units that were in storage, but the current chairman of that company, Melanie Hue Carbine, had refused to give any of these units to anyone after the New Desides rebellion. Of course, this wasn't a problem for McKay: a C1-type was enough for him.

Had his mobile suit not malfunctioned in the nick of time, however, he might've been caught in the initial onslaught. He was thankful to whatever God that allowed him to wait for the right time and make minced meat of these so-called "Pirates."

Now, he was ready at the launch catapult, inside the Zeta Plus C1, which was in waverider mode, along with his four buddies in GM IIIs, who were also prepping for intense combat. Antonio was confident he and his buddies would easily take these "pirates" down by themselves: it was just a simple fact of life.

After two of his buddies launched, McKay himself forced the catapult to push him, firing his thrusters for immediate acceleration. As he exited the hangar, he saw that what had started as a simple skirmish had turned into a bloody, heavy battle between the Federation Forces and the pirates.

"I'll take point." McKay told his buddies by the comm, "I'll take out their ships, and you take out any stragglers left behind."

"Aye, sir."

"Here we go, then!" he vigorously exclaimed, firing his thrusters to the max, firing his beam smart gun straight through four Zaku look-alikes, and hitting the engines of one of the pirate cruisers, causing it to overload and explode, taking two more grotesque mobile suits with it. As soon as he did this, he fired his twin beam cannons and hit a Zaku/GM hybrid, destroying it. A Gouf/Juagg hybrid then approached him at full speed and fired at him, forcing McKay to turn around, the G-forces' strain hurting him somewhat hard.

"You fuckers…" he muttered, "This is nothing!"

He transformed into MS in a flash, drawing a beam saber, and bisected the horrid mobile suit horizontally by the cockpit.

Nearby, his buddies fired their beam rifles, expertly dodging their enemies' attacks and then shooting more pirates down.

As soon as McKay took out another pirate down, he charged his beam smart gun and fired at another cruiser, this one resembling a bastardized Salamis-class cruiser, shooting it right through the engines and making them explode.

The Vulcan cruised nearby, with Aina, Elise and Naoto in their respective suits, covering their ship from the relentless pirate attack. Elise noted Aina's moves seemed natural, as if she would've been piloting mobile suits forever like her. She then noted Naoto nearby, barely dodging a Zaku/GM hybrid's attack and shooting it through the cockpit.

He has talent, Elise thought, but he needs practice. A LOT of practice.

She then had what she called a "flash": something was coming. She then realized, to her horror, that one of the grotesqueries was rushing towards Naoto at full speed.

"Naoto, look out!" she shouted, moving towards him. Perhaps she could block the shot, or shoot the bastard down…

It seemed too late, as the grotesque mobile suit drew a heat tomahawk and swung it right at Naoto's cockpit. Naoto screamed in terror, fighting the makeshit gatling gun in his Junior MS futilely at the heavy mobile suit, when Elise pushed the pirate away and shot her beam rifle point-blank into the grotesquery's cockpit, vaporizing its pilot and destroying it. She quickly turned to Naoto, "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine." Naoto replied, and he then grinned, "Oh, you so cute, all worried about me."

Elise noted she had blushed a little in her cheeks, and quickly shook her head, "Oh, you-!" she mumbled, "Don't get the wrong idea! I wouldn't want to like- Ah screw it!"

She then flew off, leaving Naoto with a big smile in his face. He sighed as he saw his beautiful Elise cut two Zaku/GM hybrids down in a fit of rage. "Ah, so beautiful when she's angry."

Naoto then noted another Zaku/GM hybrid closing in and quickly shot it down with his Junior MS's beam rifle and quickly shot it down. "Go get'em, Elise!" he shouted.

As all of this happened, McKay continued his slaughter of Pirates, but he started to feel uneasy: their numbers just seemed to grow for every one he shot down. However, this didn't matter to him: all he had to do was to keep firing until not one of them was left. Using his hip beam cannons, he then shot six pirates in quick succession. They all exploded.

While McKay was having no problem with them, his buddies were starting to get overwhelmed, with one of them, Brosnan, impaled by a pirate. Another one drew his GM III's missile launchers and started firing wildly at the pirates approaching him, but despite shooting down half of them, the other half literally slammed their mobile suits with his, disabling his systems. One of them then started carrying the terrified pilot towards the pirate fleet, and the rest of them proceeded to McKay's buddies. Cole, another of the GM III pilots, drew a hyper bazooka and shot another pirate down. He fired again, but missed. He fired again, but the pirate he shot at seemed to have some kind of hyper-alloy shield, which blocked the shot, but at the expense of said shield, which cracked and was blown to pieces. The pirate drew a grotesque heat rod and tackled Cole's GM III, and then proceeded to cut off each of the mobile suit's limbs. The other GM IIIs soon found themselves similarly overwhelmed, and as this happened, a huge wave of pirate mobile suits suddenly began rushing towards the colony and the Federation fleet.

At the bridge of the Mustache, Kirk looked on in horror, "Fire high mega particle cannon! Fire all weapons! Just fire!"

The Mustache and the rest of the battered fleet started firing wildly at the wave of pirate mobile suits, and a nearby EWAC Nero tried using a makeshift machine gun against them, but found itself being pierced directly through the cockpit with a razor wire. The mobile suits were now in position, and began shooting off the ships' weapons, as large, cylindrical boarding craft approached at full speed. Some of the Neros and GM IIIs managed to shoot some of these down, but most of them reached their intended targets, latching themselves on the ships' walls and then proceeding to cut part of the hull off.

"We're getting boarded, sir!" one of the Mustache's operators then reported, "Security is trying to repel them, but they're too many!"

"Order all non-essential personnel to evacuate!" Kirk then said, "Prepare for hand-to-hand combat!"

As soon as he said this, the bridge's entrance was smashed open. Kirk quickly drew his sidearm and shot three of the horrible-looking men that were literally pouring into the bridge. The rest of the crew wasn't so lucky: many panicked and cornered themselves, allowing the grotesque men to literally rip them apart with their bare hands. Others were chopped down with basic, cutting tools. Kirk shot four more of these "men" down and sent a distress signal to any of the mobile suits: they might as well destroy the ship than let it be taken over by subhumans. After managing to fend off several of the beastial men from his back, he almost emptied his last clip, until only one bullet was left. Smiling, he pulled the trigger on his own temple, and so ended the brief career of Captain Kirk.

McKay received the distress signal, and soon saw that more of the boarding craft were heading towards the colony. "Fuckers!" he exclaimed, and after dispatching another pirate ship, he turned around completely and headed towards his fleet. Seeing the ships completely overrun with pirate boarding craft, he transformed into waverider mode and aimed his beam smart gun first into the Mustache's engines. The beam went directly through the Minovsky fusion drive, causing it to go critical. It exploded, taking any pirate inside with it and several grotesque mobile suits around it as well. McKay let the beam smart gun cool down, as he aimed the reticule into a Salamis Kai-class cruiser which had also been overrun. He fired, and the same effect occurred: the engines went critical, and the ship exploded. He saw that another cruiser had been overrun, and he shot it down with equal efficiency. "This doesn't count as 'friendly fire'" he then declared, "They were no longer friendlies to me."

His sensors flashed and an alarm sounded: about two dozen mobile suits were closing in on him. He fired his Vulcans futilely, and transformed into MS mode. Accelerating towards the carcass of the Mustache, McKay then drew his beam sabers, only to find himself assailed by horrible-looking mobile suits that came out of nowhere. Restraining him, another mobile suit, this time indescribable due to its disgusting and horrible design, drew what seemed to be an oversized heat chainsaw. McKay fired his head Vulcans in vain, as the horrifying mobile suit slowly closed the chainsaw into the Zeta Plus' torso…

Elise felt huge pain in her head: someone was suffering a slow, painful death. It was horrible: Elise could feel his screams. "Damn it…" she muttered. She aimed her beam rifle and shot another pirate down. There goes ten in five minutes, she thought, When will this end?

She saw how the pirates started to rip the Zeta Plus C1 apart, and tried started to shoot at them, in a futile attempt to save the pilot: however, by the time she had dispatched all of the pirates, the pilot's presence had "faded". She felt a twinge in her chest, uncomfortable of what just happened. But she couldn't get distracted: the ship was still vulnerable in this airspace, and then there was the colony, which without the Federation's fleet, was basically naked to pirate attacks…

"Elise! Get back to the ship!" Shiro's voice then said through the radio, "We're going to see if we can get rid of those boarding craft in the space gate!"

Elise shot down another abomination down, and turned around, "Aye, captain!" she replied with a somewhat enthusiastic voice. She fired up her engines, accelerated towards the ship, and cut down one of the boarding craft in the way. Her GM II was then suddenly hit from behind, and one of her thrusters started to malfunction. She used her mobile suit's AMBAC capabilities to make a quick turn-around and fired a beam straight through the cockpit of one of her pursuers. She fired her Vulcans in the head of another, damaging the mono-eye of the beastial enemy. She shot another beam from her rifle, damaging another mobile suit, but all of a sudden, a razor wire cut the rifle off her suit's hand. She grunted, and drew one of her beam sabers. Slashing at the attacking mobile suit, she managed to cut a second wire, and then lunged at the enemy, who dodged. A disgustingly-decorated Zaku approached her in full speed, with a beam saber, and tried to slash at her, but she managed to block the attack and destroy the abomination. "Vulcan, this is Elise! Require support at once!" she then said.

"What's the situation?" SHiro asked. His voice showed he was busy at his own end.

"I have three bastards trying to get me!" she replied.

"I can't send Aina or Naoto to you!" Shiro then told her, "They're repelling some boarding craft as we speak!" His voice then paused, "Goddamn it, I told you to prepare that sector for decompression!"

The transmission was then cut off, but Elise didn't need any more explaining: the ship was having enough trouble already. She would handle these three on her own and then help the ship as best as she could. She pushed the lever as much as she could, accelerating the GM to the max, and cut another enemy down. However, two more appeared, and she was forced to draw her other remaining beam saber. She clashed one of her sabers with that of with what looked like a bastardized Gelgoog, and used her other beam saber to cut the left arm of the hideous mobile suit. "That serves you right!" she shouted, and she then used her other saber to impale the Gelgoog right through the chest.

But the pirates were relentless, and she seemed to be some sort of magnet to them. And as she fought her current enemies, more and more pirate mobile suits rushed towards her. There was no time: desperate to get back to her ship, she threw her GM's shield, which cleaved itself into one of the enemy mobile suits. She continued firing her Vulcans until no more ammunition was left, and soon, she was completely surrounded by hideous mobile suits, which lunged at her, at their prey…

And then, from the distance, a long beam cut half of the enemies surrounding her. The pirate mobile suits stopped their attack and seemed confused, as another beam, this one thick but equally long, wiped what was left out.

"What was that?" Elise wondered, turning to see from where the beams had come from. Her answer came to her, as three large mobile suits cruised past her: the FA-010A FAZZ, the predecessor to the legendary ZZ Gundam, and piloted by veteran Shin Crypt; an MSZ-006C1 Zeta Plus C1, this one piloted by Monica Fenette, a veteran from Side 2; and on the lead, the MSZ-006C1[Bst] Zeta Plus "Hummingbird", piloted by the unfairly unknown hero Ryu Roots, who had single-handedly averted the total destruction of Dakar in UC 0088 by the renegade New Desides.

Ryu looked at the scene before him: it was one of utter chaos, with civilian ships being raided and captured by pirates, the Federation flotilla trashed, and a few government mobile suits holding their ground by themselves, surrounded by the enemy. "Green Oak Squad, standard maneuvres! Cover all civilian ships back to the colony's space gate! To all remaining Federation mobile suits: return to the space gate at once! We'll cover your retreat!"

"Roger!" multiple voices replied in unison by the radio. The Green Oak Squad then moved in, and Ryu fired his two beam smart guns in succession for each target, destroying six ships and ten mobile suits, which all exploded in splendid fashion. Elise took this opportunity to finish off a grotesque mobile pod and get back to her ship, which was already retreating to the colony. As this happened, Shin used his Large Hyper Mega Cannon, swinging the three second-long shot effectively so that he could get as many mobile suits down as possible. And he succeeded: in fact, he not only took twelve mobile suits down, but three ships as well. Shin grinned, and then fired his shoulder cannons at some approaching mobile suits. Nearby, Monica transformed into MS mode and fired her beam cannons in quick succession as well, destroying five mobile suits in seconds. Drawing her beam smart gun, she then approached one of the ugly ships and fired into the engines, destroying the ship. She then transformed back into waverider mode, and fired her beam cannons and smart gun in barrages against a wave of attackers. Two pirates tried to pursue her, but Ryu swooped in and fired three successive beams, destroying them.

As the three aces managed themselves, the remaining Federation Neros, GM IIIs, Nouvels and fighters regrouped in front of the colony's space gate and fired barrages at the decreasing waves of enemies. As one of the Nouvel GM IIIs was about to be impaled by a pirate, Elise passed by and quickly cut the barbarian down, vaporizing the pilot with a quick slash of her beam saber by the cockpit. "Thanks." The pilot then told her. Elise quickly flew off, afraid that the pilot might ask her who she was, and shot another straggler down.

Ryu and his squad continued their relentless assault against the barbarians, alternating from their strongest beam weapons to wipe out large portions of their fleet and then switching to close combat for those that remained.

Panting, the three pilots then saw the pirates retreating to their fleet, which had seemingly stopped. "What now?" Ryu wondered.

The pirates remained still, without making a move, and a stand off ensued.

"We are going back to the Pegasus III, guys." Ryu told his comrades, "We'll resupply and rendezvous with whatever that's left of our friendly forces."

"Roger that, sir!" his comrades replied enthusiastically. The three accelerated towards the Moon's direction, where their ship awaited for their arrival.

As Elise helped several damaged civilian shuttles and ships back to the docking area, Naoto looked at the debris field around the colony from his Junior MS.

"We may have to stay a few more weeks here, captain." He commented with a slight tone of sarcasm.

"This whole thing is a mess." Shiro replied by the radio, "Pirates? If so, then why are they more focused on destroying stuff than capturing ships?"

"Maybe they're not pirates at all." Aina then replied to his husband, "Perhaps they're just people who like chaos: anarchists."

"But aren't anarchists like…violent activists of some sorts?" Derek then asked her as he continued to monitor radio communications in the area, taking some coffee from his thermo while he was at it.

"What happened to the boarding craft that reached the colony?" Elise then wondered. If even one of them managed to unload its boarders, then they would have to search every corner of the megastructure to eradicate them.

"I heard they were all shot down by some Feddie ship." Shiro then reassured her. Elise turned to her comm: it was on. Damn it, she thought, I hate it when this happens.

She quickly turned it off.

She sighed, and saw a horribly damaged Nero struggling through the debris. She moved towards it, using her mobile suit's arms to grab the Nero's torso from the sides. Elise turned around and went towards the Vulcan.

"Thanks." The Nero's pilot called to Elise by the radio.

Elise opened her comm, "No problem." She felt a little happier: helping others always made her feel better, for some reason.

Taking the Nero to the ship, she then looked at where the pirate flotilla had been before: she felt again that unease; that dread.

They'll be back, she predicted, They won't just leave here like that. They want more death…more killing.

She resumed with her activities, helping a heavily damaged shuttle to return to the colony.

*So after ten years without any writing, I have finally updated this story. I was too busy with school; the delay might give you an idea of just how busy I was. But enough said on that: next chapter will be uploaded faster, as I already have about half done.

In the next few weeks I'll also be updating my other, somewhat popular, story: "The Unicorn Awakens". Stay tuned.

Episode 5 of Unicorn rocked! Banagher might just earn my respect...