Gundam Seed: Kira, Knight of Orb

Disclaimer: I own nothing but my Original Characters and my Original Mecha Designs

Phase 03: Prep Time

– The Prince –

2,500 Kilometers outside Heliopolis Defense Zone, Vesalius Hanger
1029 OST, January 25, 71 CE

Inside the stolen mobile suit, identified as the GMS-Y317 Aspis (What a weird name...) Athrun rapidly sorted through the morass of codes that was the unit's operating system.

It was a rather dull affair, even with its complexity, since all he was really doing was evaluating sections of the operating system's architecture and implementing what improvements he could by simply copy-pasting sections of code from the GAU and GEL-GOUG OS where they would do the most good, then rechecking those sections and editing for better performance.

All-in-all, the 'Aspis' probably wouldn't be fully combat-capable for another day or two, maybe less if he could confer with the others...

And at that thought, Athrun's mood soured.

Damn it Rusty... He thought bitterly. However, before he could fall into depression, a sudden alarm blared, drawing his attention outside the cockpit, to the hanger.

"Commander Le Creuset's unit is damaged! Prepare for a rough landing!" The head hanger technician barked, sending lesser mechanics scurrying to grab tools and activate systems as he deployed the capture net, a net made of broad, elastic polymer bands.

There was barely a second before a white-and-gray blur crashed into the net, the elastic visibly straining against the momentum of the GEL-GOUG. Athrun was surprised to see actual, real combat damage in the form of a partly-molten scar running across the GEL-GOUG's arm where the commander usually mounted his suit's shield.

"What in the world..." He muttered, returning to the Aspis' cockpit and resuming the OS alterations. Did you do that Kira?

– The Knight –

Morgenroete Complex, Heliopolis Colony, Lagrange 3

Kira could feel the wary gazes as he rode the dismounting cable from the Takehaya's cockpit to the Armatura's hanger deck. Before him, kneeling on the extended launch catapult, knelt the Xiphos, Mu standing on its open cockpit hatch and giving Kira a speculative look, while all around were the tattered remnants of the crew intended for the Armatura.

He could see some of them nervously fingering their sidearms, clearly nervous at the probability of his being a Coordinator.

Hopefully, Canard and Sai will be able to dissuade them from trying anything when they find out. Kira thought grimly. As his feet touched the deck, two women, officers judging by their epaulets and ribbons. The first, a brown-haired woman, while the second was a rather stern-looking woman with black hair...who looked rather familiar.

Ah, the woman from the auto-transit station! Kira recalled, and as the officers came close, he saw the black-haired one didn't recognize him. Not too surprising, after all, he'd just been another teenager waiting for a transit car to the university...while he'd been on the watch for any OMNI soldiers all the time.

Shaking off the shock of recognition, Kira recomposed himself into a straight-backed posture as the brown-haired women drew even with him.

"Lieutenant Yamato?" She asked, a slight hint of disbelief in her voice as she stared at him.

"I am." He confirmed. "And who am I speaking to?"

"Lieutenant Murrue Ramius...Captain of the Armatura, I suppose." She replied.

"There are no other ranking officers?" Kira asked.

"No, they...they were all killed in the initial explosions." Murrue answered sadly.

All the officers? Jefferson, Richards, Dufrens, Alexii...damn, that's pretty much all the ranking Cosmonauts assigned to the ship! Kira thought rather gleefully. "My condolences." He nodded briefly to hid the slight smirk on his lips. Uncle Tei's rubbing off on me too much... "However, I have to address some other matter."

"Like?"

"Per the agreement between Morgenroete and the Orb government, I am temporarily assuming command over the vessel Armatura, its crew, as well as any supporting craft and personnel, including the Xiphos." Kira announced. In return, he got the incredulous stares of every person present.

"Mister- Lieutenant Yamato," The stern-looking ensign, going by her rank insignia, spoke up. "The Armatura and its personnel are men and materiel of the Earth Alliance's military branch, the Oppose Militancy and Neutralize Invasion Enforcer-"

"Yes, I am well aware your allegiance to OMNI Enforcer." Kira interrupted. "However, as per the agreement between Morgenroete and the United Emirates of Orb, any officer of Orb's military has the right to, in a time of emergency, assume command over Morgenroete assets and personnel, particularly those of their private security units, such as the Onigumo squadron," He gestured to the mentioned insectoid mobile armors, "And as for how this applies to you, the Armatura and the Xiphos are built and owned by Morgenroete, for the moment, and all of you are official Morgenroete employees."

The Ensign snarled, and prepared to rebut that when she stopped and paled.

"What's the problem Natarle?" Murrue frowned, certain that her immediate subordinate had been about to ream Kira out. Natarle recomposed herself, regaining her posture and color before responding.

"In order to maintain the G Project' secrecy and prevent its discovery, all of its assigned materiel and personnel were officially listed as Morgenroete assets." She explained stiffly.

"Damn." Mu snorted, with a shake of his head. "Looks like High Command didn't take a close enough look at the contract."

– The Crucible –

2,500 Kilometers outside Heliopolis Defense Zone, Vesalius, Bridge

Rau Le Creuset, (in)famous ZAFT ace, leader of the team which bore his name, and current commander over three teams, scanned the room full of ZAFT pilots, all but four of them experienced Green-coats.

"Everyone," He began, "You know about the Earth Alliance mobile suits, and their problems like the OS. However, my sortie into Heliopolis' interior has revealed a new threat," He walked over towards a holo-projector table behind Captain Ades' chair, activating it to show a trio of select still images. A blood-red mobile suit, wielding a katana and a shield, next to a dark blue-and-purple one with two enormous guns, one handheld and the other mounted to the left shoulder, ad the final gray-and-silver unit, holding a carbine and shield, the latter emitting a what looked like a contained beam. "These units are unexpected, and were not detailed in the G Project communications we intercepted. This is because," He tapped a switch, zooming in o the shield of the gray unit, showing the golden Orb sunburst, "They are not G Project units. These three mobile suits appear to be developed by Morgenroete for Orb in tandem with the Earth Alliance's G Project. However, regardless of that fact, they are also targets. We cannot allow any other power to obtain mobile suit technology, and if we cannot capture these new units as well as the remaining G Unit, then we must destroy it, as well as the new Alliance ship." Ades cut in now.

"Barton Team will deploy with standard ordnance, while Messa will be equipped with anti-ship and installation weaponry. Dismissed!" The Green-Coats filed out, heading for their mobile suits that were temporarily docked with the Vesalius. The members of Le Creuset Team, meanwhile stayed, studying the images.

"Um...If Messa and Barton teams deploy with anti-installation weapons...what's going to happen to Heliopolis?" Nicole, concerned about the colony, asked.

"Well, it can't really be helped, can it?" Dearka shrugged.

"It serves them right for calling themselves a neutral state when they're pulling this kind of shit." Was Yzak's cold remark.

"Commander! I request permission to deploy with Barton and Messa Teams." Everyone turned to stare at Athrun, who assumed a rigid posture, facing Rau.

"Why? You have no machine." Rau reminded him. "And besides, you've already completed the important objective of capturing that mobile suit. Let some others have a chance at glory."

At that, Athrun just turned aside slightly, biting his tongue.

– The Ace –

Armatura Starboard Hanger
1119 OST

"Load those ammunition containers into bays one to five!"

"Use the hanger systems to load up the Xiphos packs! They're gonna be needed for combat use soon!"

"What is this doing here? All ammunition and power packs for the Onigumo are supposed to be in the port hanger!

Before him, Mu witnessed the simultaneously foreign and familiar scene of a hanger in resupply. Familiar, because of the same hustle-and-bustle that always consumed them, technicians and engineers running around, hefting large crates of ammunition, parts and other necessary supplies while others operated machinery that brought in larger and more unwieldy items and stored them away. All with the same, drab, unpainted and cluttered backdrop of a hanger.

Foreign, because the scene was swarming with people in Morgenroete and UEO Forces uniforms instead of OMNI Enforcer fatigues, khakis or overalls. And instead of simple, small bays for Moebius mobile armors, there were comparatively vast, expansive berths for the mobile suits.

At the moment, four of the six berths where occupied, the Xiphos cloistered in one of the two on the starboard bulkhead, while Kishi Team's MS took up both port berths and one of the center ones. On the catwalks surrounding each berth, the mechanics scrambled up and down, bearing ammunition, parts and tools to ensure each unit was fully supplied and at peak performance.

In the center of this tableau was the chief mechanic, a man Mu only knew by the name of Murdock, and the Morgenroete technician, Karen, shouting orders at the barely ordered chaos.

Mu took a moment to study Karen. Hourglass figure, beautiful face that seemed both Caucasian and Asian in a highly exotic manner, a high-ranking technician in the notoriously brainy Morgenroete's employ, as well as Captain of Heliopolis's Self-Defense Force.

Quite attractive, on several levels...

"She's also taken." A wry, familiar voice sounded suddenly, making Mu jump a little, before he turned to find Kira grinning at him.

"Whoa! Sheesh, don't scare me like that kid." The ace said, mocking a heart attack before eyeing Kira speculatively. "So, what's the plan?"

"It's pretty simple. The Onigumo, capable as they are, would take significant losses fighting mobile suits in this environment." Kira explained. "They're made for more conventional opponents, such as heavy armored vehicles and infantry rather than mobile suits, so Kishi team and you in the Xiphos will be serving as the primary opposition to any further ZAFT incursions, while Karen and her Onigumo unit will provide support."

"Seems like a sound plan." Mu commented, wincing slightly when he recalled the average performance of the Earth Alliance's own, less advanced mobile armors against ZAFT's mobile suits.

"Well, it's not really detailed at this point, which is why I'd like you to join my team and the Heliopolis SDF outside after the Xiphos is refitted." Kira said. Mu turned to him, quirking a brow in a questioning manner. "Well, while you're fairly new to MS piloting, you're still the most experienced soldier here, and we're against someone you're highly familiar with..."

"Rau Le Creuset." Mu stated

"Precisely."

"Alright." Mu sighed, "I'll be right out then."

Kira nodded to him before moving to his mobile suit's berth.

– The Prince –

2,500 Kilometers outside Heliopolis Defense Zone, Vesalius Hanger
1144 OST

Out in the space near Heliopolis, the four ZAFT ships were hovering, relatively motionless behind some of the leftover debris from Heliopolis' construction. At the moment, all of them were launching their surviving MS Teams for the upcoming assault on the colony.

The Vesalius, in particular, just launched the last of its designated units.

"Barton Team, Santo's unit, move to catapult!" As the bulky GAU drifted into place, the gray, drab unit in its berth to the side started to shift colors, turning a brilliant ruby-red. Finally, the last GAU launched, and the head technician started to call out for the hatch to close when the captured unit began to move.

"Hoy! What's going on? Is that unit moving out too?"

"I don't know! No one told me!"

The captured MS moved into the catapult's launch field, shooting down the catapult to join the other mobile suits.

I'm coming for you Kira. Athrun thought from his place inside the Aspis.

– The Knight –

Armatura Starboard Hanger
1201 OST

The panic alarm began to blare, jolting Kira out of his focused checkup on the Takehaya's systems. In a moment, Kira tapped into both the Armatura's comms system as well as Kishi Team's encrypted radio.

"-Approaching from the Earthward entrance! Thermal signatures indicate at least twelve GAUs, two GEL-GOUGs and...the Apsis!" A male voice, presumably the Armatura's sensor officer, blurted out in shock.

"They're already using it in battle!?" A similarly shocked Natarle thought aloud.

Thinking for a moment, Kira spoke.

"Sai, Canard, I want you two to get out there immediately, and try to draw off some of the enemy MS. Sai, there's a large warehouse about fifty meters Sunward that should be large enough to hide the Bishamon when you start sniping. Canard, if you can lead some of them over to the urban center in Sector A9, you can do your guerrilla thing easily enough."

"Awesome! I haven't managed to pull that off since Victoria!" Canard crowed, the Hachiman lurching out of its berth and loping out of the hanger, to the shock of the technicians still on the hanger floor.

"Well, he's as eager as always." Sai noted with amusement. Walking the Bishamon out of its berth and onto the catapult hatch, he simply hopped it off, the blue custom Gunshin falling for the industrial district below.

Kira brought the Takehaya out, easing it into the catapult clamps.

"Armatura Control, this is Kira Yamato in the Takehaya, requesting permission to launch."

"Um...Er.." The comms officer, one of the original Alliance crewmembers, hestitated.

"Permission granted! Lieutenant La Flaga! Take the Xiphos out to assist him! CIC, ready linear cannons and load launchers with AMS ammunition!" Kira tuned out the rest of her barked commands as a shudder in the Takehaya's frame and a green light on the HUD signified the locking of the catapult clamps. Settling the Takehaya into a crouched position, Kira watched the indicators as they flashed green.

A rumble and jerk made the mobile suit shake as the catapult's linear acceleration fields activated, pulling the Takehaya along until it shot out of the Armatura's catapult at a supremely high velocity. Kira allowed a moment for the Takehaya to separate far enough from the warship before activating its thrusters. A bright light blazed out of the primary thruster, smaller and less brilliant jets shooting out of the secondary units, and small pinpricks shone from the tertiary units.

Orienting to face the approaching ZAFT units, Kira watched the approaching enemies. The HUD helpfully tagged each red-lined MS with a range figure, rapidly counting down as they approached. One indicator sped up, indicating the target accelerating. The HUD had labeled that one with the model number of GMS-Y317.

Kira knew it as the Aspis.

The Gundam Athrun had stolen.

Lips pressed into a thin line, Kira turned the Takehaya onto an intercept course.

This was going to be a hard battle.

– The Author –

(Hey, all you meatbags out there! Now, as you probably know, this fic, as well as many of Knightmare's other fics, has drastically slowed down in their updating. One might even say they stopped. The reason...is best illustrated by the following, which was recorded a few months ago.)

Play Recording

Alright folks, I'm finally back...sort of.

I apologize for my...extensive absence from Fanfiction...I was...rather distressed...

What caused me to be distressed? Oh, I'll tell you right now.

Gundam AGE.

And, SPOILERS, its goddamn idiotic ending.

You know, I had such high hopes for it in the beginning. Flit out-and-out shanked that Gafran in his very first time piloting the AGE-1, and got only better from then on, until I got chills when he smacked Desil Galette down in the AGE-1 Sparrow.

Asemu was almost the same, ass-kicking his way from the AGE-1 to the AGE-2, with some rather understandable emotional issues considering that right after that his best friend-turned-enemy bitch-slapped him in the manner of Full Frontal smacking around a ReZEL. And then, later on, he eviscerated Desil, finishing what Flit started decades ago.

And then...and then...Goddamn Kio! I had hopes for the boy, I did. First outing in the AGE-3, and he annihilates a heavy assault MS without much in the way of collateral damage! But nooooo. You know what we got? Another Kira Yamato! Except even less goddamn effective! There are ways to do technical pacifists in combat! Like the Gundam Wing protagonists in Endless Waltz! That was awesome! Why not do it like that instead of all the goddamn whining about 'understanding' and shit!

I mean...it seems like they spent all that time building up everything in Generations 1 and 2...only to tear it all down in 3! And not in the satisfying way either! The entire final arc was a mess! Like that stupid 'Spriggan' character during the lunar battle! What the hell? Dump another new character in, with a whole f cking backstory episode to herself, and kill her off in her third episode? In the LAST arc? The hell? What was that about? If they were trying to muddle up the Federation's image with the whole 'unethical and dangerous X-Rounder testing' background, they already had that with Flit's aspirations to genocide! If they wanted to do that, they should have put Spriggan in somewhere in the second generation (probably in with that whole 'colony working as a Vagan factory' arc) and had her become a recurring antagonist!

Which brings me to another point! This series handled its antagonists horribly! Desil, for instance, while his send-off was properly karmic and all, could have been held on for so much longer! He was the first antagonist who we actually put a face to! The posterboy for the UE before it became Vagan to the audience! He could have been kept around up to the third generation, whereupon he and Flit would have had their epic final battle! Hell, you could have taken Zanald out and put Desil in his place with virtually nothing changed!

And the Magicians Eight! That 'elite' X-Rounders corps introduced in the middle of Generation 2! They were killed off like Gundam Wing Mauve Shirts! Even that guy at the end went out like Otto did! They could have been whittled down to three and put in place of the damn Phantom team! With much better characterization might I add!

Ugh, ultimately, this series has little character continuity within itself, throwing out established characters to make room for new ones for little reason as far as I can tell! Why didn't Largan Drace show up with Woolf and Flit in the second generation? Huh? Where the hell was Arisa in the third generation? HUH!?

And then we come to the point I hate most...the goddamn VILLAIN MOTIVATIONS!

What the FCKING HELL SUNRISE? Do you have some sort of allergy to sensible goals and motivations? I thought this series had promise when Yark Dole extolled Vagan's backstory! Here we had a faction that wanted wanted vengeance for the generations it was stuck on, suffering from sickness caused by intense solar radiation (ignoring that BLATANT MISTAKE with the magnetic field of 'Mars Rays') abandoned by the Federation decades ago, now coming back to inflict destruction on the Earthlings and claim Earth as their Eden!

But Noooooooooo...you had to get Ezelcant, and have his true objective be...wait for it...KILLING OFF MOST OF HUMANITY to make it 'EVOLVE' into a more PEACEFUL ONE...by INSTIGATING A NEARLY GENOCIDAL WAR AGAINST THE EARTH FEDERATION and SABOTAGING YOUR OWN COLONIES.

WHAT. THE. FUCK!?

Wanting a vengeful genocide has a horrible, twisted logic to it given what happened to the Vagan people. But...But...AGH! I can't even say it again!

You know what? Screw it. This is it! The last straw! I'M GONNA-

Stop Recording

(Well, I think that's enough to get the gist of it, but before I explain further, let me switch to another cut-off, as the bold text will probably get tiring to read.)

– The Abomination –

What, seriously? That's my title? That little...ah, whatever. Alright, it's me here, K'GoN, and as you can see by the above, the Author, Knightmare had a bit of a...well, let's call it a 'psychotic break'. So, now he's been stuffed into a padded cell with a nice, comfy straightjacket to compliment his newly acquired 'foaming-mouth' demeanor.

Thus, I'll be taking over writing the stories now. Hopefully, away from all this madness that is the internet, Knightmare will be able to recover.

(Actually, I'd like to interject here.)

What in the name of Deus Ex Machina? Who are you?

(I'm not surprised you don't remember me, seeing as you buried me with Killer's Realm.)

Holy shit! It's Neb! How the hell did you get back here?

(Well, it involved several bones, a Reaper, and hacking Requiem's transit system, but that's something for another time. Right now, I'd like to address something in your plans for Knightmare's treatment.)

...Like what?

(First of all, I believe cutting him off from the internet, this site in particular, would be a grievous error, as my past records of his mental state indicate writing for this site was a great relief to him psychologically.)

Maybe, but I don't think letting him start another story is a good idea...

(No, it isn't. However, a smaller form would be adequate. My idea would be to have him resume his place at the keyboard for just long enough to type out a short story, once every few days or weeks.)

Like a one-shot series then?

(Perhaps several.)

Sounds good to me! Now, let's see what he's got here...Naruto crossover ideas...Halo...Mass Effect...God lord, there's like five hundred Gundam ideas here...ooh! Here's a good one!

(...Avatar? You want his first oneshot to take place on Pandora?)

Well, yeah.

(All of his notes one any story ideas involve large amounts of fire, death and destruction, and occasionally the deployment of strategic ordnance.)

Exactly. What you said basically boils down to stress relief, right? So, we'll let him relieve his stress by letting him write out the most one-sided curbstomps he'll ever write.

(Like this one, where he introduces a regiment made of nothing but Assault Battlemechs to Pandora? All loaded out with LB 10-X Autocannons and Heavy Flamers?)

Or this one, where X-COM drops in. Hmm...actually, you might be right.

(...Really? You're agreeing with me? You, the bloodthirsty abomination?)

Yeah, these don't have nearly the curbstomp potential as the story he'd intended this for.

(EXA-DB Gundam? Hmm...Oh. Oh my.)

Heh, I know, right?

Ah well, we'll add an armored PC to his padded cell, see if he's coherent enough to type legibly and see what happens.

Anyway folks, I'll be picking up Devil of Zero next, but first I gotta work my way through the relevant Zero no Tsukaima chapters...

See ya!

K'GoN, Abomination and your future Mechanical Master!