Author's Note: This story was something I thought up a couple days ago and I decided to post this first section as a sort of teaser for the full story. I hope you enjoy this chapter and come back in the future for more. Any help and advice is greatly appreciated and reviews are always welcome.
The battle for control of space fortress Solomon was starting to die down. The area was choked with wreckage and other space debris which will make Solomon a navigational hazard for years to come. For every one body that will be recovered from the battle, another four families will never see their loved one again.
Federation forces were starting to board the asteroid fortress and the remaining Zeon defenders were being quickly overwhelmed as they slowly fell back to the heart of the fortress in order to make their final stand. They would not surrender because every second they held out would give the surviving Zeon fleets time to regroup and escape.
The beam interference field the Federation had deployed earlier in the battle had all but dispersed and the defenders used every beam cannon that remained on the station to destroy as many enemies as they could. Their few remaining Doms fought to stall the new Federation mobile suits while their weaker Zakus provided fire support. Most of the Doms and Goufs had been ordered to retreat by Admiral Dozle Zabi. They knew the war depended on the more advanced mobile suits, because they will never be able to outnumber the Federation military at this point in the war. The old Zaku II that were the symbol of Zeon military superiority were now being abandoned to buy time for the new machines to escape and fight another day.
Fire Team 09 moved into Solomon as part of the first assault wave. The team's five GMs landed on one of the few remaining space docks and immediately moved to secure the area for reinforcements to land. Admiral Watkein wanted the fortress secured as soon as possible to prevent the remaining Zeon forces from scuttling the base.
As the team prepared to move further into the station, a massive beam of energy fired from the rear of the dock and destroyed two mobile suits instantly. The remaining team members immediately turned their attention toward the source of the beam and watched in silent horror as a massive monstrosity emerged from a maintenance hangar. The machine was huge, easily larger than the entire fire team put together, and its two small legs held up a squat body with a huge energy beam emitter in the center.
The remaining fire team members immediately open fire with their beam rifles.
Sub-Lieutenant Thalia Lisara moved the MA-08 'Big Zam' forward as she struggled to keep the massive mobile armor balanced. The machine was never designed for combat operations under gravity and she had to get the machine out of the dock before it suffered a lucky hit to its legs, which would instantly cripple the machine and put a premature end to the last defiant charge of the Silver Phantom of Side 5.
"How long until the particle cannon recharges?" She asked the weapons operator as the machine rocked under the combined fire of the three Federation GMs. "We can't leave until it's ready to fire or we'll be overwhelmed by missile attacks from the capital ships."
"Sorry ma'am, I shouldn't have used the cannon, there's still a twenty second wait until the cannon's charged." Ensign Stevenson apologied. "Should I activate the point-defense particle guns?"
"Do it, and arm the missiles while you're at it. Ops, how's that barrier holding up under this amount of fire?" Thalia asked as a beam hit the Big Zam's leg joint but failed to penetrate. "If it can't take these small hits, the capital ships will destroy us with combined fire before we can we get within firing range."
"The field is holding steady ma'am, and the thrusters are online." Ensign Takona reported then he hesitated for a split second before adding, "ma'am, I'm receiving a communication from Admiral Dozle. He wants us to wait in the dock for another minute."
That caught Thalia off-guard, why would the Admiral order them to wait? The Feddies were practically on top of the station already and soon they would be swarmed in enemies. Thalia shook her head, it wasn't her place to question the Admiral. He had never let them down before so she owed him her trust.
Stevenson opened fire with the particle guns as soon as the system booted up from storage mode and the rapid fire beams tore the three remaining GMs apart.
Thalia wrestled the Big Zam into the center of the dock and turned towards the gate. Any ships or mobile suits that tried to enter the dock would be destroyed by the particle cannon of the experimental mobile armor. Thalia was rather saddened by the fact that Zeon scientists won't get any combat records of the Big Zam. They had sent the new weapon to Solomon hoping for one of the aces to take it out and bring back for further improvement but now it seems that all it would accomplish was saving the lives of thousands of Zeon soldiers and civilians instead of changing the war like they hoped.
Thalia was woken from her musings as she noticed a man in a Zeon space suit exit the elevator behind the Big Zam and run towards them. Thalia retracted the Big Zam's legs and lowered the machine to the ground. Takona unlocked the back hatch and Thalia unbuckled herself from the command throne and moved to greet their visitor. She was curious what this whole situation was about and fought to keep her irritation from showing on her face.
As the man climbed into the Big Zam's command cabin, Thalia sealed the door and the interior re-pressurized. The man moved to take off his helmet and mentioned for Thalia to do the same. Confused, she unsealed her helmet and pulled it off, taking a moment to fix her ponytail before turning her attention back to their new crew member.
Shock, horror and confusion fought to determine which one should dominate her face as she saw who the man was. The hard face, the scar and the prematurely graying hair. Vice Admiral Dozle Zabi, commander of Zeon Space Forces, commandant of Solomon and a member of the Zabi royal family.
Thalia quickly snapped out of her shock and saluted. "Admiral Dozle, sir! What are you doing here? Your shuttle deported half an hour ago with your family, I thought you went with them sir." Thalia stated her confusion as she tried to guess what the Admiral was planning. Did he want the Big Zam to follow the fleet? No, the Massive Mobile armor won't be able to keep up.
Admiral Dozle gave her a sad smile that froze Thalia's heart and she instantly realized what the Admiral was planning.
"Sir, you can't do this! The war needs your leadership, especially now with the Federation's mobile suit advantage. Moral won't be able to stand your death, especially after…" Thalia nearly chocked as she desperately tried to convince the Admiral that was a bad idea.
"Thalia, it has been an honor and a privilege to serve with you these past few months and no, there's nothing you can say that will change my mind."
Thalia felt tears fill her eyes as she fought to retain her composure. "The honor has been mine, Admiral. But what of your family? Did they link up with the fleet?"
Admiral Dozle's face fell and Thalia thought he suddenly looked extremely tired for the first time in what must have been years. "They're fine. I ordered the captain to take them to Side 3 immediately and link up with Shin."
Suddenly, an explosion rocked the entire fortress and Thalia moved to co-pilot's chair and offered the command throne to the Admiral. "Sir, I advise strap in, we'll be launching immediately."
"Thalia, I'm promoting you to the rank of Lieutenant and I order you to exit this mobile armor and link up with Lieutenant Commander Gato. Protect the refugees and make sure my family is safe."
The entire cabin was silent as Thalia stared down at the controls, unsure of how to proceed. After what seemed like an eternity, she glanced around at her comrades. Both ensigns were looking at her and nodded as they caught her eyes. Finally, she looked at Admiral Dozle.
"Sir, I'm afraid I cannot follow that order. Military doctrine dictates that if superior officer acts in ways which harm the war-effort, his subordinates are duty-bound to disobey." Thalia fought to keep her voice steady as she spoke. "For you to order me to leave must mean that you have no intention of surviving, which will cripple the Zeon war effort. Admiral Dozle Zabi, I hereby remove you from command and I order you to take my mobile suit and link up with the fleet while I cover your escape."
Admiral Dozle gave her a sad smile and reached into his pocket. "Thalia, please, you're young and you desire to have a full life, not die here. I've already experienced everything a man needs in his life. I can die happily knowing that my wife and daughter are safe." He took out a ring and handed it to Thalia. "Tell Zenna I love her and our daughter. Tell her that I'm sorry I won't be around to comfort her in these difficult times. And tell Minerva when she's older that I love her and want to make this world a better place for her generation."
Thalia felt tears fall down her cheeks as she reached a shaking hand to take Admiral Dozle's wedding ring and placed it in her breast pocket. She struggled to form words but nothing came to mind. So she snapped a salute and stated, "I understand Admiral, while I still live, I won't allow your family to come to harm nor will I allow your dream to perish."
Admiral Dozle moved to return her salute, then hesitated, before suddenly catching her in a embrace/ The big man towered over her and his arms easily wrapped around her.
Thalia finally broke into light sobs as she returned the hug. As sudden as the embrace occured did it end and Thalia quickly climbed out of the Big Zam before she lost her composure and changed her mind about leaving.
Thalia ran across the dock and saw the familiar sight of her silver colored MS-14Jg Gelgoog Jager. As Thalia climbed the support scaffolds which were used to maintain the experimental new mobile suit, she felt the station shake and turned around in time to see the Big Zam fire its main thrusters and lift out of the dock.
As Thalia entered the cockpit of the Gelgoog, she quickly powered up the nuclear reactor powering the machine and smiled when she noticed that the techs had replaced her fuel tanks before they evacuated. As she strapped herself in, she activated the new experimental interface that High Command had built into the machine. A momentary sense of intense vertigo seized her and then a new sensation entered her mind. It felt like she was actually seeing what the primary head-cam of her machine was witnessing instead of merely seeing it on her cockpit display. The new sensory input would have overwhelmed a normal person but Thalia wasn't exactly normal.
Quickly brushing such thoughts away from the moment, she activated her machine's thrusters and blasted out of the dock. As she left Solomon behind her, her sensors detected the Big Zam racing towards the main Federation fleet and she noted with pain that most of the ships were moving to surround it.
Opening a channel with the Admiral, she quickly asked, "Lieutenant Lisara to Admiral Dozle, you're being surrounded, do you want me to provide some fire support before I withdraw?" She already knew what the Admiral's answer would be deep in her heart but she still asked, hoping he would change his mind.
"No Lieutenant, I've managed to punch through the blockade but the enemy fleet is regrouping. I'll try to take out their command ship and give you some time to pick up Stevenson and Takona, just lock onto their emergency beacon, they aren't far from your position. As soon as they're on board, you are to link up with the fleet. Is that understood?"
"Yes Admiral, I read you. It has been an honor and I wish you luck. I'll see you on the other side, Admiral."
"The honor's been mine Lieutenant, and I hope that day is long in the coming."
Author's Note: And there it is! The Battle of Solomon. I've already drafted up 2 more chapters and will get them posted as soon as I can. However, know that I am in college so I have other priorities and the time I have to write is in constant flux. The full story will kinda start with the Thalia in her youth, growing up under Zeon propaganda. It will really begin at the Battle of Loum.