November 5th U.C 0094
Rewloola, nearing the moon
Char looked up at what would be his Mobile Suit for the coming battle. An AMS-129 Geara Zulu, already customized with his personal Crimson Red color scheme. It has double the power output of a standard unit, which further made it stand out in the Rewloola's hanger bay.
It had been a few hours since they launched from the Garden of Thorns to steal the Sinanju Stein, and everyone was preparing for the first mission to fight the Vist Foundation. Hopefully the mission would go on without a hitch, however Char had a gut feeling that something will happen during the mission.
Putting those thought for later analysis, he refocused on the team he will now be leading into battle, the 'Neo Zeon Royal Guards'. Before he joined, they were led by a young boy named Angelo Sauper, a very talented mobile suit pilot, and an obvious Newtype. He seems to follow Char's ideals with a blind faith, being completely devoted to his cause believing the Red Comet were some sort of immortal god. Char didn't quite like having blind loyalists, but as long as it was his choice, he would allow it.
However, Char could tell there was something else to Angelo's past. Nanai confirmed his suspicions when she told him how they found Angelo. Suffering nightly abuse from his step father, his mother committing suicide upon learning it, Char was amazed the child was still sane at all. Nanai explained that he had run from his foster home, and he eventually stumbled across a Neo Zeon Officer on Side 3. He took Angelo away from Side 3, and recruited him into Neo Zeon.
And despite being 19 years old, Angelo was well trained in hand-to-hand combat, a well-balanced pilot, and a capable officer with the rank of Lieutenant.
Turning his attention from Angelo, he then focused on another pilot. Aalina Schenk Von Stuffenberg, a 20 year old woman from Side 3. She was a descendent of the famed WWII Wehrmacht Colonel and Adolf Hitler assassination coordinator, Claus von Stauffenberg. Her father was a Zeon Officer who died in the One year war, while her mother died when she was raped by Federation Occupation Forces while Aalina was with a friend of the family. This caused her to hate the federation leadership, since the soldiers who killed and raped her mother got off nearly scot free, but she knew better than too hate civilians.
She witnessed his rebellion in 0093, and it was part of the reason why she joined the Neo Zeon movement afterwards. Char would admit she was head-strong, but very calculating, and very clever.
Speaking of which, Char turned to see that she had just entered the hanger bay, wearing her brown-colored Neo Zeon normal suit. She had Dark red, brown highlighted hair which stretched just past her ears, and Marigold eyes. Char could tell by being around her that she was a Newtype, or at least a Newtype in progress.
He watched as she headed toward her mobile suit. According to Nanai, Aalina piloted a Grunder Heavy Industries modified version of the MS-18E Kampfer, called the MS-18KJ KampferJager, the only one in the Sleeves. From Nanai told her of the KampferJager, it was a vast improvement over its OYW counterpart.
Then there was the last member of his team, the only familiar face he hasn't seen since the one year war. Shin Matsunaga, aka 'The White Wolf of Solomon'. The third top raking ace of Zeon, surpassed only by Johnny Ridden, and himself. He was already in the hanger, preparing his own unit, a pure white GIMS-127MH Hizack High Maneuver Type, another Mobile Suit built by Gründer as an improved variant of the Hizack.
As Char reviewed his team, he couldn't help but smile 'With a team like this...' he thought. 'We can handle anything the Federation could send our way.'
He then felt a familiar presence, and smiled as he turned to see Nanai approach, with Giorgio in her arms. "Shouldn't you be on the bridge?" He asked, "It's almost time for the battle you know."
"I know," Nanai said, "But we just wanted to wish you luck, as much as I know you don't really need it."
Char chuckled and walked over to his family. He smiled at his son as he gently placed a hand on his head.
"And I would welcome it every time," he said. "Even Newtypes need as much luck as they can get."
"Yeah..." Nanai said, "Just...please be careful out there, alright? I lost you once, I don't want to lose you again..."
Char smiled a bit as he hugged his family "Don't worry," he said, "I'll be coming back, it will take more than what the Feddies brought with them today to stop me."
Nanai smiled at that, "I'll hold you to that promise, Char," she said and then kissed him, and left the hanger.
Char then turned and headed to his own machine. As he approached it, he grinned upon seeing how similar his Geara Zulu was to his old MS-06S Zaku II Commander Type he piloted during the One Year War.
'One thing is for sure,' He thought, as he entered the cockpit. 'Those Feddies are going to be shitting bricks'
The Bridge crew on the AEUG's former flagship were busy at their stations as the ship's new captain, looked on. The person was a woman, wearing a custom dark green colored SoF uniform, with a Federation Officer's cap. She had shoulder length brown hair, in a side loos pony-tail, brown eyes, and appeared to be in her late 20's to early 30's.
The captain was Trisha Hohenheim, a former member of the Earth Federation Forces, however she decided to defect from them upon hearing something she was not supposed to hear, something she actually wished she hadn't of heard in the first place.
But, there was no reason to argue about that, for the past was the past. And there was no sense in dwelling upon it. Besides, she had come to learn that the Earth Forces was as corrupt as she and many others had feared, and they must be stopped before things get out of hand like the Titans did.
The fleet of ships had made it to the moon at last, and now the fleet of SoF warships were now hiding inside one of the many crater on the moon, waiting for the federation escort fleet to arrive with their prize. To avoid detection they lowered their ships to as close to the surface of the moon they could. Since they were being careful to not broadcast too much Minovsky Particles, the Federation shouldn't detect them until it was all too late.
"Maureen, anything on the scopes?" Trisha asked one of the Operators, a woman who looked as old as she was, with short ear length rose-red colored hair and dark blue eyes, wearing a bright red and white colored SoF uniform.
"No ma'am, nothing yet." Maureen Kitamura said, "But they should be here soon."
Trisha nodded before turning to the Communications operator, another red-haired girl with blue eyes, only looking to be in her mid-20's "Linda, have Takeshi and the other pilots prepare for combat." She said.
"Yes Captain," Linda Allster said, as she began to communicate with the men and women in the hanger deck.
In the Hanger Bay
The hanger bay was abuzz with activity as mechanics, clad in light tan colored normal suits rushed to get things ready. In one part of the hanger in the open cockpit of a customized RMS-179 (RGM-79R) GM II, a young man who appeared to be in his mid-20s, with dark brown hair styled in a buzzcut, a fairly bushy moustache, and violet eyes, and wearing a customized dark blue Normal Suit (Think Setsuna's Normal Suit from the second season of Gundam 00, only in a darker shade of blue and with a helmet more like the AEUG's pilot's helmets), only with the helmet currently off, was busy checking the systems of his machine.
Takeshi Yamato smiled as all his systems showed green, indicating that his machine was ready to go. The generator was showing full output, his thrusters were operating at maximum capacity, the head vulcans had a full load, his Beam Sabers and Beam Rifle had no apparent problems, and the Anti-Armor Swords he'd personally designed were freshly polished and sharpened. All in all, the only thing he was worried about was how much longer his trusted machine would last him.
Takeshi had been a member of the Swords of Freedom for about 9 years now; having joined after the truth about the Colony 30 Incident had become public. He'd been a fresh Federation Recruit at the time, training to be a Mobile Suit Pilot and having moved on to Space Training when he'd found out about what happened. Horrified at how the Titans were abusing their position to slaughter peaceful dissidents while the Federation simply sat by and watched, Takeshi had taken a GM II, loaded it in a shuttle, and fled, hoping to maybe get a position as a test pilot for Anaheim Electronics. Pursuit forces had caught up to him near the Shoal Zone, and while he put up a valiant fight, he was vastly outnumbered. He probably would have died if the Swords hadn't saved him, and he ended up joining their ranks, partly out of gratitude and partly because he found himself sympathizing with them after hearing their story.
Ever since that day, he'd continued to fly that same GM II he had taken when he fled the Federation, even though it was now heavily customized to suit his preferences for close-range combat, and painted with a dark blue and black color scheme. And under normal circumstances, he wouldn't consider using any other Mobile Suit.
However, two years ago, Takeshi had awakened as a Newtype, and changing to a new MS became a matter of inevitability—no matter how many modifications he made, eventually it would reach the point where his GM II would no longer be able to keep up with him. He'd keep using it until that point, though, and it hadn't failed him yet.
Takeshi was brought out of his thoughts by Linda's voice echoing over the hangar speakers, saying, "Attention, all pilots board your machines and prepare for combat. Repeat, all pilots board your machines and prepare for combat."
Takeshi pulled on the helmet of his Normal Suit as he closed his cockpit hatch, the panoramic monitor of the cockpit coming to life around him as the cockpit sealed. After one last check of his system displays, he activated a communications link to the Bridge and reported, "This is Takeshi Yamato. I'm ready to launch at any time."
Linda's image then appeared on his communications monitor. She smiled wryly as she asked, "You were already in your machine, weren't you Takeshi?"
Takeshi's smile turned sheepish as he replied, "You know me, Linda. I need to make sure my machine is at peak condition before entering a battle."
Linda sighed good-naturedly, knowing full well that Takeshi was a hardcore Mobile Suit Otaku, which was part of the reason he'd originally decided to become an MS Pilot. As such, he was meticulous in making sure that his machine was at 100% before every battle, and sometimes even helped the techs maintain everyone else's machines. She'd learned to tolerate it, though, as long as it always brought him back to her safely.
"Yeah, I know," she said. Her expression turned serious as she continued, "There's no sign of the enemy yet, but Maureen says they'll be here soon, so she wants everyone ready for combat."
"Roger that," Takeshi replied. "Our first official strike against the Vist Foundation. This is going to be fun."
"Yeah, it will," Linda agreed, before a worried expression appeared on her face. "Just be careful, okay? I don't want to lose you."
Takeshi smiled reassuringly at the woman who had captured his heart, just as he had captured her heart. "Don't worry, Linda," he said to her. "I promise you, I will survive and return to you. And when we get back to the Garden, we can celebrate properly."
Linda caught onto his meaning and blushed bright red. Ever since they became a couple, he always ended up flirting with her before a big mission. Of course, the subsequent dates after returning to the Garden of Thorns always went off without a hitch, and four years ago, they'd actually gotten married. After that, any pre-mission flirting always ended up with them engaging in very pleasurable activities after returning to the Garden.
"O-okay, then," she replied, stuttering slightly as she got herself under control, "I'll hold you to that, Takeshi."
Takeshi smiled again. "I love you."
Linda smiled back. "I love you, too. Good luck out there."
"Thank you. See you when I get back."
The comm channel closed, and Takeshi made ready to head to the starboard catapult. He hoped the enemy would get there soon—the sooner they finished this mission, the sooner he could get back to the arms of his wife.
"You know, you should learn not to flirt with your wife on an open comm, you know Taka?" A voice said, followed by a short series of laughter causing Takeshi to blush.
"F-Frak..." he said, only causing them to laugh louder as the screen ahead of him showed the face of another pilot on the Argama, a 20 year old man with short military crew cut black hair and green eyes, a smirk all across his face. "It's just too easy to torment you sometimes Taka," Matthew Takeo said, with a chuckle, while Takeshi just glared at him.
"You say anything about that too anyone, I'll rig your Zaku to blow during patrol!" He threatened, "That goes for you too Johnny! Yuu, Jack!"
Matt just chucked in the cockpit of his black and gold Zaku V "Don't worry, we won't." He said, "What happens in your sex life is your business."
"HEY!" Takeshi shouted, causing more laughter to erupt.
"Aw, leave him alone, Matt," said another voice as the image of a blonde haired, blue eyed man with a military crew-cut hair, and blue eyes appeared, a smirk on his face, "Let the man have some fun for once in his life,"
"You're not helping Ridden!" Takeshi shouted, only causing more laughter.
"Warning, Enemy Fleet approaching!" Maureen's voice came through the comm, as warning alarms went off "All hands, battle stations!"
Everyone became serious at that.
"No time for more jokes everyone," came the voice of Yuu Kajima, the former pilot of the Blue Destiny Units, "It's time to head out and engage, Takeshi, you and me are launching first. Jack, Johnny, Matthew, you follow soon after."
"Right!" they all said, as their Mobile Suits prepared to mobilize.
EF Escort Fleet
The fleet of seven earth forces warships slowly flew across the lunar surface, on their way to Von Braun. Among the vessels of the fleet were three Clop-class cruisers, a pair of Salamis Kai-class Cruisers, an Antietam-class Carrier, and finally the Irish-class Battleship 'Windermere'.
On the bridge of the Windermere, the captain, a 29 year old man with short military crew cut black hair and green eyes wearing a black Federation Uniform, was growing a bit uneasy. Captain RoccaHevelius has had a bad feeling about this mission ever since he was assigned it. Orders to escort a Prototype Mobile Suit from Grenada too Von Braun. At first, he took it as just another escort mission.
He later regretted thinking that, as soon after High Command transferred a new pilot too the Windermere, along with another new mobile suit the pilot was to use. But what had him, and most of the rest of the crew shocked, was the kid was no older than 14 years old, younger than Rocca's own son back on earth.
The Captain protested against having nothing more than what he would consider a 'Child Soldier' on his ship, but he was told they were orders directly from High Command, so he just shut up and went with it. He was told he was the son of one of the Federation's best, and he fought during Char's Rebellion a year ago. That did nothing to sooth his nerves.
Then, there were the other ships. Though he was glad he at least had the three Clop-class cruisers, he was disappointed that the only mobile suits they had were outdated GM II's, GM III's and Nemo's, dating all the way back to the first Neo Zeon War. As of now, the Windermere had the most advance mobile suits, those being the prototype the kid was piloting, five ReZEL's including a Commander Type, one of which didn't even have a pilot, and two D-Type Jegan's. Not only that, but against his own advice, the Sinanju Stein was being transported on the Antietam, rather than on the more well defended Windermere.
He was really hoping they were not attacked, otherwise they might not make it to Von Braun in one piece. "Anything on the sensors?" He asked one of the Operators, a man with a bald head and blue eyes.
"No, sir, scopes are still clean," Elvey Bohr said. "Only a bit of Minovsky Interference, but that's all just from the ships."
"Captain, I think you're just being a little paranoid sir." The Ship Pilot, a woman with short green dyed hair with dark brown bangs and brown eyes said. "The Sleeve's wouldn't attack us on their own."
The Captain just sighed as he shook his head "Hatanaka, I served during the Gryps Conflict, and both Neo Zeon Wars, and survived on my gut instincts." He said, "The few times I didn't follow my gut, something bad happened, and commander Bartlett and his team agrees with me."
Hatanaka McNally sighed "I still think your just being paranoid sir." she said, and Rocca said nothing as he continued looking out into space.
Windermere Rec Room
A man with short military crew cut brown hair and brown eyes sighed leaned back into his chair, doing his best not to float back up into Zero Gravity, and looking up at the ceiling. He looked to be in his early forties, and had the look of a veteran who had seen many wars in his life. He was also wearing a black colored Federation Normal suit, with the helmet floating in the zero-g a few inches from him.
He then sat up and looked at the gathered pilots in the room in front of him. There were only four other pilots in the room, four of which were the ones he commanded. The first was the only woman of the group, looking to be 24 years old, with short ear length black hair and brown colored eyes. She was wearing a greyish blue colored flight suit, her own helmet floating around as she was floating a few inches off of a chair, her attention nearly focused entirely on a small red book, with a pen in hand.
She was Kei Nagase, a new pilot for the Federal Forces, however she had plenty of experience. Few months before she joined the Windermere's crew, she was part of a training team doing Zero-G training. But they were attacked by Zeon Remnants, and she was the only one who made it out alive. She managed to defeat the Zeke's almost completely her own.
The second was a man, looking 29 years old, with copper brown in an Elvis-style haircut, light brown eyes. He was wearing a greyish flight suit, while holding his helmet under his arm, all the while listening to some old rock music from the Common Era.
He is Alvin H. Davenport, a pilot from California, back on Earth, who was the unfortunate victim of the Earth Federation's Draft Policy. But, despite being a draftee, and a bit of a troublemaker, Al was a good pilot, as he showed it when he took on a group of 6 Zeon Remnants mobile suits and took them out, ironically, with an old Zaku F2 Type. If anything, he was lucky at least.
The third person in the Rec Room was the second youngest person there, about 19 years old with short light brown hair, and green eyes. He was wearing a light green flight suit, and he was sitting around, looking rather edgy.
Hans Grimm was his name, one of the more fresh recruits. Unlike Alvin, he volunteered for the federal forces since his older brother was already in the Forces as well, and inspired him to join. He was a rookie, but he showed potential in the simulators. Plus, he's been trained by the Windermere's chief Mechanic, who was once a pilot from the One Year War and a good friend of Jack's, so at the very least the nugget had promise.
Then finally, came to the last person in the room. Oddly enough it was the person Jack had the most trouble with, a 14 year old boy with short black hair and onyx colored eyes. He was wearing a white normal suit, and he had a cold look in his eyes that no child his age should have, as he sat in the corner of the room holding his helmet in his hands, just staring at it.
Hathaway Noa, Jack had to double-check his name, since he almost didn't believe that he was now commanding the son of the famous one year war veteran Bright Noa, the same kid who reportedly single-handedly took down a massive Neo Zeon mobile armor during the battle of axis in the last Neo Zeon War while using nothing more than a Jegan.
Most people congratulated him on the kill, being a kid with little training downing a Zeon Mobile Armor like that. However whenever anyone brings up the subject, he just glares at them and leaves. It just continued to confuse Jack, and it confused him even more that he was still in the Federation, and now piloting the newest addition to their M.S Complement, an ARX-014 Silver Bullet Gundam Type.
All of this just made Jack continue to believe the Captain was right when it came to their 'bad feeling' about the mission. If the one year war had taught Jack anything, it's that you should always trust your gut feeling.
As he continued his own musings, Alvin, or also more well known by his call-sign 'Chopper', moved over to Grimm's location "Hey Kid, calm down would ya?" He said, "You look like you think the whole ships about to blow up!"
"I know, but..." Grimm, aka 'Archer' said, "But...I keep getting this feeling something bad'sgonna happen."
"You're being paranoid," Chopper said with a shrug, "Sure we could get attacked, but we can handle it! We have the training! Not to mention the rest of the fleet is with us!"
Nagase, AKA Edge, looked at Chopper and gave a reprimanding look, "Don't go and start jinxing us now Chopper," she said, "It could still happen,"
"I'm not saying it won't," Chopper said, "I'm just saying we can handle it if it does happen!" He then glanced at Hathaway, "But honestly, I'm more worried about the kid over there." he whispered, to be sure Hathaway couldn't hear him. "Someone his age shouldn't be in the military."
Nagase sighed a bit "Yeah..." she said, "But what can-"
However, she was cut off as alarms started going off in the room, causing everyone's heads to snap forward "All hands! All Hands! Level One Battlestations! This is not a drill! Repeat: This is not a drill!"
"Damnit!" Jack shouted, as he grabbed his helmet "Alright, everyone to the hanger, and move it!" The others nodded, as they quickly made their way out of the Rec Room.
On the bridge
Captain Hevelius swore after the operator reported a fleet of ships appeared out of nowhere from a crater "Damnit, I hate it when I'm right," he said, "What's the enemy fleet composition?"
"Ten ships sir!" Elvey said, "Identifying...three Musaka-class, one Endra-class, two Musai-class, an unknown, a Tivvay-class, and...huh?"
"What is it?" Rocca asked.
"Sir...I'm also seeing the Rewloola, and an Argama-class in the fleet." Elvey said, surprising the entire bridge crew.
The Captain's eyes narrowed "The Rewloola..." he said, "Char's old flagship from his rebellion...and the Argamahas been MIA ever since the Dublin Colony Drop...how did they get it?"
"Heat sources approaching! Launching from enemy fleet!"Elvey said.
"No sir, judging from their flight pattern, their Mobile suits!" He said, before blinking as he looked at the screen. "What the...what is this?"
Rocca was not liking the look his operator had "Elvey, what is it?" he asked.
"Sir...one of the machines just accelerated ahead of the others." He said, "And it's moving fast! It's..." then his eyes widened "Oh god..."
"What's wrong?" Rocca asked, as his gut was beginning to preform back-flips at the same time.
"Sir...the...the lead machine..." he said, looking at the captain with fear-struck eyes "It's...it's moving at t-t-three t-times the speed of the others."
(Begin Playing: 'DEJA-VU' from Ace Combat: Assault Horizon OST)
The others all gawked at him, while Rocca's face paled.
'No...it's impossible. It can't be him! He died a year ago!' he thought, as memories of the One Year War came back to him, most important, the Battle of Loum.
"Please tell me you are seeing things!" he said with a panicked voice.
"Sir...I wish I was." Elvey said, shaking his head.
Rocca then let loose a swarm of curses as he grabbed the phone on the chair "Jack! Where the hell are you?" He shouted. "I need you to launch your squadron NOW!"
In the hanger
"Whoa, calm down captain!" Jack said, as he got into the cockpit of his RGZ-95C ReZEL Commander Type. "We're about to launch now, what's the matter?"
"What's the matter!? I'll tell you what's the matter! It's Char Aznable, that's what's the matter!" Rocca said, and Jack's eyes widen in shock.
"Are you SHITTING ME!?" he yelled causing his team to look at him in confusion, "But he's supposed to K.I.A.!"
"Try telling HIM that!" Rocca shouted back, "The other ships are already deploying every mobile suit they have, but frankly I don't think we stand a chance. We need to haul our asses to Von Braun NOW!"
"Sir, you know as well as I do that if the Red Comet is really here, we'll need more than outdated GM's and Nemo's!" Jack shouted, back, his words causing the eyes of the other pilots to widen. However Hathaway's quickly narrowed as he entered the Silver Bullet.
"I know Jack," Rocca said, "But we have to get the Sinanju out of here, we're not leaving it for Neo Zeon, especially if Char really is still alive. I don't even want to think of what he could do if he had the Sinanju. If anything, we'll have to destroy it, as much as Anaheim will bitch about that."
Jack sighed "Understood, we'll launch and do our best." he said, and then turned to his team, "Alright everyone! Get into your machines into position and prepare to...Ensign Noa!" Jack shouted out as he saw the Silver Bullet already loading itself onto the catapult.
"Ensign, hold on! Wait for the rest of the team!" he said, but the Mobile suit continued on.
"Uhhh, I don't think he heard you sir," Chopper said, and Jack just growled.
"Damnit...everyone prepare to launch!" He shouted, and the others nodded as they prepared their own ReZEL's. Meanwhile in the Silver Bullet, Hathaway's eyes were as cold as ice as he lined his mobile suit into the catapult. His mind thinking of a young girl with blue hair in pony tails.
'Char...if it wasn't for him, Quess would still be alive...' he thought, before letting out a small growl 'I'm gonna finish the job Amuro started!'
When the lights on the catapult turned green, he brought down the visor too his helmet "Hathaway Noa, Gundam Silver Bullet, Launching!" He shouted, as the Gundam type launched from the battleship.
Char lead the others in his Geara Zulu, approaching the earth forces fleet. "All units, this is it." He said, "Stay close, and watch each other's backs! The Sinanju is supposed to be onboard the Antietam-class, so just try to disable it!"
He heard many 'Roger's' as the mixed group of Neo Zeon and SoF Mobile suits, with Char in the lead way ahead of them, accelerated toward the Federation Fleet, which the warships have already launched their own mobile suits. He looked through their M.S, and as expected, they were armed with GM-II's, GM-III's, Nemo's and...
Char's eyes narrowed seeing a very familiar type of Mobile Suit launch from the Irish-class. "A Gundam..." he said, "Intel didn't say anything about a Gundam being here."
"An ARX-014 Silver Bullet actually," Zar's voice came through as his custom Mobile suit, the SFMS-20 Gwaze Fury, "But close enough, but it looks like we've also got some ReZEL's and Jegans..."
Char's eyebrow rose at that, "ReZELs?" he asked.
"They're the successor unit to the Re-GEZ that Amuro piloted," Zar answered, "They can transform into a mobile armor, and can fly in both space and the Atmosphere of Earth. I've fought them before, don't take them lightly Char."
Char grinned "Don't worry, I can handle them." He said, before turning serious again. "Alright, everyone, Begin the operation!"
All of the mobile suits agreed, as they moved in to attack. Char's fist victim of the day was a GM II, who tried to take Char on in close combat, clearly thinking he wasn't the real Red Comet.
He quickly proved him wrong, by using his Zulu's speed to appear behind the GM, and slice it in half with his beam tomahawk. He then back up as the machine detonated, and spun around slicing another GM II's head off. The GM tried to fire its beam rifle blind, but Char easily avoided the shot as he sliced the machine's arms off.
Kicking the now disabled GM away, his senses began acting up, demanding him to dodge. He did so, and avoid a pair of beams that were shot at him. He looked towards the source, and saw the Silver Bullet Gundam approaching him, approaching at max speed.
"Well now, it seems whoever is piloting this thing clearly has some beef with me," Char said as he readied his tomahawk as the Silver Bullet bore down on him, Beam saber drawn.
However, as they got closer, the Silver Bullet then detached its beam saber hand, and launched it forward at Char's Zulu. Char brought up his beam hawk in time, however the Silver Bullet then drew out a second beam saber in its other hand, and launched it forward. Char had to back up to avoid being stabbed by the second saber.
The pilot then recalled both of its arms to the Silver Bullet, and putting one beam saber away, it attacked again, while firing his palm beam cannon. Char returned the favor by drawing his beam SMG and fired it back, however the Silver Bullet dodged the attack, but continued the charge.
Once again, their beam weapons collided as the two units faced off, "It's your fault!" The pilot shouted, and Char was confused by how young the voice sounded. "If it wasn't for you, Quess might still be alive! It's your fault she died!"
Char blinked in surprise 'Quess?' he thought, before the Silver Bullet tried to fire its palm cannon again, however Char knocked the hand away as he kicked the Silver Bullet back.
Then reacting quickly, he pressed a few buttons, opening a channel to the Gundam Type Mobile Suit.
"To the pilot of the ARX-014 Silver Bullet," Char began, "Who are you? And how do you know Quess Paraya?"
He then felt the pilot scowl as the Mobile Suit lunged at him, "So you don't remember me, huh!? Well, let me refresh your memory for you!" the pilot yelled as he fired his palm cannon, "My name is Hathaway!"
"Hathaway..." Char said, recalling where he heard that name while deflecting the shots off of his shield, before his eyes widened "Wait...Bright Noa's son?"
"Yes!" Hathaway shouted, as he launched his wire-guided fist forward in a punch "It's your fault Quess died! If she didn't join you, she'd still be alive! She wouldn't have gotten involved!"
Char blocked the incoming hand with his shield as Hathaway charged at him again.
'Shit! Just great, that spoiled girl had to have an admirer,' he cursed to himself, 'and it's Bright's son of all people!'
However, as the Silver Bullet prepared to attack again, a series of beams blasted between the two. Both Char and Hathaway looked towards the source, and saw the NZ-666 Kyshatria approaching them, its Funnels active and firing. Following behind it was Zar in his Gwaze Fury and Angelo Sauper, firing his Bruno Kai beam cannon. "Commander, we'll deal with him." Angelo said on the comm, "You worry about boarding that transport and getting the Prototype!"
Char nodded "Right, but try not to kill him, and capture his machine." he said, before speeding his Geara Zulu away. Hathaway tried to give chase, however another series of beams from Kyshatria's Funnels stopped him.
"Get the hell outta of my way!" he yelled, as he threw out the Silver Bullet's wired guided hand in a punch at the Kyshatria, only for it to be blocked by the Neo Zeon mobile suit.
Part of Takeshi's mind was in awe of how skilled Char was in a Mobile Suit. He'd heard the stories, true, but seeing him in action showed that the stories weren't exaggerated. If anything, the stories were understated.
Of course, Takeshi quickly shook off his awe and returned to his own battle, having just used his swords to slice the arms and legs off of a Nemo, forcing it to return to its mothership.
He might have been considered a softie, but Takeshi never really liked killing ordinary soldiers, who only fought because they were just following orders. He knew there were circumstances where he had no choice but to kill, but he would rather disarm his opponents if given the chance.
He disarmed another couple of Nemos rather quickly, and was moving in on a Federation GM II when his Newtype senses screamed at him, prompting him to do a quick backflip, which caused a beam fired at him from the right to sail harmlessly past him.
Turning in that direction, Takeshi saw a ReZEL, colored black with white trim, lowering its Beam Rifle slightly from the shot it just fired. As it brought its rifle up to target him again, Takeshi went into action, flying straight at the ReZEL even as he avoided its next few shots. When he got close enough, he attempted to slice off its right arm, but the suit dodged at the last second, meaning that all he managed to do was cut its rifle in two.
As the ReZEL discarded the now useless rifle and drew a Beam Saber, Takeshi heard a male voice over the radio, from what was presumably the ReZEL's pilot.
"I have fought many pirates and Neo Zeon soldiers over my career," the voice said. "And in all that time, you are the only one who has managed to destroy my rifle. You might just be…"
The ReZEL activated its Beam Saber with a flourish, as the pilot finished, "…a Worthy Opponent!"
The ReZEL charged, and Takeshi charged as well, his Anti-Armor Longsword clashing with his opponent's Beam Saber. Takeshi slashed with his Short Sword, only for the ReZEL to block with its second Beam Saber.
"Is that so?" he said, unknowing that he had his comm on an open channel, "And who the hell are you?"
He then felt the pilot smirk as he answered, "Graham Aker, a man who is looking for an opponent who will give me a REAL challenge,"
Takeshi didn't know why, but he grinned himself, "Well then, if it's a challenge you want, it's a challenge you'll get!" He said, as he forced the ReZEL back. However Graham then fired his forearm mounted grenade launcher, forcing Takeshi to drop his Longsword and take out his shield to block the shots as the grenades exploded.
Casting aside the shield, Takeshi drew one of his beam sabers, now holding his short sword in his right hand and a beam saber in his left. Takeshi then charged again, however Graham took out his own shield and began firing the shield's beam gun at Takeshi as he approached.
Takeshi weaved and flew through the shots, however one lucky hit got Takeshi's GM in the left shoulder, damaging it, but the arm was still intact as he struck once again, slicing the ReZEL's shield arm off.
However, this is what Graham was waiting for as he used that opportunity to slice off the GM's right arm. "Frak!" Takeshi shouted as he backed off, and raised his beam saber just in time to catch Graham's own attack. Takeshi then kicked the ReZEL away, and used his beam saber to slice off the ReZEL's last arm.
But Graham wasn't finished yet, as he fired his head vulcans of his mobile suit into Takeshi's already damaged left shoulder, the rounds finishing the job rendering Takeshi's left arm useless.
Now, both units disarmed with nothing other than their head vulcans, just stared at one another "In all my years, I never thought I would find someone who could beat me to a draw..." Graham said.
Takeshi himself chuckled "Hey, you're the first person I've met who's given me a challenge, so the feeling's mutual." he said.
"I suppose so," Graham said with a chuckle "If I may ask, what's your name?"
Takeshi was silent for a moment, before answering "Takeshi," he said, "Takeshi Yamato."
"I see," he said, "Well...I look forward to seeing you again, Takeshi Yamato." And with that, the ReZEL turned around, and returned to its mother ship.
Takeshi sighed, and then checked the status of his mobile suit.
"Okay, left arm inoperable...weapons fried, yep, I'm done for the day," he said, and then contacted the Argama, "Yamato to Argama, my GM's left arm is out of commission and my weapons, with the exception of my head vulcans, are toast. I'm returning to the ship,"
Char and his Geara Zulu soon found the targeted ship where the Sinanju Stein was located. Shin Matsunaga in his Hizack HM Type was beside him "Alright, let's do this." Char said, as he activated his beam tomahawk, and began cutting out an opening for him to use.
It took him a few minutes for him to cut a hole big enough for a MS the size of the Zeong into the Antietam-class transport, and Char went inside as Shin stood guard outside the hole.
"Hurry up Char! I'm not planning to make a repeat of A Boa Qu that I barely survived," Shin said as he sliced a GM III's head off.
"Well noted," Char said as he looked inside the interior of the transport as crewmembers in normal suits rushed to get out of his way. He then grinned as he saw the prize he came for, "Bingo,"
There it was, the MSN-06S Sinanju Stein. Char could easily see the inspiration from both the Nu Gundam and the Sazabi in its construction, more so on the Sazabi than anything.
After setting up his Geara Zulu to self-detonate on a timer, he exited the cockpit and activated his normal suit's flight pack to move towards the Sinanju. 'You'd think they would have had this thing more well-guarded on the ship' he thought as he approached the cockpit of the unit. He then opened the cockpit, and moved in, sitting down into his seat.
He then began putting it through its start-up sequence, making sure it was all working properly. 'Reactor's good, engines good, Propellant, already full, and she's fully armed.' Char grinned as the Sinanju's eyes light up. "Let's go."
Shin just decapitated another Nemo, just as a beam blasted open another hole in the side of the transport. He looked just in time to see the Sinanju Stein walk out.
"About time!" Shin shouted, "Now hurry up, we gotta go!"
"No, we have to keep them from following us." Char said, "I'll take care of the ships, disable their engines and weapons."
Shin nodded in agreement, "Right let's take care of them," he said and the two mobile suits headed out, just 3 seconds before the Geara Zulu exploded taking the Antietam with it.
Shin looked back at the explosion that was the Antietam, "Do you always do that every time you steal a new mobile suit?" he asked.
"Not all the time," Char said with a shrug.
On the bridge of the Windermere
Captain RoccaHevelius grit his teeth as the bridge crew continued to shout out status reports on their mobile suits, and the rest of the fleet. Their situation, summarized into one phrase, was FUBAR.
They had already lost their Salamis escorts, and one of their Clop-class ships was heavily damaged. The other mobile suits were putting up some fight, but they were getting swarmed by the Neo Zeon forces. The Windermere's own M.S were putting up a better fight, but even Jack was having trouble fighting them off. And Hathaway was all off on his own, fighting off two unknown Zeon Mobile Suits.
'Shit! At this rate, there won't even be a fleet to get to Von Braun,' he thought, 'How can things get any worse?'
"Sir! The Antietam has gone down! And the Sinanju has been hijacked!" Elvey shouted in alarm, while Rocca cursed his luck.
'I stand corrected. It HAS gotten worse!' he thought. He then watched as the Sinanju approached one of the last Clop-class ships, and fired its Mega Beam Rifle. The rifle's power blasted clean through the ship, blasting it to oblivion.
A trio of GM's tried to take him from behind with their beam sabers, however Char simply drew out a beam saber and sliced the first GM in half. He used his shield to deflect the attack of the second one, and kicked the third GM away. He then stabbed his beam saber into the cockpit of the GM. Just as the last GM attempted to attack, he was quickly blown to bits when Char fired off his beam rifle again, blasting not just the GM, but the second Clop-class cruiser behind it.
Then, he turned his attention towards the Windermere, Rocca ordered the AA/AMS defenses to hit him, but he knew it was pointless as the Irish-class was unfortunately under-armed when it came to CIWS weapons. All they could do was watch helplessly as Char destroyed each and every cannon on the Windermere, until the Sinanju Stein now floated in front of the bridge. The bridge crew braced for their end, and the captain's eyes just narrowed as he watched the Sinanju point its Beam Rifle.
However, Char never fired the weapon. Instead, he holstered the weapon, and sped off towards the Neo Zeon fleet.
"Wha- Why didn't he finish us off?" The pilot of the ship said in surprise, while Rocca watched as the Sinanju returned to its mother ship.
"Char may be a skilled and relentless ace pilot, Midori," Rocca said, "But he's not cruel, we're defenseless, Char doesn't simply attack an unarmed opponent." He then sighed, "Call back all mobile suits, and see if we can find survivors...we're getting out of here."
Hathaway cursed as he heard that the Sinanju was stolen as he continued fighting against the Neo Zeon mobile suit, with the Kyshatria getting on his nerves as the funnels kept him on his toes.
"Dammit! What a total screw-up!" he said, while blocking a beam saber strike from the Kyshatria, and then dodging a shot from Angelo's cannon.
In the Kyshatria Cockpit, Marida would have to admit the pilot of the Silver Bullet was well skilled. If anything, he was a developing Newtype. That was when she got the communication from Char, telling them to withdraw, along with one last order "Understood sir," she said, as she stepped up her attack.
Suddenly, two funnel beams blasted the Silver Bullet's legs off, distracting Hathaway long enough for Marida to move in, and deliver a punch into the cockpit of the machine, knocking out Hathaway in the process.
Then the Neo Zeon mobile suit grabbed the Silver Bullet and proceeded to head back to the ship.
"This is Lieutenant Cruz," Marida said, "Silver bullet has been captured. Returning to the ship,"
"Excellent Work," Char said, "All units, we have what we came for. Time to withdraw before E.F reinforcements arrive."
"Roger, returning to the Garencieres." Marida said, as the Kyshatria and the other Zeon Units returned.
The entire operation was a shocking success, there were no casualties on Neo Zeon's part aside from some damaged mobile suits. Now the Swords of Freedom/Neo Zeon fleet were heading towards another hide out where they would be safe. Zar said it was unwise to head back to their main base in the Garden of Thorns, since there was always the chance the Federation could be following them. Char agreed, and thankfully Captain Zinnerman of theGarencieres had a valid alternative.
Which was why the fleet was now approaching the Palau Asteroid. It was a civilian mining asteroid originally belonging too Side 6, however Gründer had relocated the asteroid too their L4 colonies. Since the one year war, Palau has been the home to numerous Zeon Remnants in space and their families. And it has proved to be a very useful hide-out for Neo Zeon as well.
The small fleet of ships landed in the port of the asteroid base, and the crews disembarked, while the still unconscious form of Hathaway was taken to the Base Infirmary where he will be watched. Zinnerman then led the officers who led the operation to the main office of the base, while the rest were given shore leave to relax.
They eventually found themselves in the civilian block of the colony, traveling the rest of the way by car. They drove through the colony until they reached a large palace-like structure in the middle of the colony.
Char raised an eyebrow at the sight of the palace, and turned to Nanai and Zinnerman, both of whom shrugged "The last commander of Palau was an old Zeon Loyalist from the Principality, and an architect." Zinnerman answered, "Its overkill I know, but I'm not the one who built it."
The Red Comet sighed as the car stopped, and they disembarked, entering the palace. They moved through the corridors until they reached a pair of doors guarded by two Zeon Soldiers, who saluted them as they approached.
Char and the others returned their salutes as the doors opened, and they walked into the room. The office itself was large, elaborate, and decorated room (You know what it looks like if you've seen MSG Unicorn episode 2). At the end of the room, there was a large desk, which lied beneath two banners, one having the symbol of the Principality of Zeon, the second bearing the symbol of Neo Zeon.
In the room there were already three individuals, one was Nasha, while the other two he's never seen before.
One was a man of African American descent, wearing a pair of glasses over his brown eyes, and in his late thirties. He was wearing a tan version of the SoF uniform.
The other man appeared to 34 years old, had graying black hair, and blue eyes. He was also wearing the same colored uniform as the other one.
"Ah, Char! Zar! Good to see you all made it back in one piece," Nasha said with a smile "And your mission was a success!"
"No casualties on our side aside from some damaged suits." Char said, "I'd say this was one of my more successful missions...anyways, who are they?" he gestured too the two officers.
Nasha smiled as she introduced them, first starting with the African-American.
"This is former Earth Federation Rear Admiral Michael Kowen. He's the commander of one our fleets here in space," She then motioned to the other officer, "And this is former EFF Captain Andrew Synapse. They're both sons of two of the Earth Federation's best highest ranking before that bastard Jamitov's purge of the EFF, and the Rise of the Titans," she said.
Char nodded, as he could recall those names easily. Eiphar Synapse was the first captain of the MSC-07 Albion, and served during the Delaz Fleet Crisis, disobeying orders to save lives, while John Kowen was a colonel who served during the same conflict. If he hadn't been stopped by Jamitov, John very easily could have stopped the Colony Drop. "A pleasure to meet both of you." he said.
"Same here," Andrew said, with a grin "It's an honor to meet the Red Comet in person...I can't help but find this whole situation a bit ironic though, my father tried to stop Zeon Remnants from destroying the Federation, and now I'm helping them bring it down."
Char had to sigh at that, "Yep, truly ironic," he said, and everyone sat down, and debriefing on the successful capture of the Sinanju Stein, and the capture of one of Anaheim's ARX-014 Silver Bullets along with its pilot, Hathaway Noa.
That part made Nasha's, and the two Former EFF Officers' eyes widen in disbelief.
"Bright Noa's son? But he's only 14!" Andrew said, clear shock on his face, while Char nodded.
"He is," he said, "But apparently the Vist Foundation must know about his Newtype Potential, and are using his hatred against Zeon to keep him fighting for the federation, since he holds Zeon responsible for Quess' death."
"Quess?" Nanai asked, surprised "You mean Quess Paraya, as in that spoiled girl you recruited during the Axis Drop?"
"Yup, the same." Char said with a sigh "Turns out Hathaway was something of an admirer of Quess..."
Everyone sighed in exasperation at that, as Nanai rubbed the bridge of her nose.
"Oh brother...," she said, "You gotta blame teenage hormones, they make people his age do and think crazy shit,"
Many of the women nodded in agreement at that.
"Amen to that, sister," Trisha said, as she had seen this type of behavior before back with the Federation.
Michael sighed "Well, what are we gonna do with him?" he asked.
"We might be able to get him to side with us," Andrew said, "Though it's unlikely, maybe we could get him to see reason."
"If he is anything like his father it will be tough," Shin said, "Not to mention the Captain will be looking for him, along with the entire Londo Bell Task Force since he's the overall commander,"
Everyone nodded in agreement at that. Even though Bright was strict on military protocol, he was still a father.
Nasha then spoke up, "I'll have Scarlett keep an eye on things in the Federation. Since she's a Counter-Intelligence agent in ECOAS after all...," she said as Char raised an eyebrow at that.
"ECOAS?" he asked, not familiar with the term.
"Earth Colony Asteroud, or ECOAS for short." Trisha answered, "Their a newly formed special forces team that works with Londo Bell, made for the purpose of hunting down Zeon Remnants." she then grinned a bit "But, what they don't know is that numerous members of ECOAS are actually agents of the Swords of Freedom."
"They've been helping us evade Londo Bell and the Federation after our rebellion one year ago," Nanai said, "They played a role in helping SoF finding your location as well, and helping us find Zeon Remnants who are more for following Gihren's Doctrine so we can...take care of them, separating them from Zeon Remnants who will help our own mission."
Shin then smiled as he nudged Johnny in the ribs, "And Crimson Lightning here," he said, "Has a girlfriend among them. She was the one who found where you were,"
Johnny blushed a bit that, but smiled, "Yeah, that's her true specialty," he said, "Aside from being a gifted mobile suit pilot, since she managed to become the only Triple Digit Ace of the Earth Federation before the One Year War ended,"
Char blinked in surprise at that, "Who is she?"
"Veronica O'hara," Nasha answered, "Also known by her code name 'Scarlett'. She's one of our best pilots, and could probably give both you and Amuro a run for your money in a one-on-one battle. But she specializes more in counter-intelligence. She joined us around the same time as the Gryps Conflict."
Char's eyes widened as he remembered the name.
"Wait, I remember reading a report of a red and black GM Space Command Type destroying a 100 mobile suits, and two Chivvay-class heavy cruisers before the Battle of Solomon ended," he said, "And the name of that pilot was Veronica O'Hara, aka, The Scarlett Amazon,"
"Yup, that would be her." Nasha said with a grin "She's was a firm supporter of independence for the colonies, but she hated how the Zabi's were going about it."
Char smiled a bit "Well, remind me the next time she's either at the Garden of Thorns or here at Palau that I should give her my personal thanks." he said.
Everyone nodded at that.
"So Char, how was it piloting the Sinanju Stein?" Nasha said, and Char's response was the big smile on his face.
"I loved it!" he said. "It was like I was piloting an enhanced version of the Sazabi, I've never felt so in tune with another mobile suit, of course, I still need to make some personal upgrades and modifications...namely the paint job, white on black simply is not my style."
Everyone laughed at that, knowing Char's love for the color Red.
"Hey, I don't have a problem with it!" Zar said, "In fact, it will be just like old times," he put a hand on Char's shoulder, grinning "The Red Comet, and the Devil of Loum, back in action! The Feddie's aren't gonna know what hit them! ...no offense," he said, directed at Trisha, Michael, and Andrew.
"None Taken," the three said, clearly having no more love for the Federation.
Nasha smiled, "Well, in that case," she said and she picked up, what looked like a cooler case, and placed it on the desk, "I think it's about right to officially celebrate your return, and the debut of the Swords of Freedom as well,"
She then opened the case, and pulled what looked like a bottle of cognac. Zar just grinned "I just love the way you think Nasha." He said.
With the Windermere
The mood on the Windermere was a somber one, almost all of the fleet had been destroyed with the exception of the Windermere and a single Clop-class, however the latter ship was so badly damaged the crew had to abandon ship, and were now on the Windermere. The ship's mobile suit complement was on overtime, taking in additional Mobile Suits that survived the encounter. It was very crowded in the hanger bay now, and outside mobile suits who couldn't fit in were resting on top of the ship itself, acting as defenses now that almost all of the Windermere's defensive armaments and cannons were now destroyed.
Captain Hevelius sighed on the bridge, as they made their way to Von Braun. Today was just turning out worse and worse. They lost the fleet, the Sinanju Stein, dozens of mobile suits, and they even lost Hathaway and the Silver Bullet.
He knew he was gonna get an earful from High Command, as well as Hathaway's father, who happens to be the overall commander of the Londo Bell Task Force.
'I just can't wait for that to happen,' he thought sarcastically, as the wounded Irish-class continued on its way to the Lunar City. 'And High Command is going to just LOVE the fact the Red Freaking Comet is alive and kicking with the Sinanju under his control now.'
Rocca heard the door open, and he turned around to see Jack Bartlett enter the bridge "Jack, how does it look?" he asked, and Jack sighed.
"Bad, but it could have been a lot worse." he said, "All of the Windermere's cannons and defenses are blasted, and a lot of our suits have been damaged. Wardog thankfully took less of the damage, but most of the other suits we've taken in have either lost a limb or are too damaged to do much fighting. If we get attacked again, we're not gonna make it."
"We're almost at Von Braun now," the captain said, "I don't think Char would attack us this close to the city."
Jack sighed again "I still can't believe it..." he said, "Char Aznable is still alive..."
Rocca nodded as he thought of the man who was supposed to have died after his Rebellion fell apart.
"Well, if he could survive A Boa Qu, he could sure as hell have survived Axis," he said, and then sighed, "But we'll try to find out he cheated death later. Right now, we have to offload our wounded, get our Mobile Suits fixed up, and all our defense systems replaced,"
Jack nodded in agreement. "Yeah, but truth be told the Windermere took a hell of a beating," he said, "It'll take months to get her repaired and back to the way she was before."
"Captain, I'm picking up three ships approaching our position! Salamis Kai-class!"Elvey reported, "Revealing Federation IFF's. I'm also picking up a transmission from the lead ship."
Rocca nodded "Patch 'em through," he said, as the front screen then showed a man wearing a Captain's uniform, on the bridge of a Salamis-class. "Captain Hevelius, what the hell happened to your ship!" The captain asked, "And where is the rest of the fleet?"
Rocca sighed "We were attacked by Neo Zeon Remnants, in force." he said, "The rest of the fleet was destroyed in the battle, and the Sinanju Stein was hijacked."
The Captain's eyes narrowed a bit "High Command isn't going to enjoy hearing that," he said, and Rocca just glared.
"Well, Intel never said anything about fighting a Neo Zeon fleet of ten ships, which included the Argama and Rewloola, and they sure as hell didn't say anything about Char Aznable leading said fleet!"
The man's eyes widen at that, "U-Uuhh, I-I'm sorry, what was that last part? Because I thought I heard you say something about Char Aznable?"
Rocca could only glare at him, "I. Am. Fucking. SERIOUS!" he yelled the last word. "He's back! Char Aznable still alive! The bastard destroyed two Clop ships on his own, along with multiple mobile suits! Don't believe me? Then watch the battle footage we got!"
The Salamis captain paled, clearly haven seen how Char was able to take down whole FLEETs of ships without batting an eyelash.
"Holy shit...Hurry and dock in Von Braun! We need to report this as soon as possible," he said in a panicky voice.
"I agree, and we'll have to inform Londo Bell as soon as possible," Rocca said, with narrowed eyes. "Another Neo Zeon War is on the horizon, and we're gonna need all of the help we can get."
With that, the Windermere and its new escorts began their journey to Von Braun, to inform the Federation that their worst fears have now come true.
117Jorn: Boom! And Chapter 2 is DONE!
Patriot-112: Yep! And as you can see! Johnny Ridden has a new Love Interest! To see her profile, go to Jorn's Swords of Change Forum.
117Jorn: Yup! And if you have ideas for SoC, those being either Ships, Mobile Weapons, future events, organizations and factions, please let us know on the Forum!
Patriot-112: Also, special thanks to Takeshi Yamato in this chapter, he helped us quite a bit in it!
Takeshi Yamato: Hey, no problem! I enjoyed helping out. And hey, if you're enjoying this story so far, go take a look at Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Evolution, another of Jorn's stories that I'm helping with. And if you want to see a fun Gundam Crossover even if it is rated M, check out my own story, Mobile Suit Gundam Xenosaga. And you'll be interested to know that Jorn has actually started helping me with it, and is even writing a Fanfiction-equivalent of an OVA to go along with it! :D
117Jorn: That's right! That one will be up sometime soon.
Patriot-112: So until next time...
Everyone: JA NE!