Spoilers: Takes place following the series 2 finale, but ignores the events of the movie altogether, so technical AU following the end of series 2.

Warnings: Violence, destruction and language may be applied through, possible scenes of romantic intent also enclosed. Spoiler potential stated previously. You have been warned.

Pairing(s):Saji x Louise, Setsuna x Marina, Feldt x OC, others possible

Brief: One year after the fall of Ribbons Almark, as Setsuna begins to become used to his abilities as an innovator-human hybrid, Celestial Being continues to perform its armed interventions against the Earth Sphere Federation. However, the arrival of a strange new mobile suit at the Ptolemaios II throws the armed force into disarray as it brings the shocking news of secrets Aiolia Schenberg had hidden so well that not even Veda knew them.

Mobile Suit Gundam 00

Heaven Strike Force

It had been a difficult year for Celestial Being; following the defeat of Ribbons Almark, and the resulting dismantlement of the A-Laws by a reformed Earth Sphere Federation, it had been decided that the Meisters would go their separate ways, as would Celestial Being as a whole, to await a time when Earth would need them once more. However, after only a few months, the corrupt ideals of man had reared its head again as the Earth Sphere Federation reconfigured its military forces. From the Federation Defence Force, the regular armed forces, came a break off group known as the Heaven Strike Force, a division specialising in cutting-edge technology and advanced mobile suit construction. Heaven Strike Force reportedly attempted to build prototype GN drives of their own, resulting in an uproar across the world, and giving Celestial Being a reason to return to action.

Despite the advanced technology going into the new breed of machines, the Gundams had not changed. The repairs to all five existing Gundams were extensive, but Cherudim, Seravee, Seraphim and Arios were fully repaired and slightly upgraded. The 00 Gundam was different, however; due to the battle between the 0 Gundam and Exia, the 0 Gundam's GN drive was heavily damaged, beyond the point of full restoration. As a result, 00 could not be entirely restored, but it was fixed up as best as possible, with constant repairs scheduled in the year ahead.

In the inky blackness of space, far above even the tall orbital elevators and high-orbital ring which extended high above the Earth's surface, a flurry of green energy flowed behind a lone unit, its engines working a low revolutions to save expending too many particles from the mighty machine. The left shoulder drive sputtered a little as it propelled the mighty machine through the area known as Lagrange 2. The pilot's own eyes pulsed with energy under the purpled visor.

"Systems read normal," the young man said, double checking the data on the screen. "GN particle dispersal holding at thirteen percent." The engine sputtered again. "The 0 Gundam's drive seems unstable at low revolutions, increasing particle dispersal to thirty percent capability."

"Don't go overboard, Setsuna," came a gruff reply. "We can't guarantee the safety of the Twin Drive until we've finished analysing 00's drives."

"Roger," Setsuna replied. "Increasing revolutions of the Twin Drive now."

As if responding to the pilot's wishes, the machine's eyes flared once, a blizzard of energised particles flowing rapidly out behind the mecha. The drive stopped sputtering and began to work as normal once more. With a sigh of relief, Setsuna began to manoeuvre rapidly, diving through the emptiness of the surrounding area with great ease. On board the Celestial Being mothership, everyone held their breath while 00 operated under Setsuna's experienced touch. On the bridge, the tactical forecaster watched her screen carefully as the machine tested itself alone. She smiled, satisfied with the output of the Twin Drive and its stability.

"Ok, Setsuna," she announced. "That's enough for now. Bring 00 into hangar 1."

"Roger," Setsuna replied. "00 Gundam, returning to-" He stopped, spotting something in his visual display, the proximity alarm going off. "What's this? Miss Sumeragi, there's another machine here."

"Return to Ptolemy, Setsuna," Sumeragi replied. "00 isn't equipped to fight another mobile suit just yet." She turned to the pink-haired operator to her right. "Feldt, dispatch Arios and the GN Archer as soon as possible; if there is a machine out there, we must remove any chances of it attacking us or 00."

"Roger that," the girl nodded, bringing up the launch data. "Launching Archer Arios from hangar 1. Control to Arios."

"I have control," the pilot announced from the cockpit of the combined winged Gundam. "Archer Arios, Allelujah Haptism and Marie Parfacy, launching!"

The linear catapult latched upon the underside of the vessel shot forward, detaching from the dock within the Ptolemy and taking off with immense speed towards the 00 Gundam and the machine nearby. As Archer Arios flew towards the machines, 00 began towards Ptolemaios, only to find the unknown machine was following it.

"What the hell?" Setsuna growled. "It's just following me? Why hasn't it fired on 00 if it has the chance?" The vessel's crest began flashing bright white in Setsuna's display. "A light signal? To check..." His eyes widened. "Gundam support line 7? How would they know of our emergency lines?" The signal repeated once, twice. After the third repeat, Setsuna caved and switched his radio frequency. A voice crackled through the speakers.

"...ou hear me?" it said. "Please, Gundam pilot, respond. Can you hear me?"

"Unidentified mobile unit," Setsuna growled. "Identify yourself and stop your advance."

"I can't do that," the voice replied. "Please, I know that your mothership is in the area. I'm sending you my machine's code and callsign now. I'm requesting docking permission for Ptolemy II." Setsuna blinked as the information was sent.

"How did-" he started, but his words cut short as the information came up. The machine's model number and name coming up on-screen. "GN-00X1 and GNR-00Z3. It's a combined unit?" By this time, Setsuna had stopped 00 and was able to see the machine clearly for himself. It was pitch black with red markings over it, the form of a ship of sorts becoming clear as it neared. "The model is clearly of a Gundam, but not one I have ever encountered. Who are you?"

"My machine is known as Reaper X," the pilot of the machine replied. "Now, 00 pilot, I have to ask you to connect me to your ship; I'm not sure how much longer I can use this craft without damaging it or myself."

A shot of pink energy flew over the hull of the machine, a warning shot from the new arrival of Archer Arios. Allelujah looked over to Setsuna and sighed.

"What is he doing now?" he grumbled. "Marie, ready the Archer's beam rifles for second volley."

"Roger," the supersoldier confirmed, preparing the weapons specified.

"Setsuna, we're here to deal with the unknown," Allelujah said, sending his message over the radio.

"Hey, there's no need to be so hostile!" the voice from Reaper X called. Allelujah flinched a moment, but the voice spoke again before he could. "Look, patch me through to Ptolemaios II; I wish to speak to Sumeragi Lee Noriega."

"Hey, you're in no position to-" Allelujah started, but Setsuna cut him off, placing the 00 between Archer Arios and Reaper X.

"Connecting you now," the Innovator hybrid informed the unknown pilot. "Miss Sumeragi, the unknown wants to talk to you. Model number GN-00X1 with GNR-00Z3, machine name Reaper X."

"GN-00X1?" Lasse asked, looking to Sumeragi. "Is that a new model from the Federation?"

The brown-haired woman's eyes were wide as she heard this; she looked like she had seen a ghost.

"Sumeragi Lee Noriega," the voice came over Ptolemy's speakers. "I am the Meister of the Gundam Reaper X. I would like to request permission to dock with Ptolemy to allow myself time to restore my machine. Do I have your approval?"

"What should we do?" Mileina asked the forecaster anxiously. The older woman clicked her tongue as she thought.

"The likelihood of a Federation unit having that number is extremely low," she replied. "Reaper X pilot, you have permission to land in hangar three. 00 and Archer Arios will escort you; if you attempt to attack Ptolemy, or attempt to divert from the set course, we will not hesitate to shoot your unit down."

"Understood," the pilot replied. "Following assigned course now." The line cut out. Feldt and Mileina exchanged uncertain glances with one another. Lasse looked over his shoulder to Sumeragi.

"Are you sure this is the right decision?" he asked. "We don't know that he is who he says he is, or even what the fighting ability of his mobile suit is."

"Yes, I'm certain it is the right choice," Sumeragi nodded. "Bring us to point three seven nine and reduce engines to balanced orbit."

"Roger, full thrust to three seven nine," Lasse confirmed. Sumeragi looked away.

GN-00X1, she thought. And GNR-00Z3... could it be that they are still at work? And if so, where have they been hiding for all this time? As she pondered these questions, a spree of green particles lit up the distance as the two Gundams escorting the newcomer neared the ship once more. The docking lasers for hangars 1 and 3 lit up as Reaper X and 00 both docked into the ship, followed by Archer Arios in hangar 1. With all three units docked, Setsuna, Allelujah and Marie exited their mobile suits while the crew of the great carrier headed for hangar 3 to meet the machine. Because of his proximity to the hangar, and the fact he had docked first, Setsuna arrived first.

In the light of the hangar, Setsuna could clearly see the machine as its engines stopped. The hull was pitch black with red arcs and tribal markings dotted over the ebony. The machine was very long, clearly a docked fighter-based support unit, such as the 0 Raiser, combined with a winged mobile suit, much like Arios. The body was chipped, dented and had some particularly bad scratches throughout. His thoughts turned to the engines, which were clearly GN drives of sorts, the cones on the rear of the machine and the two boost arms on the back giving that much away, but he realised that there had been no visible particles from the exhaust ports, neither the green of the original GN drive, nor the red of the more common pseudo counterparts.

"What kind," he wondered aloud. "Of machine is this?"

The doors behind him slid open as his fellow Meisters, Tieria Erde and Lockon Stratos, arrived, followed moments later by Allelujah and Marie.

"This machine," Tieria said, his eyes holding concern. "It's not on Veda's database of developed mobile suits of the Earth Sphere Federation, nor does it exist under the prototype schematics of the Gundams, not even the Gundam Thrones."

"So, not even Veda knew this thing existed," Lockon mused, noticing the number of drives. "That's a lot of GN drives for a machine of this size; its not like it would need the extra power of three additional drives."

"It's overkill, it's overkill," the orange Haro in Lockon's hands agreed.

Again the doors slid open, revealing the tactical operators, the helmsman, the tactical forecaster, and the technician of the ship. Sumeragi stepped forward to be beside the cockpit of the machine, ignoring Ian's protests. As if sensing what she was going to do, Setsuna walked forward to join her.

"You can come out now," she announced clearly. Silence, then, with a hiss as the cockpit sprung open, a plume of white steam rushing passed the hatch as the metal panel rose upwards. A small silhouette popped out into the low gravity of the room, floating upwards and away from the machine.

The sphere turned to the crew, its blue eyes flashing as its black ear-like flaps pivoted, moving it towards the gantry where everyone stood. The Haro was black in colour but had crimson streaks curved over the top of the device, sharpening to a point underneath the middle dividing line and covering the outside of the eyes easily. On the flaps on the top and bottom hemispheres were four red markings spiralled into a darker red central point. The Haro also had the digits 'T3X' painted on its front. The machine spotted the group and began to speak.

"Greetings, greetings," it said in a mechanical, not overly interesting voice; it sounded like a mechanised version of the stereotypical nerd. The orange Haro with Lockon began to respond.

"Brother! Brother!" it chirped, but the black Haro seemed to ignore it.

"All clear! All clear!" it called to no one in particular. As soon as it had spoken, a hand emerged over the edge of the cockpit opening. The figure within pulled themselves out of the cockpit, jumping off and heading for the gantry.

"Alright, Tex, settle down," the person, a man, said. His feet soon reached the gantry. "Sorry, it's been a while since he's seen new people."

"Um, that's quite alright," Sumeragi replied, still surprised that the figure was stood there and did not seem hostile.

The man stood taller than Setsuna but a little shorter than Lockon, his flight suit black with the same red markings from his machine. Even his helmet matched the machine he piloted, though a blacked-out visor hid his face from view. The flight suit showed the person to have a defined, muscular body. He raised his hand to the helmet and clicked the right side, the visor lightening to a smoky translucent screen, though his face was still heavily obscured until he removed it entirely moments later. A couple of quiet gasps sounded as they saw his face; the eyes shining red for a few moments before darkening to brown. The Caucasian man's hair was quiet short and dark brown, and his jaw had a collection of dark stubble upon it. The man looked around the group, then smiled a little to them all.

"Sorry, I never introduced myself, did I?" he observed. "My codename is Rertyan Darkspire, the man born of shadow. It's a pleasure to meet you all."

"I am Sumeragi Lee Noriega, tactical forecaster for Ptolemy," Sumeragi returned smiling.

"Yes, I am familiar with your perception abilities," Rertyan smiled. "It is a pleasure to finally make your acquaintance, Miss Sumeragi."

"So, what brings you to Lagrange 2?" Lasse asked, a little sceptical.

"That is why I came to your ship," Rertyan replied. "I'm sorry to do this, but I need your help, Miss Sumeragi. It's not an easy task, I must warn you, but I cannot do it alone, especially in a machine such as my Gundam." The woman nodded to Rertyan, understanding from his tone that it was something important.

"Alright," she replied. "Come to the debriefing room with me; we will discuss it there."

"Thank you," Rertyan bowed slightly before leaving the room, his Haro close behind. Miss Sumeragi turned to the others gathered there.

"Lasse, take Ptolemy to Lagrange 3 to meet with Linda and the technical transport ship," she informed the helmsman, who nodded and head out of the room to the bridge. "Feldt, Mileina, go help him man the defences; there may be Federation Defence Force units in the area." Feldt uttered a quick 'roger' while Mileina grinned with a jovial hum before both followed Lasse. "Ian, check the hardware of this machine; find out everything you can about it." The technician nodded and set to work. That left only the Meisters and Marie with Miss Sumeragi. "The rest of you, come with me to the debriefing room. It's about time we found out a little bit about our guest."

The group headed out, except for Setsuna, who gazed at the machine docked only a short distance away from him.

"Reaper X Gundam," he mused aloud as he turned away. "What else has been hidden from us?"

I hope you guys and girls liked that beginning. I will be working on this story amongst my other ongoing works, so updates may be slow.

For now, let me know what you all thought of this chapter, as it is my first for this series. Any feedback would be appreciate.

Bye for now, everyone!