The Black Knight of Zeon
Chap 1: The Black Knight Strikes, the White Base Launches
Disclaimer: I do not own anything from mobile Suit Gundam, all Characters and stories belong to Kazuhisa Kondo-sama
Universal Century, 0079. Several Months have passed since the colonies of Side 3 proclaimed themselves the Principality of Zeon and launched a war of independence against the ruling Earth Federation Government. Initial fighting lasted over one month and Zeon's forces dominated the battlefield with a new type of weapon called a Mobile Suit that saw half the human race lost due to indiscriminate use of WMD's by both sides, people were horrified by the atrocities that where committed in the name of independence. The devastating battle of Loum saw not only the destruction of Side 5 but also the recognition of many Zeon ace pilots such as Char Aznable, Johnny Ridden, Shin Matsunaga, and the Black Tri-Stars. However another ace pilot saw fame at the battle. A young Lieutenant in the Zeon Mobile Assault Force who would become known as the Black Knight… who will survive?
North American territory, former nation of Mexico.
An Earth Federation armored column was moving south to get supplies to soldiers serving in South America. The column contained several tanks and a Big Tray Land warship. On the lead tank a soldier was reading a map and was not focused on his surroundings. As such he never noticed the Zeon scout plane soaring in the clouds above.
"Lieutenant Ritter it's just as the reports said, one Feddie armored column heading south" the pilot said on a radio.
"Good, least we know that Intelligence got it right this time" a slight Germanic speaking voice spoke back.
"Do you want to call for reinforcements sir?" the pilot asked as he flew higher to avoid being seen.
"Why they will just get away as we wait for reinforcements from the Arizona division? For now let's attack while they are unaware of our presence" the voice called back.
"But….but…but Lieutenant I must protest all we have is your unit against a single armored column!" the pilot said in surprise.
"Don't worry Ensign, you keep monitoring the situation and leave the how to me" the voice said as it cut off the radio.
As the tanks turned down a valley the soldier reading the map sighed and seemed to doze off. As such he never heard the shell that struck and destroyed his tank. The other tanks and the Big Tray crew all stared in shock as a grenade thrown by an unseen mobile suit exploded and destroyed one tank and toppled two others into a ditch.
"Sir what's happening?" a comms officer asked the ship captain.
"We are under attack, scan the area immediately" the captain ordered.
The officer scanned the area and as he did he picked something up. "Sir I have one Zaku at Northwest, 46 degrees!"
"What?" the captain asked as he used a pair of binoculars to scan the area.
As he did he gasped as he saw something that filled him with fear. Their on top of a hill side was a Zaku II Commander Class mobile suit. The Zaku was painted black with a red cockpit and red joints.
"It….it…it couldn't be!" he said as the Zaku leapt into the air and fired off rounds from its machine gun.
The bullets tore into the remaining tanks and disabled them. Surviving crews abandoned the tanks and fled to the Big Tray.
"Sir who is piloting that thing?" the comms officer asked.
"It's Lieutenant Karl Ritter of the Mobile Assault Force. At the Battle of Loum he destroyed four of our Magellan Battleships by himself and became known as the "Black Knight of Zeon" the Captain said.
The black Zaku suddenly pulled out a missile a launcher and fired it at the Big Tray tracks. The missile struck the caterpillar tread and exploded crippling the Big Tray. The Zaku then jumped up and fired its machine gun at the bridge. The captain and the bridge crew screamed as the shells struck the bridge and destroyed it causing the battleship to crash into the mountain side. The Zaku landed on it and soon it spoke to the remaining crew and soldiers still alive.
"To all Earth Federation soldiers who have survived the engagement; these supplies now belong to Zeon, leave now and take your lives" Karl said as the remaining Earth Federation soldiers fled the area.
Later at a nearby Zeon base the black Zaku walked towards a hanger carrying a wire that was dragging the damaged Big Tray towards it. The many Zeon soldiers cheered and yelled in applause as the Zaku flashed a peace sign with its free hand. After placing the Big Tray to the side the Zaku walked over to a hanger and shut down. As the cockpit opened a tall figure emerged. Lt. Karl Ritter was about 27 years old, and stood at about 6ft 2in tall. He had distinctive German features that included blonde hair that was combed back and tied into a pony tail that was draped over his right shoulder. He had blue eyes that where an icy color but still had a friendly sheen. He was dressed in a black Zeon officer's uniform with a Lieutenant's rank badge.
"Lieutenant that was amazing, you took out a Feddie armored column alone!" one soldier said as he ran up to him.
"Just take your enemy by surprise Ensign and it's straightforward from there" Karl said as he walked into a tent and sat down sipping some water.
As he did a female Ensign walked in and handed him a report.
"Sir we have received a communication from California base. They want to talk with you" she said as she saluted him.
Karl returned it and nodded saying, "Okay Ensign, I'll speak to them shortly."
Karl and the Ensign walked out of the tent as a small sand storm started to blow in the desert. Karl held up his hand as his cape blew in the wind to shield his eyes as he walked over to the comms station. He entered the tent and sat down at the station while an officer tuned the signal and soon an image came on the monitor. Captain Garma Zabi was sitting at his desk in California base and was naturally playing with his styled hair.
"This is Lieutenant Karl Ritter reporting sir" he said as Garma smiled at him.
"Lieutenant, it's good to hear from you. Your raids on the Federation supply lines have been very successful. You have fought with the Earth Attack Force since the first Earth decent operation and for that you have my thanks. Unfortunately I have new orders for you from my sister" Garma said as he picked up a report.
Karl looked a little surprised and asked, "From Rear Admiral Kycilia?"
Garma nodded and said, "Yes she wants you to return to Granada as she has an important mission for you that she feels your skills will play an invaluable role."
Karl nodded and saluted Garma while saying, "Sir I understand and will comply with these orders. It has been an honor serving under you sir."
Garma returned the salute and said, "The honor has been all mine Lieutenant Ritter. I'm sorry to lose you. Return to California Base and I will have the Zanzibar Griffin ready to take you to Granada."
Karl nodded and cut the transmission as he turned to inform the flight director of his departure.
8 hours later
Karl Ritter was strapped into the seat of the Zanzibar and soon felt the shakes and tremors as the ship lifted off and entered the Earth's atmosphere. He sighed as he felt the ship settle and the entry alarm go down as the ship entered the weightlessness of space. Karl unbuckled himself and floated to the hanger. Inside he saw a mechanic who was overseeing the retail of his Zaku II.
"So where you able to get all that sand and dust out of my Zaku?" he asked.
The mechanic nodded and said, "It was a hassle but we got it out and also got you a fresh supply of arms. Also we added to the thrust output so it will be a bit faster."
"Excellent I look forward to flying through space with this unit again" Karl said as he smiled with pride at the black Zaku.
Soon the Zanzibar had docked with the Zeon moon base, Granada. Karl was soon walking down the halls of the large base and soon came upon the office of the base commander.
As he entered he saw Rear Admiral Kycilia sitting at her desk going over reports.
"Lieutenant Karl Ritter reporting for duty" he said as he saluted her.
Kycilia looked up and smiled at Karl and set her reports aside. "At ease Lt. Ritter" she said as she saluted back.
"Admiral I have just returned from my duties with the Earth Attack Force as per your orders" he said as he took a seat before Kycilia's desk.
Kycilia nodded and removed her helmet and face mask. As she did Karl couldn't help but admire her beauty and red hair. But he quickly recomposed himself as Kycilia spoke again.
"Karl to be frank you are one of my most valued officers and pilots. As such when I received this information from my brother Admiral Ghiren, I couldn't think of anyone else but you to handle it."
Kycilia then activated a view screen behind her desk and showed Karl a video taken from a Zaku's head camera.
"As you know for some time now the Earth Federation has been developing their own Mobile Suits to counter our own. Under the leadership of that traitor Dr. Minovsky their Operation V project has yielded some shocking results" Kycilia explained as she fast forward the video to a specific point.
It showed the Zaku aiming its machine gun at the head of what looked like an unusual incomplete white Federation Mobile Suit. Suddenly Vulcan cannons in the head opened fire on the Zaku causing Ritter to stare in amazement. Kycilia fast forward the video again and this time it showed the Mobile suit standing at its full height. It knocked a Zaku over and used its hand to rip off one of the Zaku's vent cords on the head. Ritter watched in amazement as the Zaku tried to flee but the camera cut off as the scream of pilot echoed in the flash of something cutting into the Zaku.
"My God!" Karl said in shock.
Kycilia nodded and shut off the video. "This information was collected by Lieutenant Commander Char Aznable of the Space Attack Force. What you witnessed was the very first Mobile suit on Mobile suit battle. Commander Char had sent three Zaku's into Side 7 to gather data on the Federation V project. He lost two of them to just one Federation Mobile suit. The one we are calling the "White Mobile suit" is the pinnacle of their development. Commander Char has requested reinforcements from my brother Vice Admiral Dozle and he has sent them. Your orders are to go to Side 7 and aid the Commander in any way possible" she said.
Karl nodded and asked, "Admiral if I may ask why am I being dispatched? If Commander Char is handling the situation why not let the Space Attack Force deal with it?"
Kycilia nodded and said, "Because as head of the Mobile Assault Force I over see all Mobile suit development. Admiral Ghiren convinced Dozle that allowing one of my finest officers there to view and gauge the Mobile Suit will give us a better understanding of it and the Federation's V Project."
Kycilia sighed for a moment and then said, "Karl I entrusted you with this task because I trust you and believe you are best for the job."
Karl nodded and saluted Kycilia as he stood up and said, "I will make sure the confidence you placed in me is well founded Admiral."
Kycilia nodded and said, "Then you're dismissed, a Papua class supply ship will pick you and your Zaku up in a few hours, for now get something to eat in the mess hall and get ready for departure."
"Admiral" Karl said as he saluted again and turned to leave.
As he did Kycilia looked at him one last time and said, "Lieutenant…..please be careful."
Karl nodded to her and said, "I will Ma'am."
He then turned and left her office and walked down towards the mess hall to get something to eat. As Karl sat and ate a warm meal in the officers area of the mess hall he couldn't help but wonder at what he had seen from the footage he was shown. "Two Zakus destroyed by one Federation mobile suit. Either the pilot is an unstoppable warrior or the Feddies just made an all powerful war machine….neither scenario looks good for me and the rest of Zeon's soldiers" he thought as he bit into some bread and sipped some water. As he did he felt a hand on his shoulder.
Karl turned and standing behind him where three men. All three were wearing black uniforms similar to his own. One had a thick beard and wore the rank badge of a Lieutenant. The tallest and the one with the scar on his eye both wore Ensign badges. Gaia, Ortega, and Mash; the feared Black tri-stars who captured Federation General Revil at the Battle of Loum stood behind him with smiles on their faces.
"Well, well if it isn't the Black Knight himself" Gaia said.
"Figured you'd still be on Earth hitting Feddie convoys in North America" Ortega said.
"Must feel good to be back in space eh Lieutenant?" Mash asked.
Karl smirked and said, "Well someone has to win the war while you three are teaching piloting lessons to new recruits."
"Gah ha ha ha ha ha ha! He's got ya there Mash" Gaia said with a laugh.
Karl held out his hand which Gaia took and shook eagerly.
"Nice to see you three again" Karl said.
"Likewise Lieutenant, so when you jumping on over to our unit and making us the Black Quad-Stars?" Gaia asked.
"We could use another ace like you on the team" Ortega said.
"Unfortunately gentlemen I have already received orders from Rear Admiral Kycilia and will be leaving shortly. Besides if I joined the team I would take the spot light from you three and that would be a tragedy in its self" Karl said.
"Ha ha ha! We need more guys like you to lighten up the stiff head officers Lieutenant" Mash said with a laugh.
Suddenly an announcement came over the intercom system that got everyone's attention.
"Announcing the arrival of Papua transport ship #76324. All units departing meet in the docking bay" the voice said.
Karl listened to the announcement and then said, "Unfortunately gentlemen I must bid you farewell my transport has arrived and I will be departing. I wish you all luck in the future."
"Good luck Lieutenant, keep yer self alive so as to give the other recruits an example to shoot fer" Gaia said as Karl departed.
Karl sat in the docking bay as the Papua pulled in and soon was walking onto the command deck of the ship as the supply crew worked to get the ship launched in time. As he walked on to the bridge he came across the ship's Captain, Lieutenant Commander Gadam.
"Commander Gadam, Lieutenant Karl Ritter of the Mobile Assault Force" He said as he saluted him.
"Welcome aboard Lieutenant, I hope the accommodations on this old relic are up to the standards of the Mobile Assault Force" Gadam said as he returned the salute.
"Ha I'm sure they will be sir" Karl said as he took a seat and watched as Granada faded from view.
As he sat in the seat of Gadam's ship, Lt. Ritter shut his eyes and tried to get some sleep. He rested peacefully unaware of the battle that awaited him and the part that he would play in history.