Gundam 00:IS The Second Birthday
1st Memory: Awakening and Purpose
Cover Image: Ribbons Almark wearing a pilot suit with the 0 Gundam deploying its GN Feathers in the background.
"I've known everything since I was awakened.
What I must do.
What I'm meant to hope for.
What sort of being I am."
2100 A.D. On an undisclosed island, Aeolia Schenberg, a middle-aged man with brown hair, a goatee and round frame glasses dressed in a black suit with a purple vest and his assistant, E.A Ray, a man in his mid-thirties with hunter green hair and purple eyes dressed in a black suit and a lime green dress shirt. Both men were in a laboratory lit by several blue lights and in the middle, stood a metal pod with a sleeping youth who bore a strong resemblance to E.A, only his hair was a different shade of green and his frame was much more slender.
"DNA Base Pattern 0026, the first of a series of artificial beings that will guide humanity to the dialogues with extra-terrestrials." Aeolia stood over the pod and looked at the sleeping youth, expecting great things from him. "Ribbons Almark… that's the name I will give to the very first Innovade, he will serve humanity and guide them till they evolve into Innovators."
"I'm honoured that you used my DNA to create him." E.A smiled, grateful at the part he played in Aeolia's grand plan for the future of mankind, seeing Ribbons as his legacy. "My blood now belongs to mankind's future."
"It's time for you to awaken, Ribbons Almark." Aeolia approached the pod and typed in the activation code to start up the First Innovade's nanomachine processing. "It's time for my plan… for Celestial Being to begin."
As the pod opened, a cold mist filled the room and Ribbons had woken up for the very first time, to him this was his birth, but this was no ordinary birth, for the First Innovade was born with an adult mind and skillset, but despite all this, he had no childhood, no memories and none of the familial warmth that humans were born into, the green haired youth was born with nothing but a purpose, only one reason to exist, guiding and serving humanity.
A few days later, E.A would leave the island to recruit Celestial Being's first members, and Ribbons would remain with Aeolia to aid in the development of the organization's weapons and technology.
"Ribbons, humanity must change, for if they do not, I fear that they will bring war into the depths of space." Aeolia spoke of the grave importance of his plan, knowing full well the consequences of failure.
"Is that why you created me?" Ribbons questioned Aeolia, though he knew his purpose, hearing it directly from his creator was something that would give the First Innovade a stronger resolve. "To guide them to reform…"
"Yes, but you were not created to rule over them, you exist to serve humanity." Aeolia told to Ribbons the true nature of his duties, explaining his role in the plan. "That's what Innovades were created to do, to guide humanity to evolution and to bring about the emergence of the True Innovators."
A few years later, Aeolia would develop the GN Drives, the power source of the machines that would be known as the "Gundams" and he would complete his quantum computer and name it "Veda". He then placed himself in cold sleep, so that he may see with his own eyes the changed world that Celestial Being fought for, and as the founder slept, Ribbons moved according to the plan, setting the stage for the organizations grand debut to the world.
"After Aeolia went into stasis on the moon, I created more innovades in accordance to his plan… I was to create two kinds, combat types like myself to participate in the Armed Interventions and intelligence types to infiltrate society and to gather data for Veda. Based on the GN Drives, I started developing the Gundams."
Over the next century Ribbons would set the stage for the Armed Interventions, but even with his high authority, he still didn't have full knowledge of his true purpose, for Veda had that information locked until the plan reached a certain point in progress. But even then, the First Innovade was unsure of its success.
"I doubted the Aeolia Plan, in these early stages; it seemed that reforming the entire world was unlikely, and I wanted to know… I wanted to know if such a thing could be done… so I resolved to simulate the events of the plan, using a smaller organization as a test bed… that is when I met them… humans that fought each other on the grounds of genetic differences, a terrorist group that advocated a matriarchal society… they stood against the world in hopes of achieving that foolish dream… and I was captivated by them, they were the perfect guinea pigs."
Ribbons anonymously contacted the terrorist group and organized them into a formidable force, providing them with funding, weapons and information, even telling them that he will make their dream a reality and lied about believing in their cause.
"I named my organization, "Phantom Task" a fitting name since like a phantom; I've never met with them once and I supported them without giving out my identity, for half a century I watched them fight through both failure and success and my confidence in the Aeolia plan was renewed."
Despite his role in Phantom Task, Ribbons still honoured his duty as a member of Celestial Being and his place as the very first Gundam Meister and the pilot of the 0 Gundam, it was then he met and befriended Ruido Resonance, Marlene Vlady, Gundam Meister 874 and Chall Accustica.
"I personally trained my fellow Gundam Meisters in order to test the four prototype Gundams, I watched them grow and I grew to care for these humans, is this… what family felt like?"
"Ribbons!" Ruido, a man with short and messy red dressed in a black and red uniform with a cross pattern, elbowed Ribbons playfully. "Thanks for everything, now we can all change the world!" The red haired Gundam Meister was truly grateful for the opportunity that the First Innovade had given him.
"You really did a good job…" Marlene spoke with her usual cold expression, but beneath her stoic tone was a genuine gratefulness to Ribbons.
"Th-Thank you so much Mr. Almark." The young Chall Acustica timidly expressed her gratitude towards the First Innovade, who had proved to be a very good mentor to her.
874 simply nodded, silently expressing her gratitude towards Ribbons.
"I treasured these people; they were my comrades… my friends. But interference in Veda that even I didn't anticipate, took the lives of Ruido and Marlene and injured Chall forever, it was then I learned how fragile human life truly was and how I was destined to save them from this fate…"
A huge scale terrorist attack directed towards the HRL Orbital Elevator was planned from the shadows by the AEU. Veda decided not to intervene, but Chall and gang worked up with an intervention plan anyway. As they couldn't use their beam weapons, the mission's vital point is Gundam Plutone. The Plutone was to release high density particles at the centre of the battlefield, which would then send all mobile suits around to malfunction and stop working. Just at the last moment that the GN Conderser of the Gundam Plutone started to run wildly. Unknown to the Gundam Meisters, the Innovade clone of Ribbons, Beside Pain, had planned their demise.
"I-I can't control it… what's going on!?" Chall tried her best to control the Plutone and launch the core fighter, but the systems seemed to have been taken over by a superior force in Veda.
"Chall!" Both Ruido and Marlene flew into the combat zone to retrieve the core fighter, but in the process, they were bathed in the harmful GN Particles, knowing that they would die; they resolved to save their friend with their final act.
Ruido held the Plutone in place while Marlene extracted the core fighter. "Chall… you must live!" Marlene said with her last breath as she and Ruido were killed by the large concentration of GN particles.
Ribbons, who had only received word of the situation recently, rushed to the aid of his friends in his 0 Gundam, but it was too late, the only one he could save was Chall, his two best friends, Ruido and Marlene, were gone.
"After losing Ruido and Marlene, I continued to watch Phantom Task and it was then that I saw her, the woman named Squall Meusel, she had worked so hard to rise up in the ranks, her ambition to take over the organization amused me… so I decided to help her, see how far I could lead her and how useful she could be to me."
Ribbons resolved to prop up Squall, so much that he used the Corner family name in order to pose as her new servant, and through his influence and the use of Veda, the First Innovade successfully created Phantom Task's new leader.
"My Ribbons, ever since you appeared before me, more of my dreams have been coming true." Squall, a voluptuous woman with long blonde hair and red eyes, gazed lovingly at the First Innovade, feeling so grateful for his continued support that the Phantom Task leader had fallen madly in love with him.
"There's no need to thank me, Mistress Squall." Ribbons closed his eyes and bowed politely, hiding behind a façade of benevolence and respect. "I was simply taking the necessary steps towards your goal."
"You're so talented… yet you're so loyal to me." Squall approached Ribbons and wrapped her arms around his neck, her loving expression now charged with lust. "My angel, mine and mine alone…"
"You flatter me…" Ribbons smiled at Squall, feeling that in truth, their roles were reversed, and that the Phantom Task Leader was more loyal to the First Innovade than he was to her.
Squall gave Ribbons a passionate kiss on the lips, to her; the First Innovade meant everything, feeling that a powerful and talented individual who was subservient to her must have been an act of divine providence. The Phantom Task Leader then pulled the angelic youth to her room so that they could sleep together.
"This form of contact… is the result of the biological function that is referred to as "love" this function is the common cause for birth, but that was not the case with me… for I wasn't born… I was created artificially, so such biological functions are not part of my instincts, I did not know whether I was disgusted or exhilarated by my night with Squall… humans really are slaves to their instincts, aren't they?"
One announcement was made and the world changed forever, for Tabane Shinonono would invent the Infinite Stratos, highly advanced mechanical suits that were capable of wielding superior armaments to mobile suits, but what made this new weapon interesting was the fact that it could only be operated by women. Ribbons, who waiting over Squall at the time, was absolutely shocked at this development, because for the longest time, he thought that only Aeolia was capable of such a feat.
"The Gundams haven't debuted yet… and this new weapon has been announced to the world?" Ribbons couldn't believe his eyes; he never thought he would see such advanced technology outside Celestial Being.
"The perfect weapon for my plan, don't you think so, Ribbons?" Squall was overjoyed, feeling that the invention of the Infinite Stratos directly coincided with Phantom Task's goals.
"Of course, Mistress Squall." Ribbons closed his eyes and gave the Phantom Task leader a sincere smile, it was then, a new part of his plan for the organization was born. "That's right… the IS could become Phantom Task's Gundams… my experiment is now in motion."
The year was 2301 A.D. and Ribbons continued to lead his double-life as both a Gundam Meister of Celestial Being and Squall Meusel's personal assistant and as the plan progressed, more information was revealed to him by Veda, but what was revealed would shake the First Innovade's faith in the plan once more.
"The more I studied humanity, the more I began to doubt my reason for existing… I was created in service to humanity, beings that are infinitely foolish and fragile, compared to us Innovades, they are a fleeting existence… and I now knew more about the plan… about how we Gundam Meisters were meant to die in order to unite the world… I was born a sacrificial lamb."
Ribbons was at the Celestial Being mothership, there, he met with his genetic twin, Hiling Care, a feminine Innovade that bore a striking resemblance to him, save for her figure and wavier hair.
"Ribbons! Where are you going?" Hiling asked in a childish and excited tone as she saw the First Innovade walk out of the room.
"It looks like 0 Gundam's modifications are finished." Ribbons smiled as he answered Hiling's question. "I'm going to conduct a mobility test."
"How nice." Hiling smiled at Ribbons, having adored the First Innovade more than anything else, the green haired girl loved seeing him in action. "Where're you gonna do it?"
"Hm. Since we still can't let the humans see the Gundam…" Ribbons thought carefuly about his plan and where he was going to test the 0 Gundam. "How about the Middle East… around Azadistan?" The First Innovade smiled at Hiling as he gave her his answer. "It's an area of civil unrest. It might be perfect. Clean up should be easy."
"Ribbons, Be careful." Hiling gave Ribbons a concerned look, though she had the utmost faith in the First Innovade, she couldn't help but worry about him.
"Thanks." Ribbons smiled before placing his hand on Hiling's head, he then left for the hangar, where he would find the 0 Gundam.
During a performance test of the 0 Gundam on the Republic of Krugis. The white and grey mobile suit that emitted GN particles in the form of brilliant green "GN Feathers" and was armed with a shield and rifle, Ribbons was to eliminate all witnesses and fighting forces, but then he saw Soran Ibrahim, a young boy with messy black hair and chestnut brown eyes, the child stared at the Gundam with a look of utter awe and admiration.
"It was just a test run. The condition was superb. There couldn't have been a more favourable result. Everything was reduced to ashes. I'd finished erasing the eye-witnesses. Not an enemy or friend should have been there… except for one. On that day, since that child gazed at me with such admiration in his eyes… because he looked at me with those eyes... I knew exactly who I was and what I was meant to do."
"Those eyes…" Ribbons looked down from the 0 Gundam's cockpit and zoomed in on the image of Soran, who looked like he had seen some sort of divine saviour. "I see… To you, I am God. That's obvious." The First Innovade closed his eyes and smiled, feeling that he had just found his reason for existing. "Because my existence is far more important than yours, human, for the success of the Aeolia Plan… I am an indispensable existence, as the one to guide mankind. And that's… my true purpose." The Gundam Meister then retreated with a newfound sense of pride and meaning to his life.
"I now know… I do not exist to serve humans… yes… it's always been the other way around, I know what Aeolia had told centuries ago, but if that was the case, he wouldn't have created me to be superior to humans… that's right… I am meant to inherit his plan… this will become my plan… my plan to guide humanity."
Author's note: The first chapter of the spinoff of 00:IS is done. This will retell many of the events on both Gundam 00 and 00P: IS from Ribbons Almark's point of view. This chapter served to show what motivated Ribbons to take over the plan and his role and relationship with Phantom Task. Ribbons will have a more human portrayal as the series goes on and he will doubt several things and deny having those doubts. I made him friends with Ruido, Marlene, Chall and 874 to build his character and to give him something to think of once he enters the IS Academy. Ribbons and Squall have a very strange relationship, where Ribbons sees her as a tool and a simple means of amusement whereas Squall is completely in love with him, naturally he clashes with Autumn. Ribbons will eventually fall for Charlotte and that relationship will clash with his character in ways that he himself finds both ironic and painful. The girls that love Ribbons are Squall Meusel, Charlotte Dunois, Tatenashi Sarashiki, Tabane Shinonono and Chloe Chronicle. Ribbons in a sense, actually fears Tatenashi. Next chapter will cover the events of 00P: IS and 00:IS with Ribbons entering the IS Academy. This story is based on the Gundam 00 Manga The Second Birthday by Yun Kouga.