GUNDAM SEED ETERNITY: The Adaption
A happy new year to all. This is a promise I had made to all in this group in 2009. This is a promise I intend to carry thru to the end in 2010.
A version of this story will be uploaded onto fanfiction.net. This story is an ADAPTION, and the original manuscript is made available in the link below:
Allow me to direct all comments to Crunchyroll or at fanfiction.net. At the start of the story, allow me to credit everyone involved. Subsequently, credits will be for those who participated in that episode.
After some years of peace between the Earth and PLANT, the Earth is suddenly shocked by many terrorist attacks. Old fanatics of war claims that ZAFT is at work, bringing the world into yet another war after the battles that plagued the world during C.E. 70 and C.E. 73. But no one truly believes in it. The new chairman and leader of PLANT, daughter of Siegel Clyne, Lacus Clyne has only been in position for a mere year, and all had been peaceful until now. What will happen now? How will PLANT, under the new leadership, and Earth Alliance react to these new happenings?
Our situation starts at ZAFT's hangar, as.......
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Episode 1: Where it all begins
“This is my first time in space!” Nella cried out in amazement as she trailed after her commander and her fellow pilots. They were here for simulation training. It is a rare chance, for ZAFT would never allow the Earth Alliance to train in their ground using their facilities if not for the terrorist attacks. Now, both the Earth Alliance and ZAFT had made diplomatic actions to calm the stirred emotions in the hearts of both the coordinators and the naturals.
"Coordinators are the only ones capable of doing these things," she muttered in awe as she watched the skills and techniques of the coordinator pilots displayed around her during the training. Perhaps she was lucky, that on her first trip to PLANTs, Nella was able to enjoy the space colony more than she would have if there were a war. As she walked down the beautiful streets after training, she noticed a lot of people crowding in a portion of the street; they are looking up at a big screen where a broadcast of Lacus Clyne is shown.
Before she can hear what Chairman Clyne was saying to the people though, a person in the crowd started speaking agitatedly, "Didn't they have enough war in the past? What are they talking about, ZAFT attacking Earth?! They must be out of their minds!"
Another one yells back, "I heard the Earth Alliance forces are already placed on standby!"
“What do they mean by that??!! Placing their forces on standby?!!” yet another responded, clearly shocked.
At this point in time, Nella finally heard Chairman Clyne’s calm voice, transmitted alongside her live feed image from the screen on a building, sounded clearly over the crowd of agitated coordinators. “My dear friends, do not be fooled by what is happening. Please everyone, calm down. There is nothing to be worried about. This evening, the high council of PLANTs shall be meeting with the Earth Alliance representatives, who like us believe that this is not the doing of ZAFT; we are working hard on resolving this matter and figuring out who is behind all this. We are not new to such strategies, especially during the last war, where Chairman Durandal exposed many of the minds behind such acts. Both PLANTs and Earth wish for nothing but peace.”
A woman in the crowd exclaimed, “yes, we've had enough, we've already gone through enough war and pain." Nella peered around and saw that she was tearfully holding a baby.
Many people nodded and whispered in approval and continued listening to Lacus Clyne's speech. Along them, at the back of the crowd, a young girl with flaming ruby hair stood by herself, observing and listening, her brilliant green eyes sparkling in the light as a tear slipped down her face, marking a lone track on the smooth surface. She was shook out of her emotions just then, as someone bumped into her, and the both of them lost their balance in a sudden momentum.
“I am so sorry...really! I was totally fascinated by her speech; she is really an amazing person!” Nella exclaimed, trying her best to explain herself as she pointed to Chairman Clyne in the screen. Then, she studied the girl and asked awkwardly, “are you ok?"
As Nella Sky apologised and tried to help the girl up, in another place at the same moment, another girl is troubled. Rayne deFray was called by her Professor to the science lab they are using for their major project. It has to be something serious if Prof is asking to meet me only and so urgently, she thought to herself. What is it? Don't tell me it’s about the recent terrorist attacks? But what had that got to do with me? I'm a normal student... Don’t tell me it’s Leena... or Mother...
And so she ponders as her shoes padded the cold floor, unconsciously making herself more and more worried. That was when she looked up and notices that she was in an entirely wrong place.
"Man! I'm supposed to be in the Block 9 labs... what am I doing in the Block 3??!!!"
With a shook of her head, she quickly turn a corner, quickening her pace in the process as she realises she is going to be late.
* * *
“Commander! We reached point A56w!"
“Excellent!” a man replied with gusto. He was sitting in front of a big window observing the rain outside. The darkness seemed to suit him, for he grinned. Then he glanced at the neon lights on his watch. It seems to please him more, as he announced, to no one in particular, "I am going to enjoy this beautiful war!"
It is not surprising that war is coming. No, it is not, for despite the announcement Lacus Clyne, Chairman of the High Council of PLANTs, has made, she could not help but feel the warning of an imminent war. Despite her kind hopes of a stable world with peace and her assurances to the people of PLANTs, the world seems once again tipped into another direction, a deviation from the world Lacus Clyne wanted. Thus, it is not surprising as well, to find that yet somewhere else in space, people of authority were and still are planning unpleasant surprises for the people of the world.
“Is our army ready to attack!?” A man with blazing green hair questioned his assistant.
“Yes, sir! The Army is ready now…” Ralph replied with a tint of fear clear in his voice.
"Good, make sure everything runs smoothly, or else..."
Ralph gasped as the revolver goes off, punching a hole through the chair right next to him. Unceremoniously, Ralph’s boss continued, "that’ll be the end of you. A war would be brewing soon... I believed God is on our side; there is no way Zala could survive this time...,” the man ended his speech with a long, loud cackle.
It is fortunate that no one, other than his men, heard him, for many would have been chilled and troubled by his words. One such person is Rann Zagart. Rann had been studying a new set of GUNDAM models, but she soon discarded them into a locked drawer as she left for Cagalli Yula Athha, the Head Representative of ORB Union’s office. She had been troubled enough, with a matter that revolves around her head, and indeed, she would have been very much more troubled if she were to know anything about the dreadful plans the different organisations have for the world.
"Cagalli,” Rann announced her arrival with no greeting. No greeting is required, for she is familiar with the blonde representative. “Athrun is looking for you... he mentioned something about speaking to you about something important...”
To her surprise, Rann was faced with silence as the person in question ignored the sudden intruder and continued her task at hand – her never-ending reports.
"… Don't tell me you have a fight with him or something...” Rann asked. She felt as if she had known this silence before. When Cagalli continued in her silence, she knew what was going on. "Wah, looks like I'm talking to a log," Rann commented and leaves Cagalli’s office. Resigned, she then went to find Athrun, informing him that Cagalli is too busy.
She watched Athrun’s response and was doubly confirmed of her suspicions. Athrun noticed the sudden silence though, and was kind enough to change the topic, “so Rann, how's your new GUNDAM?" He looked over at the girl.
"Everything is okay... Hey… is it true that there will be a war again?" They were sitting on a branch, each holding onto a cup of steaming tea. Rann stared down at her tea as she asked the question; the topic that has been in her head for so long, in which she had sought so hard to avoid. She knew that Cagalli will only be annoyed if she had asked this question. She would then loudly demand where Rann had heard it, and declare it to be the worst of the untruths. Athrun, however, had a different response. Serious and realistic, he never tried to avoid the truth. "I don't know Rann. I think it's only a rumour... "
"Rumour? But I really don't want to see another war again," Rann muttered, almost too softly.
"Everything will be fine... I trust Lacus and Kira. If there will be a war again, I know they will make a decision that is best for us.” He leaned his head up towards the ceiling, and after a pause, continued, “but we don't know anything yet here in ORB. You have to remember that Cagalli will always try her best to deal with it, so we have to support her and ORB." Athrun tried his best to smile at his upset friend.
Even as Athrun tries his best to assure his friend, there are plans already set in motion. These are plans that people who should know did not know. If they were to know, they may be able to do something to put a stop to it. People like Lacus, Kira, Athrun and Cagalli. People who holds a position of authority in this world, who can spark a change, or stop the world from the motion it is set upon. They believe that the world is still in a peaceful equation; that there is still hope for understanding each other and retaining the peace. Yet, this peace is what that is fleeting away from the world. Such is shown, clearly, as even after Athrun’s words, the world began to launch itself past the final stage of peace and into chaos…
"Are you ok?" Nella asks the girl right in front of her, trying to speak out loud against the noisy background. Before Cecile gets a chance to respond, her beeper rings. She pulls it out instantly and reads it silently.
"Urm...Sorry, I have to go....." Cecile quickly said after she had finished reading the message, a slightly worried look on her face. Thus she runs off to her car and starts driving away, all the while thinking, they are calling me in now?!! She wondered what this is all about, for there must be something serious to call everyone in. As her car reaches a military gate, Cecile flashed her ID to one of the guards, who grants her access into the compound. She then drives on, passing by hangers with mobile suits and mobile armours packed in them. There are people in suits hurrying around everywhere. Cecile looks around confusedly as she parks the car, and hurries out to where she ought to be. She never got to it though, for at that precise moment in time, a button is being pressed. A man was fingering the button in question as he watched the countdown timer on the screen reaches 1. Without hesitation, he pushed the button of the radio and called out, “fire!"
“Yes, sir!” was the answer received, and then, some parts of PLANTs experienced a sudden earthquake. It began with a gentle quiver, and slowly gained power as it continued its supremacy over the tiny humans standing on its surface.
“What the hell is going on?” Everyone could be seen running around, trying to get their balance as they scrambled for safety. If there is a “safety”, perhaps it would not be so messy now, as screams of confusion, of hope, of desperation and for their loved ones resided in their throats.
“Nella, here you are!” a voice familiar to Nella Sky could be heard. It was David, and he was driving a car. “C’mon! They shot at the PLANTs… we have to leave this place!"
“Who did what?” Nella yelled back, unable to understand the words in this chaotic ground. Without even answering her question, David pulled her into the car. Minutes later, both reached their ship. They look up and saw, on the huge screen, the huge picture of what happened. A large portion of the PLANTs was blackened in destruction.
“What? What? What is that??” Nella cried out in shock when she saw it.
“It’s here. Just a few miles from here. In this very place.” The voice came from behind both Nella and David.
“Commander!” she cried out when she saw a man who just appeared.
“What do we do now?” David asked the man.
“They won’t let us do anything!” the commander said seriously, “We are not in liberty to do anything. The best thing now is to keep quiet and watch what happens next. We are in a very dangerous situation now."
“But….” Nella was shocked.
“What did the Captain say?” David interrupted.
“The Captain is now checking the situation and trying to contact the ZAFT. We had better keep our eyes open now, as the Captain had said.” Then, after a while, when more members of the ship had arrived, he said, “All hands prepare for action! Words of the Captain states that we may have to leave PLANTs suddenly! So start preparing for it!”
If there were any surprise at this announcement, it lasted only a second. In the next, the staffs of the Earth Alliance ship cried out, “yes, Sir!” and they were on their way to their assigned station. Nella was pulled out of the way as they rush about.
The commander saw it and informed both David and Nella, “all pilots are to prepare as well. Suit yourself up and head over to the briefing room.”
“Yes, Sir!” David replied and pulled Nella along.
On the other side of PLANTs, Cecile finds herself suddenly on the ground. She had tripped while everyone was running and screaming... "What is going on????" she asked, mostly to herself.
She gets up, and as soon as she lifts her head up, she sees a familiar figure. Yzak was moving hurriedly away.
Cecile calls, "Yzak! YZAK!"
Yzak notices Cecile. He came over quickly and demanded, "What the HELL are you doing here?! It’s a stampede!"
Cecile quickly responded, "I was beeped; they called me in, and then suddenly, there is a quake and I fell down… what is going on?"
Yzak looks as if he was about to yell at Cecile. Recognising it, Cecile quickly cut him off, "Yzak, This is not the time and place for this... what is going on now?"
Yzak felt agitated, and could not keep it from his voice as he said, “there was an attack on PLANTs, some of our men on duty blocked a part of the attack, but it is impossible to fully stop it." Then, angered by the thought of it, he hissed, “and so near us too! How dare they attack our military base!” Just as he finished speaking, someone called out for him, "Commander Joule!"
Yzak turns around in the direction of the voice and yelled back, "I'll be right there!” He turns back and faces Cecile once more, "whatever you do....Don't, oh forget it!"
And with that he turns and leaves her. Cecile was about call after him, and it was then that she truly realised the situation they were in. Hoping that she is loud enough, she called, "Commander Joule, take care."
Yzak turns his head around. There was a slight look of surprise, and then, irritation before he shouted, "Shut up!" and with that, he is gone.
"He'll never change," Cecile muttered to herself. She runs to where she was supposed to report to, and she found herself in front of Captain Arthur. Arthur had spotted her as well, and said, "Finally, you are here! Hurry up to the ship; we are about to launch. Quick!"
--End of Episode 1--
Edit forum post:
1st time - Correction of spelling error and change in plot.
2nd time - Correction of spelling error and edit in plot errors.
3rd time - Edit details.
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Episode 2: Between Friends and Foes
“They are launching!" Nella cried as she stared at the ZAFT ships from the screen in the briefing room.
“Stay still and don’t fidget too much!” one of the more experienced pilots who was looking at the same screen pushed Nella down with irritation.
“Sorry,” Nella mumbled.
Meanwhile, as the various mobile suits and mobile armours launches into the sky, in the face of a looming war, a third party battleship is ready for launching as well.
“Master we are ready to launch!" a servant’s anxious voice cut through the stuffy air within. ‘Master’ seems pleased and nodded, “Good!”
At this moment, Cecile Soli runs in the ZAFT ship and hurries down into the changing room to put on her suit. She was still strugging into her suit as the announcement is made to all in the battleship, “Condition Red, Condition Red! All hands please report to respective positions! Condition Red!"
Hastily, Cecile pulled the zip and rushed to the hangar, where her GUNDAM is located. She stood for some time, facing her GUNDAM, ignorant to the rush around her as everyone else gets into their respective positions. Then, as she is lifted up by the rope to get into the corkpit, her mind’s eye goes back to the day GUNDAM X-Liberty was assigned to her. It was the privilege of being the best during the training courses. X-Liberty may not be the best GUNDAM produced, but Cecile took pride in it. She remembered the last time she had mounted it was during her special training after being assigned to the Catalina; she has never used it in real war. She had never fought in a real war.
Now, as she sits down on the padded seat, she gulps nervously. The screen light up, system is all green…Cecile swallowed, and suddenly, like a drifting smoke, all the hesitation and nervousness disappeared. I’m taking you out for the real thing now, Cecile thought while grabbing the handle that will launch the GUNDAM. When the rail is ready for her to Launch, her voice was clear as she announces, “Cecile Soli, X-Liberty, I’m launching!"
“The Condor is now in position!” a commander reported.
“Prepare to launch our first group of mobile suits! Tell Ain and the others to be on standby as well,” ‘Master’ replied almost instantly, enjoying what is happening at this moment in time. ZAFT, however, is not enjoying the current change of events. As soon as Cecile launched, she was targeted. She swerved and missed the shot by an inch; she then pulled the X-Liberty’s side dagger out and launched it at the assaulting ZAKU.
There were not much mobile suit on her screen, and they were machines ZAFT uses. Cecile was unprepared for it. She had never imagined that she would be fighting against machines she had been training together with and is familiarized with. As she took on a couple of the offensive suits that had came at her, she saw something that dragged at her attention. She trusted X-Liberty to its maximum speed and flew through the chaos, attacking to defense herself from some offensive armours that came on the way. When she finally neared the shipyard, where the enemy mobile suits were attacking, she fired at them repeatedly, trying to stop them. A few of her colleagues joined in swiftly as well.
While Cecile was fighting against the unknown enemies, Captain Arthur had launched Catalina, the battleship in which Cecile has been assigned to.
Arthur called out in a voice of authority, “What is the status of our other mobile suits? Why hasn’t they stopped the attack on the shipyards yet?”
“Sir, the mysterious battleship is attacking it as well!”
“Then… prepare the Briseis! We’ll shoot through them all!”
One of the Operators replied almost instantly, "Captain, they have a beam deflector!"
While the Catalina and the rest of ZAFT who are able to be deployed are engaging the enemy, the shipyard in which Ikarus, the Earth Alliance battleship, had been allowed to be stored while its stay in PLANTs was being attacked by the mysterious ship and its mobile suits. Bursts of explosions and attacks assaulted the shipyard, and the crew of the Ikarus was forced to hold on as long as they can. However, suddenly, the mysterious battleship fired at the shipyard and the ZAFT mobile suits dodged swiftly.
A hole is thus burned into the shipyard, and the soldiers gasped when they saw it. “What…. What is ZAFT doing?” one of the pilots in the briefing room demanded.
“Obviously they have their hands full,” another smirked.
“As you would if you were them,” the commander had appeared and chided the pilot. “They are forced to send almost half of their forces that can be deployed to save and protect the citizens. The rest are to be engaged with the enemy. While the enemy had no regards whatsoever of destroying the military base, the ZAFT fighters were careful not to add to the damage PLANTs is suffering now.”
They now turned to look as mobile suits can be sighted from the hole.
“They are getting close!”
“What are we to do now?” one of the pilots turned to stare at the commander who bit his lips.
“The order has not been given…”
“But at this rate, even we will be destroyed!!” True to his words, the enemy is attacking the shipyard with more gusto now that a hole had been punched through it. The shipyard is now trembling under the attacks. As if motivated by this, the commander walked towards one of the terminals in the room. The pilots moved to allow him access. He punched in a few codes into the keypad, and waited for it to connect.
“Captain! The enemy –”
“I know. The ZAFT forces are trying their best to handle it now. It is too dangerous for us to enter into the fight now, Commander.”
“Captain, they have broken through now. Even as we are speaking, the enemy is making its way to destroy the battleships in the shipyard, including us.
“And the ZAFT?” The Captain asked after a moment.
“At this rate, I can’t even tell who is the ZAFT and who is the enemy, if not for the fact that some of the machines are trying to stop the more offensive ones. But even those are not much… The enemy is advancing fast, Captain!”
“Hmm…. It can’t be helped then. Order the mobile suits to launch, and the skygraspers to be on stand by.”
“Yes, Sir!” Once the connection has ended, the commander turned to face the pilots. “You heard the Captain! Now, to your suits! Skygraspers pilots are to stay on standby!”
Back on the Catalina, Arthur stared at the information provided and was forced to make his decision quickly. It was not something new to him. In fact, it had became a habit he had developed from the previous war. "Prepare Achilles for firing," he ordered.
The Operator was stunned, "Captain… are we allowed???"
"At this rate, it’s now or never!" Arthur said, firm in his decision. “We must save the shipyard and PLANTs!”
Convinced, the Operator replied, "Yes, Sir!"
While the Achilles is being prepared for firing, and as the chaos continues in the skies of ZAFT, the enemy had no idea of what Arthur is planning to do.
“Camouflage modus!” Its commander suddenly yelled, “lets us show them what we are capable of!"
“Yes, sir!” another servant responded. Seconds after that, Condor, the mysterious battleship who has declared itself against ZAFT with its action, vanished from view.
This stunt, in its astonishment, was not missed by any. Cecile was flying upwards when she noticed that the unidentified battleship has disappeared. “What the.... How could this be, it was just there!!” Cecile cried in alarm. Just then, there was an attack, and in the nick of time, she turns around to dodge a laser beam, shooting the mobile down. “This can't be… X-Liberty should be in the best condition! This can't be a malfunction in the system! Surely it can’t be possible!”
Cecile, confused, connects to Catalina, "Catalina!”
Captain Arthur answered almost immediately, “What is your status?”
Cecile replied, "did the Catalina’s LPS (laser positioning system) detect a ship at the coordinates I just sent over?”
One of the Operators answered the question, "yes, and it suddenly disappeared...What can you see up there?"
“Nothing, I thought maybe X-Liberty's system might have some kind of malfunction,” Cecile said anxiously.
“No way, X-Liberty's is equipped with a highly integrated LPOS (Laser positioning operating system),” Arthur was quick to defend ZAFT’s technology.
“That's what I thought.”
“We were about to shoot it down with Achilles too!” Arthur was frustrated.
“What???” Cecile cried, unwilling to believe her ears.
“We had no other choice...,” Arthur defended his decision instantly.
“It appeared again! Due south… what is that thing??" Cecile was distracted with the new item on her screen.
“We are zooming in right now … we are about to get a visual,” the operator answer, busy typing out the adjustments for maximum visual effects on the screen. In the mean time, Cecile is also enlarging the visuals, focused on the mysterious ship.
“Approach with caution–” Arthur was saying to Cecile, but before he finished his sentence, Cecile had already sped off...
“They dare to attempt to shoot us down?!” ‘Master’ cried, for he had seen Achilles pointing at them. “Aim Dädalus.....!"
“But.....!" another servant said.
“Do as I have said!” ‘Master’ ordered with mounting anger, “we will use Dädalus...!"
After some minutes, when the battleship suddenly appeared again on the screen of the various mobile suits and battleship, it was aiming at Achilles.
“Energy level 85 percent. Condor turned 80 degrees!” a commander said.
“Fire!” ‘Master’ said, with conflicting emotions of calmness and excitement. As the Dädalus was fired, the battle seemed to have come to a frozen point. Every single soul’s attention was on the beam of energy, speeding towards the battleship of ZAFT. Every eye is now on the beam, issued from the unknown enemy towards Achilles.
Cecile launched towards the ship, and truly saw it for the first time. It was huge like no other ship she's ever seen, the surface was fluid as if it were floating mercury. It was in that position that, suddenly, X-Liberty detected a huge amount of energy being dispersed from the ship, just as the EAF detected it.
“Hell....!” one of the operators on the bridge of the Ikarus suddenly said, “we detected enormous energy.....!"
“No way!” Nella cried when she saw the beam extending towards the Achilles from the screen.
Cecile, from her position, was still awed at the sight and does not fully comprehend it. She had never seen a ship like this, and it is issuing a beam towards Achilles! Her mind seemed to yell at that fact, forcing her out of her trance. “EVADE! Catalina! EVADE!”
As if jotted by her reaction, Catalina moved from its current position. Cecile watched, in vain, as the ship moved painstakinly slow in its attempt to avoid the beam. She bit her lips, wishing with every ounce of her soul that Catalina would be able to escape unscathered. The beam is reaching its destination, stretching far with steath. Catalina is still within its range.
The beam reached its final stretch, and it touched Achilles. Speechless, Cecile watched as Achilles was hit, causing a violent explosion. Catalina shook violently. Cecile could not breathe as shock took over her senses. Achilles was gone. There was no sound of explosion. It looked as if it had melted down or something similar to that. “Impossible…”
Cecile thought she would never be that shaken again in her life, only to see the ship had once again disappeared. This time it extended all around her. When she next looked down at the screen, she did not see it on it.
“What happened?? Report immediately,” Arthur cried, shocked by the sudden attack.
The Operator who was supposed to be reporting this seemed to be incapable of speech; he stared at the computer screen for sometime before responsing, stammering, “we were shot by some kind of unknown particle… the Achilles… it’s hull is destroyed…”
“What do you mean the hull is destroy?!” Arthur demanded.
“It was completely destroyed…” the Operator repeated, not knowing what to do about the situation.
“Com… plet… ly… Des… des…. toryed?!!”
With the Achilles rendered useless, Catalina was too shocked to make any move. The enemy is now standing in a slight advantage. Pissed off with the latest happenings, Yzak ordered his squat to not to lax. In actual fact, there is no reason or even a thought for that. They were just too shocked to move as well. Under their leader’s call, they quickly pulled themselves back into the situation and started attacking the enemy vigorously.
“Commander!” one of the men under the Joule team suddenly called out to Yzak.
“I saw it, you idiot! They are the Earth Alliance soldiers currently in PLANTs. What are they thinking, joining in the war like that!”
“What should we do?”
“Ignore them! Focus on the enemy!”
As the battle forged on, there were many losses on the different sides; ZAFT, Earth Alliance and the enemy battleship called Condor. As more and more soldiers get shot down, Condor ordered more of its numbers onto the battle, and the same goes for ZAFT and the Earth Alliance.
“How many more people do we have?” The Captain of the Ikarus asked at the bridge.
“Not much! Our mobile suits were already fully deployed and most of the mobile armours too! Those who are unable to fight were sent to the infirmary, Sir. It’s only the skygraspers left.”
The trainees… the Captain of the Ikarus thought silently to himself. He is a cautious man. Considering the situation, the enemy battleship is causing more trouble than anything, firing away at everyone without caution. In his many years of experience, he had never known that a single ship would be able to cause so much fighting power. It put into his mind the legends of the Archangel and the Minvera. Yet, even those had shown their most powers with the arrival of a crisis, not at the cause of it. His only choice now is to continue fighting on with this limited power – unable to use most of the firepower of the Ikarus due to their location, continuing the fight with the power of the mobile suits and the mobile armours. He knew their strength is decreasing with the increase of injured fighters or machines.
“Sir?” the vice-captain asked, “are we to launch the skygraspers as well?”
“No, not yet,” the captain was reluctant.
“But this will only drag the fight longer. The ZAFT are still trying to evacuate the people and I don’t see reinforcements coming.”
“We can hold out.” The Captain insisted.
“Enough!” The Captain was about to reprimand his vice-captain when an explosion shook the Ikarus. To their shock, one of the enemy mobile suit, a silver black machine, has managed to get near to the Ikarus and is now attacking it ferociously.
“Where are our mobile suits?”
“They are too far away!”
“Send the skygraspers!”
“I have no idea how long they will hold out in this rate, but there is nothing else we can do!”
With that, Nella Sky, David and two others were sent out to protect the ship. Before they launched, they were warned, “do NOT stray far from the ship! Come back immediately if your machine is in trouble. And work together to send the GUNDAM off. If you fight together, there may be a chance, however little it may be.”
"What is this?" A male voice laughed, "skygraspers against my Fallen Angel? The Naturals are just too full of themselves as usual."
"I´ll not let you harm the Ikarus any longer!!” Nella yelled and shoots rapidly at him, but he dodged all her shots.
While GUNDAM Fallen Angel attacked Ikarus and is engaged with its skygraspers, an attack was launched against the X-Liberty. Another GUNDAM appeared out of nowhere that Cecile can sight. It had golden lines marking the exterior of its armour, and something that looked like a cape extended from its back. With full speed, that GUNDAM suddenly attacked X-Liberty. With a beep, the communication channel blazed, with a female’s voice. "GUNDAM pilot, you might as well give up!” The voice sounded amused.
This GUNDAM must be from that mysterious ship, Cecile thought. To the female pilot, Cecile replied, "Who are you? And what are you doing here?"
The woman answered with mocking laughter and moved forward in an attack at Cecile. Cecile dodged it as best as she could, and then set up the Dragoon system on her. But the golden GUNDAM was really fast; it was so fast, it was as if it disappeared and reappeared at another place. But was it really that fast, Cecile wondered as she checked her screen. What if it was in fact vanishing and reappearing, it's like the ship?
Cecile considered the possibility, and thought that it was probably the same technology, in both the GUNDAM and the battleship. However, she was pulled from her thoughts by the constant attack of the golden GUNDAM. Cecile gritted her teeth and tried to land a punch on it, but it was simply too fast for her. In the end, the X-LIBERTY was unable to catch up with it and had sustained many injuries.
The golden GUNDAM attacked yet again. Unable to do much at this state, Cecile ended up having to retreat. The woman laughed again, seeming to enjoy herself. Cecile flew around randomly, trying to avoid the constant attacks from the golden GUNDAM. The woman started teasing Cecile again, taunting, "This is so pathetic… is this how strong ZAFT pilots are, flying around like fleas?"
It was at this moment that the ship appeared again. With its aim on the shipyard, it delivered the tattered shipyard yet another blow.
“What? It is that battleship again! What is the status?!” the Captain of the Ikarus demanded.
“Sir! We have lost signals of some of the mobile suits. There is only two mobile suits out there now! Two of the skygraspers were also destroyed from the collision with the enemy mobile suit!”
“It made use of the shot from the enemy battleship to push skygrapser 1 into the range of fire while shooting down the skygrasper 2!”
“What?! This is bad…”
“One of our guns are also shot!” Another said.
As the GUNDAM launched forward with a saber sword, Cecile dodged it, and with her own saber sword, she attempt to cut off the golden GUNDAM's hand. However, the golden GUNDAM launched towards the sides of X-Liberty and struck it with a dagger. At the same time, Catalina aimed for Condor.
“Target the Catalina!” The “master” called out once he saw what Catalina is doing.
"Dädalus loading!" The servant replied, knowing what his master wanted. He read off the screen, "2 minutes to go!"
"Say, Irina should finish off that damn GUNDAM. And Ain should find finish his job too!" he muttered, mostly to himself.
The Condor turned 160 degrees and targeted Catalina, who was right in the middle of the battle.
“Dädalus 100 %. System on!" The servant informed his master.
"Fire!" He said, almost too eagerly.
On the other side of the battle, GUNDAM Fallen Angel came in from the side, so fast that Nella Sky could only block the attack, which resulted in the damage of the skygrasper. She gasped when she saw that the skygrasper had taken too much damage.
“Nella! Go back to the Ikarus!”
“Now! Get into some other units or something! You can’t help anything in this rate!”
“Be careful!” Nella yelled before flying back into the Ikarus.
"Do you think a normal Natural has a chance against a Coordinator?" Ain yelled, laughing crazily.
“You are a Coordinator?" David asked and aimed another shot at him, then shook his head. Of course they are coordinators. What was his thinking? They are using the ZAKU and other ZAFT machines after all! He dodged it and came back for another attack. Just as David was facing this attack and defended against it, all of a sudden, from nowhere, came another GUNDAM and shot directly at David…
“Skygraspers should just die, don’t you think? They are so outdated after all.” Ain laughed as he directed his comment to his comrade. With the addition of this new GUNDAM, David had to deal with two GUNDAMs. Just as he thought that the battle was too much for him to handle, a mobile armour came to his rescue. David breathed in relief when he saw that his senior is here.
In the mean time, Nella was very agitated. “Please! Let me fight!” She tried her best to argue with the nurse who was attending to her. “Please stay still. You can fight again after this, but at least let me attend to your wounds.”
“We don’t have time for that! Let me go out and fight!!” she struggled against the nurse and with a sudden explosion near the Ikarus, they both fell down accidentally. Nella screamed in pain. Then, she tried to pull herself up and run towards her machine. But the Nurse pulled her back. “Let me go! I want to help! Please!”
“You are injure-” the Nurse gasped, interrupting herself as one of the senior pilots came and slapped Nella Sky.
“Shut it, will you! You brat!” He glared at her.
“What are you doing?” the technician saw it and walked towards them.
“She is being too noisy!”
“Now, now, don’t get angry just because your unit is spoilt!”
“Why don’t you ask her to shut it then?” he snapped at the technician. “Always making so much noise and irritating everyone! That’s why I can’t stand women.”
“Alright now, come on… move it. This place is messy enough…”
“Hmmph!” Nella watched as her senior walked away, cradling her cheek as tears trickled out of her eyes.
“Come on, now..” the Nurse could not bear to be so loud to Nella now. “Come here,” she lead her away from the hanger where they were and onto a bench outside.
Back to ZAFT, after both the Catalina and the Condor had aim on each other. The Operator noticed it and informed Arthur immediately, "Captain, that ship is aiming at us; they've locked us...”
"Evade!" Arthur yelled. Catalina shook hard, the beam passed right beside them.
"How long till we can fire???" Arthur asked anxiously.
"We are at 95%," the operator responded.
"Connect me directly to X-Liberty, and take aim at that STUPID Ship, full power, HURRY"
"Yes!" the operator replied.
Arthur turned his attention back to Cecile, "Cecile, what's your status?"
Cecile answered, "I'm ok."
"Get as far away from this ship, we are targeting them right now," Arthur warned.
"Yes!" Cecile replied. As Cecile starts to move away, she sees that golden GUNDAM again, launching after her. "Won't she give it a rest?" Cecile cried out in exasperation.
Catalina turned to face the mysterious battleship. Arthur shouts, "FIRE!!!"
Without warning, and without hestitant, a beam made its way towards its target, the mysterious enemy battleship.
"What was that?" ‘Master’ said and stared at the screen, leaning as fast forward as he can in his seat.
"It seems is Catalina!" the servant reported.
The “Master” hissed in anger as the servant reported the damage done to the ship "Withdraw!"
"Yes, sir!" the servant said. The condor withdrawed.
"Damn I could have finished it off!" Ain said and turned. The second enemy GUNDAM that attacked Nella is now withdrawing as well. After a while, it disappeared without a trace. Another boring day, was the thought of the silent pilot as he sat in his corkpit.
"They are withdrawing?" Nella cried in surprise when she heard the conversation of the others. “How is David?” She ran into the hanger, ignoring the Nurse who was made to follow her. It took some tries, and finally, she had the connection to David.
"Hey there," he panted when he saw her face.
"They are withdrawing?" Nella asked him.
In Catalina, the Operator is reporting the same thing to Arthur. "They are backing off now."
"Backing off.....” Arthur sounded thoughtful, “I want a full report about the damages, and I want a technical team to see what they can do about Achilles right now. This is not over, broadcast to all our armours and mobile suit to come back.”
"Yes, I’ll get to it immediately, Sir!" The operator said.
As the distance between the X-Liberty and the Golden GUNDAM are shortened, she heard the woman saying, "it seems this is your lucky day, I'll get you next time." And she coldly laughed and flew away.
"ehwww," Cecile sighed out of relief; it was all over, at least for the time being. She descended back to Catalina, thinking what a rough day today is.
Back in the Ikarus, the pilots who can walk were gathered in the briefing room where they were listening to the commander. “It was a tough battle, but we managed to pull it through. We did not taste victory, but the fact that we managed to protect our ship accounts for more than enough.”
Nella stared at the front, upset and silent. Why did they fight against their own people, she thought. She couldn´t understand why they did that.
Then, right in the middle of the briefing, an announcement was made. Everyone was shocked when they hear that some of the ZAFT personnel were pointing the fingers towards the Earth Alliance.
"What?!" David cried out.
The announcement continued that they were told to surrender now to investigations.
“Have they gone mad?” a pilot cried out in alarm.
“They must all be nuts!” another pilot yelled.
“And after how we helped? Even blind people would know that we are not the culprits!”
“Heck! They are piloting ZAKUS, did you see?”
Yet, even in their protest, the entire crew member of the Ikarus was captured. They can only raise their arms in resignation as the ZAFT soldiers pointed guns at them. “You are under arrest! Please follow us, and do not resist!"
--End of Episode 2--
Credits for this episode:
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Once - plot change.
Will not be approving any buddy request unless you talk to me.
Episode 3: The inevitable
As Cecile settles X-Liberty down, she calls the technicians to check and repair X-Liberty. Catalina has also landed for damage assessment and repairs. Beyond the ship, all over PLANTs, the coordinators are conducting damage assessment and repairs, as well as rescue missions for any injured and trapped people.
"Mobile suit pilots, please come up to Level Two for briefing."
When Cecile heard this, she swiftly made her way to Level Two. As Cecile is on the way to the bridge, she heard the conversation between a few of the crew members. "Catalina suddenly shook, but that's not all – Achilles attacked, and its hull was all destroy and everything...."
When Cecile reached the required room, she saluted her Captain and vice-Captain and sat down on one of the empty seats. After a while, when all of the mobile pilots have been gathered, Arthur started the briefing. He first started by showing the images of what happened as he presented the speculations of the Council. Next, he continued on to proceed with the tasks in which Catalina is to complete at present. After that, the briefing ended with Arthur telling them to report on what they saw during the fight. They were to submit it to him as soon as possible.
When Arthur asked Cecile about what she saw as she was the nearest to the mysterious ship during the battle, Cecile admitted, "well I can’t see. I have no idea what happened and I experienced the same thing. The X-Liberty could not detect it on its sensors as well."
On her way back, after she brought the laptop, Cecile saw a peculiar scene. A group of people in Earth Alliance uniform was marched across towards the direction of one of the buildings away from the shipyard. When one of them turned towards her, Cecile was surprised to see a young girl about her age. It was a familiar face, though Cecile could not remember when she had seen the girl before. When they passed her, she stopped them and asked, “what is going on?”
“We are here to arrest these Earth Alliance soldiers!” one of them reported to her.
Shocked, she immediately made the connection with the attack. “Don’t tell me..? It’s not about the battle earlier, isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is.”
“But…. The attackers were using ZAFT equipment!”
“The camera caught them shooting down and attacking our units.”
It was then that the girl spoke out in self defense and Cecile recognizes her as the civilian at the Lacus Clyne speech broadcast earlier in the day. “It was an accident! We have no idea that it was ZAFT! We thought it is the enemy!”
“Be silent!” One of the guards roared at her, raising his gun menacingly.
“Hey!” Cecile cried out as one of the captured men hiss at the guard.
“See? This is the true face of ZAFT – they say they want to help us and willing to be peaceful with us, and at the end of the day??” With venom thick in his voice, he continued,
“they turn around and attack us.”
Cecile could not help but feel the stink from the words. She flinched unwillingly.
“Shut it and move it!” The guard who raised the gun at Nella turned to order the man.
He would have continued if not for an older man who stopped him, “Shut it, kid! Don’t make things worse, for goodness sake.”
With a “hrummph!”, he turned his head and they were paraded off towards their destination.
“Wait!” Cecile could not help but stop them. “There must be something wrong.”
"These are orders and we must follow them!” Another of the guards replied, motioning for the Earth Alliance soldiers to continue. “Surely you would know that.”
As Nella walks away with the others, Cecile had no choice but to stare as she turned back to look at Cecile sadly. They brought them to a large room, they were told to not try anything funny and stay there quietly. When they left, Nella and David watched as their senior mocked at the soldiers, “ya, right! Like we can do anything funny after you took away our guns.”
“Just be quiet.” Their Captain snapped with irritation.
“They should have at least allow us to apply some medicine..” Nella could not help but complain softly after a few minutes. She could not help but look at David’s sides which was injured.
“I am ok,” David said grimly.
"Ahhhh! It makes no sense at all!” A crew cried out in frustration after they had been left alone for more than 10 minutes.
“War does not make sense,” the Captain replied.
"What do you mean by that, Sir?” Nella asked.
“People don’t bother about sense when they fight, Sky.”
“But… it is not war yet, right?”
“Not yet,” the Commander answered this time, “but definitely to be soon.”
"What do you think the Earth Alliance will do now?” another crew asked, “PLANTs say it our fault.... the Blue Cosmos will definitely be involved. It is going to be very messy.”
“That is the one way to put it – messy.”
"Why would they think that?" Nella said, "the terrorist attacks aren´t ZAFT’s fault... They never...!"
"People are bound to think that way, girl! The coordinators and naturals have constantly been mistrusting each other. We will have many problems from now on! Like he said, it is going to be messy. Right, Captain?" he turned towards the Captain, who ignored him.
As Nella is stuck in the holding room with her colleagues, Cecile is making her way back to Catalina. She couldn't help but feel angry as thoughts of the events entered her head…
"How could they believe it was the EARTH Alliance? Even if they saw their sign, arresting people like that will only cause more trouble, let alone they are arresting people who are helping us...they are out of their mind!!"
"And everyone saw the ZAKUs and other GUNDAMS… the design is definitely ZAFT. The Earth Alliance will not use them.”
"But what if it's really the Earth Alliance, this weird technology they possess, how can they disappear and appear out of nowhere? Ahhh, this is too messy."
As these thoughts played around her head arouse her various emotions, Cecile knows that she must find the answers to this sudden attack as soon as possible. And while she is troubled by her thoughts, while Nella Sky and the other Earth Alliance soldiers were arrested in ZAFT, the plans that are set in place, that had taken the world by a blast, seems to be in success.
"Finally!" ‘Master’ said, sitting in front of the window again, "hahaha, it is going to be interesting from now on!"
"Wouldn’t you be scared?” A female voice came from a corner, "they have seen a new weapon, they will sure build up their defensive forces and that also mean that they will become offensive....!"
"As we have planned, huh?" ‘Master’ said smiling, "they will finally destroy each other......!"
It remains an unknown, if ‘Master’ is right, and the humans who dominated the world shall once again be engaged in war, for those in authority seems to wish otherwise, and work hard for it. Such can be shown by their actions, which spoke to all who listen; their hopes and beliefs.
“What is going on?” Heads were turned when the captured men heard marching from outside.
“Shhhh!” and everyone went silence as they tried to hear more of it. Nothing more was heard then was rather, seen. They watched as the door opened and a guy stood there with what seems as his guards, fully armed.
"I would like to speak to the Captain," he said and watched everyone careful, "if possible, that is."
“Who would like to speak to the Captain?” Everyone watched as their captain stood up and spoke to the man.
“I am Commander Yale.”
The Captain looked at him for a moment or two and then nodded.
“Please follow me then,” Commander Yale replied. Commander Yale led the Captain into a small room, where they sat facing each other.
“What, if I may be allowed to ask, would someone like you have to do with me?” the Captain asked soon after they sat down.
In the mean time, the holding room was filled with buzz as they speculated the reason in which their captain was brought away from them. No one knows the real reason, but nothing good wandered in the depths of their minds.
“What could that Commander Yale has to do with our Captain?” Nella whispered to David.
“I have no idea… it may be a trap.”
“Opps!... but why is it a trap?”
“I have no idea… but it can’t be anything good.”
“What will happen to us then?” Nella could not help but wonder. When David heard her trembling voice, he could not help but itch closer and placed an arm around her consoling her with words such as “it will be alright”, “we will be fine”, and etc. There was really, nothing else that he can do.
--End of Episode 3--
Credits for this episode:
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Once - title and plot.
Will not be approving any buddy request unless you talk to me.
Episode 4: Secret Mission
May it be a chance meet or a break of destiny which caused Cecile to chance upon Yzak as she hurried back to Catalina. Bumping into Yzak was indeed the last thing in Cecile’s mind full of the events of the day and her report, which she needs to be done as soon as possible. Still, the meeting did not go as Cecile had expected.
“Yz… ehm… Captain Joule,” Cecile stopped herself in time before she blurted out Yzak’s name without second thoughts again.
Yzak, however, does not appear to care so much. His reply was curd and edged on his usual rudeness, “I see you are still alive.”
“Yes, sir,” Cecile could not help but feel slightly down, “did you see what they are doing, arresting everyone who is related to Earth Alliance?”
“Yes, I was about to go there as well.”
“Why?” Cecile follows Yzak as he began walking.
“Why what?” Yzak sounds irritated.
“Why are you going there? Is there really a need to arrest all of them?”
“It is none of your business.” Yzak retorted.
“But still! I don’t think that is the right thing to do – just because they accidentally shot down a few of our units… I mean, it is very easy to be confused in this situation, where the enemies were using ZAFT’s weapons…” at Yzak’s glare, Cecile paused.
“Those are not ZAFT’s weapons. They are just weapons that look that they are from ZAFT. There is no way they can get weapons from ZAFT. Hmft!”
“Didn’t that happen before?” At Yzak’s glare, Cecile paused again before continuing, “I mean I think I heard of something like that before…..”
“Hmm! It is none of your business, whichever way it is.”
“Hey!” Cecile stopped, feeling offended. As such, she did not bother to follow Yzak, who was walking away.
In the room, a big room set aside temporary for emergency situation, there was not enough space for everyone. Yzak could not help but utter in disgust, “did they have to squeeze everyone here?”
It was then that Yzak saw someone being led away with guards. Upon a closer look, he recognised Commander Yale. He had no idea who was the Earth Alliance solider behind him though. As Commander Yale is under the Chairman, Yzak did not say anything as they left.
In the room where Commander Yale led them into, the two men started the conversation. "I am here to talk about what happened, really, Captain....?”
“My name is Captain Luke.”
“Captain Luke,” Commander Yale repeated. “As I was saying earlier, I am here to discuss about what happened earlier. I represent our Chairman Clyne, who does not agree with the act which caused you and your comrades’ arrest, but she is unable to help it in these circumstances.”
"We understand." The captain said stiffly.
“In this kind of circumstances, the only thing we can do is to tread carefully. We are stepping on ice, after all, and Chairman Clyne would not want it to break right under our feet. She feels that if the ice were to break, all of us will sink into the cold water.”
"Hmmm." Captain Luke muttered. “When will we be detained until?”
"We are still not under the condition to let you off just yet," he replied, "sorry about that, Chairman Clyne is still trying to convince the Council."
"It can’t be help, I would think." Captain Luke replied, "but don’t you think detaining us further will only strain the relations between EAF and yourself?"
Commander Yale nodded. "Yes, we do know that. But in the face of the anger of the people, there is nothing much we can do, really. ‘We seek your patience, your forbearance and your understanding’, those were the exact words of our Chairman." He asked.
"So, that’s it then," Luke said.
“If there is anything you would need, Chairman Clyne says that we will be obligated to provide them to ensure your comfort.”
“And what comfort would there be, if I may ask you, Commander, in a detain room? At our current state, there is not much comfort our minds can receive, even in the presence of your obligations. I will thank your Chairman for the offer, but the most important thing now is our freedom. No one will feel happy in a jail, Commander.”
He rose up and made to leave, but was stopped by Yale, who said, “I saw some injured men among the soldiers. If we were to provide some nurses and medicine?”
“We have nurses among our ranks. I am afraid the soldiers will not accept your help, in the current situation. With that, he left and the guards followed him after seeing the signal Yale gave.
"Nella!" David said, anxiously. Their Captain had returned. Without a word, he went back to his previous position and sat down. Though they had wanted to ask their Captain what happened, they were afraid to speak with the silver-haired Commander standing there. Soon, Yzak was joined by Yale, who had some men with him. They spoke for some time, and then, Yale went forward towards the Captain with some white boxes in his hands. Everyone’s eyes were on him as he crossed the room.
“Captain Luke,” he started. “My men have brought some first aid in which I thought you and your men might need. We understand the feelings of your men, and thus we offered the medicine. I will leave it here.” Then, he turned back and walked back to Yzak. Together, the departed the room.
“Has the council sent you?” Yale asked Yzak after the door closed behind them.
“Yes. I was there to check their names. We need to account for every single Alliance soldier, so it would seem.”
“I see. It is rather troubling, don’t you think?”
“What is troubling about it?” Yzak asked.
“Well, in this kind of situation, there is not much to do, other than to watch what happens. Yet, to watch innocent people being detained just like this…” Yale shook his head. “It is troubling indeed.”
“Then don’t watch.” Yzak said to the older man, who looked at him in surprise. “All we need to do is to follow the orders of the Chairman. That’s all.”
“I see….” Yale was stumped for a moment. Then, he continued, “Commander Joule is a simple man indeed.”
“What do you mean?!”
“No, no, I mean nothing other than what I said. You are right, we should trust the Chairman. After all, she is the one who brought us out of the two previous wars.”
It was then that a group of soldiers came towards them. They stopped to salute the two commanders, and Yale asked them, “are you to make for the Earth Alliance soldiers?”
“Yes, sir! We have orders to transport them to a safe location.”
“Hmm….” Yale replied, mulling over it.
“Then, go ahead and transport them." Yzak replied.
“Ahh, you send them off already…” Yale said as he watched the men leave.
“What?” Yzak’s reply was curt.
“Why, I had thought to ask them about the location.”
“What is there to ask? They were ordered to send them off to a safe location, didn’t they?”
“But, where is this safe location situation, do you know?”
“Obviously I don’t!” Yzak snapped. “Why would I know?”
“Hmmm… transporting now… I wonder why..” Yale turned back to look at the men, who was now entering into the room. Then, with a sigh, he followed behind Yzak, who was waiting for him. After a few moments, when they reached the entrance of the building, Yale bade Yzak farewell, for he needed to report to Chairman Clyne.
In the detain room, the EAF soldiers were tussling with the ZAFT soldiers.
“Why are you transporting us now?!! What do you want already!” one of them yelled as the ZAFT soldiers cuffed them.
“Shut it and move it! We are getting you to somewhere safe!”
“To heaven, most likely!” An Earth Alliance soldier spitted on the floor.
The Captain said, suddenly, "everyone, follow their orders quietly. We are not in a position to fight now." Nella was troubled but didn't say a word. She helped David up and they were too, cuffed. Soon, everyone were pack into the vans which would be used to transport them.
One of the men in the van said, "Don't worry, they are not stupid as to do anything to us, they are just taking us to a place away from their military base. They don’t want us running around their machines."
The Captain caught onto the idea fast, "yes, this is probably the case. Everything has changed now."
The man replied, "well, they didn't expect what happened; did you see the picture? It look positively burnt! I bet many people died. "
“Isn’t that obvious?” another man replied.
The Captain said in a low voice now, speaking more to himself now, "I wonder who is behind all this."
After around two hours, the van suddenly stopped, there was some rumbling noises and then silence. "What was that?” Nella asked. Suddenly, the door flew open and Nella was thrown out of the car.
"Captain!!!!!!!" Nella cried out in alarm. The Captain saw it and quickly rolled out of the van and positioned himself in front of her. David soon followed after.
When Nella looked around them, she realized that were right next to some old buildings.
“Who are you? What do you want?!” Captain Luke demanded.
"Follow my orders, or I will have the pleasure of killing you," he said to them, pointing his gun right at the Captain’s forehead. “I have no use for useless people like you who can’t even follow orders… or perhaps… it may be better… dead Alliance soldiers… I wonder how the ZAFT will handle this!” He laughed loudly at that, unafraid of being heard.
“Hurry up, will you?” Nella turned around and saw the speaker, who was standing by one of the buildings.
* * *
Yzak, who was on his way to his office, was surprised to receive a call. “What did you say???!!!”
“Commander Joule, are you still at the building where the Alliance soldiers were being detained? We may have serious troubles!”
“I am not too sure, but it appeared as if the Alliance soldiers were never to be transported. Chairman Clyne was shocked at this. She had never ordered it, and does not know anything about it. As we were speaking, she is checking with the members of the council. Whatever it is, we need to stop them!”
“Yes! Immediately! The Chairman says that we may have serious problems if we don’t stop them now.”
“Arrghh!” Yzak gritted his teeth in anger as he spoke, “I get it! I will send my men over now!” With that, he hung up and ordered the men behind him. “Tell the others to get ready now! We are to stop the vehicles which transported the Alliance soldiers earlier!”
Ignorant to what shall happen next Yzak sent his men down to stop the vehicles. At the same time, a horrible news are now being broadcast all over the world…
“As you can see at the pictures, London totally vanished, like Paris, Tokyo and Washington! Witnesses say they have seen a GUNDAM with the ZAFT Force’s sign. No one would ever have thought that the PLANT would take revenge that fast. They didn´t seem to believe the words of the representative. EAF announced and denied entry to Earth for all coordinators; they said they don´t want to provoke a war, but when one of those guys will set one step.......!"
Then, pictures of destroyed cities, or the rest of it, were shown on the screens. Ain, who saw it on the portable TV grinned, "Wonderful!"
"What?!" Nella said when she heard the news. She stared up at the man, who was shaking his feet in enjoyment. Without a word, he pulled his gun and pointed it at her.
“What do you have to say, brat?”
Nella froze, staring at his grinning widely face. Then, David quickly whispered, “shut up!” in respond to that, the man now turn his gun towards David, still in his relaxed position on the chair and asking the same question. Nella stared at the man in hatred. She glared over at him, who was dangling his feet over the table in front of him.
“This is a school room, isn’t it?” He continued tauntingly. “Then I shall teach you a lesson.” He grinned with the idea. “Don’t you think so?” Then, raising the TV, he jabbed his gun at it.
“So you heard the news. I bet you didn’t see the images. But it doesn’t matter. I can describe them to you.”
“Are you sure you can, Ain?” A laughing voice asked.
“You are right!” Ain laughed. “I am too lazy for that! But, let me share with them the news… it is simply too delicious… I wanted to have someone else to share with!”
To this, the enemy laughed out loud, sharing the little joke among themselves even as they pointed the guns at the Earth Alliance soldiers.
“London. Paris. Tokyo. Washington. These huge cities who were the pride of you stupid Naturals are now, BOOM! Gone. Destroyed; vanished! Don’t you think it’s a pretty picture? I think we are good artist, myself. I was just finding those cities too ugly for words. Now, I think they look perfect.”
“Why, you!!!” one of the technicians were angered with his words and leaped forward to attack him. But he was fast to point his gun at him, and the other members of the crew quickly pull him down.
“What would this benefit you?” Captain Luke asked calmly, though anger is sizzling through his eyes.
“Benefit? Do we benefit? Guys, do we need benefit?” To that, his comrades laughed. He grinned at leaned forward, pressing his gun on the table. “NO…” he whispered, “we don’t need it.” Then, in a sudden outburst that shocked Nella and the others, he yelled, “TO HELL WITH IT!” His comrades seemed to enjoy this even more, and their laughter increased. “Benefit,” he continued, ignoring the laughter of his comrades, “is what that keeps the world moving, isn’t it? You ugly Naturals and those stupid Coordinators. You are what that made the world ugly!”
“Aren’t you a Coordinator as well?” Nella had no idea what made her say it. But if they are the enemies, they are sure to be those that attacked ZAFT. And those that attacked ZAFT are using ZAFT’s weapons. Surely, they must be coordinators!
To that, the laughter of the men increased, and Ain joined in with his comrades. So loud was their laughter that they did not hear the soft creeping of the ZAFT soldiers. If they had kept in absolute silence, perhaps they would have been alert enough to the intrusion, and Yzak and his men would not be able to advance for long. Now, they were glad of it as they cradled their guns. Afraid to even speak into their ear piece, they surrounded the building and the specified room, each hand motion of each team’s leader bringing them closer and closer to the catch.
Then, when they were ready, one of the team leaders pressed a button he had been holding. The button shined a small red light once before disappearing, and through their ear piece, they heard Yzak’s voice, “now!”
Hearing the command they needed, they charged into the room, aiming at those who were holding the guns. To Nella and David and the rest of their colleagues, the scene suddenly got confused. They squeezed themselves together and tried to avoid the gunfire. Ain pulled himself up in alarm and aimed his gun at the men, but they were wearing bullet-proof attire. A few shots at him, and he is collapsed over the table. “Apprehend him! Make sure not to kill him!” The men rushed forward and grabbed his hands they pinned him down over the table while the other men continued their work. Soon, all of the men who captured the Earth Alliance soldiers were either apprehended or killed. They were then led away. Once they were gone, one of the leaders of the men pull off his helmet and showed them his face.
“I am assigned by Commander Joule to save you. My name is Linkon. We will release you now, but under the condition that you remain calm and follow our orders.”
“What will you make us do now?” the Earth Alliance soldier asked.
“We are here merely to ensure your safety. We will bring you now to Commander Joule, who will instruct you on what to do.” To the hostile looks that the Earth Alliance soldiers showed, he continued, “I believe you will be able to return to Earth soon, that is if you were to follow our instructions.”
“Why do we have to follow your instructions? Why not just let us go?” The Captain demanded.
After looking back at the others, he continued, “it would be danger-” he suddenly stopped and seemed to be listening to something. Then, he said, “yes, sir. Yes, we are in the middle of a bit trouble now…. I am not sure, sir! …. Yes, Sir!”
He moved forward, to one of the tied soldiers that is located in front, and in pulling off his ear piece offered it to him. Without waiting for him to respond, he pressed it against the man’s ear. “Hey, you! Who are you?!”
The man was shocked to hear the commanding voice. “I am… Lieutenant–”
“Where is your Captain?!” The voice interrupted impatiently.
“Captain?” The man turned slightly, as best as he can in this condition, and looked at Captain Luke.
“I am Commander Joule of the Joule team! I want to speak to your Captain now!”
Sighing, Captain Luke walked forward and looked at Linkon. He removed the ear piece from the man’s ears and pressed them against Luke’s right ear. “I am Captain Luke of the EAF 55th fleet,–”
“Listen! I don’t have time to listen to your nonsense. I don’t care what fleet you are in or whatever other details! If you want your ship, you better come out now, and no funny thing!”
“Considering that your men are equipped with machine guns and we are weaponless, I doubt we can play any trick.”
“Good! Then come out now and stop wasting time! Where is Linkon?!” Luke looked at Linkon and nodded, signaling the end of the conversation. Linkon took the earpiece back and said, “this is Linkon…. Yes, sir! We will bring them out now.” Then, he looked at Luke and gave him a helpless look, with regards to his Commander.
When they were led out of the building, they saw a few ZAKUs standing around the building. The men who captured them were tied and bounded up and guarded by ZAFT soldiers in arms. A man was overlooking all of these, with a pissed off look on his face. “Commander Joule,” Linkon greeted.
“Why are you so late?!” Yzak demanded. Then, he turned towards Luke, “if you want your ship back, you had better follow our orders now and move quickly! Before the others come!”
It was then that some vehicles came. They watched at their captors were loaded into them and then, they too were told to enter into the vehicles behind. Though unwilling, they had no choice but to follow their orders. They were transported back into the ZAFT harbor. Then, they were led into the harbor at night. Luke could see that there were some men guarding the harbor, but all seem to ignore them. They went on ahead, until they saw their battleship. A man was standing near it, and when they neared, he smiled at them. “Captain Luke,” said Commander Yale, “I hope you may forgive us for our blunder. We would like to return to you your ship, but under the condition that you are to leave for Earth immediately, without delay.”
“And what will your superiors say?”
“Chairman Clyne will answer to every query that was made by the rest of the Council.”
“I see…. Very sneaky indeed.”
“We don’t have time to lose!” Yzak interrupted. “Just get into there, and go away.”
They went back into their ship, launching sequences were prepared. Soon, they were ready for launch. Nella looked at the screen and then asked, "don't you think they are weird?"
"What weird?" David asked as he flinched. His wound had reopened in the building, and the Nurse is now attending to him.
"Like, that commander guy. He means well, but he is just ordering us around and everything. I mean, I don't know who he is or anything, but somehow, I don't think he is a bad guy. Just very loud and impatient." To that, David forced out a laughter and was warned from moving by the nurse. Then, in a matter of minutes, they were lifting off PLANTS and released into the space, on their journey towards Earth.
--End of Episode 4--
Credits for this episode:
Edit forum post:
Once - plot and title.
Twice - spelling error
Will not be approving any buddy request unless you talk to me.
Episode 5: When the unexpected came
Cecile looked at the clock and realized that it has been hours since she had been working on her laptop. Even though she was requested to hand in her report as soon as possible, she could not help but develop some interest in the mysterious ship and the disappearing act that it constantly pulls off. Somehow, she just can’t rest until she finds something that may be related to it.
"Hmm, this has proven to be much difficult than I expected", Cecile muttered to herself. It has been hours, and she had yet find out anything at all. But it's important to understand the technology that the enemy was using and driven by this thought, Cecile pushed on. As she was researching for similar technologies that could be related to the disappearing act of the mysterious ship, something came up in the screen which interests her; there was a GUNDAM with similar technology that can make itself invisible...She scroll down the page.
“GAT-X207 Blitz was stolen from the Earth Alliance 2 years ago during the Operation Splitbreak in Heliopolis, ORB by the Kluze team in the first war along with 3 other units manufactured by the Earth Alliance in ORB. It makes use of a capability called the “Mirage Colloid” in the GUNDAM for stealth and is armed with a "Trikeros" shield, which mounts a beam rifle, beam saber, and three "lancer dart" kinetic energy penetrators. After it was stolen, it was officially been used by the ZAFT, later destroyed by the GAT-X105 Strike in a battle against the Earth Alliance battleship, Archangel.”
"...Yzak and Athrun was part of that team if I am not wrong...”
She scrolls the page further down. The pilot’s name is registered as Nichol Amalfi… there were no more data beyond that.
"So this isn't a new technology after all, it's a modification… camouflaging a whole big ship is another story, I think. Still I think I made a big progress, as compared to having nothing after hours of research. I'll upload the data and start my report right away."
As she connects and starts to upload the data, she sees a stream of breaking news "Paris, Tokyo and all the major cities has vanished, reports indicates that a ZAKU with the ZAFT logo was spotted."
"WHAT??They must be kidding!"
* * *
Rayne was rushing along the corridor so fast that she failed to notice the two men coming down her way, and bumped into them.
"Ahhh! Ouch!!" There were a lot of noises of falling items, and Rayne rubbed her bottom painfully.
When Rayne looked up, the 2 men were trying to get up as well. They hurriedly placed all the items back into the trolley, which she recognised as a cleaner's trolley. Hmm, cleaners huh, she thought, really, what were they doing, not noticing a student!
"What are you people doing?" she cried angrily.
"We were sorry we did not notice you... we were in a rush to clean up an extremely messy lab!"
She was about to comment again when they finished clearing up and left speedily after a hasty bow. Rayne rolled her eyes, thinking, just because you wearing branded goods doesn't mean you can be rude!
Wait a sec! Rayne's brain was suddenly in confusion. Cleaners were not allowed in the single digit block labs!! These labs either contained dangerous substances or were used for highly confidential experiments. There was once a cleaner who had dumped all the wrong chemicals into the bin, and caused a huge commotion when the substances mixed and burned. After that, students were told to clean up after their projects and experiments in the single digit blocks. So, why are there cleaners in this area??
She stared after them, not knowing what to do. "Dancing apes!! I'm really really late!! The Prof is going to scream at me!" With a hurry, she rushed again down the corridor.
When Rayne reached the assigned lab for her team and Prof FAT, she was surprised that the lab's pass-key was replaced with another. She is locked out!! Rayne banged at the door anxiously. It took some time, and Rayne was really worried when finally the Prof answered the door. He stared at her and quickly ushered her in.
The lab, when she entered was so different; Rayne could not suppress her surprise. "What in the world happened, Prof? Cyclone?"
"No, no..." Prof FAT replied, looking harassed.
"What happened, Prof? Why are you looking for me? Why change the pass-key? And this room..." Rayne asked worriedly, at the same time thinking, not to mention the 2 weird cleaners... One of them wearing that expensive puma shoes... since when did cleaners start wearing puma anyway?
"No no ...” the Prof murmured, his voice brought Rayne back to him. She noticed that his eyes drifting from place to place. No, he was not trying to hide something... More like he is trying to find something, Rayne realised.
Prof FAT looked started and stared at her, "Err... Yes, deFray?"
"Can you please tell me why you called me here? Is there some troubles regarding my mother or my sister?"
"No-no! Nothing of that sort. Nothing happened with your family," the Prof looked around, as if trying to seek out the hidden people in the lab... but there is no one hiding here, right?
He took a deep breath and let it all out. Then, he pulled a chair and sat down, motioning Rayne to follow. "DeFray... you ... there are some troubles...”
"What kind of troubles?"
"Are you aware that the Earth and the PLANT were both attacked? From your expression I take it you had no idea."
"No, I don’t. Professor... they were attacked? By who? When? Why?"
"Now, now, I had no idea... Simply no idea how to answer your questions, deFray. I think we just have to be settled with knowing what we know now. And what we know is this: the PLANT and the Earth were attacked simultaneously. The manner of attack was different from what you or we had seen in the previous 2 battles. From the point that both PLANT and Earth were attacked, I think that it is probably the act of some terrorist or something similar to that."
"But Prof! Surely, there may be a possibility that one of those two were the culprit... what makes you think that both were victims? Either PLANT or earth could simply attack themselves for show... this had happened before... sacrificing oneself to destroy the enemy-"
"NO, deFray! Listen! And listen carefully! It IS terrorists." Prof FAT looked around again, and Rayne was left wondering what truly happened. The Prof was usually a calm person and never yells. "What happened is this. Some terrorist attacked both PLANT and Earth. And they did not plan to stop there. I do not see why they would plan to stop there anyway. They have planned something other than that. And the ODESISes... they have to be transported away."
"What???!!! Our 'O's???" Rayne was shocked. The 2 MS was a new model and their baby. The Prof and her team had worked hard day and night to work out the theories and programming from scratch. They were proud of their work, even if they had used research and information from the current and past GUNDAMs and other machines. And now, the ‘O’s were almost complete and Prof FAT is saying that they have to transport them away??! What does transport them away means anyway?
"Relax, deFray. I cannot bear to destroy them... So we have to hide them. As Soon As Possible."
"Hide them? From who? Where?"
"From the terrorists. I don't know where."
"DeFray-deFray! They have contacted me... as anonymous of course. They know that we have these 2 ODESISes... I had no idea how they know. Major projects of what we are doing were kept highly secret. But I suspect they are near... probably in the Moon now, and we have to transport them away somehow... to stop them from being captured."
"WHat?? To transport machines of that size?" Rayne felt a shiver of chill even as she says it. Somehow, she cannot help but look around her as the Prof had done so many times as he spoke. "Wait a min, Prof - what about Zack and the others?"
"They were kidnapped. Gone."
"Gone?? Kidnapped??!! Stop kidding, Prof!! This is not funny!"
"I'm not kidding. I rejected them some weeks ago, and I think they are furious... They took the guys away. The only reason they didn’t take you away was because they mistaken you for someone else. Another girl in your class. I am not telling anyway to protect you. But I want you to quickly secure ODESISes and go away... Back to your family. Anywhere but here. I'll ask Prof Limdom to apply leave for you."
Rayne was silence in shock when she heard all this. Finally, she shook her head violently as she yelled, "No!" Zack and the others were her friends, her team. She would not leave them in alone. How could she?
"Listen deFray- "
"No, Prof. What you said was right. We will password protect the 'O's and do every other security measures we can. And we will transport them away... Goodness knows where. And then… then… maybe… maybe we can go and get Zack and the others back?" Rayne tried to sound hopeful.
"From where? Dun be silly, deFray! We do not know who they were. We don’t know where Fellars and the others were. And we will be in a lot of danger!"
Rayne shook her head in silent refusal. After an hour of discussion, both Prof FAT and Rayne deFray set about doing what was necessary. There was no point in further discussion. Even as she had pretended to listen to Prof FAT, he could not dissuade her in reality. Even as she knows that his words were right, and that she has no idea of locating them, she could not listen to him. Or at least, she does not wish to listen to him. Even if she has no idea what to do next, she refuses to lose the hope. They gathered all the important documents and secured what they can. Together, they worked deep into the dark.
* * *
“HA. Now that the ZAFT and EAF are having troubles of their own, I think it will be time for us to launch our attacks on ORB, don't you think so?” Rayzak asked his assistant, Ralph.
“Yes... this would be a good time, Sir. However, which part of ORB do you plan on attacking?”
“Ralph, what a question?!” Rayzak boomed. “Of course we'll be attacking the ORB mansion! After all, that is where Athrun is residing in.”
“But our aim is only to destroy Athrun, what about the others living in ORB?” Ralph asked back.
That was a big mistake. Before Ralph could say anything, a slap came straight on him, stinging his cheeks with pain.
“How dare you talk back to me?!!!!! I am going to attack Athrun, attack ORB and everyone else living there! Make sure you get your position right. Who do you think you are, arguing with me?? You lowly slave!!!” Rayzak yelled.
Right after Rayzak's last sentence, a gunshot rang throughout the ship. Rayzak stood there with his hand clutching his chest, muttering “Ralph, you traitor!” before collapsing to the floor, dead. Ralph dropped his gun and crushed to the floor whimpering.
He couldn’t bear to do it, he could not let her die… and in the hands of his crazy commander. He crumpled onto the floor, until his composure returned. Muttering crazily to himself, he stayed in the room for hours.
“Athrun! I’ll make sure you die, and then, Cagalli would be mine!!” Ralph grinned to himself.
“Roy, Yas! Come into the room now!” When they entered, Ralph nodded towards the dead Rayzak on the floor. “Send some man to clean up the room and dispose of that man! I am sending you two on a special mission tomorrow. Make sure you succeed, or you will end up like him!”
* * *
In ORB, Athrun is trying to get Cagalli to sleep, despite their argument. “Cagalli, you should get a rest now.”
“Not when I still have this amount of paperwork to do!!” Cagalli was irritable as she scrawled her signature over a document she had spent hours to read. Athrun stared at Cagalli for a moment. Then, unable to bear with it any longer, he walked over to her desk and pulled the papers out of her hands.
“Please, go and rest, I can't bear to see you like this…”
“Stop it, Ath-” Cagalli cried in protest, and Athrun silenced her.
“Please, sleep now. You are already so tired. I will help you with you documents.”
“But… what about you?” Cagalli softened.
“I will be fine. I have some rest previously.” Athrun looks at Cagalli in the eyes, and finally convinced the tired princess of ORB to rest. While she sleeps in her room, Athrun went over the bunch of paperwork to see what he can do. It is in such a manner that he worked, through the night, until the first hints of morning descends upon the room. Then, he slept on the desk out of exhaustion, until Cagalli woke him up.
“Athrun?” She shook him gently, and he woke up. “Are you ok, Athrun?”
“Ya.. I am fine..”
“Are you sure? You know, you don’t need to accompany me this afternoon if you are so tired.” She looked at him worriedly.
“No, I am fine.” Athrun replied hurriedly. He shook his head to clear his mind, and wake himself up. “I will be at the breakfast table soon.”
“Are you sure?” Cagalli checked his face again.
“Yes, I am fine, don’t worry, Cagalli. I will accompany you on your trip. I will go and wash up now.” He stood up and made to leave the room.
“I will be waiting for you then.” Cagalli followed him out of the room. They parted at the door, where Cagalli made her way to the breakfast room while Athrun went to his room.
* * *
“Prepare team A3140 for the attack. Get ready the B64 tankers and prepare to activate building Z546i” Ralph instructed to his army.
“Sir, Yas requested for troops B23”
“Do as he says, send him the troops.”
“I want the attack to be a successful one. Make sure that you ask HIM to continue keeping the EAF and ZAFT busy.”
“I am going to make sure Athrun dies...” Ralph smirked.
--End of Episode 5--
Credits for this episode:
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Once - small plot changes.
Will not be approving any buddy request unless you talk to me.
Episode 6: Assault
Cecile was called in by Captain Arthur into his office. Ever since the attack on plant, everyone has been staying in a defensive mode as they awaited further commands, and Cecile had spent the night at Catalina. Cecile, "Captain, you asked for me?"
Arthur replies, "Yes, yes I saw your report, which is why I asked for you." Cecile looked tensely at Arthur as he continued, "You commented in your report about a similar technology was used by the Earth Alliance, to be more specific, a GUNDAM that we captured during the first war."
Cecile nodded. "Yes. I researched into it and found out about it."
Arthur continued, "I had looked through the record – the GUNDAM was really destroyed, as you had reported. Kluze team had then made a report to the Council after their capture of the 4 GUNDAMs. I believe it was Athrun Zala who presented his analysis concluded after they had piloted the machines.” Arthur saw Cecile’s surprised face, and explained, “that was under classified information as it concerns with the destruction of Heliopolis at that time."
There was silence for a moment and Arthur seemed deep in thoughts before he continued on. "There is another incident of the same thing. I was reminded of it after reading your report. In the second war, there was a mysterious ship, rather like this, which was hidden from our sensors. At that time, I was under Captain Talia in the Minerva. For the sake of convenience, Captain Talia named the ship Bogey-1. It is an unfortunate event that despite having a few encounters with it, ZAFT is still very much a stranger to this mysterious technology… I'm surprised you did not find that out, considering that you managed to find out about the Blitz. Since the Blitz was developed by ORB, I would think that it would be a help, perhaps if you were to go to ORB and find out more about the technology, though I doubt they would reveal much. What do you think? Are you willing to try?"
Cecile hesitated. PLANT may be attacked again at any time; she wanted to be here to fight alongside her comrades. Yet, she felt the responsibility for searching for more clues as to the technology, for she was the one who started the research. “Is there any records of Athrun Zala’s report at that time, Captain?”
Arthur thought about it for a moment. "Not that I am aware of. Furthermore, even though the technicians did work with the Blitz, I doubt anyone had any time to study the GUNDAM seriously during the war. Most of the research works were based on the machines that we produce ourselves."
With that, Cecile gave in. "Yes, sir," she replied reluctantly, "I'll prepare myself straight away; I think the repairs are finished on X-Liberty…"
Arthur stopped her, "no, you won't be flying the X-Liberty."
"We are at war, and that's why you should not be flying around with a military mobile suit. You need not worry, you won't need it, the situation in ORB seems stable at the moment, and I doubt anything will happen while you are there."
Cecile wanted to argue, but she did not see how it changes matters, and so she saluted her Captain and left his room.
After an hour or so, Cecile was walking down an air strip, where a small plane that was waiting for her.
* * *
After rushing to the lab whenever she had anytime at all to activate and set passwords and other security measures for the 'O's, Rayne is tired. It had been days since she received the news. After that, she had to learn about how to do the programming, which is something she is not experienced in. She had no idea that it took so much work to make everything right. When she finally got the knack of it, she either work silently with Prof Fat are at the lab, where they would be generally too busy to talk, or it would be either she or Prof. Fat is at the lab alone. Then, there are lessons. It was such a life that she lived for these few days that she had no idea what the attacks in Plants and Earth were all about or how huge the casualties were. She does not have a single idea, or any time for any such thoughts. Despite her worries, she did not even have the time to talk about Zack, Kim, Jon and Bill, who were in her team, and that girl who was taken in her place… Silbver, was that her name..? Rayne can't really remember. What she knew is that everyone had been told that they had something urgent and had to leave suddenly.
Now, it was morning, and she was having the first and, thanks goodness, the last lesson of the day. She simply cannot keep up with the teacher's droning... Silently, she found herself falling asleep..... Slipping into unconsciousness…
Suddenly, a tune played in the air woke Rayne up from her slumber. The PA system, Rayne thought.
"Would Miss Rayne deFray please report to the Principal's office now? I repeat. Miss Rayne deFray, please report to the Principal's office now." With an ending tone, the PA system died.
Her classmates were now looking at her, no doubt wondering what was going on. Well, they are not the only ones. She hurriedly excused herself and left the classroom, feeling everyone, including the teacher's, gaze on her.
What is it now? Rayne's stomach gave a lunge. More troubles? I do not remember doing anything wrong!! Don’t tell me... Leena? Or Mother? Flipping penguins! I am worried sick!! This is not a healthy lifestyle for a pitiful student!
With a deep breath, Rayne entered the cool General Office.
"Hi, err... the PA system was paging for me...? I'm Rayne deFray."
"Oh, please be seated. I'll inform the principal now."
It was 3 minutes later that Rayne was finally admitted into the Principal’s office. "Miss deFray? The principal is ready to see you. The last door on the left, please."
Carefully, and not knowing why she is walking carefully, Rayne treaded the carpeted floor. Two knocks on the door… and … "come in, please."
"Miss deFray," the principal said upon seeing her. The principal was a strong looking man. Not muscular, but he looked strong despite his average height. A calm set of jaws and bright blue eyes. Neither specs, nor white hair either. Clean shaven. He doesn't look like a principal, Rayne thought.
"Please take a seat, Miss deFray," said the principal, offering her the seat opposite him from his desk. Rayne hesitated before taking the seat.
"Miss.. Err, I mean, Mr … principal.. You were looking for me?" Rayne stammered, mentally kicking herself for calling the principal a "miss" and forgetting his name. She was sure that someone had told her before.
"Mr Jansen will do. Miss deFray, if I may ask some questions?"
"Err.. Yes?-Mr Jansen." Rayne's heart beat even faster. She must really be in trouble.
"Where were you since last evening?"
"Last evening? I was at my class, at Mdm Hearn's lesson… err, 5pm... We ended late as there were err... Some... Err... We had to take more time to... Finish the lesson. We were released at 7.20pm, I think. Then back to my dorm to do my homework... But I fell asleep... Until this morning when my alarm rang... And I rushed to class. And you called me."
"I see. Where there anyone in the dorm with you?"
"Yes... Yuki... She was my dorm mate... And we rushed to class this morning... Err, I meant, we went to class together this morning."
"Hmm... And you were not in the lab last night?"
"Our major project lab? Block 9 room 167? Ya, I wasn't in there. I was intending to go there after my class this morning.”
"And when is the last time u see Professor Toud?"
"Prof FAT? Err, I meant Prof Toud? Err....... In the morning? Before my classes yesterday. I just discovered that there were some errors and rushed to the lab... Prof Fa-Prof Toud was there."
"Err, if I may ask, sir? What happened to Prof Toud?"
"The Professor was found dead."
"What??!!!! I mean…. The… …?" Rayne was stumped.
"Professor was found dead. At first he was missing from a meeting. As it was an important meeting, we send someone to look for him but could not find him. It was a staff that found him dead some miles outside our campus."
Rayne was speechless.
"Miss deFray, were you aware of the recent events... Regarding your teammates and Professor Toud?"
Rayne stared at her principal. He sighed and went on, “there were some issues regarding terrorist, I believe. Professor Toud refused to give in to them, seeing that doing so would harm the world in general."
"He told you about it?"
"Yes. He came to me for advice. Apparently, your team mates and another girl were kidnapped, and he had no choice but to inform me. Miss deFRay, I would like you to explain to me about the project. Why are you and your team working on such a dangerous project for your major project?"
"Yes, sir… as you are probably aware.. Mr.. Jen… Jen… Principal.. because the school lets the teachers and the students form a team to work on a project together as a major project. So, the teacher in charge is part of the team instead of a supervisor…. This is to generate a real situation when we graduate. Erm – there can only be one-team-one-teacher err… group, so… many … teams were forced to combine together to share a project. Kim and I were in the general science research faculty, erm, while Zack, Jon and Bill were studying for the… err.. Mechanical engineering, ya. Erm, when we were forced to join together, Kim and I already had an idea for our project. We were to design and research a system… It’s for generating electricity without using coals or gas or anything of that sort – er – like – gases – er – natural resources…. We had an idea on creating a continuous and endless flow of energy that is totally environmental friendly. But that would not suit the guys, and would not get them their certs. So we have to improvise. From Bill's connections, er, I mean, Bill told us that Prof Toud purchase materials for the construction of a pair of GUNDAMs. The boys were interested and wanted to help. So we approached Prof Toud and asked for his permission. The idea is to create a GUNDAM that would not run out of power. Of course, Prof Toud would have his own technologies and enhancements to add to that. And… er…. That…. But… but that would not be a problem, erm, since we know the Professor would not er…
“Therefore, er, we think he would already know what to do. And we just… err… we would be just helping…”
“Relax,” Mr. Jansen calmed Rayne down. Even so, Rayne could not stop fidgeting.
“After some pleading, Prof Toud agreed. And we set to work on it. There were some problems, and er… addition to Prof Toud's ideas and technologies. But we worked it out, and we also integrated into the system what Kim and I originally planned… The – the … endless flow of energy. We kept everything in secret and did not tell anyone outside of the team. I had no idea how terrorist knew of the project…. The project is now nearing the end.... And we were supposed to tie up the loose ends of the programming. That day before Prof Toud called me to the lab to inform me of the kidnap, I was at the downtown shop, looking for extra parts, as the boys were trying to add in an enhancement into the 'O's - that is what we call the GUNDAM, the ODESIS."
"You went out alone?"
"Yes. Kim was supposed to go with me, but she had some problems with her schoolwork, and was made to stay back by Miss Hearns."
"I see. The 'O's as you call them…. Did you and your teammates construct it all by yourself?"
"No. The boys did their Mechanical engineering part, but there was the body, which had to be specially constructed with special equipments. We took it down to a special factory, and transported it back here when it was done. Some others… parts were also… they were… errr.. they were also sent to the… factory."
"You don't think... That that was how the terrorist knew about it?"
"That is a possibility."
When Rayne left the Principal's office later, she was entirely in shock. Now that she was alone, the fact of Prof FAT's death sank itself into her tired body. She no longer knew what to do. Exhausted, she sat down on the grass patch under the tree and stared at the buildings around.
* * *
The sun was high in the sky. Cecile looked up at the sky through the window, and thought, that it is so peaceful over here. This is not something she would have expected.
As she looked down, the plane was about to land. After a few minutes Cecile gathered her bag. Upon descending the steps, she was surprised. "Athrun! It has been such a long time!"
Athrun greeted her with a smile and held his hand out for her bag.
"How did u know I was coming?!!!"
Athrun replied as he took her bag. "ZAFT sent a message that you were coming and asked for our assistance. I accidently saw the message yesterday. I was surprised as well, how are things going on in Plant?" He opened the door of the car to let her in.
"You probably heard, there was an attack, a huge part of the city was destroyed… and so near to the military base too. It was really hectic...."
"Yes, I heard, but I don't believe it was the Alliance… I don't believe ZAFT attacked Earth as well."
"Me neither," Cecile agreed.
"How is Yzak doing? Did you see him recently?"
"Yes, he is ...well you know the usual."
Athrun looked at Cecile and said, smiling, "He is still giving you a hard time for enlisting in the military?"
"Yeah, I thought he'd be over it by now," Cecile could not help but complain.
"He is just being overprotective; it’s his way of caring… I think."
"I know, but sometimes it’s just too much."
They chatted as the car drove on, until they reached the hotel in which Cecile shall stay during her time here in ORB.
Then, Athrun informed her, “this is where you'll be staying. I think you should rest well before you continue."
“Thanks,” Cecile was very much appreciative.
A bellhop came and took the bags out of the boot and led the way. Athrun looked at her and said, "I'll be away for the next couple of days… I am accompanying Cagalli on her trip to Panama, but I'll catch up with you when I come back." And with that he bid her good luck.
Cecile stood as she watched him leave. She was pleased to see a friendly familiar face during a travel, and was sorry to see Athrun leave so early. As Athrun drove off, he thought of Yzak, of Cecile and the recent attacks. He wanted to do something about it, something to improve this situation, he's going to do something, but he just have to leave it behind his head for the time being. Athrun was afraid that he same thing that had happened in the second war would repeat itself if he became too rash.
“Athrun! You are here.” Cagalli looked up when she heard the door open.
'I'm sorry.” He replied.
After some time, they are off on the plane to Panama. When they reach there, they were greeted by an official who showed them to their rooms to rest before meeting the others ambassador.
“Ah, I can finally rest,” Cagalli muttered as she entered into her room.
“The trip must be tiring for you. Have a good rest. I will be in the next room.” Athrun replied before leaving.
Meanwhile, a man was into a room not too far off from where Cagalli, Athrun and their group were staying. “Commander Yas, they arrived already, they did not suspect anything.”
“Good, continue watching them” Yas whispered into his walkie talkie.
Yas then reported back to Ralph, “Sir, the plan is going smoothly. Cagalli and Athrun are here, and they are clueless about what will be going on.”
“Good job. Kill Athrun!!! But make sure Cagalli does not get hurt! If I found her injured, I will shoot a bullet right through your head!”
While Cagalli is discussing with the Ambassador of Panama, Athrun could not help but feel something weird. He checked around constantly and was on alert. When Cagalli happened to look at him, he gave her a look which signaled a warning to her. Cagalli looked grim though she pretended that nothing happen as she continued her conversation with the Ambassador.
Just as they climbed down the stairs with the other guards and prepare to leave, a troop of soldiers appeared out of nowhere and seized Cagalli from the front. The bodyguards around them yelled and pulled out their guns immediately. Athrun took out his gun as well, prepared to shoot. But before he could do anything, more soldiers ran towards him, and all he can do is run and hide. The situation became messy in an instant as the guards were either shot down or shooting people down. They dare not shoot recklessly in fear for Cagalli’s safety. Cagalli was dragged up to the highest floor to get up a helicopter on top of the roof of the building. Not wanting to leave Athrun at all, Cagalli struggled and eventually broke free when she stamped on her captor’s foot. She ran down the stairs in an attempt to escape.
Athrun was still hiding behind a wall with his gun prepared for shooting. The soldiers chased after him, simultaneously positioned themselves near him and prepared their machine gun. Athrun took the advantage and shot some of them, before they could set up their guns. He then ran towards the direction of Cagalli, when he suddenly caught a glimpse of her running towards him. Athrun threw her another gun immediately as he yelled her name. Before Cagalli could catch it though, she saw a bullet aimed for Athrun, and she shielded him without hesitation.
“Arghhhh!!!!!” Cagalli got shot on her arms.
“CAGALLI!!!” He yelled as he turned to shoot the man who shot her before rushing over to protect her.
“Athrun, be careful,” Cagalli cried with tears in her eyes.
“Arrhh!” Another of their guards was shot down. Athrun turned around and went shooting all the soldiers. It was sometime before the entire gunfire died away, with the enemies dead or retreated to somewhere safe. Just as Athrun ran back to Cagalli, who he had left hidden in a corner, Yas ran over to Cagalli and grabbed her. While Yas and Cagalli were struggling, Yas accidentally shoved Cagalli over the edge, and she fell down….
--End of Episode 6--
Credits for this episode:
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Once - 10 jan 2010
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Ep 7 Teaser.
REMOVED. Teaser overdue.
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Episode 7: Death Order
Cecile had unpacked her luggage and started to get comfortable in her assigned room. As she does so, she promised herself, “tonight, I'm just going to rest a little bit… the last couple of days were too chaotic."
She switched open the TV and started flipping through the channels. When she caught sight of a ballet routine, she paused for a minute to watch. It seemed like it was ages ago since she last danced the steps of ballet. It had been so long and so distant, it actually feels like it was from another life, back then nothing mattered in the world except her performance and her parents sitting in the front row watching her with all of their attention as she danced away on the stage...
As she was lying on the sofa and watching the show, reminiscing on her past, she fell asleep.
“Mummy, next week is the opening of my Ballet piece at the main theatre! Will you and Daddy come?”
“Of Course we will, Honey” …. “Cecile, your dad won’t be able to come … he has work… I am so sorry, Honey….”
Her Mum on the phone with her Dad… “This means a lot to her, you know how much she loves you and respects you, please ... could you shorten your business trip and rush here?”
She was lying in her bed listening to the piece of music in which she would dance to, when her mother came with news... “Cecile, Daddy is coming after all; he’ll make a shortcut through Junius Seven.” Upon hearing the news, Cecile felt happy and rushed about in excitement to practice more.
Cecile was looking at herself in the mirror as she was getting dressed. In a couple of hours, she’ll be on stage, her dad would be coming… she heard the telephone ringing and there is a shout…
“Junius Seven has been destroyed….!!” She runs outside her room, and her mother is lying on the floor, crying tears of despair.
Cecile wakes up breathing heavily…
* * *
“Cagalli!!!” Athrun cried out when he saw her fall. Without thinking, he jumped off the edge of the building, aiming for the direction Cagalli is falling.
“Athrun!!” Cagalli cried out in alarm as she fell. “NO!”
“Cagalli..” Athrun, who had jumped down after her had caught her in her arms as she closed her eyes, prepared to hit the ground. Instead, Athrun reached out with his other hand and caught hold of a lamp post just before they hit the ground. From there, he took a leap and they landed safely.
“Athrun!” Cagalli was overwhelmed, and she pressed her face into his chest. “Why, why are you so silly!” She almost cried out. “It was so dangerous! You could have died!”
“I... I –” Athrun had no idea what to say. In his speechless state, he could only look at Cagalli in the eyes, full of emotions. Cagalli reached up and gave him a long and deep kiss. Both of them were engrossed in it, feeling their own and each other’s emotions spreading due to the near-death they had just experienced. Then, before either could pull off, they were interrupted by bullets and gun shots. Athrun took out his gun and began shooting back at the masked man, pulling Cagalli into a safer position behind him.
It took him three shots to defeat his opponent. The first shot missed the man’s leg by inches. The second one was too slow for the man’s agility. And the third one costs his life. Before they had the time to contemplate what had just happened, the guards of the Panama army rushed to them. Athrun and Cagalli were then sent to the hospital, where they were checked for injuries.
Somewhere in space, a machine crackled to life. “Yas...”
“Yas…Answer me, it’s an order!”
“Yas, Answer now!”
When the other end of the transmission remained lifeless, Ralph threw his walkie talkie onto the ground in rage. “That useless Yas! He can never get anything done properly!”
“Roy!” Ralph now activated a communication from his computer. “Have you prepared the team and tankers?!!”
“Yes, Sir! It's all ready!”
“Good… good… Now, I will show the world … how dare they!”
In the depths of the night came the bright lights of a nasty explosion, sending men and women out of their beds in their pajamas and babies to tears in alarm. Even in the constantly-vigilant ORB, no one could have expected that. There was no warning; no preparation for what that had came.
'Oh – my gosh! What’s that?' A woman cried, her eyes suddenly awake. She grabbed at her husband’s arm fearfully as they watched the brightness which is a nearby house.
“Look at the house, it is glowing red! What happened?” A man who was fully dressed cried out, his coffee still in his hand.
“What happened here? I thought … that building … isn’t it …?”
“But it’s always been empty since the murder of the entire Focker family!”
“Is… is that ghost?”
“Nonsense! Ghost does not exist!” An elderly man interrupted. He flapped his hands in front of the girl with clear irritation. “It must be one of those naughty children or crazy scientists! Disturbing our night like this!”
Even as the scattered people stared and speculated at the abnormities of the said building, no one truly knew what happened. If they do, it was only through the later realization of some investigations. Now, they have no time, however, to find out, for just then, a big explosion was heard. It silenced the crowd.
“That’s it!” The elderly man cried out, “it is those crazy scientis-!!”
“Grandpa!” the woman beside him grabbed him as they stared at the scene in front of their eyes… Hundreds of tankers appeared from the distance behind the glowing building, rolling forward with insistence.
A second ago, ORB was still a peaceful place. The good men and women would have continued their sleep in peace and those who were working late would have gone to sleep sooner or later. Those on night shifts would have rejoiced at the arrival of dawn, where they would be allowed to return to their comfortable beds at home. Yet, if these men were to come home now, they would not have a shelter above their heads, not to mention a comfortable bed to rest their exhausted bodies. What was a moment ago and what that is now…. Those are two different ideas as presented in the eyes of the shock onlookers! The ORB now is beyond chaotic! People were running around, screaming in fear. Buildings were destroyed by the tankers; one after another…it is a picture of a complete mess!
“Miss Bernes! Did you know? There is a sudden attack on ORB! Tankers from unidentified armies are attacking the commercial area, that’s what they say!”
“Is that…? That was the commotion?”
“Yes! I wonder what will happen now! Everyone is now told to remain in their stations. AHHH, then I can’t go home to my wife’s soup!”
“In this kind of situation, I would imagine you would not be thinking about your wife’s soup!” Maria Bernes replied sternly. After a few minutes, once Maria Bernes is alone, she removed her mobile phone and called someone urgently. However, when the phone connects, her voice was more or less calm.
“Have you heard about what just happened?” Maria asked urgently into the phone.
“Of course. It would be impossible for it to escape my eyes.”
“Have you contacted the others?”
“The Red Knight and his princess should be trapped in Panama at the moment; they should know about this sooner or later. Reaching here in time, I imagine would be tough if not impossible.”
“This is bad!”
“I would imagine so.”
* * *
After having that nightmare, it would be almost impossible for Cecile to continue her sleep. It’s been a long time since she last had these kinds of nightmares; it's been more than five years now since that incident after all. She opened her laptop and started working, trying to run away from her thoughts.
After hours of work, Cecile got up and stretched her arms high. After she got back to her seat with a cup of water, she was surprised at the arrival of urgent news. “ORB is now under attacked? What’s all that about???" She quickly switched on the TV, where the news anchorwoman is now reporting the very news. On the top corner of the screen, there was a small live capture of the scene. Cecile watched as people ran everywhere, trying to avoid both the tankers and the war fire. It reminded her of the time when ZAFT was attacked. It is as if the same scene was presenting itself in her mind with different background. “WHAT is happening?!”
Now, the live capture had changed to show the citizens of ORB. Cecile watched as the news anchorwoman disappeared from the screen, and a reporter stands next to a citizen as she asks, “what do you think about the attack?”
“I have no idea what to think! I am very worried! I have friends over there, and I am worried about their safety!”
“Do you think that the attack will be spread to other parts of ORB, and even here?”
“I don’t know! The police and the military will stop them, right?”
Cecile stood motionless, ORB under attack....? For a minute or two, she was incapable of thinking. She could not believe it, until suddenly, the screen changed again and the live-capture of the current attack is now shown again, on helicopters. A building near where a family of four were crouching exploded, she gasped as she saw the horror-ridden face of the people even as they tried to run against the attack. Military soldiers rushed into the scene, trying to stop the tankers. There were shouts everywhere, children crying and adults running. Cecile ran back to the table and grabbed the chair towards her again as she sat down. Then, she hurriedly tried to contact ZAFT.
"Come on Miss! Hurry up!"
Cecile tried to ask him the current situation, but communication is hard in such a messy circumstance. Then, there was a deafening explosion. “There is no time now! Get in!” before she can respond to the soldier though, he was shot from one of the snipers.
Cecile was in the middle of establishing the connection when a loud explosion came from the TV. She stared at it as the vivid lights of the actual scene were captured by the live telecast.
“Hello? Soli? Is that you?”
Even as the connection is established, Cecile could not speak. Her eyes and every drop of attention were drawn towards the scene, where the corpses of the dead people lay on the ground. Slowly, bit by bit, Cecile began to comprehend the true situation in which she is in.
--End of Episode 7--
Credits for this episode:
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10 Jan 2010 - credits and plot change.
10 Jan 2010 - plot error.
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Episode 8: Troubled rulers
ORB’s situation could not remain unknown for long. It was during her stay in the Panama hospital that she received the news. Tired and exhausted, and while the anesthetic still works, she sleeps soundly in the bed. It was therefore after the passing of nearly a day after the bombing of ORB that she heard the news, communicated to her first by her men. When Cagalli’ heard of the news, her reaction was violent as expected, and she was reminded to care for her body. There is not much she could have done in this situation, and she wished that she had been at ORB when it had happened. If she had been able to lend her powers, perhaps it would have been better. This thought revolved around her mind constantly.
Athrun looked at Cagalli silently for a while. Then, he reached over for the remote controller in her hands and switched off the News.
“That’s enough, Cagalli… you have seen and heard enough. This is enough for now.”
“How can this be enough? How can it be enough that we can just sit here, and I can just lie here, mindlessly watching the news of our people dying and crying?”
“You are not watching mindlessly. You bear the pain of the people, together with them, despite the distance.” Athrun looked down at the ground, feeling the pain along with Cagalli.
“How can ORB… how can ORB… how can ORB be destroyed by tankers???”
“The GUNDAMS were deployed, though it was hesitant initially…. The enemy had a huge loss as well.” One of the secretaries who followed them tried to make Cagalli feel better. “It is to their disadvantage they should war with us with tankers… they should have known better than that!”
“Hitomi-san!” Athrun stopped her immediately.
“What…? Did I say something wrong?”
“Please leave the room for a minute…” Athrun muttered. Despite her insistence to stay and help Cagalli, Athrun took her out of the room. That was perhaps the best he can do for Cagalli at the moment. Once they were out though, Athrun began to start working at his laptop, with a sullen Hitomi by his side. For all of her mutterings and complains, he ignored her and continued with his work. First, he checked through all the news to ensure that all the information is accurate. Next, he started to open a communication channel to the others in ORB, where he was sure of the latest news.
A forest was ablaze. The enemy was determined to have entered from the forest and hidden for days. They had avoided soldiers for days in the forest. When this fact was mentioned, along with it, the idea of traitors was talked of. There is no way a huge army as the enemy was could have landed in ORB without some bribery and help from ORB’s side. And to stay for days? The possibilities are cruel. Now, ORB has just ended work with fire fighting, and most of the people are already on the mend… physically.
When Athrun and Hitomi re-entered the room, Cagalli was all for leaving Panama and returning to ORB. Athrun could understand her rush, but her wound was still healing and the doctor advised against it. Knowing that nothing else can appease her, Athrun allowed her to return on the condition that she allows the nurses and doctor to take care for her on the way. When they return to ORB, they will acquire the assistance of ORB’s own hospital staff. But while they were travelling, they have no choice but to hire some of the Panama’s experienced workers.
Arrangements were thus made, and it was not too soon that they finally were able to leave. Cagalli was practically impatient with the hassle of all the paperwork and the other chores, though Athrun constantly reminded her that it takes time to get everything done. When in the last minute, they were still unable to leave the hospital, Cagalli felt as if she was about to explode.
“And we still can’t LEAVE?” She cried out in despair.
“Please leave this to us, Lady Cagalli! We will try to handle this.”
“Yes, madm!” Once the door is closed, Athrun turned to Cagalli.
“Cagalli, it can’t be helped that the nurse is feeling unwell at the last minute.”
“How can she be a nurse if she herself does not feel well! Why do these things have to happen!”
“Stop being cross with yourself,” Athrun said softly, “we will see if there is another one who can take over her… there has to be one.”
“Then, they will insist to interview her and arrange all the passports and leave from the hospital and … and … and everything! ORB needs me now! I need to go now!”
“Rest first, ok, Cagalli… I will go check out on it.”
“No… Athrun… there is no need for that…” Cagalli muttered. Athrun sat beside her on the bed and held her hand silently. Together, they waited as Hitomi and the others find another nurse to wait upon Cagalli while on the plane. In actual fact, it did not take that long. Anxious to return to ORB as well, Hitomi and the others worked as fast as possible. It took a little more than 30 minutes before the new nurse is ready, and they were ready for the flight.
While they were travelling, Chairman Clyne of PLANTs made a call to Panama, only to find that Cagalli was already on her way home. As the news of her injuries had already spread, Lacus was worried about her health. She and Kira listened carefully as the ambassador assured her of her health.
“Please do not worry, Chairman. Lady Cagalli has left with a doctor and a nurse by her side. We have also made sure to conduct all the checks on the plane before the flight. ORB themselves have interviewed the pilot and checked his qualifications to ensure that there will be no trouble at all. I can assure you that all is well.”
“Is that so, Ambassador? I thank you for your effort.”
“Oh, I am much honoured to be of your service!” the Ambassador would have continued on, if Lacus had not stopped him and after thanking him, ended the call. Then, she looked up at Kira, who could not help but express his worries.
“Don’t worry, Kira. Athrun is by her side. I am sure all will be well.”
“I hope so too. I was very worried about Cagalli, especially her wounds.”
“It was very kind of Athrun to inform us. It is a pity though; you did not manage to speak to her before she leaves. I am sorry.”
“It’s ok, Lacus, we were busy – that cannot be helped.”
“Still, she is your sister, and by being with me to my meetings and obligations, you had given up on a chance to talk to her when she needs you the most.”
“I am ok, Lacus. I will talk to her when she reaches ORB.”
When Cagalli returns to ORB though, she found herself so busy with obligations that she was unable to even have a telephone conference with PLANTs. Athrun, who was worried for her health, stayed by her side even if the rooms were often crowded with politicians, secretaries, doctor and nurses.
“All of the injured have received medication now, and some of them are still at the hospital now. The dead were properly handled, and a date has been set for them to be honoured and buried. We have captured those among the enemies that are not yet dead, and a full investigation is currently being conducted.” Kisaka reported to Cagalli as the nurses fussed over the tubes attached to her.
“Have you found out who is behind this?”
“We have yet to find out. All of those we had spoken to refused to speak, but all were coordinators.”
“All of them?” Cagalli forced herself up, almost pushing the nurses attending to her.
“Not a single one is a natural,” Kisaka replied.
“ZAFT….” One of the members of parliament who was present muttered, “this must be a measure to get back at us! They must be thinking of revenge!”
“Revenge for what?!” Cagalli snapped at him.
“For… for… for signing a contract with the Earth Alliance in the previous war! I knew they would get back at us!”
“Chairman Clyne would not do something that like that!” Athrun, who was about to speak, was cut off before he had even spoken by Cagalli, who protected her brother and friends in a feisty manner. She continued, “if you have not forgotten, it was they who saved us in the last war! When all we could do was to stay here and wait for our death sentence, they were the ones who were fighting for us in the space!”
“Who knows what the Coordinators were thinking?” the man muttered in defence.
This angered Cagalli further, who exclaimed, “whatever they were thinking, it is definitely not this!”
Silence, the man stared at the carpeted floor, and silence filled the room from ceiling to carpet, until the doctor finally said, “now, Lady Cagalli, please sit down and let us attend to you immediately. You almost ripped the tubes away by standing up so suddenly. Please cooperate. It is the only way in which your health can return as soon as possible. Surely you have no wish to worry the citizens of ORB who loved you so much?”
Embarrassed, Cagalli sat back down. Taking a deep breath, one of the secretaries presented another document to Cagalli, and the semi-meeting continued. It was only when the day has ended and Cagalli was ordered to rest at home by the doctor that Athrun can rest. Even then, he left the mansion again after finishing his dinner, on the way to the jail. That is where the prisoners were held, and that is where he would speak to one of them. Athrun knows that he would not have remembered him so clearly if not for the memories of Nicol, who was etched into his mind.
As he drove to the prison, he remembered their first meeting. That day, Athrun had gone back to PLANTs to visit Nicol's grave. It was before he departed for ORB again after the war. He felt as if he needed to do it before he leaves. While he left a bouquet of flowers on Nicol's grave, he recalled the times they had spent together with Nicol while they were still in the military school, and subsequently, when they fought side by side in the same team during the war. That was when he heard some voices shouting in the distance. He went over to the source of the noises and he saw two young coordinators fighting with each other. It was only later that he got to know their names – Roy and Yas.
At that time, Roy was still a young and innocent 16 year old boy who had just lost his parents because of a car accident. Yas was already an elite task member of ZAFT. The two of them were fighting over a badge. The badge was a medal, Athrun heard from their conversation, Yas got from his previous commander. It turned out that the commander was none other than Roy's father, and the medal was the only thing his father left behind. Anxious to have a piece of memory to hold onto his father, Roy had fought with Yas for it.
It was obvious that Yas had a clear advantage over Roy. At that moment, Yas accidentally pushed Roy onto the road. 'SCREEEEECHHH!!' A car came rushing towards Roy's direction. When Athrun saw that, he dash across the road and pulled Roy along with him. The car missed them by just inches.
Then, he had requested Yas to give the medal to Roy. He had no idea that the only reason why Yas did it was because he recognised him as the legendary warrior, but Roy started to look up to Athrun from the day on. In his eyes, Athrun was not the saviour of his life, but the saviour who had helped to protect his last memories of his father after their house was burnt down.
Athrun reached the prison and showed his identification pass to the security, who allowed him access. Then, he met up with Kisaka, who happened to be there to listen in on the questioning. When Kisaka heard Athrun’s reason for coming, he helped him set up a meeting with Roy.
* * *
“All of them are idiots! None of them came back with even a whisper of success!” Ralph banged his fist angrily onto the table.
“You should have expected that, Ralph, after you sent Roy over with tankers. The great ORB, defeated by tankers? It would be a nice joke, Ralph!” Irina laughed at Ralph. “Oooh, I forgot, it already is a joke.”
“Did you seriously think that you can take over Master that easily? Don’t forget, you were just his small assistant, Ralph. And to think you actually killed him when we were away on mission. How cruel.” She looked at him with contempt and laughed. Then, she continued, “Master would never think of such lame ideas as attacking ORB with tankers.”
“What do you want, Irina?!” Ralph could feel the heat in his face. “You were the ones who refused to pilot the GUNDAMs!”
“I just want to see how you will die without our help.” Irina’s voice grew softer at the end of the sentence as her grin grew larger.
--End of Episode 8--
Credits for this episode:
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Episode 9: The Room Next Door
When they arrived at the surveying room, everything was already prepared, and Athrun was drilled lightly on how to questions the criminal and how the interrogators would normally react to get the necessary answers. Athrun listened silently, but did not show any sign of response. Then, it was time to leave, and the leader of the interrogators, a man in his fifties, said, “there are a few signals that are installed in the room, unique to ORB. When the light there you see?” he pointed to a small light bulb on the glass. Athrun nodded.
“When that bulb lights up, you have to leave the room and come back here. It is a signal that there are some things that we may need to discuss urgently.”
Athrun nodded again to state his understanding. Then, Athrun looked at Kisaka seriously in the eye, “thank you, Colonel. I owe you one.”
Kisaka shook his head and wished him luck instead, informing him that he will be watching from where they currently are.
“Thank you,” Athrun replied. He looked over at the glass which showed the other room. Roy was cuffed to the chairs, patiently waiting for his interrogator to enter. Then, Athrun walked out of the room and entered into the room next door.
Roy looked up as the door swing open. A man stepped into the room. Initially, Roy was surprised that the man was not dressed in a proper military or police uniform as what he would have expected. As he had looked up from the ground, he did not see the face of his interrogator first. Then, when he saw the melancholy and stern face of Athrun Zala, he froze; his mouth gaping open and his eyes wide open.
Athrun stepped out of the way and let the door swing shut. He then moved towards the table and took his seat. “Roy,” Athrun spoke, his tone as serious as his expression.
“At… Athrun…” Roy was still in shock.
“Roy, what happened?” Athrun could not help but ask. It was probably not the right way to start off, but the question burned in his heart.
“At… hrun…,” Roy bowed his head down, “I am sorry… I probably disappointed you.”
In the silence that followed, Athrun did not make any reply. Roy bent his head over and did not look up, until the silence became too much for him to bear. Then, he attempted to peer up at Athrun, but quickly looked down again.
“What happened, Roy?” Athrun asked, “why were you with those guys that attacked ORB?”
“It … it was not my intention… if I don’t do what he said, he will kill me!”
“Who?” Athrun asked immediately.
“Who are the people who attacked ORB, Roy?”
Roy refuses to look up at Athrun, unable to face him. Kisaka watched from the other side of the room as the silence continued. “Sir, it’s been twenty minutes already,” one of the guards looked up at Kisaka.
“We’ll wait. We have time now, at least.”
“But sir! If we let people like that guy drag our time, ORB may be attacked again! I say we force it out of him!”
“Enough! We have captured their men. Their numbers should be decreased by quite a few by now. We have enough time at least for this. Do not let your anger overcome you, Felcon.”
“… Yes sir.”
“Let us watch on.”
“Can you at least tell me what happened?” Athrun asked after the ten minutes of silence.
“I… my mother died…”
“I am sorry.”
“And… Yas… he came back again, and offered me money to bury her. I have no money… no cent, and nothing at all. The government is collecting back the apartment, and the insurance company refused to give me any money. None of our relatives helped, and when Yas came over with the money… it was all I could do to … accept it.”
“And in return, you worked for Yas?”
“Yes… I feel upset about it! I thought I was disappointing you! I didn’t want to do that at all! I don’t want to do all those things! Bombing Paris and London, killing all those people! But Yas said I have to do! Master would never let me live if I don’t…. and I … I don’t want to die!”
Everyone gasped when they heard that. Kisaka said, “jot down all the names, and try to find out about them. This ‘Yas’ and ‘Master’.”
“Yes, sir!” And the man quickly jotted down the names on the laptop. They listened as the conversation in the room next door continued.
“You don’t have to die.” Athrun said forcefully.
“He said I will if I don’t follow his orders! When he died, I thought I was freed, but… but then Yas told me to look at his corpse properly, and that if I don’t follow Ralph’s orders, I will probably die as well!”
“Who is Ralph?”
“Ralph is the one who killed Master and took over everything.”
“Was he the one who attacked ORB?”
“Yes… initially, everything was going by Master’s plan, but then, suddenly, Master is dead, and the GUNDAM pilots refused to work for Ralph after the death of Master, and so he can only depend on us. He threatened us constantly, and Yas was ordered on a mission as well.”
“That ‘Master’ you mentioned… he is really dead?” Athrun wanted to confirm the information.
“Yes, I was the one who was in charge of burying him.” Roy trembled at the memory.
“Do you know his real name?” Athrun asked. In the room next door, Kisaka nodded in approval as Athrun asked the question. This is what he wanted to know as well. If this ‘Master’ is the one who controlled everything before he was dead and Ralph took over, then they may have more chance of knowing the identity of their enemies with the revelation of his name.
“I don’t really remember… he likes us to call him ‘Master’ and treats us like his servants. But… I think I heard Ralph mentioned it before… to one of the others… I think he called him ‘Rayzak’ or something like that.”
“Jot that down,” Kisaka immediately reminded his men. The sound of the fingers against the keyboard was the only thing that was heard for a while, as the men in the other room remained silence.
“Do you know his last name?” Athrun continued to ask.
“No… no one knows.”
“What about Ralph?”
“No… we all know that Ralph was picked up by Master one day, but we have no idea what is his last name. Ralph refused to say it, and Master couldn’t care less.”
“And Yas?” Athrun continued to ask, frowning as he did so.
“Yas was a soldier… he was a ZAFT elite, from what I heard. The technicians would always talk about how Yas’ talent was destroyed by doing simple tasks for Master.”
“Did you get that?” one of the men behind Kisaka asked the one in charge of recording the information.
“Yes, I got it.”
“Good.” They looked up at the scene which showed what happens in the room next door, for their view through the glass was blocked by Kisaka and their leader, and continued to listen to the conversation.
“Do you know his last name?”
“No… I was… I was only worried about my life.” Roy confessed.
“This man is a real coward!” one of the men commented at that, shaking his head in disgust.
“Sometimes, that is how you survive. You have to admire him for being able to survive under such a harsh condition. I don’t think he is a soldier, at least not with the way he had reacted.” The man’s leader replied. It silenced them up.
“Roy… do you think you can tell me what happened exactly? About the attacks and about who you were working for.”
“I told you already, Athrun!”
“I need to know more.” Athrun saw that Roy is uncomfortable. He felt bad for making Roy upset, but he needs to know what he needs to know. So, he forged on, trying his best to get as much information as possible.
In ORB mansion, Rann just came by to visit Cagalli, who despite the advices she had received about her health, was working into the night. Rann was surprised to see Athrun away, for she would have thought that nothing would be able to tear the couple away from each other considering what they had just been through. When she asked about it, Cagalli frowned with worry. “Athrun? He has gone to the prison.”
“Why,” Rann asked.
“Because he needs to speak to one of the men we had captured after the attack.”
“Who? Why him?”
“Apparently, Athrun knows him, and he believes that the man is kind-hearted naturally.” Cagalli put down her pen and frowned down at her papers.
“I would say the same for everyone then. Everyone was all supposed kind-hearted, but they turn out to be so bad in the end….” Rann could not eject the hurt in her tone as she spoke, as memories of the attack remind glued to her mind. “What did we ever do, Cagalli? What did ORB ever do to them to deserve this?”
Towards Rann’s tears, Cagalli had no answer to provide. She does not know what to do either, and neither does she has any answer to which Rann does not has. Suddenly, Cagalli was surprised by a communication from a private line. She looked up at Rann, who quickly rubbed her tears and asked if she should leave. Cagalli nodded and said that her housekeeper should arrange some snacks for her. With that, Rann left Cagalli to answer her call on her laptop.
“Hi there, Cagalli,” Kira looked relieved to see her.
“Hello, Cagalli,” Lacus replied and smiled as Haro piped in a simple, “hello there! Haro hello to you!” She then continued, “Kira and I had been very worried about you when we heard of the news of your injury. Are you ok now?”
“Are you in pain, Cagalli?” Kira added softly.
“I am fine now,” Cagalli could not help but feel sentimental when she saw the genuine concern from the two of them.
“I am sorry,” Kira continued upon ensuring her welfare. “I should have been there for you.”
“It is my fault, actually.” Lacus replied, “Kira had to accompany me through all the meetings and appointments. There was really no time in such a tensed situation. Still, we should have called you earlier.”
“It’s ok. I am fine, really. They had to stitch me up a bit… only that.”
“It must have been very painful.” Lacus said with sympathy.
“I am not really awake when that happened…” Cagalli confessed.
“Where’s Athrun? Is he ok as well? I heard he is injured as well.” Lacus continued to ask. Kira looked concerned as well.
“He is fine. He had a few scratches and they applied medicine on him.”
“That is good. You must rest well,” Lacus breathed a sigh of relief.
“Is Athrun by your side?” Kira asked.
“No, he is at the prison now. He said that he knows one of the attackers that we had captured, and wants to speak to him. He had been away for more than an hour now.”
“Talking about that…” Kira turned to look at Lacus with worry, and she nodded. She then continued to the conversation.
“We just received something as well. It was the recording of the interrogation of captured men just after the attack PLANTs received.”
At that moment, Roy finally tells Athrun what happened.
“I don’t really know what organisation we are, so I can’t answer that question … but… I do know that Master was the one who did the terrible things. I am not too sure if everything was done by him, but we were ordered to fight and attack the different parts of Earth. That was the first tasks. We were split into many groups, I was ordered to stick with Yas while Ralph was always by Master’s side at that time. I saw and had to work with a lot of people I did not know before during the attacks, even though I thought I recognise every face on Condor. It was later that I realised that they were our allies from outside. We attacked many places for a long time, especially those that were held with importance by the Earth Alliance.
“Then, we were told to attack ZAFT and PLANTs. That was one of the hardest battles. But we had strict orders on what we have to do, and that made it easier. But… it was so hard to attack PLANTs.”
“Who was the one who gave the orders? Rayzak?”
Roy nodded. “It was Master who gave us all the orders. He was the one who triggered the bombs that we hid in the military base. But after he died, Ralph took over.”
“What about the Condor. You mentioned it earlier.”
“That was the ship we were always on board.”
“Where was it constructed, did you know?” When Roy shook his head, Athrun continued to ask, “what about the supplies? What happens when the supplies run low in the ship?”
“We were always hiding in PLANTs. Until we attacked Earth… then, we have to leave Condor and travel down to Earth. It was there that we met our other allies… when the supplies are low, the GUNDAM pilots will be sent to get them. They will come back with boxes of supplies and everything.”
“Who are those ‘allies’, do you know?”
Roy shook his head again. “I was told to not ask any questions.”
“The GUNDAM pilots?” Athrun continued.
“I know there are Ain and Irina. Later, another guy came too, but I have no idea who he is. He is very quiet and keeps to himself. No one talks to him at all.”
“Do you know their full names?”
“Mursil… Ain Mursil. He pilots GUNDAM Fallen Angel. Irina pilots the golden GUNDAM. Both of them, and the other guy were part of the ZAFT attack plan.”
“What GUNDAM does the other guy pilots?”
“The black one. Like the golden GUNDAM, it doesn’t have a name.” Roy said. He looked over at Athrun anxiously as the older man considered what he was told. “At.. Athrun! Ralph was after Cagalli!” Roy suddenly rushed out. “Master just wanted to destroy ORB and everything else, but Ralph, he is a coordinator who hates coordinator. I don’t really know what happened, but Ralph was always cruel to the other coordinators who were captured and brought onboard. I heard him say to one of them once that all of them coordinators should just die!”
“Are all of the people on Condor coordinators?”
Roy nodded. “I don’t know about our allies, but I think everyone on board Condor is a coordinator.”
That was when Athrun noticed the red light flashing one quickly on the tiny bulb at the top of the wall behind Roy. He looked at it silently, and it flashed once again. Athrun look at Roy, and said, “Roy, I am sorry, but I need to go for a while. I’ll be right back.”
Roy looks nervous, but he nodded. Athrun look down at the cup of water he was supplied with. It was still full. “Drink that in the mean time, will you?” He nodded towards the cup. Then, he left the room. When he returned, Roy was just drinking the water. He quickly put the cup down again when he saw Athrun coming in. He was holding some paper, Roy noted.
Athrun sat back down and look at Roy. The questioning continued.
“Do you know why everyone on Condor wants to attack ZAFT and PLANTs?”
“… Almost everyone, I think, have a grudge to bear. They were mostly upset with what happened in the two wars. Many people died for no reason, and they were really angry. So they think that ZAFT should start acting like a real army and that the council in PLANTs is not doing enough.”
“Are you angry, Athrun?” Roy asked timidly.
“No,” Athrun replied. Rather than being angry, he was remorse over what happened. So many lives were thrown away just because a group of people were angry. He kept his emotions in check for a moment before pulling out the photos the men in the next room had just printed out. He showed it to Roy one by one, asking if those were the correct GUNDAMs, the correct battleship, and the correct men.
Cagalli, who had been talking to Kira and Lacus, was shocked to hear what the two of them had to tell her.
“Are you sure about it??” She asked, very agitated.
“Yes… from what Captain Luke of the Earth Alliance informed Commander Joule and Commander Yale the Earth Alliance ship called Ikarus left, the men who captured the EAF soldiers were also the same ones who were responsible for the attacks of the various cities on Earth after the attack on our ZAFT military base. We suspect that they are also the ones who attacked the military base.”
“We tried to find out more information, but the men were very tight-lipped. They refuse to divulge any information other than the destruction of the huge cities.” Kira added with a troubled expression on his face.
“We are actually very afraid after we heard about the attempt to kidnap you, and the subsequent attack on ORB. We fear it may be the same people who did all these.”
“What are they?!” Cagalli demanded, to which Lacus and Kira looked at each other. “Who are they to conduct such horrible deeds!”
“Calm down, Cagalli.” Kira advised.
“Yes, you need to calm down,” Lacus agreed. “We need to work out ways to stop them. Getting into a heat now will not help at all.”
At that, Cagalli sat back down, her mood depressed. When she thinks of all the people whose lives were lost so easily, she felt as if she should have done something to save them.
“Leave these things to us now, Cagalli,” Kira said kindly. “You need to focus on getting your health back. I can see that you are tired already.”
“We should end the conversation now,” Lacus realised.
“I am fine..” Cagalli insisted.
“No, Kira is right. You need to rest now, Cagalli. We should not disturb you further. Don’t worry about the situation now. We will keep you posted.”
“Rest well, Cagalli,” Kira said.
“Give Athrun my regards when you see him.” Lacus added.
“Haro, Hallo! Hello to Haro!” Haro, who had sat silently on the table during the conversation started bouncing about again.
“I will,” Cagalli promised Lacus. “Farewell.”
“See you,” Lacus tried to sound cheerful.
“Take care, Cagalli.”
After the conversation ended, Cagalli rested her head against the back of the chair, deep in thought and emotions. It was then that Athrun returned. He saw Rann, but was too tired to chat with her. They parted after a few words in which Rann expressed her concerns. After she had informed Athrun of Cagalli’s location, she left the mansion.
Athrun went upstairs to where Cagalli is, and knock on the door. When there was no response, he opened it, only to find an exhausted Cagalli leaning back against the chair. He went to her, and when he saw her tears, he tried to calm her down. He would have quickly joined her sadness when he heard what happened. It was without doubt now, as the information in his head adds up. Yet, Athrun was afraid to burden Cagalli with too much information. They went to bed tonight with troubles on their forehead and too many thoughts in their minds.
--End of Episode 9--
Credits for this episode:
Edit forum post:
17 jan 2010 - spelling error
Will not be approving any buddy request unless you talk to me.
Episode 10: Long time no see
It was in the next morning when Cagalli knew about the contents of the interrogation in the prison with Roy. After a late breakfast, for she had woken up later than usual, Cagalli rushed to her office with Athrun behind her. It was ten in the morning, and Cagalli was anxious, for she should have been in her office a long time ago. Athrun did not try to calm her down as they journeyed.
When they reached her office, Athrun remained with Cagalli, even in the presence of the doctor and nurses. Kisaka was waiting for her as well, for he had received news that the Representative is on her way to her office. Though he did not blame her for being late, Cagalli seemed to be more heated than usual, no doubt from her lateness and the current problems they are facing.
Cagalli was bothered and upset. She looked up at the silent Athrun, who was looking at nothing in particular. What was he thinking? Why does he still stay here? Cagalli wondered if he is still worried about her, when she realised what she was thinking, and quickly stopped herself. Then, for she could not help herself any longer, she asked of Athrun, “why are you still here? You should be busy now, right?”
Athrun looked up in surprise. Cagalli continued, “I am fine already, so you can leave now.”
“No, I am fine,” Athrun replied, wondering what was Cagalli thinking.
“If I may interrupt?” Kisaka called from the corner he was standing. Both turned their attention to him, and he continued, “I have something to report, and if it is not much of a trouble, may we have the room to ourselves?” With that said, he looked at the doctor and the nurses as well as the chief secretary.
“Ah,” the chief secretary replied, “I have done my briefing of the lady’s schedule today and tomorrow, I will leave then. Please excuse me.”
“Well, the lady seems well enough, we will leave as well.” The doctor indicated for the two nurses to leave with him. Before he exits the room though, he reminded Cagalli about her health and her medicine. “Please do not forget to take your medicine on time, Lady Cagalli. We will be coming with the medicine for the afternoon later. If you feel any pain, please do not hesitate to call us, we will be around. And please do not get too agitated.”
When the door closes gently, Cagalli turned to Kisaka, “so, what is the thing you have to report to me?”
Kisaka replied, “it was about the interrogation with the terrorists we had captured after the attack on ORB. I see that you have sometime before the meeting with the ministers, and thought that it would be best to mention it now, before the meeting.”
At that, Cagalli tuned to Athrun, for she remembered that he had gone to the prison for that purpose yesterday. “I forgot to ask you about it…. How was it?”
“It was fine,” Athrun replied, “Roy … that is the guy I know. He was willing to tell me everything.”
“Did he speak the truth?”
“We have done a quick search with the information he had provided. While the check is not complete yet, as of now, there was no hint that he was lying.” Kisaka replied to that.
Cagalli sat back down and frown, “so what did he tell you?”
Athrun looked at Kisaka, who nodded his approval. “About those who he worked for, including … Ain Mursil.”
At that, Cagalli was alerted. Athrun nodded, for both he had Cagalli had seen the list of the men ZAFT had captured, together with their pictures, that Lacus had sent over that night. “Ain Mursil..” Cagalli muttered.
“He is now being captured by ZAFT.”
“He is now captured?” Kisaka looked from one to another. Cagalli nodded, and began to explain to Kisaka what Lacus and Kira had informed them of. “So… you mean to say that Ain Mursil and his comrades infiltrated ZAFT and captured the EAF soldiers, but were captured instead.”
“Now, I bet Lacus and Kira are still trying to get something out of them, but they keep very quiet.” Cagalli answered. “So far, they only managed to get their names and very little of their background.”
“From our side, Roy Lishel had given us a lot of information,” Kisaka informed Cagalli. “Apparently, together with their aides on Earth, the terrorists from PLANTs had planned the destruction of both the PLANTs and Earth in order to spark a war of destruction. They were led by a man called ‘Rayzak’, whom they refered to as ‘Master’. However, ‘Rayzak’ was killed by a man called Ralph, who took over.”
“Ralph?” Cagalli asked.
“There seems to be some kind of internal disagreements. Roy has no idea why Ralph killed Rayzak. From what Roy knows, Ralph had always been meek and obedient in front of Rayzak.” Athrun replied.
“So they were all behind the attacks all these time?”
“Yes, together with their aides from Earth. Roy has no idea of who they are.” Athrun replied.
“We have already started searching for more clues from what Lishel had informed us.” Kisaka added.
Cagalli remained silent for a long time, and both men waited in silence. It was for sometime that they did not respond. Finally, Cagalli said that the information should be shared with their aides in PLANTs. It was then that they attempted a communication with Lacus Clyne, Chairman of PLANTs high council.
“It may not get through… she may be busy,” Athrun informed the silent Cagalli, who nodded in respond.
While they are attempting a secret communication with the PLANTs Chairman, in a place blanketed by shadows, a girl was rolled up on the floor. She was as silence as the rest of the furniture in the small room, as she had always been. Then, in the darkness, she unfolded herself and stood up. “It must not be that way, must it?”
She pulled a hanger out of her wardrobe and dressed herself up in the dark. When the door to her room opened, streams of lights bleached the room. She paused for a moment in the light, before closing the door and walking down the doorway, along what is known as the military dormitory of ZAFT in her ZAFT uniform.
* * *
“Cagalli!” Kira expressed his surprise at seeing her. “Athrun!”
“Kisaka is here as well,” Cagalli replied.
“How do you do, Cagalli, Athrun, and Colonel Kisaka?” Lacus asked.
After the greetings were exchanged, they went into the sharing of their respective information and the subsequent discussion.
“We think that we would find out more from Yas Jiseae, Ain Mursil and Rayzak than from the others. Our men are already investigating the affair through that direction.” Kisaka said.
“I see. Our information here is very lack. I must thank you for the information you have provided,” Lacus said.
“So far,” Kira added, “we have gone through a search on their weapons and technology, and we confirmed that the weapons that they have are the same as what ZAFT uses.”
“It is very unsettling,” Lacus looked at Kira.
“Yes, I would expect it to be,” Cagalli agreed.
Just as she finished speaking, suddenly, there was a rush of knocks on Lacus’s door. Lacus looked up in surprise, when a voice said, “urgent news, Chairman Clyne!”
“Please come in,” Lacus said.
The man entered, and quickly gave his respects to both Kira and Lacus. Lacus asked, “what urgent news did you bring us?”
“The captured terrorists have escaped, Chairman!”
“What?” Kira exclaimed.
“How did this happen?” Lacus asked.
“We have yet to investigate the matter. We are still trying to pursue them. Some of them have been recaptured.” The man reported.
“Has the man called Ain Mursil escaped?” Lacus asked.
“Yes, but we are on the pursuit now.”
“I see. Please keep us updated on the matter.” Lacus informed the man.
“Yes, Mdm!” The man saluted them again.
When the man had left and Lacus and Kira had returned to the communication channel, Lacus said gravely, “we may have lost the man already.”
“This is terrible,” Cagalli said.
“Yes, it is.” Lacus agreed.
“There will be a lot more to do now,” Athrun observed.
“Yes, I fear we may have to stop our discussion now.” Lacus said.
“Please be well,” Athrun said to both Kira and Lacus.
“The same goes for the two of you. Take care, Colonel,” Kira nodded to the tanned man.
“Farewell.” Cagalli said.
With that, the conversation ended, and the five people have more thoughts than ever in their heads. Lacus and Kira will soon be even busier than ever, for the video of how the men had escaped would soon be sent over to them. When they saw it, they were silent. The video showed Ain Mursil along with his comrades holding two ZAFT soldiers at gun point.
“How did they even manage to get the guns?” Kira commented as they watched. Lacus remained silent. One of the captured soldiers was a girl wearing the ZAFT military school’s uniform. Instead of looking fretful, Kira noted that she looked calmer. When standing next to the other captured soldier who was panicking, she was clearly very calm.
Lacus had noticed the same thing. “Who is this girl?”
“She is one of the elite students in the military academy. Her name is Hazaguchi Yuume,” replied one of their subordinates.
“And the other man?” Lacus continued to ask.
“He was the man who was guarding the prison at that time. His name is Hagen Simons.”
“Is there anything that was recorded before this?” Kira asked of the soldier.
“No, nothing was recorded before this.” He answered truthfully.
“Who was the man on duty in the recording room?” Lacus asked, frowning.
“He is Gens… I mean, Jake Gensevil.” The soldier quickly corrected himself.
“I see,” Lacus said. “Thank you.”
While Lacus dismissed the man, outside of ZAFT military, a few men were running along with ZAFT soldiers chasing them. They ran into the forest, hiding among the greens even as the ZAFT soldiers followed behind. “There!” Hazaguchi pointed towards the left and Ain who was carrying her quickly veered to the left. The men behind followed. They ran through a series of twist and turn, confusing the soldiers in the green maze.
“There!” Hazaguchi pointed again. “We are reaching soon,” she added when Ain followed her pointed direction.
“Kill those who are catching up with us!” Ain ordered of the men behind. Without warning, the gun shots rang out with even more ferocity than before. A few soldiers were shot off, and some of the escapees as well.
“Don’t fall behind!” Ain ordered of those who attempted to help their fallen. Forced to survive, they ignored their fallen comrades and rushed up with the rest.
* * *
In the mean time, the EAF soldiers who had left PLANTs had by now landed on Earth safely. They were silently awaiting their orders as their captain, vice captain and commander went forth to a meeting with the other officers in the Heavens base as summoned.
In the room, Captain Luke and his vice captain and commander in the Ikarus sat silently as the members who were to attend this meeting filed into the room in groups. The arranged time is here, but still, some members had yet arrived.
They waited for ten more minutes before the last official arrived. Then, with a solemn face, Captain Luke watched as the meeting officially started.
* * *
Cecile stared at the email she had just received. What is this?, she wondered to herself. Her eyes go over the contents of the email again, and she could not help but remember Captain Arthur’s words before she had been assigned on this trip.
The email reads:
We regret to inform you that due to the current circumstances in ORB, we are unable to provide any information and assistance towards your enquiries. We apologise, and hope that you will enjoy your stay here.
“After all this waiting?” Cecile asked out aloud. “After making me wait for days, I am now to be disappointed with this single email?”
Though she understands that the condition in which ORB and the world is in now does not allow for information sharing, especially if it concerns the power of the military, but surely, she is looking for information that was of the past. Wouldn’t they provide at least that to her? Groaning out loud, Cecile leans back against the chair she was sitting.
“And I have been unable to contact Athrun at all! What am I supposed to say to Captain now?”
--End of Episode 10--
Credits for this episode:
shinncute for character creation
Will not be approving any buddy request unless you talk to me.
Episode 11: Survivors
Cecile sat silently as Captain Arthur looked deep in thought on the other side of the line. “Is there really no other way?” He asked Cecile at present.
“I had sent a reply email to the authorities in ORB already, but the same reply came back. They seem insistent that I do not get any information about the GUNDAM.” Cecile replied.
“I had thought that you would at least have some sort of information available. That seems impossible now.”
“Yes, sir.” Cecile agreed. “Should I return now? I have made a check. There should be some flights available.”
“No… instead of making your way back… do you think you can check out more? Try to find some way to find some information about the GUNDAM. It would be pointless for you to make the trip down if you do not find at least something.”
“But, that is –” Cecile stumbled over her words.
“I will leave it to you then.” Arthur said.
“But what about Catalina?” Cecile quickly tried to object, “I should be around to protect Catalina.”
“Do not worry about that. We have a new member on board Catalina now. We will be fine as we are now, especially since we have yet to leave the base.” Arthur was convinced that it would be fine.
Unable to conceal her surprise, Cecile asked, “a new member? Who?”
“You will know that when you come back.” Arthur replied, cutting her off, “I will leave the information gathering to you then. That will be all.”
While Cecile stared at the screen with the message that the connection has ended, Arthur heard a knock on the door of his office in Catalina. “Captain, Alan Macner here. I am here to report for work.”
“Ah, please come in.” Arthur stood up as the door opened and Alan Macner entered. “Macner, welcome to Catalina.”
“Thank you very much, Captain,” Macner smiled as he saluted the Captain.
“I see that you are new to ZAFT. I am glad to have you here, and I hope you will be able to settle down here quickly,” Arthur continue to say.
“Yes, Sir,” Macner smiled easily, seemingly perfectly comfortable.
“Well, then, I have nothing else to inform you.” Arthur nodded to one of the green-uniformed soldiers that had entered with Macner, “Decault will lead you to your room and locker.”
“Thank you, Sir.” And Macner was led off to his room.
“What a pleasant fellow,” the vice-captain of Catalina remarked after the door closed again.
“He smiles too much… I wonder if he will really be fine here.” Arthur replied.
* * *
Two weeks earlier, Rayne would never have thought she would be so dejected. Depression, like a cup of overturned water over a lit candlestick, had washed over her. She felt tired as her memories played back the events that took place two week before…
Tears, like a downpour that drained into the reservoir, building up strength like never before. Rayne entered the lab with renewed determination, knowing that she is the only one capable of protecting these machines despite her limited knowledge. With a strict countenance, Rayne went through every single detail. She stayed in the lab beyond normal hours, ignoring the nag of lessons, and eating only because it became a necessity.
And then, there was the funeral. The harps and violins and piano had sounded dull in Rayne’s ears. Yet, they were capable of removing tears from her eyes.
Exactly a week before now, she had left the Research Academy. All there was to be done was completed. The Academy had only to transport and hide the ‘O’s – the offspring of Prof FAT’s ambitions and the dual blades that eventually caused his death. She went to the metal work factory, hoping to find even a little clue to her kidnapped friends.
Dressed as normally as possible, Rayne had entered the factory, waiting for the perfect opportunity and slipped into the restricted areas. Silently, she had searched and searched. Yet she was not any closer to the truth. Tiredness and disappointment worn into her body, and she was ready to give up. To throw up her arms and declare defeat… But she waited, trying to convince herself that she will reach the answer soon…if only she would be willing to wait long enough. Why, it is just another minute, and another minute passing. Another minute passing… if this is the crucial minute, then she have to reach this… but why is nothing happening? Another minute – that is what she needed to save her friends. Just another minute, she was another minute closer to rescuing them… what hopes does she have of rescuing them? Yet, she must wait. She is another minute closer… what is this? A pair of Puma shoes walking towards her… that voice... the cleaners!
Swiftly, she tipped her cap forward and pretended she had every business to be there. It worked, the cleaners did not notice her and she followed them. Cleaners with puma, was rare but possible, Rayne knew. But cleaners who appeared at the school’s and at the metalwork factory’s restricted areas? She would be an idiot to not to notice it. They must have something to do with this, Rayne thought with suspicions. Too far off to hear their whispered conversations, Rayne could only follow. It is impossible to imagine her shock when they lead her right up to … Zack!
Zack stood there, talking on the phone impatiently. He looked totally at ease in his position, except that the person he was talking to was irritating him. Isn’t he kidnapped along with the others? Consumed by anger and upset, Rayne had confronted Zack. The Zack Spensers that she had thought she knew… why the Professor? Why the ‘O’s? Why their team? And Zack had been unable to answer.
She was soon locked up alone. Zack and another guy had stepped in to question her. But she refused to speak. If she did not know Zack, he would not know her. She would show him what she is made of. They locked her up for 3 days. Threats and starvation had not work on her, though she was on the verge of her limit. In her heart, Rayne knew that if she refuse to say anything, her friends, their safety promised by Zack in an attempt to get information from her, would not be harmed. Everything now rested on her and her alone.
Then, they had removed her from the cell and Rayne was reunited with Kim, Jon and Bill. There were hugs and tears, and Rayne saw the girl they had mistaken for her, Silbver. Then, Zack broke the reunion.
“Rayne,” he interrupted, “we are going to take the ‘O’s, even if you do not tell us how to get pass the securities… we’ll work out something, we have technicians here-“
“Including you, I can see!” Rayne said with resentment.
“Do not call me Rayne! I do not believe you have the rights! I gave my friend Zack Spensers the rights. But that Zack had turned into a stupid traitor and an arrogant terrorist! And he does not have the rights to call my name!”
“Fine by me. I just want you to know that whatever happens to the Research Academy will be your doing.”
“How can you say that!” Bill exclaimed.
“She refused to divulge anything! Even if we have to use some … measures, it would be because of her stubbornness!”
“Don’t you dare push all the blame onto Rayne, Zack!” Kim was angered as well. “You have no rights to do that!”
“Do I not?!” Zack fired back.
“No one told you to attack the Research Academy or anyone for that matter!”
“And you killed Prof Toud!” Rayne rushed on. What that followed was a hush of silence so overpowering.
“Prof FAT? Killed? What is this all about?!” Kim demanded.
“I did not… I did not kill Prof Toud.”
“So you admit it had got something to do with this terrorist group?”
“… Rayne. I just want you to know… we are launching our mission the day after tomorrow. We hoped it would be a silent mission, and the ‘O’s be retrieved silently… I hope that you use this time to decide whether or not you want to tell us … or me… anything. Anything at all… until then.” With that, Zack Spensers left the room.
“So what do we do now?” Kim asked anxiously.
“Nothing. It’s not as if we can do anything,” Jon replied.
“I know! But… they are going to steal the ‘O’s!”
“They can’t. I made sure every single security is in place.” Rayne tried to persuade herself, more than anything else.
“We’ll wait,” Bill finally said…
Rayne stared at the ancient hands on her watch. They are moving painfully slow. Yet, she knew the time would come. Zack had not appeared since that conversation, but she knew he would come again. The burden of her decision felt like metal on her shoulders. Jumping cripples, Rayne thought, how would I be able to face myself if LHS was destroy… or worse… if anyone was killed? She felt dread.
An hour passed.
Three. Rayne waited grimly.
Five. Click! The bolt was unleashed! Rayne’s stomach gave a lunge. Zack entered with another guy, someone she had never seen before.
“Rayne?” Zack eyes seemed to bore a hole in his ex-teammate.
“No,” Rayne’s voice was barely a whisper.
“Rayne!” Zack seems exasperated. “Tell us and everything would be free and easy! We’ll just take the ‘O’s and go! I promise! No one will get hurt!”
“No…,” Rayne shook her head with despair. Divulging the information would be akin to killing Prof FAT a second time. Rayne could never imagine herself betraying the kind Professor. Zack stared at her with disbelief. Then he left. The door crushed behind them like thunder. A click informed them that the door is bolted.
Rayne and her friends spent the next 3 hours in silence in the dark room until finally, someone spoke.
“What are we going to do now?” Kim asked, looking around with a worried expression.
“What can we do?” Bill asked.
“Anything? Something!! I am sick and tired of sitting here doing nothing!”
“D-Do we have to d-do som-something?” Silbver asked, trembling. Rayne felt apologetic towards the tiny girl. She was implicated into this whole affair as the kidnappers had mistaken her as Rayne. Yet, it proves that Zack was not part of the kidnap. He would never have mistake Silbver for Rayne.
“We have to escape,” Jon announced.
“Begging your pardon?”
“Look here, Rayne refused to divulge any information. So those guys have to depend on their own strengths to activate the ‘O’s without activating the automated self-destruct feature Rayne told us about. We do not know about their strengths. But we have to be responsible and assume the worse.”
“The worse would be those guys stealing the ‘O’s in success.” Kim offered.
“Right. But you can’t make sure that they don’t do it right?”
“We need to get out of here… then we can stop them.” Rayne’s brain already started churning.
“Bingo. We get out of here, sneak back to Lewis Harold Stanford and watch those guys. If they managed to steal, we do something. If they don’t, we escape.”
“Escape to where? Even if we managed to stop them, we need to bring the ‘O’s away… they will surely attempt a second time.” Kim and Bill nodded in unison to Rayne’s comment.
“Home?” Kim suggested.
“No!” Rayne objected, “Zack knew about us and our families. I don’t want anything to happen to Leena and Mother! We need to find a place that can hide the ‘O’s forever.”
“Where on the moon can we hide the ‘O’s?” Kim asked.
“Somewhere that Zack would not know.” Bill said.
“And those guys that Zack is with as well.” Jon added.
“Hey, Jon!” Bill sudden cried, “you remember the Playground?”
“That old wasteland?” Jon asked.
“Ya! I bet we can hide it there! It is large remember? We used to go there to find bit and pieces of spare parts.”
“Does Zack know about it?” Rayne turned to the two male. At that, the boys turned silence.
“So he does know about it. I bet he went along with you guys huh?” Kim muttered.
“Well, sometimes. Only after we became a team, though. Maybe he don’t remember,” Bill tried to sound hopeful.
“And maybe he does.” Kim retorted.
“No. That would not work…where else can we hide the ‘O’s?” Rayne thought out loud.
“You know… there is a place that might just work.” Bill said slowly.
“You guys know that my family has a factory here right?” he turned around to look at the others.
“What of it?”
“Well, we build our factory over a huge research lab. That lab was so old nobody even bothers to do anything about it. When we were young, we would play around in the lab, until my brother got into an accident. Then, the lab was cleaned out and it became a huge empty underground space. Nobody in the factory knew about it. It was some place special to my brother and me. We made a promise not to tell anyone about it.”
“You think it will do?” Jon asked.
“Ya! I do. I mean, who is there to tell Zack about this place? Heck, I even forgot about it until just now.”
With that, the four students discussed their plans in detail as the time drew nearer and nearer to night, with occasional input from Silbver. In the dark, the digital numbers of Bill’s watch showed the time, and he wondered out loud if the moon has appeared. The moon has appeared and it was not full, but it was not a cloudy sky, so there was an abundance of light… at least for the kind of job they are doing. Zack sneaked passed the general office in silence as he wondered about the success of Mercs and Moe. Those two were the ‘cleaners’ hired by LHS Research School (also known as Lewis Harold Stanford Research Academy), and Zack knew that they were accomplished technicians who were capable of doing their part. But, there is always the case where something would go wrong. Better not think of it, Spensers, Zack reprimanded himself silently. Now is not the time. He looked up at the sky again and prayed nothing goes wrong.
* * *
The mission was successful so far. They had reached the Block 9 labs and none of the alarms sounded. Good, Zack thought, Mercs and Moe did their job so far. Soundlessly, he and Jims, crept down the corridor. They reached the lab and Jims produced a black machine out of his bag. Zack connected it to the security system in the lab and swiftly activated the system. Within 3 minutes, they were in the lab.
Zack was thankful that the ‘O’s had yet been transported. He knew that LHS was trying to hide it. But the size of the weapons was making the job difficult. And they were highly powered ‘O’s. The school will be unable to hide it easily without gathering attention.
Zack led them into the second room, where the ‘O’s were. The security there was tightened, but it was not much trouble. Zack knew that whatever challenges they would face would be the ‘O’s themselves. Rayne is a clever girl, and a coordinator at that. Her skills would be on full display with the ‘O’s. Reminding himself not to be overwhelmed by her capabilities was something that he had to do multiple times a day, including now.
Zack and Jims each boarded an ODESIS and started their work. Zack was totally submerged with deactivating the protection programs … he could not help but wonder if that is the true capacities of an ordinary coordinator. The work here was spectacular. Zack was practically attacked with every key that he pressed. And he had been trained for such work. Focusing on the screen and its multiple programs, Zack focused on getting the job done as soon as possible. There was no telling how long Mercs and Moe could watch their backs.
So focus was he that he did not notice any noises until it was too late. With a shock, he realized that Jims was being attacked by… Jon and Bill! Where are Kim and Rayne? They must be nearby! Zack’s brain entered into a state of panic and he had to force himself to calm down. If Jon and Bill are there, then Kim and Rayne must be around as well. “They must!” he muttered to himself. Zack surveyed his environments and still could not find the girls.
“Shit! The countdown timer of the automated self-destruct system!” There is no time now to be bothered by the presence, or rather, the absence of the girls. He had to deactivate the self-destruct system!
Meanwhile, Jims was overwhelmed by the attacking students. “To the hell with them!” he cursed. Still, when one of them, a girl jammed a fist into his face, he did not try to protect himself. Soon, he was flying… no… dropping. He was dropping from the GUNDAM, or the ‘O’s, as Zack calls them… the ODESIS… what a weird name.
Why? Why did he get overpowered by the students so easily? In his heart, he knew the answer. The self-protecting system that was in the system was too much for Jims to handle. Jims had always been proud of being the best programmer and technician in the gang. But the girl and her professor were amazing. He had no way of deactivating the system. The girl, deFray had in an instant made Jims looked like a baby who nothing of programming. Nothing of what he had taken all his life to understand.
Jims knew that if the system was not deactivated, Zack would die. He does not mind dying, but that boy… that boy was dragged into all these fiasco by his father. He does not have to die. He had a future so bright… Suddenly, Jims’ mind and consciousness went blank. Like a computer that was hastily unpowered.
The man is dead, Rayne’s mind freezes with the fact. She had killed a man… punched him and pushed him all the way to the ground from the ODESIS.
“Rayne... Rayne!! Deactivate the system now!!” a pair of hands shook her violently.
Numbed, she went to work as Jon and Bill went to the adjacent ODESIS.
* * *
The sound was like a knife in the silent air. Jon and Bill who was making their way for the second ODESIS froze.
“Stop!” Zack commanded, pointing a gun from his ODESIS to the ODESIS he knew the girls were in. It took him some time, but he finally figured out what happened.
“Stop now or you guys will die! I’ve deactivated the system. And I’m leaving now.” Then, still pointing the gun at them, he moved the O towards the door. With an effectiveness of a trained pilot, he guided his ODESIS out of the lab, ignoring the destruction that it had caused on the way.
* * *
“Jon! Bill! Get in here!” Rayne yelled for the boys. Zack had left with the ODESIS, but he must not be far. She would chase him in this ODESIS!
“Ar!!!!” Rayne shrieked as she attacked Zack. She had no idea why she was so angered. All she knew was that she was being bombarded with all kinds of emotions and she was unable to control herself. Unable to control this anger and sadness that was sinking into her bones. She wanted to stop Zack, but she may kill him. She was angry and sad, but she was also afraid.
“Rayne, stop this madness!” Kim yelled into her ears, “Rayne!!! We have been battling for an hour already! The batteries are running low!”
Rayne ignored her. But Jon and Bill joined in:
“Rayne! Kim is right. The batteries are running low… you are risking dead here!”
“Rayne, you did not pump the JCS with the CPS… the ODESIS is not running on endless power supply now.”
Rayne pull back and stumped. Bill was right. The JCS wasn’t pumped.
As if he realized what was happening, Zack pulled back his ODESIS and escaped…
“Rayne, are you alright?”
“Ya, I’m fine.”
They were hiding in the underground research lab that Bill’s family owned. The ODESIS was behind them like a security guard. More like some promotional mascot, Jon thought. They had managed to calm Rayne down that night. Returning back to Lewis Harold Stanford was impossible after what happened, so they had hid as well as possible and waited for the people in Lewis Harold Stanford to calm down. Then, just some hours before, Kim and Bill had sneak back with Slbver to return her to her dorm, with the promise that she will never reveal anything that happened.
* * *
“What is going to happen, do you know?” Nella turned to David, who shrugged his shoulders. “But the Captain, the vice-captain and the commander has been gone for so long!”
“These meetings are usually long,” David replied. Just like Nella, he had no idea what is going on. They went to the canteen, where they had their meal, and talk about the events.
“Seriously, this is really going too far. ZAFT attacks Earth, and Earth attacks ZAFT as well? It sounds too crazy.”
“But David, that is what they said, right?” Nella asked.
“Yes, that is what they said, but what about those who captured us? The ZAFT fought against them, right?”
“Oh, the silver commander!” Nella cried out, which attracted the attention of the others in the room. Nella blushed red when she saw what happened.
“Ah, so Lieutenant Sky here is developing the love for the ZAFT commander, huh?” it was one of the senior pilots.
“No… no, I …” Nella stammered.
“Ohh, she is feeling shy about it!” he continued to tease Nella.
“Stop this, Gohr,” David jumped in. “Nella does not mean it.”
“Oh, Langster here is trying to protect the little girl now, isn’t he?” Gohr laughed. His friends joined in, much to the embarrassment of both David and Nella.
“What is going on between the two of them, I wonder…” Gohr’s friends added.
While the laughed, David clenched his fist in anger. Then, when Nella was about to cry, he lifted his right fist and punched the guy. Nella gasped and the room was in silence.
“Don’t you dare! There is nothing on between us! If you are so bored, you can go and tease yourself! Maybe then, you can entertain you and your friends!” David yelled into his face.
“OY! He didn’t mean that. We are only laughing, that’s all. There is no need to get all angry and stuff.” It was another friend who spoke up. Everyone turned to look up at him. He was a shaggy man, though there was something serious about the way he looks. “Come on, apologise man.”
“Ya, apologise!” A female who was in the canteen agreed. “You just teased an innocent young girl who would have nothing to do with something like this. It’s very uncouth, you know.”
“Hmft! Why should we apologise to them? They are just little trainees who are still trying to learn how to handle the skygrasper!” Gohr shouted.
“Ahh, so you want to start another fight?” the shaggy man asked, his face turned away as he spoke. “Just when we have our fill with the ZAFT, you want to start another fight? You are just like what they boy – Langster, his name? – said then, just another blood-thirsty soldier.”
“Who said we want to start a fight?” Gohr yelled.
“Pardon me if I am wrong, but you sound like you want to start a fight.”
“What’s wrong with you, Micheali?” Another man asked.
“I have no idea. I don’t think there is a problem with me, but then again, there may be a problem with me. If it is a problem to think that it is wrong to tease a young and innocent lady that is. Maybe it is my nature that I abhor such lowly teasing for entertainment, I guess.” After a silence, Micheali continued, “so are you going to apologise?”
“Come on, we are in the same ship. There is no need to make things so tensed.” Another man spoke up, urging Gohr to apologise.
“I am sorry.” Surprise filled the air, as everyone’s head turned to face the Gohr’s friend. “Micheali is right. This is no time for lowly entertainment or fights. I am sorry I made the comment. I take back my words.”
“Hmft!” Gohr walked away. That was when the Commander returned. When he saw the situation in the canteen, he raised his hand to rub his face.
“And what happened now? We just returned from the meeting, and I thought I was very hungry… only to see everyone looking so weird.”
“Nothing, Commander,” Micheali replied, “we were just playing a game of apology.”
After studying Micheali for a moment, the commander said, “were you creating trouble again, Micheali?”
“What, is it always me?” That set off a couple of laughs, and soon, the mood in the canteen was slightly eased. That is when the lady who spoke up for Nella asked the commander what happened in the meeting. At that, the commander became sober.
“Nothing much happened. We were told to verify what we reported and etc and etc. These meetings were always so long and draggy, and at the end of the day, nothing much happens.”
“What about our ship now?”
“Ikarus is to stay in the port and everything is as usual. Times are bad now, aren’t they?” That was all the commander would say, and all Nella and David and their comrades could find out.
* * *
Among the panting sounds made by the escapees was the sound of the DTMF frequency. Ain looked at the girl. Her brown hair was slightly covering her red eyes, but she does not seem to be bothered by it. Ain kept an eye on her as she continued to press the buttons on her phone.
“Oy.” Ain finally called to her. She looked up at him, momentarily paused in her pursue. “You lead us here but there is practically nothing here.”
“Will the ZAFT catch up to us?” one of them continued to ask.
“Tsk! Whatever you are planning, it had better be fast!” Ain snared at her. She look down at her phone again and then continued her pressing.
“What is she doing?” one of the men whispered to another.
“Hmph!” Ain said and went to sit down by the tree. There they waited even after Hazaguchi finished typing on her phone. A minute went by, and the second followed. The men clutched their guns tightly, looking here and there for any hint of ZAFT soldiers.
Then, when sudden noises reached their ears, the men tensed visibly. Without waiting for their response, huge trucks reached where they were. Ain and his comrades froze, and they heard a voice. “Did ya miss us!”
“Irina!” Ain cried out.
Irina, who was standing at the side of the leading truck through the door that was just opened, grinned down at Ain. Ain grin back at her. “Didn’t know you were fetching us.”
“Why, who else can you depend on?” Irina asked.
“What do you mean?” one of the men asked. Before he got an answer though, Hazaguchi interrupted with a note of hurry for them to be away before the ZAFT soldiers had caught their tracks. Hurriedly, the men load themselves into the trucks, which sped off away from the forest.
“See ya!” Ain grinned at Hazaguchi, who stood silently on the forest ground. She did not return the wave or the cheeky grin.
--End of Episode 11--
Credits for this episode:
Will not be approving any buddy request unless you talk to me.
Episode 12: Nothing Good
“Is she the only survivor?” Lacus asked, looking at the picture of the girl.
“Yes, Chairman!” the soldier replied.
“What of Hagen Simons, the other hostage?” Lacus asked in concern.
“He was killed and disposed on the way in the forest while the terrorist escaped.”
“How horrible… how did this happen?” Lacus stared at the picture now that she had flipped to the next page on the file presented to her.
“Our soldiers were warned to stop following them, or the hostages will be killed. However, their warnings were not heed, and the Simons was killed as a show of what they mean. They had probably killed him instead of Hazaguchi because Hazaguchi is only a girl.” Commander Yale, who was at Lacus’ side replied.
“This is horrible. We must bury the man and give him the proper honours.” Lacus said, just as Kira entered the room. Kira did not interrupt with the meeting, but merely listened on as Lacus gave her orders. After they left, Lacus turned to Kira.
“We have conducted the interrogation.” Kira said to Lacus.
“You must be tired already. Would you like to rest?” Lacus asked in concern.
Kira shook his head and said, “the man refused to say anything more. But it is apparent that he is in cahoots with the terrorist. That is how the video of what happened in the prison before the hostages were captured went missing.”
“What about the search?”
“We did not find anything. The search is still on. The Commander said that they will continue to search until the missing video is found.”
“Even if it is, it should most likely be destroyed.” Lacus was not hopeful. Though Kira shared her thoughts, he did not say anything about it. “It seems that there were traitors in Miss Cagalli’s side as well.”
Kira look at Lacus at that, and she said, “that was the conclusion, wasn’t it?”
“Yes.” Kira took Lacus in his arms, and they rested in that position for a moment. In the mean time, the terrorists that Lacus and Kira were worried about were having a pleasant time.
“Who is that girl,” Ain asked Irina.
“Who? That little red-eye?” Irina asked in return.
“Ya, she came suddenly to our cell and unlocked us, telling us to be quiet and quick. Before we can do anything, the stubble man – the prison guard, I hate him, by the way – he found out and she quickly pinned him down. Then, she led us down the prison, telling us to take her and the man as hostages.” Ain rested his head against his hands in the truck as he continued, “and that was how we managed to come here.”
“I have no idea who that girl is. You should ask Xan,” Irina answered. “He was the one who told us to come here to meet you guys.”
“Ah, that silent man?” Ain shook his head, “what is happening, do you know?”
“I don’t, but what I know is this: Master is killed by that rat of a man; that dirty Ralph.”
“What?!” Ain was shocked.
“He declares himself the lord over us now, but I wonder what will happen later,” Irina snickered.
“Nothing good!” the driver jumped into the conversation at this point. “What good can come out of it if you pilots refuse to work for him?”
Both he and Irina laughed and Irina continued, “ya, that is what happened. The GUNDAM pilots are on strike now, so Ralph can continue to lord for all he wants! Over tankers that is!” After the laughter died down, Irina spitted through the open window. “That gall! How dare he kills Master!”
“I don’t really care about it,” Ain replied.
“Well, it does not matter who dies and who lives. What is important is what will happen of us,” Ain replied.
Irina looked as if she was about to confront him, but Ain ignored her. In his mind, he was wondering what Ralph would do now. In actual fact, Ralph was troubled over it. Much as he paced his room (previously owned by Master), he was unable to come up with a solution. That was when an email came for Rayzak. Surprised by it, Ralph went towards the computer terminal.
* * *
Rayne stares at the food on her tray. Around her, the buzz of the canteen gave the impression that nothing much had happened. How is that possible? How can they eat as if nothing happened now?
“How am I going to stuff in the food?” Kim groaned from beside her.
Rayne look up at her but happen to see Sibver passing by with her friends. Their eyes met and Sibver quickly looked away. Rayne did not blame her for her reaction. Anyone who had been locked up in the dark for ages would shun away from those who had cause her predicament.
“Just stuff it in,” Jon replied. “You can’t go about wasting food now. There is a war, you know?”
“Of course I know! But after what happened…”
“Pretend it didn’t happen,” Bill advised.
“Everything.” Jon added.
“Even how the principal interrogated all of us?”
“Yes. You need to eat too, Rayne.”
“I am eating,” Rayne lied.
“Staring at your food is hardly what I would define as eating, you know.”
“Yea, me too.” Kim said.
Rayne looked over at her and said, “you were the one who were saying all about not being able to eat after what happened.”
“Well, that is me, and this is you.” Kim said defensively.
“In my opinion, you girls are the same. And you should eat whatever that you can eat and pretend nothing happened.”
“Even the O’s?” Rayne asked softly. At that, everyone paused. It was Bill who spoke eventually. When he spoke, his tone was especially soft.
“Forget the O’s and even Zack. We need to live our lives as best as we can now. We tried our best and that is it. Everything that happens now has nothing to do with us, and we cannot help it at all.”
Rayne sighed and tried to eat it. Eating it seemed so hard. It was the last thing in her mind, now crammed with all the happenings of the past weeks.
--End of Episode 12--
Will not be approving any buddy request unless you talk to me.
Episode 13: The words of those who loved and lost
Ralph stares at the email with glinting eyes. And all these time, he had not even bothered to check through any of Rayzak’s belongings! He should have read them long ago. He went to the inbox and other folders and set to read the emails, one by one. All these information! He could have put them into good use. Then, the battle in ORB would not be so wasted, and he shall see how Irina could mock him!
Outside the room, Irina and Ain were looking at the door. “Say, Irina, how long had he been locked inside?”
“How would I know?” Irina snorted. “He should have locked himself in forever.”
“What do you intend to do then?”
Irina smirked at that, “what do you care about that? You will not follow me, will you?”
“Follow you? Are you kidding?” Ain asked Irina, who chose not to answer the question. Then, Ralph came out of his room suddenly. When Irina and Ain saw his eyes, they keep silence and watched as he called for someone.
“You think he is up to something?” Irina asked.
“Of course. I am curious now.”
“He will not be able to do anything at all,” Irina said in disgust.
“Still, it is worth the time to watch, don’t you think?” Ain nudged Irina.
“It would be a good show to watch him struggle.”
* * *
Lacus clicked on the button that ended the video and the brightly-lit room was suddenly stolen of noises. It was after a while that Commander Yale broke the silence, “that was all that we were able to get.”
“She did not say anything else?”
“No, Chairman,” Yale replied. “Do you think she is in cahoots with the terrorists?”
“It is possible. Still, it is too early to judge in this situation. Please return the girl to her dormitory.”
“Is that wise, Chairman?”
“There would be nothing else we can do other than to watch her actions closely,” Lacus said.
“Yes, Madm!” Yale saluted her and Kira before leaving the room.
* * *
“Jon!!” Kim yelled out loud, turning in fear at her friend. The boy jerked back in time as the knife came swiftly in an arc, intended for his blood.
“Just give the O to us and we’ll not do anything!” Zack cried out in frustration.
“Why don’t you just give it up!” Bill yelled; keeping his arm in front of Kim as they both faced Zack again. Jon and Rayne were on their two sides respectively, forming a lose triangle as they were cornered by the men.
“Give it up?” One of the men who were with Zack spit onto the ground, “after what we had done? You kids sure do not know anything! Stop being a softie, Zack! Get the information from them or else!”
“Or else what?” Jon demanded.
“Or else you will kill us?” Kim added, “or else you will never find the O again?”
“You already had a unit!” Rayne cried out.
“We commissioned for TWO, you punks!” Another said aggressively, moving his knife again warningly.
“What do you mean commissioned?” Bill demanded to know. He glared at Zack, who replied after some hesitation.
“Prof FAT was from ZAFT originally. He cause the accidental death of a few soldiers during the previous war by his lack of –”
“Cut the story short will you?” The man with the knife interrupted.
“He escaped ZAFT from our help, and with our money, began to research on making the ultimate weapon – the ultimate GUNDAM.”
“Hear that? Those O’s you called them were ours. Now, hand it over!”
“Never!” Rayne yelled instinctively.
“What are you going to do with them?” Jon asked at the same time.
“What do you think we are going to do with them?” The one facing Rayne sneered, never lifting the gun he was holding from its position.
“We will stop the world from warring.”
“The world was at peace! You were the ones who troubled the peace of the world!”
“Then maybe, the world does not deserve to have peace!” The man holding the knife shot back.
“Give it to us, man! Stop struggling! Bill! You must know where it is! Are you going to keep protecting the secret? What about the girls? Are you going to let the girls come to harm?” Zack ignored his comrades.
“And the rest of the people? You are going to use the O’s to kill Leena and the others, right? What makes you think we cannot keep the secret?” Rayne asked Zack, who looked taken back. Just as he was about to answer though, noises from nearby alerted them.
“What’s happening?” they heard the call.
“Shit!” Zack cried out.
“Where is the O?!” The man with the knife cried out urgently.
“Like I am going to tell you!” Jon answered. “Help!!! We are being attacked!”
“Shit!” the man holding the gun shouted, “stop yelling, or I will shot!”
“Shot!” Rayne glared at him, “shot and we will bring the O with us to the grave!”
“Come on, we need to go!” Zack saw the men running here already, and with an anxious look at his comrades, he turned as if about to leave.
“No! We need to get the O!”
“Lee! We need to leave now!”
“I will not let my children die in vain! Where is the O??!!!”
“I am NOT going to tell you!” Jon yelled equally loud.
“Hey there!” the voices are coming even nearer now.
“Shit!” The man holding the gun fired it to the sky before yelling, “come any nearer and we will kill them!” The noises died down immediately. Zack stared at him in disbelief. “Come on! What are you waiting for!”
Jon gripped the rod he was holding tighter and bit his lips. Rayne leaned back further though she knew there is no way for her to escape. To their surprise, the man with the gun made for the man with the knife and after hitting him on the head, he dragged the shocked man away. Zack followed them immediately, and they disappeared away from the bushes. There was nothing other than the wind and the sound of the leaves. Then, Bill cried out, in a croak, “we are ok!”
* * *
Zack ran for his life. He knew why Dean did that. He saw the same thing Dean saw. Men with guns. They may have the advantage now, but if the men persisted, they will no doubt die, and even have leaked the secret of the organisation!
They ran on for miles without stopping. It was until the scenery around them was totally different that Dean stopped, and let go of Lee. Zack bent over and panted hard. All three of them was unable to speak for a moment. Then, the first moment that Lee had got his control back on, he charged straight at Dean. “What did you do that for!” He yelled as he wrestled Dean.
“Because the secret would be leaked!”
“Those children know about us already!”
“Yes! But they never said anything! We want the O’s, but not at the expense of revealing ourselves! Our way of working is always to keep ourselves in the dark! How else do you think we have survived the two wars huh?”
“LIES!” Lee roared.
“I know your children died with your wife, but if you don’t keep yourself under control, we are all going to die as well!”
“So you are afraid of death, huh? Let me tell you something – I am NOT AFRAID!” Lee spitted into Dean’s face.
“You are not afraid of death, but who will revenge your babies? Who will revenge your babies who were not even given a chance to be born into the world!”
That calmed Lee down, who let go of Dean. Dean arranged his collar and sat up.
“Are we really doing the right thing?” Zack asked almost in a whisper.
“What?” Dean asked. Lee ignored them.
“We are doing this because we were forced into this, father says. But what about those who were enjoying the peace? Are we really stealing the peace away from them?”
“What? Is your brain spoilt after spending your so-call peace in that school?” Dean mocked gently. Then, as Zack hung his head, he continued, “even if you want to stop doing this and leave, I wouldn’t stop you. I agree with Jims. You had a bright future ahead of you. Your father done wrong in bringing you into this. You are different from the rest of us. We were unable to live with the way the world is now. We were unable to live with not being given a chance to survive in this world. We were not able to live with knowing that despite our struggles, those out there still seek to squeeze our lives and those of our loved ones from us. But you are different. So, run if you want. This may be the only chance you are getting.”
Zack was shocked. He did not expect this to happen. The words that poured out of Dean’s mouth were shocking. Even then, Lee did not stop him or protest against it. Zack steal a peek at Lee to check his response, only to be caught by him.
“If my babies were born, I want them to be given a chance to survive.” He said, knowing what is in Zack’s mind. “I am a rash man, but even I can think. I want my children to survive. We had twins. I told my wife, we must treat them equally, so that they will not feel neglected. At that time, she smiled at me and said ‘ok’. In my eyes, they are the same. It does not matter if it is a coordinator or a natural. They are all the same. They are all murderers who killed my family. So I will never forgive them. But you are different, like what Dean said. Go and live.”
“He is right, boy. Run while you have the chance. If you don’t run now, you will continue this cursed life.”
“Hesitate now, and death shall come later.” Lee muttered. “This is what they say.”
“I… I will not leave.” Zack had no idea where his strength comes from. “I cannot leave. My father… he needs me.”
“Then, from now on, say no more about destroying peace or what is right and wrong. Keep them in your heart and don’t even utter a word about it.” Dean advised. Lee nodded in agreement. Then, they stood up and prepare to leave. Lee went over and helped Dean up.
“Nay, it’s ok.”
Zack looked at them. He is unable to understand the two men, but he felt the respect for them.
* * *
She walked down the corridor, ignoring the stares and mutters that surrounded her like hives of persistent bees. She had never cared for them or what they say. Yuume walked with confidence into her room. Then, it was to her surprise that the room was brightly lit and occupied.
The new girl smiled at Yuume. “Hello! I am transferred here today! My name is –”
Yuume ignored her and went instead for shower.
“Oh! I knew you were coming back today from headquarters, so I put some water for you! They are warm!” Even as Yuume closed the door and proceed to shower, the girl talked on, sitting on the other side of the door. “You know, I really admire you, being able to go to the headquarters! How I wish I can! You are like, my heroine, you know?”
With her right hand lifted, Yuume wrote against the steam on the tiled wall next to her. When the room cooled slightly, the words can be seen clearly.
* * *
“Hello,” Kira greeted the silver head and the blond with a smile. Lacus smiled as well. But Yzak does not seem happy. Instead, he looked pissed off as he saluted Lacus Clyne.
“We are here, Chairman, as you had commanded.”
“Please be at ease.” Lacus said, and they placed their hands down. “I am sure you were wondering what I had requested you for. In truth, I have a request to ask of you and your team.”
“Please command us as you please,” Dearka grinned, at the annoyance of Yzak.
“There have been some investigations going on about the terrorists who had been attacking both Earth and PLANTs. I have received some information of some suspicious activities in this area.” Lacus indicated the screen which showed the map of space. I would like you to join up with the Catalina and investigate into this matter with Captain Arthur.”
“Yes, Madm!” Yzak replied.
“We’re on it,” Dearka added.
When they left the room though, Yzak turned around to confront Dearka. “Will you stop that? That was the Chairman, you know! What’s with that tone?”
“Ah…. I guess I can’t be serious with that guy around.”
“That Yamato guy?” Yzak look cross.
“Yes… Athrun’s friend, Kira Yamato.”
“What’s so funny about him?”
“He doesn’t look as if he suits the position.” Dearka laughed.
“Oh quit it! We are going on a mission now!”
--End of Episode 13--
Will not be approving any buddy request unless you talk to me.