Episode 14: Trial Run
"ORB?” Ralph laughed, “ORB is going to be a goner. That was just a warning. It goes to show, they can’t even protect themselves well!”
“But attacking with tankers.” The man frowned slightly. “You may have underestimated ORB.”
“Underestimate them?” Ralph sneered, “did you see how shocked they were? That we can actually hide our tankers there. They didn’t expect that.”
The man nodded slightly. Irina scowled in disgust and Ain laughed silently at her reaction. That was when the man turned to them, “I am privileged to be able to meet your pilots. I had not expected you to bring them along as well.”
“The past practice was to hide our contacts from each other and that was why we had never succeed all this time,” as he spoke, Ralph’s eyes looked meaningfully at the two pilots.
“Do you mean to say that we have been doing things the wrong way?” the man asked sternly.
“No, I do not. But there has to be some other way of doing things that may yield better results.” Ralph answered anxiously.
“We had a lot of success. To be able to do so many things, it is a breakthrough.”
“Yes, a breakthrough….” Ralph looked around anxiously. If that man refused to work with him, then he is left all alone again! Irina and Ain would refuse to help him, and Xan could care less. He needs their support. That was the reason why he is out here on the moon now. “But what’s after that?”
“Are you sure you know what is going on, Mr. Ralph?”
“Yes, of course I do. But after the big bang and everything, there is nothing else. What is on the news now? ZAFT trying to make peace with EAF and EAF soldiers rescued by ZAFT. What else is there? Nothing else! Our plot is almost over. We need to do something. If Earth and ZAFT work together to root us out, their strengths will be more than doubled.”
“Which is why we are so secretive. Truth to tell, Mr. Ralph, I had objected to meeting you. Only the news of the death of Rayzak had led me to accept your proposal of meeting. If you are truly the man who killed Rayzak, you must be capable of something more. If that is the case, I shall be waiting for the news of your success.” The man stood up and made to leave. Ralph stood up instantly. How can he let him go without even knowing his name? That shall lead to more teasing by Irina and Ain!
“I heard,” Ralph called, “that you had secured the ultimate system against the ZAFT and the EAF. I am very interested to see what it is like. That was the reason behind my request to see you. It was a huge success, I heard, and I am here to celebrate your glory with you.”
“If that is the case,” the man smiled, “then you are welcome as our guest. We shall show you and your team what we have.” The man looked now at Irina and Ain, who smirked back. “It may be on a testing stage now, but I shall invite our pilots to try them out themselves.”
“Interesting.” Ain grinned.
The man nodded and left. He walked into his office, and summoned Spensers to his room. “Spensers,” he said when they are alone in the room, “have your son prepare to pilot the O tomorrow. We shall have a test with our partners.”
“We have yet to test the O’s system in a fight, haven’t we? Well, one of our partners, our counterpart from PLANTS has arrived. They brought some pilots with them. We will test the system against their pilots.”
“You say arrived?”
“Yes, of course.”
“But haven’t we always kept our distance? We, the lunar group, do not meet the PLANTs or Earth groups unnecessarily.”
“Well, time has changed. They are here, and we need to test the system. So we’ll make use of it.”
“Yes, I will have Zack prepare for it then.”
Because of this arrangement, the lunar group of the terrorist had to prepare for the stay of the PLANTs group. Irina could not have wrinkled her nose more about the conditions in which they had to stay in, but Ain merely laughed it away, stating that he had lived in smaller rooms and with lesser food. “Xan is lucky he is to stay and protect our base.” Irina grumbled as she kicked the chair out of her way.
“He is missing out, in my opinion.” Ain objected. “What ultimate system? I would want to try it out on my own! I shall kick its ass tomorrow, you shall see.”
“Be careful yours aren’t kicked.”
“You could not be damper in spirits.” Ain teased.
“I will have you know. I have seen Mott before. He is a man who knows what he is doing. If he says it is the ultimate system, then I have high expectations of the system.”
“You met him before?” Ain tilted his head to face Irina.
“Of course. I was always by Master’s side, I will have you know.”
“Even in the bed, I see!” Ain grinned.
“I won my position with my skills!” Irina snapped, glaring at him with her might.
“What are you so uptight about? This is nothing new. Everyone’s been saying it since forever.”
“Prepare yourself for tomorrow.” Irina said irritably. “I, for one, would love to see your butt kicked.”
“Siding yourself with dear Mott already?” Ain called as Irina left the room. His comment was answered with the bang of the door meeting its frame.
When tomorrow arrives, Ain was full of confidence. He looked at the tiny machine facing him and grinned. There is no way this machine can win his GUNDAM. And he bet the pilot does not know how to fight in space. It will be a good warming up exercise, but not more than that, he regretted. Still, it is better than nothing, and he waited for the command to start.
The command came in a form of a shot from the Lunar group’s spaceship. Ain charged forward without hesitation and the other unit follow suit. Ain raised his sword, for guns are not allowed in this trial run. The pilot was slow, but able to keep up at least. He could tell that the pilot was not used to battle. Each move was painfully carried out, as if something was pulling him back. But that was no surprise. Zack has no wish to fight at all. He was only following the orders of his father, who follows the orders of their leader, Mott. He was ordered to fight, and he must fight. The other side was not only fast, but also strong. Zack was having a hard time keeping up.
“Zack, you only need to keep up, that is all.” A voice came over the communications system. “We are only testing the system. Just keep up until the other unit runs of battery.”
“Yes.” Zack replied as his unit was locked sword to sword with the other. He breathed out when they finally pulled apart. That was when he realised that he had been holding his breath all along. He lifted his hand to wipe it against his face, and realised that he was wearing the helmet when his hands hit glass. “There he comes again,” Zack muttered, almost groaning. He is not used to this at all.
They entered into the sixth hour of battle. Zack knew that both of them are running out of energy physically. Their movements were slowed considerably. While the O can still run without problems, he wondered how long he will last.
By the time he heard his father’s voice, he had already lost count of the time. “Zack, good job, my boy. The other side has surrendered. They ran out of power.”
“The O is still at full power,” Zack replied though he felt tired.
“Good. Now, come back.” Zack followed his father’s orders and docked the O properly before resting against the seat. It was when he came down that one of the technicians told him to meet up with the others. His father came down to fetch him, which was a surprise to him. When they reached the room, his father reminded him not to speak unless told to.
They were to dine with their counterpart. He heard from his father that the experienced pilots of the PLANTs group who had been successful in the attacks of PLANTs were there as well. They were to meet up with the new leader and his men as well as with Mott. There was nothing to worry about, his father had promised. Yet, he could feel the eyes of everyone on him as they entered the room.
“So you are the pilot of that puny GUNDAM. Is that a GUNDAM?” A man in denim jacket spoke first.
“That is an O.” Zack tried not to show any sign of weakness.
“It is only a little smaller than your GUNDAM.” His father added, his power shown in his voice. That man looked up at him.
“This is Ain Mursil, the pilot whom you fought with earlier.” Another male’s voice put in. Zack turned to look at him. He does not look as if he is the leader of the PLANTs counterpart. Yet, Zack knew that the seat in which he sat was reserved for a man in that position. “My name is Ralph, and I am intrigued by your machine.”
“Your unit is certainly fascinating.” Ain interrupted. “How could it had gone on and on without running out of battery, I wonder.”
“It runs on a CPS system that allows using the JCS (Jocus) so that the power supply is continuous.” Zack replied.
“CPS? Jocas?” Ain repeated. “In other words, you are saying that this system will run on endless power supply?”
“If it is launched right.”
“What is the right way to launch?” Ain continued.
Before Zack could answer though, Mott interrupted. “Let’s all sit down and have dinner while we chat.” Zack and his father sat down and dinner was soon served.
“So what is the right way to launch?” Ain reminded Zack as he cut his beef, “you have not answered my question.”
“You need to pump the Jocus with the CPS when you launch. Once that is done, the power will run on infinite supply.”
“Pump? Where? Does it pump on the inside or on the outside?”
“Inside the O itself. There is a mechanism that will pump in the particles in the CPS.”
“Particles?” Ain laughed, “so you are a scientist now? You talk particles?”
“It is the particles that made the system run on infinite power supply.” Zack tried to ignore his mockery.
“Molecules.” Zack said, feeling uncomfortable.
“So, we are on molecules now! What’s next? Oxygen? Hydrogen?”
“Those are molecues.” Zack held onto his fork and knife tighter.
“Nevertheless,” Ralph interrupted, “I am amazed that you can actually come up with something like this. I heard that you were part of the team who invented it?”
“The girls were the ones who worked on it.”
“What girls?” Irina asked immediately, “your girlfriend?”
“Zack is too young to have girlfriend. He remains devoted to the Lunar group, and does not get distracted,” Spensers immediately answered.
“Nobody is saying anything about distracted, right, Ain?” Irina turned to her comrade.
“That’s right.” He agreed. “There is no need to get so uptight.”
Zack did not like them at all. They laugh and tease and mocked them. Even as Mott remains silence to all these, he can tell that his father is upset about it. Their leader, the man who introduced himself as Ralph, did not stop them. He merely watched along with Mott. At the end of the day, Zack watched as his father confronted Mott in his office. Mott did not offer any explanation, but merely said that they are comrades, and a little teasing is fine. Personally, Zack did not feel any comradeship from them. Instead, he felt as if they are enemies who came to make fun of them. Mott seems to be watching their leader though. From what he knew, Mott never did offer his name to Ralph, who tried to be amiable and encouraging.
“What did you think of them?” Mott asked him suddenly.
Zack was surprised but answered as truthfully as he could. He had learnt to respect his leader. “I think there is some internal struggle. Their leader seems to be trying to get our support, but their pilots are very arrogant. They don’t even look at their leader once other than to mock him.”
“And openly they do too.” Mott remarked. “We may do well to watch them carefully.”
“I will ask someone to watch them,” his father replied immediately.
“That will be good.” Mott replied. After some casual talk, they departed from the room and his father told him to rest for the day. Alone, he walked down the corridors leading to his room. When he heard some noise coming from ahead, Zack stepped softly ahead. It was Ralph and the pilots.
“So you think you are so great now huh?” the female pilot mocked.
“You had better to learn your respect for me, Irina!” Ralph thundered at her, his face red with rage.
“Respect? What respect is there? You know anything, Ain?” Irina turned to Ain.
“I have no idea. Where is it?” Ain pretended to look around.
“Where is it?” Irina turned back as if to ask Ralph.
“You!” Ralph charged at Irina, but was stopped by Ain.
“Wocha!” He exclaimed, holding Ralph’s fist in his palm.
“Me?” Irina interrupted, “I am respect? Looky here! He called me Respect!”
“That is a good name, but unfortunately, it doesn’t suit you, Irina.” Ain laughed along.
“Let – GO! I warned you –” Ralph struggled and pulled himself away.
“Warn? You don’t know anything about warning.” Irina now stepped closer to him. She stick his face right up to his, with barely one centimetre between them, “I had warned you before, hasn’t I? You traitor who killed Master should watch out before your own throat is cut!”
--End of Episode 14--
Will not be approving any buddy request unless you talk to me.
Episode 15: Help me Protect
"Hey, the rat over there!"
Zack flinched. It is the voice of that female pilot called Irina.
"Don't you think that we don't know you are here."
It is the voice of the male now. His voice was so near that Zack realised he was right by his side. He gave a short jerk, pulling his body away from the strong pilot as he stared up at him.
"Spying?" Ain Mursil asked, grinning at him. Zack backed up immediately. It was a reflex reaction to check his expression. He did not look menacing now… the grin was easy, almost effortless, but Zack knew that there are people who could smile and kill with ease at the same time.
"I happen to pass by… I am sorry." Zack said.
"Is that so? Oh well, I guess we can't be bothered. Going back to the room, Irina?"
"Hmmf!" Irina responded. She turned around and walked away, with Ain laughing after her.
"Women," he said to Zack. Zack frowned but did not make any other response.
"Hey, don't mistake me. I don't particularly hate them or anything. It is just that they can be so fussy, right?" He leaned forward suddenly and grabbing Zack at his shoulders, Ain Mursil pulled him away. "Now, we men are better. We can talk about anything at all. Don't you agree?"
"Wait…" Zack was surprised, and pulled away.
"What? We are comrades, right? You are from the Lunar team and I am from the PLANTS team, but we are still working together with the same objectives in mind, right?" Ain pretended to be hurt by Zack's reaction.
"It's not that…" Zack said uncomfortably. "I need to get back to the hanger…."
Ain whistled, "you are one hardworking dude! Well then, a man who keeps another from his machine is a bad man. I will see you again then."
"Bye…" Zack muttered and he went on the way he was previously going before overhearing Irina and Ain.
On another side of the Moon, where the LHS academy is situated, a little girl screamed as a silver knife slashed the air 2cm away from her. Her leg gave way to fear and she crumbled onto the ground mercilessly.
"Mama…" she cried, covered in tears and sweat.
"Crying for Mama will not work!" The man hissed at her, "now, tell me the location of that stupid machine, or I will take your life!"
"I… I … I don't… know!" She burst out as the knife grew closer and closer to her face. Her eyes were drawn by the light that reflected off the surface of the smooth blade. "Please! I beg of you! Please! Let… me …. Go… please!" Her chest heaved unevenly as she tried to sound coherent.
"You don't know! You don't know! You were with them when they plotted their escape! You were with them, weren't you? When they killed poor Jim…. Now, be a good girl and tell me! Or it is your life!" Then he spat on the ground, "kids nowadays! I can't get anything out of them at all!"
"Stop it, you irritating girl!" He yelled again when the girl started to cry.
"Somebody… save me…."
"Are all our equipment loaded?" Commander Yzak Joule yelled across at his men.
"Yes, sir!" One of them replied. "What is left is for everyone to report to the ship, Sir!"
"Are everyone here yet?" He asked.
"Well, then, wait for me at the ship! I am going to check out Catalina!"
"Yes sir!" Every salute as he passed by them. When he reached Catalina, he saw that Dearka was already there.
"Yo," the tanned Commander saluted him.
"You are here early." Yzak replied.
"Well, this is my first real assignment with you in ages." Dearka replied with a shrug.
"Hmmf," Yzak said before turning to face the captain of Catalina. "Our side is fully prepared."
"So is ours. I will be looking forward to working with you, Commander Joule."
"As am I," Yzak replied.
"I will be looking forward to working with the two of you then," Dearka laughed. "Oh, and Yzak, my men are waiting in that ship of yours already."
"It's called 'Aloysius'!"
"Well then, my men are waiting in 'Aloysius', then. Shall we go?"
"Ah, before that," Captain Arthur injected. "I was informed that I was to work with the crew of Aloysius as well as both of your team. Even though it is a combination of 3 teams, I hope to be able to work well with the two teams, Commanders."
"That is for sure. Both of us should not be risking the position we had worked so hard to get, shouldn't we?" Dearka asked Yzak, who ignored him.
"Catalina will take the lead, but both Catalina and our teams on Aloysius will discuss before any decision is made with regards to the mission," he said.
"Thank you, Commander Joule and Commander Elsman," Arthur breathed with relieve.
"Well then, good luck to all of us." Dearka Elsman said as he and Yzak left the battleship.
Rayne ran hard, trying her best to ignore the sweat that ran as hard down her face.
"Shit!" She heard Jon curse as they ran. "Blood."
That single word is enough to explain his reaction and push them to run faster. She gritted her teeth together as she pushed her body further and further. The way lit by the moon was not an easy track, but there is not way someone could choose in this situation. She could not imagine the emotions of the little girl who had to face this.
"Here!" Bill said, trashing into the little forest behind the school. This is a very magical forest to all of them, Rayne knew. She could still pull the memories of the past, when they were each equipped with a seed and told to plant their seeds in the forest. Each generation of students of the LHS academy had to go through the same ceremony when they were entered into the prestigious school. By now, it had grown into a beautiful forest, a show of the number of students that the academy had generated throughout the years. "Not here, please!" Rayne muttered softly to herself. The magic of this forest would be killed if….
"Shit." Rayne froze. Her view was blocked by the two tall males in front, but Kim soon pulled them away. The sight of the dead girl almost upset the stomach and the little food she had managed to eat today. The blood that spread over her dirty clothes and face was gross. So was the way in which her leg was twisted…
"Uhhh!" Rayne turned around and look as Kim vomited.
Nobody dared to speak as they stare at the body. We were too late, Rayne thought to herself. She could not pull her eyes away from the body. The moon hid itself, as if in shame, behind the dark clouds that passed over the forest. For a while, the scene in front of her was shrouded with shadows. She could not see anything at all. Then, the moon peered through thinner clouds and she could see again. The open eyes of the little body looked back at her.
"Silbver…." Kim cried.
"Kim. Ray." Rayne looked up. She knew she would not have paid any attention to Bill if he had not used her pet name. "Go back to LHS and report to the teachers."
"What about you guys?" Rayne asked softly, unable to resist looking back at the body.
"We will guard her here. We won't let anyone near her until … everything is done." Bill was having a hard time controlling his emotions.
Jon reached over towards the corpse, but Rayne yelled, "DON'T TOUCH HER!"
He turned back to look at her, shocked by her reaction. "I only want to close her eyes."
"Don't touch her!"
"We won't." Bill said, and Jon retreated. "We will guard her here until everything is over. GO."
Rayne reached over and grabbed Kim. Together, they made their way back towards the school. Half an hour to 45 minutes later, the police had reached the scene. There was a lot of noises and fuss made. In the end, it was the next morning when they were seated in the principal office, being interrogated by the police. They had remained silent for the most part, and the interrogation continued on for a very long time to Rayne.
Finally, the officer pulled out a transparent sealed bag and showed it to them. Rayne did not react. She did not look up at the officer at all throughout the entire session.
"There is a message here on her phone. She was grabbing very hard onto the phone before her death. It must be very important to her. Do you know what she wrote in the phone?"
No one responded.
"The message had some errors, but we managed to figure it out after a while. She probably typed it a few seconds before her last breath. What do you think she wrote in it?"
No one spoke.
"The message is 'I protect'." Here, the officer paused. Looking at the silent students, he continued, "'help me protect'… what did she protect? What did she want help in protecting?"
No one replied.
"I know that sometime before, all of you were kidnapped together with poor Silbver… you managed to escape… and now, the four of you found her corpse… so you must have known what happened then. What happened…? What was she trying to protect? Who killed her?"
"Sir," Bill said. There is some kind of hardness in his tone as he continued his sentence, "we have no idea."
"No idea? Don't joke here! What, you think this is funny? A life is lost here! You dare to joke about this, you punk!"
"I am not joking about this. None of us here thinks this is funny, and none of us knows what happened. Jon?"
Rayne shook her head.
"I don't know," she whispered.
"None of us know, officer."
The officer glared at them, but the only ones who saw it was Bill, who glared back at him. "Who kidnapped you?" He finally asked again, suddenly calm.
"I don't know."
"You don't know?"
"You didn't see their face? Recognise their voice?"
"Nothing at all?"
"Why then, would the 4 of you know that Miss Silbver is killed? Why are the 4 of you here at the scene of crime in the dead of the night?"
"'I don't know' will not work here!" He snapped. Another officer reached out to stop him. They exchanged a look, and the other officer took over.
"Let's start with how you knew Miss Silbver is in danger." He paused, but no one offered him any answer. "What made you leave the campus so late at night?"
"The forest is part of the campus."
"But not everyone would go there so late, right? Why were the four of you there? … … … no answer?"
"We heard a scream."
"You forgot!" the first officer yelled, only to be stopped by the second officer.
"The four of you heard it together?"
"And you followed the scream out of the building?"
"Ah, so you heard the scream in the building?"
"…I don't know."
"Do you think Miss Silbver was in the building when she screamed?"
"I don't know."
"What do you don't know, huh?" The first officer started towards Bill dangerously. "You don't know how to think, huh? You don't know anything huh?"
"Hey-hey, man! They are still kids!"
"Kids! Look –"
"They are traumatised by the experience. Cool it, ok? Can't you see how shocked they still are?" The first officer pushed himself away from the second, and the questioning continued. "Did you see anything? Any of you? When she screamed?"
"Is there anything that any of you can tell me that will help in this case? Anything at all?" When there was no answer, he sighed and said, "well, I guess you guys are tired. We will continue the questioning later in the day. Why don't you take a rest for now?"
They walked silently towards the dormitory. But at the hall, Bill suddenly took a turn and led them towards the classroom buildings. The rest of them followed without complain. From there, they walked turned into the labs area, and into their assigned lab. After Bill locked the door, he turned to face the rest of them.
"The ODESIS." He whispered.
"Hm." Rayne said.
"They will be following us." Jon muttered.
"If ... she really kept it quiet, then… they would not have found out." Bill said, unable to speak out Silbver's as well as Zack's name.
"They will be watching us too." Rayne muttered.
"They will find out soon."
"I know." Jon balled his hands into fists. "There is nowhere safe on the Moon."
"We gotta get it away. Destroy it."
"We can't." Rayne muttered.
"Too many people watching." Jon continued.
"We are not powerful enough to destroy it." Kim added.
While the students sat in silence in the laboratory they had worked in for so long, many things around them are moving. Zack Spensers and his mates in the Lunar Group had been told to investigate and find the other ODESIS before it was too late. "The PLANTS are starting to pay attention to the activities here," he was told. "The number of checks they are conducting near this area is increasing, and that is attracting the attention of the EAF. They had sent the 55th fleet over to their base in the moon, adding on to their original power in the space. Who knows what the PLANTS might do because of it."
While the PLANTS had not sent a team over because of the increase in the influence of the EAF in the area, they had decided to send a team over because of the suspicious activities. In Aloysius, the Captain is going over the mission with his vice-captain, and the two commanders.
"Recent activities in this area had been increasing. While they were reported to be of no problem, the high council decided to investigate into it as a safety precaution." He said, pointing his pointer onto the lighted screen showing the map of the space.
"It was the terrorist attacks, isn't it?" Dearka asked.
"Yes," the old Captain replied. "But our problem is that we do not have any permission to land on both the moons."
"Both the moons?" Dearka asked.
"Yes, the moon over here is the base of the EAF, and our permission to land here had never been approved. It appears that they would not allow us to land. Our second option is to land on the satellite here," the old Captain pointed to a satellite structure on the map.
"What is that?" Yzak asked.
"That is the second moon."
"Second moon?" Yzak repeated.
"Yes," the old Captain answered, "though it is commonly called the moon now."
"Oh, you mean that prototype PLANTS," Dearka said.
"What 'prototype PLANTS'?" Yzak demanded to know.
"Seriously, you never listen to the instructors back in the military school, didn't you?" Dearka asked before explaining to him, "the PLANTS was originally a space satellite designed for Humans to be able to live in space. Because it is a huge and important project, they needed a testing subject to ensure that Humans can survive. Therefore, before PLANTS is built, they decided to build a satellite. They set this satellite to rotate around the Earth, rather like the moon, thus the name "Second Moon". But as the days goes on, people started calling it the moon instead."
"Won't they ever get mixed up?" Yzak asked, trying to hide his embarrassment.
"Well, it is hard to mix them up if you consider what each does." Dearka said thoughtfully.
"Yes," the old Captain agreed, "the real moon acts as a military base with a lot of high technologies while the second moon does not have any military."
"Not a single military!" Yzak asked.
"No… not at all." The old Captain smiled at his expression.
"Well, if I am not wrong, there is an academy there, isn't it?" Dearka remarked. "One for the Earth children to attend."
"It is more of an escape for the coordinators on Earth," the old Captain replied. "The school was established by three of the greatest man on Earth, who believed in the equality of all races, including the Naturals and Coordinators. Thus they set up an academy in the moon, where all students could study without prejudice and shine like they were meant to. I do remember my daughter talking about it, saying how it was a good school where the future of the students attending there were bright. Their skills were recognised by both the PLANTS and on Earth."
"But still… no military."
"Ah, I know what you mean," Dearka said. "That is too dangerous."
"I guess if they really want it, they could call the military from the base in the moon. Anyway, because there had never been any military on the moon-" seeing Yzak's irritated face, the old Captain quickly said, "the second moon, I mean, they are not allowing us to land there."
"Our only option is here, is that right?" Dearka pointed at the map.
"Yes. We will have the share the space, but it cannot be helped."
"Tsk! It is so far away too!" Yzak said.
"Well, it cannot be helped, like what the captain said."
"Launching procedures will begin on 23:00. Catalina will launch first, followed by Aloysius. After that, we will make our way here, and a briefing by the team there will be conducted aboard Catalina." The old Captain concluded.
The two commanders checked the time silently. It is 22:50 now. There are 10 more minutes.
"Well then, let us get ready."
--End of Episode 15--
Will not be approving any buddy request unless you talk to me.
Episode 16: Escape and Encounter
"Hey, kid!" Zack turned around at the voice of the older man. "I heard you were on a mission. How was it? A success?"
He frowned at the grin on the older man's face, positive that it is meant to mock him.
"Don't tell me you are not allowed to say anything… so it is a secret mission? Looks to me like you've failed it!"
Zack glared at the man. He had been bothering him for ages! Why didn't he let him go for now? He is very irritated by the mission already! Not only did Rayne and the other went against him again, they had taken the 'O' away. He was almost certain of success! It was right there, on his lips, until they snatched it away! Mott had been silent, but his father was angry. Zack balled his fists angrily. They had finally figured out the location of the 'O' too!
"Why not share with me? I am sure I can help you. I am more experienced than you, after all."
"Please leave me alone."
"Leave you alone? But I am lonely! Ah, that stupid Ralph is chasing after the tail of your leader now, and Irina is busy somewhere else. There is no one around to entertain me at all."
"I am sorry, but I don't have time."
"Don't have time? Humour me for a bit then." He leaned forward, his eyes glinting, "ZAFT is here, right?"
Zack was surprised by that. When he saw the surprise look on Zack's face, his grin grew. "I knew it. So we are going to have some fun, finally."
"I don't think it is going to be fun."
"The Earth Alliance is here, and ZAFT is here as well…. Looks like it is going to be a good fight. You had better prepare yourself, boy! I have a feeling they are going to experiment that little fighter machine of yours in the battle." He turned around and left, waving his hand as he did so. Zack stared at him. He did not like him. Zack felt as if he is always there to tease him, especially because he is the pilot of the 'O'.
When Zack reached his father's office, he waited for the others to leave them alone before talking to him.
"What is it?" His father asked him.
"ZAFT is here, aren't they." He said it as a statement.
"You should be aware of it by now. That is why I wanted you to secure the other ODESIS as soon as possible."
"I am sorry I failed."
"Leave that alone. That unit did not have any weapons on them. Those kids piloting it were also not experienced at all. It is only a matter of time that we will possess it. For now, focus on training. We will equip the 'O' as well as possible. Familiarise yourself with the machine and its weapons."
"What is it?"
"Maybe… it is better to leave the other unit alone…"
"We will get it back. We are the ones who commissioned for it. Don't worry about it. For now, help the others with your 'O'."
"That's right, Zack." They turned around to face the speaker. It was one of the technicians working on the 'O'. "Why did you guys build it so small anyway? We really need to customise the weapons to fit them onto the body of the 'O'."
"It is merely a prototype. Besides, you should have already customised the weapons already. The dimensions of the machine were provided long ago."
"That is true, Spensers, but there were some trouble. Oh well, nothing we can't solve, though it will take some time."
"Zack will help you with it. Go ahead, Zack."
"Yes, Father." Zack left, following the technician.
"Here. Help me attach this here." He passed a coil of wire to Zack.
"What is that for?"
"That is for the dummy gun to test the grip strength of the 'O'. It is almost the same as the one given to you guys when you were still in that school. Remember? That dummy gun you managed to trick your friends with when trying to escape the lab."
"What is the difference?"
"The difference is the weight. We are trying to find the best weight for the 'O' to carry without limiting its movement too much. It will take some time, but we definitely have to test it."
"But they still can shoot right?"
"Of course. We don't have the time to conduct tests with real dummy guns by the time you manage to secure the 'O's. So we made real guns that can still shoot. But they are still called dummy guns anyway. Their power and capabilities are not as good as real ones. These are makeshift ones… just think of them like that."
"Ok." Zack said and went to do as he was told, though he cannot remove the thoughts of his previous team mates from his mind...
"Hey, Rayne… did you pump the-" Kim began.
"I did," Jon answered instead. "Don't worry. It is running on endless supply of energy now."
"Phew… I thought we are going to be trouble again… but what now?"
"We need to make sure that we don't run out of oxygen, basically." Bill said, to which Rayne nodded.
"What? It is very cramp in here already!"
"Of course it is cramp… it is smaller than an average GUNDAM, remember? Just be glad we tried to make the interior as large as possible."
"Only after we complained that there weren't enough space to move back in the lab." At that, everyone kept quiet, for the memories of the past came back to them. Kim could clearly remember the times when she had to press hard against the cold walls of the 'O', squeezing her body into an awkward shape just to be able to see the screen. After they had complained about it to the guys, they finally worked on another design to create more space, and the 'O' had to be sent over to the factory again. No, it was not yet the 'O' at that time. At that time, it was still the cockpit, where they started simulation tests.
"Here." Rayne shifted back suddenly.
"What is that?" Kim asked, leaning forward over her.
"Countdown timer before we run out of oxygen."
"There is nothing else we can do, right?" Bill asked.
"Nothing at all. We can't go back to the moon, we have to avoid the military base… and we have to find a way to survive. Great, isn't it?"
"In other words, we are just waiting for Hades to collect us?"
"I don't particularly mind…" Rayne was just saying, when suddenly, Kim hit her hard on the head. That action, conducted in the cramped cockpit of the ODESIS was bound to affect the others, as they yelled along with her when the hand hit them as well.
There were a lot of noises suddenly as the friends yelled and stumbled.
"What was that for!" Jon yelled in protest as his cheeks, the unfortunate victim, burned red.
"That was for emo-ing!" Kim replied. "All three of you!"
"Your target was Ray!" Bill protested, cradling his arm.
"You three were falling in danger of emo-ing as well anyway!"
"Apologise for that!" Jon insisted.
"No way! You were going to emo too!" Kim yelled back
"That was an incident! You meant to hit Ray only! Apologise!" Jon pressed his face towards Kim.
"I agree! Apologise!" Bill added.
"Apologise! Apologise! Apologise!..." the guys chanted furiously, insisting on an apology.
"NOOOO! –Arh!" Kim slammed against the back of the cockpit and hit her head, much to the delight of her friends. In that instant, laughter wiped clean of worries and remembrance of the danger that were so constantly around them.
Back in the Lunar Group's base, Irina waited for Ain to enter his room. When Ain came in, he was surprised to see the irritated female seated on his chair.
He gave a whistle and was about to make a sleazy comment when Irina interrupted. "Why did you come into my room?"
"Woah! What is this? Who is in whose room now?"
"Don't you think I have no idea you were in my room! You messed up my cosmetics, you idiot!" Irina growled at him.
"Cosmetics? What use do I have of such things?" Ain shrugged, though he was wondering who entered into Irina's room and searched it. That person must have been an idiot. Even he knows better than to search a female's beauty products and leave it in the wrong position. That was often the tell-tale sign of snooping around.
"To tease me? You were ignored by that pilot boy, weren't you? You tried to tease him, but he refused to respond to that. So you tried to tease me. Now, return it to me!"
"Don't you dare joke with me! I am not that stupid pilot boy. I know what you are up to." Irina glared at him warningly, but the muscular man merely studied his fingernails in mock pretence of a vain woman.
"What am I up to?" Ain asked more out of curiosity than anything else.
"You are interested in that 'O'. I can see it in your eyes after you are defeated by that puny GUNDAM's long-lasting battery."
"Hmm? So you were not convinced by it? That was different from what you said earlier. Didn't you have high expectations of the system?" Ain raised an eyebrow, still mimicking a vain woman.
"Of course I have! And it had been proven already. That GUNDAM does have a longer battery life than a normal GUNDAM."
"An ODESIS, I believe." Ain corrected her softly, his eyes sparkling gently with desire. That ODESIS did interest him after that trial.
"Whatever it is called. Now, don't drag the topic away. Return me my thing!" Irina stretched out her hand, glaring at him expectantly.
Ain picked up his act of a vain woman almost immediately, tucking a tuft of his cropped hair behind his ear like how he had seen schoolgirls did it. "What thing?" he fluttered his eyelids.
"You idiot! You know what you took!"
"What did I take?" Ain puttered his lips at Irina, much to the latter's disgust.
"Get away from me!" Irina yelled as Ain leaned towards her. "You dirty-disgusting-man! How dare you tease me now that you had taken it away! Return me my lipstick now or I'll kill you!" She slapped him instinctively on his shoulder as he continued to come near her.
"Wouh! Kull mee? Whut crume ditch aye kommit?" Ain spoke with his lips still in the kissing position, making his words hard to comprehend.
"You idiot! You took my lipstick and now you are teasing me with it!"
"A-in! I have enough! You know that Master gave that to me! Return it to me now! The only thing he ever gave to me…. Return IT NOW!"
Ain grinned. "Is that so?" He stepped back and reached for the door. Opening it, he said, "well, I have no idea where the lipstick is," he gave Irina a wink, "but you had better get out of here now. I have been rejected by the 'pilot boy' and now you. I will need to nurse my broken heart."
"Don't you-" Irina started, but Ralph suddenly walked past Ain's room and he stared into the room at Irina and Ain. Ain grin inwardly, while Irina struggled to pull herself straight and walk out of the room.
"Saved by the idiot, huh?" Ain muttered softly after locking the door. He stared into the dark room now. Then, he went to the desk. Unlocking one of the drawers underneath it, he quickly rummaged through the contents to produce an old mobile phone. The blue light of the screen reflected on his face as he typed into it:
sib pxorvi rdaibvdix uauolmii rduovmii
The replying message came almost immediately. Ain looked at it silently:
mdx gibokxx ibrvv
Ain's reply was sent after a while:
u humnxkii dxavv mdx rduocmii urmvv hxxi
The reply did not come as fast as its ancestor. Ain had a wait a full minute before the message finally came:
Ain stared at it for a moment, then he cried out, "what! Foreign language? Give me a break, old man!" Nevertheless, he typed out a message:
Cxxe hxxi beklrxkix
Then, he switched off the mobile phone and leaned back against the chair, looking deep in thought.
"What-! What is this! Rayne! Rayne! Wake up! Wake up now!" rough hands shook the drowsy girl hard, and Rayne was pulled roughly from what feels like an endless dream. She looked up, and had to squeeze herself between her friends to see the screen that those rough hands pointed at. Then, she felt her jaw drop.
"What the hell is this!" She could hear Kim's desperate cry.
"It is war!" Jon yelled, still shaking Rayne.
--End of Episode 16--
Will not be approving any buddy request unless you talk to me.
Episode 17: Three-way fight and an escaping suit
GUNDAM SEED ETERNITY
Episode 16: Three-way fight and an escaping suit
"Relax, Captain Arthur. That is only a way to put it. If it were me though, I would have used 'battle' instead of war."
"This is not the time to be relaxing, Dearka!" Yzak yelled at him.
"Using the term 'war' is wrong," Dearka continued, "it was Yzak's fault for using the wrong term. So there is no need to be so shocked. After all…" Dearka's voice suddenly dropped into a more serious tone. "You should have expected it, right?"
"But! We were not ready for war! Or for battle!" Arthur quickly added. "Chairman Clyne had only sent us here to investigate!"
"Hmph!" Yzak glared at him through the screen. "Dearka is right! You should have expected it! Chairman Clyne expected something to happen – that is why she sent our teams with you."
"Now, now, there is no need to quarrel, is there?" Another voice came from the communication, and Dearka and Yzak turned their attentions to the newcomer. When Yzak saw his faith badge though, he could not help but glare harder at the screen.
"Ah, Macner … you are back." Dearka said.
"Commander Elsman does not seem very happy to see me," Alan Macner said almost jokingly.
"What is the situation there!" Yzak interrupted.
"Just as you have seen. As soon as my unit approaches the suspicious units, they started firing at us. It seems they were trying to prevent us from getting nearer to their base."
"Hm!" Yzak slammed his fist against the table.
"The worse thing is how the Earth Alliance actually stopped us. Now, the pilots from Catalina are trying to cover us, but I wonder how long they can last." Alan continued.
"What do you propose we do at this time?" Arthur asks Macner.
"I say we fight. No, that is the way I would have preferred it to be. But that would give us a lot of trouble, right?"
"Of course!" Yzak said.
"The peace treaty sure is troublesome, huh?" Dearka commented.
"Anyway, the official statement from the Alliance asks us to withdraw from this area immediately. But I don't see how this can be done given the situation. We are in a pinch indeed." Alan sighed.
"What about the High Council?" Yzak asked of Arthur.
"There is no reply yet." Arthur replied, looking ill at ease.
"But our pilots will not be able to hang in there for any longer. The Alliance demands a reply within thirty minutes, and the enemy is still baring its fang at us." Alan noted.
"Say," Dearka suddenly said, "what makes you think that we are nearing the enemy's base?"
Alan looked at him in surprise. From the other end of the communication, the blonde commander was looking at him in a weird way. "Why, the enemy started attacking us the moment we neared. You saw it as well, Commander Elsman."
"That is true, but deducing that we are near the enemy's base is wrong, isn't it? We could be nearing a place that they did not want us to find out. It does not have to be a base, you know. We don't even know who the enemy is."
"That's true," Captain Arthur said thoughtfully.
"Anyone who bares their fangs at ZAFT is ZAFT's enemy." Alan smiled, "isn't it right, Commanders?"
"Of course it is!" Yzak exclaimed. "We will attack them! There is no time to waste. We will begin the attack in 10 minutes' time!"
"Wait-wait a second!" Arthur cried out.
"What are you waiting for? The high council has yet to reply to us, right? We are in a pinch now, and there is nothing much we can do. We will need to prove that they are unlawful, but once we manage to do it, our actions will be justified!"
"But….oh… well. I guess it can't be helped…"
"Well then, I will prepare my team." Yzak said before the communication line is cut off between both ships.
"That is a dangerous comment, Macner." Dearka muttered to himself softly.
"What's the matter with you?" Yzak asked upon overhearing the comment Dearka had just made. "He is right! Anyone who bares their fangs at ZAFT is ZAFT's enemy!"
"That is a comment you had better not be making anymore." Dearka warned.
"What do you mean!"
"If by Macner's deductions, the enemies are those attacking us and the Alliance is trying to protect them by demanding our withdrawal, then the Alliance definitely fits under 'those who bares their fangs at ZAFT'…. Am I not right? Well, in any case, I need to prepare my team as well. See ya."
On the other side of the battle, the Alliance battleships were just as anxious about the situation as the ZAFT. Nella watched silently with David at her side as the Commander walked out of the briefing room. Nothing much had been announced yet, for the specific orders were to get ready for battle. An official statement had been issued to the ZAFT vessels, Nella knew, but she had no idea if they would retreat like they were told to.
"What do you think will happen?" Nella asked David.
"I don't know. But the situation outside is very messy. ZAFT is still fighting outside. I don't think they will give up soon."
"Who are they fighting against?" Nella asked, frowning. Those machines that she had seen through the screen minutes ago do not look like anything from the EAF.
"No matter who they are fighting against, they are entering into our territory without permission." Gohr interrupted their conversation.
"You make it sound like there is some land we are protecting. This is space, dude. Get a live." Micheali said from his corner.
"Get off my back, Micheali." Gohr hissed at him.
"I hope you are as fearsome in the battlefield as you are now. I would love to see your butt kicked." David and Nella both covered their mouths to conceal their laughter at this comment. Just then, the Commander entered.
"All right, good men and women! We are entering into the battlefield. Get ready!" He announced in that great voice of his.
"What!" Nella gasped just as the announcement was being made though the PA system. "This is for real," Nella realised with shock.
"Don't worry," David whispered to her, "I will protect you."
"Right, you all heard it now. Go get ready now in your machines. We will be fighting ZAFT as well as the unknown enemy. It will be a three-way fight, but let's hope things don't get too messy."
"A three-way fight is already messy."
"What did you say, Micheali? I did not hear you right." The Commander looked at Micheali as if he dared him to repeat his words.
"I said, Commander, a three-way fight is a messy fight no matter how you look at it." Micheali said.
"Right then, Micheali shall lead us all into the battle!" The Commander said with gusto. You will be on the frontline then! Do a good job and impress our trainees!" The Commander turned to Nella and David as Micheali scowled, "Langster and Sky, the two of you are to wait for future orders in your skygaspers."
"We are not launching?" David asked.
"Of course you are not. You are still trainees*. Don't worry. We won't send you to your deaths just yet."
"But – but… we fought in –"
"That was because it can't be helped. Stop it, Langster. Fighting against this would not help you a bit. We got into a lot of trouble, you know. The two of you."
"What trouble, Commander?" Nella asked.
"About you entering into the battlefield. The Captain proved that it was necessary to send you in the skygrasper, and that saved our skin. But there will not be a repeat. Ah-ah, I don't even know why they have to go through that…. those stupid officials. They just have to go through every tiny detail, don't they?" When he noticed that Nella and David were still looking at him, he cleared his throat. "Now, go and get ready. You can help with your elders if there is nothing for you to do."
"Ahhhhh!" Dearka flinched at the yell of his subordinate. He should have switched off the communication link the moment he had heard his orders. He swerved quickly as his opponent started to launch an attack on him.
"Get a grip!" He yelled to the subordinate as he pulled out his beam saber and engaged his opponent in a close combat. "Though I am not good at close combat," Dearka remarked as he fended himself, "guess it can't be HELP!" With the end of that sentence, Dearka strike hard at the mobile suit, pushing it away from him before pulling out his beam gun. Aiming swiftly, he shot the enemy down in three shots. "Still, I don't think anyone will mind if I cheat a little." He turned away to face his next opponent. "But I must be getting soft… shooting like I am that Yamato guy…. Really!"
"Dearka!" The emergency channel from Yzak caught his attention as he swiftly shot down his next opponent. "Behind you!"
Dearka turned his attention to the object of Yzak's scream and saw something that shocked him. "Those GUNDAMs!"
"Those were the ones who attacked PLANTs!"
"Looks like they just entered into the battlefield, huh?" Dearka said with silent fury in his tongue.
"They come from behind that huge rock!"
"Let's go!" Dearka charged his mobile suit towards the target GUNDAMs, knowing Yzak is just behind him.
"Hmmph! Just a bunch of unskilled soldiers. Is that what I've come here for!" Irina remarked as she aimed at the ZAFT soldiers.
"Be careful there, Irina," Ain commented. "The Alliance is here as well."
"Of course I know that! And you had better return me that lipstick!" Irina glared at him on the screen.
"Focus on the battle, will you? Women. I will enter into the battle first then!" Ain charged his GUNDAM towards an assaulting unit. "You are pretty fast, huh?" He laughed at that unit.
"I will not forgive you for that attack!" Yzak yelled as he engaged Ain's unit.
"It's getting bad!" Nella cried when more units return in poor state.
"SHUT IT!" Gohr yelled at Nella, having heard her comment as he came out of his unit. "There is no enemy that the Earth Alliance cannot handle!"
"Give her a break, will you," someone called out as Gohr grabbed a water bottle that the technician handed him.
"Are you injured?" A nurse approached him.
"GET OFF MY BACK!" Gohr yelled at the nurse, who flinched in fear. Then, she pulled herself up and glared at him.
"WELL, THANK YOU BUT NO THANKS!" she yelled at him, surprising him greatly. "I am only here to collect the injured soldiers! I am glad you are not injured, and a normal reply would do, thank you!"
"Hmfp!" She marched away, following a stretcher that was carrying an injured pilot. "Yelling away at everyone else just because you are fighting a battle! As if you are the only one that is working hard!"
"Is my unit ready?" Micheali asked one of the technicians.
"Ah, yes! We replaced that shield as well as the battery. But you had better be careful! It might not hold up well. That shield is not as good as the one you just lost."
"Thanks." Micheali said to the technician and quickly buckle himself up in his GUNDAM, ready to leave the ship for the battle again. David watched these silently.
"Two more units down!" Someone cried. "Get ready to receive them!"
"We are losing our units fast," Nella worried as she rushed to help.
"Yah," David replied half-heartedly. Then, he suddenly turned back, running across the hangar.
"Where are you going?" Nella yelled after him.
"Hey you!" Nella was about to run after David when one of the senior technicians yelled for her attention. "What are you doing? Come here!" He summoned her impatiently. One of the units that were defeated had already returned. He wanted the tool in Nella's hand. She ran to him, pressed the tool into his hands and ran back for David. "What-?"
"David! Where are you going?" Nella had a bad feeling about this. "What are you doing?" She asked when she reached him.
"We are losing! Of course I am going to help!" David was climbing into his skygrasper.
"Our orders are to remain in the ship," Nella reminded him
"Nella! We are in a battle now, and we are losing. If this goes on–"
"David! I know! But it is going to be alright!" Nella refused to let go of his arm.
"I know!" Nella cut him off again, this time with more intensity. "It will be fine! We have the entire 55th fleet here! We will not lose! That is what the nurse told me. She had been through this a lot, so she knows what she is talking about! We will be fine!" She smiled at him, "come on, David, we need to help the others! Come on!"
David sighed and got out of the skygrasper at her tug. Then, they ran towards the second unit that returned to the ship.
"Tch!" Irina bit her lips, "this has been going on for long enough!" She dodged her persistent opponent as he attacked her left.
"I guess they have some good fighters, huh?" Ain commented.
"Shut up! I will defeat that unit! Don't you think too much of yourself!" She said, directing her last comments at her opponent, "it is not even a GUNDAM!"
"Guess I am holding my own well here," Dearka muttered through quick breaths, "but close combat really is not my thing!" He raised his beam saber as he said it, aiming it for the opponent's arm.
Just beside him, Yzak had launched a series of quick attack against his opponent. "Opps! You are not getting me here!" Ain commented as he dodged attack after attack, and flew away to place himself in a better position. This infuriates Yzak, who charged straight for him "Ahhhhhhhhh!"
"IT'S COMING! IT'S COMING!" Kim yelled straight into Rayne's left ear.
"THE RIGHT! THE RIGHT!" Jon grabbed and shook her hard as he yelled in her right ear.
"I KNOW! I KNOW! I KNOW!" Rayne cried out as she tried to veer the ODESIS away from the battle.
"IT'S THE RIGHT!" Jon yelled.
"RAY! WATCH OUT!" Bill suddenly warned.
"ARHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" They screamed together once more when one of the mobile suits suddenly charged towards them.
--End of Episode 17—
*Note to readers: Nella Sky was previously a Lieutenant. David Langster was not a trainee either. However, I forgot about that and made them into trainees instead. Please forgive me. I had already forgotten at which chapter they became trainees, but since trainees are cuter (forced reasoning, I know), please accept it. My deepest apologies.
I guess some people might say, "now then she knows"...
Will not be approving any buddy request unless you talk to me.
Episode 18: For the future
"Calm down! What's the matter?"
"We are separated from the Catalina!"
"The crash from the unidentified GUNDAM and Commander Yzak's unit had increased our damage to 40%!"
"There is more!"
"Er – the – the Commander is requesting for assistance in capturing the unidentified GUNDAM. He demands a reply now." the poor crew of Aloysius replied.
"Give him the assistance he needs!" the Captain replied.
"Yes, Sir!" the crew quickly relayed the message to Yzak.
"What is going on?" Kim squealed as the ODESIS was moved.
"It is that ZAFT unit that crashed into us!" Jon gritted his teeth as he tried to get to a better position. They were all wielded in a weird position in the ODESIS's cockpit now, and it is hard to even move. "It's pulling us somewhere."
"Where?" Bill asked, holding onto the seat in the cockpit with everything he had got.
"I have no idea where! Can you see it, Rayne?"
"No! The view is blocked." Rayne managed to reply before a communication request was sent to the ODESIS. She stretched her fingers, towards the keypad, trying to press the button. "Kim, can you move a bit?" She asked the girl, who was squeezed between her and the screens and keyboard.
"If I can, I would have done it long ago-Arrhhh! Someone, stop it from moving!"
"This is hopeless!" Rayne cried as she forced herself to reach towards where the button is. Finally, she pressed it, and they heard an impatient voice.
"Hey there! Can you hear me or not!"
"Stop being so impatient! We are having some trouble here, you know!" Kim yelled in reply, nearing the end of her nerves.
"Wha-what did you say! Do you even know who you are talking to?" Yzak yelled back.
"Like the hell I know! Rayne, can you stop the ODESIS from moving, gosh!"
"I can't! It is being pulled by someone!" Rayne replied, trying to pull her face away from Kim's legs.
"Whoever you are! Answer me! How many of you are inside this thing?" Yzak demanded after listening to their moans and conversations incredulously.
"How many people do you think there is?" Kim immediately replied, "and who the hell are you anyway! Why should we answer you?"
"I am Commander Yzak Joule of ZAFT!" Yzak said angrily as he gave the machine a last tug.
"What!" Bill, Rayne and Jon cried out together while Kim screamed hard with everything that she had got. The ODESIS crashed against mobile suits which caught it.
Cecile stared at the papers in front of her. There is a problem, she realised. If the technology called Mirage Colloid has already been used on an entire ship in the second war, then why is the technology still not well known by now? Why were the terrorists the ones who were using it?
"Phantom Pain…" Cecile muttered. That is the name of the battleship that had used it. It was also a ship under the Earth Alliance. If her information was true, then that ship was also under Blue Cosmos and Logos. The destroyed Logos…. What is the meaning of this?
"Commander!" Nella turned around when she heard David's cry.
"I…. ok…" the Commander managed to croak.
"You don't look fine at all!" David objected as more people crowded around them. "Those ZAFTs!"
"It's not their fault," the Commander objected, "it was the enemy they were fighting against that attacked me."
"What!" some behind David cried out.
"Ha….." the Commander muttered, "and to think we were actually helping them. But I guess they are a problem we have to solve ourselves."
"Is that why you confronted them?" A rough voice asked. David looked up and saw Micheali standing beside them. He looked down at the Commander with a stern expression.
"Don't look at me like that. I had to do something. We were saved by them once, you know."
"That was stupid, no matter how you put it."
"They saved us, and now they come again and investigated into the problem we should have handled. There is no way I can let it go without doing something…"
"Still, you should not have rushed into things. You, of all people, should know the better than that. Rushing into battle in that messy situation; that was unlike you."
"Micheali!" One of the technicians interrupted. "Now is not the-"
"Then when is the time? The time is always not right, huh? That's why I hate it. The time is messed up, as always." Micheali suddenly looked at David. "You! Give the man over to the nursies. We are out of man now. you and your little friend over there are going to help. Get into your skygrasper!"
"But!" one of the man who were in Gohr's gang interrupted.
"Are you going to watch the ZAFT clean our butt for us? Forget about them! We are going to catch those terrorists before the ZAFT does!" David could not help but look up to the Micheali now as he said those words. "Those of you who can help, join in!"
"Wait! We don't have enough evidence against them, don't we?"
"Corruption! Even I know that those bugs pay a handful sum to the higher-ups."
"That is too rash!" One of the GUNDAM pilots said.
"You know we can't do anything like that!" Another said.
"We'll get into lots of trouble!" Yet another added.
"Are you going to watch your commander die here without putting your efforts to help!" Micheali asked them.
"Oy, oy… it is not as if I am dying here… I can still move…"
"Commander! Tell them why you did that. Tell them why you ignored the ZAFTs and went for the enemies instead!" Micheali insisted.
The Commander sighed and said, "whatever your decisions are, I will not stop you… I am not in the condition to stop you anyway. But you will have to bear the consequences on your own as well. That's all I have to say."
"That's all I need!" Micheali turned back and entered into his GUNDAM again. The nurses who were rushing to get a stretcher returned and they set the Commander into the stretcher. David and Nella followed as the Commander was taken into the medical room.
"Commander…" David said, "why did you do that?"
"Why did I did what?"
"Why did you do what Micheali said you did?" David replied.
"I wanted to do something for them. While I was in the battle, engaged with that fierce commander from ZAFT, he was screaming abuses at me. Well, it was not something glorious, but he was right in one thing. We have to do whatever it takes to stop those people from pushing the world into a state that we will regret sooner or later."
"Commander…" Nella muttered.
"'This is my future,' he said, Sky, 'and I will not allow those thugs to destroy it for me again!' He said it with such feelings too…. 'I will fight with all I can! Even if my future is destroyed, I will be the one to destroy it! I will be the one who decides that!' What else can I do, after hearing that?"
"Commander!" David suddenly said. "I am going to support Micheali and the others!"
David stopped in his tracks and saluted the Commander. Then, he ran back down the corridor until he entered the hangar again. Nella was shocked, but followed after him in a moment.
"David!" Nella cried, "David!"
"If you are going to stop me-"
"Are you sure this is the right thing to do?" Nella asked.
"Of course not! But that is the only thing I can do. Commander is right… and that ZAFT commander is right too. Anyway, I am not going to sit down and do nothing! This is my future as well!"
"Then…. Then… I am going into the battle as well!"
--End of Episode 18—
Will not be approving any buddy request unless you talk to me.