Mobile Suit Gundam Fan Fiction / Gundam Wing Fan Fiction / Gundam SEED Fan Fiction ❯ Mobile Suit Gundam GGeneration: Dreams ❯ Chapter 3: The Nightmare ( Chapter 3 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Chapter 3: The Nightmare
The room around Sieg was dark. A single ray of light shone through the curtains covering the window. The scent of freshly cooked bacon wafted through the jarred door and into Sieg's nose, awaking his senses. His eyes opened. He recognised this place. It was somewhere he has not seen for many years and he cannot believe that it was still standing. Getting out of bed, Sieg noticed something strange. His hands, feet, his entire body was several sizes smaller than before. Wondering to the mirror placed on his old desk, he looked at himself.
Instead of seeing the blonde veteran of the war, he saw a small child. Jumping backwards, Sieg thought it was a trick. How did he go back to be ten years old again? Wasn't he just in his damaged Moebius Zero, floating about in open space? Were all his experiences, all his comrades, the war with ZAFT just a dream?
Rushing down the large marble stairs in his pyjamas, Sieg ran straight into the dining room. It was his father's old mansion, exactly as he remembered it. The suit of armour standing just outside his room like a guardian, the Ming vase sat by the door leading outside, even the family portrait that hung majestically at the top of the stairs so that everyone who entered will be able to see it. His heart was racing as he flung the large wooden door open, hoping to see his mother and father again.
But there was no one there. He ran to the kitchen to see who was cooking the bacon; an empty room awaited him. Sieg searched room after room but finding nobody. Tears began to form, creating little ripples in the blueness of his eyes.
With all the rooms searched, he decided there was only one place left to look. Pulling hard on the huge handle of the front door that leads outside, the sound of voices and laughter filled his ears. Struggling, he finally managed to swing open the large oak doors and the smell of daffodils swept into the main hall. Looking down onto the floor, Sieg noticed a single daffodil bud by his feet. He remembered how his mother used to love that flower.
His small head peered through the opening. A man and a woman were standing outside. A teenage girl was standing with them, talking and laughing.
“Ah, Sieg, come over here, I'd like to introduce someone to you.” The man turned around. His face was cleanly shaved and looked exactly the same as Sieg remembered. His father worked in the field of genetics, and because of his work abroad in England, Sieg lived with his mother in America and rarely saw him. He had never seen the girl before but he felt that he had met her, perhaps in his dreams.
“Come on Sieg, don't be shy.” His mother pulled him across to face the girl. Her hair was a pale yellow, almost white. Sieg looked into her deep green eyes, trying to pry the courage from him to say hello. They stood there for a moment, surveying each other.
“Sieg, do you remember I mentioned that you had a sister who was living with your father and helping with his research?” Sieg's mother said. He doesn't remember much since his father hasn't returned home for nearly 2 years, even though he had visited his father's place of work once, he had never seen the girl before.
“Well, this is your sister.”
The girl stuck out her hand, a gesture for him to either shake it. He grabbed hold of her hand and shook it, still uncertain of her identity.
“Hi, Sieg.” She said, her voice was very soothing but there was something very familiar about it, “My name is…”
Sieg saw her mouth move but nothing was spoken. The silence sent a chill down his spine.
Suddenly everything around him turned to darkness. Fear spread through his entire being, overwhelming his senses. All the time, he heard the girl laughter and the words play through in the background.
He screamed in the darkness, wanting to return to his father. As if someone had been listening to him, he returned to his home. Instead of seeing his mother and father in front of him, the sight of a burning building confronted him. People around him shouted and screamed trying to douse the flames and save the house, but it was already too late.
“Hey! Where's Master Garland?” One of the people shouted.
“He's over here. But Mr and Mrs Garland are still trapped inside! We can't get in; the flames have spread through the entire house! Where are those fire trucks!” Those words sank into Sieg's mind. His parents were dead. Sieg sank to his knees; tears streaming down his cheeks. He screamed out in anguish.
The sound of the girl laughing echoed through his mind as if taunting him.
There was an odd pain in Sieg's left arm as if something was jabbed into it. Struggling to open his eyes, he saw a bright white ceiling above him. Wondering where he was and what the hell is going on, a cleanly shaved man appeared in his field of vision and looked at him.
“I see you're awake, Lieutenant. I was afraid that we'd lost ya.” He said a cheerful Scottish Accent.
So all that was just a dream? Go figure…Sieg thought as he looked around him. Several other beds were in the large room, but all were empty. There was a desk in the corner with a cupboard full of bottles. The room seemed too clean.
Hoping that this wasn't an enemy ZAFT ship, he tried to get up, but his entire body felt heavy and his mind was hazy.
“Whoa,” The man, who seemed like the doctor, helped him up, “Take it easy, laddy. You've been out for quite a while. You're body's still weak.”
“Where am I?” Sieg asked, “What ship is this?”
“Don't worry, laddy. You're on the EUF ship York,” The doctor replied, but he saw a puzzled look on Sieg's face, “EUF? Earth United Federation? Don't tell me you've forgotten your name as well?”
Sieg smiled at the man's joke, but it did put his mind at rest. Now sitting up, he watched the doctor removed the needle that connected his arm to a pack of liquid nutrients and walked away back to his table.
“I've already informed the Captain that you're awake.” The doctor said as he sat down, “She should be here in a few moments.” The door to the sickbay slid open and a black haired woman walked in.
“I suppose you're an angel?” Sieg asked in a sly voice.
“I'm Captain Rika Matsumoto. I'm captain of the York and second in command of Task Force Londo Bell.” She said sharply and clearly.
“Captain Sieg Garland. 1st Tactical Mobile Armour Squadron assigned to the battleship, Albion.” Sieg, realising that his joke was entirely inappropriate, tried saluted back, but his armed felt as if they weighed 20 kilograms and so his salute turned into a half-hearted wave instead. “Sorry, Captain.”
“That's OK.” Captain Matsumoto said as she came over and sat beside his bed, “So, Captain Garland, what happened at Heliopolis?”
Sieg went into a long-winded report on what happed at Heliopolis, how ZAFT had sent in commandos to steal the GAT Units, how the Albion was completely destroyed by one mobile suit and why he was floating alone in space.
“I would like to continue pursuit of the enemy if it is at all possible, Captain.” Sieg ended his report.
“I'm afraid that will not be possible.” Captain Matsumoto answered, “The Londo Bell Task Force is currently on a mission to find missing civilian and military transports. Twenty-two ships and transports have disappeared in this area. We expect something big is going to happen and it might be connected to Zeon.”
“Zeon?” He said out in surprise, thinking at the end of the Zeon conflict those people would have left for good. His mind wondered off for a minute and then remembered what he was requesting, “But surely you can spare me a ship, Captain.”
“I can't do that. Not until this operation is over. Anyway, you're still weak.” She said and looked at the doctor.
“Aye.” The doctor, just realising that she was talking to him, “When we found your orange machine we'd thought you'd died from exposure to space. It was amazing that we found you still breathing in your cockpit.”
“You see, Captain Garland, the Londo Bell Task Force has already left the Lunar orbit and heading towards Mars. We would need all the firepower we have if there is an attack.” She stood up and rearranged her uniform, “You don't look like you will be in any condition to help. Get your rest Captain. We might be in a fire fight with what ever destroyed those ships.”
The intercom activated in on the panel by the wall and a young man appeared on it.
“M'am, Admiral Londo Bell is on the line. He wishes to speak to Captain Garland.”
“Alright,” She answered, “Put him through.”
The image of the young man disappeared while that of a much older man replaced it. His black beard covered most of his chin and mouth. You can tell that the man commanded authority by just looking at him.
“Ah, Captain Sieg Garland, I trust that Captain Matsumoto's doctor treated you well. Do you mind if I called you Sieg? These military formalities tend to get annoying.” His voice was deep and croaky like that of an old man. Usually a beard made you look older but his beard made him look younger than he really was.
“No, please go ahead sir.”
“I believe that you have a lot of questions, but I will leave that for Captain Matsumoto to answer, but first I have a favour to ask of you, Sieg.”
“What would that be?” Sieg was curious why a Fleet Admiral Bell would be asking him a favour.
“I would like you to command the newly formed 1st Mobile Armour Squadron."
“Excuse me, sir?” Sieg spluttered back in surprise, “There's already a 1st Mobile Armour Squadron.”
“Ah. Well I suppose you're confused.” A smile appeared on the old man's face. He always admired people with a sense of curiosity, “Ever since the battle of Acteria, which you no doubt remember, the 1st Mobile Armour Squadron was disbanded. Though you kept the name, but the surviving members of the squadron was scattered. Do you know why, Sieg?”
Sieg shook his head.
“It is because those bureaucrats down on Earth are afraid, that's why. They were afraid of your Newtype abilities. They saw what the red mobile suit did to the fleet at Acteria and they got scared. So by separating you, they thought that they would limit the damage if you ever decide to turn on them.” The Admiral sounded senile, but there was something about him that made him more than just a crazy man, which could be why he's in charge of a fleet of ships.
“But I think differently, Sieg. I think that you are what the EUF really needs to bring peace. You see I believe what Zeon Zum Deikun said. I know that Newtypes are not weapons of war, but it is only in war your Newtype abilities are able to grow.”
“You are still young and full of ideals, yet an old shell of a man like me is in charge of fleets of people like you. I do not see how it's fair for me to decide your future. You Newtypes are the next step in human evolution and I want to give you a chance to prove yourself and preserve yourself.” He saw the confused look on Sieg's face and chuckled.
“Youth. Oh what a joy it would be to be young again.” That comment reminded Sieg of an old saying: There's a fine line between a genius and a madman; and Admiral Bell was dancing on it.
“Not everyone in my fleet believes what I say, just ask Captain Matsumoto.” Sieg had completely forgotten that she was still standing by his bed. He looked up and saw a slightly agitated look on her face, “But the people who serve under me are still willing to lend an ear to what I have to say and I thank them for that. You get some rest. The fleet will be returning to the Earth once the mission is over. Bell out.” The screen flickered and went blank.
There was an uncomfortable silence in the sickbay.
“Um…Captain Matsumoto, is Admiral Bell…um…” Sieg tried to find the right words to use but he was struggling.
“Insane? Senile? A sandwich short of a picnic?”
Sieg wanted to agree with what she said, but he was shocked to hear it from her.
“Quite possibly. But he is a military genius and a philosopher with a great sense of passion and strong principles. That's why we all follow his orders without fail.” She rearranged her uniform once again and walked towards the door. As the doors opened, Captain Matsumoto stopped.
“By the way, just so you know, I don't like the idea that humans are evolving to become one with each other. I personally find that disturbing. But that is the way of life. And there's no point trying to change what is already destined, right?” She sighed and turned to him, smiling. “You're old squad mates are on board. If you're feeling up to it, they will be in the Briefing Room at 1400 hours.” With that, she stepped out into the corridor and the door closed behind her.
Sieg stared blankly at the door, contemplating about what will happen to him once he got back to Earth. He turned to look at the doctor, but the man was busy writing. Sighing, he rested his head on the bed's headboard and looked out of the window to his left.
Being the captain of any ship is difficult, no matter how big your crew is. Thraw Nema understands this concept more than anyone. Being the sole commander of the Crossbone Vanguard wasn't easy, even more so when you are hired by Zeon. Though he doesn't mind working for them, but it was their secretive motives that has him worried.
The Crossbone Vanguard has existed since the late 1700's. They were a mercenary group who fought battles for the highest bidder, no matter who their clients are or their motives as long as they get paid. Though this might seem like dishonest work, Thraw didn't see it that way. The Nema family founded the Crossbone Vanguard to fight for France during the Napoleonic Wars. But when Napoleon lost, they decided to continue their art of naval warfare, except this time, work for whoever paid them the most. Hence the tradition of mercenaries continued through to Thraw, who fought for Zeon during the war.
The Mother Vanguard was the main battleship in the Crossbone Vanguard fleet, along with three old UN Salamis-class cruisers. The battleship's blue and white outer hull and shape resembled those old wooden ships that once sailed throughout the Earth's oceans. Several mast-like antennas stuck out above the ship with the bridge sticking up above the main hull. Beam cannon turrets protruded from hatches on either side of the ship, completing the old-style battleship feel. The four ships drifted silently in a shoal zone full of space debris and mangled hulls of ships.
On the trapezoid monitor above him a man wearing a pair of small round glasses and another with gelled silver hair looked down upon Thraw. The two were identical.
“Captain Nema, I trust that you are tracking the EUF fleet?” The man in wearing glasses asked. He had a firm and commanding voice with a hint of arrogance, similar to high-ranking officers in the old British army or those of royalty decent. However his expression showed that he was kind and thoughtful person who you would like to befriend.
Thraw nodded in reply. He didn't trust either of them.
“Project Angel should be ready for testing soon and her highness doesn't like to be kept waiting. Make sure that the fleet do not proceed further than they already have.” The other man spoke. Unlike his brother, his face was expressionless, “There is still need for subjects for Project Angel, so take prisoners.”
“What about reinforcements?” Thraw asked, “There are over ten ships in that fleet.”
“I'm sure you'll be able to handle it. After all you have done it before. Joseph and I will return to Axis once we have collected the goods.”
“Fine, Nema out.” The monitor above him flickered off.
Nicholas and Joseph Fin. If I didn't know better, I'd say that you're trying to get rid of the Crossbone Vanguard…
“So how are we gonna do it this time Thraw?” A voice spoke behind him.
“What would you suggest, Vandez?”
Vandez Jenius, who was standing at Thraw's side, stepped forwards and pressed on a few buttons on Thraw's armrest and brought up a map of the area.
“We should be able to use the debris a lot more effectively against a large group of targets.” Several red and green dots flashed up on the screen, “It's just the normal confuse and strike tactic, spread Minovsky particles, confuse their sensors and strike at their flagship.”
Thraw sat there silently, pondering the viability of the plan. He pressed another button on his console and the green dots disappeared and reappeared above the shoal zone.
“Clever plan, Vandez. But if we lead them into the shoal zone and place ourselves above it, there will be no need for Minovsky interference.” Though only thirty, Thraw sounded like a military strategist who's been fighting for decades.
“Though there's a high chance that the beams will deflect off the debris but their suits won't be able to manoeuvre as well as our Zondo Geis and our cannons will be able to get clear shots. All we have to do is to lure them in and that shouldn't be all that difficult.”
Vandez stood with his arms folded and stared up at the monitor and then at his long time companion.
“Brilliant as always.”
Thraw smiled and picked up the intership PA microphone.
“All hands, this is Nema. Prepare for battle, we will engage the EUF fleet in twenty minutes! Alert the Killingdale, Sandhurst and Yinst to follow the Mother Vanguard.” When he finished, the entire bridge crew began to speak at once, co-ordinating different sections, preparing them for battle. Klaxons rang through the entire ship. The crew of the Mother Vanguard rushed from one place to another. Each member of Thraw' crew is totally loyal and trusts every order he gives; in other words, they would follow him to hell and back if it comes to it.
“I will launch in the X1. I think Nimbus is down in the hanger in the X2 waiting for you to give the word to attack.” The magnets in Vandez's shoes lost its attraction from the metallic floor as he jumped towards the bridge's exit.
“Remember Vandez, we need to capture at least one of those ships for Project Angel.” Thraw turned his head towards Vandez, but he had already gone.
Sieg walked through the busy corridors of the Argama-Class battleship, York, trying to find his way to the briefing room. Though two of his ribs were broken and there was a fractured bone in his leg, he could still stand with the help of crutches. The Argama-Class battleship was essentially the upgrade of the Albion, more firepower, more thrust, greater manoeuvrability and greater Mobile Suit storage.
As he hobbled forwards, he heard the two familiar voices behind the door to his right.
The door slid open and Sieg peered into the room. On the podium at the front stood a Chinese and a Black man; they were taking turns speaking to a group of pilots sat at individual desks. Sieg also noticed that there was a camera placed in the corner of the room and a line of plasma television monitors showing images of the pilots aboard the other ships in the Londo Bell Taskforce.
“…fleet will enter the shoal zone at 1420 hours. The Jegans on the Trent will form the rear guard with the ones on the Hunter. The Quinton and Megan's Jegans shall form the scouting party and the rest of the Jegans will shall be searching through the debris. We shouldn't be expecting the enemy to be in large numbers, but we should be cautious." The Chinese man said while pointing to the virtual map.
“Captain Wang is right. There's a high chance that what ever destroyed those ships will still be in the area.” The Black man named Wiz Earo continued on, “The lack of Minovsky particles in the area worries me. Every pilot should exercise caution when exploring the wreckage for survivors and clues. Each Jegan will be given standard equipment, as it's too dangerous mounting anything else onto them. Anything else Captain Wang?”
“Nope. Anyone have any questions? Fine. Get to your suits. The operation will begin in twenty minutes.” With that, the screens at the back switched off automatically and the young pilots sat at the front began shuffling out. The two Captains at the front of the room hasn't realised Sieg was there.
“YO, WIZ, TYAN!” Sieg's voice echoed around the room and the corridor. Both Tyan Long Wang and Wiz Earo turned towards him. At first they didn't recognise him but after a moment...
“So this is where you two been hiding.” Sieg joked with his old comrades. They stood by a large window and looked upon the other battleships within the Londo Bell fleet. Every now and then a Jegan mobile suit would fly past on their timetabled patrol.
“Admiral Bell personally requested that we would be transferred to his fleet after he heard about the 1st Mobile Armour's exploits.” Tyan replied. He always had a cheerful face that made him such an easy person to approach. “He tried to get our entire squad, but those bureaucrats in Tibet refused. It seems like those pen pushers are more of a problem than ZAFT, Titans, Oz and those terrorists put together.”
“Well, its better than nothing.” Sieg knew that there was corruption from the lowest level to the top ranks of the EUF was so stark that a ten year-old child would have been able to see it. Though no one admitted it, the Titans and Oz were manipulating the EUF for their own interests, such as when they began to police the colonies. But seeing past the corruption and the red tape, the EUF was a symbol of peace and their troops were created to keep the peace.
The scene outside suddenly changed from open space to metal and rock graveyard. The fleet had entered the shoal zone.
“Its strange that no matter how hard we tried to get rid of each other, fate somehow brings us back. Its like that `I try to get out and they keep pulling me back in' saying.” Wiz mused, “I heard a rumour that the Admiral was bring back the old 1st Mobile Armour Squadron, looks like we're one big family again. Wonder why he's done this?”
“Apparently he thinks that we Newtypes are the future.” Sieg let out a small laugh.
“Maybe we are the future. We are technically superior to normal people.” When Tyan made that comment he saw Sieg's face cringe slightly.
“Superior my ass,” Sieg was getting angry, “The concept that we are the saviour and the future of mankind is just a funny concept to me. I mean look at us. I'm an orphan; Tyan, you joined the EUF out of spite because of a piss up with your brother; and you Wiz were a drug addict on the verge of suicide. What about the others? Cowan, he's some hooligan from a gang in Edinburgh? How about Korzeki? He was court-martialled several times for being AWOL. How can we be the future of mankind? If we so superior then how come Cowan, Korzeki, Bruny, Ister, Pilsen and Anders are all dead! I don't even know why we are fighting. All it seems is that people are using us to rid the world of Newtypes. Maybe that woman was right.”
A very uncomfortable silence followed the Sieg's angry outburst. All three pilots stared at the floor, all wondering the same thing: Why are we Newtypes?
“Sorry.” Sieg mumbled.
“No, you're right.” Tyan stood up and leaned against the large window, looking out into space. “Why are a bunch of clowns like us Newtypes? I remember what that woman said to us at Acteria: 'When the time comes, Newtypes will be freed from the oppression of Oldtypes. Our kind will ascend beyond everyone else and become free. Stop fighting for these Oldtypes, all they do is exploit you and use your powers for their own selfish gains.'”
"Maybe she's right." Sieg groaned.
“Maybe.” Wiz answered, “But we joined the EUF out of our own accord. We have a job to do. Does it matter whether we are Newtypes? Even if we have Newtype powers it wouldn't matter because if we can do our job well then that's all that matters. I really don't care what she says but as long as we are alive, we'll decide how to live our lives.”
“Well said Wiz. Well said.” Sieg tried to forget about what he just said and to cheer himself up, but he couldn't get laughter of that girl out of his mind.
The Mother Vanguard sailed silently through space above the shoal zone. The tactic was working perfectly. The EUF fleet has moved into the zone and all the Mother Vanguard and her three Salamis escorts will simply appeared to be are large clusters of debris on their sensors. Thraw watched as around thirty red dots move through the debris. The bridge crew managed to patch into a communications channel of a Jegan patrol. They heard every word they said.
“Sika two to Sika one, nothing to report from area two nine three.”
“Roger that Sika two.”
“It's eerie. So many ships and not a single body.”
“I know. It's weird.”
“Sika three, check area two eight eight.”
“Sika four here. Nothing to report in area two nine zero. Where the hell are the bodies of the crews?”
“The area's too clean. Something's not right.”
“Cut the chatter Sikas, we have a job to get done. I don't want to stay in this graveyard any longer than you do.”
“Understood.” And the conversation continued like that.
Thraw sat in the captain's chair with his arms crossed and eyes closed. He was waiting, no feeling, for the right moment to attack.
“Bring the ship about and arm starboard mega particle cannons. Once the first barrage has been fired, barrel roll 180 degrees and fire the port cannons. Continue like that until I say stop. Fire on my mark…
He watched as bright yellow beams flashed forth from the Mother Vanguard and the other cruisers.
“Launch all MS. All hands to battle!”
The ship suddenly began to shake, throwing Sieg, Tyan and Wiz into the window. Outside, five pillars of beam energy drilled through the bridge and the hulls of five different ships. Time seemed to slow down as the metal shell of those ships began to morph and distort under the heat. The spectacle was followed by the ships flowering into a ball of flames, flinging debris everywhere.
“What the hell!” Tyan exclaimed out loud as he watched the destroyed ships above them disintegrate into nothingness.
Alarms and klaxons rang throughout the ship's corridors and the ship's crew began rushing past them as they went to battle stations.
“Hey, you!” Tyan grabbed a nearby crew member, “Give him a hand and get him to the bridge.”
Sieg tried to argue, but Tyan turned to him, “You're in no shape to pilot. Anyway, your should leave it to the pros.” With a grin, he and Wiz ran off towards the hanger.
Thraw was quite pleased with the result of the first barrage of beams, destroying 5 of the EUF ships.
“Rotate the ship 180 degrees! Recharge starboard cannons and fire the port cannons when they come into range. Fire anti-beam missiles around the ship, all AA batteries prepare for enemy attack.”
The main view screen on the bridge of the Mother Vanguard showed trails of light flying erratically in space as the mobile suits of both sides began to clash.
“This is too easy. IKUZE! CROSSBONE SLASH!” Nimbus' Crossbone Gundam X2's beam zanber sliced through another EUF Jegan. The Gundam was painted black and red because Nimbus was a fan of anime and an old game called Super Robot Taisen.
“Nimbus must you shout like that?” Vandez's Crossbone Gundam X1 nimbly dodged past two amateur Jegan pilots with ease. He slid around them, drawing a bead on both Jegans with his buster gun and hit both of their reactors.
“Come on Van, this is fun. Lighten up!” The X2 boosted upwards as a Jegan charged at him with a beam sabre. A conveniently placed Zondo Gei behind the X2 fired its beam rifle and vaporised the Jegan's cockpit.
Vandez sighed. Thrusting up behind a piece of space debris, he sighted an orange fighter around 2 km away. He watched as the fighter approached three Zondo Geis doing hit and run tactics on a lone EUF ship. Four barrels on its back detached from the main hull and began firing a hail of bullets.
Wow are those things remote controlled? That must mean a Newtype. This should be interesting.
The X1's thrusters flared to life and dashed between the space debris towards its new target, leaving Nimbus to his hacking and slashing while shouting incoherent phrases.
Tyan's ReGZ was a lot more agile than it looked. It dodged and barrel rolled around the debris of the battle, firing the beam cannon mounted beneath the nose of the large blue ReGZ fighter and scoring a direct hit each time. However being in a large Mobile Armour fighter, it made it difficult to move between the wreckages of the ships than mobile suits so every now and then a piece of metal would bounce off the ReGZ's armour. Despite that, he made it look so easy. Though he was picking off the enemy, the Londo Bell fleet was shrinking in numbers.
Tyan tried not to move too far away from the remaining fleet, but three Crossbone Vanguard Zondo Geis were shadowing him, jumping from one piece of debris to another. Several missiles flew out from the ReGZ's wing. They exploded in the path of the pursuing mobile suits blocked the mobile suits from Tyan's view, but he knew they were still there because there was no way a few missiles will destroy a MS.
“This is Captain Tyan Wang to any Jegan pilots nearby, form up behind me. We're too unorganised!”
Several beams pierced through the curtain of smoke made by the ReGZ and destroying part of its right wing. Tyan, cursing loudly that he allowed himself to be hit, tried to control the spinning mobile armour without much success. With blood rushing to his head, he decided there was only one thing to do and slammed down on the right hand control panel.
All the remaining missiles on the ReGZ automatically launched in all directions, creating, literally, a wall of flames around the blue mobile armour. The Crossbone Vanguard mobile suits evaded the explosions with no problems, but they didn't expect what happened next.
The blue fighter like nose and wings on the ReGZ detached from the bottom half of the mobile armour, revealing a pale turquoise coloured mobile suit. It grabbed the beam rifle mounted on its back and spun around, leaving the rest of the ReGZ to fly off and explode.
A flash appeared in Tyan's mind. He raised the beam rifle and pulled the trigger three times. Each shot struck the cockpits of each Zondo Gei, incinerating the pilots inside each of them.
Four Jegans from chaotic battle formed up behind the ReGZ and the five suits moved off to help the other EUF MS and ships.
Meanwhile, Wiz's small Gunbarrel Striker weaved in and out of the debris with no problems. It was simple for the small fighter craft to manoeuvre in the confined space while picking off the enemies with its gunbarrels.
Spotting three Zondo Gei harassing the Triumph, a Magellan-Class cruiser, Wiz sent the four gunbarrels forth. A railgun protruded from each of the orange and white barrels and sprayed bullets and in the Zondo Geis' general direction.
The unsuspecting three Crossbone mobile suits managed to dodge past two of the gunbarrel's but the pilots didn't realise that there was another two behind them. The explosion from one of the railgun's rounds propelled the Zondo Geis forwards while the Gatling machine gun mounted on the bottom of Wiz's fighter ripped them apart.
Wiz flew the Gunbarrel Striker past the Magellan cruiser and saw the bridge crew wave at him.
All of a sudden a pair of feet appeared out of nowhere and crushed the bridge from above. Though it happened in an instant, it felt like eternity to Wiz. He saw the crew on the bridge being forced onto the floor and disappeared under the crumpling metal.
The Gunbarrel Striker spun around 180 degrees while continuing its original course, firing its Gatling machine gun and the railguns on the gunbarrels at the white Gundam.
Vandez was trained in MS piloting ever since he was a boy so dodging the attacks of a fighter and remote weapons was no sweat for him. The cape that the X1 had didn't help much here because weapons on the Gunbarrel Striker were physical ammunition, but the tattered cape just made the X1 look cooler as it charged at Wiz with its beam zanber held at its side.
Wiz barely had time to think of his next action when the X1 charged at him, but his Newtype instincts told him exactly when to react. Activating lower-back and lower-front thrusters, the Gunbarrel Striker shifted upwards while the entire fighter somersaulted over the X1. It was an ingenious piece of manoeuvring which usually only a mobile suit can achieve, but Wiz was known to do near-impossible things in his Gunbarrel Striker. With the gatling gun still firing, he managed to score a hit on the X1, however the damage was only superficial.
Vandez wanted to try and strike again but a hail of beams and bullets rained down between him and Wiz. It was the ReGZ and the four Jegans.
Realising that the situation wasn't in his favour, Vandez decided it was time for him to leave. He charged straight into the approaching EUF mobile suits.
The Tyan and the other four pilots was surprised to see that the enemy made a beeline straight at them. But what surprised them more was to see a Jegan split in half at the waist before it reached them. Tyan turned his mobile suit around only see the real X1 had already passed them and heading towards another part of the battlefield.
“Damn afterimage…” Tyan mumbled to himself as he watched helplessly as the ashes of another one of his EUF comrades disappear into the cosmos.
On the bridge of the York, Sieg stood in the corner thinking that he should be out there fighting with Tyan and Wiz. A nearby explosion shook the bridge; several consoles exploded, injuring a crewman. Another volley of beams destroyed 2 more ships.
Dammit, only seven ships left and two of them are dead in space… Captain Rika Matsumoto thought to herself as she analysed the situation.
“Michael, deploy the mega particle guns and arm the hyper particle cannon. Bring the ship about, 10 degrees elevation.” Rika ordered her bridge crew. Any hesitation now would be devastating.
“We can't find who's firing! All the sensor's are getting is debris Captain!” Lieutenant Paul Ransom shouted from the tactical console.
“Well aim those cannons at where the enemy beams are coming from!”
“Captain, enemy MS approaching from 190, elevation -20!” Sensor operator Ensign Hana Ito reported.
“Fire anti-beam missiles and anti-mobile suit missiles; take us 20 degrees to port!” Sieg could tell that Captain Matsumoto was getting desperate.
The missiles flew out from their slots on the side of the ship, exploding in the direct path of the oncoming mobile suits. Though it didn't destroy them, but it did slow them down. The Mother Vanguard and the Salamis fired a barrage of deadly beams. The battleships swerved to avoid them but two unlucky ones was hit by the beams and promptly exploded.
Missiles from the Zondo Gei MS flew out of the smoke and debris, striking the York's bow. The explosions ripped apart the starboard launch catapult, making it completely useless.
“Dammit, they've got us pinned down…” Sieg muttered to himself picking himself up off the floor with difficulty.
“Ma'am! Message from the Admiral Bell!”
“Put it on the monitor, Hana.”
The old man Sieg spoke to earlier appeared on the large monitor in front of the bridge. He was covered in dust and the scene behind him showed that most of the bridge was either destroyed or damaged. The message was very garbled but the meaning of it was clear.
“Captain-…-sumoto, get the fleet out o-…-ere! I won-…-let them…-t be destroyed here! I-…cover your escape…-ust get ou-…-ere! Retr-…-t! Ret-” The message crackled and the screen went blank.
“Is that man nuts? What the hell does he think he's doing covering our escape? He'll get him and his crew all killed!” Sieg yelled out but it was no use. Admiral Bell's Argama-Class battleship, the Nausica, manoeuvred itself between the York and the oncoming Crossbone Vanguard mobile suits.
“Helm! Set course: 180 elevation 10, maximum thrust! Get us out of the shoal zone. Communications send a message to all remaining ships and mobile suits…tell them to follow us and retreat!”
“What about the Uganda and the Otto? They're dead in space. We can't just leave them.”
“Yes we can, Paul. If we don't leave now the Admiral's sacrifice will be for nothing!”
On what was left of the Nausica's bridge, Admiral Londo Bell sat alone. The rest of the bridge crew was killed when a partially destroyed mobile suit slammed into the side of the ship.
He had managed to use up the remaining power left in the engines to move the disintegrating ship to block the path of the enemy. Admiral Bell knew that his ship wasn't going to make it, even if it did escape with the rest of the fleet.
Throughout his life, he dedicated himself to fight for Earth and what he felt is right. Since he became an Admiral, he tried to use his position to change the Earth, the moon and the colonies, to help bring about peace. Now, he knew his time was up and the only thing he could do was to help the younger generation carry on with his work. Setting his ship to self-destruct in thirty seconds, he relaxed himself.
The Admiral closed his eyes and thought about his family on Earth, his wife…his son…his granddaughter. But as the countdown reached zero, his thoughts suddenly switched to the young men and women who were on the retreating ships. He knew that it would be up to them to bring peace to the Earth. Oh how he wanted to live and see that day. A tear slid down his cheek as his body was turned into ash in the raging inferno of the explosion.
On the bridge of the Mother Vanguard, Thraw watched silently as the flagship of the EUF fleet explodes in blinding flash, destroying anything that was close enough.
“Sir, the enemy fleet is heading back to Earth.” One of his bridge crew reported, “Shall we pursue?”
“No…Let them go. Their leader sacrificed all he had to save them, the least we could do is to show him some respect. Inform Axis that the threat has been eliminated.” Thraw replied.
Nimbus' face suddenly appeared on the monitor above Thraw.
“WE'RE LETTING THEM GO! WTF ARE YOU THINKING? DIDN'T THE FINS TELL US TO DESTROY THEM ALL?”
“We already have disabled two of their ships and several mobile suits. It should be enough to satisfy the Fins.” Thraw said without looking up.
“WHAT? WHAT ABOUT THE REST!”
“I said we'd let them go.”
“WE CAN'T DO THAT! WE'RE WINNING! I'M GOING AFTER TH-”
“YOU WILL NOT PURSUE THEM! YOU WILL ROUND UP THE REMAINING EUF SHIPS AND MS AND YOU WILL RETURN TO THE MOTHER VANGUARD WITH THEIR CREWS UNHARMED! IS THAT UNDERSTOOD?” Thraw roared. Nimbus suddenly became very quiet.
Though Vandez wasn't on the screen you could hear him sighing in the background and mumbling something about kids nowadays.
“Get to the Mess Hall. There's a temporary infirmary set up there.” Sieg told an injured crewman as he watched him walk past with blood streaming down his face.
Captain Rika Matsumoto now commanded what was left of the Londo Bell Fleet and had ordered the five remaining ships to return to the Grenada Moon base for repairs.
Sieg slowly limped down the long hallway, his mind wondered between the woman in the Gerbera Tetra and what the man named Zeon Zum Daikun advocated before the Zeon War. Was all this really worth it?
These questions all evaporated as the doors of the hanger bay slid opened. The once majestic looking Jegan Mobile Suits now stood at odd angles, all looking worse for wear. Mechanics and medics rushed past Sieg as he entered to repair the damage and to rescue trapped pilots. As he stood at the entrance, he saw several pilots being carried out of the hanger, strapped to stretchers. Another pilot was being resuscitated on the hanger floor by a medic. After several attempts, the doctor shook his head, took off his white coat and placed it over the man's body.
Tyan and Wiz were already out of their cockpits and helping to pry open a fused cockpit hatch on a badly damaged Jegan.
Throwing away his crutches, Sieg floated into the chaos and joined his companions.
Jason Statham sat in a crowded transport with other EUF POWs. He was one of the pilots of the Londo Bell Fleet who was left behind and fortunate enough to be kept alive. But that didn't matter for he felt betrayed, betrayed by those who fought with him and called him a friend; yet those friends abandoned him so easily.
Several of the EUF soldiers banged on the cockpit hatch with their cuffed hands, trying to get their captor's attention.
“What the hell is going on here!”
“I demand to see a representative of the EUF!”
“Where are you taking us?”
But no one answered. Though Jason wanted to shout with them, but he knew that it wouldn't help. Better conserve his energy. Half an hour later, the small transport's intercom activated.
“Quieten down. Everyone take a seat. We're about to touchdown.”
Sure enough, the entire transport shook as it locked onto the laser sensors of what ever they were touching down on.
When the back hatch opened, the sight of soldiers wearing gas masks and full body armour greeted the EUF prisoners. They pushed and shoved Jason and the others out of the transport and into the large hanger. Jason expected that this would be a Zeon military base, but as he was marched out of the hanger, what he saw shocked him and everyone behind him.
The walls of the base were lined with tubes. As he walked past one of the tubes Jason glanced at what was inside. A man was inside. He thought he was hallucinating; there was no way that they could be storing people. As he walked past the next tube he saw a woman inside. Her eyes were shut as if sleeping. It was the same in the next tube and the next and the next. Each of the tubes was occupied by a human being.
“What the hell is this place? Who on earth are you!” He shouted out in horror.
“I believe I can answer that.” A male voice above the EUF prisoners boomed, they turned to look up at him.
“I am Adun Weich. And this, my friends, is Project Angel.”
Inside the core of Axis was a majestic throne room. It was decorated with all the décor associated with medieval royalty. The Zeon insignia was draped across the walls while the pillars was adorned with flowers and more banners.
When Zeon left the Earth Sphere on the mining asteroid Axis, its people was exhausted and their new home was nothing more than tunnels inside Axis. However as the years passed, the people of Zeon saw that Axis as their new home, they felt it was their responsibility to maintain it and make it fitting for the heirs to the Earth Sphere to live in.
The Axis leader, Sophia Cogant, sat on the throne, alone in the large hall.
She was only 20 years old. Her blood red hair ran down to her shoulders while her light blue eyes stared at the throne room door. All responsibility of leading the new Neo Zeon was placed on her shoulders at the young age of 18. It wasn't easy following in her father's footsteps when he led the remaining Zeon troops out of the Earth Sphere. But when her father died and she was voted to become the next regent of Zeon, her life was torn apart with endless meetings.
Today was one of those days when nothing happened. Nothing important had occurred in the Neo Zeon organisation and the military leaders and community leaders left her alone to her own daydreams. It was bliss.
The door into the throne room creaked open and a Chinese man wearing a black Neo Zeon uniform walked briskly in. Sophia recognised the man; it was Tai Yang Long, one of the younger high-ranking officers in the Neo Zeon military. Though he was around the same age as her, his knowledge about far exceeds hers and he could threaten her leadership of Neo Zeon, yet she felt that he could be trusted.
No one knows where he came from since his name didn't appear on any of the ships, which escaped with Axis, but his determination to become the best and hate towards Earthanoids allowed him to be accepted by everyone around him.
“Milady,” He said as he reached the steps leading up to her throne. He bowed his head as he spoke, “I have received news that Project Angel is 98 complete. We should be able to begin testing in around 2 to 3 weeks.”
“Very good. You all have been working very hard. Please give my regards and thanks to everyone on the project. Tell them that they may have 3 week vacation once the initial testing has been completed.”
“Thank you milady.”
“Please, call me Sophia.” She felt her heart pound slightly as she watched Tai look up at her.
“As you wish, Lady Sophia."
"Yes. Though the Crossbone Vanguard's latest mission yielded the final subjects for Project Angel. However several ships have escaped back to the Earth Sphere. How do you wish to proceed?"
“I suppose they know too much about the project already. Aren't Nicholas and Joseph Fin in the Earth Sphere? Tell them to deal with it.”
“Yes, Lady Sophia.” Tai turned and began walked toward the exit.
“Umm…Tai,” One thing that Sophia never did was to not think before speaking or use unnecessary words such as `um', but this time her mind was elsewhere, “Would you like to join me for dinner tonight?”
Tai stopped and turned around.
“I'm afraid I am very busy, milady. I'm needed in the MS training centre.”
“Just for today, please.” Sophia sounded like a schoolgirl. She had no idea what was wrong with her. She never had any feelings before towards anyone apart from her father so why is her heart pounding?
“I suppose those recruits can wait.” Tai smiled back at her.
Looks like Thraw let some of those EUF ships get away.
And I suppose Sophia wants us to deal with his mess.
Damn Oldtype, letting his old misguided ideals cloud his judgement.
Don't underestimate Oldtype values brother. Chivalry and honour serves them well in battle.
Yes brother. So, where are they heading?
Shall we intervene?
No. Pasture is on Grenada.
Shall we call in our old favour?
Shall we give him instructions?
It will be best to let him decide. Let's see what this Oldtype comes up with.
Fine. Will this affect our plan to get the presents?
No. The EUF fleet will work to our advantage.