Mobile Suit Gundam Fan Fiction / Gundam Wing Fan Fiction / Gundam SEED Fan Fiction ❯ Mobile Suit Gundam GGeneration: Dreams ❯ Chapter 15: Trust - Part 1 ( Chapter 15 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Chapter 15: Trust - Part 1
Rika rested her head against the headrest of her command chair. The surface felt distant in her normal suit helmet. The York sat in standby mode with her crew on alert. The bridge was quiet, the crew minding their instruments and concentrating on the lines of video feeds from external cameras. Rika, on the other hand, sat quietly and waited for Sieg's signal. The operation was called Renaissance by the AEUG. It was their first joint operation but raids were not something that Rika, nor her crew, had been trained for.
The London Bell taskforce was deployed one thousand kilometres from Oz's Hawkins Research Facility, well hidden within an old Zeon War debris field. The AEUG's four Irish-Class cruisers would conduct a raid on the facility and draw away the 210th Mobile Carrier Group stationed at the Londo Bell would move in, seize the packages and escape back to Lohar at military thrust.
“Anything from the AEUG raid?”
“No ma'am.” Hana Trinkov answered.
Rika could only guess at the efficiency of the AEUG crews, their ability to handle themselves in raids. She had hated the fact that Londo Bell had become a band of bandits for the AEUG rather than a full fledged military unit, but with Admiral Pasture ending the EUF's mission, her crew had nowhere else to go. The digital display showed a countdown for the approximated operation start-time: five minutes. Of course, this was the estimated time that the AEUG command gave to her, but inside evolving battlefields of Minovsky particles nothing ever goes to plan.
Inside the cockpit of the Mobius Zero, its engines gave off a low and dull hum. The sound reverberated in Sieg's helmet, drawing out his own thoughts. The radio-blackout meant that he was cut off from the rest of the task-force and out in the open, waiting for the blue and white signal flare from the AEUG. Wait and return order forbade any contact with the enemy, something that Sieg relished the chance for.
Flexing his hands on the control sticks, he scanned the distance and checked his sensors. The Minovsky particle distortions blanked out all sensor signals from the Hawkins Facilities, while the Londo Bell task-force behind him were mixed in with pieces of debris. Everyone, apart from him, was hidden. This wasn't something that unnerved him, but rather his Newtype sixth sense was making him uneasy. He always trusted his feelings, but at this moment, he needed to trust his other senses more.
The digital monitor suddenly reacted to a minute light speck about six hundred kilometres away, Sieg squinted his eyes and saw two distinct blue and white flares.
“Righto, work time.” He spooled up the orange fighter's engines, did a one-eighty and powered back towards the shoal zone where the task-force was hiding. His Minovsky sensors began beeping when his engines reached maximum thrust.
“What the-?” He tapped at the different sensors and saw a mass of moving Minovsky cloud headed towards the facility.
“Oh, this can't be good.” He logged the location of the cloud and inputted the vector into the computer. Moving Minovsky clouds meant one of two things, neither of them good.
“Ma'am, camera sixteen has the Zero on screen. Message received. We had a go from Captain Garland.”
About time. Rika sat up, “Take us out of the shoal zone, one-quarter speed. After exiting, bring the fleet to bearing three-oh-seven by three-five-oh and increase to flank speed. Send the orders to Southampton and Shanghai via laser-link. Launch all mobile suits when we're one hundred kilometres clear of the debris.”
“I'm also receiving information on a mobile Minovsky cloud from the captain.” Hana added.
Rika looked at the information sent via the laser-link. It was possible that it was just a previously undisappated cloud that's gravitated against magnetically charged floating debris, but her experience when combating ZAFT gave her pause. There's a possibility that the cloud could be dispersed from a small fleet of ships, but the inherent properties of Minovsky particles caused it to be a doubled edged sword. It is true that during combat, Minovsky particle dissemination allowed ships to have a reasonable amount of stealth, like submarines. But when dispersed, the radar and infra-red blackout meant that any long-range sensors could see this moving cloud, giving away your position. Looking out of the main viewer, the debris from the shoal zone thinned and the York made a left turn towards the research facility.
“Helm, new heading, two-six-oh by oh-one-two, ahead full. I want to keep at least four hundred kilometres away from that Minovsky cloud. Hana, Give a line to Captain Wang and send a recall order to Captain Garland.”
The first green Jegan mobile suits stepped up onto the launch catapults from the York's hangar bays. With a small puff of steam and coolant, the York shot them out into the darkness and within a second, the only thing visible was the blue exhaust from the mobile suit's after burners.
“Yes?” Tyan's static filled voice rang in Rika's head-set.
“Captain, I want to you scout the Minovsky cloud currently astern. If you find hostiles, do not engage. Return and report. I don't want to have Oz ambushing us.”
“Aye, ma'am. Is Garland joining me?”
“No,” A gust of static made Rika to recoil slightly, “I'm calling him back, we need his remote weapons.”
The Re-GZ mobile armour did a quick 180-thruster spin and launched itself in the opposite direction of the fleet.
Rika's eyes moved from the fifteen different displays from the remote cameras. The facility was still too far away for visual identification, but occasional flashes of yellow and pink beam weapons betrayed its location.
The initial attack took down the automated fire fighting system of the Hawkins Research Facility, forcing the overwhelmed Oz crew to don fire-hazard suits and arm themselves with handheld extinguishers. The main control centre was the first area to be reclaimed from the fire, but the stray missile that hit the facility tore a large hole where the communication controls were previously situated. The pink sealant clogged up the hole, but the overwhelming smell of burnt plastic and skin filled the recycled air.
A first-lieutenant stepped over the dead body of the base commander and found his way to remains of the communications panel. He tapped on the keys to send out a distress signal with no success.
"What's the status of the two-hundred and tenth? Did anyone get that distress call out to the Ninth Fleet?"
"No contact. We lost contact with them as soon as they sortied." One voice in the control centre shouted over the cacophony of screams and orders.
"Dammit. What's the situation on the dolls? Can we launch them?"
"I don't know, sir. The control circuits are still active, but we can only launch five. I'm not sure whether they've completed the IFF recognition systems either."
"That'll have to do. Under Protocol two two nine, I authorise their launch." The lieutenant scrambled over to the doll's control system and smashed the glass panel with his hand. He regretted the decision immediately as the glass shards dug into his flesh but he pressed the activation button despite the pain.
Inside hangar 4, bent metal and broken rock were strewn across the ground. Underneath the boulders of asteroid, five lights glowed brightly. The noise of Minovsky generators would have been heard if not for the lack of atmosphere for the sound to travel. Five dark spectres rose from ground, their large build, rounded shoulders and square facial cameras were reminiscent of the Leos, but the red panels on their shoulders and dark paint created gave them an ominous demeanour that the Leos lacked.
Out from the shadows, the Virgo mobile dolls stood up in accordance to their programming. Their digital eyes scanned the surrounding area, recognising only the other four Virgos. XV-01, the designation given to the squad leader, pushed against the manual release to the hangar door for it to open. Nothing happened. A black panel unlocked from XV-01's right shoulder, spinning as it rose. Raising the mega-particle cannon attached to it's right hand, a bright yellow beam flashed forth from the muzzle.
The Re-GZ pressed forward into the darkness, small debris whizzing past Tyan's monitor. The Re-GZ's fuselage shuddered as the minute particles leaked into the generator and created an imbalance of Minovsky particles. Tyan adjusted his controls and moved his blue bird five degrees starboard. His visual sensors indicated nothing but rocks while the holographic recognition system tried to put those shapes to known vehicles on the database.
The hell?
The recognition system flashed up six identical objects directly in the middle of the cloud and flashed up "UNKNOWN" for each of the readings. A flash and pining in Tyan's head made him to pull the Re-GZ into a vertical climb, just in time to avoid a hail of AA fire from the unknown objects.
The blue fighter/mobile suit looped back around to the Londo Bell fleet with stray bullets bouncing off the already pockmarked hull.
"Twelve hundred until waypoint." The Zero's computer system calculated and relayed the information into Sieg's ears. He did not like the mutilation of the Mobieus Zero's gunpods into grappling hooks for the operation. The long-range stealth weapon was his pride and joy and he didn't appreciate the mechanics dismantling his baby.
He dodged between rocks and stray bullets from the struggling Leo mobile suits, with a few from the Jegan suits on his side. Sieg's eyes darted between the displays in his helmet, plotting a new course to the research facility.
"What is that?" He squinted his eyes at five dots moving in a cylindrical formation. They closed rapidly and their dark shapes became clearer. Sieg heard a pinging in his ears and yanked the controls and banked right. A yellow beam grazed the bottom of the Zero, violently shaking the fuselage, nearly cracking his skull against the top of the cockpit. Swinging the Zero around 90-degrees, he pushed the Zero's engines to 90% power to evade four further beam rounds. The five red dots broke formation and their darkened shapes became clearer.
Are those what they were designing here?
Pulling the linear cannon into firing position, Sieg pulled off a shot into their direction. The green shot lit up the blackness of space, exploding several pieces of unexploded ordnance along the way. Instead of dodging the shot, five round panels dismounted from the Virgo's shoulders and floated in front of the unit. The Zero's shot bounced off the electromagnetic shield, the static ricocheted between the five panels and the mobile suit.
Holy shit, what the hell was that?!
Sieg pulled off three more shots, but the Virgos dodged them with almost unhuman agility. He watched in wonder as the units closed in on several Jegans, their shots bouncing off the shields on the Virgos before being ripped apart by the beams. Their heads bobbed about unnaturally before acquiring their next target, the Zero.
Sieg punched the Zero into maximum thrust and dashed towards the research facility. Without the gunpods, the Zero was lighter and accelerated like never before. Sieg switched on the rear camera. The red eyes of the Virgos were still gaining on him, but there were only four. Suddenly, a crimson glow filled the camera, a Virgo had flanked him while he watched the Jegans go up in flames. Sieg lost control of his bladder, the catheter in his backpack slowly filled with his fear.
Two huge hands took hold of the Zero with the thumbs right on top of the cockpit and squeezed. Electrical sparks flashed and the metal cockpit groaned under the immense pressure.
Oh god, NO!
Sieg panicked, no amount of experience and training could prepare him for the chill that coursed through his system. The idea of being crushed to death was not something that he had in mind. He tried undocking the grappling hooks, but the hooks bounced off the arms of the black giant, but one ricocheted onto the Virgo's main camera. The black mobile suit's grip softened as the on-board computer tried to compensate for the lost camera feed. Taking the opportunity, Sieg repositioned his linear cannon and put a shot through the Virgo's chest. Before he pushed the Zero away to escape the explosion, Sieg caught sight of the damage and the Virgo's external structure.
There's no cockpit area... He wondered to himself.
A white flash and yellow flames that followed completely engulfed the Virgo and vaporised the metallic superstructure. Sieg glanced around and saw the other three Virgos going after separate targets. Wiz's Gunbarrel Striker managed to take down another while Sieg recovered his bearings.
Back to work
"So they are enemy reinforcements?" Rika repeated Tyan's report, trying to confirm the data he collected.
"Yes ma'am, I don't recognise the configuration of the warships. They have much greater range than OZ's Salamis cruisers."
Rika examined the shapes while keeping an eye on the tactile displays from her seat, "They're OZ's Experimental First Fleet. I heard rumours that they were rolling out new class of ships to replace their Salamis, but the Clops were months away from their first deployment..." Rika tried to play with her hair, but her hands touched the outer shell of her helmet instead.
"Major, move and assist Garland with his objective. We're going to move up our schedule."
Sieg manoeuvred the Zero towards the target hangar. Immediately, a blast of machine gun fire emerged from it. Activating the reverse thruster, he dodged the shots but the dislodged rock sprayed and dented the Zero's armour.
"Dammit! Rogers, I need you to clear the hangar for me!" Sieg turned on a laser communication line to the pilot of a Jegan he got to join him in obtaining his target. Rogers Jegan nodded in reply and hugged the outer wall of the facility. Sliding across, occasionally looking around to see whether Sieg was guarding his back, he peered into the hangar.
"Sir, I think you need to see this." Rogers said. Sieg was patched through to Roger's video feed. Instead of seeing a group of Leos guarding whatever he was supposed to pick up, he saw another group of Jegans, huddled in a corner while one of them was wiring a container to the front of his unit.
"We don't have another squad doing my mission." Sieg muttered.
He squinted his eyes to look at the shoulder markings on the Jegan, "25th EUF Space Mobile Squad." He read, "But they're with the Oklahoma, what are they doing here? Rogers, open a laser channel to them. Ask them to stand-down and let us get our containers."
The York approached the facility at 50% thrust, with the Southampton and Shanghai behind providing rear cover. Rika's bridge team were on the look out for two more black mobile suits. the gunners managed to destroy one with a precision beam cannon shot.
"Captain," Hana's voice came over the comm. in her helmet, "Major Garland's just reported that he's on his way back to the ship. Apparently, he has company. He's requesting a direct line to you."
"Put him through." Rika heard a click as the channel was switched over, "What is it Major?"
"Captain Matsumoto, what a surprise." Rika gasped. The voice was not the major, but someone familiar, "I suppose you remember me."
There was a pause before the reply came, "Never knew we were on a first name basis, but nevertheless it's good to hear from you, Captain."
"I apologise, Captain Calais. What the hell are you..."
"Now's not the time, Captain. The OZ First Fleet is on their way. I expect that you and your friends have an escape route planned out?"
"Yes, but..." Rika replied, she was hesitant to reveal anything about the AEUG.
"We saw them leave and set their hound dogs on you before we moved in. There's no point to pretend you know nothing about the AEUG." There was a loud boom on the other end of the line, "Sorry about that. We had a close call with one of the Virgos."
"I'll explain later. What's the escape route, Captain?"
Screw it. "Follow the Southampton and we will be exfiltrate via grid 023."
"So what's in the container?" Sieg wanted to wipe is sweat from his eyes as he looked up at the container he brought back, but the airless environment in the hangar prevented him from taking his helmet off.
"Let's have a look, shall we?" A voice beside him said. Sieg looked around, it was Siegfried Reinable.
"When the hell did you get on-board?"
"I landed before you form the Irish." Siefried kicked off from the floor and grabbed hold of the top of the container.
"The OZ fleet is catching up to us. They have twenty-five mobile suits and six ships. The two Virgo shielded units are included in that count. All units that can launch needs to move now!"
"Negative on that order bridge." Siegfried replied. He was busy tapping on the control panel of the container. A plume of coolant escaped from the container, causing many of the mechanics to grab onto whatever they had near to them to stop themselves from floating off the ground.
"What is that?" Sieg looked up at the blue and white mobile suit. It was stood up against the back of the contaner, it's golden V-fin and red "moustache" resembled the Gundam units that he fought against during the Zeon War, "Is that a-"
"S-Gundam." Siegfried answered, "It's something that OZ was working on that the AEUG needed to get it's hands on. Captain, open the hangar door in thirty-seconds. I'm going to sortie."
"Sir," An OZ ensign sat behind him on an elevated platform reported, "The initial attack fleet is beyond our sensor range. We will be in firing range of the second enemy fleet in ninety seconds."
The captain of the new Clop-class warship had pride swell up inside his chest. He was going to be the first captain to officially confirm a kill of AEUG warship, not to mention rack up the first kill-count on the Tremendous' hull.
"Send the Virgos ahead of us. Make sure that their planet defensors provide cover for our forces."
"Yes, sir."
In the distance, bright flashes from the Virgos' beam cannons confirmed two more kills. The captain smiled gleefully. Two more flashes ahead told him that the Virgos were living up to their name.
Guess computer control is the future. We won't need those cocky pilots telling us what to do any more!
"Sir, we lost the connection with the Virgos!"
"That's not possible. The connection should be 100% effective, it's been tested under fifty different scenarios."
"That's not what I mean, sir." The ensign said, his voice trembled, "They were taken out simultaneously."
The Captain paused, a bead of sweat ran down his brow, "Don't tell me they got their hands on-"
He was cut short when a pair of bright green eyes appeared in front of the bridge viewer. The bridge crew gasped in surprise and tried to flee to the back of the bridge, but the S-Gundam's head vulcan cannons ripped through the bridge and shredding their bodies.
"HAHAHAHAHA!" Siegfried felt a wave of excitement as he ripped through the tenth Leo in a row. "This is the most fun I've had in a while."
The S-Gundam felt like it was a extension of his body, with the incom wiping out the Virgos from existence with ease. The beam smartgun, although cumbersome, made it one of the most deadly weapons that he had ever wielded. Unlike the Zeta Plus-C1, the S-Gundam had much more manoeuvrability while maintaining the speed of the Zeta Gundam. There was one problem that he was expecting but it did not reveal itself.
Just as well. Siegfried thought to himself.
Who are you?
Who said that?
Are you the one?
Who is...wait, are you the system?
Please tell me whether you are the one.
I'm...yes, I am the one.
No, you're lying.
I...I don't know whether I am the one.
The one I need is one who will accept me.
I'll accept you.
You are not the one.
Wait, I am the one.
No. You are not he one for me.
Wait, I am the one! I am the one for you, ALICE!
I am not ALICE.
Then...who are you?
I am negligible. I do not exist.
Tell me who you are, please!
I do not know.
Do you have a name?
They...They call me ZERO.
A loud static buzz broke Siegfried. Instead of the OZ ships and mobile suits, he was staring up at a bright light and a ceiling.
"Lieutenant," Rodriguez Samuels, an AEUG council member, sat beside his bed, "I hope you are OK."
"Sir." Siegfried tried to sit up, but his aching head forced his head back down to his pillow.
"Lieutenant, please stay down." Rodriguez walked over to the fruit basket on the desk and took an apple, "Here, have this. You've been out for two weeks."
"What happened, sir?"
Rodriguez took out a cigarette and lit it, "You passed out during the fight and the S-Gundam brought you back to the York on auto-pilot." He inhaled deeply and breathed out a trail of smoke, "That mobile suit is something. How was ALICE? I trust she didn't give you too much trouble."
Siegfried shut his eyes, "It seemed she goes by a different name. You heard of ZERO?"
"Then we have a slightly different system on board the S-Gundam."
"I see. It doesn't matter. We need that mobile suit. Our sponsors will need the data either way."
"What about Captain Calais and his subordinates?" Siegfried asked, but the tone of his voice betrayed his indifference.
"They are settling in, but I have them under surveillance." Rodriguez answered, "You'll keep an eye on them for me, just in case, I am I right?"
Siegfried smile, "Yes, sir."