Chapter 1

9/2/2021- Updated a bit


Tem Ray was humming to himself as he made new calculations for the project V prototypes. After making a new set of calculations, the door to his office opened to reveal a Federation officer.

"Yes?" Asked Tem Ray as he wondered if he should be satisfied with these calculations or make a new one. The Federation officer just coughed before giving Tem Ray a folder. After opening it, Tem was surprised to see a dossier of an engineer.

"What is this?" Asked Tem as he read the dossier. The man's name was Johnathan Whitley. 48 years old and has a degree in…AI development? "May I ask why an AI specialist is coming into project V?"

"To be frank, the vote for the addition of the engineering was really close. Many believed the idea of adding an AI to the mobile suits would be too expensive, while others thought it would turn the tide to our favor." Explained the officer as he addressed the head of Project V. "In the end, the ones favoring the inclusion of AI into the mobile suits won and doctor Whitley has been transferred to your team. I hope that this won't be any trouble for you, Mr. Ray." Tem just went into thought. While the inclusion of AI may drastically prolong the development of the prototypes, it could also greatly increase the performance of their pilots, who never piloted such an enormous machine before.

"It won't be a problem, sir." Said Ray, seeing no problems with this at all with the exception of one thing. "I'm just concerned that the inclusion of AI will drastically prolong the project to unacceptable levels. That and the cost for the development of an AI for each."

"Doctor Whitley has assured us that he already has the basis for an AI ready to go and said that he'll be able to install one in just a few weeks." Explained the officer. "He just needs your team's help to accelerate the process."

"Well, if he's that capable, then I will have no problem with this." Said Ray. "Just set up a meeting with him as soon as possible. I would like to see this new member of my team to see what he's truly capable of."

"He's right outside, sir." Said the officer before letting Doctor Whitley inside. Upon seeing the man, Ray saw that the man was balding in some areas and was holding a book, likely notes for the inclusion of AI. The man sat down before offering his hand.

"Greeting, Doctor Ray." Said Whitley. "My name is Johnathan Whitley. I hope that we will have a good working relationship in the near future." Ray just took the hand.

"As do I." Said Ray as they shook. After taking back his hand, Tem Ray wondered if this will be worth the effort.


Few weeks later


Tem Ray and doctor Whitley were currently working on installing the newly created AI into the Gundam prototype. As Whitley was finishing installing the AI, Ray went into thought about Whitley and his contributions to the project. He had to admit, the man was a bit too naïve for his age. He proclaimed that the AIs that they created should be treated as sentient beings, despite having no emotions, and are just cold, calculating machines. He caught the man treating the one made for the Gundam like a newborn. With kindness and compassion. It made him a bit sick, honestly. But he couldn't deny the efficiency of the man. Assignments that would take members of his teams weeks to accomplish would be completed in days of Whitley. Though he said that it was because of the assistance of the AIs, rather than his own individual skill. And the man was pleasant enough. Honestly, he would rather take his company over the company of some Federation officers. After Whitley installed the AI, he began to boot up the mobile suit.

"Okay, Vega. Take it slow. We don't want to damage anything in Side 7 or expose this top-secret project." Said Whitley as he communicated with the AI through a terminal. As if the AI understood, it complied with the doctor's wishes and took it slow, getting up with a bit of caution, trying to get the feel of its new body. As Tem Ray watched in amazement, the AI slowly stood up before doing some basic movements. After completing these tasks, the test pilot got into the cockpit and began to move the mobile suit by himself. As they watched, the two doctors began to speak to each other.

"You think that the pilot will accept having an AI in the cockpit?" Asked Ray.

"It ultimately depends on the individual, Doctor Ray." Said Whitley. "The AI is there in case the pilot needs some extra help or is incapacitated. Should that happen, the AI will take over and try to either fight the enemy, get the pilot to safety, or both. As for assistance, it'll help with aiming the weapons and power regulations, things that can surely determine if a pilot lives or dies."

"Agreed." Said Ray as they watched the Gundam perform basic combat functions with the beam sabers. Eventually, Ray called of the tests and got to work on possible adjustments to the Gundam. As he was doing so, a Federation officer, a young man, walked up to the two men.

"Mr. Ray." Said the officer. "I just received confirmation that the White Base is arriving soon."

"That's great news." Said Ray as the two men turned to the young officer.

"They're here early." Said Whitley as the three men walked away from the test zone. "This is both good and bad news."

"Pardon?" Asked the young officer, confused.

"It's bad because we only managed to install the AI for the Gundam." Explained Whitley. In order to save time, the team focused on developing an AI for just the Gundam. The rest were put on hold because of the advanced nature of the Gundam over the other prototypes. "The others don't have their AIs developed or installed yet."

"It is a bit unfortunate, but we'll have to make do." Said Ray. "We'll be able to finish creating the others when we get them to Jaburo or a more secure facility."

"I hope so." Said Whitley as the three walked. "What about your son? Will you be planning to spend some time with him before leaving?" Ray sighed at that.

"Well." Said Ray before speaking up again. "We're not that close and he can take care of himself."

"That may be true." Said Whitley, remembering the brief visits he had with Ray's son. Reclusive, but a nice boy. "But you should still make an effort to bond with him. Too many fathers have failed as a parent because they didn't spend enough time with their children. Do you wish that to happen with you and your boy? To think that you never loved him?"

"Of course not." Said Ray, a bit harsher than he intended. "But I want him to live in a war-free war. At least for a while before the next one happens."

"Just make an effort, Ray." Said Whitley as they walked away. "You don't want to lose the love of your son."


Later

White Base


Whitley was placing his notes and equipment away in the room that the White base crew had given to him when he heard the alarms go off. Those alarms meant only one thing.

"We're under attack!?" Yelled Whitley before running to the command deck. Upon arriving, he immediately went to the captain. "What is going on?" The captain, a man named Paolo, answered him.

"Zeon Zakus had snuck into Side 7, sir." Said Paolo with regret. "The White Base was pursued by a single Musai-class cruiser while on transit here. I thought that we lost them. It appears I was wrong."

"Our forces are not sufficient enough to defeat the Zakus. We must retrieve the prototypes. They're our only chance!" Said Whitley.

"I understand, sir, I already sent all combat personal to retrieve them." Said Paolo. Whitley then came up with an idea.

"I have an idea captain that may turn the tide of this battle to our favor." Said Whitley. Seeing the captain looking at him, he continued. "Shortly before this attack, I installed an AI into the Gundam prototype. I should be able to activate the AI and get it to fight the Zakus. With your permission, of course." Captain Paolo just hummed in thought before speaking.

"Is this AI capable of defeating the Zakus without damaging Side 7 beyond repair?" Asked Paolo, concerned for the colony and its inhabitants.

"It may or may not. It ultimately depends on the pilots of the Zakus, but I'm afraid this is our best shot." Said Whitley. Paolo just sighed before giving Whitley permission. With that, Whitley went over to a terminal and began to try and establish a connection with the Gundam. As he was working, he heard the crew contacting the personal fighting the Zakus. All of which wasn't good. Gritting his teeth, Whitley managed to establish a connection to the Gundam. As he was about to activate the AI onboard, he was surprised to hear chatter about the Gundam getting up. Confused, he went over to the comm officer and spoke about him about the Gundam.

"I don't know sir." Said the officer as he double-checked his computer. "One of the test pilots must be handling the thing."

"He won't stand a chance without the AI." Said Whitley, knowing that their test pilots lacked any experience with mobile suit warfare while the Zeon pilots do. "Inform him to be ready for the AI's activation."

"Can't sir." Said the officer as he tried to establish contact with the pilot. "The communication circuit must be fried."

"Must be from the attack." Whitley then swore before going over to activate the AI. Before he did so, he prayed that the pilot and AI will work together and win the battle. He then exhaled before activating the AI.


Amuro's POV


Amuro was currently shaking in fear, a Zaku walking slowly to him with its machinegun at the ready, when the entire cockpit began to glow. A pop-up then showed up on the front screen to tell Amuro that the AI was activated. The eyes of the Gundam then glowed briefly before it grabbed the Zaku's gun and kicked it away, forcing Amuro to snap out of his fear. As the Zaku was sent tumbling to the ground, a text message showed up on the front screen.

"You are not a designated test pilot for the RX-78-2 Gundam mobile suit. Identify yourself immediately." Said the text as the Gundam used the Zaku's machinegun at its former user as well as another Zaku, forcing both to take cover. Knowing he was in trouble, Amuro then spoke.

"I had to. People were dying!" Yelled Amuro as he watched the Gundam fend for itself on its own.

"Explain." Said another message as the Gundam threw the now useless, machinegun at the Zakus, who was now charging at the Gundam, one with a heat hawk and the other using its machinegun.

"These Zaku were firing on civilians." Explained Amuro, not believing he was talking with a machine. "I don't know if it was intentional or not, but I had to do something to prevent more people from dying." The AI just stayed silent before speaking again.

"Even if that means getting arrested by the Federation for taking possession of a top-secret military mobile suit?" Said another message as the Gundam was now wrestling with the melee Zaku as the other was reloading its weapon. Seeing this, the Gundam tried to open fire with the Vulcan guns but soon realized that they were out of ammo. Seeing this, Amuro jumped into action and had the mobile suit headbutt the Zaku, breaking the main camera. He then piloted it to charge at the other Zaku, tackling it, forcing it to the ground.

"If it means that people will be saved, yes." Said Amuro despite being scared of being placed under military arrest. The AI just stayed silent as it processed this information. As this was happening, the other Zaku got up and, using the backup camera, charged at the Gundam. Just in time to take action, the AI finished its analysis of Amuro and grabbed one of the beam saber hilts on its backpack. Drawing it out, a beam of pink energy erupted from the hilt as soon as it came out of the backpack. The AI, then sliced the Zaku's arm before stabbing somewhere near the cockpit, killing the pilot without triggering a core meltdown. As the Zaku fell, the AI spoke to Amuro.

"If what you say is true, then prove it by defeating the remaining Zaku." Said the AI as it charged at them. "I will provide assistance should you require it. Aim for the cockpit. Do not aim for the reactor or else…"

"Side 7 will rupture." Finished Amuro, knowing that the Zakus were nuclear powered. Sweating a bit, Amuro got ready to use the beam saber. Taking some deep breaths, Amuro lunged out when the Zaku jumped at him, hitting a bit too close to where the engine was located. As he waited for the worse to happen, the AI had pushed the Zaku away before turning off the beam saber.

"Excellent work. You've successfully defeated the Zaku." Said the AI via text message as it walked to where the White Base. "I advise being prepared for a military arrest. The Federation forces will not take too kindly to a civilian taking possession of a military secret."

"I know." Said Amuro. "I just hope that they'll cut me some slack for this."

"Unlikely." Said the AI. Before it could elaborate why the entire colony shook due to missiles hitting it.

"More of them?" Asked Amuro.

"Likely a Musai light cruiser, the home base for the Zakus. It is very likely only one is out there, otherwise, the Zeon forces would have sent more than this to attack us." Said the AI before getting a call. "Incoming transmission. We are asked to scavenge up what project V weapons and parts survived the attack. Due to the need of preventing any Zeon forces from acquiring sensitive data from project V as well as acquiring enough data to ensure the success of the project, your military arrest is placed on hold. I will help you acquire what is salvageable."

"Wait, you're not going to turn me in?" Asked Amuro, a bit shocked that an AI wasn't reporting this immediately.

"Your arrest will come soon, but time is of the essence." Said the AI as they walked to the remains of the prototype mobile suits. "But if it will help, I will recommend you not be punished too severely as you tried to do the right thing."

"Yeah, thanks." Said Amuro, a bit uneased that a machine was trying to be friendly and that it referred to itself as a person, meaning a lot of time went into making this thing. "How can you refer to yourself as a person?"

"My creator ensured that I have a basic personality." Explained the AI as it scavenged the remains for useful parts and weapons. Surprisingly, the two found an intact Guntank and Guncannon. Amuro was helping out by pointing out some equipment and spare parts that could be salvageable and used later. Equipment and spare parts that the AI would have deemed unsalvageable. As they did so, the AI continued to speak. "He believed that it would help with ensuring a partnership between an AI and a pilot."

"So, how come you can't speak?" Asked Amuro as they dragged the only surviving Guntank to the White base along with some spare cannon barrels for the Guncannon.

"The inclusion of AI into the project V mobile suits was done after the first prototypes were already made. The engineers and technicians didn't have time to include a voice box for me. While there is a speaker for outside communications, I'm unable to access it yet. I will in time." Explained the machine as more missiles rammed into Side 7. "May I ask your name?"

"Sure. It's Amuro. Amuro Ray." Said Amuro as the two were getting on the space elevator. "And thanks for helping me back there." The AI stopped to process this thanks, having never heard it from someone other than doctor Whitley, before answering.

"You are welcome."