Interrogation cell 02
A man with tan skin, brown hair, and blue eyes was sitting in a dull gray room that only contained a metal table and two chairs on opposite sides of it, one of which the man was currently sitting on. The man was also wearing an old Zeon pilot suit and he had cuffs that tied him to the table. Soon, a door opened and out came a massive machine, easily dwarfing the man considerably. The machine was built similarly to the GMs used currently, but was bulkier and was unarmed. Though it didn't need them to break the Zeon pilot in two. With the machine, was a Federation soldier with a folder. This officer was Caucasian man with blue hair and brown eyes. The uniform he wore was an officer uniform of the Federation, but was colored gray and had no emblems or patches on it to identify his rank. This was because, the Zeon pilot knew, the soldier was a part of the Federation's Internal intelligence branch, a formerly small organization of the Federation that was dedicated to gathering intel on enemy forces and handing it to the appropriate military branch to deal with. It was small time during the One Year War, barely worth mentioning, but after the war, the Federation greatly expanded it's funding and objectives. Now it was responsible for counterterrorism, cyber intelligence, espionage operations, counterintelligence, and gathering intel, analyzed it, and then hand it to the appropriate forces that can effectively use it. If this agent was here, then the pilot was in big trouble.
After the two Federation personal entered the room, the officer sat opposite of the man and set the folder he brought on the table before opening it. Getting comfortable, the officer began to speak.
"Special agent Smith reporting in. Commencing interrogation of Petty Officer 2nd class Karius Otto. Currently the only known survivor of the Delaz fleet, a group of Side 3 soldiers that have refused the outcome of the One Year War, resulting in them being labeled renegades and terrorists by the Earth Federation and the Zeon protectorate." Said the officer before speaking again. "Mr. Otto. You are going to explain in great detail of what happened on October 13th of the year 0083 to November 10th of the same year. As well as any information that helps the Federation figuring out what led to the events of that time period." Karius, however kept quiet. "Mr. Otto, there is little point in not telling us what happened that led your group of renegades to conduct an attack on a Federation base as well as a failed attack on the Federation forces mustered at Konpei Island during their naval review there. We already have in great detail of what made you all do what you did, more than enough to make this interrogation meaningless. However, we are offering a way for you to try and attempt to justify your actions on those days so we can see if there is anything that can help your trial, no matter how slim it is that anything you say will help your case. So please." The agent leaned closer to Karius. "Tell me about Operation Stardust and what led to the Delaz fleet doing it.
The pilot kept silent for a few more tense moments before speaking. Telling the agent everything he knew.
"Are you certain of this?" Asked a man's voice as he spoke with someone else in the same room as he was, which was the command bridge of a warship.
'Yes sir. We've tripled checked everything for AI sleeper cells, faulty intel, or manipulation. It's the real deal." Said another man's voice, one with hopefulness in it. The answer caused the first man to smile.
"Then we need to act on this information. Prepare our best pilots and men. We need to acquire that Gundam." Said the first man.
A month later
In the barren wastes of Australia, a group of three Zakus, the Zaku F2 to be precise, was cautiously moving around in a graveyard of ships, both of Federation and Zeon origins. All these Zakus were painted red in a bid to conceal themselves with the terrain they were in at the moment and were armed with the standard Zaku machinegun. The lead Zaku, identified with a red fin, looked around before it's pilot spoke.
"Okay guys. I think the coast is clear." Said a young voice, probably in their late teens or early twenties. "Let's advance on that wrecked Salamis cruiser and hope that our opponent doesn't see us." With that, the three Zakus began approaching the wrecked cruiser, keeping each other covered and watching every angle as they possible can.
They were halfway to their target when one of them spotted a shadow rapidly approaching them. Looking up it saw a GM mobile suit, heavily armored compared to past GMs, flying above them before unloading it's machinegun at them. But instead of firing bullets, it fired orange balls of paint that splattered all over the Zakus. It then quickly moved out of the way before the Zakus could open fire on it, moving quickly towards a down Salamis cruiser, it's thrusters making it essentially fly over there.
"Dang it." Said another young voice, same age range as the first Zaku pilot. "Guys, let's try a pincer move on it. Kou! Go to the left! Keith, take the right! I'll go straight up the middle!" With that the three Zakus moved quickly to this wreckage that the GM had flew towards. The moment they got around five hundred meters, however, the GM came flying out of the wreckage through a hole in the hull of the ship on it's right before blasting the Zaku piloted by the one name Keith, peppering it full with more orange paint, even blinding it with paint as it hit the Zaku's visor.
"*Laughs* Ensign Keith. That was too easy." Said a rough, masculine voice as the GM landed near the Zaku, who attempted to move, only for it to somehow trip and fall to the ground, face first. The pilot of the GM laughed at this as the Zaku got up. The pilot then received warning that the other two Zakus were approaching him, causing the pilot to smirk before he activated his GM's thrusters and flew above the just arrived Zakus. They tried to blast the GM with their machineguns, which were loaded up with the same paintballs as the GM, but were unable to land a single hit on the GM. With it's opponents missing it constantly, the GM proceeded to accurately hit every single Zaku until it ran dry of paintballs, but it was unnecessary as the three Zakus were riddled in paint now. Once they were, the GM stopped and landed near the Zakus. "I'm all out, captain Burning. Think that's enough data collection for today?"
"Negative, Allen." Said captain Burning as he saw the data being collected from the GM to the truck that he was in, which was also watching the entire battle from a safe distance. "We still haven't pushed that Powered GM to it's full capabilities. Keep conducting tests with the others, but this time focus on evading instead of attacking, we need to see how fast it can really go." He heard some complaints over the radio over that, but everyone complied with it and began to attack the Powered GM while it focused on evading. Sighing, Burning looked outside of the truck to see Frost, his AI from the One Year War, monitoring the status of all the Zakus and Powered GM as well as helping collect data from said Powered GM via linking with the truck's system through a cable.
The AI, having been selected by the Federation for it's service with the White Base and loyalty to the Federation, had been given one of the new GM trooper combat platforms. Released over a year ago by Anaheim electronics new robotics division, the GM trooper was the robot model designed for military usage. Standing at over three meters tall, these GM models were larger and bulkier than any GM mobile suit in service of the Federation military. This was due to the large battery packs stored inside of them as well as on their backs, similar to the backpacks on typical GM models, for the platforms to function.
Because they haven't managed to miniaturize Minovsky reactors enough to put them in man-sized machines, Anaheim built the GM trooper platform, along with the GM worker platform, to use standard, rechargeable electric batteries to function. The duel battery system allowed only seventy to two hundred and sixteen hours of operation, depending on how much activity was done with a platform, without a recharge but this was considered more than adequate by many construction and military workers, though there were projects being done to increase the potency of the power sources so that the platforms could operate longer without recharge. Still, Burning was happy to see that his friend was able to converse with him without being a giant walking robot. Then again, he still was taller and bigger than he was, but not nearly as much when he was installed in a mobile suit.
Walking over to Frost, Burning asked how the rookies were doing.
"Ensign Kou Uraki has over seventy percent of his Zaku F2 riddled with paint. Ensign Chuck Keith has similar levels of paint as well as 2nd lieutenant Raban Karcs." Said Frost. "Aside from that, however, they've suffered no real damage to their Zakus." Burning nodded at that before looking at the direction of where the fighting was happening.
"Boys must be upset that they don't have their own AIs with them in this fight." Said Burning, recalling the groans of disappointment from the test pilots over the restriction that no AI were allowed in this round of data collection as the higher ups wanted to see what can be feasibly done with the Power GMs with no AI involvement. Allen, having done a few missions back in the One Year War without an AI, was fine with it. Even then, the man thought it would be a great challenge and was eager to do it. The other pilots, however, who were used to having their AIs helping them out would be at a disadvantage and it was showing.
Current mobile suit pilot training regimes included having some time allocated to not having AIs in a mobile suit so that a pilot could be prepared in the unlikely case they don't have them around when a real fight occurred, but it never hurt to keep doing it so the AIs don't become a crutch for the pilots that limit their potential in a fight. And with what was going on with the other test pilots, he'll have to chastise them and have them run simulations without their AIs. Granted, they were using old Zeon mobile suits that were inferior to the current GM Command IIs and GM Sniper IIIs in use by the Federation military, but still. They needed it.
"It is very likely they are." Said Frost as he continued collecting data while conversing with his partner. "Keith, in particular. He needs his AI to keep him composed when the situation goes terribly wrong for him." Burning nodded at that, recalling one time in a practiced fight that caused Keith to completely panic and fire all over the place, forcing his AI to take over and prevent him from accidentality shooting his own teammates. Thank the gods that was just a computer simulation otherwise Keith would be in big trouble.
"He's a far cry to the kids in the White Base, that's for sure, but with a bit more training and confidence building, he'll be a good pilot. Maybe not as good as them, but still good." Said Burning. Frost nodded in agreement at that before commenting.
"Miss the White Base crew, South?" Asked Frost, turning slightly to his partner. "Miss the old team as well?" Burning nodded at that.
"I do." Said Burning. "Miss Bright and his way of doing things. Miss Kai and his smart mouth. Miss Amuro and his optimism, but also realism. Heck, I even miss Monsha and his dirty mouth that'll get him in trouble from time to time."
"I recall it getting him in a massive slap attack from Bright the day we all were assigned to the White Base." Said Frost, causing Burning to smile at that. That memory always brought a smile to his face. "It was amusing when I first heard about it and still is. Still, Monsha may be a fool, but I miss him. Along with the rest of the 4th Immortal team." Burning nodded in agreement at that, remembering what happened after the war. A few months after the war, Burning had decided to switch from being the commander of a mobile suit team to being a training instructor for the next generations of mobile suit pilots. Much as he respected and loved his teammates, he had enough combat to last him quite awhile, especially after the battle of A Baoa Qu and Solomon, and wanted spend the rest of his time in the military doing something that wasn't destroying things. There was also the fact that he wanted to spend more time with his wife, Sylvia, and being in an active mobile suit team would hamper that severely. So, he transferred, along with Frost as the AI was his partner and he refused to separate from him unless forced to do so, to the Torrington military base on Earth, specifically eastern Australia. His wife, after some convincing from Burning, went with him and was living in an apartment to the city nearby the base, which was also called Torrington strangely enough. Despite some hiccups, the two lived happily here and Burning got to spend a good amount of time with his wife. The latest of which caused her to end up pregnant, much to their joy. So, all in all, he was happy here and his team, though they missed him as their leader, sent their congratulations and wished him the best of luck as being a father. So did the rest of the pilots of the White Base as well as Bright and Chan Agi.
From what he and Frost gathered, his old team was stationed on Earth, in South America to be exact. And also what they gathered, Monsha was bored out of his mind as they were just doing nothing but guarding a base from literally nothing. The rest of the White Base crew was all over the place, however.
Bright, Carmine and his security team, Ryu, Sleggar, and some of the noncombatant crew members of the White Base stayed in command of the ship, which was now the flagship of the Federation recently formed Londo Bell taskforce. From what was told to the public and the military, Londo Bell was a Special Task Force designed to investigate and, if discovered, deal with terrorists and Zeon forces that have refused to acknowledge the treaty of Varik through any means as long they were done within the boundaries set by the Rules of Engagement.
The task force was created by various officers, who felt that, with the majority of the Federation fleets and manpower diverted to either protection of their territories and/or patrolling for remnant Zeon forces that have refused to accept the defeat of Side 3 in the One Year War along with other criminal scum, they needed some sort of task force that was specifically designed for such a task, but was also a symbol that the Federation was changing and wasn't the same government that it was prior to the war. The group, from what Frost gathered, received some flak by elitist Federation politicians, military officers, civilians, and even Spacenoids, who saw Londo Bell as just another Federation band of thugs, with some insults even being thrown to their name, which, Burning admitted, was a bit funny. Regardless though, the task force was effective in doing it's assignments and was growing in popularity as it's successes are being given out to the public, especially the ones' conducted with purely humane and non-PR damaging actions. It had grown from a handful of ships to a respectful two dozen ships. Rumor are even circulating that Londo Bell, along with the mysterious ECOAS and Headhunters special forces groups, will be the first to receive prototype military equipment and top of the line hardware not yet ready for the standard forces of the Federation and other special forces groups. Burning was happy that Bright was doing so well, even marrying Mirai Yashima, his former helmswoman, who had retired from military service and was living a peaceful life on Earth with their two children. The young man had ascended far since the war and he was happy for him.
Amuro, despite his reputation and skills, went the same route as Burning. He left active service to become a mobile suit instructor at the Cheyenne mobile suit academy in Wyoming. Chan, who everyone learned by now was his girlfriend, went with him and became a research assistant at the academy, which was also being used as an R&D base to advance mobile suit and AI development. The two, according to Vega, who also went with them, said they were happy and that he was happy that Chan wasn't pregnant by now, given how close they were.
Hayato left the military to become an employee of a space museum. He had also started a relationship with Fraw Brow, some girl that was at Side 7 and was left behind at Jaburo when the White Base took off to fight against in space, and adopted three orphan kids. Green, his AI, being a military AI, was forced to leave Hayato, much to his and Hayato's dismay. Fortunately, the AI was stationed with Bright and was with friends, but he still missed Hayato, according to Stalk, the AI of Monsha, during a conversation between him and Frost when Monsha made a call to Burning sometime ago.
Kai went on to become a freelance reporter, reporting things as he saw it, not sugarcoating anything and saying the brutal honest truth, no matter how much hate and annoyance from the Federation higherups he gets as a result. Merc, his AI during the war, was also forced to abandon him. The AI grew livid at it and went on a dialogue rampage. It was only through Green and Bright that he calmed down enough, but still, the AI was livid that Kai was gone and no longer his pilot. Rumors are also abound that Merc was one of the most uncooperative AIs in service, constantly yelling and annoying his pilots, making noises with any mobile suit he was installed in, and even just flat out ignoring what his pilot suggest just to annoy them. If it wasn't for his record and Bright covering his artificial butt, he would have been decommissioned long ago.
All in all, everyone was happy with their new lives and Burning was pleased with that. He was about to reminisce more when Frost spoke up.
"Keith's Zaku F2 is stuck in the debris of a wrecked Salamis cruiser. He's requesting someone to help dig him out of it." Said Frost. "I've already ordered him to wait until the data collection session is over and for a recover crew to come and get him out." Burning sighed at that.
"Well, I hope he's got good patience because he's going to be there for awhile." Said Burning as he scratched his hair.
"Four hours, thirty-two minutes, and forty-eight seconds to be precise." Said Frost as he collected data of the Powered GM. Burning let out a bark of amusement as he watched the mock battle drag on.
Few hours later
"Come on." Said a pilot as he took off his helmet, revealing short black hair and eyes, as he took a look at his Zaku F2, which was covered in paint. "It's going to take a while to get that thing cleaned up."
"You bet."Said an AI in a GM worker platform as it came with a few other GM workers and human janitors to clean up the Zaku F2s that were hit by paint by the various Powered GMs in Torrington base. "We'll get them clean up in time for the next set of data collection simulations though. Be assured of that."
"That's not helping." Said the pilot as the janitors got to work in cleaning up the paint from the Zaku F2s. Sighing, the pilot looked to see another pilot with light blond hair and brown eyes walking up to him. Upon seeing the pilot, the first pilot smiled.
"That was quite a test run, wasn't it, Keith?" Asked the first pilot as the one named Keith came up to him, who smiled upon hearing the question.
"I guess it was." Said Keith as they looked at their Zakus getting cleaned up from all the paint that was on them, with his getting some repairs due to his accident with his Zaku getting stuck in some starship wreckage. "This isn't what I imagined we'd be doing for our careers, Kou. I know we enlisted after the war ended, but I didn't think we'd be used as target practice by other pilots." The first pilot, know known as Kou, nodded at that as he recalled how they got stuck in this assignment.
Kou, full name being Kou Uraki, and his best friend, Chuck Keith, had enlisted in the Federation after the war, both seeing it as a sense of duty as well as earning money for their families who were in one of the more poorer regions of Earth that were in the process of being rebuilt following the One Year War. It also helped that both pilots heard so many good things about one of the Federation's special task groups, Londo Bell, and how they were protecting people from Zeon remnants and pirates. Hearing all the good stuff those people did as well as the giant mobile suits shown on T.V. inspired both teens to enlist in the military to do the same and hopefully be assigned to Londo Bell. Though that never happened.
Despite getting good scores in the military academy they both were sent to, they were selected to be test pilots for Torrington Base, a Federation military base that was also one of their nuclear weapon storage areas. It wasn't a bad assignment, per se, but all Kou and Chuck did in their time here was being live target dummies for the pilots that were actually testing new equipment and mobile suits. They didn't mind being target dummies, nor did they resent it much, but they both were disappointed they were going to be stuck here as dummies for the seeable future than being out in space, hunting down pirates and other scum out there that would harm the good people of the Federation.
"Yeah, same here, Chuck." Said Kou as they went outside to see the setting sun, giving them a beautiful look on the landscape before them. "Maybe it was a fool's dream, but I was hoping we got assigned to Londo Bell or any other task force that protects the colonies or Earth from pirates or those Zeons that refused to see the war is over."
"Same." Agreed Keith as he placed a hand on top of his hair. "Though maybe we'll get there someday. We just got to have faith." Kou just nodded at that as they both continued to look at the setting sun.
"General Arturo, I trust you know the importance of the package that is arriving to your base in a few days." Said admiral Revil, broadcasting from his fleet's headquarters at Luna II, orbiting around Earth, situated between it and the moon, a new position following the restricting of Federation military doctrine. There were some static due to the long distance transmission and some stray Minovsky particles that were left behind during the One Year War, but the two officers can hear each other clearly.
"Yes admiral." Said general Arturo, a man in his forties as he looked at the overall commander of Federation forces, following the One Year War. "We'll make sure the contents will be treated with the utmost respect and ensure it's safety." Revil nodded at that.
"Good." Said Revil. "The two Gundam mobile suits carried in that Pegasus class carrier will be at the forefront of the upcoming naval review two weeks from now. The media is eager to see those two-brand new Gundams along with the third one currently undergoing last minute tuning in space. So, please do make sure any ground testing is done without damaging the units too much."
"Understood, sir. We'll do our best." Said the general. Revil nodded at that before ending the call. Getting up from his seat in the Luna II command center Revil walked out of the room and went to one that contained a window, that gave him a good view of Earth and one of the orbital cannon that was protecting it.
A lot has changed since the One Year War. All for the better it seems. Ever since the end of the One Year War, everything has changed for the better for the Federation.
Their military has finally been updated to take advantage of all the new technologies that have been provided in the age of space as well as that had been brought on during the war. The people of the various sides of the Federation have warmed up to them and demands for more representation in the Federation high council have lowered as many have become satisfied with the amount of effort put by the Federation to change and accommodate their needs as well as protecting them from pirates and other scum. Those that are still living on impoverished conditions on Earth are being slowly introduced and receiving aid from the military and moving to more well-off locations on Earth. And efforts to repair all the damages left by the war are nearly complete. Everything is going off well. Well, perhaps not with Side 3, who wasn't enjoying the prosperity like everyone else was.
He sympathized with them, he truly did, but someone had to pay for all the damages wrought by the war and it almost certainly had to be the losing side of said war, no matter how many innocents were affected by it. It's a sad, very sad, truth about war. It didn't give a damn about innocents, especially those on a side that lost a war. He could only hope that the Federation high council will alleviate some of the debt Side 3 was forced to pay off as dictated by the treaty of Varik and that they'll be able to help them more after all that debt was over. They also need to prove to the other people of the Earth Sphere that they were people too and should be helped as such.
As his thoughts rambled on, the door to the room he was in opened up, revealing his assistant and aide, Selina Agi. The woman with light blue hair and matching eyes walked up to him with a clipboard on hand.
"Sir." Said Selina, causing Revil to look at her with one eye. "ECOAS team eighty-six has reported in the location of a Zeon remnant group near the vicinity of Side 1. They say it's a sizable group with a Musai cruisers and a supply ship. They're requesting assistance in taking it out." Revil hummed at that, amazed at just how many soldiers of Side 3 that have refused the treaty of Varik and still take up arms against the Federation. That was the fifth group they've found this month. Where were they all coming from?
Shaking his head, Revil told her to contact Londo Bell and get them to assist along with any nearby Federation personal. He also told her that, if the Zeon renegades look like they'll act before reinforcements arrive, then the ECOAS team should destroy them by any means necessary. With that, Selina left, leaving him alone with his thoughts.
Londo Bell- Created in the aftermath of the war, Londo Bell was an elite special task group responsible for keeping the entirety of the Earth Sphere safe from any threat, whether that be Zeon forces that have acted out against the wishes of the Republic of Zeon or pirate scum that always seek helpless merchants to prey on for loot. Unlike most special forces of old as well as modern, Londo Bell is forced to operate through strict rules of engagement. This was because Londo Bell is suppose to be proof that the Federation is changing and for the better. To help with this, recruits for this group have to go through extensive psychological evaluations to see if they are moral enough as well as skilled enough to be apart of this elite unit. Various psychologists are also apart of this group to monitor soldiers for any signs of uneasiness and lack of faith in their mission and forced compliance with rules that often cause some people to die or cause scum to escape as well as try to help them with such problems. Despite these things, Londo Bell has earned a successful track record of keeping the Federation safe. Altogether, the group has captured hundreds of Zeon renegades that have refused to recognize the treaty of Varik, saved countless people from pirates, as well as destroying an entire pirate base that was using scavenged Zeon One Year war material for their own gains, earning them much prestige for their efforts.
ECOAS- Perhaps the exact opposite of Londo Bell, this special forces group is an enigma to all but the highest ranking officers in the Federation military and the Federation high council. Operating constantly in the shadows, this special forces group is one of the lesser known special forces groups of the Federation, along with the Headhunters. All the public really knows of them is that they're the go to group for intelligence gathering and reporting it back to other Federation forces so they can use it to their advantage. It's rumored that many of Londo-bell's successful missions were done because of ECOAS giving them the location of their enemy's as well as tactical knowledge that helped give them victory. That, however is all the public knows and the Federation high command would like to keep it that way. Because their primary objective is actually black-ops assignments, the kind that the Federation will deny all involvement in and will cause PR disasters if they ever got out to the public. Due to this, only the most loyal members of the Federation can join this unit and only if they can prove their willingness to do whatever it takes to ensure the Federation's control of the Earth Sphere.
Armed with the best mass produced and even state of the art prototype weapons that the Federation can create as well as the most intense training regimes the Federation has come up with, said to be a mix of U.S. SEALs training and SAS training, ECOAS is the most dangerous group of soldiers the Federation has and it's members are incredibly loyal to the Federation and fight to maintain it's rule over the Earth Sphere, even if they have to be treated as monsters by it's people to do so.
Despite that, many members have respect for Londo Bell and their efforts, despite disagreeing with their methods. This is probably the reason why the rumors of them helping out Londo Bell started out. They respect Londo Bell and their efforts and strive to help them achieve their goals by any means necessary. After all, if they prove to the populace the Federation is a good government to back up and not worth conducting uprising, less work for them. And less work for them, in their eyes, was good for them.