Chapter 14

RedRat8- No, it wasn't. If it was, it was unintentional.

R reyes- Because I like the GM mobile suits and not everything has to be a Gundam, even if it's just for looks. That's literally the only reason.

What do you mean by A gate? I don't understand. Can you please explain.

nliochristou- After this one, no more. This story will be complete. As for the reporter story, I'm not yet sure.

RoyalTwinFangs- Yeah, I've heard of it. Nothing going to follow it though as there's a lot of things different here than what he did.

Kraut007- Yes, I do try to show that not everyone in a faction is evil in my stories.

Moonreaper666- Alright, going back to ignoring you. All you do man is just complain, refuse to acknowledge the majority of what I say to you, fill the review section with your long reviews that don't actually help anyone at all, and get salty whenever I do things that you either want now but won't get immediately with no hint whatsoever about if it's coming or I do thing that you just don't like.


Albion Mess hall

Luna II


"A toast to the Federation!" Yelled Monsha as he raised a cup of water in the air as he, along with the rest of the 4th Immortal team, celebrated the Federation's victory over the Delaz fleet. Since the conclusion of the one Year war, none of them had been in a fight like what they experienced in the Garden of Thorns. Neither in a fight that could decide the fate of the entire Earth Sphere as well. So, because they won, with so few casualties to boot, everyone was celebrating. The admirals present at Luna II even allowed the dispersion of alcoholic beverage to those stationed at Luna II that weren't destinated as essential personal. Unfortunately for the 4th Immortal team, well for Monsha anyway, they weren't allowed to on the orders of Synapse, so they had to deal with just regular water. "A toast to the future prosperity of the Earth Sphere and for us being heroes to the Federation during it's time of need." A few people chuckled at that before everyone raised their cups of water or beer. They all then proceeded to drink to their heart's content.

As everyone was conversing with each other or having fun, as much as regulations will allow them, Burning was sitting next to both Kou and Keith, the two cadets that have been dragged along in this whole ordeal. Burning was proud that they pulled through it as well as they did, especially Kou. No doubt, he'll receive a commendation for his part in the recapture of the GPO2 Gundam mobile suit. The boy had potential to be a great pilot. Perhaps as good as Amuro. But, putting that aside, Burning needed to do something first. And that was dealing with Kou's inner conflicts, perhaps Keith's as well.

The two were young and still quite naïve in things like politics, patriotism, loyalty, and moderation. They had no idea how to handle a situation where a time may come where they have to decide if the Federation was worth compromising their morals and beliefs or if it's not and be potentially labeled as a traitor as a result. Burning didn't want that for them. To go in such a situation without some advice that can influence those potential decisions when they come up. So, Burning was going to give them that advice. Even if it means they might abandon the Federation as a result, it was better than not giving them any advice at all.

Chuckling a bit at seeing Monsha drink down his cup of water, Burning eyed both Keith and Kou as they watched Monsha with amused eyes.

"I take it you two aren't going to join in on the toast Monsha just announced." Said Burning. Unsurprisingly, the young men nodded.

"Yeah, we don't really feel like celebrating with the others." Said Keith as he looked at his cup of water. "There's a lot on our minds at the moment, sir. Things that will just ruin the mood for everyone else." Burning nodded at that before guessing what it was.

"Both of you are wondering about your continued place in the Earth Federation military, correct?" Guessed Burning, looking at both ensigns with a serious look on his face. Upon seeing both of them hesitant slightly, Burning spoke up again. "It's alright to tell me about your problems you two. It wouldn't do for a soldier to have bent up emotions that can negatively affect their performance, right?" The two nodded in agreement at that. "Then you shouldn't allow that to happen and I got a feeling that whatever is bugging you two is something that requires some adult advice. Advice that I'm more than willing to give you two for free. After all, you both deserve that much for what you've been through." Keith and Kou both looked at each other before nodding. Sighing, Kou then told Burning what has been eating at them since the operation at the Garden of Thorns.

"It started out with Kowen's speech before we assaulted the remaining forces of the Delaz fleet." Said Kou. "While it was an aspiring speech, sir, it did leave us questioning our place in the military." Curious to see where this was going, Burning gently told them to continue on, which Kou did earnestly. "His words about patriotism blinding people to the horrible things they normally would condemn or would fight against. It made us wonder if we're susceptible to that as well. Like those in the Delaz fleet. I mean, I don't support things like Earthnoid supremacy nor do I support the idea that some people are just born superior to others on the simple grounds of them being born on a planet. Yet, here I am, in a military for a government that support those ideas. And the same can be said for Keith." Burning nodded, now understanding what was eating at both ensigns. He had promised Kou that they'll talk after the battle at the Garden of Thorns, but he couldn't due to a variety of issues that tore him away from him. Now, he was going to make good on that promise.

"Can't blame you two for having such thoughts." Said Burning as he looked at the two with a small smile on his face. "Things like this, well, they're not easy things to deal with. Even as you grow older, these types of things aren't something that grow easier to deal with. If anything, they just get harder to deal with as the people or government you serve under do some questionable things throughout your career working for them. Trust me, I know from experience." That caused both Keith and Kou to look at him in surprise.

"You mean you had experienced something similar to what we're going through, sir?" Asked Keith, looking at Burning in surprise. Throughout his time knowing him, Burning had been confident in every choice he made and was loyal to the Federation, never once questioning his allegiance or if the enemies he's fighting against were in the right. Keith remembered, back when he and Kou were just starting out in the military, one of the other recruits had asked him what Burning felt about the Principality of Zeon and the One Year War. Burning, when asked, displayed nothing but disgust and disproval at the former Side 3 government, saying that there was plenty of ways to protest against the Federation, but the path they took wasn't one of the correct ones. Since then, Keith had always thought that Burning has been loyal to the Federation and had no qualms with it's policies since the day he joined the military.

"Of course." Said Burning. "Most people that join the military have this sort of conundrum that either defines them or breaks them. That causes them to either stay loyal or turn traitor. It's what I've faced when I learned the Earth Federation isn't some paragon of good and it's what you're both realizing now." Both Keith and Kou remained quiet for a little while before Burning spoke again. "I'll be honest, when I was your age and just starting out in the military, I used to think the Earth Federation was a utopian society that is perfect and is incapable of being wrong. *Chuckles* How naïve I was back then." Stunned at hearing that, Kou asked him a question.

"Then what happened, sir?" Asked Kou, wondering what had caused Burning to change his views. They must have if he's implying that his views have changed since he first joined the military.

"Well, it started out when I got my first assignment in space." Said Burning, thinking back to those days. "I was assigned to handle garrison duty for a colony in Side 3, defending it from pirates or people that were discontent with Earth Federation rule. But back then, there wasn't anything to be done there. Side 3 was, even under the leadership of Zeon Deikun, peaceful to the Earth Federation. Deikun may have wanted independence and self-sustainment from the Earth Federation, but he also knew that they were a powerful force that can crush them if they detected the threat of armed rebellion against them. So, any sort of discontent was at an all-time low there, even as Deikun spread his rhetoric of independence around. So, very little action. Even more so for pilots. For a time, nothing really happened that changed my view on things about the Federation. Every where I went in Side 3 was neat and orderly. No one was sick or on the streets, begging for money. No one was picking fights with Federation soldiers. And any problems were being done by law enforcement in a competent manner. It seemed that my views of the Federation back then were justified. *Sighs* But then Zeon Zum Deikun died." Burning crossed his arms before speaking. "When he died, it was if everything changed for the worst. There were riots in the streets, protesting against the Federation, blaming them for the death of Deikun or oppressing Spacenoids throughout it's entirety. It's as if Deikun's spirit had washed over all of Side 3's people in the worst possible way. As a result of the riots, the Federation garrison was deployed to deal with them and restore order. Needless to say, it was bad. We tried to diffuse the situation as best we could with minimal loss of life, but things escalated quickly. People were using makeshift explosives and using firearms against Federation personal, both combatants and noncombatants. Our people were dying against the people that we're suppose to protect and suppose to be content with the Earth Federation's rule. As a result, as our casualties began to stack up, our officers gave us the orders to utilize lethal force, seeing it was the only way to avoid further casualties and to put the riots down quickly. I don't blame anyone for making that call, the riots were beginning to go out of control and I was certain if they lasted any longer then the damage at Side 3's capital would have been severe." Blinking at this, the two young men spoke up.

"If that's what happened and you don't blame anyone for making that call, then how does this pertain to your changed views?" Asked Kou.

"I was getting to that." Said Burning. "While I do agree that utilizing lethal force was the right call, I don't agree with how we conducted ourselves. *Sighs* If anything, things got a lot bloodier. While some of us managed to keep the bloodshed to a minimum, others went a little overboard in the violence. Lot of districts got destroyed and lot of homes were heavily damaged as those units used heavy ordnance against the rioters. And by heavy ordnance, I mean things like tanks, rocket launchers, and gunships." Both Kou and Keith were stunned to hear that things escalated to such a degree at Side 3. They knew the riots that occurred after the death of Zeon Zum Deikun were some of the worst in Earth Federation history, but they didn't think they were so bad the Federation had to resort to using heavy vehicles and weapons to deal with them. Keith especially was stunned. He had read upon the history of Side 3 as a past time whenever he got bored during his time at Torrington base. It also had the added benefit of making him understand why Side 3 did what they did in order to, or at least attempt to, figure out why they wanted independence so bad. So much so that they resorted to the things they did in the One Year War. He looked through all he could find about the days preluding the One Year War and those that told of the events after Zeon Zum Deikun's death said nothing about the Earth Federation utilizing heavy weapons and armor against the riots that occurred just after his death, to which Keith asked Burning about this. "Well, the officers in charge of the Side 3 garrison thought it would be a bad thing if word spread out of the damage that had occurred after the riots were put down as well as how they were put down. It may cause opinions from the other sides about the Federation to lower and may cause similar situations in the future. So, they had all information relating to the more sensitive stuff about the riots classified. In hindsight, it may have helped in pushing Side 3 to announcing war against the Earth Federation. Anyway, when I learned about what we did and what the rioters did as well, it made me realize that the Earth Federation isn't as perfect as I once thought. I mean if it was, then things like these riots wouldn't have happened in the first place, nor would they have escalated to the point of us using heavy ordinance to stop them. It also made opened my eyes to the Earthnoid supremacy that was present in some of the officers back then." Burning then closed his eyes as he recalled those days.

He recalled that, while he was helping put down a riot in a space port, he heard an officer speaking with another soldier, claiming that the Spacenoids deserved to die horrible deaths for their rebellion against the Earth Federation. It caused him to frown and frown even more when that soldier agreed and said that it had been a mistake allowing Zeon Zum Deikun into power and that they should have killed him the moment he spouted ideas of independence into Side 3. That conversation, along with some other things, mainly how he saw some of fellow soldiers looked gleeful of killing the rioters as they put them down or how some of them looked at the Spacenoids with looks of contempt, but not ones where one is disgusted with their actions, rather ones that looked down upon another for their race, made him realize that the Federation isn't as what the news outlets made it out to be.

The news outlets claimed that the Earth Federation was above the racisms of the past and that humanity had finally risen above it's past failures in this new space age. If they did, then the things that Burning had heard and seen shouldn't have happened right.

That day caused Burning to investigate more into the Federation's policies and realize that it all wasn't as what it was cracked out to be. So many policies were either made for the benefit of Earthnoids and Earthnoids only or for those with a certain amount of money behind their names. Very few laws passed by the Earth Federation council were for the benefits of the Sides beyond those that promised human rights to all citizens of the Earth Federation. And he noticed just how few positions of power were actually given to those from the colonies. All this made him realize the more wrong and corrupt parts of the Earth Federation weren't in easy to see places where it doesn't take much brains to see them, rather they were in places where it took some thought and a will to see them beneath the glamour of the Earth Federation's efficiency and strong public front.

From that day forward, Burning realized that the Earth Federation wasn't as perfect as he thought it was originally and that there still was things that needed to be done for it to be what it was meant to originally be. At least in his mind.

That was not saying he wasn't loyal to the Federation, no. He still believed in it and that it can change for the better. Much like most of those that know of the Earth Federation's flaws and are good people, he believed it was better to slowly reform it. Rather than make a new government from scratch. He wasn't the best at his class for economics or politics, but he knew enough that constructing a brand-new government was one of the hardest and most expensive things a people can do. Even one mistake can lead to disastrous consequences. There was such a tiny margin of error that Burning knew that it was a better alternative to just reform the Earth Federation, much easier that way. The journey will still be long and hard, but it'll be worth it so long as the right people are at the helm. All this, Burning told both Kou and Keith, causing both of them to look at Burning in awe.

"Do you truly believe that, sir?" Asked Keith. "That the Federation can…change into what you want it to be?"

"I do." Said Burning. "And with people like Revil and Kowen in charge of the military, I think we got a good shot in doing it. We just need to place our faith in them and hope they can succeed in their efforts. But getting back on track, let me give you some advice you two on how to go on with your careers. Think for yourselves, but don't overthink things or think that the Federation is a lost cause. There may be things done by your officers or the government that'll wane your faith in it, maybe even make you consider turning traitor, but there are also things that'll strengthen your faith in the Earth Federation. Like me or Synapse. Or even your friendly AI buddies. It's a small thing, but trying talking to others about your issues with the Earth Federation, you have no idea how much simply talking about your issues can help you. Believe me. Have experience in it. And if that isn't enough, well, I won't stop you from turning rogue. Nor can I blame you. I've considered it as well after those riots, but I stayed by my own choice. That doesn't mean you guys have to follow my example. Do you understand you two?" Both Keith and Kou nodded at that.

"We understand, sir." Said Kou, looking at Burning with a smile. He still has some doubts about continuing in the military, but Burning helped alleviate much of his doubts and he had a feeling he did the same with Keith as well. "Thank you for your advice." Burning smiled at that.

"It was my pleasure." Said Burning as he looked at the two. "And if you ever need someone to talk to about this further, then you can always count on me. And I believe you can count on Synapse to also help you out as well. He's a fine officer and I'm sure he will be understanding of your dilemmas as well. Perhaps I can even…" Before Burning could continue on, a soldier then arrived in the mess hall in a hurry. Stopping just before he could collide with a table, the man took a few deep breaths before speaking.

"Guys, there's a big speech about to live throughout the Earth sphere." Said the soldier as he looked at everyone, who stopped their celebrating to look at him. "It's about the future of the Federation!" That caused everyone to look at each other in shock and curiosity. Future of the Federation. This was something worth seeing and hearing. With that, everyone began leaving the mess hall to go find the nearest T.V. or radio for them to listen in on this big speech. As they all walked, they all wondered what the big speech was going to be about.


Meanwhile

Broadcasting station four

Luna II


Bask Om was patiently waiting for the broadcasting crew to finish the final preparations they needed to do before his speech can be broadcasted throughout the entirety of the Earth Sphere. A much needed speech that will hopefully bring about a task force that can actually enforce the edicts of the Earth Federation without something like petty morality holding them back. Neither Londo Bell or ECOAS can do that. The moral compasses set forth by Revil and his cohorts were holding them back considerably. Sure, they had been effective so far, but what will happened when their moral compasses cause them to let an enemy of the state go, potentially causing more people to die and such. Or worse, they help the Spacenoids in acquiring more positions of power in the main branch of the Earth Federation than they already have. No, that can't be allowed to happen. Side 3 was proof of how the Spacenoids needed to be strongarmed by Earthnoids to prevent humanity from driving itself to extinction. And he was going to help bring about a task force that the Earth Federation truly needed.

It only took a few more minutes before the broadcasting crew finished their preparations and for the head crewmen to announce that he would be airing in a few seconds. Straightening his uniform a bit, Bask Om then began his speech when the crew told him they were airing now.

"Citizens of the Earth Sphere." Started Bask Om as he looked straight at the camera with his red-tinted glasses. "I'm pleased to inform you all that the Earth Federation has just recently destroyed the largest Principality of Zeon remnant group to date. And probably the most important as well. For this group, this Delaz fleet, attempted to conduct several crimes of the highest order in the name of liberty." Bask said the last word with disgust. "They had attempted to use a stolen mobile suit of Federation design in order to launch a nuclear attack on Konpei Island during the naval review during it's scheduled time. In addition to this, they attempted to hijack to colonies that were making their way from Side 1 to Side 3 in an attempt to alleviate some of the burden of Side 3 caused by the aftermath of the One Year war in order to use those colonies in a similar fashion to what the Principality of Zeon did in Operation British. Yes, they attempted to drop two colonies on Earth, further damaging the rightful home world of humanity. All in the name of liberty and bringing back the Principality of Zeon." As people throughout the Earth Sphere were expressing their shock and outrage at this series of revelations, Revil and his fellow admirals and generals were speaking amongst themselves about what Bask Om, the man in charge of the battlegroup assigned to defending Earth, was doing.

"What is he up to?" Asked Tianem as he watched Bask Om deliver his speech. Admiral Wyatt was also wondering this as he scratched his chin in wonder.

"Whatever it is, I have a bad feeling that it won't be good for the Federation." Said Revil as he stroked his beard. Bask Om allowed his revelations to sink for a few more seconds before speaking again.

"Fortunately for all of us, the Earth Federation found out about their plans just in time to stop their scheme and completely annihilate them with minimal casualties." Said Bask Om with a smile, his voice full of pride for the Earth Federation military. "As a result of our superior technology and manpower, we defeated the Delaz fleet and, once again, eliminated a threat to the peace and prosperity offered to use after the One Year War. However," Bask Om then frowned. ", this incident has shown us that we, once again, need another task group. One that is completely focused on identifying and neutralizing Principality of Zeon supporters and their sympathizers before they have a chance to act. Though Londo Bell, ECOAS, and our intelligence branch has, baring this recent incident, done a marvelous job since their inceptions or reformations, the fact that this incident with the Delaz fleet has happened in the first place is an unacceptable mistake that could have costed millions, perhaps billions, their lives as well as damaging our beautiful world even more as it recovers from the damage brought upon it from the One Year War. I'm not advocating for the dissolution of these groups, no, what I'm saying is that we need another task group to help fill in the holes left by them. One that can go to places where even the venerated ECOAS are unable to go. That is why, I'm asking you all, citizens of the Earth Federation and decision makers that affect the future of the Earth Federation, to help me in making this dream a reality. Help me create a task force that can help keep us all safe. Help me in creating," Bask Om then smiled a bit. "The Titans." With that, Bask Om ended his speech. With the broadcast over, Bask Om began to leave the broadcasting room, confident that he had done his part and that the people will do what he said. Smiling as he walked, Bask Om wondered how everyone in high command was reacting to this.


Meanwhile

Luna II command center


"Well, that was certainly something." Said Wyatt as he looked at Tianem, who nodded in agreement with a frown. "Kowen, what do you think of this?" The Spacenoid admiral just frowned before speaking.

"I have no idea." Said Kowen honestly. "On one hand, it seems that Bask Om genuinely wants to protect the Earth Federation and it's people from further destruction and death from the Zeon remnant groups." He then sighed. "But on the other, I've learned long ago that there are always ulterior motives when it comes to things like this." Wyatt just nodded in agreement at that. Bask Om was a known Earthnoid supremacists and looked down upon Spacenoids, even before the One Year war occurred. He also knew that he held disdain, though he didn't show it in public, towards Londo Bell for their humanitarian and moral ways of doing things. He very much doubted he was doing this out of pure intentions. There was something else going on. Wyatt was going to bet on that. Looking over to Revil, Wyatt asked what he was going to do about this. Revil just gave a glare as he pondered on what to do. Eventually, he gave his answer.

"I don't know, but I do know that we need to look into how the Delaz fleet managed to get as far as they did." Said Revil as he looked at his fellow officers. Deep down, he knew something was off. Very off. And he needed to find it soon so he can act. Or else everything he and his fellow officers worked for will be for nothing.


Present

Albion


Agent Smith walked into the captain's quarters of the Albion, where captain Eiphar Synapse was waiting for him. With the captain was the briefcase that Cima had given him that enabled them to defeat the Delaz fleet so efficiently. Upon seeing the agent, Synapse motioned for the agent to take a seat, which he did earnestly, taking a seat next to the captain.

"I assume you found nothing that can truly help us in figuring out how the Delaz fleet was able to acquire so much information from us to conduct Operation Stardust." Asked Synapse as he looked at the agent, who nodded his head in confirmation.

"I'm afraid so." Said Smith. "It appears that whatever information we can use to figure out how they managed to obtain knowledge of the GPO series Gundams locations and how flight routes of the colonies while they're being transferred died with Cima. She was the linchpin behind everything. She was the one that gave Aiguille Delaz the information that caused him to plan Operation Stardust. It was all because of her that everything happened the way it did." That caused Synapse to frown. If that was the case, then why did Cima do what she did. Why did she give him the intel needed to defeat the Delaz fleet in time? If she did it to eliminate the Delaz fleet, why not just confront Londo Bell about the Delaz fleet and where they're hiding in exchange for a pardon? The task group would have been more than willing to do such a thing, especially Bright Noa. Even if she was a criminal.

"It doesn't make any sense." Said Synapse as he looked at the briefcase that Cima had given him. "Why did she help use the way she did? If she wanted the Delaz fleet dead, why not got to just us and give us the location of the Delaz fleet. It would have been quicker and wouldn't have amounted to her death. Why did she choose the path she took instead of that way?"

"Perhaps she still hated the Earth Federation." Suggested Smith. "Just because she told you the reasons she helped you, doesn't mean she did it out of any love or sympathy for the Earth Federation. Nor any love for Earth. She could have simply chosen the outcome that could go either way."

"If that was the case, then she would have given a cryptic message." Pointed out Synapse. "Not a briefcase full of valuable intel that can easily swing things into our favor. Nor would she single be out in giving the intel to. There's something that we're missing here. Something crucial to figuring out this puzzle." Synapse then opened the briefcase, revealing that it was empty. All intel from the briefcase was taken by the Federation intelligence for analysis and study. That included the briefcase, but Synapse had requested it remain in his hands until he was sure he couldn't get anything more out of it. It was in the hopes that it'll help him figure out how all this came to be, to which Revil had authorized it. Looking at the empty briefcase, Synapse began to look deeper into it, wondering if there was something that Cima had left him that he just can't find. As he inspected the briefcase, he asked agent Smith on how the vote went for the creation of the Titans special task group.

"The vote went as expected." Said agent Smith. "The Federation council has voted for the creation of the Titans special task group with a large amount of councilors voting for it rather than against it." That caused Synapse to sigh.

"Can't really blame them." Said Synapse as he inspected the briefcase. "It all sounds good with not ulterior motives to it at all. Well, at least ones that will negatively affect the Federation and Earth anyway." Seeing that he was finding nothing new with the briefcase, he asked Smith to help him in inspecting the briefcase, to which Smith obliged.

"I assume you believe that Cima had left something hidden within the briefcase itself that can help explain her choices." Said Smith as he went over to the briefcase.

"Indeed." Said Synapse as he let Smith take over. "Perhaps it's my stubborn nature, but I believe that Cima wouldn't do what she did without some sort of hidden agenda. She doesn't seem like the type of person to go around doing things without a purpose or two to her actions. I just know it." Smith just hummed at that as he himself inspected the briefcase for what Synapse was hoping to find in it. It was a quite a briefcase. Aluminum outer casing with sound-cancelling material on the inside in addition to X-ray canceling material. Quite expensive. This Cima must have been quite serious in delivering this intel to Synapse, furthering adding credence to Synapse's theory that Cima was up to something beyond giving them warning about the Delaz fleet. As he checked every single possible area for a hidden compartment or bump that is hiding something underneath, Smith was wondering himself if Cima was ordered to do all this by someone she despises or, rather, someone she fears.

It would make some sense of why she allowed herself to die along with her men. But if that was the case, who was it. It couldn't be someone from Zeon. She seems to have to much hatred for them to be afraid of them, according to Synapse, and there aren't that many Zeon individuals left that could inspire such a thing from an individual like this Cima person, not with her track record and men under her belt.

As he searched very nook and cranny of the briefcase, Smith eventually found what he was looking for. Feeling the leather in one corner of the briefcase, Smith found that it's surface was slightly bigger than the other corners. With that, he felt it more and felt something was hidden beneath the leather. Allowing himself a smile, Smith brought out a small pocketknife from his uniform before he brought it to the target. Carefully cutting around the raised surface in order to not damage the thing behind it, Smith removed the leather away. Looking back at the cut area, he saw a small memory card there. Taking it out, Smith showed the memory card to Synapse, causing the captain of the Albion to smile.

"I knew it." Said Synapse as he took the memory card from Smith. "Thank you, agent. This may contain the information we need to figure out what Cima was up to." He then went over to his personal terminal. Powering it up, Synapse inserted the memory card into the terminal as agent Smith walked over to Synapse. Upon inserting the memory card, his terminal soon began displaying a video recording for him to hear. Playing it, Synapse was then surprised to hear the voice of Cima.

"If you're hearing this, then I'm dead and the Delaz fleet lost." Said the recording of Cima. "I must admit, I didn't love the Earth Federation still, even after all that happened to me, but they're a far lesser evil compared to the resurrection of the Principality of Zeon. However, that the margin isn't high, especially after what happened to me before all this Operation Stardust went down. The Federation is still a corrupt, Earthnoid supremacist organization that'll collapse itself if it continues on the path it's heading to. In case you're a Federation lackey that doesn't want that and want to see the Federation become what it's suppose to be, then listen up. I didn't uncover the information of the Gundam Project by myself. Nor did I uncover the flight routes of the colony transfer or the location of the GPO1 or GPO2 Gundams. No, that information was given to me by a high-ranking Federation officer." Upon hearing that, both Synapse and Smith widened their eyes in shock. One of their one caused Operation Stardust to occur? But why? "I never encountered them face to face, they clearly suspected that I'll do this from the very beginning. And whatever conversations we had were done through synthesized voices. Paranoid lot, I'll give them that, but considering what will happen to them if they're found out, then I could understand. However, that didn't stop me from recording all the conversations I had with them. They're all in here in this memory card for you to listen in to, but I recommend doing the last one because that'll be the one where you'll have the best chance in figuring out who it was. And if you fail, well, I can't say I'll miss the Federation. I've given you a chance to bring whoever did all this to justice and that'll all I'm willing to give. What happens next, depends on you, Federation lackey." With that, the recording ended, allowing the two men to see the contents of the memory card.

"This is clearly problematic." Said Smith. "One of our own betrayed us. But for what?" Synapse just frowned as he looked through the contents of the memory card, seeing that it was nothing but recordings. He had a feeling who the traitor was, but he needed to hear the recording first before he could act. Clicking on the file noted as final recording, the two men played the voice recording in order for them to figure out who the traitor is.

"Alright, it's done." Started the recording with the voice of Cima. "Delaz has the info you've given me, and he already created a plan out of it. Called it Stardust and he is supremely confident that it'll bring about the revivification of the Principality of Zeon. He already sent his best man to go retrieve those Gundams from Earth."

"Excellent." Said a heavily synthesized voice. "You've done you're first parts well. Now, find a suitable candidate to give the intel to in the Federation so we can destroy the Delaz fleet in its entirety."

"Whatever." Said Cima. "Just out of curiosity, how the hell is Delaz's man suppose to escape from Earth. Between the orbital cannons and the fleet stationed permanently to defend Earth, he's got little chance, if at all, to escape."

"It's being taken care of right now." Said the synthesized voice. "You just worry about finding a suitable candidate to give the intel to."

"Alright." Said Cima. "You know, this will probably be our last conversation together, so spill it out. Why the hell are you doing this? Don't you realize that this has a chance of killing off a pretty good portion of the Federation high command and your military if the Delaz actually deploys that nuclear weapon you gave me? Don't you care about the lives of your fellow Federation lives?"

"If the Delaz fleet does succeed in deploying the warhead, they will not be missed." Said the voice. "Those soldiers and officers participating in the naval review are part of the problems that are plaguing the Federation right now. They are supportive of major reforms that will spell doom for the Earth Federation and it's culture. Earth is the homeworld of the human race. It is where we came from and it is where we made our capital. Their reforms will not only damage the significance of Earth in the Federation, but also bring about more freedoms and representations of Spacenoids. The same Spacenoids that have caused the One Year War that killed over half of humanity, all for independence. It's clear that Spacenoids need to be kept under a tight and strict leash, yet those fools under the leadership of Revil don't see that and wish to forgive them and give them the things they wish, seemingly forgetting about all the horrors they did. I will not let their stupidity be the destruction of the Earth Federation. With the successful completion of this operation, I will bring about a task force that will help me in ensuring that what Revil and his cohorts wish to do will never happen. The Earth Federation will remain in the hands of the Earthnoids and the Earth Federation will remain what it is suppose to be."

"Very well." Said Cima. "I'll do what you want. Just as long as it'll get me my revenge."

"And you'll have it if you do your job correctly. That is all." Said the voice before the recording ended. Once it did, however, both men were frowning quite considerably. The recording had been quite enlightening to them indeed. And with it, they may have figured out who was responsible for the Delaz fleet incident.

"Bask Om." Said Synapse. "It's got to be him. He not only has the authority to know about the GPO Gundams location on Earth, he could have allowed the Delaz fleet escape from Earth by making sure there's not a patrol there to find them."

"And he also has friends in the financial division and the logistical corps." Said Smith as he processed all this. "Some of which support his Earthnoid-supremacist views. It wouldn't take much for him to acquire an unmarked nuclear weapon from the logistical corps and have it delivered to Cima as well as getting the locations of the colony relocation routes and where the GPO Gundams were at Earth."

"And did all this so he can get public support to create his task group." Said Synapse as he slammed his hands on a table, frowning as he glared at the ground. "A task group which he'll surely use to impede or even reverse some of the things that Revil is trying to do by any means necessary. A task group that the public won't care about doing horrible things to Spacenoids, specifically Side 3, because of all the horrible acts they've done since the One Year War."

"Indeed." Said Smith. "And I won't be surprised if that task group, these Titans, will eventually find a way to oppress and control Spacenoids from the other Sides. The Titans will be a tool of Federation oppression in the guise of protection. It'll be a tool for Bask Om to undo everything that Revil and his allies are trying to do. To prevent us from advancing as a society."

"And we helped him do it." Said Synapse as he exhaled. "We need to inform Revil about this immediately. We may not have any evidence against Bask Om, but we need to act against him before he could do any irreparable damage to the Federation." Smith nodded at that.

"I'll get this memory chip to Revil immediately." Said Smith as he went over to the terminal and extracted the chip from it. "You did good, captain. You should be proud." Synapse just scoffed at that.

"I shouldn't be." Said Synapse. "I just helped a man bring about an oppressive task group that'll oppress people simply because they live in space." Smith just nodded slowly at that. "If Revil wants me to do anything against Bask Om, then let me know. My crew and I will stand by him in taking down Bask Om for his deceit." Smith nodded at that.

"I'll be sure to let him know about that." Said Smith before taking off. Once the agent was gone, Synapse went over to his bed and sat on it.

"Well played, Bask Om." Thought Synapse as he thought of that red-goggle wearing officer. "Well played."


Meanwhile

Bask Om

Salamis cruiser


"It's done." Said Bask Om as he looked at his cohort, who was none other than Jamitov Hymen, as they shared a drink together in his personal quarters within his ship. "The council has voted for the creation of the Titans special task. Thus, making it easier for us to achieve our objectives."

"Excellent." Said Jamitov as he drank his glass of water. "Now, all we need to do is ramp up recruitment to the Titans while also making ECOAS and Londo Bell seem inefficient when compared to the Titans."

"Agreed." Said Bask Om with a smile. "And I already have an idea. No doubt public opinion on Side 3 would go even lower if we rouse things up a bit against Side 3 and within. There are insurgents' groups within Side 3 that are discontent with the rule of the Earth Federation. It shouldn't take too much to rouse them to cause some damage if we play our cards right. It also shouldn't take too much time to bribe the various media outlets to paint Side 3 as the cause of everything that is going wrong as of late. Not that they need to do much in order to do so."

"Get it done." Said Jamitov. "Meanwhile, I'll make sure the Titans are outfitted with the best hardware that the Federation has at their disposal. I'll also make sure the recruiting ads and propaganda favor the Titans heavily in order to raise recruitment up." Bask Om nodded at that before raising his cup.

"To the Earth Federation and the preservation of it's ways" Said Bask Om. Jamitov also raised his cup to that and the two drank to their heart content. Their drink may just be water, but right now, in their current mood, those drinks were like the finest wines available to the Earth elite.