Disclaimer: Again, I don't own Gundam SEED, Zeta Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam, or Gundam 0083, so don't sue.
A/N: Hey guys! Thanks for all of the reviews and story advice that you all have graciously showered upon me! (but it'd always be nice if I got some more:) ) I'd like to take this time to thank Lacus (if you've seen my myspace, you know who she is) FreeangelGP05, and David Weber for continuing support in "beta testing" my fics and continued encouragement. I'd also like to take this opportunity, with all politics aside, to dedicate this story to my fellow marines who have died overseas in the Iraq War and those who still continue to serve over there, god bless you boys and come home soon. Also, Congrats to the George Mason Patriots for their great NCAA run to the Final 4!
A note on locations…
Some of the locations have changed a little since the beginning of the war between the Earth Federation and ZAFT…
Earth (Jaburo, Odessa) Titans
Side 1: (destroyed)
Side 2: (Sweetwater Colony, Colony 20, Colony 21, Colony 22) AEUG
Side 3: (destroyed)
Side 4: (destroyed)
Side 5: (Texas Colony, Mendel Colony) Abandoned Colonies
Side 6: (Heliopolis, Colony 30, Riah) Orb Union
Side 7: (Green Noa 1, Gryps) Titans
Moon (Granada Lunar Base Titans, Von Braun City (AEUG))
Luna II (Titans)
Gate of Zedan (AEUG)
Jachin Due (ZAFT)
- Chapter 3: Encounters In Space -
UC 0079, November 20… Side 6… Colony 30…
It has been 11 months since the start of the war between the Earth Federation and ZAFT. Depending on one's perspective, this could be seen as a conflict between earthnoids and spacenoids, but on a more bigger scale, the inevitable conflict between coordinators and naturals. And if seen on its grandest scale, the struggle of power and dominance between newtypes and coordinators. Human evolution versus human genetic enhancement. For these complex ideals many have fallen in battle and perished…
As the Titans were busy on the earth removing the last of ZAFT's terrestrial forces at ZAFT's Carpentaria Base, the Titans began to make their move in space as well. A whole new Titan Fleet that had just been launched from Jaburo was making its way towards the Side 6 region, which was territory belonging to the Orb Union…
"You're mad! You've gone absolutely insane Azrael! You're going to kill all of those innocent people in a neutral colony just because you suspect their AEUG supporters? You're only doing the AEUG's work for them! This will only breed more hatred against the Federation!" yelled Admiral Kowen, but as soon as he finished, Murata pulled out a gun on him.
"The Earth must reclaim its title as the rightful rulers of the Earth Sphere. The only way to do that is if we crush the AEUG and ZAFT! Don't you see! Those coordinators are the true enemy! Such a beast should at least be properly caged or on leashes! But in my case, the only way to handle this beast is to kill it. Same goes for these… newtypes…." yelled Murata as he laughed insanely, still point the gun at the Admiral.
"Murata! You son of a bitch!" yelled the Admiral as he attempted to punch the Blue Cosmos leader but was soon shot twice in the chest and fell to his death with Murata only smirking at his latest deed.
The Titan Fleet soon launched all of their mobile suits as wave upon wave of GM II mobile suits with a few Gundam Mark II units painted in dark blue appearing. In the lead was Yazan's Hambrabi flanked by two GM II's carrying a canister of G3 Poison Gas, the gas used to kill off the people within Side 3. The mayor of Colony 30 then sent out a plea of neutrality to the Alexandria, the commanding ship of this operation with the Dogosse Gier.
"Please! We're a neutral colony of the Orb Union! Please don't attack us! We mean you no harm!" pleaded the mayor, but only in vain as Captain Gady Kinsey cut the communication circuit and turned to his crew members.
"The signal got cut off because of minovsky particle density, got it!"
"Yes sir!" replied the crew.
As the mobile suits began to pass through the defensive network of Colony 30, three AEUG ships, all of them Salamis-Kai class painted in pale green with red as opposed to the Titans' standard grey and red, rushed to the scene at Colony 30. The three Salamis ships then soon launched their M1 Astray mobile suits, eleven of them, and one Rick-Dias mobile suit to counter the much larger Titan fleet.
"This is the AEUG cruiser Mont Blanc, 4th AEUG patrol fleet. We're here to protect this colony!" shouted Commandant Wakkein.
"But you only have three ships! You can't possibly expect to win!" yelled the Mayor.
"That doesn't matter. The AEUG would be just as bad as the Titans if we sat back and watched them kill everyone in the colony and destroy it! The AEUG will not back down in the face of Titan tyranny! We will stand our ground for all spacenoids everywhere!" yelled Wakkein as he looked up at the mayor who was shedding tears in somewhat of gratitude and sorrow. "We'll protect this colony for as long as we breathe in and out!"
"Th-Thank you good sir… Long live the AEUG, and… god bless you all…" said the mayor as he cried while the communications cut out.
"Alright men… The Titan Fleet is approaching. We will fight to the very last man! We will protect this colony! Those Titan monsters dropped a colony onto Copernicus City on the moon. We're going to stop these animals right here, right now! Fire all main guns and anti-air guns! Put up a barrage and aim for the Alexandria!" ordered Wakkein as the men saluted one final time and got to work. All three of the AEUG ships fired up ahead, destroying a few of the Titan Salamis cruisers in the process of trying to hit the Alexandria.
"This is Lieutenant JG Ryu Jose in the Rick-Dias, engaging enemy mobile suits now!" yelled Ryu over the communications panel as he fired his bazooka, completely demolishing two oncoming GM II's.
The AEUG colony forces were putting up a very stiff fight against the larger Titan fleet almost twice about to break through the Titan defensive lines, but soon everything was to go as expected, the Titans fighting strength would soon overwhelm the small AEUG patrol fleet as a couple of GM II's broke through the line and made their past the AEUG ships as Yazan's Hambrabi took out a few M1 Astray's with his large beam cannons and slashed one more with his beam saber.
"Commandant Wakkein! 5 enemy mobile suits have broken through with a canister of G3 gas!" yelled a crew member of the Mont Blanc.
"Fire all guns! Turn this ship around 180 degrees! Make sure those mobile suits don't touch the colony!" ordered Wakkein. "KEEP FIRING ALL GUNS!"
Ryu who noticed the 5 enemy mobile suits quickly turned back and gave chase in his Rick-Dias, taking out 2 GM II's with shots from the beam pistol. Ryu then looked back at the AEUG Salamis on fire and on the verge of explosion as one of them simply exploded and the other collided into another GM II. He then saw Yazan's Hambrabi aim its beam cannons at the bridge of the Mont Blanc and saw a large beam shot come from the Hambrabi, watching the Mont Blanc explode entirely.
"Pesky AEUG flies…" said Yazan condescendingly as he laughed.
"YOU TITAN SCUM!" yelled Ryu as he fired both the bazooka and the beam pistol at Yazan's Hambrabi which dodged all of them until Yazan got close and pulled out his beam saber and slashed through Ryu's Rick-Dias and exploded. Soon Yazan and his Titan comrades carried on with their dark, despicable deed and placed the G3 canister on the hull of the colony as Yazan punched a hole through the colony with the beam saber, and thus, releasing the G3 poison gas into the colony… Many began to choke and suffocate in the colony, gasping for air, coughing up blood as everyone in the colony died a slow… agonizing death…
"Mommy! I-I-I can't breathe… Something is choking me in the air…!" wailed a little girl as she died right in front of her mother's eyes as she died as well.
"YEA! THAT'S RIGHT! DIE YOU STUPID SPACENOID ALIENS! Earthnoid supremacy forever! Down with coordinators!" screamed Yazan as he laughed as he continued to pump the G3 into the colony until the canister was empty. By the end of the battle, only 3 M1 Astray mobile suits of the AEUG's Colony 30 patrol remained as they retreated towards Earth orbit… Right then and there, Char's newtype senses went off and soon he felt sick to his stomach. Kira then turned on a radio and saw that Char's sickness was being caused by the gassing of Colony 30. Everyone on board was shocked and utterly dismayed by the Titan's actions.
"How could they! Those animals…" said Char as he closed his eyes in dismay.
"Those Titans… I'm going to get them…" said Kira as he narrowed his eyes in anger at the radio.
Back near a secret hideout on the PLANTs for the Clyne Faction followers, Lacus sighed and turned the TV as she found out of the Colony 30 Incident.
"This war, if it doesn't end soon, will only bring fourth more destruction and sorrow…" said Lacus as she closed her eyes.
All around the space colonies and on the lunar cities, opinion shifted towards the AEUG since the AEUG patrol fleet fought bravely to the bitter end, even most of the moderate PLANTs sided somewhat with the AEUG, but could not afford to do so since they were too close in proximity to the ZAFT military forces. As a result, the AEUG would use this as a rallying battle cry against the Titans from that battle onwards: "Remember Colony 30!"
The Argama and the Kusanagi headed towards the abandoned Mendel Colony while Char and Kira launched in a separate Temptation-class shuttle launch with the Freedom and the Zeta Gundam in the back at full speed towards Aprilius One Colony of the PLANTs. Char sighed as he pulled off his trademark red-black helmet and laid back in the chair as the shuttle went on autopilot.
"I haven't been on a shuttle in a while Char. This would be my first time since I moved to Side 7." Said Kira.
"Same for me I suppose. The only thing I've been in thus far was a Saberfish and the Zeta Gundam. Just hope this thing has enough fuel to make to the PLANTs in time." Said Char.
"You want to see Lacus again, don't you Char. Don't deny it, I can tell." Said Kira as he laughed.
"Oh really? You didn't look too pleased to leave the Argama either. Murrue seemed a little depressed after you got onto the shuttle. I'm a newtype, I can most definitely tell she loves you. Heh." Said Char.
"Fine, let's just both admit we'd like to see certain someone's right now." Said Kira but then eyed the fuel gauge blinking red. "Lieutenant, the shuttle is out of fuel!"
"Then we'll have to get their in our mobile suits instead!" said Char as he and Kira rushed to the cargo area and both of them got into the Zeta and the Freedom respectively, the eyes of the gundams glowing bright neon green as the both left and launched out of the shuttle. The Zeta Gundam transformed into its waverider form with the Freedom riding on, speeding closer and closer to Aprilius One. Within half an hour, the PLANTs with their characteristic hourglass shape were in sight as Char adjusted the Zeta's flight angle towards Aprilius One, carefully and skillfully dodging the patrol units and the colony's defensive network. Finally they managed to land on an old unused civilian space gate as both Kira and Char came out, already dressed in ZAFT uniforms as disguises.
"Stay alert Kira." Advised Char as they both went down a hall and opened up a door that lead to the shuttle station lobby. They seemed to blend in perfectly among the other civilians and ZAFT personnel. Eventually they made their way to outside of the colony interior. And hopped into a buggy. Char then turned on the radio, only to hear a fiery speech from Chairman Patrick Zala.
"Do not allow yourselves to be swayed by the words of Lacus Clyne! She is nothing but a traitor to us all! She peddled our most vital military secrets to the Earth Forces! The only way there will be peace is if we kill all of the natural scum on the earth! WE MUST WIN THIS WAR! If we do not there will be a future far darker than the one we live in now! With ZAFT as our-…" yelled Patrick Zala until he was cut off.
"This is Anavel Gato! I am the second in command of the Axis, or better known as Neo Zeon! We are the ones who you filthy coordinators tried to exterminate and kill and forced us to this cold asteroid known as Axis by destroying our homeland, Side 3! You killed our leader Zeon Daikun and destroyed the Republic of Zeon! We, the newtypes of Neo Zeon under the leadership of Haman Karn shall get our revenge and smash your hourglass colonies and EXTERMINATE ALL COORDINATORS as you tried to do us! SIEG ZEON!" yelled Gato as Char suddenly swerved the car as he was shocked and disturbed by the broadcast.
"SIEG ZEON!" yelled the Zeon soldiers.
"SIEG ZEON!" yelled Gato again as his soldiers chanted back. "SIEG ZEON!"
"Ob's stürmt oder schneit,ob die Sonne uns lacht! Der Tag glühend heiß, oder eiskalt die Nacht! Bestaubt sind die Zeoner, doch froh ist unser Sinn - ja unser Sinn!-…" the Zeon soldiers began to sing but the broadcast was again cut off.
"Where did they go? What did they want? I am Lacus Clyne! Even as I speak many of our loved ones are losing their lives on the battlefield. We must end this conflict! We must understand that the people of earth are our brothers and sisters. We coordinators haven't somehow evolved into a separate species, neither have newtypes. And even with the restructured marriage regulations, very few children are being born into our world. What kind of highly evolved species would we be if we're unable to build our own future! Why can't newtypes, coordinators, and naturals all live in peace and harmony!" said Lacus as the radio station officially went off the air Char sighed as he kept driving. Meanwhile groups of ZAFT soldiers began to converge on the Clyne mansion with the intent to assassinate Siegel Clyne and kill his supporters. Slowly but surely, Siegel Clyne's loyalist soldiers died off and eventually he was shot to death as well, bleeding as he fell to the ground. Char felt a sickening feeling as Siegel Clyne was killed.
"Lacus's father… he's dead… I can feel it… Patrick Zala! That bastard!" yelled Char as he turned the buggy around. "We can't stay! We have to get back to our mobile suits! We'll rendezvous with the Clyne Faction near the primary gate."
"Right!" replied Kira as the buggy hurried back to the Zeta and the Freedom. Meanwhile back at the Titan's Kilimanjaro Base, the Dominion prepared for take off, and in the ship, Paptimus Scirocco and his new protégé, Flay Alster. With the Dogosse Gier launching with Murata Azrael.
"Flay my dear. You look tense. Do try to calm down." Said Paptimus as he chuckled softly.
"I'm sorry Master Paptimus, but I haven't been to space in a while…" replied Flay softly.
"Don't worry my dear Flay, as long as I am here, I will protect you…" said Paptimus as he wrapped his arms around her with Flay surprised by Scirocco's sudden actions.
"Master Paptimus…" said Flay as she enjoyed the embrace.
Back at Aprilius One, Char and Kira hurried back to their mobile suits but ZAFT soldiers had spotted them and began firing.
"That's Char Aznable and Kira Yamato! THE AEUG!" yelled a ZAFT soldiers as they began to fire at them, one of their bullets hitting Char in the shoulder as they both escaped into the Zeta and the Freedom.
"AGH! DAMN!" yelled Char as he entered the cockpit, his right shoulder bloodied up as he activated the Zeta.
"Char! Are you alright!" yelled Kira.
"Don't worry about it! Just get out of here!" yelled Char as both the Zeta and the Freedom escaped from Aprilius One and headed towards the primary space gate, fighting off many GINN's and GuAIZ mobile suits on the way. As they made their way towards the space gate, Lacus was already planning her next move after her radio broadcast. With the help of Commander Waltfeld, she successfully took control of ZAFT's newest top of the line ship, the Eternal.
"This ship is entering it's final preparation stages. I repeat, final stages. Get to work!" yelled Waltfeld as Clyne Faction soldiers took ZAFT soldiers as prisoners at gunpoint. Soon, Lacus herself entered the Eternal and took the captain's seat. "Everything is ready Miss Lacus."
"Good. But we still haven't heard from Char or Kira… I'm worried." Said Lacus.
"The Red Comet? He's probably just fine. Same with the Gundam kid." Said a ZAFT pilot turned Clyne Faction, Dearka Elsman.
"Commander Waltfeld! Your ship doesn't have orders to launch yet! What are you doing!" yelled a ZAFT officer from the control room.
"Sir! They've changed the security codes for the main gate!" said an operator aboard the Eternal.
"What a clever bunch they are. They would have been better off leaving things alone. Now our exit is going to be a little rough. Brace yourself Miss Lacus." Advised Waltfeld.
"We really don't have a choice do we? Because the way I see it, now is the time to move forward." Said Lacus as she nodded in approval.
"Prepare the main cannon! Our target: Primary Space Gate!" ordered Waltfeld as the Eternal's engines fired up and moved forward towards the gate, evading anti-air fire. "Fire!"
The main cannon fired and tore open a hole in the gate as the Eternal escaped with all of the Clyne Faction members into the hard vacuum of space. The Vesalius with Rau Le Crueset in command spotted the Eternal going at top speed, heading towards the position of the Argama nearing the old Side 3 cluster.
"Sir! We have orders to pursue the Eternal!" said a female ZAFT operator aboard the Vesalius.
"There's nothing we can do for now. The Vesalius can't match the Eternal's speed and velocity at this time, we have to leave it up to the Jachin Due's defense forces." Said Rau Le Crueset as he chuckled to himself as he thought in his mind. "The Eternal gone with Lacus Clyne, the biggest traitor to the PLANTS? Oh this is highly entertaining Chairman Zala…"
As expected, hordes of GINN's and GuAIZ mobile suits began to intercept the Eternal as Lacus sent out a plea to all of the ZAFT pilots.
"I beg of you all to let our ship go in peace. And I also remind you to think of who we really should be fighting against." Said Lacus.
"Commander Waltfeld! Incoming missiles!" yelled an operator.
"We have no choice! Fire back! Don't let those missiles hit us!" yelled Waltfeld as the ZAFT mobile suits closed in firing more missiles at the Eternal.
"They're too many of them! We're going to get hit!" yelled the operator once again as Lacus braced for impact but with a defiant look on her face. Elsewhere, heavy breathing could be heard as Char's Zeta Gundam unpacked a massive beam bazooka known as the Mega Bazooka Launcher as the Zeta repositioned itself and began targeting the massive horde of ZAFT mobile suits.
"Brace yourself Lacus!" advised Waltfeld and clenched onto the armrest of his seat, expecting an explosion and the impact but only felt a shake. "Eh!"
It was Char, the Zeta Gundam had fired the powerful Mega Bazooka Launcher and wiped out many GINN's and GuAIZ within the massive line of fire as Kira's Freedom Gundam wiped out some more mobile suits with his beam rifles and launchers.
"The Zeta Gundam and the Freedom!" remarked Waltfeld. "The youngster and the Red Comet saved our butts!"
"Casval!" Lacus yelled out as Char appeared on the screen.
"Lacus! Are you alright!" asked Char as he clenched onto his right shoulder which was already bleeding profusely throughout the cockpit, red globs everywhere, but managed a smile.
"Yes, I am fine, but… Casval, you're…" said Lacus before she got cut off but Casval as she had a concerned look on her face.
"The enemy mobile suits are retreating, Kira and I will land on the Eternal." Said Char as Lacus nodded as the video screen went blank and the Zeta and Freedom landed on the mobile suit catapult of the Eternal as the ship sped forward towards the position of the Argama and the Kusanagi. Kira opened the hatch of the Freedom as he spotted the Zeta, but Char appeared from his cockpit bloodied as medics quickly came to patch up his gunshot wound on his shoulder along with a concerned Lacus who clung onto Char tightly with Char wrapping his unwounded arm around her. Kira smiled at the sight of this as his closest friend looked happy for the first time in a long time despite his injured appearance. Soon, the Eternal, the Argama, and the Kusanagi all docked near Side 5's Mendel Colony. After which, the crew of all three ships met and shook hands, Amuro Ray was also present and shook the hand of Lacus Clyne. With that, the Clyne Faction joined the Anti-Earth Union Group.
"I am Lieutenant Murrue Ramius. I must say Commander Waltfeld, this is quite a surprise…" said Murrue as she saluted.
"I'd say the feeling is mutual…" replied Waltfeld as he saluted.
"I'm surprised your joining us… You have a real reason to hate me…" said Kira.
"That's what happens in a war… All of us have our reasons, yet, none of us do…" said Waltfeld as he closed his eyes slowly and sighed.
"That's true…" said Kira.
"Casval! Casval! You look hurt! Casval not well! To bed Casval! Bed!" remarked Char's green Haro as everyone laughed.
"Yeah yeah…" said Char as he closed his eyes in embarrassment.
"Casval… Daikun?" asked Waltfeld. "You're… the son of Prime Minister Zeon Daikun of the old Republic of Zeon!"
"Surprise, surprise…" said Sleggar and Roberto as they rolled their eyes.
"But why… are…?" asked Waltfeld.
"Because revenge isn't my agenda… I just want coordinators, newtypes, and naturals to live in peace. I'll admit… my original goal after ZAFT forces destroyed Side 3 was to kill the Zala family… but after seeing Lacus again, everything changed… I have something more to live for, ideals to fight for…" said Char as Waltfeld nodded and saluted. Char looked round and saw an unfamiliar face, but saw that Henken nor Jack Bayard or Adam Stingray were present. "Where's Henken and the others?"
"Henken went to Von Braun City to take charge of his own ship. He should meet up with us momentarily." Replied Captain Bright as Char nodded and looked towards Murrue.
"Any Titan or ZAFT ships nearby?" asked Char.
"All quiet, but three ZAFT ships, one of them suspected to be the Vesalius, are closing in on us. There's also another Titan ship from the opposite direction, the Dominion…" said Murrue.
"I see…" Said Char as the Suruga, a Salamis-Kai class ship docked outside nearby.
"That's Captain Henken right now in the newly built cruiser." Said Bright.
With that, the entire colony began to shake from explosions. The Dominion was closing in as it fired its Gottfried main cannons at the colony's space gate once again. Finally the Dominion contacted the Argama.
"This is the Dominion! We demand the Argama show itself or else this entire colony will be blown apart!" yelled Scirocco.
"We have no choice, bring the Argama about 40 degrees, fire all main guns!" ordered Murrue.
"Lieutenant Ramius, use the Suruga as a shield! We'll cover you for as long as we can!" yelled Henken as the Suruga's main guns fired at the Dominion with Jack Bayard launching in his Rick-Dias mobile suit. Soon the Argama exited the space gate with Char's Zeta Gundam and Kira's Freedom on each of the Argama's flanks. Meanwhile the Dominion launched two Gabthley's and Yazan in his new mobile suit, the Hambrabi. Yazan soon showed the true capability of the Hambrabi first hand by firing out the electrical whip weapon at Jack Bayard's Rick-Dias, electrocuting the mobile suit as well as the pilot. Dunkel and Cooper in their Gabthley's flanked Jack Bayard's Rick-Dias fired their large beam rifles, completely destroying the Rick-Dias in a brilliant explosion. The Vesalius along with two other Nazca-class battleships arrived but kept their distance.
"Until we have a better understanding of the situation, it's best if we stay out of battle for now…" advised Rau Le Crueset as they watched the battle up ahead between the Argama and the Dominion.
"One down, two more to go!" yelled Yazan in arrogance as he ordered his team to fire at the Suruga as the ship fired its anti-air guns right back at them.
"Put up a thicker barrage! Can't we shoot any of them down!" yelled Henken as all of the fire was concentrated towards the Dominion. But soon the Suruga succumbed to its fate as Dunkel's Gabthley fired it's beam cannons and completely destroyed the bridge while Cooper destroyed the rest of the ship as the Suruga exploded as well.
"DAMN IT! WE'VE LOST HENKEN AND THE NEW SHIP!" yelled Char as the Zeta transformed and quickly fired and charged at Dunkel's Gabthley, tearing off the right arm. The Zeta quickly transformed back into its mobile suit form and fired the beam rifle at Cooper's Gabthley, hitting right on the mark and watched it explode in flames among the sea of stars.
"Cooper! NO! YOU BASTARD!" yelled Dunkel as he fired his dual beam cannons but Char quickly evaded and fired a barrage of heat-seeking grenades and forced Dunkel to retreat. Meanwhile Yazan and Kira were fighting it out with Kira dodging all of Yazan's shot with the dual beam rifle and the electrical whip of the Hambrabi. Kira fired his beam rifle a few times but Yazan simply evaded as well and responded with the whip and tied up the Freedom with Kira struggling.
"Kira!" yelled Char.
"Char!" Kira yelled back as the Zeta broke off the Hambrabi's whip, leaving Yazan disoriented and confused. Kira quickly fired his rifle, destroying on of the Hambrabi's legs and forced Yazan to free-fall into retreat back towards the Dominion.
"Hmm, very interesting… The Argama has both the Freedom and the Zeta Gundam… Char and Kira have gotten a lot stronger since leaving earth… We'll retreat from the battle zone back to Luna II." said Scirocco and with that, the Dominion retreated… But the battle wasn't over as Rau Le Crueset launched in his GuAIZ and Athrun in the Justice Gundam, along with a whole squadron of GINN's. The Argama launched the newly formed Rick-Dias Team, lead by Sleggar, consisting of Dearka and Roberto. The AEUG Nemo's also began to launch from the Kusanagi, intercepting the GINN's. The Rick-Dias Team assumed a positioning almost that of a straight line, almost like a jet stream as they began picking off the ZAFT GINN's. The three fanned out in a "v" formation as they all fired their bazookas at the oncoming GINN's.
"Get them!" ordered Roberto as the Rick-Dias continued their attack. Meanwhile Zeta and Rau's GuAIZ were battling away while Kira's Freedom and Athrun's Justice dueled it out nearby as well.
"You've improved… CHAR AZNABLE!" yelled Rau as he fired the GuAIZ's beam rifle but Char's Zeta Gundam evading expertly as he fired right back. "You truly do live up to your name Red Comet!"
"Your own arrogance will be your own downfall Le Crueset!" Char replied back as he countered Rau's beam claw slash with the Zeta's beam saber. The two continued to fight until Rau and Char entered the Mendel Colony interior. Seeing this, Kira quickly hit Athrun with a barrage of beam fire, allowing Kira to make his escape towards the colony interior with Char and Rau. The two continued to exchange slashes with their beam melee weapons.
"I thought if my fate was to be shot down by you today, I thought that this place would be… appropriate…" said Rau as he knocked Char's Zeta into free fall towards the ground. "But it doesn't look like there's any chance of THAT happening now is there! Destiny is firmly on my side! After all, how could the inferior one defeat the superior one!"
Right as Rau Le Crueset was going to fire the shot that would finish of Char for good Kira's Freedom Gundam rushed in, slashing the GuAIZ's arm clear off into the air with the beam saber and another slash slicing the GuAIZ right in two. Char was still inside of his cockpit as he noticed a part of the panoramic screen was shattered and a piece of shrapnel hit him in the hip, already bleeding.
"Damn that Rau Le Crueset…" muttered Char as he pulled out his pistol and opened the cockpit of the Zeta Gundam, but Rau Le Crueset had already gotten out and opened fire on Char with his own pistol as Char took cover behind the cockpit door and fired back.
"How about we do this today! Let's end this!" yelled Rau as he fired a few more shots and ran towards a large building.
"What's he up to now!" muttered Char as he fired back and gave chase. "Damnit…"
"Come with me! I myself will deliver your requiem!" yelled Rau, firing more rounds at Char who expertly evaded while Kira ran to catch up with Char.
"Char! Hold on a minute!" Kira yelled out as he ran towards him as Char and Rau Le Crueset entered the building. After a while Kira finally caught up with Char. The building they had entered had a strange shape, almost looking like a hair comb with many cylinders sticking out horizontally. It was dark and cold inside, but a few pieces of equipment appeared to be still running.
"Do you have any idea where this place is Char!" yelled Rau as he ran further in.
"Why would I you psycho!" replied Char as he clenched onto his wounded and bloody hip, clenching his pistol tightly.
"It's such a crime for you to not know!" replied Rau as he fired more rounds at Char.
"Hey Char!" yelled Kira as he ran to him.
"Kira! No!" yelled Char.
"Kira! How delightful it is for you to join us, KIRA YAMATO!" yelled Rau. "Ah! Now I see, you're the Freedom's pilot! Don't be shy! Come along with me to the place where it all began! Kira! This is where you were born too, now wasn't it!"
Kira gasped as he held a horrified and shocked look on his face as he stared into Char's face. But immediately Char shook Kira out of his trance.
"Don't fall for his tricks no matter what! No matter what he says don't believe a word of it!" ordered Char as they both gave chase. They soon got up to a room labeled "BLOCK 4: HUMAN GENE MANIPULATION ROOM." As they opened the door they were soon greeted by gunshots, both of course evaded and took cover and fired right back. They entered the large room as they spotted a huge glowing pool of blue water and within the pool were large metal cylinders. "What is this place?"
"Beats me…" replied Kira as he looked around but was fired at again but Char grabbed Kira and both of them ducked out of the way.
"Does it bring back memories Kira! You should know this place!" yelled Rau as he fired his pistol. Char quickly ran towards a slightly opened door and fired his pistol twice into the darkened room.
"Know this place?... But how?..." asked Kira as he followed Char into a room labeled "DR. HIBIKI'S LABORATORY."
Quickly Char ran in and fired at Rau Le Crueset and ran and jumped behind a couch as he fired away but was soon hit in the shoulder by Rau's shots. Char flinched in pain as Kira yelled out and ran towards Char.
"Char! Are you okay!" asked Kira but then turned around to see Rau Le Crueset with his gun pointed at him, walking closer and closer.
"I'm not going to kill you… After all I brought you through all of this trouble just to bring you here. So I'll let you live long enough to hear the whole story…" said Rau as he tossed pictures of Zeon Daikun and Casval before the days of Side 3's destruction and a picture of a woman with brunette hair holding two babies, a brunette one and a blonde one as both Char and Kira gasped.
"Did you ever suspect, Kira, that the people you've called mother father weren't actually your real parents!" asked Rau.
"You bastard! What are you-!" yelled Char before he was cut off with a gunshot from Rau's pistol.
"Of course not, if you were aware then you wouldn't have turned out the way you did. So normal and without any evidence of a tainted past. You know it never occurred to me that even after when Athrun first brought up your name that you, could have been, 'that child.' I always thought the twins had died, especially you, Kira Yamato. After all together with your real father, Dr. Hibiki you were the highest priority target of Blue Cosmos!" said Rau as Kira looked on more and more shocked and perplexed.
"Kira! Snap out of it!" yelled Char as he shook Kira out of his trance once again.
"You are the dream of humanity… The ultimate coordinator!" yelled Rau Le Crueset. "It was in pursuit of that dream that Dr. Hibiki created the artificial womb! And you were the only viable child it ever produced! For that result, a very large number of your siblings were sacrificed…"
Kira's eyes began to tear up not wanting to hear what he had just heard as Char shook him out of the trance as he fired at Rau as he ran off towards another room.
"George Glenn was the first coordinator that the world knew! But I don't think anyone realized the kind of chaos he unleashed on the world! No one understands what that man fully set into motion!" said Rau Le Crueset. "People paid a high price to realize this dream! No one wants to have their dreams shattered! Is that why people demanded that this go forward! And what did people gain from this! WHAT WAS THE RESULT OF ALL OF THIS!"
Rau went on about the history of coordinators and the rise of Blue Cosmos and their mass killings of coordinators on earth. Innocents being killed left and right. Kira and Char appalled at what they were hearing…
"They thirsted for knowledge! They wanted all of their desires fulfilled! Ultimately they forgot why they were doing it! Even as they claimed their reverence for human life they began toying with it!" yelled Rau Le Crueset. Char had heard enough from Rau and stood up and fired his pistol wildly.
"SHUT UP!" yelled Char as he fired his pistol.
"NO MATTER WHAT WE LEARN! NO MATTER WHAT WE MANAGE TO OBTAIN! NOTHING EVER CHANGES! PEOPLE ARE AMAZING IN THEIR WAYS!" yelled Rau as he fired his pistol as well, shattering random glass objects as he walked closer towards Char.
"And what gives you the right to pass judgment on humanity!" replied Char as he fired back.
"I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS EARNED THAT RIGHT! TO JUDGE UPON HUMANITY!" yelled Rau Le Crueset. "YOU THINK NEWTYPES ARE INNOCENT! OH MY DEAR CASVAL FAR FROM IT! ZEON WAS JUST AS BAD AS ZAFT WAS! TRYING TO CLONE HUMANS IN THE HOPES OF CREATING NEWTYPES AND CYBER-ENHNCED NEWTYPES! I AM HE! THAT ARROGANT FOOL WHO THOUGHT THAT HECOULD THWART DEATH WITH HIS OWN MONEY! THAT MAN, ZEON DAIKUN, YOUR FATHER! BUT I AM MERELY THAT MAN'S DEFECTIVE CLONE!"
"WHAT! YOU LIAR!" yelled Char as he fired his pistol madly at Rau Le Crueset, all of which missed completely.
"THE FINAL DOOR IS ABOUT TO OPEN! AND I'M THE ONE OPENING IT! AND SOON THIS WORLD FILLED WITH PEOPLE WITH THEIR INSATIABLE DESIRES WILL ALL COME TO AN END!" yelled Rau Le Crueset as he laughed insanely firing his gun.
"Char! I won't let it happen!" yelled Kira as he ran and picked up a shard of glass and ran across the room as Rau Le Crueset fired his gun, getting Kira in the arm but Kira threw the glass shard into Rau's face, removing his mask, revealing his true face…
"Ha! Do you think you can change what's going to happen! Nobody can do anything about it for a world full of hatred is engulfing it!"
With that Kira saw that Char was close to passing out with his wounds continuously bleeding. Kira then went to Char as he helped him up and walked back towards the Freedom and the Zeta. Rau Le Crueset had already retreated back to the Vesalius and now all three ships were closing in to attack. However, Athrun was nowhere to be found as Rau went into his CGUE and launched. Char and Kira made it back to the Argama and both were immediately dragged off by the medics, treating their wounds. Meanwhile, the Argama, the Kusanagi, and the Eternal had already picked up the three ships attacking them.
"Commander Waltfeld!" yelled out Lacus.
"Yes? What is it?" asked Andy.
"Please concentrate the fire of the Eternal and that of the Kusanagi on the Vesalius as well." Ordered Lacus.
"No way! But if we do that those three ships will do everything to shoot us down!" replied Andy.
"But plaster that ship, and we will have broken free. Our odds of being pursued will likely drop if we destroy the Vesalius." Said Lacus.
"You're right! All guns, aim for the Vesalius!" ordered Waltfeld as the Eternal opened fire on the Vesalius.
"Open all main guns! FIRE!" ordered Captain Bright as the Kusanagi followed suit.
"Fire all main mega-particle cannons! All main guns! FIRE! Break through the enemy ships!" ordered Murrue as all three ships destroyed their way through the ZAFT ships with Rau Le Crueset smirking and laughing maniacally in his CGUE, heading back towards Jachin Due. Meanwhile Char was transferred over to the Eternal to receive treatment while Kira remaind on the Argama as Murrue watched over him as Kira rested. Cagalli then came in with the same photo that Kira was given by Rau Le Crueset as Cagalli was even more shocked as she looked at the photos. Murrue looked over to Cagalli and shook her head.
"Kira is in pretty bad shape, this isn't exactly the best time." Said Murrue as she smiled while tending to Kira. Cagalli nodded and headed out of the room. Kira began to remember all of the things he had heard earlier and began to tear up and cry tears long held back since he got involved in the war. Murrue held Kira on her lap ever so closely as she kissed Kira deeply on his lips.
"Oh Kira…" she said as she sighed sadly and laid next to him in the bed.
Char was on the Eternal in Lacus's personal quarters on her bed. Char was severely wounded this time around with a gunshot wound to his right shoulder and a cut up hip. Lacus watched over him as she clenched onto her lover's soft hands and ran her fingers through Char's golden blonde hair as she sighed sadly. Char begin to stir and tried to get up but Lacus prevented Char from doing so.
"L-L-Lacus?..." said Char as he opened his eyes slowly, wincing in great pain.
"Oh Casval… You're the same always getting yourself hurt all the time…" said Lacus as she wiped off a tear of her own as Char grinned.
"I'm The Red Comet, I do whatever it takes." Said Char. "That'll never change…"
Char then saw Lacus looking through the pictures that Rau Le Crueset had thrown at him, the old pictures of Casval as a child with his father Zeon Daikun. A sudden rush of memories came rushing at Char from the incident in the Mendel Colony. He began to shake uncontrollably as he thought deeper into his past. To the One Month War Incident, the day that Side 3 was destroyed by ZAFT, all of those memories he had playing with his father in the park near a lake. They ran, they swam, they played catch, and even went fishing when time permitted for his father. Lacus looked on at Char really worried as Char looked away tearing up and shaking.
"That Rau Le Crueset… He told me… a bunch of things… All lies! He said… that my father was a conceited fool who tried to clone himself… I thought that… None of this makes any sense Lacus! It just doesn't!" yelled Char as he cried out in pain as he clenched onto his shoulder and his hip as he continued to tear up.
"Don't let it get to you Casval, my baby…" Lacus said softly as she held onto to Char.
"I… I won't… I won't let him get away with this… He's going to try to bring down the whole world with him…" said Char as he teared up further from all of his sorrow, frustration, and exhaustion from war. "After my dad died along with Side 3… I promised I'd never cry again, to be as strong, and even stronger than my dad… It's getting so much more harder to keep that promise to myself…"
"You know… It's okay to cry Casval… We should all cry while we still can." Said Lacus as she gave a gentle smile to Char, cuddling Char close to her body as Char teared up even more, struggling to keep it all in, all of his sorrow, but it was like clogging a shattering dam with a finger. He remembered how his father and all of his fellow Zeon citizens and newtypes were slaughtered by ZAFT and Patrick Zala, all of them poison gassed to death. He could remember joining the Federal Forces as a fighter pilot at Nijenmen Academy. His tears bursted out in slow droplets but the rate got faster and faster as he remembered the death of Lieutenant Apolly, his close comrade in arms since the war's start and a part of the Immortal 4th, but to Char, the Immortal 4th didn't seem so immortal after all. He remembered the death of Ramba Ral and his close mentor South Burning at Jaburo. He then flashed back to the memory of him and Lacus parting ways on Side 3 before the day of the attack. Char looked up at Lacus's gentle face and felt her beautifully perfect pink hair with her characteristic golden hair clip. This goddess in front of him was to be married to Athrun Zala, the son of his enemy, but now, Lacus was with Char once again. All of these feelings and memories combined finally broke the emotional dam that Char had so worked hard to build up to hide his true emotions and drove Char over the edge as he wailed out and cried loudly as Lacus cradled Char into her lap.
"You have too many bad dreams Casval. What matters is the person you are right here, right now…" said Lacus as she kissed Char on his lips and held tightly onto her new fiancee, laying on the bed with him. "Ever since seeing you again, I've become a much happier woman… Stay here with me, Casval, my love…"
After an hour, Amuro knocked at the door as he came in. He was at first shocked by the sight of Lacus clinging onto Char but then grinned.
"Having fun there Red Comet?" joked Amuro.
"Minus the pain in my shoulder and hip, sure…" said Char as he grinned.
"There's something you should know Char… The Titans have completed construction of Gryps 2… It's a colony laser weapon. It's already been activated… It's somewhere near the Gate of Zedan, Zeon's old asteroid base near Side 2." Said Amuro.
"I see. Tell the others that I will be down in a minute." Said Char.
"I'll be coming as well Mr. Amuro." Said Lacus as she clung to Char.
"Alright, I'll do that. See you two love birds later. Heh." Said Amuro as he went on his way while Char and Lacus kissed once more as they both made their way to the shuttle heading to the Argama. After about five minutes they finally arrived. Everyone was there, Amuro, Murrue, Captain Bright, Waltfeld, Lacus, Cagalli, Char, Kira, Dearka, Sleggar, and Roberto. They began to discuss what would be the next best course of action.
"We need to come up with a new strategy. The Titans have already activated Gryps, and ZAFT already has built the GENESIS weapon. The Titan Fleet has divided itself into 3 groups, Luna II, Konpei Island, and Granada. From the looks of things, they're going to attack ZAFT's Boaz Asteroid Base. Our objective is to get to the Gate of Zedan, where the rest of the AEUG fleet is going to gather. Any suggestions?" asked Amuro.
"Well, while we're here we should try and raid Jachin Due. It's better than just sitting around waiting to get to the Gate of Zedan." Suggested Waltfeld as Dearka, Roberto, and Sleggar nodded in approval.
"But that sort of attack would reduce us to shreds. I propose we go to the Side 3 cluster. It's more effective and will avoid any Titan or ZAFT forces." Suggested Bright as Lacus, Murrue, Kira, Cagalli nodded in approval with Roberto and Char shaking their heads.
"Is something wrong Char?" asked Amuro as he saw Char rubbing his forehead and sighing.
"No, Captain Bright's plan is the better one. As much as me and Roberto don't want to go back to the Side 3 ruins being Zeon-born, is more strategically effective than attacking Jachin Due head on. That sort of attack at this moment would be a reckless move on our part, not to mention the fact that we don't even have the battle strength to do so. With all due respect Commander Waltfeld, I support Captain Bright on this matter." Said Char.
"I believe Char has a good point. We will head to the Side 3 cluster." Said Amuro as the crew saluted and walked off. Lacus went over to Char and wrapped her arms around him.
"You really don't want to go back, do you Casval…" said Lacus as she sighed.
"No, I didn't…" said Char as he sighed. "But it's a good plan, the Titans or ZAFT won't attack us. Bright is a tactical genius."
Within a few hours, the Argama, the Kusanagi, and the Eternal finally arrived at the Side 3 cluster. They could see rows of destroyed colonies as Roberto looked out the window of the Argama and slowly wept pounding his fist against the walls as he looked on at his shattered homeland. Char sighed as he could see his home colony coming up, Zum City, and near it he could see the G3 poison gas tanks floating around from that fateful day. The former ZAFT officers aboard the Eternal could say nothing as they sighed, some of them closing their eyes and saluting the ruins in a show of respect. Some of them patted Char on the back as a form of apologies on behalf of all coordinators. Andrew Waltfeld closed his eyes as he looked away.
"I still can't believe ZAFT committed this horrible atrocity against humanity… Cold-blooded murderers… Let the souls of the innocent who died here rest in peace…" said Waltfeld as Char saw a dead body of a young girl. Immediately Char dropped to his knees, feeling weak and teared up in disgust of what he just saw and wept as well. Lacus immediately took Char into her lap on her chair and softly caressed his cheeks and his hair to calm him down as he cried. The passed by some more wreckage as they drew closer to the colony, seeing the wreckage of a Zeon Gwazine-class battleship with a few Musai-class cruisers; wreckage of the Axis Advance Force no doubt; pieces of old Zaku II and Rick-Dom II mobile suits floating about along with a destroyed Nazca-class cruiser with a battered GINN floating about. As empty as Side 3 might have seemed, the three ships weren't alone. Entering the colony was a ZAFT shuttle, big enough to carry one mobile suit. As the shuttle opened up Athrun Zala appeared and activated the Justice Gundam and hid behind the space gate and spied on the three approaching ships. Pretty soon the Argama picked up the shuttle entering the colony.
"Ma'am, we've detected what looks like to be a ZAFT escape shuttle. There also appears to be a mobile suit as well, it appears the Justice Gundam." Said Torres.
"Have the Eternal send out the Zeta and the Freedom. Have Roberto launch as back up." Ordered Murrue. As Char went towards the mobile suit hangar Lacus hugged onto Char with a pleading look, almost as if she didn't want Char to leave her side.
"Casval, be careful, please…" pleaded Lacus as she kissed him.
"I will, don't worry about me Lacus." Replied Char as he kissed her back and smiled, joining Kira to the trip to the hangar. Char and Kira went to their respective mobile suits, both of them activated and their eyes glowing bright green. Char's Zeta went to the launch catapault first.
"Char, in the Zeta Gundam, launching!" yelled Char as the Zeta launched into space and transformed into the waverider towards the colony's entrance.
"This Kira Yamato in the Freedom! Launching!" yelled Kira as he followed Char's Zeta into the colony, joining them was Roberto in his Rick-Dias. Soon all three of them landed in the space gate and all of them exited their mobile suits and followed Char into the ruins of Zum City. They walked inwards and opened many hatches until they finally got inside. The looked around as the colony was now a desert with wind, dirt, and dust blew into their faces. The evidence of the ZAFT poison gas attack was still very evident as they passed by many dead bodies, mummified from being dried up after death. Kira looked over and saw a dead body sitting on a bench but saw the head roll off the shoulders as Kira looked away in disgust.
"How can they just leave the bodies like this!" said Kira.
"There are too many of them to bury. When people don't trust each other and fear one another, it leads to things like this. When that happens, everyone starts looking evil and that's when people make the wrong decisions." Said Char.
"Could anyone kill for such a purpose!" asked Kira.
"Some people kill one another for a small amount of money, Patrick Zala's reason makes much more sense…"
Char then sensed someone behind them with a gun pointing at them. Char turned around and saw that it was Athrun Zala with a pistol.
"You! The blonde one! I've come here to ask you a few questions!" yelled Athrun.
"Athrun Zala… right? Fine, go ahead and ask me what you will." Said Char as Kira and Roberto drew their pistols at Athrun.
"Char Aznable, who are you really! I remember you said something to me about my father killing your father back on Jaburo!" yelled Athrun.
"Yes, that's correct. I did say that. I am Casval Zum Daikun. The son of Zeon Zum Daikun." Said Char.
"What really happened here… Tell me Char…" said Athrun.
"Your father decided to declare war on the Republic of Zeon despite our peaceful pleas for peace. But instead, your father responded with this…" said Char. "It doesn't take long for anyone to see the evidence of your father's cruelty…"
Char then walked over towards a patch of grass near the bench and picked up a battered teddy bear and sighed and walked over to Athrun who at first backed away with his gun still pointed at him. But eventually Athrun dropped his pistol as Char handed Athrun the battered child's toy.
"This stuffed animal used to belong to an innocent child… This child probably had a promising future, but it was cut short because of your father's ignorance. He saw newtypes as a threat to the coordinator's existence because he was afraid and alarmed at the rate of how naturals were adapting and slowly evolving into newtypes. Newtypes aren't superhuman, but they have great insight into human emotions, but your father, Patrick Zala didn't see it that way. Blinded by his own arrogance he started this long and bloody war!" yelled Char as Athrun sighed as he held onto the toy. "The same goes for the corrupt Earth Federation, only pawns of Blue Cosmos. Those Titans, whose souls are weighed down by gravity oppress those who live in space… Why can't they realize that moving out into space will expand their horizons!"
"How's Lacus…" asked Athrun.
"She's doing just fine." Responded Char.
"I'm surprised you haven't killed me yet." Said Athrun.
"At one point, I wanted to kill you. But I realized that it wouldn't make me anymore happy, so I gave up on revenge." Said Char as he sighed. "I have no desire to kill you, but believe me, I have no desire to ever see your face again. Especially here on these hallowed grounds… On behalf of the dead Zeon here, leave."
"Athrun…" said Kira as he glared at his former best friend.
"Kira, do me a favor and stay alive… And Char, take good care of Lacus. She's your wife now…" said Athrun as he walked off. With that Char, Kira, and Roberto went back to their mobile suits and headed back for the ships while a shuttle launched towards Earth orbit. The three reported seeing nothing in the colony. Kira and Roberto went back to the Argama while Char went to the Eternal. After a few hours, the three ships were well on their way to the AEUG HQ at the Gate of Zedan, which gave the crew some valuable downtime. Kira headed over to Murrue's quarters for a dinner that was pretty decent considering the circumstances. Both of them immediately embraced on another and kissed. The scene that would ensue would be one of comedy as Murrue fed Kira meatball and both sucked in on a single noodle as they both met in the middle and kissed once again. The two giggled afterwards, holding onto each other. Meanwhile a similar scene was happening with Char and Lacus as they began to indulge in activities that would be best described as something one would see in an adult film. As the two finished, looking very flustered, both of them came out as the ships approached the Gate of Zedan. Around them they could see dozens upon dozens of other AEUG Salamis-Kai class cruisers painted in the pale green colors of the AEUG. As the AEUG Fleet convened at the Gate of Zedan, the Titans began to prepare for the assault on Boaz…
"Finally, we will get to see the true strength of the Gryps Colony Laser…" Muruta thought to himself as the colony laser was reaching critical threshold at 38 percent.
"Adjusting target angle minus 40 degrees, vector set. Focused on the target: Boaz Main Spacegate!" the loudspeaker sounded as Gryps fired a large laser beam at Boaz, completely vaporizing any ZAFT ships or mobile suits in the line of fire. Many GINN's, GuAIZ, and Nazca-class cruisers were destroyed in the blast along with Boaz being broken into pieces. The massive Titan fleet consisting of the Dominion, a handful of Alexandria-class cruisers, and many dark grey Salamis-Kai class continued on towards the PLANTS, but Patrick Zala still remained determined to win the battle as he watched Boaz get blown apart by Gryps.
"Damn those natural scum!" yelled Patrick Zala. "Le Crueset! I'm heading to Jachin Due! We'll strike back with GENESIS!"
"Yes sir!" replied Le Crueset as he chuckled to himself. 'You're just far too impatient Chairman Zala…'
At that precise moment, the Axis Zeon launched all of their ships from the Axis asteroid, with Haman Karn's Gwadan as the flagship heading for ZAFT's rear flank. Axis had finally returned, but this time with the spirit of Zeon with a vengeance as Musai-Kai after Musai-Kai with Gaza-C mobile suits all over the place preparing to attack the ZAFT forces. Since most of ZAFT's forces were focused on defending Jachin Due, Axis rolled over the inferior defense ships with relative ease as Gaza-C's preyed upon the ZAFT GINN's and GuAIZ mobile suits. A green and blue transformable mobile suit, the Gaplant lead a squadron of Gaza-C's dragging along a tank of G3 poison gas as they sped towards the Aprilius 6 PLANT as Gato smirked as he looked at his hourglass target.
"FOR THE REBIRTH OF ZEON! FOR THE REVIVAL OF ZEON'S IDEALS! FOR THE GLORY OF OUR HOMELAND, I HAVE RETURNED!" shouted Gato as the Gaplant transformed as he slashed his way through 3 GuAIZ but found himself stopped by the Duel Gundam piloted by non other than ZAFT ace pilot Yzak Joule. Gato countered by firing the beam cannons of the Gaplant but Yzak easily evaded and fired back with his beam rifle. Gato smirked as he pulled out his beam saber and slashed off the right leg of the GuAIZ and watched as he fell into freefall. As he impaled another GINN with his beam saber.
"It's like a bad dream! A terrible nightmare!" yelled the ZAFT pilot as his GINN exploded.
"I AM THE NIGHTMARE OF SOLOMON! I DARE YOU COORDINATOR SCUM TO FIGHT ME!" yelled Gato as the Gaplant transformed again speeding towards the outer hull of the hourglass colony with 3 other Gaza-C's holding the G3 in place. Yzak immediately noticed this and spotted the G3.
"No! They're going to poison gas the PLANTS!" as he attempted to prevent them from doing so, the Duel Gundam going at top speed. But it was already too late as Gato and the other Gaza-C punctured many holes into Aprilius 6, air escaping with people screaming for help.
"Now you coordinator scum will now know what it feels like to have your innocent people get killed and have your homeland destroyed! YOU BASTARDS! SIEG ZEON!" yelled Gato as the Gaza-C's began to pour in the G3 gas, the people inside choking, screaming in pain and agony just as the Zeon people had to feel before the war began. Immediately Char, Kira, and Lacus felt a sickening sensation within them as Aprilius 6 was poison gassed, with all of its inhabitants dead. The AEUG Fleet had already begun its move as the Kusanagi and a few Salamis-Kai cruisers commenced Operation Maelstrom as the AEUG Fleet encircled and eventually took control of Gryps while the Argama and the Eternal hastily made their way towards the ensuing battle at Jachin Due. As they finally arrived, ZAFT fired its GENESIS weapon, firing a large electrified, multi-colored laser that hit and wiped out one-third of the oncoming Titan fleet. Patrick Zala then ordered GENESIS to fire at reinforcements coming from Konpei Island and did so, completely destroying Konpei Island and all of the Federal Forces inside. And now the real battle begun as the Titan Hizack's launched from the hordes of Salamis-Kais and the Alexandria class ships that remained attack oncoming GINN's and GuAIZ mobile suits of ZAFT.
"Chairman Zala! The Axis Zeon have attacked and destroyed Aprilius 6!" a ZAFT officer informed.
"WHAT! THE AXIS ZEON ALREADY MADE THEIR RETURN! DAMN THOSE NEWTYPE BASTARDS!" yelled Patrick Zala as he banged his fist, knowing the noose was being tied around the ZAFT forces by the Titans and Axis. "We'll take out the Earth Federation first! Fire GENESIS again! This time our target is the Earth Federation's HQ at Jaburo, South America!"
"Chairman Zala! We are defeated! We should surrender now and stop any further bloodshed! This war has gone on long enough!" yelled another officer.
"SHUT UP! YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SAYING! WE MUST WIN THIS WAR! ALL OF THE NATURALS MUST DIE! YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A TRAITOR!" yelled Chariman Zala as he fired his pistol three times into the chest of the officer and proceeded to re-align GENESIS. "WE COORDINATORS MUST KILL THEM ALL! WHY CAN'T YOU PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT!"
As Patrick Zala yelled on, the doors to the main control room opened as dozens of ZAFT soldiers with machine guns fired on Patrick Zala, shooting the insane tyrant dead until he hit the ground. Everyone was shocked as they saw their leader get shot to death. Behind the group of soldiers was Eileen Canaver, a trusted ally of Siegel Clyne. In the distance, they could also see GENESIS exploding from within as the entire weapon was engulfed in an explosion caused by the Gryps Colony Laser of the AEUG.
"This war must end. Send an SOS to the AEUG and tell them that ZAFT surrenders to the AEUG only." Ordered Eileen as she had her men remove Patrick Zala's body from the room.
"Yes ma'am! At once!" replied an officer as he sent the SOS to the Argama and the Eternal. However, despite the fact that ZAFT had surrendered, Rau Le Crueset had launched in his Providence Gundam along with an entire squadron of GuAIZ mobile suits that countered the Hizacks, destroying a few of them as Rau passed through them with his beam saber. He then released the Providence Gundam's DRAGOON bits and made them encircle Dunkel's Gabthley. Completely oblivious to this, Dunkel foolishly stayed in place and fired his fedayeen rifle at the Providence Gundam, only to be shot at from many different directions by the bits, completely destroying the Gabthley in a brilliant explosion. Yazan upon seeing his comrade die immediately gave chase to Rau Le Crueset in his Hambrabi firing the sea serpent weapon at the Providence but Rau dodged it and cut the line off with one of the bits.
"YOU BASTARD! YOU'RE GOING TO PAY FOR KILLING DUNKEL YOU PIECE OF COORDINATOR SHIT!" yelled Yazan in rage as he fired the dual beam rifle of the Hambrabi, but each shot missing.
"Yazan Gable, your own arrogance killed you. What a shame…" said Rau Le Crueset as he laughed maniacally as all of the bits surrounded the Hambrabi and completely destroyed the mobile suit along with Yazan in another brilliant explosion. The Argama had already launched the Rick-Dias Team as they took on the Titan Hizack's and Axis Gaza-C's, taking down the Hizack's one by one, shooting their beam pistols and their bazooka's, protecting the now neutral PLANTS while the Zeta and the Freedom (docked with a METEOR unit) charged towards Rau Le Crueset's Providence as it battled the Palace Athene being piloted by Flay Allster and Scirocco's The O.
Meanwhile Flay, Kira, and Rau Le Crueset were tangled up in a three-way battle, both the Freedom and the Palace Athene trying to dodge all of the shots of the DRAGOON bits of the Providence Gundam. As Char tried to get a clear shot on Scirocco with the Mega Bazooka Launcher, Kira then suddenly felt a strange but familiar sensation from the Palace Athene. All the while the Zeta Gundam and The O were doing battle exchanging beam shots and beam saber slashes.
"Char! So it is true! The Red Comet has joined the AEUG! Such precious newtype talent wasted!" said Scirocco with a smug voice.
"What makes you so superior Scirocco!" yelled Char. "You're a traitor to all newtypes everywhere! Joining the Titans, whose souls are weighed down by gravity!"
"You're still just a child boy! Don't you dare lecture me when you don't know what you're even talking about!" retorted Scirocco as he fired his large beam rifle and slashed off one of the arms of the Zeta Gundam. 'I'm sensing a strange pressure from him, what could it be?...'
"You're nothing but a fraud Paptimus Scirocco! You're only using Flay Allster for your own purposes you sick bastard!" yelled Char as he fired the Mega Bazooka Launcher at The O and managed to damage a part of the skirt armor.
"Damn! Char has the advantage, I have to withdraw for now and leave things in Flay's hands…" said Scirocco as The O retreated from battle.
"Flay! Flay Allster! Is that you piloting that mobile suit!" Kira yelled out.
"Kira! Is that you! KIRA!" Flay called out, but in this moment of distraction, Rau Le Crueset immediately capitalized on the opportunity and fired all of his bits towards the Palace Athene but the Freedom blocked all of the shots with the anti-beam shield.
"Kira…" Flay said as she smiled. But the moment wouldn't last for much longer as one of the bits went behind her and fired, engulfing the entire mobile suit in an explosion.
"FLAY!" yelled Kira in disbelief, his eyes widened in shock as he could hear Rau Le Crueset's menacing laugh.
"Foolish girl! A moment's distraction will kill you!" said Rau Le Crueset as he laughed.
"Rau… Rau Le Crueset… You did that! YOU KILLED FLAY! YOU MURDERER!" yelled Kira as his eyes began to tear up, Kira's rage slowly building up as he choked back his tears but couldn't as he remembered the last comrade Rau Le Crueset had killed, Lieutenant Apolly... "Murderer… Murderer! MURDERER! MURDERER!"
Kira's rage had finally gotten to the breaking point as the Freedom spread out it's wing binders as Kira fired his beam rifle in a frenzy destroying all of the Providence's bits. Draining the beam rifle of all of its energy the Freedom slashed off the Providence's backpack unit right off along with the right arm.
"You think you have the right to judge all of humanity with your arrogance! Well you're wrong! Deep down humanity is good at heart and they will all eventually change for the better! People like yourself need to be removed from the world!" yelled Kira as he turned around and charged straight for Rau as he just kept on laughing until of course, the Providence Gundam was impaled by Kira's beam saber. Rau's laughter turned silent as he gave one last smug smirk while his helmet cracked open as the Providence exploded, Kira breathing heavily. Char's Zeta then showed up next to the Freedom.
"Kira! Are you alright? Let's get you back to the Argama!" said Char, but all he could hear was tears. Char sighed as he grabbed onto the Freedom's arm and dragged Kira back towards the Argama.
"Char… I… I was supposed to protect someone… but I couldn't…" said Kira as he cried in his cockpit.
"I see…" was all Char could say as they finally touched down on the Argama, at the same time coping with the grim reality of the Axis Zeon's return to the Earth Sphere, and tailing right behind them was Haman Karn, the Gwaden, and the rest of the massive Axis fleet. "That Paptimus Scirocco, the man from Jupiter… He used Flay as his own pawn, like a child's plaything…"
"IT'S ALL HIS FAULT CHAR! I WILL GET REVENGE FOR FLAY FOR SCIROCCO DOING SUCH A DESPICABLE THING TO HER!" yelled Kira as he cried, running out of the cockpit past all of the mechanics towards a quiet part of a corridor as Char sighed and returned to the Eternal where he was embraced with a warm welcome from Lacus. Char leaned on her shoulder extremely exhausted as she guided Char to her room. With the PLANTS now fully supporting the AEUG, Dearka decided to help defend the PLANTS from further Axis and Titan attacks by staying behind at Jachin Due, leaving the Argama. After abut half an hour, Amuro had contacted both the Argama and the Eternal to inform them that Axis had already returned, which at this point, everyone already knew. Bright was also on a laser comm. channel listening in on the meeting from the Kusanagi.
"So the Ghost of Zeon has risen from its shell…" said Char.
"What exactly is the battle strength of Axis anyway?" asked Bright.
"I wouldn't know, I've never been to Axis, but Roberto might now." Replied Char. "But I do know this, they're lead by a powerful newtype, and her name is Haman Karn…"
Lacus sighed and almost shuddered at the sound of her name as she looked on at Char sadly.
"She's someone I used to know, a friend I guess you could say… But all her life she's been power hungry… She's twisting my father's ideals to fit her own purposes! She's misleading my people! Haman Karn needs to be stopped and so does Axis!" barked Char.
"Char is right! Axis is a major threat to the Earth Sphere! I used to be a former Axis Zeon, so I'd know! And let me tell you this! Their battle strength far outweighs that of the Titans and the AEUG combined. They didn't have mobile suits when Side 3 was destroyed, but the Zeons were so obsessed with revenge to the point where they developed highly advanced transformable mobile suits out in the asteroid belt, their main product, the Gaza-C. But the mobile suit that Haman Karn uses is quite different… The Qubeley… It uses a psycommu system to more easily interface with the pilot's mind, and in this case, better suited for a newtype. It uses mind-controlled remote bits called funnels, they can shoot from all directions…" said Roberto. "For a while now Axis had been sending in Advance Forces to earth and to the PLANTS to fight ZAFT… I was a part of the African Liberation Front…"
"I see. But our main objective is to take care of the Titans first. Then Axis." Said Amuro.
"If I may Mr. Amuro…" said Lacus as she chimed into the conversation.
"Go ahead Miss Lacus." Said Amuro as he nodded.
"What if we could make peace with Axis? I'll be the AEUG's diplomatic representative for this matter here on the Eternal…" said Lacus.
"Making peace with Haman is like trying to fit a circular peg into a square hole… It won't work…" said Char.
"I believe you, but it's always worth a try…" said Lacus.
"Though I hate this idea, but I have to agree, making peace with the Axis Zeon will benefit the AEUG more in the long run." Said Amuro. "I'll contact you all later."
As the conversation ended, elsewhere the Titans were regrouping at their Luna II Asteroid Base, and forming into two bigger Titan fleets. As Scirocco's Dominion pulled up beside the Dogosse Gier being commanded by Muruta Azrael, the two finally met again as their ships in Luna II. Scirocco smirked but then saluted his superior, but Muruta looked very much displeased.
"I heard the Palace Athene was destroyed in battle…" said Muruta as he glared into Scirocco's face. "I can understand the loss of the Hambrabi and the Gabthley's. Everyone knew Yazan was just an arrogant fool in over his head, but the Palace Athene!"
"A tragic loss, but we still have the advantage…" said Scirocco as he chuckled.
"I don't like you or your attitude Scirocco…" said Muruta. "The only reason why I haven't put you up for court martial is because you're going to make up for your mistakes by setting up this meeting with Haman Karn for me. If the Titans make the alliance with Axis, then the AEUG is finished."
"Yes sir." Said Scirocco as he glared but then turned around and smirked. 'You're just too impatient Azrael…'
The Titans began replacing the stalwart Hizack with a newer mass-production model based off of the designs of the Hambrabi and the Gabthley, the Barzam, all of them painted in mostly bold with some outlining features in a gold-like color. Scirocco looked back at Muruta and chuckled to himself… Meanwhile the Gwadan and the rest of the Axis fleet made up of Musai-Kai's met up with the Kusanagi, the Argama, and the Eternal. The meeting was to held on the Gwadan as Bright, Amuro, Char, Murrue, Kira, Lacus, and Roberto boarded a shuttle and landed on the Gwadan for the meeting. As they were escorted by armed Axis soldiers, they passed by many ornate hallways, filled with portraits of Gihren Zabi and Zeon Daikun. They all stopped as one of the soldiers pulled out a security card and stuck it into a slot as the door began to open.
"Representatives of the AEUG… The Princess of Neo Zeon… Haman Karn!" said the soldier as all of them bowed down to Haman. She was wearing a long black dress, and wore an ornate golden tiara that seemed to go down her cheeks with Zeon markings on it. She had a smirk on her face, a smirk that told the group that she didn't think too highly of them. She then gave an even more devious smirk to Lacus as she glared right back with an angry expression rarely seen on the songstress. But then Haman fixed her attention at the blonde wearing his trademark sunglasses, Char Aznable. She glared at him for a minute, but then her expression changed into that of a seductive look as Haman placed a finger to her lips as she stood up and walked down the red carpeting leading up to the throne and stopped.
"Well. Heh. What bring the AEUG to my royal chambers?" asked Haman slyly as she smirked at Char especially.
"I am Amuro Ray, the CEO of Anaheim Electronics and the sponsor of the Anti-Earth Union Group. We wish to forge an alliance with Axis against the Titans." Said Amuro.
"Heh. So I see." Said Haman as she began thinking to herself. "I will only accept an offer of alliance if that man next to you with the sunglasses, Char Aznable, bows down to me and begs for my help. And that you recognize me as the legitimate leader of Zeon!"
Char didn't even dignify Haman's request with a response as he glared at Haman, shaking his clenched fist slightly in anger as Lacus placed her hand on Char's shoulder to calm him down a little.
"Oh is the Red Comet too proud to swallow his pride for an alliance? Then how about ruling Axis by my side, Casval Daikun. I promise it'll be a decision both of us will like…" said Haman as she teasingly ran her fingers across Char's cheeks, greatly angering Lacus. "I could offer so much more than that… Well, you know what they say about teen pop singers… All of them sluts, especially coordinator girls who steal other women's men!"
"Bite me…" Lacus whispered under her angry breath she began to say other things in her mind. 'Get away from MY man you… you… disgusting hideous animal!'
"How dare you talk about Lacus that way!" yelled Char as he lept at Haman Karn with a punch but she quickly jumped out of the way and was soon restrained by Axis soldiers. Quickly Char punched out one of the soldiers and kicked the other into the one he had just punched out. "You're not the real leader of Zeon! The real leader of Zeon is elected by the people! And you sure as hell were not elected by the citizens of Zeon!"
"Char! Stop it!" yelled Amuro. Soon all of them were surrounded by more Axis soldiers and were then thrown into the brig of the Gwadan. "Nice going Char. Thanks to you we're in this inescapable mess!"
"Shut up Amuro! You have no idea how much pride swallowing I had to do to even come to these negotiations! Look who's idea it was in the first place to go ahead with this plan to make peace with Haman, AMURO!" yelled Char.
"Amuro, just stop it! None of this was Casval's fault! It was bound to happen, and if Casval didn't do something, I would have! So just save it Amuro and quit accusing my fiancée!" yelled Lacus as she teared up and cried as she threw herself into Char's arms.
"You're only defending Char because you two are lovers!" yelled Amuro but Kira immediately stood between Amuro and the crying Lacus who was in the arms of Char who was trying to comfort her the best he could.
"Mr. Amuro. I understand your frustration, everyone is. But our bickering won't solve the predicament we are in right now. We all have to work together if we're going to get out alive." Said Kira as Murrue and Bright nodded in approval.
"I couldn't have said that any better Kira, well put. I agree, and I know how to get off of this ship. I saw this ship being constructed while being at Axis, and I studied the blueprints pretty well. And all of the brig doors had one defect, twist the knob once to the right, and twice to the left and the door will open. Once we all get out, follow me." Said Roberto. "Kira, Char, I need you to take out the guard right near our door as soon as I open it."
"Right!" both of them said as Roberto used the defective door trick and opened it with the guard completely confused as he saw Char and Kira charge at the guard and strangled him to death. Soon afterwards Roberto lead the group down the hall to the right and went past a few more corridors as Char and Kira pulled out pistols they got off of the dead guard from earlier as they got to the hangar with the AEUG shuttle in sight. They all decided to make a break for the shuttle as Char and Kira covered their escape, picking off oncoming Axis soldiers. Finally Char and Kira boarded the shuttle, making a forceful exit from the Gwadan's hangar and contacted the Argama, Kusanagi, and the Eternal, commanding them to give them covering fire and told Torres who was currently controlling the Argama to release the dummy asteroid balloons to throw off the Gwadan's radar. Within minutes, the shuttle made it back onto the Argama as all three AEUG ships made their escape past the Gwadan towards the Gate of Zedan.
"Impressive, the Argama managed to block both our visual and radar sensors…" said Haman as she smirked. "You got away this time Casval, but next time, you won't be as lucky…"
The Dominion along with 3 Titan Salamis-Kai ships approached the Gwadan, preparing for the next round of negotiations, this time between the Titans and Axis. Muruta Azrael boarded a shuttle bound for the Gwadan. While Scirocco boarded the Gwaden with his mobile suit, The O. As they both landed in the hangar, being targeted by armed Axis soldiers, the two finally met again face to face since their last argument at Luna II. Muruta looked rather displeased while Scirocco only chuckled as a group of Axis troops led them to the conference room. Already seated there was Haman Karn along with two Axis soldiers keeping guard for Haman's safety. Both Scirocco and Muruta took their seats.
"So, what have you two Titans have for…?" asked Haman Karn, somewhat rather annoyed.
"We wish to form an alliance with Axis on behalf of the Titans." Said Muruta.
"Reliable sources tell me that the Earth Federation is on the verge of severing all ties with the Titans. Apparently your actions at Side 6's Colony 30 greatly displeased many people on Earth." Said Haman as she smirked.
"That's absurd! Those bureaucrats can't change their minds so easily!" yelled Muruta.
"I don't care one way or the other. What matters is that I control outer space. You Titans, whose souls are weighed down by gravity are hardly a threat." Said Haman as her smirk turned into a wicked grin.
"I take offense! What a bold girl you are, and to think I was offering to form an alliance with Axis, but after THESE remarks…" said Muruta before he got cut off by Haman.
"Well maybe you're the ones who should be thinking of joining me. And what of the man from Jupiter?" as she turned and faced Scirocco.
"I believe your views are correct. The ones whose souls are weighed down by gravity are unfit to lead the people of outer space. But, that doesn't matter as I have pledged my loyalty to his Excellency Muruta Azrael and the Titans…" said Scirocco as he smirked while Muruta glared at Scirocco angrily. With that, Scirocco reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a pistol and quickly killed the two Axis soldiers that were guarding Haman and quickly aimed it at Haman who was unfazed by what was happening. All she did was smirk and then laugh.
"You realize what will happen to you if you kill me in the heart of my own ship?" said Haman.
"I realize that, but it's better than letting someone as dangerous as yourself to live." Said Scirocco as he returned the smirk.
"That's one way of thinking about it." Said Haman as he pulled off one of her earrings and tossed it to the ground, releasing cyanide gas, quickly Scirocco and Muruta escaped out into the hall and into another room as Muruta coughed and Scirocco still wielding his pistol.
"Where is Haman Karn!" asked Muruta as he slowly recovered.
"She's gone. Looks like it's just us two, Muruta Azrael…" Scirocco said as he smirked and pointed the pistol to the Blue Cosmos leader's head.
"Scirocco! Then this…!" said Muruta as he looked on in absolute horror and fear.
"Was a trap… Just for you! Goodbye Muruta!" yelled Scirocco as he shot and killed the leader of the Titans. With that, Scirocco quickly made his way towards the hangar with all of the Axis soldiers shooting away at him and finally made it into the cockpit of The O. He aimed the large beam rifle towards the floor and punctured a hole in the Gwaden and escaped towards the Dominion and broadcasted an open message to the ships.
"This is an open message to all of the Titan Fleet! His Excellency Muruta Azrael is slain at the hands of Haman Karn! His Excellency's last words: Wipe the Gwaden from the skies!" yelled Scirocco as he smirked, his master plan to take over the Titans was working to his liking as he waited for Haman Karn to launch. And soon enough, Haman launched in her Qubeley and with whole squadrons of Gaza C's while the Titans launched their Barzams and engaged in battle.
"Ah! There you are Haman!" yelled Scirocco as he fired his beam rifle at the Qubeley but she quickly dodged all of The O's shots and fired back with her own beam shots from the hands of the Qubeley and smirked.
"You're obviously unaware of what this machine is capable of…" said Haman as she smirked as the Qubeley released her many funnels and aimed them at Scirocco.
"Don't you dare underestimate me Haman Karn!" said Scirocco as he dodged all of the shots from the funnels as he fired back with his beam rifle.
"Impressive, but you can't keep that up forever…" said Haman as she continued to release more funnels at The O.
"I can… see them!" said Scirocco as his newtype senses kicked in and fired his beam rifle at the funnels and with superhuman efficiency destroyed them one by one. With that Haman used her newtype powers as a pink aura surrounded the Qubeley and lunged at The O, sending sparks towards Scirocco, but he fought right back as a yellow aura surrounded The O and went right back to Haman. "Such intense pressure, but I won't let a mere mobile suit defeat me!"
Both The O and the Qubeley were sent backwards. With both fleets leaving the area, both of them were forced to retreat. Soon after the battle ended, Scirocco landed back on the Dominion while all of the Titan ships stormed the Gwaden but only to lose two of the Salamis-Kai vessels that accompanied the Dominion as they retreated towards Luna II to regroup. With Scirocco now in control of the Titans, he planned the Titans next counteroffensive against the AEUG, to recapture the Gryps Colony Laser. The entire Titan fleet launched from Luna II with the Dominion as the flagship, along with a few Alexandria-class vessels spearheading the fleets…
Meanwhile Amuro and Char sat in the cafeteria of the Eternal as they ate their dinner. Amuro looked up at Char and sighed.
"I'm sorry about what I said earlier…" said Amuro.
"You're forgiven. I can understand your frustration at the time. I'd probably have done the same thing if I was in your position. But you got to understand Amuro, Haman Karn is a snake in the grass. You turn your back on her for a second, and she'll stab you in the back. She's that psychotic about getting power. That's all that she cares about." Said Char as he munched on his roll.
"I'm starting to understand that. Apparently the Titans also tried negotiating with Haman Karn, but that also got screwed up for them somehow or another. The Titan Fleet from Luna II has mobilized and is on their way to the Gryps Colony Laser. The AEUG fleet doesn't have that many ships, we only have a maximum of 20 ships…" said Amuro.
"Then our only chance at success is if we use the colony laser. If we can lure the Titan fleet into the line of fire along with the Axis fleet, then we can counterattack Axis and end this dreadful war." Said Char as Lacus slowly walked up from behind, listening in. "I'm… I'm tired… Sometimes I just… don't think I can carry on. I've lost so many friends in battle… My mind… I'm exhausted… Newtypes aren't supermen, Amuro…"
Lacus sighed as she cuddled up to Char with Kira taking a seat next to Amuro. Amuro then nodded and soon left the cafeteria as Char and lacus held onto each other.
"When will this war end Char… When…" said Kira as he sighed.
"It will all end once we defeat Haman and Scirocco… It will end then Kira…" said Char.
"Casval… When this war is over… Let's go back to the PLANTS, and get married… Raise children and live normal lives in peace… Promise me that after you defeat Scirocco and Haman, you'll come back to me…" said Lacus as she clung to her lover as Char held her close while Kira couldn't help but smile.
"I promise, Lacus… I promise I will…" said Char as he kissed her deeply as the rest of the ZAFT soldiers smiled, laughed, and clapped as Char gave a playful grin to everyone as he looked down at Lacus and his gold, red ruby comet pendant and sighed.
Soon, the Titan Fleet opened fire on Gryps, forcing the AEUG Fleet to go on combat alert as the AEUG fired back as they tried their gamble to split their forces into 3 groups in a classic double pincer manuever, the Argama, the Kusanagi, and the Eternal would stay at Gryps to prepare colony's transformers to collect enough energy for the colony laser to fire at full capacity while the rest of the fleet split into two groups, flanking the Titan and Axis fleets and forcing them into the line of fire. It was a huge gamble, but it was the only way the AEUG was going to have any chance of survival, much less success. The Titans launched all of their Barzam mobile suits with Scirocco's The O in the lead. At the same time Haman Karn and her whole horde of Gaza C's launched from the Axis ships as well. With Gryps only at 47 capacity and slowly increasing, the AEUG launched their Nemo mobile suits as well to counter.
"Rick-Dias Team! Launching!" said both Sleggar and Roberto as they both launched in their Red Rick-Dias into the three-way battle between the AEUG, the Titans, and Axis.
"Char Aznable here! In the Zeta Gundam! Let's do this thing!" yelled Char as the Zeta launched with the Mega Bazooka Launcher from the Eternal.
"Kira Yamato! In the Freedom! Launching!" yelled Kira as he followed suit with Char.
"Deploy one of the METEOR units!" commanded Waltfeld as one of the METEOR's detached and docked with the Freedom and quickly caught up with Char.
"Kira! Go and take care of Scirocco, I will take care of Haman. Roberto!" yelled Char as the hand of the Zeta clutched onto the foot of Roberto's Rick-Dias. "You're with me. I need someone to provide me cover for when I fire the Mega Bazooka Launcher."
"Right. Roger that Lieutenant Char." said Roberto as he followed the Zeta towards the advancing Axis forces. As soon as the Zeta began picking up Gaza C's on the sensors, he began targeting the massive formation of pink mobile suits as the Mega Bazooka Launcher fired and wiped out most of the formation as they were consumed by explosions and the large beam.
"What the!" yelled Haman as she looked behind to see most of her mobile suit forces that launched were destroyed. "Char! You won't get anymore!"
"He's here!" said Scirocco.
Char quickly prepared for his second shot towards the Qubeley but Haman quickly reacted as she deployed her funnels and fired upon Char, forcing the Zeta to abandon the Mega Bazooka Launcher as he watched it get destroyed by the Qubeley's funnels.
"Damn that Haman!" cursed Char as the Zeta transformed into the waverider form as her fired back with the beam rifle with Roberto followed suit as the Rick-Dias fired the clay bazooka and the beam pistol but soon found himself dodging the funnels. "Roberto!"
"Haman Karn has gotten a lot better at this since I left Axis! This is going to be tough Char!" said Roberto as he fought back with tenacity.
"Roberto! Head back and protect the Argama with Sleggar! I'll take care of this!" commanded Char.
"Roger that Char!" replied Roberto as the Rick-Dias retreated while Char provided covering fire by firing the heat-seeking grenades at Haman which also allowed Char to escape and join Kira as he spotted both The O and the Freedom heading into the cylinder of the colony laser. Meanwhile the Argama was contacting Gryps and found out that it had reached top capacity and was ready to fire at the Titan fleet and at least two-fifths of the Axis fleet.
"Lieutenant Commander Murrue! We're ready to fire the colony laser!" said Torres.
"Stand by! Char and Kira are still in the cylinder!" ordered Murrue.
"But ma'am! Our targets are moving!" said Saegusa.
"I am well aware of that! Stand by!" ordered Murrue.
"No matter what I can't allow Scirocco to destroy this weapon!" said Char as the Zeta transformed once again into the waverider, catching up to Kira with the Qubeley hot on Char's trail.
"Interesting… Scirocco is trying to destroy the colony laser from the inside. Heh." Said Haman as the Qubeley also entered as she saw the Freedom and the Zeta Gundam exchanging beam rifle shots with The O as Scirocco slashed through one of the core generators with Char pursuing Scirocco.
"Ready for the end! CHAR!" yelled Scirocco as he fired his beam rifle twice, Char evading the first but got hit on the foot on the second shot. As Char's Zeta was flying backwards to evade, Haman Karn's Qubeley came up from above and slashed off the arm that was carrying the beam rifle right off and the Zeta crashed right into another generator core, shattering the core to bits.
"A fatal error, Char!" said Scirocco with a smug tone.
"You've made a poor choice for your final resting place Char! Consider this Char, it's still not too late for you to join me!" said Haman but was quickly hit from behind by Kira in the Freedom. "The Freedom? Kira Yamato!"
"Give it a rest Haman!" retorted Char.
"NO! I WON'T LET YOU!" yelled Kira as he fired the beam rifle of the Freedom and the two beam launchers at Scirocco but quickly evaded.
"That coordinator boy! He can't control himself, heh! You chose the wrong path! You failed to become a true newtype Char! Mongrels like you need to be culled! Understand!" yelled Scirocco as he took aim for the Zeta's right leg but was blocked off by the Freedom's anti-beam shield and fired right back at The O with the beam rifle.
"Not yet! This isn't done yet!" yelled Char as he fired the cables at the Qubeley's piercing through it's thick Gundarium armor, and pulled it towards the Zeta as Char readied his beam saber. "GET OVER HERE!"
"I don't believe this! He's actually overpowering the Qubeley!" yelled Haman as she tried to stop the cables but couldn't as Char's Zeta sliced through the shoulder verniers of the Qubeley.
"Casval! Damn you!" yelled Haman as she was forced to retreat. Char then looked back at the Freedom. Kira was about to get shot down by Scirocco if Char didn't do something quick.
"Goodbye you pest!" yelled Scirocco as he was about to slash the Freedom into 4 different pieces with the multiple arms grasping beam sabers until the Zeta released its cable weapon again and pierced through both arms, ripping them off completely and tied up The O.
"THE O! THE CONTROLS ARE DEAD! WHAT'S HAPPENING!" Scirocco yelled as he saw the Freedom Gundam glow in a blue aura.
"SCIROCCO! You can't comprehend the power that flows through my body and the Freedom! You're nothing but a coward! Always pulling strings! Always manipulating other people! I must punish you! BE GONE FROM THIS WORLD!" Kira yelled as he could see images of Flay going through his head as the Freedom slashed through The O with the beam saber as Scirocco screamed as he was destroyed with his own creation.
"Kira! We need to get out of here or else we'll be fried when they fire this thing!" yelled Char.
"Roger that Char! Let's go!" said Kira as both the Freedom and the Zeta left the cylinder and got out of the line of fire as the Argama picked them up on sensors leaving the cylinder.
"They're out! FIRE THE COLONY LASER!" yelled Murrue as Gryps fired as a giant laser beam fired out towards the Titan fleet, completely vaporizing each ship. At the end of it all, the Titans were completely crippled and defeated, along with two-fifths of Axis' battle strength. Char exited the cockpit of the Zeta as he looked back at the damaged arm and sighed.
"I got careless… And I completely failed to destroy the Qubeley…" said Char as he cursed to himself.
"Don't be so hard on yourself Casval…" said Lacus as she hugged Char from behind, wrapping her arms around his waist.
"But there's no excuse for me failing to defeat Haman… Now this war is going to get dragged out further…" said Char.
"But you helped defeat Scirocco. It's almost over…" Lacus replied as she kissed Casval on the cheek.
"But it was Kira who defeated him… You outta reward him, not me…" said Char with a smirk.
"But Kira isn't Casval now is he?" said Lacus as she tackled her man into the wall and kissed him deeply with Astinage smirking at the whole thing.
"Get a room you two!" said Astinage as he chuckled to himself and went about repairing the Zeta. With that Lacus winked at Char as Kira smirked while Char and Lacus went off to her room. Kira yawned as he sat on the foot of the Freedom while the mechanics did their work on repairs. He sighed as he looked on in slight boredom until a notepad, a pencil, and a picture of Haman Karn fell out of the cockpit of the Zeta Gundam. He opened up the notepad and began reading the many journal entries written by Char since he was a young boy as he boarded a shuttle bound for the Argama.
"November 25, UC 0070. I haven't seen much of my dad as of late, especially today, on my own birthday. I'm not mad at him at all, I understand he has his presidential duties to the Republic, but even so, it would have been nice if he could have taken the day off. Admiral Maharaja Karn has been over at my house a lot to have dinner with my family, but my dad and him always seem to argue about something after dinner. I hear a lot of yelling and pounding once in a while, but I do not know what they are talking about since mommy always made me and my sister Artesia leave the table right after dinner. But one night I decided to sneak back near the dining room to listen in on what they were talking about…"
"Admiral! Do you realize that your militaristic behavior will cause an international incident!" yelled Zeon Daikun.
"We need to protect ourselves from those filthy coordinators that live in those godforsaken hourglasses! This is our chance to smash and destroy ZAFT into oblivion along with the rest of them! If we don't then we'll be slaves of the coordinators and the Earth Federation!" yelled Maharaja Karn. "The MS-05B Zaku I mobile suit will ensure the future glory of Zeon! I'm doing this to protect the Republic!"
"Absolutely not Admiral! No! I will not agree to this! We can obtain this future through peaceful means! I don't want to kill innocent people!" yelled Zeon.
"You've gone soft Prime Minister… You even allowed that PLANT representative Siegel Clyne and that filthy slut of daughter-…" retorted Karn before he was cut off.
"That's enough Admiral! I've heard enough of it! They're good people and they're nothing like those extremists in the PLANT council!" said Zeon.
"They're filthy animals! Every one of them Prime Minister! If you would only sign this document I could ENSURE our victory!" replied Karn.
"…After I heard that I ran back to the playroom where Artesia and Haman were. I looked over at Artesia. She's the nicest and most gentle person you'll ever meet. She absolutely detests fighting, and so do I. But the girl sitting next to her is my friend, Haman Karn… She on the other hand is the opposite of my sister. She at times, can be sadistic, cynical, and very cruel. Sometimes I wonder if I can even call her my friend…"
"Hey Char. What are you going to be doing after your birthday?" asked Haman.
"I'm going to the movies with Lacus…" said Char.
"You know it's ALWAYS her! Lacus THIS! Lacus THAT! I'm getting sick of hearing about her! I hate her! What does she have that I don't Casval!" yelled Haman as Artesia and Char looked at her with a surprised look.
"She's always been jealous of Lacus. I could always tell even before that outburst…"
After reading that entry, Kira closed the journal and sighed as he looked at the picture of a young Haman Karn wearing normal civilian clothes. As soon as the shuttle got aboard the Argama, Kira walked out as he tucked the journal away with the picture and went towards the bridge. He looked up at Murrue whose face immediately lit up and kissed him. Kira hugged onto her and sighed.
"Good work earlier. I heard you defeated Scirocco." Said Murrue as she stroked Kira's hair.
"Yeah… But the war isn't over, is it…" said Kira.
"I'm afraid not… Operation Apollo… We're taking what operational ships we have, about twelve of them and we're going to encircle and storm the Axis asteroid base…" said Murrue as she held Kira close to her. Meanwhile Char sat on the bed as Lacus peacefully slept. He sighed as he began to rub his forehead as he saw red flashes that he knew wasn't there. He shook his head, somewhat disoriented. The truth was Char was beyond exhaustion, but it felt something more than that. His newtype senses went off like crazy, yelling through his mind, images of Haman Karn. Lacus then awoke slowly opening her sleepy eyes to see a disoriented Char.
"Casval…? Are you okay?" asked Lacus.
"Yes… I'm just…" said Char as he sighed. "I'm okay…"
"Casval…" said Lacus as she hugged onto Char tightly with Char hugging onto her back in the bed. Within a few hours, the AEUG fleet had already broken through the Axis defensive line and was already preparing to invade Axis itself. Char got up from the bed, already dressing into his red pilot suit, his red comet dangling about as he looked on at Lacus, who looked anxious, and very worried. It almost seemed she was pleading to Char not to go. "Casval… I really would prefer it if you stayed here on the Eternal with me and leave it up to Kira… but I know you have to do what you need to do… When this is over, I want you to come back… to me Casval…"
Lacus began to tear up, but Char just smiled at her and kissed her deeply and caressed her hair.
"Stay alive for me, alright? I'll protect you in the Zeta Gundam…" said Char as he gave a reassuring smile as he floated off towards the mobile suit hangar, quickly getting into the cockpit of the Zeta. The Zeta made its way to the catapault as he saw Lacus from behind near the entrance to the hangar. He enlarged the video screen of Lacus and smiled.
"Char! You're clear to launch!" said an operator.
"Right. This is Char Aznable in the Zeta Gundam! Let's do this!" yelled Char as the Zeta launched from the Eternal, transforming into the waverider into the flashes of light of the battle zone. Soon joining him was Kira in the Freedom and the Rick-Dias team. "Rick-Dias team, split and take the flanks, Kira, you're coming with me. Our goal is to destroy the Gwaden and Haman Karn!"
"Right! Got ya Char!" said Kira as he followed Char deeper behind Axis lines. Roberto and Sleggar was busy fighting off the swarms of Gaza-C's. Despite Axis losing two-fifth's of its fleet, they were still putting up a good fight. Char sensed 5 Gaza-C's coming after the Freedom from behind. Quickly Char drew the hyper beam launcher and took out two of the Gaza-C's. Kira followed suit as well, finishing off two more and slicing the last with his beam saber. But soon the easy streak would come to an end as a green-blue Gaplant mobile suit with another Gaza-C approached Char.
"YOU COORDINATOR CANNON FODDER!" yelled Gato as he sliced through a Nemo and charged towards the Freedom and the Zeta. "Karius! Cover me!"
"Yes sir!" replied Karius as he re-positioned his Gaza-C and transformed into its mobile armor form but was quickly fended off by Char.
"Char! CASVAL! IS THAT YOU!" yelled Gato as he fired the Gaplant's beam cannons.
"Anavel Gato… the Nightmare of Solomon… I was hoping we wouldn't be re-united under these circumstances, old friend…" said Char as he fired right back.
"WHY ARE YOU FIGHTING FOR THESE FILTHY COORDINATORS! YOU'RE A ZEON! WE'RE NEWTYPES! COME BACK TO ZEON!" yelled Gato as he tackled the Zeta.
"Zeon is blinded to its true evil! Haman Karn and her twisted agenda for the earth sphere! Can't you see that Anavel!" yelled Char as he slashed off the arm of the Gaplant with the Zeta's beam saber.
"If you won't come back by reason, I'll just have to kill you by force…. CASVAL!" yelled Gato as he activated his beam saber charging straight at the Zeta, Char, completely frozen, seeing the same red flashes he saw earlier, completely unable to move.
"Char!" yelled Kira as he fired the Freedom's beam rifle, completely incinerating the Gaplant and Gato along with it. Meanwhile the battlefield was becoming more and more chaotic, but the momentum shifting in favor of the AEUG. Musai after Musai exploding, with another Salamis-Kai ramming into another Musai.
"Concentrate the Argama's firing target at the Gwadan! Have the Eternal and the Kusanagi do the same!" ordered Murrue. The Gwadan didn't hold up for much long as it was constantly being bombarded by the three ships, but Haman Karn had already launched her Qubeley just in time before the Gwadan exploded.
"Damn the AEUG!" she cursed as she saw her flagship explode behind her, heading towards the surface of Axis, where sure enough, The Zeta and the Freedom Gundam were waiting. "Well, nice of you to welcome me, Casval… You're presence is welcome to Kira… Heh. Onsider your options carefully Casval, do you want to die, or would you rather live and join me?"
"Give it a rest Haman!" replied Char as the Zeta fired its hyper beam launcher while Kira flanked behind her and fired from behind.
"People like you Haman Karn! Shouldn't be allowed to live! You're the source of all the evil in this fighting! Go back to your world of darkness Haman!" yelled Kira as he fired all of the Freedom's weapons, waves of beam shots firing towards the Qubeley, but Haman dodging them all while striking back with her hand mounted beam cannon and her funnels whizzing about both the Zeta and the Freedom.
"Silence hypocrite!" yelled Haman as the funnels fired at both of them, Kira getting out of the way but Char's Zeta getting hit slightly, partially damaging the right arm of the Zeta. Haman quickly doubled back and pulled out the Qubeley's large beam saber and slashed away at Kira.
"Char! We can't defeat her! She's just way too powerful!" yelled Kira as he tried to fend off Haman while the Zeta pulled out its own beam saber.
"Hang in there Kira! We need to work together and use our number advantage against her!" yelled Char as he charged at the Qubeley from behind, completely ripping off the right shoulder.
"DAMN YOU CHAR!" yelled Haman as she fired her beam cannon, this time ripping off the Zeta Gundam's left arm along with the shield. Char was then shaken up in his cockpit, struggling to balance the Zeta from free-falling in space and finally managed to regain control as Char fired right back, knicking a part of the funnel generator pack of the Qubeley, somewhat effectively disabling the funnels for Haman's use. Getting desperate, Haman retreaed from the asteroid and into space, charging towards the Eternal.
"If I can't have you Casval… NO ONE WILL!" yelled Haman as she pulled out her beam saber once again, heading right towards the bridge of the Eternal.
"Miss Lacus! Approaching enemy mobile suit at 12 o'clock!" yelled one of the Eternal's operators as Lacus just gasped in fear as she saw the Qubeley from the window.
"Shoot it down! SHOOT THAT DAMN THING DOWN!" yelled Waltfeld as all of the Eternal's anti-air barrage focused on Haman.
"It's the end for you Lacus Clyne!" said Haman with a smug look oner face until Kira's beam rifle intervened and forced Haman to dodge. "Kira, that pest… always getting in the way!"
Haman attempted to charge again but the Zeta Gundam transformed, glowing bright red, what seemed to be attracting more red spheres of light being absorbed into the Zeta Gundam…
"I see it all now… I have to destroy you Haman Karn! All you want is power! You care for nothing! No one! You're nothing but a cruel animal Haman! I WON'T LET YOU HURT LACUS!" yelled Char as the Zeta charged at the Qubeley.
"What! The Qubeley! The controls are dead! It's not moving at all! That bright glow! WHAT IS THIS!" yelled Haman as she screamed in agony as the Zeta averider rammed right through the cockpit of her mobile suit, essentially slicing her in half.
"BE GONE FROM THIS WORLD HAMAN!" yelled Char as he cried, his helmet shattering the middle, bleeding profusely as well. The pain was beginning to overwhelm Char as he could see his mother and father, his sister Artesia, Apolly, Ramba Ral, and South Burning as he cried loudly…
"Casval! CASVAL! OH NO!" yelled Lacus as she cried loudly as well.
"If I am to die here, then I'm taking your soul with me… Char Aznable!" yelled Haman as a pink glow rammed into the Zeta, eminating from Haman herself, the Qubeley exploding, pushing the Zeta backwards as Char's eyes closed…
"I love you… Lacus…" a voice echoed as Char began to float away from the cockpit and into space, blood everywhere. Kira's eyes began to tear up as he saw his friend, Char floating lifeless across space. Quickly he opened his cockpit and dragged Char inside with him into the Freedom and towing the Zeta back to the Eternal. Lacus watched on in horror, crying her eyes out, hear heart wrenching with grief, as the Eternal's medical staff put Char onto a stretcher, looking so pale, bloody, and dead…
"Casval… You… You promised you wouldn't die on me! You promised me you'd come back to me!" yelled Lacus as she clinched onto Char's arm. She cried for a while longer until she felt Char move a little and heard him stir around and groan in pain. Her eyes slowly opened and lit up, smiling but crying even more now. "Casval!"
"P-Pretty… pretty pink hair!..." blurted Char as he looked around, smiling, but in a very loopy comatose state.
"Casval? Casval! What's wrong! Don't you remember me? Lacus! I'm Lacus!" pleaded Lacus as she shook Char.
"La…. La—Lacus? Lacus pretty! Pretty pink hair!" said Char as he laughed, clapping away as Lacus stood back, covering her face in shock as she cried even more.
"What did… What did Haman do to you out there Casval?... Baby tell me what happened! Casval! Doctor Hasan! Come quick! Casval is-…!"
"Light is blinking… star!... No, comet! Because comet go SHOOOOM!" said Char as he giggled and laughed until fell over off the bed, slightly bruising his forehead and began to cry like a young child. "Ouchies… that hurt real bad…!"
"Casval! Are you okay?" said Lacus as she held tightly onto Char, comforting him, stroking his hair as she cried her silent tears. "It's all over now Casval, the fighting is finally over… Let's go back home… Oh Casval… my poor baby…"
"Why for pretty Lacus cry?" said Char as he smiled, hugging onto Lacus as she cried harder into Char's shoulder.
After this battle, the Neo Zeon were defeated and those that were left went back to rebuild Side 3 and re-establish the Republic of Zeon, and peace restored to the earth sphere, newtype, natural, and coordinator alike, for now… Forever living on in the souls of those who lived through this terrible battle, as the One Year War.
Two years later… December 24th, UC 0081, PLANTs, Aprilius One Colony…
Over time, Char slowly began to recover from Haman's newtype attack on his mind and eventually fully recovered. Lacus sat down on the grass, looking up at the night sky, with Char sitting on her lap, Lacus gently stroking Char's hair. In the distance, their young toddler son, Judau Aznable happily played in the field of white daisies as he clapped his hands, laughing as Char smiled at him. Lacus smiled as well and extending her arms for Judau to come back.
"M…M…Ma…Mama!" said Judau as he turned around and happily laughed.
"Judau! Come to mommy!" said Lacus as she giggled as Judau slowly but surely walked, taking small baby steps at a time but faltering before he could get to Lacus but crawled his way into her arms, immediately showering her young toddler with kisses and a warm embrace. "Casval?"
"Yes honey?" said Char as he smiled, letting Judau play with his finger with his cute little hands.
"Will our son enjoy a better future than us?" asked Lacus as she snuggled her Judau close to her.
"It's hard to say…" said Char as he sighed. "But after such horrific destruction and death, there will always be the light of hope and rebirth…"
Lacus smiled at Char as the two leaned in for a deep kiss…
Well, that's the end of this Gundam Seed/Zeta Gundam crossover trilogy. I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you all who have reviewed my stories, and as always, more reviews are always a welcome addition! I may make a sequel to this fic, so look out for it you guys! Please review!