Disclaimer: Bandai owns Gundam. I just buy the toys and write the occasional fanfic. This is one of them, no infringement is intended. I'd love to be able to buy an Alpha Azieru toy ^_^

Genom Research
presents
A St. Suika Roberts unfilm

Gundam
UC 0093
Shattered Dreams

The cockpit shakes around me, my head filled with the cries of the dying, then is gone. Warm arms are wrapped about me, someone's breasts pressed to my back, while a fireball blooms around me.

'What happened?'

'I died.'

'Yep. Watch.' Suddenly there is sound from the world outside, although it is like a movie, I can't feel any presence to it.

'You didn't have to kill her! It's because adults don't understand that the Earth will be destroyed!' screams Hathoway-kun.

Chien tries to reply, 'Hathoway . . .'

Hathoway just screams, firing at Chien. He manages to hit something vital, and her suit blows up. It hits me very differently than I had expected; I'd been trying to kill her just moments earlier, hadn't I? Instead of the relief I was expecting there is this gripping sense of loss.

The scene shifts away from Hathoway and the area of my death, zooming in on Char and Amuro. My mouth dries as Amuro gets the upper hand, destroying Ship #4, Char's Sazabi, and then captures Char's escape capsule. Axis comes in two, the forward part, I know instinctively, still moving fast enough to miss Earth, but the rearward part is heavy and slow enough that it will hit. A hollow anger surges in me when Amuro takes Char with him on a futile attempt to accelerate Axis enough that it won't fall. We watch the other Mobile Suits join the attempt for a moment, then flee again, the Psycho Frame generated aura growing.

I listen to their talk about me, Char's 'You were really cold to Quess.'

'I'm not a machine. She was looking for a father, and I couldn't do it. You are the one who used her as a machine!'

'She was looking for her father. I filled that role, and shoved her into the role I needed her for, just like a machine.' my mood shifts again, the anger taking on a dark core, changing it's target.

'Are they right?' the voice behind me asks.

'About what?'

'That you were searching for a replacement for your father?' What a thing to ask! Of course I wasn'. . . or maybe I was. That would really make me look like a fool; probably why I didn't think of that possiblility.

'Tabun.' and the Psycho-frame overloads, spreading a great aura out into space, lifting the falling part of Axis into a higher orbit and vaporizing the Nu Gundam, her pilot, and her prisoner.

'Now,' the view outside fades, 'Where did you go wrong?'

'I sqandered my funnels, firing too many at one time and sending them against Amuro's beam shield, so that when I really needed them I had none left.'

'Tactically, you are right. I was meaning strategically.' I shake my head.

'I don't understand.'

'What is the earliest pivot that could have changed the entire way this went?'

'Pivot?'

'Place where one's actions have the greatest impact, where one's choice both frees and limits one's actions.'

'When I got in a fight with Chien about Amuro. I needlessly alienated someone who could have been a powerful ally.'

'You are a bright girl. If you want I can help you change things.'

'How?'

'I can take you back to just before that incident, and you can attempt to influence the way you act towards her. I must warn you, things will only run forward from the moment you arrive there, and you may only run through this one time, will have only one chance to change things.'

'Please, let me try.'

'OK. You are dead, now, and were alive then, which will limit your ability to interact with the physical world greatly. You will be able to see, hear, and feel what is going on around you, but the only way you will be able to change anything is by temporarily merging with your younger self. While you are merged, you won't be able to move, and while both of you will have access to your memories, only the thoughts that you think and a vauge precognition will remain when you have separated again. Are you still willing?'

'I have to try, I couldn't live with myself otherwise.'

'You're dead, child.'

'Mou! you know what I mean.'

'So I do.'

The MS bay of the LAR KAILUM fades in around us, and I can see myself approaching Chien, asking who she is. I squirm out of my benefactor's arms and throw myself into myself.

why am i doing this? she has amuro. does she? why do i want amuro? is it perhaps, instead, that amuro has her that i am upset about? The way I felt when I saw her killed, when the partly repaired Re-GZ was destroyed, flows through my mind as the memory replays. perhaps. what if she feels differently. there is no way of knowing if i upset her, make her feel that we are rivals.

I shake my head vigorously; that was _perfectly_ weird. I turn to watch as Chien catches me, and I, no, Quess-alternate, clings to her tightly. It doesn't do to feel jealousy towards oneself, but.

I slip in closer as Chien starts to speak again. 'Child, what's wrong?'

'I came out here intending to tell you off about Amuro.' Qa has her head buried in Chien's shoulder, 'But I can't. I just saw you die, killed to avenge me; I don't want that.' Qa starts crying.

'What do you mean, child?'

'My name's Quess.' Qa wipes her face on her hand, continues, 'That precog flash showed me a lot about myself, somehow. I thought I wanted Amuro, but I don't. I want his approval; I want his teaching; I want to be like him, be his friend; but I don't want him.'

Chien cuddles Qa close, 'Why not?' Her eyes suddenly go big, and I feel strange, my penis sliding into somewhere deliciously hot and wet, Chien's body clutched to mine, her mind pressed as tightly to mine as our bodies. . . and it is over, all three of us gasping, somehow knowing that whatever just happened, it didn't go beyond ourselves.

'Did you and Amuro do . . .' Qa trails off, pressing her face to the slightly larger woman's neck.

'Never. From the rumors he hasn't done anything like that since the One Year War.' That was thirteen years ago.

'That was thirteen years ago!' Qa sounds just as shocked as I am.

'Yes. I've seen him wake up from nightmares, calling the name Lalah. The records say she was a Mobile Armor pilot, probably a New Type, and her kill is credited to him. Rumors say both he and Char Aznable were in love with her, and each blames the other for her death.'

I reach out and touch Qa's neck

perhaps they should try sacking up together to see if they can't work it out that way. I let just a bit of their fight on Londenion bleed through.

Still totally weird, I stare at my hand. Qa starts giggling.

'What is it, chi-Quess?'

'The thought of Amuro and Char sleeping together.' Chien starts giggling also.

After a little bit Chien pulls away from Qa, and speaks regretfully, 'I've got work to do on the Nu Gundam, so you'd better run off.'

'Let me help, I've taken a couple tech courses, so I shouldn't make too many mistakes,' Chien looks doubtful, so Qa smiles winningly, 'Please?'

'All right. Come along, Quess.' They move over to the MS, and I stay back a little, watching them flirt, when I feel a pair of arms about my chest, and everything fades.

'They'll be OK for a little bit. When you think things are safe, and you get tired of playing ghost, you can touch your Quess-alternate while she is sleeping, and the merger will become permanent. Most of your memories of what happened will be discarded as a bad dream, and you will go on about your life. Be careful, child.'

'Who're you, anyway?'

'My name is Eris, child.'

'The Greek goddess of Chaos?

'And creatrix of the universe.'

'Then why are you doing this for me?'

'This whole mess reaks of predestination or Greek tragedy. I don't like predestination, and the Greeks were kinda stuffy, so I decided to see how things would change if someone knew what was going to happen.'

'What is the price?'

'Don't let things go the same way. Try and mess up as many plans as you can, and I'll be more than repaid for my effort.'

'May I,' I pause, wondering how to ask this, then decide to just let it out however, 'Look at you? You've kept yourself hidden this whole time.'

'Sure. I put on this form just for you, so you should recognize it.' She lets me go, her slight form moving around to in front of me, and I gasp, for I do recognize it.

'Ranma? How?'

'How could I miss your childhood idol? She was a lot more popular when the Manga first came out, almost two hundred years ago, but people still write Ranma fanfic, and she is still a powerful ideal.' The mention of fanfic brings up another, lost, wish.

'Could you do me a really big favor?'

'What?'

'I guess you know about the fanfic I wrote,'

'That you lost to a hardware failure?' That is one way of putting it; most hardware will fail when someone slams a spike heel down on it a dozen times.

'Yeah.'

'It's on Quess-alternate's computer, now.' She smiles the most dazzling smile, and the bay fades in; Amuro is there now, flirting with Chien and Qa. I approach Qa, hold my hand close to her, trying to determine what happened; I get a flurry of images that seem to indicate that Qa's announcement has greatly eased tensions.

'I can't think straight anymore, so I'd better get to sleep.' Amuro says, rubbing his eyes.

'OK. I've almost got this done. Quess can cope, right?'

'Un.' Qa agrees, slipping the next wrench into Chien's hand. Amuro laughs.

'So long as you're in good hands. See you two in the morning.' Amuro leaves the bay, and no words are exchanged for a good twenty minutes, the only sounds being the faint sounds of tools on bolts and Chien's cursing the fool who put the mutter-mutter gazzle-frazzle behind the urmble-gurmble. At last the gazzle-frazzle is properly in place.

'You did well. How'd you know which wrench I'd need next?'

'I don't know how; I just knew.'

'Huh. How 'bout we talk about it on the way back to my quarters?'

'Sure!' Qa's voice almost reeks eagerness. I follow as Qa and Chien back to Chien's quarters, awed by Qa's boldness as she all but starts making out with Chien in the hallway. Chien seems a little nervous, but doesn't protest as Qa presses herself firmly to the older woman.

I precede them through the door into Chien's quarters, and watch in shock as, the moment the door is closed, Qa asks the question I would have let sit until who knows when, 'Is it hard, having a lover who won't do those kinds of things with you?'

'He won't; which doesn't mean that he won't do them for other people.' Chien actually blushes.

Qa pushes off the wall lightly, wrapping her arms around Chien and bearing her back into the oposite wall, her face pressed to the other's breast. 'Oh,' she says in a small voice, 'I was hoping to,' she trails off, gathers her courage, 'seduce you.'

'But I guess that won't happen.' she finishes in a stronger voice, pushing herself back a little so she can look into Chien's face.

'You can try. I think you're a little young, however.'

'I'm sixteen! That's old enough for any judge in the Federation to dismiss a statutory rape charge.' Qa smiles that confident grin that I felt sure I'd lost forever. Chien smiles back, and I almost melt; Qa does, plastering herself against Chien, nibbling her neck.

'Then how much experience at this kind of thing do you have?' Chien's voice is at once light and worried.

'Oh,' Qa kisses Chien on the lips, letting her mouth open ever so slightly, then breaking the kiss, 'I've gotten that far once before. The other girl ran away at that point.'

'Hidoi!'

'Yeah. You're the first person I've liked and actually approached since.'

'Are you trying to guilt-trip me into sleeping with you?'

'No,' Qa's voice shows her sudden fear that that is exactly how Chien sees it.

'Good.' Chien kisses Qa firmly, and even I can recognize how much tounge is being used. I'm suddenly so jealous that I can't think straight, so I slip up on the two of them, now writhing and trying desperately to get out of their clothing, and press myself up against Chien's back.

At least, that was the plan. I slip into her back, my hand sliding through to touch Qa; we don't merge, instead I can suddenly feel both what she's feeling, what she's thinking, and a muted version of Chien's feelings as well. I don't try to move until well after all the moving and squirming is done, the afterglow faded a little, and they realize that they've gotten themselves stuck in the middle of the room with no clothing on. I pull my hand back, float away, watching the silver cord, about as big around as a small drinking straw, that now stretches from me to Qa.

After a lot of giggling and bouncing they manage to get Qa to one wall, and from there she manages to get Chien moving again as well. The two of them bustle about gathering clothing for a few moments, then Qa looks up at Chien with a strange expression of fear on her face.

'May I stay here? Please?' Qa holds her bundle of clothing tighter against herself as she speaks. Chien nods instantly, letting go of her clothing to pull Qa into her arms, making sure that she has a handhold gripped between her toes.

'So that's the colony?' Qa is looking out a window in the MS bay, talking over her shoulder to Amuro.

'Yep. Londinion.'

'So, what are we going to do?' Qa asks Chien as they walk towards the elevator down to the main floor of the colony.

I resist the urge to touch Qa again, watching as she flirts with Hathaway and Amuro, but keeping her hip just touching Chien as she does.

Qa is in bed, watching the ceiling as she talks on the telephone, looking for something to do, since Chien is occupied with work stuff. Hathaway has just invited her along with him and Amuro on a little drive. I let myself remember what happens, and set my hand on her shoulder when she seems like she's going to decline.

'Well, I guess I'd like to come along, sure,' she tells him.

Amuro and Hathaway meet us in the lobby. I slip into the back with Qa, and watch as she stands up, holding the roll-cage on the little jeep-thing we're in.

Amuro drives well enough that I'm not scared this time, either, spending most of my time waiting for Char to show up, not paying much attention to the conversation between the other three.

After a while he appears, and I barely notice him before he opens fire, startling the other three. I watch him, wondering what his goal in this whole mess is. Amuro gives chase, Char's horse only slightly more nimble than the jeep-thing. I touch his shoulder as he pulls the automatic, letting his emotions run through me, a mix of love, hate, anger, fear, a tiny bit of lust, and a deep layer of confusion.

Amuro manages to hit him, despite, or perhaps because of the distraction I posed.

Char backs up, watching Amuro, who's reholstered the automatic. Qa walks up behind Amuro, and for just a moment I wonder what she's going to do.

And then she does it, pulling the automatic and running towards Char, guarding him, holding the gun almost on Amuro, her finger out of the trigger guard.

The expected mobile suit arrives a few moments late, and Char leads Qa towards it, the exhaust wash hiding their voices. Qa still has the gun as the mobile suit's hand brings them to the cockpit.

A shot rings out, and a body falls from the cockpit into the mobile suit's hand. Qa carefully wraps the fingers around her captives, and holds them out to Amuro, the flight systems shutting down as her aplified voice booms across the small open field, 'Thought I could. What should we do with these? One is bleeding.'

'Let me up, we'll get him to a hospital!' Amuro yells, clambering onto the hand when it is lowered. I climb on with him.

'Hathaway! Take Haro and the jeep back to the hotel, OK?'

'Gotcha!'

Qa has the same reaction I did to a Zion mobile suit, instant familiarity. She manages to land it in the hospital parking lot two minutes later, without having done more than mussed the grass during our takeoff. I feel queerly proud of myself.

The man Qa shot died, shortly after she got him to the hospital. She'd punctured his lung, and the doctors couldn't get him stabilized before his brain stopped functioning.

'Shh,' Chien murmors, cuddling Qa gently in her arms, 'It's OK.'

'No, I shot him, and he died. They're not supposed . . . '

'Quess, that's exactly what they are for. You shoot somone, and they die. Simple, effective, permanent,' she pulls Qa in tighter, 'If you hadn't shot him, he would have tried to shoot some of us, later. He was one of their artificial NewTypes, and an ace.'

'He was unarmed when I shot him,' her voice is so torn.

'He had a mobile suit. He could have easily killed all of you.'

'But he didn't.'

'You can't be sure he wouldn't have.'

'I could feel it. I just wanted to hurt him, a little, just enough that I could take the mobile suit.'

'Shh,' Chien's fingers run through Quess's hair, 'Then you need to practice, a lot, so that you won't do it again.'

'That won't help _him_,' Qa whines.

'He was going to die eventually. You just made it happen sooner than it would have otherwise. Knowing what we do now, perhaps not that much sooner.'

'What do you mean?'

'That's as much as I can tell you right now, your security clearance isn't high enough to know any more than that the Neo-Zeon are planning something big, and you put a wrench in the works.'

'By shooting that guy?'

'By capturing Char.

'You feeling better?' Chien asks Qa when she wakes, sprawled fully-clothed over the larger woman, who's flat on her back on the thick hotel carpet.

Qa blinks dazedly for a moment, 'What?'

'You feeling better?'

'Much,' she kisses Chien, 'Thanks.'

'I fell apart, too, first time I realized that I'd killed someone,' Chien says softly.

'Who?'

'I'd been doing mech work on mobile suits for a few weeks, out on the lines. One of mine came back, barely together, her pilot all stoked about the fight, and she thanked me.'

'Thanked you?'

'Yeah, her mobile suit, a jigan, had been badly damaged the last time she had been out, and I'd put in a few extra hours, eight or twelve or something, getting it back together. She was thanking me because she'd just made ace. Two days later, she went out again, her suit fully checked out, and died.'

'ouch,' Qa nuzzles under Chien's chin.

'I cried for days. She was my friend, and I'd hoped-' she cuts herself off sharply. After a time she continues, 'I shoulda known that I'd always be falling for pilots,' and nuzzles Qa's blue hair.

'Hathaway? You want us to help you shop for something?' Qa sounds surprised, 'What?' sharply, then 'OK, sure, we'll meet you there.'

[this scene is only here because I put it in my outline. Can't for the life of me remember what it was supposed to be . . . -S]

The LAR KAILUM launches from Londinium, this time with me along as a pilot-trainee.

Well, not me, Qa. She doesn't have the same instant competence with the Federation suits, and a little effort is expended to determine why. After a bout of easter-egging, the key is determined to be the control-computers, and much head-scratching ensues amoung the tech-crews, who can't find a practical, functional, difference between the two systems.

Qa, my, our father was livid, but Qa out-matched him, forcing her way out from under his suffocating protection.

'Quess, we need you in a normal suit, you are our best hope to obtain the mobile armor Alpha Azieru,' Amuro, in his role as force commander, continues, pointing out the picucte of the giant mecha, 'It is under tow by this Marusai, in the middle of the formation. I'll lead the main assult, and attempt to draw most of their mobile suits away. Komimasa, Hendersen, and ffoukes will accompany Quess, and cover her transfer. Likely the Alpha Azieru will only have a quarter-load of fuel, and no weapons other than the funnels and beam-weapons.

'Quess, try not to use the funnels if you can avoid it, we can't easily get more.'

'Right,' Qa tries to sound firm.

'Sir,' one of the other pilots, ffoukes, I think, asks, 'the Civilian Government, damn their ignorant asses to hell, want to let the Zeons have Axis.'

'If the Zeons play this right, we will be, once again, operating under the flag of the AEUG. Oh well. Anything else?'

No one speaks up, and the meeting breaks somberly.

Qa appoaches the Alpha Azieru, flinching occasionally at an exceptionally loud death-cry.

She locks her jigan's grip onto the Alpha Azieru's back, and slaves its truster controls to a remote. Then she opens the cockpit doors and steps out, jetting quickly to the mobile armor's hatch controls. She taps in the entry code without using the cracker she brought, and slips into the cockpit.

I let myself brush her back, merging instantly, and continue the emergency warm-up proceedures. The Minovski drive comes up cleanly, surprising me, and sensors come fully on line a few moments after that, thermal layered over optical on the full-wrap display.

No one seems to notice our little group until I burn through my tow-cables, dropping the massive unit free.

The jigan's main thrusters prove powerful enough to throw the Alpha Azieru out of the Zeon formation, then run out of reaction mass.

As expected, the Alpha Azieru is almost dry, with maybe fifteen combat minutes of reaction mass. I quickly set the throttle for maximum fuel efficiency, then burn for five minutes, watching behind me for trouble. Twelve minutes of fuel left, and no one in pursuit. ffoukes, Hendersen, and Komimasa drop into formation behind me.

'Blew the Marusai before they could get a message out. They hopefully think,' ffoukes smiles, lighting up her face remarkably, 'that the Alpha Azieru was thrown out of the formation by the blast. We almost didn't see you, and we know where you're going.'

'Good,' I answer, then something drags my attention forward. Before I can bring one of the beam-cannon to bear something hits the Alpha Azieru, and everything goes black.

'Hey, Aiere,' a concerned female voice prods, a little frantic.

'Chien?' I ask, then shake my head.

I moan, softly, and wait for the pain to back off a little, 'ffoukes, sorry 'bout that. What hit me?'

'A Fed suit-to-suit missile. It blew your jigan to scrap. but other than that there seems to be only concussive damage.'

'That's good. Any idea who fired it?'

'Nope. No suits in the area. Might have been waiting since the Titans war.'

'Wow. Another 20 kilometers to go, any sign of pursuit?'

'None.'

'Good,' I roll my neck in a circle, feel my neck pop, and tilt my helmet back so I can wipe the blood from my face.

A somehow familiar hand brushes around my back, and hugs me, 'Good job. Live long, and prosper, my child,' a female voice tells me.

I know I'm hallucinating, but I answer anyway, 'As my goddess wishes.'

My hallucination laughs, 'Call me Eris, girl. No need for such formalities.'

'Then I shall do my best, Eris-chan.'

My hallucination laughs, manifests a pretty face with red hair and brilliant blue eyes, and kisses my cheek before disappearing.

END

-
Qa & Chien. check!
Wandering w/ Amuro and Hathoway. check!
Char. check!
shooting Guss. check!
acquiring Geera Doga. check!
Shopping (passing mention)
Qa & Chien again.
Qa, Chien, & Amuro raid the Zeon forces, steal Alpha Azieru.

log:
started shortly after I first saw Char's Counter Attack, probably in 1997 or 1998.
Wrote first bit start, or first few months after.
let sit until log added 2001/Oct/23
Added more, finally 2001/Oct/23
Finished first draft 2001/Nov/20
Edited for posting to ff.n 2009/Jun/15