Phase 11 - The Power to Kill

Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY

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Phase 11 - The Power to Kill

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October 27th, CE 73 - ZAFT battleship Minerva, Suez Canal, Egypt, Muslim League

In the waters of the Red Sea were two Vosgulov submarines, cutting through the water like sharks; on their decks stood a battalion of DINNs. Behind them was a Lesseps-class land battleship, and at the Lesseps' side was a Petrie-class, gliding smoothly over the water. Both ships' decks were packed with ZAFT mobile suits.

Hovering above them both, wings spread for battle, was the Minerva.

"Shield the bridge," Talia Gladys ordered. "All hands, go to Condition Red. This ship will now begin engaging the enemy."

In the Minerva's central catapult, Shinn Asuka sat in the Core Splendor, staring out ahead. The battle was already raging; the olive-brown Muslim League mobile suits were attacking an army of Eurasian Federation Dagger Ls and camouflage-painted ZAFT mobile suits that clearly belonged to the Separatists. Towers of smoke rose over the battlefield already; the guns boomed, and up ahead, a Muslim League GINN went down in flames and exploded. An Earth Alliance fleet had the northern passage blocked off; the Separatists had mined the southern passage. The Muslim League troops were concentrating their attack from the east, but the combined Alliance and Separatist forces were steadily forcing them back.

"Shinn," Shiho's voice started; Shinn glanced disdainfully at the screen. "Launch with the Sword parts and attack the Separatists directly."

"I'll go with you," Heine added, his face appearing on the screen next to Shiho's. "Rey and Luna will be on Guuls, covering us from the air."

迭oger, Shinn answered quietly. The catapult activated; Shinn braced himself. 鉄hinn Asuka, Core Splendor, going out!

The Core Splendor streaked out; Shinn formed the Sword Impulse effortlessly and took off towards the battlefield. The Separatists were against the Canal; at the mobile suits feet, there were soldiers, but Shinn couldn稚 tell what they were doing. The Separatists were so far too distracted fighting the Muslim League troops to see him coming; Shinn tensed and fired the booster.

The Impulse landed with a crash in an open spot in the Separatist lines; he slammed his shield into the torso of the nearest mobile suit; the stricken GINN went staggering back, and Shinn delivered a finishing kick to its face to knock it into the canal. He swung around and fired his beam rifle at an oncoming BuCUE; the mobile suit collapsed forward, skidding through the sand and exploding.

A GINN rose up behind the Impulse, sword upraised; Shinn moved to swing around and take it down, but a flurry of beam bolts took it down next, and as it collapsed to the side and exploded, the GOUF Ignited slammed down with a crash, beam sword ready.

滴aving fun already, are you, Shinn? Heine chuckled. Another GINN came storming in, stabbing with its sword; Heine ducked beneath the blow and stabbed the GINN in the cockpit with his beam sword. The GINN collapsed into the canal, and Heine took cover behind his shield as machinegun fire pelted the GOUF.

Shinn charged through the face of the machinegun fire and shot down two more GINNs before they could react. A blaze of missiles slammed down around the Impulse, blowing a cloud of sand into the air; Shinn痴 eyes widened as a dim sensation pricked at the back of his mind. He saw a BuCUE charging towards him with an ignited beam saber; he fired forwards, and there was an explosion, parting the sand cloud. Shinn blinked in surprise at the wreckage of a BuCUE. Another BuCUE and a GINN charged at him, but the BUCUE was taken down by a storm of beam bolts, and the GOUF charged in to slash the GINN in two.

擢ollow me, Shinn! Heine shouted. The GOUF took off into the air, slashing a Separatist GINN in two as it went; Shinn followed on the ground, leaping over another BuCUE and spearing it on a beam rifle shot. The feeling of death was all around him, but there was something else there; an anger, a hatred, something that made him feel sick.

Up ahead, a Muslim League GINN stormed in with drawn sword to stab a Separatist GINN in the cockpit. It drew the sword out; the blade was stained red. A moment later, a beam shot blasted the Muslim League GINN apart. Overhead, a pair of Jet Dagger Ls flashed through the sky. Shinn cursed under his breath and leapt into the air; the Daggers swung around for another pass. Shinn narrowed his eyes at them and hurled a beam boomerang at them both; one of the Daggers was sliced in half, the other lost its right arm. Shinn landed back on the ground with a crash and spun around to shoot down the damaged Dagger and catch his boomerang.

In the sky, Heine charged at a pair of Dagger Ls; they both tried to shoot him down with bazookas, but he dove between their shots and slashed them both in half. The GOUF took off towards a massive concrete building straddling the canal; in the center was a giant gate, and the entire construct had the appearance of a military installation. The Separatists were defending it fiercely; the Alliance was covering them from the air.

Inside the Sword Impulse, Shinn looked up into the air. Up above was an Alliance cargo plane; the hatch was open, and a squadron of Doppelhorn Dagger Ls was in the process of parachuting out. Shinn leapt up into the air, firing the booster and aiming for the plane痴 open hatch. The Daggers looked up in surprise as Shinn dove into the plane and fired a single beam shot into the plane痴 innards. The middle of the plane began to explode; Shinn dropped out, switching to his anti-ship swords and slashing two of the descending Daggers in half as he fell. The remaining Daggers opened fire; Shinn dove beneath their shots and hurled both his beam boomerangs at them, taking down another three Daggers. He landed next to the canal with a crash and impaled a Separatist GINN on one of his anti-ship swords. The Impulse turned to face the gate.

Down below, there were people with machineguns, wearing camouflage outfits and bulletproof vests, running towards the building.

Who are they? he wondered. Machinegun fire pelted the Impulse; Shinn turned and cleaved another Separatist GINN in half. He took off into the air, leaping up to the top of the thick concrete gate. It was wide enough for a mobile suit to easily stand on, and that was exactly what several Separatist mobile suits were doing. Shinn landed with a crash on the top of the gate, and delivered a punishing roundhouse kick to the nearest mobile suit. The stricken GINN staggered to the side and collapsed into the canal with a splash; Shinn charged, swords upraised, and hacked through a second GINN. The third came storming into his face with its sword drawn back; Shinn ducked beneath its clumsy swing and slashed it in half with one of his anti-ship swords. The fourth GINN came at him with a sword in its left hand; Shinn stopped its blow with the Impulse痴 left arm and shoved the GINN into the water. He returned the sword in the Impulse痴 left hand to the Sword Silhouette pack as another GINN came charging at him, sword raised high for a downward blow. Shinn caught the GINN痴 arm with his left hand and hurled the mobile suit into the canal.

On the other end of the canal, a GINN was marching towards the gatehouse with a pair of Dagger Ls. The GINN held a large box-looking object; Shinn opened fire with his CIWS, tearing the object apart.

The GINN and the Daggers vanished in a thunderous explosion; Shinn blinked in surprise as the gate shook and the Impulse rattled.

鉄hit! Heine shouted; the GOUF leapt in out of the sky, cutting a Separatist DINN in half as it stormed by. 鉄hinn, they池e trying to cave the gate in and block the canal! Stop them!

Shinn cursed under his breath and took off towards the Separatists.

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The Savior rattled under a volley of machinegun fire; Shiho grunted and pulled back, abandoning her attack on the Earth Alliance fleet on the northern passage of the Suez Canal. In mobile armor mode, the Savior rocketed away over the canal, shooting down a pair of Jet Dagger Ls in the process. The Separatists below were mounting fierce resistance; even with the addition of the ZAFT mobile suits, the Muslim League forces were having a hard time breaking through.

鼎ommander Hahnenfuss, Talia痴 voice started; Shiho glanced to her screen, finding Talia痴 dour face there. 典he Minerva will attack the enemy fleet from the air. You go down to the canal gate; the Separatists are trying to blow it up.

典hey池e what?! Shiho exclaimed. The Savior took off towards the canal gate, dodging beam fire from the Daggers. Shiho cursed under her breath, diving beneath a volley of missiles and machinegun fire from the Separatists below. Up ahead, Shiho could see the Sword Impulse fighting viciously with the Separatists on the west bank of the canal. In the air, the GOUF Ignited was trying to support Shinn, but they were vastly outnumbered.

Shiho narrowed her eyes and charged into the fray with a plasma cannon volley; two DINNs and a Dagger went down in flames, and the Savior transformed in midair, pouring beam rifle fire into the GINN ranks. Another squadron of Daggers swept in, beam carbines blazing, and Shiho pulled back behind her shield.

On the ground, Shinn drew his beam rifle; a moment later, railgun shells from a BuCUE punched through it. Shinn hurled the sparking weapon into the BuCUE痴 face, and followed it up with a stab from one of his anti-ship swords. He drew both swords and connected them, interposing himself between the Separatists and the gatehouse.

添ou aren稚 taking this thing out! Shinn shouted at them. "Not while I'm here!" The Separatists charged anyways; the GOUF swept down above them, spraying beam bolts into their ranks, and three of the mobile suits went down in flames.

One of the GINNs charged at Shinn and leapt into the air, over his head; Shinn thrust his anti-ship sword into the air, slicing the GINN痴 right arm and leg off, but the rest of the GINN sailed into the gatehouse. Shinn hurled both his beam boomerangs at the rest of the Separatists and turned to deal with the fallen GINN, but he had barely turned around before the hatch had opened.

The pilot was a boy who couldn稚 have been any older than Shinn; Shinn watched in wide eyes as the boy leapt out of the fallen GINN痴 cockpit, holding a switch into the air. Shinn痴 jaw dropped in disbelief as he realized what the switch was, but it was too late; the boy threw the switch, and a moment later, the GINN exploded in a thunderous fireball.

Shinn grunted as the Impulse quaked. 滴e self-destructed! I can稚 believe it!

Another GINN came storming at him, arms spread, and Shinn barely stopped it with its shield, forcing it back. It too exploded with a roar; Shinn was sent staggering back in disbelief.

典hese guys are insane! he shouted. The Impulse retrieved its beam boomerangs and staggered back, sword in hand, staring with wide eyes at the Separatist mobile suits. 典hey池e self-destructing their own mobile suits! They池e insane!

The GOUF Ignited痴 heat rod went tearing through a half-dozen Separatist mobile suits; they exploded in a blaze, and the GOUF skidded to a halt next to the Impulse.

展hat痴 wrong, Shinn?! Heine asked, moving next to the Impulse and raising his beam sword.

典hese guys are crazy! Shinn exclaimed. 典hey池e doing kamikaze attacks!

徹f course they are! Heine answered. 展hat else can they do?!

The GINNs charged; Heine charged back, slashing one in half and turning his beam guns on a BuCUE. The BuCUE skidded to a halt, spewing smoke; the GOUF leapt into the air and cut down a Dagger L.

典hey池e unbelievable, Shinn muttered.

One of the GINNs was riddled full of bullet holes and collapsed backwards; from the canal, a squad of Muslim League GINN WASPs attacked into the charging Separatists' flank. Shinn stormed ahead, swinging his combined anti-ship swords through five enemy mobile suits in succession, and took off, flying backwards and deflecting machinegun fire with his shield. He landed with a crash in front of the gatehouse; a GINN came storming at him, sword raised, but Shinn cut it the attacker in two before he could bring his sword down. A squadron of ZAFT DINNs came storming in overhead, pounding the Separatists with a missile volley; a squadron of Separatist DINNs forced them off. The leading GINN WASP was struck in the right arm by a missile from an enemy DINN.

Shinn痴 eyes widened in disbelief as the damaged GINN WASP leapt into the air, latching onto its attacker. It self-destructed a moment later, and the desiccated remains of the DINN splashed into the canal.

添ou池e all insane! Shinn screamed. 鉄top it!

Shinn痴 senses went into a frenzy; there was death and hatred everywhere. He could feel it crushing him, ripping him apart, seeping into his brain容verywhere he looked, he saw angry eyes and blackened hearts, all lusting for each other痴 blood. The world had gone mad.

Stop it! Shinn shrieked, squeezing his eyes shut and firing the Impulse痴 CIWS.

A thundering explosion caught his attention; he looked out into the canal and saw the Desmond steadily limping towards the gate. The ship had sustained massive damage; smoke was spewing from its hull, but its guns remained active, firing into the air and at the Separatist mobile suits on the canal banks.

展hat the hell is the Desmond doing?! Heine snapped; the GOUF shot down another Dagger L and turned to face the dying ship. 展hy haven稚 they retreated?!

A pair of GuAIZ Rs stood on the Desmond痴 smoldering deck, firing up into the air; a squadron of Separatist DINNs came shrieking in, spraying missiles and machinegun fire on the ailing ship. One of the main guns exploded; one of the GuAIZ Rs was riddled full of machinegun hulls and fell backwards into the canal. Shinn opened fire on the DINNs with his CIWS, but it was no use. On the canal bank, a Separatist GINN smashed its way through two Muslim League GINN WASPs with its sword and leapt into the air, raising its sword for a finishing blow. The Savior Gundam swept by, firing its beam rifle and plasma cannons; the GINN痴 right arm, left leg, and left backpack binder went sailing away, but the GINN still fell forwards. It slammed down on its back in front of the bridge; the cockpit opened, and Shinn痴 eyes widened in horror as the pilot jumped out, holding a switch high. The remaining GuAIZ R took aim with its beam rifle, but it was too late

The Desmond disappeared in a plume of fire.

Missiles pounded against the Impulse; Shinn turned his disbelieving eyes towards them, and found a pair of ZuOOTs trundling towards him. They were marked with the same camouflage as the Separatists GINNs; Shinn scowled at them and charged, slashing them both in half. A BuCUE came galloping in behind them; Shinn stormed towards it, slicing it apart as well.

In the air, Shinn saw Lunamaria痴 red Gunner ZAKU Warrior veer away from an enemy DINN, firing its beam cannon. The DINN raised its shotgun and fired, punching through Luna痴 Guul; the explosion sent Luna痴 ZAKU reeling, and the DINN pursued, raising its machinegun to finish her off. Shinn took off, diving through the air and slicing the DINN in half as he passed. He landed with a crash, spearing another enemy GINN on the anti-ship sword.

鉄hinn! Shiho shouted; up above, the Savior caught Luna痴 ZAKU and nudged it towards the ground. 典he Separatists are trying to plant explosives on the gate!

A swarm of missiles shot through the air over Shinn痴 head, landing in the ranks of a squad of GINNs toting explosives. The bombs went off, wiping out everything around them; up above, Rey痴 Guul was riddled with machinegun holes. He kicked the Guul towards the attacking DINN and destroyed both with a beam rifle shot, and his Blaze ZAKU Phantom landed with a crash next to the Impulse.

典he Separatists must not be allowed to destroy the gate, Rey said, 登r our mission here will have been for nothing!

Shinn charged with a scream, cutting down two more Separatist mobile suits as he went. Rey痴 ZAKU fired, shooting down another DINN in the sky. Shinn stormed towards a GINN carrying a crate of explosives; he slashed the GINN痴 arms off and caught the explosives, hurling them into an oncoming squad of Separatist BuCUEs. The explosion wiped them out; Shinn stabbed the GINN through the torso, and it collapsed backwards lifelessly.

The last remaining GINN WASP on the west side of the canal charged towards a Separatist GINN as it stumbled towards the canal waters. The GINN WASP latched onto the GINN; another GINN shot out the GINN WASP痴 legs, but the GINN WASP dragged the first GINN down into the water, and a moment later, a column of water burst into the air.

Shinn lunged at yet another explosive-toting GINN, knocking it into the canal, and turned to swing one of his swords through an oncoming BuCUE.

Rey痴 ZAKU used its shields to stop a volley of missiles from reaching the gatehouse; he fired back with his beam rifle, and a DINN went spiraling out of the air into the canal. A ZuOOT came streaking in as fast as its treads would carry it, laden with explosives; Rey took it down with a beam shot to the torso, and the resulting explosion wiped out a nearby GINN as well.

滴ow many of these guys are there? Shinn exclaimed. Overhead, the Minerva痴 Tristans opened fire, spearing an Earth Alliance destroyer and wiping it out in a blaze. The Minerva soared over the battlefield, firing missiles and CIWS bursts into the Separatist and Alliance mobile suits. The Separatists began to pull back; the Daggers began to retreat; the Alliance ships began to flee.

The ground shuddered as a GINN exploded, and Shinn cast a weary glance over the battlefield. The Alliance troops were panicking and retreating; the Muslim League troops, aided by the Minerva, were driving them away from the canal. The tide of the battle was turning

And then all hell broke loose.

The ground began to rumble again, with a deep, ominous vibration. A moment later a thunderous explosion ripped open the ground near the Impulse's feet; Shinn was sent tumbling back, and the smoke surrounded him. Voices filled the Impulse's cockpit, and Shinn yelped in surprise as the Impulse slammed onto its back with a crash. He quickly got back to his feet.

Before him, the canal痴 gate was collapsing; the walls were sliding down into the water, and the canal was being steadily blocked with debris from more explosions. With a sinking feeling, Shinn realized that the Separatists had succeeded in planting their explosives.

Nearby, the GOUF Ignited landed, and Heine scowled at the Earth Alliance troops as they fled.

"You bastards!" he shouted, wheeling the GOUF around to face them. "That's just like you, isn't it?! Blow something up, destroy thousands of people's lives, and run away! Well you won't get away today!"

Shinn's eyes widened in disbelief as the GOUF raised its right arm and pointed its beam gun at the fleeing soldiers. He opened his mouth to say something, but the only sound he heard was the GOUF's beam gun firing.

Shinn watched with a dull, painful stare as Heine cut down the fleeing Alliance soldiers with the GOUF痴 beam gun.

Heine cackled with delight. 哲ot so high and mighty now, are you?! he laughed. 鼎ome on, you little fuckers, RUN! Run all you want, I値l kill you all anyways! Goddamn Naturals!

The GOUF stomped after the surviving Alliance soldiers祐hinn痴 gaze automatically fell to the GOUF痴 feet, where he saw the bodies and what remained of Heine痴 rampage.

A soldier, covered in blood, was trying to get to his feet and run away. The GOUF痴 foot slammed down near him, and time slowed down as Shinn realized in horror what was about to happen.

滴eine, don稚! Shinn shouted. 添ou don稚 need to!

The GOUF raised its foot; Heine ignored Shinn, laughing as he chased the remaining Alliance soldiers.

HEINE! Shinn screamed.

The GOUF痴 foot came down with a crash, and Shinn fell silent, staring in disbelief.

The GOUF tramped away, pursuing the remaining Alliance soldiers. Shinn stared at the smear of blood left on the ground in its wake.

Shinn sat in the Impulse痴 cockpit, staring blankly at the bloodstain on the ground. His senses were in a frenzy; he could feel death and pain and terror all around him, pressing down on him, ripping him apart. He looked up at the GOUF; he saw a dark shape, twisted and terrifying. Anger rose within him like steam from boiling water.

STOP IT!

The Impulse took off with a roar, shoulder-ramming the GOUF and knocking both mobile suits to the ground. Heine blinked in disbelief as the Impulse pinned his mobile suit痴 arm.

You don稚 have to kill them! Shinn shrieked; Heine stared disbelievingly at his haggard, outraged face. The battle痴 over! You don稚 have to kill them!

展hat the hell are you濫 Heine started. Rey痴 ZAKU landed near them and pulled the two mobile suits apart.

鼎ommander Westenfluss, the battle is over, Rey said. 展e have failed; we must return to the Minerva.

展ho do you think you are?! Heine shouted, as the GOUF stood, glowering at Rey痴 ZAKU. The Savior Gundam set down nearby; Shiho interposed herself between the ZAKU and the GOUF, while Lunamaria痴 ZAKU moved in to help the Impulse back up.

滴eine, we are returning to the Minerva, Shiho said, glaring at him. 典hat is an order.

Heine purpled in rage. 添ou can稚 order me濫 he began.

The Savior raised its beam rifle. Shiho narrowed her eyes.

添es I can.

Heine stared furiously at the Savior痴 beam rifle, and then looked back at Shiho痴 glowering face. At last he growled a curse, and the GOUF took off towards the Minerva.

Inside her ZAKU, Luna watched Shinn fearfully. He looked sickly, ashen, almost dead; he was gasping for breath, his eyes wide and bloodshot. She opened her mouth to speak; Shinn brought the Impulse back to its feet and jumped in the air, towards the Minerva. Rey was not long in following.

展hat happened, Commander? Luna asked helplessly, looking at the Savior. Shiho heaved a sigh, opening the visor of her helmet to rub her eyes tiredly.

滴eine attacked the retreating Alliance ground troops, she said, 殿nd Shinn rammed him to make him stop.

Luna looked down at the carnage; finally she noticed the charred corpses, and gasped in horror. 滴-Heine did this?

Shiho glared up at the GOUF as it landed on the Minerva痴 deck. 添es, she growled. 滴eine did this.

The Savior took a step towards the canal and paused, glancing back at Luna. 展e池e returning to the Minerva. There痴 nothing more we can do here.

Luna looked back at the destruction around her once last time, before both mobile suits took off towards the Minerva.

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Office of the PLANT Supreme Council Chairman, PLANT Aprilius 1, Lagrange Point 5

Gilbert Dullindal sat back as the reports ticked by. The Desmond, the Bagley, and the Minerva痴 two Vosgulov submarine escorts had all been wiped out in the battle at the Suez Canal.

Gilbert smirked amusedly to himself.

滴ow terrible, he chuckled. 鄭ll that sacrifice, and in the end, the canal gate was still destroyed.

He glanced at the translucent crystal chess set at his side. The pieces were all moved forward; however, his red knight was the furthest forward, isolated, nearly surrounded by the opponent痴 clear pawns.

Gilbert tapped the armrest of his chair and looked back at the screen. The Minerva was docking at the Muslim League痴 base at Port Said, on the northern edge of the Suez Canal. They had failed.

Gilbert smiled. It was so ironic.

He keyed open the second report; this one was from Rey Za Burrel. There was a report from Heine Westenfluss as well, but Gilbert痴 intuition told him that Rey痴 would be more interesting. He began to read, and his eyes lit up in delight.

Shinn痴 Newtype powers had expanded to include perception of his enemies' emotions and deaths. It was having a profound effect on him; however, his already outstanding piloting skills were improving by leaps and bounds.

摘xcellent, he said to himself. 摘xcellent. Now you池e starting to find your place in this world, Shinn.

As he read on, he narrowed his eyes at Rey痴 suggestion to allow Shinn some time off from duty, in order to recuperate. Rey warned against the possibility of burning Shinn out and breaking his spirit; Gilbert scoffed at the notion. Nonetheless, the entire Minerva crew was undoubtedly exhausted, and so Gilbert sent to the Minerva a notice of one day of shore leave on the 29th. He sat back with a feeling of distaste in his mouth; his knight would be held out of action for a day, but he brushed the thought off, reminding himself that for every day the Minerva remained out of action, there would be many more where the Minerva would remain in the thick of the fighting.

He keyed up another file, and smiled. Before him was arrayed the preliminary plans for the ZAFT attack on the Arzachel crater base.

Oh yes, my little Newtype. You値l be back in the thick of the fighting indeed.

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October 28th, CE 73 - Port Said, Egypt, Muslim League

The car sped along an otherwise deserted coastal road. To Sting Oakley, this was unusual, but not unwelcome; the last thing he wanted to deal with right now was traffic. In the passenger seat, Auel heaved a sigh, looking out at the ocean.

展hy do we have to go out looking for the Minerva? he complained. 的 thought they had this thing called an 'intelligence agency' to do shit like this."

"The Defense Intelligence Agency has always been more about delegating intelligence-gathering tasks to other people than gathering any intelligence themselves," Sting said. "This is what we do in the Special Forces."

"Well," Auel grumbled, casting an angry glance over his shoulder, "did we have to bring her?"

Sting glanced over his shoulder at Stella, as she stared blankly at the sea. "Why not?" he asked. "Maybe we'll have to shank a ZAFT soldier or something. Besides, Neo ordered us to take her. I guess she makes us look more inconspicuous or something."

Auel blinked. "And how does that work?" He looked back at her again. "Inconspicuous people don't space out and dance in the middle of sidewalks. We're plenty friggin inconspicuous on our own."

"I guess Neo just wanted to get her out of his hair, then," Sting said in irritation. "I'm sure we'll be thankful she's around sooner or later. Maybe we'll get in a fight."

Auel snorted dismissively. "I could take 'em myself," he scoffed. "And it's still bullshit that we have to go out here ourselves. We probably won't even find any"

Auel fell silent as they rounded a corner, and Sting brought the car to a halt, smirking. Across a channel was the Port Said military complex; Sting pulled out a pair of binoculars and sat back, sweeping his gaze over the complex.

"There it is," he said. He handed the binoculars off to Auel; he scowled in annoyance.

"What are those bastards doing here anyways?" he asked, returning the binoculars to Sting.

"They were sent here to fight at the Suez Canal," Sting explained. "The canal was destroyed, so I guess they're getting repaired at Port Said."

"Then what does that mean for us?" Auel asked. Sting scowled as the memories returned.

"We have to wait until they leave," he said with a sneer, "and ambush them."

"That's it?" Auel scoffed. He sat back, crossing his arms. "Neo's such a pussy."

Sting ground his teeth as he remembered the incident in the hangar. "Yeah," he growled. "He is."

He started the car back up and drove off.

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ZAFT battleship Minerva, Port Said Naval Base, Egypt, Muslim League

The crew lounge was silent; all eyes were fixed on the two figures in the middle of the room.

展hat the hell were you thinking?! Heine shouted, glowering at Shinn. 展e were in the middle of a battlefield! An enemy mobile suit could have attacked either of us at any moment!

展hat was I thinking?! Shinn screamed, meeting Heine痴 glare with an even angrier one. You were the one massacring defenseless soldiers! What the HELL was your problem?!

典his is war! Heine yelled, balling his fists. 典he superior side always wipes out the inferior! That痴 the way it works; that痴 what we have to do to win!

展e don稚 have to kill everyone to do it! Shinn shouted back. 鄭ll we have to do is convince them to stop fighting! There痴 no reason to kill defenseless soldiers!

Heine purpled in rage and smacked Shinn across the face, and then grabbed him by his shirt collar and pulled him close, screaming in his face.

THEY坦E NATURALS!" he roared. 鉄iegel Clyne was weak and never took out all of our enemies when he had the chance! Patrick Zala did! And he would致e finished the job had it not been for that damned pop star, Lacus! She interfered, and that little lapdog Athrun destroyed GENESIS and killed Chairman Zala, and squandered our chance to destroy our enemies! If we don稚 wipe out the Naturals, they値l attack us again with more nukes like they did at the start of this damned war, and they鼠l keep shooting at us until they kill us all! People will die again, like they did in the Bloody Valentine! Do you want that?!

Shinn痴 eyes flashed; a moment later he punched Heine across the face, knocking him to the floor, to the disbelief of the onlookers.

的 don稚 want anyone to die! Shinn shouted back, glowering down at Heine. 溺y family died at Orb because some goddamned psychopathic soldier like you couldn稚 stop pulling the fucking trigger! I知 not letting that happen again! You wanna fight a war, fine, you fight one! But don稚 tell me that wiping out people who can稚 fight back is the way to peace!

添ou little bastard! Heine screamed, lunging at Shinn.

Out of nowhere, another fist came flying into Heine痴 stomach, cutting his attack short and sending him staggering to the floor. At his side, Rey Za Burrel straightened up, cracking his knuckles and staring impassively at Heine.

鼎ommander Westenfluss, he said coldly, 菟lease control yourself. Your actions during the battle yesterday were unnecessary, as are your actions now.

展ho do you think you are?! Heine snarled, clutching his stomach as he struggled back to his knees.

迭ey, Shinn started. Rey glowered down at Heine.

的 suggest you leave, Commander Westenfluss, he said, sternly and authoritatively. 的 will handle Shinn.

Heine struggled back to his feet. 滴ow dare you order me around! he growled shakily. 的知 in FAITH, you little bastard!

Rey glared back at him steadily. 添our rank and your arrogance cloud your judgment, Commander, he said coolly. 哲ow please leave. You are exacerbating the situation.

Heine opened his mouth to say something again, but Rey stared at him coolly and unshakably. He cast a final glare towards Shinn and trudged out of the lounge.

Rey glanced at Shinn. 展e should leave as well, he said. 展e have already made an unnecessary commotion. Before Shinn could protest, Rey was already ushering him out through the opposite door.

迭ey, why did you step in? Shinn asked helplessly as Rey pushed him out into the corridor. 的 mean濫

滴eine痴 actions aggravated your sensitivity to death, Rey said calmly. 展hen human beings are in pain, they act to stop the stimulus that is causing their pain. Your action was no different.

Shinn looked down at the floor, unable to respond.

典he Chairman has granted us a day of shore leave tomorrow, Rey said. 的 suggest you relax as much as possible tomorrow, and recuperate from your recent stresses.

Rey turned and walked away, and Shinn sighed, holding his head in his hands.

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To be continued...