Phase 32 - The Mistakes We Once Made

Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY

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Phase 32 - The Mistakes We Once Made

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December 18th, CE 73 - Orb Navy supercarrier Takemikazuchi, near Gigafloat, Pacific Ocean

"Gigafloat in range, sir," the deckhand said nervously. "All ships are in range and all mobile suits are ready for launch."

Standing tall on the bridge of the Takemikazuchi, Jona Roma Seiran smiled tightly. Around him was arrayed Orb's formidable Takemikazuchi Fleet, fourteen Aegis-class battleships and thirty-seven Kuraokami-class cruisers, steaming determinedly towards the great, expansive platform of Gigafloat and the motley array of mobile suits gathered on its hull, waiting patiently for the fleet to arrive.

Jona took up the microphone and glanced at one of the bridge crew, who nodded as he worked at his console.

"Junk Guild mass driver platform Gigafloat," Jona began authoritatively, relishing the feeling of his words being broadcast across the fleet and the platform and to every mobile suit, "this is Admiral Jona Roma Seiran of the United Emirates of Orb, aboard the Orb Navy flagship Takemikazuchi. In the interest of our nation's security, we demand that you disarm yourselves and surrender immediately."

Gigafloat did not move, nor did any of the mobile suits on it. Jona smirked of course they would go down fighting.

"Should you refuse us," Jona continued, "we will attack and not stop until this mass driver is at the bottom of the ocean. Do not underestimate this fleet's strength."

Gigafloat and its mobile suits did not move Jona smirked. Of course they would refuse to surrender. None of them would be intimidated. But that was just as well the Takemikazuchi Fleet would now have a chance to show off its strength. And it only helped that, as he swept his gaze over Gigafloat, he could see the distinctive black hull of the Megami there as well. Everything would fall into place here.

"Heat signatures rising," one of the bridge crew announced. "The mobile suits are beginning to move."

"Admiral," Todaka began hesitantly, looking at Jona. He smiled thinly.

"Inform Captain Kobayashi and Captain Taki to get their battle groups moving," he ordered. "Today we will finally take those terrorists down."

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Shinn scanned the ranks of the Orb fleet as the Kasselheim's linear catapult activated. They were here, the forces of Orb, the forces that could chase a battleship around the Earth and attack a civilian mass driver facility but could not stop his family from dying on that Onogoro slope in CE 71. There was the Seiran commander on the bridge of that enormous aircraft carrier he was coming to destroy them all.

Shinn scowled at the Orb fleet. He was finally fighting against Orb, fighting to finally have his vengeance, his justiceand yet Cagalli Yula Athha was not his enemy.

The Orb fleet opened fire Shinn grunted as the Gigafloat platform quaked under the blows. The mobile suits began to move; Shinn clenched his fists around the Impulse痴 controls.

鉄hinn Asuka, Impulse, he shouted, going out!

The Impulse took off with a roar. It darted up into the air over the Kasselheim, as the Orb mobile suits charged. Shinn scanned over the enemies most of them were M1 Astrays with enormous Shrike backpacks, but there were a number of Murasames charging towards the mass driver as well. Shinn glanced back disdainfully at the Megami, as its mobile suits launched. There was the distinctive form of the Justice Gundam racing into the air.

鉄hinn, George痴 voice began Shinn glanced over his shoulder, and found George痴 CGUE rising into the air behind him.

典hat thing can fly? he asked incredulously.

徹f course it can, George said. 展e modified our mobile suits for flight. But stop worrying about it. We have more important things to worry about.

Shinn returned his attention to the charging Orb mobile suits. He scowled his job was to protect Gigafloat, and he would damned well do it.

The Orb mobile suits opened fire Shinn felt his muscles go tense as he swung his shield up to block the shots. A squad of Astrays came streaking in Shinn let out a scream and somersaulted over their head, picking off two of them in midair. The remaining two swung around, but were immediately shot down as the Gaia swept in with a pair of beam rifle blasts. The Gaia dropped down next to the Impulse with another beam rifle shot, picking off another Astray.

典hey池e trying to land the M1s on the platform! a voice shouted. Shinn snapped his gaze downward the Astrays were descending down towards the platform with beam rifles raised. Shinn took aim

鏑eave them to us! Zora痴 voice shouted, as her GuAIZ rocketed down underneath the Impulse. 添ou handle the Murasames!

Shinn looked back up, finding a wing of Murasame mobile suits in mobile armor mode charging straight at him, armed to the teeth with large anti-ship missiles. Shinn scowled at them.

鉄tella, he said, 田ome on!

The Impulse and the Gaia took off toward the Murasame wing.

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ZAFT battleship Minerva, Pacific Ocean

Lunamaria listened carefully as her sister, quivering in fright, tried to speak. Meyrin was on the bed, curled up, silent.

滴e pulled a gun on you, Luna said sternly, staring intently at her sister. Meyrin nodded wordlessly, and Luna bit back a curse. 展ho the hell does he think he is? she snarled. 的t痴 his fault Shinn betrayed us anyways.

Meyrin looked up at her in surprise. 的t is?

徹f course it is! Luna exclaimed, burying her face in her hands. 泥ammit, why didn稚 I see it earlier? She shook her head. 鄭ll that Newtype stuff Shinn went on about! I should have known! And Rey kept shouting at him about it when we ran into him after he left! She turned to leave.

展ait! Meyrin exclaimed. 泥on稚! Rey is She trailed off Luna was not listening, and bolted out the door.

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Gigafloat, Pacific Ocean

The Impulse roared as it dove up into the air, rocketing over a beleaguered M1 Astray and spearing it on a beam shot.

典his is just like fighting the Alliance, Shinn growled he whipped around to shoot down another Murasame as it streaked in, beam gun blazing. As the smoldering Murasame plummeted towards the sea, Shinn cast a quick glance over Gigafloat. There were some burnt-out wrecks that had once been mobile suits, but so far, Orb痴 forces were unable to land on the platform.

Another Astray came charging up towards the Impulse Shinn ducked aside and cut it down with a beam rifle shot. He glanced out at the Orb fleet it would likely not be long before they stopped relying on their mobile suits and started blasting at the platform directly.

鉄hinn! he heard a voice shout. He looked up, and ducked aside as the hulking form of the Justice Gundam dropped down next to him. The face of Athrun Zala appeared on the screen. 典hey池e not going to send mobile suits forever, he said dourly.

展e値l have to attack the ships to get them to leave, Shinn grunted the Justice and Impulse rocketed apart as a Murasame came shrieking in, wings laden with anti-ship missiles. Shinn narrowed his eyes, spearing it on a beam rifle blast as it soared by, and fired the booster up into the air. Another trio of Murasames came shrieking in, firing their beam cannons. Shinn sent the Impulse diving aside as the Justice took cover behind its shield he tilted the Impulse痴 rifle to the side, letting the Murasames slide into his sights, and pulled the trigger the green bolt slammed through all three Murasames as they sailed towards Gigafloat, and all three Murasames exploded.

Athrun watched in disbelief as the Murasames wreckage plunged into the ocean.

哲ow I see why you池e getting so famous, he said quietly, shaking his head. Shinn took off over his head, angling towards the rest of the Orb mobile suits

A scream cut through the Impulse痴 cockpit Shinn痴 eyes widened as a familiar sensation jabbed at his senses, and he whirled around, taking off towards Gigafloat. Down below, the Orb mobile suits were finally landing, and several of them were attacking the Gaia. It took cover behind its shield as a half-dozen M1 Astrays fired viciously at it, slowly advancing and pinning it down with more beam fire.

鉄hinn Athrun began he was cut short as the Impulse fired its booster, switching to its beam saber.

添ou won稚 hurt her! Shinn screamed. 的 won稚 let you! I WON探 LET YOU!

The seed burst before him; Shinn rocketed down into the Astrays ranks, slicing three of them apart in one wide beam saber strike. The remaining three desperately tried to turn their weapons on Shinn, but with three more saber strokes, it was all over the Impulse jetted backwards, landing in front of the Gaia and deflecting another beam blast with his shield.

鉄hinn Stella murmured in disbelief as the Gaia got back to its feet.

Shinn glanced back at her. 鼎ome on, Stella, he said calmly. 鏑et痴 end this battle.

The Impulse and Gaia took off, angling for the Orb fleet. Athrun dropped in next to them.

展ait, Shinn, he said urgently. 展hat are you two doing?

Shinn glanced at Athrun he blinked in surprise at the look of dull, feral concentration in Shinn痴 crimson eyes.

添ou said we池e famous, Shinn said. 展e池e going to show you why.

The Impulse and Gaia rocketed towards the Orb fleet.

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Orb Navy supercarrier Takemikazuchi

展hy can稚 we land anything? Jona demanded, standing and balling his fists, staring furiously at Gigafloat as mobile suit after mobile suit was cut down. 典hey池e just salvagers and mercenaries!

典hey池e also in a better position to pick off mobile suits as they descend, Todaka pointed out.

典hen we値l give them something they can稚 pick off! Jona roared. 鄭ll ships, engage all weapons and fire at will on Gigafloat!

Todaka watched somberly as the ships duly complied.

鄭dmiral! a panicked voice screamed. 典wo mobile suits approaching the fleet at high speed!

展ho the hell would get that close to an entire fleet? Jona demanded. 的dentify them!

The screens flashed to life all eyes widened in horror.

典hat Todaka began breathlessly.

Jona slumped into his seat in disbelief.

套is the Impulse!

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Gigafloat

A Kuraokami-class destroyer sat in the water, firing its CIWS at the charging Impulse and Gaia. It took aim with its dual cannon and fired; Shinn snorted in disgust, and the Impulse and Gaia jetted apart, letting the shells sail uselessly past. They both drew beam sabers and charged towards the desperate destroyer.

展e値l do this like we did at the Marshall Colony, Shinn said quickly. 展e値l scare them off!

Stella nodded enthusiastically the two mobile suits boosted apart, taking off on both sides of the destroyer, and charged towards its flanks.

Shinn dove effortlessly through a wave of CIWS fire, cutting down a trio of anti-ship missiles with his own CIWS guns, and dove up over the Kuraokami痴 hull. It raised its missile launcher to fire at him he stabbed down into it with his saber, blowing it apart, and wiped out the ship痴 dual cannon with a CIWS burst. He turned the Gaia rocketed into the Kuraokami痴 bridge, beam saber extended, tearing the bridge out and ripping open the ship痴 sensitive innards. Shinn drew his beam rifle and deposited a single shot into the ship痴 engines a roar of fire and smoke cracked the ship in two as the Impulse and Gaia took off.

典his isn稚 satisfying, Shinn murmured, as he scanned the fleet for his next target. 典his isn稚 what I wanted

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Orb Navy supercarrier Takemikazuchi

展hat the hell IS he? Jona demanded. He watched in disbelief as the Gaia Gundam descended on another Kuraokami, tearing it open and peppering its insides with CIWS bullets. As the ship began to break apart in plumes of fire, the Gaia took off, drawing its beam rifle and firing through the hull of another destroyer, wiping it out in a blaze. 展e are the United Emirates of Orb! How can this be happening?

The Impulse lunged down like a hawk into the hull of a destroyer, tearing it open with a beam saber blow, and kicking it down far enough into the water to flood its broken hull. As the ship began to sink, the Impulse turned its burning green eyes towards the larger hulk of an Aegis-class cruiser. It lunged up as the Aegis opened fire; it darted down, brandishing its saber, and slashed the Aegis痴 main gun off.

鉄top him! Jona screamed. 的t痴 only two mobile suits! Where the hell are our mobile suits?

迭ecall the Murasames! Todaka shouted. 鄭bandon the attack on the platform! Focus on defending the fleet!

典his is impossible! Jona roared. 鉄hoot that goddamn Gundam down!

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Shinn looked up at the sound of beam shots, and dove aside as they plowed into the Aegis-class cruiser he was carving apart. The ship broke in two and exploded Shinn watched carefully as Orb痴 mobile suits abandoned their attack on Gigafloat and turned to defend their fleet.

典ook you long enough, he grunted. 鉄tella! We値l keep attacking the ships!

The Gaia rocketed towards an Aegis cruiser and plunged its saber into the ship痴 bridge Shinn speared a Kuraokami on a beam rifle shot and charged towards the wounded Aegis, blowing off its main gun and switching to his saber. An M1 Astray, missing an arm and several armor panels, emerged with beam rifle drawn Shinn sliced through it effortlessly and tore his way into the Aegis痴 hangar. The mechanics scattered in terror as Shinn perforated the Aegis痴 interior with CIWS shots and drove his saber into the hangar floor. The ship began to sink Shinn ripped his way out with a vicious saber stroke.

Up above, inside the Justice Gundam, Athrun watched in disbelief as the Impulse and Gaia tore the Orb fleet apart with little more than their bare hands.

典hey池einhuman Athrun murmured.

鄭ren稚 you going to help them? a voice snapped. Athrun glanced over his shoulder Cagalli痴 golden Akatsuki burst up into the air. 鼎ome on! We池e attacking the fleet directly! And if we池e lucky, Jona with it!

Athrun steeled himself and fired the booster.

Down below, among the ships, Shinn dove in between beam blasts from the returning mobile suits. It had been fun while it had lasted, but now he and Stella had more important things to worry about.

敵et back to Gigafloat! Shinn shouted at Stella, as the Gaia rocketed towards the water and pulled up to avoid a flurry of beam blasts.

釘ut what about Stella began.

泥on稚 worry about me! Shinn cut her off, spiraling out of harm痴 way as a pair of Murasames sliced by with a missile volley. 笛ust get

Shinn found himself cut off a moment later as beam blasts tore down through a squad of attacking Orb mobile suits. Shinn glanced over his shoulder anxiously a moment later, he ducked aside instinctively as the Justice Gundam dropped down with a slash, tearing apart an Astray as it charged forward towards the Impulse.

添ou have a habit of getting in over your head, don稚 you? Athrun asked with a thin smile. A pair of Murasames came shrieking in, beam guns blazing; the Justice skirted aside and turned to fire, but Shinn picked them off with a pair of beam rifle shots and took off over the Justice痴 head.

展e still need to make them retreat, Shinn grunted, turning towards the ships. They were pulling back, guns blazing, under the cover of their mobile suits. Shinn took off towards one of the Aegis-class ships sink enough ships and surely they would have to retreat.

鉄hinn! a voice called out. Shinn looked up 填se this!

An enormous sword spiraled out of the air, landing in the Impulse痴 hands, and Shinn looked up in surprise as the Blue Frame Second L landed on the back of the Justice痴 subflight lifter. Shinn nodded as Gai Murakumo pointed wordlessly at the fleet, and took off.

Brandishing the Tactical Arms sword, Shinn charged towards the Aegis. It fired desperately, and a trio of Murasames dropped in behind him, but a moment later, they were torn apart, and the Gundam Astray Red Frame burst out of the smoke, brandishing its Gerbera Straight.

滴aving fun without us? laughed the familiar voice of Lowe Gear as the Red Frame somersaulted over an M1, slicing its head off and kicking it into the ocean.

鏑owe! Shinn exclaimed in surprise. A shell whizzed by the Impulse痴 head he snapped his attention back to the Aegis and scowled. 鼎over me!

展ait, what are you Lowe began. Shinn took off, extending the Tactical Arms before him. A Murasame dove in behind him Lowe sliced its wings off with the Gerbera Straight, sending it plunging into the ocean. An Astray on the Aegis痴 deck raised its beam rifle from above, the Blue Frame shot it off the Aegis痴 deck. Shinn screamed as the Tactical Arms plunged into the Aegis痴 hull, and he tore his way out through the stern of the ship. The bisected vessel exploded; Shinn charged further into the fleet痴 formation, slicing a Kuraokami destroyer in half as he angled towards the massive aircraft carrier in the center of the fleet.

Another Aegis-class moved in between the charging Impulse and the Takemikazuchi. Shinn snarled a curse, diving aside to avoid its fire, as the Blue Frame landed with a crash, crushing the Aegis痴 main gun. It slammed an Armor Schneider knife into the Aegis痴 bridge and crushed a CIWS turret underfoot. Shinn leapt over the Aegis as the Blue Frame mutilated it, brandishing the Tactical Arms sword. A squadron of Murasames swept in from above, but a flurry of beam shots cut them down the Justice and the Gaia dropped in next to the Impulse, firing at the mobile suits defending the Takemikazuchi.

鉄hinn! Athrun cried. 的値l cover you! Go!

Shinn痴 eyes flashed he took off with Stella in tow, raising the Tactical Arms, and slashed his way through a quintet of Orb mobile suits.

添ou won稚 stand in my way! Shinn screamed. 的値l take you all down!

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的mpulse approaching! the panicked deckhand shrieked on the bridge of the Takemikazuchi. Jona stared in disbelief the Impulse Gundam, wielding an enormous sword, was ripping its way through a wave of defensive mobile suits. Even the Murasames were no match against the raging machine.

撤repare to launch the retreat flares! Jona screamed. 鏑aunch them before that thing gets too close!

鄭dmiral Todaka began.

We will not be killed by that Gundam! Jona roared. His eyes flashed as he turned on Todaka. 敵et moving! NOW!

Todaka stared hesitantly at Jona and finally turned towards the bridge. 迭eady the flares, launch on my mark! he ordered.

Jona scowled, clenching his fists around the armrests of his chair. That damned Impulse was just too powerful.

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Shinn blinked in surprise as he approached the Takemikazuchi it was launching something into the air. He squeezed his eyes shut and took cover behind his shield and the Tactical Arms sword as that 都omething exploded in a blinding flash of light.

典hose are retreat flares! Athrun exclaimed. 鉄hinn!

的 know! Shinn grunted, shaking his head violently and pulling back behind his shield. He cracked an eye open the Orb mobile suits were slowly pulling away, and the Orb fleet had thrown all their engines into reverse, clawing for distance. The motley army of Gigafloat痴 defenders pulled back as well, but as Shinn scanned their ranks, it was evident that they had not come out much better.

Shinn tossed the Tactical Arms sword back to the Blue Frame; Gai returned it to his mobile suit痴 back and hopped off the Justice痴 subflight lifter.

的 guess we致e won, Athrun murmured, as the Orb fleet turned and took off.

Shinn scowled, watching them go. It hadn稚 satisfied him.

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ZAFT battleship Minerva, Pacific Ocean

Rey had expected Meyrin to go crying to Lunamaria about his rough treatment of her. And he was expecting Luna to come barging into his room to demand an explanation out of him. Hence, he hid on the Minerva痴 observation deck. Surely she wouldn稚 find him here.

What surprised him, then, was when she found him.

展hat the hell is your problem? Luna shouted as soon as the door had shut. Rey resignedly turned around to face her, only to be met with a resounding smack across the face. He staggered to the side, staring at her with wide and furious eyes. 展ho the hell do you think you are? Luna shouted. 滴ow dare you pull a gun on my sister! All she wanted to know was why Shinn left us! She scowled. 鄭nd you would know that, wouldn稚 you? You were the one who forced him away!

添ou do not understand what you are talking about, Rey said as coolly as he could, keeping his anger in check.

的 know damn well what I知 talking about! Luna snapped. 鉄hinn was our friend and you chased him away! I watched you chase him away and I値l never forgive myself for letting you do it! He was suffering, he had these powers he couldn稚 explain, and instead of helping him bear the burden you made it worse!

Rey scowled and sent Luna staggering back with a slap to the face.

哲o, he said with chilling calm, 土ou do not understand why Shinn left, why he is so weak, why I must destroy him. He narrowed his eyes at Luna threateningly and reached into his uniform. 的f you will stand in the way of my vengeance, he added, 土ou will be removed.

Luna snarled a curse at Rey and stormed out of the room. Rey replaced the handgun in his uniform and scowled after her. The Hawke sisters, it seemed, were becoming troublesome.

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Gigafloat, Pacific Ocean

Shinn felt strangely used to the sight of cheering crowds greeting him as he lowered himself to the ground on the Impulse痴 zip line. He still disliked the feeling all he had done was his job, and at the time, attacking the Orb fleet with a beam saber had seemed like the most expedient way of doing it. But that was not the way the cheering crowds saw it, and so as he touched down, he tucked his helmet under his arm, put on a smile, and made his rounds through the adulation.

Athrun Zala stood nearby, his helmet loosely held in one hand, watching Shinn in disbelief. Shinn slalomed his way out of the crowd, making his way towards Athrun, his smile vanishing.

的 want to talk, Shinn said simply. Athrun blinked in surprise. Shinn ignored the voice of reason in the back of his mind, warning him that he was getting into a mess. 鉄omewhere where nobody will bother us. It痴 important.

套alright, Athrun said uneasily, glancing over his shoulder. They both stepped aside, towards the kneeling Justice Gundam, casting anxious glances towards the celebrating Junk Guild workers. 展hat do you want to talk about?

的 want to talk about Kira, Shinn said flatly.

適ira? Athrun echoed. 展hy

的 want to finish things, Shinn added, his voice blunt and determined. 徹nce and for all.

Athrun looked at Shinn carefully. 展hat do you mean? he asked.

添ou were right, Shinn said grimly. 的t wasn稚 Cagalli that killed my family. It wasn稚 Uzumi. And it wasn稚 Orb. He scowled. 的t was him. He nodded towards the horizon, and the smoldering wrecks of the sinking Orb ships in front of Gigafloat. 徹ut there, I was fighting Orb. I thought I壇 finally have closure. I thought I壇 finally finish things. But it didn稚 make me feel any different. They aren稚 my enemy. They aren稚 the ones I have to defeat to have any closure. Kira is. I want you to tell me about him.

鉄hinn, Athrun said, taking him by the shoulder, to his surprise. 典hat痴 not the way you値l ever have closure. Taking one life to avenge another won稚 solve anything.

典hen what will? Shinn snapped back, glowering at Athrun. 迭unning around and tearing weapons from people痴 hands? I can稚 just take what I saw and let it go! I have do something about it! Shinn seized Athrun by the open collar of his flight suit, his eyes burning angrily. 的 did not watch my family die to just forgive and forget! I did not carry on with my life all alone just to forgive and forget! I知 not living now just to forgive and forget! I couldn稚 protect them, but I still have Stella, I still have Kika, I still have my friends, and I can protect them! He let Athrun go angrily. 添ou should understand that better than anyone else, Athrun, he growled. 添ou fought to protect the PLANTs because you couldn稚 protect your mother. You took lives to avenge lives taken. And then you decided that it didn稚 solve anything, and you joined Lacus, and look where that got you! We池e back in the middle of a war! Now don稚 give me that 粗ye for an eye makes the whole world blind crap! Of course it does, and once we池e all blind, we realize what a stupid idea it was in the first place, but that doesn奏 stop us from doing it! Now tell me about Kira Yamato!

Athrun stared at Shinn silently for a moment, before he finally shook his head sadly. 添ou don稚 take no for an answer, I suppose, he said. He looked back up at Shinn, and gestured for them both to sit on the Justice壮 foot. Shinn watched Athrun carefully for a moment as he chose his words. 適ira and I went to the same school on Copernicus before the Valentine War. My father recalled me to the PLANTs as the situation worsened, and Kira and his family moved to Orb痴 colony, Heliopolis. He paused. 溺y mother was killed on Junius 7, and I joined ZAFT like any other Coordinator in the PLANTs. Kira stayed on Heliopolis, determined to stay out of the war. He was a kind and peaceful boy; naïve, but not doing anyone any harm.

典hen why is he piloting the Freedom? Shinn asked testily.

Athrun looked down at the floor sullenly. 典he Earth Alliance was building five prototype Gundams on Heliopolis with Orb痴 help, he explained. 溺y team was sent to steal or destroy them. Kira commandeered the remaining Strike, the only one we hadn稚 stolen, to protect his friends, and he was pressed into service on the Archangel. He clenched his fists as unpleasant memories returned. 溺y unit chased him to the Earth, and all the while I tried to convince him to join ZAFT. He was a Coordinator and I thought his place was with us. He refused, because his friends were Naturals and he was determined to protect them. It was a bad situation all around. He shook his head. 展e chased the Archangel down to Earth. During the fighting, Kira had me cornered, and was about to finish me off. My teammate Nicol leapt in and took the blow for meand I watched him die by Kira痴 hand.

典hen why didn稚 you kill him? Shinn asked. 添ou should know better than anyone how I feel, Athrun.

的 tried to, Athrun said somberly. 的 set out to kill him at all costs, and during the battle, I killed one of his friends. I threw him into a rage, and in the end, we both destroyed each other痴 machines and thought the other dead. Kira was taken to the PLANTs to recover, I was picked up by Orb. He shook his head again. 的n the PLANTs, Lacus Clyne gave Kira the Freedom Gundam, and he went to Earth to resume protecting the Archangel. I was given the Justice and sent to retrieve the Freedom. I found Kira fighting at Orb, and you know the rest. He looked up towards the sinking sun. 適ira was not a warrior. Kira was kind and compassionate. I can only recall him once being otherwiseand that was when I had killed his friend. He paused. 釘ut he痴 not evil. He never was. I refuse to believe that Kira has become evil. He looked at Shinn. 適ira is not a mere monster. He痴 just as complicated as you and I, Shinn. The only difference is, he痴 on the other side.

徹f course he is, Shinn snorted. 典hat doesn稚 make him any less of an enemy.

Athrun looked down at the floor. 哲o, he said, 妬t doesn稚.

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Mev Typhoon was a towering figure over the stalwart-looking Cagalli Yula Athha. She did not look intimidated, but she certainly looked dwarfed, as they both stood in the fading twilight sun on the deck of Gigafloat.

的 understand you wanted to talk to me, Mev said. Cagalli nodded hesitantly.

展e heard about your adventures on the Marshall Colony, she said, 殿nd since you escaped, we presume that you completed your job.

Mev regarded her silently for a moment. 添ou posted that job, he said. Cagalli nodded. Mev reached into his pocket, producing a disk and handing it to her. 典hen you should be most pleased to know that we were indeed successful. He straightened up. 展e will accept our payment now.

徹f course, Cagalli said sullenly, looking down at the disk. 滴owever

滴owever? Mev asked, arching an eyebrow.

展e have the Orb fleet crippled and off balance, she said, 殿nd Jona Roma Seiran is a man who needs to be destroyed, or there will never be peace in the world, let alone Orb. She looked back up at Mev. 展e will triple your payment if join us in chasing down the Orb fleet and finishing it off.

Mev was silent a moment. 典hat would be difficult, he said. 展e are only two ships and a couple dozen mobile suits strong, going up against an entire battle fleet. And though it has been defeated and damaged, it is still strong.

的 know! Cagalli exclaimed. 釘ut Orbbut Orb has no right to be out here in the world, fighting a war it has no part in! Jona has no right to be out here! We have to stop him!

鄭nd to do that, you will kill hundreds upon hundreds of Orb military personnel, Mev countered. 撤ersonnel who have nothing to do with Jona Roma Seiran and his ideology, personnel who are only doing their jobs. Are you sure what you are doing is the right thing?

Cagalli looked away angrily. 添es, she said, 的 am. She looked back at Mev. 的n the Valentine War, Orb was a sanctuary. The people who didn稚 want to fight, who didn稚 have a place in the world or the war, could come here and find shelter. That shelter has disappeared. We池e going to bring it back.

Mev regarded Cagalli for a moment. 的 would hope you have a better plan than Uzumi when the winds of change come calling.

展e do, Cagalli said flatly.

Mev extended his hand. 天ery well, Miss Athha. We will help you.

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To be continued