Phase 42 - To Space

Mobile Suit Gundam SEED DESTINY


Phase 42 - To Space


January 4th, CE 74 - ZAFT mobile space fortress Messiah, PLANT, Lagrange Point 5

Somehow, it was beautiful.

Standing at the main screen in the control room of Messiah, Gilbert Dullindal couldn稚 help but smile as he gazed admiringly on his latest work, his finest accomplishment. Ahead of him floated the incorporeal shape of Solomon痴 Sword. Covered in dark-painted armor, protected by nearly impenetrable Phase Shift, crisscrossed by glowing blue machinery, it was the perfect weapon. A giant six-pronged claw extending out of a black metal sphere, with a smaller sphere attached to the opposite end, bearing six enormous engine-laden fins it had the alien, ethereal beauty that ZAFT had designed its ships after. And it was pointed at Earth.

鼎hairman, Horatio痴 imposing baritone began somewhere behind him. Gilbert glanced back at the National Defense Council chairman and returned his gaze to Messiah. 展hat shall we do with the Sword, sir?

滴old it in reserve for now, Gilbert answered. 典he time to use it has not yet come.

He smiled.

But it will soon.


Orb Raiders dreadnaught Megami, Southern Ocean

Shinn, Lunamaria noted with a smile, had once again eschewed a uniform, opting instead for the familiar black shirt and blue jeans of his pirate days. It was a good look for him, she decided understated, but dark enough to capture his personality. He had joined the Orb Raiders, but he wasn稚 about to fit in.

Shinn regarded her carefully from across he Megami痴 crew lounge. She supposed he was surprised to see her, dressed in a white and blue Orb uniform with her distinctive pink skirt. She made her way towards him slowly, unsure of what to expect.

At last, Shinn stood up. 滴ow come you池e here? he asked quietly. Luna blinked in surprise of the hundreds of questions Shinn could have had, she had expected this one the most, but it still surprised her. Shinn had grown his skin was a little darker, he was a little taller, he was a little more muscularand there was something else different about him, about the look in his eyes, something shimmering underneath.

的 was captured, Luna explained. 迭ey tried to shoot me down at Onogoroso

滴e what? Shinn growled. 展hat the hell for?

的 guess I knew too much about why you left, Luna answered with a shrug. 纏AFT probably considers me dead.

泥amn him, Shinn snarled, clenching his fists. 滴e couldn稚 just let it be between me and him

釘ut that doesn稚 matter, Luna put in quickly. 哲ow I知 here, and now you池e here, and we can fight together again like we used to.

Shinn looked at the floor. 典hat痴 true, he said awkwardly. 典hat痴 one less person I have to worry about from the Minerva. He glanced back up at Luna. 展hat about Meyrin?

Luna痴 nervous smile vanished. 的didn稚 have time to let her know, she said. 迭ey shot me down in the middle of battle, and I was captured right afterward, so

Shinn痴 eyes darkened in anger. 滴e wants to kill you, he concluded. 的 won稚 let him. I promise. Luna looked back up at Shinn, noticing in surprise that his fists were clenched and trembling. 的I致e lost everything elseI won稚 lose you too.

鉄hinn Luna began.

典he Freedom, he continued, shutting his eyes, 妬tdestroyed them all

泥estroyed who? Luna asked. 典he pirates?

Shinn痴 lips curled into a twisted scowl.

滴e killed them allKira Yamato Shinn looked up at Luna, hatred burning in his eyes. 的 destroyed him. But it didn稚 bring anyone back. So I値l protect what I still haveI値l never let that happen again.

The door behind Shinn opened with a hiss, and Luna watched in surprise as Shinn痴 anger melted away as a girl with blonde hair and a blank, intimidated look in her wide violet eyes wandered into the room.

鏑una, Shinn said, guiding the girl, 鍍his is Stella.

Luna blinked in surprise, finding herself at last face to face with the pilot of the Gaia Gundam, the Extended that Shinn had left ZAFT for. A million thoughts went running through her head, standing before the girl who had been her enemy, the girl who had turned Shinn into ZAFT壮 enemy.

Luna smiled brightly and extended her hand. 的知 Lunamaria, she said. 釘ut you can just call me Luna.

Stella hesitantly took her hand. 套Luna? she said slowly, staring with wide eyes at Luna痴 smiling face. 套Shinn痴friend?

典hat痴 right, Luna said. 的知 the one you, uh, rescued yesterday.

Stella glanced at Shinn, then back at Luna, and slowly smiled. 套Stella is glad, she began haltingly, 鍍hat Shinn痴 friend is okay.


ZAFT Eternal-class cruiser Deliverance, Southern Ocean

Rau watched with a wicked smile as Kira practiced using his new limbs to manipulate his new machine. It would still be a few days before he was judged to be combat-worthy, but that was alright the Alliance and ZAFT still had to gather their forces for their respective final blows on one another. Solomon痴 Sword had been completed in the PLANTs. The war had gone beyond the point of no return.

He glanced to his right as Valentine came up next to him, arms crossed expectantly.

展hen are we going to space? she asked testily.

的n four days, Rau answered, looking back at Kira as he gingerly moved the Strike Freedom痴 right arm with his own mechanical right arm. 展e will accompany the Minerva. I believe Chairman Dullindal will be sending us after the Orb Raiders, now that Lacus Clyne is their leader. They are certain to try to interfere again as they did in the Valentine War. And once again, we will have to hold them back while mankind fulfills its destiny.

Valentine looked at Kira, as the Strike Freedom clenched its fist. 鉄uch a waste, she said airily. 鄭ll this power, this beautiful new machine, a wonderful little tool to use itand it痴 all to destroy the world.

的t is a necessary end, Rau countered. 滴umanity has had countless chances to correct itself, and it has squandered every last one. This is their final punishment. He smirked at Kira. 鄭nd it is only fitting to destroy the world using the culmination of all its sins.

Valentine arched an eyebrow at Rau. 典here are many ways to use Kira, she said.

釘ut only one is more fitting than all the others, Rau replied, smiling. 滴e is power, he is greed, he is ambition, he is destruction, he is the manifestation of everything that has brought the world to where it stands now, on the brink of Armageddon. He glanced at Valentine with a devilish smile. 徹f course there are many ways to use him. He could be the conqueror to bring us the Earth Sphere on a silver platter, but all we would inherit is a broken world that will consume itself in war and hatred. He could be the evangel of peace that stands between both sides, like he did in the Valentine War, but that would only repeat the mistakes Lacus Clyne made. But he could also be the one that renders humanity痴 final punishment. He looked back at Kira. 滴e, the symbol of the world痴 sins, shall destroy the world that birthed him. And then he too shall die, because he is the world痴 sins.

Valentine looked back at the Strike Freedom, scowling.


Orb Space Fleet Izumo-class battleship Amaterasu, Atlantic Federation Daedalus Crater lunar base, the Moon

The Orb Space Fleet had never been terribly large and since the Sahaku family had decided not to send their own ship, the Izumo, and the Kusanagi was already part of the Orb Raiders Megami, that left only twelve ships free for the Orb Space Fleet痴 purposes. But they were fully armed and loaded with Murasames, representing Orb痴 last vestige of power.

Standing on the bridge of the flagship, the Seiran family痴 personal battleship Amaterasu, Jona Roma Seiran stared out desolately at the dark gray and red hull of the ship. This fleet was all Orb had left; all he had left. His father had died during the invasion at Onogoro that would have made him the logical successor, if Orb hadn稚 been so thoroughly shattered that it could do nothing to stop the Atlantic Federation from happily annexing them. Now he stood with his fleet, a ruler without a country, and with only a few troops, bowing to another kingdom痴 master.

He gazed up ahead at the Orb Space Fleet痴 new home the burgeoning Atlantic Federation base of Daedalus Crater. Wonder overtook him as the fleet approached, passing by patrols of Alliance warships. A squad of Dagger Ls escorted the Amaterasu into the dock. Jona glanced to the starboard side, at the mysterious construct on the Moon痴 surface. He wondered what it was Djibril had mentioned something about a final weapon that the PLANTs would not see coming.

鄭dmiral Seiran, the Amaterasu痴 captain began tenuously, stepping up next to him. 展e池e about to dock. The base commander has requested to meet with you.

Jona turned numbly away from the bridge windows. Somewhere in that base, the admirals and commanders of the Earth Alliance痴 space fleets were gathering, as the fleets themselves inexorably arrived at Daedalus, for their final strike on the PLANTs.

He thought back to his mission, and a furious scowl twisted its way back onto his face.


January 5th, CE 74 - Orb Raiders dreadnaught Megami, Atlantic Ocean

The Megami was doing a full burn to get itself to the Equator, where it would be in prime position to put itself back in space. Unfortunately, it still had to get past the Falkland Islands, and the numerous South Atlantic islands on which ZAFT survivors from the Alliance痴 final attack were hiding. So far, the ZAFT troops were too demoralized to give them more than a passing glance, but it was still a day or two to the Equator.

Athrun Zala sat in the Infinite Justice痴 cockpit, reconfiguring the operating system to his own custom settings. The sheer wealth of weapons this machine carried was staggering in addition to the fairly standard beam rifle, beam sabers, and CIWS, it carried a beam shield, a beam boomerang, a grappling anchor, two hidden beam sabers on the legs, and a total of five beam sabers and two beam cannons on the improved subflight lifter. And yet even with such power, he couldn稚 defeat that new Gundam, the machine that the Infinite Justice痴 databanks identified as the Legend.

He looked up across the hangar, at the silent Destiny Gundam. It had taken Shinn to defeat it.

Shinn was standing on the side Athrun had requested his assistance in figuring out the new machine痴 operating system, since the Infinite Justice and Destiny had supposedly been built as part of the same project. He was leaning against the railing, staring thoughtfully at the Destiny.

展hy did you come back to save us? asked Athrun. Shinn looked back at him for a moment, and then returned his gaze to the Destiny.

鉄tella wanted to, he said. 鉄he wanted to protect our friends.

Athrun allowed himself a thin smile. 展e池e your friends now? he asked, chuckling. Shinn shrugged.

的 don稚 want to be alone and homeless, he said. 的 don稚 want to be sitting around doing nothing while people need my help. He closed his eyes solemnly. 的 couldn稚 protect any of them, he went on, 澱ut I haven稚 lost everything. Stella reminded me of that before I lost something else precious to me.

Athrun nodded in somber agreement. 典hey meant a lot to you, didn稚 they?

Shinn opened his eyes, glancing at Athrun. 典hey gave me a home, Shinn said, 努hen I was a renegade being hunted by the best ZAFT had to offer. They showed me what the real world was like. They never judged me for what I did. They never made me fight for some higher purpose I壇 never live to see realized. Of course they meant a lot to me. He looked back at the Destiny. 的 lost them like I lost my family.

釘ut you had closure, added Athrun. 添ou He paused, shaking his head. 添ou destroyed the Freedom, and you killed Kira.

Shinn arched an eyebrow at him. 展eren稚 you the one who told me doing that wouldn稚 bring me closure?

Athrun looked down sullenly at the controls of the Infinite Justice. 的 think I understand now, he said. 的 had forgotten all the pain I felt when Nicol was killed. I felt all that hatred again, but this time, I couldn稚 match Kira. He defeated me, and in my rage, I hoped that you would have revenge for everyone Kira has destroyed. He shook his head. 的t痴 not the right way, but I understand now how you feel.

Shinn looked back at the Destiny. 的t didn稚 help, he said. Athrun looked at him interestedly. 添eah, I shot down the Freedom. But it didn稚 bring anyone back. I still felt all the pain of losing them. Killing that guy didn稚 change anything for me.

鄭nd that痴 why you joined us? Athrun asked. 典hat痴 what you want to accomplish with us?

的 don稚 know what it is you want to accomplish, Shinn said. 的 just want to protect the friends I have left. I couldn稚 do that for the Mad Typhoons, but I can still do that for Luna.

Athrun smiled sadly. 展e all want to protect what we have left when we lose something, he said.

Shinn looked at him, and smiled back, just as sadly.


ZAFT battleship Minerva, Southern Ocean

Talia sat back frustrated in her office chair, as the reports filed in on her computer. The ZAFT staging ground in the Falkland Islands was under attack; ZAFT units everywhere struggling to defend themselves under a crushing Alliance fleet; requesting assistance; etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. There was nothing Talia could do, not with her ship still under repairs. She switched off the monitor listening to the desperate cries of those doomed to die would avail her nothing.

She looked up with an arched eyebrow as Arthur watched her in confusion. 的t doesn稚 matter anyway, she said. 摘ven if the Falkland Islands did hold out, it would only delay the inevitable. ZAFT has no more holdings on Earth.

鄭nd we can稚 even send the Legend? Arthur asked sullenly. 展e sent it to help the Kyrgyzstan.

鄭nd look how that turned out, Talia pointed out. 典he Kyrgyzstan was closer, and we sent the Legend, and it was still sunk and the Infinite Justice still stolen. Right now our priority is repairing the ship and getting off the Earth before the Alliance comes after us.

Arthur paused, looking lost. 展hat about the crews of the two Kaskirovs?

典hey池e coming with us, answered Talia, 殿s are whatever supplies we can fit on here. They値l scuttle the ships and we値l take off from there. She noted Arthur痴 crestfallen look. 展e can稚 go around saving as many ZAFT units as we can. We値l have a hard enough time fitting the Kaskirov crews onboard, along with our current crew. Can you imagine the nightmare of trying to fit a Compton-class痴 crew in here too? This is the most we can do.

Arthur sighed in understanding. 的値l inform the captains, he said, saluting and turning to leave.

鄭rthur, Talia began, as he made for the door. Arthur turned back towards her in surprise. 泥on稚 get too depressed. We haven稚 lost the war yet.

Arthur nodded dutifully, taking his leave. Talia sat back, staring thoughtfully at the ceiling.


Atlantic Federation battleship Girty Lue, Earth orbit

展hat in the hell is that?

Sting and Auel floated in the portside observation deck, watching the Marseille III-class Lake Victoria as it unloaded its newest cargo. Although it was carrying several new Windams, the centerpiece of this new cargo was an enormous, sleek, dark-colored mobile armor with two huge beam cannons.

典hat痴 the Euclid? Sting asked. 的t looks like a Mobius on steroids.

的t痴 far more than a Mobius on steroids, a voice said. Auel and Sting turned around in surprise, finding themselves face to face with a young brown-haired Earth Alliance officer with shoulder and collar tabs indicating his rank as an Ensign, a duffel bag slung over his shoulder. 摘nsign Anderson Myers, pilot of the TS-MB1B Euclid.

填mhi, Sting said, scratching the back of his head awkwardly.

的 was told that this ship is operated by the Phantom Pain, Myers continued. 的 hear Colonel Roanoke himself is onboard.

展hat do you want with him? Auel asked dubiously. Myers arched a suspicious eyebrow at him; Auel glared back.

滴e痴 probably on the bridge, Sting put in quickly. Myers nodded and brushed past them wordlessly, heading down the hallway and disappearing around a corner.

泥id he know we池e Extended? Auel growled. 的 thought everyone was supposed to treat us differently.

的知 more worried about someone catching onto us or the captain, Sting said, crossing his arms. 撤articularly Neo.

Auel looked back angrily at the Lake Victoria as it began unloading a cache of mobile suit weapons. 典hen we値l have to start figuring out what we池e going to do.

Sting nodded grimly. 典hat we do.


January 6th, CE 74 - Orb Raiders dreadnaught Megami, Atlantic Ocean

The Megami had come close, to the point at the Equator where it intended to launch itself into space. But, as Shinn reflected bitterly as he rushed to the hangar, it was too much to ask to expect everything to go right.

Six mobile suits were approaching from the southwest, but they were unlike any previously mentioned ZAFT units, and there was no reason for the Alliance to be in the area and sending only a single squad of mobile suits towards them. A visual scan had produced nothing, but the high speed and low altitude at which they were moving suggested that these six machines were ZAFT痴 newest production models, the DOM Troopers.

As he hopped into the Destiny痴 cockpit, he cracked his knuckles, activating the Destiny in an instant and watching the hangar carefully. There was activity around the Infinite Justice as well, but so far as he knew, only he and Athrun would be launching.

The Infinite Justice stepped onto the port catapult; the Destiny stepped onto the starboard one. The Infinite Justice took off with a roar, blasting off into the chilly Atlantic air. Shinn clenched his fists around the Destiny痴 controls.

泥estiny, cleared for launch, a girl痴 voice said. Shinn narrowed his eyes at the open patch of sky in the Megami痴 catapult.

鉄hinn Asuka, Destiny, launching!

The Destiny took off with a flash.

Shinn fell into formation next to the Infinite Justice, glancing over at it. Athrun glanced back, and they both looked up ahead, at the six dim shapes on the horizon. Shinn magnified the image and was greeted with the specter of six bazooka-toting black-and-purple-painted mobile suits, all bearing ZAFT痴 distinctive monoeye, all skimming along the water痴 surface at high speed.

鄭re those the DOM Troopers? Shinn asked warily.

撤robably, Athrun answered, consulting the Infinite Justice痴 database. 典here痴 a file on it, but I didn稚 think ZAFT had rolled them out this quickly.

典hey used them at Carpentaria, Shinn countered. A flash of warning shot through him. 鉄plit up!

The Destiny and Infinite Justice lunged apart as the DOMs opened fire with a volley of beam shots, from cannons mounted underneath the barrels of their bazookas.

展hat the hell kinda weapon is that? Shinn snarled.

添ou take the three on the left! Athrun instructed. 的値l handle the right!

The two Gundams took off.

Athrun narrowed his eyes as the DOMs came shrieking in, opening fire. He skirted aside from their shots, but three of them broke off to chase him, swarming around him and firing bazooka shells. Diving between their shots, Athrun grunted as he missed one and it slammed into his machine痴 torso, throwing him back. The Phase Shift armor was unharmed, but Athrun shook his head in frustration, drawing back with a beam volley. The lead DOM deflected the shots with a beam shield mounted on its forearm and fired a beam shot back.

典hey have beam shields too?! Athrun exclaimed. 鉄hinn!

Nearby, the Destiny spiraled gracefully through the air, dodging a chain of beam shots and explosive shells. The DOMs swerved around him, tracing his flight path with beam fire, as Shinn dove backwards, deflecting shots with his own beam shields. He tried to fire back with his long cannon the DOMs jetted aside and continued their volley as if he hadn稚 fired a shot.

典hey池e so fast, Shinn grunted. 展hat the hell are these things made of?!

The DOMs came charging in towards Athrun, the leader drawing a beam saber. He blinked in surprise, pulling back behind his beam shield, dodging a trio of sweeping saber swipes, and fired back with his CIWS. The DOMs darted apart, spreading out and opening fire on the Infinite Justice from all sides. Athrun growled in frustration and boosted forward, whirling around to face his opponents again; they quickly gathered into a tight formation, firing again and forcing Athrun back with more bazooka shells.

典hey can稚 be this powerful! he snarled.

The lead DOM Trooper charged, beam saber drawn and raised; Athrun痴 eyes flashed as he saw the seed, and with a scream, he charged, igniting the blade on his beam boomerang and firing the Grapple Stinger forward. It lodged itself in the DOM痴 right forearm before it could react, Athrun retracted the Stinger with a flash, jerking the DOM forward and impaling its right arm on the boomerang痴 blade. The arm exploded in a flash of fire, throwing the wounded mobile suit back. Athrun lunged up out of the smoke, squeezing off a beam shot to blow the bazooka out of the second DOM痴 hand. It sped away, backpedaling for distance before Athrun could fire again. The third came charging in from behind, beam saber drawn in its left hand. Athrun narrowed his eyes and whipped around with a devastating roundhouse kick, igniting the right leg beam blade as he turned and slicing off the DOM痴 outstretched left arm at the elbow. The damaged mobile suits pulled back, clearly not finished off, but clearly surprised.

Across the battlefield, Shinn lunged backwards under the combined firepower of three DOMs, all firing their scattering beam cannons. He increased the beam shield痴 radius to encompass the entire Destiny Gundam, but the DOMs pummeled his beam shield with bazooka shells, forcing him back with sheer kinetic energy. Shinn growled, watching them dart around him, as two of them set up to flank him and the third came charging in, saber drawn. The DOMs on the sides opened fire, aiming at his wings and hoping to disable him Shinn narrowed his eyes as the seed burst

The Destiny drew its anti-ship sword, activating it with a flash, as its beam wings exploded to life and effortlessly deflected the beams. Before the DOM in front of him could react, Shinn charged forward with a scream, slicing its bazooka in half with a paralyzing anti-ship sword blow. The DOM tried to turn around Shinn blew its right arm off at the shoulder with a well-placed long cannon blast, and took off with a blur of afterimages as the two intact DOMs opened fire again. He went charging towards the enemy on the left with a scream the DOM desperately fired back, but its shots passed harmlessly through a haze of afterimages, and with a shriek of torn metal, Shinn brought his sword down through the DOM痴 bazooka, slicing its right forearm off in the process. A stunning kick to the DOM痴 face sent it reeling backward. Shinn whipped around as another shell went screaming past and fired back at the final DOM with his long cannon it took refuge behind its beam shield, but an instant later, Shinn dove up into its face, kicking its left arm skyward and tearing it off at the elbow with a palm cannon blast. The mangled DOMs backed away, clawing for distance from the Destiny and its shimmering wings.

Three more damaged DOMs shot by, the Infinite Justice charging after them. One of them, sparks flying from the severed stump of its right arm, charged towards the Infinite Justice with its beam saber drawn back. Athrun skirted aside effortlessly, firing the Grapple Stinger and burying it in the DOM痴 side. He yanked the DOM back towards him, igniting the beam boomerang blade and impaling the DOM through its back. Another DOM, missing its left forearm and beam saber, came sweeping in towards Athrun with its bazooka leveled off a red beam cannon blast sliced through the DOM痴 unprotected left side, blowing it apart, as the DOM impaled on Athrun痴 boomerang blade exploded as well. The Destiny dropped in next to the Infinite Justice, using his beam shield to deflect a beam shot from a DOM missing its left forearm.

典hey池e not that tough! Shinn growled.

Athrun nodded; the two Gundams took off towards their wounded prey. A DOM missing its entire right arm came sweeping in from the side towards Athrun, beam saber drawn. Athrun narrowed his eyes at the charging foe, bringing his beam shield around to deflect the saber blow. He thrust his arm up, sending the DOM痴 saber arm skyward, and fired a point-blank beam rifle shot into its unprotected cockpit, wiping it out in a blaze.

Shinn twisted and turned around his two hapless foes, one DOM that had lost its right forearm and bazooka, the other that had lost only its bazooka. The damaged DOM swept in, beam saber upraised Shinn countered with a lightning-fast palm cannon strike from his left hand, catching the DOM痴 remaining arm and ripping it off, and slicing the beleaguered machine in half with his anti-ship sword.

The lone DOM toting a bazooka darted to and fro as it desperately tried to avoid the charging Infinite Justice. Athrun痴 eyes flashed as he fired the Grapple Stinger forward, snaring the DOM痴 bazooka. He yanked it out of the DOM痴 hand, flinging it away into the ocean. The DOM desperately tried to draw its beam saber, but as it brought the saber down, Athrun severed its right arm at the elbow with a leg blade-assisted kick, and slammed his boomerang blade into the DOM痴 unprotected stomach.

Swinging its beam saber wildly, the final DOM jetted backward at full speed, struggling to escape. Shinn followed at only two thirds of the Destiny痴 top speed, effortlessly weaving between the DOM痴 frenzied swipes and letting his foe catch only afterimages. At last, the DOM slammed on the brakes, saber upraised for a surprise blow Shinn screamed back, catching the DOM痴 arm with his left hand and ramming his sword into the DOM痴 cockpit with his right hand.

Sparks went flying as Shinn yanked his sword out of the DOM痴 chest and sliced it in half, and with a thunderous explosion, the deed was done.

展ho were these guys? he asked quietly, surveying the six puffs of smoke and the six fields of wreckage floating on the water痴 surface.

典hey must致e been ZAFT survivors from the Falkland Islands, Athrun suggested. He glanced back at the Megami, noting the flashing light atop its bridge for a moment. 鏑et痴 go back. We値l be going to space soon.

Shinn watched the Infinite Justice carefully for a moment, before he smirked and took off after him.


The bridge was humming with activity when Lacus took her seat above the captain痴 chair. Murrue glanced up at her and nodded in greeting.

展e池e going to use that 叢ositronic interference trick again, she explained. 展e fire the Lohengrins and the anti-matter creates a cylinder where atmospheric pressure is nil, and we can reach escape velocity by our own engine power.

Lacus looked up at the cloudy dusk sky. 展ill the radiation affect anything? Murrue looked back at the horizon.

典he radiation won稚 affect any people or much of the local ecosystem, she answered. 展e don稚 have any other way of getting to space, since Gigafloat is in the north Pacific right now.

Sitting back, Lacus closed her eyes, and wondered what Shinn was thinking right now.

鼎aptain, Sai reported, looking over his shoulder at Murrue, 殿ll the checks are complete. We池e ready to go.

摘ngines primed, Neumann added. 摘verything is running smoothly.

Murrue sat back. 的t痴 the first time we致e been to space in a while, she said. There was a pause. 鏑ohengrins, fire!


Shinn sat by the window, Stella at his side, strapped safely into a chair in the crew lounge with a number of other pilots and crew without jobs to fulfill during takeoff. He gazed out the window a swirling wall of hazy air obscured his vision. He paused, as a familiar sensation rippled through him for a fleeting moment he peered carefully through the haze as the Megami rose into the sky.

Down below, as the Megami took off, he could see the dim outline of Antarctica.

Stella put her hand over his, looking at him with tears in her eyes, and they both gazed out the windows at the grave of their friends, as the Megami sailed up into space.


To be continued