Mobile Suit Gundam Reta

The year is 289 LC.
The Jiha and its crew have managed to successfully escape thanks in no small part to the ludicrously unorthodox tactics of it’s Captain and the brave sacrifice of Gabriel Milton. Down a Gundam, the Jiha doesn’t even know where it warped to and there are many perils for those lost in space. On board the Laconia, Gabriel has been taken prisoner. With no other leads EES forces will gleefully pry every bit of information they can out of him if for no other reason than sheer bloody retribution. After being made a mockery of, careers and reputations in the Arden fleet will end.


Onboard the Laconia:
Former pilot of the destroyed Paradise Gundam, Gabriel Milton is left chained to a flimsy metal chair in the cold brig. He did his damnedest but there’s no way he was going to get away. It’s painfully obvious to him why he’s even being kept alive, they’re going to get whatever information they can out of him by any means necessary. This is the Eternal Empire of the Shadow after all, there is no code for the treatment of prisoners of war between the warring factions.

Now the Lunar Republic held themselves to some standards but Gabriel has heard the horror stories about EES custody. The thought does not frighten him. He has been trained for precisely this moment. Now is not the time for fear, now is the time for resolve and strength of spirit.

“I will die before I break”, he tells himself, “Satie’s counting on me.”

His cell door creaks as it’s opened. In steps the bastard that brought him down, the Lord Hand of the Emperor Rhegal Lucas. Dressed in his formal Blacks and hiding his face behind that mask of his, he walks to center of the cell dragging another metal chair with his telekinesis. The scrapping of metal on metal is not unlike some great predator dragging its claws along the side of a building. Water drips down on them from some deliberately neglected pipe while chains hung above them lightly clang against one another.

As Rhegal draws near he grabs the chair with his hand and places it directly in front of Gabriel. Once he seats himself an impertinently bright spotlight is turned on. It’s not quite blinding, it’s just bright enough to be painful. Gabriel knows it’s the type of light that’ll be left on for a while.

“So I see that stupid thing on your head isn’t just a crime against good taste”, he quips at his captor.
Rhegal smirks, “Indeed there is some utility in it, unlike your insults.”
“Oh I assure you…my Lord…as you’ll be working me I’ll be working you.”
“Is that a fact?”
“Yes it is, and if I were not in these chains…”, Gabriel trails off anticipating a reaction that doesn’t come.

Rhegal’s smiles grows till he’s grinning like the Cheshire Cat and his bellowing laugh echoes through the brig. This unnerves Gabriel.

“Shall we find out?”, Rhegal calmly states as he stands up.

The starborn stares down at the mere human who is quickly realizing that how out of his depth he really, truly is.

“Go ahead”, Rhegal says as the chains binding Gabriel shatter apart at the links.

After a moment’s hesitation Gabriel lunges forward, ripping out the small blade he sown into his shirt. Rhegal sidesteps and dances around his attacker with fluid motion and genuine ease, tripping him the process. Gabriel lands face first in a cold stagnant puddle on the cold hard surface, losing his weapon.

Angered, he jumps up and starts swinging. Rhegal casually blocks his strikes with minimal effort. Once he’s bored with the fight he telekinetically pulls free one of the chains hanging above them. A flustered Gabriel staggers back as he tries to create distance to reassess his enemy. As he does so Rhegal pantomimes a whip crack and the metal chain splits open the prisoner’s face, causing him to fall onto his back stunned and barely holding onto to consciousness.

A pair of Whites rush in and pick up Gabriel. They place him in his chair and bind him again. They salute their commanding officer and then exit. Rhegal sits back down in his seat and observes his prey for a moment.

“It would be best if you dispensed with your illusions. They are of little use to me”, he tells his captive.

Gabriel starts to chuckle in between pained wincing.

“What do you find so amusing, soldier?”, Rhegal queries.
“You’re just like her”, he chuckles.
“Like whom?”, the EES commander presses.
“This lips aren’t saying anything.”
“Hmmm…”, Rhegal feigns bemusement, “that would be problematic if I needed their cooperation in the first place.”

With nothing more than an intense stare does he break into his captive’s thoughts. Gabriel gags and seizes as he feels the foreign presence combing through his mind. It takes no effort at all to see his most recent thoughts.

Viewing another’s memories is not unlike watching a play in the fog. You are watching an interpretation of reality through an obscured lens, quite different from the clarity of clairvoyance. Rhegal is enough of a practiced telepath that the “haze of memory” is more of a light mist than a genuine fog so long as the thought is either fresh or profound. This particular thought would be the latter.

Standing “center stage”, in a manner of speaking, is a girl in her late teens with blue eyes like his. She’s in the middle of some sort of military drill, surrounded by three men armed with practice knives. The first rushes toward her, she sidesteps and trips him. The second follows suit and his strikes are casually blocked by her lean but toned arms. The third charges her from behind, she twists and tosses the second into the path of his fake blade.

Now only the two of them are left, her and Gabriel. She takes off her purple headband and levitates it in front of her while he holds the blade forward in a guarded position.

“Now just because you’re a gorgeous girl don’t means I’m going to let you win”, he tells her.
She smiles faintly, “Alright smooth talker, shut up and dance.”

He lunges forward. As he does so she wraps the headband around his wrist and uses it to torque him to the ground. Gabriel rolls out of it onto one knee but she’s immediately on him, wrapping him in a headlock.

“That’s game”, she says.
“Not quite”, he replies.

Wrapping one arm around her back and grabbing onto his wrist with the other hand, he spins around trying to pin her. She slips free of his grasp while wrapping her legs around his waist as she rolls with his roll, putting him on the flat of his back with her straddled across him, her forearm pinning him down.

Rhegal takes note of how the lighting of the memory grows brighter and softer, which is indicative of an emotional realization for the subject.

“I win, Gabe”, she gleefully whispers in his ear.
“Like you always do, Satie.”

With that bit of information Rhegal pulls himself out of Gabriel’s head. Gabriel heaves as if he were going to puke as blood flows out his nostrils in a steady stream.

“Satie”, Rhegal says out loud.

He straightens out his jacket and gloves as he prepares to leave.

“Thank you for your cooperation Mr. Milton. We will continue our ‘discussion’ later. Sleep well”, he says as he waves his hand in the air causing Gabriel to pass out.

A cadet’s voice is heard over the coms, “My Lord, Admiral Arden requests your presence in her quarters.”

“Tell the Admiral that I shall not keep her waiting”, he replies as he exits the brig.


Onboard the Jiha:

The ship blinks back into existence as it exits warp. Fortunately they weren’t obliterated instantaneously as they exited the blind jump. Unfortunately they jumped to the edge of the asteroid belt and immediate evasive maneuvers are needed if they are not to be crushed by an oncoming asteroid.

“All hands strap in!” Commander Yoko shouts.
“All personnel be advised for evasive maneuvers”, Maria relays the order.

The bridge crew hurriedly straps themselves to their seats. Nick secures himself inside the Gatsby. The only two aren’t able to do so are Satie and Lieutenant Jinn.

Captain Kan engages manual control and begins evasive maneuvers; flying up, in, and around the incoming debris. The wild movements send the two pilots flying in the ship’s low gravity but are able to maintain some control. They direct themselves toward the hangar bay control module and it’s railing but they don’t have enough momentum to make it.

“Satie, if I push you you’ll make it”, Jinn tells her.
“Don’t be a stupid old man”, Satie replies as she telekinetically shoves him toward it.

He flies toward the railing and crashes against it. There the old guard takes his carabineer and latches it to the railing. Meanwhile Satie closes her eyes and channels her starborn abilities to levitate in the center of the hangar as the ship ducks, dives, and weaves.

Once Captain Kan clears the asteroid belt and levels out Satie breaks her meditation and starts to descend in the low gravity. As she does the Gundam Gatsby reaches out with an open palm and she gently glides herself into it. She nods a thanks to Nick as he pulls her in. Now that they are free and clear they can take a breath and assess the situation.

Commander Yoko sighs the deepest, longest sigh of her life. She walks over and wraps herself over Captain Kan as he remains seated.

“Never do that again”, she tells.
“I promise nothing”, he says with a smile.
“You goddamn lunatic.”
“Don’t act like you don’t love.”

She gets flustered and wants to yell at him but words fail her, because he’s not wrong.

“Sound off!”, she commands.

“All crew please report”, Maria says over the coms.

One by one they all answer. Everyone is alive and in good health. The captain calls for a status report and they go about the business of figuring out just where the hell they are. A short while later there are some answers.

“Cadet, report”, Captain Kan demands as he stands dramatically on the bridge, still not wearing a shirt nor taken his sunglasses off.

“Sir yes sir”, Cadet Franz Allister nervously replies.
“Son, where are we?”
“Sir it’s hard to tell, sir but it appears to be in proximity to the asteroid belt…sir.”
“The inner rim or outer rim side?”
“I don’t know.”

“Find out you stupid fool!”, Commander Yoko yells at him.
“Ma’am yes ma’am!”, Franz shouts as he runs off in a panic.

“Why is he here?”, Captain Kan asks.
“I don’t know”, Commander Yoko replies.
“Can we leave him here?”
“As much as that would please me, no Captain we may not.”
“Ok Alla, we’ll keep him but only because you insist.”
“Do you have to joke?” she asks, beleaguered.
“I’m afraid it can’t be helped.”
“Why do we put up with each other?”
“Because you love me and I’d be lost without you.”

Alla stammers in disbelief.

“Kan! You can’t just say that.”
“Too bad. I did and we’re all still here”, he tells her.
“It’s neither professional nor appropriate.”
“Urrggghhaaa!”, he moans.
“We have to set the example Captain.”
“And what example is that?”, he asks her.
“Excuse me?”, she responds annoyed.
“This is war, not one of your political affairs.”
“Not this again…”
“Yes this again!”
“Why?”, she yells at him.
“Because we could actually die and I don’t want anything left unsaid!” he shouts back.
“But somethings are best kept at a distance!”

There is a great deal of unease as the bridge crew stand in awkward silence.

“Mommy Daddy please stop fighting”, Maria says with rambunctious grin.

“Captain…I”, Commander Yoko starts.
“Don’t worry about it. You keep your distance in your way and I’ll keep it mine”, he says.

He looks towards his coms officer and replies, “Honey, Mommy and Daddy are having a disagreement, not a fight.”

Flustered, Alla Yoko storms of the bridge. Kan pushes his sunglasses up his nose and grabs his jacket off of his captain’s chair.

“So I ask again”, he pulls a lighter out of the pocket, “where the hell are we?”


Onboard the Laconia
Rhegal and Alexandras sit next to one another in her dimly lit quarters. His helmet is off and his face is obscured in shadow.

“So her name is Satie Skye, huh?”, she asks him.
“It would appear so”, he replies.
“The only daughter of Basele Skye…”
“And me, the only son of Zevan Lucas.”
“The stars are at work here Rhegal. This was no coincidence.”
“I agree, but they are not fated for me” he reassures her.

She places herself on his lap so that he must look her in the eyes.

“The stars cannot have you, not yet”, she pleads.
“And they won’t”, he reassures her.

Alexandras wipes away a single tear.

“Forgive my weakness. What a disaster this has been”, she says.
“There is not an ounce of weakness in you to forgive”, he says with a smile.

He kisses her forehead and strokes her hair.

”Now the real disaster is this black…thing I’m wearing”, he says as he gestures towards his Blacks.
Alexandras giggles, “Don’t you say that! You look very handsome in black.”
”Yeah but I’m handsomer in my Reds.”
”Handsomer?”
”Don’t you start with me you grammar tyrant. You know it’s the truth.”
”Well it’s only true so long as I’m the prettierest girl you’ve ever seen.”

He leans in and kisses her between each word, “Indeed you are…the…most…beautiful…gorgeous…prettierest…girl…in…the…whole…wide…system.”
”Oh alright alright”, she acquiesces, “go put on your ‘Warrior’ Reds.”

He kisses her once more and she kisses him back as he gets off of the love seat and all but sprints to the closet.

”Well the Emperor is going to be livid”, he starts speaking without really knowing what he’s saying,
But Alexandras does, “Rhegal…”
”And this is on me not you…”
”Rhegal.”
”She slipped through on my watch. It’s on my watch.”
”Rhegal!”, she snaps.

He leans out of the closet half dressed with a quizzical look.

”It needs to be my fault”, she plainly tells him.
”Alex, no! I can handle Karn. You don’t want the Imperial wrath”, he says.
We can’t afford to have you lose his favor.”
”But he could take the fleet from you.”
”And if he takes the Lord Hand from you…”
”I’ll just be a Lucas”, he says, dejected and angered.
”We’re so close. I know you want to be noble but I need you to be mindful.”

Rhegal stews in his hurt. Alexandras recognizes it and moves forward to embrace her lover. They sway back and forth in one another’s arms.

”If he does anything to you I’ll kill him”, Rhegal snarls.
”I’ll be fine. If you survived my father I can handle the Emperor”, she jokes.
He chuckles, “Yes ma’am.”
”Besides you’ll want to wait till he names you heir before you do anything like that.”
”Alex!”, he playfully scolds her.
“I’m kidding”, she says back, “now get you pants on before I get the wrong idea.”

With that tet a tet done Rhegal pulls up his pants and Alex buttons up his Red jacket. Lastly he puts on the helmet. Once he has done so he salutes his commanding officer. The admiral orders him to join her for dinner and dismisses him. With that he leaves. As soon as her lover is out of the room, Alexandras moves to her chair and prepares to make the worst com call of her life.

She contacts the Impericant court stating her name and rank, requesting to speak with the Emperor. She sits in silence as she waits. After what feels like a year to her the visage of Emperor Tenabrae Karn. If one didn’t know better they’d assume he was only old enough to be her father. There he sits in ominous glory with his white robes astrewn with gold in a torch lit chamber. His pale skin, bald head, and dark grey beard where not his most captivating feature. That honor belonged to his black eyes that stared at you like the void.

“Arden”, his gravely voice echoes through his empty chamber.


In Earth Orbit:

The Marauder’s freighter hangs in orbit as the dastardly crew prepares to launch. Their leader, the terrifying Viktor Krieg, is flipping switches in his Gundam unit preparing it for launch. His glistening white fangs and gleaming amber eyes pierce through the shadows. As each mobile suit activates their eyes shine in the darkness of the hangar.

“Hunt the bastard down. Forget about the suit. They’re both good as dead”, he snarls.

With that order the thieves, terrorists, and murderers begin launching their stolen Gundams. First is Mercedes Morana and the Gundam Overseer.

“So it is said by Krieg and so it shall be”, she says as her frayed black hair hangs in front of her black eyes.

Next is Essex and his Fukitsu Gundam.

“Oh what delightful excursion this shall be”, he minces as he plays with perfectly groomed short black hair while his pupilless white eyes tremble with anticipation.

Third is Norman Nemesio and the Tengu Gundam with its glider. He laughs maniacally.

“Edddiiee…run run as quick as you can”, he cackles with yellow eyes dilated like mad.

Fourth is Zebadiah Redwinter and his aptly named Orchid Gundam.

“But you can only outrun death so long”, he says with a grin as his purple eyes glimmer.

Lastly but certainly not least is Krieg and the bestial Gundam Smilodon.

“Carve a bloody enough trail and the ‘hero’ will come to us”, Krieg commands.

Down on the Earth’s surface the Venomous Gundam and its pilot stand over the wreckage of several much older mobile suits that it has ripped to pieces with its claws or cleaved in half with its buster sword. All the while a small contingent of refugees flees the area. Just as the Venomous is about turn its attention towards them its pilot notices five shooting stars flying across the night sky.

“Here they come, pal”, he tells his suit.
It chirps back in some kind of response.
“We won’t let that happen”, Eddie reassures it.

There its black armor is silhouetted against the full moon as it stands tall on the ridge overlooking a river valley. Down in the valley the campfires of civilization can be seen from a far and the Venomous leaps towards it, seemingly vanishing into nothingness.

 

The year is 289 LC.
With the reluctant approval of High Chancellor Danella Tagar, Operation Prodigal has been set into motion. The daring and preposterous Captain Kan has lead a successful effort to capture the EES’s new prototype Gundam Reta. Spearheaded by the successful infiltration of the Red training program by special agent Satie Skye, Operation Prodigal is off to a smashing success. Unfortunately for the crew of the Jiha stealing the unit is only half the task. With the entirety of the Arden fleet in pursuit of them, it becomes critical for the heroes of the Republic to stay one step ahead of the enemy…but that will be no easy task.


On board the Jiha:
The triumphant Satie Skye steps out her new Gundam. She is greeted with cheers and chants as she does and they are well earned. Not only did she successfully infiltrate the high security facility, made it to “Red” in less than three months, got out clean with the target, but she held off Rhegal Lucas in a real fight. Maybe people would start recognizing her for her accomplishments.

Satie looks down at the EES emblem on her space suit. She can’t rip it off fast enough. As the loading lift carries her down her fellow pilot Nick Fitzgerald steps out his unit, the Gundam Gatsby. The suave and sophisticated gentleman with coiffed blonde hair and vermillion eyes tips his hand and graciously bows to her. Satie tips her hand back at him. It would appear that the entirety of the rest of the crew is there to greet her.

As Satie steps off the lift she is warmly embraced by the self appointed “mother” of the ship, First Officer Commander Alla Yoko. Just shy of thirty, an inch short of six foot, white haired, with amber eyes the Commander was a comforting…and aprapo of her rank…and commanding presence. She is the reason, focus, and diligence behind the Jiha.

As Commander Yoko steps aside the incomparable and incorrigible Captain Kan steps forward. Grinning from ear to ear the thirty odd man’s man, tall, with his signature sunglasses, jet black slicked back hair, and still not wearing a shirt underneath his coat. He wraps Satie in a giant bear hug and spins her around as he lifts her up. As he steps aside he wraps his arm around his first officer’s shoulder.

The instant the captain is out of the way, Cadet Franz Allister rushes forward. The awkward auburn mop top is overjoyed to see his friend in good health.

“Satie! I missed you!”, he screeches as he stumbles into an awkward hug.
“So I see you’re still the same old Franz”, she mutters as she reluctantly hugs him back.

Franz tries to ever so slyly slide his hands.

“Did you miss me…Sates”, he says in an excruciatingly forced low baritone.

With a single hand Satie easily shoves him aside.

She sighs, “Yup. Same old Franz.”

While Commander Yoko is busy chewing the cadet out the ship’s coms officer, Maria Andalu steps forward. A few years older and a few inches shorter than Satie, her luscious candy apple hair compliments her caramel skin, but what is most striking is her eyes. Those jade pools shimmer with a shine that betrays her as Starborn as well.

“Good to have you back pilot”, Maria says with a cool reserve all the while empathically projecting passionate warmth.
“It’s good to be home”, Satie says as she empathically reciprocates with cool distance.

Maria picks up on it and winces slightly. She is content with a handshake and quietly excuses herself back to her post.

Next the haggard old veteran, Lieutenant Kao son Jinn steps forward. The stress of his difficult life does not rest easy on his shoulders. His prematurely greying hair is poorly combed and his teal eyes brim with sorrow and pain. Kao nervously avoids Satie’s gaze.

“Old man”, Satie greets him.
“Young Wan”, Kao replies.

Satie takes off the necklace and goes to hand it to the lieutenant but he refuses it.

“No no no! That’s yours now”, he insists.
“Thank you.”
“She’d be proud of you.”

His compliment doesn’t quite sit right with her. Satie visibly flinches.

“Yeah yeah”, she sneers.

Lastly there’s Ensign Gabriel Milton. A somewhat short man with long, wavy black hair and eyes red like rubies. With much dramatic flare he quietly salutes Satie who returns the gesture in kind. Only the two of them really know what it means. He glances over at Commander Yoko with disdain in those eyes but only for a brief moment.

Only a few seconds later the alarms go off and Maria is heard over the speakers, “Enemy approaching!”

“Everyone to battle stations”, Captain Kan starts issuing orders, “Fitzgerald get the Gatsby ready for the jump.”
“Good Captain, I don’t know if he can take it”, Nick responds.
“He’s going to have to”, Kan retorts as a matter of fact.
“Yes Captain!”

“Milton, I need you to launch with the Paradise”, Kan commands.
“Yes sir”, Gabriel replies.

Satie starts to move the lift into position so that she can board the Reta.

“Skye, stop!”, Kan barks.
“But sir”, Satie tries to argue.
“Don’t “but sir” me pilot!”, Kan snaps back, “Alla, tell her.”
“Those are orders Skye!”, Commander Yoko shouts.
“I’m good to go.”
“This isn’t about you Satie”, Kan rebuffs her.
“What?”
“We’re not going to risk losing that suit. So get down now!”, Yoko demands.
With a hard sigh Satie relents, “Yes ma’am.”

“Good.  Commander?”, he asks Yoko
“Yes sir”, she replies.
“Would you escort me to the bridge?” he says as he extends his arm for her to hold on to.
Being greatly annoyed she responds, “Can please take this a little seriously?”, as she obliges him.
“Let me think…Uh, no”, he coyly smiles as he speaks.

Gabriel Milton suits up and climbs into the Gundam Paradise, an “L” series warp fighter.

“Before their eyes in sudden view appear
the secrets of the hoary deep, a dark
Illimitable ocean without bound,
Without dimension”, he says as he prepares to launch.

Maria relays his ok to launch and he does so. Jettisoning off into the void of space. As he flies out he sees the two “L” series warp fighters that followed the Jiha. He prepares himself for two vs one combat as the Gundams Prejudice and Karenina that just blinked out of warp.


On board the Laconia:

Alexandras is overseeing preparations to launch her fleet. For all this calamity to befall them she is grateful that the were more or less restocked and ready to ship out. They have to be ready to make the jump the instant her pursuit units make contact. Depending on where the enemy warped that could be three hours or twenty minutes.

While she’s quietly fixated on ship formations Lord Rhegal enters the bridge. He stands tall and salutes her.

“Your orders Admiral?”, he asks her.
“I will meet you in my office in due time, Captain”, she curtly responds.
“Yes ma-am”, he replies without hesitation and excuses himself from the bridge.

After relaying a few more orders to her Grays, commissioned officers, she excuses herself and heads toward her office. There Rhegal is inside and he snaps to attention as Alexandras walks in. Alexandras stands ominous and still until the sliding door closes behind her. Once it does they run into one another’s arms and kiss.

“Are you alright my love?”, he nervously asks her.
“Am I alright? She could have killed you”, she half scolds him.
“Yes she could have but against anyone else she would have killed them.”
“Now is not the time for braggadocio, Rhegal”, she scoffs.
“Alex, I assure you that I am not.”
“Is she really that good?”
“Her numbers, unlike everything else, are not a lie.”

She holds her hands together tight, anxiously clasping and unclasping them.

“When we engage them I have to take point against her”, he tells her.
“I know”, she says holding back her frustration and fear.
“I can’t sit back and watch as my Reds die.”
“Yes. I know, and that’s why everyone loves you”, she smiles faintly.

Rhegal grabs her by the sleeve and pulls her in and they hold each other tight.

“I won’t tell you not to but I am ordering you to come back alive. Be our hero not a martyr”, she says as she rests her face against his chest.

Rhegal takes off his helmet and gently lifts Alexandras’ chin so that their eyes can meet.

“Alex, look at me. No matter what happens I’m never going to leave you. I’ll always find my way back to you”, he solemnly clutches her hand, “I promise.”

They quickly kiss one another. The love birds rub one another’s noses as they pull away, smiling with tender joy, and then he gently holds her cheeks in his hands as they go in for one more long, emotional kiss. Afterward they just stare into one another’s eyes and it’s as if all of time and space fades away…

Until a knock comes at the door requesting the admiral. They stare at one another just a little longer.

“I love you”, she tells him.
“I love you”, he doesn’t hesitate.

Alexandras opens the door while Rhegal puts his helmet back on. She did not expect to see this person standing at the door.

“Mr. Zara?”, she bemuses.

There stands their celebrity charge, Friedrich Zara. A man of average height, in his late thirties, royal blue eyes, light brown hair, but what was most distinctive about his appearance was undoubtedly his large bushy mustache. Wearing his Grays signifying his rank as a commander given to him by the propaganda agencies.

“Ms. Arden…”, he starts.
“Admiral”, she corrects him.
“My apologies. Admiral, I’ve come to inform you that Reds Levin and Austen have made contact with the enemy and that the Laconia is ready to launch.”
“Thank you Commander”, she says as she walks out making her way back to the bridge as Rhegal follows a little ways behind.
“It is my duty.”
“Speaking of, you may disembark and remain here at 2C3XI should you wish.”
“You are generous Admiral Arden but I must refuse. Though I may be but a novice I cannot in good conscience abandon my countrymen on the eve of battle.”
“Hmmm. I find that an odd conviction for a man who rescinded his citizenship”, Alexandras digs at him.
Friedrich smiles, “What can I say, they refused my letter of resignation.”

As they approach the bridge several Whites pass by them. They halt to salute the Admiral but they are clearly excited to see the Commander and have to restrain themselves from trying to speak to him.

“Well the commoners do have an affection for you”, Alexandras says smugly.
Friedrich senses her disdain and it makes him smile, “It does them good to see their own among the upper ranks.”
“Does it?”, she questions.
“I assure you my dear Arden, it does.”
“Then you shall not be dissuaded from your post?”
“No I shalt not”, he insists.
“Very well. Then you are needed at your post Commander. Standby by your Gundam and await further orders.”
“Yes ma’am”, he acknowledges as he heads toward the lower decks.

As Rhegal and Alexandras step onto the bridge the open coms of their fighters can be heard.

“We are engaged by a single enemy Gundam. Another L series unit”, Liza says over the com.
“Do you have the warp point?”, Rhegal demands.
“Yes sir!”, says Leo, “Transmitting them now.”
“Forward that information to the Morrigans and tell them to make the jump”, Alexandras orders.


The Jiha:
If Satie wasn’t part of the crew then Gabriel Milton would easily be the best pilot among their ranks. He soars in and around his enemies constantly harassing them and interfering with their ability to target the Jiha. Beam rifle shots fire past the three warp fighters as they soar in and out of each other’s sights.

“Get em Gabe!”, Satie shouts over the com.

The EES Reds are evidentially flustered but they are also good enough to keeps themselves from being shot down. It’s becoming clear that neither will they succeed in reaching their target nor will the Paradise be able to take down both the Prejudice and Karenina. Gabriel knows what’s coming. The L series warp fighters are the veritable blood hounds of warp travel with their AI’s ability to synch with target warp drives and be able to maintain pursuit through warp. They don’t need to kill the enemy themselves, they just need to keep the scent.

”Nick you need to get your Gundam going. We only got a couple minutes before the rest of that fleet starts showing up”, Gabriel tells his comrade.

Indeed that is precisely what happens. With a blue blink three Morrigan class corvettes enter the battle zone. Very soon the Bubo class assault carrier is simply going to get outgunned and cornered. Unless Captain Kan has another trick up his sleeve.

“Captain, what are we going to do?”, Commander Yoko asks as she stands over him in the captain’s chair.
“Fitzgerald, is the Gatsby good to go?”, Captain Kan queries.
“Sir he is but my good friend can only carry this ship once more before his rest becomes an incontrovertible necessity”, Nick replies.

He thinks on it for a bit before proposing a radical notion.

“Milton”, Captain Kan asks, “their units are the same as yours, correct?”
“Yes sir”, Gabriel answers as he ducks his unit in and out of the line of fire.
“What does your warp synch target?”
“The frequencies sent out by the AI as it calculating where you’ll exist warp.”
“What would happen if you made the jump without the computer?”

The whole crew looks at the Captain with disbelief and you could hear a pin drop in their fretful silence.

“They would have nothing to track, sir”, Gabriel answers.
“Very well. Get back to the ship. We have a leap of faith to make.”
“I’m sorry captain I can’t do that.”

“Ensign that’s an order”, Commander Yoko snarls at Gabriel, “get your ass back here now!”
“Alla”, Gabriel replies, “do me a favor and shut the hell up! If they pick up only one AI making a calculation they’ll assume we’re both making the same jump. I’m going to lead them away from you.”

”Ensign! Don’t be stupid!”, Commander Yoko yells.
“Be brave son”, Captain Kan tells him.
“Yes sir, I will”, Gabriel says.

Gabe don’t do this”, Satie pleads with her friend, “you won’t make it back!”
He smiles, “Knowing you was the best part of my life Satie.”

With that he silences his coms. The corvettes begin to move in. Gabriel begins his warp’s targeting. Nick, placing his trust in his captain, prepares the Gatsby to make a blind jump. All the while Satie makes a mad dash for her Gundam but is stopped by Kao son Jinn.

“I can save him!”, she pleads as he holds her back.
“We’re not going to lose you”, he tells her.
“Let go of me!”, she screams as she breaks free of his grasp and climbs up toward the Reta’s cockpit.
“I can’t lose you too!”, he shouts back at her.

Those words provoke a memory that freezes Satie in her tracks. She remembers back to days when her mother was a pilot and that terrible day when she watched Basele Skye get ripped to pieces by mobile suits emblazoned with the sigil of an orange demon’s face.

“Gabriel!”, her mind screams across space, “I know them. The Arden fleet is where the EES puts the children of important people to pad their resumes. Go at them hard and they’ll panic.”

He hears her and responds, “Thanks…I’m sorry Satie.”

With those words both the Paradise Gundam and the Jiha blink out of existence. The Prejudice and Karenina follow the Paradise in kind.


Site CCXXXI:
The Laconia has launched and the Morrigans have warped to catch up with Prejudice and Karenina. Alexandras plots her next moves. The warp fighter Gundams will keep the trail while the corvettes corral the enemy ship. Once they’ve exhausted their options she’ll move in with the Laconia itself. If they surrender the Reta they will be taken as POWs. If they don’t then she will have them obliterated.

There’s a blue blink in space and she assumes that it’s one of her warp fighters. As it begins to open fire on her ships it becomes quite evident that it is not.

The Paradise soars along firing its beam rifle at point blank range on an Ashura class cruiser and Mangala class frigate scuttling them. Just as Satie said they would, the fleet panics and begins to open fire on the small, high speed, moving target and start blowing themselves to pieces with laser and turbo cannon fire.

“Cease fire! Cease fire! Cease fire!”, Alexandras screams at the top of her lungs.

She looks upon her eviscerated fleet and the calm, collected demeanor gives way to white hot rage.

“Rhegal, murder that bastard!”, she commands with a seething whisper.
“At once my love”, he readily accepts it.

The Lord Hand and greatest Red in the EES makes his way to his unit and prepares to launch. Meanwhile the Paradise is reeking utter havoc. Now that they’ve stopped firing on each other not nearly as many ships are getting scuttled but he is still annihilating their armaments. It dances through explosion and flame, in and out of storms of bullets, and with it’s golden wings and yellow beam saber it is as if it were some kind of angel sent to wreak holy retribution.

The Prejudice and Karenina blink back into existence and their pilots are left aghast at the damage left in their enemy’s wake. Reds Liza Austen and Leo Levin take formation and come in hot against their enemy. Unfortunately for them, Gabriel Milton is no longer trying to defend a target. Free to cut loose he easily overwhelms them. Levin gets his beam rifle cut in half but dodges quick enough to keep the Karenina intact.

In a desperate bid to save her fellow Red, Liza opens fire upon the enemy. It succeeds in diverting his attention. Now the Paradise comes barreling down at her with beam saber in hand. She can’t come anywhere close to hitting it. Just as she’s about to be run through, a flash of red and black sweeps in. It’s the Strike Maul!

Rhegal’s unit solidly kicks Gabriel’s in the face forcing him back, saving Liza’s life.

“Thank you most graciously, My Lord”, she tells him.
“Both of you fall back, now”, he commands.

They heed it and the two Gundams withdraw. This leaves the Paradise and Strike Maul to face each other alone in the wreckage of the Arden fleet.

“Shall we begin?”, Gabriel growls menacingly as his red eyes flare.
“Have at me”, Rhegal responds calmly as he ignites one side of his beam staff.

The Paradise rushes forward as Gabriel tries to blitz the blitzer. With fluid motion and genuine ease does the Strike Maul dodge, deflect, and maim its enemy’s off hand. Enraged, Gabriel rushes forward again. This time Rhegal subverts his strike with a back guard that he ripostes into a thrusting jab that takes the Paradise’s right arm off entirely.

“You are beaten. It is useless to resist”, Rhegal tells his foe.
“Is it now?”, Gabriel chuckles as he smashes the self destruct button.

The lights flash red in the cockpit of the Paradise and the external alarm blares. Gabriel Milton closes his eyes as he embraces his death with serenity. Yet before he can meet his fate the Strike Maul clenches its fist and rips the enclosed cockpit out of the Gundam. Channeling his power through his unit’s other hand, Rhegal telekinetically tosses it away where it explodes uselessly…and just like that the Gundam Paradise is lost.

Gabriel Milton is now in enemy custody.

Fin

Next time on Mobile Suit Gundam Reta:
Our heroes onboard the Jiha managed to get away clean, thanks to the sacrifice of Gabriel. Now that he’s in EES custody what fate shall befall him? Where is the Jiha? Even they don’t know! Next week: Aristoi

Follow to find out!

The year is 289 LC and after five years the Great System War enters its final phases. The Lunar Republic has been driven to the brink of collapse while the Eternal Empire of the Shadow, EES, stands poised to claim total victory. The fleets of the six divine families of the EES have out maneuvered and outclassed the seven fleets of the Republic’s Moon Guard. The superior tech of the EES has won over the superior numbers of the Republic.


Majestar:
It is this grim reality that weighs heavy on the mind of Danella Tagar, the twenty year young High Chancellor of the Republic. She was only fifteen when she inherited the monarchical title after her father’s assassination, the act that started the war to begin with. She stares out her office window down at the green surface of the terraformed Moon. Many miles above those who she governs she sits in the grand, ornate orbital colony that is Majestar.

“This feels wrong”, she mutters as the amethyst eyes of her reflection stare back at her.

She closes her eyes and pushes the thought aside as she walks back to her desk. That thought can explored another day. Today she must concern herself with survival. Danella taps a button on the side of her chair and a hologram schematic projects itself in front of her. It’s the complete details of a daring mission she has been asked to authorize, Operation Prodigal. After looking through the details for a bit she fiddles with her silver hair as she contemplates what she should do. She taps at the screen in her chair’s armrest and calls her Grand Marshall.

“Yes, High Chancellor?”, his voice projects into the room.
“Sir Dayne. What was that Earth phrase for a desperation play?”, she asks.
“A ‘Hail Mary,  ma’am.”
“Is that what Operation Prodigal is?”

Long silence.

“Yes ma’am”, he recalcitrantly responds.
“Is this the wisest course of action?”
“High Chancellor, you throw up a Hail Mary not because it’s wise but because it’s the only hope you have left.”
She grimaces, “Then we really don’t have a choice. Tell Captain Kan to commence Operational Prodigal.”
“At once, ma’am” he declares before ceasing communication.

Danella sighs heavily as she leans back and stares up at the ceiling.

“Father, what would you have done?”, she asks the ether.


Mars Orbit:
Far away from Majestar and the Moon a seemingly ill kept hauler comes screaming out of Mars orbit as it blinks out of existence in a flash of blue light as it enters warp. Emblazoned on the sides of the starship is an orange demon’s face with three claw slashes in front of it painted with a savage zeal. This symbol loudly declares to all who see it, “We are the Marauders. Be afraid and die.”

Inside the dimly lit corridors of the ship a quintet of criminals, thieves, pirates, terrorists, and murderers celebrate their latest score. Their leader is a towering and imposing man who’s amber eyes pierce through the shadows obscuring his face. Artificial fangs glimmer as he smiles sinisterly. High above them the sixth passenger has slipped his restraints and is making his way along the rickety ramparts. The tall, muscular man sneaks his way through the hazy, dark passage ways of his prison towards the hangar bay. There he finds ‘the score’. Six advanced prototype mobile suit Gundams, fifty foot tall robotic weapons of mass destruction, that had been stolen from the Olympia-Anu Conglomerate.

The man knows that the instant they drop out of warp he has to be ready to go. He finds a space suit and climbs into one of the Gundams.

“Alright bud, you ready?”, he asks the suit.
It’s large white eyes and chest piece activate as if answering him.
“Good. Don’t look back.”

With a flash of blue light the Marauder’s ship blinks back into existence as it exists warp in Earth orbit.

“Now!”, the man yells as the Gundam lunges forward shattering its restraints. Every alarm in the ship goes off filling the already hazy and dim corridors with strobing yellow light. The leader’s sinister smile turns to teeth clenched with fury and they all rush toward the hangar bay. As they enter the active Gundam swings its buster sword into the hangar door, tearing it wide open.

As the vacuum of space pulls everything that isn’t strapped down into the void the leader braces himself against the doorway. He resists even as the weight of his four companions comes crashing into his back. With tremendous effort he pushes back their combined weight  into the hallway before the airlock door seals itself. From there he snarls as he watches through the window as the black Gundam dives through the opening in the side of the ship.

As they fly through space towards Earth the Gundam’s eyes flash as its audio signalers electronically chirp.
“Yeah bud. I think we’re going to make it”, the man responds as if it actually spoke.

The Gundam soars toward the blue planet with several massive storm systems visible from orbit.


On board the Laconia:
Inside the unlit Admiral’s quarters onboard the flagship Laconia of the EES, two lovers lie unclothed beneath the satin sheets in each other’s embrace. One man and one woman. She is a slender woman in her early twenties, her long red hair reaches down to her mid-back, and she is Alexandras Arden: Admiral of the Arden fleet. She rests her head on his chest; him being a relatively tall man with blonde hair, also in his early twenties, and Rhegal Lucas: Lord Hand of Emperor Karn. Rhegal’s face is obscured by shadow.

They are content in each other’s arms. Both have been awake for a little while but neither wants this moment to end. Alexandras gently caresses his chest with the tips of her fingers. As her thoughts focus the caressing becomes a less gentle tapping.

“What’s on your mind?”, Rhegal asks.
“Why don’t you read it?”, she responds.
“Because I like it when you tell me.”

Her lavender eyes look up and lock with his blue. They smile and sweetly kiss one another before she rests her head upon his chest again as he holds her a little closer.

“Soon, Alex…soon”, he answers.
She sighs, “Why must it be a negotiation?”
“Because your family wasn’t keen on letting their heir marry a bastard of a lower family.”
“Well that was before you were appointed Lord Hand…”
“Before they thought I was the quickest path to the throne”, he pointedly quips.
“Can you blame them? I mean ‘Empress Alexandras’ does have a nice ring to it.”
“Yes, yes it does.”
“What should we name our future prince or princess?”
“I was thinking Toni.”
“Tony?!”
“Yeah, Toni. It could work for a boy or girl. Besides, all the empire will be expecting some grandiose name. Why not surprise them with something simple?”

She giggles and he chuckles at the thought.

“That would be nice”,  she says.
“Just as soon as the Lucas’ quit using their golden boy as leverage”, Rhegal sneers.
Alexandras gets up close to his face with hers, “Enough of that! Soon they’ll be my family and I won’t suffer to hear such disrespect.”
“Yes my once and future wife”, he smiles as he speaks.

They close their eyes and hold another. After not nearly long enough a buzzing sound goes off. It’s the alarm and both groan at it.

“Must we?”, he asks.
“Hop to soldier”, she fires back.
“Yes ma’am”, he salutes as he rises and marches over to the closet as she wraps herself in the sheets.

While he’s assembling the parts of his uniform she makes her way toward the bathroom door. As she flicks on the light she stops.

“You should wear your Black”, she says, “you are the Lord Hand now.”
“But I look so much better in my Reds,” Rhegal says as he exits the closet wearing his Red uniform, masked helmet covering his face.
“Must you hide your beautiful face?”, Alexandras laments.
“It was my father’s.”
“And you’d make him proud.”

They share one last quick kiss before he salutes and excuses himself to complete his
rounds.


Site CCXXXI:
On the far side of the base from where the flagship is docked is the testing/training facility. One of the Arden Fleet’s primary responsibilities is the development and training of new Reds, what the EES refers to its Gundam pilots as. Given that a single Gundam can do the work of entire army Reds are held in high regard. The Whites, cadets, designated with either sufficient potential or noted for Starborn abilities get sent to site CCXXXI for evaluation and training. A trio of such soldiers walk into the facility located in the cylindrical space station.

After several hours in the mobile suit simulator they get their results. The two young men’s results are either inconsistent or middling. The young woman’s are consistently among the highest in 2C3XI’s history. Occasionally even surpassing Lord Rhegal’s numbers from his time here. Important people are starting to take notice, people like Lord Rhegal.

As the Whites are cleaning themselves up after the session Rhegal enters the room. They salute him and he excuses the two men. There he stands in his full formal Reds, his father’s mask, and Hand’s rank. She being an eighteen year old with her dark brown hair held up in a bun by a purple head band, wearing white fingerless gloves, camo tactical pants, and a white tank top. She’s about half a foot shorter than him but she carries a cold intensity that is backed up by her lean muscle and striking blue eyes that are just like his.

“Kamille Yui?”, he puzzles out loud.
“That’s me, my lord”, she responds tersely.
“Isn’t Kamille a boy’s name?”
“It’s also a perfectly serviceable girl’s name, sir.”
“I suppose that it is.”

Rhegal takes a long moment to try and analyze her.

“You’re a Starborn aren’t you”, he says.
“How did you…”, she starts to say before being cut off.
“I can’t read your mind. That and your scores are clear indicators.”
“So it’s not just propaganda. You’re one too”, she says mildly excited.
“Indeed”, Rhegal responds as he levitates and takes notes with a pen, “How advanced are your abilities?”
“Not very”, she says as she poorly scribbles her signature with that pen.
“You underestimate your telepathy.”
“Is that so?”

Rhegal closes his folder and stuffs the pen into his coat pocket.

“I can casually pierce most telepathic barriers but I can’t with yours”, he says.
“Is that a fact?”, she says with some pride.
“So what are you trying to hide from me?”, he asks.

Her cold confidence breaks and she grows visibly nervous, eyes widening.

“You will answer me Yui”, his command is foreboding.
She covers her face and begins to shake as she speaks, “Please don’t tell the Admiral.”
“Tell the Admiral what, Yui?”
“That I…that I…”, she struggles to say the words.
“Say your peace now or suffer the consequences.”

“That I have the biggest crush on you!”, she screams very loudly.
“What?”, Rhegal is befuddled.

Her stoic mannerisms have given way to seemingly latent girlish tendencies.

“You’re amazing! heroic! brave! handsome! cool…”, she rambles faster and faster.
“Enough!”, he bellows, “Now I understand.”

Clearly embarrassed the young lady tries to compose herself. Rhegal smiles, he finds this display endearing.

“So then I suppose I have either very good or very bad news for you.”, he tells her.
“What would that be?”, she replies nervously.
“I’ve decided to take you on as my apprentice.”

She glomps him.

He sighs as he pushes her away, “but this type of behavior is not permissible.”
She snaps to attention as she shouts, “Yes sir! It will cease immediately!”
“Good. Be ready to fly tomorrow.”
“You mean…am I a Red now?” she exclaims happily.
“Almost. As I’m sure your aware, we have the new model arriving tomorrow. I need to see how you handle the real thing.”

It takes every ounce of her energy to hold her salute. Rhegal dismisses her and she all but prances away. He smiles as he watches her. Once she’s certain that she’s out of sight she drops the act. Her cold confidence is back and she looks back with disgust.

She finds her way back to her dorm. It’s immaculately kept and devoid of all flare or personality. With a laser focus and adamant purpose she composes a message.

“Hey mom!
I have great news, well I can’t say just yet but I can’t wait to tell you!!! XD
Oh I finally got your gift. It’s everything I could ever hope for! Can’t wait to see you and the family tomorrow! :P”


On board the Jiha:
Somewhere out in space a Bubo class assault cruiser hides amongst some meteor rubble. On board it a tall woman with white hair receives the message. She walks to the bridge where a tall shirtless man with jet black hair, signature sunglasses, and military jacket hung over his shoulders sits in the Captain’s chair.

“Captain, tomorrow is go”, Commander Yoko tells him.
“You’re nervous”, Captain Kan tells her.
“And you’re not?”, she sighs mildly annoyed his confidence, “Of course your not.”
He chuckles, “Believe in Satie. She’s the Republic’s last hope. So hold her high in your thoughts and dear to your heart.”


Site CCXXXI:
Back in her dorm, Satie lies awake thinking about her encounter with Rhegal. At the same time, he lies awake thinking about her. Neither can shake a profound but nebulous feeling about the other. They both get up and stare out their windows. Somehow they know each other is doing the same.


The following morning finds the undercover Satie continuing her masquerade as “Kamille Yui”. The hapless fangirl act is going over so well that it makes her sick. It is with iron resolve that she prevents herself from digging her nails into Rhegal’s arm as she hangs on it.

After what feels like an eternity to her they finally arrive at the Laconia’s hangar bay. There the new unit, her target, is being unloaded, the Gundam Reta. The state of the art mobile suit has the distinctive red and black color scheme of S series commander units.

“Is that the new S series?”, she asks fishing for information.
“No. Actually it’s the first MSGT”, Rhegal unwittingly confirms her objective.
“It’s not a DT?”
“It’s not a dark type. It’s the first ever grey type.”
“Please tell me I get to fly that!” she feigns girlish enthusiasm.
“Indeed you do.”

Playing her part she kisses his cheek. He wipes it way.

“What did I say about this type of behavior?”, he chides her.
“I’m sorry my lord”, she apologizes.

Satie straps into the Gundam Reta with her EES space suit as Rhegal observes from the hangar while Alexandras oversees from the bridge. The countdown begins and Satie presses a signal button hidden in her necklace. Just before launch she blows a kiss at Rhegal and somewhere deep in his soul he realizes that he’s been had.

Before he can react the Gundam Reta is launched as a Bubo class assault cruiser comes out of warp immediately next to the space station, and every alarm in 2C3XI goes off. The dozen ships guarding the space station are caught off guard by the suicidal tactic.


On board the Jiha:
Captain Kan laughs in fervent triumph as the rest of his crew slowly gather their spirits after narrowly obliterating themselves coming out of warp.

“Fitzgerald!”, he barks at his ensign on the coms.
“Yes Captain my Captain!”, Nick responds as tries collect himself inside his warp suit’s cockpit.
“Great work on the jump! Be ready to do it again the instant Satie’s on board with that thing!”


On board the Laconia:
Alexandras is observing her fleet’s seeming inaction against the enemy.

“Why aren’t they firing?”, her first officer asks in credulity.
“Because the enemy is too close to the colony. Their laser and turbo cannons would rip us to pieces”, she responds calmly.

As certain as she hates them for showing her up, she also admires the enemy’s tenacity.

“Shoot it down!”, Rhegal’s voice comes over the coms.
“We can’t Lord Lucas. The enemy ship is too close to the colony”, she replies.
“Not the assault carrier”, he clarifies, “shoot down the Reta!”

The EES ace launches with his MS-DT “S” series commander unit, the Strike Maul. The high speed blitzing unit is in hot pursuit of the Reta.

Alexandras stops to consider the situation.

“Admiral, your orders?” one her officers asks.
“Launch the Prejudice and Karenina!”, she yells.

Shortly afterward two “L” series Gundams launch; one green and yellow, the other red and light grey.


Site CCXXXI:
Satie flies toward the colony wall closest to where the Jiha should be. She knows this thing is supposed to have a Dark Drive, a piece of tech that magnifies her Starborn abilities. As she has the suit fling its arms out to its sides it rips a giant hole in the colony. Indeed it does have one hell of Dark Drive. The Gundam Reta jets through the opening as the vacuum of space starts sucking everything into the void.

The Strike Maul rushes forward. Rhegal knows that he doesn’t have more than 3 seconds to clear the opening before the emergency shielding seals the opening. He could break off but he’s not going to. The Strike Maul blitzes through the opening a split second before metric tons of carbon steel slam shut sealing the opening.

“Great work Skye! Now get on board”, Commander Yoko orders Satie over her coms.

With covering fire from the Jiha she could probably lose the Strike Maul but she’s not going to miss this opportunity. Satie has Reta ignite its beam saber. Rhegal has the Strike Maul ignite it’s beam staff. Both are red.

“It doesn’t get anymore real than this, traitor”, Rhegal says to Satie.
“Come and get me, Tiger”, she says to him.

The two Gundams rush one another. The Strike Maul spins and summersaults wildly while the Reta patiently defends and dodges the assault. The units’ beam blades get caught in a mutual bind.

“How advanced are your abilities?”, he asks.
“You want to find out?”, she replies.

The each break off their blocks and prepare their strike. Each fires off a powerful telekinetic wave that pushes one another back an equal, substantive distance. A true draw. However, Satie uses the distance to make a break for the Jiha. The Strike Maul starts to pursue but breaks off when the ship starts to cover her withdraw. The Reta reaches the carrier and it prepares to make its jump to warp.

“Open fire! Don’t let them escape!” Rhegal screams at the ships surrounding the enemy.
“At ease Captain”, Alexandras says, “Prejudice and Karenina, what’s your status?”
“Prejudice synched”, Liza replies.
“Karenina synched”, Leo responds.
Rhegal sneers, “Blow them out of warp.”
“Yes sir!”, they reply.

With those words the Jiha threads the needle between the tight enemy formation and blinks out of existence in a flash of blue. As it does so two smaller flashes of blue follow it.

Fin

Next time on Mobile Suit Gundam Reta:
Operation Prodigal so far has been a success but that may not last…The Gundams Prejudice and Karenina are in hot pursuit in warp! What’s this? Our heroes only have one warp fighter! Our lives are in your hands Gabriel. Next week: Archangel

In the year 284 LC (Lunar Concordance) Valorum Tagar, High Chancellor of the Lunar Republic is assassinated on the order of Tenabrae Karn, supreme ruler of the Eternal Empire of the Shadow (EES). The long simmering political tensions erupt into open war that engulfs the entire solar system. Refugees are forced to return the planet their ancestors were forced to abandon many centuries ago, Earth. Five years on and the Lunar Republic stands on the precipice of defeat.

Desperate, the young Chancellor Danella Tagar authorizes a daring mission: Operation Prodigal. An elite team of pilots will infiltrate the EES and steal the advanced Dark prototype. Success could turn the tide of the war where as failure will doom them to certain defeat…

Meanwhile, the infamous pirates, mercenaries, terrorists extraordinaire known as the Marauders steal 6 prototypes from the Olympia-Anu Comglomerate (OAC). AWOL soldier Eddie Badger manages to abscond with one of the units and heads to Earth…

Will Operation Prodigal save the Republic? Can Eddie stay one step ahead of the Marauders.

Follow to find out! Next week on MSG Reta: Hail Mary…

Post Earth
After the Earth became uninhabitable humanity sought refuge in its orbital colonies throughout the solar system. The longer they lived in space the more humanity adapted to their new environment. A small handful of the population began to develop extrasensory abilities. This portion of the populace would quickly rise to become the new ruling elite. The combination of the failure of Earth’s democracy and the wide spread perception of “Starborn” genetic superiority would advent a new aristocracy and herald the return of the monarchs.

The Lunar Civil War
Peace in the Starborn aristocracy would not last. Tensions between the colonists on the Moon would boil over into out and out civil war between the “light” and “dark” sides of the Moon. After years of bloody conflict the Lunar Concordance was signed, implementing a tenuous cease-fire. Despite the terms of peace being met tensions remained high. In their efforts to subvert one another the Lunar Republic and the Eternal Empire of the Shadow (EES) began cultivating alliances. In this time of fragile peace a new weapon rose to prominence…the Gundam.

Gundams
These ultra advanced mobile suits can do the work of an entire army with a single unit. Naturally the Gundams eventually replaced the armies. Piloting a Gundam comes with great prestige and phenomenal political power, thus such an honor became reserved for the Starborn aristocracy. The Lunar Republic and EES began developing “light type” and “dark type” units to be piloted exclusively by Starborn. These specialized units greatly enhance and weaponize Starborn abilities.

OAC
The Olympia Anu Conglomerate (OAC) is responsible for the development and production of all Gundam units. It sells to both sides of the conflict through its subsidiaries the Athena Group and Ares-El Foundation. OAC pushed for the shift from mass produced units to specialized Gundams due to the profitability of the shift. The research and development costs for each new Gundam is greater than the production of 100,000 mass produced mobile suits. With this profound wealth OAC built the Martian colony into the industrial heart of the solar system, the throne of their corpocracy.

The Moon
Both the Lunar Republic and the EES rule from large orbital colonies on either side of the Moon. There the Starborn nobles live in wealth and privilege. The ornate palatial designs of each spiral upwards with every new generation. Meanwhile the Lunar colonists they claim dominion over live a frontier lifestyle to establish new settlements.

Majestar is the seat of the Lunar Republic. Together the senate, comprised of representatives from the nobility, and a monarchal executive (High Chancellor) rule in concert with one another. The Tagars have maintained their position as High Chancellors since the founding of the republic. Chief among their responsibilities is to serve as Supreme Commander of military forces.

Impericant is the temple/palace of the Emperor. Emperors rule as absolute dictators of the EES with an iron fist and strict military control. Though known to live unnaturally long lives most emperors die young due to the cutthroat internal politics of the Empire. Most of the day to day tasks fall to the ruling council, which is headed by the Lord Hand.

Colonization and Terraforming
The inner rim colonies have historically allied themselves with the Lunar Republic. Earth orbit colony collectives’ primary trade are resources scavenged from Earth. The Venusian colonies primarily harvest carbon from the planet’s atmosphere, which has proven to be a very valuable building material. All attempts to terraform the hellish surface have proven futile.

The Moon itself became the heart of post-Earth humanity for a number of reasons.
1.) proximity
2.) water (used for rocket fuel)
3.) helium3 (for nuclear fusion)
4.) REMs (rare earth metals, essential for electronics)
Terraforming the Moon became the grand unifying goal of the human race. After successfully generating a habitable atmosphere through engineered comet strikes, a subtropical climate came to define the Moon. Due to its synchronous orbit the common perception of the moon not spinning is incorrect. As such “light” and “dark” sides of the moo are little more than colloquial holdovers.

The terraforming of Mars proved much more straightforward if not easier. The weak atmosphere had to be reinforced by a planetary magnetosphere generator. This tremendous task was accomplished by the Anu Corporation (who would later merge with the Olympia Foundation) and paved the way for their dominion over the planet. All who live on Mars are employees of Olympia-Anu from birth to death. Many critics have called the practice corporate slavery.

The Outer Rim
As humanity progressed into the Outer Rim, Saturn’s moon Titan and Jupiter’s moon Europa became the centers of human life and civilization. Neither needed to be terraformed to support sustainable life. Titan is the most earth-like object in the solar system and Europa has a vast ocean underneath its frozen surface. Due to their extreme cold (-250 degrees F) both would seem uninhabitable. Manmade bio domes allow colonization on Titan, where as by definition the unfrozen ocean of Europa has to be warmer than 32 degrees F, thus underwater cities are built. Both support primitive alien life, especially Europa and its vast ecological system beneath the frozen surface of its ocean.

Much like Mars corporate investment paved the road for the development of Titan and Europa, but unlike Mars no single corporate entity was able to gain utter supremacy. This competition allowed for “towns” to form which would mature into governorships. After gathering themselves into a loose federation the Governors of the Outer Rim (GOR) was established. Here in the frozen fringes of the solar system the last remnants of human democracy grows anew. GOR’s primary trade is the hydrogen, helium, and methane they mine from the atmosphere of the gas giants.

The Marauders
Many revolutionaries, rebellions, terrorist cells, and mercenary armies have come and gone in this new age of man…but none more infamous than the Marauders, terrorist for hire. The delight in the work that is too dirty for nation states and corporations to touch. As such they are universally decried in the public whilst being secretly paid by most of the powers that be. They are pirates and war criminals with multiple massacres to their name.

To anyone who knows me it is not a surprise to hear that anime has had a tremendous influence over me. Like many of the geekier kids of late 90s and early 2000s, Toonami and Adult Swim would be gateways to a whole new world of storytelling and entertainment. Anime was like nothing western children had ever seen before. The long form narratives, high intensity action, grand stakes, and foreign aesthetic captivated us. Shows like Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon, and Gundam Wing became integral fixtures within our own nerd culture and garnered the lifelong adoration of fans across the world. The latter of which affected me the most.

More than introducing my pre-teen brain to the notion of giant robots fighting in outer space, Gundam Wing was my first cognizant introduction to political subtext in entertainment. Yes the giant fighting robots were cool but the notion of them fighting for some greater, tangible purpose enthralled me…even if I didn’t understand any of it at the time. As I look back on it I now realize that many of the precepts for my anti-war political leanings are rooted in my experience watching Gundam. My pre-teen brain may not of understood it but my heart knew that truth, that peace is worth fighting for, was a foundational truth for my life.

Fittingly, the Gundam franchise is a well I regularly draw from. I am copiously familiar with the many sub-franchises and timelines, the characters often serve as the exemplar archetypes within my conception, and the stories will stick with me forever.

For a long time Gundam has been a primary inspiration for me. Now that my writing skills have matured I feel it is time to make use of that inspiration and knowledge. I have planned and now shall write a Gundam series of my own design. Why?

To see if I can.

The following is a fan’s original story inspired the series.
Gundam
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