Mobile Suit Gundam 0079 Side Story: Angels in the Sky

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Mobile Suit Gundam 0079 Side Story: Angels in the Sky

Postby Vernier Wings » Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:48 pm

Mobile Suit Gundam 0079: Angels in the sky (Revised)

Prologue

2nd January UC 0079
L4, Side 2, Hatte


“Alright just one more round and we’re done here. Try to get some sleep after this okay?”

The timeless silence and solitude of the space of the Side 2 Colony Bunch was disturbed as a flight of blue painted Saberfish squadron maneuvers around the continually spinning Kard colony on routine patrol duty. It is noted that even though it is the least protected sector of Side 2 with only a small garrison force on Kard colony, the Earth Federation CO of said garrison makes an utmost importance of making up to it by making it the most rigorously patrolled sector in all of Side 2, twice more than a garrison twice their size. Because of that, it was easy to point out that he was somewhat paranoid, something which earned him a cruel nickname of by many in the Space Force. His subordinates would find themselves protecting his good name in an instant whenever it was mentioned.

As the Saberfish squadron are about to finish up their patrol, one of the Saberfish pilot said over the squadron tacnet, “Hold on a sec, I think I saw something there.”

“What? Where? I don’t see anything.” Another pilot instantly responded over the tacnet.

“There, I thought I saw something moving in that pile of debris.” The pilot insisted, referring to some floating pieces of metal scraps, some twice the size of their own Saberfish, probably left from a colony surface repair work that did not follow or were slightly ignorant of the colony safety regulations concerning debris inside the colony sectors.

“It must be your imagination, Lieutenant. Radar isn’t picking up anything else in this area.” The flight leader finally responded after giving his instruments a once look over.

“Maybe we should take a close look.” The pilot suggested.

“Are you sure, Lieutenant? Our fuel’s pretty low, and I think that pretty girl from the Amerigo...”

“Alright, alright. Leave her out of this already,” the Lieutenant moaned, “I just hope I really am wrong.”

---

“That was close.

After the Saberfish squadron was finally out of visual range, an oddly designed MS-05 Zaku - with a strange box like contraption that was in place of where the right arm should be - came out of hiding from behind the debris, it’s mono-cam snapping left and right to make sure there was no more Federation patrols nearby, starfighters or otherwise. Once the pilot was assured that there wasn’t anymore nearby, it raised its left arm in a ‘thumbs up’ to signal its two escorting Gattle fighter craft to get out of hiding.

“That sure was, ma’am,” One of the Gattle pilot replied the Zaku pilot’s earlier remark. “It sure was lucky for us that this pile of debris was here, poor excuse for a cleanup work it may be.”

“Chuck it to them Feds to be stingy on repair work. At least that ain’t our problem now anymore, right?” Another pilot replied followed by laughter from the four Gattle pilots.

“We’re still on a mission here,” the Zaku pilot interjected after the laugh died down. “Stow those idle chatter for now.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Alright, let’s move out, proceeding to the next sector of operation,” The Zaku pilot told her two escorts before turning her Zaku around and ready to move. “We’re almost done here but don’t let your guards down just yet.”

“Roger that.”

---

3rd January UC 0079
EFS Cosmo-Penalty, Magellan-class Battleship
L4, Side 2, Hatte


“What in God’s name?” Earth Federation Space Force Captain Wen Oxford of the 175th battle group yelled angrily, standing up and jaws agape as a sudden explosion which resulted in the destruction of the Salamis-class cruiser Deliphine ahead of his own ship in full view. It was completely uncalled for and a surprise too as they were just about to execute patrol duty round the Santa Fe colony sector.

“Evasive maneuvers! All hands, battle stations!” Oxford yelled after a moment of regaining his composure. Alarm claxon rang throughout the ship, sending everyone on board diving into a frantic wave of panic as yellow particle beam shots lanced out of the darkness towards their battle group, resulting in some hits being scored on some of the 175th’s ships. The damage inflicted was luckily only superficial however and seconds after recovering from the hits, their own guns responded with unequal ferocity at their unknown aggressor, resulting in blinking lights flashing from where the enemy fire came from.

“What’s going on? Who’s firing at us? I want details now!”

“I can’t identify the enemy as of yet, sir.” The sensors operator reported, “The shots are being fired from beyond our sensor ranges. There are also some interferences running too.”

“Not good corporal, try again. I need to know at least who we’re up against here.” The captain ordered as a follow up volley of beam fires from their aggressor lances out again; two went pass by the bridge fore view port by meters which briefly radiated searing heat into the bridge for a second. “What the bloody hell are you doing?!” He yelled at the gunnery officer, “Keep firing!”

“I am!” The officer retorted angrily as he readjusts the guns. Outside, the Cosmo Penalty’s main guns swiveled before as one, fires all port facing guns at whatever it is there again in return. They were rewarded again with several more blinking flash of light, indicating that their shots still found their mark.

“Captain!” Oxford turned to see the face of his nephew: Earth Federation Army Major Ethan Nice appears on his communications vidscreen. “I got reports from several fleet squadrons in other sectors in the vicinity confirms of Zeon fleet elements bombarding their sectors.”

Oxford’s eyes went wide at the mention of Zeon. “That can’t be. They’re seriously declaring war on us?!”

His XO was shaking his head in disbelief. “How could that be? And at a time like this…”

“I’m afraid so, sir. The report isn’t clear but there’s also additional reports that Zeon is fielding a new type of space fighters that’s they’re having trouble with. Captain, we have to launch our Saberfish squadrons immediately to cover us...” Ethan was cut off suddenly as a flash of very bright light came from somewhere behind them, accompanied shortly after by a powerful after shock that shook their ships, their massive frames groaning under it.

“What... what was that?” Oxford spoke first after the sound had subsided.

After a moment referring to his communications panel, the comms operator turned to the captain, wide eyed, and said. “Captain! Sector 6 fleet reports of Zeon use of NBCs!”

“N… BCs?” Oxford muttered under his breath in disbelief, slumping in his chair and feeling as if the world has come to an impossible end. First the Zeon is going to war and now they’re using nukes?

To squash his disbelief, a live video feed showing on screen at the moment shows various sectors of Side 2 engulfed in white nuclear fireballs while the ones that were hit already left trails of colony and ship wreckages as far as the video could zoom in.

“Captain! We have incoming enemy fighters bearing two-one-seven, approaching our vector!”

Snapping himself out of his thoughts, Oxford returned to his duty. “Get our AA guns ready and order all Saberfish squadrons to launch immediately to intercept them!”

---

While the bridge crews are witnessing all the carnage above, the crews below deck had to listen to the reports flowing in from the bridge. Shocked expression formed on their faces at the battle brewing they can't see. Most of those who are colony residents couldn't sit still to listen when reports of colonies being hit were reported.

“All Saberfish pilots scramble now and prepare for combat. Repeat, all Saberfish pilots scramble now and prepare for combat. We have enemy fighters inbound.”[b] The announcement came in through the speakers.

“You heard them. Let's move it people!” Earth Federation Space Force pilot Lieutenant Dan Dressier shouted to his men. Encouragement was not needed and the pilots scrambled for their Normal Suits, helmets or both before scrambling for their Saberfish docked on the ship’s outer hull. Dressier managed to put on his helmet before the airlock opened to let them out on to the Glide's hull and reach for their Saberfish. Once strapped in, Dan went through the pre-flight checklist hastily, the Saberfish’s engines whining to life.

“Control, this is Alpha Leader, requesting permission to launch immediately.”

[b]“Control here, Alpha Squadron, you're good to go!”


“Roger. Alpha Squadron, launching!” The ship’s docking clamps unclamps the Saberfish of the Alpha Squadron as their rocket thrusters propelled them forward. Other Saberfish of the 7th Saberfish Squadron too launches from their carrier ships, forming up behind Alpha Squadron in formation.

“7th Squadron, report.” Dan queried as he keyed in his comms into the Squadron’s tacnet.

“Beta Squadron, ready as you are sir.”

“Charlie Squadron, same here.”

“Delta Squadron, all accounted for.”

“Echo Squadron, all present, Captain.”


“Roger that. This is it people. This is the real thing now; I hope your times in both simulations and real training pay off. Don't slack off or we won't have a home to go back to, all of you get me?”

While the others replied earnestly, Sergeant Zhang Shuhuan could only halfheartedly reply, not because that he doesn’t live on a colony anywhere or that he doesn’t share any symphaty to his other flight mates but instead on the cold hard fact that he’s going to face his first ever real life combat sortie.

“Enemy sighted, twelve o’clock.” somebody yelled over the squadron tacnet with surprise. Shuhuan squinted through his cockpit canopy towards an incoming flight of Zeon Gattle starfighters, their numbers uncountable. Shuhuan felt his stomach churning as the range between the two formation closes fast.

“Break off and engage them individually!” Dan quickly ordered as the Gattles launches volleys of missiles, only to find them miss as the Saberfishes have already broken off formation to try to engage them up close. With their first volley missed, the Gattles breaks off too and engages the Saberfishes and a dogfight between the two opposing starfighter forces ensue. It was every man for himself. The numbers of Gattles were twice more than the Sabrefishs as they swarmed all over them. Shuhuan had never seen so many. A Gattle shot straight past in front of him, blasting away at a Saberfish from Echo squad to his starboard. Then there was another, and another. He looked wildly around searching for targets. The tacnet was full of shouting and swearing. "Behind you!" someone shouted over the tacnet. Behind who? Behind who? Shuhuan thought looking back. Radar was useless now that the Gattles were too close to use it. The eyes are his only sense of the area.

The Gattles were coming down on them form all over the place. Shuhuan found himself ducking, ridiculously in his seat as he banks left to throw off a missile aimed at him. He wanted so much to fire back but the swarms of Gattles were too many. The radar failed to tell anything of the environment around them but Shuhuan knows that a Gattle is right on his tail. He lurches wildly to avoid Vulcan fires, almost crashing into another Saberfish as he did so. He looped back to get some kind of view of the area.

The black space and the stars spun round together like a kaleidoscope until he stopped. He tried to get his bearings but couldn't see a thing. He could hear screaming. Screaming and screaming in his helmet phones.

He looked about, craning his neck. Nothing. Everyone else was busy fending off the Gattles. Then, he saw it; a Gattle coming straight at him from above. Shuhuan rolled his Saberfish away as it fired at him. A Saberfish shot by and exploded moments later with a Gattle following behind, blasting away. Shuhuan fired at it but missed by miles. Debris was flying past, clipping his Saberfish's wing.

There were too many Gattles around but never in his gun sight. Shuhuan felt like crying with frustration from it. It felt like that sooner or later he was going to get hit and go down. They were better than me, he thought. It was as simple as that. The Saberfish is a great fighter but not with me in the cockpit, he thought again.

As he swings around to search another target, a Gattle suddenly shot across in front of him. Shuhuan instinctively fired a quick successive burst, missed but tries to trail behind it. The Gattle pilot, sensing a Saberfish was on his tail tries to shake Shuhuan off. But Shuhuan wasn’t going to let this one off that easily and once his target reticule turned red to confirm a full lock-on, and Shuhuan fires off a missile. Seconds later, the missile hit the Gattle in its rocket thrusters and the ensuing explosion destroys it completely in a fireball. Shuhuan rejoiced silently at his first kill. But there were still many more Gattles around him and he quickly responded to a request for help from his fellow pilots. Maybe, this isn't so bad after all. Moments later, another Gattle went down from a burst of his machinegun.

The world around him then suddenly flashes white and Shuhuan found himself screaming at the top of his lungs as his Saberfish violently tumbles about from a powerful shockwave, from an exploding nuclear warhead nearby with the Cosmo-Penalty as the center point of the nuclear fireball.

---

Chapter 1

16th January UC 0079
EFS Glide, Magellan-class Battleship
L1, Side 5, Loum


Tell me it’s just a nightmare…

Regaining her consciousness, Sensor Chief Warrant Officer Yukihotaru Misaki groaned wistfully, wishing the whole debacle she went through and witnessed was really just a nightmare. She began to feel the ache throbbing throughout her body especially her head. Great, my first migraine, she thought to herself sarcastically.

Fluttering her eyes open, Yuki squinted through the dimness presented before her. The emergency lightings were on now but it wasn’t enough to illuminate the bridge to look at from where she lay.

“Are you alright, Yuki?” Looking up, Yuki saw the worried face of Gunnery Chief Warrant Officer Somere Rodin behind the faceplate of her Normal Suit.

“I’m fine.” Yuki replied simply.

“Good.” Somere commented, glad that another of crewmate is still alive and well, “Then you can get up and help us here. The place’s a mess.”

Pushing herself off the floor with the aid of Zero-G, Yuki finds herself in the ruined bridge of the Magellan-class battleship, Glide where she is currently stationed. The reinforced main view port and part of the forward wall was gone, exposing the pressurized bridge to the vacuum. It was lucky that all of them were wearing Normal Suit. But even with that, she isn’t sure if it had kept everyone alive yet.

The helmsman’s control was gone too and so is the helmsman himself. What’s left of him was a gory ruin under the unexploded 280mm shell that blasted through the bridge. Yuki struggled to hold on to her last meal and turned away from the sight.

“Damn Zeeks. Never knew how to make perfect ordnance, don’t they?” asked Communications Chief Warrant Officer Walter de Fault rhetorically. He was helping the Glide’s Commanding Officer, Major Ethan Nice, up.

“Don’t push our luck than it’s already is, de Fault. I want to save some more of it.” Somere shot back at him.

“How’s the Major?” Yuki interjected.

“I’m fine, thank you for asking, Chief.” The young Major said as he managed to stand straight without de Fault’s help. “We should get to the secondary bridge now and asses the damage and situation. We’re not going to stay here any longer than we should. We’ll have to report back to Luna II. How are the crews down below?”

“They reported of heavy casualty, sir and several confirmed dead but we’re good enough to continue operating normally.” Somere replied.

“Permission to speak sir,” Yuki said, raising her right hand.

“Yes, Chief?”

“We should also look for any survivors out here too, sir. Who knows, there might be somebody still alive out there,” she said, pointing to the void outside the bridge.

“Good idea, Chief. Never would have thought that of myself. Let’s go then. We have to hurry.”

“Yes, sir!” the three enlisted officers replied in unison.

“You’re worried about him, aren’t you?” Somere asked Yuki as they made their way down to the secondary bridge.

“No,” she hesitantly replied, “I just thought what came to mind.” She lied. She actually was worried about the person Somere was indicating about. In her heart, she just wished he was still alive after all that.

Nice floats into the secondary bridge after keying open the door, followed closely by the other bridge crew as they heads to man their stations. Reaching his command chair, Nice keys in his unique access codes into the command access panel which then activates the secondary bridge’s systems while re-routing all primary controls from the damaged primary bridge upstairs down to the secondary bridge.

“Systems check everyone.” Nice said as he sits into his command chair, “Situation report from engine room?”

“Report from the engine room says they’re currently undergoing repairs on bringing the engines online now. Damage is not superficial and we could be moving in an hour or so.” De Fault replied after consulting with the engine room crew through the ship’s intercom.

Nice digested the information and continued, “Good. What’s the current casualty report after my last query?”

“Five more dead and ten more injured so far after the battle had ended, sir.” Yuki replied, “Combined with casualty during the battle, we’re just barely undermanned now.”

“That’ll be fine for now,” Nice assured her, “Chief, de Fault, get any personnel not doing anything significant for the ship to help out with the repairs.”

“Roger that, sir.” De Fault responded before leaving the bridge.

“Alright, Chief,” he then turned to Yuki, “Can you get those sensors up and running and try to trace any survivors out there now?”

“Will do, sir!” Yuki replied enthusiastically before she went of to work.

---

Why?

Within the exposed confines of the cockpit of his FF-S3 Saberfish, Sergeant Zhang Shuhuan did not know what actually woke him up; the question he had unconsciously asked himself or the pain in the small gaping wound in his body. His head hung down, he slowly looked up once again to lay his eyes at the horrendous vista laid before him.

What have they done?

Hours has passed since the largest ever space battle between two opposing space fleets has ended here in Side 5. The largest yet since the beginning of the Universal Century calendar. The entirety of the Earth Federation Space Force navy omitted into a single battle against the Zeon Space Force in an effort to stop another colony drop after the drop on Sydney, Australia or what’s remains of it now at the bottom of a bay. Every single unit that could at least move and kill was brought up to even the odds given by Zeon, for they fielded a new weapon that was a monster on the battlefield.

The humanoid cyclopean machine was something almost unbelievable to the eyes of those who saw it. No one yet knows the name of it but already, by the survivors and those who watched various footages of it alike, nicknames were thought up in jest and hate: One-eye, Spikey, Zeekilla. Anything just so the next time they saw one; they’ll shoot words, curse, hate and death.

But that did not stop them from carrying nuclear weapons however as they did before back on the 3rd of January and now it was here in Side 5, where dreams and nightmares collided in a senseless confusion for all who fought and lived here. The result of countless nuclear weapons fired indiscriminately to kill one another, resulted in the death of Zeons, Federations and civilians alike and certainly not in that order.

The massive conglomeration of colony and warship debris that now litter Side 5 will forever be a testament that nuclear weapons were used here arbitrarily, destroying the forever dream of peace and Side 5 itself from existence.

All for the sake of a mock independence.

What have I done!?

It did not escape his conscience then or forever that he himself had used them too. His own Saberfish was previously outfitted with two nuclear tipped torpedoes he had despised Zeon of using. He didn’t know though if he was lucky enough to get only the two last torpedoes while the others were carrying more. Whatever it was the feeling, it didn’t help his conscience one bit.

His first shot using it was fired on its intended targets. Two squadrons of Zeon ships and several of their innovative space fighters and nothing more, to which he was glad. But his last shot wasn’t as precise as destroying another set target.

He had failed to notice the distance between the advancing squadrons of Zeon ships and the rotating colony cylinder nearby. The distances though great, the ensuing explosion was close enough to create a large fissure in its hull. Growing larger and longer around the colony cylindrical hull until it cracked the colony into two. He did not fail to see the contained atmosphere and its entire content was vented out into the embrace of space.

And after the battle had ended with the full retreat of what’s left of the Zeon fleet, though with high losses on their side as well, Shuhuan felt very much alone in the middle of nowhere. As he continues to lose more blood through his wound, Shuhuan wondered if he is going to die here alone any time soon.

At least he thought he was until his radio crackled to life as a very recognizable and worried voice spoke through the impended static, “This is the EFS Glide to any units out there still alive! Do you copy? Please respond! I repeat~”

Yuki!

Shuhuan fumbled painfully for the radio controls in an instance as if the voice had brought back his spirit and took three deep breaths before replying, trying hard to hide the pain inflicting him.

He spoke into his helmet phone, “This is Saberfish 344, Sergeant Zhang Shuhuan requesting immediate assistance. I’m... I’m wounded and need medical attention quick.”

“Copy that, Sergeant. We’ll make best speed. Just hang in there. We’re tracing you now by your IFF signature.”[b] The voice on the other end replied with hints of breaking down in tears at hearing his voice again. And quietly, she added, [b]“Just hang on, okay, Shuhuan?”

“Uh… um.” Was all he could manage to reply in return before he slumps back in his seat, assured that he’s saved.

---

16th January UC 0079
EFS Glide, Magellan-class Battleship
L1, Side 5, Loum


“What’s the status report on our engines, chief?” Nice queried the chief engine technician through the ship’s intercom, “Will she move?”

“We manage to get the engines back online safely but I reckon its output will be down by half if you don’t mind, sir,” came the reply, “‘Cause the engine themselves won’t last long under maximum thrust.”

“That’ll be fine for us now, chief and thank you. Just make sure they run well until we get back to Luna II.”

“Count on me and my men, sir.” The chief replied proudly, “We’ll keep her up even if it’ll take us days to get back to the docks.”

“I’m sure you will, chief.” Nice replied before closing the link. Turning towards the bridge crew, he said, “Alright, we’re moving out now. All personnel, to your stations. Once we pick up all survivors in the vicinity, we’ll proceed to return to Luna II.”

---

Boring.

Corporal Sebastian Rieper lazily stretches his entire frame out in the open without the limited bounds of the MS-06C Zaku II’s cockpit he had piloted. Though it may be dangerous to what’s with all the wreckage that is drifting nearby, he feared none of it and sees the debris as nothing more than an ‘environmental feature’.

After all, no sons of New Koenigsberg fears what the Darkness Without End have to offer in its embrace, even if it kills them.

Rieper stifled a yawn, exhaustion finally taking over him not from the battle he had endured and survived but from the long wait for a ship to come and pick him up. He had already activated his IFF distress signal a long time ago and the passing hours doing nothing was starting to get to him.

Rather than wait inside the cockpit, he decided to step out of it for the first time since the battle had ended. Stepping out of the cockpit’s confinement, he welcomed the battle laced Darkness Without End, where he had fought in.

Sighing inwardly of his rather awkward situation, he stood on his Zaku’s right shoulder shield, arms crossed and eyes focus on the remnants of what was Side 5. The plan for a second colony drop on Earth had failed when the entire Federation Space Force ships came bearing down at them. He did not flinch at the sight of the massive space fleet and continued to fight on where others could not. He did not expect much from them anyway.

Where the hell is my pickup!? I can’t wait any longer! He angrily thought in his mind. He was wondering if he’d die of asphyxiation or something worse before a ship can finally come. He still has some spare oxygen tanks that would last for days so that was out of the question.

Verdammt. Might as well get some sleep, he thought finally. As he made his way back to the cockpit, something moving among the debris caught his eye. Squinting through the debris, he saw clearly a heavily damaged Magellan moving somewhat differently for a wreck through the debris itself. Unsure what he was expecting, he quickly entered his mobile suit, closing the hatch as he activates the mobile suit’s systems again after end of the battle. Once all systems were green, he quickly set his mobile suit’s video sensors towards the general direction of the damaged ship, estimating its position before zooming in on the location.

My, my. Aren’t we a little late to go back to the pen, little sheep? His boredom was fading, seeing the somewhat damaged Magellan-class battleship still functional and slowly cruising through wreckages under its own power. Rieper grinned at the thought of having something to do now that an opportunity shows itself. Resting his scopes back to normal, Rieper maneuvered his Zaku towards the ship, checking his remaining armaments at the same time; the last drum of 120mm shells and the still unused heat hawk.

Rieper’s grin grew into something of malice and determination as he slowly approached the still unsuspecting ship with the intention to sink it just to waste his time even though sinking an injured cow might be a little too degrading, it was better than anything at the moment.

---

16th January UC 0079
EFS Glide, Magellan-class Battleship
L1, Side 5, Loum


"Sir, I’m picking up something on the radar...” Yuki stopped for a moment before she suddenly began to panic, "Captain, it's one of those Zeon humanoid units!" Her sensor monitor was displaying a track tagged with a 'Zeekilla'.

"Damn it, I thought there aren’t any more in the area," muttered Nice under his breath, "Gunnery, do we still have any guns available to retaliate with?" he queried Somere.

"We managed to get only two of the fore guns back online but the other than that and the manned AA guns which are still intact, that's all we can use for now. The rest will have to be repaired back at the docks." Somere replied.

"If we do get back to dock that is." Nice commented to no one in particular. "Very well then, all personnel to battle stations. Get all the AA guns manned immediately. Chief, I hope your aim hasn’t degraded since our previous engagement.”

---

Shuhuan, who had saw the Glide coming saw the abrupt change in course taken by the Glide and not long after, its two fore guns came back to life, firing yellow beams at something. “What’s going on?” Shuhuan wondered aloud that his query was picked up by his helmet phone and transmitted to the Glide. Following the course taken by the beam fire, he saw what it was suppose to aim at.

A still functional Zaku II.

“We have an enemy space fighter approaching our vector still combat capable. We’re trying to take it out now.” Yuki’s voice came over the tacnet.

“Then I’ll help too. My Saberfish might still be functional to fight.” Shuhuan told her as he fumbles for the engine ignition.

---

16th January UC 0079
EFS Glide, Magellan-class Battleship
L1, Side 5, Loum


Because de Fault was needed to help with the repairs down below, Yuki was pulling double tasks of manning her own sensor equipments and the communication instruments as the same time. Hearing Shuhuan’s reply, she hurriedly replied, “That’s a negative! Don’t push yourself, you’re wounded remember?”

“Don’t worry. I’m just sitting in my cockpit, that’s all.” Shuhuan replied over the radio. “There’s nothing else for a fighter pilot to do. Just sit everything out, even in a fight.”

“Shu…” Yuki couldn’t help but grinned slightly.

“Don’t worry, you’ll need more than just two guns to take that thing down. It’s better I help, at least that’ll gives us a fighting chance.”

Nice, overhearing the conversation makes himself known that he was listening, “Very well, sergeant. Try to distract that unit until we can get a clear shot at it but don’t push yourself too much.”

“Roger that sir.” Shuhuan replied, surprised that the Major would actually be speaking and ordering him.

---

“Be careful then. Come back alive, sergeant.” said Yuki over the net.

“I will.” Shuhuan replied. He was trying to start up his Saberfish again but to no avail. He hears only the useless whining of the engines. Frustrated, he slams a fist on the control panel and suddenly, his Saberfish whines to life and lights flood his control panels and the soft whirring of rocket engines went from a soft hum to loud roar in an instant.

Shuhuan smiled at his odd luck but quickly throttled his Saberfish forward to fight again.

---

Rieper chuckled at every single missed shot fired at him as he dangerously twists his Zaku II left and right to avoid them. He was doing very well now as long as he avoid coming within the range of their anti-aircraft guns. He flashed suddenly to the left, avoiding another beam fire for the last time as he positioned his mobile suit beyond the turning arc of its fore guns and range of the Magellan’s AA guns.

“Say ‘hallo’ to Hell for me, Feddies” He slowly said as he aimed his 120mm at the doomed Magellan. Much to his surprise though, his left panel, indicating of approaching enemy unit startled him so much that he had depressed the trigger before he could stop, and the line of 120mm shells missed greatly, much to Rieper’s displeasure.

He turned his sights to an approaching Saberfish space fighter, damaged but still combat capable as proven by the 30mm he is being sprayed at. He shifted his mobile suit to the left and let the Zaku’s right arm shield take the bullets instead, rattling his mobile suit and himself to no end.

“Incessant fly,” he muttered as he maneuvered his mobile suit out of the way as the Saberfish strafe past him. In his still turning position, he took aim at the Saberfish and let off a burst of 120mm with intention to swat the fly. Only to see the shots miss greatly as the Saberfish made a sharp turn, avoiding floating debris, before realigning its flight path back towards his mobile suit.

“Incessant fly indeed,” Rieper repeated, disgusted at the fact that this lone Saberfish, that might not have been fully combat effective, and yet, there it is, spitting bullets at him. Rieper cursed again as he dodged the short stream of hot lead.

---

Shuhuan momentarily grabbed his stomach as the sharp pain stabbed him yet again, smearing the already bloodied glove of his with even more blood. Steeling against it, he returned his hand back onto the control stick, just in time to execute a barrel roll to the right to avoid another stream of the 120mm.

“Dammit,” he cursed to himself, “I got to hold on. They’re counting on me.”

---

“Can you get a clear shot now, Chief?” Nice asked again. The Glide was now making a turn to port where the guns could get a better aim.

“Give me a minute, sir. Firing solution is almost set.” Somere replied off-handedly. She was straining not only under the fact that she only has two main guns to work with, the target is also moving very fast despite forgetting about them. That and the fact that the brave fighter pilot is doing all he can to divert the enemy fighter might not last any longer.

Suffice to say, all of this is a pressure on her. But she has to try and hurry.

---

Rieper was roaring angrily in his cockpit. He was squaring one-on-one against the Saberfish far too long now and he only has half of his ammunition left. Unexpectedly, the annoying Saberfish was firing its remaining missiles at him, much to his surprise.

“Verdammt! Why won’t you just die!?” He’s wasting far too much time trying to waste the Saberfish alone. He still has that Magellan...

... and he suddenly remembered what was his previous intended target. Almost on cue, his computer warned him of impending enemy fire and he quickly kicked his Zaku’s thrusters upward to full to avoid the beam fire that almost hit him by a mere meter away.

He didn’t have time to spit an angry curse in the Magellan’s general direction as a sudden explosion rocked his mobile suit uncontrollably.

---

“Why won’t you move anymore?” Shuhuan asked quietly as he once again tried to start up his Saberfish which has suddenly lost its acceleration after he had launched the last two missiles at the Zaku, hitting directly at its 120mm autocannon. It took him a few seconds before he rested his eyes at the fuel gauge, indicating the Saberfish now has no fuel. It began to activates its secondary apogee motors to slow and stop the Saberfish down.

Shuhuan sighed at his unexpected predicament. He somehow felt stupid for not being aware of his previous fuel level. Luckily, he was in space so running out of fuel might not bring the death of any fighter pilot yet.

Well, he thought, at least that humanoid is taken care off. Not a moment too soon had he said it and suddenly, a bright, red circle suddenly appeared in front of his Saberfish cockpit, flashing as if the mobile suit that had come up close to him itself was in anger at the Saberfish that had made it lost its right arm. Shuhuan was too tired to do anything more, to tired to be shocked, to tired to fight back.

I guess… this is it... was his last train thought before unconsciousness enveloped him.

The mobile suit raised its heathawk with remaining left arm, activating the heat weapon in process to strike it in full force down onto the Saberfish.

“Die, Feddie!” Rieper hissed furiously.

But before Rieper could, a single beam fire lanced out from the Glide, striking the weapon arm in an instant, followed by an explosion that rocked both the mobile suit and the Saberfish.

“Hit!” Somere exclaimed ecstatically, after finding her shot had hit albeit a little too close for comfort.

“Keep those guns firing chief because that thing is still there.” Nice pointed out.

“Roger that, sir!” Somere replied before returning to her gun controls for a follow up shot.

Another time, Feddies... Rieper reorients his mobile suit from the explosion and quickly brings himself out of range of the approaching Magellan’s guns. This is a fight he has to run from. Armless, he has no choice anyway.

Rieper turns to look back at the Magellan that has come up to the still Saberfish that had pestered him. It is not yet over by far, Feddies. As long as I’m still alive, I’ll live another day to kill more of you. So don’t think this is the end yet.

“Shu!” Yuki was the first one to exit the airlock, followed by a team of medics as they approach Shuhuan’s Saberfish which was already towed onto the Glide’s hull. The mechanics seems to have a trouble at prying open the cockpit but succeeded just as Yuki and the medics came up to them. Yuki jumps up to see into the cockpit an unconscious Shuhuan with his blue normal suit soaked red with blood from the wound he had mentioned before in his torso. She gasps and feared the worst as the medics removed him from his seat and brought him back inside while making an on the move check for vitals back into the ship.

“My God he’s still alive!” the medic who was checking for Shuhuan’s vitals exclaimed with surprise, “Hurry and bring him to the operation room. We need to get that wound closed and a blood transfusion, who knows how much blood has he lost with that wound out there.”

Yuki couldn’t express her gladness at hearing it and followed them all the way to the operation room converted wardroom where she stopped and cried. Somere, after leaving the bridge to find her, found her outside the operation room crying and came up to her to give a comforting hug while whispering everything will alright to Yuki.

---

19th January UC 0079
L3, EFSF Luna II Base


Pinpricks of lights stabbed Shuhuan’s eye through his eyelids as he wakes up from his deep slumber to find the comforting feel of a soft mattress under his body and a permeating chill that relaxed him greatly from waking up immediately. Somewhere near him, he could hear the shuffling of cloth not of his making and knew that wherever he was right now, he was not alone.

Slowly, and painfully, Shuhuan lifts opens his eyes heavily as if it had not been opened for years and blinked at the sudden brightness of light. As his eyes were adjusted to the light, he find that he’s now in a white room, and realized slowly that it wasn’t just any room but a ward room and the smell of familiar recycled air quickly brought the name of the place to the forefront of his thoughts.

“We’re back on Luna II,” a woman’s voice said from the corner of his view, “I’m so glad you’re still alive. I thought you wouldn’t make it.”

Shuhuan shifted his head slowly to the right and saw Yuki in her uniform, sitting beside the bed, her eyes glazed with tears that she was furiously trying to dry with her both her hands in her contained excitement.

“Yuki.” He muttered simply.

Baka,” she mumbled, her voice now breaking into sobs in between, “You made me so worried back then. I thought I’d lose you after finding you’re still alive after all that.”

“I’m sorry.”

Baka,” She repeated, “Don’t you care about how I feel? Worrying about you!?”

“I’m sorry. I’ll be careful next time.”

Unable to contain her emotion any longer, she cried uncontrollably in his chest. Shuhuan raises a hand and places it on her head to comfort her as best as he can now in his position.

---

“I can’t believe I was out for three days.” Shuhuan commented as he lay in his bed a while later after Yuki had finally regained her composure.

Yuki recounted to him that after the attacking mobile suit retreated, the Glide was able to recover his damaged Saberfish and made best speed back to Luna II, shocking most of the Luna II command with their return when they were previously confirmed lost in battle. They also managed to bring him back for a proper treatment of his fatal wounds.

Shuhuan, was still weak but very much alive after his recovery, which was good enough for her. “It could have been worse. They said you probably didn’t have any chance to survive at all. You lost too much blood at that time and with the fact you could have been exposed to radiation, I don’t know what I would do.”

“Knowing you, you would have quit the army if I were dead,” he told her.

Yuki sighed. “Maybe. But I’m glad now you’re alive after all that.”

“Thank you for believing in me then.”

There was a knock on the door before it opened to let Major Ethan Nice in, much to the surprise of the two enlisted officers. “Sir.” Both said in unison while Yuki stood up to salute him.

“At ease, Chief,” he told her. “How are you feeling, sergeant?” he asked Shuhuan.

“I’m fine, sir. Thank you for asking.” Shuhuan told him.

“I’m glad to hear that.” It was now did they both of them notice he was carrying a small blue box on top of an envelope in his right hand. “It’s a bit of a short notice but I really need to give you this as soon as possible when I have the time now.”

He went up to the other side of Shuhuan’s bed and took out a small blue box from behind him, “This is the Blue Wings.” He told him as he opened the box. Inside was an ornamental medal in the shape of a pair of dove’s spread out wings with a blue pennant. “I believe you should know that this is an honorary Medal for Merit for willing to risk your life in the line of duty like what you did three days ago. I’ve brought it up to the upper echelon and we are pleased to give you this honor. You’ve earned it, Sergeant. Or should I say, Second Lieutenant Zhang Shuhuan.”

Shuhuan was surprised at the sudden promotion. “Why, thank you, sir!”

“Don’t thank me, Lieutenant. Thank the Gods you survive after all that. Chief Misaki here was really worried about you.” Nice said, shaking his head in disbelief. “Again, congratulations, Lieutenant.” Looking at his watch, he was about to turn to leave, “Well, I better go now, got a load of work to do. Get some rest well again, Lieutenant, I expect you to be back on duty. We need more men like you for this war.”

As Nice closes the door, Shuhuan turns to admire the Blue Wings while Yuki stared at him sadly. This, she thought, is going to be a long year for us.

---

VW’s musings:

As obvious from the title itself, this is the serious rewrite of my first fanfiction ever. I didn’t like how I wrote the first version of the story and decided on a more ‘my style’ of writing it out, breaking the boundary of my belief of a certain way to write a fanfiction. I have revised my story much to the new findings of the One Year War that I know of as well as trying to flesh out my story for this one even more.

Sebastian Rieper is a product of New Koenigsberg which is in turn the awesome creation of the creative mind of His Divine Shadow, the creator of my favorite 'In Vain Doth Valor Bleed' Gundam fanfiction. I would like to thank him here for allowing me to use a New Koenigsberger with his consent.

I also want to thank Zinegata, another famous Gundam fanfiction author for the cameo of Max ‘Rifle’ Harper from his The Forgotten Fleet saga. Yes, Zine, I still kept that little thing even now despite how long ago when I ask of it. Thank you again.

Now that I have a lot of free times on my hand, I can finally get this and His Dark Materials running at an (indefinite) pace.
Vernier Wings
 
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