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MS GUNDAM: THE LOST CENTURY Interquel: Episode 1 - Flight

Written by: John Nigel
Suggested soundtrack for reading: "LOST WITHOUT YOU" by John Petrucci

MS GUNDAM: THE LOST CENTURY Interquel: Episode 1

Flight

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Amber Leigh La Flaga, in the Moebius Adelphe cockpit, battling against Ensign Eric Aziel's ZAKU Nightmare, art by John Nigel

Lost Century 40. It was forty years after the War of Pride. As the never-ending conflict between the earth people and spacenoids continue to plod into the history of mankind, the peace that everyone desired for was seemingly becoming a mere myth. By now, the illegal manufacture and development of any mobile weaponry, mobile suit, mobile armor, or any technology not authorized by either Royal Zeon or Earth Federation were confiscated. Many people were arrested or simply killed, and the seized technology and weaponry were further developed by whoever conducted the seizure. In the long run, it had become a “finders keepers” game between the Empire and the Federation. In the middle of all that was Amber Leigh La Flaga.


In a remote space area, an activity was conducted by Amber and her company of mobile weapons development crew from La Flaga Institute of Advanced Engineering.


“LC 0040, June 12. Amber Leigh La Flaga, recording for activity log. Currently conducting final advanced test platform for mobile armor LL-MA2mod.37, codenamed Moebius Adelphe. Current coordinates, blue alpha 4, yellow delta 6. Proceeding to cannon barrels deployment.”


“Roger that, ‘Endymion Falcon’!” Raba Lue replied, aboard a small support ship trailing behind.


“ARGH! How many times do I have to tell you not to call me that?!?”


“Hahahahaha! Oh, come on, Amber-sama. You’ve become an excellent pilot and besides, you deserve that recognition,” Jante Dre put in.


“Cut it out, will you? And let’s just focus on this test shall we? Lue, please continue monitoring the laser contact. Dre, scan the radars. Report to me every change, no matter how trivial the detail. We can’t let anyone discover what we are up to here.”


“Hai, Endymion Falcon!” they chorused.


The Moebius was prepped up and left the support ship’s side and soared through the area. All thrusters roared into life and the mobile armor gained momentum.


Lue monitored the inputs from the Moebius. “So far, so good. Amber-sama. Let’s do phase 4. Deploying mock targets. You may start anytime.”


Amber smiled and said, “Okay, start marking the digital timeline and record all available data. Deploying barrels now. Excalibur! Clarent! Carnwennan! Rhongomiant! Go forth!”


All at once the cannon barrels dismounted and sped throughout the area. Firing in precise sequence, the proton-based cannon barrels took down all targets in no time.



“Great work, Amber-sama!” Lue cheered.



“That was nothing. The enemy wouldn’t be staying still in a real combat, you know. Charging Frostmourne now,” Amber called in. Frostmourne was a codename for the Moebius’ railgun mounted below its main body.



Meanwhile, in the support ship, Dre noticed a random blink in the imaging radar. He was about to report this to Amber when Lue butted in, “BINGO!! Right on target, Amber-sama!”



“I’ll be testing all propulsions for a while. I’ll be back, okay?” Amber said. With that, Moebius darted away into the darkness of space.



After a moment’s silence, Dre said, “I bet Director La Flaga will be very happy with this development, don’t you think? Man, I’m so hyped by the development of the Director’s pet project.”



Lue reached for a pressurized soda canister. Sipping slowly, he muttered, “Yeah. Director Jonathan does have great ideas. But isn’t it dangerous for him to covertly develop a mobile weaponry all on his own? I heard rumors that many have been imprisoned because of illegally manufacturing mobile suits these days. And what’s the point of the war?”



Dre said thoughtfully, “Hmmmm… That’s because no one wanted to understand others. You know, my father once just said out of the blue, ‘Everything is just a reaction to someone’s actions. If you don’t like the reaction, then change the action.’ ”



Lue mocked, “And now, I’m cramped into this cockpit with the Dalai Lama. Oh, sorry. You’re just a llama, by the way. Hahahahaha!!!”



Pretty soon, the Moebius returned. “Sending activity data now, Lue.” Amber called in.



“Confirming information upload, Endymion Falcon.”



Dre glanced at the radar and saw four dots indicated on the monitor. He immediately made a cross reference to the thermal detector. “Amber! Four unidentified heat sources detected. Focusing visual camera now. I’m relaying the data to you!”



“What?” Amber barked. “The visual analysis is too slow! Enlarge the current image. Lue, compose a computer generated enhancement!”



It took a while for Lue to improve the visual feed. Dreadfulness struck him when he saw the image. “Oh, no! Four mobile suits coming. Searching for a match of heat patterns in the database. Zaku Nightmare!” Zaku Nightmares are equipped with beam rifles, beam sabers and additional flight module equipment for combat mobility a notch higher than the usual Zaku MS unit.



Amber felt the blood draining from her face. Now we’re in serious trouble, she thought.



“What shall we do, Amber-sama?” Lue asked worriedly.



“Guys, we need to sneak out of their range. At any rate, a confrontation will be inevitable. I bet their ship wouldn’t be far behind. Let’s hope that they haven’t detected us yet, though it’s very unlikely,” Amber radioed back.



All of the sudden, four beam shots flashed through them. Amber tugged hard on the control stick, as the main target was her mobile armor. Pitch, yaw, roll. Pitch, yaw, roll. Somehow, Amber was able to pull it off. But the support ship, being slow, was hit upon first shot.



BOOM!



Luckily, it didn’t explode. But the shot bore through the stern portion, heavily damaging its engines and crippling the support ship. Amid the shootout, Amber radioed, “Dre! Lue! Are you all right? Answer me!”



Dre called back, “We fine but we can’t move. The engine is damaged! We’re sitting ducks here, Amber-sama! What’ll we do?”



“Disembark the ship! There’s enough room behind the pilot seat for both of you to cram in. Hold on, I’m moving in to fetch you.”



Dre and Lue used the retrorockets on the back of their spacesuits to propel themselves away as they exited the support ship. They made a beeline toward the Moebius. Just as they were halfway, another volley of beam shots was fired. Automatically, the OS of the Moebius engaged an H-field, an anti-beam repelling orb field that protected the mobile armor. This time the support ship was hit right on target. It instantly detonated into oblivion, sending shattered fragments all around them. One fragment came through Dre’s right leg.



“ARGH!!! MY LEG!!!!”



“Jante!” Lue screamed. “Hold on, man! I’m coming for you! Don’t die on me yet!”



Amber was worried for her companions. She moved the Moebius nearer them, closed her helmet and opened the cockpit hatch to let them in.



“Hurry up!” she said. “The enemies are coming!” Upon entering the cockpit, Lue made Dre sit on the spare jump seat. He gave Dre a plastic rod.



“What’s this for?” Dre worriedly asked.



“Bite into it, and try to tolerate the pain,” Lue coaxed. He snatched a syringe from the emergency kit and injected it on Dre’s leg to hasten the blood clotting. Dre yelped in utter pain.



“AAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHH!” cried Dre while crunching into the plastic. Lue then placed an adhesive patch over Dre’s torn normal suit to restore the suit pressure.



“Heads up, Amber-sama,” Dre said, struggling with the pain. “Here they come.”



One Zaku moved in way ahead from the others for an attack. It launched missiles but missed the Moebius.



Lue sighed in relief, “That was close!” Suddenly, all the missiles exploded on their own over all the area. Fragment missiles!



Just as I thought! The HARO field won’t work in counter to physical artillery, Amber mulled over. “Hold on guys!” She strained hard against the control stick while pushing to the maximum the booster controls while constantly watching the field radar. She maneuvered the Moebius for a combined swan dive and corkscrew twist. In the process, the Moebius was hit by multiple fragments, sustaining partial damage. A warning went off in the cockpit.



“ALERT! 28% DAMAGE SUSTAINED! ALERT! 28% DAMAGE SUSTAINED!”



“Tsk! These Zeon pilots are real pain in the butt!” Amber griped. She then pressed the thruster pedals real hard, sending the mobile armor away from the Zaku.



The Zaku pilot muttered under his breath, “Sugoi! Evading my attacks so far. What skill…but you’re not getting away!” The Zaku fired sprays of beam shots toward the mobile armor. The Zaku’s verniers flamed and chased the mobile armor. Missile pods on its back opened and sent 20 missiles against Moebius.



Amber flared, “You’re not getting me with that tactic again!” Before the missiles hit right on, Amber shouted, “Cannon barrels, go forth!!!”



The cannon barrels disengaged from their mountings, blasted against the incoming missiles.



Amber said, “I got a plan guys, but you need to endure the G forces for a while.” She calculated the full length of the wire-guided cannon barrels and found out that it can extend up to 800 meters. I can make this work, she pondered. All at once, Moebius accelerated and darted away from the hunting Zaku, blasting its thrusters into full power. The enemy mobile suit upped the chase and followed the mobile armor. Little did the pilot know that he was taking the bait.



Amber grinned and coaxed, “Come on… Come on… Keep up with me…” As the enemy closed in, she sprang up her plan. “NOW!”



She manually released “Excalibur”, the cannon barrel mounted on the top of the Moebius, as if releasing it to hit the pursuing Zaku. The pilot saw the released object coming at him and quickly ducked toward its right while strafing with its beam rifle. Bam! Bam! Bam! The Moebius zipped from left to right in avoiding the blasts. Meanwhile, Amber charged the railgun’s voltage to prepare it for use later.



The pilot griped, “What a stupid tactic! Is that all you can do now? Hahaha!”



Amber glanced at the rear camera display, while intently staring at the unreeling wire counter. When the mark hit 750 meters, she cried, “Excalibur! Fire!!!”



Instantaneously, the released cannon barrel moved and engaged the Zaku behind it, firing rapidly and hitting the Zaku’s flight module on its back.



BOOM!



The Zaku pilot shrieked, “UNGH!!! What was that?”



In his confusion, the pilot did not see the released cannon barrel’s attack. Amber flicked switches that reversed the remaining cannon barrels on their mounting. She rammed the foot pedals hard that transferred all the power of its thermonuclear reactor to the barrel boosters, causing the Moebius to come into a sudden stop. The rapid change of momentum triggered the G-dampener bag to inflate automatically, preventing Amber’s face to smash against the control console. At this sudden brake, the pursuing Zaku flew right by.



“Huh?!?”



By the time the Zaku gained control from the impact of the cannon barrel and its momentum, it was already in the center of Moebius’ targeting system. Amber adjusted the crosshairs a bit. “Just a little more… Lock on! FIRE!!!!” Amber screamed and pulled the trigger.



SWOOSH! The projectile whizzed out from the railgun barrel, followed by a resounding explosion. BOOM!! The Zaku was hit on its left shoulder, severing the whole left arm. The explosion tremendously damaged the flight module, rendering it out of commission. Without delay, the Moebius changed course and faced the other pursuing Zaku units.



By the time the Excalibur was reeled in, Amber primed the booster system. “We’d be in deep trouble if we’d engage them into combat. Somehow we have to break past them. At this rate, the Moebius will be in no condition to take on them one by one, but we can do one more thing,” she declared.



As the remaining Zakus neared them, Amber said, “Strap yourselves tight, guys. This will be a rough ride.” She thought, Please hold yourself, Moebius, at least until we escape.



The Zakus started their barrage on them.



“Thermonuclear reactor set to maximum power output. Disengaging booster limiter system. Turbines normal. Heat flux percentage nominal. All systems go! MOEBIUS ADELPHE, IKKE!!!”



-------------------------------

Ensign Eric Aziel pondered for a long time, while waiting for his damaged Zaku Nightmare to be retrieved. Back on board the ship, Commander “Rick” Diaz regretted sending just the Phobos group against the mobile armor. He clicked the commlink switch and said, “Ensign, you all right in there?”



“I’m fine commander,” Aziel replied. J”Just exhausted…but I can’t believe…I refuse to believe what happened… Was it even possible?”



Diaz pitied his ace pilot. He knew that Aziel was wallowing in wounded pride. “At least your life has been spared.”



Aziel said nothing for a while. Then he asked his commander, “Is it true that the mobile armor exceeded the +6 G mark?”



Diaz replied, “It was clocked by our ship’s radar as it flew past. I had the Deimos group sortie for search and destroy mission as we speak. We’ll join them as soon as your unit is retrieved and fully repaired.”



“Aye, commander,” Aziel responded. He turned the commlink off. Out of frustration and unbelief, he punched his console real hard. “KISAMA!!!”



-------------------------



Epilogue



The Moebius Adelphe reahed +6.8 Gs upon its maximum velocity. Somehow, being hit by the fragment missiles earlier, the G-dampener malfunctioned after it was initially deployed. The prolonged G-forces took its toll on Amber’s body, knocking her unconscious while being on the pilot seat. The Moebius continued its unimaginable velocity until the system automatically shut the engines down and brought the mobile armor to a complete stop. Lue took over on the pilot seat, after seeing Amber’s bleeding eyes.


Where shall all these lead to? Find out in the next episode of MS GUNDAM: THE LOST WAR CHRONICLES Interquel.

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