This is probably my most ambitious challenge story to date, since it works by giving a connection between characters that apparently weren't connected in the first place. Then again, it's not like the creator adamantly said they weren't, and mellra on FFN actually has made a few challenge stories that revolve around original characters and a change in canonical mechanics. Basically, this is a combination between the original Gundam anime at the conceptual stage and its final stage, which I hope becomes clear to you as you read along. If you want, I can even make some additions to this starting point that depict what I'd like to see be spawned from this challenge story in a fashion no different from my Dragon Ball Alternate Paths, just so you can understand better.
Here are the guidelines and disclaimer.
No unnecessary bashing: seeing characters grow up and show hidden strengths is all good until it looks like the writer is purposefully making the character in question look like an unlikable nuisance at best and a complete villain at worst. Trust me, it's best to show both the positives and negatives of those in a story. I know it might not be easy, but giving them the benefit of the doubt would be a fair sign.
No slash: I try not to judge people who have different "bonding" preferences compared to mine, but I really don't think that characters that weren't listed as canonically yaoi in nature should be depicted as such. Not that I like gender bending much either.
Keep the content at a controlled level: meaning that it's probably best to be mindful of which direction the story/stories will go. I like straight lemons as much as the next fellow, but given how things all are iffy on certain websites like FFN, it would probably be wise to just walk first before jumping.
Try to be flexible with the story: for reasons I'm sure you all could understand, I'm strongly in favor of finding a balance between the original Gundam anime aired in 1979 and its reinterpreted "prequel" The Origin. Don't get the wrong idea, as much as I find the latter fascinating with the website lore, modern day animation, and music, I am, however, dismayed by the different character depictions and event placements shown. The adaptation's darker alternates of Zeon Deikun, Jimba Ral, and Kycilia Zabi as well as the different founding years of Side 3 as a republic and then a principality are the first that come to mind. When I first conceived of my proposed retools, I had hope of balancing the two when I wrote about U.C. with some additional details, which is what I ask those interested in this idea to follow up on as well, even if it's in their own way, which I'd actually prefer for the sake of reading something new and good.
Don't shy away from asking me for advice or beta reading: however, I won't dictate your execution as it should ultimately be your decision. I'm doing fine with it so far with digemsmack over his Fairy Tail story which I gave my patronage for, Ascension of the Second Apocalypse.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Gundam franchise or it's related concepts and characters, but Sunrise does.
Year 0057 of the Universal Century, Zabi Household, Side 3 "Munzo"
In the formative years of Zeon Zum Deikun's calls for Spacenoid independence and overall Human reformation, the closed cylinder colonies located behind Earth's Moon were a political battlefield between the Earth Federation Forces stationed at Munzo to impose order and unity and Deikun's activist group that was growing vast in it's sphere of influence and number of supporters from across the entire Earth Sphere. Although certain Federal factions and individuals had attempted to have Deikun arrested for sedition, with the support of Munzo's wealthy and powerful such as the Zabi and Ral families among others, Deikun was able to be given sanctuary where he would surely propagate his ideals, and it was speculated that, by the following year, the Federation Assembly would grant Munzo enough leeway to be considered an autonomous republic, if not yet a genuinely independent nation. It wouldn't exactly be an easy situation to manage in the years ahead, but it would help in keeping the peace for a time. However, rallying Munzo's citizens to appeal to the Federation about their case was not without cost.
"Are you sure you'll be all right, Degwin?" Zeon asked his friend, Degwin Sodo Zabi, in concern.
Alongside Jimba Ral, the two partners in revolution were seated in Degwin's personal study at his home. While the news of the Federation's impending acceptance of Munzo's autonomous status had many citizens in high hopes, Zeon and Jimba had not forgotten of the Zabi Family's personal misfortune which had captivated the sympathetic public into action in the first place. Recently, Degwin's wife, Naliss, carrying twins, gave birth to a son she named Garma, but unfortunately passed away before giving birth to what would've been Garma's twin sister. While Naliss's untimely death and synchronous miscarriage had made her a last-minute symbol to encourage Munzo's people to recognize that Zeon and his aides were genuinely hardworking souls that needed their support in order realize the dream of self-rule for all immigrants of Space from Earth, the deep emotional pain that the Zabis were experiencing, regarding the loss of their matriarch and unborn daughter, didn't escape the kind Zeon, or even Degwin's most skeptical critic, Jimba Ral.
Degwin, who had shown himself with a miserable face during their visit, finally sighed before gazing at his comrades with a look of resignation. "You need not worry about me, Zeon. I'll live."
Seeing that Degwin didn't want to talk about his own loss, Zeon chose a different approach. "And you're children?"
"My older children seem to have accepted Garma as much as I have." Degwin replied with a forced smile before looking glum once more. "And yet, Kycilia and the boys appear distant to me now. I suppose the loss of their mother and unborn sister has affected the family as a whole, not just me."
Jimba decided to input his own words. "But that's good." Seeing both Zeon and Degwin's offended faces, he explained. "It means that none of you will have to go through this trauma alone when you all have each other. I understand that you've lost a wife and unborn daughter, Degwin, just as your present children lost a mother and unborn sister, but you'll need them to get through this, just as they will need you and each other." Staring seriously into Degwin's eyes, he said affirmatively. "Don't let the scar of this time keep you from living your life."
Degwin then showed a more determined smile. "Yes, I must be strong for my sons and daughter. Naliss would've preferred that I'd do so. Thank you, Jimba."
Undisclosed Location, Side 3 "Munzo" Spaceport
Upon leaving the Zabi Mansion and parting ways with Zeon, Jimba Ral later met with his only son, Ramba, at the local spaceport. Dressed in cloaks, the two men calmly walked into the spaceport with Ramba carrying a small, yet sizable, hibernation pod, a mechanical device commonly used to place plant samples, animals, and Humans in suspended animation for extended voyages, and Jimba holding a suitcase full of money. Passing through the crowded areas of the spaceport, they eventually arrived at a secluded luggage/cargo transfer section that they were told no one else would be lurking at the time. Once Ramba was sure no one would see them, he then let his grievances be known to his father.
"Of all the crappy things you've done, Dad, this is the crappiest." He said without any attempt in mincing words.
Jimba sighed knowing Ramba was right, but then appeared resolute once more. "I know it's stupid and immoral, son, but because the public thinks what happened was a miscarriage, they're supporting us in getting a fair deal of autonomy from the Federation. It's a good start for the road to independence."
Ramba didn't seem swayed. "I doubt Deikun would appreciate this deception any more than even the most cutthroat-like of the Zabis would look favorably at you for kidnapping their own newborn."
Jimba held his hands placatingly. "I know. Even the Zabis, ambitiously ruthless though they may be, don't deserve to be tricked this way, but compared to taking both the girl and the boy, this seemed like the best course of action."
Ramba looked astonished at how his father didn't seem to understand the wrongness of the situation. "Didn't it ever occur to you that maybe it would be best if Deikun and the Zabis were aware of what you had in mind from the start? I'm sure they wouldn't mind if some of Munzo's own newborns were sent to get an idea of what life is like on Earth, so long as it helped with negotiations. You know how Deikun always talks about harmony born from mutual understanding."
Jimba was getting annoyed defending himself to his own son. "That's what I initially thought, but like you said, Deikun wouldn't approve of making, what he would call, an unnecessary lie to the public, even if it was for good long-term reasons, and I don't think Degwin would like to part with his own heirs without letting the world recognize them as such. Convincing Naliss' doctors into faking her last-minute miscarriage and then smuggling her youngest child to Earth was the best I could come up with."
Ramba sighed, seeing that he wasn't going to sway his father at all. Feeling regretful, Jimba placed his hand on Ramba's shoulders to comfort him. "Chin up, Ramba. This was a sacrifice worth making for the big picture. And if this comes back to haunt us, I promise to take full responsibility. Neither the Party or you will be held accountable, if I can help it."
Ramba appreciated Jimba's kind words, but still narrowed his eyes at him for good measure. "As I'm sure you already know, I'm only here right now to make sure nothing happens to the kid or your own health."
Jimba chuckled. "I wouldn't have it any other way, you spoiled brat."
With Ramba relaxing, the two Rals were then approached by another cloaked man. Standing off for only a brief moment, the new arrival showed his ID to Jimba, who then nodded to Ramba as a form of confirmation.
"Greetings, sir." Jimba said first to get that out of the way. "I have the rest of your payment as well as the package I need you to get to Earth."
With the suitcase in the shady man's hands, he then replied. "Good. I already picked out a good family in Belfast, Ireland that I believe would love to take care of the child and treat her right. Call it a prelude of one day conceiving their own blood-related kids." Turning to Ramba, who still held the hibernation pod protectively, he then said. "Can I look at her? It's in everyone's best interest that we make sure she's okay before we move her from here to Earth." Seeing Ramba remaining to be uncertain, he then went on. "Trust me, I maybe defined as a Human Trafficker, but I don't manipulate, threaten, or harm people, especially when they're this young and small."
Sighing, Ramba placed the hibernation pod on the floor before opening it up to reveal a baby girl that quickly yawned before looking at the three men curiously.
"Excellent, gentlemen." The trafficker said relieved. "I'll be ready to get her to her new life shortly."
"For the sake of emergencies, what will her new surname be?" Ramba asked.
"Ratokie. Miharu Ratokie."
Hopefully you found this interesting enough. I learned about what Miharu would've been from Wing Zero Alpha's story on FFN, Mobile Suit Gundam Alpha, before looking it up more as best I could. I then had a few chats with them about what sort of person she would be, and I was inspired about including such a change in my would've been retools before I decided to make these challenge stories instead. This piece can be considered the basic divergence, if you want me to write up the ideas I had planned "chapter by chapter", but make no mistake, I want those who read this to have a go at it as well from a beginning to a conclusion.
Now, for those of you who have seen The Origin and compared it to the original anime, if you want to know why the Rals seem to be more considerate of the Zabis and apparently vice versa in this, it's pretty much because this challenge features both pathways angled in a coexistent way for better presentation. Right at Garma and Miharu's year of birth, Jimba and Degwin aren't political rivals yet, and as the challenge itself shows, Jimba, as a father himself, knows that it's wrong to break a man's heart and spirit through his children. Granted, this was before Deikun's death, so things do change over time, but still, I think it counts. As for the apparently "Human" people smuggler, I guess I was kind of wondering if all Traffickers are indeed money-oriented criminals, or maybe there is at least a few who would like to get people out of bad environments, even if those last ones have to be as fictional as Han Solo.
Anyway, I just thought of two additional Gundam challenge stories which I might just take up for myself called Armed Interventionist Meteor which will have Heero Yuy crossing over to the start of 00 and may even be the first of a few Gundam crossovers I'll work on, and X-Rounded Ages which will be inspired by the FFN Gundam Age time travel story Savior. I guess I'm too imaginative for my own good, especially when I look up an interesting idea and are dismayed by certain subjects that are presented in it which I can't ignore such as bashing, slash, and relative complexes. No offense to the FFN author of Savior and STRIKE Reborn, though, I'm just different that way. Just let me know if you want to take this up, or get a better idea for how it could be used.