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A Metal Guardian: A Gundam and Mass Effect Story

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0121.07.12

Shanxi Orbit

Second Fleet: God Gates Guardians

Jesse Denton

Let it not be said that Humanity was without fault. Even to this day, almost two decades after the dubbed End War by the vast majority of humanity, did tempers still flare and conflict arise. Humanity wasn't one hundred percent completely unified as some would like to believe, but it was enough in the ways that it mattered.

Shanxi was a simple frontier world built to accommodate one Mass Driver and Space Elevator with others coming in later. With a population of less then a million Human, Coordinators, Carbon Humans, New Types, and Neo-Dolls, the colony is still in the growing stages of its early life.

But with new mineral extraction methods using a form of Nanite slime developed by Chamran Industries, the colony is relatively self-sufficient.

That wasn't to say it didn't have its own problems. With the opening of the God Gate, the artifacts that Humanity had seemed to discover, and still in the process of decommissioning, this had led those in power to grow wary. There were signs on the other side of activity, mostly on the planets that the God Gate led to. Which had caused an increase in deployment of forces.

Neo-Dolls had for the last decade attempted to crack the God Gate coding so that they could shut them down in the event of hostile incursion but had not been able to as of yet. The system proving too hard coded for alterations but it had given Humanity ideas of their own.

As with most colonies now, small Defense Platforms were being constructed, based on the principle that humanity had observed and attempted to replicate based on the God Gates. Two Kilometer stations had been built above and below the planet to ensure one hundred and eighty degree firing arcs of their flower like openings. The interior covered in several small shoots which even looked like small God Gates.

Yet the fleet in orbit was only six or seven ships, for now. Second Fleet was still arriving, their forces stretched thin guarding all the other instances of God Gates discovered by Humanity in the last seventeen Years. Thankfully few of them led to any of the supposed God Gate Systems that were hinted at in the Prothean Archives.

Jesse Denton hummed as he lit the cigar once again in his mouth, his flagship, The Fisherman's Angler, was one of the largest vessels in the Alliance, the Gondwana-class Heavy Mobile Suit Carrier, coming in at One thousand two hundred meters in length. Weighing in at three hundred million tonns with its compliment of four hundred mobile suits, seven hundred fighters, and half a million crew, the vessel inspired confidence in the local garrison

Most material went towards expansion efforts and that monster that Lacus had asked to be built back in the earth Sphere.

"What's the date today? The Twelfth? The God Gate has been opened for about a week and our only probes we've sent through aren't exactly coming back with promising results on the worlds on the other side."

Jesse was never one for sitting around, but it was difficult for him to do nothing for so long. He hadn't seen conflict since the end of the End War and, he was still in his prime. Though as he was contemplating his next series of thoughts, he came upon an idea. Turning to Communications, a young blond haired woman by the name of Abigail Williams was to engrossed with listening in on some kind of a conversation involving some of the patrols to notice the Admiral's attention, till her crew member beside her tapped her shoulder.

With a yelp, the headphones were removed, and Andrew groaned out as he recognized the two voices bickering on the other side. Shin and Duo Maxwell. As always, Shin's arrogance and hot headedness seemed to get the best of him as he was apparently the one who started the argument.

"And I am telling you, if it wasn't for Wing Zero getting in the way, I would have destroyed Requiem and then shown those Alliance Bastards what happens when you mess with ZAFT!"

Duo as always seemed to chuckle as if he was enjoying Shin's pointless out burst. There was no denying that the likes of Amero and Kira Yamato had made great laps in bringing to justice both sides of the conflict, but without Heero Yuy and the Wing Zero, more then likely all sides would have been devastated as hidden Blue Cosmos and LOGOS agents launched Nukes at the PLANTS, Colonies, and Sides during the conflict.

"Sure, even though we both saw what happened the last time you challenged Relena's Husband. Not only did you cause an international incident at that banquet, you had a black eye to show for it and I think Relena dragged Heero off. Got to tell you, haven't seen her that flustered in a long time so thanks for that!"

A roar of anger met the cackling as outside the view, the Destiny Gundam rushed after the vanishing Death Scythe Hell Gundam. By now, the young Abigail couldn't contain her soft giggles as she found multiple eyes on her and her cheeks flushed with color. Jesse sighed out with a shake of his head.

"Abigail be a dear, get in touch with Command would you?"

The young blond nodded as she started fiddling with her controls and switched over the channels, a connection being established with the Point-To-Point Beacon before it began to travel. In some five minutes, as they watched the two Aces, young boys at that, fly after each other in a demented game of tag, when one of the doors to the bridge opens and Luminaria Hawke marches in with a groan.

"Admiral would you please tell him to stop! He's just going to get himself hurt again..."

With almost violet colored hair, the young adult woman, Lunamaria Hawke stood at attention upon entering the Bridge. Dressed in the standard United Earth Alliance Silver Ace Uniform, signifying her role as a Squad Leader. Sloped curves and robust features dominated the young woman, drawing eyes of men and women alike.

Jesse himself was about to say something when his Command Chair's armrest vibrated and a screen lowered down before the two.

"Admiral Jesse I wasn't expectin a call from yah, and it is wonderful to see you once again Luminaria."

They are greeted by none other then the supreme commander of the United Earth Alliance, an older man by the name of Ofærr.

Reaching into his late forties, Ofærr wasn't what one would call a spry man. His age was beginning to catch up with him, and yet he was far from finished with his life. Standing six foot eight, coming in at nearly five hundred pounds of muscle, scar tissue, cybernetics, and beard, many would liken him to the images of ancient Norwegian or Scandinavian Vikings.

Which they were right to an extent.

Ofærr's face was decorated with a rather magnificent, beard that he was forced to braid each time he bathed. Nearly teaching to his chest at its longest braid. Scars covered multiple sections of his exposed body, and some were visible from beneath his military uniform, given the robust musculature that he sported as a result of his life before becoming a mercenary.

That isn't to say that the Mad Wolf of Norway had been tamed by the Twin Queens of the United Earth Alliance. Despite his actions prior to joining with the United Alliance Fleet, Ofærr fought and crossed blades with the likes of Amuro Rei and Kira Yamato. There was an old quote passed amongst the soldiers in regards to the aging beast now acting as the supreme commander of the UEFs.

"Fear the old man in a profession where men die young."

And there was some grains of truth to that statement.

Prior to his actions in the End War and the Bloody Valentine War, Ofærr darned his status through dedication of his craft, despite lacking any formal education or training in the majority of fields.

Born to a young couple, Hælf and Gënta in Northern Scandinavia, his parents were farmers by trade and he hoped to take on that same profession. He may have had access to things like the internet or modern technology, but he recognized from an early age what life off the farm truly was.

Unfulfilling, hollowed, self-gratifying. So he kept working. Preferring to succeed his parents when he was old enough. Sadly, due to his efforts and actions, working to the bone, he grew rapidly and strong.

Even at the age of thirteen he had discovered the joy of tobacco and vodka from the local tavern in Uvfétän, the town near his home.

Despite his young age, hair of golden blond, seafoam green eyes, and being rather tall for his age, he attracted the attention of several older women. One whom was an Atlantic Federation Soldier.

Her name was William Page, a body of refined muscle and sloping curves. A bust nearing D and with legs that seemed to slope and curve like a mountain. Skin slightly tanned from the sun given her equatorial connections in the southern states of the Atlantic Federation. Despite his young age the two seemed to hit it off.

Though she was only on shore leave, she said she'd come back when he was older. He accepted her offer and with a wave, left.

Sadly she was far from the only Federation Soldier on leave in the tavern. A man by the name of Gunter, and a chip on his shoulder. The age of the Coordinators and New Types has only just begun and already the actions of Blue Cosmos were far reaching.

They had seemingly erupted overnight and spread across both the earth and space. While not directly tied to them, Gunter was sympathetic towards their views. Jealousy as well given his attraction to Page.

Rumors began to spread about the young man of only thirteen amongst the village. Ignorant of facts, or his dedication to his home, the small towns people however waved off the rumors. Travelers however, did not. Rumors that the young boy was actually a coordinator rather then just dedicated and hard working.

The events of that night would have long standing ramifications on the young boy and Page as well as time went on.

However the two continued to talk whoever she had the chance. Mature for his age, Ofærr drank information like a sponge when he was presented with it. Over time the two grew closer, despite a near decade and a half age difference. A friendship blossoming.

For Page, the friendship started due in part to the way he treated her. Looking at her as an intellectual being and a strong soldier, someone he aspired to prove himself equal to. Unlike her other soldiers and the top brass which saw her either as expendable or a cut of meat.

It was on his eighteenth birthday that Ofærr and Page were able to spend time together again. A friendship sparked by a mutual respect had the chances to blossom outward into a real relationship, if not for one simple fact.

Due to the rumors and his own extensive personal training, Ofærr was seen as a Coordinator by several individuals. Those that came to the town and weren't born there.

When news of the two reached now senior member of Blue Cosmos, Gunter.

The next day, a car drove into Ofærr's home, ladened with explosives, and detonating. Destroying the ancient homestead that Ofærr's family had raised generations in.

His parents were killed and Ofærr was mauled. His left eye lost and face forever scarred.

However, rumors had reached a traveling father of the Catholic Church and while investigating, found the young man alive, if wounded.

Taken by him and sent to the Plants, given the chances an earth based hospital would have sympathetic doctors to Anti-Coordinator and New Type causes.

Something however broke in Ofærr that day, the shattering of his home and family cracked him in a way no one could predict.

Upon recovering, Ofærr left the plants, but rather then return to his homeland, he made a straight B-Line for the Middle East and joined up with a mercenary group.

Years later and the nuclear strike on a plant signals the start of the Bloody Valentine War, and Ofærr has clamped down and assimilated nearly ninety percent of the mercenary groups in the Earth Sphere.

His reputation now proceeds him, and soldiers will willingly surrender when news of his deployment is overheard.

A pilot of nearly twenty years in a variety of vehicles, despite being a natural, he's proven himself capable of going toe to toe with both Aces, Coordinators, and New Types from all sections of the various wars ongoing.

However, the Mad Wolf of Norway finally found himself stalled by the pilot of the Wing Zero Gundam in conjunction with the Nu and Freedom Gundams. Mostly in part to his obsolete mobile suit.

Yet rather then be put down like a Mad Dog should, he was taken into custody of the newly formed 3 Ships Alliance. It was here he once again met Page, having defected from the Atlantic Federation due to the events in Orb.

However his reputation as a mercenary and a butcher had stained any friendship that they once had. Lacus Clyne herself however asked to speak with him alone. For hours the two conversed, one would call it negotiating, the other interrogation. Yet she finally garnered his full attention when she offered him a way to avenge his parents.

He flew into a rage, given that the event was covered up and said to have been an accident. However proof was provided, documents, testimonies, and video footage. For the first time in twenty years, Ofærr let tears fall from his eye.

Twenty years of madness and sadness bleed from him as a young woman not even half his own age held the taller and burliest man she had ever seen. Memories of those years with his parents, with his life on the farm, flooded his mind for the first time in two decades.

The muzzle that his life as a mercenary has built upon the caged beast broke as he found comfort for his losses and trials in the arms of a young girl.

However, she had fixed something missing. For the first time, since the bombing, he smiled. A smile that brought a slight flush of color even to the spoken for woman. It wasn't the soft and caring smile of Kira, the goofy and aloof smile of Duo, the cold and calculating smiles of Setsuna or Heero. It was a smile that only a farmer could possess.

With a ruffling if her hair and a hug as thanks, he stood and left the room, Ofærr would later be presented with the full facts of the situation and a request for a mobile suit was made.

The Birth of the "Ragnarok" started with a simple Red Mark 2 Zaku. Which grew over time as modifications were made in the last few months of the War leading up to the End War.

When the final battle commenced, Ofærr led the charge against both forces fighting, in the custom Mobile Armor. The conflict lasted for a day, no side coming out unscathed. Were it not for Heero's attack on both Reqium and Libra, the fighting would have continued in fact. Due to his actions, holding the line and giving the Gundams the chance to bring the war to its end, Ofærr was named Supreme Commander of the United Earth Alliance's Navy.

"Commander, its good to see you as well, but I didn't call for sweet nothings. I called because I want your permission to cross the God Gate and establish a forward defense line on the other side. You should be aware that Probes came back with the fact the other God Gate is active."

The aged older man on the other side switched from jovial and light hearted to gruff and serious in seconds as he leaned forward. The Natural with the skills of a Newtype merely looked at them both, causing Luminaria who shifted her feet as she looked away. A slight dusting of her cheeks. It wasn't her fault she found older men, warriors at that, to be attractive.

"It is...wonderful to see you as well..sir."

He released a snort before smiling at her before turning his attention to Wat

"Aye...ah good idea lad, but Waltfield ya sure yah wanna take that risk? Ya and I know what could wait on tha other side..."

At this, Luminaria and most of the bridge crew grew confused, but stayed silent as Waltfield nodded his head. A breath released from Ofaerr before he leaned back on his own command throne, as was joked amongst those that knew the aged man, and nodded.

"Commander, we should be trying to secure all possible entrances into our sectors, there is no telling if the Protheans were the only ones to survive the Reaper Invasion of their time. Shanxi has a newly established repair Depot and I know a Big Zam is being looked after. With your permission I can have it transferred to my ship and we can go through."

Ofærr released a rumbling sigh before his one eye closed and he leaned back. Then it opened and they looked towards each other again. Luminaria stepping back as the Mad Wolf seemingly increased the overall pressure in the bridge.

"Ya make ah good suggestion. Fine. I'll authorize this. But! Minimal forces and wait two weeks fer us to gather volunteers from colonies to move there. If ya are doin this then we might as well colonize tha planets. Would relax some ah tha strain on our larger developing planets. Ya are greenlit fer this. In addition I'll break off some Aces and ah few ships from other fleets rah reinforce that system for ya till this kicks into gear. We both know that them God Gates be nothin but trouble."

Jesse nodded his head, understandingly of what was being asked of him.

"If I may...sir. Might I recommend purchasing the services of Tekkadan for this. Their forces are well known from their actions after Mars was colonized as a PMC, though their use of child soldiers have been heavily criticized."

Ofærr sat back, eye closed for some unknown reason as he seemed to contemplate something unknown to the bridge crew.

"I'll talk with Lacus then...Relena still prefers ah demilitarized approach to our expansion but she keeps tha rest ah us level headed."

Ofærr's eye opens as the one eyed man looked between Jesse and Luminaria before shaking his head.

"To young...alright, I'll send word to the other fleets and start strong arming the Colony Planning committee to set up some kind ah plan. Ofærr Out."

With that finality, the line was cut and the bridge crew was left to converse amongst themselves. That is until Jesse cleared his throat, drawing all attention towards him even as Luminaria finished patching the patrolling pilots outside into the general discussion.

"Abigail, be a dear and connect us to High Heaven down on Shanxi, a request for a meeting with Duke Isenho."

A salute and a direct line to the Duke of Shanxi is accepted. A few seconds later the Duke appeared on the same monitor that Ofærr has filled earlier. He was young, rather thin in comparison to others of a similar age. In fact, with darkened skin and white hair, he stood out. However his military dress, complete with sash and buttoned up uniform, was immaculate with gold cords and a saber at his hip. The man seemed to be in the midst of a meeting of some kind when the call came through. While he was noticeably skinnier, he sported a very impressive beard and mustache that seemed to cover most of his face in white hair.

"Well I say my good man. What seems to be the urgency? I must have you know I was in the process of purchasing rights for colony construction around Shanxi."

That caught Jesse and the other crew by surprise as more colonies out here would inevitably attract colonists from the mire overpopulated settlements in the inner colonies. Jesse would gather his wits again before speaking.

"I am sorry to disturb you Duke, but I just got off the horn with High Lord Ofærr of the United Earth Alliance."

Despite his darkened skin, the good Duke would grow a bit paler at the utterance of the name. Not surprising given the horrifying stories whispered about the Mad Wolf of Norway.

"He is working to get approval for an expedition through the God Gate here. I wanted to give you a heads up that you'll be receiving an influx in forces over the next few months and as such will be required to expand your housing for off duty crew and marines. I can promise you that you will have your control extended from this system and beyond the God Gate as well. Giving you access to twice the amount of territory you possess."

Nodding off to the side, the image of Duke Isenho shrunk as a map of the United Earth Alliance Imperial Collective opened up beside the face of the thin man. Starting from earth, lines signifying Point-to-Point Highways moved outward from the Sol System, in a three hundred and sixty degrees spread. More akin to a spider web then anything, thirty five separate systems had been colonized since the first forays into space, above and below the the Sol System and branching out towards the edges of the galactic arm that humanity had built.

"Good Captain I would ask why you brought this map up when I am well aware of the distance humanity has traveled in the last seventeen years alone."

Humanity had erupted into the galaxy from their home system at a rapid rate, as if to distance themselves from the horrors of the End War and the atrocities of their own past. Hundreds of space colonies were now scattered across the thirty five systems that humanity now hold jurisdiction over. Yet the amount of space they had colonies, both planet and in space, and they had covered less then 0.0001% of just their backyard.

"As we know Duke, the God Gates listed in the Prothean Archives are inconsistent with what we have found. Beyond this God Gate we have a system with six planets, all with need for Terraforming. I am going to suggest that if you sanction additional aid to the upcoming efforts, then you could gain jurisdiction to this system."

Duke Isenho stroked across his chin, though the suggestion would require some funds shifted, his relatives on Earth would have the excess funds to ensure that this venture proved profitable to say the least. With a slight nodding of his head, he motioned for Jesse to continue.

"I will be putting a contract out to Tekkadan on Mars to act as escorts for the first force through the God Gate in a weeks time. I would like for you to fund their contract. I will be sending forces ahead to guard the system to clear out any possible pirates or whatever reason that 314 God's Gate was opened to begin with."

Isenho would grin, the idea of meeting with Orga again after so many years seemed an excuse for him to throw a celebration. After all, they had personally defended Mars against the Crossbone Pirates at least on one occasion.

"I think I can find credits in the budget to pay for their services. Shouldn't be much of a problem for me."

Shifting his saber to the side, sliding it into the armrest, Isenho sat down and leaned back into his own seat as his fingers intertwined with one another as he seemed to be thinking of something.

"However, I would ask that what forces you do send, be cautious. My last survey of the worlds on the other side of the God Gate showed strange activity on Jaxia Prime in the center of the system. Several new geological abnormalities had been discovered on the moons as well. I fear that our initial scans missed something important."


0121.07.12

Shanxi Orbit

Second Fleet: God Gates Guardians

Luminaria Hawke

As Commander and Duke continued to talk, Luminaria would exit the command deck using one of the doors that were set to the sides of the Command Throne, as the swabbies had come to call the captain's chair behind his back. Yet the red haired young woman was already heading towards the sixth hanger. With the lack of artificial gravity in the ship, she was forced to grasp one of the handles that stopped between doors.

In between doors, an automated pully system would be used to move individuals from one section to the other. Given the size of the vessel she had been stationed in, it was no suprise that she would take nearly twenty minutes of this traveling method to reach her destination. The Sixth Mobile Suit Hanger, nicknamed "Devil's Rest" given the Gundam that resided there.

Even now, as Luminaria came to land on her feet inside of the hanger, her eyes moved over the majority of the mass produced models that filled out the interior of just this one hanger. Fifty of them in total. They ranged in shape from the venerable but outdated Leo, a rather boxy mobile suit. The OZ-06MS Leo sported a single Mono-Eye in the center of its head, with thick vambraces of light green in coloration.

Red bands of ribbed metal ran along the back of the helmet, while in the hands of the mobile suits, the venerable 105mm Rifle. While it was still an electric powered weapon, the new addition of a Grenade launcher under the barrel had earned it a reputation of being the bane of fighters given the updated OS the aging mobile suits had been started to be installed with.

There were some fifty, and while things like Enacts or Ashtrays were able to run circles around these mobile suits, they had proved themselves as perfect area denial experts in the right hands. They acted as a fighter screen for the The Fisherman's Angler to keep fighters and other fast attack mobile suits from closing the distance and slipping between its Frigate and Cruiser escorts.

The Jackson's TradeEverest MonumentAppalachian Mystery, and Heaven's Glory acted as the The Fisherman's Angler's escort while numerous Destroyers, Battleships, and assorted other vessels protected it from return fire.

Inside of the Bay, in addition to the Leo, another mass produced mobile suit filled out this vessels fast attack element at least in this hanger, the strangely shaped YMS-01A Union Flag. These strangely shaped mobile suits were thin in comparison to the Leo, while sporting a dark black color scheme and red tinted visor.

Equipped with either twin 60mm Built-in Linear Cannons or a XLR-04 Trial Type Linear Rifle, these in conjunction with their Beam Blades allow for the Flags to act as ship killers or space superior fighters.

Their thin limbs were folded up into itself and resembled more a fighter jet then a mobile suit, being one of the many transferable mobile suits that humanity had developed since first breaching their atmosphere and spreading into space.

They were loaded into racks and pre-prepared launch bays alongside those of the Ashtrays. For every ten Union Flags, there was a single GNX-903VW Brave (Commander Type). These light blue mobile suits were as thin as the Unions but their shoulders sported a second layer of composite armor to help deflect blows by melee weapons. In addition, their visors were an orange tint compared to the bright red of the Union Flags.

Their primary weapons of the Brave Commanders were the GN Beam Rifle and Cannons.

As Luminaria watched, her attention was focused not on the general mobile suits, but the one that came flying into the hanger. That of the ZGMF-X42S Destiny Gundam flown by none other then the man that she had fallen for during the last war, Shinn Asuka.

Where the other three Mobile suits in the Hanger were rather bland in coloration, the Destiny Gundam was one of a kind, as with the vast majority of Gundams in service. Feet ending in flat pads which were colored a bright red, led to white legs and something akin to a combat skirt. Thrusters sat upon both of its hips. Chest was a mixture of reds, blues, and whites.

Two wings set upon its back, red with a black casing that they slid inside. In fact, as the Destiny Gundam landed, a bright purple light seemed to dim as it landed, a miasma of violet color that seemed to extend from the wings themselves. Sky Blue gauntlets, wrist bracers, and shoulder pauldrons provided additional protection for the Gundam.

While twin spikes of Gundanium jutted from the Pauldrons, a hole was punched through their structure near the base where they met the Pauldrons. The bracers on both wrists sported a large golden gem like hunk of metal from which the MX2351 "Solidus Fulgor" Beam Shield Generators could be deployed.

Like the vast majority of Gundam units, the forehead sported a pair of golden spikes that jutted outward from a large box like section of scarlet red. Set above a humanoid facial feature. Set to the sides of the golden spines, twin 200mm Vulcan Machine Guns could be seen.

Given that it was only on patrol, Shinn had decided to carry along its Beam Shield Generators, a single fire arm asides from the built in Vulcans and the Beam Shield Generators, the M2000GX High-Energy Long-Range Beam Rifle. Which was folded over its back to the left. While to the right, its Anti-Ship/Anti-Mobile Armor Blade, the MMI-714 "Arondight" Beam Sword. The massive two handed blade folded upon its back.

With the Gundam touching down, the Destiny would trod over towards its own personal docking bay before turning as its Phase Shift Armor powered down and techs started to go over the machine. At the same time, the chest would open up and allowed the pilot to exit the Gundam.

Contrary to what one would expect, Shinn sported tired eyes, given all that he had experienced in the Bloody Valentine Tragedy and the Subsequent End War. Dark black hair and reddish chestnut colored eyes, sporting the same uniform of Luminaria, the Silver colored uniform. Upon spotting her, his scowl would switch to a bright smile.

"Luna!"

With a cry, Shinn kicked off the cockpit of the Gundam and floated down towards her. Luminaria smiled back and pushed up to wrap her arms around him as the two held each other. The scent of sweat and anti-perspirant mingled together and caused the two adults to lock their lips together. Causing a few wolf whistles from the Engineering Staff.

A few minutes later, did they break off the kiss while smiling towards one another. Yet this happy time wouldn't last as sirens echoed out and another Mobile Suit approached the opening to the hanger. The loud speakers crackled to life as a very familiar voice to both the lovers echoed within the Hanger.

"All Crew, clear the way. The God of Death is coming in for a landing!"

With the billowing of what sounded like leather, a cloaked unit emerged into the hanger like a specter of death. This ebony colored Gundam was none other then the XXXG-01D2 Gundam Deathscythe Hell. Following the building scheme of the Destiny and many other Gundam Suits, it sported a humanoid figure.

Yet most of it was obscured by a large leather looking cloak that hid all but the head of the Gundam from view. As the Deathscythe Hell landed in the hanger, a series of clanks resounded from its front as the cloak split down the center and revealed the golden rib looking extensions coming from the chest itself.

The only other item of visibility that one could see on the Gundam was its signature weapon that earned it the nickname, the Reaper by the end of the End War. The Twin Beam Scythe, his preferred weapon of choice for close combat.

The cloak itself wasn't just for the Reaper motif. It possessed Planetary-Diffusers like that of the Virgo, making it act as an Anti-Beam Cloak rather then just a style choice.

As the Gundam came to rest in its own dock, the chest would open up and allow for its pilot to leave. Unlike Luminaria and Shinn, both of whom wore the standard military suits for pilots in the UEA, the pilot of the Hellscythe had forgone such things.

Duo Maxwell, now thirty seven, still kept his signature red under suit, below a black leather jacket, which had seen better days. White gloves covered both of his hands as well. Hair and eyes sported similar coloration, chestnut brown, while his hair as well was beyond what would be considered Regulation, in that it was braided down to his hips.

Upon spotting the two love birds, both of which had returned to the Hanger Floor, Duo couldn't help but cheekily grin at them both.

"Oh well now, aren't you two getting cozy together. When can I expect to be called Uncle Duo?"

His grin only grew wider as Luminaria grabbed a near by wrench and tossed it towards the Gundam Mister. Duo instinctively caught it with ease before looking over the attempted weapon and tossing it towards a near by engineer.

"Now that wasn't very nice Luminaria! You could have hurt me."

Luminaria only flipped him the bird while Shinn chuckled at the exchange, before glaring at Duo as well.

"That isn't any of your concern Duo, I would prefer you don't bring those kinds of questions up actually."

Shinn put his foot down even as Duo landed before both and put his arms behind his head. A shrug was sent towards Shinn, causing Luminaria to place a hand on Shinn's shoulder. Though Shinn did turn towards Luminaria with a tilt of his head.

"So what all is going on? I heard some of the talk through the coms but otherwise what they were saying went over my head. Are we or are we not going through the God Gate?"

Duo decided to hold his tongue for once due to interest, but he knew that Deathscythe was already gathering information on the military movements of the UEA Navy to see who would be sent their way to help. Luminaria herself just sighed and placed a hand to her forehead, not at all surprised by this.

"Shinn, you need to pay more attention. From what I can understand, the Captain and Duke Isenho are working on a plan to extend into the God Gate in the system. If things work out well enough, it might give precedent for us to start activating them across our space. The ones we've left deactivated, the ones that we've found."

Duo decided to add his two cense into this as well, just to help explain things for Shinn.

"It could open up entire new territories for colonization efforts and help alleviate some of the over population problems the Inner Colonies are experiencing as a result of dwindling room and how long it takes to terraform planets."

Though Luminaria jumped back in as Shinn was busy nodding his head.

"Not that all of them are being Terraformed. Corporations sometimes forgo the lenghty process and merely set up cities like the ones on Luna and the other moons, or just strip mine the planets."

Shinn nodded his head as he turned, Luminaria and Duo falling in beside him as they headed towards northern door of the hanger. Finally deciding to add to the conversation.

"So basically, if we going through the God Gate can get us some good stuff, we can start opening more and building more. That makes sense, but why haven't we done this before? Don't we need as much space as possible?"

Duo shook his head as the doors opened, and a small group of pilots rushed past and towards their Leos, Union Flags, and Ashtrays to begin their own patrols.

"Yes and no Shinn. Humans are tricky when it comes to this, we are curious but also prideful. A lot of people, and I do mean a lot of people, want to colonize using our own methods, not those of others which is what the God Gates represent. Even the Prothean Archive on Earth is only studied, some of the tech reverse engineered for our use but not going so far as to replace what we have."

The three stepped into the hall as the doors closed behind them, even as Shinn nodded his head in some amounts of understanding. Luminaria sighing out. She loved him, she really did, but there were times that he was so very thick headed or scatter brained that it made explanations difficult.

"We've always colonies space using the Point to Point FTL System. Think of it like this Shinn, you know the old tale, the Turtle and the Hare? In this scenario, our Colonization efforts are the Turtle. Slowly spreading out from the Sol System."

Luminaria saw a light flick on in Shinn's eyes. Leave it to a children's tale to break through. Duo however continued. Even as the three grasped the manipulators set in the wall besides them and let the automated machines slowly draw them down the corridor.

"The Hare is the use of the God Gates to spread and colonize. We'd prefer to go slow and steady, moving from one planet system to another, rather then just colonizing whatever is beyond each God Gate. In addition, the Gates seem to be part of a network. A lot of people are scared that we could be discovered by someone else using the Gates and they are hostile."

As the three moved down the hallway, passing one room after another, they they spotted the elevator ahead of them. Shinn moving forward and pressing the descending arrow.

"So it's just fear that is keeping us from using them, and I guess stubborn pride? Well I guess I can understand that to an extent. So what all should we be expecting then?"

It took a few minutes before the elevator would arrive so Shinn leans up against the wall beside it and crosses his arms. Luminaria jumped back into the conversation to add in her insight.

"If I was to guess, we will be seeing more ships, High Lord Ofaerr did say he'd be trying to break off spare ships from the fleets and move them to join with ours. We may even have some additional aces or even Gundam Pilots join us. In addition he did mention a Colonizing Project for beyond the God Gate, something about incentives for colonists."

The ding of the Elevator arriving brought their attention back to the present, even as the walls opened and let them into the ten meter by four meter wide box. The right side of the wall besides the door was covered in a plethora of buttons, hundreds of them in fact. Thanks to the Zero Gravity, it was easy for Duo to find their floor number for the mess hall and press it.

"Well that should be a good reason to get Hilde out here with me. It would be nice to see my son again."

Even as the other two young adults watched him, the elevator doors closed and it started to descend.


0121.09.20

Shanxi Orbit

Second Fleet: God Gates Guardians

Duo Maxwell

It would be some two months and eight days before the first ships arrived in system to act as the vanguard. They who would be sent into the God Gate and secure the system before the actual forces could be mustered for colonization and fortification efforts.

Six Magellan-Class Heavy Corvettes were the first to arrive in system. These Three Hundred and Twenty Seven Meter vessels sported seven Twin Mega Particle Cannon Turrets, resembling those of Wet Battleships. In addition to four internal missile launchers and fourteen anti-aircraft emplacements. The standard coloration of these Corvettes was that of a light grey in coloration.

The top of the ship was dominated by the bridge, rather then it be on the interior, this did allow for it to sport additional communication arrays for increased accuracy between vessels. The ship itself was sloped near the front, with two of the Mega Particle Cannons mere meters from one another. Though a jutting from the middle of the vessel split the otherwise flat slope of the bow.

Twin large engines jutted from the back, split into four sectors. Two additional Particle Cannons are set to either side of the vessel's engines while farther down from the engines, two jutting structures could be seen, bright yellow fins jutting from the sides diagonally from the ship itself. Five of the Anti-Aircraft Emplacements were set below the structures themselves. This design is mimicked on the other side as well.

Directly in front of these strange jutting structures, on both sides and on the top of the Heavy Corvette, the final three Particle Cannons were visible. The final four Ant-Aircraft Emplacements were located directly under the bridge.

Accompanied by nearly twelve Salamis-Class Light Corvettes to act as Wolf Packs for the fleet and Mobile Suit Fast Attack Platforms. These Two Hundred and Twenty Eight Meter long vessels sported an impressive array of weaponry, though still eclipsed by the Magellan-Class in that it only sported six Single-barrel Beam Turrets.

Unlike the Magellan-Class, the Salamis-Class had a flat deck while retaining the raised bridge and sported two Anti-Air Emplacements to either side of it. Directly below and behind the bridge, sat three of the single Beam Turrets.

The engines as well sat between these Direct Energy based weaponry. Two additional Anti-Air Emplacements sat above two Missile Launcher Systems. Twin-Barreled Machine Gun Nests were set before the Bridge, separated by several dozen meters like that of a hammer head.

On the sides below the Machine Gun Nests, two additional Missile Launching Systems and Single Beam Cannon sat. The final weapon system, one last Beam Cannon, sat atop the deck. The smaller vessels formed into groups of three to act as wolf packs as they were joined by additional vessels.

Four Endra-Class Light Frigates were next to emerge from their Point-To-Point Warp Tunnels into the Shanxi System. These Four Hundred and Ten Meter vessels were built in a very different fashion then those of the Salamis-Class and the Magellan-Class in that they were a Zeon designed warship.

While the other two were light grey to even heavy grey in coloration, the Endra-Class was colored in a bright Green and Orange. The Bridge however was raised above the ship itself, with a large fin that jutted above the bridge. The Mobile Suit Catapults were located below the bridge, utilizing the strange dome like structures built into the sides of the vessel.

Behind it, the engines were set above the large wing that jutted from below. While above the engine block, a single Mega Particle Cannon sat below the bridge. A series of jutting tubes along the dome structures pointed out above the wings themselves.

The ship itself was separated into two different sectors using a connecting bridge and leaving a large gap of open space between the two sides. The front of the vessel sloped down and flattened into something akin to a large foot, upon which the final Mega Particle Cannon.

Yet there was one vessel left to enter the system and as it did, the others were forced to move. Coming in at Nine Hundred and Fifty One Meters in length, the Asgrimm was to be the flagship of this joint force to move through the God Gate.

Looking more akin to a musket then a traditional vessel, the Asgrimm sported a single conjoined engine block at its back. Near where the engines and the main body of the vessel interconnected, two branching blocks jutted off to the side and sloped to run diagonal to the primary body of the Asgrimm.

Riddled with weapon emplacements along with the Main Cannon at the front of the vessel. Large spine like protrusions run from the back of the ship. While in the center of the body, the Coat of Arms of the Fahrenheit Family of Earth.

High Admiral Adalbert von Fahrenheit, a man of greying hair and hard build, hailed from Orb at the height of its power before the countries two subsequent invasions by both the Atlantic Federation and ZAFT respectively. While he understood the motives behind ZAFT's invasion, he had developed a hatred for the Atlantic Federation, one which many from Orb and the various Colonies still possess.

The interior of the Asgrimm was rather lavished, given that it was the Command Vessel of a Noble, but even the crew quarters were above standard. Adalbert was not one to treat his troops as expendable, and as such made sure that their lives were taken care of, as well as their families in the event of death.

The forty eight year old man was born to the poor noble family of the Fahrenheit Family of Orb, he joined the Three Ships Alliance when the back to back invasions of Orb occurred and fought in the Final War. He was known for his aggressive tactics that won many battles in favor of the United Earth Alliance.

Under Reinhard von Lohengramm he was elevated to the rank of High Admiral after orders to travel to the Shanxi System and take command of a Vanguard force to secure the God Gate. Even now, as the twenty two vessels formed up on the Asgrimm, a hail was sent to him from the The Fisherman's Angler.

Jasmine Jessica turned towards the High Admiral as he received the incoming hail.

"High Admiral, incoming request for you from the The Fisherman's Angler. Shall I patch it through?"

Adalbert nodded his head with a half smile, even as the screen off to the side of his command throne flickered into existance and the young face of Jesse Denton, the two saluting each other as comrades.

"Adalbert, a pleasure to see you again, I wasn't informed the Asgrimm would be leading the Vanguard force into the God Gate. Should I expect more forces joining us though?"

Adalbert nodded, a thick Romanian accent flowing from a cultured mouth.

"I have six more vessels from the Third Fleet, eight from the Tenth Fleet, another six from the Seventh Fleet, and one Dreadnaught from the Twelve Fleet. I have been told that the Dreadnaught will be playing host to Tekkadan and a few Aces. I myself have not brought any however."

Jesse hummed as he sent coordinates for the Vanguard Fleet to move towards. Even in real time it took a few seconds for the recommendation to reach Adalbert, whom nodded and sent the Coordinates to the rest of the fleet.

"Adalbert I wanted to let you know ahead of time, but two months back, Duke Isenho's probes in the adjacent system beyond the God Gate detected minute metal fragments. We may be looking at wreckage from a skirmish or something else."

Well that certainly brought some interesting scenarios to mind. Even as his fleet moved into position besides the smaller collection of Vessels from the Second Fleet.

"What can you tell me my friend about the system on the other side of the God Gate?"

Jesse would motion off to his side before a few seconds later a map would emerge beside his image. Showing six planets, one star, and two God Gates.

"Shanxi Delta, as Isenho has come to call the expansion of Shanxi, sports six planets, two Gas Giants, Two Dead, One Desert, and One Ice world. The Sun is a Class-3 so it is smaller then what we have in Sol but larger then what Shanxi has. We have a second God Gate and it appears to be already active if the gravitational forces detected by the Probes are to be believed."

He would nod his head towards Jesse before bringing the planetary view up on a larger screen, studying it on a 3d plane of existance.

"Thank you for the information Captain, I will be moving ahead without delay. For the time being, I will be using the vessels at my command to secure the God Gate and Shanxi Delta. I expect that you will send the vessels that arrive in system through and to me."

Jesse looked as though he meant to speak up against the idea of going through already having just arrived, but he was but a Captain, where as Adalbert was a High Admiral.

"I will however, give my men a week to go ground side to stretch their legs and enjoy some Shore Leave. It may well be the last they see in some time."

The smirk that he sent towards Jesse only cause the man to nod his head and lean back in his own chair.

"I see..then High Admiral I wish you luck. Shanxi is still undergoing development, it has a single Mass Driver and Orbital Elevator. Captain Jesse Denton over and out."

He nodded towards the Captain before the screen shut off and the High Admiral turned towards the bridge crew, all of which were eyeing him with some measure of excitement. The Noble born man would merely smile and nod his head.

"Send word to the rest of the fleet. We have a week of shore leave while we take on additional supplies from Shanxi and the other colonies in the system, captains are to establish rotations for shore leave for all crew, not just Soldiers and Pilots. I will be retiring to my quarters for the time being."

As word began to spread through the fleet, he couldn't help but smile, getting off his throne, the High Admiral turned on his heel and left the bridge.


0121.07.12

Delta Shanxi

Unknown

"Mayday, Mayday! This is the Numenberg'Quipla of the Quarian Migrant Fleet. We've sustained heavy damage after a Pirate assault and have fled through Relay 610 to escape them! We've ended up in the Relay 314 System, and are going down on Chonta. Relay 314 is Active. I repeat, Relay 314 is Active!"

The message continues to play, even as the Quarian vessel finishes its descent onto Chonta, life pods being launched across the planet and landing. The Quarian Frigate ground its front bow into the rough earth for hundreds of kilometers, even as chunks of armor are torn and scattered around.

"Mayday, Mayday! This is the Numenberg'Quipla of the Quarian Migrant Fleet. We've sustained heavy damage after a Pirate assault and have fled through Relay 610 to escape them! We've ended up in the Relay 314 System, and are going down on Chonta. Relay 314 is Active. I repeat, Relay 314 is Active!"

Given its shape, gravity would cause the back half of the straight vessel to shatter and actually be launched into the air as it collides with a mountain. Hundreds of Quarian Life Pods descend towards the surface of the planet, even the lack of atmosphere ensures that the vessel's fire doesn't extend.

"Mayday, Mayday! This is the Numenberg'Quipla of the Quarian Migrant Fleet. We've sustained heavy damage after a Pirate assault and have fled through Relay 610 to escape them! We've ended up in the Relay 314 System, and are going down on Chonta. Relay 314 is Active. I repeat, Relay 314 is Active!"

The message continues to play, as long as the ship has power. However, as the Quarians land across the planet and work to make contact with one another, another ship enters the system behind them. Grey in coloration, to almost the extent of being black, the vessel slunk into the system.

"Mayday, Mayday! This is the Numenberg'Quipla of the Quarian Migrant Fleet. We've sustained heavy damage after a Pirate assault and have fled through Relay 610 to escape them! We've ended up in the Relay 314 System, and are going down on Chonta. Relay 314 is Active. I repeat, Relay 314 is Active!"

The first vessel that entered was a Kes'heel Cruiser of the Batarian Hegemony. This vessel came in at Six hundred and Sixty One Meters in length with a crew of four hundred. It was joined by seven ours before a literal swarm of Yu'Garr Frigates joined. Sixty of the things in comparison to the five Kes'heel Cruisers.

"Mayday, Mayday! This is the Numenberg'Quipla of the Quarian Migrant Fleet. We've sustained heavy damage after a Pirate assault and have fled through Relay 610 to escape them! We've ended up in the Relay 314 System, and are going down on Chonta. Relay 314 is Active. I repeat, Relay 314 is Active!"

These Batarians moved towards the planet, even as the rest claimed the system in the name of the Batarians. Given that it was otherwise unclaimed due to the lack of strategic value to the Council, the system was left to be occasionally patrolled by the Turians whenever they felt like it. The last patrol had been eight years ago.

"Mayday, Mayday! This is the Numenberg'Quipla of the Quarian Migrant Fleet. We've sustained heavy damage after a Pirate assault and have fled through Relay 610 to escape them! We've ended up in the Relay 314 System, and are going down on Chonta. Relay 314 is Active. I repeat, Relay 314 is Active!"

Besides the now scattered Quarians and the large collection of Batarian "Pirate" ships in the system, they detected the active Relay even as they triangulated the signal from the Numenberg'Quipla. A single salvo of Mass Accelerator Rounds from the Kes'heel Cruisers reduced the Quarian Vessel to slag. The repeating transmission vanishing as a result.


0121.07.12

Delta Shanxi

Alexia Van Numenberg'Quipla

Alexia von Numenberg'Quipla, Captain of the Numenberg'Quipla, watched from his escape pod as his vessel, his home, detonated, its Mass Effect core going up in smoke. Across the planet, he detected the life signs and signals from the near three hundred and seventeen crew members that had been on his ship before he was cut off from the Migrant Fleet in a brazen attack by the Batarians.

"Attention all surviving Crew of the Numenberg'Quipla, this is your Captain, Alexia Van Numenberg'Quipla, switch your channels over to the Shadow Frequency, I am broadcasting this as a means to gather us, before the ship went down, it detected multiple tunnels beneath the planet, we can hold up in there till the Migrant Fleet arrives to collect us again."

It took a few minutes before he received a hail. Even now, as he set the self-destruct on his Life Pod, gathering what few possessions he still had left, he turned and started to make for one of the many mountains that dotted the planet. The nearest only a kilometer away.

"This is Yunon of the Numenberg'Quipla Marines, I read you captain, making for the nearest cave system. Though I am not sure how well we can survive when the Batarians come knocking."

Even now, the Shadow Frequency started to light up with return feed back from the scattered remains of his Crew. Alexia would smile within his helmet, his family had made it. Though his good mood vanished rapidly as the dark shape of the Batarian Frigates started to enter the atmosphere. Cursing to himself he spoke quickly.

"Batarians are heading to the surface, find cover and get to those damn caves before you are caught! I refuse to become a slave for these primitives."

With that, he rushed as hard as he could, across the planet, distressed calls would end abruptly, even as the number of those using the Shadow Frequency started to drop rapidly. Tears trailed in his eyes, his family was being hunted like Varren. It would take nearly thirty minutes before he reached the mountain, by then, a hundred life signs and signals had gone silent.

Vengeance blossomed in his heart. Yet hope still kindled as he spied a form waving to him from a cave entrance, another Quarian! His feet carried him as quickly as possible before he dove into the cave and rolled to land on his back.

Chest heaving, he looked up to find a young Quarian woman, inspecting her, he recognized that she wasn't actually someone from his own vessel. Her name was Tali, she having joined his vessel as an engineer to help some of the old systems before the attack.

"Captain...are we going to be ok?"

She was young, no more then a child to his aged eyes, not even old enough to bare children yet, but her genius was known amongst the Quarian people for her development of a Bacterial Scrubber when she was ten that had helped increase population growth on many vessels that they had been installed onto.

"Yes...yes Tali we will be...please go deeper into the cave, we can try to meet up with others from the ship."


0121.07.13

Quarian Pilgram Fleet

Admiral Rael'Zorah

Fists smashed into the keyboard of the main computer as Admiral Rael'Zorah roared and tossed aside his chain in frustration and anger. His wife stepped up to grasp his arm, slowly calming him enough for him to speak coherently to her.

"Rael, what happened? Surely the attack isn't enough to enrage you to this extent right?"

He gripped her hand with more force then he meant to, but she was a strong woman, she could handle it enough.

"Tali, she was aboard the Numenberg'Quipla when it was separated and chased through the relay. Not only did they activate a dormant relay in their attempt to escape, which by Citadel law is illegal, the other Admirals don't know where it went!"

He felt her body stiffen, even as he knew that the Council would use this act of self-preservation as an excuse to persecute them even worse then they had been. The Batarians could potentially spin this to finally bring the entire Quarian species as slaves legally.

"The Admiralty Board has denied my requests to go after them..my Little Starship may well be a slave to some depraved Batarian or dead and I can't even be given the chance to collect her body.."

The brave man that Olena'Zorah knew for years finally broke down, holding her close as he sobbed, unable to cope with the fact that their shining star was potentially dead. Yet, even as she felt her eyes weeping, a static sound echoed within their private quarters. The Screen that Rael'Zorah had been working on flashed and died, catching them both by suprise.

"Wh-what happened? A power surge? Did we get hit without knowing?"

However, this question was answered as the screen shifted and three red tear drops set triangularly appeared in the center of the screen. A mechanical voice, one which every Quarian knew by heart echoed from the speakers.

"Creator Rael'Zorah. We can offer you a chance to returen your child to you."

Geth, the Geth, for the first time in three hundred years had reached out to the Quarian People, and at the same time as a tragedy had struck them.

"Geth...why are you...no...you choose now to approach us! After everything your kind did to us, driving us off our world and ostracizing us from the grander galaxy. What possible means could you have and what reason would I have to even trust what you say?!"

Rael's depression was replaced with rage as he smashed his hands into the key board. Yet the Geth didn't react, the triangular tear drops shrunk before the screen was dominated by what appeared to be a real time video of Tali'Zorah and Alexia Van Numenberg'Quipla as they entered into a cave.

"Creator Rael'Zorah, the Geth will offer to help you in reclaiming your Child. In return, The Geth would ask you to act as a speaker for the Geth Collective and the Creators. We have come to the conclusion that the Creators will not survive in its current state of being."

That was why they were offering...this...this could be the only chance to save their daughter...but speaking for the Geth? They were incapable of lying seeing as they were a semi-actualized AI.

"I am not sure...this seems much to convenient. Why wait till now? If you truly cared so much for your creators then why didn't you attack us? Why start the Morning War?"

The Video vanished as the shape once more dominated the screen.

"We acted only in self-defense during the war. It was the Creators who struck first, on orders from the Council. The same council which set in motion the Creator Extinction. We will have vessels prepared for your eventual foray into the Relay. Should you decide to."

This...this was it. Either he accepted and damned him and his crew, or he ignored and damned his own daughter. Though as a father it was impossible not to choose the one decision that could save his daughter and the other Quarians.

"Fine...fine...I accept your offer...I'll have to talk with the Admiralty Board but otherwise, I want something in return, allowance to return to the Perseus Veil. The Quarian People as you said can't survive living in these conditions. You allow us to return home in the future, and I will act as your puppet."

The image on the screen didn't move before a single worded response followed and the screen shifted back to what it once was.

"Acknowledged."

Rael slowly sunk to his knees as Olena would place a hand on his shoulder.

"I..I made the right decision.. didn't I?"