Twenty long years have passed since the second Bloody Valentine war ended. With the rulership of ZAFT taken up by the wise Lacus and Kira Yamato, the Coordinators have lived peacefully on the PLANTs without the threat of another Natural strike on their homeland. At the same time, Cagalli and Athrun Zala are leading the powerful but independent ORB Union into space, having created their own colonial city on the moon. Very little advancement was made to war technology over the last two decades, as effort was instead turned towards the mass colonisation of the solar system. By C.E. 90, Pluto had it's very own orbital station at the edge of the Sol System...
Something important was found in the icy depths of the same planet. As humanity wished to know more about their local system, they decided to probe each planet in detail. Beneath Pluto's surface, they found an old spaceship. Everything seemed much like any modern space craft made by humans, save for the angelic design and a mysterious device that scientists couldn't quite figure out at the time. After returning the supposed alien craft to the PLANTs, the best minds of the human race bound together to uncover the secrets hidden within the ancient discovery. What they eventually found.. was an FTL 'Faster Than Light' Drive. Needless to say, this was an extraordinary breakthrough.
ZAFT, the Earth Alliance and ORB Union decided that they would outfit their ships with this technology - and with combined efforts, they would create two huge colony ships, which were more or less PLANTs designed to travel in space alongside a fleet. With this new ability to jump to other systems, humanity was going to colonise whatever stable environment they could find.
A month ago, the First Colonial Fleet set out with ships from all three major factions. Grand Admiral Kira Yamato is the commander of this large force, with Lacus Yamato watching over and seeing to the needs of the thousands of people inside 'Cradle 1' & 'Cradle 2', the colony ships themselves. ORB's forces are led by Admiral Athrun Zala, and the Alliance's forces are headed by Admiral James Maddox. One could wonder why such a powerful force escorted the Cradles, but then.. who knows what lurks in deep space? The discovery of the FTL Drive from an alien craft answers that question. Humanity is, apparently, not alone...
Faction: Z.A.F.T. Fleet Rank/Role: Red Coat; MS Pilot Mobile Suit: ZGMF-X23S Saviour Gundam (First), ZGMF-X72A Aethon Gundam (Later - I'll describe it when we get there) Backstory: Izumi is the only-child daughter of Athrun and Cagalli, but she opted at a young age to move to the PLANTs when several of her childhood friends went to join the Z.A.F.T. Academy. Being a coordinator on the level of Athrun, she quickly distinguished herself as one of the top cadet pilots at the academy, but that didn't earn her many new friends, instead she gained a few too many rivals who pressured themselves to 'get on her level'. Even coordinators are envious of other coordinators after all... As one of the best cadet pilots, she gained a Red Coat upon graduation and is one of the pilots who joined the 1st Colonial Fleet on a Minerva-class vessel, the Furious.
Faction: ZAFT Fleet Rank/Role: Red Coat; MS Pilot Mobile Suit: ZGMF-56S Impulse Gundam Backstory: Lucia is a childhood friend of Izumi's who moved to the PLANTs at a young age, which made Izumi do the same. Together they trained at the ZAFT Academy at the top of their class in piloting and studying mobile suits. Given that the two were more or less inseparable with their bond as partners in crime, Lucia was also assigned to the Furious when the Minerva-class Battlecarrier joined the 1st Colonial Fleet.
Admiral James Maddox, Earth Alliance Fleet Commander
Faction: Earth Alliance Fleet Rank/Role: Admiral Mobile Suit: TS-MB1B Euclid Backstory: Admiral James Maddox was considered a war hero among the Earth Alliance Forces during the first and second Bloody Valentine wars. He was the kind of Captain that anyone could rely on to get the job done - and grew to be quite a celebrity among both the Natural civilians and military personnel because of his exploits. Some consider this man to be the Alliance's only hope. He is very powerful on the battlefield, and is equally powerful as far as politics go... That is why many refused to let him be a part of the colonial effort. But still, the Naturals decided to send their best on the potentially suicidal task of moving into deep space.
Kenneth 'Kenny' Black, Crystalis Supply Corps MS Pilot
Faction: Independent Escort + Supply Corps "Crystalis"
Rank/Role: MS Pilot.
Mobile Suit: ZGMF-1000/M Blaze ZAKU Warrior, coloured Crimson (First) CMS-01P Phoenix Gundam (Later)
"In the wake of the Bloody Valentines, there are more people hurting now than ever before. It's our job to try to help ease that pain."
A Coordinator who witnessed the devastation of both Bloody Valentine Wars, Cronic became an independent Mobile Suit Pilot, founding his own escort + supply corps to assist with relief and re-construction efforts in the wake of the aftermath of that war. The organization itself is not to be taken lightly, however. They're more than capable of fighting back to defend themselves and whatever they're transporting, and have a variety of members, skilled in different fields. They won't get into a fight unless struck first, or there's no other way.
The Second of Many
Serena Marianne Salvatus - CIC Operator
Name: Serena Marianne Salvatus
Genetic Type: Natural
Appearance: Brown hair that reaches down to the middle of her back, along with a black version of an Earth Alliance's uniform with trousers in place of a skirt, bearing the CSC's logo; A Gold phoenix over a red shield with a gold outline.
Faction: Crystalis Supply Corps
Mobile Suit: N/A
"Both Bloody Valentine wars have a chilling common point; The use of nuclear weapons and high-power energy weapons like Genesis. Weapons that should never have existed."
A former CIC Operator for the Earth Alliance, Serena was discharged from service due to disagreeing with the decision to use nukes. She was the only member of the ship she served on's crew who survived as a result when the ship was destroyed. Lost without purpose at the end of the second Bloody Valentine war, she was given assistance by Cronic when a band of thugs sought to rob her of her valuables, among other things. Hearing her story, Cronic, a Coordinator, offered Serena a position in his organization as an Operator. His words consisting of "There are those hurting more than most folks realise. I've taken it upon myself to ease that pain. Will you help me fulfil this goal?" After some thought, she joined up without a second thought, having been given purpose once more.
Zerenis Aotisa - Z.A.F.T. Red Coat MS Pilot
Name: Zerenis Aotisa
Genetic Type: Coordinator
Nationality: PLANTs Japanese
Appearance: Black, spiked back hair with a fringe and grey eyes. Also has slightly tanned skin and a semi-muscular physical build.
Faction: Z.A.F.T Fleet
Rank/Role: Red Coat; MS Pilot
Mobile Suit: A modified LR-GAT-X102 Regen Duel Gundam, Black and purple in colour.
"I enjoy showing wannabe MS pilots the ropes. Simply cause of the fact that at the end of the day, our lives rest in our hands, and our comrades. I'd rather not chance all our deaths taking a complete novice into the field."
A Coordinator who grew up during the Bloody Valentine wars, and was driven into joining ZAFT, Zerenis quickly displayed an aptitude for piloting Mobile Suits. His ability to be able to get behind the controls of any Mobile Suit and quickly learn the ins-and-outs of them enables him to get into the fray even if he's using a mobile suit he's never piloted before. He makes use of this ability for teaching anyone willing to learn how to pilot a Mobile Suit, whether it's a one-of-a-kind Gundam unit, or a mass produced ZAKU unit. His skill as a pilot resulted in him being assigned to the Furious.
Calthorn Stalicrat - Earth Alliance MS Pilot
Name: Calthorn Stalicrat
Genetic Type: Extended Natural
Nationality: North Atlantic Federation - English
Appearance: Black, shoulder length hair and Reddish-chestnut eyes, and pale skin. Wears a blue Earth alliance uniform.
Faction: Earth Alliance Fleet
Rank/Role: MS Pilot
Mobile Suit: A modified GAT-02L2 Dagger L, painted black and crimson. Usually outfits it with the Noir Striker pack, but is willing to switch packs depending on the situation. (First)
CMS - 03W Wraith Gundam (Later)
"They turned me into someone who has no other choice but to fight. What else am I supposed to do?"
An Extended who holds no love lost for the destruction of Blue Cosmos and LOGOS, Calthorn, as an Extended, is effectively incapable of leading a normal life due to the need of the required "Maintenance" needed to keep him in top condition. Unlike the other Extended, Calthorn has yet to be subjected to a memory wipe. Calthorn's skill with a Mobile Suit, namely his Modified Dagger L has effectively earned him a strong respect from his superiors, and fear from his enemies. His Dagger, which he calls "Wraith", has been modified to handle a more powerful energy system and a Variable Phase Shift Armour system, effectively enabling him to shrug off all but the most powerful of hits, at the expense of deployment time.
Mark Artemis Astaroth - Crystalis R&D Specialist, Hacker & MS Pilot
Name: Mark Artemis Astaroth
Genetic Type: Coordinator
Nationality: ORB - English
Appearance: Short brown hair and eyes, wears a red sleeveless trenchcoat, a black vest and blue jeans, with black shoes.
Faction: Crystalis Supply Corps
Rank/Role: Hacker, R&D Specialist, MS Pilot
Mobile Suit: N/A, CMS - 02S Saboteur Gundam (Later)
Backstory: A Coordinator who resided in ORB during the second Bloody Valentine War, who had a knack for research and development, hacking into systems he really shouldn't have, and having experience in piloting a Mobile Suit, albeit not as effectively as Lucia or Cronic, was head-hunted by the latter once he'd caught wind of his skill set to assist in ensuring the CSC would be able to defend themselves effectively should they come under fire while transporting supplies, whether it be by upgrading their Mobile Suits, or hacking into enemy systems to shut off weaponry or force them to self-destruct.
A sudden mass of lights appeared on the far side of the Ilion System. The colonial fleet had finally arrived after a week-long FTL jump, and spirits were high. Ilion's star was much like Sol, but with a few more thick asteroid belts. There was a Terran-class planet, one with a good balance of green land and blue sea, a breathable atmosphere... Most of the fleet were happy about finding such a planet so early in the campaign, while others were very skeptical. Surely it wouldn't be as easy as going over to Ilion 4 and just claiming it?
"Welp, I'm not buying it," Said a girl with three long tails of light blue hair, two hanging behind her back and one rested over her front shoulder, each held in place by a blue ribbon, "Too much reward for too little effort..." She murmured. The Captain of the Minerva-class, Furious, looked at the Red Coat and raised an eyebrow questioningly. Izumi Hana Zala looked away from the holographic display and dug her teeth into her bottom lip as she met the Captain's gaze, "...I just have a bad feeling about all this, Sir."
"Keep on the ball, Izumi. We don't know what to expect yet..." The Captain replied, tapping two fingers in anticipation on his chair's free arm. Just then, a comm channel was opened from the Gondwana to the entire 1st Fleet.
"This is Admiral Yamato - all fleet units are to advance in a steady line formation towards Ilion Four. I know you're all eager right now, but remain in formation. This is no race... You may commence scans of the Ilion System and send them to the flagship to be analysed."
Zerenis sat quietly waiting with his eyes closed and arms folded as the Captain and Izumi spoke between one another.
"I'm uneasy about this whole thing, too, but the Captain's right. We need to keep ourselves alert. We don't know what could jump us at any moment, afterall. Be on guard." Zerenis said, opening one eye to look at Izumi.
"If we can't keep ourselves ready should things go south, we're in trouble."
"If we need to be ready, on our guard and all...Then why isn't anybody in a pilot suit yet?" Izumi asked blankly, her friend leaning on the wall behind her shrugging with one shoulder.
"Well, Admiral Yamato hasn't said anything yet - and there's nothing on our scanners, right?" Lucia joined in, hesitating for a moment and looking to a CIC Operator, "...Please tell me there's nothing on the long range scanners."
"There is nothing on the long range scanners." The young man said sarcastically, nodding at the Captain, who almost looked bored at the dull events playing out around him. If he didn't have to at least look busy, he'd probably be snoozing. Sure, FTL was just what humanity needed, they'd found a colonisable planet here at Ilion, there wasn't any visible threats, but that meant they'd come all this way just to babysit the Cradles.
"Well, we have to do something to keep ourselves occupied until our arrival at Ilion Four. Zerenis, I'd like you to get the other pilots to the waiting room, suited up and ready for anything. Even if we're stood down at the moment, it's just like you say - we should be prepared for anything."
Izumi saluted proudly at the Captain's order, even if it was more of a suggestion. Lucia did the same after sighing and pulling herself away from the wall, and then waited with her blue-haired partner for Zerenis to exit the bridge before them. He was the team's de-facto leader after all...
At least it wasn't a total waste of time. Something good came out of this after all... Within a week, personnel would be deployed to the ground and have temporary outposts and camps set up for the settlers and the mixed force of Colonial Marines. The Marines of the 1st Colonial Fleet were united under one very trusted commander from the ORB Union, where as the Naval forces were still split into factions. It gave a lot of officers peace of mind, where as others could feel as though the Naturals or Coordinators of the Colonial Marine Corps were spying on them for their own factions. That may be the case, but no platoon was made up entirely of one genetic class. It was a nice way of keeping the peace, with a force that could respond to any situation - independently.
Zerenis saluted towards the Captain prior to leaving the bridge, signalling Izumi and Lucia to follow him.
"Not a single thing about this whole situation doesn't worry me." Zerenis thought to himself, as he walked towards the waiting room.
"Too many unknowns, too many variables... Almost anything could go wrong at this point."
After the two younger pilots got themselves suited up, they both joined Zerenis in the waiting room. Following Izumi around into the room was a blue Haro she brought along as a robotic pet, though it looked modified, not an average shop-bought version. "So, Mr. Aotisa... Think you'll move to Ilion 4 if all goes well? It could be an interesting experience, hm?"
Lucia meanwhile seemed to be off in her own world, reading a book on mobile suit engineering. Whatever could pass the time worked to keep the mind occupied and ready for anything.
"Honestly, I'm not really sure. I'd probably get homesick, missing the folks back home." Zerenis said, arms folded, resting one hand on his chin in thought, leaning against the wall.
"Either way, I'll worry about that when we've actually gotten to that point. Can't really start thinking about moving in until we're actually all set up there." Zerenis said, as he took out a small music player, put one of the headphones into his ear, and pressed "Play" on it, and the soothing sound of Lacus' singing began to play.
"Lacus Cly- No... Yamato... Always able to calm even the most erratic of coordinator's hearts through her songs. I always like to listen to her songs when my nerves are acting up."
"A voice of hope, huh?" Izumi calmly smiled, leaning back into a sofa and placing the suits helmet on her lap. "I took a few singing lessons with Ms. Lacus back in the PLANTs. She's technically my auntie, and she probably overheard me singing her songs to the mirror in my room a few times, so that led to that..." Izumi scratched her cheek nervously, "It was a real experience. She's an incredible woman."
"This is Admiral Yamato for the Furious, Heretic and Valiant. Please switch to the private channel I'm now opening, it's important."
The Captain was put on that private channel a few seconds later, a CIC operator nodding and giving a thumbs up. Three faces appeared on the Furious' screen.
"Admiral?" The Captain greeted him.
"What's this about, Yamato?" An Earth Alliance Captain muttered, commanding the Heretic, a Nelson-class.
"Admiral Yamato, you needed something?" A middle-aged woman in a blue and white ORB Union uniform asked with a kind tone. She was the Captain of the Valiant, an Izumo-class.
Kira waited for a moment, composing himself. Rarely did he look genuinely worried about anything, but right now - that was the case. "Thank you for your time. It's.. like this.. listen to me very carefully..."