Story: MS Gundam Wing: True Protector (chapter 5)

Authors: Shanejayell

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Chapter 5

Title: Five: Beat of Destiny

Part Five: Beat of Destiny

"I can't believe we're actually trying to steal a Peacemaker mobile suit," Releena said anxiously, as she stood concealed in the shadows by the partially open bay doors keeping watch for any soldiers on patrol. She was dressed in a all-black flight suit, her helmet rested at her feet and a small communication device was attached to her ear.

"Welcome to a life of crime, my dear" Noin answered her over the radio. "I wish we could go through channels, of course, but the enemy must have someone very high up in the Preventers to keep successfully pulling off all their operations against us." There was the sound of a scrape of metal on metal, a yelp of pain, and then some muffled, but creative, curses. Finally, Releena heard a soft click! "All right, lets go." Noin ordered.

Releena quickly walked into the hanger, but she slowed down a bit as she looked over the Peacemaker suit. It had an overall look similar in design to the original Wing Gundam, but instead of the 'nose cone' shield that suit had carried, on this one a semi transparent crystalline matrix shield was used. A newly developed technology, once the shield was powered up, it was nearly indestructible. The beam saber looked like it was standard issue mobile suit tech, but it's appearance was deceptive. Instead of a cutting beam, it generated a disruptive effect in the electronics it passed through, there by disabling the enemy, not destroying them, like the many other weapons systems on the suit.

Releena took the lift up to the double cockpit, where Noin waited. She stood there in her own flight suit as she looked up at the suit herself. Releena slowed to take a moment to appreciate the overall niceness of the view of Noin's slim, sexy body in the body hugging uniform that matched hers.

Noin noticed what she was looking at and blushed a little, before she climbed into the lower navigation and flight control cockpit. She gestured Releena over to the weapons seat above her. "Grab your seat, and let's go," Noin said crisply, as she checked the suit's systems.

"Noin, aren't you in the wrong seat?" Releena asked her worriedly, as she hesitated in front of the cockpit.

"I've seen your simulator scores," Noin said to her with a small smile, as she busily finished her own system's checks.

"How did you find out about that?" Releena asked with a blush as she climbed in and sat down to run through the preflight checklist like a pro.

"I wondered who was sneaking in so late at night," Noin answered her casually, then she grinned, "and beating the combat simulations." She reached over and hit a button on the control panel, the cockpit closed, and they were ready to go.

A low rumble from the engines, then they burst into motion, punched straight through the hanger doors and up and out into the night sky. "Ooof!" Releena gasped out softly, then she added "Quite the acceleration on this thing!"

"Zero to mach one in almost ten seconds," Noin agreed. She touched a few buttons, then shook her head in disgust. "They're so badly disorganized down there, they haven't even launched any pursuit vehicles yet."

"Good," Releena said dryly. 'Occasionally,' Releena thought, 'Noin was a little too much the professional soldier.'

"All right, your point's made," Noin admitted ruefully. "But I think it's been stuff like this that let the enemy succeed so well in their attacks against the Preventers. We got too sloppy," she said with a sigh. She checked the control panel, did some fast mental calculations and announced "E.T.A. an hour, tops."

"Noin," Releena said to her softly, then she stopped. Finally, she nervously asked "What do we do now?"

"First we get in to the hospital and see Une, then we find out who inside the Preventers are the traitors," Noin said seriously.

"I meant, about us," Releena clarified.

Noin was quiet a moment, then she said "I want to be with you, if I can. I know our jobs will separate us at times, but as much as possible I want to spend my time with you." She smiled slightly, "I've found something good, and I don't intend to let you go."

"Thank you," Releena answered, blushing. "If you don't mind, I'd like us to marry again," she said, "under our own names."

"You really are a romantic," Noin said with a small smile. "Will you marry me, Releena?" she asked.

"I'd be honored, Lucrenzia Noin," Releena answered, taking the opportunity to tease her with her full name.

A soft groan from the suit's other cockpit, "And you wonder why I use my last name." Releena's soft laughter brought a smile to Noin's normally severe expression. They quieted down as the trip continued, each occupied with their own thoughts.

Releena noticed that time seemed to slow to a crawl with a gun pointed at you, even if it's pointed by a friend of your's like Lady Une. The gun seemed very out of place in the sterile whiteness of the hospital room, along with those in the hands of several eager officers surrounding them. "Damn," Lady Une said mildly, "I was hoping we would catch an assassin."

"I wondered why getting in the hospital was so easy," Noin said calmly, as Lady Une and several Preventer officers put their guns away.

"Easy?!" Releena said in disbelief, and brushed at the dust and garbage that covered her head to toe from their rather difficult entrance through the ducts.

"Well, relatively easy, anyway," Noin corrected. She got serious as she looked over at Une, "Who did this?"

"Hilde," Une sighed softly, her voice pain filled as she lay back down uncomfortably in the bed. "She came in my office and then shot me, right before she set off the explosives she and her allies planted in Preventer headquarters. Aparently," Une added with a rueful smile, "she wanted to make sure I didn't get out."

Noin just nodded grimly at that piece of news, but Releena looked at Lady Une in shock and disbelief. "Hilde?" Releena asked quietly. "But, she's a friend, and she fought alongside the Gundams, why would she..."

Noin sighed softly, "I'm very sorry Releena. People do change, even the one's we think of as our friends."

Lady Une added, "I did some checking the last day or two." She sighed, waving her hand about, "I haven't been able to do very much else in here. It seems Hilde has been taking on more and more dangerous assignments and actively taking greater risks. And most of them have been involving Mobile suit combat as well."

Releena didn't say anything, her expression deeply troubled.

"Do we know what their objective is?" Noin asked Une softly, her expression grim.

"Hilde gloated a bit, figuring I was dead anyway. Apparently the 'Real Oz' want to reignite the old conflicts and try to restart the war. They're going to use a figurehead to rally the colonies while they mobilize the Earth forces to war," Une explained.

"So what will the figurehead be?" Releena asked quietly.

"We're not totally sure, but we know Hilde transfered massive quantities of Gundanium alloy to a unknown location. They also striped some parts and materials from the Tallgeese III, but exacly what they took we don't know. Another computer virus, this time in our main computer, deleted the data," Une said with a grimace.

"Epyon," Noin said very softly. They both looked at her in surprise, and she elaborated, in a calm, almost deadpan voice "They're rebuilding the Epyon suit, it has to be. It was the symbol of the Colonies' opposition to Earth in the final battle of the last war, and after it disappeared the suit seemed to acquire an almost mythic status. The right pilot could use it to rally the Colony dissidents against Earth again."

"Hilde will be the pilot," Releena said softly, "if what you say is true, she'd almost have to be. We've got to stop her before she can contact the Colonies in Epyon."

"But even the Peacemaker suits wouldn't stand a chance," Une said softly. "They're not Gundams, and even a poor copy of Epyon would still be too much for them."

"We need a Gundam of our own to face it," Noin said softly. "But where..." she started, then her eyes suddenly widened. "The single pilot Peacemaker prototype!"

"We built it with real Gundanium alloy, for the initial test runs." Une said in a whisper. "It's been mothballed, but it should still be in complete working order!" she cried. She popped open her cell phone and began to bark out orders to pull the suit from it's storage and then to prepare it for immediate emergency launch.

"Aso who do we get to pilot it?" Releena asked worriedly.

Noin smiled slightly, knowing just how Releena was going to react to what she was going to say, "I will."

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