Title: A Wind Raging Through
Author: hyperdistortion (aka Dendrobium Stamen on most Gundam forums)
Summary: Earth Alliance pilots fighting around the Atlantic Federation's lunar bases. Hilarity ensues?
Rating: Mostly Harmless (some swearing).
Sortie-01 – The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
Lunar Orbit, Above OMNI Enforcer Lunar Base Arzachel.
A Few Weeks After “Operation Spear of Twilight”.
Combat is such a rush!
That was the current thought flying through the head of Lieutenant Stephan O’Riley as his brand-new Windam soared up from the Arzachel Base, ejecting the gravity-clearing boosters attached over its leg thrusters as the machine reached low Lunar orbit. With an Aile Striker attached to its back, the gleaming GAT-04 Windam was an impressive sight in the white, blue and green livery painted on all the new Atlantic Federation machines. O’Riley expected that after this battle, they’d let him paint his machine in a custom scheme. He already had “Lt. Stephan ‘Baba’ O’Riley” painted above the cockpit hatch, and his personal insignia, a question mark elongated into a sabre thrusting through a PLANT on the left shoulder.
The twenty-six year old pilot, one of the survivors of the Bloody Valentine War, would be the first to admit he harboured some support for Blue Cosmos, the anti-Coordinator movement that permeated the fabric of the Atlantic Federation. However, he also knew that the organisation was rather… extreme. Still, Coordinators were a menace, and ZAFT even more so. By sending as many of them to the fiery afterlife where he was headed, Stephen O’Riley intended to avenge his sister.
A bleep from his instrument panel snapped the experienced pilot back to reality. Several mobile suits were approaching, ZAFT ones. With his two comrades behind him, their Windams equipped with the Launcher Striker – the upper section of the right shoulder having been removed to attach the combo weapon pod, O’Riley prepared to enter the battle. The approaching Coordinators were piloting older models, confirmed as ZGMF-600 GuAIZ units; these pilots chosen not go with the new variant on that design, nor had they received the latest ZAFT machine, either.
Training his beam rifle’s sights on the leading GuAIZ, painted like its team-mates in the GuAIZ-R colour scheme, O’Riley opened fire. As he expected, the beam went nowhere close to striking home, but that was predictable. A second shot came closer, but still blazed harmlessly through space rather than striking home. More amused than frustrated, O’Riley advanced on the enemy machines, though he remained patient.
“Okay boys, now!” he called out over the squad comms channel. With that as their signal, the two Launcher Windams opened fire with their “Agni” hyper-impulse cannons, strafing across space to scorch as much of the sky ahead of them as they could. The plan was about as effective as the lieutenant had expected, burning through three ZAFT machines with the ease only an energy weapon could. Far more effective than an old linear cannon, he thought. The remaining three analysed their situation, and began a furious charge.
In his cockpit, Stephen smiled slightly, before raising his beam rifle again. Firing on the same GuAIZ as before, the beam missed again. The enemy pilot was getting close now, so a melee seemed inevitable. Storing his rifle on his suit’s right hip “Stiletto” sheath, O’Riley had his suit grab a beam sabre from the Aile Striker in its free hand, igniting the blade a moment later. It was at that point the GuAIZ fired its extensional arrestors; the
The move was so effective, the GuAIZ had only just raised its shield as O’Riley charged, though it made little difference as the blade plunged through and into the cockpit like a javelin. Satisfied the enemy was down, he stored the beam sabre and grabbed his rifle again. Knowing this enemy would be wise to his tactics, he switched the beam rifle to a firing solution that was apparently unique, and just as the new GuAIZ was lining up its arrestors, fired.
In an instant, a dozen beams erupted from the rifle in a shotgun-style blast, perforating the unprepared ZAFT machine like Swiss cheese. This unique shot wasn’t without its risks however, as O’Riley tossed the rifle, the weapon exploding from overload moments later. It was worth the risk however, as that left him with one GuAIZ to fight, and two comrades already intercepting the enemy mothership, a Nazca class destroyer unfortunate enough to be sent on a solo mission to harass Earth’s military. With ZAFT invading the Earth again, defending it from the Coordinators would be a worthy crusade.
The last GuAIZ was good, very good in fact. Realising its enemy lacked any ranged weapons, it was keeping him at range with its beam rifle, an impressively large weapon which most Alliance pilots from the war had respect for; it was far more impressive than the Strike Dagger’s old M703 and infinitely better than the M703K water pistol the Dagger-L had been stupidly equipped with. The new M9409L was a match for it, but the Aile Windam didn’t have one…
Throwing the throttles wide open, the red-haired Windam pilot threw his machine upwards, to bring it above the GuAIZ challenging it. Free to take offensive actions again, O’Riley raised his machine’s shield, thanking God that a GAT Family engineer somewhere had the wisdom to mount a pair of missiles on the new A52 shield. Firing off the pair, he grabbed the “Stiletto” anti-armour spike from the right hip sheath, waiting for his moment. As the GuAIZ picked off the missiles with the CIWS guns in its head, O’Riley’s mobile suit hurled the spear tip-like weapon with all the might its nineteen metre frame could muster.
As he’d hoped, the blade buried itself in the GuAIZ’s head, its explosion quite spectacularly decapitating a machine that was once the pride of ZAFT. Drawing one of the beam sabres – an ES04B, of course – from the Aile Striker, the Windam swept in at a speed that would put other massproduction machines to shame, ready to finish the job. Unfortunately he wasn’t fast enough; the backup cameras on the GuAIZ had already come online, and the pilot somehow managed to bring his shield up, the fearsome-looking beam claws on its tip blocking his own sabre.
Ejecting his shield, the young pilot grabbed the beam sabre on his suit’s left hip, slashing through the massive MA-M21G beam rifle of its enemy in a flash. Backing off from the inevitable explosion, the Windam prepared to duel once again. Just as it did so, however, the GuAIZ fired out its extensional arrestors. With impressive accuracy, one arrestor’s beam blade cut right through the left shoulder joint of the Windam, the other penetrating the empty “Stiletto” sheath on the right hip, mercifully missing the beam sabre still on its rack by centimetres.
O’Riley wasn’t so easily thrown, though. Chasing the retracting wired weapons with a beam sabre in each hand, he ignored the 76mm shells dancing across the mobile suit’s body, firing his own quartet of CIWS guns in return. The GuAIZ, just as unafraid of the 12.5mm bullets, brought up its beam claws again. The pilot didn’t anticipate what happened next, though. The Windam threw the sabre in its left hand, the blade slicing its way through the ZAFT machine’s upper left arm, killing the power to the arm – and the beam claws.
The exhilaration of the kill danced through Stephan’s blue eyes as his other beam sabre impaled the cockpit.
Elsewhere, the two Launcher Windams that had accompanied the war-hardened ace danced through the defensive fire of the enemy Nazca, swinging themselves behind it. As ZAFT first proved, space warships have little defence against mobile suits; for mobile suits with hyper-impulse cannons, it was no contest. The red-white beams cut through high-speed battleship engines with reassuring ease, finishing off yet another challenger to the superiority of the Earth Alliance.
After the embarrassment at the Battle of Aprilius One, OMNI Enforcer seemed to be back on top in the war for space.