As Lacus and Kira talk about the future and think that things are finally settling down, Aya Vasil launches his plans into action. This causes the four to re-evaluate the peace they had thought the...
A/N: First fic ever. Heheh. Since Seed Destiny isn't out yet, this fic ignores its existence. :) Thanks to my reviewers
Chapter 2 Summary: As Lacus and Kira talk about the future and think that things are finally settling down, Aya Vasil launches his plans into action. This causes the four to re-evaluate the peace they had thought they achieved. Was it only an illusion?
Chapter 2: Thoughts of the Future
Aya Vasil chuckled to himself as he stealthily landed. The night was silent and cold. The venue for the upcoming ceremony was deserted, and preparations having been stopped for the day. Hidden behind the vast expanse of trees, Aya glanced at the podium through his monitor. Naturals who held any significant position in the Earth Alliance would gather in that ceremony the next evening. What they didn't know was that they wouldn't make it back to Earth. He would make sure of that.
His men had already infiltrated the ceremony grounds. Infiltration had taken place months before, where his men had posed as volunteers who wanted to help out with the preparations. He pressed a button on Fusillade, his eyes scanning the data that appeared in front of him. The report stated that the bombs were already in place in sector 1, 6, and 7. These were the sectors where the council and most of the Naturals would be situated. It was simply proof of their distrust against each other that they still segregated seats and tables according to Naturals and Coordinators. Aya looked at the monitor in disgust at the hypocrisy that the event symbolized. The ceremony was a farce wherein two races had decided to coexist just because each side was already too tired to fight the other. Well, I didn't matter-- it made things much simpler for him, He decided.
The mission was a declaration of war against those who believed that Naturals and Coordinators could exist in the same space and time. The death of the united council would push everything in the right direction. Aya already knew which Coordinator politicians would come forward with their sympathies against the 'regrettable' actions of an unknown terrorist faction that had decided to wipe out the council. It would destroy the current unity of Earth and Space, leaving time for what was supposed to have been accomplished four years ago - Coordinator independence against Naturals, with space the line drawn in between them.
Aya himself had put Fusillade in position. Insider information had allowed them to come up with a strategy for the mobile suits that were guarding the venue for the ceremony. He leaned back inside the cockpit; the only thing to wait for was the arrival of the delegates, and then the dream would be realized.
He thought of all the good that would come when Coordinators in PLANT would finally be free from Earth's meddling. Aya's expression turned murderous. Earth and its council were the reason the war had started in the first place, with their economic restrictions and threats, and their cowardly attack against innocents which resulted in the Bloody Valentine tragedy. To have their members taking part in the future of PLANT was unthinkable.
"No wonder you said you'd be here till today!" Cagalli remarked accusingly at Athrun. Athrun chuckled, "And I can't believe you forgot that you had to attend the ceremony in PLANT."
Cagalli blushed, embarrassed. "Well I would've remembered if I hadn't got so distracted last night!"
"Distracted by what?" Kira called from the stairway, carrying a suitcase for their stay in PLANT.
Cagalli's blush turned from light pink into an overheated red. "Nothing! Can we just go now?! We're going to be late for the shuttle!"
Kira blinked, but turned as one of the other rooms in the hall opened, with Lacus emerging from the open doorway.
"Good Morning." She greeted them, carrying her suitcase. "Ara, am I late?" She blinked.
Kira smiled as Lacus descended down the steps, giving her a kiss on the cheek.
"No, you're right on time."
They arrived at the designated area where Lacus' had rented a private shuttle to take them to PLANT. Kira and Athrun had entered first, and had set everybody's suitcases in the overhead compartments, as dictated by flight regulations.
Cagalli sat down and stifled a yawn, covering her mouth. After a few moments, Athrun had settled beside her, while Kira took his seat beside Lacus.
"Good Morning. The shuttle will be taking off in 5 minutes. Please fasten your seatbelts and keep your seats in an upright position while the shuttle launches to space."
Cagalli fidgeted, already impatient. Athrun looked at her, lips quirking.
"We haven't even took off yet, Cagalli." He remarked innocently.
"I know. It's just that going to Space always takes so long, and it's boring to be cooped up in shuttle, you can't even walk around." Cagalli frowned, fumbling with her seatbelt irritably. She wasn't in the mood to be cooped up in a shuttle for hours, but being a princess of Orb, it seemed like she was always being herded somewhere in a vehicle or a shuttle when she finally went out of her office.
The shuttle taxied along the marked lines, getting into position for its ascent to space. Hands were clenched tightly against the armrest as the shuttle launched and pressure changed within the cabin. The shuttle climbed higher into the atmosphere fighting against the gravity trying to hold it down. Soon enough, pressure normalized as they exited Earth's atmosphere, and the shuttle's systems automatically regulated oxygen and pressure inside the cabins.
Kira was staring out the window, seemingly lost in thought, until Lacus gently touched his arm.
Kira blinked and looked at Lacus, smiling apologetically.
"Amy-san wants to know if you want refreshments." She replied.
"Amy...-san?" Kira repeated blankly.
A humanoid robot bleeped, its wheeled feet stopping at the side of Kira and Lacus' seats.
"Refreshments? Tea, Soda, Juice, Flavored Milk, Water, Champagne, Coffee?"
Kira noted that everybody, except for Cagalli, whose head was nestled on Athrun's shoulder, asleep, was holding a colored canister with straws sticking out of it.
The robot bleeped as it confirmed Kira's request, picking out an orange canister and handing it to Kira. It wheeled away as soon as Kira took the canister, and Athrun was looking at the robot with some interest, as it appealed to the part of him that enjoyed tinkering with micro units.
"Distracted?" Lacus tipped her head slightly at Kira, sipping warm tea from a purple-colored canister.
Kira smiled sheepishly, "It's just that I haven't been in space for a long time, so I was thinking of the time when I was onboard the Archangel."
"Ah..." Lacus smiled thoughtfully. "I wonder how everybody else is doing?"
"I'm not really sure." Kira closed his eyes, reminiscing. "I haven't heard from them since that celebration party years ago when the Archangel landed back on earth."
"Don't you ever think about visiting them or getting together with them?" The songstress asked, cradling the warm canister with both hands.
Kira leaned back onto his seat tiredly. "I have, but..." He stared at the orange canister, collecting his thoughts.
Lacus patiently waited for him to continue.
"It's hard to talk to the others without bringing...somebody up." Kira still found it hard to mention her name, her death nagging at his conscience. Seeing others - Sai and Miriallia in particular, reminded him so much of his failure to protect Fllay, and he found that being with them had triggered memories that he'd rather not remember.
"Fllay?" Lacus asked softly.
Kira nodded, taking Lacus' hand. "I still feel guilty, I suppose." Amethyst eyes met aquamarine ones apologetically. "I'm sorry and...thank you for putting up with me" Kira whispered quietly, his hand tightening on Lacus'.
Lacus smiled, shaking her head at him. Kira relaxed, feeling safe next to her, her quiet presence always seeming to calm him whenever issues like these came to torment him. He sometimes thought that he needed to do something in return, but when he asked her if she wanted him to do anything for her, she had always replied that being with him was good enough. Taking her cue, he had made a decision that he hoped would make her happy, it was time to move on with his life, with Lacus included in it.
"Lacus," Kira smiled, "After I finish this project in Orb, I'd like to move to PLANT, so I can see you more often."
That announcement drew a smile from the pink-haired songstress.
"That's great!" She looked up at him, still smiling. "But won't Cagalli be upset with you suddenly leaving her behind?"
Kira chuckled. "I think Cagalli will understand that I'm old enough to make my decisions. Besides," he lowered his voice, whispering in Lacus' ear. "I think Athrun has plans."
Their landing interrupted Lacus from asking Kira what Athrun's plans were, as the shuttle door was opened and the group disembarked. Lacus was soon swept away by the agent coordinating her performance, and so was Cagalli, who had to change and prepare for the appearance of the council later on.
Aya fiddled with the switches in his Gundam, watching the songstress singing her trademark song, "Shizukana Yoruni". While Aya did not believe in the appearance of the Natural's on their space, he did believe in this particular ceremony of honoring the dead, and the soon to be dead. Aya checked his watch, eyes narrowing.
Aya glanced at the programme, it showed that Lacus was indeed the last performer for the ceremony, and the council would present its speech.
The united council formed after peace talks were initiated was formed of members of the old council of PLANT, Orb, and the Earth Alliance. Their representative had left the table and was making her way up the stage, dressed in a gown of light green with a white sash that was placed over her left shoulder and ended on the right side of her waist.
"Cagalli Yula Athha" Aya stated, staring at the monitor.
"You're about to see history rewritten."
Aya counted down silently.
"...3 ...2 ...1."
The hidden bombs hit red, setting off explosions that shook the ground. Tables occupied by the council and Naturals were thrown back by the explosion, the people themselves flung around like weightless dolls in the air, falling down with a sickening thud.
Cagalli gasped at the scene before her, the speech she was about to give forgotten as she ran back down from the podium, intent on looking for the survivors of the council. She was intercepted by Athrun, who pulled her out of harm's way as the makeshift podium started to collapse from the blasts that followed the explosion.
Cagalli's brown eyes reflected the flames that had begun to consume the entire site. She stared blankly while people had started to run in all directions, trying to get away.
"No! No! No! Why did they have to do this!? Why would someone destroy everything we've worked for?!" She screamed.
Athrun held her, as he stared at the carnage that had taken place in front of them. Spent, Cagalli collapsed against him, losing consciousness.
Chapter 3 Summary: Kira finds Lacus amidst the chaos, and what he sees sends him right back to the past he had chosen to forget. Aya glories at the success of his plans, and as he prepares the next step to liberation, so does Cagalli, who refuses to surrender against those who want to shatter the fragile peace.