"I am most definitely lost," Ranma declared as she settled near a burned-out building. She had been traveling for hours, and up to now still could not see hide nor hair of her destination. 'They couldn’t hide a stronghold in plain sight, could they?' she thought as she disengaged the reactor, allowing her mobile suit to rest and conserve fuel. She opened the hatch and leaped up to her suit’s shoulder. Grabbing a pair of Federation standard-issue binoculars, she tried to regain her bearings, only to gasp as she saw a plume of smoke and several flashes of light signifying a battle. She slid back into the cockpit and strapped herself in while engaging her suit’s passive scanners and the long-range camera mounted on its back. What she saw made her curse; over twenty Zeon mobile suits of various types were ambushing a small squad of five RGMs. "Can’t let them have all the fun," she said, grinning as she switched on her machine’s reactors and bringing the mobile suit to life.
A Mobile Suit Gundam / Ranma ½ crossover story
by Jiro Maeda
Disclaimer: Ranma ½ and its characters and settings belong to Rumiko Takahashi, Shogakukan, Kitty, and Viz Video. Mobile Suit Gundam belongs to Sotsu Agency, Sunrise, and Bandai. The various mobile suits featured here except for the RX-79GS were created by Hajime Yadate. No profit was made from this fanfic.
Mission 1: Stallion
"Akane, we have to fall back!" Sayuri screamed over the radio as she made her GM dive for cover, narrowly avoiding a hail of gunfire that would have turned turning her into coleslaw. She cringed as she heard the telltale ping of projectiles hitting her GM’s already damaged armor. This was just supposed to have been a routine scouting mission, to investigate an explosion in sector 53, near Azabu Juuban. But when they got there, they had been swarmed under three squadrons of Zeon mobile suits. Laager and Hein’s units had fallen victims of the first volley.
"We have to hang on, Sayuri. Help is on the way," came Akane’s reply over the communication console. Sayuri had difficulty hearing her squad leader’s voice, as it was being drowned out by Yuka’s screams over the com. She checked her energy readings, and was dismayed to see that her mobile suit couldn’t last much longer. She made her GM peek over her cover and was rewarded by getting one of her forward cameras shot. She ducked for cover once again and prayed to the kami for delivery.
Akane was firing everything she had, but her MS had already sustained considerable damage and was barely responding to her commands. She cursed as her beam spray gun ran out of energy. She would have to wait for it to recharge, relying on her squadmates to hold off the enemy until it did. "We can't handle much more of this!" she cried as she made her GM duck another volley of fire. She had taken down three of the bastards already, yet the Zeon forces still wouldn't let up. Her suit was already low on power, and the rest of her targets were too far away to reach with her Vulcan cannons. Her Heads-Up-Display suddenly beeped, catching her attention. 'That better be backup, or we're toast!' she thought as she ducked another barrage of enemy fire. Her eyes widened as her onboard computer detected another mobile suit approaching from the west, and nearing their location at a fast clip.
Yuka screamed. Her beloved MS had lost all power and was, for all intents and purposes, junk. She had heard tales of what the Zeon troops did with prisoners -- particularly female ones -- and it frightened her very much. She was tumbled about in her cockpit as her MS was toppled over by two Zakus. 'Here it comes, I’m going to get captured and then they’re going to torture and rape me and then if I’m lucky, they’ll kill me!' she thought as the enemy MS hovered nearer, ready to deliver the final blow to her GM. She was so frightened that she jumped when the two Zeon MS suddenly fell to pieces. Standing over them was a jet-black mobile suit that held a pair of beam sabers still humming with energy, the distinct Federation mark clearly showed on the right shoulder. What grabbed Yuka’s attention were the twin ‘eyes’ that glowed like lambent flames from an eerily almost-human face. She knew of only a single Federation MS type used that design: "A Gundam?"
Akane screamed in frustration as her beam spray gun discharged yet again. Their position was compromised; they were outnumbered and outgunned, and she couldn’t do anything about it. Her com pinged to catch her attention, and an unfamiliar voice issued over the speakers. "GM squad leader, this is Federation Mobile Suit RX-79GS, requesting permission to join the party."
"Permission granted, pilot. Feel free to join us at your leisure," Akane replied in relief. She watched amazed as one by one the Zeon suits went down like kiddy blocks as the Gundam blurred into action. 'That MS is amazing, and so is the pilot!' she thought, admiring the grace and speed of the black war machine as it cut a swathe in the midst of the Zeon units.
"GM leader, watch your six," came a voice through the cockpit speakers, nearly incomprehensible due to the fact that the speakers had been cannibalized from an old stereo set Kasumi had found in a trash heap. Akane was prevented from replying when a Dom rushed at her, heat blade whistling in an arch over her GM’s head. She smoothly unsheathed her beam saber and parried the enemy’s blade before body-checking the Dom with her GM’s shoulder. The momentum proved too much for the already overbalanced enemy MS, and it fell hard, allowing Akane to slice it in two. She straightened her MS, only to witness the Gundam finish off the last MS, shooting it in the cockpit.
Akane breathed a sigh of relief before allowing her much abused body to sag bonelessly against her seat. She absently removed her helmet, allowing a wave of blue-black hair to cascade down her back. It had been close… too close. A minute or two more and they would have lost. She shivered at the thought of being bound and naked under the lustful gaze of Kuno and his sycophants. She made her battered MS rest itself in the remains of the schoolyard before getting off to check on her team.
As soon as she alighted on the ground, her second in command, Tech Sergeant Sayuri Misumaru, approached to brief her on the status of her squad. "Laager and Hein are knocked out, but otherwise fine. Yuka has a few scrapes, but nothing makeup can’t hide. I can’t say the same for our suits, though," she said as she pointed to the smoking remains of four GMs. "My unit is missing an arm and a leg. Both Laager and Hein’s are decapitated, though Hein has it worse since his cockpit cover’s been blown wide open. I won’t even begin to speculate how he survived being nearly charbroiled, but I’m glad he did. Yuka’s GM has both exhaust ports blown, and her reactor’s leaking a bit and one of her actuators has been shot to hell," Sayuri continued, completely unaware of Akane’s repeated winces.
"Nabiki-neechan’s going to scrape my skin off and use it to scrub the kitchen floor. This will definitely use up our reserve supplies… And I hate to even think of the downtime," Akane lamented as she went to the fallen MS for a closer look. She then belatedly noticed the Gundam pilot falling in step beside them.
Akane's eyes were first attracted to the nonstandard Normal Suit the pilot was wearing; it was a fancy red and black outfit that completely failed to hide her femininity -- despite being about two sizes too big. The pilot still hadn’t removed her helmet. Her lowered visor prevented anyone from taking a glimpse at her face, adding to her mystery. Akane was so caught up with her observations that she failed to note that the pilot had extended her hand until Sayuri nudged her on the ribs to catch her attention. She blushed, embarrassed at being caught staring.
"…nice work on that Dom, squad-leader. I haven’t seen moves like that this side of Jaburou," the pilot continued unnoticing, her hand still extended for a handshake.
"Thank you. I'm Lieutenant Akane Tendou, and this is my second in command, Sayuri Misumaru," Akane replied as she bowed politely and then clasped the extended hand in a firm grip.
The pilot disengaged her hand from the grip before removing her helmet, revealing a young pig-tailed girl in her late teens with pale skin, blue-gray eyes and crimson hair. "I'm Commander Ranma Saotome, former commander of the Howling Wolves, and pilot of the RX-79GS Stealth Gundam."
Akane was startled upon hearing the young pilot’s name. Her father had mentioned it earlier, during their impromptu family meeting. She couldn’t remember the exact details; the recent battle had taxed her concentration as well as her memory. 'Something about an arranged marriage… that can’t be right, can it?' Akane thought as she stared at Ranma’s obviously female chest. Same sex relations weren’t as frowned upon nowadays as it was in the earlier days, but there was still something… odd… about arranging a match between two girls. 'I must have misheard father,' she thought, inwardly praying that it was so. The rumors about her sexual preference were bad enough after she screamed, "I hate boys!" over and over during a training session. "This would most certainly take the cake," Akane murmured to herself.
"What would take the cake, Lieutenant?"
Akane jumped, and turned around to stare at the innocent-seeming redhead who was looking at her with an expression of utmost perplexity. "Uh… Nothing, ma’am, just thinking out loud," she replied nervously, and then saluted smartly after remembering that the young pilot was her superior officer.
"Aw, jeez. None of that crap, okay? Just call me Ranma. Say, can some of your units still function? We could cannibalize some of the MS our good friends from Zeon left behind. They’re still good for spares," Ranma replied with a smile, pointing at the broken mobile suits dotting the battlefield.
Akane nodded and barked out orders to her subordinates, and soon they all began to make on-site modifications to the surviving MS, with Ranma joining in to help. The youngest Tendou daughter tried very much not to flinch whenever she came into contact with the prodigious pilot, a fact that secretly amused the redhead greatly. Akane promised herself that she’d drag her father for a little chat as soon as they got home.
Central Japanese Federation Base
Soun Tendou suddenly sneezed for no apparent reason. He shrugged it off saying, "Must be coming down with a cold." He went back to composing another request to Jaburou for aid; but he couldn’t for the life of him shrug off the cold shivers that ran up and down his spine.
Zeon Japanese Occupation Base
"And all our forces were vanquished?" inquired a light-skinned, statuesque young man who was dressed in turn-of-the-century samurai garb. He was lounging on a raised dais as several geishas pampered him. The person he was speaking to was a small whiskered man dressed all in black, who was kneeling in front of him.
"That is correct, My Lord. Our forces were about to capture your future bride, Akane Tendou, and were overpowering her small group when another mobile suit entered the fray. It’s one we haven’t seen before," the diminutive shinobi answered. He reached into his gi and pulled out a data disk, which he handed to a nearby attendant. "Our spies have recorded the battle and have come up with this video for your perusal." A large view screen lowered itself into the audience chamber simultaneous with the dimming of the lights. The view screen flickered to life and began displaying the battle.
"Stop!" the young lord commanded upon noticing something on the video. He brusquely dismissed his geishas and got off the dais. He stepped closer to the view screen, scrutinizing something that caught his attention. "Rewind by ten seconds and play again, this time in slow motion," he commanded yet again. The hidden technicians complied with his command as the young lord scrutinized the video. "Stop! Freeze frame," he interrupted once again. He pointed at a certain smudge on the screen, "Enhance."
The scene cleared up somewhat as the technicians mustered all the advanced video-technology the Zeon Archduchy boasted of. The young lord grimaced and returned to his dais. "Make a note of this, Sasuke. The speed of this particular mobile suit is enough to make it appear to be a blur, thus making it difficult to identify. Yet… There still is something we can use. The accursed Federation army has several types of Mobile Suits, but only one design has two ‘eyes’." The young Zeon noble pointed at the cleared area, two pinpricks of light were apparent.
"Only the Gundam is designed with a face not unlike that of a man, and only the greatest warriors are worthy to wield so mighty a tool. No man is worthier of this magnificent machine than I, Tatewaki Kuno, The Blue Thunder of Zeon, Rising Sun of the new Japan, and future husband of the enduring flower of maidenhood, Akane Tendou. Soon, I shall have my bride, Akane, and the tool to crush mine enemies under my heel. Soon not even the so-called ‘Red Comet’ will be able stand up to me, and all the world -- nay, all known creation -- shall tremble upon hearing my mighty name," Lord Kuno declared, bursting into maniacal laughter.
Sasuke shuddered as he crouched; inwardly he pitied the fool that piloted the black MS. For as all knew, what Lord Kuno wanted, he eventually got.
To be continued.
MS: abbreviation of "Mobile Suit". MS's were developed from powered manipulator platforms and exoskeletons used to build the space colonies and asteroid bases that are congregated in Earth orbit at the LaGrange points. These congregations of colonies are referred to as "sides". The Zeon Archduchy, which consists of the colonies of Side 3 out beyond the moon, was the first nation to utilize them, fielding the Zaku I as an ultimate weapon that permitted control of any region of space they ventured into. Zaku MS's were fast, maneuverable, and armed with a 55mm autocannon that packed enough punch to breach the armor of a space cruiser. They were slow to capitalize on the technology, however, arrogantly believing that their enemies lacked the genius to make similar weapons. The Federation later developed three prototype MS's of their own, the RX-78 Gundam among them. These prototypes were later simplified and became the RGM-79 "GM" series of MS. The Gundam so shocked the Zeon forces that it sped up their development program, and they fielded a staggering variety of MS designs, seeking to regain their lost advantage. The Federation, however, decided that their resources were better used to build the GM series in quantity, and although they refined it as they went along, it was their main combat MS for the duration of the war. They beat Zeon quality and innovation by producing a lot of GM's.
Minovski particles: a physics concept invented for the series, Dr. Minovski discovered a particle that could be 'manufactured' and which blocked radio-frequency radiation. Minovski particles are mainly produced to act as fusion reactor shielding, and each ship and MS constantly renews the particles surrounding its power plant. The particles are what makes MS's possible; without them, a reactor small enough to fit in even something as large as an MS, yet powerful enough to make it move, would be impossible. Equivelent lead shielding would be too great a mass. As a side 'benifit', Minovski particles also block radio waves and radar. It is common practice for ships and mobile suits to scatter the particles around themselves as they go into action, to prevent detection by radar, jam enemy communications, and jam radar rangefinding and missile guidance. As a result, the majority of missiles used in MS and ship-to-ship combat are unguided, and combat is strictly by what you can see with your eyes — although there are computers used in MS's and ships to enhance images and detect motion. At such times, communications are by laser communications links, and mass orders are usually given by predetermined signal flares.
Zaku: The first mass-produced MS's, Zaku were adapted to serve many purposes, and their chassis formed the core of several improved lines of Zeon MS. A later model of the Zaku, called the HiZack, was even used by both Zeon and the Federation several years after the One-Year War ended.
Dom: An improved MS built around Zaku chassis, Dom's were specialized for land warfare, although they were later adapted for space combat as well. They feature belled lower leg armor with jet nozzles inside that allowed the MS to use ground-effect movement like a hovercraft, making it much faster across most kinds of terrain than any other contemporary MS.
GM: The first mass-produced Federation MS. GM's were a simplified version of the RX-78 Gundam, with lighter armor and lower performance values.
Gundam: A name later applied to a classification of MS produced by the Federation, the first was a prototype piloted by Amuro Rei, a gifted boy who was the son of the chief designer of the Gundam. The name was also given to several other prototypes, which all shared the two-eye-sensor head configuration. No other Federation MS type had that look. Gundams were never intended for mass production; they were mostly used as technology testbeds, and usually were given to selected pilots.
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