Gan (fstop@post.com)
Mon, 29 Jan 2001 20:24:43 +0800


GUNDAM SENTINEL: ALICE'S CONFESSION

Original novel by Masaya Takahashi

Mechanical designs by Katoki Hajime

English translations by CWMODELS <cwmodels@aol.com>

Prologue: THE GUYS

It has been over half a century since Human Beings began immigrating into outer
space due to over population. Under the guidance of ambitious men, Space
Colonies' desire for independent governing ignited the greatest tragedy in the
history of mankind. These twisted ideals resulted in the so called "One Year
War", and forever changed the political environment between the Space Colonies
& Earth.

Five Years has passed. It is now U.C. (Universal Century) 0085........

The air is filled with scent of fresh grass. This is not the smell of man made
artificial grass, this is real grass covering on ground with real soil.

At the corner of a military base, two men in Federal Force MS (Mobile Suit)
uniforms are laying on this big green carpet. Giant MS robots called GM are
standing at the maintenance bay near by, seemingly to be looking at the 2 men
on the grass.

"It's real grass, can't believe it only took five years for them to rebuild
this place" With a stern look, Stole Mannings grabbed a hand full of grass &
tossed it at the person next to him.

"Hum..." The man with the triangular shaped face sat himself up, and starts to
wipe the grass off from his face.

"Sorry Tosh, didn't mean to wake you." Mannings quickly began to help Tosh Cray
dust the remaining grass off of his uniform.

"So what if this is real grass?" Cray stretches himself, "This canned colony is
no match for Earth." He stared upward at the sky and sees the towns & streets
on the "other wall".

This is inside the Space Colony Side-1. Humans have already immigrated into
this gigantic spinning cylinder for over half a century.

"Tosh, you've always been so picky about everything, even with your transfer
applications."

"That unit is the cream of the crop, didn't you apply for it too?"

"Transfer myself to the Instructor Corp? Just look at me ." Mannings looked
down at his right leg.

"You still......."

"This false leg here make me feel uncomfortable about joining. Heh, maybe one
day I can have a real one again."

Even though the artificial limb made out of steel bone & metal parts looks as
real as flesh & blood, it still brings up some painful memories of the "One
Year War" for Mannings.

Crays looked somewhat uneasy about it.

"Hey don't mind that, I never blamed you."

"My life was save by your leg, I will not forget."

Crays thinks to himself, the way you treat your leg is no different that the
way I see the Space Colony. It can never be as good as the real thing.

"Stole, you still planning on staying here?"

"There's nothing else for me. Soon or later, they're gonna give me a desk job
anyway." Mannings gives a forced grin.

"If you ever change your mind, just head over to Instructor Corp. You can
always....."

A sharp beep rings from Crays' pocket.

"Damn! The shuttle's gonna take off. I wasted my break time on these depressing
conversations."

"Be seeing ya!" With a smile on his face, Crays hits Mannings on the shoulder
as he gets himself up.

Leaving Mannings behind him, Crays heads towards the Launch Bay elevator.

Both men wave to each other without knowing that this will be their last
farewell. The next time they meet, their situation is going to be very
different.

********************************************

"DA DA DA DA DA DA .....!!!"

The cockpit inside the Fighter WIVERN sounded off a series of electronic
alarms. Ryuu Roots looks in all directions and finds himself looking into
nothing but black space.

"Cadet Roots, you have been shot down!"

As the words RETURN FLIGHT is flashing on the monitor, a yell from the
Instructor comes through the headsets.

"How many times do I have to tell you? The rule for space combat is that you
have to find the enemies before they find you!" "You idiot!"

The Instructor's Fighter pulls up from behind Roots.

"SH*T! You're no better....." Ryuu Roots mumbles

"This ain't a real battle, and I didn't get shot down for real!"

Roots pulls on the control stick to cut a sharp right angle turn, and catches
the Instructor's tail.

"Blam! Blam! Blam!" Roots make the machine gun sound with his mouth.

"Just because you hit the enemy doesn't mean you beat him! If his armor is
thick, and didn't go down, what are you gonna do then?"

Roots then pushes on the throttle, and passed with great speed above the
Instructor's craft.

"You f*cken little sh*t! Your're gonna...."

Before the Instructor could finish, Roots' WIVERN blasts with full speed into
the distant darkness.

"I won't be beaten by anyone!"

After the simulated combat sequence, Roots was called to the base Commander.
This is located at the Federal Force's third training base on the Moon.

The Commander is sitting in his leather chair, staring angrily at him.

"You're full of yourself aren't you Cadet Roots?"

"Listen! No matter what organization you belong to, there will always be rules!
This goes especially with the military! If no one obeys any rules here, then
the whole place goes to hell!

"Yes sir!"

And with that answer, Roots thinks to himself, Rules are made by you Earthnoids
anyway, its got nothing to do with someone who's born on Side-7.

"In the past year, you certainly have gotten yourself quite a list of COMBAT
records."

The Commander throws down a file folder on his desk.

"6 counts of disobeying an officer, 2 counts of fighting, 9 counts of
disobeying orders, And 14 counts of misbehavior! If we weren't so short handed
here, I would've thrown you out already!"

"But, your simulated combat skills has proven to be quite good. And in some
cases excellent...."

The Commander runs his hand over his white hair.

"How should I say this.... You're completely useless to have around, but would
also be a shame to get rid of!

"Just make sure you remember that in the military, we need to have team work!"

Team work my A$$! Roots thinks to himself. Why should someone from the colony
have to listen to an Earthnoid like you? We only trust ourselves! Once I get my
wings as a MS pilot, I'm definitely outta here!

"Sir! All I want to do is to become an ace MS pilot! I want to be just like the
guy that turned the tide of battles back then...."

"You want to be a hero when you got no skills?" The Commander cuts him off.
"Its good to have confidence, but that doesn't mean you can survive a battle!"

As long as I can win a battle, who cares how I do it? I don't need to listen to
you bitch! The rebellious thought rises in Roots' mind.

The Commander takes out an envelop & throws it at Roots.

"What's this?" Roots asks.

"Transfer orders. I'm tired of having you around anyway."

"And by the way, Congradulations!"

'Huh?" Roots looks at the paper work. "Experimental MS Unit? Never heard of
them before."

"Get going!" The Commander points at his door.

He salutes the Commander and heads right out.

Roots was angry about not being sent to the front line. "I want to go to the
battle field! I want to go fight a real war! What's wrong with wanting to be a
hero?"

The Commander hears his complaint from the hallway, and sighs. "What were they
thinking? Why did they want that guy anyway?"

*********************************************

North America, California. The Federal Force's prime training base.

As the sword strikes its target, Josh Offshore felt the shock wave traveling
through the handle. At the same time, the third light clicks on to signal his
victory.

"Good going!" Says his opponent as he exits the arena.

Fencing is no longer a form of combat skill these days. It has become nothing
more than a fancy sport. But during this period of advanced weaponry, it does
have its own unique charm. A duel between men with swords is still a more
fitting style of a warrior.

Offshore understands very well that not everything in the world can be replaced
by "efficiency".

"Thanks." Offshore removes his mask & places it under his arms. With beads of
sweat still on his forehead, he bows to his opponent.

"Impressive!" Say his instructor. "Even though no one is supposed to be
perfect, you do come pretty close."

"The Offshore dynasty is definitely a head above the rest." He continues, "Your
skills have improved once again."

Ever since he was a child, Josh Offshore has always been surrounded by praise.

His motives for joining the Federal Force is not out of rebellion, but a more
as planned path into the world of politics.

His father is a member of the Earth Federation Assembly. Under his guidance,
entering the military is just another stepping stone for making Josh into a
Federation Representative. And in the past sixteen years, Josh has always lived
this "planned" life.

The mentioning of his family from the instructor invoked no reaction in
Offshore. He has been more than familiar with such compliments.

"I look forward to our next lesson." Offshore then heads off to change his
clothes.

The locker room is clean and well ventilated, but yet the air inside is still
filled with the stench of sweat.

As offshore stops in from of his locker to change, another young man from his
grade enters too.

"Josh, did you hear?"

"what?"

"They're gonna be assigning our posts tomorrow."

"Yeah, I've heard." Offshore puts his arm into the sleeve.

"Aren't you worried?" The young man fastens his belt. "Oh wait, I'm an idiot!
With your family's influence, I guess you won't need to worry."

Offshore thinks about the young man's remark as he looks into the mirror to fix
his hair.

The young man next to him was born to a below-middle class family in the Space
Colony. It is quite possible that he will never be able to achieve the status
of anyone in the Offshore dynasty. And like the old saying, A poor man can
never understand to the problems of a rich man.

"Did I make you angry?" The young man noticed Offshore's silence, and thought
he said something wrong.

"No, not at all." Unable to come up with another answer, Offshore responds
emotionlessly.

"So Josh, did you apply for a positions at Jaburo?" (Federal Force's Main
Headquarters in South America)

"I applied for the Instructor Corp."

"Huh? You do know that the Instructor Corp is a place for training MS combat
instructors. Are you sure you want to go there?"

"Why not?"

"Shouldn't you think a bit more about this?"

"Ha! I get it! You want to go there just to experience something different!"

"I don't have any special reasons to go there. But who knows, maybe I will
experience a change."

Next day, Josh Offshore is assigned to the Instructor's Unit.

********************************************

"Honor Student, Eton Heathrow!"

As the Student Organization's president called out his name from the podium,
Heathrow got up from his seat in the front row.

All the eyes are focused upon this top honored student as he walked up the
steps quietly.

This is a High ranking Federal Force military school specializing in training
top officers. Only those that have stayed over 3 years in services may apply to
it. But graduating from this place is another story.

Among all the officers that enter this school with Heathrow, half of them
weren't able to pass their courses. Graduating from this institute means that
Heathrow's future is pretty much secured.

Principal Brian Aeno stood with many top Federal Force officers on the podium.
The thick eyebrows, hooked nose, and the tight lips gives him the look of a
hardened soldier. He was the man in charge of the Zion Empire's surrender on
Side-3 During the end of "One Year War". He declared that the Zion force must
surrender unconditionally or the Federal Force fleets would be sent in to
surpress & occupy all governments.

As a way for the Federation to keep its war loving military officials in check
after "One Year War", Aeno was reassigned here as the school Principal.

But Aeno isn't a war loving individual. He only fought hard during the battles
because he believed that it is a soldier's duty to do so. This is why many that
have served with him still wish for his return to active duty.

Now standing in front of Principal Aeno, Heathrow gave a perfect salute.

"Congratulation Major Heathrow, Its hard to believe the bird brain Lieutenant I
knew so many years ago could achieve such an honor."

Aeno placed emphasis on the word Lieutenant because Heathrow's first ship duty
was served under him. At that time Aeno was captain of the battleship Blue Ray.

"Thank you sir. Now I will have my own bridge as well."

Principal Aeno hands him the Diploma with a smile.

Heathrow tries to smile back but suddenly realizes that his face is as tight as
stone.

After receiving the Diploma, he starts to walk down the steps. Now Heathrow
truly feels relieved.

He is finally certain that his future is secured. It is definitely going to be
bright & limitless.....

*********************************************

KAZOOM!!!

Blue flames are blasting out from the boosters of three green colored Hi-Zacks
as they streak across the darkness in formation.

Hi-Zacks are Mobile Suits developed from Zakus which were widely used by the
Zions during "One Year War". Even though they share a similar visual, the
Hi-Zacks are purely Federation MS now. Yet the Federal Force markings on them
seem out of place.

Team leader Lieutenant Brave Cod sits inside his cockpit. He is spinning the MS
unit to the right by making adjustments with the MS limbs. Hs is trying to
steer toward the giant floating rock in front of him.

The giant rock is known as Asteroid Penzu. It was formally a secret development
facility set up by the Zions. After "One Year War", the Federation acquired the
base and now only a small unit is stationed here.

The Zions had an astonishingly large amount of MS technologies in development
during the "One year War". In the past five years, Federation technicians &
scientists are still trying to uncover all the remaining data's here.

"Second combat unit has completed CSP (Combat Space Patrol), requesting
permission to land." Cod speaks in a monotone.

What good is CSP if there are no enemies? Cod feels rather empty about it.

He switches the laser communication controls into first mode for close range to
receive commands from the base, and then sets the IMPC under landing mode.

IMPC (Integrated Maneuver Propulsion Controls) is the automated system used to
control the five basic MS functions during take-off, cruising, space combat,
landing, and walking. All the pilot need to do is select the mode, and the MS
will adjust automatically to the situation. The federation was actually the
forerunner of this technology. By imputing an experienced pilot's records, the
learning computers can adopt all the maneuvers. This way, even a rookie pilot
can achieve difficult movements easily. But if a maneuver is not programmed, a
pilot will need to compensate by taking over the controls in order to correct
the problems.

"Roger, second unit is cleared to land at E3 docking bay."

The Hi-Zacks circles around the asteroid to the East side. They then enter the
docking bay by following the laser guidance beams.

IMPC IMPC IMPC
Spin-000 degree
Roll-000 degree
vibration-000 degree
IMPC IMPC IMPC

The numbers on the dashboards shifts back to zero as all the display lights
turn from red to green. The loud noises from the thrusters begins to die down,
and the Hi-Zack then locks its arms into the docking restrains from the
ceiling. The giant MS is then pulled slowly inside by the restrains.

As the maintenance crew rushes toward the Hi-Zack to begin the cooling process,
Cod turns to see the docking restrains sliding back to its position for the
seconding landing.

"Hurry up, the next one is coming in!" Cod yells into the communicators inside
his helmet.

The clearing signal is finally lit, and Cod opens up his cockpit door. The
pressurized air lets out a hiss when it leaks into the vacuum outside.

Even though there are plenty of people around, there is no sound inside the
docking bay.

Cod kicks on the side of the cockpit and glides himself toward the walkway
under the weightless environment.

At the same time he noticed an MS surrounded by a group of technicians on the
other side of the docking bay. It is a model that he has never seen before.

After landing on the walkway, Cod grabs one the maintenance crew, and puts his
helmet against each other.

"Hey, that MS over there, did the tech guys build it with the Zion data?"

"Partially, but it is mostly a new design." The maintenance guy answers
somewhat reluctantly.

"Anaheim?"

Anaheim refers to Anaheim Electronic Industry. It is a company formed under the
Federation after acquiring the main Zion MS developer Zionic Industry at the
end of "One Year War". Anaheim Electronic is now the biggest MS manufacturer.
Most of the Zion data uncovered here at Penzu is usually handed over to Anaheim
Electronic.

"No, I heard it was our own design. It's supposed to be the X series originally
developed by the Zions as their next generation models.

"X series?"

"Un-huh."

Cod has never heard of the MS XEKU-EINS before. But as a pilot he is unable to
contain his interest to ride a new MS.

After leaving the maintenance guy, Cod enters the airlock. Once his helmet is
removed, he heads toward the debriefing room by holding onto the handle of the
automated transporter.

As he moves down the corridor, Cod sees the Base Commander at the end of the
hallway.

Cod raises his had to salute, but Commander Pad called out to him.

'Brave Cod, these are your orders." Commander Pad hands him his papers. It
orders Cod to report to the Instructor Corp.

"The Instructor Corp will be setting up their new station here."

Another Space duty? Cod feels depressed about it.

"I'm Sorry Lieutenant Cod. I'll be heading back to my wife & kids after five
years." Says the Commander. "A new Base Commander will be reporting here later
this week."

"I guess that means your mission to uncover all the Zion data is complete here.
Congratulations!" Cod replies. "Its too bad I'm still stuck here at this barren
wasteland."

Penzu does have its places for entertainment & relaxation. But when compared to
both the Earth & Moon, it's just not that exciting. The lack of woman here
doesn't help either.

"Ha, Ha, don't look so down. I will leave you & the Instructor Corp a nice big
present. A new type of MS..."

"Is it the X series?"

"Your pretty quick with the news."

Cod thinks to himself, be a bit more patient for the new toys. Just hang in
there a bit longer, and soon.........

*****************************************

"Dr. Karl, with the assistance from all departments, we've gathered our list of
Cheshire Cats"

The two middle-aged technicians talked casually as they approach the MS hanger.

"Hard to believe that Meith Roots' son is also on the list of names."

The name & images of a female technician that died during an accidental
explosion appears in Dr. Karl's mind. A woman who gave up everything in order
to pursue her research & development of "The System". She left her family
behind, and the end she even sacrificed her life by shielding "The System" from
the explosion with her own body.

"The System" is a machine that is capable of thinking for itself. It was
developed under the Federation's new combat reinforcement projects. In order to
compensate the loss of many pilots after "One Year War", the Federation decides
to develop an extension of the IMPC which would automate all MS systems.

Officially termed Advanced Logistic & Inconsequence Cognizing Equipment, it is
also know as ALICE. By linking this system to the core learning computer inside
an MS, it will be able to analysis all battlefield situations and capable of
making tactical decisions on its own. The final goal is to achieve fully
automated & unmanned Mobile Suits for combat.

In order for ALICE to become a more complete "human being", everything must be
taught from scratch. The female technician who sacrificed herself was
responsible for educating the basics knowledge's, and at the same time
providing the role of a "mother". But as the intelligence of ALICE begins to
grow, she will also need someone to fill in the role of a "father". But that
person must also provide the role of a brother, friend, and lover throughout
the development stages. So the project would have to find a man that didn't
play by the rules and provide the needed challenges for ALICE to achieve it's
goal. Thus the nickname Cheshire Cat was given to these candidates.

ALICE was also programmed with a female personality because the project wants
to develop an Artificial Intelligence that is capable of understanding an MS
pilot. "She" must be able to fill the role of a capable & understanding woman
that would respond to the needs of a pilot. The end result would be for ALICE
to "marry" the pilot & evolve into a true Valkyrie (Goddess that carries the
souls of warriors into Valhalla).

The project is brilliant in its concept, but it has yet to gain mainstream
support from the Federation military or government officials. Because the
completion of ALICE will also mean a drastic cut back in military personnel,
thus would result in an imbalance of power between the Military & the
Governments.

The project also suffered many obstacles & disasters throughout its development
stages. The explosion that occurred was rumored to be sabotage, but not enough
evidence was uncovered in the investigation to proove it.

Now all the "dangerous individuals" from the Federal Force are brought here to
this base. The twelve men form a line in the MS hanger.

Dr. Karl sees two men caught in a heated argument while the Drill Sergeant was
giving his speech. The Drill Sergeant separated the two immediately and punched
them in the face.

"What is your name!?"

"Ryuu Roots." As one man wipes the blood from the corner of his mouth.

"Shin Crypt." The other one answers.

"Listed up you little dog sh*t!" The Drill Sergeant yells out. " This place is
a mad house. MS doesn't stand for Mobile Suit here, It means Mad Sanitarium!
All of you psychos are here because you're useless to the military!"

"Roots! Crypt! You're gonna follow all the rules here, and you're gonna do as I
say!"

"When I tell you to fly you better fly. And when I tell to die you better die!"

"Now Lock theses two up in isolation for three days!"

The MP grabbed the two men from behind & hauled them away.

"Now the rest of you head toward your cells!" The drill sergeant continues to
yell. " Your briefing will be given in an hour! Dismissed!"

Dr. Karl felt rather depressed watching this situation.

Karl thinks to himself, do we really have to hand over ALICE to these guys?
Meith Root's Son is also in the group. His father died during the "One Year
War", and his mother died in an explosion. He probably blames the Federal Force
for the death of both of his parents.

Looks like ALICE's future is going to be filled with obstacles.

Two years later.......

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