In the dead of night....
Resting in her private room, Noin's eyes fly open at the sudden sound of an explosion. With swift movements she had gained in training, she reflexively jumps up and runs out the door. Ready for an emergency, she was sleeping with a thin shirt above and her uniform below.
"Where is it??"
Noin verifies the situation with a soldier running through nearby. She knows that it's an enemy attack. The question is, where is it aimed at. Is it the factory or the hangar?
"It's an enemy attack!! The quarters of the pilot trainees was heavily hit!!"
The colour drains from Noin's face at this unexpected answer. She runs towards the quarters in a hurry.
Why target the trainees!?
While running, Noins shouts this inwardly. But if Zechs heard this, he would say that this goes without saying. As he has told Otto when he sunk the Gundam into the Pacific Ocean, more important than the number of weapons in a war is the number of experienced soldiers.
Noin has entered the quarters and is at a loss of words at the unbearable sight. A shaped bomb must have been fastened to the outer wall and blown towards the inside. What used to be rooms has turned into mountains of rubble and the soldiers inside have been cut up by splinters. They must have died without knowing what was actually happening.
Noin helps up one of the trainees - no, a new soldier about to become a Special soldier tomorrow - who is still conscious, and addresses him. The soldier opens the eyes a bit and murmurs, perhaps because he has seen Noin's face "Instructor... I... wanted to go into space..."
Saying only this, the soldier breathed his last.
Noin lowers her head and bites her lip. She slowly lays down the soldier, then runs towards a communication device on the wall. Picking up the receiver she contacts the command room in the factory. Luckily the communication device is still working. As if shouting at the soldier answering the phone she gives her orders.
"Look for the enemy! As soon as you have discovered him, attack!! Destroy him! I reckon with a mobile suit combat. The Leos go out to the front. The enemy must be before your eyes in a moment. I'm going there now as well!"
Running outside, the so far friendly expression of Noin has gone.
"What about Lieutenant Zechs?" shouts Noin just after entering the command room. She has run the few hundred meters to come here.
"He's safe in the south hangar. He is supposed to come here right away."
"Fine! The enemy's target seems to be blowing-up the Tauruses. All personnel to engage!"
"To load all Tauruses into the cargo planes takes 30 minutes."
"Okay, then for 30 minutes we won't allow the enemy even one strike. As soon as loading is finished, take off! I take over leading the mobile suits."
After this declaration, she heads towards the hangar with a direct connection to the factory. The base has not yet recovered from its state of confusion. In this situation, there are neither mobile suits nor pilots which could make a sortie right away.
After climbing into the Aries, Noin puts on her headset and contacts the command room.
"There is no trace of the enemy machine."
At the radar controller's reply, Noin raises a nervous voice.
"Where the heck is he hiding? Bring out the heat sensor reactions on the whole base!"
Immediately a sketch of the whole base appears on the main monitor before her, which is overlayed by the picture captured by the heat sensors. Noin detects a light point on the west side of the runway heading towards the outside of the base. Her eyes get a sharp look.
"There he is!"
Noin involuntarily calls out. The light point is small, which makes it clear that it's not a mobile suit. Is he maybe a mission member who placed the bomb?
"It's fine with only the persons that can still be in time. Hurry up with the sortie of the Aries! Follow the fleeing enemy."
After quickly finished the warming up of her machine, Noin fires up the Vernier engines and has the Aries started.
Contrary to the Leo, the Aries retracts its legs, which is the norm for taking on its flight form. That's why the legs are thinner and made more meager than with the other mobile suits.
Urging on her Aries, which has now a form like a stocky combat machine, Noin follows on the monitor the enemy, who is changing locations constantly.
That's where he is.
Captured on the front monitor is the silhouette of a human sitting on a motocross type of motor-cycle. Noin shouts through the exterior speakers "Stop! If you don't stop, I'll shoot!!"
But without even preparing to turn around, the enemy only breaks through the base's gate and accelerates.
Further ahead there's the jungle around the Lake Victoria. But there's no reason that he should make it there. Are the reinforcements here?
Then Noin starts thinking of another possibility. As a precaution she sends a message to the following Aries.
"There may be a Gundam standing ready in the direction the enemy is fleeing. Bring out the Taurus' space cannon."
"But you can fire it only once when used on the Earth surface."
The conditions for use in space and on Earth are different. The biggest difference is the existence of the atmosphere. What is sufficient energy in space, is not sufficient on Earth. That's because the bigger part of the energy is diffused on account of the atmosphere. If you want compensate for this without charging up more energy than the original design allows, it is necessary to overtax the barrel which may result in damaging it in the worst case.
However, Noin spits out "I don't care! Even one shot is fine!"
Issuing the order, Noin looks at the enemy on the monitor. He has already turned off the street and runs through open ground.
Does he have the intention to hide in the jungle after all?
Noin targets the ground ahead of the motor-cycle with her chain gun, then presses the trigger button.
When the ground is hit by bullets with a bang, it is thrown up as if by an explosion. Additionally, the tire is shot and the motor-cycle is hurled aside, hitting the ground head-on. The human figure on the motor-cycle hits the ground and escapes the shock by rolling without resistance.
After landing the Aries, Noin points the muzzle of her rifle towards the enemy.
"You sure fight dirty! Without hitting the mobile suits you target the pilots - does that make you a man?!"
As if answering to Noin's voice shouting, the figure stands up and shows his face.
"A child? A boy?" murmurs Noin perplexed.
That this boy alone has finished off the base... Is he a single special attack soldier?
He probably is about 15 or 16 years old. No, because people from the Far East are supposed to look younger, he is maybe 16 years. Almond eyes of Chinese descent. Black hair is smoothed and collected at the neck, the points hanging down exactly like a short tail.
Raising both hands, the boy shows that he has no intention to resist. Looking at him, Noin's can't make up her mind. Such a boy is the enemy?!
As if detecting her doubts, the boy hangs the strap of the bag fallen to the ground from his toes, then kicks it up totally like an overhead shot in soccer.
The moment the bag hits the head camera of the Aries, it explodes. A flash light pops up and the main monitor of the Aries has a white-out. Noin can't grasp the situation outside anymore.
Angry at her own indecisiveness, she lets the Aries take off with the help of the monitor which slowly starts to recover. Noin holds her breath at the scene displayed on the monitor, which still has a bad sensitivity.
From the midst of the jungle trees rises a white mobile suit.
Rising a shocked voice, Noin looks at the right submonitor and calls out "Wait!"
In order to stop them, Noin involuntarily rises her voice at her two subodinates in their Aries, who are about to shoot the beam cannon directed at the Gundam.
"Why is that, Lieutenant Noin?!"
The question from the Aries changes to a scream within an instant. In one move, the Gundam has shortened the distance between them and slices through the Aries with a spear-like weapon.
Even the other Aries cannot react. In the blink of an eye the two Aries suits turn into common iron scraps.
"You bastard!!" shouts Noin, livid because two of her subordinates were killed before her eyes. As she wants to shoot the chain rifle and manipulates the control lever to aim, the right arm of the Gundam suddenly stretches very long, like a whip or similar.
All she can do is turn the control lever and evade the attack.
The vernier engine at the left arm is hit. Noin loses her balance and has to drive her suit into the jungle.
The impact jolts Noin's head and she loses consciousness.
At that time in the hangar, Noin's subordinate is eager to ship out the Tauruses.
"Hurry up! As soon as the eight Taurus suits are loaded, take off! Those are Lieutenant Noin's orders. Hurry up!"
Besides the soldier who is hurriedly issuing orders, Zechs looks towards the direction in which Noin has flown off in pursuit of the enemy.
"The enemy is not coming here. Don't get impatient."
"Please leave the matters of this base to us. And speaking of which, Lieutenant Zechs, please move your cargo plane away from in front of plane no 1."
Because Zech's cargo plane is in the way of the Taurus transporter, plane no 1 cannot move.
"I won't obey even if these order come from this base's Noin."
"I don't care! Then take off only with plane no 2!"
After giving out this order, the soldier turns around to Zechs.
"Lieutenant Zechs, this is a matter for a military court."
"I am now quieter than you are. When you judge a matter calmly, you won't regret it later, no matter the outcome." Zechs says this as if he's preaching while he looks after the plane taking off from the runway.
But immediately afterwards, as soon as the cargo plane has lifted the nose, it explodes with a flash.
"The Tauruses...." murmurs the soldier dismayed. Zechs turns his back towards the soldier and leaves the place.
Judging by the way the cargo plane was destroyed, the enemy has surely aimed from the jungle. If he comes this way, they would have to strike back.
That's what Zechs thinks.
Dizzy, Noin shakes her head and straightens, then cries out at the scene displayed on her monitor.
The Gundam lifts the beam cannon left behind by the Aries and points it towards the evening sky. Then, in the direction the muzzle is pointing at, the form of an airplane flying in the cover of the night is slowly becoming visible.
"Move! Damn it, what's the matter, Aries!!"
While shouting this, Noin moves the control lever like crazy. But the Aries, buried in trees, only creakes, but doesn't move at all.
After positioning the beam cannon, the Gundam shoots off the beam, looking just as if this were his own option to which he were totally used.
Also Noin's scream is in vain, the cargo plane in the air is transformed into a ball of light. While the explosion's sound is heard, flaming fragments are scattered all over the jungle.
The Gundam throws away the barrel which is emitting great heat because of the excessive energy charge. Then he turns in Noin's direction.
"Woman! Do you hear me, woman?!"
The Gundam pilot's voice is heard through the loud-speakers.
"You thought I was a child and lost your drive. That makes you a stupid soldier. My name is Wufei. I don't kill weak persons and women."
The Gundam pilot declares this with a voice as if he were supressing his anger. Then the Gundam leaves just like that.
"Damn... dammit!! Daaaaammit!!!"
In the cockpit of the Aries left behind, there is Noin's figure shouting and slamming her fists onto the control panel.
After the gangway has been attached to the chest part of Noin's Aries, which has been retrieved, Zechs runs up and opens the hatch from the outside. Stepping inside the cockpit, he inquires after Noin's condition.
"Are you okay, Noin?" he addresses Noin, who sits with her head bowed, in a voice as if he were concerned.
"Yes... but my soul as well as my body are broken into little pieces."
Noin's answer has taken more than one measure to come back and he can't feel her usual mental energy.
Zechs stretches his hand out to Noin and wants to help her out of the cockpit, but Noin doesn't move.
"That you have come back alive is already fine."
"Because if I had died, I would have made career with a special promotion over two ranks?"
Even if they are both Lieutenants, there is one rank difference between the upper rank Lieutenant Zechs and the first rank Lieutenant Noin. If Noin is promoted two ranks, she will become higher ranked. She is making fun of this.
"You are okay if you talk this big" answers Zechs with a small smile.
Suddenly, Noin grasps Zechs' arm and cries out.
"Zechs, let me fight together with you please! I want to temper my lenity."
One can easily recognize Zechs' astonishment, even if he wears his mask. Noin has never shown her feelings this openly before. The experience which made Noin, who hates war, say something like this must have been intense. Zechs can understand this very well and nods his approval.
"I have had bitter experiences as well with the Gundams. But, when I meet them next time, I won't let them do as they please."
Noin pronounces Zechs' name as if she were happy.
"I feel reassured when working together with you."
"Thank you Zechs."
Zechs gently lifts Noin, who says her thanks, out of the cockpit.