It's a country which, together with Belgium and Holland, was called Benelux countries in the 20th century. It's a region with a long history. But it's not a big country so there is no reason for it to have an especially strong industry.
But when the era of the "United Earth Sphere Alliance" came and their headquarters were established, it suddenly entered the front stage of history.
Now however it's a city with old brick houses stand beside each other, which have left behind the look of the 20th century. It's also a city where many of the European nobles have their residence.
"Thanks to the Lightning Baron, the beautiful townscape was not soiled by the fires of war. The inhabitants must be grateful."
Noin opens her mouth while looking at the townscape far away.
The Lieutenant with the silver mask, who is standing beside her, reacts with a slight headshake to this alias. It seems it's not a name he likes.
They are currently in the command room of the Alliance army headquarters. It's now under OZ occupation since with its commander Brigade General Onegell gone, it surrendered to OZ. There is a strange feeling to this, since the OZ headquarters are even within calling distance.
"After the unexpected attack, the remaining forces of the Alliance will probably prepare themselves too. We'll use this place from now on as combat headquarters."
Wanting to change the subject, Zechs' voice becomes businesslike.
In the middle of the fight for conquering the city, Zechs has infiltrated Luxembourg alone in order to fulfill his personal revenge. He hasn't told this to anybody. Naturally not even to Noin. But Zechs knows perfectly well that Noin, without him talking about it, knows the circumstances. It's the same with the Peacecraft matter. He never said anything directly, but noticed somewhen during the time they were in the academy that she knew. Maybe she found out by herself. But Noin hasn't told it to anybody.
Noin continues looking at the view outside the window.
"The beauty of the city doesn't change, no matter who rules it."
"Noin, the aim of OZ is not to rule. The aim now is to free all nations from the influence of the Alliance."
Zechs talks about an official stance which he himself doesn't believe in. It's out of the question that Noin doesn't know this.
"That's now, isn't it?"
Using subtle phrasing, Noin says this in a slightly mocking voice. It's a very direct way of saying this. Zechs' tone becomes hard as he hears it.
"It may be strange coming from me as somebody belonging to OZ, but it may be good to acknowledge that OZ is giving all these nations, which formed the Alliance and committed mistakes, another chance to think things over."
However, Zechs' voice does sound a bit apologetic. That's because the person uttering the words doesn't believe them himself.
The "United Earth Sphere Alliance", founded to solve conflicts between nations, had expanded their military power unusually, until they had oppressed all the national governments with a militarism spanning the whole world. OZ wants presently to free the many nations unified in this way.
However, with the expanded military power as such being brought about mainly by the OZ mobile suit troops, there are many countries which doubt OZ's actions.
After all, from the Alliance to OZ, is there any other change beside the outward appearance of the organization? This is the opinion of the majority.
On the other hand, through the coup d'etat of OZ, each Alliance base has been thrown into confusion. Because headquarters has surrendered to OZ, everywhere Alliance officers, without being able to grasp the situation, barricade themselves into their bases. OZ is attacking these bases at the same time as well.
He will have to conquer Sanc Kingdom before the chaos becomes any worse than it already is.
Zechs controls the the growing hurry inside him, outwardly not showing anything. In Sanc Kingdom, the home country of Zechs--no, of Milliardo Peacecraft, and presently still under Alliance rule, the fighting between the barricaded Alliance army and OZ is also ongoing now. If he doesn't conquer it fast, the dammage will be spreading.
Just as Zechs thinks this, the communication soldier's voice rises.
"A transport plane from Lake Victoria will be landing in five minutes."
Zechs raises his voice and sounds happy. Not only can he now avoid the unproductive talk with Noin, but more than that, the long awaited thing has finally arrived.
After talking to Noin, Zechs heads towards the runway.
Soon the huge shape of a light brown cargo plane shows up. With a thundering noise, it glides towards the runway and the huge wheels touch down with a loud shriek. Running to the edge of the airport, the plane slowly moves to the apron and remains standing there. When the steps are attached and the hatch open, two OZ officers appear.
"Otto! I was waiting for you!"
Zechs addresses him as if he had been waiting for him impatiently.
"We have just arrived."
Otto, Zechs' subordinate since old times, touches his head with his hand in order to salute, but then suddenly sways. The officer beside him hurries to support him. A pained gasp comes out of Otto's mouth, who looks like he is about to collapse at any moment.
"That's why I told you it was too much!"
"Is something the matter?"
At Zechs' wondering question, the officer answers "Lieutenant Otto is in no condition to remain up for very long. Some ribs are broken and there are also internal injuries...."
"You're not supposed to be saying anything unnecessary...."
Otto scolds the other officer weakly. But he is in a condition where he cannot raise the voice, maybe yelling hurts his whole body. Additionally, he doesn't seem to be able to stand without support. After he has descended the stairs, unwillingly supported by the other officer, Otto turns towards Zechs.
"Lieutenant Zechs, your long awaited Tallgeese is certainly a restive horse."
While saying this, Otto, supported by the shoulder, leads Zechs and Noin towads the rear end of the cargo plane. The rear hatch has already been opened, and the cargo room is accessible. The lower part of the hatch has become the edge of the gangway for loading and unloading.
Zechs nods towards Otto, who points with a trembling arm towards the interior, and enters the cargo room.
In the wide, gloomy room there is only one mobile suit loaded.
"So this is Tallgeese!"
Looking up, Zechs raises an admiring voice.
The snow white mobile suit has been stored in a kneeling position.
It's a mobile suit where the idea of simplicity has been brought to an extreme, meaning that any decoration is just not needed for battle. At the time he has seen it at the Korsika base, the head part was not yet finished. Now it's installed upon the completed form, and only part of the head, which looks like the decoration on a Roman soldier's head, shines deep red. The left shoulder is equipped with a round shield, and the right arm holds a huge beam rifle.
But it's huge. With the Leo as the prototype, it has its shape, but twice its size. Together with the different colour, it also seems to be a whole other thing. Additionally, emphasizing the height are the two backpacks installed on its back. They protrude as if it were carrying wings on its back.
"It doesn't look at all like something whose construction was stopped halfway done twenty years ago."
Noin murmurs this as if she were admiring it. Even if she has heard the story already a long time ago from Zechs, she had still been doubtful.
"How is the mobility?"
At Zechs words Otto explains with a pride as if it were concerning himself "Yes, with the Vernier engines, the turning speed is certainly more than three times the one of the Aries. Furthermore, I could not measure the maximum speed, because I lost consciousness in the middle of it."
"You're the test pilot?!"
Noin is surprised. No matter how precious the mobile suit is, that somebody with the rank of a Lieutenant acts as test pilot is a very big exception.
"Tallgeese is not a machine anybody else can handle, with the exception of Lieutenant Zechs."
"Don't you overestimate me by much?"
Zechs' reply to the heated words of his subordinate is mixed with a bitter smile. However, Otto shakes his head.
"No, I believe in you."
"Understood. It will be put to use right away. Sorry for all the trouble you had to go through. Bring Lieutenant Otto to the medical facility."
The last words are directed at the officer who has Otto's arm around his shoulders, supporting him. After Otto and the officer have left, Zechs turns towards Noin.
"Noin, have the mobile suit unit prepare for an attack."
Noin asks back dubiously. Zechs tells her plainly "We'll attack the 'United Earth Sphere Alliance' base in Sanc Kingdom."
"To Sanc Kingdom?"
There's surprise in Noin's voice. But she doesn't want to ask back by saying this. Knowing this, Zechs continues with his orders.
"It's a liberation from the Alliance. So, are you satisfied with this mission?"
Noin answers while saluting. Zechs nods at her, then looks up to Tallgeese.
"I'll ride in this Tallgeese."
"You go into a real fight suddenly with this? That's dangerous!!"
Noin is very much surprised. Even if the mobile suit is in the wide-spread form of the Leo, there's no such things as a newly manufactured mobile suit used in a real battle. It's not only that it's necessary to test-fly it, but also because it's a necessity to tune the difference in each pilot's habits to the suit.
"I don't intend to do the impossible. But I want to stake my capabilities on this mobile suit."
Leaving these words behind, Zechs heads towards Tallgeese.
"Sanc Kingdom.... Zechs' home country.... has he finally decided to return?"
While following after Zechs' figure with her eyes, Noin murmurs this under her breath.
A few hours later, a troop consisting of four mobile suit cargo planes, eight fighter planes and two supply planes is leaving the Luxembourg base towards the North.
On one side, the transport troops will head towards the airport under OZ power which is closest to Sanc Kingdom while on the other side the mobile suit cargo planes and the fighter planes will descend upon Sanc Kingdom.
Zechs takes his place in the cockpit of Tallgeese in one of the cargo planes.
That his attack comes later than any other mobile suit is because the setting takes some time. It's not only the position of the seat and levers, it's also that the body, which worked daily with the Leo, has to get used to the different treatment of the instruments.
"Guess I will have to get used to the rest during the real fight."
Zechs murmurs this as if it weren't a problem at all. Below him, Noin has her Aries move towards the rear hatch. A message from her comes in "All machines of the mobile suit troop have left."
"Okay, I'm going out too."
"Please let me cover you. Please think only of reaching the target."
"I have banished all worldly thoughts."
Zechs answers in a voice which is slightly tinged with irritation.
"We will lure the ground troops towards us. It seems however that a few machines may take off towards the sky."
"Forget them. If you exclude this machine, the transport troop has already left the battle area. Besides, judging by the data of this Tallgeese, I will finish shaking them off with its acceleration."
After Noin's Aries has jumped off the cargo plane as if it were gliding, Zechs follows and steps onto the pedals. Tallgeese marches forward.
A huge white figure dances through the air.
While Zechs feels his body lifting from the seat, he punches the throttle lever's button on the right side of the control lever.
From the position of free fall, the backpack installed on the back of Tallgeese unfolds. Four Vernier engines inside it are exposed.
"The capacity of the Vernier engines entirely compensates the mobility of a heavy suit... this is excessive talk though."
After talking with himself, Zechs pushes the throttle lever forward with a jerk. Immediately afterwards, he is assaulted by tremendous Gs.
"Guess it won't work with the normal methods!"
Zechs moans with gritted teeth, which are exempt from the mask.
"But with Sanc Kingdom before me I cannot fight a miserable battle."
Tallgeese descends with an acceleration surpassing by far the Aries up ahead.
Being attacked by the base's flak, Zechs brilliantly handles the control lever and evades the shells by going left and right. But even while doing this, Zechs stiffles a groan in his throat.
It's a deadly acceleration! However, if he increases the output, he should be able to shake off the atttack.
While being pressed into the seat, Zechs is not moving his hand on the lever.
Why is it? Why am I hesitating?
Zechs wonders this as he is sitting there with his hand on the lever, which is only pushed forward half the way.
Meanwhile, Noin issues a recommendation for surrender to the base.
"Throw down your weapons immediately and surrender! We do not wish for anymore fighting!!"
This is neither an official stance nor a deed of politeness, but Noin's true feelings. But before the answer of the Alliance commander, burning with rage, it is swept away.
"What are you saying, you challenged us first! It's up to you to get away!"
From the stone towers which are imitating a modern castle, batteries are coming up, one after the other.
"Beam canons? This equipment was not in the data of Headquarters. All suits, take cover!"
No sooner than Noin has verified that what is coming up from the base are gun turrets for high capacity beam canons does she issue the order to the allies.
However, it is nevertheless too late. The Aries are shot down one after the other.
"Noin, order all suits to leave this airspace!"
Somewhere Zechs' pained voice comes in through a transmitter.
"I didn't know they had deployed firearms to this extent. But we can still do it!"
"We'll withdraw from here and prepare ourselves. We go back to the cargo planes we left on standby."
Without being puzzled, Noin transmits the order to all suits.
But, while issuing orders to Noin, Zechs has shown a self-derisive smile on his face, which was hidden by the mask.
It means that he has really become a big coward. If he used this Tallgeese, he could beat the base without regard to the beam canons!
The irritating thoughts lead to action. Shaking off his hesitation, he firmly pushes the output lever forward.
With an explosion-like acceleration, Tallgeese flies off to the foremost line, slipping through the Aries troops.
Noin's shout comes flying in through the radio. However, Zechs ignores it and lets the lever glide one step further forward.
Tallgeese accelerates further and plunges towards the base, leaving the parting Aries troop far behind it. The beam canon starts firing energy beams aimed at Tallgeese.
Zechs operates the control lever and evades them. He reads the aim from the direction the battery is pointing at. It's impossible to evade invisible beams which attack with light speed.
But the output lever with his right hand on it has stopped. This despite that fact that, if he increased output to its maximum, the targeting system could not keep up.
I have mastered many mobile suits. What's the matter with me? What am I afraid of?
While feeling how his entire body is pressed into the seat, Zechs shouts this to himself inside him. Then, shaking off his last hesitation, he forces his arm to stretch out, an arm he cannot move very well because of the Gs.
Immediately thereafter, Gs strike his body like a mass of iron.
A strong pain runs through his chest, and the muscles holding the lever and the control stick cry out in pain.
I will die if this continues!
Zechs groans while he feels the taste of blood in his mouth.
If he could have the abilities of this Tallgeese, he could beat any enemy. But as long as the pilot is a human with a living body, he becomes the weak point and the abilities cannot be fully displayed.
In this moment, Zechs understands why the Tallgeese was only an experiment and never entered mass production. What kind of person can master this? Additionally, what kind of missions will such a person carry out?
This Tallgeese would be the extreme north of mobile suits.
"Guess that's it!"
Together with the pained exclamation, Zechs draws back the lever. Then he pulls the control stick and lets Tallgeese rise. The expression hidden by the mask is likely coloured by understandable anger judging from the heavily bitten lips.