【第1話: 消えた赤い機体②】

One month prior, Axis and AEUG had discussed forming an alliance; however, their talks broke down, and eventually Axis joined forces with the Jupitris of the Jupiter Fleet under the Titans, becoming the enemies of AEUG.

Soon after the transport force of AEUG, who were secretly transporting Gundam-type mobile suits, returned to the Earth Sphere, Axis took actions to scout them out. Each member of the force, entrusted with secret orders, were extra-vigilant against the possibility that their comrades would be intercepted, but it seemed inevitable that battle would break out at some point.

Under the command of the Regelgu, their commander’s suit, the mobile suit teams comprised of two DRA-C Custom suits and three Gaza-C suits, confronted the guard, consisting of a GM Custom piloted by Lieutenant JG Boyd Swan and a pair of GM IIs. The AEUG’s mobile suit team continued ahead as they protected the cargo while using the wreckage of the treacherous airspace as a shield.

Due to the large number of obstacles, the difference in fighting potential between the GM Custom and the GM IIs was not realized during the battle, but the debris was cleared away by the Gaza-Cs’ knuckle busters, exposing them to the quick succession of attacks by the Regelgu and the DRA-C Customs, which surpassed the pilots’ skills. Despite their numerical inferiority, the Boyd Team attempted to fight back with everything they had. Nonetheless, the attacks by the Regelgu and DRA-C Custom from close and medium range and supporting attacks from the Gaza-Cs drove the Boyd Team into a corner.

In order to break through the deadlock, one of the GM IIs made a daring move against the Gaza-C unit. It shot down one of the Gaza-Cs, which had transformed into a battery for its mobile armor form, but the reckless attack was not able to destroy all three of them, and it was pushed back by the Gaza-Cs’ counterattack, at which point it was blown apart by Regelgu, which had pursued it.

The two remaining suits put up a fight and although they destroyed one of the DRA-C Custom, at the same moment, the remaining GM II was also destroyed, and a shot struck Boyd’s GM Custom, taking off its left arm.

Facing an unsalvageable situation, the transport force approached a point at which they would have to choose between accepting total annihilation or surrendering with valuable secret cargo in their possession. However, Lieutenant JG Boyd Swan, piloting the GM Custom which was the sole surviving member of the transport force, suggested that, instead of choosing to surrender their secret cargo without opposition, he should bring the Gundam Mk-III into battle. The ship’s captain, who was the head of the transport force, agreed with this idea, and Lieutenant JG Boyd quickly left his failing mobile suit and boarded the Gundam Mk-III.

The activated Mk-III, moving freely by use of an active binder sprouting from its back, tried to counterattack one of the DRA-C Custom. Due to its four flexibly moving limbs, the performance of AMBAC and the active binder surpassed the movement of the previous generation of machines, and it shot down a DRA-C Custom commanded by a veteran pilot. It also outstripped the movements of the Regelgu, which suffered from inferior maneuverability. While exchanging support fire with the remaining Gaza-C, it cornered the Regelgu. The Gundam Mk-III evaded bombardment by means of its rapid braking, rapid acceleration, and dance-like agile movements, all the while freely making use of its beam rifle and back beam cannons. The Regelgu could not compete with this red machine, and lost both a leg and a binder.

The Regelgu, its prospects suddenly reversed, mustered the last of its power to attack the Mk-III. But the Regelgu’s movements were slow, and the remaining Gaza-C joined it in bombarding the Mk-III. Their shots hit the Mk-III and appeared to have destroyed it, but, using the Regelgu as a shield, the Mk-III escaped being shot down. Then, despite having been damaged in several places by the explosion of the Regelgu, the Mk-III broke through the flames to attack the Gaza-C, cutting it in half. Though the machine suffered severe damage, its secrecy was safely protected.

The damaged Mk-III was once again loaded onto the transport ship, but, due to the major damage it had sustained, its transport to the Collier Fleet which was waiting for the suit was halted, and it was inevitable for it to once again return to Granada, the place where it was created.