Author: CeeDee
see # 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer

Future of the Past - # 3
Ambriel

(inspires clear communication so that we might better speak our own truth, while gently guiding human beings toward a time when truth and clarity will be the universal norm. Ambriel is also considered to be an angel of general protection.)

+

"Me?" I laughed hard. A screen came to life and displayed a young male in his early twenties. The laugh died in my throat. What was so fascinating, so frightening about this picture was, the man was an albino. Pure white hair, pale skin and... red eyes. He was very handsome. And - he seemed somehow familiar. I read the data displayed beside the picture.

Name: Ambriel
Function: Warrior, Captain
Gender: male,
Born: February 1, A.C.235
Status: deceased May 5, A.C. 185


A second screen lit up and I gasped as I saw the displayed female. Wavy chestnut colored long hair, cobalt blue colored eyes, pouting lips... I froze. I knew this woman... from my dreams.

Name: Hope
Function: Warrior, pilot
Gender: female
Born: November 21, A.C.236
Status: deceased March 26, A.C. 185


A third screen lit up and showed a small child with short chestnut colored hair and cobalt blue eyes. A wave of nausea hit me. I knew this kid, too. I've seen him often. Older now, but... I've seen him. In a mirror.

Name: Nemamiah, offspring of Ambriel and Hope,
Function: unknown
Gender: male
Born: April 20, A.C.180
Status: unknown


"Jesus Fucking Christ," I breathed. It took a while for me to process this information. "You...," I licked my suddenly dry lips, "... could have made this up. Somehow."

'You wear the ship's own organic com unit, implanted below your left ear. It enables us to communicate. There are genetic samples of all crewmembers stored in medical. Take yours and analyze it, on your ship.'

"Ezgadi is not equipped for this kind of analysis." I felt somewhat numb. Maybe it's shock from all this.

'Feel free to analyze it in medical.'

"You could fake the results."

'View the logs.'

I shook my head. "You could fake them as well."

A thought popped in my head. "You have contacted me. Why?"

'Orders were: reactivate ten years after deactivation. Locate and contact missing crew member Nemamiah. Enable crew member Nemamiah to return by projecting technical schemes during resting phase. Enable original mission. Prevent Invasion of Xetoins. Transfer command chain. Self destruct on failure.'

It suddenly made sense. My dreams. The obsession in creating... my ship. "How did you know it would work? I mean..., no." Rubbing my face, I exhaled slowly. "You spied on me. Right?"

'I observed your progress.'

"I feel like my head's been raped." I murmured. "This is rich. God damned fucking rich. What now?"

'I need to evaluate your abilities. You proved your technical and mechanical knowledge. You are able to pilot a shuttle. We need to merge. You need knowledge about the enemy and my past to prevent failure. I need knowledge about your abilities to estimate possibility of continuing the mission.'

"Merge. What What does 'merge' mean?" I hope you won't crawl in my head. I've had enough as it is. My meeting with ZERO was enough for a lifetime, thank you very much."

'ZERO. That was a dangerous and primitive antiquated unit. Merging means we communicate on a higher level. Communication only. This way, the information is transferred considerable faster. You will feel like you're dreaming and the knowledge is assessable instantly.'

"And I trust you why?" I snorted. I got no answer; instead, the control panel in my left armrest slid aside and revealed a small unit similar a small one-ear headset. I sighed and picked it up, and after a short inspection attached it to my left ear. "This better be good," I muttered, before my world went blank.

I blinked wildly, as I came to again and looked around. Everything was perfectly clear. I knew the stations and its functions. I knew that the technology used on this ship is partly alien, plundered from captured enemies. I knew this ship, every inch of it. I knew the AI told the truth, was incapable of lying.

I knew everything to know about this endless war, yet to happen in my reality. I knew that these Xetoins were a kind of telepathic parasite, projecting and in return feeding off of the terrible fear of their prey, the human race. They had placed amplifiers all over the Earth sphere to harvest human emotions. Like cattle, only big human farms, the Earth and colonies. I know that there is no real resistance possible, because no one can really fight when frozen in fear, terrified to the point of insanity. Remaining living humankind has been mostly reduced to insane, helpless prey, dying. I knew that a few brave humans resisted, despite the horror. They defied, fought them.

I knew that in this ship's past, the pilot of the Gundam Deathscythe lost his life in an early stage of Operation Meteor, that only the pilots of Gundams Sandrock and Epyon escaped death. I knew that Treize won this war. I knew that the remaining and existing weapons of this past could not prevent the invasion of the Xetoins. They just were not effective enough against them.

I knew that scientists had developed dampeners for their suits as defense, but they suppressed emotions completely, resulting in fighting without remorse, and mostly the warriors ended up in kamikaze situations. I knew that, finally, in a dampened area on a hidden satellite, scientists developed an effective weapon against the Xetoins; but resources were exhausted, so there were no means to constructing it. I knew that by accident, a time folding effect was discovered by these researches; that, as a last resort, it was decided that they would send the last battleship back in time to try to prevent the invasion.

I knew that this experiment failed, as the time lap was further in the past than predicted, that this time lap caused a severe malfunction in the ship's drive, where most of the technicians died. I knew that the time lap caused a genetic change in the surviving people, a fast-growing, untreatable cancer which had killed the crew within five years. I knew that the scientists, while searching for a cure, developed a serum which caused gentic enhancement, and I knew that if it had been administered before the time lapse, it would have worked.

I knew that this enhancement would have enabled the warriors to build up a mental block in defense against the terrible emotional projections of the Xetoins, and to fight them successfully, in addition with this new weapon. I knew that this enhancement has side effects, as in very fast reproducing, renewing cells without exhaustion of the genetic code, resulting in unbelievably fast healing, slowing of aging process almost completely; immunity to illness. I knew the Xetoins would arrive in short over four months.

I knew that a child was fathered and born on this ship, and I knew that I am this child. I knew that this child, the last healthy member of the crew, was sent to Earth in hope of survival and return, to learn and spread knowledge, enabling humankind to survive.

But I also knew that in my past, the victory of the Gundams resulted in destroying most known weapons, as for the pacifistic governments, including the Gundams. As it stands, now Earth is worse off now than it was in the past of this ship.

+

I found myself in the captain's chair with my legs drawn up to my chest and tears streaming down my face. Choking on my breath, panting. I ripped the headset from my ear and hurled it across the room. I had found my parents. I was born to parents not yet born themselves. A hysterical laugh bubbled up my throat. I had hoped it was over. Instead, it hadn't yet begun. Fifty-some years of war against aliens. "My God." My laugher turned to hysterical sobs.

'Nemamiah. Your heart rate has sped up to 120. You are shivering and perspiring. You are losing body fluids. You need to calm down.'

"Duo," I whispered sniffing, "my name is Duo."

'Duo Maxwell. Pilot 02 of Gundams Deathscythe and Deathscythe Hell. Codename Shinigami. You have command.'

"Yeah. That's me." I hiccupped and added sarcastically, "you forgot: grew up on my own an orphan on the streets of L2, a beggar and thief for six years." God. Life had turned upside down in less than, what, three hours? I felt drained. Totally exhausted. I pressed the heels of my palms against my eyes. This was one fucking hell. I needed to sleep, but doubted I could. Four months to go.

"Why aren't these mobile suits made from Gundanium?" I inquired.

'The formula of the alloy got lost after Operation Meteor,' Bethor said.

"Oh." I nodded absently. "But you could have replicated it... right, the remaining Gundam scrap was sent to the sun." I recalled the information provided by the ship. I needed a distraction.

"So, Bethor, What's your damage in detail?" I asked while tugging on my braid.

'My drives are irreparably damaged.'

I snorted. "Bullshit. Nothing is irreparable if the parts are available." I cocked my head. "You said I have command."

'Yes.'

"Oh. Okay. Thanks." I scrubbed my hands over my face and took a deep breath. "Can you establish a vid com to Earth? What is your energy level? Show me the damage on screen."

'Vid com possible. Energy level is one hundred percent by self-renewing energy crystals at my disposal. Data on screen.'

I swore softly as I observed the data. "I need help. No way I can fix this by myself. Bethor, you have shuttles on board. How fast are they? Capacity? Ezgadi can only carry eight... no, scratch that, six," I sheepishly thought of my 'gym'.

'Calculated time from here to Earth five days, four hours and twenty-six minutes at momentary planet constellation. Capacity of each of my shuttles is thirty people.'

"Damn, Bethor. Why haven't you brought your crew to Earth?"

'They attempted repair unsuccessfully; one hundred two technicians were decreased. Discover of incurable illness resulted in decision to stay.'

"Where are they?" I asked absently as I calculated needed work force for the repairs.

'The bodies were shot into space. The last twenty three are in stasis chambers.'

"Holy shit." I stopped cold and took a deep breath. "They are still on board?"

'Yes.'

I groaned. "Great. I'm on a drifting morgue. Names and dates on screen." I scanned the slowly scrolling data and stared at the last name. "My... father was the... last one?"

'The captain left as the last one,' Bethor confirmed.

"How..." I swallowed hard and my fingers clenched the console so hard my knuckles went white. "How did... he get in the stasis?"

'By himself. He instructed the life support to cease while in stasis.'

"God." I sank slowly to my knees and leaned my head against the cool console. "Where?" I croaked out. But I knew before Bethor answered where the stasis chamber room was.

'Section eight, opposite medical. Do you wish to go there?'

"NO! ...no." I shook my head against the console fiercely; my braid swished back and forth against my back. "Not... yet. Later. I'll... go later." There was so much pain in me. Sorrow. Somehow, it felt like the day I had thought Heero had died in his self-destruction stunt.

The AI, Bethor, was silent.

I let my head fall backwards and stared up at the ceiling of the bridge. Grief had built up in the pit of my stomach and I thought I would choke on it if it didn't get out. I screamed. All the pain and sorrow and grief came out in that one, animalistic howl. War again. Fight again. Discover your past, your parents. I wished desperately for someone to hold me. Shield me. Solo. Sister Helen. Howard. Quatre. Heero. Someone.

+

I came awake in my cabin on Ezgadi. I had slept deep and dreamless, despite the devastating news, and now pondered all the unbelievable knowledge I had accessed. I had tucked my tail between my legs and fled to my ship. Somehow, here I didn't feel as though I'd been left alone on a drifting morgue. Technically that was crap, as Ezgadi was still in the hangar, but... you know. I had sat in one of the mobile suits. They loosely resembled Leos, impressively improved, but they were a far call from my Gundam. I needed help. I needed my technicians. I needed Howard. I needed pilots. I needed the Gundam pilots. That brought Heero to my mind again. Heero was dying, Quatre said. Bethor said he had a cure.

Somehow, I was horrified by how fast I could shake it, get over this crap. How fast I fell back to my wartime mindset. Buried the bad things, which couldn't be changed anyway, and looked forward. I needed Quatre. As strategist he was the best. He had built Wing Zero. Maybe, with the help of the other pilots and Howard and the crew, we could rebuild and improve all of the Gundams with this technology. Yes. First, we needed people here. The rest would sort out itself. We would do our best, as before, and maybe we could prevent this invasion. We had to inform the governments. Relena. I groaned.

We need to train. I could program holographic simulations, they were much better than the usual simulations available to day. I blinked. I knew there were four holo decks on board, and I knew how to program them. I began to feel giddy. I rolled out of my bunk and stomped in the gallery, where I wolfed down a ration bar. No nerve for a fancy breakfast. I dressed for the first time since I started to my deep space adventure in jeans and a t-shirt, and wandered out of my ship in the hangar.

"Good morning, Bethor," I called out while I stretched.

'Good morning, Duo,' came the prompt answer.

I was glad it didn't address me with that awful name it used yesterday. While I walked to the bridge, I switched my com unit off, just because I could, and grinning, held up a mental middlefinger to the AI. "You have to switch to speaker, no more prodding around in my head."

"I noticed," came the reply.

I settled down in the captain's chair and looked around. Soon, I hoped, this place would be filled with people again. "Bethor, establish vid com with Winner Enterprises, same frequency as yesterday."

I waited, while pondering how to tell Quatre. Oh, hell, the truth was never wrong.

"Winner Enterprises, Operator. How can I help?"

"Duo Maxwell for Quatre Winner please." I smiled sweetly.

"I'm sorry, you have called outside office hours, sir." He looked aside, probably at a clock, "Mr. Winner is not in before nine in the morning, in five hours. Please try later."

I switched my smile to a glare. "This is an emergency. I need a connection, now. Tell Mr. Winner this is a code alpha zero zero nine zero two. Immediately." That was our old war time 'holy shit' code. I hoped he remembered.

"Yes, sir," he replied hastily and looked spooked, "one moment, sir."

It was interesting how people assumed you were important if you began to talk codes. The screen switched to the Winner logo and I leaned back and waited. Not long.

"Duo?" Quatre squeaked as the connection was there again. "You okay?"

"Hi, Quat," I grinned at him. "Recording this?"

"Of course. What is...," he stopped and looked hard at me, his expression switched to pissed. "This is no emergency, is it? Do you know what time it is? I'm...," he stopped again. "We have vid. You said..., how...," he looked closer. "Where...," he took a breath. "Explain." He leaned back, clad in a robe, hair tousled and a stern expression on his face.

I couldn't help but laugh. "Sorry, Quat, but you look priceless." I chuckled some more. "Okay, this is no immediate emergency, you are right. But it is an alpha zero zero nine from me nonetheless."

He narrowed his eyes. "Explain," he repeated.

"First," I took a deep breath, "despite what it sounds like, I'm not insane. Trust me. Listen carefully. We have a situation." I leaned forward and stared at the vid cam. I knew it seemed as if I stared directly at him. "Remember Meteor? This is ten times worse. Bring your things in order. Hand over your company to your next in command. Gather the others. All three of them. Heero too. Catch a doctor and a few nurses." As an afterthought I added, "I also need a gene test device. Gather Maganacs, the best pilots there are, people who are willing to lose their lives. Up to sixty persons, max. Tell them all. I need you here. You have five days and six hours until take off."

He looked shocked. "Duo, you can't expect me to beli..., I think we should talk abou..."

I didn't let him finish. "No. We will talk when you all are here. You will understand."

His eyes narrowed and he slowly shook his head and smiled sweetly. "How, ...uhm, you bring your ship back and we, uhm, ...talk here?"

Okay. I was prepared for this. He thought I had snapped, "Quatre. Do you think the cockpit of my little shuttle looks like this?" I leaned back and made a wide gesture with my arm. At the same time, I switched my com unit on and gave Bethor the mental command to show him a 360 view of the bridge. "This, Quat, is just the bridge. Command center. Of a ship. Parked on the backside of Jupiter. "

He gasped. "God, Duo..., you haven't built..."

"Oh, Quatre," I sighed, "please. Think. When and where would I have had the opportunity? This is Bethor. Look it up. B-E-T-H-O-R. The name is fitting. I found it yesterday. And it's the last Chance for humankind." I reconsidered, "first Chance, or... only Chance. Whatever." I had to convince him.

"Duo," he sounded overly soothing. "Perhaps you... exaggerate a bit? Come back, and then we..."

I interrupted again. "Do you believe in alien life forms, Quat?"

"In... what?"

"Bethor, show a Xetoin." I said aloud. I thought hard. "Quat, listen. This ship, Bethor here, has battled against these. His data, which I, in my insatiable curiosity, accessed, proves they are on their way to Earth, within four months. An invasion. And no, don't pull a Relena on me and say we should try to talk to them, first. For them, humans are no more than cattle. It's a fact. I've seen the proof. We have to make precautions. Earth and the Colonies have next to no defenses, have they? We saw to that."

He looked unsure. "But...," he trailed off, obviously thinking.

I sighed again. "Quat. Please. What known technology ensures a trip from Jupiter to Earth in five and a half days? Even my new prototype needed twenty. Runs great, by the way. You should consider buying one. And if you find I'm gone crazy, you can haul my ass back and look at this as a vacation of sorts. Come and bring the others."

"O~kay," he said slowly. "But... Heero." He bit his lip.

"Bring him. Heero will be fine." I mustered as much confidence as I could, "And Quatre? Dig up the plans of our Gundams. We may need them. Bring as much info as possible. And don't you get caught. If someone thinks the wrong thing, you could get in trouble." I winked. "Make copies of this recording for each government and one for Une. But don't send them before you are gone. I don't need psychiatrists here; I need warriors..." I shook my head slightly at the use of the word, "uh, pilots to save the Earth and Colonies. I will send you rendezvous data on our old channel. See you."

I thought 'cut link' and the vid was dark. Leaning back in the seat, I blew the bangs out of my face and sighed. The next hour I worked hard, plotting out the best way for a rendezvous with two unknown shuttles at L4, unsuspected by the authorities. I was good at that. Stealth was one of my specialties. I sent the data to Quatre. "Start two shuttles, Bethor. Destination L4 as instructed. And while you are at it, start two more. To these coordinates." I typed further data in my console, the coordinates of the satellite and the frequency at home. "Establish a vid com to the Earth com satellite, this connection."

I talked to Howard and in essence told him as much as I had told Quatre, only this conversation had somewhat less the threat of a straight jacket. We decided to leave the company in the tried and true hands of Karl, as Howie, to my great relief, insisted on coming, too. We decided also to slow down the marketing of the ship, postpone the delivery time to uncertain and announce a production time of at least one year, so people wouldn't look too hard for it. We always had the option to make a trip to Earth for a while, as the speed of Bethor's shuttles out classed everything else. We decided he would bring the best of the techs and a few sweepers to repair Bethor's drives. I was confident we could bring it up to speed again.

Look out, Xetoins; Shinigami is coming.

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