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Heavenly Homeland


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With enough time, anyone should get used to adverse conditions. Or at least, that’s what she kept telling herself. Over, and over, her tiny capsule tumbled. She clenched her eyes and squeezed them shut tightly. “Please, oh please! Somebody please find my distress signal!” her prayer was much louder than it had the first few dozen times before.

Normally she felt confident about herself, about a lot of things in her life. But in that exact moment she felt meek, helpless really. A round ball softly bounced into her and the girl reached out to grab the object. It twirled around in her grasp and fluttered some as the two red eye gazed at their master. “Cheer up! Cheer up!”

“Oh Haro!” She gulped as she felt tears welling in her eyes. Clutching the machine closely she grimaced as she began to cry. Despair was now fully taking over. She was stuck in an escape pod with nothing to do besides wait and hope she didn’t breath too much before any help could arrive.

A loud metallic clank echoed through the pod, and the girl felt herself hitting the walls of the capsule. “Oh Haro! Are we saved?” The little robot shifted in her hands and flapped open its’ wings, “Rescued! Rescued!”

A few more agonizing moments later and the hatch popped open to her escape pod. She squinted as she tried to gaze out at her saviors. “Oh! Hello sir! Thank you so very much for rescuing me! My name is Lacus Clyne!” the stumbled out of the pod and tried to steady herself for a bow of sorts, which was hard to do in zero gravity.

Before her stood a young boy, a teenager really, with his hands on his hips, tools in hand. The blonde haired kid scoffed at her remark, “Clyne you say? Hey wait are you the famous singer?!”

“Oh my! You’ve heard of me then?”

The boy grew a toothy smile, “I think everyone’s heard of you Lacus! But where are my manners?” He tucked the tools away on his belt and reached out with a gloved hand, “My name is Jonathan Locke!”

Lacus smiled at the offer and shook his hand, she looked around the empty looking shuttle she was aboard. Reading her expression, he nodded, “Yup its just me and you! This is fortunate circumstances; I was on my way to the Plants. Maybe now they’ll accept me if I help take you home!”

“Accept you?” she asked curiously. Jonathan smiled as he returned back to the controls. “Yeah! You see I was in the middle of…” he scratched his chin to think of the right word, “well… I was fleeing my father… to try and immigrate to the Plants.”

She cautiously followed and took the seat next to him, “Oh my! Why are you fleeing your father Mr. Locke?”

Jonathan smirked some at her politeness but continued instead of trying to correct her. “He’s an Admiral for the Earth Alliance. Let’s just say we don’t see eye to eye… on account of me being a coordinator, much like yourself!” He gave her a friendly smile at the end of his declaration, and she returned the gesture. “Just sit tight Ms. Clyne and I’ll get you back home as soon as I can!”

The singer lit up at his promise, “We would very much appreciate that Mr. Locke! And I’ll do everything in my power to make sure you’re welcome in your new homeland!”

Jonathan smiled back at her, “I can’t thank you enough!”

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“What do you fear the most Ms. Clyne?”

The pink hair girl cocked her head at the boys question. Putting a finger to her chin she tapped her delicate features as she considered the question. They duo had been flying for many hours and were only half way to the plants. Naturally they two had resorted to conversation to keep themselves entertained.

Lacus found herself intrigued by the strange boy, if not flattered by his own politeness. It was evident that they shared a kindred nature of sort, so she found it easy to talk to him openly. “I must admit Mr. Locke… I was terrified that no body would find my capsule… more scared than I had been in a long time.”

Jonathan nodded somberly, “yeah I imagine that would be terrifying, being stuck in a cage like that… left to the mercy of endless space…” he stared blankly at the stars in front of him. It was clear that he harbored a similar fear though he didn’t elaborate.

“And what about you Mr. Locke?”

Jonathan scoffed and looked around, almost as if making sure they were really alone. “I’m terrified of my dad… of the Alliance, or rather Blue Cosmos. I had to hide my abilities from nearly everyone.” His words trailed off and he cocked his head. “At night I’d lay in my bed and look out my window to gaze at the moon and the stars. On good nights I could see the constellation of the plants. I’d listen to you… to your kind voice… Who would have imagined that some day I could repay the selfless songstress of the stars herself? The voice that would carry my hopes themselves to these very stars?” He gave her a toothy grin as he waved a hand to the man-made constellations in front of them. He caught her fair features blush at his complement and he immediately felt self conscious of himself, settling back into his chair.

A long moment of silence passed before he worked the nerve to speak, “I’m sorry I…”

This time Lacus laughed, “you’re far too kind Mr. Locke! Don’t feel sorry! I for one am glad to see you reaching the stars!” She flashed him an inviting smile and Jonathan returned the look.

They spent many more hours just talking and getting to know each other prior. Turns out Lacus was much more approachable than celebrities were often made out to be. Jonathan genuinely felt a connection to the young woman, a real sense of appreciation. Likewise, she grew to appreciate the young man who was venturing out to try and make it on his own.

Things went as well as could be expected when they made contact with ZAFT forces. Soon as they had docked, Lacus immediately took him under her protection. The media buzzed around the two, the Superstar being rescued by a strange boy was no small headline. The impromptu fame was almost as overwhelming as the camera flashes as the two got into her personal car and departed for her home.

Siegel was just as kind hearted as his daughter and agreed to board Jonathan in their estate until the boy could get his bearings and take care of himself. The chairmen likewise took an interest in Jonathan, one night during dinner Siegel Clyne asked, “so what were you hoping to do here in the plants Jonathan?”

The boy was dressed in some nice clothes the Clynes had graciously provided him. He paused as he dipped his fork into a chunk of meat, “Well… I’m a little embarrassed to admit it… but… I’ve always been fascinated with the GINN. I don’t suppose there could be any way I could join the military to train to be a pilot could I?”

Siegel gulped down his food and paused to study the boy then Lacus who merely nodded her approval. “I’ll see what I can do for you Jonathan, after all it’s the least I can do for you.”

Jonathan beamed at the promise, after all if the chairman couldn’t get him into the military then who could? “I promise I wont you let you down sir! Or you Ms. Clyne!”

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It was invigorating, not having to hide his true potential. At first it was unnerving shooting at mobile armors and jets, craft he always considered friendly; but he got used to it. Each simulation got progressively more challenging, yet Jonathan didn’t shy from the tests.

“How is he doing?” A ZAFT officer asked the technician running the simulator. The tech seemed so engrossed by the performance he didn’t look for a moment and only responded when he sensed the gaze of the officer on his back. “Oh – uh- wel- well he’s incredible. He’s definitely one of the better coordinators we’ve seen tested here. It goes without saying that he would do very well in any assignment you could give him.”

The officer nodded thoughtfully as he studied the kid work the fake controls as convincing as any redcoat he’d seen in action. “Well, he’s being vouched for by the chairman himself. Let’s stick him in a real GINN and see what he can do?”


Jonathan kept looking at himself in his green uniform. Because of the chairman they were able to speed him along to skip the trainee class and immediately join the ranks. He was going to be tasked with being the adjunct of an officer for a few weeks to really see how his potential would come through.

It was true he had scored well on all his aptitude tests, a feat that impressed the coordinators in the military even. Any skepticism regarding his appointment were quashed by his talent, and officers were already plotting with what they could do with such a promising recruit.

“you certainly look the part well enough.” Said an angelic voice. Startled, Jonathan looked around to spot Lacus standing in the doorway of his room, Haro cradled in her hands. Her look was less than thrilled.

The boy offered a smile at her to try and soothe her over. He walked over and offered his hands to the girl, which she accepted. Mr.Pink flew off bouncing merrily into his room.

“You don’t want me to be a soldier… I get it.”

She looked away uncomfortably as if just realizing that they were holding hands. “I just want to know why you want to be a soldier Mr-“

“Please just call me Jonathan…. Lacus….”

She looked at him as he interrupted and offered a sheepish smile. Nodding she continued., “why Jonathan?”

The boy kept his relaxed smile on his face, “it’s because I have a choice. I made a choice coming here… and now that I see the beauty of this land…” even as he mentioned beauty his eyes didn’t leave the pop star, making her blush despite herself. “I couldn’t bare to see it set asunder… I don’t want to hurt people I just want to protect the people who have been so kind to me.”

She slowly nodded as she accepted his words, indeed Jonathan seemed more selfless in his motivation.

“Why does Athrun do it?”

His words snapped her back to reality and she let her fingers slip from the boy’s hands, suddenly mindful of her fiancé. “I – well I don’t think it’s my place to tell you… I am glad that you’re doing it out of the kindness of your heart. I’m just worried that those intentions will get lost once you’re in the military.”

Jonathan reached to lift her chin up, gently making her meet his eyes. “I promise… I’ll cling to my ideals. My father and many other good people are on the other side… I don’t want to hurt them.”

As she stared at him, she realized that she believed him. “In that case, let my songs give you strength enough to stand by your ideals Jonathan…” her words melted away as he leaned in to kiss her. She didn’t immediately pull away but eventually relented, “I- I shouldn’t Jonathan…”

Jonathan grimaced at his mistake but nodded, “I can tell you aren’t in love with him…”

The songstress said nothing and only kept looking away as if ashamed. Jonathan continued, “you’re only marrying him because of your parents aren’t you?”

Lacus still couldn’t meet his gaze, “it’s complicated….”

Oddly enough Jonathan began to chuckle, “guess that’s means I’ll have to simplify it!” he announced cheerily. His tone caused her to look up at his broad smile which in turn made her grin despite the situation. She felt like asking him just what he meant but stopped herself, almost afraid of the answer.

“I’ll do my best for you Lacus.” He added somberly just as he began to walk away. “thank you for everything you have done for me.”

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“Clyne you say?” Rau mused as he talked to Patrick Zala over the phone. Rau and his team had just docked at the plants for some debriefing and leave. Of course it was more than amusing to see the princess they had been tasked with finding being rescued by an unknown boy. The same boy would then use his new leverage with Siegel to get placed into the military. 

“Well if that’s the case then I suppose he is worth looking into… very well I’ll take his assignment.” Rau paused to listen to Zala but was hardly pay attention as he mused at the idea of Lacus’ savior being stationed with her fiancé. That alone would prove to be interesting, though such trivial matters usually didn’t concern Rau himself. Still such coincidences could prove to be potentially useful in the future. He ended the call then went to his medicine cabinet to retrieve his stash of pills and take a dose.  


“Jonathan M. Locke reporting for duty sir!” 

The boy’s mannerisms were impeccable, his posture perfect as was his salute. “At ease.” Rau commanded as he saluted back from his desk. “It’s my understanding that you performed admirably in the simulations and come highly regarded by Chairmen Clyne himself.”

Jonathan stood like a statue not reacting and letting the commander talk. Indeed the boy seemed cut from the right material to be serving in a military. Though it would be odd having an Adjutant wearing green to be serving under him while he had numerous red coats under his command, Rau didn’t mind peculiarities. 

A thought crept into Rau’s mind and he grinned, “So you want to pilot a mobile suit?”

Jonathan flashed the commander an questioning look as if the answer should have been obvious but nodded, “that’s right sir.” 

“Well as it turns out we were just delivered a repaired machine that was meant for one of our fallen comrades. It’s been tuned for a greater performance but it’s nothing special compared to the G weapons we recently acquired. I will assign you this unit, since it’s the only GINN we will have onboard our ship.” 

Despite himself a smile crept on Locke’s face, “thank you very much sir! I’ll do my best!” 

Rau took a moment to study the boy before smiling, “that’ll be all then. I suggest you get familiar with the unit in the hangar. We will be launching soon for patrol duties and performance testing. Dismissed.”

Locke snapped into another salute before leaving the office. Rau took time reviewing Locke’s files, his smile never leaving his face. Indeed this new recruit had much potential, and something else about him that Rau felt could prove to be important later on. “This set of circumstances could be most fortunate indeed.” 


The machine assigned to Locke looked as audacious, if not ugly, with the orangish yellow paint scheme. It didn’t take him long to track down the chief mechanic to beg for a new paint job. The best he could get from the man was a “maybe” so Jonathan had to live with that. 

The boy drifted to the cockpit of the machine and quickly went about familiarizing himself with the controls and customized settings. He was happily toggling various switches when he heard a commotion outside the machine. 

“Just who the hell gave him permission to pilot that machine!?” 

A softer voice tried to reason, “The Commander did!”

“You have to be joking! Where is this newbie?!”

A moment later a red silhouette perched themselves in front of the open cockpit. Jonathan looked up to see a kid with stark white hair glowering at him with a sneer on his face, “just who the hell do you think you are? Taking Miguel’s machine like this?” 

“Yzak cut it out!” Another voice trailed behind and soon another person appeared next to Yzak grabbing the angry guy’s shoulder. The newcomer sparked some recognition with Jonathan as he had seen pictures of him before, it was none other than Athrun Zala. 

“No I won’t! If this jerk thinks he can waltz in here and take over Miguel’s machine just like that then-“

“Then what?” Jonathan finally spoke up. 

“What did you say?” Yzak cried out in a rage. Locke glared back calmly at the hot head and this seemed to startle Yzak just a tiny bit. 

“Then what?” Jonathan repeated, “You’ll beat me up? Will this argument be over if you get that out of your system?”

They both looked at Locke quizzically at his nonchalant response, “If that’s the case lets go outside and get this done, I warn you though I won’t take a beating lying down.” It was clear to Jonathan that Yzak was a bigger person, but his confidence seemed to be unnerving the other coordinator enough to make Yzak speechless. 

Yzak stared hard at Jonathan and sneered as he pushed himself to float away from the machine. Athrun looked at the retreating Yzak before turning to regard Jonathan. Much to the redcoat’s surprise he saw a hand being outstretched to him. “I don’t believe we’ve had the chance to meet. Lacus told me all about you Athrun.”

Athrun regarded the hand for a moment as if smelling out a trap but relented. “I’m thankful for you rescuing her.” He added quietly, as if uncomfortable taking any sort of ownership over the songstress.

 Jonathan smiled and reached out to pat Athrun’s opposite shoulder. “Of course!” He added cheerily before releasing the handshake. Returning to his work he looked back to see Athrun still hovering by the entrance. “Something on your mind sir?”  Jonathan deferred to Athrun’s superior position. 

For a long moment the dark haired coordinator peered at Jonathan, still looking like he was trying to make heads or tails of the newcomer. “Nothing, just be mindful about using this unit. Miguel was everyone’s friend and it’ll take some getting used to seeing someone else in his machine.”

Jonathan paused and looked at the concerned Zala, “I understand. I’ll bug the mechanics to repaint it for moral reasons if nothing else. I appreciate the warning Athrun.” Jonathan’s tone was sincere and he went back to work. In reality he just wanted his unofficial rival to leave him alone. Locke may be sweet on Lacus but he wasn’t too keen on being too nice with Athrun himself. 

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It made sense for them to send him out first. After all a GINN was far more replaceable than any of the G-Units. “Jonathan M. Locke! GINN taking off!” The catapult shot the newly grey and black painted GINN out like a bullet into the void of space. It was unusual for a new pilot to have a custom painted machine but the circumstances of Locke’s employment was anything but normal.

The young coordinator worked the controls to get a feel for the new machine. Indeed, the controls were slightly more responsive than the simulators he was used to but it was hardly anything that special. A few zig and zags and Locke felt like he had a better understanding of his new machine.

The mission was fairly simple; they were to “run the gauntlet” through a debris field with the stolen earth units. By this point ZAFT had thoroughly studied the machines and the last thing command wanted was the real-world numbers from this trial before “releasing” the units for normal combat. Jonathan was meant to basically run out ahead and reconnoiter with his mobile suit. This particular area they were at was known for being a haven for space pirates among other undesirables.

For many minutes nothing exciting happened beyond dodging pieces of a debris. Still Locke remained vigilant as he took his first mission rather seriously. His persistent paid off as he eyed a flicker of movement in the distance.

Jonathan narrowed his eyes as he weighed his options. Licking his lips, he called back to the Vesalius, “Locke here, I got movement on my scopes… I’m moving in to investigate.” He hardly waited for a response from his ship, deciding that fortune would favor the bold. Readying his rifle, he flew out towards the mysterious movement he spied and sure enough as he got closer there was even more flickering from thrusters being fired.

It briefly crossed his mind to hail the unknown units, but he knew the reports well and anything here had to be a liability. Leveling his rifle towards the alien flashes, Jonathan’s eyes grew wide as he got within rifle range. “They’re the same!” He hissed as he juked the GINN to avoid enemy fire from another GINN. The flashes materialized and Locke could make out the silhouette of another ZAFT mobile suit, except it wasn’t. The enemy GINN was painted in different colors and he knew it had to be a pirate.

The two machines traded swathes of bullets as they tried to hit each other. Locke frowned as he kept working his machine to dance closer towards the hostile unit. At this rate they would both have to reload their magazines. “In that case…” He veered his GINN toward a slab of metal that could be used as some cover, sensing that his foe was trying to do something similar as well. Just as he reached his cover, Locke twisted the GINN to move in front of the cover and kicked off the debris hard to drive straight for the enemy.

His gun was nearly out of bullets, so he opted for tossing the rifle and drawing his sword. Locke’s GINN came in hard towards a piece of debris that was housing the enemy and just as they peeped up to find him, Locke slashed hard across the mono eye with his sword. The slice was devastating as it whipped the pirate backwards in a tumble. Locke didn’t waste any time as he swiveled around and thrust his blade into the belly of the enemy, ending the threat.

Even as he ended the enemy unit, Locke didn’t let his guard down. He looked around nervously, his mono eye darting from left to right. There was no way there could only be one enemy. Reaching out he grabbed the newly loaded pirate rifle and wielded it with his left hand, sword in right. He had barely secured the weapon as bullets hailed in from above, a mobile armor shooting at him.

Locke growled loudly as he dove backwards and aimed the rifle up at the inferior unit. He flew past some debris blocking a shot but followed the trajectory correctly for the new enemy and popped him as soon as his GINN cleared the blockage.

Finally feeling his head catch up to the situation Jonathan called back to his ship, “Vesalius! This is Locke, I’ve encountered enemy units! I-“ his words faded in his mouth as yet another GINN came in hard towards him, sword lashing out for his own cockpit. He barely managed to get his sword up to block. There wasn’t time to think of a counter, just react. Locke simply leveled his rifle up and fired point blank at the enemy, bullets riddling the chest and making the pirate GINN explode.

There was radio chatter, but Jonathan could barely think about it as two more mobius came flying in from his right, missiles launching off towards him. His rifle was almost out of bullets, so he knew he had to be quick avoid getting hit by the missiles. Four missiles flew in from various angles and he quickly shot the two outmost ones. Tossing the spent rifle, Locke flared his engines to dive in straight towards the other two threats. The tactic worked as he sliced up with his sword to make one missile explode, and cleanly dodged the other. He didn’t relent his acceleration as he beelined for the two mobile armors. The first to die was the one on his right, his sword slashing down now to great effect. Juking from that attack, Locke rebounded and came in fast behind the other one and thrust in, making yet another explosion.

It was only after that attack did Locke sense some tranquility at last. He breathed heavily, scanning around for more foes, but seeing none. He remained stationary for a long moment and was snapped from his concentration as a red machine came up to him. “Locke are you alright?”

It was Athrun hailing him, nodding Jonathan replied, “I’m fine. Looks like you guys missed the party.”

This time another voice replied, “Yeah you could say that!” It was Dearka, “You just took out five pirates all on your own! And on your first sortie. That’s not too shabby!”

“That was impressive!” Nicol chimmed in. Slowly all the stolen G-Units appeared and surrounded Jonathan.

“Guess we’ll do the performance tests and secure the area. Locke return to the ship and resupply… Good work.” Athrun’s tone was more weary.

Locke grinned as the reality of what happen fully sunk in. “Thanks, I will!” He turned his GINN back to the ship and set course. Not many people could claim what I just pulled off, he pondered as he considered what kind of reward he might get for that action.

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“Very impressive.” Rau mused as he looked at the after action report. The tests went off without a hitch and the Vesalius was already on course for their next mission. The Le Cruset team sat in the briefing room, with most of the red coats giving Jonathan a look or two varying from admiration to disgust and everything in between. 

Still the commander carried on, “not many pilots have the aptitude to become an ace on their first sortie. I think it’s only fair to give proper recognition to our newest addition to our team.” Nodding to the bashful looking Locke he added, “I’ll be sure to pass on my praise to command when I send our reports back to the homeland. I’m certain the chairman will be pleased with your performance. If you keep this up you may start to get a reputation.”

Jonathan looked down in modesty at the remark but didn’t say anything. Rau smiled briefly before carrying on. “Our next assignment will have us performing an atmospheric entry to the Carpentaria base. There is talk of some major operations in the future. Intel says that there is activity happening it Orb, any conflicts there could have greater impact beyond the tiny country since they also posses a mass driver. Right now command has seemed it fit to station additional troops on standby should the situation escalate.” Rau paused as he studied his team, absorbing in each of their unique silent reactions. Indeed events on earth were bound to get much more interesting soon, “That is all. Dismissed.” 


Everything rattled around violently as the drop pod descended into the atmosphere. Jonathan muttered under his breath as he gripped the controls of his GINN tightly. The boy sealed his eyes in a vain attempt to distract himself from the glowing red tint growing on his displays. 

It felt like he had only just left the earth, to be heading back so soon felt almost like failure in a round about fashion. Locke kept muttering under his breath, hoping for the crescendo of the rattling to end as gravity pulled them in closer. It wasn’t so much descending as it was simply falling, Locke reasoned with himself. They only called it a “descent” to sound like they had some control over the situation when in reality they were chucking a hunk of metal into the atmosphere, hoping it wouldn’t bounce off or burn up heading down to the planet. 

Just as he was about to yell out in frustration the vibrations in the cockpit began to lessen significantly. Jonathan dared to open his eyes to study the whirling clouds and blue sky his displays now showed. His attention soon zeroed in on the radio chatter, “Le Cruset team your approach is nominal, prepare for pod separation in T-minus…” the voice began to count down but Jonathan was hardly focused on it as he flexed his fingers and feet over the controls. 

The pod practically fell apart as Locke’s GINN along with the G-Units spilled out of the pod to free fall. His GINN was by no means an aerial unit but his big thrusters would stop him from suffering a horrible death. Faster and faster the ground came to prominence and Jonathan timed his boost to coordinate with his teammates. There was a designated dirt landscape for them and one by one each unit settled down in a cloud of dust. 

Locke felt an uneasy smile grow on his face as he studied the machines surrounding him. One of the pilots, Nichol he thought, told him that they were called Gundams; apparently it was an acronym. Jonathan tilted his head as he looked at the Duel in particular and wondered what it would be like to pilot one of those machines. Maybe the Gundams would be the new face of mobile suit warfare and he would in the future. 

Shrugging, Locke marched his suit in line with the other weapons. They would park their units in a hangar then head to a debriefing to sort out the current situation. There were rumors even as they were in space that some mobile suits had already been dispatched to Orb. If ZAFT was getting involved then it was a good chance the Le Cruset team would be sent to fight as well. Locke sighed, “not exactly what I imagined I’d be doing, coming back to the earth…” he looked up at the sky, which slowly grew darker. One by one the stars came out, one of which he knew housed Lacus. “Just you wait and see… I’ll change everything!”

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