Notes: This got kinda long, so I decided to split "Desperate Measures" into two parts. ^^;; The narrator got long-winded at the beginning, but he was explaining a few things so you wouldn't be left in the dark. Feel free to skip it if you feel you don't need to know, but some things just won't make sense if you do. (Or is that don't? ^^;;) Oh, and this part focuses more on OZ. ^^ And since this part was written a long time after the last one, there may be inconsistencies. Please let me know if there are. ^_~ (the brief 'DBZ' part at the beginning was written way back when, so if it doesn't quite mesh with the rest, you know why ^^;;)

Also . . .

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narrator
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Just so ya don't get confused. ^_~


Last Hope: Desperate Measures


Before I continue, let me explain a few things, like the barriers. There were three barriers: one around the city, and two surrounding the castle. The city's shield was the largest known ki-based shield. However, to make one so large, it had to be divided into cross-sectioned panels. Each panel connected to a point along the city 'wall' and to the central generator directly in the center of the city, within the castle walls. One panel measured thirty feet wide at the base, slowly diminishing in size until it reached the center plate over the central generator. From there, the ki was recycled into the generator and sent back out again. The central generator supplied energy to all three shields, but separately, so if one shield went down, the others would remain. The 'wall' itself was a series of smaller generators that 'bounced' back the ki at a slightly different point than it came in, so that panels overlapped. Even if one generator went out there would not be a gap and the generator could create enough ki to make up for the loss of recycled ki. The base generators were heavily protected, covered with a material made with alien technology and Briefs ingenuity, and so strong it could survive a nuclear type ki blast at point blank range. Or so I'm told. Even if someone was able to take one out, it would be a futile effort, for even if all the generators where no longer functioning, the generator would still send ki to the wall, leaving no gaps. The only weakness would be the spot directly over the central generator, and that was protected in much the same way as the wall itself. The other two barriers were built the same way, but with a smaller base width. Four feet for the shield outside the castle wall and three feet for the one surrounding the castle itself.

So how did one get in or out of the city, you ask? Simple. (Ha!) Like any walled city, they had a gate. (Yes, one. Imagine the traffic, especially with such a large city!) The gate itself was sectioned off for incoming and outgoing traffic, with several lanes each. Guards were posted on both sides to check ID. (A hassle, but many figured the added protection was worth it. They rarely left the city, though.) The gate spanned several panels, each containing three 'base' generators: one at the top of the wall, like the others, one at the top of the gate, and one at ground level. The ones at base level only bounced back ki when the gates where closed, between midnight and 4:30 a.m. The only exception is when the city is under siege. Once entrance or exit was approved, the guards would shut off the lower two generators, leaving a gap big enough for traffic to get through, but nothing bigger than a semi-truck. Once inside, traffic was directed to certain sections for inspections and passes were given for those 'just visiting'. Getting out was considerably easier. Only large cargo was inspected once outside, and passes retrieved from visitors. For those who lived in the city, a simple inquiry and ID check and they were on their way.

Air travel into or out of the city was prohibited. Airports had to rebuild outside the city wall after the, then new, security precautions were announced. The royal family compensated them for the loss in business and to help them rebuild. A few still remained open inside the city for smaller flyers and helicopters that still flew inside the wall, however.

The gates to the castle shields, one each, were similar to the city gate, but much smaller and with tighter security. (If getting into the city was a hassle, getting into the castle was damn near impossible!) All visitors, no exceptions, went through the same process of questioning, searching, and ID checking. The staff (including guards), military personnel, and royal family went through a similar process, but not as long or torturous. It was downright simple if you've been there long enough. The screening process for potential employees and recruits was very thorough and ten times worse than just visiting the castle. And once hired/recruited, each person went through an inquiry, background check, and drug test every month. After one year, they dropped to once every three months, after five years, twice a year, and after 10 years, once a year, and after fifteen years only an inquiry was given unless there had been problems reported. (Tough gig to get, but well worth it if you can get, and keep, it! Free housing and the benefits were uncomparable!)

So . . . How the hell did OZ get into the city with such a large force? Anti-ki blasters. OZ found a way to negatively charge ki. The equipment necessary to do so was bulky, causing their anti-ki blasters to be the size of a small tank. Mobile suits could carry a smaller, 'pre-charged' blaster, but they only carried one shot each. They could, however, be hooked up to the tank-sized blasters to recharge. It only took ten minutes to recharge, but it took twenty minutes for the machinery to cool off enough before they could create more anti-ki. With at least thirty minutes between shots, they had to make every one count. And they did. With thirty mobile suits hooked up to blasters, they shot at three panels until they shorted out the base generators, leaving a thirty-foot gap in the shield.

The generators was protected against ki-blasts, directly or through the shield, but no one had thought of, or even heard of, anti-ki. They thought they were safe. They were wrong.

Re-charged mobile suits and helicopters full of foot soldiers flew through the opening, starting their rampage across the city. During this chaos, soldiers took out the guards at the gate and opened all the gate panels to let the remaining troops in. Hundreds of mobile suits, blasters, tanks, and thousands of soldiers flooded the city, bringing death and destruction on their heels. Besides their anti-ki blasters, they were armed with the latest in ki shield and blaster technology. Swords and knives glowed with a green light as they were charged for close combat and shields flashed a bright blue.

They circled their way around the city, closing in on their target: the castle.

And now my story continues . . .


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Bulma carried Trunks down the twisting passageways. Chichi followed beside her, sword drawn and ready for any attacks. A few more turns lead them to the throne room where they met up with Goku.

"Goku! Where's Vegeta?" Bulma asked, her voice rising to be heard over a loud explosion.

"He is, at this moment, leading the men into battle. He has ordered me to stay here and protect you and the prince." He gave a short bow, his fist over his heart, pledging to do just that. Bulma nodded, though gravely. She too would not have wanted to leave her loved one during a crisis. She pondered as to how Vegeta managed to get Goku to leave him when he did.

"Come with us! I'll need your help saving the prince!" Bulma lead the two warriors to a secret passageway behind the thrones leading to her lab beneath the palace. Goku followed close behind, watching their backs, as Chichi took point, ready for any trouble ahead.


~*~*~*~

Meanwhile, Oz troops had reached the first castle shield. At that exact moment, the colonies came under attack. OZ was planning to capture them, threatening the lives of millions if all of Earth's leaders did not surrender and accept OZ as their new leader. Six young men fought to save the colonies, against all odds.

Back on Earth . . .


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"Colonel! Unit six has reached the second barrier!"

"And?!" Une snapped. The battle was going well, but it was taking far too long for her liking. She longed to be on the battle field herself, but Treize insisted she command the troops from the command center ten miles away.

"The set up's the same, but the sections are only four feet wide at the base. They are waiting for your orders, Ma'am."

"Get some mobile suits and blasters over there. Have them work on the shield like the last one. Then send unit six to the gate and have half disguise themselves as Corp fighters and try to sneak in from there while the other half distracts the guards. Have everyone else create a perimeter around the castle a half a mile away from the wall."

"Yes Ma'am!" Une listened as her orders were relayed and watched the battle from cameras flying above the city's barrier. The cameras showed her orders being carried out, as suits and blasters moved out, almost in unison. Unit six cleared the way for three of the blasters to get to the wall as the suits flew above, burning anything that got too close that wasn't one of their own. Corp fighters were dying by the hundreds, the anti-ki blasts far deadlier than normal ki.

Usually, a ki blast just left a person weak or even unconscious, depending on the strength of the person. To kill someone with artificial ki, one would have to blast them several times, again, depending on the person. If natural ki is used, however, a person can kill with one blast if that person was strong enough. With anti-ki, however, one blast kills, the only exception being anyone supernaturally strong. Then it takes two, maybe three. Une had yet to see such a person, but intelligence reports have shown that there was not only one in this city, but four. The king, his guardsman, the field marshal, and the guardsman's son. There had been others reported across the world, but these four she was most interested in.

"All right! One got in!" Une snapped out of her thoughts at the exclamation, giving the young soldier a stern look. "That is, the last of unit six is past the gate and is attempting to locate the central generator, sir! Er, Ma'am!"

"What do you mean, 'the last of unit six'?" Une glared. The man, boy really, gulped visibly.

"The, uh, gate was more heavily guarded than expected. They were checking everyone, Ma'am. They know their own people and spotted our soldiers easily. The one that got in only did so by helping a wounded Corp fighter who lost his eyes. That and his own face got seared from an errant blast that took out over half of unit six. Ma'am."

"Looks like dumb luck is on our side." Une heard someone say behind her. She turned around to reprimand whomever said it to find Treize Khushranada himself standing there. Resplendent in his blue uniform, his presence commanded a certain respect with every manner and movement. His eyes danced, their color as blue and deep as any ocean, and his smile beamed, reflecting his amusement at Une's shocked reaction.

"Sir, I . . ." Une flustered. Treize turned his attention to the monitors displaying the battle, giving her a moment to collect herself.

"The battle is going well, I see." He scrutinized the battle intently, sincere in his comment. Corp fighters were falling back, the ring of OZ soldiers closing in tight. They had lost nearly half their soldiers, but the Corp fighters were suffering a heavier loss.

"Yes, sir." Une briefed him on their progress and losses as they watched the battle continue. Just then, one of the cameras caught a figure hovering in the air. Red cape flapping from the force of a blast below and fire-like hair, there could be no doubt . . .

"That's Vegeta!"

"Why isn't he inside the castle?"

"He's fighting?"

"No, dim-wit, he's hovering. There's a difference."

"Silence!" Une ordered. Treize was lost in thought, watching Vegeta closely. Une saw why. Vegeta was saying something, his arm raised, aiming at the large clump of OZ soldiers, mobile suits, and blasters at the wall. A golden glow enveloped him and with a last shout, a great light seemed to erupted from his palm, shooting straight for their troops and then . . . static. The camera had exploded. In fact, several cameras that had been near him had exploded as well.

"Get a camera over there! Survey the damage!" Seconds after the order was given, three cameras focused on the right area. A large black smoking crater snug up against the shield was all that remained. The room quieted, the shock too much for words.

"Such power . . ." Well, most words. Treize hadn't realized he had spoken till the softly said words all but echoed in the silence. "Suit up, Colonel. We're going in as soon as the shield goes down." With that, he swept out of the room.

"Sir? Sir!" Une went after him, certain she had misheard. She caught him in the hall a few feet from the door. "Sir?"

"Hmm?" Treize turned, "Yes, Lady?"

"We, Sir?" She tried to calm her heart, that fluttered every time he called her Lady.

"Yes, Une, we. You," he pointed at her, "me," he pointed at himself, "we." he pointed back and forth between the two of them.

"But Sir!" Une stopped herself, afraid she had already over-stepped her boundaries.

"What is it, Une? Don't want to go into battle?"

"That's not it, Sir. You know I'd jump at the chance to fight in there . . ."

"But you're not jumping."

Une shook her head. "Not when your life will be at stake." Treize sighed, realizing where this was going. "Sir, you would be much safer here!"

"Dear Lady," he took her hand in his, "what kind of leader would I be if I didn't fight my own battles? What would that say to the people? It would look like I didn't believe in our cause enough to risk my very life to achieve it. You know that's not true. Many have died for our cause and I will not have their deaths be in vain. Now, I need you to come with me and watch my back. Will you do that for me, Lady?" He gave her hand a gentle squeeze.

Une simply nodded. Her knees had turned to jelly when he took her hand and the tone of his voice was a most sensual purr that seemed to vibrate deep within her. She would have agreed to anything right then, even stand on her head and gargle peanut butter if it so pleased him.

He smiled. "Thank you, Lady."

"Sir!" A young man barreled down the hall, stopping a few feet from them and saluting. Treize released Une's hand and returned the salute, giving the private permission to speak. "We've just received word that the Gundams have been spotted fighting with the colonies, Sir."

"Excellent. How many?"

"Six, Sir."

"Six?" Treize puzzled over this new development.

"Yes, Sir. The sixth was reported to resemble the Tallgeese, Sir."

"Zechs. He's defected."

"Maybe not, Une. He's very protective of the colonies and did not like our decision to use them as bait to trap the Gundam pilots. He may be only doing this to protect the colonies and voice his objection."

"You give him to much credit, Sir." Une nearly pouted with his choice to defend Zechs when he was clearly defying orders.

"Maybe. We'll see where he stands when this is all over." Treize dismissed the soldier, telling him to keep them informed of any further developments. The remaining two depart, she back to command, and he to the hanger to prepare for battle.

Une seethed. They may be old friends, but that was no reason for him to walk all over Treize like that! She couldn't see why Treize would let him get away with so much. Walking back into the control room, she tried to get her mind back to the task at hand: the defeat of West Capitol City.

"Where do we stand?" Une demanded, regaining her post.

"They've retreated into the courtyard. We've gathered our blasters and are hitting the gate with everything we've got. Other than that, it's pretty quiet."

"Any word on our man inside?"

"Nothing yet. We're afraid his injury may have caused some problems or that he has been found out."

"Unless we hear otherwise, we'll assume he's dead. How long before we breach the gate?"

"With twelve blasters? Hours, maybe even a day."

"Can we get through under them?"Une was not liking this one bit.

"We're trying that now. Intelligence reports that it might not be possible, however."

"How so?"

"Reports state that there is an emergency underground shielding system surrounding the castle that lines up with the wall. It's a simple half-sphere shield, but powerful enough to cut through anything in it's path to complete it's circuit. Even escape tunnels."

Une raised an eyebrow. "If they activate that shield, they will be completely cut off. They'll be sitting ducks . . . Keep blasting at the gate, but get as many men as possible to search for an underground route. They may not have activated the shield yet, but they will once they realize what we're up to. If they don't, we may be able to get enough men in to kill the generator. Notify me immediately once they find the shield, get in by any means, or you hear from our man inside."

"Yes, Ma'am!"


Next time on Last Hope:
Desperate Measures continued . . .