This article, Gundam 00S: Star Struck Episode One: Beginnings, is property of Ransac16.

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The year is now 2306 AD. The Earth’s fossil fuels have all but vanished, leaving the distribution of energy unbalanced. The worlds economy is more unstable than ever before. To solve this crisis, humanity has constructed 3 Orbital Elevators as a large scale solar power system across the world. Many of the worlds nations have also reformed into three global blocks; The Advanced European Union, Human Reform League, and the Union of Solar Energy and Free Nations. Together these 3 blocks continue playing a dangerous war game of Grand Zero over politics, energy and even religion while keeping all the power to themselves.

In an attempt to shift the balance in their favor, the Human Reform League created a secret organization to construct living weapons for piloting mobile suits. These “Super Soldiers” would be made superior in every way through medical and genetic manipulation.

The Super Human Institute, hidden within one of their facilities in the Sahara Desert, has finally created what they consider to be a perfect Super Soldier. This boy, named E-58, however, proves stronger than expected. Instead of becoming the embodiment of a living weapon so desired, he refuses to participate in any battles with a will that is unbreakable. Tired of the trouble of persuading E-58, the Super Human Institute places him under strict solitary confinement. However, the HRL isn’t the only organization watching the Super Human Institute…

Chapter 1: Subject E-58

Trapped, that was how he felt. He knew what was coming and he could see no way out. He turned his head to the sound of the locks keeping the door sealed opening one by one. Upon seeing his visitor, he turned his head back to the wall.

“Now now E-58, no need to act so rudely, you’ve been given the best possible honor for someone like you.” Said the man. He was wearing a white lab coat, signifying his role as one of the scientists behind the project.

The boy turned his head slightly. “I’ve told you before, my name is Ransac.”

The visitor chuckled. “Very well then, I suppose it’s better than a number. Now turn to look me in the face instead of glaring at that wall.”

“I don’t see any reason to.”

The visitor sighed. “Very well then, you’ve been given the best possible training and research and yet you still act hostile.” As the man said this he pulled out a small device from his pocket. With a press of a button the boy experienced an excruciating electrical shock coursing through his body. It was all he could do to stop himself from screaming.

The shock vanished as soon as it had appeared, leaving the boy to slump against the wall. “You say I receive the best, that you are my honored hosts, yet all this is a glorified prison, and you it’s warden. I will never obey you.” He snarled.

The man sighed again. “If that’s the case, you are to be terminated, you are a failure on our part, but we made you once, we can make you again, hopefully with better results.” With that the man pressed the button again. The agony returned stronger than before. Ransac was lifted from the floor by the voltage.

Panic coursed through his mind. He was to be terminated, they were going to kill him and simply force another to suffer this torment. A stronger jolt passed through him, nearly causing Ransac to black out. In that instant however, he realized exactly what had to be done.

“No!” Roared Ransac. With all the strength he could muster he threw himself on top of the man, bringing his full weight onto the man’s body, causing both to suffer from the electrical shock. With the man stunned, Ransac forced the device from the man’s hand, throwing it against the wall for it to shatter into pieces. The shock stopped immediately.

Taking advantage of the moment, Ransac tore off the wires attached to his body to monitor and punish him when needed. The moment he was done he rushed at the door, crashing through it at full speed. “Stop him!

E-58 is escaping!” Shouted the man in the lab coat. Immediately the guards came to intercept Ransac.

One made a wild swing with a club, which Ransac dodged by sliding under the man. Pulling himself up, Ransac leapt from the man’s back onto the next guard, knocking him out with a solid punch to the head. Ransac took off down the hall just as the remaining guards pulled out their side arms. He threw himself down another hallway when he heard the first gunshots.

“Kill him when possible, we only need the body!” Shouted the man from the cell.

“You’re not taking me, dead or alive, Karith!” Was Ransac’s reply.

Ransac took off at full speed down the hall. On both his left and right he could see more cell doors, more Super Soldiers for the Human Reform League. Ransac considered letting them all free for a moment, but then he realized few of them would probably follow him and even fewer would survive, they were safer where they were.

Ransac took another turn down the halls, right into a squad of guards. “Ah crap!” he cried as he turned the other way. More gunfire followed him as he ran. He cried out as a bullet managed to graze his shoulder.

“Only a slight wound, I can handle it.” He thought.

Suddenly Ransac experienced a strange pull towards an approaching turn down the corridor. Following his instincts he turned down the hall and crashed through a doorway. Ransac’s heart leapt as he realized where he had gotten. In front of him was a squadron of Tieren Mobile Suits. And they were empty.

“I only need one!” He thought excitedly.

Unfortunately the hanger wasn’t empty, and his entrance hadn’t gone unnoticed. Almost immediately gunfire sounded throughout the hanger.

“It’s E-58! Shoot him before he escapes!” Shouted someone. Ransac leapt over the railing onto one of the guards, stealing his gun before taking off for one of the mobile suits.

Behind him the door slammed open again. Karith had entered with a full squad of guards, as well as a girl with white hair and yellow eyes.

“You won’t escape subject E-58!” Shouted the girl as she leapt over the railing.

“Back off Soma! I don’t want to hurt you!” Shouted Ransac as he began to climb up one of the Tierens.

“I’d like to see you try! I am a perfect Super Soldier! And you’re not getting away.” She added as she leapt into the air, landing in front of Ransac as he climbed into the cockpit of the Tieren.

“Sorry, but your mistake.” He replied. Ransac sealed the cockpit before she could react. He could hear Soma pound her fists against the outer shell.

“Let’s see if I can get this to work.” Muttered Ransac as he fumbled with the controls. The cockpit flared to life after a few switches. Placing the oxygen mask over his face Ransac activated the com system.

“Get off Soma! If you don’t you’ll end up hurt!”

With that Ransac drove the Tieren forward. Soma leapt off the Tieren, landing on her feet to watch as Ransac roared forward at full thrust from the hanger. Ransac took a moment to look behind him as he raced along. He saw Soma glaring at his suit before running to another Tieren.

“Can’t have that!” Ransac shouted. The Tieren swung around, bringing it’s gun to bear against the inactive Tierens. Firing off 5 shots Ransac took out the cockpit of each remaining mobile suit.

“Don’t follow me and I won’t kill you.”

With that he brought the Tieren back around to continue his escape into the Sahara Desert.

Chapter 2: Escape

After a day of traveling through the desert in the Tieren. He finally found a city to hide in.

Ransac began to set the Tieren to self destruct. It was only a moving target and more importantly it could be remotely traced by the HRL.

The Tieren went up in a large cloud of fire and smoke. Someone would report an explosion and the Super Soldier Institute would know who did it.

“I’ve gotta get out of here.” Said Ransac as he ran for the city. Once he was deep enough within the city Ransac finally relaxed. In his mind he replayed everything that had happened.

He had not only escaped the Super Soldier Institute, but had successfully stolen one of their Tierens while destroying the rest. It was impressive now that he thought of it, but it would be worthless if he didn’t survive.

“Maybe I can hide in the AEU or maybe the Union, guess I’ll find out.” Ransac said to himself.

Ransac felt suddenly tired. He was exhausted after all that and the adrenaline was finally wearing out. Looking around he decided to take a short rest in one of the alleys, then he would find a way out. With that he sat against the wall and fell to sleep.

An hour later he awoke to sirens. “Attention all citizens, we have an escaped prisoner on the loose. Suspect is 16 years old and considered dangerous. He is to be taken with extreme caution and his location reported immediately upon sight!”

Ransac swore. Now the whole city would be on the lookout for him. Immediately he could hear doors slamming shut. He wouldn’t be able to hide in the population with everyone indoors.

“Maybe I should’ve kept that Tieren, at least it’s fast.” He thought. An idea formed in his mind. Turning to the wall, Ransac climbed a pipe to the roof of the building beside him.

“If I can get to a transit station I can lose them at the Orbital Elevator.” Plan in mind Ransac began racing across the rooftops towards a tall blue structure common to his target.

Little did he know he was being watched from a distance. A man wearing a tall green coat followed Ransac as he traveled.

“Damn it! This kind of work is cut out for Strafe, not me.” Growled the man. The boy suddenly dropped down into an alley, leaving the man’s sight. The man swore in irritation.

“Crap! It was hard enough to follow him when I could see him.”

A voice came from a com piece in the man’s ear. “Do you have the target?” It asked. The man growled again. “Ya, I had him, I lost him when he dove into an alley, he could be several blocks away by now, the way he moved.”

“If he did escape from the Super Human Institute, he would probably be heading to a Transit Station to escape, probably to the Orbital Elevator.” Came the reply.

“If he makes it to the elevator we’ll never find him. And it was hard enough to find him when we knew where he’d be! I’m going to cut him off at the station.” With that the man leapt into an alley and took off towards the transit station.

“Do you want backup? I can be there immediately.”

The man considered for a moment. “No, I’ll need you to pick me up in the Agas after I retrieve the boy, I’m entering radio silence, I’ll contact you when I have him.”

“Roger, awaiting signal.” Came the reply. The com channel closed with those words.

“Now let’s hope I can find you before they do!” Growled the man.

During this time Ransac had made it to the Transit Station.

“Ok, so now I have to get past the guards, steal the keys to a vehicle, make it out of the city intact, then make it to the Orbital Elevator, and somehow escape to another block. No problem.” Ransac ran and crashed through one of the windows of the station.

Ransac pulled out his gun and fired at one of the guards as they turned. The bullet bounced off of the guards armor, leaving only a scratch.

“Damn it!” he cried as he dove to avoid the returning gunfire. Ransac rolled into a corner, ducking to avoid getting hit. Suddenly another crash went off near the entrance.

“Stay down!” Shouted a voice. Ransac turned to see a man in a tall green coat pull out two side arms and began firing at the guards. Interestingly the guards dropped on the spot, but they didn’t bleed.

A closer inspection revealed the guns weren’t firing bullets, but small darts that struck in the small sections where the armor of the guards didn’t cover.

“Paralysis darts, how can he even hit those spots like that? He’s got a great eye that’s for sure.” He wondered.

The man rushed to Ransac, pulling him up and dragging him behind as he took off through the broken glass back outside the station.

“What are you doing! The vehicles are that way!” Shouted Ransac.

“So are more guards, and I’m low on ammo! Just follow me!” Shouted the man.

He reached to his ear and started shouting into a small mouth piece. “Strafe! Get here now! I have the boy and somebody isn’t going to be happy about that!”

A voice replied from the com piece. “Roger, locking onto your location now.”

“Where are you taking me? Who are you?” Demanded Ransac.

The man growled in response. “Where do you think I’m taking you? I’m getting you to safety! And if you need a name call me Longshot!”

The man suddenly shoved Ransac behind a car, diving behind another as gunfire struck where they were running a few seconds ago. Sirens announced the arrival of police cars, their wheels squealing as they came to a sudden stop.

“Come out with your hands up! Discard your weapons or we will shoot!” Said an officer with a megaphone.

Longshot growled. “Hurry up Strafe! We’re surrounded!” Ransac heard a reply but couldn’t hear what was said. Longshot suddenly gave a grim smile. He turned to Ransac and motioned for him to duck.

The moment he finished this motion a loud explosion sounded, follow by a high pitched whine.

It was beam fire, someone was using a mobile suit and the explosion was the shot taking out a police car. Longshot gave a short laugh before rolling over to Ransac.

“Time for us to get out of here. Run fast and don’t stop or you’re dead!”

Another explosion and Longshot took off at a full run, Ransac following close behind. A loud roar went off behind them.

Ransac turned his head to see a large mobile suit colored red, yellow, and blue following them. The suit dived lower, nearly scraping the ground as it dropped. The cockpit opened and a ladder flew out.

“This is our stop kid!” Shouted Longshot as he pulled Ransac ahead.

Ransac grabbed the ladder and started climbing, Longshot climbed right behind him. When he reached the top he found a man with long blond hair wearing a purple pilot suit controlling the mobile suit.

“Get in!” Ordered Longshot. Ransac did as he was told and climbed into the cockpit.

“There’s a seat behind me, get it in and strap yourself down, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride from here.” Said the pilot.

With that the man turned back to the controls. The cockpit sealed shut as Longshot climbed in.

“You sure took your damn time! I almost got a haircut from one of their bullets.” He snapped.

The pilot chuckled. “It couldn’t be helped, and stop complaining, the mission was a success.

Longshot grumbled as he strapped himself into his seat. “This better be worth it, I don’t like putting my life on the line for nothing.”

The pilot sighed. “You may call me Strafe, I’m a friend, just like Longshot here is.” Said the pilot addressing Ransac.

“My name’s Ransac, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but why did you rescue me?” He asked.

Longshot growled. “It’s because you’re useful, we need someone like you on the team.”

Now it was Strafe’s turn to be irritated. “A blunt way to put it, you are a special person, Ransac, and unfortunately we require special people for the task ahead of us. I’ll tell you more when we get where we’re going.” He added.

To be continued…

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