A Keith Newman sidestoryEdit

Penned by: K Neuman

LC 26 Febuary 14

NEU Colony Shelter 14, 1.24 PM

“Alright…his vitals have stablised…all his wounds are properly patched…he’ll be fine for now, sir.” “Thank you doctor…” William Gates the 15th said to the paramedic, who then excused himself to tend to other patients in the shelter. It’d been a horrifying day. What was supposed to be an annual Valentines Day Air show had turned into a bloody nuclear mess. His thoughts drifted back to the events of almost an hour ago.

NEU_5 Flight Grounds, 12.36 PM

Everything was going smoothly. He’d cut the ribbon that signaled the start of the event. There was cheering, whistling, rallying cries. Then it happened. A terrific ‘bang’ from above reverberated along the interior of the Colony. The cheering stopped. There was a moment of deafening silence; then a stray beam round pierced through the Colony’s glass walls, shattering the glass panel. Everyone watched, dumbfounded, as a Zaku plunged earthwards, landing violently onto the ground with another, much louder ‘bang’.

It seemed to have an effect on the people, who snapped out of their frozen states and started screaming, running, panicking. “Hurry! To the shelters!” the Mayor of NEU_5 shouted, trying to direct the panic stricken people to safety. “Bill! Help me rally the people!” William nodded and ran after him, trying in vain to stop the citizens of the Colony from running wildly away from the nearest shelters.

Seconds later, he heard a familiar voice. “William!” He turned around to find Peter Newman, the sponsor of the SOLAR Project and an old friend. “Have you seen my son?!” He yelled worryingly. Before William had any chance to reply, Peter froze; then he started to run towards where the Pink Ball was. “Wait, Peter!”

But it was no use. He scanned the area around the Pink coloured Ball. Standing nearby was a twelve year old child. He stood rooted to the ground in fear. Oh no.

Another explosion rocked the ground. William turned back to where his friend was, to find that that spot was now engulfed in soaring flames. No,Peter! Without any hesitation, the middle aged man broke into a sprint toward the child. At that moment the Ball burst apart. Pieces of shrapnel missed William by inches, but they smacked into the kid and blood and flesh tore away from his body. He fell to his knees and collapsed to the ground.

Finally he reached the boy. He quickly slung him over his shoulder and started to head for the nearest shelter. In the background, more explosions; or rather, the rounds of a Mobile Suit’s weapon, tore apart the landscape; destroying cars, breaking apart buildings, tearing away trees, apparently trying to hit the damaged Zaku lying in the field. William was closer to the Shelter’s entrance now. He saw the Mayor, getting the last of the few people he could gather inside. “Hold the door!” William screamed.

The Mayor turned to face him, then he blanched and started to gesture for him to hurry up. William looked behind. From a distance, he could see the Zaku starting to discharge bright sparks of electricity; and that only meant one thing: a nuclear blast was imminent. William approached the entrance and stepped inside. He laid down the child and turned to the door. “Benedict, faster…”

Without warning the opening of the shelter rammed shut with a metallic bang. “Ben!” He shouted, seconds before he was thrown off balance by the shockwave that impacted the shelter. “No!!” The Mayor was gone. He gave up his own life to save his and that of the boy’s. “Dammit!” he shouted, frustrated.

The tremors began to stop only after several minutes. The boy was rushed to the inner sanctuaries of the shelter to paramedics. His operation was completed in an hour.Now he lay before him in the sick bay. William Gates grimaced. Why did this happen?

“Water…” cried a rasp voice. He looked at the child. His eyes were half open, and they were looking straight at him. ‘Wait here,” William assured, running off to get a cup. He hurried out of the sick bay into the main room. The facility was coloured white with shades of light gray, yielding a very futuristic appearance. Overall it held well against the nuclear blast.

There was silence, other than the sound of a weeping woman. The people were huddled together in blankets, faces distraught with sadness and grief. It was a heart wrenching sight.

He returned a minute later with a small plastic cup in hand, only to find that the child was trying to sit upright. William rushed to his aid. “Careful,” he said, putting an extra pillow behind his back for support. The child winced. His breathing was laboured and deep. “Drink up.” William said, handing him the cup. “…thank you.” It was barely audible. His eyes seemed hollow and lifeless. For a long time he sat there, motionless, doing nothing but stare at the cup. Finally he took a sip at the water. Every move that he made seemed to send unbearable pain to his whole body. William decided to make up some conversation.

“Your name,” he began, struggling to remember. “It’s…Keith, right?” The boy looked up. If he was surprised, he didn’t show it. “Yes…” he replied. “Thank you for saving me.” William nodded, not knowing what else to say. He didn’t want to bring up the death of his parents either.

The two sat in silence for a brief while. “My dad; mom…they’re gone, aren’t they.” William looked Keith. He opened his mouth to speak, but he didn’t know how he should respond. “So they are…” The child whispered, looking down into his cup of water. His reflection stared back at him.

”Peter and Catherine…they were good people. I’m sorry I couldn’t help them…” William said. At first no apparent reaction came from the boy, but seconds later his eyes dampened, and tears started flowing down his cheeks. He sniffed and rubbed his eyes, trying in vain to hold back the streaming tears. “Don’t worry. Let it all out.” The boy did, releasing the well of tears that he was keeping. Keith Newman cried long and hard, letting his emotions run free.

William left the room to let him have a moment alone. He sighed. Poor kid...

Outside, in the darkness of space, the Musai II Jr sped off toward Zeon territory. Thanks to the destruction of the Colony they managed to escape. The Zaku IIIs were successfully retrieved, and they were undergoing repairs in the hangar.

16 Year Old engineer Magnus Alexandersson gazed blankly at the fading image of NEU_5 from the Mobile Suit Bay. “So this is war…” he whispered, feeling a chill being sent down his spine. Damned feds…this war needs to stop!

In the meantime, 12 Year Old Keith Newman had calmed down sufficiently to think. This war…it needs to end…!

At that moment, two resolves were put down. These were the very wills that were to change the course of history…forever.