I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year. A 50k word novel, with no quality control, written between November 1st and November 30th. It focuses mostly on getting it done, so quality is not going to be important. A rough outline of the story :
Lars is a pencil pusher pyromancer, born in the Great Southern Swamp, whose people are reviled as primitive heretics. He lives in a large, polluted city that produces fuel for a neighbouring, more powerful totalitarian state called Ortega. His fantasies of escaping the life assigned to him are realised as he joins the cultural and political revival of the Great Southern Swamp. However, he faces many dangers in both the murk of the swamp and the corridors of the city.
But that is not today’s story. Today’s rough outline of a story is about Gundam pilots, and the healing power of ice skating.
Story opens with an ex-Zeon pilot from Side 3, named Hugh G. Celiac, about to get into a repurposed Zaku II, in the UC 0084 Winter Olympics. The event is figure skating.
As he mounts up and the final call for his turn on the ice comes up, he holds a mission disk and remembers his time in the One Year War of 0079. He was a reservist who was not expected to see combat, and had specialised in information warfare. As Minovsky particles jam sensors, comms and disrupt sensitive electronics, information warfare officers were proficient at parsing large amounts of data for good intel. This made them ideal for a Zeon project that would automate maneuver warfare through real-time computer simulations in battle. This would allow Zeon to use rookie pilots to better effect in the high performance mobile suits being deployed towards the end of the war on Earth, and lead to success in capturing the Federation’s Jaburo headquarters. A special part of the training was focused on “skating” maneuvers in Earth’s gravity.
Most of Hugh’s time was spent guarding a Helium-3 mine, and rigorously training in asteroid and debris fields. The program predicted successful vectors of attack on enemy ships, and co-ordinated small units of three mobile suits to that goal. By November, the attack on Jaburo had failed, and Hugh’s unit was ambushed en route to A Bao Qu.
Hugh is shot down, but survives with injuries. His two squadmates are killed. He is held prisoner, interned, and then repatriated to Side 3 in 0080. On his return, he works in a warehouse as a civilian mobile suit pilot to support his remaining family. The civilian mobile suit is fitted with vernier thrusters to move in zero-G, but he has boosted its performance to let him “skate” in gravity for a short while. The Federation has grown lax in watching the remnants of Zeon, and Hugh goes unnoticed.
Some other former pilots in Side 3 joined the Zeon Revival in 0083, but Hugh has a lasting distaste for war. He knows that should he die, pensions from a Zeon group are unlikely to last, and that his loyalty must lie with his own family, not with the Zabis. After the success of Operation Stardust, the elite peacekeeping paramilitaries called the Titans lead by Jamitov Hymen and Bask Om begin to crack down on Side 3. Hugh tries to keep his head down, and jettisons most of his memories of the war, and of his comrades, into space.
When the climate control in the space colony failed, a lake near the warehouse froze over. Hugh took his mobile suit ice skating in public, causing a panic that a new war had broken out. Hugh was caught and arrested, but instead of being outed as a former Zeon pilot and purged to the prison colony Francheska, the Earth Federation Officer told him about the 0084 Mobile Suit Olympics. This was to be a new, peaceful means of competition between the colonies and Earth. Having being recruited as part of a reconciliation program between Earthnoids and Spacenoids, he went to Earth to train on the ice.
He was given a Zaku II – which he paints white, then colours with red and white sparkling paint. As the competition approaches, he is confronted by Titans spooks, who tell him that going rogue and killing Earthnoid elites will go badly for him and his family.
In the present, Hugh hops into his Zaku II, and goes to the gigantic rink. He walks past crowds who boo and jeer. Thrown paint mottles his beautiful colourscheme. But Hugh cannot be distracted. He plugs in the old mission disc from the One Year War. Hugh refuses to be intimidated by Jamitov, Bask and the Titans standing guard. His Zaku II reads the dimensions of the arena, and projects the targeting ghosts of his dead squadmates on the ice. Titans forces standing guard fly into a panic, but cannot open fire on the crowded stadium. Hugh transcends the violence that has marked Earth and the Sides, and traces out the orbits of the space colonies in one dance that brings them together. It is an amazing performance.
Two earthnoid judges refuse to grade the performance, and two spacenoids raise their cards, giving him 0 0 8 7. The stadium erupts into chaos at the decision, precipitating a riot that is brutally put down by the Titans. Hugh doesn’t resist arrest, but later refuses to fight for anti-Titan and EFF groups Karaba and the AEUG on principal. He is exiled to Siberia, and whenever possible, he tries to get on the ice to train his body to do what his mecha could do by design.