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Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Part II
Today's Episode:

Arise, Gundam Maximus! (Part 1)
Story by James Jackson

This story takes place during the 14th Gundam Fight in FC (Future Century) 64.

The scene opens with a shot of the Neo-American space colony. Due to economic prosperity, some construction seems to be occuring on its outer borders. As we zoom in further, a packed stadium becomes visible. On the inside, we notice a Gundam fight taking place.

While we recognize the first combatant as Gundam Maxter, the opponent is an unfamiliar Gundam. Eventually, it doesn't seem to matter as Maxter's opponent goes down hard to a Burning Machine Gun punch.

"There's no need to say it," cheers the announcer. "Chibodee Crockett wins, and advances to the qualifying finals!"

The crowd goes crazy cheering and the point-of-view shifts to one person in the audience. This man's appearance is obscured by a shadow and the stetson hat he's wearing. When his face is focused on, his eyes are hidden behind stylish shades. Unlike the rest, he is neither cheering, nor shouting. After silence and a grim and emotionless expression, he simply smiles.

STRIKER: Ladies and gentlemen, the scene you just saw took place in Neo-America. Shuffle Alliance member Chibodee Crockett just advanced to the finals of Neo-America's Gundam Fight qualifying trials. He's said to be a shoe-in to return and fight for the American Dream! But who is this mysterious stranger watching him? Why is he watching Chibodee's match so seriously? The next Gundam fight is between Gundam Maxter and Charger Gundam! Gundam Fight all set! Ready, GO!!!

A Noble Thunder Crashes! Lightning Fighter Duke Houston Challenges Maxter!

Chibodee returns to his hotel after his successful match. His female support crew comes in to congratulate him, but unfortunately they were a little too early...

"Come on, girls!" shouts Chibodee. "I told ya to wait until I let you in! Now pass in my clothes."

"If you want them so bad," chimed Shirley. "why don't you come out and get them!"

"Yeah," chimed in Bunny. "Your crew wants to see what it's really been supporting.

What results is laughing, and plenty of monkey business as Chibodee tries to grab his clothes from the girls, who are playing keep-away with him while he holds a towel in the other hand to keep himself covered. After he manages to get the last item, a knock comes at the door.

"What do ya want?" shouted Chibodee as he opens the door, still slouchy from his rushed dressing.

What he finds is our mysterious stranger, in a trenchcoat with a t-shirt with an American comic book character [Writer's note: I left the reader something to imagine him/her-self.] printed on it and pair of blue jeans. The look is accompanied by cowboy boots, the same stetson hat and sunglasses with red lenses. [Additional note: This pair of shades is different from the last, think of the expensive "X-Men: Cyclops" pair sold by Oakley in 2000.]

"I came by for an autograph," said the mystery man as he held out a copy of Chibodee's biography.

"Ok, sure," replied Chibodee. "Usually security keeps people from coming back here. Did you see anybody?"

"Yeah. One of them was napping on the job and the other one was on his coffee break."

"Figures."

"Thanks for the autograph. If there's anything I can do for you while you're in town, let me know!" The stranger accepts his book back and hands Chibodee a business card.

"Sure, no prob--" The stranger left before Chibodee could finish his reply, leaving a confused Chibodee with a business card.

As our stranger walks out of the hallway, we pass by a bodyguard laid out on the floor as if beaten severly. Close by is another guard slumped against a wall, with his head forced into the wall hard enough to cause it to crack around the impact, and a coffee cup in his shoved mouth, with its contents leaking out of the side of his mouth.

Back in the hotel room, Cass pulls out the envelope with the official information on Chibodee's next opponent -- the challenger for the final match.

"C'mere, Chibodee," called Janet. "Cass has got the info on the final challenger. He's a man named Duke Houston. We have his picture in --"

"There's no need," Chibodee snapped, matter-of-factly. "He was already here."

As the girls try to put together what Chibodee just told them, he tossed the business card in such a manner that it slid into place right next to Duke's picture on the card. Janet picks up to the card. She spots a stylized insignia printed on the backgound with "GF13-006NA" -- the Serial number used by Gundam Maxter in the 13th Gundam Fight. As she flips it over, it read: "I've got your number. See you tomorrow!"

After leaving the hotel, our mysterious stranger, now identified as Duke Houston, decides to take a walk around town to clear his head. At some point, he passes by a bar that catered to some of the qualifying competitors. Unfortunately, a pair of the competitors he eliminated -- now drunk -- spot him passing by... or is it?

"There's Duke Houston," shouted one of the men.

"Where?" grunted the other one, his face nearly obscured with a heavy beard. "If I git mah hands on that..."

"Evening, boys," Duke said with a false expression, as if being cheerful. "What seems to be the problem?"

"Durn you, Duke!" said the first man, who was most recognized by his dark green mullet hairstyle and heavy sideburns. "I woulda been a rich man if you hadn't come in with that lucky shot! An' whoever heard of a 50-ton Gundam jumpin' 60 feet in the air?"

"Yeah," chimed in the bearded man. "Mah lady's tryin' to leave me an' women won't talk to me no more thanks to you!"

"I find that may have nothing to do with me at all," Duke replied stoicly. "Don't get mad at me because your machines were poorly designed and more poorly piloted. If you fought your best and lost, then that was all you had to give."

"Why you...," grumbled the bearded man. "We're gonna make sure a colored never represents Neo-America!"

"Oh, no! Not that!" replied Duke sarcastically. "A couple of liquored-up bigots are going to teach me a lesson! How original. I guess it's true. You find my shade of brown more beautiful than yourselves and our skills far more superior, so you have to take out your frustations and envy on the first person of brown skin you see. *YAWN* I'm going to have ask you pink persons to retreat. NOW."

Of course, Duke never expected them to take his advice. So as they two stumbled towards him, he had a gleam in his eye.

As the sideburned man prepared to throw his bottle at Duke, he responed by rainbow kicking [a popular soccer defense] the bottle back at the man, the glass shattering on the door of the bar. The bearded man then picked up a 2-by-4 and swung at Duke. He was so drunk that he could barely hold his balance after each swing. Duke used this to his advantage, splintered the bigot's board with a strong punch. As he reeled back from the shock of his weapon being destroyed, the bearded man found his stomach being pounded by more punches. As the man fell to the ground, he couldn't help losing his lunch after the booze and Duke's personal take on indigestion. Soon after, he passed out. This was right up Duke's alley since he only had one more goon to deal with. And this one was still trying to figure out what to do after his beer bottle was taken out so early. So Duke decided to end it quickly with a sidekick hard enough to knock the drunk upside the wall and back down to the ground.

After all of the commotion, Chibodee arrives to see Duke take out the last aggressor.

"Hey, Duke!" called out Chibodee. "I come looking for you, only to find you havin' a little fun."

"You would call this fun," retorted Duke. "You ever have any problems like this?"

"Well, everything except for the white sheets."

"Oh well, I guess every cake can't have icing."

Just as the two are grinning over the situation, Chibodee spots a man raising a bat behind Duke. He responds by jabbing towards the direction of the man's arm. The force of the wind made the man arm fly back, shatter the bat handle and knocked him backwards into the bar.

"It's a shame this friendship has to end tomorrow," said Chibodee.

"Maybe," replied Duke, smiling as he left.

[commercial break.]
[end of commercial break.]

Duke walks into the warehouse where his Gundam is being kept. Once the light is turned on, we see that it is not alone.

"Hello, chère," Duke greeted a woman walking towards him. "What's keeping you up tonight?"

The woman greeting him had skin the perfect shade of brown, with shoulder blade-length black hair and shapely hips that just cried out for attention in her tight-fitting blue jeans. Her bust was prominent, yet upright, letting one know that she had the upper body and back muscles to handle her load. Her red Dark Phoenix T-shirt only helped to show off her package all the better.

"Waiting on some hot-rodding, big baller who's just as fine as he knows he is," responded the woman. Afterward, she planted a long, hot kiss on his lips.

"Wow," exclaimed a shocked Duke. "Georgia, you sure know how to make a man happy."

"I'm sure you say that to all the fine women."

"Only the fine ones, chère. How's the work on Charger Gundam coming? Will we be ready for tomorrow?"

"You know it, big man," replied Georgia as the two walked back toward Duke's Gundam. "Your main weapon took a little time, especially after your last opponent turned into a sawed-off."

[Duke laughed.] "He was just hating on somebody that was better equipped. And I still took his @$$ out!"

"True. Speaking of tomorrow, here's the dossier on the champ."

"I met him already. Twice."

"Twice? How'd that come about? Tell me you didn't do the business card bit again."

"I'll explain later. You know me."

"Yeah, I know you."

As the two walked towards the Gundam, Georgia relayed that she wasn't able to improve how long it took for Charger Gundam's shoulder cannons to deploy. Although this was never a problem, against a quick opponent like Gundam Maxter, any improvement was a good one. Fortunately, Georgia did have a few pieces of good news. She gave him a printout with the updated circuit diagram of Charger's primary weapon -- the "Kentucky" beam rifle. With her new modifications, the rifle -- which looked like a giant Kentucky longrifle and a buster rifle put together -- could now fire a much stronger laserbeam than before.

The two continued going over stats and working out strategies until it was finally decided let well enough alone and get some sleep for the night. Duke and Georgia locked up for the night -- disarming anything they couldn't lock up -- and headed to their hotel. They both slept in the same room, mainly at Georgia's insistence. It's not as if Duke cared, especially since she took him seriously when he joked about 1 king-sized bed.

The next morning, Duke and Georgia got up early with some exercise and martial arts training, then took turns showering.

"I've got something for you if you win the match today," whispered Georgia to Duke as she came out of the bathroom, with nothing but a towel between them.

"I'm sure you do, sexy," Duke replied, with a gleam in his eye. "I'll win the whole thing right now! Gundam Fight all set! Ready..." "Go." She moved away as he grabbed for her towel. Then she pushed him into bathroom and closed the door. Afterwards, she laughed as she prepared to get dressed.

After his own shower, the couple wolfed down a breakfast consisting of breakfast burritoes (the historic "McDonald's recipe", according to the hotel), and a beef steak sauteed with onions and mushrooms. After their hearty meal, they drove off to the warehouse. After re-arming and calibrating all the systems they'd shut down the night before. Georgia gave him a hug and slipped something in the cockpit. As we leave the scene, we see what was placed inside -- a well-aged postcard in a airtight plastic protector with the World Trade Center towers of old New York on it.

The scene shifts to a packed coliseum with a battlefield the size of 2 squared football fields. A small platform is lowered to the field with a small number of people on it.

"Ladies and gentlemen," shouts the announcer of his microphone. "welcome to the final round of the American Gundam Fight Qualifying Trails. [crowd cheering wildly, holding large banners.] It's time to introduce our two finalists. Our challenger comes from the Neo-American state of Tennessee, with a fighting spirit than won't stay down. Having lost in the last trial quarterfinals, he returns in a new machine with a stronger resolve. Still determined to win the race called victory, here's the former race car driver, Duke Houston in his Charger Gundam!"

The crowd cheers as Duke arrives standing on the shoulder of a 54-foot tall reddish-orange robot with white and blue detailing. Most notable are sections of the Gundam that resemble parts of an older model sports car (a 1969 Dodge Charger, to be exact). The chest plate had the well preserved form of a Charger R/T front grill complete with the "Charger" name stylized over the left section of the "grill". The Gundam's knees were overshadowed by a Charger Daytona spoiler "wing" flaring up from each calf. The exposed hydralics in the shins looked like a potential danger, not to mention a weakness. The arms completed the racing motif of his machine by adding detailing resembling exposed hot rod tailpipes and black and white checkered stripes. The head of Duke's "hemi orange" construct resembles a racer's helmet with another checkered stripe going around the back from the visor and side antennae looking like a trio of tailpipes on either side. The gold forward "V"-shaped antennae, common to most of the competing Gundams, reflected brightly in the glare of the sunlight as it had just rose over the Earth.

"Now on to our champion," continued the announcer. The audience screamed in anticipation. "He almost needs no introduction, coming from New York City, he came to the Neo-American colony with the ambition of making his American dream. Now he plans once again to bring the American dream to the good ol' U.S. of N.A. I bring you the man! the legend! CHIBODEE CROCKETT!!!"

At the mere mention of his name, the crowd went crazy before Gundam Maxter even came from its docking place in the stadium onto the field. Looking like a giant robotic football player on a flying surfboard, the Gundam comes to a landing by jumping off what turns out to be the fighter's own shield onto the ground as the shield floats up to his left arm. It's red shoulder and chest armor shines brightly, overshadowing the white lower body and legs with blue stripes along the thighs. The blue helmet came complete with a gold forward antenna and an unnecessary-looking chinguard which completed the linebacker-esque appearance. This Gundam was as strong on defense as it looked. However the bulky appearance hid the power it possessed when connected to Crockett's natural boxing abilities. It was said 4 years ago that even being grazed by one of his punches ensured an injury that would leave you in a hospital for awhile.

As the announcer continued, the two pilots sized each other up. This practice continued even as the famous Lynn LaCroix was singing the national anthem.

"I'm going to have to watch his every move," said Duke as he was saluting. "make sure my timing's right and slip through to his blind spots quickly."

"Looking at that guy's patched together machine," muttered Chibodee. "I should have no problem. However, he made it this far, so there should be some surprises. If I take out his shoulder cannons while they're down, I should have less to worry about. I also shouldn't worry much about that heavy rifle he's packing."

As Lynn finished up the anthem, a hush washed over the crowd as they looked towards the President's box. The stage raised back into the rafters, and the two opponents got into their Gundams, and lurched into fighting stances. Finally, the Neo-American president stood up with a microphone in his patriotically decorated booth. All eyes were on him as he prepared to start the match.

"Gundam Fight all set," called the President. "Ready?"

"GO!!!" Duke and Chibodee shouted along with the president as they charged towards one another.

Duke attacked the oncoming Chibodee with a series of super-fast snap and roundhouse kicks. Chibodee, working just as hard with his hands, was able to counter every one. After realizing this attack was ineffective, Duke used Chibodee's arm as a springboard to jump backwards and prepare for another attack. As Gundam Maxter was regaining it's balance after the jump, Charger Gundam used it's time in the air to whip out its main weapon, the Kentucky Beam Rifle. Due to Chibodee's quick movements, the fighting knuckles mounted on the arms were barely grazed, as opposed to being badly damaged based on an unexpected strategy.

[Focus on Chibodee in his Gundam's 180-degree cockpit.] "That was close!" Chibodee shouted in shock. "That good ol' boy's tougher than he looks! [to Duke] Not bad, for a challenger!"

[Focus on Duke in Charger Gundam's cockpit.] "Glad ya liked it," replied Duke. "I've got some more if you want it." [Focus back on the Gundams and arena.] "No thanks, Duke. I've had my share. Maybe I can give you a little in return!"

Chibodee whips out Gundam Maxter's Gigantic Magnums just as Duke counters with his shoulder-mounted gatling cannons. While Duke is succesful at peppering the chest and shoulder pads of the Gundam with shots, his left gun is disabled by a well-placed shot from one of Maxter's Magnums.

"Dangit!" grunted Duke as the blown cannon sent electrical feedback into the left shoulder of his mobile trace suit. He knew that the mobile trace system in the cockpit would transfer feedback from any damage done to the Gundam to the same location on the skin-tight suit he wore, but had no idea it would hurt him so much. Regardless of the pain, he kept going, determined to be the one who would restore the American Dream.

Fighting against the pain, Duke jumped back, retracted the cannon mounted on his right shoulder and re-doubled his efforts with the Kentucky Beam Rifle, set on its pulse mode. Even in short bursts, it would give Gundam Maxter something to think about. Two of the shots hit their mark, one causing a smaller amount of damage to the shield, the second making a decent-sized hole in the chest armor.

"I can see slowing you down isn't going to be easy," muttered Chibodee. He charges toward Duke to throw a punch only to be repelled a jumping roundhouse kick. "Maybe it's time to take the kid gloves off!"

With that, Chibodee disengages the battered chest armor and shoulder pads to convert into Gundam Maxter's primary attack configuration. Some call this new form "boxing mode" due to the exposed gold chestplate and arms resembling the look of a boxer, not to mention the red shoulder pads serving their dual purpose as boxing gloves once mounted onto the fighting knuckles. While Maxter's attack is much stronger, the lack of body armor left it more vulnerable to an attack.

Duke didn't seem to care what mode his opponent was using, he just knew he had to take him down, and any way he went about it, it was going to be hard.

"Ah...," Duke exclaimed. "You goin' for the blue and gold on account of little ol' me? I guess I'll have to give you a reason to use it!"

Charger Gundam jumped into the air it did a few seconds earlier, but instead of kicking, the exposed shin hydralics shifted and opened up to reveal that they weren't hydralics at all, but in fact, a pair of dual-barreled cannons. By the time Charger landed, both pairs of guns were pointing straight-forward, resting underneath the Charger Daytona-like "superwings". The force of the left guns firing was enough to force the left side of the Gundam back a few yards, leaving Charger at a right-facing slant. Gundam Maxter was able to reduce the force of the blow by throwing a cyclone punch towards it, producing a significant counter-force. He followed up with an equally powerful left, the force of which knocked the beam rifle from Charger's hand, and forced Charger backwards a bit.

"If I win this match," remarked Duke. "I'm gonna have to adjust that."

"Yeah," Chibodee replied sarcastically. "You'll have to do that."

Realizing that he could not effectively use his cannons without a strong footing, Duke retracted them back into their "hydralic" state, and started to sprint towards Gundam Maxter. Confused, Chibodee prepared to launch an attack that was sure to do Duke in, but before he could, the Gundam jumped back, and launched around his left. As Chibodee turned to see where his opponent was, all he could was a cloud of black smoke.

Focusing on Charger Gundam, we can see that he is the cause of the confusion by flooding the air around Gundam Maxter with smoke coming from the exhaust rods on his arms. Stranger still, was that the smoke seemed to be wafting his way. Soon Chibodee Crockett was completely blinded by the smoke coming his way. Duke stopped running at the far end of the stadium, since he knew what was coming next. Chibodee began swinging wild, expecting an attack to come from within the darkness, despite not seeing anything on his sensors. However, none would come, as Duke's plan was to confuse and tire his opponent, not take advantage of his blindness and land cheap shots. Duke felt such tactics were un-American, although he was sure he'd get a different answer if he asked anyone else. Duke merely bided his time, trying to find a way to reduce the pain afflicting the "humanoid" portion of his left shoulder, and recovering his rifle. After he's finished doing this, he checks a display for the time then does a running jump.

"Why isn't he attacking?" shouted Chibodee. "He's got to be around somewhere, but what is he doing!? I've got to get out of this ... darn ... FOG!"

With the strength of his attack, Chibodee manages to free himself by forcing all of the smoke upwards, but something is different about Gundam Maxter. As the smoke clears, its body shines a bright gold, alerting that through the spirit of its pilot, Maxter has reached its hyper mode. Now that Chibodee now longer has the worry of be blinded hindering him, he easily finds Charger Gundam in the middle of one of his famous high-jumps.

"Thanks for bein' right where I want ya!" shouts Chibodee. "BURNING MACHINE GUN PUNCH!!! The force of Chibodee's punch makes him sink into the stadium floor somewhat, but this does nothing to diminish the effect of his multiple-shot attack.

Partially obscured in the thin airborne smoke, Charger Gundam manages to evade the bulk of the attack, but by the time one of the punches lands a square chest shot, Charger begins its own hyper mode transformation. "You're welcome, good ol' boy," replies Duke as he targets Gundam Maxter. "but don't count me out yet!"

After some clever re-positioning, Charger Gundam locks onto Gundam Maxter with all of its remaining weapons -- the right gatling cannon, the shin guns, and the Kentucky Beam Rifle.

"No way!" shouts Chibodee as he sees that his ultimate attack didn't completely finish his foe off.

"YES WAY!" replies an excited Duke Houston. "CONSTITUTIONAL ASSAULT!" An image of the eldest battleship in Neo-America's fleet, the U.S.S. Constitution I, appears in the background with cannons blazing in spirit as all of Charger's weapons do the same. Artillery rains down on Gundam Maxter, tearing into the exposed sections of his Boxing Mode. Still, the mighty Gundam Maxter stands, albeit weakened, in defiance of a sure defeat. Finally, Charger Gundam lands, with a ground-shaking stomp. A few seconds later, a fracture is revealed in Maxter's neck, as its backlit camera eyes go dim from a loss of power, followed by the body's collapse backward, as it succumbs to its injuries. Charger Gundam stands, upright and triumphant, then lowers to one knee with a hand clutching its lower side. Excess air is forced out of the chest vents in the "grill" and the cockpit door opens, revealing a worn out Duke Houston, still wearing a proud grin on his face.

Seeing that Gundam Maxter's cockpit hasn't opened, Duke jumped down, and ran over to the fallen Gundam, grabbing a toolkit from Georgia along the way. As they reached Maxter's cockpit, the door smashed open from the inside. With a little effort, the two pried the door all the way open with some help from Chibodee's crew. Duke grabbed Chibodee's arm and pulled him out.

"After all that, you can't give up now!" said a smiling Duke to Chibodee."

"I guess my dream will stay a dream for 4 more years," said Chibodee sadly.

"You keep forgetting. Your dream is our dream."

Duke then holds his hand and raises them both up high, as their crew members cheer and shout in agreement. The crowd goes wild.

"Congratulations to Duke Houston," shouts the announcer as confetti fills the invisible barrier dome and fireworks are shot over the stadium. "Neo-America's Gundam Fighter in the 14th Gundam Fight match. With an interesting display of sportsmanship, he'll definately be one to watch in the coming year!"

After the celebrations are over with and people start to leave the stadium, Chibodee prepared to head home. After a brief protest, he convinced the girls that as Neo-American Gundam crew members, they should go support the new representative. As Bunny, Shirley, Cass, and Janet reluctantly joined Duke and Georgia -- Shirley fighting tears, Duke called out to Chibodee.

"Chibodee, where're you going?"

"If you must know," Chibodee replied. "back to New York. Maybe I can further my boxing career."

"Hold on! I've got an offer for you."

"A what?"

"How would you like to stay on board the Neo-American team as my crew member?"

"You're kidding."

"No, sir. I'm dead serious."

"My girls and Georgia seem like they'll be more than you can handle."

"Maybe so, but they can't offer me the expertise and training that I feel you'll be able to provide. Besides, this also includes an offer as a back-up pilot."

[Encouragement and pleading by Janet, Cass, Shirley, and Bunny in the background.]

"Hmm... while I hate the demotion in position, I'll take you up on it."

"ALRIGHT!" cheered Shirley. As her tears of sadness changed to tears of joy, she was joined in cheers and hugs by Bunny, Cass, and Janet. Chibodee shook hands with Duke and Georgia as the welcoming of their new 7-member partnership.

"The first piece of business I want to take care of," Duke began, adjusting his stetson hat. "is piecing back together that clunker of yours."

"CLUNKER!?" shouted Chibodee angrily.

"Just kidding, Chibodee," laughed Duke. "I'll take care of it, but you've got to lighten up."

The others laughed while Chibodee was still getting over the clunker remark. Then he laughed along with everyone else as the afternoon came to an end.

FIN.

NEXT EPISODE:

Duke Houston, the new Gundam Fighter for Neo-America, meets with Gundam Fighters from other nations on the Neo-Liberian colony for a sanctioned scrimmage before the 14th Gundam Fight match. However, Duke has no intentions of using Charger Gundam. Will he use Gundam Maxter instead? Find out what suprise is to come in our next episode, part two of Arise, Gundam Maximus!

You are the th person to be mystified by this story.

Links to various sites on the W.W. Web as well as descriptions of some of my TF: Alternative characters.

GUNDAMW.NET, one of the better fan-made sources on the Gundam series.
Desirée, a female Omnibot designed to resemble my best friend, Tracie Brown.
The Xtreme Strength Website.
Guardian.com. A growing Sailor Moon site complete with fan fiction.
Overdrive's profile.
Here's one of a few decent X-Men Pages
A page devoted to my favorite member of Gen. X, Monet St. Croix, better known as "M". (has not been updated since 1998. M is now a member of the X-Men.)
Memphis: Take a look at the city I call (ugh!) home.

I-10, Katy Freeway (on a really good day.)
Eastex Frwy.

Return to the Tennessean Metroplex or go to the TRANSFORMERS: Alternative Master Site.

© 2003 Jejackso@Memphis.edu If you liked this completed "sonata", e-mail me.


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