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February 8, 2011
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People were staring at him.

Some in interest, some in awe, but most in confusion. The whispers of 'Is that Zero?', 'Does he always walk?', and 'Why did he change his armor?' were beginning to annoy him, though. Who was this 'Zero'? Another knight? He hadn't seen any other Knight gundams in this city so far. He hadn't even seen other Musha gundams. Only humans and civilian robots. This was just another reminder of how far they were from home.

Yes, they. He'd been sent to this strange world with a companion, but had sadly arrived alone. His friend had to be somewhere in this world, and not too far off, either - the circumstances of their departure wouldn't have allowed otherwise. He just needed to find his friend, and then they could continue with their mission. The knight moved through the streets, feeling quite unnerved by the bounty of technology that surrounded him on every corner. It wasn't the kind of society he was used to, and it just made his homesickness worse.

Eventually, he found his was to a large, open park, overlooking the ocean and set in the shadow of two massive towers that dominated the city's skyline. Here, he stopped to rest and gave a small sigh. This place was much bigger than he had originally thought…bigger than the Palace city, even. It was going to take forever to find his companion…if he was even here-

"Kakuto!"

Well, that was easier than expected. The knight turned at the familiar voice, a smile appearing beneath his vented mask as he caught sight of the samurai running toward him. He shouted a greeting in return and met the Musha halfway. The two shared an embrace, the knight letting out a relieved laugh as they separated.

"Ajatamaru, I have been looking everywhere for you!" He playfully punched the samurai's shoulder. "What happened to 'staying together'?" The Musha laughed.

"I could ask you the same thing, Kakuto." He used the flame crest on the knight's helmet as a handle to toss his head aside jokingly. "I turn away for one moment and you disappear on me." As the excitement of the moment faded, a little of the seriousness returned to the two. Neither said anything aloud, at first, but both minds strayed to the mission they'd been given before leaving home.

"What have you learned of this city, brother?" Kakuto asked first, breaking the pleasant silence that had fallen over their section of the park.

"They are quite advanced in the ways of science, from what I can see." Ajatamaru replied. "But they don't seem to have a connection to their world's natural magic." The samurai frowned. "I know I can't do much with it from the start, but just reaching it is…hard." Kakuto nodded grimly.

"I have realized as much, brother." He gestured to his sword and shield. "I dare not risk having to summon them should something arise, in a world where simply reaching the magic is so difficult. It feels like I'm trying to reach through glue just to connect."

"Then we should be very careful…at least, until we can be certain that this world is friendly." Ajatamaru nodded. "Though I cannot envision them otherwise. The locals seem to be so nice." Kakuto's blue eyes narrowed.

"So did the stranger who eventually betrayed our land." He recalled. Ajatamaru fell silent. "You must remember, brother, that first impressions are almost always wrong." The Musha made a face behind his mask, but didn't argue back. Instead, he tried changing the topic.

"Well, what have you discovered, brother?" Kakuto paused in thought, and the samurai quietly sighed, glad to be moving on (sort of) from the prior topic.

"They have….odd ideas of entertainment." Kakuto spoke. "They only seem to know of one knight - they call him Zero." Blue eyes narrowed. "Who apparently looks similar to me. I saw a poster on a theater board. This 'Zero' was one of the stars…along with a human, a Musha, and one of the warrior-types of this world."

"Ah, that sounds entertaining! Maybe we could see it- …uh…later." Ajatamaru corrected himself as Kakuto turned to glare. "Much later." The knight continued to glare. "…never." The Musha added. Satisfied, Kakuto stopped glaring.

"Master Siven sent us here with a mission. We can't allow for distractions." The knight insisted. Ajatamaru made a face.

"You don't have to remind me."

"Obviously, I do." Kakuto growled. Ajatamaru didn't answer. "Our homeland is counting on us, Ajatamaru. We can't let them down." Kakuto turned away and looked up at the massive towers. "We'll ask around, and find our way to someone in a position of power. Then, maybe, we can get some help." The Musha frowned as his knight friend began to walk away.

He understood the severity of the situation but really, was that any excuse to be so rude? Kakuto had never been the most tactful speaker (despite his training), but Ajatamaru though he was going a little overboard. Being too stressed wasn't good for you, and the knight was as tightly wound as an overturned guitar.  Not that Ajatamaru would step up and point this out (especially since Kakuto had a nasty habit of spitting fire whenever his temper flared), but this level of anxiety could only get in the way…

-------

Meanwhile, far beyond the city, hidden behind a towering ridge, the site of the Dimensional Transport Device was active. No tests were being run, and no team was being sent across intradimensional boundaries. Not today, at least. Bell Wood made a face as he looked over the recorded scans for the third time that day. They made no sense to him.

According to the scans, a brief connection had been made between Neotopia and some unknown dimension. Reacting to this tear, the D.T.D. had started up abruptly. Moments later, the connection had destabilized and closed, but not before something came through. Two somethings, actually. The last scans reported that two objects or persons had come through the tear, and landed on opposite sides of the city. There were no newer scans, and both areas had been thoroughly searched by the SDG already - nothing had been found.

This had to mean that the two anomalies were people. After all, objects didn't get up and walk away, right? The young scientist tapped a pencil against his chin in thought. Though the Dark Axis was far from defeated, they had given up on invading Neotopia after their disastrous first full-scale attempt, which had resulted in the death of Commander Sazabi. Afterwards, the Gundam Force had taken the GundaMusai to Ark and LaCroa, and successfully freed both worlds. There were still many other worlds the Dark Axis controlled or threatened, though the SDG hadn't found them all.

A thought occurred to the young man. Perhaps one of those endangered worlds had come looking for them instead? He couldn't count that idea out. After all, Zero had been sent to Neotopia by Princes Rele in search of help. Maybe another world had gotten the same idea? Whatever the case, whoever had come through that dimensional tear needed to be found. If they were friendly, then they could go from there. If they were hostile…

…well, the SDG had yet to meet an enemy they couldn't defeat.
Second chapter! Which actually involves some dialogue and actual SDG canon characters! XD