the RDNA-verse, for a change. But here's a little something I've spent the past week working on: an ISOT wherein the Earth (circa February 1, 1940), winds up in the Earth Sphere in the Universal Century Gundam timeline
(circa February 1, UC 0079). The full version can be found on DeviantArt
The end result could be best described as a cursed blend of the Thousand Week Reich
and The New Order
mods for Hearts of Iron IV
, as well as Harry Turtledove's Worldwar
's Our otherworldly Benefactors: The Galactic Empire
. Add in the generally grueling and brutal nature of UC, as well as the World War II influences used by Yoshiyuki Tomino and subsequent contributors to the Gundam franchise...and it's a strange yet harmonious combination to say the least. At the same time, however, I try to make it as plausible and believable as possible, while still staying true to the lore. All things considered, I'm glad with how this worked out.
Though just to be on the safe side, this is a work of fiction. All rights, especially for the Gundam franchise, belong to their respective owners.
All that said, hope you enjoy this peculiar adventure into the Universal Century!
Universal Century: Brave New World
It was the year 1940 of the Anno Domini
calendar. Two decades had passed since the end of the Great War, and less than three months since the Third Reich launched its brazen campaign of conquest in Poland. On February 1, a faint glimmer enveloped the globe. Astronomers from Moscow to Berlin, Greenwich and America's Rocky Mountains began noticing strange peculiarities in the night sky. More than just the stars themselves being somewhat off, strange objects were being picked up by telescopes, from moving lights to giant floating stations. Such findings, however, were largely kept hidden if not outright ignored amidst the escalating conflict. The public had little time for tabloid stories of flying saucers, not when an impending attack by the Nazis on Western Europe seemed imminent. Even as intelligence reports began filtering in from the Axis Powers of strange transmissions and clandestine meetings with unidentified VIPs, few noticed their significance until it was too late.
On March 21, everything changed. As Adolf Hitler broke the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact with an invasion of Soviet-occupied Poland, strange vessels began landing over the Ukraine and Caucasus. Reports came in of the immense Red Army being overrun by invaders from the stars. Armed with a strange mix of highly advanced technology and conventional munitions, the centerpiece of these weapons were green humanoid robots that seemed to shrug off tanks and artillery with relative ease. What was even more stunning was that these hostile adversaries weren't "aliens" at all, but human. Which was confirmed when the so-called Spacenoids, referring to themselves as the Principality of Zeon, revealed themselves through worldwide broadcasts. Worse, their purported spokesman and Supreme Commander, Gihren Zabi, had aligned his people with the Axis Powers, proclaiming in no uncertain terms that mankind needed a new destiny, in which their souls would no longer be "weighed down by gravity."
Even as panic spread, some still clung on to the possibility that it was an elaborate Nazi ruse, if not a hoax on par with Orson Welles' infamous radio drama. The subsequent invasion of France and the Low Countries, however, brought such thoughts to heel as Allied troops saw the might of the "Mobile Suits" up close. All the while, similar landings were taking place in lands as far afield as India, South America, the Belgian Congo and Southeast Asia, the latter dragging an isolationist United States into what was becoming a Great War like no other. Initial fighting lasted close to a month, with Allied and Soviet casualties mounting with each crushing defeat and costly defense. Following the fall of Moscow and Stalin's ignoble demise plunging the USSR into near-anarchy, it seemed like London was next.
It was then, that other Spacenoid groups approached the Allied Powers. Comprised largely of the Earth Federation Space Force and those opposed to Zeon, they were all that remained of a global polity that no longer existed and had already begun fracturing. Some approached the Americans and Free French, claiming legitimacy through old continuity protocols and democratic lineages. Others, led by Admiral Johann Ibrahim Revil, went to the aid of the beleaguered British Empire, seeing in the Commonwealth the seeds of what a more reform-minded Earth Federation could have been. There were even those, including a number of vestigial politicians with socialist ties, who sought to directly support the Communist holdouts and warlords, whether their compatriots liked it or not. Nonetheless, these displaced remnants were at least united in denying their mutual foes their victory.
Despite the advantages, however, the Free World could only stall Zeon's advance for so long before the ruling Zabis, or at least Gihren, began pondering the notion of breaking the glorified gentleman's agreement to avoid so-called "weapons of mass destruction." Still, the EFSF factions had one key ace in the hole. They continued the original Federation's plans to create Mobile Suits of their own, "Operation V," as a joint venture under chief engineer Tem Ray in a loyalist group of space colonies called Side 7, or "Noa." Whether it was due to hard work, espionage or a combination of both, the results soon bore fruit. On August 8, three prototypes, of which the "RX-78 Gundam" was the centerpiece, were forced into action after the main research site was discovered by an enemy patrol. The people and crew dragged into action, including Tem's son Amuro Ray, would go on to successful engage the foe in both space and Earth, the data gathered instrumental in finalizing the development of mass-production models. Though these managed to turn the tide to a degree, there simply wasn't enough time or resources at hand to truly dislodge the invaders or the Axis Powers. Thus, fearing potential escalation and, in Revil's words, "a second Operation British," it was decided to bring the Principality and its collaborators to the table. Thus, on January 4, 1941, the Second Great War, also known as the One Year War, came to a close.
Nearly a decade has passed since then. It is the year 0089 of the Universal Century, or 1950 in the Anno Domini
reckoning. In the span of less than a generation, the face of the globe has changed irrevocably.
The fascist nations that comprise the "New Axis" stand as major powers on Earth, collaborating with their mutual Zeon ally, at least on paper. The Greater Germanic Reich in particular still presents itself, and not entirely without reason, as the face of the new order. Even as the Germans continue remaking their territories and conquests in their image, however, they too have been changed in turn. While Gihren was known to have admired Hitler, this didn't stop the latter's mysterious assassination alongside Joseph Goebbels in 1943, nor did this stop his sister Kycilia and his father, Sovereign Degwin Sodo Zabi, from endorsing Albert Speer to succeed as Fuhrer
over Heinrich Himmler. While its benefactors are not overly particular about how it runs its affairs, the Reich has nonetheless undergone various "reforms" largely suggested by them, which have made it more stable and egalitarian at the expense of the once untouchable SS. All the while Nazism itself, right down to its Aryan master race rhetoric, is increasingly resembling the "Contolism" espoused by the deceased Zeon Zum Deikun, from whom the Principality claims legitimacy from. Not only have similar trends emerged from Japan, Italy and Brazil in one form or another, but they've also had the effect of further tying the bloc to their benefactors, with many citizens being encouraged to emigrate beyond the confines of the Earth. Ultimately, however much some hardliners might grumble, all know who the true hegemon is.
For the Principality of Zeon has indeed come far from its days of being oppressed by those weighed down by gravity. Originating from their "homeland" of Side 3, the cluster of colonies farthest from the Earth, these Spacenoids under the Zabi family wield significant power across the Earth Sphere. Their "Sectors" on Earth alone, encompassing territories claimed during the invasion, are by no means insignificant, contributing much in resources, industry and manpower. From advisors and liasons to whole garrisons meant to protect their erstwhile collaborators, Zeon's influence transcends formal borders. That the New Axis nations also mirror the mixed ethnic ancestries of Side 3 and, in another reality, helped shape it Germanic-inspired pretensions is no coincidence. Yet, all is not well beneath the surface. The Sovereign, more of a figurehead than autocrat by this point, has encouraged a gradual transition to constitutionalism but grows more frail by the week, whether due to stress or, as some suggest, poison. Though he has designated his youngest and most benevolent son, Garma, as his heir, the conniving Kycilia and sociopathic Gihren are said to be plotting against each other and their sibling to achieve have their own ambitions and plans. Meanwhile, the maverick "Red Comet" known as Char Aznable, revealed to be the son of Deikun himself, had gone rogue along with other traitors to the state, many of which were people with latent psionic abilities known as Newtypes. His "Neo Zeon" movement, suspected to be hiding in Antarctica and even in the Asteroid Belt, has over time become an amorphous entity, driven more by the man's lust for revenge against those who wronged him than any lingering claims to represent Contolism or his people.
There are still many, however, that stand apart from and defy this state of affairs, even as they go down increasingly different paths for humanity. The "Legitimist" faction in the EFSF that had approached the US and Free France during the conflict have become the prime benefactor of the United League of Nations. An economic and military alliance ostensibly meant to embolden the original League in the face of the Axis Powers and their new masters, in practice it is not only an extension of the Legitimists. The ultimate aim has been to lay the groundwork for re-establishing the Earth Federation, with the ULN trying to encourage a sense of a global consciousness, expand its mandate and more closely integrate its member states. These are not lost on the Americans and current President Douglas MacArthur, as while among the first to join, they're growing concerned with what's increasingly seen as a raw deal. Such matters are not unfounded, especially as more militant and Earth supremacist elements, led by Admiral Gene Coliny, had all but usurped what vestigial authority the bureaucrats had, with the amoral Jamitov Hymen's "Titans" task force at the helm.
The "Reformists" among the EFSF, meanwhile, couldn't be any more different. Even in the midst of the Second Great War, it was never lost on Admiral Revil and his supporters that seeking to recreate a deeply flawed system risked repeating history. It wasn't for mere pragmatism, then, that they reached out to Winston Churchill and King George VI. Warts and all, they saw a chance to succeed where the original Federation failed. This has resulted in the emboldened Commonwealth of Nations. While leases and compromises were made to allow the Reformists to set up various facilities across the myriad dominions and protectorates, a conscious effort was made to establish a more stable partnership between them and their allies. Though not without some setbacks, this have proven to be mutually beneficial. The British Crown remains firm as ever, as do many Old World traditions, but so do democracy and the rule of law. All while the citizenry savor newfound liberties, prosperity and solidarity to an extent once thought to be unattainable. Given the strained ties with the Legitimists, and with the charismatic Blex Forer slated to succeed his esteemed superior as Commander-in-Chief, this may either bring salvation or ruin for all involved.
The renegade EFSF elements who set off for the remnants of Russia had long since dropped any pretensions of following orders. Where others saw a sordid collection of warlords and rival Communist cliques, they saw an opportunity to directly shape the course of history. Acting as latter-day Alexanders, or Ungern-Sternbergs as some detractors might claim, these rogues unified the fractured groups and crushed those who dared to oppose them. From the ashes rose the Federation of Soviet Socialist Republics. Under the nominal rule of Chairman Adenauer Paraya, the FSSR has sought to unify the world through its particular take on Socialism, with neither Spacenoids or decadent reactionaries, even their former compatriots, standing in their way. In the intervening time, many of the rogue personnel and Party members have "gone native" to various degrees, from adopting Russian to buying into the Slavic nationalist rhetoric originally intended to help placate their new "comrades." Nonetheless, these would-be heirs to Marx and Lenin have managed to keep Zeon and its collaborators preoccupied in their corner of the world. For how long, remains to be seen.
To say that the events of 1940/0079 have transformed the face of the planet forever would be pointing out the obvious. The realization, from the off-world perspective, that an historical snapshot of the "Middle Era" had appeared in place of the Earth as they knew it, was about as shocking as those on the surface finding out that they were, technically, in a future straight out of science fiction. In the span of a decade, the major world powers were faced with, and with varying degrees of success adapted, generations' worth of technological advances and social developments, some of which seemed undreamed of: nuclear fusion, beam weaponry, color TV, gender equality and so on. The arrival of Spacenoids and Newtypes, whether as tourists hoping to glimpse the world of their distant forefathers or as soldiers and entrepreneurs seeking their fortune, has similarly been met with reactions ranging from tolerance to outright bigotry, the latter fueling Earth supremacist sentiment especially in the ULN. While the new immigrants to the void, whether to Zeon or otherwise, have generally been met with open arms, if at times patronizingly so. Then, there are Mobile Suits. Despite the Principality's "first-mover advantage" in developing those humanoid machines, it has been in a nigh-constant arms race with the Federation successors ever since the Gundam made its debut. While countries like the Reich and US tend to have access to "outdated" models for military use, or scavenged prototypes in the case of the FSSR, the ubiquity of such weapons of war have reached the point wherein they could be reverse-engineered by many of the globe's top engineers. A trend that was grown even more pronounced as the underlying principles behind Minovsky Particles, shown to impact electrical equipment and radar, are understood.
Though it's a given that the wider Earth Sphere would capitalize on the situation, few would compare to corporate giant residing in the Lunar "capitol" known as Von Braun City. Built in the Sea of Tranquility, it is nominally aligned with, and contested by, the Federation successors. In practice, however, it and the surrounding Lunar Settlements outside of Zeon control are effectively company towns owned by Anaheim Electronics. Only Zeonic, Zimmad and MIP, all from Side 3, could really come close to the conglomerate's sheer clout and influence. On top of encompassing various industries, from manufacturing to cosmetics and banking, it also produces the bulk of the military equipment, including Mobile Suits, used by the Legitimist and Reformist EFSF. That being said, the mega-corporation is not above buying out companies on Earth itself or clandestinely selling its services to the highest bidder, even if enemies to their major clients are involved.
It may be easy to conclude that Anaheim is simply seeking to profit from a peace that could all too easily break. At the same time, however, there may be reason to believe that this might be an elaborate ruse, or part of a larger scheme. While it's an open secret that the wealthy Vist Foundation has served as the corporation's largest stockholders for generations, there's much more that's hidden from the public eye. Despite the absence of the Federation, this enigmatic family is believed to wield considerable sway in affairs across the Earth Sphere, having seemingly navigated its way around the various geopolitical players with relative ease. But as rumors of war on the horizon spread, so too has hearsay involving the aging patriarch of the Foundation, Syam Vist, and a vault of secrets that could yet change the course of history.
For the brave new world of the Universal Century is more than one where people are born and raised, then die. There, too, is the possibility of a better tomorrow. Whoever triumphs in the coming years would decide whether that hope's well-founded, or wind up being humanity's last foolish dream.
For some added trivia, the situation of the Axis Powers and the former Soviet Union are somewhat based on both TNO and TWR. Though the influences are more evident with Zeon, given the implications of a civil war on the horizon between three of Degwin Zabi's children. Coincidentally, this take on Char Aznable/Casval Deikun's "Neo Zeon"
is reinterpreted as being TNO!Kovner
The general arrangement of the Earth Federation successors are partially inspired by the possible outcomes and splinter factions seen in the Japan-only Gihren's Greed
The "glorified gentleman's agreement" is a reference to the Antarctic Treaty
, which in-universe was intended to prevent the use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, as well as a repeat of Operation British
The state of the wider Earth Sphere is an based on an amalgamation of various UC Gundam works, especially Zeta Gundam
and Gundam Unicorn