Gundam Seed Vol 3
"Cosmic Era 0070 - The 'Bloody Valentine Incident' pushes Earth and Plant (Space) factions to war." Colonies in space are being destroyed and on Earth a fierce battle between ground forces on Earth and the Zaft Mobile Suits occurs. "There was no doubt that the Earth forces would win, however the outcome was not nearly as evident as had first been thought. 11 months have passed since the opening of the war, with no victor in sight."
[Gundam Seed Opening 1 - "Invoke" by TM Revolution]
Kira is working at his computer while watching a News Report: "At a South African camp, 1,200,000 displaced citizens are suffering due to lack of food and supplies. Kaoshuun Frontline news, according to sources, last week ZAFT forces invaded the city." Kira's friend wonders for the safety of the Heliopolis colony because Kaoshuun Colony is so close by...but his other friend reassures that Heliopolis is safe because they are neutral. Watching Kira's robotic bird flying by triggers a flashback where he is saying goodbye to a friend. Arslan who is joining ZAFT tells Kira that one day they will come for him as well.
A UE Cruiser is docking with the colony. Captain Mu Lar Furaga is being congratulated by the Captain of the cruiser for a no-incident trip. The Captain gives permission to the five pilots of the Prototype Mobile Suits to eave. These five pilots were all "Top-Gun" Academy graduates, and are to pilot the newly completed Earth Army Mobile Suits. Nearby in space, two vehicles launch from a Zaft Cruiser. Rau Lu Cruize pushes his plan to steal the new UE weapons from Heliopolis, the complication being it is an independent colony not participating in the war. Cruize feels that waiting for an OK from command would take too long, and close the window of opportunity. He passes a spy photo of some prototype Mobile Suits being developed by the United Earth (UE). The two Zaft vehicles have delivered a batch of Infiltrators who make their way inside the Heliopolis Colony. Kira shows up to work at a research facility where he finds a stranger in the research lab. He's told he's the Professor's guest. The spies make their way inside the colony and plant various explosives throughout the facility. Rau Lu Cruize on board the cruiser announces that "Its Time!" and orders the launch of the Zaft cruiser.