Axis Zeon (or simply Axis) were remnant members of the Principality of Zeon who retreated to the giant asteroid base Axis, after the end of the One Year War. Axis Zeon is also known as the first Neo Zeon movement.
Co-developed by the Principality and the Lunar Industrial Federation in Universal Year 0072 as a waypoint for the Jupiter Energy Fleet, the Axis base was built under strict secrecy. Like A Baoa Qu and Solomon, it is built atop an asteroid, allowing it to serve as a mobile base. Unlike the other two bases, which were sent to the Earth sphere, Axis remained hidden in the asteroid belt during the One Year War.
At the end of the War, when the Principality became the Republic of Zeon and formally stepped down its offensive, nearly half of the remaining Zeon forces disobeyed orders and fled the Earth sphere. These Zeon loyalist, including Zabi family loyalist, regrouped at the Axis base, where they could rebuild and reorganize in secrecy. Even the great Char Aznable made Axis his new home.
The primary goal of the Axis renegades was the restoration of the Zabi family. Their leader, Maharaja Karn, a former member of Degwin Zabi's inner circle, declared the infant Mineva Zabi the heir to the Principality. He set himself up as regent, organizing the forces until she should be old enough to rule herself.
Over the next two years, the Zeon forces focused their energy on converting Axis, originally a resource mine, into a military fortress. In order to accommodate the 30,000 refugees, the Mosa block of living quarters was constructed. The new facilities were comparable to the round colonies near Earth, allowing permanent residency. Despite the limited resources available at their isolated location, MS development continued unabated.
In May of UC 0081, Mineva's mother died, and in 0083, following the completion of Mosa, Maharaja Karn also passed away. The absence of leaders within the confined space threatened the community's stability. It was at this time that Char Aznable whose opinion was much respected on Axis, proposed making Maharaja's 16-year-old daughter Haman Karn the new regent. The Axis executive council approved the nomination, and a new leader took command.
Even though Haman had an older sister who had been Dozle Zabi's lover, the younger Karn was chosen to rule because of her natural leadership ability. Charismatic and a brilliant politician, Haman took control of the situation in no time. She rallied the people under her cause, proposing that Axis return to Earth and forcefully reestablish the Zabi family and conquer the Earth sphere. This promise of returning home as the new leadership gave hope to the people who had been forced to live isolated lives in the tight confines of Axis.
The notion that 30,000 ragtag soldiers could hope to conquer the Earth sphere was clearly impossible, but the promise inspired the people to rebuild at an astonishing rate. Under Haman's guidance, morale and productivity were up. As the months progressed, the pipe dream looked more and more feasible.
Shortly after taking command, Haman learned about the Delaz Fleet's revolt. Upholding her father's solemn promise made two years earlier to fight together, she sent an advance fleet to assist with Operation Stardust. Technically neutral, the Axis fleet primarily provided support services to the Delaz fleet.
Another motive in assisting the Delaz fleet was Haman's desire to pacify the other Zeon factions that had arisen in Axis. The Gihren, Dozle and Kycilia factions all had separate agendas, and all of them questioned Haman's loyalty to the Zabi name. By assisting Delaz, a supporter of Gihren, Haman earned back the trust of the dissidents, further strengthening her cause.
Char Aznable, however, began to distance himself from Haman. He recognized that her talk of conquering the Earth Sphere wasn't just political rhetoric, but that she had every intention of carrying out those plans. He resigned as her assistant and withdrew from the political arena.
Char never wanted to see the old Zabi family regime restored to power. It was their greed and corruption that had lead to the destruction of the Zeon cause. Instead, Char wanted to created a new autonomous spacenoid government, based on Zeon Zum Daikun's original philosophies, a "Perfect Zeon Future." He believed in humanity's continued evolution into Newtypes, and this would never happen as long as man embraced the drive for conquest. Haman's plans were nothing more than a throwback to Zabi imperialism, only with the names changed. With Haman riding a wave of popular support, it would be dangerous for Char to voice his beliefs publicly, so he secretly began finding allies within Axis to join his cause.