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The current head of the Vist Foundation, which exercises a great influence on the Earth Federation government. Cardeas attempts to contact the Sleeves in order to open Laplace's Box. He also serves as the chairman of the Anaheim Electronics Technical School. Grandchild of Syam Vist, second generation head of the Vist family. Was a helicopter pilot in the Earth Federation when he was young. He is the real father of the protagonist, Banagher Links before his mother decided to take him away.
In U.C. 0096, the Vist family planned on giving Laplace's Box, the source of the Vist Foundation's prosperity, to the Sleeves. Cardeas met with his grandfather to inform him that they are going to proceed as planned, but expresses his belief that doing so might create chaos on an unexpected level. Syam believed that the flaws of the Universal Century need to be corrected and hopes that they can find the right person to carry Laplace's Box. As Cardeas turned to leave, Syam thanked him and asked for forgiveness. Turning away from his grandfather, Cardeas admitted, "What we're about to do may lead to the destruction of the world. If anyone can grant you forgiveness, it will have to be me."
Cardeas headed to Side 4 colony of Industrial 7, where he planned on inspection the capabilities of the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam, the key to Laplace's Box. He sat as observer in the cockpit while the test pilot took it out for a spin. He instructed the pilot the increase the Unicorn's velocity and fly straight into a debris field. The pilot got scared, so Cardeas had him duck underneath the debris. Once they slowed down, Cardeas remarked how impressed he was with the machine; the pilot thought Cardeas was referring to him. The diagnostic computer then determined that the pilot's lifesigns are stable and the psycoframe G-Force was in expected parameters. Cardeas called his right-hand man Gael Chan to inform him that they're heading back to the colony. Gael then responded back by informing him that there were students from the Anaheim Industrial college who may have spotted the Unicorn after the transit shuttle broke down. Cardeas dismissed the notion, believing that they were moving so fast that no one could've gotten more than glimpse.
Once back at the colony, Gael informs Cardeas that he was able to get a hold of a staff officer on Luna II, who confirmed that Londo Bell failed to pursue a group of Sleeves. He tried Londenion but their commander isn't forthcoming. Cardeas could guess that Bright Noa must be behind this and instructs Gael to keep an eye on the supply fleets. He then turned to his staff and ordered them to delete the Unicorn's testing OS, seal its NT-D and upload the Laplace Program. He then retired to his study, where he viewed a file on Banagher.
Gael later comes up to Cardeas and shows him surveillance footage that detailed the presence of Mineva Lao Zabi, the princess of Zeon, being on the colony. Cardeas also noticed Banagher with her. Acting like he had no knowledge of him, Cardeas asked Gael what info they had on him, to which Gael admits that he looks to young to be a bodyguard.
Cardeas met with Banagher and Mineva, acting under the pseudonym Audrey Burne, in his mansion while they were staring at a tapestry copy of The Lady and Unicorn. Cardeas wants Banagher to leave (likely out of fatherly concern) as he felt he has nothing to do with Audrey and didn't want to discuss Laplace's Box in his presence. Seeing Cardeas displeased with Banagher, she didn't want him to be in further trouble; she expressed her gratitude for taking her this far and relieved him, however Bangaher didn't want to leave. Banagher mentioned how it was different from learning war in school and sensing it from being with her; he didn't care who she is, so long as she needs him. Audrey was a bit taken back from Banagher's words, but she told him she didn't need him and to forget her. Unable to accept his situation, Banagher stubbornly remained until Cardeas had someone remove him from the mansion.
Mineva protested the Vist family's rash decision to just give up Laplace's Box. Cardeas assured her that even with the key, it will still take the right person to handle it.
Cardeas then met with Sleeves captain Suberoa Zinnerman. Though Zinnerman was expecting the box itself, Cardeas corrected that they're giving the key. A confused Zinnerman then prods Cardeas about the reason for giving the key but not the box, and mentioning the underhanded activities the Foundation was involved in. Cardeas smoothly reminds him that the Zeon leaders acknowledge the value of what they are offering, which is why they sent Zinnerman to receive it. Zinnerman admits that with the precarious state Neo Zeon is in, they need to seize the moment and would be disappointed if things went badly.
Vist then changed the subject by asking Zinnerman if he believed in the existence of Newtypes. Zinnerman admitted that he's seen amazing things on the battlefield that cannot be easily explained. Cardeas then goes into a brief history lesson about how Zeon Zum Deikun's development of his Newtype theory led to the One Year War, the Gryps Conflict and the first and second Neo Zeon Wars. Cardeas explains that Laplace's Box has the potential to destroy the world or make the future that was envisioned at the start of the Universal Century. For that reason, the Vist family is handing over the key to Neo Zeon as a test. Vist then warns Zinnerman that the box would never open if they remain narrow-minded ideologues with a single goal - namely, reviving the Principality of Zeon.
Suddenly, the mansion is rocked by tremors. Gael grabs phone and confirms that Londo Bell has surrounded the colony. Thinking this to be a trap, Zinnerman drew his gun. As Gael stepped in front of Vist, the latter denied it, thinking that Zinnerman must have been followed, even though neither of them could prove it. Zinnerman demanded that Mineva be returned to them, to which Vist admitted that he was intending to return her from the start and explained that she was in his mansion. Zinnerman mused that it is difficult now for either one of them to trust each other. He then ended the stalemate and decided to flee.
Cardeas remarked that the Federation would break a hundred-year old alliance to destroy the Foundation, even though they were the ones who started it. He and Gael raced to the Unicorn to erase the Laplace Program, as well as the Gundam itself. Once it was confirmed that special forces have infiltrated the mansion, Cardeas decides to erase the program personally. He was soon forced to go on his own after Gael stayed to hold off Federation commandos. However, he was captured by his son, Alberto. Realizing that Martha put Alberto up to this and manipulated the Federation military, Cardeas reacts by snapping the neck of a Federation soldier and used his body to protect against gunfire before killing the shooter. However, Alberto managed to fire a fatal shot at his own father before leaving.
Despite his wound, Cardeas made it to the Unicorn to finish his work. He then saw a shadow and presumed that the person behind was Gael but it was actually Banagher, who came looking for Mineva, whom he kept referring to as Audrey. Cardeas cryptically stated that this isn't the first time she cheated death and it won't be her last. Growing furious, Banagher presumes that he must have abandoned her and accuses him of cowardly attempting to escape in the MS but Cardeas admits that even if he could, he wouldn't survive. Banagher demanded to know why he couldn't prevent this war from happening, otherwise his friends would still be alive. Cardeas tells him that they had set this path to correct the flaws of the Universal Century and asked Banagher if he had the resolve to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. Banagher admitted that he didn't have that resolve, but all what he knew is for Mineva to need him. Satisfied, Cardeas entrusts the Gundam to Banagher, assigning it to his biometric, making it so that only he could pilot it. He tells the boy that if he proves himself to be a capable pilot, then the Unicorn will grant him powers unrivaled and open the path to Laplace's Box. Banagher asks what it is, only for Cardeas to cryptically say is the dark curse that the Vist family guarded for nearly a century, but if used properly, it may bring about a brighter future for everyone. Banagher repeated his question a second time, but Cardeas ignores it, telling him the reasons why his mother took him. He soothes Banagher to believe in the possibility that lies within. He then fell out of the Gundam, muttering that his one wish has finally come true, before his body was incinerated by an explosion.