Where did the explosion happen?
What is there under the heap of rubble?
It's a dream. Everything is a dream.
But look... just beside me is my father.
My father in my arms.
But Father has become cold...
Screaming, Relena sits up.
It takes a bit of time until she grasps the state of her surroundings and where she is.
"Father?" murmurs Relena and looks around.
"You have woken up?"
When she hears the voice of the man, she comes to her senses. It seems she was asleep on the sofa. No, made to sleep.
Remembering, she looks around again.
In the narrow room, there is the sofa Relena is sitting on, two tables and four men. A monitor has been put on one of the tables and the news are running. Then, on the other table, somebody is lying. Covered from toes to face with a white cloth, the figure is not visible. But she understands immediately who it is.
"I share your feelings. If we had noticed the situation a bit earlier, none of this would have happened."
The leader takes off his knit cap and lowers his head.
Shaken, Relena stands up and approaches her father's dead body. The voice of the news program running on the monitor comes to her ear.
"Major Lady Une! A comment about his incident?"
Relena's eyes are opened wide and she stares at the monitor. There she sees the figure of Lady Une. She is surrounded by a large group of reporters and answers with her cool-headed expression that Relena cannot forget.
"I think this is very regretable. That such vile terrorists exist on this colony that is."
"We have heard that Vice Foreign Minister Darlian and his daughter have been abducted."
"We are also zealously searching for them. The aim of the terrorists is presently unclear, but to bring our Vice Minister into danger has the same meaning as a hostile act against the Alliance. If this proves to be the will of the colonies as a whole, we too have to switch to corresponding military actions."
The reporters are in uproar and shower her with questions, but Lady Une finishes as if shaking the questions off and calmly leaves.
"Dammit! She turns us into terrorists!"
One of the men switches off the monitor as if he punched the button.
"You only think of yourself! But you have killed my father by not bringing him to the hospital!"
Relena does not listen to the man's shouting. Whatever the reasons are, if as a result a human being is killed, she thinks that there is no difference.
"That's because the hospital..!"
"Don't you ever stop?!"
Waving his knit cap, the leader stops his comrade's words. Standing before Relena, he bows his head again.
"I am really very sorry."
At that moment, Relena discovers the grip of a gun showing from the backside of the leader's jacket.
Astonishingly quickly for a girl she stretches her hand out after the gun and snatches it in the time needed to say 'ah!'.
Jumping back from the leader, Relena releases the gun's safety and points it towards the men without hesitation.
"I'm leaving to attack the enemy! Those men... those men called OZ have killed my father, right?"
"That's stupid! All you'll achieve is to get killed during the assassination attempt!!"
"I don't care if I get killed!" shouts Relena.
That she gets killed....
In this moment, what comes to Relena's mind are the eyes of the boy who declared that he would kill her. Cool-headed eyes, which are not to be swayed by anything. Then the only moment he showed some emotion - the moment she bandaged his wounds with the hem of her dress.
She doesn't know why, but now that she is in a foreign land and involved in events which she would never have imagined, she thinks that she wants to meet Heero somehow.
"Heero... I want to meet Heero...." murmurs Relena unconsciously, averting her eyes from the gun.
"Was that 'Heero'?"
Unexpectedly, a shrill and dissonant voice sounds from the completely dark neighbouring room.
"That Heero, would that be Heero Yuy?"
A man, just as suspicious looking as the voice sounds, shows himself.
He has a leg which emits at each step a 'clang' sound. The left arm seems to be an artifical limb, to which are attached three metal rods instead of fingers. The long white hair has grown as it pleased and over the eyes he has glasses which look like as if they're halfway buried by the face.
"You know him... you know Heero Yuy?"
She is so astonished that she doesn't notice the leader approaching her in order to take away the gun.
"Oh yes, I do know him indeed."
Looking at the imprisoned Relena, the man answers with a strange laughter.
In a private room at the Lake Victoria base, Noin, just having taken a shower, puts a bath robe around her wet body and dries her hair with a towel. Since yesterday evening, a light rests in Noin eyes which was not there before. This is also understood when one sees her expression. It has become a bit grimmer. It's obvious that the cause was the matter regarding Wufei. The short black hair, wet with water, emits a brilliant light, equal to the feathers of a raven.
In the mirror, a face with distinct features looks back directly at Noin.
After drying her hair, Noin heads back to the living room.
Zechs is sitting on the sofa in the living room. Even here this man does not want to take off his trademark, the silver mask.
Noin stands beside the sofa Zechs is sitting on, and starts talking about what is on her mind. It's something she has seen in the mobile suit factory adjoining to the south hangar around lunch time, together with Zechs.
"Can you really use a mobile suit which was designed more than twenty years ago?"
It's about Tallgeese, which Zechs has transported here from the Korsika base. Zechs has entrusted Soldier Otto and the engineers of the base with the repairs. This because Zechs himself has to leave the base tomorrow.
"It probably surpasses any mobile suits presently in OZ."
"That is... impossible!"
Noin raises her voice as if she couldn't believe this. More than just the suit being old, she can't imagine it to be agile with its size.
"Yes, this Tallgeese has become the origin for all mobile suits. It's also the starting point for the Gundams."
Noin frowns. There's no reason why the wound the Gundams inflicted upon her yesterday should heal so quickly. Remembering the cruel death of her subordinates, Noin bites her lip.
But Zechs does not see her expression. He is looking at the monitor.
On the monitor, which is switched on for no particular reason, the news is running that the Alliance Vice Foreign Minister Darlian had been attacked by the colonies' resistance and consequently been abducted together with his daughter.
"Lady Une is still acting the same way" murmurs Zechs while looking at the image of Lady Une on the screen. His expression under the mask cannot be detected.
"And Vice Foreign Minister Darlian?"
"He has been killed."
After answering shortly Noin's question, Zechs murmurs in a small, hardly audible voice "Relena...".
Displayed on the monitor are pictures of the faces of the kidnapped Vice Foreign Minister and his daughter.
"You're worried, aren't you, Zechs?"
Noin addresses him softly. Has she heard what he said?
Zechs asks back as if there was nothing of importance, then suddenly gets up from this seat.
Noin closes her mouth at the back which rejects any more words than said so far. Zechs leaves the room without saying anything.
Left behind, Noin gently embraces her bath robe clad self with both arms, as if she were embracing something important. Then she takes out a photo stand which was put away in a drawer of her desk.
It's probably a picture of their time at the training facility. That the picture was taken with several other people in it has been hidden with coloured paper which leaves only two people visible. One is Noin. Then, beside her, is Zechs.
Please open your heart, Zechs Merquise, no, Milliardo Peacecraft. You have too many secrets.
Noin addresses Zechs in her heart.
At that time, Relena sits besides the old man with the artificial arm in the back of a limousine heading towards the space port.
Despite the opposition of the other men, the old man has offered himself to bring Relena to the space port.
"Please call me Dr. J. That is a little piece of being a scientist after all."
The old man who has introduced himself as Dr. J emits a strange laughter, as if he had said something funny.
"Dr. J, it was you who sent Heero to Earth, wasn't it?"
At Relena's question, Dr. J nods.
"Yes, it was me. But that the daughter of Mister Darlian goes to the same school as Heero astonishes me! Is the lad doing okay?"
He totally talks as if he's asking about his grandson who moved into the neighbouring city.
Have the half laughingly said words of Dr. J hurt her feelings a bit? Relena presses for answers with a serious face.
"What is he supposed to do for you?"
"That boy is our agent."
Relena asks back as if she couldn't understand the meaning.
"We have taught Heero since his earliest childhood all kind of combat techniques. We raised him as a professional assassin."
"Why did you do this?"
"Don't you know? For peace in the colonies."
"That is...! It's impossible that killing humans leads to peace!!"
"It does lead to it. War is caused by humans and ended by humans. The guys we target through Heero are the bad ones, who want to start a war."
"But there must a more peaceful solution!?"
"That's what we believed as well twenty years ago. That humankind is not such a stupid race. That it's impossible that somebody would wish for something like war. Certainly there is nobody praising the war. But there is also a time when you have to fight. And this is exactly now. If we don't fight now, the colonies will end up as nothing more than a settlement of Earth. In order to explain this, I guess I have to tell the history of the colonies."
After pausing for breath, Dr. J starts telling Relena the past of the colonies.
The history of the colonies was started by engineers and workers.
The deterioration of Earth's environment, the increase in inhabitants, the decrease in resources... because of several important factors, states and companies were feeling the limits of activity on Earth and started towards new frontiers, competing against each other.
But the obstacles were many, and it was the year After Colony 102 when in L1 the first Alpha 1 colony was finally completed. What in reality took a century was that humankind constructed a world in space with a similar environment to Earth. Then a construction rush ensued which lasted 25 years, and the present colonies came into existence.
At the same time as the colonies were completed, one conflict after the other kept happening between the states. Each single state was not able to take decisive steps and they founded together the "United Earth Sphere Alliance" which then took over solving the conflicts through overpowering military force.
The conflicts certainly decreased with this, but the Alliance, which was continuing its armament up to then, had to look for a new enemy in order to maintain the organization. This new enemy were the colonies.
At that time, a colony belonged to the state or company which built it. If the state joined the Alliance, so did the colony automatically. However, the colony clusters, becoming stabilisied economically and gaining an important voting power, wanted to found a colonial self-governmental organization and remove the interference of Earth. For the Alliance, the political independence of the colonies was not something they wished for. They suppressed the opposing colonies with military power, and furthermore disseminated the information that the colonies were a dangerous existence for Earth. As a result, the report that the colonies could attack Earth from the orbit, and similar reports, were spreading and became established among people.
The colonies were treated as a tool to ensure the continuing existence of the "United Earth Sphere Alliance".
Then, twenty years ago, a leader stating a demilitarization thesis for the colonies appeared.
His name was Heero Yuy.
In spite of herself, Relena raises her voice. Dr. J nods and continues his story.
"For us who still exist the name has become already a legend. The lad's code name was also chosen in his memory."
Relena repeats this word in astonishment.
"But the peaceful time did not last for long. They probably felt that a leader establishing peace was a danger. Heero Yuy was killed by a certain organization. Then the connections between the colonies were cut and the resistance movement became the pretext for the increase the military power of the Alliance. The combatants are slowly becoming less and less. Only now is the time to fight! We also made the day Heero Yuy was killed the same day as the lad was sent out. This was a message to the Alliance and to the people of the colonies."
Then, Dr. J cuts off his words and his arm prothesis meets with a clang. The voice coming from his mouth afterwards clearly carries hate in it.
"OZ... they are the authors who have murdered Heero Yuy and want to start a war in the Earth Sphere."
"OZ...." repeats Relena.
"You know them?"
"It's what father said at the end. Be careful of OZ. So what is Heero aiming at?"
"Everything of OZ, and also the foundation behind OZ. He has to crush their high flying ambitions to take over the United Alliance Army and to exercise a total dictatorship over the Earth Sphere."
"But why does Heero have this task? Why does he have to take it this far?"
"I guess it can't be helped. It's because the lad understands the feelings of the colonies' inhabitants."
As Dr. J answers, the car stops. They have arrived at the space port.
"Now that we're here Miss, you will be able to get safely to Earth. If you show yourself in a public space port, even the people of OZ won't be able to touch you."
After descending from the car, Relena asks Dr. J through the window "Why did you save me? Because I'm Darlian's daughter?"
"No, because you have the same eyes as Heero. Pure and gentle eyes. The lad is in reality a kind, good kid."
"I know" murmurs Relena, remembering the eyes which could have spoken of puzzlement and which she saw only for a moment.
"Heero cannot be stopped anymore by anybody. If you don't want to die, don't approach him."
The car drives away with Dr. J leaving behind this ominous message.
After seeing off the car, Relena resolutely lifts her face and heads towards the space port.
But immediately after boarding the shuttle and having the blue Earth come into view through the window, she can't help it anymore and is not able to keep the tears from flowing.
Relena would not have imagined that Earth would be so different on the way back from what she saw on the way going.