Chapter 2, Part 2 (2/3)

 

During these three days, the school festival at the St. Gabriel School is celebrated on a grand scale. Today is the last day. As of early evening, the dance party, which has become a yearly tradition and which is the highlight of the finales, will start.

Relena has not gone to school for two days due to her father's funeral. During that time, there were reports about Darlian's death everywhere, and also in school rumours were spreading.

An assassination by anti-alliance terrorists of the colonies....

Through Lady Une's skillful manipulation of the information, people on Earth now believe this.

Relena appears at school just before dusk of the school festival's last day. Even if the other students have chosen dresses and tuxedos to wear, Relena gets out of the limousine at the main gate just in her deep red school uniform.

Her classmates have noticed Relena's figure and come rushing to her. They all speak words of consolation. Looking at her classmates who have tears in their eyes as if they were concerned themselves, Relena shows a small smile.

"Thank you very much, everybody. But let's look forward now and go on."

Hearing the firm voice, the classmates tremble with emotions.

"Relena, how strong you are...."

Among such admiring voices, she hears the voices of some passing male students.

"Did you say change of schools?"

Relena reacts with sensitivity to these words.

"Would that be Heero?"

Leaving the circle of her friends, she asks this of the boys.

"Yes, indeed. But we have just heard it ourselves."

"But not even a month has passed since he has come here. And these few days he could relax as well."

The female students join in as well and the subject turns to Heero.

But without listening until the end, Relena shakes off her classmates and runs off towards the dormitories. When she rushes into Heero's room, he has just finished packing and is about to leave.

"Are you going to fight again? Where would the next mission be?"

With lightning speed, Heero grabs a pistol out of the bag and points it to the middle of Relena's forehead.

But Relena does not show any fear. Looking directly into Heero's eyes, she quietly opens her mouth.

"I have met Dr. J."

Hearing this name, a small sound of astonishment escapes Heero. Unconsciously, the muzzle of the gun moves a bit away from Relena.

"So even you can be astonished. Since the first time I met you it was only me who was astonished."

Relena says this unexpectedly, then she whispers with a serious voice.

"But, if you killed me here, it would result in a tumult. And this without getting you in trouble?"

Heero moves the gun a bit as if thinking about what he should do.

Then Relena does something that astonishes Heero even more.

"The school festival is taking place. You should enjoy it too. At least until the dance is over."

Relena lifts the seam of her dress and bows slightly.

"May I ask you for this dance?"

Saying this, Relena smiles at Heero.

 

**********

 

In the gymnasium, which has been turned into a dance hall, Relena and Heero move arm in arm, in their usual dark blue and deep red school uniform.

In the middle of the colourful dresses and tuxedos, the two of them attract everybody's attention, whether they want it or not. Many looks follow the two of them.

But they don't draw the attention only by this. Relena dances totally as if she were wearing a dress, and the way Heero carries himself, which reminds one of a beast without weakness, exudes a certain dignity.

The students present unconsciously stop dancing and follow the two with praising eyes.

But for sure nobody can guess at the content of the conversion between the two.

"Heero, I do know too much. I will have to be killed, won't I."

While setting her feet accurately, Relena murmurs this into Heero's ear.

"Yes...." answers Heero as if it were natural.

But a slight hesitation can be felt in his voice. There is a gap of one tact where the answer should have come back right away.

Did Relena notice this or not? She nods and even smiles.

"I didn't want to die when I still didn't know anything. But now it's different. I now know the feelings which make you fight."

Heero's astonished eyes look directly into Relena's eyes.

In Relena eyes, which look straight back at him, he can read unwavering self-confidence and firm determination. Heero understands intuitively what this is.

The will to fight of a person who is convinced she's right.

Heero knows several such persons.

But Heero can no longer look into Relena's eyes. A person who has become an obstacle to the mission must be eliminated, no matter who it is.

Heero averts his eyes and looks around.

Then Heero suddenly stops moving. His sharpened ears catch the sound of an approaching airplane from far away.

"It's an OZ cargo plane? Have I been discovered here?"

Heero shakes off Relena's arms and runs out of the gymnasium. Relena looks like she doesn't understand anything.

By the time Relena's ears catch the sound of the airplane, another five minutes have passed.

 

**********

 

At that time, inside the cargo plane, Lady Une is transmitting orders to the commander of the platoon which is about to start the attack.

"Do it thoroughly. The public announcement will be that it was done by terrorists, members of a rebellion against the 'United Earth Sphere Alliance'."

"But I don't feel inclined to do this. We are after all attacking a unarmed civilian institution."

The soldier in the Aries answers with a voice which seems to be uneasy. It can't be helped that OZ has to get rid of an unfavourable eye witness, but involving civilians which have nothing to do with this is another problem.

"You stay back! I will have the battle command transferred to another person!" yells Lady Une.

"Wh.. why is that!?"

"Such lenience will not only kill yourself in vain, but also your subordinates! I don't entrust such a person with a command!!"

"So... sorry!! I'll execute the attack right away!"

The soldier hurriedly raises his voice and salutes.

"Fine! Commence operation!"

"Understood. We start descent."

After the transmission from the Aries has been cut, Lady Une's face gradually loses her so far very stern expression.

"Don't be so eager, Lady. It's just a young girl, isn't it" murmurs Lady Une as if she were giving advice to herself.

 

**********

 

Relena hears the thundering noise and runs out of the gymnasium. Her eyes catch the sight of huge bodies falling down from the cargo plane which is flying through the evening sky.

"Aren't these mobile suits from the army? That they fight in such a place!?"

There are two human shaped machines and one flight shaped machine - two Leos and one Aries. Then, as if opposing them, a white mobile suit raises from the trees in the vicinity of the school.

"And that is...!?"

It occurs to Relena how a bird like white mobile suit fought against the Alliance Leo as she was entering the Earth atmosphere, and how this mobile suit transformed.

It *IS* this one. Then, the person in mobile suit....

Relena's thoughts are cut off by heavy shooting. The army suits have started their attack.

The bullets are repelled by the suit's armour and strike with a loud bang into the school building, the gymnasium and the floor. The buildings are destroyed immediately.

Without any regard to the attack, the white mobile suit raises its right hand holding a huge and long beam rifle.

At that time, two female classmates of Relena come fleeing in her direction.

"Miss Relena!"

Noticing Relena's figure, they are running while crying out fearfully.

Behind them, the Leos, which have been destroyed by one shot of the white mobile suit's beam rifle, explode.

Relena suddenly starts running towards them and throws them to the floor, protecting both of them from the explosion's blast.

The effect of the beam rifle is devastating. Relena lifts her head and sees the Leos which have been destroyed so completely that there are hardly any remains.

After waiting until the blast is over, Relena helps the students up.

"It's okay now. Run away quickly!"

After sending the two away, Relena looks up to the white mobile suit which has its back turned to her.

"Heero, isn't it..."

With eyes full of conviction, Relena looks up to the white mobile suit which towers totally as if it were protecting the school.

 

**********

 

"We are presently fighting an enemy suit."

The message comes in from the attacking Aries, spoken in a nervous and wavering voice. Lady Une asks back right away.

"And the type of that mobile suit?"

"I don't know! I haven't even seen this type before!!"

Lady Une's eyes become sharp at the commander's report.

Is this what Sir Treize predicted? That they appeared at such a place....

Snatching the mike, Lady Une issues orders.

"Collect this suit of unknown origin! Have the remaining Aries attack!!"

Immediately the two remaining Aries take off from the cargo plane and head toward the battle field.

 

**********

 

After having disposed of the two Leos and one Aries, the white mobile suit - Wing - just throws the beam rifle away and prepares for the fresh forces advancing on him from high up in the sky.

The two Aries are equipped with rocket pods on pylons below their wings which protrude from the hips. These rockets are all fired at the same time.

Eight rockets come flying in direct line towards the Gundam.

From both machine canons in the shoulders of the Gundam comes a rattling sound - dododo - and the rockets are shot down one after the other. Then, one rockets which has escaped getting shot down hits the school building.

The outer wall of the school building collapses and comes falling down like an avalanche.

Relena is standing below it.

As if he had heard Relena's scream, the Gundam suddenly turns around and the shield with which the left arm is equipped intercepts the rubble.

The Gundam has now the back turned towards the enemy and gets into a difficult situation when he is hit with crossfire. But the Gundanium alloy cannot be damaged with a chain rifle. Not only that, but after Relena runs away from her spot, the Gundam, while turning around, releases the beam saber and cuts the two Aries in two with one stroke.

"We have suffered a complete defeat!"

In the cargo plane, the communication operator raises his shocked voice. When she hears this, Lady Une raises slightly and irritably slams both palms onto the console.

"If that's so, I will go out!"

When Lady Une emits her shout, the communication operator raises his voice for the second time.

"A message from Colonel Treize has come in."

"What!?"

Hastily sitting down again, Lady Une looks at the monitor before her eyes.

"Lady Une, the operation is called off. Please come back right away."

On the monitor, Treize with his fingers crossed is visible. It's a private room at the OZ head quarters which Lady Une knows as well.

"Sir Treize..."

"I have decided to let Darlian's daugher live."

"Why is that! This operation...."

Lady Une cries out in a shocked voice. In a calm voice, as if teaching her, Treize tells her "Lady, an absolutely baffling enemy has shown up. It's not our fault. Please come back."

"Yes... understood" answers Lady Une, biting her lip in outrage.

 

**********

 

In the private room in the OZ headquarter, a continent away, Treize cuts the communication with Lady Une and presses a switch on the computer terminal. The monitor changes and Noin appears on it.

"Thank you very much, Colonel Treize. I think that Lieutnant Zechs will be very pleased as well."

"No problem at all, I made Zechs work very hard. To save Relena was just small token of gratitude towards him. Please give my regards to Zechs."

"Yes, Sir!"

Saluting, Noin cuts the connection.

"So the rumour might be true... that relatives of Zechs have escaped with their lives. He's surely been reserved."

Treize approaches a window through which the sun shines and opens it. Half closing his eyes, he watches the green, which extends into a wide garden, and the deer as well as the water birds.

"Beautiful.... It would be nice if there were means to not make Earth dirtier than it is now" murmurs Treize as if talking to the little birds which come dancing down.

The young man standing there is not the leader of the secret military organization named OZ, but a human being who loves nature.

 

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