My vision becomes a bit brighter. It seems like my eyes are opening. But it's strange; my whole body feels heavy. It doesn't obey at all, as if it's tied down. Is this again the Alliance army's hospital? No, there's nothing to indicate that my hands and feet are bound. What's the matter with my body?
Heero's memory is jumbled.
It's exactly like the time when he has received training for the mobile suits from Dr. J for the first time .... No, that can't be it, either.
Wanting to clear his senses, Heero goes back in his memory while he opens his eyes.
He can see a grey ceiling. It's a small room which he doesn't recognize.
Moving his head, he takes a look around.
In his field of vision, there's a human figure with its back turned towards him.
Is that Relena knitting?
"Relena....?" voices Heero.
But his voice does not come out as he thought it would. It's totally like an animal's growl.
Has she noticed his voice? The girl turns around.
"You've come round? Wait, I'll call Trowa right away!"
The girl - Catherine - puts the knitting on the table and gets up.
"Trowa?" murmurs Heero blankly. He doesn't recall this name.
"Don't do that! It's better if you don't yet overdo it!"
While Catherine restrains Heero, who wants to get up, and sends him back to bed, a boy wearing a black shirt which clings to his body appears in the entrance.
"Ah, Trowa! Your friend has woken up!"
Heero turns his eyes towards the boy standing by the entrance. It's a face he has seen only once in New Edwards through the monitor.
As soon as he remembers this, his memory is revived. I had made Wing self-destruct and must have been blown away by the shock. But I don't know what happened afterwards. Why am I still alive?
Heero moves his arm, which is heavy as if a weight was fastened to it, and combs back his sleep tousled hair.
"Oh, your stomach must be empty! I'll go and prepare a soup."
Catherine goes away from Heero and walks towards the trailerhouse's kitchen. In her stead, Trowa brings the chair Catherine has been sitting on to the side of the bed and sits down.
"Where are we?" asks Heero, raising his upper part of the body. The voice he presses from his throat has at last become audible again.
"This is a trailerhouse of a touring circus. It's where I am hiding."
"Why have you saved me? I should have died."
Trowa shows a sarcastic smile to Heero who is frowning.
" 'Heero' it was, right? As far as you are concerned, you are already long dead."
Trowa tells him this with a disinterested attitude.
"A month has passed since then. There was no OZ movement against the colonies. They only want to suppress the military nations on Earth."
"A month has passed already...."
Not even Heero can hide his surprise.
"For OZ, you are already dead. You are no longer restrained by the colonies. I don't have such choice."
"Have you been found out?"
"No. But no mission has come in since then. The situation of the other three is also unclear."
"Then there's the guy that didn't come."
"Wufei.... That guy is the same as you. He has been hurt during the OZ's Operation Daybreak. It's just not in his body but in his soul. He probably won't be able to fight until he has healed."
Heero lets his body sink back on the bed.
With this, the Gundams probably won't be able to move for a while. It had to happen because Doctor J has surrendered to OZ. The question is how we, being left behind, should move. What I do know is that the possibility that the colonies will be targeted should the Gundams move has become more likely.
"I can't decide what to do should OZ fight using the colonies as a shield again. Maybe I should follow your example."
The calm and composed expression of Trowa is unusually grim.
"If it comes to that, I have only one warning for you."
As if asking what that would be, Trowa turns around. Heero tells him with a serious face "It hurts worse than dying."
Trowa listens to this with an equally serious face, then he suddenly slaps his hands before his face and laughs out loud.
"Really, isn't this the first time Trowa is laughing loudly?"
In the kitchen, Catherine smiles when she hears Trowa laughing. But, even if she knew how little she would be able to laugh at this joke, would she still have the same thoughts or not?
While showing a seemingly happy smile, Catherine pours a scrambled egg into the consomme in the pot.
On the bed, Heero turns towards Trowa, his face back to serious.
"I'm asking somebody for something for the first time since I arrived on Earth. Could you tell me what happened in the world while I was unconscious?"
Trowa nods at Heero's words and starts speaking calmly.
Once OZ had settled the problem of the Gundams with the threat to attack the colonies, they first gave top priority to solidifying their footing. They set out to completely wipe out the remnants of the Alliance army, which are still active all over the world, and furthermore also the guerrilla which changed from fighting the Alliance to fighting OZ.
"OZ has steadily increased its power. The Alliance won't last more than two months."
After Trowa has finished explaining the current situation, he leans back in his chair.
"If this is finished, will it be space?"
"I guess it's inevitable."
Trowa answers to Heero's words which are more sounding like a confirmation than a question. Then he asks "What will you do now?"
Looking at the ceiling for a long time, Heero murmurs "I don't have Wing...."
"You shouldn't move your body for a while. I treated the injuries, but the left arm is especially bad. No matter how strong your body is, it will probably be more than a month until you can move it to your satisfaction."
Trowa says this while pointing at Heero's body which is wrapped in bandages. Heero's muscles have become quite weak during the month he was bound to the bed. That's why his body feels like it's heavy.
"The circus doesn't have any program the next two or three days. Take it easy. It takes some time for a dead to come back to life. Think of what you are going to do during that time."
Leaving this message behind, Trowa exits the trailerhouse.
Three days later, all the circus members are assembled in the center square, which is surrounded by tents and trailerhouses. Supposedly there's an important announcement. Just as everybody is gossiping that the next performance has been decided upon since there hasn't been one in a while, their director, Hawthorne, appears.
"The next performance has been determined! Listen and be astonished how we got a request from an OZ base!!"
Before the gathered circus members, the director declares this with quite some pride. Shouts of joy suddenly arise. Only Trowa lets a sharp look run over the director.
"So, I'd like to prepare a new programme, is there something great and popular with soldiers which can be done so suddenly?"
Noisy talks are exchanged, but nobody makes a proposal.
Then, Trowa raises his hand and calmly opens his mouth.
"Director, can you leave it to me?"
"You have an idea?"
"It will certainly be popular with the soldiers."
Director Hawthorne turns his eyes on Trowa with a slightly doubtful expression. He seems to be at a loss whether he should trust him or not, but he probably has no other choice, considering there is only Trowa's usual uncooperative behavior.
"Since the usually quiet Trowa says this, it must be okay!"
Getting near to Trowa's shoulder, Catherine guarantees this totally as if she were his guardian. Even the director becomes weak when the great star Catherine says this to him.
"Fine, I'll leave it to you, Trowa."
The director decides to entrust this new member with their destiny.
After everybody has dispersed, Trowa returns to his own trailerhouse and immediately tells Heero that they will move to an OZ base.
"I leave food and the car's key here. You will heal your injuries here and also do your rehabilitation."
"What do you intend to do?"
Heero asks this lying on the bed. He has become better, but he can't move freely yet.
"To fight with the Gundams is not the will of my entire colony. It was a part of its people who started the fight with the Gundam, feeling very strongly about it."
"There are no objections against acting according to your emotions. I have learned that."
"I can't give OZ a reason to blame the colonies. I decided so with reason. Later I was the same as you. I followed my feelings."
Leaving this behind for Heero, Trowa exits the trailerhouse. Then he lets the mobile suit transport truck, which has been hidden in the middle of the forest, run among the circus troupe who have finished preparing their move.
"Is that it, Trowa? Is that the equipment for your programme?"
The director raises an admiring voice as he is looking at the tarpaulin covered load-carrying tray.
"Yes, it is something to look forward to. There will be a big applause to hear!"
Trowa answers while looking down on the director from the driver's seat of the truck.
"That's the spirit! Put on the show of your lifetime!!"
After saying this in good humour, the director walks away towards the head of the circus troupe.
"Yes.... it will be my last big show."
Trowa murmurs this while looking at the row of the circus troupe's trailers which are starting to move.
"A base and cargo planes with fuel for twenty shuttles loaded.... my last work will be putting off the deployment of OZ's space force."
The requested circus performance at the OZ base progresses smoothly and the main event so far, Catherine's knife throwing, ends among the applause and shouts of the men. Next is today's main event.
"Now you will be seeing a debut! It's the entry of the circus's new star, Trowa Barton!!"
After the director has announced this, the spotlights run around the pitch dark tent and a huge curtain, which reaches up to the ceiling of the circus tent, is dropped at the same time.
When the red and white mobile suit appears, a commotion runs through the grounds. It's Heavyarms.
"Isn't that a Gundam?"
"It looks exactly like 03."
"But it's well done!"
While listening to the carefree cheering of the OZ soldiers, Trowa murmurs in the cockpit, "Let's get started with my self-destruction show."
After verifying the submonitor which reflects the radar, he pushes down the left control lever and draws it forward. The beam gatling installed in the left arm comes up.
The radar captures the cargo planes which have just taken off the runway beyond the tent. Seeing this, Trowa pushes the trigger button.
In that moment, panic breaks out in the circus tent.
Roaring, the gatling turns the tent into a honeycomb.
The cargo planes, having taken off from the runway in the distance, come flying diagonally above the tent. They are bombarded and go up in flames because the fuel in the wings catches fire. Burning, they descend quickly and explode.
From the torn tent, Heavyarms turns towards the base, shoving aside the soldiers who are fleeing, each one trying to be first.
"Next I'll destroy the storage tanks. This is the last battle. There's no need to watch the remaining bullets. Compared to the others, this will be a enjoyable mission."
Heading directly for the storage tanks, Trowa steps onto the pedals. Aligning the marker on the main monitor with the tanks, he flicks switches on the console one after the other.
Pods open in the legs and twenty-four micro-missiles fly in an arcing pattern toward the six tanks.
A moment later, the tanks explode in tremendous flames.
The scrambled Aries are heading towards Heavyarms.
Letting the gatling canon in his chest roar, Heavyarms faces the approaching Aries one after the other. In the middle of the falling debris from the Aries exploding in the sky, Trowa continues to step onto the pedals without knowing any retreat.
"I am so bad, but I cannot let any OZ soldier who has seen my Heavyarms survive."
Having murmured this, Trowa finds that there is no reaction to the trigger button. He then extends the armyknife-like blade in the right arm, the last weapon which remains, and continues fighting like a demon.
"Trowa... what... you...."
Catherine murmurs this in a daze as she looks up to the mobile suit which is climbing over the seats after the OZ soldiers have scattered in all directions. Then she suddenly remembers. The face which didn't know any fear when he was made the target of her thrown knives for the first time.
He intends to die!
She is convinced of this.
Still in her stage costume, Catherine starts running towards the burning base.
The base is an unbearable sight, just like Hell. Flames burn brightly, and the destroyed mobile suits, torn apart by bullets, lie scattered like some badly done piece of art.
In the middle of the remains, Trowa's mobile suit stands like a legendary demon. Without fear, Catherine runs towards it and calls out, "Trowa, what are you doing?!"
From the mobile suit speakers, Trowa's voice comes back.
"Catherine, go away. I will selfdestruct now with this mobile suit."
"What are you saying!! Get down here anyhow! Now, quickly!!"
Catherine argues more and more vehemently.
Seeing this situation through the monitor, Trowa realizes that he will only get her to leave with brute force.
Easing the force with which he stands on the pedal, he lets Heavyarms kneel on the ground. Then he opens the chest hatch. When he wants to step outside the cockpit, Catherine climbs onto the hatch by herself.
It's something Trowa couldn't possibly have anticipated.
But it's not the only unexpected thing to happen.
Suddenly, Catherine jumps into the cockpit and her fist hits Trowa's cheek. The violently and ruthlessly executed hit by the iron fist makes Trowa's face fly to the edge of the headrest.
"What do you think your life is for?! Are you saying to self-destruct?! Don't make me laugh! If you do such a selfish thing, what will your father and mother think? Have you thought about the feelings of the people you leave behind?! Stop being so selfish!"
The words bursting out of her, Catherine puts both hands on the console.
Something falls with a 'plop' onto the console.
"The people left behind... the people left behind can only live in sorrow....."
Big tears fall endlessly onto the panel.
With a shocked face, Trowa looks at Catherine for a long time. It's a whole minute later when he quietly puts his hand on the shoulder of a sobbing Catherine. Not even him can analyse such a situation.
It's two days after the OZ has been attacked by a mysterious enemy and completely destroyed.
Trowa and Heero are leaving the circus troupe. Since there are no eye witnesses on OZ's side, the truth about the incident is shrouded by darkness.
"It's you, isn't it? You have inspired my Trowa to do stupid things! If you don't stop, I won't forgive you!"
After glaring at Heero, Catherine jumps off the mobile suit transport trailer.
Watching her retreating figure in the side mirror, Trowa's expression darkens slightly. He murmurs to Heero who is sitting in the passenger seat, "A woman has cried over me. If it had been you, you probably would have chosen death nevertheless. I admire your strength."
"I must have told you before. Acting with your feelings is the right way to live for a human being."
Heero answers Trowa as if he were thrusting him away.
The big trailer, transporting Trowa's Heavyarms, drives away.
"It's a pity, isn't it, he was very skilled. He would have been a success if he had been trained."
The directors laments as he watches Trowa leave.
Catherine slaps his back and laughs.
"What are you saying! Shouldn't you let the children embark on their journey? Trowa is a child of this circus. He'll come back, for sure!"
Looking after Trowa, Catherine's eyes reflect the light of her conviction.
"Has the next performance been determined?"
"Huh? Not yet."
The director looks up into the sky as if he were at the end of his wits. With the destroyed equipment and tent, he will very likely use a good part of the savings. Despite this being so, the next performance has not yet been determined.
"If that is so, shouldn't we try to go to the colonies?"
"Space? That might be fine as well. It may be safer than here."
Thinking a bit about Catherine's unusual proposal, the director nods.
The colonies... the place where Trowa has grown up.
What kind of place might this be?
Catherine narrows her eyes as if she were trying to see through the clear blue sky far away.