"195 years have already passed since the colonies were constructed here in space. In that time, the colonies have walked forward together with Earth as yet another ecosystem. The people of space, same as Earth, should be free."
A clear woman's voice is holding a speech, with a picture of the colonies' development in its early days on a huge screen in the background. The voice continues.
"However, the 'United Earth Sphere Alliance' came to oppress you. They cut off the cultural exchange through mines and robbed you of your freedom through military power. The days of this Alliance are now over. A new order is established on Earth. It is the same in space. You are free. OZ will support you all."
At the same time as the woman's voice fades away, the OZ logo appears big on the screen, then disappears.
The room is filled with muffled noise as the screen goes dark, and the lights rise, revealing an overcrowded assembly hall. The delegates and many citizens of the Area D in the L2 colony have assembled here. The seats, which can accommodate 500 people, are almost all occupied.
"This is the message sent by the OZ army, no, by the OZ peace-support organization. I would like to discuss this subject the next time. Also, OZ said not to hurry with the answer."
The chairman says this while addressing the audience in the hall. He is probably in his twenties. He's a young man, wearing glasses, with a serious demeanor.
"In this case, the assembly of the Area D has come to an end for today."
As the young man announces the close of the meeting, the audience starts to leave the hall by twos and threes.
A young woman, who was sitting in the front row, bows to the young man a bit, then she stands gracefully and proceeds toward the exit. The young man follows the woman, who is wearing a light red suit, and runs out into the crowded hallway.
It's just after the woman has passed the door of the assembly hall that the young man catches up with her. He addresses her while still being a bit out of breath.
"Thank you very much."
Without behaving as if she were astonished, the woman looks back moving light-footed and turns around towards the young man. She's a woman giving off a neat and clean impression.
"No, the thanks are on my side. Was it Mister Narita?"
The clear voice is the same as heard just before through the screen.
"Please call me Ted. Now it's me as an individual, but I think eventually all the colonies will thank OZ."
"You are quite a young leader."
The woman's voice sounds like admiration. Has he interpreted this as a negative nuance? Ted Narita declares in a reassuring tone "Could you think of youth as a potential? The third generation colonists like me are different from the old ones who don't even study the difference between the Alliance and OZ."
"Also OZ is an organization that belonged to the Alliance. The people in the colonies probably won't understand this right away."
Is she thinking of the next difficulty? The woman's face darkens a bit.
"The former Alliance's troops have been deployed here and there in the colonies. So, I will head towards freeing the next colony."
"Pardon me, I haven't heard your name yet...."
Narita addresses the woman, who is about to leave, as if he were in a hurry.
"Yes, indeed. I'm sorry. I have been entrusted with the command of OZ in space. Lady Une is my name."
Letting the long chestnut brown hair swing freely, the woman lowers her head.
The 'United Earth Sphere Alliance' has sent their space troops to the colonies and has heavily limited the freedom of the colonies' citizens. Even after the collapse of the Alliance's upper layers, the space army has remained in the colonies and strengthened its ruling rights. But, because of the Taurus suits, which have been launched from Siberia and are for use in space by OZ, the balance of powers is slowly crumbling. As a beginning, OZ has freed from the hands of the Alliance the Area D among the L2 cluster, with its strongest voting rights, and wants to use it as a foothold to establish a relationship of cooperation with the colonies.
"Alliance Soldiers, stop this meaningless resistance. We from OZ have come to bring peace to space. So, let us greet the new age together."
People who have known Lady Une before don't believe their ears upon hearing this declaration. By circulating it to the Alliance army, OZ strengthens by its prominence the impression that they prefer talks to military power. Then, as if to prove this, OZ presses ahead with the work to remove the space mines which obstruct the traffic between the colonies. However, this is certainly a very cumbersome existence for OZ.
"This is Nichol. The work in Area P03-14 is finished."
Lieutenant Nichol, who is Lady Une's direct subordinate, has brought four unmanned Taurus suits with him and has taken over command over the space mine removal.
Switching on the communicator, he connects with Lady Une. With the mines removed, there is no hindrance to communication, and the reception is excellent.
Lady Une appears on the submonitor on the right side of the cockpit. She has her hair down and appears without her customary glasses and uniform. Wearing a brightly coloured suit she seems to be a totally different person. Before, Nichol met Lady Une often when has come up to the colonies and has been puzzled at the beginning. There is no reason however why Nichol should investigate what is going on.
"Nothing out of the ordinary with the Taurus mobile suit troop. Or I should rather say everything is normal."
"I see. Then send the unmanned Taurus suits back to the Barge."
Lady Une nods quietly at Nichol's report. She must be moving right now. Behind Lady Une, colony houses flowing by can be seen.
"Understood. Where are you, Major?"
"I still have to participate today in a conference in another Area."
"Then an escort...."
"No, the people of the colonies think of the mobile suits as their enemy. Earnestly, do not approach the colonies so much that they can see you. I will act alone for a week. See you!"
Showing a kind smile, Lady Une ends the connection. Nichol answers by saluting.
"Understood. Mobile Suit combat cancelled. Return to Barge."
Nichol murmurs this while tapping onto the keyboard which should give the orders to the mobile suits.
"Even the cleaning of space has become easy."
After he has given the Taurus, which have transformed from their combat form to their high speed flight form, the order to return to the fortress Barge, Nichol follows them in his own suit.
In a room of the same building in which the assembly hall for the finished colony conference is located, the colony's representatives argue hotly.
The topic of discussion is whether they should make peace with OZ or not.
In respect of this important decision, which will determine the future of the colony, the five leaders, including Narita, continue working on tuning their opinions.
"It has to be said that OZ was great. They made all the Alliance army in this area surrender."
"The message has come in that the work for the removal of the mines is also almost finished."
There are surely opinions on one side to assess OZ's actions, on the other side to just watch calmly.
"Maybe they're atoning for the assassination of Heero Yuy?"
"How can you speak like that?! That OZ has anything to do with that crime is nothing but a persistent rumour."
Narita leans forward, his face turning red in anger.
"This is what OZ has to say."
From his back, a hoarse voice comes flying. The door has been opened in the meantime and an old man is standing there.
"Honorary Advisor!? Why are you here?"
"Because I heard that you are talking about accepting OZ."
The old man, who is nicely bold from the forehead, sits on an empty chair after he has told this to an astonished Narita. Then, emiting a sigh, he looks over everyone.
"Is there some reason to forget what OZ did until now to Earth and Space? Just like the Alliance, no, more than the Alliance, they are the owners of a belligerent ideology."
"Now OZ wishes for peace."
Narita declares this with conviction. His appearance seems to add that this is however in danger because of stubborn old men.
"They are not opponents you can trust easily, no in the past, not now."
Shaking his head, the old man turns this down.
"At least that Lady Une is a person who deserves trust."
"It is said that she chose many times bloody attack plans. Didn't that woman also commit the assassination of the Vice Foreign Minister Darlian?"
"That's a rumour. Isn't she now taking over command herself and performing the dangerous task of removing the space mines?"
"Isn't that because they want Space?"
"It's a fact that they are presently working for the colonies."
"Can you truly state this? Is it not only for themselves?"
At the old man's question, Narita shakes his head, thus expressing his intention of denying this. From his side, another young man inserts some words.
"Nevertheless, OZ wants to hold out its hand to us in peace. Our point of view is not to deny this."
"Friendship with Earth is the basis of our politics. Let's agree with OZ."
The last was brought forward by Narita to the old man.
"This is indeed distressing...."
The old man murmurs this feebly as he lets his shoulders slump.
At the same time as the meeting on the L2 colony is held, on the Earth surface, with the moon in between, there is a person who harbours the same misgivings as the Honorary Advisor.
Under the moonlight, that person is looking through information sent to a PC display used as communicator terminal and says in a sad sounding voice "It seems the OZ countermeasures for the colonies are proceeding smoothly."
It's Quatre Raberba Winner - the pilot of the Gundam Sandrock.
He is in the south of Vietnam, in the villa of some millionaire who is supporting the Winner family. Quatre and Duo Maxwell have hidden a cargo plane and two Gundams in the jungle spreading near this position.
"OZ is forcing the former Alliance army stationed in each colony to surrender one after the other. They also have started the work of removing the space mines set up between the colonies with their new weapon. By this, the exchange between the colonies will probably start again."
"For the colonies, this is a good thing. Doesn't OZ want to put the colonies under their rule no matter how?"
Sitting on the low wall enclosing the terrace, Duo raises his voice as if he didn't understand this.
"Yes, and this is the most evil tactic. If overcome by force, the intention to resist remains, but if they come in the guise of assistance, the colonies will accept OZ."
"Indeed, because in space the carefree guys are the main force. They won't even notice something like an OZ conspiracy."
"I think we should return to space. Together with the Gundams. The Gundams have been built for the people of the colonies. It's only us who can protect them all from the OZ conspiracy."
"Yes, indeed. But, how are we ascending to space? A publicly known action is not possible."
Duo says this as if to remind Quatre.
If you don't surrender, the colonies will suffer a missile attack.
Threatened like this, resistance was no longer an option for the five Gundam pilots. Heero self-destructed, Quatre sensed this right afterwards and verified with a message from Trowa. The situation is that they don't know where the other three - together with Wufei - are now, how they are doing or whether they are even still alive. The only sure thing is that all the Gundams can only hide.
"On the contrary, we have to stand out. If OZ plans to rule the colonies under the pretext of peace, they cannot use them anymore as a shield."
"And if OZ throws off the guise of the deceit?"
"If they do this, the people of the colonies will know OZ's true nature as well. OZ must not deem this to be advisable at present."
At Quatre's words, Duo nods and jumps down from the wall. The he looks up at the moon shining overhead.
"Two months... that's quite long."
"If you think of it as a rest, it's short."
With their flight from the Gundam annihilation operation of OZ, who feigned a Taurus transport, and their escape from the Middle East basis where they had found a place to stay, they have come here after some violent fights. It can only be good if they have even a bit of time to relax.
"That does mean we can still fight."
However, Duo looks at Quatre while grinning stupidly.
"Let's go back to space! To our home!!"
At Duo's words Quatre answers by a supreme effort.