It takes twenty hours to recover from the functional disorder which occurred in the Barge and its vicinity. During that time, the useless condition of all observation instruments, like the radar, continues, and it's the same as if eyes and ears of the Barge were covered.
With the eyes of OZ not reaching this far, the three HLVs and the one shuttle, which launched immediately before the disorder and which presumably had Gundam pilots on board, have disappeared somewhere.
"It has to be their doing...."
Even while entertaining such vexing thoughts, Lady Une does not have the five engineers cross-examined any further and spends time for talks with the colony's representatives.
Lady Une, who has just finished a meeting with Narita and the others, returns to her own room and delicately sits on a chair. Immediately her attendants approach to arrange her lowered hair.
In that moment, the communication terminal makes a noise and Lieutenant Nichol calls Lady Une's name.
"Do you have something to report?"
Lady Une's quiet question flows into the room.
"I have learned the past of said engineers."
"Of all five of them?"
"Yes. They are indeed engineers who have participated in the development of OZ mobile suits. At that time they were called by code names and even in the OZ data, their real name was erased."
Lady Une's answer is so vague that he doesn't know whether she heard him or not; it's also not clear whether she's interested or not. Even while he is astonished by this, Nichol's voice continues.
"Half way through Tallgeese's development - or, to be exact, when Tallgeese entered the production stage, all five of them disappeared. They went missing. While it's unconfirmed information, it seems that at the same time the design for the suit which became the basis for the Gundams disappeared too."
"Tallgeese? That's the mobile suit used by Zechs, also called Prototype Leo, isn't it?"
"Yes. Even if it was designed more than twenty years ago, it's still the strongest mobile suit on Earth."
Lady Une has had her hair pinned up and has changed into uniform. Lastly, she puts on the glasses she wears only for show. Taking this as a cue, the cruel light returns to her eyes.
"Saying it's the strongest is not adequate."
Lady Une's voice has suddenly changed from just before and sounds as sharp as a whip.
"The capacity and other abilities of a mobile suit are heavily influenced by the ability of the pilot. Letting them construct it would be fine. The strongest mobile suit, more so than Tallgeese, no, the Gundams, where the ability of the pilot does not become the problem."
Having declared this, Lady Une issues her orders.
"Nichol, take them to the Taurus hangar with you."
"Understood. I'll instruct my subordinates. I will now leave to wipe out the remaining forces of the Alliance."
"Understood. I'll go now to the hangar."
Lady Une leaves her room behind her with steps ringing louder than would have been imaginable from when she entered.
"This means they operate pilotless mobile suits."
Doctor J lifts his face, which seems to be buried beneath the black glasses, and says this without hiding his feelings of distaste.
Before his eyes are the black hulls of the Taurus.
This is the new model of the mobile suit which has been shot up from Siberia. Doctor J has also complained about its danger to Heero. But the installed mobile doll system is more dangerous than Doctor J has thought.
The enemy target is entered into the computer and the suit executes the attack with the most effective means. The pilotless combat system for this is the mobile doll system.
"They probably thought that in space, where there are few obstacles, this was a effective weapon."
Professor G laughs through his nose.
"Fighting without dirtying your hands, that's a game after all. Humans who cause a war are stupid, but the blood spilled there is never wasted."
As Doctor J says this, Professor G answers "When seeing this blood, stupid humans reflect on themselves, if only a little. But a war, which has been reduced to a game, is a pastime."
"They'd preferably decide victory or defeat in a game. This way, it would end without anybody dying."
At Doctor S's voice, which is thick because of the nose, Lady Une shows a challenging smile.
"If the opponent has the technique that is."
"It's not that we don't have the technique! We don't distribute automatic functions because the responsibility to wage war has to be felt with your own body."
"You don't distribute it? In that case, it means that you may live a bit longer."
"We won't construct it. It's better to die than to construct it."
Even with his stooped back, Professor H skillfully shrugs his shoulders.
"Young people want to think rationally. But it's war which may not be rational."
Master O, a huge man, squares his strong shoulders and says this with a deep voice as if he were preaching.
"I think I will have you construct a mobile suit with a higher capacity than Tallgeese and the Gundams, which you have constructed as well."
Lady Une says this as it if were a great pity.
"Kill us. We don't have the intention to help in a gameboard war which we don't care about."
Lady Une directs her eyes with an icy look towards Doctor J, who has answered with a sigh.
"The negotiations have broken down."
Engineers which have no use after all are like waste. Lady Une's eyes get a look as if she doesn't see any humans.
A Specials' soldier comes running towards Lady Une, who is thinking about the further treatment of the engineers.
"Major, Lieutenant Nichol is trying to contact you."
Nodding, Lady Une heads towards the nearby communication terminal.
"What's the matter, Nichol? Have you finished wiping out the remnants of the Alliance?"
Through his helmet's visor, which is displayed on the monitor, Nichol nods.
"Major Une, I have defeated the remnants of the Alliance, leaving a few Leos. Then, I have intercepted a transmission of the Alliance, it seems they want to get hold of a Gundam pilot."
The screen is switched and a shuttle appears on the monitor. It's not a HLV used to transport mobile suits. It's a small shuttle with the capacity for a few people.
"It seems it has taken off from the Singapore space port. What shall I do?"
Lady Une murmurs this as if she were spitting out the words.
"Shall we seize the shuttle?"
"Seize you say? Don't do something this stupid. A pilot wihout his Gundam is of no use. Erase it!"
Just as Lady Une spits this out in reply to Nichol's question...
"Wait!" shouts Doctor J, drawing near to Lady Une.
"Lend me the communication system."
Nodding generously, Lady Une relinquishes her place to Doctor J and the others.
Doctor J adjusts the frequency of the communicator for a while, and suddenly the voice of a boy comes in fragments.
"Here is... Quatre... come back... to space.... so, let's protect space together...."
After Doctor J has directed his eyes towards the other four, Professor H nods. It must be the pilot he has sent.
"Stop the blowing up of the shuttle."
Doctor J requests this earnestly from Lady Une.
"Oh... So you have a heart which pities your subordinates. In that case, talks will be quick. Nichol, stop the blowing up. Continue with destroying the Alliance."
The connection from Nichol is cut.
"That we have to construct Gundams for OZ...."
Doctor J murmurs this as he lets his shoulders drop.
"It's a bit different. I've said that you should construct mobile suits which surpass the Gundams."
While Lady Une shows a smile at the fact that the negotiations have progressed at her own pace, she issues instructions to her subordinates to take the engineers away with them.
"I am looking forward to them."
After Doctor J and the others have been taken away, Lady Une shows a thin smile and establishes a connection to Nichol.
"People can especially float through space as they like, but we need to clean up trash from the routes. Nichol, destroy the shuttle!"
Nichol nods at the cruel order.
Quatre is in the cockpit of that shuttle. Both arms are floating around independent from the body, which is wearing a space suit and is fastened by the seat belts.
After Quatre has taken off, with the route set up, he has fainted because of utter exhaustion.
He had chosen this route because it is seldom used by OZ, but that's why he has passed through a region of space in which the remaining military forces of the Alliance are hiding and has been discovered by the Alliance earlier than by OZ.
Increasing the output on the Vernier engines, which are for use in space, five improved Leos approach the shuttle.
"I will save the pilot. You will separate a bit and fight."
The commander transmits his orders to his subordinates, and the four suits spread out.
Already fifteen suits have made a sortie because of the counterattacking OZ troops. The enemy has five Taurus suits. But the commander has come to realize that there is no way his own troops can survive this. That's because he has experienced himself the ferocity of OZ's new weapon. A capacity to accelerate of which he cannot imagine that a pilot is able to bear. The capability to move in circles. The reaction time. This is an enemy for which the Leo is no match.
Having wrapped himself in his space suit, the commander floats out of the Leo's cockpit and clings to the hatch of the shuttle. Turning the lever with which one can open and close the hatch from the outside by hand, he opens the hatch. Then he goes towards the cockpit.
Looking into the visor of the helmet, the commander lets out an astonished voice "A boy? And such a boy is a Gundam pilot?!"
In that moment, a message from a subordinate comes flying in.
"Commander, we can't hold any longer..."
The voice disappears with a loud scream.
"It seems we have no more time."
After thinking for a few moments, the commander goes to the airlock while carrying Quatre on his shoulders, then he pushes him into the cockpit of the Leo, which he has set to stand-by beforehand.
"I will not let you die. At the moment, there is no other way than to entrust you the future of Space."
Having said that as if he were praying, he closes the hatch of the Leo.
The commander installs explosives, which he has discovered on the shuttle, to the legs of the Leo, then he returns to the cockpit of the shuttle.
"If this goes well, you will eventually reach the resource satellite. I'll entrust you with Space!"
The commander presses the trigger as he shouts this.
The lower half of the Leo explodes with a flash. As a reaction, the Leo drifts away from the shuttle.
The five Taurus which are approaching through the darkness are illuminated. The Taurus bring the beam canons into position.
In the next moment, the shuttle is hit by the shots of the attacking Taurus, which fire all at the same time, and is converted into a fireball.
As the shock wave hits the wreck of the Leo with Quatre on board and causes it to fly away, the darkness of space swallows it.
At that time, Trowa and Wufei, who have returned to space together with Quatre, pull up with their HLVs at the outer wall of two different colonies in the L1 cluster and, without being discovered by OZ, succeed in sneaking into the colonies. Duo, who is heading towards the L2 colony cluster on the other side of the moon, is still floating in space in his HLV, which has run out of fuel.
And Heero, who has been the only one to ascend to space without his mobile suit, has changed schools to one in the L1 colony cluster under the name of Duo Maxwell. In the colonies, he cannot use his name which was taken from the leader Heero Yuy.
Now is not yet the time to take any actions.
Each of the three pilots gathers information and wrestles with how to respond to them.
The five Gundam pilots, who have returned to a home which has betrayed them, search for an enemy to fight only based on their own thoughts, without any information or any missions sent to them.