Quatre regains consciousness in a blinding light.
Is it the sun's light? Has he returned to the Arabian peninsula?
The eyelids are heavy and won't open.
Behind these eyelids, he notices that the light is whitish. It's not the sun. It's a fluorescent light.
"It seems you have come around. How do you feel?"
Suddenly a friendly voice reaches his ears.
After he has opened his eyes with great trouble, he looks into the face of a blond, young woman. She seems to be up to five years older than him. He doesn't recognize her, but Quatre somehow feels fond of her.
"We are here on a satellite used for mining resources. And why the heck were you on board that mobile suit? As far as I can see, you don't seem to be a soldier of the Alliance."
At these words, Quatre jumps up from the bed he slept in.
"I, I am...!"
In this moment, a dull pain runs through his chest and Quatre unconsciously lets out a moan.
"No way, you are not to move yet. If you had been left drifting, you would have died."
He is held down by the woman and put back on the bed again.
"Why... did you save me?"
"I am a doctor, without any relation to OZ or the Alliance. Although this here is a neutral zone which does not belong to either of them."
As she says this, Quatre looks and sees that the woman is wearing a white coat. The room also looks like an infirmary.
"Why am I here?"
At Quatre's question, the woman doctor explains how Quatre was in the cockpit of a destroyed Leo and how he was discovered as the drifting Leo was captured by the gravity of the resource satellit and got closer. She doesn't know that an unconscious Quatre was put aboard the Leo from the shuttle by an Alliance soldier, who, in exchange for his own life, enabled Quatre to escape from OZ's order to destroy the shuttle.
"I'm sorry. I haven't thanked you yet for rescuing me. Do you know a place where I can rent a shuttle?"
"No way. I cannot let a patient go anywhere in this condition."
"Don't care about me!"
Quatre once again raises the upper part of his body and shouts this while clinging to the woman.
"Calm down. Something might be pressing, but it's not good for your body. The first consideration now is rest for your body and soul."
Saying this, the woman stands up.
"I am Irea. I can prepare the shuttle. Can you wait?"
"I am Quatre. Apologies for asking for such a difficult thing."
Hearing that name, the woman who has introduced herself as Irea shows a smile. It's a smile which totally says she knows this already.
"No problem. In return, you stay in bed until then. Promise me."
After pointing her raised forefinger at Quatre, as if to call his special attention, Irea leaves the room.
The command room of the space fortress Barge is wrapped in a tense atmosphere.
"240... 245... 250... it won't work. The target is accelerating further."
The voice of the radar controller, who is reading aloud the numerical values, resounds harshly.
"It will be able to shake off the Leo troop. The course is still for the Area D of the colony. It's not changing."
"So the space Leos are not up to it after all."
Reading the information displayed on the monitor, Lady Une mutters this to herself.
Pursuing an unidentified flying object, which has been detected two hours earlier, the Leo troop has taken off from the Barge. Judging by its size, it's not a shuttle. Having said that, it's too big to be a single mobile suit. Additionally, one cannot possibly assume it's a friend since it's doesn't send out an identification signal.
"A report has come in that, as far as they could verify, it might be Tallgeese."
At Nichol's word, Lady Une bitterly spits out "Whatever it is, I cannot allow an armed mobile suit to approach."
On the wall to the side of the command room, Trowa has crossed his arms and silently watches the course of events. At the word 'Tallgeese', he opens his eyes and slowly opens his mouth.
"If you send out the mobile dolls, it's will be over right away. But the information has come in that the scientists in question have finished with the new types of mobile suits. Vayeate and Mercurius. I'd like to test the performance of both."
"Idiot! You can't suddenly send out a new model into a real fight!!"
Restraining Nichol, who does nothing but yell that this is out of the question, Lady Une asks "What will you do about the other pilot?"
"Let me go please, Major Lady Une!"
Throwing a glance at Nichol, who has stepped forward, Trowa murmurs "In order to gather the complete data, there has to be a corresponding pilot, else he will become a burden."
"What was that?!"
Nichol, who is branded as an obstacle, raises a voice seething with anger and stares at Trowa. These are not the words which a soldier, who got hired just a few days earlier, should say to a Lieutenant.
However, Lady Une nods as if she was reading Trowa's thoughts.
Stopping Nichol, who is pressing as if he were to made a protest, with her arm, Lady Une turns around towards Trowa.
"Trowa Barton, I entrust you with the command for the destruction of Tallgeese. The former pilot, Major Zechs, was killed in action in a fight with the Alliance's might. Whoever the pilot of Tallgeese is, if he is opposing OZ, kill him."
Trowa returns a salute to Lady Une.
Twenty minutes later, Trowa is in the cockpit of Vayeate, which is located in the mobile suit factory.
Lady Une is standing in a passage which is connected to the cockpit and looks up at the two new mobile suit models which have just been completed.
"What are your impressions of Vayeate and Mercurius?"
Doctor J approaches Lady Une while dragging his feet.
"Amazing. It's indeed something which only a Gundam designer can do."
"Ah well, when the responsibility is with us, it's easy."
Doctor J states this while showing a seemingly proud smile. From beside him Nichol, who has come running from the direction of Mercurius, cuts in.
"But this is dangerous! To let that Gundam pilot of all people board Mercurius!!"
Trowa has chosen Heero, who has been imprisoned in a solitary cell, as pilot for Mercurius and is bringing him here. The manacles are removed and Heero prepares the sortie in the cockpit of Mercurius while pistols are pointed at him.
"That's exactly why. OZ should know best the talent of the guy as a pilot."
While Trowa is doing the checking of the instruments in Vayeate's cockpit, he says this to Lady Une who is way below him.
"Can the self-destruct mechanism of Mercurius be handled in the cockpit of Vayeate, which Trowa will board?"
Lady Une verifies this with Doctor J.
"Yes. It has been done as you ordered."
"Trowa, if that guy does something even the slightest bit suspicious, I don't care if you even blow up Mercurius."
Lady Une tells this to Trowa, who is continuing the adjustment work.
"This will probably not be necessary. This guy has fought with Tallgeese in Siberia before. He will think of nothing but to bring this to an end. This time, there won't be an interruption because the colonies have been used as a shield."
"Why do you know such a thing?"
Lady Une asks this as if she were investigating. It has been discovered that, besides the Gundam pilot who fought with Zechs in the Siberia base, another pilot was there. And they have learned also from the intermediary report of the deceased Inspector Acht that his body build is similar to the one of the boy now entering the cockpit of Mercurius.
However, Trowa evades the question easily.
"As an OZ soldier, you understand these things right away when you investigate them."
Then he points with his thumb at Heero beside him, who is doing his work in silence.
"It was good that guy self-destructed. Else I might not be alive since I was in the colonies at that time."
"I should be grateful as well. Because thanks to this, I was able to get a good subordinated called Trowa."
Lady Une answers in such way while smiling.
"As soon as your preparations are finished, make the sortie, Soldier Trowa!"
After she has given her order and signaled the soldiers pointing their guns at Heero, she leaves the passage.
Having made his sortie from Barge, Trowa takes hold of the control lever in the cockpit of Vayeate.
Six Taurus mobile dolls follow them. Instructions to the mobile dolls can now be given from Vayeate.
Trowa is handling Vayeate for the first time, but no confusion at all can be felt in his movements. Not only this, but also his arms move so smoothly, it's as if he has used them this way since a long time. The operating system is mostly the same as with the Gundams. It's totally as if the engineers had expected the Gundam pilots to board.
"How is it?"
Right after the message has reached Mercurius, which is reflected on the main monitor, Heero's voice comes back.
"Not bad. The characteristics of handling it have hardly changed compared to the Gundams."
Mercurius lets its body rotate, and waves its arms after igniting the Vernier engine and slowing down. Furthermore, it follows Vayeate by flying in fast circles.
"It's only natural" murmurs Trowa and continues to ask Heero "Hey, Gundam pilot, how would you fight the mobile dolls?"
"First I would infiltrate the enemy and remove myself as a target for the mobile dolls" answers Heero. He doesn't go as far as saying 'like somebody else'. Then, as if to prove this, he extends the beam sabre from the crash shield and slashes at the Taurus which are flying together in a group. The beam with its great capacity cuts a Taurus in half with one stroke.
"Don't do anything crazy. I will have to blow up you up."
The flash of the Taurus' explosion colours the monitor white.
"The weak point of the mobile doll is that the basic performance of the suit is the same as the manned type. The mobility, up to the realization of reaction speed, these are all the same. The rest besides this is only whether a living being can respond to it. As far as I am concerned, I would burn my fngers sooner on space mines than on a mobile doll."
Heero answers in such way, then adds "Something like the mobile dolls is not necessary. I'll shoot down that white guy."
Trowa shows a bitter smile at Heero's words. He remembers the duel which happened just two months ago.
In that moment, the target shows up on the radar.
"We have picked up the target. I'll send the mobile dolls ahead."
Typing on the keys, Trowa lets the remaining five mobile dolls head towards the target. Having transformed into their high speed flight form, the Taurus ignite the Vernier engines and fly off.
"However, what business has that guy in space?"
Recalling the figure of the OZ major wearing his mask, Trowa murmurs this quietly.
The white guy - that's how Heero called Talleese - heads towards the L2 colony cluster at high speed. The booster needed for launch has already been detached and the Subvernier engines, which have been installed covering Tallgeese's backpack, have been bared. These are parts which support the movements while crossing space during a long time. Also, between the backpacks, a housing module has been set up which contains the minimally necessary facilities for the pilot to exist in space.
Zechs, who is in the housing module, reacts to the warning the radar sends out and slides into the cockpit.
"Five machines... possibly mobile suits."
Zechs murmurs this as he reads the radar screen. Even during that time, the opponent comes closer, accelerating quickly.
It's a higher acceleration than at the time when Zechs boarded Talleese for the first time. He cannot imagine that there is a pilot in OZ who can stand this. Zechs notices their true characters.
"They're mobile dolls."
Zechs detaches the Subvernier engines. They are useful while cruising at high speed, but since they cannot do sharp turns, they become an obstacle in a fight. After he has felt the shock of the detachment through the hull, he releases the safety device on the control lever and makes Tallgeese ready the huge dobergun.
Approaching in a straight line, the Taurus suddenly split into five directions. Preparing to surround Tallgeese, they attack with their beam rifles without any warning.
Zechs pushes the throttle lever away and evades the attack by sheer force, then he pulls the control lever back. Tallgeese turns the other way and points the dobergun at the Taurus. At the same time, he presses the trigger button.
"My reaction is a bit too late?"
Knowing that the beam will be evaded, Zechs unconsciously raises his voice. He shoots one beam after the other and approaches one of the Taurus machines.
"If it comes to close combat, I'll manage."
With the right hand, which has released the dobergun, he draws the beamsabre from the shield on the left shoulder. As soon as he has done that, he slashes it at the Taurus he's hurling himself at.
At the same time as the explosion occurs, he breaks away and wants to head towards the next target. In that moment, an energy bundle attacks Tallgeese.
The beam grazes Tallgeese and hits the Taurus behind its back.
"Two fresh suits!"
Zechs calls the enemy suits, which are reflected on the radar screen, up on his monitor. The blue suit is readying a huge beam cannon, the red suit is approaching in a straight line. Zechs pulls back the control lever and readies the dobergun again, then he pushes the trigger button.
The discus shaped things on the back of the red suit construct a wall and block the beam. For a moment, a faint light glows around the discs.
"He stopped it?!"
The red mobile suit comes attacking Zechs who has raised a shocked voice. It comes slashing with something round which looks like a shield and from which a beam extends.
"That guy is also for a combat at close quarters!"
While growling this, Zechs lifts the beam sabre. With the shield on the left shoulder he stops the red suit's charge and strikes with the beam sabre.
That's when the Taurus attack with the beam cannon. After the red mobile suit turns around, it cuts the Taurus in half.
"What are his intentions?"
As if answering Zechs' question, a response in form of energy comes closer from the blue mobile suit. But, same as last time, it destroys a Taurus without hitting Tallgeese.
Those guys beat the mobile dolls in the battle with me. Pilots who manages to do this in space do not exist in dozens.
Flashing a quick grin, Zechs recognizes the true colours of the pilots.
"I don't have the time to keep you company in your games. Lead me away quickly."
After having verified that all the mobile dolls are gone, Zechs goes to a general purpose frequency and announces this.
After the two suits have put away their weapons, Zechs opens the hatch and floats out of the cockpit. As he stands on the hatch with his magnetic boots, he raises both hands.
The blue mobile suit matches his speed relatively to Tallgeese. Then the hatch opens and the pilot appears.
"My goodness, you did infiltrate OZ!"
Without hiding his astonishment Zechs says this as he recognizes Trowa's face through his face mask.
"I am soldier Trowa Barton. Zechs Merquise, this would be the first time we meet. The other man is a prisoner of us, of OZ."
Saying this, Trowa points at the red mobile suit.
"Indeed, it seems I misunderstood. Sorry for not telling you earlier, but my name is Milliardo Peacecraft. I come as a goodwill ambassador from Earth."
Zechs tells them this while showing a smile.