Pairing: Well I assumed it was none of my business so I didn't ask.
Disclaimer: Oy vey, do I look like I'm Bandai, Sunset, and the whole host
of people who lovingly created GW? Do I? No. Good cause like that you
Note: THis is a little piece of fun I wrote for Casey's birthday. Have
a good one, girl!
The abandoned satellite's rotation
had degenerated some time ago already, leaving its silent invaders to
drift like ghosts in the fifth-G gravity. Around them, metal creaked or
hummed as the old life-support system, still viable, pumped air and warmth
around the deserted hallways like blood through a dying man's veins.
The scrapes and groans around them, that didn't so much break the silence
as highlight it, were getting oppressive but the five didn't speak. They
were not prone to nervous babble. In fact, they were rather pleased not
to be greeted with a hail of bullets. It was their normal welcoming committee.
This time they might have expected even worse...
Heero lead the way without any hesitation, the memorized map of the satellite
guiding him to bay 3.
Which turned out to be empty.
"Figures." Duo grunted, finally breaking the silence in a whisper that
was barely discernable. The four others instinctively turned to read his
lips in the dim emergency lighting. "If they were still here, we'd have
been fighting tooth and nail thirty minutes ago."
"I'm still getting a reading. Some traces of Gundanium." Trowa murmured,
eyes on his detector.
"Traces." Wufei breathed. But he didn't holster his gun. None of them
did. Their past as soldiers, and a few years in the ranks of Preventers,
had honed their sixth sense to a fine-tuned instrument. They felt watched.
Quatre said nothing. He was drifting in a slow spin, eyes unfocused, with
a puzzled look on his face.
"We search." Heero said softly, eyes travelling slowly over every inch
of the cargo bay. He knew it better than the small apartment he shared
with Duo. He'd watched the footage obsessively since its accidental interception
four days ago. It had been here, just outside of cargo bay three, that
the test had been held.
It had been reasonable to suppose the Gundams would be stored here.
"In a way I'm reassured." Duo was speaking a bit louder. His voice still
barely rose above the ambient hum. "If they were still here, we'd be facing
Gundams. All we're packing are some patched together virgos. And we left
"Reconnaissance-" Heero started, then realized that he was speaking to
Duo's back. He rolled his eyes. Apparently he'd still not been forgiven
his ‘gaffe', if that's what it was.
The footage had been brief; a scene of two Gundams being tested one against
the other, against a dimly perceived backdrop of stars. A glimpse of this
cargo bay as the camera was put away, and four excruciating days of frantic
research, had lead them here, following the faint thread of a small sample
of scrap Gundanium that had been traced to this abandoned resource satellite.
The images were in all their minds, looping over and over again like a
never-ending video, chilling them. Mechas fighting together brought back
a load of bad memories. That someone had managed to manufacture Gundams
was scarcely credible. The footage indicated a very high level of combat
ability, even though the machines had only been partially finished, plates
of Gundamium still missing from parts of the bodies.
One of the Gundams has apparently been built along the design of Sandrock,
though it's half dismantled state made it hard to be sure. The other one,
two thirds complete, had been loosely based on Deathscythe. The face plate
hadn't been mounted yet. A blank piece of steel had been bolted on to
the mecha's head as a patch to protect it during the tests.
Someone had painted a smiley face on the steel plate a fact Heero was
still at a loss to explain.
That's when Duo had gotten very mad.
Heero had pointed out that it wasn't actually Deathscythe, so he shouldn't
care, and anyway decorating a Gundam with a smiley face was something
he'd think Duo would be the first to think of.
That's when Duo had gotten very mad at him.
Heero was at a loss to explain that as well.
Quatre had tried to explain it to him and given up after three words-
"Quatre?" Heero looked around. Trowa had already noticed the absence of
their colleague and was moving quickly towards the far wall. Quatre was
off to one side, near the open door leading to the cargo bay's control
room. As they approached, Heero realised Quatre looked completely bemused.
Heero was surprised. It wasn't like Quatre to stray off without backup.
Even if he spent most of his time running WEI now, he still kept himself
in shape and ready to intervene if peace were threatened, as he had previously.
In the face of this danger he'd hung up his suit, put away his pen and
strapped on his gun (with maybe a bit more enthusiasm than his board of
advisers would have liked).
Trowa reached Quatre's side. Even from the distance separating them, Heero
heard the tall Preventer mutter: "Interesting..."
"Trowa." Quatre said, in a normal tone of voice that sounded much too
loud for the shadow-haunted satellite. "Sometimes your laconic attitude
is a bit..." Quatre made a gesture of aggravation, then shook his head
abruptly and turned with a strange smile toward the other three. "You're
not going to believe this."
He was right.
They'd found the Gundams.
All ten inches of them.
Duo was the first to break the new silence a very different type of
silence than the previous one.
He had to hang on to the door jamb to avoid drifting through the room,
Heero scowled at him, then at the small figures sitting like dolls on
a complex control grid that had apparently been cobbled together from
the remains of the bay's consoles. They were exactly as they'd been in
the video - and now that he thought of it, the angle from that footage
had been odd and had given very little indication of size, they'd just
Since the test, the Sandrock-like model had gained a few extra panels
made of Trowa's detector confirmed it Gundanium. There was also -
Heero started to scowl - a half-built model of the original Wing. Two
partially complete ionic wings were lying on the workbench. Apparently
the mechanic had thought it a bit sad to leave Wing wingless in the meantime.
Cardboard cut-outs with a scrawl representing wings had been added to
the figure. It might have been an attempt at angel wings. The draughtsmanship
had not kept pace with the mechanical aptitude, though, and the wings
looked like something that belonged to a chicken. Possibly a roasted one.
Duo, who had drifted nearer as he tried to hold in his chuckles, took
one look at 'Wing', a second look at Heero's face, and had to go and grab
the door jamb again.
"This doesn't make any sense." Heero snapped, unable to keep to a discreet
whisper in the circumstances.
Quatre just smiled gently, his eyes unfocused. Then he snapped to attention.
Trowa glanced up from his crouch, one hand extended towards the Deathscythe
Trowa stared at him, then at the Gundams. "But...they're perfect. I can
see the mechanisms through some of these missing panels. They're amazing.
We can't just leave them here."
"That's hardly the problem!" Heero snapped before Quatre could object
again. "If someone could do this, they could build real ones! We need
to find out-"
"We can search the satellite but I think their owner abandoned them."
Quatre said quickly, interrupting him with the assured voice he used when
he didn't expect to be argued with. "It's no big deal."
"No big deal?!" Heero barked. Duo, who'd gotten himself back under control,
started laughing again at the look on his face.
"The plans of some of our Gundams have been circulating out in cyberspace
for awhile, Heero, you know that as well as I do." Quatre said reasonably.
"They've even gained some fandom I understand. We've never bothered about
it before because it would be nearly impossible to stop, not without means
of repression we wouldn't have the right to use."
"What was really worrying us in this instance was that we thought someone
had gotten hold of large quantities of Gundanium despite our restrictions."
Trowa added quietly. He was still crouching by the figures, eyes going
over them like precision instruments and with maybe a touch of longing.
"But these could have been built from scraps, and they're well within
the legal limit allowed."
"Hey, maybe they were built from scraps from our Gundams." Duo said a
bit wistfully, laughter finally subdued. He walked over to Trowa and leaned
over his shoulder. "Man, they really are perfect. Except for- well no,
I'll even forgive the smiley I guess." He chuckled softly as he looked
at Deathscythe II grinning back at him.
Heero snarled and turned for moral support. To discover an empty space
where he expected to find it.
"If you're looking for Wufei," Duo drawled without even looking around,
"he left ten seconds after we entered the room, muttering something about
a huge waste of time. He didn't look any happier than you do."
"Well...sweep and check?" Trowa asked, straightening reluctantly, glancing
at Quatre and then resting his eyes on Heero.
The later hesitated, then scowled. "Thorough search. Duo and I will hack
into whatever's left of the mainframe, make sure nothing worse is up.
Trowa, check out any traces you find. Quatre, take those with you and
"We leave them here." Quatre said firmly.
"They're evidence!" Heero snapped.
"Evidence of what?" Sandrock's ex-pilot was looking at the smaller version
with a gentle smile. "The quantities of Gundanium are minute, you can't
consider these weapons because at that size the thermal beams will be
no more dangerous than a kitchen knife...it's not a crime, Heero."
"It should be!" Heero barked, then flushed as Duo collapsed, chortling,
against his shoulder.
"Oh man...oh...C'mon, Heero, loosen up..." He finally gasped.
"Easy for you to say. What are we going to report to - Hey!"
Duo had spun him around by the shoulders - in the low gravity they turned
a few times together as if waltzing - and was looking earnestly into his
eyes with a manic grin.
"Heero, please, please, if you're my friend, please let me be the one
to tell Une."
"Please! I'll- I'll clean the whole apartment for a week!"
"Two weeks! Please?"
"If you insist." Heero muttered, looking completely bemused. He protested
weakly as Duo shoved off from the floor, hurling himself towards the door
while dragging Wing's ex-pilot (the big Wing, not the little one) towards
"Come on then! Hurry guys! We'll go hack the 'frame, and you two check
for whatever, toy trucks or somewhat. Meet back in the shuttle in an hour
and if anyone lets this leak to Une over the radio I'll remind him why
they call me Shinigami!"
Quatre and Trowa followed Duo and a complaining Heero, leaving the new
wave of Gundams behind them.
A small ventilation panel in the ceiling swung open in a graceful arch
that only low gravity could allow.
A laptop stuck its head prudently down from the gap in the ceiling.
It was followed by a pair of very big eyes with a mop of red hair twisted
every which way by movement and a low gravity.
A slim young body fell down from the ventilation duct, turned in mid air
and landed slowly in a sitting position next to the workbench, laptop
already flipped open and booting up.
As an afterthought, the big eyes glanced up at the shaft, in time to see
a dog, a short-legged corgi, tumble down in slow motion.
"Well I still think I should do it." The figure said abruptly.
"I could." The voice was high-pitched and enthusiastic. "I was just about
to attach the wings and they barged in. Not nice. But no touching either.
So maybe I won't. Shall I? What do you think."
By this time the corgi had landed with surprising dignity for such a small
mutt. It looked back at the red-head - the slim, wiry body could have
belonged to a boy or a girl.
"Oh very well. I won't reverse the toilet's waste containement unit on
their shuttle." The red-head sighed, making a huge stretching gesture
and speaking in a high-pitched tone that was half-way between excited
and disappointed. "It would have been fun though. I hacked into their
- did I tell you I hacked into their onboard camera? I did. I did hack
into their onboard camera. You sure I can't- oh okay. Because they didn't
The red-head folded herself - on the balance of probability it was likely
to be a young girl - into a pretzel wedged half-way between the side of
the workbench slash Gundam Remote Control Centre (or GRCC for short),
and the wall, the laptop jammed onto her lap at an impossible angle, and
started typing, making a noise like a sudden hailstorm in the silence
of the satellite.
The corgi settled itself nearby philosophically, drifting three times
on its axis of rotation before landing down on the ground for a nap.
The red-head spared one last glance at the door before continuing with
"At least you liked them. I guess you guys are okay. Okay. You can. Right?"
She turned to the dog. "We'll let them come again if they want to."
The dog looked up soulfully before closing his eyes again.
"You're right." She said firmly. She lifted her head towards the door
again. "Like the dog says - next time- " a glare at the door " - bring
your own Gundams!"
- Owari -
[back to Maldoror's fic]