Author: Merula
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is not mine.

Deliveryman + Part 8

I stared at the wall of the tiny room they had put me in, brain whirling. The Zero System. Deathscythe. Heero. The Colonies. Earth. World Nations Headquarters. I was in way over my head and I knew it.

Now, don't get me wrong. If it hadn't been for the fact that they had installed the Zero system in the new Scythe, my plan would be cut and dried. Take the suit and fight them until they hit the button, taking out as many as I could. Go out with a bang, so to speak.

But I couldn't predict what would happen when they plugged me into Zero. I hadn't done well on it last time and had done my level best to stay away from it afterwards. Sure, the others hadn't done badly on it- well, Quatre went nuts and Heero got severely psycho, but other than that they were fine. Once they got used to it and all.

Well, no. Quatre was okay. Heero got severely creepy in my humble opinion. He snapped out of it eventually once we got past the point that Zero had predicted, but up until then he was seriously scary.

What if the system really messed me up? Enough that I did follow their plan? No one would be able to stop me. There were no other gundams left. The other pilots were good, but against me and Zero in Scythe with no gundam of their own- they'd be screwed. It would take time to build anything that could take me out.

That thought reminded me of the docs. If I did go wacko, they could take me out. Granted, Scythe would still be in one piece, but that might buy the others some time.

But would they do it? Or would they just sit back and watch the rest of their experiments struggle? Just another one of their fucking tests?

Damn, damn, damn. I could try and get myself out of here and get some help- I did have my lock picks on me. But was I over-reacting? Was it just that I was scared of having Zero mess with me again?

Maybe. Maybe not. I did know that Zero made me look for my enemy. This time I knew who it was. I would more than likely start on White Dog before I tried anything else. Then I would go boom, along with anything else that was near me.

That was worth it. The chance to take them out.

I leaned back against the wall and closed my eyes. I let myself think of Heero for a while. The chances were incredibly slim that I'd see him again.

It was better this way for the both of us. I mean, if- or more likely- when he found out about the docs, he'd hate me anyway. I wished though that I had managed to tell him how I truly felt about him.

Maybe he knew anyway.

I was kept in that tiny room for two more days before Jess and Jones showed up again. After the time spent with the close-lipped guards they'd set outside the door, I was almost happy to see the idiots. I was tired of being alone with my thoughts.

Jess had his shotgun again. Maybe he slept with the damn thing, who knows? Once again, he walked behind me as Jones paced beside me chattering eagerly. Deathscythe was finished. Jones went on and on about the new modifications he had installed, the Zero system, the scythe... I admit I listened with anticipation. I was excited in a way- odd as it sounds. Hell, I had thought that when I died 'Scythe would be with me. It had hurt to destroy him. Now I had a second chance.

"We just want you to take him out for a test spin. We have some debris out around the satellite that you can practice on." Jones told me as we got closer to the hangar.

Practice on? I was almost insulted. I did not need to practice being a gundam pilot. What was wrong with these idiots? We walked into the hangar and I looked up at the completed Deathscythe.

I smiled up into that impassive face. They had done a good job. The differences were slight, the main look was the same. It was my old friend reborn. Just as I remembered him.

I was taken to the hatch and waited as they got things ready for me. "Don't forget," Jess hissed. "The self-destruct is hooked to my control board. You step out of line and it all goes boom." He poked me with the gun. I merely raised an eyebrow at him.

"I understand."

"We aren't giving you a spacesuit," Jones smiled at me. "Just in case you try something funny."

"All right." Jones unlocked my cuffs and I got into the pilot's seat. I strapped myself in and closed the hatch. I slipped the headset on with a faint shiver. It wasn't just my communications tool; it was what hooked me to Zero.

It was with the ease of long familiarity that I fired up the gundam's systems. I felt myself relax into the seat- back where I truly belonged.

"We'll be launching you out in five," Jones's voice said in my ear.

"Roger that," I replied, fingers flying over the controls, readying the systems.

"We are initiating Zero system," was his next comment and I felt the dreaded buzz start up in my ears. I tensed, but then forced myself to relax. I couldn't fight the system. If I did, I would waste time that I didn't have to waste.

"Roger," I replied, and took a deep breath.

"Two minutes."

"One minute and counting...." the countdown began and I felt like laughing.

Moments later and I was outside the satellite. My practice targets had been marked with neon green paint. All I needed to do was destroy them. Easy enough.

I pulled out the scythe and headed for the first target.

Oh yes.... this is what I loved... taking out the targets... becoming one with the machine I controlled. My amusement faded, my body reacted automatically. I could feel myself sinking into Deathscythe's systems. Futures scrolled across my sight as I targeted each enemy.

Wipe them all out.

Destroy them all.

My scythe blazed around me as I destroyed my targets. As each one blew up, I looked for another. I could hear voices in my head. So many voices. Familiar voices. But the dance of death was also familiar. Familiar and comforting. Shinigami embraced me and I danced with him. Explosions lit the blackness around us.

"No! Stop Maxwell! Not...!"

"He's attacking us!" A burst of static.

"Hit the self-destruct code!"

"It's not responding!" Frantic tones.

"It's not working? Damn you Jones!"

"Fire on him!" Bursts of light.

"Ships entering our range!"

"Identify yourself!" We danced faster.

"Preventers! Surrender at once!"

"Try the code again!"

"Get him to target the ships!" Explosions.

"That's Deathscythe!" Surprise. Shock.

"Look at him move! That's Duo!"

"My god, look what he did to the satellite!"

"Duo! Duo, can you hear me?" A familiar voice.

I stopped in mid swing, Zero's calculations sliding across my vision. Were my enemies gone? Was the dance over? No! I turned, scythe whirling. The voices continued to talk, but I ignored them, concentrating only on my enemy.

"What the hell's wrong with him?"

"What did you bastards do to him?"

"You can't stop him! He's using the Zero system! You need to surrender to us!"

"If I might point out- he's beating the shit out of your satellite. It's in your best interests to have him stop."

"Duo, can you hear me?" The question was asked in a warm tone that made me pause. I knew that voice! "Love, you have to stop."

"Heero?" The calculations had once again stopped mid-slide at the sound of his voice. My heart was pounding in my chest, I could feel the sweat sliding down my back. "Is that you?"

"It's me." He confirmed, sounding relieved. "Duo, are you all right?" The calculations started up again and I panicked.

"No! Get away! I can't stop it!" The murmur of voices in the background faded as I struggled against the system. I saw Deathscythe attack the Preventers ships. Saw the others die. Saw Heero die. NO! I shook my head to clear it.

I saw Deathscythe shot down. Saw myself die. Saw the doctors take Heero for their little game. NO!

I saw Deathscythe self-destruct. Saw the explosion take out the satellite. Saw the destruction of White Dog. Saw the doctors once more take Heero. NO!

I saw Deathscythe cease fighting. Saw White Dog aim for the Preventers ships. NO!

I would not let him die! I wouldn't leave Heero to the doctors! I wouldn't let the others die! I turned Deathscythe towards the satellite again. There was only one acceptable future here, and I launched myself towards it, scythe poised to strike.

"NO DUO!!" Was the last thing I heard.

[part 7] [part 9] [back to Merula's fic]