Hi! This is
I believe, my first post to this ML, and it had to be cross post at that
-- my apologies! Anyway, here it is: a 1+2 I wrote as a gift to
Asuka, a writer/artist I admire beaucoup. Here it is:
Disclaimer: I do not own GW, do not make a profit, etc.
I leaned back against the doorframe as I watched J get ready for the meeting
he was set to attend that night. The scientist tied his tie precisely,
watching himself in the mirror to ensure the knot was symmetrical.
"Are you sure you don't want to come, Heero? The speaker will be good,
one of your lecturers at the Institute, I believe."
"Then I guess I'll see him there," I said.
"I wish I knew what's gotten into you, I really do. This disaffection
towards life is really most unbecoming. Especially considering you're
lucky to have a life at all," J said, not even bothering to look up.
That irked me.
"This has got to stop. Come here, Heero." J put down his tie. I obeyed
reluctantly. "Take your shirt off."
Not this again. I took my time with the buttons, undoing each as slowly
as I dared with J standing over me, drumming his fingers impatiently.
"There," he said. "Look in the mirror. Tell me, what do you see?"
I stared silently at my reflection. A pale boy stared back, with an expression
even I had to admit was pretty emotionless. Shoulders up, he looked like
any other human. Below that, however . . . my wiring was evident under
my thin skin. Over my left lung was embedded the control panel that monitored
my vital functions, the little green light that indicated everything was
functioning fine flickering merrily away. My left arm . . . just below
the elbow skin pared away to reveal metal, the hooked arm J had installed
to allow me quicker data processing and manipulation, further dispelled
any notions that I was a normal human -- and put into question
the fact that I was human at all.
"A miracle of science," J intoned over my shoulder. "The wreck that killed
your parents -- and would have killed you to if it hadn't been
for me -- science turning a tragedy into a triumph! They said it
could never be done, you know. They said that you would not be able to
survive, that it was impossible to fit a human entirely into a robotic
body. I proved them wrong! Look at you! Greater than average IQ, incredibly
fast programming and processing speed, a brain with the memory twice that
of a normal computers and surpassing in accuracy that of any human --
not only that, you've been offered a place at the Kushrenada Institute.
Just think of the opportunities awaiting you there!" J handed me back
this shirt. "You're very lucky indeed to be in the position you're in.
We'll have no more of this moping around. I expect you to be in a much
better mood when I return from this meeting."
I did my own shirt up silently. J was right . . . but he shouldn't expect
me to worship him. True, without him, I probably wouldn't exist, but was
that so great a loss?
For the scientific community, undoubtedly. But would anyone mind the fact
that I, Heero Yuy, was gone?
Only Quatre, probably.
As if reading my mind, J said, "Why don't you phone Quatre? He always
puts you in a better mood. And make sure you recharge yourself." I didn't
say goodbye to him, I just left the room, going into the room assigned
to me to begin the lengthy process of charging my main internal battery.
It wasn't difficult or anything, just something that needed to be done
periodically. It took a couple of hours or so, which is why I usually
put it off. Not that I had things to do or anything, I just hated being
tied to one place for even an hour. It made me feel like the machine I
I opened the little control box on my chest and found the socket for the
recharging plug to go to. I grabbed the handset for the vidphone and dialled
"Hello. You have reached one of the Winner family's residences. This is
Rashid speaking, how may I help?"
"Heero Yuy," I said. "I'd like to speak to Quatre."
"Of course, Mr Yuy. One moment please while I put you through to Master
I plugged myself in while I waited.
"Quatre," I said.
"Oh, hi Heero. How are you?"
I looked at him.
He blinked back. "You only ever phone me if J tells you to or if you're
recharging," he said. "So which is it?"
"Both of the above."
He sighed. "You really do know how to boost someone's self esteem."
"Why do you need your self esteem boosted?" I asked.
"I didn't mean it like that. You take things so literally."
"It's how I was programmed."
"Oh," Quatre said. "So J's trying to tell you you're his machine again?"
"Hn?" I said.
"You always get snitty like this when he does. Ignore him. You're you.
People aren't ready to see that yet -- they're so used to thinking
of cyborgs as robotic servants that they don't want to accept that a human
one can exist."
"Hn." I said. "Did your father buy you lessons in knowing how to say the
right thing or did that come naturally?"
Quatre laughed and we discussed the Institute. Like me, Quatre was enrolled.
With a rich father and a generous IQ, it would have been more surprising
if he hadn't been accepted. However, while he was enthusiastic about it,
I was less than impressed.
"But the courses offered there are the best in the world. You'll enjoy
that. You were complaining at how basic the courses offered at our university
were -- "
"Basic is not the word. Prehistoric is more accurate."
" -- so you should be looking forward to these."
"I know. It's just . . . this is what I've been doing all my life. I want
to escape and explore . . . if even for a little while."
"Where would you go?" Quatre asked. "There's nothing out there."
I nodded glumly. All over the world it was the same. Mammoth cities, the
skyscrapers raising high above the smog line, all interconnected like
some sort of circular feed pattern. Seeing the same people every day,
or at least variations on them. It was funny. Above a certain wealth marker,
every seemed to act and think alike. Quatre had been a pleasant exception.
As had Wufei -- although I'd only really met him briefly,
last week at one of J's parties. He'd intended to give me a vidphone number
but we'd been separated by one of J's friends wishing to talk to me.
"That reminds me," I said. "Did you ever manage to catch up with Wufei?"
Quatre frowned. "I did a person search on my family's databanks," he said,
referring to the Winner family's record. This record was notorious for
holding any information the Winner family collected in the conduct of
business, or that they considered pertinent to it -- it was now
the largest and most complete of its kind, and guarded zealously. Quatre
and I had tried to hack into it when we were younger and failed --
the security was that good. And rightly so -- apparently governments
asked the Winners for advice and information on things. "And I think I
found the Chang Wufei you mean. Hang on a second -- " he leaned
off screen for a few minutes, then pushed the vidphone around. "That him?"
"That's Wufei," I said, pleased.
"Well, there's a problem. He's a member of the Chang family, our age,
heir to his family's fortune, like me, but little's known about him, due
mainly to the fact that he keeps to himself, is arrogant and ran away
I choked. "What?
"He's run away from home. No one's been able to find him -- his
family have almost given up looking."
"But that's -- " I blinked. "When I met him a week ago, he didn't
seem like the sort of person who would run away from home."
"Well, he's been gone over a year." Quatre frowned. "My family should
be more interested in this . . . if you've encountered him, perhaps other
people have? I'm going to do a cross-index search of lists of dinner party
attendance and tutorials, and can you think of anything else? Perhaps
medical records -- " Quatre turned back to his computer. "I'll
call you back."
"Sure," I said, my mind already on other things.
Wufei -- gone, just like that. He left everything.
I envied him his freedom, even as I admired his courage. Could I take
No -- I was too well known. Among the upper echelons of society
I had too few friends and too little resources to find a hiding place.
The only paths open to me were as J's perfect machine, the great scientific
triumph, or . . .
I looked out at the balcony beyond the window. In my mind I was looking
over the railing into the depths below.
Our city was built over the aging corpse of previous cities, over their
pollution, their wrecks. As our pollution and needs caught up with us,
we built higher, reinforcing our constructions with steel supports that
made pathways between the buildings. Light glimmered down below through
the cracks in our structures. When I was younger I used to peer over the
balcony down below and try to imagine living in those structures like
the cast offs of our society did. Sometimes I saw people down below. Once
I had a conversation with some kids who'd climbed up the metal supports
to see the sky. They asked me to drop them some food and wanted to know
if I'd seen the moon. After noticing what J termed my 'unhealthy obsession'
with the downside of the city, the balcony had been fitted with an advanced
lock. I'd given up trying to pick it long since.
I sighed as I stared at the lock. I'd long since given up thoughts of
living in the dark. The balcony held a different sort of fascination for
me now. Imagine the feeling of freedom of standing on the edge and jumping
and of ending it all . . . for a few moments flying and then, nothing
. . . nothing.
Anything was better than the life J had planned out for me.
My eyes wandered over the balcony again as I pondered marching up to J
and telling him I was handing in my resignation. I smirked at the thought.
Amusing, yes, but it probably would have no effect -- I blinked.
I rubbed at my eyes then opened them, and blinked again. It looked, to
all appearances, like a hand had just grasped the railing. It was followed
As I stared at this unprecedented development, the thought crossed my
mind that I should probably tell someone. I didn't. I sat on the bed and
watched as the two hands were followed by a body, and then as the body
swung itself over the railing and landed, rather clumsily on the balcony.
He stood, rubbing his backside, and I saw to my astonishment that he was
about my age, of a skinny build. His clothes were battered, and unlike
anything I'd seen upside, a black singlet, and trousers that appeared
to be made out of pockets. His hair -- he had so much of it --
was in a plait, and his hands were covered to his wrists in gloves resembling
those we'd worn during rock climbing simulations in gym class. My inventory
took seconds as he moved again, heading over to examine the lock on the
It was a shame, I reflected, that he wouldn't be able to open it. I had
a feeling he would have been fascinating to talk to -- From one
of his many pockets he pulled out a strange looking data pad. He attached
it to the lock's drive, and stepped back, drumming his fingers impatiently.
After a moment there was a bright flash. The lock clicked and then fell
And then simply he was in my room.