Episode 1: Six Young Warriors
With high expectations, human beings leave earth to begin new lives in space colonies. But the United Earthsphere Alliance gains great military power and soon seizes control of one colony after another in the name of “justice and peace.” The year is After Colony 195. The Earthsphere is spiraling into chaos as the colonial revolutionary group White Fang clashes with the Alliance’s space forces. White Fang has created a plan with which they hope to deliver the deathblow to the Alliance—Operation: Meteor.
In the L5 LaGrange point, at colony A0206, Wufei Chang stood before the leaders of his clan and tried his best to control the volume of his voice. And failed.
“You’re dropping this colony onto earth? You’re nuts! I will be piloting Shenlong to get rid of the evils of the universe!”
“The Alliance has already decided to dispose of this colony,” replied the leader of the clan, Master Long.
“Rather than watch as it’s destroyed, it’d be more worthwhile to go ahead with Operation: Meteor,” replied one of the other heads.
“All we have to do is defeat the enemies that must be defeated,” Wufei shot back, but he could see that his pleas were falling on deaf ears. He couldn’t understand why they were doing this. How could they think that sacrificing all the thousands and thousands of lives aboard the colony could possibly lead to peace!
He turned to see his young wife Meilan, who was fifteen years old as he was. She had spoken to him but was glaring at the clan heads.
“We should just go. We’re not going to convince them.”
Wufei was about to argue back but Master Long beat him to the punch.
“Wufei! Go to Master O and the Shenlong and prepare! We have decided our course of action and it is you’re duty to carry it out.”
No arguing there. Wufei shot one more dirty look at them and he and Meilan turned their backs and left. This was a major breach of protocol; you ALWAYS bowed to the elders when you left their presence. It was an indication of how frustrated they were.
“This is insane! There must be something that we can do,” Meilan said angrily. Wufei snorted as he threw one last look back at the receding Hall of Elders.
“They’ve made up their minds,” he said bitterly.
“Perhaps you could take Shenlong and—“
“Unthinkable. Master O would certainly have some way to stop me should such a thing happen. I will swallow my pride and carry out the will of the Elders,” he said, the bitterness in his voice growing.
“Even though that means playing party to the murder of billions of innocent people?” asked Meilan, staring straight at him.
“Yes,” said Wufei, without emotion.
What the two of them did not see as they left the Elders’ Hall was a pair of men in dark suits come out from behind a partially concealed door in the back of the room. One of them nodded at Master Long.
“You’re doing well. The Barton Foundation appreciates your cooperation.
The hangar was dark and Duo Maxwell preferred it that way. Dark for dark business. He took the last of the charges and placed it carefully, drawing a hand across his brow as he finished. He straightened and grinned at his own handiwork and then hopped down from the massive, humanoid form he had been standing on. Retreating into a side door, he reached into his shirt and pulled out a small cylinder capped with a red button on one end. He pulled and twisted the opposite end of the device and then placed his thumb on the button. Sighing, he glanced back at the giant lying prone just a few meters away from him.
“So this is how everything ends huh?” he asked to no one in particular. Without another moment’s hesitation, he pushed the button. Nothing happened. He tried again, then twice more but still nothing.
“What the heck? Why won’t it work?” he growled softly and then peered back into the hangar. “What did I do wrong?”
“Duo!” called a voice from the shadowy recesses of the unlit corridor. Duo whipped around to see who had called to him and let out a startled gasp. The man who stood before him, partially in shadow was old, his hair iron grey and cut into a preposterous bowl shape. He had a long, beaked nose, sharp cheekbones and chin, glittering dark eyes, a razor straight mustache the same color as his hair and a wicked looking scar along his left cheekbone. He held his clenched fist in front of him and slowly opened it. With a metallic tinkling, the detonator pins from Duo’s explosives clatter to the ground.
“Deathscythe is an excellent piece of art. Try to think of better way to use it than simply destroying it,” said Professor G.
“If you think I’m going to let my buddy here be used as a tool for murder…” Duo said and then let out a startled yelp when the Professor reached into Duo’s shirt and pulled out a pistol.
“Hmm, I see you were also planning to kill me as well.”
“I was going to kill everyone here including myself. If it meant peace for the colonies, I’d be the God of Death any day.”
“If you’re prepared to go that far Duo, try and outwit me.”
The Professor put a fatherly hand on Duo’s shoulder and leaned close so that his voice could be heard only by Duo.
“Duo, why don’t you steal Deathscythe?”
“What are you--“ Duo began but the Professor cut him off.
“Take it to Earth now. Just ignore Operation: Meteor,” the Professor said, handing Duo his gun back and starting to walk back down the shadowy hallway.
“There’s a man called Howard on the Pacific Ocean,” he said, his voice echoing slightly as he faded back into darkness, “You can rely on him. Of course go as the God of Death.”
Duo stared after the Professor for a moment, perplexed then began to grin.
“The God of Death huh?” he said to no one in particular, twirling his gun like a cowboy, “Well, it’s better than being the hero of a massacre.”
The young man placed the helmet on his head and secured it to the normal suit’s collar with a snap. He checked himself over and nodded once in satisfaction. It had only taken him two minutes to put the ensemble on, a personal best. Without further inspection he left the locker room, walked down a corridor and entered a large enclosed hangar. In the center a large, graceful, winged ship dangled from several holding arms. At the end of the ramp leading to the ship’s cockpit was a man dressed in a white lab coat and rumpled clothes. What was most noticeable about this scientist’s appearance were the mechanical aspects. He wore vision-enhancing lenses over his eyes, his right hand had been replaced with a three-fingered prosthetic and metal braces encased his legs. His long, white-gray hair was swept behind him with a noticeable widow’s peak on his forehead and his large grey mustache drooped artfully either side of his mouth. The scientist grinned as he saw the young man approach.
“Ah there you are! I was beginning to think that you weren’t coming,” he chuckled.
“Is the Wing ready for launch Doctor J?” the boy asked, completely missing the little joke. Doctor J sighed and motioned for the boy to climb up into the cockpit, which he did, expertly strapping himself in and started to run pre-launch checks. Doctor J gazed up at this boy. He was once a very kind-hearted young man, he thought, remembering a mission gone awry and a dead puppy.
“Operation: Meteor is about to commence. Before we send you out, we need to think of a codename for you,” said J. The boy merely looked at him, it wasn’t his job to come up with names.
“Let’s use the name of the late leader of the colonies.”
“Roger that,” replied the boy, not caring one whit. He wouldn’t have minded if the codename had been something like John Smith or just plain ridiculous like Lockon Stratos. He was here to perform his mission and that was all he really needed to worry about.
“Very well then… Heero Yuy it is. Now Heero, I have trained you to be the most perfect soldier we have for this mission of piloting the Wing. But as a soldier you must also know when to creatively interpret your orders to get the mission done.
“What do you mean?” asked Heero, somewhat confused as to what his mentor meant,
“I mean that you have choices as to how to best carry out Operation: Meteor as a soldier. You can carry out the plan as it stands, you can try to alter the plan so that we have a more favorable outcome or you could just ignore it all together. Those are your choices Heero.” Heero was confused. Why would he not carry out the plan? Operation: Meteor was what the White Fang had been working towards for all these years.
“I’m not sure what you mean Doctor,” he replied neutrally.
“Think of it this way Heero. If Operation: Meteor is successful, there will be a very large amount of blood on yours and my hands. How much blood is already on your hands and how much more do you want add?” That statement jolted painful memories for Heero, memories of an explosion, a little girl and her dog and death. He shut them out with a slight wince; he couldn’t afford to have distractions anymore. There was only the mission.
“Ready for launch,” he replied tonelessly. Doctor J sighed again and punched the button on the ramp’s console that retracted the ramp away from the Wing.
“Good luck Heero Yuy,” he said, a trace of mournfulness in his voice as the Wing’s hatch sealed itself.
I guess this makes me a mad scientist after all, Doctor J thought to himself with dark humor. Like Frankenstein, I have created a monster and heaven help those poor souls that get in his way.
The young blond-haired man stared back at his mentor, shock evident in his eyes.
“Yes, that capability has been installed in Sandrock. You weren’t supposed to know about it ‘till you needed it but I’m also not surprised you found out either,” replied the boy’s mentor. He was somewhat overweight with large puffy cheeks, a receding hairline, small, watery eyes and a violently straight mustache that stuck out straight at each end. The dark hair that he had left, curled to each side at the back of his head. He was smiling, widely and genuinely. This man’s name was Instructor H.
“Is it for confidentiality protection?” asked the boy.
“No, that’s not the reason. It’s expected that anyone possessing great power should be prepared to sacrifice themselves if necessary.”
“I… I still don’t understand?” replied the boy, uncertainty reflected in his eyes. Instructor H chuckled slightly.
“That’s fine, you don’t have to…” He was interrupted as the computer screen on the panel they were standing next to lit up, lines over information rolling by, headed by the words Code M.
“Is that an order from the Organization?” asked the boy, moving to get a closer look at the screen but the Instructor blocked him.
“Forget this thing,” he said and to they boy’s astonishment, he smashed the screen in and yanked out the microphone assembly next to it. Still holding the remnants in his hand, he turned and smiled with fatherly pride at the boy.
“Quatre my boy, fight as your heart tells you too. And use that self-detonate only when you feel you have too.”
Quatre Rababa Winner, heir to the Winner family of the L4 colonies nodded once to his mentor and walked out of the door of the control room. He jumped over the catwalk attached to the room and floated in the low gravity towards a large, ominous form standing upright against the wall. Instructor H watched him go with a noticeable lack of his previous good cheer.
I can’t take away his kindness and sincerity. Though… this may end up being a crueler destiny for him than Operation: Meteor.
In the shadowed recesses of the secret hangar on colony L3X18999, Trowa Barton, a tall, muscular young man with a square-jaw, narrow eyes and thick brown hair, glared at the man across from him. The man was much older than Trowa, slightly taller, with a wild mane of gray hair swept back along his skull. He was actually fairly ordinary looking except for a prosthetic nose, fastened to his face by wires that circled behind his ears. He was dressed in blue pants and a blue jacket that fastened off to the side.
“What is this?” Trowa demanded of the man, clutching a roll of papers in his hand, “Why would you want to limit all of our attacks to OZ?!”
The man, Doktor S by name, straightened, clasping his hands behind his back.
“Trowa if we go through with Operation: Meteor as planned then two billion people will die. Don’t you think that’s going much too far for revenge for President Yuy?” replied Doktor S calmly in his nasally voice. Trowa, for his part, looked incredulous.
“The purpose of this plan is not revenge!” he yelled, “The purpose of the plan is for the colonies to conquer Earth for the awakening of a new age of mankind!”
“I see,” replied the Doktor icily, “That certainly sounds like something that Dekim of the Barton Foundation would say.”
“You have something against that huh?” replied Trowa in a low dangerous tone, “You’re jealous that my father and I and the members of the Foundation will rule the Earthsphere!” With a snarl, Trowa angrily brushed past Doktor S and his assistant.
“Trowa, where are you going?” asked the Doktor, already suspecting the answer in his mind.
“I’m telling this to my father! Just watch me, I’ll complete Operation: Meteor, even if I must do so by myself!” It was the last thing that Trowa Barton said in this life. A gunshot, canon-like thanks to the hangar’s echoes, thundered forth from the 9mm pistol that the assistant had pulled from behind his jacket. The bullet struck Trowa squarely in the left side of his back. The man collapsed to the floor. He had just enough life left in him to turn his head to the side and try to glare at the two, his last breath gurgled from between his lips and then he was gone. Doktor S sighed and stared ruefully at Trowa’s lifeless body.
“Now you’ve done it,” he said.
“I’m sorry,” replied the assistant, “but I have a family on Earth and I couldn’t just…” there was a rattle from behind some barrels off to the side of the giant humanoid machine that cut off the assistant in mid-sentence. He instantly whipped his gun up and pointed it at the source of the noise.
“Who’s there?!” he called, “Show yourself!”
To both the assistant’s and Doktor S’s surprise a young man, younger than Trowa stepped out from behind the barrels. He was tall and thin for a boy his age with short brown hair except for his bangs, which were long and swept to the side, partially covering one bright green eye. He was dressed in the orange and white-striped jumpsuits of the workers of this secret project.
“Who are you?” asked Doktor S vaguely recalling that he had seen the boy before.
“I have no name. If you must call me something, call me No-Name,” answered the boy in calm, strong voice. Doktor S smiled in response. Yes, he knew this mechanic, the young, quiet boy who had helped him apply the magnetic coatings to the drive systems.
“Were you spying on us?” demanded the assistant, pointing his gun shakily at No-Name.
“I was not. I’ll understand if you still want to kill me but I warn you, I might retaliate,” said the boy, a dangerous glint in his eye. Doktor S put his hand on the Assistant’s hands, which were clutching the gun vigorously.
“No, there’s been enough killing. It’s no use trying to hide the facts now. Trowa’s death will be discovered eventually and Operation: Meteor will proceed as planned.”
“But what if he never died?” asked No-Name. Doktor S and the assistant looked at him quizzically.
“I’ve been feeling insecure and foolish without a name, I wouldn’t mind taking his name,” said No-Name, gesturing casually at Trowa’s body. Doktor S, genius that he was, caught on to what the boy was getting at.
“Are you saying that you will pilot this Heavyarms suit?” asked the Doktor.
“Yes, as I’ve been working on the Heavyarms I’ve become quite fond of it.” No-Name then stared straight into Doktor S’s eyes. “I don’t like that it is to be used as a tool for slaughter.” The Doktor held the boy’s gaze for a moment, then smiled ruefully.
“Why not? As of this moment, your name is Trowa Barton. You are now in charge of Operation: Meteor.”
“I understand,” replied ‘Trowa.’
The five LaGrange points are the gravitationally stable orbits between the Earth and the moon where humanity had built the space colonies. Now, from colonies located in L1, L2, L3, and L4 large space capsules were launched and spiraled towards the L5 point, particularly the L5 colony A0206. On the outer edge of the colony a solitary mobile suit stood sentinel. It was brightly colored in white and red with blue and gold trim. The suit bore a very strong resemblance to ancient samurai armor giving it a powerful and fierce look. Inside of this suit, the Shenlong, Wufei Chang gazed at the interior screens, which showed a vista of space and the Earth, which was slowly but surely getting larger and larger. The massive space colony, one of the first of its kind and more than 150 years old, was falling. And Wufei Chang, with all the power his Shenlong commanded, was powerless to stop it.