*The Strained Absence of Friendship.*
Disclaimer: No I don't own these awesomely cool characters, they belong to a bunch of people whose names I'd probably spell wrong. I only hope that I kept the characters as close to how they are on the show. This story takes place in AC199, by the way.
There wasn't much left to do. Considering how damaged Wing Zero was and with it's pilot in the condition he was in, there were no options left. And yet he still had no idea how he had gotten in this mess to begin with. All he had agreed to was to bring this 'crazy suit' back to the Preventer's ship. Of course on the way, there had been many obstacles: being captured, interrogated, beaten up, used as a hostage...Oh yeah the past forty-eight hours had been eventful, to say the least. But he had always looked on the bright side. Even now when things were definitely not going the way he had hoped them to, he figured someone would come, eventually. He wasn't sure how long he had been there, drifting aimlessly in space. And since most of the system wasn't working and the other half was going haywire, as always, he really couldn't contact anyone. At least the owner didn't know about what had happened to his Gundam...yet. This was definitely one for the books, no one else had managed to ever smash in the entire cockpit before. As that thought went through his mind, some of the controls fizzled. Now was the hard part, trying to stay awake and not allowing the Zero system affect his mind. It's funny how that stupid system was able to take soo much damage and still mess with a person's head. There was a pop from the radio and then static followed by an unfamiliar voice. He opened his eyes when the message started.
"Can...read...?..You...contact....immediately...Can't ...to locate." He strained to turn in the seat to get to the radio. There was a chance it was the people who had captured him and his partner before so he waited to see if it would get clearer. He tried to focus on the knobs to see if he could fix the problem. He didn't realized before that his helmet was cracked a little on the side. He fooled with the knob some and the static came in lower. Whoever was trying to call came back on.
"...Maxwe...read..important...let...know...alright...this...Pre..ters..." He hit the radio angrily. 'Come on Zero, cut me a break this time.' He thought. It was beginning to get colder now in the cockpit. The static was mostly gone now. The stranger tried again.
"If you can hear this Duo Maxwell, please contact us, th... is a Preventer's Cruiser. We can't locate....Wing Zero until...contact us first." They finished the message. He was still reluctant to answer, unsure if they were who they claimed to be. But his doubt quickly diminished when someone else came on.
"Duo, this.. Quatre. We really need...to let us know if you're okay...I know you...hear this." Quatre said. He sounded very concerned. Duo reached for the button on the radio. The more he reached, the more pain shot through his right arm. The button was barely out of his reach.
On the other side, Quatre waited nervously, listening to the static that came over the radio. He bit his bottom lip while they waited. The other two Preventer's there were ready to give up when the static broke quickly but then came back. There were a couple more breaks in it before they got an answer. Quatre immediately recognized Duo's voice, however he didn't sound as cheerful as usual.
"Qu...Quatre?" Was all he could managed out. "Yeah we're here." Quatre answered, referring to the others. "Are you hurt?" He asked, he figured it was a stupid question but it was buying them time to trace Wing Zero's faint signal.
"Yeah,.. this definitely...isn't good. " Duo answered. One of the other Preventer's looked over at Quatre and nodded.
"Okay we've found out where you are. I'm not sure how long it's gonna take but we'll hurry." Quatre assured Duo.
"And they say..law enforcement isn't dependable." Duo joked. Quatre just shook his head and went back to his seat as the engines picked up speed. They headed in the direction the signal had come from. No one on board noticed the tapping sound over the radio. Someone was listening in on their conversation. Quatre started to relax now that they had located Wing Zero. When he had heard from Hilde what had happened on the way to the Preventer's ship, he knew it was just a matter of time before someone else would find Wing Zero. What had happened was still unclear. Trowa had been injured, just as Duo but he was unconscious at the time that they had escape. Hilde had taken one of the smaller shuttles while Duo piloted Wing Zero. She wasn't too crazy about that idea, she knew what the Zero system was capable of. However they were out of options at that point. It had worked, except when the enemy managed to slam a majority of their mobile dolls into Wing Zero, wrecking most of the cockpit from the outside. The engines were trying to come back on but it didn't have enough fuel left to power them. Apparently the enemy had drained most of the fuel before they escaped. Duo was out of ideas to get it up and running. On occasion some warning would come up on one of the screens, that hadn't been shattered yet. They were usually obvious warnings like: heating system failure, self-detonation mode malfunctions, engine problems. Basically things that couldn't be helped anyway. At that point, he was just relieved that he had a spacesuit on otherwise this would be an even worse situation then it was now. He shifted in the seat trying to get as comfortable as possible. He found it harder to stay awake now. Exhaustion finally set in. He didn't even notice the shuttle that was coming closer to his location.
(A couple hours later)
The Preventer's cruiser was coming closer to the area located on their screens. At this point Quatre was up in the front again leaning over the radar. It hadn't picked up anything that was big enough to be Wing Zero, yet.
"Hey you don't think that that's..." The other Preventer's voice trailed off. Quatre looked up to see a large amount of debris floating around outside the shuttle. He quickly went to the back and grabbed his helmet off his seat. He left the shuttle to get a better look at what was out there. He hoped his suspicions weren't correct but from the look of things, they were. Most of the debris was Gundanium alloy. There was a larger piece farther away from him that resembled the top half of Wing Zero.
"No, how could this happen." He said to himself. He looked around for Duo but didn't see any trace of him. There was something else out there that wasn't made of any type of metal. He went over to it. It was a Preventer's jacket identical to his own. In the same area with the jacket were parts that he recognized as being the interior of the cockpit. Quatre hurried back to the shuttle, he couldn't stand to be out there anymore. Once he was back inside the shuttle, he took off his helmet and collapsed in his seat, trying to figure out how this happened. All the facts went through his mind but he couldn't except them. One of the other Preventers came back to him and waited for instructions. Quatre just sat there starring at nothing in particular in front of him. Finally the other Preventer spoke up.
"Do you want us to go out and do a more thorough search of the area?" He asked trying to get Quatre's attention. Quatre just nodded, he figured that he wasn't about to give up so easily. The Preventer headed back to the front and later emerged with the co-pilot. They headed out to continue the search and weren't sure how long they were going to be out there. Quatre remained where he was, still in shock.
"I can't believe this is happening. I just talked to him. How am I going to be able to tell them about this?" He said in a low voice, to himself. The reality of the situation was hard enough for him to acknowledge so the thought of having to tell the others seemed impossible. Several hours later the other two members of his group came in. He hadn't noticed how long they were gone. One of them showed him the jacket.
"I'm sorry but this was all that we could find." The one explained to Quatre as he handed it to him. First Trowa and now this, Quatre thought to himself as he held the jacket.
"Get whatever's left of the Wing Zero and store it in the back. We can't leave it out there." He decided. They went back out to finish the job. On their way to the Preventer's ship, Quatre filled out his report. Every word he wrote was hard but he did it as best he could.
"How can I tell them this?" He asked himself again. He still had no answers and with that, there wasn't much comfort.