Who Will Rule?

by Staff Writer Mia Madrigolas

Neo- Japan is defending its right to rule all space with the same

fighting fervor seen in its Gundam fighter, Domon Kasshu, during

the final matches of the 13th Tournament. "Domon Kasshu won the

Tournament. Our right to rule is clear and the fact that we are even

having this conversation right now is ridiculous." stated Neo- Japan's

spokesman.

However, not all national leaders concur. "Major Ulube from

Neo- Japan forfeited the right of his country to rule when he tried to

destroy not only our colony, but all space." said a Neo- American

statesman, who preferred to remain anonymous. "Are we really

expected to submit to a country that allowed that to happen? Our

own colony sustained considerable damage trying to prevent Ulube

from realizing his mad goal. Was that for nothing?"

"The question isn't whether or not Neo- Japan has the right to

rule space." believes the leader of Neo- Germany, Martin Agner.

"It's whether or not they can defend the title against avaricious

countries that may seek to press their advantage while Neo- Japan is

weakened."

At the moment, it doesn't look like it. Neo- Japan's colony was

ripped apart by the Dark Gundam, and is struggling to ensure its

survival. Leadership is being provided by Commissioner Karato.

The other colony nations are trying to decide what to do and

arguing among themselves. War looms over the horizon.

"I don't want war." Neo- Hungary's Gundam fighter,

Uladay Weilen, told this reporter fervently. "I am friends with some

of the Gundam fighters from other nations. I don't want a

deathmatch with them. The whole point of the Gundam Fight is to

prevent war and death. That is what we fight for."

With international politics in disarray and diplomacy breaking

down on all fronts, what will happen?

"I think it's war, chica." opined gruff Jorge Mira of Neo-

Mexico. "I'm getting as far away from it as I can. Or at least I will,

when I can think of a place unlikely to be touched by fighting."

When asked if he truly believes such a place exists, Mira

sighed. "No. Really, there is nowhere to run. The colonies were our

refuge for a while, but now the fighting is getting to them too. I

suppose there is nowhere to go, but how can we give up hope?"

How indeed.

Chibodee sighed heavily and tossed the newspaper aside. The future had

seemed full of bright possibilities in the rosy glow of Rain's rescue and the

destruction of the Dark Gundam, but not even a week later life was rapidly

clearing his vision.

'Just how the hell is the Shuffle Alliance supposed to control a war that could

destroy our world?' he wondered, reflecting on the crest on his hand. Queen of

Spades. He snorted. 'I'm about as far from a queen as you can get.'

He turned his gaze outside the kitchen window. He'd been lucky enough

that his house was one of the ones not damaged by the Dark Gundam's one

malevolent attention toward it, but others had not been so fortunate. The

general mood of the colony was either depressed or nasty, but most often angry.

'What am I supposed to do?'

*

Far, far away in another colony, Argo Gulskii was thinking the same

thing. 'Ultimately, we are fighters, not diplomats.' He allowed himself a shudder at

the thought of what would happen if Chibodee Crocket was entrusted with

talking tense nations out of going at each other's throats. 'Definitely NOT. What,

then, can we do? Anything? Is there anything that CAN be done?

'Whatever else happens, we CANNOT allow war. We have to find a way to stop

this.' the big Russian resolved. He sighed. 'I have to find a way to talk to the others.

Preferably in person.' "Natasha!" he called aloud.

*

"Sai Saici!" called Kaiyun.

"What?" returned his ward, currently hanging upside down from a tree.

"Come here!"

Sai carefully stashed his photo of Cecil in a pocket next to his heart that

he'd sewn himself (if very badly) before flipping off the tree and onto the

ground. "What is it?" he asked.

"Follow me." Kaiyun ordered, making his way into the temple.

Sai followed, noticing with approval the beautiful gifts the Emperor had

bestowed on the Shaolin monks in appreciation for Sai's dedication. He was

brought out of his reverie, however, when they met Zuisen in the comm room,

the only one in the temple reserved for contact with the outside world.

"Sit, Sai Saici." Zuisen said, not unkindly. As Sai did as ordered, Kaiyun

continued.

"We have recently had a communication from Argo Gulskii, the fighter

from Neo- Russia."

"What'd Bro say?"

"That he was concerned about the recent tensions among the colonies."

Zuisen told him. "He wants a meeting of the Shuffle Alliance, preferably

somtime this week."

"A meeting...?"

"He seems to believe that it is the duty of the Shuffle Alliance to prevent

war among the colonies." Kaiyun clarified.

"Well, what're we waiting for?!" Sai yelled, leaping to his feet. "Let's

go!"

The monks exchanged an amused, exasperated look before shrugging,

rising, and following.

*

"Miss Marie- Louise?" George called, stepping into the rose garden. He

walked over to the bench where she was sitting.

Marie- Louise turned a red rose over and over in her slim fingers.

"You're leaving." she said quietly, managing to imbue the two words with a

wealth of sadness.

"Yes." he confirmed, taking a seat next to her.

"Why are you going? WHERE are you going?"

"I am going to meet the other members of the Shuffle Alliance to discuss

what we can do to ease the tensions among the colonies and prevent war."

Marie- Louise's heart swelled at his gallantry. "Oh, George, do you really

think you can do it?"

"We have to." he said grimly. "War cannot be allowed. Thousands of

people would die..."

'And you cannot stand for that to happen again, as you watch.' Marie- Louise

thought, remembering the match in which he had won the right to be the fighter

for Neo- France.

"When will you be back?"

"I don't know." He looked into her sad eyes and took the rose from her

fingers and kissed it before returning it to her. "Enjoy the loveliness of the roses,

Miss Marie- Louise." said George de Sand, rising and tearing his eyes from hers

as he turned his back and walked away.

"Oh, I do." she whispered. "They remind me of you." She buried her

nose in the fragrant flower and tried to dam her tears.

*

Rain sighed. "Well, it'll be nice seeing everyone again, at any rate."

Domon didn't answer, just sat staring out of the porthole.

"Domon? What is it?" Rain asked, packing clothes for both of them.

He didn't answer, and Rain knew better than to press him further. It was

enough for her to be with him.

*

Well, did you like? Review review review and tell me what you didn't like, so I can correct it! And please tell me how I can make it better. Thanks to the people who answered my questions from the first time I posted. Next chapter should be up- uh- soon. I'm sorry for any mistakes I made. Please point them out to me so I won't do it twice!