I don't own Shin Kidousenki Gundam Wing, but I do own Duo Maxwell. I can say that with gusto because he's not in this fic therefore I can't be sued. NYYAAAA NYAAAAA!!! SWALLOW THAT YOU BLOOD-SUCKING LAWYERS! ::ducks a sudden onslaught of legal books and subpoenas:: Err...okay... On with the story then.
Gundam Wing is all about characters and politics, and politics is all about great games and great plans. The 5 scientists have their conspiracy. Treize has his plots. Lady Une has her lies. Dorothy has her games. Everyone wants to see their own scheme play out. This story is about Noin, and *her* great plan, and about Relena, who becomes its central player.
SEMI-OFF-TOPIC NOTE: In this Noin and Zechs are both 23, cause I think they look and act way older than nineteen. I mean, come on, why would Noin be in charge of a *training* facility for elite soldiers if she was only *nineteen*? It just plain takes more *time* than that to move up in the ranks, even for an ace pilot. And they both acted and were treated like adults, unlike Relena and the G-pilots, who were still obviously kids surviving in an adult world. That means that Zechs was ten when the Cinq kingdom fell, not six. It makes more sense—he didn't really look six in all those family paintings anyway. But all that's sort of irrelevant cause Zechs isn't in this, only Noin and Relena.
Thanks to Quistis, my very own High Priestess; Marie Allen, my Phantom-obsessed friend who loves FY's Nuriko as much as I do; and Laguna, my wacky friend who lives to embarrass himself in public. ('Q-chan' and 'Marie Allen' are both writers here!)
The dialogue from the episode is exact.
Building a Princess
"I'll be taking care of her from now on."
The soldier turned to look at me, and said, "We have special orders from Lady Une. I can't take orders from you Lieutenant."
Awfully impertinent of him, but nonetheless the correct response in his situation. I wish I could see Une's face when he reports this back to her. That bitch could do to loosen the stick up her butt.
"If you're worried about authority," I said, "these orders are from his Excellency. Are you satisfied?" Whoo-hoo, was that a whopping big lie. Hn... and to think— Une won't be able to do a thing about it either, cause if she did then she'd have to tell Treize she disobeyed his orders to spare Peacecraft.
"Yes Lieutenant," the point-man soldier said, and they immediately dropped the girl's arms. "Excuse our misunderstanding!" That's right, run along now and report to your alpha-bitch. I hope she hyperventilates on it.
I stared at the girl in front of me. So this was Relena. This was Zechs's hidden "precious thing". His last piece of innocence. I took a deep breath. Was I ready for this? God I hoped so. I hoped that she was worth it. I hoped this was a good idea. I hoped it would even work at all. Building a princess fit to change the world wasn't going to be a task for the lighthearted.
I hoped she would live up to Zechs's expectations, or I'd *never* be able to explain to him what exactly the hell I was trying to do to his sister. "You're being reckless," I commented lightly. "I wonder who your temperament takes after."
"You're part of OZ, aren't you?" she asked, her blue eyes burning into me over the barrel of the gun. They were a few shades darker than Zechs's eyes, and yet they held the same determination. Maybe she was worth all Zechs wanted for her. She was still staring at me, and I still hadn't answered. Was I a part of OZ? God that was a good question. I'd begun to wonder myself lately. But, then again, that's why I was here wasn't it? Because, if she accepted, I'd be a member in name only. That's the whole point to this introduction. Oh, she's still staring at me. Let's see, how to really make an impression? Hmm...
I lifted my pistol and shot the Order of the Zodiac emblem off the officer's cap on the sidewalk by her feet.
She looked up at me, interest overcoming the angry fear that had been there a moment before, and she lowered the gun. "So who are you?"
I walked up to face her. "I have come to help you,"—I bowed deeply at the waist, and with that single motion I knew this was something I'd be doing for a long time to come— "Miss Relena Peacecraft."
~*~ 3rd person ~*~
Relena looked at the woman in the leather seat across from her. Outside the window the scenery rolled past— mostly city streets and freeways— bright and sparkly but utterly silent through the glass. The woman looked to be in her early twenties. Short, dark blue hair partially hid a classical face composed of elegant angles made ruefully harsh by experience and character, not genetics. She carried herself like a barely restrained firecracker, ready for action at any moment. Relena thought she looked like she had a soldier's straightforward honesty.
"What's your name?" Relena asked.
"I am Lucrezia Noin, Miss Relena," She answered, and smiled. The smile changed her whole face, and suddenly the harshness disappeared and Noin became wholly beautiful. What a change it makes when people smile, Relena thought.
"And what is it, Miss Noin, that you want to talk to me about?"
The Italian woman was looking at Pagan suspiciously. "Perhaps," she said, "we might wait to talk about this privately."
"This is Pagan, my assistant and personal aide in all matters. What you tell me I'll tell him anyway."
Noin looked out the limousine's window for a moment, then turned back to Relena. Her smile was gone, replaced by a professional demeanor. "I am here to help you, Miss Relena, in a way you might not believe. Truthfully you must know that even I am not totally sure why I am doing this, but I know that if we play our hands right it can be done."
"What do you mean, *Miss* Noin?" Relena asked, her eyes narrowing. OZ officers—if that's what Noin was—did not typically go up to a person their superior had ordered them to capture and offer their assistance.
Noin's dark sapphire eyes met hers. "How much do you know of your family history, Relena?"
Relena blinked back sudden tears and stared out the window. "I found out I was adopted about three weeks ago."
Noin nodded. "What do you know of the Cinq Kingdom, and your father?" she asked.
"I know..." Relena's voice paused, as she considered the question. "I know that the Cinq Kingdom was destroyed by the Alliance when I was only two, and that my birth family was killed in the attack. I know my biological parents, the Peacecrafts, were well-known supporters of total pacifism. That is all my father could tell me before he died." Relena aimed an accusatory glare at the older woman. "He also mentioned, before he passed, that his assassins, the OZ organization, were never to be trusted."
Noin shook her head sadly. "I'm sorry for your adopted father, Miss Relena, but that's not why I'm here. There are certain things you should be aware of. The Peacecrafts were known for their power, ideals, and wisdom. The name Peacecraft still carries weight in the memories of OZ and Romafellar, and among the individual rulers of Earth. People like Marquis Wayeridge and the people at that party you livened up." Noin paused, then dropped the bombshell, "If a person of that title were to appear on the political scene, it would have drastic ramifications."
Relena gave her a sideways look. "Miss Noin, you can't actually be thinking what you are saying."
Noin's steadfast expression met Relena's with complete seriousness. "Relena, you are *the* survivor of that massacre 13 years ago. The Cinq kingdom is right now a province being temporarily controlled by the OZ military. But OZ has made its public persona as a benevolent bringer of peace and freedom, one that specifically supports those oppressed by the Earth Sphere Alliance. If the heir to the respected Cinq Kingdom should make a claim for the throne, OZ would be forced by its own words to let the country go, or risk losing all that it's worked to achieve in the eyes of the people of Earth. In fact, they would undoubtedly champion you as an example of righting the wrongs of the Alliance, whether they inwardly want to or not. You have a claim to that power Relena, if you think you can undertake it."
Relena's mouth fell open, shocked. She had never considered... she'd never thought she could take up her long-lost position. She had assumed the Cinq Kingdom was gone, permanently. Besides, it belonged to a little girl who lived in a palace a long time ago, not to Relena Darlian. And to be in charge of a *country*... "That's insane," she said. "Who would accept someone my age as their ruler. I wasn't raised to govern, and I have no political experience. No one would buy it."
"They will buy it," Noin said sharply, "if you have me there to back you up, and the direct bloodline as your proof of right. The citizens will welcome the absence of the OZ forces, even if it's brought by a teenager. As for the requirements— your adopted father was a distinguished statesman and diplomat. I know that you accompanied him on many business trips. You are intelligent and well-spoken, and your appearance is that of a dignified and charismatic young woman. If you uphold the mantle of total pacifism practiced by your predecessors, there is nothing they can do to bar you."
"I don't know how to run a country."
Lucrezia Noin smiled. "Don't worry about that. Most of the politicians necessary are already in place to deal with domestic matters. You will be the Cinq Kingdom's representative to the rest of the world, and you will have the ultimate decisions in foreign matters, and all that affects. I will be there to aid you, as well as a staff of my choosing and your assistant's approval."
"How did you know I'd want Pagan to approve?" Relena questioned, her voice wary. "You didn't think he was trustworthy before."
Noin raised an eyebrow. "I do my homework, Miss Relena. I wanted to know if you trusted him, not if I should."
Relena frowned a moment, then allowed a small grin to break through her expression. "Alright," she said. "So you are as good as you say. But I don't understand why you're doing all this. Why you want me on the Peacecraft throne; what you could get from it."
Noin sighed and leaned back against the plush leather seat. "A very dear friend of mine," she said, "has great interest in your future. I was curious about why you... interested him so much, so I did some investigating. I learned about your family, your history, and the Cinq Kingdom's current political state."
Lucrezia smiled slightly and brushed a small bit of dust from the knee of her white OZ uniform. Her eyes were far away as she spoke. "That's when I got this funny idea. One way or another my friend was going to see that you were taken care of. This crazy little idea of mine, well— call it a favor to him. You have all that's needed for a wise and just person in power, if someone were to just point you in the right direction and get you going. But— even beyond that— when you are in control of the Cinq Kingdom you'll have enormous influence. You'll be able to make a difference where others failed." Noin's gaze leveled with Relena, "I'm becoming less and less satisfied with OZ, and I want this bloodbath to end. You are my way of doing that. If you bring the idea of total pacifism to the world, then we just might be able to end it all. I suppose... I suppose you represent my chance to make sure this war ends with peace, not world domination by one party indistinguishable from another."
"That's a lot to expect from me," the younger girl said, her hand twisting a lock of dark, dusky blond hair over her shoulder. The thought of being anyone's salvation made her understandably nervous.
"Maybe, but now, after meeting you face to face, I know I'm right." Noin leaned forward, and took Relena's hand in hers, her face earnest. "You can do it, Relena. You can change the world. You have the opportunity and the strength. What's more, the idea of pacifism will do most of the work for you, without the national risk of battle on your part."
Relena looked up and her ice blue eyes were unsure. "But that's the real catch, isn't it?" she said. Noin met her gaze unwaveringly, ready to hear the girl out. "I have to become Relena Peacecraft, and I have to embrace pacifism. I don't know if pacifism can even work. It's never worked before. If people don't accept it, what then?" Relena remembered her words from just an hour ago. I'd look better soaked I the blood of OZ. If that foolhardy act was any indication, she'd be a poor person to bring the message of peace.
"But," Noin pressed, "people *will*. Think about it Relena. There's never been a chance like this in all of Earth's history. This time the world is in a position where peace can actually be achieved, completely and in every way. I want to see that happen."
Relena gave a rueful smile. "So, Noin," she said, "you're proposing that we can, between the two of us, change the world. You're saying we have a chance to make it right."
Noin's sapphire eyes burned. "Every time before in history, people who said they wanted peace had alterior motives. We don't; we couldn't pull it off if we did. But that fact is exactly why we *can* do it. Yes— we have a chance to make it right. Consider it, Relena. I know you're young, but you've got what's needed. It will take time, and perseverance, but it can be done. There's a lot we'll have to get through, and your life will even be in danger at times, but it *can* be done. The opportunity is *there*. Just think about what that could mean."
Relena leaned back against her seat and closed her eyes. This was almost too much to imagine. Was total peace possible? It was a... wondrous thought. Sure, it was something people talked about wanting, but no one ever really believed it would happen. Everyone assumed that someday... someday it would, but now? In her lifetime? It was too incredible to consider. And yet, Noin seemed sure that there was a chance. A chance for peace.
Pacifism, Relena thought. She would have to advocate the total absence of fighting in order to achieve the total peace. Total peace and pacifism were, to her thinking, essentially one and the same. But could people really stop fighting? Fighting was a part of human nature. At least, Relena had always assumed so. There were numerous reasons to start a war, the principal of those being self defense. Someone attacks you, you fight back. Survival. Freedom. But— that wouldn't be necessary if the first group didn't attack in the first place. There had to be a reason; there was always a reason behind an attack, no matter how illogical it might seem on the outside. So what was the reason behind this war?
What were the reasons civilizations always fought? Religion? No. That wasn't an issue with the people of Earth anymore. There were too many people, too many humans in the solar system to try and convert them all, and the laws in every colony and every nation forbid discrimination over personal beliefs. Land? Not a necessity. The colonies made human expansion limitless, without the need to find over territory on Earth. Greed? For what? No one had used oil deposits in over three hundred years, and unlike previous countries in history the economy of modern civilization was only made unstable by wars, not boosted by them. Nationalism? Hardly. Most cultures had melded together so thoroughly that it was hard to pinpoint any one ethnic group to any one location. And the lines dividing nations had been redrawn so many times in the years since the colonies went up that they were unrecognizable when compared to pre-AC maps.
That left only one rationale: world domination. That was what this so-called 'war' was about. OZ wanted to control the world and then to control space. That was the reason this was all happening. That was the only possible reason left for anyone to fight.
But OZ was being controlled by one man: Trieze. Relena deliberated on this, totally ignoring Noin in her concentration.
Behind Treize there was a committee. Romafellar. If Trieze was the one seeking world domination, then he was the problem. The whole of Romafellar might want it too, but Relena knew from watching her adopted father that work a committee was nothing more than a group, and a group could be convinced of anything. Trieze was the problem. If she could steal the group from under Treize, then he would be only one man, and one man cannot have a war.
Relena leaned back, sucking in a breath. Here eyes were following the road ahead of them, but her mind was somewhere else entirely. If Treize's delusions of grandeur were the driving force behind this war, then that meant peace was possible. It was almost as if the humanity was fighting now simply for the sake of tradition. There had always been wars; there always would be. But that assumption was wrong. She just had to make them see that. Humans had nothing left to go to war over, and they were finally at a moment in all of the history of the human race where they might actually have to consider that.
Relena blinked. That was it. That was the answer. She turned quickly to look at Lucrezia Noin, her pale blue eyes searching the woman's face as her mind rapidly ran through the possibility. Humans were fighting now because, even though they had nothing really to fight over, they couldn't imagine doing anything else. This was a natural progression of events for a civilization reaching a certain point. Somewhere in the future it was all bound to stop, one way or another. There was no reason it couldn't stop now, in her lifetime. She just had to show them what she had just realized, and they would grasp the futility of what they were doing. If nothing else it certainly explained why soldiers found it so easy to switch sides. If deep down they knew they weren't fighting for anything real, then they weren't bound in their hearts to the cause, and changing their minds became all that much easier. That was why Noin was sitting in front of her now, offering to abandon OZ to put Relena in power.
So many thoughts rushed through Relena, and she suppressed the need to babble them out all at once. So many ideas of how to proceed, where to go next, who to talk to first. There was so much they had to do.
She had it now. She had her motivation, and she knew how to give it to the world.
Relena smiled at the blue-haired soldier in front of her. It was an easy smile, the first real smile she's given all evening. The first real smile she'd given in the weeks since her father's death.
"Miss Noin, I would like you to visit my hotel tomorrow morning. I believe we have quite a lot to discuss. After all, you can't change the world in a day."
So? What did you think? I've been tickling the idea of writing an essay on why pacifism would work in the GW future, but I started writing this and I realized I could say what I wanted to say here instead. I also love Noin. She's so phenomenally cool, especially in a medium like anime where its hard to find strong, confident women who lead by their personality, talent, and intellect instead of by their boobs—— and are equally respected by the men round them. (Yes I did just say 'boobs'. All you readers with the mind-set of 5th graders can stop giggling now.) Gundam Wing is full of women like that. You also have Sally, Lady Une, Dorothy (even though she's a B****), and Catherine. Relena, too, is one of my favorite female anime characters. I know there are a lot of Relena-haters out there, but I like her. She's got spunk and she does go after what she wants. In the beginning that's Heero and in the end that's world peace. She even manages to get the last one, and sort-of gets the first one.
I know this is long, and I know some of you are wondering what the hell I'm doing posting this when I should be writing the FY/GW x-over instead, and the answer is that I had to get this out before I lost it. I wrote most of it in the first night, but I had to really ponder how to go at the ending few paragraphs. I didn't want to mess them up. Anyway, that's all folks. Please Review. And, if you don't mind the self-plug, please read the SM fanfic I just posted, "Anger Makes For Better Things". If you liked how I wrote this one you'll like that. I really try to write good dialogue, cause I can't stand reading badly written conversations, and I don't want to be routine.
Okay I'm really sorry this is so long. I just talk a lot.