Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Revolution
Book Three, Chapter Three
Dorothy Catalonia watched with some amusement as Casval Winner decked her brother, sending the blond teen to the ground. It was rather satisfying to see the smug little bastard with his nose bleeding, considering how cool he normally seemed.
Deciding that she had spent enough time savoring his discomfort Dorothy ordered Helen to manage the survivors of her forces, then she advanced on the Gundam Pilots herself. "Thank you for offering us shelter," she said dryly, knowing they were all but prisoners of the colony forces.
Duo saluted mockingly, "Glad to help."
Dorothy had to fight back a smile, then turned to the still somewhat bloody Quatre. "I'm sorry, I wasn't aware your sister was that annoyed with you," she lied.
Quatre gave her a look saying he knew she was lying, even if he wasn't going to say it. "Family disputes can be dangerous," he sighed, his voice slightly nasal from the cloth he had pressed to his broken nose.
Wu-Fei scowled as he said, "We may have to have you here, biut I don't like it. If any of your forces do anything to hurt a colonist, I'll..."
Dorothy snorted, "Shut up, Wu-Fei. With how badly my men are outnumbered, we should be scared of the colonists."
Hilde ignored their back and forth as she nodded to Dorothy, "With your permission, we'll be putting your soldiers in structures inside the colony's surface." She paused and added, "With guards for their own protection."
Dorothy just nodded, "I expected as much."
Duo looked vaguely disappointed, "I thought you'd kick up more of a fuss."
Dorothy shrugged, "I'm not a fool, Maxwell." She turned towards Quatre, who was still trying to get the trickle of blood from his nose under control. "You should go get that looked at," she suggested sweetly.
Quatre glared at her, but nodded choppily. "I'll meet you later," he told Duo as he took off in the low gravity, nearly flying away.
Wu-Fei watched his friend leave, then turned to Dorothy. "By the way," he said with a false casualness that fooled no one, "Arisugawa and Noin are both really looking forward to seeing you again. Very soon."
Dorothy felt the blood pale from her face as that little fact hit her. She hadn't really considered that the woman she'd betrayed and the other she tried to assassinate would both be here. And quite possibly rather angry with her.
With a surprisingly cheerful smile Wu-Fei added, "Good luck! You'll need it."
Hilde looked faintly amused as he left too, the young soldier sighing slightly. "Come on, I'll escort you to the infirmary to check on your wounded, then to where we'll be quartering you," she said.
"Thank you," Dorothy said as she watched colony soldiers leading off her mostly intact troops.
Hilde led her down corridors, deeper into the colony as she noted, "And don't worry about Noin or Arisugawa. If they plan to kill you they'll challenge you openly to a duel."
"Comforting," Dorothy noted with a sigh. As she followed Hilde she asked, "Aren't you nervous traveling with me? I could kill you and try to sabotage the station for OZ."
Hilde lead her through a turn as she noted, "You're not that stupid, Dorothy. You know we're under observation, and if you tried to kill me you'd be caught."
"Killing you might be worth it," Dorothy noted.
Hilde looked amused as they reached the infirmary, "I'm not important enough for you to sacrifice yourself to kill."
The infirmary was pretty much as Dorothy expected: wounded men being treated, nurses bustling in white walled cubicles, and a doctor who appeared offened by her very presence. "What is she doing here?" Sally Po growled.
"It's been a long time," Dorothy nodded to Sally politely.
"Yes," Sally said flatly, "When you tried to murder Noin." She looked at Hilde as she asked, "Why isn't this... thing in a cell?"
Dorothy smiled sardonically as she mused, "I never knew you were one to nurse a grudge, Sally. It's quite charming, really."
"Don't antagonize her," Hilde told Dorothy. Looking at Sally she sighed, "For now, Catalonia is a guest, okay? Don't do anything we'd regret."
"I wouldn't regret it," Sally said, but turned back to her work.
Dorothy decided it might be pragmatic to ignore that, and instead made the rounds to speak to her wounded soldiers. A comforting word, a squeezed hand, there was little she could do, but those gestures provided some comfort. She returned to Hilde's side, the younger woman looking at her thoughtfully, then looking away.
"So," Dorothy said, "off to join my soldiers?"
"No," Hilde said seriously, "there is someone who wants to see you first." Refusing to be drawn out she lead Dorothy deeper into the colony, into what Dorothy surmised were meeting rooms and other such facilities.
Hilde reached a door and pressed a chime, and a familiar voice called, "Come in."
"Dorothy Catalonia, this is Releena Dornlan," Hilde smiled as Dorothy froze in recognition, "I think you've met?"
Epyon soared through the depths of space, leaving destruction in it's wake. Colonel Une piloted the dragon-like mobile suit with her usual skill, but within her mind there was a terrible conflict. The Zero System, the unique mental command system Epyon used, was increasing a fundamental mental conflict that had been building within her.
As Colonel Une, she had dedicated herself to Treize's cause, becoming his right hand man. Anything that he needed done she would do, no matter how dirty or despicable. She had murdered and assassinated for him, killed men and women with her own hands, as well as destroying the lives and reputations of countless innocents. She had done it, and would do it again if need be.
But another part of herself had begun to make itself heard. Sayuri Une, the woman under the colonel's guise, looked upon what she had done in horror. The survivor of war and death she had no wish to spread more destruction, and more and more she objected to what they were doing. She was weaker than the Colonel, possibly, but she refused to be silent anymore.
Une shook herself, the massive helm hiding her face as she accelerated on her course. The hunt for survivors of Fortress Barge was over, but OZ had other space based assets. With brutal efficiency she had destroyed two covert observation posts, in the process also destroying a inhabited colony. But that was acceptable collateral damage.
(Sayuri Une streamed and railed in her mind. The Colony had held thousands of people! Women and children! There was no way that was acceptable!)
But now Une was receiving transmissions from another source. She hadn't thought Libra was operational, yet, but apparently the massive space fortress was on the move. Nor had she received notice from Treize, which meant it had been seized by a rival faction. No matter, it would hall to her weapons just like Fortress Barge did.
Ignoring the part of herself crying out for rest Une relentlessly focused on her task, eventually reaching where her sensors told her where Libra was. It almost looked like a metal flower, petals extending out in diamond like shapes, a structure that dwarfed her Gundam. As she watched the flower seemed to drop 'seeds' then alarms began to ring.
"Mobile Dolls," Une hissed, recognizing the abominations arrayed against her.
The Taurus and Space Leos spread out, ten, twenty, thirty... soon Une lost count. The silvery suits advanced as a unit, moving with mechanical precision as they advanced through space. Une floated, almost hypnotized by the moving figures, then suddenly Epyon moved.
The first rank of Dolls died in flames from the superheated chain on one arm, Epyon slicing them almost too fast to see. The beam saber took the second rank nearly as fast, Epyon nearly dancing through the ranks. Yet as fast and as powerful as Epyon was, it was still piloted by a human being.
The Dolls watched, relaying data back to Libra even as they died. Tactical data, reaction time, armor effectiveness, all of it streamed back to the battleship. Even as Epyon destroyed dozens of enemies, more were waiting. And they didn't care about losses, they just kept coming.
"Aargh!" Une made a incoherent sound as a Doll managed to grab at one of Epyon's arms. As she tried to get it free the rest seized the chance and closed with her, restraining her. She destroyed one or two more, but pure numbers finally overwhelmed her.
Growling like a animal Une still struggled as her Gundam was dragged into the launch bay by the Dolls. The machines, presumably under someone's guidence, tore open the cockpit and dragged her outside. Free from the Zero System Une felt odd, confused. The strange clarity that she had once had was fading, and her thoughts were becoming clouded.
The Dolls moved back, and several women in uniform appeared from a hatch, all carrying guns. They advanced professionally, then one walked towards Une while the others kept her covered. "Colonel Une?" the woman asked calmly, "Can you understand me?"
"Yes," Une hissed, the urge to attack the woman almost irresistible Some remnant of common sense held her back, knowing she'd be shot out of hand if she tried anything. Instead she stayed on her knees, sitting on the floor as she tried to clear her thoughts.
The sound of boots on the polished floor drew their attention to the doorway, where a man in a expertly tailored military uniform entered the room. He was handsome, in a way, with his fine features and odd, purple hair, but he also looked worn out somehow. He had a oddly Byronic look to him, as if he had partied so long and so hard that he was absolutely bored with anything life could offer.
"Hello Une," he drawled, "it's been a long time. Do you remember me?"
"Akio," Une acknowledged, remembering him from meetings with Treize, all those years ago.
Akio Ohtori smiled, kneeling down to where she crouched, seemingly unconcerned for his safety. "Let me help you," he smiled warmly, "I know how confusing this all is for you. Let me take all those troubling thoughts away..."
Une felt a eerie sleepiness falling over her, almost like she was being gassed. She could feel something strange happening in her head, as if someone was reaching inside and trying to tinker abit. But something, maybe the conflict in her own mind and personalities, helped her resist.
"What are you..." Akio said after a few moments, sounding frustrated.
His answer seemed to touch the guards, making them distracted and confused. Seizing the opportunity and how close Akio was, Une threw a punch, connecting with the side of his face. With a painful cry he reeled backward, even as she grinned and tried to punch him again.
"No!" the one guard yelled as the whole mob leaped onto her. Une cried out as fists struck wildly, then boots kicked at her as she tried to curl into a ball. The women were furious, nearly animalistic as they tried to beat Une senseless.
"Enough!" Akio ordered.
The woman pulled back, and Une uncurled from where she lay on the floor. Her eye was swelling shut and her ribs ached, probably broken. But she had faced worse just training for the military, she would easily survive this.
Akio had a hand to his cheek, which was already starting to bruise, as he said, "Normally, anyone who insulted me like this would die screaming."
"Take your best shot," Une croaked.
"No, you will live to regret this," Akio smiled coldly, "and who knows? Maybe I'll send pieces of you back to your beloved Treize."
To be continued...
Note: As far as I can find, Une HAS no first name in Gundam canon. So I named her Sayuri after her voice actress.