Princess Cagalli, the New Chief Representative of Orb
In a statement that was released to the press a few hours ago, Princess Cagalli Yula Athha finally decided to take over the position that her father, Lord Uzumi Nala Athha, once held: The Chief Representative of Orb Union. She finally answered the questions regarding Athrun Zala, the war in general, her role in the peace talks between the EA (Earth Alliance) and ZAFT (Zodiac Alliance of Freedom Treaty) and her plans for Orb.
"I apologize for not being able to handle my responsibilities in the past few days. I was suffering from grief caused by the death of my loved ones, including my father, and, yes, Athrun Zala.
"I am aware that many rumors and speculations have been formulated but, I ask that you listen to my side of the story and decide the truth for yourselves.
"I met Athrun Zala last March 8, C.E. 71. I was piloting a Skygrasper and got stranded in a deserted island. By some twist of fate, he also got stranded there. We talked about how the war started and well, there are always two sides to every story. I realized that both the EA and ZAFT were to blame.
"We met again when he defected from ZAFT and joined the Clyne Faction with me. He realized that he wanted to fight for peace. And so we fought, neither for nor against the EA or ZAFT, but for peace.
"During the final battle, GENESIS was about to fire with Earth as its target. Athrun and I flew to Jachin Due to stop it but we weren't able to do so. He decided to set the self-destruct mode of his Justice Gundam on GENESIS to destroy it.
"He wasn't able to make it out alive and I was devastated by it. I just lost my father and the pain of losing another loved one was a blow that I couldn't take.
"I was determined to renounce my title and just forget about being the leader of Orb. But my friends helped me and I realized that I had a very important role to play. Now, I carry the wishes of my father and Athrun, as well as the others who died fighting for their own beliefs.
"Rest assured that I will do my best to rule Orb the way it was when my father was chief representative. I believe that my experience in the war has given me a wider insight.
"I wish that Orb remain its neutral state and help with the peace talks in any way we can. We should all rally together to prevent history from repeating itself.
"Thank you very much."
In other related news, the representatives of the other noble families stressed their desire to help out in any way they can...
Yzak Joule turned off the monitor and smirked at his friend. "What do you think, Alex?"
Alex just glared at him, not saying anything.
"Shut up, Yzak. You know how he hates being called Alex," Dearka Elthman said jokingly, putting emphasis on the hated name. They were sitting in a couch in their private lounging area and had just finished watching the news advisory from Orb.
Yzak rolled his eyes. He looked around to check that no one was there before asking. "What do you think, Athrun?"
Athrun sighed. He had been doing that a lot ever since he came back. "I don't know if I should be happy or sad that she decided to move on and, possibly, forget about me," Athrun admitted, playing with his necklace unconsciously.
"You know it's for the best," Yzak grumbled. "There were orders and well, even you have to admit that it was quite impossible for your relationship to continue after the war. You're sort of -" he rolled his eyes again, "- star-crossed lovers or something."
Dearka snorted. "Star-crossed lovers?"
"She's the princess of Orb, and people won't easily forget that Athrun's from ZAFT or his relation to Patrick Zala. It's better this way," Yzak explained exasperatedly. "And he also agreed to it." He jerked his thumb to Athrun's direction. "Good thing my mother's the new Head of the National Defense Committee," Yzak muttered. "Any other and you're sure to have had your heads decapitated."
"Yeah, well, I don't know if I'd still look good without my blonde hair, though," Dearka commented, referring to Athrun's new look. His formerly blue hair was now jet-black in color and his eyes, ice-blue.
"Well, Athrun asked for it," Yzak reminded him, standing up. "See you guys, later. I still have to finish my report." He looked pointedly at Dearka.
Dearka got the hint and followed suit. "Me, too. See you around Alex."
They thought Athrun didn't hear them. But when they got to the door, they heard him whisper, "I envy you, Dearka."
His head was bowed low but they saw some tears fall down his lap. The door closed silently and they let him be alone in his thoughts.
They walked towards the office in complete silence.
Until Yzak decided to break it. "You know, I kinda feel sorry for him."
"Did you hear what he said?"
"About how he envied you?"
"Well, things between you and Miriallia aren't that complicated. All you have to worry about is her dead boyfriend and how you'd fare against him..."
Dearka glared at Yzak, half-amused, half-infuriated at the boy's insensitivity.
Yzak just ignored him and continued, "...while Cagalli's a princess who has to run a country. It's not the usual Natural-Coordinator dilemma. He would only risk Cagalli's reputation."
Dearka was confused. "Well, Cagalli would definitely choose him over her reputation."
Yzak looked at him exasperatedly. "That's why he pretended to die, genius. He knew that he had to do something to preserve the ideals of the Athha family. Athrun wouldn't want things to be more complicated just so he could keep his love life alive." He snorted. "He's so noble, it's almost pathetic."
"Well, that's how love is, Yzak," Dearka said seriously, thinking about Miriallia.
Yzak ignored the lovesick look on his friend's eye and added, "Plus the other higher echelons of the military won't let him. He knows too much of ZAFT's secrets and they won't exactly agree to a pinky swear."
"Personally, I don't think Athrun would stick with the plans. Sooner or later, he's gonna crack," Dearka noted thoughtfully. He noticed that Athrun had been absent-minded the past few days. During their break, his eyes never left the TV screen which was always on the news. Even if we had issues in the past, he's still my friend and it's sickening to see him like this. I'll wait for him to come around and when he does, I'll help him escape.
And they walked on, each on their own thoughts, unsure of how long the effects of the war will last.