Do you want me to apologize?
Haven't I apologized enough? I could tell you over and over and over about how sorry I am, but it wouldn't make a difference. No matter how many times I say those two words, no matter how sincerely I say them, you still wouldn't forgive me.
"Who the hell would?"
I treated her like a daughter, not as an expendable military artifact. But then, how many fathers would willingly send their daughters head first into a war? How many fathers would allow their own daughters to participate in the theft of a mobile suit in enemy bases? But then again, how many fathers were Colonels of the Earth Alliance who was suffering from amnesia?
At least, give me some credit here.
"You have got to be kidding me."
I was as helpless as she was! We were all blasted experiments who didn't even have an ounce of free will. The least I could do – or was allowed to do – was to treat her humanely. Or as close to humane I could get.
"Was it humane to turn back on the promise you made to keep her in a place far from war!"
"Being saddened by her death doesn't completely cross you off of the guilty list."
…And that's what hurts the most.
Did I have the power to save her?
"Yes. She trusted you. You used that trust against her! Implanting all those lies in her head!"
She always did look up to me for guidance and support. Out of the three of them, she was my favorite – Auel always told me so. We were like a family – the four of us. Sting, Auel, Stellar and me. A strange, sometimes dysfunctional family. Sting was the mature older brother who always looked out for the younger ones, Auel was the obnoxious younger brother who couldn't stand a minute without pushing one's buttons, and Stellar was the little baby sister that everyone doted upon. And I, I was their father. They were my sons and daughter.
Maybe the higher-ups of the military made me their commander because we were all the same – experiments, expendable military equipment.
Yes. Even me.
The so-called Hawk of Endymion.
They used me. Took advantage of my vulnerable, amnesiac stage. But perhaps, it was in exchange for saving my life. Saving my life… Did they? They saved my body, but killed my soul. Saved my mind, but killed my principles. Shaped me into Colonel Neo Roanoke. A name, with very good military credentials and complete family background… nothing else. Neo wasn't a real person.
Neo… wasn't Mwu.
But, I figured you didn't come here to hear about my identity crisis.
Stellar was the first to go. And then, the two left trickled like water drops from the gaps of my fingers. I knew they were going to die, but I couldn't do anything about it. Stellar came back. But I sent her away. I was given a chance to take her far away from the war, but I didn't take it.
"You're a bastard, that's what you are. You didn't care for her!"
I cared for her. That's one of the reasons why I sent her back.
Did you think she had a life outside the military? She was no one in the real, peaceful world. You know about her condition, what she is – an Extended. If I discharged her from the military, do you think they would continue giving her the chemicals needed to keep her alive? I was also a dog of the military – kept on a very short leash. How the hell could a dog save a fellow dog?
"Even so… you should've done something!"
But I did do something.
"You shoved her inside Destroy, and let her kill thousands!"
"You messed with her mind and erased her memories!"
But I did those… because that was the only way I could think of to keep my promise. Isn't she in a better place now? What could possibly be better than being away from everything? What could possibly be better than dying if you were in her position?
"Living a normal life, that's what!"
When you're right, you're right.
"Don't you dare justify your actions!"
Am I? Am I saying these things – making up excuses – just to ease my guilt? I couldn't save her. Isn't that enough? I tried. Isn't that enough? I cared for her. Isn't that enough?
Isn't that enough to forgive me?
"No. No way in hell."
Hmmm… I thought so.
"But you're lucky. You got your life back. You even got back the love of your life!"
Now, don't say I don't deserve her! I suffered a lot! Don't you think I need some good karma? It's all been bad karma for the past two years. I am lucky. Lucky. And… even after all those years… She didn't look at Neo the way she looked at Mwu. And that's what makes me… lucky. She wanted me for me. Not the new me. It's hard to explain… but think of Mwu and Neo as two different individuals with the same face. She still chose Mwu.
"I'm not here to listen to your love life."
I figured that.
"What about Rey?"
"Rey Za Burrel! See, you can't even remember his name! He's another one of your father's failed clones. Another child doomed to die. Don't you know anything else except to destroy lives?"
My father, huh? Is that my fault, too? Do I have to carry his sins as well? Wasn't an encounter with Rau good enough?
"You remember him. You battled with him once. Remember the white ZAKU?"
Ah… yes. The white kid. I felt him. Heard his voice. Just like Rau.
But I thought I was only apologizing for Stellar? Rey is -- or was my dad's responsibility.
Although… that still doesn't ease the guilt. But what could've I done to save him? I couldn't save Rau – what makes you think I could've saved him? And stop putting all the blame on me! I'm not God! There was no way in hell I could've saved everyone!
Stellar… Auel… Sting… yes, even Rau and Rey. I mourned their deaths. They haunt me every waking moment of my life. Isn't that enough? I'm tired of this! I don't want to feel guilty anymore.
I feel like a child. Look at me. A grown man crying. What a pathetic state I am in now.
I don't want to feel guilty anymore.
I want forgiveness.
Murrue forgave me.
Kira forgave me.
Hell, even that brat, Shinn Asuka did.
Why can't you?
Why can't I forgive my own self?
Maybe if I do, I won't feel so guilty anymore.
Author's Notes: Another one-shot. In case the ending stumped you a little, Mwu wasn't talking to Shinn (I just made it seem that way). He was talking to himself. Kinda creepy, but don't we all do it at one point in our lives? Talk to ourselves, I mean. No… We don't. Why, of course we do! Nah-uh! Awww… shut up!
Anyway, I'm this close to updating BOTD and Salute! Stay tuned!
Oh, and please review! Thanks!