Prologue 1: Disappointment

Today was her twenty-fourth birthday and Yzak Jule, the hardheaded former pilot of the Duel, was going to take her out on a dinner date.

Those were the thoughts racing through one Commander Shiho Hahenfuss's head as she walked into her apartment and threw her uniform jacket onto a chair as she headed to go and get herself ready for tonight.

It was not often that Yzak got some time off from his council duties and she was planning to take full advantage of it.

She smirked as she started the shower, ever since she had met that fiery tempered asshole from the first war, she had grown attached to him, seeing beyond his attitude and seeing a man who actually was competent and quite caring for others, not that he showed it to anyone else, only in those few private moments that he really showed some of his true self. She was one of those lucky people,

She then stripped out of her clothes careful to fold them in military precision as she then stepped into the shower and let the warm water go over her and take away some of the stress from the day.

She enjoyed being a commander, and she loved having her own team. What she REALLY hated, was the administrative tasks, the endless paperwork, the forms, everything.

War is always easier than peace, a errant through flitted through her mind as she ran her hands over her soft, yet well-toned body as she closes her eyes remembering again the last time she and Yzak had talked face to face, over two months ago.

She smiled at the thought of Yzak stumbling over words as she had shown up at a social function in a dress that had taken a month's worth of her pay to buy. He had been completely shocked to see a different, almost completely feminine side to her, not the mobile suit pilot that was not afraid to mix it up with any pilot, even a Gundam.

She reached over for the soap and began lathering up soap so she could wash the sweat from today's excercises her unit had taken part in with ORB, part of what someone had called Red Flag, digging up an old name from the late twentieth and twenty first century. It was Princess Athha and Chairwoman Clyne's idea to foster a closer relationship between ORB, ZAFT, and many other nations to hold every year a large operational exercise where military units could get together and wargame and actually talk to one another. It had paid dividends in this post Dullindal world in keeping the peace.

Her unit had performed quite well and she was pleased, taking on a heavily upgraded Murasame Kai unit and taking down four of them for the cost of one before being called back.

She then finished scrubbing herself off and washing her hair as she just decided to sit in the shower a bit longer, just enjoying the fact that she was back in the PLANTs enjoying a nice long hot shower instead of one of the quickies she usually had to live with on the Minerva Class Battlecruiser Neith.

She then was started when her vidcom rang, shutting off the water, she quickly gathered her towel, wrapping it around her body, and quickly moved to the vidcom.

Tapping the activation key, she answered with a quick, "Hahnenfuss, speaking."

The vid then showed the face of Yzak Jule, current member of the council and considered by many the right hand man for Chairwoman Lacus Clyne.

His features had lost some of their softness, but he still had his customary silver hair

Immediately Shiho knew she was going to be in for some bad news because of the fact he was still dressed in his councilor's uniform.

"Hi Shiho…..listen..," Yzak didn't get to finish.

"You can't make it," Shiho stated.

"I'm sorry, I know it's your birthday, but something came up and Clyne asked me to help with it, along with Dearka, I am very sorry."

"It's okay Yzak," Shiho put on a small smile, "You have a very important job, and I can understand that, we'll just have it some other time."

"Thanks Shiho, I will see you soon and happy birthday."

"Thanks Yzak, see you soon."

Yzak then signed off leaving Shiho sitting in her steadily growing darker room, lost in thought.