A/N – I know this isn't politically correct, but Gundam 00 isn't exactly PC either, so no complaints about it. Ali POV, musing on Setsuna and who will end up killing who, as well as the nature of war and of man and whatever else sexy nutjobs think about. It made sense when I wrote it. Don't know how it is now. SPOILERS UP TO EPISODE TWENTY.
Oh and I know that technically, Setsuna would be up in space after Kinue was killed, but shush. Setsuna's real name is Soran, so that's who this is about.
M on the safe side, I guess. For language, indirect violence, sexual comments, and non-pc-ness.
Spurned by God
That boy scares the fucking hell out of me.
The boy with the eyes. The deep, blank, dark red eyes that can in no way be called brown, but I have no choice but to say they are. People don't have red eyes, even if they are the devil like he is.
I lean back, tipping the chair onto its back two legs, and flick my cigarette butt over the balcony. "This is going to get interesting," I whisper to no one in particular. I'm in it deep now, not as if I knew what it was I was in or really gave a shit. I knew if worse came to worse I would just kill everyone in the way and escape. It was how I worked.
It worked in Turkey. It worked in Moralia. It worked in Azadistahn. It would work anywhere, because I was Ali.
I laugh to myself, remembering how he had called me Allah, making no distinction between me and the god he thought I represented. He was a stupid child, but he was still alive and I figure that says something. And now he is coming to kill me. How old could he possibly be now? Sixteen? Seventeen? Definitely no older than that, though he had always seemed smaller than he was.
Had anyone else survived that war? Or was it only Soran and Ali, destined to kill one another years later, in fucking Gundam suits? Not that I had one yet. I would have one. I knew just who to kill to get one, but I wasn't up for it just yet. They only just found the body of that bitch who interviewed me.
I drove by her apartment. I wanted to see where she lived, wanted to see if there was any funeral or anything. Or maybe I'm just a sadist and I was hoping to see someone crying. Don't really know why I did it. But I saw him there. Must be her neighbor or something, as I doubt he could ever score a girl like that, not at his age anyway. Not like he was a eunuch or anything, hell no, I knew that well, but I doubted he knew her much. He had just been sitting there on the step, not doing anything. Just sitting. Looking dead at me with those fucking eyes of his.
The first time I ever saw those eyes was nearly ten years ago. I had been walking through the streets of the village, scoping out the area I would shortly be playing the Pied Piper in, when I had seen him. Sitting on the steps then, too, as if that was all he had ever done. He'd lifted his head and just stared at me, and I remember shuddering despite him being maybe six years old. He had looked so haunted and demented, even then, as if he had personally met the devil and gotten raped by him or something.
He had to have known that I was up to no good, but he didn't seem to care. He still came. And when I began preaching in the abandoned buildings, collecting the kids around me like a mother hen, collecting the kids and giving them machine guns, he came. Nothing but eyes and a voice that I almost never heard. He only stood and watched, listened, for a long time, never said a word and never asked for a gun, for months.
I'm a warmonger. I admit it. I don't give a shit either. It's the only way to know you're alive, to keep moving and keep fighting and keep hating, not that I really hate I guess. I just don't give a damn. The world could end tomorrow and it would make no difference to me, just as long as I'm there to fight the last fight. Good side, bad side, I don't care. I just want to be there, want to smell the blood and feel it pour over me.
I wanted war. I needed war.
So I walked into the city and started using their god against them. I don't believe in Allah, don't believe in anything but Ali. At least I don't think I do. But they didn't need to know that. It spoke wonders to them, all that babble about how the solar elevators were corrupting the Holy Land and how we as Allah's people had to save it. How we, who used to thrive on gold and oil, were suddenly diminished, now the poorest nations in the world, because of the fucking solar energy, so what was really just about money became a holy war in their narrow stupid brains. Something had to be done. Mindless war wasn't the answer, but it was an answer enough for me. Not like I'm any diplomat anyway. It was all I could do.
The only way to get through life is to just act, but never think. When you stop to think you get fucked up, and if you don't get shot you end up shooting yourself. Because even though I'm horrible I am no worse than anyone else. They just cover it up better, and in their secret rooms they whisper or f hate and destruction just as much as I act, but they're just too weak to do anything. Too weak to admit that they're all pigs in this city of pigs. They all hide their hatred. I show mine so at least I'm honest with myself, I figure.
I don't know what the boy thought of war, thought of anything. I don't know if he thought at all, but finally there was one night when he approached me and asked who I was.
Ali, I said.
Allah, he had whispered, his stupid eyes growing big for a moment, then relaxing into emptiness again.
Yea sure kid. Want to fight with us?
I remember the first time he held at AK, and he had looked up at me as if puzzled. I remember the first time I wrapped his little fingers around the trigger and taught him how to aim, how to shoot. He was scrawny, like most of the kids there, and when I had my hands on his shoulders I felt nothing but bone. I felt like I could kill him then and maybe he'd have been better off.
What's your name kid.
Soran Ibrahim. He stared at me right in the eye as he spoke. Then he asked what he could do for me.
Show your loyalty.
He knew what I meant, and without a word he walked out of the room. That night was the first attack, the first night that a dozen or so school-kids pulled out guns and shot down half the city. Their parents, their families, and anyone in authority. I had staked out the houses of the officials and they went just as quickly. Only one kid ever asked why, and when I said it was to fight the solar energy bastards who made them all hungry and poor, the kid had smiled all toothy-like and agreed.
Soran never asked. I always called him Soran. For some reason he begged intimacy.
Another cigarette is gone. I toss that butt over the balcony as well and watch it disappear into the poor. I don't see the attraction in this country, don't see the attraction in anything but the desert I grew up in, the desert that I was born in and born from. I never knew my parents. Why should anyone else have parents if I didn't have any and didn't ever need them?
I snap back the lid of a beer can and consider dumping it into the pool, just to fuck everything up for people who may want to swim in it. But that would be a waste, I figure, and in the end I guzzle it down. And I realize I miss them. I led them all to their deaths, but I miss them. All those kids. There were eleven in all. Ten boys and one girl, though I didn't know she was a girl for the longest time, not until she stripped off her bloody clothes right in front of me. It's not like I'm a pervert. I had just laughed, and I knew that if I had ever had kids, they would have been like those ones.
Dirty little devil warmongers just like their daddy. But I was more than that to them. I was their god. Follow me and you can save the world. Yea you may lose your parents but they're part of this regime that wants to change the world for the worse. You want to change it for the better, and only one of you can win. Take your pick. You or them? The Middle East is full of filthy reformers who want to succumb to the HRL or, worse yet, the AEU. Who wants that? The Middle East has always been itself.
And it's always been in war.
Because we are war. We are closest to humanity because we do not hide. There's nowhere to hide from yourself in the desert.
And he believed every word I said.
He didn't move, just stood there looking out the window.
What, he finally whispered.
You did it for me, just remember that. It wasn't just for you. You did it for me because you love me, don't you Soran?
He finally turned to look at me then. Yes.
I kept him the longest. I picked up more, and every now and then one died. But going after twenty dirty little kids is surprisingly hard in a big city, especially when they know all the tunnels and shit from playing around. And we spread out from the capital. Guerilla troops, only ever a few together, who would gather their own disciples. I stayed with a few of them and went in one direction. And the day I left them I held onto Soran until the last.
His eyes had always scared me.
But it wasn't only that. I felt an odd affection for him, more than the others. It wasn't that I hated the rest. I liked them well enough, just didn't care much if they died, just like I don't care about anything except war. Don't know if that makes me the worst kind of human or the most human kind of human. Either way I love it. The only thing I love, I guess, though if that's me or war I can't decide, because it's all the same.
But I was terrified he would die. I trained him harder than the rest, hit him and beat him, forced him to learn to be faster and sharper than the rest, than anyone. I wouldn't let him alone, harassed him every day to the point of tears, but he was perfect, raw and beautiful. And after I would beat him and fight him all day I would teach him how to ignore the pain and I would secretly love him. Because in him I saw the next Ali. The next perfect warmonger to perpetuate the violence and hatred that kept the human race alive, because we need that hate to live, we need that blood to survive. He was my disciple, and I was his god.
And now he has come to kill me. The irony is hysterical. Sometimes I think about it and I just can't stop laughing.
I remember the last time I ever saw him, the last time I grabbed his hand in mine and looked him in the eye and told him to have faith, because his god would not ever abandon him. And even as I said it, I was plotting my escape. We were doomed. . This battle would be our last, though none of them knew it. I could not tell them, did not want them to know. So I told them to fight, and I left them to die. We could not fight sixty mobile suits sent in from the HRL. The government had finally begged for international aid, and they had received it. That was when we had lost, and it was time to shrug and move on to another place, and there start all over again. There would never be an end to the hatred that spurns war, and it would be easy enough for me to find another place to live.
He was older than, maybe thirteen. I never knew his age, not really. It didn't matter to me. I only ever touched him a few times and he never resisted, so I figured he was old enough to know what I was doing and be interested, so that was all that mattered. Though looking back on it now I think he didn't know what was going on, but just pretended he did because he had to the stoic child soldier I had raised him to be. And he was the only one I did anything to, even though I didn't do much but touch him a little. He was the only one who interested me. Because in him I saw me and I like that.
I know he only hates me now because I left him. I ruined his life and his world. I made him kill his family, made him destroy his country. I tricked him into joining a worldwide terrorist organization. I ruined everything he had. And then I walked away, laughing all the while. He had every right to hate me. There's nothing as dangerous as a man spurned by his god.
Sometimes I think if there is a god, he made man just because he wants to get killed by him one day, just so he can abandon us and we can go crazy. Why the hell else would you do that? Or maybe he just likes war, which outs me at the top. Not like I care to think about that shit.
But Soran was doing just what I wanted, because I knew if he ever survived he would come after me, and that was all I wanted. Death by the only person I ever found worthy to kill me. Even if he was less than half my age and a total freak.
I would fight him to the end, and if I could kill him, I'd do it in a second. I will not give him a break at all. We both know the tactics of one another, though I still have the advantage because I was his teacher. And because I was his teacher I will not go easy on him. But if he kills me, it is no loss either. It will be the best death I could hope for. Especially if we are both in Gundams and I will finally be the god he once thought I was. In one of those suits, I will become a god.
Man doesn't attain transcendence by religion, by death, or by sex. But by war and blood. Because then he does not only meet God but he is God, and that is by far the best of anything. To suddenly have in your control the lives of thousands. To feel the blood flow down your hands and through your skin to become one with your own, and then you the blood of an entire nation together in one body and you feel wiser, deeper, and more ancient and powerful than anyone else in the world. That is Godhood. That is Man. That is Ali.
And if Soran kills me that shall be on his head and in his veins. He shall have no choice but to take my place. If he kills me he will succumb. I can see it in his eyes. He will fall back again if he ever kills anyone he has a personal relation to. Because killing someone you know, someone you hate, is a thousand times more powerful than killing someone you don't know and don't care about, which is why I figure not caring isn't half as bad as caring but hating. He isn't strong enough to withstand that again. You can only do that so many times before you turn into someone like me. He doesn't know it yet, but I do.
I can see it in his damn eyes. Could see it in his eyes ten years ago when he looked at me from those steps. He said in his eyes I will kill you, and when I do I will become you. And I can't decide if that scares me or gives me hope.
Soran you are doomed, doomed as I am, and then we will both be together in hell and together we can throw that over to. We shall rebel against the rebellion, because rebellion is all man knows how to do, and we shall revel in it. So I don't care who dies, because no matter what, there will always be one of us. There will be one of us, and the war will go on.
You knew that. I saw it in your eyes.