Title: The Game

Author: Sybil Rowan and WingedPanther73

Pairing(s)/Characters: None/ Master O

Rating: K

Summary: Short piece on Master O's thoughts on impatient Meilan as he tries to teach her the game Go.

Warnings: None.

Author's Notes: Takes place right about two years before the Gundams are sent to earth. I made up the scientists' last names. The other stories in this series are: The Design, The Substitute, and The Angel. There will be one more for Dr. J... of course! WingedPanther73 is the Go player; it's a wonderful and complex game. I relied on him for the flavor of this story.

Disclaimer: Gundam Wing is owned by Bandai Sunrise Entertainment.

Beta Reader: My husband, WingedPanther73! Thanks for all the help on this one.

Date Written: July 20, 2009 (9:07am)

Word Count: 665

"This is pointless! Why bother me with silly children's games when I could be training in the Shenlong?"

"If you don't learn patience, then you'll fail to carry out Project Meteor," I explained to the young girl. This was the fifth time I'd explained it to her over the last two weeks; now my patience was stretched.

"The longer we delay, the more influence OZ is able to gain."

"It's pointless to confront the enemy until you learn strategy. Shenlong and you are not ready."

"When?" she shouted at me. Her dark eyes blazed with all the indignity only a child can muster.

"When you beat me at Go, I will start your training. The heir to the Long clan, your betrothed, has already mastered this simple child's game."

Her face flushed when she clenched her jaw. Meilan had a fighting spirit, but she had to have someone tangible to compete against. It was because she was too spoiled by her parents. That was my difficulty with Meilan.

I watched her take a deep breath, close her eyes, and steady her trembling. After several, long minutes, her eyes opened and fell upon the Goban between us. She picked up a black, slate stone. Her tenacity was the reason why I chose her and kept working with her. Her new, aggressive Go playing style of fuseki and joseki was inspiring.

She was single-minded. Meilan had quickly learned that Go was not a trivial child's game; it was meant for warriors and philosophers. She would need the lessons this game bestowed on the players if she were to pilot Shenlong successfully.

She quickly drew me into a ko battle that forced me to choose between my next, best choice to place my stone and unoccupied territory on the board. I claimed the territory and let her be aggressive.

Gundam pilots needed to learn strategy and patience. If only she could discipline herself, she would be the ideal pilot for Shenlong. We scientists used to discuss the type of person that made an ideal Gundam pilot. I agreed with Instructor H about choosing a pilot with heart and a strong will.

I quickly realized she would not relinquish sente, her initiative, driving me around the board. She played several moves, her eyes never left the board. Gradually my white borders crumbled. She invaded my territory, pushing back the borders I thought I had established. She eventually took over much of my territory on the Goban, leaving me with a mere quarter of the board.

Meilan's face was prideful as we each passed in turn. She was truly a daughter of nobility. My trepidation in choosing her was let go. I believed she could learn self-discipline over the next few years, but not so much that her fighting spirit would be diminished.

I stood up and waved her over to the half-built Shenlong. Many servants of the Long clan were working on the flame thrower, I was pleased to see everything was going by Doctor J's timetable that we had agreed on.

"I am ready, Master Ow-Yang. My honor depends on my success." She gave me a deep bow before her first piloting lesson.