"What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from."
- T.S. Eliot
A Mere Twist
The world was warm, and that felt nice.
So this was how it was like to be dead.
Dead? Was I dead? I assumed so, for I could feel nothing anymore. The darkness seemed infinite, a gluttonous being that seemed to hunger for my soul. I was floating – and no matter how hard I tried, my limbs refused to comply.
Where was I?
Thoughts began to settle in. I couldn't be dead. If I was really dead, then why on earth was I talking to myself now? Or was this what always happened to the dead, being stuck in a black hole, unable to rest forever?
"This is your world, now."
The voice that reverberated around me was by no means a great comfort, but it gave me the slightest of courage to know that I was not alone.
Dry lips parted – so I was not dead! – to whisper out the faintest of words. "Where am I? Who are you? What's…going on?"
There was no response.
It wasn't like I was expecting one anyway.
Gradually, I became aware of something. The world was getting brighter. Even with my eyes closed, I could identify the colors that began to come into existence. At first they were just a jumble of hues, tossed together like paint on canvas ; but as the seconds ticked by they became more and more recognizable. Emerald. Violet. Gold.
They burned. The colors dazzled in such a brilliant way that I had to open my eyes…
…only to have them forcefully shut again with the sudden pain that shot through my head. From then onwards things happened so fast –
"Are you satisfied with the world? Well, I'm not…"
"Tell me, what is the meaning of being a Gundam Meister?"
"My existence is the sole reason."
"The only thing you can change about the past is how you feel about it in the present."
"I killed my own kind...twice."
"Are you going to fight your own?"
"No! I am a human!"
The pain intensified, as the speed of the visions increased as well.
The images sifted, and I was staring at an image of a mothership.
The mothership…its name was…Ptolemaios? With its GN Particle Barrier, the ship had avoided many dangerous fights in the past. The scene of war unfurled before my eyes, things that astounded me yet…somehow seemed familiar at the same time. And the voice that spoke to me earlier on, the one that told me that it was my world…it's name was…Veda?
There were several repeated phrases that I caught in the continuous hum of voices – phrases like Gundam Meisters, Trans-Am, GN Drives, Celestial Being, Memento Mori. They were all phrases I had not recalled learning in my lifetime, but oddly enough, I seemed to have a fair idea of what they were. I screwed my eyes up and did my best to ignore the stabbing pain, scrutinizing the huge robots that flashed past my eyes – the machines they called Gundam.
Exia. Double O. Cherudim. Arios. Seravee. Nadleeh. Dynames. Virtue. Kyrios. These, I knew, must have been the names of these machines. Slowly, I murmured each name, testing it on my tongue, wondering how it sounded like.
The faces that appeared were striking, even against the bright shades of colors that bounced back and forth.
The pilots of the Gundams.
They all looked normal, men who would have easily blended anywhere. One of them particular stood out – his hair was the deep shade of violet, and his eyes were garnet. Garnet and yet at times, a fiery, electric gold. However, it wasn't his unusual physical features that stood out – it was the expression on his face. It was an expression that contained iciness, aloofness…and yet somehow I knew that there was more to that underneath that neat façade of his. It was beautiful, yet so mysterious.
So that was his name, and it was nothing short of sophistication.
All these pilots – there were apparently four of them – had experienced the bitter taste of life. The hurt. The pain. The gasping, the inescapable terror. I felt like I was someone crawling in a pit of despair, watching and actually feeling the seasons that washed by over them.
That single word brought a chill – a familiar one. It roused a buried mass of panic, and I flailed around, frustrated, confused, not understanding what was going on -
And with that, the pain stopped. The erratic pulse of my heart slowed, and I let out the breath that I had been holding for so long. What had happened anyway? Why did it happen to me?
I had so many questions, and I craved for the answers.
The voice who spoke to me just now – Veda…why did I appear in a place like this in the first place?
More importantly, I was still trapped, in a place where I had no idea how to make an escape. It was different now, though.
I was no longer dying. I was alive. And I had to get out of here. But before I could do anything, I sensed a presence behind. Whipping around as fast as I could, I saw who it was.
It was the boy with purple hair and flaming gold eyes.
I could tell he was examining me – probably wondering who I was. And then the question came.
"Who are you, and why are you in Veda's terminal that only I am allowed to access?"
Tieria Erde exited his room, the trademark glare of his obvious as usual. The daring mission plan of Sumeragi Li Noriega's had no doubt been a success – but the damages taken were not light either. The Seravee had sustained a fair amount of damage, and to make matters worse, the pathetic whining of Saji Crossroad was becoming a real nuisance to him.
The hangar was in a state of disarray – equipments were frantically passed on around, orders were issued and hastily followed. Tieria glanced up as his battered Seravee, willing it to be repaired as soon as possible. With the Double O damaged as well, repairs would have to be finished up really quick.
After all, the A-Laws weren't going to just sit and wait. Neither would the other Innovators. They would love nothing more than to use all methods of brute force to exterminate Celestial Being.
Tieria strode past Mileina, who gave him a wave and a cheeky smile. Beside her stood Lockon, peering curiously at the chart that she was holding. Feldt stood not too far away, the length of her bubblegum pink hair concealed under the space helmet that she was wearing.
Tieria paused in mid-stride, turning around to see Setsuna leaning against the railing, a frown etched on his young face. Next to him was the princess of Azadistan, murmuring something that sounded like a plea.
Everyone was tired. Even without using Veda's detection Tieria could tell that their strength was beginning to fail. He himself did not feel energetic either. All the killings were beginning to weigh on all of them – on him as well.
He needed to talk to Veda, fast.
With that, he headed to Veda's terminal.
Veda's terminal always brought to him a sense of security, and it was this type of solitude that enabled him to connect to her, and with Veda, there were always new solutions for things.
Yet somehow, as Tieria approached the terminal, he sensed that something was amiss. He frowned, wondering whether it was mere paranoia. Then he shuddered, and took a deep breath.
It was not paranoia. Someone was inside the terminal.
He leapt inside – appreciating the sudden surge of power that filled him – allowing his garnet eyes to adjust and shift to gold. Then he saw the other person inside the terminal. The someone, a girl, who had somehow infiltrated the terminal, was not Nena Trinity, a skilled hacker who had managed to hack her way into Veda's terminal a few months ago.
No, this was not Nena Trinity. In fact…it didn't look like anyone from the Ptolemaios at all. Although her back was one facing him, he could tell that she was a stranger from somewhere. Her shoulder-length hair was in an unusual shade of verdant, and although Tieria was no socialite, he knew that no one from this ship owned hair-color like that.
He aimed a gun at her head. Tieria certainly did not want Anew Returner's incident happening again. He would interrogate her, and then he would shoot her down. It would be clean and simple.
However, before he could say a thing, the girl turned to look at him.
Tieria narrowed his eyes. She was young. But then again, all Innovators retained their youth. If this girl was an Innovator sent from the A-Laws, then that meant that Celestial Being's position was worse than what he thought.
He kept his gun aimed.
"Who are you, and why are you in Veda's terminal that only I am allowed to access?"
All right, this is my first fic, so…go easy on me. I'm not really good in writing, and I'm going to dodge all the rocks thrown as I know that you all love Lockon/Tieria and Tieria/Mileina pairings. Still, I'm really interested in giving this a try. Please review! I'd be grateful!