Author has written 4 stories for Gundam Wing/AC.
Instead of the silly little blurb I've had on here for years, I decided to put this profile to work - it will now be displaying information for my story-in-progress, Occam's Razor.
Here, you'll find a list of the characters, which groups they are affiliated with, and descriptions for my original characters. Additionally, there is currently a "Previously on Occam's Razor" section, which is a rehashing of the events up until this point in the story. This section is going to be considerably shortened when Chapter 22 is posted and will be replaced with a detailed time line of the story. If you would like to see the time line now, send me a message with your e-mail address and I'll be more than happy to send it along.
If you have not read all of Occam's Razor yet, PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS - it will completely ruin the story for you.
The Yalta Task Force:
Commander Lady Une – (Codename: Washington)
Agent Heero Yuy – (Codename: Casablanca)
Agent Duo Maxwell – (Codename: Cairo)
Agent Trowa Barton – (Codename: Arcadia)
Agent Chang Wufei – (Codename: Tehran)
Agent Sally Po – (Codename: Atlantic)
Agent Lucrezia Noin – (Codename: Crimea)
Agent Elizabeth Bentley – (Codename: Bretton)
Agent Anthony Gord – (Codename: Cherchell)
Agent Theodore Hall – (Codename: Dumbarton; DECEASED)
Head of the Sanq Kingdom Milliardo Peacecraft – (Codename: Argonaut)
Representative Dorothy Catalonia – (Codename: Quebec)
Colonial Delegate Quatre Raberba Winner – (Codename: Moscow)
Professor Edward Cordell – (Codename: Malta)
The Cambridge Five:
Kristen Philby: (Codename: Stanley) - The unofficial leader of the Cambridge Five. In 196, after months of searching, she discovers that she and her twin brother are the great-grand children of Leon Cherhuedohn, a founding member of the Alliance. She is ruthless, calculated, and ambitious beyond her own well being. She, her brother, and her uncle started the Cambridge Five with the goal of over throwing ESUN and replacing it with the old vestiages of the Alliance. For Kristen, Nicholas Josef, (her second cousin who remains unaware of their familial connection) us nothing more than a means to an end.
Guy Burgesses: (Codename: Hicks) - Guy Burgesses, aged 78, was brought into the Cambridge Five by Kristen's uncle, John Caincross. The Burgesses were a powerful family in the Alliance and Guy is the last living member of the line. While not nearly as ruthless and Kristen, he is certainly the most loyal to her of the Five, a fact Kristen is well aware of. He is completely dedicated to the cause of overthrowing ESUN.
Duart Straight: (Codename: Earnest) - Not much is known about Guy, even by Kristen. He was also brought to the Cambridge Five by John Caincross. At 69 years old, Duart is quiet man and while he clearly does not approve of all of Kristen's methods, he willing to go along with them in order to see the Alliance restored to power.
Andrea Blunt: (Codename: Johnson) - Andrea replaced John Caincross in the Cambridge Five after he went on the suicide mission of becoming the nexus for the Echidna Virus. She is 40 years old and sorely misses the power she enjoyed under the Alliance. Kristen does not at all trust Andrea but accepted her to the Cambridge Five because of the powerful connections she and her family have to old Alliance members. Andrea is romantically involved with Donald Maclean, though to her, he is little more than a play thing.
Donald Maclean: (Codename: Homer) - Unlike the other members of the Cambridge Five, Donald does not come from a family of particular prominence in the Alliance. Rather than seeking to restore a previous position Donald, with the help of his lover Andrea, is looking to make a name for himself by exploiting the political turmoil. Donald was brough to the Cambridge Five after the disappearance of John Philby to replace him. He is, however, a weak man, often bullied by Andrea in order to do her bidding.
Relena Peacecraft (Codename: Kimi) . . . I think we know enough about her.
Liam Blair: Second in Command – A massive man standing at 6’ 7”, 27 years old, Liam is actually American despite what his name might imply. His mother, however is Irish and had long standing ties to Keiji. Liam served as a Ranger under the Alliance and came to Keiji after his mother’s death when he learned of her history with the organization. Liam is a generally brilliant operative, and makes it his personal mission to keep Relena safe. He is generally good natured, always joking and teasing, but tends to get very emotional about the wrongs of the world to the point where it can sometime impact his judgment.
Cong Xing: Operations – Cong was a former Yakuza member who got caught up in dealings with Keiji. When a rival Yakuza gang set his up to take a fall at the hands of Keiji, he negotiated a deal for himself: he lives, but his life belongs to Kimi now, (the one previous to Relena), a habitual chain smoker of 33 years old, he often jokes that if he lives to be 40 he hasn’t lived at all. His understandings of the organized crime underworld make him a great asset and his ability to keep track of complicate situation means he is perfect for his job.
Erin Shannon: Weapons and Explosives Expert – Erin is a life-long Keiji member, originally from Galway, Ireland. When the war started, her primary job was gathering information – this changed when she undertook the job of getting Relena safely to Shitou. She was asked by Kimi to stay and keep an eye on her, while helping her to prepare for the role Kimi knew she would inevitably come to play. Erin has become one of Relena’s best friends; she is constantly teasing the younger girl, but despite this Relena is still able to confide in her.
Motoko Ishii: Intelligence and Strategy – Formerly a highly trained black ops member of OZ, Motoko gave up the military life after the Eve Wars and tried to blend into society. When she found this too difficult she made herself a home with Keiji, even before the Echidna Epidemic and the subsequent war. She lost most of her family in Epidemic and feels guilty because she was away from them and did not die. Motoko is almost motherly to Relena, but in a stern and distant way.
Aoi ‘Proto’ Emiko: Information Warfare/Technology Specialist – A young man of 19, handsome with a boyish face and a brilliant computer programmer/hacker. He was rescued from the Oprichniki by the previous Kimi after he had been arrested for hacking the mainframe of their command center in Japan at only 15 years old. He developed the virus that will be used to take down SARIELS.
Ryo Aramaki: Political Advisor – The oldest member of the team at 57 years old. He served as an ESUN representative before the war and went underground with Keiji when the Echidna Virus broke out. His entire family has ties to Keiji as his great-grandfather was one of the founding members.
Cathal McGowan: Engineering – Cathal is a 22 year old prodigy whom Keiji grabbed straight out of MIT, (which he graduated from at the age of 18). Quiet, but always thinking, Cathal is usually step or two ahead of the needs of Relena’s team and is frequently locked up in his lab working on some new gadget or weapon. Liam generally regards him as a little off as he does lack in the social skills department, his brilliance however, more than makes up for this.
"Previously on Occam's Razor":
Trowa was doing everything in his power to keep himself from pacing, but if Ickes didn’t get back soon . . .
He sighed and leaned back against the wall, trying to push out the little voice in his head that screaming that all of that didn’t change the fact that no one had heard from Liz since she left for Africa over a week ago.
The older man nodded, “All these years and the girl has been alive, hidden practically under our noses.”
. . . Seated next to him, a woman whose face had been obscured by the darkness leaned forward over the table, “Well done, Commander Uzehasnyurieh. I am pleased to see that Oprichniki you’ve been given control of have uncovered something we may use.” She smiled in an almost pleasant way, “May I assume, Commander, that our enemies are unaware of your discovery.”
“Yes ma’am, you may.”
Her smile broadened but took on a sort of twisted quality as if to illustrate the potential for insanity in the woman. “Excellent. Well then, I assume you know your next course of action. And I believe that I speak for all present when I say that we want her alive.”
Elizabeth blinked as the light in front of her was switched on, making spots appear in her field of vision. Her head was cloudy, her eyes were swollen, and both her legs broken as far as she could tell. She let her chin fall down to her chest, trying to look away from the light –
Ivan’s voice startled her from her thoughts. “You have the information I need and I would be willing to bargain for it. However, if you plan to be uncooperative, we may have to resort to more conventional means.”
She did not react to his threats, her face remained impassive, “Even if I wanted to tell you who this person was, I couldn’t.”
Elizabeth shook her head as she watched him go. The guards immediately reentered the room and began the process of taking her back to her cell; all the while she couldn’t help but wonder why this girl was so important to the Commander of the Oprichniki and why she looked so familiar. She must have been significant somehow because Elizabeth knew that she recognized her from somewhere.
The door slammed shut behind her and the picture was slid under the heavy metal door of her cell. Despite herself, Elizabeth picked it but no sooner had she taken a good look at the photograph than her eyes went wide with recognition.
Maybe the picture looked different in this light, or maybe she was able to think more clearly away from the Commander; whatever the case was there was now no mistaking the identity of the girl in photo.
“So then,” Cathal stepped aside and gestured to a table covered in pictures, documents, and machine parts, “Kimi wanted me to explain SARIELS to you, said you might be able to give me and Proto a hand.”
Heero nodded, “What is SARIELS then?”
“SARIELS,” Cathal continued, in his low droning voice that made him sound as though he was giving every word he spoke ample consideration before uttering it. “is an acronym. It stands for ‘Satellite-Based, Atmospheric Ranged Interface to Earth Laser System.”
He picked up one of the many discs cluttering his work area and inserted it into the laptop at the center; a few whirring and beeping noises later, several indistinguishable images were being flashed across the screen. “SARIELS is Nicolas Josef’s master plan for ending the war . . . in his favor obviously.”
. . . To his right, Cathal was eyeing him curiously, “You recognize what this is then?”
“A laser rifle system, the kind the mobile suits used during the war.” he answered in daze.
Cathal, however seemed unphased by this, and leaned casually back in his chair, “Well then, I don’t need to explain to you the damage that lasers of these size mounted to satellites could inflict.”
“Don’t you think, Edward,” Une was suddenly on her feet, “that if I had had the men and equipment to invade Africa and physically dispose of Josef I would have done it already?!”
“It’s past that point Une!” Nearly everyone present started, never before had Cordell raised his voice, especially to Une, “Whether or not you have the numbers, Josef has the technology and he’s going to use it to wipe ESUN off the map! Until we can confirm otherwise we are living on borrowed time, it is now that we have to start thinking dramatically, we have to be willing to accept solutions to bringing this war to an end that twenty minutes ago were not acceptable!”
“And what exactly is it that you propose, Edward!?”
“I have no idea!” The professor threw his hands up in frustration as he slumped back into his chair, “I’m here to consult you on government affairs and the political situation and I’m telling you right now that it’s bad! I am not a military strategist, I can not win this war for all of you!”
Cordell leaned over the table and pushed his copy of the plans Hilde had distributed to them into the middle of the table, “But that” he pointed at the schematics, “thatis going to win the war for Josef. And right now we have nothing to go up against him with.” He scanned the room, meeting each set of eyes for a moment before speaking again, “All of you need to figure out a way to defeat Josef quickly and decisively before he can use this monstrosity of his, and we may not like the way that it has to be done.” Cordell suddenly put his head in his hands, shaking them a bit as he sat, “And God help us all if this somehow gets out to the public.”
“Tactically speaking, we’d obviously like to take out the satellites themselves, however as you can see . . . they would be in no way easy to distinguish from the others. Even if Josef were to use them, all he’d have to do is move them to another location and we wouldn’t be able to tell them from any other vital satellite.”
“And this is where I come in?”
“Kimi seems to be under the impression that you and Proto working together could probably take over the world if the two of you were so inclined.”
It suddenly clicked in his mind, “You’re going to take down the satellites using their own systems.”
Cathal nodded, “Kimi has a spy that’s pretty deep into Josef’s ranks; he’s the one that got us this information in the first place.”
“This is taking too long, Kristen!” Donald was suddenly on his feet, a look of desperation on his face.
Kristen slowly turned to face him, “Excuse me, Mr. Homer,” she narrowed his eyes, “or maybe I should just refer to you as Mr. Maclean, because you sure as hell don’t seem to give a damn about your codename or what it means anymore!” She took another step towards the man, “Have you forgotten who you are Mr. Homer, have you forgotten what we’re doing here?!”
“What are we doing here, Kristen?” His voice was strained and he looked as though he was going to back off, but one glance in Andrea’s direction apparently changed his mind. Kristen tried not to roll her eyes, so she had put her little boy toy up to this; she wasn’t sure what angered her more, the fact that he had actually listened to her, or that she didn’t have the guts to do this herself.
“Yes, yes Donald, we’ve been through this before.” Kristen waved her hand dismissively as she took a seat at the head of the table, “Josef finishes SARIELS and then no matter we plan and scheme we will be helpless against him and his army.”
. . . The others in the room gathered their things and began to file out of the bunker. Kristen however, had one more piece of business to handle. “Ms. Johnson.”
The woman stopped and turned in Kristen’s direction. She approached her colleague, keeping her voice low so as not to alert the others, “Next time you’ve got a problem, Andrea, I want to hear it from you instead of your little pretty boy mouth piece.”
The woman smiled at her slyly, “Why I have no idea what you’re talking about Kristen. After all, you’re the one that brought Donald here, you brought all of us here . . .” Andrea took a step closer so that their faces were side by side and lowered her voice, “So it must just be killing you that you can’t control your own creations.”
Both of them whirled around at the voice, but before Heero could even react, a dark blur had seized Relena by the shoulders. It took Heero only a moment to recognize the individual.
He barely seemed to notice Heero however, and was more intent on yelling desperately at Relena.
“It’s not true is it?! You’re not actually leaving, are you Kimi?!”
Relena smiled slightly and pushed Sean’s hands off her shoulders, “I’ll be back in a month Sean, I just have some business to take –”
“With him?!” He practically screamed the words and pointed in Heero’s direction. “With this guy who just shows up out of no where after we had to rescue him from some Oprichniki hell hole! He could be one of their spies for all you know and you’re just leaving with him!?”
“Sean, please calm down –”
“I will not!!” He grabber her shoulders again and continued screaming, “All these years, all this time and this jackass shows up and you just leave with him!?”
. . . Relena turned back to him, a confused and hurt expression on her face, “Sean . . . what’s wrong with you?”
“He show’s up and you just leave.” His voice was raspy and bitter sounding.
Heero had to stop himself from pulling Relena back when she knelt down in front of him. Her voice was firm as she spoke, “I already explained to you and the rest of Keiji that I will be back in a month, this is no different than any other time I’ve been gone . . . and for much longer I may add.” She stood and picked her bag up from the floor, “Whatever’s bothering you Sean, straighten it out before I get back.”
“Sir,” Ickes stood at attention out of what Trowa knew was an unavoidable compulsion, “my apologies, I got caught up in a conversation with several of the locals. Sir, they informed me that a Leon’s Army detachment was headed this way –”
“We know, Wickard.” York responded.
Ickes looked slightly taken aback, “You do?”
“Yes,” Trowa responded simply, “and we’re going with them.”
Duo let out a victorious yell and swept her up into a kiss, setting her down only so he could drag her towards the door and into the courtyard. He burst through the door, a giggling Hilde in his wake, drawing the attention of all gathered there. Duo came to a dead stop and spread his arms out in a very grand manner.
“Alright everyone, I have an announcement to make.” He pulled Hilde to his side, “We’re getting married tonight, and we want all of you to come!”
Heero gave him a look as if to ask whether or not that was a serious question, only annoying Duo further, and bringing him to lean over the still dripping desk, “Oh come on! My best friend finally gets together with the long lost love of his life, like out of one of those crappy movies, and doesn’t even bother to tell me?!”
“You’re right,” Heero responded as he tried to wipe up some of the coffee, “I should have mentioned something in the speech at your wedding.”
Duo couldn’t help but laugh in spite of himself, “Fair enough.” He sat back down in the chair opposite the desk, “I’m just glad that you two are working things out –”
”I said we were sleeping together, Duo. I didn’t say that we were together.” Heero stared off into space as he spoke. It could have been his imagination but he sounded . . . sad.
“What do you mean you’re not together?” Heero still would not meet his eyes, “I don’t get it. You care about her, she cares about you . . . what’s holding you back here?”
“It’s not me, Duo.” Heero finally lifted his gaze to meet Duo’s, “It’s her.”
Trowa closed his eyes and listened to the noises that filled the night air. The Leon’s Army divisions had arrived two days ago and they were preparing to depart the next morning. He and his men had already infiltrated one of the unit’s companies and he had learned that it would take them approximately two weeks to reach Johannesburg from their current position.
He was well aware of the risk he was taking; if discovered he, Ickes, York, and Lancaster would most likely be shot on the spot, no questions asked. Regardless, this was their mission, these were chances they had to take.
If Elizabeth was still alive, it was their duty to find her and bring her back.
The four of them settled into the living room and Hilde volunteered to go make tea. Une set a large briefcase down on the coffee table and turned to Relena, “Well Miss Peacecraft, I’ll get right down to business. Dr. Cordell, Miss Catalonia, Mr. Winner and I are here to discuss what your future political plans are.”
Relena nodded, she had been expecting something like this, “Well considering that most of the world believes me to be dead, I don’t really have any. I can’t even promise that I’ll be alive when it’s over.” her voice was soft and thoughtful sounding as she spoke.
Her last words caused a gasp to emit from Quatre, “Miss Relena, please you mustn’t think such things.”
“No,” Une cut him off, “Miss Peacecraft is correct, we can’t go forward assuming and planning that she, or any of us will be available in the future.” Une lifted her own cup of tea and took a sip, “However, we just wanted to inquire as to what, if any plans you had made regarding what you will do after the war.
. . . “I’m debating, Commander Une how much I should divulge to you regarding Keiji’s efforts against Josef’s machine.”
“So you are planning to get rid of it.”
Relena shook her head and took a deep breath, “I have both information and a proposal for you. I will confirm only that Keiji does indeed have a plan in the works to destroy SARIELS . . . regarding that I can only add that it would be in both of organization’s best interests if Preventers and L-10 began preparing to invade Africa.”
“Invade . . .” the words died on her lips, “Relena, you can’t be serious.”
“I am.” she answered sternly, “Commander, my proposal is this: I’m leaving to go back to Keiji in two days, I want to ask that you allow me to take Wufei back with me. I will explain everything to him along the way and send him back to Brussels with the information you will eventually need.”
“Heero,” Relena lifted her head to where he was getting undressed, “I’m leaving to go back to Shitou the after tomorrow.”
Heero nodded and came to sit next to her on the bed, “I know.”
Relena suddenly reached out and took his hands, turning her body so that she was facing him as best she could. All of the emotions that she had been suppressing were now bubbling up to the surface, she was beginning to find it hard to speak, but taking a deep breath and trying to calm herself, she managed to find the world she should have said years ago. “And I understand that your life is here and that things have changed in all the time I’ve been gone but . . .” she locked gazes with him, “but this time I’m asking you to come with me.”
Elizabeth pulled herself into a sitting position so that she could look at the now tattered picture of the girl the Oprichniki were planning to kidnap and bring to Johannesburg. The poor thing had no idea . . . and no way to escape capture. Elizabeth had resigned herself to this fact long ago, but regardless of whether or not they were able to bring the girl here, she would see to it that they weren’t able to keep her here.
“Relena?” Heero’s voice brought her out of her stupor.
She got back to her feet and turned to where the two men were now staring at her with concerned expressions. “Something’s wrong . . .”
“What do you mean?” Wufei’s voice was laced with concern.
Relena stepped out of the trees and into the clearing, below her she could see the bridge to the village and off in the distance thin wisps of black smoke rose over the trees . . .
She opened her mouth but as the reality of the situation sank in she found she could hardly form words. Gathering what little mental strength she could, Relena gasped, “Someone’s found Shitou.”
They had been too late . . . by days, maybe by a week, however long it didn’t matter now. The stone exteriors of the buildings were all that remained of the village. The thatched roofs, the gardens and small crop fields, anything that wasn’t made out of stone had been burned to the ground . . . and this apparently included the villagers. Even from where they were standing the corpses scattered across the roads and yards were immediately visible, men, women, children . . . they had killed them all.
. . . “Relena,” he put his hand on the side of her face and she seemed to come out of her daze, locking eyes with him, “Relena, there’s nothing we can do, we have to leave.”
She shook her head, “No . . . we can’t . . .” she breathed
Heero took a breath and tried to keep himself calm, baring in mind the horrible trauma Relena must have been suffering, “I understand that you want to do something, but the village has already been destroyed, they’ve killed everyone living there. Does Shitou have a rendezvous point? We should go there and try to find any survivors that –”
“No.” she stated, much more resolutely this time, “We can’t leave because we need to get a copy of the virus that Proto wrote to take down S.A.R.I.E.L.S. It’s the only thing we have that we can use to fight Josef, I can’t leave here without it.” Relena locked eyes with Heero; she didn’t care if he didn’t understand, she understood perfectly.
Shitou had been found, and it had been destroyed by the Oprichniki. There was a very good chance that she may be the only Keiji member from the village left alive and for all the panic, terror, and sadness that were threatening to tear her apart, she was still Kimi. There would be time for those emotions later, once she had made certain that Keiji could still win its fight against Josef.
Before Heero could say anything, Wufei interjected, “She’s right.” He came to stand beside Heero, “We can’t leave without a copy of that file.”
. . . The door suddenly clicked and the massive door began to open. There was no time to do anything except watch and wait to see how many Oprichniki would be coming through . . .
Heero instinctively stepped in front of Relena, who was still sitting on the floor. The door was open just enough for someone to get through now as if they did not want to draw attention to themselves. He dipped his head around the corner before stealthily sneaking inside and Heero felt his eyes go wide as the man entered the room.
Never in his life did he think that he would be happy to see Sean Ephialtes.
“Sean!” Relena was on her feet immediately, “Oh thank God, how did you find us –” The words died on her lips as Sean’s face curled into an sinister smile and he removed a large hand gun from his waist band.
Before any of them could react he leveled the firearm directly at them and pulled the trigger.
Une leaned closer to the device, “Lucrezia, what is it?! What’s happened?!”
Time seemed to grind to a near halt as she watched Noin draw an unsteady breath, “Anne, I’m sorry, th-they just called me . . .”
“Who just called –”
“The Sanq Academy,” she cut her off, a sob choking her voice as she spoke, “Mari never made it to school this morning.”
Anthony took a breath he didn’t realize that he needed and carefully took aim. The first man dropped silently to the ground and the other two whirled around in his direction. The second fell almost immediately, the third managed to get a shot off before he too was taken out. Not wasting a second, Anthony burst out of the trees, seizing Mari by the arm and hauling her to her feet, “Get up!”
Mari lifted her head, eyes wide as they fell on his face. “A-agent Gord . . .” She was moving almost immediately, but they had not made it two steps when her arm was suddenly jerked from his grasp. Anthony spun around, just in time to see Mari pulled into the grip of one of the kidnappers. Her eyes widened and she opened her mouth as though to scream to him, just as he heard a gun cock back next to his left ear.
Time seemed to slow to almost a stop. There was a loud bang, a noise that sounded so familiar, yet it was like he had never heard it before. Light flashed before his eyes, blinding him with pain and he was vaguely aware of the fact that he was suddenly falling, but barely felt his body connect with the ground as the world slowly faded to black while somewhere off in the ever disappearing world, a desperate and hysterical voice was screaming . . .
Two quick ‘pops’ broke the air and before Relena could even turn around, Heero crumpled to the floor behind her with a grunt. She felt the blood drain out of her face as she saw his begin to seep onto the floor below his body. Her mind went blank and the world around her vanished, barely aware of Wufei jumping to his feet and rushing Sean only to be knocked back by the larger man.
“Sean what did you do?!” She shrieked at him in a voice she hardly recognized as her own.
“Isn’t it obvious, Kimi?” Wufei practically spat at the man standing over him, while pulling himself into a sitting position, “He betrayed Keiji, he led Josef and the Oprichniki right to Shitou!”
Relena looked up at the man standing before her, a thousand nameless emotions were coursing through her at that moment, but all she could do to stem was scream, “Sean how could you?! How could you betray Keiji like this?! How could you betray me?!”
The man’s twisted expression suddenly melted into one of hurt and sympathy, he knelt down beside where she lay prone on the floor, and gently put a hand on the side of her face, “No,” he cooed in a sicken voice to her, “not you . . . never you, Lena”
“Or what?!” Relena drew herself up to full height, “You’ll shoot me?! You’ll kill me just like you killed the rest of our friends?!”
“I would never!!” The other three occupants of the room started at their captor’s sudden outburst. To Relena’s shock, Sean’s eyes were practically watering. He took a step forward and reached out to cup the side of Relena’s face with his hand, “Relena Peacecraft, I could never hurt you.”
She felt her eyes go wide and with a jolt of surprise she jumped back from him, “What did you –”
Sean shook his head and ran a hand through his hair, “I never meant to deceive you, Relena . . . but, but I wasn’t supposed to know who you were–”
“How did you know!?” Wufei sat straight up from where he was hunched over Heero, he expression bewildered, “This whole time you’ve known who she is? You’ve been with Keiji before she even got here, you weren’t involved in hiding her in Shitou, you aren’t one of the Suki, how could you possibly know who she is?”
“Because,” a small, demented smile was now playing on the man’s lips, “I’m the one who forced her to come here in the first place.”
Mari looked at Kristen’s hand for a moment before brushing it aside; she saw no reason to be polite to the people who had kidnapped her, “You think that just because you’ve got Commander Une’s daughter Josef’s going to be able to win this war now?”
“Oh Mari,” Kristen shook her head a bit as she took a seat next to the younger woman, her voice was almost sympathetic, “there are just so many things wrong with that sentence.”
Mari gaped at the woman as her stomach suddenly twisted itself into a series of knots; she couldn’t possibly be talking about . . . “Wha – What do you mean?”
“Well,” Kristen flipped her hair over her shoulder, “in the first place I think we both know that you’re not really Une’s daughter.”
Mari scoffed at her, “Everyone knows that. She adopted me after I was orphaned during the war.”
“Ah yes,” the older woman sighed, “but I would venture to say that there are very few still alive who know the circumstances under which you were orphaned.” She shifted herself so that she was looking directly at Mari, “I must say, you look so much like your late father.”
“It was you.” Relena could barely speak and her voice came out no more than a whisper, “You were the one who was blackmailing me, you were the one sending me those pictures and the letters . . .”
Sean closed his eyes and took a step back from her as though ashamed of the accusations being made against him, but Relena countered his retreat by advancing on him, “Sean . . . you’re one of the Cambridge Five?”
“I told you,” he kept his head bowed, but his voice was smoldering, “my name is not Sean.” He finally lifted his eyes to meet hers, “It’s John Philby, and I was one of the founding members of the Cambridge Five. But I didn’t want any part in their self-destructive plans and I left them . . . they believe me to be dead.”
Sean rounded on the Chinese man, clearly frustrated that they just were not understanding him, “Don’t you get it?!”
“No!” Wufei and Relena both answered at the same time, but Relena kept speaking, “No, I don’t get it! I don’t get why you betrayed Keiji! Why you brought the Oprichniki here and why you’re telling me that you were the one sending me those pictures and letters!”
“Because they were going to kill you!” he yelled back at her. “They were going to kill you and I had to do something!”
Sean clawing at his hair as though trying to calm himself, he seemed almost to be fighting off tears, and when he finally spoke his voice was desperate sounding, “You have to understand . . . this wasn’t a life I chose for myself . . . it was my sister . . . it was all my sister!” He shook his head and lifted if to look at where Relena and Wufei were now gaping at him, “She was the one that started digging into our family history! She was the one that found out our grandfather was actually Alexander Cherheudohn!”
Relena practically choked on her tongue, “Yo-your grandfather was . . . but . . . that means . . .”
A look of relief spread across Sean’s face, “Yes! Yes! You understand! Leon Cherheudohn was our great-grandfather!”
Wufei shook his head, “No . . . that would mean that . . .”
Sean nodded resolutely, “Nicholas Josef is our second cousin.” He shook his head again and put a hand over half of his face, “The idiot has no idea of course! He doesn’t know that he is not Leon Cherheudohn’s only living heir!” He abruptly withdrew his hand from his face, “He has no idea that he was and to this day remains the Cambridge Five’s puppet! That the man who sought him out and planned his coup was my uncle John Caincross!”
Relena tried to stop her eyes from widening, but Sean didn’t seem to notice as he continued, “We needed a politician with a skeleton in their closet and I was given the assignment to find one. I must admit, I’m somewhat proud of my detective skills . . . most people would have completely disregarded a simple e-mail between the Vice-Foreign Minister and then Prime Minister Joshua Bartlett about a Soldier’s Amnesty Bill, but something about it just didn’t seem right to me.”
He smiled a demented smile, his voice was still strained sounding, something had very obviously snapped in this man’s head, “Do you remember it Relena? Do you remember an e-mail conversation in which you asked Prime Minister Bartlett to support your proposal to have mercenaries and non-military personnel added to the Amnesty Bill?”
A sickening and demented laughter suddenly filled the room and it became more obvious than ever that Sean had lost his mind as he screamed, “I had found what we needed!!”
“It only took a bit more digging before I found the other four and tracking them down was even simpler!” Sean practically shrieked, “It was perfect! I couldn’t have planned it better if I’d wanted to! The Foreign Minister, the beloved Relena Peacecraft, not only knew the identities of the Gundam pilots but was hiding two of them right under ESUN’s nose in the Preventer’s Bureau!” He practically doubled over with laughter, “And one of them was the head of her security detail!!”
His voice was almost mournful sounding, “I followed you for months, and the months became a year and a half; I knew everything that there was to know about you.” He lifted his head to look at Relena, “And slowly, over all of those months I learned two things about you that I never would have expected to know. That you were truly the only person capable of leading the world . . . and that over this time I had fallen in love with you.”
“I knew that you thought your life was in danger, and indeed you were right.” He turned to Wufei, “And I knew that you’d protect her no matter what, you’d hide her in the only place where no one else would be able to find her.”
The color seemed to drain out of Wufei’s face, he sputtered a bit before he managed to find words, “Th-that was it?! You just hoped that I’d send Relena to Keiji?!” Wufei shook his head in disbelief, “And what would you have done if I didn’t?!”
“I would have found another way!!” Sean leapt to his feet and crossed the room to stand over Wufei, “Don’t you get it!? I would have done anything to keep you safe!”
Sean jumped to his feet, “You have to understand! Josef is only a pawn of the Cambridge Five! They are using him as figure head!” He grabbed his hair with both hands, “And they will be more than ready to replace him with you! You Relena! Someone who will be more than just a puppet, someone who just by her very presence will force an end to this war! You are the only person who can bring us peace!” He stopped suddenly a smiled almost serenely, “I know this because you’ve done it before.”
Wufei opened his mouth as if to speak, but he was cut off by Sean who was still ranting, “You were Queen Relena, you unified the world into one nation and you can do it again! And I’ll be by your side the whole time! Relena, I’ve already dedicate my life to you, you who are the only person who can save us!
“Don’t you get it! Josef’s getting ready to launch his little doomsday device and he’s going to use it to end the war! That bastard is going to wipe out half the planet with his monstrous machine and no one’s going to be able to stop him unless you’re there!!”
There was a yell and in a flash of black Sean was suddenly on his back, Wufei on top of him. He hit the older man once with his still cuffed hands. Sean’s head snapped back for a moment and Wufei used the opportunity to grab the collar of his shirt, pulling him up and slamming his head into the ground with a sickening crack. He didn’t even pause to look over Sean, he just ripped the gun out of his hand, then patted down his jacket and pants, extracting an extra clip of bullets.
. . . “The monastery.” Relena cut him off. She had pulled off her jacket as was wrapping it around Heero’s waist. She lifted her head to lock eyes with Wufei, “On the other side of the bridge, there’s a monastery, the monks that live there have always provided medical care for us, they’ll be able to help him.”
Wufei and Relena lifted Heero off the ground the Japanese man coughed and opened his eyes. “Relena . . .”, he croaked in a voice Relena barely recognized.
She wanted to scream, she wanted to cry, she wanted to hold him and do whatever she could to ease the pain he was in . . . but there was no time for that now, “Heero hold on, we’re getting out of here.”
“Relena,” Wufei interrupted her, “get Heero across the bridge, and as far down the path as you can. I’ll set these charges and catch up with you.”
Relena drew in a breath, “You’re going to have to take him across, I can’t carry him fast enough by myself.”
. . . “Wufei!”
He turned just before stepping out on to the wooden structure as Relena ran towards him, yanking at something around her neck as she went. She pressed it into his free hand and he immediately recognized it as the data stick they had taken from the Shitou Base that contained a copy of the virus Proto had created to take down SARIELS. The look in her eyes was as hard as steel, “No matter what, this has to get to Guilin.”
Wufei closed his eyes as he knelt down to pick up Heero, trying to remain calm as he hauled the both of them to their feet, and spinning around so that Heero could see Relena was fine before they –
His heart caught in his throat and he nearly choked on his own breath.
Five or so men, each wearing blue uniforms had made their way onto the bridge, the farthest one out having got a little less than half way before he had stopped. Pinned against his chest was a pale Relena with a large hand gun pressed against her temple. Behind them another twenty or so stood gathered around the bridge entrance, waiting for their orders.
He jerked Relena closer to him, his finger inching over the trigger, “Now, I vant vhat you are carrying dhere. I do not believe I must tell you vhat the consequences vill be if you do not hand it over.”
Now frantic, Wufei looked back to Relena, who was still staring at the ground in front of her. “We don’t have it!” he shouted back at the man, “I can’t –”
“I zee you have made your decizion dhen.”
“No, wait –”
Wufei’s words died on his lips as Relena finally lifted her head to meet his eyes, a pained expression on her face, and turned over her hand to reveal what she was holding in it.
He barely had time to register that it was the C4 detonation switch before she pressed the trigger.
The time line will be posted when Chapter 22 is posted, which will hopefully be in a few weeks. See everyone then!
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