Episode 10:
Famous Last Words...

        The year is After Colony 216. After Venus' declaration of war, the World Nation scrambles to prepare itself. In the meantime, the Gundam pilots gather on Mars to take control of new Gundams to help combat the Venusian menace.

        With the exception of Heero, who is guarding Relena, the Gundam pilots have gathered on Mars. Sidra meanwhile, is recovering from her harsh trip to Earth. Hilde has surprised Duo with the news she is pregnant. Siduri is scrubbing toilets while Wufei is harshly rejected by his daughter.

        Tiffany (once again) attempted to start a conversation with Trowa, who was assisting her with Heavyarms.
    "You seem pretty good at this. You work on suits before?"
    "... yeah."
    Tiffany waited for any explanation, but none followed the brief answer. She had concluded Trowa was not the greatest conversationalist, not to mention a relatively depressing person to be around. And he's a CLOWN? Oi vey... She watched him poke around the cockpit.
    "There's no self detonation device."
    "I know. I didn't install one." Conversation? Started by Trowa? Tiffany waited for the world to end, but thankfully, it didn't. "I don't see any need for one."
    "Why is that-?" Trowa raised an eyebrow.
    "I don't believe killing yourself could ever be the only remaining option, even in a war. Installing one would go against that belief. I don't think it's that important a detail anyways. And besides, the things can get misused. Didn't you hear about the Venus troops yet?" Tiffany looked up at him.
    "No, I haven't."
    "The last remaining Serpent II's were self detonated against the pilots' wills. They were set off by remote from Venus. Probably because whoever is running their military didn't want any of their pilots or suits getting captured. Probably the suits rather than the pilots. Wouldn't be a big leap to make a remote detonator that could hack into other suits' detonation programs and set them off. If you don't have a self detonator, they can't blow you up that way. Is not having a self detonation device that big a problem for you, Trowa?"
    "... No, it's not. I hadn't thought about it that way." Trowa admitted after a moment.
    "Well, I'm about to head out for lunch. Wanna come? We've been in here most of the morning. Did you even eat breakfast?"
    "... No."
    Tiffany sweatdropped slightly, "No as in you didn't eat breakfast, or 'no you don't want to come'?"
    "I didn't eat breakfast."
    "Tsk! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Have to make up for lost time now."
    After the pair left, the all work stopped as the others gathered in the small lounge to gossip.
    "SHE ASKED HIM OUT!" Jeanie grinned, then frowned, "This isn't fair. What about us?"
    "What do you mean 'what about us?'" Shannon sweatdropped, "Some of us already have boyfriends!"
    "Too bad Duo's married..." Stephanie sighed, "I might have gone for the guy."
    "I would have!" Jeanie made a face, then grinned, "There's always Quatre... He's single! And rich!"
    "Quatre isn't the subject of this discussion! Trowa and Tiffany are!"
    "Hey! Why don't we all go out to lunch and spy on them??" Momoko smirked.
    "We have to go in disguise! Tiffany would recognize us!" Jenna informed them.
    "Oh yeah.... So we'll go in disguise!" Stephanie grinned.
    "Oneesan!" Shannon thwacked Steph, "That'd be rude and mean... I wouldn't like it if you spied on me and Nate!" Stephanie coughed.
    "... You... B*tch." The sisters launched into their rather infamous and pointless routine.
    :"Okay, all done!" They both said at the same time. Everybody else sweatdropped. Siduri sweatdropped from outside, listening in when he was SUPPOSED to be CLEANING TOILETS.
    Somebody tapped Siduri's shoulder.
    "Don't you have something better to do?" Wufei scowled at the Peacecraft son.
    "... No. Not really.... Cleaning toilets doesn't fall under the 'better' category..."
    "Get lost. You aren't suppose to be here anyways."
    "No, I'm not supposed to be INSIDE. I'm not, so.... PPHHHHHT!" Siduri razzed Wufei, much to the older pilot's disgust. The door opened and the PMS, dressed in various states of male attire paraded out, expressions grim and dragging Duo with them.
    "WE ARE TREES ON A MISSION!" The PMS chorused.
    "Let me goooo!" Duo pleaded to no avail.
    Wufei and Siduri both stared.
    "I don't wanna know, do you, Uncle Wufei?"
    "I'm trying to imagine they are not the people rebuilding my Gundam."
    "Good luc-" Wufei slammed the door in Siduri's face as he entered the hangar lounge.
    ... Why does this always happen to me? Siduri moaned to himself.
    "That's what you get for listening in, gun-thief." Shino walked up and grinned, "So how's the toilet duty been, Sid?"
    ".... bleeeeeeeeh." Such an... educated reply...

        How did I get stuck doing this?? Duo had gotten swept up in the tide of PMS workers going out to lunch, dressed as guys. He... he had been dressed up as a girl, much to his dismay. But when Stephanie had threatened to paint Deathscythe all white and stick a halo on it, he gladly complied, as long as they didn't put him in any short skirts! These heels are killing me...
    Tiffany eyed the strange people that walked into Keetia's Bar and Grill. They looked odd. VERY odd. The strange group sat in a dark corner booth and chattered amongst themselves.
    "What are you looking at?" Trowa glanced at the booth.
    "Them. Weird, aren't they? They're all wearing sunglasses INSIDE."
    Actually, Jenna was wearing binoculars under her sunglasses. How she pulled that off... The world may never know. The wonders of micro technology. Tiffany turned to the bartender.
    "I see ya brought a friend, Tiff." The bartender noted with a grin. Somebody yelled from the back room.
    "Don't worry Keetia!" The bartender, Yancha, sweatdropped slightly, "So, the usual?"
    "Two Nuriko Specials!" Tiffany beamed. Trowa blinked. In the corner...
    "They're both getting drinks! Looks like the Nuriko Special on both." Jenna whispered.
    "Maybe we shouldn't have shown her Fushigi Yuugi?" Shannon sweatdropped.
    "Daa....." Jeanie squeaked.
    "Trowa will be plastered!" Moe (Momoko) snickered.
    ".... I don't get girls at all." Duo sighed. Returning to the bar...
    "'Nuriko Specials'?" Trowa raised an eyebrow at Tiffany while Yancha mixed the drinks.
    "Mmmhmm! They're good. I picked up the mix watching some of the other PMS members' anime."
    "I thought we came here for lunch."
    "Nothing wrong about having a quick drink with lunch." The albino woman skimmed the menu. Yancha set the drinks down.
    "Very alcoholic. Not for the weak of stomach!" Yancha smirked, "Tiffany is the only one who drinks 'em." He walked around the bar to get orders from the group in the dark corner.
    "You come here often?" Trowa watched Tiffany sip at her drink.
    "Yeah. It's a good little lunch place. Even if Yancha and Keetia are kinda strange."
    Keetia walked out from the back room.
    "You want anything to eat or what? And yeah, I'm strange, but I like being that way." So the pair ordered a couple of sandwiches and Trowa tried a sip of his Nuriko Special and just about choked.
    "What is in this?!" He set the glass down.
    "Um... a lot of stuff. Don't drink much, do you?"
    "No. Do you?"
    "I'm a merry drinker!"
    "You're also a merry drunk!" Yancha helpfully added. Tiffany razzed Yancha, then finished her drink. In the corner....
    "I don't think he liked the Nuriko Special, but he might have a tipsy Tiffany on his hands." Jenna filled the group in.
    "Why are we spying on them anyways?" Duo sulked.
    "Cause Tiffany said she was kind curious about the guy and she actually asked him to lunch and as her co-workers we have a right know about all of this and we shall use that right as much as possible!" Jeanie explained in one breath. Duo stared.
    "He's taking another sip!"
    "What if they both get tipsy!?" Shannon banged her head on the table.
    "... Trowa... tipsy?" Duo blinked. He then watched with the same intensity as the PMS members. This he'd HAVE to see!
    "Did any of you guys bring a video camera??" The girls stared at Duo.
    "I don't get guys at all..." Stephanie returned her attention to the bar.
    Yancha walked over to the corner booth and set down their food.
    "Hey, Cutie!" He was looking at Duo, who paled.
    "Yancha!" Keetia stormed over and dragged him back to the bar by the ear.

        "Feeling better, Sidra?" Relena smiled. It'd been two weeks since Sidra had arrived on Earth and she had since been released from the hospital under strict orders to take it easy.
    "Yeah, Aunt Relena, I'm doing okay..." Sidra sighed.
    "Your uncle wants to ask you some things now. Is that a problem?"
    "Yeah, but I figure I'm gonna hafta explain it at some point."
    "All right. I'll go get him. If you want him to go, just yell and I'll drag him out." Relena smiled again, "That's assuming he doesn't leave if you ask him to."

        "So why is the Tallgeese in my backyard?" Heero sat down in the chair next to Sidra's bed.
    "'Cause I landed it there?"
    "That's not what I mean. Why did you come here in your father's suit?"
    "I disowned him and left. The Tallgeese was the only suit that could get into orbit on it's own." Sidra snapped. Heero raised an eyebrow.
    "Why'd you 'disown' them?"
    "You really wanna hear the story, Uncle Heero?"
    He nodded. Sidra explained the events that lead up to her departure in detail. Heero listened silently.
    "Either way... You shouldn't have stolen your father's suit. He may need it."
    "It was Meiran's idea! And besides, there's plenty of suits that don't have pilots picked yet. And I couldn't exactly hop a shuttle. I don't have that kind of money and security at the campus gates would have caught me. And the Tallgeese was the only one that could throw off pursuit because it goes so fast."
    "And because it goes so fast you almost died."
    "If I'd known ahead of time that'd been the case I'd have done it anyway." Sidra replied, the look on her face told Heero that indeed, she would have, "Besides, if Dad can tame that thing, I can too."
    "Not until you recover first. I've talked with Relena. We're going to hold off on calling your parents." Heero stood up.
    "Thanks, Uncle Heero."
    Heero nodded slightly.
    "Your aunt and I will be leaving soon for a conference. Ariana will be here if you need anything. Don't over do it."

        "Hey!" Ariana bounded in, "You feel up to walking? I want to show you something!"
    "Huh?" Sidra looked up from her magazine, "Yeah... What is it?"
    "Just come on! Since Mom and Dad left, I can take you out there now. They don't know about it." Ariana explained with a grin. Sidra careful got up and followed the excited Yuy girl out into the large backyard/scrap heap where the Tallgeese was still parked.
    "Here." Ariana lifted up some of the camouflage netting, "I've been working on it the past few months and it's pretty much done."
    "A.... Gundam? You've been building a Gundam in your backyard all by yourself??" Sidra stared at her younger cousin, "Where'd you get the parts?"
    "From Dad's old suit, the Wing Zero." Ariana beamed, "But you can't tell Mom and Dad..."
    "Okaaay..." Sidra stared at the gray, brown, and blue suit, "Why'd you build it anyways?"
    "Because I want to be able to fight like everybody else has been doing! But Shino made me promise not to take it into space... So I probably won't get the chance to use it." She frowned.

        Kwannon went over the small amount of data they'd gotten on the Gryphon suits. It wasn't much. I can't believe she self detonated our own pilots... She thought back to the battle when Nimeesha had triggered the three remaining Serpent II's to self detonate. She felt sorry for the pilots. But I suppose that's the way it is. Lives are lost in war. Besides, she knows what she's doing. And if some lives are lost to save so many others from such an inept government, so be it. But was it really right to not give those pilots any choice in their own deaths? ... Oh well... I shouldn't question Nimeesha's actions. I owe her far too much to do that. Kwannon turned off the computer she was at and looked around her room. It was plain and relatively empty, but it was more than she'd been given by the World Nation after the acid storms.  We've got get those Gundams or get rid of them. She went to assemble an attack force to send to Mars. I won't make the same mistake I did last time.

        "What is it?" Nimeesha looked up from her papers at Kwannon.
    "I need your clearance to send an attack force to Mars. We have to get rid of those Gundams. Preferably before they can all actively be used against us."
    "I know that. Send as many suits as you feel are needed." Nimeesha looked back at her papers, studying the social structures of the World Nation.
    "All right." Kwannon slipped silently out of the room.

        "I think Tiffany had too many Nuriko Specials... " Jenna watched through her 'sunglasses'.
    "I think one was too many for Trowa." Duo sweatdropped slightly, "Awfully nice of him to accept the hospitality. Made some of the funniest faces I've seen on him every time he took a sip."
    "Good thing they took a bus down here. I wouldn't trust either of them to drive." Stephanie munched her sandwich, "Hey, 'Duo-kinz'..." Duo cringed.
    "I think that Yancha guy likes you. You make such a CUTE girl!"
    "Shut up. Just shut up." The God(dess?) of Death sulked. Attention returned to the bar.
    "Hey Keetia... " Yancha whispered to the woman with the two tone hair (black and red to be exact).
    "I think that chick in the corner booth digs me! She keeps staring at me!" Yancha grinned.
    "That 'chick' is a man in drag, dummy. Probably against his will." Keetia snickered. Yancha paled.
    "No way!"
    "Who's a guy in drag?" Tiffany blinked and hiccupped. Trowa looked at her with a look of subtle horror.
    "Those weirdoes in the corner. One of them is a guy dressed in drag." Keetia pointed. Trowa looked over.
    "... It looks kind of like Duo..." The PMS cringed.
    "Do you think they figured us out??" Momoko glanced around, pulling her hat further down over her pink hair.
    "Who cares? What that braided fool does in his off time isn't our business." Tiffany finished her latest Nuriko Special, "One more for the road!" She giggled, tipsy.
    "You ain't driving, are ya, Tiff?" Yancha blinked.
    "We took the bus." Trowa pointed out, stifling a hiccup. Indeed, one Nuriko Special was a bit too much for him.
    The PMS grabbed Duo and snuck out the door.
    "There goes your cute chick, Yannie-chan." Keetia grinned and glomped Yancha.
    "So..." Tiffany stirred her drink idly, "You don't really talk much, I've noticed." Trowa shrugged.
    "I don't have a lot to say."
    "No? Really? ... I doubt that. You just don't wanna say it. I mean, you're so depressive all the time. Do you ever smile? Or ever have fun? I mean geeze! What would your mother think??" Tiffany downed half her glass. Trowa could only boggle at how the woman could stand to drink it.
    "... I don't have any family." He mumbled into his drink, not really wanting to talk about it. Tiffany blinked for a moment.
    "They're all dead, or you just don't know them-?" She set her glass down and hiccupped again.
    "I don't have any family." Trowa stated again.
    "Nonsense! Everybody has parents. You had to come from SOMEWHERE. Somebody had to fluff somebody to make you!"
    Yancha and Keetia both choked from behind the bar, trying to keep from laughing.
    "Oh don't clam up on me now!" Tiffany rolled her eyes, "Come on. Open up a little." She watched him. He didn't respond. Tiffany sighed. "Talk! It won't hurt you!" The merry drinker wasn't feeling so merry right now. "... If you don't know who your family is-"
    "I told you. I don't have any family."
    "For the love of- EVERYBODY HAS FAMILY!" Tiffany snapped, much to Trowa's surprise, "They may be dead, they may be far away, or whatever. But wouldn't you rather know then keep going through life wondering??" She finished her glass and slammed it down on the bar, "What if there is a family out there trying to find their lost son? Or some sibling wandering around wondering what became of their brother??"
    Trowa stared at Tiffany in surprise as her little speech sank in.
    "Or do you not care at all?" Her pink eyes narrowed. Trowa didn't answer and stared down at his glass. Tiffany waited several moments before speaking again.
    "... Fine! Be an emotionless twit for all I care! One more Nuriko Special, please." Tiffany scowled, "You can just rot in your constant depression. Ever since you got here, I've been nice to you, I haven't gotten annoyed at your lack of conversation, thus making you a very dull person to work with, I haven't said anything about the fact you always look depressed, and I'm even getting the stupid clown mask for your Gundam. Frankly, I don't see why it should be a smiling one with how down the pilot is!" She hiccupped in the middle of her small rant, "And you seem to just totally blow me off. You don't answer my questions, and you hardly speak when you do answer!" She threw back her glass and downed the Nuriko Special.
    "It's not your business..." Trowa tried to begin.
    "Well, I'll just make it my business." Tiffany pulled out her wallet and paid Yancha for lunch and the drinks, "I'll see you back at the academy later!" She snapped and stood up abruptly, then stormed/wobbled out. Trowa stared after her in surprise.
    "Give her enough of those drinks and she gets really bold. She doesn't usually get angry though. As I said before, she's a merry drunk." Yancha leaned on the bar, "Ya might wanna track her down and apologize later, but that's just my advice."
   "And bring flowers and chocolates with you when you track her down- OW! Yaaaaaaaannnnnniiiiiie...." Keetia mock pouted as Yancha whacked her.
    "... Give me another drink, please." Trowa threw back the rest of his Nuriko Special and refrained from spitting it out.
    "Going to try the getting wasted method, huh?" Yancha blinked.
    "Not recommended for newbies." Keetia advised, "But sure. On the house!"
    Yancha mixed up another Nuriko Special and set it down in front of the confused, and slightly tipsy Gundam pilot.

        Siduri watched Tiffany storm past him into the hangar. Whoa... She didn't even tell me to scram! He listened in again.
    "Hey Tiff! S'up?"
    The albino woman stormed right past her co-workers and into her little office in the hangar.
    "She's drunk and she's pissed. I think we should leave her alone for awhile. What do you guys think?" Steph blinked.
    "Think? What makes you think I think?" Shannon blinked.
    "Seriously, guys."
    "I think we missed the best parts." Kiandra sweatdropped slightly, "But man, what pissed her off?"
    "Ya think it was Trowa?" Jenna glanced at the closed office door.
    "Trowa? Say enough to piss somebody off?" Duo blinked, out of drag by now, "Where is he, anyways?"
    "Dunno.... Think he's still at the bar?" Jeanie frowned.
    "Maybe it's what he didn't say that pissed her off? Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen Tiffany pissed off."

        "What is it?" Noin spoke into the comm.
    "We've spotted several Venusian suit carriers heading this way. We think they might be after the Gundams again. Should we engage or wait?"
    "Wait for back up. We'll be sending it shortly!" Noin shut off the comm and hit the alarm siren.

        "Shino, you ready for this?" Milliardo climbed into the Star Streak while Shino climbed into the Typhoon.
    "I think so." The younger pilot nodded, "If they get these Gundams, it'll be the end of this war fast, and not for the better."
    The other Gundam pilots were going to be using Taurus suits since their suits were not ready yet. Meiran glared at her father as she climbed into one of the Tauruses. Wufei did likewise, both neglecting to get flight helmets.
    Siduri burst in.
    "Hey! Do I get to go out or what?"
    "Grab a Taurus, you're in my unit." Noin commanded, climbing into a Taurus herself.

        "How many are there?"
    "Close to fifty. They should be launching from their carriers any minute now."
    "Student Unit, stay to the back." Noin instructed, as leader of the student unit, "Let the Gundams and the Defense Corps engage first. We'll come in from the sides and mop anything remaining up. Got that?" The students chorused an affirmative.
    The Star Streak and Typhoon led the defense forces toward the carriers.
    "Be careful. It's probably those new space suits they have. Try to engage them at long range" Milliardo cautioned. The carriers released their suits, which were indeed the new Orions.
    "Commence counter attack!"
    The two forces charged at each other, the area erupting into an inferno of artillery.
    "Let's see just what the Typhoon's capable off!" Shino shouted, pointing the suit's shield arm at one of the many targets and unleashing a wide spray of high-pressure acid. The cockpit sections of several of the Orions quickly dissolved. Some more approached from above, and Shino steered around so they met the business end of the backpack unit's twin gattling guns.
    Milliardo scowled at the Orions surrounding him. "Idiots!" He pointed both arms out at the enemy, launching the Star Streak's twin beam boomerangs before boosting at another Orion and introducing it to the business end of the suit's beam-bladed axe.
    "I may not have my Gundam yet, but I'm still your worst nightmare!" Duo smirked, dodging a very frustrated Orion's beam saber. "I'm over here! Whoops! Missed again! You guys aren't anywhere near a match for the God of Death!" With that, Duo opened fire on his unlucky victim and blew the Orion to smithereens.
    Meiran left the student unit to join in the main battle. Like hell she was gonna sit back and let her father kick all ass while she just sat there.
    "Meiran! Get back here!" Noin shouted into the comm. Meiran ignored the order. I came out here to fight, so that's what I'm gonna do.
    "Meiran Chang! RETURN AT ONCE!" Noin shouted again, trying to pull rank. Meiran, not being one for authority, ignored the order again.
    "That's an order! Meiran! Return to your position at once!!"
    "I'm busy!" Meiran snapped into the comm.
    "Wufei! Meiran's out here now!" Quatre exclaimed.
    "She's WHAT!?"
    "She left the student unit and is in the main battle zone!" Quatre responded.
    "She's ignoring orders to return!" Noin came on the comm to Wufei.
    Meiran dodged in and out of the line of fire, returning it with the beam cannon her Taurus carried. The enemy forces were rapidly diminishing when the group leader came to the front, carrying a megacannon.
    "DEATH TO THE WORLD NATION AND IT'S CRONIES!" The pilot (who happened to be a fanatic. They make the best soldiers anyways... or at least, the best disposable soldiers... ANYWAYS...) shouted on the general comm line, pointing the cannon and firing.
    "Meiran! Watch out!" Quatre shouted into his comm. Wufei abandoned his current fight and blasted toward where Meiran was battling with one of the last Orions.
    "MEIRAN! YOU IDIOT!! GET OUT OF THE WAY!" Wufei rammed his Taurus into hers, sending her flying out of the way just as the beam struck. He had lost one person bearing the name Meiran, he had no intention of losing his daughter of the same name, even if she claimed to hate him. The beam blew off the lower half of the suit, knocking Wufei around with a vengeance, taking the Orion with it.
    Shino quickly disposed of the megacannon carrying nut with a tastefully overkill blast of acid.
    "H-huh...?" Meiran stared, "Daddy??"
    There was no reply.
    "Daddy! Answer me! Daddy!?!" Meiran cried out over the comm, her mind racing and landing on what she'd last said to him.

"I hate you. For all I care you can just drop dead."

Continued In Gundam Wing: A New Era, Episode 11,
"To Sleepless Grief How Long The Night Must Seem"