Episode 24:
Family Ties

        With mistrust planted in the Senate by Kwannon Yokoshima, hearings take to the idea of revenge, violence, and war. Mars governor Milliardo Peacecraft's motives regarding the construction of new Gundams is in question and there is little that can be done to dissuade the Senate. Also, the anti-terrorist organization, the Preventers, is beginning to come under the Senate's fire.

        The Senate has expelled Tiana Pembroke for trying to dissuade them from taking revenge for Relena Yuy's death. Heero Yuy attempted likewise with only slightly more success. The media is at work, and Dorothy Catalonia is preparing to step into the spotlight once more. On a lighter note, the rest of the PMS have won a bet with Howard concerning their leader's safety.

    "Hey! Tiana!" Ariana knocked before bursting into the room, "Ya got mail!"
    Tiana stopped staring out her window and looked over, "Mail??"
    "Yeah, from an old, not-quite-friend of Mom's..." Ariana trailed off at the mention of her mother. It was a hard subject matter.
    "All right... Thank you." Tiana walked over and took the letter, studying the return address carefully. 'Dorothy Catalonia' The name sounded familiar, and it didn't take the redhead long to recall history lessons regarding the people involved in the Eve Wars. I wonder what it's about?
    "Well, you gonna read it?" Ariana waited. Nosy child.
    "Um... yes..." Tiana glanced at her peer, waiting her to leave.
    Ariana, having managed to skip many etiquette classes in school, was oblivious.
    "OH. Sorry!" Ariana realized why Tiana hadn't moved and left swiftly, "Gotta make sure Dad hasn't messed with FalconWing or something!"
    Tiana sat back down by the window and carefully opened the neatly hand addressed envelope, gently pulling out the letter inside and unfolding it. Let's see...

    'Dear Miss Pembroke,
        I'm quite sure you are surprised to be receiving mail from any one here on Earth, being as people seem stacked against you due to your relation with Venus and its governess. As the return address says, I am Dorothy Catalonia. I'm sure you've learned your history lessons and that I need not explain as to who I am. I've been reading the papers and watching the Senate hearings carefully, though for the past twenty years I have worked at removing myself from the political scene. It is always good to know what is going on after all. I can tell from what you've been saying, or rather, trying to say at the Senate hearings, that you want to try and put a stop to what is inevitably going to happen.
        Treize Khushrenada is probably rolling in his grave right now. To have orchestrated such a grand scheme, only to have it ultimately fail 21 years after his death.
        If you really desire to stop what is happening, the Senate is not the way to go. The government, as Kwannon Yokoshima put it so correctly, "can only do what the people give it the power to do." Therefore, rather than appealing to the Senate, I would advise you appeal to the people, since the media already seems attracted to you. If the people allow the Senate to seek revenge for Relena's death, they will do it. However, if the people disagree, they cannot. At least in theory. You must get them to acknowledge you for who you are, not where you are from and who your mother is. If they continue to look at you as Nimeesha Pembroke's daughter, they will not see anything but that.
        It will most likely not be easier, and given the nature of the media, you will be used for propaganda, unquestionably. After all, if people see you as just Mrs. Pembroke's daughter, they will believe you were abandoned here on Earth, either to spy, or just that your mother is putting a whole war ahead of her only daughter. I believe neither of those are likely the truth, but it is a possibility that such propaganda could actually inspire people to fight. To not only seek revenge for Relena's death, but because the Venusian governess is so heartless that she would leave her child in the hands of her enemies.
        If I find it possible, I would like to come and aid you, though I am not sure I am ready to step into the political scene once again.

                Dorothy Catalonia

        P.S. I would recommend assembling a press conference for your first address. I'm sure the media is dying to talk to you and I am sure the people you are with can get you a conference. Take care.'

    Tiana stared at the letter for a moment, amazed at the logic behind it. Naturally, if she could get the public against any plans for revenge, the Senate wouldn't be able to carry any plans for it. Not without people to back them up, or join an army and fight for them. I wish I'd been given such an idea sooner. She narrowed her green eyes at the stack of newspapers she'd been sorting through the other day. Carefully Tiana folded the letter back up and left it on her night stand. She could try talking to Heero about assembling a press conference, but truthfully, she'd been rather afraid to speak to him, especially after the night of the assassination. It was a little unnerving just to be around him.

    "Yoshino?" Tiana knocked lightly on the door, "Can I come in, please?"
    "Mmmmph." Came a mumbled, half asleep reply.
    "Um... Shino?" Tiana knocked again.
    "Mmf." Another mumble.
    "It's afternoon!" Tiana slowly opened the door and looked in, "Aren't you awake yet?"
    "No..." Shino muttered and rolled over. A few gunshots rang out, followed by one of Ariana's classic yelps.
    "... Yoshino!" The redhead walked in and looked over at him, "It's after one! You should be up by now. Everyone else is. And I think Sidra is trying to break up a fight between your father and Ariana..."
    "When have those two not been fighting? Wonder what he messed up on the FalconWing this time..." Shino muttered again.
    "Would you please get up? I need to talk to you!"
    "Can't it wait..?" Shino lazily opened an eye, then closed it again.
    "Well, I'd prefer to not try and talk your father about it myself, so I wanted to talk to you."
    "Shino!" Tiana, in an uncharacteristic fashion, stormed over to the bedside and yanked the covers off the drowsy Preventer. She was rewarded for her effort with a good long look at Shino in only his... smiley face boxers (a gift from Siduri last Christmas) (Authors: We present to you this fan service. Mostly for us.).
    Shino squawked, yes, squawked, in surprise and tried to dive back under the covers, "COLD!"
    "S-sorry!!" Tiana quickly turned away, embarrassed.
    "Erf..." Shino fell off the other side of the bed and hastily threw his Preventers jacket on, "Um... okay. Yeah. Right. What is it??"
    "Well, I got this letter today..." Tiana began.

        Nimeesha stood with Kwannon, carefully observing her sons as they sparred against one another in their Gundams. She needed to talk to Kwannon about her recent actions, however, it could wait a bit while she studied how well her sons fought.
    "I hope they don't trash their equipment to the point of no repair." She noted. Kwannon nodded slightly in response. Kwannon was waiting for the axe to fall, so to speak.
    The Anteros Gundam found its beam sword pinned between the two beam sabres held by Hymemaios.
    "Chayton seems to be a bit better of a pilot with the Hymemaios than Arthur is with the Anteros." Kwannon noted, allowing herself some slight satisfaction.
    The large beam sword was powered down in order to free it from the deadlock. In which time those deadly beam sabres could have torn through the cockpit.
    Chayton had wisely not brought the sabres through, but just held them at the sides, to show that he very well could have. His mother might not be happy if he'd killed his own brother after all.
    "How is the production going on those three new suits?" Nimeesha glanced at her assistant
    "Aglaia, Atropos, and Tisiphone are all being produced now. The fourth design was... unusable." Kwannon almost, ALMOST, sweatdropped.
    "The one without the optics that didn't get finished because of the escape?" Nimeesha's tone changed slightly.
    ".... Yes... Nimeesha, we really didn't have a need for them anymore-" Kwannon attempted to explain.
    "When you don't need something, you throw it away..." Nimeesha noted.
    "I've decided to relocate you for the time being. You will be taking charge of the Aphrodite, where you won't be able to cause anything that might upset my plan. While it is not completely constructed yet, it is functional enough to carry a crew. You'll be leaving on a shuttle to Luna 2 tomorrow." Nimeesha explained, not even looking at Kwannon.
    "Understood. By the way... What are we going to do about Tiana?"
    "I understand the circumstances that required you to leave her behind, however, I don't believe there is much that can be done about it. At this point in time I believe the World Nation would not cooperate with me to return her."
    "She is staying with Relena Yuy's family... Isn't that a bit risky?" Kwannon looked over at Nimeesha, who was still not even glancing at her.
    "Not at all. The World Nation would be frowned upon by everyone for taking my daughter's life or imprisoning her anywhere. If they did, it would only further rally our forces against the World Nation... All though, her being on Earth may effect our forces when we launch our attack. Or it could be the exact opposite of that, and our forces might be boosted by belief that they are trying to rescue her."
    "Right now she's more or less just propaganda for both sides..." Kwannon frowned.
    "I wish it wasn't so, but that seems to be how it has turned out. Currently our people believe the Earth Sphere should have sent her back to us. It is a good belief for them to have. Were they to believe I had abandoned her..." Nimeesha closed her eyes.
    "So you're using her for propaganda too, then?"
    "....." She opened her eyes and stared out the window as her sons continued to battle back and forth across the training grounds.
    "Nimeesha..." Kwannon studied the older woman, narrowing her eye.
    "I will not mention her unless asked to do so by the people." The Venusian governess turned and walked out of the observation tower.

        "DUO! PHONE!!" Hilde yelled out the window, "It's Heero!!"
    Duo nearly fell over. What's he want-? Duo had felt sorry for his comrade when word of Relena's death had reached him. It'd been a shock considering how well he'd heard the talks with the Venus ambassador seemed to be going. He came in and cleaned off his hands before taking the receiver from Hilde, who he noted to himself, was beginning to bear resemblance to a hippopotamus.
    "Hey! How ya been?" The God of Death made his voice cheerful as possible.
    "I'll kill you." Came the most uncheerful reply Duo had ever heard.
    "Um... Can I ask you why first?" He heard shouting in the background.
    "Daaaad!!! How was Uncle Duo supposed to know what I was going to do!?" It sounded like Ariana.
    "You gave MY daughter everything she needed to build a Gundam."
    "Uuh... Don't... tell me... she did?" Duo boggled. He was getting really good at getting in trouble because of other peoples' daughters. If I have a daughter she's going to be a perfect angel... (Yeah right.)
    "She did." Heero replied quite flatly, even for him. Duo nearly fell over again.
    "SHE WHAT!?! She said she wanted to use it for her models... She said you guys had said it was okay!" Duo exclaimed in his defense.
    "You didn't think to check?"
    "Well I guess you just can't trust kids these days, right Hilde??" Duo glanced at his wife.
    "I told you so." Hilde replied, not even looking up from her bowl of ice cream.
    "She didn't build just any Gundam, Duo." Heero sounded Not Happy. Very Not Happy.
    "Um.... then what did she build?" Duo wasn't sure he wanted to know the answer to that.
    "Not only did it have ZERO installed, it was damaged as well."
    "I didn't know it was in all that junk I gave her... But wow! She really built her own Gundam? By herself?? Without you or Relena knowing about it?" Duo attempted to change the conversation's direction.
    "... yes, yes, and yes. And it almost cost me my only son." Heero snapped in reply.
    "Oh... um... Sorry??"
    "DAD! IT'S NOT HIS FAULT!!!" Ariana could be heard yelling the background again, "He didn't know! It's my fault!! I think we've covered this already! Can't we just get over it??? PLEEEEEEASE??"
    "Yeah! Let's get over it already, Heero! Besides, I'm still in trouble with Wufei, I bet. And he remembers it now too. Did you hear about it-?"
    "Stop trying to change the subject, Duo." Heero interrupted, though in all actuality, he hadn't heard about it. "I hope you can be more responsible when it comes to your own child."
    With that, Heero hung up the phone, leaving Duo with dial tone.
    "....." Ow.... that was low, Heero. Very low.

        "You wanted to talk to me?" Catherine walked over to Trowa, wondering what it was that made him of all people look so nervous. At worst, it could be that he was leaving again, but that just didn't seem like that was the case.
    "... yeah..." Trowa noted a spying albino woman. He wasn't surprised she was, though he didn't think she needed to go about it the way she was.
    "All right then. Is something bothering you, Trowa??" Catherine was thoroughly puzzled by this odd behavior. And what might be in the envelope Trowa was holding.
    "Is it that you're leaving again for Mars?" Catherine guessed.
    "... No... well, I will be eventually, but not yet."
    "Then what is it? Come on, you can tell me."
    Trowa noted the daggers being glared at him from a set of pink eyes basically stating 'Say it or I WILL'.
    "I think it would just be easier if you looked at this, Cathy." Trowa handed her the envelope.
    "All right..." Catherine glanced at him before pulling out the envelope's contents. She looked at it carefully for a few moments.
    "....." For once it was Catherine using the famous Line of Silence (TM).
    "... I... was surprised... too.." Trowa attempted to fill the silence, "Tiffany insisted I have the test done... I wasn't going to at first... but..."
    "T-trowa??" Catherine looked up at him, "You're....???"
    Trowa could only nod in response.
    "Oh my God.... Tro- Triton??" Catherine stared at him, studying him carefully. Her mind raced a bit, trying to find something that could really confirm this, besides just a piece of paper. It came to a stop recalling a conversation that had taken place before the Mariemaia Coup. "The scar! On your back!" Catherine spun Trowa around, surprising him as she lifted his shirt to study the scar in question. It was, being so old, barely noticeable unless one knew what to look for.
    "You don't remember getting this, right??" Catherine inquired, releasing Trowa
    "No... I've always had it..." Trowa turned around only to have Catherine throw her arms around him.
    "C-cathy..." Trowa blinked, not really sure how to handle this. She was crying, but she was happy. It was rather confusing all things considered.
    "I can't believe you're ALIVE. I thought you were dead! All these years..." Catherine managed between sobs. Trowa held her and waited, still at a loss for words, though he noted the albino spy had vanished.

        Tiana paced the halls of the Yuy house, which was filled with night-time silence. She kept going over her index cards which contained the speech she was going to make when she addressed the press tomorrow. It would probably be best she slept, but she was too nervous to rest. She was going to do something she'd never done before, and it had never crossed her mind before to do it. But then, that had been before the president's assassination, before Relena's at the hands of Kwannon, who she had trusted. Before she'd known all of what was going on and dared to ask questions.
    She stopped outside the door of the master bedroom upon hearing a strange muffled sound. Tiana looked up from her cards and at the door for a moment. The sound continued. Is Mr. Yuy up at this hour?? Quietly, she opened the door and looked in.
    "Mr. Yuy? Are you all right?" It was dark and she could barely make out Heero's figure slumped in a chair, head in his hands.
    "Mr. Yuy??" Tiana inquired again, genuinely concerned. Was he crying?
    "Get out..." Heero mumbled. Tiana stood there still, slightly confused. Heero looked up and glared at her, all though the effect was somewhat ruined by the tears falling freely.
    "I said get out!" Heero snapped at the girl, who jumped in surprise and hurriedly closed the door and fled down the hallway.
    She eventually sat down on the stairs, feeling guilt for a death that was not her fault. She could not help but feel she'd played some part in it, such as getting Kwannon into the house.

        Once Tiana had recovered most of her composure, she headed silently downstairs to the vid-comm. It was only fair her mother know exactly what she was going to do tomorrow. Hastily she dialed in her mother's number and waited for an answer as she sat down in front of the vid-comm.
    A moment later the screen lit up with Nimeesha's surprised face.
    "Tiana! Are you all right??" Nimeesha sounded terribly relieved.
    "... I am, but I don't think many of the other people here are." Tiana replied more coldly than she had intended to.
    "Do you want me to get you home? I'm sure I can arrange something-" Nimeesha began.
    "I don't want to come home, Mother. I called to tell you what I am going to do tomorrow."
    "What do you mean?" Nimeesha blinked, frowning slightly.
    "With the help of Mr. Yuy I've arranged a press conference for tomorrow morning. You should be able to find it aired on a station there. You don't have to watch, but I'm going to tell you exactly what I am going to do tomorrow."
    "Go on..." Nimeesha sounded and looked worried now.
    "Tomorrow morning I will meet with the press. As I'm sure you know, Mother, the Senate has taken a liking to the idea of avenging Mrs. Yuy. I am going to speak out against that. The people don't trust me yet, in fact, it's even been claimed I'm a spy. I am going to disassociate myself from Venus and denounce you.. as my mother."
    "Tiana-!" Nimeesha stared at her daughter over the vid-comm.
    "And I will speak out against Venus fighting and the Earth Sphere fighting. I am going to try to stop whatever plans you have started. You sent me here to learn... and I think I've learned enough to know that what you are doing, no matter how glorious the cause, is wrong. I had a few chances to talk with Mrs. Yuy before YOU killed her. Yes, you. I know it was you who ordered Kwannon to do it." Tiana ignored the tears forming in her eyes. This was hard, and if she stopped now, she might lose her nerve.
    "I am not finished, Mrs. Pembroke." Tiana stated calmly.

        "I have learned," Tiana continued on Nimeesha's screen, "That things could have been talked out. That people didn't need to die. That I didn't need to see people die. You ruined any chances for peace talks to work, however. You couldn't alter your plan, could you? You've got to carry it out to the end, right?" Tiana waited for an answer, but Nimeesha could give none, "I will not be coming back to Venus. And I will carry out every word I have said to you. Do you understand?"
    Nimeesha couldn't answer.
    "I'm going to disassociate myself from Venus and denounce you." Tiana restated for her mother, "Good night."
    "Tiana! Wait!" Nimeesha finally found her voice, fearing that she might never hear from her daughter again after this. It was too late, Tiana had already turned off her vid-comm.
    "....." Tiana... Oh God, Tiana... What have I done? This wasn't supposed to happen.
    Nimeesha brushed a few graying hairs out of her face and headed to bed, a sob barely audible.

Continued in Gundam Wing: A New Era, Episode 25:
"Musicians of War"

Scar? What the hell are we talking about?
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