Between the Black and White
One shot was fired. Meiran started to fall. Siduri panicked and fired back in the direction he'd heard it come from. Two more were fired back, another hitting Meiran, and one grazing Siduri's cheek. Siduri fired the rest of his clip into the darkness.
Then there was silence.
"Meiran!?" Siduri dropped
his weapon after exhausting his ammunition. He came to his knees beside
her. Meiran stared blankly up at him. She didn't respond.
"Meiran!!" Siduri shouted at her. She was still breathing, as far as he could tell.
"What was that-" Ariana emerged from the library, having heard the gunshots. "Si-siduri!? Meiran?? What's going on!?"
"I don't know!" Siduri shouted at her. "Just... Just get help!!"
Ariana nodded numbly and took off running.
"Meiran, answer me or something! Come on!" Siduri lifted her head up. There was so much blood on Meiran's clothes and the ground. "Meiran... come on!" Siduri felt tears in his eyes. This can't be happening. No no no.
"Ugh..." The raven-haired girl groaned and shut her eyes.
"Meiran!? Can you hear me? Don't move! Ariana's getting help!"
She was unconscious now.
No... Why? Why?? Siduri shut his eyes tight, though he could not shut out the image from his mind as the scene replayed in his head.
It seemed to him an eternity had passed before an ambulance arrived. Siduri and Ariana watched in a daze as the paramedics spoke medical jargon they didn't understand.
Don't die... Oh God, don't die Meiran.
For a moment, Siduri thought they were talking about Meiran, then he saw another paramedic looking over the body of a small woman in the shadows, lying in a pool of blood.
"Wha...? No... no..." Siduri shook his head. I killed her!? I couldn't even see her!! I didn't mean to... I didn't want to. No! This isn't right! None of this is right!
"Siduri, come on, we have to go to the hospital with her!!" Ariana tugged at his arm.
"This isn't right..." He whispered. Ariana pulled him along.
"Come on!" The younger girl shouted at him.
"No, this isn't right! None of it!!" Siduri took off running.
"Siduri!!" Ariana shouted after him, but didn't follow.
Siduri ran until he was
of breath, coming to a stop in an empty parking lot. He slouched
a chain link fence, strength spent. I killed that woman... I killed
somebody- You idiot. You've been killing all along in your Gundam...
I'd never seen their faces before... He had glimpsed the woman's
frozen in pain by death. Siduri shivered. I killed her... I didn't
think, I just fired... And Meiran... God there was so much blood.
He covered his mouth to keep from vomiting.
"Why!?" Siduri shouted at the air and slammed a fist against the fence. "If I'd just been more alert, or quicker... None of this is right!!" I don't understand it... Any of it!
"Siduri?" He heard a voice.
"Who is it!?" Siduri whirled around. Sidra stared at his face as the tears fell freely down.
"It's me." Sidra walked over to her twin brother. "So what happened?"
"What happened!?! What HAPPENED!?" Siduri shouted, though not really at his sister. "I killed her! And Meiran! Meiran! There was so much blood, Sidra..." He trailed off into choked sobs.
"Who fired first?"
"That... that woman did. She shot Meiran..." Siduri whispered.
"So you fired back in defense?" Sidra raised an eyebrow.
"I... I guess... I don't know. I just..."
"If you hadn't shot her, she'd have fired again."
"I know... but..." Siduri closed his eyes tight.
"If you hadn't killed her, you and Meiran would both be dead." Sidra stated matter-of-factly. Siduri whirled on her.
"When did you become so cold, huh!? It's not right! NONE OF THIS IS RIGHT!!"
"It isn't supposed to be right!" Sidra snapped back. "That's what battles are about. Kill or be killed, no matter what pretty ideals you're fighting for! If she'd been piloting a mobile suit, would you be freaking out right now!?"
"It still doesn't make it right! This wasn't even a battle! I never saw her until she was dead!! How can you be so numb to it, Sidra!? How the hell do you do it!? Do you have any idea how many times I fired!? I wasn't even thinking!! And Meiran, all that blood!! It's not natural, it's not right! I'm telling you, NONE OF THIS IS RIGHT! You didn't see them both lying there, in their own blood-"
Sidra smacked him across the face, across the cut in his cheek. He shut up.
"You didn't see Aunt Relena!!" She hissed back at him, tears in her eyes. "I watched her DIE! There wasn't a damn thing I could do!! What right do you have to call me cold!? Why don't you go to the hospital and see Meiran!? At least she's alive!! Or are you just going to run away from it all!?"
"....." Siduri turned and started walking away. He stopped and looked back at his sister. "You act cold."
"That's the only way to stay sane in this."
Siduri didn't respond and kept walking.
sat across the table from Noin, Sally, and Wufei, quietly discussing
the situation with the Preventers in Une's temporary office (aka
"We're going to have to integrate them into the MDC." Noin leaned on the table. "And it's not going to be easy."
"I understand, we don't have enough resources to operate independently here on Mars. However, if it's possible, I'd like to make the Preventers their own division within the Corps." Lady Une nodded.
"That shouldn't be too hard, our forces specialize in mobile suit combat, not covert operations. However, anyone who'd like to become a pilot can go through the training. It will expand your mobile suit units. We'll make a special division for Preventers. I know you like going off and doing things on your own, but I'm afraid you're going to have to be sure to consult the rest of us from now on." Noin smiled.
"I can remember when I was giving you orders." Une gave a wry grin. "I'd like to put Sally and Wufei in charge of a Martian Preventer division. I think they're the most qualified for it, having been here on Mars for awhile. Do you think you two can handle it?"
"You need to ask?" Wufei crossed his arms. "I'll take charge of the mobile suit units."
"And while my husband here goes floating through space in a 50 foot war machine, I'll handle the important stuff!" Sally grinned.
"Sally!" Wufei scowled.
"I'm kidding, dear."
"Ahem..." Noin cleared her throat. "Okay, you two will be the link between the Preventers and the MDC. You make sure the Preventers operate under MDC orders Lady Une receives."
Those gathered nodded agreement.
"It's mostly a formality at this point, but since we're working together, I assume the MDC would like to start producing the Gryphon and Basilisk mobile suits for use?" Une handed over a thick folder. "All the stats are in there- I'm sure the PMS will know what to do with them."
The phone on Lady Une's desk rang.
"Excuse me... " She picked up the phone, "Lady Une speaking... They're here. Hold on." Lady Une held the phone out to Sally. "It's the base hospital."
"What?" Wufei stared as Sally grabbed the phone.
To Be Continued in Gundam Wing, A New Era, Episode 31:
Fiat Justitia, Ruat Cælum