It was then I started to get transmissions from the others. In utter despair, I shut the monitor off. Silently, I put my headphone communicator on and started to search a band. I found Wufei first. "Wufei. Chang Wufei." "I hear you, Chang," I replied with a small smirk. "Just calling in. How are the others?" "I'll let you know as soon as I do." "So I'm the first," he said cautiously, as always. "Yes." He must have heard something in my voice. "Something wrong?" I stayed silent for a moment, and then hardened my tone. "Of course not." I heard the surprise in his voice next time he spoke-I had never used that tone. "Alright then. Let me know what's happening." He clicked off.
I sat there, staring at a blank monitor. Then, slowly, Trowa's face was etched from the monitor/camera in his own Gundam. I straightened quickly. "Yuy. Key Yuy." He nodded. "Barton, Trowa." I didn't relax any, and I don't think he did, either. I saw his tension, the hard look on his face. I tried to ignore it. "Any problems?" I asked, changing my tone so it softened and flooded with emotion. "No, just checking in. Orders," he added, "are always followed." I looked slightly disappointed, but stayed silent. Then, "I have to find the others. Give me your location." I turned my eyes to a flashing screen as a location scrolled out. I noted it as Trowa's while Wufei's came. I left Trowa to find Quatre. "Quatre Winner. Key, what is it?" "Can't I just say 'hi' to someone?" I asked, giving a small smile to myself. I got his location, as well as Duo's. I quickly tuned to Heero's frequency. "Heero? Heero!" I gave up soon and landed in a vacant valley. I hid my mobile suit, and then headed for a small town to stay low for a while. Soon I was checking monitors from the other Gundams. I cursed to myself when Heero's wasn't working. Somehow Trowa heard me. "What is it now, Key?" "Um. I." I thought fast. "Part of my mobile suit went on the blink. I'm going to repair it." I shut down the link before he could respond. I cursed in my head, then muttered, "I like him, but not yet enough to be truthful." I soon shot up into the sky and went into hawk mode, setting up the cloak. I was able to find Duo, who filled me in. "Landed in an old desert and came here. I found a Gundam in the sea. Deathscythe is picking it up now." "Was the pilot in the suit?" I asked. He shook his head. "Not that I know of." I heard a young, familiar male voice, low and clear, as well as Relena Darlian's voice. Duo excused himself, slowly pulling out a gun. Not saying a word, I stood behind a pole, listening as Relena and the male voice argued. I peered from behind it, then smiled. Relena and Heero, I thought. How cute. My thoughts ended as Duo's gun gave out a shot, hitting Heero in the arm. I stayed behind the pole as Duo spoke. "It's obvious to anyone that you're in distress, lady," Duo said, keeping his head down. Until then, I didn't realize that we were on a dock. I was thankful no one else was there. Relena, in her best blue dress, jumped back as Heero lunged for his own gun that was previously aimed at her. Duo's gun gave another shot to knock the gun out of Heero's reach. Relena, taking her action, stood in front of Heero as he got up, stretching her arms left and right. "Stop it! What do you want to hurt him for?" she shouted. I muttered, "Hush, Relena. Don't attract attention." Heero staggered. I cursed to myself, feeling a little guilty that I couldn't help. I must've been the first to hear the engine of a Gundam in the water, but I know Heero was the first to see it. I turned to see Deathscythe, Duo's Gundam, speeding through the water, carrying Heero's Gundam, Wing Zero. I turned back to see Heero trying to jump to a platform hanging over the water, piled with torpedoes. He was able to get them moving. He flew off the platform as it shot towards the Gundams. I heard him almost whisper, "Mission complete." A satisfied look on his face, he tried to laugh and passed out. He fell into the ocean as the torpedoes hit Deathscythe, sinking both Gundams. Relena was stunned. She snapped out of it, turned, and ran. I felt sick. I leaned against the pole, shutting my eyes. Duo, staring at the sea where Deathscythe sank, turned quietly as Oz units started to pour in. "Good time for Ms. Peacecraft to leave." I muttered, then ran and tackled Duo off the dock into the ocean-opposite from where Heero was. Duo swam for the shore under water. I surfaced for air and heard Sally Po, a military 'nurse', launch a small type of sub to find Heero. I hid behind a dock pole as Heero was brought up. "Uh oh," I mumbled, then dove to the bottom and watched. The sub surfaced and Heero was taken with them. I went up for air, then dove again and swam towards the shore. I have to find Quatre and Wufei, I thought. I know Trowa will do fine on his own. I went to an all-too-familiar docking bay and got out of the water. Greeted by my friends, the few I made, I was exhausted. I hadn't noticed my wounds until Karan, Duo's sister, started to bandage them. She was asking questions about Duo, obviously worried. I told her I didn't know. It was the truth. Since she wasn't a pilot, as far as I could tell, I couldn't exactly tell her much. By that time, two days had passed. Later, on the third day of the 'Gundam arrival', I left the bay after getting my motorcycle. I headed out for Arabia on the bike, a nice, classic Indian, black and silver, custom made. I don't remember exactly how, but I made it to Arabia. I found where Quatre should be, then asked around. I was stunned when none of them knew who Quatre was. Finally, I saw a young man in a cloak walking down the street. Running, I went after him. I didn't dare say his name. Way too open, I thought. Some of the people could be Oz. Almost losing sight of him, I finally got my hand on his shoulder, then said quietly, voice hard, "Quatre." He turned, eyes seeming to plead. My expression changed to surprise. He smiled, then took my hand like a child and started to lead me away from the crowd. I stayed silent but kept up. We went into one of the smaller buildings. Going to the back, I let Quatre pull me along while I looked inside the building. The building itself wasn't that remarkable. There were several old statues and paintings, books and pottery. I didn't have long to look because Quatre led me down a flight of stairs, then another, and a final one. There was then a hallway, an elevator at the end. I smiled to myself as Quatre went ahead of me. Incredible, I thought. I found the Winner capita. The shop must be below. That's the modern part of this entire city. All of this being in my head, I stepped into the elevator and let him take us below ground. Soon, we stepped off in the Winner 'estate', a place where the Winner family could do what they wanted. I followed him silently as he explained.
"When I landed, I was in the desert. I bet you could tell from the location readout. Well, I found my way back here to get Sandrock repaired. She's in the shop now, being worked on. Unfortunately, my sisters aren't around. By the way, I want you to keep this in mind. I think Oz will come around. I noticed a few mobile suits patrolling a small area off Arabian soil," he said, leading me through a maze of passages. "We're heading to the shop now." He smiled. "You might like who's there." As I walked through the halls slightly behind him, I had no idea who he could mean. Entering the shop, I looked around, sweeping my green eyes left and right. Quatre smiled at me, then went towards the heart of the shop. I followed silently. My mouth dropped when I saw Sandrock being worked on. Someone put their hand on my shoulder. My eyes widened-I was jumpy. I heard Trowa's voice, clear and soft. "I'm sorry if I scared you, Key," he said, then let go and walked past me. I stayed silent as an alarm went off-I got over my feelings. I raised my eyes to a monitor silently. Oz mobile suits were lined up all around the city. I stayed still, then closed my eyes. Trowa and Quatre both pulled me along to an elevator leading to one of the larger buildings. Stepping off, I went ahead of them to the window- I wasn't stupid. The Oz suits were only for security. The Oz fraction system, a sole group from Oz, were setting crates around the city. Being me, I tried to jump out from the window to try to stop them. The boys had to hold me back. I watched them leave. The boys let me go almost unwillingly. "I'm going to have to find out what you told Quatre about me, Trowa," I said, my eyes closed. I then stepped up to the window ledge and went flying. Flipping and spinning, I went through the air. Landing in a kneeling position a few yards away from one crate, I instantly started to sprint. Hearing someone behind me, I ran faster, then slipped-on purpose-so I stopped next to an alley-right next to the crate. I lunged myself into the alley and stayed there, my back pressed against the wall. The person behind me, followed by two others, stopped next to the crate. Taking a gun from my jean jacket pocket-I didn't cock it-I turned from the wall and aimed at the closest persons' head. He didn't flinch. He turned his head so I could see his face. My gun hand wavered-I nearly dropped it. Trowa looked at my gun, then me, not worried at all. I realized they followed me for the same reason I left. Quatre and his friends were behind Trowa, staring at me, looking surprised. I looked at Trowa, then at the gun, and I dropped it. I watched it clatter on the ground. I looked up at Quatre, then Trowa. Standing up, I kept my eyes on them. "Sorry," I mumbled. Trowa nodded in understanding agreement. Quatre nodded as well, his eyes full of questions. Quatre's friend knelt down next to the crate with a type of crowbar. Snapping it open, our faces remained plastered with an all-too-familiar look. A keypad and a timer could be seen. "A bomb," Trowa muttered. "These things are all over the city," Quatre said, looking at Trowa, then at me. I knelt down to the crate and started to take the panel off. Quatre stopped me. Looking, almost glaring, at him, he explained. "I don't think that will work. They look interconnected. If one goes off, the others will. They're trying to start a night attack. The bombs are set for midnight," Quatre said. "So what are we supposed to do? Wait for them to blow us out? Let the war start?" I said, my voice angry. Quatre, as calm as he was, glared at me, then turned to his friend. "Evacuate the city." The man nodded, then turned and ran towards the heart of the city. Eyes narrowed, I picked my gun up, put it away, then headed back towards where I had stored my bike. Trowa tried to stop me unsuccessfully. I got to my bike, then swiftly headed out of the city. I'll come back, I decided, when the battle begins.