Gundam W: Frozen Teardrop
Silent Prelude
Written by Katsuyuki Sumizawa
Based on the original by Kojime Hayate and Yoshiyuki Tomino
 
- Prologue File
MC-0022 Next Winter
 
I was hurrying after Master Chang.
Over the Oceanus Borealis, although the Terraforming had succeeded, the atmospheric temperature remained stuck in the bitter cold of less than minus-20°C, and a white storm roared.1 That is, the storm was mainly small bits of hail that were less snow than diamond dust, the frozen particles that composed the atmosphere.
Even now on the long-distance, high-speed hovership Voyage that rushed over the Oceanus, that white storm crashed against the windows and obscured most of the view.
“Lt. Colonel Kathy, it’s five kilometers to the Preventers Base, but it looks like it’ll take another two hours.”
Captain Tell Hicotory, who was piloting the ship, stated the report in an uncomplaining voice.
In that moment, the coxwain Sakai Masakazu, who was intently gazing at the nautical map projected on the holo-monitor, and irritated too by the weather map and its constant changes on the submonitor, shrugged.
“We’re going to be about fifteen minutes late past the scheduled arrival time. Man, I really didn’t think the North Pole would be this stormy.”
“Understood. I apologize for the inconvenience.”
They probably barely heard me murmur the words, as though I were talking to myself. It was so harshly cold that my lips trembled and my teeth chattered. Still, this was a place that once recorded temperatures of 90°C below zero. We were not in a position to complain.
“But you said we’re in a rush.”
We must move quickly.
We must urgently put out the remains of the fire in this world.
 
I am Lt. Colonel Kathy Po.
I am a member of “Preventer,” the secret intelligence unit under the direct control of the President of the Earth Sphere United Nation. Preventers are popularly known as “firefighters,” and it is the organization charged with the mission of protecting the peace in the Earth Sphere and maintaining the weapons ban.
The memory files on this microchip were sent to me by the Earth Sphere United Nation President, Dorothy T. Catalonia. That this microchip’s contents would put into effect “Operation Mythos,” I already expected.
Although I immediately communicated the information to the Preventers Base at the North Pole, Master Chang downloaded three files from an old database in the history bank that archived information from the Earth Sphere United Nation, and indicated that I should take them together apart from the memory chip.
“Since you, too, are a member of Preventers, you must see those files... take a look at them before you arrive.”2
As usual, my boss could only speak in a manner that pushed people away.
What on earth could he mean by this ancient data? I couldn’t help thinking that they were meaningless data files.
 
Since the three appointed data files were old, they were disjointed, and recorded the summer and fall of A.C. 195 as well as the summer of the following year, A.C. 196.
In terms of language, record-keeper, storage place, and storage format they were all completely unlike, and there there were only slight topic relationships or points of contact. The only real term they had in common was the keyword “Gundam pilots.”
They were excellent pilots who commanded the “Gundams,” mobile suits made of Gundanium. In the usual history banks, their personal names are not mentioned, and neither are the “Gundams” recorded by name,  but they are called “XXXG,” where the beginning is simply the lifeless model number. Nor did their names afterwards become legend in the Earth Sphere.
It would be fair to say, and it would not be strange to call this the “official record,” leaves the impression that these people were unrelated to the public face of history.
A.C. 195 was the time when the war caused the greatest suffering for the people of the Earth Sphere. The first file, recorded in the summer of that year, was written in German, and the contents were more like a letter or a pamphlet rather than a diary or biography.
In the first part, the poem “Autumn” by the historical Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke is quoted. As for the seasons, since it was summer at the time it is a mystery why the reminiscence on “autumn.” Moreover, although the two lines of text added on to the end of the poem were later erased with a hand-written strikethrough, I get the impression that I may find some meaning in this file.
However, I can’t make any meaning of it. Still, it is true that a Gundam pilot by the name of Milliardo Peacecraft was active during this period. In addition, I conjecture it’s likely that this essay was written by that Treize Khushrenada.
The file is as follows.
 
A.C. 195 SUMMER
 
The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,
as if orchards were dying high in space;
each leaf falls as if it were motioning “no.”
 
And tonight the heavy earth is falling
away from all the other stars in loneliness.
 
We are all falling. This hand here is falling.
And look at the other one: it is in them all.
 
And yet there is Someone, whose hands
infinitely calm, holding up all this falling.
 
R.M. Rilke, “Autumn,” A.D. 19023
 
This is our eternal friend,
Milliardo Peacecraft!
 
This age exists in the dark of desolation.
I cannot help saying that in the entirety of the long history of men, in what came before or in what will come after, there was never an age so completely alienated, tragic, and sad. That is, it may be said that we resemble that Earth which we have fully abandoned for limitless Space, and it may now be possible to describe the sort of immature, lost child we are who has lost sight of her destination.
At the end of the last century, people established themselves in Space. Then, for the first time, we knew of our own alienation. The closest celestial body on which we might rely, Earth was now some ten thousand kilometers distant.
The space colonies, manmade residential spaces positioned at the LaGrange Points, the points of gravitational equilibrium between the Moon and Earth, were made a symbol of the new world, and the new age was called by the name “AC” (After Colony). Although it has been nearly two hundred years, still humanity has not escaped from this age of darkness.
The precious few leaders of this age caused a nearly meaningless political battle, flattered the status quo in the name of justice, caused a war in the name of the Earth Sphere and compelled the great mass of the people to poverty, hunger, and bloodshed.
Still, although we have unfortunately left our wingless and lifeless home for Space, I can conjecture as to the reason we continue to remain in the depths of darkness.
No, to voice the other viewpoint, perhaps the fact that Space is an unyielding creature which rejects life completely, and which we have regrettably made too near at hand, can explain this key psychological problem that so vexes us with an immature loneliness.
Regardless, mankind has after all, in this period of scarcely a hundred years, continued to war with such utter heedlessness, stumbled in its ambitions towards space, and stagnated our era.
That stagnation is turning into a slow decay.
On account of the war, those who somehow hold their ground against this decay would perhaps only serve to exaggerate it if they were the rulers of this era.
There is a ceaseless flow of bitter tears from the eyes of the people. Have they already given up hope?
Battles and strife have never ceased. Surely that is the obvious fact gleaned from history up until now. So it is perhaps that because  abandoned some small “hope for peace,” it would not be an exaggeration to say that we restore our peace of mind, and that in continuing our emotional strife and chronic suffering, we turn the “extraordinary” into the “ordinary.”
In order to forget that sun which always blazes and shines overhead, we avert our eyes from its brilliance and shut ourselves up in the shell that is our small Earth.
Revolution may not be necessary.
In this age of darkness, there must be those who hope for that ray of glory and point the way to the path we must travel. Thus, however small a hope it may be, and however soiled by blood is our conduct, we must take the hand of that lost child who is tired of weeping, and acknowledge our rightful path.
However, that will not be done at the hands of the “victors.” Those who rule by victory would again begin a scramble for power and once more restart the cycle of the history of war.
To change history one must be “the defeated.”
                sommer TK
 
It is recorded with the German word for “summer,” and there is a signature “TK” that is believed to be the initials of Treize Khushrenada. The phrase “the defeated” has a peculiar aspect, and is the foundation for the belief that Treize himself did not write it.
As for Milliardo and Treize, at this time there was still no connection between them (it is said that their first point of contact was during the Eve Wars), so however much they may be personages of the same time period, from a historical perspective, it might be more appropriate to think that this is someone else.
 
The next file is also truly puzzling.
Instead of an essay, this file was stored as a video. At the start of the September semester of A.C. 195, a boy named “Duo Maxwell” transferred schools, and in the state-run gymnasium on R09935 of the L4 Colony Group he is videotaped reading a composition (though it has the feeling of a thesis) written on the theme of the relationship between Earth and the Colonies.
Although it was recorded by a camera at the very back of the room, and there are no close-ups of his face, if this were really “Duo,” it would be before our very eyes the only appearance of a flesh-and-blood Gundam pilot.
At the time, the information passed around as rumor was that, being nearly just boys, they often infiltrated and transferred schools repeatedly in order to carry out their missions in secrecy. However, I feel that it’s a bit impossible for him to have called himself by the name “Duo.” If he were concealing his existence, one would normally expect him to use an alias.
The contents are as follows:
 
A.C. 195 AUTUMN
“The planet that made it miraculously possible for living things to thrive in the solar system is the Earth. In the year of After Colony 195, on account of the development of the Colonies, and because of plentiful resources and increased technological ability, humanity came into the possession of a new land. However, the Colonies are not just a fake recreation of the land Earth, which will forever be our mother.
“What could be the meaning of having built the colonies?
“I hear that the main purpose of technological development is to enrich the lives of the people in the Earth Sphere. But maybe humanity has placed an impossible demand on these artificial spaces. Since in their life-support systems there is no threat of nature, they have a greater security than Earth.
“It seems that this development, which was unheeding of the long-term, promised humanity a permanent existence. It may be that in space, where we were allowed to begin from nothing, there was an age of over-exuberance.
“Still, it is not easy to believe that the Colonies, no, that humanity would be capable of forgetting Earth.
“What did the development technology of the Colonies bring to the Earth...? The technology that Earth most dearly wanted was military strength. Destruction is an animating spirit that humanity cannot discard. Now, though, the Colonies have a military temperament. And Earth cannot forget it.
“The beauty of Earth is its greatness.
“Mankind, the creature that came to hold so much power, thinks only of controlling this one planet. On a planetary scale, the existence of living things is ephemeral. It is after-the-fact. After all, the things that humanity thinks about have not changed at all. The months and years that humanity departed for Space were all for nothing.
“In the face of reality, ideals are only a dream.
“The lie of a place to live.
“The lie of the principles of peace.
“Space steals more life than anything. Although humanity has not forgotten that tragedy, still it does not cease its fighting.
“The blood and tears that have been shed are not just for show. We have a history that recites only wars as the turning points of eras. No matter how many times this baffling line has been repeated in the past, “we fight for peace” is a pretty thing that has lost its luster.
“It is said that the Colonies hold military maneuvers for peace.
“We have not changed at all since Earth.
“If a great deal of blood is spilled, perhaps morale will improve...”
“The boy named “Duo,” having read up to this point, is stopped by the teacher and the teacher indicates that he should sit in a seat in the back row.
Since the camera is viewing the blank report page that the boy is holding, it is possible to see it well, and one takes note of the fact that on that report page there doesn’t seem to be a single sentence written.
The page is completely blank.
It appears that the boy, pretending that he was reading, said what he was thinking at the time.
Even so, that this boy who still had the look of a child could imagine such a criticism of the zeitgeist and to consider things from such a broad point of view must be marveled at.
Then, finally the camera catches just a glimpse of the last page, rustled by the breeze, where there are sentences that appear to be a written conclusion, and it is possible to confirm several lines.
When they are read as a still image, they are written as follows:
“... So, why do people fight?
Maybe the meaning of life is in the fight.
A man who fights has a sense of fulfillment.
So the truth is that a man who fights can’t even see the filth of it.”
Although this is my own personal feeling, I definitely don’t think that this boy is “Duo Maxwell.” I dare say that I don’t think there’s any possibility at all of it being a Gundam pilot. While it’s a shame, there’s nothing I can do about the fact that there’s no other specific evidence, and I can’t help being left with that impression for some reason.
 
When I downloaded the last file, I was surprised. That was because I knew one of the recorded personages very well.
The one who archived it was “Sally Po.”
My mother’s name.
During A.C. 196, my mother was definitely a member of the Earth Sphere United Nation’s “Preventers.”
Although the particulars of her mission at that time are unclear, but to the extent that I can discern from the voices preserved here, I wonder if she wasn’t charged with being Relena Darlian’s bodyguard when she was the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Neither my mother’s face nor voice are preserved in this file. Moreover, I can’t figure out who Relena Darlian’s interview partner might be. It might be some extremely important personage. Perhaps because the contents are too classified, the image is pixelated, and you can only hear the voices.
Where this was recorded is unclear, and like the other files, I can’t even figure out when it was recorded either. And although a man of considerable advanced age is speaking, it is only his image when speaking to Relena Darlian that is barely visible.
Moreover, there was only one Gundam pilot by the name “Heero Yuy” that Relena and the old man discuss in this file, and although it was a classified subject, within Preventers it was a known fact.
The boy was given the same codename as the legendary former Colonial leader.
In this file, that is the main topic discussed.
One more addendum is, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the Colonial and Earth partisans were in a time of peace for some eight months before Mariemaia’s rebellion.
The voices begin with the old man’s:
 
A.C. 196 SPRING
“The human heart has two significant diseases. One is an impulse to tell of revenge and pass it along to the next generation. The second is a tendency not to see individuals as people, but to want to label them as groups.”
“...”
“To be sure, those boys’ ideals, succeeded in temporarily breaking off the chain of hatred that encompassed so many centuries. But, the groups that call upon the principles of peace constructed by those ideals will not tolerate any differences in opinion.”
“...”
“I think you know what’s going to happen as a result...”
“...”
“That’s what the boy said, didn’t he...”
“... Yes...”
The old man’s sneering rasp can be heard.
“He was number one. He exceeded expectations... No matter how many barriers there are, he doesn’t know how to stop.”
“...”
“His name... yeah, that was the name that I thought up.”
“You mean, Heero Yuy...?”
“Yeah... it was all a bluff, so, don’t you think it’s a good name?”
“Is it true that you gave Heero... that you gave him a new mission?”
“I’ll get to that question after you answer my question, about whether it was good...”
“... Certainly.”
“Isn’t it true, that the only way to realize the dream of complete pacifism is to throw away the weapons, and stamp out the soldiers?”
“As long as we don’t get rid of the idea that aggression comes from people’s souls, isn’t true peace impossible...?”
“Can humanity ever mature that much?”
“It has not yet, and it will be difficult in the future.”
Relena’s deep sigh can be heard.
“Still, essentially, although people must move forward with all their might, I believe the obstacle we face is not an enemy that competes with us.”
“So, that’s why you’ve planned the Mars Terraforming...”
 “It’s quite alright that you’re laughing. However, I believe in it with all sincerity.”
There is a sound of the old man’s body shaking.
It seems that he really is laughing.
“Are you alright...?”
There is a scratching sound of a wooden chair being moved forward.
“Now, about Heero’s mission to destroy the Colonies’ beam gun when the attack on Earth was at hand... The truth is, the deterrence value of the name ‘Heero Yuy’ was always necessary to the background of the peace you all built.”
“...”
“This is true regardless of era or location...”
Even within Preventers, this file was classified top secret. If I hadn’t been given special permission by the branch chief, Master Chang, I probably would have never seen it.
At this time, no records remained of the development of the Colonies’ beam gun, meant for use in an attack against Earth. I think that perhaps this is because that Gundam pilot with the code name “Heero Yuy” succeeded in his mission of destroying that weapon.
Thinking about the terms of the mission, since it’s more or less the same thing that the current Preventers does, it’s a mystery why my mother didn’t participate in the mission; considering it more, since the organization had only just started, maybe they were in a period where they had not yet begun activities.
There was some data attached to the file apart from the voices.
There were the design sketches and operating manual for an “Artificial Deep-Freeze Hibernation Capsule.”
Although there’s a sketch on the signature, “J,” I don’t know who might have made them. Perhaps mistakenly, I think there’s a possibility that the old man talking with Relena Darlian is this person.
There might be some deep connection in these three files with the one file, the orders from President Dorothy.
But, no matter what I do, I can’t possibly think of what relationship this ancient data has to our current strategic necessities.
“Lt. Colonel Kathy, we’re sorry to have kept you waiting,” Captain Hicotory said as he reduced the speed on the long-distance, high-speed hovership Voyage.
“We’re arriving at the Preventers Mars Branch North Pole Base. Somehow we got here on time,” the coxwain, Sakai, said softly.
“Thank you; you’ve really helped me out.”
Outside the window, the white storm continued.
In the dim sky, Mars’s second moon, Deimos, looked like a frozen teardrop, reflecting a rainbow aurora.
I hurriedly jumped into the base from the docking bay. Master Chang was in this base alone. I canceled the security code several times, finished the DNA scan and rushed towards the Preventers Mars Branch Base Chief’s office.
The gravity of this planet is a third that of Earth or the Colonies.
My stride is longer than I expected, so I can run very easily.
I opened the last door, and Master Chang was waiting for me, wearing a dark blue Chinese garment with a Mandarin collar.
“Thank you for coming...”
“Master Chang, I was given approval for ‘Operation Mythos.’ Please awaken the ‘Princess Aurora.’” That is, “Sleeping Beauty” was inscribed in the Artificial Deep-Freeze Hibernation Capsule.
Then I heard a voice from behind me.
“You really are the spitting image of your mom.”
I whirled around in surprise. There stood a middle-aged man dressed in a black priest’s outfit, and a boy with his long hair tied in three braids. The one who spoke was the priest.
In the same instant I turned back, I reached for my side-arm.
“Who are you?”
I was nervous, but I aimed at him. I had no idea what was to come.
And, even though I was pointing a gun at them, they didn’t do anything at all. Not just that, but I knew that these two were not normal people.
“You’re Sally’s daughter, aren’t you?”
As he said so, the priest and the boy crossed in front of me, going near Master Chang.
The boy, with a frowning expression, glared at me and showed disgust towards the gun pointed at him. “How long are you going to point that at us?” He flashed a fearless look. “... until we’re all dead?”
I couldn’t believe it, but he sounded like he was complaining.
“I’m Father Maxwell.” By contrast, the priest was smirking from beginning to end, and displayed a friendly, smiling face. “Father Maxwell may run and hide, but he never tells a lie... oh, and this wicked-looking brat is my son, Duo.”
With a “hmph,” the boy snorted like I was an idiot, and he appeared to have no intention of introducing himself.
Master Chang, who up until now had said nothing, signaled with his hand for me to lower the gun.
I reluctantly followed his signal.
Right away the boy spouted a sarcastic comment. “Oh good, maybe I’ll be able to live a little longer.”
When I realized that this impertinent boy’s name was “Duo Maxwell,” I thought it was a bad joke. I wonder if he gave him that Gundam pilot’s name for the hell of it.
“By the way, did you bring those three files with you?” The priest asked me as though calling my attention to it. “In order to awaken the ‘Princess Aurora,’ you’ll need those three pieces of the prelude.”
1 The Oceanus Borealis is the apocryphal primordial ocean of Mars.
2 This is difficult to express in English, but the way Wufei speaks to her is a bit rude.
3 Rather than retranslate the poem as written in the Japanese, I’ve chosen to substitute an English translation from the German.