Gundam W: Frozen Teadrop
Written by Sumizawa Katsuyuki
Illustrations by Asagi Sakura
Based on the original by Yatate Hajime and Tomino Yoshiyuki
Rondo of Atonement part I
-- Treize File
The natural phenomenon known as an aurora is not specific to Earth, but rather occurs in most planets in the solar system.
At the North Pole as it is today, once the storms have settled down the whole sky is filled with stars. It used to be, back when the atmosphere was thin, that the stars would barely gleam, but after the Terraforming, it was possible to see a similar flickering once the atmosphere became Earth-like.
There are suddenly windless conditions. A white curtain falls before your eyes.
Then a film of thin, washed-out light gives the impression of being the hem on a cape of an angel or a god, and with every brief flicker it emits a changing brilliance, from indigo to purple, green, at times red. That is an aurora.
I’m well aware that my description is hackneyed even as I say it, but it does look like the highest reaches of the curtain of light are dancing a graceful and solemn rondo.
You can see the gleam of the stars before that astonishing thing, the aurora, and while the aurora flickers before your eyes, and no matter how many thousands of kilometers you go to the east, the heavy green curtain shifts before you.
It feels as though the aurora conceals a staircase that reaches all the way to heaven.
But then yet another curtain of light falls before your eyes.
When seeing it happen again, it is impossible not to feel the beauty of a magnificent nature, and the mystery of space.
While this beauty belongs only to Mars, I am sure that the auroras you can see on the ground of Earth’s Poles are also beautiful.
There are probably those that would argue it’s named after the “Princess Aurora” of Sleeping Beauty.
The princess of the old fairy tale, however, was not in fact called that, but was named Princess Thalia. However, regardless of the most famous classic ballet composed by Tchaikovsky, considering the diversionary naming of our current mission, “Operation Mythos,” maybe there was no particular method to the naming of “Princess Aurora.”
The priest told me that “you’re going to need those three pieces of the prelude to awaken the ‘Princess Aurora.’” But in Tchaikovsky’s ballet, the prelude is in four parts, and I think the only complaint about the first part is that there isn’t enough of it.
However, since I didn’t think there was any connection there, I decided to listen to a suspect part of the main piece.
“So, essentially...” I settled into a dissatisfied expression, turned to the priest and Master Chang and spoke. “Do we need these old data files to start up the hibernation capsule with a password or something?”
“That is correct.”
Master Chang said this not looking at me, but at the microchip I was holding, that stored the converted data files. That’s what it looked like to me.
So I held it out to him; he grabbed it and immediately scanned it and confirmed the contents.
Master Chang started up another program, expanded a nearby holo-monitor, and input the password. The password was the file’s year number and recorded season.
“Now we can activate the hibernation capsule’s thaw system program.”
I couldn’t stand it after all, and brought up the suspicious part I had thought of from before and part I couldn’t find anything wrong with.
“But doesn’t the prelude need to be four parts?”
“This man has the fourth part.”
Master Chang glanced up at the priest while he was loading the memory chip.
“My prelude is a masterwork that rivals a symphony.”
The priest named Father Maxwell, suspiciously, seemed the type to favor making grandiose statements.
“The problem is what the ‘Princess Aurora’s’ condition might be when awoken from the hibernation capsule,” he said to me, looking worried. Leaving aside his suspicious looks, he seemed to otherwise be a nice person.
“Up until now what’s happened in awakenings from artificial hibernation, there’s about an 80% probability that you can see a disturbance of the secretions in the neurons in the hippocampus region of the brain. As a result, there’s a chance that we might have to reset the stored memories.”
“That would be, all memories of the old AC era...”
“Well, that’s true.”
“Hey, stupid Dad.”
The boy named Duo interrupted.
“More importantly, where’s my partner?”
“That you’re going to have to leave to Doctor T and Professor W.”
I had heard of those two names too.
“That wouldn’t by any chance have to do with ‘Snow White’ and ‘The Warlock,’ would it?”
“Exactly right! There’s something else too!”
“It can’t be, that this child is a pilot--”
“Yeah, well... he was trained up to a level of skill that roughly rivals the ‘Princess Aurora.’”
So that’s why the boy was named after the Gundam pilot, Duo Maxwell. I understood, a bit. But my own honest feelings are that, to think of this boy that way was hard to believe.
“Rival? Don’t screw around, I’ve always been tops! Really, stupid Dad doesn’t understand anything!
“He has a bad way with words because of the way I raised him... after his mother died I was a single parent.”
“A poor choice of staff.” Master Chang spoke quietly as he scowled at the holo-monitor in front of him. “Whether for the ‘Princess Aurora,’ or for your son.”
“But then shouldn’t we keep everything the way it is?”
“...” Master Chang kept silent.
“Father, are you also a Preventer?”
“No, no. I’m not a man of leisure like Master Chang here.” He grinned in an oddly bright way. “Well, I guess you could say we’re old friends.”
“I never once thought of you as a friend.”
“Hey, hey, what about that time on Lunar Base, weren’t we friends when it looked like we were about to die together?”
“Hmph. If you’d died back then maybe we’d be having a better time here.”
I had never seen Master Chang talk this much. Even if he wouldn’t call this priest a friend, maybe they were like bad friends.
“I’ve downloaded the three files... so we only need the file that you prepared.”
“Here...” The priest tossed him the microchip.
Master Chang loaded it into the computer and it scanned the data.
“Is it possible to load that large an amount?”
“It’s the minimum necessary.”
Duo and I didn’t interrupt, and their conversation proceeded quickly. Even though I didn’t mean to be a tactless questioner, but besides the fact that the mission would succeed or fail by this method, I had to determine whether I had any choice in the matter.
“Maybe I shouldn’t say this, but those files’ contents, they’re all from the previous AC era.”
“That’s true.”
“And the oldest record is from A.C. 130?”
“Will you download those old files into the ‘Princess Aurora’s’ memories?”
“If we wake up the ‘Princess Aurora’ as-is, although the body will remain in its former state, there’s a possibility that the mind will be the same as a newborn child’s.”
“And what about reviewing the contents?”
“Are you planning on editing them?”
“I was given authorization by President Catalonia.”
“Hah, so Dorothy’s gotten big too... although I haven’t met her.”
That he even jokingly referred to the representative of the Earth Sphere that way confirmed for me that he was not a member of Preventers.
“That gal’s a great one... if Relena had become the Earth Sphere President instead, maybe we wouldn’t have started this ‘Operation Mythos.’”
Even if he wasn’t a Preventer, that didn’t mean he was exempted from not referring to my direct superior as “that gal.”1
“Regardless of what you just said, I will be taking a look at the file the Father is adding to my three files.”
“That’s going to take a while.”
“It’s not just reading it, it’s more like experiencing it.”
While he said this, the Father was twirling a pair of sunglasses like a top.
Although at first I didn’t figure out what he meant, when I noticed that the sunglasses were the newest virtual visors, I understood.
Essentially, this file was recorded in three dimensions, and it appeared that the virtual space connected directly into the brain, and gave the ability to experience something as both an observer and a bystander.
“The ‘Princess Aurora’s’ mind was brilliant. This file is the only way that we can reconstruct it.”
Master Chang still looked doubtful.
“That’s a dangerous bet... things won’t necessarily go the way we expect.”
“If returned to a former self, might not ‘Princess Aurora’ double-cross our enemies?”
“I can’t deny the possibility.”
“It was a fluke that this one turned into the ‘Princess Aurora’... regardless, since it’s a risky gamble, let’s not do this in a way we’ll regret.”
“Moreover, I really went to a lot of trouble to get this...”
“Idiotic... in that costume you’re fit to be a priest.”
“Well, I don’t want to say that you don’t look like a Preventer...”
I copied the microchip that Father Maxwell had brought and confirmed the file in question.
Displayed on the holo-monitor were lists of ages and personal names, divided into several sections.
“Father, what is this?”
“You could call it a history book, or a biography. Anyhow, everything that happened in the past is processed operationally by a special program called ‘ZERO,’ and it’s contained within this chip.”
“Why does it start from the year A.C. 130?”
“Although it would be possible to start from the dawn of human history, if we did that, the ‘Princess Aurora’ would somehow become all-powerful. But that’s also to say, if we started only with recent matters it wouldn’t be worth crap. What we need to form this personality is not the Mars Calendar but the A.C. calendar...”
Suddenly something came to mind and I tried to look at Duo.
Perhaps finding our conversation very boring, he was asleep on the office sofa, showing his back to us, his three long
braids dangling loosely to the floor.
The priest continued talking, while for some reason he gazed at Duo with an expression of loss.
“It’s not the kind of typical stuff that’s in textbooks, I mean it’s the shadow history that we knew as kids.”
“No matter how many times we talk about ‘ZERO,’ we cannot say for sure that individual perceptions will not color it.”
“It’s not something you can explain. But as far as is possible, I will have expected impartiality.”
“Regardless of what you expect, I’m saying that it’s dangerous.”
“That’s why I’m being humble about it... do you not know this about being Asian?”
They weren’t seeing eye-to-eye, and they kept talking like two children in a schoolyard fight.
I was concentrating on the files.
The first item was a description of Treize Khushrenada. Since it was simple material, I could read it on the holo-monitor.
But it was completely different from the Treize I had imagined.
For example, the person called Treize Khushrenada that remains in our Preventers records is described as follows.
“Treize Khushrenada (AC 171 - 195):
Was an official of the Romefeller Foundation and the young commander who controlled the secret society OZ.
His grandfather was the leader of the Romefeller Foundation and from the moment of birth was a member of the elite.
Moreover, he was able to gather a great number of supporters and enthusiasts on account of his powerful charisma and excellent political ability.
All of his actions were founded in German philosophy and aesthetics, and the trust placed in him by subordinates who aligned themselves to a faction with Lady Une and Treize was immense.
Moreover, his awareness of the crime of war was considerable, and he committed to memory the names and numbers of those who died in the war.
After the joint coup d’etat with OZ, although he was overthrown at least once and imprisoned as a traitor because he openly objected to the Romefeller Foundation’s objectives, once Duke Dermail died, he was reinstated as commander of OZ.
After that, he succeeded to the position of sovereign of the World United Nation from the Queen Relena, and commenced all-out war against Milliardo Peacecraft, who had become the head of the Colonial revolutionary organization White Fang.
As for that battle (the Eve Wars), he challenged a settlement at the enormous battleship Libra in the form of a duel, but Milliardo rejected it and launched the main battery.
Consequently, by Treize’s command commenced the largest space battle with Mobile Suits on both sides in human history.
As the battle became a free-for-all, the last person to go against Treize was the pilot of the Gundam 05, and at the end of a grueling battle he was defeated and lost his life.
At the time of his death he was 24 years old.”
In reality there shouldn’t be any mistakes in this description. But as for the file that the Father brought, it didn’t seem to resemble the recounting of an unusual hero named “Treize Khushrenada.”
He was certainly a man with a lot of mystery about him.
Why was he so concerned with the defeated?
Since when did he commit to memory the names of the dead, and begin to count their number?
When did his pessimistic viewpoint, which so resembled a sorrow that in some ways flowed into the foundation of his ideology or philosophy, arise?
Such things were recorded here.
I borrowed the virtual visor from the Father and connected it to the computer.
I put on the visor, the word “ZERO” came up, and the computer-processed bygone history connected directly into my mind.
The year was A.C. 170.
It begins a year before Treize’s birth:
There were two lovers beneath the aurora.
Ein and Angelina.
At the northernmost point of the North American continent, there is a provincial town called Yellowknife, and the two of them stood on the heavy snowpack of the suburb, gazing at the wondrous aurora that fell across them and marveling at its beauty.
The curtain of dazzling brilliant light shone with seven colors and shifted continually.
Afterwards, they heard that even the locals rarely saw such a thing.
It was not an exaggeration to say that the ultimate beauty of the contact between the solar wind and the Earth arose purely by chance.
“I had thought that Earth as seen from Space was the most beautiful thing,” Ein whispered, like the soliloquy of one whose eyes had been opened. “But to actually stand on the land of Earth, to see this spectacle in person, I wonder if this world overflows with things this wonderful and this beautiful...”
Ein was anguished.
Angelina understood what he felt.
“...” Though she could understand it, she could not find the words to express it.
Unworthy of this beautiful Earth, the war continued unceasingly.
Moreover, the boundless Space that faced the aurora would be drawn into this meaningless fight.
Ein hid his sorrow and flashed a smile. Now he expressed an intention to honestly enjoy the beautiful phenomenon. “But even more than that, your beauty is the best thing in Space.”
Angelina looked down embarrassedly at the blunt statement. “Not at all...”
Ein put his finger on Angelina’s chin and tilted her face towards him.
“I don’t want you to look at me, but at the aurora.”
“I want to see the aurora reflected in your eyes... that has to be the most beautiful thing you can see in space.”
They locked eyes and kissed intensely.
Ein Yuy was born in the year A.C. 150 in a space colony. He was the nephew of Heero Yuy, the representative for the Colonial Advisory Council. Although at twenty years old he was young, Heero trusted him, and he was charged with the position of mediator between the Colonial and Earth partisans. This trip to Earth, too, was for the sake of encouraging negotiations between the Cinq Kingdom, and the North American branch of the Romefeller Foundation.
Angelina Khushrenada was the only daughter of the Romefeller Foundation representative, the Duke Cinquante Khushrenada, and she was born in the year A.C. 152.
Since she was a child, her father doted on her, and she lived a life free of any inconvenience. Now, too, she arrived in North American escorted by her father, and although she participated in the joint Colony-Earth Summit ceremonies and parties, she failed to consider that her fate, no, that the fate of the entire populace of the Earth Sphere, would be greatly altered.
Ein and Angelina met at a party hall; they were both taken with each other and both fell in love.
After many secret meetings, they then succeeded in escaping to the North Pole.
Although it is unknown if at this time the two of them sincerely meant to be married, but it is certain that this escape to the aurora served to make Angelina’s feelings unshakeable.
“This way I won’t regret anything.”
“Are you definitely going?”
“I love you, Ein.”
“I do too, Angelina... but, there’s a task that I have to fulfill.”
“Then I’ll go to Space with you.”
Ein weakly shook his head.
There was no chance of such an outrageous thing as the Khushrenada Family’s daughter going to Space being forgiven.
And then, could Ein give up on Heero Yuy, or leave the Earth behind?
It was likely impossible.
Whichever way they tried, for these two people who were still young, realizing their goals was a difficult thing.
There appeared to be no solution, though they thought of one desperately.
Even so the two fell in love and loved each other.
Eventually Ein left Angelina behind and traveled to Space.
There are people who, having been possessed even once by that thing of ultimate beauty, reject a life in human society spoiled by corruption, and at times came close to madness.
When Angelina flew off to Space, alone, it had been one month since she had seen that beautiful aurora.
Ein was persuading the anti-Federation resistance on the L2 Colony Group’s V08744.
He desperately pleaded with them to stop thinking of any kind of armed uprising.
At this time, the most radical anti-Federation faction was on the V08744 colony. In the year A.C. 87, after it was constructed, the various races of people were thrown together; they rioted constantly, and the long reign of poverty in this colony boiled over into dissatisfaction and hatred.
Moreover, the target of this anger was against the Earth Sphere Federation.
Ein succeeded in his persuasion. They understood the ideal of what Heero Yuy said: “To make an equal relationship between Earth and the Colonies.”
It is surely so that the name of the legendary Colonial leader Heero Yuy remains in history because of his superior political acumen. However, seen another way, one might say that it was also because of the shadow contributions in negotiations at every Colony by his nephew Ein Yuy.
After he persuaded the resistance members, he suddenly saw Angelina appear before his eyes.
Angelina suddenly embraced the man she loved and kissed him for the first time in a month.
Ein was in that moment aware of all the eyes around them and pushed her away, but then he hugged the woman he most loved in the world, who had come specifically to see him, heedless of danger.
They made their wedding vows in the small Maxwell Church on V08744.
At the end of December (there are those who say it was Christmas) of A.C. 170 , these two soulmates became a married couple that was said to be the most well-matched pair in Space.
Among the persons then present, as an uncle, was Heero Yuy, who delivered a simple benediction.
“The future of this couple is full of blessings. It is not true that we the people of the Colonies left for Space in order to fight. I want you to know that we have Space for the sake of those we love, and so that we may love each other.”
There is now no trace of that small Maxwell Church that this couple must remember.
Eighteen years later in the year A.C. 188, during the coup d’etat of the anti-Federation forces living in the Colony, it was destroyed along with more than 240 lives.
It is famously known as the “Tragedy of the Maxwell Church.”2
But at this time, Heero and Ein were alive, and so long as they were here, any such tragedy likely did not occur to them.
Perhaps, in speaking of history, such words are only lifeless.
At any rate, Ein and Angelina began their lives as newlyweds in the space colony. It seems that their lives were full of happiness.
More than ever, Ein was Heero Yuy’s right hand, and he earnestly continued his activities in the Colonies with a growing excellence. For that reason he could not remain in any one place, and they led a life of constant moving about from inn to inn, and among those, in only the cheapest of rooms.
As for Heero Yuy’s political activities in the Colonies, because his forthrightness and honesty were his only methods of persuasion, fundraising and political capital, the property of the nobles, were without exception not to be relied upon.
Moreover, the Cosmo Alma (Federation Space Force) that looked hostilely upon the Colonies, felt that Heero Yuy, who sought to unify Space, was a threat, and there was no way of knowing that they would soon take emergency measures - an assassination.
Ein, being in the same situation, had his political activities forced into near-seclusion.
Although Angelina, who had been the daughter of the powerful Khushrenada family, would not say that she did not harbor a dissatisfaction for this itinerant lifestyle, would always say that all she needed to be happy was to be with Ein.
Thus Ein and Angelina did not meet Heero Yuy again until the summer of A.C. 171, on the L3 Colony.
1 Duo was not, in fact, talking about Dorothy, but Kathy doesn’t know this yet. (A parenthetical in the text informs us that he was referring to the “Princess Aurora.” You’ll find out who this is at the end of the chapter.)
2 This is the event covered in the first chapter of the manga “Blind Target,” when Duo takes his name.