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The Sniper Project : Chapter 4



From here, it continues…




--Hospital ER (a short time after the attack)


Heero came back to his senses slightly.  He heard shouting, and the loud beeping of hospital monitors.  A voice he recognized broke through the fog…Trowa…


“He’s not going to die, is he?” he heard Trowa say.


“We’re trying everything we can.  Just keep up hope.” He heard another doctor say.  A cold fear struck him.  He might…die?  Before, he would have died for the mission…but now he had other things to look out for…like Duo.


That reminded him.  Duo!  Oh no, Duo must know about this.  How did Duo feel?  He had to be out of his mind with worry and pain.  Heero had to reassure his friend that he was okay…


“I’ve got brainwave measurements here.”  He heard somebody say. 


“He may be trying to wake up.  We’ll have to sedate him.” He froze inwardly at those words.  He was obviously being closely monitored…while this was not a bad thing, in fact, it was very good, it meant that he couldn’t so much as wake up before being put back into an artificial sleep once again.


“Right, sir.” He heard somebody else say.  A mere prick of pain on his arm barely registered with all the other throbbing pains demanding attention throughout his body, and he soon found himself slipping into an uneasy unconsciousness.



--Duo and Wufei’s Hospital Room (a short time later)


Trowa walked into the room, sighing uneasily.  He looked at Duo and Wufei.  Duo was unusually pale, especially since he’d been recovering at a very rapid rate and had looked very healthy.  He was quivering slightly as he stared down at his hands.  Wufei just looked dumbstruck.  He was shaking his head slowly as he stared at the wall.  He looked up at Trowa as he walked in.


“Trowa…” Wufei said quietly. “Trowa…please…you and Quatre…please be careful.”


“We will, Wufei, I’m going to check on him right now.” Trowa promised the Chinese pilot, and with that, turned and left the room.


Duo turned to Wufei, and said, in a weak, hushed voice, “Wu-man?”


Wufei didn’t even warn Duo off of the nickname.  He turned to Duo with a sad smile.


“Duo…he’ll be okay…just believe.”



--Safe House 023E (a short time later)


Trowa had managed to rent a motorcycle, after his explanation of not having a vehicle by putting stealth on his Gundam, and explained that he’d walking along when he’d seen the mess and had a cell phone that he’d called for help on, before he’d dropped it somewhere.  It wasn’t the best of excuses, but it got him the motorcycle, and with it, he got back out to Heavyarms.


Trowa climbed into his Gundam and settled into the seat, gazing over the panels, before strapping in and taking off back to the safe house.  He arrived shortly and put his Gundam back in the hangar with the others after giving a clearance code.  He leapt out of his Gundam with all his acrobatic flair, and then ran into the house and down to the bedroom he shared with Quatre to check on the aforementioned boy.


He was still asleep.


Trowa sat down on the edge of Quatre’s bed, brushing some of the smaller boy’s bangs out of his eyes with one of his hands.  Quatre stirred slightly, then slowly opened his eyes.  Trowa didn’t bother moving his hand.


“Tro-trowa?” Quatre said.  He sat up slightly, or tried to, then moved his hand to cover Trowa’s.  “Ungh…I have…I have a horrible headache…”


“Quatre, I have some bad news.” Trowa said in a quiet tone of voice.


“What…no…no…not Heero…Heero didn’t…?” Quatre said in a soft tone of voice, his eyes gaining more and more of a haunted look to them as he continued. 


“He’s not dead…but he…it was another mobile suit.” Trowa said.


Quatre’s eyes widened.  “But with all the new regulations…”


“It was most likely illegally created.  Heavyarms’ scanners picked up no registration data whatsoever.”


Quatre sighed, and then fell back onto the bed.  “Why?  Why is it being done?  What did we do to anger whoever is doing this?”

Trowa hesitated, and then pulled the smaller boy up into a hug.  “There’s always the possibility that it’s somebody from the war.  Some pilot’s family…brother or sister…out to get revenge…against the Gundam pilots.”


Quatre sighed.  “As much as I wish you were wrong…I know that it could very likely be right.”


Trowa nodded slightly, then shifted as Quatre wrapped his arms around him.  “Thank you, Trowa.”


“For…for what?” Trowa said, looking down at Quatre.


“For being here.” Quatre said, with a tiny, sad smile.



--Secret Laboratory (same approximate time)


The scientist was not pleased.


“Ready the Silver Suit, if we have to we’ll destroy all five of the Gundams.” He snarled. 


His primary tech glanced at the viewscreens around him, at the scientist, then down at the floor again.  “As you wish, sir.  I’ll see that it’s done immediately.”


“Excellent.” The scientist said.  He sat back in his chair as the tech left.


The tech ran through the halls, muttering quietly to himself.  He reached the specialized hangar, where several mobile suits stood, each one different, each one as deadly as the others, but not in the same way.   He walked over to stand in front of the one the scientist had been talking about; the one they called the Silver Suit.


He craned his head back slightly, looking up at it, and sighed.  The thing looked almost like some overly armored samurai from ancient lore.  Silvery plates of defensive armor covered it from head to toe.  Its shield was large, and silver, as the rest of it was, and provided a large area of protection.  In its left hand was its primary weapon, a weapon they had no name for.  Though not exceptionally powerful, it shot both laser beams and laser bombs that exploded into clouds of shrapnel.  The weapon didn’t have to be overly powerful, though, because the armor on the Silver Suit was fantastic.  The tech walked over, and, with an air of somebody touching something they’re not supposed to, laid one of his hands, palm down, on the sleek silver metal of the suit’s foot.  He looked back up again, and could almost imagine the sleek, blue-tinted eyes the suit sported when it was active looking down at him.


“Why must such beauty be used for such slaughter?” he whispered quietly to the empty hangar, and to the Silver Suit.


The suit gave no answer.


The tech turned, and left.



--Safe House 023E (a good bit later)


Trowa dialed up Sally on their portable communication panel, even though she’d told him to do so only if it was an emergency.


He considered this an emergency.


Quatre watched from Trowa’s side as the screen came up that meant Sally was out of her office.


Trowa cleared his throat when the message prompt came.  “This is Trowa reporting…we’ve run into some trouble.  It seems that a…sniper is trying to take us out.  I’m requesting backup and a site change…Heero, Duo, and Wufei have been injured already and they’re currently hospitalized…please, help us out here.”


He pushed the button to end the call, and then hung his head.  With a sigh, he turned his head to the side slightly, away from Quatre.  “Well…that’s it, then.  We’ve failed our mission…but…”


Quatre gently slipped his arms around Trowa’s neck, using the advantage of height since he was standing and Trowa was seated.  “Come on, Trowa, maybe they’ll just send in someone to help us clean up the snipers and then we can finish our mission.”


Trowa turned his head back to the front, lowering it slightly.  “I hope you’re right, Quatre…”


“Don’t worry…it’ll all turn out for the best.” Quatre said, hugging his friend a bit tighter, then letting go.  “Why don’t we get everything important moved out to the Gundams now?”


“Sounds like a good idea.” Trowa said.  He stood, and the two pilots started gathering the most important things, such as the laptops, communication panels, and important discs, to take them to where they’d hopefully be safe.


Because if the Gundams weren’t safe then…Trowa bit his tongue on that thought.  After all, he’d been the one that said that if Heero were injured, it’d all go downhill.


Was it going downhill now?



--Duo and Wufei’s Hospital Room (about the same time)


Duo and Wufei looked up as a nurse walked in.  She checked over Duo’s charts once, matched it with something on her chart, and then looked at him.  “Well, Mr. Maxwell, you’re free to go.  I’m happy to see you’ve recovered so quickly, even with all the new technology.


Duo forced a grin.  It looked just like his normal, cheerful grin but it was all a mask. “Yes ma’am, I don’t think anything can keep me down for long!” he joked.


Wufei muttered something that Duo couldn’t hear.


Duo looked over at him just as the nurse put a pile of clothing onto his bed.  He looked at it, astonished.  “Hey, but these were…the clothes I was wearing when I got…” he didn’t say the last word.  She could fill in the blanks.


She smiled.  “Well, not exactly.  Those were…torn…and stained and…well…she looked up again, trying to lighten the mood with a smile as false as his grin.  “We had one of your friends bring you a spare set from your house.  It started with a T, I can’t really remember, I’m afraid.”


“Trowa.” Duo supplied.  He picked up the familiar black clothing, smelling the scent of the detergent they used.  It was a familiar smell, and it brought back memories of several different things.  He swallowed any tears he might have been intending to cry and looked up at her.  “Thanks for bringing them in here!”


“You’re welcome.” She said.  She looked down at her watch.  “Well, I’d better be going now.” She said, and promptly made her way to the door.  Duo stood up and took the pile of clothing, walking into the small bathroom that connected to the hospital room.  He quickly shed his hospital gown and got into his normal clothing, having already brushed his hair and his teeth that morning.  He walked back out into the hospital room, only to find Wufei looking at him.  The other pilot frowned.


“Duo…you look like a ghost…you’re so pale.” Wufei muttered.


Duo took a step back.  Wufei had used his first name.  Was he slipping?  Duo contemplated this while spitting out a quick reply.  “A ghost, or Shinigami?” giving one of his trademark grins to the Chinese pilot, he grabbed the minor things he’d been storing next to his bed.  “I’m gonna go see Heero, if they’ll let me, then I’m going to get out of here and back to the safe house, if I can.”


Wufei nodded. “Be careful.”


“I will, no worries there.” Duo assured him, before walking out of the room and down the halls.  He got directions from a piece of paper stapled to a bulletin board, then made his way to the correct place.


“Is Heero Yuy cleared for visitors yet?” he asked the nurse.


“Immediate family only.” She said in a bland tone, not even looking up from her romance novel. 


Duo resisted the urge to say something nasty and instead smiled slightly and said “I’m one of the few people he considers family.”


She looked up at him, and then looked down at the register.  “Name please?”


“Duo Maxwell.” He said.


She blinked, as if unbelieving that he was actually telling the truth.  “Okay, down this hall, three lefts, one right, and the second door to you’re left—and there’s a ten minute time limit.” She informed him.


He gave her a strained smile, and then took the path she’d told him to and opened the door.  The sight within frightened him.  Heero’s eyes were closed, his face paler than pale, and he was covered in hundreds of bandages, many of which defied description.  Duo ran over to the other pilot and looked down at him worriedly.


“Heero…” Duo breathed, the pain and fear in his voice evident.


Heero didn’t respond; then again, Duo didn’t expect for him to.


“Oh…Heero…I didn’t think it was this bad…” Duo said, the pain in his voice great enough that it was easy to tell that he was holding some of it back—even though loads of it was already expressed into his voice.


Duo leaned over Heero, and brushed his fingertips lightly against one of the few bare spots of skin on Heero’s face.  His eyebrows crinkled together in frustration and he drew his hand back, then turned. 


“Heero, I won’t stop until I see the person that did this to you dead by my hands or by one of the other guy’s hands.  You just can’t understand…” Duo breathed, then rushed from the room.


Behind him, Heero twitched. 



--Safe House 023E (some time later)


Quatre and Trowa finished loading the last of the important things into the Gundams, then sat down next to the giant suits to eat a couple of sandwiches.  They ate in silence, occasionally glancing up at the Gundams, before looking back to their sandwiches again and munching in a rushed sort of silence.  As soon as Quatre finished his sandwich, he moved over to sit down next to Trowa on one of Heavyarms’ feet, watching the taller boy finish his sandwich.  Trowa finally finished eating, then looked at the smaller boy sitting beside him.


“Oh, Trowa…” Quatre said, all the emotions he’d been holding in spilling into his voice.  Pain, hurt, fear, and even a tiny bit of…longing?  Trowa blinked slowly.  He blinked again, for it seemed Quatre was a tiny bit closer than he had been.  Was Quatre—


Trowa suddenly realized what he should do, even though he wasn’t 100% sure how he realized it.  He gathered the smaller boy into a hug.  He guessed maybe they all needed somebody to lean on in a time like this.  Quatre wrapped his arms around Trowa gratefully and they stayed that way for several minutes, gradually calming down, before an alarm went off.  Trowa jerked his head up immediately.


“Quatre.  Get in your Gundam.” He said.  The blonde boy nodded and immediately ran over to Sandrock, getting in as quickly as he could.  Trowa followed suit and they kicked the two suits into life.  Just then they saw a figure run into the hangar.  Trowa immediately jerked one of his gatling guns up and aimed as Quatre pulled out Sandrock’s shotels and prepared to slice the intruder in half.  They both watched as the view systems homed in on the figure…and then saw it was Duo.


“Duo!” they both said at once.  Quatre turned on his outside speakers.  “Duo, get in your Gundam, quick!  There’s another suit coming this way, FAST!”


They saw Duo nod and get into Deathscythe Hell with amazing speed.  The scythe-toting Gundam came to life with a quiet hum and a flash of its blazing green eyes.  Duo opened a small panel link to Quatre and chuckled quietly.  “Can’t keep me away from Shinigami for long, can you?


Quatre shook his head no just as the sensors registered a red alert.


Trowa suddenly realized something.  “What if they’re out to get all five and want to destroy Altron and Wing Zero too?  We have to get out of here and fight it outside!  We can’t let them scrap Heero and Wufei’s Gundams!” the normally quiet pilot exclaimed, and then blasted out of the hangar.  The other two followed suit and they faced the strange suit.


It was a gleaming silvery color all over, except for its eyes and a few minor accents.  It held a wicked looking gun in its left hand, and a large silver shield in its right.  Duo immediately ran a pattern through his head, and then moved to attack.  He dodged left and right, then slammed against the other Gundam and slashed with his scythe viciously.  The scythe caused some heat scoring but caused no other significant damage.


“What the?!” Duo exclaimed, as his Gundam was knocked back quickly by laser blasts.  Trowa took a quick course behind the other suit and fired off the gatlings, but the bullets simply bounced off.  Frustrated, he tried his missiles, but they simply caused minor damage. 


Quatre decided he’d try next, and slammed bodily into the other suit.  He pulled loose a shotel and slashed at the shield—and was rewarded with success when his weapon cut through the shield slightly.  He kept pressing on the handle until half the shield was cut off and fell to the ground with a clang.


The other suit looked down at the shield, then back up at Sandrock.  Then, without another word or warning, it simply vanished.


The other three pilots searched for nearly an hour, but they didn’t locate the strange Gundam.  Considerably shaken up, they retreated back to the safe house and climbed out of their Gundams, talking to each other in hushed tones, and wondering what was going to happen next.  As they formulated plans, they couldn’t help but wonder if they were going to have to deal with more Gundams that strong—or, if they had to, how they could possibly defeat them.


And they had to defeat them, being in such a situation as they were in.



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