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Mobile Suit Gundam Iscariot

Title: Mobile Suit Gundam ISCARIOT
Part: 21
Fandom: Gundam (Meta)
Disclaimer: No profit is being made on this fanwork.
Rating: T Overall
Summary: Having left NIN-ANA to join the mercenary Solitaire, Mick's team continue settling in to their new lives. Meanwhile, back at NIN-ANA, Commander Varuna is possibly making the same mistake for a second time.
Notes: Plans are made.

Lore lingered by the wall, a little surprised by Doctor Gracia -- she'd introduced herself as Doctor Amde Hisano, but said that 'Doctor Gracia' was fine as well -- and the way she talked to and handled Sincere.

Well, they all treated Sincere a little oddly, because Sincere was a little odd. She could probably be more social, but she preferred Solitaire. And while she could talk normally to anyone on the ship, she preferred Solitaire. Only when her body was frustratingly female did Lore get called in.

And a medical exam, well... Gracia had negotiated it with surprising skill.

Not that they'd left Sincere's room, which was part bedroom and part control room and entirely creepy in how vacant it was in general. Sure, Sincere had clothing, but it was all in lockers and drawers, and her brush, which was sitting unused. But aside from that, there was nothing that made the place look lived in. No knickknacks, no music player, no nothing.

"Any idea how old you are, Sincere?" Gracia questioned. Lore just lingered, watching, as Gracia lifted up Sincere's hair to look at the area around Sincere's dataport. Thing looked terrifying, for the record.

"Solitaire says I'm eighteen," Sincere replied. "My birthday is the day he rescued me."

"I'd say that he made a good assessment," Gracia said. "Your dataport has healed very nicely. Not as much scarring as some I've seen."

Lore couldn't help herself.

"You've seen that many?" she asked, eyeing Gracia. Dataports weren't that uncommon in some places, but Lore still thought Gracia's comment was odd.

Gracia nodded. "Yes, of course. Technically, implanted systems are my specialty; however I've spent most of my time dealing with cuts and bruises." She paused, smiling the strange soft smile that she'd had the entire time. "I'm surprised you only have one, Sincere. Have you considered an auxiliary for--"

"No," Sincere interrupted flatly. "Not unless Solitaire asks."

There was a long bit of silence.

"You smell like him," Sincere said.

"I know," Gracia replied, peeking in Sincere's ears and then letting Sincere's hair fall back into place. "And I didn't mean anything by my comment. I was just letting you know there are options."

Lore wasn't sure if she trusted Gracia at all, but she certainly was fascinated.

"I know my eyes can be fixed," Sincere noted. "I don't want them to be. I'm comfortable like this. I could live in the ship like this forever."

"Heading me off at the pass, are you?" Gracia questioned, still smiling. "We can skip that conversation for now, then."

Lore shook her head and shifted against the wall. Gracia was definitely someone to keep an eye on.


Solitaire was thankful to be alone in the ship's small hangar, the one that housed Atropos, having slipped away while Mick dragged Jet off to shower. Jackal was confined to his room, with Deadline armed and standing guard, to be dropped off shortly at a station stop. Solitaire certainly didn't need Jackal, anyway -- he had Mick now.

Touching his earpiece, Solitaire hoped all was well.

"Your future wife is interesting," Sincere's voice said softly. "I didn't know..."

"I know, I'm sorry," Solitaire replied. He wasn't entirely sure what he was apologizing for, though.

"I think it'll be okay," Sincere replied. "I'm okay. But we just received a job offer that you really need to come see in person."

"Are you sure on this?" Mick questioned. He looked over the data again, Jet and Amde at his side.

"We've been after this bastard for years," Solitaire said, shaking his head. "Years. And he's pretty much been given to us on a platter."

"At the expense of Sir Jessen's daughter," Sincere reminded him. "He's been a good patron."

"Yeah, I know..." Solitaire sighed.

"Isn't this a job for proper law enforcement?" Jet questioned.

Solitaire shook his head again. "Either he's paid them off or he just crosses jurisdictions until they forget about him. Just the cost of bringing him to 'justice' would be extraordinary and he'd likely never serve time. Not that it would begin to pay back what he's done anyway."

"I'll do it," Mick said immediately. It wasn't really Solitaire's determination, though that was impressive. It was just that some sorts of scum were simply intolerable, and he would have no hesitations about pulling the trigger.

Though... this was a side of Solitaire that Mick hadn't been sure still existed. They'd all sort of assumed that if he somehow was still alive, he'd become some sort of pirate or even gotten into black market trade himself. Instead, he chose his jobs based on a common good and apparently even had a bit of a reputation forming.

Mick wondered if Varuna knew all of this and how involved in all of these sudden connections Varuna really was.

And then one more thing hit him.

"Jessen?" he questioned, looking at Sincere even though she couldn't look back.

"Mmm?" She tilted her head. "Do you recognize that name?"

"Yeah," Mick said, before glancing back to Jet, who looked a bit like he'd seen a ghost. It was the slimmest of chances, but... "Sounds like something I've heard before."

"Sir Jessen is a well-known investor and businessman who has had us serve as guards on multiple occasions," Sincere said. "He generally acts as head of Danurea Colony."

"Good guy," Solitaire added. "Family man, too. Five daughters, I think... Annee, Sukee, Lyndee, Naimee, and Rulee. It's Naimee who was grabbed."

"I'll do anything I can to help," Amde said firmly. "I can fly."

"So can I," Jet added. For once, Mick though Jet might actually be able to take a life. But... Mick wouldn't let him.

"Solitaire, Eternity and I will handle the dirty stuff," Mick said. "You two and Deadline can handle the rescue. Gate and Eddie will be the second line. Lore, Amalgam and Tiercel will handle the ship and planning. You too, Sincere."

"Mick, I'm the leader," Solitaire said with a soft chuckle. "But... it sounds good. We'll go with it."

There was a pause.

"In eighteen hours, we'll be in range."

"With due respect, Sir, some of the crew including myself are uneasy with how... integrated your former colleagues have made themselves with company operations," Eternity said. She looked uneasy, which Solitaire couldn't fault. He knew he could be hard to approach, especially when he was in his space with Atropos.

"I understand," Solitaire said. "Don't think I'm giving them free reign any time soon. This mission is just a good test of their loyalty, though... I'm really not doubting that. If they were here on NIN-ANA's orders to kill me, I would be dead. And Varuna is not the sort who'd kill so-called 'innocents', which is what all of you are, unless you were to strike against his people."


"However, Varuna is a straightforward man. If Mick had stayed true to his orders, I'd be dead. He is merciless and does not play around," Solitaire said. "Remember, I worked for him too."

Eternity nodded.

"Forgive me, Sir," she said before giving a little bow and stepping back. Solitaire heard the hangar door a moment later.

He stared up at Atropos.

Eternity did have a very good point.

He heard the door again and wondered what she'd forgotten to say.

"So this is where you are..."

He turned and smiled. Amde was wearing one of his shirts over her own tank top, making it distinctly one of her own. She was beautiful. The years hadn't worn at her at all and he regretted every second away from her. He knew he'd been stupid. But the way everything had happened...

He didn't think any explanation he could give would ever be enough.

"Atropos was my only partner for awhile," Solitaire said. "Sometimes it... I don't know, this is probably silly to you, but... sometimes it just helps me think."

"I don't think it's silly," Amde replied, walking over to him. "You have a lot to think about, after all. I do, too... I mean..."

"I know." Solitaire reached to pull Amde close, holding her in silence for a long moment. "I still can't really believe this is real. You're here, Mick's here... He even brought Jet with him."

"This is real," Amde said softly before leaning up to kiss him. "And it took far too long to do it. I..."

Solitaire ran his fingers through her hair, not saying anything. He would have waited another decade. More.

"You were safe there, and needed," Solitaire said. "You... were there for Nick..."

"Aeon," Amde corrected. "Aeon Jester. He took Anaplekte, you know..."

Solitaire swallowed hard. He'd wanted to ask about Nick but the time just hadn't been right. He hadn't been ready to hear it. Nick, who had followed him across space and proved himself an immediate shining star.

"He's doing well?" Solitaire asked. The knot in his throat wasn't entirely a surprise.

"Yes," Amde said. "He... He's amazing... He grew up so handsome, Lan. We all... took care of him."

"And Varuna sent you here to kill me..." Solitaire didn't want to hear the answer. He didn't want to ask about all the other people he'd left behind. It would be too much.

"Yes," Amde said. "But Varuna... Varuna... doesn't control me."

"I know," Solitaire said with a soft little smile. "I know that if you were here to kill me, I'd be dead."

Amde nodded, leaning against him. There still seemed to be something, but Solitaire didn't think it was anything other than mourning for the life that Amde was leaving behind.

Varuna was a little surprised at Mitra's intrusion, but he couldn't fault his twin's presence. They'd already talked at length, after all, about what had happened.

"It's done," Mitra said flatly. "Now please tell me you have a plan." He glanced around the room once before spotting a chair and wheeling it over to sit.

"No," Varuna replied. "For once, there is no plan."

"The plan is that there is no plan?" Mitra questioned. He was frowning and looked positively flustered, which was fairly normal for Mitra, Varuna had to admit, but was still something he noted.

"There is no plan," Varuna corrected. "Unless 'I trust Mick' can be considered a plan. He is the one with the plan, after all."

"I don't know..." Mitra said, shaking his head. "This is awfully risky."

"No, it isn't," Varuna replied. "It is merely something that will need to play out. Mitra, do you not trust me?"

"I...." Mitra's mouth was open, but words didn't come out at first. "I trust you! Why would you even ask that?"

Varuna sighed. Perhaps Mitra was correct in his doubt. Perhaps his one errant decision nine years previous had been the beginning of the end.

They would just have to wait.

"Keep Ereshkigal and Aditi ready to launch," Varuna told Mitra.


"Mitra..." Soft, pleading.

"I trust you," Mitra replied equally softly. "Will you..."

"Give me a few minutes to finish up a few subroutines and switch what I can to automatic mode," Varuna replied. "I think I'll be okay to do everything myself again. I will miss Gracia's check-ups, I must admit, but..."

"I'll get everything ready," Mitra said, gesturing that he was going to head off. "I'm... I'm just tired. Aeon... He really didn't take it well."

Varuna didn't reply. He didn't think he could, really. And not because he was checking every airlock and setting maintenance and a thousand other things, literally, before letting the system Ashtorethe and Jet and dozens of others had made to function without him do its thing.

Gate didn't regret it. She just wished she could remember more of the night before. As the end of the day fell across the ship and a message blipped across every monitor that they were making a quick station stop for supplies and to be rid of excess debris, she wasn't sure if she was supposed to hunt Mick back down and maybe do it again or if it was just something that happened that wouldn't happen again.

The conversation while they'd all been together had pretty much implied that she wasn't anything special, but was just the person on Mick's lap at the time. He was handsome, definitely, and charming. He outshone Solitaire, which was confusing more than anything. And he'd apparently had his pick of NIN-ANA...

She debated how low to keep her zipper...

A quick check on one of the ship's system maps told her that Mick had been assigned a room near Solitaire's. Well, there was only one thing to do...

Normally she'd always just gone for things, even if they were out of her league. Gate certainly hadn't known Solitaire was completely impossible, but Mick... Mick was giving her a fit of nerves that was more frustrating than anything. They'd been intimate, after all!

She forced herself into the hallway, reminding herself of exactly what mattered in life.

"Here goes," she mumbled, rushing the last little bit of the way and hitting the buzzer quickly.

But there was no answer.

Later, she found out he'd spent the evening talking plans and strategy and literature with Sincere, who'd quite enjoyed his company.


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