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Quotes are a Chekhov’s Gun: Duo
From Episode Zero to Episode 02: The Gundam Deathscythe

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“It’s pretty obvious to anyone that you’re the bad guy here,” Duo declares smugly after sending a bullet to Heero’s arm to ‘save’ Relena.

It’s a playful albeit rare intro speech for someone who takes up the role of a knight in priest clothes and jodhpurs shining armor in a situation like this. Maybe he’s already there before Relena arrives. Perhaps he notices how Relena approaches Heero, and then sees how Heero looks at her and says her name. But once Heero pulls out a gun, he is quick to think, “Ah, yep, bad guy.” But why broadcast it, like it needs to be validated?

I know seeing someone being held at gunpoint and witnessing the horrors of wars are very different, but I’d like to think Duo’s view on battles have also touched his beliefs about other things, like in something smaller like this.

In his Episode Zero, the young Duo doesn’t believe there are good guys or bad guys in battles. Identifying the sides is pointless because all he knows is that war is the reason why there are many orphans like him and that it’s a reason he has witnessed so many deaths (which subsequently makes him believe in a God of Death or Shinigami instead of a God. “I’ve seen a lot of dead people but no miracles,” he says.)

In AC 188, a group of rebels take shelter in the Maxwell church, where Duo is staying after being adopted by Father Maxwell and Sister Helen. The rebels express their need to have at least one mobile suit so they can fight for their freedom and prevent the Alliance’s occupation. After the rebels hurt Father Maxwell and Sister Helen for “confusing people with talk of peace”, Duo says he’ll steal an MS so they would leave the church. He thinks, “Everyone hates war just the other day! Why go start another one?! if you want a war so much, then why don’t you jerks go fight each other and leave us alone?!”

He succeeds in stealing an MS, but when he returns he finds what would later be known as the “Maxwell Church Tragedy”: the Alliance has reduced the church to rubble, Father Maxwell is dead, and Sister Helen is alive just long enough to die in his arms. The incident is said to claim 245(?) lives.

After that—when he participates in Operation Meteor—I’m pretty certain he gets confused a lot. We’re doing the right thing, right? They’re the bad guys, yes? Am I a good guy? IS THAT GUY A BAD GUY?

Which, interestingly, are quite similar to the questions many viewers are asking themselves while watching the series. The pilots are basically terrorists, are they really who we should be rooting for? Are we supposed to hate OZ when they have their own valid points too? Which side should we be cheering for, WHEN EVERYONE REALLY WANTS PEACE but just has different ways of trying to achieve it?

Because I’m a dork with a penchant for overthinking, I’m assuming that the scene in the beginning is symbolic for the whole show. Remember that when Duo saves Relena from being shot, she jumps defensively in front of Heero, demanding Duo what he is shooting Heero for. This baffles Duo to no end, thinking, “How come I ended up being the bad guy here?”

Like what i said before, this is and will always be one of the beautiful intricacies of Gundam Wing: there are no cookie-cutter heroes or clear-cut villains in it. It makes the audience think. It teaches them to appreciate the characters because they’re more like humans—complex, flawed, a mixture of good and bad, capable of growth—instead of because they’re obviously portrayed as the “good guys”. :)

 

Gundam Wing x Pacific Rim AU Time!

Alright. I clearly spend far too much time on Tumblr and I’ve already seen a few crossovers with Pacific Rim (It was only a matter of time, right? XD) So, after watching it twice, I finally decided to jump onto the bandwagon! So, here I go! Please forgive me for writing so much!

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

In Jaeger Hell Altron, American pilot Duo Maxwell and Chinese pilot Chang Wufei have a long standing record as being the best - and one of the most highly Drift compatible - co-pilots in the Hong Kong Shatterdome. They have opposing personalities, but their combination of Duo’s speed and stealth tactics with Wufei’s extensive knowledge of hand-to-hand combat, grants them the third highest Kaiju kill count.

In Jaeger Tallgeese Zero, Danish pilot Milliardo “Zechs” Peacecraft and Japanese pilot Yuy Heero were a formidable - albeit chaotic - pair. Both Milliardo and Heero shared a high proficiency in close quarters combat and maintained high focus during engagements, thus enabling them to maintain temporary above-average Drift compatibility and the highest Kaiju kill count of the Hong Kong Shatterdome. Outside of battle, however, their philosophical differences - as well as their strong senses of pride and one-up-manship - made for a constant source of tension and Drift misalingment. Often, during non-combat deployments, their Drift compatibility experienced violent fluctuations, frequently resulting in Jeager inoperability and requiring in-field extractions.  

In Jaeger Rock Arms, British pilot Trowa Barton and Arabian pilot Quatre Raberba Winner were the team to beat. Although their Kaiju kill count paled in comparison to Tallgeese Zero’s, they had the highest Drift compatibility score of any co-pilots in the Hong Kong Shatterdome. Quatre’s endurance and strategic team-combat tactics were nicely complemented by Trowa’s ability to power through and overwhelm Kaiju. Nicknamed “the Rock,” Quatre often served as in-field commander, hanging back to observe and direct combat while Trowa ensured their Jaeger served as the final stop for incoming Kaiju.

In Jaeger Virgo Epyon, Austrian pilot Trieze Khushrenada and French-Spanish pilot Dorothy Catalonia - last operating out of the Vladivostock Shatterdome - were nicknamed “The Royals.” As cousins from aristocratic stock, Dorothy and Treize shared a refined upbringing that imparted them with the same philosophy of noble, chivalrous combat and necessary human sacrifice to give meaning to life. Both well-versed in combat tactics and strategy, they maintained high Drift compatibility and worked well with their fellow Vladivostock Jaegers to defeat Kaiju.

IN RECENT HISTORY…

A most tragic series of events occur before we meet our Jeager pilots in the Hong Kong Shatterdome of 2025.

In the final engagement before the decommissioning of the Vladistock Shatterdome, Virgo Epyon and Cherno Alpha engage a kaiju named “Fiend” on October 31, 2024. While Cherno Alpha goes on to successfully kill Fiend, Virgo Epyon is destroyed in the battle. Pilot Khushrenada realizes that they are out matched and, after an intense battle, decides that the only useful course of action is to use Virgo Epyon in a suicide-style attack to weaken it enough for Cherno Alpha to finish it off. After force ejecting Pilot Catalonia from the Jaeger, Pilot Khushrenada successfully self-destructs Virgo Epyon and provides Cherno Alpha with the necessary advantage to ultimately kill Fiend. Pilot Catalonia physically recovers from the encounter, but remains psychologically scarred from what she considers a “profound and terrible betrayal” from her cousin Trieze.

On November 19, 2024, a kaiju named “Tailspitter” was intercepted by Jaegers Crimson Typhoon, Tallgeese Zero and Rock Arms. In typical attack formation, Jaeger Rock Arms held to the rear while Crimson Typhoon and Tallgeese Zero directly engaged Tailspitter. The battle was intense and prolonged - taking well over one and a half hours to subdue the kaiju - and this proved to be fatal for Tallgeese Zero. After an hour of well-synchronized combat, pilots Peacecraft and Yuy began to experience violent Drift fluctuations as they struggled to come up with a viable strategy. Eventually, their neural link became so weak it caused the Jaeger to stop in mid-attack. Despite diversionary attacks from both Rock Arms and Crimson Typhoon (in an attempt to give the pilots a chance to realign), Tailspitter took out half of the Conn-Pod and killed Pilot Peacecraft. Suffering severe structural and operational system damage, Tallgeese Zero fell into the waters of Ishikari Bay. While Crimson Typhoon finished off Tailspitter, Rock Arms retrieved Tallgeese Zero’s Conn-Pod. Pilot Yuy survived the near drowning, but - combined with a neural overload induced seizure - was comatose for a month following the encounter. Despite the successful defeat of the Kaiju and salvageability of Jaeger Tallgeese Zero, Pilot Winner began to experience considerable self-doubt in his abilities as a strategist and combat pilot.

Eleven days after the Sapporo kaiju attack, kaiju Kojiyama appeared in the Bohai Sea and was intercepted by Jaegers Rock Arms, Hell Altron, Crimson Typhoon and Striker Eureka. This kaiju - whose name translated to “twisted mountain” - was the largest Category III kaiju to attack the Eastern Pacific Rim. In yet another grueling battle, Kojiyama was largely unaffected by their attacks and all four Jaegers took a good deal of abuse. In a last ditch effort, Hell Altron was going to attempt a surprise attack to effectively immobilize the kaiju and allow the other Jaegers to finish it off. This plan was foiled, however, by Pilot Winner of Rock Arms who, latching onto the searing memory of Tallgeese Zero’s recent demise and his intense feelings of guilt, inadvertently launched an attack at Hell Altron, rendering them inoperable for the rest of the fight. Pilot Barton managed to snap Pilot Winner back to reality but, once he comprehended the damage he had dealt to Hell Altron, his feelings of guilt and self-loathing overwhelmed both pilots. In attempt to prevent any further harm to himself or the other Jaegers, Chief Medical Officer - and Acting Marshall - Sally Po ordered LOCCENT Mission Control to disengage the Rock Arms pilots. In the end, the combined efforts of Crimson Typhoon and Striker Eureka defeated Kojiyama. Pilots Maxwell and Chang were hospitalized for two weeks with non-life threatening injuries; Jaeger Hell Altron was salvaged. Rock Arms Pilot Barton was comatose for three days and, upon waking, experienced retrograde amnesia for three weeks. Pilot Winner was placed under medical observation for one week and, after a full psychological examination, was granted his request to leave the battlefield and become the official Marshall of the Hong Kong Shatterdome.

OUR STORY BEGINS…

Marshall Winner’s first act is to order the full refurbishment of Jaegers Rock Arms and Tallgeese Zero. Relieved that Trowa has regained consciousness, and taking Heero’s still comatose state under heavy consideration, Quatre makes the decision to find a replacement pilot so that Hong Kong base can have as many working Jaegers as possible. On December 11, 2024, he directly contacts Pilot Dorothy Catalonia to reassign her as a Hong Kong Jaeger pilot.

She arrives on-base on December 14, 2024; the same day Pilots Maxwell and Chang are given medical clearance. Five days later, Pilot Yuy awakens from his coma. On Christmas Eve, Pilot Barton fully recovers from his retrograde amnesia.

On December 27, 2024, Marshall Winner makes his official introduction to the pilots, crews, and support personnel of the Hong Kong Shatterdome. He emphasizes that many things have changed and that everyone must adapt in order to stay strong in the fight against kaiju. He orders all Jaeger pilots to be ready for “Roulette Sparring” at 10:00 the next morning; the results of which will determine which pilots are active or in reserve. He also announces that Jaeger maintenance crews will also be tested - and grouped by proficiency - the day after. His controlled demeanor and harsh tone send hushed waves of concern through the crowd, especially the Hong Kong pilots.

Pilot Catalonia, being vaguely aware of the incidents preceeding her transfer, is intrigued by Marshall Winner’s attitude and is excited to see what will happen next.

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