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fic: A Wrench to the Heart 20/?

Fic: A Wrench to the Heart 20/?

By Max

Disclaimer: I don’t own Gundam Wing

Warning: Violence, what would be death in most other worlds

It’s always there. I can always hear it. It’s hard to remember a time when I couldn’t hear the hum of my life support. Maybe that’s because I only started hearing it after Dad started talking to me.  No one ever talked to me like he did. ... it had to be... like thirty years ago. I pick how old I am on my birthday every year. Not that that’s really my birthday, but he said that’s okay. He doesn’t know when his birthday is either.  

For the first year that I was here, he’d come in every day and read to me, call me kid. “Hey, kid. How’s it going today?”  

And then one day I just wanted to be there... to follow him out of the room and my body just formed. I realized he’d made that available to me without judging, without decreeing. The computer system that ran the whole colony was open to me. He trusted me. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t really trust anyone. Everything has redundant security systems, always. He used to tell me that Heero started that and he just carried it through. Like there are ten power supports on my life support. I’m not even kidding. One back up wasn’t good enough.

My body is burned so badly that it’ll never really work, ever. I would have to respawn to heal, and I just... didn’t want to. I don’t really know why.  Before the hum of my life support, before I could have whatever body I wanted, before Duo Maxwell made this safe place for me - the world was monsters. I expect the world still is monsters. Everyone is, at the very least, sewn together with monster thread. Even Daddy.  I’m way more monster than he will ever be, but he still loved me. So there are two things that really just fortify my sense of self and safety... knowing he’ll be back and the hum of my life support.

So when it stopped humming, all dice were in the air.

Before that hum...

There had been a ship called The Baths... The ship had beautiful in the way a diamond blade is beautiful as it cuts you up for sale in a butcher shop. There had been no mother or father or childhood. She’d come into being for the pleasure of others. Before the hum there had been no hope because there had been no concept of anything other than service.

“Hey kid, I got a game for you.  I’m just gonna set it here for you.”  

Duo Maxwell was a little goofy looking, especially back in those days when he was fighting novo addiction and his own demons. Somedays had been dirty hair and rumpled clothes and skinny fingers.. But his eyes had always been kind, always been curious.

Being loved is beyond explanation. Not all the maths in the heliosphere could every fully explain the impact of really feeling loved.  He’d smiled at her everyday. He’d never asked for anything.

In all the time that there had been a hum, he’d never told her to grow up, to go to school, to stop climbing in his bed on bad days, stop stealing his food sometimes, never told her to stop being inconvenient. At the same time, he’d told her to stop scaring people, not to harm others, to respect herself, to respect other people, to know her limits.

Limits are a really hard thing to know.

Time isn’t always easy to explain either. The hum had been gone for a whole two seconds. The computer that ran all the automation on the whole colony was shutting down. The air for everyone would be gone in twenty-four hours. Julia pulled into her the last bit of data that computer had, the last of its breath before it too went silent.

Sung Chang was in the house.

At the very same moment, Julia whispered in the ears of all the children, of Charlotte, of Heero.... “Hide.”

But then Sung was on her, sliding into the data stream like poison in the water, in water she felt in her throat as she swallowed. “I’m here,” he sang. Her awareness dimmed as he cut her off from the dying computer. “I’m going to kill them all. Every last one of them, but I’ll start with you.”

Thoughts make a humming too... and you don’t notice it until it’s gone.

So then what am I?  I read a book about how want is bad... That without want we’d have peace.

But I want....

Breathing feels so good. It never felt good before. The tremble that rolls over my shoulders feels good... a tingle up the back of my neck feels great, and the braid on my back feels heavy and warm.... And I’m in a body. Moving feels fantastic and there in the glass of my preservation tank ... it’s Daddy’s face looking back at me. I’m wearing his favorite tee-shirt and jeans. I really don’t like the braid. It pulls on my scalp.

To be in a body, cut off from the computer feels so limiting, and yet also as if the whole universe were opening to me.

It’s funny... love meant everything to me. Daddy meant everything to me.  Love means everything to Sung Chang too.  Daddy means everything to him... or Shinigami does. English really needs more words for love. The safety, freedom, and support that Daddy gave me is not the same thing that Sung wants.

Julia pushed a screw driver into her back pocket and opened up the door. The lock didn’t work with the power out.  

There was just enough light in the hallway that when she closed the door behind her, she knew she wasn’t alone.

Heero, Uncle Q, and Grandma Mercy were talking downstairs, trying to figure out what was going on.  Just outside of Daddy’s bedroom door, his hand on the doorknob, Sung Chang paused, turning to look at her.

She smiled with Daddy’s smile. Sometimes things could go sideways. Some old skills could be reused.  She reached out to him, smiled like a lover, like the lies she’d learned before the hum. He hesitated. His hand trembled when he reached out to touch her cheek, to come his fingers into her hair.

“Shinigami? I’m sorry we fought. I need you. You understand?”

“I understand,” she said, in her father’s voice. “Love is powerful.”

“It is! You’ll see! It’ll be better when it’s just us again!” Sung said joyfully, arms around Julia, holding her.

“There’s only one thing,” she said, one hand cupping the back of his head, her cheek pressed to his ear, as she thrust the screwdriver up into the back of his head. “Daddy said no.”

“I’m going to kill you!” Sung hissed, but the moment his control lapsed she pounced wrestling control of the computer from him, powering it back on and completely severing his connection to it.

“Relax,” she said, wiggling the screw driver to make sure to scramble his networks. “Don’t be afraid. I won’t let them respawn you.”

Just as the computers had faded and dimmed earlier, now Sung dimmed as she lowered to the ground.

The four adults had made it up the stairs. Heero took the point position, wary and mission oriented.

“He was going to kill us all,” Julia said, wishing with all her might to shift into her cutest little girl form, except... that didn’t work anymore. “I couldn’t let him kill us. Was I bad? You don’t think Daddy’ll be mad?”

“No,” Heero said, taking the screwdriver. “Julia?”

“I don’t feel very good,” she said as Heero finished prying the bloody screw driver from her hand. “I think I’m gonna throw up.”

Mercy knelt by Sung, checking for a pulse. “His heart isn’t beating. If we can get him to the hospital, we might be able to save him!”

“Dr. Reigh,” Quatre said, his hand at the small of his back. “If you could move to the side a moment please.”

She did, but Heero had to grab her when she saw Quatre draw the pistol.

“Don’t worry,” he said, “It’s safe for colony use.” Then he put two more holes in Sung’s head.  “Maybe now the bastard will stay dead. The computer is just now coming back up, right? Galen!”

“Sir,” Galen said, appearing in his normal toga.

“Was Duo’s reconstruction damaged?”

There was a moment of thought. “No. I don’t believe so. May I apply first aid to Sung Chang?”

“No. You are forbidden. He is a threat to the entire colony and if you see him in a functional state he is to be placed immediately into stasis.” Then he turned to Mercy, cocked his head and smirked. “I told you she was dangerous.”

“What she?”

Quatre pointed at the Duo standing by Heero, Heero rubbing his back as he puked. “Julia. That’s not your son. He’s still unconscious. That’s Julia.”

“Oh. My.”


A light flipped on in shrine on Titan.


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