Chapter 2: Flashes of TimeIn September of AC 192…
Faith sat, bored, at her desk looking distractedly at the lecturer in front of her. If she had been in a normal school she could have just snuck out before classes began; in fact if this had been a normal school she wouldn’t have a cast around her knee. Not that she needed the cast for much longer. If her other Slayer abilities seemed muted her healing seemed to have gotten better. Cutting through the bored atmosphere of the room was a sense of tension and hatred. Most of this tension came from Lady Une who was standing by the door waiting for Faith to make one false move.
In the beginning Faith had been alone in her schooling sessions set up by Treize but quickly it had been established that she would arrive late, if at all, and leave early. It probably didn’t help matters that the teacher was slightly scared of her. Faith, however, underestimated the level at which Treize had wanted her to get her GED or whatever they called it in this time period. As much as she respected him she was sure it was insane that he thought she could get the GED by June.
Of course that was before she saw the weapon of choice for herself. Treize wanted her to be able to pilot a mobile suit and to help him achieve his goals… just like Une.
Faith scowled at the paper in front of her before outright glaring at Une; who was glaring right back. She only really spent time with the woman in her ‘classroom’ and the times she had bumped into her while exploring Treize’s home.
According to Faith, Une was ok… so long as she didn’t have to actually spend time with her. The woman was border line obsessive about everything she did and most definitely infatuated with Treize. At this very moment, however, Faith could feel the icy chill of the woman’s glare and knew exactly why she was on the receiving end of it. Since Une had to ‘babysit’ her she couldn’t be near her precious Treize. Faith winced internally as she shifted in her seat under the obsessive glare. The woman was way too annoying.
It was because of Une she had a busted kneecap to begin with of course the action Une took achieved her goal. It would be a long time until faith tried to play hooky again. Faith’s only joy at the situation was the chew out Une had gotten over her extreme methods.
“Can I leave now?” Faith smiled as she practically felt Une’s eyes roll. Faith got a lot of enjoyment out of vexing the older woman who was in fact only a year or so older then herself but acted fifty. Faith also knew that she was using a childish ploy with her question but if it got the results she desired who cared.
“You have a half hour to go.” Was Une’s curt reply and Faith smiled wolfishly at the woman before focusing on her desk again. Offhandedly she wondered how hard she’d have to push to get the woman to yell at her. At the moment the chances were slim since Treize was in the next room over and he didn’t like it when Une yelled at Faith. A fact Faith used to her full advantage.
“Why do I have to do this anyway?” Une sighed and pushed her glasses back up.
“You want to be of some use to Mister Treize? Don’t you? Now pay attention to the teacher” Now it was Faith’s turn to roll her eyes. Couldn’t this woman call Treize; Treize. None of this ‘his excellence’ or ‘mister’ crap for her. Nope Faith would never use those… unless she was teasing him. On a serious note though…
“Damn straight ‘Lady’; but really, how will this help him?” Faith wasn’t sure when she came to respect Treize only that she did and, besides, working for him was as good as working for anybody else.
“You will need this basic education when you pilot a Mobile Suit. This way you will understand the needs of the suit and its limits when applied to your own.” Faith begrudgingly nodded. This was going to be a long school year.In late July of AC 193…
In June Faith had finished her schooling sessions from hell and was glad it was over. The results of her final tests had come as a pleasant surprise. She had actually passed all her subjects with B’s or higher and that was hard as she had had to learn the whole computer lingo thing. That class actually came back as a B- so she knew she had been border line in it but all the same she had gotten through it.
Treize had even taken her and Une out to a congratulatory dinner. Une’s attendance at the dinner had been Faith’s idea as she spun this whole story about how much she liked the older woman and couldn’t think of celebrating without her. This was a load of crap of course and she had a feeling Treize knew as well but caved in to her demand anyway. The real reason Une had been present was so Faith could make her jealousy and angry when Treize gave her more attention.
Now she had a feeling Treize was punishing her for her little stunt. Of course she hadn’t thought that at first; at first the summer sport he had her join had been a fun way to show others up and the weapons/fighting lessons from Treize had been a good way to impress him.
Then everything went south. On her soccer team she had to work as part of the group which wasn’t too bad but Treize had the coach be really hard on her with pushing that angle. As for the lessons with Treize they had breezed over the things she knew she could do until they got to modern weapons and Faith got an unwelcome surprise.
If the weapon, not counting sword like things, was invented after the crossbow she didn’t have any Slayer instincts on how to use it. This meant that guns quickly became the bane of her existence; of course it didn’t help that Lady Une always smiled mockingly at her when she missed her target.
Today found Faith on the shooting field alone shooting at moving ducks. One row would come up for a time period of a few seconds before going back down to be replaced by a different row. Faith breathed in and fired the gun only to groan when she only clipped the edge of her target as it went back down.
“You shouldn’t aim and shoot as they come up. Instead try aiming at one while it’s up and then wait for it to come up again. That should be sufficient until you get an instinct about it.” Faith dropped the gun and twirled around raising her fists into a defensive position. In front of her was a man with long platinum hair and a mask covering the top of his head or face. Quickly she went over the people she had meet over the past year or so and came up with no name to match the man in front of her.
“This is private property.” She said slowly as if talking to an idiot. The man smiled at her cockily and moved forward to bow before her.
“Forgive my intrusion Miss Faith. But I have been instructed by Treize to take you on a trip to Colony L2- V08745. He wants you to see the colonies in a more leisure setting before going in a more work oriented manner. We will be leaving at 0900 hours.” He started walking away but stopped when he heard Faith yell;
“Who the fuck are you? Trieze said nothing about going up to those floatin’ doughnuts. He would have told me.” She growled when she heard his laughter.
“Pardon my manners. You may call me Zechs. And this was a surprise for all the hard work you’ve done in the past year.” And with that he was gone.
Faith grumbled and picked up her gun and started firing haphazardly at all the targets.
She didn’t hit one.
Faith smiled as her bullet hit the target.
“Well, helmet hair was right.” The Faith sighed and looked around the empty shooting range. She was alone again while Zechs was off doing whatever he was doing. As this wasn’t even the colony that would have had the Slayer monument Xander made she couldn’t go check it out; or search for it more like. The whole monument was supposedly lost. To that she asked the question, how do you loose something in a closed space?
Thus she found herself on the shooting range everyday before lunch while Zechs went base hoping. At first he had taken her with him on his excursions but her obvious unwillingness to do as he said deterred him from bringing her again. As for the colony she supposed it was pretty cool but it got old really fast. All the same it made sense for her to get acquainted with them to avoid the embarrassment of her awe at a later occasion.
Shrugging she repositioned her gun and took aim at the next moving target and did what Zechs had taught her.*Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang.*
Jerking her head to the right she saw a boy about two or three years younger then herself. The look on his face was completely impassive and one of his eyes was covered by a fringe of long brown bangs giving him a mysterious look. Now it was only her and him on the range and Faith had to wonder where he came from. On the up side she was no longer alone so she smiled and sauntered over to the kid before looking at his targets.
She frowned at what she saw; with five shots he had taken out ten moving targets all in a row. Looking back at the boy she saw him stand still waiting for the people in the observation booth to reset his targets. He didn’t even spare her a glance.
When the targets reset she watched him fire five shots in a row again and hit all the targets. Silently she wished she was that good with a gun; she still had to do the whole thing slowly and even then she didn’t always hit the target. After his third set Faith decided to talk to the boy and, as he was reloading his gun, it was a good opportunity.
“Hey I’m Faith.” The boy gave her a glance out of the corner of his eye and fired his fifth round… with barely a glance at his targets. When it became obvious that he wasn’t going to respond to her she tried again.
“You’re pretty good with that gun.” This time he turned to face her giving her his full and undivided attention. Faith squirmed a little under his intense though non judgmental gaze through eyes that dug into her soul has shatteringly familiar; in color and shape if not expression. Despite that familiarity she couldn't place where she had seen them before. After a moment he spoke;
“Can I help you with something?” His voice was monotone but Faith got the impression that he just might do whatever she asked of him. In fact she decided to test that theory right then and there (1).
“Want to have lunch with me? Could use the company and I’ll even pay.” Well truthfully Zechs would pay for it but she eats a lot anyway and this would be good revenge for leaving her alone. The boy nodded and she led the way to her favorite café that she had been eating at the past few days. They got there in about an hour and the whole walk had been awkwardly silent… at least for Faith. The boy didn’t seem to show any change in emotion.
After they were sitting and had ordered Faith, to break the tension she felt, asked;
“So what’s your name?” The boy had folded his arms over his chest and had his head tilted down. His answer was short.
“I’m no one.” That was an odd answer even by her standards and she started to wonder if this had been a good idea. She never really thought about the things she did and even though that got her in trouble more often then not she never really saw reason to change her ways. There was just something about this boy that bothered her and she couldn't tell what it was.
“You looking for work?” She asked after a moment. She wasn’t sure what to talk about with him and he sure wasn’t helping her start the conversation; though he answered all her questions. In response to her he nodded again. After a few moments though she remembered a whispered conversation between two men she couldn’t help but over hear. Her senses might not be quite what she remembered but her hearing was still better then most humans. They acted as if they were talking about something shady but it was just a huge job opening on an L3 colony. In her opinion it was hardly something to whisper about.
She took another look at the boy and noticed how thin he looked. She wasn’t one to act charitably but what was passing on gossip from one friend to another. True they weren’t friends but gossip was gossip.
“Hey I heard about some thing on colony L3- X18999. Some sort of mobile suit thing and they’re looking for mechanics ya go to a bar called five-11 and ask for Doctor S. You’re kinda young though for a job like that.” At sound of screeching tires Faith turned her head and saw Zechs’s car stop in front of the shop. Faith got up and waved and he waved back. Faith went to pull her new friend out to meet Zechs but when she turned to him she found the seat empty.
Years later she would learn that she had unknowingly lead that boy to become her enemy.
~~~***~~~September 3rd 193
Faith sat in a car next to Lady Une and grumbled. If Treize hadn’t been busy she knew he would her taken her to the Academy at Lake Victoria himself. She still didn’t really think it was necessary for her to go to this academy she was a mystical warrior after all. She was getting better with the guns and she was certain Treize could teach her to use the giant suits of armor.
“I can fight already. Why do I have to do this?” In the back of her mind she also knew this would help her ‘team ethics’ which despite the soccer lessons changed little. She didn’t need anyone.
“You are a warrior Faith. The way you fight is good but in this era it is both pointless and useless. What use is a sword when your enemy wields a gun? At the academy they will teach you to be a soldier for Mister Treize.” Then in a rare show of kindness, for Une, she added;
“You are capable of doing this. As I said you can fight but now its time to prove you can fight as part of a group. This will be hard for you. As a Slayer you were told you had to fight on your own… that you were special. Now you must learn to rely on the mixed abilities of those around you to complete your mission or fail alone.” Ok at least it started out nice and Faith was sure Une had a point somewhere in there.
“Yeah, yeah go team.” Faith pumped her arm in the air unenthusiastically and slouched back into her seat. The next two years were going to be hell.
(1) My impression of Trowa is that he doesn’t like sad women or making them sad. As a whole he tries to help them. Now I don’t think he would do whatever she asked but he is poor at this point so of course he’ll take offered food. This also takes place after he left the mercenaries but before he started working on Heavyarms.