Last major revision: 02/04/01

Disclaimer: (Full Disclaimers at the end) Gundam Wing is copyright of its respective creators and all distributors of their work and used without permission.

********** WARNINGS ********* WARNINGS *********

Alternate Universe, semi-darkfic
Mature Themes (violence, torture, abuse, non-consentual sex, etc.)

YAOI (male/male relationships)
LEMON/LIME (explicit/implied sexual content)

********** WARNINGS ********* WARNINGS *********

Pairings: 1x2
Rating: NC-17 (adult content/mature themes)
Archive: www.madamhydra.net/GW-DARK.html, www.fanfiction.net

NOTE 1: It has recently (January 31, 2001) come to my attention that there exists an old GW fic called "Memories" which shares a very similar basic premise to "Wicked Game". ^_^; I don't recall ever reading that story before 2001, so after a discussion with one of the authors, I'm pretty sure that "Wicked Game" and "Memories" were developed independently. <sweatdrop>

NOTE 2: This is a revision of the original prologue to "Mechanics of Control" because of the addition of a significant subplot.

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MECHANICS OF CONTROL
A Gundam Wing ALTERNATE-REALITY fic by Madamhydra
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Prologue (version 2)
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Short Disclaimer: (Full Disclaimers at the end) Gundam Wing copyrighted by their respective creators and all distributors of their work. Used without permission.

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[ AC 180 ]

It started innocently enough, with five middle-aged scientists sitting in a cluttered workshop drinking after a hard day's work on Wing Gundam ZERO. During the idle, meandering conversation, someone -- no one could ever remember who it was -- asked, "So, how would you make a human being into a perfect weapon?"

"Bah! What use does a soldier have for feelings, anyway? Emotions are a waste of energy, energy that's much better devoted to the mission at hand," the first scientist said firmly, his artificial hand clicking as he picked up the bottle and refilled his mug. "Eliminating unnecessary emotions would ensure that the subject will focus entirely on the assigned task, instead of worrying about possible consequences or collateral damage."

The second scientist shook his head in disagreement. "I think emotion is a much more powerful force than you give it credit for. It is the nature of man to be governed by his feelings. Control a human being's emotions and you totally control that person. After all, people often do the most extraordinary things for love. Or lust." The man smiled cynically and took a hefty chug from his glass.

The third scientist sipped thoughtfully at his drink, then said, "I'd have to both agree and disagree with the two of you. While I agree that a soldier should maintain control of his emotions at all times and not allow it to govern his behavior, I also think that it's unwise to eradicate a person's ability to feel. Stripping a person of emotions makes it very difficult for that person to interact appropriately with other people. And more importantly, if you don't understand the people around you, you can't accurately predict how those people will behave in a given situation."

"So you advocate the suppression, but not the elimination, of emotion like he does?" the fourth scientist said as he gestured toward the first scientist. After he received an affirmative nod from the third scientist, he rubbed his chin and responded, "I think that it would be better to completely separate the emotional side of the subject's personality from the purely analytical side of his mind. That way, he would exhibit normal emotional responses in most circumstances, but under specific conditions, he would become a being of pure logic, unhampered by conscience or remorse -- an organic computer, if you will." He turned to the fifth scientist and asked, "So what about you? Do you have a theory of your own?"

The fifth scientist scowled thoughtfully. Finally, he said, "You give the person a cause." When the other scientists gave him curious looks, he smiled faintly and explained, "Make the person a fanatic. Give the man something to passionately believe in -- say, a greater purpose to be served or some idealistic goal to be achieved. And once you've instilled that sort of dedication in your subject, you can control that person by making him believe that he will be furthering his own personal cause if he obeys your orders."

The first scientist scowled. "That's sounds like a tricky and delicate operation...."

"And one that could easily backfire on you," the third scientist added.

The fifth scientist smiled serenely and a trifle smugly. "Oh, but if you condition your subject properly, he won't have a choice but to believe you, if you present his orders in the correct manner."

The five men continued to drink and argue their own pet theories long into the night, but failed to come to any agreement. Finally, as they prepared to stagger off to bed, someone -- again, it was unclear just who it was -- made the suggestion.

"Well, we can argue and theorize to hell and back, but the only way we'll ever come to any meaningful conclusion on this issue is by obtaining concrete experimental data."

"Which means?" someone muttered.

The speaker gazed blearily at his fellow scientists.

"Which means, stop talking and just do it."

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[ AC 192 ]

Professor G gazed through the one-way glass at the young boy curled up in a fetal ball against the wall. Over the intercom, he could occasionally hear a low, hopeless mewling sound coming from Duo Maxwell as the boy slowly rocked back and forth -- although, in his current disoriented state, it was very unlikely that the teenager even knew he had a name, much less recognize his own.

When he had encountered the stowaway calling himself Duo Maxwell, the scientist had instantly known that it was a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Duo's particular combination of dexterity, intelligence, and adaptability made him a perfect candidate for a Gundam pilot. The boy's passionate personality and barely awakened sexuality also made him an equally perfect test subject for the professor's control theory -- the same theory he had discussed with his colleagues all those years ago.

But as he observed at the wreckage of what had once been a lively, vibrant, independent teenager, the scientist couldn't help wondering whether there was a thing as being too successful. However, the possibility of success made it easy for the professor to put aside any niggling qualms he might have.

A small, but decidedly sinister smile appeared on the scientist's face. At the moment, the boy was a blank slate... no, rather like a newly hatched duckling that was ready to be irreversibly fixated on the first moving object it saw.

However, a true scientist does not leave such a critical event to mere chance. He fully intended to ensure that Duo would imprint on one person and that person alone.

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Duo Maxwell felt so empty... so hollow... an endless, echoing void that screamed to be filled. But there was no escape from the aching loneliness that consumed him.

(....I want I need I want I need I want I need....)

That's all he knew. Want... need... those were the only things that now existed in his world. Occasionally, he managed to piece together an incoherent plead for help, but his thoughts always returned to the mad litany going around and around in his head.

(....I want I need I want I need I want I need....)

He had tried to fight the programming, of course, but his resistance had been useless. THEY had broken him. Now all he could do was think the thoughts they allowed him think... to feel the things they allowed him to feel.

(....I want I need I want I need I want I need....)

THEY told him that there was only one way to stop this endless nightmare. THEY told him that a very special person would come and take away the all the emptiness and loneliness.... someone would save him from hell.

(....I want I need I want I need I want I need....)

A distant, dying corner of himself screamed that what THEY offered was no escape, but only the beginning of a terrible, eternal slavery.

(....I want I need I want I need I want I need....)

But it didn't matter anymore.

(....I want I need I want I need I want I need....)

If that special person would just touch him... if that person could make the emptiness and hunger inside his head and body go away, he gladly would love, worship, and obey that person forever.

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[ AC 193 ]

Over the monitor, Doktor S watched the small blond teenager called Quatre Raberba Winner decimate his enemies. True, it was only a simulation against a computerized opponent on a virtual battlefield, but the child was undoubtedly brilliant... and totally ruthless. And from the way he anticipated his opponent's moves, it was as if the boy could almost read the computer's mind.

Perhaps he could....

In a soft child-like voice that was disturbingly devoid of any emotion, Quatre said, "Level clear. Calculate losses." The briefest of pauses. "Losses acceptable. Collateral damage acceptable. Execute."

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[ AC 193 ]

Professor H smiled sourly as he watched Trowa Barton arrogantly swagger off down the catwalk. He was a patient man. He could endure the young man's insults for another year or two. The pompous fool thought that he was destined to be the pilot of Heavyarms, one of the Gundams constructed for Operation Meteor on the orders of his father Dekim Barton.

But Trowa Barton was wrong. And in time, he would be dead wrong.

The scientist wandered along the catwalk until he found the young teenager he was looking for. The quiet, withdrawn boy who answered to 'No-name' or 'Nanashi' had caught his eye immediately. From careful observation and some covert testing, he knew that the teenager was the person best suited to be Heavyarms' pilot. He watched as the boy suddenly stopped working and bent down to peer underneath a wheeled toolbox. The youth slowly stretched out his hand and waited. Several minutes passed and still the boy patiently crouched. Finally, a scrawny feral cat crept out of hiding and allowed Nanashi to stroke its head.

He was intrigued with the mysterious teenager. The boy made no effort to make friends or to ingratiate himself with the others... and yet most people and animals were strangely accepting of his presence. For some reason, they simply didn't seem to feel threatened by him.

A tantalizing possibility surfaced in the scientist's mind. He suddenly called down and said, "You, boy! I need some assistance here."

The brown haired, green-eyed teenager gracefully rose to his feet and silently followed the scientist to his lab.

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[ AC 193 ]

Professor G stared at the boy accompanying his old colleague Doctor J and commented slyly, "So how is your theory holding up?"

Doctor J brusquely waved the inquiry aside. "Well enough. Well enough. But down to business. You mentioned something about a problem with some of the power couplings for Deathscythe...."

"Oh that. Well, I need to show you the problem. Follow me."

"Fine." Doctor J glanced at Heero and snapped, "Wait here," before following his colleague out of the room.

The dark-haired, cobalt-eyed boy sat unmoving for several minutes, then glanced around as a vague sense of unease nagged at him. He tried to ignore it, but the feeling persisted. Finally, he rose to his feet and silently slipped into the hallway.

The sense of... distress?... strengthened as the boy approached the lab area at the end of the hallway. He hesitated briefly, then shoved the door open. Inside the room was yet another door and a window. He glanced through the observation window and stiffened as saw the huddled figure of another boy curled upon the floor, shivering. Some instinct told him that this boy, with his long, sweat-dampened brown hair clinging to his trembling body, was the source of the distress he had somehow detected. He hesitated again. If the Doctor found him here.... But when the other's shivering abruptly intensified, he found he could not just abandon the obviously suffering boy.

Turning to the door to the cell, he found it was locked with a simple keypad. However, he had been trained to handle such locks even before he had met Doctor J. Less than a minute later, the door to the brown-haired boy's prison slid open. The brown-haired teenager frowned almost imperceptibly as he heard the soft anguished whimpers emanating from the figure huddled on the floor.

The sound of the opening door apparently caught the other boy's attention. He slowly lifted his head and stared through the long brown strands of hair hanging about his face at the cobalt-eyed boy standing in the doorway.

The prisoner's wide violet eyes briefly caused the dark-haired teenager to recoil uneasily as they fixed on him with almost a frenzied starving intensity, but he quickly gathered his courage and warily approached.

As the cobalt-eyed boy drew closer to the crouching figure, the long-haired boy's desperate indigo gaze seem to be begging and pleading for something. Without thinking, he reached out his hand to lightly touch the prisoner's cheek and asked, "What do you want me to do?"

When the other boy felt the touch of another human hand and heard the question, he shuddered, then closed his violet eyes. The tension in his body seemed to vanish, as if swept away by a tidal wave of sheer relief.

The cobalt-eyed boy was about repeat the question when he detected the sound of familiar footsteps. In an instant, he was out of the cell. By the time the inner door had automatically closed and relocked behind him, the dark-haired boy was already halfway down the outer hallway.

He had nearly made back to the waiting room when a set of cold, mechanical fingers clamped down on his arm.

"Damn it! I gave you orders! What do you think you were doing wandering around?"

The boy was silent for a brief instant, then said in a flat monotone, "Reconnaissance."

Dr. J scowled at the boy's expressionless face, then snorted angrily. He would take care of this little act of disobedience when they got back to their own base.

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(NO!!! DON'T LEAVE ME I NEED YOU PLEASE COME BACK I NEED YOU PLEASE I NEED YOU...!)

Duo slowly collapsed to the floor of his cell. As his fingers clawed wildly at his long tangled hair, tears of loss and despair started to seep from his tightly shut eyes.

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[ AC 194 ]

Master O patiently watched as Wufei Chang stared down at the craved stone that lay half-buried in the ground, then swore on his young wife's grave to bring justice to the world. After giving the boy some more time, he finally clapped his hand on Wufei's shoulder and said, "If you're going to be the new pilot of Shenlong, then we'd better see to your training."

"Yes."

"Good. Let's go to my lab. There are certain tests I need to run on you before we start."

Wufei glared at the scientist. "I'm perfectly fit!"

"Shenlong is no ordinary Mobile Suit. The special training that I'm going to give you will allow you to use the Gundam to maximum advantage. Come along, boy. As you say, it's for Meiran's spirit."

The Chinese teenager clenched his fists and retorted, "No, it's for Nataku!"

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[ AC 194 ]

"Boy," Doctor J snapped tersely.

The young teenager slowly raised his head and looked up at the scientist's cold, artificial orbs.

Doctor J scowled irritably as he stared at the silent boy huddled in the chair. He didn't understand it. It was obvious from the look on his face that the entire incident with the puppy had profoundly disturbed the boy. But according to his calculations, the teenager should be incapable of feeling anything like remorse or guilt by now. So why did the boy's programming fail so badly?

"It's clear from your lapse of discipline that I'm going to have to initiate a more severe phase of training. Go to your room and get ready. I want you in the lab in one hour."

The boy's shoulders twitched slightly. For a brief instant, the scientist thought that he would balk or outright refuse, but the youth's conditioning held. The dark-haired boy silently rose to his feet and walked out of the room, leaving behind the scientist to ponder what sort of additional behavior modifications he might need to make.

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[ AC 195 ]

Duo Maxwell awoke with a sharp gasp. He stared blankly at the darkened ceiling of the dorm room as he tried to remember the nightmare that had jolted him from a sound sleep. But the details wouldn't come.

There was a rustle of sheets from the other bed in the room as Heero Yuy sat up and glared at him.

"What is it now?" the Wing pilot asked in an irritable voice.

Duo was uncharacteristically silent, then he shook his head briskly and said with a wry grin, "Nah. Just a bad dream. Maybe I shouldn't have eaten those last three slices of anchovy and pineapple pizza."

"Hmph." And with that, Heero pointedly turned his back and tried to go back to sleep.

But Duo found that he couldn't stand the thought of closing his eyes... of being enveloped in empty darkness... so he spent the rest of the night staring across the room at Heero's slumbering body.

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Author's Notes: (original version)
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Errr... yes, yet ANOTHER GW story. <sweatdrop> This story originated from a suggestion from my friend Suza. She asked if I could do insert the GW characters into my original yaoi fic "Divine Justice". That innocent suggestion -- okay, *not* so innocent suggestion as readers of "Divine Justice" might know -- was the inspiration of this fic. If you're curious, you can find "Divine Justice" at my website in the Original Yaoi Fanfic section. CAUTION: That fic is dark, rated NC-17, and intended for mature readers only! Don't be surprised if you find a lot of common elements between the two stories. Hmmmm... is it possible to plagiarize from oneself? ^_^;

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"Mechanics of Control" is the title for the overall
alternative-reality storyline, with sub-stories for each pilot. ^_^
The sub-stories are titled as follows:

"Wicked Game" - Heero and Duo
"Brilliant Disguise" - Trowa and Quatre
"Dragon's Fire" - Wufei

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Keeper of Duo's Dark Side ~~~ Duo no Seishi
Co-Keeper of Duo's Scythe & Bat Wings (w/ Death)
Co-Keeper of Little Grim Reaper Duo (w/ Kitsune)
Saitoh no Koibito ~~~ Corruptor Extraordinaire
Keeper of Duo-bat: Dueek! (From TA's lab, with the TA Seal of
Insanity.)
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madamhydra@aol.com /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/:E
http://www.madamhydra.net/
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The Full Disclaimer
All rights and privileges to Shin Kidousenki Gundam Wing are trademarks and property of Sunrise, Bandai, Sotsu Agency, and associated parties. The characters of these works are used WITHOUT permission for the purpose of entertainment only. This work of fiction is not meant for sale or profit.
Original portion of the fiction included here is considered to be the sole property and copyrighted to the author.
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