Here's Part 7! The first teaser makes up most of this part, but I've
added a hefty chunk of Duo-torture to the beginning. Enjoy and
please forgive the typos, etc. -- it's still a very rough draft! ^_^;

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*************************

Alternate Reality, semi-darkfic, YAOI (male/male relationships),

LEMON *** LIME *** LEMON *** LIME *** LEMON *** LIME *** LEMON

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

Pairings: 1x2
Rating: NC-17
Archive: http://www.geocities.com/madamhydra/GW-DARK.html

NOTES: serious Duo torture, bastard Heero, psychotic Wufei,

Duo's outfit in this teaser comes directly from the "Stealth Duo" drawing by Kitsune! ^_^ The song lyrics Duo sings comes from "Grease"... got to dig up the proper credits. <mutter> Many thanks to RoseArgent and Kenshi for providing much of the inspiration for Duo's wonderfully versatile hair!

Kitsune's picture of "Stealth Duo" can be found on my website:

http://www.geocities.com/madamhydra/GW-DARK.html

/.../ represents mental and/or subconscious dialogue

========================================================
MECHANICS OF CONTROL: WICKED GAME
A Gundam Wing ALTERNATE-REALITY fic by Madamhydra
========================================================
Part 7
========================================================

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What a wicked game to play
To make me feel this way
What a wicked thing to do
To let me dream of you

-- "Wicked Game"
by Chris Isaak

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

========================================================

[ a safehouse in Dumont ]

As he stood in front of the full length bedroom mirror and dried his hair, Duo Maxwell was thinking. He was thinking very hard.

One part of his mind was filled with anticipation over the upcoming mission. This eagerness was mixed with a familiar sense of fond exasperation over Heero's current obsession with secrecy. But this part of Duo's mind was really just a thin veneer of normalcy -- a mask whose sole purpose was to convince everyone, including the wearer himself, that all was well with Duo Maxwell.

But concealed beneath the mask was the true Duo -- Duo, the slave.

Abruptly tossing the towel aside, he slowly reached up and pulled off the bathrobe. He stared, fascinated by the reflection of his own nude body.

No, not HIS body. It really belonged to his Master, just as his mind, heart, and soul belonged to his Master. They were all his Master's property.

He shivered as the very thought of Heero, his one and only Master, sent a tidal wave of joy and desire through his entire body.

As one hand skimmed over a sleekly muscled shoulder, the other hand drifted over the smooth, silken skin of his chest, circled a nipple, then moved down his flat stomach. His fingers hesitated, then gently cupped his genitals. Their flaccid state did nothing to reveal his intense state of arousal. It didn't matter. His cock was simply a tool, a part of his arsenal. When necessary, it would perform as required. Until that time, it would remain unobtrusive and quiescent.

Now he used both hands to lightly stroke his thighs before moving on to his buttocks. And as he kneaded them slowly, feeling the flesh warm under his fingers, he savored the most recent memories of his Master's touch... remembered how his Master has ruthlessly forced those deceptively slender fingers inside him and taken possession of him... the sharp burn as callused skin rubbed against momentarily dry flesh....

Far from fearing the pain, he embraced it with his very soul. Any sensation -- *anything* -- bestowed by the Master was to be treasured as a gift to an unworthy slave.

Another shudder wracked his body as memory again fed both love and desire. The uninitiated might have called his slow, side-to-side swaying and his soft, tuneless croon the signs of a sick or damaged mind, but they couldn't be more wrong. He knew the truth -- it was the rapture of cosmic revelation... an epiphany... the discovery of a fundamental truth of the universe....

Heero was his Master. He was a slave. He existed to love, serve, and obey his Master.

He moaned silently and sagged to his knees as he was given his reward for proper thinking.

Pleasure. Pure liquid pleasure pouring through his veins.

He rocked back and forth. It felt so perfect, so right. As long as he obeyed his Master, he would be safe from the unbearable emptiness... the smothering numbness....

Just thinking about the nightmarish void made his stomach churn and he felt his soul sliding into the white hell....

Clutching his skull, he silently sobbed, "I am a SLAVE. Without my Master, I am nothing. I exist to obey. I exist to SERVE. I EXIST TO PLEASE MY MASTER."

He desperately thought of his Master... of serving his Master... of obeying his Master. And just like before, he was rewarded. The overpowering ecstasy again flooded his mind, sweeping away the fear and the terror, and leaving behind only the joy of knowing his true place in the world. The void inside him was utterly filled by his Master... the sight of his dark blue eyes... the sound of his Master's irresistable voice... the taste of his skin and scent of his body... and the fullness of his Master's cock moving within his body.

Violet eyes gleaming with adoration, he whispered softly, "My Master controls me. My Master fills me. My Master protects me. My Master is good and kind to me. I LOVE my Master. My Master is my GOD."

His body shook and quivered as he experienced more pleasure. More ecstasy.

Still on his knees, he gazed happily at his reflection, admiring the look of utter submission and joy in his eyes. Reaching out a trembling hand, he pressed his hand against the mirror.

"My true self."

How stupid of him to resist his Master's schooling. He deserved the most terrible of punishments for his.... Finishing the thought was a struggle. The very concept was now unspeakably foreign and repugnant to him.

His *disobedience*.

But instead of punishment, his Master had only given him pleasure... so much pleasure. The sensations had nearly been unbearable in their intensity, but he endured. He had to. He was a mere slave. He had no choice but to submit to whatever his Master wished to do.

He sighed rapturously as he felt another pulse of sweet ecstasy. Obedience felt so *good*.

He rose gracefully to his feet, eager to fulfill his Master's every command. As he dressed, he hummed happily to himself. It was as if he had been reborn. The whole world seemed clearer and sharper, the sensations more intense....

He felt more alive than he could ever remember being.

After he finished with the clothes, he put on the last piece of his costume.

His mask.

Duo Maxwell grinned, winked at his reflection, then with a flick of his braid, he went looking for Heero.

-------------------------------------------------

Seated in the kitchen, Heero paused to look at a fully dressed Duo as the Deathscythe pilot analyzed the information they had on Treize Khushrenada's current location.

"Hm... that's interesting. That military base is so new that they haven't even completed the officer's quarters. Treize and the other high-ranking officers are staying at a fancy old country estate right next door." Duo flicked through a few pages. "Heh. I bet the prospect of having a full scale military installation next door did wonders for the local property values."

Without warning, using his command mode voice, the Wing pilot said, "Suspend default programming. Revert to your true state."

As if Heero flicked a switch, Duo looked up and instantly responded, "Yes, Master."

"How do you feel?"

"I feel good, Master." The braided pilot's voice was extremely submissive, but very definite.

"Why?" Heero demanded curtly.

Duo gazed adoringly into the cold dark blue eyes and said, "Because you own me. Because I'm your slave."

"And how do you know that I own you?"

Without any hesitation, Duo replied, "Because your presence never leaves me. Because I can always feel you inside me... filling me... fucking me... constantly reminding me that I am yours to control. Without your touch and your will, I am nothing."

"And if you displease me?" The Wing pilot's voice was devoid of any emotion.

Duo frowned, then with a fanatical gleam shone in his dark violet eyes, he said firmly, "Then I am at fault. My sole purpose to serve and please you, Master. If I displease you, I must be punished severely and without mercy, until I correct my failure to please."

"And how will you be punished?" Heero inquired dispassionately.

"In whatever manner you deem fit, Master. As you command my pleasure, you command my pain. Reward or discipline me as you choose."

"And if I choose to punish you?"

"If it pleases you to punish me, then I beg to be punished until you are satisfied. Order and I will obey, Master," came Duo's unhesitating answer.

Thoughtfully, as if formulating a purely intellectual exercise, Heero said, "So you will feel or experience anything that I command you to feel or experience, regardless of how painful or distressing."

Duo bowed his head and said, "Yes, Master."

The Wing pilot said in a dispassionate voice, "Torture? Rape?"

"Yes, Master. Whatever pleases you. Anything you desire. My mind and body are yours to command."

The Wing pilot sat back in his chair and observed Duo closely. He could detect no hesitation or fear. All he could sense was the braided pilot's overwhelming desire to obey his Master's every command. Without warning, Heero abruptly grabbed Duo's chin and said coldly, "I am displeased."

Duo trembled and looked utterly devastated.

"You deserved to be punished."

"Y-y-yes, Master. Punish me, I beg you," Duo pleaded in a quivering voice.

Heero narrowed his eyes. Interesting. Curious to know just how far he could alter Duo's perceptions of himself and reality, he said softly, "There are electrodes on your testicles and penis. Do you feel them?"

"Yes...," Duo whispered, his eyes wide and fixed.

"You are holding the activator switch in your right hand."

Duo's right hand curled slightly, as if holding a small tube.

"The dial controlling the shock intensity is in your left."

The fingers of the braided pilot's other hand flexed, as if resting on the nonexistent dial, but he never took his eyes off Heero.

The Wing pilot observed Duo's reactions with a cold, analytical eye. There was no indication that the other pilot was mere playacting. He leaned forward and said, "You will administer your own punishment. Is that clear?"

Duo licked his lips and whispered, "Yes, Master."

"Do it."

The braided pilot's right thumb pressed down on nothingness. His reaction was instant. Duo shuddered and gasped sharply.

"Did it hurt?"

"Y-y-yes, Master."

"Do it again. Three short pulses."

Duo's thumb pushed. One. Two. Three times. With each press, the braided pilot convulsed sharply. At the third pulse, he uttered a faint whimper.

Heero coldly ordered, "Increase the intensity and repeat."

Duo obeyed without hesitation. By now, he was gasping heavily.

"Do you want to stop?" the Wing pilot inquired.

"Do... do I continue... to displease... you?" the Deathscythe pilot whispered.

Heero frowned slightly, then said slowly, "Yes."

"Then punishment must continue," Duo said with fierce determination, his right thumb hovering over the imaginary switch. "I must please you. Failure to please you must be punished severely and without mercy."

"Then proceed until I indicate otherwise. And do so quietly," Heero ordered, rising to his feet.

"Yes, Master," Duo said, a fanatical gleam in his violet eyes. And he pressed. Shuddered. Pressed again. Shuddered again. Obedient to Heero's orders, the only sound the Wing pilot heard was Duo's harsh breathing. After several repetitions, Duo's left hand moved, as if turning an invisible dial. More button presses. More intense spasms. Another dial turn.

-------------------------------------------------

Yes, he deserved the pain, the agony. The shocks were excruciating, but they were nothing compared to his emotional and mental anguish.

He had displeased his Master. The reasons were irrelevant.

His Master was displeased.

He MUST be punished.

He pressed the button again with savage eagerness.

-------------------------------------------------

Heero watched the macabre pantomime with a deepening frown. Every few minutes, Duo would glance in his direction, see the frown, then increase the intensity of the imaginary shocks. But for Duo, they clearly were NOT imaginary. He was torturing himself and showed every intention of continuing until Heero ordered otherwise... or until he died from the physical stress.

The Wing pilot's frown was not caused by Duo, but rather by the strange tightness that slowly built in his chest.

/ ....stop it.... /

He absently rubbed the middle of his chest, but the tightness continued to grow.

/ ....STOP IT!.... /

Finally, Heero told himself that continuing the test scenario could seriously impair the other pilot's performance. The current mission was too urgent to take that risk. There would be plenty of time to test the true limits of Duo's obedience afterward.

"Duo," Heero said sharply.

The Deathscythe pilot dragged his sagging head upward and gave his Master a misery-laden glance.

"End punishment. Your obedience... pleases me."

-------------------------------------------------

Searing pain and misery was instantaneously replaced by exquisite pleasure and joy.

Duo's hands went slack. He slid limply from the chair and landed on his knees before Heero. Blinking the sweat from his eyes, Duo stared up at his Master with wide, adoring eyes.

"Thank you for your kindness and mercy, Master."

(I love you, Master.)

Heero shrugged indifferently and said coldly, "Clean yourself up, then get back here to finish the briefing."

Duo instantly forced himself to his feet.

"I hear and obey, Master."

-------------------------------------------------

Ten minutes later, Duo returned, looking slightly damp, but considerably more refreshed. As he sat back down at the kitchen table, Heero snapped in his command mode,, "Resume default programming, Duo."

His words appeared to act like a global reset. The braided pilot blinked once, then gave the dark-haired teenager a slightly bemused smile.

"Ummm... what was I saying?

Heero scowled at him. "Keep your mind on the mission."

Duo grinned sheepishly and chuckled. "Sorry about that. Oh yeah. As I was about to say, the security at the estate is a bit weak because they had to stretch the base's defensive perimeter to cover the temporary officers' quarters."

"Do you anticipate any problems getting inside?"

Duo smiled wickedly and nibbled on the end of his braid. "Nope."

"I don't care how you get that information out of Khushrenada, but remember that I need time to complete the necessary downloading and modifications to the new security computer node. You have to keep your interrogation a secret for at least a few hours, or else they're going to change the access codes."

Leaning back in his chair and stretching his arms overhead, Duo drawled, "Hey, no sweat! I'll do my best to keep a low profile. My plan is to slide in Treize's quarters, ask my questions, and slide right back out without anyone being the wiser. But if complications come up... well, don't worry. I'll get you the access codes and the time you need, one way or another."

"Hn."

Duo jumped to his feet and said, "I guess I'm off, then." On his way out of the kitchen, he casually inquired, "By the way, Heero, do you want Treize dead or alive when I'm through with him?"

Heero pondered the question, then said curtly, "Preferably alive. And try not to compromise his position too much. The in-fighting between Khushrenada, Bernard Lundquist, and their respective factions helps to keep our enemy disorganized and weak. The last thing we need is OZ unified under the control of someone like Lundquist."

"Gotcha. You want it, you got it, Heero."

As Duo disappeared out the door, the Wing pilot heard the other teenager cheerfully singing an very old pop tune.

"....But baby can't you see?"
"There's nothing left for me to do"
"I'm hopelessly devoted to you...."

-------------------------------------------------

After hastily evacuating the clinic, Noin drove Wufei, Sally, and the other girls toward another hideout.

As Relena and Dorothy slept in the back of the van, Sally massaged her neck which was still sore from Heero's knockout blow. She then glanced over at Wufei, who was becoming increasingly restless as the hours ticked by.

"What's wrong?" the doctor asked wearily.

Wufei impatiently drummed his fingers against the armrest, then clenched his fist when he noticed what he was doing.

"I don't...." He frowned, rubbed at his forehead, then said suddenly, "Pull over just outside the next town."

Noin blinked and said, "What for?"

"I... there's something I have to do."

Sally raised an eyebrow. "Just like that?"

"Yes!" The Chinese pilot took a deep breath and said in a tense voice, "I just realized that... oh, never mind. Just stop and let me out, then continue one to the safehouse. Don't worry about me."

Noin glanced at Sally, then shrugged.

"All right. Do what you want."

Wufei gave the two women a sharp nod of thanks, then waited impatiently until the van rolled to a stop thirty minutes later. He watched the vehicle roll off into the darkness, then started searching for a car to steal.

He had a burning urge to talk to Treize.

-------------------------------------------------

Duo had spent the last several hours patiently observing both the new OZ facility and the extravagant mansion that served as temporary officers' quarters. He also made the effort to verify the type of security equipment and procedures used at the base. He could afford to take the time -- Heero needed at least 24 hours to get into position at his end and for this mission, stealth was just as important as speed.

From his location high in a leafy tree, his acute hearing made it very easy to eavesdrop on the security guards at the rear gate. Most of the time, they whined about the base's sloppy construction and how the officers had it soft, living in that fancy mansion, but every so often, they would drop useful tidbits of information.

He smirked silently as one of the roving canine security teams strolled right underneath his hiding place, both the handler and the dog totally oblivious to Duo's presence less than twenty feet directly overhead.

His thigh-length hair was no longer in its usual neat braid. Now it floated around his body almost like a cloak of silken threads. In the still afternoon air, the long individual chestnut strands stirred restlessly, constantly flicking back and forward in an oddly deliberate fashion, almost like a cat's tail or a snake's flickering tongue.

He was also no longer wearing his usual priestly looking garb. The Deathscythe pilot was still dressed in entirely in black, but on this occasion, he wore sleek, body-hugging pants, a turtle-necked sleeveless tanktop, and black gloves. A matching long-sleeved jacket covered his arms and the pair of shoulder holsters he wore.

The sound of an approaching truck caught his attention.

(Right on schedule.)

The black-clad pilot dropped from the tree without a sound, again failing to attract the slightest attention from the guard dog or its handler as they diligently patrolled less than twenty yards away, and ran toward the access road. As the large truck slowed down to make the last turn leading to the base, Duo dashed out from the sparse undergrowth and ran across the thirty foot wide strip of bare grass bordering the road. Without any apparent strain or effort, he jumped to snag the top edge of the cargo compartment and pulled himself up onto the top of the truck.

The driver didn't see a thing.

Duo flattened himself out on the truck roof and patiently waited. No one noticed his presence -- not the security guard checking the driver's papers, the other two guards searching the cargo compartment and peering under the truck, nor the soldier manning the video camera mounted over the entrance to the base. The truck was waved through without incident and rolled for the warehouse area.

As soon as the vehicle passed through a patch of shadows cast by the afternoon sun, Duo rolled off the roof. He silently landed on his feet, got his bearings, and headed toward Treize's quarters. All without a trace.

-------------------------------------------------

The sun had just set as Wufei slipped into Treize's quarters. As usual, he had informed the general he was coming. It reduced the chances of an unfortunate encounter with security.

(What the hell am I doing here? I should be guarding Relena, Sally, and the others, or I should be trying to locate Heero and Duo.)

But he *needed* to talk to Treize.

(About what? Oh yes, about that plot to dirty the Peacecraft's reputation. Lundquist's doing, no doubt. But someone warned Noin that OZ forces were moving in. I'm willing to bet Treize leaked the information or at least arranged that leak. I know he has plans for Relena Peacecraft, plans that require her to be a neutral party... or at least appear as such.)

He frowned at the dull throb of pain in the back of his head. For the last few weeks, he had felt a growing tension and uneasiness... almost like a sense of impending doom. That was hardly unexpected given that he, a Gundam pilot, was in the midst of a sexual affairwith one of the highest ranking officers in OZ.

(Stop trying to fool yourself, Wufei! It stopped being a simple matter of rampaging teenage hormones months ago! I'm not just sleeping with the enemy, I... love... him.)

But that admission only made his persistent sense of guilt and misery worse. How long could such feelings survive in this ugly war with OZ?

Caught up in his inner turmoil, it took a minute or two to realize something was wrong. The living room of Treize's quarters was dark and silent. It was very possible that the general was simply late, but a subtle wrongness to the entire situation caused Wufei to start backing warily toward the French doors.

"Going somewhere, Chang?" The male voice was unmistakably Treize's, but its usual smooth tones were marred by an uncharacteristic bitterness and anger.

"Treize? Is there something... wrong?" the Shenlong pilot said in an unusually tentative tone.

Illumination abruptly flooded the room. The general sat in an antique armchair, a bare sword negligently held in one hand as he glared at Wufei with coldly furious blue eyes.

"Wrong? You might say so? Then again, you may consider a betrayal of trust and honor to be a trivial matter."

Wufei shook his head in confusion. "Betrayal? What on earth are you talking about?"

The older man actually had to take a deep breath before he spoke. "I'm talking about your betrayal of my trust, Chang."

Wufei rubbed at his forehead and replied, "I still don't understand what you're talking about!"

Treize said in a silken, lethal voice, "I'm talking about cold-bloodedly seducing and drugging me repeatedly over the last several months in order to gain high-level access to the OZ computer network."

The teenager gaped mutely at him for a moment, then blurted, "Say WHAT!?"

"There's nothing wrong with your hearing, Chang."

Wufei shook his head violently. "This... this is crazy! The whole world's gone absolutely insane! First Duo, then Heero, and now you!"

"Are you denying it?"

"Hell, yes! Of course I deny it! Damn it! God help me, but I love you! How could you possibly think that I would betray your trust AND my honor by doing something as treacherous as that!"

Treize's statement tightened. "I didn't want to believe it. I couldn't believe it... but I have proof."

"What proof!?"

"A technician's mistake lead to the discovery of unaccountable computer activity from MY computer system. The timing of those activities coincided perfectly with your visits. I wanted to believe that there was some other explanation so I had some surveillance cameras installed before your last visit. And THIS is what I saw." Treize said as he pushed a button.

Wufei's eyes widened as he watched himself on the monitor as he left the bedroom and walked into the living room. He could only stare as he saw himself, stark naked, walk over to Treize's desk, and busily start typing and inserting data disks into the computer.

As the image froze on the screen, the teenager stumbled forward, shaking his head. He choked out, "No. That's impossible. That's IMPOSSIBLE! I didn't... I COULDN'T... do something like this to you!"

Almost wearily, Treize said, "I had a drug test the next morning. They found traces of two extremely powerful and fast-acting tranquilizers in my bloodstream. Considering their potency, there was only one opportunity to ingest those drugs." The general looked up and said coldly, "And that was with you."

Wufei turned his back to Treize and propped his hands on a elegant sidetable as he continued to shake his head.

Treize rose to his feet, sword still in hand, and said flatly, "Are you still denying it? Then how do you explain this video? How do you explain the computer activity and the drugs in my system?" With a growing sense of anger in his voice, the general continued, "Was everything that happened between us nothing but lies and trickery? Was I just a convenient means to an end? Damn it, Wufei! I thought we understood each other! I TRUSTED you!"

At those words, the teenager's body stiffened, then his shoulders started shaking. At first, Treize thought that Wufei was sobbing, but he abruptly realized that the Chinese pilot wasn't crying at all.

He was laughing. Viciously.

Wufei whirled around, his black eyes glittering with malice. He smiled darkly, "You TRUSTED me? Then I suppose you made a very stupid and very costly mistake, my dear general."

Treize backed up a step. Of all possible scenarios, he never expected a reaction quite like this one.

"What...?"

"But it doesn't matter if you or the entire world knows what a fucking idiot you are. My mission here is nearly complete. Just one more upload and I'm finished." Wufei tilted his head slightly. "Just as well. I don't think I could have tolerated you shoving your filthy cock up my ass one more time."

It was Treize's turn to shake his head in mute denial.

The Shenlong pilot grinned malevolently, then without warning, he snatched up a small vase and hurtled it at Treize's head. The general instinctively dodged... right into the *second* object Wufei threw.

Treize only had an instant to realize his mistake, then the decorative plate slammed into his temple and knocked him into oblivion.

-------------------------------------------------

Like a shadow, Duo slipped unnoticed through the hallways toward Treize's quarters. He picked the lock on an unoccupied suite directly above the general's rooms and headed toward the bathroom and the old wetwall that led down to Treize's bathroom. The foot-wide space between the two plaster walls was intended to hold the water and sewer pipes. Now that space would give the Deathscythe pilot easy access to his target.

-------------------------------------------------

Treize slowly awoke to an excruciating headache and severely aching shoulders. He could guess where the headache came from, but it took him several moments to figure out the problem with his shoulders. Cautiously turning his pounding head, he realized that he was hanging by his wrists from one of the sturdy chandelier hooks mounted on the high living room ceiling.

He glanced down and observed Wufei shutting down his computer. The teenager got up, picked up Treize's sword, and casually strolled over to his uncomfortably suspended captive.

Wufei gave him that same vicious smile as before and said, "You're finally awake. Good. I don't want you to miss any of this."

Treize said hoarsely, "Miss what?"

"Your death, of course. Surely you don't think that I'd let you get away with all the humiliation and degradation you put me through." Wufei lifted the razor sharp sword and gently prodded the general's groin with the tip.

"What humiliation!? I never hurt, forced, OR constrained you in any way! You came to ME, claiming that you felt lonely... looking for someone who 'understood' you!"

Wufei's eyes glittered furiously. "No, I suppose you didn't tie me up or beat me... but I'm sure you would have. Eventually. Perverts like you always enjoy games like that." He gestured grandly with the sword in the direction of the leather cuffs binding Treize's wrists high above his head. "Where do you think I got those restraints? I found them buried in one of your closets. It was just a matter of time before you would have tried to use them or those other disgusting sex toys on me."

Treize gritted his teeth. "I won't deny that I've used them before with other lovers, but I never... NEVER would have forced you to, Wufei...."

"Liar! You enjoy wallowing in filth and I DESPISE you for making it necessary for me to wallow with you. You have no idea how many times you came within a hairsbreadth of death at my hands as you lay snoring on your soiled bedsheets!"

Treize whispered, "You're INSANE." That was the only explanation he could think of which could explain the teenager's irrational behavior.

"If I am, it's all because of you and OZ! OZ has taken everything from me... my home, my entire clan, my innocence...." Wufei whipped the blade up and prodded Treize in the throat. "And my WIFE!"

"Your... your WIFE!?"

"Exactly. So you see, I could NEVER enjoy the touch of a pig who allies himself with those monsters responsible for my beloved wife's murder!"

Wufei stepped back, nearly panting in fury. He took a few deep breaths, then said in a slightly calmer voice. "The only reason you've survived this long is because I needed you to access the OZ network. Now that I've finished my task, my DEAR general, you are now completely expendable. It's only justice that you pay for what you did to me."

-------------------------------------------------

Before he tried breaking through the plaster into Treize's bathroom, Duo listened carefully. He could hear two people breathing and the sound of computer activity. And even through the plaster, the Deathscythe pilot picked up a familiar scent.

(Wufei? What the hell is WUFEI doing here in Treize's quarters?)

From the nuances of the scent, Duo instantly knew that this wasn't just a first-time visit, but that Wufei had been in Treize's quarters repeatedly over a period of possibly months.

(Great. Just fucking great.)

But before he could begin his entry into the bathroom, he heard Wufei speaking to Treize. The hateful tones in his voice and the subtle shift in Wufei's scent told Duo that something was seriously wrong, an impression that was confirmed almost before Wufei had finished his first two sentences. He didn't need a psychologist to figure out that the Shenlong pilot was totally off his rocker.

Slicing through the plaster, Duo silently eased himself into the bathroom. He parked himself behind the door leading from the bedroom to the living room and continued to eavesdrop with steadily increasing tension.

-------------------------------------------------

His mind whirling in confusion, pain, and misery, Treize still managed to retain much of his usual elegant sarcasm as he said, "I assume you intend to make me suffer as much as possible before you kill me," as he eyed the long silvery sword in Wufei's hand.

"I know what a private person you are, Treize. You definitely wouldn't want witnesses to this little confrontation so I'm certain that you gave instructions that you weren't to be disturbed for any reason until at least morning. That's plenty of time. And your rooms have excellent soundproofing...."

"As you should know. You certainly yelled loud enough when I...."

Wufei brutally slapped the general twice across the face. Breathing heavily, he snarled, "I know what you're trying to do, Treize. You're trying to enrage me into killing you quickly. But it won't work. I've dreamt about this for far too long to let you escape so easily."

Tasting the blood in his mouth, Treize said with a sad calmness, "It was worth a try."

"But I won't use this," the Shenlong pilot said as he carelessly tossed the sword aside.

As Treize watched warily, Wufei held out his right hand, then snapped his fingers.

The general recoiled as a tall, bright yellow flame suddenly roared to life in the teenager's hand, who seemed impervious to the heat that Treize could feel from over six feet away.

"How did you....!?"

"Oh, this is nothing, my dear general." With a sweeping gesture, Wufei tossed the flame to the floor. The thin ribbon of fire lengthened and thickened, spiraling and winding around Wufei's body like a great serpent. And as the flaming ribbon arched over the Shenlong pilot's head, the tip split in two to form an unmistakable dragon's head, complete with a gaping, fanged mouth that roared forth a blast of pure heat that threatened to blister Treize's exposed skin.

As Wufei's black eyes seemed to take on a ruby-like glow, the teenager said, "I've already disconnected all the fire and smoke alarms in your quarters. Now I'm going to give you a small taste of hell! I'm going to flay you alive first, then I'm going to char the flesh from your bones, inch by agonizing inch!"

In nearly every human's soul rests a primal fear of fire. Treize was no exception. Death by steel was one thing, but the prospect of burning to death was enough to make him cringe.

-------------------------------------------------

(Oh SHIT! Wu-man's a pyrokinetic! And he's about to turn Treize into major league toast!) Duo frantically thought as Wufei lashed out at Treize with a whip-like ribbon of flame. The general uttered a smothered scream as the flame seared along his right hip.

The Deathscythe pilot flung open the door and yelled, "Wufei, STOP IT!"

"Maxwell, what the hell are doing here!?" the Shenlong pilot growled at the unexpected interruption.

"I'm here for Treize. We need him alive!"

"YOU might need him alive, but I don't! I've waited far too long for this moment!" the other pilot ranted wildly.

Duo smacked himself on the forehead. "Have you heard a fucking thing I've said? WE... that means all of US!... need Treize alive!"

"AND I TELL YOU THAT *I* DON'T CARE!!!" Wufei screamed back as the fire dragon swelled and grew until it brushed the high, vaulted ceiling. Ancient oak beams began to smoke and char as the flame creature prepared to attack.

"AW, HELL!!!"

Duo was a mere blur of black as he jumped for Treize. Several very special strands of hair flicked and the heavy iron chandelier chain used to suspend the general from the ceiling parted neatly, the large metal links sliced cleaner than any saw or laser could ever manage.

They tumbled to the floor in a heap. As the Deathscythe pilot's long hair lightly settled over the two of them like a cloak, Duo clamped a gloved hand over Treize's mouth and hissed, "Be quiet and FREEZE!" in his ear.

Although both Duo and Treize were lying up against the living room sofa, they were certainly still in plain view. However, to the general's utter astonishment, Wufei's angry gaze passed right over them as if they weren't there. However, the smoke and haze in the air was not nearly thick enough to explain his failure to see them.

(It's... it's like we're somehow become invisible!) Treize thought in stunned disbelief.

"Damn it, Maxwell! Where did you go!? Where is he!?" Wufei yelled as he continued to scan the room for his intended victim. Suddenly, the Chinese pilot grabbed at his head and staggered as if in terrible pain.

Treize twitched reflexively, but Duo's amazingly strong grip kept him from moving.

Wufei abruptly sagged to his hands and knees, his head lolling loosely, as the flame dragon started to waver and lose cohesion. Finally, Wufei looked up with a horrified statement on his face and shouted, "W-W-What am I *DOING*!? Unnnn...!"

The Shenlong pilot's words trailed off into a moan of pain as he clutched at his head again. "Why am I doing this!? Why do I feel... this way!? This.. this isn't RIGHT!!!"

"Wufei...." Duo's voice was quiet, yet perfectly audible, even above the muffled roar of the dragon-shaped fire that still hovered in the air.

"D-Duo?" Wufei shuddered, then choked out, "Get... get him out of here! NOW! Before I... lose control... and... try to... kill him... again! For all our sakes, I'm begging you!"

With a wild gesture, Wufei blew away the French doors with a large fireball and screamed, "DUO!!! JUST DO IT!!!"

Duo grabbed Treize and practically carried the wounded general across the room. They plunged through the smoking remains of the French doors, tumbled over the second story balcony, and landed in the garden.

The shrubs helped soften the impact. Treize slowly stumbled to his feet and started to edge away from Duo. Although he was grateful that the teenager had saved his life, he had no intention of becoming the pilot's prisoner. Unfortunately, he came to a screeching halt when his wrists somehow got inexorably snared in Duo's long hair.

Treize prided himself on keeping his calm in the most stressful of situations, but the events of the last hour or so were almost too much, even for him. He had to choke down the urge to start laughing hysterically as the long strands of chestnut hair refused to break, no matter how hard he yanked.

As for Duo, he seemed unaffected by Treize's persistent tugging on his hair.

"Give it up, Treize. I need you and I won't let you go. Besides, we both need to get out of here before Wufei goes bat-shit psycho again!"

When the general gave him a rather wild-eyed sort of look and continued to struggle, Duo sighed impatiently, grabbed Treize's chin, and spat very precisely right into the general's left eye.

Looking totally shocked, the older man instinctively recoiled and tried to rub the foreign substance from his eye, but he only succeeded in working the drug-laced saliva faster into his system.

Within a few seconds, Treize was out cold. Duo slung his unconscious prisoner over his shoulder and headed for the hills. He left the scene just in time as a series of large fiery explosions tore through the mansion, demolishing Treize's quarters and numerous other rooms. And above all the destruction, a great twisting dragon of fire soared, bellowing forth its pain and fury.

(end Part 7)
========================================================
Author's Notes:
------------------------

As you might have guessed, ALL the pilots have been significantly modified. ^_^ I'll let you guys guess how. <smirk>

-------------------------

"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

-------------------------------------------------
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
Duo-bat: Dueek! (From TA's lab, with the TA Seal of Insanity.)
-------------------------------------------------
madamhydra@aol.com /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/:E
http://www.geocities.com/madamhydra/
-------------------------------------------------

========================================================
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.
========================================================