ࡱ>    !"#$%&'()*+,-./0123456789:;<=>?@ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ[Root Entry F@A.\WordDocument CompObj^ny leader of an organisation as large and as deceitful as Romafellar was. In Dermails case he had fulfilled the ancient Roman role of being a Caligula and had started to become suspicious of his subjects, trusting no one, his nephew included.

 

Milliardo had stopped himself in what could possibly have been an inconceivably rash move. Hed almost hastily headed straight for the Lake Victoria base in Africa where Treize was believed to be held. Thankfully Lucrezia Noin had brought to light the possible danger and foot-in-ones grave foolishness going to Lake Victoria would have brought about. Noin was his equal in both age, ability and knowledge. The two had formed a friendship based on each others ambitions when theyd first met at military school. From there theyd competed right the way through their schooling, and Noin, although his competition, helped motivate him and support him in whatever tribulation came along. They both wanted and needed to do well at Westpoint, the only difference being that they had separate reasons for being quite so ambitious. Lucrezia and Treize were two of the few people who truly knew Zechs Merquizes heritage. Make that three people. Hed ended up filling Une in on his heritage as theyd driven cross country and to the safe house where Noin was supposed to meet them.

 

Milliardo trusted both Lucrezia and Treize. Treize had been Milliardos benefactor. Hed helped him out of some tight fixes and had also helped assure Milliardo that the Peacecraft cause of pacifism would never be truly lost. Treize had helped him make plans for the taking back of the Cinq Kingdom. It was to be a very trying cause, but one that would reap the rewards of pure benefit at the conclusion of it.

 

Noin had helped Milliardo in more ways than she was probably aware of. Shed offered him unconditional friendship. With that companionship Milliardo had had someone to trust, someone to believe in him even when he himself didnt so. Noin understood him and liked him despite his numerous character flaws, of which there were many.

 

Une had been somewhat surprised when hed told her who he really was. Although, Milliardos past observations had revealed that Une was a woman who was rarely ever phased by revelations and skirmishes, preferring to take the happening all in what could only be her stride. When it came to Treize though, Une was a entirely different woman. Somewhere along the line it had evidently become very important to her that she please Treize. She quite clearly had very deep feelings for the man, and going by what Treize had told him in only the briefest of snippets of certainty, it would seem that Treize held Une in the deepest and most admirable regard. It was now then, that Milliardo was left with the job of finding out if Une wanted to join in with his cause, the cause that Treize himself, had assigned himself to, despite the fact that he stood to inherit the leaders role of the Romafellar Foundation. Would Treize be so friendly when and if he found their friendship separated by the fact that they were traditionally meant to be against one another? He hoped he wouldnt have to find out where Treizes legions truly lay, if they werent with him.

 

Were here. Une said after checking the road map and the coordinates Noin had told them to meet her at. I can see the cabin in the distance.

 

Milliardo grunted his recognition and ever so lightly added weight to his foܥe# vs,l,l G(T<M GTimes New Roman Symbol ArialTimes New Roman

A Boarding School Facade - by Jooles*

 

Disclaimer: The usual baloney. Im just a poor student with nooooo money whatsoever. So please dont sue me!

 

Authors Notes: Whew! Long time no see. Apologies for the extended wait with this chapter. School, adventures away and writers block making itself right at home managed to put the fic on hold for awhile. Anyway, the chapter focuses on the other Peacecraft sibling this time around, so dont be too disappointed for lack of Heero and Relena moments. It was quite a difficult chapter to write (obvious as to why it took so long!) and it features a lot of background and important tid bits of information that you guys, as readers will find of some use in later chapters.

 

Dedication: To Stefy who drew a beautiful piece of fanart for the fic. Shes taken the scene from the dance and worked wonders with it. Thank you Stefy, you are such a talented person! Check out the drawing at: http://www.blissfulignorance.com/Fanfiction2/joolesdance.jpg

 

And without further ado, heres

 

Chapter Six

 

The hastiness with which Milliardo and Une exited the grounds of the Winner estate hadnt been all that sensational. Une had been quite disconcerted when Milliardo had filled her in on what had happened to Treize. She hadnt been able to understand why Treize had so blatantly defied his uncle. He could have kept his opinion to himself, but he hadnt, and it had gotten him thrown in the brig.

 

As apprehensive as Milliardo was about Treize , he was also eternally grateful for his friends loyalty. Treizes insubordination had been a supreme move. Many of Romafellars members and its soldiers supported Treize rather than his uncle. Duke Dermail was just the figurehead keeping the leaders seat warm until Treize stepped into his preordained role as leader.

 

The lines had been drawn with Treizes disappearance. The rumour that Treize had been locked up had been but just that, a rumour. But even those closest to Duke Dermail had begun to doubt his leadership abilities and had let slip to some of the less hierarchical members of the Foundation that Treize had been imprisoned after defying his uncle.Gradually the news had seeped its way down the ranks, whereupon it had reached Milliardo who had been in the thick and fullness of completing his last term at Westpoint. Upon hearing the news Milliardo had instantly guessed as to why his friend had been locked up by his own uncle. There were many possible reasons as to why Duke Dermail could possibly get angry at his nephew, however there was only one reason that pinpointed Treize angering the Duke enough as to be locked up.

 

It was defiance. Defying his elder may not have seemed like much of a big deal. But in such a back-stabbing and corrupt organisation such as the Romafellar Foundation, defiance often hinted at possible treachery within an organisation. Treachery would always be a primary fear for aot pressing on the accelerator. Noin was expecting them.

 

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

 

The cabin Noin had met them at was a regular safe house. It didnt have the generations modern technologies, however it did have a fire, food and space enough so that a good nights sleep might just occur.

 

The three had got straight down to discussing just what to do about the situation as soon as Milliardo and Une had pulled up. Noin had been waiting inside, a large map of the Cinq Kingdom and a map of Lake Victoria spread out on what he guessed was the safe houses version of a dining table.

 

Whats our biggest threat Noin? Milliardo asked watching as she flipped through the contents of her notebook.

 

Gesturing to the map of the Cinq Kingdom she stated, Weve got New Port City at the centre of the Cinq surrounded and populated by the Romafellar Foundation and as you well know its now controlling and using Oz as an armed force. She pointed to the capital and drew a circle around the outside of the Cinq to within what would have been kilometers of the border. The land outside of Newport to within kilometers of the border isnt populated. Well not populated in the sense that there are no other factions in the surrounding vicinity.

 

Thats good. Milliardo stated.

 

Yes it is good. However, we have the White Fang over here, she pointed to the Cinqs coastline and ran her hand along extent of it. This means accessing the kingdom from the sea could be more than a bit of a problem.

 

She glanced between Une and Milliardo before continuing. Then over here along the border that links Cinq with France, the Barton Foundation have their headquarters here, although my sources tell me that the militia have been grouped off and spread out right along the Cinq - Francais border.

 

Une asked the question Milliardo had not wanted to ask, The kingdom is surrounded isnt it? Is there any way in at all?

 

Noin contemplated her question, There are a few options, all of them risky nonetheless.

 

Go on. Milliardo said.

 

Theres a river crossing on the Cinq - Francais border here, she pointed to the crossing, its a dangerous crossing which is why Bartons men walk around it. Our people might be able to access it. If we were able to, than Bartons people would never have a clue that something had slipped through their network area. It would be dangerous, but a small group of men might just be able to get through.

 

What about a large scale operation? Une asked.

 

You have two options; you can enter via the air. Fly into the Cinq Kingdom and land at a marked point somewhere between New Port and the borderline. She checked her notebook, However Romafellar would find our position almost immediately. The possibility that theyd send one of their special forces to take care of us is too risky.

 

What are our other options?

 

There are a couple of possibilities in hind sight. The first is that you take over a carrier ship and navigate it into the Cinq port where you could either fight the White Fang ...

 

Or join them? He finished, knowing quite well what she hadnt wanted to say.

 

Noin nodded. I dont like it anymore than you do Zechs, but I think it might be a safer option than trying to fight against them.

 

Why would you join them when in effect theyre meant to be your enemy? A somewhat miffed Une inquired.

 

Milliardo sighed, rubbing his head in what could only be slight frustration. I have people willing to fight for my familys cause Une, and I have money thanks to the benefaction of Treize, but its not enough. Romafellar has too much of a strong hold on the Cinq Kingdom for just us to take it on. If we joined forces with the White Fang we would at least stand some chance at success.

 

Wouldnt joining with them interfere with the ideals you wish to generate? Une asked, yet to be happy with his reasoning.

 

Theres no way for me to instigate my ideals unless I actually get into New Port. White Fang can get us there, and although I dont like the fact that Im going to go against everything my family stands for, Im going to have to.

 

And then what?

 

And then ... peace. He said firmly, although he felt as though he was hoping for something only possible in dreams.

 

**********

 

Shortly afterwards they had worked out a plan of just how they were going to get their hands on a carrier ship, and how they were going to go about suitably approaching the White Fang. They were still hammering out the details of the plan, but from the looks of things, things were looking marginally better.

 

Noin had finished filling them in on just what the status with Romafellar, the White Fang and Oz, was; although since she had yet to tell him her information regarding the Barton Foundation, he had a feeling she was still figuring out just how to tell him what shed found out.

 

So, weve got the White Fang here, on the coastline, Noin tapped the whereabouts of the faction on the map laid out. And over this side weve got a new faction, I mentioned the Barton Foundation before, but I didnt tell you that theyre relatively new players in the pulley for the Cinq. Actually I was sent a briefing less than four hours ago.

 

Are they a threat? Milliardo asked as calmly as possible; this new element was unexpected and of course unwanted.

 

Noin shook her head. Not yet, but their position on the Cinq - Francais border means that they are potentially a force not to be reckoned with.

 

Noin flipped open a notebook in which shed jotted down the factions status. Reading from it she said; The Barton Foundation. Its leader, one Denkim Barton, you might have heard of him... Hes a very powerful man in the Cinqs neck of the woods, had dealings in many of the Cinqs recent riots and underground crime.

 

Anything else? Milliardo asked, holding his chin in his hand, evidently analyzing just what could be done about this new situation.

 

There is one other thing, Noin glanced hesitantly at Une, not quite sure how to state the information shed come across. A girl named Mariemaia is being used as the Foundations figurehead. She claims to be Treizes daughter.

 

Thats impossible! Une exclaimed. Then as though shed thought it through and the believability a little shady though not doubtful she absently asked, She thinks shes Treizes what?

 

Daughter, Milliardo finished for her, glancing at Noin he urged her to continue.

 

Treize would have had to have been with Mariemais mother, Denkims daughter, Leia Barton when he was about sixteen. Ive checked my records and a DNA sampling one of Westpoint Doctors did awhile back has more or less confirmed their linkage.

 

Well this was unexpected. Milliardo sighed while absently clenching and unclenching his fist. Things had become more complicated then he had planned and he wasnt sure if he had the confidence or the courage to face the problems yet to come.

 

Noin interrupted his uneasy thoughts stating wryly The million dollar question now is what all this says for our friend locked up in Lake Victoria?

 

Yes, just what did it say for Treize? He had links with the Barton Foundation in the form of a daughter, links with the Romafellar Foundation in the form of one very tyrannical uncle, and links with their organisation... the organisation yet to have a name. The question was what organisation would Treize align himself with when and if he got out of Lake Victoria?

 

*********

 

The three had separated for a brief hours break shortly after Noins revelation regarding Treizes daughter. It was supposed that later on after their break, they would discuss just what to do about Treize and find out if Une was going to go back to Romafellar after the divulgence that her only link (Treize) had in a sense broken his links with the Foundation. After sitting through their planning,

 

Milliardo had showered and changed into fresh clothes shortly after his regroup meeting with Noin and Une.

 

His facial expression notably softened at the thought of Noin. Shed come through for him, in more ways than one. The lengths she must have had to go through to get the information she had must have been extraneous to say the least. He still couldnt believe how much they now knew. It was all because of Noin, no Lucrezia, Milliardo reminded himself.

 

Her information had left him with much to ponder. The question of Treizes value of character was beginning to come into question, although Milliardo would not even for a second think about ousting Treize, not after hed gotten himself thrown in the brig because of their friendship.

 

A soft clearing of the throat interrupted Milliardos antagonizing thoughts. He turned to find Noin herself changed into what looked to be a pair of khakis and a soft suede shirt. Hed only been away for a few days yet the internal heartache hed felt from not being near her had been rather adamant. He stretched his arm out towards her and she slipped her hand in his hand, content enough to stand with him for a moment.

 

Im not sure how much better things can get, Noin told him frankly.

 

Milliardo gave a rough laugh; Oh a real kick in the back would be if someone were to tell me that youd joined forces with someone else. He glanced at her, letting her know that this was his weakness, she was his weakness.

 

Noins response was the tug of his arm and a step closer into what was ironically his warmth. Dont even think it Zechs. She shook her head. Never, never ...

 

He frowned in a mixture of concern and amusement. The fact that she knew him and his tendency so well was sometimes a little unnerving. He pulled her closer to him and rested his arm around her shoulders while she effectively relaxed into him. This was his time. She was his tranquillity. You mean a great deal to me Noin, he said, realising that his declaration was probably the closest hed come to admitting he had any feelings of the sort for her.

 

And I love you Zechs. Noin said plainly. No one should have to be ashamed of love, least of all the person with the soulful feelings.

 

Pressing her lips to his hand before letting go of him, she murmured briefly against his gently clenched hand, And I can wait.

 

Leaving him alone to reflect for a moment she shut the door quietly.

 

Milliardo shut his eyes in what could only be the brief feeling of elevated satisfaction as he thought about just how much this woman meant to him. Did he really want to give up what might have been an undesignated lifestyle for what fate held on the cards for him? If he didnt what would become of his link with Noin?

 

Shed told him that shed wait. However what if the wait was too long, would she still be loving and charismatic towards him? Would she even still have feelings for him after witnessing the things he knew he'd end up having to do?

 

Pushing the thought that made him shudder uncontrollably aside, he walked out of the tiny room hed been given for the night and slammed the door audibly upon his exit from the room.

 

Right now he had to figure out just how he was going to get Treize out of the brig Dermail had his friend in at Lake Victoria. Not only did he have to work a suitable way into the Cinq Kingdom, the most favoured option looking to be through the White Fang; but he also had to work out a way into Africa where the Lake Victoria base was situated.

 

And there was of course Relena to think about. There was a tension between them which he hadnt counted on being there. No matter what the circumstances they would always be blood kin. However they had grown up living distinctly different childhoods. He and Pagan had trekked around the country for the first eighteen months after leaving Relena strategically placed in the Dorlian familys care. Theyd had to separate after a run in with somebody who had recognised Pagan as being linked with the family. It was amazing, theyd made a massive move from Europe to America and Pagan had still been recognisable. He himself probably would have been also, if Pagan hadnt kept him hidden away and disguised with heavy clothing and a floppy hat. Hed grown up quickly within that time, and when hed been stowed away at a prestigious boarding school that helped him prepare for his premature entry into Westpoint military school.

 

Shaking his head, he couldnt help wondering if reclaiming his true heritage was really worth the current grind he was going through. And having a feeling that destiny had other, more jarring plans for him he had the most jerking inkling that the plot was yet to thicken.

 

*******

 

Chapter ends, but is of course to be continued.

 

Authors Notes: The Emperor Caligula was an Ancient Roman Emperor who pretty much went bonkers. He did all sorts of crazy things, becoming suspicious of everyone around him being a prime happening. He had senators, rich men and others whom he didnt like or trust murdered. Was assassinated.

 

A big thank you goes out to Pout who is my new found and very cool beta reader.

 

Also thanks to: mya, aznistic, Alexia Goddess, Ley, Empress Sarah-sama, Lynn, Eve, Dark Deity, AyanamiChan, deathangel, Silver Wing, N/A, Blue diamond, Meio-chan, Lady Legalos, babyblonde5333, kay, Koneko-chan, Zechstress, ice-cold, FierySable, rei, Pink Sakura, ShiroKitsune, Kitty Sage, Chibi Cat, MaraLaeh Lynn, Silver_Star, Pidgeon, Winnie, Jealous Wabbit, C.Wilhoite, andros, selena-miller, Crystal, Kessa, SAL, km lowe, Kitahoshi, Pink Ice, Fuhrer, sweet_angel, Innocent Dreamer, ghqw;alh, Aurachan, Ami Yuy, debra m (J), Mara Jade, Dark Mistress, Nonseqtr and of course to BECCA W (you are so awesome!). The feedback you gave me was really lovely, and I must say that slaving over the plot and the writing of a chapter is always worth it when you guys write such heartwarming reviews, so thank you so much for obliging me. It means a lot. ^__^

 

Thanks for reading and please do take the time to review.

 

Cheers,

 

Jooles*

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