My life is one big pratfall.
Duo Maxwell would never have claimed to be the luckiest kid on the block but he figured there
came a time in every man's life where he was allowed to have a lucky break. It only made
sense... no one could constantly have a run of bad luck without some kind of rainbow showing
up at the end of it.
Unfortunately this wasn't turning out to be the case, and the controls of Duo's Gundam, being
inanimate objects and therefore immune to his cussing and cursing, continued to ignore his
snarled protests and began shutting down.
" Duo?" Quatre's worried voice came over the speaker system inside the cockpit, small and
tinny-sounding in the surrounding cacophony of sound currently blasting out alerts.
" I'm going down guys," Duo admitted harshly, gritting his teeth as he tried once again to yank
up on the throttle. His bruised shoulder screamed at him for the harsh treatment but he
ignored the pain, focusing on the task ahead of him. " Systems are shutting down one by one
and there ain't a damn thing I can do about it!"
Heero's urgent voice overrode Quatre's distressed cry, his staticky visage appearing on the
cracked glass of his upper right view screen above Duo's head. " Duo?"
" Not now koi!" Duo ground out, sweat pouring down his face in rivulets.
" I'm trying to keep from exploding here." He mentally swore again as Deathscythe lurched
sickeningly to one side and he cursed his own stupidity for letting things get to this point. Why
was it always him that got beat up the worst in every fight? " How come only Deathscythe is
" Actually," Wufei's voice broke in calmly. " I regret to inform all of you that my warning
systems have begun flashing at me."
" Probably the most action you've had in years," Duo mumbled. He reached over to one side
and tried to get a reading on the area and the most he could make out was that they were
still surrounded by water. "Heero, it's no good; I have set 'er down somewhere."
" Where?" Wufei asked sarcastically. Heero ignored the Chinese pilot.
The Japanese pilot wiped the sweat out of his eyes as he gave their current situation yet
another run through, trying to find an obvious... and quick... solution to their predicament.
Turning around, he punched into a satellite feed that was linked back to Rashid at Quatre's
base in Arabia, half a world away. It was a new feature, recently installed on all of their
Gundams, a way of contacting help no matter how far away they were. Initially protesting
against the installation of the feed, Heero was now extremely grateful for Quatre's stubborn
Rashid's grizzled and tired-looking face appeared on the monitor. Static darted across the
glass and with a growl, Heero realized he was nearly in the same sinking boat with Duo and
This was not good.
" Ummm...you guys?" Quatre's strained voice gave away his own impending situation.
" Hang on," Heero said curtly. " Rashid?"
" Master Heero. Is Master Quatre all right? I heard his voice."
" Actually, we're all in trouble," Duo chuckled darkly. " That's got to be a first."
" Pilot status: fine. Gundams... severely damaged and quickly losing capacity for flight. We
need to put down. Now."
Heero glanced out the side view and blinked. Peering closely, he could make out a landmass,
growing ever closer on his port side. He grunted.
" Keying in co-ordinates now." With a push of a button, he sent their location to the
Maguanac leader. A moment later, Rashid nodded.
" Co-ordinates received," Rashid said shortly. " I will launch a team for immediate retrieval.
Estimated time..." he quickly checked his other console, punching up the stats and plans for
the week. Routine maintenance was being conducted on half of the Maguanac fleet while
many of his men were on leave with their families. "...Approximately seventy-two hours for a
standard team, factoring in flight time. Acceptable?"
" Oz isn't on our trail..." Heero began.
" ...I blew it up real good!" Duo joked.
"...and we have enough provisions. Time is acceptable."
After all, Heero reasoned, a rescue attempt could attract Oz's attention, especially since any
large transports were frequently monitored. It was fundamentally better to wait for a full team
then to have a half prepared one ambushed.
" Three days on a tropical Island?" Duo grinned despite his fatigue, noticing the landmass for
the first time. " I dunno - seems kinda hard to me." He looked up at the screen to his fellow
pilots. " Maybe we should tell him to come in a week, neh?"
Quatre grinned. " Behave, Duo."
Heero snorted. " Prepare for landing... I can see an open field."
" Roger that." Wufei's cool, business-like tone sounded unflappable.
" Gotcha Hee-chan!"
" Systems engaged." Heero was about to begin a controlled descent when he heard Duo
" Gotcha Hee-chan!" Duo carolled as he hit a switch. Through his front viewer, he could see
the open plain Heero was referring to. It was actually quite small, but it would do the trick.
Still gripping the controls tightly, Duo began his descent, feeling his Gundam fight him every
step of the way.
" Come on baby," he crooned softly. It was an automatic response he'd taken up since
becoming the black machine's pilot. " I just need you to behave for a few more min—SHIT!"
A piercing wail went off in his ears as red lights began flashing at his face in earnest.
" Duo?!" Heero's strident voice sliced through the din, the underlying note of concern
unhidden. " Status!"
" We're having a lover's spat!" Duo growled as the huge machine shuddered, tilting to one side.
" She's trying to leave me for another island."
Metal creaked and groaned as one by one, Deathscythe's systems began to shut off. Duo
looked up in time to see Heero and the other pilot's concerned faces disappear in a shower of
static and sparks.
The self-proclaimed Shinigami swallowed hard. With communications between him and his
friends cut off, he felt more alone in his Gundam then ever before. Sweat streamed down his
temples, dripping into his eyes and ears, and he blinked his eyes furiously, refusing to give in
to the rising tidal wave of panic swelling within him.
Outside to his right, he could see Wing Zero alter its course slightly, hovering closer. Swivelling
his head to the left, he saw Shenlong had also moved in closer. He knew as soon as he saw
them what they planned to do; they were going to try and help him land. Having taken
damage during the battle, Duo knew that Zero was unable to switch into bird mode and he
thanked his lucky stars, personally and by name, that the doctors had seen fit to design the
new machines with thruster packs. He glanced out the front again. The plain wasn't that far
Deathscythe's engines abruptly shut off completely, sending the devil-winged machine
plummeting towards the ground.
" DUO!" Heero shouted. He heard the protesting screams of the other three pilots, and he
pushed the throttle all the way down. His speed increased dramatically but it was no match for
both the head start and the dead fall of Deathscythe. As the ground neared ever closer, he
could see right away that he wasn't going to make it in time. " Damn it!"
He watched helplessly as Deathscythe Hell struck the forest at a dizzying speed, shearing
through the huge trees as though they weren't even there. Steam and the jetted air from the
Gundams thrusters flew up in its passing, sending great clumps of dirt and underbrush
rocketing into the sky, bathing the area in a fog of dust.
" Quatre! Trowa! Wufei! Set down fast!"
" Roger that Heero." Quatre said calmly. The blonde pilot's heart had nearly leaped out of his
throat at the initial impact sound of Duo's machine striking the earth but when no immediate
alarm kicked in with his space heart, he allowed the rational part of his mind to seep through,
analyzing the situation. That part of him was insisting over and over again that Gundams did
not explode upon impact... at least not from that altitude anyway... that Gundanium was
indestructible to trees, and that the padded harness that all of them wore would keep Duo
from getting mashed to pieces inside the cockpit. He knew all of this. They all did.
This knowledge, however, did not stop any of them from racing to the clearing at as fast a
speed as they could muster.
Heero hit the ground hard, his teeth rattling as Wing Zero protested the harsh treatment it
had received. An LCD readout told him Wing was done; it wouldn't be in any shape to fly or
fight until Rashid and his team arrived with supplies. He grabbed his duffel bag from behind the
jump seat, pausing long enough to toss in his battered laptop with the hopeful idea that it
hadn't been too badly damaged, and to ensure that a med kit was inside. He slammed his fist
into the door release.
There was a hissing sound and a rush of compressed air mixed with steam that was radiating
off the Gundam in roiling waves. This was not a very good sign about the health of his Gundam
but Heero ignored it. The hatch had barely opened before he wedged himself between the
metal plates, leaping down the sitting body of the machine with a nimbleness far beyond
normal. A short distance away, Quatre and Trowa emerged from their respective machines and
lowered themselves with the automated rope.
Wufei met them on the ground.
Quatre paused to take in his surroundings.
" Where are we?" he wondered, looking around curiously. The forest, while having its fair share
of arborescent foliage, also seemed to have a few extras including a species of fern that
looked positively medieval as it seemed to wind itself around Sandrock's foot.
" Some island in the South Pacific," Heero said briskly. " Do you have your supplies?"
Wufei nodded, thumbing the strap of his backpack as if to re-emphasize his state of readiness.
" How far away did Maxwell crash?"
" Approximately two kilometres inland."
" Then we'd better get moving." Wufei tightened the loop of leather that fastened his sword to
Heero checked the clip in his gun to make sure it was fully loaded. Satisfied, he slid the
weapon into the waistband of his shirts. Trowa took a dagger from his bag and slipped it into
an inner side pocket in his boot, a habit he'd picked up after watching Duo arm himself for a
mission one night.
Quatre had all his weapons primed and ready. After all, one couldn't be too careful, and even if
Oz wasn't hot on their heels, there could still be wild animals and things ready to pounce on
" There aren't any lions in the South Pacific are there?" he asked Trowa casually. The former
circus clown smiled faintly.
Quatre breathed a sigh of relief. " Good."
" There are panthers."
Quatre flipped off his boyfriend.
Wufei led the way, cutting a swathe through the lush grasses with his sword. The thick stems
of plants and grass were no match for its razor sharpness. Heero walked directly behind him,
silently encouraging him to set a brisk pace. One and a half kilometres could seem so much
Quatre hummed mindlessly under his breath, focussing on placing his feet so he didn't twist an
ankle on a hidden vine or something. Trowa had automatically taken up the rear so he could
watch over the small blonde. It was a protective instinct that Quatre found both endearing
and frustrating, as he believed a Gundam pilot did not need a babysitter. He smirked –
Heero was the same way with Duo.
The smirk slid off his face as he remembered where they were headed and he picked up the
A chittering sound to his right made him freeze, and he looked over swiftly, swinging his gun
around to train on its source. Trowa was a second behind him, levelling his weapon.
" Quatre?" His tone was questioning.
" I heard something."
Wufei and Heero had frozen the minute Quatre had whipped out the gun and now they too
raised their guns in anticipation. The chittering sounds grew louder and the four of them
backed up a bit so as not to be taken by a surprise leap from the greenery.
A small green creature poked its nose out the grass. Quatre blinked.
" What the..."
Another snout broke past the first, and then a third. A small grouping of lizards, Trowa
realized. His eyes narrowed.
Not any species I've ever seen..
Heero snorted and put his gun away. " Pests," was all he said. Wufei nodded, relaxing his
stance. About to push on, they froze again, as large thuds were heard. Slow, impacting
footsteps. The leaves in the trees rattled, sending a red, green and gold shower scattering
" What is that?" Quatre whispered. Trowa's ears picked up the sounds location and motioned
with his gun.
" It's coming from over there!"
Heero nodded and pointed towards a small gathering of rocks and Trowa nodded. Grabbing
Quatre's arm, the two of them headed for the rocks silently. Taking up their positions, they
watched as Heero took to one tree, and Wufei to another, adopting a sniper's position.
" Mobile suit?" He whispered to Trowa.
" Could be," Trowa shrugged, never taking his eyes off the end of the meadow, but he
doubted it. Had it been a mobile suit, there would be more of a clanking noise. With the
exception of their Gundams, Duo's in particular, mobile suits were not built for stealth and
silence. He flicked his gaze upwards briefly, noting that Heero was looking rather impatient.
Wufei sat perfectly still, gun unwavering.
His attention was snapped back when he heard Quatre suck in a breath of pure surprise.
" Holy Allah..."
He blinked himself. " What the..."
It was huge. That was Trowa's first impression as the creature made its way out of the
undergrowth. Its slow, plodding footsteps rocked the ground, vibrating through Trowa's shoes.
It was grey-green in color with thick plated spikes darting up along its spine and down through
its tail. It's skin had a rough, pebbled appearance, and Trowa nearly forgot to breathe as its
large eyes... about the size of a small ostrich egg... turned and looked straight at them. He
heard Wufei gasp and even Heero gripped the tree branch in an effort to keep from losing his
place in his shock.
At first it seemed to be heading for their hiding spot but the creature then veered off to the
side, heading for a clump of shrubs. Massive jaws opened and crunched through the entire
bush, roots and bits of dirt escaping as it chewed on the leaves in an almost meditative
manner. Trowa swallowed.
" Tell me I'm seeing things," he said to his partner who was frozen.
" If you are, then so am I," Quatre breathed. " Is that what I think it is?"
" It's a stegosaurus," Wufei said in a stunned voice as he leaped from his perch in the tree to
land near them. Heero followed suit and the four of them stood there, watching as the beast
contentedly munched on its dinner. " It's a bloody dinosaur."
" This isn't possible," Heero stated matter-of-factly. " Dinosaurs vanished millions of years
ago." His trigger finger, lacking a gun as he had put it back in his shorts, twitched.
" A lost world?" Quatre mused, fascinated at the rippling of powerful muscles and the play of
light on textured skin. " After all, this island is uninhabited, like all the islands in the South
" Impossible," Heero repeated. Trowa scowled at him.
" How do you know? After all, its kind of hard to doubt evidence like THIS—" he gestured at
the huge animal. "... when its standing right in front of you."
Heero didn't answer. Quatre pointed at the smaller lizards they had seen earlier as they darted
forward towards the bigger animal.
" Those must be smaller dinosaurs," he said, hints of excitement welling up in him. " This is
Heero shook his head, clearing it of the shock that had enveloped it at the stegosaurus's
appearance. " Duo."
" Oh yeah." Quatre reluctantly tore his eyes away from the amazing site and made as if to
press on. Then he stopped. " Will it eat us?"
" I think the most it would do would be to trample us if we got underfoot," Trowa reassured
him. " It's a plant eater. Right Wufei?"
The former scholar nodded vaguely, transfixed by the site. Quatre grinned.
" Then let's get going!" he began walking again, intending to clear a large path around the
dinosaur. He had an aversion to being squished after all.
Wufei blinked and then leaped in front of him. " Wait!" He then turned so that he was facing all
of them. " We have to be careful!"
Heero scowled. He wanted to get moving. An image of his lovers' battered body lying amidst
the wreckage of his Gundam was spurring him on onwards. " You just said it wouldn't eat us!
What's the problem?"
Wufei regarded him coolly. " Think about it Yuy. What is an herbivore without a carnivore?"
Heero blinked. Then his jaw dropped. " What the hell?"
" You think there could be more dinosaurs?" Trowa's tone was sceptical.
" What are the odds of that happening? "
" Trowa's right Wufei... this could be a fluke! A lost specimen." Quatre sided with his boy
Wufei wished it were that simple but something was tugging at the back of his brain,
something he should know. He tried to recall some of the texts on ancient history he'd read
under his master's tutelage and drew a blank. Still... there was something…
" I'm just saying it's not out of the realm of possibility," he said calmly. " And from what I
recall, some dinosaurs were known to be a lot bigger and with sharper teeth."
Quatre's eyes widened. " Oh."
Heero growled impatiently. " Suggestion for caution noted Wufei. Can we please get moving?"
His tone brooked no argument. Wufei nodded. Trowa double-checked his gun and his knives.
" Stay close to me," he said to a decidedly paler Quatre who nodded quickly and fell into line
beside him. Wufei saw they were ready and took to the lead again. This time however, while
his sword cut their path for them, his other hand gripped his gun firmly.
Suddenly a loud roar pierced their eardrums and four sets of eyes widened to the size of dinner
" What was that?" Quatre cried out in a panic. Heero suddenly paled as he turned to look in
the direction they were heading. The same direction the sound had come from.
When Duo's Gundam hit the earth, the impact was such that even his harness couldn't
completely withstand the shock. The third impact tore one of the harness corners from where
it was anchored to the floor shook its partner loose from the ceiling. Duo bounced around in his
seat, gripping the straps as tightly as he could. He had long since abandoned the controls,
automatically focusing on surviving rather then trying to salvage a landing already doomed to
failure. His neck, no longer supported, jolted sharply as the ground continued to protest the
Gundam's rough treatment and his teeth clacked together, biting his tongue.
He didn't scream. All of his energy went into trying to keep himself from splattering all over the
console and he braced himself as the remaining shards of his front monitor showed him one
HELL of a huge tree rushing towards him...
His head struck the dashboard above the console and he blacked out briefly as his Gundam
finally slid to a halt. The final straps of the harness finally gave way and he collapsed to the
It could have been a few seconds or a whole hour when he opened his eyes. Pain was
throbbing throughout his entire body and he sighed roughly. He was going to have a whole
new batch of bruises to compliment the ones he got from the mission. He lifted his head
slowly, wincing as the pain in his neck twinged sharply. His mouth tasted sour, coppery and
the pain radiating from his tongue reminded him that he'd bitten it - and quite hard at that –
during his less then stellar landing. He touched it gingerly.
" 'Least I didn't bite it off," he mumbled. Lifting himself up, he braced himself on his elbows,
waiting for some of the dizziness to subside before pushing all the way up. He glanced at his
watch, miraculously still intact and noted that only a few minutes had passed since his
" Whoever said any landing you can walk away from was an idiot."
He pressed a button on the console, already knowing it was most likely dead, but checking it
anyway. He wasn't worried about a fuel leak... Deathscythe had taken similar beatings before
and the designs were vaguely reminiscent of old racing cars. Add in the fact that almost
nothing short of a close-range beam cannon could pierce its Gundanium exterior and you had
one safe vehicle to crash in. He chuckled darkly.
" Well, better see if I can get out of here," he said to himself. Standing gingerly and wobbling
as he did so, he braced one hand on the ceiling as he made his way to the door. From the
angle of his chair, he deduced his Gundam was lying on its side and should still be able to
open. He pushed the hatch release. Nothing happened.
He dug around the rubble and pulled out his trusty duffel bag. It was funny he mused, as he
unzipped it. Once again I have escaped almost certain death. This is becoming a habit.
He pulled out his handheld thermal scythe that G had given him a few months before. Nearly
identical to the large one that Deathscythe routinely employed, it performed the same duties
as well. Able to shear through all metal including Gundanium when activated, and the light
handle was solid enough to use in the manner of a quarterstaff when off.
" The perfect accessory for any occasion," he quipped dryly. Thumbing the switch, the
thermal blade lit up with a flash of bluish-green light and hummed with power. Duo chuckled
and began carving along the door hatch, not wanting to put any more additional holes or
damage on his beloved partner. Blood mingled with sweat as the heat generated by the scythe
increased the cockpits temperature dramatically but Duo stoically ignored it.
" Almost there."
With a final spark, the entire door outline gleamed before Duo turned off the scythe and kicked
out. His boots struck the door with a metallic clang and he watched with satisfaction as the
hatch slowly fell outwards, hitting the forest floor dully.
He wiped the blood and sweat from his forehead, wincing as he brushed against the knot that
had sprung up, appreciating the slight breeze that now wafted in from the outside. He inhaled
And immediately choked. The air was cooler yes, but rancid smelling. He could hear the buzzing
of flies and he wrinkled his nose as his eyes watered from the stench.
" Aw man, don't tell me I landed on some animal. With my luck it'll be a skunk or something."
He leaned forwards, intending to crawl out the hatch when he noticed something. The tree
right outside the hatch looked bizarre. He stared in fascination. It was a browny-green all
right, but it looked scaly.
Some kind of plant disease?
Then his eyes widened in disbelief and a cold fear settled in his stomach as he noticed
something else. That wasn't a root digging into the ground in front of him.
It was a claw.
" What the fuck?" he whispered, staring in shock and terror. The claw twitched as what he
suddenly saw as muscles in one massive ankle joint rippled somewhat, and he nearly passed
out right then and there as he suddenly realized that the harsh wind he was hearing wasn't
wind at all.
Something was breathing. More like sniffing. Duo closed his eyes. This wasn't possible. Nothing
had a foot that big. Nothing! He opened his eyes and very slowly crept forward, vainly trying
to wet his throat by swallowing but a huge lump seemed to have gotten stuck in his trachea.
He grabbed a mirror and very slowly held the edge of it outside, just enough to tilt it and see—
Oh. My. God.
Duo went white as a sheet as a primal roar ripped the air apart, nearly deafening him. The
clawed foot rose suddenly and Duo didn't even have time to scream as it came crashing onto
his Gundam, denting it slightly inwards where it had already been weakened from the impact
and shaking the whole thing hard enough to make Duo see stars.
He found his voice.
 In the movies/books, there is a ring of five islands known as the Five Deaths. Two of them
are deserted (for obvious reasons) and the other three were abandoned for supersticious
reasons. I see no reason why that wouldn't continue into the future. ^___^