Kidou Senshi Z Gundam Volume 1 Chapter 3
Part 3: You're a Boy?
Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Novel Series
Volume 1: Kamille Bidan
“…!” Kamille Bidan, who had been watching the monitor, violently returned his coffee cup to the table. The coffee jumped, dirtying the table.
“Kamille!” His mother Hilda’s voice came flying at him not even a second later. She was quick to catch things like this.
“…!” His father, Franklin, did not say anything. But he did shoot a scolding glance at Kamille.
“The rotation of the colony must be fast.” Saying just this, Kamille stood. While looking at the schedule for arrivals at the bay deck reflected on the monitor, he had found the name of a ship he liked on the list. At times like these, he would get so happy without even thinking that this sort of thing would happen. It was a bad habit of his.
“No matter if the inertial gravity is strong or weak, if you can’t adjust your actions accordingly, you can’t call yourself a spacenoid, can you?!”
Kamille could not hear these words of Hilda’s. But things were always like this. Nothing worth worrying about.
But Kamille did not want to give his mother the impression that he ignored her words, so he purposefully threw in another discussion. He needed to make it appear as though he was taking part in the conversation, so he spoke while on his way out of the area around the table.
“When are we going back to Earth?”
“We don’t plan on going back. When our work in Green Oasis comes to a close, we’ll look for another colony and move there.”
“…?!” Kamille unconsciously stopped at his father’s conclusive tone.
Sounds like you’ve been getting ready to say those words for a while, doesn’t it…?!
Speaking about the Earth had been Kamille’s greatest weapon in talking back to his parents. The moment he mentioned it, his parents would falter, and tell him to wait just a little longer. With that phrase, any lecture he had been getting up to that point would end.
But today was different. This was the first time Kamille’s father, Franklin, had said anything so clear about refusing to return to Earth.
Kamille did not really care whether they returned to Earth or not. He liked Earth for what it was, and did not hate the city of New Seat, located near Tokyo, where he had been born. Kamille’s natural curiosity let him enjoy colony life. Although subtracting the fact that Green Oasis had become a base for the Titans was a necessary condition for that…
“I’ve made my decision. That’s all. You’re not a child anymore, are you? You can imagine my reasons.” His father tossed several sheets of newspaper into the disposal, and then stood.
Kamille did not even look at him.
“I’m going ahead. I won’t be able to make it home today either, with the preparations to welcome the Titans.”
“I’ll probably end up the same way. The pressure is on for our work in Green Noa 2…but…is what you just said true?”
“Should I not have said it? I’m pretty sure you were the one who said you wanted me to make my decision quickly…”
“But…all of the sudden…?”
“Even if I have made a decision, it doesn’t mean we have to move on it right away. We have to live here in Green Oasis until our work is completed. Nothing is going to change. This just means we’ll have to use some of our vacation time to search for the colony where we’ll spend the rest of our lives…”
Turning his back on this conversation of his parents, Kamille went up to his room, making a memo in his notebook about the arrival time he had just seen for the Temptation. Finally, without leaving any words of parting behind, he left the house.
As was his habit, he jogged towards school. About five minutes later, his father’s eleca (electric car) went racing by on the road to his left.
“He’s in a hurry…”
Kamille knew about the woman who was supposedly his father’s lover. It was some woman who worked somewhere completely unconnected to his father’s job. Rumors about them had passed along through Kamille’s high school at a frightening speed. It seemed that his mother did not know the truth, but at the same time, no one knew what his mother was always doing at Green Noa 2, either.
Green Noa 2 was a closed-type colony, located next to Green Noa 1. Green Noa 1 was a normal cylinder-type colony that had become the departure point for the Side 7 colonies, and had been built for civilian housing. Military facilities had come in and shaped the city around them. On the other hand, Green Noa 2 was a closed-type colony that had been built hurriedly for the Titans from a collection of colonies formerly used by Zeon. Even military engineers working in Green Noa 1 could not go the Green Noa 2 if they did not have the clearance level that Kamille’s parents had.
It was said that there was something remarkable behind the fortification of Green Noa 2, but not all the details were known in Green Noa 1, as might be expected. At the same time, it was common knowledge in Green Noa 1 that a battleship of considerable size was being built, and that in the future, the military facilities at Green Noa 1 would likely be moved over to Green Noa 2. The additional fact that Colonel Bask Om, the director of the Titans, liked to call Green Noa 2 by the code name “Gryps,” was also well known.
But other than that, even Kamille hadn’t heard anything from his parents.
Kamille’s mother, Hilda, specialized in materials engineering, and in the military was treated as a first lieutenant, while his father, Franklin, was a captain and a specialist in mobile suit engineering. The two had come up to Green Oasis in order to participate in development plans for a new Gundam. As his mother specialized in materials engineering, she quickly ended up going back and forth between Green Noa 1 and 2 often, and as his father had recently started mobile suit combat testing, he was in Green Noa 1 quite a bit.
The difference in their professional capabilities rarely brought the two together. It had been two weeks since they had even been at the same table, as they had this morning. Kamille knew that his father, who complained when his mother was not around, was selfish.
His mother was a woman too involved in her research. At parties of work friends and such, every last one of his mother’s coworkers praised her. As a child, he could feel pride at this. But at seventeen, he understood that adult women too serious and involved in their work could not be satisfying presences at all, either as women or as mothers.
The school that Kamille went to was made up of a group of children of military families, especially those who were elite engineers. The level of sciences was high, and their training, too, was quite impressive. If you were an honor student there, you could rise straight into the elite course. But the classes at a school like that were nothing more than an annoyance to most of the students. That school is depressing and emotionally degenerating to young boys and girls is a fact that does not change in any era.
So Kamille spent every class that was not connected to electronics and computers with his mind elsewhere. On the other hand, he had been able to pick up some special tricks. He showed off, his trick of sitting with his back up straight all day long, sometimes even falling sleeping that way, better than anyone else’s.
This was a sign of Kamille’s rebellious spirit. He was silently making a declaration about idiotic teachers who did not know anything other than keeping their students seated all day long.
But this created two misunderstandings. Among the teachers, this created the misunderstanding that Kamille’s graceful looks, which appeared neither male nor female, made him a model student. The additionally misunderstanding, that he was a “Girl of Stone,” who only made a show of listening to the words of the teachers, made him infamous among the other students. This was the exact opposite reputation that Kamille had planned on, but he didn’t care.
Up until that point, he had gone around starting fights, showing an extreme amount of animosity directed towards the friends in his school year who joked that his was a girl’s name. But nothing good came of this. Kamille simply never ran out of fresh wounds.
So the wisdom he gained at the border of his fifteenth year was the skill of ignoring the abuse of his friends. With this, Kamille grew up.
When class ended, Kamille dashed to his club meeting. He was in the karate club.
“I’m out sick!”
“Who’s sick?!” The vice-captain, Ranban Squarm, dressed in a karate uniform, glared at him.
“Yes, I’m sick!” He spoke while quickly typing on the keyboard next to the dojo entrance. He was accessing the attendance sheet.
“What did you say?!” By the time Ranban Squarm, in an attempt to punish Kamille with his iron fist, ran out into the middle of the dojo, Kamille was already dashing out through the exit.
“Whoops!” A man dodged Kamille’s body. It was Mezune Mecks, who was one year Kamille’s senior and the captain of the karate club. He had great intuition.
“Wait!” Mezune Mecks grabbed on to Kamille’s arm. “You’re taking off today?!”
“I’m out sick!” Kamille shortly repeated himself.
“Shut up!” One of Mezune’s hands flew through the air. His slap was quick.
Kamille’s body flew five or six meters, falling onto the red dirt of the exercise grounds. This blow seemed to say that people without motivation should leave, rather than being punishment
“I’ll be back soon!”
“How is that sick?!”
Hearing these jeers, Kamille started running.
“Kamille!” Fa Yuiry’s voice, one that Kamille was so used to hearing, reached his ears.
She always does this!
Kamille hated being called directly by name. But Fa Yuiry would absolutely not change the way she addressed him.
Kamille’s running speed was not slow by any means, but Fa Yuiry’s gait slid in next to his. The line from Fa’s ear to the nape for her neck was beautiful as she positioned herself diagonally in front of him.
“What happened? Why did you get punched?!”
“Because I’m cutting. Get away from me.”
“Because everyone will realize that I’m Kamille, right?!”
“Everyone knows that. You’re the only one who doesn’t!”
Kamille dashed down the stairs leading from the school grounds along the road, and continued towards the eleca parking lot. There were rentable eleca there. They did not necessarily collect there, though. There was a system in which several parking lots were connected by computer, and eleca would be automatically dispatched to the areas with the higher usage rates.
The time was what it was. As students leaving school would use them, quite a few eleca had built up there. Inputting his card, he was able to get in right away. Even at the very worst, you still did not even need to wait fifteen minutes. But anyway you looked at it, eleca were vehicles for short distance usage.
While Kamille pressed the eleca’s starter, Fa came dashing in.
“Where are you going?”
“I see. You’re going to the port to see the ships again. I’ll go too.”
“You’ve got homework, don’t you?”
“Hey! You cutting?!” The passerby teasing them was a classmate.
“…” Kamille ignored this and stepped on the gas. Dashing along the quiet road leading from the school ward to the residential area, he broke out of the forest. He did not speak to Fa Yuiry about anything.
Kamille rode the eleca right to the linear car entrance. Even inside a colony, when traveling in long distances, like from one end to the other, linear cars were faster. The linear car ran along a rail on the outer wall of the colony. In short, they would end up going out into space.
There was no air resistance, and on top of that, they could move with little power. Additionally, there was the refreshing feeling of being able to see space, which is why so many people used linear cars.
“Am I really gonna make it?” Kamille waited impatiently for the linear car, pressing the call button repeatedly.
“The car will arrive in thirty seconds.” Maria Karasa’s synthetic voice spoke in a fawning manner. She was an actress whose entire business was her voice.
“Tch!” Kamille chewed his nails.
“It’s nothing that serious, is it? Stop that. What an awful habit.”
“If you don’t want to see it, you shouldn’t have come along.”
It happened just as Kamille railed back at Fa Yuiry…
The triple layered hatch of the linear car opened. In the twenty seat car, there was only one old man sitting in the back.
“Here’s my card! Hurry to the port.”
“I shall shorten the countdown. We will depart now.” With a slight tremor, the linear car left the station.
Through the sun visor in front of them, one section of the buildings in the port appeared to be standing still against the many stars. The stars passed by their left side at a violent speed. Next, the port block approached, and in the next moment, the linear car matched its speed to that of the port wall, sliding into the correct position to moor.
The port block was not revolving. While this was for the convenience of the ships going in and out of port, it was also done so that a block of industrial facilities making use of the lack of gravity could be set up there.
However this second ward (the base) of the Green Oasis colony was already being used entirely for military affairs. All of the normal factory blocks had already become military facilities, turning into mobile suit development areas or pilot training centers.
The linear car ran against the revolving colony along the outer wall, matching itself to the speed of the block on the stopped side. Then, when the linear car and port block appeared to have stopped, it meant that at their feet the outer wall of the colony would seem to be moving behind them at ferocious speeds.
At this point, the stars finally appeared to have halted.
The linear car was sucked into the port block. Then, it really did come to a stop.
Kamille dashed out of the hatch while looking at his watch.
But they were in a gravity-free zone. Kamille, who had absentmindedly kicked against the floor, headed towards the ceiling in a straight line. Then, hitting against the ceiling, he descended again.
“Please be careful. This is a gravity-free area. Please make use of your shoes.” The synthesized voice of a woman rang out obnoxiously.
“Kamille!” Fa, conscious of the gaze of the old man who followed behind them, wanted to cover her eyes at Kamille’s disgraceful appearance.
Kamille, grabbing on to the grip used for movement on the wall, finally regained his body’s balance.
“…” Without answering Fa, Kamille moved towards a viewing platform from which the port could be seen using the lift grip on the wall.
Lift grips are always attached to walls for people to move along. A person could move about easily just by grabbing on and pressing the acceleration button. The skill to move from wall to wall and corner to corner was easy to learn. Of course, when it came to places that would be equivalent to intersections, there were signals which kept people from bumping into each other, but in general, a system controlling each of the lift grips was thoroughly in place, and people using lift grips to move about did not bump into each other.
“Just as I though.” Getting onto the observation platform, Kamille discovered that the Temptation, which had come up from Earth, had already come into port. “I didn’t make it…”
Landing on the floor, Kamille turned his gaze to the monitor on the side. There, the name of the Temptation, the name of the captain, the number of passengers and other such information was displayed. Kamille noted the name of the captain, Bright Noa.
He looked out the window of the observation platform.
“It’s not like some unusual ship arrived or anything.” Fa pouted at Kamille’s rush.
“That’s because you don’t know Captain Bright. He’s really skilled. Kind, too.”
“You know him?”
“I’ve gotten his signature before.”
“He’s not a newtype, is he?”
“He was the captain of the White Base. He’s got to be, right?”
“No, he’s not…” Fa, realizing that Kamille was staring straight at a single point, swallowed her words.
Fa realized that Kamille was watching the hatch of the Temptation open.
“I’m going down there.” Kamille skillfully kicked the floor, and floated straight for a stand of lift grips. Fa followed after Kamille, acting as though he was too much for her to keep after.
Three floors below them was the area connected to the hatch of the Temptation. The passageways to the quarantine and inspection blocks were already open. They were treated this way only in times of special cases where passengers who did not need to be inspected were heading through.
It was just as Kamille stood at the entrance to that floor. One crew member of the Titans appeared through the exit.
At this cry, the man from the Titans spoke.
“That’s a boy…?” It was definitely not a loud voice at all.
But Kamille certainly heard it. He knew what it meant, too.
“…!” Even Kamille did not know what he himself was trying to do. But Kamille’s legs were clearly walking towards the man from the Titans.
“…?” The man must have thought that the boy walking straight towards him might have been someone he knew. He turned his body towards Kamille. “…?”
Kamille stopped to stand before the man. Several members of the Titans crew closed in from behind the man. Ema Sheen, too, was among them.
“Lieutenant Jerid, which hatch do you think the luggage will come from?” The Lieutenant tried to turn in the direction of the voice.
“Is there something wrong with me being a boy…?!”
The Lieutenant looked down on Kamille at his confrontational words.
“And you are…?” This man, Jerid Messa, one of the chosen among the Titans, furrowed his long, thick brow, then turned lightly aside to the friends on either side of him, making a show of laughing bitterly.
“Is there something wrong with it?!”
“Nah, you’re such a pretty young boy, after all…”
“Don’t screw with me!” Before his words even ended, Kamille had thrown his body into Jerid Messa’s. Continuing on, Kamille’s right hand smashed into Lieutenant Jerid’s chin. This sort of forced karate did not know how to hold back.
“Aah!” At Fa’s scream, the Titans crew were set into motion, and in the next second, several of the Titans crew members had jumped at Kamille. The men and women behind Jerid, as he floated off into the air after having been punched, were also chosen Titans pilots. They had learned martial arts, too. More than anything, it was many against one for Kamille. In just a brief moment, Kamille was being pressed against the floor.
“Cut it out!”
“It’s a rioter! He assaulted us, while fully knowing that we were Titans!”
Airport employees and the military police guards came swarming down on them.
Jerid Messa, who had had his jaw punched, groaned and fixed his posture, then landed so his shoes were within Kamille’s field of vision. Then, he looked down on Kamille.
“As I just got off here to pick up my friends, and this happened…I’d like an apology…”
Lieutenant Jerid’s eyes flashed a particularly brutal shade while he rubbed his chin. Kamille looked up at the emotion in Jerid’s eyes, even while the hands of several people pushed him to the floor.
“What…?!” It was because of the look in Jerid’s eyes that Kamille let out these rebellious words.
“You brat! What are you talking about, your name?!” Jerid Messa was an adult, after all.
Holding back, Jerid kicked Kamille in the nose with the tip of his boot. In that moment, Kamille heard a sound as though the world had splattered open.
The tip of Jerid’s boot dug in to Kamille’s nose, and he passed out, tears filling his eyes.