"Those are some serious accusations that you're making." Behind a desk a very powerful man at G.O.A. steepled his fingers. Hiead and Clay nodded solemnly. This was the fourth officer they'd talked to, and so far he was the highest ranked. It appeared that despite Azuma's role as a teacher at G.O.A. he was also a very highly placed and powerful man.
"We fully realize this sir, but we would not make them if we were not certain of their truth. As much as we would wish otherwise, Azuma is hurting one of our friends." Clay said boldly. Hiead nodded, impressed by the way Clay was handling the situation. He may not be any good in battle but his mind was sharp, he might even go so far as to say that Clay's mind could be deadly if he so wished. Their dealings with all of the officers had been smooth and diplomatic and had given Hiead new kind of respect for Clay.
Colonel Tezuka looked down at the files spread out on his desk. This Clay Cliff Fortran seemed to be on good terms with the Enna boy. Hiead Gner however, was another story. The boy appeared to have a very competitive nature coupled with a violent streak and the focus of his almost obsessive nature was focused quite heavily on Enna. The fact that he had come forward was interesting. There had been times in the past when competitive candidates had kept secrets, some with fatal consequences, all to get rid of their competition. But there was a fierce sincerity in the boy's eyes. That above all else convinced Tezuka that actions should be taken immediately.
The Colonel looked at both boys. Their faces, no matter how they tried to mask them, clearly showed their anxiety, the hope that he would take action. He inclined his head slightly and they both stiffened. "I applaud your honor in coming forward with this matter. We shall have this looked into immediately."
Clay nodded, but Hiead shook his head. "Unacceptable."
Tezuka raised an eyebrow and looked at Hiead. "Excuse me?"
"That is unacceptable. We came to you precisely so that you would take action in this matter, not so you could have it looked into. If this matter is not taken care of, I will take care of it myself." Hiead informed the Colonel with such certainty, that the man had to suppress an icy shiver that ran up his spine. What had happened in this child's past to give him such a deadly edge? More importantly, what was he capable of and was he a threat? Looking at the boy's hard crimson eyes, he knew that action had to be taken, to protect the accused just as much as to protect the victim.
"I will overlook this trespass in protocol this once Candidate. But do not forget your place. I am the higher up here. I will have this matter taken care of. The Instructor will be handled appropriately. Should you decide to take this matter into your own hands, I will not be able to look the other way. Are you willing to take such a risk just to mouth off to me?"
"If it will take a man like Azuma off of G.O.A., yes I am." Hiead stared at the Colonel, iron in his voice. He said it with such deadly certainty. Clay shivered. He had always known that Hiead had a dangerous side. He had no idea that it was attached to such a fierce protective side. To sacrifice his whole future, just to get rid of Azuma, for a boy that he could barely tolerate. Hiead was far more honorable than anybody had given him credit for.
Clay noted the shocked expression of the Colonel and allowed a tiny smile. Apparently he was not the only one surprised by Hiead's actions. All information on the boy seemed to hint towards a more sinister course of action for Hiead. But here he stood, defying their logic, defying them. And for what? What was it that drove him? It was a challenge really. One that Clay hoped that he could someday figure out.
Colonel Tezuka nodded, trying not to let on how completely dumbfounded he felt. This boy was truly an enigma, but not one without virtue. He had obviously been misjudged, and if he kept on with the same determination and amazing sense of honor that he now showed, he would inevitably make an excellent Goddess pilot. "You are incredibly impudent. I should find some punishment for you. But you are also incredibly...what? Stubborn? Loyal? Protective? Stupid? Brave? I don't know, but whatever you are, it is admirable. But believe me when I say that this matter will be looked into, it will." The Colonel pushed a button on his desk.
"Private. Please have a security force sent to fetch Instructor Hijikata Azuma. Have him brought to my quarters immediately."
"Yes sir. Right away sir."
"Very good." The Colonel turned back to the boys. "Is that good enough for you Mr. Gner?"
"It will not be good enough until Azuma gets what he deserves." Hiead replied. It would not be good enough until there was justice. Even if he had to deliver it himself.
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