Glaring at the young woman's smug expression, Heero gritted, "Perfectly."
"You understand the consequences if you defy me?"
"Yes." He did. He understood her none-too-subtle speculations regarding what a shame it would be should it be discovered that a Sweeper ship carrying a particular crewmember was - purportedly unknowingly - carrying contraband along with its legitimate cargo. And regarding a host of other disasters that could befall Heero's closest friends, especially one individual.
Content with his response, Relena lowered the privacy partition and directed Pargan to drive on to the location of her next meeting. She settled back into her seat, a self-satisfied look on her patrician face.
Outwardly implacable, inwardly Heero raged. Gradually, the rage coalesced into calculated fury.
Power corrupted and absolute power corrupted absolutely. Vice Foreign Minister Relena Darlian-Peacecraft was living proof of that adage. Over the years since she'd taken her adoptive father's title, she'd gradually reclaimed her royal heritage while gathering more political power to the ministerial position that was once little more than a courtesy title. Now, she considered herself a law unto herself, entitled to anything - or anyone - she wanted.
Heero disagreed. Strongly. He hadn't fought and killed just to put another arrogant, power-hungry aristocrat in control of Earth and the colonies. And he would *not* tolerate any kind of threat to his friends, particularly Duo. Despite the fact that he and Duo did not - yet - share the kind of relationship that Relena seemed to believe that they did. He and Duo were long past due for that particular conversation and Heero intended to remedy that oversight shortly. Just as soon as he dealt with a certain blonde bitch with delusions of grandeur - and one hell of a false sense of security.
Two weeks later, influential L4 businessman Quatre Winner was appointed Vice Foreign Minister by popular acclaim mere days after the former Minister was tragically bitten by a rare and deadly species of spider. The arachnid was believed to have entered her residence along with several exotic plants imported from its country of origin. Ironically, proper inspection and quarantine procedures had been waived at the Minister's express request; she'd wanted the flowering plants delivered while still in bloom.
They made a lovely funerary arrangement.
The next day, a fast-spreading virus swept through computer systems across the Earth Sphere. It left in its wake extensive documentation revealing corruption at the highest levels of government, especially in the person of the now-deceased Darlian-Peacecraft. Appalled politicians and public alike rallied in support of Vice Foreign Minister Winner's call for reform.
Suicide rates amongst the accused, particularly the staff of the disgraced former Minister Darlian-Peacecraft, were exceptionally high.
Later that summer, Minister Winner hosted the wedding of two of his closest friends. Following their honeymoon, the Maxwell-Yuys would be joining his already-formidable security staff and working to make it even better. There was always room for improvement; it wouldn't do to be lulled into a false sense of security.