-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Sat, 21 Oct 2000 11:05:06 -0700


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org [mailto:owner-gundam@1u.aeug.org]On
> Behalf Of Chris Maier
> Sent: Saturday, October 21, 2000 08:37
> To: gundam@aeug.org
> Subject: [gundam] "Hey, Sydney boy!"
>
> In 0080, while in a conversation with a Federation officer, Bernie lets slip
> that he came from Sydney, Australia. Of course this screws up the whole
> operation, but only because the officer realizes that it's summer in Sydney.

It wasn't claiming to be from Sydney, which was actually part of Bernie's cover
story, that got him inot trouble. It was his "reminiscence" of the Christmas
season in Sydney and his statement that "back home, it'd be snowing now" that
blew his cover.

Although he gave his real name to Al and Chris and her family, as part of his
pretense to being Al's older brother by a fictitious previous wife, he arrived
in Libot in the guise of Walter Peterson, ID Number PG40983726, co-pilot of the
cargo ship Agua Verde, carrying construction (or possibly farming) equipment --
heavy machinery, in either case -- in from the Moon. The transit time (72
hours) and trajectory from the Moon to Side 6 in L4 are almost the same as from
Side 3 in L2, so it's easy to fudge the point of origin. Also, the Moon is
nominally neutral or, at least, divided in its alignment -- if Side 6 in like
Switzerland, neutral but open ground, then the Moon is analogous to France or
the Philippines, occupied first by one power then the other, with all that that
entails.

> Is it just me, or would the fact that the city was Ground Zero for a colony
> drop clue the Federation officer off more? Or was "Summer in Sydney" simply
> a reference to the fact that Sydney was probably still getting radioactive
> fall-out from the colony drop?

Actually, it's the perfect cover -- whatever records that were maintained
locally were destroyed in the colony drop. Someone Bernie's age could claim to
have grown up in Sydney and emigrated in late childhood or early adolescence
with his parents and have nothing on record to contradict it. Tat, plus some
very sincere papers printed up by Zeon intelligence, possibly using paper, ink
and official seals captured during the early part of the War, when Zeon occupied
half the Earth, and you have a pretty good cover. Unless, of course, you spoil
it by making careless comments.

Granted, a politically aware customs agent would probably be suspicious of
anything coming in from the Moon, but the one shown here was pretty much just
doing his job. He got commendably suspicious when Bernie didn't have the right
papers, but was willing to cut Steiner some slack, despite a hole in the cockpit
and a dead pilot's body, the disposition of which must have put a kink in the
routine.

The soldiers didn't know Bernie's declared port of origin and the claim of being
from Sydney may have invoked a sympathetic response, as it implies that Bernie's
home was destroyed by the Zeon and thus One of Us. It'd be like running into
someone in Switzerland who grew up in Pearl Harbor and was now running freight
in from, say, Algiers or even liberated Paris.

-Z-

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