In AC 196, Heero places Wing Gundam Zero in storage because it is no longer needed. At a colony, Relena meets with her new assistant, a girl named Chris. A colony conference is underway, and Relena gives a speech. Duo and Quatre watch the speech on TV and comment on how difficult her job must be. Quatre wonders how the other Gundam pilots are doing because they lost touch after the Eve Wars ended. At a martial arts school, Wufei is approached by several men that demand he come with them. At the circus, Catherine and Trowa feed the lions. An old war buddy of Trowa’s named Ralph Kurt comes to visit. Ralph is surprised that a soldier like Trowa is in the circus. Trowa says that soldiers are now unnecessary, and Ralph says that isn’t quite true. As Quatre arrives at the colony conference, Heero calls Duo and warns him that someone is after Quatre. Duo rushes to the building just as it explodes. The media reports on the explosion and says there weren’t any survivors. A man named Sogran tells another man that soon the Gundams will be theirs. Ralph tells Trowa that he was a fearless and perfect soldier, and Trowa says he was just empty and emotionless. Ralph thinks that Trowa has lost his nerve to fight, so he asks Trowa to give him the Gundam Heavyarms Custom. Catherine tells Trowa about Quatre, and Ralph leaves. Duo visits Quatre, and Quatre explains that he was late to the conference because of car trouble. Wufei beats up his attackers and asks what they want. They say they want the Altron Gundam, and he refuses to hand it over. Several armed men try to kidnap Relena and Chris, but Heero shows up and saves them. Relena wonders who is after her, and Heero says they are after him too.
Ralph cautiously follows Trowa because he doesn’t want to repeat the mistakes made with Wufei. Duo shows up and beats up Ralph’s men so that he and Trowa can escape. They go to a shuttle, and Trowa is surprised to find Quatre alive and waiting for them. On another shuttle, Relena admits to Heero that there are times she desperately wants to be with him. She wonders what these people could want, and he says that no matter he will protect her. Chris makes a secret report to Sogran that she is on the shuttle, and Ralph also reports to Sogran that Trowa escaped. Heero takes Relena and Chris to a colony in the L3 cluster whose population was wiped out ten years before when they rebelled against the United Earth Sphere Alliance. When Chris sees the colony she has terrible memories of her and Ralph as children running from a Leo attack. Heero tells Relena that the colony is still habitable and is the perfect hiding place. Soon after arriving, the other shuttle carrying Duo, Trowa and Quatre arrives. Heero explains to the other pilots that several men approached him and wanted to buy Wing Zero from him to use in a new war. He says that this mysterious group is made up of the remnants of White Fang. Ralph’s assault team approaches the colony, and Wufei joins the others in planning a defense. Heero locks Relena in a safe room, and Chris contacts Ralph and says she will look for the Gundams. Ralph and his men are all captured upon arrival, and says that Quatre is a traitor to the colonies for helping the Earth Sphere United Nation. Heero confronts Chris and shows her that there are no Gundams on the colony.
Chris tells Relena that she and Ralph grew up on the colony and lost their families after everyone was killed. Since then, she’s hated Earth and has wanted revenge. Heero tells her and Ralph that they’ve been fooled by Sogran. He hacks into their shuttle to determine the location of their secret base. He then explains that Sogran’s funding comes from Century Discover Corporation, a mobile suit manufacturing company that provided weapons for the Romefeller Foundation. Century Discover is backing Sogran simply so that they can start a new war and mass produce the Gundams for their own profit. Several Leos approach the colony, and Heero blows it up after they escape. Relena shows up at Century Discover’s headquarters to confront the CEO, and he quickly leaves. Heero and Ralph visit Sogran, and he asks them to join him and conquer Earth. He says that his naïve followers will do what he says, and Heero reveals that he has been broadcasting their conversation. Elsewhere, the other pilots destroy Century Discover’s mobile suit factory on the moon. Wufei tells Duo that the same thing will keep happening again, and he leaves. Chris stays on as Relena’s assistant as they travel throughout the colonies. Trowa returns to the circus and talks to Ralph. Ralph tells him that if he keeps using the name Trowa Barton he will eventually be discovered. Ralph says goodbye because his war is now over and he has Chris to go home to. Wufei is approached by a man who asks him to meet someone. Quatre tells Duo that the Gundams have become obsolete in this new world and must be destroyed. They all send Quatre their Gundams, but Wufei seems to have vanished without a trace. Elsewhere, Wufei meets with Dekim Barton and Mariemaia Khushrenada, wondering if they can show him the proper path to follow.
Here is another story set between the TV series and Endless Waltz. Of the three manga that take place between the TV series and Endless Waltz, I think this one is the best. For a change, there is absolutely no mobile suit combat at all. Instead we have some political intrigue with the Gundam boys using their wits to unravel a mystery. However, one thing that puts me off is this “mysterious organization that wants to start another war.” That was the story in Endless Waltz, and it was also featured in Battlefield of Pacifists. Still, it’s a better story than the either Battlefield or Ground Zero.