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fun-fact! - the turnip patch
version 2.0
More like an anti-fun-fact, really.  I was just thinking lately... does anyone else think that the Barton Foundation had to have been totally incompetent?

Like seriously.  Do I have this all wrong?  They pour all of these resources into funding the construction of five top secret, top of the line, ultra-destructive mechanical warriors for the purpose of world domination, and what, they ALL get 'stolen' right out from under their noses?  In a way, I suppose it's both impressive and totally face-palmy that Dekim managed to put together a new insurrection in less than two years.  And you know, he totally didn't seem to hold a grudge, either.  Never said to Wufei, we would have taken over the world by now, if it hadn't been for you pesky kids!  Never mentioned Operation Meteor's first no-go during a monologue against Wing Zero.  Was it so embarrassing that they had to pretend it never happened?  Were all of the other evil corporations secretly laughing at them behind their backs?

But hey, if that's just water under the bridge, that's water under the bridge.  And hey, so their gundams were all stolen, well, not their fault there was someone out there that was smarter and badder-ass than they were.  Fine.  But did they have ANY plan about the pilots at all?  With the exception of the real Trowa Barton, who the hell did they expect to pilot their gundams?

Alright, Heero, I'll give them.  I guess they had Heero for a good *consults ep0 manga* seven years.  Plus Dekim was the one who ordered the alleged 'retraining', yes?  So Heero was a part of the plan.  Fine.  Except he was a part of the plan that was, again, right under Dekim's nose!  The others, maybe he didn't really keep tabs on them so much, but if Dekim was right there, you'd have thunk he'd be a little better about monitoring things!

Duo met Prof G three years before the start of Operation Meteor, so I suppose it's somewhat possible that G reported him to the Bartons and let them know Deathscythe had a pilot.  Apparently Meiran was killed in 194, so Wufei didn't get involved in things until then.  (i've heard it said that meiran was supposed to have been shenlong's pilot.  why do people think that?)  Quatre appears to have been a last minute addition.  In fact, it appears that he added *himself* at the last minute.  Lucky for them, Quatre just happened to be naturally really good at piloting, because if I were actually making a viable plan, I'd want my pilots to be trained for YEARS.

So just what was the Barton plan?  Five mad scientists in their pockets, five weapons of mass destruction... and only two confirmed pilots.  Heck, Instructor H was in a Winner labor camp or something in 193, when the Maguanacs took over the place and ran into Quatre!  (unless he was 'hiding out' there.)  And the Alliance almost 'disinfected' L5-A0206 in 194, which would have put an abrupt end to any operations going on there.

Basically... wtf?

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31 comments or Leave a comment
rosalui From: rosalui Date: December 7th, 2009 08:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I've wondered about that thing about the pilots too. XD I sort of assume that Sandrock and Deathscythe had pilots, or at least POSSIBLE pilots.

Duo, at least, had probably been training with it for a good long while, but when he's talking about the reasons for blowing the suit up, he doesn't seem to be talking as if they're assuming HE will be the one doing all the destruction. o.O So I assume that there were other pilots for 02.

I feel like 04's scientist almost stole Sandrock himself... I dunno how much of the work he did on it under Quatre's protection was really supervised by the Bartons. >.>

One other possibility is that they had crews of pilots, and were going to use the suits in rotation. The suits were probably, to them, more precious than the pilots; they probably wouldn't have wanted to entrust the whole thing to just one person. In the case of the real Trowa Barton, and Meilan, maybe; but I'd bet that even Wing had backup pilots for if Heero died.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: December 7th, 2009 10:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I could believe that there were other potential pilots we just never saw... but I'm not going to believe it canonically. =) i.e. I'd be willing to believe it for fic purposes, but I think there are some things in canon (presuming ep0 to be canon) that would seem counterindicative.

To quote Duo in the translated Ep0 manga (see what happens when i pull it out and have it sitting on my desk?), he says "I *told* you, I'm *not* doing Operation Meteor!"  This was right before G tells Duo to steal Deathscythe.  Seems like they've been over this before, and Duo was the one. (this is, of course, a slightly different scene from where we see Duo planting charges around it, trying to blow his buddy up so no one could use it in OpM.)

Contradictory scenes aside... I can't see Duo sharing Deathscythe with another pilot.  I can't see Wufei sharing Nataku with another pilot.  Maybe they could be forced to, but with the level of investment they each had in their partners, it seems like it would have been a large, unavoidable source of friction.  I would almost even wonder if Duo, rather than attempting to destroy Deathscythe, would have chosen to kill the other pilots instead, if they were around. 

Although both Meiran and Wufei seemed to be hanging around with their Mad, O shouted at Meiran when she got into that prototype Leo to do battle, 'This is not something a woman can handle!'  Granted, a prototype Leo's got a pretty user-unfriendly design, but it still seems to me that if Meiran had been training to be an actual gundam pilot, she wouldn't have had such a statement shouted at her.  Though I suppose it's possible O was still sort of feeling them out as potential pilots.

I'd also be more inclined to think that Heero would have been replaced instead of 'retrained', if there had been backup pilots available.  Or maybe that incident proved to them the need for backup pilots, and they didn't start that program until then.

Quatre was the only one who didn't have some sort of discussion with his Mad about Operation Meteor's true goals.  Not on paper, anyway.  It does seem quite possible that he severed ties with the Bartons at some point.  In what I would estimate to be AC194, he was talking to Mr. Winner about his work on the gundam.  Mr. Winner said we don't need weapons, I don't believe in war.  H walked away, Quatre waylaid him and offered an alternate workspace where he "wouldn't be found by OZ or the Alliance."  Quatre certainly didn't know about Operation M at the time, or else surely he would not have offered to fight.  It seems plausible to me to say that H talked to Winner about hiding Sandrock since the Bartons were no longer in control of or support of his project... or maybe H was just misleading them, not telling them the truth and just using them for resources since the Bartons couldn't fund him directly or something. *shrug* If Quatre had found out about OpM, it would have had to be before launch, and they would have already had that whole discussion and decided to kidnap Sandrock for their own scheme.
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: December 7th, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've kind of vaguely wondered about Barton. If he was footing the bill for all that, then he clearly wasn't as on top of things as he thought he was, regardless of the reason, since the gundams *were* stolen and the mission co-opted.

Then again, most secret conspiracies don't stay secret for long, due to simple human nature. I really can't buy into the idea that the Mads didn't know about each other's projects. Those sorts of weasels always leave themselves a back door.

But my wondering is only vague, fanciful "well, if it was *me*" sort of stuff. ^___^

See? I'm trying to pay attention, at least.

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: December 8th, 2009 04:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Since it was only the Alliance that was responsible for cutting off communications between the colonies, I also find it hard to believe that messages couldn't get through somehow.  It seems like the Bartons should have needed some communication to organize Operation Meteor, particularly as it was scheduled to start.  I don't believe they're competent enough to have organized things so well that they could carry it out without a lot of communication.

Besides which, the Alliance cut off the communications, sending the Specials out to take over the colonies.  The Specials were actually OZ, and behind OZ was the Barton Foundation, so surely they could have circumvented whatever was in place with ease.  And if even the incompetent Bartons could do it, then surely the scientists could do it, too.

However, I generally operate under the principle that the mads all sort of knew about each other's projects, but there was no coordination.  They knew of the existence, they were all on the same page about what direction they were going and what kind of timeframe they were on, but there wasn't any organization.  Maybe there was limited communication, but communications could be compromised, so even if they had the ability, they would limit it to only what was necessary.
yira_heerai From: yira_heerai Date: December 7th, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I haven't really thought too deeply on the matter as I've seen the background parts of GW as an exercise of the suspension of disbelief- especially when it comes to Episode 0 and the pilots being able to automatically do certain things that usually take a lot of practice and/or a special license to do.

I have been meaning to re-watch the series and take some notes (because I'm nerdy that way). I also have most of the manga to compare it to. Maybe by this weekend I'll have a plausible explanation to some of it.

If not, I'd chalk it up to Suspension of Disbelief and Laws of Anime.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: December 8th, 2009 04:36 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm happy to go with 'suspension of disbelief' when I watch the series... particularly when I see Trowa jump into the air from a standing start and land on a clothesline some ten or twenty feet above his head. O_o

The problem is that I do not like suspension of disbelief to be a requirement for what I write, so it becomes something of a problem for me if I have to write something based on suspension of disbelief!

If I'm writing something, I can happily pretend Trowa never did that and never write a word regarding it, but it's harder to pretend that the Bartons didn't have all of their Gundams stolen from them. x_x
(Deleted comment)
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: December 8th, 2009 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Ha, that's exactly my problem!  I've been pondering my way around a plot that requires a certain degree of competence from the Bartons, and it just isn't working out!  I don't care about the pilot issue in particular since I could not mention it and be happy, but it's hard to sell the Barton Foundation as a force manipulating events behind the scenes when I feel like any attempt they made would certainly have been fumbled. o_o

Hm.  But you bring up an interesting point about the power of 'AU'... the whole thing already hinges on one 'what if' divergence from the main story line... I suppose it couldn't hurt to say 'what if the Bartons weren't actually total failures?' and just make it an AU in my mind.  *strokes chin*  Yes, perhaps that could work...
yira_heerai From: yira_heerai Date: December 8th, 2009 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
I think there's actually quite a few who have that theory about Heero and Quatre (maybe Q, def. Heero). Like J had known Odin and I think there was something somewhere about H being around the Winner family for quite a long time. I can't exactly say for sure.

Duo and the Trowa that we know and love may have been the few, rare wild cards when it came to picking pilots.
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: December 8th, 2009 11:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I came away with the vague feeling that Duo was the planned pilot, but then rebelled when he got told 'the whole deal'. Like... he was behind the cause right up until they told him how far they were going to go. And G agreed with him, and thus encouraged him to steal the suit by offering to turn a blind eye. So... the scientists were like a counter secret organization within the secret organization? Or... something?
*confesses that the politics of GW always baffled her*
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: December 8th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Agreed... which is why I have a disgruntled bunny on my hands.  Bunny wants to add yet another secret behind-the-scenes organization to the mix.  Silly bunny.  Sigh.  If only it weren't such an awesome bunny, I could have kicked it to the curb by now.

(sigh.  okay, bunny forces me to admit that the bartons' relative incompetence is something bunny only encountered while trying to hop over his other obstacles, and i should stop trying to lay the blame on them and instead concentrate on trying to resolve the real problems. -_-)
rosalui From: rosalui Date: December 9th, 2009 10:01 am (UTC) (Link)

*slinks away after useless comment*
ravelqueen From: ravelqueen Date: December 15th, 2009 12:39 am (UTC) (Link)
you know I never thought about it....but you are right
it is a little weird (the other evil empires were so laughing behind their backs^^)

maybe it wasnt their main focus...like an evil side-project that they never expected to pan out, I mean they had the real Trowa Barton as their star pilot and from the looks of episode zero he wasn't only incompetent he was a real douche (cause nobody, really nobody ever wondered where he was? or why he suddenly looked totally different! I mean I know Trowa is good at the whole infiltration thing, but not that good...)

so maybe it was just something they were funding a little and the doctors did some kind of money fraud so way more money got allocated to the gundam project and....

I mean still means they are incompetent but more in the "oh I know we should have checked our books better" way than in a "huge fighting robots....shiny!"-way
From: _d_s_a_ Date: December 30th, 2009 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I were to speculate....

I do not think the Barton Foundation would pour all of their resources into the project- the organisation strike me as similar to the Winner Enterprise, but perhaps more diverse, so most of the funding would be likely used to gain more money and power than invested in an ideal.

A major part of funding would no doubt be ear-marked for use by Dekim Barton, and I think the Gundam Project would have to be his pet project, potentially supported by other family members (but not all) and partners who share the same ideal, but I doubt Dekim would have full control or have been capable of utilising all of the Barton Foundation funds due to the considerations of cash flow and also inner family support. If Dekim was all powerful, he would not have needed to manipulate his niece- and I would believe the manipulation would predate the Eve wars by more than two years because he may have initially done so to consolidate his own power base within the Barton Foundation. And bury whatever bodies that need to be buried in the process.

So I would think Dekim Barton did it on the sly from the other regular family members, with a core supporting group. (Think OZ). Hence not all funds and resources would be directed towards the proposed project.

Hence there would be both a resource problem. During that time period, his army was probably still growing, and likely rather like the size of the average regional drug lord rather than a full-scale operation- and the Alliance would have been restrictive with tight arms control, considering. Hence there would be both limitations on the amount of secret bases available- which was why the projects were probably scattered in space- radar etc problems- and there would be also limitations encountered on skilled mobile pilots. While soldiers and people who can shoot could be a dime a dozen (not exactly a restrictive class skill, after all)- somebody who can calculate the physics and other necessary items needed to operate a mobile suit in space would have to have the academic background at least, and then training- with most candidate likely to be working for the Alliance or OZ if skilled. Of the fewer skilled candidates with background knowledge, given the group were rebellious, they had to be assured that the recruited candidates had not only the core basic knowledge, but also loyalty- or what can pass for it- such as personal opposition to the Alliance.

This would have taken time as they would have to scout a lot of people- starting from academic records, then figuring out loyalties. This does not mean they have to wait for the pilot to be recruited first- without the machines, the plan would not go forth, hence it is practical for them to build the machines while searching for the pilots.

Heero's case is straight out simple. I agree with most people.

Duo's case was more of an accident, but Duo was (cannon fact) a genius at the Alliance school he went to briefly and his church background could be easily checked out as well. So Duo would have satisfied both criteria when recruited.

Trowa was accidental- he would not have been chosen if it were not only for the real Trowa's death (the real Trowa would not only have the background but also bloodlines would guarantee his loyalty)- but placing Trowa in would be acceptable as Trowa had worked with them for some time to indicate he has proven knowledge of mobile suits and proven loyalty to money- both his mercenary background indicates this plus the fact he worked for them without problems.

Quatre appears to be more of a direct intervention by H- so while the Barton organisation may have been searching for a pilot, H deliberately proposed Quatre to be the pilot- and I think, Quatre discovering the plans for Sandrock (if memory serves me) may also play a role in pushing him into that decision.

Wufei also appears to be an accidental candidate. Likely, the real candidate for consideration was actually Meiran- with Ron Shirin and the other elders perhaps supporting the project. (Whether they knew the real purpose, is unlikely.)

Whatever large fragment of the Barton Foundation controlled by Dekim and his core group would have been responsible for the plan- and Dekim would have been responsible for the key concepts.

From: _d_s_a_ Date: December 30th, 2009 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you think of what a CEO says and actually does, however well meaning or grounded in Harvard Business School, then the reasons behind the results and cracks in the execution of the plan would become apparent.

Dekim, as CEO of the nuts, would have his board members who are extremely satisfied with themselves to come up with such a plan to throw money at. Dekim would talk and communicate extensively with his board.

Being limited in resources, he naturally not only under funds his grand ideas- being paranoid, he makes sure that only a limited few know the true plans of the group- or rather, himself, as he is the driving force. (Hence, the ability to be both stunningly great and fallible at the same time).

Meanwhile, he entrust the execution of the plan to his trusted few-the mad scientists.

J, G, S, H, and O are all executives with their own agenda- which Dekim is likely not to know or suspect as he thinks that his chosen executives are happy with their lot. (Since they appear to align with Dekim).

As it is, they have to balance their own agenda with keeping Dekim happy- hence it is conceivable that they were out of contact with each other while making the Gundams. Not because they wanted to be, but because Dekim perhaps was paranoid and also wanted to ensure if one Gundam was found- the rest wouldn't be. By centralising knowledge of the plan within a restricted few, there was less danger and risk than conducting an operation where if one part was captured, the whole house of cards would fall down. So it appears that Dekim did not trust the scientists completely. However, Dekim had to rely on their talent and work, as CEOs are resigned to, so the scientists nevertheless, had a great deal of power.

This is not exactly the same as, but similar to, terrorist network cells.

So it may be all very well logical- but just a different sort of logic.


I hope your bunny attacks you. Rabid.
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