~Taken from the novelization of Episode Zero. The scans are down below.~
The first events we know about in Duo's life occurred in AC 187, when he
was already seven years old. He appeared on the V08744 at L2, which was very
poor due to the fact that most of the its residents were impoverished immigrants
from all over the Earth. There was a great deal of fighting in the colony, which
left behind a lot of abandoned buildings, as well as orphans. Duo was not born
on the colony; rather, he drifted there, probably by stowing away on a shuttle.
At that time, he didn't have a name. He was taken in by a kid named Solo, who
led a group of orphans. Solo was infected with a virus that was burning its way
through the entire colony. A vaccine had been discovered, but the authorities
saw no reason to distribute it to the poor or homeless. Duo snuck into a
hospital and stole enough vaccine for everyone but himself...but it was too late
for Solo. Before he died, Solo said to Duo "You're a nice guy...I wish I could
stay with longer." Duo replied, "Don't be stupid...you shouldn't give up."
Later, Solo said "Even after I die, I'll always be with you...so be nice." When
Solo died, Duo said, "Fine...if Solo's with me, we'll be Duo." When Duo realized
that he didn't have any vaccine for himself, he decided that he didn't mind if
he died. He didn't even get sick, though. He decided to stay on as leader of the
group in Solo's place.
One day, perhaps out of anger at the Federation, he took the orphans to a
Federation base to steal food. They were caught and managed to escape, but the
people of the colony tore down the abandoned building they had been living in.
Maxwell Church took all the orphans in. They fed them and gave them clothes and
one of the nuns, Sister Helen, tried to cut Duo's long hair, but Duo refused to
let her. So instead, she braided his hair, just for the sake of neatness, and
Duo really liked it. The orphans that Duo had been with were adopted out, but
Duo never managed to find a permanent family; he always got kicked out of the
house in a day because he was such a trouble maker. One day, Duo got into a very
bad fight with a group of five kids; he ended up putting them all in the
hospital. Because of this, he was threatened with expulsion from school. When
Sister Helen asked Duo why he had gotten into a fight like that, he said it was
because the kids had called him names and told him he smelled like a sewer.
Sister Helen hugged Duo and told him that he didn't smell, and that they would
collect some snow for water so that they could wash. They got snow from off the
roof of the church. Father Maxwell came back to find them; he'd just finished
apologizing at the school for Duo. Duo felt really bad, but Father Maxwell said
"It's alright. If they only want me to apologize for you, I'm happy to do so.
Just go back to school tomorrow and work hard."
The next year, there was another uprising, turning the colony into a
battlefield once more. Maxwell church became a makeshift hospital for the
wounded for the resistance fighters that had made it their base. One of the
resistance leaders decided that they needed an MS. When Father Maxwell objected,
bringing up Heero Yuy , they struck him with the butt of a rifle. Duo told them
that he would steal an MS for them if they would just leave the church, since
the church was a place of sanctuary. The didn't believe him, but Duo ran to the
Federation base. He had to run through gunfire, but he managed to make it to a
truck that had a Leo in it, and he drove it back to the church. When he arrived,
the church had been destroyed. He found Sister Helen barely alive in the ruins.
Duo tried to leave so he could get a doctor, but Sister Helen kept talking. She
said "The Federation forces attacked us, but we couldn't leave this place." Duo
replied, "It's my fault. I stole the Mobile Suit." Sister Helen was now dying;
she was having a hard time focusing. "The Father urged peace until the end." She
touched Duo's cheek very gently and said, "May God protect you..." before her
hand fell away. Duo cried and screamed like a lost soul, because he would never
hear her sing again, or feel her warmth. It was the first time he had ever cried
because of death. After the Maxwell church tragedy, Duo disappeared for a few
years, finally ending up as a stowaway on Professor G's ship. Professor G let
him stay, and eventually gave him Deathscythe to pilot.