Part 44: Pre-Intermission
: That's preposterous!
: Hmph... The Emperor of Darkness has yet to awaken... And the time has not yet come for our invasion of the surface, has it.
: I beg your pardon, sir. However, there was something I thought merited your attention...
: An irregular situation has arisen in Central Africa's crust layer.
: An irregular situation?
: The Dinosaur Empire's underground plant has started up, and is producing mechasauruses.
: I do recall that Dr. Hell used the Dinosaur Empire's remaining plants... This is not his doing, is it?
: No, sir... The plant is producing mechasauruses automatically.
: Meaning that it isn't the Youma Empire either. So, is the Dinosaur Empire once again on the move?
: We have gotten no reports of Machineland surfacing from the magma layer.
: Then exactly what is causing it?
: After the war ended... It would seem that the humans constructed a giant underground structure in Africa. Perhaps the Dinosaur Empire's plant started up in response to that...
: Mh... Wretched humans. They have quite some nerve, daring to set foot within the subterranean world... Gorgon, go and investigate that structure immediately.
: Consider it done, sir.
: Understood. We will head for Dakar.
: Right. The Titans are strengthening their defenses in anticipation of the Preventers...
: It will likely become a difficult fight, but be sure to finish things with the Titans.
: Of course.
: We'll give all the support we can. The rest is up to you.
: Then, we shall accompany Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Darlian to Preventer HQ.
: Duo, you guys are staying with the Argama?
: Yeah, we've got one more job to take care of.
: Princess Relena, please take care.
: Ensign Ichijou... Please be certain to rescue Minmay and the others.
: I don't consider Absolute Pacifism to be much more than a simplistic ideal.
: You're wrong if you think peace can be achieved by throwing away our weapons.
: H-hey, Tetsuya! Watch what you're saying!
: As for why, with the Mycenae and Dinosaur Empires aiming to conquer the surface... The moment we throw away our weapons, any peace would get snatched right out from under us.
: I understand what you mean by what you say.
: But, Princess, you said that in the previous war, peace was not given to us by anyone.
: Up until now, I thought of you as someone suited only to staying in the rear... But I've realized that you're fighting a battle of your own.
: That's enough out of...
: No, it's alright, Ensign...
: That's made me re-evaluate my opinion of you a bit.
And he walks away
: What's his problem...
: I don't mind. I think he was offering me praise.
: You sure about that? Well, he sucks at conveying his own feelings, like Heero...
: You could say that...
: Whoa! Er, hey Heero, didn't see you there...
: I know. We'll end this in the next fight.
: I believe in you...
: Vice-Minister Darlian, it's just about time to depart.
: Alright. Well then, everyone... Best of luck to all of you.
: Best of luck, she says. Never would've expected to hear her say that.
: It would seem she has realized that fighting cannot simply go away. She must have come to understand that both she and ourselves have our own fights.
: What are their affiliation and type?
: It's the Black Wing, with the Preventers, and several other units.
: Alright, prepare for reception.
The new arrivals show up.
: Long time no see, Commander Bright.
: Captain Viletta, I heard what happened on the Moon Cradle. Good work up there.
: Not at all... Heero and the others did all the real work.
: You're the only addition we're getting from the SRX Team?
: Ryusei is also coming.
: Our other additions are Musashi Tomoe from the Saotome Lab... Dr. Eri Anzai from the LTR foundation, and Taro Sarumaru from Mutropolis.
: Dr. Anzai...?
: A great archaeologist who's affiliated with the LTR foundation.
: She handled the analysis of Ryuouki and Koouki at the Far East Base during the Balmar War.
: So, what's she doing on the Argama...?
: She has concerns she wishes to bring directly to us.
: Alan, you said there were seven people you brought with you? Who are the other two?
: Well, about that......
: Why have you come here!? And bringing Karl, on top of that...!
: Shouldn't you be at Preventer HQ with Odelo and the others!?
: You've finally gotten the chance to live peacefully... And you board a military battleship!?
: ...I'm sorry. I just...
: See? Raising your voice made Karl cry!
: Look, Karl! THBBBTHTBTHTBTH!
: Idiot, your face would just make him cry more!
: Let me handle this. I used to deal with this all the time with Shiro as a kid. Look at me, Karl! Who's there? Who's there? Peek-a-boo!
: Yer just as bad as me, Kabuto!
: Marbet, we're fighting a war here!
: I... didn't want to be apart from you, Usso...
: The war finally ended... Yet you got back on this ship, again... It just feels like you're going to keep on going, and go someplace far away...
: But, look! You know you'd be safe at Preventer HQ...
: ...You know, it might actually be better for Shakti to stay on the Argama.
: What do you mean?
: She was a supporter of the Jupiterians' Clean Earth operation during the Balmar War...
This is a throwback to Alpha 1. IIRC, she and Relena were both kept on the Angel Halo, an incredibly powerful orbital weapon of the Jupiterians, powered by the brains of 30,000 psychics, and Shakti's psychic power was being used to help run it. It was going to purge the people of Earth until Usso and Heero broke in and wrecked it.
: She's wanted by the Titans and the Federation's military police.
: What!? Is that true!?
: ...So THAT'S why the Titans attacked Kasarelia after the war, since we were living there... Then we came under the protection of the Preventers...
: Which is why I say that it might be better for Shakti to remain on the Argama.
: That, and... Try to take Shakti's feelings into consideration as well, Usso.
: Protecting people you care about yourself is what being a man's all about, right?
: (.........) I see... Yeah, that's true, isn't it?
: Darned right it is.
: He and Michiru are tuning up Shin Getter right now, to help with Project Aegis.
: I'd wanted to avoid using that if we could, but... Whatever's needed to save Earth.
: But once the project's done with, the doctor said he'd seal it back underground.
: Yeah, that's for the best... Frankly, that Getter is more than we should have.
: (......... What's wrong with Ryou...? It's almost like he's actually frightened of Shin Getter...)
: So what's this LTR foundation that Dr. Anzai's with?
: They excavate and research technology and artifacts from ancient civilizations.
: My father worked for them, and it was the relics they discovered at the ocean floor... Which led to my father's discovery of Mutron energy.
: So, did you guys come here because you found something in your investigation?
: I accepted LTR's request for assistance... And Dr. Anzai and I conducted a follow-up investigation on the underground forces.
: Underground forces? What're those?
: The Youma Empire, Mycenae Empire, Dinosaur Empire... All the invaders that live underground.
: Yes. They were not completely destroyed in the Balmar War. And so, with LTR taking a central role...
: We've been tracking their movements.
: And there's been some kind of movement from them?
: Could this be Dr. Hell's doing?
: No... He's remained missing ever since the war.
: Don't tell me the Dinosaur Empire is...?
: But they were destroyed before the Balmar War, weren't they?
: No... Kouji, Akira, and our team drove them to the brink of annihilation, but... They used their central base, Machineland, to flee into the magma layer.
: But they haven't shown up since, not even during the Balmar War...
: And we haven't heard anything from 'em since the war ended, either.
: So then, what on Earth...?
: The plant most likely reacted to an object underground... And some kind of alert mode or automated defense mode kicked in, which made the plant start spitting out mechasauruses automatically.
: You said an object underground...?
: We don't have its precise coordinates or any other details, but...It seems to be some kind of gigantic underground facility of human construction.
: Gigantic underground facility...?
: Say, Musashi. Who'd build something like that, anyway?
: You're askin' me, like I know somethin'?
: It probably has something to do with the DC, like the Moon Cradle.
: That's pretty safe to assume, yeah.
: Maybe Banjou might know something...
: Right. Does that ring any bells?
: Banjou, maybe it's that thing we saw in DC Japan's database?
: What thing?
: You know, that Ark something-or-other...
: Lady Reika... Would you be referring to the Earth Cradle, part of Project Ark?
: Right, that!
: Project Ark?
: Its proper name is the Seed Conservation Project. It was run by the DC. The Moon Cradle, and Earth evacuation ships such as the Macross, were also part of it.
: So, if the Moon Cradle is an artificial hibernation facility located on the moon...
: That means the Earth Cradle's an artificial hibernation facility on the Earth, right
: That would be correct.
: It's true the Earth Cradle was supposed to be built underground in Africa... But didn't the DC's president, Dr. Bian, suspend the project in its planning stages?
: It is as you say, sir. The DC has no records of its construction, either.
: So what is this underground facility the plant reacted to?
: Maybe Dr. Shirakawa has something to do with it?
: I wouldn't expect him to want anything to do with it.
: Since he can move freely around the underworld of La Gias and the surface... I can't imagine any reason he'd need the Earth Cradle...
Suddenly, the sirens go off
: What is it!?
: Several mechasaurus-like readings over our ship's course! They seem to be engaged in combat with something!
: The guys that came from the Dinosaur Empire's plant!
: What is their exact location?
: They're near a Federation facility that got torn down during the Balmar War.
: We won't be able to work our way aroundthem, most likely. All hands, assume level 1 battle stations!