Part 6: Mission 1 - The Youth Drawn to Iron - Part 2
Over by Sawatari, Yamashita gets parried so only Miu gets any damage done. Were not killing him this turn, so Ichitaka takes out the last Arma mook.
With that, its only a matter of taking one miniboss out per turn.
: I dont pull my punches even against rookies! Why dont ya go and imagine the miserable death youre gonna get?!
: No way, no how! If Im gonna be imagining anything, itll be my teary reunion with the professor and my bro!
Alice: S-Something just lit up!
Ichitaka: That can be good or bad! What color is it?!
Ichitaka: Alright, the book says getting closer makes it easier to hit stuff!
Alice: U-Um, some gauge is rising!
Ichitaka: Lets try out this Lightning Fist!
Ichitaka: Hey, it worked?! In that case!
: I'm justice incarnate! Anyone who fights me is evil!
: Fine. If youd paint justice as your own, then show me what youve got!
: I reckon this is good enough. Next time, though, youre dead!
: Katou Hisataka You say all of this is in the name of true justice, hm?
: Thats right.
: Very well. Ill trust your vision one more time.
: (I have to figure out what, exactly, the world needs right now )
: A righteous man needs to be strong. Do you understand what that means?
: I dont and Ive no time to think about it! Ive already got my hands full here!
: Then its up to me to educate you. But this lessonll come at the tip of Natakus fangs!
And heres Ichitakas strongest attack.
: A Champion of Justice, huh ? Then, Ill !
Thats all of the Katou enemies down, so the battle might be over but theres still the matter of Kouichi. Hes a bit woozy, so Ichitaka, Aoi, Yamashita and Miu move in to try and pin him down.
It doesnt work and Kouichi starts flying away but not before busting out a speech: Ill give you folks some time to think things over! Power isnt just, alright? Justice is power! And if you guys decide to accept my justice, then were good! But if you dont then, next time, Ill be playing for keeps! (Nailed it...!)
And off he goes, immediately vanishing from Mius sensors; seems to her the thing shifted inside a warp field. Ishigami phones in right then and tells them to come back and to bring the mystery robot along for the ride.
Ichitakas a bit surprised but Yamashita asks that he follow them to JUDA as theyve some questions to ask. Wait, isnt JUDA supposed to be this company that makes medical equipment and the sort? Why do they have combat Armas?
Alice, ever informative, argues that even the civilian-owned Photon Lab has the Mazinger Z, so she sees no problems at all with JUDA having some Armas tucked away. Ichitaka sees plenty of problems but, regardless, Miu and Yamashita say their groupll want to know about his bot and what happened here.
Ichitaka concedes and tells them to lead the way. He tells Alice that, with the Rushbird being unable to fly, theyre gonna have a real hard time catching up to the Straybird; and if they ran into Darius monsters or Haniwas along the way, thatd be it.
With that said, Ichitakas happy to be working with Alice and hopes shes keep helping hes nowhere good enough to fly this thing without her as his subpilot. Shes rather startled by his suggestion: No, no, no, no! Im just a basic helper model! I havent any of the knowledge or thought processes required for combat!
Sure but didnt he show her to what to do to HELP him pilot? She just needs to keep that in mind. Alice isnt sure she can pull that off but, if he insists, shell give it a try.
As for the Dancouga, theyve another mission waiting so they gotta bolt. Aoi hopes the kidsll have grown stronger the next time we meet. Ichitakas a bit sad that he couldnt thank them or shake their hands but Yamashitas sure theyll run into each other again.
Before that, though, theyre off to JUDA.
And here are all the convos we didnt get. Most are with Kouichi since I didnt waste time and resources going after him:
: Stop, Kouichi! Whatre you even doing inside that Arma?!
: I dunno who you think you are but youre light years away from being able to tangle with this Super Robot of Justice!
: Im a Champion of Justice and Ill protect peace in this town!
: Its me! Ichitaka!
: Yeah, right! Youre gonna have to think of a better lie than that, dude!
: Crap, hes not leaving me any choice here!
: Youre going a bit too crazy here, pal!
: You wanna take me on? Then the Dancouga really isnt a robot of JUSTICE!
: Welp, so much for that heroic streak weve been having
: Im kind of bummed out now
: Save that for later, Kurara! Were busy!
: That total rookie went and got a whole lot stronger like it aint no thing!
: I tell ya, Factors are a royal pain-in-the-ass!
: Damn straight, I got stronger this heres the power of justice! Take a look!
: Im not that guy who could only cry! Im not worthless anymore!
: From this glorious day onwards, Im a CHAMPION OF JUSTICE! And Im not letting anyone get the better of me not today, not ever!
: Kouichi Hayase! Quit wasting our time and do as we ask!
: Zip it! You think Im gonna listen to anyone who calls people stupid?!
: I called you stupid because youre being stupid as hell, stupid!
: Alright, that does it! Youre going down!
: Stop attacking, Kouichi, and come with us to JUDA!
: Dont tell me what to do! I wont go easy on you just cause youre a girl, you hear?!
By JUDA, Ichitakas just told Ishigami about the Rushbird and Alice (shes not a robot but its simpler to just leave it at that). And Ishigami confirms that, like Ichitaka said, JUDA is known as a medical equipment company but thats just a front in truth, they can actually be dubbed a group of champions of justice. Really.
Well, Ichitaka thinks Ishigamis trustworthy enough to tell the story of what happened. Fast forward a nondescript time later and hes done; despite Yuu telling him to keep off, Ichitakas still determined to go and save Grife.
Ishigamis a bit amazed that the mysterious assailants managed to hit the lab right under JUDAs nose. Alices got a bunch of pictures of the guys stored in her memory banks and, with Ishigamis permission, finds a terminal and starts uploading them. Shes quite handy but, then again, its her purpose to make everyones life easier.
As the finishes, Yui runs a check and comes up empty whatever group those guys work for, JUDA has nothing on them. Ishigami ponders that they might be connected to the Katou Organization and Yui explains to Ichitaka that theyre one of the foes JUDA fights against.
In that case, Ichitaka asks if he and Alice could join JUDA. If they go on waltzing about in the Rushbird, folks might mistake them for criminals and try to arrest them; and he cant ditch the bot as, then, hed have no way of pursuing the professor and Yuu.
Alice asks the same but, unfortunately, Ishigami says no. Whatre they supposed to do, then? Well, heres a thought: do they feel like being CHAMPIONS OF JUSTICE?! See, Ishigami cant get them into JUDA but theres this new team, LOTUS, thatll be put together soon.
Join that and Ichitaka and Alicell be covered in all their basic, maintenance and intel gathering necessities. Plus, JUDA will also be helping those guys. Something about this gives Ichitaka a bad feeling but its not like theyve got any choice.
Both him and Alice agree to it not problems at all! A call comes in right then, Yui IDing it as Lady Une from the Preventers. Ishigami has her put through, telling Ichitaka that hes free to listen in.
Unes glad to see Ishigami well, and hes always happy to see her ever beautiful face (Yui tells him to stop before he gets a harassment suit). Unes in a hurry, so she ignores him and goes straight to the point: shes heard JUDA failed to secure the Linebarrel.
Unfortunately, yes; and things were going swimmingly until the Katou Organization messed everything up. The Preventers have also gotten intel on the Rushbird and the unknown attackers but, unfortunately, they werent quick enough on the take to track their escape. Sounds like some mighty folks, indeed, to evade both them and JUDA.
As for the Linebarrel, Ishigami says theyre having folks keep an eye out for the Factor (the pilot) but JUDAs rather understaffed. Much as it shames him to ask, could Une send some Preventer agents to help? Sure, especially since Quatre and Sally are relatively close shell set things up quick.
Ishigamis very thankful that shes lending one of their Gundam pilots but she doesnt see why not, since theyll all be working on the same team soon. She means LOTUS, yes, an elite squadron answering directly to the UN secretariat the UN itself has just given the green light for its creation.
There are so many groups out there who were forced to act by their lonesome and, with LOTUS, theyll now be capable of consolidating those into an united, independent fighting force. Ishigami promises that while JUDAs forces arent too vast, theyll all work their hardest to assist. And, with that, Une excuses herself.
Well, looks like the elite teams ready to get to work and Ishigami is hyped JUDAll answer this call-to-arms in defense of world peace with their absolute best! Miu and Yamashita are ready to go, too, eager to give Reiji the news as he was looking forward to the start of LOTUS.
Ishigami, all giddy, quickly turns to Ichitaka and congratulates him on his perfect timing with cozying up with JUDA: You, too, are now a CHAMPION OF JUSTICE a defender of the world!
Thats cool, sure, but what will that actually entail? Simply put: fight anything thats a threat to peace and mankind. That means evil terrorist groups like the Katou Organization and assorted baddies like the Haniwa Phantoms and monsters from the Darius Army.
Alice and Ichitaka find this a bit odd: weve always had folks around to fight those enemies and theyve never shunned from cooperating with each other (like in the War of the Giants). Whyd they feel the need to bring them all into a single group now?
Blame politics for that as, from what Ishigami heard, some of those righteous bots ran the risk of falling into the hands of some rather evil politicians if left unchecked. So Une, from her position inside the UN, worked to create the new group as a way to keep those bots free and safe.
Ichitaka understands now and is happy to be aboard, working with Ishigamis team to help the world. In return, he just asks for help in searching for Grife.
Cut to Shangri-La, the commanders room, and Sawatari wants to know why Katou had them back off like that. Katou asks him to calm down and as to why he did it Youre gonna tell me to imagine it, arent ya? Fine, fine. Ill understand eventually, is what youre getting at, Sawatari groans.
In exchange for all this, though, he wants permission to deploy the next time they go after the Linebarrel. Dmitri makes the same request and, in that case, Katou tells them to bring Wufei along for the ride.
Katou asks Masaki if theyve the troops available for another attack and the guy says it should be fine, considering they couldnt get a bead on the Daiku Maryu or the Gaiking.
Sawatari isnt too keen on working with forehead again and Dmitri somewhat agrees. All of them have sworn loyalty to Katou and his ideals, but they dont think Wufeis on the same page as them. Plus, the guy joined way too suddenly.
Katou, however is certain that Wufeis the same as them and wont turn. If he says so
Speaking of, hes now wandering Shangri-La deep in thought: The endless waltz must we all dance this dance of lies?
Some time later, Quatres already made it to Japan and informs Sally that hes investigating the Linebarrels crash site. Mind, hes feeling a bit uneasy for this new assignment: how is he supposed to pass as a middle schooler?
Sally figures his boyish good looks will work well enough, though hes sure Heero or Duo wouldve been the better picks theyre old hands at this sort of thing. Too late for that now, though, so Sally sends him a picture of his target: the Linebarrels Factor.
Kouichi strikes him as quite the commonplace teenager but, regardless, his orders are to look into him, check whether or not hes the makings of a proper Factor and how hes reacting after his run-in with the Linebarrel.
And if he needs help with anything, Sally wants him to call JUDAs Ishigami right away. Theyll need the Linebarrels power in LOTUS, so this must succeed. Quatres hoping things with Kouichi can go without any unpleasantries and why is there some smooshed curry break lying around here?
: You are already dead.
: What ?
: Im sorry. The Linebarrel and I we landed on you.
: Wait, hold on there! But Im alive! Im breathing just fine, my hearts beating and
: Thats because the Linebarrels D-S.O.I.L. restored you
: The Linebarrel ? That Arma restored me?
: Its not an Arma. The Linebarrels a Machina.
: A Machina? OK, so its different from an Arma. And you say it restored me?
: I asked the Linebarrel to save you and, so, you were reborn as Factor, sharing your life with it.
: So, the reason why I could control it and those superpowers I got
: Yes. While you stay with the Linebarrel, youll have inhuman strength and any wounds you take will heal pretty much instantly
: You now function as the Factor, the element needed to engage the Linebarrel.
: Inhuman strength, eh ? Hey, that sounds good to me if it got me stronger!