Part 27: Mission 9 (Retreat Route) - Operation Carnival - Part 1
Back again, and things are still tied up. The enemies seem to like going after Ozma just as much as the Voltes and Combattler.
The Daiku Maryu crew comes preupgraded at 2 bars, so I spend some of the cash mainly to get Daiya up to speed, along with some buffs to Voltes.
As for squads, I just made a few changes to accommodate the new folks:
Alto and Michel are going out as event units.
Lets get to it.
: Hah, youre not going anywhere today!
: You guysve been raining on our parade ever since we got back to Earth, but thats coming to an end!
: Take care of them, Sting, Auel, Stella. And remember that we cant afford any more failures.
: OK Ill do my best.
: Our paths completely cut off!
: Weve 4 MSs available, including Athruns we cant win against them all.
: What do we do, then, captain?
: Well disperse them with the Tannhäuser thats the only way were breaking through their lines.
: Copy that! Tannhäuser, standby!
: We need to bring down the Minerva this time any more failures and itll only worsen Orbs standing with the Alliance. There'll be no more chances if we dont turn this around here and now!
: The ships defenses are thinner towards their portside, so engage them from there!
*Orbs Murasames blast forward.*
: Oh ? I suppose we might as well go and back them up with that, then. Auel, Sting, you and your two squads harass the Minerva from starboard; Stella, you take portside!
: Aye, aye, Neo!
*Off they go.*
: Were being outflanked!
: Captain, the ship has no room to even alter its course!
: Urk, theyre too numerous for us to manage!
: Shinn, the two of usll open up a path for them. Rey, Luna, cover us!
: Y-Yes, sir!
: Beam blasts?!
: Huh? Whered those come from?!
: Thats the Freedom! Kira?!
: What happened?! Status report! Now!
: Yes, sir! Several presumed warning shots rained throughout the battlefield Then, right after, the Freedom and
: Wait, what did you just say?!
: This is Cagalli Yula Athha, Representative of the United Emirates of Orb! All Orb troops are to cease hostilities and retreat immediately!
: For real?!
: Exigent circumstances demanded that I, the daughter of Uzumi Nara Athha, depart my homeland, but that changes not the fact that I still am Orbs Representative!
: And I command you with the full authority of that title! This battle does not align with our nations principles, so any and all troops are to cease fire and retreat!
: Urgh !
: (The Archangel, the Freedom and Orbs princess. I dont know if shes really who she claims to be, but I wonder what hell do )
: U-Um thats, err
: (Not looking good there but even I didnt see this coming. Ive to do something to turn this around or well be done.)
: Do you not hear me, soldiers of Orb? Do you not understand what Im saying?!
: The Archangel theyre helping us?
: Captain, weve unknown bogeys coming in fast many of them!
: Those units ! Everyone watch out!
: Even more uninvited guests ! All troops, change of plans! Well make a temporary retreat and reorganize!
: Dont need to, Neo! Those things arent moving anywhere on the same level as a Mobile Doll we can handle them!
: Yeah, them Valkyries we saw in space flew way better.
*The kids move in.*
: Stop, you two! Thats a feint!
*Two of the unknowns blast forward!*
: Sting, Auel, watch out!
: Sting, retreat! Do it or youll end just like him!
: They got Auel ?! What about Stella?! She alright?!
: No signs of an explosion, but shes not responding! Well just have to believe in her now!
: Damn it all !
: Yuna Seiran, what are you doing?! Recall your troops or theyll die for nothing!
: A-Ah Retreat! Retreat!
: Wh-What the hell are those ?!
: Do you know anything, Kira?!
: Not much All Im sure of is that theyre up to something and thats sending our world down the wrong path.
: What ?
: And I !
Kira: I wont ignore those whod twist our world !
: Thats the Freedom ! What kind of persons piloting it ?
: Regardless, weve at least managed to avoid the worst case scenario. What happens next depends on the Archangel, though.
: To the ZAFT battleship Minerva: we dont wish to fight you. My weapons are down and Im headed your way.
*Cagalli (in her Strike Rouge) moves up to the ZAFT group.*
: As Orbs Representative, Id like to beg your forgiveness for our unannounced volley and the confusion we brought to your battlefield.
: Psh, still got that silver tongue at the ready, huh? And werent you supposed to be kidna
: C-Captain, another hostiles just popped on radar!
: Huh? Thats not an MS or an Arma !
: Based on the readings Im getting, I think its with those unknown units.
: Now this is a nice surprise to find during our tests. Everyone whod displayed potential during the Great War, all together in one place.
: How is the prototype doing? Can it manage some combat?
: Currently operating at 80% capacity. The question is whether the throughput can keep up with them
: Well Im a bit queasy over having it face the Freedom, but just avoid doing that and itll be fine. In terms of potential, hmm... Have it focus fire on the ZAFT unit and the Strike, I guess.
*The unit blasts forward.*
: That things fast!
: Rey, Lunamaria, the Unknowns headed for the Impulse! Support Shinn!
*Moves right past Kira, towards them.*
: ! Its gonna get both Shinn and Rep. Athha like that!
: Im not going down here! I I made a promise to Stella that Id see her again!
: Aaah, magnificent! Behold, potential! But, unfortunately, those actions had already been inputted. Engage!
: What?! I cant shake him!
: That units movements Athrun!
: I know! Ill cover Cagalli!
: Urgh ?!
: Hrm ! ZAFT pilot, are you OK?!
: The Freedom Why did you ? W-Wait, forget me that guys more important! He shot down Athrun!
: Oh, very nice! His handling changed from how it was a few moments ago! Thats certainly the potential thatd pave the way to the future!
: Excellency, were past the thresholds. Neither the AI nor the unit can withstand much more.
: Just when things were starting to pick up... I suppose about now is when I should go and ask Prof. Grife for his help.
: Cagalli, were exposed here. Bring Kira back and well leave these waters right away.
: Good luck on your voyage, Cpt. Gladys.
: Huh ?
: No signs of hostiles in the surrounding areas, captain!
: Have Rey recover Athrun while the Impulse searches for the downed Gaia. Well leave here as soon as thats done.
Over by the Minervas sick bay, Shinns explaining to Talia how the Gaias pilot is the girl he met elsewhere. He doesnt know much about her, but could see from the get-go how much shed suffered because of war.
Still, as the Gaias pilot, shes an Extended of the Federation: even cursory scans showed various issues with her body. Despite all that, Shinn made a promise back then: that Id keep her safe. Arthur gets in touch to relate that were drawing very close to Diokia and Talia tells him to handle our approach.
Once we reach port, the girlll have to be taken off the Minerva one, they cant keep her aboard as a captive indefinitely, and, two, the ship isnt equipped to care for someone like her. On that note, Stella wakes up and is rather confused. Shinn, however, is very relieved: Youre alright, Stella! Dont worry Im right here! You remember me, right? Shinn?
Maybe not, as the girl flips out: I dont I dont know you! Neo! NEOOO!!
Talia explains to him that, according to intel received, the Extended are biological CPUs raised by Blue Cosmos thus, its very likely shes been on the receiving end of various mental adjustments, including to her memories. She cant remember him.
This is precisely what she was talking about and says that, when Stella disembarks at Diokia, theyll try and find a way to help her. Shinn slowly confirms.
Back to the Quarter, Lady Unes briefing us on Operation Carnival: well be headed towards Diokia, where well take part in the PLANTs show for peace. In summary, well be joining the PLANTs to appeal against hostilities between humans. It also helps that the Daiku Maryus quite well-liked by the general public, so our voice should carry far.
But what, exactly, are we supposed to do in this carnival? Maybe bike stunts, Hyouma ponders? Chizuru not too sure about this as she doesnt really know any tricks to entertain folks. Thankfully, it wont be that sort of stuff: well be making a show with our own bots. Ichitaka didnt expect that, but Kouji says it wouldnt be unheard of as Japan even has the regular aerial acrobatics and mock battles by the SDF.
Mind, while Diokia is currently occupied by ZAFT, this event will not involve the military in the slightest as a way to not antagonize the Earth Alliance. With orders for us to get ready to depart soon, Une cuts off.
Heines a bit at loss for words over LOTUS recent activities: first a movie shoot and, now, well take part in a carnival? He doesnt think less of us because of it, of course, but this isnt exactly what he expected wed be using our cutting-edge ships and units for.
Daiya is all for the idea of putting up a show for the entire world and he figures our folksll like it too. Alice agrees: our mission is to put a smile on everyones faces. Its with that mindset that we fight? Heine doesnt quite know what to think
Well, Sheryl figures shes keeping her end of the bargain as Altoll have his chance to fly around for fun. Yes, itll be part of a show and kind of a mission but Altos given up trying to complain. More importantly, why does he have to work with her again? Does he have a problem with that? Plenty! For one, Alto doesnt like having to carry her up the stage with his Valkyrie!
Still, Grace said itd maximize the impact of her entrance, so theyre going with it. So Sheryl hops inside the Valkyries cockpit no, she doesnt ask for permission and finds it actually more spacious than she expected. Before Alto has a chance to yell, she spots her earring hanging within. W-Well, isnt the thing supposed to be a good luck charm? He figured he needed to strap it somewhere.
Sheryl says no, though: he needs to carry it on his person the whole time or it wont work. Her objections interrupted when a hacking cough starts she says she just got a bit choked up and itll pass.
Its then that Luca comes in, looking for Michel they cant find him. Alto figures the womanizers out trying to score with some of LOTUS women, but Luca doesnt seem so certain. Klans also around and seems to have an idea.
Cut to Diokia,
Athrun asks if she thinks hes depressed that the Saviours wrecked while he isnt HAPPY with it, hes not going to agonize over it. Indeed, Athrun figures he did what he had to do as Orb losing Cagalli would only make things worse over there. Luna tells him not to speak like that, as it strikes her as very reckless problem is, Athrun says, an inept man like him cant speak or fight in any other way.
And speaking of reckless, hows Shinn doing? Athrun figures he must be going through a tough bit with seeing Cagalli again and what happened with Stella, but Luna says hes got Rey there with him. She figures she shouldnt intrude.
The convos interrupted when Meyrin comes with some big news: Durandals coming here! Athrun inwardly thinks that this is too sudden to be related to the Saviours destruction he must have something to do planetside.
And Talia very much didnt expect him to turn up, though this wouldnt be the first time he surprised her. Durandal first salutes Rey, whos so very happy when Gil praises his good work. As for Athrun, hes heard of the difficulties hes faced after making it back to the Minerva; hes also been briefed of what happened in the previous battle, including that mysterious organization that seems hostile to the Alliance, Orb and PLANTs.
Athrun does apologize for failing to live up to Durandals expectations even losing the brand new prototype but the guys just happy everyones in one piece. Moreover, he thinks Athrun did the right thing. Finally, Durandals also heard much of the very nervous Shinn and Lunamaria and invites the crew to come have a meal with him.
Amidst the food, Durandals rather interested in Shinns opinion that this wars to blame on some selfish groups like the Blue Cosmos he wont say it with absolute certainty, but he thinks their presence makes it impossible to NOT have conflict.
Durandal concedes his point that there are people around whore simply unwilling to tolerate the existence of certain things but what if he told him that there are folks, behind the scenes, manipulating and profiting off this conflict? Without war, theres no need for weapons and, thus, thered be no profits. Thus, in the eyes of those people, wouldnt it be in their best interest to have war?
Indeed, throughout our history, there have been those whove cried for bloody murder, for intolerance, for vengeance, who see war as merely another industry, and whove moved to expand it accordingly. All for their personal gain.
Theyre called Logos and Durandal is sure that their hand is behind this conflict theyre the Blue Cosmos parent organization and while they remain in power, war will continue between the Earth and PLANTs. Durandal has long sought to do something about them, but it is certainly no easy task. He knows that even Lady Une, a former OZ operative, has been having difficulties as she tries moving against them at the UN.
Athrun asks Durandal what he thinks of the Archangels activities, but he turns the question back at us. Hed especially like to hear Athruns own opinion, seeing how he fought alongside that ship in the last war.
Well Athrun doesnt think theyre enemies hell, Kira even saved Shinn in that battle. The problem is that things have been happening at such a breakneck pace that they havent had a chance to stop and talk to each other about whats going on.
Durandal understands and, if anything, is more concerned about those mysterious enemies that started showing up around the Earth Sphere. If the Archangels pursuing those, thats good, but there are still plenty of things that we cant really decide one way or another without talking to them. This subject doesnt pertain only to Athrun, so Durandal would like to ask that, if we manage to get in touch with the Archangel, that we let him know.
That being said, he invited them here because he wanted to speak with us. Lunas still a bit nervous but she has something shed like to ask. Durandals more than willing to answer, but begs that she relax the nights still young, after all.
By Diokias storage area, the mooks have just found a rather big piece of cargo that wasnt in their registries. A soldier reports hearing that its equipment for the upcoming show apparently Sheryls crewll come pick it up later and wanted to store it here til the evening.
The officer in charge sees no problems with it, but is a bit miffed that they decided to spring this in the eleventh hour. Still, theyll have to put up with it.
As they leave, Brera confirms to G that everythings in place and ready to go. The larvas also in position within the expected area of effect. With that, G asks him to come back and is very much looking forward to Operation Carnival what an amusing coincidence that our op had the same name as their plan.
Sheryls already arrived and is being shown around the stage she didnt expect something so grand for a so-called carnival but it goes to show how big Lacus is in this world. Maybe less so recently, though, as Sheryl heard that the public interest for this has been a bit akin to expectations.
Shes still coughing, but chalks it up to a bit of weariness over the recent workload and she gets halfway through giving some instructions before fainting right then and there! Grace scrambles to her rescue, but, inwardly, her reactions a bit different: Everythings going according to plan.
And, over by the Quarter, Elmo rushes in calling for Ranka: Sheryls fallen ill and Graces called, asking for Ranka to replace her.
The girls a bit taken aback by the idea, wondering if she could handle something as big as that. But she remembers what Alto said before and quickly jettisons those doubts out her head shes going for it!
Talia and Jeffrey are seeing each other for the first time since Junius Seven the whims of fate are surprising, indeed, for them to be here at the same time and shes also honored to speak with the captain of the Daiku Maryu.
They heard Durandal wanted to talk with them and, Talia thinks, hes backstage right now.
Indeed, hes just finished talking with Meer, who promises to sing her heart out as Lacus stand-in. As he wishes good luck and takes off, Meers still impressed with beloved Lacus is by everyone, and while shes a bit embarrassed to be impersonating her, her desire to lift up everyones spirits is very real. So shell try her best to, like Lacus, touch the peoples hearts with her song and bring a speedy end to all this violence.
Bobby and Ranka come in right then to get some quick makeup done, and the girls blown away to see Lacus. Shell be singing soon, too, so Meer gives her the room while she goes and prepares.
Bobby could hear the nervousness in her voice, and Ranka figures even big stars like Lacus can get a bit antsy face a big stage like this. Hes not so sure about that
Cut to the infirmary, Altos grumbling at Sheryl not taking care of her own health how unprofessional and she cant well disagree. She does apologize for pulling the plug on his air show with this but Alto tells her just to rest. Theyre expecting some ruffled feathers, but Rankall cover for her.
Grace explains that shes agreed to represent the Frontier in her stead, so Sheryl tells Alto to get out there and cheer for her. This is Rankas debut show!
Back to the dressing area, Altos doing just that hell be watching among the crowd. He tells that Sheryl isnt doing too good, but she still took the time to insist he be here for her.
And Rankas very grateful: its only thanks to you that I decided to step onto that stage. And Ill sing with all my heart I want this huge crowd to listen to my song! Thats the way and Alto tells her to leave it all out there.
As the call ends, its almost go-time. She hasnt had time to rehearse, but Bobby knows shell knock it out of the park. The big stage awaits.
Out there, the Voltes, Combattler and Gaiking teams are running the show with their yoyos, spinning tops and rolling dinosaur ships. The crowd seems to be really digging it, and Ichitakas a bit sullen that he didnt have any cool tricks to show with the Rushbird.
Zechs tells him not to sweat it as hes not alone on that subject only those guys had experience with this sort of stuff. Ichitaka wishes he and Kouichi could be up there on stage, making people happy as a team.
Zechs and Noin have heard of Kouichi and that he recently got picked up by JUDA (after an accident). The prospect of seeing his buddy agains lifted Ichitakas spirit in a hurry, though Noin tells him to relax and enjoy the present. Seems like itll be Ranka and Lacus turn up stage next.
Luca brings the ZAFT crew over and Shinn quickly recognizes Ichitaka as the guy who tried to help him and Athrun at Junius Seven. Mind, his greeting comes with that traditional Shinn-esque attitude, which earns him some scolding from Luna he might be worried about Stella but thats no reason to be disrespectful. He says hes not being disrespectful its the whole respectfulness thing that doesnt click with him.
Either way, after a quick introduction, Shinn explains that Yamashita and Goh told him of what Ichitaka wanted to do back then, and they figured theyd meet him in person once Luca said he was around. The two of them would also like to thank LOTUS for the assist at Junius Seven, but Ichitaka figures theyd be better off thanking Zechs or Noin hes too shy to handle that.
Regardless, Shinns thankful that Ichitaka and LOTUS cared to help them. Ichitaka gets all flustered, and Luca suggests they all watch the show together. Its starting, so they better cheer Ranka good!
Meer gets on stage, greeting all the peace-loving people gathered here (Athruns still a bit sour with her impersonating Lacus). Following some words of thanks to LOTUS for the show, she gets ready to sing and the alarms go off! The base is under attack right now, yes!
Zechs scrambles everyone back to the ships, Shinn and co. also moving to deploy.
Mission 9 (Retreat Route) Operation Carnival
Surprise, its the Alliance. They got wind of Durandal being here and are moving in for the kill anything tries leaving the base, it gets shot. Orb troops are also around, very dejected, Yuna telling them not to worry about stuff like collateral damage. Getting rid of Durandals their one-stop ticked to world peace!
Trowa is still with them, pondering how its Logos controlling the Alliance from the shadows. These roots dig deeper than he expected, but it is not his mission to expose them.
Our folks deploy and Talia says Durandals getting everyone in the base into the shelters well need to hold the line until thats finished and stop any Alliance soldier from getting too close. As Jeffrey tags the area, Alto sees that Rankas still around the stage. Get to the shelter already Hurry! he thinks.
As Heine sees that the Minervas running short on troops and ponders how much theyll be able to help here, Ichitaka notices that Michel isnt around. Alice says he wasnt feeling too good, so hes being kept in reserve. Guess itll be up to us to handle this.
Kill everything without losing any ship, Alto or letting an enemy into the Diokia Base. Not too difficult provided you know whats coming: youll want to send a handful of units down center, angling a bit to the left, while your more hardhitting folks head towards the Alliance.
Orbs Murasames are a priority as they can fly and move quickly, meaning it wont take long for them to close that distance. Their AI seems to prioritize moving, too. Form a solid wall and work your way out, focus-firing on the more distant Zamza-Zahs and Gells-Ghes due to their barriers (note that the former still have a MAPW, as does Trowa).
So everyone just goes forward.
Same for the Murasames, Windams and Daggers.
: No pushing! Please line up one-by-one! Everythings all right!
: Shelters #4 and #5 are already full?! Then theres only one left for all these people !
: Prioritize the civilians safety! Use any available facilities, even those for officials and VIPs!
: M-Ms. Lacus wouldnt take shelter at a time like this What should I do, then ?
: Wh-Whats going on, Lacus?!
: Ranka! Didnt you hear evacuation alarm?!
: I did, but how could I just leave everyone behind?!
: Dont panic! LOTUS will keep this area safe, so please remain calm!
: (This isnt good At this rate well have a frenzy on our hands !)
: I What I can do is
: Ill sing to them!
: I know theres so much you can do, but Im just a singer myself. And even if Im a newbie, Ill be professional about it! All that I can do is sing to try and calm them down!
: (If Altos out there fighting, then Ill fight too !)
: Hold me to the edge of the galaxy!
: Hrm? Whos singing ?!
: Suimen ga yuragu ♪
: This voice Ranka?!
: Ranka, you
: What? The attacks ceased ?
: (All those panicking people theyre just listening to her now )
: Whats going on?! Why do I hear music?!
: (Thats space-time is trembling?)
: A Vajra?!
: Y-Yes, sir! Were pinging an uncommon De-Fold signal!
: Its !
: (Magnificent The boundaries between parallel worlds are nigh-meaningless to the Vajra )
: (The plan was just for Q1s voice to stimulate the larva, but this is far better than what we expected.)
: Do I secure the girl?
: (Theres been no change to the plan: securing Ranka Lee is a secondary priority. Disregard this command in case the primary objective cant be carried out.)
: But shes
: (Weve only seen one emerge thus far, so shes no more than the subject of a hypothesis. She is not a priority. Thatll be all.)
: Copy that.
: (Still, that girl If Q1s voice can, in fact, make space-time tremble and influence the Vajra )
: Damn those bugs we thought wed taken out all the one who followed us into this world, but I guess there some left?
: Skull Leader to all units: save the questions for later! Were lucky its only one of them so take out that Vajra right the hell now!
Well, weve got Ranka singing over the entire battleground now. Sadly, J-pop is not J-rock and, as such, we get no morale boost. Oh, well.
After Tetsuya and Jun cut these Murasames down to size, Rey and Luna move in.
: Gils in there, leading the civilians Ill protect this base with my life!
: If what the Chairman said is true and this war was caused by those Logos guys then theyll find that no one heres gonna keep on dancing to their tunes!
There they go.
We cant reach the Vajra just yet, but we can handle this wing of attackers.
Noin missed her target, mind
But thats fine. Ozma takes the leader, spreading the command aura, and Shinn moves in for the other kill.
: Both Stella and the Chairman are at Diokia! Im not letting you do anything with the place!
There it goes.
This group here falls to Heine/Klan and Voltes/Canaria.
The Alliances NE wing is starting to draw dangerously close, but they also choose to attack Lulu. She deprives the leaders of 3 groups of most of their HP.
Couple decide its a good idea to attack Hyouma.
Its not. The Dagger gets oneshotted, the Windam barely hangs on.
Trowa and the beefier are mooks are moving in, but are out of range (same for the lone Vajra).
Grace watches as the resonance is on the verge of reaching its apex and orders the Dimension Eater to be detonated. Meanwhile Breras to escape and await orders. With things going so incredibly well, all that remains is to tear down the fabric of space-time and let the larvas cry echo throughout their world (that is, the Macross) and to its brethren.
With the Fold Waves as a beacon, the Vajra will be led to this world en masse, and she takes even a link with the Queen to be possible. Within Diokia, Durandal confirms all civilians evacuated and is about to call Ranka and Lacus to come with when the Dimension Eater goes off in a purple explosion.
Our people have no idea what just happened, but Luca pings a small Fold rift being opened by the citys storage area. And it is quickly followed by a bunch of other Fold signals emerging nearby Monica tags them as being the same as the Fold made by that lone Vajra.
A bunch of the buggers warp in, including a few Knights, and Hyouma isnt amused by enemies capable of turning up in the blink of an eye. Things just went south in a big way, Dick sees, and even more so when a Vajra flies into Diokia.
It makes a beeline for Ranka and takes her back to one of the Knights, which quickly leaves the area.
Altos on the verge charging head-first towards the things (ignoring Ozmas warnings) when Brera shows up and blocks him: You dont deserve her, he says and flies off. Alto recognizes his Valkyrie as the one from when the Vajra captured Luca and blasts away in pursuit to try and get Ranka back.
Ozma isnt happy with anything that just happened, but also remembers Breras ship from Altos previous report. Lulu wants to have the Daiku Maryu follow but Michel finally gets in touch and says hell do it the red Valkyries pretty good and, plus, he was kept in reserve for emergencies like this, right?
Lulu allows it, so off goes Michel. Juzo can easily tell that somethings off with the guy, but Ippei says we can only count on him meanwhile, what we can do is end this battle in a hurry. That means keeping Diokia safe while also wrecking the new Vajra.
Jeffrey, meanwhile, tells Monica to try running a trace on the escaped Knight Vajra and to make sure we dont lose Alto or Michels signals.