Part 29: Mission 10 (Retreat Route) - At the Tip of the Muzzle
Alright, time to close off the Retreat Route. Still a tight race between our top aces, but it wont really matter as Ill be keeping the other path (better cash, drops, secrets, etc).
Well be having a water-centric mission next, so youll want to make sure as many of your guys as possible can be airborne or move properly on water:
I had Puria tag in with Ichitaka due to her allowing the partner to fly, and while I wouldve given Kouji the Crab Bunker for the underwater movement, I found that Id rather have Daiya serve as my underwater hunter. The Gaiking moves farther, has better range, and hits harder overall than the Mazinger.
Alto and Michel are deploys as event units.
Lets get going.
We open up with Luca managing to hook Ichitaka up with a call to JUDA, where he, Rachel and Maki have the same convo as before related to the GreAT Corporation and Grifes cancelled research. Lucas personally interested in why the professor cancelled the project if the supplied material wasnt faulty itd be good knowledge, what with his work at L.A.I. Of course, our folks dont know the answer.
Moreover, they also relay information about Yajimas untimely death. Ichitaka would really like to speak with Kouichi about that, but were already gearing up for our offensive against the Vajra, so theres no time. Hell talk with him once hes back at JUDA.
Once the call ends, Ichitaka tells of how Yajima helped him get over his depression after his parents died. Hearing that the guys dead doesnt even feel real they were together at school not too long ago. Inwardly, Luca wonders what hed do if Nanase, Alto or Michel died which is why he needs to do everything in his power to make sure that doesnt happen.
Altos ran through some exams by the Quarters infirmary and Canaria expects him to be 100% in ten days he didnt get hurt much in the previous mission (and subsequent fight with Michel). Sheryl left in a hurry before he came over; maybe she didnt want him to see her in that weakened state.
Canaria also figures Alto has some grievances to vent about Michel, though the guy figures this isnt the place for it. Alice suggests hell feel better getting it all off his chest rather than bottling things up its just the three of them in here and Canaria figures everyones entitled to grumble once in a while.
Alto sniffs that hes not grumbling: hes angry at Michel for being such a screw-up. The guys entire thing is hanging back and blasting stuff and he cant even be relied on to pull that off?! If all he wants is to make some cash and flirt with women, the he oughta be elsewhere. Why the hell is someone like him working with the SMS?
Canaria says everyone has a reason to being here, and both she and Alice figure that its same with Alto; the girl heard how he volunteered to join the SMS, even. Inwardly, he ponders how he didnt like being an actor, how he wanted to defend the Frontier and fly across the sky but, still, hes not here because he enjoys fighting or to escape from his family.
Klan, then, enters the room with Juzo and Ippei in tow, and they can see by his frown that hes thinking about Michel. And how could he not, when the guy almost got him killed? Thats understandable, indeed, but Ippei asks him to first listen what Klan has to say.
Is she going to tell him about that, Canaria wonders, and Klan asks Alto if he cares for Michel. Does he hate his guts, want him to drop dead, Juzo also asks. Of course not, damn it. Then Klan wants him to listen up.
Michel lost his parents at an early age, so he was mostly raised by his older sister, Jessica they were very close. Alto figures Klan would know, having been friends with the guy since they were kids. Indeed, and she remembers that Jessica was a great sniper however, during one mission, she wound up shooting a friendly. Worst, he was her superior officer and lover.
Worse STILL, hed broken up with her right before said incident, which raised a lot of questions with the army regarding intent. Jessica was court-martialed and, ultimately, killed herself. Ippei and Juzo only now found out that about this, too, though Ippei knew there was something.
So Michel took on her mantle as a sniper and Klan figures hes still looking for the truth behind that friendly fire incident.
Later on, were just about ready to start our operation and Jeffreys giving us the rundown: our two objectives here are to destroy the Vajra flock and rescue Ranka. Alto will be leading the charge to bust inside the Knight Vajra the girls inside, Michel backing him up.
Durandal and Meer, by the Daiku Maryu, wish us the best of luck and to make sure we all make it through this alive. Kenichis sure that the two pilots will bring Ranka back, though Michel has a question for him: if both Ranka and Earth hung in the balance, youd pick Earth, wouldnt you?
Whered that come from? Well, Michels heard that, in the past, when the Boazanians took his father hostage, he and the rest of the Voltes team were willing to let him die in order to protect Earth. Kenichi says they were backed against a wall there, which is why they had to make such a horrible choice.
But youll have all of us right there with you. So you and Alto think only of saving Ranka, and let us handle everything else, he says. Right because were a team friends, even, Megumi adds. Michels still looking a bit uneasy, though.
Ichitaka can see that he still hasnt patched things up with Alto, and Alice confirms to Luca that the guys been told what happened. Ichitaka doesnt know whats up and Alice tells him to get Michels permission first. She wont gossip about private matters! Well, hes not about to pry but its tough to see the two guys like that.
Dick, however, thinks things are going to get very amusing. Daiya and Puria dont appreciate that, especially considering how he attacked them way back when, but he says thats not what he was getting at hes not getting a kick out of our issues. Regardless, Dick worrying wont amount to anything.
Zechs asks if Ozmas got no issue with this set-up and, indeed, he understands that having an unstable sniper and an attacker that doesnt trust the guy watching his back wouldnt really fly. That said, it seems to him that said attacker had a bit of a change of heart. Did Zechs not notice the glimmer in Altos eyes, Noin wonders.
Apparently not, and Zechs sees he isnt leader material.
Somewhere hidden, Gs in a call with Mishima whos not too happy that theyve openly used a Dimension Eater something L.A.I. was developing on Earths surface and, if that wasnt enough, in close proximity to one of the PLANTs bases. Still, the bugs network is now up and running, and surely Mishima understands the significance of that.
He does, though he wanted more time. Thanks to their shenanigans, Prof. Kentarou has started questioning if someones leaking their technology. G argues that they only had a limited window of opportunity when Rankas Fold Waves reached the necessary level and the boundaries could be brought down. Mind you, that whole battle wasnt part of the plan.
Furthermore, G says theyll soon begin preparations to bring the Galaxy over, so he wont need to worry about anything when it happens. Isnt it best to speed things along, presidential hopeful Leon Mishima?
Fine, Mishima says theyll proceed to the next step of the plan as soon as Rankas back at the Frontier. They ARE interested in seeing to her safe return, right? Yes, though Gs group still isnt sure how important the girl is he figures theyll confirm if she is or isnt the Little Queen with this next battle.
Well, Mishimas had his eye on her the survivor for some time, and would rather not waste the effort. Theyll try not to disappoint him.
As the call ends, G gets in touch with Brera, who says hell be arriving at the target area soon. Then hes to carry out his initial mission accordingly. In the meantime, Gll get ready to return to the Frontier.
Regardless of what happens, the plan should proceed apace.
Mission 10 (Retreat Route) At the Tip of the Muzzle
And weve managed to catch up to the Vajra flock. Alto can still hear Rankas song, though its coming from behind this batch. In that case, Lulu orders everyone to thin out the Vajra numbers and clear a path ahead.
As Ozma tells everyone to watch not just our backs but that of our teammates, Alto gets a private call from Sheryl. Shes still a bit woozy, but has a request for him: promise me that you wont die, that youll come back safe.
Alto promises, and to bring Ranka in tow as well. Forward!
Kill everything, dont lose a ship, Alto or Michel. As I mentioned above, the main issue with this mission that that theres a lot of water. Barring Kouji, most of our guys can fly just fine but the issue is that the Big Vajra groups have both one thats flying and one thats grounded. The grounded one will be underwater, meaning thosell be so much harder to take out.
Thatll be Daiya and Yanmas primary job this mission: going from one Big Vajra group to the next and hunting the underwater target. They can easily oneshot with their cheap attacks the things if they focus-fire.
Everyone goes forward.
As always, Ozmall be leading the charge with his command aura.
: Altoll be going in real soon, Ranka Please be safe!
: The Vajra show a lot of difference between one another Is this how they each evolved or ?
Well deal with these soon.
The Big Vajras all moved on land but Daiyall already start going after his assigned targets.
: Even after all the times Ive fought these things, I still cant handle how freaky they look. The Demonic Beasts are way nicer!
Yup, he and Yanma can oneshot just fine and thats what theyll be doing.
But we can have our other folks help out with these right now. Zechs and Klan have also tagged a few Big Vajras.
: I need you to keep a close eye on those things, Alice. Can you do it?!
: Yes. My AI has been developing its combat functions nicely; I should have no problems overall!
Puria takes it.
Following up on Zechs and Noin.
: Rankas lifell be in even more damage if we waste time. Lets hurry through this, Kenichi!
: And since we got size on our side, we oughta go straight for the big guys!
: You got it! These Vajrall get an ample taste of the Voltes power!
: I need to break through these Vajra first! Die!!
If survival comes down to us or you, then I !
And thats a double kill.
And Koujill like need a bit of time to reach the front lines after this, so lets have him help out now.
: Hah, Mimetic Beasts, Vajra, its always the same ol thing. Lets wrap this up quick!
Just shy but Tetsuya takes it.
And one more.
: Were not getting Ranka out of there if we dont give this 100%, Hyouma.
: And shes been inside that Vajra for too long already. Were running against the clock here!
: Got it, got it. Well keep our future superstar safe from these evil crickets!
Again, fell just shy of a kill.
Aaand I moved my ships a bit too close thought my Supers being up front wouldve goaded the AI, but nope! Lulu gets some bad rolls, too, so no kills.
The second wave of Vajra is drawing in.
She does get payback, though. Jeffrey takes a little one.
Get in there, Michel.
: Im a sniper. Ill at least carry out my job to the letter !
Ozma and Luca, Ichitaka and Puria, Klan and Kouji each take a kill from the weakened buggers.
Only reason I didnt send Daiya to oneshot that submerged Vajra is because I dont want him hogging the other nearby mooks.
Either way, Kenichi and Hyouma clear out the remains of the first wave and that triggers the plot.[/i]
Altos noticing that Michel still isnt doing too hot, though the guy says hes just trying not to get in the way. Alto doesnt wanna fight again, does he? No time for that as Cathy pings another flock of Vajra entering the area.
Its the main batch and our folks tag the Vajra where Rankas being held. Its Altos turn to get in there and, as usual, Ozma threatens him with Hell should anything happen to Ranka. Not that he needed any incentive to see this through.
Out there, Rankas calling out for his help.
Like in mission two, we need to get Alto adjacent to the target Knight wrecking it is also a game over.
So we take a few steps forward.
Tetsuya and Jun get jumped by a Big Vajra, though we can afford enough EN to Thunder Break it to death.
: (Whats going on ? Why am I hurting inside ?)
Im sure its nothing. We keep weakening stuff and Ichitaka oneshots another little Vajra.
: Aargh! I-It hurts !
: (Why? Why do we fight ?)
Oh, no, you didnt.
Boosh. And Lulu also takes a kill.
As Daiya and Yanma go fishing, Kouji and Tetsuya pop a couple of the weak Vajras to get their Mazin Power running.
Lets skip forward a bit here since we need to get through this wave before having the way clear to Ranka.
One thing to note
The Knights have a MAPW!
But they chose their targets poorly. The things have a decent bunch of HP but fall quickly against concentrated fire especially if you bust out combined attacks:
Like Daiya and Lulus!
I confess to be a bit disappointed at this one compared to Sanshiros masterful pick up the damn ship and smash it against the enemy!
One turn later, Alto moves in. Make sure to cast Focus just in case your guys are lagging behind.
: In position! Hold on, Ranka Im coming!
: No, you arent !
: Where the hell did he come from ?! Michel, back me up! I cant move in with this guy hounding me!
*Targeting while Brera literally flies circles around Alto.*
: Kch Hes too fast !
: Its the Unknown from the reports ! Its reactions are too good for the unit to be a drone, but the way its moving is
: Impossible for any human to withstand. Regardless of training, those insane movements would quickly make anyone faint. Its likely the pilots
: Are you gonna say hes a cyborg or something?!
: Youre gonna have a hard time trying to take him head-on, Alto!
: I know that, Hyouma !
: You listening, Michel? Ill lure him into your scope!
: Dont! Its too risky!
: Are you scared youll miss? Always hits a bulls-eye, isnt that how it is with you? And I heard that was the case with your sister, too!
: Did Klan--? Urgh, that huge gossip !
: What?! Damn it, get off me!
: Cant believe you fell for it twice but youre not getting away this time!
: Tch !
: Structural integrity of Altos unit down 50%!
: Urk This red Valkyrie, I swear !
: Shoot, Michel! Surpass your sister!
: Shoot !
: Shoot Shoot, Michel! SHOOT!
: Hrm !
: Alright, and now !
: Rrgh I wont
: Youre too damaged to continue with your mission. Retreat and make preparations for the next phase.
: Roger that
: Just whos that guy ?
: Concentrate on the Vajra, guys. Carry on with your offensive!
Rinse and repeat everything wed been doing. Ignore Rankas Knight, have Daiya hunt whatevers underwater and kill, kill, kill.
And one turn after Altos gone in
: Where is she ? Whys nothing ever simple ?!
: Hrk! Screw these Vajra!
*Machine gun fire! Boom!*
: How many of them are there ?! Ranka! RANKAA!!
: Huh I can see them all fighting ?
: Hrk! Screw these Vajra!
*Machine gun fire! Boom!*
: *Sniffles* No This is so sad Stop it Please, stop this
: We wish to convey
: Huh ?
: To all of you
: ?! This song I understand Ill pour what I feel into my music like Ive always done
: Aimo, Aimo ♪
: I hear music ! This way!
: Alto?! Is that really you?!
: Ranka !
: You goddamn monsters ! You locked her up in this weird bubble?!
: Eat this!!
: Ugh aah !
: Is Ranka safe?!
: She is, yeah! All thanks to you guys!
: Brother everyone !
: Aalrighty, then! Now we can stop holding back and wreck the rest of the Vajra!
: Yeah, lets bring the whole curtain down on this group!
: Huh What are they ? Captain, the Vajra seem to be confused for some reason.
: Confused ?
: Thats just the opportunity we need. Troops, muster whatever strength you still have and destroy the whole flock!
Go forward and kiiiiiiiiiiiill!
: Keep quiet for a bit, Ranka! Thisll be over soon and then Ill set you down, so hold on til then!
And heres Kouji and Tetsuyas Double Burning Fire with the dynamic finish!
Thats all the Vajra gone and Rankas confirmed safe a thorough success even from a humanitarian POV, Durandal says. Even Ozma lets out a few tears of joy as he thanks us all.
Seems to Hiyoshi that even the big bad man can get choked up a few times, though Kenichi points out that the kids eyes are looking a bit red to. N-No way hes a MAN, so hell hang tough! And if Ozma was a manly man, hed do the same! Thems fighting words and Ozma figures he now has free rein to go to town on the Voltes Team during training.
Alice herself notes that Alto and Michel seem to have sorted out their differences today, so we just took care of two birds with one stone. Klan agrees, very glad that things turned out as well as they did.
And, with that, Lulu calls everyone back to the ships. Alto finally gets to ease up after all the nonstop hardships and asks if Ranka was scared in there. The girls crying too badly to answer, though he says the battles over - everythings fine now.
No youre wrong she sobs inwardly. I dont I dont understand Why ?
Michel still doesnt know what was going through his sisters mind when she pulled the trigger back then, and Luca and Alto quickly catch up to him. Alto praises his shot and invites him to go elsewhere staying in the hangar 24/7 wont help anyone relax after a big mission.
This is actually the first time he openly calls the guy Michel instead of Mikhail, and Lucas happy with their progress. Alto prods the kid to quit grinning and move or theyll leave him behind.
Michel, meanwhile, ponders that while he doesnt know what his sister was thinking, he might figure it out someday.
And, some time later, we have a surprise waiting at the Quarters briefing room: Brera! Ozma wants the guy to explain whats going on, but he is sticking to what hes already said: hes Lt. Brera Stern of the Macross Galaxys Antares Squadron. Hell be accompanying the Quarter for a bit, and that is all hes at liberty to divulge.
Were to take the pilot of that red Valkyrie aboard? Ichitaka doesnt think so, but Jeffrey says his affiliation checks out and the powers that be deemed he wasnt a threat. Yeah, right, and were supposed to just forgive and forget all the times he messed with Alto? Hyouma at least wants the guy to apologize for all that... but he just keeps quiet. Is he not at liberty to apologize, maybe?!
Alto moves in, wondering what all the yelling is about, and Hyouma grunts at Brera coming aboard the Quarter like he owns the place. Hearing his voice, Altos immediately knows him to be the pilot of the problem red Valkyrie.
Regardless, thats the way it is. More importantly, Jeffrey says we now have to conduct a few simple exams throughout the entire team after our battle with the Vajra (same ones Alto previously complained about having to undergo nonstop while hunting the things in space). If the Quarters facilities are deemed not up to the task, well have to do it at the Frontier.
Kouji now sees the issue with fighting the buggers, but Luca said it needs to be done as we always run the risk of picking up a hitherto unknown disease. Boss sighs that he shouldve thought to slap some anti-bacterial coating on the Borot, though that strikes Kouji as the least of his bots problems.
Tetsuya tells them to zip it and hustle over to Canarias infirmary.
And everyone seems to be doing A-OK, much to Kenichis relief as we cant well get taken out by stuff like disease. Hyoumas just about to call it a day when
Said exam is for the Mimetic Beasts Insania Virus, what with the Combattler team having been helping the Dannar Team for a while, and we get the same rundown as the other path regarding the Rabid Syndrome and whatnot.
Of note is that Durandal saw fit to accompany Franklin to the Quarter as he figured his knowledge as a geneticist would be useful in regards to said RNA Virus (he replaces Kiriko as the expert here, really). If anything, his demeanor shows Zechs that this is a serious matter.
At length, everyone is doing just fine, with practically no chance of triggering the Rabid Syndrome, and Noin relates the information about Gohs much higher risks. Well get more details once were back at JUDA.
Seems to Ichitaka like stuff on the other side was just as bad as this one.
Now, the Quarter is just about to reach Japan and thisll be where Durandal and Meer need to part ways that said, theyll give Sheryl and Ranka a lift to the Frontier. Jeffrey wishes them safe travels, but Durandal figures theyll be fine: Japan has, as you might expect, a history of opposition against any and all nuclear strikes, so theyre very sympathetic to the PLANTs.
Plus, Durandal also has someone hed wanted to meet so this seemed like a good opportunity to do just that.
Ichitakas disappointed that Sheryl and Ranka are leaving, but they cant well hang around now that both the movie shoot and anti-war concert have been dealt with. At the very least Alice is happy to see that Sheryls looking much better.
Well, she couldnt stay bedridden forever and while her original plan was to get back to work tomorrow, it seems the Frontier government has ordered her quarantined to take a few exams. Guess shell be bedridden for a bit more once she gets back there.
Rankas also received the same order, though Alto figures it stands to reason theyd want to run some thorough scans face her abduction by the Vajra. Ranka sighs and Luca tries consoling that, while itll be boring for a bit, shell be able to get back to her normal life without any worries if the tests show nothing.
Luca would know, even, as Kenichi points out hes the experienced one here in terms of Vajra abduction (feels odd for Ranka to have him be her senpai in this matter). Whichever the case, Daiya wants Ranka and Sheryl to get plenty of rest to put on a live concert for the whole crew next time.
Sheryl ponders shell have to make that happen before the Frontier figures out how to get back to its original world, then. Shell get us begging her not to leave (Ichitakas just about at that point already, mind, but hes not telling)!
As for Brera, it seems the reason the guy came over was because the Frontier Government assigned him as a bodyguard to the singers, so hell be leaving with them. Hyouma still doesnt trust the guy one bit and Sheryl admits that she doesnt really know whats up with him.
Oh, and before she leaves, Sheryl tells Alto to keep that earring safe if he loses it, shell make him pay big time. Rankas quietly taken aback by this tidbit of information, though Alto says hell take good care of it. Only reason they could rescue Ranka was because of the thing!
Their shuttles just about ready to depart and a flustered Ranka rushes out to get her luggage in. Its about Sheryls time to get going, too, as she figures shes kind of overstayed her welcome, but Koujis looking forward to seeing her in the Frontier. Alto just asks her to take it easy up there shell try.
When she goes, Ichitaka immediately realizes he forgot to get her autograph so much for his chance at showing off to his schoolmates. While info on the Frontiers still heavily regulated, Sherylll likely be getting famous due to the movie. Only a matter of time before shes THE singer on Earth as well.
Jun isnt as certain as Ichitaka, however, as Rankas star seems to be on the rise due to the stuff that happened with that same movie, her kidnapping and subsequent rescue. Megumi presumes the press will be all over her and the girls office is apparently looking to market her as the Superdimensional Cinderella. All in all, it wont be easy sailing for Sheryl.
Hell, and thats saying nothing of Lacus, with her legions of fans, and Eida, who, despite losing some popularity due to recently cancelling a few shows, still has a lot of passionate fans of her own. There are plenty of rivals in the pop singer market. One way or another, Megumi at least hopes Sherylll make a full recovery.
Durandal, Meer, Sheryl and Ranka have made it to Tokyo, though itll only be tomorrow that their shuttles leaving for the PLANTs. Thus, hes seen fit to rent them all rooms at a first class hotel for the evening. Sheryl doesnt mind, though Rankas a bit in awe at the fancy place.
In the meantime, Durandal needs to take off to make good on an arrangement the girls can go and have dinner without waiting for him.
By the coast
: (What a dreary landscape Over a decade has passed, yet the scars of the Second Impact do not fully disappear )
: (Actually, no it would have been nigh impossible to even restore this once dead ocean without their without the technology from the other world. Its for that reason that were all alive.)
: Youve arrived a bit sooner than expected, Chairman Durandal.
: Ive come alone. Consider it a gesture of good faith on my part.
: Good. This way, please.