Part 47: Mission 17 - Entrusted Hope - Part 1
Our crews back together, plus the addition of the Minerva crew to go with Jack and Domyoji. Kenjis getting dangerously close to Ichitaka, with Daiya at a distant third. The latters bigger mook magnetism, however, may help bridge the gap faster than expected, though.
The Destiny units all come with three updates, so theyre all set and ready to go. Stellas Gaia Gundam was just sitting empty, so Athrun took it better than keeping him in that dinky ZAKU Warrior.
Cash upgrades went into the Nagahamas and Aoi weapons, along with some extra survivability boosts of the Valkyries and Daiya.
On the Skill Parts front, Aoi took EN Save and Kenji took another level of Infight, reaching L3.
The EVAs are deploying as event units, so heres how our new teams going:
Iczer-1/Iczer-4 (I just felt like I had to)
Domyoji/Athrun (the Gaias a rather up-close attacker, and Athruns accelerate makes him a good-enough fit).
EVAs auto-deploying can only mean one thing, so lets get to it.
Time to catch up on what happened in the other routes. Of note:
- Our people ponder Kiriyamas coup and how quiet the Katou Organizations been since it failed, despite their worldwide message. Maybe they were hoping to use it as a starting point for something else? Who knows.
- The ZAFT folks also heard of Reijis betrayal, or, as Rey puts it, of how Reiji was a spy for the Katou Organization. Luna chides his lack of tact with Yamashita right there, but Rey says he was just stating facts likely his willingness to help at Junius Seven was just an act as well. Heine steps in, asking him to stop and consider Yamashitas feelings, though the boy knows he cant brood over it forever. Rather, hell confront Reiji directly, and Kouji, Hyouma, Goh everyone will be there to give the guy a piece of our mind.
- Michels rather doubtful of us bringing in Jack aboard, and the guy isnt about to ask him to understand. If he does anything odd, Michel is more than welcome to shoot him in the back. Iczer-1 can tell that he is not being deceitful with us.
- Our folks also ponder the discovery of the fact that the real Lacus is aboard the Archangel, not the one with Durandal. Rey shrugs at this, saying its only natural hed get a double as Lacus being AWOL during such a time of crisis would only elevate the peoples anxiety. As of Dearka, hes ran off back to the PLANTs (hes not too good with farewells, so he just left) at least what he told Shinn about Kira made quite an impact.
And, at the end, Alice runs in looking for Shinn: shes just received confirmation that Stellas condition has stabilized. While its still too early to outright heal the damage done by the Extended modifications, JUDA and the Dannar Base will keep at it, so shes confident the girlll make a full recovery eventually.
Shinns equal amounts relieved and amazed that we could potentially even managed to cure an Extended. Thats some big-shot philanthropy right there, though Ichitaka says we just try our best to be CHAMPIONS OF JUSTICE. Mind you, he and Alice point out that he neednt refer to use in the third person, as hell also be part of the crew now!
Shinn likes the sound of that: Stella isnt someone who should be fighting. Ill go and do everything I can to make sure she can live as a normal girl when she wakes up. Thats the spirit. And, one last thing, Alice turns to Ichitaka and says Maki was calling him. Seems their digging into GreAT has yielded some results.
Ichitakas rushed on over, Kouichi, Miu and Yamashita tagging along since theyre also curious about anything Maki and Rachel have found. So, is it good news or bad? Bad, Rachel shrugs, and Maki moves to explain.
JUDAs intelligence department reported some mighty interesting information regarding GreAT the other day. See, the famous, huge multinational has a VERY centralized management, with only some ten-ish people running the whole show. Said people are a cabal of young, elite power players, and its all kept very hush-hush. In truth, a big chunk of the company employees dont even know what theyre creating at any given point they simply obey the commands given.
Yamashita thinks that sectionalism isnt too uncommon in big companies like that, but whats especially weird is that, by the time Kiriyamas coup was over, GreATs CEO and the entire leadership simply vanished. JUDA tried to get in touch with their security department, but those guys also vanished. The only ones that remained were the rank-and-file workers and those guys were very much panicking.
Kouichi wonders if they were in with Kiriyama or the Katou Organization, though Maki cant confirm that one way or another. It could simply be that they knew of the impeding coup and simply made a run for the hills?
All in all, though, this still isnt anything conclusive on Grifes kidnapping, and Maki does apologize (the investigation is still ongoing). Ichitakas satisfied with the knowledge that somethings up with the upper echelons of GreAT; theyve just became the top suspects in all this. And while Ichitakas rather certain that Yuu knows something, hell stay his course and try to find Grife in his own way!
By the presidents office, Yuis showing the rest of our team all thats left of Ishigami: a characterized AI that functions solely as the GUI in JUDAs control systems. As everyone, especially Nagisa, reel from this, Une reports that shes officially appointing Misato as Reijis replacement as tactical command.
Misato thanks her for the confidence, and while shell admit that the crisis bearing down on Earth is unlike anything seen before and wont be easily averted, shes confident we can overcome it if we all take one anothers hands and stand together.
This talk turns Annas thoughts to Lou, and she wonders if she, Goh and the girl will ever be together again but never mind that, the alarm rings! Yui relates an SOS from NERV: an unidentified object has emerged by the Odawara defensive line. Pattern is blue, meaning its an Angel, and they want LOTUS and the EVAs to intercept.
Thats the 6th Angel turning up, so Misato gives the order to deploy and head to Neo Tokyo 3.
: ([Screams geometrically])
: All SDF Armas have been disintegrated!
: Targets moving across Lake Ashi.
: This is bad Misato, what are you doing ?
: We made it just in time by the looks of things. The #01ll lead the charge against the Angel are you good to go, Shinji?
: Youre up, then. EVA-01, launch!
: ! Were a detecting a high energy reading within the target!
: Is it !
: Get outta there!
: Abort the attack! Recover the #01 immediately!
: We cant! That blast melted the catapult its not working!
: Stop! STOP! I want out! Get me out of here!!
: Forget the operation focus only on rescuing the pilot! Force-eject the Plug!
: Belay that.
: Why?! Dont you care that your son might die?!
: Take away the pilot and the EVAs A.T. Field will disappear completely. Youd make a bad situation ten times worse.
: And if the Field disappears
: The EVA-01 will be obliterated by the Angels beam the second that happens and therell be no way to save the pilot !
: But doesnt pilot feel all damage the EVA takes himself?! Hes still gonna die if we dont do anything...!
: Theres got to be something thatd work Oh! What about our own barrier, Alice?!
: Impossible! The Angels beam is far too strong for the Rushbird to absorb!
: GAAAAAAH !
: Weve no other choice. Emergency recovery! Ignite the blast bolts!
: Roger that !
: They withdrew the #01 by caving in part of the Geofronts ceiling?!
: A last-ditch effort, thats for sure
: The targets stopped its attack!
: All troops, full retreat! We need to reassess our situation!
: The same ceiling again One way or another, I always end back here when I pilot the EVA
: Ayanami Youve been there all this time?
: Im here to brief you on the timetable for Operation Yashima, set to be executed tomorrow at midnight. The pilots Ikari and Ayanami are to
*Fade out, fade in.*
: Theyre telling me to pilot again?
: No, enough is enough I never want to go through anything like that again ! Im always so scared it haunts me, but I still can never run from any of it
: I hate piloting the EVA I only came here because I figured something might change, or that there might be something good in all this. I didnt come here to suffer
: Is that how youll live your life? Running away from anything thats difficult or unpleasant?
: Ill pilot the #01. You can stay here and rest.
: Ayanami !
: Im just not strong like everyone in LOTUS Alive or not, Im worthless. No one needs me They dont need me if I wont pilot
OK, heres the rundown: the Angel is currently right above NERV HQ, drilling a hole into the Geofront. Its looking to Tetsuya (Kouji) that it wants to attack HQ head-on. Now, from what weve seen of the previous battle, NERV has posited that the Angel spots and snipes down any enemy that enters within a certain radius.
And, Mira notes, long-range attacks still wont fly too good as wed still have to contend with its A.T. Field. Sounds like tough work for an MS, Athrun sighs, and Heine takes it to be more like impossible even if our MSs broke through the barrier, they simply doesnt have the firepower to beat the Angel.
Kouji wishes that Field worked like those barrier where you can shatter them like glass (The Angels do not use Photon Barriers, unfortunately) but Prof. Shiba stomps in and says nothing that does that can be called a barrier!
Whats he doing here? Kiriko also walks in, telling Anna that she and the other scientists were called by Misato to help with Operation Yashima. Goh wonders what it could be thatd require the help of this much brain power, so Misato continues.
In essence, since we cant both pop the A.T. Field and destroy the Angel in the small opening that follows, well have to do it all in one go by firing a ton of energy at it. Is that why these scientists at here? Indeed, Yotsuya and Sakon explain that well be taking in all the labs special kinds of energies (Photon, Super Electromagnetic, Plasma, etc), plus ALL of Japans electricity, loading it onto a bigass, experimental, positron rifle and shoot the Angel.
According to the simulations Rachel and the others ran, that blast should have enough force to destroy the thing in a single go. But nothings ever simple, and Kiriko notes that the gun is incomplete that is to say, we cant have it auto-fire. The only way itll work is for the #01 to actively snipe the target down. Our job will be to keep the Angel distracted until the gun is ready to fire.
Ichitakas worried about it having to be the #01 does that mean well be forcing Shinji to do it? Tetsuya agrees that its complicated: Shinjis spirit as a warrior took a heavy blow last battle. Hes not too sure if the kidll pilot again. Nagisa thinks hes being too harsh: Remember how abruptly he was forced to get in the EVA and start fighting. I mean, even I still get scared when I have to fight.
The difference is, Tetsuya counters, that Nagisa has the RESOLVE to step into the battlefield. The will to do so, despite ones fear, is what resolve is all about. Goh doesnt like the idea of forcing Shinji, either, and wonders if we couldnt have someone else take his place.
Nope, NERVs MAGI computers ran the numbers and Shinji + EVA-01 was what gave us the best odds of success. Still, Misato is certain hell pilot once more.
Mission 17 Entrusted Hope
Its almost time for Operation Yashima to begin, the positron rifle already in position. Before we even get started, though, Shigeru pings a bevy of MSs entering the area; odd, since Misato warned all relevant organizations to stay away, but our scans quickly show that were dealing with Mimetic Beasts-jacked units.
While Tetsuya Kouji fumes at their penchant for showing up at the worst possible moment, Ritsuko finds it odd: this is the second time the Mimetic Beasts appeared in tandem with an Angels attack. What reason is there for this?
But shell have to ponder that later, as its almost go-time. Misato wants the beasties gone on the double, and both Kouichi and Ichitaka would love if we could beat the Angel while at it would spare Shinji from the crazy Operation.
Misato speaks against it, telling them to just limit themselves to distracting the thing; push beyond that and all well get is damage we couldve avoided. Michel sees the admonition for us not to play with fire though being told NOT to do something only makes Kenji wanna do it more.
Goh will be handling tactical command for a minute, though, as Misato has something she needs to do first. That would be picking up Shinji, he sees, and is fine with it especially with the experience he has against Mimetic Beasts. While Misato takes off, Shinjis watching from afar, deep in thought: Why...? Battles are so horrible, painful Why do they all fight so hard for others ?
Ken, whose Insania Virus seems to have calmed down, is watching the battle with Lou. Is he going to keep fighting until all Mimetic Beasts are gone? Probably, he sighs, but Lou has a question: what will he do when that eventually happens? Whatll happen to him once his reason for fighting disappears? When that happens Ill die, Ken answers.
What he means is that when all this comes to an end, the man he is today will cease to exist. He doesnt know what hell do afterwards nor does he know any other way to live. And Lou If something happens to me before we fulfill our goal he starts, but Lou interrupts him.
Hes not going to die, so he shouldnt even think of talking like that. Kens living his life the way he feels he should, and so is Lou. Right or wrong makes no difference I dont regret for one second the choices I made.
As Ken nods in agreement, Goh sends everyone forward we need to buy time until Operation Yashima can begin.
Wreck everything, dont lose a ship. Ramiel wont ever move from its spot, though the Mimetic Beasts will happily converge to attack him spread out to maximize your cash and morale gains.
Mind you, dont have your two groups move TOO far away from the SE and SW corners of the map, because the game has a surprise waiting: on turn four, mooks will spawn in both those corners and youll likely need to down most of them in two turns under penalty of a Game Over.
Id forgotten about this and the ensuing mad dash made me not have the necessary firepower to down Ramiel (which you should try for the extra money and a Break Morale Limit part). Way I see it Id consider maybe sending Daiya, the Zingers, Jeeg, Iczer-1, Ichitaka and/or Aoi to try and kill the thing, while the rest is ready to intercept the later arrivals.
If you can do it on turn three, all the better as you can have the Ramiel group join the interceptors.
Ramiel, the 6th Angel
A.T. Field (Strong)
30% HP and EN Regen
As you might expect, Ramiels got a bajillion points in its Range stat, along with some huge everything else. Its as bulky as youd expect from an Angel, but the flying crystal is also accurate as fuck and will likely get great numbers against pretty much all our guys.
Its Shinji-blasting Beam will put the hurt on anyone within 10 spaces of it, but it also has a MAPW version with a nice +30 accuracy modifier to blast a whole 5x5 area around it. Therein lies a bit of a problem with sending folks to kill the thing: its obviously gonna cutscene-regen once dead, so the attackers will all but certainly get blasted unless theyre one of the few units whose strongest weapons hit at range 6 or higher. Risky business, but your Supers should be fine if theyve Iron Wall, pop it.
All that said, we start spreading folks out. No ones in range.
And off it goes.
Never let Ramiel get a clean hit on you.
Thats three kills for Aoi, two for Hyouma. Annoyingly, the more distant Mimetic Beasts squads rush Ramiel two die outright, the rest will follow VERY soon.
The enemy AI continues its quest to push Daiya into the Top Ace spot.
Three kills for him, one for Ichitaka.
: The Blade Gainer!
: The lot of you should stand down and observe. Ill dispatch this bunch !
: Menage Zero its because of you that Shizuru!
: Stay out of his way !
: Lou, Shizurus in a coma because of him! How can you ?!
: Ill still fight at Kens side. Thats the path I chose ! Lets go, Ken.
: Blade Gainer, Twin Drive !
: Lou, why ?!
: Ignore them, Anna.
: Professor ?
: I understand how you two feel, but the priority right now is destroying the Mimetic Beasts.
: Hrm Yes, maam !
: Even the Menage Zero is out there They dont need me in the EVA
: Youve missed the rendezvous time by quite a lot, Shinji.
: You made your own choice to stay, remember? Now you have a job to do, and you have to do it right.
: But Im so scared of piloting again...
: You and the other staff have it so easy: all you do is bark orders from a safe distance. How unfair is that? None of you have to go through the horror I do !
: Walk with me for a bit.
: Fifteen years ago, an enormous amount of lives were lost due to the Second Impact. If an Angel triggered a Third Impact today, itd wipe out all humans down to the last.
: Ive heard that story plenty of times already
: If an Angel is allowed to make it all the way to the HQs level EEE, the whole place is set to automatically self-destruct.
: Well prevent the Third Impact from being triggered even if we must die to pull it off. Thats the kind of commitment everyone here has.
: And the same applies to Cmdr. Tamashiro, Prof. Yotsuya, Lady Une theyre all willing to stake their lives for the sake of their mission.
: ?! Is that an EVA ?!
: No. What you see is the original of all life in this world, as well as the key to its end: Lilith, the 2nd Angel.
: Lilith ?
: Yes, and its the trigger to the Third Impact. The EVA was made to fight in order to protect Lilith, and that is something only you can do.
: Weve entrusted mankinds very future to you and the EVA
: You ask for so much Why me?
: There isnt a clear-cut reason its just the cards life dealt you. But I want you to understand that youre not risking your life alone. Were all in the same boat as you.
: Youre all
: Alright. Ill try and pilot again.
Carrying on, lets finally give the Gaia a chance to fight stuff for the first time since the start of the game.
This is its strongest weapon in MS mode, though its got stronger stuff transformed.
While Alto and Michel clear out a squad of Fat Boys, Heine takes one of the Taurus that lost its partner against Aoi.
Lulu claims a weakened mook, while Kenji leads the charge with his superior mobility.
Tetsuyall take the survivor.
Bam. Southern targets fall to Kouichi and Kouji, Ichitaka and Daiya join up north for a couple of easy kills too.
Cant send our guys up willy-nilly, lest they get caught in Ramiels inevitable MAPW or in the Zamza-Zahs. Rey and Dick wipe out the nearby Daggers, everyone else moving up slightly.
They hang by with just 500-ish HP, but all six will die when they try (and fail) to damage it on their move. Blah.
On the eastern wing, Jeffrey and Hyouma get blasted by the Zamza-Zahs but hit back with varying degrees of oomph. On the western wing, its up to Kenichi.
Thats a surprising amount of damage for some piddly beam guns, but our bot answers even harder. The second Zamza-Zah and Fat Boy gun for Ichitaka, with predictable results for bringing beam weapons against the Rushbird.
: Sure enough, these Mimetic Beasts are faster on their feet than the regular ones !
: They may change their forms, but that will not keep me from ending their kind! Such is my lot in life!
Ken also gets sniped, but he still has boss stats.
: Why do you pilot an EVA, Ayanami?
: Because Ive a bond.
: A bond ? With my father?
: With everyone.
: Youre so strong
: Because I have nothing else.
: I dont even have any bond, so youre at least doing better than me.
: But regardless, well be going out there together... and could both end up dead.
: No, you wont die.
: Huh ?
: Ill keep you safe.
: How do you figure Im even worth being kept safe ?
: Ill go and find a way through this for you. Then you wont need to do any of this scary business. That OK with you, NERV?
: Hey, whatre you up to? Dont just sit there in a corner come hang out with us!
: Theyre all very good people. Im sure youll be fast friends with everyone.
: Y-You were so awesome back there.
: A voice mail ?
: Hey, its Suzuhara. Ikari actually, Im gonna just call ya Shinji. Were all countin on ya, Shinji!
: Um, its Kensuke Aida here. Good luck, Ikari Touji and his baby sis are also rooting for you. Well see you around!
: Its time for us to go Goodbye.
Back to work and this is now just cleanup: our folks will move up on each side and tear down whatever is still left.
And heres the Gaias strongest attack.
And when turn 4 rolls around