Part 112: Post-mission 33 Intermission and Mission 34 (Space Route) - PrologueAnother quick intermission as we didnt get a whole lot of cash to spend.
Wufeis BP+1 is spent on Kazuma.
Im still keeping that Gunfight and Support Defend on standby.
Professor gets the usual: 2 points in Shooting and Defend.
Lowe spends all his 3 points boosting his Melee.
Since were stuck using Home as a semi-attacking unit, lets give it some extra survivability with a Cobham Armor (HP+500, Armor+100) and Sniper Scope (Accuracy+10%).
With all that done, lets move on to the prologue:
Kazuma informs the log that he's got more than just professional interest in the trip they're on to Graveyard.
Heck, who wouldn't find the prospect of lost technology and culture fascinating?
Kazuma also finds himself being drawn along by Lowe's interesting outlook on life, and anything that could shed light on the people trying to capture the Blue and Red Frames is worth pursuing.
Meanwhile, the rest of our crew muse over Horis' store of interesting trivia, such as the nature of Graveyard.
Professor says she wants to rummage through the database inside his head, only half joking, and Lowe wonders aloud what a graduate of the Federation Academy is doing working for someone like Captain Bless.
Kazuma remembers his surprise when Horis signed on three or four years ago, that someone as intelligent and as skilled a pilot would join his ship; Horis seems a good fit for the info-centric Trailers, but even he might have trouble dealing with the natural tendency of information to become obsolete.
Then again, even obsolete information can come in handy on occasion, as this trip to Graveyard proves - making it a bit like junk.
All this sounds like praise for Horis, but Kazuma gets a chill as he recalls someone else who accumulates knowledge: The Database.
Weve been warned by a lot of people about them but they havent done anything this past year, according to the information Taiga gave them; Kazuma wonders what they could be up to and if we should be worried.
He has an inkling that Papillons prophecy of calamity involving his family might have something to do with Aria, too.
Galent is a bit more reticent about Graveyard, a place he and Bless have been many times.
Apparently there was a demon there that caused much trouble ten plus years ago; this warning comes as a surprise to Horis, considering Galent IS the demons arm but, hopefully, said demon will have departed by now.
Graveyard is located at a gravitational null near the atmosphere, meaning that any navigational error on the way there could well prove fatal.
He adds the news that the Archangel, after attaining reentry, landed in the middle of Zaft territory in the Sahara, patrolled by the fearsome "Desert Tiger" Andrew Waltfeld.
Is this the final straw for the Federation military?
Whichever side wins, mankind as a whole seems headed for defeat in the face of the Radam and other external threats.
Maybe that's just mankind's destiny and punishment for our constant infighting.
Our people reach Graveyard and start heading inside to look for whatever information that could be useful, when theyre greeted by a Zaft JINN.
Horis finds this odd considering that Graveyard is supposedly populated by Naturals; Kazuma wonders if this could be the demon Galent spoke of.
The aged-sounding pilot asks what our people want.
Lowe quickly says he came here for a sword and the guard, just as quickly, presumes we're thieves.
He doesn't give Lowe a chance to explain himself, instead wielding his battleaxe with amazing dexterity and knocking Lowe to Graveyard.
Kazuma can tell from this man's skill that he must be a Coordinator, though the man claims to be a Natural who's bothered to put his soul into his work.
Mihiro is pretty sure he's anything but Natural.
Lowe was not in fact shot down, but used the strike as a ruse to land on Graveyard.
The problem is that it's like a maze inside.
Fortunately, he doesn't have to wander the corridors strewn with cast-off junk for long: Kazuma has convinced the guardian that you're not here for evil, aided in part by Galent's introduction and his father's good name.
The man, Un Nou, introduces himself as the gravekeeper of the colony and hes the only person left alive here.
Luckily for Lowe, the combined knowledge of the hereditary swordsmiths gathered here has been merged into a single katana, over ten meters long: Gerbera Straight.
The problem is that it's already rusted.
Un Nou is raging against the dying of the proverbial light, trying to leave proof of the lives of the artisans and engineers who once lived here.
That means fighting off the thieves whose raids have reduced the contents of Graveyard to their current disheveled state.
It was during Un's struggles that Gerbera Straight perished, but Lowe has a great way of ignoring Un's protests and deciding to resurrect enough technology to simply reforge the sword.
After all, the best way to keep knowledge from being lost is to keep it in practice, right?
Un Nou accepts but, if Lowe is supposed to use the sword properly, hell be needing some training.
Said training takes at least a week and while Kazuma and Mihiro are busy helping reforge the sword, the rest of the crew wanders around the Graveyard.
Horis in particular is positively giddy at all the artifacts of mankind's knowledge, declaring that the whole colony should be made into a museum.
While he forages on with Liam, Kisato turns to Akane and wonders how long itll be before she tells Horis how she feels; of course, Akane doesnt let Kisato put her on the spot like that, considering that shes in the exact same situation with Lowe.
Kisato says this isnt the sort of thing she can just say like that and shed rather not be a burden for Lowe as long as possible.
Despite Akane's difficulties with Horis, she's got a snappy Trailer maxim for Kisato: "Fortune visits the smiling gate, and smiles cost zero yen."
Which is, unfortunately, of little use when one of Hokuten's men shows up and surprises both girls.
Both girls are taken hostage and brought before Un Nou and the others; it seems the Successors are the guys who have been uprooting stuff inside Graveyard, seeking a certain object in Un's care.
Un initially refuses to hand over what a dying man entrusted to him, but changes his mind when the girls' lives are threatened.
He's about to hand over some kind of "unit" when Duo pops out and blindsides the assassin.
The girls flee to their men's arms and Lowe hopes the bastard is ready to receive some payback; still, the Successor isnt worried as he says they have this entire colony surrounded.
Duo, however, tells him that the other Successors outside are being dealt with by his partner; he quickly takes time to talk to Kazuma, saying that he knew he was still alive.
The battle outside is raging and an explosion rocks the inside of the colony; realizing defeat is imminent, the Successor decides to destroy the whole place and then get the unit.
As our people are about to head off in pursuit, Un tells Lowe to use the newly reforged sword, baptizing it in battle.