Part 124: Post-mission 35 Intermission (Includes Unit Analysis #14 - "D-boy's Sweetheart" Edition) and Mission 36 - PrologueNeo-Wärter is quickly coming back into shape with the return of Blade and Mithril (and Quatre, I suppose).
Lets get right down to business with the top aces:
Gai is quickly gaining ground towards the nº 1 spot. Blade hasnt gained any kills during his absence and makes for a distant 3rd place.
Returning characters got quite a boost to their stash of points. Quatres new Magnac Corps Attack is tagged as a ranged attack, so he needs to act accordingly: 7 points in Shooting, 5 in Melee, 5 in Defense, 4 in Evasion and 3 in Accuracy.
Not Kurz, though. He sticks with what works: 11 points in Shooting, 5 in Evasion and Accuracy.
Mao follows suit, sticking with the flexible build: 4 in Melee, 8 in Shooting, 3 in Evasion and 2 in Accuracy,
Blade joins with a little less points but still a decent bunch: 4 in Melee, 6 in Shooting, 2 in Evasion and Accuracy.
Sousuke spreads his points a little bit more: 3 in Melee, 5 in Shooting, 2 in Skill (ECS triggering more oftenly), 2 in Evasion and Accuracy.
Finally, Gai and Volfogg have built a decent amount and they spread them evenly: 2 points in Melee and, respectively, 2 points in Defense and Evasion.
Having Sousuke back means we can toss him one of those Gunfights, bringing his total to L3.
After having a slight lapse of thought, I give the Infight to Blade (and not to Lowe, who was building it up whoops!).
He also takes a Gunfight to boost his Voltekka.
I can never decide on what to do with spare Prevail parts seeing how Kazuma has the lowest number at the moment, he takes it.
Quatre was rather helpful last mission and I think he should get some love. Sandrock takes a point in EN, Armor, Mobility and Weapons.
Mao and Kurz also get a point to Mobility and Weapons (if I want to keep using them, they need to stay somewhat up to speed).
Tenryuujin gains a bonus to EN and two points in Mobility.
I dont like how Arbalest was oneshotted by Zaid he takes a point in HP, Armor and Mobility.
Finally, the last bit of cash gives Sommer a boost to EN and Mobility.
The returning Blade steals an EN Chip from Vesna and takes his Learning OS back.
As for Aki, since she didnt really have anything, I gave her a Servo Motor just so it didnt go to waste.
Sousuke takes back his Booster and Flight Module.
As for Sandrock, he takes an A-Adaptor and a Cobham Armor.
Mind you, Ive spread my spare A-Adaptors, Aqua and Hover Modules around to all land-bound units (Deathscythe, Red Frame, Heavyarms, Both Gernsbacks, Volfogg and Tenryuujin) because the next mission is pretty much all water terrain.
Before we end this, though, its time for todays unit Analysis and the chosen target is Akis new getup:
Aki as a Tekkaman blows her old Blue Earth Pilot-self out of the water. Shes bigger, badder, faster and stronger and a nice unit overall.
As a Tekkaman, it comes without saying that shes dodgy; her attacks are rather close-range, though, so shes prone to getting sniped but she sort of makes up for it due to the fact that she took Blades upgrades as her own (since I upgraded his weapons so much, shes able to hit quite hard) and that Pegas II knows Accelerate.
Her biggest selling point is her combined attack with D-boy which offers an excellent power-to-cost ratio: like I said during the mission, its stronger than Blades Voltekka but requires 20 less morale and EN to use, so its very easy to abuse when fighting elite mooks or bosses.
Akis Skills have changed a bit to reflect her status as a commander:
- Sword Cut
- Shoot Down
- Prevail L7
- Support Attack L2
- Support Defend L2
- Command L2
- Multicombo L2
First list is Akis, second is Pegas:
- Iron Wall
She makes for a great mook-destroyer with her low-cost attacks and Pegas II, with both Confuse and (eventually) Renew in his Spirit list, gives her some more flexibility in her role (outside of getting glued to Blades backside to allow the combined attack).
If youve spare room in your group, Aki should be one of your first considerations to fill that slot.
With that finished, lets move on to the prologue:
Our people have made it across the desert to the Tuatha De Danaan, leaving the Nadesico B and Valstork behind for repairs at the Mithril dock.
During the repairs, Ruri will be huddling with Kalinin about what to do about Bionet and the Martian Successors; Professor and her people are busy trying to sell totaled Home for scrap, leaving the remaining troops to hang out aboard the Tuatha at Tessa's invitation.
Tessa has some kind of special event she wants our troops to attend, and Kazuma tells the log he's sorry Ruri and the others have to miss this.
Tessa and Kaname get reacquainted after about a year apart, and Kaname wonders inwardly if anything has actually progressed with Tessa and Sousuke after her confession of love.
Tessa didn't ask her here to discuss that though; she wants instead to talk about the Whispered.
Like Kaname, Tessa is one of them: a human who knows things they should have no means of knowing, and capable of bringing those things forth on occasion; only a few tens of such people have been officially confirmed in the entire world, and all of them are sought as storehouses of Black Technology.
Under the right conditions, they can provide the key to vast technological leaps, even ones who are raised with no knowledge of their gift.
It can take years of physical and mental maturation, but they all eventually begin hearing the Whispering; at that point, they become effectively geniuses, as Kaname's own grades are beginning to show.
The ultimate proof is her acumen in defusing bombs during the hijacking, her insight on the Zondar Barrier in Tokyo, knowing the Behemoths weak spot, etc.
To give an idea of what's possible, Tessa tells Kaname that she designed the Tuatha before she was even 15.
She wants Kaname to understand just how dangerous using her powers can be: trying to force the Whispers to come can destroy the mind and, indeed, some have already been irreparably damaged.
No real surprise that some people are going out of their way to try to capture Whispered, including Gauron and Bionet; Tessa is going to question Gauron, who's now imprisoned aboard the Tuatha, as soon as Kalinin gets back... and won't tell Kaname what happens to him afterward.
Whoever has been furnishing Gauron his weapons is capable of both developing weapons and soldiers like the Behemoth and Takuma but also of outfitting Arm Slaves with Lambda Drivers - meaning they've got at least one Whispered on their side and they must know more.
Kaname isn't sure what she can do in the face of that, but Tessa tells her one important thing: keep believing in Sousuke.
Tessa admits to being a bit jealous of how Sousuke stayed in Japan after the breakup of the Wärter, all in order to protect Kaname.
She informs Kaname that she hasn't raised the white flag on Sousuke yet though, and says that Kaname's behind her in points since she hasn't admitted to herself that she loves Sousuke too.
If that caught Kaname off guard, she gets even more surprised when she reaches the main deck and the Tuatha's crew gives her a formal salute for all she's done so far for the good guys' side.
Everyone except the always relaxed Kurz is in on the salute, and the thanks extends to all the Wärter folks for helping save them time and time again.
As soon as the formal thanks are over, it's party time for both your valiant band of people and for the Tuatha's "half million kilometer" party.
Mao asks Kazuma if he's gotten any better in the past year, and he challenges her to one of those "nude marathons" bets that she had against Tessa David wants to veto that idea, as hed sure Mao would kick his ass and no one wants to see Kazumas punishment.
Mind you, Horis figures it could be worth it they can convince Shihomi to take Mihiros place as Kazumas subpilot...this, of course, earns him a Stupid Horis! from Akane, whos not keen on his sister being exposed like that.
Kazuma quickly gets bummed out at everyones lack of faith in him, but Mao at least is quite happy to oblige with any physical activity (triathlon, rock-climbing, etc.) Kazuma can come up with.
In that case, David and Saburouta, both who are rather talented in different sports, think they might have a chance of winning if they choose the right challenge.
Lowe, meanwhile, is surveying the incredible submarine, different enough from a spaceship to attract notice.
Yumi is very impressed at Tessas intelligence to be able to build something like this; Lowe thinks it's like a treasure chest of tech and junk, but Tessa tells him it's actually been referred to as a "Toybox" by both the Feds and Zaft for its unwillingness to cooperate with either side.
Rather than mixing it up with either military, the Tuatha prefers to flee into the depths of the ocean and keep its affiliation secret.
Tessa promises to show the mechanically-inclined Lowe around more of the sub if time permits later and Lowes already glad her joined Neo-Wärter if it gives him a chance to look at a ship like this.
Kurz then kicks off a grand bingo match, with the prizes furnished by our own people.
Theres a full collection of Geki-Ganger DVDs from Gai Daigouji, a autographed best-sellers from Natasha, a bunch of George Glenn paraphernalia from Kisato and a handgun from the extensive collection Renée keeps somehow hidden under her coat.
Yumi suggests Lowe to ante up 8 as a prize but he refuses saying hes his irreplaceable partner Mihiro wont bet Carret, either.
When Kurz asks, Tessa quickly realizes that she forgot to get something but he tells her not to worry hell think of a way to help her and she agrees.
: Alright! Gather round, people! Its time to announce our grand prize, courtesy of Captain Tessa!
: The prize is a passionate kiss from our own Captain Teresa Testarossa!
: Are you serious?!
: Ooooh! The very thought of it makes me dizzy !
: Mr. Weber! You never asked me anything about that!
: Huuh? Didnt you tell me that I could think of something?
: Thats what she said, alright.
: I heard it too.
: Thats I guess I did say it
: If you're not up for it, I can think of something else. How about your favorite underwe
: Thats even worse!
: Alright, a kiss it is! Now, lets begin!
: Lets do this !
: (Sorry, Yumi but Im also going !)
: RAAAAAAAAAAARGH! MY HEART IS READYYYYYY!!
: Oh, brother thats so sad
: *Sigh* I guess its a man thing
: I wish they would be this serious while in combat
However, a different convention is underway near the holding cells: Trowa is keeping guard and Sousuke admits that he can't get in a party mood so long as "that man" is on board.
It probably wasn't a good idea to have him assigned to guard Gauron though, since Gauron seems to have the singular ability to provoke Sousuke with words (taking jabs at Sousukes powerlessness in taking revenge for Zaid).
Despite this, Sousuke doesn't want to trade shifts with McAllen...still, the shift change is an order, and McAllen adds that the long-haired Kaname is looking for him.
Gauron smirks that it's so hot with the two of them that he thought the ship's thermostat was broken.
Sousuke heads off, and Trowa is about to follow until he notices a kiss mark the color of Tessa's lipstick on McAllen's cheek.
Guess we know who won the bingo match.
Unfortunately, this may be the last good luck he ever has in his life, if Gauron has anything to say about it...
Sousuke finds Kaname, wandering around and claiming she got lost on the way to the bathroom.
Her attempts at levity quickly fall flat though: Sousuke still blames himself severely for nearly getting Mao killed, and the Lambda Driver for being an unreliable, voodoo gadget unworthy of being called a "weapon".
She tries to suggest he rest, but he tells her he's not the least bit tired, and to not think she's knowledgeable about what he needs.
He flatly tells her that he's a mercenary, not a hero like Kouji or Gai.
All he wanted was a normal job with normal gear, but ever since the hijacking he's had one long string of jobs that aren't suited to him at all - including guarding Kaname's ass.
First shocked, then furious, Kaname yells back that she never asked for his protection, and tells him to just quit if it's going to keep that long-suffering mask on his face.
He tells her that that won't happen, since he's the only one who can do the job, and observes that she's the tired one here.
She tells him she's not tired, she's worried about him - and he tells her to get back to the party.
After she walks off and leaves Sousuke to brood, Kurz comes out of nowhere and levels Sousuke with a punch to the jaw.
He tells Sousuke that he heard the whole thing, and couldn't stand another word of Sousuke's hero talk; Sousuke doesn't know what he's talking about, so Kurz tells Sousuke he's whining because he didn't get to save the day, even to the point of fibbing to a woman.
Kurz may not be the most articulate person around, but he tells Sousuke he should be familiar enough with the ups and downs of the battlefield, and that he should NOT make girls cry in any event.
Shouting that Sousuke isn't the only one involved with the Arbalest winning in battle, Kurz stalks off again.
Tessa has come to find where Kaname had run off to.
She left the party a while ago to find Sousuke and took so long that Tessa got worried.
However, she doesn't get a chance to ask what happened between her and Sousuke before Gauron walks over.
He takes them hostage and makes his way to the bridge to have a party of their own.