Part 83: Post-mission 22 Intermission(Includes Unit Analysis #11 - "Holy crap! Where's my EN?!" Edition) and Mission 23 - PrologueAlright, quick update before we move right along to another finale. As always, your top aces:
Keeping the Moon route has bumped Blade way back to the 3rd place. Shame.
Noin is sitting right on top of the list with 5 points. I give her 3 points in Shooting and 2 in Evasion just to get her out of there.
Quatre is next and he takes 2 points in Melee and Evasion.
Ryouko and Izumi both get 1 point each in Melee, Shooting and Evasion. Hikaru only had 2 points, so she boosted Melee and Shooting.
Finally, Kogane takes 2 points in Melee, 1 in Defense.
Gais Prevail is surprisingly low among the other Super Pilots. Its unlikely hell ever get low enough to trigger it but still Prevail L5.
Also, Ive no idea on who would make better use of Support Request (seeing how I cant get the damn thing to trigger), so Ill just give it to all dragon siblings at once to increase the odds that one of them will get it to work.
First off, lets sell that Propellant Tank for some extra 5k.
Now, all of the Nadesico girls get an upgrade to their Mobility and Weapons.
Shin Getter takes an upgrade to HP and Armor.
Valhawk/Valstork get a bonus to HP and EN.
Ya know what? Well never use these damn things and theyre worth 10k a pop, so lets sell the Dusproof Modules.
The extra 20k goes into Gaogaigars HP, EN and Mobility (Why not? Hes dodging so much and it was dirt cheap).
The only worthwhile piece that we got was an EN Chip (Reduces weapons energy cost by 10%). Lets give it to the Valstork to it can spam Dual Proton Cannon with even less worry (I could give it to Kazuma but he has plenty of attacks that dont use EN).
Now, before we get this done, heres a quick look at the X-Aestivalis:
Ive heard that some people really like this thing but I dont see it.
Its got average stats all around (with mobility and armor on par with the Heavy Frames) but at least it has good ratings on all main terrains.
The main problem, for me, is its lack of flexibility. It only has two attacks: A Gravity Blaster (2-7 range) and the MAP Gravity Blaster (1-7 range, same attack radius as Tsukumos).
They are all pre-movement and they cost, respectively, 50 and 80 EN per use; this is HUGE for a real robot and will result that, even with if you upgrade its EN to max (300), itll run out of juice after 3 uses per turn (meaning you cant rely on it to be a good mook destroyer unless you get lucky with a MAP setup).
If you want to get use out of this thing, you need to equip it with any +EN and EN Consumption parts you can find and you need to build Akito as a sniper (Hit & Away is a necessity); if you havent set him up like so, its probably best to stick to the other frames.
With all that done, on with Mission 23s prologue:
Rose is seen talking with a mysterious man, relating how Tsukumo's killer is still at large but her people have no idea where to begin their search.
It goes without saying that the peace talks are off, which is presumably precisely what whoever pulled this off wanted.
Rose suspects one of the military or the security council, who all along advocated continuing hostilities, or perhaps the Marimea army, who stands to benefit from governmental chaos.
The man adds, with a sinister smirk, the possibility of someone from the Jovian side - a smile that reminds her of his departed father.
He sniffs a bit at this, claiming he's merely worried about the Secretary General's safety.
He also appreciates how she pretended not to recognize him when they were together last, which she knows perfectly well is just his way of spying on the military from the inside; he smirks and quotes an old proverb that "Age is surer armor than a turtle's shell".
They're on the same page, but Rose sees fit to remind him that she's only helping him in the interest of maintaining peace on Earth - not for furthering his business interests.
Everything the Executive Branch has on the bad guys will be sent to our team, and she'll leave him on the loose to do as he wishes.
He thanks her as a "member of the Wärter", and adds a warning that members of the Blue Cosmos party seem to be more active nowadays; Rose thinks of both Blue Cosmos and the Marimea Army and how they move amidst the chaos
Kazuma notes in the ship's log that, with Tsukumos murder, things are even worse now than before the peace talks started.
A massive Jovian fleet is now stationed near the Earth Sphere, setting up a Mexican standoff with the Federation army.
Of course, the Radam and Eviluders haven't just packed up and gone home either, leaving the Earth in one hell of a pickle.
Unsurprisingly, our own team is in a dark mood - especially Minato and Yukina.
About the only one mustering much energy is Lady Une, who expects the Marimea army to strike at any moment.
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and at this rate it's going to be Merry Crisis-mas for sure.
It's Minato's turn to join the locked-in-her-room brigade, with Yukina no less.
Given how she was already planning her life together with Tsukumo, it's not any wonder; and Izumi would know, apparently having lost not one but two fiancées in her past.
As for the assassin, no one appears to have witnessed the deed, occurring as it did in Tsukumo's private quarters.
It seems Tsukumo was disinclined to take ordinary visitors...
Kouji wants to know just who stands to benefit from this mess, and Mao fills him in that there are far more warmongers out there than he knows.
Atop the list is the military - not because they fear being dissolved in peacetime, but because their suppliers fear the loss of business.
It's a common enough theme in science fiction for the military-industrial complex to be pulling strings in wartime...but such simple profiteering would be better than what Zechs secretly suspects.
If they are behind this, the anti-Earthling prejudice that smote the Coordinators may be unleashed again.
Of course, it could be the Marimea army, who probably has something cooking after their little declaration of war.
Something like that "endless waltz" that Wufei mentioned.
Unfortunately, they've been very effective at playing possum, and our best efforts have yet to unmask their plot.
Akatsuki is the one to bring up the theory that it might be someone from the Jovian side.
He's "heard a rumor" that the contents of the "peace treaty" were in fact nothing of the sort - rather, they were a declaration of intent to reverse-colonize the Earth.
Our people are beginning to wonder where he hears these rumors; Erina arguments that Nergal found the info but Prospector shoots that idea down, as he wasnt informed of anything of the sort.
Akatsuki brushes such questions aside to finish the theory: the Jovian government staged the whole thing as a farce to bolster their own war agenda.
If so, it could only mean that the Jovians are very sure of winning, with some kind of deathweapon or whatnot in their arsenal and Gai is the first to understand: the Martian ruins.
The Jovians, in complete control of Mars, must have found something useful among the relics of whatever ancient, advanced society once held sway in the Solar System.
As a pilot of one such ancient, advanced weapon, Fahra won't just stand by and watch the Jovians turn archeology to their evil ends.
Akito has a more general grudge against whoever cut Tsukumo's life short - and if it's indeed the Jovians, Akito's grudge will include Geki Ganger itself, for forming the basis of the twisted Jovian "justice".
Simpleminded as always, and Akatsuki has to lecture Akito about how there are as many different versions of "justice" as there are people to hold them.
He goes so far as to question Akito's anime-fanatic cred, stating that if he'd actually watch more than one anime he'd get a much broader perspective on life.
Akito says to fuck anime - he doesn't want anyone else to suffer in real life.
Akatsuki sardonically praises Akito for his 'heroic' "For the world, for the people, I shall end all fighting!" schtick.
He then adds, in a hard tone we've not heard him use, that all those who claim to fight for someone else's sake make him want to level their ass.
Regaining his composure quickly, he has one parting word for Akito before stalking off: the die has already been cast.
There will be a showdown with the Jovians and Marimea army in the none too distant future - regardless of whether it's "right" or not.
He will watch with great interest where Akito's notions of "Justice" are then.
Those still left in the mess hall marvel at Akatsuki's uncharacteristic speech; perhaps the strain of recent events is getting to him too?
Someone else acting uncharacteristic is Heero, who's been staring off into space.
He's been pondering the notion of individual "Justice", and how Wufei really ought to be able to find his path if he's really a warrior.
We're sure to meet him soon enough, and then everything will become clear. Heero is trying hard to steel himself for that moment; word then comes from the Danaan.
The Marimea army is about to finally take up arms against the abominable Federation that sought peace with the despicable Jovians.
Dekim exhorts the troops to strike down the Federation and impose a new order in space, and everyone seems pumped up except Relena.
She quickly points out the absurdity of starting a revolutionary war when an interplanetary war is already breaking out; Marimea, however, tells her that all will be settled once their new order is in place this fight will be the rite of passage thatll bring about a new world.
Marimea addresses the troops, telling that that theyll begin walking on a path towards a glorious future for Earth; she proclaims the start of the True Operation Meteor, as Relena inwardly pleads with Heero to hurry.
Someone is leaking troop movement data about the Marimea army to the Jovians.
It seems they're heading for the colony where the Secretary General is, hoping for some kind of decapitation strike.
Whoever it is tells Kusakabe that the future of both their causes depends on how his troops do.
Kusakabe tells his informant not to worry; he swears upon his promise to George Glenn that hell bring news of success.
Mission 23 - Endless Waltz Finale
The colony falls in short order and Marimea goes to see Rose, who observes drily that the End has come if little girls like her have turned to terrorism.
Marimea tells her that its not terrorism, though: theyve simply set the stage for a new world.
Dekim tells Rose what their next move is: dropping this entire colony onto the Siberian Plain.
As Rose knows well from the Revolutionary War documentation, the original Operation Meteor was to have begun with a colony drop, followed by a blitzkrieg on the survivors.
It was thanks to certain peaceniks that the only thing to fall to Earth was five Gundams (Heero and the others).
In any case, this time around secrecy has been tossed to the winds, thanks to a Radam offensive on the main Federation army base on the other side of the Moon.
That report was not supposed to be public knowledge, which tells Rose that someone privy to the information, a member of the Federation army, wants this colony drop too.
Rose immediately suspects the Atlantic Union, who've been facing off against the Eurasia Union for some time now.
The knowledge may do her little good, since Dekim plans to force her and Relena to take responsibility for the Federation's sins by going down with the ship, as it were.
Rose asks him what the price was for his treachery, allying himself both with Blue Cosmos and with the Jovians: is he to be given the "honor" of attacking Plant?
Marimea tells the old lady to shut up and that her time is over; with a righteous scowl, Rose informs that no little brat who knows nothing about the world can show anyone any kind of future.
Rose offers Marimea the chance to redeem herself by coming over to her side.
Marimea takes offense, yelling that shes Marimea Kushrinada, the future leader of the entire United Federation; regaining her composure, she propounds the model of history as an "Endless Waltz" in three parts: war, peace, and revolution.
With this colony drop, theyll end this cycle and usher in a new era, with a new Federation.
Rose sniffs that Dekim seems to be dreaming during daytime and adds that there exists a power that can stop his ambition.
Right then, their troops detect some approaching ships.
All our units are back and, while the deployment size has been increased, we still have more people than the available room which calls for voting time!
With Kazuma taking one spot and Heero deploying for an event, that leaves 16 slots to be chosen from the units below:
- Kouji, Tetsuya, Boss
- Shin Getter
- Blade, Blue Earth
- Duo, Quatre, Trowa, Zechs
- Akito, Ryouko, Izumi, Hikaru
- Gaogaigar, Fuuryuu, Rairyuu, Enryuu, Hyoryuu, Mike, Volfogg
- Mao, Kurz, Sousuke
See you all then!