Part 97: Mission 28 - The Only One in Space
"The Bloody Valentine" and the End of the Age
2/14/100 of the Federation Space Calendar.
The nuclear attack on Junius 7, which would later come to be known as the "Bloody Valentine", plunged the governments of the Earth and the Plants into war.
Even within the New United Nations, several countries cried foul at the war, and the neutral Orb Union declared its non-participation in the Federation military and opposition to the war from the moment hostilities commenced.
The Federation Army controlled the Atlantic Union, and with its swift suppression of the Plants' Army, the Zaft, it was believed the conflict would come to a hasty conclusion. However, new Zaft weapons allowed the war to spill over to civilian life, and hostilities ground to a halt.
This new weapon, which disrupts nuclear fission, is called a "Neutron Jammer".
The Zaft deployed these weapons throughout the world, neutralizing the nuclear powerplants that provide the nations their power. A grave energy crisis followed.
Not only were chains of command disrupted, but the Neutron Jammers' deleterious effects on radar and communications, combined with the Coordinators' advanced combat abilities, quickly steered the war off the initial course Federation command had plotted.
All indications pointed to prolonged hostilities.
As Coordinator and Natural fought, the Radam menace continued unabated.
Newly arrived spaceships threatened the arrival of a vastly larger force than before.
The arrival of Eviluder forces, even more fearsome than the Radam, was widely forecast.
But no one could predict what the future for mankind, beset from within and without, might hold.
Federation space calendar year 100: mankind spent this year, the last before the new century, amid daily uncertainty of what their future held.
Even half a year removed from the "Bloody Valentine", there were those who led their lives with bravery. They were to quietly form the nucleus of a new movement that would eventually alter the course of the Earth and the war enshrouding it.
- Space Development Corporation, Historical Notes "Space Development
Report", excerpted from Chapter 2 introduction
Back in the Bit Colony, Mihiro is handing the ship's log this time, her entry dated exactly a year since Wärter was founded, and around half a year since they were effectively disbanded.
On that day, she lost both her brother and her father.
Orbit Base also got pretty thoroughly trashed from the sublimation, and the Nadesico has been immobilized as well.
What's more, Akito, Yurika, Ines and D-Boy have gone missing in the past months.
The rest of the team has gone back to their former lives.
The painful memories of that day have kept her and her family from having much contact with the others, but her father's exhortation that memories are precious has spurred her to keep the log.
Even so, whenever she starts the log, she begins thinking of her lost family and feels the same grief from six months ago return.
Carret interrupts her impending tears to remind her that it's almost meeting time; as she starts going, Carret wishes for her to keep her chin up.
She thanks him but says she wont cry anymore in order to gain a bit of her father and brothers tenacity.
The Valstork crew has been brought a job by Galent, which amounts to a simple message delivery junket.
The sticking point is who is offering the job: someone from Orb who's used very unofficial channels to make the request.
Horis notes that Orb is a neutral nation right in the middle of the pacific ocean known advocates of peaceful coexistence between Naturals and Coordinators (which, obviously, has put them at odds with the Federation Hawks).
That theyre going to such lengths to send a secret message might indicate that were getting involved in something potentially problematic.
However, Shihomi says, these aren't times they can afford to pick and choose, especially if they wish to avoid their 37th bankruptcy.
Horis points out that Taiga was more than generous with the funding when the Wärter disbanded, but Akane tells him that there's only so many kinds of jobs the Trailers can do these days.
Anyway, Shihomi's resolve as captain is firm, and if there's anything worrying about the job, it's the recipient of the message: a noted mercenary group named Serpent Tail.
Lest the mercs decide to off the messenger, Shihomi decides to go in the Valstork - which will also help in running the gauntlet of Radam along the way, which was made even more worrisome with the news of the arrival of a Radam Fleet from outer-space.
It's a shame the rest of our comrades aren't here, but such is life today, the Valstork Family members are only Trailers.
Perhaps as a sign of the times, Kumi Jefferson, a popular prophet, is on the TV stating prophecies of expanding doom: the darkness that rules the universe is growing, overshadowing Earth and the space surrounding it.
This is her, without the emulator line across her face.
Mihiro for one doesn't want to watch another second, quoting the Trailer maxim that "The future belongs to no one, other than yourself."
Akane figures Mihiros right and feels slightly embarrassed to be worried about something as small as a prediction.
Horis wonders how small something would have to be to embarrass her, because her breasts he doesnt get to continue, as Galent punches him dead on, saying that if he has time to talk like that, he has time to help clean the table.
Horis sighs, now remembering that the Devils Arm is still among them
Either way, once everythings cleaned up, theyll get going on their trip and Shihomi thanks Galent for his help with everything.
Aboard the Serpent's Tail ship, Elijah (white-haired guy) is uncertain whether they should have accepted the job.
Gai Murakumo sees no reason to turn it down, especially since it came their way specifically.
Besides, as Loretta points out, turning it down would harm their reputation and Reed points out that it's not like Orb would be trying to trap them or anything.
Reed's info is that Orb is in pretty bad shape, and genuinely needs their help, and Elijah is eventually persuaded to at least hear the contents of the job. It seems Loretta's daughter is good to go too, as is Kite, despite what Elijah figures is his cowardice.
Kite simply calls it not wanting to get into combat, despite his well-known piloting aptitude.
Elijah takes umbrage at Kite wasting his abilities but Gai tells him to settle down, as he hired Kite for his FLYING skills, not for his combat skills.
Kite quickly heads out to see the mech he'll be using and the others wonder aloud how an incredibly lone wolf like him could have made it this long through all this war without a single rumor of his exploits leaking out.
Reed isn't willing to use his info gathering skills to find out either: he has no plans to turn peeping tom on other team members.
One thing seems clear, "Kite" seems to be an alias - perhaps referring to the bird.
Elijah figures he should have picked a more formidable raptor, but Gai mulls an old saying that "the hawk gives birth to the kite".
Kazahana (Lorettas daughter) shows Kite his mech, with its already impressive specs tuned up to the max; not too shabby for a rental Mobius, Kite thinks.
Though she knows he has no plans to use them, Kazahana's made sure it's armed; Kite isnt one to dismiss her hunches and thanks her for it.
Kazahana feels like hes patronizing her and tells him to stop it she doesnt like how different his attitude is when talking to Gai or her mother from when hes talking to her and she doesnt want to be treated as a child!
Kite stops a bit but then apologizes, saying that he didnt mean to treat her like that; its just that, when he sees her, he cant help but be reminded of his younger sister.
Kazahana is surprised to hear that he has a family and asks how old this sister is and Kite says she wouldve turned 11 this year, which makes Kazahana feel better, knowing that shes the older girl.
By way of apology, Kite shares with her a Trailer maxim: "Don't try too hard to conceal your weaknesses that only advertises them."
He explains that that this means that one is a child so long as being called a child bothers them.
Mission 28 The Only One in Space
Kite and the others reach the rendezvous point before the messengers.
The level of caution they sense says all they need to know about the importance of the mission.
When Kite asks Elijah how long he's been a merc, Elijah flatly says it started just after the Bloody Valentine; he welcomes Kite to make fun of his skills if he wants to - he knows very well his only real Coordinator ability is his face.
The genetic engineering he underwent didn't enhance his MS piloting skills any more than a regular Natural, but the last thing Kite plans to do is criticize him for hit; Kite says that he's only as good as he is because he admits his own weaknesses and does his best at everything else he can.
He figures Elijah is already plenty professional, whatever his piloting skills might be; this actually surprises Elijah, whos worked with Kite several times before but didnt expect him to say stuff like that.
Gai Murakumo wants to ask Kite more about his past, but questions will have to wait until after they've dealt with whatever craft is approaching the area with an escort of Mobile Suits.
Whoever is approaching, they're bringing warships as no messenger should and Gai figures Federation or Zaft scouts are more likely.
Their presence here is odd, considering its very close to Orbs colony of Heliopolis neutral, sovereign ground.
Well be able to quiz them soon, Kite figures, as theyre here.
Indeed its Zaft and the squad is led by the famous "Magic Bullet of Dusk", Miguel Aiman.
Elijah heard rumors of this warrior when he was a Zaft cadet, and they were impressive even then.
The Zaft troops spot our team ahead but theyre not Federals, as they expected; Miguel for his part isn't terribly worried about two modified GINNs and a Mobius, no doubt either Trailers or mercs.
Either way, he can't let them go now that they've seen his men, especially with the Vesalius due any minute.
As they move attack, Elijah figures it was a trap like Gai expected but something seems off; Elijah wonders if they should try talking to them but Kite says its no good as the Zaft platoon is approaching in attack formation he figures itd be a problem to Zaft if they were spotted while so dangerously close to the colony.
Either way, Kite plans to make good on his promise not to fight and starts heading towards the Zaft unit.
He blows right through them, surprising the Zaft troops with his speed.
Elijah still doesnt understand why Kite wont fight when he has such skill; Gai figures he has his reasons but theres no time to think about that: Miguel has ordered his men to ignore the Mobius and focus on the GINNs.
: Come on, Elijah. Prepare yourself.
: I am also a member of Serpents Tail! I can do this!
: Mission start
This one is a breather stage, to help you relax after all those finales mind you, Miguel can be decently accurate.
Both Gai and Elijahs GINNs are unupgraded so they wont be as dodgy as desirable, but they can still handle themselves.
Gai is the only one that can get in range, so we might as well have him take a quick shot at Miguel.
: I will destroy anyone, no matter who, if they interfere with my mission.
God, Ive missed this BGM.
The top left and bottom right Zaft GINNs will use their grenade launchers to snipe at our guys but they are waaaay too inaccurate.
The mooks seem to prioritize Elijah, while Miguel guns for Gai.
: I'll survive on my own. That's why I'm a mercenary... and why I can't die here!
Still, its no problem.
Miguel does have Multicombo but his assault rifle doesnt have good accuracy.
We move in, Gai goes after the southern sniper GINN.
Not bad at all.
Elijah needs to stick close to Gai for the friendship/command aura bonus.
Elijah and the remaining full-HP GINN trade long-range shots, while also taking out Gais weakened target.
Miguel goes for another chain attack but his Sword is actually accurate enough to tag Gai.
While I could finish off Miguel right now, Ill have Elijah take out the last mook for some extra cash (well be getting small amounts for a few missions so its good to take all that you can).
I might as well use Gais Valor. Hopefully itll be enough for a kill ?
Miguel chains both units again, doing a lil bit of damage to Elijah before getting shot down.
Miguel is worth a level, an Anti-Beam Coating (Small) and a Gunfight +1.
Gai also learns Multicombo L2
With their combat potential neutralized, Gai orders Miguel's forces to retreat.
Miguel introduces himself and angrily demands to know Gais name, who relays it to him.
As Miguel runs off, he promises to remember that name; Kite returns and asks if Elijahs OK he is, which is good, as Kite says there are still more enemies inbound.
Its Radam, with Tekkaman Lance tagging along.
Lance says that were quite unlucky to run into him while hes in a foul mood and orders his Radam monsters to tear us apart.
Elijah tells Kite that the Radam wont simply ignore him and that hell have to fight; Kite quickly destroys an approaching monster and Gai realizes right away just how sharp a shooter he is.
However, the act of firing seems to have put a major mental strain on Kite...
Elijah sees that Kite CAN actually fight despite it all and shows interest in his style when Kite snaps back, yelling at him to shut up.
Gai tells Elijah to pay attention, as theres a ship entering the area
: Thats !
: Sister! Those mobile suits are from Serpents Tail!
: Then, theyre the people that were delivering this message to!
: Then well help them and repel the Radam attack! Valstork, intercept the enemy!
: Oh some of Blades friends are on that ship
: Still, Ill deal with this guy first before going after them!
: The Tekkaman is aiming for that Mobius!
: Get outta there, Kite!
: Watch out!
: Huh B-brother ?!
: Urgh !
: Brother! BROTHER!!
: Mihiro, right now we need to focus on the enemy ahead!
: But but !!
: Hmph he got away. In that case, Ill have you all pay for that.
: Stand down, Trailer. Well deal with the Radam.
: No, I will also fight!
: Because of them because of them, all that happened to my father and my brother !
: I wont forgive you! Ill never forgive you!!
Ho-hum, I had forgotten that Mihiro would get right in the enemys face.
Hopefully, she can hold on until our turn.
A Radam does get clever and call for an assist from Lance but, thankfully, she manages to dodge everything.
Everything else just moves in closer.
As the battle progresses, another Mobius appears, this time equipped with Gunbarrels.
Gai had thought all such ships were lost in the lunar Battle of Grimaldi, but its pilot, Mu La Flaga, is known for doing the impossible.
He's still a Federation soldier, but he's more than happy to help his old comrades...he wonders where Bless is but quickly apologizes once he realizes what happened.
Either way, he was patrolling the nearby area when he noticed the battle thus, hes here to help and Akane is more than happy to have an extra unit on our side.
Gai realizes that Mu was probably observing his little fight with Zaft - this suggests to him that Heliopolis has become the key to both Zaft and Federation operations, if both groups are having patrol-groups comb the area.
Ok, it should be smooth sailing for here on out. Having Horis cast Assail, we can move in the Valstork and take out one of those Radam monsters.
Thisll be the Valstorks main theme from now on and its one of my favorite BGMs in the game.
Shihomi fills Big Daddys shoes nicely.
For some cheap damage, Mihiro chains the bug and Lance.
Meanwhile, Mu comes over and shoots his piddly Linear Gun at one of rear monsters.
Gai and Elijah start moving over.
Were prepared this time, fucker.
Mihiro takes out two weakened monsters.
The last one decides to go after the Valstork of all things.
Lance figured the two unupgraded, damaged GINNs would make for an easy target but enemy MAPs are still inherently inaccurate.
Only Lance left, so lets take him out.
: Tch... the man from the moon again!
: The Radam's interference cost us something nasty at the Battle of Grimaldi.
: I lost comrades and leaders there! You'll pay for them, Takkaman!
: It's a Radam Tekkaman! Project and lead his moves at 120% normal rate!
: Yes'm, Acting Captain!
: We'll get him for you, D-boy!
: This is a Radam Tekkaman? He's even faster than they said!
: What's the matter, human? You think you can defeat me with all that doubt in you?
: Hmph. He's good
: If you're not giving it your all, I have nothing to fear. Your complacency will be your downfall.
: What's wrong, girl? Where did all that fire go that blocked my strike?
: I can't lose... I can't let the Radam beat me!
Lance is worth a level, a Booster and an Infight +1.
Lance thinks he played a bit too much and quickly returns home.
Shihomi thanks Mu for his help but he says none are needed, since he was patrolling this area anyway he figures he should get back to it, too; Before he goes, though, Gai asks for his name and, when given, thinks about that Flaga name (Could it be , he wonders inwardly).
Muu asks if somethings wrong but Gai says hes merely heard plenty of stories about Muu before and, likewise, Muu has also heard of the leader of Serpents Tail and is glad to have witnessed his skills firsthand.
Extending his farewells to everyone, he leaves and wishes for us to meet again.
Mihiro is deep in thought and, when Shihomi asks whats the problem, reveals that she thinks it was Kazuma inside that Mobius.
However, she doesnt understand why he fled at the sight of her face; regardless, hes long gone and theres no way for us to follow, so Shihomi asks for Gai and Elijah to come aboard the Valstork so they can finish their assignment.
Aboard the ship, Shihomi hands over an extremely old-fashioned envelope with a wax seal.
The seal is that of the ancient Orb empire, which is exactly as Gai expects; what has both himself and Elijah impressed is the Valstork itself, even better than the reputation of "Hawkeye" suggested.
Shihomi is happy to receive praise from such a well-known merc and Gai quickly asks if its true that Bless is dead, which Shihomi confirms happened around half a year ago.
Mihiro then steps in, whom Elijah recognizes as the pilot of the Valhawk; she introduces herself and asks about the pilot on that Mobius.
Gai will only tell her that the retreated pilot's name is "Kite", though Elijah drops that its most likely an alias; Mihiro tells them that Kite is her brother, who disappeared after a battle six months ago, but shes sure its him theres no one else in the entire universe that he could be.
Gai insides that his name is Kite, not Kazuma, but Akane doesnt dont buy it, certain that Mihiro wouldnt make a mistake like that; regardless of her pleas, Gai came here with a mission in mind and will confine his conversation only to that subject.
Akane tries to press him but Shihomi stops her, asking Gai to forgive her crewmates behavior.
Before departing, he tells Mihiro that, wether or not he is her brother, "Kite" is part of Serpent Tail now and, as its leader, it's his duty to protect his team.
Back at the Serpent Tail's base, Kite hasn't said a word since returning from the mission and Kazahana and Loretta are worried about him.
He tells the women to get the details of the sortie from Elijah or Gai, but he appreciates their concern nonetheless; Kazana says its no problem, as it is her job to care for the team-members mental health!
Loretta says its not like that, though, as they dont care for the people here simply because its their job: they do it because Gai, Elijah, Kite and the others are their family.
Kazuma grows pensive with this family talk but
Elijah and Gai then return, and Elijah wants to know how Kite couldve run off by himself like that; Kite says he was patrolling the surrounding area for enemies, the same task hes always done in all previous fights.
Elijah sees right through him, figuring he simply didnt want face his little sister again; he tells him that the girl is worried sick about him and kept asking them to get in touch with him.
Kite doesnt answer and Gai tells Elijah to let him be, as he carried out his part of the mission to the letter.
Gai, however, says that his GINN got damaged out there, and that he'll be using the Mobius next time - with Kite riding shotgun.
Indeed, this might literally require combat, and Gai, as the leader, won't take "no" for an answer.
Kite accedes to this, saying that he should consider himself lucky that he's in space at all just now.
The mission, as written in the letter they just received, will require them to head to the Orb colony of Heliopolis.
However, the plan needs to be changed right away as an emergency presents itself at the colony.
It seems Zaft has attacked it, having learned of Federation ships docked there.
So much for that colony's neutrality... Whatever this next mission will entail, it seems there'll be no avoiding getting mixed up with the two warring forces.