Part 99: Mission 29 - Red Soul, Blue Flames
Mission 29 - Red Soul, Blue Flames
Elijah sees the Mobile Suit leave and Gai radios in to say that the junkmen have already found the target.
The Professor isn't surprised that Lowe's guts and good luck have kept him out of the mercs' clutches thus far.
Elijah asks if he should intercept but Gai stops him; he wants a bit of payback for being duped by Lowe, so he orders the ship to pull back in order to fight Lowe one-on-one.
While that goes on, 8 helps Lowe get the mech online.
Lowe sees that the unit is armed and decides to give it a try; Gai deploys on his Mobius and Lowe quickly takes aim.
However, Gai is easily able to dodge the shot. (trust me on this one, that screenshot ran on the split-second time it took for Gais Mobius to move up a square).
Gai criticizes Lowes shots as poorly aimed and timed, making them predictable; nevertheless, he still plans on completing his mission to destroy the unit.
Lowe wont take that sass sitting down and says that battle between professional mercenary and professional junkman is on!
The Astray Blue Frame is more than capable of taking down a crappy Mobius in one shot. However, Gai auto-casts Focus and Alert on his turn so this attack will need to be a freebie.
: Come on! I'll show you how the Junk Guild does things!
: A reckless charge? He doesn't know how to use his machine.
Another round of Spirit spam but we have to attack in order to get his Alert gone.
Thankfully, Lowe dodges the attack.
No more joking around. I have 8 cast Strike and Beam Saber should do it.
Gai is worth a level, an Apogee Motor and a Support Attack +1.
Realizing he's outgunned, Gai concentrates his fire and leaves Lowe wondering how the hell a mere Mobius could move that fast.
8 warns that your opponent is very skilled, and that another hit like that will spell the end.
Lowe decides to risk it all and exits the cockpit.
Gai gets closer to investigate but he doesnt know that 8 is ready to fire when he drops his guard.
His Mobius gets blasted, but Gai uses the same tactic to jump to the mech and enter the cockpit.
That would be check-mate and it seems the Serpents Tail will get to complete their mission to destroy all traces of the mobile suits.
Lowe isnt willing to let that happen without a fight - after all, it would be a waste of valuable salvage.
This attitude actually interests Gai, but he asks how long Lowe thinks his good luck, by itself, will keep him alive in wartime.
Lowe in turn says that Gais cool head alone wont be enough to win him the day.
Their talk is interrupted, however, when a bunch of unknown units show up Elijah is right behind, saying they were attacked suddenly by these guys.
Gai quickly recognizes them as bearing Orb colors and Lowe figures these guys are here to finish off the expendable mercs as well in line with their wish to eliminate any proof of the units existence, including people.
One thing Gai hates is being betrayed, and he kicks Lowe and 8 out so he can go and get some payback; 8 thinks this is their chance to run away but Lowe still yells to Gai that hes merely LENDING him his machine and promises to kick his ass should Gai as much as scratch it.
Elijah is a bit surprised to see Gai using the unit but they can talk later after theyve dealt with these snakes.
Elijahs the only one that can move seeing how Lowes attack has set the Astray Blue Frame as used.
Nevertheless, all he can do is move up, getting inside Heliopolis positive terrain.
Still unupgraded, Elijahs numbers suffer from his lack of Gais command aura and friendship bonus.
: Damn it! I'm a member of the Serpent's Tail!
: I'll show you I'm not just a pretty face!
Still, he manages to dodge but his morale isnt high enough to compensate for the JINNs rather low attack power.
Another Mobius. This one actually gets a hit in but its still fine.
Finally, the Serpent wastes its shot at gets blasted away.
Things get worse yet when Mihiro launches in the Valhawk, demanding to know why everyone wants to fight so badly.
Gai sees that shes clearly disturbed and doesnt even realize when an enemy Mobius sneaks up on her.
She notices it too late and theres no time to dodge the attack!
Shes saved in the nick of time by Lowe and 8 showing up in the other secret mech.
He tells her to keep her head cool what would happen to her sisters if she died on them like that? Lowe thought Gai might try to run off with his unit, so he came over to keep an eye on him which is fine with Gai, who knows theyll need to work together if theyre going to survive this.
That works for Lowe, who promises to show everyone his devils luck.
Time to take the offensive. Gai has Multicombo L2 which means those three mooks there are sitting ducks.
: Not a bad unit. It'll do just fine for me.
: With this mech, I can't lose!
Next in line is Lowe and his shiny Astray Red Frame. He can move in to chain the other two that survived.
: Okay! After sparring in the Blue Frame, I've figured out how this thing ticks!
: Here we go, Red Frame! Let's scrap 'em into some real junk!
Fun fact: Gai fires three shots and all of them hit, Lowe fires six and only two hit. Whoops!
Mihiro is still out of range, which means Elijah gets to snipe at the remaining full-health Serpent.
The pre-battle numbers didnt run on this one but the result is pretty self-explanatory.
All other units hang back and snipe at Elijah.
: If you want to fight so badly, then I'll oblige!
: And you should find out how badly it hurts to lose someone you love!
Theres only one enemy left and it is quickly blown away.
However, it wasnt by our people and Gai quickly points out a new enemy approaching.
Its the Eviluders, led by Detonator Leave.
Lowe notes that these things have been increasing their attacks in the Earth Sphere recently and Gai notices the enemy commander.
The Eviluders quickly begin indiscriminately firing, and Gai thinks weve have no choice but to fight back; he asks Lowe if hes up to it and, of course, Lowe isnt about to get killed before he gets his hands on his treasure.
Mihiro is especially zealous to extract vengeance for her father and brother.
Leave meanwhile is wondering what's so special about this planet that Orgun loved so much.
Six months havent done much for these Eidos. Theyre as weak as they were on mission 1.
Well just weaken some and take them out with counter-attacks.
Aye, that works.
Well, the only enemy in Lowes range is that guy so he might as well finish the job.
The first two Eidos go after Elijah and Gai, respectively.
Theyre close enough to each other that the friendship bonus completely negates the mooks hit %.
Another one comes by but this time hes in range of a stronger attack.
Of course, stronger is a relative
The other weakened Eidos keeps going after Elijah and gets shot down.
Yay! Lowe gets to do stuff this phase!
The Lowe Guele school of marksmanship is lacking in critical ratio
Two more Eidos miss Elijah and get shot back.
Finally, the last one goes for Lowe and quickly regrets it.
Here comes Leave, chaining Elijah and Gai.
Well, at least Gai got some mileage off his shield
Elijah figures if this keeps up, the colony, Loretta and the others will be at risk; Lowe tries asking Mihiro to retreat and go after them but she refuses.
Mihiro realizes that, since only Elijah and Gai are out here, her brother must be in the colony; she's bound and determined to protect him now the way she couldn't back then.
Leave stops at the word protect, sensing strong feelings with that word.
Inside the Colony
: It seems the fight outside is getting worse
: Kazuma! Mihiro is also fighting there! Knowing that, youre still not going--
: Stop it. I I cant fight anymore I cant
: Kazuma you
: Im afraid of all that fighting. Thats why
: I see, the phantom of what happened to you and Captain Bless still haunts you
: I imagine both that fear and a sense of debt were the reason why you disappeared for half a year. But, I must tell you something
: Captain Bless died to protect you !
: Stop Stop it, Horis!
: No, this needs to be said. You have to face it, Kazuma this is the hard reality!
: Dad was protecting me he died simply because of my immaturity
: Which is why I cannot fight anymore what if my power isnt enough again someone else could die
: Sure, what youre saying is a possibility.
: However, if you stay here, not doing anything, lives that COULD be saved will certainly be lost.
: Lives would be lost
: Ill tell you one more thing. While its true that Captain Bless is dead
: I think he wouldve been OK with it. Because it meant that he had protected the life of someone dear to him.
: Kazuma What happened during that battle wasnt your fault. It was just bad luck.
: However, your refusal to fight right now is clearly your own weakness showing.
: And I will not allow Hawkeyes sacrifice to have been for the sake of someone so pathetic.
: What youre doing is same as killing Captain Bless again!
: Im killing my father
: A hawk giving birth to a kite many people would say that is not a good thing.
: However, you ARE the son of Blessfield Ardygun.
: Have you not inherited his pride?
: Enough, Horis
: I understand the reason why Kazuma avoided us and combat
: When we went back to the Valstork my sisters and I didnt think we could fight by ourselves
: Please stop, sister Ill have to borrow your salvage pod for a bit
: The terror of space and the weakness of the individual .
: I may be a weak person but I havent forgotten the importance of life!!
: (I must ascertain it what Orgun was searching for )
: That Eviluder its coming after me?!
*Leave charges at Mihiro and attacks.*
: This is bad, shes flying towards the debris!
: Mihiro! Arms extend!
: He caught the Valhawk with the salvage pods arms!
: He calculated the inertia, adjusted the relative velocity timing, balance, shock damping the whole movement was nearly superhuman!
: Brother ? Brother?!
: Yeah, its me ! Open the cockpit hatch, please!
*Salvage Pod disappears, Valhawk re-deploys.*
: Sorry I caused you so much grief
: No ! Its ok its all good now !
: Our sisters are here, too!
: Carret! Battle Formation: Pattern Cross! Can you do it!?
: Roger! Code Drive!
: Battle Formation: Pattern Cross!
: Valstork, roger!
Hell, yeah! Valguard combines and we finally get its real theme!
*Valguard is formed!*
: Alright !
: Whoooooa! So thats the famous Valguard!
: (Watching them I feel an unknown emotion welling up inside me What could it be?)
: (Could this emotion be what Orgun was searching for )
: The enemy commander retreated.
: Maybe she got scared after seeing that combined robot.
: Leave it for after weve dealt with the other enemies!
: Valhawk has the controls! Everyone else will take a job to do!
: Roger that! Leave the targeting systems to me!
: Sounds good! Ill handle the power output!
: Theres no need to say anything. But, isnt there something you should be doing now?
: Yeah ! Ill protect the lives of everyone! And I'll also protect my pride!!
Oh, this wont be long at all. Three weakened Eidos had the misfortune of lining themselves up for a chain-attack.
: Ahh, this feels nice... the Valhawk's cockpit's the place for me!
: Kazuma... I know it's been a long time. You think you can handle it?
: No problem, Mihiro!
: I didn't stop thinking about you guys and the Valhawk for a single day!
Well, since the Home is there, we might as well show it off a bit.
Yup, it tosses pieces of scrap at the enemy.
Its a bit weak but its loaded with useful Support Pilots.
As for the remaining Eidos, Gai easily takes one out.
While I take this chance to show off Elijahs strongest attack: Buster Sword.
Mind you, that white flash is when the enemy bursts into dust.
How do I get so lucky with these shots ?
Whatever. Lowe dispatches the last one.
: Thats the last one of them.
: Welcome home, brother
: Im glad to be back, Mihiro though, I have much to apologize for
: It seems weve survived, Junkman.
: What did I tell ya? Do I have the devils luck or what?
Gai doesnt answer, turning his attention to Reed who arrives in a shuttle; he muses that the fight between the Zaft and the Feds must have happened far faster than the Orb expected.
The loss of Heliopolis must have panicked the Orb and led to their betrayal, and left both the junkmen and the Serpents Tail with no real place to return to.
Lowe tells Gai he's welcome to keep the blue mech, as thanks for helping save everyone's life.
Helping each other and rewarding such help is the spacemen costume, after all they both trade names and hope to see each other again.
The various teams will be going their separate ways for now, with Kazuma back in the Valstork Family's embrace; when Kazuma thanks Kazahana for all her kindness, it's the first real smile she's ever seen on his lips.
As they leave, Kazuma inwardly thanks everyone from Serpents Tail and hopes that theyll meet again.
Lowe and Kisato are the first ones to grill Kazuma on making his sisters worry so much; he is pretty apologetic, recalling six months of odd jobs and playing mercenary, all to run from his supposed failure with his family.
But he somehow knew he'd have to come back, and begs them all for another chance to live as a Trailer.
: Heh it sounds like you mean it. Ill let you off the hook with only one punch! Now, brace yourself!
: Sorry, Lowe but doing that was my job.
: Sister, did you do that
: I did that in place of our father.
: Very nice, sis that was a loud slap!
: Shihomi is scary when shes angry
: How long has it been since Ive seen my sister hit someone ?
: Theres no need to start thinking about it yet.
: That one was for the whole Valstork family
: Moving along, theres one for me and one for Galent, who isnt here, and one for Carret, who cant reach you
*Slap, Slap, Slap!*
: Uuh oooooh .
: Yow look at that
: Its not over yet! Now its my turn!
: WARGH! You punched me?!
: My share would be my lecture from before but it seems to be Mihiros turn next
: Excuse me, Horis!
: Mi Mihiro
: Brother you idiot I was really, really worried about you
: U..uu aaaah .
: Sorry, Mihiro
: Welcome home, Kazuma-chan no, Kazuma. Youve returned home much stronger than before.
: Nah not yet. Im still a Kite after all
(It was necessary to leave the honorific there lest the line lose meaning.
For those not familiar, the -chan honorific mostly used, amongst other things, when talking to children, so Shihomi dropping it mid-sentence is significant.)
Liam phones in, interrupting the love(?)fest to announce that his crew discovered a lifepod while looking for more parts for the red-frame mech.
Shihomi is sure Liam's hold must be full up, and asks Liam to send the pod their way.
It's all hands to the hold in case medical attention is needed... all hands except Kazuma, who is about to have six months of pent-up kitchen duty come to roost all at once and Shihomi hopes for a LOT of mayonnaise on her dish.
Horis figures the heros return didnt quite go smoothly but, regardless, Kazuma thanks him it was his words that helped him wake up; Horis says it was nothing, as hes always admired Bless and his way of life.
Still, he has big expectations of Kazuma as heir of Captain Bless pride and, if it helps, asks Kazuma to think meeting those expectations as a way to repay Horis for his help today.
Kazuma does so, promising to even surpass his father someday.
Horis recommends he start in the kitchen: every meal this past half year, except those Shihomi cooked, have been awful.
Inside the pod is none other than Flay Allster (uh, oh ), lucky to be alive in her non-propelled escape pod.
She relates how she ran for a pod the moment the attack started in Heliopolis and asks what happened to everyone else that tried to escape Shihomi and Akane assure her that many other Heliopolians launched escape boats and were presumably saved.
As Flay gets taken to a room to rest, Shihomi finds out that the nearest friendly spot to drop her off is "Artemis", a space fortress belonging to the Eurasia Union.
Lowe wants to come along too and see the famed "Artemis' Umbrella", meaning the Valstork will have the junkmen riding shotgun for the time being.
Akane vows mayhem if Kazuma's cooking skills have atrophied during his absence...