Part 11: Mission 4 (Rand) - PrologueBack at the intermission, so lets get through it quick-like:
The most notable item we got was this Cobham Armor and its going straight for Jiron as he cant really dodge or defend but is designed to be a front-line character.
Furthermore, like I said before, Rag will be a squaddie eventually so, for lack of a better option, she takes the Strategy Manual.
Jiron, for now, takes Guard and Break Morale Limit. I like to leave the last slot open until I decide what role hell play as the game goes along and then Ill buy whatever fits.
Such is not the case with Rag, Burume and Dyke, wholl always take the standard pair of squaddie skills; mind you, I never used Dyke so hes got nearly nothing to spend.
Also, while Chil COULD pilot a Walker Machine, shes much better off as a spirit command battery for Jiron, so Ill just load her with SP Up.
Finally, Elchi takes Guard to help with her survivability and thats that.
Walker Galia and Xabungle want pretty much everything so they can survive and I gave them a bit of extra firepower to extend their usefulness (less so on Xabungle, mind). The Iron Gear, as our main carrier, will be an auto-deployment on many missions, so I give it some love as well (everything except mobility, really).
The Trads are crap, though, so I just give them a wee bit of HP and Armor to survive the second I get something better (and the game stops locking me out of switching), theyre gone.
And thats that. Now, back to the story:
Location: Siberia Iron Gear Hangar
Cotsett is over with Rand and Kona as theyve just finished repairing all units. Kona is quite impressed with Cotsetts skill as a mechanic.
He says its no big deal and, either way, there still isnt much he can do about the Bachclones engine as he doesnt really have any experience dealing with Silhouette Engines. He does volunteer to help Kona if she can think of anything and she asks Rand if he wants to tag along.
Rand certainly will help, pretty confident that he can fix just about anything such is the responsibility of the Beater Services! Still, Cotsett reminds him that he's still a baby compared to his master, a somewhat mysterious figure whom neither Cotsett or Rand seem inclined to discuss with Kona.
In any case, defeating the enemy's commander has probably bought a little time, though everyone expects the commander to come back bearing a grudge. Of course, if that happens, Rand tells them that THE HEATs blazing attacks will take care of everything.
Everyone prepares to leave and Cotsett calls Fatman over to guard the place.
Fatman doesnt get to guard for long, as a hidden Yassaba knocks him out.
Hes come in here to make sure Adettes mission is a success.
At Yapan Ceilings high school, Garrod explains to the other kids how he came to Zora - a dimensional warp of some kind and hes been tagging along with Gain as a way to get back home.
The good news is that the city is headed East, towards Yapan, and there ought to be a way back to Ameria from there. Chil asks Mel if she knows anything about this Yapan place.
Mel says its an island off the East coast of the Galian continent and, before the Cataclysm, it was a place where the wealthy drove in mechanical giants and fought dragons, tigers, bears, sloths, spiny echidnas, and damn near everything else too.
In any event, absent air travel, the trip to Yapan over land is going to take a long time, even without Siberian Rail interference.
Ana is very impressed at her insight and Mel says that she knows this because of the careful notes she's kept from all the places, people and mechs she's seen or heard about.
Once again, Anas impressed that someone as young as her is already so impressive. On that subject, Mel slowly asks how old Ana think she is and Ana believes itd be around her age maybe one or two years older?
Mel bristles at this but Bello thinks its not a bad thing, as going on a big trip like this at a young age means they can still be taken care of by the grown-ups.
I dont want to be treated like a child! Im 16 years old!" Mel yells.
This certainly surprises everyone, who expected her to be, at most, 13. Mel says its no big deal as shes used to the reaction but everyone apologizes nonetheless.
She continues her story, saying that most of her time with Rand has been spent looking for clues as to where her father has gone. He was Rand's master and former leader of the Beater Services, and so far theyve found nothing.
Ana starts feeling sorry for her but Mel tells her not to as, regardless of her search, she lives each day very happily.
Back to Garrod, Burume asks if hes sure about this since a trip back to America would certainly be tougher than most. Garrod understands that as, even if the Exodus reaches its destination, itll still be a long way to Ameria.
Sara invites him to live in Yapan once the Exodus is finished but he politely refuses as there's a certain girl he wants to see again and he wont stop until he does so.
Inwardly, Gainer sees that everyone has a reason for making this journey and wonders what Gain's reason is. Before everyone splits up, Bello recommends they all swing by a certain fortune telling section of town since he figures one of them may provide a clue to Mel and Garrods issues.
Burume agrees readily anything to get out of staring at Cotsetts grimace and Rands sweltering grin and everyone else follows suit.
Location: Siberian Railroad Station
The Siberian Rail officers let Hola in on Yassaba's little stunt.
They all know how much their commander hates losing, and Jaboli figures Yassaba is trying to impress Adette. Kejinan would be just as happy if the commander never returned, in which case the job would fall to him instead.
Hola is ready to report that as insurrection, but Kejinan says hes got a plan and asks Hola to listen before making a decision. He wonders what Hola came here to obtain: money? Influence? Power?
If he cooperates and Kejinan becomes the new captain of the guard, he would be very well rewarded of course, that tickles Holas fancy and he agrees to hear him out.
Jaboli is a bit hesitant if things will go as smoothly as planned but Kejinan tells her to shush, already envisioning himself as captain
Inside the city of Yapans ceiling, the only fortune teller without a line is Eifa, a young girl whose body bears the signs of some very harsh treatment.
Garrod gets the ball rolling, and asks her to foretell if he'll be able to return to Tifa. As Eifa asks for his date and time of birth and preps her vision, Gainer asks about Tifa.
Garrod tells him that not only is Tifa super-cute, but she's got the kind of eyes that would make anyone want to protect her... You know what I mean, right, Gainer? Garrod concludes.
Gainer nods while quickly saying its nothing when Sara draws too close.
The fortune comes back thus: "The person awaited shall come somewhere unforeseen" - Garrod will indeed see Tifa again, in some fashion he doesn't expect. Unfortunately, the forecast also calls for dark clouds at their destination: dangerous tidings for his and Tifa's futures.
Still, that's good enough for Garrod, who's sure that he and Tifa together can overcome any conceivable danger.
Gainer can't understand Garrod's seemingly baseless confidence and unending optimism, and Jiron offers him one pearl of Zoran wisdom: if you don't know how something will turn out, why not try assuming the best?
Gainer gets what Jirons trying to say but doesnt think things are as simple as that.
Mel is next up to bat, asking after the whereabouts of her father - Cielo Beater but to do that, Eifa needs to know some information of the person so she can attune. Mel says that not only was he the true leader of the Beater Service, he was also the Gunleon's original pilot.
He went missing some four years ago, while they were traveling from place to place looking for jobs, when space began to distort right where they were.
From Mel's description, it sounds like he was caught in the same type of warp that Garrod was but she doesnt know. When she came to, he wasnt in Gunleons cockpit anymore and shes been searching for him, with Rand, ever since.
Thats also why she keeps that memory notebook, as a way to gather information on anything that could also lead to a clue about what happened to her father and why they were so interested in Garrods warp.
Eifa has to apologize for how the fortune turns out: "The future is what you make for yourself".
Ambiguous, and like Jiron, Mel prefers to assume that she and her "darling" can do whatever it takes to find her father.
Just then, everyone realizes that Ana and her three pets are missing. Considering her importance to this whole thing, the group quickly runs off to find her ASAP.
Turns out thats was mistake, as Eifa had a prediction as to where she might be
Ana has been snatched by Adette, who's come to return the girl to her father.
After all, so long as there's a hostage on the scene, the Railroad can't mount an all-out attack. She says Anas Exodus is over and wont take any back-talk from the girl.
Just then help comes from an unexpected source: Lioubov!
Ana is very surprised to see that she also came to Yapans Ceiling but shes been frantically searching for Ana ever since her kidnapping. Its her job to take care of the princess and, no matter where she goes, she will watch over her!
Adette isnt about to have this babysitter get in her way but
What Adette wants to know first, though, is how they knew theyd find her here and it turns out theyve been following Ana ever since they found Fatman knocked out. Thats the first Adettes heard of this, though, as she wasnt anywhere near the hangar.
Regardless, things arent looking good for her.
: Kill me!
: What, you're ready to go that far now that your escape's cut off?!
: Well, hey, how about, instead of dying, you become the mother of my children?
: Oh, my!
: Is this really the time to be saying that?!
: Men always think like that.
: We do.
: What does that mean?
: Simple-minded men
: Were just honest about what we want.
In any case, before Adette can get escorted anywhere, Yassaba runs to the rescue. Adette thanks him for being as strong as she expected and runs off.
Gain yells for Rand to take Ana somewhere safe while he handles this goon, and lest Yassaba think he can somehow overpower Gain, Jiron and friends run up to help just as capable of fighting on foot against a Siberian Rail soldier.
With that, everyone jumps Yassaba in hopes of capturing him and his only choice is to run off.