Part 114: Mission 31 (Rand) - Shattered Past - Part 2Are you ready for things to slow down a whole lot? Those Cornicus (the birds) are bulkier than they were before, rather accurate and dodgy, are all in Wide Formation and theres a billion of them.
And dont forget Ziene because, while not that resilient, she can still do nice damage on a Real (plus, she now has her MAP).
Marin and Kei lead the offensive, with the latter taking an easy kill.
Dont wanna move in too close while a handful of my units are away, so Gain pops one of his TRI shots.
And he missed a 94% shot on a squaddie
Jiron follows up on Marin for a kill while Gainer takes one of Gains mooks (that one Cornicus STILL dodging high % shots).
I send Elchi to try and take one more but
Sadly, the Iron Gears bad rating against aerial targets greatly reduces her damage.
Talho blasts a fresh Cornicus and Tekkouki, once again, one-ups Ryouma.
Rentons lack of Focus will hurt him as he gets a rather shoddy 65%/65% spread against the birds (resulting in misses on both sides).
Elchi has Strike but, again, attacking aerial targets isnt her thing.
Attack my better units, damn it!
Talho chips a groups paintjob a bit and Gainer takes down a very weakened one and also weakened a bunch of others (five squads attacked him).
Ah, now thats more like it.
Uh, oh. Seems like Ziene has a bone to pick with Kei.
: Kei Katsuragi We meet, at last!
: Wha- ! This girl really has it out for me!
: Ive a score to settle with you ! Asakim didnt order this but I will, at the very least, kill you!
: Doesnt look like shes one of my old flames
: No holding back, then! Im not getting dropped in a place like this!
Kei being missed by women: Id much rather you try giving me a kiss than a slap.
Take this seriously, Kei!!
Löwen shows up soon, his mech finally out of maintenance, and ready to help us.
Pierre appreciates his integrity in assisting people he hired for a job and Jiron very much approves of people like that.
Ziene isnt impressed, though: she doesnt know who this guy is but asks what he thinks one mech can do to change the course of this battle. Löwen warns her not to underestimate his Chaos Leo, pinnacle of the Chimeras technology!
Löwen doesnt have morale to use his ALL
Dont wanna get MAPd by Ziene, so I tag her range on the ground and have Gain and Adette TRI from safety (each get a kill).
Do your thing, Ryouma.
Thats one kill for him and Tekkoukis is left barely alive.
With Getter out of the way, Talho is free to MAP a squad for some nice damage and a kill.
Renton makes himself useful, downing a weakened Cornicus.
The Glomar leaves Zienes area, repairing Gainers squad of a bit of damage they took during the enemys turn, and Marin prepares to snipe away.
Barely missed a kill but I wasnt expecting any it falls on Keis group to take out the lead Cornicus.
Following it up, the Freeden takes another.
This weak pair is easy prey for Garrods group.
Jiron and Apollo take the time to wreck one more bird before we end our turn.
Adette gets jumped by two squads.
And she gets a kill!
Shaia gets attacked twice (killing one) and I underestimate how weak Aquarions Beam Cannon is, making Apollo fail to finish a rather weak Cornicus.
Kei, meanwhile, draws the attention of two squads (who lose their leaders immediately) and Ziene (who misses).
Finally, Gain has one group go for him.
Son of a bitch !
Right on time! ...is what I would say but Garrods 3 morale short from being able to fire the damn thing!
We need to get rid of some squads to cover that, so Löwen takes the first one.
Next up, Talho will bombard another and leave it prepped.
There goes the lead bird.
Elchi gets a rather lucky 54% hit to take out another squad and Sara, with an assist from Gain, takes the third one we needed (also learning Prevail L3).
Finally, Shaia takes one last bird just because.
I dont care to prolong this battle any longer, so lets cue the music and turn our sights to Ziene!
: A meticulous trap and an impressive trick not bad at all, miss.
: Oh, Im being praised by the Black Southern Cross? What an honor.
: If you know that name, you might as well know this
: I really dont care for people who pull stuff like that!
: I thought you had a weird smell back when we met
: If Id noticed how you really were, none of this woulda happened!
: The mutt feels responsible? My, youre a funny one.
: Quit dissin others! Imma shut that big mouth of yours right now!
By the by, when you attack Ziene from outside her range: Using such disgusting tactics how awful!
: Youre not getting away, coward! Well bring you in and make you tell us what your game is!
: You fancy yourself some champion of justice, boy? How cute...
: Tch ! Shes mocking us!
: You should take a closer look at reality, though. Theres no such thing as justice in this messed-up world!
Ziene attacking a man: Hmm, making a grown man scream for me I get all tingly just thinking about it!
: I know you one of the S-1 people, right?
: Whatever your reasons for hanging out with these folks, that wont make your problems go away, will it?
: My anger right now has nothing to do with Earth or S-1!
: Like any other person, I just cant stand cowards like you!
: That was unforgivable! How could you trick us, Rand and Mel like that?!
: Heres a little fact of life: its your own fault for letting yourself be tricked.
: If you dont like that, then make me shut up that is, if you can, boy.
: I am not a boy I AM NOT A KID!!
: Whats up with her ? It doesnt look like shes after Rands life but !
: Oh, I couldve killed him at any moment but Asakims goal isnt something so simplistic.
: All that trouble paid off when I made that brute scream, though.
: You disguised as his boss just for that?! How can you be so heartless?!
Ziene vs. any boy: Come here, boy Ill show you an exotic, new world.
: You acted like a nice lady just to get close to us, eh? Talk about a dirty trick!
: But it made that stifling man scream, so it worked, no?
: Rands a strong guy! If you hadnt sunk that low, youd never have gotten that scream outta him!
: You tricked us and Mel Now youre gonna get an eyeful of how pissed we are! Brace yourself!
: Oh, grow up, boy. Youre centuries away from speaking of anger.
: Why dont I show you what it feels like to really hate to abhor the entire world and fate itself!
: What are you after ? Why go so far as to fool us all just to attack Rand and Mel?
: Its all according to Asakims orders. Ill do anything he wants like a pet.
: You dont seem willing to talk then, well shoot you down and bring him over!
Ziene is ever-so-slightly impressed with the strength of our rage and Pierre says thats only natural considering what she put our friends through.
Zienes glad were this angry and, in deference to that, decides to pull back for today. Maai and Riea want to run off in pursuit but Shaia says our first priority should be to check on Rand and Mel and Mimsy wonders where Setsuko took them.
: Mr. Rand !
: Is Mel alright?!
: Yeah, shes sleeping.
: What about that girl?
: Setsuko ran off after Asakim couldnt get any specifics, though.
: It looks like everyones badly damaged. We should return to base.
: Yes BrigGen. Edel should also be arriving soon.
: Got it
: Hm Ah
: Mel! Youre awake?!
: Dont touch me !
: Youve been lying to me all along about my daddy, about me not being human
: I know...I wont try to make any excuses...
: Everything the Beater Services destruction its all because of you
: My daddy and my body give them back
: GIVE THEM BACK TO ME, THE CRUSHER!!
Back at the Salta base, Jiron says Medic had to give Mel a sedative to help her settle down after all that shock. Rand does apologize for troubling everyone but Gain tells him to relax as this bummed-out attitude doesnt fit him.
That may be true but Rand concedes that he really felt this one and Gain suggests he take the time to set everything straight: about him, his boss and Mel. Rand agrees, if only to make sure everyone knows the truth, and, honestly, he considers this whole thing mightve been avoided had he told Mel sooner.
He sets the clock back to four years ago, when his boss was pulled into a dimensional warp while they were being attacked by bandits - indeed, Mel was killed during the incident. At the time, Cielo was the Gunleons main pilot while Rand acted as his sub but, truth be told, he sucked and was more of a liability to his boss than anything else.
On that day, thanks to one of Rands mistakes, the bandits managed to get away and, in retaliation, they opened fire on the Beater Services trailer the same trailer that Mel, twelve years old at the time, was piloting.
Silvia doesnt understand how thats possible, as Mels just as alive as any of us, and Rand says that, after the bandits pulled off, they took her breathless body into the Gunleons cockpit it was then that something appeared from within the mech and fused with her.
Rand doesn't know what "it" was, other than that it looked like an orb of light, and that, upon fusing with Mel, it instantly healed her wounds and her heart started beating again. Cielo was crying tears of joy at the sight but Rand confesses that he was very scared of what happened.
The idea of a dead person reviving in an instant like that seems quite unbelievable to Reika and Sirius now understands what Ziene meant when she said Mel was no longer human.
That said, Apollo asks how this connects to Cielos disappearance and Rand says that the bandits werent done in their raid they came back in even bigger numbers in a bid to finish off their battered group. Rand was wounded in their attack and, in agony, he let out this pathetic scream, just like today.
And, also like today, as if in answer to his scream, a warp arose and swallowed both Cielo and the bandits, leaving only him and Mel behind with the Gunleon. Ryouma asks if it couldnt have been his mech that caused the warp and while it certainly HAS a bunch of bits whose purpose Rand cant fathom, he doesnt think its able to do something like that.
Furthermore, nothing of the sort has happened again ever since both Mels rebirth and the cause of the warp remain a mystery.
Rand adds that, when Mel came to, she had no memory of what happened and even under the closest medical scrutiny, her body appears normal.
However, the fact that she hasn't aged a day these past four years bears testament that it all actually happened, as though time itself stood still. Either way, Rand couldn't bring himself to tell his young companion that she's was longer human, instead throwing himself into the worldwide search both for Mel's father and to find more info about that orb of light (and, if possible, for a way to cure her).
Call it penance if you want and he certainly knows there isnt anything he can do if people blame him for what happened. He confesses that, at one point, he was pissed off with everything and considered leaving Mel behind but, then, he asked himself what would happened to her if he wasnt around.
So, he decided to step up and take care of her in his own way, at least until they found Cielo again. When Garrod asks, Rand says hed also decided to leave the mechanic business and go back to his former Crusher life once the boss was back and Mels body got fixed.
However, one thing was made clear today: Asakim knows something about both Mels body and the Gunleon and, regaining his usual composure, Rand has now made it his goal to go after the guy and make him spill the beans about everything THE HEAT-style
Juns glad to see his inner fire hasnt faded and, telling everyone not to worry about him, Rand suggests they go check up on Eureka. From what Garrods heard, that Vodarac monk is going to heal her and Ana couldnt be more relieved at the news.
When Kei asks, Rand says hell stay here to repair the Gunleon in preparation for our next battle with Asakim Setsuko said shed get in touch with us the next time she found the guy. Michiru and Tsugumi see that she also has a major bone to pick with the guy and assume she mustve also suffered at his hand, just like Rand.
Rand doesnt know all the details but hes sure were on the same side and, with her working with us, well find a way to corner Asakim.
Bello and Garrod offer to stay behind and help with the repairs but Rand says hes the resident mechanical Pro, so hes good without the youngsters assistance.
Besides, he figures they should go also help out Renton, who seems to be rather uncharacteristically bummed out again.
Gain and Jamil agree and pull the kids away, adding that Edel will be here soon inwardly, Rand thanks them for having his back.
: Alright, Gunleon
*Rand punches the Gunleon!*
: What the hell is up with you?!
: Mel ending up like that, the boss getting warped away was that all really because of you?!
: I swear, if thats true, Ill tear you to bits so small, no one will ever be able to put you back together !
: Wheeeheehee! Youll regret being so cruel to your dear little machine, you know.
: Who are ya, gramps...?
: Im the resident scientist extraordinaire! For realsies!
: Hey, mister how about this? Why dont you leave the mech with me for a bit?
: I can get you all the power you want!
: The power I want ?
: Yup. If thats what youd like, I, Professor Theeh Babel, can turn you into a demon or even the Devil himself!
Anyone who says Rands path is all sunshine and games can piss right off