The Let's Play Archive

Super Robot Wars Z

by Brunom1, Dr. Pepper, Caphi

Part 121: Mission 33 (Rand - Ships Route) - Prologue

Since the majority of our folks are here, squads are still available for tinkering; the temporary loss of several leaders means I have rearrange pretty much everyone.
Baldios is going out as an event unit but we still have 7 slots to fill:

Aboard the Iron Gear, Raita and Oliver are planning something and, whatever it is, seems to have Raita on edge.
Still, Oliver tells him to get his head on straight as, having come this far, they’ve no choice but to continue. Raita yells that he is man enough to do this, so they wait for their chance…

Location: Lunar Surface – Skull Moon Base – Algol Stronghold, Commander’s Room

Meanwhile, Negross informs his boss Gattler that someone has been sending strange transmissions at regular intervals from the Skull Moon Base to Earth.
A very special code protects the contents, which Negross' people haven't been able to crack. He’s also been unable to pinpoint who's responsible, and given all the Gaizock, Eldar, Vegans and Aldebaron forces the base holds, it could be nearly anyone.
Negross guesses that the Aldebaron are the only ones who've noticed so far, and asks for instructions. Gattler tells him to do nothing that could arouse the transmitter's suspicions - nor does Gattler think that having a spy in the base is necessarily all bad.

Anything that hinders the other Skull Moon residents works for him, given the precarious balance holding the Skull alliance together. Aphrodia is most worried about the Gaizock, whose true intentions she can't read and who've already shown a penchant for extreme tactics like human bombs.
She recalls that the Eldar's Teral was terribly upset with all that, and Gattler tells her that the Gaizock want nothing but destruction and he doubts they'd hesitate to make enemies of the rest of the alliance if it suited their twisted ends.

It’s dangerous to ally with such people, yes, but Gattler’s got the welfare of three hundred million S-1 refugees to worry about and very little leeway to be choosy.
They can’t afford to make mistakes so, with the possibility that the traitor could be amongst their own ranks, he tells Aphrodia to keep her investigation.
Aphrodia asks what to do with the traitor if it’s found and Gattler has her recite the Aldebaron penal code: death to those acting selfishly, death to all who show the enemy their back, death to those showing or being shown mercy by the enemy, death to those sowing disorder in the ranks.

Pretty simple, and quite unbreakable, as Negross' older brother learned when he showed the enemy his back as the Aldebaron lost the battle in Siberia. Gattler will make no exceptions, and tells Aphrodia to get busy.
She already has a prime suspect: Karin Flick, graduate of the UF Musaeum, S-1's highest school. The Musaeum was a noted pacifist think-tank and opposed abandoning the planet to the very end, and Flick was known to be Marin's friend in those days.
She's found no proof that Flick is the one behind the transmissions, but the mere threat of him upsetting the Aldebaron's balance is enough for Gattler to order Aphrodia to dispose of him.

Rubina greets Aphrodia as she returns to the control room.
When Aphrodia asks, Rubina says nothing's changed here during her absence except the arrival of flowers from Gattler, which she’s arranged around the room. Aphrodia muses that she's got to send Gattler her thanks, and apologizes for making the daughter of Emperor Vega perform like a low-level functionary.
Rubina tells her not to worry about it, since it was her own request to try her hand at secretarial work and, besides, she does not want to be anywhere near her father right now.
The wheels start turning in Aphrodia's head: Rubina has access to plenty of inside information in her secretarial role, and princess or not, she's got to go on her suspect list.
She passes her distracted look off as just being tired, but tells Rubina that she needs no rest. Both she and her late brother are utterly devoted to Gattler, who raised them after they lost their parents, and to the people of S-1 whose fate they hold in their hands.
For their sake, she will fight, and kill.

Speaking of which, Flick presents himself to receive orders that exploit what Aphrodia calls his "special skills" (Rubina seems startled once he comes in).
Aphrodia's giving his a new mech and sending him to destroy Baldios and its pilot, Marin Raygun. Flick immediately recognizes the name and, while Marin might’ve been his friend once, stoutly professes that it’s all in the past: now Marin is nothing to him but a traitor.
She reminds him that those showing or being shown mercy by the enemy get shot, and he swears to even lay down his life in the battle for S-1's future. Aphrodia tells him to go get ready and, after he does so, Rubina asks her commander to reconsider the cruelty of sending friends to kill each other.
Aphrodia tells her that this is rightful punishment against a traitor, and a strategic maneuver on top of that. Rubina is still saddened by this but Aphrodia will suffer no more back-talk, even from her.

She's heard that Rubina’s a known peacenik and an outspoken critic of her father’s aggressive policies, to say nothing of her love for Duke Fleed. Aphrodia says she also loves peace and worries of her people’s future and that’s precisely why she must bring an end to this battle (and doing so requires Marin to be eliminated).
Rubina asks if it wouldn’t be possible to obtain her peace and prosperous future without resorting to war but Aphrodia says those are spoils that must be won with superior strength. Either way, Aphrodia will be deploying tomorrow so she takes her leave and leaves the princess in charge of the control room.
Rubina sighs, thinking to Duke that this path might just lead to everyone destroying each other with their mutual hatred. If the war can't be stopped, then perhaps she can at least save some innocent lives...including a certain peace-loving person she knows.

Back in the Gekko’s infirmary, Rena and Tifa are checking in on Eureka who seems to be doing much better.
She also seems to be calmer now and that’s good, as Rena says it's just fine if she takes her time changing as she moves into the future. Just then Gidget and her cohorts burst in and tell them to cease all the difficult talk at once.
Eureka asks if they need something but, no, Gidget’s just upset that these young girls are spending all their time cooped up inside, having those weird convos. Tsugumi says they thought of having a girls-only tea party in order to help the three of them relax and just be girly for a change.

Eureka doesn’t seem to mind this and Gidget takes her half-answer as an affirmative. She’s glad, too, because Eureka’s usually indifferent attitude made Gidget feel like she couldn’t ever talk to her, despite wanting to do so.
Gidget’s longed to have a friendship with another girl just like Hilda and Talho have and Silvia agrees, telling Eureka that she needn’t keep quiet if there’s something bothering her (especially after all we’ve been through together).
Indeed, Tsugumi says that while they don’t always understand what the three girls are talking about, they can at least be good listeners but Gidget is quick to yell at her to not talk as if they’re idiots. Tifa seems on board, flashing her Garrod-taming smile and making Gidget all dizzy.

As Tifa gets a bit embarrassed, Tsugumi starts musing over Garrod – he’s a bit simple, yes, but he’s also so earnest. Silvia doesn’t appreciate that quality, though, wanting a more intellectual and elegant man like her brother (Rena saw that answer coming from a mile away).
Despite her silence, it’s pretty clear to Gidget that Eureka’s already settled for Renton and how much she’s changed for the better since his arrival - for starters, she can actually smile now.
Gidget's own preference is for Moondoggie, whose smile always makes her so happy that she just wants to smile back.
Eureka haltingly says that she's got a lot she wants to tell Renton as well, but she's scared of doing so and asks what she should do. The girls ask if Eureka feels this tightness in her chest and this mixture of emotions whenever she looks at him, to quickly come to one conclusion: she’s in love.
Eureka doesn’t know how to feel about this and Tifa tells her that she should nurture that feeling while Garrod and the others work on getting Renton back.

At the Iron Gear, Marin's tinkering with Baldios and sending a lot of technobabble Jamie’s way, who asks him to keep it simple for the mechanically disinclined.
Marin is very eager for these mods to succeed, though, giving the mech 15% more power and letting him use all the weaponry they've had to omit until now. Cotsett and Kid offer to lend him a hand since this IS their job but Marin’s hesitant, saying he’s always the one who services Baldios.
With so many mechanics available, Rand asks if he doesn’t trust them to help out but that’s not it either and Woz asks if he’s still worried about all that “alien” business? Sounds silly to Jobs, especially considering his mech is a hybrid of both human and S-1 tech.
And if it is a matter of humans and aliens, Tekkouki offers to lend a demon’s assistance to the pile. Jamie adds to the chorus, saying Baldios was born precisely by overcoming such differences and, as we told him before, Marin’s our teammate first and foremost so he shouldn’t keep being this stubborn.

As Marin says he’s not stubborn, Raita and Oliver spring their plan and demand (nicely) to help. Baldios is their mech, too, so there shouldn’t be any issues now, right?
Marin’s startled but agrees and Raita, realizing he's in dangerous risk of actually being nice, blusters that, if Marin screwed up in his maintenance, it’d blow up in their faces too.
As Marin bristles, Oliver steps in and says Raita was joking (he’s not very good at it, Oliver concedes).
Alright, Marin relaxes and asks if a brutish-looking guy like Raita could actually pull off mechanical work. This time, it’s Raita’s turn to bristle at the guy’s lip but – whoops- that was an S-1 joke!
Oliver says his quips are just as lacking and Raita suggests Marin oughta try stealing someone’s sense of humor before anything else if he ever decides to actually spy on Earth.

Everyone’s glad to see that, finally, Marin's teammates are starting to accept him, and Stoner has Mel take a picture to commemorate the occasion. Matthew suggests a group photo with everyone on the team but, as Moondoggie remembers, it won’t really be “everyone” while Renton’s still gone.
Indeed, Gainer suggests we wait on this until our the search party returns. Hap asks if they really think Renton'll come back, hastily adding that he's strictly neutral on the issue when Gainer frowns.
Matthew can't think of much he'd lose if Renton didn't come back except having someone to man the convenience store. Eureka, however, he's not so sure about and Hap also worries for Holland, too.

At any rate, the mechanics are all amazed at Marin's extensive knowledge of subspace technology despite his tender years.
Kid asks if the S-1 folks teach everyone how to work subspace tech but Marin credits it to his studies at the UF Musaeum, S-1's most influential school. Rand, Tonya and Roybea are quick to inquire about Marin’s romantic life on campus and whether S-1 girls are cuter than Earth girls.
Jamie gets annoyed at everyone’s lack of tact but, when Raita asks why she’s angry, says everything’s fine (Roybea inwardly quips that Marin might not be a spy but he still stole the girl’s heart).
Marin has to disappoint them a bit when he says that he was too wrapped up in his research to find a girlfriend, not to mention keeping up a friendly academic competition with a rival of his. Well, not just a rival, but a friend, and probably the main impetus for Marin to achieve what he did.
Not, Marin says with a small sigh, that he could beat him in the end.

Just then the klaxons go off, and Ryouma runs in with news of a Hundred Demons raid nearby.
Rand ponders that this might not be our business since they didn’t actually attack US but, after a quick glare from Ryouma, changes his mind and says that, while we’re outcasts, we still can’t turn a blind eye to evil folks.
Marin’s about to launch when Witz tells him to sit this one out and work on finishing Baldios’ power-up – Marin and Raita quickly accept the offer.
Oliver is a bit more pensive, though, and Raita asks what’s up: he’s just pensive of how Quinstein was able to master the difficult S-1 technology fast enough to enable their mechs to combine with Marin’s Pulsar Burn in the first place.
Raita ascribes it to how brilliant she is, and Oliver can only immerse himself in the modifications for now...