Part 129: Mission 34 (Rand - Renton Route) - PrologueAll units are still deploying as events for this one, so make sure theyre equipped (especially Enil and Pala because, even if they come in upgraded, theyre not the dodgiest people around).
Charles brings Renton aboard his ship, The Swan, and the kids very impressed at how clean it is for an obviously military model certainly a far cry from a certain ship. Rays thankful but Charles adds that he neednt compliment them.
He says that kids should just act as kids while they still can, without worrying what the grown-ups think. Renton inwardly notes that, in the end, he might need to take advantage of those words. If he's really this good-for-nothing kid, then his only option would be to survive by the hospitality of others.
Either way, Rayll be bringing out dinner soon and as the kid thanks her for it, Charles says he neednt be so high-strung - hes free to stay here for as long as hed like. Furthermore, after hes done eating, Charles has something to show him (along with a man-to-man talk).
Elsewhere, in a flashback
: Mommy why dont I have a daddy?
: Well, your daddy left on a trip somewhere far, far away
: And he left us behind?
: Hes a very free spirit. I dont think hes even capable of staying in one place
: What kind of man was he? Please tell me.
: His name was Kei Katsuragi and he was a wonderful man
: Kei Katsuragi
The toddlers called Atena, by the way!
Location: Central South Ameria
Rand and the crew are definitely enjoying their freedom from the routine of ZEUTH they can even sleep till late and relax without the likes of Sara and Ken-goh giving them hell for it!
Jiron gets what theyre saying as theres a surprising amount of nagging going on for a group of pariahs: Mischa once gave Rand a big talking-to after he broke a flower vase in the infirmary, Hilda spanked Chil some for hiding all the clothes she had wetted the bed with, Mimsy always gets mad when she catches Jiron and Apollo eating with their bare hands
Löwen, however, doesnt quite see it as nagging and just calling their attention to flaws they could fix nothing major, no? Still, Rand says were pariahs within the pariahs for the time being so he suggests Löwen not act so stiff and relax!
Löwens grumbling that he came with the wrong group but Mel tells him to cheer up as, today, they should only think about fun stuff to do. Garrods had enough of playing in arcades and visiting Markets, though, so what else can we do?
Jirons first suggestion is to try and hunt lizard in the nearby desert: it is good fun and the end-result will be tasty (according to the Zorans). Sadly, Pala quickly vetoes the idea of eating lizard.
Kei has a laugh at how the Jiron and co. always want to go lizard hunting before suggesting they go try and pick up chicks instead. Gain points the contradiction but Kei says every land has different kinds of girls, so going after chicks here is something completely unique!
With that in mind, he calls Löwen to come with him as part of the plan to cure his gynophobia but the guy declines, saying hes fine as he is.
It quickly dawns on Garrod that enjoying our freedoms good and all but its strangely difficult to decide on what to do for fun. Understandable, Enil thinks, as people in their world were more concerned with surviving that anything else.
Rand himself can find enjoyment in that tough lifestyle and, as Mel thinks the Gekkostate crew wouldve had a way to pass time, volunteers to think of something for us to do in lieu of Mr. Charisma, Holland. None of the girls are willing to take a chance in whatever he might come up with, though (Enil figures itll involve tearing down a building or hunting bandits).
Meanwhile, Löwen wonders if it's really so safe to be wandering around town with a person who can be tracked by the Chiram's Singularity sensors.
Indeed, it actually strikes Gain as a bit odd that we havent seen any attempts to capture Kei despite us being away from our main group. Of course, there could always be reasons why this is happening but the important part is that, if they DO show up, we just need to run away.
A certain man has heard the conversation and wonders if Keis attitude stems from him being very brave or something else.
Its Roger () and hes glad to see everyone doing well!
Löwen has actually heard of the guy and how he barely manages a 50% success rate as a freelance negotiator which causes Roger to complain that popular rumor is a very irresponsible medium (it only leaves the truth obscured).
When Gain asks, Roger says hes not here to catch up with old friends but actually on business: not exactly negotiations but to escort Kei to a certain location. Kei quickly figures he was hired to ask him on a date for some cute girl but, sadly, hes not at liberty to say who the client is or where said meeting is supposed to take place.
Furthermore, the client insisted that Kei be brought over alone.
Gain has to wonder what his clients game is and, from what Roger could gather, it appears the client has something very important to discuss with Kei privately naturally, Roger guarantees his safety. Considering how fishy this whole thing seems, Kei isnt very inclined to play along but, expecting that answer, Roger was instructed to speak a name: Tina Henderson.
Keis surprised expression seems an affirmative to Roger and, in that case, he requests he come to the park at 2200 hours on the dot (again, he needs to come alone).
As Roger leaves, Löwen asks who Tina Henderson is and Kei says its his sweetheart from before all that Break the World business happened.
So, its an old acquaintance calling him? No idea, but Kei doesnt think Rogers client would drop that name merely as a prank. Either way, hell be going to this meeting and asks Gain to refrain from following or anything of the sort.
He agrees, with a warning to be very careful. Can it actually be Tina herself ?
Seems like somethings drawing Roger towards old friends today because he also runs into Angel it seems they had previously met in Bellforest at some point.
For now, Rogers been using one of the towns factories as a place to do maintenance on Big O and he certainly didnt expect to run into her. Shes here on business, though, investigating both Adroc and Renton on behalf of the Siberian Rails president
Roger seems a bit surprised shes still working for the guy but she says hes quite charming on par with Alex Rosewater, even. Either way, Roger would like to invite her over for tea but hes also quite busy right now.
Angels sure they can postpone it until next time and despite Rogers consideration that its not certain they WILL meet again, she thinks itll happen considering how often they just bump into each other Roger doesnt put as much stock in fate but he feels inclined to believe her words.
In fact, Angels sure they will meet again and soon because she has a piece of the truth Rogers seeking a riddle? The relic of the Black History will soon awaken and, therein, lies the truth , she says.
With that, Angel leaves but not before sending her regards to Rogers morose doll. Roger ponders her words, wondering if this truth she says lies within said relic is the same thing Schwarz is after.
Rogers being watched by Vera (woman in purple suit), who tags him as the Dominus of the black Megadeus. Another man, Alan Gabriel, quickly sees in him a man worthy of being cut to shreds.
Vera tells "Unit 271" to wait, though: Roger's status as a Dominus makes him more useful alive. The bigger problem she sees is "Unit 340", who seems to be straying from her mission.
Alan wonders if Angels weighing her options between them, Alex and Kids and it seems clear to Vera that they need to check where her loyalty lies. In the event she does turn out to be traitorous, Alan will be allowed to eliminate her in the name of their mission to grasp the truth.
With that in mind, Alan will head back to Paradigm Corporation to continue his mission.
Later on, Rogers escorted Kei to the meeting spot on time and bids him farewell its only polite to give him and his client some privacy to talk.
Kei says goodbye, adding that Mome would love to see Dorothy again. Roger promises to pass that along and walks off, leaving Kei to wonder who he's here to meet (hes hoping for a cute girl, of course).
Hes soon accosted by someone who he recognizes as wearing a Chiram uniform Atena who demands he come with her. Kei figures hes been had and is quite pissed after all that guaranteed safety talk.
Atena has quite the beef with him and commands he not resist, lest she decide to deal with him here and now. Kei calls her bluff and wrestles her to the ground (he doesnt like to get so rough with chicks but theres no other choice, really) but, as he prepares to run off, something slips off Atenas pocket.
A picture of Tina and he asks why she has it. Atena yells at him not to touch it, cursing the Singularity's very existence.
Just then, though, a familiar voice tells her to stop her uncle, Olson and realizes she mustve overheard him setting up the meeting with Roger. Either way, he wants her to leave and calls it a direct order when she tries to protest, leaving her no choice but to comply.
Kei realizes this guys the real client and, although hes a bit sad that the true meeting isn't with a cute girl, will prefer him over someone gunning for his life.
It comes as quite a relief to Olson that Kei hasn't changed, though hes also a bit amazed.
Keis a bit suspicious of the guy but Olson figures its only natural since Keis apparently not recognizing him.
That changes once the shades come off, though, and its been a very long time since theyve spoken since the battle at the Orbital Elevator, really.
Kei now understands why Roger would know Tinas name but he has to wonder why he didnt try to contact him sooner. Theres a reason for that though, and its related to Olsons new position as a Major General in the Chirams Special Forces.
His mission HAD been to capture the Singularities but, as of today, its been changed to simply eliminate them.
Kei gets antsy but Olson tells him to calm down as, if he wanted to do so, he would have - he's actually used his authority to temporarily suspend even looking for Kei, which explains why the Chiram have been so quiet lately.
Either way, what was the reason why Olson called him over? Hell get to that but, first off, he feels he must explain what happened to him.
Although its only been around a year for Kei since the battle at the elevator, Olson was warped in way earlier five years earlier.
Indeed, the guy does look a bit older than before and this nonchalant attitude, something Olson had long-since learned to live with, only further proves Keis still the same man as before.
Either way, he asks if Kei knows why the Chiram are after him and, indeed, he relates how the Emaanians told him about the Singularities being the key to the dimensional repair they also mentioned that tidbit of the Chiram being the remnant of their original nation.
That speeds things up for Olson, who asks Kei to come back with him to Chiram as the best course of action.
Kei refuses, saying he cant agree to this idea of only saving some countries and their people and leaving the others to be destroyed furthermore, he feels no sense of duty towards the Chiram. Hwever, Olson says Chiram isnt just their old homeland its also the home of his daughter.
After a quick double-take, Kei starts adding things together and asks what happened to Tina is she also in this world? Olson relates how the Space-Time Oscillation Bombs activation warped her a good twenty years into this worlds past where she lived as a Chiram citizen until her death a few years ago, leaving behind Keis daughter.
Kei cant believe she was pregnant and is now dead but, more importantly, if Tina was warped here twenty years ago, that means his child would already be a grown woman, yes? Indeed, and its Atena Henderson the woman who just tried to kill Kei.
As Kei stands flabbergasted, Olson gets a ping in his radar and both men see something approaching