Part 139: Mission 35 (Setsuko - Border Patrol Route) - Rosary of GriefSetsuko Route (Border Patrol) Chapter 35
Happy Birthday to Me. An update for you all.
The Phantom Pain troops soon detect our approach and a woman piloting a strange mech stands out amongst them mentally calling out to Touga.
As we deploy, Kappei tells Ichitaro not to worry about him anymore and promises to deliver the goods (and hes gotta apologize to Sandman, too); everyone's glad to see Kappei's back on his feet, and Keiko comments that they really are like the moon - shining because of the light of the Sun.
And now Kappei's inspired to grow up into the kind of man that can share his light too!
Anyway, this Phantom Pain seems like it's acting a little different from the ones we usually tangle with, calling is out to fight; Boss is pretty sure their dumb suits can't stand up to all our super robots, but --
They've brought a super robot too!
Löwen had heard that they were working on tech to combat the aliens and Angels, but he didn't think they'd have deployed one already. Touga can tell from the enemy formation that the big robot is their command unit (Mizuki recognizes the Gran Trooper project immediately.)
Its pilot, Lt. Faye Xin-lu, orders ZEUTH to disarm and stand down.
She holds a view that should sound familiar by now - that it's time for humanity to unite as one against the invaders - but from her perspective, we're the ones spreading chaos and dissent!
She wants ZEUTH to surrender and join the Federation's cause.
Unfortunately, ZEUTH can't do that: it's true that humanity needs to march under one banner, but that banner is definitely not going to be that of the Federation's oppressive regime run by greedy tyrants.
So, to no one's surprise, it's going to be a battle - Faye orders her men to scramble, and the skipper barks to take down that command unit!
Faye has her own plan: she challenges the Gravion to a duel and, after all she gave us, Eiji and Runa are only too happy to egg Touga on to give her what-for.
The Trooper and Gravion find their own area to battle in, and Faye declares that she'll show Touga Tenkuuji what she's made of! But to her mounting frustration, Touga doesn't recognize her at all.
: Fine! Then I'll show you what I can do all over again! I'll prove that I'm better than you!
And then she casts Invincible and Strike. Grand.
The objective is simple enough, we beat all the enemies and to get the Battle Mastery we do it in five turns.
Of the various other characters, only Setsuko gets in range as they move up.
It does give Löwen the next level of Prevail though.
I want to end this dual swiftly, so Toga casts Spirit. Of course, first I need to burn that Invincible. Might as well show off another one of Gravion's attacks, Gravion Rifle!
: Touga, I'll prove to you right here, right now that I'm better than you!
: Touga, are you sure you don't know this chick at all?
: I am.
: She's not an crazy ex or anything?
: His girlfriend...?
: There's no way Touga of all people would ever have one of those!
: That's true! Touga has lived in San Germain castle since he was a child!
: (But he wasn't born there... so he had another life before he came to the castle...)
: I don't need you to remember!
: Once I defeat Gravion, both you and Sandman will remember my name forever!
"Touga...I'll show you my strength!"
: What's the matter, Leele? Do you feel okay?
: I'm all right... but...
: But what?
: I know I shouldn't be thinking about this during combat, but...
: Why did my uncle call everyone but me?
: He... didn't tell us, but...
: Do not lose your focus. We must keep our minds on the battle before us. Do you understand, Leele?
: (Well played, Touga!)
: (There's no way he did it on purpose.)
Then, for some reason I can not fathom, every single grunt targets Setsuko.
Faye will, of course, never not target Gravion
Not bad damage there.
Just a reminder that Eiji knows Valor.
You know, I think the main reason she casts Invincible on the first turn is because otherwise by spamming enough spirits Toga could have trivially oneshoted her.
Faye isnt willing to let this end with her defeat and insists that this isn't even the Gran Trooper's full capability; Eiji tells her to show what that is but the brawls interrupted when we detect an energy reading coming from above!
Its the Zeravire, whose opening volley wipes out the Phantom Pain suits before they arrive in full force.
Faye immediately declares a cease-fire and knocks out a Zeravire; Setsukos surprised she can fight those things but it's only natural that she, as the pilot of a counter-extraterrestrial weapon, have the power to combat the Zeravire - and a reason, too.
"With the Zeravire in the fray, we humans cannot afford to exchange blows."
It's really good to see that not everyone working for the Federation is a hardheaded greedy doofus, but something about that robot is bugging Kouji...
Anyway, Faye says she's on our side, and Heizaemon sees no reason to doubt her. Besides, Faye says that she'll still be showing Gravion what she's capable of, just against a different target.
So now Faye and two surviving Mobile Armors are neutral units, they'll help fight the Zeravire.
You actually want to take down Faye as fast as possible, because otherwise the Zeravie won't show up and dealing with them on turn 4 is annoying.
: They've come all the way across time and space for us!
: Well, Toshiya, I think we owe them an amazing welcome!
: You bet! It's just a busted machine! Let's turn it into scrap!
: Sandman's crime was an accident. It's not my place to judge him for it.
: All we can do is scrap this broken machine, one way or another!
I'm really sorry, Mister Sandman. I wasn't thinking about how you felt at all...)
: (I don't know if that'll make up for it, but... I'm gonna fight.)
: (Just like Banjou said, I'll be a good warrior and protect the Earth.)
: (That's what you wanted the Gran Knights to do!)
: Sandman tried to save his world without violence...
: We can't let some system dreamed up by jerks who only think in terms of power beat him!
: As long as Kouji Kabuto's on this planet, it's not going to end up like those other two, Zeravire!
: Sandman took up an unending battle to make up for his past mistakes.
: I can't let myself hesitate! I'll fight with everything I have!
Enemy phase comes, and these guys start moving. I'd be more annoyed about kill stealing if this wasn't the last stage of this route split.
Ok there's the killstealing.
Of course one goes for Faye.
: Zeravire! If Sandman recruited Touga to fight you...
: Then I can't stand you! I'll destroy every last one of you and redeem that fateful day!
Not bad damage
Wiping out one of them gets Kouji's Mazin Power going.
Great, the ones that have Squads are in Wide Formation.
Player phase time!
: Come on, Zeravire! This is for Sandman!
: We're not about to get wiped out by some malfunctioning machine!
You know, I think Support Attack can be argued to be the best skill in the game. Setsuko regularly gets two or more attacks per turn.
And just like that another's gone.
Three attacks in one turn.
Of course this one has 10k HP mooks as his squaddies.
Next turn comes around and I let the King Beal heal up a bit.
OK they're mostly not a threat anymore.
Whacking them gets Tetsuya's Mazin Power activated, just when things are almost over.
Setsuko's moved here there for a reason.
And defeating this one got her the final level of Support Attack!
And as my last action I soften up the big guy.
RIP Random Feddie Grunts.
At this point I'm tired of the Zeravire, so I use Zeal...
And Double Map the remaining grunts. It was satifying.
Eiji has just barely enough SP to cast Valor twice. Pity that, as a subpilot, I can't teach him any ranks of SP-Up
The Zeravire are gone, but Faye wants to pick things up with Gravion where she left off - more accurately, with Touga Tenkuuji!
Before they can start, though, another surprise Zeravire jumps Gravion!
Eiji's ready to join in the counterattack, but Touga sees an abnormality in the gravitons. Someone's G-Factor level is plummetting, and it looks like --
: Are you all right, Miss Leele?
: That's me... Leele... I remember now... My name is...
: Leele, did you get your memories back?
: My name is Leele...
: Leele Zeravire...
: This isnt good, Touga! Leele's in no condition to fight!
: Then we are...
: Leele! Try to hang in there!
: Agh... aaaaaaaahhhh!
: Let's get out of here, Touga! Tactical retreat!
: Are those--!
: Here we are, Captain! The G-Soldier Squads on the scene!
: Now, how about we give this Zeravire what-for!
: The targets a solo unit I suggest we use THAT.
: Heh, this wont be a problem! Lets do this, Captain!
: Alright ! Sterilize, GO! Attack Formation V!
: Awesome, weve got Earths premier Super Robots watching! Here we go!
Our teams pretty impressed they managed to down the Zeravire in one hit but Jun thinks their weapon was strangely Gravion-like.
Not just the weapons, Kouji says, having now understood what was bugging him about that mech: its systems and build all resemble our Gravion; in other words, its an Earth-made, mass-production Gravion. How did the Federation manage to pull off something like that, though?
Faye brightly takes her men and leaves - she's done what she came to do, showed Touga what she's made of, and she's not about to try and fight Gravion when it's not in perfect shape anyway.
Touga slowly thanks her for the assist and she blusters that she didnt do this for his benefit with the sterilization over, they all leave (Alex making sure to wave a hearty goodbye to ZEUTH, making Hans sigh at how much of a /m/an he is).
Either way, when Eiji asks, Eina says Leele has passed out, probably of shock of recovering a part of her memory; could this be why Sandman kept her apart earlier?
Either way, we need to bring her back to Sandmans place to get some rest; meanwhile, Mizuki is plotting to get out of Dodge before The Storm comes knocking...
Back at Sandman's, Leele has been drugged into what seems to be a peaceful sleep.
Sandman seems troubled but, with the reveal of Leeles surname, Kouji wants to know what her connection with the Zeravire is; Sandman confesses that, indeed, he was afraid of confronting Leele with the truth. Which is what? Leele Zeravire that shes Hugi's daughter?
"No," says Sandman. "She's my daughter."
She has her mother Lufira's maiden name, since she was born after her mother was separated from Sandman. But she's not hundreds of years old, like him. She must have escaped Llambias in a pod that followed Sandman's own vessel, but missed the time warp - he thinks she'd been warped in near this world a few years ago, when the dimensional instabilities began to grow.
So he found her, but she had already lost her memories. Those awful memories must have been fresh - if she jumped through time to get here, the destruction of Llambias may not have been that long ago from her perspective at all so its understandable that she repressed all of them (name included).
She wouldn't know about her father anyway, though. Hugi kept her birth from him, so he must have kept his identity from her as she grew up as well.
"So now that you've told us, you're totally going to tell her too, right?" pipes up Kappei.
Things get awkward for a moment, so Gengoroh reminds Kappei that he has to actually say it out loud first and Kappei says he's sorry. Sandman is very understanding but, still, Kappei really thinks he should tell her, his only family, and Sandman can't argue.
It can't be immediately, though. Now that her memories are starting to come back, they're likely to keep coming. She'll be in a really delicate state, and Hanae brings up that she also took the human bomb reveal especially hard.
If she's given too much to process too fast, she might just lose track of her feelings like Kappei did.
Sandman feels like his late wife would have said the same, and now that he mentions it, Eiji wonders if he ever plans to remarry after toiling alone for hundreds of years; Sandman says he may consider it after he's completed his duty - not just to defeat the Zeravire, but to ensure the Earth is at peace - while Raven blushes furiously.
: It was my failure not to tell you all of this before. I apologize.
: But I need you to keep fighting, as much as it pains me to ask.
: Aw, come on, don't beg.
: That's right! Sandman, we're with you all the way!
: Hey, we're with you too, you know!
: When we first met, you said you wanted to protect this planet. We still remember that.
: My fellows...
: Sandman, we all understand how you feel.
: We're going to need you too, Commander of Earthgertz.
: Thank you...
*The door slams open!*
: Th-this is bad! Really, really baaaaad!!
: Whats the matter, Twille?
: Its Miss Leele! Shes not in her room!
: What ?!
: Hey there
: The Storm
: Oh, no. I insist a lady as classy as you call me by name.
: Even if we're going to be saying goodbye so soon?
: So you are leaving.
: Aren't you going to stop me? Your friends certainly seem like they want to.
: Why wouldn't we? You're awfully cheery for the spy who's been stealing Gravion's data!
: The data the Federation used to build the Gran Troopers, right?
: Well, if you're so well-informed, I suppose I might as well tell you.
: You're absolutely right. I'm the spy from Logos.
: It was Logos? All the way from the shadows of the Federation, at that...
: Oh, you know how they consider themselves the secret rulers of the world.
: So the old men sent you to keep an eye on Sandman, hm?
: And now I know his identity and the Troopers are complete, so my mission is over.
: I'm impressed you managed to stay out of trouble the entire time.
: Well, you did manage to catch me. That's not bad yourself.
: Um, hello, you're a spy? Don't you feel anything for the Gran Knights?
: I just did my mission. So what's your plan?
: Take me in and make me go back to Gravion?
: Actually, Sandman asked me to let you go.
: It was worth it to wait around here just to see your face just now. ()
: Fine. Then would you mind delivering them a letter for me?
: It's to explain about me.
: If you wrote that, you really must feel bad.
: No comment.
: Will do, Mizuki. And this one is for you.
: What is this, your number?
: Call it if you have to.
: Thanks. I can't exactly turn it down in good conscience.
: Farewell, Banjou Haran. I don't think we'll ever meet again.
: See you around, Mizuki Tachibana.
: (And farewell to the rest of you. I didn't know you long, but... thanks for everything.)
Meanwhile, Touga catches Leele out on the balcony shed had nightmares sleeping in her room, so she went out to think; she feels like she's this close to remembering something, but she just can't.
"Then I'll fill you in!" says Touga, with an angelic smile on his face.
And he does about Llambias and Serius, and their destruction, about Hugi, who she remembers is her uncle... about Sandman, who's her father, who she remembers with horror coming to visit her uncle while she was there, on the day the Zeravire ran rampant, and then...
Leele breaks down screaming while Touga is totally befuddled; Eiji, Runa, and Eina hear her and arrive just in time for her to fall over the railing and into the lake. Runa and Eina run to report and get help.
: Are you a complete idiot?!
: Did you not get what was happening to her? Did you not even think how she'd take it if you just dumped all that on her?
: What are you, a robot?!
Löwen and Setsuko arrive in a panic and call everyone back to the King Beal NOW.
When Eiji asks, they say Leeles already been rescued, though she's unconscious, but there's bigger stuff happening: Federation forces have mounted an attack on the Chiram - there's supposed to be a cease fire between them, so it's probably the Titans or Blue Cosmos messing things up - and Durandal has ordered the King Beal to rendezvous with the Minerva and Argama and head towards the battleground, prepared to work with the Chiram.
With Leele in the state she's in and Mizuki just missing without a trace, they'll have to plant autopilots in Gravion's missing seats, but the pilots are still going to have Leele on their minds...
In other words, the Gravion just got a downgrade. Leele and Mizuki are no longer subpilots, and it's lost access to the Graviton Rifle and Gravity Crescent attacks.