Part 142: Mission 34 (Setsuko - Gibraltar Route) - PrologueSetsuko Route (Gibraltar) Chapter 34 Prologue
Last time on Super Robot Wars Z: We got the Zeta Gundam, another one of Jerid's friends died, and we met Scirocco again.
Current Top Aces:
1. Setsuko - 113 Kills
2. Amuro - 86 Kills
3. Shinn - 78 Kills
4. Quattro - 73 Kills
5. Tailia - 67 Kills
The top aces did not change much last stage, none of them got many kills.
In other, big news, we've got several more units to play with now! First, placed in the hanger is...
The RGZ-91 Re-GZ! The Re-GZ is a good Mobile Suit. It's not quite permament Squad Leader status. It lacks a good basic Post-Move Attack. However, it's good to slide a strong squad mate into to switch to the front when you want access to its post-move TRI and ALL. I put a Dustproofer on it because it's going to be on the ground and it has a B rank otherwise.
Next, we have the G-Defenser, which is a new frame that can be equipped to the Mk. II to create...
The RX-178+FXA-05D Super Gundam! The Super Gundam is a bit of an interesting side-grade for the Mk. II. It ups pretty much all of the Mk. II's stats and gives it flight. However, it does take away it's strong Flying Armor Crash attack. However in return it gives it the very powerful Long Beam Rifle. A 7 range powerful PLA attack. It still makes a decent Squad Leader mech, but is now a much stronger squad-mate mech.
Finally, there's a new unit for sale at the Bazzar.
The NRX-044 Asshimar. Unlike the Re-GZ and Super Gundam, this is pretty much a pure Squad-mate mech.
And it's time for a whole lot of pilot shuffling! Emma gets the Super Gundam. I put Katz in the Re-GZ, Apolly is now piloting the Asshimar, Miashey returns to her Kapool, Roberto takes the Red Rick Dias, and finally I place Gavane in the Black Mk. II.
So here's how things look now. Loran and Reccoa are event deployments, annoyingly enough.
- Setsuko, Loran, Sochie
- Amuro, Emma, Roberto
- Kamille, Fa, Katz
- Athrun, Miashey, Apolly
- Quattro, Gavane, Joesph
- Shinn, Rey, Luna
Then I remember to give my new mechs some upgrades. vv
Also, look at this, didn't spend a cent on the Zeta and it's already got all that. It's wonderful.
You've already seen this scene with the Shadowy Council. In short, the Chiram wouldn't share Project D, but the Elders are putting their chips on Project Ageha instead, and in fact, the Council has something else highly undiplomatic headed the Chirams' way.
Location: Western Galia Argama
Meanwhile, Setsuko and Fa have brought Reccoa something to eat in her room.
Fa wants to thank Reccoa for saving her in the last battle, but Reccoa sulks that battle is all she's good for.
: I'm sorry, Setsuko. I know you're worried about me, and here I am complaining...
: I think it's good to get it out of your system.
: I don't know. The older I get, the more talking about it just makes me sink deeper.
: Fa, can I ask you something? When you leapt in to protect Kamille, what was in your mind?
: I don't think I really had time to think before I was just doing it...
: That's for the best. You're fighting to help Kamille.
: I've lost sight of where my fight started.
: Where your fight...?
: Like how the Glory Star was for you, Setsuko. A reason for you to keep going.
: 2nd. Lt. Reccoa...
: I had one of those when I started out. A reason to join the AEUG.
: I can't remember it anymore. Living in a world with an uncertain future, fighting for something I don't even know... like swimming in a pitch-black sea.
: And before I know it, I'll have lost everything, and there'll be nothing left for me but to sink.
: You must be tired, 2nd. Lieutenant. We'll be at Gibraltar soon, so just rest until then.
: You're right. I might feel better after I get some sleep.
: We'll leave your food here. Don't forget to eat it.
: Thank you, both of you...
: Well, here we go.
: And once I wake up, I'll just have to fight again? For what? To survive...?
: If I survive and make it back, what'll be there for me?
: Just this empty room, with no one waiting for my return...
Outside, Setsuko and Fa meet Quattro and Kamille. Kamille was worried about Reccoa too (rightly so - Setsuko points out that she didn't even make a move for her food); Quattro arrives soon but Setsuko says Reccoas she's napping, so he figures he'll just come back another time.
Setsuko stops him and asks him to visit her anyway - Reccoa's fatigue seems to be emotional, not just physical. But Quattro doesn't believe he's the right person to address matters of the heart (even though Kamille thinks he is). He's afraid he'll just hurt her instead...
Anyway, Gibraltar sees us on our way in and Durandal instructs his men to see that we're taken care of after our long journey and longer battles. Phil (sarcastically?) comments that he's got his elite team back.
Durandal corrects him, saying that we are working for something other than ZAFT, something "of wider scope." Addressing the Queen suddenly, he says that we are fighting not just for ZAFT, but for the whole world.
"I should certainly hope so," murmurs Dianna, beatific as ever.
Some business on our side before we get to the big meeting. First, Hencken is heading off to rendezvous with Karaba before returning to outer space.
Bright apologizes for not being more of a help. "Don't sweat it, my brother," grins Hencken. "I'll make do on my own."
Meanwhile, Roberto asks Emma how she's doing with this farewell thing. "It's not as though we're never going to see each other again, though," she says.
Roberto agrees. "We'll just have to make sure we survive until then."
Reccoa is conspicuously silent.
And by the way, Horace has left, along with Mihael. Joseph explains that their commander ordered them both back to Siberia.
That's where Cid, Joseph's boss, is, and if they've been deployed back there, Joseph suspects that old Cid has dug something up...
Now for the conference, at which Dianna, to Phil's considerable dismay, refuses to work with ZAFT. Specifically, she refuses to engage with the Earth by force of arms.
The only solution she's interested in is peaceful coexistence, no matter who says that the only way to claim their land is by taking it perforce.
And by the way, Durandal wasn't going to attack the Earth because he also wants those of Earth and those of Space to get along, be they Coordinator or Natural, Spacenoid or Earthnoid.
Phil protests that they still need to crush the Federation first, and Dianna holds that speech up to Durandal as exactly the reason she cannot, so long as that line of thought exists amongst her people, approve the Moonrace and Plant forming an alliance. "Power can accomplish things, it is true. But power in excess brings danger as well."
Joining forces against the opposing force of the Federation is only going to bring destruction, whatever Durandal promises, and reaching their goals by those methods is not worth the price.
Durandal understands, and Dianna is still willing to use the Dianna Counter to help as long as Durandal works for coexistence as he says. Durandal is pleased to hear that and adjourns the meeting for the day (Phil fuming at Durandals weak policies, contrary to what he had hoped).
Milan and Phil were sure that the prospect of such power would change Dianna's mind, but she's firmer in her beliefs than they would have thought.
However, now that business is out of the way, Durandal offers them pleasure, in the form of a relaxing performance by...
Lacus Clyne! Right?
Dianna's heard Lacus' songs before, as well as her "recommendations. Durandal comments that people tend to be more receptive when his message comes from Lacus' mouth than his own.
Meer stammers that she just wants to help spread that message. Dianna fixes her with her gaze and asks if she enjoys singing. "O-of course I do!" Okay then.
That's not all the entertainment Durandal has planned, but Phil, the spittle now probably flying from his face, roars that they're here to gather information, not to to party.
Durandal evenly replies that he is as driven as they, but Dianna still politely declines the invitation. They'll pick up negotiations another time.
After they leave, Durandal muses that Dianna isn't a mere puppet after all (though Meer didn't like the soldiers, herself). As far as he's concerned, though, she is not, herself, the problem standing between him and his next move.
"She is a woman who lives according to her ideals - a goddess. There's nothing to be done about her. However, those who follow at her footsteps... those who refuse to see the bigger picture. They are being led to their doom."
Anyway, Talia is here with Bright, Quattro, Gwen, and Löwen. Durandal says they have quite a lot to talk about...
Stella is still having her own problems, but Shinn plans to use "Lacus"' concert as cover to slip her back into Neo's hands. She needs that medicine to survive, and he can't possibly take her to a ZAFT lab.
Rey just wants to make sure Shinn plans on making it back, because if so, he's the one who'll cover for him back here. "Everyone wants to live, right?"
Bright is warning Durandal about the nature of Axis, the fact that they're the ideological descendants of Zeon and the Zabi family, and their hatred for all things Earth those Earthlings whove forgotten Earth, people who now hold such unique mentalities after living for so long away from their home planet.
"Much like Naturals and Coordinators, or Earthlings and Moonrace," muses Durandal, "coming from one source yet hating one another."
Gwen asks how the alliance with the Moonrace is going, anyway, and Durandal delivers the bad news, that they can't do anything of the sort as long as elements of Moonrace leadership still put their stock in raw power.
It also means that the Queen's grip on her empire has weakened; her own soldiers don't share her ideals, and the leader still on the moon is on the move besides. They've been fighting aliens on the moon for a while, but they've also attacked anyone who gets near their space, and now they're actually ranging down to Earth.
In short, there are three separate factions of the Moonrace: Ghingnham's side, the forces of the Dianna Counter, and Dianna herself and those who agree with her.
You know what would suck? If Ghingnham 's group allied with Axis and pooled their military might, which is the exact possibility Lieutenant Quattro brings up (Durandal calls him "Colonel". whoops).
Picking up from a thing he said to Dianna, he says that he doesn't intend to make an attack against the Federation, but he does hope to have the power available. That's why he's considered joining with Axis, and why he's in cahoots with Edel as well.
The Brigadier General is working hard to end the war, and Durandal can't sit still himself - but the reasons why, which he is about to explain to us, are of the utmost secrecy; he'd like to see our reaction, but he's aware that merely revealing it is a dangerous gamble.
You see, the end of the world is nigh. "It will not be long before the space-time collapses and the world returns to the void..."
So here's the concert, and everyone seems to be enjoying it. Lunamaria is concerned that this Lacus seems a lot more... showy... than the Lacus she knew, but Yolan is totally okay with that.
So is Katz, who ends up crashing into Sara. She tells him to enjoy the show and leaves; Vino and Yolan call him a lucky bastard, because, anime, I guess.
Katz, of course, has none of these shenanigans on his mind; he does wonder what her deal is, though. "Does she work on this base?"
Amuro has to explain to Emma, who wonders what Lacus is doing travelling with Durandal, that being what Beltorchika calls a "singing spokesman" is Lacus' thing; before, it was for her father.
Vino figures Boss and Eiji would kill to be here, which is our graceful segue into the question of where are Shinn and Athrun? Well, Shinn didn't actually want to come, apparently, and right now he's back with Stella. What is his deal with that girl?
It is true that she's to be handed off to the lab here as of tomorrow, which has got to be rough on everyone involved.
As for Athrun... no one knows for sure - he said it was "personal" - but he was engaged to Lacus once upon a time.
That was in another life, though. "So Luna and Meyrin are still in the running!" cries Gavan, tactlessly. Fa playfully wonders whose corner to be on.
Nearby, Kihel ponders how she met (the real) Lacus before and something seems different about this one...what could it be?
Back on stage, Meers working the crowd in the name of peace and chirps that they've got a surprise guest today, by the way - "The symbol of Exodus, the nightingale of Siberia - the one and only Meeya Laujin!"
Kihel's met her once too, and Joseph explains that she's also a descendent of a Meeya who was the first one ever to complete an Exodus, which is where the "symbol" thing comes from.
: Okay, Meeya! Let's get into your number for all our brave warriors!
: Well, of course, that is what I'm here for, but I need to ask you something first.
: Are you really Lacus Clyne?
: It's the oddest thing. The Lacus Clyne on my CD has something real underneath her singing voice...
: Well, I have been doing a rebranding--
: No, not that! Something more... basic.
: Like... you don't enjoy singing, do you?
: What are you talking about?!
Vino doesnt appreciate Meeya putting Lacus on the spot but Kihel figures that must be what she was picking up on. "There's nothing under her smile. Like a doll..."
The ZAFT soldiers do not like Meeya's attitude, and they're starting to get violent. Amuro calls for a full evacuation, but Kihel's vanished amidst the crowd!