Part 259: Special Disk Mission 2-3 - At the Center of This WorldBackstory: Memory Final Chapter
First thing first.
Eat your heart out Beck.
Back in the Archangel, Roger ponders how this world, an amalgamation of so many others, also led to the gathering.
Daisuke observes that the highly mixed-up nature of ZEUTH itself is a microcosm of the world at large. Of course, Roger continues, when you gathered people with such different worldviews, its very likely to lead to conflict. These conflicts can range from mere personal disputes to large battles that split the world in two and Roger remembers a small town he visited in his travels that was also having some issues.
Sounds rather boring to Kappei, who was expecting an epic tale when he said it was at the center of the world. Boss and Jiron, however, figure Roger mustve joined in on the fight with the Big O and wrecked the enemys side.
Roger sighs that hes neither a bodyguard nor a merc, but a Negotiator, and is disappointed that people still have the wrong idea about it. Gain says we are well aware but things with Roger always seem to degrade to fisticuffs.
Roger chalks all that to simple bad luck and, at Kappeis request, continues his story: this all happened after he split from Banjou but before the met up with the Iron Gear team. The town in question hired him to negotiate with a group of bandits who were making rather unreasonable demands.
Special Disk Mission 2-2 At the Center of This World
Location: Central South Ameria Bandit Stronghold
Roger has gone to meet with said bandits, a bunch of Breakers, and tell them that the townsfolk refuses to pay the sum they demanded. One of the Breaker sniffs at those idiots refusing their offer of protection of course, this all smells too much like extortion for Roger.
Sounds good to the Breakers and they give him a message for the town: pay up and no one gets hurt. At that, Roger informs them that the mayor has requested the Federation army to come and deal with the bandits' activities. The Feds arent coming yet, mind, so if they go away quietly, this whole thing can be called off. For their own good, Roger suggests they run along.
The younger Breaker is considering it but the more experienced ones call his bluff: the Federations sphere of influence doesnt reach all the way here, to say nothing of the fact that theyd never mobilize troops from some minuscule South Amerian town.
Roger counters that the Federation is always seeking to expand his influence, to the point where theyd been forcibly annexing smaller nations and autonomous territories. Is he implying the people would sell their town to the Feds in a bid to drive the bandits away? Theyre considering, which is why these men ought to make their decision quickly.
The leader tells him to piss off this means war! Theyll burn this town to the ground and bail before the Feds even get here! This would mean making them enemies of the Federation but the leader doesnt care. Roger figures further dialogue to be pointless but hes not going to fight: he came here only to negotiate and hopes to try again, in hopes theyll change their minds.
They wont, telling him to warn the townsfolk that theyre coming to tear shit up!
Back in town, Roger tells the mayor that the bandits seem to have thrown caution to the wind after he threatened that the Feds would be coming. The mayor knows the army would never bother with this town in the boonies and is very disappointed with Rogers negotiations.
Never fear though, as Roger has a plan. Were dealing with mere crooks in here and theyre already very frightened at the prospect that the Federation could be inbound. So, with that in mind, Roger presumes theyll cut their losses and run if the towns offers even 1% of what they demanded.
Hes not given up on seeing the job he was hired for fulfilled, so the mayor agrees to go and prepare that amount if he thinks he can get them to settle for it. That is, until the head of the local militia speaks against it. Yes, its a paltry sum to secure the towns safety but he and his men are unwilling to part with a cent without a fight!
Roger counters that while hes dubbed these men as mere crooks, combat is still their way of life. It is precisely because the mayor doesnt feel that the local militia could survive against such men that he was hired to negotiate.
The militiaman is aware, which is why he's hired some ex-soldiers to counter the bandit threat, and despite misgivings the mayor decides to throw in his lot with the guy.
Though paying this small amount could avoid bloodshed, the mayor is also thinking about the second, or third time bandits try something like this; there's only so much running away the town can do.
While he is loath to expose his people to danger, one needs strength of heart if hes to make it in this world. Since the guy is that resolute, Roger wont argue against it. He wishes them luck and, with that, the mayor and militiaman leave to meet the hired helpers.
Tough luck for Roger, Dorothy quips, but he doesnt mind as its not like the negotiations themselves failed. In fact, Dorothy thinks he looks happy. Indeed, even among all the people hes met since leaving Paradigm City, Roger believes the spirit of these citizens are worthy of every praise.
Before they leave, he decides to go check out these bodyguards that inspired such confidence.
: Who are you ?!
: Forgive my intrusion. My name is Roger Smith, a negotiator. Ive been told the town hired you as bodyguards, so I thought to come here and greet you.
: Youre the one they hired to bargain with the bandits?
: What, did you come here to bitch at us for taking your job?
: Please, would it kill you to try and be more respectful?
: Im just trying to lighten the mood. Ease up, man.
: Whatever youre trying to do, its only serving as a terrible first impression.
: Alright, easy lets not start bickering in front of our visitor.
: We apologize for this unsightly display, especially after you took the time to come here.
: Its nothing but yours is quite the hodgepodge group, hm? Soldiers of the Titans, Zaft, Orb, Moon Race, Siberian Rail
: Ex-soldiers, mind.
: How so?
: We are the Noir 7. A mercenary troupe made of people whove quit their old armies and organizations.
: We might as well introduce ourselves. I am One an Ex-Titan, as you can see.
: You may call me Zwei. I was part of the Diana Counter.
: The names Trois. Used to be with Zaft, now Im just an outlaw.
: I am Shijou formerly a soldier of Orb.
: Cinq. I previously worked with the Siberian Rails Guard.
: And Im Hex. A KLF Rider who loves the Trapar wave.
: Hmm you call yourselves Noir 7 but I only see six
: Our last member is an Ex-Chiram soldier. Hes out doing recon.
: And I presume all of you had your own reasons for forsaking your groups to be mercenaries?
: To each their own, yeah? I, myself, fell in love with this Natural chick so I bailed from Zaft.
: And where is said girl?
: Taken by the fires of war
: Is what Id say, were this a drama flick. Truth is, I sat on my ass for too long, so she went and married another guy.
: Thats what you get when you only care about playing around all day
: In my case, I quit Orb over my political differences with the Seiran Family after they took over.
: Hm ? I heard that youre a huge fan of Rep. Cagalli and left Orb to go after her
: Th-that is absolutely not true, Zwei. My sole interest is to see the Seirans struck down and the Representative returned to her rightful post
: Sure, sure. You dont need to play it cool with us.
: As for me, I had a problem with this Chief of Operations who started reorganizing the guards. At length, that got me fired.
: After I came from the Moon with the Counter, I found myself wanting to see more of Earths nature. So, I left the army.
: Always the romantic, eh, Zwei ? Myself, punching this pain-in-the-ass officer was about the main reason.
: And thats about it. Our reasons arent all that impressive.
: What about you, then?
: Pretty much the same as them. I was tired of being part of the military.
: For what reason?
: The way the world is now, mostly. I just couldnt believe in anything that was told me I had to see it with my own eyes.
: You left an elite squadron for that ?
: And I dont regret it one bit. When youre part of the Federations elite, you have so much power and that becomes your world. Nothing else matters.
: But, in this day and age, I think human life itself is what should be valued above all. So I threw away my status and decided that, wherever I am, that place is the center of the world.
: And theres the boss catchphrase.
: But its that personality what brought us all together as a team.
Regardless, from what Rogers seen the bandits have a bunch of Walker Machines with them. Can these guys alone prevail? Zwei has run the numbers to about a 50/50 chance of success but, despite that, the townsfolk have decided to take a chance on the Noir 7.
One can see in Rogers face that he doesnt understand why theyre taking on such an uncertain assignment and the reason goes hand in hand with what he said just now. This town may just be some tiny hamlet in the eyes of the bandits but, to the people who live here, it is the center of the world the place where theyve lived their lives with their loved ones.
Its that wish to defend their homes thats pushed these folks to muster the courage to fight and the Noir 7, admiring their spirit, feel like they can overcome this battle with their brave assistance.
Roger is glad to have met with these folks but One suggests he leave soon, as this whole areall be a battlefield.
Speaking of, Sept, shows up yelling that the bandits are attacking already. Hes the last member of the crew, having fled Chiram once he realized their militarism was crap.
He tells Roger to get going and asks, since this might just be the end for him, to let him live on as a piece of his memories. Thats way too gloomy for One, whos not about to let any of them or the townsfolk get killed.
Theyve a plan all set and ready to go, so its time to show these bandits what the Noir 7 can do when pressed!
Here come the Breakers and, indeed, there isnt a Federation unit in sight. One of their scouts couldve sworn he saw an MS coming into town but, whatever. The first wave of Breakers moves in to tear the place apart and promptly get stuck in pitfalls left by the townsfolk. The people then begin open fire with whatever guns they have and poof go those units.
The Breaker leaders are annoyed that theyre trying to take them on with mere guns and also begin charging in to teach them a lesson.
As the people scamper, its up to the Noir 7 to finish the rest of them off. Shijou, Hex and Sept will confuse the enemy with airborne strikes; their Murasame, Mon-soono and Ishkick Commander will be more than capable of outmaneuvering Walker Machines.
Zwei and Cinqll provide support from the rear, taking advantage of the WaDom and Dobecks long range, while One and Trois will lead the offensive.
The Breakers begin firing willy-nilly, desperate, and One sends everyone to the attack: Dont forget! What lies at our backs is the very center of this world!
And we're at the stage. We have a bunch of Breakers to beat, with this rag-tag group of, well, generic grunts!
One, the leader, has the Commander Skill. These guys aren't the dodgiest in the world, so he'll come in handy.
Piloting a WaDOM, Zewi has Hit&Away thankfully.
Trois in his ZAKU, he has Counter.
Shijou is the most agile of them in his Murasame.
Cinq, who has a Repair Module.
Hex in his KLF.
And finally Sept, who ties with Zewi for longest range.
Moving them down, Trois is able to get in range.
: You guys sure are something, running amuck like a pack of raving beasts. Id never have met folks like you if I stayed in the Plants.
: Well if anyone asked, Id say youre, like, almost definitely human beings. Which means I dont need to hold back when dropping the hammer on you!
Good job with that crit!
Come enemy phase, the Breakers move in.
: Come try your luck, bandits! Youll find a resolute man wont die easily!
: Success and money dont matter. And if there arent any rails, you just go and build your own path.
: Life isnt easy in the slightest and thats why Im going to fight tooth and nail for it!
One impresses me during this phase. He dodges quite a few attacks at 51% and higher hit rates
With the Player Phase, I don't think we ever saw the WaDOMs use their Melee attack. So let's see it!
: (Your Majesty Though I may have left the Diana Counter, my thoughts as always with the Moon.
: (And, so, I seek a place where the wandering Moon Race could call home. )
: (For that reason, and more, I cannot let this be the end for me! Victory will be ours!)
Let's blast away with Sept's strongest attack.
: I may be a humble mercenary now but my skills are still of an ace of the Singularity Search Platoon!
: Bandits like you dont stand a chance against a trained warrior!
: Yup, Lifting really is all about freedom!
: Maybe if you folks tried riding the Trapar some, youd see how stupid this bandit gig is!
Another one down triggers...
*One heads to the edge of town.*
: Whatre you doing, chief?!
: Ive spotted a civilian that didnt evacuate in time! Im moving her to safety!
: Ah aah
: Its already, missy. Theres nothing to worry about.
: Youre the one whos gotta worry!
: Thinking about someone elses safety at a time like this? Ya moron!
: Well, this aint gonna be quick. Ill slowly crush both you and that kid youre protecting!
: Id never be bested by the likes of you ! Ever!
: Youve got stones, pal! Alright, how about this? Ditch the kid and Ill let you run off.
: Im done being a coward ! I wont run from my duty!
: Well, aint you a cool guy! Too bad youre a goddamn idiot!
: Take a look at how the worlds like! This aint the place to care about other folks lives!
: You may be right about that.
: I used to be such a man Always following my orders to the letter and, when needed, I even killed in order to fulfill them
: But I am a human being ! I didnt want to simply be a machine that ignored my own judgment and did as commanded!
: Oi, whats with this speech?!
: And, so, I left the army ! The battles may still be the same but I wanted to be sure that I was fighting them for my own reasons!
: And if I ran from it all now, there would absolutely be no place left for me in this world!
: Rrrgh, shut up! Im gonna squish you into paste!
: Heh my thanks for playing along with my spiel.
: While you were distracted, an angel came and saved the girl.
: Youre safe now.
: But, that man is !
: Itll be fine.
: Big O, showtime!
: Huh?! Whats that huge thing?!
: Negotiator, is that you ?
: No, that is incorrect.
: Since I actively intervened in an ongoing battle, using that title wouldnt be appropriate. Today, I am simply a meddler.
: Are you messing with us, punk?!
: Very well. In order to prove how serious I am, I shall endeavor to destroy you with all my might.
: Erm but, I!
: Youve my thanks, Roger Smith.
: Theres no need for that. Like I said, Im simply meddling.
: And that is all there is to it. What I do now, I do so freely!
I'll let Roger handle the landship.
: (Freedom These seven men, as well as the townsfolk, are all living as their hearts command.)
: (And in the interest of leading my life amidst this chaotic society, I shall follow their example.)
The landship has 13500 HP by the way.
And then this wonderous thing happens.
With Invincible as a buffer, One heads back down to the rest of the Breakers.
And then come enemy phase, here's an attack I, uh, didn't even really know existed thanks to me never using Trads...
Breaker's swarm One, and some of them get hits in.
: Orb was built upon the ideals of coexistence between Naturals and Coordinators and, even now, those ideals lie within my heart !
: I will not stand by and ignore those whod trample over innocents just to satisfy their greed!
And then this guy tries to hit Roger again
It ends about like you'd expect.
By now alll the Breakers are one hit away from defeat. So let's mop things up and one last video.
Norman confirms all enemies destroyed and all civilians are safe. Things should now calm down around here.
Though Roger said there was no need, One once again thanks him for the assist. Roger asks about what he told the Breaker but One tells him that he was, really, just making stuff up.
Still, he did swear one thing when he left the Titans: hed fight under his own volition in order to live as a human. Such is the way of life he chose.
With that, One calls his men to run along a peaceful town has no need for gun-toting bodyguards. Where are they going? Who knows but, wherever they stand, itll be the center of the world ..
Back in the Archangel, Athrun and Tetsuya are quite impressed with One's attitude, which was in fact the spark Roger needed to properly line up his own quest for the Truth. It's also why he decided to permanently join us.
Kappei and Ryouma really enjoyed this last-minute story: its for people like those that they need to make sure the Repair is successful. Of course, this world also has plenty of bad guys to go along with the good ones but theres no point in that distinction, thinks Loran. Hes willing to defend Earth for anyone who calls it home.
Shinn agrees and it is that wish to help every single person in this world why he now tries to end war and stands against those whod put their selfish goes above others. Considering the crisis that looms upon Earth, its not really the time to be choosy as to who pitches in with the Repair. What were going to do is simply stand in defense of the people of the world, so that they can get their wishes together for the whole process.
Plus, Apollo figures we can always deal with the baddies later just gotta make sure Earth is still in one piece for that. Were six hours away from the moment well get the Dimensional Repair going and Camille has faith that a new, better future awaits us at the end of it.
Renton tells Eureka to wait just a bit longer; hes coming to get her and, then, they and everyone else in the world will make their wish together.
The Break the World begat more than just pain and sorrow. While the birth of the Multi-Dimensional World led to new conflicts, it also led to countless new meetings. And from that, humans found new joy, confidence and hope for their lives.
Protecting these things is the essence of Dimensional Repair and ZEUTH's mission, as well as their wish.
The time limit drew near and the team steeled themselves in preparation for the battle thatd determine the future of their beloved world.
And with that, we've completed Backstory: Memory. Next up, Beater Services: Business Journal!