Part 25: On Your Marks
The U. N. of this Earth has made contact with the Frontier, and the ship has identified itself to them. That's one mystery solved, and it explains the fact that the mysterious starship has space technology far beyond our own. Sumeragi explains what the Frontier revealed about their Earth's history, how their own technology was vastly advanced by the first Macross, a super advanced alien spaceship that crashed on Earth.
That ship is also what got the Earth embroiled in the war with the Zentraedi and nearly destroyed the human race. Fearing extinction, that Earth dispatched a fleet of colony ships to spread the seeds of humanity throughout the galaxy. One of those is the Frontier colony we see before us.
This news is worrying some of our Earthlings, who are prepared for the worst: that the Frontier will attempt to colonize our Earth. The trigger-happy superpowers were ready to send out their force, but Elgan Roddick, head of the Peacekeeping Council, slipped in first with the diplomatic option. He's got am emissary group headed out to meet the Frontier, and our job is to keep them safe.
Roddick is a ruthless man who has the entire U. N. off balance, but he's also very shrewd and one of the few good men in government. There's a good chance he's in cahoots with that Boatman guy too - he almost certainly tipped the latter off to the Frontier. And all this without raising any alarms in the U. N.
With our delegate are Ambassadors Dorian and Corner. Setsuna recalls that Dorian is Relena's dad fron his stint in Area 11, where he was following up on Celestial Being's watch on the Ambassador. Duo and Heero were right there and didn't even know about that, and Setsuna's knowledge of the Dorians bothers Heero, who has to insist that he's cut all ties with the young lady.
I can't get enough of these shots.
They talk more about the ship itself - less of a boat and more of a huge, floating, mobile colony that contains a whole city where people can live and work. To the rest of the world, they're almost like a new country, and one with extremely advanced technology. Crowe is optimistic that they'll join us, but the possibility of war still looms over Celestial Being's head. Hope the negotiations go well.
Meanwhile, on Island 1, Nanase is chattering away to Alto, who is keeping his S. M. S. work a secret on top of his studies. They're talking about the Frontier's place in the new Earth's government, where Alto, like our heroes, doesn't think the Frontier is going to go to war with other Earthlings. If the negotations do break down, he's sure they can just turn around and resume their long voyage. It's not like anything has changed for the space citizens of the Frontier just because they've hopped to a different space... though Alto, for one, would like to stand on the new Earth for just a moment.
Mikhail and Luca share the same class with Alto, and man, Mikhail is a dick. He mocks Alto for being a much worse pilot than his old job (not, as Luca thinks, his gig as a flying acrobat, but even before) and says Alto's going to get someone killed up there. And Alto getting mad only supports his point. When Alto finally gets fed up and stalks off, Mikhail, never dropping his goddamn smirk, claims it's because Alto is his "friend." "But friendship's not what you should worry about, is it, Luca? Come on, there's not even a point leaving you alone with Nanase." he stings.
Mikhail's a total dick, you guys.
The Colony kids are really impressed with the living conditions in the town of Island 1, but let's be honest - some people have to live their whole lives without leaving the place once, so it might as well be comfy. No time for pleasure, though - we're here to take the temperature of the civilians of the Frontier fleet. Which is great for the sharp Crowe, outgoing Duo, and chill Lockon, but...
why these guys?
Setsuna needs as much practice as he can get dealing with people missions, and Heero... um...
is here just in case we need something snuck into. Yeah, that's the ticket. Please don't kill my sniper, Heero.
Crowe slams into Alto, lost in thought, and the team springs on the chance to drop their Dimensional Quake opinion survey on him. He and Lockon are posing as social scientists who are field training their "students", Heero, Duo, and Setsuna. Crowe chafes a little at a team of expert pilots going door to door taking surveys, but oh well.
But Setsuna gets into it and begs, saying he'll be held back in class if he can't get enough replies. He gets the surprised Duo and Heero into the act too. Crowe wonders, if he can act like that, why can't he be like that all the time?
As Alto's working on the questions, Mikhail joins, and he and Lockon instantly peg each other as snipers. Mikhail pulls Alto away, claiming something urgent. He might know something about us, but he's also tipped his hand to us as well. Those are no ordinary schoolboys, and if the Frontier is employing kids as soldiers, Lockon wants to know why.
(Heero considers taking them out, and Crowe has to talk him down.)
Duo jokes that this might be the exact reason Heero was sent on this team, but Heero just murmers, "Yes, that's who I really am. So why can't I kill Relena?"
Mikhail drags Alto back to Luca, where they reveal to him that unknown radiation was discovered around Island 1. Radiation that scrambled the defense radar and blacked out the security feeds - sound familiar? Those surveyors might not have been mere scientists - they might even have been from outside the fleet. Now, if there are intruders in the Island, the police will catch them. Meanwhile, the S. M. S. team is being dispatched shortly to investigate the outside.
Mikhail is assigned to keep Alto from getting himself blown up, but he doesn't have to like it, nor Alto's attitude. He has no interest in getting killed for Alto's sake, but--
The sound of a song floats in. If you want to put it on, now's the time. Alto seems to find the song soothing.
Boy, this game is skipping history. Alto calls out Ranka, and both boys promise that the song has calmed them down. No more fighting.
Ranka is Ozma's adopted sister, and if you remember, she has no memories since she was caught in a Vajra attack. Well, that's almost true. For some reason, she remembers that song, and only that song.
Sheryl has come to get her "charm" back from Alto, but was sidetracked by listening to Ranka's song.
The advance team, tailing Alto, recognize Sheryl as the mega popular singer nicknamed the Galaxy Fairy, who their intel says was visiting the Frontier from another fleet. Crowe, the fastest fan in history, wants her autograph. No, wait, he wants to sell it. Of course. But now's not the time. What's she doing here, and what's her deal with Alto?
No time to talk. The P. A. calls everyone to take shelter, and the S. M. S. team has been likewise called to move out. Let's go!
Chapter 11: On Your Marks
President Glass explains to the Ambassadors that the Vajra, alien creatures who were brought with the Macross by the Dimensional Quake, are attacking. Smirking, Alejandro calls that a bit of a problem for Macross immigration, but Mishima is confident that his men can simply destroy the Vajra and make them a non-issue.
The S. M. S. team is on its own this time. The Frontier doesn't want to make a big show of its military for its new friends.
The Vajra show up. Ozma orders the S. M. S. team to put on a good show for our guests!
Beat the whole stage within four ally turns, is the goal this time.
Here's the map.
I thought we finished you off! Why are you back?
Or are there even more of you somewhere?
Luca follows to stack the Jammer and the Command.
Alto is still crazy behind, so I want to give him a kill or two every turn.
The Koenig Monster is a somewhat slow midrange attacker in shuttle form, and a ridiculously slow but very long-range cannon in Gerwalk form.
Of course, just being a Macross unit means it can dodge sometimes, though it's not as agile as a VF or Zentraedi power armor. Anyway, Alto can swoop in and take it out.
Come and get it! I'm serious about this!
You're not getting anywhere near the fleet!
I might have been wrong about Alto.
What does that mean?
Nothing. But he's still not going to outdo me.
But enemy reinforcements appear. It looks like the S. M. S. squad won't be able to handle it on their own.
Fortunately, they won't have to. The Ptolemy has arrived to save the day!
(The losers of the polls were Aoi, unanimously, and then Allelujah, though Duo was in the running too.)
Sumeragi hails Ozma to say she can't reveal their identity, but her forces will help. Ozma can't turn down that offer. Not only are we helping out our fellow man, but the Vajra remind Ryoma of the Invaders, and any space monster gives Duo cause to worry about the Colonies.
Anyway, keeping Michel near Klan, Ozma, and Luca. Guy's crazy safe.
(How did I find myself protecting her father?)
(And why am I even thinking that? I have nothing to do with her anymore...)
It doesn't matter what they are. If they cause violence, Celestial Being must eliminate them.
Yet another mysterious unknown enemy. The Chief's probably happy, but the rest of the planet's gonna have a bad day.
I have to fight them, so I'm already having a bad day.
(This is where I wanted to put some Getter lines, but they didn't have any, I guess.)
Ryoma learns Trust.
Michel gets attacked.
But he is crazy safe.
For a relatively small Macross unit, the Monster is pretty tanky.
There's a bunch of futile moving, and the big Vajra don't act.
Then the second wave hits.
What follows is extremely boring, so I'm just going to hit the main points.
Which are that nothing of note happens and it's my turn again.
It's about time to think about moving on the big Vajra, who will probably start moving next turn, which means I have to spend time getting to them.
Chris learns Analyze. I think that happened in the other timeline too.
Virtue's barrier is still great.
Another monster you can't talk to. Great.
Let me tell you what we do to monsters when they attack us! We crush them until there isn't a speck left!
Turns out Ryoma does have things to say, but they only trigger in Getter-1.
Executive summary: They all die. Setsuna has a second turn, as usual.
He could be attacking the bottom leader, but I want him to try and drag the third one instead. The S. M. S. squad will have their hands tied dealing with the top two.
Ozma leads them, as usual, "upward" into the topmost big Vajra.
Alto follows for the kill.
Luca finally gets to use his VF's special weapon, the only VF's I didn't get to last chapter (Alto doesn't have one, the sucker).
Also, Klan, who wasn't even really in the last chapter.
Speaking of which, Klan does a squad attack with her soldiers Nene and Laramia, but I guess they couldn't get the other voice actors so they don't get any lines.
So now it's the S. M. S. team against two boss Vajra. Should be fun.
I say let them try.
Shortly into the enemy phase, the S. M. S. team is impressed that our machines can compete with the their own VF units. But they can also see that our team is a motley crew of prototypes and unique machines, not an organized force.
But something else is coming.
Oh god dammit.
Ozma wants data, but we don't know much more about the Invaders than they do. There's only one thing we can assure him of - they're enemies.
The Invaders are attacking our forces, the Frontier, and the Vajra alike.
So far, the Vajra seem to still be attacking us.
Oh, there we go.
What ensues is extremely slow pandemonium, as the enemy mooks die en masse while their leaders try to kill each other. Zzz...
zz... What? Oh, the game finally needs me again.
Obviously, the Invaders (yellow) have suddenly become our main problem. I should be sweeping up the bosses at the edges and moving south and east.
First, let's bring in the S. M. S. team. First on the list is the big Vajra who's been loitering at the top of the map. I love donut shaped weapon ranges.
Last video, really.
Lockon sees the kill and wonders if that kid he met is in the blue mech.
Pretty soon, the S. M. S. side is cleaned up.
Likewise the CB side.
And after Setsuna takes out the remaining Vajra in one swoop, it's just a couple of ugly Invaders left.
One sticks around, and the other guns for Alto.
What the hell! The bugs weren't enough, we have to fight these things too?
Fine! I'll take them all on, whatever they are!
He says, but takes a hit.
Now to finish this.
Getter obliterates the last Invader...
and Musashi learns the Drive/Spirit upgrade again (I seriously can't remember which one's which).
Alto is fed the last one and finally makes it to a civilized level.
The Point is won with plenty of time to spare.
Our side reflects on how hard the battle was. Could the Council's forces even have stood a chance if we hadn't been here?
Sumeragi orders everyone to clear out and debrief, leaving the S. M. S. crew to wind down themselves. This Earth isn't quite as safe as they thought, and they've brought along their own problems - the Vajra that came with them are far from limited to the few they'd fought earlier.
On the Ptolemy, the crew is discussing the happenings Frontierside - specifically, Sheryl Nome. Johnny is sure Crowe would try to get an autograph and then hock it ("I'm so glad somebody understands me," quips Crowe after getting over the shock). Meanwhile, Chris listened to her songs while she was hacking the Frontier for intel and become an overnight fan. She wishes she'd gone too.
The away team wasn't lucky enough to hear Sheryl in person, but they talk about the song they did hear. They tell the story of how it stopped a fight, and Crowe wishes it were so easy to stop war (do you remember love?).
Setsuna scoffs and stomps out. Even if Crowe were joking, that sort of thing is a sore point for him.
As for the team's real objective, they've got it. The citizens of the Frontier are galactic wanderers anyway, so they're not bothered by being displaced to a new universe. The real question is the government - will they be allies or enemies? That depends on what happens from here on out, so don't screw it up, Ambassadors. Or else we'll never get to hear the Galaxy Fairy's songs...
Same deployment deal next mission. I'll assume we're holding back the same two units, but anyone's free to pipe up with a better idea. After the next mission, we'll be jumping back to the other units and continuing with the main plot from there.