Part 54: The Battle of Narita
Crowe decides he might as well go to Area 11, where things are likely to get "interesting". Ime will probably follow him wherever he goes, and so will the DAMons.
This happens again. Ime briefly and unhelpfully explains the Stigma.
But forget that, Nunnally catches Lelouche tiptoeing about the Ashford clubhouse. She thought he was studying abroad, and he quickly lies that he just got back and didn't tell her so he could surprise her. And how long can he stay? Lelouche says that his "home abroad" is in some trouble, so he isn't sure. She wants to hear all about it and goes to get him some tea.
But Lelouch has business to get to. He's left C. C. babysitting Nunnally (and she doesn't miss that it's at least as much to keep her out of trouble as Nunnally). She tells him that she's doing fine, but she's stronger than Lelouche things she is. In fact, she'd say he's overbearing - and that she thinks he's more in need of protection.
Lelouche, why are you Lelouche?
Now you want to discuss philosophy?
You changed your family name to Lamperouge, but kept your own name of Lelouche.
You're being sentimental. You can't let go of the past.
And what about yours?
I would say "C. C." is going too far. It's scarcely a name any human would have.
So, Lelouche. Do you know why snow is white?
You're changing the subject.
Snow is white because it's forgotten whatever color it was before.
Chirico is visiting home too, over in the Shinjuku Ghetto. Cocoana and Vanilla have heard all about his adventures in GOONZ; Chirico, of course, receives his welcome wagon with his usual vivacity. And oh yeah, the other
The rebels are glad that the Colony Gundam pilots are here to help out, but Wufei is here for no such thing. He has all sorts of doubts about Zero and wants to learn who he is and what he wants. He's convinced that Zero's "ally of the weak" act is just a means to an end ().
Tamaki protests, but Zero has been listening for a while and coolly walks on stage. Wufei, on the other hand, knew he was there and doesn't particularly care if Zero knows he doesn't trust him. Zero admits that he has no way of proving that his only interest really is the liberation of Japan, other than by demonstrating through his actions. It's a clever bit of politics, and Wufei has no response, but Heero asks a single pointed question: "What should we do if we ever find out you've been lying to us?"
Zero returns the question: "If your suspicions happen to prove true, what would you do?" And Heero responds immediately: "Kill you." GOONZ, everybody! Zero finds that fair, and so does Wufei for now, though it doesn't change his goal of unearthing Zero's secrets.
But on the subject of Zero's actions speaking, he's called in Diethard Reed to talk strategy. Viceroy Cornelia has used the Imperium as an excuse to consolidate Britannia's power within its borders and in turn silence all the resistance forces remaining in the Area, what Diethard calls a "quiet police state" - subtle enough that the citizens don't even know it's there. This resistance has only managed to escape with Zero's tactical support, but the other ones that used to be active are now gone. This includes the Japan Liberation Front, the guys that took that hotel hostage all those months ago, or at least a splinter of it that reformed after Zero killed them all. But, and here's the important part, those guys had a man named Todo the Miracle, a soldier who was key to the only battle Japan won in the war against the Britannian takeover.
Todo would be a tremendous asset to the resistance, both as a commander and for their morale, but he's cornered in the JLF base up in the Narita Mountains. And the worse news is that Cornelia has called in backup from the mainland to crush him once and for all, and with him, the resistance groups' remaining spirit. She's already swallowed her pride to call for aid, so she's not likely to hold anything back. We're looking at not only Todo's defeat, but the utter destruction of the JLF, and that means there's only one option for the Black Knights.
But the Gundam team isn't so sure having a full-on battle with Britannia is a great idea, and despite Tamaki's accusations, it's not because they're worried. Mankind has a lot more to worry about right now than political infighting, and there's no point spending out both the Black Knights and Britannia while aliens and the Imperium are on the loose. Zero argues that if you take that logic to its conclusion, Japan is going to be a vassal of Britannia for the rest of time. He has confidence that we can fight both Britannia and defend humanity at once. "The Japanese must defend themselves. Otherwise, they have no hope of independence. And their spearhead must be the Black Knights."
Back at the Academy, Nina wants to see Euphemia again. She wants to thank her "properly" - no, wait, she actually just means properly - for the hotel thing. But getting a Britannian princess, with the world in its current state, is beyond even Millay's influence. Relena seems to have a thought,
but Lelouche has other business. The other council members are as surprised to see him back like Nunnally was, but he explains that his return was a sudden development. After all, the Imperium is making things unpredictable all over the place. Like Louise, who has surely been called back to her family in Spain?
Louise is too busy making this face to make conversation. Millay explains that she's feeling neglected by Saji, who has been really really busy with his pizza job. "The pizza always arrives hot," she pouts, "but I'm left out in the cold." Rivalz is about to explain what Saji is actually doing, but gets hushed.
Suzaku is also missing. We know more or less where he is, though: the Britannian military lab, though his lips are sealed on details. Karen is, as always, "sick," and even these kids feel like it's an extra long bout this time.
Wait, are you worried about her?
Of course. She's a fellow councilor.
Uh,... Lulu... as long as you're back in town... tomorrow...
Well... I've got tickets to a classical concert, from my dad...
It just happened! But as long as you're here, I don't have anyone else to go with...
Sorry, I'm busy tomorrow. I have to make a presentation on what I've learned abroad.
So I'll be in the library all day preparing it.
No problem! I was just asking!
I hope it goes well for you tomorrow!
Thanks, Shirley. I'll see you around.
And he leaves, leaving Millay to offer Shirley her condolences and Relena to comfort Louise, who's still whining about Saji. The world may be in the shadow of the Imperium, but for these innocent children of Ashford Academy, the war seems like a distant dream...
That'd be an awesome place to get into the upcoming battle, but we do have to check in on Saji, who by sheer coincidence, is delivering a pizza to Lelouche's "maid." C. C. has finally earned enough pizza points to trade for a stuffed doll of Pizza Hut Japan's mascot, Cheese-kun, which she intends to do right now. In fact, she's already collected the first two dolls, so she wants the third. Saji says he'll have that for her within a day, and she says he can bring it to her when she orders another pizza tomorrow. Oh wait, she has somewhere to be tomorrow. Too bad. By the way, he must have saved enough from this job by now to buy those matching rings for himself and his girlfriend, right?
And that was the very important pizza scene. A perfect segue into
Chapter 24: The Battle of Narita
(Area 11 route)
Todo's forces are being wiped out, driving him ever further into the corner.
Cornelia has, indeed, called in support from the mainland. Her knight Dalton is assisted by Graham Aker's Flag forces, and he's certain that today is the end of the JLF. He and Graham even take time to kick back and discuss what an honor it will be for Cornelia to have done this feat, though it will be marred by the fact that she traded her pride for ruthless efficiency. Dalton, too, wishes a little that he hadn't had to share the spotlight. Graham just wishes he'd had the power to bring his proper Overflag squadron. Oh well. "Let us lay the Last Samurai to rest together," grins Dalton. Todo bids his farewells to his closest men, and orders them to make a grand last stand.
Normal. We only have Todo (and his Four Swords, for a team attack). Wipe the board in five turns, which means we are getting reinforcements, and probably so are they. In particular, I don't see the Battle Princess herself anywhere.
Gekka (Kyoshiro Todo)
Slash Haken (6 ammo)
Handgun (12 ammo)
Brake Blade: Wailing Ram Strike (15 en)
Wheel of Life and Death Formation (40 EN, 120 Will, barrier, size)
Ace Bonus: Once, if Todo would be reduced to 0 HP by an attack, he will survive with 10 HP.
Todo is good. Just not enough for me to pretend he's a main character of anything, historically. He'll be pretty helpful in Area 11 routes.
I think the Gekka is the Type-3 in the series of Japanese-made Knightmares in which the Burai is the 1 and the Guren is the 2. Unfortunately, it's hard to compete with the nuke arm, and the Brake Blade doesn't really do it.
(Seven years since the Invasion of the East... and now it's finally ending.)
But I will fight until my last breath! Kyoshiro Todo will do battle!
tl;dr Todo wounds things.
Dalton and Graham just watch.
At a base on the mountain side, Bartley Fennet and his men are surprised to find that their lab is so close to a terrorist hideout - which has now become the site of a battle. Bartley starts evacuating his men and purging his computers - "We cannot let our research on Code R fall into the army's hands!"
The Black Knights storm the field, and Zero calls Todo to offer his aid.
Todo just growls that Zero is the last in a long line of fools who have come to him for a miracle. But Zero knows that what Todo did at the last battle wasn't a miracle, it was a tactical victory enabled by expert intelligence, and that's what he really wants out of Todo, not magic. And if Todo lets himself end here, he will not have atoned for what his miracle did for Japan. Zero argues that Japan's occupation by Britannia has been so much more violent than the other territories because Japan surrendered before its forces were exhausted, and more importantly, before their hope was. The resistance has kept heart enough to keep fighting these seven years because of that one victory, the Miracle of Itsukushima, and Zero insists that gives Todo the obligation to continue fighting until his reputation as miracle-worker is dragged through the mud and the Japanese are willing to peacefully submit.
It is, indeed, a hella weird argument. But it works on Todo, which, ironically, gives hope to the resistance, especially seeing how few mecha they're up against. The Gundams, on the other hand, can see plainly that they're just an advance force, and indeed, Cornelia's own forces are in reserve.
Also, you may have noticed that Karen is missing. Zero says he has another job for the Guren. In the meantime, we are to engage the Britannian forces and draw Cornelia's reserves out onto the battlefield.
Sure enough, Cornelia comes out enraged after a couple of kills, and boy, that's a lot of Knightmares. Zero alone seems unruffled by a small army staring him in the face, and goes so far as to say that "if I win this, you would call it a miracle, wouldn't you?" It suddenly dawns on GOONZ that Zero arranged this battle, and Zero almost laughs. "There were only two paths for you from the moment you chose to fight with the Black Knights: Live with me or die with me!"
Then he gives Karen the signal, and Karen shoots the Radiation Wave into the ground.
The entire mountain quakes and Zero gleefully explains that a series of underground rivers flow beneath the Narita mountains. He's just had the Guren shoot an immense amount of heat into the mountain stone, and that heat passes into the groundwater. The resulting steam expansion will shatter the surface and destroy everything above it, and as it happens, Cornelia just mobilized all those Knightmares right onto the earth directly above the point where all those rivers meet.
Her entire platoon gets swallowed and crushed by the earth, as the Black Knights marvel at the trap and show Zero just orchestrated. Todo realizes that if anything is a miracle, Zero just made one happen.
Lelouche, meanwhile, knows that there may be some damage to the surrounding terrain, "but oh well." As Cornelia shouts with wrath, he orders his men to target her Knightmare.
But we can't actually do that. The point is still to defeat all enemies, and since Cornelia is the normal win condition, this means, as always, that she must go last.
Oh, and the Glasgow squad is super dead. They never really had a chance.
Karen is going to have to fight her way through a lot of Knightmares.
She gets severely drained of HP and EN.
Luckily, that's what Ohgi and Tamaki are here for! (because it sure isn't fighting)
And it's a good thing Corny got here in time, because Graham's and Dalton's minions are totally dead thanks to Karen and Quatre.
Zero! I, Jeremiah Gottwald, challenge you!
It's been some time, hasn't it? You look well.
But I'm afraid I haven't time for you at the moment, Sir Orange!
You... dare call me O... Oh... Oooooorange? DIIIIIIIIIIIIIE!
Zero! I will have justice for the death of Clovis, and the deaths of my soldiers!
Hm... even you can't keep your composure in this situation.
But your rage is also your strength... and my true win condition is to strike it down!
Zero's doing terribly well, but Orange isn't looking so good. Let's put him out of his misery.
The Black Knights' ace soldier! Now we shall duel!
Shut it, Britannian! The Guren Type-2 is the beginning of our new resistance!
I won't let you crush the hope of the Japanese people!
Not now! Not when Zero stands before me!!
Grraaaaahh! Again... Again Zero has bested meeeeeeeee!
I probably should have had Zero finish him, but Karen is just too powerful to control.
Anyway, now that he's out of the way, let's check on Graham!
Gundam! We cross paths yet again!
One of the Britannia Union's custom suits.
Don't think I appreciate you less because another has my heart. The warrior within me truly sees you as a worthy adversary!
Another pilot who acts on emotion. But I don't have time for you!
Todo the Miracle... seven years ago, I was just a new recruit who quivered at the thought of battle!
I will redeem myself from seven years ago! By striking down the samurai that made me shake all those years ago myself!
Come on, Kyoshiro Todo! Show me the honor and discipline that once struck me with fear!
Todo is your new unit for the chapter, so here's his video.
Damn it... all I have to show for this battle is another stain on my honor!
Black Knights... no, GOONZ! I will pay you back for this slight someday!
Let's get all the midbosses out of the way.
I cannot die here! I will retreat!
Gh... to show such failure before the Princess!
I have further work for you. I cannot lose you to these curs.
I do not deserve your grace... I will now take my leave, my lady.
Zero learns Invincible (useful!) and Dalton drops a Precision Lens.
Now we've got a bunch of Gloucesters, who are pretty strong Knightmares even when run by generic soldiers, but many of them are already wounded. In addition, we have Guilford and Cornelia, whose Gloucesters are mini-boss class. You can tell Corny's is really good because of the totally awesome horns.
Argh! I must not leave the Princess' side!
Go, Sir Guilford, my knight. You needn't worry about me.
Retreat. Have faith in my prowess.
...yes, my lady. But please, do not be rash.
And that leaves us with just Cornelia. Is her faith in her prowess justified?
You challenge me with an Eleven KMF built in the Eleven image?
The Guren Type-2 is the emblem of the Japanese resistance! You're about to feel its weight!
I admit you have skill, but I am no mere figurehead Viceroy!
Short answer: yes, but we're fucking GOONZ.
Cornelia drops an A-Adapter (sweet!) and an SR point. She tries to flee, but Zero pursues her and demands she exit her Knightmare, planning to Geass her and learn what she knows about his mother's death. But Cornelia calls Guilford and commands him to join with Dalton and secure Euphie.
Before Zero can stop her, Suzaku dashes in, says he's got Euphie safe, and wrecks Zero's Burai. Zero manages to escape, only to find the Lancelot's weapons at his head. Suzaku has his debt, and he knows that the Elevens are behind Zero, too, but he believes Zero's methods are wrong. Lelouche, who still doesn't know his friend is in the cockpit, curses the White Knight for ruining all his perfect plans.
C. C. appears out of nowhere and stands between Lancelot and Zero! She can't afford to let Zero die, even if she has to deal with it in the flesh. Somehow, she reaches into Suzaku's mind and floods it with traumatic images - whatever will make Suzaku freeze, though even she doesn't know what he's seeing - then tells Zero to run.
Zero tries to push her away, but she cries out not to touch her. Too late - images begin to flood Lelouche's sight as well. "Judgment... pain... evil... hate... loneliness," he mutters. Suzaku is crying out to his father and starts firing wildly. The shots destabilize the ground again, and before GOONZ can do anything, Zero and C. C. fall down into the waterways. GOONZ has no choice but to retreat with Todo.
Downstream, Lelouche wonders just what C. C. is. She gave him the power of Geass, her wounds heal supernaturally quickly...
Where are we?
Not far from the battlefield. I had to move us a bit to lose the Britannians.
You were in quite bad shape from the fall, but I suppose that's not a concern.
So you didn't have to save me. Your pride makes you do the dumbest things sometimes.
You were muttering, probably from the pain. You said some enlightening things, you know.
...like your name.
It's not nice to eavesdrop.
It's a good name. Much more human than "C. C."
Does that matter? I don't need anything human... I'm...
I forgot. I forgot everything, every last thing... I don't need a name... not anymore...
(From what I saw... and those wounds... this is what C. C. goes through.)
Since we're here, I should take the opportunity to say this. For all you've helped me... and for the power of the Geass...
I'll only say this once.
This is the first time anyone's ever thanked me. How about you return the favor?
Say my name.
Just once. Say it kindly, like you mean it.
No, we don't get to hear it. Sorry.
How was that?
Nope. That was terrible.
I said kindly. And carefully, sincerely. Yours sounded off and completely without warmth.
There's no pleasing you, is there?
Well, of course. I'm C. C.
C. C., I don't know why snow is white.
But I like it. White snow is beautiful.
Karen will be here for us. Come on.
You were almost there. You even outsmarted Cornelia.
That wasn't a miracle. For me, that was barely even effort.
Keep watching, Cornelia. This was just an introduction.
I have Todo the Miracle now. I'm growing an army enough to destroy Britannia.
You think it'll work out?
I'll make it work. I'm Zero, the man who works miracles.
On the Britannian G-1 mobile fortress, Lloyd and Euphemia meet. Lloyd says that lots of Britannian nobles feel the Lancelot is wasted on a Number, but he certainly showed his stuff today. Until that one thing happened, anyway. Oh, don't worry, he's fine now. Still, Zero outplayed Cornelia something harsh. Who is he?
But Lelouche gets back to the Academy for a shock. Shirley asks him if Zero is really an ally to the weak. That's what he said at the hotel hostage incident, right? "Then why did he kill my father?" She sobs that he was a kind, generous man, and he was buried alive...
Lelouche immediately realizes how and when he died. Well, shit.
And that's how it ends. Whoops. See you next week.