Part 59: The Beacon of ResistanceI went to a wedding last weekend! It was a lot of fun.
Shioni is sticking by the Imperium's declaration of liberty by force. Ambassador Dorian tries to argue her down, but makes the mistake of calling her "Miss Regis," and she once again chides him to give her the respect due her as the Imperium's representative. Elgan, even as ever, replies that that doesn't change the fact that the Imperium is not recognized by the U. N. as a sovereign nation, so her title carries no weight. And if the Imperium persists in its international crimes, there's not much of a path for that to change.
As far as Shioni is concerned, that makes this whole thing a waste of time. Worse than that for the U. N., for in earning her wrath they earn the wrath of the Imperium. Suppose she were to decimate Britannia's territory, just as a demonstration. Dorian didn't expect her to threaten the great nations so brashly, but Elgan protests that she's dealing with him, not Britannia. He's right, of course; he's affiliated with the U. N., meaning any nation would do just as well for Shioni. If he wants her to stop the Damons, she wants him to get down on his knees and beg.
Roddick realizes that Shioni came to the talks just to get some petty revenge for the last time he told her off. Now she has all the cards, and it's Elgan's decision - his pride or peace in Britannia. He really has no choice, and as she gloats over his head...
Gaioh shoves his way in and demands she stop wasting time. Dorian protests that the site was heavily guarded, but a few little bullets aren't gonna do much to the King of Destruction.
This is Elgan's first encounter with Gaioh, and the big guy doesn't much like the smell of him for some reason. But he's come to take over the negotiations for the Imperium since Shioni's making a big farce out of it. "That Ime wants you around, and I'm not gonna stop him," he growls. "But if you make a mess, I'll kill you."
Shioni cringes, and Gaioh and Elgan get down to business. Gaioh wants a complete halt to all regulations on Imperium. He's here to fight when, where, and who he wants, and he won't let shit hold him back. We're free to try and kill him by hook or by crook, but anyone who tries to drop law on him is getting the business end of his power. Elgan reads this as a declaration of war, and Gaioh cheerily agrees.
So Elgan draws and fires, declaring that he'll take all responsibility if it'll stop the Imperium. But Gaioh just laughs. He dared us to try to kill him somehow, by attack or assassination, but clearly, neither of those are actually going to work. Gaioh has no intention to kill Elgan now, though. "You look like the type who's better at dropping soldiers than shooting guns. Come at me with your best. It'll mean a lot more if I can beat you there." Elgan agrees, and Gaioh leaves.
Shioni still isn't satisfied, but now Elgan knows the Imperium isn't wrapped around her finger. Instead, though, she's decided to give Gaioh his arenas in the hopes that Elgan's precious world peace is shattered to dust. And the first battlefield she has in mind is the Sanc Kingdom! Who remembers them? They had a golden age of peace and prosperity, a model for the whole world to follow - but instead, the world rejected and destroyed it. It barely survives as a little territory of the AEU, and Shioni intends for it to become an example to show the people of the world their own foolhardiness.
Having regained his composure, Elgan accepts her challenge. "This world, and its people, will not fall to the darkness. There are powers that will fight against it."'
The declaration of war has gone public, but Treize is letting the kingdom fend for itself. Schneizel asks if the Lightning Baron can sit still and let it happen. Treize supposes he might like to do something, but the Peacecraft name is still too heavy for him to bear. Even so, he's a soldier... a warrior, really. Well, in that case, Schneizel needs a favor from Zechs, and Treize agrees if Schneizel will back him up with some forces.
When Schneizel hangs up, Treize introduces him to his new friends as a comrade. "Well, I'd like to think he is, though I don't know how long our relationship will last." Quattro is more interested in the AEU abandoning the Sanc, but Treize judges that it simply can't afford to fight the Imperium - it could maybe, if it pooled all its forces, but that would leave it open to the rest of the world. Anyway, now that several ZEUTH pilots have willingly joined with GOONZ, he's willing to let Amuro and Quattro do the same. But both of them want to see more of the world first, and they'll stick with Treize to do that.
The Imperium approaches their target, and Gaioh reminds Shioni to let him do the fighting and stay out of his way. Carlos is a little bemused by the idea that a ruined kingdom will see war once again.
Meanwhile, Ime is... oh goodness. He's telling his new friends that he and his organization are only trying to fix the world, and he'd like their help. Beck figures he has no choice, but oh no, says Ime. If they said no, he'd just release them - though then they'd never see their home universe again. All right, Beck agrees.
As for Roger Smith, he remains silent.
Chapter 29: The Beacon of Resistance
In anticipation of the Imperium, the Sanc Kingdom has cleared out all its people. That's fine with Shioni - she'll just burn it to the ground!
But Gaioh stops her, for there are some people here ready to stand up against them! A fine fighting force Elgan has mobilized against him, and how heroic of us, too, to come at him after Limonesia.
Imperium mobilizes its Damons. No MD this time, but a Dinodamon in its place. Shioni asks us, Elgan Roddick's lapdogs, one last time: do we still dare stand against the Imperium?
That's a ridiculous question, Imperium. We haven't come all the way out here for the vistas.
If you didn't get that, let's make it clearer: we're here to fight you!
We're not gonna sit and let you tear up the world!
Your twisted war ends here, Imperium!
King of Destruction, Gaioh! So you think war's a game, do you?
Then we'll play with you until you beg us to stop!
Shioni doesn't think we can stand up to all her Damons, and Zero is forced to agree. But we can't afford to show weakness. Besides, ZEUTH is all fired up to hit some bad guys, and GOONZ is following suit.
The takeaways here are that we need to wipe out all the DAMons (no need to worry about the Great Axion) and that Crowe's Brasta is an essential unit.
Shioni is casting Guard every turn, quartering her damage taken. So let's do something about these DAMons, yeah?
Well, you said you'd start a war, and then you want and did it, you rotten bastards.
I'm coming for you, Imperium... I'm gonna make an ass of you in front of the whole world!
Gaioh's pretty impressed. Too impressed to go out himself, but Ime's just bored as hell. So Gaioh decides to send out...
Hear me, rabble! I will teach you your place!
I am Shuval Repteil, Knight of the Imperium!
So he's the same kind of knight as Marguerite!
He introduced himself like he wants a duel!
That's a laugh! Then let's give him one!
Marguerite. I take it you know your role here.
Lord Ime, these gutless worms are not worthy to stand before you!
Allow your servant Shuval to strike them down!
So much for Crowe being important.
MAAAAAARGUERIIIIIIIITE! You worm, you couldn't even accomplish this when it was your mission?
Behold, my lord Ime! Your servant Shuval is your one and true knight! Only I am worthy to serve as your blade!
Well done, Shuval. You really are an excellent knight.
I hope you don't think this means you've won, Ime Liard!
Big O! Showtime!
Hell yeah. ZEUTH recognizes Roger, of course. His archenemy Beck is with him, but Roger is quick to assure us that the alliance is only temporary. Sounds like Timp, huh? Beck and his minions want to know how Roger knew Ime wasn't telling the truth. Roger knows that there are people who "can lie as easily as they breathe."
Ime just sighs. "The scruffy one aside, but I had plans for you and your Megadeus."
Roger puffs his chest. "If you only intend to take advantage of the other party, you have no place at a negotiation, and I have nothing to say to you as a Negotiator." GOONZ is impressed, and ZEUTH is happy to have another friend back in the fold. Roger predicts that Ime will do what all villains do when negotiations break down, so he will, very reluctantly, be forced to fall to his last resort. Beck whines that this is far from Roger's last resort. Roger smirks and replies that Beck and Ime are both bad guys, that's all.
Furious, Ime orders his forces to continue the attack. "And all of you of ZEUTH, you cannot escape your doom as long as bear their Stigma. You are Accursed Wanderers, just like Asakim Douwin. All you can look forward to is an endless journey. You should be grateful to die here."
Yeah, we've heard that before. Sumeragi orders GOONZ to clear out the Damons and knights so we can rescue the Brasta. ZEUTH starts to tell Roger that GOONZ is okay, but Roger has already heard that from "a trustworthy source."
Big O! Action!
Big O (Roger Smith, R. Dorothy Wayneright)
Arc Line (10 EN)
Missile Party (8 ammo)
Crom Buster (25 EN, 110 Will)
O Thunder (60 EN, 125 Will)
Sudden Impact (4 ammo, 130 Will)
Ace Bonus: Will penalty from the Negotiator skill is -5.
Big O is a tank, Roger's piloting backs it up, Dorothy supports.
Despite Big O's cannon-style Final Stage being removed, leaving the melee Sudden Impact at the top, it's still largely an energy-based shooting robot, so Hit & Away and EN save. It also has a shield, its huge arms, and could probably get some use out of it if Roger had the skill (this gets fixed in the sequel). Big O's unique feature and arguably main draw is Roger's ability to argue people down a few Will with each enemy Big O trades blows with. On the side, the same skill also happens to nullify any penalties for trashed robots provided Roger himself is alive and on the field.
Oh, and Big O is also kinda sucky against flying units, except for its big lasers. You could fix this with an A-Adapter, but for me it just feels like another reason to throw on Hit & Away and use the Crom Buster for everything.
Beck the Great RX3 (Jason Beck, T-Bone, Dav)
Slam (5 EN)
Melee (15 EN)
Boomerang Blade (50 EN, 110 Will)
Ace Bonus: Why the hell would an asshole like Beck have a - wait, he does? How? Huh. +100% money earned.
Well, he's tough, I'll give him that (this is completely accurate to the show). He's only here for the chapter, so there's no point saying much about him.
On the other hand...
Emeraldan (Shuval Repteil)
Dual Horns Scatter (3 EN, 125 Will, MAP, size)
Two Skies Cleave (5 EN)
Dual Horns Howl (10 EN)
Alpha & Omega Smite (20 EN, 110 Will)
Ace Bonus: -
Well, this is gonna suck. He starts at 100 Will, so let's get right on him.
He's really strong, bro!
Got that right, Simon! You're on your way to being a real man now that you can size a dude up!
On my way?
But if you wanna be a real man, you gotta find the strong ones and then beat 'em head-on!
Well! I see you know the tenets of manhood!
Sorry, but that doesn't mean squat coming from you!
Brace yourself, ya jerk! Me and my Gurren Gang are gonna stop all you guys!
Ha ha ha ha! Let the rabble come! I will cut them all down!
You're about to shut that mouth! We're leagues ahead of anything you've dealt with before!
I see... the fire burns within you!
You still talking down to us? Then we'll chop your overgrown head down to size, knight or whatever!
Uh, I gotta admit, this is, as usual, going faster than I thought.
Another blademaster! You must duel with Emeraldan and myself!
I don't have time to play your games.
You dare refer to Shuval Repteil's honorable combat as a game?
Exia, exterminating mission targets with haste.
I can feel... you, too, were raised in war.
Tell him, Touga! Tell him we're not like him because he's the one picking fights!
Hah! My fight is for Lord Gaioh alone!
Then our fight is for the peace and prosperity of the fangless!
Imperium! The Gran Knights will not let your greed bear fruit!
You guys just push people around! I can't stand it!
Might makes right! Power is justice! And the law of this world is laid down by Lord Gaioh!
Can it already! If you like power so much, don't come back crying when we beat you up!
We're gonna knock you down and make you say you're sorry!
Wow, that's just everyone I had left for the turn. I'm gonna fake it again next turn because I'm on a timer and I really need to get people moving on to the Dinodamon and Pearlnail.
You aren't nearly good enough to try and manipulate the great Jason Beck!
I don't think we'd have figured it out if the man in black hadn't...
Shut up! We got out in the end, that's what matters!
And now we are out, we gotta pay those assholes back!
I just had to record all of Beck's glory.
Big O is also kind of slow, by the way.
We may owe them for keeping us safe after we were transferred, but I can't support anyone who controls people through force.
And I must consider that they tried to deceive me and take advantage of us!
Regrettably, it seems there is no place here for you as a Negotiator.
Then I will, very reluctantly, have to use Big O's power.
Yes, we have no other choice.
If you understand, then let us draw out all of its might.
Big O! Action!
And that's all we have for now.
The DAMons are falling, but the Archsabres still have GOONZ pretty concerned. We've gained Roger but lose Crowe, and we still might not have enough firepower...
Oh, check out these clowns. Suzaku has some business with us, and Zechs has escorted him - but Zechs has his own ties to the Sanc Kingdom, so "I'll fight with them too, just this once." What does that mean? Well, Suzaku will tell us what it means: he is going to represent Britannia Union as a member of GOONZ!
The leaders look to Zero for a yea or nay. Zero agrees; the Imperium is the enemy of all mankind, and no man should be barred from fighting them.
(Her Highness Euphemia sent me to GOONZ for my crime of insubordination...)
(There are lots of other battles Britannia is involved in she could have sent me to. Why did she make me come to the U. N.)
I'll have time to think about it later. Right now, my enemy is the Imperium!
I'll destroy anyone or anything that threatens to spread the terror of war!
Okay, it's turn three out of five to knock out everyone except the Great Axion, and reminder: this includes Shuval, Marguerite, and the Dinodamon.
I was going to post a whole thing about the Lancelot Air Cavalry, but it's the same robot from chapter 8 with a jetpack and an extra attack.
So instead, let's get Shuval out of the way.
So you're the one giving orders. If I take you down, this battle is over.
I see you can read the battlefield a little.
Of course! I, Shuval Repteil, aim to make my name as a great knight!
And yet you'll ultimately be a pebble to kick off of my path!
Destroyer who dares call himself a knight! Leave my sight at once!
What do you want? To rule the world?
The Imperium exists to show the world the might of Lord Gaioh! For nothing else!
Are you serious? That's why you're starting wars everywhere?
We won't let that happen! We have to stop you before we return to our world!
You fight well! I recognize that this battlefield befits you!
He's really good!
Of course! Emeraldan has lived a hundred battles! We will lose to none but Lord Gaioh!
And this is how you use your power?
Who are you? What's your connection with the DAMons?
This land was once peaceful. Now it will be dust beneath our heels!
What's the matter? Have your fear and hopelessness stolen away your words?
Past peace is irrelevant. My mission is to eliminate you.
You wanna go mano a mano? Just the way I like it! Watch out for Mazinger Z's photon power!
Challenging Emeraldan and myself in hand to hand combat? Fool! And a weakling besides! You will rue being so foolhardyyyyyyyyyyy!
Keep it to yourself! You can say it after you beat me!
If a knight can do evil, than a salaryman can fight for good!
That doesn't make any sense!
Well said, salaryman! I recognize you as a warrior!
What, does that make us corporate soldiers?
Fine! Then we'll earn our pay and fight for peace!
You're not getting any further without getting through us!
You dare challenge myself and the Imperium in direct combat, you foooooool!
I'm not into guys who think they've won before it's even started!
It's been a while since I've been this mad! Get ready!
Starting now is the real deal.
You dare challenge my Emeraldan with your puny weapon?
Grr! He does not waver an inch! I recognize your adamant will!
If I can defeat you, it will be a great expression of loyalty! Die in my lord's name!
You currrr! You dare raise your hand against Lord Ime, forgetting you owe him your life?
He tried to manipulate me. That cancels out my debt.
Now I'm free to fight on my own principles!
Lord Gaioh's enemies are mine! Lord Ime's enemies are mine! You are my enemyyyyyyyyyyy!
This DM Adapter is going directly on Big O if we're using him, since it's an A-Adapter and a Booster in one. (Dai-Guard has the luxury of slots to equip both.)
Forgive me, Lord Ime... forgive me, King of Destructioooooon!
I will redeem myself for my failure in the next battle!
Sir Shuval, you...
No, not anymore! We have nothing left to lose!
Kouji supporting was about the best idea ever.
Crowe isn't here to claim his rival, and giving ships levels when you can is a good idea.
Gh... I... cannot die here!
Now we just have miscellaneous DAMons to worry about. But also, several Rhinodamons, and Dinodamon.
Oh, and some of the Rhinodamons are down here with our guests. Should probably work on dragging them towards GOONZ and out of the water.
(The Sanc Kingdom... my homeland.)
: (But for now, I am Zechs Marquis of OZ. I'm not ready to bear the name of Peacecraft...)
Even so, I cannot stand by and allow the Imperium to go unopposed!
Sanc Kingdom! Right now, I am doing all I can do!
By the enemy phase of turn 3, the Damons and Bulldamons are running out.
Dinodamons are such cheaters, though, you guys.
The three Rhinodamons on the north side, who have already been in combat, go down quickly.
And the ones on the south, who have been chilling in the water for two turns, only take a bit more work.
As for the Dinodamon, Team Getter is gonna be overleveled for a while thanks to Gain.
By the way, if you bug Shioni...
The Great Axion is the palace of Lord Gaioh and the nation of the Imperium...
Attack all you want. It will never fall!
(Wow, Shioni, talk about personality shifts...)
Never mind, let's just leave her alone.
After we wipe up the last few Damons, the stage ends. Carlos tells Gaioh the name of our army, GOONZ. Gaioh is impressed and decides to leave; Shioni starts to complain, but backs down at a single glare. Besides, he explains, GOONZ is giving the world a little bit of hope. Shioni's goals, too, would be better served if they let GOONZ come to them only to bat them away.
Ime, however, is still wroth at his traitors and blows up Beck the Great. As with Timp, though, Roger has faith in Beck's cockroach-like ability to survive no matter where he is.
Gaioh leaves, and GOONZ' commanders decide to call it a win. Kids like Renton and Simon are celebrating, but the cooler heads remember that they lost the Brasta - and Gaioh himself didn't lift a finger. Still, this is a beacon of hope for the world, a sign that there's a fighting chance against the Imperium. However long it takes...
Zechs says his goodbyes to Suzaku and wishes him luck, and says his goodbyes to his home as well. When he finally returns to its soil for real, then and only then will he take up his real name of Peacecraft once more. We're in AEU territory, so we'd better get out of dodge before anyone shows up we don't want to deal with.
When we return to the Imperium, Gaioh's gone out for a bit. Carlos blithely whines about their unreliable new master, but Shuval shouts him down. Gaioh gave him a new life and a new reason to live. "Yeah, sure," quips Carlos. "I bet that'll make your old master happy. The one your new master crushed. By the way, I'd really prefer my world not to end up like your Insaraum..."
Ime, meanwhile, asks what the hell Marguerite was thinking. She begins, "I cannot accept your selfish ord-"
"MAAAAAARGUERIIIIIITE! We live to serve our king! Remember that Lord Ime's orders are as the king's orders!"
Marguerite backs down, but her eyes aren't cowed. Carlos has to hold Shuval back by pointing out that he's terrifying his other lord, Shioni. "We Archsabres were the proud champions of Insaraum," he roars. "Why must we follow the people of this cowardly, pathetic wooooorld?!"
It's okay though, Ime has a new mission for Marguerite: take Crowe Brust's life. Wasn't he going to do that personally? Well, since Crowe hasn't shown his worth, it doesn't matter who kills him. "And to ensure you are properly motivated," adds Ime, "I am deploying him as well. Remember that Crowe Brust aims to take his life."
As the Archsabres take their leave, Carlos asks what had Ime so interested in the VX. Now that we remember, he was terribly interested in Roger Smith as well. Ime refuses to answer, but will say he doesn't mind Roger escaping. In fact, it's for the best that he's with the other Singularities. "I will have them all," he murmurs. "You will not take me, Asakim. Not my life... not my Sphere."
GOONZ is all a-twitter about Suzaku and his Lancelot. What's he doing in GOONZ? He's a Britannian, an enemy of the Black Knights, and he and Zero are archenemies besides. This isn't their idea of tailing us, is it?
Zero wants to know too, from Suzaku's mouth, but Lloyd and Cecille, who are apparently also with us, step in to do the explanation for him. They introduce themselves and explain that Suzaku disobeyed orders in the face of the missile. "Isn't that what anyone would do in defense of their own life?" asks Zero. "Sorry!" replies Lloyd, oddly grinning. "It's a good answer, but it doesn't work for soldiers." By the way, the fact that the punishment brings him to GOONZ was Sub-Viceroy Euphemia's idea.
Lelouche knows why Euphemia did it. She, perfectly innocently, thought to bring Lelouche and his old friend together. Looking up, he tells Suzaku that as a member of GOONZ, he has no overriding privilege to turn them away, and he guesses GOONZ will accept him as long as they don't make any moves against the Black Knights as agreed. Karen, too, agrees through gritted teeth as long as they play nice.
Oh yeah, and the red KMF - Lloyd identifies it as Lakshata's work, right? He has a history with her, though one he'd not like to remember if he can help it...
Zero and Suzaku are in their own little world again. Zero tells Suzaku that what he said on Shikinejima still holds, and if Suzaku comes around from what he sees of the wide world under GOONZ, his door is always open. Suzaku spits that that's not going to happen. "Fine," says Zero. "Take care of yourself."
"I'm so sorry, Suzaku," he doesn't say aloud. "I used the Geass on you. All this happened because I commanded you to live, though you wanted to die... though you were the last person in the world I wanted to use my power on..."
Picking up from the end of the battle, the serious elements of GOONZ are losing hope of defeating the Imperium - this was a hard battle and they were using less than half their strength. But ZEUTH is just more motivated to take them down. They've seen people like the Imperium in their world, people who started wars and caused strife for shits and giggles, and they can't stand down and let it happen again. After the first time, they all swore it to a man.
Sounds like their battle was pretty intense. But all the pain they went through in their world is yet another reason they want to save this one from the same fate.
Kei quips that it's just their rotten luck to get warped to a world with all this bullshit going on. Roger asks him if he really thinks this was luck. This is something Athrun and Camille have been worried about for a while. Who could be doing this though? Asakim? It's a possibilty, but Roger suspects the answer lies in themselves. It's something Ime Liard told him, about a mark branded into their souls by accursed fate itself.
So what do they have in common? ZEUTH was there at the Second Break, the tremendous quake that brought their world back together, and in that instant, they each and alone became a Singularity of a world beyond theirs. In that world, the Birth of Calamity was an attractor that brought them to it... to here. And ZEUTH knows, Kei most of all, how rough it is being a Singularity...
Up next, the final battle between Rhinodamon MD and the Wavering Scales. Plus, ten deploys and a lot of ZEUTHers (yes, them specifically) who really want to go out.