Part 80: Route split
With the UNF moving in force, it was only a matter of time before Patrick met the Flag Fighters, though he remembers him (or at least his dreads, he says) from the last time the three nations did a joint op - back in the Taklamakan. All Daryl knows about Patrick is that he was the first to get his ass kicked by a Gundam.
Being the AEU's ace, of course, Patrick really wants to meet Britannia's, but Daryl informs him that Graham isn't in this thing. Patrick totally understands if Britannia's top pilot doesn't want to risk himself in such a dangerous operation, what with the beastmen and aliens and even the Imperium. Did this idiot just call Graham a coward? Daryl punches him.
Jeremiah Gottwald doesn't appreciate Patrick's bullshit either. "What are you wearing, Sir Orange?" quips Patrick, not knowing when to stop.
"I am positively emphatically not-not-not Orange!" yells Orange.
Suzaku orders him to can it, and Orange backs down and meekly follows him away. Looks like a lot has happened to Jeremiah, and not just with the cyborg implants throughout his body. But Daryl feels like it's Suzaku who's really changed since Taklamakan. With his usual smirk, Lloyd says it's like he's been honed until he's razor sharp. As for Jeremiah, those implants saved his life when he would have otherwise been killed in battle, but clearly, they still need some tuning.
The important thing is that both of them volunteered to fight in the UNF. Lloyd doesn't tell Daryl, but he's sure it's because Schneizel told Jeremiah the real reason for forming this army. As for Suzaku, he lost his direction when he lost Euphemia.
Oh, yes, Euphemia, the Princess of Slaughter, right? It's Patrick, of course, back to running his mouth after a minute flat. Daryl growls that he's being disrespectful. Lloyd cheerfully says there's no disrespecting status here, since her royalty was stripped...
But on the other hand, Zechs won't hear the name of a dead woman smeared, even if she isn't a princess. Patrick introduces himself to Zechs and throws down a challenge, but it doesn't really bother Zechs. The title of "the AEU's ace" may well be soon to be obsolete.
Katy thought the same, and is very disappointed in Patrick - he needs to pay more attention to the world stage as a whole. "Colonel! Then teach me privately after this operation is complete! In your quarters if possible!"
"2nd. Lieutenant, the world is on the cusp of huge, sweeping revolution. Are you not thinking about that at all?"
Katy is paying attention to him now, but not in the way he hoped - she assigns him to deliver a report on the Imperium's effect on global politics, due before mission briefing. "You do need a private lesson, before the operation begins." Patrick is weirdly excited about doing this. Freak.
She's exhausted by this fucker, who hasn't changed a bit since their last meeting, but Sergei is glad he's still himself; it's the younger generation who will lead the world into the coming era. Soma asks if they can really win; Sergei says that they're gathered here to win. But, wonders Zechs, to win against what? And, wonders Katy, is the UNF the thing that will win it?
That's enough Gundam; Crowe reports, as always, that GOONZ is splitting up again. This time, they've made the decision for themselves - they don't trust Elgan Roddick's orders anymore.
With the Invaders having quieted down since the attack on Saotome's lab, our two angles of attack are the beastmen on the Dark Continent and the Gishin base out in space. The space team is also passing through Dragon's Hive, where F. S. has something to tell us about those white robots. So we'll deal with them on the way to the Gishin, and possibly even visit the moon.
Really, this just shows how much crap is shrouded in mystery even without Elgan; there's F. S., but also the beastmen and Gishin themselves - why do they want to destroy/conquer humanity? We don't know what their game is, but Crowe doesn't care: they have to be dealt with, and quickly. We have the puppetmaster and the Imperium to get back to, and either of them could break the world in half quite thoroughly on their own.
So the team headed to the Dark Continent will travel in the Great Gurren, and consist of the Great Gurren Gang, Mazinger, 21st Century, Takeo General, Getter, Zambot, Daitarn, Big O, the Walkers and Yapan, the Black Knights, Colony Gundams, Kei, Athena, Renton, and Chirico.
Meanwhile, the Ptolemaios and Macross are going to space with the S. M. S., Crushers, Celestial Being, Godsigma, Baldios, Aquarion, Team D, the CBF, Gravion, and ZEUTH's Gundams.
And as always, I get to pick my own route.
Yes, yes, they spoil you.
They respect my freedom of choice.
Well, you don't owe GOONZ any money.
Yeah, yeah, remind me, why don't you...
So which way are you going?