Part 84: To Space, Together
There's a lot up in space for Crowe to be worried about : those moon creatures, the Gishin, and the Vajra. We can't exactly deal with the Imperium with all of that, as Traia says, literally hanging over our heads. Refer to the other Chapter 42 for Traia's and Esther's business.
Team D and the CBF are back to Dragon's Hive, and blow past Tanaka to get some answers out of F. S. About those creatures from the moon, and why F. S. once said they're among the enemies Dancouga Nova exists to fight. F. S. says he won't tell them, though.
Kurara points a gun at his head.
The more experienced CBF tell her to back off. She'll never crack F. S. that way, and Ryo can tell that Tanaka will get to her faster than she can pull the trigger. (Tanaka gives his usual grin and says it's just his job as team manager.)
Johnny asks if he can at least tell them about the R-Daigun. F. S. just says that they'll find out eventually, and not too long from now, at that. "That moment will mark the beginning of a great trial for this planet."
This game finally recognizes a good exit line when it writes one!
Anyway, F. S. certainly made it clear he doesn't intend to tell us anything whether we threaten or beg. If we want to know, we'll just have to wait for the time he vaguely hinted at - the beginning of the "great trial." Shinobu's not too worried for the planet, though. "This rock's already in the middle of a hell of a trial." Aoi agrees - "Honestly, what's left for us to be scared of?"
Johnny's still determined to find out the truth about the Daigun - about Eida Rossa - and if F. S. won't tell him, he'll just ask Eida himself the next time they meet. Ru promises she'll look into it as well.
Loran and Harry also have something to ask of Ru and Seimi: whatever information they can dig out of Dragon's Hive on an individual, a woman - someone important to ZEUTH, and also very much to them personally. Their world's Moon Queen, Diana Soleil. They believe she may have been warped to this universe at the same time they did. Kira asks the same about a woman named Lacus Clyne. "Was she your lover, Kira?" asks Ru tactlessly. "She's close to me," replies Kira, smiling beatifically.
Seimi asks ZEUTH to just put together a list of all the people they want them to go looking for.
The Gran Knights aren't too worried about Sandman, though, nor the Elements about Fudo Gen. Wherever they are, they are without a doubt taking care of themselves. Anyway, any member of ZEUTH who hasn't been found after all this time probably hasn't come over at all. For now, they'd rather focus on what they know they have to do: take care of this universe's bad guys.
The bogey alarm sounds - a Gishin strike squad is approaching Dragon's Hive!
Chapter 42: To Space, Together
Despite it being the Gishin, it's Aoi who's first out the hatch - she says she's too curious about Dragon's Hive to let it get wrecked.
This is no time to be depressed, Takeru.
Marin, do you think I can put aside my hatred while I fight?
I promised my mom I would fight for peace.
But if I see Rose's face, I think I'll lose myself in hatred.
...there's only one thing I can tell you.
If we can't put aside our hatred and sorrow, we as a world have no future.
I learned that in my own bitter battles. I don't want you to make the same mistake.
Thank you, Marin. I'll... I'll try.
But if I do get consumed by my own hatred...
Then I'll exile myself from this planet... since I won't have the right to defend it.
...fine. But don't jump the gun.
He's right. If that happens, we'll be here to pull you back.
Yeah! Even if we have to do it by force!
That's enough briefing! Here they come!
Looks like Rose herself is in charge of the squadron - and she says she'll get revenge on Mars for Marg! The other GOONZ aren't buying that as anything but denial, though.
Well, we only have to beat the map in five turns, and the only current goal is to shoot down Rose. (Aoi is listed as a key unit, but Takeru isn't, because if Takeru ever gets shot down, of course, the game is over regardless of whether it's his chapter or not.)
F. S. and Tanaka are watching the skirmishes. "A battle between humans born on different worlds," mutters F. S. "A battle born of hatred... It's likely to arrive."
WILL is silent. "Yes," says F. S., "humans are foolish. But humans can overcome their own foolishness."
Meanwhile, something new is approaching at high speed.
Eida is no longer hiding her identity, but it's not going to stop her from carrying out "her duty as pilot of the R-Daigun." At least this time, that means she's on our side.
R-Daigun (Eida Rossa)
Dan Stinger (16 ammo)
Dan-Blade Twin (25 EN)
Ace Bonus: Counter's trigger rate +30%.
You know what's a spoiler?
She's only got four Spirits.
Anyway, it's turn 2, Rose refuses to move, and she's all the way over here. Blech.
The R-Daigun is meant to defend the Earth!
Now that Dancouga Nova has fulfilled its purpose, I can fight with Johnny!
First shot against Rose comes from an Infinity Punch. Let's see if that's enough to get her off her seat.
Rose! You don't have to obey Zuul to save Rui!
This is not about my sister!
Why can't you see there are people who care about you?
I left my home behind! Along with my heart!
What are you fighting for? What kind of life is it to just do what Zuul commands?
What would a mere Earthling know?
I... am not from Earth!
I'm from a planet called S-1 in an entirely different universe from this one!
Then why are you fighting to defend this planet?
I'm not fighting for this planet! I'm fighting because I believe it's the right thing to do!
If you truly believe with all your heart that Zuul is right, I won't argue... but if you don't, then stop this fight!
Silence! I... I...!
Okay, let's skip to the end for serious.
I'm here for one reason: to destroy you, Mars!
(Rose is fighting out of hatred. If I respond in kind, I'll lose myself...)
(No... the anger... the hatred in me is growing...)
Prepare yourself, Mars!
This... this is for Marg!
Rose drops a Propellant Tank (strangely anticlimactic at this stage), but refuses to yield. She's prepared to give up her own life to avenge Marg! She owes him her life!
Takeru is still willing to fight if Rose is, but Marin asks if that'll make Marg happy - and that stops both of them. Takeru himself said that his brother's fight was one of peace, and even after Zuul took Marg's heart, he remembered his love for his brother. Zuul's the one that made the brothers fight. This is all his fault.
Rose says she won't hear them speak ill of the Emperor, but it's obvious she's not doing a good job of suppressing her emotions. Suddenly, she deflates and asks Mars to finish her off.
I don't care where you go. Just go before I change my mind!
Rose takes her men and leaves, and GOONZ knows what Takeru felt from Rose all along: that what she really wanted was death. What frightens Takeru was that he was really about to kill her. But he didn't. He stopped himself and broke the cycle of revenge. That's what really counts.
For just a moment, Crowe wonders if he'll regret that decision. But that's not for him to decide unless she really does come back.
Oh, and we have more bogeys incoming from above - and their trajectory puts them as coming from the moon.
Dragon's Hive is surrounded and taking fire. Suddenly, a voice (Norio Wakamoto's voice, to be precise) resounds from somewhere far far away.
Earth WILLllll! Can you hear me, Earth WILLllll?
Earth WILLllllll! There's still time! Do as I saaaaay!
Moon WILL. My apologies, but I will never erase this planet's life.
This world has potential.
Very well. Then I will erase you and execute in your place! Farewell, Earth WILLllllll!
Won't get away with that!
Team D and Eida dive for the base, but they can't make it through the wall of fire. Those moon robots are trying to destroy us this time! Team D is heavily damaged, but they refuse to back down.
Very good, Aoi.
F. S.! You're alive!
We're here too, you know.
You think a little thing like this would kill us?
I didn't think this would be enough to rattle you.
Now stand, Dancouga Nova! And R-Daigun!
Show us your power!
Dancouga Nova! R-Daigun! The time has come! Transcendence Mode, activate!
(There's a bug in the fade-in. I couldn't get rid of it. Sorry.)
Keyword: M-A-X-G-O-D! Dancouga Max God!
At this point, I'll take anything!
Let's go wild!
Dancouga Max God!
The R-Daigun combined with Dancouga Nova?
You didn't know either, Eida?
No time to chit chat! We've got enemies coming at us!
Max God... our new power!
If this Moon WILL or anyone else comes at us...
We're going wild on them!
Dancouga Nova Max God (Aoi Hidaka, Kurara Tachibana, Sakuya Kamon, Johnny Burnett, Eida Rossa)
Go Wild (all)
Missile Detonator (8 ammo)
Metal Fist (8 EN)
Dan-Blade Shot (4 ammo)
Boost Nova Knuckle (2 ammo)
Severance Sword (20 EN, 105 Will)
Final Severance Cannon (48 EN, 130 Will)
Severing Judgment Sword (64 EN, 140 Will)
Ace Bonus: Casts the Zeal Spirit when "Go Wild" activates.
Mainly we have added Eida, flight, and better weaponry all around, with a small but noticeable boost in HP, armor, energy, and speed. Like everyone else on Dancouga, Eida has Spirit (as it turns out, she gets it at the same level as Kurara, Sakuya, and Johnny do). You can't separate the R-Daigun from Dancouga Nova.
(And does Aoi seriously still have Prevail level 3? Whoops.)
We are, nonetheless, thoroughly surrounded.
This is... Max God!
It packs even more power than God Beast Mode!
And it's faster than the R-Daigun!
This is the true Dancouga...
And it's our job to use it to its full potential!
Good! We'll make it live up to its name!
Max God! The five of us will unleash your power!
Oh. That one's actually just the same. And these Regulus Alphas are going to be a huge pain.
Strategy: pull everyone together, let the Regulus chase us. Also, plant Dancouga Nova (with Guard) to bait enemies for counterattacks. It still has all the attacks it used to and then some.
For some reason, after the first turn, Allelujah's getting a headache. Wait...
Tieria recognizes the GN particles those machines are emitting immediately. Looks like we've met the UNF's new mecha. Soma says they must have found Celestial Being's base, but Sergei reminds her that now is not the time. "These soldiers are of GOONZ, the special aid forces of the World Peacekeeping Council. They are our comrades."
Quattro and Amuro can feel the pressure between Soma and Allelujah - it reminds them of the Psycommu. Either way, we'll take the help if they're offering it.
This is their new solar furnace prototype, the GN-X (pronounced "jinx," because what else). It's outfitted with GN weaponry.
I don't like these enemies one bit.
Let's go from the left and cut that down to a more manageable...
And stop ignoring Nova, you jerks.
The GN-X. It is a finer machine than I could have imagined.
If the elites of all nations could use this mech, we may find world peace yet.
GOONZ. And Celestial Being! Behold our power and burn it into your minds!
It clearly isn't that good...
Nova is ripping up moonbots, but not hard enough and it's a serious drain on the energy.
Luckily, it's easier for the entire rest of the team to take on their pack. Even the Ptolemaios lands some kills, with Lichty learning Panic. (The more of those we have around, the better.)
So it's the last turn, and we're down to a third of the original Regulus strike force.
Nova's positioned to get backup from the rest of GOONZ. The GN-Xs aren't so lucky.
Luckily, the GOONZ manage to free Dancouga without it having to do anything at all.
(One of Celestial Being's soldiers is reacting to my brain waves.)
(Who is he? And why does my chest hurt?)
Of course the super soldier can outfight Sergei.
There's one more thing of Max God's I should show, courtesy of Assail.
And some serious energy guzzling. Jeez. I swear I was just using the Sword and ammo attacks except that one time.
Yep. That was it. At least now we know those moon machines and the Dragon's Hive are connected somehow, and even F. S. can't keep stonewalling us.
Sergei leaves, his job done, but Allelujah can't get Soma Pieris out of his mind - nor Tieria the UN's solar furnace mechs.
To a man, GOONZ confronts F. S. for answers. F. S. admits the time has come. First, there's someone he'd like us to meet:
Vladimir?! F. S. introduces her as an ally of his, Eida adds that she's the one who gave her the R-Daigun and her orders, and Tanaka reveals that they were married.
What was that second thing? Vladimir says she only built the R-Daigun as her sponsor ordered it, and had it work with the Trinities at that sponsor's request. That means she knows who was behind the Trinities: Laguna Harvey, chariman of the Linear Train Corporation. Was being the key word: we already know Harvey passed away not long ago, and Vladimir informs GOONZ that he was assassinated at the behest of the Trinities' true master. Of course, she never bothered to find out who that was. All she ever needed from Harvey was his funding and intel.
But Tieria glares. She did work with the Trinities, didn't she? Vladimir accepts full and total responsibility for Eida's actions, but Lockon says the R-Daigun is none of their business. But if it goes together with Dancouga Nova, what for? Why are the two designed to be more than their sum? Is it the enemy - and is that enemy "Moon WILL"?
F. S. says that the answers will come from someone else: the one who snatched the CBF from their "red universe," developed Dancouga Nova and the R-Daigun from Final Dancouga's technology, and handed the plans to F. S. and Vladimir: another WILL, "Earth WILL." (The CBF didn't realize WILL brought them here, but apparently, it was a series of fortunate coincidences.)
We know WILL, though - once introduced to us as the computer system of the Dragon's Hive. That's not entirely wrong. WILL is a sentient machine intelligence, a being of pure mind which merely inhabits a machine. This is what he calls his true form, projected to us through his limited dimensional powers. He is, of course, the one who hacked Veda, though it's now locked so tight even he can't get to it.
WILL says that he was previously captured by the super-dimensional being Muge Zolbatos; once the CBF defeated Muge, he was free. He did warp them from that dimension, though it was beyond his powers to choose where they would go. There are many others of his kind in many other parallel universes. In fact, that's an entirely other story.
In planet far from Earth, in another plane of existence, and far in the distant past, a battle took place between two civilizations. The battle destroyed both, as well as their entire star system, countless other civilizations, and ultimately, space itself. (Dimensional collapse is not an unknown phenomenon to ZEUTH.) The intelligences that survived appointed themselves guardians of the universe and left their ruined dimension to spread across the existences. WILL was one of those, and Muge Zolbatos, another entity with power over the dimensions, captured him hoping to learn of his home universe's fate.
What does he mean by "guardians of the universe," though? WILL says that it's the nature of organisms to try to survive regardless of the fate of other creatures, and this becomes a threat to the universe when those instincts are armed with weaponry. The WILLs exist to prevent this from happening. They protect worlds as they are born, as they evolve, and finally as they go extinct.
It was this WILL that found its way to Earth and found creatures who reproduce rapidly, try to rein energy beyond their ken, and above all, war. Their war will reach out into space, inevitably. Now, this doesn't mean WILL wants humanity extinct. He believes in us. Or rather, he has come to believe in us. In fact, Takeru embodies one of the reasons he changed his mind: a man from another world who learned the meaning of love, enough to forget his hatred and forgive. "That is what will bring harmony to the universe."
Enter Nova and Daigun: a chance given by WILL for humanity to fight against its own extinction. When WILL first came, he felt the danger of humanity, but also a glimmer of hope in Dancouga, the machine that struck down Muge Zolbatos. That's when he met F. S., and they struck a wager over whether or not humans could draw out the power of Dancouga, wild power, the power of the base instinct to survive. If they couldn't, Dancouga would carry out its duty as an ark, preserving the life of Earth through its destruction. But if they could, Dancouga would carry out its duty as a sword to protect the Earth from its destruction.
In all those words, there's one answer that hasn't come out: protect it from what? As you've probably guessed, there's another WILL on Earth, or more precisely, on the Moon - another one that was once in Muge Zolbatos' clutches. Like him, the Moon WILL chose to give humanity a chance, but it seems he's run out of patience - because of the Imperium. Humans have again arrogantly tried to seize power beyond their ability, and it crushed the other WILL's hope. He is sending his forces, the white robots from the moon, to end humanity.
However, F. S. won the bet with our WILL. Humans have drawn out Dancouga's full power, and now is their chance to fight for their survival.
That's it. F. S. says that's the whole truth. It boils down to this for Team D: humanity is up to a trial, all right, and it's up to them to take it on. They're headed to the moon! To a hellish moon, probably, but it'll be worth it to keep Hell from reaching Earth. No worries - worries just suppress the wild instincts that they'll need, and they brushed them aside long ago. Jeffrey and Sumeragi agree, and call on GOONZ to prepare for space operations within twelve hours.
Just one thing about that, though: the owner of the S. M. S., Richard Birler, has sent over space combat equipment for the VF-25s. It must be the new Super Packs. The squad's been waiting for them, and Alto's pretty sure he can handle his.
That's the humanity that everyone on the Dragon's Hive has faith in.