Part 13: Chapter #7: Desert EscapeChapter #7: Desert Escape
: Bsstion, is your ATAC equipped for the desert? Because their ATACs can move really fast through the sand!
: Of course! I should have realized that sooner!
: It's okay, Bastion! I'm sorry I forgot to tell you!
: I should never have brought you into this mess, Nana. I'm the one who's sorry!
: Keep running, Bastion! I don't want to go back home until I've had some fun adventures!
Not Available for this Mission
: There's no way I could stay ahead of them. They're built to move through these sands, and my Alba isn't. All I can do is stand firm and fight my way through them.
: This is going to be fun! I've never been in a fight before!
Oh, Nana, why do you exist in this game? Anyway, standing still and firm is about the worst thing you can do. As soon as you get a chance, move Bastion the hell away from the Muspel soldiers.
After a couple turns, a new ATAC will show up.
: Sorry about this, Bastion. I wasn't able to distract them quite as long as I would've liked!
: Andrew?! Is that you?
: Uh, yes, Bastion, it's me! Remember that little conversation we had just before you escaped the palace?!
: What kind of ATAC is that, and why didn't you tell me that you had one?!
: You never asked, my friend.
Hey, remember when we first met Andrew? He was traveling with Devlin and Barlow and some other guys, and everyone but those three got killed by bandits? Apparently Andrew could have stopped the slaughter, but decided against it.
: You baffle me, Andrew.
: Don't worry about the weird old man, Bastion. Kyu-Kyu will protect us from him!
: It's amazing how this little girl is already as cruel as every woman I've ever dated...But I digress, Bastion. Your friends are already on the way. We just have to hold out until then!
: That's wonderful news, but how do you KNOW that? We're going to have a very long talk about you if I manage to survive this assault, Andrew.
: This isn't a time to talk, Bastion, this is a time to fight!
Andrew's ATAC, the Vedocorban. It kicks all sorts of ass and has access to a whole bunch of nifty attacks that will make your life much easier. I mean, look at that AGL. 23! If I had control of that ATAC....but I don't. Andrew is under AI control, which will force him to rush headlong into the mass of Muspel soldiers.
Therefore, the only suitable job for Andrew is to sacrifice himself to cover Bastion's retreat.
A few turns later, the rest of the team shows up.
: We've come for you, Bastion!
: It's good to see you still know how to make friends!
: Let's pummel this trash and get out of this place!
At this point, the smartest thing to do is have Bastion rendezvous with everyone else. Meanwhile, Andrew is a damn fine pilot...
...But not up to the task of beating six enemy ATACs on his own.
Bastion makes it to his friends. It's time to avenge Andrew. Normally, I'd let the Muspels come to me, especially given how much AP it takes to cross desert. However, Zeira is still under AI control, so I decide to keep my unit together, and move it forward at his pace.
The two armies collide. Besides being able to move quickly through the desert, the Muspel ATACs are nothing special, especially since some of them have already been damaged by Andrew.
They go down quietly.
Until there aren't any left...
: Thank you, everyone!
: Let's take a trip to Marquis Dionne's castle, Bastion. I believe that will clarify things for you.
Yep, that's the secret of Andrew, he's just some mercenary from Dionne-Lehve.
: Geez, Bastion, I was kinda hoping for a more dramatic reaction!
: Well, I suspected you were either a soldier or a mercenary. Now I know you're something of both.
: My official title is "assassination engineer," thank you very much!
: I would speak with you, Underoo!
: Uh, that would be Andrew, old man! Sounds like your memory is starting to get as bad as your hairstyle.
: Andrew, I do not care for the way you address His Highness! You do not show the proper respect! Marquis Dionne, I am shocked that you allow a subordinate to behave in this manner! Why do you not discipline Andrew as is your duty?
: Lighten UP, old man. Bastion and I are friends! Our escape from Muspel brought us together! Isn't that right, Bastion? Ol' buddy, ol' pal?
: "Buddy?!" "Pal?!" Blasphemy!
Galvas does not appreciate the incongruous mix of modern colloquialisms and faux-medieval dialogue.
: Galvas, I wouldn't say that Andrew and I are the best of friends, but he did help save my life. I don't care how he addresses me. If anything, I like his informal nature!
: But you cannot gain respect with the citizens of the Kingdom when you are so casually spoken to!
Shouldn't they be 'subjects', not 'citizens'?
: I told you Bastion was cool with it, old man. Let's just breathe and relax.
: Calm down, Galvas...and withhold as many of your cutting comments as you can manage, Andrew. We have a far more important matter to discuss with Bastion.
: Indeed, Marquis Dionne. Please continue.
: We have not joined the clash between the Kingdom and the Empire for one reason. My family is duty-bound. We are sworn to protect the supreme spirit until a person of royal blood proves himself worthy of using it. Only with the supreme spirit, Gratia, can the Ultragunner be revived. This has been in the possession of my family since my great-grandfather accepted it so many years ago. You have proven yourself worthy of Ultragunner, Prince Bastion, and I therefore give Gratia to you.
The stone flashes.
: I hear a faint voice...deep inside my head...calling out to me!
Holder of the spirit stone....Promise me....
: Now I'm starting to see something in my mind's eye. It's a glistening white ATAC. It's Ultragunner!
: Your Highness! Are you alright? Marquis Dionne, what is going on? What is happening to His Highness?!
: Prince Bastion has passed the second test, Commander Galvas.
: You never mentioned a second test, Marquis Dionne! Explain yourself at once!
Dude, he never mentioned a first test. This dialogue is shared between this scene and similar scene in the alternate path, where there is an actual test before this one.
: Gratia is a magic stone, Commander Galvas. It can detect when someone worthy, or unworthy, possesses it. If someone unworthy were to take the Gratia, it would not allow him or her to use the Ultragunner. Because Bastion is worthy, Gratia is revealing the location of Ultragunner to him.
: Thank you for clarifying, Marquis Dionne, although I still wish you had informed us beforehand.
: Hi, Bastion!
And here I am, all out of platypus facts!
: This is not a place for you little girl! You must wait outside!
: Bastion, I want to play games! Come on, let's play!
No...no...I refuse to make the obvious metajoke. I am a man of honor, damn it!
: Nana, I can't play with you until our business here is done. I promise it won't take much longer.
: But I want to play NOW!!
: Did you not hear my command, little girl? Go outside, and stay outside!
: You're not the boss of me, old man! I'm not going anywhere!
: You need to show respect for your elders, little girl! Come here before I'm forced to discipline you!
I think the Cubs will be decent this year...
You know, I don't think Matt Garza is a #1 starter, but if can pitch well in the AL East, imagine what he can do in the NL Central...
And Starlin Castro should be even better this year, and it's always hard to find a quality shortstop who can hit. I mean, he's a big step up from the days of Ryan Theriot...
And sure, Carlos Pena hit below the Mendoza line last year, but in a hitter's park like Wrigley, I can see hitting 30-35 homers...
And he's only signed to a one-year deal, so if he can't put it back together, it's no big loss.
And Marmol, Wood and Cashner are a pretty damn good corps of relievers.
: Nana, didn't I ask you not to come in here? You shouldn't disobey me like that!
: But I wanna PLAY!!
Plus, Ramirez and Soriano are due for bounce-back seasons.
: Alright, Nana, let's go and play. We'll have plenty of fun!
: Really, Bastion? YAY!!
And you could do a lot worse than having Zambrano and Dempster at the top of your rotation.
: Let's go, let's go, let's GO!!
: Bastion, don't spoil her like that! You're only going to make it worse!
Plus, there are a lot of contracts coming off the books next off-season, so we're totally primed to make a run at Pujols. That would show those fucking Cardinals fans, always falling ass-backwards into greatness. Meanwhile, Mark Prior's arm exploded into a million pieces. It's bullshit. Oh, I'd love to see the looks on their fucking faces the first time Pujols came back to whatever they're calling their shit-hole stadium built at taxpayer expense for billionaires. Ah...I seem to have gotten a bit off-track. My mind tends to wander whenever Nana is in a scene.
: This incident reminds me why I never started a family.
: This incident reminds me why I am a fervent believer in the liberal use of corporal punishment.
: This incident reminds me to purchase some earplugs.
: That little girl has a BAD crush on Bastion. It's somewhere between cute and psychotic, don't you think.
: That little girl is infatuated with His Highness. That is a most unfortunate development for all of us...
: I'm still surprised that the vision I received from Gratia failed to show where Ultragunner is hidden.
: Perhaps we should return to the castle to see if our spies have any news to report.
: Marquis Dionne, I'm in your debt.
: Nonsense, Prince Bastion. I am only helping fulfill the promise that my family made many years ago.
: Marquis Dionne, would it be alright if we spoke without our titles? I hate such formality! Unless, of course, you feel...the need to...um...
Depose the current Prince of the Pharastia Kingdom? Because I'd be down with that!
: Ho, ho, ho! Not at all, Bastion. On the contrary, I am often suspect of those who boast of their bloodlines.
: (His Highness should be proud of his bloodline instead of constantly trying to ignore it...)
: So, Marquis Dionne, you'd like me to escort Bastion on his search for the Ultragunner? Not a problem, sir.
: I am glad to hear that, Andrew. Take care that you don't cause trouble for Bastion with your...antics.
: I don't know what you mean, Dionne! It's not MY fault that people are so easily offended these days!
: I can tell you consider Bastion a good man, Andrew. Protect his life as you would mine...or your own.
: Once again, sir, not a problem at all. Before I depart, a quick question. Do, I, uh get paid anything extra now that I'm guarding the Prince?
: I am of the opinion that you should leave before I decide not to pay you anything at all, Andrew.
: Good answer, sir.
: I have only one request of you, ninja. Stay out of my way.
: Lighten up, Galvas! Just because I get all the girls doesn't mean we can't be friends, does it? Besides, I doubt you'll hear any of the chicks in this group complaining about me hanging around.
: Oh, really?! Then maybe I need to complain a little louder!
: Bastion, let me ride with you!
: That would be too dangerous, Nana! Stay here in the carriage with me!
: You're just jealous 'cause Bastion likes me more!
I'm saying 'Go, Cubs, Go!', 'Go, Cubs, Go!' Hey Chicago, whaddaya say? The Cubs are going to win today!
: What are you talking about?! I'm not jealous! I'm...I'm just concerned about your safety!
We got the power, we got the speed! To be the best in the National League!...
: Now get over here before I give you a swat!
: I remember a time not long ago when the ladies used to fight over which of them could ride with ME.
Well, this is the year and the Cubs are-...Wait, did Andrew just complain that an eight-year old didn't want to ride with him? That doesn't sound right.
: We should make haste!
: Hey, Bastion! Look at your scanner!
: I see them! Multiple signals! What do you think they are, Andrew?
: From their formation, I'm guessing it's an army of the Muspel Nation, and my guesses are always right!
: The Muspel Nation?! That means...
: Duke Radcot!
Next Time: The Lion Roars in the Arena! Fight, Bastion, to Reach the Sacred Stone!