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Super Robot Wars ∀: Deep Space IC Thread - Part 3: Crisis Point

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One confrustrated Russian barrage coming up!
Final Stats: 88,23
Roll: 65,80
A hit!
Final Damage: 109

Down he goes!
+50 EXP, +4 will, +8 PP!

"Don't start the party without me! Heyyyyy~! Astin, is that a new Luna!?" Louise had opened the channel between her machine and the imposing, improved model. "Come on, come give me a good hit! I wanna see if the old one can stand up to the new!"

"Tch... So you're still kicking, somehow. Crazy bitch... Fine!" Going after Kim was getting them nowhere, and leaving the Luna in the ANF's hands would seriously hurt their chances.

Louise moves to 9,8!

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"S-so close! Can't let that thing hit me, but if I can't make distance..."

Makoto fires with the Supression pistol at Deimos #5!

Makoto attacks!
Target: Deimos #5
Weapon: Suppression Pistol
Final Hit: 91
Final Crit: 22
(Double Image roll: 80. Miss!)
Roll: 70, 34
No Crit.
Damage: 45

Deimos #5 starts sinking through the air...

Makoto gains +250 EXP, +12 PP, +5500 credits!

A tiny, piercing shot...

Meanwhile, Esther moves to (6,10).

Edited by Xinnidy

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Enemy Phase/Turn 4!

"Stop running, worthless wretch!"
Hexis to 11,17, tail after Kim!
Final Stats: 49,11
Roll: 93,65
"GrraAAGH! Bothersome fly!"

Kim counters!
Final Stats: 89,29
Roll: 75,21
Final Damage: 132!
"Kim, w-we can do this! Nice hit!"
+100 EXP!

"Louise! Die and stay dead this time!"
LunaAstin moves to 9,9, metal blades at Louise!
Final Stats: 60,50
Roll: 1,60
Double image roll: 4
"Whoops, over here, Astin... Pay attention!
Louise swings back! Danse!
Final Stats: 61,100
Roll: 58,11
Double image: 50
"I could say the same to you, snake!

Deimos #1 comes in for Elaine!
Final Stats: 20, 25
Roll: 49,91
Elaine stabs back!
Final Stats: 84,35
Roll: 61,23
Final Damage: 199
Elaine gains +20 EXP! +3 will!

Marianne still wants a piece of Makoto!
"Stand still, justice boy!"
Final Stats: 80,36
Makoto evades!
Roll: 99,46

"You're one of those human TKs, are you? I've wanted a field test of your abilities..."
The Poiesis fires on Bonner!
He evades!
Final Stats: 56,27
Roll: 79,91
"Hmm... Tenacious."
Bonner gains +1 will!

"How tough is your armor, human!?"
The Theoria targets Thorvald!
Final Stats: 100,13
Roll: 10,52
Final Damage: 13
Thorvald counters!
Final Stats: 33,22
Roll: 67,74

The Saturns aim for Kim!                
#1, Final Stats: 0,8          #2, Final Stats: 2,8                    #3, Final Stats: 15,8
Roll: N/A                           Roll: 59,74                                  Roll: 55,34
Miss!                                 Miss!                                           Miss!
Kim funnels back!           Kim funnels again!                   Kim funnels again!
Final Stats: 100,22          2nd verse same as the first    Third verse same as the first
Roll: 42,56                        Roll: 76,98                                  Roll: 55,34
Hit                                      Hit                                               Hit
Final Damage: 142          Final Damage: 142                   Final damage: 142
Kim gains +2 EXP!           Kim gains +2 EXP!                   Kim gains +2 EXP!

The Chaldene decides that Tycho has had enough underwater fun!
Final Stats: 26,7
Roll: 45,52
Tycho thinks he's having just enough fun, thank you!
Final Stats: 100,23
Roll: 15,46
Lucky: 98
Final Damage: 144
Tycho gains +20 EXP!

Phobos #4 wants Tarquin to get bent!
Final Stats: 0!, 30
Roll: 97,11
Tarquin fires back!
Final Stats: 100!,25
Roll: 44,9
Final Damage: 300
Blown outta the sky!
Tarquin gains +150 EXP, +12 PP!

Phobos #5 is shaken but not stirred enough to change targets!
Final Stats: 63,30
Roll: 71,65
Tarquin fires again! With precison!
Final Stats: 100!,40
Roll: 49,93
Final Damage: 165
Tarquin gains +20 EXP!

Phobos #2 thinks the Riese makes for a sitting duck!
Final Stats: 100,4
Roll: 10,73
Final Damage: 69
"Dual beam cannons! Forward! FIRE! ... Heheh, did I sound like a captain there?"
The Riese pounds back!
Final Stats: 100!,36
Roll: 44,85
Final Damage: 178
Melted on impact!
Jess gains +100 EXP, +12 PP!

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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Phobos #3 thinks its cute, and tries the same!
Final Stats: 100,4
Roll: 32,68
Final Damage: 69
"Mega particle cannons, FIRE! ... Th-They aren't particle cannons? Huh, they aren't..."
Final Stats: 100!,36
Roll: 88,35
Final Damage: 285
Jess gains +100 EXP, +12 PP!

Phobos #1 takes aim at Vera!
Final Stats: 22,0
Roll: 78,69
Guns aren't her strong suit, but she rips out a rifle and fires back!
Final Stats: 92,25
Roll: 65,95
Final Damage: 74!
Vera gains +1 EXP!

The final Cressida makes it stands! Against a guy who can't fight back!
Final Stats: 73,34
Roll: 83,11
Carlos gains +2 Will!!

One of the gammas thinks Bonner is an easy target!
Final Stats: 64,22
Roll: 65,86
Miss, BY ONE RN!!
Gunlance, heading, course set!
Final Stats: 96,3
Roll: 95,98
Bonner gains +20 EXP, +2 will!

Plasma cutting a Tycho!
Gamma #1!

Final Stats: 31,22
Roll: 56,49
Miss! Agh!
Tycho swings back!
Final Stats: 65,13
Roll: 9,11
Final Damage: 119
Tycho gains +30 EXP!


Player Phase/Turn 5! (new music!!)

"Hey... Megumi? I'm gonna do something that's probably a mistake, but... I'm not, really enjoying the radio silence. I know everyone's fighting, but scanners are showing me that, well, we're doing great!" 'Jess' smiled in her pod, accessing all channels for allied pilots, including the Avalon. "This is a quick address to everyone. I'm alive! Woo! But, uh... Well, I, can't remember a dang thing, and I'm trying to pilot the Riese on my technically first day in the field. Things are going well, though! Just took down two enemy units! So keep it up! I'm watching the fight from outer cameras, and... Heck, we can mop this up in minutes! Don't give them any quarter, Riese crew!" The line cut, Jess smiled.

"Yeah. That felt good."

"Whaa!? Captain!? Ahh..." Christina was pretty shook by that, but, she seemed okay? "Can't remember... That doesn't sound good, but... K-Kim, you're still good, right? I know that alien keeps dogging us, but... We've, we've got this!"


Victory Conditions:
Defeat all enemies!

Loss Conditions:
The Riese is destroyed!

Battle Mastery:
Defeat Marianne and Astin in the same turn!



Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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"Aw..." Tycho softly groaned in disappointment as his new friend went off to assist another in their current bout. It was fine, honestly. Tycho was nice and settled in the pond he put himself in. He'd be fine on his own for a bit. And they said excelling in water was a stupid plan, and a small chuckle came from his lips at the thought. Oh well, set that aside, more fighting was to be done.

And fighting their was: one of the battleships went in for a missile barrage on him, to very little avail as it seemed more like an aimless shot. Guess they were too far to judge his actual position. It made it easy for Tycho, who shot himself quickly out of the water taking a quick shot with the Graviton Launcher. A clean hit, too. Nothing too severe on the battleship, but the beautiful beam of this gun satisfied Tycho's desire to really bring the hurt on these Sacarians.

"H-huh?!" Tycho caught onto his sensors as one of the Gammas came in with plasma cutters. "Not so fast," he calmly muttered and in perfect timing, he parried the incoming cutters with his Xiphos. "It's not nice to come up on someone when he's not paying attention," His second Xiphos in hand, he stabs at the Gamma. A good shot, right in one of the joints! But that shot wasn't enough to destroy the machine, nor to really tear off a limb, so he simply used the leverage of both his weapons, and a quick boost to throw back his opponent, preparing for another attack from a second oncoming attack from a second Gamma. Thankfully this one didn't attack. Afraid? Nah, no way. Not of the walking coffin. Not that Tycho was afraid of dying to some little losers from the cat aliens.

It was the other one that he caught seemingly looking his way. Maybe he's just crazy, It's looking at the Artemis, right? Nah nah, no way I'm small fry... Regardless of whatever it may be, he quickly retreated again into the lake, catching a message of Captain Gefalscht's condition. Alive, but no memories? With this, the weird screaming he heard from one of the allied mechs, the superpowered telekinetics, the gears in his head grinded.

Muting his own coms again, "Captain Jason Miller what the hell am I suddenly a part of? Amnesia mid battle isn't something that just happens..." He sighed as he took a deep breath, keeping his focus back on the battle.

Edited by Silver Gallade

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"Scheiße, da ist mein 100% Genauigkeitsrekord." Tarquin muttered, the edges of his vision blurring then slowly returning to focus. He hadn't felt quite right since the beginning of the battle, although he put that down to the grand scale of it and the barrage of attacks he'd received. It was a difficult shot, but the child in him was annoyed that his streak had been spoiled. Perhaps it could act as a reminder that despite everything he was still only a fourteen year old boy in a game of war. That being said, the Aria wasn't a toy that he could afford to break, both he and Jess had been pushing it hard.

"Jess, we've taken significant damage, we may need to adjust our risk assessment." Tarquin warned, a dull ache gently pulsing across his forehead. They were low on ammunition and generator reserves, and multiple console messages were making a good case for not taking much more damage. "Papa Bear, the Aria has taken significant damage, we may need to relocate for repairs."

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Megumi wasn't sure what to think when Jessica brought up the issue of radio silence. The doctor personally preferred things this way. She and Ignatius could focus more easily. The odd thing was that the Captain herself knew it wasn't necessarily a good idea and was still going to do it. Classic?

If her address to the pilots and allied ships was anything to go by, it was classic indeed. Megumi sighed as she switched instruments in the SIEG tank. "While I'm glad you're feeling better, that was definitely a mistake. You could have boosted morale by leaving it at 'I'm alive,' but now they're going to be wondering about the sudden amnesia." The doctor didn't know if she was going to get grilled about that--Firmia already knew--but she didn't have answers for them. There may have been some organic bits in her skull, but for the most part Jessica was a machine and Megumi couldn't say much about what was happening.


Destroying Cressidas had gone from being a good portion of the Alkaev's battlefield workload ... to downright boring. Apotheosis' grunts weren't enough to distract her from the undercurrent unfolding on the Riese, and Firmia scowled hard at the radar's representation of the Riese as Jessica threw her curveball of an announcement. She could only observe as her mind frantically tried to plot out events post-battle. It was an aggravating exercise that she was powerless to interrupt. The same blasted question repeated in her mind, one she would be loathe to ever repeat aloud, but it was there and it was hounding her even more now than before. With Jessica's announcement, everyone knew she wasn't yet privy to some very important information, not just a handful of people.

Firmia hadn't changed her mind about the likely results of this bout of memory loss, but her mind still insisted on working out every angle. "I wish I could drink during battles. Just have to wait a little longer to change that ..."

"Change what?" Tonya glanced back toward the captain's chair, "You shouldn't drink while in command whether you're the legal drinking age or not."

The Alkaev supposed she couldn't fault Tonya for not knowing what she was alluding to ... "I'll be able to handle it eventually, but for now ... I'll wait ..." And try to stop myself from fighting for a lost cause ... How did Brant deal with this?!


Meanwhile on the Regalia ... "She can't remember anything?" Convenient, Brant thought. Part of the news made him a little sad. Hearing that everything on her end had been essentially wiped clean put some things into perspective. Sighing, he glanced down at his radar, trying to get a fresh look at the state of the battle as he said, "Just so you know ... I'm not ... feeling down because she doesn't remember us. As far as the Avalon crew's concerned that's probably a good thing."

Jessica's take on the battle had been fairly optimistic given how much ammunition and energy they were burning through. Not to mention the damage to the Riese, which was more than they could manage in the middle of a firefight. Whether they would actually survive this was still somewhat up in the air. After all, they didn't have reinforcements in range, but the enemy just might. Brant focused his eyes back on the battle in front of them, scanning visually for targets of opportunity.

As for what he had been trying to say to Chris, he continued in an even softer tone. "It's just ... hearing her so blissfully ignorant now really drives it home ... how awful it really was." Brant could see faint, tree-like branches in his mind's eye, each divergent point representing another failure to prevent the situation from getting worse. Following them all the way back to the root, he could see his situation so much more clearly now. "I was the only one that should have been hurt back then. Instead, I tried to protect something even less valuable than my last relationship, and nearly everyone I know suffered for it. That's all, just regret rearing its head. Rex wouldn't have cared ... my old man would have been relieved ... for his own reasons ... Sasha would have shrugged since he's done this dance before. I'm the one that swaps a motto that glorifies suicide missions for common sense. Can't undo any of it though, as much as I'd like to. Just have to make sure you, the girls, and number three aren't ever taken for a ride like that going forward."

Brant would have included Firmia, Hannah, and Tonya, but that would have deluded his point toward the end. His regrets were for the course he'd personally taken, not the destination, at least with regard to the Avalon.

Eyes on the Prize (Final Chapter)

It was a long listen, and every audio file Gabriel had Vladimir listen to was playing back at double speed. Rosa's confession didn't come to Kalten's pilots and other staff proper until after she had relayed the story to Clara, and she was the one that persuaded Rosa to come clean to everyone else. Through that same confession, the two men heard about Rosa's unusual and psychologically damaging upbringing, about some of the staged accidents that took the lives of several troublesome employees, not least of which Ilya Polzin. Even though Gabriel had heard about the results and reviewed them once, he was still taken aback by how willing so many of the Kalten staff were to forgive her. Rosa was the most shocked, but thanks to the previous conversation, Gabriel understood why. Forgiveness was something only Brant Abrams could give her ... or so Rosa thought. Clara was next, followed by a Magnolia Curtis, and then dozens of Alkaev employees. These were some extraordinary people ... and they deserved better than Dima's shenanigans.

Several times throughout the recordings, Gabriel threw several versions of the same rhetorical questions out there for Vladimir to think on, "What sort of man does this to his own family?" "If this is how he treats the people closest to him, what's in store for the 'rapacious animals' he plans to control?" and "Will you serve this man?"

"That's enough," Vladimir sighed, "Not much time until the meeting, and you've made your point, I think."

"You think so?" Gabriel smiled apologetically.

"I'll admit ... Dima's behavior wouldn't bother me nearly as much before today. We're off the radar, and we're involved in all sorts of illegal activities. It's not my place to judge a man that has to maintain all of that unauthorized power. But ..."

"... but?" Gabriel cocked his head slightly.

"... call me sentimental, but I think I prefer your way of doing things. Every time I imagine you with kids and treating them the way Dima treated his, I get a little nauseous."

Gabriel chuckled, "So that's what that was."

Vladimir nodded, "Heh, yeah ... I kept thinking, 'Gabriel couldn't possibly do something like that.' ... then it hit me. If it's so bad when you do it, why am I putting up with it from anyone else? Obviously, I'm jaded. I'm used to bad actors having good reasons for what they do, but that's not how we should be conducting ourselves. The country's in shambles right now, and we don't have time for the psychopaths at the top. If we're going to win this war, we need to stand behind someone who isn't obsessed with fixing human nature ... and ... I suppose it also helps that you've got the Sacarians on your side. Having them around means you don't need to play the game the usual way."

"Very true," Gabriel agreed. He'd be the perfect politician if he had the mental endurance for it, simply because he could extract any secret from anyone else in the arena with the right positioning. It wasn't a mere game changer, it was the 'win' button.

"So that's it, then," Vladimir shrugged and rose to his feet. He waited for Gabriel to follow suite. Offering his hand, he said, "From here on out, I work exclusively for you. I'll do what I can to convince the others, but feel free to show them this. They aren't as hard to sell as I am."

Gabriel shook Vladimir's hand, glad to have the Head of Statlas fully in his corner at last. "I just might do that once there's time."

Gabriel didn't know what to expect when Paul Antonov, Statlas' Chief Security Officer stepped into the meeting room, but he was irritable about something. "Gabriel. Vladimir. One of my men just informed me that Ms. Juliya made a transmission to the Kalten Facility a couple of minutes ago. He's still recovering the information, but we weren't monitoring at the time and have no idea what was said or if any data was transmitted."

"Clever girl," Gabriel grinned.

"Think she leaked something to Dima?" Vladimir asked.

"Quite possibly," Paul nodded.

"No," Gabriel shook his head once, "She just warned Dima to watch his back. Haal'Sen warned her that his life is already forfeit. Word about the Sacarians was going to reach him soon enough through Minister Bogdan. All Juliya did was give Dima a few extra details. Unravel the data, you'll see there's nothing serious there."

"You're awfully confident in the woman that disarmed us on a whim, Gabriel," Paul scowled.

"No, I see what he means," Vladimir took a step closer, "What would she send data there for? And why put herself at risk like that? Captain Petya can't protect her from the Sacarians, and she can't hide what she did, not from us or from those two. She probably told Dima to lay low for a while so she can negotiate for him. That's the smart thing to do."

"At any rate," Gabriel shrugged, "I respect her tact and won't hold it against her. She's right to fear for Dima's life, but there's another solution I'd like to try before things get violent. The 'damage' she's caused on that front is minimal."

"Forgive me for being blunt, Gabriel," Paul held back his frustration, "but your Sacarians are consummate blabbermouths. This is getting dangerous. Once the rest of the provisional government realizes what's happening here, they're going to come down on us as hard as they can, and we're in no position to fend off a siege. Even Haal'Sen and Raay'Xel have to sleep sometime."

"For being older than all of us, including Dima, I'd say they're doing quite well, Paul. They've never had to control information to this degree before. It's going to take time for them to adapt to this style of warfare, so give them time. As for the remaining opposition from our own countrymen, convincing Captain Petya to join us will give us more options for addressing that problem. Remember what the Vaska is and what the ship represents. The meeting will be starting shortly ... you're free to stay and give any input you have."

"... I'll do that," Paul nodded, "Thank you."

"Gabriel?" Haal'Sen, having missed nearly all the conversation, caught Paul's complaints through his mind, and while she frowned at him, decided to address things properly, first. "I have spoken with and brought Captain Petya to see you for the meeting. Assuming you wish for everyone to be present, shall I call Raay'Xel, Ziva, Juliya and the like?" Her communicator was already open, idly fetching call signals as she waited for an order.

"Ah, as well. The captain is a wonderful man. Thank you again for speaking with me, Petya."

"Juliya is going to be busy," Vladimir grinned at Haal'Sen, "Emergency lockdowns can be initiated remotely, but she'll have to get up close and personal to undo the damage. I suppose she could call in, but perhaps it's better if she just focuses on the lockdowns."

"Raay'Xel and Ziva should be here, yes," Gabriel nodded.

"I'll get Dragomir and Vasile in here as well," Paul said, activating his own comm and stepping away from the gathering.

Gabriel and both Vladimirs were surprised by Haal'Sen's high praise of the captain, but Petya was the first to address it. "You are very welcome, Haal'Sen. Also, thank you for answering my questions."

"I shall contact those two, then." Haal'Sen got their frequencies together, pausing a moment at the sudden confusion and surprise surrounding her. "Er? Captain Petya is a wonderful leader and a trustworthy ally. You are welcome for the answers, but there is no need to be surprised by my appraisal. You made sound decisions on your own merits and placed your vote in trust. You have my backing, if it ever matters." Why they were surprised was beyond her, but perhaps she could riddle it out.

"Raay'Xel, Ziva, Gabriel requests the both of you for the upcoming meeting. Make your way to the main building as soon as you can." Raay'Xel wouldn't have questions, but Ziva might, so she left the line open a moment.

"It's time?" Ziva replied, "Alright, I'll try not to hold things up ..."

"Your approval carries a great deal of weight, Haal'Sen," Gabriel noted.

"Hard not to trust her judgment when she can get to the heart of a matter," Vladimir added, clearly amused.

"Yes, better if you let your people keep working," Paul answered someone over the radio, "Nothing's changed on that end. Alright, see you soon." Paul returned to the gathering and said, "Dragomir and Vasile are on the way. Vasile also has some good news for you, Gabriel. It seems like the Archangel's upgrades are finished. I'll let him fill in the details."

"Excellent," Gabriel smiled.

With Haal'Sen escorting Captain Petya and no other orders coming down the pipeline from Gabriel, Raay'Xel had taken the small bit of downtime to acclimate herself to the Zeta's systems, and have a few words with the Statlas mechanics in regards to additions to the machine. She had been about to initiate a test run of the fascinating human T-link technology that Haal'Sen had so wonderfully showcased the efficacy of, when the message from her fellow Sacarian came in.

"Very well. I am on my way, Haal'Sen." Raay'Xel noted, hailing the mechanics to postpone the test before leaping down from the cockpit of the Praxis Zeta, and making her way towards the meeting.

Haal'Sen felt herself turning red again, grumbling and shaking her head. "My opinions are not that important, mrrr... But if you say so." She sighed, trying to play off any embarrassment. "Raay'Xel and Ziva are on their way, so whenever you are ready, Gabriel... I have a few things to mention during this meeting, as well. Information on what I believe should be our next targets, and after that, a suggestion."

"You'll have the floor once the captain and I have reached an agreement," Gabriel nodded.

"I can say this much right now," Petya chimed in, "Bogdan has forced my hand. The Vaska cannot operate with her crew this disorganized and more than half her mobile suits offline. You have our cooperation for the time being ... we only need to go over the details."

"Glad to hear it, Captain."

And now, Haal'Sen was beaming. "That is wonderful news, Captain! I look forward to working alongside you." Even if it was temporary for now, it was a good sign.

"Likewise," Petya grinned. He hadn't seen this kind of enthusiasm in a long time, but he certainly welcomed it.


Raay'Xel, Ziva, Dragomir, and Vasile all arrived in short order, and once everyone was present--even Juliya decided to participate via one of the meeting room monitors, Gabriel started them off. "Firstly, I'd like to thank you for agreeing to hear me out, Captain Petya. That decision spared us all a great deal of pain."

"The situation was complicated before," Petya sighed, "but now it is something else entirely. Hopefully working together will be enough to save this country in the end."

"It will," Gabriel assured him, "but before we go any further, there's something important I need to explain to everyone here. Going forward, trust, between all parties, is going to be paramount. To help demonstrate just how important this is, I'll explain to you who I really am."

Who he really is? Ziva wasn't sure if she was already in on this secret or not, but from the grave tone in Gabriel's voice, whatever he was getting into shouldn't be taken lightly.

"My name is Gabriel Ziv Alkaev Katz. I'm the son of Yuri and Batel Katz. I grew up as a fighter, working alongside and then within the EU armed forces. I have absolutely no ties to the Russian government prior to or after the start of this war. Everything that happened up to this point has been Dima Alkaev trying to use me for his goals, while I try to discover my own."

Ziva quietly let out a breath she didn't know she'd been holding. This was serious alright. He was letting the cat out of the bag. The move immediately reminded her of what Rosa had done ...

"He was the one that authorized my use of the Statlas Facility," Gabriel continued, "The old man is hoping I'll succeed him and carry on his stained legacy, or at the very least be a decent opponent for his true heir. Considering he likes to keep his options open, I think we're meant to find out which was which after the fact. I'm not interested in being a part of his schemes. I needed Statlas as part of a strategy to gather more power as this world falls apart. The Vaska was also a target, even before some of you may have considered it 'feasible.'"

"You were going to attack us all long?" Juliya seethed over the monitor, "You cocky little ..."

"That's right. What I couldn't negotiate for I would take by force. That was the general approach," Gabriel nodded grimly, "Better the ship become an independent force than wind up in the incompetent hands of the EU. You and your captain had no reason to join me at the time, and so a takeover was my only option ... I planned accordingly. Fortunately, Dima did give me the authority I needed to take command here without any issues, and Minister Bogdan's haste has forced us to meet on roughly equal footing. Now that I've been involved with the lot of you, I do have a goal in mind, a direction to aim this power, though I'll need your help." It was obvious where he was going with things, now. "The restoration of Russia is more than just possible, it's within arm's reach, but the provisional government has no place here. Everyone here needs to understand this one crucial point ... the provisional government has no place here. My people, Statlas, the Vaska's crew. We are the center and the whole. People will rally around us or fight against us, but that's the way this works."

"Why are you so opposed to the provisional government, Gabriel?" Paul glared daggers at him, "By all accounts, they're far more invested in restoring Russia than you ever were, and they've put just as much if not more on the line."

Ziva could tell Paul was holding back some fire. Vladimir and Dragomir looked only a little miffed and troubled respectively, though they seemed to appreciate the honesty more than Paul did. Vasile just looked confused, almost like he wasn't following any of this, and Captain Petya seemed entirely focused on just listening for the moment.

"Well ..." Gabriel grinned irritably at the meeting room table, "between Minister Bogdan and Dima, I'm confident the two of them can find some very interesting ways to ruin us. The provisional government though ...? Cunning, yes, but they're toothless next to the Sacarians, relying on conventional military strategies and old technology simply to buy time. Moreover, Paul, I'm not a part of their hierarchy, and I refuse to play by their rules. I refuse to have my people play by their rules. The bottom line is compatibility. We cannot and will not coexist."

Much as it may have hurt their position, Haal'Sen was very pleased with Gabriel's transparent explanation. It made sense, what he wished to fight against was full of lies and secrets. He could hold none of them himself were he to claim such incompatibility. "The provisional government would rather bicker and fight about who sits where than actually attempt to rally troops and save this country. We saw this today. Instead of allowing Captain Petya to speak with Gabriel unabated and see whether or not such talks would be worthwhile, he had traitors among the crew attempt a coup of the captain. This is lunacy. Such people cannot be allowed to run this country. Only a fool would think them proper."

Haal'Sen huffed, Paul's thoughts were a fire waiting for fresh tinder. "Gabriel is laying out all the truths he holds, and would answer further were you to ask him. He is someone who does not wish to play this game of backstabbing and politics. He wishes to save Russia. If you would prefer someone like Bogdan, who throws away worthwhile men like Captain Petya at the drop of a hat, then by all means!" Hopefully the point was made clearly. Bogdan was not someone that cared about any of the people present. He wanted his spot in the government. That was all. His own importance.

As Gabriel gave his response to Paul, Raay'Xel stepped forward ever so slightly, placing herself just in-between the two men as opposed to off at Gabriel's side. In terms of intimidation, the glare he received in return could only be considered a nuclear warhead, in comparison to his glaring daggers.

"What good is investment if it is so ineffective? This provisional government of yours is naught but a den of snakes, desperately trying to grab a hold of whatever it can after having it's cozy nest disturbed. It is the corrupt and broken remains of a government that proved that it would not... could not, stand up against the thrashing tide of change in the European sphere." Raay'Xel stated plainly, seeing little point in mincing words. If Paul was a loyalist to the provisional government, then he would be removed before he could cause any significant damage. 

"The only thing they are invested in is ensuring that their own positions are not lessened, they care not for Russia, for her people nor the success or potential of her armed forces. This Bogdan's reaction should have made this more than clear... they care only for what serves to line their own coffers with prestige and coin. This is why as Gabriel said, the issue between us and this provisional government is compatibility. They would rather see Russia burn with them than allow it to prosper while they do not. And for our part, in order to survive and thrive, such self-centered weakness cannot be allowed to corrupt Russia. If we allow ourselves to be chained down to the whims of corrupt politics, then that chain will break on it's weakest link. It can be daunting to think about, but the best course of action to deal with a necrotic limb is to simply amputate."

With both Sacarians laying into him, Paul took a cautious step back, hoping to avoid any physical harm that might come his way. He glanced over at Dragomir, who seemed unwilling to intervene in any way at this point. Vladimir looked like he was about to chime in, but Paul decided to try and manage the tension in the room. "Yes, you're all correct about the people involved, particularly the Minister of Defence. The problem is that you're the only ones playing this trust game. Haal'Sen and Raay'Xel ... you two can't keep the whole government clean and honest on your own. All I'm saying is to find the middle ground, Gabriel. Try to find common ground and work with them to restore the country instead of fighting them and Apotheosis at the same time. The more you lean toward this king ... thing, the more of our own countrymen we have to fight."

"Dima would play along for a little while," Gabriel noted, "but Bogdan and others like him are going to be a problem no matter what I do. It's better to not let these vipers into our camp to begin with."

"And what about the people here at Statlas or in Captain Petya's crew who don't want to be ruled by a single man who isn't even in his thirties yet? What happens to them?"

"Are you talking about the bastards who sold us out to Bogdan?" Juliya chimed in over the monitor. Her expression suddenly darkened. "Why are you even asking that? Kill them all."

"Kill over a hundred dedicated servicemen and women as soon as the chain of command gets confused," Paul shot a glare at her. "It seems Dima isn't the only Alkaev we need to worry about."

"Go to hell," Juliya shot back, "You didn't fight with them for weeks just to have some old fossil in a suit say two words and have a third of the crew turn on you! You don't have any idea what happened or what it's costing us, Mister Chief of Security, both materially, and psychologically, so I don't give a crap about your opinion."

Petya didn't look too thrilled with his XO's suggestion, but the traitors just couldn't be trusted, and there were enough of them to cause serious problems here at Statlas if they freed themselves and rallied. Neither the Vaska nor Statlas had the holding facilities necessary for so many potential hostiles, either. Even now, most of them were just sitting around in handcuffs, guarded by far too few of the loyalists. It wasn't necessarily the most time-sensitive matter, but they did need to make a decision on that soon, and proper holding cells wouldn't hold more than a quarter of them.

"And you would have us reach a compromise with cowards and traitors!?" Haal'Sen's rage flared, marching over to Paul, the man retreating at her advance until he was up against the wall. "You are not much better, you feeble chatterbox. I am the lowest rank of Sacarian warrior and yet you cower before me like your life is in danger! You think you have some say in this matter when you cannot even stand up to your comrades, let alone your enemies!?" She snarled and left him, turning away and heading back towards Gabriel.

"Killing hundreds would be foolish, and disturb the trust of the populace. As much as traitors would be executed among my people, you are all not, my people... But they cannot be fought with, or trusted. There will be no common ground. All of those here at Statlas or in the Vaska's crew that cannot be relied on will be let go of. That is what I suggest. They can run off to the government that they love so much, and if they choose to face us again, despite such mercy, they will be cut down then and there. Any complaints?"

She narrowed eyes at Paul, hoping he would stay quiet. He was just a voice, he did not fight, and he had no spine. "Bogdan will be dealt with either way. Dima as well. Whether this means their deaths, or a tight cell, they will be dealt with. As for playing a 'trust game'," she nearly spat at calling something so important a game, growling instead. "As for trust... Raay'Xel and I can tell when any of you are lying. Any, of you. So yes! I do believe we can keep everyone clean and honest on our own. If my suggestion comes to fruition, it will no longer be on 'our' own, anyway..." Hopefully this farce wouldn't last much longer. Paul was the only dissenter, and for good reason.

Paul couldn't bring himself to weigh in. He didn't know what the Sacarians would do if they lost their tempers, and Gabriel hadn't said anything or lifted a finger to rein Haal'Sen in as she backed him into a corner. What a mess, he thought.

Haal'Sen's suggestion was different from the line of thinking Gabriel had been on, but there was less management involved in sending them away. It would only cost them one or two transports in the meantime. As always, Gabriel had no issue with his plans being amended or even abandoned if someone came up with something better. "What do you think, Captain?" he studied Petya, "I was considering having some of them join us--assuming they could be persuaded, but I doubt we'll have time to smooth over what happened, judging by Juliya's reaction. Selling them on my leadership would be even more difficult."

"If anyone can be convinced to join us, I would be willing to overlook what happened just this once," Petya offered, "Many of them believed you were a usurper, and by your own admission, it was once true, but now things are different, yes? Not all of them are 'incompatible,' as you put it, but the ones who are ... send them away. If there is no room for prisoners there is probably even less room for graves."

Juliya sighed heavily. "If the captain's fine with it, then so am I."

"You mentioned proving your leadership, Gabriel," Petya started again, "It may be a good time for Haal'Sen to weigh in on that."

"You are the mess, you spindly little..." Biting at Paul would accomplish little, though he was genuinely eating at her patience. Thankfully, people she cared for were speaking... And offering dangerous compromises. "I would suggest against such an action, Captain. I understand that you have worked with these people... Maybe some will understand, and I can pick them out, I assure you. But... They were convinced by the orders of one man once. I cannot save you every time. If one of these 'converts' was to betray your kindness, and again stab you in the back..." Haal'Sen sighed. Humans were impressive creatures in many rights. This ability to forgive betrayal was one of them, likely born out of betrayal existing at all in their society. It was also a glaring weakness.

"Ah... I suppose... Now is a better in than most. I had been planning on waiting until this topic was finished, but the captain is right, Gabriel. To that end, I must inform you of what comes first." Hand on her heart a moment, Haal'Sen bowed towards Gabriel. 

"With the Vaska assaulted, weakened and in a state of disarray, the Sacarian and Apotheosis forces in Russia have likely already launched a strike on this base. I expect we have just over two hours until they arrive proper. They will likely be led by a Rook, or if we are unlucky, a Bishop. I do not believe the Knight watching over Russia would oversee this attack personally..." She paused a moment to compose what she was to say next, nodding after her thoughts compiled.

"After we have defended ourselves against this incoming assault, I believe actions speak louder than words. The Knight watching over Russia is called Shia'Naar. He is lazy, but ruthless, and powerful beyond me and Raay'Xel combined... That is precisely why we must set our sights on him and defeat him." She began to smile, nodding again.

"The people will not rally behind a man claiming to be King without proof he deserves such a place. Give them that proof, save Russia while the government chases its own tail, and no amount of scheming on their part will be able to stop us! With Gabriel leading the charge and commanding his force at the front, he will cement himself at the top, proving that he deserves, and has what it takes, to lead Russia into a new age of prosperity!" She was all smiles at this point, it was the perfect plan to her. "What do you all say!?" She tried to calm herself, her tail swaying and betraying her excitement. "I believe that, despite Shia'Naar's strength, we have what it takes to defeat him. The solution lies in your human's T-Link systems."

"Oh good. I was hoping you would bring up taking out Shia'Naar. After seeing the difference in the magnitude of your abilities using that device, and with new hybrid technology that he has yet to encounter before, I do believe that he is an ideal target. We would need to remove him in order to wrest Russia back regardless, best to do it before he has time to prepare or to call upon potential reinforcements... the EU is flaccid, so I cannot discount the possibility he might receive them if called upon." Raay'Xel affirmed, nodding along at Haal'Sen's suggestion.

"As for the prisoners... betrayal is not something that Haal'Sen or I have near as much knowledge on as you all. If Our Liege and Captain Petya think them worthy, I am not opposed to testing the loyalty of your men. In that regard at least, you are greater judges of human character than we. Betrayal is a moot point among Sacarians, so our default stance to it is quite harsh."

Haal'Sen grunted, the proposal made her skin crawl, but it wasn't wrong. "Mrrgh. Raay'Xel is correct... We do not betray, so we do not rightly know how to deal with it. It is as she says, and we shall ascertain the legitimacy of claims, if you wish to put personnel through any tests."

"As Gabriel said," Petya glanced in the younger man's direction, "We may not have time to smooth things over. Even if you can detect the loyal ones, they will not be trusted by the crew. The wound is too fresh. We should wait until after dealing with this impending attack."

"Already launching an attack?" Juliya winced bitterly at the gathering "... you've got to be kidding me. Nemesis squad, fan out and keep your eyes on the horizon. We need as early a warning as we can get. Captain, we've still got a few Crowns left. I recommend setting up a perimeter to keep watch while Statlas prepares."

"Hey wait, Juliya," Vladimir cut in, looking a little nervous, "You didn't finish reactivating all of the systems here at the facility, did you?"

Juliya paused for a moment, though her Throne kept on flying away from Statlas, "... when an AMS unit enters emergency lockdown mode, even the life support shuts down depending on how it's configured. I don't know how long this is going to take, but the pilots are going to-"

"I get it," Vladimir sighed. She didn't need to finish that sentence. "Time for a compromise. We'll send recovery teams out, even if the battle starts a bit early. We'll have the fliers escort them. You and your team find all the downed suits and mark them for the recovery teams. Then get back here. Don't waste any time. It's not like you could carry them all back yourselves, anyway."

"... Captain?"

Petya nodded, "Flag the AMS units and then return to standby at the base."

"Understood." The monitor's video feed cut out, leaving an empty window.

Gabriel had been about to speak up before Juliya shifted gears, but waited until she ended the transmission on her end. "Well, I'm in favor of this approach, and if they're coming anyway, all the more reason to put aside our grievances and show them our combined strength."

"It's a shame Luca isn't here," Vasile chuckled, "He would have loved to hear that line about the T-links. On that note, Gabriel, I've got some news about the Archangel. She's combat-ready, though a few highly experimental systems still need testing."

"That sounds promising."

If things were already moving... "Raay'Xel and I should return to our machines and make sure they are working properly, yes? While I am sure any physical damage will have already been taken care of, I worry for the systems of mine. I may have strained the ESP systems with my assault on the Vaska's bridge..." Hopefully not too much to not be used in battle, but there was definitely some damage, likely in the arms.

"We can sort out the soldiers later, then... I expect you will be joining us, if the Archangel is combat ready, Gabriel?" It would be nice to actually fight alongside him. The Vaska situation had turned from a takeover into a rescue rather quickly, so Haal'Sen hadn't had the chance to watch him in combat. "I look forward to it."

Vasile whipped out his tablet and started searching for some data when Gabriel turned to face Haal'Sen.

"I doubt I'll be testing all of these in a situation like this," Gabriel noted, glancing at Vasile briefly, "but I'll definitely be joining you. That would be the case even if I had to use the Gilded Throne, again. As it stands, Eva should be able to pilot by herself, this time."

"Here you are," Vasile handed over the tablet.

The first thing Gabriel noted was a piece of equipment he'd already incorporated into his group's hit and run tactics. For some reason, he hadn't really given this application any serious consideration, though ... perhaps because of the technical limitations ... technical limitations Vasile's people had just dealt with, it seemed. "You added a hologram emitter ..."

"An array," Vasile gently corrected him, "That solves the size problem and lets you use a fairly convincing decoy from any angle. Just one for now, unfortunately. It still needs testing. Oh, and Hal, Ray? Before you go, you should know that we also installed a T-link and the remaining bits from those Praxes in the Archangel."

The T-link made sense, if for no other reason than Gabriel might run into a situation where he had a copilot that was a TK. All those extra bits were just dead weight outside of that situation, though ...

"It doesn't matter what mobile suit the bits are carried by, so think of the Archangel as a spare weapons rack, should you need it. I expect you two will be fighting pretty close to your king anyway, so why not take advantage of that little fact? Your liege can provide more than just guidance and inspiration out in the field~"


"Do be wary how you use your holograms though, Gabriel. Against the rank and file, or Apotheosis, things will be fine. A knight or worse, will be able to tell which displays are fake, unless you can manage to give them mass, somehow. That, or block your mind from them... I'm not quite sure how one would go about that though. I'm sure you'll be careful, but a warning is warranted, either way."

As for the bits installed on the Archangel, it made tactical sense, at least. "Either of us can take control of them if needed, or if ours are destroyed. This is a very useful addition, so long as we make tactical use of things... Well, speaking of machines Gabriel, would you like, to come with us? Er, unless, you are needed here... That is... W-Well, I would enjoy, heading to the hangar with you... I, should just go, shouldn't I?" What an awkward little moment she'd made this...

"I'm hoping to deploy it in such a way," Gabriel began, "that the holograms can cover me even if the enemy can tell them apart. I'll keep it as close to me as I can."

Vasile nodded at the idea and glanced at the tablet.

Gabriel caught it and handed the device back to him. "I'll review the rest during my flight checks." As for Haal'Sen's increasingly awkward request, Gabriel couldn't help but smile at her. She was the fiercest woman he knew and also the most adorable in this one particular area. "I'll accompany you, though we haven't quite ironed out the details of our cooperation with the Vaska and her crew ..." He eyed Petya curiously.

"We should keep things simple, Gabriel," Petya said, "If we cannot defeat Shia'Naar, then we will all die. Not only us but also our families. I have reservations about a king reigning over Russia, especially one so young and prone to fighting, but if this is who you are ... honest, courageous, observant, diligent, flexible, and even inspiring others, then I will help you. Once Shia'Naar is gone, I will do everything in my power to rally our remaining forces to the cause. I can only hope you are taking us in the right direction."

"I won't fall short of your expectations," Gabriel assured him. Briefly, he glanced at Paul and smirked, "Not the negative expectations, at least."

Paul looked away, still miffed, but unwilling to argue.

Dragomir had a quiet chuckle, as did Vladimir. The former then placed a comforting hand on Paul's shoulder.

"Oh! Ah, wonderful... Yes, well, I shall, wait then." Placing herself near the door and standing at attention, Haal'Sen did at least listen to what Petya was saying. It was welcome, and it helped her settle any worries that may have been sitting in her mind about the captain. He was a man of honor through and through, one they could trust, and the perfect person to be at the helm of the Vaska.

Paul was still being a sour spot, but if that was all he could be, she didn't care. Eyes rolled, a childish moment coming to her, she stuck her tongue out at the man. "Pbbbt." 'You shall see we are all worth trusting, especially Gabriel.' Hopefully having her voice in his head wouldn't be too startling.

Startled, Paul staggered back a step.

"Apologies ..." Dragomir winced, figuring he may have gone too far with the hand on the shoulder. It was a reflex, though, and he quickly realized there was more going on; Paul wasn't even looking at him. He was looking at Haal'Sen. Dragomir put two and two together nigh instantly. "Hah, never mind."

"Gahaha! Haal'Sen, you might as well dye your fur pink, with how you've been next to our Liege. I shall be waiting ahead of you at the hangar then. The pieces are set, now it is simply a matter of execution. We shall prove to Russia... to the world, the legitimacy you hold, that we already understand." Raay'Xel interjected with a hearty guffaw, moving towards the hangar slightly ahead of Haal'Sen and Gabriel.

"Oh, be quiet! You... Just... This is not my fault." It was entirely her fault, but lying to herself over it would betray her entire sense of being. It was just something she was going to have to deal with going forward... Including all the teasing.

Let the games begin.

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"Sorry! I won't deal with you right now!" The CT frame really wasn't set up for close combat, but he couldn't outspeed the Ceres, which posed Makoto a problem.

Still, he had work to do.

"Apotheosis won't win! Even aliens can't underestimate a hero of Justice!" Hyping himself up, Makoto fired at one of the alien machines.

Makoto casts Strike![-20SP]

Makoto fires the Heavy Machine Gun at Praxis Gamma #5!

Makoto attacks!
Target: Praxis Gamma #5
Weapon: Heavy Machine Gun
Final Hit: 100!
Final Crit: 21
Roll: 53, 23
No Crit.
Damage: 108!

Praxis Gamma #5's systems start failing...

Makoto gains +250 EXP, +15 PP, +5500 credits!
Makoto levels up! +4 SP!
+ Defense, Skill, Accuracy!

Good shot!

"This... r-really wasn't the time for that." Roxanna sighed. Jessica mentioned things unnecessarily, which... almost felt like things were back to normal. If only...

It seemed like the unit in command made a move forward, which seemed... cocky. Perhaps they figured victory was assured, with their lead units vastly outperforming earth mobile suits.

Always a poor decision.

"Lieutenant Eriksson... this feels like the best shot we got, we can't let it come any closer." And yet, it was well in their effective range... so something could be done. Roxanna started working with what processing power her device allowed.

Roxanna Attunes Thorvald![-25SP]
Roxanna Attunes Alriana![-25SP]

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"Jess... She..." Hannah had to refocus on the battle rather quickly, such stunning news almost took her out of it. Why did they have to get told that now!? That wouldn't help anyone! "Ugh..." Luckily, for some reason, one of the lead Apotheosis, Sacarian, whichever... Machines, had broken away from the group. "Galatea, get me a complete scan of that machine, now!"


"In the mean time... Brant? Are you alright--"

"And finished."

"Alright, that was fast. All units, data on the enemy unit!"

Hannah casts Analyze on the Poiesis!

With that finished... "Brant! Are you alright?" It was probably not worth worrying about, but... She didn't want him getting shaken and taking a hit, with Chris on board.

Chris was focused on keeping the funnels and their new missiles ready, when the ridiculous news came in. Of course, it hit Brant a lot harder, he was just like that. Now, Hannah was chiming in, trying to make sure he was alright. "What do you think I'm here for, eh!? What am I, chopped liver?" Grunting at the incoming transmission, Chris shook her head. "You're damn right, Brant. Just make sure none of it happens again. That's all... The girls, you, me, and number three, are gonna be just fine! So let's let miss fried circuits worry about her own problems, and sink some more of these terrorists, yeah!? They're thinning out, and we're all still flying! Not even their fuckin' cats could stop us, even blowing up the goddamn Riese!" Now that Jess was alive, Chris didn't mind reveling in how ineffective the sudden ambush was. "Let's show them what it means to fuck with the Abrams!"

"Really? I figured it would be better they know I'm okay... Even if it's a pretty bad way to be okay, right? I'm the captain, after all! Wait, how important of a captain am I?" Jess shrugged in her tube, going back to the outer cameras. "Next target... Acquired!"

Jess casts strike, and fires her AG missiles on the final remaining Cressida!
Final Stats: Mmm
This Cressida sure only has 43 hp left!
It's super dead, no ifs ands or buts!
Jess gains +25 EXP, +8 PP!

"One more down! Let's wipe them all out~!"

The Riese hits and aways to 10,6 (top left)

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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Jess's communication was... troubling, to say the least. Whether she got her circuits fried, a screw loose, or a nasty concussion, something was definitely wrong. 'First day in the field' his foot. Roxanna thankfully just contacted him with some useful info, and a good idea, so Thorvald was about to head up an operation that--if it went well--would cut off the head of the snake. But before that, he couldn't help but pass a few words back, for just the XO to hear.

"Roxanna, this thing with Jess is worrying. While her message was upbeat, it was also off-kilter, and I just hope nobody got spooked. If things take a turn for the worse up there, I'm counting on you to pick up the slack. I know you can do it!"

Then it was a quick response to Tarquin before spinning up the cylinders on the Odin's biggest guns. "Heard and understood, Puppet. You've done excellent work as always. Sorry things are too busy for me to give you a hand with that myself, but just get whatever patch-up you need, and hopefully when you get back out here there won't be much left for you to do... If you don't want us finishing up everything while you're gone, try to get the mechanics to hurry it up." It was optimistic, and hopefully encouraging.

"Now we get down to business," he murmured softly to himself, before sending out another communique, to all the forces. "All right, we're gonna show these animals they're underestimating us. Apotheosis's pincer has failed, and both their and the cat's leaders are way overextended. I know it's tempting to dogpile the Luna there, but my gut says it'll send a bigger message when we down the alien, so that's what we're gonna do. Shark, you and me are gonna soften 'em up for everyone with a big gun or blade to take advantage of. This marks the turning point, they'll be running scaredy cats soon enough."

Thorvald casts Shield, uses 250mm HEAT rounds against Poesis

Edited by Balcerzak

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Thorvald fires with precise instruction!
Final Stats: 100!,1
Roll: 31,45
Final Damage: 174
Armor lowered!

"That damned tank again... It must be stopped!"
The Poiesis returns fire!
It... Roars!?
Final Stats: 100,0
Roll: 44,56
A psychic assault!
Final Damage: 10!
Thorvald's spirit list is locked for next player phase!
He gains +140 EXP!

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The cressida had easily been torn apart by her bullets, her aim unhindered by its forest cover. For Apotheosis suits they were awfully fragile, especially with the Sacarian Knights and foot soldiers available for direct comparison. The human opponents were quickly dwindling down to nothing, the few exceptions either behind the pilot seat of mobile suits made with Sacarian technology or piloting battleships. This was quickly turning into a battle between humans and their alien invaders and, somehow, the humans seemed to have the advantage. She'd made the right choice. There was no question.

Jesicka's sudden transmission confused her. The cheater captain didn't have the seriousness she'd expected of her in this situation. It was almost like this was an entirely different person. Was that because of her inability to remember anything? She quickly silenced the line of thought; she'd never particularly cared for the android, why should she care about that and, more importantly, why should she distract herself thinking about it? There were more important things taking her attention, like the data Roxanna had sent over on the Knight mobile suit and Thorvald's orders.

"Understood, Papa Bear. Moving to disable armor."

Aly cast Alert, move to 12,11, Acid Shotgun Poe

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Aly, charging in!
Final Stats: 100!,32
Roll: 31,27
Final Damage: 95
The Poesis' armor is reduced further!
It attempts to fire at her, but is dodged by her alert!
Aly gains +110 exp!

Kazue rockets out!
"That message from the captain was worrying... But I can only worry about what is in front of me! PREPARE YOURSELF!"
She casts sense, moves to 9,12, and SLASHES HEAVILY!
Liquid metal, GO!
Final Stats: 100!,35
Roll: 21,78
Final Damage: 234!
The Poeisis attempts another counter, but is met with another dodge!
Kazue gains +150 EXP, +4 will!
Kazue levels up!
Melee, Skill, Avoid!

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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Although there wasn't much that Thorvald could do to remedy his immediate situation, Tarquin at least felt that his leader had taken his concerns and position on board. That kind of field presence was necessary with the captain's memory out of commission. It was a problematic issue, there was little telling how easy or even how possible it was to recover an android's memory.

"Thank you, Papa Bear. We shall do our best to provide support." Tarquin replied, adjusting his console's settings gently.  "We are still capable of providing fire support as needed."

His own life was at risk, but that was something that the entire crew had faced for their time together. The world he dreamed for needed them all to fight on. A world where he could have his freedom, where Makoto could grow up and one in which Nikolai was safe. Everyone has their own reasons to pull through, but their best chance was together. That included their newcomers. Tarquin decided to drop Tycho a message, if only for the knowledge he had shared that sentiment.

"This is likely rather surreal, but I can confirm you this is something our crew has faced frequently." Tarquin assured. "I look forward to your coordination with our tactics."

Tarquin casts Sense!

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Tarquin casts Sense![-16SP]

Carlos casts Strike![-20SP]

Carlos casts Alert![-10SP]

Carlos fires at the Poiesis with its Ballistic Missile Launcher!

"Well... it seems we're going to need some teamwork." Speaking with plantboy was always going to be awkward, but now Carlos had too much of a threat in front of him to avoid it. "How about a coordinated attack? I'll go first." Much like his old Rhea, the pointed its cannons up. Carlos was intending a round of heavy ammunition.

Carlos attacks!
Target: Poiesis
Weapon: Ballistic Missile Launcher
Final Hit: 100!
Final Crit: 45
Roll: 70, 16
Damage: 351!

Poiesis counters!
Weapon: Funnel Missiles
Final Hit: 0!
Final Crit: 20
Roll: 41, 24

Tarquin opens fire as well!
Weapon: High Precision Rifle
Final Hit: 100
Final Crit: 32
Roll: 79, 65
No Crit.
Damage: 115

"Gh! Rabble like you... I will not allow this!"

Carlos gains + 120 EXP!
Tarquin gains +65 EXP! Tarquin levels up!

"Hi-tech or not, you can always count on ship sinkers to bring them down."

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"Mmm... Looks like we're starting to have fun with the Sacarians~ Lovely chat, Astin, but I've always wanted to see just how tough these furry freaks are! Come find me after we're done dismantling this one~!" The Luna's boosters flared up, Louise ramming herself past Astin's mech, swords out and ready to tear into the Poiesis!

Louise casts Strike and moves to 10,13!
"Show me what an alien can do~!"
Final Stats: 100!,100
Roll: 13,54
Final Damage: 424!
"What-- The Luna model, how did they... N-No matter, a monkey is still a monkey! Perish!"
The Poiesis tears back at the Luna, claws out!
Final Stats: 100,64
Roll: 22,63
Double Image: 35
"You should be better than that! What's wrong, can't read my thoughts? It must be terrifying! Show me how you act when you're scared, SACARIAN!"
Louise gains +90 EXP!

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"Fuckin' shit, the captain lost her memory?" Elaine swore, slamming her fist down on the controls next to her. The battle was hard enough with the enemy forces but having to rely on someone who remembered nothing was going to make it even worse. The only consolation was that Jess wouldn't remember their strained relationship. "Can't be thinkin' like that, not at a time like this. Get ya shit together, Elaine..."

Elaine looked down to her controls, one button catching her eye for the umpteenth time. The Lunar Transient Phase was a toy she was particularly fond of - a super-mode as such. If there was a way to show the Sacarians she was serious, it was going to be pulling out all the stops. She'd been messed around enough, it was time to show her allies she could be trusted and show her enemies that she was force not to be messed with. Pressing down on the button firmly, Elaine grinned as her cockpit lit up. The Oberon's thrusters roared, unfolding from the unit's back and letting out crimson flames. It wasn't that flashy, her uncle hadn't been one for telegraphing out a machine's potential, but it was satisfying nonetheless.

"Thanks, Shark, we're gonna throw this cat out for the night." Elaine chuckled, charging at her foe at a frightening pace. She could only describe it as being on a really fast, really deadly rollercoaster, but that was OK.

Elaine casts Strike and Valor, activing LTP! Remaining grounded, she moves to 8,13 and attacks the Poesis with LPS!

"Just ensure you continue to hit the mark." Tarquin replied, dissatisfied with the cooperation. Working with Carlos was somewhat irritating, but it was a necessity that he had to deal with. 

"This is Puppet, returning to the Heion Riese for repairs" Tarquin announced, maneouvering his unit back to the ship. Tarquin's arsenal had been almost entirely spent, he'd have been left bashing foes with his shield if he stayed out much longer - and that was a possibility he would rather avoid facing if possible. 

Tarquin returns to the Heion Riese to restock!

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Tarquin docks!

Elaine rocks!
Final Stats: 100!,29
Roll: 94,21
Final Damage: 523!!

The Poiesis' systems are rocked by the rapid assault!
It tries to swing back with its claws!
Final Stats: 100,66
Roll: 48,27
Final Damage: 177!
Elaine's... Just barely hanging in there!
Elaine gains +130 EXP, +4 will!

Were they actually taking another of these knights down? Elaine's machine had taken an impressive hit, but everyone else was dodging, swarming it... This was it! This was what those aliens lacked! "This feels like something out of a cartoon, but... W-We're gonna win because we work together! Kim, I've got the data on it from Hannah... Give it hell!"

Christina casts sense!

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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Well, a message from the Captain was a good sign. It meant that she had survived Soor'Kan's suicide run into the bridge of the Heion Riese, but... the contents of that message were... disconcerting. She couldn't remember anything? Nothing at all? That couldn't bode well, but... they didn't have the luxury of worrying about it at present. Christina was managing to keep her own spirits up, they were coming out on top... they would win.

"Yeah... we've got this, Chrissy. We didn't come this far... to lose now." Kim affirmed, trading blows with the Hexis as it continued to close in on the Artemis. It's repeated tail swings weren't hitting their mark, but at the same time, the Mode A Zanbar was barely chipping away at the hulking behemoth, doing little more than slicing off chunks of tail as the swings were parried. If she continued in this manner, she could wear it down eventually, but there were other knights to deal with, not to mention the remnants of Apotheosis.

Speaking of the other Knights... they had finally exposed a real tactical error. Whether it was hubris or some sort of plan, one of the lead units had left itself wildly overexposed in-between their Northern and Southern flanks... they had to take it down before it managed to retreat, and several pilots had taken the initiative in landing some heavy blows... but the nightmare of a machine still seemed to have armour and barriers to spare. It was disheartening, but if they couldn't capitalize on this opportunity, they would never put these cats down.

"Abigail." Kim addressed her fellow pilot as soon as she opened the channel. Normally she'd have used a callsign, but surely the blonde was affected more than anyone by Jessica's vague broadcast.

"I know that hearing... that, can't be very good for your state of mind, right now. But if want to make this take down clean, we need to work together on this. If I'm being insensitive... I'm sorry... I'll give you a free shot in our next spar if you feel like I deserve it, but... I need you to follow my lead. I'm gonna smash this cat's barrier, and I need you to make sure that it's cockpit is vapourized before he can recover." Seung-Min noted, before turning her attention back to the foe at hand. Parrying one last swing from the Hexis, Kim recalled her funnels, sending them swarming after the Poesis, kicking off and away from the behemoth that had been harassing her as the Artemis took to the skies, thrusters alight, rapidly moving out of range from interference.

"I'm sick and tired of you Sacarians with your insect this, insect that! I am no insect, humans are not insects! You want to think Soor'Kan was a fluke?! I'll show you! I'll kill all of you!" Kim roared as she reached flight altitude, the chest of the Artemis opening as the machine leveled out, engines whirring at full capacity, the suit practically groaning in protest as the cannon held within exposed it's barrel out the front of the Artemis, a red glow blanketing it's line of fire as energy gathered at the Artemis' core.

"Enyo cannon... FIRE!" Came the Lieutenant's battle cry, as the cannon did fire. A torrent of red encased in white engulfing the air within an instant, an incomprehensible heat striking dead centre on the Poesis, the entire suit consumed within the circumference of the beam. It's barrier would break. It would break. And if anything remained, hopefully Abigail was in place to snuff it out.

Kim casts Valour, takes off, flies to 12,12 and slams the Poesis with the Enyo Cannon

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"[Reporting, serious damage sustained, please seek repairs to--]"

A curled fist smashed that part of the dashboard, San'Xuur huffing and struggling to keep up with the combined assault of the human forces. "How!? HOW!? Soor'Kan was nothing more than an overgrown nuisance, he was far and away worthy to be placed in the same class as us! These fools shouldn't be keeping up! AT ALL! SO HOW!?" Frustrations mounted as funnels swarmed him, his own angry storm flying out to meet them, as small explosion from both sides began to appear in the air surrounding his machine.

"You'll kill nothing! All you humans are good at is talk! Shields, TO MAXIMUM!" The brilliant beam that collided with the Poiesis was stopped-- for a moment, as the shielding first from the machine's own generator overheated, followed by the mental shield under it, as San'Xuur's mind was unable to keep it up with such strain!

Final Stats: 100!,7
Roll: 63,25
Final Damage: 939!!!!!
Kim gains +100 exp!

A sharp explosion flew out from where the Poiesis was once flying... And as the dust cleared, the machine stood, still functioning, even if barely. "Heh... Haha! All talk! ALL TALK!" Funnels chased after Kim, though they did not find their mark. "To think you, would dare to boast so heavily... So loudly! The Sacarian race shall not be stopped by such empty words!"

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"I-It's still alive, goodness..." Caroline watched over the battle from her feed. "N-No, no way, that thing is taking damage... c-come on, guys, show it!" It... felt lame to be on the sidelines, but she had no illusion over her piloting abilitiy.

Caroline casts Cheer on Abigail![-20SP]

Caroline casts Faith on Elaine![-30SP]

Faith takes effect!
The Oberon is healed to full!


Edited by Xinnidy

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Hearing Jess's voice brought a brief bright smile to Abigail's face, but the good news was quickly shattered by the words actually being spoken. 'Can't remember a dang thing.' A worried noise, sort of a choked gasp escaped her throat and she instinctively swung her arm backward, hoping Calina would grab her hand and give it a comforting squeeze. Then realization hit. This was probably her longtime lover's prayers being answered, wasn't it? Abby was tempted to pull her hand back, bring it once again to the controls. If she did it quickly enough she could pretend the reason she didn't get what she'd been looking for was because she hadn't given enough time. ...But she was also greedy, and badly in need of reassurance.

When the news came in over Abigail's speakers... Calina couldn't help the momentary smile she held. That idiot had forgotten everything? She could have Abby all to herself again? It was like a dream come true... And it would stay a dream, as the moment passed, and reality came flying back into her mind.

"Abby, you gonna be okay?" No, she couldn't just pretend this was a good thing, Abby... She'd be crushed by this. If she went and rubbed this into the woman's face, then... "We'll go see her when we're done here, but... You have to make it through this first."

The words she got in return, in addition to that tight squeeze of the hand she'd been seeking, did quite a bit to stabilize Abigail's mood. A deep breath in, with only one minor shudder, and she was just about ready and settled again. Amnesia was bad, but given the damage the Riese had taken, it could have been so much worse. This was treatable, curable. And it might just be temporary due to shock. Death... was was final, permanent. And Jess had Megumi to look after her, things would be fine. Yeah!

"Mmm, just, was a bit of a scare to hear. I'm good, thanks," giving a squeeze back of her own before withdrawing her hand and bringing it back to the controls, Abby nodded and agreed. "You're right, on all counts. We'll finish this up and pay her a visit."

Kim's voice coming crackling through the comms just barely missed being an interruption. The whole the Asian was apologizing for bothering her, for worrying about her, all Abigail could think was that while it certainly didn't take a psychic to figure out the news about Jess was gonna be hard on her, it was only the psychic that actually bothered checking in. The only one that cared enough about her as a friend was the one her initial prejudices had almost thrust away.

"No... No, you're good, no need for handicaps," Abby answered back, "And you're right, this is a golden opportunity, we have to take it. I'll build off your foundation. You set him up, I'll knock him down."

And then the time for words was over, and the time for action was upon them. Maybe it was rude of Abigail, or maybe the TK had planned it, but as the Vergloria charged its way to the enemy she saw that the swarming funnels were almost perfectly spaced, and leaping up, getting airborne, she was able to use them almost like stepping stones across a river on her approach. While her new machine could technically fly, Abby wasn't quite used to it yet, so running along like this gave all the advantages of being on the ground while also being at the same plane as the enemy. With every light touchdown on a funnel--engaging her thruster so the contact was just enough to take aim and balance, but not enough to damage any of them--she fired a round from her beam magnum. Then when the bridge reached its end, when there were no more funnels in front of her, she pushed off; diving, lunging straight for the now-exposed cockpit, she impaled her sword into the enemy mech, just beneath it.

"Do it now, light 'em up, melt the hell out of him," she called out to her friend, and as the fury from the funnels rained forth all around the cockpit, melting the metal holding it in place, she wrenched down on her sword, levering it free from the frame. Catching it in the Vergloria's hand, she hesitated ever so briefly before crushing it completely between the metal fingers of her fist. "Because of asshole aliens like you, Hilling..." Abby paused, ...and maybe Jess, she thought darkly before shaking her head, bidding the evil thought gone. "...And so many others... You can't hurt anyone any more, and it's just a matter of time before we put an end to the rest of your army."

Calina cast Sense, Abby moves to 11,11 and uses Beam Magnum against Poiesis

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"This isn't-- You can't--!"

Final Stats: 100!,19
Roll: 61,5
Final Damage: 296!
The Poiesis is totaled!
Abby gains +1700 EXP, +32 PP!
She gains 4 levels!
melee, defense, accuracy
melee, shooting, skill
melee, accuracy, skill
shooting, avoid, accuracy

"Oh my God... Hey! She got one!" Jess smiled out at the infirmary group, grinning from ear to ear. "One of those command units just blew right up! You go Abigail!" Whoever she was, she was sticking it to those aliens... They were gonna win this!

"Holy, shit, Abby...!" Calina hadn't taken her maneuver especially well, trusting funnels of all things to be stable footing. It had worked... Somehow. They were still alive, and the Sacarian, whoever he had been, was now a stain in the Vergloria's hand. Abby sure knew how to use this machine. "Alright... Alright! We got one! One of those self important command fucks! He's fucking, nothing more than a goddamn stain now... Jesus... You actually..." Calina started to smile, almost laughing, trying to reign herself in. All of the suffering they'd gone through so far, Hilling's death, the smug, self satisfaction these worthless aliens felt... All gone and vindicated with a single move.

"You gonna be okay? Not gonna lie, I feel fucking amazing right now. YOU HEAR ME, YOU SPACE FUCKS!?" Calina had turned the Vergloria's speakers on, shouting her laughter at the remaining Sacarians. "You're next! YOU'RE ALL FUCKING NEXT! HAHAHAH!"


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