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

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(Time warp: Kim was supposed to be rolled before Hannah)

Kim attacks!
Target: Luna (Astin)
Weapon: 115mm Twin Railguns
Final Hit: 100!
Final Crit: 16
Roll: 70, 78
Hit!
No Crit.
Damage: 220

Astin is out of range to launch a counterattack!

Kim gains +10 EXP!

Then Kim moves to (10,12)!

Edited by Xinnidy

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The Ceres was destroyed and Avery was gone. Marianne was gone. Chris had confirmed it and was practically celebrating, albeit angrily. Brant would be lying if he said he was completely happy with the way things had turned out, but those two had chosen their side long ago. Hannah's thumbs up was a much needed reminder that the friends, family, and allies he had now were far more important than anything else. Either way, it was too late for regrets.

Of course, even those benign regrets had no choice but to disappear when Astin turned the other Luna's fury on them all. It was going to go 'nuclear?' Brant felt a fresh wave of disgust wash over him as he contemplated what might happen to any suits or ships caught in the blast radius. This warzone really was no place for Liliana and Akilina ...

"You guys need to take that thing down quick," he muttered, knowing the Regalia and the Reign weren't close enough to get in position in time. Chasing down the Ceres had put them far afield and heading back to try and help might, at best, simply increase the number of casualties. If anything, they should be spreading out away from the Luna and taking shots all along the way.

Firmia almost couldn't believe what she was hearing over the comms. Then again, considering what had just happened to Marianne ... fine, then. A person's true nature was often revealed in times of great stress, and it was clear that Astin had never been an ally of theirs, potentially or otherwise. Time to take out the last mole and rid themselves of Apotheosis's presence once and for all. "Tonya, make sure we stay out of the blast radius. This is personal, now." As soon as she'd finished her directive, the Avalon's six funnels raced out in front of the viewport and toward the Apotheosis Luna. "Don't hold back! Everyone that's in range start shooting and don't stop until there's nothing left but a smoking crater!"

A shame they might not be able to salvage the thing, but there were much bigger prizes where that came from.

Marcia casts Strike!

Firmia casts Dreams (Calina's Fury), moves to 10,10 and attacks Astin with the Avalon's Funnels!

Revolutsiya (Chapter V)

 

Ah, there she was. It seemed the beast had finally stirred, calling away Raay'Xel's third opponent and taking his place directly. Bits moving to counter Khiia'Sar's and take some heat off of her I-field, the two sets of funnels squared off against one another... the Rook's were more numerous, but Raay'Xel had one more trick up her sleeve in that regard. With the Archangel relatively close, though locked in it's own combat, Raay'Xel could call upon Gabriel's spare funnels as they had been instructed earlier. She wasn't quite as adept with larger numbers of them, but it was enough to shore up the difference in arsenal... and funnels aside, her Zeta's was superior.

"A shame you won't get to hear it. You'll have to be content with your own." She retorted, breaking away from the Beta, freeing her plasma stake and igniting her Hyper Beam Sabre... while the stake could take a few clashes, it certainly wasn't her preferred weapon for the task. 

"I do hope all of your haughty boasting wasn't mere talk, Khiia'sar. Show me a good time before you die." Raay'Xel taunted as she charged forwards, fang bits surging forward through the mess of beams being traded funnel to funnel. The Beta's I-field would do nothing to stop these. She only needed to last long enough for Gabriel and Haal'Sen to intervene, but allowing this duel, at least while it remained one, to end in a loss would be unacceptable.

"More funnels, ehh? You were never very good with these, what hope do you have to last against me!?" True enough, the more Raay'Xel and Khiia'Sar's funnels clashes, the more Raay'Xel's were beginning to lose, small explosions eventually littering the sky between and behind their machines. Her fangs, while a smart tactical choice, only made the Rook grin.

"You must think my machine the same as my minions'! Foolish!" A green barrier erupted around the Beta, knocking Raay'Xel's fangs away, as beam sabers met once again. "None of my boasting has been talk. You will soon learn your place! An upgrade to an inferior machine changes nothing!" Suddenly the Beta lurched forward, breaking off the engagement with the Zeta, turning to see what had... "Haal'Sen..."

"You think you're so tough, huh?" Still exhausted, the beam shot had done considerable damage to Khiia'Sar's funnel house, leaving them no place to return to. Once they were out of power, they would collapse harmlessly to the ground.

"I think you're both DEAD!"

Haal'Sen's mind was suddenly assaulted, was she truly so powerful as to pilot and subjugate at the same time!? The Psi tried to move its good arm up, saber at the ready, funnels shaking in the air as they tried to move and fire. "Ghhghh... Damn, you... Move... Praxis...!"

"A runt will always be a runt... Neither of you have what it takes to defeat me! Die, Haal'Sen!" Funnels charging after Raay'Xel to keep her at bay, Khiia'Sar's saber aimed forward, thrusters rushing towards the frozen Psi.

Haal'Sen managed to overcome the assault in time to get her saber in the way, but that was all. She was down an arm, and trying to combat an opponent so much more mentally stronger than her.

"Give up! Give up already, you useless traitors!"

"... becoming a true king is going to be a long and difficult road ... but this is only the beginning." The Archangel's transformation into MS mode was unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. The flight module disappeared entirely, and as soon as the Archangel's head emerged, shining white wings burst forth from the machine's back, each one blessed with countless feathers. The suit's color changed, with golden sections materializing to replace old ones, and the suit's red visor turned a lustrous golden hue. Beam saber in hand, Gabriel just barely managed to slide himself between Haal'Sen and Khiia'Sar, locking blades with the latter.

"We're ending this, now!"

"Grrh! Damn it, Haal'Sen, you should have taken what time you needed to recover!" Raay'Xel snarled, as Haal'Sen's interference had lead to being quickly subjugated and targeted. Her I-field and funnels had taken some knocks, but it wasn't as though Raay'Xel couldn't have held the Rook off a tad longer, if only for Haal'Sen to reduce her exhaustion. As bad as it looked, they still had some recourse... namely that Gabriel was moving in to intercept, and whatever the Archangel's bizarre transformation was... he was fast enough. She needed only have faith in her liege's ability to protect Haal'Sen, and riposte in kind.

"You think this will stop me?!" The warrior roared, shifting into plane mode and diverting maximum power to her thrusters and I-field. The funnels couldn't get a proper lock-on at this speed, but they were numerous enough that her field was still being knackered plowing through their hail of fire. But it was enough, enough for the Praxis Zeta to hit full speed, and for her ESP field to flare brilliantly ahead of the machine's nose, just as Gabriel locked Khiia'Sar down in a blade lock.

"PERISH!" The impact was nothing short of glorious. Ramming the Praxis Beta at full clip, the Zeta's tackle crashed clean through the Rook's sacarian sphere, slamming into it's thrusters and dragging it down towards the ground, both machines careening from the heavens as Raay'Xel kept her engines alight at full burn. Unloading the lave rifle into the Beta's pinned back whilst she pushed it down and away from Haal'Sen and Gabriel, surely between the hardening debris and direct impact to it's back, Khiia'Sar's machine would be struggling to move properly from hereon out.

It was a shame the Praxis Beta was sturdy enough that she didn't burst straight through, but it was still effective enough.

"GRAGH!" The impact knocked Khiia'Sar far away from the sudden intruder, her cockpit shaking violently under the sudden assault. "Raay... Xel, you... RRGHAHHH!" Despite the metal plaster locking up some of its movements, with a hefty blast from its rifle, Khiia'Sar was able to dislodge herself from Raay'Xel's charge and straighten out her machine. "You... You will not, defeat me-- Hghhh!"

"You, talk to much, you mangy runt." Haal'Sen had turned on her machine's T-Link, the Psi burning with the fiery pink glow, an outstretched hand telling Gabriel and Raay'Xel all they needed to know. The Beta was frozen in the air now, struggling to move, as Khiia'Sar suffered under the sudden psychic assault.

"How... You, can't... You're n-not, stronger... Than, me...!"

"I am now! Gabriel! Do it!"

With Haal'Sen holding the Rook in place, Gabriel's hidden flight module kicked in and propelled him rapidly toward Khiia'Sar. The chain blade could bypass the I-field effortlessly, so it emerged even before Gabriel arrived. "Fall!" Gabriel turned halfway to the right as he reached Khiia'Sar, and the chain blade, glowing hotter than ever, whipped out in front and slashed clean through the Praxis Beta. The Archangel made one more swing in the other direction, and swiftly cleaved the Beta a second time, leaving a glowing molten cross on the Rook's machine.

"No--!" The Beta's comms went silent as the machine was sliced in half, Haal'Sen's hold no longer mattering. The wreck crumbled to the airway below, the fiery glow on the Psi fading away... It almost collapsed with it, but after falling for half a second, the thrusters caught on again, Haal'Sen gasping heavily in her cockpit.

"Gahh... Hahh, hahh... Ahh... We... We, did... It... Breathe... Breathe...!" Lungs working their hardest, the mental strain was magnificent. This had just been a Rook... She would desperately need more training with this T-Link. Continued use was a necessity. "We... We won! Hah... Hahaha! Ahh, agh... Ahh, it hurts, to laugh... But, we, we won...!"

Above the Vaska, dodging missile fire and contending with Eva's Throne, the Praxis Gamma stationed there suddenly broke away from her and raised its hands, firing a flare, that burned white. If the humans were able to intercept signals, it was projecting a surrender code. With the Rook defeated, by a human, no less, there was no longer a reason to continue fighting. Its funnels went silent, returning to the machine's holster.

That was it, then. Haal'Sen had made use of the T-link, and in doing so, had allowed Gabriel the chance to destroy Khiia'Sar's Praxis. The Rook was dead, and the battle as good as over... even if Juliya's Nemesis squadron had been struggling, both Gabriel's Archangel as well as her own Praxis Zeta were in fighting form, even if Haal'Sen had taken a bit of a beating... speaking of Haal'sen...

"Haal'Sen. You must be more cautious in the future. In your rush to come to my aid, you left yourself exposed and exhausted... I appreciate your concern, however, I was more than capable of holding her off for just a tad longer. Were it not for our Liege's interference, she may have taken your head. It would greatly distress Gabriel, were you to expire over rushing ahead and not using tactical judgment."

"Oh, do not... I could not sit back and watch that engagement. Had he and I not shown up, you would have lost your head. Simply be thankful I managed, like I am thankful he did. Now is not the time to point fingers..." Ahhh, my head, it hurts so much... She groaned again, trying to sit up in the Praxis, before slumping back down again. "Chastise me later... I believe I have a migraine." A weak hand fumbled into the attached first aid kit, finding a small bottle. One pill retrieved, she popped it back and sighed. "At least they left our medicine alone..."

Hearing the banter between Haal'Sen and Raay'Xel was music to Gabriel's ears. It seemed they had all been a bit reckless here and there, Haal'Sen using the T-Link, Raay'Xel taking on a Rook alone, Gabriel experimenting with the hologram array in the middle of the most serious scuffle he'd been in to date ... but at least they had pulled through. The next fight was going to be the big one, the one that decided their fate, as well as the fate of Russia.

"This is Gabriel to all units ... mission accomplished."

...

"DIE!!!" Juliya threw strike after strike, but Gachirin's pilot was able to protect the cockpit even while the rest of Nemesis Squad was taking shots at him. "How can he block me and still deal with all of our ranged attacks ...?" 

Suddenly Gachirin lunged forward and slammed into Juliya, knocking her back with its shoulder. "You're a good pilot, but I've figured out your pattern, and your machine's limitations. Any last words, Juliya Alkaev?"

It was bad enough that her opponent wasn't taking her seriously, bad enough that he'd snuck in a cheap shoulder tackle while she was going all out, but now he was making it sound like he had her set up for an easy kill. That couldn't be right ... but then again, those funnels of his had just about snuffed out her Throne's capacitors, and once her hyper beam gauntlets shut down, she'd be easily shredded by them. "... out of time. Have to do this now ..."

"Neo! Khiia's down ... what do we do?!"

"Fall back. Someone's got to make it back to report our failure. Another time then, Ms. Alkaev."

"What, no!" Juliya fired up her Throne's thrusters and raced toward Gachirin.

"Oh. Coming with us?"

"No!" Juliya was suddenly grabbed by one of her squad, DW, as the green barrier they all knew and loathed enveloped the Gachirin and the three surviving escorts. They vanished before Juliya could break free. "Don't be crazy. You'd never be able to fight them like that ..."

"Grrrrr, damn!" Juliya slammed her fist against the controls.

"This is Gabriel to all units ... mission accomplished."

"Tch ... your mission," Juliya huffed.

"I think we were all hoping to survive if nothing else," Cyclops cautiously chimed in, "So yeah, mission accomplished."

"Indeed," came Assassin's voice.

"Hey, you made it!"

"Of course I did. Our friend in the Deimos wasn't quite so fortunate."

...

"A flare?" The Gilden Throne slowly lowered both of its beam pistols and summoned back its three remaining funnels--one had been intercepted by the Sacarian's beam rifle, forcing Eva to fall back to using them conventionally ... yet now the whole situation had changed. "Is he surrendering?"

"What? Hold fire! Прекратить огонь!" Petya ordered. The Vaska's weapons and mobile suits went silent in very short order. "... what is ...?"

"This is Gabriel to all units ... mission accomplished."

Petya couldn't help but smile and relax in his seat. "It is indeed a surrender. Good."

"I am still at almost peak operational capacity, only a few funnels lost and some damage to the I-field. I said I could have lasted longer, not that your assistance wasn't needed. Just make sure you're prepared before you jump in." Raay'Xel retorted, stopping as Haal'Sen noted she was taking medicine for her head... understandable given the circumstances, but it meant she wouldn't be much for banter going forwards.

"Very well, I shall let you recover."

"I was prepared! Guh, you are so critical... Mrrhh... Just, give me a few minutes. At least my head doesn't hurt much, anymore... Nothing does. These are far too powerful." Haal'Sen managed to prop herself up by pushing her leg against a part of the console, numb hands setting course to bring her Praxis back to the hangar. Repairs were in order, luckily not her systems, this time. Physical damage was easily fixable. "Apologies, Gabriel, I will once again temporarily be indisposed." Hopefully it didn't cause many issues.

Edited by Phoenix

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There'd been surprise, maybe slight concern, in Cally's voice when Abby had, admittedly, played a little faster and looser with her footwork than she should have. She really was gonna have to bank some time in the sims and get her aerial game up to snuff. ...At least the Vergloria wasn't some tiny-ass plane. Fuck no, on the tin coffins. But this? This wouldn't be so bad, would it? Just... pretend it's zero-g, right, that would work? Maybe.

Still, any misgivings her copilot had had had quickly melted into elation, as they beat the odds and pulled it off. Nothing more than a goddamn stain, was right. Abigail was practically beaming when she spared a moment to turn around and give her a nod, confirmation. Then, as Calina turned on the speakers, she couldn't help but laugh. "That's right, blast it out," she shook her head and wiped a tear from her eye, before returning her attention to the panels and the incoming.

Because they certainly seemed to have made quite the target of themselves for the grunt cats. Eying their energy reserves, after the onslaught was said and done, Abby almost regretted going big on the weapons she'd chosen for her counter-strikes. Almost. But, hmm. If they conserved, they still might be able to duplicate that one-two they'd worked out with Kim against another one of the furry assholes. Magnum rounds it was, then, going forward. And maybe... maybe she could help draw the swarm away from the Riese? Give Megumi as much unmolested time to figure out what was wrong with Jess. Worth a shot.

Avery... Marianne had just gone down, and that left Astin as practically the only Apotheosis left. Talk about your complicated feeling. Honestly, she'd rather be fighting one of the other big-shot furballs, but... less than two minutes, huh? She wasn't sure she could trust the situation to get mopped up in time unless she readjusted, so for now the Theoria was off the table.

Slamming on the accelerator, Abby gunned the engines as hard as she could, squeezing every last inch from the machine, darting around an enemy trying to block her path, and weaving deftly between unsuspecting allies. "Follow me, little flea-bags, if you dare, I don't care. I've got more important targets, but if you really want a piece, take a number and wait in line," she taunted in the general direction of the Gammas as she circled around and bore down on Astin, the Luna looming large before her as she sighted it up over the barrel of her magnum.

Then it was showdown.

"I don't know what to say, Astin. I couldn't understand you then, and I can't understand you now. But if you're standing in my way, there's no other way around it. When you wake up in hell, don't blame me for this."

Abby Valor, Cally Sense, Move 11,17, Beam Magnum Astin

 


 

Toast? That was new. Though... Smile turning up the corner of her lips, Jess nodded. "Oooh, you might be right. Toast, and jam, would be quicker energy than a protein bar. Carbohydrates and sugars digest faster, don't they? I'm changing my mind, I'll have that too." Then popping out of the cockpit, she called down to the grounds crew, to see if they couldn't rustles up two slices of buttered toast, some packets of jelly, and some bottled water.

Edited by Balcerzak

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Abigail casts Valor![-28SP]

Calina casts Sense![-16SP]

Abby isn't having any of what Astin is trying to pull and blocks their escape route!

Abigail attacks!
Weapon: Beam Magnum
Final Hit: 100!
Final Crit: 0! (Valor)
Roll: --, --
Hit!
No Crit.
Damage: 377

Astin counters!
Weapon: Liquid Metal Blade
Final Hit: 0
Final Crit: 50
Roll: 37, 7
Miss!

Abigail gains +15 EXP!

No quarter!


"Guess I've gotta bring out the big guns again..."

Carlos casts Strike![-20SP]

 

Carlos holds position and fires a large ballistic missile at Astin!

Carlos attacks!
Weapon: Ballistic Missile Launcher
Final Hit: 100!
Final Crit: 44
Roll: 67, 46
Hit!
No Crit.
Damage: 167

Astin is too far away to counter!

Carlos gains +25 EXP!

The barrage on Astin continues!

Edited by Xinnidy

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"Actually, biochemical dietary research suggests that the carbohydrate release from toast is directly linked to increased performance in the adolescent population with statistically significant results in attention, problem solving and reaction time." Tarquin replied, his deadpan expression softening as he couldn't hold a straight face. "Actually, the truth is I like toast, there's not much more behind it than that."

It wasn't long before his desired meal had been delivered, giving him time to process recent events whilst he nibbled on the corner of a slice. The Ceres' signature had disappeared from Tarquin's radar, and this time it wasn't because of a warp or last minute escape. Whether she were actually Marianne or Avery, the person that Tarquin had known was gone - both through discarding her facade and her actual death. His feelings were mixed, Tarquin wasn't entirely sure if he were upset that he'd lost Avery or content that Marianne had been defeated. Regardless, it was another person in his life that had left.

Astin's announcement was more concerning, even if there had been no personal tie the prospect of a nuclear explosion needed some serious attention. He'd only managed a few slices and a mouthful of juice, but repairs were done and his allies needed him.

"Both Marianne and Doyle were allies on the Heion Riese, I cannot deny that it is unsettling." Tarquin muttered, half-talking to Jess, half-talking to himself.

It was only a matter of moments before they were back on the battlefield again, Astin had been pushed over the edge, their attitude up until now and their final declaration were a sign there was almost no hope of going back. The others had tried reasoning with them, Tarquin could see little more that he could do. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but the survival of crew needed to come before his own feelings.

"Doy-... Astin. You appear to have made your final decision. It is a shame, I did not dislike your company, I hope you are able to find the closure you desire." Tarquin replied, taking aim at the Luna. "Leb wohl, mein Begleiter."

Tarquin casts Assail and Sense, moves to 8,10 and uses his High Precision Rifle on Astin!

-

 

Elaine's heart began to race, Avery had been shot down. As much as a lying piece of trash she'd been, she'd been someone that had gotten along with Elaine. The same applied to Astin, was she only capable of making friends with people who turned out to be the enemy in disguise? It hurt, having been lead along all this time but even if their feelings hadn't been real, Elaine's had been.

"Astin! You got a chance to turn things around! You ain't a puppet of those shitty fleabags, you're your own person!" Elaine protested, punching through a monitor and producing a small cloud of smoke. She didn't want anyone else to be strung along, Astin had the right to own up to their mistakes and make things better. "You're worth more than being a walkin' bomb! Even if you'd tricked all of us, I still saw you as a friend!"

There was no use, why wouldn't they listen? Maybe if they took everyone else out, maybe then Astin would surrender? Even she knew it was wishful thinking, but it was better than accepting this.

"Thorvald! Isn't there something you can say? Don't you know what to say in these situations?" Elaine cried out, desperate for answers. "Where's the silver lining to this! Where's that everything will be OK!"

Elaine moves to 10,18 and attacks Saturn #1 with the LPS!

Edited by Shin

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Tarquin casts Assail![-12SP]

Tarquin casts Sense![-16SP]

The Aria launches off of the Riese --but that doesn't mean it can't aim still!

Tarquin attacks!
Target: Luna (Astin)
Weapon: High Precision Rifle
Final Hit: 100!
Final Crit: 37
Roll: 25, 47
Hit!
No Crit.
Damage: 155

Astin is out of range to counterattack!

Tarquin gains +25 EXP, +3 Will!

The assault continues!

Meanwhile, Elaine does her best to convince a bulky Saturn to reconsider...

Elaine attacks!
Target: Saturn #1
Weapon: L.P.S.
Final Hit: 100
Final Crit: 34
Roll: 100, 18
Hit!
Crit!
Damage: 237

Saturn #1 counters!
Weapon: Wrist Beam Gatlings
Final Hit: 45
Final Crit: 21
Roll: 76, 76 (huh...)
Miss!

Elaine gains +20 EXP, +3 Will!

The Saturn is barely hanging in there!

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Aliza took a good look at the Luna, which seemed to be on it's last legs. The threat of it going nuclear clear in her mind. 'Astin...' She regretted everything that had happened up to this point, but it was clear he didn't, this was war after all so there was no time to be sentimental despite it being in her nature. She rose her bow as it crackled with blue flaming energy once again and pointed it at the Luna. "I'm sorry..." And she let the railgun fire out the howling arrow, as it pierced the haul of the Luna dead on.

Aliza uses Code ATA on the Luna, then uses Hit and Away to 9, 17

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Aliza sends the final blast Astin's way...!?

Aliza attacks!
Target: Luna (Astin)
Weapon: Code A.T.A.
Final Hit: 100!
Final Crit: 30
Roll: 94, 38
Hit!
No Crit.
Damage: 213

That's... that's it for Astin's Luna.

Aliza gains +250 EXP, +32 PP, +18000 credits!
Aliza levels up! +2 SP!

The Luna's field is unable to withstand the barrage, and starts failing...

Edited by Xinnidy

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This was for the best. The anger and rage Astin was feeling were certainly real... But it wasn't like they didn't deserve it. Even Marianne had tried to kill someone... Probably killed more than a few other people. Karma had just caught up early, and now it was their turn. "Thanks... Riese crew." Being a clone, having fake memories, losing the only people that really cared... This, was for the best.

The Sagittae's railgun had torn the entire left side off of the machine. With the limiter already removed, the engine was spiraling out of control. Not towards the nuclear Astin had claimed, though... The machine began to burn brightly, before a flash of light enveloped it, a ball of fire and smoke erupting out, scattered metal shattering the woods below.

Christina had to grit her teeth. Marianne... Marianne had tried to kill her. She didn't feel much, there... But, did things really have to go this way? Was killing Astin the only way? It left a pit in her gut, as the remaining enemies came into view. She wasn't sure what to say.


"And... There goes the problems." Chris was feeling a similar level of bittersweet, but she wasn't afraid to voice things. "In another time, Astin. This time, you chose the wrong side."

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While the rest of Riese crew were making peace with their traitorous comrades, the lone alien observed the battlefield, seeking a more vulnerable target than the Luna. She didn't feel it was her place to intervene, nor did she feel that the Almydis was equipped to deal with the machine. She hadn't known either of the traitors, and now, with the Luna painting a giant target on it with the threat of going nuclear, she never would. For the best, really; the battlefield was no place for emotions. She was glad, at least, that even before the threat sentimentality hadn't stayed their hands. Even without the promise of a catastrophic explosion, the Luna wasn't a machine to be ignored.

Amidst the swarming of the Luna, one of the other pilots had broken off and nearly eliminated one of the approaching Saturns. Unfortunately the armor plating on mobile suit was just enough to keep it operational. Opportunistic in training, if not in nature, the infiltrator had her next target. Using the the Almydis' camouflage, Alriana repositioned and fired on the unsuspecting Saturn, shredding the damaged machine's cockpit in a hail of gunfire. 

Alriana moves to 10,16 Triburst Saturn #1.

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Thorvald had expected return fire from the Poesis. What he had not expected was a roar. The damage to the Odin was entirely inconsequential. But, for Thorvald, the world begin to spin, his ears began to ring, and a sudden inexplicable wave of nausea threatened to make a mess of the cockpit. He heard Tarquin's voice coming in over the comms, but picking out actual words said and making sense of them was borderline impossible. It wasn't that he couldn't hear what was being said--the boy's voice cut cleanly through the drone in the background, the continued echoes--but it was closer to just... everything that was being said was nonsense. He didn't reply: less a conscious choice made to avoid risk of speaking gibberish himself; more just, too busy struggling with wrestling reality back into place. Thankfully, the domino effect his initial assault on the enemy commander had set into motion kept the battlefield occupied long enough that by the time foes were seeking him out once again the worst had passed. The vertigo had been replaced with a massive throbbing pain spreading from the base of his skull up the back, creeping along the top. Not pleasant, but nothing that would keep him from piloting. Similarly the nausea had resided, and the low ringing echo of the roar could only be heard in silence, of which there was little to be found on the field of battle. Concentrating was still hard, coordinating the troops and commanding even harder. He simply had to hope the troops would forgive him this lapse.

"Hmm... If you refuse to stop guarding that puny machine, I shall have to blow you both up! Cannon, all range mode!"

More words, coming after he'd traded blows with a couple of the alien footsoldiers. He could pick out the meaning of the words, now, slowly. The puny machine he was guarding? That, well that had to be Makoto's Phalanx, right? It didn't quite make sense why that was a target for this officer, why it cared at all. Most of the focus on the boy had come from Avery... from Marianne.

'All range mode' took a bit longer to process, but the devastation the sapphire sphere that was unleashed, centered on the speaker, quickly filled in the gaps. There was no defending or evading against this. Just enduring. Hopefully Makoto was enduring too.

If I let him get hurt here, how could I face his father, once we free him from Apotheosis?

A dark thought. And thankfully one swiftly dispatched. The Phalanx still stood. Too disoriented to take the reins and direct the flow of the fighting, Thorvald was content to hold onto that, to find refuge in that relief. The rest of the team were doing fine. They'd gelled together, uniquely united in the face of the betrayal of those they'd thought had been friends, and were acting in concert without a conductor. Everyone was on the same wavelen--

"Thorvald! Isn't there something you can say? Don't you know what to say in these situations?" Elaine cried out, desperate for answers. "Where's the silver lining to this! Where's that everything will be OK!"

Elaine's frantic plea shook him out of stupor. Avery was... Marianne was already dead? When had that happened. He hadn't even... Thorvald squeezed his eyes shut, curled his fist tightly around one of the Odin's sticks, and tried to focus. They could still maybe save Astin. Where were the words? That lion had taken them from him.

And with it... also taken Astin. Impotent to change the outcome, Thorvald was only able to watch from afar, like some disembodied observer.

There wasn't anything he could say.

What could he even do? Mouth dry, parched almost, he surveyed the field. There, those oncoming Saturns were heavy bruisers, with more than enough punch to take out some of their frailer members. Even though he'd failed somewhat already, even though former comrades had met with a terrible fate, he could still work to keep safe the rest, to protect his current comrades. Not trusting his tongue with words yet, the old man--feeling older now than ever--moved to stop up a gap, and to remove a clear and present threat.

Thorvald moves to 11,18 uses Burner Overcharge on Saturn 3

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So that was it... Their former allies had been defeated, and the Luna went with them. Kazue felt little sadness for those who chose to tread the path of evil, what else could siding with these aliens be? Still, it was disappointing that this model had been completely destroyed... She'd been far too interested in its weapons. Too little too late, it would seem. Taking a quick glance at her systems monitoring nearby allies, a small red light made her change her load out for a moment. "Lieutenant, your machine is missing a lot of energy. Beaming you a recharge, please wait a few seconds."

Kazue uses resupply on Kim!
Kazue gains +200 exp!

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Alriana is no fan of the bulky suit!

Alriana attacks!
Target: Saturn #1
Weapon: Tri-Burst Assault Rifle
Final Hit: 100
Final Crit: 18
Roll: 18, 7
Hit!
Crit!
Damage: 115

The Saturn crumbles against the fire!

Alriana gains +50 EXP, +14 PP, +5000 credits!

Now that's cleaning out the opposition!

Tycho casts Focus! [-10SP]

The Graviton Launcher whirrs once more!

Tycho attacks!
Target: Saturn #2
Weapon: Graviton Launcher
(Lucky roll: 20; Lucky++)
Final Hit: 100
Final Crit: 23
Roll: 31, 6
Hit!
Crit!
Damage: 156!

Saturn #2 counters!
Weapon: Rear-Mounter Cannon
Final Hit: 28
Final Crit: 12
Roll: 98, 70
Miss!

Tycho gains +20 EXP!

A powerful blow!

Thorvald, on the other hand, is giving Saturn #3 a fiery time!

Thorvald attacks!
Target: Saturn #3
Weapon: Burner Overcharge
Final Hit: 100
Final Crit: 32
Roll: 46, 24
Hit!
Crit!
Damage: 219

Saturn #3 could not resist the heat!

Thorvald gains +200 EXP, +14 PP, +5000 credits!
Thorvald levels up!

Now that's toasty!

((more actions coming soon))

Edited by Xinnidy

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"Ugh, Astin... Vera..." Esther could only barely contain her grimace as she avoided the Metis' live feed. Those were Astin's last moments, and they felt... so hollow. This isn't how any of this was supposed to end... "Damn those cats..." She spoke under her breath, nearly forgetting herself --she had a co-pilot this mission, for once.

"Nina, we'll focus on the aliens, there's still too many of them here." Two big shots, in fact, but if they could get rid of their numbers first, Esther could deal with them just fine, or so she thought. Their combiner pressure was... irritating.

Esther moves to (11,15), attacks Praxis Gamma #1 with A KNIFE.

Esther attacks!
Target: Praxis Gamma #1
Weapon: Heat Carving Knife
Final Hit: 100
Final Crit: 82
Roll: 57, 47
Hit!
Crit!
Damage: 166

Praxis Gamma #1 is quite down!

Esther gains +100 EXP, +12 PP!

"I'm... going to need a moment."

Makoto casts invincible![-10SP]

Makoto moves to 11,19.


"C-careful out there! You're still a big target!"

Caroline moves to (9,10), repair Tarquin's unit.

The Aria recovers +61 Hp. Gained +75 EXP!

Edited by Xinnidy

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Terry attempts to repair more of the Riese onto... presentable shape.

Terry repairs the Riese!
The Riese repais 148 hp, and caps out.
Terry gains +80 EXP!

The SP drink is used! Jessica regains 50 SP!

Jessica casts Strike! [-20SP]

The Riese sets itself in motion, but manages a volley at the flying Phobos first!

Jessica attacks!
Target: Phobos #1
Weapon: AA Missiles
Final Hit: 100!
Final Crit: 26
Roll: 20, 24
Hit!
Crit!
Damage: 187

Phobos #1 counters!
Weapon: Laser Sniper Rifle
Final Hit: 100
Final Crit: 29
Roll: 59, 97
Hit!
No Crit.
Damage: 66

Jessica gains +10 EXP!

And promptly moves to (9,9)!

Edited by Xinnidy

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Enemy Phase/Turn 6!

Saturn 2 fires point blank at Makoto!
Makoto evades!
Final Stats: 26,--
Roll: 97,1
Miss!

Praxis #3 thinks the Metis makes for a good target!
Final Stats: 52,0
Roll: 47,8
Hit!
Final Damage: 135

Esther counters with her own funnels!
Final Stats: 85,52
Roll: 32,35
CRITICAL!
Final Damage: 230

Esther gains +10 exp!

Praxis #4 closes in on Kim and swings hard!
Final Stats: 0!--
Roll: N/A
Miss!

Kim counters with Mode A!
100!,27
Roll: 1,81
Hit!
Final Damage: 185

Kim gains +1 exp!

Praxis #10 does the same!
Final Stats: 11,18
Roll: 42,22
Miss!

Kim counters with Mode A again!
Final Stats: 100!,27
Roll: 9,95
185 damage again!

Kim gains +1 exp!

"Hold her still!"
The Hexis roars into combat!
Final Stats: 92,24
Roll: 29,16
CRITICAL!
Final Damage: 180

Kim counters with Mode A again!
Final Stats: 100!,29
Roll: 86,52
Hit!
Final Damage: 58

Kim gains +100 exp!

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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Praxis #8 and #9 have a few bones to pick with a smaller battleship!

Praxis #8 attacks!
Target: Deliverance (Terry)
Weapon: Plasma Cutter
Terry chooses to defend! Final damage reduced to 60%.
Final Hit: 100
Final Crit: 23
Roll: 65, 2
Hit!
Crit!
Damage: 96

Terry gains +1 Will!

Whew!

Praxis #9 attacks!
Target: Deliverance (Terry)
Weapon: Plasma Cutter
Final Hit: 100
Final Crit: 23
Terry chooses to defend! Final damage reduced by 60%.
Roll: 9, 71
Hit!
No Crit.
EN for Minor E-field has ran out!
Damage: 82

Terry gains +1 Will!

And that's it for the Deliverance, thank goodness for that minor E-field!

However, other Praxi have a certain submerged mobile suit in mind!

Praxis #2 attacks!
Target: Velite Mk.III-M (Tycho)
Weapon: Plasma Cutter
(Lucky Roll: 55; Lucky++)
Final Hit: 50
Final Crit: 22
Roll: 57, 99
Miss!

Tycho counters!
Weapon: Pulse Palm Cannon
Final Hit: 54
Final Crit: 28
Roll: 54, 82
(Double Image roll: 54)
Hit!
No Crit.
Damage: 124

Tycho gains +20 EXP!

Once more, with entrapment!

Praxis #7 attacks!
Target: Velite Mk.III-M (Tycho)
Weapon: Plasma cutter
(Lucky Roll: 69; Lucky++)
Final Hit: 65
Final Crit: 22
Roll: 55, 51
Hit!
No Crit.
Damage: 110

Tycho counters!
Weapon: Pulse Palm Cannon
Final Hit: 56
Final Crit: 28
Roll: 78, 67
Miss!

But that's not all! The Chaldenes are at it as well!

Chaldene #1 attacks!
Target: Velite Mk.III-M (Tycho)
Weapon: Missile Barrage
(Lucky Roll: 96; Lucky++)
Tycho chooses to defend! Final damage is reduced to 60%.
Final Hit: 28
Final Crit: 7
Roll: 91, 28
Miss!

And two!

Chaldene #2 attacks!
Target: Velite Mk.III-M (Tycho)
Weapon: Missile Barrage
(Lucky roll: 70; Lucky++)
Tycho chooses to defend! Final damage reduced to 60%.
Final Hit: 35
Final Crit: 7
Roll: 50, 1
Miss!

And three!

Chaldene #3 attacks!
Target: Velite Mk.III-M (Tycho)
Weapon: Missile Barrage
(Lucky Roll: 82; Lucky++)
Tycho chooses to defend! Final damage is reduced to 60%.
Final Hit: 48
Final Crit: 7
Roll: 8, 15
Hit!
No Crit.
Damage: 57

That's some curtain fire!

Phobos 1 runs away!

(Last reaction still pending for EP end)

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The Theoria has its sights set on the Vergloria, firing a focused gemini laser!

Yaan'tul attacks!
Target: Vergloria (Abigail)
Weapon: Gemini Laser - Focus
Final Hit: 100
Final Crit: 13
Roll: 69, 64
Hit!
No Crit.
(Buckler Roll: 76. Miss.)
AB Field activates!
Damage: 80

Abigail counters!
Weapon: Beam Magnum
Final Hit: 100!
Final Crit: 27
Roll: 47, 87
Hit!
No Crit.
Damage: 240

Abigail gains +90 EXP!

The remaining foes reposition themselves!

All other enemies close in!

Player Phase/Turn 7

The fight goes on...

79356ef0ee.png

Victory Conditions:
Defeat all enemies!

Loss Conditions:
The Riese is destroyed!

Battle Mastery:
Achieved!

Stats!

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The fight seemed to finally be thinning out, but there was still work to be done. With whatever feelings she had toward Astin's death shelved for now she drew her longbow out and loosed an energy arrow at the last Saturn to put it out of it's misery.

Beam Longbow on the final Saturn, Hit and Away toward 14, 17

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The longbow fires!

Aliza attacks!
Target: Saturn #2
Weapon: Beam Longbow
Final Hit: 100
Final Crit: 12
Roll: 62, 57
Hit!
No Crit.
Damage: 109

Saturn #2 is pierced through!

Aliza gains +150 EXP, +14 PP, +5000 credits!

That's the last of the Saturns down!

Aliza promptly moves away to (14,17).

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"Alright... We're cleaning them out." Now that revenge had been sweet, it was time to turn their attention to the rest of these bastards... That fucker was still chasing Kim? "Earth to shit for brains, come in, shit for brains." Why these cats left their channels open was beyond her. "We have successfully killed TWO Knights now, I repeat TWO Knights, what the FUCK do you think you're gonna accomplish!? Sit your ass down and get ready for a spanking, you damage that machine one more time and I'll break into your cockpit and kick your ass myself!"

Iln'Teer did not respond to this round of shouting, but it was definitely getting to him. Where this Earthling's courage came from was beyond him.

Chris daunts boss cat!

Terry activates emergency repairs and sends a shield to Kim!
(trust and vigor)

"R-Right, Esther... It will get better." There were a lot of emotions raging in the girl in front of her, and around the battlefield. It would be difficult to really handle this going forward, but she would try...

Nina casts Luck!

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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(bunch of spirits, flavor later)

Roxanna cast Attune on Thorvald![-25SP]

Gordon cast Devote on Elaine, Abby, Tarquin![-60SP]

Bonner casts Analyze on Theoria![-20SP]

Esther uses Clay Bazooka on Gamma 4 from her current position!

Esther attacks!
Target: Praxis Gamma #4
Weapon: Clay Bazooka
Final Hit: 100
Final Crit: 72
Roll: 68, 18
Hit!
Crit!
Damage: 100

Gamma #4 is sprayed and crashes!

Esther gains +100 EXP, +15 PP, +11000 credits! (Luck is consumed)

Another one down!

Edited by Xinnidy

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