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

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"Right, in one hour, we'll meet with the forces, Captain Miller." Roxanna sighed, taking a look at their... 'entubed' captain before replying to Miller again. "We've had a pressing matter after the Sacarians launched an attack on the bridge, but we're fine. We just have, a lot of repairs to get done." She bit her lip.

"I'll get the troops ready within the timeframe. Executive Officer Martinson, over." Another sigh as she closed communications, and a slow lean against the wall. Roxanna considered saying something as her gaze shifted to Jessica again.

It took a bit.

"Hope that mechanic can work some miracle in one hour..." It was too uncharacteristic to smile at Jessica, especially at a time like this, so Roxanna's expression formed into a mellow, accepting gaze. "You better be up by then... Captain."
 


"Kiir... Heln, ah... understood!" Cat names were indeed hard for Caroline, but at least this one was doing well enough at being a good sport about it. Even Caroline's doubtful self was feeling comfortable around this one. A newcomer cut their conversation short, and greeted Caroline --she waved back at Aliza, before working on getting her ice cream flavors on a table. "Well, either way... this round will be on the house, special occasion!"

"Time... I hope so, Nina. It's a bit hard when the wound cuts deep, though." Despite the clone's shallow understanding of things, she still tried her best to cheer Esther up, which wasn't unnoticed. Esther managed a weak smile, thanks to Nina's cheering. "I'll just have to knock her head right later. She's a strong woman. Though... I'm worried about what's going on in her head, no matter what. She was also very stubborn..." That thought was cut off by the scent of waffles... none which were hitting her side of the table yet. Esther looked at Thorvald with a smirk.

"I'll accept your tardiness if you make me one more."


"Ah... yeah, some of the machines out there are really amazing... I'm glad you think that much of me, Elaine! I've been practicing very hard. Eheheh~" Makoto couldn't help a goofy chuckle, though Elaine's other concerns were very valid in his eyes. His eyes were downcast for a moment, but returned to pay Elaine attention as if it was nothing but a trivial, lost train of thought. "The tech gap is hurting... but I don't know what I can do in less than a day. We'll have to see. I'm ready to give my all regardless... and don't lose faith in your machine! The Oberon is pretty awesome!" His eyes almost sparkled for a moment.


 


 

Heion Riese, minutes before the skirmish

 

"--Ah, right. That's the saying, Captain. Well, considering our last battles, it was a given..." Roxanna was lost in thought for a moment. The repair job was good enough to get Jessica out of danger and out of the tube... but she still seemed, just a bit mechanical. It was unusual to have that side of Jessica so blatantly in display.... and none of the bridge staff around, save for Tristan.

Roxanna bit her lip, trying to escape those grim thoughts.

"They're going to bring their strongest out this time. All pilots, get ready. It's going to be our most important fight."

At least... it was going to be over soon. Roxanna was getting restless, gripping the hem of her business skirt.


"This is..." It had just occured to Esther that she never was assigned a nickname. Understandable. "This is Esther, all ready." She gripped the Metis' control, leaning against her seat. She cast a glance to her co-pilot, gauging her with a somewhat defeated smile. "Are you ready? We're going fast again."

Esther was still feeling Vera's turmoil from here... she hesitated to turn on communications with her Velita, but it wasn't leaving her mind.


"C-Caroline, ready!" The young woman was a pile of nerves, lightheaded, even. Still, she focused on her breaths, looking at her Legionary's HUD, and awaiting the signal dutifully. "H-here's to, the last one! I'm trusting you, Specialist Eriksson!"

Maybe another ice cream party was due after their victory... her nerves would appreciate it.


"Understood. Major Edson, on standby." A voice replied to Firmia.

"Same here." Carlos' followed.

"Heh... just about time we fought their big cheeses. How do you feel, Major? I can feel them from here." Lynx voice, tinged with a bit of anxiety, started small talk with their superior. A means to pass the time during this 'calm before the storm'.

"Well... it takes me back. I'll admit I never fought a battle of this scale, but I'm not about to back down." Edson chuckled, "I'm not that old, yet."

Edited by Xinnidy

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"I'm ready, Esther... We'll be alright. She'll be alright." Nina was suited up and ready to support Esther's fighting, taking her last moments before launching to fix her hair up and get her helmet on. "I'm here to back you up with whatever the Metis needs. I promise." They were going to be sortieing in a moment's notice... Suits were already taking off.

"Mmm... Thorvald is very good at this, isn't he?" Nina couldn't help a smile despite circumstances. "We'll all come back from this... All of us. Okay..."


"...aptain Miller to the Ries... Come in, Ri...!" Miller's voice was coming in over comms again, though faintly, as their signal still wasn't the strongest. "Riese! Riese! Do you hear me, over!"

"We hear you loud and clear now, Captain Miller! Captain Gefalscht at the helm. It took me a moment to triangulate your signal, over!"

"Captain? You're alright now, then! Good... We've been sacked by a group of Apotheosis machines chasing what could only be an EU model ship. They hailed us and asked for support, so I'm afraid the main fleet will be late. Only a few minutes, over..." Miller sounded desperate, whatever they had run into was really holding them up, at least at the moment.

"Roger dodger, Captain Miller! We'll do our best to hold out, or even win, over!"

"Roger dogder... No, it doesn't matter. Stay strong, captain! Over and out!"

"Ya hear that, Roxy? Looks like we're flying duo with the Avalon, for now. Heyyyy, Firmia!" Jess popped open a line to the Avalon's bridge, hoping she'd pick up. "The ANF main fleet got hit trying to protect an EU ship. They'll be late! Just us for the next ten or twenty, didn't get an ETA. Stay frosty, over and out!"


"Funny? It's so blatant it hurts. I can't even bring myself to laugh at a name choice like that... Did he even give it any thought, though? If Hannah is Arthur, and is with ol' Firms, what's Rex gonna do, cuck the android? Come on, Rex, at least think on it for more than a second." Chris was amused, but for all the wrong reasons, flipping a few switches from her seat. "Yeah, T-Link aside to avoid Firmia's rage explosion-- seriously, that girl is beyond easy --we're good. Ready whenever you are, hun. Let's skin some cats and then relax~"


"I'm... Alright. You're right, you'll be fine." All he'd needed was to hear it from her, after everything that had happened. As long as Alriana was this confident, then they were going to be fine. That's just how it was going to be... "I'm monitoring you and everyone else from the meeting room, I'll let you know if your machine tries to activate that system again, or if your vitals start going haywire... Do your best, Alriana."


"Heh... I sure hope we're not hand in hand while you're piloting. That'd cause a lot of problems..." A joke helped her cope, on top of Kim's reassurance. It was easy for the idol to be confident, but that confidence was just a bit contagious. "Alright..." Taking a moment to fix her hair up in a similar manner to another blonde on a nearby ship, Christina fit her helmet on and nodded. "All ready to launch when you are, Kim."

Of course, someone had to give a speech. Leave it to Thorvald... He really was a good father, wasn't he? "... Alright, if I wasn't convinced before, I am now. Let's kick some ass, Kim."


A private message, from... "Thorvald...?" Vera wasn't sure why he was trying so hard to cheer her up, or at the least, to keep her spirits above zero. It wasn't working as well as he might've hoped, but... Between his kind words and the speech, she could feel a small fire stirring. "I still have Esther. I haven't... I haven't, lost everything yet. And I need to make sure... I need to make sure, that I don't." His door was open, was it? Vera waited until he was finished rousing the rest of the crew, to send him a private line in response.

"You're a married man, Thorvald," her voice croaked, tired from all the crying. "Don't say things like that to a woman in mourning... You might give her the wrong idea." She closed the line, and got her machine moving. If he was going to take that chance... Maybe she would act on it. She wasn't going to let Esther get shot down, so she had nothing else to lose, right?

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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Was this new fangled Jessica being serious? Firmia wasn't sure she wanted to know. What she did know was that these battles rarely topped twelve minutes, and that meant their reinforcements were officially out of the equation. Maybe they could catch up in time, but the Alkaev wouldn't count on it. They'd had a similar problem with the Athena and it was clear that they would have to just deal with this themselves.

On the plus side, if they lost, there was at least help on the way. Unfortunately, ten to twenty minutes was a long time in a battle, especially having to deal with a manic high school girl piloting Jessica's body, Rex existing within ten kilometers of the Avalon, the Deliverance crowd, and a homicidal, extremely powerful Sacarian with strong allies challenging them. "Acknowledged," Firmia said warily, not wanting to get any more distracted than she already was.

"Will the battle last that long?" Tonya asked, having overheard the transmission.

"No," Firmia shook her head at her helmsman, "not unless we royally screw this up."


To be fair, Brant mused, they had already--and quite thoroughly--mangled the Arthurian legends as far as name assignments went. At some point Hannah and Chris should be at each other's throats over something crown related, but thankfully that wasn't going to happen. Though, wasn't Lancelot raised by the Lady of the Lake? Wasn't Vivian one of her names, the same one Firmia had taken? He definitely picked the name at random. The odd assignments would only get sillier the longer he thought about them, so Brant put the amusing thoughts and his resulting smile away and prepared to launch.

"Well at least it's just for this one mission. This is Merlin and Mordred in the Regalia. We're taking off."

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The battle was feeling rather real, especially in the last few moments leading up to it. Tarquin had thanked Jess, he was glad that he had support aboard the Aria. Moreover, Thorvald's speech was something he imagined the entire crew needed. The Sacarians were unlikely to go down without a fight, but they indeed had numbers on their side. The question was whether everyone would return from the battle. It was a thought that Tarquin didn't really want to entertain for too long, but he'd see his foes' ferocity first-hand. Each of them had their role on the battlefield, and Tarquin intended to provide his long range support.

"He certainly has a way with words." Tarquin remarked, with only Jess in earshot to hear it. "I've never seen anyone as a father figure, but Specialist Eriksson comes rather close. I'll have to thank him after our battle is over. I want him to teach me how to make waffles."

There were several conversations he'd hope to have with people afterwards. Tarquin wasn't entirely sure how he'd fit all of them into his schedule. He'd planned to return to his studies... but that could wait a little while. His last action before the battle was a little more personal. Tapping away at his communicator, he had a message for Nina.

"Good luck, Nina. Stay safe."

 

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"Well, it would be a good flex, at the very least." Seung-Min joked back, before settling back into her seat properly. It was now or never after all...

"Kim Seung-Min, Christina Troy, Artemis... launching." Kim stated calmly, as the Artemis' engines came to life, and the machine careened off of the launch platform, effortlessly correcting it's flight as soon as it hit the open air. There they were... three enemy combatants, each one giving off a threatening, overwhelming mental signature. Still, they had just beaten three knights... even if one was the King, without any support pilots... they would win this, they had to. Taking point almost directly in-line with what had to be the Sacarian King, Kim watched the alien machine like a hawk, seeing if anything could be gleaned from it... probably not until it moved, realistically.

Kim deploys on 15,21

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Hands tensed, Tycho had his eyes set out through the catapult. The outside of the ship, rolling into the fray toward whatever over-glorified bandit, enraged alien, or whatever other crazy thing would roll it's way into the woodwork. There was hesitation, a fear of death... not for his own, but the promise he made to those who died before. He shut away those feelings. If it was really it, if this was really what was left, he'd have to put everything into it.

He won't die, he wasn't allowed to. "Tycho McNair, Velite MkIII. Heading out." Engines flared along with the adrenaline in his veins, as the the machine shot out from the boat, taking his position in the snow.

To think this would be the first time I'd see snow. And it's amidst a crisis. Things were surprisingly calm. So far, it was bound to get hectic very quickly. As it seemed though, it was only three enemies. More of those alien suits, if his intuition led him in the right direction. His hands held firm at his controls.

Time to finish this...

Tycho deploys on 14,16

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Tarquin couldn't say that the Sacarian crafts were not imposing. The Heion Riese and allies had the numbers advantage but, from what Tarquin knew of the Sacarian elites, each could take down an army by themselves. They'd faced danger up until now, but a wrong move at any stage could result in not only a fatality but a complete mission failure. It was a frightening thought but a very real possibility. All of his allies were slowly taking their place on the battlefield, making the decision to stand against an imposing foe.

The Aria soon landed, Tarquin quickly scouting out the terrain around him. The frozen wasteland offered neither side a particular advantage, although the foliage could offer some basic cover at the very least.

"This is Puppet. Deployment confirmed and awaiting command. Long range support is on standby." Tarquin broadcasted to his allies. Even if he wasn't the closest to his foe, he could imagine himself becoming irritating to his enemies rather quickly. 

-

Elaine couldn't deny that she was nervous, although nervous could be grossly underplaying how she felt. No amount of buddying with Makoto could have prepared her for this. She felt awfully small on the battlefield, her Oberon was outclassed by the Artemis and Regalia already, let alone the monsters that the Sacarians were flying. Thorvald had tried to keep up morale, but Elaine could feel herself trembling, her heart racing. These were the enemies that she could have become a puppet for, if Louise had convinced her. Terrorists and the Europeans were one thing, but alien galactic conquerers were something else. The stakes had gradually climbed higher, but they'd succeeded each time. Whether it had been a fluke or not didn't matter, Elaine hadn't died just yet and she didn't have any plans to.

"Shit... I swear this is some sorta dream." Elaine muttered, not quite having the courage to speak to any of her allies. "If they're all fightin' in this, I'm here too. Might be scared shitless but I ain't lettin' everyone down!"

Tarquin deploys to 12,15!

Elaine deploys to 18,17!

 

 

Edited by Shin

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Once the Regalia launched, Brant took in the surroundings. Snow, rocks, frozen trees and still more snow. The one thing he hadn't checked before the mission started was the mission area. Fortunately the weather was clear and the area wasn't quite frigid enough to affect MS performance, not even high speed transformations. Of course, decent weather for them was also decent weather for the enemy, so they still had that to contend with. Brant was also still concerned with Firmia and Rex working together. They had bother agreed for the sake of survival, but was Rex really going to take orders if it came down to it?

"Lancelot, it's Merlin," Brant contacted his brother when he noticed the Anarchy moving into position a little ahead and a few dozen meters above the Regalia, "Are you going to be able to keep up with us?" He tried to phrase the real question a bit differently, but realized he might have veiled it a little too much. "Vivian's going to have us pulling all kinds of maneuvers. That's what I meant."

"Yeah, I figured," Rex said, "Again, I'll take any good suggestions under advisement."

"I guess that'll have to do," Brant conceded.

With that, it was time to activate the T-link and muscle through the Sacarian malice already washing over them.

Regalia deploys at 19,19! (Plane Mode)

Anarchy deploys at 20,20! (Airborne)

EndWar Parts One (R.R.) & Two

Traditional methods of warfare seemed to have gone out the window when it came to fighting the Sacarians. The looming threat of another attack on Statlas Facility had Gabriel and others floating the idea of launching smaller raids on known enemy positions in the hopes of keeping them on the defensive while the main attack force was prepared. The strategy didn't even make it past the conceptual phase, as issues with both high speed attacks and warping technology all but eliminated the potential benefits, and threatened to prematurely kick off the final battle. The anxiety ran high for the first few days, but in the end they had little choice but to focus on their own preparations, and trust that Shia'Naar wouldn't take any further interest in them until it was too late.

Even with Shia'Naar ignoring them for the most part, the situation wasn't completely going in their favor. Within the first two days of their preparations, the situation at Kalten Facility went nuclear. Despite Ziva's efforts to covertly stall the inevitable until after the battle with the Sacarian Knight, elements in Rosa's faction finally broke the unstable peace with the Dima loyalists. It happened as Provisional Government forces descended on the facility to acquire weapons and personnel for the war effort. A bloody battle ensued, with Rosa's faction sabotaging Kalten's defense network, hijacking several transport planes, and destroying every AMS unit that wasn't already in their possession at the start of the battle, both those with and without pilots. With Magnolia Curtis, Clara Kozel, and other veteran Alkaev pilots backing her up, Rosa was able to hold off both Dima's pilots and the Provisional Government Forces while the transport planes escaped. Unfortunately, before Gabriel could even think to intervene, history repeated itself, and just like at Voronin Facility, the main reactors were sabotaged. While most of the Dima loyalists were wiped out with Kalten, the man himself was whisked to safety in the chaos.

It was a real mess.

Embittered by her own losses, and not willing to lose anyone else in the fighting, Rosa declined Gabriel's offer to remain at Statlas. Instead, the group's stay was incredibly brief, and only data and fuel were exchanged before they took off again, heading south, away from the worst of the fighting. With his own battle preparations to deal with, all Gabriel could do was wish her and her people the best, and focus back on the liberation and unification of Russia.

For Statlas, the top priorities were getting the Vaska up to snuff and finishing the three new Praxis models, the Delta, Rho, and Sigma. There wasn't a soul on the base that wasn't bogged down in busywork or training during early preparations. While Captain Petya retrained his remaining crew to utilize newer and more relevant anti-MS tactics in battle, Nemesis Squadron and the other pilots attached to the Vaska trained in simulated battles, nearly all day, every single day. Veteran pilots from the Vaska were also able to acquire the new Dominion Alkaev Mobile Suits, and they trained to use them in the simulators as well as conducting live exercises over Statlas. Eva continued her training, both in piloting the Gilded Throne and in the use of TK weaponry. Her progress wasn't as startling as the career pilots involved in the operation, but within a few days, in addition to steady gains made in her piloting skills, she also attained some much needed tactical thinking. Gabriel also had to familiarize himself with the Archangel's numerous battlefield sleights, which had him spending much of his spare time in simulated environments as well.

With some reservations, not just from Lo but also from Gabriel, the final attack on the Sacarian Knight Shia'Naar would include the transport plane, Gambit. Having a heavy transport tagging along eliminated the need for the Vaska to ferry any more machines to the battle than necessary, acting as one of two jumping off points and allowing for a more effective two pronged strategy. The plane couldn't be left as it was, however. The Vaska crew decided to donate one of its spare railcannons to Gabriel's people, who, with the help of the Statlas and Vaska's engineers, attached it to a large gimbal on rails inside the Gambit's cargo area. Now, when the starboard side doors opened, the cannon could be deployed from the plane and fired, either by remote control, or by an accompanying mobile suit. For the upcoming attack, Ziva would be manning the gun from the Volkov Werewolf.

News from around the world was that the war in the American continents was ending, but the Federation's victory did nothing noteworthy to change the situation in Eastern Europe. They still had to defeat the knight holding down the region and retake the country. Equally important, they had to make certain that Gabriel was the one to deal the final blow. Politics was the last thing anyone wanted to involve themselves with in this war, but unifying the country under a relative outsider was going to be an uphill battle at best. They needed every advantage they could get, and good optics were crucial in gaining support.

The Vaska's upgrades were completed in time, though much of those upgrades involved integrating the new mobile suits, improving communications, and introducing enough automation to get by with roughly half of the original crew. The ship's weapons were also tuned up where possible, and the bridge was significantly reinforced and up armored for the operation. Overall, the improvements to the comm systems were likely the most important. Captain Petya needed to be able to quickly adapt to changing conditions in the fighting, and being able to maneuver not just his ship, but also his MS teams effectively was the only way to meet that need. The new system had a much faster datalink for the ship's units, which would allow the Vaska to help them obtain firing solutions in battle, as well as vice versa. The 'shared' processing power would go a long way toward making them strong enough to push back against the Sacarians, and later on, whatever forces the Provisional Government could muster against them.

Once the three new Praxis models were completed, many minds were put at ease. Now they were certain an early attack wouldn't be as crippling as the previous engagement with five Sacarians in five powerful mobile suits defending the base. Preparations for the battle were far less tense from that point onward. The good news seemed to keep coming in after that, as Vasile was able to successfully reproduce the Regulus Drives, as well as several propulsion systems based on the technology. Although the Alkaev variants of the original drives were of lesser quality, they exceeded Ziva's optimistic 'half as good' low balling remark. They managed somewhere in the 60% range for power and throughput compared to the originals. These new drives were slated for use on the Dominions, but weren't backward compatible with any of the other units; they needed Sacarian engineers to figure that part out ... but Vasile's people were still able to augment the thruster systems of existing AMS units to keep them relevant. The machines of Nemesis Squadron, the Gilded Throne, the remaining AMS units of the Vaska, and the MK.II drone fliers all benefited from the upgrades Vasile's team derived from those drives. For the sake of the pilots that wouldn't be on the front lines, their suits' limiters kept expected performance to pre-upgrade levels. All front-line pilots had to get used to the improved speed and maneuverability, particularly in MS mode. It was right back into the simulators with the predicted stats as soon as word reached them.

Haal'Sen's time spent in waiting was a mix of both anxious and infuriating. Gabriel had not gotten back to her with an answer... It was to be expected, he was going to lead the country, defeat the Sacarians, and usher in a new order of leadership. He couldn't be seen parading about with a 'cat' on one arm. It wasn't just her troubles with Gabriel that had her anxious, but the impending idea of combat with Shia'Naar. He was such an imposing foe, even with their new machines, their numbers and their technological advancements... Did they really stand a chance? Gabriel and Ziva had both assured her that they would win, and even Raay'Xel had scoffed at her claims of defeat, but...

She just couldn't shake it. It had kept her up at night for a while, though dulled enough now, to allow sleep. She found herself taking her stresses out on the ground forces in combat training exercises, especially with Eva. The girl didn't know the meaning of the word lose. Even if Haal'Sen had put her down to the point of passing out once, she was back the next day, ready for more punishment and training.

Simulations aided her as well, making sure she didn't do anything stupid. It all just left her a rather irate mess, as the date continues to approach...

Eleven days after the crews of the Heion Riese and the Avalon faced off against the Sacarian King, Gabriel's Strike Force assembled at Statlas, preparing for the final assault. The two pronged attack would consist of Apollo Company and Artemis Company. The Vaska, her MS teams, Nemesis Squadron, Raay'Xel in her Praxis Zeta, Viil'Hayn in his Praxis Delta, and Eva in the Gilded Throne comprised Apollo Company. The Gambit, Gabriel in the Archangel, Haal'Sen in her Praxis Psi, Diiar'Xen in his Praxis Rho, Sool'Vay in her Praxis Sigma, Jack in the Jack II, Ziva in the Volkov Werewolf, and forty-some drone fliers comprised Artemis Company. Initially, Apollo Company would attack Shia'Naar's base from over the horizon, laying down as much fire as they could to cover the approach of the Zeta, Nemesis Squadron, and the front line AMS units. Precision long range fire would only begin once both sides had fully committed to the fight. With Apollo drawing as much attention as possible, Artemis Company would flank with railgun and artillery fire. Finally, once both companies had converged on the base, Gabriel and the Sacarians would focus entirely on Shia'Naar. That was the plan, at least ....

This was the day. The day they would either remove Shia'Naar and put Gabriel's name on the map, or die trying. And Raay'Xel, at least, had no intention of dying. It admittedly left a sour taste in her mouth to be positioned opposite her Liege... she would have no recourse to offer Gabriel were he to be engaged before their two companies converged... she would simply need to trust that the others would be able to provide him the necessary support.

They had no room for mistakes this time, after all. As the Vaska and her long range support began their bombardment, Raay'Xel in her Zeta took point, the transformed machine naturally pulling slightly ahead of the other units in formation. She was a frontline fighter regardless, so acting as vanguard felt natural.

"It's time," Petya nodded at the radar from his seat on the bridge of the Vaska. They were close enough to launch the remaining AMS units and begin the bombardment. He just hoped their intel was good.

"Signal received from Artemis Company," a comms officer reported.

"Of course. Begin Operation: EndWar! Blast them out!"

"Your king is dead and you're about to join him, Shia'Naar," Juliya hissed at her main monitor, "You too, Neo. Don't think we've forgotten about you, asshole."

"I think we're ready," Cyclops quipped. Nemesis Squadron had launched earlier and all flew just above the Vaska in an escort formation right alongside the Praxis Zeta and the Gilded Throne. "We've been training for two weeks now. Not to mention those thruster upgrades. There's no way he can keep up with our moves now. Right?"

"Don't get cocky," DW warned, in her oddly soft, high pitched tone.

"Right, this isn't over until he's scrapped," Juliya nodded, "And don't forget about that barrier. We need to be conservative with our melee attacks."

"Final hit's yours, Neme," Assassin said, gesturing at her, "Just like in the simulation."

Juliya couldn't help but smile. It was wonderful having squadmates she could trust, especially in a war as cruel as this one.

"Do not get too cocky, human. Shia'Naar is someone to be feared and taken seriously, not someone to toss idle threats at. You would do well to be careful, and rein in your anger." Viil'Hayn sighed as the pilots of the Vaska began to prepare themselves. He would be flying about, or standing atop the battleship, shooting from as far away as possible... Getting near that Knight was a deathwish, one he would have little to no part in.

"At least you've steeled yourself, I suppose..." He sighed into his communication with Juliya, wondering just exactly where he'd went wrong. Gabriel was worth following... But for this? Perhaps there was something wrong with their way of thinking, after all...

"Haha... Viil'Hayn is correct in that overconfidence could prove your downfall here... however, the opposite is also true. Shia'Naar will feel as though he cannot lose on this day... that is the weakness we must exploit to remove him. With our upgraded praxis models, we will prove superior to the pawns in his guard. We strip him of support and then overwhelm him."

...

"They got the signal," Lo reported from the bridge of the Gambit, "Attack's starting. We'll have to restrict communications a bit until we're in range to start shooting, ourselves. Otherwise, the jig's up."

"If the Gambit's detected early, it won't have much to do with us," Gabriel reasoned. Haal'Sen was able to find the Vaska easily when she searched, so the Gambit wouldn't be difficult to pick out a bit early if they thought to run some scans of their own. The first phase of the attack would still succeed as long as Apollo kept the enemy in the same area in and around the base. "It will come down to whether they think to run any long range scans while the more obvious threat is lobbing several months of pent up frustration at them."

"Hey, lemme see that!"

"H-wait, jackass!"

"Heeey, you're Gabriel, right? Future king of Russia? I'm Adam! I'm with RN! Pleasure to meet you!"

"Sorry, boss," Lo sighed, "Not even sure who let this punk in here. Could have sworn we were locked down up here."

Gabriel grinned inside the Archangel's cockpit. That must have been one of the wartime reporters they had brought in to help spread the word after Shia'Naar's death. "Likewise, Adam. The battle's already started, so I need you to get your people ready. Save the interviews for after the battle."

"I hear ya, Your Highness. Looking forward to that interview~"

"Alright, now scram!" Lo chased the man off the comms.

"My liege," Diiar'Xen spoke up, his Praxis Rho kneeling directly in front of the Archangel in the cargo area, and facing out the open forward hatch of the Gambit. Since the hatch was open, much of the inside of the plane was exposed, and so it did make sense to keep the Rho at the front at the very least. "Are we going to have to participate in these 'interviews' as well?"

Gabriel shrugged at first. "Only if you want to, but until the country has a better grasp on Sacarians in general, it's probably best if you don't."

"Excellent."

"Gabriel," Haal'Sen chimed in, heart racing, and not for him. "Should you need me to aid in this interview, or stop whoever is trying to force you to speak... You need only ask." She was starting to fall back into odd habits, now that they were so close. She'd even followed Diiar'Xen in kneeling in front of the Archangel, but it would end today. Either she would die, and these feelings had been pointless... Or they would win, and she would survive, and be free of her fear of the knights.

Either way... It will be soon.

"Tch, my anger is why I'm here," Juliya huffed. She knew Sacarian knights were no joke; Gabriel's loyal followers had been making a big deal out of him since the big group merger. Still, getting timid and fighting without every intention and expectation of victory wasn't going to help anyone, or avenge the people she'd lost. "Just keep him busy so we can win this ... and if you see the Gachirin anywhere, mark it for us. We're taking him down today no matter what."

"What if he's not here?" Seraph asked over the comms, "A thought just hit me. This is a surprise attack we're launching. What if he's off on his own mission? We couldn't scout the area ahead of time, so it's a possibility."

"He's here. I can feel it in my gut. And if he's not, he'll come back when they call for him. When you see him, kill him."

"Mrgh, Zeta, you're getting ahead of us, now," DW noted, her tone getting lower and somber. Granted, the Zeta needed more maneuvering room than a formation attack would allow for, but until they were close enough, DW definitely preferred the tightly grouped attack force. Growing up on aerobatic team airshows would do that to a person.

"Go on, Ray," Cyclops spoke over DW, "Do your thing. We'll pick up the slack."

"The Zeta should be ahead, just-- !! Juliya, to arms, now!" Viil'Hayn rocketed himself out of the Vaska without another word, boosters rushing for him to take position on top of the ship. Laying his machine down, he began to scope out the enemy units, until he noticed what he was worried about. "No... They finished it. Dammit!" He was too slow, as a bright red laser slammed into the Vaska, burning plate and wire beneath it alike. "Captain!"

... meanwhile back on the Gambit ...

"Hahah, I'm sure I can handle a little aggressive journalism, Haal'Sen." Gabriel couldn't help but chuckle at the imagery her offer brought to mind.

"The media might surprise you, Boss," Wade joined the channel from the hangar, "They can turn a cat into a Sacarian if you know what I mean."

"Heh ... I'll keep that in mind, then. Your offer, too."

Lo let out a long whistle as he watched the horizon from behind the controls of the transport plane. "It's faint but I can see the fireworks from here."

"That means they'll pick us up on conventional radar, soon," Ziva noted, "We're coming over the horizon."

"Mm, yeah, I should lower us a bit. Just a bit. Be ready to let loose with that railgun. Just warn me. We've got to work together to compensate for the recoil and keep the Gambit on course."

"Right."

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Perhaps it was the power of words, of having said aloud that she would be pulled back together before the next fight began, but Jess found herself pleasantly surprised to see that the closing of the locker-room conversation had come true. Here she was, once again collected, and ready to pilot.

Well--Tarquin speaking up broke through her momentary reverie--Co-pilot, but who was keeping track? He said that he was glad they were friends, and hoped they would continue to stay in touch after the war. Friends. That might not have been the first word she reached for to describe their relationship, but she certainly couldn't say it was false. They were war friends, comrades in arms, brothers and sisters in battle. The fault of the brief disconnect was squarely on the English language, for forcing too many roles onto a single word. Friend suffered this way much the same as love did. She had a hard time seeing herself as someone he'd invite to fill the table for a cutthroat game of Acquire Everything, or to fill a role in his campaign of Mazes and Monsters. And she was certainly past the age of cops and robbers, or whatever game was popular on the schoolyard these days. School. It almost certainly would have been a better place for Tarquin, but somehow he wasn't given that chance, and well, here they were.

But. Despite that, she certainly was a rock to rely on, if he were in time of need. At least she hoped she could manage the task, if it ever came up. And that certainly qualifies as friend in its own way, no?

"Of course," Jess had to consciously stop herself from adding 'kid' to the end of that. It would have flowed so naturally, but it was such undeserved talking down, she'd be remiss if she said it. Maybe if she were his drill sergeant, whipping him into shape. But that too, was not their relationship. "Friends don't end when the war does." Fighting back another urge to ruffle his hair, she settled for giving a comforting squeeze on the shoulder instead. It was the right thing to do, the right sort of contact after listening to all that talk about isolation. Then she made sure she was buckled in, beginning to take stock of the systems on her console before stopping, listening to Thorvald's speech. Tarquin was right here also. It was a good one. She couldn't help a small chuckle at the mention of waffles. "I'm sure he'd love that, and you strike me as you'd be a fine student too."

Then it was go time. They launched, and fortune willing, they would return unharmed.


Thorvald deploys to 16,21

Abigail deploys to 14,20

Edited by Balcerzak

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"Mhm. Yes, we all be, fine." Alriana echoed his statement as she settled into her stance, ready to launch as soon as the catapult was clear. They'd handled everything so far, this was but the final step of their journey. This time wouldn't be different, everyone was going to give it their all to make sure of that. "Thank you, Tristan. Warn me if it happens. Don't want to lose control again..." Especially not so close to the end with so much at stake. "Will try to control it, if it happens..." Would she be able to? She really needed to be able to if push came to shove, but it wasn't as though she had had time to practice. A trail by fire then, as it always had been.

"Shark, launching!"  Came her battle cry over the open channel as the Almydis launched out onto the battlefield. Though the sight of the snow and scenery was something to be admired, now wasn't the time, Alriana quick to take cover in the forest and give her suit's camouflage time to activate.

Deploy on 14,19.

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"...Yeah, she'll be alright." Esther sighed, leaning back against the pilot seat. Nina was trying her best to reassure at this time, and it let... something sink in Esther. Maybe not a sense of realization, but a fire to her resolve nonetheless. "We're solving this problem, and then we'll figure out the rest later. Thanks."

She gripped the controls, whirring the machine to life.

"I'm here because I want to." As if speaking to herself, Esther continued, maneuvering outside of the hangar as the thrusters activated. "Metis launching."

The Metis deploys at (14,18).


Jessica's excitement was still... jarring, especially with her appearance. Roxanna managed a forced smile in response to her captain, before setting her gaze back on her comms. "Yeah, we'll be starting the fight on our own... that's how it's been most operations. So we'll be fine." It certainly felt like the Riese was a 'trump card' that the ANF pushed to the forefront of these operations. She couldn't blame them for adopting the strategy, with their success rate.

"...Remember that if you still need to acclimate yourself to the role again, you can ask me for help." It's true that Jessica was quite literally built for the role, but Roxanna figured she could help with communications still, and avoid further gaffes --that was her job, mostly.


"S-Specialist, C-C-Caroline! Moving out!" Being able to 'feel' those aliens from so far away was already making Caroline a pile of nerves. They were fighting with their best... and she didn't feel that better equipped than last time. Still... she could help her own way, maybe?

Caroline's Legionary Mk-IV deploys at (15,14).


"Major Edson, moving out."

"What an impressive bunch... never thought I'd be fighting aliens, yet here we are."

The Mantle deploys at (22,15).


"Hmm... never thought I'd be here, fighting against Apoth." Carlos sighed, the Eidolon had already launched, positioning itself behind the Avalon. "Well, circumstances sure change."

The Eidolon deploys at (20,14).

Edited by Xinnidy

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Vera's message back was worth a small frown. Thorvald had all but forgot the woman's previous attempts at flirting that she'd insisted wasn't a joke, but was still somewhat hard to believe. Still, at least she was responsive now, and not just withdrawn. He could figure out how to let her down gently again later. Not now, and risk smothering the fire of her spirit that had just sparked into flame from the embers. Rolling out onto the field--figuratively of course, the Odin's launches were always in MS form--he maneuvered to share a point position with Lieutenant Kim. The squad leader and the ace, a solid front, and ought to inspire the rest, who were forming up in good order, as suited their individual strengths. The hour was at hand for the final battle. Time to make it a good one.

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Belated Birthday Gift - (Heion Riese, roughly an hour before rendezvous)

Spoiler

  Makoto had to take some time to ponder.

With the Riese ever closer to Apotheosis' headquarters, so to speak, Makoto couldn't help feeling restless. He laid down in his bed, staring at the ceiling. He appreciated being part of the group stopping the aliens and the overambitious, ruinous terrorists, but he would be lying if he didn't feel anxious hopping on the battlefield in a police enforcement mech, always looking up at the divide against the war-grade machines.

Part of him did feel a bit proud of managing it so far. It was a David versus Goliath situation... except it was a risk he could diminish if he changed to one of the usual suits. Makoto was getting practice in! He was catching up quick, after training with Talia for long enough. Maybe next battle was the one where he should switch to a Velite or Legionary... though switching to a different machine right before the most important battle was very anxiety-inducing of its own accord.

"Gah..." Makoto turned in his bed, thinking it over... until his thoughts were interrupted by some beeping. A noise coming from his room-seated communicator. That... shouldn't be picking up calls this far north up Canada, unless it were from the Riese crew itself, but no identifier showed up on the display --a sign that it was an outside caller.

Makoto got off his bed, walking to the communicator, and, after a moment of hesitation, reached out and picked up the comm. "...Hello?"

"Good morning, son. How've you been?"

The casual voice coming from the receptor was his father's, driving Makoto's blood cold on the spot.

"Dad?! I--" Makoto lowered his voice, too many thoughts were going on in his mind at this point, but he felt the need to keep himself from alerting others, for now. Until he figured what was going on properly, he reasoned with himself. "I-Is that really you? Father, I... what's going on? Are you safe? Are they fo--"

"Hahahaha!"

That... was his father's usual laugh, it immediately took Makoto back to simpler days, which calmed him some without thinking.

...There was still something to it that made his concerns not go away entirely, however.

"I'd love to talk with you at length, son, but I don't have the luxury of time right now. The change in pecking order made things worse for those trying to work on new projects. It's really a shame, I was enjoying my freedom here."

The way his father spoke about his situation got rid of doubts and grew a sinking feeling in Makoto's guts. "So... you really turned yourself in because you wanted to...?"

"Mmm, I figured I wouldn't be a good father if I led you on. I don't have the time, again, we'll postpone that talk. Just... don't worry about me."

"I was surprised to find out you were out there in the frontlines just as much, you know? Ah... and that takes me to what I wanted to talk about."

Juuzou Watanabe, Makoto's father, was admitting his guilt like a casual matter, and it didn't help his son's small spiral. Makoto wanted to cut the call short then and there. He bit his lips hard, he looked at the static, void display with grieving eyes. He... couldn't bring himself to be  angry. Just defeated. "What, what do you want to talk about?"

"Well, with my newfound freedom, I decided it wasn't fair to just develop weapons to aliens that are trying to murder my son. I'm not a monster."

Makoto opened his mouth. He wanted to object, but didn't find strength to do it. He closed it again.

"I've been getting reports, and your efforts haven't gone unnoticed. You've done quite a number on them. It's kind of weird, huh? Nobody in mine or your mother's family were pilots, so you're the first, son~."

"But, well, going out on that tiny coffin... Mai must have gone too soft. Isn't it a bit much?"

"I'm not afraid. I can't pilot a military grade machine but I know the Phalanx like the back of my hand." For the first time, Makoto interjected quickly. Hearing the same doubts he had earlier come from his father's mouth gave him the will to fight against them a bit harder. "I'll help stop them and then get you out of there!"

"Ah, hm. ...Nevermind that."

"I'm sending you a gift. I figured you were still going to use that outdated mech... I can tell some mechanics did a number on it, but that's not nearly enough to keep up with Sacarian tech."

"Yeah, I figured that one out..." Makoto bit his lip. It was true that things were getting harder and harder, but he still could contribute. He just had to be smart about it... "What... how are you sending me a 'gift'? We're less than an hour away from there!"

"Hahaha! Well, uh, you should have about five minutes."

What?

"Make sure neither the Riese nor their trigger-happy friends shoot down the next unmanned flying object coming their way~. Or, well, you will have just lost my priciest birthday gift for you."

"Wait, what?!"

"It isn't Sacarian tech, but something I've developed on my own. You'd make me very proud testing it out there. Ask an engineer friend to adapt it to your Phalanx. It should be pretty intuitive to install it to the Phalanx's zero gravity frame. It will be able to move in gravity just fine after, too."

"Dad, what are you doing?!" He had so many questions... five minutes, on top of that. Four and a half now, and ticking. "Ghh--Ahh! I'll get you out of there and then you'll explain everything!"

"...I know. I know you have a lot of questions, but I don't want my son to die here."

Makoto paused again, his father could be so confusing... but there was something in there that he needed to hear.

"We'll be seeing again, for sure. Love you, son. I'm in a hurry as well. Until next time."

The connection was cut. That... was entirely surreal, but it had happened. Makoto would have to think on everything he'd just heard...

...and the countdown for that stupid 'gift' was probably at three minutes and a half now, gah!

"Aaaah, hurry! Uhh... C-Captain line... does that still work?" He fumbled on his comm to warn the 'bridge'.

---

Calls to the 'bridge' had been forwarded to Tristan due to the Captain's current state, and thus, when Makoto pinged into it, it was the ensign that picked up. "Ensign Calvin, reporting... Makoto? What's the current situation?"

---

"E-Ensign! Calvin! Please--" Makoto anxiously rushed his words, needing a pause for a quick breath. "Uh, look, I've got no time to explain. If you see an object flying at our direction, don't shoot! Tell the other ships not to shoot either! I-It's not going to hit us!" How he'd explain he knew that was going to be a story for another time...

"A-and also, requesting leave to descend and pick it up, Ensign!" Makoto took a deep breath, "Just, trust me on this one. Sorry."

---

"Wh-What!?" Tristan was beyond surprised, something was flying at them? What? And why did Makoto want to go pick it up? "I... Just get yourself clear of the ship to receive it! We can't risk anything getting too close. I'm sorry, that's the best I can do." Hopefully it was good enough to at least allow him to reach... Whatever this was.

---

"I-- oh geez, gotcha. Thanks! Thanks a lot, Mr. Ensign!" Makoto shut the comm promptly, dashing out of his room moments after, zipping his pilot suit proper amidst his spring towards the elevators.

Time was ticking fast, after all.

Reaching the hangar, Makoto continued his mad dash, with a brief interruption to get to the lower floor, with a quick shout to the nearest mechanics. "Please, open the hatch! I need to launch quick! C-Code 1 Emergency!" He wasn't sure 'Code 1 Emergency' was actually a military thing, it was the first important thing that came to mind (it was from Knightron, one of his well-liked shows).

Getting to his guard trooper, Makoto figured he had no time to spare switching frames, the CT was... the slowest one, but it'd have to do. It'd serve well for what he was planning to do to stop whatever speeding object came at them.

Whirring to life, the civil-grade mech dashed across the hangar --with caution enough to avoid walking staff, and prepared to launch, its small boosters giving it the needed impulse to jump as the hangar started to open to the outside.

...Of course, the Phalanx suits were not designed for terrestrial warfare, but for space colony protection. They didn't exactly have the booster strength needed to decelerate from a high altitude battleship into solid ground.

Usually Makoto could rely on a boost from the mobile suits, but for now he'd improvise.

With a landing pad.

And by landing pad, he meant the nearest tree he could pinpoint on the visuals.

Crash!

Having the trooper slam diagonally in its downward descent with a tree wasn't pretty, but it was nicer than having the legs compromised by taking all the impact of a drop.

Unfortunately, that pretty tree was now, uh, a stump and a crashed, messy trunk in front of it. Hopefully the Canadian Forest Service wouldn't be too mad at him for this one.

And now... how many minutes did he have until that thing came too close? Two at best. This isn't the time for these games, dad...

The threaded heels of the Phalanx whirred again, as it moved in front of the battleships scanning the vicinity for signals.

...

There it was, northeast of their position, and looking for visuals... a blue unmanned pod. It almost looked like a large missile. They're definitely going to shoot that thing down if it comes any closer...

He had barely half a minute to execute his plan now. Thankfully, the Counter-Terrorist Frame was equipped to properly supress things at a distance. He just had to take care not to blow whatever was inside it with the whole thing.

The sniper rifle naturally came to the suit's arms, guiding itself against the pod's trajectory, and with the help of some predicting software...

Bang!

One second and a half of travelling before hitting the target. It was a hit against the boosters. The pod would slowly lose altitude now.

It could use dropping a bit faster, but not too much.

Makoto sighed, judging the distance...

Bang!

That might have been too much, it was spiraling down, only one booster remained, giving the thing a very unbalaced thrust.

Makoto backed away, expecting the pod to still travel a bit further...

It crashed into the ground, but at least the outer shell seemed sturdy enough not to cave. Good news.

He approached the pod, the mech's hand outstretched to grab it, a small metallic sound at the touch. There was a hatch on the other side. Makoto would just roll it a bit...

There we go. It seemed well-locked. Maybe there was a password, but with the damage from impact, it was probably going to get stuck trying to open anyways.

Brute force it was.

"H-Hey bridge... Ensign? Do you copy again? I got it." Makoto opened comms again, "Sorry for asking, but, uh, I'm going to need the ground crew to drop and take me and what I got back up. Thanks."

That should do it... now, to apply force to the hatch.

---

Makoto again? Their sensors had picked up something flying towards the ship... It seemed as though the boy had shot it down from the outside cameras, though. It was a good thing he had, any closer and the ship's AA auto-targetting would have taken it out, no matter what it was.

Now, though... He was calling for a lift.

Tristan sighed.

"Makoto... I, I don't even know what's in that pod. Look... Uh, we'll send a mechanic team down to you with Buck. We'll need to scan this." They'd performed scans on Sacarian tech after it had been brought on board, but... With no prior notice as to what this was, no expectations based on battles, it was too risky to simply let it aboard without any checking.

"Buck, do you copy?"

 


"Just gotta change this here... And--"

"Buck, do you copy?"

"Hwah! Ensign!? Not right now! I'm meddling with some seriously tight settings..." Buck was turning dials and knobs inside the Crescent's control board; apotheosis tech was really touchy with how it was adjusted. "Alright, I got it... What is it?"

"Ah, sorry... Can, you take a repair team out to go and check on what Makoto just collected? And collect him?"

"Uh... Yeah, sure." Buck wasn't sure exactly what they were collecting, but he pulled himself out and hopped down the Crescent's cockpit wire, jogging towards one of the collection crafts. "Boys, we got something to grab!"

---

  

"Right, i-it's fine. Scanning's probably fine, I'm going to need some help anyways..." Ensign Calvin was getting exasperated from these sudden antics, not that Makoto could blame the guy... he didn't sign up for it, though. This was really his own father's mess.

"Haaah..." With a long sigh, Makoto excused himself to prop open the hatch on the downed pod. He might as well take a look first, before anything surprises the mechanics.

With a metallic clank, the hatch lid is unceremoniously torn off the pod, and drops on the frigid ground behind the machine.

At this point, Makoto opens the cockpit to take a better peek, the frigid air of this Canadian nowhereland, thankfully, did not deter him much with his suit proper. He leaned onto the opening, noticing... armor?

Or maybe...

"I think that fits the Phalanx..." It was like a frame, sort of. The plating wasn't complete, and there was a curious device down the hatch, protected in impact-resistant foam, he'd need to take a look later...

Wait, there was a letter there, it had fallen beside it. With a deep breath, Makoto got off the cockpit, lifting himself up to the hatch, and dropping it.The interior was a bit warm, probably no thanks to the now-broken thrusters. From the inside, his assumption that these were parts for a machine seemed more likely. There was a faint glow coming down from the foam, now that he was in a darker environment. Caution to whatever it was, he kneeled to pick up the letter.

Quote

 

Hello, if you're reading this message, I assume this has successfully gotten itself into ANF hands.

My research under Apotheosis supervision has had a few more pros than cons, there's only so much that we can do to emulate Sacarian technology with out current materials and alloys. We are able to synthesize a Sacarian alloy re-coined by researchers priod to me as 'adamantite', but not in large enough quantities to mass produce. It is being restricted to the skeletal structure and plating of certain machines, as well as the weapons of high ranking Sacarian officers, which disappoints me. They have not allowed me to touch them.

Thankfully, I was still able to study Sacarian generators, and the general output of their beam weapons. They use paradigms close to ours, but generate much more plasma at higher temperatures. This puts a higher drain of energy on the generators, but the Sacarians would prefer an overheated machine to a losing one. These generators are set to supress and shrink Sacarian barriers upon critical damage, causing the machine to implode on its own components after a set explosion, to diminish the chances of this tech falling under enemy hands with a components wipe. Unfortunately, as the ANF has found out, you can damage the generator into failure well before the protocol activates, with strong enough weapons.

Sacarians have simply mastered eletromagnetism in a way humans have not. It is elegant, yet simple. Some of the high ranking officers have taken to using the Generative Beam Rifle prototype of my own creation, which I treat as high flattery.

Military powers will no doubt spend the decade catching up with their technology. This is expected. This also means any future weapon development has to look towards the defensive and offensive capabilities brough by Sacarian technology and try to surpass them.

Within this pod is a prototype of mine focusing on a different paradigm. Rather than copying the limited Sacarian tech I've researched on, this is an attempt to create fields using gravitational forces. Thanks to Sacarian warp drive tech, I've been able to calculate the necessary output needed for a weapon that uses gravitational forces. I've unfortunately learned that the reason the Sacarians never delved into this field past transportation was a steep, steep inefficiency in energy to gravity conversions. Still, I believe it can be optimized. It cannot be hampered though the use of traditional electromagnetic barriers, so it will fit a niche against the very Sacarians.

To whomever it may concern... feel free to use these parts to your leisure.

If the recipient of this message is Makoto Watanabe... try not to die in that coffin. This should help.

 

It was such a dry letter... but at the same time, Makoto was certain his father was highly invested in whatever he was doing.

It just hit that note again, that Juuzou had willingly left to cooperate with those... awful terrorists.

But his goals weren't aligned with that group, obviously. They were... very weird, which somehow made Makoto even more concerned.

Father... you better be there waiting for me. I have too many questions.

Sighing, Makoto did a little hop and lifted himself out of the pod. There was still less than an hour until the predicted conflict.

Maybe they could retrofit this into one of the Phalanx's frames. That'd be quick enough for now...

Makoto loathed to say it, but at that point, he kind of needed the extra power.

As long as he used it to save people today...

---

"Oiiiii! Makoto!" Buck had flown down to the crash sight with a team in tow, resting the craft nearby, a few of the mechanics riding off of it on repair drones and carrier bots. "What's goin' on down here?" Buck hadn't been notified of any incoming mechs until just now, and considering Makoto was looking into some sort of pod... Probably not booby trapped? Otherwise he would've been charcoal by now.

"What's in there? Something for you? Gotta be, since you got all panicked over it... Oh. Oh! Is it parts for the Phalanx!? Seriously!? If they are, that's awesome!" Buck threw caution to the wind and hopped onto the pod, trying to get a good look inside of it. "I've always wanted to work on that thing... Can I help with this!?"


---

"Hwah?" Makoto was... definitely not expecting a certain voice to resound as he exited the pod. "Buck!" He shared the boy's excitement right back, standing as the boy came to check out on the pod. "Yeah, uh, I think it could fit on mine. It's a different kind of tech." Explaining where the tech came from would be really, really complicated, eesh...

"Of course you can help! I wouldn't feel right if we got it and didn't tinker with it." This was going to be a fun rush hour for both of them, if anything.

If we can get it done before it's time, I should be able to help more. I really hope so...


Makoto took a deep breath.

They'd managed to get the Phalanx ready in time, adapting the parts onto an existing frame skeleton. It cut off some things, but the frame's new output was something unique alright. Just kicking the guard trooper into gear felt different. It was that whirring from the in-built generator attached.

"Makoto Watanabe, ready to fight!" It certainly felt reinvigorating to have that... prospect of helping out more. He didn't know what kind of power the frame was packing now --Buck had a better idea--. Still, it had to be good. His father decided to go through all that trouble... and he was going to show it here.

"I'm testing this one out on the fly! Keep watching, Buck! You too, Talia!"

The Phalanx (X-Frame) deploys on (13,17)!

 

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The suits from the Riese, the Avalon, and the Deliverance all deployed, facing down the three enemy combatants in the distance... Already, an uncomfortable feeling was settling in around them, seeping right into their minds. This wasn't like the fights against the last knights.

"Alright, everyone!" Jess' voice came out over open channel, booming into the speakers of all the machines present. "This is the final battle for the sake of the planet! We win here, there is no option to lose! Kick those kitties back into the litterboxes they crawled out of!"

Player Phase/Turn 1!

wFt2Pbt.png

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The consociation between Jess and himself was comforting, having Jess aboard gave Tarquin the extra drive to return in one piece. He wasn't just fighting for the sake of the planet and his own life, but he was directly responsible for someone else. The memory of being prepared to self-detonate his unit seemed distant. She did make him smile though, her comments about him as Thorvald's culinary student had amused him. He gave a rare chuckle, casting a jovial gaze over at his co-pilot as she squeezed his shoulder.

"It depends if one of my DNA contributors was a chef or not. One of the issues with having twelve parents, it's hard to keep track of all of them." Tarquin joked, his complicated heritage being a mystery even to him. "If I ever do go to school, I'll make sure you get a first row seat at my violin recital... as long as you're comfortable sitting next to Nikolai."

As much as his friend enjoyed classical music, it wouldn't be a far cry to picture him causing mischief. Whether it were cursing in foreign tongues, insulting someone's mother or vomiting in someone's face... the chances of him being escorted out by security were not insignificant. The Captain had given them orders to quash their feline dilemma, which lead him back to the battle. The readings he was getting from the Sacarian crafts were monstrous, and the estimates the Aria's computer were likely an underestimate. His smile quickly subsided, his concentration returning to his displays and his eyes focused on the values presented to him. Dealing meaningful damage would be a challenge, and that was if they could even connect their shots. He'd already sullied his perfect accuracy record, although at a key time like this, it was something that had fallen far down on his list of concerns.

"Our attacks will have to be coordinated, we may struggle with targeting if they're as fast as predicted. That is assuming that their pilots are on par with other Sacarians, which may be an underestimate." Tarquin commented, refreshing the Aria's predictions. Their role as fire support could prove crucial, landing as much damage as possible was of utmost importance.

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This was it, then. They just had to approach, and once they got into range, the final showdown would begin in earnest...

Kim to 15,28

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"For the sake of the planet..." Makoto still felt in a rush, unsure how to gave this upgraded frame's power. "Yeah. Let's get these guys!"

Makoto to (13,23)!


"H-here we go... I'll be right behind everyone..."

Caroline to (15,19)!


"Well, this is it, Nina... let's go. Kim already went off ahead."

Esther to (14,25)!


"Ready to fly, Lieutenant? Let's see how long we last."

"Roger... systems are good, Major."

Bonner shifts the Mantle into plane mode, moves to (21,21)!


"Tch, what a happy trio of pompous cats I've got in my radar..."

Carlos to (20,20)!

Edited by Xinnidy

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The only two options they had were approach the enemy... or wait for them to make the first move. Tarquin generally found the latter worked better for him, it was much more his style. "Jess, we'll be offering our usual fire support. Once our allies engage we'll make our move." Tarquin remarked, confident in the likes of Kim and Brant to get the fight started.

Tarquin moves to 12, 21!

-

Elaine was torn between her admiration for the enemy suits, she couldn't help but be jealous of the advanced technology, and the sheer terror that she was going to be facing them. "Come on, Oberon... you're not obsolete just yet. We'll show'em what we can do." she muttered. 

Elaine moves to 17,22!

Edited by Shin

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"Kazue Fujiwara, engaging!"

Kazue boosts to 14,24!

"Only three units? Are you laughing at us~? This confidence better have a basis, or I'll be sorely disappointed!!"

Louise flies to 20,25!

"Louise! Ugh... Stay cautious! They aren't average soldiers!" Android as she was, even Hannah could feel something off about the middle machine. Something strong was interfering with her own sensors...

Hannah moves to 21,23!

"Forward, Riese! All soldiers, heads up for combat!"

Jess pushes the Riese up, right corner 16,21!

The Deliverance chills next to Makoto!

Enemy Phase/Turn 1!

"Hmmm..." The hum of engines grew louder as the ANF's best and brightest charged towards the three machines ready to face them. "Jiin'Sal, Hel'Kaar, with me." The main pilot's low growl of a voice brought no room for disagreement, as the two machines formed up with it!

"As you command, my king!"

Philotimo moves to 14,31! Attacks Abby!

94 hit!
Abby dodges!
reduces to 47!
Roll: 40,51
Hit!
Abby's shield roll!
35
No time to block!
120 damage!
Abby gains +2 will!

"As you command, my king!"

The Theia presses forward to 16,32!

"You..." Trel'Vaar, opening a channel for the federation's forces to hear, smiled brightly before speaking. "Humans! Young and old, strong and weak, you have made it this far! And this is where your challenge will end." A boom resonated with his voice, like a weight had suddenly hit the battlefield. "A king defends those that cannot fight for themselves, and so I shall be the final line for my people! For those unable to fight for their own... I will strike you all down!"

The Philosophia moves to 15,32 and produces a grand saber!
"I shall strike down your strongest to teach you the error of this battle!"
He swings at Kim!

74 hit!
Kim dodges!
Reducs to 37!
Roll: 50,84!
Kim dodges!
King's Will activates!
Kim loses -3 will!

Player Phase/Turn 2!

3qxJoMO.png

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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"If you had any intention of defending your people, you would have surrendered this farce of a war when you lost four knights and the bulk of your combat force! You're no protector, you're just a prideful, egoistic fool!" Seung-Min replied in force, the willful ignorance of the Sacarian King's words making her seethe. He was just like the rest of them, just like Soor'Kan, just like the others... just bigger. The pressure he exerted was impressive, but that had been expected. They would take him down like the others. Igniting the Artemis' twin Xiphos, the machine lurched forward to meet the King's sabre, catching the blade between her own.

"Trying to make an example of me... your men have tried again and again... you'll fail just like they did!" Kim roared as the Artemis took a roll, deflecting Trel'Vaar's sabre to the side, neither machine having taken any damage.

Kim to 14,32

Edited by Ether

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