|You Can (Not) Advance|
|Summary: Asuka Langley is fed up with the EFA. They won't let her pilot /her/ Unit 02, and she wants to be able to use it. Stupid Shinji is also being an idiot. So it's time for a change of venue! She steals the Unit 02 and tries to get herself into Divine Crusader hands. Things are about to get very interesting!|
Asuka Langley Sohryu is used to getting what she wants. Sure, it wasn't /alway/ that easy, and sometimes acquiring what she wants requires liberal use of brute force. But more often than not, the pilot of Evangelion Unit-02 left satisfied in any affair related to her own desires.
Today is no exception; Asuka wants Unit-02, and so she plans to take it. If she has to shoot down a few hotshot pilots in the process, well, that was just the sacrifice she'd have to make. Besides, it wasn't as if she was taking anything that wasn't rightfully hers already!
From inside of Evangelion Unit-02, Asuka maneuvers her unit forward languidly, one leisurely step after another. It hadn't taken anyone long to discover that their security had been disabled, or that Unit-02 had been seized by an unknown force. Asuka might have been a child prodigy, but she definitely wasn't a master of stealth. Almost immediately, the calls went out over radio requesting assistance -- and almost immediately, the redhead disabled the radio inside of her Unit-02. She didn't have the slightest interest in what they had to say; besides, it didn't take a genius to know what /they'd/ be saying.
But when Unit-02 steps outside, clouds billowing overhead, there is no force there to greet her. Asuka frowns, disappointed. "How /boring/!" she complains loudly, though there isn't anyone to hear. She had expected a fight -- a full-fledged /war/! Did her Unit-02 mean that little to them?
As soon as the alarm went off at Langley Base, there was a notification sent to Exelion. It might've not made it to everyone but Coach and Dr. Aida knew right away that something was up with Unit 02. While it wasn't their property, Dr. Aida was probably the last great Eva Scientist out there... noting of course that he was the jackass who build the one that blew up, aka Evangelion Unit 04.
Right away, Mister Getter was ordered into a plugsuit and sent to load up into Unit 01's spine.
However, just like last time, the connection was rejected almost immediately.
Dr. Aida sighs and turns to one of the technicians. "I want Ikari sent to the ship's Psychiatric ward as soon as he gets back. For now, I'm going to put on my Gendo Ikari hat and tug at the kid's heartstrings."
"Mister Getter, you are aware that the issue at hand is that Unit 02 has been stolen right?"
Mister Getter's eyes widened and suddenly the system reset and the connection began to work. The sync ratio was lower than usual but.....Dr. Aida smiled and waves his hand. "LOAD UNIT 01 ON TO THE SHUTTLE! We're gonna get our property back!"
Unit 01 falls the ground with a loud clang. Loaded up with none of the Type-F Gear, it was sent in with as much equipment that Fraternity could load onto it as quickly as possible.
Mister Getter looks around with a timid expression that was unbecoming of him. Right now, he was more of that boy who he refused to be.
"Asuka?" Mister Getter squeaked over the radio.
Although there's nothing in the official records to support it, there's a rumor in some circles of a connection between the Gutsy Geoid Guard (as it was then) and NERV. Just what this connection was depends on who's telling the rumor - anything from GGG putting NERV's budget to better use than the Evangelions, to weekly games between Gendo Ikari and Kotaro Taiga (golf, chess, poker, any or all of the above, in rotation or simultaneously), to the two senior commanders of their respective organizations quietly coordinating their efforts.
Guy Shishioh, for his part, would believe the weekly gaming meetings between Gendo and Chief Taiga - but not the first or the last of the other rumors. But he has other things on his mind right now.
GaiGar leaps out of the Amaterasu, followed by the GaoMachines as the electromagnetic tornado builds up around the white mechanoid, swallowing up StealthGao II, LinerGao, and DrillGao as well, the support machines maneuvering around GaiGar, reconfiguring, and interlocking with it and each other to form ...
"GAO!!! GAI!!! GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!!!!!"
The King of Braves erupts from the dispersing EM fog and descends to land heavily in front of Eva-02, the super mechanoid's optics flaring brightly as GaoGaiGar plants itself in the Evangelion's path. "That's far enough! I don't know why you're trying to steal an Evangelion, but you're not going any further with it!"
Word spreads quickly, and the call goes out to the ALPHA NUMBERS! Among those available is one Rio Mei Long, always eager to prove herself, and annoyed that she happened to be elsewhere when Katharon was ambushed the other day. But this time... This time she'll prove herself! Unit 02 isn't getting away!
The distinctive dark blue form of the Huckebein MkII flies towards the Langely base. "Shut down the evangelion and come out with your hands up! You're not getting out of here with that machine!
Ever since he helped play a role in bringing down Gendo Ikari and (trying but ultimately failing) to avert the Third Impact, Huang Qin Shi has made a point of keeping an eye on the Evangelion pilots. Asuka Langley Sohryu was, as far as he knew, the most stable of the remaining bunch, on duty at the base that shared her name. Shinji Ik---Mister Getter is under the careful eye of Jung Freud, and while he is perhaps spending more time following the example of Graham Aker than is otherwise healthy, at least he isn't speaking in tongues. And as for Rei Ayanami...uh...
"Note to self," Huang mutters, his computer chirping. "Call your daughter sometime."
The commander of the Alpha Numbers is enroute from a location that is /totally not/ somewhere between his ship and the Shaolin Temple in China, and he is totally not sporting a world-class shiner around his real eye. It just sort of looks that way. The little white robot he calls the Rasavatam is increasing in temperature as he accelerates toward the coastline, its semiliquid armour glowing faintly with each passing second.
"Hey Asuka," Koji Kabuto offered the Tempest-in-A-Red-Bodysuit a congenial if mostly standard greeting. Which is how things usually went with her as far as Koji was concerned. While she was occupied with locating Unit-02, Japan's most troublesome son had otherwise been occupied with tending to the repairs of a Huckebein testbed unit. He laid flat on his back, worrying over a particularly stubborn nut in the Personal Trooper's ankle-servo.
A few bit of choice swears later and Koji is just about to pop that damnable nut out. At least, until the ground beneath him starts trembling. "Eh!?" he murmured out of confusion. There's a sudden thud, a clangor of heavy metal to concrete that just sounds awful. He tilts his head back, staring upside down.. at the vision of Unit-02 escaping its bonds. Everyone is shouting around Koji and soon enough, the alarms go off. Unit-02's gone berserk!
"Kuso!" Koji yelped in surprise. Without a second's delay or nary a rational thought in his wild-haired head, he immediately dashed off for something more suitable to wear. Something that can stand side-by-side with skyscrapers and always remains in style. That something, of course, just happened to be..
!! MAJINGAAAAAAAAAAAAAA ZETTO !!
The Nihon Knight clears its mobile-suit cage, its black Super Alloy Z-plating shining in Langley's lighting fixtures. "I'll just have to call--" Koji, high above in the Pilder cockpit, talks to himself as he reaches for the radio. Only, he doesn't need to. The violet nightmare has already appeared. "--Shinji! Uh.. the important thing is, /I had nothing to do with this/."
As the alarms regarding what's going on /in/ the base go off, someone -- or more accurately, a lot of someones -- get a signal to make a second set of alarms go off. The alarms regarding what's going on /outside/ the base. A Zeon ship -- in fact, the Zeon /flagship/, with the recent change in command and the death of Haman Karn -- comes into range of the base, abruptly.
The enormous vessel is fully crewed and has a full MS complement today -- Glemy has made arrangements and, like a good ruler, he intends to actually keep his promises. The ship launches Bawoos and Zaku IIIs by the dozen; the upside of having played his cards closer to his chest than Haman Karn for so long is inheriting the excellent war machine she created.
On the bridge, Glemy Toto looks out across the sky toward the base, with a smile. "Keep them occupied for as long as possible!" he transmits to all units. "Make sure we escape with the Evangelion!"
Asuka watches with amusement as Unit-01 is the first to arrive on-field. She'd been expecting someone to show up sooner or later; sure, the Angels might have been gone, but NERV had invested heavily into the Evangelion Project. They weren't going to let a machine as pricey as hers just saunter off without SOME kind of fight. And that was part of the reason she had aligned herself the way she did; she had to ally with someone to retrieve her beloved Unit-02!
If Asuka is affected at all by Shinji's sudden appearance, it doesn't register on her face or in her voice. "What? Is that /Shinji/?" Asuka squawks mockingly. "Long time, no see! It's about time you made an appearance." Bitter? Yes. The redhead has been oblivious to her fellow pilot's mental breakdown, though she would not tone her words down even if she did; Asuka wasn't the sort to mince words in nay circumstance.
But Asuka's attention is soon pulled away from the boy-pilot; others make their approach, some addressing her, others moving forward silently. She turns to look over at Guy in the GaoGaiGar, eyes flickering to meet Rio's unit as well. Really, does she have to explain this to everyone? "Stealing?" she repeats, as if she can't believe what he's saying to her. "Evangelion Unit-02 is rightfully mine. You can have her over my dead body!"
Her? There's no time for explanation; a shadow crawls over the area, sending Asuka's eyes skyward as Glemy's ship moves into view. "Well, well, well," she says, smugly. "iI looks like the calvary's finally here!"
With one sharp flick of the wrist, Unit-02's Progressive Knife appears in-hand.
"I always wanted to show you first-hand how much Unit-02 had been improved over the first model!"
And with one swift gesture, she moves to stab Unit-01 in its chest.
Irony. That's probably the first word that comes to Ascian's mind when he gets a report from Divine Crusader command about the fact that - not just is an EVA out and loose... it is within a couple of miles of him. What's more, he's quite aware that there is quite some EVE based technology in the machine he is pilotting at this very moment. The young man turns his eyes to the little radar indicator, which has a nice little blip indicating what direction from his current position, the call for 'assistance' is coming from.
His gaze then returns to the screen surrounding him, looking at the lush forest that has surrounded him. A series of Tengu units are actually nearby, assaulting the EVA/Gunmen machine beast. It roars loudly at the mook units, and when they finally decide to come out of the 'woodworks', he has the unit grab the first and smashes it into another. "Fine fine, I'm going." He mutters, sending a searing beam through a third unit - and finally begins running off into the distance. Time for some excercise.
When he finally comes out of the forest and into the clearing that is the Langley base, the EVA/Gunmen - or 'The Beast' as Ascian refers to it as, halts and observes the large amount of forces that have already amassed here. He'd heard about the Third Impact only through stories, and the role that the EVA units had played during this whole ordeal. For one to get stolen was probably something that the Divine Crusaders would want. In fact, doctor hell would be especially interested, or so he believed.
The monsterous black EVA-like Gunmen steps forwards, its arms slack at its sides. Sure, this thing didn't contain a spirit, but instead it used the will of the pilot. Ascian keeps holding onto those metal braces as The Beast moves further forward, trying to meet up with the EVA Unit 02 - but is forced to back off due to the fact that there are quite some other units in the way.
Normally, Ascian would know something to say. Like, give us our stuff, or go away. In better words, but still. This time though, it feels off. It actually takes him a moment to come up with something, before he turns on the radio - which comes out as a growling roar before his voice - distorted, comes out of the unit that is a bit smaller than the actual EVA units. "Person in the red EVA - /when ready/ - move to the edge of the base, an extraction team will be waiting for you there."
When the call to the Alpha Numbers goes out, Naoto jumps from his seat, ready to go. In less than a minute, he's on Vavel's shoulder in the hangar, controller at the ready, and giving the order to launch. The Meganite rockets through the underground railway at the speed of plot, the only thing keeping the Chairman from falling off of it being his personal shield. And in no time, they arrive at Langley Base. Now, Naoto isn't really familiar with the Evangelions or their pilots, beyond a couple of chance meetings and that one time when he went to their school to help with a bake sale, but he's always wanted to fight one. He never really got the chance to ask for a sparring match (or simulation, or whatever), but now, seeing the 02 walking out of the base and about to join Zeon, he- oh wait Zeon. They're kind of higher in the priorities, aren't they? "Well...huh. What do I go for here?" he asks himself, looking back and forth between the Evangelion and the Crusaders. This is a tough choice.
Along with the Zakus and Bawoos aboard the Zeon flagship is one other, notably larger, machine. Moribito-02 crouches on one knee in the hangar, with Aoba Tsuzaki in the cockpit. She shifts a bit in her pilot harness as she goes through a few last-minute checks. "Ammo loaded." Ever since her very first time in the Jinki, she's -always- made sure there was ammo in the machinegun. "Thrusters clear. All systems green!" Now she just has to wait until their arrival!
To be honest, Aoba isn't -completely- clear on why they're here. Yes, the Evangelion is the target, but she's not quite sure -why-. After some pondering over this, she opens up a comm signal to the bridge. "Glemy? Are we... are we stealing the Evangelion, or escorting it out? It's the red one, right?" She's never met Asuka in person, but the pilot of the red Eva unit -seemed- nice enough when they crossed paths during the invasion of the Angels. She's just not sure why they're so concerned with the Evangelions today!
When the signal is given, she waits for the Mobile Suits to clear the hangar bay. Once the way is open, she directs her Jinki forward and out. "Moribito-02, Aoba Tsuzaki! Launching!"
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Long time no see, miss Aoba."
SIMULTANEOUSLY ELSEWHERE, ABOARD THE AUDHUMLA
"Is it actually ready, Mister Hayato?" Camille, apparently on random rotation from the AEUG to Karaba, craned his head about the Audhumla's hangar for the object of his apparent enthusiasm.
"Yeah, Anaheim seemed to really cotton to the design. The rolled a prototype off the line as soon as they could and cleared it for testing. Looks like you've got another winner on your hands..."
"Assuming it performs up to expectations." Wong Lee straightened his tie, ever the doubting thomas of such affairs, "It had better, for the cost we're shouldering to compensate them for development.."
"I assure you all, the new unit will perform beyond expectations!" A rotund anaheim executive rounded out the group, having just recently liberated several pastries from the break room, "As we've interpreted Camille's designs, it will do for atmospheric mobiles suits what the Zeta has...er...will one day do for space!"
"Speaking of that.." Camille started, "I was wondering about compen-" And then a weird object on his wrist that wasn't a watch started beeping like crazy. "Oh crap!" Camille looked at his device, then back the three men accompanying him, "The Mazinger Z has launched! And not far away from our course!"
The three men looked back at him with varying degrees of stares that asked why this was anything they ought to care about.
"I have a...er...gentleman's agreement with the pilot. I've got to help him!"
"Maziner Z defends the people! Civilians are probably in danger!"
Hayato coughed awkwardly.
Camille sighed, "...it'll probably be a great opportunity to get some live field data."
Moments later the Audhumla cruised around the periphery of the Langley Base's territory, Camille peering out the air hatch with a pair of binoculars to see what the hell the problem was. Were those...Evangelions?!
"You know.." Hayato's voice suddenly came behind him, the weighty presence of his stock form apparent, "It's not actually /here/ with us. It was supposed to be delivered mid-flight to reduce any chance of hijacking. Tends to happen with these things."
"Uh huh.." Camille nodded, paying more attention to the two Evas beginning their fated fight, "How's that supposed to work then?"
"You know how I had you put on the flight suit, and that parachute?" Hayato began the inspect the toes of his newly polished boot very closely.
"Sure, but I don't see how th-"
That is approximately how far Camille got before he was suddenly free-falling through the sky, ejected from the Audhumla courtesy of one Kobayashi-brand boot to the ass.
"That's for turning Katz into a goddamned moron." The former Guntank pilot muttered, and beat a trek back towards the bridge.
One unit launched by the Sandra is different from the others. It's the red Qubeley Mk. II belonging to Puru Two. This sure is an unusual mission. Protect someone who's getting attacked by their own allies. The clone soldier doesn't know the details, and she doesn't particularly care. Glemy says escape with the Evangelion, so that's what's going to happen. "Oh, I'll keep them 'occupied' all right," Puru Two says with an amused tone, undoubtedly using a liberal definition of the word.
That's really the extent of her stake in this, she has little reason to actually care about the Eva or its pilot other than that. After all, it's not like she's ever had to deal with them before.
No sooner did she have this thought, or a sharp pain runs through her head, prompting her to bring her right hand up to her forehead. She suddenly sees Uint-02 much more close up, clinging to her Qubeley. In the recesses of her mind, she can hear her own voice, shouting. "What the-- are you crazy?! Get OFF of me! What are you trying to do, make us both crash?!"
In a flash, she's back in the present, where the EVA is once again in the distance where it was before, and no time having actually passed since the moment she touched her head. She realizes that what she just saw was a memory - something that happened years ago, likely not too long after she started piloting. But who even knows what that was about anymore. A lot of things from that period are fuzzy now.
Puru Two shakes off the cobwebs. Old faded memories are not important right now. What's important is holding off the other enemies. Surely one EVA can hold off another, she's just got to make sure others don't interfere as well. A complement of Funnels are launched, ready to intercept any who try to do just that. "Alright, let's see what's on the menu today!"
Mister Getter listened to the radio as Koji Kabuto told him the news. It wasn't true. Koji was just messing with him. Like guys do....Kinda a mean joke though. Everybody knew how hung up on Asuka Shinji was. It was something that read on Shinji pretty well. So when Asuka radio's the pilot of Unit 01, Mister Getter's face almost sinks.
This had to be a joke. This had to be a misunderstanding.
The "mask" of Mister Getter almost disappears as his stern expression melts into that same unsure of himself expression Shinji Ikari was known for.
"No...This has to be a misunderstanding, Asuka. You mean well, Asuka. I know you're a good person, Asuka." Shinji stutters out, still staring as Asuka continues on.
Unit 01 is motionless, even as the progressive knife is drawn. Mister Getter doesn't react, staring at Unit 02 as if it were a year ago.
"Asuka, I....I want to tell----"
The knife digs deep in Unit 01's chest, drawing blood as if it were pressurized inside of the Evangelion's shell. The pilot doesn't even register it right away, still staring at Asuka. Anyone who worried about Shinji's mental health before? Well, maybe you should worry more now that he's not reacting to the sensation of a knife in his chest. "Asuka....Please don't do this..." Shinji winces finally as the pain is more than he can ignore. "Please don't leave me. Please." Shinji whispers.
"It's your turn, Lethe." "Roger."
Sitting in the dim, elaborate cockpit of her Assault Dragoon, Lethe Rusina-- W-18-- sits with her eyes closed and chin lowered. She's running calculations at about a mile a minute and running over the plans and mission data handed off to her by the good crew of the Sandra... and thinking. Thinking is a dangerous activity for one of Lemon Browning's W-Numbers as of late-- her "elder sister" Echidna warned her about coming into contact with W-17 more than once, that she needs not concern herself with the "defect." That she shouldn't try to overstep her boundaries.
Lethe's eyes open slowly, under the shade and color of her wraparound sunglasses. Launch orders and data burst up around her on all sides, barraging her senses with information that would be impossible to keep up with all the way even for a human-- and then she feels the weight of the bulky machine shift before blazing out into the sky.
The ASK-UC90 Flickerist bursts out into the sky, the crested head turning with a pointedly slow swivel toward the Federation base and it's units deploying. Tactical data on the Evangelion Unit-02 immediately starts flooding across a monitor, and with a second glance, the gynoid confirms that it is what they were looking for, the target of their extraction mission.
"This is W One-Eight."
Four of her Shadow Bits, those heavily-modified Sword Breakers, detach from the shoulders and back of the Flickerist, bursting out into the sky and cutting swift lines through the air. Blasts of dim purple energy rip across the Langley tarmac, pulverizing concrete and generally being a nuisance to those trying to launch.
"... Commence razing tactics."
<Radio: A - DC Chat> Ascian Luddite transmits, "How're you today, miss Rusina?"
Rio and several other Alpha Numbers members face off against Asuka. There is no way she can escape, though Unit 02 may sustain damage during her capture...
And then reinforcements arrive. "Crusaders! Langely, how could you?!" Shinji has her handled for now, and by has her handled we mean has a knife in his chest, so Rio turns her machine to face the incoming machines. "You're trying to corrupt miss Langely with your evil ways, aren't you! Well I'm not letting you take her, or the evangelion! Take this!"
The Huckebein draws its magna rifle and fires at the approaching ship, attempting to interfere with further launches!
Shitbiscuits, Huang Qin Shi thinks to himself as the bloody flagship of bloody Zeon itself is reported taking to the skies over the Langley base. A few keystrokes patches the Alpha commander into the base's defensive array, giving him access to the tactical data being fed into local units. A full-fledged war party, he deduces. Whatever the hell this is...it was planned. Huang absently flicks through visual feeds, looking for a sighting of the Evan...
Huang blinks as his screen is filled with the sight of Unit 02 stabbing 01, his ears hearing a pained boy-child begging, sounding confused. Sounding hurt. A boy-child sitting in a machine of mass destruction. The engineer's face hardens, and he opens a channel. "Clear the line!" he snaps, pouring full thrust into the Rasavatam's Tesla Drive, the frame shivering as it rips through the air, the armour not sufficiently hot to meld itself into the airflow.
Huang knows from experience that the Evangelion's defences - the AT Field - were the only things that could pierce the similar barriers of the Angels. He knows the reasons the Evangelions had them was because they were one and the same. And he knows that without an AT Field, only the most powerful and devastating attacks augmented by supreme force of will stand a chance of breaking through them.
Huang knows he has none of these things. But he's hoping the impact of a point-blank burst of the Rasavatam's palm cannon at just under the speed of sound will at least distract the girl long enough to keep her from eviscerating Shinji Ikari.
Shinji isn't the only one suffering from mental issues; Asuka's just better at keeping her own abandonment issues at bay, her obnoxious overconfidence overcompensating for her own insecurities. Discovering that her mother was part of Unit-02 helped with these issues to some degree, but fueled her growing resentment for those that helped to put her there.
NERV. And by association, the organization formerly known as the Earth Federation Alliance.
"What are you talking about?" Asuka asks, pulling the progressive knife as casually from Unit-01 as one might pull a knife from a block of cheese. "Please don't do /what/? It's too late to try and change my mind; I've already made my choice."
The red Evangelion pulls its progressive knife upwards, prepared to launch yet another attack on the Evangelion across from it -- but before she can, a flash of light catches Asuka's single good eye; she moves to redirect her attack, but the attempt is feeble. Huang's hand canon, sends the unit stumbling and Asuka's fury comes forward at full force.
If his intention was to deflect the redhead's attention onto him, he succeeded. "Fine, you want to fight, too? I'll show the both of you the power of my Unit-02!"
And Asuka lashes out at Huang with her Progressive Knife once more. This time, she won't miss!
"Divine Crusaders ... Zeon," Guy snarls, GaoGaiGar turning its attention towards the incoming strike force. "I don't know what you think you're doing here, but you're not welcome here - and if you think you're flying home with an Evangelion, you're going to be disappointed!!" GaoGaiGar's right arm whips straight up as Guy shouts, "PHANTOM RING, PLUS!!" and the gold ring from the right-side Drive Booster floats into place around the upraised forearm - just before fist, forearm, and ring all begin rotating, accelerating to the point of looking like nothing more than a glowing blur.
"You can leave now, or you can leave in pieces! This is your only warning - so get moving while you only have some dents to show for it! BROKEN ... PHAAAAAANTOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!" And with that, Gujy sends the Broken Phantom flying straight towards the Zeon flagship, trying to rip into one of the catapults so they can't keep launching mobile suits.
"Kisama..!" Koji Kabuto curses under his breath. This is madness. How is it that he always ends up in these spectacular messes? His leather-wrapped hands clench around the Pilder's controls. For the urgency of defending Langley Base from Zeon's attack, the young Ensign's attention is aimed squarely for the purple Eva Unit-01. It's pilot, his friend and fellow Japan transplant, Shinji Ikari.
He bites his lip. Swinging his arm forward, he guides the motor-control forward. Below, the Steel Guard takes one colossal step forward. The hangar trembles. Quick-thinking was a requirement of joining the Federation's test-pilot corps. Rational thinking, on the other hand, was not. All Koji can do is try to figure out how the hell to snap Shinji Ikari out of the mental malaise he's suffering from. How the hell does Kamina do it!? Oh who fucking knows!
"SHINJIIIIIIIIIIIII--!" Koji bellows from the chrome crown of Mazinger Z. The Iron Castle, its eyes alight with Photonic Power. "NOW ISN'T THE TIME FOR THIS! BE A MAN AND PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER! I BELIEVE IN YOU, BAKA YARO!" He manipulates the systems.
The Nihon Knight raises its heavy metal arms. It's pilot, trying to quickly crunch the distance computations in his head as he splits his attention between Unit-01 and the Qubeley. Koji sucks a sharp breath in and prays to a fabled god who sits strong in his mountain.
Shit Shit! Shit!Hehit!
That single syllable expletive bounces off the interior of Camille's brainpan from about sixty different angles as he tumbles through sky in a morbidly comical pinwheel of motion that would've had him puking up his last meal if the fatass Anahim executive hadn't eaten it before him. He can barely tell the difference between the sky and the ground at this rate when something large, black and /fast/ suddenly swooped by his vision.
Also, he dropped his binoculars :( Look out below
The unknown object was, in fact, a high-speed carge jet, all forms of ID tag and IFF removed so as to prevent any possibility of the aerial ferry being traces back to Anaheim who would surely /never/ build weapons for the Federation, Divine Crusader and Katharon forces all it once in an artificial war driven for continuing profits!
The large black box it held beneath it's hull suddenly dropped from heavy clamps, bursting open to reveal the sleek, black-and-white form of a highly aerodynamic fighter, whose AI instantntly engaged to swoop down and 'catch' the falling Newtype, his parachute going un-used as the canopy snapped shut on brand-spanking new leather seats. Within near half a second, the fighter shifted into a more familiar, humanoid form, crowned by an all-too-necessary V-fin as the CPU screen beneath beared the hallowed words.
STRIKE ZETA SYSTEM ONLINE
Thermonuclear Ramjets stratgeically placed all-across the Gundam for operation in atmosphere brought it past the Flickerist-nearly nicking it!-to the side of Mazinger Z. "Koji!" Camille instantly opened a channel, "What the hell is going on?!"
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Lethe Rusina transmits, "... Unidentified unit detected."
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Roger that. Send visual, maybe I can recognize it?"
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Lethe Rusina transmits, "Look eight o'clock high."
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Aoba Tsuzaki transmits, "Oh wow, I see it!"
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Hrrm... no, don't recognize it exactly."
Opening up a private comm to Asuka with a wide smile across his face, Glemy says, "Thank you," with a wide smile. He needs every technical advantage he can get -- and the Eva presents an excellent opportunity for just such a thing. On top of that, the pilot has served with distinction -- and if Glemy knows one thing, it's that wars are won and lost in this era on aces and not grunts.
The Sandra goes into defensive maneuvers, and effectively, at that; the Broken Phantom hits thick armor rather than the mobile suit catapults. Rio's rifle has a slightly better time of it, dinging one of the catapults... but not enough that the MS can't egress with subflight systems.
Opening his comms to Rio and Guy, Glemy resists the urge to roll his eyes and instead simply says, "Is that what you truly believe? Have you done any of your own research, your own thinking?"
With that, he lets loose with a wide spread of beam cannon fire on both Guy and Rio, trying to take the twin machines down before they get in too many more shots.
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Puru Two transmits, "Ngh... I'd know this irritating feeling anywhere, that's Camille Bidan in there."
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Ugh, /that/ guy."
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Glemy Toto transmits, "Nngh. Keep him handled. The Sandra's taking heavy fire."
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Lethe Rusina transmits, "Roger."
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Just tell him it is a girl's name. I heard, during my time on the Argama, that he really flips out due to such a suggestion."
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Ascian Luddite transmits, "You can use his inability to control himself to strike his weakpoints more easily."
Shinji watches the knife exit the chest of his Evangelion, still barely registering things. Even when Huang runs to the rescue, Shinji just kinda stands there, babbling to himself in shock. It is like he was watching himself from a seat in a movie theatre. Any moment, he can just disconnect and he will be somewhere else. Somewhere better. The world he helped save couldn't be this bad.
In that world, Asuka would be still there. Rei would have seen Leo as a stupid Lothario and left him for someone nice....maybe Johnny Domino. Speaking of, Johnny Domino would be around. Ayato Kamina. Kensuke, Dr. Adia's son would be making stupid movies with Toji Suzahara. The world would be much easier to accept as something Shinji put so much into.
Something that was worth the sacrifice of his parents.
However, the world is not like that and no matter how hard he tries, Shinji can not just look away and snap back to a reality which is not there.
Shinji doesn't react to people asking if he's ok. He doesn't even react to the name Mister Getter. He watches with a glass eyed expression, not looking away until the Rocket punch strikes the Evangelion in the jaw. The massive machine collapses.
"ARGH!...." Shinji reacts, laying back and staring at the sky. Finally, the Evangelion gets up, standing up slowly before it slouches forward.
Unit 01 stares at Unit 02, unbreaking that concentration.
Finally, there is a twitch in his eye as water appears just under the lid. Still glass eyed, Shinji doesn't move as his tears seep into the LCL.
"You were the only one who cared."
"Father. You were right. You were just....trying to protect me. To reunite us....Even if you were so mean to me...I deserved it. All I did was betray you....Father, I'm sorry. This world should've...I never should've stopped you." Shinji's eyes close as he takes in a sharp breath.
"This world is full of pain. Even Rei is ruined thanks to me. Asuka is leaving me too. Father. I....I killed Kaworu."
Suddenly, there is a surge in Shinji's ratio. It goes from nothing to everything.
Evangelion Unit 01's eyes glow red as it's mouth opens.
"I can't be happy. Only guys like Leo Stenbuck deserve happiness.....Koji, Everyone. I'm sorry I failed to realize I was wrong."
Evangelion Unit 1 crouches and roars violently as Shinji simply blacks out. The purple machine charges toward Asuka at full force.
As the Moribito engages its thrusters, Aoba takes a moment to scan over the base. Fighting this close to a fully-stocked enemy base of operations made her a little nervous, mostly because there was a higher chance of noncombatants being around. She'd just have to be extra careful!
When she spots Evangelion Unit 02, Aoba decides to steer clear of it. It seems to be having some kind of battle with the other Eva. "Where--" She pauses mid-sentence as her attention is drawn to a new arrival: the Strike Zeta. "Wh..whoah. Is that a new model? It looks cool!" Beat. "Wait, I can't get distracted by that now!" The girl shakes her head several times and focuses her attention again. "Wh.. hey!" Blue eyes go wide as she spots another machine striking Unit 02. "That's not fair at all!"
Drawing its rifle, the Jinki braces it against its other arm and squeezes off a few shots at the Rasavatam. "Hey! Leave her alone! You can fight me instead!" Hopefully that will get his attention away from the red Eva!
Huang Qin Shi's minimal success is a triumph of the v-squared part of the E = 1/2 mv^2 equation, although the benefits of his velocity are drained away by the slowing of his machine as he collides with the Evangelion and its AT Field. The biological unit is more than three times larger than his Rasavatam, which implies a mass difference nearly an order of magnitude apart. The little white robot spins in the air after connecting, Huang's vision blurring as he brings the Rasavatam's cameras to bear on the Unit-02. Which is heading right toward him.
Months of training with Sai Saici have reduced the paralyzing wave of terror that typically accompanies him into battle against things much, much more powerful than he is to a much more manageable squeal that he quickly clamps down on, teeth grinding as he chokes his fear down. He is thus prepared to evade the progressive knife slash rather than let it bisect him, letting the Rasavatam fall backward and rotate, rolling under the cut and bringing its left foot around in a scything kick toward Unit-02's face. Flickering red concentric lines flare up out of nothingness as the kick connects the AT Field and bounces back; Huang drives two more punches at the same point, earning the same frustrating result. An angry breath hisses through Huang's teeth - call this thing a Super Robot if you'd like, but the Rasavatam just doesn't have the raw power it needs to keep up. It's just as Sanger said. They need to...to...
Huang's head turns to regard the shifting, shrieking form of Evangelion Unit 01, his stomach dropping down to his balls as Shinji's words and the Evangelion's reaction to them registers. He's seen this once before. "Oh /shit/," he groans.
And then bullets start spraying down toward him, a few vanishing into the Rasavatam's liquid armour with soft 'phup' sounds before Huang realizes he's being attacked. His response is somewhat predictable. "Fight you...this isn't some game, you jackass!" he snaps, fanning the Rasavatam's hands and sending a bright white burst of energy toward the Moribito's sensor array. "They're going to kill us all!"
Puru Two's eyes go wide when she beholds none other than MAZINGER Z on the field of battle. Though her reaction is pretty lukewarm otherwise, the first thing she does when she notices the Super Robot being to send a message to the Moribito. "Hey Aoba, looks like the object of your affections is back again." Seriously, there was so much fangirling going on last time. What's the big deal, really? "I'll handle it this time," she claims.
Perfect timing for Camille freaking Bidan to show up, ruining her concentration just by being there. And in a new type of Gundam, to boot. Now what the heck is /he/ doing here?
oh right incoming super robot
With a loud CLANG, Mazinger Z's iron fist bounces off the Qubeley, leaving a sizable dent in its wake. "Ahh! Why you... this is all your fault, Camille Bidan!" she shouts, even though he can't hear it. He'll probably get the gist of it through the Newtype Hotline, anyway. But she knows her anger would be better directed against the one who was actually throwing fists in her general direction.
Oh what the heck. Why not do both? Funnels fly everywhere, some focusing their fire on Mazinger Z, the rest going after the Strike Zeta. "Nice of you to drop in, sorry you can't stay!"
Continuing on a straight path, the four modified Sword Breakers change their alignment, zipping away from simple "ground destruction" tactics and instead dart and flick themselves around, closer to the Flickerist. Lethe's head turns a bit as her eyes catch sight of the Sandra being assaulted by the Huckebein. Before she can turn back, she catches sight of the falling streak of light in the sky...
... and watches her timing.
The Strike Zeta Gundam nearly slams into the Ashsaber, and the Assault Dragoon-type machine has a very unique way to nudge it out of a full-on collision with the machine: With a light tap of the controls, the head lurches forward and the Flickerist /headbutts/ the Zeta, doing little else than what Camille has done to her... scrape the paint.
Puru Two calls out who it is in one ear, while she's being given piloting tips and advice in the other. Instead, she takes the more tactically-relevant information-- the fact that it's Camille Bidan-- and turns her hands to the twin keypads that are swivelled out over either leg. Typing as fast as she can, it takes only a few seconds for her to return her attention to the Flickerist's controls...
And once again, to one Camille Bidan, the Flickerist carries no presence within it-- no mind to sense, no pressure to feel out. It might just be familiar to him-- a very familiar, very terrifying sort of total void...
The Shadow Bits scatter, moving by twos-- two high, two low. Jerking in one direction, flying in another, shooting off to flank and surround the pilot of the new Strike Zeta, Lethe meanwhile narrows her eyes as she tries to get a good feel for the pilot's seemingly new machine... and hopefully to blow a hole straight through it all at the same time.
Ascian actually backs off in his unit, when fireworks start going off before him. It isn't that he is afraid, or wants to create distance from the EVE units because he thinks they might break his smaller unit. No, it's quite something else. There's just too much going on, and if he'd intercede, it would just turn into one big clusterfuck. And as much as the DC is great at those, he really doesn't have the confidence of starting something while not in his main unit - the Amenthes - which is parked quite a few miles away from here.
"So then what?" Ascian mutters, just staring at the screen before him, when suddenly... a chibi pink-dress wearing Dr. Hell appears on his screen. He waves about a set of fans, jumping up and down, trying to get his attention. "Hrrm?" Ascian goes, raising his right eyebrow. "What?" He asks. The little Dr. Hell's fans then disappear, and a little magical staff is replaced by it, and he starts waggling it towards a mech that has a dude... on its shoulder.
"Really. That's the one you want... oh, fine." Ascian shakes his head and turns The Beast around. He makes a bit more distance, away from the now suddenly rampaging Unit 01, and raises the right hand of the machine, from which suddenly a gigantic old-style European cannon comes forth. Only... well... much bigger. It's caught by what looks like a mix between skin and plantlife. "Hope the pilot knows not to keep standing on its shoulder." But just in case, he aims the weapon at the /feet/ of the unit, and fires! A big green bullet suddenly launches, straight at Naoto's unit.
"Who said this was a game?" Aoba puffs out her cheeks in annoyance... which really does -not- do anything to make her look older or more mature. "Real fighting is never a game! This is serious... and I won't let you get in the way!" The gun is soon locked back in place and out of the way after it's displayed its usual accuracy in Aoba's hands.
Moribito-02 doesn't have many sensor arrays, really. Just a single radio antenna for communications and radar. It does, however, have a cockpit with glass over the top, front, and sides, allowing for a very good, firsthand view. That... isn't quite as good, though, when a blinding flash of light is shined directly at it. "H..hey!" Blinking several times as she tries to clear her vision, Aoba leans forward in her harness, driving the Jinki forward. Its first punch misses, but it spins around in midair without any real loss of momentum, and approaches the Rasavatam again. "You need to let her make her own decisions!"
Another punch is thrown, followed by a spinning kick, courtesy of a short burst from the thrusters. "..wait. Who's going to kill what?"
Rio smirks slightly. That looked like a solid hit. But then, the counterattack comes. Oh shit that is a lot of beams! G-Walls don't work on beams! The Huckebein dashes for the nearest cover, which is... Gao Gai Gar! "Thanks for the help, Shishioh! Let's bring this ship down -- without it, they won't be able to escape!" The Huckebein stands next to the lion-themed machine and extends its arm towards the sky. "Chakram, go!"
And with that, a little spinning disc fires from the arm, connected back to the base unit by a wire. It tries to cut into thezeon flagship, and then as Rio pulls it back, she tries to swing it past the machine that was destroying the base earlier. "You, too!"
His calculations -- and his intent -- true as can be. Twin Rocket Punches streak across Langley's hangar, striking both Qubeley and Unit-01 dead-on.
Victory is sweet.
"Yatta!" Koji Kabuto pumps his fist into the air so hard he bangs his knuckles against the interior of the Pilder's canopy. *CLONG!* "..yeeeow!" he yelps softly.
The arrival of the Strike Zeta and its pilot, the indomitable Camille Bidan, is met with a sigh of relief. "Camille! Bad news -- Unit-Two's pilot is taking Unit-Two AWOL with a Zeon escort! And--" The whooping beeps from the Pilder's systems deliver Koji's worst nightmares. Remote weapon systems, pioneered by the Zeon warmachine in ages past and refined for the battles of today. "--watch out, funnels! They're -everywhere-!"
Mazinger Z's fists race back to the Steel Guard, just in time as funnels from Puru Two's Qubeley begin firing. A lance of condensed Minovsky particles streams past Juuzo Kabuto's masterpiece, bringing a blinding light across its right side. Koji winces, raising his arm to shield his vulnerable eyes -- the beam striking Mazinger's shoulder, barely ripping a furrow across its Super Alloy construction.
"Ngh!" Koji grunts, riding out the faint tremor that ripples across Mazinger Z. "Majinga doesn't have the precision firepower to take on all these funnels. The only way I can win -- is to go right for the head of the beast!" At the controls, the young Ensign tightens his grip and centers his resolve. "Alright, you Zeon phantom! This time, Earth isn't rolling over!"
The clutch ratchets forward and Koji Kabuto amps up the Photonic Power gas. His eyes a-blaze with the same yellow light that suffuses the optical sensors of his Nihon Knight.
With mighty footfalls, Mazinger Z charges after the Qubeley. Its arms pumping back and forth as the colossal defender propels itself forward. It reaches back, black metal fingers collecting around the hilt of a sword that has suddenly materialized into view. Koji hits the jump-jets, providing a blast from Mazinger's foot-mounted thrusters. The propellant roars with ignition, launching Mazinger for the Qubeley-- its sword, flashing in the firelight! Holland Novak has reconnected.
Two EVAs going at it, one berserk and the other piloted by a raging psychopath. Now there's a show well worth the price of admission! Though, of course, Naoto didn't actually pay anything. Still, he watches, unsure of what to do, until Vavel suddenly turns to face what looks like another, smaller Evangelion. Strange, he's sure he didn't press anything... The warrior beast fires something at Vavel, but doesn't do much other than scorch its leg armor. Naoto, always ready for a fight, immediately sends Vavel running toward it. Oddly, he can hear what sounds like a low growl coming from Vavel...but all of its vocal programming was removed over a year ago. It's probably just his imagination. "Hey, you! That's a neat little mech you have there, what is it? Some kind of Evangelion GM?" he transmits to Ascian, pulling on one of the analog sticks to draw Vavel's fist back. "How's it fare in hand-to-hand?" As the Meganite runs, it begins to transform without any prompting from Naoto. The stabilizer fins on its forearms fold out, the spikes on its shoulders rotate into a vertical position, and two strips of armor on its chest flip back to become vents for excess heat. The process takes about a second, and as soon as it's finished, Vavel throws a hard right hook at the EVA G1's jaw.
GaoGaiGar does its best to avoid the Sandra's return fire, but super robots are not built for danmaku-style grazing, and the Sandra has enough gunners who know what they're doing that *maybe* GaiGar could weave through the onslaught - and even that would be tricky. On the other hand, GaoGaiGar is heavily armored enough to take the pummeling - and when the Huckebein swoops in to take cover, Guy is happy to provide it, hero that he is.
"Agreed!" Guy answers as Rio deploys what looks for all the world like a beam-edged yo-yo, and - in defiance of normal tactics - heads straight for the Sandra, letting out a roar as he swoops in, spinning up GaoGaiGar's knee-mounted drills, and starts trying to rip open jagged rents in the hull, working his way towards the engines. Even without system damage, though, enough hull damage will keep the Sandra from returning to orbit in a hurry ...
"Scheisse!" Asuka swears as in one fluid motion, the unit evades her attack; she presses forth her own AT Field, armoring her against his next attack. The orange field flickers under the weight of his attack, but somehow manages to keep his attack from penetrating her unit.
As loathe as she was to admit it, this pilot wasn't half as bad as she thought he'd be.
For a second she considers pressing the attack, even as the other pilot moves in to provide backup -- but Glemy's voice provides a welcome distraction from the battlefield.
Asuka's pleased as punch to be praised, and it registers on her face. "It's no problem, Mr. Toto," she transmits privately to him, in the same voice she used to reserve exclusively for Kaji Ryoji. Sure, he lacked the rugged good looks of the triple agent, but he was still attractive -- in a pretty boy sort of way, anyway.
But it isn't but a moment later that her attentions are once again deflected elsewhere; Asuka regards the boy-pilot with the same exasperated expression a mother may have while pacifying a child's temper tantrum.
"No one's stopping you from coming with me," she snaps irritably, though she's sure she already knows his answer. He wouldn't leave his precious A-LAWS no matter what -- not even for her! And as she opens her mouth to say something else -- to tell him to stand up and fight like a man -- the unit's eyes light up.
And the Evangelion finds itself on all fours.
Asuka's eyes immediately light up with recognition. "It's going berserk?! Why now?!"
The Evangelion lunges at her -- fast and quick, but Asuka somehow nearly manages to sidestep the attack. Asuka lets out a cry of pain as the Unit-01 scrapes past Unit-02's leg. Filled with fury, she plunges the progressive knife into the back of Eva Unit-01 as it passes -- and loses it as it races past her.
"If this is how it's going to be, then so be it!" Asuka reaches onto her back and pull out her pellet rifle. Single eye narrowing on Eva Unit-01, she makes her aim, then fires.
If it is any consolation to Asuka, Aoba and Shinji, Huang Qin Shi is angrier at Koji Kabuto than anyone else right now. He is not always a rational human being.
The Alpha Numbers' supreme commander holds his tongue for the moment, concentrating on Aoba's movements, his eye narrowing as he follows the motions of her robot. The Rasavatam fades backward as the first punch comes short, then raises its left hand upward in a half-circle, curling up from below until it's perpendiculr to the ground, the little robot's wrist touching the Moribito's and gently brushing the punch past one shoulder. As the Divine Crusader robot turns into a kick, Huang sets the Rasavatam moving, taking advantage of the brief period where the Moribito's back is turned to circle with the roation, until the Rasavatam has, for all intents and purposes, vanished.
Huang owes Sanger Zonvolt a debt for leading him to discover that move.
"She can choose what she likes," Huang whispers, the Rasavatam's burning hands rising up toward the small of the Moribito's back. The engineer sucks in a breath and then drives both palms forward in a powerful double thrust. "But the Evangelions must NOT be set free!"
"H... hey now." He'd expect that ball of energy to at least knock out that thing's leg. Doesn't look like he's that lucky. Should have just gone for the pilot - but... that wasn't really his style. As much as Ascian was a soldier, of the Divine Crusaders for that matter, he was not someone who really did that kind of thing. He tended to be more honorable than that - as people like Ibis Douglas, Heero Yuy and Macua Huitl can attest to.
"It doesn't." His voice comes out as growls each time, the big mouth at the top of its body, beneath the six red eyes that are all centered on Naoto's Vavel, even moves up and down as Ascian speaks from within. This thing didn't really... have a proper way to stop the speakers from saying things, unless he plain just whispered.
But, even though it was not skilled in melee battle, that didn't mean that Ascian didn't know how to defend himself at such a range. All of The Beast's legs and arms suddenly have holes open within them, and a volley of missiles spam in all directions, crashing into the ground and generally making it almost impossible to see anything, after which Ascian guides his unit back quickly.
"This unit's specs are not for you to know." The framerunner without a frame growls back at Naoto, after which he notices a nearby Zaku III that has fallen over and destroyed due to crossfire, grabs its beam axe, and plain just /throws/ it right at his opponent. Now to hope they wouldn't catch it and use it to retaliate. That'd be embarassing.
Pulling high in short order, Glemy manages to get the Sandra out of the way of the incoming knee attack; the beam chakram just barely reaches the underside, but that's eminently manageable. As much as Glemy hates to admit it, he has to play an Earthbound combat a wholly different way from the way he plays space battle -- which means a drastic tactics change is in order immediately.
Pulling high, he decides to focus his attacks on Rio's machine; it's faster than Guy's, and therefore much more dangerous to a battleship. Pulling up, Glemy lets one of the heavy beam cannons on the underside of the Sandra swivel around and target, before firing two thick beams of mega particles directly for the machine.
Guy gets a reprieve. For /now/.
Unit 01 is beside the crimson Evangelion as it misses it's charge. Unlike the Third Child, the unit doesn't have the same sort of restraint. It is already pulling back it's arm to back hand Unit 02 in such a way to knock it off balance. Even as Unit 02 fires upon it's purple form, the bullets stop dead in the AT Field. They float there before dropping to the ground.
Unit 01 launches it's arm and sends the hand directly for Unit 02's face. At the same time, Unit 01 charges up it's AT Field and attempts to batter the other Evangelion with the primal force it exudes.
Even as Asuka talks to him, Shinji says nothing. It was almost as if he was judging her. As if he's made his choice too.
In reality, Shinji just listens in a catatonic state, betrayed by everything. In his mind, he would restart his father's work. He would not betray him this time.
At the same time, a part of him fears these thoughts but is too grief stricken to deny them. He needed to lash out at a world that he passively lived in.
As Shinji continues to feel bad about himself, Unit 01 only becomes more enraged at her son's feelings. It continues to try to rip Unit 02 apart with it's AT Field, firing chunks of scenery in all directions as the orange shield grows only more concentrated by the moment.
If only it weren't for those spots in her eyes! Aoba squeezes her eyes shut for just a moment, but it's long enough to lose track of just where that other machine went. "Where...?" There are only two answers, really. Either it can teleport, which it didn't -seem- to, or it's...
"--right behind me!" Metal chrunches against metal as Moribito-02 spins around. Rather than slamming into its back, the Rasavatam's hands impact its side, but that doesn't stop the Jinki from lifting its left arm. A panel slides back on the forearm and a large minigun flips out, spitting a quick burst of bullets at short range. Surprise!
"Why is that?" As the Jinki continutes its rotation, it reaches back to draw a rather large gun from its docking point on the back of the shoulder. "And it won't be set free if it's going with her!" Aoba casts a nervous glance toward the fighting Evangelions, especially that purple one that seems to be acting -quite- strangely. "It's her robot, isn't it? She should be allowed to take it whe she goes!" This makes absolutely no sense to allow a weapon that powerful to just leave at the whims of the pilot, but Aoba isn't trying to talk sense. She's talking Justice!
The rifle isn't aimed just yet. Instead, the Jinki pulls out a long tube... which is affixed to the end, forming a long-barreled rifle that's easily longer than the Moribito is tall. This rifle was never meant to be fired from the air. This rifle was never meant to be fired -standing-. This rifle was never meant to be fired with one hand, especially not the off-hand of the pilot.
Moribito-02 still takes the rifle in its right handlowers it to point toward the Rasavatam, and fires.
Mazinger Z is basically a brick, so Puru Two isn't really focusing much on the Funnels that fire on it, thinking it'll be fine. The Strike Zeta is another matter altogether. With dismay, she has to conclude that her Funnels aren't capable of keeping up with it, at all. "Gah... he's even faster now?!" Suddenly her Funnels seem so sluggish. Couldn't be that she's gotten slower. Still, it feels like they aren't moving as quickly as she feels they should. Maybe she's outgrown this machine. Where's /her/ upgrade?
But there's more to worry about. Mazinger Z. Naturally, she's familiar with it, it's one of the all-time greats where it comes to Super Robots. She really hates those things, the things they do never make any logical sense. At least it's keeping things basic this time. Rushing things with a sword, that's a move she knows.
And one which she has no problem evading, as evidenced by her waiting until the very moment that Mazinger swings before boosting aside, choosing the only direction that escape was possible in with less than a second to spare. "Koji Kabuto," she finally addresses the known pilot directly via video feed, "You got lucky once, but you won't again. Such straightforward attacks will never hit me! Now--"
And then it's Camille again, raining down missiles. Suddenly her Funnels need to switch to a defensive role, to intercept the incoming projectiles. Even the Qubeley's Beam Launchers are necessary to get rid of a few that get through the remote weapon shield. Damn, this is bad. If she can't keep her attention focused on one opponent, it's going to be tough to make sure her boast holds true.
But does she actually attempt to switch focus to one single opponent because of this? Of course not, don't be silly. She just redoubles her efforts to try and hit that new model Gundam with her Funnels, it's a matter of pride. Mazinger Z isn't left unoccupied either, of course, but as before, that half of the equation receives less of her concentration, to her possible detriment.
If Lethe Rusina is good at anything, it certainly is multitasking. She types. She types faster, and faster, and faster as her hands alternate between their use of the controls and navigating the consoles, occasionally using her wrists or the heel of her hands to nudge them to and fro-- though as that chakram coming in from Rio makes a dangerously close sweep toward her, the Flickerist twists around in a smooth movement, presenting a large black revolver in it's left hand.
The chamber inside the cylinder spins up, super-compressing the plasma within before a flare of green lights up the muzzle and two shots are fired, one striking the chakram on edge, the second deflecting it away from the modified Ashsaber and off into the sky.
Camille's decision is to fire all the missiles-- all the missiles that were hidden inside of it, anyway. The stout projectiles twist and twirl and fly at odd angles, prompting Lethe to swing that massive, over-armored right arm around in a defensive pose and to shift the Ashsaber's weight...
Missiles and fire and heat and smoke erupt around it. It's hard to say what happens inside the plumes of black and gray smoke that still float and cling to the sky. If the person inside of that machine were more 'normal,' easier to read, Camille would undoubtedly be able to move on to his next target with relative ease. Instead, that smoke lingers, even as debris and flame drops toward the ground.
"Preliminary scan complete."
And then the Flickerist bursts out of the flames.
Those modified Sword Breakers continue to flit around the sky, trying to run a bit of interference for the black monolith as it continues to bleed smoke from all of it's seams, seeming quite literally none the worse for wear, as though it literally shrugged off those explosives... and it continually makes a run on the Strike Zeta. While the Flickerist isn't the /fastest/ girl at the ball, it does pick up a full head of steam on the straight line-- the line that ends with the bulky robot's bulkier right arm drawn back.
The punch seems like it's going to be pretty slow. And then... the layers of armor on the forearm split open. There's a rumble, a hiss, and a hidden vernier devoted solely to that arm /fires/, the fist aimed to plow straight into the Strike Zeta with a whole lot /more/ force behind it!
Oh, yeah. Forgot about the whole 'Evangelions are string beans and trying to punch them is like trying to catch flies with chopsticks' thing. The missiles do little but cloud Naoto's vision with smoke, which was probably what it was going for anyway. The Chairman walks forward through it, but right as he clears it and finds his opponent again, they go and throw a beam axe at him. "Shit! Vavel, catch it and throw it ba-" he starts, but is interrupted by the loud THUNK and significantly quieter sizzle of the weapon embedding itself in the Meganite's chest, causing one of its missile launchers to explode. As you might have guessed, this causes quite a bit of damage. "Damn, not good! We can't be in over our heads already!" The booster on Vavel's back suddenly deploys, firing up its engine. This time, Naoto knows for sure he didn't press anything. Before he can say or think anything, however, the Meganite is flying across the field at the EVA G1, and all Naoto can do is grab onto one of the rungs he recently installed for just this purpose as it tries to ram its central horn into the warrior beast's chest.
Asuka lets loose a long string of German curses as Unit-01's AT Field extends further and further, pressing against her own shrinking one; her AT Field flickers and for a second, Asuka fears it'll collapse under the pressure of Eva Unit-01's. If she doesn't do something soon, then there's no telling what that /monster/ will do to her beloved Unit-02!
Asuka won't let it come to that; her own AT Field still gleaming, she pushing forward. For a second, the AT Field holds up against the force of Unit-01's -- but it's short lived. Only a few footsteps in, and the field flickers out completely. The pressure surrounding her unit is almost unbearable and Asuka finds herself wishing for the first -- but not the last time -- that she didn't have to feel every single blow her unit took. But somehow, with one slow, but deliberate movement, Asuka manages to slam one giant Evangelion-sized fist into Unit-01's jaw.
"Are you just going to let your unit fight your battles for you?!" Asuka is clearly disgusted. "I can't believe you!"
She lifts the pellet gun with her other hand, directing it at the head of Unit-01.
"You really ARE a coward after all!"
It's her robot, she should be able to take it if she wants to. Gods, Huang thinks. If the world were only so simple. The Evangelion are alive, for one thing, and have something approximating a soul if Rei Ayanami can be believed...which he judges she can. But how to determine the will of a creature that should never have existed, built only to destroy creatures that no longer exist?
The palm of Huang's right hand burns as he sends the Rasavatam hurtling forward, making not even an attempt at evading the short, which rips through the robot's belly. He can /feel/ the slug passing just below his cockpit, hear the sound of gouts of liquid alloy bursting out the rear. But all he cares about now is his desperate anger.
"NAIVE!" Huang Qin Shi snarls, reaching forward to grab at the Moribito's chest plating, the little white robot blazing with barely-contained energy as it gathers itself. "You play with forces you can't even comprehend, shrink them until they fit into your childish understanding!" he snaps, his palm feeling like it's going to tear away from his bones. "If you won't listen to reason," Huang whispers, the Rasavatam's thrusters blazing, "Then listen to THIS!"
Outside Langley air base is a live-fire range containing, among other things, a massive chunk of meteoric rock about twelve stories high, weighing hundreds of tonnes. It has been hollowed out, and is used by soldiers to simulate combat inside of cavernous structures or off-planet sites with their own gravity. It is approximately a mile and a quarter away.
The Rasavatam makes it there in 3.6 seconds.
As the Sandra's attention and firepower are turned to focus on Rio's Huckebein, Guy makes the best use he can of his opening - and stays hard on the Zeon ship's tail. Almost literally, in fact.
Guy is less than happy about putting human lives in danger - even hostile humans; his job with GGG is to *protect* human life, after all, and the Zondar are (or were) a threat which went way beyond the various factions of the Earth Sphere.
On the other hand, the Zondar threat has been more or less non-existent since EI-01 (aka Pasdar) surfaced and was finally taken down once and for all, and in order to continue justifying its existence and budget within the EFA, Guy needs to help protect Earth Federation assets and assist its forces. At the moment, that means being as big a wrench in Zeon's efforts *here* as possible - and for what Guy's personal opinion is worth, letting Zeon (or any Divine Crusaders subfaction) get their hands on an Evangelion, functional or otherwise, would be *bad*. Almost as bad as letting them lay hands on G-Stones or related technology - or possibly even worse than that, given what (relatively little) Guy knows about what the Evas are capable of.
With another roar of fury, Guy and GaoGaiGar begin ripping into the Sandra's armor, trying to dig through and start tearing away chunks of an engine's structural and fuel couplings, working his way towards crippling that engine - and slightly less directly, crippling the Sandra.
The Beast moves back a bit, just a few steps, as the missile launchers in the Vavel's chest explodes. This is normally where things start going bad for him. The Beast even crouches a bit, getting ready to move out of the way. And it was a good thing too. When the boosters on the Vavel activate, the speed it manages to produce would have been more than enough to catch the slower unit normally. No, EVAs are not usually /this/ fast. But then, it's not actually speed he is up against. It is more like... the pilot within it just is quite good at reading Naoto's movements, and... it's almost like he's predicting his every move!
Within the cockpit, there is a little video-window that displays Naoto, and the controller in his hands. Each button being touched is registered. And in front of Ascian's screen, a gigantic set of buttons fly by as well. Somehow, The Beast's response to Naoto's attack is...
A QUICKTIME EVENT!
Circle, Triangle, Square, Square, RIGHT SHOULDER BUTTONS!
Ascian doesn't really press any buttons, but instead, a little chibi Dr. Hell is sitting at the bottom of his screen, touching these buttons on his own version of a control pad that looks /suspiciously/ like an XBOX-360 controller. It seems this battle... has become a console war!
The Beast tucks and rolls to the side, spinning Ascian around in his cockpit, before it comes to a halt behind the Vavel and its /chest/ opens up. That is to say, that the gigantic mouth within it, that normally hides the cockpit's gate, is now open. However, behind it is a green-and-black biometal, that quickly begins to grow. The arms of the machine stick forward, pointing at the Vavel, and an even bigger cannon comes out.
It begins to charge, spiralling green energy quickly rushing into it, after which the machine kind of cocks forwards.
Chibi Dr. Hell presses 'A'! Because he doesn't need no X! No, he presses /A/.
And the beam cuts through along the ground, straight towards the Vavel, attempting to cut it straigh in half!
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Lethe Rusina transmits, "... This Gundam is agile."
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Puru Two transmits, "This is impossible... why can't my Funnels track it?"
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Aoba Tsuzaki transmits, "Don't give up!"
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Lethe Rusina transmits, "Roger."
The enemy knows who he is.
This is never a good thing.
Koji Kabuto curses under his breath as his blade cleaves an unoccupied Huckebein instead. Lunar titanium is no match for an edge of Super Alloy Z. The metal-rending swing slices it right in half, leaving it to detonate amid the cramped confines of the hangar. The boy from Japan winces, the Federation'll probably take that from his paycheck.
The Qubeley Mk. II is fast -- faster yet with its remote funnels system. Too fast for Mazinger Z, which catches one of its beam payloads right in the back. The energy cracks against the Steel Guard, hurtling it forward.
Koji yelps in pain, as if the damage that wracked Mazinger's systems was like he were shot instead. "Yagh!" His senses are on fire, his nerves screaming at him. Too slow, Koji, he scolds himself. Too slow. Gotta get--
The cherry-red finish catches Kabuto's eye. He turns his head -- Mazinger turning along with it, to scope out the aerodynamic shape lying on a nearby berth. The Jet Scrander! Mazinger Z's high-flying power-up. Not nearly as frighteningly fast as the Qubeley, but it might just even things up. "You're real fast! And I might'v gotten lucky, but--" Koji answers back to Puru Two.
"..there's something to be said for lightning striking twice!" the Ensign slams the controls forward and dials-in the remote access code. Across the distance, the Jet Scrander activates. All that remains is the activation code, which goes a little something like this..
--a silver belt-buckle clamps over Mazinger Z's mid-section. The scythe-like blades of the Jet Scrander lift into position, adding a much-needed boost to the Steel Guard's mobility. Flames lick from the thruster-cones, lifting the ebon giant into the air. With a flick of the controls, its arms raise up level.
"Okay, one more time--!"
" ROCKETTO PAAAAAAANCH!!"
Hmm. The Chakram didn't do as much damage as she would have liked. Rio focuses, briefly, on the Flickerist, dodging its plasma shot with ease -- and dodging right _into_ the beam cannons! "Argh!" Damage alarms go off in the cockpit, but the Huckebein is tough, even without the protection of the G-Wall. High-grade armor alloys glow hot but are slow to turn to slag. Rio takes to the air to get a little more mobility, flying up towards the ship, brandishing her magna rifle menacingly... and then she suddenly whips out her railgun with the other hand and fires that instead!
Actually trying to fake out a ship pilot isn't as useful as it is against a mecha pilot. Oh well. "It'll take more than that to stop me and Huckebein!"
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> James Heller transmits, "Fading Sun here, I'm in postion moving to intercept. Quite the party it looks like."
A console war!? How will the humble PS2 defeat the monstrous XBox!? Seriously, you can see that thing from space, it's so huge. All the tiny little Playstation can do is wave its little arms at the Beast, with no hope of ever seeing the light of victory! Its library of great games and conveniently small size that saves storage space can't hope to compete against Hellsoft's magnum opus! But it's damn well going to /try/. Vavel quickly crosses its arms in front of it, allowing them to take the brunt of the blast. It's not going to be able to use any rocket punches any time soon, but at least it's still running...and still refusing to respond to Naoto's commands. "Vavel, what the hell are you doing? You're going to get us both ripped to shreds like this!" he shouts at the giant metal head next to him, trying in vain to get some kind of response. But still it ignores him, choosing this opportunity to instead throw a punch at the warrior beast's face with all of the strength it can muster.
The AT Field assault continues from Unit 01, attempting to over power the other Eva. When it looks like she is losing, Unit 01 only pours more of the power on. Pellets hit the AT Field. On this second assault, Unit 01 attempts to bite Unit 02's neck, hitting it's head on her AT Field. The green plates start shifting to orange as the power of the unit begins to whirr loudly before being overshadowed by the sound of a beating heart. It would seem that Unit 01 is furthering itself from the control of the pilot.
And then she has to say something which stirs the source of Unit 01's fury.
The Evangelion stops dead in its tracks for a brief moment, backing down from the assault.
The AT Field just stops for a moment.
"Asuka...." Shinji sounds pretty sane for a moment, even smiling....until his face contorts in to a furious roar, his eyes narrowing to slits as they glow slightly. The scream is probably the single most terrifying thing to anyone who is paying attention to Shinji's sudden break in radio silence.
The pilot breaths heavily as the Evangelion slowly walks toward Asuka. "I..." He hisses out, attempting to send his hand out to strangle Asuka. (Note: Totally In character. See Movie for Details)
A Machine that shouldn't be has been watching the battle unfold, it's smaller than most mecha on this world, it would be considered a larger cousin to the Knightmare frames of the other world. But it was not from that world, it was from yet another world of some sort, it was clearly a spec ops machine it seems to almost fade into view. The black machine only had one idable marking on it's black frab a faded talon gripping an cog that is half red and half blue. Through the middle is a silver lighting bolt.
The green optics shines brightly as it cltches a rifle making use of the wheel spinners and closing in.
<Eve unit sit tight, I'm on my way. I'll deal with the Zerker.>
James watches on the holo display as the SMS system caused the Dark Jaguar to move at high speed. He's clearly come join the battle. Those who recall the gobi incident? Would know it's one of Vindel's boys come to have a hand in this incident...
Camille Bidan has longed for the day when he can tell funnels to go fuck themselves.
And it appears now that he finally can, as his Newtype senses synchronize with the thus-far incredible performance of the Strike Zeta to confound the psychic receivers of Puru's funnels, perceiving angle of attack and evasions mere split-seconds in advance that turned out to make all the difference as the new Gundam emerged relatively unscathed from the furious assault.
Within the cockpit, Camille makes a furious attempt to focus on the unexpected four way battle between him, Puru, the Flicker and Mazinger Z while ignoring the gigantic carnivorous elehant in the room that was Evangelion Unit 01. It was a bit like trying to balance too plates knowing full well there was a growling tiger behind you, ready to bounce.
Somehow, the Newtype manages, seemingly caught off-guard by the Flickerist's sudden offensive until a -FLASH- of insight provides a an instantaneous reaction: The large multi-purpose shield the Strike Zeta carries comes just in time to deflect the what would have no doubt been crushing blow to the cockpit, hopefully knocking the Flickerist aside and putting even more distance between them as Camille turns the ramjets in reverse and applies a little extra juice.
What happened next may have Lethe wondering if he scanner wasn't malfunctoning as the Gundam debuted another trick. The shield-remaining fixed in place where it had thrust forth-parted right down the middle and slid open, extending a long, two-pronged energed condenser the whined and crackled with rapid generation of heavy minovsky particles. It was a reaction that coulf be traced only to one type of weapon.
A Hyper Mega Launcher.
Both the Qubeley and Flickerist remaind in Camille's sights as the unveiled weapon rattled off a scattered burst of high-charged particle fire in marked different from the Orginal Zeta's iteration of the rifle.
The pilot stifled a smirk as he snuck another glance at the instruction manual found inside the pilot's seat, "Heh, that's freakin' sweet...oh...oh shit...."
Camille did not find anything new, he's just beginning to feel the horrible /anguish/ Shinji can't help but broadcast like an out-of-whack radio tower.
The Sandra is a remarkably tough vessel -- only moreso now that it's been officially sanctioned as the flagship of the fleet. Though Guy can certainly dig through it, especially with the help of the railgun shots, it's a rough time of it -- it's just /dense/.
The Sandra starts to pull away from its targets, not wanting to risk itself; it's a hardy vessel but at the same time Glemy needs to play it conservative with the enormous mobile weapon, lest he lose it. There is one upside to a heavy, expensive battleship, however:
It can shoot backwards.
The turrets whirl around to point at Guy even as the Sandra retreats, and one of the enormous mega particle cannons in particular opens fire, disgorging an immense, superheated shot toward the Super Robot.
It does seem like the small, compact game console is losing out against the gigantic brick which's name was the most unremarkable in ages. But it has one thing that the Playstation 2 doesn't have... and that is...
The Beast's eyes glow, and it grabs a nearby power cable that is laying around, and plugs it into itself to get a quick boost of power! That's right, Ascian just stuck a cable into his machine to get that bit more power over his opponent. The energy quickly charges the machine, flooding it with power, which it then uses to create a gigantic green spiralled shield before itself! Energy flows in circles and circles obviously green - and rotating at such speeds that it might even look like a gigantic 'X' was in the middle.
"Back off, pilot!" Ascian calls out, the maching barking out his voice through its moving jaw. The shield begins to collapse, but not before the machine side-steps and the entire spiralling energy coalesces into a single sphere. The Vavel ends up storming past his unit, and The Beast wobbles backwards, after which it /crushes/ that orb of energy within its hand!
It shatters, like a crystal, and suddenly a gigantic beam lance appears, with a drillhead at the tip. It flashes brightly, the energy twitching within The Beast's palm as it defies physics. Within the cockpit, Ascian is panting loudly, pouring his will into the machine. As much as it may seem like this battle has been rather skewed, it is draining a lot of energy from him to keep up this level of combat. The plug of energy gets purged from the unit, and at that moment, Ascian pushes the metal brace at his right forwards... and the spiral-energy lance gets thrown straight for the side of Vavel!
James Heller sees what a pickle Glemy is in his machine skirts away from Asuka. He's seen data of her ability to fight she can hopefully handle it also keeping Glemy from getting taken out is a major thing he then targets Rio's huckie and radios.
"A Berserk Trooper. Your a breave one but no matter that thing's a dinosaur compaired to this machine!"
The engine lets out a roa as he speeda round and opens fire on Rio's machine with some sort of Autocannon. Round after round is fired and the machine doesn't sit still, it skates along never comming out of Skate mode as it fires.
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> James Heller transmits, "I got the Berserk Trooper."
The rifle is quickly disassembled and put back in place, the spent shell crashing to the ground. There's a second shell in the chamber, but they're expensive to make, and Aoba isn't sure she wants to tempt fate by trying again immediately. AS is, she's shocked at how good of a shot that was. "Wh--" As the Rasavatam grabs onto her Jinki's chest, Aoba's eyes go wide. "Wh...wait, what do you mean?"
Three point six seconds is not a long period of time. For half that time, Aoba is processing what just happened. However, she is nothing if not quick to react. Before Moribito can impact with the giant rock, several additional thrusters extend from the lower legs and begin to sputter. Half a second to impact. A quarter of a second to impact. A tenth of a second to impact....
Moribito-02 is suddenly not there anymore. It hasn't teleported... and since Huang's machine was in direct contact with it at the time, he may have an idea of what actually happened: the Jinki just moved incredibly fast, faster than the eye can see, faster than any computer can pick up right away.
"I know I'm naive!" Moribito-02 doesn't even stop moving, changing directions at sharp angles with no loss of momentum as it bounces back and forth against thin air, jumping higher and higher. "And I don't care! I've fought robots and dragons and monsters and aliens and robot alien monsters who weren't dragons! I don't care if I'm naive! I know the world isn't as simple as I want to see it!" By now, tears are threatening to form... Puru Two would yell at her, she just knows it. But she can't really deny her nature. "But look!" Very briefly, the Jinki pauses, pointing down toward the Evangelion units. "It's stopped, see? The world isn't as complicated as adults think it is, either!" A small cloud of chaff is ejected from the back of Moribito's knees. "And if I have to prove it to you this way... then I will!" Crimson and gold sparks begin to flow over the surface of the Jinki, flowing down toward the legs.
"Glittering..." One leg shifts, touching the cloud of chaff. "Dragonfly...!" The instant it does, the Jinki is moving downward. There is no acceleration... it's just suddenly diving, foot first, at an incredibly high speed. "KIIIIIIIICK!"
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> James Heller transmits, "Nice one Aoba."
Aoba may be able to evade at velocity changes beyond that which the human body can survive, but Huang Qin SHi can't - and he was rather counting on having the Moribito between his Rasavatam and the meteorite when he hit it at ridiculousty-eight miles per hour. The resulting explosion is a sight to behold.
Huang is punch-drunk as the Rasavatam staggers out of the crater it's caused, barely conscious as it stumbles toward the ground, bleeding white-hot armour from several places. "You do...nerstan'," he mutters, vision darkening around the edges of his sight. "Not..listen...they....Impact..."
And then the Moribito crashes into the Rasavatam, and Huang stops speaking. <Pose Tracker> Guy Shishioh [N] has posed. "Gwah - !!" yelps Guy as the blast engulfs GaoGaiGar, the stream of high-energy particles deflecting somewhat about the G-Stone-powered super robot - then deflecting further as Guy finally manages to bring the Protect Wall to bear, leaving GaoGaiGar smoking and sparking - but still combat-worthy.
"Is that the best you can do, Zeon?!" thunders Guy Shishioh as GaoGaiGar starts closing on the Sandra's stern once again - this time zig-zagging to try and confuse the gunners, at least until the King of Braves can get into the Sandra's blind spot ... well, at least, where the ship's own structure keeps the mega particle cannons from getting off another clear shot at it.
This probably does not rule out any number of *other* weapons; for example, a bunch of Earth Federation ships (Alpha Numbers and/or A-LAWS) and others tend to have missile banks towards the back, where the missiles can arc around the ship's sides. Given that little tidbit, Guy doesn't simply loiter around in what may or may not be a blind spot ... he starts mauling at the Sandra's hull again, pummeling the hell out of anything that looks like a weapons emplacement back here, and merely pounding the *heck* out of everything else.
Asuka was not often afraid, and the few times she was afraid, she did a good job of not showing it. But right now, she's afraid. Something is wrong with Shinji. Something beyond the idiocy that came standard with the boy.
When he reaches out for her, she immediately reacts; hand on rifle, she shoots, and shoots again and shoots until a cloister of empty shells decorate the ground below Unit-02. But somehow, every bullet misses its target; Unit-01 is moving too fast, too quickly for her to get a shot at it.
He reaches out and grabs Eva Unit-02 by the throat so violently that Asuka loses focus; the pellet rifle falls to the ground, clankingly loudly against the discarded metal shells below. The girl gasps for air audibly, as her windpipe begins to close under the force of Unit-01's grip.
But fear turns to loathing. And in that moment, she hates Shinji with every fiber of her being.
"You," she manages to somehow press forward, even as his hands close in over her."
From Unit-02's shoulders sprout spikes; one hand slides across the hand controls of her Unit-02, then presses a button.
"Disgust me! The spikes launch.
Staren pores over schematics for some kind of energy weapon. "Hyper mega *mutter mutter* double zeta *mutter mutter* Anaheim won't give _me_ a high-power reactor *mutter* they'll see *mutter* all see now that I have the GN Drive... they'll all see! Ahhhahahaha! AHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!" Staren suddenly looks around the room in alarm, but noone is here. Good, noone saw that. "Man, that felt good."
"Hmph." Rio scores a hit with her railgun, but she's going to need to do more than that to take down the ship... "Prepare the G-Impact Cannon for launch, I may need it to deal with--"
Suddenly, someone _else_ is shooting at her! The Huckebein turns as the bullets are stopped in their tracks and fall harmlessly to the ground, although perhaps not so harmless for anything _on_ the ground, but the Huckebein is in the air so Rio doesn't care! "A dinosaur? This is the top of the line, Mao Industry's finest! This is a real Mark II, not the mass production model! Let me show you why they call it the Berserk Trooper!" The Huckebein changes course to go after its challenger, firing the Magna Rifle before following up with a few shots from its railgun!
After her scrapes with Koji Kabuto in the past, she's become somewhat indoctrined to the way that the Mazinger Z's rocket fist flies. She has data on it, no less-- including that errant "INVINCIBLE" notice that appeared that fateful day on Huffman Island. With that knowledge in mind, the bulky Flickerist twists in the air, the Tesla Drive within screaming at high output as it virtually /jumps over/ the flying strike while in mid-air.
The Flickerist's arm twists in the process of making a half-turn toward Koji Kabuto's iconic giant robot, the cylinder of the EC71 Plasma Revolver again spinning up before bursts of green energy fly back at him in return. On cue, her voice cuts across the air, carried on radio transmission lines: "I will get to you soon enough, Koji Kabuto."
And then Camille brings it out.
The bulk and size of the Hyper Mega Launcher catches Lethe's eye and manages to hold the gynoid's attention for more than a few seconds, a feat that is fairly amazing in and of itself. But she waits, she eyeballs, and... she calculates.
When the beam fires, the charged mega-particles blast through the sky on what should be a certain one-hit kill... but again, in the strangest of moments, the bulky black machine ducks out of the path of the shot. Has Lethe gotten better? Has the Flickerist been overhauled since the battle on Huffman Island?
The kneeguards of the Assault Dragoon shift just slightly, the toes of the feet swinging downward. Two more of those remote weapons slide out of their docks inside the now-hollowed guards, cutting lines of motion across the air, the collective six remotes spiraling in closer and closer to each other in a tightly-packed formation. Output shifts, and the six bits charge up. Lethe seems intent to break straight into Camille's close range again as that EC71 revolver thrusts ahead, the arm located in the center of those six tightly-packed spinning Shadow Bits.
Her voice is soft as she makes radio contact with the Strike Zeta Gundam, oddly so-- and a voice that was heard when Glemy Toto made his landmark announcement about the future of Zeon.
"You cannot escape forever."
The trigger pulls with a click, and all six of those Shadow Bits release a massive blaze of purple-hue beam energy, threatening to engulf the Gundam's torso!
Ah, but the Playstation also had the internet! Admittedly, not as good as the XBox's, but it was there, dammit! And Vavel is still ignoring Naoto. "I can't! It's not responding to my commands!" he transmits back to Ascian, then starts pounding on the side of Vavel's head. "Dammit, Vavel, now's not the time to go all screwy! Get it together! We're partners, right? Pilot and machine, working together as one? If you just go off on your own like that, it'll only end up hurting us both!" The Meganite seems to growl again, but it stops moving on its own. It seems Naoto's had some success after all. "Alright...alright, we're good now, right? Come on, if you want to keep fighting, fight with me. We're one, right? So let's get 'em together!" he says, answered by another growl from the head by his side. The Meganite reverts to its normal state, the armor strips, fins, and spikes all returning to their usual places. And then, out of nowhere, a gigantic plane made of guns flies down and combines with Vavel, transforming it into... "VAVEL! FULL ARMOR MODE, GO!" Naoto shouts, as what appears to be an upscaled Hyper Bazooka attached to its should swivels down to aim at the EVA G1. It fires several shells at the warrior beast, Naoto shouting something incomprehensible through the sound of what amounts to a giant cannon firing repeatedly.
Try as she might, Puru Two's attempts to hit the Strike Zeta with her Funnels are futile. There's nothing she can do but accept this reality. "...impossible. This is completely impossible!" Or deny it, of course. She's never had /this/ much trouble tracking a unit before. It's a shocking turn of events, to put it mildly, when her greatest asset appears to be completely useless here. "Hold still! Holdstillholdstillholdstill!!"
And of course Koji isn't giving up either. With newfound ability to fly and increased speed, she can no longer wait until the last second to avoid Mazinger Z's movements. But this barely registers now, as do most of her surroundings, so focused is she on her attempts to shoot down Camille. She finds out her mistake the hard way when another Rocket Punch flies her way, and her dodging attempt, more instinctual than anything, this time is a fraction too late, clipping the Qubeley's side, easily knocking the lightweight machine about. "Tch! You... stop interrupting me!"
Again, her concentration is lost. Camille takes advantage of the lapse in Funnel fire to bring out his signature weapon. Puru Two would recognise it anywhere. She knows to get out of the way of that at all costs.
She chooses not to. She can only see the opening that readying that weapon provides her. This is her chance. When Camille fires, so does she, finally able to actually hit the blasted the thing at the cost of getting her own machine engulfed in a sizable particle blast.
The Qubeley doesn't look too great after that. Its innards are exposed where the Hyper Mega Launcher struck, a twisted mess of wires sparking within. But it yet remains airborn, critical systems still operational. And Puru Two's only reaction... is laughter. "Ah ha ha ha! How's that?! Got you good, didn't I?!" She doesn't even seem to care that she's the one who got out of that the worst. This is a moral victory in her book.
The mobile suit shoots far up into the sky afterwards, looming over the battlefield below. The pilot can't continue fighting in this condition, she knows that well enough. But far be it from her to leave on a peaceful note. "Koji Kabuto! Camille Bidan! I admit my defeat today... but just because I lose doesn't mean you win!"
Puru Two has a funny way of admitting defeat. It involves having her Funnels going completely nuts at both her opponents one final time. A light blue aura because visible around both the Qubeley and all of its Funnels as the clone Newtype puts her mental faculties into overdrive. With how fast they move, there suddenly appear to be two, maybe even three times as many of the remote weapons. They leave little in the way of openings to escape, and continue to fire until they run completely dry of energy, at which point they just head straight for their targets to ram into them.
Something is wrong with Shinji. He roars like a madman, blocking the incoming bullets with a passing thought. It is not his mommy in control now. It is a very very distraught teenager with mental issues that have been long unchecked. His face contorts as he grips the controls for dear life as if they did something. Right now, this was all under control by Shinji's rather unstable self.
Unit 01 squeezes it's grip, threatening to snap the girl's neck. Shinji breaths heavily, glaring down at her. "I..."
The shoulder spikes embed into Unit 01's chest, spraying blood over Unit 02's face. Still, it doesn't stop Unit 01 from removing one hand and taking a swipe at the other Evangelion's face in a counter attack. Blood continues to spray.
Shinji's eyes close as they suddenly go from very angry to very very sad.
"I LOVED YOU!!!!!!" He shrieks this out in between manic bawling.
He lets go of the other Unit 02, letting his arms fall to his side. Then the Evangelion falls to it's knees, it's armor shifting back to purple and green as the pilot powers down. The pilot falls back into shock as the Evangelion collapses.
Ascian sighs, sitting forwards. "Well, now you can, and you still aren't leaving." He grunts over the speakers, which again comes out as a growl. The EVA G1 then begins to run straight forwards at Naoto, ready to collide with it and actually gets within melee range for a moment. AS that Hyper Bazooka comes down to aim at his unit, he ducks beneath it and rams the unit's hand up to get it to aim behind it - ending up sending the shells into the base's structures and crashing into a set of nearby jets that had not taken off yet - killing a few pilots.
"Your shouting and foolish tactics will just hurt people, go away!" Ascian calls out, and has the unit put its hands together. A blast of green energy quickly spirals outwards, and when he moves the hands away from eachother, a set of Hyper Bazookas appear on the bottom of them - partially constructed out of green Spiral energy, and part out of the biometal that forms the machine. Flesh and green tendril-like wires connect to it, pulsing. Acid drips across the floor due to metal having been pushed through the biological matter - spread by Ascian moving the machine's arms outwards for a moment, before he has it jump!
The Beast in fact, jumps /over/ Vavel, with surprising dexterity, and twists whilst upside down. The two guns aim down at the ground, and he unleashes a gigantic twosome of beams towards the ground - hoping to envelop his opponent in them. Yet still, he aims only to the shoulder on which Naoto himself is not standing. He's putting himself at a disadvantage in going easy on the guy.
James Heller gets a bad feeling about something and has no idea why. It's nothing to do with Rio either. Oh well he'll deal with whatever it might be later. "As I said a dinosaur."
The smaller machine takes the hits shockingly well, very well all things considered armor's blown off the frame or melted depening but it keeps on comming. It doesn't fire it's weapon it pulls a small grenade?! off the rifle and throws it at Rio's machine it might even stick to her personal trooper if it gets close.
One thing that Naoto is not known for, as anyone can tell you, is paying attention to what he says. One minute he could say something implying he's going to leave if he regains control of his machine, the next he goes and regains control of his machine and starts fighting instead. Like he just did here.
"Yeah, that's the idea. They'll hurt people like you! You Crusaders and your screwed up spider zombie robot ninjas... Get the hell off my Earth!" he shouts some more, because that's basically all he knows how to do. The fact that his shells just killed some people and destroyed part of the base he's trying to protect isn't completely lost on him; in fact, it only further fuels his desire to fight Ascian.
As the G1 jumps over Vavel, Naoto turns the Meganite as quickly as he can, holding up one of its now more heavily armored arms to take the shots again, and this time they simply bounce off of the armor. Something shoots out of Vavel's 'backpack', and the gigantic machine catches it with surprising deftness as it falls, revealing it to be a sword. Naoto then does exactly what most swordfighting instructors would probably tell you not to do. He throws it.
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> James Heller transmits, "BOOM baby"
Evangelion Unit-02 falls to its knees; Asuka barely manages to keep her unit from tumbling over completely.
She's breathing heavy now, a single hand pressed against her tender neck. She always knew that Shinji Ikari was a complete basketcase; now she had tangible proof of it. She opens her mouth to deliver some disarming quip, but he opens his mouth to speak and for the moment Asuka's silent.
And when Shinji finally delivers his confession -- on the battlefield as she is about to defect, after strangling her that she was certain that she'd lose Unit-02 and the life she'd gladly give up for it -- Eva Unit-02 rises to its feet. A single eye surveys the battlefield -- the damage done to the area, to the other units -- with one, bored and languid eye.
She spins the unit around to face Glemy's ship. Unit-02 is badly damaged; if she's going to make her escape, she needs to make it now.
"I could never love something as wretched as you."
A moment of silence fills the air, as disgust fills the pilot of Eva Unit-02. And then, without warning, the Evangelion begins racing towards the Sandra; overhead, a hatch begins to open, and Asuka hurls her unit towards it. And almost immediately as Unit-02 lands, the hatch closes behind it.
And Asuka's done working with the Alpha Numbers.
Glemy Toto accepts the loss of the weapons placements; fortunately for him, the Sandra is moving at a good enough clip in the right direction that it doesn't lose /too/ many of them to Guy's aggressive pounding. The important thing is that the MS catapults are still, if not /intact/, at least /open/ -- and that makes it easy for someone who needs an escape and whose machine moves at a faster clip than a battleship to get in and abscond.
When Asuka does just that, Glemy's lips turn up in a smile, and he gets the Sandra going just the littlest bit faster, preparing to get /right/ the hell out of there. Not a bad day, all told; Glemy's certainly got the opportunity to smile about it.
"Prepare to exit the atmosphere," he tells his crew, nodding once. "We've gotten what we came for."
<Radio: A - DC Chat> Glemy Toto transmits, "Cover our retreat. The Sandra has seen better days."
<Radio: A - DC Chat> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Roger that!"
<Radio: A - DC Chat> Aoba Tsuzaki transmits, "Right!"
With a great crash of metal on metal (or perhaps a splut of metal on liquid metal), Moribito-02 strikes the Rasavatam. As the machine falls and Huang falls silent, Aoba looks down at the robot and lets out a sad sigh. Sometimes, adults can be so... difficult. "I'm sorry.."
Thrusters fire, and the Jinki begins to fly upward. Aoba turns her head to the side, spotting Evangelion Unit 02 jumping toward the Sandra, and gives a decisive nod. "Good!" She absently rubs her sleeve across her eyes and smiles before following the ship upward.
Rio frowns at the toughness of the tiny machine... That _is_ surprising... But if she can take on a battleship, she can handle it! "You still so sure? You can leave now, without the evangelion, and be spared the embarassment!" The Huckebein flies in close and then--
Something sticks to the main camera. "What is that? Get it off!" The Huckebein tries to scrape the grenade off, but to no avail -- and then it explodes, blowing the head clean off!
There are, of course, auxiliary cameras. "That was a lucky shot!" Rio shouts, rather put out at something like that happening to her. Who is this guy, making her look foolish! She brandishes the magna rifle. "Fall!" But instead the Berserk Trooper starts to move, whipping the railgun up into firing position and firing a short burst, before flying around behind and firing again... and then she just starts circling around the Dark Jaguar, letting the other machine have it as she fires a constant spray of railgun slugs! "What do you think of this dinosaur now?!"
You could always tell when Puru Two was starting to get annoyed, because that battlefield never failed to turn into a hell of funnels and laser beams guided by the eery chaotic precision of a child's tantrum that laid waste to all in it's path.
Yet the Strike Zeta was a ship that could naviage get this searing land of particle flames, and Camille actually laughed as helmed it. "What's the matter, Puru Two?!" He snarked in uncommon (these days, anyways) confidence, "Keep this up, and you're gonna get /grounded!"
Koji, please tell him how painfully stupid that was.
But that mirth evaporates when one of the the funnels manages to score a hit on the Strike's shoulder, melting armor and fusing joints together in an operation that forced the online-repair systems to nearly burn themselves out to keep performance from behing affected. More sobering was the Flickerist evading his shots in that strange, hovering way to brooked no evidence of will, humanity or self. The unsettling qualities of the machine were beginning to disturb Camille almost as much as the giant, bloody battle between Evas. Something...something about this wasn't right.
The purple-hued, annihilating beam streaks straight for him, quick thinking keeping from being blinded by the backflash as the soft, familiar voices comes over his radio.
It clicks. He remembers. /That woman/.
What happens is a strange replay of the Flickerist's own manuever. By rights, the Strike ought to be obliterated by a dead-on hit from that attack, but instead it ducks beneath the blow, ramjets flaring at full capacity as the mobile suit transformed and blazed ahead, seeking to penetrate the Flickerist's defenses in a stunning flip of roles. All the while, the unit's main weapon has been charging...
"Neither can you." Comes Camille's determined reply.
"Wh- what!?" Koji Kabuto sputters in disbelief. He's fixed in a stare as little cylndrical devices zip past his vision. They're nearly too fast -- blinking in and out of his perception just as fast as he can blink. He reclines in his seat in abject horror. "..An all-ranged attack!? That's-- that's impossible!"
He tries his best, god bless him. Working furiously at the controls, trying to manuever his hulking god-robot away from the ever-complex myriad of beams directed at him. Koji manuevers Mazinger Z out of one -- then another. Then one clips his wing, sending him spiralling forward. "Agh!!" the pain disrupts his concentration. The beams keep striking him, his focus unable to keep up. The Steel Guard is assaulted in every front, treated as a helpless Super Alloy Z-ragdoll. Each funnel-shot leaves it staggeringly vulnerable.
Yet something is wrong.
Something is very wrong.
Every time Mazinger Z is struck, a warning signal pings the systems of Puru Two's Qubeley unit. If she calls up the message, something bizarre and wrong will flash up on her panoramic screen. A status-report from the Mazinger,
ALERT Koji Kabuto has gained INVINCIBLE ALERT
Mazinger Z is engulfed in the resultant explosion of over a dozen beam-hits and the brutal thrashing of funnel-charges. When the smoke clears, the Nihon Knight stands. Damaged, yet glorious and vengeful. Powered by a resplendant god who sits strong upon his mountain, the Father of Heaven and Earth. His thunderbolt given shape in this colossal, spike-eared form. Its eyes glowing with its Photonic Power, capacitors brought up to full. The pilot, a boy of seventeen with wild hair and a near-irrational courage that is unparalleled across both Earth and All Known Space. His eyes are ablaze with a frightening and incredible power.
This.. Photonic Power!!
The Power of Innovation!
Koji Kabuto is ripe with purpose. Godhood courses through his veins, strengthening his mortal body. With his brow furrowed down the bridge of his nose, he stares like daggers across the distance to the pilot of the Qubeley Mk. II. "We're not through yet! I'll show you what this Mazinger can do!" He raises his hands into the air -- and his robot follows suit. It is not the strength of his mind that moves the limbs of the Steel Guard -- it is his sheer force of spirit. The bio-rhythm sensors aboard chart the extremes of his heartbeat. Engines to full, the Mazinger Blade once more in the fists of the mechanoid. "...THIS EARTH IS NOT MEANT FOR THE LIKES OF YOU!"
T-shaped control is ratcheted forward, high-flying Mazinger Z charges directly for the Qubeley. Its incredible blade raised high above it -- its shining length stamped with a miraculous letter and embelished in etched lightning bolts. Truly, God is on the ground. And he's coming right for Puru Two.
The future of humankind clashes once more with its legendary past. Mazinger Z swings forward with a series of incredible strokes that match the miraculous letter that decorates its sword. A destiny shared by both men -- one from the city of Atami in the province of Shizuoka, Japan. The other, from the space colony known as Green Noa 2. This letter we call--
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Lethe Rusina grunts as though the Flickerist just took a mild scratch. "I will withdraw."
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Be safe, Rusina."
"Spider zombie ninjas?" What?! This guy was making even less sense than a guy strangling the one he loved - and then confessing to her. Not like that'd ever happen. Nobody is /that/ stupid. "This isn't /your/ Earth!" Although Ascian sure as heck didn't have claim to it, being a Martian and all that. The Beast's two beam rifles disappear after it gets behind the enemy unit and starts spraying missiles between them, warping any radar signature his unit may give and allowing him to use this smokescreen to quickly get around his opponent and send off another series of missiles.
The Beast keeps releasing missiles, trying to create enough marks on Vavel's armor to create a point of weakness he'd be able to use soon there-after. He soon finds another set of Zaku IIIs that had been unable to retreat along with Glemy's battleship, and he tears off an arm and a beam saber unit, which he then combines, crunches together, and throws at the Vavel like it was one whole package - set with a charge to explode when it'd get close enough to its chest.
He then turns about and watches the rest of the battle going on. It seems like the other Divine Crusader units were having quite a bit of trouble. So, he takes The Beast further into the center of the combat and puts himself between all of the enemy forces and the Sandra - hoping to cut off enemies which might want to cut off its path as it retreats with the Unit 02.
When the Sandra throttles up like that, it quickly leaves GaoGaiGar behind - and there's nothing left Guy can do to either cripple it, or prevent Asuka from boarding it with Eva-02.
In other words, mission failure - and there wasn't much left that he could do to stop it at that point.
Guy doesn't have time to grump about his failure, though - and GaoGaiGar turns and heads for Eva-01.
/Grounded?!/ Why that Camille Bidan... even now, he's still treating her like a child! That's it, she's changed her mind, who cares she no longer has Funnels now. She'll slice him up with Beam Sabers if she has to!
At least, that's what she was thinking. In reality what happens is that Puru Two doesn't get to have any real choice in the matter. She doesn't even get to draw those sabers before Mazinger Z is suddenly /right there/. When did it manage to get so close? Was she that distracted? Or did she underestimate it that much?
Questions which will have to be pondered later, when she's not getting her unit sliced into in such a way that it looks like freaking Zorro just gave the Qubeley a once-over. One tremendous explosion later, the Zeonic mobile suit is blasted far, far back, before it begins to plummet. A convenient pair of retreating Zaku IIIs grab the machine by the oversized shoulders, dragging it the rest of the way back to the Sandra.
Another thing Naoto isn't known for is making sense. This is the man who made a cannon that fires Balls, remember. Still, he's usually pretty reliable in battle, with a nice, solid machine and decent piloting skills...keyword being 'usually'. It seems today isn't his lucky day. "Dammit! I'm going to tag you eventually, Crusader!" Naoto yells some more, stumbling a bit as the debris smacks into Vavel and explodes. When he regains his balance, he notices that the G1 is trying to escape. "Hey, I'm not done with you!" Vavel aims its beam rifle at Ascian...and the beam cannons on its waist...and the bazooka on its shoulder...and all of the missiles concealed in various parts of its armor...and the gatling guns on its arms and chest. Even its vulcans are spinning up. And then, all at once, every single gun and launcher and what-have-you opens fire in the general direction of the warrior beast.
Briefly the bane of Koji Kabuto's existance. The woman that surprised Lamia Loveless to an unbelievable amount. The girl that made Lunata Croze, Gundam Fighter of the Neo-Vatican, lose her freaking marbles. The woman responsible for the massive destruction at Huffman Island, and for killing a handful of A-LAWS grunts.
The Strike Zeta ducks under that point-blank shot in a stunning maneuver. The air ripples from the heat left over from that purple beam, and it transforms with remarkable speed while Lethe hits the retros, trying to put a little distance between herself and the Katharon Gundam. Her brows lift, her eyes widen, and she looks briefly, legitimately /shocked/.
The Shadow Bits stack together in a staggered formation, the left hand grabbing it-- making it look like a massive club. Things happen in impressively sudden movements in the next few seconds. Lethe rears back the weapon to swing, and Camille's Strike Zeta slams nose-first against the abdomen. As the arm comes forward, it narrowly breezes over the Waverider, and the bits are released prematurely-- scattering into the wind, rather than being used as a massive cudgel.
'Neither can you.'
The Flickerist is briefly engulfed in the light of the attack, the massive force of the Hyper Mega Launcher ripping through the armor and chassis and potentially engulfing the entire cockpit bloc in it's destructive force. When the light clears, the Flickerist is no longer mounted on the front of Camille's gun... and instead is a short distance away, the Assault Dragoon's left arm nothing more than a frayed, slag-melted stump at one shoulder. The chest is laid bare across that same left side, all the way down to the hips.
And then the FACE PHONE activates, leaving one Lethe Rusina staring back at Camille with a nonplussed expression and a pair of cracked sunglasses. She slides them off with unerring calm, as though she almost /didn't/ get herself killed. "Unfortunately, Camille Bidan, Zeon's objective has been completed. I will learn from the mistakes I made today and be better prepared for you next time," she adds, her hand slipping just past her chest and into the short-cropped leather jacket...
... to pull out another pair of sunglasses, sliding them on.
And then the ASK-UC90 Flickerist's verniers all fire at once, roaring like an angry dragon as the Assault Dragoon hurtles off into the sky, chasing after the Sandra.
"My name is Ascian Luddite - Lieutenant Ascian Luddite!" The young man twists his machine back as it is running, jumps in the midst of this turn, firing a series of missiles straight at his opponent to intercept the beams and rockets. A gigantic green explosion ends up happening right over the battlefield as missiles impact with missiles, setting eachother off - and the extreme heat of the beams being shot from the Vavel splice any other defensive weaponry. They carve across the ground into Ascian's direction, and one finally slices across the left arm of the unit - searing the biometal and immediately sending the smell of... bacon... through the area.
Why an EVA/G1 Machine Beast smells like bacon, will however forever be a mystery.
The Beast lands on its legs again, and another series of missiles if fired into the air - to hide the Sandra. Knowing that he still has an enemy to deal with however, a large rocket suddenly appears from the top of the right hand, that looks like it has a shark face on it that actually is somewhat animated. It leaves a strong green spiralling trail behind it - and explodes right in front of his unit. Ascian just can't get himself to put that pilot in pure danger. He hated fighting people like that. It was almost like they were putting their own lives hostage.
He quickly looks outside to the rest of the battlefield. Most of their troops were damaged, or retreating. And he really didn't feel like getting this new EVA/G1 heaven-or-helled. So the unit suddenly spawns a set of disgusting looking butterfly wings, and begins to rise up into the air - preparing to retreat.
Mazinger Z kicks in its jump-jets for manueverability. Its legs swing forward, enabling it to slow its rapid approach and turn back toward the Hangar. Its radio is exploding -- something about him being the Ninth or Tenth Child that Koji Kabuto cannot make sense of. Not that it matters right now, he's too occupied with trying to get to Shinji.
"Camille--!" Koji shouts over the shortwave. "I need help with Shinji!" He flies Mazinger Z back to the ground, whereupon it make heavy steps toward the toppled Unit-01.
James Heller has proven to be too fast for this point, as he evades the attack and he says. "Man you don't know a grenade?!" He scoots out of the wya as the counter attack comes and he's just not there, the Autocanon he's carrying roars to life again spying roudns at the other mech as the circle eachother.
"You, eat this.!"
Camille may have 'won' his personal battle, but the results were a net loss for them all. The Newtype's gut dropped as he saw the Red Evangelion vanish into the Sandra's embrace, considered the sheer terrible potential of Zeon, a weapon like that, and their propensity to experiment on Newtypes...
The boy shuddered. He was a soldier. He didn't want to think about this. Let men like Captain Bright and Quattro worry about the ramifications today while he enjoyed the simplicity of following orders a bit longer. That wasn't cowardice...was it?
The remote, beautiful face of the woman in the Flickerist stole his attention - it was indeed the same person he'd seen at Glemy Toto's pronouncement, the same feel of surreal emptiness abounding. How had she managed to save so much of her suit at a point blank blast like that? Was there technology on the Flickerist they didn't know about - Balmarian tech, maybe? Camille knew of few other things that could warp space, and it was the only forthcoming explanation.
He words, plainspoken as they are, cut right to the core of the pilot and render his personal triumph as the small, meaningless sentiment it is in the face of their larger failure to keep the Evangelion and it's pilot from escaping. Even so he refuses to show weakness, answering Lethe with a calm, cocky smile, "Go right ahead and learn, beautiful. I'll be ready to teach you again."
That was a cool attitude to have, right?
The summoned confidence faded as the video link terminated and the Flickerist disengaged, leaving Camille to consider the pilot of Mazinger and the prone Evangelion that remained with them. The pilots of these units...obviously something existed between them, or had..
At Koji's prompting he loses no time. "Right!" The Strike Zeta quickly joined the Mazinger, dwarfed as it was by the fallen unit, "How...how do we even get him out?" Camille bit his lips, trying not consider the dimension of this...well..monster, "Where /is/ he, even?"
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Our mission objective has been obtained. I am retreating - The Beast is starting to wear me out beyond the point where I can properly pilot."
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> James Heller transmits, "Roger."
The G1 avoids all of the shots again, blowing up Vavel's missiles and such...until one of the beam cannons finally scores a hit on it. Naoto has to restrain himself from cheering and doing an incredibly nerdy dance on Vavel's shoulder, but it doesn't take long before he's right back to his normal fight-happy self. The Beast fires a shark missile at the Meganite, and Naoto tries to shoot it down with one of the gatling guns, but it ends up hitting Vavel anyway. The Chairman tries to follow up with another burst of every gun at once, but there's just one problem. "Out of ammo? OUT OF AMMO!?" he shouts, furiously mashing on all of the buttons on his controller, trying to get something, anything, to fire. "Did we forget to restock it last time? Ugh, and there's no way I can chase it down and punch it now, either..." And so he's forced to watch the Crusaders and Zeonites and Asuka all fly away into the horizon, powerless to stop them. It's an unusual feeling, to be sure.
"Damnit, where did he--?" Rio asks as the Dark Jaguar vanishes... and then a veritable torrent of autocannon fire pounds the G-Wall into submission and breaks through it, the Berserk Trooper shaking as bullets hail into it, it crashes after the main thrusters are broken and crippled.
Rio slowly gets the Huckebein to its feet. How could this happen?? But she knows she has no chance now, without the speed of the thrusters... "Next time! Next time you won't get so lucky!" The Huckebein scrambles back towards the base.
Tonight, Rio puts herself through hell in the simulators.
And then, just because he wants to feel like he can at least /try/ to do something, Naoto disconnects Vavel's arm at the elbow, despite the rockets being non-functional, and /throws/ it at the retreating Crusaders. "CHOU HISSATSU! ASSAULTO KNUCKLLLLLLLLLE!" It doesn't even come close, but it's the effort that counts!
"God, I don't even know.." Koji answers as he tilts Mazinger's head to get a better look at Unit-01. "I've never dealt with machines built by people who explicitly want to torment their pilots before."
"Just help me get him to this recovery bay," Koji decides as he commands Mazinger to take Unit-01 by its shoulders. "Then get out of here before someone realizes you're who you are. I could get court-martialed if someone finds out we know each other!"
"Oh, shit, you're right!" Sometimes Camille forgot that being a terrorist could make things kinda hard on his friends who were not. He seized the Unit-01 as best as he could have Strike do, though most of the heavy lifting would come from Mazinger. He didn't know the pilot, but he couldn't imagined anyone deserved a rejection..uh...quite like that.
Awkward autistic nerds unit.
"Speaking of...uh, court martials" He chewed his lower lip, "About the whole thing with Ibis Douglas..."
"Don't even say another word!!" Koji snaps back. "The less I know, the better!" It'll make it easier for him to claim plausible deniability when he goes to vouch for Douglas after she returns to Earth.
Mazinger Z makes heavy-lifting an effortless job, for sure. He retreats Unit-01 back into Langley. The art of extracting Shinji from it is best left up to a more skilled individual.
James Heller is fast, he's very fast but not to the point he'sblurring. His machine pauses lowers the autocanon as he gets the recall order. He's turns the machine tilts it's head in a almost human fashion and pumps it's arm up and down a few times before it turns and speeds away to join the rest of the DC.
"...awe hell the AI's got another habit... damn it."