Death/Rebirth, Finale
Summary: The remnants of Orb are put into a fight for their very survival over the orbit of Earth.
Who: let's just assume 'everyone'
When: April 26th, NCA 119
Where: Earth Orbit

The Orb Union has fallen. The once-proud nation is now nothing more than an empty island chain, two hundred kilometers or so on a side at the most. Those who put themselves in harm's way to preserve it have scattered -- to space, to the Toy Box, to any number of hundreds of places where they assumed, perhaps wrongly, that they might be safe.

However, the fighters have been called together one last time. They need to make sure, absolutely sure, that they know where they're going from here, and do not just scatter to the four winds like so much dust and so many echoes of a lost time and place and never come back together to pick up the pieces.

The Kusanagi and the Izumo both float through space, carrying the refugees of that fallen nation -- as well as a few of its heroes, and a last-minute gift for one of them. It would be fortuitous... if they didn't present such a ripe, obvious target.

Staren is in one of the hangar bays, finishing effecting minor repairs to the Star Hawk -- Mostly replacing a piece of armor plating or two, the damage sustained earlier today was mostly cosmetic. And transferring over his own Terrible Secret Weapon, housed in a second gunpod brought up by his parents with the Star Hawk prototype. He hopes he will never have to use it against a living target... But desperate times may call for desperate measures. They will see...

Also floating through space: Celestial Being's terrorist flagship (for this cell of the organization, anyway) -- the Ptolemaios. The formidable transport rolls quietly through the starlit void; its GN Field is dazzling to look at, but as ever, the ship baffles long-range sensors. The Ptolemaios is, unless one has the advanced technological wherewithall to track it, a void within a void -- an empty spot, a lacuna. It is conspicuous only in the nothingness it is wrapped in.

On the bridge of the bluntly-shaped craft, Sumeragi Lee Noriega is seated in her catbird's seat, feeling tetchy and buddingly sober. She rubs her normal-suited fingertips against the armrest of her seat. No one is talking much; not Feldt Grace, not Christina Sierra, not Lasse Aeon, not Lichtendal Tsery. The room is weightless, but trapped under tremendous gravity; everyone can taste each other's tension. It is then that the Ptolemaios rolls within range of the Kusanagi and the Izumo. "Open a hail," Sumeragi Lee Noriega grunts. ("At once, Sumeragi-sama!" Feldt replies, diguising her anxiety with a bit too much eagerness.) "Transmit the clearance code -- let's see who else showed up."

The AEUG's space fleet is here in force. Four Irish-class battleships, including the Radish, and of course its flagship the Argama. A smattering of smaller assault ships and dozens of mobile suits are ready to intercept anything the EFA throws their way. Captain Bright Noah has taken command of the field, with the AEUG flying escort for the battered remnants of the Orb Union. With the mainland fallen, AEUG is the largest military force left in the Union-- if, indeed, there is any more Union after the events of the last week.

"Torres, tell the Izumo to move further inside the defense perimeter," Bright orders, fingers rapping along the arm of his command chair. "I swear to god, this is like herding cats," he mutters, leaning down to rest his chin in a cupped hand.

"This is really it, isn't it Captain?" Torres asks, looking up after relaying the message to Ledonir Kisaka. "We're really up against the wall... how did this happen?"

"Hell if I know!" Bright barks, irritably. "All I know is we have to keep these people safe... everything is riding on it. And I just know a gathering this large... tch." He frowns darkly. "The EFA will find us in no time. I just hope..." he trails off, not finishing his train of thought. The Argama floats, serenely, at the vanguard of the massive formation. It's more of a moving refugee camp than anything else, but the AEUG knows what's at stake... that's why they've been willing to pool so much of their assets in one place tonight.

Down in the medical bay, Amuro Ray is strapped down to his bed. He's wrapped nearly head to toe in bandages, and Bright ordered the restraints be put on... because he knows just how stupid and stubborn the Newtype ace can be. He's sleeping, having just completed his talk with Lyle Dylandy, and Beltorchika Irma has come to sit by his bed. She says nothing, merely looking down at his ravaged face in fond sorrow.

The future is on its way... what will be left after the Orb Union's last stand?

Tieria is down in the docking bay for the time being, floating in zero g and looking down at his mobile suit. " there nothing else we can do?" he asks, glancing at Ian, the ship's engineer and the one in charge of mobile suit repairs.

Ian shakes his head, shouting back from his place on the floor next to Nadleeh. "The armor connectors have taken too much damage, plus we're still missing a few parts - we've not had a chance to resupply for a while now, and there's no spare outer equipment to get Virtue set back up again. We're bringing the optional equipment for Nadleeh out of storage, and we've got some of Virtue's spare weapons that we're hooking to the assault pack, but you're going to have to deploy as is if something happens."

The purple haired Meister nods, pushing himself down from the ceiling and drifting to the catwalk. "I appreciate all the hard work, Ian. Hopefully we won't need to worry about this until we can get back to one of the supply dumps..." Of course, Tieria knew better - if they enemy had Veda in their control, their ability to extrapolate possible fallback positions would be fearsome indeed. As he ducks into the hallway, heading towards the Ptolemy's bridge, Tieria can only wonder just what Alejandro Corner and the EFA have in store next...

Setsuna F. Seiei, Gundam Meister for Gundam Exia, is not presently sitting inside of his Gundam, or sitting inside of a Meister. He is instead standing to one side and slightly behind Sumeragi Lee Noriega's chair, a hand on the back of it, as if he were in any way, shape or form in control of events that are about to transpire. Exia wasn't sent into action twice; his Gundam should be fine for today. "What do they intend to do, form some kind of... three ship alliance...?" the young man questions nobody in particular, since everybody's busy doing their job.

Trans Am ... Soma Peries ...

Alejandro Corner ...

The events from previous battles mix together in Allelujah's head like milk and tea; it gets to the point where it's rather hard to seperate them all in terms of who they are or what they are. Allelujah himself isn't too far away from where Tieria is, on a catwalk overlooking where Kyrios is undergoing the last of its repairs. Surprisingly, it didn't get all that trashed (probably due to a lack of Hallelujah who tends to be bad for it). Holding onto his helmet, the man sighs wistfully, looking outward.

Is this going to turn out alright?

Orb Union has fallen. With the betrayal of Representative Alejandro Corner and the strike of the Federation's massive fleet, the Orb Mainland has fallen; the Kaguya Mass Driver destroyed; the remnants of Orb scattered and fleeing.

But it is not over yet. Not hardly. After all--

--there are loose ends to be tied up.

The Orb remnants begin to gather, the remaining fleets pulling forward towards a specific rendevous point. It should be secret -- it is supposed to be secret. Their survival /depends/ on that secrecy. Yet, how secret can one be on the verge of desperation?

It is as the Ptolemaios approaches that a faint twinkle can be seen in the distance, like the birthing of a star lightyears away. It glows a faint orange -- a faint orange that grows larger, and larger, and larger, until--


-- a blinding pillar of light can be seen burning across space like the judgment of heaven for the Orb ships.

The blast is tremendous; putting even most assaults from battleship main cannons to shame, the orange mega particle beam punctures space, propelling forward, not for the Izumo, not for the Kusanagi--

--but for the Ptolomaios.

Beyond, the pristine golden form of the Alvatore can be seen twinkling in the distance. Federation ships follow alongside it, banked by a small army of mobile suits. Nothing like what it was before, but to the Federation... such a size is no longer necessary. The mission is simple: disable the Orb remnants. Remove them, and bring them in for war crimes for the Federation. The message is clear:

Stamp them out before they can gather again.

Within the cockpit of his machine, Alejandro Corner smiles. Eyes shut, the man leans back, indulging in a mild sensation of victory. "Aaah," the man sighs.

"So this is the taste of triumph, is it?"

Yue Rohay and the Ophanim are there to the end, bound by their contract to Orb. It does not make a difference to Yue; the possibility of a loss was always in any military contract she made from day one, and to escape duty in defeat is unbecoming of her conduct.

Fortunately for her, the Ophanim is in functional order. It hovers in space, its Tesla drives coordinated for zero-G combat, in a defensive perimeter around the Kusanagi under request from the upper chain of command. Inside, Yue has had the fortune of acquiring a pilot suit for once, specially armed to counter her hands' tendency to burn through nonmetal.

"Ophanim, framework : condition green.
Systems confirmed operational.
Weapon linkage errors within 0.01.
Ready immediate for engagement..."

She looks up from what someone could call a hallucination - the image of her Bughands transferring data into her mind in a digestable, visual format. Outside, the Ophanim also raises its chin, keep its majestic wings to full spread. The blast catches her attention... there will be a fight.

"Deploy all Mobile Suits and Aestivalis units! All pilots, scramble!" Orders Yurika Misumaru, the captain of the ND-001 Nadesico. The High Mobile Battleship's twin forward launch catapaults start hurling units into the void via timed blasts of gravity. Panels slide back across its hull to allow laser cannons to protrude from the formerly smooth white hull platings.

"Captain, we are almost in range of the Izumo, Kusanagi, and what is believed to be the Ptolemaios." Ruri announces from her seat at the Science console in the middle of the bridge.

"Alright. Fire a volley of missiles at long range. Wide spread pattern, support our advancing units."

Koji Kabuto stands for a moment abord the Nadesico, staring at the Mazinger Z. So this was it. While Koji has had little to do with the Orb Union, he has certainly heard some things. Things that color these guys in the light that doesn't make them out to be very good guys. Koji wasn't the nicest guy himself but these Celestial Being guys were terrorists. These AEUG guys were the same flavor with a different name. Koji boards his Hover Pileder, taking the motorcycle like controls in his hands. God Or a Demon? Which would he choose to be?

The Hover Pileder starts to set down on the top of Mazinger Z when that explosion rips through space. "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?! HEY, DOOM LOLI (Ruri)! What's going on out there?!" He yells into his intercomm as he tries to recalibrate things to launch his robot. "Damnit. Did those guys already hit us?!"

Arissa looks out at space from the cockpit of her GM. "I can't believe they let it get to this point. But they did... all that sympathy Orb was building, just thrown away like that. But if this last push works, we can move on and deal with the DC from here, right? That'll be great!" Her eyes on the prize, Arissa marches her mobile suit onto a gravity-launch tube within the Nadesico. "Arissa, GM Trainer, I'm launching!" Then the ship flings the underarmored, blatantly obsolete machine into space. She starts to move to join formation with a few GN-X units, but she has to stare as a light shoots across space and toward Orb. "What /was/ that!?"

It's strange how easy it can be to get over spending half of a year hidden behind leather and a stylized motorcycle helmet while oscillating between resting in the fetal position and attempting to construct a massive structure built from things like tarot cars aboard a defunct orbital body.

Sure, the thing that finally broke Caroline Deville's unexpected vacation was news of the entire Orb Union falling apart to betrayal, but it's only taken a shower, a great deal of food that didn't come in a dehydration packet, and a little maintenence work on the satellite's systems for the red-shirted, brown-skinned pilot to be at the ready behind her large and ostentatiously coloured mecha as part of the defensive perimeter of what remains of the Orb Union's fleet.

She breathes in deeply and clutches her controls tightly when one of those flagships is fired upon; she can but trust in the Ptolomaios' shielding and ready herself for dealing with the threats her Chariot of Victory is actually equipped for.

Clearly the EFA is very desperate to destroy the Orb Union once and for all because they sent the Soyokaze to help out.

"Nhgzzzzzzzz." Tylor says because he has a hangover. That sort of thing happens when you have a dinner, drink a lot of beer and eat a lot of food, and then go out to bars and drink more alcohol until they start to worry about your ID and then move to the other bar to drink even more and, well, he's pretty hung over. In fact, every so often he nearly slumps out of his chair but Mr. Yamomoto is there to prop him back up.

"I hope the Captain wakes up soon." Yuriko Star says, "After all, we're almost at the front lines."
"Ha! He'd probably ask them to go drinking with us!"
"Noooo..." Tylor groans, "No more drinking."
"Or ask them to board the Soyokaze for a party!"
Tylor perks up and sits up, "Mr. Yamomoto! You have a wonderful idea! Let's do that right away!" The hangover seems to vanish instantly.

Something falls off the Soyokaze. Well it didn't look important.

Following after the Alvatore, after the other suits, within the Federations lines, a Den'an Zon follows after. Heero's on the EFA side, probably, now that the Orb forces have proven they are willing to fight to the end. Good. If they fight to the end, both sides will sustain losses. Heavy losses. Even with the massive firepower on one side - there will equal, or greater - on the other.

It's not completely sealed. While he made his decision, it's still not one that can't be changed. Something that a few other people seem to have forgotten. 01 pulls the odd humanoid like suit through space, the machine pulling through the lunar landscape of stars and asteroids, thrusters keeping it centered on it's future position.

Carrying the machine's so called shot lancer, Heero begins his own fire, however minute it is. Solid rounds spiral through space to pelt against any armoring that may be found.

The approach is without much error, or interference.

It feels like its been ages since she was last in combat, but Marin Lae was ready. She hasn't done nothing in her time off, but that's later. For now, she's in her Hizack Custom, making the final checks. "So this is it then? The final end of the Orb Union? Fitting I bet."

Smiling some, the green mobile suit launched out into space, scanning the area for their targets. "Hmmm... I wonder how long this will take... and who all is left." She said, licking her lips a bit. She was eager to finish things off for the Orbs.

Isamu Dyson hangs out on the Nadesico, his temporary reassignment for purposes of defeating the Orb Union. He isn't happy about being sent back to the frontlines -- he only likes to do that when it's by his own decision -- but he can't find any way out of it. Project Supernova has been tabled temporarily in order for the Federation to make a decisive victory. And the VF-11B is nearing the end of its test run, having seen multiple combat assignments now --

"Could be worse," Isamu declares, watching all the chicks that work onboard do their thing. A flyboy on assignment has to keep his mind at rest; if you work all the time, you'll just burn yourself out, right? But there isn't much time for fraternization. They've got a launch order. "Heh. I guess it's time ...?" Isamu says, the red launch klaxons blaring across the flight deck.

The VF-11 Thunderbolt, in Fighter Mode, powers up its engines. The nuclear turbines spin with a tremendous noise. Isamu, sliding his flight helmet on, gives the thumbs up to the launch crew. "Time to show these guys how to fly," he says, ramping up the throttle yoke. The crew scatters out of the way, detaching cabling and fuel lines. And with one final burst, the Thunderbolt slingshots into space.

The immediate sensation of zero-gravity overtakes Isamu -- that otherworldly sensation. He doesn't like it. "Pft. Flying without gravity ... Space," he shakes his head, moving into formation with the Federation Mobile Suits. "... Space is for all those pretty boys, like the Red Comet!"

Around noon, Sarah Zabiarov left the care unit she had been assigned to. Around twelve-thirty, she fled the flagship in secrecy, clad in bandages and the flight gear that had been on when she was initially admitted, catching a flight to the Archangel. Now, hours later, the girl has begun getting suited up properly. About that time, the flagship doctors began to panic a bit when they discovered their patient had gone missing.

Sarah, however, doesn't care. Instead, the girl wordlessly tugs at her flightsuit, wincing a bit as it aggravates the wounds hidden in bandages underneath. No one, save the girl, is aware of her condition, but she doesn't care: she wants to fight...even if she has to resort to a different unit.

Aboard the Archangel, she positions herself into the cockpit of a GN-X unit, powering it on as it's prepped for launch. Loaded into catapult, the gray humanoid unit is ready to go, given signal from the on-board crew.

"GN-X, launching," she offers listlessly over communications.

Seconds after the unit is launched from the Archangel and takes flight, red GN particles trailing behind the unit as it seeks out its destination. Within the unit, Sarah's face is a mix of discomfort and uncertainty, the unfamiliar feeling of a unit that isn't her Bolinoak's making her second-guess her irrational decision to take flight in this operation. But the moment a massive gout of cannon fire cuts through the air, seen for miles away, she forgets about her concerns and simply pursues her target destination.

On board the Soyokaze, two brave young people await the launch order. "This pl-lace smells st-strange," Lamia says, to her comrade in arms, until -

"Something" falling off the Soyokaze is joined by the pretty, pretty form of the freshly-repaired Angelg, falling through space as its wings spread out. These do nothing, because in space, wings are basically just pretty. However, the thruster /does/ fire, and Angelg achieves a steady balance, aligned ahead. It waits there, for a few seconds, perhaps... for a /sign/.

Brooklyn "Bullet" Luckfield has mixed feelings about this mission. He's not even entirely sure why. The Orb Union is no longer a union, and its members are on the ropes. All they have to do now is finish this, and the world will have a terrorist threat less to worry about. So why does he feel so uneasy about this? Always make sure to finish off your enemy, that's what Sanger would say. Maybe he's still too soft...

Nevertheless, he is eager to launch, for an entirely different reason. Being on the Soyokaze. Along with the Angelg launches the GN-X that was assigned to Bullet, its pilot breathing a sigh of relief. "What the hell was up with that guy?", he's mostly thinking out loud even though the frequency to Lamia is open, presumably referring to the ship's captain. "Really, I don't know what Command is thinking sometimes."

The lancing yellow beam of energy hurtles toward the Ptolemaios at indescribable speed -- a column of light glowing with hellish fury, ready to tear asunder anything in its path. It comes so fast that the Ptolemaios' sensors barely even have time to see it coming.

"Sumeragi--!" Lichtendal Tsery and Christina Sierra yelp in unison as the beam makes its imminence known on the Ptolemaios' bridge sensors.

Sumeragi Lee Noriega activates the ship's intercom before she even realizes she's doing it. "All hands -- we're under at--"

The last bit of Sumeragi's message is lost when the beam shears through the Ptolemaios' GN Field as if it were nothing. It impacts the back end of the ship powerfully, annihilating whatever it touches and leaving a giant chunk missing. Dr. Joyce Moreno barely has time to make it to the door before he's incinerated. Living quarters are reduced to atoms -- personal effects and treasures are lost forever. The innards of the ship are ragged from the destruction, bleeding into space. A Haro floats out of one of the newly-truncated hallways, spewing modem tones as its eyes go dim.

"SHIT!" Sumeragi Lee Noriega screams. "DR. MORENO--! COME IN, DR. MORENO! GOD DAMMIT, JOYCE, COME IN!" Her response is only static, and the tactical forecaster's eyes widen with realization, before her gaze becomes tense and cold. Her tone follows suit as she speaks: "Gundam Meisters -- our attackers have just killed Dr. Moreno. Your mission is to avenge him -- and make these sons of bitches /pay/." When she says this last line, she turns to look meaningfully at Setsuna F. Seiei.

Feldt Grace quietly struggles not to cry at her console, but continues working; Lichtendal Tsery is somehow keeping himself from hyperventilating, while Lasse Aeon remains stoic, not betraying his thoughts. "What's our GN Field situation, Chris," Sumeragi says flatly.

"Gone," comes Christina Sierra's response. "Propulsion's not far off. We might as well be running a race with one leg."

Sumeragi Lee Noriega scowls deeply. "Well, they just pissed off the wrong tactical forecaster." The Ptolemaios begins to lurch, wounded, moving around to face the attackers and deploy its Gundams.

"Green Turtle, GN-X, launching!" A bright red flare emerges from the Soyokaze's hangar and almost immediately changes course to be heading full ahead, straight towards the Orb fleet. In the cockpit, David is smiling. o O (The culmination...of so much suffering, so much hard work, so much sacrifice. This will be a real victory. This will make it all worth it.) He gets comfy, gripping the controls, keeping his breathing slow and measured so as not to disturb the bandages wrapped tightly around his chest under his flight suit. He has to be careful. Don't want to aggravate the wound again. He has to do his part as quickly as he can and then get out of here.

Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of the USS Johnny Domino. His mission: to explode strange new worlds.

...and that's it.

While Domino was not ordered to take part in the vicious incursion on Orb due to medical reasons, the young man is here now, locked and loaded. "Chimera, launching," he announces as Launching Pad E is cleared for takeoff. Waking the Chimera with a mental flick, Domino's beast shoots out of the Nadesico, yellow eyes gleaming in the harsh void of space.

Johnny watches the remains of Orb through his behemoth's vision. So this is it, Domino realizes. Such is the end the Union. And Johnny is here to, what, finish the job? The pilot takes a deep breath: "Engaging targets--"

"JOHNNY DOMINO," a loud screech cuts over the radio, interrupting Domino and causing him to reel in his seat. A holo-screen pops up in front of his face, showing a Nadesico nurse. Ooh, she's angry. "What do you think you're doing?! Ooh, you men are all the same! Well lemme tell you something: you are NOT going to charge right in!"

Johnny boggles. "Wha-- buh-- I have my orders--"

The nurse will have none of that. "You are still in no condition to engage in a direct combat situation! You might hurt yourself. Your orders are to stay back and protect the Nadesico." The holo-screen leans in real close to Johnny's face as the nurse pushes her face into the video transmission. "IS THAT UNDERSTOOD?! DON'T MAKE ME COME OUT THERE! BECAUSE I WILL!" And then the transmission ends.

Johnny blinks, expression perplexed. Then, after a long moment of silence passes, Johnny realizes with dawning horror: "They don't want me to hurt myself so they use me as a meatshield?!"

"Captain! A massive heat source approaching from sector G-7!" Torres cries. "What?!" Bright demands, leaning up out of his chair. "EVASIVE MANEUVERS! ALL HANDS BRACE FOR IMPACT!" he roars, broadcasting the message to the entire fleet. Fortunatley, the golden beam is not aimed precisely at the AEUG's ships. Unfortunately, the AEUG's ships are all over the place, providing escort and security as they are.

The massive orange beam roars through space, and it's all but impossible to get out of the way. Bright watches it on the monitor, a bead of sweat creeping down his brow. "Come on...!" he growls, teeth gritted. The majority of the fleet makes it clear, but... the blooming spheres of light along the edge of the beam spells doom for dozens of human lives.

Four assault ships and seven mobile suits are instantly vaporised. Captain Bright listens, stalwart, to their death screams as each life winks out of existence. His knuckles go white on the arm of his command chair. A precious Irish-class battleship reports massive damage. "Get them out of here," he grates. "We can't lose an Irish-class for this...! Torres! Analyse that blast... was that the Colony Laser?!"

The rocking created by the Argama's evasive maneuvers has set the people inside rocking and shaking, and sent objects falling off shelves all over the place. "Hurghk!" Amuro Ray groans sharply, eyes flying open. "Wh--" Beltorchika reaches down, cradling his head protectively. "Shhh. We're okay. Shhh," she whispers soothingly. Even so, the White Devil's eyes are wide. He strains against his restraints, turning his bandages red in spots. "Hnngh!" he rasps. "So much... death...! Such... blinding... hate!"

"Sir... the energy signature does NOT match the colony laser!" Torres reports, and Bright Noa boggles. "Are you /certain/?! What else could have that kind of power?" he demands. But there are no answers, not yet. Then: "Captain! The Ptolemaios reports heavy damage... their GN field is down and they're losing propulsion!"

"It's just one thing after another today," Bright mutters. "Send the Burdock to support them!"

Bastion had come to a great realization.

The Alba really can't do much in space and in missions that needed flight capacities. It needed some upgrades or something, and the EFA just didn't have the time to humor him, given everyone was often too busy with things, and Bastion himself was busy with his own duties. The Prince of the Kingdom, instead, had decided to do something...

A GN-X flies out of the Nadesco, as a confused flight manager scratches his head. The EFA really needed a better rank structure to determine where things sat. The Prince was actually not having the problem controling it. A few simulations and a slight adjustment to his controls was enough to mostly move the machine like a ATAC.

The Prince's unit trails red particles as he manuevers into position...falling into a unit. This was a place where he didn't have authority, so he would have to listen...usually not a problem given that he was not overly familiar with surface world policies.

The particle cannon catches Bastion's eyes...they weren't even giving them a chance to surrender. That didn't sit well.

In the cockpit of his mobile suit, Leo Stenbuck leans back in his seat, cracking his knuckles. This will be the third day of battle between the Orb Union and the Earth Federation in a row. Orb is backed into a corner... or, perhaps, a Corner. Ha ha! In truth, the boy almost feels bad for them. There are certain elements of the Union that he can't help but sympathize with. Then, of course, there are the others...

"Celestial Being..." Leo mumbles, staring at his monitor... at the Orb 'fleet' assembling in the distance. It's not much to speak of. But numbers aren't everything; the Gundam Meisters proved that much on the first day of the conflict. The color change, the sudden power increase... the memory leaves a bad taste in the Titan's mouth.

He wasn't prepared for it, the first time. This time... this time, it'll be different. He knows they have it. And more importantly, he has a new weapon, too. New, at least, to him. It was damaged yesterday, but it was nothing that a team of mechanics working through the night couldn't fix.

With a small smile, Leo checks that the helmet of his black normal suit is properly secured; it isn't on, but it's attached to the collar, ready to swing down at a moment's notice. Check. He reaches out to settle his hands on the control sticks, and the smile spreads. It was built by hand... and it shows. Everything fits together perfectly; it just all /feels/ right.

"Master Paptimus..." Leo says aloud, wonder in his voice, as he finishes a brief systems check. "You really are amazing."

The PMX-000 Messala, in Mobile Armor mode, accelerates from its position at the rear of the Federation procession. It streaks forwards through the assembled ships, trailing a long blue tail of vernier fire. It takes it only a few moments to pass the majority of the EFA fleet, and it blasts through space towards the damaged Ptolemaios.

Leo Stenbuck activates his Messala unit.
Leo Stenbuck's Messala transforms into its Messala - MA mode.

The Ptolemy rocks from the impact of the explosion, and Tieria does his best to brace and keep from being thrown into the wall with a rather considerable amount of force. Thankfully he has his flight helmet on still - he doesn't want to consider what would happen if the ship depressurized while he didn't have it. Probably not as bad as if he were a normal human, but...

The message from Sumeragi plays out in his earpiece, and Tieria closes his eyes. "...damn..." In one hit, and another friend was gone. "I'm deploying in Nadleeh, Sumeragi!" he calls out, turning around and ducking back into the docking bay. "Allelujah, are you still in one piece!?!" He glances over to where the other Meister had been waiting a few moments before, hoping that he's still in one piece as well - and that the docking bay is still in one piece.

It seems to be, and after checking on Allelujah's condition, Tieria drops down into the cockpit of his Gundam, running through the startup sequence. "Tieria Erde. Nadleeh..." He states, as the Gundam loads onto the catapult. "...heading out!" A moment of brief acceleration later, and Nadleeh rockets out into the blackness of space, a heavy shield in one hand, beam rifle in the other.

Koji finishes readjusting the Hover Pilder onto Mazinger Z. He quickly whips around the control sticks, hearing the Photon Core begin its ignition. "Come on. I need to be out there." The Mazinger's eyes light up as the systems come online, sending Koji's grin into overdrive. "Heh. Just what I wanted to hear!"

"MAZIN----GO!!!!!" The Mazinger floors it out of the Nadesico's hangar, probably scaring some of the staff on duty. Koji laughs like a mad man as the superrobot hits zero gravity and races toward on coming battle. "Hey, Orb Union! With Mazinger Z on my side, YOU'RE GONNA LOSE!!" Koji clutches the controls, looking forward to this.

Somewhere well behind the EFA task force is another ship, not EFA-aligned, but a Trailer ship, possibly too far away to be readily identified by the ships which are about to engage in their massive battle for the ultimate fate of what's left of the Orb Union.

That ship begins launching smaller craft - mobile combat machines, 'giant robots' for lack of a better easy categorization. One of those is particularly quick as it begins heading into the battlezone, flying in a relatively wide arc around the EFA task force ...

Allelujah feels sick to his stomach as, instinctively, the young Meister drops down to his stomach -- he felt the rocking, the sudden jolt, heard Sumeragi and the others -- the Ptolemaios is under attack. "I ..."

Is it them?

Picking himself up in a matter of seconds and nodding over to Tieria silently. Pushing off of the walls, Allelujah goes floating toward where Kyrios is awaiting him while affixing the helmet to his head with a pressurized hiss; engineers get out of the way, flocking here and there, mostly diverting themselves toward the emergency -- the supersoldier just pulls himself into the cockpit.

"I'll go along with Tieria. Allelujah Haptism -- Gundam Kyrios -- launching!"

Gripping the back of Sumeragi Lee Noriega's chair as the Celestial Being mothership is struck, there's a definite uneasiness within Setsuna F. Seiei as he wonders if this is it; will they die, Gundamless and alone? They don't, and he didn't just brush Sumeragi's hair, not at all!

"Yes, they've put baby in a corner," he replies to Sumeragi, and with a nod he departs the bridge. Moments later, he's seated within Exia, and he launches, immediately docking with the GN Arms to become something else entirely. Like some kind of Gundam Exia, with an add-on pack that lets it fly really fast and shoot a lot of lasers. "I'll see if I can keep that golden enka ship occupied," he informs the bridge crew, and with a burst of blue-green particles he seeks to do just that, firing missiles at suits as he blasts right past them.

Within the cockpit, the young Gundam Meister has eyes only for that golden armor that has taken the life of the doctor who would gently cup and request he cough. "This craft will be destroyed. This is the reason why Exia was created. Alejandro Corner... you are nothing but a victim to the distortion of this world, but you must be excised all the same." A long speech by his standards, and putting the pedal to the metal, the GN-Arms Type Exia slams forward.

The Izumo and the Kusanagi take missile fire from the Nadesico, much to their surprise; they had /thought/ they would have at least another hour to transfer refugees to the Izumo and equipment to the Kusanagi, but it is rapidly becoming apparent that such is not the case. No, they have to sortie /now/, in disarray though they may be. Bringing up the viewscreen, the bridge crew of the vessels, along with Ledonir Kisaka and the Princess-in-exile of the Orb Union, see that twinkling light -- and the destruction it brings.

Despair creeps up the bridge. "They've got a GN shield, if they turn that on us we're sunk!" "It's already over -- why didn't we just surrender at the islands..." "Shit! Shit!" "Oh /Jesus/, the Izumo's combat modules aren't even on!" Men who stood steadfast yesterday now begin to fear death, swift and immediate, at the hands of the enemy.

The Princess turns to them, eyes unusually calm and reflective for the situation. "Get the shipment we got from the Izumo ready. The one for the Rouge." She immediately starts walking off the bridge, toward the hangar; she has the calmness of a person who has embraced totally either victory or death, the focus of one who has committed fully to whatever future those now inhumanly perceptive eyes see.

"But ma'am -- the OS isn't ready for that level of complexity yet!" "The control scheme is insane -- their in-house test pilot still hasn't learned it, and he's a Coordinator!" "Trying to learn it on the fly is suicide! Everything's still labeled right now, but -- you don't have time to stop and read in a battle like this!" "Please, Princess -- don't do it! We still need you! We still need an Athha!" "Do you have any idea what you're doing?!"

"I know what I asked!" comes Cagalli's reply, as she leaves the bridge. "Get it done! Ledonir, take the bridge -- make sure the Izumo gets to Ame-no-Mihashira." The doors close, and the bridge complement, by all appearances, has no idea whatsoever how to move forward from here.

Not a minute later, a machine rolls forth from the hangar of the Kusanagi. The basic form is familiar -- the Strike Rouge, in all its red-and-pink glory. The Pack, however... that's something new.

A second mobile suit quickly follows the first out of the distant Trailer ship, following along much the same route as the first. It's pilot determined to make sure this doesn't turn into a massacre.

The pilot's attitude and opinion towards orb has always been mixed, but over time they have earned his begrudging respect. He might not always agree with their actions, but most of them are decent people. The EFA just refuse to acknowledge that. Refuse to acknowledge the good the OU has done, and the tragedies they have suffered.

Cagalli Yula Athha changes into her SEED Factor pilot form.

Cagalli Yula Athha's Gundam Strike Rouge transforms into its Strike Rouge IWSP mode.

Kai Shiden is passing by a window of the Argama, hand on the wall, mouth grim, silent now that he's exchanged words of... well... acknowledgement, more than anything else, with Lyle. By chance, he glances out the window to see the massive beam sear across, the image burned into his retinas.

(Kai Shiden, sharing the traditional Last Drink with Hayato on the Audhumla, makes a tentative request. Hayato turns away, leaning on the controls of his ship for a full minute of thought, before shaking his head.)

The reporter falls back, eyes squeezed shut, until he hits the opposite wall. "Damnit! They're gonna go that far on us, huh..." An old terror rears its ugly head, and for a moment, Kai's face looks years younger, and he presses against the wall.

(Outside of Reccoa Londe's room, Kai buzzes the intercom, trying to get her attention. Once, twice, three times. Behind the door, Reccoa sits listlessly in bed, thinking of Quattro. Kai pounds his fist on the wall, and moves on.)

No. Not that again. Kai pushes off the wall with a growl to himself, and pushes back to the proper conveyor, which speeds up as Bright gives the sortie order. "Gotta hold 'em off long enough to get us out! Even if..."

(Kai Shiden walks up to Katz's door, looking morose, only to find a sign scribbled in crayon: 'OUT AT GEKIGANGER CARD BATTLE TOURNAMENT, NO GIRLS ALLOWED'. He just... keeps moving.)

"Even if I can't get a support pilot, it has to be enough!"

A Rick Dias deploys from the Argama's mobile hangar, which is not unusual. This Rick Dias, however, is almost entirely pitch black, with a few grey highlights, and a long energy canon almost as long as it is tall sticking up from one shoulder. A familiar beam rifle with a grenade launcher attachment is held in the machine's hands. "Kai Shiden! RMS-099S Rick Dias S, launching!" The uplink with Anaheim constantly reports data on its first 'test' mission, Kai scanning the console... everything green. "Too bad I can't operate the 'whole thing' alone yet..."

Kai Shiden activates his Super Dias unit.
Kai Shiden's Super Dias transforms into its Rick Dias S mode.

Some of the suriving people had done a lot for her. Even if just been given her some measure of hope. This time it wasn't about money at all. She had friends in the surivors and with the EFA forces arrayed they were likely going to be killed, she didn't want that. She also can not forget that mobile weapon from the day before, something about it screamed utter and total monster.

Macua launches just afterwards her own suit joining the other two. This was prehaps damming to them but what were they doing to do? He GM falls into formation with the Gundam and the other machine that might as well be a Gundam.

Allelujah Haptism's Gundam Kyrios transforms into its Gundam Kyrios - Gust mode.

As various Federation units start moving, Arissa puts out a call to offer her help; she's not attached to any mobile suit team. It's not long before David requests her support, and the GM Trainer tries to keep up with his GN-X. She's almost certainly going to lag behind, the training machine unable to match speed with him, but she tries. "Do you think that'll be enough? If we take out the ship that just got hit, that they'll break?" She's curious, rather than doubtful, but nonetheless quite willing to accompany him on this attack run.

"Alright, Green Turtle is moving to engage the enemy forces!" The GN-X, holding a long-barrelled GN Beam Rifle in both hands, suddenly increases speed and rockets straight towards thes hip so recently hit by the terrible power of the Federation's latest ally. David, for a few moments, glances at his radio. Not at Arissa. Someone else. The faintest of smiles on his face. People surprise him a little, sometimes. It's nice when they do.

And then he turns to face ahead again, face grim once more, glancing over the readouts of the unit. All green. All ready. It's time to wreak some havoc. At long range, the GN-X already starts to fire towards the enemy ship, red GN Beams lancing through the darkness. "Without their ships, Orb doesn't stand a chance. We'll break their back, Arissa. Don't worry, though, about this; i'll draw their fire as much as I can, you just provide fire support. Don't hesitate to pull back if things go bad. Good luck."

COMBAT: David Churchill has attacked Sumeragi Lee Noriega. GN Beam Rifle added to their queue.

"Captain, we're recieving orders from the flagship." Megumi Rhenard, the Nadesico's comms officer says politely.

"Advance in front of the fleet and die so that they don't have to." Ruri guesses. As it turns out, she's distrubingly close to correct. Of course, things are always phrased at least a little more politely then that, appearences must be kept up after all. In responce to the request for a status report, Ruri rattles off, "Long range visuals suggest that Ptolemaios is crippled and three Orb vessels have been destroyed.... Captain!" Ruri responds. "Izumo is coming about, but they are not preparing for long range bombardment. They are withdrawing from the battlesphere."

Yurika leans heavily on her railing for a moment, considering this and thinking about what it might mean. "All right, then. Let them go. Focus long range fire against the advancing Mobile Suits, make them break up their formations. Hold position at point 43,23,67 and prepare for anti-mech operations. I want all Aestivalis and the Chimera on point interception."

Ruri pauses a moment, thinking back. "Did he call me... 'doom loli'?"

Arissa protests to David, "I'm not just going to break off because things get a little rough! That'd be pretty awful to do to you, 'thanking' you for helping me by just abandoning you like that." Then her GM Trainer pulls out a hyper bazooka, and once David begins firing... she tries to follow up on it with a bazooka blast of her own, even as she continues to charge in.

COMBAT: Arissa Tams has attacked Sumeragi Lee Noriega. Hyper Bazooka added to their queue.

Bastion watches as David charges...

That guy was going to get himself killed. Bastion, disengages from his group, deciding that he should bolster David's, thusly giving him morale bonuses for being a goddamn Prince. The GN-X flies, spilling it's red particles behind it as it closes in on the damaged ship...hardly seemed like a fair fight, but the Meisters were pouring out of it.

The Prince himself spots the 'fat one', the Gundam that was disabled, and then fired on him without warning. Was it a trick, or was it just a frightened reaction? Bastion, flies down at it, aiming to engage it directly, trying to draw it's attention away from David and his group. The beam saber of the GNX already firing to life as he dives down.

"Eyes on me!" he says, for now just attempting to ram it with his shoulder. "If you surrender, it will stop the bloodshed that you are facing. I will make sure you all get fair trials."

COMBAT: Bastion has attacked Tieria Erde. GN Tackle added to their queue.
COMBAT: Bastion has missed Tieria Erde with his GN Tackle attack.

"The end of the line," Alejandro Corner muses -- to himself -- as the Alvatore advances steadily, but slowly -- as if taking its sweet time to invade the last line of defense of its former comrades. "We stand on the precipice of history. Like a phoenix, I will cast this world into the fires of destruction, sparked by the Orb Union. And, as it burns into ashes, I will bring it up anew, reborn -- guided by the proper hand. The only hand.


His self-sermonizing over, the gunbarrel ports of the freshly-repaired Alvatore slide open one by one with a series of hydraulic hisses, countless cannon barrels sliding out into the open. Within his radar, Alejandro notes the approach of a single unit -- and then he sees the trail of green.

"Ah, the Meister of the Gundam Exia!" announces the gold-clad Corner as he opens up a commlink with the Exia's pilot, smiling a victorious smile. "This is not distortion, boy. But someone like you, a tool for destruction, could never understand--"

The front barrels of the Alvatore swivel about, focusing upon the approach of the GN Arms. Orange energy crackles... and is unleashed in twin bolts of particle fire, raining in on the GN-Arms Type Exia without restraint. For now, Cagalli's approach goes unnoticed -- a very poor bit of foresight on the part of Alejandro Corner.

"-- the path of renewal!!"

COMBAT: Alejandro Corner has attacked Setsuna F. Seiei. Double GN Beam Rifle added to their queue.
COMBAT: David Churchill has struck a minor hit on Sumeragi Lee Noriega's Ptolemaios using GN Beam Rifle.
COMBAT: Arissa Tams has struck a solid hit on Sumeragi Lee Noriega's Ptolemaios using Hyper Bazooka.
COMBAT: You have struck Setsuna F. Seiei with a solid hit using Double GN Beam Rifle.

Johnny grouches in his cockpit. It just figures, when the Nadesico is sent off to the front lines to die so the flagship doesn't have to, it is Johnny who is sent to the front of the front lines to die so the Nadesico doesn't have to.

"Point interception," the pilot grumbles, "I'll show HER point interception."

Alas, it looks like Johnny will have to show Yurika his point interception at a later time. Igniting the Firefly Thrusters on the back of his bio-unit, Domino cruises ahead of the Nadesico. The Aestivalis bravely charge ahead, leaving Domino to protect Yurika's ship with his body all by his lonesome. NOTHING WILL GET PAST HIM!

Tieria watches as waves upon waves of EFA mobile suits come roaring down on the Orb forces. He can tell that this is going to be bad - just the sheer numbers means that they're not going o be able to hold these suits off the Ptolemy for too long... and the ship is already damaged, more or less unable to run way to boot. "Tch, still, we can't give up!" he thinks - and pauses just in time to see a GN-X come racing in at him.

He's not sure how Bastion manages to recognize that this is his suit, given the simple fact that Virtue is, for all intents and purposes, gone. Nadleeh is far, far faster than the other suit, and Tieria simply boosts out of the way of the melee attack, rocketing upwards and over the red GN particle powered suit. "I'm not sure where you are all coming from, but if I have to start with someone today..."

He reaches around, grasping the heavy cannon turret that once belonged to Virtue's outer armor by the docking clamp, and swinging it around to aim at Bastion. " might as well be you!" A massive beam of brilliant energy roars out, firing at a rather absurdly close range.

COMBAT: Tieria Erde has attacked Bastion. Double Barrel GN Cannon added to their queue.
COMBAT: Tieria Erde has struck a major critical hit on Bastion's GNX-603T GN-X using Double Barrel GN Cannon.
COMBAT: Bastion has missed Tieria Erde with his GN Beam Saber counter attack.
COMBAT: Bastion has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Bastion has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Bastion has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Setsuna F. Seiei has activated a spirit command.

Another GN-X launches from an EFA carrier, little fanfair for this one save it's sporting ace colours rather than the standard silver job. Russel Bagman's at the controls he singals to carrier he's away, it's time for this to come to an end. It doesn't sit well with him on this, this feels more like butchery than an actual battle. Orders are orders though, the GN-X is near the rear lines and moving forward towards the enemy ships. Milliardo Peacecraft's Wing Gundam Zero transforms into its Wing Gundam Zero mode.

It doesn't take the Messala long to reach the Ptolemaios. Even starting from the rear of the Federation fleet, it reaches the ship about the same time as Arissa and David. Unlike those two, however, the PMX suit doesn't fire; it banks into a wide, slow turn, circling the weaponless mothership. There's the fat one... and the thought of settling the score with the Gundam Virtue is more than a little appealing to Leo. His ejection - and subsequent concussion - wounded his pride more than his body.

But Bastion seems to have occupied its attention already, and none of the Gundam Meisters can be allowed to run unchecked. So that leaves... the orange one. Grimacing, Leo locks his eyes on Kyrios. The Messala tightens its turn, carving a path through space towards its Gundam of choice. As it draws near, hatches underneath the two mega particle cannons that make up the 'wings' of the mobile armor pop open, revealing rows of missile tubes. Appropriately enough, missiles erupt out of them, streaking through space towards the Gundam Kyrios.

"Don't think that trick will save you again!" Leo transmits to Kyrios, as the missiles soar in towards it. "You should surrender now, before you get hurt!"

COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has attacked Allelujah Haptism. Missile Pods added to their queue.

There is a distinct problem with attempting to just fly as straight as possible and as fast as possible; you tend to end up running into things, like those giant orange blasts. "Shit!" Setsuna F. Seiei manages, pulling harshly on the control levers as the GN Field of the add-on pack bursts into existence. He makes an attempt to dive, to evade, but he's both moving too fast and so are those beams.

The impact reduces the GN Field to nothing in a single shot, streaking through to catch one of the blades, searing right through it. Rocked by the explosion, the GN Arms Type-Exia spirals to one side, briefly out of control before the youth regains control.

And he also notes the other unit that is heading straight for the Alvatore. Briefly, he considers opening a frequency, but he's unsure of what this golden monster is capable of; thus he does not, lest Cagalli's presence be tipped off.

"Renewal?!" he demands of Alejandro instead, glaring at the red-haired noble that's floating on his heads-up display. His brows draw down. "You're nothing but a villain." He cuts to the heart of the matter.

After sliding sideways for a time, to draw Alejandro's attention completely away from the encroaching Strike Gundam, the Exia Gundam discharges a fairly large spread of missiles, all spewing those potent blue-green particles. It serves as a vanguard, for the Exia is charging in right behind them, aiming to eliminate the gap. Setsuna F. Seiei knows how these shields work; he knows that his Gundam was built to work against them.

COMBAT: Setsuna F. Seiei's GN Missile Launcher has been added to your queue.
COMBAT: Setsuna F. Seiei has attacked Alejandro Corner. GN Missile Launcher added to their queue.

"I will not fail them again," Milliardo Peacecraft says, his voice solemn, his expression muted. He has failed so many in his life -- his father, his mother, and his sister. The soldiers of the Federation. The men and women in the Orb Union. He has fought and it has brought him nothing but more violence. But today, he will fight to save them. "They do not deserve this fate... Do they, Zero ...?"

Milliardo flicks the switch on the console of the Gundam. It's primary screen whirls to life.

Z. E. R. O.

"Milliardo Peacecraft," he transmits, lowering the visor on the Zero System's special flight helmet. "Gundam Wing Zero. Preparing to launch!"

Within seconds, the Neo Bird mode of the new Gundam brings it into the perimeter of the conflict -- having burst launched from the Peacemillion, a few astronomical miles away. Howard does not rendenzvous with the Orb Union; he does not work for them. But he harbors Milliardo Peacecraft out of a long forgotten favor. And this favor allows the Wing Zero to arrive from the flank of the Federation; it gives Zechs Merquise the tactical advantage he needs.

The Wing Zero immediately transforms, wing verniers deploying with a winding of metallic parts. Blue energy flushes off them to stabalize the Gundam in the air. And then it brings the Twin Buster Rifle around, starting to charge it. It's a weapon that defeated Paptimus Scirocco one day before. It can destroy a colony when at full power. What hope does the Federation fleet have --?

Sputtering and stumbling amongst the stars, the Ptolemaios is easy pickings for David Churchill and Arissa Tam's units. The GN-X's beam rifle punches through armor plating, compromising several key jeffries tubes -- the GM Trainer's bazooka has a more visible effect, though, as an explosion pulses on the mothership's surface, leaving a deep crater in its wake.

Inside, the bridge shakes violently with each impact. "Nngh," Lichtendal Tsery grunts, "We're too off-balance! If we gun this thing too hard we're just going to go in circles!"

Lasse Aeon makes an annoyed face of quiet concentration. The two men continue their struggle with the ship's controls. Sumeragi Lee Noriega, meanwhile, surveys the damage and frowns. "Meisters," she says over a private broadcast loop amongst the Celestial Being units, "This is the big one. We can't let our ideals die here -- not to Alejandro Corner, not to the EFA. The Ptolemaios may not make it, but I'm not giving up here. You three -- you have to survive. You have to continue the mission. Don't let Aeolia Schenberg's dream die. Don't let the human race continue to suffer. These are /orders/."

Sumeragi Lee Noriega sits back in her chair, closing her eyes for a moment. "Propulsion's still dropping!" Christina calls over; Sumeragi does not voice aloud the thought that she wishes she could at least die with a drink in her hand.

COMBAT: Sumeragi Lee Noriega has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Sumeragi Lee Noriega has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Sumeragi Lee Noriega has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has struck a major hit on Allelujah Haptism's Gundam Kyrios - Gust using Missile Pods.

A late launcher in ace colors ... ? Mihiro frowns as she spots the GN-X. "Oniichan, that guy might be trouble waiting to happen ..."

Kazuma frowns. "Well, we're here *looking* for trouble, let's make it happen to us instead of Orb - they've got enough problems already. Give him time to get out of the ships' proximity ..."

The Valhawk's course is adjusted, and once Russel is out from directly under his ships' protection, Kazuma zips in to engage him, opening fire with the Laser Vulcans.

COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has attacked Russel Bagman. Laser Vulcan added to their queue.

Bastion flies towards the...well, maybe it wasn't the fat one.

The saber comes out as he turns around, attempting to slash the monster on his pivot...this leads Bastion getting caught by the cannon. The right arm is thrown off, causing Bastion to grunt and growl in annoyance. He can't keep getting hit like that, lest he be destroyed by the mobile suits superior firepower.

The Prince then starts the GN trail forward again, shouting as he aims for the right hand of the opposing Gundam. There was only one way he was going to win...and that was removing the Gundam's ability to fire those mosters. The Beam saber whips out as it is held only in the last remaining arm. Trying to rip right through the unit.

"Just like I desprate for destruction you can't see passed the present! I won't be going down that easily!"

COMBAT: Bastion has attacked Tieria Erde. GN Beam Saber Assault added to their queue.
COMBAT: Tieria Erde has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Bastion has missed Tieria Erde with his GN Beam Saber Assault attack.
COMBAT: Alejandro Corner has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Setsuna F. Seiei has struck you with a solid hit using GN Missile Launcher!
COMBAT: You have missed Setsuna F. Seiei with your GN Beam Cannons counter attack.
COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has struck a minor hit on Russel Bagman's GNX-603T GN-X using Laser Vulcan.
COMBAT: Russel Bagman has counter attacked for a minor hit on Kazuma Ardygun's Air Force Valhawk using GN Vulcans.

David grins, watching the damage that the GN Beam Rifle does. Sure, it's not much...but he's going to enjoy it. Every last bit. This is all worth it. "Arissa, don't worry about it. I can handle myself if I have to. Honestly, if you get shot down out here trying to save my ass I won't be happy, got it?" He just laughs, then tries to dart in right /at/ the Ptol, grinning all the way. He isn't sure if this thing is armed or not, but...he doesn't mind too much.

He just aims to, if he can, land on it, aim his Beam Rifle down between his unit's feet at it, and start firing again. "Hey, this is Ensign Churchill to the enemy ship i'm blowing a hole in. You hear me in there?"

COMBAT: David Churchill has attacked Sumeragi Lee Noriega. He Can't Miss At This Range added to their queue.

The Strike Rouge and its pilot do a fine job of tipping their own presence off on their own time. The machine is fast -- not as fast as Aile, but it's capable of some degree of flight /and/ its overall speed is significantly past that of the base, unequipped model. It's amazing, for something so heavy and so strong -- it really is a unit worthy of an ace. And to think, a year ago she was driving a Zaku IIJ and a Sol Tekkaman, and a IIS not long after that.

"Alejandro," she says, her voice calm and collected. "This is as far as you get!" And with that, the Princess joins the battle, mind laser-focused, evaluating the infinite possibilities of battle, seeing every little motion, every speck of dust and solar wind.

Not wanting to get close after how well /that/ went yesterday, Cagalli starts off by lowering the railguns on the machine; the angle is off. In a move that no doubt will give whatever members of the test team remain to gather the data on the machine cause to jump for joy should they survive the day, she gets the normally fire-linked weapons to track independently; one of them sights in on Corner's gunbarrels, as the other prepares to work point-defense for the inevitable incoming counter-volley.

COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha's Railgun has been added to your queue.
COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha has attacked Alejandro Corner. Railgun added to their queue.

Russel Bagman doesn't have much time to rteact at this point, he twists his machine and opens fire on the hostile unit with the units GN vulcans. "You picked the wrong place for this. Your just going to throw your life away! Don't do it!" Russel powers up the GN-X's rifle and the red drive flares up as he swoops at Kazuma and opens fire with the rifle. "I can't let you get to the fleet I will not let you harm my comrades!"

COMBAT: Russel Bagman has attacked Kazuma Ardygun. GN Beam Rifle Assault added to their queue.

Arissa presses the attack, her GM's other hand grabbing its beam saber and igniting the pink blade. "I just don't understand!," she calls out openly, "Orb was really starting to turn things around, then you went and did that attack on Dakar! What made you snap like that?" Then David's cautions sink in, finally. "I... I had no idea. I'm in no hurry to die, though!" And then she tries to land next to his GN-X, energy blade working on cutting a circular hole around the hull... slow work, but if it goes according to plan, it should be worthwhile.

COMBAT: Arissa Tams has attacked Sumeragi Lee Noriega. Beam Saber added to their queue.
COMBAT: David Churchill has struck a minor hit on Sumeragi Lee Noriega's Ptolemaios using He Can't Miss At This Range.
COMBAT: Arissa Tams has struck a glancing hit on Sumeragi Lee Noriega's Ptolemaios using Beam Saber.
COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha has struck you with a solid hit using Railgun!
COMBAT: You have missed Cagalli Yula Athha with your GN Beam Rifle counter attack.

Allelujah Haptism's Gundam Kyrios transforms into its Gundam Kyrios - Gust mode.

Staren stands in the cockpit of the Star Hawk, having just finished changing into his spacesuit. He's been thinking, looking over the information being relayed from outside as his cybernetics display it over his vision. Pretty much none of the people he knows in Orb are here. Why is he fighting? The EFA isn't going to destroy the civilians, they're better than that. Okay, there is the fact that he'll probably get tried as a war criminal and locked up forever if they catch him. That would suck... He'd be unable to do good any longer... The same for all these others. Dammit, who are the EFA to go around deciding who's right and who's wrong? He... He can't let them do this... He takes a deep breath after sitting down in his piloting chair, and closes his eyes as the comfortingly familair computer-generated voice fills his ears...

Startup cycle commencing...
Reactors online...
Distributed Coordination Computer online...
Sensors online...
Targeting computer online...
Piloting assist computer online...
Emotional Energy System online...
MIND-SHIFT BATTLE SYSTEM 9.0 INITIALIZED connecting...........connected OK!

Staren 'opens' his 'eyes', looking out the Star Hawk's sensors at the Argama's hangar bay around him, and at the tactical data overlayed on his vision. He'd better get out there... here goes! He sends the OK to the launch catapult, and the Star Hawk is flung out into space... Looking out across the battlefield, he decides to head where Kazuma is heading, so they can watch eachother's backs. He feels he can trust him... And if, somehow, he's fighting for the EFA, he'll want to have a talk with him. Once it's built up speed on its intercept course, the Star Hawk transforms. An over-50' tall humanoid machine with a slightly fuselage-shaped torso painted red with grey FAST packs, it flies through space as its momentum carries it on. The head has been changed -- The Virtuaroid-style head with the distinctive green visor is gone, replaced by what looks like a helmet. Red, with a black visor over presumably optical sensors, and a little double golden V on the forehead not quite like a Gundam's and smaller anyway, like something a tokusatsu hero might have on his helmet. As Staren sees Kazuma change course to engage Russel, it nods, and Staren begins to look around for a target...

Tieria just narrows his eyes in response to this... person. "...the arrogance of the EFA is amazing. We're fighting for our lives, and you just used a mega particle cannon that might well have destroyed every ship in the fleet, and you claim that WE are the ones who are desperate for destruction?" He shakes his head, and Nadleeh ducks under the first swing from the GN-X's saber, lashing out with one foot and kicking Bastion away. "Every time one of you acts like we are monsters, instead of opposing soldiers, you just give more weight to the DC and our arguments - if you want to show that you have the high ground, why don't you show the honor and decency we'd expect from a soldier!"

The GN Cannon is returned to its rack, and Tieria pulls out another weapon - the massive GN Bazooka flashes in the darkness of space, its charge turbine beginning to glow brightly as Tieria connects the weapon to his GN Drive. "As for myself, I have friends on those ships that you are trying to destroy!"

The weapon fires, an even more massive beam roaring right down on Bastion's GN-X in an attempt to blot the suit out of the sky. "And I'm going to protect them to my last breath!"

COMBAT: Tieria Erde has attacked Bastion. GN Bazooka added to their queue.

Staren Wiremu's Star Hawk transforms into its Star Hawk mode.

The GN-X unit and GM Trainer touch down on the Ptolemaios' hull, but given its current state, this is perhaps not the most sound maneuver. As the propulsion system of the ship struggles, the pilots try to push it more dangerously -- resulting in a sharp shudder of the giant craft that causes David's shot to go wide and blast one of the sensor nodes on the hull. Likewise, Arrisa's attempt to carve into the ship is thrown off, digging a wide groove that compromises the ship's armor but doesn't cut into anything fantastically important.

"They're trying to shoot into the bridge!" Feldt Grace squawks.

Sumeragi Lee Noriega lets out a small sigh. "...Christina," she says quietly, "start wiping the in-ship database. Lichty, keep us going. Lasse, Feldt, go get Ian and get one of the containers ready." Lasse Aeon turns, but before he can say anything, Sumeragi cuts him off. "This ship isn't going to make it. Even if we can throw off these two... they're just two, of who knows how many. We can get another ship."

Lasse stands. He and Feldt both look like they might protest, in their own way, but Sumeragi doesn't even look at them; her gaze is focused on the viewscreen in front. There's a brief moment to mourn the ship -- and then everyone begins their task. Sumeragi Lee Noriega stands at the center of the bridge, waiting.

COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Russel Bagman has missed Kazuma Ardygun with his GN Beam Rifle Assault attack.

Kyrios swings out from the devestated Ptolemaios, arcing around it like a watchful hawk -- and there's nothing more obvious to the supersoldier than the swarm of incoming EFA. Banking to the side, the Gundam snaps into its flight mode, weaving past the opposition with little more than a few nicks and burns on its gleaming hull.

The console comes up with visual data -- a jet-like mobile armor that Allelujah has never seen before. He gets a hunch as to who it is, but it's only in the periphery of his mind: for now, he must concentrate on avoiding it! Unfortunately, the array of missiles still caught him off-guard, still rather new in this battlefield; as most of the missiles plow against Kyrios' belly, small pods of smoke puff out before dissipating in the emptiness of space.

"..." Allelujah grunts, pulling the Kyrios around. It's that kid again, and it looks like he has a grudge. It's only reasonable, he thinks morosely -- after all, I am an abomination.

The Meister responds with a fussilade of missiles from his machine's hatches, glimmering green contrails marking their approach.

COMBAT: Allelujah Haptism has attacked Leo Stenbuck. Anti-Air Missile added to their queue.
COMBAT: Allelujah Haptism has struck a solid hit on Leo Stenbuck's Messala - MA using Anti-Air Missile.
COMBAT: Tieria Erde has struck a devastating hit on Bastion's GNX-603T GN-X using GN Bazooka.
COMBAT: Bastion has counter attacked for a minor hit on Tieria Erde's Nadleeh using GN Beam Saber.

Mazinger Z sits idle for a moment as it looks around. This battle looks complicated. Much too prime time Japanese television for the likes of his Sunday morning cartoon mindset. Finally, after several infuriating moments of tapping his fingers on the control panel, Koji can't take it anymore! "Tch! Damnit! This complex series of metaplots and character development is pissing me off! Guys like me only show up to these things to settle the score!' Maybe he should lay off the comic books for awhile.

Without much warning, Mazinger Z goes on a collision course with the Ptolemaios. He grins as the Star Hawk launches out just in time. "Heh! So you got more guys in there! WELL TAKE THIS!!! ROCKET PUNCH!!!!" The Mazinger lifts its arms and fires off its right arm in a display that can only be described by its name! Seriously the Mazinger is down one arm right now...As far as you know, Staren.

COMBAT: Koji Kabuto has attacked Staren Wiremu. Rocket Punch added to their queue.

David just frowns, glancing at Arissa. "Keep at it. We've got to disable this ship. I'm...going to see if I can't make things go a little smoother." With that, David just starts to march along the hull of the ship towards it's front, walking towards the bridge of it as he pulls out his own GN Beam Saber, just bringing it down to score through the hull as it walks along, almost casually trying to dig a groove through it.

"Whoever is in this ship, again, this is Ensign Churchill. I'm just giving you an option here. I'd much rather you surrender rather than us blowing your ship away. You'll be treated fairly and with respect. Please respond."

"Me, the villain? Setsuna F. Seiei, don't you understand yet?" Alejandro Corner allows himself a cocky smile, eyes closing. "-You- are the villains today, as the plan demanded. And I..." He presses a hand to his chest, as if gesturing to himself to no one in particular.

"... I am the MAIN CHARACTER!"

This bellowing proclamation is capped off as the Exia and the GN-Arms suddenly unload missile after missile upon the Alvatore. "To think you believe you can destroy this Alvatore with your pathetic toys? Ridiculous!" The GN Field suddenly sprouts around the machine, sustaining blow after relentless blow, but eventually... that field breaks. Alejandro's eyes widen.



Missiles impact the heavily-armored side of the Alvatore in a thick rain as the machine is rocked off balance, the massive mobile armor tipping slightly to the side within the limitless vaccuum of space. Recently repaired, it is more vulnerable than it was before...

... A fact capitalized when railgun rounds suddenly pierce through that crackling golden field, riddling the posterior of the rotund armor with a series of relentless impacts. "What is this...?" Alejandro murmurs, looking behind him. "Ah. The princess. More rats, is it? Don't any of you grasp what has happened here? Your father seemed to know well enough!"

The tail binder of the Alvatore opens, and from it, six massive GN Fangs shunt outward, slicing through the air as they release horrid volleys of GN beam fire upon both Setsuna /and/ Cagalli in tandem, assaulting from countless angles without relent.

"Your role is /over/!"

COMBAT: David Churchill has attacked Sumeragi Lee Noriega. GN Beam Saber added to their queue.
COMBAT: Alejandro Corner has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Koji Kabuto has struck a solid hit on Staren Wiremu's Star Hawk using Rocket Punch.
COMBAT: Staren Wiremu has counter attacked for a minor critical hit on Koji Kabuto's Mazinger Z using Hybrid Sword.
COMBAT: Alejandro Corner has attacked Setsuna F. Seiei and Cagalli Yula Athha. Large Fang Assault added to their queue.
COMBAT: You have struck Cagalli Yula Athha with a major hit using Large Fang Assault.
COMBAT: You have struck Setsuna F. Seiei with a major hit using Large Fang Assault.
COMBAT: Setsuna F. Seiei has counter attacked for a minor hit using GN Arm Blade!

"Looks like we got his attention," Kazuma comments as the GN-X opens up with its beam rifle. The Valhawk dodges easily - Russel kind of telegraphed that attack, it would appear (or at least Kazuma was paying enough attention to catch it) - and Kazuma transmits back, "None of us should be here in my book, buddy - and I'm not here to throw anyone's life away! NONE of this should be happening - Orb was set up by someone on the inside, probably someone who didn't share their leaders' good intentions!"

The Valhawk settles back onto an attack vector, opening up on Russel's mobile suit with the Beam Shot Launcher this time ...

COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has attacked Russel Bagman. Beam Shot Launcher added to their queue.

Arissa cries out as her GM Trainer is flung off. "Whoa!" Stabilizing quickly, the saber is turned off but kept in-hand, as the GM's other arm puts tis bazooka away, and digs a GM II's beam rifle out from its large custom backpack. "Right! I'll follow through on what you start!" As David starts trying to trench-dig with the GN blade, she waits until he's further along in his path... then begins firing the rifle a few times to try to punch through parts of the gouge David is working on.

COMBAT: Arissa Tams has attacked Sumeragi Lee Noriega. Beam Rifle added to their queue.
COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has struck a major critical hit on Russel Bagman's GNX-603T GN-X using Beam Shot Launcher.
COMBAT: Russel Bagman has counter attacked for a minor hit on Kazuma Ardygun's Air Force Valhawk using GN Beam Rifle.

Bastion continues to try to get in at Tieria...he SHOULD have been fighting at his back, but the GN-X cotninued to assault from the front. Fighting any other way was dishonorable. The rant of the Gundam pilot gets a sigh...he did have a point there.

"That weapon...isn't under our control, and if it is, there will be questions asked. But nothing is stopping you from surrendering and answering for what you have done either!" Bastion says, coming forward and aiming to drive through the blast...aiming to try and cut as deep as he could into the Gundam's armor, before spinning around, aiming to chop down in a overhead slash towards one of the cannons.

It had to stop now! "Nobody is right in this war, I won't go so far as to say that the EFA has been clean, but you have chosen the path that would lead us all to destruction. Good intentions or not, what you are doing is no better than the Divine Crusaders!"

COMBAT: Bastion has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Russel Bagman has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Bastion has attacked Tieria Erde. GN Beam Saber Mastery added to their queue.
COMBAT: Bastion has struck a major hit on Tieria Erde's Nadleeh using GN Beam Saber Mastery.

Russel Bagman isn't playing to lose at this point he's going right for the throat even as the launches hits him he's used it as a line up to get a shot off on Kazuma'a machine. "Fine, your funeral. I have comrades who need back up and your in the WAY!" Russel does the last thing anyone who knows him would expect he gets agressive, very agressive, the damage is bad but he's pressing on and starting to speed around Kazuma's unit at high speed letting off blast after blast at it. "I said leave!"

COMBAT: Russel Bagman has attacked Kazuma Ardygun. GN Beam Rifle Maneuver added to their queue.
COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Russel Bagman has missed Kazuma Ardygun with his GN Beam Rifle Maneuver attack.

Sarah Zabiarov has been watching. Waiting. Biding her time carefully.

Within the confines of her standard-issue GN-X unit, she waits outside the immediate battlefield, a angrily glowing red beam saber held in hand. For the most part, she goes unnoticed in a sea of similar units, ignored as men and women engage fiercely in battle. Here, Sarah is waiting. She will pick her battle carefully. Why?

She wants to make them pay.

A number of units catch the young Titans' attention, several EFA mobile suits closing in on the infamous Ptolemaios. That ship--she remembers it. It was that damned Celestial Being ship that eluded her last time, protected by the Meisters nearby. If anything is a good's them.

A slow sneer crawls over the girl's face, teeth tightly clenching behind her lips.

The GN-X unit tears forward suddenly, bloody red GN particles spewing out from behind it as it cuts through space. Silently observing from within the cockpit, she pilots the unit swiftly as possible, purposefully taking the long route as possible, avoiding detection where she can. It cuts wide, maneuvering around the Ptolemaios before it descends, soaring beneath it. Then, when the coast is clear--

From the bottom of the bay window of the bridge a silver GN-X unit suddenly rises above, red beam saber growing fiercely in its hand. Without hesitating a single second the GN-X cuts it savagely downward, followed by another cutting swing crosswise into the bridge, followed by another swing. No mercy is shown.

Meanwhile, within the GN-X, Sarah's empty smile grows a little.

COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has activated a spirit command. COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has attacked Sumeragi Lee Noriega. GN Beam Saber added to their queue.

With the festivities underway, Setsuna F. Seiei mutes Alejandro halfway through the declaration of being the main character, instead opening up a frequency with the pilot of the Strike Rouge. "Cagalli Yula Athha," he greets her, followed by a burst of data concerning the expected weak points of the enemy unit. "Today you will assist in this armed intervention using Gundams. I would suggest using the sharpest weapons you have." He leaves it at that, as taciturn as ever, flipping frequencies back just in time to hear the last of what Alejandro Corner has to say.

And it's a point emphasized with the bang of Fangs. Rather than evade, the Meister plunges forward, the GN-Arms Type-Exia closing the gap entirely even as the red energy rips through the main thruster of the pack. An explosion rocks the back of the unit, but it does not stop its momentum, slamming one of those long, long arm blades into the Alvatore, ripping a slash across its chassis.

Without a second thought, Exia leaps off the GN-Arms platform, the solar furnace powering it solo as it slides out a short and long blade. Having the whirling dervish that is this Gundam so close is a recipe for absolute disaster.

"Hmph. There's something to be said about being overconfident," he notes, but he's not the type to verbally spar for too much longer. No, even as the GN-Arms explodes behind him, Setsuna F. Seiei starts into the Alvatore, aiming to carve off one of those GN-Tau Drives with the uneven twin blades, teeth grinding as he works against the grain, and against the clock.

Setsuna F. Seiei activates his Gundam Exia unit.

GN missiles fill the space between the Messala and the Gundam Kyrios, swarming towards the PMX-000. The mobile armor responds by opening fire with the vulcan machineguns mounted underneath its mega particle cannon barrels. Streams of bullets carve their way through the cloud of missiles; the gunfire causes a good third of them to detonate early, erupting into spheres of flame.

The rest, however, continue right on into the front of the mobile armor. It disappears, briefly, in a fiery cloud; a heartbeat later it rockets out of the explosion, curving to match Kyrios's angle and charge straight towards the transformed mobile suit head-on. The damage is obvious... but it's also not that major. The Messala is big, and with size usually comes durability.

The mobile armor's vulcan guns light up again, spraying fire at the oncoming Gundam. "Still don't have anything to say?!" Leo shouts. "Why are you still fighting?! You've already lost! If you just give up, no one else will die!"

Setsuna F. Seiei changes into his Setsuna F. Seiei pilot form.

COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has attacked Allelujah Haptism. Vulcan Guns added to their queue.
COMBAT: Setsuna F. Seiei has attacked Alejandro Corner. GN Dual Blades added to their queue.
COMBAT: Allelujah Haptism has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has missed Allelujah Haptism with his Vulcan Guns attack.
COMBAT: Setsuna F. Seiei has struck you with a major hit using GN Dual Blades!
COMBAT: You have missed Setsuna F. Seiei with your Large Fangs counter attack.

Staren's incoming attack alarm goes off just in time for the Star Hawk to turn and get punched in the face! The head is banged up but the sensors inside remain functional, camera lenses visible as the pieces of the smashed visor drift away in an expanding cloud of debris. There's also a nose and mouth of grey plastic or painted metal revealed under the visor. Staren would have noticed it earlier, but there's just so much going on here...

"Mazinger Z?! Tch... Even 'heroes' have been deluded...!" The Star Hawk shakes its head. "Very well... I'll stop even you! If I can take down a gundam, I... I can stop Mazinger!" Thrusters fire as the Star Hawk closes the distance to the super robot, the hybrid swords, metal armblades covered by hollow beam swords, unfolding to make a quick swipe at Mazinger as he flies past. Then he stops and turns around, hoping he's faster than the super robot, counting on it. The Emotional Energy system's display hilites ANGER, which it still has plenty of after recent battles, and the hybrid swords' glow changes from green to deep red. The Star Hawk makes two quick slashes at the Mazinger's back, hoping to damage the propulsion system or at least just inflict a lot of damage...

COMBAT: Staren Wiremu has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Staren Wiremu has attacked Koji Kabuto. Hybrid Sword Combo added to their queue.

The Valhawk puts on a burst of speed, flying right out of Russel's sights in the middle of his maneuver, and Kazuma ... grins. "That's a fast suit you've got there, EFA pilot ... but take it easy on one thing: I'm not here to put *anyone* in a box and ship 'em to the next world! I don't hate the EFA, or Orb ... I came here to try and protect some lives, and that's exactly what I'm gonna do! If I have to go through you to do it, at least you can take heart in knowing that I'm not aiming to kill *you* either!"

The Valhawk transforms into Close Combat Mode and flies back at Russel, leading with a foot aimed for the GN's head module at relatively high speed ... Kazuma Ardygun's Valhawk transforms into its Close Combat Valhawk mode.

COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has attacked Russel Bagman. Valhawk Kick added to their queue.
COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has struck a solid hit on Russel Bagman's GNX-603T GN-X using Valhawk Kick.
COMBAT: Russel Bagman has counter attacked for a minor hit on Kazuma Ardygun's Close Combat Valhawk using GN Beam Rifle.
COMBAT: Russel Bagman has activated a spirit command.

"The world is under your control! You are the EFA!" Tieria shouts back at Bastion. "Do you think that your hands are tied? The only reason they are is because you allow them to be!"

Bastion's beam saber slams into the GN Bazooka as Tieria raises it up to block, before continuing on and carving into the Gundam's shoulder. The Meister curses and just gestures at the Ptolemy. "Does that look like they are being given a chance to surrender!?!" he shouts. "Your people are trying to kill my friends who aren't even fighting back!" The Gundam flashes for a moment as Tieria slams a fist down on the console...

And the red blur that it becomes suddenly flashes about, moving in a spiral about the Gn-X. "And you're keeping me..."

Two beam sabers appear, one in each of Nadleeh's hands... and Tieria cuts lose, slashing at Bastion's unit from almost every direction imaginable in a flashing cyclone of blades. "...FROM SAVING THEM!"

Tieria Erde's Gundam Virtue transforms into its Nadleeh Trans-Am mode.

COMBAT: Tieria Erde has attacked Bastion. GN Saber Assault added to their queue.

Russel Bagman isn't fast enough at this point or prehaps he's lured Kazuma in and fired off another round from his rifle as the other unit's got in close. "This fighting has to end, the Orb's elite pilots must be accounted for. We can't let it rise again.

COMBAT: Tieria Erde has struck a major hit on Bastion's GNX-603T GN-X using GN Saber Assault.

Knock Out! Bastion's GNX-603T GN-X unit has become disabled! COMBAT: Bastion has missed Tieria Erde with his GN Beam Saber counter attack.
COMBAT: Sumeragi Lee Noriega has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Sumeragi Lee Noriega has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Arissa Tams has struck a solid hit on Sumeragi Lee Noriega's Ptolemaios using Beam Rifle.
COMBAT: David Churchill has missed Sumeragi Lee Noriega with his GN Beam Saber attack.
COMBAT: Staren Wiremu has struck a solid hit on Koji Kabuto's Mazinger Z using Hybrid Sword Combo.
COMBAT: Koji Kabuto has missed Staren Wiremu with his Rocket Punch counter attack.
COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has struck a solid hit on Sumeragi Lee Noriega's Ptolemaios using GN Beam Saber.

Knock Out! Sumeragi Lee Noriega's Ptolemaios unit has become disabled!

The enormous fangs press Cagalli just as they did yesterday; however, where yesterday she flailed worthlessly, today she at least moves to make sure the blasts hit minimally Phase-Shifted sections, wasting radically less power than the day before. Setsuna's transmission comes in mid-way through, and the Princess nods. "... Right," she says, shifting the shields to arm-mounted positions rather than held ones -- this both opens up the possibility of using the shield gatling /and/ gives her two free hands.

Those free hands are almost instantly filled with a pair of ship-cutting blades, some ten meters long; shorter than the ones on the Sword Plus, but no less deadly -- indeed, honed to a fine cutting edge to make up for the loss in mass.

"Don't even start," the Princess says, shutting out Corner's taunts and jabs; they don't get under her skin today. Her mind is too sharp for that now. There is Corner, 'the distortion,' as Setsuna had put it -- and there is what lies beyond him: some semblance of safety for the friends she still has, for the only people she can call family now.

Coming in toward Corner as Setsuna comes forth with the twin GN Blades, Cagalli brings the freshly repaired legs of the Rouge into a spin, giving herself more angular momentum to slash at him with one of those heavy blades. "Alejandro -- there are no main characters here!" she shouts, mid-slash. "Only a selfish megalomaniac!"

COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha has attacked Alejandro Corner. Ship Cutting Sword added to their queue.

Russel Bagman isn't fast enough at this point or prehaps he's lured Kazuma in and fired off another round from his rifle as the other unit's got in close. "This fighting has to end, the Orb's elite pilots must be accounted for. We can't let it rise again." He wonders privately damn it Cagalli why didn't you and your people go to ground and hide? It didn't have to end like this and in th end Russel is fairly powerless to do much of anything save fight. the GN-X contiunes its rapid pace once more trying to get out of melee with its foe. "I'm not yeilding to you, I said out of the way. So not for money I can at least give you that but...." Damn it Bastion's status indicator was failing, Bastion a ruler sort who'd fight on the front line with his people. The EFA needed men like him alive, he has to get through this trailer before the Gundam can finish him off. "Not done yet." He aims and fires a long burst before flitting off again from Kazuma.

COMBAT: Russel Bagman has activated a spirit command.

'This kid is really pissing me off,' comes a familiar voice.

Allelujah starts in his seat, straightening his back -- and sideglances to where, in the thick transparent window, his reflection stares back at him, golden-eyed. "..."

Turning back to the battle at hand, Allelujah uses the brilliant lights as a distraction so he can keep a safe distance. It seems as if Leo has prepared for this battle, even getting a new machine like this. There's no way that he can tell what its capabilities are, and he can only rely on his instincts. But his instincts -- they may be the same thing that will kill the boy. Kyrios charges through the cloud of missiles, getting ahead of them, even, even as the vulcans start to light up --

-- But he's not there. Where did he go?

Allelujah feels a little more confident now that he's pulled off that tricky, risky maneuver. The Kyrios, now having dipped underneath the Messala, lets its presence be known as it lets loose a quick spray of beam-blasts, skating away as it does.

COMBAT: Russel Bagman has attacked Kazuma Ardygun. GN Beam Rifle Assault added to their queue.
COMBAT: Allelujah Haptism has attacked Leo Stenbuck. GN Beam Submachine Gun Blast added to their queue.
COMBAT: Alejandro Corner has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Alejandro Corner has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Russel Bagman has missed Kazuma Ardygun with his GN Beam Rifle Assault attack.
COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha has struck you with a solid hit using Ship Cutting Sword!
COMBAT: You have missed Cagalli Yula Athha with your GN Beam Cannon Assault counter attack.
COMBAT: Allelujah Haptism has struck a major hit on Leo Stenbuck's Messala - MA using GN Beam Submachine Gun Blast.

"I am but a leader of a small country..." Bastion said, and then the Dues ex machn-er, TRANS AM mode activated, turning the already girly looking robot into full blown pink. The GN-X under the prince's control was no match for the speed, combined with his general inexperience in such units...and is bounced around like a ball, as he attempted to thrust the blade...which completely misses.

The unit floats there, as Bastion continues. His cockpit pierced in the fighting. "I can only do so much, and no matter what I have tried to do, it has been made pointless. But I still keep trying, because the system can be can be saved. Better than tearing it all down, which is what you seek to do."

Bastion however, sighs. "Go save your friends."

David Churchill and Arissa Tam continue their assault, the Ptolemaios' hull begins to buckle. The ship is a mess, and its propulsion system finally shudders to its last breath. The damaged vessel floats in stillness, save for the light of beam weapons wrecking it further. Inside, however, the noise is everywhere -- alarm klaxons are deafening as blood-red emergency lights flash from every direction.

An orange Haro rolls through a sparking hallway. "LOCKON, LOCKON," it cries, unable to emote its need to find its favorite Meister. "LOCKON, LOCKON," it hollers again. "LOCKON, LOCKON!" Dashing down the corridor with Ian Vashti, Feldt Grace scoops the Haro up, hugging the heavy metal ball to her chest. Tears well in her eyes still, behind the normal suit faceplate.

On the bridge, Sumeragi Lee Noriega is breaking the news to her Meisters: "We're abandoning ship," she says calmly. "Fight your way free, Meisters, and make it to one of the Celestial Being rendezvous points. Someone will find you, and then the mission... the mission can continue. But for now, the Ptolemaios can't win this. Tieria, Allelujah -- if anything happens to me -- to /us/ -- you two need to watch out for Setsuna F. Seiei. He's... an incredible young man. All of you Meisters are. But don't let him lose himself in the mission. And watch out for each other. That's the thing about all of us in Celestial Being... for most of us, each other is all we have left. Allelujah, I..." Sumeragi pauses again, frowning. "I just want to say I'm sorry. But I won't now. Because I'm gonna make sure I can do that in person."

Sumeragi Lee Noriega looks to Christina and Lichtendal. "What's the status?"

"Almost done wiping the database! So much stuff... it shouldn't be more than twenty-three seconds!" Christina drums her hands on the console anxiously as a status bar ticks. "Go ahead, Sumeragi, Lichty -- I'll catch up with you."

"No," Lichtendal Tsery says, standing up and walking toward the center of the bridge. "I'll stay with you, Christina, just... just in case."

Sumeragi Lee Noriega nods slowly. "We can't wait too long," she says, knowing that these two are both too young and too idealistic to fight with her on it. "Be quick." The tactical forecaster exits the bridge.

There is a second of awkward silence, during which Lichtendal turns to look at the viewscreen -- and sees Sarah Zabirov's GN-X rushing toward the bridge. "LOOK OU--"

It's over in an instant. The saber plunges into the bridge, ripping it in twain -- and with it, Lichtendal Tsery. Pieces of the room float into open space, as do pieces of the young pilot -- pieces that are more metal than flesh, as the boy's cybernetic innards spill from his body. Clinging to her console, Christina Sierra watches in horror. "L-Lichty..." she whispers, her normal suit being the only thing keeping her from a quick and horrible death. "You saved me, I..."

Lichtendal Tsery whispers, "Chris--" before spewing blood onto the inside of his faceplate.

Christina Sierra then begins to weep, not caring as the piece of the bridge she's holding onto starts floating away, drifting into the eternal void as the bridge explodes behind her. She reflects on how foolishly she's spent her life, and makes peace with God as she watches the stars rotate in her travel.

Elsewhere on the ship, as the Burdock closes in on it, the container launches. No one inside can think of a word to say, least of all Sumeragi Lee Noriega.

The quick swipe scuffs the surface of the chest of Mazinger, cutting into the Super Alloy Z. This stuff is tough but not invincible. Still impressive for just some random guy in a custom rig. Koji smiles confidently, contraiting on bringing the Rocketing fist back around to punc the Star Hawk in the back of the head. Instead, Mazinger finds a deeper gash along the surface of the super robot, the beam saber cutting through the first couple of plates.

Mazinger now sports some pretty mean looking battle scars. This does not please Koji, who is currently fuming that this guy just landed THAT hit on him. The eyes begin to burn bright as Photonic Energy charges within them. "TAKE THIS PHOTONIC BEAM!!!!" Koji yells as he pulls back on the controls before he throws them forward, firing a concentraited blast from the super robot's eyes. "Deluded?! You are the guys who bomb weddings! You are the guys who stop everything the EFA stands for! We might not be perfect! We might not be the "good guys" but you know what, YOU GUYS ARE NOT ANY BETTER!!!" Koji glares at the young Scientist. God or a Demon? Koji growls under his breath, knowing the balancing act he faces.

COMBAT: Koji Kabuto has attacked Staren Wiremu. Photon Beam added to their queue.

"A squadron of Astrays is closing in front and above us." Ruri announces needlessly. It's impossible to miss the brightly colored suits that come streaking in for the Nadesico's bridge directly, their beam rifles launching deadly green lines of plasma through space. Most smash into the Nadesico's Distortion Fields harmlessly, but some begin to punch through, staining the ship's hull with blackened streaks.

"Aestivalis teams, what are you doing?" Yurika calls into the comms. "Get one top of them and get them off of us. Johnny, go recover Prince Bastion!" Yurika's eyes flick out across space. Yurika considers the flow of the battle, drumming her fingers alongside the railing that's currently keeping her from toppling onto Ruri's head. The Kusanagi is the center of their line... if that can be taken out, then the enemy fleet will fall apart. They might even surrender. "Ruri, prepare a barrage, target it off of the Kusanagi's port side. Helm, stand by to advance at cruising speed."

Blue beams start to lance off of the forward sweeping nacells of the Nadesico, tearing through space. The heavy beams are aimed at the side of the Kusanagi. There is time to get out of the way of the worst of it at this range, the simple answer is a counter-roll to the other side. But is it... really that simple?

COMBAT: Koji Kabuto has missed Staren Wiremu with his Photon Beam attack.
COMBAT: Staren Wiremu has counter attacked for a minor critical hit on Koji Kabuto's Mazinger Z using Hybrid Sword.

David winces a little, watching the bridge get sliced into. He...had hoped they would at least respond. That they would surrender. But he doesn't feel guilt. They chose their fate. He just sighs, shaking his head, and looks to Arissa's GN-X. "Alright. I'm moving to recover Prince Bastion's Jinx. You're on your own for now. Be careful."

The GN-X just launches silently off of the Ptol with a wake of red GN particles, flying through space towards Bastion. ...and, of course, Tieria. He rather hopes that last part won't be a problem.

Arissa looks over at the arrival of another GN-X, Sarah's, as it joins in to help crack the Celestial Being ship. "Giving us a hand? Thank you!" ...And what the hand it ends up being, her GM Trainer pulling back as the ship shows signs of being disabled. "I'll be okay," she insists to David. "I'm going to find someone else to support for now, but I'll be around if you need me..." And then she begins heading off toward the general center of the battle, looking around for those who might need a hand on the Federation's side.

Tieria grunts, slowing down for a moment. "Don't think I have any intention of doing other..."

And then there is an explosion from the Ptolemy. And Tieria turns, watching as one of the GN-X's slams its beam saber into the bridge of the ship. And his eyes widen for a moment - and Tieria's face tightens for a moment. A growl rises from deep in his throat... who else? Who else had died at the hands of these EFA fools!?!

Probably the worst thing that David could do at this point is start flying *at* Tieria. Because seeing one of the GN-X's break off from attacking the Ptolemy and turn his direction, Tieria doesn't even hesitate. He launches forward, raising his beam rifle and locking into the approaching suit. "You people... these suits..." And several shots arc out, aiming to try and blot Churchill out of the sky. "If it wasn't for you..."

COMBAT: Tieria Erde has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Tieria Erde has attacked David Churchill. GN Heavy Beam Rifle added to their queue.

The Wing Zero continues to power-up its main weapon on the perimeter of the battlefield. Milliardo Peacecraft wants to fly into the middle of the chaos and save his friends -- but he knows the best thing he can do is stick to Sumeragi Lee Noriega's Tactical Forecast and play his role. The Wing Zero is a high-powered Gundam; capable of tremendous offensive output. It's job, tonight, is to destroy the Federation Fleet and give the OU forces time to escape again.

"Buster Rifle at forty percent," he transmits on the Orb line. But the surge of Wing Zero's power output can't go unnoticed. A squadron of Leo Mobile Suits launches from the nearest battlecruiser, using their Space Type backpacks to blast towards the Wing Zero. Beam Rifle fire starts to ping off the Gundam's frame. "Hnh ... I've been engaged," Zechs transmits, opening the Wing Zero's wing verniers again. The robot shoots up in the sky, shoulder-mounted autoguns opening fire on the Leo squadron's flank.

There's something sweet about destruction.

Satisfied with the mess the GN-X's weapon left of the Celestial Being Ptolemaios, Sarah finds no reason to stay behind. The engines flare up, deep red GN particles spewing out behind the unit as it turns away, still clutching to the beam weapon in hand. Whatever fate lay in store for the ship does not concern the young Scirocco adjunct--all she wants is to cut more enemies out of the sky.

"This unit..." the girl muses, dropping low as she surveys her display. Transmissions from other pilots go ignored; as far as the girl is aware, she is alone in this battle.

"It's not so bad."

Tearing away from the general proximity of the Ptolemaios, Sarah's GN-X cuts along...until the Wing Zero comes into her sights. That unit... It's attacking at the...Messala's squad?

The girl lets a sharp frown cross over her lips, which promptly cuts into a nasty sneer, her teeth gritting painfully.

Sarah doesn't say anything; instead she fiercely assumes the controls and pilots the unit. The GN-X screams at the Wing Zero, seeking to close in on it and drive its angry red beam saber through the chest of the impressive unit.

COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has attacked Milliardo Peacecraft. GN Beam Saber added to their queue.
COMBAT: David Churchill has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Tieria Erde has struck a solid hit on David Churchill's GNX-603T GN-X using GN Heavy Beam Rifle.

The Alvatore, mighty as it is, is brought under the bear of the GN Arms today, and the power of the Strike's strange, new equipment. These weapons, the designs. Alejandro's eyes narrow.

"... No! I will not be the one to be outwitted today. The cards have been drawn. For centuries, my family has simply watched this world, never able to take its rightful place! I will achieve our legacy!


Transmission cuts off from Setsuna and Cagalli the moment the two COLLIDE with the tremendous Alvatore. The GN-Arm's blades IMPALE into one of the cannon ports of the machine, blowing it completely out of the heavy golden structure. Through the explosion bursts the Exia, green particles filtering outward as Alejandro is left to stare with wide-eyed fury at the boy. The Exia descends... and suddenly, one gold-particle spewing drive is /lobbed/ from the structure of the Alvatore, spiraling outward into the depths of space before the subsequent explosion blossoms outward in a beautiful spray of gold. It's a beauty that is offset by the fury of Alejandro Corner as the mobile armor whips about--

--only to be greeted by Cagalli Yula Athha.

"NO!" bellows Alejandro as the Alvatore whips forward one of its immense arms, seeking to grip hold of the Strike -- only for those titanic blades to CARVE through the pristine, golden alloy, amputating the arm clean in twain before it can even touch the Strike. "The Alvatore... will not /fall/... to some incompetent 'princess' and a fool who relies too much on his machine! Be/GONE/!"

The remaining ports of the Alvatore suddenly shunt open as it unloads a massive spray of orange particle beams, sweeping out in a circular volley -- intent to catch both the Strike and the Exia within its smoldering, injured rage.

Leo has to give Allelujah one thing; he's very, very good at getting out of dodge. "-- dammit, not again!" he growls to himself, as his bullets bite through empty space. "Where did he--" His question is answered when the Gundam sprays beam rounds into the Mobile Armor's belly, blowing armor into clouds of glittering metal scraps. Inside the cockpit, Leo's buffeted like a baby in a giant cocktail shaker as the mobile armor rocks from the impact of the beams.

"You're pretty good," the boy transmits, breathing heavy. "But you're not the only one with tricks up your sleeve!"

The Messala suddenly begins to unfold. Arms detach from underneath the 'wings,' and the rear of the machine swings out into legs. The entire thing straightens up, transforming into the form of a mobile suit in the space of a few seconds. Completely by coincidence, a tiny meter on the machine's control panel begins flashing; the mega particle cannons are almost done charging.

"Why don't you quit playing around?!" Leo shouts. "Show me your true power!!" The Messala swings around to face Kyrios and lifts its arms; the forearms pop open, and a large grenade blasts out of each arm, soaring through space towards the Gundam before erupting into enormous spheres of white fire. Leo Stenbuck's Messala transforms into its Messala - MS mode.

COMBAT: Alejandro Corner has attacked Cagalli Yula Athha and Setsuna F. Seiei. GN Beam Cannon Spread added to their queue.
COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has attacked Allelujah Haptism. Dual Grenade Launchers added to their queue.

Staren immediately zooms his cameras in on what's left of the Ptolemaios after the explosion. They killed someone... But one's alive! He's got to--

He sees the rocket fist coming just in time to dodge. Right, in a fight here. He swipes again, quickly, with one of the hybrid swords before they deactivate and fold away again. Then the Star Hawk's right fist clenches and pulls back, and then the arm's FAST pack thruster flares an angry red as it adds incredible force to what would otherwise be a mediocre jab punch. "Do your homework! We kicked the Trinities out after they did that! Now get outta MY WAY! I've got a life to save!" Whether the Mazinger Z is pushed away or not, the Star Hawk takes off at top speed towards the Ptolemaios. He's got to hurry! The EES display hilights FEAR and the thrusters flare yellow... What could give him greater speed than that? The Star Hawk hurries, weaving around all obstacles, to make it to the Ptolemaios in time. He's going to stop by the bridge remnants, grab Christina, then put her in the cockpit as he flies back to to the Argama or Burdock. At least, that's his plan. Will he be allowed to carry it out?

COMBAT: You have struck Setsuna F. Seiei with a solid hit using GN Beam Cannon Spread.
COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has missed Allelujah Haptism with his Dual Grenade Launchers attack.
COMBAT: Staren Wiremu has attacked Koji Kabuto. Outta my way! or Real Robot Rocket Punch! added to their queue.
COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has missed Milliardo Peacecraft with her GN Beam Saber attack.
COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has counter attacked for a minor hit on Sarah Zabiarov's GNX-603T GN-X using Beam Saber.
COMBAT: You have struck Cagalli Yula Athha with a major hit using GN Beam Cannon Spread.

When the beam shots fly at the GN-X, it doesn't stop. It just flies straight into them, the blasts impacting without too much damage. The powerful armour seems to crumple at each point of impact, just a little, but otherwise holds. They're tough machines. David's voice sounds hoarse. "I'm not here for you. I gave them the chance to surrender. I didn't have to. They didn't. It was their choice."

The GN-X speeds up, spraying more GN particles behind it, seemingly still flying straight for Tieria -- but, in reality, aiming to just curve around the Virtue -- as he says, forcefully, "Now, get the hell out of my way. I've got a unit to retrieve and i'm not letting you get in my way." As the GN-X tries to zip around/past the Virtue to get to Bastion's GN-X, it of /course/ fires all the way, a constant hail of GN Beams. He's seen what the Meisters do to people who aren't trying to kill them. You think he's going to even try to hope goodwill makes a difference to them?

COMBAT: David Churchill has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: David Churchill has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: David Churchill has attacked Tieria Erde. GN Beam Rifle Maneuver added to their queue.
COMBAT: David Churchill has struck a major hit on Tieria Erde's Nadleeh Trans-Am using GN Beam Rifle Maneuver.

The thing about space is that it is completely three-dimensional, unfettered by concepts like the horizon -- so now, relative to Leo, the Kyros is now diving straight 'up' for some time, aiming to put a safe distance between itself and the machine ... that is not only not all that crippled by that attack, but it's also transforming.

Should he be flattered?

News of the Ptolemaios rings out through his receivers. His stomach flips inside out. Allelujah, narrowing his eye, clenches onto the throttles -- but is then distracted by the extremely visible grenade launcher.

He can't afford to fail again. Bracing for impact, Kyrios dives headlong again, streaking through the airless void -- pumping its opponent with another deluge of violet bullets.

'Hey ...' It's that raucous voice again. 'Stop doing that! You wanna lose to a brat again?'

"..." His head's starting to pound a little.

The Machine Cannon clip runs dry, the autogun's rotations stopping. Three of the four Leo Space Type's -- frozen dramatically in mid-air -- explode one after another; their frames littered with the highly damaging ballistic rounds of the Wing Zero. But Milliardo does not have time to relish in the simple victory; his Gundam Wing radar gives that b-b-ba-bading noise, indicating a fresh lock-on to his unit. "From where ...?" he wonders. And then he see's it. From above --!

The Wing Zero pulls its Beam Saber free from the holster, igniting the green blade with a plume of emerald light. Sarah's GN-X slams its own saber for the Gundam; Milliardo's blade intercepting it mid-cleave. Power radiates from the two saber's interlocking; crackling energy, like electric sparks, swirling from the connected point of the two blades. A small sphere of particles glows around them for a second, until Zechs pulls his own saber back and fires the Wing Zero's verniers -- boosting over Sarah and slashing the green blade across the GN-X as he shoots over her robot's head.

The left vernier fires, swiveling the Wing Zero back around with a tremendous speed. It's green Gundam eyes flash before the second wing vernier ignites, shooting the Mobile Suit right back at the GN-X from behind. The green Beam Saber is driven on a horizontal slash, trying to cut Sarah right in half.

"You're a Titan," Zechs transmits to the GN-X; perhaps Zero having magically clued him in. "And I cannot tolerate your interference."

COMBAT: Staren Wiremu has missed Koji Kabuto with his Outta my way! or Real Robot Rocket Punch! attack.
COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has attacked Sarah Zabiarov. Beam Saber added to their queue.
COMBAT: Allelujah Haptism has attacked Leo Stenbuck. GN Beam Submachine Gun added to their queue.
COMBAT: Allelujah Haptism has struck a solid hit on Leo Stenbuck's Messala - MS using GN Beam Submachine Gun.
COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has struck a major critical hit on Sarah Zabiarov's GNX-603T GN-X using Beam Saber.

Johnny Domino buzzes around the Nadesico like an angry hornet, waging a sisyphean war against the many faceless Astrays. Trying to protect a battleship several times one's size all alone against a horde of grunts really REALLY sucks.

"I could use some help here," Domino says over the radio. His eyes go wide as another enemy squadron descends from above. Goddamnit Yurika, Johnny will never forgive you for abandoning him like this. "Guys! Don't leave me hanging here!"

Yurika's voice addresses him over the radio. Oh thank god! Johnny knew Yurika wouldn't abandon him. He had faith in the Nadesico's captain all along!

"Wha? Bastion?" Johnny, surprised by the sudden order, consults his various bestial sensors. Prince Bastion's unit is... over yonder, in even deeper trouble than the Nadesico.

Oh, damn you, Yurika. Damn you to the next dimension. Johnny will never forgive you.

"Nrrrr, FINE! Johnny Domino, breaking off. Don't you guys dare die while I'm away!" Chimera streaks off, roaring as it approaches Bastion, David, and... Tieria. A tiny voice in Johnny's head urges him to get Bastion and leave David to his gruesome fate... but Chimera's consciousness nudges at Johnny's - the beast will have none of that. Stupid cat.

"David," Johnny calls over the radio, urging his bio-unit to go faster. "Get the prince outta here, I've -" sigh "- got your back!" And by 'got your back' Johnny means 'trying to plow through Tieria'.

COMBAT: Johnny Domino has attacked Tieria Erde. Chimera Tackle added to their queue. COMBAT: Johnny Domino has struck a solid hit on Tieria Erde's Nadleeh Trans-Am using Chimera Tackle.

Again the Valhawk evades Russel's assault - and as the GN-X flies off to assist someone else (Kazuma doesn't look to see who it is), he and Mihiro survey the battlefield ...

And what should draw their attention but Mazinger Z, fighting a smaller unit which is very familiar to Kazuma Ardygun: the Star Hawk.

Kazuma knows the Mazinger Z on sight, even if he doesn't know its pilot all that well .. but Staren *is* a friend, and Kazuma kicks the Valhawk's thrusters into life, flying across the battlefield and coming at the black super robot, leading with another flying kick and the words, "WHO'RE YOU TO SAY WHO'S BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE?!"

COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has attacked Koji Kabuto. Valhawk Kick added to their queue.

Tieria's eyes widen as he hears David's words. Was that all he had to say? " would kill people who wouldn't even dare shoot back, and you call yourself a soldier?" he shouts. "And you wonder why the world needs something like Celestial Being!?!" Nadleeh wheels about, suddenly staggering as several GN beam shots slam into it. One into the shoulder of the mobile suit, another into its hip, bringing about large explosions of steam and light as the particle beams tear into the suit.

"Do you think that you're just going to kill my friends... and that I'd let you walk away after that!?!"

David might not be the one who had actually thrown the last blow, but- any further reflection is thrown off by the Chimera suddenly slamming headlong into Nadleeh. The mobile suit goes spinning around, part of its head smashed in, and Tieria's head is thrown against the side of his cockpit by the force of the blow, blood trickling down his face from the force of the impact.

"...all of you..." he groans, trying to get his bearings. "...Corner... can't be allowed to win..." He spins, lashing out with two beam sabers to try and drive the Chimera back away from him.

COMBAT: Tieria Erde has attacked Johnny Domino. GN Twin Sabers added to their queue.

With the transmissions that the Exia Gundam is picking up from across the battlefield, it does not look as though things are going very good for Celestial Being. Not in the slightest, in fact, what with their mothership about to explode. Fight on, he is told. Your suit will protect the earth, another voice mentions. There is an eerie sensation at the back of the boy's mind; he has heard these words before, just as he has fought this golden beast before.

Turning about after severing one of the Tau drives, the youth sees the ports opening on the Alvatore. And this too, he feels he has seen before. He moves with an expectation that nothing will hit him... but it does not work as planned, the array of deadly lights catching the suit, clipping off the left arm entirely. It floats away into the ether.

Spun about, Setsuna F. Seiei grunts in mild annoyance, wondering why he was so trusting of images he saw while seated within the unit that's presently engaging a GN-X across the field of battle. The right eye seems to have been struck as well, left a sparking mess, the unit's available visibility diminished.

"This isn't the end..." he transmits, muting his microphone as he shouts out the next part. "TRANS-AM!" So many of his friends are dead or dying. So many people have been lost in the last seventy-two hours, all thanks to the schemes and machinations of Alejandro Corner and the Man from Jupiter -- and their mysterious backer, a presence that Setsuna F. Seiei is aware of but for some reason cannot name.


"CRIPPLE ITS DRIVES!" Setsuna F. Seiei can do nothing but shout, his mic either too loud or the boy suddenly too heated, spurred on by the tragedy of the situation. The pink-hued Exia serves as a blur, one that stabs forth time and time again, aiming to carve the remaining Tau drives clear out of the Alvatore's system, the massive Solid Sword seeking to wet itself in gold. With the damage Exia has taken, the Trans-Am System will not last its full minute, but it might just be enough...

Setsuna F. Seiei's Gundam Exia transforms into its Trans-Am mode.

COMBAT: Setsuna F. Seiei has attacked Alejandro Corner. GN Longsword added to their queue.
COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has struck a minor hit on Koji Kabuto's Mazinger Z using Valhawk Kick.
COMBAT: Johnny Domino has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Tieria Erde has struck a glancing hit on Johnny Domino's Chimera using GN Twin Sabers.
COMBAT: Johnny Domino has missed Tieria Erde with his Tastes Like Strawberry counter attack.

Russel watches in horror as Bastion's status flickers out. Then comes a hopeful bit he's alive but down. Also disturbing information is relayed from Bastion. This appeared to be not a capture operation but a slaughter. He doesn't say much more but this fightiung has to end and if it is a slaughter soon the truth is going to die.

The GN-X Drive flares up to full out power and he looks to the trailer for a long moment. He knows Johnny and David will not last long with the amount of firepower that that machine puts out. IT might still take them both down. Russel watches as his foe breaks off and he speeds away right for the fight with Tiera the GN-X Beam rifle opens up and he radios. "Domino! Churchill I'm inbound!".

Tieria would know the green paint job somewhat well. There were only two notable Aces with these colours. Kai who'd not drive anything other than a Gespenst of some sort and Russel Bagman. He's comming in shooting but he also sends a transmission.

The Star Hawk collects Christina Sierra dutifully, but upon being put into the cockpit, her first move is to throw up inside her normal suit. Clinging to to whatever solid surface presents itself, she scrunches her eyes shut, beginning another weeping jag that blurs the line between an expression of grief and a Janovian primal scream.

The Irish-class Burdock, despatched from the Argama, also collects its catch -- bringing the container aboard, when they unlatch the door, no one in the Celestial Being crew can manage to say a thing... or even to look up, or move. They sit, knees pulled to chest or head in hands, the funereal atmosphere unbearably thick. On the floor, Haro's eyes light up as it spies the Argama crew: "HARO GENKI! HARO GENKI!" it chirps, eyes flashing, ears flapping.

Out in space, the damage to the Celestial Being mothership is too severe. Its bridge croaks and breaks off completely, support struts irreparably injured. The wounds run to its very core -- it cannot be undone, as the systems supporting the ship's various advanced and often experimental technology shut down completely or backfire in catastrophic ways. As most forces clear away from it, the Ptolemaios shudders --

--and in a flash of green so bright as to resemble the birth of a star--

--the Ptolemaios completely E X P L O D E S.

COMBAT: Russel Bagman has attacked Tieria Erde. GN Beam Rifle Assault added to their queue.
COMBAT: Russel Bagman has missed Tieria Erde with his GN Beam Rifle Assault attack.

David just grins as the Chimera suddenly slams straight into the Virtue, saving him having to deal with it. ...not that he doesn't think he could /annihilate/ it, especially after Bastion tenderized it for him. And then his expression turns solemn as he just sends a quick transmission to the Virtue, then blast off to Bastion's disabled Jinx, grabbing it with both hands of his unit and starting to pull away at high speed, dragging it towards relative safety elsewhere. 

COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has activated a spirit command.

Just when it looks like Sarah's GN-X has the drop on Milliardo's Wing Zero--

Green eyes widen suddenly as the other unit swings its saber upwards, her red blade intercepted by the Wing Zero's. For a split second the girl panics before she grits her teeth and shoves fiercely on her controls, attempting to break through the Wing Zero's blade and connect. It's a futile effort--especially when the unit withdraws and boosts over and lashes out with a shallow slash; it's enough to disorient the unit briefly.

...and give Wing Zero an opening. The green blade cuts at the GN-X, leaving a nasty, scalding gash across the silver unit's chest, cleaving through inches upon inches of steel, leaving a sparking mess in its wake. Within, the girl offers a strangled cry, her body savagely tossed within the cockpit, slamming her into one side of the seat. It aggravates her wounds, a sharp, blindingly white pain cutting through her body before she fights through it and takes up her controls once more.

"I-I don't know are," she hoarsely transmits in response. "But for one fact. You are my enemy--and I will DESTROY you!!"

The GN-X's engine roars, particles spraying as she lunges in with a beam saber held aloft. Though it initially appears the unit is going to make a direct charge, it suddenly and sharply cuts aside at the last second, attempt to drive its blade along the 'torso' of the Wing Zero in a nice, deep slicing gouge. Behind, the Ptolemaios explodes.

COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has attacked Milliardo Peacecraft. GN Beam Saber Maneuver added to their queue.

The spray of beams rips into the Lady Athha's machine, but the increased Phase Shift strength of the IWSP loadout keeps it from falling apart even under such enormous beam fire. Though the girl's resolve wavers the tiniest bit as she hears that her friends on the Ptolemaios may have been killed, the desperation ends up doing more to fuel her than hurt her.

Cagalli does her best to keep her cool, just focusing on keeping herself moving and shooting and slashing -- anything to keep herself from getting downed by that immensely powerful mobile armour. She sees Setsuna's machine brim with life, his normally quiet voice imbued with that forceful shout -- and it gives her all the more resolve to keep going. Realizing that she's gone too far away in an attempt to mitigate the beam rifle fire, the Princess trades one of her swords hastily for a beam rifle; it's not the best against a machine like that, but it's all the offense she has at the moment.

Raising it and sighting it in on more of Corner's enormous guns, Cagalli says to herself, "Corner... I can't kill you for revenge. I can't feed into the endless cycle of vengeance..." as she fires a sniper shot for the weaponry.

"Even so! YOU LET THEM IN! YOU LET THEM DO THOSE THINGS! YOU, THE AEUG, CELESTIAL BEING, ORB UNION. ALL OF IT ARE DOING IT THE WRONG WAY! YOU TEAR LIVES APART!" Koji yells back at Staren. He is pretty angry with this punk at the moment but is knocked out of it by something. "Wha?" The attack knocks Mazinger back for the moment, forcing Koji to think for a moment. Should he shoot this guy in the back? A Casualty was what war was about after all but...Koji sighs and shakes head, taking off after the Star Hawk.

"Get her to safety! Then get back here so I can kick your ass!" Koji yells at Staren. "Got it, punk? This isn't over between---?" The Mazinger is struck by a kick from behind...The Super Robot is awe struck....Was this the plan?! Was this the plan?! Koji growls as he grips the controls and charges his the Photon Core of the Mazinger. "This...was a plan to knock me off guard! If this is how the Orb Union fights, BURN IN HELL! BREAST FIRE!!!!!"

COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha has attacked Alejandro Corner. Beam Snipe added to their queue.
COMBAT: Setsuna F. Seiei has struck you with a major hit using GN Longsword!
COMBAT: Alejandro Corner has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha has struck you with a solid critical hit using Beam Snipe!

Knock Out! Alejandro Corner's Alvatore unit has become disabled!
COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has struck a major hit on Milliardo Peacecraft's Wing Gundam Zero using GN Beam Saber Maneuver.
COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has missed Sarah Zabiarov with his Head Vulcans counter attack.

Kyrios unleashes another spray of energy rounds, and the Messala lifts its arms, crossing them defensively across its chest. The fire slams into the limbs, scarring and melting armor. Again, the damage is minor... at least, by itself. The hits are starting to add up; although the Messala isn't exactly slowing down, there's almost no part of it that hasn't eaten some form of damage. It's only a matter of time before its shell stops cracking and starts breaking.

Any concern that fact might bring Leo is fleeting, and disappears entirely when his control panel indicates that the cannons are charged with a delightful *ping* sound. A smirk spreads across the boy's face. "It's almost time," he mutters to himself.

Key word 'almost.' For now, Kyrios is still diving towards the Messala, and that's just not cool. The large mobile suit's thrusters flare to life, and it rockets forwards... with, considering its size, amazing speed. It charges straight towards the Gundam, uncrossing its arms and drawing the right one back to strike; as it nears the Gundam, it thrusts the hand out towards the other machine.

Its forearm gauntlet pops up again, revealing a set of three large claws; as they crash towards Kyrios, they slam closed, trying to dig deep into the machine's armor and lock there, effectively trapping the Gundam in the Messala's grip. Allelujah seems to want to play hard to get, and it's quickly wearing on Leo's nerves. "YOU CAN'T RUN FOREVER!" the boy roars.

COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has attacked Allelujah Haptism. Forearm Claw added to their queue.

"Even so! YOU LET THEM IN! YOU LET THEM DO THOSE THINGS! YOU, THE AEUG, CELESTIAL BEING, ORB UNION. ALL OF IT ARE DOING IT THE WRONG WAY! YOU TEAR LIVES APART!" Koji yells back at Staren. He is pretty angry with this punk at the moment but is knocked out of it by something. "Wha?" The attack knocks Mazinger back for the moment, forcing Koji to think for a moment. Should he shoot this guy in the back? A Casualty was what war was about after all but...Koji sighs and shakes head, taking off after the Star Hawk.

"Get her to safety! Then get back here so I can kick your ass!" Koji yells at Staren. "Got it, punk? This isn't over between---?" The Mazinger is struck by a kick from behind...The Super Robot is awe struck....Was this the plan?! Was this the plan?! Koji growls as he grips the controls and charges his the Photon Core of the Mazinger. "This...was a plan to knock me off guard! If this is how the Orb Union fights, BURN IN HELL! RUST HURRICANE!!!!"

Even in space, a terrible Hurricane attempts to envelop the Star Hawk, threatening to Rust his ship down to dust.

COMBAT: Koji Kabuto has attacked Staren Wiremu. Rust Hurricane added to their queue.
COMBAT: Koji Kabuto has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Koji Kabuto has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Staren Wiremu has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Koji Kabuto has struck a devastating critical hit on Staren Wiremu's Star Hawk using Rust Hurricane.

Johnny has nothing to say to Tieria. So he doesn't say anything.

Chimera snorts, shoving the enemy unit away. That should give David plenty of time to get out of there with the prince. Especially when Tieria is moving straight back at Johnny with aggressive intentions.

"Aw hell no," the young pilot hisses, sending the Chimera on a brief dance with its opponent. One of the blades still manages to graze across the exoskeleton, however. And just as Chimera intends to take a delicious bite out of Tieria's pink morsel of strawberry delights --

Johnny squints, momentarily blinded by the explosion heralding the Ptolemaios's demise. For a moment, Johnny Domino glares at the expanding field of debris in the distance, open for attack.

COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has struck a major hit on Allelujah Haptism's Gundam Kyrios - Gust using Forearm Claw.

"Hnn... Has Zechs Merquise been dead for so long --?" Milliardo transmits back to Sarah. She doesn't know who he is. That's fine. The Lightning Baron is not in the mood to make anything but rude introductions! Pulling the Wing Zero's Beam Saber back, Peacecraft surveys the GN-X for a moment. He has never piloted one -- it is the first new Mobile Suit the Federation has released in the last decade he hasn't spent time in. It is a nice machine --

The red Beam Saber slams into the Wing Zero, Sarah's drive and tenacity powering her into a clean strike against the Gundanium alloy armor of the robot. A deep gouge slices through the blue chest armor; the edges soldering immediately with a red-hot glow and hiss into the vaccuum of space. "Your conviction is strong," Milliardo observes, pulling the Wing Zero back with a pop of double-vernier thrust -- the head-unit of the Gundam shooting some errant Vulcan Fire at Sarah to keep her at bay. He wants some space between him and the Jinx.

"Tell me," Zechs levels the Buster Rifle at the GN-X, arm of the Gundam extending. "What is the meaning of this battle? If you cannot answer that question, you do not deserve to continue fighting --!"

The Buster Rifle ignites; the weapon-tip swirling with yellow particles before they harden into a tremendous beam. The yellow beam of energy cuts downward, trying to incinerate the GN-X in one fell swoop.

COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has attacked Sarah Zabiarov. Buster Rifle Warning Shot added to their queue.
COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has struck a major hit on Sarah Zabiarov's GNX-603T GN-X using Buster Rifle Warning Shot.

The Star Hawk flies towards the Burdock. "There's another seat up there, strap yourself in and hang on tight... I'm sorry about your friend." He's not sure what else to say. So he doesn't. Once she's seated, the Star Hawk--

--Detects an incoming attack! Staren takes evasive action, but it's too late. "Rrrgh...!" Damage indicators fill his vision as the... space hurricane completely destroys the Star Hawk's paintjob and begins to destroy the armor plating underneath. Patches of ceramic material are exposed where the metal is rusted through... And the cockpit cover rusts away to nothingness... fortunately the canopy is made of future materials far tougher than glass or ordinary plastic. The transmission to Koji shows both his and the rescued Christina's faces. "YOU ASSHOLE! WHAT THE HELL! Let me get her off the battlefield, you jerk!" He looks up to Christina. "Just... hang on, we're almost there!" The Star Hawk transforms to fighter mode, and flies into the landing bay of the Burdock. There he lets Christina out before taxiing over to the launch catapult and preparing to relaunch. Techs stick ablative armor plates over the Star Hawk -- Not as good as the original plating, but it will last a little longer now.

COMBAT: Staren Wiremu has activated a spirit command.

Allelujah Haptism's Gundam Kyrios transforms into its Trans-Am mode.

"Ha... hahaha! HAHAHAHA!" laughs Alejandro Corner in maddened triumph; it's the laugh of a man who has kept himself reserved all of his life; the laugh of a man who has forced himself to behave and act in a role he did not belong in.

It is the laugh of a megalomaniac spreading his wings.

And it is reserved for Cagalli and Setsuna alone. The tremendous Alvatore twists, turning to regard the damaged Strike and the further-damaged Exia. He looks on in idle bemusement, lifting a brow. "From dust, to dus--"

'This isn't the end...'

"... What?"


And then, a shimmering red robot /snaps/ by the Alvatore, leaving Alejandro to stare on in bewilderment. He knows what it is. He's all too aware, by now. But--

"The system of a dead man will not defeat ME--"

--Knowing does not do much in the way of good as Setsuna's massive sword /carves/ through those GN-T Drives, slicing off one after the other, after the other, until both the Exia and the Alvatore are consumed in the explosion.

"Kill ME?!" bellows Corner. "I am the GUIDING HAND OF THE NEW WORLD--"

One shot. As the golden mobile armor is consumed with a violent explosion of similarly golden particles, that single beam shot /pierces/ through the hide of the mobile armor. There is silence...

... and then, the machine is rocked by a tremendous, mute explosion, pillars of smoke billowing outward from a ravaged, golden carcass that now hands, arms and even hidden legs forcefully ejected, lifelessly through the void.


Kazuma fumes as he gets a better sense of what's going on with Staren. "Mihiro, open a channel, tell Staren to book it outta here and get his passenger safe," he almost snarls. "I'm gonna keep this bully occupied ... get me a fix on Mazinger's cockpit so I can make sure we don't take out the pilot!"

"Ryoukai!" Mihiro answers, hands dancing over her controls. /Star Hawk, this is Mihiro Ardygun of the Valstork Family; Kazuma-niichan says for you to get your passenger to safety while we deal with Mazinger Z!/ she transmits ... and while she's doing that, she confirms the Pilder's presence, and that of the pilot within. "Targeting protocols reset, oniichan - don't aim for its head!"

"ALL RIGHT!!" roars Kazuma. "Ray Blade, *action!* Let's cut this idiot down to size!" The beam-saber-like weapon is ejected from its storage bracket in the Valhawk's knee, and snatched up in one of the Trailer machine's hands, greenish energy blade coming to life as Kazuma heads after Mazinger Z and begins slicing at it - particularly aiming for the wings, if he's still attacking Koji from behind.

COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has attacked Koji Kabuto. Ray Blade added to their queue.
COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has struck a minor hit on Koji Kabuto's Mazinger Z using Ray Blade.

The explosion of the Ptolemy is enough to dazzle Tieria for a moment, the ship going up in a tremendous explosion that marks the end of a home, a place they had worked out of for quite a long time. And now, it was nothing more than floating bits of scrap. For a moment, Tieria's eyes sting - but he won't give in to grief just yet - some of the people on board the ship had managed to escape, and he needed to try and get away himself. Even now, Tieria watches as GN Particles spill from the damaged parts of his unit like blood, forming a faint, green colored haze around his suit. Nadleeh was losing power fast, the particle counter for the Trans Am system running down rapidly.

Spinning around, Nadleeh leaps away from the Chimera, racing towards the last obstical to his escaping. Russel's GN-X is in the way, and Tieria grits his teeth. "I'm sorry Bagman. But I'm not going to die today, and you're the last thing standing between me and the people who are left!" The Gundam reaches down, pulling out its beam saber from its hip and igniting it. Thirteen seconds of Trans Am left. He needs to make a break for the rest of the AEUG forces. And that means... full force. Nothing held back. Go in non-stop, and hope for the best.

Nadleeh rockets towards the GN-X at full speed, beam saber extended out in front of it. The two suits race at each other, moving at full, relentless speed...

COMBAT: Tieria Erde has activated a spirit command.

! !

How could she have not known? "It's--??"

The girl pauses suddenly, her words cutting short. A sharp gasp escapes her lips, followed by a pinch of her eyes. Her side screams at her, but she can't let it get the better of her. She doesn't have the time--not now. "It doesn't MATTER!" she cries back, her words strained. "You are like the rest of them--an inconvenience!"

The unit soars past the Wing Zero, leaving a smolder gouge before it rips its GN blade free and whips around, turning to face the Zero. Almost immediately the unit whips aside, avoiding stray vulcan fire, giving Milliardo the space he so desires.

In the Jinx, the girl just grips angrily at her controls. "How dare you speak to me that way," she all but growls at the Wing Zero's pilot. Her shoulders shake angrily, eyes wide as she just glares through her display at the Zero before her. "This's meaning... I have my reasons for fighting- -and they don't concern you!"

Fire opens from the Wing Zero's rifle, and immediately the girl attempts to move the Jinx aside. The beam manages to best her, striking the girl's GN-X, taking with it an arm and leaving a horrendous mess of the standard-issue unit. Again the young pilot is jarred violently about, a pained cry escaping her lips before she scrambles to persevere through the grief and fight.

"I-I won't...I won't lose. Not to...not to monsters like you... It was you. Y-you beat the Messala." She has to avenge her Master's honor, doesn't she? What about Leo? She has to fight--even if she's vastly outskilled here. She has to try. She can't give up!

With a shrill cry the girl's unit tears forward once more with its GN beam saber in hand, delivering a series of vicious swings at the Wing Zero to try and just cut THROUGH it. "JUST DIE!!"

COMBAT: Tieria Erde has attacked Russel Bagman. GN Saber Mastery added to their queue.
COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has activated a spirit command.

"Tch! YOU CALL ME AN ASSHOLE?! YOU JUST HAD YOUR FRIEND KICK ME IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD WHEN I OFFERED TO HELP YOU! EH?! Heh, you're pretty stupid if you think I'm falling for this bullshit twice punk! Tch, if you were so serious you would throw up your weapon right now! No instead you get your friend to drop kick me!" Koji yells back at Staren, prepairing another attack by charging the Photon Core.

The Mazinger shakes after taking the shot in the back. "See, Staren, You are the one who are fucking up here pal. I offer help. You kick me in the head. I haven't even punched your friend yet because I'm so pissed you would fake me out like that. So if you got someone, prove it or I'm gonna get serious. Come on. You got someone's life on the line...And there's only one way, I'm letting out of here."

COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has attacked Milliardo Peacecraft. GN Beam Saber Assault added to their queue.

The headache is mounting. Allelujah is doing his best to pay attention to the fight right in front of him -- that he's diving into, in fact -- but upon seeing the remnants of the Ptolemaios and the possible loss of a friend and crewmate, the young man is starting to crack. And with that crack, an opportunistic fiend is starting to make its moves. Everything else becomes background noise -- even the claw that now grips the Kyrios, smashing in its front side in its terrible clamp.

'Hey ...' The visage of Hallelujah floats, ghost-like, in the window as Allelujah slowly raises his head, the glass of his velmet visor shattered. Blood runs down his forehead. He removes it. 'We're in trouble. How about this ... we put everything aside.'

"You ..." Allelujah, eyes widened. "... I won't let you kill them!"

'Hennh. Are you sure? We could make a good team, Allelujah. The ultimate soldier. With your discretion and brains, and with my strength ... !'

  • CRUNCH* The Messala's claw echoes from within, signifying a need for action. Allelujah stares ahead, feeling as though his head is collapsing in. But he smiles ... slowly lifting his head and looking toward that feral reflection. Allelujah wipes his hand up his forehead, sweeping his hair back so that both eyes stare ahead, burning with determination. "... Let's do it, just this once. We can't fail ..."

Kyrios twitches in the Messala's grip, mechanical parts churning as it struggles to free itself, nevertheless unfolding itself in a burst of coruscating red -- red, a blur. It draws its blade from its holster, swiping with renewed strength!

"We can do this ..." "Because ... I AM THE ULTIMATE SUPERSOLDIER!" "TRANS-AM!"


Allelujah Haptism changes into his Hallelujah Haptism pilot form.

COMBAT: Allelujah Haptism has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Allelujah Haptism has attacked Leo Stenbuck. GN Heat Sword added to their queue.
COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has struck a solid hit on Milliardo Peacecraft's Wing Gundam Zero using GN Beam Saber Assault.

Christina Sierra seems bewildered and nonsensical as Staren carries her; it's as if her body is there with him, but her mind is somewhere under the ocean. When she's dropped off at the Burdock, she nearly collapses, medical personnel on hand to pick her up and tote her to the infirmary.

Meanwhile, the wreckage of the Ptolemaios continues to float through space -- what's left of it after is GN Drive went bust, that is, shards and fragments drifting off into forever. George de Sand has connected.

COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Allelujah Haptism has struck a devastating hit on Leo Stenbuck's Messala - MS using GN Heat Sword.

Ledonir Kisaka is not a foolish man. The Nadesico's trap is a simple one, but a dangerous one. The Kusanagi rolls, but it rolls into the blasts instead of against them, taking several to the underside of the vessel, where they skim along non-essential systems. The Gottfrieds return fire, smashing into the Nadesico's Distortion Fields, but don't quite have the oomph to puncture through them.

"Hold position stead." Yurika orders. "Stand by on the Gravity Blast Cannon, focused beam. Open the rear hatch and get a crash net set up for Prince Bastion's Mobile Suit. This is going to be tricky, everyone, but I think we can fake them ou--"

Yurika freezes in mid-sentence as a beat-up old Zaku-II levels its bazooka at the Nadesico's bridge, from point blank range... inside the Distortion Fields. And then Yurika wails out, "AKIIIIIIIIIIIITOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" Old fashioned values kick in for a moment, as a pink framed Aestivalis smashes into the Zaku, GEKIGAN FLARE style, and clears up the Nadesico's bridge screens. Most everyone exhales the breaths they didn't know they were holding. "Launch missiles." Yurika announces quietly, but no one has problems hearing the command. The battle between the Nadesico and the Kusanagi has become one of stick and move, bait and switch. It just may come down to one simple fact; who can get into position to use their Big Damn Gun first.

"You cannot kill a dead man," Zechs Merquise replies to Sarah, like he was giving a piloting tutorial to the young Titan. But even the greenest of pilots, when buoyed by the power of their will to fight, can achieve great things. The GN-X closes the distance between it and the Wing Zero with a surprising velocity -- another trait Milliardo is not prepared for. Still lowering the heavy Buster Rifle by the time she reaches him, her blood red saber dances across the Gundam's armor.

The final slash of the saber clips the shoulder, severing the protruding fourth vernier thruster and damaging Milliardo's lateral movement abilities. His jaw hardens behind the flight helmet; the metallic guard preventing him from seeing the battle with his own eyes. Instead, the Zero System funnels possible combat scenarios directly into his mind. He listens to Zero's assumptions, deciphering through the multiple meanings. The future scenarios of this battle. "Yes, Zero. I should not underestimate this child."

With the GN-X back in melee range, Zechs does the only thing available to him. The twin wings of the Zero fold outward and curl upward, fanning outward to uncap their full full forward thrust. With so much velocity behind the Gundam, it should be simple effort of driving the pointed end of the Zero's forearm mounted shield right through the armor of the GN-X. "Do not think fighting is so simple --!"

The Ptolemaios explodes behind.

COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has attacked Sarah Zabiarov. Shield Tear added to their queue.
COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has struck a major hit on Sarah Zabiarov's GNX-603T GN-X using Shield Tear.
COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has counter attacked for a minor hit on Milliardo Peacecraft's Wing Gundam Zero using GN Beam Saber.
COMBAT: Tieria Erde has struck a devastating hit on Russel Bagman's GNX-603T GN-X using GN Saber Mastery.
COMBAT: Russel Bagman has missed Tieria Erde with his GN Beam Saber counter attack.
COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has activated a spirit command.

He's... he's done it?! With Cagalli's help?!

"Part of the distortion... gone..." Setsuna F. Seiei breathes hard, grimacing suddenly, entirely not too happy thanks to both the deaths of his teammates within Celestial Being, but also the poison that still runs through his veins.

"Good work," he informs Cagalli Yula Athha, for some reason then adding, "your father would be proud." But with the Alvatore defeated, the battle is not yet done. The Federation still has ample ships in the area, and the fighting still buzzes in every direction. Gundam Exia turns its back on the fallen Tau-powered drive and the deceased Alejandro Corner, for there is more work to yet be done.

"Nobody backs baby into a corner," he repeats his admonition from the now entirely gone Celestial Being mothership, watching as the ship itself finally explodes. His mouth sinks into a grim line.

Russel Bagman isn't going to run, he knows there is likely a rat in the EFA, but he's not alone in suspecting who. He can't stop he knows Tieria will rip through the fleet until he's stopped. The GN-X's beam sabre comes out and he changes Tieria head on the red drive going all out. "I have a job to do and oath to up hold I can't turn my back on my comrades just like you can't yours!" Russel's machine changes in right at the Nadleeh full on the drive pumping out every ounce of power even as the CB's carrier dies violently to the EFA assault. Its too fast for him to use his rifle right, the beam sabre is now at full power he's channelling every ounce of power he can at this point. Russel is no super solider he's fighting against the G forces he's under as he closes in at the Cb Gundam, the blades lock for a moment, then there' a sicken sight the Neadleech's blade is sinking into Russel's GN-X armour turning to slag and freezing shortly after from the cold of space. Systems are failing Russel's machine is going limp. "I'm... not done yet." The GN-X Sputters to life long enough, for its own sabre to make an attempt to dive it into the other unit as hard as he can, but thats it his unit goes limp its coms and other systems fail as it goes lifeless in the void.

The Gambit fails, Russels machine is dead to the word or is it? Russels within and has an panel open he crosses a few things reroutes power from just about every remaining system the optics light back up. "Its not done yet."

The Ravage GN-X rises like a Geist from its grave the Beam Rifle is in hand still and has a charge left within it. Russel aims and then fires aiming at the other machine targeting the limb joints and the head with several shots. The machine is holding together on jury rigging and prehaps the will of the pilot at this point, with a prayer thrown in for good measure.

COMBAT: Russel Bagman has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Russel Bagman has attacked Tieria Erde. GN Beam Rifle Mastery added to their queue.
COMBAT: Russel Bagman has struck a major hit on Tieria Erde's Nadleeh Trans-Am using GN Beam Rifle Mastery.

Knock Out! Tieria Erde's Nadleeh Trans-Am unit has become disabled!
COMBAT: Tieria Erde has missed Russel Bagman with his Shield Bash counter attack.

"I will TRY," the girl insists in immediate response as her unit cuts forward and lashes out, delivering its blow before it recoils back, GN particles flaring out behind the silver Jinx. Her mind remains a mix of feelings--namely wrath and fear. She's outclassed. This unit is far superior to her standard GN-X. If only her Bolinoak were capable of being piloted. But...

Gnashing her teeth, Sarah shakes her head, eyes pinching shut. "I can't...I can't dwell on that," she tells herself, even as Wing Zero's wings begin to unfold and prepare its assault. Struggling forward in her seat, the girl hunches forward, eyes pressed shut as she tries to force herself to fight, circumstances considered, however painfully against her they may be.


Looking up and opening her eyes, she watches as the Wing Zero races forward at full throttle, intent on tearing through her unit with its shield. "I never SAID it was SIMPLE!" the girl screams, as the Jinx suddenly lunges aside. The shield cuts through its torso, leaving a horrible slice through the unit's side--but it doesn't stop it. At the same time she swings her blade down, attempting to throw off the Wing Zero's flight forward and strike a blow to one of its wings.

"But I have to. For his sake!"

The GN-X twists the blade in hand, spinning it around before it grips it in reverse. Holding the length of the GN blade facing outward, the Jinx thrusts forward and attempts to swing a few angry swipes into the chest area of the Wing Zero.

COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has attacked Milliardo Peacecraft. GN Beam Saber Fury added to their queue.
COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has struck a solid hit on Milliardo Peacecraft's Wing Gundam Zero using GN Beam Saber Fury.
COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has counter attacked for a minor hit on Sarah Zabiarov's GNX-603T GN-X using Beam Saber.

Tieria slams his blade home into Russel's GN-X, not even bothering to pull the blade out given the force that he's slammed it into the other man's machine. He has to be down after that - even a GN-X can't manage to survive that much of a beating. "I'm sorry, Russel," Tieria transmits, boosting over the wreck of Bagman's machine and preparing to launch away, accelerating hard as he starts setting a vector for the AEUG flagship in the formation beyond...

The warning light sound, indicating that there is a lock on behind him. Tieira glances back, and curses. "Still not down...!?!" he shouts - and the GN particle counter on Nadleeh's Trans Am mode mode hits zero, the suit dropping out of the boosted mode as it's engine runs dry for a moment. There is a second where there are no particles left in the solar furnace, and Tieria is accelerating, but with no ability to change his course. He has one chance, and whips Nadleeh around, hurling his shield at the GN-X.

It is a futile gesture, sadly to say. The beam shots slam into the Gundam, knocking it backwards as one slams into its right arm, another into the hips, a third into its head, a fourth into the right shoulder. Relentless hits, each one causing a huge explosion of green smoke and GN particles to fly outwards as it strikes home. Nadleeh rockets away, motionless for a moment...

Right before a series of explosions rip through the machine, tearing it to pieces. One arm is torn off completely, and both legs shatter into pieces. The Gundam tumbles away into space, half a head, a torso, and one arm all that are left of the fighting machine.

In the cockpit, Tieira opens his eyes, groaning at the burning pain in his side. Ribs smashed, one arm broken. He tries to open one eye, but the swelling is bad enough that he can't even manage it. He reaches for the radio, his voice thick and slurred as he opens the communications line.

Russel Bagman lowers his machine's rifle, is it over he manages to dodge the final attack from Tieria's machine. He doesn't seek to fire on the wreck. It's all he can do really at this point, he tries to get his hud working properly but the damage is bad, very bad. The GN-X is covered by Arcs of lighting, and he's trying to pull away from the fight now. It would be easy to pick him off at this point.

Swallowing hard as the Alvatore falls at long last, the Princess of the Orb Union breathes a long sigh of relief. "Father... what would you have said, about this battle?" she asks of empty nothingness, as Setsuna tells her her father would be proud. "All of this fighting..."

Her senses, still sharp, still alert, turn back to the wreckage of the Ptolemaios. Such a cost, she thinks -- just to live. Was seeking a better world really, truly that horrible? Sure, it required doing things that Cagalli wasn't proud of; sure, it stretched her principles to the very limits at times. But...

-- Tieria's MS is fired upon by that near-annihilated GN-X, and gets all but trashed by the machine. Her focus spikes again -- just because Corner's finished doesn't mean that the battle is over. Hastily, she turns her guns on Bagman's GN-X, shouting, "WHEN IS THE KILLING GOING TO BE ENOUGH FOR YOU?!" and opening fire with the twin railguns on the back, boosting side to side but keeping up with the targeting in spite of the constant, vertigo-inducing motion.

COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha has attacked Russel Bagman. Dual Railguns added to their queue.

Zabiarov's counterattack does a good job on the Wing Zero. After the shield slams into the other Mobile Suit, it is left exposed to more ravages of Sarah's Beam Saber. Slashes whirl through the air, cutting into the armor of the Gundam again. Thankfully, the Gundanium alloy is a super-advanced weave; designed to endure the rigors of space combat. But it shows the battle scars in the deep gorges in its frame.

The final strike clips the arm-mounted shield, tearing it in half with a tremendous slash and splash of red light. The two halves of the protective buff spin off around the Wing Zero before they both detonate into spherical explosions. A follow-up slash is parried with a reignition of its own green saber.

Peacecraft exhales a held breath, watching the images Zero feeds him. The Wing Zero and GN-X are held in perplex again, their two sabers interlocked in space. "A soldier who fights for anything but their own heart," he replies, dipping his head in the cockpit of the Gundam. "Does not deserve to fight on the battlefield. You --"

The Wing Zero returns the favor on the GN-X. With a small burst of its wing jets, it manages to break free from the saber-clench again. Zechs relies on the speed of his Gundam to try and overcome Sarah, stabbing the pointed of his Beam Saber right towards the shoulder of her unit -- pulling it back -- and then slashing it on the horizontal with a forward rush of thrust.

"-- have underestimated my willingness to live!"

And there's the color change.

Backed by the power of the Trans-Am System, Kyrios's heat saber carves through the Messala's arm like a hot knife through butter. The force of the strike rips the vice claw right out of the Gundam's flesh, and the severed forearm goes flying away from the two mobile suits. A few hundred meters away from the machines, it explodes into a cloud of flame as a grenade inside touches off.

The blow staggers the rest of the Messala, too; the mobile suit reels backwards, limbs splaying out. Despite the suddenly deterioriating situation, however, Leo Stenbuck isn't worried at all. He's not even surprised. This has been what he's wanted since their fight began... two days ago he saw only a glimpse of what the Gundams could really do. He wants to see more.

"So... that's what you call it," Leo transmits. He can't help but sound a little smug. "Trans-Am..." The gauntlet on the Messala's left arm - the one that isn't now space dust - pops open, depositing a beam saber into the mobile suit's hand. The mobile suit's hand tightens around the handle, and the weapon's yellow blade springs to life.

"The ultimate super soldier, huh?!" the Titan says, raising his voice again as the brief moment of smug calm passes. "THEN SHOW ME WHAT YOU CAN DO, GUNDAM MEISTER!!" The Messala's thrusters fire again, and the mobile suit rights itself, lunging back in towards the Gundam Kyrios and bringing its saber down in a vicious overhead slash.

COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has attacked Allelujah Haptism. Beam Saber added to their queue.
COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has attacked Sarah Zabiarov. Beam Saber Mastery added to their queue.
COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has missed Sarah Zabiarov with his Beam Saber Mastery attack.
COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has missed Allelujah Haptism with his Beam Saber attack.

The carcass of the Alvatore floats like a slain, overly rotund dragon across the expanse of Earth's orbit. There is no sound from within, no signs of life. Everything is silent within the void. Electricity sputters across the weapon; the reamining GN-T Drives die off one by one as the last traces of activity from the metallic beast fade away. Victory has been claimed by Setsuna and Cagalli. The Exia turns its back to the space leviathan. Congratulations are given throughout the wartorn battlefield.

But war rages on still, all around them. The Ptolemaios has been destroyed; the Nadleeh taken out; soldiers and lives drop all around them. Reality resumes.

And reality is a harsh mistress.

Cagalli moves, to avenge the fall of her comrade. The IWSP falls back towards the Nadleeh and the GN-X rapidly... as behind the oblivious Exia, something crackles within the depths of the Alvatore. It glows bright, so bright--

--before a single bolt of orange energy seeks to pierce through the torso of the blue and red Celestial Being Gundam with a bright flash.

Hydraulics shunt, hissing from the depths of the Alvatore. The massive wreckage splits at its top, a hatch suddenly revealing itself as it slides upwards. As if giving birth from its own destruction, within the beast rises something much smaller. Reborn again like a phoenix, a humanoid machine rises. The hatch rotates, splitting apart as it folds up behind the newly revealed machine like a pair of golden wings. Within its hands it holds two beam rifles, both sizzling with excess particles. A single drive churns deep orange particles outward from behind it. A visored gaze focuses upon the Exia, the hatred of the pilot unable to be conveyed through that lifeless, mono-eyed stare alone.

"To think such ridiculous little toys could do this to my Alvatore..." Alejandro Corner breathes out, his expression dangerous.

"It seems I've underestimated you."

Alejandro Corner's GNMA-XCVII Alvatore transforms into its Alvaaron mode.

COMBAT: Alejandro Corner has reset their systems to full.
COMBAT: Alejandro Corner has set their HP to 5 person boss HP.
COMBAT: Russel Bagman has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Alejandro Corner has attacked Setsuna F. Seiei. GN Beam Rifle added to their queue.
COMBAT: You have struck Setsuna F. Seiei with a solid hit using GN Beam Rifle.
COMBAT: Russel Bagman has activated a spirit command.

The heavy bolts on Nadleeh's back explode as a series of charges around the cone shaped drive cover on the back of the Gundam are set off. The cone pulls away, tearing out the solar furnace that extends all the way through mobile suit. The GN Drive immediately unfolds a stealth cover, wrapping around the entire unit and shrouding it from sensors as a pair of tiny GN particle jets sent the unit on its way. The trip will be a long one towards the pickup point, but the drive itself is an unfeeling block of metal, and is unbothered by the prospect of being out in the cold darkness of space for a week or two.

Tieria puts one hand on the console, feeling the vibration as the suit's drive system pulls away. A few more words on the radio until it finally cuts out, Nadleeh's systems going dark as the last of its power reserves are expended. The Meister lets his head roll back on his command chair for a moment, looking up at the stars. "...did I do the right thing, Lockon? Would it have been better for us just to roll over and let them destroy us, and avoid all this hatred? All this suffering?"

The cockpit hatch screeches for a moment as it tries to open, and then a warning sign flashes across Tieria's helmet, one of the few bits of power left.

Ejection System Failure. Commencing Final Purge in 10... 9... 8...

"...piece of junk..." Tieria growls, raising up one foot, and kicking at the control panel.

Nadleeh continues to speed off in the distance, vanishing slowly into the distance.

A small star blossoms from the suit a moment later, GN particles flying out in all directions as the suit breaks apart, the last few remaining pieces crumbling into a field of debris that scatters into the darkness of space.

Newtypes in the area may feel a brief, intense pressure emanating from the orange -- now a blistering red -- Gundam as it seperates itself from the Messala. Two minds, two souls -- have combined at last into one body.

Allelujah doesn't care about the fact that his forehead is still bleeding, dripping down his brow, a refreshing smile on his features. Nobody has ever seen the man like this; it feels as if he has been reborn, like he can do anything. Is this the power of quantum brainwaves?!

"Those are the words of a brat!" He sneers -- but then his more merciful side kicks in. "But if you want to so badly, I'll show you the power of us both!"

Allelujah doesn't want to kill this boy, but he will do whatever he can to make sure that the EFA does not come back victorious. As Leo runs in, Kyrios kicks into action too, withdrawing not one, but two beam sabers from either side of its hip. Once ignited in a hiss of energy, it too, a radiant blur, comes striking in toward the much larger mobile suit -- sparks fly everywhere as the two parry. The supersoldier takes a moment to spin back -- then around in a deft, brutal show of force -- slashing inward.

COMBAT: Allelujah Haptism has attacked Leo Stenbuck. Double Beam Saber added to their queue.
COMBAT: Allelujah Haptism has missed Leo Stenbuck with his Double Beam Saber attack.
COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha has missed Russel Bagman with her Dual Railguns attack.

The Mazinger Z disengages the battle suddenly. The pilot looks somewhat put off by the radio conversation he's having. This was wrong. He shouldn't use Mazinger for this. Not this kind of battle. Koji looks back as Alejandro rises from the ashes.

He turns back to his landing proceedures, landing in the rear shuttle dock of the Nadesico. "Damnit. I don't know what I should do." He sits in Mazinger, watching the battle from the entrance.

In the girl's green eyes there is some odd, distant sense of satisfaction as the Jinx unleashes its assault, leaving the shield of the Wing Zero a severed mess and gouges left marring the unit's chasse. The final slash, however, is parried by the Zero's beam saber, drawing an immediate scowl over the young Titan's lips. Though she's driven now, more than ever, to take out the Wing Zero and prove to herself that she IS a good pilot and WORTHY to fight, her body still shivers, a mix of frustration, anger, pain and...fear.

This is the unit of Zechs Merquise. The Lightning Baron. The man who cut Messala from the sky.

A sharp exhale escapes the girl's lips as she struggles with her controls, to push against the green beam saber and overpower the Wing Zero. "What...d-do you care," the girl rasps back at the Wing Zero's pilot. "What my reasons...for f-fighting are?? What does it matter? My heart, my existence--they are no longer mine!"

The Wing Zero breaks free, startling Sarah Zabiarov suddenly. Her shivering arms tense up as she suddenly pulls back on the controls and ignites the GN drive of her Jinx, the silver unit suddenly advancing upwards and to the side, narrowly missing the savage strike of the Wing Zero's assault. Immediately, however, she attempts to capitalize; the GN blade is switched in hand once more, a proper grip gained before the other arm reaches up and grips the lower hilt.

"It belongs to the peaceful future, envisioned by Master Paptimus--!!"

The silver unit screams forth once more, closing in on the Zero headlong before she swings the blade in a savage downward slash, following it up with an angled slash aimed outwards--all before she draws it back momentarily before unleashing another furious, deep-cutting blow angled downward from the opposite side.


COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has attacked Milliardo Peacecraft. GN Beam Saber Mastery added to their queue.

Russel Bagman pauses, he's trying to limp away. The green GN-X has got Cagalli's attention, he brings up the defence barrier and knows its likely futile but he's do damn damaged there isn't much more he can do at this point, "I guess this is is it." Russel says to himseld. The defect unit some how incepts both shots from the rail gun. The defence system is destroy and it's trying to limp away now. He says nothing to Cagalli, what can he say? She's lost her nation, her famaily. He wonders about Tieria now has he done the right thing? Is he backing the right people? Can the cancer in the EFA be stopped. He recalls the last thing Tieria said to him. Maybe the fighting was worth it. He doesn't know his unit contiunes trying to get to the Nadesico. He is not sure how he surived the Princess's fury.

COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has struck a major hit on Milliardo Peacecraft's Wing Gundam Zero using GN Beam Saber Mastery.

Staren hopes this is a good idea. Hopefully he can't have hurt Orb's chances that much by agreeing to withdraw. At worst they'll have one more able fighter in reserve... After Tieria announces he's down, and fails to respond to Staren's radio contacts, he sends the signal for the catapult to launch him. The Star Hawk is in a sorry state as it flies out of the Burdock, covered in repair kit plating after its armor was devastated by Mazinger. It turns and heads off towards Nadleeh, in time to see it breaking apart into a debris field. Well, nutbunnies, that's going to make this harder. Still, if he can possibly find Tieria... The Star Hawk zooms off towards the debris field, and when it gets there, Staren looks for any sign of a normal suit...

Setsuna F. Seiei is pretty certain he just told Cagalli Y. Athha what her father would say, so why is the girl talking to dead people? With a slight shake of his head, he watches as the Trans-Am counter winds its way down to zero. He should not need it, to assist with the remainder of this battle, he is certain. Just as he is certain that--

--a blast just ripped through the chest of his unit.

The pink fades into a minor explosion, as the well-placed shit soars through the torso of the Exia Gundam. Within the cockpit, the Gundam Meister can feel the heat of the blast, and he swears a blue streak as he slams both feet down on the pedals, evading any follow-up attempts.

Spinning his precious, broken unit about, he stares the smaller golden baby that the Alvatore has given birth to, teeth grinding in fury. "To think, it was a transformer," he curses his own stupidity. He knew this was going to happen; why didn't he listen? He's sure he knew this was going to happen. He isn't losing his mind.

Another shuddering explosion rocks the interior of the Exia's chest cavity. How much longer can it hope to survive? "I'll cut your cancerous heart out," he promises Alejandro in a low voice, hands tightening on the controls as smoke slowly begins to fill the cockpit. How long can he survive on tainted air?

The Solid Sword slides back, and Exia takes ahold of two daggers, igniting both. It's dangerous to go alone, but he does so anyway, throwing both in an attempt to pin the wings back, to destabilize the unit in its first moments of existence, the beginning of something else.

Setsuna F. Seiei's Gundam Exia transforms into its Gundam Exia mode.

COMBAT: Setsuna F. Seiei's Beam Dagger Throw has been added to your queue.
COMBAT: Setsuna F. Seiei has attacked Alejandro Corner. Beam Dagger Throw added to their queue.
COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha has activated a spirit command.

Kazuma Ardygun's Valhawk transforms into its Air Force Valhawk mode.

Cagalli blows off the GN-X's defense rod; that is probably for the best, she realizes, after the fact. Even with the power in her blood now coming to the fore, she's still the same old impetuous Cagalli -- in hindsight, not feeding into the cycle... is probably for the best. Turning her attention back around, she is too late to do anything about the shot hurled at Setsuna. "Son of a /bitch/!" she shouts, seeing that Alejandro yet opposes them.

Drawing her heavy blade once again, she turns her attention back around toward Corner's machine; she catches up with Setsuna by some small miracle, pulling along neck-and-neck with him as he throws his dagger. Her own assault is, likewise, from a distance; she wants to get in close and tear into that thing with the swords, but she doesn't think it's possible with the situation the way it is.

The railguns are still too hot -- she needs to switch away from the minimally-movable mounted guns to something a little heavier. The /upper/ guns on the IWSP -- the much larger shoulder cannons -- swivel around more fully, Cagalli taking careful aim. Everything on the IWSP is so complex, yet for this night, this one night where it is most necessary, she manages to use it like a veteran, trying to drill the same spot Setsuna's dagger is aimed for.

COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha's Dual Shoulder Cannons has been added to your queue.
COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha has attacked Alejandro Corner. Dual Shoulder Cannons added to their queue.

Three blades of energy flash in between the Messala and the Kyrios; one for Leo, one for Allelujah, and one for Hallelujah. They lock, spark, and then break apart, and Kyrios's blades come sweeping in again. The Messala's blade twitches just slightly to meet one of the two, almost parallel to it. It strikes the other blade just long enough to stop its momentum, and then sweeps around it and forces it sideways, Leo using both his blade and one of Kyrios's to parry the Gundam's second sword.

The display of mobile suit swordsmanship, on both sides, is astounding; Kyrios, infused with the power of the Trans-Am System, is faster, stronger, and tougher even than the masterfully crafted, hanf-built Messala, and the quantum brainwaves of the Cyber-Newtype Super Soldier offer him a definite edge against his opponent.

But Leo is keeping pace. He's on the defensive, for sure, and his certainty of victory is quickly melting away in the face of the blinding speed of the Trans-Am system... and, more importantly, the sudden increase in his opponent's aggressiveness. Whatever buttons he managed to push, he found the ones he wanted. Whether that was a mistake is still up in the air.

"So... this is your true strength?!" Leo jeers. "But how much of this power is yours..." The three locked blades break apart again as the Messala darts backwards, raising its arm towards the Gundam Kyrios. The forearm pops open again, and another grenade erupts out of the left arm's launcher, streaking through space towards the Kyrios.

"... and how much of it is Trans-Am's?!"

COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has attacked Allelujah Haptism. Grenade Launcher added to their queue.

Two Ray Blade slashes and a radio conversation later, Kazuma and Mihiro are taking a look around the battlefield once again ... and Mihiro's gaze winds up following the Mazinger Z back to the Nadesico. "Oniichan ... should we do something about that battleship?"

"The Nadesico?" Kazuma sounds dubious, but he starts the Valhawk in that direction nonetheless. "We're gonna make ourselves a damn big target ...."

"So we just focus on taking out their weapons systems," Mihiro answers. "We leave their engines and their recovery hangars alone, don't do more damage to the hull than necessary ..."

A grin slowly spreads across Kazuma's face. "I like how you're thinking, Mihiro-chan .... all right. Let's be crazy."

The Valhawk picks up speed, converting back into Air Force Mode for speed and agility (and generally making itself a smaller target ... and engages Code Phoenix en route, a sheathe of red-hot plasma encasing the Valhawk, giving it the appearance from a distance of an actual bird of fire as it closes in on the warship. First priority: break through that distortion field ... and if he breaks through on this first run, his target on the Nadesico itself is the hatch covering its central cannon.

COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has attacked Ruri Hoshino. Heat Edge Exploder added to their queue.
COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has struck a major hit on Ruri Hoshino's ND-001 Nadesico using Heat Edge Exploder.
COMBAT: Ruri Hoshino has counter attacked for a minor hit on Kazuma Ardygun's Air Force Valhawk using AA Beam Turrets.

Zechs Merquise space-backpedals after whiffing with the Beam Saber. He has picked up on one thing about Sarah -- she likes melee combat. He has no particular predilection to either end of the spectrum; battle is battle. But it pays to understand that your enemy likes things up close and personal. And he's prepared for that... Until she uses a psychological card on him. "No longer your own ...?"

The sudden admission freezes Zechs -- his mind flashing to a meeting with Paptimus Scirocco in the medical bay of Hiryu Custom. That was where he learned the truth about Jamitov Heinman. But how did Paptimus know --?

The distraction proves deadly. The GN-X is intercepted by Milliardo's Beam Saber, but he has no leverage. The girl overpowers him, slashing through the arm of the Wing Zero just above the wrist. It's hand disappears, Beam Saber traveling with it. They both explode beneath the Mobile Suit a few seconds later.

One armed and now at a sizable disadvantage, Milliardo is forced to rely on the Wing Zero's only other means of offensive attack. The left arm spins in space, and at such a small proximity, the Buster Rifle only has a half-second to build a charge. A small beam of yellow energy slices from the cannon, shot for the GN-X's lower half.

"All my former subordinates ... Their fate lies close to my heart, Sarah Zabiarov!" Zechs Merquise made it his life to know all of the Federation's Mobile Suit Pilots.

COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has attacked Sarah Zabiarov. Buster Rifle Dream added to their queue.
COMBAT: Alejandro Corner has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Setsuna F. Seiei has struck you with a glancing hit from their Beam Dagger Throw attack!
COMBAT: Alejandro Corner has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has missed Sarah Zabiarov with his Buster Rifle Dream attack.
COMBAT: Alejandro Corner has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha has missed you with her Dual Shoulder Cannons attack.
COMBAT: You have missed Cagalli Yula Athha with your Double GN Beam Rifle Barrage counter attack.
COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has missed Allelujah Haptism with his Grenade Launcher attack.

"Incoming Mobile Armour." Ruri announces. "He is targetting the Gravity Blast Cannon."

"Aestivalis units are unable to intercept, they're out of position!"

"Come about, hard to port and open fire will all beam cannons." Yurika orders. "Launch orbital mines to starboard to hit him as he passes.

The Nadesico turns away from Kazuma's path a stabbing blue lines of fire reach out to slash at his Valhawk. The Distortion Field buys the Nadesico three more seconds before Kazuma pierces through it, making him hit one of the launch catapaults instead of the cannon's emitter. As he pulls away, he's already caught in a network of orbital mines. The small devices lock-on with proximity and fling themselves, kamikaze style, at the extremely speedy machine.

COMBAT: Ruri Hoshino has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Ruri Hoshino has attacked Kazuma Ardygun. Orbital Mines added to their queue.
COMBAT: Ruri Hoshino has struck a glancing hit on Kazuma Ardygun's Air Force Valhawk using Orbital Mines.

Kyrios is an optical illusion at this point, an already-agile unit bolstered (three times) by the surge of particles. Allelujah knows that this precious gift won't last forever, so, flitting like a glittering red hummingbird around the huger mobile suit, it jerks away once the grenade comes out.

"How much of this is your fancy new suit?" Is all the supersoldier snaps back, his attention mainly focused on dealing with the projectile --

Kyrios lifts its finned arms, holding the two beam sabers in an X shape over its chest, just sitting and watching the grenade close in ...

A brilliant scintillation of particles, almost like a wall bursts forth, and the grenade is punched backward, sliced straight in half through a combination of blades and some kind of wall around it that snaps away in nanoseconds.

Allelujah glances at the meter. Not good. He's running out. He has only one more chance to deal with this in the precious time he has left!

The beam sabers go back -- the man's tool of choice is his shield, the two deadly pincers yawning open. In a burst of blinding speed, the red blur that is Kyrios closes in, and starts to clamp down when ...


Allelujah Haptism's Gundam Kyrios transforms into its Gundam Kyrios mode.

COMBAT: Allelujah Haptism has attacked Leo Stenbuck. Claw Shield - Catch added to their queue.
COMBAT: Allelujah Haptism has missed Leo Stenbuck with his Claw Shield - Catch attack.

"What amusing words!" declares Corner with a tone of elegant arrogance, brows lifting in abject disbelieve of Setsuna. "Do you truly believe that /you/ are to be the victor here? Everything has been planned for your defeat! The /plan/ demands your sacrifice!

"Would you claim that you are beyond the plan of Celestial Being?! NONSENSE!"

As the Exia attacks, the Alvaaron reacts; the sleek golden mobile suit suddenly swings both wings upward. Orange energy crackles between them before a /field/ of orangish particles encases the golden suit in a protective bubble. Beam daggers impact uselessly against it; the field is far too dense, far too thick to be penetrated, running on the excess power of those remaining drives all funneled into one. Alejandro laughs.

"Would you still seek destruction, even knowing that rebirth is nigh?!"

Cagalli attacks next; those shoulder cannons unload, and yet, as those blasts hammer into the same spot on the field, nothing happens. It is virtually impenetrable; a dense, unyielding shield of unbreakable might. The Alvaaron rises high, both beam rifles pressing forward.

"Farewell, Cagalli.

"Take solace in the fact that your death will be the foundation stone of everything the Corner Family has yearned for!"

And then, those rifles unload in a spray of tremendous firepower, thick bolts of orange raining down endlessly across the limitless space. The barrage is almost ceaseless -- and, combined with that field, Alejandro Corner seems absolutely assured in himself.

In absolute, utter victory.

COMBAT: Alejandro Corner has attacked Cagalli Yula Athha. Double GN Beam Rifle Barrage added to their queue. COMBAT: You have missed Cagalli Yula Athha with your Double GN Beam Rifle Barrage attack.

Turret-fired beams rake the Valhawk as Kazuma closes on the Nadesico, and the detonating mines rock him thereafter, but the Valhawk is still entirely combat-worthy, and converts back to Close Combat mode with a huff. "You're not getting away that easily ... MIHIRO!! Let's give them something to chew on!"

"Plasma Drive, all green!" Mihiro calls out as the Valhawk gathers power, energy crackling between the machine's hands and building up to a critical point ...

"PLASMA EXECUTION, MAXIMUM SHOOT!!" Kazuma yells, unleashing the blast against the Nadesico - again, aiming for the Gravity Blast Cannon.

Kazuma Ardygun's Valhawk transforms into its Close Combat Valhawk mode.

COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has attacked Ruri Hoshino. Plasma Execution added to their queue.

"I have pledged to give anything for the cause of Master Paptimus--!" the girl cries swiftly in response, her words filled with raw emotion and passion for her cause. "Whatever he asks--whatever he needs...I will be there to do what must be done!" The young Titan advances forth, intent on slicing the Wing Zero repeatedly and without an ounce of mercy. She can't--because he will not show her a shred.

And when she makes her strike she grins, green eyes wide as she finds herself pleased with this result. The Wing Zero loses a hand, the green beam saber tumbling downwards before they merely explode. The Jinx, however, withdraws sharply from close proximity, its body twisting before it ascends. Warnings within the cockpit signal a charge of energy, and immediately the young Scirocco subordinate grips the controls and banks sharply aside before she barrel rolls under the shot of energy from the cannon, avoiding fire.

The smile on Sarah's face fades as she jerks the controls, drawing the GN-X around, particles spraying behind the silver unit as it turns and faces the Lightning Baron's Wing Zero. "It doesn't matter!" she cries. "This is a battle- -the lines are drawn in the sand. It's black and white here--you're either with me--" The GN particles flare behind the Jinx as it builds up energy.

"Or you are my enemy. You chose your fate!"

The unit tears forward then, intent on ramming the beam saber's furious red length straight through the chest of the Wing Zero and holding it there briefly before ripping it savagely outwards.

"And I have chosen MINE!" A hoarse wet cough follows her cry.

COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has attacked Milliardo Peacecraft. GN Beam Saber Gouge added to their queue.
COMBAT: Cagalli Yula Athha has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Setsuna F. Seiei has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Setsuna F. Seiei has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has struck a glancing hit on Milliardo Peacecraft's Wing Gundam Zero using GN Beam Saber Gouge.

There is too much at stake here for it to end this way. On the brink of defeat, the Exia Gundam truly cannot take much more of a battering, and neither can the pilot within. Gritting his teeth as the daggers fail to have the type of impact he had hoped for, he finds himself instead surprised when Cagalli Yula Athha returns to the fray, unleashing the cannons to assist in his effort. "Hmph..." he sounds at her, almost as if mildly disappointed that he needed her help.

But that's not the type of pilot that Setsuna F. Seiei is.

That wasn't how he was raised within Celestial Being.

For all that he pilots the Gundam destined to destroy other Gundams, he knows that there is beauty in teamwork, in two different cohesive units coming together to form a whole. He knows that there is more to providing a combo than simply having everyone unleash their giant attacks at the same time. Yes, there is much that Setsuna knows, however young the Gundam Meister is.

Without a doubt, Setsuna F. Seiei is evolving, growing up, undergoing something radical.

Watching as the Alvaaron unleashes its beam rifles against the Strike Rouge, the Meister comes to a decision, one he is not precisely eager to agree to, but one he knows must be done; "Cagalli Yula Athha! Follow my lead!"

Teamwork, it is the pinnacle of all creation. When a man and a woman love each other very much, they are capable of anything, that is what the young Meister has been taught by his handlers within Celestial Being. He isn't entirely sure he buys that, but right here and right now, he decides to make a sacrifice, for the greater good; for the world.

Darting forward, he does the sensible thing with that massive Solid Sword of his. He starts carving, shearing right into the GN Field that surrounds the Alvaaron. Within the blink of an eye, he does the unthinkable; he creates a doorway, and he then fills that doorway with everything he has left. Two daggers are lofted through. Two beam sabers float, not yet ignited. The short and the long swords, they too drift forward. Even the Solid Sword detaches from the remaining arm of Exia, as it holds open the doorway for the Strike Rouge to pierce through.

There will be no escape for Setsuna F. Seiei, as the Strike Rouge's charge is likely to knock Exia into the glowing sphere as well, but for the world...

"Hmph," Setsuna F. Seiei sounds again, this time meaning it for Alejandro. Despite the poison that runs his veins, despite the taint, the pain, all of the death, the young Meister has found himself grinning.

COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has struck a solid hit on Ruri Hoshino's ND-001 Nadesico using Plasma Execution.
COMBAT: Ruri Hoshino has missed Kazuma Ardygun with her Split Missile counter attack.

Sending the Rouge IWSP into a controlled sideways spin, Cagalli Yula Athha narrowly evades the beam fire, weaving around it like an ace. Still as sharp as ever, she brings up her blades in a parrying position at first -- and then sees her opportunity. Setsuna comes in, busting through the GN Field with that massive sword; she takes a deep breath in, closing her eyes for the briefest of moments.

Alejandro's words bite into the Princess's resolve, but only for an instant; before long, she is able to throw off the pain of being used by a petty, would-be dictator like Alejandro Corner aside. Once, she had regarded him like family; before, it had made it too hard to strike back at him, even after his monstrous deeds. Now, however... with her focus heightened, and her ability to think and process augmented...

"Alejandro... I know I said I couldn't kill you in the name of revenge," she says, voice firm and resolute. "But I'll kill you -- because it's clear that you won't stop here! You'll create tragedy after tragedy, an endless cycle of violence, retaliation, and cruelty -- all for your own selfish ambition -- and that's why we have to stop you here and now!"

The Strike Rouge plows through the 'door' Setsuna has created, sheathing its own weapons for a moment in favor of Setsuna's. This is their moment, shared -- the retribution of Celestial Being, the severing of the chain of vengeance. She knows that without Setsuna, she would be a smear, up against Alejandro.

She grabs the beam sabers first, igniting each and stabing them into the shoulders of the Alvaaron, locking the arms. The daggers in turn go into the elbows, locking them further; two armor schneiders pierce the hips, the short and long swords through the knees. Exia's solid-state blade goes neatly through the main camera... and at last, the enormous ship-cutting blades come forth once more. Focusing on a single point, the Princess drives both of them squarely for the cockpit of the mighty golden machine.

"Goodbye, Alejandro," she says, shaking her head as she tries to pull herself and Setsuna away, in case the machine goes up...

COMBAT: Combo! Setsuna F. Seiei and Cagalli Yula Athha's Cutting Through The Distortion have been added to your queue.
COMBAT: Combo! Setsuna F. Seiei and Cagalli Yula Athha have attacked Alejandro Corner. Cutting Through The Distortion added to their queue.
COMBAT: Combo! Setsuna F. Seiei and Cagalli Yula Athha have struck you with a Dynamic Kill hit using Cutting Through The Distortion!

Knock Out! Alejandro Corner's Alvaaron unit has become disabled!

Zechs has nothing left to parry Sarah with. He is forced to simply use his Mobile Suit as a blunt device, driving the nub of its right arm into the path of her Beam Saber again. More of the Gundam's limb is sliced off, like someone chopping an onion, as the Wing Zero blasts past the GN-X in space. Their aerial ballet is intense, each rotating around the other within a quarter-mile of space -- meeting in the middle. But Milliardo wants to conclude this battle quickly; the Orb Union is relying on the Wing Zero to help save them.

"Your 'master' ..." Zechs transmits, letting Zero's data flood his mind. "He does not value your life, Sarah. He demands your obedience -- but at what cost? You ... Yes, Zero shows me this future. You are too compassionate of a person to live with Paptimus Scirocco. But if --"

Zechs exhales, gripping the controls of the Gundam. These machines, these weapons, built to change the world -- but can Zero change the heart of one tainted girl's young soul? "-- You will not listen to my words, listen to the spirit of our battle! Let's finish this!"

The Gundam Wing Zero's wing verniers unfold again, shifting their angle in the air. The thrusters expand, bursting to life to brace the Wing Zero from the kickback as ... It lifts the Buster Rifle again, taking aim at the GN-X. Within the cockpit, Milliardo closes his eyes, feeling the data from Zero. "Total victory ... Or decisive defeat. Yes, I understand, Zero, what I must do!"

The Buster Rifle erupts, another larger blast billowing from the twin barrels. The Mobile Suit-thick energy blast threatens to overtake the GN-X once and for all!

COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has attacked Sarah Zabiarov. Buster Rifle Warning Shot added to their queue.
COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has struck a major critical hit on Sarah Zabiarov's GNX-603T GN-X using Buster Rifle Warning Shot.

"Captain," Ruri announces, while hurling a volley of split missiles in Kazuma's direction to give him more flak to deal with and make his life difficult. "The majority of the Orb fleet that has not been disabled or destroyed has withdrawn. The Kusanagi is withdrawing out of our firing range."

Yurika grabs onto her railing to steady herself as the blast smashes against side of the ship, rocking the vessel. "I understand. Begin our own recovery operations, have our Aestivalis units break off from combat and head back to the Nadesico. What's the damage report?"

"Fires on two decks, but we still have the main cannon." Ruri explains, opening fire with a barrage of anti-ship missiles, to give Kazuma the hint that it is time to leave. The Nadesico ceases it's advance, however. Sparks of light in the distance signal that things are on their way... mechs. Probably EFA mechs.

COMBAT: Ruri Hoshino has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Ruri Hoshino has attacked Kazuma Ardygun. Long Range Missile added to their queue.
COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has activated a spirit command.

Leo's heart skips a beat when Kyrios cuts the grenade apart, reducing the explosive to a small cloud of inert particles with one deft motion. It didn't even have time to go off. That's the straw that breaks the camel's back; the power of Trans-Am is greater than he thought. He made a mistake by goading the Gundam Meister into his current state and the activation of the Trans-Am system. He'll only have one chance to correct his error.

Kyrios stows its beam saber and charges in, nothing but a red blur. The Messala lifts its beam saber above its head, preparing to strike down at the incoming Gundam. As soon as Leo has the chance, he strikes, the beam saber flashing downwards, carving unerringly through the shoulder of the Kyrios...

... or, more accurately, through an afterimage of the Kyrios; by the time the saber slices downwards, the Gundam is already gone. "Damn!!" Leo barks; the real Kyrios's claw shield clamps down for the Messala's chest. Was that his last chance...? "It's too fast!!"

It's an awkward fit, given the size of the PMX-000, anne of the claws bites through the forearm gauntlet of the Messala's remaining arm, ripping the chunk of armor and weaponry free of the actual limb. The beam saber, jarred loose by the impact, goes spinning away into space. The claws finally clamp into the Messala's chest...

... and there's the time limit.

As Kyrios's color returns to normal, Leo's eyes widen. "Now!" he shouts, to no one in particular; the Messala rips its arm free of the claw and slams it outwards into Kyrios's chest, fingers digging into the Gundam's armor by main strength. It doesn't need to hurt; it just has to hold the Super Soldier still.

"You're no amateur," Leo compliments; the beam cannons on the Messala's shoulders begin to hum with power, yellow light flickering inside their barrels as mega particles that have been collecting for the entire battle are funneled into the weapons. "But you relied too much on your mobile suit. Didn't anybody ever tell you?!"

"It's the runner, not the frame, that makes the difference!"

The beam cannons on the Messala's shoulders fire. Two massive beams of yellow energy erupt out of the weapons; with so much power funneled into them, they're so big that they all but merge into one single, incredibly wide beam. The blast is visible from a long, long way away, and tears through space for almost four miles before it finally fades away.

Unfortunately for Allelujah and Hallelujah, the blast is perfectly placed to entirely consume Kyrios's head and shoulders. /Fortunately/ for Allelujah and Hallelujah, the blast stops about eight inches short of the roof of the Gundam's cockpit.

COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has attacked Allelujah Haptism. Dual Mega Particle Cannons added to their queue.
COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Ruri Hoshino has missed Kazuma Ardygun with her Long Range Missile attack.
COMBAT: Leo Stenbuck has struck a Dynamic Kill critical hit on Allelujah Haptism's Gundam Kyrios using Dual Mega Particle Cannons.

Knock Out! Allelujah Haptism's Gundam Kyrios unit has become disabled!

Johnny Domino, having been lost in the fray of combat for a time, finally resurfaces. A bleep on the Nadesico's radar indicates his timely intervention.

"OY," Domino calls out, speeding towards Kazuma's unit. "STAY AWAY FROM THAT SHIP!" Chimera growls - it likes the Nadesico in one piece. Johnny, too, would much rather see the stupid ship stay in one solid mass. He has so many things he still needs to do! Like watch the final episode of Gekiganger, and beat Yurika in Gespenst training, and outsmart Ruri!..

A boy can dream.

The bio-unit all but hurls itself onward, hellbent on grabbing hold of the Valhawk and molesting it like no robot has been molested before.

COMBAT: Johnny Domino has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Johnny Domino has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Johnny Domino has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Johnny Domino has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Johnny Domino has attacked Kazuma Ardygun. Chimera Has Feedback This Must Feel Incredible added to their queue.

"This is absurd!" roars Alejandro in abject disbelief as the IWSP and the Exia continue to exist, despite his adamant insistence to the contrary. The shield continues to crackle around the Alvaaron as it fires blast after blast after the Strike Rouge, to no avail; it maneuvers between each shot deftly, as if guided on the wings of fate. Alejandro's eyes widen as he continues to press on the firing mechanism, his fury incalculable.

"Why can't you see!" he almost pleads, as if words would force them to die. "This world needs me! It cannot survive without me! I am the guide to the world of the future! Not Uzumi, not Aeolia -- ME! A MAN FROM THE PRESEN--"

He never manages to finish the words. The solid sword PIERCES through that GN field, carving an opening, a gateway -- a weakpoint that exists for the briefest of moments. Blades from the Exia and the Strike Rouge impale into the Alvaaron, over and over, energy and solid puncturing through thick golden alloy; it carves through the cockpit, pins arms to its own wings. Electricity crackles around the machine--

"Don't you see... this is... my destiny...!"

Beam sabers impale through the shoulders; there is no escape. Armor schneiders through the hips, swords through the knees. It is practically crucified. And then...

... Two blades built to cleave ships impale STRAIGHT through the cockpit.

Time suspends, for a brief moment. Like a sliver of eternity, Alejandro stares outward, electricity crackling around him in his destroyed cockpit. He attempts to speak -- but blood spews from his lips instead as he gurgles a single word: "im...poss...ible..." His hand stretches out, as if in defiance--

"Alejandro Corner."

The voice that cuts in is smooth, pleasant. Alejandro blinks, his weak gaze drifting as a viewscreen pops into the corner of his cockpit revealing a single, serene, youthful face.


"Thank you for playing the perfect fool." Alejandro blinks blearily, confused. "Your role is over," Ribbons continues. "This new world, Veda, the plan -- it is all mine, now."

"Ribbons... you bastard! How could you do this to me--?!"

"What was it you said to me once? Oh, yes." Ribbons eyes close, a smile donning his lips like a man addressing a small, absurd child.

"'There is no such thing as a kind god in this world.'"


The explosion of the Alvaaron is muted out by the vaccuum of space the exact instant Alejandro strikes his cockpit, ending his life in a beautiful flare of lights.

COMBAT: Johnny Domino has struck a glancing hit on Kazuma Ardygun's Close Combat Valhawk using Chimera Has Feedback This Must Feel Incredible.

"It's nice ..." Allelujah -- and Hallelujah -- intone, staring right up toward the blinding corona of yellow light building up in front of him as the prone, paralyzed Kyrios is grabbed. Its engine sputters out only a weak trail of green particles. "Despite this ... I don't feel afraid at all."

Then it comes.

He is bathed in white light -- Kyrios is bathed as well -- and in the wake of the particle beams, Allelujah feels as though he is in a stream, drifting, youthful, lonely hands locked onto that of his twin's. They're coming apart. The yellow-eyed boy is lost in the current ... lost.

Allelujah sits slumped forward in the cockpit, unconscious in the headless husk which are the only remains of Kyrios.

Fiercely determined to overcome her doubts, insecurities and fear, Sarah Zabiarov has found herself literally shaking in the seat of her Jinx. The power of the Wing Zero is fearsome, and already her unit has endured considerable damage. But she has to persevere, she has to maintain composure as best she can, shrugging off all these feelings that haunt her and bleed from her like a wide, open wound.

But she refuses to give up. Instead, her teeth gnash together, eyes sharply hooded as she watches the Wing Zero on her jittery display. It looks in as bad shape as her GN-X. "I can...I c-can do this...I can...!" she tells herself, still shivering like a leaf. She can feel her wound reopened, blood oozing through the normal suit--but it doesn't matter. "I can still fight..."

Zechs' words, however, stun the girl momentarily, green eyes widening as he speaks. He doesn't care? Too compassionate? What...

"What do you KNOW of him!?" she angrily cries, followed by a nasty cough. The girl shakes her head fiercely after, recovering swiftly. "H-he cares--he has always cared! I am important to him--all who follow him are. He guides us with a compassionate hand. I must give in turn what I receive--and more!" Letting her controls go, the girl grabs at her helmet, head bowing in the cockpit of her GN-X.

"LIES!!" Sarah bellows. "All horrible LIES! This is why...this is why I hate you all. You know nothing of Master Paptimus and his kindness. You spread terrible rumors, insist he's a monster--"

The Wing Zero lifts its rifle, but the unit doesn't move. Even when it opens fire and sends a vicious burst of fire into the unit, the Jinx does not move out of the way. Instead, its pilot just panics within the GN-X, focused instead on her anger and fury. The blast hits, sending the GN-X flying back through the air, a smolder, sizzling mess of writhing steel, the upper torso suffering a gaping hole through its chasse. Within, the girl is again viciously tossed around, a pained cry escaping her before she coughs a wet cough, red staining the visor of her helmet.

"It's" she mutters, her transmission laced with static.

"You are all...the monsters... M-Master...Paptimus..."

The Jinx flares up once more, despite the injuries it has sustained. Sputtering GN particles messily behind it, the unit screams forward with a GN blade in hand, the length of energy furiously burning as she closes in on Wing Zero before dropping low--only to suddenly cut upwards, attempting to out-maneuver the unit and drag its blade up vertically along the front as she cries, "I FIGHT for HIM! And I will SUCCEED!"

COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has attacked Milliardo Peacecraft. GN Beam Saber Maneuver added to their queue.
COMBAT: Sarah Zabiarov has struck a major hit on Milliardo Peacecraft's Wing Gundam Zero using GN Beam Saber Maneuver.

Knock Out! Milliardo Peacecraft's Wing Gundam Zero unit has become disabled!
COMBAT: Milliardo Peacecraft has missed Sarah Zabiarov with his Machine Cannon counter attack.

The Valhawk jinks away from the Nadesico's missile, and Mihiro speaks up, "I think the fighting's about over ... INCOMING!!"

"What the --" Kazuma leans into his controls, steering the Valhawk the other way as Johnny Domino and his Chimera race towards him, and they two machines brush against each other - rather roughly. "Oh, you ... HRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!"

It *probably* didn't justify Kazuma pulling out all the stops, and laying into the Chimera with every weapon the Valhawk packs. Laser Vulcan followed by Beam Shot Launcher, Ray Blade, full-throttle kick, tackling practically *through* a piece of debris ... and finally the Plasma Execution again, all unloaded at Johnny Domino's machine.

If there's anything left of Domino after that, Kazuma takes the time to push the Chimera towards the Nadesico for retrieval. Not a further word is spoken ... at least not by Kazuma.

COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has attacked Johnny Domino. Jade Flowsion added to their queue.
COMBAT: Johnny Domino has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Kazuma Ardygun has struck a major hit on Johnny Domino's Chimera using Jade Flowsion.
COMBAT: Johnny Domino has counter attacked for a solid hit on Kazuma Ardygun's Close Combat Valhawk using Scorpion Mastery.

Decisive defeat.

The Wing Zero gets chopped up by that GN Beam Saber again. This time there is nothing left to parry with. No half an arm. Nothing. The blade cuts through the legs of the Super Gundam like they were a pair of trees and Sarah was Paul Bunyan. The severed appendages erupt, an explosion tearing from the split pieces while electric-energy coils from the two 'thighs' with crackles of discharged energy. The green eyes of the robot fade as it drifts back through space. Milliardo lowers his head, lifting the mask from the helmet of the Zero System.

"Hnh, Zero. She seems more determined than ever. Why did you tell me this was the only way ...? The only way she can continue to live?"

As Corner breathes his last, Cagalli starts to retreat from his machine before it is summarily annihilated by the full force of the assault... but something goes wrong. The blast knocks the IWSP about, and while she has control of it, she loses her attempted grip on the Exia in the chaos. The Rouge flies end over end through space, intact but badly singed by the Alvaaron's demise...

... but Exia is gone. Whether it was destroyed or simply thrown so far so fast that it was lost is impossible to tell right now -- but that machine has vanished from the battlefield in the demise of a wicked man. The Princess-in-exile turns her attention, at long last, to the rest of the battlefield... and sees Wing Zero beset by that monster of a PMX machine.

Boosting over to Milliardo's downed Wing Zero, Cagalli tries her best to take the machine with her; it's one of the few on the battlefield still intact and most likely still possessed of a living pilot, and the Princess doesn't want to lose anyone else -- this has been a bloody enough week. No more -- she will have no more, if she can help it.

When the light of the Messala's mega particle cannons finally fades, the PMX-000's fingers are still locked into the chest of the Gundam Kyrios... if for much different reasons. The Gundam has been rendered headless, armless, and most definitely inert.

Inside the cockpit of the Leo takes deep, ragged breaths, looking down at the disabled Kyrios. Gradually, he gets his breathing uner control as the adrenal effects of being in a life-or-death situation wear off. "Sorry, Ultimate Super Soldier," he finally says, quietly. "You're never going to carry out an armed intervention again."

Carrying Kyrios by the chest, the Messala turns and jets back towards the Federation fleet. The sense of satisfaction at finally taking down one of the Gundam Meisters dies down, however, as he draws closer to where the last few pockets of battle have migrated. There are still more Meisters... likely far more than those he knows exist. It's just the tip of the iceberg, where the iceberg is metaphorical for 'things to think about.' There's the fate of the rest of the Orb Union's many component pieces, the direction the war will take with the third major player shattered...

And then there's the more pressing concerns. Leo reaches up and presses a few switches on his control panel, swivelling his head to scan the space around him as he speaks into his radio. Where is she...?

Zechs enjoys the quiet of drifting through space. He has not had much time to himself since his decision to end Jamitov Heinman's life. But fighting Sarah. He blind allegiance to Paptimus Scirocco. Her almost sense of enslavement and obligation to him. It went beyond anything he had ever seen in a subordinate to commander relationship. "Are they lovers?" he asked himself, wondering. "Or is there more to Scirocco? That time, in the Hiryu Custom ... Have I made a terrible error?"

Cagalli arrives a few moments later, latching onto the Wing Zero. Milliardo can see her out of the main camera from the Gundam's head. He flips open a comm; the unit can still do that. "I'm sorry, Cagalli. I thought you would need my protection -- but I'm the one needing you, again, it seems."

Kazuma unleashes his all on the Chimera. Some of it ricochets off of the bio-unit's exoskeleton, some of it is Matrix-dodged in mid-flight, some of it is freakin caught by the beast with its bare hands...

Even as dark ichor-like blood sprays around the behemoth, Johnny and Chimera seem to have this situation well handled. You just don't screw with the Nadesico when Domino's around. And if Kazuma still doesn't get the message, two scorpion tails spring out of the Chimera's waist, long and flexible. They lash out, filling the Valhawk with acid.

"I told you," Johnny says, "To GET THE HELL AWAY FROM THIS SHIP!" And then Kazuma finishes off his attack by trying to slam into the Chimera. Bad idea. The scorpion stingers are still there, just waiting...

COMBAT: Johnny Domino has activated a spirit command.
COMBAT: Johnny Domino has attacked Kazuma Ardygun. Scorpion Fury added to their queue.

With one last, fiercely determined effort...Sarah overcomes seemingly impossible odds.

But she cannot bring herself to be startled or stunned by the outcome against Wing Zero and its infamously skilled pilot. Instead, she merely follows the motions her body insists upon, cutting through the legs of the Gundam, explosions rocking the unit, exposed wiring and coils spitting energy as the GN-X ascends upwards with its blade held tightly in its grasp...before it slowly descends, even as Wing Zero's eyes grow dim, and the fearsome unit drifts away.

Within the dimly lit cockpit of the Jinx, Sarah just shakes. The Wing Zero is there--it's prone. The pilot within, the man who dared to assume her Master does not care, to speak such horrible lies to her and try to convince her otherwise...

If she moves now...she can kill him, right? But is that what she really wants..?

Another unit appears, a vaguely familiar sight in the struggle. It doesn't attack the idle Jinx; instead, it takes Wing Zero and begins to leave the battlefield with the Gundam in tow. "N-no," the girl weakly speaks in her unit. "I...I'm not..."

She doesn't finish or pursue; the GN-X stays idly by, red GN particles spilling from its engine as it floats in space. Within the cockpit Sarah just gasps and falls back, eyes pinched painfully shut as she coughs wetly. "I c-cant..." she gasps, "I can't go on...ghn..." The doctors warned her, after all. But she's still alive. Doesn't that count?

Pulling her body forward with considerable effort, the young Lt. Commander grips the controls, using them as support while she mans the unit's controls once more. Finally, after all the struggle and conflict, she transmits weakly to command and allied units, "S-Sarah...Zabiarov...r-returning to the...Archangel..."

She just hopes she--and her GN-X--can make it.

COMBAT: Johnny Domino has struck a major critical hit on Kazuma Ardygun's Close Combat Valhawk using Scorpion Fury.

With the stingers coming in, Kazuma brings the Valhawk's shield to bear, trying to catch the stingers - and therefore the acid - on the relatively-inert block of armor. It's a slender shield, but Kazuma's used to that ... but the tails still strike, and Kazuma curses under his breath as the diagnostics start buzzing in the cockpit. "Mihiro, vent all systems - get that stuff outta our frame!"

"Already on it!" Mihiro answers, running the purge cycles and scrambling to try and counteract the acid - however she can.

The Valhawk starts pulling back from the Chimera as Kazuma transmits, "I'm goin', EFA. I wasn't plannin' to stop you from leavin' either ... ask your captain what I was aiming at the whole time."

And the Valhawk heads away from the erstwhile battlezone ... still in Close Combat mode; he's not going to risk transforming at the moment.

Kazuma thus retreats. Johnny tries getting in control of his breathing and then opens a channel to the Nadesico bridge. "I told you guys not to die while I was away!!" Eesh, spaztic.

Ah, there she is.

"Sarah..." Leo mutters under his breath, leaning back in his seat. So she's okay... but, he's forced to remind himself, a lot of other people here today aren't. It's a fact he hasn't dwelled on in months; that even when he manages to keep anyone from dying near him in a battle, on the other side of the battlefield people that he can't save are dying. There's a good reason he hasn't dwelled on it, too; it's basically the worst feeling ever.

"... All we have to do now is beat the Divine Crusaders," he reassures himself, reaching up to rub at his temples. "... Soon... soon the war'll be over. And then..."

And then... what?

Carrying the Gundam Kyrios with it, the Messala streaks glumly across the battlefield, towards the Archangel.

Ruri's face appears inside the Chimera via the Windows System.

She pulls down her eyelid and sticks out her tounge.

As she carries Milliardo back toward the Peacemillion, Cagalli shakes her head. "No... we needed each other -- damage or no, if you hadn't engaged that GN-X..." Her focus starts to fade, and she says, "... thanks."

She and the man once called Zechs Merquise drift through space, with the Princess, at least, saying nothing further. A lot has happened... and she still needs to process all of it.

Staren sighs. "I'm sorry, Tieria. It's not safe here. ...I'm sorry." He makes a note of the debris field's location -- He may return to check again, or forward the information to others, when the are is safer. For now... The Star Hawk turns away, and flies after the retreating Orb ships to land on the Argama for repairs, before heading to whatever civilian settlement his parents have relocated to.

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