|Summary: The Kiribito Zai seems to be an unstoppable force of destruction; Aoba has gone off the deep end and is out for the destruction on earth. Earths forces come to the rescue. But will they succeed... especially when aliens come to start a fight as well.|
The Thames River has been experiencing odd tides all day. It recedes even more... and the shores at the delta are suddenly flooded as a crimson behemoth rises up from the waters. It takes approximately three seconds for alarms to be sent out on EFA and A-LAWS frequencies, alerting the federated forces that something big and scary is uncomfortably close to London.
Anyone with psychic sensitivity will have absolutely no problem noticing the Kiribito Zai; the Jinki is pulsing with telekinetic power as the Rebound Pressure Field blinks into existence.
As the red Jinki floats slowly toward London, Aoba sits suspended in the pilot harness in the cockpit, an uncharacteristically creepy smile on her face, her eyes staring straight ahead. "I'll start here... I'll erase the world!"
An invasion of aliens targetting psychics in particular seemed like an extremely good reason for Puru Two to keep her head down. Way, way down. Down in the Earth Cradle, the most fortified and thus safest place on the planet she knew. For once, she didn't mind being overlooked. As long as she could stay out of sight in this chaos until all this blew over, there was absolutely no reason why she would ever leave that sanctuary.
Or so she thought. She wasn't expecting Aoba to go missing.
Before she full well realized it, and against her own better judgement, she had gone out searching. The logical place to start: the Angel base in Venezuela. There, Aoba's friends told her many things. Bottom line: the Kiribito Zai had to be stopped, once and for all, for the sake of Aoba and the world. Now all she had to do was find it.
Thankfully (sort of), her target left a decent trail of destruction, and her own highly-developed Newtype senses did the rest. Coming up from behind the Kiribito Zai is Puru Two - in her Ashsaber, purely to avoid being in a machine with psycommu in an attempt to minimize possible alien interest. Still paranoid.
"Stop, Aoba! Kiribito... it's in control again! Remember, you control the machine, not the other way around! Come on, you've got to remember...!" It's doubtful that it will work this time, but of course, she still needs to try.
Somehow ending up around the outskirts of London is Wufei, eating some noodles and sipping some tea. However, hearing the alert going out, Shenlong picks it up and he shakes his head. "wonderful. I can't even finish my food anymore." he Says as he finishes his noodles in very short order and makes his way for Shenlong. Thankfully, outside of london is Wufei's truckand he unstraps Shenlong from the bed. Then climbs into the cockpit. "Here we go again Nataku." Shenlong stands up and makes it's way towards the signal when it sees the massive ship. "Oh *BLEEP* me." He says to himself as Shenlong pulls the glaive from his back and aims his right arm at the ship, and the dragon's head comes into view. oh dear....this might hurt.
A black, large fortress floated in the heavens above the clouds, the single man upon it seated in the captains chair, one hand rested against his face. The lights were dimmed to the point of barely being on, and the ambient noise of the Valhalla was so minute that it was almost possible to hear Urvin breathing.
A female voice finally spoke from the darkness, "Scans have located an abnormal energy in the area you anticipated, sir."
Urvin raised his head away from his hand at that, a small smile formed temporarily on his face before vanishing beneath that aged exterior. "Alright, lets go and see if we can't do something about this," Urvin commented to the AI of the ship, as the lights of the bridge flickered on as though in response to his movement. "Lower us down out of the clouds, send out a beacon to all DC in the area letting them know we're a refuge point in case of potential backlash from enemy units."
The XDC Valhalla lowered down through the clouds, the dark outline swept through the upper layer rapidly and finally reached a visible height as it poked out through the white puffs. As it came into view the weapon systems were already primed and ready, and as if to point out this fact a hail of bullets descended from numerous vulcan cannons lining the exterior of the Valhalla toward the Kiribito.
From the sky, it's a bird...
No, that's a flying piece of debries being surfed by a goddamn Orbital Frame. Why is it surfing a large piece of debries? Because it's AWESOME of course. Suriel was ordered to drop into England, and instead of the stupid way, he did it the fun way. This might be also because he's been increasingly quarky lately.
Ok, you can't really tell with him sometimes anyway. He continues to fall, before diengaging and kicking off of the debries and flying towards the large machine or something.
Then, he stops as...
Wow, that was a pretty large machine, radiating PSYCHIC waves. He can see the waves because they are red...or purple. Obviously the color of evil.
"Sup Aoba. So...going rogue?" he says, whistling. "Can I come? I like destroyin' things." He says, without skippin' a beat.
Some people just can't leave the battlefield for too long, no matter how hard they try.
The Tesla Leicht Institute demands many supplies, especially in such a trying time with the Balmarian invasion. Though most of the supply routes are handled through long-range communication, some jobs are sensitive enough to require a representiative to be over.
And that was the story of how Heero Yuy, still operating undercover as a technician for the TLI, was present at London. It was supposed to be a relatively simple job -- fly over to Britain, make sure the shipment was processed as normal without interference, then return.
The youth had a terrible feeling in his gut that was answered when he saw the Kiribito Zai. It's here again. That field. Memories of Merida came flashing back to him. What he wasn't able to do that day. What he discarded, and fled from.
He wanted to run away, again. A mortal fear had crept up over him once more. And yet, at the same time, a burning desire to find out the truth. He had to make a choice. He looked about, and before anyone knew it, he was gone from the meeting he had with the London Tesla branch representatives.
He pressed onward. He needed a mobile suit. The doubt solidified around his legs, told him to turn around. No, he needed to know the truth. Even if it cost him his life. He would be no better if he just turned tail and ran again. Out of the corner of his eye, the youth glimpsed a warehouse, and within it, a green mono-eye.
Moments later, despite the protests of the techs, a RMS-106 Hizack is bursting out of the woodworks; the singular gleam of its camera sensor scans around as Heero adjusted the systems to his liking. Monitors, panned and set. Weapon systems, confirmed online. Thruster output, stabilized and normal.
"... I want to know. I won't let my fear govern me," Heero mused to himself. He pressed both his feet, and the Hizack's thrusters inhale air and burn bright. The green mobile suit has joined the battle.
The Hi-Zack twists in midair, and several bays from its hip-joint armor crop open. A volley of sixteen missiles each shower the air, leaving behind tracer smoke in its wake as they swarm the Jinki. He punches open a communication line. His mouth clenched for a moment, but then he found the courage to speak.
"When will you be satisfied? Is this truly what you are, or are you letting some greater force play at you? You've already done irreparable damage... but it isn't too late! Cease this, before you leave more sorrow in your wake!"
Aoba: I'm worried I will do something like <see Aoba's last pose> Simon: Hey if you <see Aoba's last pose>, your friends will snap you out of it!
So Simon is here to fulfill that promise, launching towards London on an intercept course with the Kiribito Zai. She has heard inklings here and there, but seeing a giant robot march on a civilian center is a clue enough on its own right. "Aoba..." He murmurs, "When I said that, I didn't think you actually would... Is this for serious?" He is in something of a disbelief, here. He hasn't even brought a copilot in case Aoba needs a quick getaway. Since Gurren Lagann is a two-pilot machine, this may put him at a disadvantage.
Spiral energy trails behind the machine.
"Man, I just got this crazy headache," Sly Heckler remarks idly as he sits in the mech hanger of his ship, the Equinox, while the ship's engineer runs some tests on the newly reworked targeting system. The Equinox is currently parked in the British Isles for some routine delivery jobs that Sly agreed to after his mech was almost destroyed in the last run-in he had with the Aerogaters, further east in Europe.
"Quit your bellyaching about your empty head 'fore I throw a wrench at it and give you something to really whine about! I'm trying to fix the damned machine that you almost wrecked for the thousandth time while you sit there whining like a little girl because you're as useful as a rotted stu--" The engineer's rant is cut short when an alert goes out across the ship, followed a moment later by Nancy, the ship's com officer and second in command, broadcasting over the intercom. "Sly, I just got a call from the local defense force. They're under attack and are requesting support."
"Aerogaters again? God those guys are really--"
"No, not Aerogaters, it looks like. Something else. Might be DC? Nobody is really sure right now."
"Ugh. Fine. Tell them I'll be stomping their way shortly."
True to his word, in just a few minutes, the Seraph is powered up and deployed. The machine isn't fast, but the flight systems built in thanks to the GN-TI drive let it move at a good pace, keeping low altitude towards the new offensive. Sly never liked fighting the Divine Crusade, but hey. Beats the hell out of getting blown up by Aerogaters, /again/.
"Big and scary" is never good news. "London" is subjectively *worse* - the ancient English/British capital city is also one of the best shopping cities Kazuma Ardygun has ever been in, and since New York got a colony dropped on it, a lot of commerce wound up effectively moving to the other side of the Atlantic.
It almost doesn't matter who or what is responsible for the threat to London; Kazuma scrambles into the Valhawk, nearly dragging Mihiro along if she wasn't already picking up on her brother's readiness to bust something hostile into so much scrap, and as soon as the engines come up to power, the Valstork's catapult flings them into the air, already heading in more or less the right direction for London.
Once they get close enough to *see* the Kiribito Zai, Kazuma's jaw clenches. "If it's not the damn Balmarians ..." he hisses, then trails off. "All right. Mihiro, every bit of data we've got from previous fights. Put all of it together, send it to the other Earth Sphere mecha in the vicinity, share as much data as we can, and let's see if we can finally crack this thing before things get any *worse*."
Mihiro blinks a little at the vehemence in her brother's voice, then nods. "Collating data and compressing for burst transmission! Not that we have much ..."
While Mihiro is occupied by that, Kazuma shoves the throttle ALL the way open, locks onto the Kiribito - aiming for the big machine's head this time, as close to eyes as he can spot - and dives right in, Laser Vulcan and Beam Shot Launcher firing together.
Suriel isn't the only one with an Orbital Frame here. Although he had not been out for a mission to defend the Thames area or any such thing - he /had/ been assigned a scouting mission. Of course, with the way things go, of course he ends up near a combat theater - it is inevitable. The red glow lined frame darts high through the sky - circling the area as Ascian's A.I. places a big red marker on his HUD. "Warning. High energy readings detected. Caution is advised." And soon to follow are a series of rapidly added markers as more units were detected. "It's a whole war out there." The soldier mutters to himself and decides to signal the nearest Divine Crusader station to warn of the presence of... whatever this thing was - and continues to ask for instructions.
Since there were others nearby of his own faction - as indicated by the FoF indicators within his systems, he tries to figure out what he is supposed to be doing by checking out what the others are doing. And since the other Orbital Frame he's detected is not assaulting this big... massive... mech - he decides to stay at range and tries to radio for instructions.
Nearby, as the forces of good, might, indifference and 'save our friend' surge in to assault the massive construct that's emerged from the river, a man named Gates sits inside of his Arm Slave. It's red, it has a ponytail, it is Venom.
"Oh, they prattle on so," he talks to himself in the cockpit, thumbing the factional radio off. "'We have to save her, she's our friend, why did I pee myself this morning, wah wah wah!'" Suffice it to say, the Amalgam man is less than impressed with the decision of Aoba's friends to come in and /save her/. "Still, if the world were to be destroyed, that would be bad for business," he muses, one hand rubbing his cleft chin while the other twirls at his long sideburns. "Oooh, what shall we do, men?! I need your advice!"
The red AS turns, single eye flashing to regard the four other Codarls. The Execution Squad is here. They're just not sure if they're going to help or not yet.
<<A Long Time Ago>>
"Judau, where are you going?! You can't leave like this - with -- with that!!" Judau Ashta does not pay attention to his friend Iino's pleas as he operates the cranes inside the mobile suit hangars of the Argama, manually putting together the core blocs of the Double Zeta with several metal clangs. His green eyes are steeled. He looks incredibly, fiercely serious. "They took Leina!" Judau shouts angrily, pushing out of the crane's control room. "An' they took Pascal! I gotta get 'em back! Bright's not gonna give a damn! He'll just go on about 'blah blah blah, this is a war, I'm chubby and old, sacrifices barf' -- Pascal -- my sister -- they're not sacrifices!" As Judau lands in the ZZ's cockpit, his expression sobers. "An' besides... it's my fault they - both of them - got taken," he mumbles, looking down at the controls to the ZZ. "It's my responsibility to get 'em back. I'm not gonna burden anyone else with it." "... Judau," Iino begins, and shakes his head. "... You know Bright's going to be coming back for you once he realizes you're gone, right?" And finally, Judau Ashta grins. Brightly. "Heh heh, don't worry. I got the perfect plan to fool 'em!" And so, the Double Zeta takes off to Axis.
Later, investigations of Judau Ashta's quarters will reveal a life-sized cardboard cutout of Judau Ashta set to move its hand mechanically up and down in a wave, with a pre-recorded message playing: "HEY, I'M JUDAU ASHTA, AND I'M TOTALLY HERE AND NOT SOMEWHERE ELSE! HEY, I'M JUDAU ASHTA, AND I'M TOTALLY--"
Judau Ashta has been infiltrating Axis for roughly a month now. After his initial plan of 'ramming the ZZ into a chunk of rock one hundred times bigger than it to try and intimidate them into giving his sister back' didn't work, he's chosen to take a subtler route - that is, going throughout the city and angrily demanding someone tell him where Leina Ashta and Pascal Ambler are. It hasn't gone well. Eating a hotdog (genuine Zeon-brand!!), Judau wanders through the streets, looking for his next target. He is assured of his detective skills winning out in the end-- --except that this assurance is slightly shattered as gigantic, mechanized bugs appear in the heart of Axis. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!" One hotdog thrown at a Megillot in self-defense and a few broken ribs later, Judau Ashta learns of a thing called 'Aerogaters' and the fact that the Earth is being invaded. This is stunning news.
The Double Zeta's G-Fortress mode breaks through Earth's atmosphere in intense whisps of heat that makes the nose of the clunky jet glow bright red. Determined, the young boy narrows his eyes. His friends - the Argama - everyone - they're all in trouble. Leina and Pascal will be safe for now inside Axis. He can't be distracted now. "I'm not gonna let some freaky "Aerial Gators" beat up my friends--!" he exclaims fiercely, before-- something catches his notice. Something tugging at the back of his brain. "... What is...? Is the Argama over there...?" And, despite himself, the ZZ turns, bee-lining towards Europe - toward the British Isles. "Don't worry guys, I'm comin'--!"
The Base Jabber: The bread and butter for pilots that are stuck without a proper flight unit equipped on their machines, or for ones whose flight is quite limited without one. Typically piloted by a second crew in it's interior, they carry a surprising amount of weight. In this case, it carries something designed by Mithril. Standing at the front of the Karaba-branded Base Jabber, the iconic M9E Gernsback stands bent over just slightly, hand at rest on the large piloting cabin while the 40mm machine cannon is tucked close to the torso. Riddled with swords and blades, that one and only gun is an oddity amidst all those melee weapons, and... It's pink. It's so, so freaking /pink/. Inside the pilot's cradle, Rachel Miu Athha draws in a deep breath as she tries to center herself. The Kiribito Zai-- that was the machine that destroyed Merida Island. That was the one that helped all those other Arm Slaves take over, w-when Tessa... The mobile armor platform pulls alongside one particularly tall building that still stands even in the Kiribito's wake, the M9 moves to the side and steps off onto the roof. How does it support the weight? It's the goddamn future, that's how. ECS suites come online, and the machine's form blurs until it becomes invisible-- even to the naked eye. Inside the cockpit, shifting her weight in both the cradle and the armored sections of her flight suit, Rachel's eyes focus not on the Jinki... but the Ashsaber. The pressure, the presence. Not just her, but there are other Newtypes out there right now. But that one presence. That girl/. The M9's weight shifts, and the Arm Slave drops down to one knee. Levelling the gun on the Jinki, she takes aim and waits for a few moments. "Cagalli, I'm ready here." "Three," she whispers to herself. "Two. One."
And then the customized M9 starts to fire bullets. A lot of bullets, until the whole clip runs dry.
Staren Wiremu pulls desperately at the controls, as warnings flash on his cockpit screens. "No, NO! How could this happen? Argama, can you hear me? My controls aren't working, I'm falling into the atmosphere!" How _could_ this happen? This should be impossible, he thinks, as it starts to get hot.
On one of the catwalks amove the Argama's hangar bay, lies a remote control with a cartoonishly big red button. And next to it lies... An inanimate carbon rod.
Staren wakes up. Then gets a confused look on his face as he rubs his head, "What the HELL, subconscious...?"
Staren crawls out of his cot, which slides into a small storage rack. Right, he was doing maintenance on the Star Hawk and he came in here to take a nap... And something's flashing for attention in his HUD. What is it, he thinks. MONSTER ATTACKS LONDON, the feed scrolls across his vision. "Oh come on, give me a break!" he sighs. "I guess it would be too much to ask for the monsters to go on holiday while we're repelling an alien attack. Ugh..." He shakes his head. A teenage boy's gotta do what a teenage boy's gotta do.
He'd prefer to take the Star Hawk, but it's under maintenance right now. Thus, his brightly-colored red-and-white Astray stands on the launch deck, a ballute pack attached to its back. "Staren Wiremu, Astray Prometheus type, launching! Somebody... contact Karaba or something and find out where I can land for repairs after this..." And off the Astray flies, towards the great blue ball that is Earth. Staren watches Earth fill his forward vision, and rotates the Astray onto its back, a huge balloon-like ballute deploying to allow the Astray safe reentry.
Asfanit Kolot is frowning. They give her so much to do, and so little time to do it in, but...with the team they gave her, so far nothing's trailed too far behind. The research on technology recovered from the Orbit Base, the extradimensional technology recovered from the foreigner machines, assessments of rare technology being deployed and defeated by them, her own work on Lekhishah and its new system, not to mention tracking various movements on Earth below and occasionally helping plan some operations. It's no wonder she has attention problems, it's more like she just doesn't have enough /time/!
But today, one of her aides wanders up while she's busy poring over some data out of the Middle East, and he drops a pad in front of her, which has proven to be the most reliable way of getting her attention. She looks at it, pulls it up...and frowns. "Abnormal motion in the Thames? No. Dr. Hell, no, he's too preoccupied with us...could it be 'that'?" Her eyes narrow, and she takes in a slow, deep breath. /That/ machine, which she watched from on high as it detonated a terrifying blast that sundered the very Earth...the /height/ of Sample cruelty and barbarism. It must not be allowed to exist, not in their hands. And the poor pilot, she judges...
"Contact Administrator Aleph," Asfanit says. "Tell him I'm taking, hmmm....Er'ela, and that new Sample that just finished conditioning, and we're going to retrieve one of his priority targets."
"Yes, My Lady," the blank says, and Asfanit turns and walks up the gantry into Lekhishah, removing her glove and absently, compulsively stroking the smooth contours of the machine with bare, black-traced fingers as she passes.
HERE AND NOW
Amid the chaos of Europe's ongoing war, it can be difficult to tell what the hell is happening when a gravity tremor hits the air. Is something coming? Going? Is the fabric of space and time just /ripping open/ from all the crap the Aerogaters are putting it through? Fortunately for all that last one is not the case today.
Unfortunately it is instead because three Aerogater elites have just appeared, instead. No mooks, no grunts, at least not yet. Just a handful of elites...including one that just /happened/ to take on five guys and almost win, the other day.
Lekhishah is a too-smooth, stark white machine with segmented armor and a humanoid shape, more informed by the Balmarian preference for looking like rounded suits of armor than the more streamlined human suit preferences. But it is very, very sleek...so much so that it is actually a little difficult to look directly at, as though the eye itself simply glides off.
"There it is," Asfanit announces, lazily pointing down at the Kiribito. "Attack it if you can; but your priority is to cover me from the Samples' aggression, should they decide they don't want us here." She doesn't stop pointing; but panels around Lekhishah's wrist snap open, firing beams of bright purple light screaming down to the Kiribito.
Norris Packard didn't like what was going on, something was wrong with Aoba. Puru Two had been correctm, he trusted the young newtype and also agreed anyway. Aoba needs to get pulled out of that machine. Somehting isn't right. The Gouf is another machine to arrive, shortly after a number of other crusaders, the machine's iarborn and looking at the situation. THis is bad, that machine has to go.
"Packard here, I'm moving in."
The GOUF in flight mode swoops in and attack Aoba with the tempest saber, which has already ignited
The other Princess of Orb has not taken a Base Jabber; instead, she approaches the Kiribito from beneath the waters, keeping pace with the M9 in a machine that really shouldn't be able to... but then, it has the advantage of being squarely in precisely the element it was designed for.
Cagalli Yula Athha has been to London several times, and almost all of them, she has driven the RAG-79-G1 Waterproof Gundam; today is no different. A blue Gundam head crests the water of the Thames, its rifle pointing up toward the Kiribito and firing once on the Kiribito before she dips back into the water.
Cagalli loathes that machine in a way she didn't... /quite/, not even a month ago. Before, the sorts of things it does were something she knew was bad but could not really articulate... now, things like that take on a much more personal tone for the princess.
Waiting is the hardest part...
AN ISLAND, SOMEWHERE AROUND BEIJING
The makeshift base for Celestial Being has been busy. Among the repairs is the Itzpapalotl II, previously wrecked by Kiribito Zai. It left Risa immensely heartbroken, that once again her best friend was hurt, because she just wasn't good enough.
"I don't know how long it'll be," an annoyed Ian gruffly replies, waving off Risa. Almost, she cries.
Looking up at the docked, ravaged Itzpapalotl, Risa frowns deeply and mouths, 'I am so sorry. Please forgive me?'
The hanging wreck remains dormant, looking down upon her with dead, lifeless eyes.
A call goes out. All able-body pilots report to Thames--to London. /Something/ is happening.
In the Gundam Exia, Risa sits in silence. There is no cheerful 'Launching!' speech, no confused exchange between her or other Katharon; nothing but silence from the Coordinator girl. She doesn't /like/ being in another unit. It doesn't feel right. It feels almost shameful to her--
"Meister F, reporting," she states, breaking silence. "Advancing."
Hooding her eyes, Risa focuses on the Kiribito as it moves upon London. Her hands clench around the controls of the Gundam. "For my friend...I'll stop you, I'll have my revenge..!"
Ripping a GN-powered beam saber free, Risa hurriedly advances upon the red Jinki, determined to gouge the hell out of the thing and make it pay. "I'll make you realize what you've done!"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> James Heller transmits, "...so"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Soo..."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Urvin Gallion transmits, "So?"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "I mean, we could destroy that damn Thames once and for all, and you are totally wasting that chance."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Urvin Gallion transmits, "All I see from this thing before me is a white void that devours everything. There is no...progress, evolution...no improvements made."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Puru Two transmits, "We're getting Aoba out of that thing, that's all there is to it."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Oh not you too."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Come on. It's the THAMES."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Norris Packard transmits, "We save Aoba. That's an order."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Norris Packard transmits, "Stop it Suriel Hell's already laid waste to the city. We can deal with the English another day."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Norris Packard transmits, "Aoba is more imporant."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "I mean the river. Look at it. Sitting there...plotting."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Sovi Reincam transmits, "What? Aoba's there?!"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> King Gore transmits, "The Empire will lend assistance with Mechasaurus Giru. It will arrive in-"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Puru Two transmits, "I'll be happy to drown you in it later, right now focus on getting Aoba out."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> King Gore transmits sounds of something very large crashing and exploding.
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> King Gore transmits, "General Bat."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Best. Entrance. Ever."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> General Bat transmits, "Yes, my liege?"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> King Gore transmits, "Fish the pilot out of the wreckage, and if he's still alive, shoot him."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> King Gore transmits, "Shoot him /dead/."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Hmm...I guess I will have to attack Aoba then. I don't have a giant heat ray anyway."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Gates transmits, "Ahhh, you're not all helping the pretty girl? Can't you all see that she just wants to carve her place in the world? Ooooh, the injustice~~"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Urvin Gallion transmits, "If left to her own devices there will be no world."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Gates gasps!
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Sovi Reincam grunt.
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Requesting instructions - encountering a large mech giving off strange readings. Location: Thames River - British Isles."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Urvin Gallion transmits, "Shoot to destroy, recovery of pilot has been ordered by commanding officers."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Yeah, no accidents either. I don't wana deal with Norris."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Sovi Reincam transmits, "You'll have to worry about more than just Packard if you screw this up."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Hey, don't make me the bad guy here. I was all for helping her."
Enemy forces fly in. At first, Aoba doesn't even acknowledge them, just continuing her flight toward London. Idle conversation. Threats. They barely register to her mind. Kiribito Zai has her focused, it knows she's still fighting back, it knows it has to keep control.
As gunfire of all kinds comes in, it's stopped dead by the Rebound Pressure Field surrounding Kiribito Zai. Bullets are caught in the field and thrown back at the source. Beams gather into small spheres of energy and are deflected back. Even explosives, somehow, have the energy of their explosion captured, contained, and redirected back where they came from. Melee attacks meet with difficulty, and occasionally with a swat from Kiribito Zai's long sword-arms.
But then, amid all the yelling, one familiar voice tugs at Aoba's mind. "Puru... chan?" Glazed eyes blink slowly, and the Cognate turns her head so she can see where that voice came from. It's the Ashsaber... the one she made a model of, she remembers. "Of course I control the machine." She giggles softly, not the usual laugh that her friends are familiar with, but a hollow, humorless sound. "I'm going to wipe this world clean so we can start all over! Then the aliens won't -want- this place and they'll go away!" That's just logic, after all. "But don't worry. You can stay. I -like- you, Puru-chan." And once more, the Zai turns around... but it stops its advance toward the city.
Instead, both arms come up, and long blades of what -look- like energy, but feel like an incredible mental pressure, extend from the already sword-like arms. One of them swings around toward the nearby Shenlong. The other comes around to follow a somewhat familiar voice, slashing at the Exia! At the same time, gun ports open all over the Zai's arms, and four larget ports in the torso begin to glow. What looks like a myriad of beam fire is actually just Rebound Electrons, hyperaccelerated by telekinetic pressure to burst across the battlefield.
Among the gravity distortions of Lekhishah's arrival, another tear in space and time announces the arrival of more Balmarian machines. This is one of the mroe standard Ezekiels, the dark purple Ezekiel Ne'eman in fact.
Er'ela Sufa, dedicated pilot to Ze Balmary Empire looks down on the massive machine assaulting London, and for somereason her mouth goes dry. Ever since her encounter with Takeru Shirogane she has been off center, but after a few seconds of gaging on the gigantic Koribito, Er'ela draws her machines laser blade and activates it. "Affirmative." but instead of moving away from her commanding officer to attack in close, a pair fo Spark Torpedos fire from the Ezekiel's shoulders.
As she feared... there's no reaching Aoba, not like this. Puru Two is recognized, but that's about all. To really get through to her... that machine has got to go. Once and for.
Puru Two has a pretty good view of all the various attacks getting launched against the Kiribito, narrowing dodging away from its unfocused general counter-attack. It can take a beating, she knows that. But with such an uncoordinated assault, it's likely that in the end, Aoba's going to end up getting hurt.
"No, wait..." Her feeble protests are lost in explosions. "Stop, stop...!" Her mind is assaulted by the combined psychic pressures of the Kiribito and other approaching psychics, some of which she identifies immediately, making it that much harder to focus. And then the Aerogaters arrive. "Dammit... dammit!!" This isn't working. But what can she do to grab everyone's attention in such chaos?
The supremely annoying loud noise of microphone feedback, perhaps? If that wasn't enough to draw attention, Puru Two herself follows it up by yelling through the outside speakers at the top of her lungs.
"HEEEEEEY! ALL OF YOU, STOP AND LISTEN TO ME FOR A SECOND, YOU IDIOTS!"
Hoping that got her some attention, her shouting is marginally less deafening and hostile afterwards. "We won't get anywhere like this! To take this thing out we have to destroy the Kekkairo - the center of the torso! Aim there, and /only/ there, and we might have a chance!"
She knows this won't be enough. A psychic assault is also needed. But... that will be her job. Taking a deep breath, she focuses her mind on the spot she indicated. She's not too experienced with this sort of attack, but she has to try. The Kekkairo... focus on weakening the psychic shielding around it. At the same time, the Ashsaber's remote weapons come to life, flying towards and zeroing in on the Kiribito's center torso, taking it under fire.
"There! Now, all of you... SHOOT THE CORE!"
Shots stream out...
The force of the blow doesn't move the Qareen much.
"HEY! That is no way to treat...a fr...aqua...ok, so we don't really LIKE each other very much, but that shouldn't get in the way of mutually shared love of destruction!" Yeaaaaah, Suriel has seen mentally better days. However, orders were orders, and dispite his hate for the Thames river, he was without a heat ray.
You were safe today, river, but SOME DAY he would be back. OLD SCHOOL STYLE.
"Well, I have no choice but to rip that thing apart, and then...I don't know, pull your hair or something." Suriel is such a jerk. The arms of the orbital frame came up, unleashing a wave of energy as he soars back. Already in combat mode, and Suriel himself already covered in the Trace system latex.
Smiling as his Dragon Fang hits, he goes after the mecha, only to get slashed by an energy sword. Undaunted, Shenlong hits the shield with a quick shield smash. It's about this time that Shenlong spins around to attack the shield again with a quick Glaive attack......It's pilot must be good....
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Ascian Luddite - engaging target."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Wait. I thought shooting the core of a mech was /bad/"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Puru Two transmits, "Not in this case. She'll be alright. Her friends told me."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Huh. Well, alright."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki seems slightly LESS crazy. "Anything else I should know?"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Gates transmits, "Uhh," audible chin scratching, "that doesn't sound right to me, shooting the cockpit is how you kill a man eight times before he hits the ground, little lolita-kun~"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Hey jackass, here's a memo: We are not killing her."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "This machine is giving strange readings. It could be that the cage is perhaps protected?"
The XDC Valhalla barely shook when it was attacked in response by Aoba's Kiribito. Indeed the dark machine merely sat there, the attack hitting it and seemingly doing nothing at all to the Valhalla. "Aerogaters," Urvin commented to himself when he noticed their arrival on the battlefield. They were a major threat to the Earth, but were they less or more of a threat than the current incarnation of Aoba? Urvin sighed, closing his one eye and seeming to mull it over for a short bit.
When Puru Two commented about shooting the core his eye snapped open again, and Urvin glanced toward the holographic representation of Frigg that stood next to him. "Follow suit, aim for the core, unload missile tubes six, seven and eight," Urvin ordered the AI. It responded by merely nodding it's head, and then a series of missiles swooped down from above toward the Kiribito.
Something approaches with the Lekhishah. It's profile is a familiar one to most: a mobile suit bearing a V-fin crest, equipped with a light flight pack and a beam rifle, easily identifiable as an M1A Astray. Painted in dark blue and darker red, the Astray looks like it's been recently repaired with some nonstandard parts, with green and white armor plating added along the shoulders and sides.
"Yes, my lady," the pilot says, voice flat and emotionless. He sits up straight, crystalline panels added in to the controls all around him. From him, there's a strange feeling, enhanced rather than subsumed by the Kiribito's presence. It feels like anger, but tempered with the precise control of... something else.
The Astray moves forward, flying up the river towards the Kiribito. A burst of telekinetic pressure veers away from the Astray at the last second, smashing the beam rifle to bits. The mech drops the rest of it, seemingly unconcerned. The Astray seems to shimmer, as if seen on a particularly warm summer's day--
The temperature around the Jinki spikes. Pillars of red flame erupt all around it, water from the river instantly boiling away where it comes too close. It's indiscriminate but intentionally aimed, twisting around the rampaging machine while it scorches the earth around it.
Within the Astray, Akira Tadokoro stares straight ahead in total silence, focused entirely on his objective.
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Puru Two transmits, "It's not where the cockpit is, not if you aim right. Look, if that thing goes down in any other way, so does her mind. This is the only safe way to keep that from happening." <Radio: Divine Crusaders> Gates transmits, "Did someone just call me a jackass? I must be hearing things in my advanced age!" <Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Hmm...alright. Sounds reasonable. So that shield is going to make things harder."
Frieda Schmidt shifts the targets of her weapon to the core of the vessel, as instructed by the load-speakers. Not that she expects it to do much good. Thus far she has, at least, avoided anything other then superficial backlash damage. So she stirs up her willpower and aims her SG-500 rifle at the massive machine.
"It's no use... my voice can't reach her?" Heero muttered to himself. He shut his eyes for a moment, and thought of what he should do next. Pull back? He isn't going to be able to get at the truth like this. But... what sort of action would that be? There's a city behind him that needed defending. He still had his skills at hand, no matter how much his soul gnawed away at him.
The Hi-Zack's rifle came into sight as the mobile suit boosted itself ontop of a building. Lock-on systems came into place, targetting the Repulsion Field where it's being assaulted. He timed his next shot to coincide with the heart of the remaining forces' firepower...
Then the voice of Puru Two reached him. He frowned a little, but then moved to intercept. The core... there. He raised the rifle, and fired a pinpoint lancing shot. That should hopefully do the trick.
"Ghhh!!" Kazuma winces at the mix of the Valhawk getting buffeted around by the Kiribito's weaponry, and the earsplitting screech of feedback transmitted from the Ashsaber's radio across all frequencies. "The core - is that gonna hurt Aoba?!" he answers the DC-aligned Newtype (that he particularly knows or cares), but he banks the Valhawk around for another pass, takes note of where the bits are targeting, and adds a few shots from the Beam Shot Launcher to that barrage.
He really would like to see Aoba survive this - she's a good kid at heart, and deserves a hell of a lot better than what the DC are using her for ... or for that matter what the *Balmarians* would use her for, if she's their target. He had a gut feeling that they might show up. He really, REALLY hates being right about things like that.
Then he shoves those concerns towards the back of his mind and focuses on hitting the Kiribito as hard as he can, weaving the Valhawk through other pilots' attacks and heading into point-blank range - practically *melee* range, in fact.
That's where the Valhawk stops and transforms quickly into Close Combat mode, slamming the Launcher's muzzle into the Kiribito's armor (Zai or Core, he hardly cares) and fires a higher-charged blast, the recoil dislodging the Valhawk from its target before Kazuma switches his machine back to Air Force mode and tries to get clear again.
Mihiro just stays braced and finishes collating the data - but with the Balmarians here, a simple burst transmission across the area is right out, unless ....
"Woah, incoming fire!" Sly Heckler picks up the incoming Rebound Electron things. He doesn't know what they are, but he knows he should avoid them. He cuts out his flight systems, dropping altitude rapidly to pop behind what cover he can find. Pulse lasers lash out, aiming not to shoot down the incoming fire (It looks like beam fire, anyway) but to strike out at the enemy that's shooting at him, hopefully discouraging pursuit. That doesn't work too well, but he does manage to out-maneuver the attacks, using cover and quick turns to keep from getting hit.
When the Seraph pops back up, Sly is decisively less defensive. He hears the call to shoot the core, though it sounds like they're getting a combat briefing from a 9 year old girl. Funny old world, this Earth is. "So, this is going to be one of 'those' engagements, isn't it? The kind I head back to my ship for a bottle of vodka to kill away the memory of."
Well, he can worry about that later. For now, the Seraph touches down on ground again, heavy armored feet digging hard into the ground as the Seraph lands, GN-TI flight systems cutting off in a final cloud of blue sparkles that surrounds the Seraph like a tornado of fairy dust whipping around the mech. Once he's landed safely, Sly queue's up the machine's main offensive punch: The twin Medium-Range Missile Launchers housed in the torso. The missiles are dumbfire, so Sly doesn't require a lock, instead boresight aiming his machine and squeezing the trigger, firing a huge swarm of small missiles which streak towards Aoba's machine like angry, explosive bees.
The _moment_ Staren finishes reentry, already he's under attack! Some kind of energy pops his ballute, and he quickly draws his beam rifle and returns fire. "That's..." He's seen the files. That thing... destroyed Merida island! "You killed the Colonel... I'll destroy you!" Someone advises to shoot the core, and that sounds fine to someone whose honed their skills in years of videogaming! Staren takes aim and fires the beam rifle again, forming a plan of attack...
And then... Balmarians! He looks over at them warily... and then STARES. That's... The Astray-TT! It has his _custom_ missile launchers on it! Which means... "Akira? Akira! Is that you in there? Akira! Answer me!"
There's something off. Something Judau can't place. Something that nags at the back of his brain like bile might at the back of his throat, making him feel nauseous and woozy at the same time. He shakes his head to clear his thoughts, lips pulling into a thin line. "Ugh... am I gettin' indigestion again...?" He is good at picking this stuff up. Thrusters billow out in jerking flares as Judau punches the acceleration of the G-Fortress. The cumbersome jet points its nose straight vertical towards the ground, letting gravity help guide the multi-ton mobile weapon straight downward towards its destination -- towards that strange feeling that won't shake off Judau no matter how hard he tries. More feelings manifest. Some strange, some familiar. Some-- His eyes widen, and suddenly Judau Ashta pushes down on the acceleration of the G-Fortress as hard as possible. The Kiribito Zai unleashes its fury in a wave of psychokinetic might. And it is just as it does -- That something appears, glinting in the light of the heavens. Something white, blue and red. And with it, comes a powerful pressure-- "UWAAAAAAGH HOLY CRAP I DIDN'T KNOW THIS THING COULD GO THIS FAST I DON'T WANNA DIIIIIEEEE--" --that is slightly offput by the panicked howling of the brave hero JUDAU ASHTA. And the crazed, haphazard, FAR TOO FAST way his G-Fortress makes its /dynamic entrance/ in a way that might seem extreme if it didn't also seem completely unintentional-- --to potentially crashland nose-first into the Kiribito Zai. "AAAAAHHH--"
Giving a guttural cry, Risa and the Exia--her /stand in/ and totally a /hand-down/ unit--advance swiftly on the Kiribito Zai, slashing with the beam saber. It strikes; however, those long arms seek to retaliate in kind. Twisting the saber, the incoming Zai Messer blade is deflected. Risa's face is locked in sheer determination.
"Is that all?? Do you think your mindless assault will be worthwhile?!" she wonders shrilly, green eyes wide as she stares at the Kiribito on the Exia's display. "No...not today. I underestimated you last time--but not this time. I won't kill you--I promise that, but--"
The arms move again, a massive sword cutting through the air. Exia rips a second blade out while its thrusters flare. It moves, utilizing its sabers to deflect the potentially fatal and horrible end that sword of Kiribito promises while getting out of dodge--it doesn't last long, though.
A shrill and oddly-convenient strategy comes over the radio. What's all this about the torso..?
Confused and frustrated, Risa just shakes her head, eyes squeezing shut--and squeezing back tears of anger and frustration. "So many people...so much talking...hggn...I just want my revenge...what's even going /on/? I don't even--"
Sheathing its beam sabers, the Exia advances, ripping both solid state blades from its hips and seeking to deliver several slashes at the Kiribito Zai's...whatever. She's not focused--she's angry.
Simon swoops away from Aoba's assault but before he can really perform a counterattack a loud shrill noise comes into his systems and the Gurren Lagann comically crashes to the ground as Simon's concentration is disrupted like a Divine Crusader leader in the moment of their greatest triumph.
So he decides to send a transmission to Puru Two once his head stops ringing.
"Okay, I'm listening." He says, "Will Aoba be okay if I hit that?" He doesn't complain about being called an idiot, because he's pretty sure he's not nearly as bright as Puru Two is. He doesn't even know what a Kekkairo is.
But he he draws the mighty shade slasher into his hands as he flies closer towards the Kiribto, aiming to whack at the psychic shielding and trying to weaken the Kiribito's defenses.
"Aoba!" He shouts, "Come on, we made a promise didn't we?! You don't have to erase anything! That's not like you at all!!"
"Ahh, I wonder why we bother helping out these people who are clearly mostly deaf and show such disrespect for their betters," Gates continues to rail against the injustice of the world from within his cockpit, hands raised to beseech the heavens. It's at about that time that his second in command draws his attention to something.
The savant leans forward, a finger lifting into his nose as he brings his eye to within millimeters of the display. "Pink?"
Moments later, the Execution Squad splits up, leaping in a variety of directions. That M9 is going to find itself with company, as the Codarl lands down on the rooftop next to the firing arm slave. "Ahh, I thought you were all dead~" the transmission comes from one suit to another, Mister Kalium expecting a Mithril operative to be in the pilot's seat. "That island of yours was so lovely, too! Is this revenge, is this what it is?"
Running up beside the M9, the Codarl does the sensible thing while a massive boss fight is brewing. It lifts a hand, slapping it onto the back of the M9 several times for added emphasis to the following. "Eh?! Eh?! Eh?! Is that what this is?!" It's aim is a little low.
The Rebound Electrons rip into the Gundam, bursting across the battlefield; Cagalli winces a little as her machine is lightly rocked, but mercifully, the armor holds... for now. "... Do you think we can do this, Rachel?" Cagalli transmits to her sister, a little nervous about the whole thing; she knows firsthand that a single careless maneuver could lead to something they can never take back -- or something that Aoba can never take back. The thought of it scares her.
Reaching behind her, Cagalli attempts to retrieve one of the numerous weapons of the Waterproof Gundam -- a harpoon gun. What she loads it with is no ordinary harpoon, though.
Popping out of the water again, this time taking up a position on the land, the Princess fires a single forceful shot right for the Kiribito's center of mass.
Ascian takes a moment to observe the massive gunfire happening down below. In a way, he could not help but be amazed at the large quantity of units who had just appeared - and even more by the firepower they displayed. A little voice in his head wondered why the BAHRAM division put so much time in the Orbital Frame research when things like the Kiribito were wandering around like that - as the giant machine survived everything that was thrown at it - and then some. "Incredible." The youngster mutters to himself, before declaring his engagement over the radio - after having been given an order. And just as he is about to attack, the rebound of the large machine's shield causes ammo to dart his way. He quickly grabs a good hold on the control orbs - sending a fierce red glow through his cockpit and steers his machine cleanly out of the way. "Battle in gravity is really something else." He mutters as he feels the force of this sudden movement on his body. But he is getting used to it...
Amenthes, the young man's Frame, moves its two wings outwards - which suddenly detach from the main frame and shift into the form of strange long objects that looked like khopeshes - were they entirely round. They remain extremely close to the frame - held by an unseen force - and all aim at a single point on the large machine's shields. "Ready to fire, sir." Duat, the female voiced A.I. claims - a statement that didn't seem much need as the young man immediately clasps firmly on the controls and sends a large volley of laserbeams that seem to ignore physics a bit in the fact that they arc around his mech and change directions in hard corners as they potentially zoom past buildings and other mecha - well on their way to meet with the Kiribito's strange shield.
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Urvin Gallion transmits, "If she does not survive she is unfit anyways."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Yup."
Lekhishah has a posse! It's kinda cool. So far the Samples have decided not to attempt to fill her with dying, which is a nice change of pace. Maybe they can be taught, after all??
No, she decides, as Lekhishah says, "My Lady. The Samples request information on your intentions."
"Secure information on his radio," Asfanit says, patiently. "If he gets pushy, feed a subliminal tone in, sample 93781/tt, that should knock him unconscious for a few seconds while we carve his cockpit out and send it home."
"Confirmed, My Lady," Lekhishah says, and then the machine is moving, blurring forward too fast to track readily. Asfanit blinks in surprise as her attack is /returned/, murmuring, "Just like before--how's the device?"
"Connection nonfunctional, My Lady," Lekhishah chimes.
"Tch," Asfanit mutters out. "Well then." She surges in forward, as Puru open broadcasts their plan. "Take out the core? Hmm. But, the output of that..." Frown. Lekhishah /doesn't/ follow this advice; her blasts trace along the hull of Kiribito while Lekhishah shoots past, scraping at its barrier rather than concentrating fire anywhere. Asfanit assesses her options, attempts to get a feel for the ebb and flow of the machine's movements, watching it and trying to understand its functions. Then, perhaps, she can simply dismantle it in a few strokes.
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "So, we shut down the machine and retrieve the machine and the pilot. Should we not let the EFA and the rest do most of the work then - so we are in better shape when we fight over it? Or do you believe we can just... take the thing?"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "I don't like to think ahead."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Urvin Gallion transmits, "I think we have the only battleship-scale presence here."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Puru Two transmits, "Forget the machine. We're all better off without it. After Aoba's out, make sure it's unsalvagable."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "I mean, I could probably lift it."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Urvin Gallion transmits, "Very well."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Puru Two - I will attempt to cover you when you go for the pilot then - when that occurs."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Barring any unfortunate mishaps."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Puru Two transmits, "Yes. I will not fail."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Gym Ghingnham sighs. "What a waste of an excellent machine."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Maybe we'll get lucky and it will irreparably damage one of the damn EFA machines."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Puru Two transmits, "This thing's a liability and nothing more. There's no need to mourn its loss."
Norris Packard isn't so lucky as he gets tagged by Aoba's attack his counter atack /does/ nothing. THe only good news is the damage he took was almost nothing with other units appearing even Balamrian ones? This has made things problematic for him but the head rod comes out and he snaps it quickly against Aoba's machine while others go for more planned out strikes. He'll try to keep her attention for now away from them.
A WHILE BEFORE
"Isn't there /anything/ we can do to get the Zeta Gundam operational?" Camille Bidan's voice bordered on the edge of exasperation, the tone of a man who knew the answer but felt compelled to ask nonetheless, "Someone has to stop that..that thing!"
"You're the one who said it first, Camille: we don't have the resources to repair an overloaded psycommu system, or bio-sensor or..whatever the hell it is." Astonaige, chief engineer over the Argama's flight deck, waved off the inquiry with some sympathy, "Only the guys at Anaheim can do that, which means a trip to space. I know you want to fly out, but the Zeta simply can't go anywhere."
"Well, there's got to be /something/ I can fly.." The young man spoke with the kind of idiotic determination that threatened to see him flying a biplane in the middle of a mobile suit battle.
Astonaige scratched his chin thoughftully, "Hm.."
The weathered, fairly battle worn Rick Dias chugged towards the oncoming battle on a teetering Dodai, having launched from the Argama with all the grace of a wobbly, overfed pigeon slathered in red. Inside the cockpit, the boy from Green Noa 2 stared at the HUD with a look that was equal parts contempt and embarassment.
"I should've just stolen the goddamned Hyaku Shiki." Muttering under his breath, Camille adjusted both his flight suit and the calibration of all the targeting reticules on the aging mobile suit, assuring he'd at least go to his death on account of outdated hardware and not faulty targeting. Oh well, at least it wasn't the Methuss.
"Ngh..what the hell...?" The amount of emotions swirling overhead was nauseating to a Newtype of Camille's aptitude. He briefly braced himself against the pilot's seat to avoid faceplanting into the mecha's controls. He could recognize some of those wavelengths;Rachel, for one, and Heero was there as well..! Aside from that..
"Judau..? Where the hell has he been?!" While he's busy hurling a racial epithet at that kettle, Camille will also take the liberty of snapping off some warning fire at the Kiribito, at least to see if its defenses are as formiddable as the last time.
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Gym Ghingnham transmits, "I believe you have the most experience with it, Puru Two; I leave it to you to handle."
The clip empties with one loud CLAK as the lever-action along the side of the gun snaps forward. Her bullets are some that make it through the field without being returned to her, but the rebounding field that follows-- Rachel has had enough experience with those to know better, to know to get her ass behind cover... and quickly. Moving aside, stepping behind additions and rooftop equipment, the young Second Princess ejects the clip and allows it to drop to the rooftop with a heavy thud.
She reloads, and prepares for the next volley when--
Smack. Smack. Smack.
Eyes wide, the pink M9 drops the ECS suite and comes into full view of the Codarl. Bringing the machine gun to bear, levelling it on the other Arm Slave, even Rachel is confident in her ability to hit it at this range. But instead of shooting, the Second Princess allows her eyebrows to lift-- before her face grows more angry.
"You-- You helped destroy Merida?! You attacked Mithril?!"
Her head turns a little, glancing back at the Kiribito Zai. Those people did this-- both the Kiribito Zai, that massive machine there, and the Codarl standing before her now. A noise is caught in Rachel's throat, and her anger suddenly, sharply builds-- and not even the presence of Judau Ashta or Camille Bidan can sate it. The meditation techniques Amuro had taught her have no effect.
Dropping the rifle, the Gernsback takes a step forward, rough and careless in movements. Whoever it is in the pilot's cradle, she's clearly not fully trained in it's use, especially since she's swinging her arm around at it--
"IT WAS YOU?!"
-- and trying to punch the machine square in the face.
More weaponsfire comes in... but this time, much of it is concentrated on a single spot. Like before, the Rebound Pressure Field flickers and bounces most of the attacks right back. So much of the varying gunfire focused on one spot does seem to make a visible difference for those who are able to pay attention to details that closely: the field is stopping most of the attacks closer to the Zai's actual armor than it was before. All that pressure on one spot seems to be, if not weakening it, at least straining it.
Within the cockpit, Aoba winces. While she can't physically feel what happens to the Jinki, she -is- directly controlling the Rebound Pressure Field with her mind. Everything being focused on that single place is starting to give her the headache to end all headaches, and it's making her rather irritable. "Nnnn... What are... this..." And then large things begin to just crash into the Zai, slamming into the field, and Aoba lets out a scream. "This won't work! I'm going to just erase all of you!" The Kiribito Zai spins around, one of its feet extending out to grab for the Gurren-Lagann with the grasping claws at the end. "Y.. you... promise?" A flicker of confusion washes over her face for a moment. "Yes... promise... Not like me..." Just as she's been focusing her mind to strengthen the shielding in front, the Balmarians have other ideas, attacking other parts of the Jinki. It pulls her mind in those directions, and that confusion is gone again. "No! You will be erased..."
The Jinki's head turns slowly, and the right arm separates from the body. The giant blade, with a telekinetic sword attached, flies directly toward the Ashsaber. "That isn't nice, Puru-chan! You're trying to kill me! I thought... I thought you were my friend!" Which doesn't stop her from directing the giant arm to slash at her friend's machine, of course.
Lightning crackles over the surface of the Jinki, and stray Rebound Electrons are fired out in all directions. These ones aren't focused enough to pierce armor, but they produce quite a lot of static electricity on contact, enough to scramble many onboard computers.
The Zai's head turns again, and the four main gunports glow briefly before sending a searing bolt of Rebound Electrons charged with telekinetic energy toward the largest of the Aerogaters. "You! You can't have this world! I'll erase you... and erase it so you can never have it!"
Heero takes a deeper breath as he listens to her struggle. She, too, is afraid... confused, and lost. But there are friends there to help her out... but what's the repercussions of such actions? She cannot take back Merida. What's done is done. The only thing left for him to do is...
"... concentrating fire," he intones, raising the rifle once more. He soundly focuses on the exact point that has been fired before, and continues firing. He could get used to this Hi-Zack and its lightweight, pinpoint rifle.
Shenlong somehow gets out of the way of the Electron field surge, missing with his own shield smash in return. As he watches the lumbering mech, he finally hears the plan from a....girl. Oh brother. But apparently Shenlong has been monitoring another mech. As Wufei directs it to grab the core with it's dragon fang, Wufei opens a commlink to the mech Shenlong Identified.....
Naturally, it's going to be impossible to convince Aoba when everybody's shooting her. Puru Two knew this. But even so, it's a shock to be so viciously attacked by her friend. She just can't believe that there's a giant blade heading for her... until it impales the Ashsaber, of course.
"Ahhhhh! A-Aoba, stop! I'm still your friend! I'm trying to help you... you'll be hurt if you don't get out of there. I won't kill you, and I won't allow anyone else to kill you, believe me!!" Of course it won't help. But she has to keep trying. Even if her unit is torn to shreds, she'll stay right here and keep trying...!
In a general answer to those who have concerns, she broadcasts, "Keep it up, everyone! If you care about the pilot's life at all, then trust me, shooting the core is the only way to stop that thing AND save her mind!"
It's not like Puru Two to sound so desperate to save another, she realizes that more than anyone. But she doesn't care about keeping up appearances, not today. This is truly a desperate situation, for many different reasons. All that matters is getting Aoba out of there and back to the Earth Cradle where it's safe.
...and even in all this, she has some words to spare directed at one Judau Ashta, standing out like a sore thumb in the mental overlay of the world seen within the mind of a Newtype. "Get it together, Judah Ashta! You're better than this, I know you are!" Never thought she'd ever be encouraging that guy... but she'll literally do anything to make this situation end well. Or as well as it's possibly can, anyway.
And then the aliens decide to join in, going straight for the Kiribito as well, and for the non-safe parts of it, too. "I knew it, they're after Aoba. No way, you bastards, there's no way I'll let you take her! I'll destroy you all myself!!"
Despite her boast, she can't actually afford to take her attention completely away from the spot she's doing her best to keep her mind focused on. It's almost impossible to do that in this chaos, but she's trying her best to weaken the shielding in that critical location in whatever limited capacity she can.
However, there is one thing she can do. When the Sword Breakers return, this time she launches the remote weapons at the alien swarm instead, unleashing their purple death beams upon any unit in their range. It doesn't matter if it's what appears to be the lead alien mech or an Astray. They're all threats to Aoba, and thus, they must all die.
Mihiro lets out a yelp as her console sparks; Kazuma is too focused on the situation outside to notice except for a brief snarl when a stray spark zaps his hand on the controls. "Targeting is scrambled!" Mihiro reports.
"It'll take more than that to stop us!" snaps Kazuma, steadying the Valhawk and heading in on another attack run at the Kiribito - still trying to hammer on that same spot. "If the targeting system is down, then we aim manually, and if the guns stop working completely, we either transform or we ram the blasted thing! Switch over to manual aim on the Beam Shot Launcher, let's give this thing another crack!"
Further encouraged - as it were - by Puru Two's transmission, and trusting in the girl who seems to be Aoba's friend, Mihiro and Kazuma do their best to line up their respective crosshairs. This time, the Valhawk's primary weapons fire truly in synchronicity - a shower of laser pulses, punctuated by blasts of plasma, the latter timed to magnify the destructive impact of the former ...
Suriel finally is a bit more focused.
Insanity dulled his mind, but the current situation doesn't give him the luxary of being insane. Survival is a deeply encoded part of him...even as his own attack bounces right back towards him. He reacts fast, kicking it away from him, but the armor cracks under the force, and causes metatron to be deployed to heal. Suriel himself feels the pain, again focusing him.
Puru said the core...his hand reaches out and pulls a scythe from his VECTOR TRAP. The blade radiates to life as he dives down at the shield...swinging down to try and get her attention. The second slash comes down, aiming to try and break through the barrier or get by it, instead aiming it down and towards the 'core' that Puru seems to think will stop this.
"Hey Aoba. Remember that time I made fun of that thing you liked. IT'S STILL GIRLY!"
"Hnngh!" is the only response Risa has when the Kiribito Zai intercepts her attack by countering with the Messer blade once more, causing the GN-laced physical sabers to recoil in response. The Exia backpedals, the damage minimal at best, but a hindrance nonetheless. Risa just gasps for breath, light-headed and winded from her anger and yelling.
"Damn it...how can I do /anything/ at this rate? I can't do anything right..!" the Coordinator grouses in her cockpit, hands clasping at the helmet on her head. "Stupid me...stupid me! I am not a good pilot! Why am I even here? I can't even get revenge for Itzpapalotl...it probably hates me...I'm always getting it hurt...!"
Stream-of-consciusness aside, Risa self-loathes a bit longer in the Exia before she just bites her lip and holds back what few frustrated tears she can. "I can do this, can't I? I'm not that bad...right?" Ripping her helmet off, Risa casts it aside and wipes a gloved hand across her tear-streaked face. "What's going on?"
Now that Ashsaber is going after other people? People are fighting amongst themselves?
Gripping the controls of the Exia, Risa steels her expression, lips pulled into a frown. "Well, even if I'm a terrible pilot, I'd rather get hurt giving my best than nothing at all. That means something, right?" She's talking to herself, but who is listening?
"Ahhhhhhh!!" With a cry of its confused and frustrated pilot, Exia bullets forward, ripping beam daggers from its holsters to aim for...well, that Ashsaber /did/ say the chest was vulnerable, right? Or was it the arm? No,
"It was the shoulder!"
Exia goes for the shoulder.
Within the confines of the Valhalla Urvin continued to sit patiently, watching the monitors before him with that singular eye and stoic face. The attack against the Kiribito was going poorly for the Valhalla, it lacked the punch necessary to rip through the barrier and do damage to the central unit, and instead every shot sent at it was being returned. Then the systems of the Valhalla screeched out alerts as an electrical assault fell upon the carrier.
Urvin frowned at long last, and then spoke to the AI. "Launch the Einherjar, support Puru Two," Urvin stated, before returning his eye to staring at that machine that held Aoba. Outside, on the top of the carrier a single Einherjar wheeled out of it's mini-hangar and rocketed off of the Valhalla, only to arc through the air toward Puru Two. When it arrived the Valkyrie-inspired fightercraft entered into a hovering position near Puru's Ashsaber, and instead of transforming it instead produced a weird series of tools that began to do quick patchwork on Puru's machine.
Sly can only sigh as his missiles are intercepted by some kind of energy field and don't accomplish any sort of noticeable damage at all. Well, looks like missiles aren't a good weapon against this monster. Good thing they're the MAIN OFFENSE of his current mech! Maybe he should just take some pot-shots at the Aerogaters instead. Also: Why are the Aerogaters here? That can't be good for anyone.
Even worse than that, the radio chatter sounds like a damned elementary school with kids yelling at each other. Sly Heckler doesn't even attempt to follow what's going on. The return fire from the enemy machine strikes his Seraph, doing some superficial damage, but not really accomplishing much. BattleMechs routinely take PPC fire. A little bit of static electricity across the armor isn't going to fry its systems.
Speaking of PPCs, Sly is still packing one of those. A Heavy PPC mounted on the right arm, to be exact. Missiles didn't work, but maybe that'll get though the shields. Sly starts his Seraph moving, generally trying to circle Aoba's machine as he aims the heavy PPC, and fires off a blast, the air between the two machines crackling for a moment as it's filled with a tight beam of blue lightning which flashes for only a split-second, but carries enough energy to do considerable damage to both the physical structure and the electronics of a machine if it hits.
The punch comes flying for the Codarl's face -- and a brilliant field of blue generates between the two units, except for some reason it fails to fully blast the M9 back and destroy the arm; it just proves to be a crushing force instead. The fist rockets through, catching the Codarl right in the chops, and the blame falls on--
"Ahh, that sweet lolita-kun, firing so randomly! Can't she see that I'm here to help her and whisk her away to safety? Ahh, I suppose not." Gates steadies his unit just prior to it falling off the rooftop. It leaps backwards, away from the pink M9, and laughter follows in its wake. "Oh, I suppose you could say I was a helping hand in that, but then, who wasn't? Mithril made a lot of enemies in its time. A deserved fate, don't you agree?"
As it leaps away, the underarm cannon fires a single shot back at the M9. The catch? It's a big slug, and it's encased in potent magic! /Science magic/.
Frieda Schmidt is hit by a shock beam which rattles the ancient systems. Still, the beam was meant to damage targeting - and fortunately, this mecha predates electronics and targetting, so the damage isn't really that bad. However, the nuclear core has had time to charge up...
And so a small, tiny hole opens on the torso of the World War 2 era machine, and something which should not be in so primitive a thing, suddenly is. A charged particle beam weapon LANCES OUT from the Anno-Domini era machine, heading towards the core of the massive behemoth.
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Nice shot, Puru."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Would you like me to launch a warningshot on the aliens?"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Sovi Reincam transmits, "Focus on your objective, don't draw their attention toward you."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Yes ma'am."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Yeah, let Puru handle them. We'll go blast them when the time is right."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Yeah, let Puru handle them. We'll go blast them when the time is right."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Puru Two transmits, "Ehehehe, tooooo late... but they won't get me, not now, not ever!"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Hey now - don't you go off the deep side too."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "We're all mad here."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Derrick Marshall transmits, "Yeah, you guys should relax a bit. Try and enjoy your work. Ya' only live once."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Remille Fortner transmits, "How goes the fight?"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Still punching a little girl piloting a death machine trying to kill everything."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "So...Tuesday?"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Remille Fortner transmits, "Do you require any assistance?"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Yes! I need a heat ray."
There seem to be a lot of people who know this insane girl - inside of the gigantic mecha. However, Ascian simply could not care less who she was - not at this moment in time. For she was his enemy right now - yet at the same time he'd have to save. This was going to be difficult. He remains at a long distance, his eyes scanning quickly along the cockpit as various systems are scanning and indicating status update on the condition of his own frame. Unlike most novice Runners, he has learned to take away some of the decisions from the A.I. It wasn't much though. "More output to the homing lasers - we're going for a continuous volley." The young man comments, to which Duat doesn't reply. Instead, the machine pulls on his mind as another attack is launched from his opponent.
Rapidly, Amenthes steers away from the Rebound electrons that lunge at his position in larger quantity. "Sir - the unit of Puru Two seems to need assistance." The young man groans and moves his gaze downwards - where a little window immediately opens and zoom in on Ashsaber's position. However, with Urvin's supporting her, he quickly turns his attention back to the battle. A bit more chatter occurs on the radio as he tries to ensure he knows what his task is, before focussing back on the large machine. "Overload the homing lasers. Constant fire - activate." And so - the tips of the circular Khopesh-like satelites recalibrate their aim towards the enemy and launch a volley... a volley that will not stop. Similar to a beamweapon - it forms a constant series of red straight lasers - circling around and spiraling around objects and finally darting for the position of the core once more.
The Swordbreakers from the Ashsaber come whizzing past, the Ezekiel Ne'eman raises one arm up over itself to take the purple blast from Puru's remote weapons "Tch! Don't interfere Sample!" The Ezekiel Ne'eman dives down towards the Ashsaber, laser sword raised high.
Even as it passes the Koribito though, something nags at the back of Er'ela's mind. Just a tiny little pull for now, Er'ela is too busy trying to intercept the one that fired on Asfanit to pay attention to the little niggling thought int he back of her mind.
The Ezekiel zigzags towards it's target and slashes the laser blade across the Ashsaber horizontaly, and spins the weapon around in it's hand quickly to for a lightening speed follow up.
The Gundam dips below the water again, going where its parameters are the strongest -- and as such, manages to narrowly avoid the next wave of rebound electrons. A little risky... but it seems to have worked out, so Cagalli isn't going to knock it.
She pays closer attention to her radio for a moment, as she finally hears friendlies other than Rachel are actually here; if nothing else, this makes her a little more confident here. ... though if that machine 'goes off' again like last time, the odds of her being able to get out...
... no, she tells herself. Don't even think about it. Popping back out of the water, she readies a second explosive harpoon, letting it fly; subsequently, she follows it up with a barrage from her torpedo launcher, trying to put as big a dent as she can in the Kiribito -- knowing she can't do much else.
In the midst of the psychic rampage, the Astray flies. It moves with preternatural precision, anticipating the trajectory of the telekinetic blasts and the field of rebounding electrons. It flies upward and launches it's own in response, a pulse against the ocean of power in front of it. It's like throwing a pebble into the sea, but it is a well-aimed pebble if nothing else.
The Astray--and it's pilot's handler--come under attack. The remote weapons' beams intersect with the mobile suit, carving it's left arm off and searing the armor beneath it. The arm starts to fall, spinning towards the ground...
...and then flies back upwards, slamming into the socket, playing the shot almost in reverse. The armor is still melted away, but the limb is whole again, completely inexplicably. The Astray shoots upwards, a ninety-degree turn towards the sky as it rotates towards Puru Two. It raises one hand, power gathering--
--and suddenly appears behind the Ashsaber, driving it's hand forward to smash the enemy mech downward with immense telekinetic power backing it's single swing. When did it even disappear?!
"Uwagh--" CRUNCH. "Oh hey, wait, I landed?!" Jarred to his senses by the jarring impact of the G-Fortress against the Kiribito, Judau suddenly becomes accutely aware of his surroundings -- and the gigantic robot he just rammed into. "Wh--what the hell is /this/ thing?!" That nauseating feeling intensifies. Is this the source? "Is it... a Harogater...?" Despite his mispronunciated words, he shakes his head. The aliens are /here/, but... hasn't he seen that thing somewhere before? There's no time to wonder, though, before that field of psychokinetic power once more /ripples/ from the Zai, and Judau becomes /painfully/ aware of the abundance of psychic presence around him. Camille -- "When the hell did he get back--?!" Judau wonders blithely. And-- "Puru?! Puru, 's that you?? Awesome!" Unlike how Puru may feel, he sounds genuinely enthused about her presence. "Puru, I gotta ask you somethin'--" The pulse /slams/ close. The G-Fortress abruptly banks backwards, transforming rapidly into the bulky form of the Double Zeta Gundam, 'V' fin snapping into place just as the Rebound Electron field scrapes just in front of it. "Shit -- Puru?" Puru feels so... desperate. His brows furrow. "You want t'stop this thing, right? ... "Alright, then! I'll help!!" And suddenly, the Double Zeta is in action, /launching/ itself upward into the air. Its massive, double-barreled beam rifle swings down, and then fires off twin bolts of crimson - aimed for the center of the Kiribito. An aim that is only slightly veered off its intended course by a sudden, sharp stabbing rage. "R-Rach?" Judau wonders aloud. "Rach, what's wrong--?! Shit, gotta get this stupid radio workin'--!!"
Simon considers. Can he trust Puru Two? She is a Divine Crusader. These are the people who killed his brother. He closes his eyes, pressing a hand where his drill key would normally rest if it wasn't being used to keep the Gurren Lagann running in the first place. Her response is general, but she sounds...desperate. She sounds like she means it. If she hadn't, he might not have listened, but--but she seems to mean it.
"Puru Two. I believe you. I will assist. I'm not that bright, but I'll do the best I can. I won't let anybody hurt Aoba."
Only the core, he thinks. Only the core.
"Aoba." Simons says, "Puru Two tells me that to save you, I have to strike the core. I will do this with everything I have. So just hold on a little longer. If the Balmarians try to take you, I'll drill them to bits!"
Puru seems to have the aliens (and the greater evil Akira) handled? Well--
Simon punches for the core but the claw rips through his chest plating, nearly tearing it off entirely. Swearing under his breath he says, "Aoba!" for no real reason, he just feels the need to scream it.
Drills burst up out of the Lagann head, growing into a large spinning horror as he lunges forward, intending to focus his fire for the center one more time with his upper horn (but not his lower horn), even as he tries to send some spiral power to regenerate some armor.
It doesn't work.
The moment the fist connects, Rachel knows there's something wrong-- and it's confirmed as the barrier stops the blow from reaching it's full capability. The fist twitches against the field, and the damage of the pressure being put against the limb is enough that sections of armor crack and pop as the energies within make the arm's internal structure almost /ripple/. Her eyes widen, and she pulls back a step-- just in time for more of that energy to come blazing her way, too.
The M9 springs into the air, the jump not quite as high as the kind of leap the Gernsback is known for-- and she angles that jump to put her toward the Codarl. The white-haired teenager within lets a growl build up in her throat, before--
The shot does not just stop the Arm Slave cold, it sends it sprawling backwards, landing on the edge of the roof with an impressive impact before the roof's ledge buckles under the weight and pressure of her landing. Flipping one end over the other, the smaller unit looks about ready to slam into the ground before the arms and legs splay out straight, and Rachel faces upward.
The oddly-designed backpack activates, and a pair of stabilizing jets pop out of the sides in addition to a single thruster, a simple system that fires off and gives the Gernsback a little time to flip head over heels in the air and land on the ground on all fours. Blazing backwards, down the city street, the M9's hands and feet drag chunks of asphalt in it's wake.
The protective headgear keeps her brains intact, after that landing. Her head slams forward and back a few times, the young pilot taking a moment to catch her breath. Murmuring a few things under her breath, speaking into her radio, her head lifts to look up at the same building-- and the Codarl that knocked her back down here.
Rising, the Arm Slave's agile frame starts to sprint down the London streets before springing into the air. The booster mounted onto it's back fires again, and the lithe pink M9 hurtles through the air... while taking out one of those famous anti-tank daggers. For a moment, it looks like she's going to completely overshoot the Codarl, but it's far too controlled-- her arc designed to take her over Gates, yes-- and striking out with the intent to fit one of those anti-tank daggers into the Arm Slave's shoulder before dropping back down below the building's rooftop!
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "What's with the short and... weird looking little mech?"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "This isn't exactly a place for construction-suits."
Staren has seen this before. When the Zentraedi attacked, when the Zondar attacked, Lord Genome came to help. It is at least possible that the Balmarians genuinely want to help stop this thing. On the other hand, that theory that they just want it for themselves is worrisome... If the Balmarians could pull another Merida...
And then, while he's thinking about it, someone attacks the Balmarians. Some part of him cries out in frustration at the damage to the Astray -- dammit, that's _his_ baby! But most of him watches the aliens. What they do now will show what's more important to them: Stopping the monster, or...
Holy shit, did Akira just teleport the WHOLE ASTRAY?! Part of Staren really hopes they can capture the Astray intact and see what the aliens did to it... But right now, he has to put a stop to this. His own Astray turns and speed across the battlefield, trying to grab Akira's machine and then piledrive it into the ground. He just might have a chance, since Akira was focused on the DC pilot...
There is one last thing Staren would like to hold in reserve, but... He can't keep a secret from Akira, can he? So he puts it into action now: He transmits override codes to put the Astray-TT under his control, and disable the weapons and T-Link system. Maybe, just maybe, if he's _really_ lucky, the aliens didn't look too closely at the Astray's system programming...
Asfanit Kolot's attacks finally get the attention of the Kiribito's pilot. Asfanit's lasers drag along the thing's surface, the refractions trailing past Asfanit in a way so precise that you'd think she knew the angles of return before she ever fired; this is because she did.
And then, mighty Zai unleshes its full fury upon the frame of Lekhishah. She has a G Territory, but she couldn't--
In front of Asfanit, on her monitors, stemming from both her mind and Lekhishah's, lines of possible escape appear, with higher probabilities shading more toward green; she finds one that she already knows will give her 100% success, and shoots that way, darting away from the incoming annihilation. She can't just disassemble that one. She's not that good. But her lasers continue to trace along Kiribito's body, knowing its frame and learning its secrets.
Puru screams at her. "But," she wonders quietly, amid the broadcast, "attacking the core would...yes, it'd have to, wouldn't it? Yes, pulling energy out of her mind, a massive resonance vault of quantum brainwaves...attacking that target would damage her mind irreparably. No, no, rather..." Frown. Attacking the field in general. Yes. That's it, that's it, you have to /bypass/ the /all-encompassing forcefield/. This is going to be a hard one. She can't bend her lasers, so it's not really possible for her to just...make an attack hit somewhere Aoba can't anticipate and thus can't defend, she's got to, got to, what does she got to...
"Incoming," Lekhishah reports, and then the machine is rocked by the Sword Breakers, blasts striking the G. Territory and armor and rocking the machine. "Ugh!" Asfanit grates ou, jetting her machine along quicker, the speed making it almost impossible to track as it darts through the landscape. But Asfanit is getting a plan - an idea, a /formula/. If she can just figure it out...if /that device/ would just...ngh, but it won't!? She's tried everything, but it won't turn on! Why the hell won't it--
Propelled entirely by telekinetic force, cockpit in the head, power core in the chest. Bombarding the core would WORK, but...the pilot's mental state might...
The entire front half of her machine suddenly bursts open, unleashing a hundred streams of light on Zai, attempting to shred the barriers around the head. Keeping this up will keep the field up for longer, and that means /she/ will have more time to figure out a plan that gets this poor woman away from these barbarians before they can do anything else to her!
Norris Packard is going to try to open a comm channel this time but who knows how much good it will do. Aoba was a good kid, she was one of the Generation Norris has bloodied his hands for. He would be damnned if he didn't save the kid. the GOUF moves in again. "Aoba listen to me! The machine it's controlling you! You have to bail out."
Norris ic caught by enemy fire but the Gouf keep comming even as his targeting computer goes on the fritz, he doesn't stop.
"Ryouhei, Genta, Minami, even Jirou are worried about you! We all are!"
Norris does see the aliens comming in, and there's a look of anger on his face. They are after Aoba, he may have to deal with them. He doesn't go after them yet, he goes after whart he thinks is a vital sytemt hey have to disable this, and likely deal with the aliens. This was going to be hard, but his blade strikes out. He is a solider of Zeon, and Aoba is a comrade, he will not forsake her no matter what.
"Rachel!!" Camille felt the spike of rage from the burgeoning cyber newtype so acutely he couldn't even take time to note whatever limited effect that clay round had, "Don't give in to that kind of anger! You'll play right into his..!"
Well, whatever message Camille was trying to get out is scrambled when his airborne Rick Dias is bombarded by a wave of unrelentting, magical chaff. The damage to the suit itself is margnal, scoring no more than a slightly more nicked paintjob then before. The real moneyshot is in the havoc the blast plays on the old suit's electronics, static overwhelming the radio while the HUD flickers and obscures beneath 80s TV static.
"Shit..." Camille cursed, slamming his fist into the controls, "SHIT! How the hell am I supposed to fight blind?!"
Camille tugged at his too-tight blindfold with some irritation, "Look, I know Captains Bright and Quattro said I needed some 'special' training to re-learn piloting, but I don't really see how-"
"If you can dodge a wrench.." The sound of a blunt steel head slapping into an open palm silence Camille's query before Astonaige spoke, "..you can dodge the enemy."
BACK TO THE PRESENT
"Oh, right." The Newtype rubbed absently at the dull bruising against his temple, "I guess there /was/ a point to that."
Closing his eyes, the pilot of the currently defunct Zeta Gundam opened his hidden eyes and ears to the battle around him, surveying all that came his way. He hears the pleas of Puru Two, and is conflicted: this pilot was responsible for the destruction of Meridia, for Tessa's death. They were supposed to show her mercy now?! But That suit, too, was something like the Psyco Gundam...a system that compelled battle, a mecha that embodied war.
'Okay' He thought, nodding to himself, 'Lets do it your way'
'Judau, Heero, Rachel! I'm attacking the core...follow suit if you can!'
Eyes still closed, hand flowing over the controls, Camille armed the twin beam pistols of the Rick Dias and aimed at what he /hoped/ was a good intuition for the Kiribito's core unit.
"What?" That's Gates being informed by his Arm Slave that the enemy is approaching from behind at a rapid pace. Tearing his gaze away from the ongoing destruction thanks to the Jinki and all its assailants, the Amalgam Killer is just in time to watch a shadow go over the Codarl. On instinct he reacts, that massive kukri brought out and sent slamming skyward, to catch the M9 as it soars.
"What?" Gates repeats himself, as the display in front of him tells him that the shoulder joint has received a present. He leans forward, squinting at the dagger stuck into the joint.
Left with one arm as a result of the expertly delivered payload, the Codarl spirals out of the air, slamming down into a three-point stance on a rooftop. A wash of lambda-driven energy surges outwards, the reason why it didn't just go straight through into the basement, and then through the basement of the building and into the bomb shelter.
"Oooh, they are clever, aren't they?" he speaks to himself, but Rachel will hear it; he's forgotten to turn the transmitter off in his growing fury. Leaning forward against his straps, the Katharon pilot will be witness to the hairs up Gates' nose, spittle striking the screen as he becomes truly hot-blooded. "Blow my ARM off, huh?! How about I take your face... right off?! How clever will you be then?! Then, I'll cornhole you!"
London may burn. For Gates, there is only the now. And that now is delivered as the Codarl stands, hand tracing the arc of the still airborne M9. Palm flat, the pilot within lets out a hellacious shout:
The air crackles at the palm of the Codarl, and a wave of science-magic flares through the air, aiming to crush the pink M9 from existence through thought manifestation, and a cool looking fin on the back of the unit!
More gunfire, more Rebound Pressure reflections... and Aoba's concentration is breaking. Every shot hammers into her skull, every slash, every individual bullet... She feels every single one of them inside her head. The words... some of the words reach her. "Everyone..." But she shakes her head. "No! That's not what it's like... they don't.." The flying arm reconnects once more, and it sweeps back and forth, slashing at and through some of the closer attackers.
A shower of small beams lances over the cockpit of the Zai. The Rebound Pressure field manages to deflect most of them away, but with so many in the same spot, the field is weakening -there- as well. "N.. no... You won't stop me!" One of the arms flies off again, this time to slash at the Balmarian machine... and it quickly returns, snapping back into place. "Erase..." Both arms are lifted, and the glowing psychic blades extend out farther, longer... to the point that they meld together to form one gigantic, dare we say colossal, blade, several times longer than Kiribito Zai itself. The arms swing downward and sweep the blade out, telekinetically-chaged Rebound Electrons slicing through trees, tearing up the ground in its wake... and threatening to do serious damage to anything it meets directly.
Heero is not a Newtype.
But... for a moment there, he feels like he could hear Camille's voice. Perhaps it's overextended exposure to ZERO... or perhaps he's just hearing things now. He narrows his eyes and watches as Wufei creates an advantage with the Dragon Fangs. "Roger that...!"
He doesn't know what will happen after this battle. He still hasn't found an answer... he only knows he can't absolve himself of the guilt. Seeing his allies rally together to fight, even against the one who robbed them of a dear friend, he felt weak in comparison. But despite all that, he feels certain that he will find it, somewhere.
The Rebound Electrons sweep in close... but Heero manages his best to move around it, still aiming for that core block. He has a good angle. The lock-on systems come into play again, assisting him in lining up that shot. "Let's hope you have friends to support you in your recovery..." he mutters, pulling the trigger, letting loose with another barrage of beam rifle shots.
The massive blade whipped about and it ended up even slicing into the Valhalla, a large chunk of the carrier's lower section cleaved clean off by the massive assault. The XDC Valhalla remained in the air, however, hung in the air far above the rampaging Kiribito with it's captive Aoba. "Aggravating little thing," Urvin commented to Frigg, before he calmly input a command into the keyboard.
The Valhalla slowly began to tilt, and the main cannon toward the front of it hummed as the power required to fire it gathered. Once the Valhalla itself was tilted enough, the cannon in turn also pivoted and pointed directly toward the direction of the Kiribito. A burst of energy erupted from it, heading down toward Aoba and her unit.
The force of the wave and the sword just /can not be dodged/. Suriel is forced to take the full blunt of the blow, even as he generates a shield to try and avoid the blow. However, the force is too great...and he goes flying into the ground. The broken and shattered Orbital frame flies through the ground and lands. It doesn not make a move for a moment.
Then there was a shattering as the Orbital frame exploded through the ground again, white electrical-like enery shattering everything immediately around him as he starts to rise.
Heh heh heh...
The cackle turns into full blown madness as the suit snaps it's arm back around. The scythe shattering and forming into a cannon like structure around the Qareen's hand. He starts to rise, until he meets Aoba's unit again. "I...am going to...DESTROY YOU!" before he slams the cannon right towards the Mech, pointing the cannon at the core and firing what might be equated to a dark wave pure distruction...
In all this, it is inevitable that Puru Two would start to get a little... enthusiastic. With so much going on, her mind is under way too much pressure for her to keep her fragile patchwork of a psyche together. But it doesn't matter. Even if she loses her mind completely, it doesn't matter, if she can only save Aoba. That determination continues to fuel her, even as the rest of her rationality begin to slowly slip away. Her radio transmissions cease as a result, unable to keep up her attempts at coordinating the attack, but despite everything, her mental assault on the barrier doesn't falter.
And neither does her assault on the aliens. Who despite coming at the Ashsaber in full force find their attacks perfectly predicted and evaded. Even disappearing and reappearing behind her apparently doesn't work to take her by surprise. Not when she's like this. Not when there's so much on the line.
Her manner of speech has changed accordingly, sounding ever so slightly on the unhinged side. "Hmmm, what's that you called me? Sampleeee? Don't you know who I am?!" The Ashsaber, despite not having any kind of psychic interface, nevertheless begins to radiate psychic energy, becoming surrounded by an eerie blue glow.
The Sword Breakers follow suit, starting to glow before being violently propelled forward as if hurled by an unseen force, straight for Er'ela's Ezekiel. Unless she moves, the rapidly spinning funnel-like objects will drill straight through the Aerogater machine like butter, on the way to their true target: the Lekhishah. She noticed, of course. She noticed that it was aiming for the cockpit of the Kiribito. She'll never allow that to happen. Never.
"I am Puru Two! I'll kill anyone who gets in my way!!" The Sword Breakers seek to /slam/ into the metal shell of the Lekhishah, embed themselves there, and fire simulateneously at its, hopefully more vulnerable, insides.
And promptly, the clone soldier is thanked for her efforts by means of a huge blast of psychicly charged energy. Hardly even realizing where it came from, Puru Two can only continue to reassert, "Gah, I-I... I won't be stopped... by anything...!"
The face of the girl in the communications window is young. A teenager for sure, and tufts of white hair splay over the standard-issue headgear like it does for so many others. Dusky skin, golden eyes, and-- her face is contorted between anger and tears, the sheer emotion rolling off of her in waves. Judau's consolations help, but the Second Princess of Orb is forced to spin the Gernsback around as pressure stings her mind, her heart.
As the air crackles and the wave comes blazing her way, the falling Arm Slave, now following the arc, suddenly stops being in the path of the energy wave heading her way.
Don't give in.
In the pilot's cradle, Rachel's fingers tighten up around the sticks, and her feet SLAM down. The booster mounted on the back fires, and the Arm Slave rockets into the sky, well out of the path of the shot and toward another rooftop. Landing with a crash, the spray of roofing gravel, and a small rooftop structure for the stairwell being flattened in her wake, the Second Princess shifts her stance.
Tessa wouldn't want this to happen to her.
The Gernsback reaches over it's shoulders, gripping the handles of a pair of swords. State of the art monomolecular blades, the reinforced hilts also act as pads-- because now they start to vibrate. It's a familiar sensation, a reminder of times that have passed on before. Back then, when she had the Mimir. When things were different.
Charging from rooftop to rooftop in a zig-zag motion, crossing the varying heights until she gets within a few buildings of the Codarl, the booster fires up again-- and /hurls/ the lunging Arm Slave at Gates' machine. The swords strike in concert, a sweeping and grand X-formation that seeks to cleave the whole machine into quarters!
"I'm gonna KICK YOUR ASS!!"
Shenlong hang on with that Dragon Fang for a few seconds, long enough to slow down the Mech's flight, and even put himself in danger as he slows it down. Oddly, a rock from the overhead battle lands in front of Shenlong just after the Dragon fang is retracted and deflects the blast, and Shenlongs retaliatory shield smash. "All right..." Wufei says. "....Time to get mean." he says as his Dragon Fang deploys again, this time with fire shooting out of it's 'nostrils'.
Despite a near-clean hit with the Exia's daggers, the Kiribito's swift counterattack jars the machine, causing it to shudder and fly back several miles in response. As result of the electron sword's slash, a deep gouge mars the front of the white and blue Gundam. Within its cockpit, Risa just gasps for breath, green eyes wide. This terrible machine...
Frowning, Risa--thanks to some of her fellow Meisters and Katharon--has gotten a bit of her control back. A bit less panicked and self-loathing, she tries to focus instead. Focus on this terrible machine, focus on /stopping/ it. It wants to hurt people. It /is/ hurting people--even people that seem to care for whoever is inside!
The way it moves, however--she knows this motion...it's like before--
"No, stop it!" Risa exclaims, her voice bordering on desperation. "Stop hurting /everything/! What reason is there for this?!"
The Exia moves as that gigantic arm-sword raises aloft. Even as it drops down like an executioner's axe, daring to destroy /everything/ in its path (and possibly does), Exia zips around that blade, buffeted in the massive shockwave--but not enough to stray from its course. Instead, it assaults the Kiribito Zai, unleashing a barrage of physical attacks, repeatedly striking with its all its arsenal before concluding the barrage with a horizontal slash with its GN Blades...
...before withdrawing momentarily, only to come back in and attempt to drive both GN Blades /again/ into one of the arms of the Kiribito Zai, because Risa doesn't want to /kill the pilot/. And /attacking cockpits/ usually means /killing someone/. It's a scientific fact.
Sly is saved by the distance he keeps from Aoba, and, frankly, the total irrelevance he's had in the battle so far. Shortly after his PPC blast is deflected similarly to his missiles, another wave of Rebound Electrons comes in, but Sly's Seraph is somewhat separated from the pack, and he manages to find a bit of environmental cover. What does manage to still hit his mech is deflected off the Ferro-Fibrosis armor without any noticeable damage.
Alright, well. Lasers: Bounced. Missiles: Bounced. He has no auto-cannons, but he can make an educated guess what would happen if he did. Time to get creative. His MRMs were deflected before exploding, and the focused energy fire of his PPC was also deflected, but he did manage to score some hits with his pulse lasers. Still, he doesn't have them in nearly the power or quantity he'd need to damage this foe...
Still, that gives him an idea. First step, he maneuvers a bit closer, coming out of cover to get a clear line of fire. The enemy is there, as imposing as untouchable as ever. As he approaches, he fires another pack of MRMs, the air once more filling with a thick buzzing of unguided missiles. However, moments after they launch, he does something you're never supposed to do: He fires his pulse-lasers, right at the same spot.
It's a tricky move, with very delicate timing, and even if it works it likely won't do much. The missiles bounce off without exploding, but if Sly can time it juuuuuust right, and fire his lasers as soon as the missiles bounce, he might be able to hit the missiles with his pulse lasers as they strike that shield thing, causing them to explode right against it. Hopefully that will at least get a bit of damage though.
Frieda Schmidt, Ensign of the A-Laws and scientist of Nazi Germany stands there as the Rebound Electrons sweep towards her in a city-destroying wave of death. Since her mech is old, and frail, such a thing could conceivable destroy her in a single hit. So she cannot allow it to hit her...but she has no shields. She cannot move fast. What does she have, in her oil-era pre-cataclysm machine?
A large hatch on the center torso of her crumbling museum piece opens up, and...though few will notice it before the GIANT MECHA OF DOOM, there is a strange energy signature from that hatch. A signature that, for all rights and reasons, should not be there. It is the sensor signature of a Nuclear Reactor - whose radioactive core is, for a moment, visible to sensors. But thats not all. In front of the nuclear reactor is not shielding, but a strange device composed of vacuum tubes, helium gas chambers, and tesla coils. Primitive stuff. Ugly stuff. And yet, thats not what it will scan as, on sensors.
Anyone with sensors will detect only what must be, impossibly is, a ship-based REFLEX WEAPON - on a very tiny machine that is ancient beyond belief. And the REFLEX WEAPON fires, and its beam is that of the power and force of the very sun in the sky. Millions of degrees in temperature, the very air around the beam turns into plasma and fire; undergoing very brief nuclear fusion from the massive temperatures. And it is this beam which heads for the core of the Kiribito Zai. Incidentally, the beam also zaps right through the Rebound Electrons, preventing them from hitting Freida.
Kazuma grimaces, pulling the Valhawk's nose up *hard* and rocketing over the arc of destruction described by the Kiribito's BIG FREAKING SWORD. "Guh ... AOBA!! I don't know if you can hear me, or hear anything at all over that machine messing with your head, but try to listen! We need you with your brain working for *you*, not for the Balmarians, and not for that bloody machine you're in!"
The Valhawk continues to climb, almost as if it's trying to flee the battle by going straight up - but then it switches from a climb to a dive, as Mihiro cycles through targeting modes, trying to compensate for the jamming effects from the earlier Electron Field's residual disruption.
"The Balmarians," Kazuma continues, "are a threat to *everyone* - but that doesn't mean it's your job to be an even BIGGER threat! I don't know what happened at Merida, wherever that is, but ... dammit, Aoba, *you were not born to be an agent of massacre*! You're a good kid, not born to be a soldier, and sure as starlight not born to be an engine of destruction, or part of one!"
The Valhawk pulls out of its dive with a corkscrew which spirals into a barrel roll, then levels out as Kazuma opens fire, pushing the Valhawk's agility to its limits as he tries to snipe the *hell* out of the Kiribito's core, his machine virtually dancing across the sky as lasers and plasma flash from the Trailer unit to the big f***ing Jinki.
Judau Ashta's brows knit. "Rach... you can do it, alright?! Give that bastard a good kick in the face for me too!!" She feels more focused. He doesn't know how he knows this, but he does. It makes /him/ feel relieved, feel-- Distantly, Judau hears -- Camille's voice? No -- his feelings. Telling him-- "Man, don't start tellin' me what to do, you jerk! I already got a plan, and it's way more cool, so lay off!" Somehow, Judau's indignance carries through in /Newtype/ waves. It's just that strong. "Damn prissy little-- tryin' to tell me what t'do like he's some sorta big shot-- I already figured out where t'shoot before he started actin' like it was his idea..." And Judau will continue to mumble irritably, even as he barely notices those tremendous psychic blades. Slowly, they register. His eyes look up. He squints. "... Ah, shit." And they /swing./ In that moment, two things happen: one, Judau just sort of frantically kicks the acceleration on his mobile suit. Two: he suddenly remembers that gigantic weapon. Out in space -- when Puru Two was in that horrible machine-- "Waaaaaaaahhhhhhhh--!! W-wait, are you -- are you Puru's friend?!" The sword comes CRASHING down, the wide swing of the right slicing through armor on the leg of the ZZ and tearing it straight off. And yet. The ZZ. Keeps. Accelerating. Right for the core area of that Kiribito. "I dunno what the hell's goin' on here, but-- if you're Puru's friend, I'm gonna help you EVEN IF I GOTTA KICK YOUR ASS TO DO IT!!" Because that's how this works. And Judau plans to prove this, as well, by doing all of the following: spiraling chaotically through the air like some sort of pinball on speed. Firing volleys and volleys of shoulder-mounted small missiles. Unloading with the ZZ's beam rifle and beam cannons. And headbutting the Kiribito as hard as mechanically possible. "'CAUSE THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS DO! LET'S GO!"
"Damnit." It seems that Ascian's use of his Orbital Frame's homing beams in /that/ manner put a strain on his reactiontime and mobility. For a short moment - he'd been too concentrated on the position of impact, and noticed too late as one of the beams recurved under the pressure of the strange shield and lashes straight along his cockpit - and taking a tiny chunk out of the torso of his frame. He turns his head around quickly to look at the spot that had been hit. "Damage report!" "No essential systems were damaged." Duat answers - to which Ascian lets out a growl. "Damnit. It damaged Amenthes..." His gaze quickly darts about - reading out additional displays and then shaking his head - causing them all to quickly disappear. The link between him and his frame was strong enough that Duat knew to take care of the readings itself instead. "Let's get closer." His grip once again tightens around the controls. "I am sick of sitting around at a distance." - "Sir, I highly advice against that line of action. - "Not now, Duat."
The satelites quickly join back onto the back of his machine and shift - turning flat into a set of large blades on the back of the frame - looking like two large reversed wings. From its 'hilts' a blue glow sudden bursts, and the machine practically blasts off at high-velocity. He comes to an abrupt halt right besides the Ashsaber - flipping forwards once due to the abrupt stop. The runner within immediately remembers why he should /not/ do such maneuvers within Earth's gravitational pull ever again - as he is forced to lift a hand up from his control and up to his mouth - stopping himself as his face turns green for a moment... followed by his hand lowering again and a sour expression taking up his face. His body shakes for a moment as the acidic fluid goes back down.
Returning his concentration to the battle at hand - he watches as a ginormous blade begins to form - a shadow quickly forming upon the land. "You have got to be kidding me." He mutters, quickly glancing at Puru. She could handle the Balmarians. "You got this, right?" He sends to her through the Radio - before darting away again. The large blade comes sweeping just as he launches away from Puru Two and he dives nearly beneath it - his eyes turning upwards as the electron mass flies over the head of Amenthes - darkening his cockpit for a short moment. The radar keeps good track of what is going on though, and again his machine pulls on his mind. "I know. She got hit." His attention then however - immediately snaps in front of him as he flies by what he had perceived as the broken structure of Suriel's Orbital Frame. He winces somewhat and whispers to his own machine; "Don't worry Amenthes... I will never let that happen to you." - "Sir?" - "Never mind, Duat." He flies over just as the machine fires - his path veering off quickly and flying over Shenlong - his machine quickly making a quick scan of its appearance. Ascian quickly turns his frame into the direction of the Kiribito and its both arms quickly change into the form of red-glowing rifles - launching a wide-spread volley of little beam bullets as he makes his way around in a circle around the enemy before flying about the Qareen's firing path and coming to a halt right next to it and putting both arms together and changing the two rifles into one large one - a scope forming above.
A small window quickly appears in the air before Ascian's eyes - showing a reticle. Aiming for the core again. "Target acquired." - "Let's put some more pressure to this thing." And out comes a wide spread burst of compressed space. Anything low enough in its path immediately began to get pulled towards it. Concrete, cars, anything that was left would sink into the beam and be crushed within it. That was what was now aimed for the Kiribito's shield.
Simon frowns. How long can Puru Two keep it up against odds like that? Perhaps he should be more worried about himself, and Aoba, than Puru Two. She is, he remembers, the Gundam Fighter finalist after all. He didn't make it that far! In a situation like this, against numerous inferior opponents--this should be cake for her, right?
"Good luck." He tells her before--
His headbutt cracks uselessly against Aoba's forcefield, but the incredible telekinetic power crashing against his frame--also utterly neutralized. The spiral force presses up against the force of oblivion, almost as if naturally opposed--or naturally congruent.
Simon grits his teeth. He doesn't have to defeat all the Balmarians, he thinks. He just has to take down the core and get Aoba out of here. That's all he has to do, right?
"Aoba..." He murmurs, "AOBA!" He swings back both arms, leaving himself wide open as the terrain around him is eradicated. Drills erupt out all over the Gurren Lagann, crackling as green force ripples around them.
"Aoba! BRACE YOURSELF!--AND SNAP OUT OF IT!"
He swings the Gurren Lagann's head above his head, drills coalescing into one larger one as he throws himself for the center, trying to pierce through that psychic field with the strength he has to bring to bear. If this doesn't work, he is running out of options.
"We promised!!" He screams.
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Suriel - can you still dodge in that form - or do you need me to pull you out?"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Suriel?"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki non-responsive.
"I suppose that's the problem of aiming at an airborne target that has a booster on its back," Gates laments, a finger twirling at the lengthy hair to the left side of his ear. "Ahh, for a time when people didn't have boosters, able to just jet out of the path of a giant attack! I miss those days! Wah! Wahhh!"
By the end there, the man is blubbering, and for good reason. For one, a giant sword that sheared off the head of the unit, and its ponytail. And two, that pink M9 has just landed in front of the Codarl, drawn its blades, and is coming out swinging.
"Wahh, this isn't right at all!"
The blades connect, cleaving through the sacrificial limbs that are brought up to ward off the weaponry. The remaining arm is sheared off, right through the forearm. It lifts a leg, and that too is gone. Somehow, it lifts the other leg -- and that too is cut off!
Falling down as nothing more than a torso, the Codarl does the sensible thing. It doesn't bite off the M9's kneecaps, no. It rolls off the rooftop, like a flopping fish, like some kind of Neo Magikarp. As it falls, the cockpit opens -- and Gates springs out, in his splendid purple pilot suit! His long hair flows past his bald scalp as he ignites a rocket pack, flying off to safety!
And once the Codarl torso hits the street, it explodes!
Norris Packard gets static and possibly worse over his comm. This is bad, let the Balmarian do as they will. He will deal with them as soon as he's able. he pauses at Judau the boy's words oiver the comm. He smirks. Indedd, they may have to beat down Aoba to save her, but the intent is to save her and destroy that machine.
The Gouf again keeps it's blade ready, but now prepares something else. The heat rod is on line again and Packard moves his machine in fast, not hoding still trying to get into the face of Aoba's machine. Once he's in range? He'll fire the heat rod. It will try to latch on to the machine's head. Then send a massive surge of eletical power into the other mahcine. Maybe he can over load whatever it is messing with Aoba's mind. Or prehaps give it other problems that might make it possible to get Aoba out.
Everything goes crazy, all at once. Akira's Astray goes for Puru Two, appearing out of thin air and finding the clone soldier already gone. A massive telekinetic sword sweeps through the air, narrowly evaded, the world around it warping as it passes by. Staren comes for the Astray, diving at it with the intent to take it down without much of a fight.
Akira's Astray swings it's hand at it's brother, the air between them rippling. The hand doesn't connect, but coming near it smashes a wave of invisible force into the Prometheus. It can't quite get a grip; it's like there's something repelling it, a shield of telekinetic power invisible to the naked eye.
And then the codes are sent. Systems throughout the Astray-TT lock up, disabled remotely. Control of the mech is transferred to Staren without a problem. The Astray locks up, grappling with the Prometheus Type, frozen in place. Inside, Akira focuses for a moment, still silent, though inwardly seething.
There's a sudden FLASH from the back of the Astray-TT, accompanied by a sound of something being wrenched open. Something drops out of the back of the torso, around the midsection. The eyes flicker out, and Staren's readings of the Astray go red seconds after they were in the clear. No power source is detected.
Suddenly, it moves. The Astray-TT twists it's arms and thrust them at the Astray Prometheus's chest, a visible ripple washing outward from the mech. The force is immense, a blast wave of kinetic energy sufficient to easily crush a mobile suit like a tin can. The landscape around the Balmar-controlled mobile suit simply /flattens/ as if God dropped a bowling ball right on top of it and the Astray-TT went through one of the holes.
It gets back up. There is no power going through it, but it gets back up nonetheless, animated through sheer psychokinetic power. Outrage washes out in intense waves from the pilot within, boiling anger focused on anyone who dares assault him or his lady.
Closer inspection of the object that fell out of it a moment ago will reveal that it is--was--the battery.
The anti-gravity city destroyer forms fromt he Koribito Zai, it draws Er'ela's attention "What is th-" She cuts herself off and powers her thrusters up to full power, jetting away from the gargantuan blade as it comes swinging down for...well, everyone. "Such power..."
But then Puru Two decides to exhibit her own power. "Hn! Thats right! You're a sample!" The laser blade is held up by both hands. The Sword Breakers come spiraling in for the Ezekiel as it boosts forward on twin blue trails of plasma.
The Laser Blade snaps out as the Ezekiel boosts to the sid, smashing away the terriffying drill of remote weapons, but letting them continue on their course. "One that I'll take back with me!"
The Ezekiel Ne'eman throttles up to full speed, the Laser Blade comes down diagonally, then up, then across then down, across, up. It just keeps slicing over and over.
Camille Bidan doesn't see the twin shots strike home so much as feel them, because that's what Newtypes do. He also feels Judau's irritation hit him like a big, fat spitball in the cheek and crinkles his nose in aggravation-that punk kid didn't even bother to restrain his ridiculous pressure. 'Do whatever the hell you want, then! See if I care!' the blue-haired pilot's feelings snap back in similar consternation, eyes snapping open to the sudden overwhelming sense of danger, instinctively ascending the dodai-bound Rick Dias.
It was a wise move; with the HUD and radio all restored, Camille had a front-row seat to the massive anti-gravity sword headed up to wreck his day.
"!!!" Even in a suit this outdate, Camille's re-emerging piloting skills manages to save him. It's too close to dodge, so in lieue of a complete evasion the Rick Dias somehow /surfs/ that ridiclously oversized weapon for lack of any better term, against all sense of reason, the paper-thin armor on the Dodai lasting just long enough to get Camille within striking distance before the boosters on the Rick Dias kick in and launch it away from the dutiful transport-turned-surboard as it is cleaved in twain and explodes.
"Machines like this shouldn't exist." The AEUG ace's face was a grimset mask of determination as he armed every conceivable weapon the Rick Dias's heat sinks could handle at once, "This system...this weapon won't shorten any conflicts, it will only make them more terrible!" The boy's righteous anger and resolve spread out from his mind and across the battlefield, surging from the cockpit of the Rick Dias to any pilot with the aptitude to sense it. "I will.." The targeting reticules locked on red at the height of his ascent, straight at the Kiribito's core.
"I WILL ERASE IT!"
Missile racks, beam rifle, head vulcans and any other armament the mobile suit is sporting peel off in a full assault, probably right as Judau is getting ready to crash into it. But, he sure as hell didn't tell Camille he was going to do that! Punk Kid could take it anyways, in a suit like.
"The Double Zeta...seriously..." Camille muttered under his breath.
Cagalli listens to Aoba's reply over the radio... and finds that, more than anything, it just makes her heart sink to hear it. She knows where Aoba is right now, and it's ... kind of a terrifying place, all truths told. She tries to find something she can do, something that she knows will help -- but unfortunately, she isn't sure how to fight something as overwhelmingly powerful as the Kiribito, and hearing Aoba struggle is ruining her nerve.
For now, she stays underneath the water, letting the rest of the team handle it -- and hoping, desperately, that they can.
Aoba returns fire with that ridiculously powerful telekinetic arm sword; Asfanit jerks out of the way, abruptly, too quickly, maneuvering in ways that shouldn't really be possible...right into the path of Puru Two's attempt to /completely annihilate/ her. Except that, too, fails. Asfanit cannot sense Puru Two's psychic hatred; Lekhishah says, "Psychic insulation, in effect," abruptly, and that's all Asfanit detects of it. The weapons are another problem, but again, Asfanit chooses the path of greatest success, zigzagging impossibly through the wave of Sword Breakers. Only one hits; it hits the G. Territory, scorches the armor, and then is blasted away by one of Lekhishah's laser units.
"Puru Two," Asfanit murmurs. She shakes her head. "Another one they've hurt, is she? Miserable. This miserable planet...!"
She darts away and around. "Idiot Samples, they don't understand at all...they'd need...battleships, reflex cannons, impossible levels of force to burst that barrier from outside! Doing it this way will just put incredible strain on the pilot...!"
She grits her teeth. Got to keep pushing, attacking. Maybe if she can carve deep enough--
...maybe...if she can carve deep enough into the chest, she can reach the conduits. Maybe. It's...iffy. But lacking a way to push past that barrier to what /really matters/, it seems like the only chance she has--so she takes it. Lekhishah's body panels open wide and disgorge a /torrent/ of beam fire onto the Zai, slicing and sheering in patterns intended to tap tap tap at the barrier, distract and divert it enough that when Asfanit fires a few critical shots through, it might actually sheer through that barrier - and damage the precious machinery keeping Kiribito moving.
These Samples don't even know what they're doing, do they, she thinks. Trying to brute force through that kind of telekinetic power? What's next, try to extinguish the sun?
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Puru Two - pull out of there! You can't take them all on your own - it's suicide. What are we saving miss Aoba for if you are just going to be destroyed?"
Not born to be a weapon? Oh, if only Kazuma knew... If only -Aoba- knew.
More and more gunfire comes in. Most of it remains focused on that one spot, but the Rebound Pressure field holds up... and yet, the combined firepower seems to finally be making some progress. Or, at least, it's putting a whole lot of strain on the pilot. Even the incredible raw power of the Reflex cannon is partially deflected back, but that's quite a lot of power, quite a lot of radiation... and quite a lot of mental pressure. Kiribito Zai turns toward the Landlaufer and fires its own main cannon, the four Rebound Electron particle blasts combining into a single deadly blast.
"Friend of Puru..." Aoba's face once more forms that twisted, eerie smile. "You are not her friend... If I erase you.. you won't ever be her friend!" The Kiribito's eyes glow a dull red as it lifts one arm again, the massive sword having shrunk back to a normal-sized (for the huge Jinki) blade.. which is slashed out at the ZZ.
The GOUF latches onto the Jinki's head, striking it with its heat rod... and Aoba screams. "Get... off! Get off!" She closes her eyes and... -thinks-. Red sparks dance along the Jinki's head, bouncing up over the Mobile Suit... and then suddenly compress, trying to flatten it with telekinetic force.
While many others are attacking the Zai's chest or, despite the danger, the head, one unit persists in trying to destroy the arms. The armor there is quite thick, however, and more Rebound Electrons dance from the Kiribito onto the Exia...
And the drill strikes. Sparks fly, perhaps from the drill, perhaps from the stray Rebound Electrons shaken loose... but the field eventually shoves the Gurren-Lagann away as well. Only... it seems as if there's a mark on the armor. Did the drill manage to pierce through, if only briefly? Regardless, the Zai's arm swings around, ready to slice through the drilling machine!
More and more fire comes in, and the Zai launches both arms away this time. The first heads directly for the Rick Dias, and the second weaves through the incoming patterns of beams to skewer the Aerogater machine. The Rebound Pressure field flickers... and a few more thin lines are seared directly into the Zai's armor from that recent assault.
Well, Sly was right on both counts: His attack did manage a bit of damage, and no, it wasn't significant at all. Probably wasn't even noticed by anyone but him. However it worked, and that's important. After all, the attack was more a proof of concept than a real attack. Sly needed to test the theory before he actually committed himself.
He's also lucky that he hasn't done more, because the big machine they're fighting just went NUTS. People look like they're getting torn up. Luckily the bounced attacks don't seem focused on him, though a few of his own missiles are reflected back at him. However just a few MRMs don't deal much damage. "Alright kid," Sly transmits openly for the first time this fight, "I'm sure you've got a lot of problems and stuff to work out, but Iiiiiiii think it's about time to take that toy away from you already."
Sly charges in to close the distance, and like before, fires a pack of MRMs, then his pulse lasers the moment they hit the machine. However, unlike before, he doesn't stop at the pulse lasers: He fires /everything/ he has. Head-mounted flamer, PPC and Plasma Rifle mounted in the arms, lasers and another pack of MRMs are all fired as rapidly as they can, Sly pushing his machine's refire rate until the heat systems are red-lining, trying to push as much fire as he possibly can into that core in as short a time as possible. Hopefully all the weapons fire will overwhelm that shield and something will get though.
The Valhawk rolls into another corkscrew, almost pirouetting around the beam which tries to smack it away while Kazuma is strafing the hell out of the Kiribito - and then MORE beams, or something, and Kazuma does his best to steer clear of those ...
But the Valhawk seems to be on fire now, or at least is wreathed in what looks like bright red flames, and picking up speed - blasting right through the sound barrier, in fact ...
Then the 'flames' around the Valhawk spread along its wings and *beyond*, briefly showing wings which give the Trailer mobile unit the appearance of a great fiery bird, followed by Kazuma making a *VERY* deliberate effort to slam into the probable weak spot - the Kiribito's core - with a virtually point-blank release of the Heat Edge Exploder, at full thrust and full power. Any Newtypes on the field can probably almost hear both Kazuma and Mihiro thinking, . o O ( Aoba's younger friend had better be right about this spot ... )
No good... he doesn't have sufficient firepower for this task. Heero presses the trigger again, and then the rifle spits out nothing. He stares towards the drained fuel tank. He clenches his hands tightly around the control sticks as he feels a repeat of what happened at Merida. There's a cold sweat building up around him as he shakes his hand and... turns off the Hi-Zack's established comm channels, erasing the Katharon frequencies to ensure that they couldn't tail it back.
He stares towards the proud struggles erupting around him. Judau, with his simple and yet boisterous enthusiasm. Camille, with the anger and fury of a fettered mind wanting to break loose. Staren, who's struggling to reach and overcome his friend turned enemy. Rachel, who seemingly always come back from the brink of both physical and mental defeat. And Cagalli -- well, pfft, she bravely hid underwater.
"... you guys have got it," he mutters to himself, pulling back on the Hi-Zack's control stick. He takes a sweep and narrowly avoids a crushing blow from some of the refractions of the Rebound Field, and eventually moves to discard the suit at a convenient location. He narrows his eyes and utters a silent apology to Wufei, for a moment.
As the youth steps off, he stares up towards the incoming battle. Now on foot, without a weapon to wield, he'll accept his fate like any other civilian present in London.
It's the least he can do, for them.
Puru Two lets out an incoherent diatribe of rage upon failing to destroy that alien machine that keeps focusing on Aoba. It must be destroyed, quickly, at all costs, above all else! Er'ela, on the other hand, is paid very little attention to. She's just running interference, anything that comes for her instead of Aoba is good, but not really worth paying much attention to otherwise.
That is, until Er'ela's words manage to trigger something that brings her back into the here and now. "T... take back...?"
Suddenly, Puru Two feels all of her earlier feelings about the aliens come flooding back. She remembers her fear of being taken away. Fears strong enough to push the rage at least partially aside. "N-no! I can't be taken! I won't be taken! And neither will..."
...Aoba. That alien machine's breaking through the psychic barrier, she can sense it. It has to be stopped, now, right now. Which suits her fine anyway, because she suddenly wants to get /away/ from the Ezekiel and the pilot threatening to take her really, really badly.
The Ashsaber suddenly engages full thrust at the same time the Aerogater does, but it's not to engage in some kind of high-speed duel. It's to pass by it at high speed. It loses some of its armor as it scrapes past the Laser Blade, but it's a small price to pay in exchange for a clear shot. The PT levels its deadly rifle, the Halberd Shooter, an energy charge within growing brighter and brighter, larger and larger...
Until finally, a MASSIVE blast of energy, large enough to completely engulf the Lekhishah, is unleashed. "You will not take her, you will NOT! I'll reduce you to ashes before you can!!"
CRASH! The Astray goes for the grab and just slams into a wall of force. Plan B goes into action -- he has control of the Astray. Really? The Balmarians missed that? Maybe they're getting complacent... Alright, now to send the Astray away. He'll redirect it to a pick-up point later.
The moment he sees the battery fall out, his eyes widen in realization, and he's already flying backwards as fast as he can and bracing for impact when Akira comes after him and sends the Prometheus-type tumbling through the air. "Astray Daioh..." he says in wonder, before cold snarky reason sets in. "Idiot, if he can do this while his powers are weighed down with a robot, why doesn't he just attack me with _all_ his raw force?" This is then replaced by fear. "I hope he didn't read that..." After a moment though, reason sets in again. There must be _something_ in that Astray now that's amplifying Akira's powers. Just like there's something in Buriki Daioh, even if he couldn't find it... Akira is just not this powerful normally. Must be something that doesn't need electricity... Man, now he'd _really_ like to see what's in that machine...
His friend is in that machine. That's what's important. Capturing it is, evidently, out of the question -- even if he can somehow think of a clever plan to overcome Akira's powers without damaging the machine, Akira will just read his mind and counter it. So... He's got to smash that machine until whatever it is that's supercharging Akira breaks. Did Akira read that? Will he teleport away, Staren wonders, or assume he can stop Staren -- he probably can -- Or there's also the possibility that whatever the Balmarians did is interfering with his mind-reading and Staren actually has a chance here. Or... Perhaps Staren can put it to use! He thinks of Akira... When they met, how Buriki Daioh came to aid him on his first day, his fighting Akira _last_ time he got mind-controlled, the times they fought alongside, all that work on the T-Link system, the times Akira saved his life, their battles in the Zoids Tournament together... Remember, Akira! Remember!
Of course, Staren is too meta genre savvy to expect that to work, so he also keeps fighting. But how _to_ fight? He could confuse Akira with bits... no, that won't work, duh! Martial arts can be blocked by forcefields... Can beams be blocked by forcefields? _probably_. Wait what if he sends out the bits, imagines what Akira needs to do to dodge them, and then eventually deliberately pictures the _wrong_ thing, or to be more precise, pictures, waits a moment, then fires without thinking?
It's a brilliant plan, as the imagined battle plays out in Staren's head in seconds -- but it has one great flaw: HE JUST THOUGHT OF IT AND HIS ENEMY IS A MIND-READER! God_damn_ that's frustrating! He's got to think without... to move without thinking. A blind berserker charge? Won't that just get blocked by forcefields? He could charge but send out the bits no no NO stop thinking like-- wait, that's it! Don't plan ahead. But make sure you have plenty of possibilities to choose from! And pick one at random...
Bits fly out from the Astray, going for a wide circle around the other Astray, as Staren starts charging in again. Now, which one to use...
None of them! Beam saber!
Risa is in close. Risa and her swords /managed/ a nasty blow on the Kiribito. For a brief moment in time, she feels a bit of satisfaction. Looking past the large, monstrous machine, the young Coordinator's expression seems gentle. "Itzpapalotl, I can do this..," she states to no one. "I will show you that you didn't get hurt in vain. I will protect you, too!"
Something, though, draws her head out of the proverbial clouds. Exia rips its blades free, and Risa just stares down at the red monster as it begins to crackle and spark. Presuming the worst, she takes a beam saber free of its grip and prepares to hurl it down, into the Kiribito--
But its psychic pressure and force was /not/ accounted for.
The armor of the Exia begins to bend, pop and twist. Beneath all that psychic energy the steel and mechanical being cannot withstand the force; it writhes beneath her pressure, struggling against in vain. Inside, Risa watches in horror as the view screen begins to crack, as the cockpit itself seems to begin to implode. She doesn't like it--
The Exia struggles, but somehow manages to jettison out of the field. Gripping onto both of its physical solid-state blades, the Exia comes in once more, determined to somehow disable the machine, avoiding the key advice from Puru Two. She doesn't /want/ to hit the cockpit! What if it kills that person inside!?
"AHHHH!" is her cry, as the blades are driven into the head of the Jinki. "Stop already!"
"If all you have is a drill, everything looks like wood." -Abraham Maslow.
Simon can't actually stop all these people from attacking other parts of the Kiribito, but he finds it difficult to blame them. In a military engagement, you do what you have to do, a single out of control pilot isn't someone whom you base your strategy around. It's an unfortunate but true fact of reality. But he doesn't have to stop them to save her, he just has to save her before they need to be stopped.
"Aoba." Simon murmurs. "You don't have much time. I don't know Puru Two, but she is your friend, I am your friend. What about all your friends back in Venezuela? You're not alone. The Aoba I knew wouldn't do this. So I can only assume that that core is what's twisting you around and making you spout off all this bullshit about erasing us."
But can he do it? The telekinetic field seemed to rebuff his drill entire--wait! That...mark? Was that the drill? "Puru...forgive me if this doesn't work."
These samples don't even know what they're doing. Perhaps that is true. Trying to brute force through that kind of telekinetic power. And yet...
You'd be surprised at what brute force can do. The telekinetic shield may very well be the ultimate shield, but that drill functions as the ultimate blade. Even as Aoba unleashes another assault, A quick punch rips through and collides into the shield once more. The Gurren Lagann is not taking damage anymore, aside from stray scuff marks across its frame and disruptions in the green aura that is now fully subsuming the mysterious gestalt.
"Aoba!" Simon cries, the heavy drill slamming into the field once more--just as it did before. Typical brute force. It won't work. "Aoba!! You told me not to give up, you gave me hope when my bro died!! But I can't let you hurt innocent people! That's the last thing Aoba would want! So Aoba, please..." Tears come, unbidden, and trickle down his face--he thought he wasn't going to do that anymore. He thought he was going to be a man. Maybe he still has to cry sometimes. "Please wake up!...And lean two centimeters to the left!!"
Drills rip out of the Gurren Lagann's back and swoosh impossibly into the air, slamming down on the top of the Kiribot's frame, intending to pin it in place and put pressure on other portions of the field. Silliness, to spread it out, right? Well actually--those drills perform two functions. One, they try to hold the Kiribito in place--but two...
--two, they try to deflect away weaponsfire from the cockpit. The problem is that Simon thinks that when he takes the core he may be unable to prevent those drills from piercing the Kiribito's frame--hench his call for Aoba to shift, just so--
"C-certain..." Simon murmurs, focusing his spiral energy. The drill becomes...smaller? More compact? Yes, yes that's right. It's not as big--but it doesn't HAVE to be. It's stronger, infinitely stronger.
"WAAAAAAAAAAAAKE UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP!" Simon screams, a ripple pushing through the drill to slam through the field and into the core!
The Valhalla itself slowly begins to lift away from the scene of carnage, heading up toward the sky above. The hefty looking machine itself shook as it was once more hit with an attack from the Kiribito, metal plating falling free from the hull to the distant ground below. Urvin had opted to withdraw, feeling that the continued failure to do anything to the Kiribito meant he was merely wasting the resources of the Crusaders....
The systems on the Amenthes still kept clear track of the enemies around him. "We cannot win two battles a tthe same time." He mutters as he stares at a series of vid-windows in the air, showing the status of all of his teammates' machines. "Like this, no way we are going to get out of this alive." The scanner was looking casually for Gates - who's machine had exploded a short moment ago. "Sir, we are starting to run low on energy. Please try to preserve energy whilst Amenthes produces additional quantities." This message only brings Ascian halfway towards anger. "Puru Two - pull out of there! You can't take them all on your own - it's suicide. What are we saving miss Aoba for if you are just going to be destroyed?" Using the speakers as well as the radio, he tries to call on the one teammate who seems to be emotionally the most invested in this battle. And just as he is shouting out at her, a piece of plating shoots off from the rifle - halting his attack and forcing his Orbital Frame to disengage the compressed space attack. "Damnit." - "Compressed Space Rifle at~..." - "I KNOW!" Ascian lets out an angered look - frowning fiercely.
Was he the only sane one here - amongst his own peers? The Orbital Frame next to him had been unresponsive, and Puru Two was fighting a losing battle. This was all too much for him too - as a newly trained soldier. Simulations had been nothing compared to this. "Come on, Amenthes!" The two large sword-like wings on the frame's back suddenly split open slightly aimed backwards and begin spitting out a red glowing dust - compressing space and spitting the air it collects as the machine prepares to speed up again. "Puru Two just took down one of the alien suits." Duat comments dutily and quickly displays the deed. "So she's not disengaging. Guess it's understandable... I mean, if that was my sister in there..." The young man goes quiet for a moment and concentrates on the Kiribito once more. Almost... he could almost sense her frustration through that feed that was aimed at her.
"Please take note of this." Duat suddenly opens another vid aimed at where the Gurren had struck. "Seriously? That little bot did actual damage to the thing? It must use some kind of... special material for its drill or something. Damnit, if only they'd unlock the Vector Cannon. Try checking the program again!" - A red light springs up. "Still locked sir. BAHRAM has not given permission for its use." - "Damnit." The young man pours more of his spirit into his machine and forces it to dart forwards - its right arm turning into a sword and /striking/ straight towards the core. Its wings burst to life more fiercely as it tries to lancet into the enemy machine. Just meeting the shield, Ascian could immediately feel his entire frame trembling... but he had to try.
"E-erase me?! What kinda talk is that!?" Judau may mean literally. Judau may be imagining the Kiribito taking a giant eraser to his Gundam. Instead, he gets sword. Big, angry sword. Judau's eyes widen as that (comparatively now)-smaller blade comes crashing down. He feels nauseous from that psychic pressure. It feels wrong, and /he/ feels like throwing up, barely fighting the urge as he desperately grips onto his controls. It's too much, too close, too soon. And though he tries to bank backward-- The heavy blade of energy cleaves once, with substantial fury, through the ZZ's chest, causing an explosion of grand proportions as the ZZ is knocked backward. A molten yellow wound glows across the ZZ's chest as it falls... "Aaaaaaah craaaaaaaaaaaa--" 'Let's finish this together!!' --and then abruptly activates its thrusters. "Heh heh. That's more like it, Rach! ALRIGHT! LET'S GO, DOUBLE ZETA!!" LAUNCHING itself into the air, the ZZ Gundam's eyes flash a bright green. Ripping free the large and ungainly hilt of one of its hyper beam sabers, it activates the long, bright red blade -- while simultaneously holding out its hand. "Hey! Weird girl!" because Judau doesn't know her name. "If you're concerned about Puru bein' my friend..." Because she is, somehow, in Judau's mind. That blade begins to crackle and grow, as something else other than particles suffuses across the length. "... how 'bout you be my friend, too?!" Judau's logic is completely sound. And also supplemented by the ZZ Gundam suddenly catching the M9 in mid-air-- --and fastball special'ing it, with a one-way ticket towards Kiribito city. "TAKE 'EM DOWN, RACH!!"
Frieda Schmidt is hit by a massive shockwave. The actual bounceback of radiation from the Reflex Cannon is minor; she probably suffered more damage firing it. But that massive, massive weapon is a concern. Actually, it seriously damages the ancient Nazi war-machine. In response, Frieda sits down in her cockpit, pulls out her abacus, does some calculations, and fires an A-2 rocket at Aobe.
No, its not the V-2, so famous for landing on London, but its close.
The Ezekiel Ne'eman zigs, zags, and jinks through the air around the Rebound Electron attack, but this gives Prur Two the opening she needs to get past her laser blade with only minimal damage. "Damnit!"
The dark purple Ezekiel spins in the air and fires it's thrusters again, where Er'ela sees the Ashsaber's target "No! Lady Kolot!" Er'ela pours on the power, but the Ashsaber has a head start "Nhh. Damn you!" the Ezekiel reaches behind it's back and takes out the collapsable Olga Cannon, which extends it's barrel and a set of stablizing fins as it glows blue. "I won't let you get away with this!" The weapon fires it's stream of blue energy at the back of the Ashsaber.
Norris Packard has got Aoba's attention, he's latched on to her machine's head with the rheat rodf. Things are going bad, very bad. His machine is caught in more mental power than he's ever seen let lose before. The GOUF's computer gives a number of alarms the damage read out is bad, if it keeps oging the way it does, it's going to be the end of Norris. He's not about to call it quits here.
He somehow keeps going and now aims his attack lower, he's gong to try to cleave through the lower part of the machine. As he charges the optic lights up bruightly s the machine attacks.
"AOBA! WAKE UP FROM THIS NIGHTMARE!" He strikes, one singlle focused strike, is he striking the right point?!
It's just not /working/, she can't make the system work, and if she doesn't get this situation controlled on HER terms then when the barrier /does/ fall the /Samples/ will be the ones who--gh! She can't let them just have her! Or this abyssmal machine! She won't allow it! "These damned.../humans/! How can they keep fighting when they see their own futility!?"
"Incoming," Lekhishah warns her, and Asfanit stares in a sort of horror as the attack comes - the bladed arm of Zai slamming into Lekhishah, scything her back through the air and sending the machine arcing away, and Asfanit's fingers are trembling as she assesses the field, assesses her knowledge, assesses that that beam is too fast and too strong and the Gravity Territory is down and she's going to die, but she, she doesn't, she can't, she, she, "I don't...want to! No! I can't die yet! I can't...I have to save them...I DON'T WANT TO DIE!"
The explosion of dust and light is bright. Was that it, then? The end of Lekhishah - of Asfanit Kolot?
The machine that was Lekhishah hovers there, but it's different now - its shoulders shorn open, with long fins stretching out the back, expelling heat in thick waves. Its eyes burn a radiant, terrifying green. Its armor is completely sealed, now, the segmentation gone. Inside, the cockpit has restructured imperceptibly, interfacing with a unit buried deep in the heart of the machine. Asfanit's eyes are slightly defocused, her breathing ragged, staring into the monitors before her.
Three words appear on her console.
LAMBDA DRIVER ONLINE
Asfanit laughs, slumping back against her chair. "Concentration," she murmurs. "The key...was concentration. I see."
The machine hovers there, silent and menacing, completely devoid of any apparent means of /staying/ in the air, yet that it does. For now, it makes no move to act.
For now. Asfanit Kolot's Lekhishah transforms into its Tzrikha mode.
All the ammo markers for the Rick Dias flashed EMPTY in big, oppressive red letters as the boosters gave out, and the suit at least began to succumb to the pull of gravity, which ironically saves it from being struck in half by the still-massive sword that swings over the unit's head.
Camille grunted to see most of the assault had been repelled. Oh well, it wouldn't be the first time he'd blown his stack prematurely.
But before he can lose his steely resolve, Rachel and Judau's intensity reaches him, imparts into his mind like some kind of wacky idea bomb.
Suddenly, Camille's hands finds the throttle. Unexpectedly, the boosters aren't completely out of juice. Against all logic, the red unit /blasts/ forwards towards the Kiribito Zai, beam saber flaring to life in one hand. "You've got it Rachel, Judau! LETS GO, ZETA G-er...RICK DIAS!!"
God, he really wished the Zeta wasn't broken.
In any case, if the ZZ Gundam is the initial boost for Rachel's home run to the dead center of the overwhelming Jinki, the Rick Dias is most certainly the second stage, boosters surging ahead just in tim to catch the Gernsback midway and give Rachel whatever final momentum she needed to reach her destination, "You told me melee was your specialty, Rachel; Show me!" Camille offers the challenge in the one passing second between them, "Judau and I are right behind you!"
And he is, with a beam saber aimed straight at the core he's hammered away at throughout the battle.
The monomolecular swords are swung over the shoulders, returning to their sheaths.
The M9E Gernsback is not meant for space travel, but the booster was added to the Arm Slave as an afterthought, a way to keep it mobile in the confines of space. On Earth, it takes the insane leaping ability of the Arm Slave and increases it to an amazing level-- a level that operates in metered bursts, though Rachel can give it a little more gas. It burns up that particular charge faster, but the output is usually worth it.
And that output is what allows her to slow the Arm Slave down before the feet make contact with the ZZ Gundam. For a moment, the M9's visor turns down to look the Mobile Suit in the eyes, as though it were the Second Princess of Orb looking right at the boy from the junker-filled colony. Rachel gives a grim nod.
And then she vaults.
With the combined strength of the muscle packs and the sheer, ridicilous raw output at the ZZ Gundam's disposal, the pink Arm Slave is sent flying high-- the booster firing as well, and Rachel rocks and shakes in the pilot's cradle as she tries to hold it together under all that force.
And then she reaches the top of the arc.
Coming down hard, the two monomolecular swords are again drawn, swept across the palms and held in a backhanded manner. The tips aimed down, aiming to pierce straight into the Kiribito Zai's armor, Rachel will let the weight of the Arm Slave and the strength of the swords do all the work for her.
When she stops-- when it becomes clear she's dangerously close to falling away, she /lets go/.
As the M9 starts to fall, the hands move to the packs mounted on either thigh, and grip handles. The whole of the weapon covers the fists, and braces click into place against the forearms while monomolecular vibroblades extend-- katars, to be specific-- and... the booster fires, one more time.
Both of the blades point ahead, and both of the blades are aimed right for that core, with all the force the small Arm Slave can muster.
Bits go everywhere. The remote weapons spin around the Astray-TT, coming at him from every side. The Astray itself starts to face them, standing in the crater as it is, holding up both hands with the quiet groan of limbs being forced to move without power. The air shimmers momentarily... and then Staren comes right at it with a beam saber in a wholly unexpected move.
Or maybe not. The pilot hears everything. Everyone nearby, every thought, every strategy; all of it comes to him, overwhelming him, yet funneled into usefulness entirely because of how he's been rewritten. Newtypes and other psychics nearby will feel distinctly uneasy if they come anywhere near the Astray-TT, an unsettling probing sensation of another mind boring into theirs.
The Astray moves. The beam saber slashes across it's torso, leaving a glowing line that is ultimately pointless. The only vitals it has now is the cockpit; it's like fighting a zombie that you don't want to risk taking the shot on. It pauses momentarily, concerned about the status of Asfanit, but... no, she's still there. And it has enemies to remove.
The world shakes around the Astray-TT. A flickering white radiance gathers around it, spreading out in veins along the ground from it's feet like lightning had struck. Gravity flickers into reverse for a moment, the ground swelling upwards. The Astray goes with it, rising above the Prometheus Type and slashing downward with a suddenly-manifested blade that glimmers like glass in the sun. It carves into the ground and parts it, splitting a fissure to the reaver, water pouring inward.
It rushes the Astray Prometheus. The psychokinetic blade splits and bends, forking into innumerable spikes that expand an instant after they manifest and then multiply again. The web of monomolecular strands come down on the Prometheus, a net of nearly immediate death closing in.
Whatever they did, it made Akira be able to do fine manipulation. This just got somehow worse.
Asfanit's eyes track to the glorious demonstration of power of the three friends combined. "No," she mutters, distantly. "Combined arms fire won't work on that one...can't they see? The defenses..." Something in her wants to call out to them, tell them, but she grits her teeth, shaking her head. "They'll learn," she decides, grimly.
ANd learn they do, as their power bounds against the Zai's barrier...and Asfanit finally, truly, understands.
"Force applied against the barrier is applied against the psychic will of the pilot...breaking through the barrier /could/ release the pilot's bonds, but is just as likely to destroy her completely..." Whisper, whisper, the Zehirut in her arm snaps and crackles between itself, sinking a little deeper into her flesh, running a little further up her shoulder. It...no, that's wrong, though...of course, that's it, isn't it. Pinpoints. Precision. Piercing through. Yes. Piercing. Her mind calculates, quickly, the kind of force she'll need, the exact spot to apply it - Kiribito Zai, for all its power, could not withstand the force of a thousand cannons impacting a spot the size of a golf ball. She knows it. Especially not now.
Tzrikha moves, the frightening white and red machine blurring across the distance under seemingly no propulsion but its own decision to move, the air SCREAMING in its wake as its wrist monocutters slam into place in its palms, and it raises both of them up, and DRIVES them into the field weaknesses left behind by Simon and by the Newtypes, the blades, short blades, knives, really, slice into the field and THROUGH it, slashing in deep - shredding the fields, shredding the armor...
And shredding the core.
As more gunfire comes in, there seems to be... less of it bouncing away. Most of it is stopped, but instead of reflecting it back from where it came, the Rebound Pressure field just dissipates the energy, blocks the explosions, lets the bullets fall to the ground. To say that it still manages to shrug off everything thrown at it might be reasonable... on the surface. Its movements forward are just -slightly- erratic, though, as the power drain from using all those charged Rebound Electrons has started to limit what it can put into the thrusters. It's had a profound effect on the pilot as well, and Aoba is breathing heavily, sweat running down her face... or are those tears? Perhaps both, given her tendency to crying.
The cockpit and the Kekkairo power core are nowhere near each other, so there's little danger of hitting the girl if the core is targetted. The drill focuses, spins... and strikes the Reobund Pressure field. The field begins to -bend-, spiral energy tearing at telekinetic force. The pressure is enough to bring another scream from Aoba as she tries to focus, tries to hold out against the drill that pierces the heavens...
In the end, she's successful, but at what cost? The strain of fending off so much spiral power combined with the physical force of the drill and everything else has left Aoba mentally exhausted... not that she wasn't before just to pilot this thing.
The triple attack comes in. Kiribito is large, and is more than capable of dealing with multiple opponents coming from all directions... but not so much when there is psychic power involved. The Rebound Pressure field shimmers, sparks...and fails, as the blades manage to pierce through the weakened field and slice at the Zai's thick armor. The psychic backlash prompts another scream from Aoba as she tries to copensate.. but deep down, something has finally reached her. She lifts her arms tentatively... Friends. Puru Two came here to help her. Simon is here to help her. Some of these people want to kill her, but some are her friends. They want to save her. There's a moment of weakness in Kiribito Zai's control as Aoba struggles against it, trying to break free, to say that she accepts...
...and the Lambda-powered machine dives right in between the Zai's arms, piercing the weakened Rebound field. For a brief moment, Aoba instinctively fights back, but it's too little, too late... the Balmarian's pressure overcomes her own, and the Zai's armor is breached. A spray of liquid metal, glowing bright green, spatters out over the Lekhishah as the Kekkairo is destroyed.
The red fades from Kiribito's eyes. The thrusters fail... and the massive Jinki plummets toward the ground. It isn't a long drop, but the Kiribito Zai is heavy enough that it partially embeds itself into the earth on impact.
Norris Packard has been called a monster, a deamon, he is a force of destruction to be sure. But tonight he fights for someone he considers a friend and should have a better future. The system displays heavy damage he should pull out at this point. It looks they have been successful, they should be able to get Aoba. Packard was one of the ones who came to save the young pilot;. Then the balmarian makes her moves. However he has a good idea of why they are here. "I'm going in, all units CUT THE AEROGATERS DOWN!"
The Gouf now charges right at Asfanit's machine. Norris has no powers, but he has drive, will, and a whole lot zeonic rage. The GOUF throws it self at the other machine.
"Didn't you hear me alien?! I SAID SHE WILL NOT BE YOURS! That girl is under my protection."
He's in over his head, but he's charing right in, odds are against him but he must stand. To do anything less is to condem Aoba to whatever plans the aliens have. The Tempst blade is still on line as he closes with the strange machine. He's going to try to drive his way through and then impale the other machine.
"YOU ARE MINE!"
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Sovi Reincam transmits, "I want to know where Tsuzaki ends up, Packard."
It certainly looked like Puru Two did just as promised. She was sure she turned that Aerogater machine to dust with that shot. But after all that... it's still there. Not only that, it looks /stronger than before/.
The clone Newtype just... gapes. Even though everyone gave it their best shot, it doesn't look like they'll be able to get Aoba out before the alien machine reaches her. She has to stop it, again. But, with a quick inventory of her weapons... Halberd Shooter: drained. Sword Breakers: destroyed. Burning Dagger missile launcher: welded shut. ...what does that leave her with? A beam machine gun and a laser blade. That'd be about as pointless as attacking the Macross with a porcupine and a cheese grater.
But still, the Ashsaber withdraws them. There's no other choice. She'll have to do this with what she's got. Maybe there's still a chance, if she could just...
A merciless blast of energy from behind forces a reaction. Just a little too late. The Ezekiel's Orga Cannon strikes the Ashsaber - not dead on at least, but causing enough damage to send it spiraling out of control, losing the rest of its weapons in the process. No, she won't make it in time! Even while she struggles to regain control, all she can think about is, "Someone... someone rescue Aoba!"
As if on cue, this is when the Kiribito explodes, and Puru Two goes completely silent. Even if she was able to get her unit back under control, it's all but useless now. /She's/ all but useless now. Was this... all she could do, to help her friend?
It's not until after Staren slashes that he realizes the pointlessness of anything that doesn't damage the cockpit or... whatever is allowing Akira to do this. But concern about going for the cockpit doesn't even enter his mind -- He knows full well Akira would survive a cockpit shot. But if Akira _knows_ he'll go for the cockpit... Rrrgh, this is so annoying!
Akira summons a blade of pure force, which then laughs in the face at the concept of being a 'blade' and turns into monomolecular strands.
In addition to staring in horror, Staren can only think:
Goddamn it, that's what _I'd_ have figured out how to do if I had his powers.
As the strands come closer, Staren realizes Akira can kill him and there's nothing he can do about it. Ironically, his ultimate trump card -- Akira, who in a situation like this would teleport into the cockpit and then save him at the last instant -- was his doom.
He doesn't think about all he could have done, about all he did do -- He knows there isn't time for that. 'Well, fuck.' That's a pretty lame last thought, how many people have shared it, he wonders? Did the nameless EFA and DC grunts he killed think that when they died? Wait, why is he still thinking... Why isn't he dead?
And then the Astray collapses into sand, in such a way as to leave Staren sitting on the neatly diced remains of his seat atop a big pile of sand. That's... pretty damn impressive actually, he has to hand it to Evil Akira.
He really needs to get this battle data back to the AEUG... Sure the Astray was totaled but there's still his cybernetics OH SHIT NO DON'T CUT ME OPEN -- He could run, but he can't escape that kind of power. He stands, and looks up at his best friend in his creation. "Well? What now?" He's pretty much expecting to be yanked telekinetically and taken to the Balmarian base to join Akira, although there's a little hope that Akira will ignore him in which case he will promptly run like heck. The third option, that Akira will kill him now, is there, but seems pretty unlikely.
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Alright. I am going to do something stupid."
<Radio: B - DC Tactical> Norris Packard Grunts. "They are after Aoba. All units able to fight focus on the balmarians. Cut them /down/.
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "Does that include the crazy... zombie mobile suit?"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite refering to Akira's suit.
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Uh. No. It includes doing something increadibly crazy with my orbital frame."
One (very, very big) problem down. Partly due to a Balmarian helping to disable the Kiribito.
And promptly REPLACING that very big problem with one which is at least as potentially menacing. Namely, EXACTLY what Kazuma was worrying about as soon as the Balmarians showed up here.
As the Kiribito collapses to the ground, the Valhawk transforms into Close Combat mode - and stays that way, this time, landing near where Norris went charging in, and then following the Zeon ace in. "Aoba's got a lot of friends here, Balmarian ... AND THIS TIME, *YOU AREN'T TAKING ANYONE WITH YOU WHEN YOU LEAVE*!!"
And with that, the Valhawk charges in, taking advantage of whatever opening Kazuma and Mihiro can find ... and tries to simply *grab and throw* the Balmarian mecha, with the intent of flinging it away from the Kiribito and positioning himself (and Norris) between Asfanit and Aoba. Kazuma Ardygun's Valhawk transforms into its Close Combat Valhawk mode.
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Hey, guy with the battle ship. Cover me!"
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Ascian Luddite transmits, "I mean - target-wise."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Dr. Hell finally after like months of silence transmits, "That implies, young man, that you are /ever/ doing something /intelligent/."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Hey, I got your bugs, didn't I."
<Radio: Divine Crusaders> Suriel Misaki transmits, "Stop distracting me!"
Crash! The spear bounces into the shield... and slips! Ascian barely manages not to crash Amenthes' side into the opponent as he slips and quickly hits the verniers hard - sending him up into the air as far as possible. "Well that didn't work." He mutters as he looks behind him. Duat luckily refrains from comment. "Sir, its structure seems to be weakening." - "And wh~" - "Warning!" - "No shit." - "Previously determined downed mech is back up - showing severe energy fluctuations." - "You like doing this, don't you?" - "Sir?" - "Never mind." Ascian lets out a tired sigh and shakes his head again to make the vid displays disappear - except for one. He has a visual on a red robot going melee upon the enemy. "Gotta give these guys some credit though... they've got some guts - even with crappy outdated suits like that." He spins his frame about and Duat quickly springs up windows on at least two others. "Sir, I believe it would be to our tactical advantage to assist in this assault." - "Based on what?" - "A... gut feeling, sir?"
At first, Ascian is confused at such a word being used with his A.I. Perhaps he was rubbing off on it or something. Or maybe it was a glitch. "That simply will not be enough. But... I guess we should strike anyhow. Screw it - it's not as if I can think of any better options." The BAHRAM soldier steers his Orbital Frame down to the ground again - straight down a nearby tall building. "You must be going crazy - thinking I'd help those guys..." He banks firmly as he reaches the ground and strafes in a wide arc so he can get directly behind the most of the mobile suits. There, the wings undo again and form a dozen smaller satelite weaponry - spinning up quickly and forming massive red dots at the tips. The two arms of his mech come forward and form that large rifle-form again.
The satelite homing array then suddenly begins to flicker and forms to attach to the rifle - forming a sort of extended barrel with faint laser aimed the the front - crossing the beams. "I harshly recommend against this action, sir. We will drain almost all of our reserves on this kind of..." Duat stops speaking - getting the hint to stop talking. "Here we go again." And with that said he forces his frame to let loose entirely - the red energy-stripes fiercely streaming into the rifle; the red beam turning forwards at the Jinki as the space begins to compress around it and forms a sort of guidance.
But the beam does not go off! "Why the hesitation sir?"
His attention is set firmly on the machine. The goosebumps he'd felt on his skin - it was going down. "Sir, the shields are faltering." - "I can see that." The reading was right in front of him after all. "Let's go." He quickly signals Puru over the Radio. "I'm giving you cover. Retrieve Aoba!" The rifle quickly disassembles again and the frame launches into the air whilst its wings are still unformed - the satelites launching a wayward volley of attacks at the aliens to try and distract them from Puru and the large machine.
Their attack, damn it all, was not quite enough. Not quite enough to disable the Kiribito before some damn alien came and stole their thunder at the last second in a ridiculous show of force. "That...power..!" Camille gasped, feeling as if his cocpit had just become a vacuum in the wake of the pressure. Not only that, the method of the attack, the way they waited until the precise moment to strike. This way of fighting, this planning, this /feeling/....where had he all seen it before...?
"Who...who are you?!" Camille manages to get this much out before the Kiribito goes down, taking his Rick Dias with it (Beam Saber still lodged in a molten chunk of heavy armor) down for the count.
The impact tosses the Newtype around for good measure, but Rick Dias is reliable if nothing else: It's still up, and so is he. "Rachel? Judau..?" The mobile suit rights itself, its pilot questing for his nearest allies, "Are you two still up..?" Probably, but the matter was now what do with the /other/ bad guys. And just where the hell did Heero run off to?
Simon is bedazzled back by the power core explosion which is of enough strength even to test the Gurren Lagann's defenses. Unfortunately, this means that the Gurren Lagann is flung too far back to interfere with with the aliens' attempts to capture Aoba. In fact, it's too damaged to do much at all. Several holes have been torn right through the legs, showing the internals of the Gurren even as it lies in the ground in a junk heap. Of course, perhaps Simon could use Lagann--
--a wise idea, if he hadn't slammed his head against the back of his console and passed out. But he rests well with the knowledge that Aoba has been saved and there is no way that aliens will kidnap her. That will totally not happen.
Boota tries to smack Simon out of his stupir by thwacking him upside the cheeks with his tail.
Er'ela stared at Asfanit's machine as it transformed. tHese...THINGS keep happening and ti is kind of starting to /bother/ Er'ela. Then the Ezekiel's cockpit whines at her "More attackers!?"
The Ezekiel cuts it's engiens, droping down below the the homing laser beams. "You just dont' know when to /quit/ do you!?" THe Ezekiel Ne'eman accelerates towards the Amenthes, the laser blade held up in both hands at eye level. The Ezekiel flies past the Amenthes at full throttle, swinging the laser blade out in one gracefull stroke along the entire length of the BAHRAM machine's armor.
"What the... react damnit!" The wings were still busy reforming after the homing lasers had been used - causing the young man to be unable to send his Orbital Frame as far to the side as he wished to. He could see the laserblade passing just above his cockpit and straight along its torso - cutting through one of the just newly formed wings and an entire arm. He could see part of his frame falling down below. "They...." His eyes squint together. "They harmed Amenthes." - "Sir! Now is not the time to lose your calm!" - "They harm~" - "Snap out of it, Master Luddite!" A spark suddenly causes his both hands to let go of the controls. "Safeguard systems activated. Preparing to leave theater of war." - "No! Override. Override!" But the machine doesn't react. The machine lowers down towards the ground - grabbing the distached wing by opening its vector trap and proceeds to evacuate from the area. "Fine..." The young man takes over the controls again - whilst radio-ing his faction about his status.
Sly Heckler's focus here had been on Aoba so far, though his firepower seemed completely unable to do more than scuff her paint a little bit. However, as others close in there, it looks like that situation is handled.
However, a call over his radio draws his attention to another problem nearby.
The Seraph turns, looking at the Astray-TT that Staren is fighting. The thing is fast, mobile and no doubt powerful...and Sly's luck so far has been coming up snake-eyes every time he's rolled the Seraph out. However, he made a promise, and he aims to keep it. He figures he's only got one shot at doing this, so he stays focused. He closes the range quickly, and once close enough, fires off a pack of MRM missiles at theAstray-TT's back, more to draw it's attention than anything else.
"Hey kid...Hope you don't mind if I interrupt. Just got one little thing to take care of."
As soon as the Astray turns to face him, Sly unloads with PPC and Plasma Rifle fire, aimed to strike straight at the center of the enemy machine's torso, followed a moment later by another pack of MRMs, hopefully overwhelming it with a rapid, high-intensity onslaught.
Suriel snaps out of his rage caused by being hurt really really hard.
Suriel, realizing what was going on, shakes it off...he gets a rundown while his memory catches up to him. Suriel knows he is going crazy, he's got enough of his sense of self for the moment.
With the giant mobile suit down, with everything around him going NUTS. Suriel undertsands one thing.
Hey look, the cockpit block.
Suriel attempts to reach into the downed mech, attempting to pull the Cockpit block out.